Visiting Steve Tyson’s Art Studio

This past weekend was the 11th Annual On and Off Fredericksburg Road Studio Tour and one of their featured artists was none other than my good client, and great friend, Steve Tyson. I visited his studio on Saturday to show my support — and to stake my claim on the amazing teal painting he created for me last year, which was also on display.

I had such a good time admiring all the unique and vibrant paintings that were showcased. I enjoyed meeting and chatting with other friends of Steve that were also there to support him. It was so interesting to listen to Steve talk with the many art enthusiasts that visited his studio for the event about his style and the different mediums he used.

At the end of my visit, Steve and I discussed a book we both recently read, Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon, which briefly talks about unity in one’s work. Kleon suggests we “don’t worry about unity from piece to piece — what unifies all of your work is the fact that you made it.” And I definitely think, that no matter how Steve’s art has evolved and changed throughout the years, you can surely see his own mark in each of his paintings!

So if you’re looking for a beautiful new piece of art, be sure to visit — but don’t forget, the teal one is mine!

I’m an imposter!

I confess, most of my professional career I’ve felt like a fraud. I get uncomfortable when someone calls me an expert. Anxiety engulfs me whenever I’ve had to prove my professional skills or knowledge to someone because I don’t think I’m good enough — ever. Then a few years ago, while talking to my brother about everyday life and work, he confessed he felt the same way. Talking about it made us realize how silly we both sounded, so we went online to do research and quickly discovered that most people share these feelings about themselves too. It even has a name, the Imposter Syndrome.

It's almost like the better I do, the more my feeling of inadequacy actually increases, because I'm just going, 'Any moment, someone's going to find out I'm a total fraud, and that I don't deserve any of what I've achieved. I can't possibly live up to what everyone thinks I am and what everyone's expectations of me are.'

-Emma Watson

According to Steve Errey (The Muse), the Imposter Syndrome is “that stomach-plunging fear that you’ll be revealed as a fraud who has no idea what they’re doing.” That could not ring any truer for me! I’ve always felt like I’m not as skilled as people think I am. Compliments make me uncomfortable because most times, I don’t feel deserving of them. I am acutely aware that I suffer from imposter syndrome, and I recognize behaviors in myself that are related to it. For example, I tend to over-prepare for meetings, I micromanage projects, and I’m a perfectionist in my design work.

What makes matters worse, we live in a world where technology changes in an instant, so it’s hard to feel that you are an “expert” in anything. Plus, we are all connected through social networks where everyone’s picture perfect profile makes them seem like they’ve got everything figured out, which in turn makes it very easy for us to compare ourselves to anyone we think is more talented or accomplished.

So how do we overcome it? To be honest, I’m still battling with it every day. And although it can be debilitating to live with, it has made me a better designer. I push myself harder, and I constantly try to improve my skills.

For those who suffer from Imposter Syndrome too, I’ve put together a short list of ways that may help you conquer it:


Realize that you are not alone.

According to John Gravois (The Chronicle of Higher Education), it is estimated “that about 70 percent of people from all walks of life — men and women — have felt like impostors for at least some part of their careers”.


Try not to focus on your shortcomings or failures.

When you fail, you learn and get better. Instead, focus on your achievements and the value you provide.


Try not to compare yourself with others.

Everyone has their strengths and abilities. Compete with yourself only!


Talk about it.

Discussing it with my brother made us both feel better about ourselves. Writing this article has also been cathartic. I feel like I own up to it now, so while I still don’t consider myself an expert in my field, I don’t feel like I’m hiding it anymore.

Through the Waterfall – A Painting by Steve Tyson

Last fall, I received an incredible surprise. My very talented friend, Steve Tyson, offered to create a custom, one-of-a-kind painting for me! I could hardly wait to see what his creativity conjured up. He asked for my input, and my only direction to him was that I liked teal and perhaps red as an accent color. I have never owned custom art, so I didn’t know what to expect. However, having seen other beautiful masterpieces that Steve has painted, I was confident that I would love mine. And I was right!

I received my painting in January, and a few months later I am still captivated by it. Just the other day, I noticed how right before sunset, the sunlight bathes over its surface reflecting a greenish blue hue all around the room. It’s lovely! It hangs on a wall right outside my home office, so I get to enjoy it daily.

I also had the pleasure of giving it a name. I titled it “Through the Waterfall” because it reminds me of a waterfall over a cave. Whether you’re staring at it from the outside, or from the inside of the cave, you can look through the pouring streams and see a glimmer of what’s on the other side.

If you don’t know who Steve Tyson is, then please visit his website at as soon as you finish this article! He creates unique, vibrant and colorful abstract paintings. You can see some of his amazing work on his site or you can commission him to create one for you too!

Steve also gifted me these awesome greeting cards with the painting on them!

My first 5K : 2013 Graffiti Run

This weekend I did my first 5K ever! It was colorful, bold, explosive and so much fun… it was the 2013 Graffiti Run held at the AT&T Center in San Antonio! The best part is that I was able to run it with my brother, Pepe Gonzalez, who also had never done a 5K before. We both enjoyed it so much and I would definitely recommend anyone to try it out next time! I am not the most athletic person, so I can’t tell you that I ran the entire way, but what I can tell you is that I laughed and had a blast the entire time! You wear goofy accessories and run, walk, crawl or hop all the way while you get showered in a rainbow of colors! Also, a special thanks to my hubby, Justin, for supporting me when I decide to do unconventional new activities, and helping us keep the memories by taking photos from start to end.

Graffiti Run 2013

Eating Healthy When Eating Out

Eating Healthy When Eating Out I recently shared how this year I started and reached a weight loss goal of losing 30lbs before turning 30 years old . Well, a major part of my journey was about changing what I ate without depriving myself of the foods I like. A major struggle for me was that I don’t cook everyday because my husband and I have hectic schedules. Some days we bring food in or we go out to eat for either lunch or dinner. This is where eating healthy got tough for me because the meal preparation was out of my control.

Some restaurants have a full day’s worth of calories in one single meal. However, a little research goes a long way. I started going online and looking up menus for local restaurants and even fast food places, and I discovered there is at least one healthy choice in many of them. You just have to find it and know to ask for it because they rarely promote it. I wanted to share some of what I found, so below is a list of a few places that have at some healthy, low cal or low fat meal options:


Olive Garden
Nutritional Information
Healthy Find: Venetian Apricot Chicken, only 400 calories and 7 grams of fat.

Pei Wei
Nutritional Information
Healthy Find: Thai Dynamite Shrimp (important: ask for stock velveted – cooked in vegetable stock), only 130 calories and 3.5 grams of fat.

El Pollo Loco
Nutritional Information
Healthy Find: One skinless chicken breast, small pinto beans and small spanish rice, only 545 calories and 10 grams of fat. Plus, they have an online meal builder that shows the total nutritional information of your meal.

Nutritional Information
Healthy Find: 6″ Turkey Breast & Ham, only 220 calories and 4 grams of fat. Plus, they have an online meal builder that shows the total nutritional information of your meal.

Panda Express
Nutritional Information
Healthy Find: Panda Bowl with white rice and broccoli beef, only 500 calories. Plus, they have an online meal builder that shows the total nutritional information of your meal.

Nutritional Information
Healthy Find: Margarita Grilled Chicken, only 550 calories.

Losing 30 lbs before turning 30!

Losing 30 lbs before turning 30Last fall, my good friend Jennifer Trimmier, told me about her plans to become a personal trainer. Jennifer is the kind of girl that workouts everyday, occasionally rides a bicycle to work, creates and shares healthy recipes, runs marathons and plans outdoor activities instead of dinners to celebrate special occasions. She is perfect for personal training because she fully embodies what a healthy lifestyle is, and how to reach it. Having battled with my weight for the past couple of years, and in an effort to support her new passion, I accepted her offer to train me. The goal was set: Lose 30 lbs before turning 30 years old.

It all started on January 1st when Jennifer created a workout plan for me, which she updated every month after that. Each time she changed my workout routines, they would get more intense. I was working out an hour a day, six days a week. Jennifer showed me that I was capable of doing exercises I never thought I had the strength or endurance to do.

She also helped me with my diet by having me log my food online so that I could learn how many calories I consumed compared to how many I burned evey day. She did not want me to be deprived of foods I like, so what I ate was up to me, as long I stayed within the limits the online journal set for me.

What is great about having a trainer is that I had someone to guide me and teach me along the way. Jennifer created flexible yet challenging exercise routines and would come to my house to help me in doing them correctly. She helped me identify and fix problems when I hurt myself, such as ankle pain caused by worn out sneakers. She would give me food tips and suggestions when I had trouble finding healthy substitutes for the ones I liked, and she took the time to tailor them to my specific health issues. She would check up on me via email or text once a week, and that allowed me to feel accountable to her without feeling anxiety over having to check-in every day.


Barbara Before/After

Part of  my routine was weighing myself every week. I made Monday mornings my official weigh-in day. This morning I reached my goal!!! In fact, I surpassed it by couple pounds! My birthday is not until June 24th, so I lost the weight with a month to spare! Yay!!!!

But here is the best part, I had lost 85% of the weight by the end of March. At the beginning of April, I started working out about 3 days a week and stopped logging my food. Why? Because life happens. I had things that needed to take priority over workouts. However, I quickly realized that even though my workout schedules weren’t as strict, I would still find time to sneak in short workouts here and there. And, although I was not logging my food anymore, I was used to eating healthier. I had already learned to identify foods portions without measuring, and to calculate calories and fat in meals I eat often.

As the weeks in April went by, something incredible happened. I was no longer in “diet and exercise” mode. I had not only changed my body, but I had changed my lifestyle completely, and so I continued to lose weight. I’m so happy to have reached my goal!!! If you need someone to help you, don’t hesitate in contacting Jennifer Trimmier. I could not have done this without her help!


Pin It on Pinterest