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


“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).


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.



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













Summer looks that easily transition into sexy bar outfits with Hot Miami Styles


I’ll never forget my first year in South Florida; more specifically, as a cub entertainment reporter on Miami Beach. I sweated my way through Swim Week, South Beach Wine & Food Festival, Miami Beach Boat Show, the red carpet at the Latin Grammy Awards and dozens of live celebrity interviews outside Regal Cinemas on Lincoln Road. It wasn’t your normal kind of sweating either…

It was a whole other level. I had water coming out of parts of my body I never knew existed. That’s not all: after a few short minutes in the Magic City humidity, my extra bouncy hair would fall perfectly flat, sprouting into a halo of frizziness, my pristinely powdered television make-up and smoky cat eye would melt zealously into the tears of a gothic clown and my clothes would eventually become disheveled, wrinkled and borderline saturated. It was pure agony, torture and sadly, it seemed to never end…

Everyday I would ask my videographer, Alex: “When will it cool down?” He would just smile at me and say: “Make sure you drink plenty of water.” Frankly, there wasn’t enough liquid on planet earth to quench my thirst and I hadn’t even made it through summer yet. Alas, I finally understood that cheesy 80’s song by Bananarama called: “Cruel Summer.”

Eventually, I found myself giving up on my polished appearance. I mean, what was the point? I was just going to sweat it out or off. Maybe, just maybe, it was time to let go of my television vanity and let Mother Nature have her way with me. During my first year on-air in Miami, I knew that (at times) I didn’t look my best, but I had no idea just how bad it really was…

Until one fateful night, when I happened to catch late-night Deco (the 11:30 rebroadcast of our live show). O-M-G. It was DEFCON status. I saw myself doing a live shot and looked as if a truck had hit me (make that a water truck). I was mortified — humiliated, even — and promised myself never to be seen in public again. Sigh.

Of course, that was next to impossible, seeing as my actual job was being on television. Despite contemplating my early retirement and/or a possible career change, I decided to pull my big girl britches up (however soggy they may be) and become an expert on “Beach-to-Bar” fashioning.

In other words, I had to learn how to look sexy (or in my case, at least presentable/professional) amongst the surf, sand and sultry nights of South Florida.

So — I studied other entertainment reporters who had been in the Miami market for years. I noted how they dressed, wore their hair/make-up and asked them about their “tricks of the trade.”

I learned a little, but the real wealth of knowledge came from the abundance of gorgeous Latina actresses, models and TV presenters who befriended me (who seemed less afraid or threatened by a young reporter from New Mexico trying to make a name for herself in Miami).

THEY taught me about fake hair, false eye-lashes and loose fitting, yet appealing clothes. This “Beach-to-Bar” blog (featuring looks by Hot Miami Styles) is an ode to the many beauty secrets I’ve learned along the way and the beautiful women who taught them to me.

I’ll never forget what one very famous actress (whom I had interviewed many times) said to me: “You can’t stop the heat, but you can sure as hell learn how to look good in it.” A-MEN! There was no looking back and that was over ten years ago.

Over the last decade, I’ve collected an arsenal of great advice; taking the best of it and making it my own. On insufferably hot days, I opt for high and tight hair and I always, always, always use waterproof, high definition make-up.

Also, I pack a portable, battery-operated fan in my pocketbook and take it everywhere I go. A slight wind on my face controls my sweat from beading and in turn, stops my make-up from blotching. Of course…

My clothing changes with the seasons, albeit only slightly and a lot of it depends on fashion trends, too. Right now, I’m obsessed with three things from Hot Miami Styles: maxi dresses, rompers (with a long train) and one-piece bathing suits. Each garment allows me to move from “Beach-to-Bar” with ease, elegance and style.

I love big jewelry, too (because I don’t have to worry if I’m swollen from the heat). I just drape on my favorite baubles and let them do the talking. My most prized statement pieces come from designer, Josette Redwolf. Her jewelry is all about the unbridled beauty of nature and they mix beautifully with the glamour of South Florida.

Last but not least, I love finishing my look with a fashion-forward pair of shoes. I prefer an interesting (not too high and not too low) strappy sandal. Just Fab On-Line and Melissa Shoes are both beach-friendly brands. Back to the beginning…

Eventually, Alex, my photographer, answered my question about the relentless heat. Even though it took him a few years, I remember it like it was yesterday because it was during Hurricane Katrina. We were actually doing a live-shot in front of a hotel on South Beach where MTV was trying to host a pool party a day before its big music awards, but Katrina, well, she had other plans.

As their famed silver moon man (that had been perched atop the hotel) flapped violently in the wind, Alex shouted out to me: “We go live in about a minute.” I nodded my head and tightened my rain slicker. It was the first time I had worked a real storm and at the moment, sweating took a backseat to the torrential rain and wind. “You know, sometimes it cools down after a hurricane,” Alex said matter-of-factly. I looked at him awkwardly. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry, but I think that was the point.

I guess you could say, after all these years I’ve adjusted to the heat and elements pretty well. In fact, I consider myself a warm weather kind-of woman. I love living in the tropics (during the good and the bad) and going from “Beach-to-Bar” without breaking a sweat is definitely one of my favorite things.


For the latest and greatest in Summer fashions, you can shop “Hot Miami Styles” on-line www.hotmiamistyles.com or follow them on FB, Twitter or IG @hotmiamistyles.

I love a woman who can be sexy without being sexy. Only the grown, classy woman can understand that. Beauty is in flaws and simplicity.Unknown

Shot on location at Ritz Carlton, South Beach
1 Lincoln Road
Miami Beach, Florida 33139

IG: @RitzCarlton #RCmemories, FB: The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, Twitter: @RitzCarlton #SouthBeach

All fabulous cocktails pictured in the blog were provided by Ritz Carlton, South Beach. They’re listed in order of appearance: Blackberry Colada, Watermelon Crush and Mandarin & Twist.

All wardrobe provided by Hot Miami Styles (prices and details available on request.)
Purple necklace: www.dominiquecoralgables.com
Yellow & Green necklace: www.josettedesigns.com
Orange sandals: www.justfab.com
Clear Beige Heels: www.shopmelissa.com/Melissa

James Woodley Photography
Styling: Jackie Kay
Hair & Make-up: Odett Hernandez
Editor: Matthew “A Gothic Clown” Auerbach

Special thanks to Amanda Williams

A Jypsea Soul

A Jypsea Soul

A Jypsea Soul

A Jypsea Soul

A Jypsea Soul

A Jypsea Soul

A Jypsea Soul

A Jypsea Soul

Creative, smart and talented: those are just a few of the adjectives I would use to describe up-and-coming bathing suit designer, Stefanie Holtzheuser. She’s the young, genius (or better yet, self professed mermaid) behind a thriving little company called “Jypsea Local Swimwear.” When you walk into her pretty and personable boutique, it’s as if you’ve stepped into a tropical island retreat.

It’s made and meticulously constructed to cater to the South Florida fashionista who has a penchant for all things surf, sand and sexy. Its walls are a greenish-blue, (like the ocean) and it smells of some yummy coconut concoction. It’s not only warm, casual and welcoming, it’s filled with some of the most unique bathing suits you’ll ever see. The best part is…

Those creations aren’t from overseas or ordered from some on-line company and touted as her own. Stefanie hand-makes (with love, care and devotion) each suit herself. She drafts, designs and sews bikinis, one-pieces, cover-up’s, work-out wear, jewelry and pretty much anything else she sets her mind on.

If you can’t find the perfect bathing suit at her boutique, she’ll easily custom design one for you. It’s the creative concept behind her bikini bar, which is smack dab in the middle of her store. As most women know, finding what fits your individual body type can be frustrating; especially when it comes to buying an off the rack cookie cutter design. Jypsea Local is trying to change that by serving-up a variety of choices that fit all different types of the female form.

This isn’t just some girl sitting behind a sewing machine, by the way (which is pretty cool in itself.) It’s someone who knows and loves the water, beach and the lifestyle that goes along with it. Although Stefanie was born in Canada, her mother, who is originally from South Florida, moved the family back to the Sunshine State after almost ten years in the frigid north. Stefanie describes it like this: “My mother needed the warm breeze back in her life.”

Read the rest of the blog at www.WSVN.com or shop the looks with the information listed below.

Instagram: @JYPSEA_SWIM

Green stacked bracelets: www.goodluckcharmsmiami.com.
Pink statement necklace and bracelet: www.josetteredwolf.com
Metal/crystal earrings, necklaces and bracelets www.lgeorgedesigns.com

Twitter: @ShireenSandoval
IG: @ShireenSandoval

Photographer: James Woodley
Twitter: @BritFloridian
IG: @BritFloridian

Hair & Make-up: Odette Hernandez
Twitter: @Odettehernandz
IG: @O.D.E.T.T

Styling & Assist: Jackie Kay
Blog ideas: jackie211@yahoo.com

Editor: Matthew Auerbach

The Great Escape … (featuring The Moorings Village)

The Great Escape ... (featuring The Moorings Village)
The Great Escape ... (featuring The Moorings Village)
The Great Escape ... (featuring The Moorings Village)
The Great Escape ... (featuring The Moorings Village)
The Great Escape ... (featuring The Moorings Village)
The Great Escape ... (featuring The Moorings Village)

What’s a desert girl from New Mexico doing in South Florida by the ocean? I’ve always called it, “The Great Escape.” It all started on a hot muggy night a little over ten years ago, when a plane from the cold midwest touched down at Miami International Airport carrying a young journalist with big dreams. When I stepped onto the jet bridge the humidity slapped me across the face, wrapped its warm arms around me and whispered in my ear: “You’re meant to be here.”

I shrugged off the premonition and cabbed it to a part of Miami I’d never heard of called North Bay Village. It was so dark outside I couldn’t see the landscape, which I found disappointing. I had never been to Florida before and was eager to see its lush palm trees, crystal blue waters and much talked about “sexy people.” I settled for a grumpy cab driver, who smelled of cigars, stale sweat and cheap cologne.

After a short and relatively smooth drive, he dropped me off in front of the Best Western strategically placed next to Channel 7, where I would audition for Deco Drive in a few hours. I had been summoned by one of the most powerful stations in the country after their plans to hire a male entertainment reporter had fallen through.

I’ve never been great at auditions, but when I met Lynn Martinez and Belkys Nerey for the first time, it was as if I had known them for years (despite never having seen the show before.) For lack of a better description, we got on famously. After visiting with one another, the three of us did a scripted run-through of Deco, then an unscripted one (we call that ad-libbing in television) and I felt really good about it. Matter of fact, I nailed the audition. I just knew, for whatever reason, Miami was where I was meant to be.

I left South Florida as quickly as I came. I had to get back to Indianapolis, where I was working on a morning show at the time as an Entertainment/Features correspondent. Most job auditions in television are done on the sly and mine was no different. On the way to the airport, though, my agent called and said I had been offered the job. I accepted.

Read the rest of “The Great Escape” at www.wsvn.com or to shop any of the looks featured in the blog go to www.kokopalenki.com.

Twiiter @MooringsVillage
IG @MooringsVillage
FB The Moorings Village and Spa
Reservations: 305-664-4708

Blog styled by Shari Bloch
Twitter: @soblondie729
IG: @ShariBloch
FB: Styling by Shari

Blog Wardrobe provided by:www.kokopalenki.com
Twitter: @KokoPalenki
IG: @KokoPalenki
FB: Koko Palenki