• UnderCover

    What:

    Sophisticated and fashionable swimsuit cover-ups by Carlos Marrero, who also happens to be my favorite scarf designer.

    Why:

    “If you’ve got it, flaunt it!” — it’s a saying a lot of South Florida fashionistas live by, but what if you’re still working on IT or prefer keeping IT “UnderCover?”

    Like any tanned and toned Miami beach bunny (okay, so I’m pale and always trying to get in shape,) I love a good swimsuit, but I prefer one that expresses fashion, not one that shows off what the good Lord gave me. My grandmother always used to say: “Leave something to the imagination”.. She’d obviously never been to Miami in the summer. I’m sweating just writing this. Anyhow…

    Maybe it’s age, maybe it’s the fear of people picking me apart because I’m on television, but I always try for class and comfort when it comes to swimwear. Besides, sometimes “lady bits” can be overrated (actually, any kind of “bits” can be).

    And…

    What I wear WITH my swimsuit is just as crucial: hat, sunglasses and the all-important cover-up. Living in the tropics is always a challenge style-wise because of the heat and humidity; add fashion sensibility to the list and finding the perfect summer pieces can be downright difficult.

    But thanks to the Marrero Collection by Carlos Marrero, my “UnderCover” warm weather wardrobe just got a major upgrade. BTW, Carlos and I just worked on the blog “Summer Chic”, showcasing his new scarf designs, but we also featured his new cover-up collection.

    The designs were literally hot off the presses when they appeared on Deco Drive, allowing us no time for a photo shoot for Favorite Things. I was so enamored with the cover-ups, I asked Carlos if we could feature them during #MiamiSwimWeek as an ode to all things fun in the sun. Plus, his new creations were featured during this year’s worldwide swimwear extravaganza on South Beach.

    I love the light and airy personality of his designs, but its the textures — bold, sexy and feminine — that truly makes them something special. Carlos gets that whole beach-to-pool thing, too and it’s expressed in the line’s versatility. I chose to style four of his cover-ups for my particular lifestyle.

    While I love the beach, I’m not a sun worshipper, per se. I enjoy walking the shore line, watching the sun rise or set or just taking time for myself to feel the positive and healing energy of the ocean. During those moments I dress for (as I mentioned before) class and comfort, but also for myself. I love being able to throw something on and feel effortlessly put together.

    If you’re looking to give your summer/pool/beach/party wardrobe some fashion-forward pizzazz or you just wanna look great while going “UnderCover” — you’ll love the Marrero Collection cover-ups; they’re one of my Favorite Things and I’m sure after you toss one on, they’ll be yours, too.

    Happy Shopping!

    P.S. Don’t forget your sunscreen.

    Where:

    marrerocollection.com

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

    But people are oceans, she shrugged. You cannot know them by their surface.Beau Taplin/Surfaces
    Photographer: James Woodley Photography
    All cover-up’s by Marrero Collection
    Hair & Make-up: Odett Hernandez
    Digital Editor: Jessie Neft-Swinger
    Editor: Matthew “Class and Comfort” Auerbach
  • Shireen’s Spotlight: PINCH Kitchen

    Shireen’s Spotlight: PINCH Kitchen

    Shireen’s Spotlight: PINCH Kitchen

    Shireen’s Spotlight: PINCH Kitchen

    Shireen’s Spotlight: PINCH Kitchen

    Shireen’s Spotlight: PINCH Kitchen

    Shireen’s Spotlight: PINCH Kitchen

     

    What:

    A Friday night menu tasting at PINCH Kitchen in MIMO; where a hipster vibe meets neighborhood sensibility.

    Why:

    From the outside “PINCH Kitchen” is modest and unassuming but inside, it’s a whole other story. The moment you walk through the door, you know you’ve stumbled onto something special.

    The kitchen, which is visible from its front dining room, buzzes with foodie excitement, but not in an intimidating way. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.

    Warm, welcoming and generous with their time, everyone who works at PINCH is eager to please and educate customers on what makes dining there a singular experience.

    From its black and white textured floors, tiled eat-in bar to its art speckled walls, the “New American Cuisine” restaurant is original and inspiring.

    My spotlight experience started with a curated dinner menu and a glass of unfiltered blended white wine (Rivera Del Notro from Chile). I’ve had unfiltered sake before, but never wine: its fruity aroma gave way to a crisp, bold taste.

    In full disclosure, when it comes to alcohol I don’t really discriminate, but word is unfiltered wine is better for you, leaving you with less of a hangover, if any at all.

    With that being said, PINCH has a really great selection of unfiltered wines (as well as unusual beers.) They have the normal stuff, too, but no hard liquor.

    My first dish, which was a gorgeous combination of “Organic Beets & Carrots” was fresh, healthy and extremely delicious. The beets were speckled with goat cheese, raisins and pistachios and the carrots came with a yummy tzatziki to dip them in.

    The “Spanish Octopus” was spicy and served on siamese dragon (mixed greens from Thailand). I especially enjoyed the “Langostinos” which came on top of local green mangos, ginger dressing and watercress. Although not listed in its ingredients, I could have sworn they used a heaping helping of cilantro. Yummy.

    The “Aussie Lamb Chops’ topped with Chermoula (a spiced marinade used in North Africa,) were succulent and perfectly balanced with summertime succotash. That succotash, STOP. It was the bomb-dot-com. I was raised a vegan, so, I’m the type of person who gets excited over kale. This mix is on my radar for my next visit.

    For dessert, a warm and inviting “Orange Chocolate Souffle” was served. I loved how they hollowed out half an orange and baked the souffle into cloud-like perfection.

    After dinner & dessert, I felt good, not full, not overly bloated, just right and I can’t remember the last time I said that after a meal. It’s really no surprise, though, because John Gallos & Rene Reyes, who are the brains behind PINCH Kitchen, know food.

    Not only are they skilled chefs, they’re smart business partners, both with solid pedigrees, working and honing their skills in some of the best restaurants Miami has to offer. After studying and working their butts off (they didn’t tell me that, but one can assume,) they opened their own baby.

    A pinch of this and a pinch of that is how they make food, hence the restaurant’s name. For them, it’s a true creative process that can be summed up with what they call: “Small Bites, Big Impact” and that’s why it’s one of my Favorite Things.

    Where:

    PINCH Kitchen
    Miami Upper Eastside
    8601 Biscayne Blvd.
    Miami, Florida 33138
    305-631-2018

    www.pinchmiami.com

    When:

    Lunch
    Tuesday – Friday 11:30am-4:30pm

    Brunch
    Saturday & Sunday
    10:30am-4:30pm

    Dinner
    Tuesday – Friday 6-11pm
    Saturday 6pm-11pm
    Sunday 6pm-10pm

    Be Social
    IG: @pinchmiami
    FB: @pinchmiami
    Twitter: @PinchMiami

    A Pinch of probability is worth a pound of perhaps.James Thurber
    James Woodley Photography
    Outfit: @filomenafernandez
    Purse: @DVF
    Styling: Jackie Kay
    Hair & Make-up: Odett Hernandez
    Digital Editor: Jessie Neft-Swinger
    Editor: Matthew “The Siamese Dragon” Auerbach
  • 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