Smoldering Shoulders

Smoldering Shoulders

Smoldering Shoulders

Smoldering Shoulders

Smoldering Shoulders

Smoldering Shoulders

Smoldering Shoulders

Smoldering Shoulders

What:

The bare shoulder shirt trend with Covetique Boutique in Cooper City, Florida.

Why:

Powerhouse clothing designer, Donna Karan, once told me: “The most beautiful part of a woman is her shoulders.” I wasn’t surprised by her answer, as she’s known for working the off-the-shoulder shirt trend, but I wanted to know why. The timeless fashion guru happily explained: “Shoulders have sex appeal, without being revealing and believe it or not, it’s one of the last parts of the body to age.”

That interview (for Deco Drive) was almost five years ago and finally, Donna’s main designing mantra has spread throughout the fashion world like wild fire (hence the title of the blog: “Smoldering Shoulders.”) Oh, how I love a woman who’s ahead of her time. Speaking of…

This fall, the first major fashion trend to emerge is off-the-shoulder shirts and no one knows how to do it better than the ladies (Michelle & Jackie) at Covetique Boutique. The two bestie’s, who opened their store less than a year ago after reinventing their careers, say the off-the-shoulder shirt trend is timeless; making it easy to wear anytime, anyplace.

Whether it’s both-sides-off, one-shoulder exposed or the cold-shoulder trend (which is a shirt with key hole cuts exposing parts of the shoulders and arms,) there’s a “Smoldering Shoulder” style for almost everyone. That’s what makes the look classic. In fact, the trend is so strong, it’s also spilling over into playful rompers and sophisticated jumpsuits.

I love pairing the style with high-waist cropped pants. Because off-the-shoulder blouses are usually billowy, I like my bottoms to have a bit of structure. Plus, what fashionista doesn’t love showing off her shoes? A shorter pant does just that and also gives off a pre-fall vibe. Completing the look, a skinny choker and a great textured bootie or shoe (with personality) are perfect.

The thing I like most about this trend? Well, I won’t be sweating my tush off while trying to look like I’m in step with what’s in style for the upcoming fall months. Don’t miss Deco Drive tonight at 7:30 & 11:30pm as Covetique shows us different ways to work and wear an off-the-shoulder shirt and then some.

After all these years, Donna was certainly right: everyone can be proud of their upper arms, no matter your age and that’s why “Smoldering Shoulders” is one of my favorite things. Happy Shopping!

When:

Monday-Saturday 10am-7pm & Sunday 12-5pm

Where:

Covetique 9319 Sheridan Street, Cooper City, Florida 33024

Instagram: @covetiqueclothing, Twitter: @ShopCovetique, FB: Covetique

Today, fashion is really about sensuality-how a woman feels on the inside. In the 80’s, women used suits with exaggerated shoulders and waists to make a strong impression. Women are now more comfortable with themselves and their bodies-they no longer feel the need to hide behind their clothes.Donna Karan

Shot on location at Brown Jordan in the Miami Design District www.brownjordan.com or check-out their social media;
FB: Brown Jordan Company, IG & Twitter: @BrownJordan1945 #BrownJordan1945

James Woodley Photography
Produced by: Shireen Sandoval
Styling: Jackie Kay
Grooming: Odett Hernandez
Digital Editor: Jessie Neft-Swinger
Editor: Matthew “Great Textured Bootie” Auerbach

Special thanks to Michelle & Jackie from Covetique and Susset Cabrera/Peacock Public Relations.

Shireen’s Spotlight: DIRT

Shireen's Spotlight: DIRT

Shireen's Spotlight: DIRT

Shireen's Spotlight: DIRT

Shireen's Spotlight: DIRT

Shireen's Spotlight: DIRT

Shireen's Spotlight: DIRT

What:

DIRT Eat Clean, 232 5th Street, Miami Beach, Florida 33139

Why:

I love it when a good plan comes together and DIRT is exactly that. Healthy food is the trend of the moment and DIRT does it right. Not only has it captured the hearts of the health-obsessed crowd in Miami, it’s even won over those of us who think eating clean doesn’t taste good – because at DIRT, it DOES.

The food is fresh, fast and, believe it or not, incredibly delicious. I’ll get to that in a minute; but first, let’s talk about the atmosphere. The place is absolutely buzzing with excitement — you can feel it when you walk in. I went on a Sunday and it was comfortably crowded. Whether eating in or getting food to go, there was a constant stream of customers.

Inside, DIRT is modern, clean and warm; using bright whites and different shades of wood to create a hip and, dare I say, “happy” environment. What’s more, the open-air eatery is powered by 100% pollution-free energy and everything they use (paper and plastic packaging) is recyclable, compostable and/or biodegradable. Their motto: “We care about three things: people, food and the planet.” With that being said…

Their menus are perfectly placed right inside the front door, allowing you a little time to decide before you beeline it to the counter. Usually, I choose my spotlight menu, but instead, I let Chef Nicole Votano (who’s the bomb-dot-com,) pick for me. I think she automatically sensed my trepidation: while I like eating healthy and knowing what’s in my food, I don’t always like the way clean food tastes, but I was in good hands.

My usual menagerie of alcoholic beverages were replaced by a Matcha Green Tea Latte (lightly sweetened with brown sugar,) Dragon Fruit Lemonade (made of freshly squeezed lemon juice, house-made vanilla syrup, dragon fruit and alkaline water) and a healthy, local beer called “Regresa A Mi” (which translates to “Come back to me.”) Fermented with guava and hibiscus, it was unique, fruity and light. By the way, they even have wine on the menu for us drinking types.

The first dish I feasted on was the Avocado Toast. OMG! AMAZE. First of all, I’m obsessed with anything Avocado (I’m from New Mexico and it’s a staple there) and DIRT’s recipe is pretty close to what I’m used to eating in “The Land of Enchantment.” It’s simple and clean, made with grilled bread (from Zac the Baker,) smashed avocado, extra virgin olive oil and sea salt.

The Santorini Salad was basically a plate full of hummus (spiked with harissa) with a greek-style salad piled on top (local greens, tomatoes, cucumber, farro, chickpeas, lentil, olives and served with an herb vinaigrette.) The Spring Plate was a generous portion of greek yogurt, smashed potatoes, spicy grilled broccolini, herbs and shaved veggies served with your choice of protein. I had the quinoa-crusted fish of the day.

The Dragon Fruit bowl not only cleansed my palate, it’s officially one of my favorite things on the planet (made with dragon fruit, banana, pineapple, house-made almond butter and local wildflower honey blended with house-made almond + Brazil nut milk, topped with blueberries, banana, kiwi and house-made granola.) Usually, I wouldn’t bother with all the ingredients, I mean, it’s not like I’m gonna make it at home, but this was so incredible, I can’t get over it. Who knew?

For dessert, Chef Nicole pulled out all the stops with a gluten-free Rosemary & Sea Salt Chocolate Rice Krispy Treat and Vegan Hazelnut Olive Oil Short Bread with lemon glaze. Desserts are made daily, so they’re not on the menu. Just ask, though, and they’ll tell you what they’re serving that day.

For local farm-to-counter food that’s organic, vegan, vegetarian, grass-fed, gluten-free and paleo, you just can’t seem to go wrong at DIRT. There’s something for every kind of foodie and the best part: you’re not just doing your body good, you’re doing your tastebuds a favor, too and that’s why it’s one of my favorite things. Cheers!

Where:

DIRT is located in the South-of-Fifth neighborhood on Miami Beach between Collins & Washington. There’s parking on the east side of the restaurant.

When:

Monday-Friday 10am-10pm, Saturday & Sunday 9am-9pm.

In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.anonymous
www.dirteatclean.com
FB: DIRT restaurant, Twitter: @DirtEatClean, IG: @dirteatclean

James Woodley Photography
Produced by: Shireen Sandoval
Wardrobe provided by www.bellaboutiqueofboca.com
Styling: Jackie Kay
Digital Editor: Jessie Neft-Swinger
Editor: Matthew “DIRT” Auerbach

Reimagining L George Designs

Reimagining L George Designs

Reimagining L George Designs

Reimagining L George Designs

Reimagining L George Designs

Reimagining L George Designs

Reimagining L George Designs

What:

New jewelry pieces by L George Designs

Why:

Being inspired by fall fashion is tough when you live in the tropics, but thanks to Jewelry Designer, Lisa George, I’m finally in the mood. It’s all because of the earthy “Reimagining” of her already popular line, L George Designs.

If you’re not familiar with her creations, Lisa crafts and then creates bold and beautiful pieces from mixed metals, using Swarovski Crystals to accentuate and illuminate necklaces, bracelets, rings and earrings. I first introduced her last year in a heartfelt blog called “Precious Metals.”

I came to find out we had way more than just fashion in common: illness, recovery, health, love, wellness and a passion for peace in our lives and for our loved ones are all areas we share. Fast forward almost a year later and Lisa is still inspiring me and breathing new life into my everyday fashion game.

This fall, she’s kicking things up a notch by adding exciting new textures to her pieces, including premium-oiled leathers and gorgeous hand-picked natural stones. The new additions are called “The Sedona Collection,” which happens to be one of Lisa’s favorite places on planet earth.

She recently visited Sedona, Arizona and fell head over heels in love with its natural beauty and calming energy. Believe me, I get it: I’m a New Mexico girl and the Southwest holds this magical kind of charm that’s hard to explain unless you’ve experienced it. Lisa was so inspired by the desert, she knew she had to incorporate its unbridled earthiness into her Fall 2016 Collection.

I especially love her new cuffs where she combines leather, crystals and chains for what she describes as an “edgy vintage feel.” I also love her statement necklaces, like the green agate I’m wearing in the blog. After putting that bad boy on I was like, “bring it on fall and anything else for that matter.”

That’s the great thing about jewelry, too. You can express the fashioning of the cooler months without wearing heavy clothing; just put on one of Lisa’s statement pieces and viola! You’re all fall’d up and ready to go, minus the tropical sweat. Let’s be honest: us South Florida fashionistas are looking at another three months (at least) before we can even mildly work our boot and sweater weather.

While I love the evolution of L George Designs, I still cling tightly to why Lisa created her line in the first place. She was healing from breast cancer and wanted something to showcase: “The resilience and resourcefulness of women in the face of adversity.” Most of us can identify with her mission, if not in our own way.

Perhaps, though, it’s what comes after all the trials and tribulations that matters most. Growing, changing and “Reimagining” life and all of its infinite possibilities, those things are the true hidden gems and that’s why L George Jewelry is one of my favorite things.

Where:

www.lgeorgedesigns.com

FB: L George Designs, Twitter: @LGeorge_Designs, IG: @lgeorgedesigns

We can’t be creative if we refuse to be confused. Change always starts with confusion: cherished interpretations must dissolve to make way for the new.Margaret Wheatley

James Woodley Photography
Produced by: Shireen Sandoval
Styling: Jackie Kay
Grooming: Odett Hernandez
Digital Editor: Jessie Neft-Swinger
Editor: Matthew “Vintage” Auerbach

Special thanks to Lisa George

Shireen’s Spotlight: River Yacht Club

River Yacht Club

River Yacht Club

River Yacht Club

River Yacht Club

River Yacht Club

What:

River Yacht Club, 401 SW 3rd Avenue, Miami, Florida 33130

Why:

River Yacht Club is a celebration of everything that makes Miami so magical: sparkling sunshine, beautiful blue water, over-the-top boats, thought-provoking art, refreshing adult beverages and most importantly, fabulous food.

What’s more, the crowd is just as gorgeous as the restaurant itself; it’s definitely a place to-see-and-be-seen. I dined at the nautical-themed eatery a few weeks ago and while I have to admit it was blazing hot outside (it IS summer in Miami,) I was glassy-eyed over its beauty and would go back in a New York minute.

Extremely thirsty, I started spotlight with a refreshing “All Hands on Deck” (a Brazilian-inspired spirit made with blueberries, lime and sparkling wine.) After I cooled off, though, my temperature shot back up with “The Waterfront” (made with tequilla, watermelon water, fennel, lime and habanero bitters.) Man, it was spi-ce-y, but delicious. It’s definitely a multiple rounds kind-of drink.

While tasting the “Blackberry Smash” (Absolut Elx, lemon, mint, blackberries, and angostura bitters,) my first appetizer arrived: “Green Beans & Avocado Salad” (with roasted red pepper, seaweed and soy dressing.) It was incredibly fresh and healthy. I loved the combination of greens, especially mixed with seaweed.

The “Sea Salt and Pepper Grouper” (served with sweet and sour sauce) was my absolute favorite. It’s basically chunks of grouper flash-fried and seasoned. It’s light, succulent and not at all greasy. My main course, “Colorado Rack of Lamb” (served with sautéed purple cauliflower and fennel,) was beyond delicious. It was cooked to perfection and tasted tender and juicy.

My dessert, “Baba au Rum Sundae” (pineapple infused with jalapeño, vanilla ice cream and rum) was visually awe-inspiring. It’s a stacked glass of love meant to be shared. I gave it my best shot, but my crew had to help me gobble it up. Plus, we wanted to demolish it before the heat did.

River Yacht Club is just incredibly impressive: from its view to the food (and so much more,) it’s just one of the reasons why Miami is called The Magic City — and that’s why it’s one of my favorite things.

Where:

River Yacht Club is downtown by the Miami River. This part of the Magic City is still up-and-coming, so, if you don’t score a parking place by the restaurant, definitely take advantage of their valet parking. On-site security provides a safe and easy-going atmosphere. Cheers!

When:

Tuesday 6pm-11pm, Wed 12pm-11pm , Thursday 9am-5pm, Friday 12pm-12am, Saturday 11am-12am & Sunday 12pm-11pm.

Any damn fool can navigate the world sober. It takes a really good sailor to do it drunk.Sir Francis Chichester
www.riveryachtclub.com
Twitter: @RiverYacht Instagram: @riveryachtclub FB: River Yacht Club

James Woodley Photography
Produced by Shireen Sandoval
Styling: Jackie Kay
Dress by www.HauteGlamBoutique.com
Digital Editor: Jessie Neft-Swinger
Editor: Matthew “Flash-Fried & Seasoned” Auerbach

Christmas in July

Christmas in July

Christmas in July

Christmas in July

Christmas in July

Christmas in July

What:

A celebration of “Christmas in July” in Venice Beach, Florida; promoting tourism and happiness.

Why:

After my second divorce, I was a mess. I think it was more guilt than anything: I mean, there I was in the prime of my life with two complicated relationships behind me and absolutely nothing to show for it. At least, that’s what I thought at the time.

Even though my career was skyrocketing, I couldn’t get my personal crap together to save my life. I wasn’t just embarrassed, I was going through a roller-coaster of emotions and like any newly-single woman, I was trying to figure out all the “man stuff” going on in my apartment. Like…

How does the security system work? What television remote worked with which cable box? And why only certain music played on my computer, while others needed a pass code that only my ex-husband had (and refused to give me.) Even my iPod was having break-up pains.

When I plugged it into my car to play my favorite tunes (I loved drowning my sorrows in depressing love songs,) it blurted out the most bizarre playlist; consisting of a healthy dose of Christmas music. Yes, it appeared “Santa Claus Was Coming To Town,” despite the fact it was the middle of summer in Miami.

I never managed to figure out the Christmas music mystery and actually grew accustomed to listening to my favorite pop songs interspersed with my favorite holiday classics. It went on that way for months, until I just didn’t notice it anymore. When my friends would ride along in my car, they’d be caught by surprise, laugh and then, of course, sing along. Who doesn’t love a good Christmas Carol?

It became a joke among my closest girlfriends, but strangely, despite the silliness of it all, I noticed songs like “Jingle Bells,” “Let It Snow” and “Winter Wonderland” just had this magical effect on people (no matter the time of year.)

Even though Bing Crosby couldn’t technically make it a “White Christmas” in the Magic City, his infectious tone, soothing voice and jolly spirit made my summer a little bit better. More importantly, the entire situation helped me find the humor in what was one of the saddest times of my life.

It also (by strange coincidence) introduced me to Venice Beach, a quaint little seaside town on the west coast of Florida. It was a place said to share my same affinity for all things December 25th.

I found out about it one night when I was driving home from dinner with one of my biffles, Jackie. While she was singing along to a stirring rendition of “Silent Night” by Mariah Carey, she giggled in-between lyrics and blurted out loudly over the music: “This reminds me of Christmas In July in Venice. I think you’d love it.”

She was right. I loved the idea of it. She explained that the entire downtown area of Venice gussied itself up and turned on its best holiday charm EVERY JULY. The mini-festival was created to promote tourism and bolster the slow summer economy with special sales and holiday discounts offered by almost every merchant. So…

When the timing was right – last week, to be exact – I drove three hours west and found Venice celebrating “Christmas In July” (which is one weekend each month; I checked www.visitvenicefl.org to pinpoint the exact day.) Coincidentally, when I arrived, I parked on Miami Avenue (I had a good laugh over that; I mean, what were the chances?) After hopping out of the car, I quickly ran into Santa Claus. He was making the rounds in his usual furry red outfit, adding his own tropical flair.

You can’t blame the guy for wearing shorts and sunglasses, it was blistering out. I spent the next few hours walking around downtown — exploring, shopping and talking to the warm and welcoming people of Venice. I even stopped for a refreshing glass of white wine where a one-man-band performed some of my favorite Christmas carols. As I sang along, a holiday trolley zipped by. During my visit…

I bought a lot of wonderful things for some crazy good prices: home decor, jewelry, a pair of sassy sunglasses and some original art work from a store called Tangi & Jess (which turned out to be my absolute favorite place.) I liked Downtown Island Way Boutique a lot, too. Other stores worth mentioning: Cleopatra’s Bath & Body, Sandy’s Designer Clothing and Fifi’s Fine Resale Apparel.

After a day of shopping, I was beyond starving and headed to the highly recommended Crow’s Nest Marina Restaurant. I loved its view of the Gulf of Mexico; the fact that it was so close to a jetty made it even better because after some amazingly fresh seafood, I was able to watch the sunset. That’s the thing about Miami: we have fabulous sunrises, but getting to see a sunset in all its glory is tough, unless of course, you’re perched up high above the city. Still, it lacks a certain sense of intimacy. That evening…

The sunset over Venice Beach was nothing short of spectacular. At first the sky was hazy, but eventually gave way to the most magnificent pinks, blues and purples. Just before the sun slipped below the horizon, a warm amber color with slices of bright orange and whispy whites filled the sky. Wow! Talk about showing off…

After an amazing day, I jumped in the car and headed back to Miami with a gigantic grin on my face. It may sound corny, but the concept behind “Christmas In July” is a great way to live your life. You don’t really need a special day to spread love and holiday cheer. It should really be a daily practice.

With all the craziness going on in the world today, sometimes it’s the little things that mean so much: listening to a holiday tune a few months early, supporting your local businesses during the slow summer months or just realizing that each day is the true gift we’ve all been given and that’s why “Christmas In July” is one of my favorite things.

Where:

Downtown Venice Beach, Florida www.VisitVeniceFL.org or follow them on Instagram: @MyVeniceFL

What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps means a little bit more.Dr. Seuss

Dresses & accessories provided by www.lalacouture.com, IG: @lalacouturegirl Twitter: @LaLaCoutureGirl, FB: LaLa Couture Boutique

James Woodley Photography
Styling: Jackie Kay
Wardrobe: LaLa Couture Boutique
Editor: Matthew “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Editor” Auerbach