Happy Thanksgiving!

HappyThanksgivingHi everyone!

I don’t know about you, but the holidays tend to creep up on me. I feel like we spend all this time working and focusing on our daily routines and then all of a sudden, BAM! Thanksgiving is here. It happens so fast! But, I do love the holiday season. It adds an extra spring in my step and I’m constantly singing Christmas songs everywhere I go.

I’m very lucky to be able to spend Thanksgiving with my family back home in Puerto Rico. It’s unlike your traditional Thanksgiving. There is no fireside, no sweaters, no hot apple cider and no snow. Instead, I’m wearing a bathing suit, drinking piña coladas by the sea and then having turkey dinner with mango stuffing. I love it! However, if there’s a TV nearby there will be football. With my mom and I being the only girls in the house, this is bound to happen. :-)

I hope today is a day filled with love and grace for all of you. Have a great time and make sure to hug your loved ones tight. Let them know you are thankful for their presence and their love.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post during Thanksgiving day. Click HERE to read my post on those things that I’m thankful for this month.

Happy Thanksgiving! ¡Feliz día de Acción de Gracias!




#ThankfulNovemberSo by now you’ve probably heard a gazillion times how the month of November is dedicated to giving thanks. Well this post is no different! It’s so important to be grateful for your life and everything you have. I publicly shared those things that I’m thankful for in 140 characters or less and using the hashtag #ThankfulNovember on Facebook and Twitter on a daily basis.  (If you are not following me on either one of those social media sites you can easily do so by clicking on the links on the right column of this page). I’ve also read several of the things you are thankful for! Some are hilarious!

Well, on this post I will list all of the things that I’m thankful for. Brace yourself… some are funny, others are deep and others just plain cheesy but I mean every single one of them. They are true to who I am. Maybe these are a good reminder of some things you are grateful for. Enjoy!

  • November 6: Today I’m thankful for SLOW COOKERS. Cuts my time in the kitchen by a whopping 75% (or more!)
  • November 7: Today I’m thankful for FLATS. Comfortable & fashionable. See my favorite flats on @Pinterest here.
  • November 8: Today I’m thankful for MORNING WORKOUTS. Refreshing. It’s extra special with the videos from the @ToneItUp trainers!
  • November 9: Today I’m thankful for SOCIAL MEDIA. Keeps me up to date with friends, family, news, deals, inspiration, ideas, events, etc.
  • November 10: Today I’m thankful for FRIENDS. Both the real ones and the TV show!! LOL! My world is a better place with them in it.
  • November 11: Today I’m thankful for the MIAMI FALL WEATHER. Love the breeze, the warmth & lack of layering clothes. Island girl talking.
  • November 12: Today I’m thankful for TO DO LISTS. Can’t live without them. Crossing things out gives me pleasure. Dork? Yes. Love!
  • November 13: Today I’m thankful for WOMEN EMPOWERMENT. This is extra special when women help other women achieve their dreams!
  • November 14: Today I’m thankful for my iPHONE. Wakes me up, alerts me & entertains me. It’s my office assistant & my memory.
  • November 15: Today I’m thankful for SCENTED CANDLES. Always have them on in my house. Pick your favorite fall scent at @TheYankeeCandle
  • November 16: Today I’m thankful for LOLing! I actually don’t make noise when I laugh, but the joy that comes along with it feels great!
  • November 17: Today I’m thankful for my PUERTO RICAN ROOTS. U can take the girls from the island but u can’t take the island from the girl.
  • November 18: Today I’m thankful for the smell of HOME COOKED MEALS. Always made with lots of love. Can’t go wrong. Unless you burn it.
  • November 20: Today I’m thankful for SHARING. Laughs, stories, kindness, food, aid, prayers, support, ideas, tips, memories, love & joy.
  • November 21: Today I’m thankful for the POPPING SOUND PRODUCED BY BUBBLY BEING OPENED. Synonym for celebration & good times. Cheers!
  • November 22: Today I’m thankful for WAKING UP EVERY MORNING. I breathe. I live. I’m alive. That’s good enough for me.
  • November 23: Today I’m thankful for SUNSETS. Those colors!!! They bring out the best in the sky. It’s my daily spectacle.
  • November 24: Today i’m thankful for ANYTHING GIFT WRAPPED. The curiosity. The anticipation. I love tearing up that paper!
  • November 25: Today I’m thankful for my HUSBAND. 2 years ago on this day we started our marriage. He is more than I ever imagined possible.
  • November 26: Today I’m thankful for VACATION TIME. So much more enjoyable after working hard. Islands, snowy mountains, family time!

What do you think of my #ThankfulNovember tweets? Want to read the rest of my #ThankfulNovember messages for the rest of the month? Check back to this post or my Twitter and Facebook feeds until the end of the month.

Now… What are you thankful for? Leave your comment below or on any other social media site with #ThankfulNovember.

Thanks for reading and have a wonderful Thanksgiving week!!


Before & After: Tr3s Top 20 Set Design

Top20_38It’s finally done peeps!

Two weeks ago I posted a “Before/Process” blog post about the design for the set of MTV’s Top 20 show on Tr3s. (You can read it HERE). Well, it’s finally done!! Here are a few of the Before and After shots. As you can see, it is modern yet cozy and comfortable. It also has various different sets (5 to be exact). So versatile! Enjoy!

This is how the room looked like before the Zania magic happened.

Top20_44 Top20_34 Top20_42 Top20_33 Top20_43 Top20_31Top20_10 Top20_36Here are a few of the Latin artists that have appeared on the sets! They look so happy to be there! LOL! BTW, you can follow Top 20 on Instagram @Tr3s_Top20.

Fidel Rueda
Fidel Rueda
Carlos Baute
Carlos Baute
A.B. Quintanilla
A.B. Quintanilla

This is how it looks like behind the cameras. This was a hard place to design since it needed to be multi-functional and there is always chaos in some corner; cables, lights, filters, boxes, more lights… You get the point. Overall this was a great experience. Now on to more projects!!!


Top20_37That’s a wrap!!!!

Want me to design your space? I can cater to your style and needs. I have some packages that you can view and decide which one fits for you! Click on the Services tab above for more info.


7 Things I Learned About Money at WSS Miami

Hello hello beautiful readers!

How many of you want more money? If you didn’t say “me” then there’s something wrong with you. LOL! We all want more money! And guess what? There’s absolutely nothing wrong with saying that. Saying you want more money doesn’t necessarily mean you are greedy. You want more money because you want to put yourself in a position where YOU and your clients seriously respect and value YOU. You want more money because YOU want to provide security for yourself and/or your family. You want more money because having it feels Hella Good! Doesn’t it?

WSS1Then ask yourself this: Are you worth what you’re getting paid? Are you working yourself to the core and not seeing financial results to your liking? What are your thoughts on Money? Ultimately, do you know your financial worth?

All of these questions were addressed last week at the Women’s Success Summit in Miami which is organized by the charismatic and award-winning entrepreneur, Michelle Villalobos. I went to the first summit in May (read that post HERE) and it was so good I had to come back. This summit gives women entrepreneurs the tools and guidance to dream big and help them grow their business. This time, the theme was; “Show Me the Money”. That’s right. Money. I second that. Woop Woop!WSS7Here are 7 quotes and lessons that I found interesting, insightful and helpful. If you follow this advice your money ‘mojo’ will surely change! Most attendees, including myself, had some serious “Ah-ha” moments. I’ve narrowed them down for you here.

  1. When women have money, businesses, communities and charities do better” – Michelle Villalobos. This is so true. You may have read in my post (HERE) about the CNN Movie “Girl Rising” that women are the direct agents of change in developing countries. Why? Women are naturally wired to GIVE. Women are innate caregivers and like Michelle said; “We have the ability to increase power and influence“. Amen sista’. This is why the women of this world need more money.
  2. An important aspect of money is how you think about it. That’s called your Money Mindset. This is most likely what is hindering you from getting more of it. As the powerful Mina Shah states; “Being smart doesn’t guarantee financial success… Working hard is just one ingredient in creating financial success… Making a lot of money doesn’t necessarily mean financial success… Money is neutral” – Mina Shah. How do you look at money? If you fear it, then you have nothing to gain from it. You have to think of it as a neutral, non emotional thing. Don’t fear it. Retrain your brain to look at it differently. During her exercise, I started to see that for me Money = Peace of mind. No need to get nervous, anxious or fearful. Your Money Mindset is crucial in taking the right steps that will lead you to financial freedom. Mina is a powerhouse. You should read more about her HERE.
  3. This money mindset goes hand-in-hand with the quote from Wayne Dyre that speaker Bert Oliva repeated several times for a very good reason, “change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.” I love this quote and it is absolutely truthful.
  4. Use philanthropy to tell your story. People will fall in love with you.” – Jessica Kizorek. Having traveled all over the world documenting the calamities, problems and breakthroughs of other towns and cultures,  Jessica explains how telling potential clients about your support for charities lets them know that there’s a higher purpose behind your work. Companies also benefit from this for numerous reasons such as marketing. This will surely help you make more money in the long run.WSS4
  5. Lack of trust makes everything slower and more expensive.” – Joachim de Posada. This is a big one. By taking full control of everything (aka lack of trust, aka micro-managing) you lose money. Whenever that happens, you have set yourself up for failure because one person will never be able to handle what 3 others were hired to do. No one will ever work exactly as you do because there is only one You! Get over yourself! Delegate. (I don’t mean to be harsh, but I’ve seen this one with my very own eyes and it is lethal to your mind, your body and your company). You are not able to do it all. Get help in those areas that you are not good at or hate doing. You’ll reap the benefits in the end. Which is a great segue into…
  6. Sacrifice now to get paid later.” – Joachim de Posada. This is called self-discipline. A million dollars overnight only happens to lottery winners and most of them end up spending it all. This is exactly what I’m doing now, my friends. Sacrificing now to get amazing results later. It is one of the hardest things ever, but I believe in myself now more than ever and I vow to not let myself down.WSS2
  7. And most importantly, “Have a plan” – Jody Johnson. Three little words that will make a hell of a difference. You should try it. It works.

These were some of the suggestions that I took from the event. (There were many more, but these seemed fitting for this post). Now it’s time to implement them. That’s the hard part. It takes a lot of brain power and courage to break down the walls and move forward. In the end, I know my worth. I know the value of my time. I also know how to decorate. So, this means that pretty soon you will see the cost of my services go up. Why? Because I love what I do and I do it well. In the meantime, I’m doing more and more planning. At least you get this blog for Free! LOL!

Did any of the points I mentioned above hit you in the gut? Or maybe gave you an “Ah-ha” moment? Want to learn more about the speakers mentioned above? You can read more about them here:

    • Michelle Villalobos, Founder of the Women’s Success Summit – @Mivi – www.michellevillalobos.com
    • Mina Shah, professional speaker, trainer and strategic coach – @MightyMinaShah – www.minashah.com
    • Bert Oliva, professional speaker, trainer, entrepreneur – @BertOliva @Bowaworld – www.bowaworld.com
    • Jessica Kizorek, video producer and award winning badass business woman – @JessicaKizorek – www.jessicakizorek.com
    • Jody Johnson, Business Coach – www.actioncoachteamsage.com
    • Joachim de Posada, motivational speaker and author of “Don’t Eat the Marshmallow, Yet!” – @JoachimDePosada – www.joachimdeposada.com
    • Watch Joachim de Posada’s insightful Ted Talk Here:

Thanks for reading, and Go out there and make some Money Honey!! Oh, and don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter in the above column on the right. I promise I won’t send you a million emails. I hate it when people do it to me, so I won’t abuse it.


Chocolate Shortbread Logs

Straight from The Baking Corner, here comes the November recipe: Chocolate Shortbread Logs adapted from the book “Cookiemania – 100 Irresistible Recipes for Cookiemaniacs“. These delicious cookies are the perfect combination of crunchy and soft. So easy to bake and so delicious. I bet you already have the ingredients at home! The part where you dip the cookies in chocolate is my favorite! Perfect recipe for kids! Enjoy! ¡Buen Provecho! Continue reading “Chocolate Shortbread Logs”

Before & After: Alexander’s Nursery

Hi everyone!

Say hello to Julie, our second featured reader presenting her very own project for her son Alexander. This is one of those wall transformations that require a lot of measuring, leveling and patience! But in the end, the final product is so much fun. Julie says, “What’s my inspiration? Simply to impress my adorable husband and 2 year old baby boy.  I just adore that loving smile from ear to ear & that approving facial expression worth more than a thousand words every time they see a homemade project.” That’s why DIY projects are so worth it! Good job Julie!!!

B&A_Alexander_1_Before Continue reading “Before & After: Alexander’s Nursery”

Before: Tr3s Top 20 Set Design

Hi everyone!

For some time now I’ve been wanting to share this amazing project that I worked on in the last month. I was hired to design the set for Tr3s Top 20! So freakin’ awesome! Tr3s forms part of the Viacom Networks family (MTV, Vh1, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon…). It targets the Latin community in the United States. They do a weekly show where they present the Top 20 music videos of the week along with artist interviews and entertainment news! I got this job because… well… I worked at Viacom for a long time and they decided to keep the project “in the family”. This is a true testament on how you should NEVER burn any bridges. Plus, it’s impossible to burn bridges when the crew behind Top 20 is so sweet! That said, I want to give thanks to Claudia, Myra, Olivier, Ashley, Lissette, Kris, Danny and Efren for the opportunity and the help! I’m so grateful. You all rock!

In our initial consultation we discussed all the necessary objectives of the space. They wanted the space to be functional, sound proof, look professional, comfortable, versatile, modern and clean. So right off the bat, I knew I wanted to incorporate movable furniture, pops of color and make it simple. They also wanted to record live acoustic performances. That called for furniture that would work well with musicians, (guitarists especially). Having worked in television before, I knew this wasn’t an average interior design job because set design is very particular. It’s amazing how things look completely different on camera! I had to scratch about 3 wall design options that I had drafted… Bye bye ombre effect in geometric patterns! I also had to work that oddly placed column into the design. We couldn’t do any structural changes to the place so ‘demoing’ it wasn’t an option. Lighting was not part of my plan either because they would have a pro come in after I was done to light it properly for the cameras.

This is what the place looked like in its original state.

Top20_6 Top20_7 Top20_8 Top20_9 Top20_10 Top20_11 This place needed some serious tlc, don’t ‘cha think? And guess what? I had TWO WEEKS to pull this off!!! No joke!! This means that every piece needed to be in stock, within the budget, and delivered within this time frame. Insane. Oh, and this all needed to happen while I was also attending a two day conference in Orlando and then shooting an episode of Miss Ideas for Yahoo! This was right about the time when I asked the décor Gods, “May I get an HGTV crew here with me asap?” No reply. So, I just repeated the following to myself, “Make quick decisions, breathe and go for it.” That’s exactly what I did and I ended up enjoying the process.

My inspiration was the mod style, colorful with a vibrant vibe. Neutral backdrop with pops of color. Modern. Clean. Bright. Geometric. Some of those things ended up happening, some didn’t but that’s usually how it works. Lots of things change during the process.

Top20_29 This was the draft they liked from my presentation of the design concept for one of the walls. Simple design. Lots of potential.


The office handyman, Efren, patched up the walls, smoothed them over and then painted. We picked Gray Area 770F-4 from Behr in a flat finish from Home Depot as our grounding color for the walls. They would hold up colorful shelves and a series of accessories, so this asks for a neutral backdrop. The outlets and switches were later painted gray too in order to have that seamless flow on the wall. We didn’t want those standing out. We also painted the rubber foot board which was black. Removing it would have added more work, so in the interest of time, that was not an option.

Top20_13 Top20_15 Top20_14The original white backdrop was totally busted so we repainted it with Ultra Pure White 1850 (W-B-500) from Behr in a flat finish from the Home Depot. It was soooo white that you couldn’t even determine the depth of the space! Creepy!

Then I placed painter’s tape on the wall where the shelves were going to go. I also wrote down the color of the shelves on the tape as a reference for me and Efren.

Top20_16 Top20_17

Top20_23I installed the Wedgies from Sam Ash on the door and adjacent wall. Not only do they improve the acoustics in the room, but they also have a nice sparkle once the light shines directly on them. They wanted a design pattern so I attempted two. They ended up with neither, but more on that later.

Top20_18 Top20_20Top20_28Soon after the wedgies were installed, we put up the curtains. These Mariam curtains are from Ikea (sorry couldn’t find the purple listing online but they have them in store). They are thick enough to block light and they also absorb sound. We installed them over the doors and the sound proof walls in order to create another set within the set. The rods are also from Ikea.

Top20_24As you can see, I attempted to decorate the column in the middle with like color duct tape. I removed those because none of us liked them.

Then the furniture started arriving…

Top20_2 Top20_19 Top20_27The orange chairs are called System 1-2-3 Dining Chair from Design Within Reach. I fell in love with these chairs the moment I saw them. They fit the space perfectly since they are low enough to sit comfortably in, they are swivel (so cool) and they don’t have arm rests which makes it easy for any guitarist to play without being uncomfortable. The red chairs are the Catalunya chairs from Modern Home to Go Miami as well as the two Piro side tables.

So this is all I’m going to show you for now. Awww! But don’t worry, keep checking back for more on the “during” part of this challenging project and then the final “After”.

Thanks for reading!Signature_Zania

Miss Ideas #22 – Bedside Table Renovation | Renueva tu mesita de noche

This is one of my favorite makeover projects that we did for Miss Ideas on Yahoo! en Español. Actually, it’s one of my favorite DIY projects ever! You know, there’s no need to spend a lot of money for great design. This bedside table only cost us $10 at a thrift store and then we glammed it up to make it look absolutely stunning. Take a look at the video and you’ll see how we turned a boring piece into a masterpiece! You’ll love this bedside table renovation! Enjoy! For sourcing reference on the wallpaper, go HERE.

Este es uno de mis proyectos favoritos de Miss Ideas en Yahoo en Español. Puedes transformar una simple mesita de noche a una pieza totalmente única y especial. Toma un poco de tiempo y dedicación pero te aseguro que vale el esfuerzo. Hazle click a la imagen de arriba para ver el video. ¡Quedarás super impresionada! ¡Que lo disfrutes! Para ver en donde conseguimos el papel de empapelar, puedes ir AQUI.

Signature_ZaniaPara mas videos de Miss Ideas vayan a ESTA pagina. For more Miss Ideas Videos, please go HERE.Miss_Ideas_Header_Banner_Yahoo