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LINCOLN MKX REVIEW

Lincoln  (2 of 22)

Baby Enriquez is almost here. Just three weeks away! My scheduled due date is October 5, which by the way, is the same day as my actual birthday. Eeek…

Call me selfish, but I am secretly hoping he arrives before, or after my birthday. Though, if he comes on my actual birthday does that mean I get a push gift and a birthday gift? How about my very own 2016 Lincoln MKX mom car? ;)

A few weeks back, I got to test drive this whip for a week and let’s just say I swoon. I couldn’t wait to review the Lincoln MKX. I’ve never been the type to think that having a baby means you need a bigger and better car. But if I can be honest, I may have changed my mind. (Don’t worry, I still won’t ever get a van. Ever!)

Lincoln (17 of 22)

To enjoy and take advantage of our Lincoln experience, the hubby and I decided to take a 45-minute road trip to Blowing Rocks Preserve, a hidden gem in Jupiter Island.  The place is a nature conservancy known for its beautiful beach and distinctive rocky-limestone shoreline.

blowing-rocks-preserve

blowing-rocks-preserve-1

The day was absolutely perfect and the park was stunning. We didn’t stay too long though, it was too hot… On the way back, the cooled front seats were perfect for the Miami summer. And for a SUV, the car didn’t do too bad on gas  — it averaged about 16 mpg city and 26 highway.

When I tell you I was swoon with the car, I wasn’t kidding. I totally played-up my “mom car for the week” role. That same weekend we purchased our stroller and I couldn’t wait to see if I could set it up and tear it down all by myself. It took a few tries, but I think I actually got the hang of it.

Lincoln (13 of 22)

Lincoln (9 of 22)

Last but not least, my favorite spec of the car was the self-parking feature.  I guess now would also be a good time to confess that I immensely dislike parallel parking, even after living in Miami Beach for over 3 years — I am still not very good at it. But the enhanced active parking assist made me feel like a pro! Its sensors locate the available spot and all you have to do is steer it into place. You control the shifter buttons, brake and the accelerator. Did I mention the car had 3 different camera views? Hands down, my favorite!

If you happen to be in the market for a new car, (or a cool mom car) I highly recommend you pass by and take it for a spin. Let me know how you like it.

 

 

Is it just me or doesn’t it feel like everyone is getting married? These days, I have so many friends that are in the midst of wedding planning that it has made me a little nostalgic. So much so, that the other day the hubby and I sat down to watch our wedding video in order to reminisce on the day we said I do. (Which was almost 8 years ago, crazy huh?)

Funny enough, a few days later Borrowed & Blue reached out to me for a collaboration. Timing was perfect since I was also helping one of my friend’s plan her wedding. Actually, not only do I get to help in the planning process, I also get the honor of officiating her ceremony! I am beyond excited to share this sweet moment with her and her soon-to-be husband. Anyway, Borrowed & Blue, literally had perfect timing because not only did I get to share this resource with her, but since it is a local platform where other people can share wedding resources, it was of great help. And as you know, I am all about local love.  

Borrowed & Blue wanted to connect with our readers while also getting a little behind the scenes look into the person behind Flair.Borrowed & Blue (28 of 30) Borrowed & Blue (1 of 30)

Here’s a snip bit of how they stumbled upon us and a few get-to-know-me questions from the online resource for Miami weddings

“I was so excited when I stumbled across Flair Miami because I love a lady with fabulous lifestyle sensibilities and a platform to share them on. Vannia is a beautiful writer, an absolute style icon, and a true blue Miami babe. Our Borrowed & Blue readers are going to love her because she’s a savvy lady with the low-down on all things local, like some of her favorite spots in the area (bachelorette parties, hello!) and where to find the most excellent food. I’m thrilled that I was able to chat with Vannia about her aesthetic, her work, and her favorite haunts in the Magic City. I can’t wait for folks to check out this Q&A and get a sense of her excellent blog.”

– Helen, Borrowed & Blue’s Miami Market Specialist

Borrowed & Blue (24 of 30)NORDSTROM top
VINCE jeans
ZARA heels

Images: Katie Lopez Photography

Thanks, Helen! Here’s my Q&A with Borrowed & Blue:

Questions:

  1. Vannia! For friends who are just joining us, will you tell us about how you got into blogging?
    Absolutely. I’ve been blogging for almost 5 years now. I originally got into the world of online writing through a local news station that I was working for. At the time, I was a web producer and would publish daily news articles online. I loved the writing process and connecting with individuals, but I was quickly disheartened by all of the “bad news” I was sharing. A few years later, I decided to start my own blog as a hobby and write about Miami and all its flair. I focused on the food, fashion, fitness and a lot of fun. :)
  1. Give us a sense of your style in six words.
    Feminine. Modern. Versatile. Chic. Polished and trendy.
  1. What are your favorite subjects to write about on the blog?
    I love writing lifestyle pieces where I get to incorporate my feelings and/or thoughts. I find that they flow easier and feel more authentic to who I am.
  1. What five objects do you never leave the house without?
    Phone. Wallet. Mascara. Keys and these days a water bottle.
  1. As an excellent writer, I bet you have great taste in reading material. What are you reading at the moment?
    I’m in between 2 books right now,
    Daring Greatly by Brene Brown and What to Expect When You’re Expecting by Arlene Eisenberg, Heidi Eisenberg Murkoff, and Sharon Mazel.
  1. Describe your dream day in Miami.
    It’s a beautiful sunny day… The hubby and I just enjoyed a delicious brunch and we’re walking to our favorite spot in South Beach. Not a worry or task in mind. We sit back, enjoy the salty air and ocean flair.
  1. What is your favorite neighborhood to explore locally?
    Lately, I’ve really enjoyed Wynwood. There are so many cute little coffee shops and restaurants that I’ve yet to try… Every time I’m there I feel like the world is my oyster.
  1. How about some favorite places to do some shopping in the area?
    Since I live in South Beach the places I normally shop from are either in Sunset Harbour or Lincoln Road. But if you’re in the market for a specific local spot, there’s an awesome boutique in Wynwood called Style Mafia. The boutique is great for fashion-forward pieces at a reasonable cost.
  1. Do you have a favorite brunch spot in Miami? Or a favorite place for dinner?
    For brunch, I love Oliver’s and the Local House. As for dinner, there’s a tiny hole-in-the-wall Indonesian spot called Bali Cafe — I absolutely recommend it! Mmm. Makes me hungry just thinking about it.
  2. Describe something that sets Miami apart from other cities you’ve lived in.
    Before living in Miami, I actually lived in Bolivia. A whole other country. But what sets Miami apart? I’d say the people and the different cultures. You can basically find anything your heart desires here. As far as food, fun and even ambiance — Miami has so much to offer and it is the people who make this city. I love the passion and vibrance that this city has to offer. Not only is it a dream vacation spot, or a great wedding location. To me, Miami is home.

There you have it! I hope you enjoyed our Q&A. Be sure to check out Borrowed & Blue, the go-to guide for finding Miami wedding photographers and much more.

  • This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SienteGlade #CollectiveBias

I love mornings when I wake up with a little extra pep in my step! Don’t you?

As a typical Latina, I normally tend to be pretty cheery and bright. But I especially love it when even the littlest things add joy to my day. A hot cup of cafecito, fresh flowers, even a day filled with crafts…

Spring couldn’t have come soon enough! Maybe it’s the fact that I feel like a lot of good things are happening around me these days. I have friends that are getting married,  some that are having babies and others that are coming to visit from out of town. But today, I need to get crafting. I decided to pass by my local Publix and browse the aisles for some inspiration.

What better way to get my creative juices flowing than by trying out a new candle? I’m a strong believer that smells can either inhibit or enhance creativity. So, I decided to set the mood in my casita by adding a little brightness! I purchased a set of the new Glade® Radiant Berries™ Candles and decided to also give the Glade® Radiant Berries™ PlugIns® Scented Oil a try. (What can I say, I’m into smells.) And this scent was just the jolt of fun that I needed. The bright smell of berries made me think pink, spring, and cheery. I put on some good jams, phoned a friend, and got to crafting for an upcoming bridal shower!

Today’s goal… Centerpieces. Origami and tissue paper flowers, coming right up!

 

Crafting Paper Flowers with Glade (12)

Here’s what we’ll be making… Want to join in on the fun?

What you’ll need:

  • Hot glue gun
  • Hot glue gun sticks
  • Origami papers
  • Colored tissue papers
  • Small pearls
  • Twine
  • Craft sticks or stems
  • Mason jars

Crafting Paper Flowers with Glade (7)

Let’s get started with the tissue paper flowers…

Crafting Paper Flowers with Glade (15)

  1. Cut your tissue paper into large squares. Sizes can vary according to the size you want your flower to be.
  2. Stack them on top of each other. I used 5 sheets.
  3. Fold the squares in half, it should now look like a rectangle.
  4. Then, fold the rectangle again in half and it now becomes a square.
  5. Hold at the center and begin to cut/trim the edges of the flower.
  6. Once you’ve trimmed the edges, you can now staple or glue the stick/stem.
  7. I found that using a stapler is easier and doesn’t damage the paper as much.
  8. Slowly begin to unfold the scalloped edges into the center of the stem.
  9. Repeat the process and turn the flower as you go along.
  10. Voila!

Crafting Paper Flowers with Glade (5)

Now, let’s use our origami paper and start making our kusudama flower.Kusudama Oragami Tutorial

  1. Start with a squared piece of origami paper. (Not pictured above.)
  2. Fold the paper in half diagonally.
  3. Bring the bottom side triangles up to the center of the triangle.
  4. Now, bring the right flap and fold it in half toward the edges of the square.
  5. Repeat the process with the left flap folding it backwards and halfway.
  6. Expand the triangle you’ve just folded and slowly flatten it into a diamond-like shape. Be sure to do this on both sides.
  7. Fold the tips of the diamond into an upside-down triangle shape.
  8. Repeat on both sides.
  9. Fold both sides in, toward the line-fold in the center of the diamond.
  10. Hold at the tip and slowly curve the left and right-most corners —  now you’ve got yourself a petal!

Now, how do we put them all together and make them look like this?Crafting Paper Flowers with Glade (6) Crafting Paper Flowers with Glade (13)

  1. Now that you’ve created all your petals, begin to glue the folded tabs.
  2. I used the hot glue gun and added three dots along the edges.
  3. Bring the folded flaps together and allow the glue to set.
  4. Hold the flaps closed for 5 seconds. Repeat the process on all other petals.
  5. Begin to add petals holding them in place as you glue others. I recommend at least 5 petals per flower.
  6. Continue adding pieces until you’ve assembled an entire flower.
  7. Apply glue to the central stem.
  8. Flip flower and insert the stem from the center-bottom of the flower.
  9. Add the last touch by gluing a small pearl at the center of your flower.
  10. All done! You’re flower is ready to go!

Last but not least, recycle an old mason jar and turn it into a vase! Wash it, remove any sticker/brand residue and add a rustic look by wrapping twine at the bottom of the jar. Use the hot glue gun to adhere the twine in place.
Crafting Paper Flowers with Glade (3) Crafting Paper Flowers with Glade (2)

And to think that my fun-filled day of crafts and creativity started when I bought the Glade® Radiant Berries™ candle and PlugIns® Scented Oil?  Funny how a little crafting can make you feel bright.

Crafting Paper Flowers with Glade (11)

What inspires you? Tell us, what gives you the extra pizzazz you need? Crafting Paper Flowers with Glade (9)

Hope you enjoyed the craft! Thanks for joining in on the fun. Feel Bright. Feel Glade®

The secret is out… The hubby and I are going to be parents! Ahhhh, we are beyond excited!

But, along with the excitement also comes questions and concerns. From what I’ve observed, parenting is not for the faint of heart… And we are both well aware of that, it’s probably the main reason why we took our time adding kids into the mix in the first place.

I’ve personally never understood people who paint parenting as an easy and peachy picture. So, as far as parenting and truth-telling goes, you can expect me to be on the blunt side of things.

As for my first official pregnancy/parenting post, I decided to give you a peek into my brain.

Here are 10 real questions of a first-time mom:

  1. Why are so many first-time parents shocked at how hard the first 3 months are? Maybe I’m the odd one out, but the very thought of being a parent makes me nervous, especially the first few months scratch that, more like the entire first year. Being responsible for the life of another human? That’s scary.  And the first 3 months (get ready for my bluntness) seem like pure torture! Your body is recovering from the whole birthing process (which already freaks me out) and now you have to tend to another human every minute and hour of your day? And he/she spends most of its time latched onto you, what part of that seems easy?
  2. Will I ever be able to sleep again? I’m almost pretty sure that the answer to this question is a big fat NO! At least for a long time. But really!? Like, really? Can I pray to not be sleep deprived and be blessed with a child who loves sleep as much as I do? One can only dream…
  3. How in the world will I function without sleep? I’m the kind of person that gets grouchy when I don’t get my full 8-9 hours of sleep. Over time, I’ve tried to wake up earlier and enjoy more of my early mornings, but if I know I have to wake up earlier — I also go to bed earlier. Why? Because I need my beauty sleep. So, how exactly does one function with only 3 to 4 hours of sleep a day?
  4. Have my abs forever left the building? Watching your body change through the process of pregnancy is an interesting/fascinating/scary process. The fact that a child is being formed inside of me is both a miraculous and scary process. Don’t worry, I’m not expecting to go home in my skinny jeans after giving birth but I would like to someday fit into them again. Yes, I know the question may seem superficial and trivial but it’s a real question. Will I go back to normal? I’m hoping muscle memory is real and though I know my weight may be distributed differently post-baby, I’m still hoping to be able to feel confident post-pregnancy.
  5. Will every room in my house turn into a baby room? Toys, high-chairs, swings, pampers, rocking chairs, baby clothes. Ah! Why do babies come with so much stuff? And how do I prevent them from taking over my house? If you’ve ever visited the Enriquez household you can attest to the fact that everything has its place. Not because we’re overly clean or neat, but because we have to use our space wisely. We live in a one bedroom apartment in South Beach, we can’t really afford to hoard stuff, which I think is a good thing. But what do I do with all the baby stuff?
  6. Do I really need a mom car? I have a 4-door sedan, a Mazda 3 to be exact. Do I really need a van or SUV? Other than a car seat, diaper bag and stroller what else do I need the extra room for?
  7. What if I don’t fall in love with my newborn right away? I’ve always said that if I could give birth to a 1 or 2-year-old (though that would be extremely painful) I would have probably had kids a lot sooner. Toddlers are so fun and energetic. I love them! But, personally newborns aren’t all that exciting to me. In fact, I find them quite boring they don’t do anything. (I warned you that I would be honest.) They’re not yet fully alert, you have to be super gentle with them, and at first they don’t even smile. They’re so fragile that I’m scared of breaking them. I’m really hoping my motherly instincts kick-in as soon as I hold my child for the first time. But what if they don’t?
  8. Will I really stop liking and buying heels? I’m all about a cool pair of sneakers and pretty flats, but show me the right heels or wedges and I’ll toss comfort to the curve. Though from what I hear, moms slowly start losing their love for heels and start becoming more fond of flats. Is that a real thing? Or is it just practicality?
  9. Does parenting require me to finally grow up? I’ve always been a kid-at-heart. I enjoy a good laugh, a dance-off, being silly, playing in the park and doing things that sometimes test the limits. I love random adventures and meeting new people. Does this make me immature? Let me ask a better question, do I have to grow up and become boring now?
  10. Does it make me a bad parent if I don’t put my child first? Growing up in a Latino household I often heard the saying “los hijos son la prioridad  y lo mas importante de tu vida.” (Translation: Your children should always be your first priority and the most important part of your life.) Maybe it’s due to the fact that I was raised in a single-parent home where my mother had to play both mom and dad, work hard and even give up some of her aspirations in order to raise my sister and I. My mom is truly a blessing and I am ever so thankful for everything that she has done and continues to do for us. But sometimes, I wonder what would her life be like today if she had the help of my father? What would it look like to do this as a team with God at the center? The more I think of that, the more I vow to not make children my top priority. Instead, I promise to be a woman who first and foremost seeks God. Secondly, I promise to love, honor, and respect my husband and not give him my dirty seconds. I promise to love and cherish my child ever so dearly and I also know that the best way to do that is to raise him in a Godly-centered home and be able to be parents that love and care for each other as much as they do for him.  Eventually, I know that someday this child will leave and start a new family, and hopefully we’ll have set a good example to help him mold his future.

Well, there you have it a brain dump of all my questions. Feel free to agree, disagree, answer or not! All I know is that I will take all the advice I can get.

In the meantime, I’ll continue to enjoy the pregnancy process and keep playing dress-up with my growing bump. Thanks Tobi.com for helping me have a stylish baby bump!

TOBI Stylish Bump

Real Questions of a first-time mom 2MIRROR SLIT dress c/o TOBI
ZARA heels
NORDSTROM watch
KENDRA SCOTT bracelet c/o ROCKSBOX
GORJANA earrings c/o ROCKBOX

Stylish Bump Tobi (57 of 70) Real Questions of a first-time mom 4

Like my jewelry? Give Rocksbox a try! Have a free month on me, be sure to use the code VANNIAXOXO.

 

ANDROID VS APPLE?

Android vs Apple-2

In an Android vs Apple world, which one do you prefer?

I’ve been on the hunt for a new phone for quite sometime now. It’s been so long that I’m still using my old iPhone 5.

I went almost 7 years without ever trying an Android phone. For a long time, I pretty much considered myself a die-hard Apple fan. Their simple design, clean technology and user-friendly platform made me a loyal-customer.

But lately, it seems as though Android phones like Samsung, Nexus, Sony and HTC have definitely stepped-up their game. To compare these two platforms, I’ve been using both my old iPhone 5 and the new Galaxy S7 Edge for the past few weeks. I know that the new technology in the S7 can’t even begin to compare with my dated phone, so I won’t really be talking about hardware, but instead I’ll be comparing the platforms between Android vs Apple.

Android vs Apple-1

Here’s what I like about Apple phones:

  • If you own an iPad, iPhone and a Mac computer, you can easily sync all of your calendars, music, information, and even text messages.
  • iPhones apps are cleaner and don’t allow additional carrier apps.
  • Air Drop, Facetime and iCloud photo sharing is so convenient. Especially if most of your friends also have iPhones, sharing information between friends is way easier. (Most of my friends have iPhones so this point may be subjective.)
  • iPhones tend to hold their re-sell value more than Android phones.
  • Most apps are first developed for iOS.
  • Apple stores offer great customer support.
  • The iPhone camera is usually better than most Android phones. (Though now, the Galaxy S7 is a serious contender for the iPhone 6S.)
  • iOS updates are user-friendly and installing them is up to the user.

Here’s what I like about Androids:

  • Most Android phones have a micro-sd card slot that allows you to expand your phone memory.
  • When choosing an Android phone you can customize the phone to fit your needs. Want a better camera? Prefer the phone to withstand shock? The option of Android phones, screens, displays and cameras are endless.
  • Some Android phones are even water resistant. (What?!? Yep. I said it.)
  • Android phones usually offer plans that are more affordable.
  • Androids are better with multi-tasking and customization.
  • Need to charge your phone? Any micro-usb will do, wireless charging no problem!
  • No need to type when you have swipe texting!!
  • Last but not least, there are some pretty awesome virtual reality options for Androids.

To be honest, I haven’t really made up my mind as to which platform I like better. I think they each have their perks. At this point, I’m just looking for an affordable plan. I’m in between Verizon and Project-Fi from Google (which my husband swears by).

What do you guys think? Do you lean toward one more than the other?

Well, if you happen to own a Samsung phone, you’re in for quite a giveaway! I teamed up with Verizon to give one of our readers your very own Samsung Virtual Reality Gear. It is so so so fun to use! To enter the giveaway, all you have to do is follow me on Instagram, like this post and tag a friend that’s a fellow ‘droid fan.

Good luck and happy weekend!

 

VRGear Giveaway Oculus

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but Moscow Mules have totally made a comeback!

This classic cocktail, also known as a Vodka Buck has been around since the 1940’s. I’m not sure if it’s the ginger beer or the copper mug that draws its fans… But this drink has been all the rage these days.

Since I’m not a big fan of vodka, I decided to make my Moscow Mule with a twist, I swapped out the vodka for some Cruzan Premium Aged Rum. PS: Apparently, I’m not the inventor of this drink, it’s actually a thing — if you replace the vodka for rum it is called a Dark ‘N’ Stormy. And if you substitute the rum with bourbon, it is called a Kentucky Mule. I guess it’s just a matter of preference.

With ginger beer as the base, this cocktail can be made so many different ways. If you enjoy the classic minty taste then fresh herbs are the way to go. However, if you want a tangy fruity-flavor you can add pomegranate, strawberries and even watermelon. As for the spirit, I always prefer a good rum. The spice of the ginger beer and the richness of the rum gives it the perfect taste! Depending on the type of rum you use (light or dark), feel free to play with the proportions.

I decided to keep it tangy and fresh! I invited a couple of friends over and this little cocktail was the start to a great weekend. Ready to make your own?

Here’s what you need for your Moscow Mule with a Twist a.k.a Dark ‘N’ Stormy:

  • 2 cups of ice
  • 2 ounces of Cruzan Rum
  • 4 to 6 ounces of ginger beer
  • 1/2 ounce of fresh squeezed lime juice (keep a lime for garnish)
  • 2-3 mint sprigs
  • a splash of simple syrup

Making a Moscow Mole with rum aka a Dark and Stormy-1

  1. Combine ice, rum, ginger beer, lime juice, simple syrup and a few mint leaves in a shaker.
  2. Mix well.
  3. Pour cocktail into copper mug. (Served on ice if desired.)
  4. Add fresh mint sprigs and lime wedges as extra garnish.

Enjoy!

How to make a Moscow Mole with rum aka a Dark and Stormy-6

Lifestyle brand Peace Love World launched their first ever 100% Certified Organic Cotton collection, Good Food Good Mood, designed exclusively for Whole Foods Market — and the entire collection is adorable!

Plus, can the line’s name Good Food Good Mood be any more accurate? Because I don’t know about you, but my good mood is totally dependent on good food. ;)

And is it just me or does it seem like this Miami-based brand not only wants you to look good, but also to feel good about what you eat?

The line features witty foodie sayings, like “I Love You Berry Much,” “I Really Kale About You,” “Kiwi Be Friends,” “I Love You A Latte,” “Lettuce Go To Whole Foods,” and my personal favorite “I am Grapeful!” 

I styled my “I Really Kale About You” t-shirt with the classic denim and a tee. It’s gives off an effortless vibe that still allows you to look put together. Specially when the tee is tucked in the right places and is just the right fit. Not too tight, not too loose.PLW - Goof Food GOod Mood-20PLW - Goof Food GOod Mood-19

Ready to get your own? Participating Whole Food locations in Downtown, Coral Gables, South Beach, even Boca carry the line (zip up hoodies, pants, tanks and tees) prices range from $38 to $48 each.
gf_gmlineup (1)

PS: To get you in the mood, I’ve partnered with Wholefoods and we’re giving one of our readers a $25 Wholefoods gift card!

Here’s how you enter:

Winners will be announced next week Wednesday. Check back soon!

PLW - Goof Food GOod Mood-18 PLW - Goof Food GOod Mood-17

NORDSTROM jeans, watch & necklace
I REALLY KALE ABOUT YOU tee c/o PEACE LOVE WORLD
LAIKA shoes c/o TRAFFIC SCHOES

PLW - Goof Food GOod Mood-15 PLW - Goof Food GOod Mood-14 PLW - Goof Food GOod Mood-13 PLW - Goof Food GOod Mood-8Happy Friday!

Skincare and grooming hasn’t always been a popular topic among men. But that doesn’t mean that they aren’t interested in it. In fact, many men are secretly drawn to the subject and are asking plenty of questions about the basics of skincare.

Kiehl’s president, Chris Salgardo, decided to take this matter into his own hands and begin to move the discussion forward through his book, Manmade: The Essential Skincare & Grooming Reference For Every Man. Rather than giving a one size-fits all perspective the book breaks it down into 5 categories and allows the reader to find his place.

Kiehls Book Signing (36)

As a launch party celebration which also included a private book signing, Kiehl’s held an exclusive event where attendees got to meeting Chris Salgardo, enjoy light refreshments, facials, and receive a 20%  off Kiehl’s discount!
Kiehls Book Signing (38)Kiehls Book Signing (34)Kiehls Book Signing (2)I personally got the chance to chat with Chris and here is the behind the scenes scoop.Kiehls Book Signing (45)

When did you become interested in skin care?

As a teenager, I suffered from pretty bad acne and at the time it was really hard for me because there weren’t very many ways that I could keep it under control. Certainly, I couldn’t use cover up. That was something that guys just didn’t do…  Most dermatologists recommended products that I didn’t really want to use because they dried out my skin. This really began to affect my confidence. I was already really skinny and tall — plus, I knew that I needed to put my best face forward. I began to do a lot of research and then I was finally able to get my skin care under control. It was then, that I began to really understand and see the importance of skincare, sunblock and a good moisturizer.

When did you start using Kiehl’s?

I started using Kiehl’s in 1990 and I’ve been using it for 26 years. It was a fast love affair — at the end of the day, the products just worked! They were hard to find at the time, but I loved the fact that they were made in America.  Through the years Kiehls has naturally attracted a lot of men which is great, and I actually joined the company in 2000. It was a dream come true.

Tell us a little bit about the book. What inspired it?

Through the years, I had a few men approach me with questions regarding their skincare. These questions became more frequent and were all very similar.  Eventually, I started doing some research, and found that between women there was an incredible transfer of knowledge from mother to daughter. I guess women were naturally talking to each other about make-up and skin care. But the same wasn’t true for men… There was absolutely no transfer of this type of knowledge between father and son. Hence, the book basically began to write itself, I wanted to keep it simple and allow men to have this as a resource they could pick up when needed. 

It seems like men are really embracing beardcare products these days. But what skincare advice would you give the bearded fellas, such as yourself?

First thing… Men should remember that there is skin underneath their beards. I feel like most men cleanse all around but they tend to forget their beard. I personally use anything that goes on my face, (whether it’s cleanser or moisturizer) and also apply it all over. The second thing men should do is condition their beards. I recommend using Midnight Recovery. I use it on my beard everyday and they should also know that Kiehl’s will be coming out with our very own beardcare products.

What are your top 3 favorite products?

Midnight Recovery
Avocado Eye Cream
Cream with Silk


Lastly, knowing what you know now… How would you have taken care of your skin during your younger years?

If I knew then what I know now, I would have started using sunscreen in my teens. Sun damage is cumulative and it stays with you and breaks down your skin. It’s not so much about avoiding the sun, as it is about having good sun protection.

From sun-care, to the effects of aging and even beard-care, Manmade will surely help the 21-st century man with all of his skincare and grooming needs. Be sure to check it out and let me know what you think!Kiehls Book Signing (8)

THE LEIBSTER AWARD

liebster-award

I am officially the recipient of a Liebster Award! Woo hoo!

What is  Liebster Award, you ask? Liebster Awards are an online recognition given to bloggers by other bloggers.  It is an honor to be a recipient of this award because it means you are recognized and valued for your work by other bloggers in your circle. It is a meaningful way to connect with like-minded individuals while building a network of friendship and support.

The sweet, Alice Shepherd from Alice’s Blessed Life presented me with mine. I was honored and humbled with the nomination! If you get a chance, be sure to pay her a visit and say hello. Her posts are heart-felt and filled with wisdom.

Now, it is my turn to pay it forward and share the love!

Here are the rules:

  • Share the award on your blog
  • Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog
  • Answer the 10 questions you are asked
  • Nominate 10 other bloggers
  • Ask 10 new questions

Questions for me:

What inspired you to start blogging?
Writing has always been something I found to be therapeutic. I initially started the blog as just a hobby. I had been working in ministry for over 5 years and I realized that I was so caught up in my day-to-day tasks that I began to lose touch with the real world. I needed a creative outlet that would allow me to pursue my love for fashion, fitness and all things Miami. I wanted a chance to connect with people that I normally wouldn’t. So what inspired me to blog? People like YOU!

What do you blog about?
I’d like to think of myself as a lifestyle blogger. I blog about anything, really. But for the most part, I blog about fashion, fitness, food and fun. I sprinkle that with a little flair and a little faith.

Where do you get inspiration for new posts?
It varies. At times my posts are inspired by a life experience. Other times, by a holiday or season. Sometimes it is just a collaboration or a cool PR pitch. I normally write about things that I would enjoy reading.

How frequently do you publish new posts?
For the most part, I try to post once a week. Some weeks however, I don’t post at all, while other times I may post 2-3 times. In an ideal word I would post every Monday and Friday. Though personally, I’ve come to the realization that Monday is not a very good day for me. I’m usually slammed with a million other things. I may consider doing posts every Tuesday and Friday. Hold me to it! Deal?

Do you have any goals for your blog?
Most of the goals I had were accomplished my first year They weren’t anything extravagant. Like I said, I saw this as just a hobby. The simple fact that it has taken me even here today is such a blessing. I guess my goal at this point would be to make a difference in someone’s life. My hope is that this isn’t just a place to talk about pretty clothes, and shoes, but a place where people can feel connected and understood. I’d also love to highlight my city and all of the awesome people in it!

What do you do besides blogging?
Currently, I’m a freelance writer and marketing consultant. I can do anything from manage your business’s social media to putting together an event/conference from start to finish. Interested? I’m all ears… :)

If you had the choice, which blog would you like to guest post for?
Glitter Guide, Relevant, Vivala or Hello Giggles.

If you had the choice, which blogger would you like to guest post for you?
Any of my fabulous nominees listed below.

What was the hardest subject you ever wrote about?
I wrote a piece called Practical Marriage. Writing the content wasn’t hard. The hard part was trying not to come off as a Mrs. Know-it-all! I didn’t want people to think that I was a relationship or marriage expert, nor that I have the perfect marriage.

What was your greatest victory for your blog to date?
Can I pick two?

  1. Being featured on Glam Latina
  2. And being nominated by the Miami New Times as Miami’s Top Fashion Blog. Both in my first year!

My nominees:
The Fashion Poet
The Fashionable Esq.
The Architect of Style
Thank You Miami
The Fancy Things
Bisous Brittany
Mommy Mafia

Mama’s Mission
Simple Sassy Style
A Girl in Her Thirties

Questions for my fabulous nominees:

  1. What’s something most people don’t know about you?
  2. Why and when did you decide to start blogging?
  3. How do you unwind?
  4. Who is someone that inspires you? Why?
  5. What is your favorite thing about blogging?
  6. What is you least favorite thing about blogging?
  7. Why do you think people read your blog? What makes you unique?
  8. What is one thing you hope to accomplish through the blog?
  9. Describe yourself in three words?
  10. Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?

SELF LOVE

Casual Friday with Traffic Shoes-6

Do you, like me, have a hard time saying what you love about yourself?

Last week I had the privilege of partnering with Traffic Shoe on their Self Love Is True Love campaign. And while I was very excited for the opportunity, I also had a really hard time picking out a word that described what I loved about myself.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a pretty confident person. But that wasn’t always the case…

In fact, the more I thought about it I realized that my confidence and self-assurance was a gift from God. It was because I learned that I was made by Him and for Him that I began to have self-worth. As my faith grew so did my confidence.

So, on this casual Friday, I decided to keep things simple. After all, life isn’t about you, nor what you have, or what you do. It’s about moments you’ve lived and people you’ve loved.

PS: Though self love is definitely important, I’m a strong believer that if you live a life focused only on yourself it can lead to a pretty empty and meaningless ending. Then it hit me, I realized that what I love about me is my faith. It keeps me grounded, gives me strength and sets me apart.

What do you love about yourself?

Casual Friday with Traffic Shoes-21 Casual Friday with Traffic Shoes-13 Casual Friday with Traffic Shoes-10

TJ MAXX tee
NORDSTROM RACK pants
ZARA backpack (sold out)
shoes c/o TRAFFIC

Talking about self love...

(shop a similar look below)
Casual Friday with Traffic Shoes-16 Casual Friday with Traffic Shoes-19

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