Shireen’s Spotlight: Juniper On The Water

Shireen's Spotlight: Juniper On The Water

Shireen's Spotlight: Juniper On The Water

Shireen's Spotlight: Juniper On The Water

Shireen's Spotlight: Juniper On The Water

What:

Juniper 1975 S. Ocean Drive, Hallandale Beach, FL, 33009

Why:

Juniper On The Water is this totally gorgeous, airy restaurant/bar that reminds me of something you’d find in Cape Cod or Kennebunkport, Maine. From the outside, it’s totally unassuming; tucked between two luxury apartment buildings in Hallandale Beach, but on the inside, it’s warm, welcoming and romantic.

I immediately fell in love with its intracoastal view. Perched-up high above the water, I decided to sit outside and enjoy the sparkling Sunday afternoon. Although their “New American-Mediteranean” menu was chock full of my favorites (like fresh salads and fish), I let the chef pick for me, but first…

I started “Spotlight” with their signature cocktail, “The Juniper” (made with cucumber, yellow bell pepper, gin, St. Germain and lime.) Wow! It wasn’t just tasty, it was unusual (and it wasn’t syrupy sweet like some fru-fru drinks tend to be). If you’re a cocktail lover, I highly recommend it. It’s also rimmed with a creative, spicy concoction.

The “Sunset Margarita” is a delicious twist on an old classic: made with blood orange/jalapeño- infused tequila and rimmed with red pepper and salt. “The Hemisphere Old Fashion” was a knock-out; blended perfectly with Ritten House Rye, brandied cherries, orange bitters and brown sugar.

Hello, lovah! The “Steamed Middleneck Clams” were to die for. I have a thing for clams, but the sauce was the bomb-dot-com (made with white wine, onion crema and parsley pesto). I let my toasted bread soak up the leftover sauce and left my no-carb diet rule in the dust. It was worth every sumptuous bite.

Even though the “Octopus” (braised for four hours and served with a smokey salsa) isn’t officially on the menu yet, I got a sneak eat. The texture and flavors were fresh and interesting. This dish will be available for “Juniper’s” Spring/Summer menu (a.k.a any day now!).

My main course: the “Seafood Paella” was filled with clams, mussels, shrimp, fresh fish, chorizo, peas and bell peppers. The pot of yummy goodness was served atop toasted Israeli couscous. This was amazing!! And definitely shareable.

Instead of dessert, my table opted for another round of “The Juniper” and we took our sweet time sipping, soaking up the sun and oohing & ahhing over the view. The best part about this hidden gem, obviously, is its location, but also — the people.

They really believe in what they’re doing and it shows. Not only that, they have a lovely energy that makes all the difference when you’re not just looking for a good meal, but rather a GREAT experience and that’s why “Juniper On The Water” is one of my favorite things.

Where:

Monday-Thursday 4pm-10pm, Friday-Saturday 4pm-11pm, Sunday 11am-3pm & 4pm-10pm. The dinner menu starts at 5pm daily & Happy Hour is from 4pm-7pm daily.

When:

“Juniper On The Water” is in Hallandale Beach on Ocean Drive. It’s snuggled in between two apartment buildings (as I mentioned earlier in the blog) and is marked by a demure restaurant sign. When you turn WEST into its driveway, you’ll go up a slight incline leading to a guard gate.

There — you’ll be instructed to keep right and follow the driveway around until see Juniper’s valet. Then — take the sidewalk to the building closest to the water. Cheers!

For reservations www.juniperonthewater.com / 954-544-3370
Twitter: @JuniperOnWater Instagram: @juniperonthewater FB: Juniper On The Water

The Juniper is a fabled symbol of a great journey, having taken many twists and turns and being capable of staying true to yourself, never compromising your integrity.Unknown
James Woodley Photography
Producer: Jessie Rosario
Styling: Jackie Kay
(wardrobe by www.Anthropologie.com & Cabochon rings www.jacquelinepinto.com)
Editor: Matthew “Bomb-Dot-Com” Auerbach

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

What:

Body Details (Laser Hair Removal) & its new midtown location: 45 NE 36th Street, Miami, Florida 33137

Why:

I’m no stranger to “laser” (said in my best Dr. Evil voice with air quotes). In fact, I actually tried it back in the day when it first came out. YES, I’m old and YES, it hurt. The experience was so traumatizing it’s burned into my brain like a bad break-up.

I did four agonizing sessions in the back of a high-end hair salon in Indianapolis, Indiana (my second television market) with one of my best friends, Jordana Green, who was also a young, budding journalist at the time. Despite the esthetician giving us squeezy balls (for both hands) to combat the pain…

We still took turns holding one another down (Jordana loved putting me in a Half Nelson), yelling things like: “Beauty is pain!” “Hair free is fabulous” and “You go girl, get rid of that man hair!!” It was absolute torture.

After we were done getting snapped, crackled and popped, we’d head over to P.F. Chang’s in the Circle City Mall (by the aforementioned salon) to drown our sorrows in Cosmos, Lettuce Wraps and Mongolian Beef. Honestly, though, no amount of vodka, carbohydrates or sugary protein could dull THAT kind of pain.

Man, I gotta hand it to Jordana: she stuck with it, but I didn’t. After the fourth session, I pledged on my own beauty bible that I would NEVER EVER do laser hair removal again. I made peace with my hairiness and shaved everyday like a criminal running from the long arm of the law. It was exhausting, but a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do. Fast forward a decade later, when…

My attitude ‘slightly’ changed toward laser, thanks to Doctor Martin Zaiac (dermatologist to the stars and us TV types). Dr. Marty explained to me the advances in laser technology and, more importantly, he told me it didn’t hurt like it used to. I trusted him (still to this day, the good doc manages my skin care and anti-aging regimen). So I tried it, but…

I didn’t stick with it. At the time, I was on a demanding schedule traveling the globe as an Entertainment Reporter for Deco Drive and making my way to Mount Sinai to “Greater Miami Skin and Laser Center” was challenging. I spent more time in Los Angels and New York City than I did in Miami. So, once again, I embraced my hairiness and waxed my way into ladylike smoothness at weird little salons all over the world.

A few years later, I would find myself at a quirky but chic medical spa in the Design District called Emena, where I was doing a feature story for Deco on a famous male pedicurist (who could give a woman a foot rub like nobody’s business). Not only did I fall in love with the foot pampering, but the spa, too. A few months later, I went back and signed up for laser hair removal.

Everything was going pretty well until I suffered an unrelated health issue. I got a virus (from out of the country) that triggered a neurological disorder in my body called Guillain-Barre Syndrome. After that, everything – just – stopped.

There was no time left for frivolities and the fight for my life began (sans laser hair removal). I started aggressive IVIG (Immunoglobulin therapy) and got my affairs in order. Luckily, a few years after my initial diagnosis I recovered, but I paid a hefty price for it. The meds wreaked havoc on my body (I weighed 90 pounds) and my skin, nails and hair were a disaster, too. Speaking of hair…

While I lost a lot of my locks (on my head,) prickles started popping up elsewhere. More specifically, on my CHIN! Talk about over-sharing. Sigh. I mean, come on?! Wasn’t almost dying enough? Apparently not, snickered the beauty Gods as they peppered my face with random, coarse whiskers on my upper lip and chin area.

I told everyone I knew (that would listen) about my hairy situation and bequeathed myself the nickname “The Bearded Woman.” Plucking, shaving, waxing, you name it, I did it all while bemoaning my fate and dodging any kind of “painful” solution.

Luckily, I happen to be a big fan of Annie Vasquez a.k.a The Fashion Poet, one of South Florida’s top fashion bloggers, who just happened to feature Body Details (Laser Hair & Tattoo Removal) on her Instagram. Annie faced her “man hair” publicly, so, why shouldn’t I? The rest is “Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow” history….

I made my appointment straight away at Body Details, opting for their new Midtown location. It’s really convenient and close to my house. Not only was it modern, sleek and comfortable, the staff was gracious, warm and welcoming.

After some paperwork, I had a consultation (which they do for free) with one of their on-staff nurse practitioners who understood my medical issues and knew right away what I had been through had made my skin extremely sensitive and prone to hyper-pigmentation. I’m not gonna lie, I was nervous. Actually, I was sweating profusely…

I think being sick and remembering the pain of my illness and my first laser experience (which was burned into my brain like a bad break-up) got to me, but I hid it. I just took a deep breath, laid back in their comfy spa chair and put my goggles on (they looked more like Gucci Sunglasses). And then, well, I got zapped.

NEWSFLASH: It didn’t hurt! They used a cooling spray just as the laser made contact. I couldn’t believe it. It was so fast and easy. A sense of relief washed over me — not just because it wasn’t painful, but because finally, after all this time, I was getting rid of something that made me horribly self-conscious.

I use humor a lot to deflect my awkward feelings, but I’m just a normal girl living in a shallow world of blogging, social media posting, television and modeling. Anything to bolster my self-esteem is BIG and much appreciated. With that being said…

Body Details knows its stuff. They have the latest and greatest in laser technology and they have a digital presence that I appreciate (texting and emailing appointment confirmations; you can even make one yourself on-line). I truly believe a huge part of their success is due to the fact they make it so EASY.

Eventually, my little chin hairs fell out of their nesting ground and my bearded area turned pink-y smooth. So, I tucked away my tweezers (more specifically, the ones I use in my car, because plucking a pesky prickle at a red light is uber-gratifying) and I came up with a new nickname: “The Hairless Hot Tamale” …

I love hot tamales, they’re my favorite candy and they’re smooth and delicious just like my chin area. 😬 Despite my long laser hair removal journey, I’m glad I ended up at Body Details: what a great experience. I can’t wait to go back and that’s why “Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow” is one of my favorite things.

Where:

Find the location nearest you and make an appointment at www.bodydetails.com/
FB: Body Details, Twitter: @BodyDetails, Instagram: @bodydetails

Mommy, why do you have a mustache?anonymous
Photographer: James Woodley
jewelry: www.jacquelinepinto.com
purse: www.v73.it/us
wardrobe: www.AnnTaylor.com
shoes: www.stuartweitzman.com
styling by me 🙆🏻
editor: Matthew “I have yet to pluck a pesky prickle” Auerbach
special thanks to Claudio Sorrentino

Fashion & My New Best Friend

Fashion & My New Best Friend

Fashion & My New Best Friend

Fashion & My New Best Friend

Fashion & My New Best Friend

Fashion & My New Best Friend

Fashion & My New Best Friend

Fashion & My New Best Friend

Fashion & My New Best Friend

What:

A few of my new favorite things: Jacqueline Pinto Jewelry, V73’s Frida in black suede with fringe and Rigby (my new best friend) …

Why:

I can’t believe it’s almost the end of March! How did that happen? With Spring already here, my last blog was definitely trend-heavy (Gorgeous Gladiator) and that’s not all: my wardrobe is slowly shifting itself into rich tans, velvety neutrals and bright yellows.

The muted colors and yummy textures surprise me. This time of year, I’m usually attracted to bright pinks, light purples and gangbuster greens, but I like the change. I also like the fact that blogging and social media opens this gigantic window into the fashion world around me.

It definitely changes my perspective, giving me a new lease on my fashion life. In fact, sometimes it reshapes and reinvents it. After all, most of us long to evolve; it’s just part of the ever-changing landscape of creativity. Speaking of…

I recently connected with Jacqueline Pinto, an independent fine jewelry company based in Miami. Jacqueline’s jewelry is just WOW. It’s so exquisite; but at the same time, it has this sassy, whimsical personality. I’ve been wearing her gorgeous rings and earrings on Deco Drive this week. I look forward to collaborating with her more and showcasing her gorgeous gems. 💍 Also…

It’s no secret that I love me some V73. The Italian purse company, which is based in Venice, has a lovely location in the Design District, too. Sure, I’ve always been a big fan, but I’m absolutely goo-goo over their Spring/Summer 2016 collection. My favorite is the Frida in black suede with fringe (pictured in the blog).

The color and texture goes great with my recent tan/nude color obsession and the purse also compliments yellow perfectly. And, because V73 is officially taking over my handbag wardrobe, it makes total sense that I would become their U.S. Brand Ambassador! It’s a very exciting title and I can’t wait to show you more of their latest collection. 👜

The absolute best part of this week’s blog, though? Trying to do photos with my new doggie, Rigby, who obviously steals the show. He was adopted from the Humane Society of Greater Miami just two short months ago and the amount of love I have for him is indescribable. 🐶

He’s sweet, charming and vivacious (with a touch of crazy). Rigby loves chasing squirrels and barking at everything and anything. His nickname is “Monkey,” because he’s curious, playful and jumps around like nobody’s business. He loves my closet, too — and no, he hasn’t chewed any shoes (yet). 👠

I know it’s fashionable to “adopt, not shop,” but it’s also incredibly rewarding and that’s why “Fashion & My New Best Friend” are one of my Favorite Things.

Where:

Instagram: @jacquelinepintoinc & @v73official (I haven’t started Rigby an Instagram account just yet!)

Be the kind of person your dog thinks you are.anonymous
Photographer: James Woodley
Jewelry: www.jacquelinepinto.com
Purse: www.v73.it/us
Wardrobe: www.whitehouseblackmarket.com & www.AnnTaylor.com
Shoes: www.ysl.com
Styling: by me 😀
Rigby’s Hair: Magic Grooming
Editor: Matthew “From A Motel Room in Gainesville” Auerbach