• A Fashionable Change

    A Fashionable Change

    A Fashionable Change

    A Fashionable Change

    A Fashionable Change

    A Fashionable Change

    A Fashionable Change

    A Fashionable Change

    A Fashionable Change

    A Fashionable Change

    A Fashionable Change

    What:

    A day at the beach with Solea Cangas and figuring out what I really want Shireen’s Favorite Things to be.

    Why:

    You may not know this, but when I first started the blog it was a way for me to express the pain and hurt of some devastating things that happened in my life: the loss of a baby, a major illness and the break-up of my marriage. It was some heavy stuff and I wasn’t exactly parading around South Florida in stylish trends. I was just trying to keep my head above water. Actually, if I’m being totally honest, I was a complete disaster. The writing/blogging helped with my grieving process and sharing my stories eventually healed me. At least to the point where I felt I was OKAY…

    After the s*** storm hit. Because frankly, there’s no other to describe it…

    The blog took on a more “stylish” turn. I felt guilty about it for awhile, mainly because my more serious storytelling had developed a strong online following. Taking a lighter, less “important” direction felt like a complete sell-out. It wasn’t, though; I promise you. Instead, it was a way of giving myself permission to leave my deep sadness and the morose introspection that always followed it behind.

    When I first started the blog as it’s known now: “Shireen’s Favorite Things”…

    I got A LOT of push back. Career-based fashion bloggers turned up their noses at me, my television co-horts didn’t understand it and key people around me (who pretended to care) just wanted to capitalize on it. What’s more, some readers didn’t want the “happy” me; perhaps the “sad” me was more relatable. In the meantime, all I wanted to do was write, tell stories, find creativity, inspiration and hopefully give birth to the new person I wanted, needed and hoped I could be.

    The first year of ‘Favorite Things’ (everyone involved) worked like gangbusters. We gave up everything — especially our free time. It was hard at first, but we grew accustomed to it, then we got better at it and learned not to sacrifice what everyone needed: a break (even fashion has seasons for a reason.) As the years passed and the blog grew in popularity, Deco Drive got involved and WSVN supported my stylish storytelling like a proud mother, giving me creative liberties, cheering on my original content and awarding me an on-air fashion segment to run in tandem with the online blog.

    Since then…

    I’ve tackled almost every topic: movies, celebrities, famous and local fashion designers, seasonal, solo and eccentric trends, boutiques, interesting South Florida places and eventually, food (which happens to be an incredibly popular part of the blog now called: Shireen’s Spotlight.)

    During the thick of it, I’d always ask myself: Do people care? Are they reading? Are they clicking onto something that’s enriching their lives? Is it enriching mine? And — what’s the ultimate outcome?” I didn’t know the answers beyond what the analytics were telling me. What I did know was…

    When I pressed those closest to me (like my own mother,) most hadn’t even read the blog; including people who were working on it. “I haven’t read it, but I do love the pictures,” was the typical response I’d get. Still, I pushed on.

    I’m not stupid. I mean, I get we’re living in a phone-driven, photo-taking, time-pressed society. Easy immediacy is the name of the game. Plus, I’m at THAT age — the one where you do things for yourself and not other people. Writing, blogging, exploring, reporting, traveling, working weekends, eating a lot of food. I did it for myself and it’s been enough — until now.

    Over the holidays, I took a long break from blogging. I needed it because I felt tired and uninspired and it was gnawing at me. WHY? Why had something I loved so much changed? Most of us hate change and I’m one of those people. I like a good challenge, but when feelings and emotions start twisting and turning inside me, I panic because I know it’s time to re-evaluate and get real with myself.

    At first, though, I ignore it for as long as humanly possible, but eventually, it spills over into everything I say and do, followed by long bouts of anxiety, crying jags and unhappiness. It’s almost as if my inside emotions are forcing me to change my outward path and begrudgingly, I HAVE to do it.

    So, here we are — at the edge of the cliff of change — about to jump (and thank you if you’re actually reading this and not just looking at the pictures, especially Matty, because he has to and Jackie, because she’s my biggest cheerleader.)

    From now on, I’ll be featuring things on the blog that evoke a special kind of emotion out of me: mainly, HAPPINESS. Like the very thing highlighted today — soleacangas.com — a company inspired by the ocean, uplifted by art and started by strong, entrepreneurial women. It’s a wrap-slash-beach blanket, with yummy lightweight material. The idea hails from the beaches of Rio, one of my favorite places on earth.

    As I continue reinventing myself and Favorite Things…

    I want more simplicity, as in less explaining. Yes, I’m caving, while a lot of people don’t have time to sit down and read, imagine what it’s like finding time to write pages upon pages of heartfelt fashion stories (especially with another full-time uber-demanding job.)

    Not everything I focus on from here-on-out will be featured on TV. Not only can an aggressive deadline squash my creativity, but it takes away from the original “je ne sais quoi” of the blog.

    I hope my new direction leaves you feeling good, inspired and yes, even happy after checking out the blog. It’s the least I can do for my faithful followers because YOU are one of my Favorite Things.

    Be Social
    IG: @soleacangas
    FB: @soleacangas
    soleacangas.com

    The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move into it, and join the dance.Alan W. Watts
    James Woodley Photography
    Outfit by @forever21
    Hair & Make-up: Odett Hernandez
    Digital Editor: Jessie Neft-Swinger
    Editor: Matthew “I Like This Job” Auerbach

  • My Top 10 Favorite Food Joints of the Year

    Shireen’s Spotlight: Gianni’s At The Villa

    10. The opulence at “Gianni’s at the Villa

    Shireen’s Spotlight: Cafe Roval

    9. The gardens of “Cafe Roval

    8. The spirit & margaritas of “Cantina La Veinte

    Shireen’s Spotlight: Louie Bossi’s Ristorante Bar Pizzeria

    7. The family atmosphere of “Louie Bossie’s Ristorante

    Shireen’s Spotlight: R House Wynwood

    6. The art, music, food and people of “R House, Wynwood

    Shireen’s Spotlight: Big Easy Wine Bar & Grill

    5. The incredible South African food of ‘Big Easy Wine Bar and Grill

    Shireen’s Spotlight: Bar Meli69 Greek Bistro & Wine Bar

    4. The neighborhood comfort & glorious Greek wine of “BarMeli 69

    Shireen’s Spotlight: Naked Crab

    3. The to-die-for seafood of “Naked Crab

    Shireen’s Spotlight: Valentino Cucina Italiana

    2. The glamour & exquisite food of “Valentino Cucina Italiana

    Shireen’s Spotlight: Phuc Yea

    1. The original, creative and place I frequent most “Phuc Yea
    Come quickly, I am tasting the stars!Dom Perignon
    James Woodley Photography
    Naked Crab photographed by Carl-Frederick Francois
    Styling: Jackie Kay
    Hair & Make-up: Odett Hernandez
    Digital Editor: Jessie Neft-Swinger
    Editor: Matthew Auerbach

    (***ALL RIGHTS RESERVED ON PHOTOS***)

  • My Top 10 Favorite Looks Of The Year

    The Right Kind of Ruffle

    10. Cool as a summer breeze in ‘Etxart & Panno’ from the blog: “The Right Kind of Ruffle

    A Christmas Clutch

    9. Purse infatuation with ‘The Limelight Collection’ & ‘Vchic Boutique’ — from the blog: “A Christmas Clutch

    My New Miami Vice

    8. Summer sizzle in ‘Ann Taylor’ from the blog: “My New Miami Vice

    Topping It Off for 2018!

    7. Fetching in a ‘Feather Heart Designs by Danielle’ fascinator — from the blog: “Topping It Off for 2018

    ’Tis the Sequin…

    6. Sitting down on the job in ‘VChic Boutique’ — from the festive party blog: “Tis The Sequin

    Fit & Flare

    5. Going high fashion on Lincoln Road in ‘Herve Leger’ — from the spring blog: “Fit & Flare

    Piece by Piece

    4. Inspired in this drop dead gorgeous ‘Michelle Meler’ gown — featured in the blog: “Piece by Piece

    Wild Things

    3. Mysterious in ‘MaryJane Claverol Accessories’ & a ‘BCBG South Beach’ dress — from the blog: “Wild Things

    Spring Romance

    2. Lady in Red wearing ‘Extart & Panno’ — from the blog: “Spring Romance

    The Park

    1. Inspired by Belle from the reimagining of “Beauty and the Beast” wearing ‘LA Boudoir Miami’ — from the fashion photo series “The Park
    Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.Ralph Waldo Emerson

    Be Social:
    IG: @ShireenSandoval
    FB: @ShireenSandoval
    Twitter: @ShireenSandoval

    Photos by James Woodley Photography
    Photo #3 by Danielle Margherite www.dmargherite.com/

    Main Styling: Jackie Kay & Shireen Sandoval
    Hair & Make-up: Odett Hernandez
    Digital Editor: Jessie Neft-Swinger
    Editor: Matthew Auerbach

    (***ALL RIGHTS RESERVED ON PHOTOS***)