Leah's Fabulous Finds
Inspiring women

Archive for the ‘Islamorada Shops’ Category

Style for the Home

Posted on: November 15th, 2014 by Leah No Comments

Just as our wardrobe is curated to our personal style, your home should also be a reflection of you.  A beautiful home can give you and your family a sense of security. If you make it personal and meaningful it can become your haven.  A home is a place to unwind after a long day and a place to celebrate life’s special moments with family and friends.  Each room should reflect your personal taste, which allows your personality to shine through.   Deciding on a style and creating a space both beautiful and practical can feel like an overwhelming task.  But following a few simple steps can ease the way to creating a home you will be proud of.

Consider a Theme

A theme helps you stay focused and provides clarity.  It unifies a home’s décor by  blending rooms together.  The theme you select will encompass the entire home and make each room feel a part of a grand plan.  In the Florida Keys, many homes reflect a nautical or beach theme, bringing in rich blues, nautical stripes and ocean accents.

Select a Color Scheme

Another important step in creating your Florida Keys haven is deciding on the color scheme. Get inspiration from the colors that surround you, bringing the outdoors in and the interior out.  Using colors that reflect your surroundings gives a home a sense of belonging.

When selecting paint colors focus on three main colors to use throughout your home.   In each room you will have a base color and two accent colors.  The base color in the main room of your home will switch in other rooms and may become the accent color. For instance, the accent color can become your base and the base one of your accent colors.  By keeping the same three colors throughout your home, each room in your house will connect to each other. By using variations of your three-color selections your home will have a comfortable flow.

Your home’s theme will assist you in determining your color scheme.  A beach style home might include such colors as blue, aqua, white, tan and beige.  While a nautical themed home may have bold colors such as navy and red paired with various shades of blue, tan and white as accent shades.

Find Inspiration

If you’re needing some inspiration, look no further than your closet.  If one color is a favorite in your wardrobe, than use it as inspiration for your home’s overall look.

Art is another great place to find inspiration for your home’s theme and color scheme.  Pull the colors from your favorite wall art or a throw pillow and use those colors throughout your home.  You can also find inspiration from your surroundings – the sunset or color of the water are a great way to bring your surroundings into your home.

Personalize Your Home

Now that you have a theme and color scheme, it’s time to choose your home’s accent pieces.  Let your personality shine when deciding your décor.  Display photos and books on topics you enjoy, add family heirlooms to maintain tradition and incorporate your favorite pastimes into your home.  Home accessories are what provide the charm and flare that reflect your personality and lifestyle. Make your home personal by incorporating  items that are meaningful to you.

uCúmbe in Islamorada is a great place to find unique decor items that will create inspiration for your home.  Located in the Village Square at The Trading Post,  uCúmbe offers beautiful coffee table books, bold wall art, one-of-a-kind tables and great gift items.  Price points vary from $5 to $1,500 providing a little something for everyone.  Located at 81868 Overseas Highway, uCúmbe is open Sunday – Thursday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Friday – Saturday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.  Stop by to check out all their beautiful new items perfect for your home.


Beautiful rolling bar with burlap finish from uCumbe

Witch or Sexy Kitten

Posted on: October 27th, 2014 by Leah No Comments

With Halloween right around the corner, it’s time to make sure you’ve got a costume lined up for the celebrations. One of the most memorable quotes from the “Sex and the City” movie occurs while Miranda is shopping for a last minute Halloween costume. While perusing the aisle of costumes, she says, “The only two choices for women; witch and sexy kitten.”

If you’re female and have ever looked for a costume in stores or online, I’m sure you can relate. Most female costumes look like something more appropriate for the bedroom than a party where others, including children, may see you. This year, instead of being witch-like or a sex kitten, opt for something a little more creative and unique.

Fantasy Fest

The 2014 Fantasy Fest in Key West is themed “Animeted Dreams & Adventures,” inspired by traditional Japanese anime and virtually all forms of creative animation. Attendees will portray characters from classic anime, comic books, and animated blockbuster hits. Anime is known for exaggerated features such as big eyes and oddly colored hair and typical characters usually have some sort of supernatural power. This provides the perfect opportunity for you to make up your own superhero. If it were me, I’d go as The Fashionator. I’d wear long fake eye lashes and have a magic wand that matched my red lips. My superpower would enable me to walk up to anyone looking less than fabulous and provide them with perhaps Italian leather shoes instead of socks with sandals or Crocs. You know how I loathe those.

Get Inspired

Pinterest is a great site for finding inspiration and DIY advice for your Halloween costume. Most pictures provide tutorials and videos on how to make the costume of your choice. A few of my favorites, 1) The Jellyfish – Wear all white and use as clear umbrella as a prop by taping white streamers down the sides and glow sticks under the umbrella. So cute, easy and with very little investment. 2) The loofah – resemble your favorite shower mate by buying 30 yards of tulle that you can cut and pin to a pair of shorts and shirt. Go for a bright color like fuschia or purple and make sure to buy a small rope as the loofah handle. 3) Leopard – animal print is in right now so you might as well take advantage of it and be a leopard for Halloween. Make use of every piece of leopard print you own and buy a pair of ears. You can draw on whiskers and a black little nose with eyeliner – at least it’s more creative than sexy kitty.

Great costumes found at Zero Dress Code

Shop Local

Our local shops have lots of great items that you can use for creating your Halloween costume. If you’re not into the DIY costumes, go to Zero Dress Code at 82205 Overseas Highway in Islamorada. With their wide range of fashion apparel and nice array of costumes, they will help you create the perfect Halloween look.   Open Monday – Saturday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

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.


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.


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.


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 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


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.


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.


Spring Trends and How to Wear Them

Posted on: March 21st, 2014 by Leah No Comments

The key to making an outfit work is a matter of dressing for your body.  Clothes should complement you and make you feel good about how you look. If you don’t feel great, you won’t look great.  When considering spring trends, keep this in mind as trends are meant to inspire you to try new things while also complementing your look.

The new trends you try should also blend easily into your current wardrobe.  Before buying a new item, envision three outfits that the new piece can be worn with.  If you can only think of one, than its probably best to 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.

In reviewing the spring 2014 trends, there are some that are just not that flattering.  Crop tops are very popular this year but look good on only a fraction of people.  If you’re young and have a fabulous figure, you could try this trend but I recommend showing no more than a few inches of skin or try layering it over a cami.  It’s always best to leave a little to the imagination.  Likewise, sporty sandals are a 2014 spring trend that was revived from the 90’s. Sadly, they should have stayed in the 90’s as mandels aka “manly sandals” do not flatter even the most fashionable fashionista and instead make her look more like big foot.

Below is your go-to guide for embracing spring trends:

Bright Colors

When we think of spring fashion, most think of soft pastel hues in skin-baring designs.  Nothing says spring like baby blue, white and a soft pink.  However, this year, Radiant Orchid is Pantone’s 2014 color of the year and is perfect for spring.  In addition, orange is also a big color for spring.  Try these hues in shirts, shorts, or fashion accessories to add a pop of color to your outfit.  These two hues are also popular in the beauty department, with orange and radiant orchid making the perfect new bold lip color.

Vibrant Prints

Spring is a great time to try a new print.  Still on-trend and hotter than ever are your graphic black and white prints, polka dots and stripes in every color and floral prints both big and small.   A new print to add to your collection is that of the novelty print.  Novelty prints (think cartoon-like cats and bright pink flamingos) are nothing new in the fashion world, they’ve been around since well before the 50’s and this spring we’re seeing small novelty prints plastered on ladylike dresses and sophisticated separates.  These prints tend to add a lot of color and flamboyance so try them in basic cuts and styles and pair them with neutral accessories.

It’s All in the Details

Sheer, fringe, beaded and bedazzled, this spring’s fashions have embellishments to swoon over.    Sheer tops and strategic sheering on dresses can look buttoned up while also feeling cool while living in the tropics.   Always pair a sheer top with a neutral, black or similar hued cami to show off the shirt and not something else.  Fringe looks amazing on everything including skirts, shirts, dresses, necklaces, handbags, and belts.  Literally amazing on everything and everyone.  So don’t be shy about trying out a new item with a little pizzazz.  After all,  it’s these types of embellishments that really make an outfit and separate those who like fashion from those who have fun with it.

Where to Find Spring Fashions

Zero Dress Code in Islamorada has a large selection of spring on-trend fashions

Zero Dress Code in Islamorada has a large selection of spring on-trend fashions

Zero Dress Code is the perfect place to find all your spring fashions with on-trend, quality clothing at reasonable prices.  Their newly expanded store located at 82205 Overseas Highway in Islamorada, offers double the inventory allowing them to feature expanded sizing, extra small through extra large, and a greater variety of items.  They also provide smaller quantities of items so that you can be sure not everyone in the Keys will be wearing the same outfit.   Suzanne Gleason, the owner of Zero Dress Code, travels all over the world to bring beautiful and unique clothing, accessories and gift items to the Florida Keys.  You’ll find everything from party dresses to bathrobes sure to make you feel beautiful.  With new inventory arriving weekly, you’ll want to stop in regularly to find your next fabulous find.

Striped wedges and flats found at Zero Dress Code.

Striped wedges and flats found at Zero Dress Code.


Get out of your style rut and get inspired with spring fashions.  Happy Shopping!

Polka Dot shorts $76, novelty print seahorse top $48, and orange fringe scarf $15.

Polka Dot shorts $76, novelty print seahorse top $48, and orange fringe scarf $15.


Flavor Explosion at Olive Morada

Posted on: February 25th, 2014 by Leah No Comments

Who knew olive oil could be so delicious?   With flavors like blood orange, red cayenne chili, wild mushroom sage, and white truffle pure olive oil, any meal is sure to be flavor sensation when drizzled or cooked with these bold flavors.

Former partners of Island Grill, Ann and Jack McCormick, have opened Olive Morada in the new Casa Mar Village shopping center at MM 90 in Tavernier.  Their store features 42 flavors of white and dark balsamic vinegars, extra virgin olive oils and flavored olive oils as well as Stonewall Kitchen products and gourmet food items such as pastas, dips, jams, and spices.

Olive Morada shopping in the Florida Keys

Olive Morada in the new Casa Mar Village shopping center at MM 90 in Tavernier

While shopping at the store, you’re welcome to taste the different flavors of olive oil and balsamic vinegars.  Go for heat or perhaps something sweet, or better yet, combine an infused olive oil with a flavored balsamic vinegar.  Garlic infused olive oil combined with cranberry pear white balsamic vinegar offers a sweet and savory flavor that tastes amazing over salad, used as a dipping sauce with bread, drizzled over rice or quinoa, used as a marinade for fish or poultry, or drizzled over vegetables before roasting.   A flavor infused olive oil is also excellent for using in place of butter in prepared recipes.

On Thursday, February 27, at 6:30 p.m. Olive Morada will host a food and wine event at their store with French chef, Cris Loung, who will be preparing tasty dishes using olive oil and balsamic vinegars from the store.   The event is limited to 25 people so purchase your tickets in advance to guarantee your spot.  For just $25, you’ll learn the benefits of cooking with olive oils as well as the type of dishes that can be prepared with them to include everything from appetizers to desserts.   You can purchase your tickets in store at 90773 Old Highway in Tavernier, open daily from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.  or call (305) 735-4375.

Olive Morada, shopping in the Florida Keys

Olive Morada offers 42 flavors of white and dark balsamic vinegars, extra virgin olive oils and flavored olive oils

In addition to taste testing great olive oils, Casa Mar Village also offers the opportunity to shop, grab lunch, and go paddle boarding all from the same location.   Featuring great shops and restaurants including One Drunken Monkey, Florida Keys Coffee Roasting, Fresh Press Cafe, Capt. Slate’s Dive Center, Islamorada Lobster Company, Muchies, The Jolly Pelican, Jewels by Vivi, PaddleThe Florida Keys and, of course, Olive Morada.  Casa Morada Village is a great way to spend the afternoon, I highly recommend a visit.

Grand Opening for Michelle Nicole Lowe Art Gallery

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

Mark your calendar for Friday, January 31st for the Grand Opening and Re-Opening Party for the Michelle Nicole Lowe Art Gallery, Seaside Glassworks and Islamorada Mercantile located at mile marker 81.9 in Islamorada.  From 5 to 8 p.m., these three wonderful  stores will be opening their doors for the public to enjoy fabulous art, great shopping, tasty treats and libations in celebration of their new locations.

This is the first art gallery and studio space for Michelle Nicole Lowe, however, her stunning tropical paintings have long been a favorite for local art collectors and Florida Keys travelers wishing to take a piece of paradise home.  Previously her work was featured in Gallery Morada.  You may also have seen her paintings on display at the Green Turtle, Islamorada Fishing Club, Third Thursday Art Walks and national art shows around the United States.

Michelle Nicole Lowe Art Gallery featured by  Leah Maki

Michelle Nicole Lowe in her new art gallery in the Keys.

The Michelle Nicole Lowe Art Gallery not only has her original and limited edition prints of her paintings but also great gift items with her artwork on them including: Tervis Tumblers, women’s tank tops, note cards, plates and platters, and cell phone cases.  Imagine your friends reaction when they see Michelle’s tropical fish on the cover of your phone!   In addition, you’ll also find gorgeous gemstone jewelry and one-of-a-kind oak, ash or walnut wood bangles made by artisans from around the country.  In addition, Michelle does commissioned work for those wanting a one-of-a-kind painting for their home.

Michelle’s neighbor is Seaside Glassworks, who’s expanded shop now includes a classroom for art classes.  Owner and artist, Stephanie Martin will start offering classes this spring for crafting jewelry and artwork all your own.   Within her gallery you’ll discover beautiful glass fused jewelry, drop light pendants, and wall art made from combining dichroic two-toned glass and artisan glasses.  My favorite are her one-of-a-kind pendants and earrings which have a metallic coating on its surface that reflect light and look great with everything.  As each unique piece reflects different colors depending on what you’re wearing.   This affordable, wearable art is a must for all jewelry lovers.

The final shop in this building is Islamorada Mercantile who’s new space offers an expanded selection of  resort wear for men and women.  Find easy-to-wear dresses and wardrobe staples in bright hues and patterns perfect for life in the Florida Keys.   In addition to clothing, they also offer jewelry, sun hats, gift items, big beach bags, and driftwood clocks handmade by store owners, Mike and Susan Johnson.  Each clock is constructed with driftwood found on the beach made in a style common to the Keys and Colonial Caribbean.  Each clock ranges in sizes and colors that will fit your style and space.

I hope to see you on Friday, January 31st but if you’re in the neighborhood sooner, the Michelle Nicole Lowe Art Gallery is open Tuesday through Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Monday by appointment.  Seaside Glassworks is open Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  and Islamorada Mercantile is open daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Happy Shopping!


A Unique Shopping Experience in Islamorada

Posted on: November 3rd, 2013 by Leah No Comments

Milk & Honey is a beautiful boutique located in Islamorada offering a bohemian chic vibe with flair. Featuring an eclectic mix of high fashion clothing and accessories, and expertly curated gifts from around the world for you and your home. Everything in this store is hand-picked by the owner and is a true reflection of her personal style.

Milk & Honey boutique in Islamorada - Image courtesy of Leah Bain Maki

Milk & Honey is a beautiful boutique located in Islamorada offering a bohemian chic vibe with flair.

Danielle Cockerham, owner of Milk & Honey, grew up in Tortola, British Virgin Islands. Her mother was raised in India, England, and Trinidad and Tobago and her mother’s multicultural background greatly influenced Danielle’s personal tastes. Fairtrade has always been important to Danielle and she also loves to know how something is made. Custom, one-of-a-kind pieces therefore are a signature of her store.

Her store also includes a diverse collection of Indie labels which are produced on a smaller scale. A few of my favorite labels include Michelle Jonas Travelwear whose designs are hand-dyed and have beautiful lace details, Flynn Skye fashions offer beautiful patterns for simplicity with an edge, and Novella Royale pieces are all created from recycled fabric, making each piece limited and unique. The versatility of the clothing carried by Milk & Honey allows you to wear it to coffee, the beach or a nice dinner without changing.

Milk & Honey boutique in Islamorada - Image courtesy of Leah Bain Maki

Featuring unique indie labels such as Michelle Jonas Travelwear, Flynn Skye and Novella Royale.

Milk & Honey’s repertoire of treasures doesn’t stop with your wardrobe. Stunning Moroccan silk tassels adorn her dressing room curtains and could easily be used for window dressings, art or decor. Handmade all leather sandals from Kenya will become as comfortable as your favorite pair of jeans. Custom one-of-a-kind jewelry made only for Milk & Honey incorporate shells and rocks that Danielle finds on her own travels. Then too, a vast array of jean shorts adorn an area near a beautiful selection of cowboy boots, hand woven baskets, gorgeous Indian block print fabrics and captivating Voluspa scents and candles. Every item in this store has a story and immediately lets you know how special it is.

Milk & Honey Boutique in Islamorada - Image Courtesy of Leah Bain Maki

Handmade all leather sandals from Kenya will become as comfortable as your favorite pair of jeans.

Milk & Honey recently moved to a new locations situated in the heart of Islamorada near the Morada Way Arts & Cultural district at 81681 Old Highway. It is open Tuesday – Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. If you want to see more of Milk & Honey’s latest looks, join them for a fashion show and shopping event on Thursday, November 14th starting 5:30 p.m. at the Village Square at the Trading Post. Milk & Honey, D-Luxe Boutique and Miss Monroe will all be featuring holiday looks from their collections and great gift items to give you a head start on your holiday shopping.


Relax, Shop and Eat at the new Village Square at the Trading Post

Posted on: October 4th, 2013 by Leah No Comments

On Saturday, October 5th, the new Village Square at the Trading Post in Islamorada will open its doors.  This locals haven will provide you with enough entertainment to spend a morning, afternoon or evening shopping, relaxing and feasting on some fresh cuisine.  Located on the north side of the Trading Post just past the parking lot is a home that has been converted into a must stop destination.  Here you’ll find artist cottages, a new lifestyle store called uCumbe, the new second location for Miss Monroe Boutique, Bad Boy Burrito concept style restaurant and a white sandy beach with lounge furniture, free wifi and plenty of outdoor seating.

The Village Square was the brain child of Richmond Arce and Michael Mooney who wanted to create a place where locals would want to come and hang out.  Their store, uCumbe is a gorgeous lifestyle store with an amazing selection of art, fragrances and body products, gifts, home decor, and fabulous coffee table books.  Their affordable art and showcase pieces will allow you to freshen up an entire room for under $500.  They also have a $50 and under room with a variety of unique gifts, cards, and jewelry.  uCumbe is sure to be your new go-to place when you need to purchase a unique gift for a friend.  You’ll also adore their brightly colored fish by artist Lisa Pirkle.

Fabulous gift selection found at the new uCumbe boutique in Islamorada

Fabulous gift selection found at the new uCumbe lifestyle boutique

uCumbe offers a unique selection of home decor, fabulous coffee table books, & art

uCumbe offers a unique selection of home decor, fabulous coffee table books, & art

Monroe’s second location is also onsite with a focus on more beachy and easy-to-wear clothing and accessories perfect for the Florida Keys lifestyle.  They offer lightweight apparel, swimsuit cover-ups, sandals, hats, bags, sunglasses and a fabulous selection of semi precious jewels and statement jewelry.  I’m in love with their line of Mel rubber sandals.  Not only are they incredibly comfortable but the soles smell like bubble gum.  Stinky feet no more!  In addition, you will love their Samudra canvas clutches.  Each clutch has been screen printed with limited edition tropical photographs.  It’s the type of clutch that every Florida Keys fashionista needs to own and is the easiest way to add a pop of color to your outfit.    The best part about Miss Monroe’s second location is that it’s all very affordable with almost everything under $100.

Beachy and easy to wear clothing and accessories found at Miss Monroe Boutique's new location

Beachy and easy to wear clothing and accessories found at Miss Monroe Boutique’s new location

Samudra Canvas Clutches found at Miss Monroe Boutique's new location

Samudra Canvas Clutches found at Miss Monroe Boutique’s new location

Now that all that shopping has made you work up an appetite, time to sit down on the sprawling tropically landscaped grounds and enjoy something tasty from Bad Boy Burrito.  After the Key West natives went crazy for their fresh juice, ceviche, sangria and, of course, burritos, they decided a second location in Islamorada was a must.  They’ll be offering breakfast, lunch and a tapas-style dinner with every menu item being made from fresh and locally grown, caught, and bought ingredients.

In the next few months, a lighthouse park will be installed by local artist Larry Herlth.  One of his replicas is currently on display in the uCumbe store but all of the 6 Florida Keys lighthouse replicas will be installed around the Village Square at the Trading Post.  The goal of this park is to create passion in others for saving the more than 100 year old historic lighthouses off the Florida Keys.

The Village Square at the Trading Post will be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily beginning on Saturday, October 5th.  See you there!

Rejuvenate Your Workout

Posted on: September 20th, 2013 by Leah No Comments

Just like your wardrobe, workout routines can start to feel a little old and bland. And there is nothing worse than dreading it or making it a chore. Rejuvenate your workout by trying something new, getting back into something you love or by adding something shiny and new to your athletic apparel wardrobe.

Stand-up paddleboarding (a.k.a SUP) is one of the fastest growing sports in the country. If you have not yet tried this fun pastime, it’s time to change that. Not only is it a great way to explore the shallow water in the Florida Keys but it also provides a great workout. SUP boards offer a wide platform for stability, excellent for standing or kneeling. If you do fall in, the boards are very easy to climb back on. You could also try a paddleboard yoga class offered throughout the Keys. The classes start with a nice paddle then move into a yoga instructed class and then end with a paddle back to land. Start by renting a board and then try out a class on the board. SUP rentals are available in the following locations: Key Largo Paddle the Florida Keys www.paddlethefloridakeys.com (305) 434-5930, Islamorada – MM88 flkeyssup@gmail.com(305) 753-1150, Islamorada Otherside Board Sports www.othersideboardsports.com (305) 853-9728, Keys Kayak in Marathon www.keyskayakllc.com (305) 743-8880, and SUP Key West www.supkeywest.com (305) 240-1426.

Leah Maki, SUP, Florida Keys paddleboarding

Want to buy your own paddleboard?  Check out the Bam Bam stand-up paddleboard by Michael Dolsey Design.  Durable, stable and light with a concave deck and wider profile for greater stability. $1,100 Florida Keys Kiteboarding and Stand-up Paddleboarding, 11201 Overseas Highway, Marathon, 305-942-9635 kiteboardingfloridakeys.com

If you’d like to keep your workout on dry land, consider taking up an old hobby you used to enjoy. As kids, most of us grew up on our bikes and used it as our main means of transportation. In the Keys, bikes are an excellent way to get around while also providing some great exercise. The trick to this sport as an adult is to invest in a quality bike that is the right size and style for you. Backcountry Cowboy Outfitters in Islamorada not only has a great selection of bicycles for purchase but also has an abundance of Electra bicycles for rent. Stop in and check out their large inventory and rent one to try it out. I highly recommend investing in a basket for the front of your bike. It’s a great way to store water bottles, wallets, and sunscreen while out cruising the Keys. Backcountry Cowboy Outfitters is located in Islamorada at 82240 Overseas Highway (305) 517-4177. For more information go to www.backcountrycowboy.com.

Leah Maki, Townie, Backcountry Cowboy Outfitters

Leah Maki with her pink townie from Backcountry Cowboy Outfitters in Islamorada

Just because you’re going to the gym doesn’t mean you should leave your fashion sense at home.

If you’re wearing old ratty t-shirts to work out, you are in desperate need of a new athletic apparel wardrobe. Workout apparel has come a long way. Workout tops for women offer built-in bra support and strategic color blocking for figure flattering effects. As exciting as it can be to put on a new dress, a new outfit for the gym can provide just as much enjoyment. Flex your fashion muscles by buying color coordinating outfits in bright hues. Make sure that whatever you buy, you feel confident in as that can be another incentive to work up a sweat. Islamorada Fitness at 85960 Overseas Highway offers a nice selection of workout apparel that will make you feel as good as you look.

Leah Maki, Rejuvenate Your Workout

New workout clothes are great for inspiration – Islamorada Fitness has a great selection of athletic apparel at their gym at 85960 Overseas Highway in Islamorada