Aug 21, 2014

Girls Night Out

Aug 20, 2014

Model Watch: Hana

One of the things that I enjoy the most about blogging is having a platform to inspire, share, support and promote up and coming local talents right here in the Tampa Bay community. I was first introduced to Hana during a Tim Gunn event when the beautiful model walked for former Project Runway contestant and designer Rami Kashou (see post here). Not only is she gorgeous, but she is such a natural beauty with a warm and humble spirit. I had the ability to chat with the lovely model recently. Check out our Q&A session below where she gives us some personal insight on her background as a model, her inspirations, future aspirations and clears up common misconceptions about her fellow peers in the industry. 

"A smart model is a good model."
-Tyra Banks


Q: Where are you originally from?
A: I was born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska. I moved down to Wesley Chapel in 1997 and been a Floridian ever since!

Q: Who were your role model(s) as a child and how did they influence you to become a model?
A: My mom has been my role model since I was little, she's always been supportive with any activities/interests I had, which was a lot lol. I just happened to try it when I was a child which I enjoyed. Then was approached by Elite NY when I was fourteen, but never went through with it or pursued modeling until a few years ago.

Q: How did you feel when you did your first ever fashion show or editorial photo shoot?
A: My first show was Fashion Week Tampa Bay a few years ago, it was really fun and intriguing. Watching the hustle and bustle right before the show is always exciting and the nerves is a great feeling hahaha.

Q: What are your guilty pleasure foods?
A: Oh gosh, like anything chocolate....or pastries....I love sweets like no other!

Q: What artist or choice of music is playing in the background when you are working with the glam squad to get photo shoot fresh?
A: I usually let the MUA pick, and play what most of the squad would want to listen to. I literally listen to almost every genre of music so I love everything from house music to oldies to alternative to classical lol.

Q: What beauty tips do you swear by?
A: I wasn't blessed with the perfect complexion, so sometimes my face will get irritated after shoots and shows. Best tip I use regularly would be covering my face with honey after a shower when I get home and leave it on for about half an hour to help soothe irritations.

Q: Name one designer that you would love to rip the runway for?
A: There are so many. But I'd have to say Elie Saab!

Q: Favorite clothing item in your closet?
A: My maxi skirt, lazy days best friend!

Q: Paris or London?
A: Paris of course!

Q: One misconception about models that you would love to clear up?
A: Hmmm---probably that models aren't bright/intelligent. Most of the models I've come across are in school full-time, have a successful career outside of modeling, or are mature beyond their years. In order to succeed in an industry like this, you definitely have to hustle, learn quickly, be disciplined and keep a strong head on your shoulders.

A woman of my own heart. I'm such a lover of sweets too. *gives a huge exacerbating sigh* I so know the feeling of having to clear up common misconceptions in an industry with heavy emphasis on physical aesthetics. It's as if intelligence and beauty are mutually exclusive.  Wishing you much success doll. I will be looking forward to see you grace the runways locally and beyond. You can connect with Hana here. Peace, Love & Blessings!

Aug 17, 2014

White Blouse with Asos Maxi

Hey beautiful people. Happy Monday. My baby boy turned 5 this weekend and the hubby and I celebrated with our sweet boy. Today is his first day of kindergarten and I'm really not sure how I'm going to hold up---- so pray for me. I wore this comfy and chic chiffon maxi that I purchased some time back at Asos. Don't you just love Asos? I wasn't in the mood for heels so I kept it comfy with some flat sandals.
Outfit Details: Top: Express (old) | Skirt: Asos (old) | Sandals: Zappos (old) | Watch: DKNY (old) |Necklace: Unknown (old)

I have always loved the idea of having a couple white collared cotton blouses available. When fashion designer Carolina Herrera revolutionized the concept of the white collar blouse, it has been a classic staple that has carried on for decades. It is classic, elegant, comfy and chic. It's a great way to add effortless sophistication. It's a must have staple for me. You can dress it up or dress it down. It is quite versatile. Now that fall is approaching, it will become my go-to option for layering. 
I hope you all have a great week. Chat with you soon. Until then. . . . Peace, Love & Blessings!

Aug 13, 2014

5 Great Restaurants in Tampa

Alright, alright. By now you've seen countless pics of my foodie chronicles on Instagram. Yes, I'm a self-professed foodie with a taste palette distinguished enough for caviar yet simple enough for edamame. The fact is, food is one of the perfect ways to experience culture. Music and fashion are the alternatives, of course. When I'm not cooking up some newly discovered meal from Pinterest, I'm out dining at some newly discovered spot. Today I've outlined some of my absolute favorite dishes and restaurants around the Tampa Bay Area. So if you are local or plan on visiting the home of the Cuban sandwich, rest assure---you won't be disappointed. 

"Tampa has a diverse culinary scene from small cafes and bakeries to bistros and farm-to-table restaurants. The food of Tampa has a history of Cuban, Spanish, Floribbean and Italian cuisines. There are also many Colombian cuisine, Puerto Rican cuisine, Vietnamese cuisine and Barbecue restaurants. Seafood is also very popular in Tampa, and Greek cuisine is prominent in the area, including around Tarpon Springs."-Wikipedia

There are lots of hidden gems throughout this magnificent tri-city area I call home.  From communities like South Tampa, West Chase, New Tampa, Clearwater and St. Petersburg---there are enough options here to please any palette.  So here are five of my local favorites. 

  • The Capital Grille - I know that it is a popular chain throughout most major metropolis. I first discovered The Capital Grille while living in the Washington, D.C area some years back. Part of the Darden Group (Olive Garden, Seasons 52, Red Lobster) of restaurants, TCG is certainly my favorite within the group. The steaks are phenomenal, but my favorites are the raisin bread and the best calamari to be ever prepared. Oh yeah, let's talk about the calamari. Pan fried with chili peppers and infused with a secret butter sauce, it's a must have. Any true lover of the Mediterranean favorite should certainly give it a try.
  • Z Grille - Located in downtown St. Petersburg. This hip and trendy spot totally puts me in a setting reminiscent of a cool west coast bistro with New York City culinary flair. From the fabulous deviled eggs, Dr. pepper ribs, west coast oysters, WTF fries and my all-time favorite---seafood nachos, it's a must try. Made with grilled calamari, gulf shrimp, lump crab, corn salsa, queso, jalapeños, pickled onions and poblano creme. It's worth every penny of the $15.
  • Takara Sushi - Located in the New Tampa community. This hidden gem serves up some excellent Asian favorites. My favorite dishes are the crab rangoon and the jabada hut roll. Let's talk about the jabada hut roll for a minute. Made with tempura grouper, avocado, red onion, cucumber and crab salad, rolled in seaweed and rice, topped with tuna, served with tempura scallops and crab salad with eel sauce, yum yum sauce, spicy sweet chili sauce and scallion. Geesh, my mouth is watering just thinking about it. There is one slight deviation from this for me. Instead of tuna--I get smoked torched salmon. It is a masterpiece. Takara Sushi should certainly consider renaming this role in my honor.  Ha, wishful thinking. LOL.
  • Terra Sur Café - Nestled in a strip mall in the Carollwood community; this best kept Peruvian gem is full of Spanish influence. From the music of choice streaming throughout the dimly lit establishment; to the warm and earthy décor. Favorites on the menu are--- white sangria, conchitas a la parmesana, ceviche, arroz con mariscos, lomo saltado and pear cake.
  • Datz - A Tampa favorite for quite some time. Although an awesome brunch and breakfast spot, rest assure that their dinner menu is just as appetizing and extensive as their early-bird option. With infinite options on tap; brew lovers will certainly have their fair share of IPA, pale ale, stout or lager choices. They make amazing sandwiches and those house chips are everything. But about those chicken and waffles! Scrumptious boneless fried chicken tossed in honeyed pecan butter on a rosemary waffle with spicy smoked buffalo trace maple syrup. Ummmm....Ok, I'm officially hungry. Bon Appétit!

Aug 11, 2014

White Skinnie Jeans & Michael Kors Pumps

Hey lovies,

I hope you had a great weekend. I stepped out this weekend for girls night out and had dinner at a great local restaurant here in Tampa. Mise En Place is one of the best restaurants in the Tampa Bay area. Known for exceptional modern America cuisine and service, Mise En Place has been rated the #1 restaurant in the Bay Area by USA Today. If you are in the area, you should certainly stop in and experience the greatness.

The top that I'm wearing was designed by a girlfriend who is a very talented designer. It's actually a draped-like romper (the best that I could explain it). It's quite unique. I decided to rock it as a top since the design had so much flexibility. I can wear it so many different ways. So stay tuned, I'll be rocking it again. Sometimes I push the envelop and sometimes I play it safe---but I believe that taking risk is what fashion is all about.

We had a couple of small plates. My least favorite was the lobster nachos. However, everything thing else was pretty delicious in my opinion. My favorites? The scallops and Moscow Mule cocktail. While I've certainly had my share of Mosow Mules...this was the absolute best that I've had. Hands down.  After all of this feasting this weekend---I'm off to the gym during lunch time. Have a great week lovies. Until next time. . . . Be Bold. Be Fabulous. Be You!
Outfit Details: Top: Custom | Skinnies: Flea Market | Pumps: Michael Kors (thrifted) | Bag: Furla | Bangles: Etsy | Earrings: Old