• Making “Instant” Memories

    Last year I had a goal in mind. To spend the whole year creating things worth looking back at. To be able to look back at it, I had set out to document it. Every trip, every story, every meetup. For a while, this was the spark I needed to take those trips, create those stories and get out of my comfort zone to meet new people. Then, it started to become a part of me. I wasn’t forcing myself to go places and talk to strangers. This became the norm. I looked forward to planning trips even when it seemed monetarily impossible. I started accepting every invitation to sit down for coffee because, coffee never hurt anyone and wow… do creatives love their coffee! Stories were not something I seeked, they just started happening.

    With that, came the urge to share it all! Keeping these moments gets easier by the minute. With a camera in my phone, I could snap every single thing. Social media will certainly remind you a couple years later what you did or missed out on. You can pretty much scroll back into your life and relive memories and our friend’s special moments can also be traced back. Anything and everything becomes a trigger or in a more positive light, it can become a way to keep us in check. But, who are we kidding? We scroll back to find the perfect throwback photo. Not to make sure we are keeping up with our goals… and if you’re one of those people, please show me the secrets.

    But, have you ever wondered why we choose what we choose to share? I’ve been asking myself and others this question for a while and I’ve come to the conclusion that there are two sides to this. One, to seek approval from likeminded people. This is not to say, you upload something just for the likes. It’s more of seeing places, meeting people and doing things “for the ‘gram”. regardless of likes. For that feeling you get right after hitting that share button after perfectly selecting the words, tags and hashtags that go along with it. Yes, there come the likes. But, whenever I see those likes from people who’s work I admire, it’s instant validation that I’m not the only one who saw that it was a moment worth sharing. The work, the road trip, the cute flatlay has been validated by my peers and now it’s time to find other moments to share. Likes and comments from strangers are the cherry on top!

    The other side of sharing is the side everyone knows and acts like it’s not important. It’s when you know you are posting because you want that attention. When you are home in PJs and have the urge to post the ultimate beach sunset photo because you know it will get an awesome reaction. In return, you’ll feel better about yourself. You are not there and it’s most definitely not an instant-gram. But, nothing like that matters. The attention feels good and you bask in it. I’ve been the person who says, I’ll post that at night because it gets better engagement or I’ll choose a photo specifically similar to something I have posted before that has done well in order to remind my followers I still “have it”. Whatever that means… It’s a numbers game, it’s a mind game and we are all guilty.

    Can we be two people at once? Can someone be interested in sharing their work, their life in an honest genuine manner and at the same time care about likes? This year, the tables have turned. Honesty has been fueling the choices I’m making and it’s truly made everything a lot less stressful. So, instant or not, let’s make some honest memories. Regardless if we post them a month later when we are bored or we completely edit someone’s shirt because the color doesn’t “go with the grid”. Here’s to a simpler more honest year. 

  • Golden Guide: Three days in NYC

    Golden Guide: Three Days in NYC

    Post-NYC depression is real. A day after I was back home I instantly felt nostalgic. There’s something about New York. Every time I’m there, it just clicks. Like riding a bike! This time, I had so many places I wanted to visit. It’s had been a little over three years since I had been back. So, the list was lengthy! If you’re like me and want to hit as many places as possible in as little time as possible, this is the guide for you.

    Golden Guide: Three Days in NYCGolden Guide: Three Days in NYC

    What to EAT:

    • Two Hands Café: This place has two locations. Each with it’s own particular style. One is a café and one is a restaurant. If you’re into instagraming a place, go to the café at Mott Street. It has clouds hanging from the ceiling and their breakfast is straight out of heaven. Order the Bacon and Egg Sambo with avocado! Have some coffee while you’re there as well. Compared to most coffee shops in NYC, this coffee is actually good! I’m puerto rican, so you know I like it strong! (Also, let’s all ignore the fact that I completely forgot to get a mani before heading out. Kay? Thanks!)
    • Roberta’s: Download OpenTable right now to reserve a spot! This place gets crazy full and you might even walk past it ten times because it’s behind a very discrete red door. BUT. So. Damn. Worth. It. The service is amazing, the pizza is all the reasons I will never leave gluten behind and the music is great. Don’t expect to have a great conversation here, it gets quite loud. Just order the “White Guys” pizza, add some sopresatta, be merry and tell everyone you went and didn’t wait in line. 
    • Momofuku Noodle Bar & Momofuku Milk Bar: I’ll start things off by saying we waited two hours. Not that there’s a two hour wait list, just that we were nine people and this place only let’s you in if your whole party is there. It’s so good that NINE people waited in line with me just to get a bowl of ramen. If you’ve ever seen Mind of a Chef or happen to be obsessed with David Chang, this is THE place to visit. Every savory sip was mind blowing. MIND. BLOWING. For dessert? A compost cookie from Milk. Thank me later! 
    • Egg: This cannot get any more straightforward. It’s a breakfast spot. Go for brunch, order the Biscuits with gravy, a side of eggs and candied bacon. We ate in silence throughout the whole meal. If no one says a peep, you know it’s because the food is good! It’s right next to Mast Brother’s in case you’re down for dessert. 
    • Mission Cantina: Came in for the guacamole, stayed for their neon lit bathroom. (pictured above) We might have been judged and side eyed when we all went in to take a photo inside the bathroom but I’m totally fine with that. The guac is made in your face and it’s insanely good! The place looks hella kitschy and it has a Chinese menu board that confuses everyone because they don’t serve anything shown on it. Pure decoration! Their real menus are neon yellow and the staff is so friendly you’ll never wanna leave. Well, we didn’t! 
    • Sweet Chick: Chicken and Waffles, Mac n’ Cheese. Enough said! But really, if you’re into comfort food, this is the place to have a massive dinner. Massive, because the Mac n’ Cheese is so good you might want to order seconds… 


    Golden Guide: Three Days in NYC

    What to DRINK:

    • Cha Cha Matcha: I must admit, I’d seen this place all over instagram. I wanted to taste what all the fuzz was about. I imagined it bigger and fuller. But, to my surprise, it’s quaint and cozy. Be ready to wait a bit, as it’s packed most of the time. But when you do get to the cash wrap, make sure you order their matcha cronut as well. Both Iced Matcha Latte and Cronut were incredible! Cronut not pictured because we ate it in mere seconds. HOT TIP: The bathroom has pink lighting for one of the many selfies you’ll probably be taking that day. 
    • Blue Bottle Coffee: My love for Blue Bottle Coffee knows no limits. Every place I visit, I actively seek it out. Their New Orleans Style Iced Coffee is the stuff of dreams. So good I had two in a day. You can get your coffee fix in their pop-up at the High Line or in their Williamsburg location.
    • Loopy Doopy: Amazing views, colorful cocktails… this place is unexpectedly awesome. It’s on top of the Conrad Hotel so you think it will be very fancy, and it is. But, I went with chucks and jeans. Still got in! This bar is known for dipping a ‘paleta’ in a huge glass of Prosecco. Which means, I obviously got the damn palette dipped in Prosecco. 10/10! 
    • Cafe Standard: Great coffee, minimalist aesthetic, awesome breakfast… All the things that make a great coffee shop great, right? Pink menus and neon lights are like a calling to me and this place has both! Being able to finally sit down at a place I had only seen on numerous insta-accounts was like a very millennial bucket list moment but a bucket list moment nonetheless. 
    • Magic Mix Juicery: A mid day refresher after a long night involving pints of beer? This is the place. I was in dire need of some hydration, specially after all the food we had been eating. This was perfect! Great to stop by before heading to the Brooklyn Bridge.


    What to SEE:

    • Oculus: Oculus means a round or eyelike opening and THAT it was. This architectural masterpiece left us speechless. From the outside, the spiky silhouettes merge perfectly with the World Trade Center behind it. Then once you go in, it’s ike stepping into another dimension.  It has stores inside that border the giant opening in the middle. Making it spacious and full of light. Truly magical
    • Mast Brothers: Minimalist aesthetic + chocolate bars = the perfect place. Their bars are known for the packaging and I was lucky enough to snatch their Calico x Mast Sea Salt Collection! Before you take anything you won’t like, make sure to ask for samples! I almost took home an Aji & Habanero bar because the packaging was beautiful and thankfully I tried it out first! Wasn’t my type of chocolate and ended up finding a beautiful Black Truffle bar that made my heart sing. 
    • Williamsburg Smorgasburg: We got to visit this place a week or so before it closed for the season! It’s 100 food vendors in one place with river views, live music and a whole lot of people watching. This was going to be on my “What to EAT” section but, it’s more like an experience than it is a place to sit down and eat. Try getting there early and grabbing some Mofon.Go!
    • Tom Fruin’s Kolonihavehus at North Brooklyn Farms: This was more of a coincidence than an actual planned stop but it might just be the best stop on the whole trip! We were walking over to the Williamsburg Bridge when behind some construction I saw some color peek out! Once we made our way to the side, a colorful house made of glass was awaiting! We had some fun playing with the lights and shadows that the house was projecting unto the floor and I was able to take some portraits of Marlene
    • OK Garage Doors at North 6th Street, Williamsburg: Any sign that reminds me that things will be OK are welcome. I’d seen this all over pinterest a while ago but, didn’t make it a point to find it. Once we got lost looking for Sweet Chick, we saw it in all it’s yellow glory. Photo? Snapped!

    Golden Guide: Three Days in NYC

    Check out each location with it’s PIN using the TGFdoesNYC hashtag!

  • Tender Lovin’ Care with Aveeno®

    Tender Loving Care with Aveeeno - The Golden Figtgf_aveeno_collab-6

    This sponsored post is brought to you in collaboration with Aveeno and #WeAllGrow Latina Network. Thanks to your awesome support with these brand partnerships I can keep on creating unique content for you! For info on how I collaborate with my favourite brands, click here.

    Every year after summer my moisture beauty gang changes. Here in Puerto Rico there are no harsh seasonal changes. You don’t see trees changing colors or the weather dramatically falling. But, my skin can tell it’s fall because it starts to get dry. I’ve been a huge fan of Aveeno for ages. They’ve been there to solve all my sensitive skincare needs since I was a kid. It’s always comforting to know that no matter how many other products I try I can always go back to them and get exactly the results I need. Soft skin! This time around, I’m specially excited about their Daily Moisturizing Body Yogurt and Body Wash. It’s made with yogurt and oatmeal, so it has a calming effect and with everyday use it can reverse tired skin. Y’all know I need me some of that! So I put it to the test and lets just say this is my new go-to duo!
    Tender Loving Care with Aveeeno - The Golden FigRead More

  • Permanent Reminders and Denim

    the golden fig - tattoo and denimthe golden fig - tattoo and denim

    In times where everyone is living their best instagram life and cropping out the sadness for amazing “content”, can being Ok be enough? You know the drift, it’s 7pm and you’ve already scrolled through more than 100 instas of beautiful bloggers and their amazing outfits, talented photographers featuring even more beautiful people, couples who get paid to travel and are currently in some part of the world feeling awesome. Meanwhile, you’re at home with a huge pile of regular looking clothes in the laundry, your model friend has yet to call back for a shoot and the last time you went on vacation you got home with $7 to spare… and that’s all perfectly fine! It’s OK. I’ve been constantly reminding myself how everyone’s journey is different. How being in the right place at the right time is a good thing for the people who are in it and not being in it is also OK. That in the little free time I have, I can wake up at 4am to catch a sunset and make a whole day out of it, then managing to squeeze in some family time at night. Still OK! That staying at home and ordering food in is also OK. If I’m constantly challenging myself to create or finding the time to see the people that matter most, everything will fall into place. So, reminder to self: trust your gut, take chances, sleep a little and travel often. Everything will be OK.

    Ok tattoo by Unser Tattoos | Denim Jacket | Pins

  • Field Trip: Greenhouse hangs with Kathia Lynne

    tgf_kathialynne_greenhouse (1 of 7)tgf_kathialynne_greenhouse (4 of 7)
    Sunday afternoon. 3PM.

    Kathia Lynne is a jeweler and a singer. She also used to work for Free People, which is where I met her. With a fancy outfit or a cut up Tee, dressed up or down, she always has that effortless vibe about her. I’ve always wanted to capture her style in a series of images and even though we had talked about it many times before, it finally happened this past weekend! We drove over to a green house that I had visited about 5 or 6 years ago. After many failed attempts at finding this place, it wasn’t until 11am the same day of the shoot that I finally got the name and address. Lucky! So, with a couple outfits and a laid back Kathia Lynne, we took over the greenhouse and snapped a couple photos. Hope you like them!

    Featured items:

    Ombak Swimwear bathing suitsFree People Military Jacket and similar Free People Jumper

    Kathia Lynne:

    Instagram | Soundcloud | Facebook

    tgf_kathialynne_greenhouse (5 of 7)tgf_kathialynne_greenhouse (6 of 7)tgf_kathialynne_greenhouse (7 of 7)

  • Tea with: Mariángel Catalina Gonzales

    COFFEE WITH is a monthly sit down where i have the chance to get to know what inspires some of my favorite creatives from all around. This time we have Mariángel Catalina Gonzales, producer and content manager. I recall meeting Mariángel a while ago in some sort of show/exhibition and by then, she lived in New York. I don’t even remember who introduced us but, thankfully, it happened because I started falling in love with each of her projects one by one. From her project “Me Matas” where she takes photos of plants, flowers and people to later ensamble them into one image… to her photo series #encuentrosdelovers where she touches the theme of aloneness by photographing lovers that she finds wherever she may be, that happen to be mostly inanimate objects and their pairs. Currently, she’s back in Puerto Rico, creating and producing unique images and projects that truly resonate with other visually like minded people. A different and much needed point of view of the everyday. But, I’ll let her tell you all about what she does and how she keeps herself inspired below. Let’s sit down for coffee with Mariángel!

    Read More

  • Currently: Calming Rituals

    The Golden Fig - Calming Rituals

    For some, mornings are that dreaded time of day where, after hitting snooze 7 times, you torture yourself into waking up because you have to get on with your day. Lately, the snoozer in me has gone on vacation and I have been waking up before my alarm even beeps. It all started when I made the priority to make time for myself. Not an easy feat! But, just like an old computer, our bodies need a reset once in a while. In my case, once a week.

    DSC01534 DSC01566

    A ritual is a behavior that one performs regularly and as with all things that are successful, it needs to be done with great intention. To make it easier on me I have nailed it down to three steps: 1) figuring out the reasons why my body needs a reset, 2) gathering different things or actions that are calming specifically for me, 3) making sure to repeat as necessary for a clear and calm mind. Once you’re sitting down, making a mental pin board of all the reasons you might need some relaxation, you might discover many things that have been haunting you for days. That email that you’ve been pushing back and haven’t answered for weeks, a feeling that you can’t quite shake off any time you see a certain person or you might even find yourself asking why you’ve beaten yourself up over something that now seems less important next to your wellbeing. Whatever it may be, it’s time to pause all those concerns for a couple of minutes. Here are a couple calming rituals for some time stopping YOU-time:

    • Prepare some tea. My favorite is “a cup of calm“.  The waiting, the steeping… it can lead to great conversations with yourself.
    • Light a candle, burn some sage… Anything that can occupy your sense of smell is a go!
    • Spin some records or listen to a guided meditation. Sometimes our busy lives can’t seem to let us be with our own thoughts. Guided meditations are great for people who aren’t into the whole silence vibes. If you’ve never tried one out, this one by Gabby Bernstein is very special.
    • Repeat as necessary!

    Here’s to come calming moments with great intention! Get back at me on instagram or twitter if you have some rituals you’d like to share. Let’s spread some calm!