Leah's Fabulous Finds
Inspiring women

Fashion Tips for the Fashionista

Posted on: July 17th, 2017 by Leah No Comments

Every fashionista has a few clothing and styling tips and tricks up their sleeve.  You don’t go through life without learning a thing or two about how to navigate a wardrobe malfunction and various other style dilemmas. Below are 15 of the best tips to keep you looking stylish.

  1. Keep diamonds sparkling by regularly cleaning with a liquid dishwasher detergent and an old toothbrush.
  2. Shave your legs using coconut oil for a close, smooth shave that also moisturizes your skin for soft and silky legs. And always shave the day before going in the ocean to avoid any irritation or burning from the salt water.
  3. Find a good cobbler and routinely bring in shoes that need repair. A good shoe repairmen can fully rebuild the sole, heel and remove signs of wear and tear to improve the overall appearance of shoes.
  4. Remove grease and oil stains from clothing using Dawn dish soap. Simply scrub into stain and then add to washer with other items.
  5. Invest in Hollywood Fashion Tape to hold clothing in place. This clear double-stick apparel and body tape will hide bra straps, prevent blouse gaps between buttons, secure plunging necklines and will keep wrap dresses and blouses secured. (Available at Wear With All Boutique in Key Largo)
  6. When trying on jeans, always opt for the smaller size as denim stretches with wear.
  7. Use white wine to remove red wine stains. Remove any remaining red wine with a clean cloth, blot with white wine and then add to washer with the rest of your laundry.
  8. Never put swimwear in the washing machine. Instead hand wash suits using a mild soap meant for lingerie and swimwear to prevent snags and keep suits from losing their elasticity.  (Available at Lions Lair Boutique in Islamorada)
  9. When in double opt for nude pumps. The classic color and shape are effortlessly chic while also making your legs look longer.
  10. If the shoe fits, buy it in every color. This also goes for great dresses, slacks, shirts and skirts.  If you find something you love that fits well, don’t be afraid to buy it in multiple colors.
  11. Wear a daily sunscreen and always wear body sunscreen and a lip balm with SPF when spending time outdoors. (Try Surface Tropix SPF30 lip balm in Pina Colada from Otherside Boardsports in Islamorada)
  12. When shopping for an important occasion (wedding dress, formal gala, job interview outfit, etc.) wear your hair and makeup as you are planning to for the event. It’s also important to wear the proper undergarments and the shoe you plan to wear to really get a feel for how the dress or outfit will look.
  13. Use Windex to clean patent leather and restore the glossy sheen on shoes, belts and bags.
  14. Keep iron-on hemline tape on hand to quickly and easily repair fallen hemlines of skirts, dresses and pants.
  15. Wear color. With the plethora of colorful accessories currently on the market, it’s easy to brighten up any look with a vivid handbag, statement earrings or strappy sandals in a bold hue.  For a fresh look, mix two colors that are next to each other on the color wheel such as hot pink and red or yellow and orange.

And the #1 rule in fashion is to always wear what you feel good in.  After all, confidence is the best fashion accessory.

Wedding Etiquette

Posted on: July 7th, 2017 by Leah No Comments

I recently read an article from an upset bride who wrote into an advice column on slate.com.  Her dilemma was whether to continue being friends with the best man of their wedding who proposed to his girlfriend in the middle of the ceremony.  How could this best man have chosen that moment to propose to his girlfriend – a moment that the bride and groom had planned for months and that should have been solely theirs?  Apparently, no one ever told him about wedding etiquette.

As we approach the height of wedding season, here are few thoughts to help you with what to do and what not to do as a wedding guest.


When you receive your invitation, look for the reply card and the “due date”. This is the date the couple is requesting to know whether you are or are not attending.   This date is important as most venues require couples to commit to a specific number of attendees by a specific date.  So be sure to send in your RSVP as soon as possible.

DO NOT assume you can bring a date

If you are invited to bring a date, the invitation will be addressed to you and guest.  This is important, as many couples must stay under a certain number of people to stay within their budget.  If you are invited solo, find out who else is attending and plan your accommodations and transportation together.  If you’re too uncomfortable to attend alone, then decline the invitation.  But whatever you do, do not ask the couple if you can bring a date.  If they could afford to have you plus a guest, they would have addressed the invitation that way.

DO bring a gift

As with any gift, it’s not about how much you spend, it’s the thought that counts.  There is no minimum or maximum amount that should be spent, just consider your budget and your relationship to the couple when purchasing the gift.  Most couples will register for items they would like to start their life together.  If you’re not sure where they’ve registered, try googling their names and its likely their registry will appear.  Shop early for the best selection and ship it directly to the couple’s house.  This will save you the hassle of hauling the gift to the ceremony and will save the couple from having to get it home.

Do be on time

Yes, it’s true that most weddings start late, but you shouldn’t be.  Plan to be there at least 15 minutes before the start of the ceremony and be sure to use the restroom before it starts so you won’t need to make an untimely exit.

DO NOT wear white

White and ivory are reserved for the bride on her wedding day.  Plan your outfit while adhering to the dress code.    In most cases, the invitation will denote the dress code for the celebration.  If not, look at the time of day and venue as an indication on what to wear.  It’s always better to be overdressed than underdressed so even if the wedding is casual, choose a dress or skirt to celebrate the occasion.

DO NOT post photos to social media

The bride and groom have hired photographers and videographers to capture the day and night. And many places of worship prohibit the use of phones or cameras during a religious ceremony. If you feel you absolutely must take photos of the bride and groom, wait until the reception and then be sure to get the couples’ permission before posting them to social media. Better yet, turn off your phone and be there in the moment.  Let the professional photographer and videographer capture you celebrating with the bride and groom.

And finally,

DO celebrate

Weddings are a time for celebration so be sure to wear your dancing shoes and socialize with other guests.  Although you should have fun, DO NOT get drunk.  An open bar does not mean you should become overserved.  One drink too many and you could create a lasting impression on the couple and all their guests.

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Posted on: June 13th, 2017 by Leah No Comments

Finding the perfect gift for Father’s Day can be tough.  This Father’s Day, thank Dad with a gift a little different.  Below is a list of gift ideas to help you spoil all the Dads in your life.

Customize Dad’s YETI

Every dad deserves the best in life and what better way to help him enjoy all of life’s moments than with a YETI rambler that will keep his drink chilled to perfection. If your dad doesn’t already have a YETI rambler, it’s high time you get them a personal drink cooler to keep their beverages ice cold for hours. Customize his new cup of choice at Otherside Boardsports with customized stickers or etching to make sure his YETI stays his.  Consider adding his nickname, the name of his boat, or a note about his #1 Dad status. YETI ramblers start at $39, stickers start at $15 and etching starts at $25 at Otherside Boardsports at 82758 Overseas Highway in Islamorada.

Amp Up Dad’s Grillin’ Game

Redefine how dad barbecues with the ultimate outdoor gas grill.  Swiss Grills are built to last and offer a lifetime warranty.   Made of stainless steel (so they won’t rust), they also feature a commercial grade rotisserie, signature bottle opener, Swiss style thermometer, and room for both big meat and small.  Ideal for the dad who loves to entertain and cook.  Starting at $1,299 at AmeriGas at 86400 Overseas Highway in Islamorada.

Help Dad with His Style

Backcountry Cowboy Outfitters in Islamorada is selling Simms fishing gear and apparel.  This esteemed brand offers everything from waiters and rain gear to sun shirts and board shorts.  Their guide shirts are both technical and attractive and are available in an array of stylish prints and colors that can be worn on the boat or to dinner.  In addition to being great quality, most of Simms apparel also offers sun protection of SPF 50.  Head to Backcountry Cowboy Outfitters at 82240 Overseas Highway in Islamorada to peruse their large selection of Simms fishing and lifestyle apparel to get dad looking stylish on shore and out on the water.

Simms Lifestyle Shirt

Simms Lifestyle Shirt

Help Dad with His Hygiene

At the new Drift Boutique at 86560 Overseas Highway in Islamorada they carry a men’s skincare line called Whiskey Ink and Lace.  These handcrafted all natural products include beard balm, aftershave, shampoo bars and cologne in rustic scents called The Pirate, The Viking and The Gent.  Stop into this high-end gift shop to check out their Whiskey, Ink and Lace products for dad and perhaps pick-up a little something for yourself.  The handmade jewelry, clothing and python cuffs are amazing.  Open Monday thru Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Whiskey Ink and Lace products are perfect for dad

Get Dad Out on the Water

Get dad out on the water enjoying one of his favorite pastimes with the ultimate fishing paddleboard.  The new design of Live Watersports L2Fish stand-up paddle board allows paddlers to enjoy a range of activities including fishing, windsurfing, hunting and even camping.  This board utilizes a catamaran style hull and hollow core construction for maximum buoyancy.  The L2Fish paddleboard is available at Otherside Boardsports in Islamorada for $2,299.

Live Watersports L2Fish Stand Up Paddle Board is perfect for fishing

Give Dad the Gift that Keeps on Giving

The best gifts don’t cost a thing.  All dad really wants is quality time with you.  Spend the day with him doing one of his favorite pastimes be it playing cards, enjoying a backyard barbecue or playing out on the water.

No matter the gift, large or small, it’s the thought that counts.   Happy Father’s Day.

The Intersection of Art and Fashion

Posted on: May 23rd, 2017 by Leah No Comments

The Met Gala is fashion’s most important party and fundraiser for the Metropolitan Museum of Art benefiting the Costume Institute and the launch of the new spring exhibit on the first Monday in May each year.  The red-carpet portion of the event is a stunner, turning out A-list celebrities, models and musicians; fashion designers; and invited patrons spending upwards of $30,000 for a ticket.

Rihanna at the Met Gala in a wildly scuptural design from Comme des Garcon

The reason this gala is a must-see is because it provides a bevy of superstars dressed in the theme of the Costume Institute’s newest exhibit and this year’s theme did not disappoint.  The new spring 2017 exhibit, called Rei Kawakubo / Comme des Garcons: Art of the In-Between, is a retrospective dedicated to 74-year-old Japanese fashion designer Rei Kawakubo.  In 1969, she founded the avant-garde modernism label Comme des Garcons – French for “like some boys”.  For more than 40 years, the brand has attracted a global following and her designs have inspired other creators, artists and designers alike.

Cara Delevingne in avant-garde at the Met Gala in a silver Chanel suit

While in New York this past week, I visited this new exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, open May 1 through September 4, 2017. The exhibit features 140 womenswear ensembles dating from the 1980s to her most recent designs.  The collection depicts how Rei Kawakubo challenged the conventional notions of beauty and fashion.  Her designs conversely feminine and masculine, highly eccentric, and radically chic create the perfect blend of art and fashion.  It’s easy to understand why she is known as one of fashions most revered creative visionaries.

Form / Function

Each gallery within the exhibit illustrates the “in-betweenness” or the space between boundaries of Rei Kawakubo’s designs exploring themes including: absence/presence, design/not design, fashion/anti-fashion, model/multiple, the/now, high/low, self/other, object/subject and clothes/not clothes.  The design/not design gallery explores Kawakubo’s intuitive approach to garment making.  Having received no formal fashion training, Kawakubo’s creative process, experimental techniques and method of construction culminate in original art-as-fashion creations.

Harley-Davidson Loves Margot Fonteyn

Some of my favorite examples from the exhibit were from Kawakubo’s Motorbike Ballerina collection from 2005.  These ensembles combined leather jackets and tutus which Kawakubo described as “Harley-Davidson loves Margot Fonteyn” in reference to the American motorcycle manufacturer and the British ballerina. The ensembles are meant to blend the “high” culture of ballet with the “low” subculture of bikers.

Object / Subject

Similarly, her collection from Spring/Summer in 1997 “Body Meets Dress, Dress Meets Body” was a series of body-con dresses stuffed with padded lumps that many fashion critics compared to tumors.  The silhouette was not popular at the time but the designs were about her vision for the future of female silhouettes.

Absence / Presence

If you equate fashion to wearability, then Rei Kawakubo’s designs are not fashion.  As she says, “When I hear ‘where could you wear that?’ or ‘it’s not very wearable,’ or ‘who would wear that?’ to me it’s just a sign that someone missed the point.” But if you understand that fashion is art, then Rei Kawakubo is the master artist whose originality is meant to defy the norms about what clothing and the body should look like.

Fashion has no limits.  Fashion is over the top.  Fashion is provocative. Fashion is art. And in this case, fashion is truly in the eye of the beholder.

Mother’s Day Gift Guide

Posted on: May 5th, 2017 by Leah No Comments

It’s time to celebrate all the special mom’s in your life on Mother’s Day Sunday, May 14.  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 gift ideas to make Mother’s Day extra special this year.

Thoughtful Card

The simplest form of gratitude comes straight from the heart.   A handmade card with a heartfelt message is easily the best gift any mother could receive.  And the only thing it will cost you is a little time.  By including the kids in the design and message, this card will be a gift she will treasure for years to come.

Cabana Life Women's Rashguard from Wear With All Boutique in Key Largo

Cabana Life Women’s Rashguard from Wear With All Boutique in Key Largo

Dress Her Up

Easy-to-wear clothing that is both chic and practical is hard to find.  The brand Cabana Life makes swimwear, rash guards, pants and dresses in bright patterns and colors that mom will love.  Not only are they great for keeping her cool in our warm Florida Keys weather but their high-quality SPF 50 fabric will also protect her from the sun.  Whether she’s lounging, paddle boarding or going out for a night on the town, Cabana Life clothing has something for everyone.  Starting at just $80, this great brand of clothing can be found at Wear With All Boutique in Key Largo in the Publix Tradewinds Plaza at 101487 Overseas Highway in Key Largo.

Pamper Mom

Pamper mom on her day by giving her a trip to the spa to get a manicure, pedicure, massage, facial or a new cut and color. A gift certificate to her favorite salon and spa is always a nice treat.  But, if you want to make it extra special, schedule a spa day with her for some quality time.  At Blu Bamboo Salon and Spa in Islamorada, manicures start $20 and are offered with a glass of wine.  In addition, the week before Mother’s Day, Blu Bamboo Salon and Spa is offering 20% off all products in their shop with free gift wrapping available.  Stop into Blu Bamboo at 82205 Overseas Highway for bubble bath and gift certificates to pamper your mom for Mother’s Day.

Posh Naturals Skin Care Resveratrol Peptide 2 in 1 Complex

Posh Her Skin

Give mom a gift that will make her feel and look even more beautiful.  Posh Naturals Skin Care is a natural and organic skin care company based in the Florida Keys that has created an amazing skin care line perfect for all the women in your life.  Their Resveratrol Peptide 2 in 1 Cream acts as a light everyday moisture with anti-oxidant and anti-aging benefits that stimulate collagen production and alleviate fine lines.  Resveratrol Peptide 2 in 1 Cream is available for $80 at Key Largo Salon and Spa in the Pink Plaza at 103400 Overseas Highway.  Go to PoshNaturalsSkinCare.com to preview their entire skin care line.

Custom Orchid Arrangements by Banyan Tree in Islamorada


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.  But if you’re looking for something more one-of-a-kind, opt for a potted orchid that will last longer and let mom know just how unique she is.  A custom arrangement of these exotic blooms starts at just $25 and are made to order at any price range at the Banyan Tree Garden and Boutique.  Call 305.664.3433 to order or stop by their location at 81197 Overseas Highway in Islamorada.

Wishing you all a Happy Mother’s Day!


The Popularity of Seersucker

Posted on: May 3rd, 2017 by Leah No Comments

If you’re not southern, Seersucker may be a foreign word to you.  But since we’re officially in Seersucker season with the Kentucky Derby commencing on May 6 and many hot and humid months ahead, Seersucker is a fabric to get familiar with.

Best Dressed Couple Laura and Eric Ciampa from last years Kentucky Derby

Seersucker is made of linen, cotton, silk or synthetic fibers woven on twin-beam looms that give it a textured striped look.  The reason for the fabric’s popularity is its lightweight and breathable keeping the wearer cool in warm climates.  Also, the puckered look of the fabric means it can be worn straight out of the laundry with no ironing required.

The traditional seersucker fabric is blue and white and was used primarily for men’s suits but today you will find the fabric used for shorts, pants, shirts, skirts and dresses in a variety of pastel colors.

The fabric came to the U.S. from England after being discovered in the 1600s while trading in India.  The name stems from the Persian word for “milk and sugar” likely comparing the smooth and rough stripes of the fabric to the smooth and rough texture of milk and sugar.

The fabric didn’t start as the preppy man’s summer suit.  It was worn primarily by employees of gasoline companies, butchers and train engineers and railroad workers – which is wear the term “railroad stripes” originated.  Likewise, hospital volunteers wore uniforms made of a red and white seersucker fabric giving them the name “candy stripers” because of the similarities of the uniform and a candy cane.

It wasn’t until after the 1920’s that the fabric gained popularity with preppy undergraduates and Southern professional men.  Southerners needed a lightweight fabric for summer that would withstand the heat and humidity and keep them looking proper.  The blue and white fabric was perfect for the Southern gentleman’s suit to replace their wool suits worn in the winter.  Seersucker was primarily worn as a full suit or as a blazer paired with khaki trousers.

The suits also became popular in Washington D.C.  Politicians and government officials who were suffocating in wool suits during summers in the Capital opted for suits made of seersucker for the warmer months.  In 1996, Senator Trent Lott made seersucker famous by starting a tradition called “Seersucker Thursday”.  Unfortunately, this tradition was discontinued in 2012.

With the Kentucky Derby approaching May 6, it’s time to dust off your hats and your seersucker apparel to watch the best two minutes in sports while drinking mint juleps.  Oo-tray in Islamorada will be hosting the festivities including live music, themed food and drinks, and prizes for best dressed and best hat.  In addition, there will be a 50/50 raffle for betting on horses with proceeds benefiting the Autism Society in the Florida Keys. Hope you can join us for bourbon and fun.  See you at the races!


Summer Essentials

Posted on: April 22nd, 2017 by Leah No Comments

On Thursday, April 27th Islamorada will be turning up the heat at the Sizzling Summer Fashion Show at The Village Square at Trading Post. The fashion show will feature summer must-haves from Miss Monroe Boutique, D-Luxe Boutique, Island Trendz Boutique, and Otherside Boardsports.  Below is a preview of the summer wardrobe essentials that will be highlighted on the runway.

Chic Cover-Ups

Summer clothing should made up of light-weight materials in sweat proof fabrics that will keep you cool all summer long. An ideal cover-up is versatile and will take you from boat mate to lunch date without much effort.  The Echo New York line of cover-ups at Miss Monroe Boutique are an essential for every fashionista’s wardrobe.  Offered in vibrant, colorful prints in lightweight fabrics with beautiful tassel and pom pom trim that will have you looking effortlessly chic no matter where you wear it.  Available from $48 to $78 at Miss Monroe Boutique at 81868 Overseas Highway in Islamorada.

Echo New York Cover Ups from Miss Monroe Boutique in Islamorada

Echo New York Cover Ups from Miss Monroe Boutique

Attention Grabbing Details

This summer it is all about the details with statement making tops. Whether you bare the cold shoulder, rock the one-shoulder or brave the off the shoulder, be sure to reveal your neckline and arms this summer.  Also, look for unique necklines with strappy crisscross accents and statement sleeves with ruffles and exaggerated bell sleeves to highlight your soon-to-be summer glow.  Attention grabbing summer dresses and tops range from $25 to $35 at D-Luxe Boutique at 80925 Overseas Highway in Islamorada.

Chic Fishing Apparel

Grundens is a brand known for its commercial fishing apparel worn by anglers since 1911.  But their new line of men’s fishing apparel is getting a major upgrade.  Grundens still offers the same high performance product but now a bit more fashion forward.  Their high-quality button down performance shirts are versatile, water-resistant, and 50 UPF, with quick drying fabric and 4-way stretch for optimal movement and comfort. Island Trendz is now carrying this chic fishing apparel line in shorts and performance shirts that can easily be worn for the boat or to casual dinners in the Keys.  Prices range from $55 to $95 and can be found at Island Trendz Boutique within the Amara Cay Resort at 80001 Overseas Highway in Islamorada.

Upcycled Swimwear by MG Surfline from Otherside Boardsports in Islamorada

Upcycled Swimwear by MG Surfline from Otherside Boardsports in Islamorada

Upcycled Swimwear

The ethical and sustainable fashion movement has gained steam in recent years with major swimwear brands debuting collections made entirely from recycled materials.  Otherside Boardsports is carrying several swimwear lines that are environmentally friendly.  Volcom uses old fishing nets to create their women’s swimwear, MG Surfline uses recycled plastic bottles to create their water wear, and Vissla uses discarded coconut husks to create men’s board shorts.  Protect marine life and the future of our oceans by opting for sustainable swimwear that has been upcycled.  Men’s board shorts range from $45 to $59 and women’s separates start at $39 and are available at Otherside Boardsports at 82758 Overseas Highway in Islamorada.

Join me on Thursday, April 27th for the 4th Annual Sizzling Summer Fashion Show to see some beautiful summer fashions for the Florida Keys from some of your favorite local boutiques.  The gates and pop-up shops will open at 6 p.m. with the fashion show starting at 7:30 p.m. and will include complimentary drinks, taco bar from Bad Boy Burrito, and summer tunes by DJ Marissa Sardar. Tickets are $25. Purchase your tickets at participating stores or call 305.440.3951 for more information. Hope to see you there!

Spring Fashion Trends

Posted on: March 6th, 2017 by Leah No Comments

Spring is upon us which means it’s time to give your wardrobe a refresh.  If you’re done traveling to cooler weather destinations, move your warmer apparel to the back of the closet and rotate your spring and summer clothing to the front.  Before packing away sweaters and coats, wash or dry clean items so they are ready for next season.

When trying a new trend, make sure they’ll blend easily into your current wardrobe.  Before buying a new item, envision three outfits the new piece can be worn with.  If you can only think of one, then let it go as you’ll get minimal wear out of it and it will spend more time hanging in your closet than being worn.

Below are a few of the hottest trends for spring to get your wardrobe ready for the season.

Hot pink, statement sleeves and bold ear candy from Delpozo Spring 2017

Hot pink, statement sleeves and bold ear candy from Delpozo Spring 2017

All Things Pink

At the top of my list for spring must-haves is hot pink.  Girly girls will rejoice this season as the color is making a major statement from bright fuschia to dusty rose, pretty in pink is the unofficial color of the season. Break out all your prettiest pinks this spring for casual outings to the beach and more formal evening occasions.

Statement Sleeves
The cold shoulder was big in 2016, but this season, statement sleeves ranged from eighties inspired puffball sleeves, single shoulder cutouts, flouncy ruffles, bell sleeves, and voluminous rounded shoulders.  This spring it’s all about proportion with lots of attention on your arms. Look for blouses, shirt dresses and knitwear with lots of sleeve style.

Graphic Stripes

Nautical stripes are a spring staple typically found in bright whites and classic navy.  This season stripes are bright and bold in criss-cross patterns, vibrant geometric prints, and rainbow-bright hues.  Stripes are no longer your classic basic, they’ve received a jolt of energy in graphic primary colors that stand all on their own.  Pair these bold prints with minimal accessories to let the pattern take center stage.


Sequins and metallics are usually reserved for holidays and New Year’s Eve parties but this spring, designers are loving head-to-toe gold and silver.  For a modern feel, pair a metallic skirt with a graphic stripe or bright floral pattern along with chic sneakers for a more casual look.


Florals are a classic must-have for spring, but this season gives blossom prints a seventies spin with bright contrast hues such as pink, orange and green in feminine silhouettes.  If you’re wearing head-to-toe floral with a bright dress, opt for classic accessories such as a metallic or neutral sandal or wedge.


Atheisure got a sexy upgrade this season with body hugging knits that outline every curve.  Leggings are another classic sportswear that’s been reinvented this season.  This ready-to-wear basic was found on the runway in velvet, lace and spandex for a high fashion feel.  And don’t forget about the hoodie.  You’ll find hoodies on jackets, vests and shirts for a laid-back feel.

Statement Earrings

Over-the-top ear candy is everywhere this spring.  These statement-makers are the accessory of the season.  Go big or go home this spring when it comes to your ears.  Pair these decadent, brightly colored earrings with a simple romper and sandals for a chic look.

Happy Shopping!

Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

Posted on: February 10th, 2017 by Leah No Comments

Every year on February 14, Valentine’s Day is celebrated between loved ones and friends.  Outside the United States, Valentine’s Day is observed in Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, France and Australia.  The first valentine was written in 1415 by Charles, Duke of Orleans, to his wife while he was a prisoner in the Towner of London.  The poem read:

I am already sick of love

My very gentle Valentine…

Although a bit somber compared to the joyous and love-filled cards of today, the Duke appears to have been quite the romantic, writing over 60 love poems to his wife over his 25-year imprisonment.

Today, Valentine’s Day is marked by the exchange of cards and gifts.  The National Retail Federation predicts consumers will spend $18.2 billion in celebration of this holiday and the Greeting Card Association estimates more than 1 billion Valentine’s Day cards are sent each year.  Although the gifts of cards, candy, flowers, jewelry and dinner out is always a great way to celebrate this holiday, below are a few suggestions for showing your love in a different way.


In lieu of a traditional gift, make a donation to a worthy cause on behalf of your significant other.  There are hundreds of nonprofit organizations in the Keys doing amazing work and they are always in need of more funds to help those in need.


Those same organizations also need volunteers to help achieve their mission.  Spend a few hours with your love doing good is sure to provide lots of good vibes and natural highs.  Also, the best gift is the gift of spending quality time together.


Get the kids involved and create your own valentines, art work and love poems.  These are the type of valentines that you’ll remember and that your family will treasure for years to come.

Shop Local

By shopping local, you help support local businesses in Monroe County.  When you shop local, more of your money stays closer to home building stronger communities by creating jobs, funding community services through sales tax, and investing in neighborhood improvement.  Local businesses also support our local services by donating to our Florida Keys not-for-profits through sponsorships, donations, and silent auctions items.  Your dollars really do go farther when you spend them locally.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

2017 Color of the Year

Posted on: January 29th, 2017 by Leah No Comments

Every year, Pantone, the global color authority, selects a color of the year which influences fashion and design trends for the year ahead. Pantone recently announced their selection for 2017, a fresh and zesty yellow-green shade called Greenery.

According to Pantone, this refreshing shade is symbolic of new beginnings and illustrative of the first days of spring when nature’s greens revive, restore and renew.

Last year Pantone selected two colors of the year that would represent 2016: Rose Quartz and Serenity.  These winning hues were meant to be combined for a combination that is a bit feminine and masculine at the same time.

Past Pantone colors of the year include Marsala, Radiant Orchid, Emerald, and Tangerine Tango which had great influence over fashion styles and décor trends.

Greenery is a hue flourishing in nature that has also been incorporated into fashion, makeup, automobiles, art, and home décor.  Find this leafy green color in the recently launched Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster and in Dior’s new lip shade, clover.  Designers including Emlio Pucci, Lacoste and Gucci all used this tone in their 2017 spring collections.

New Mercedes AMG GT Roadster comes in Leaf Green

New Mercedes AMG GT Roadster comes in Leaf Green

From an interior design perspective, decorating your home in Greenery is a great way to bring the outdoors in.  Paint a wall in this revitalizing shade or add it to a room through artwork, throw pillows and accents.  Enliven your space by adding this shade into your environment through leafy plants and succulents.

Called nature’s neutral, Pantone Greenery is a versatile color that in fashion can be worn year-round.  Pair it with neutrals such as white, tan, black or gray or with similar vibrant tones such as brights, jewel tones, and metallics.  My favorite pairing of this color is with bold prints.  The spring 2017 runways were filled with prints in Greenery. Michael Kors embraced Greenery in a vintage inspired blue, white and leafy green floral dress with a vibrant green colored vest worn over top.  Max Mara used the color Greenery in a tropical print with black accents, and Balenciage designed a dress with a bold print reminiscent of the 70s with orange, purple and red florals on a vibrant green backdrop.

Michael Kors Spring 2017

Michael Kors Spring 2017

Max Mara Spring 2017

Max Mara Spring 2017

Balenciaga Spring 2017

Balenciaga Spring 2017

This spring, surround yourself with the color of nature by wearing, applying and redecorating with the color Greenery.