The Royal Petunia: Elena of Avalor

I have always had an appreciation for Latin culture. The colors, the food, the music, the flair. It is special and unique. And finally, they have a princess. Meet Disney's newest beauty, Elena of Avalor. She embodies old world charm with Caribbean spice. Miami meets Cartagena. Havana meets San Juan. Flamenco meets Mariachi--and everything in between. 

She will make her debut on Disney's "Sofia the First," with her own follow-up series scheduled for 2016. I am truly looking forward to seeing how Disney brings her to life. I trust that she will be an amazing role model not only for Latina youth, but for girls and women from all walks of life. 

Who is your favorite Disney princess? Mine is Snow White. She's the "fairest of them all" and I love her friendship with the blue birds. However, Elena is going to be major competition when it comes to florals, frills and fashion! ; )


The Bold and The Beautiful + Ten Things I've Learned From Daytime Television

This week, one of my favorite daytime dramas, The Bold and The Beautiful, celebrated its 7,000th episode! Beginning in 1987 (I was two years old!), their stories chronicle the ups and downs of the Forrester, Logan and Spencer families--and numerous supporting characters intertwined within their lives. I have always loved this show for its fashion, love stories, glitz and glamour--and I am so happy that it is as popular today as it was in the beginning!

In honor of the show's magnificent milestone, I have compiled my own top ten list of everything I have learned from the "soaps." As I mentioned in my previous post, The Young, The Beautiful + The Stylish, daytime dramas can be an escape from reality, but many times we can actually learn positive lessons from them.

1. Honesty is always the best policy: Okay, I admit--if everyone was super honest--a soap opera wouldn't be a soap opera. There are bound to be endless lies, cheating and scandal--it makes for a good storyline. However, years and years of watching characters ruin their lives (and the lives of others) by being deceitful or selfish has taught me the importance of being upfront with someone--whether it's positive or negative--because it's bound to hurt more in the end if you haven't been truthful from the beginning.

2. Just when you thought...: Yes, haven't we all been there? Just when you thought your life was turning around for the better--and the path ahead seems to be in a brilliant straight line (with sunshine and flowers)--there's always a U-Turn. It's how we handle the adversity and roadblocks that show our true character. One of my favorite quotes is "Everything will be okay in the end, and if it's not okay, it's not the end." Is it ever the end? That's why I've become a firm believer in "never say never." Too many times I have watched something that seems "final" turn out to be just a new chapter in a never-ending story. The residents of Los Angeles and Genoa City always give me reason to understand the importance of "going with the flow" and enjoying the ride.

3. It's business, not personal: Family is wonderful, friends are wonderful--but sometimes you just have to keep everything compartmentalized and separate--for the sake of everyone involved. And on the opposite side of the coin, sometimes you have to make tough decisions that may upset others close to you, but are beneficial for your personal journey/career/sanity.

4. Make health a priority: Both The Young and The Restless and The Bold and The Beautiful have done a fantastic job over the years in bringing awareness to numerous platforms--both acute and chronic. Whether it be mental health, cancer, abuse, addiction, blindness or paralysis--the writers and actors that portray what can be sometimes difficult and extreme conditions play a vital role in addressing the importance of check-ups, education, strength and hope.

5. Love your enemies: Some of the best scenes on television have been in the presence of one's enemies (food fights, harsh words and throwing punches come to mind.) However, I have learned that all in all, a great enemy can teach us so much about ourselves--and we can even learn to respect one another over the years. Brooke Logan and Stephanie Forrester. Jill Foster and Katherine Chancellor. If they can bury the hatchet, why can't we?! World leaders should watch more soaps.

6. Give back: I always love The Bold and The Beautiful's focus on the importance of the humanitarian spirit. Whether it be the real-life stories from a shelter in downtown Los Angeles, feeding the homeless at the mission (and Dayzee's), or highlighting the importance of animal adoption--it's great to inspire viewers to care for this planet and its inhabitants.

7. Travel the World: Some of the best episodes have been in exotic locations. Hope and Liam's first wedding in Italy. Ridge and Taylor's engagement ring treasure hunt in St. Thomas. Adam and Sharon's rendezvous in New Orleans. Bill and Brooke's romantic outings in Monte Carlo and Dubai. Not everyone is fortunate enough to travel as lavishly as characters on television--but I think it's great to live vicariously through their journies, and remember the importance of getting away, at least once or twice (or twenty!) in life, somewhere new and amazing--or somewhere sentimental and memorable.

8. Stay classy and stylish: Don't you wish you could walk out the door on a daily basis, grab a cup of coffee at Crimson Lights, and be dressed to kill? Better yet, how about staying at home and lounging around the house in your Manolos and Forrester Original? Ah, the life of a soap opera character! Honestly, we can't all be at our best every hour of every day--but women like Lauren Fenmore and Ashley Abbott do make me want to be "on my game" and go out of the house with confidence daily. Inner beauty creates outer beauty, and I think that's super important whether you're attending a wedding or mailing a letter at the post office.

9. Celebrate simplicity: Have you ever noticed how the majority of  characters are "so important," yet when it comes to major events, like a wedding, most are set in their own living rooms with less than a dozen people?! I am a firm believer that "having it all" shouldn't lead to excess in all that you do. Some of my favorite moments have been those simple scenes--with just the main character surrounded by his or her closest or most-trusted family and friends. The best memories are created through simplicity.

10. True love is forever: One of my favorite scenes in soap opera history was when Brooke Logan had essentially given up. She felt all chances of happiness had passed. She was sitting in her garden, on a bench, when all of a sudden, flower petals began to trickle down this huge cascading fountain in her backyard. She looked up, only to find Ridge--her destiny--breaking the petals off a flower and sending them down in the pristine water one-by-one-by-one. Ever since that episode, I've longed for a "flowers in the fountain" moment. I've realized that past, present or future--true love--in whatever form brings you a peaceful heart--is forever.


Petunia Picks: Disney Style


The Royal Petunia: Happy Birthday, Catherine + Spotlight on the Royal Foundation

January 9th marked The Duchess of Cambridge's 33rd birthday. I have always thought Catherine to be a kindred spirit--the epitome of elegance and class. I admire not only her style--but the way she compliments the British royal family by exemplifying the blending of tradition with modernity. She is a wonderful role model for young women--and through her unique role, she is able to bring awareness on a global scale to numerous philanthropic and humanitarian foundations and causes. And a bonus...she is Prince George's mother (quite possibly my favorite toddler on earth!)

In honor of her birthday, I thought it important to post about one of my favorite foundations--and Her Royal Highness's primary patronage, The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry. 

The Royal Foundation extends well beyond Great Britain, partnering with causes the world-over. William, Harry and now Catherine, use this platform to bring a spotlight to key challenges facing society today. Their targeted areas are primarily the armed forces, youth and conservation.

Both The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry have served in the military, and find it especially vital to promote the welfare of others whom have served or are currently serving. Prince Harry is very involved with projects like the Invictus Games and Endeavor Fund; while William and Catherine have been true advocates of "Hiring Our Heroes" campaigns.

When it comes to youth projects, The Royal Foundation seeks to promote happy and healthy young people. Whether it be scouting, the arts, improving education or holding a friendly football match on the grounds of Buckingham Palace--William, Harry and Catherine intend to make sure that all children have a chance to experience a proper education, skill set and confidence for a bright future. 

Conservation has always been in style for the Royal Family. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, The Prince of Wales and now The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, all share a passion for the outdoors, wildlife and the preservation of our natural resources. United For Wildlife is a fantastic new project that William has brought to the world stage--an unprecedented collaboration between seven global and influential conservation organizations. 

I love The Royal Foundation because I am passionate about what it represents and the people and places it lends a helping hand to. Philanthropy and projects that focus on the greater good should always be a priority in our lives. Encouraging others, educating others and being a beacon of hope to someone or something is such an important part of my cultural and human philosophy. 

Petunia Picks: Duchess Style


Petunia Picks: A Bright Start To 2015



Petunia Picks Special Edition: Downton Style

Love the styles of Downton Abbey? I do too! Below are a few fashion finds that inspire the charm, beauty and brilliance of  this PBS Masterpiece Classic.

Downton Abbey, Highclere Castle + Lady Catherine Giveaway

If you have read my About page, you know that I am fascinated by all things British and royal--partly due to my own unique ancestry, as well as my current ties with the Palace(s) (I'll leave you in suspense on that one for a future post!)

I am usually the last person on earth to jump on the bandwagon when it comes to trends (I only purchased my first iPhone this past September!) and Downton Abbey was no exception. I had heard so much about it through blogs, newspaper articles and television--so one day, my mom and I decided to buy Season One on DVD and watch. I have been hooked ever since! 

There is so much to learn about life and love from this beautiful drama. It's not only a window into the past, but for me, a compass for the future--because I believe that manners, traditional values, classic taste and impeccable fashion are always in style.

Tonight, here in the USA, Season 5 begins on PBS. I am really looking forward to seeing what unfolds at Downton--both "upstairs" and "downstairs." There are always such brilliant twists-and-turns--not to mention costumes, scenery and historical references.

To celebrate, I am giving one lucky reader a chance to enter and win Lady Catherine, the Earl, and the Real Downton Abbey, a fascinating account of life in the early 20th century at Highclere Castle. The current Countess of Canarvon traces the history and preserves the legacy of her husband's grandmother, Catherine Wendell, a real-life American Cora Crawley, who wed the 6th Earl of Canarvon. It's a fascinating account of the great houses of England following the first World War, and the trials and tribulations of the new political and social world of the 1920s and 1930s.

Make sure to enter the contest below, and please leave a blog post comment about your favorite Downton moment and character! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway



"For last year's words belong to another language, and this year's words await another voice.
What we call the beginning is often the end...and to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from."

Wishing you a new year filled with joy, happiness and love. A year of intention, a year of purpose and a year of peace.

From my heart to yours...