The Right Kind of Ruffle

The Right Kind of Ruffle

The Right Kind of Ruffle

The Right Kind of Ruffle

The Right Kind of Ruffle

The Right Kind of Ruffle

The Right Kind of Ruffle

The Right Kind of Ruffle

The Right Kind of Ruffle

The Right Kind of Ruffle

What:

How to work summer’s ruffle trend without looking like a character out of “Pirates of the Caribbean.”

Why:

I have a love/hate relationship with ruffles.

On one hand, I’m super girlie and love basking in flouncy femininity, especially when it comes to my house. I’m practically the queen of Shabby Chic-cottage living (think Rachel Ashwell meets Ralph Lauren.) From throw pillows, comforters and table runners to curtains, you’ll find a bunch of beautiful materials accenting my most prized home possessions.

On the other hand, when it comes to WEARING “The Right Kind of Ruffle,” I get overwhelmed and fear I’ll end up looking like Captain Jack Sparrow from the popular movies series, “Pirates of the Caribbean.” While he’s a great film character and all, I don’t want my sleeves dragging through my vodka (why waste good liquor?) or my upper body resembling a layered curtain (on TV, your mid-body is a focal point) or my bottom half screaming: “Look at me! I’m a cute bed dust ruffle!” (extra material on or around your booty can make one look bigger and not in an attractive, Kim Kardashian way.)

Lucky for me, my good friends at Etxart & Panno, located at Brickell City Center in downtown Miami, know a thing or two (okay, maybe five or six) about wearing “The Right Kind of Ruffle.” First off, ruffles are definitely in and it’s not a passing phase; the trend gets stronger come fall. They don’t discriminate, either: small, medium, big or gigantic, ruffles are all the rage.

The best way to wear them? By ACCENTING a blouse, dress or skirt. In other words, don’t go all Carmen Miranda on us (unless you’re heading to your weekly samba class.) Wearing the trend from head-to-toe could ruffle some serious fashion feathers or worse, cause a traffic accident.

I know, I know, if you’re a regular blog reader, you’re probably saying: “Duh? Everyone knows not to wear too many ruffles,” but you’d be surprised. Sometimes (especially in South Florida) more is well, MORE and I’m even guilty of that. Excessiveness isn’t necessarily a bad thing in fashion; you just have to pick and choose which trends deserve the over- abundance treatment. This isn’t one of them.

Etxart & Panno (which hails from Spain and recently opened its first U.S. location in Miami), is a clothing line inspired by 50’s fashion with a tropical flair. Think “Mad Men” meets “Gilligan’s Island”; more specifically, the character Ginger (classy, sexy and sophisticated, even when stranded on a deserted Island). And they know ruffles!

Don’t miss Deco Drive tonight at 7:30 & 11:30 p.m. (on Channel 7) as we, along with Etxart & Panno, feature the best ruffle fashions of the summer season. The trend is also a great way to ready your wardrobe for fall, which will be here before you know it. Finally, my pirate lookalike phobia has been set free, because wearing “The Right Kind of Ruffle” is one of my favorite things.

When:

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

Where:

ETXART & PANNO
Brickell City Centre
701 South Miami Avenue
Miami, Florida 33131

The boutique is located on the ground level. There’s garage parking and it’s free for the first two hours.

Get social:
IG: @etxartpannous
FB: @etxartpanno
www.etxartpanno.com

The Frenchman invented the ruffle; the Englishman added the shirt.Ralph Waldo Emerson
Photographer: James Woodley Photography
Ruffle wardrobe & styling by Etxart & Panno
Hair & Make-up: Odett Hernandez
Digital Editor: Jessie Neft-Swinger
Editor: Matthew “Pirate” Auerbach

Shireen’s Spotlight: Big Easy Wine Bar & Grill

Shireen’s Spotlight: Big Easy Wine Bar & Grill

Shireen’s Spotlight: Big Easy Wine Bar & Grill

Shireen’s Spotlight: Big Easy Wine Bar & Grill

Shireen’s Spotlight: Big Easy Wine Bar & Grill

Shireen’s Spotlight: Big Easy Wine Bar & Grill

Shireen’s Spotlight: Big Easy Wine Bar & Grill

Shireen’s Spotlight: Big Easy Wine Bar & Grill

Shireen’s Spotlight: Big Easy Wine Bar & Grill

What:

An adventurous Friday night dinner at the best South African restaurant in Miami —”Big Easy” — inside Brickell City Centre, downtown Miami.

Why:

If you think “Big Easy” is a New Orleans type of eatery, think again.

It’s SOUTH AFRICAN…

And named after professional golfer, Ernie Els, who was bequeathed the nickname, “Big Easy,” because of his smooth golf swing, but that’s not all…

Somewhere during his massive rise to fame and fortune, the world-prominent golfer developed an unadulterated love affair with wine and food.

Which is why his creative partnership with “Big Easy” (located on the third floor of Brickell City Centre) is a total no-brainer or as the kids say, a “Hole in One” — sorry, couldn’t resist a good golf pun. 😀

The menu, which is authentic South African cuisine, is chock-full of unique and interesting choices, easily reflecting the heart and soul of the “Rainbow Nation.”

With romantic lighting, rustic decor and a beautiful bar, you’ll feel transported to an earthier place like, say, Johannesburg, where Ernie happens to be from.

Because of the restaurant’s eclectic backdrop, it was hard picking the perfect place to start my Spotlight experience. I settled on their moody lounge, featuring exposed brick walls, comfy low-sitting sofas and bright green throw pillows.

My first drink of the night, a “White Lightning” — was something I’d heard of but never tasted. In England, it’s more of a cider/moonshine thing; in South Africa, it’s called firewater (made with Leblon Cachaca rum, ginger, cucumber and mint.) This drink definitely packs a powerful yet refreshing punch. If you’re adventurous, try it, you’ll like it.

Next, I swigged on a “Smoking Barrel” — which was thick, bawdy and (of course) smokey. I loved its presentation (made with Big Easy Red, Jura whiskey, Clove and Sandeman Ruby Port.) I’m still trying to figure out how they catch smoke in a glass and serve it. It’s definitely keen bartending chemistry. I also tried the mysterious and sultry, “Black Magic” (with vodka and blackberry.) It’s one of those drinks that makes you feel like you’re in on a secret when you’re partaking.

Instead of another cocktail, the staff suggested I try something from their extensive wine list and why not? Mr. Els, who makes his own adult grape juice at his vineyards east of Cape Town in Stellenbosch, has a lot to choose from.

I sipped on a spicy bold red blend, which easily complemented my first appetizer, “Cowboy Candy” A.K.A Pork Belly ‘Lollipops”.

What’s not to love about braai (roasted meat) smothered in barbecue sauce with a rich bacon flavor? Hello, lovah. This was my favorite of the night.

The “Mini Crab Cakes” were tasty, too (served with apple, slaw and curry aioli.) I’m a sucker for “Fried Green Tomatoes” and “Big Easy” does em’ just right, topped with goat cheese and a sweet tomato chutney.

If you prefer something healthier, the “Caesar Salad” is excellent (made with baby romaine, blistered tomatoes and white anchovies.) I’m a snob when it comes to this kind of salad because it’s easy to do wrong and hard to do RIGHT. This Caesar was fresh, well-balanced dressing-wise and beautiful.

I love being a food explorer and the “Angry Duck Curry” was something I’d never tried before. It was spicy and welcoming, with tender duck breast, red madras curry and yummy basmati rice.

If you enjoy white fish, the African spice-crusted “Corvina” is a great choice. Light and sweet, it’ll leave you wanting more. It’s served on a bountiful bed of risotto verde, which I loved.

Despite doing the food blog for some time now, I’ve never had the privilege of tasting Tomahawk
steak. At “Big Easy” they serve “Dry-Aged Tomahawk Chop” (the mother of all steaks!) When they wheeled it out (yes, I said wheeled it out,) I squealed like a kid in a candy store. MAN!! It was BIG and smelled ridiculously amazing.

Because of its gi-normous-ness, it’s perfect for sharing, plus it comes with two sides (I recommend the Brussel sprouts and roasted cauliflower.) I really enjoyed how they serve the steak with a personal table presentation, slicing it right in front of you. The meat itself was freaking fantastic: tender, juicy and one of the best thing’s I’ve ever tasted. Definitely, one of my new “Favorite Things”.

If you know anything about South African culture, you know how important a good barbecue, which they call Braai, truly is. The “Big Easy Braai” encompasses all the flavors of the popular custom, served with South African farmer’s sausage, a 12-ounce Top Sirloin, double lamb chops and Nigerian prawns (plus two sides.) Be still my beating heart. This is another shareable plate.

The Nigerian Prawns, btw, were the bomb-dot-com. I like the diversity of the Braai because it has a little bit of everything: there’s something to keep everyone at the table happy and who doesn’t like that?

After what seemed like a feast fit for a KING, I tasted two decadent desserts: “Nutella Bread Pudding” and “Apple Strudel” both excellent and served with vanilla ice cream.

I’d love to give you all the juicy ingredients, but the desserts weren’t on the menu and it’s worth throwing caution to the wind and going with your server’s suggestion.

If you long for a different kind of experience, with creative/high quality food and great drinks,”Big Easy,” isn’t just “par for the course”, it’s ready to serve you the South African way and that’s why it’s one of my Favorite Things.

When:

Sunday-Thursday: 11:30am-11:00pm
Friday-Saturday: 11:30pm-Midnight

Where:

Big Easy
Brickell City Centre
701 S. Miami Avenue, Suite 339A
Miami, Florida 33131

www.bigeasy.miami

Be Social:
IG: @bigeasymiami
FB: @BigEasyMiami

If you want to go fast go alone. If you want to go far go together.African Proverb
James Woodley Photography
Styling: Jackie Kay
Wardrobe & Accessories: www.Vchicstore.com
Hair & Make-up: Odett Hernandez
Digital Editor: Jessie Neft-Swinger
Editor: Matthew “BasMatty” Auerbach

Made With Love

Made With Love

Made With Love

Made With Love

Made With Love

Made With Love

Made With Love

Made With Love

Made With Love

Made With Love

Made With Love

What:

Designing something special for Mother’s Day at Kendra Scott at their beautiful new location inside Brickell City Centre, downtown Miami, but first…

Why:

I used to hate mandated holidays: Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Valentine’s Day — you name it, I turned my nose up at it.

It always seemed like forced happiness and even a bit passive-aggressive. Letting pop culture predicate how I should think and feel was totally lame; not to mention, it gouged me for my hard-earned money. No, thank you.

Then, well, life happens…

You grow up, find a career, work like crazy, work some more, get married, divorced, lose a child, sometimes you even get sick (with GBS) and by the grace of God, you get better and well, somewhere along the way you grow up and stop being such a twit.

You realize how special and fleeting life is and how much every moment you can spend with the people you love matters. It’s the most important part of life. Love is the essence of being human.

Even if that means learning to accept, enjoy and celebrate mandated holidays. As a working professional, I’m either coming or going; there’s really no in-between.

So, when a special day comes along to stop my busy life and acknowledge someone that I care about, well, it feels good — at least for the most part.

Mother’s Day is particularly hard for me, but it’s also special. For a fleeting moment, I was someone’s mother (her name was Sydney,) but she disappeared. Death does that.

My Deco Drive co-host, Lynn, disagrees. She says I will always be Sydney’s mother — always — and no one can ever take that away from me. The tattoo underneath my forearm is dedicated to my baby girl.

When I first got it, it was my desperate attempt at manifesting what Lynn said. Always. Forever. Endlessly. Now, my tattoo is a memory, sometimes a painful one that I’d rather forget, but how could I? How could ANY mother?

Luckily, that pain and grief doesn’t overshadow the beautiful mothering I’ve had in my own life (from my boyfriend, best friend, therapist, colleagues, mother, step-mother, even myself.)

If you look up the word “Mothering”, the essence of its definition is “nurturing” and that’s something we should all do more of and not just on mandated holidays.

I hope by sharing some of my thoughts and experiences, I can help nurture someone/anyone who’s reading this. Whether it’s a loss, a gain or status quo, when it comes to MOM — it’s all important. And it’s all worthy of being “Made With Love”…

That’s why I chose “Kendra Scott” jewelry boutique at Brickell City Centre for this blog. For Mother’s Day, they have a special way to express your love and it’s not just buying a bauble and calling it a day.

Instead, it’s about designing a one-of-a-kind personalized piece of jewelry at their famed Color Bar.

You choose everything: from the accessory, to the metal, even the stone. And just like that, it’s made right in front of you. By the way…

Kendra happens to be one of my favorite designers. Mainly because of her mantra, which is “family first, then philanthropy and (of course) fashion”. It’s something I strive for, too.

If you haven’t been to her new downtown location, you’re definitely missing out. The store is gorgeously designed to look like a jewelry box or, at least, it seems that way.

For the blog, the goal of mixing Kendra’s classic designs with her new summer collection was to evoke a sophisticated beach look. The pieces are a sure reflection of our beloved surf, sand and sunshine.

Don’t miss Deco Drive tonight at 7:30 & 11:30 pm as we go inside Kendra Scott at Brickell City Centre. We aren’t just making mom a priority, we’re showcasing jewelry that will make every woman feel special and that’s why “Made With Love” is one of my favorite things. Happy Mother’s Day.

Where:

Kendra Scott
Brickell City Centre
701 S. Miami Avenue
Miami, Florida 33130

The boutique is located on the second floor. There’s garage parking and it’s free for the first two hours…
or
www.kendrascott.com

When:

Monday-Saturday: 10am-9pm
Sunday: 12-6pm

Be Social:
IG: @kendrascott
FB: @KendraScott
Twitter: @KendraScott

My mother said to me, ‘If you are a soldier, you will become a general. If you are a monk, you will become the Pope.’ Instead, I was a painter, and became Picasso.Pablo Picasso
Photographer: James Woodley Photography
Jewelry provided by Kendra Scott, Brickell City Centre
Dress & Shoes: BCBG South Beach
Styling: Jackie Kay & Marina
Hair & Make-up: Odett Hernandez
Digital Editor: Jessie Neft-Swinger
Editor: Matthew “Happy Mother’s Day, Mom” Auerbach

Spring Romance

Spring Romance

Spring Romance

Spring Romance

Spring Romance

Spring Romance

Spring Romance

Spring Romance

Spring Romance

Spring Romance

What:

Falling in love with “ETXART & PANNO” — a luxury brand (new to Miami) — where fashion meets sophistication and sensual femininity.

Why:

The first time I saw an “ETXART & PANNO” dress, I was completely hypnotized.

Like a moth to a flame, I floated up to the store window and pressed my hand against the glass. The sweet blue frock that caught my attention was humming with personality. Its whimsical butterfly print, which started at the top of the dress, seemed to cascade into a magical flutter as it stretched its way to the bottom. WOW!

I wanted to touch it, wear it, own it, just know more about it…

I’ve seen a lot of gorgeous clothes in my time, but there was something different about this dress. The quality of the material and the precision of the fit (even on the mannequin) was exquisite. Hmmm…

I wasn’t familiar with the store, so I tried sounding it out: “Et-sh-art & Pahn-no” — I pronounced it slowly under my breath a couple of times to get the hang of it and then whispered: “ETXART & PANNO, nice to to meet you.”

I didn’t know it at the time, but a week later (thanks to a mutual friend,) I’d be slipping into a “Spring Romance” with the brand — literally.

I fell in love with everything I tried on for the blog. Stylistically, the silhouettes know the body of a woman and the designs are daring, elegant and sexy. It’s no surprise that…

“ETXART & PANNO” — founded in the late 80’s by Omar Etxart and his sister-in-law, Emi Panno – hails from Barcelona, where fashion is bold, colorful and beautiful. The brand is incredibly popular in Europe and thanks to the fashion gods, it’s finally made its way to America.

More specifically, to the Brickell City Centre in downtown Miami, which is now the home of their first flagship store in the U.S. And it’s no coincidence that their clothing reflects what the Magic City is known for — glamour, luxury, and extravagance — just one (or a few) of the reasons why they chose Miami for their initial North American location.

By the way, “ETXART & PANNO” doesn’t just do “Spring Romance,” they have outfits for almost any occasion: professional, cocktail, black-tie, even the red carpet.

You’ll not only stand out in their stylings, you’ll feel like a million bucks, too — and us fashionistas know a fabulous dress and/or outfit doesn’t always equal comfort.

I love spring because of its endless possibilities. It’s not only an awakening of the senses, it’s a time for new discoveries and that’s exactly what “ETXART & PANNO” embodies and that’s why “Spring Romance” is one of my favorite things.

Where:

ETXART & PANNO
Brickell City Centre
701 South Miami Avenue
Miami, Florida 33131

The boutique is located on the ground level. There’s garage parking and it’s free for the first two hours.

When:

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

Let’s get social:
IG: @etxartpannous
FB: @etxartpanno
www.etxartpanno.com

Life stands before me like an eternal spring with new and brilliant clothes.Carl Friedrich Gauss
Photographer: James Woodley Photography
Styling & Wardrobe: ETXART & PANNO, MIAMI
Hair & Make-up: Odett Hernandez
Digital Editor: Jessie Neft-Swinger
Editor: Matthew “Bold, Colorful and Beautiful” Auerbach

Sunglasses & Satchels by C’ART Miami

Sunglasses & Satchels by C'ART Miami

Sunglasses & Satchels by C'ART Miami

Sunglasses & Satchels by C'ART Miami

Sunglasses & Satchels by C'ART Miami

Sunglasses & Satchels by C'ART Miami

Sunglasses & Satchels by C'ART Miami

Sunglasses & Satchels by C'ART Miami

Sunglasses & Satchels by C'ART Miami

Sunglasses & Satchels by C'ART Miami

Sunglasses & Satchels by C'ART Miami

What:

Indulging my sunglass and handbag addiction at C’ART Miami, where luxury goods meet affordable sensibility.

Why:

Some of my fondest memories of being an Entertainment Reporter for Deco Drive are my international travels. One of the places I most adore is Italy; exploring its different cities is always awe-inspiring. I love Italian architecture, food and fashions. Speaking of…

When it comes to shopping in the “Booted Country” — finding boutiques off the beaten path is one of my hobbies. Italian quality and craftsmanship is exceptional and it’s one of the many reasons I make it a point to “shop til I drop” when visiting.

Now, thanks to C’ART Miami (pronounced “kart”), I don’t have to jump on a plane to get the things I most cherish about shopping in “Il Bel Paese (The Beautiful Country)”.

The boutique has everything you can possibly imagine (amazing leather goods, unique gifts, fashionable sunglasses) all designed and made in Italy. That’s not all…

Its motto: “affordable luxury” — allows fashionistas from all walks of life to indulge in quality work essentials that we surround ourselves with on a daily basis (computer covers, satchels, briefcases, paper, pens, reading glasses.)

I’m especially attracted to C’ART’s sunglass line called: NAU. They’re fashionable, eco-friendly and one-of-a-kind. No two pairs are alike. So you know when you snag an extra stylish set, you’ll be the only one sporting them in the Magic City.

I’m a sucker for a great work bag, too and C’ART serves up stylish choices I’ve yet to see anywhere else in Miami. Its “Essential” purse is genius, made up of sustainable materials; its re-useable and reminiscent of “brown-bagging it” to school or work. Yes, it’s a paper purse (and for the record, I’ve never had one of those.)

Traveling in style is another area of fashion I’m obsessed with and C’ART makes it easy to do just that, with fabulous Fedon travel bags bursting with personality and color. There’s nothing like getting off an airplane looking like a million bucks because your bags are chic and streamlined (add dramatic hair toss here.)

Btw, there are 72 C’ART stores in Italy and only one in the U.S. The company chose Miami as its first North American location because of its cosmopolitan appeal. Its Brickell location, which is in the heart of our business and finance district, is perfect for the young professional who relishes affordable luxury.

Don’t miss Deco Drive Thursday at 7:30/11:30pm on Channel 7 as we go inside C’ART Miami and do a little shopping for some of my favorite things! Ciao for now.

When:

Monday-Saturday: 10am-9:00pm
Sunday: 12-7pm

Where:

C’ART Miami
Brickell City Centre
701S. Miami Ave, Suite 343b
Miami, Florida 33131

The boutique is located on the ground level. There’s garage parking and it’s free for the first two hours.

Twitter: @cartmiami
IG: @cartmiami
FB: Cart Miami
http://www.cart-italy.com

Real style is never right or wrong. It’s a matter of being yourself on purpose.G. Bruce Boyer
Photographer: James Woodley Photography
Sunglasses & Satchels by C’ART MIAMI
Styling: Shireen Sandoval
Hair & Make-up: Odett Hernandez
Digital Editor: Jessie Neft-Swinger
Editor: Matthew “Marcello” Auerbach