Author Archives: Josie Maureen Barrera

Josie M. Barrera is a creative writer and an artist from Alton, Tx. With a BA in English, and a minor in Studio Art, she has always been fond of connecting the two. She is a big supporter of small businesses and loves attending local events in the community. In the past, her works have revolved around SEO writing for digital marketing agencies. Josie looks forward to shedding some light on local small business owners and their success in providing something their community can enjoy.

Ways to Give Back with Food Bank RGV

Volunteers Miguel Angel Garza, Leonardo Molina and Maria Garcia sort goods, preparing them to be properly stored and await distribution.

The holidays are around the corner, reminding us of the countless blessings in our lives. For others, this may be a reminder of what they don’t have. Fortunately, there are several opportunities for the community to come together and give back to those in need. One of the ways we can aim to do so is by taking part in volunteering at Food Bank RGV.  “The RGV is just a…

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Serving the Community as Au-Some Cuts

Alexia Saenz with her mother Lily Saenz, whose help got the salon running.

“Au-some Cuts is a sensory friendly hair salon created for children & adults with disabilities. Our hair salon was designed with the purpose and dedication of providing accommodations for clients with special needs.” – Au-Some Cuts LLC, Facebook It’s a beautiful thing when you find the middle ground between your passion and your calling. This young female entrepreneur that was able to do just that. Meet Alexia Saenz, the 24-year-old…

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Living Life in Terms of Music

Founder of Musical Living Academy Edelir Garza offers one of his students some pointers after a private lesson.

Exploring a unique avenue in education is Edelir Garza, founder, instructor and owner of Musical Living Academy in McAllen. Garza knew that this was the next step in his musical journey. Music had been instilled in his heart since he was only 8 years old. “I remember listening to songs and there was this one that would stand out above all … it wasn’t until my father helped me pinpoint…

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Haunted Hotel: La Niña

Haunted Hotel: La Niña takes place in the basement of the Villa de Cortez Hotel in the center of Weslaco’s downtown historic district. (photo Haunted Hotel: La Niña)

With the recent change in the weather, we can’t help but anticipate the spookiness that lies ahead. Those looking for a good scare this season will want to keep Haunted Hotel: La Niña on their radar. Unlike your traditional haunted house setups, this one has roots that run a little deeper than ground level. This one is making its debut in the basement of National and Texas registered historic landmark…

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Maddie’s Pumpkin Patch

Maddie's Pumpkin Patch

Families looking for the perfect fall photo shoot backdrop this season should make plans to visit the Maddie’s Pumpkin Patch. The McAllen location offering an unforgettable experience sits on Bensten Road between Lark and Auburn Ave. It certainly is a crowd pleaser, especially during the golden hour. Melanie and Rick Vega first opened their McAllen location in 2017, and Maddie’s Pumpkin Patch has since then expanded. There is now a…

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Measuring Success with Coffee Beans

One of Moonbeans Coffee's specialty drinks, the Meteor, is the Mexican Abuelita Hot Chocolate; their Ben’s Meteor is a shot of espresso and some brown sugar cinnamon.

Over the years, the coffee scene in the RGV has grown into a highly sought-after market for coffee enthusiasts. Among these local coffee shops, there is one that has become a staple for the residents of McAllen and its neighboring cities.  Walking into Moonbeans Coffee, there is an immediate greeting of the pleasant aromas of freshly roasted coffee. This family business celebrates 20 successful years of service and dedication to…

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Qweenie RGV Turns ONE!

Qweenie owners Bryan Nunn and Kimberly Avila pop up at different businesses around the RGV. Here they are at Weslaco's Daily Grind.

If you’re a self-proclaimed foodie in the RGV and love supporting local restaurants, there’s a possibility that you’ve already had Qweenie RGV a number of times.  What is Qweenie RGV? Qweenie is a food truck that is the creation of Valley natives Kimberly Avila and Bryan Nunn. Specializing in gourmet hot dogs that are out-of-this-world, this phenomenon opened up in 2018. Qweenie just celebrated its first birthday in July.  The…

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Passion Meets Education

RGV Photography Workshops Owner Rafael Sepulveda and Co-Instructor Eric Sierra engage with their advanced photography class while Creative Assistant Nora Cuevas prepares the model of the day.

McAllen native Rafael Sepulveda received his bachelor’s in advertising from Boston University then attended photography school in Atlanta. Upon completing those courses and receiving Professional Photographers of America certification, he opened up two destination photography businesses. During his time as a destination wedding photographer in Atlanta, he discovered that he really enjoyed teaching other photographers that assisted him on his shoots. Establishing direction Sepulveda established RGV Photography Workshops in McAllen…

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