Posts tagged Lifestyle
Do I Adore Cafe Dior?
Simply Gharib Cafe Dior Miami
Simply Gharib - Cafe Dior Miami

Just when you thought the Miami Design District couldn’t get any ‘bougier’, it’s now upped itself with the addition of Café Dior. Which, as you can guess, is just as expensive as the name it bears. Dior has its signature cafe in Seoul and St. Tropez, so to open one up in Miami has made it the place to be - why? The cafe is Instagram-worthy as the perfect aesthetic for ‘haute’ coffee photos and photo backdrops.

I went to the cafe for my birthday with my husband and two friends. Of course, taking photos and posting them on my instagram story was easy, since the place itself is already cute. But listen up, because this is the part no one really talks about, the coffee and desserts are obscenely expensive. First of all, the coffee is $12 (+tax +tip +non-dairy milk) (there’s a reason they don’t advertise the menu online) and no, it is not worth it. I enjoy my cup of Nespresso and Starbucks more than the coffee they provided. A single macaron (pictured below) cost as much as the coffee. I thought Laduree was pricey, their macarons seem like a very reasonable $2.80/each.

So what’s the point? I had a very interesting conversation with a few friends on the power of social media for cafes and restaurants. It has the power to drive masses of people to these locations for the perfect photos. Even I’m guilty of this. I appreciate a beautifully designed space, I am an architect after all. My issue is there needs to be a balance between quality/price and Instagrammable design, otherwise these locations will gain fast momentum and die out just as fast. If it’s not already obvious - I would not recommend this cafe nor do I see myself going back. Yes, I can see the couture vibes beating a local corner Starbucks, but with places like OTL Miami right downstairs, Dr. Smood, Blue Bottle Coffee around the corner, etc… there is no need to choose Cafe Dior when there is an abundance of reasonably-priced, Instagrammable places right next door.

I did have a lot of fun, but this is true with any situation when you’re with the best people. This is all just my experience and opinion, maybe its a one-time-only kind of place or maybe there are those of you who think the ‘Dior’ powdered outline is worth every penny. All I’m saying is I’m not going to lie and say this is an amazing cafe just because the photos look amazing. There needs to be a little more transparency on social media when it comes to these things.

Dior, 162 NE 39th Street, Miami Design District

Dior, 162 NE 39th Street, Miami Design District

Relationship Podcasts: Let's Talk About It
 
All my friends are getting engaged, married, or having babies and I’m over here just GENUINELY HAPPY FOR THEM BECAUSE I DO NOT COMPARE MY JOURNEY TO ANYONE ELSE’S AND YOU SHOULD NOT EITHER.
— Anna Akana

Not a typical outfit post, but before all the NYFW craziness, my last posts were about my own relationship chapters and Valentine’s Day love. If you read them, then you know that I haven’t really been single since I was 17. While I struggled with my relationship differently than someone who struggled with the ‘single’ aspects of it — it’s the same issue. Love and relationships is one of those things that we, as a society, has romanticized - love, marriage, happily ever after. Our minds can get so contaminated with endless ideas of ‘perfection’. In reality, not many of us openly talk about it — so let’s talk about it.

The Ikonn EXPERIENCE

I share my own stories; the good and the bad, happy and sad, but that doesn’t mean I don’t need to sometimes hear someone else’s experiences to remember I’m not the only one. If you don’t know The Ikonns — you don’t know what you’re missing. I’ve followed Mimi Ikonn for what feels like forever, but it wasn’t until recently that' I’ve been able to connect and relate on a different level. She and her husband, Alex, not only share their relationship experiences on Youtube, but have also started a podcast, The Ikonn Experience. Maybe you can relate with some things they say, maybe not. The fact is they’re a part of a movement in breaking down the perfection barrier (it’s 2019, let’s be real now), and I appreciate their honesty. They recently shared a video (albeit a tad bit long to watch), where they openly discuss their reactions to people’s assumptions of them. Assumptions including “I feel like you guys never argue/fight”, “I feel like you’ve never thought of divorce”, “You guys seem like the perfect couple” — and let’s be honest, even I have had those assumptions before, but I remind myself that nothing is perfect. Which does not mean they’re unhappy or I am unhappy, it’s just understanding reality. It’s refreshing watching these two talk and communicate with their followers on a very open and real level. Watch their video here!

he Said What

Moving into the realm of dealing with being single, dating, and life in general. I recently met with Melissa Diamond, creator of He Said What podcast, “an unfiltered source of perspectives on life, love, and dating”. I may not have gone through dating someone who cheated, trying to find ‘the one’, or being broken up with, but I’ve seen others struggle with it. After listening to a few podcasts episodes, I realize this is all unchartered territory for most of us (yet we are somehow supposed to know how to deal with it). The epitome of the show is listening to others opening talk about their experiences, touching on subjects "we are not supposed to be discussing" but we all want to know and wonder about. When Melissa and I sat for our coffee date, she automatically made me feel like I was catching up with a long-time old friend. Her down-to-earth personality and openness is the reason why her “barrier-breaking-conversations” are so relatable.

He Said What recently reached its one year anniversary! Her episodes cover a variety of topics. From discussions on the pressure of first dates, not getting closure, managing expectations; being authentic, living in the moment, the challenges if dating, putting yourself out there; to dealing with the fear of rejection. Read Melissa’s interview here!

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Each day I find more and more people openly talking about, not just relationships but, life itself. We all struggle with different problems, but opening up with each other only brings us all closer together. We, humans, are social beings. It’s natural for us to want to connect with others like us and feel like we’re not alone. When we start to openly talk about our realities and listen to others, we start realizing ‘perfect’ does not exist. Stop comparing and start being happy for those who are able to overcome the struggles, see them as motivation. At the very least, it’s a “hey you’re not alone” reminder and we begin to normalize the fact that there is nothing wrong with us.

Valentine's Day - Give Me Experiences Part II
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Can’t believe it’s already been a year since my last Valentine’s Day post — the message still remains the same: Give me experiences. While I love gifts, as most of us do, I also love and have grown to appreciate experiences. Forget the chocolates and the roses. Keep the necklaces and bracelets aside for now. Give me your hand to hold as we fly to visit new countries. Give me conversation. Give me your time. Give me experiences. Give me you. This is a concept I’ve tried to implement not just on special days, but most days in my relationship. Whether that’s a relationship with a partner, family, friends, or yourself, it’s important to realize the best things in life are memories and experiences. It is the simplest, yet most luxurious gift anyone could wrap up and offer me. 

So with Valentine's Day approaching, here are some ideas to make the day (or upcoming weekend) unique and special. Spice things up and be spontaneous! (whether you're a couple or single showing yourself some self-love with your friends). 

1. Go on a staycation

You don't need to go anywhere to be spontaneous and travel. To experience the feeling of a home away from home, book into a romantic hotel. Take off work, don't make any plans and then get creative together for your day of relaxation.

2.Go Dancing.

Real dancing - You can take a class together or hit a salsa club.

3. Ice skating.

There's a reason why couples are always hitting the rink in our favorite rom-coms. Go with your girlfriends or your significant other. Ice skating is always a fun idea. 

4. A scavenger hunt.

You can make up your own, complete with creative challenges, photo missions, and sexy prizes or look for a local public event like the Amazing Valentine's Day Scavenger Hunt in New York City.

5. A wine & Tapas crawl.

Skip the prix-fixe Valentine's Dinner restaurant - Hop from place-to-place (you can always check Opentable for ideas), grab seats at the bar, and order different kinds of wine and tapas all along the way. Way more interesting experience than a sit-down dinner.

6. Be a tourist in your own town. 

Especially in Miami or NYC, there is so much to do that we sometimes don't take advantage. Put everything else on hold for the day and do all the activities you have on your list but haven't made time for. 

7. Watch old romantic movies. 

If you want to stay in but need a change from Netflix shows - stream classics like Casablanca and Roman Holiday or timeless favorites like Say Anything and The Bodyguard

8. Cook Together

There's no reason to drop a fortune at a fancy dinner when you can make a meal yourself. Can't cook (like me…)? Meal delivery services like Plated have made it easier than ever to refine those culinary skills.

9. Go to an Event

Tickets to a local jazz club, a musical, sports game or museum tour? Either idea will be fun and outgoing. Dress up and splurge on fancy cocktails to make the outing extra special.

10. HAVE A SPA DAY

The only thing you really need to create your own at-home spa is some candles and oils.

11. DO A PUZZLE

Working with others on a puzzle will keep you entertained for hours without requiring too much energy.

12. SIT BY A FIRE

The most romantic Valentine's Day activity can be something as simple as keeping warm by the fire, with some hot cocoa for those currently freezing.

13. GRAB A COFFEE

A dimly lit coffee house can be just as romantic as a candle-lit restaurant. We did this for our wedding anniversary! And it was a night of fun & laughter while wearing some fancy outfits.

14. SHARE A MILKSHAKE

If coffee/tea isn’t romantic enough, then go old-fashioned by ordering one milkshake and two straws. You can add a modern twist by seeking out a place that serves boozy shakes or crazy toppings like the ones at Black Tap NYC.

Wearing:  Forever 21   Dress

Wearing: Forever 21 Dress

Ladies, if you’re like me and love to wear red on Valentine’s Day (or any occasion), this red satin dress is cute & affordable from Forever 21. So dress up and have some fun… but I get it, who doesn't love flowers and some jewelry, or Valentine’s Day chocolates and fancy dinners. There's no reason you can't do it all, if you can't think of a gift to get, last year’s Valentine’s Day post has some ideas. Point is whatever you chose to do/wear/gift, appreciate the time you spend with the people in your life. Don't stress over gifts or getting the best photo to share on Instagram - live in the moment and enjoy. 

Unpaid post - literally just a hobby run amok.

Let’s Talk Art Basel
Study of Perspective , 1995-2003 — Ai Weiwei

Study of Perspective, 1995-2003 — Ai Weiwei

Art Basel 2018

Art isn’t for everyone, but everyone does have an opinion about it.

Art Basel 2018 has come and gone and in case you don’t know what it is — Art Basel is the world's largest art fair and basically consists of work from galleries around the world, exhibited in the center in Miami. It’s grown to include some art shows around Wynwood, Design District, throughout Miami Beach, and of course, a bunch of parties. I’ve been attending for a few years, but this year I posted quite a few stories on Instagram, and one of the nicest comments I got was “I feel like I’m there.” After looking at all the celebrities who flocked to Miami Beach to look at art this year, it’s no wonder so many people felt FOMO for missing out - it looked so flashy and unrealistic. The point of social media should not to be to show-off but to share life.

In case you don't keep up with #art, don’t worry you’re not alone. I love art and I didn’t know about Art Basel until I moved to Miami. I’ve loved art since I was young, I’ve studied almost all the artists I find in museums, constantly finding out about new ones. I grew up calling the Met and MoMa my second home. What I love about Art Basel is it isn’t the art you find in a typical art museum, it’s new, it’s different, and whether I like it or not, it makes me wonder what the artist was thinking. So let me answer the obvious question: Does everyone attending Art Basel care about art? Nope. Truth is Art Basel is a social event where you can post pictures of art and say “Yeah, I’m cool, I Basel.” Is that a bad thing? Well I honestly don’t really care why people go, love it or hate it, Art Basel is an experience. Some people definitely get caught up in the glitz and glamour of the pretentious artsy scene and pay to enter these exhibits that display expensive art pieces, most pieces that cost as much as your college tuition.

The main Art Basel show is in Miami’s Convention Center, from there Miami Beach offers art shuttles to take you to Pulse and Scope art fairs (giant tents full of people and art). Then there’s the other side of Art Basel in Wynwood, where you find the new unknown artists (this is where the “off broadway” shows come in — I consider “off-broadway” anything away from the convention center). If it wasn’t for Basel, a lot of artists wouldn’t be able to have gigs year-round. It’s the place that jump starts a lot of careers. It’s fun seeing the walls of Wynwood repainted, walking the streets and absorbing all the art vibes. If you really want to get a little feel for Art Basel, Scope Miami does an amazing job at providing a 360 view of their art show.

Art Basel is so expansive it is nearly impossible to categorize the art. Some of it feels same-old-safe, some is so "out there" it is incomprehensible. Just because it’s displayed doesn’t make it good — You can hate it, you can love it, you can think you get it or you can look at it and say wtf, but in the end, you’re never wrong. What I loved most was seeing my friend and husband ask for the artists’ intent, if they liked the response they would glance back at the piece and decide if they now like it or still hate it. Not everyone does that. While I know most of my friends who attend actually like art and design (or at least open to the experience), Art Basel is not a museum, it’s place for the rich and elite to be seen buying expensive art. Give art a back story, title and context and I’ll appreciate it, but will a blank white canvas ever worth $30,000 to me? F**k no… but if it’s by a famous artist, you’ll find many fawning over it.

If you kept up with Art Basel through social media, don’t be fooled to feel FOMO, it’s a lot of fun but also overrated. It comes every year and when you attend, if you want to, you’ll have the chance to run from Pulse, to Scope, to Design Miami, to Wynwood galleries, and all the parties. That will be the time when you can decide whether or not it was worth the hype. Some love it, some hate it, some hate to say it because they can’t pronounce “basel” but no matter how you feel, we can’t deny Art Basel is an experience.

Low Tide , 2018 — Antonio Cazorla

Low Tide, 2018 — Antonio Cazorla

Trail of the Golden Lasso , 2018 — Sharon Moody

Trail of the Golden Lasso, 2018 — Sharon Moody

Art Basel , Day 1 —  Wearing:  Marni   Dress    |  Vintage Belt | F21   Shoes

Art Basel, Day 1 — Wearing: Marni Dress | Vintage Belt | F21 Shoes

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Art Basel , Day 2 —  Wearing:  Nicholas   Dress

Art Basel, Day 2 — Wearing: Nicholas Dress

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