About

Why the Blog?

What a great way to connect with foodies and design enthusiasts while having fun. This blog is an opportunity for all of us to share an array of ideas, color palettes, spices, mixtures of materials, philosophies, room layouts, recipes, and more from our collective creativity and passions.

Who Am I?

I have been told I am the kind of woman who can be thrown into any situation and thrive. A childhood in Puerto Rico, a rise in the ranks of the corporate world, and the need to sell my residence because of life-changing circumstances led me to founding The Norka Group, Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialists.

I consider myself one of the lucky ones; I have discovered my passion and get to do what I love every single day. As it turns out, good fortune is only partially responsible. Hard work, focus and perseverance are the primary ingredients I have found for continued success. Like a stream that meets a boulder, I will use my tenacity to find a way to meet and exceed my objectives.

I am the way I am…

…because of Paul. In my first corporate job I was asked to meet a client about streamlining their warehouse system, written in DATATRIEVE. (Huh?)

My boss told me if the customer hired me for this new assignment I would be promoted to the prestigious Internal Software Services department at Digital Equipment Corportation. I wanted the promotion badly. Problem was, all I knew about DATATRIEVE was how to spell the word.

A few months later, after I had successfully completed my first assignment, Paul Coute, the client, hired me for another three months to update a system written in COBOL.

“Were you aware I knew nothing about this when I started?” I asked Paul one day.

His response surprised me.

“ Yes,” he said. “I knew if you were so committed to get a job even when your eyes gave away your lack of knowledge, you would be committed enough to succeed.”

This experience (and Paul) taught me a great life lesson I have used over and over again:

• It is OK not to know everything when you sign up for a task or even a responsibility, but you have to have the confidence and put forth the effort to overcome the lack of experience and knowledge.

Let’s not forget Mom and Dad!

I am also they way I am because of Mom and Dad. (Thank you!)
Especially Mom.
Which brings us, in part, to…

…FOOD!

My sister Lucy and I are obsessed with food. Food reconnects me with many great childhood memories. My mom owned a restaurant so Lucy and I received our culinary training by watching her and my aunt prepare meals night after night. Lucy likes to stick to our traditional Puerto Rican dishes. I have always been interested in the more foreign flavors.

While my friends say I cook as well as any gourmet chef, I’d rather order from menus around the world and experience food in ways unfamiliar from my childhood. And that is…

…all Grandma Bertha’s doing.

Every Sunday, Grandma would take Lucy and I to visit friends in the coastal town of Humacao, a favorite for tourists. We would often stop and shop at the kiosks along the way. On ‘Special Sundays’ we would test new restaurants and taste their exotic cuisines.

Now, even when I prepare Puerto Rican dishes, I fuse ingredients from other cultural traditions.

If food could talk, it would say…

• Embrace the Experience

• Dare the Unknown

No matter what I eat, the food must be presented in an appealing way. Any chance I get I will garnish the dish to add texture and color, or design the meal in a creative display. Rice easily becomes a sandy beach accompanied by turnips and green peppers as perfect palm trees…

…which brings us to interior design.

Much like presentation of food on a plate, interior design is my expression of art.

• A room is the canvas where I paint.

I used to travel for work and to pass the time, I would meander through furniture stores. High-end showrooms and design magazine subscriptions educated me on the delights and the faux pas of interior design. They also trained my ‘eye.’ I can see layouts and color schemes in my head and I immediately know what items to mix and match. Over the years, I’ve worked successfully with interior designers and my former Texan home was showcased in the Dallas News home section.

Architectural Digest, here I come.

But most importantly…

WHEN I DIE…

…I want to leave a legacy. I work to show…

• We can do anything regardless of age or circumstances.

I always knew real estate was going to be the most important career of my life. To me The Norka Group is part of the legacy; it’s an opportunity for me to share with others that you can succeed no matter what. All we need to win is commitment and determination, coupled with courage and action.

In essence, I am still the 9-year-old girl who, looking at a magical sky full of stars, knew she would reach them some day. While I’m a dreamer at heart, age, experience, and my family gave me a healthy dose of pragmatism. The “no excuse” attitude keeps me going, even when I’m tired. It’s a joy to look back and realize, by taking one step at a time, my team and I have achieved some incredible feats.

Every day is a new adventure and I can’t wait to see what materializes next, especially as we take on new, more demanding challenges.

I’d love to hear from you!

Enjoy your life, enjoy food, enjoy your surroundings, and enjoy this blog. Feel free to comment or reach out any time.

In the meantime, perhaps we will bump into each other at the theater, the vintage bookstore on my way to an appointment, or over a glass of wine at one of the fabulous new restaurants on South Florida’s Gold Coast.