Say What?

oprahquoteHello, all!  If you have been following along with me so far, I’d like to thank you!  I have only been blogging here at Mia Mangos for about two months, but I quickly realized something.  I need to narrow my focus a little.  I am one of those people that really needs some boundaries for myself, or I can seem to bounce around to every topic that is available.  That is the case here with Mia Mangos.  I wanted it to be a place where I could share things happening in our lives, my ideas, inspirations, and passions. That being said, I have been working quite a bit behind the scenes on something in the works.  Since Derek and I are both educators by day, I think it is only fitting that my blog starts focusing on the things that provide me the most inspiration each day…the simple beauty of daily life, art, and children.  Therefore, I will be hitting the restart button, so to speak.  Mia Mangos is getting a total facelift, a new name, a new direction, and a new location!  But don’t worry!  I will still be keeping to my aesthetic and filling you in on what Derek and I are up to!  Stay tuned for the updates!  I’ll be starting a countdown on Instagram, so follow along there if you are in for the new adventure!




September Favorites

I thought August flew quickly, but September was a whole new wave of busy that I was not expecting to ride.  This month was so full of work, birthdays, holidays, and outings that it all feels like a blur.  I am looking forward to October, because I have some new ideas up my sleeve!  But let’s focus on September and the stand outs.

Favorite Pins


Favorite Read

i-am-malalaI was pretty slow to finally read this book.  (It came out last year!)  However, this is definitely a case of better late than never!  Malala’s story is both tragic and inspiring.  I found myself getting extremely angry, and it made me want to take action.  As many of you know, Derek and I are both educators, so this story was very close to my heart.  In the US, we take education for granted sometimes, so stories like Malala’s really put into perspective how much we still need to stand up for equal and accessible education.

Favorite Blog

FavoriteBlogSeptemberLike me, Alison is a new blogger, but it seems as if she has been blogging for years.  Her vision is so concise…and unique!!  Food by Mars is a food blog that incorporates a little astrology and celestial influence.  She chooses seasonal ingredients to make delicious, clean-eating recipes.  Her recipes are extremely easy to follow, and I have been so excited every time she posts a new one.  Her Instagram is full of beautiful photographs of food, so feel free to follow along with her there, too!

Favorite Artist

FavoriteArtistFeltandFatThis is actually a collaboration of artists that I just found this month.  Felt+Fat is a Philadelphia based handmade manufacturing group headed by the creatives Nate Mell & Wynn Bauer.  I love the way that they play with glazes for the pieces to create some really interesting effects.  However, they also manage to keep clean lines and a minimal style, which I love!  Follow along via their Instagram account for even more!

Favorite Quote

FavoriteQuoteRoaldDahlSince September is also the birthday month of author Roald Dahl, it is only fitting that my favorite quote this month comes from him.  He had such a different and interesting way of looking at the world, and his writing has remained popular with children and adults alike for many years.  Find this print here.

Favorite Post

diy-floral-arrangementThis was a tough one, because I really enjoyed writing my 26 post and reflecting back on our trips around the world.  However, this was my first time making a full floral arrangement, so I am pretty excited about it.  The entire day was so fun, and I can’t wait to do it again!

What stood out in September for you?



Fiestas Patrias

There are those weeks where you really find your place in a city.  This was the case for us last week.  It was the week of Fiestas Patrias.  These are the celebrations to commemorate the start of the independence of Chile (September 18-19).  For as long as I can remember, my mood has been pretty easily influenced by the moods of those around me.  It can be a really good thing (like in a yoga class) or a really bad thing (during stressful situtations).  This time it turned out to be a great thing.  The energy was high, and there were smiles all around us.  People were excited to celebrate their culture, and since I am a quarter Chilean, it was so special to learn the cueca, eat some traditional foods, and sip on the national drink.  Parks were full of families, the air was filled with the smell of the asados (barbeque), and music flooded every square inch.  Derek has been practically foaming at the mouth to hear some live music, so this was a welcomed experience for us both.  Parque O’Higgins is the largest fonda in all of Santiago, so we knew we had to check it out.  We ended up going back twice, so we could experience it during the day and night!

fiestas-patrias-chile fiestas-patrias-chile^This was the main stage where all of the larger bands and acts performed.  It also turned out to be the location of a few cueca competitions and some special moments (like this girl and her grandfather below)!^

cueca-chilechileancuecaChilean-cuecaChilean-cueca-1^The cueca was everywhere!  This is the national dance of Chile.  It is pretty simple in terms of the basics, but we saw some people adding their own creative flair to the steps.  This sense of national pride and tradition was a high point for me, and it made me think of my grandma.  She was born in Chile, and I wonder what fondas were like when she was living in Chile.  I can’t wait to hear her stories!^

DMDerekburger^Derek was pretty excited about all of the asados and food trucks!^

Chile Chile flag


North + South | Change of Season


While this is definitely not a fashion blog, those of you that know me know that I do love clothes.  I like reading about clothes, shopping for them, pinning them, and most of all wearing them!  Although the weather may not have flipped a 180 on us, a change of season just happened!  That means the style is changing, too.  Since I’m from the US, but living in Chile, I figured it might be fun to do a few style moodboards for both the northern and southern hemispheres!  On Monday, I asked you what you thought about capsule wardrobes.  These are a few staple pieces I would add to mine for the coming seasons.

Fall2014NorthIn the northern hemisphere, this is the season of falling leaves, pumpkin flavored everything, crisp winds, and warm scarves.  This was always one of my favorite seasons in the US, because the colors on display during this season just scream beautiful.

accordian-pleated midi-skirt \ over-the-knee boots \ oversized scarf


On the opposite side of the world, Spring has finally started to make an appearance.  The trees are budding, it has been quite rainy, and I am looking forward to all the blooms that will shortly follow.  This season, it is all about graphics and comfort for me.  These style trends are fun and easy to fit in with other staple pieces you already have in your current collection.  pleated maxi \ graphic tee \ tote + zip bags

What pieces do you love this season?



Say What?

Vivienne Westwood quote

I know that I’ve been pretty much all over the board with the Say What posts, but I think it is best to start the week them.  So from now on, Mondays are the new home for these words.  This one in particular can be interpreted so many different ways.  I choose to take it as living simply.  I mentioned before that I used to value materialistic things more than I’d like to admit.  But as I grow and learn more, I realize things are not matter most in life.  I have been hearing and reading quite a bit about capsule wardrobes, and it may be something to showcase here soon!  Vivienne Westwood’s words pretty much endorse this idea in my eyes, and as  spring is quickly approaching here in in Chile, our apartment is due for a thorough spring cleaning.  I like the idea of narrowing down the items in my closet.  This allows more room for new pieces as the seasons change.  Think of it as a cycle.  Out with the old, and in with the new.

What do you think of capsule wardrobes?  How do you try to simplify life?


In the City | San Cristobal Hill

This week is one full of opportunities for new discoveries in this city.  We have the week off from work for the Fiestas Patrias, or the Chilean Independence Days.  We are excited to soak in all Chile has to offer during this momentous time in its history.  This weekend we will be attending some fondas, which we’ve heard can be pretty wild and exciting!  But to ease into the dieciocho, we decided to start with something that has been on our Santiago bucket list for a while now…San Cristobal Hill.  At the base of the hill you can choose two paths.  One leads to the Virgin Mary statue at the top of the hill and the other leads to an uphill zoo.  We decided to check out both.  Although I am not a huge fan of zoos, we were happy to see that all of the animals had a playmate.  There were very few solitary animals, but it was still a zoo.  It is something, in retrospect, we could have skipped.

sancristobalzoo sancristobalpenguins

But let me tell you about that other path.  That was full of amazing discoveries and beauty.  I could not stop taking photos, and Derek quickly grew impatient-hehe.  The greens were so vibrant that it was almost shocking.  The bark on the trees boasted designs that begged to be captured.  The aroma of wildflowers seemed to linger, making the steep uphill climb so much more pleasant.  We could have taken the asphalt option at a more reasonable incline, but we felt adventurous that day.  Or maybe, I should correct that…I felt more up to it.  Derek is extremely fit.  He probably would have ran it if it weren’t for me.  I’m more of a yoga girl.  I like taking to my mat and practicing my asanas, but I am not so keen on cardio that involves the risk of sure death.

sancristobalfountainsancristobal sancristobal1treksancristobalrocksancristobal2^Derek put our initials onto the rock of love-hehe^

sancristobal4sancristobalwildflowersThere are some places that really take your breath away.  San Cristobal Hill is one of those places.  It is serene, and you feel you’ve accomplished something after the trek.  (Mind you, it’s only 2.6 kilometers, but still!)  The panoramic views of Santiago were unbeatable.  We can’t wait to go back after a rain, so the skies are clearer to allow for even more amazing views.

fountainsancristobal3sancristobal-chapel sancristobalseashell-holywatersancristobal5

virgin-mary candles sancristobal6I don’t know about you, but I find churches, temples, chapels, mosques, etc. to be immensely beautiful.  There is something peaceful about them, and the architecture is always immaculate.  I don’t think one even has to be religious to enjoy the aesthetic that these old buildings have.  The smallest details are what stand out to me the most.  The same goes for the Virgin Mary statue at the top of the hill.  There were signs reading silencio all around her feet, yet it seemed no one even needed the signs.  There were, at most, quiet whispers filling the air.  It was a place that needed no conversation.  A simple look was enough to know exactly what the other was thinking.  The signs of gratitude amongst the candles really struck me.  This wasn’t just a statue.  To some people, this was a holy place.  Whether you hold the same beliefs or not, this was a place where you could feel a sense of serenity.


What’s on your bucket list in your city?


10 Favorite Instagrams Right Now

I have always been slow to get with the social media trends.  It took me about three years to join Facebook.  The same thing happened with Twitter.  Instagram was no different.  I remember my sister showing me her beautiful photos, and I would ask why I would want to put more photos online.  Now here I am with a blog doing just that.  I also am completely obsessed with Instagram, so here are my 10 favorite Instagram accounts for the moment.

justinablakeneyinstagram1. @justinablakeney:  Justina Blakeney’s work is so inspiring.  She is a true artist.  I can’t speak to her aesthetic enough.  If you love bright colors, fun patterns, and eclectic mixtures, hers is a definite account to follow.  Check out her website here.


lhcalligraphyinstagram2. @lhcalligraphy:  Laura has a way with letters that I truly envy.  Some of her videos make it look so easy and flawless.  Her photos are the icing on the cake.  I may have to try my hand at calligraphy soon.  Check out her Etsy shop and follow along!


humansofnewyorkinstagram3. @humansofny:  It is said that a photo speaks a thousand words.  Humans of NY truly capture that saying as they travel around NY and the world sharing the stories behind the faces.  I am always excited to see their new posts.


thethingssheseesinstagram4: @thethingsshesees:  Meghan is new to the blogging and Instagram world, but it seems as if she has been doing this forever.  Her photos are always airy and perfect.  And don’t get me started on her custom dreamcatchers!  I can’t wait to get one for myself.  She is truly inspiring to me as a new blogger.  Check out her site here.


notyourstandardinstagram5. @notyourstandard: Kayla has the life most dream to have.  She travels regularly all over Europe, she always looks beautiful, and she attends the most amazing events!  Her Instagram account is just full of beautiful photos of the world, delicious bites, and her personal style.  I also love following along with her blog.  She posts amazing recipes that are easy to recreate.


bbassinstagram6. @_brittbass:  I cannot express my love for abstract art enough, so it is a given that I instantly fell in love with Britt’s prints and original pieces.  Her whitewashed website is the perfect backdrop for her fun and colorful prints.  I love how you can see every brush stroke on the canvas.  Follow along for more creativity!


ohannieleeinstagram7. @ohannielee:  I actually first found her blog, and I knew I had to follow along with her adventures on Instagram as well.  She has only be blogging for a little over a year, but she has an aesthetic of a true pro.  I love her eye for the littlest details.  I also have a soft spot for fellow expats, so hers was a no brainer for me.


brickyardbuffaloinstagram8. @brickyardbuffalo:  If their name isn’t enough for you to fall completely in love, I am sure the photos will sell you.  The Brickyard Buffalo is a pop-up shop, and I can’t get enough.  Everything is completely affordable (and adorable).  But don’t take my word for it.  Check it out for yourself!


randomactsofpastelinstagram9. @randomactsofpastel:  Champagne, pastels, and pastries…oh my!  I sometimes just sit in awe at how she keeps her color palette so on point.  Alyssa never wavers from her signature pastel colors.  Even in her blog, her consistency and aesthetic are applaudable.  And anyone who loves sweets as much as I do is definitely one to follow!


thetrottergirlinstagram10. @thetrottergirl:  So you may have heard of Trotter Magazine, but you may not have heard of Eva Tsang (aka The Trotter Girl).  Her Instagram is just full of minimal beauty with a nice neutral color palette…and lots of coffee!


mustafaseveninstagramBONUS @mustafaseven: This is pretty much the crème de la crème of all Instagram accounts in my book.  His photos are out of this world, and they make me want to experience it all through his lens.  Everything he puts online makes my jaw drop, and I have troubles getting it back to its regular position.  Follow along for the awe inspiring beauty that is our world.

So, there you have it my 10 (with a bonus) favorite Instagram accounts.  Which accounts spark your creativity?





Recipe | Arabic Coffee (UAE Style)

arabiccoffeeAs I mentioned during Coffee Breaks, Arabic coffee has a taste all its own.  It is one of those tastes that builds on you until you have acquired quite a love for it.  I don’t know what I loved about it more, the taste or the history.  While we were sitting under the stars during a special trip to a bedouin camp just outside Abu Dhabi, I watched closely as our hosts followed the ancient recipe.  It seemed something out of a fairy tale for me.  I have always had an intense interest in the Middle East and its culture, so this was a definite high point for me.  As we listened to the stories of a life that seems so distant to the glittering lifestyle Abu Dhabi exhibits today, I could feel a connection to that past.  We enjoyed the coffee and conversation, and I wrote it all down as my dear friend told me the process of making Arabic coffee-UAE style.

Only in complete silence, you will hear the desert. – Bedouin Proverb

Recipe | Arabic Coffee (UAE Style)

You will need:

  • Dallah (Arabic coffee pot) — Or use your own coffee pot
  • Finjaan (Arabic coffee cup) — Or use your own espresso cups
  • 3/4 cup Arabica beans (ground)
  • 1/3 cup cardamom (ground)
  • 1/2 liter of water
  • Sieve
  • Optional seasonings: saffron, cloves, rose water, etc.
  • Serve with: Dates


  1. Boil your water on the stove in a saucepan.
  2. Add the ground beans straight into the boiling water.
  3. Boil for about 10-15 minutes.  You should start seeing small bubbles on the top.
  4. Add the cardamom directly into the mixture.  Let this boil for another 5-8 minutes.  This is also when you can add your other optional flavorings.
  5. Remove from heat and let sit for 1-2 minutes.
  6. Pour your mixture through a sieve into your dallah (or coffee pot).
  7. Serve your coffee in the finjaan to your guests (or use a small espresso cup) with dates on the side for a sweet treat.

Let me know how your recipes turned out.




Santiago in Color | Black & White

I started this series, because I felt inspired by the colors that surround me daily here in Santiago.  Although black and white can be considered boring, I couldn’t disagree more.  These colors are classic, and they show up everywhere in Santiago.  It was hard for me to edit it down to just these photos.


Black: secrets, unknown, comfort, barriers, power, control, intimidation, authority, discipline, self-control, sophistication, elegance, and confidence


White: perfection, purity, new beginnings, reflection, openness, cleanliness, protection, encouragement, peace, calm, comfort, hope, and isolation

elephantssantiagostreetart mariaantonieta^So, this last photo is actually a cafe in Mendoza, Argentina, but I had to include it.^

What colors inspire you?  Read more about the psychology of black and white.