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The Evolution of Swimwear #MBFWswim

Posted on: August 26th, 2014 by Leah No Comments

Fashion is in constant evolution with styles and trends changing as quickly as the seasons. This is also true of swimwear. Swimwear’s greatest influence has historically been based on the beliefs of society on modesty and sexuality. The swimwear we know today has really changed very little since its first appearance in the 1940′s. Instead, designers have relied on colors and prints, embellishments, and unique cuts to make a collection fresh and new each year.

The earliest form of the female bathing suit was a bathing dress worn in the early 1800′s. These reserved full-coverage dresses were made of material that had weights sewn into the hems to keep the dress from rising up in the water. The men’s bathing suit at this time was a wool garment with long sleeves and legs similar to long underwear. Can you imagine how hot these would have been? Certainly these ensembles would not have worked in the Florida Keys.

At one time, swimwear also included stockings, paddle gloves, and emergency flags to alert others when in danger. It wasn’t until swimming became popularized as a sport by the Olympic Games that swimming attire became streamlined to provide greater movement. And thankfully, Speedo introduced the first non-wool bathing suit in the 1920′s.

The arrival of the bikini was popularized by the style icons that wore them. Betty Grable glamorized the pin-up style, Marilyn Monroe showed how curves can be supported in a structured silhouette, Farrah Fawcett is famous for wearing a rust colored one-piece donning a fabulous smile and California style, and who could forget the leggy lifeguards on Baywatch.

Today, the estimated revenue of the swimwear industry is $17.6 billion, according to the research firm Global Industry Analysts. One look at the entourage in Miami for the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Swim a few weeks ago would prove this number accurate. Celebrating their 10th Anniversary of Swim Week Miami, swimwear, cruise and resort collections were strutted down the catwalk for buyers, press, and industry insiders. Designers included Poko Pano, Frankie’s Bikinis, Clover Canyon, Wildfox Swim, Beach Bunny, L Space, Caffe Swimwear, Luli Fama, and Mara Hoffman. My favorite was the show by designer Dolores Cortes. Her flattering silhouettes offered stand out cutouts, and animal prints paired with soft florals. Bold gold accessories adorned each suit. The real showstopper was the brown leather one-piece with tortoise shell accents. Yes, leather! Each of the models donned elevated ponytails which were constructed with wire allowing their hair to bounce with each step.

Whether you prefer a one-piece or a string bikini or swim trunks or a tiny Speedo, your choice has been influenced by the history that influenced swimwear styles of today. Thankfully, the evolution of style for swimwear has made the bathing suit both functional and fabulous for the modern man and woman.

How to Avoid Buyer’s Remorse

Posted on: July 24th, 2014 by Leah No Comments

Buyer’s remorse has happened to us all at some point following a shopping trip. You fell in love with it in the store, but after getting it home you realize the color or fit wasn’t quite right or maybe it was just too much money. In most cases, you can return the item and get your money back. However, there are times when a return isn’t possible and now you’re stuck with the unwanted item. Here are a few tips to help you avoid buyer’s remorse in the future.

Buying a luxury bag at a consignment store is a great way to own a Louis Vuitton like this one at half the cost.

Buying a luxury bag at a consignment store is a great way to own a Louis Vuitton like this one at half the cost.

Never shop just to shop

Shopping is a fun pastime but you need to recognize when you’re just in the mood to purchase something new or whether you really do need some new items for your wardrobe. If you catch yourself in the shopping-just-to-shop-mood, make note of it and recognize that today isn’t the day to make any expensive purchases. Instead, make a list of the items your wardrobe is lacking and clothing and accessories that need to be replaced. When you know what you need, you can go shopping with purpose.

Wait a Day

If you are unsure about an item, give yourself a day or two to think about it. You can put the item on hold or leave it in your online shopping cart. If you are still thinking about it the next day, then buy it. You’d be surprised how often you will completely forget about the item by the next day. This is especially important when making a more expensive purchase.

Don’t Splurge

Before splurging on a big purchase, ask yourself these questions.
1. How often will I use this?
- Buying special occasion pieces is okay once in a while, buy truly expensive items should be worn often. If you are going to use the item daily or even several times a week, then it isn’t a bad purchase.

2. Is it trendy or classic?
- Trendy pieces go out of style and may not have the shelf life that an investment piece deserves. Instead, purchase the item in a cheaper brand and save your investments for classic pieces you will wear often and well into the future.

3. Will I still love it a year from now?
In fashion, newly covetable items emerge each season, so splurging on the “it” bag of the month may have you regretting that decision after only a few short months of wear. If you’ll still love the item a year from now, then you know you’re making the right decision to purchase it.

4. Is this an impulse buy?
Before buying a house or a car, you save money and do research. Saving and researching before purchasing a big item is the best way to shop guilt-free. You can also make a list of pros and cons to help you sort through whether this investment piece is really for you.

5. Can I afford it?
- If you’re buying something that is as much as your mortgage payment, then it needs some consideration and should be taken seriously. Impulse purchases on expensive items can impact your financial future and wellbeing and should not be purchased without thoughtful consideration.

Shopping makes us feel good. Purchasing a new or coveted item triggers the release of brain chemicals that gives you a “shopping high.” Understanding this can help you make sense of shopping impulses, avoid buyer’s remorse, and lower your risk for overspending. Now that you understand what to avoid, go ahead and shop responsibly!

 

Rules are Meant to be Broken

Posted on: July 11th, 2014 by Leah No Comments

In today’s ever changing world of fashion, it’s important not to take any fashion rules too seriously. Each year, designers emerge with new collections that challenge what we’ve been told we should and shouldn’t do. So instead of following those old adages, challenge yourself to break a few fashion rules this year and evolve your own personal style. As Alexander McQueen put it, “It’s a new era in fashion – there are no rules.”

No white after Labor Day
High-end fashion labels have been breaking this rule for years. In a tropical climate, it’s even more imperative that you embrace the white-in-winter trend. With such bright surroundings we can wear bright apparel all year long. So this year, keep your white jeans and shoes in your closet well after labor day for a fresh look in the cooler months in the Florida Keys. This rule also goes for pastels, there is no reason to reserve light pinks, blues and yellows only for spring and summer!

Sneakers are only for the gym
Bright colored fashion sneakers are being paired with dressier pieces for a modern twist on a daytime look. Look for fashion sneakers that aren’t meant for running or intense training but still offer support such as Keds or Toms. Playful prints such as polka dots or stripes add an element of surprise and offer a comfortable alternative to flip flops for a chic yet comfortable look.

Keds

Remove one accessory before leaving the house
Coco Chanel once said that before leaving the house you should remove one accessory. And yet, the infamous fashion icon, Iris Apfel, has done the opposite. Iris is known for piling on her jewelry and has become a fashion muse in her nineties for her eccentric and identifiable style. So next time you’re getting all dolled up, try piling on the bling.

Iris Apfel

Don’t mix prints or pair bright colors together
Contrasting patterns can look fabulous together. Try pairing florals and stripes or polka dots and plaid. The trick is to keep the base color the same for a pulled together look. In addition, don’t shy away from bright colors paired together like red and pink. A red skirt paired with a pastel pink top can look very modern and eye-catching.

For evening only
Bold lipstick and clutches were once reserved for evening only. Lipstick colors such as orange, pink, red and plum can act as an accessory and look great for day. If you wear a bold lip for day, keep your makeup minimal for a polished look. Clutches are also a great way to liven up your daytime look. Swap out your go-to bag for a clutch to change a normal day look into something much more fashionable.

photograph_20120720_8993-edit

At the end of the day, wear what makes you feel good. If you feel good, you’ll look good. At DK’s Style Hut in Marathon, you’ll find an eclectic mix of fashion forward clothing and accessories to help you break all the rules. Open daily from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. you’ll find this little store is jam packed with great basics including affordable jeans and tanks, and trendy fashion forward apparel including comfy palazzo pants in colorful patterns and hues. My favorite find from this hip and stylish boutique is their Kitty Ammos Sandals from Skiathos Greece made exclusively for DK’s Style Hut. Stop by their location at 8347 Overseas Highway in Marathon to view their impressive range of goods from all over the world.

Florida Keys Boutiques

Florida Keys Boutiques

Florida Keys Boutiques

Sole Sisters

Posted on: July 3rd, 2014 by Leah No Comments

When I first moved to the Keys, I was concerned I might be the only person living here who dreamt of stilettos, strappy sandals and sexy sling-backs . After a few months as a local, I attended an event where a woman approached me to tell me what fabulous shoes I had on. I was wearing a pair of red and ivory Mary Jane style heels that were, in fact, fabulous. When I looked down, she had on some equally amazing shoes and I knew from then on we would be sole sisters.

shoes

We don’t all own a collection like Imelda Marcus, who amassed over 3,000 shoes from world-famous designers including Ferragamo, Givenchy, Chanel and Christian Dior. However, according to a ShopSmart Magazine poll, American woman do have some interesting behaviors when it comes to purchasing and wearing shoes. On average, woman have 19 pairs of shoes in their closets but only four pairs are worn on a regular basis. In fact, 24% of shoes in our closets have been worn only once and 13% admit to hiding shoe purchases from a significant other. Another quite comical fact: 43% admit that they’ve been injured by their shoes. My guess is this statistic would be higher if they interviewed women in the Florida Keys. Uneven terrain and dock-like platforms can make for some interesting, if not, dangerous situations. It’s been my experience that when your heel catches in between two slats, your body continues to propel forward at the speed of which you are moving. A body in motion, stays in motion, so they say.

imelda marcus shoe closet

The amazing closet of Imelda Marcus.

Now that you understand that more women are like you than not like you, it’s time to figure out whether your shoe collection is meeting your needs.

Woman own 19 pairs of shoes

This article prompted me to count my own collection, which was well over 100 pairs (gasp!). To be fair, I’m in the process of selling five pairs. Okay, it’s still a bit over the top, I know, but I really do wear well over half of them regularly. The other half are evening wear, winter shoes and shoes reserved for specific occasions that get worn when those occasions present themselves. For instance, my tap dance shoes will get worn when I decide to take another tap dance class.

If your own shoe collection is a bit overwhelming it’s time to clean out your closet. If you haven’t worn them in a year or two, it’s time to get rid of them. Sell them at a consignment store or ebay, or donate them to a worthy cause such as the Domestic Abuse Shelter and Florida Keys Children’s Shelter.   By cleaning out the clutter, you’ll be able to find your shoes more quickly and may actually wear them more.

Only Four Pairs are Worn Regularly

Four! This is quite pathetic ladies. Shoes can completely change the look of an outfit. I recommend moving the shoes you wear most often to a less easily accessible place so that other beauties can make their debut. Put a few colorful pairs in front and don’t be afraid to mix it up. When you normally would reach for your black patent leather heels, instead opt for a bright fuschia heel or go for black and white wedges. A little color or a different silhouette will create a whole new look.

13% admit to hiding shoe purchases from significant others

Not that I’ve ever done this before but here are a few good hiding places I discovered in my “research”. The trunk of your car is a great place to “store” shoes until the opportunity presents itself to be moved into the house and immediately into your closet. If arriving by mail, explain that they’re a gift. He doesn’t need to know that the gift is for you. Kitchen cupboards are also a useful place to put shoes if you are surprised in the kitchen after a recent shopping trip. Quickly put the boxes into your cupboard and he’ll just think you’re prepping for dinner. Just be sure to remove them promptly if your significant other happens to do a lot of cooking.

The Essentials

Beyond tennis shoes and flip flops, below is a list of footwear essential for every wardrobe:

PicMonkey Collage

- Black Heels – these are a necessary staple that can be worn with a plethora of looks. From work outfits to casual nights out, a simple pair of comfortable black heels is a must. Go for black leather or black patent leather for a little more oomph.

- Colorful Heels – you must own one brightly colored heel that can transform your outfit. It will make a plain black dress more interesting and elevate a classic look to instant chic. My favorite statement heels are in yellow, fuschia, red and royal blue.

- Metallic Strappy Sandals – gold or silver strappy sandals are the perfect shoe to be paired with evening wear for weddings, galas and formal affairs. Metallic sandals also look fabulous when paired with jeans and will make a casual look more sophisticated.

- Ballerina Flat – comfortable and stylish, these darling must-haves work for day or evening and always look fashionable.

- The Wedge – For Florida Keys girls, we need a high heeled shoe that can handle the terrain, and the wedge is it. Much more comfortable than their stiletto counterparts, the wedge can work around the clock and looks great with casual and formal apparel. Try a pair in a neutral hue such as black or tan and you’ll find they go with everything.

Marilyn Monroe said it best, “Give a girl the right shoes and she can conquer the world.” Put another way, fill your world with fabulous shoes and walk towards your dreams.

 

 

Arm Candy

Posted on: June 13th, 2014 by Leah No Comments

I got THE call. The call was from my friend letting me know her new bundle of joy had arrived. That bundle… was a Birkin. I was as excited as I would have been had she told me she was delivering her first child.   We promptly named her red beauty, ‘Scarlet’.

Birkin’s are the holy grail of handbags. Handmade by Hermes of materials including crocodile, ostrich and diamond studded leather, these IT bags are produced in limited quantities that create an exclusivity for owners. Birkin’s are a status symbol few will have the privilege of knowing. Celebrities such as Victoria Beckham supposedly own over 100 Birkins worth more than $2 Million.

Birkin

Birkins are not within the realm of possibility for most of us but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t own a great bag. There are four things that every woman should splurge on: a great hair cut, a classic watch, quality shoes, and a beautiful bag. These are things that are worn daily and can transform a simple look into a fabulous outfit. If you invest wisely in these four pieces, your outfits will always look chic no matter what you’re wearing.

Everyone’s splurge level is different. Some people can afford several thousand dollars for an It bag, while others may only have $100 to spend. Regardless of your budget, your money will go further if you are smart about how you spend it. Shop consignment stores and online discount stores for greatly discounted designer bags.   Sales are another way to spend less for a beautiful bag.

When shopping for a new bag, make sure that it can hold MILK – money, identification, lipstick and keys. In addition, it should also be able to fit your cell phone. If the bag is too small to carry these items, then don’t buy it. A bag this small isn’t functional and therefore won’t get worn.

There are four essential handbags no wardrobe should be without:

- Oversized Tote – Choose a durable fabric that can be used for both work and travel. Choose a style with minimal hardware that can hold both your computer and a few personal items.

- Black Clutch – this is a wardrobe staple that can worn for casual occasions and evening ware. A simple black clutch will always be in style and will be worn for decades.

- Classic Handbag – choose a simple and sturdy silhouette in a neutral hue such as tan, brown, black, or navy. This is your everyday bag that can be worn with every outfit. I would also argue that deep burgandy, red, or snakeskin bags are great neutrals that can be worn for everyday and double as statement bags.

- Statement Clutch – you need one outfit maker clutch in a bright color. This is the bag that transforms a simple look to fabulous.

Christina’s Boutique located at 10990 Overseas Highway in Marathon has expanded their selection of woman’s apparel and accessories to include consignment items. Their large selection of handbags will provide you with plenty of arm candy to choose from and will help you in finding several essential bags to cross off your list.

Christina's Boutique sells beautiful totes, classic everyday bags and bright clutches

Christina’s Boutique sells beautiful totes, classic everyday bags and bright clutches

“Of course, every woman should have at least one over-the-top bag. To really experience life, you need to flirt with extremes. A life lived safely in monotone is not a life lived at all.” – Frank Zambrelli, handbag and accessories designer extraordinaire.

Go bright, bold and beautiful for your next arm candy!

Stylish Uniforms at Miami Fashion Week

Posted on: June 2nd, 2014 by Leah No Comments

Uniforms have been a facet of the work environment for decades. The role of the uniform is to eliminate dress codes, to serve as corporate branding, and to project competence in the employees. It is not uncommon for uniforms to be seen in service industries such as banks, hospitals, and hospitality. However, even though many work environments have become more lax about uniforms, the airline industry has always maintained this requisite.

At Miami Fashion Week, the iconic Eastern Air Lines was the title sponsor. The initiated a competition to design their flight attendant uniforms with the forthcoming re-launch of the airline. The competition included five Miami-based designers who presented their collections to the sound of Frank Sinatra’s “Fly Me to the Moon”. Julian Chang, Lisu Vega, Kayce Armstrong, Samy Gicherman and Viviana Gabeiras were the five finalists who presented their individual collections. They conveyed a variety of looks incorporating the brand’s logo and colors. The collections ranged from vintage inspired looks and athletic movable designs to outfits with tropical flair and designs resembling something more appropriate for an astronaut. The winning designer, Lisu Vega, introduced a collection of flight attendant uniforms featuring cobalt suits, zippered blazers with matching skirts, and classic dresses. She also added logo printed suitcases to the model’s ensemble that perfectly complemented the flight attendant theme.

Lisu Vega's stylish flight attendant uniforms for Eastern Air Lines at Miami Fashion Week

Lisu Vega’s stylish flight attendant uniforms for Eastern Air Lines at Miami Fashion Week

The concept of a stylish uniform is somewhat of an oxymoron. Uniforms essentially suppress individuality while style is conveyed through individuality in how an outfit is worn and accessorized. Yet, famous designs have long been drawn to uniforms. Emilio Pucci, Giorgio Armani and Vivienne Westwood are among the elite who have also designed uniforms for flight attendants. Although uniforms are meant to make everyone look alike, each individuals style can be seen through the use of jewelry, scarves, shoes, handbags and even the color of a woman’s lipstick.

In many ways, we all have our own uniforms. We tend to gravitate toward the same looks as representing who we are and how we want the world to perceive us. It’s in the accessories that our individual style shines through. Next time you fly, look for the those individual touches that make your flight attendant stand out. And don’t forget to take a look at the stylish ensembles worn by the newly launched Eastern Air Lines.

Summer Fashion Essentials

Posted on: May 16th, 2014 by Leah No Comments

The forever summer weather in the Florida Keys likely have most tourists wondering what could possibly be different about our “summer” wardrobe. However, we locals understand that summer means even lighter-weight materials in sweat proof fabrics that will keep us cool for the hot months ahead. Here are several wardrobe essentials for you to add to your closet the sweltering season ahead.

Bright Clutch

Let your accessories make the statement this summer with a bright hued or patterned clutch. Add a clutch to a basic ensemble such as a black dress or shorts and t-shirt for a pop of color. Try switching up your normal go to handbag by swapping it for a clutch for day. It’s a amazing what a cute clutch will do to make you feel more confident about what you’re wearing. Waters Edge Gift Cottage at 95175 Overseas Highway in Key Largo has a great assortment of summer clutches priced at around $30.

Statement Clutches found at Waters Edge Gift Cottage in Key Largo.

Statement Clutches found at Waters Edge Gift Cottage in Key Largo.

Sunnies

In the Florida Keys, sunglasses are a fashion accessory that gets worn daily. It’s also an accessory that you can never have enough of. All that wear makes them easy to lose, scratch, and break. So if you find a pair of sunglasses you love, buy more than one pair. I love buying sunglasses in multiple styles and colors to match to my outfit of the day. Miss Monroe Boutique located at 81868 Overseas Highway in Islamorada at the Village Square at Trading Post shopping area has a great selection of sunglasses in a variety of shapes and colors and range from $18-$24. At that price you can afford to buy one of each!

Fabulous sunglasses found at Miss Monroe Boutique in Islamorada.

Fabulous sunglasses found at Miss Monroe Boutique in Islamorada.

Sandals

New sandals are a summer must have. I love updating my wardrobe with a fun new print, style or color.   D-Luxe Boutique carries a variety of styles in neon pink, white and black with gold accents and wedge sandals for dressier occasions. Summer is also a good time to review the sandals already in your closet. If they’re falling apart it may be time to replace them. Shop D-Luxe Boutique at 80925 Overseas Highway in Islamorada. Sandals start at $18 and everything in the store is under $50.

 

Affordable sandals in bright colors and patterns from D-Luxe Boutique

Affordable sandals in bright colors and patterns from D-Luxe Boutique

Bold Statement Jewelry

Most summer fashions tend to have simpler designs for easy wear in warmer weather. Shorts worn with tank tops and long solid colored maxi dresses need a statement necklace to create interest your ensemble. If you don’t already own a few, consider investing in one. If you wear a lot of blue, then try finding one in yellow or turquoise to add another color to your outfit. Terra Nova located at 712 Duval Street in Key West carries of line of jewelry called Nature Bijoux made out of natural components such as coral, leather and zebu horn. Ranging from $48-$325, this jewelry line is meant to start a conversations as when worn, everyone will be asking about your beautiful jewelry.

Origins Necklace by Nature Bijoux

Origins Necklace by Nature Bijoux

Maxi Dress

Maxi dresses are the most comfortable summer staple. They aren’t too fitted so will keep you cool and in breezy light-weight fabrics are comfortable year round. Maxi dresses also have the added benefit of looking effortless. Pair one with wedges and a clutch for a night out or wear it with sandals and a statement necklace for day.   Wild Lily Boutique located at 81933 Overseas Highway in Islamorada has an abundance of maxi dresses available this summer in a variety of colors, prints and textures.

Mara Hoffman Maxi Dress available at Wild Lily Boutique in Islamorada

Mara Hoffman Maxi Dress available at Wild Lily Boutique in Islamorada

 

Sizzling Summer Fashion Show

On Thursday, May 22nd The Village Square at the Trading Post will host the Sizzling Summer Fashion Show featuring summer fashions from Miss Monroe, Wild Lily and D-Luxe Boutique. The event will start at 6 p.m. with the fashion show starting at 8 p.m. and will include a complimentary champagne bar, mojito bar, cigar lounge and cigar roller, light hors d’hoeuvres by Bad Boy Burrito and lots of free giveaways. Tickets are available for $30 and are limited. This is a great opportunity to see some beautiful summer fashions for the Florida Keys from some of your favorite local boutiques. You can buy tickets at Miss Monroe, Wild Lily or D-Luxe Boutique. Hope to see you there!

 

 

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

Posted on: May 7th, 2014 by Leah No Comments

 

It’s time to celebrate all the special mom’s in your life on Mother’s Day Sunday, May 11. Finding the perfect gift for the most important women in your life can be a difficult feat. It’s a gift that should portray your thanks, love and appreciation for all that they do. Show your mom, mother-in-law and wife how much you appreciate them on Mother’s Day with a thoughtful gift that will tell them just how important they are.

Here are some ideas to make your mother feel extra special on Mother’s Day.

Thoughtful Card

The simplest form of gratitude comes straight from the heart.   A handmade card with your child’s drawing on the front and a heartfelt message inside is easily the best card any mother could receive. And the only thing it will cost you is a little time. It’s the perfect card for Grandma and mom and the card will likely stay on the fridge for years to come.

Jewelry

You can never go wrong with pearls or diamonds. These are staples in a woman’s jewelry collection and if your wife or mother doesn’t currently own a tennis bracelet, diamond earrings or a beautiful set of pearls, then this would be a great gift to show your admiration. If diamonds or pearls are not in your budget, buy her some jewelry that is a little more fashion forward such as a statement necklace in a bright hue for summer.

Flowers

Flowers are a wonderful way to tell your mother how special she is. A bouquet of roses, tulips or lilies are perfect for Mother’s Day and the fragrant spring-like aroma will be sure to make her smile. You could also opt for a potted plant that will last longer than a week. Orchid arrangements are both easy to find in the Keys and ever so beautiful.

 

Unique custom air plant arrangements are the perfect Mothers Day gift

Unique custom air plant arrangements are the perfect Mothers Day gift

Experience

Take your mom on a trip, spend the day paddleboarding or kayaking, or book a spa day. Experiences are what create memories and I’m sure she’ll be incredibly appreciative just to spend time with you. The Wino bar in Key West at 430 Duval Street offers wine and Godiva chocolate pairings with the average glass price set at just $10. Depending on the wine you order, their wine master’s will suggest white, milk, dark or dark mint Godiva chocolate for an additional $3 to complement your wine. They are open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily and also sell both Godiva chocolate and bottles of wine for a gift you can bring to your mom.

Brunch

If you are planning to celebrate Mother’s Day by going out to brunch on Sunday, be sure to make reservations. The Plaza Grill is offering a Mother’s Day brunch from 11-3 p.m. with a specialty menu featuring eggs benedict, prime rib and baked yellowtail snapper. Located at 5101 Overseas Hwy in Marathon, call 305.743.7874 for reservations. You could also consider beating the brunch crowd by celebrating with your mom early. Take her to dinner at her favorite restaurant to celebrate. If your mom doesn’t live nearby, send her a gift card so she can treat herself to her favorite eatery.

Where to shop

The Banyan Tree in Islamorada offers a great selection of gifts perfect for the mother’s in your life. Thishidden oasis includes an expertly curated boutique and tropical garden. Offering custom orchid arrangements and glass terrariums with beautiful air plants, as well as, clothing, house wares, and one of the largest selections of fashion jewelry in the Keys .   With an affordable price point, you will find something for everyone at this Islamorada treasure.

The Banyan Tree boutique offers affordable gifts, house wares, clothing and jewelry

The Banyan Tree boutique offers affordable gifts, house wares, clothing and jewelry

On Friday, May 9th from 4-8 p.m. the Banyan Tree is hosting a Mother’s Day Celebration. Enjoy live music, complimentary wine and cheese, and 20% off boutique merchandise. Let your mom pick out her own gift so you know you’ve gotten her exactly what she wanted all while celebrating her.

Banyan Tree gardens

The Banyan Tree is located at 81197 Overseas Highway in Islamorada. Call 305.664.3433 for more information.

 

It’s Kentucky Derby Party Time!

Posted on: April 23rd, 2014 by Leah No Comments

The Kentucky Derby will take place on Saturday, May 3 and the only way to watch the best two minutes in sports is with friends while donning big hats and sipping mint Juleps.    So it’s time to plan your preppiest outfit, buy a big floppy hat, and decide where to watch it!

The first step is to plan what you’ll be wearing.  For the ladies, sundresses are the perfect attire.  Go for a bright spring color or try a fun pattern such as floral or stripes.   Next you need to coordinate your hat to your dress.  Choose a color that will contrast nicely with your dress or choose a neutral colored hat such as black or tan that you can add color to.  If you don’t already own a big floppy hat, you can purchase one at most local clothing boutiques.

Next you’ll need to purchase some hat accessories.  I recommend flowers, ribbon, rhinestones and feathers.  Some of this you may be able to find hiding around your house, if not, try your local arts and crafts store.   For the Kentucky Derby, more is better.  You want to look fashionable and yet a little ridiculous so go for big accessories that will coordinate to your dress.  Some fun color combinations could include teal/pink, navy/red, and purple/yellow.   If you are wearing a purple dress, buy a yellow hat and add a purple polka dot ribbon with a big purple flower.  To secure your hat accessories you’ll need some pins and a hot glue gun.  Once you’ve bedazzled your hat and coordinated your outfit, it’s time to make a plan for where you’ll be watching the race.

Islamorada

I’ll be hosting a Kentucky Derby party at oo-tray at 80900 Overseas Highway starting at 4 p.m.  oo-tray will be serving a special Kentucky Derby themed menu and prizes will be given out for the best dressed and best hat.  In addition, there will be a 50/50 raffle for betting on horses, live music after the race and an Islamorada Derby where local celebrities will race with horse sticks for guests’ amusement.  Call 305.922.2027 for more information or RSVP on Facebook here.

Marathon

Fisherman’s Hospital Foundation is hosting a Kentucky Derby fundraiser at Cabana Breezes at 401 East Ocean Drive starting at 3 p.m.  Tickets at $75 and all proceeds raised will benefit Fishermen’s Community Hospital.  Bet on your favorite derby horses and enjoy mint juleps and southern fare.  RSVP to kim.gregory@fhcares.com or call 517.214.6754 for tickets.

Key West

Aqua Nightclub at 711 Duval Street will be hosting a Kentucky Derby party from 5-8 p.m. with races and bourbon tasting.  Call 305.294.0555 for more information.

See you at the races!

Last year's Kentucky Derby Party in the Upper Keys - Image Courtesy of Sedura Photography

Last year’s Kentucky Derby Party in the Upper Keys – Image Courtesy of Sedura Photography

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Leah’s Fab Finds: My Shoe Picks for Spring

Posted on: April 14th, 2014 by Leah No Comments

Get excited!  Spring is finally here which means it’s time to bring out your spring wardrobe and get inspired with some new wardrobe staples.  Below is a look at several of my picks for the best drool-worthy, outfit making shoes for spring.  I’ve already purchased two of these and can’t believe how much they’ve re-energized my wardrobe.  After all, if the shoe fits….

GO BOLD WITH COLOR

I love the asymmetrical shape and the magenta color of these Jessica Simpson Pumps – $89 Available here

Jessica Simpson Shoes for Spring

Jimmy Choo goes bold in a big way with this neon flame orange caged leather bootie – $995 available here.

Jimmy Choo Orange Sandal

CLASSIC STRIPES

These classic black & white espadrille would look fabulous with shorts or a cute sundress.  $54.95 available here

Classic Espadrille for springBasic flats with a punch – $79.95 available here

Striped flats for springFeminine mid-heel sandal with a classic kick – $198 by Coach available here

Coach Black and White Marci Heels

FLORAL FUN

Look ladylike in this vibrant floral sandals by Steve Madden – $79.95 available here.

Floral Sandals by Steve Madden

Fabulous floral-print wing sandal by Paul Andrew – $795 available here.

Floral Wing Sandals by Paul Andrew Bold Basics

Asymmetrical white and silver sandal by Miu Miu – $690 available here

Miu MiuBlack edgy cuff wedge sandals, so comfortable and eye-catching at the same time – $99.95  available here

Trouve Black wedge sandal