An Agent Told Me To Buy Instagram Followers. Don’t Do It!

September 19th, 2016

be authentic

In an attempt to take this blog to the “next lev,” I recently met with a legit blogger agent. Yep, those actually exist for bloggers and digital influencers. Quit laughing, you naysayers! Agents basically broker lucrative endorsement deals for top influencers with leading international brands for a piece of the pie. My particular meeting with said agent went something like this…

“Your blog numbers look great. You consistently get media attention. You were voted #1 Miami Fashion Blog by several outlets. You’re witty. Zany. A bit crazy at times, which is a good thing. Your pictures are aspirational. But there’s a BIG problem here. HUGE. You only have 15,000 Instagram followers. You need to buy at least 35,000 for me to even touch you.”

“Buy? That’s so inauthentic! My followers are organic,” I pleaded.

“Most brands don’t care about that. They just want to see higher numbers.”

I was nonplussed. Gobsmacked. I was completely surprised by this agent’s alarming advice. I mean, who PAYS for followers? I kept telling myself that I wouldn’t never buy followers from sites like because it’s against my morals. Besides, it’s cheesy AF.

But this little shitty voice in my head said, “Well, don’t buy Instagram followers, just install one of those robots that ‘likes’ other like-minded individuals’ Instagram posts” via a platform called I tried this for a month and gained 1,000 followers (yay!) — but at a humiliating price (boo!). You see, my robot was merrily clicking hearts on pornographic images of fleshy vaginas, watermelon-sized tits and gnarly dick pics. I DIE. Two friends called me and said, “Maria! You’re such a pervert. Quit liking raunchy porn on Instagram!”

Um, can you say, “mortified?” I mean, porn isn’t even my thing. I felt like a loser.

So that plan clearly bit me in the ass. Thanks, agent! While I didn’t outright buy 35,000 followers, the mere notion I utilized Instagress to “like” other images made me feel really shitty. And worst of all…inauthentic. That’s so not me. I really pride myself on being honest and real. And here I was being the complete polar opposite: A fucking fraud.

Here’s the thing — if one buys followers on Instagram — and Lord knows so many bloggers and digital influencers do — it’s deceitful. They’re duping people into believing they have this massive following when their actual audience are plethora of ghost accounts with zero value. It’s a sham.

And these cheaters ain’t fooling anyone. Brands and people who do their homework can see that their Instagram accounts are a hoax because there’s a lack of genuine engagement. For example, I know a blogger with over 100,000 Instagram followers and a recent video of hers received 1,350 views. I, on the other hand, boast 15.4K followers and a recent video of mine garnered 3,411 views. How ‘bout them apples?

So my point is: It’s appalling that leaders in the industry beckon bloggers to pay for influence. And when I bought 1,000 followers, it was deceitful and embarrassing. And I’m profusely sorry. As for those of you thinking of buying influence, don’t do it. Be you. Stay credible. It’s about quality over quantity. Because authenticity is priceless. Besides, being a sellout is LAME!

Photo by Karla Garcia

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Pablo Escobar, Python & Prints

September 10th, 2016

mimo miami

{Soft Joie chambray shirt, Pinko skirt, Aquazzura heels, Ximena Kavalekas box bag, Céline sunnies}

ximena kavalekas

ximena kavalekas


FREAKS! I’ve been DYING to debut this sick skirt and python bag on my blog and I finally got my shit together and…TADA! Okay, as for that skirt, I scored that printed beauty at Pinko during my trip to Milan. My friend Helena and I were meandering around Italy’s most infamous shopping vein — Via della Spiga — and we stumbled upon a store called Pinko. I fell in love with almost every item in the store — with this ethnic-printed midi skirt being one of the winner-winner-chicken-dinners. Like, with it! Unfortunately for us gringos, Pinko is not available in the U.S. — alas, another reason to get my ass back to Milano ASAP!

As for that metallic python bag ssss-slithering on the scene, it’s by Miami-based designer Ximena Kavalekas. I recently visited her serpentine-swathed showroom in Downtown Miami (990 Biscayne Blvd., 4th Floor, Miami; (305) 905-3693) and bought her infamous box bag — Sofia Vergara has the exact same one. So, naturally, I bought it because it’s:

A) Unique. Gorgeous. A conversation piece. NOT ANOTHER CHANEL BAG. #NotBasic

B) That Sofia V. connection…well, that Colombian sexpot is LIFE and she’s a perfect 10 and she’s actually married to my imaginary husband, Joe Maganiello so that means where kinda connected now, right? Like, totally.

Speaking of Colombians, I’m knee deep in a Narcos Netflix marathon and I find myself having inappropriate feelings for Pablo Escobar — a NOTORIOUS MURDER/DRUG LORD/COCAINE COWBOY. I’m 8 episodes in and I often times find the pudgy protagonist sexy AF. WTF…I KNOW! Bizarre-o. Perhaps I should keep that clandestine secret to myself. WHATEVER. JUDGE. #LoveMyHusbandButPabloIsWeirdlyCharming

Watch and see what I mean…because no one brings the crazy quite like Pablo — the meanie from Medellín.

Photos by Karla Garcia

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One Sneaker: Three Ways

September 6th, 2016

Cole Haan

Anyone who really knows me — knows that I don’t traipse around town in sky-high heels and fancy couture. Since becoming a mom 9 years ago, I’ve been rocking the “athleisure” look before “athleisure” was even a thing you read about in Vogue. BELIEVE. Yep, you can usually spot me in sneakers and workout gear because that’s how I roll. Plus, who can hit the grocery store, Target and CVS in stilettos? NOT THIS CHICK. Plus, that’s kinda, sorta tacky.

So when Cole Haan gifted me their light-as-a-feather 2.ZERØGRAND sneakers, I was all like, “BRING IT!” Why? Because these kicks are super comfy (majorly cushion-y) and cute. #Winning. Honestly, they’re perfect for my busy-bee lifestyle.

So here, ladies and gents, are 3 cool ways to rock the Women’s  2.ZERØGRAND Laser Wingtip Oxford in the Ironstone Nubuck Ivory hue LIKE A BOSS…

1.) The Won’t-Quit-Till-I’m-Fit Look

liquido leggings

I’ll slap on some Liquido workout leggings and my 2.ZERØGRAND sneakers and hit the road for a Pilates class where I’ll workout as though Channing Tatum is watching.

2.) The Chic and I’ve-Got-It-Together Look

Cole haan

Paired with my Cole Haan Tali Luxe Italian trench coat, cat eye sunnies and oversized Stagedoor Studio bag, don’t I look all professional and chic and perfect and grown-up and cool and rad and bad and — you know — just totally awesome? That was a rhetorical question, obviously.

3.) The Sporty-Meets-Street Look

Miami Fashion Blog

This gal loves to show off her looooong gams (thanks, mom!) and when I wear my 2.ZERØGRANDs with distressed denim shorts and Cola Haan Stagedoor Small Studio handbag and aviators, I am feeling myself. As we all should!

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Photos by Karla Garcia

**This is a sponsored post from Cola Haan. All opinions are my own.**

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That New New with Tous

August 25th, 2016


{New Color Collection jewelry c/o Tous}


maria tettamanti

In Miami, we’re surrounded by crazy, cool colors. From vivid Wynwood (pictured above) to our bright beaches to our psychedelic skies, I’m always in awe of this city’s brilliant tinges. So when Tous‘ latest collection — the New Color Collection — launched, I really felt a connection with the pink, blue, green and yellow tones. The entire range is vibrant and happy! I especially love the collection’s oversized bear rings worn all at once à la Gwyneth Paltrow in the ad campaign here. Plus, I have a slightly unhealthy with all things Gwyneth and GOOP. She’s #LifeGoals

So if you’re looking to add a punch of pigmentation to any look, this particular Tous collection is for HUE, I mean, YOU!

Photos by Karla Garcia

**This is a sponsored post from Tous. All opinions are my own.**

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Tada! My First Briefcase

August 20th, 2016

Miami Fashion Blog

{Bella Dahl top, AG Jeans jeans, Aquazzura heels, MCM briefcase, Céline sunnies, Pendant c/o Monica Vinader}

MCM briefcase

monica vinader

business casual

Last week, I had a business meeting and realized…I didn’t own a cool briefcase! I schlepped to said meeting with my laptop in a dated sleeve with some cheesy print on it…talk about chicness suicide! So I bought this puppy immediately because I’ve yet to make an MCM purchase and adore the baby blue hue. Plus, at age 39…I’ve yet to own a briefcase, and purchasing one oddly felt like a professional milestone. Adult-ing so hard, yo!

Which brings me to my next point: The past 2 weeks have been that weird period of time where there’s no camp and no school for the kids so I find myself in some weird vortex of unproductiveness. While I’m sad summer is coming to its inevitable close, I can’t help but embrace a “schedule” and focusing harder on my career #goals.

 Photos by Karla Garcia

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