The 12 Minute Escape

The 12 Minute Escape

The 12 Minute Escape

The 12 Minute Escape

The 12 Minute Escape

The 12 Minute Escape

The 12 Minute Escape

What:

A new rest & relaxation treatment called “Timeless Capsule” at Ritz-Carlton, South Beach and yes, it only takes 12 minutes. The question is: does it really work?

Why:

My daily life is crazy. It goes something like this…

Alarm, iPhone, computer, coffee, eat, work-out, shower, sit in traffic, get to work, hair, make-up, meet early writing deadlines, live television, eat, meet late writing deadlines, live television, drive home, sleep, repeat.

In between those moments — there are blogs to be written, pictures to be taken, social media postings to be tended to, a boyfriend to spend time with, a dog to be loved and a life to be lived. Who has time for rest & relaxation?

Well, according to the good folks over at Ritz-Carlton, South Beach (who’ve just given their spa a gorgeous renovation,) I actually DO have time.

Maybe not a lot of it, but just enough to give myself a much-needed break during one of my hectic days.

It’s called: “Timeless Capsule” and it only takes 12 minutes.

It’s a specialized seating area of the spa featuring two massage chairs.

One is called “Fusion + Studio” — the other — “ZG Recliner.”

I chose the recliner because it reminded me of something you would see on the bridge of the Starship Enterprise, plus it promised a zero gravity-like effect. I always wanted to be a stylish astronaut.

BTW, during your quick beauty fix there’s no disrobing, sticky oils or excess creams that usually leave you looking like a hot mess.

Instead, you just wear your work clothes and have a seat. Once you’ve reclined (under the watchful eye of a therapist,) your scalp or neck and feet are rubbed into submission and the “ZG Recliner” does, in fact, suspend you into a neutral position.

During my time in the pod area, the pain I usually feel in my lower back, hips and knees grew weaker until it eventually subsided and before I knew it, I was surprisingly relaxed. It was H-E-A-V-E-N.

Tonight on Deco Drive, we’re featuring the “Fusion + Studio” chair as well, which uses sight, sound, touch and smell to relax you. Don’t miss the show at 7:30 & 11:30pm as we get totally zen (in no time at all.)

Life is busy, I get it, but taking time for yourself is as important as all the other stuff, even if it means squeezing in “The 12 Minute Escape” and yes, it works; that’s why it’s one of my Favorite Things.

Where:

The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach
One Lincoln Road
Miami Beach, Florida 33139

www.ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/miami/south-beach

Be Social

FB: @ritzcarltonsouthbeach
IG: @ritzcarlton #SouthBeach
Twitter: @RitzCarlton #SouthBeach

A woman’s beauty is not a gift to man – only a bribe.Ralph Waldo Emerson
Photographer: James Woodley Photography
dress: @bcbgsouthbeach
jewelry: @yvonnerose.shop
purse: @stevemadden
Styling: Jackie Kay
Grooming: Odett Hernandez
Digital Editor: Jessie Neft-Swinger
Editor: Matthew “Recliner” Auerbach

A Stylish SoFlo Soiree

A Stylish SoFlo Soiree

A Stylish SoFlo Soiree

A Stylish SoFlo Soiree

A Stylish SoFlo Soiree

A Stylish SoFlo Soiree

A Stylish SoFlo Soiree

A Stylish SoFlo Soiree

What:

A fashionable gathering at The Betsy Hotel celebrating Ready-To-Wear Fall/Winter Trends 2017 with Fashion Group International of South Florida.

Why:

I’m always inspired by the world around me, especially stylish people and the chance to spend the afternoon with “Fashion Group International of South Florida” (A.K.A the movers and shakers of Miami fashion,) was no different.

The organization, which is a global, non-profit, professional group, is made up of people who help one another turn their stylish dreams into a fashionable reality. FGI also gives its members access to people who have insight into what’s going on in the fashionable world around them.

Enter: Shireen’s Favorite Things & Deco Drive TV.

As a Television Host/Fashion Reporter & Blogger, I was invited to take part in a special Q&A , alongside my stylist, Jackie Kay, about what’s going on in the world of Miami Fashion.

For about an hour (which was moderated by the amazing Tara Gilani, also known as the Trend Tracker,) we talked about clothing, accessories, shoes, social media, red carpets, movies, movie stars, TV shows, TV stars, politics and art, and how all of these topics shape the world around us and, in turn, produce fashion that’s more fluid, open, textured and incredibly provocative.

That’s exactly what the Ready-To-Wear Fall/Winter 2017 Trend slide presentation expressed, too. When the group gets together, they view Haute Couture slide shows of the latest and greatest runway fashions from Milan, Paris, New York City, just to name a few.

In television, we tend to talk AT people, giving them all important information. I can’t help but wonder, though, if sometimes we’re truly listening. These days, information comes at a breakneck speed and having a conversation isn’t always the way we go about journalism, but the Q&A at the event was exactly that — a conversation.

And something I appreciated and learned from. Despite having strong opinions, I respect what others say; it opens up a much-needed dialogue in my mind about the all important ideas of what others think and feel.

Fashion isn’t just about what you put ON your body, it’s about the emotions it inspires, hence the “lifestyle” aspect of how designers promote themselves in this day and age.

Each blog I write is inspired by a happening in my life, but this one was also inspired by the look I chose to wear.

I saw the dress about a month ago on BCBG’s (South Beach) Instagram page. I fell in love with its romantic personality and boho sensuality.

With the help of my good friend Marina (who helps style me for BCBG,) we put together this special look and I knew I wanted to wear it to “A Stylish SoFlo Soiree”.

In a world where everything is changing at a rapid pace and what we feel, think and do about it actually matters, it’s nice to enjoy an afternoon with like-minded people who want more than just a nice outfit but also, a meaningful display of artistic expression…

And that’s why “A Stylish Soflo Soiree” is one of my favorite things.

Where:

Learn more about Fashion Group International at www.southflorida.fgi.org.

Be Social:
Twitter: @FGISouthFlorida
IG: @fgisouthflorida
FB: Fashion Group International, South Florida

Shot on location at www.betsyhotel.com
IG: @thebetsyhotel FB: @thebetsyhotel Twitter: @TheBetsyHotel

You’re only given a little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it.Robin Williams
Photographer: James Woodley Photography
dress, jewelry, belt, bag & shoes by BCBG South Beach @BCBGSouthBeach
Styling: Shireen & Marina
Grooming: Odett Hernandez
Digital Editor: Jessie Neft-Swinger
Editor: Matthew (“Mover & Shaker”) Auerbach

special thanks to Marina of BCBG/Herve Leger & Tara Gilani

My New Miami Vice (and a few other things that happen to be on my mind.)

My New Miami Vice

My New Miami Vice

My New Miami Vice

My New Miami Vice

My New Miami Vice

My New Miami Vice

My New Miami Vice

My New Miami Vice

My New Miami Vice

My New Miami Vice

My New Miami Vice

My New Miami Vice

My New Miami Vice

My New Miami Vice

What:

Writing a heart-felt obituary, standing up against an online bully and falling in love with Michele Lopriore’s popular wing-tip oxford. (Yes, it’s been a busy few weeks since my last post.) 😁

Why:

Writing an obituary sucks; not just for the people grieving, but for the reporter who doesn’t really KNOW the person they’re writing about, at least in the traditional sense.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve had my head lodged in front of a computer, carefully crafting an obituary for a famous person who isn’t even dead yet. I know, I know, it sounds morbid, but it’s actually a compliment.

At least coming from us news types.

When you leave your mark on the world, especially if you’re a member of the rich and famous, you can’t show one ounce of mortality. Even a small dose of it can leave the press on high alert.

As a journalist, I can tell you “The End” is pretty significant when it comes to storytelling; even the anticipation of it. Right or wrong, it’s the world we live in and something I’ve grown accustomed to dealing with, although I do still have my moments…

Especially when my boss slinks up to me from across the Newsplex and whispers: “Sandoval, you need to write an obituary on so-&-so.” I act surprised and say: “Are they dying? Are they dead yet?” He always gives me the same look. I call it the “get your head out of your derrière look.” I used “derrière” to be polite.

Like a good reporter, I do the research, read, watch, listen; searching for the most compelling moments of the persons life.

Then, I do a few drafts combining facts, highlights and low lights. Adding some magic is a must, too. After all, it’s Hollywood we’re talking about.

I don’t know if it’s because I’m getting older, but this last obituary really did a number on me. After dividing the person’s life into six decades and some change, the party was basically over or at least it seemed that way.

It made me sad, irritated and overly emotional. The piece came out good, but after it was edited and filed “in waiting,” I felt bad. Icky. Depressed.

Making matters worse, over the next few days, I saw the person everywhere: on the cover of a magazine in the grocery store check-out line, on a national morning show talking about a new project, even guest starring in a movie special on my favorite cable network, HBO.

He/she sure didn’t seem like they were dying to me…

But neither did Prince, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson or Joan Rivers. I realized, however sobering the obituary, the point was to be prepared and we were.

Also…

After breaking down the person’s life, I realized for the first time in mine, there were probably more decades behind me than in front of me, although the “Guinness Book of World Records” can really give a girl hope.

Not that I would look forward to being the oldest woman alive. I don’t think there’s enough botox in the world to keep me going until 117 (which happens to be the age of the oldest person on the planet. I looked it up.) 👵🏻

By the way, I realize I’m not entirely special here and that at a certain age most people come to this realization, but I have to admit, I’ve been acting a wee bit crazy because of it.

Some people call it a “mid-life crisis” — I call it “more shoes” (at least more than usual,) “more carbs” (spaghetti with marina sauce and fresh parmesan cheese) “more vodka and soda” (with extra lemon AND lime; why choose one?) And more of NOT turning the other cheek.

Without going into too much detail (because frankly, it’s not worth it), a woman attacked my appearance on social media the other day.

In TV, we’re taught to look the other way and not respond because it adds fuel to the fire and you just can’t win or maybe the hater is just looking for attention …

Believe me, I get it, BUT it really depends on what the person is saying and WHERE they’re saying it. I do not and will not tolerate any kind of cyber-bullying.

Look, if someone doesn’t like my outfit or thinks I shouldn’t have made a joke on Deco Drive and has genuine constructive criticism, that’s one thing; but a mean-spirited attack on how I look is another.

Especially when it’s on my OWN Facebook page. People get brave behind a computer, spew hate and it’s NOT RIGHT. So…

I stood up for myself and told the nay-sayer (in so many words) to take a hike and not a scenic one. I wasn’t rude or mean; who wants to be what they’re trying to deflect? I was, however, true to myself and you know what? It felt GOOD.

Say what you want, when you want and how you want to your own friends and family. Heck, put it on your own social media, but why would you come to MY page and attack me? SMH.

In this crazy age of Twitter, IG & FB, it’s easy to forget while swiping, liking and re-tweeting, there’s an actual person on the other side of that phone and/or computer. One with feelings, hopes, dreams and only a certain amount of decades behind or in front of them. We’re all creatures of humanity, are we not?

Anyway…

During all this mid-life crisis stuff, I was also thinking about my next blog: “My New Miami Vice” featuring wingtip loafers from Michele Lopriore Shoes and, how I’d actually go about writing it.

Then it dawned on me: at the “sole” of the blog (other than a stunning pair of bowling shoes) was another unexplainable shift in my behavior.

I live, eat and breath fashion, especially shoes, but I’m not always practical in my styling choices. Beauty is pain, no? At least it is for me. I try for comfy heels, but it doesn’t always work out that way. (I digress.)

When I first walked by Michele Lopriore Shoes at Brickell City Center downtown Miami, I was mesmerized by a pair of wingtip loafers in the window.

As I walked closer, I saw them in a variety of vibrant colors: red, blue, orange, pink and green. The shoes practically screamed “Miami!”

They had an incredible mix of textures, too, like linen, suede, sparkles, tassels etc. Once I tried them on — it was a done deal.

My foot easily slipped into the soft and supple shoe. Its bold wedge added extra comfort. It felt like — HEAVEN.

Was it really possible that I liked a Chic effortless loafer? Who was I? And where were the stilettos I had walked in with? Oh yeah, I stuffed them into my purse so I could wear “My New Miami Vice.”

I have a feeling those stilettos are going to be joining the decades behind me. Can you blame me? I never thought I’d feel beautiful in a loafer, but I did and do. Heck, my body feels better, too.

Michele Lopriore Shoes, which is new to Miami via Milan, is known for its exceptional Italian craftsmanship. The designer himself (Michele) has been perfecting his talents for 30 years. Translation: he really knows what he’s doing!

When you put on a pair of his shoes, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. The best part? You don’t have to sell an organ to afford a pair. It’s a good thing, too, because mine are running low 😆.

Don’t miss Deco Drive tonight at 7:30/11:30pm as we go inside Michele Lopriore Shoes to try-on their latest loafer trends. And…

Don’t worry, I’m not giving up on my heels just yet, but a girl does need a little down time every now and then — literally — and that’s why “My New Miami Vice” is one of my favorite things.

ps: The obituary is still in waiting.
pps: I blocked the hater.
ppps: I’m still having a midlife crisis.

Where:

Michele Lopriore Shoes
Located on the 2nd floor of Brickell City Centre
701 South Miami Avenue
Miami, FL. 33131

When:

Monday- Saturday 10am-9:30am
Sunday 12-7pm

Be Social:
IG: @michelelopriorebrickell
FB: @micheleloprioreshoes

www.micheleloprior.it/en

They went into my closets looking for skeletons, but thank God, all they found were beautiful shoes.Imelda Marcos
Photographer: James Woodley Photography
All loafers provided by Michele Lopriore at Brickell City Centre
Hair & Make-up: Odett Hernandez
Digital Editor: Jessie Neft-Swinger
Editor: Matthew “Flats Are Where It’s At” Auerbach

Summer Chic

Summer Chic

Summer Chic

Summer Chic

Summer Chic

Summer Chic

Summer Chic

Summer Chic

Summer Chic

Summer Chic

What:

Looking chic in the South Florida summer heat with Scarves & Swimsuit Covers by designer Carlos Marrero.

Why:

Have you ever seen that “Sex and the City” episode where Carrie Bradshaw makes fun of women who wear hair scrunchies?

She basically tells her boyfriend that women in Manhattan don’t wear scrunchies because they’re too sophisticated. They get in a fight over it — even break up.

Her boyfriend thinks it’s nonsense, mainly because he’s just written a book featuring a female protagonist who, yes, wears a scrunchy. Carrie ribs him for it. He obviously can’t take the criticism.

At the end of the episode, they agree to meet at a bar to work things out. As they stand there waiting for their drinks, a beautiful woman walks by and sure enough, her hair is tied back with a scrunchy.

They glare at one another as they overhear the woman explain she’s from Georgia and is only in NYC for a couple of days to go sight-seeing. There’s more to it than that, but you get the gist.

After that particular episode, I rummaged through my accessory drawer and trashed all of my cloth hair ties. Then, in dramatic fashion, I looked myself in the mirror and vowed to NEVER EVER wear a scrunchy again. After all, I was grooming myself to be one of those chic city women, who would leave their mark on Manhattan (scrunchy-less).

And, I did.

I got married, moved to the city, dabbled in television, shopped, ate and socialized my way through the five boroughs without ever once wearing a scrunchy. I was so proud of myself — until my life started to unravel (pun intended.)

My marriage fell apart, I got incredibly depressed and on a whim, decided to leave New York. In hindsight, it probably wasn’t the best decision, but I was good at running away; I inherited that trait from my mother.

After moving back to South Florida, I did what most normal people do: clean, organize, grocery shop and go to the drugstore. That’s when I saw it, squished between the shower caps and fake eyelashes in Aisle 1: a large pack of multi-colored scrunchies.

They seemed to be illuminated by a higher power, but I knew it was just the cheap overhead lighting playing tricks on me. I stood there, just staring at them, powerless. Who was I? And why in God’s name would I judge myself or anyone else for that matter for wearing a scrunchy? I felt ridiculous.

I threw the pack in my basket, paid and went home. The next day, the ever-so reliable scrunchy, once again, became part of my life and not only was I proud of it, I knew…

I was a changed woman.

The same thing happened to me a few years later, when I met designer Carlos Marrero, who doesn’t like it when you call him a designer. He prefers: “Renaissance Man.”

In 2015, the Renaissance Man and I worked on “Wrapped & Bagged,” a blog featuring his new scarf and purse collection.

Although I had always loved a good scarf, I shied away from them because I thought they made me look old, outdated and, even worse, like a washed-up news reporter or old-time anchor. Think Connie Chung in the mid 90’s.

I’m not gonna lie, I judged people who wore them, too. Yes, like that snotty Carrie Bradshaw character who, despite being an IT girl, didn’t understand the true meaning of fashion: unadulterated self expression. Even if that meant wearing a scrunchy or a scarf.

Then, like a cool summer breeze, Carlos blew into my life.

The one-time fashion illustrator, who used to sketch images for magazines like Glamour, Cosmo and Vogue, showed me what real scarf fashion was all about.

His brilliant idea of taking his fabulous fashion sketches and transferring them onto quality scarves breathed new life into my accessory game. Move over, Hermes! The best part — I didn’t have to sell a kidney to buy one.

Everything he makes I adore: the minimal, colorful and outrageous. He’s all about energy, vibe and glamour. I have a drawer full of his creations (a happy Buddha, beautiful boho flowers, a detailed Hamsa, intricate mosaics and more.) I wear them everywhere and with just about anything.

Now, Carlos is expanding his line; introducing a capsule collection of bathing suit cover-ups. He’s always had a penchant for sophisticated beauty and it’s easily conveyed in his new pieces.

Don’t miss Deco Drive tonight at 7:30 & 11:30pm, as we get the FIRST LOOK at Carlos’ new beach-to- cocktail clothing. Being “Summer Chic” has never been so easy and stylish thanks to the Marrero Collection and that’s why scarves, scrunchies and pool cover-up’s are one of my Favorite Things.

Where:

marrero-collection.myshopify.com

Be Social:
IG: @camarrero
FB: @marrerocollection
Twitter: @camarrero

Not all Superheroes wear capes…some wear Scarves.anonymous
Shot on location at the beautiful Loews Miami Beach Hotel, which has just undergone a magnificent 50 million dollar transformation. The new St. Tropez inspired oceanfront pool-scape includes private and adult-only cabanas. I can’t wait to go back for some serious rest and relaxation.
Check out its amazing amenities here: www.loewshotels.com/Miami-Beach.

IG: @lowesmiami
FB: @LowesMiamiBeach
Twitter: @Loews_Hotels #MiamiBeach

reservations: 305-604-1601
Toll Free Reservations: 855-563-9744

Loews Miami Beach Hotel
1601 Collins Avenue
Miami Beach, Florida 33139

Special thanks to Linda Villafane

Photographer: James Woodley Photography
All scarves by Marrero Collection
off-the-shoulder black dress: @covetiqueclothing,
White top and palazzo pants: @FilomenaFernandez,
Black one shoulder dress by Nibatti,
Silver & Gold Sandals by @jasandalco.
Hair & Make-up: Odett Hernandez
Digital Editor: Jessie Neft-Swinger
Editor: Matthew “Ever-So Reliable”Auerbach

Wings of Summer

Wings of Summer

Wings of Summer

Wings of Summer

Wings of Summer

Wings of Summer

Wings of Summer

Wings of Summer

Wings of Summer

Wings of Summer

Wings of Summer

Wings of Summer

What:

A whimsical morning exploring “Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden” in Coral Gables, with a beautiful butterfly experience inside the “Wings of the Tropics” exhibit at The Clinton Family Conservatory.

Why:

Tears filled my eyes when I walked through the pressure-locked doors at the butterfly exhibit inside “Fairchild Tropical Garden.”

Partly because of the breeze the doorway created, but also because of my emotional vulnerability.

I was still dealing with the trauma of James and Rigby being attacked by three unleashed Rottweilers. I wrote about the horrific event in my last blog (Life is Beautiful).

Even though it happened almost two weeks ago, I still couldn’t shake it. James wasn’t quite himself either and don’t get me started on Rigby; just looking at the poor thing is painful.

So there I was, still feeling unhinged about life, when I walked into one of the most special things I’ve ever experienced — “Wings of the Tropics” — one of “Fairchild Garden’s” most popular exhibits. Simply put, it’s a sea of exotic butterflies. It’s absolutely magical.

The exhibit, which is lush with greenery, has a long path winding its way through an exciting journey of nature. As you walk through, you see hundreds of exotic butterflies dancing, fluttering and sometimes landing right on top of you. They apparently like the taste of human sweat. It’s a salt thing.

I was lucky enough to experience what they call a “release”, where they carefully place butterflies on your arms and shoulders. It was exciting to see them so closely and feel the pitter-patter of their feet against my dewy skin. The conservatory is kept extremely warm and humid, recreating their natural environment. OMG, I had no shortage of salty sweat, meaning the winged ones loved me, hence the blog entitled “Wings of Summer.”

After experiencing the release, I realized I had been completely in the moment. Present. Even if it was brief (and it was), I somehow managed to escape the deep sadness I had been feeling after the dog attack. James and Rigby are my everything and when they got hurt, I felt helpless and for whatever reason, I was angry, too. Nature was comforting me. Extending a healing branch, if you will.

When I left the conservatory, I felt a slight shift in my demeanor and enjoyed touring the garden grounds. There’s so much to see and do: with 83 acres of lush tropical plants, trees and everything in between, it truly is a one-of-a-kind experience and for good reason…

In 1938, the garden was carefully curated by the late Dr. David Fairchild. The famed plant explorer went all over the world to procure what you see in the garden today. Conserving the world of tropical plants isn’t easy, but he built it allowing everyone to enjoy what he loved and man, is it spectacular!

Over the years, I’ve written quite a few blogs on butterflies. One of my more popular ones, “45 Days and Nights of Black Butterflies”, was about healing after being sick with GBS. I repeatedly dreamed of butterflies all around me, coming out of me. I would float, flutter and eventually free myself of illness.

After I became well, I developed a healthy obsession with what the winged ones represent: transformation, resurrection, change, hope and life.

Having a chance to see the butterfly exhibit meant more than I can possibly explain. It’s hard for me to tear-up; as an entertainment reporter/host I’ve see a lot in my life. It was a crescendo of happiness. Also…

The metaphor isn’t lost on me: holding the beauty of life and then releasing it isn’t just about healing, it’s about enduring and becoming a better person in the process.

And that’s why “Wings of Summer” is one of my Favorite Things.

PS. James is getting better, still a bad puncture on his left hand and his knees are finally scabbing up. Rigby? Well, he finally got his stitches out and is playing with a few of his new toys. 👫🐶❤️

Where:

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden
10901 Old Cutler Road
Coral Gables, Florida 33156
(NORTH ENTRANCE)

When:

Monday-Sunday: 9:30am-4:30pm

Admission: Seniors 65 & over $18, Adults $25, Kids 6-17 $12, Children 5 & under Free
Fairchild Members: Free
(for more information: 305-667-1651)

Be Social:
FB: @FairchildGarden
IG: @fairchildgarden
Twitter: @FairchildGarden

www.fairchildgarden.org

To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.Audrey Hepburn
Photographer: James Woodley Photography
Butterfly Dress: ETXART & PANNO, MIAMI — IG: @extartpannous
Butterfly Ring: Jill Zaleski Custom Jewelry — IG: @jillzaleski
Vintage Flower Earrings: A gift from my mother (who was gifted them by her mother)
Hair & Make-up: Odett Hernandez
Digital Editor: Jessie Neft-Swinger
Editor: Matthew “Salt Thing” Auerbach