Sunday, March 4, 2012

Spring 2012 Fashion Trends

I had a fabulous time at the Spring Trend Fashion Show at the Neiman Marcus store in Bal Harbour this week.  Great music, awesome ''maracuja" mojito, great company and of course fabulous clothing.  If you need some inspiration for your Spring wardrobe look no further.  Besides "pink", remember: "yellow" is the new neutral.  Accessorize it with colored pumps with "silver" accents, big "clutches" and "pendant necklaces" to complete a trendy look.

This is my favorite look of the show.  Loved this pink assymetrical dress with the red shoes.  Don't think I will be wearing the hat anytime soon though.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Spring Trend Sneak Peak: Pink

Of all the fabulous Spring Trends, my favorite is "Pink".  Either the hot pink in colorblocking or the romantic pastel pinks that graced the runaway shows of NY Fashion Week, pink is back and I love it. 

Backstage at Miami's Spring Trend Fashion show, I was lucky enough to get a complimentary sneak peak on Channel's new nail polish color "Tentation".  Of course it is pink and "pinkaliciously fabulous".  Do you love it as much as I do? 

Friday, December 9, 2011

Trend alert: Houndstooth Pattern

Houndstooth or as the French call it, pied de pole (chicken’s foot) is the black and white check made classic in many decades including the ’40s, ’60s and ’80s.  It is one of those classic looks that never go out of style.  This year is no different, and the looks created by Salvatore Ferragamo have been embraced by many celebrities.

I love this look, it is elegant and classic.  Nonetheless, when you pair it with a bold color accessory or separates, you just made a bold edgy statement.  Red is a safe match for this pattern as seem in Gwyneth Paltrow's shoes and the outfit below.  However, don't be afraid to mix and match with the color block trends for the Fall/Winter:  purple, burgundy, fuchsia and green.

A more modern look is also easy to achieve with the larger pattern of checkers, like this outfit from Target.  

  So, if you are shopping for a Holiday outfit, don't rule out the old Houndstooth style. 

Until next time, keep looking fabulous.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Experience Key West like a local

Key West Beach

"The best thing about Miami is that it is in the continental US, " I heard this joke when I moved to Miami and I love it.  Miami is so unique but in my view it is what makes it special.  There are so many things to do if you are visiting Miami but one thing you can't miss is Key West.  Also known as the "America's Caribbean Islands", the Florida Keys attracts over 3 million visitors a year for its many attractions: white sand beaches, sport fishing (largest fishing destination in the world), diving or snorkeling in the living-coral barrier reef, exotic food, fun nightlife and a picturesque sunset.

Key West Southernmost Point

Key West is the final stop in the Florida Keys and closer to Havana than Miami, 90 miles to be exact.  I love going to Key West and it is always a must have tourist destination to our friends and families in town.  Since we made the trip last weekend, I wanted to give you my best picks to enjoy the best of Key West like a local.

The drive from Miami is long - about 4 hours - so kick back, relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery.  If you are hungry along the way, stop by "Lazydays" in Islamorada for a fish or lobster sandwich with their signature "lazydays style" sauce made with key lime, coconut and other spices to die for.  It is located on mile marker 79 and the terraces have a great view of the sea. 

Lazy Days Restaurant - Catch of the day "Lazydays Style"

Once in Key West, enjoy the afternoon on the beach and stop by the pier for fresh oysters and crabs.  Take a stroll through downtown, Duval Street and Ernest Hemingway's home.  Arrive early at Mallory Square for the sunset celebration.   The plaza gets filled quickly and you will have a great time watching jugglers, musicians and street artists perform before the sun is set. 

Key West Sunset

Mallory Square Sunset Celebration
If you have an extra day (strongly recommended), visit Dry Tortugas & Fort Jefferson.  We took the earliest seaplane tour for half day which is perfect to visit the park and snorkel around the island.  By taking the seaplane you not only have great aerial views but also avoid all the tourists who arrive by ferry at noon, just when it is time to head back to Key West.  Then, grab a quick lunch at BO's Fishing Wagon.  Don't be scared by the appearance of this shack because it serves the best fish sandwich in town with a delicious key lime mayonnaise.  Finally, stock up on key lime pie and be sure to drink a Cuban cortadito before heading back to Miami.
Seaplane tour

Dry Tortugas National Park
BO's Fish Wagon
 So, next time you're in Miami, plan to spend a couple of days at Key West for an unforgettable vacation.
Until next time,

Monday, October 31, 2011

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an annual international health campaign organized by major breast cancer charities to increase awareness of the disease and raise funds for research into its cause, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure. The campaign also offers information and support to those affected by breast cancer.

Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women, exceeded only by lung cancer. The good news is that breast cancer is a disease that can be treated and cured, that is why early detection is so important.  I personally encourage every women to do regular self examination as well as annual mammograms.  I have started my screening at age 32 and have yearly mammograms as part of my annual check-up.

The Breast Cancer Awareness Month has been named since 1985; however, it was not until 1993  when Evelyn Lauder, VP of Estee Lauder Cosmetics founded the Breast Cancer  Research Foundation and established the pink ribbon as its symbol.  Since then, many companies have participated in this campaign introducing "pink" products that donate all or partial profits to cancer research. 

Also during the month, many world-famous landmarks are illuminated in pink light to draw attention to the importance of mammography screening for early diagnosis of breast cancer as well as the research for finding ways to cure and prevent breast cancer.  Some of these landmarks are:

Curitiba, Brazil - Jardin Botanico

Tokyo Tower, Japan

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - Corcovado

Washington, DC - White House

Sydney Harbour, Australia

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Art Fallout 2011 - Local contemporary art event in Fort Lauderdale

I attended for the first time the Art Fallout event in Fort Lauderdale last weekend.  It was a great way to spend the Saturday afternoon with friends and see first hand the work of local artists.  The event was held at multiple galleries around town serviced by a chartered bus and it was free to the public. 

The first gallery we visited was the Girl's Club which featured the work of aspiring local artists.  The work was mainly contemporary art featuring photographs and paintings on paper.  People were encouraged to leave their comments to the artists on sticky notes next to their work and it was a fun way to engage people.  I was surprised to see many children enjoying these experience and I think its a great way to introduce them to art at a young age.

Next we visited the Sailboat Bend Artists Loft gallery.  If you never heard of it, the name is pretty much self explanatory - an artist-run collective space of gallery exhibition in a live/work loft style facility.  There were many sculptures and contemporary work by well known local artists.  I particularly enjoyed the work of Jeremiah Jenner, who showcased his paintings and photographs at his loft.  His minimalist style was sleek yet contemporary with many great pieces at affordable prices.

The other galleries included the Museum of Art, FAT Village Artists District, Full Circle Gallery and Legacy Art Studio.  The event was in tandem with National Arts and Humanities month and it was a great way to welcome people in the world of arts and culture.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

iThink Different: the Steve Jobs legacy

"Apple has lost a visionary and creative genius, the world has lost an amazing human being."  This is an excerpt from Apple's tribute to Steve Jobs after his passing last week.  The word "visionary" which by definition is - one who can envision the future - is so much powerful than CEO or Chairman of the Board, words that often are used to describe the head of corporations.  So why aren't there many other CEOs deserving of this title?

Frankly I have been reflecting on this the past few days which led me to write this article.  In my opinion, I think that innovation - which is an easier metaphor for visionary - has been replaced with short-term earnings estimates, internal politics and greed, which are often the causes of troubled companies in this economic downturn such as Netflix and HP among others.

To be able to launch products or services that change the way people live their lives - such as the Ipod, Iphone and Ipad - CEO's need to know their customers, empower their employees and create a culture of brand advocates both inside and outside the company.  This is true specially today in the age of social media where companies can no longer "sell" products to consumers.  They need to engage and enchant people who in turn will check with their friends, read reviews and make the purchasing decision by themselves.  The era of "push" advertising is over, now consumers "pull" the information they need based on their time, needs and wants.

"Creative genius" is another powerful legacy of Steve Jobs.  He was a Marketing guru who was able to make people believe they couldn't live without the latest Apple gadget.  The line between need and want got blurred and I am living proof that this line exists.  I am one of the few people who doesn't own any of Apple's products even though I am quite a fan of the company.  The secrecy around Apple's product pipelines, the notorious product launch presentations are a few examples of how effective these simple Marketing strategies were in generating demand for their products.  And demand they did, much so that people stood in line for days to get their hands on the next Ipod, Ipad and Iphone.

Steve Job's also proved to be very business sawy when he made the decision to open the Apple stores.  At the time, competitors like Gateway and Dell were focusing on direct sales to lower its costs, but Jobs vision was to give consumers the best experince to learn about Apple products.  It paid off.  The company opened its iconic stores in high end addresses such as New York Fifth Avenue, which sells the equivalent of a Mercedes-Benz C300 in iPods, MacBooks and iPhones per square foot and is the top-selling store in "tony street".  Not to mention the four Apple stores recently opened in China, that generate, on average, the highest traffic and highest revenue of any company stores in the world. 

So why is Apple different?  Because it empowers its employees, enchants its customers and is constantly innovating.  It's not complicated but it requires leadership. Leadership by visionaries like Steve Jobs who are bold enough to take risks.  Thank you Steve Jobs.