Down a busy Bird Road in a Miami suburb saturated with retail giants stands one of my most favorite places to eat: Frankie’s Pizza. In fact, if I had to pick my last meal: it would be hands down: cheese pizza from here. It’s hard to believe, it’s one of the last mom and pop shops of yesteryear in the suburb of Westchester. Growing up here, there used to be so many more. This spot has actually been here since 1955 and denizens still to this day will travel miles and miles just to sink their teeth into what many of us deem as the “best pizza” in the 305.
Back then and still today, Frankie’s doesn’t deliver. If you want their pizza, you gotta make the drive the old school way. They also don’t take credit cards (don’t worry there’s an ATM inside). Dining here, also isn’t a piece of cake, there’s just a few stools inside or you can take your slice or pie and make your way to the back patio to dine under the stars. Yet, the simplicity of it all, I find utterly romantic. I’m not fancy. Believe me, when I wasn’t eating Frankie’s I was stuck eating the cheapest frozen grocery store bought pizza you can imagine. I had to literally squeeze ketchup over it to make it taste better. You know Totino’s? Yeah, the struggle was real.
Lately, I’ve had a pang of nostalgia creep up in my heart. I’ve been yearning to revisit familar spots of yesteryear that I grew up around. A few weeks ago, I drove to Frankie’s Pizza and today, I made my rounds at Arbetter Hot Dogs. I have a lot of good memories coming here as a kid with my family.
Has this ever happened to you? You know a sudden urge to connect with things of your past?
I guess I’m trying to remember what made me happy before and what I want now. I’ve been doing some major soul searching on the direction I want to go creatively with work. There are some things I just don’t enjoy so much anymore and other projects I want to pursue. And just coming here put me at ease. I love the simplicity of the spot. It’s mom and pop vibe and of course the good food. I remember the first time, I sunk my teeth into a chili dog. It was like the heavens opened up. Ha and don’t get me started on their cheese fries. Best in town for real.
*Now scroll down so you can see a bit more of my favorite tees from Ohm Boutique and vintage to-die for Dolce and Gabanna bag. The bag was a total steal from local online shop Eve-Sher. It’s amazing for buying pre-loved couture goodies and for selling yours on it too. So you can make some more shopping money! Consignment is seriously a great way to update your wardrobe.
Welcome to Miami! I’m so happy. Today, marks one month that our Lil Miss Miami line launched online and it is officially hitting stores around the city.
The capsule collection was created to make something cute and cool that truly represented Miami pride and to also give tourists something tangible that really wasn’t a T-shirt or mug. It took me a year to really pursue this idea. Sometimes, we are scared of failure and I think that’s what holds us down or we get frustrated because we don’t know how to do it. I was a little bit worried to venture into unknown territory. Yet, I thought what do I have to lose? The answer was nothing. I can tell you that I often toil with things in my head and it’s not until I just leap and go for it that it happens. I partnered with the best team ever: my niece, Mia because the jewelry is also for kids and Tiffany of TAudrey whose a seasoned designer in the city. Together, we bounce off one another creatively and I can’t wait to show you what we have lined up for our holiday line. Shop it HERE
Makeup: Charlene B. Makeup & Hair: Elaine Zel
Are you a "Ride or Die" chick? Do you have a "Best Bitch”? Is an entourage like in Sex-in-the City more of your thing? Having girlfriends is really important. I don’t care if you think you found your best friend in the opposite sex or if your in a relationship with the man of your dreams, you need your hoes for the kinda stuff a man won’t ever understand because he’s simply not one of us. I’m not talking time of the month only either. I’m saying for practically everything. We need a women’s perspective. We need their opinion, guidance, their jokes, advice, strength and support. In the last, year I’ve had 3 of my soul sisters move to different cities and even countries. I’ve had to make new friends. Through it, I’m relearning why having girlfriends is the best thing any woman can have in their life and why we should never take friendships for granted.
When you find a friend who is going to tell you the truth. She’s a ”Ride or Die”… My last bestie moved this April. I was attached to the hip. I pushed her to move to further her career, too. But I’m not gonna lie, I cried. She got me through a tough break up. She taught me to toughen up a bit and to take chances on my blog to change my look and to expose myself through words and images that weren’t safe for me. She was straight up with me and told me things I didn’t want to hear, but were the truth.
When you find a friend who is going to support you and pick you up when you’re falling. She’s a "Ride or Die"…It was the same feeling when I recently got a surprise visit from my girl after not seeing her for almost a year. I was elated to spend time with her, but so sad to see her go. We spent hours talking just like if nothing had changed. Four years ago, she told me to quit my job and start a blog. She taught me how to put together a killer event. She armed me with confidence. She chiseled away at my shy shell. She showed me the ropes. She believed in me when none else did. If someone hurt me, she defended me. We shared intelligent conversations and we were there for each other. I remember one time she came to pick me up and I was going through a depression. I was dishelved and a total hot mess, but she dragged me out and talked me back to life. Her loyalty was unlike no other.
When you find a friend who you can bond with about the same things we go through. She’s a "Ride or Die." Then there’s my BFF wholooks more like a model than stylist. She made me more spiritual. She taught me to manifest my dreams. To meditate, to pray and really look within myself and see what I wanted in life. She pointed out my weaknesses while helping me bandage them, but taught me that in order to lose them, I had to change. We confided in one another in our doubts, our scars from past experiences and we cried to one another about our fears.
Now these days, I’m relearning to foster new friendships with others. I keep in touch with my besties, but being that we are in different cities makes it a bit challenging. Though I know a lot of people, I’m very choosy about who I let into my life on a personal level. Being in the blogger world, you begin to see that not all women are created equally. Some chicks are catty, others you just don’t mesh well with and a lot of the times they want to use you to move up. In this new phase, I’m discovering the art of making friends and it’s amazing to bond with other girls. In the end, many of us do share the same fears, have the same insecurities and want the same things. The other day, a few of us went to catch the YSL flick and then we grabbed drinks after and had some real great laughs talking about exes and the dating world. It was fun.
During an out-of-the blue breakfast with another friend, I ended up learning how much a like we are in character to our dating trials with men. It felt good to bond and open up with someone.
In this tough world, it sometimes might feel like we are traveling alone or what we are going through no one might understand, but it’s not true. Some other woman somewhere else is going through it too. We are human so we all go through similar experiences. Life is much better with women who can be like sisters to us. So reach out to that girl at work or acquaintance and invite them out. You never know, they just might be the best friend you never had.
OUTFIT: Top c/o The Closet Boutique, Forever 21 bottom, Lil Miss Miami jewelry, Kaanas c/o 4 Sisters1Closet
Every time, I drive by Coral Way, I see this tiny food truck parked underneath an overpass. Sometimes it sits there lonely hiding in the shade from the scorching summer heat and other moments locals make a beeline for a lunch bag sized of churros. This sweet dessert isn’t fancy by any means. In fact, it’s just fried dough that’s shrouded in sugar. There’s so much sugar, you have to use the bag to shake it around.
Yesterday, my curiosity caved in. I wanted to know more about this loner food truck that wasn’t somewhere like Wynwood where most of them tend to post up. I pulled over. An old Cuban man was helming the operations and he had customers lined up who had just gotten off work. From original to guava, chocolate and dulce de leche, there was options and all for $3. We tried them all. They were piping hot, fresh and delectable. These were the original churros, I remember savoring as a kid. The ones my grandfather would buy us off street vendors. The old man told us he truck was named “Churro Maria” after his wife Maria, but there was no signage saying so. He also said he has a Facebook page, but I haven’t been able to find one. All I can tell you is that this pop up is a must-try and it’s situated on the corner of Coral Way a few feet from the Stay America hotel (298 SW 15th Road) and is there Monday-Friday from 2 to 7:30pm.
OUTFIT: Skirt c/o Target, Top & Hat c/o Pac Sun, Denim c/o Gap.
I’ve been getting requests to include more of my poems on here. This is about what I’m feeling right now and how I’ve been coping with it. I tend to retreat to the ocean a lot when I have inner turmoil. I like to go really early or late so I can be by myself and get clarity there. At the moment, I’m going through some changes and trying to find answers. Change is positive, but it can sometimes make us anxious of the unknown so it’s about that. But I hope you enjoy the poem. I think through metaphors a lot. xx-The Fashion Poet
She Speaks to Me in Waves
I go to the ocean for clarity and counsel
She speaks to me in waves
At times pushing and pulling me in
Her words aren’t what I always want to hear
But they are the truth
Not like sandy shells that you press up against your ear
That speak in secret muffling
My mind right now feels so full
A soup boiling and ready to seep out and scorch the skin
A television screaming in static
A swarm of bees buzzing
Buzz Buzz Buzz
Have you heard this before in your head?
I’ve been trying to drown it out
Stepping deep into her
Holding my breath and watching the bubbles
Rise up to the top and
Pop Pop Pop
If only this feeling could dissipate
Just like that
Her arms cradle me and calm me and clean me
I let my salty tears become one with her
She wipes them away
And I step back into the shore
A little better.
Outfit: Forever 21 swimsuit, ”lil miss miami” jewelery
Hair: Hair by Elaine Zel
Makeup: Charlene B Makeup
Today, I woke up with the need to be outdoors and exercise by the ocean. Life has been a bit hectic these days and I’m trying to sort out some stuff that’s been stressing me out. My good friend, Charlene, suggested I take up yoga again to help me feel better. I took her advice and practiced a bit by the ocean today. Just feeling the sun on my skin and breathing in the smell of the sea made me feel this sense of gratitude.
Whenever I’m in the mood for some fashion adventure, I go thrifting. It excites me to hunt over aisles and aisles of hand-me-downs in search for a gem that will cost me 80 percent off it’s original price. Plus, every thrifting trip is different which means one day you may come out winning with tons of items and on another you’ll just find one really good piece to treasure.
Now that Back-to-School shopping is on everyone’s mind as is what’s trending for Fall, hitting a thrift store is always a great alternative to get some cheap, but chic finds. Don’t believe me? I headed out to one of my must-stops in the 305: ”Red, White and Blue” which has a good rep for being chockfull of designer goods, vintage and name brands. On recent trips, I’ve scored some good threads and jeweIry. Yet, this time around it was a great shoe day with everything from Miu Miu to Prada to Manolo Blahniks. The denim section was good, too. I found some Paige Premium Denim and Levi’s. There was also this flamingo book end which I wanted to get but it was the wrong shade of pink. Now that I think about it, I could’ve just painted it hot pink. That’s another awesome thing about thrifting you can can always do awesome DIY transformations on anything you get.
I’ve been on a "staycation" the last few days on South Beach and though this might seem less as exciting than an exotic trip to another country. "Staycationing" turns out to be one of the best things I’ve done to recharge my body, mind and spirit. A few days ago before I snapped these photos, I checked into the W Hotel South Beach, looking haggard, feeling grouchy and well, I was about to get my period so you can imagine how great I was feeIing. I had squeezed out my last drop of energy at Miami Swim Week. Between launching a jewelry line to producing a major event and hosting quite a few while balancing my blog work sucked me dry. This of course, was the culmination of pushing myself daily over the last 3 months.
In Miami, the “mommy & me” trend is popular. So my niece and I decided to check out another brand that has tapped into the fad, Maaji Swimwear. We we’re very impressed with it. Why? Easy. Hands down this Colombian brand is one of the best as far as feel. The fabric is so soft and doesn’t dig into the skin. Neptunes Boutique has this suit and other Maaji Swimwear marked off 30 percent in case you’re interested. Shop HERE
Us Vazquez, girls teamed up again to do another post together. This time around we tried out some “mommy and me” swimwear from Neptunes Boutique in Miami. Owner Joan, is pretty awesome about stocking her shop with cool form flattering brands. I wasn’t sure about the “matchy matchy” suit thing. Wasn’t this on the cheesy side? Yet, I stayed mum and tried it out of sheer curiosity. We went for a Pily Q suit which turned out to be everything and more from fit to pattern to the versatility of being able to wear to the beach and off shore. I mean the possibilities to wear it as street wear are endless ( think cut offs, black jeans, a skirt, leggings. I can go on). But, nothing was cooler than seeing Mia’s face when she saw me walk out wearing the same suit as her. She was beaming from ear to ear. Now, what’s better than that? Well, the fact that you can get this suit and any Pily Q one on sale for 30 percent off from now till next Wednesday. Check it out. HERE
Last night, I was all about wearing my Ramones tee to play tribute, but being that I was attending Mercedes Benz Fashion Week’s opening party, I had to look somewhat dressy. So I turned to local brand Kriado for this awesome yesteryear looking skirt. I love it because it has that vintage vibe and is polished enough to throw on a tee with it.
Outfit: Skirt c/o Kriado, Forever 21 Ramones tee, Kate Spade purse c/o Sawgrass, Ninewest shoes, Fedora c/o Pretty Beachy
Miami Swim Week officially starts tonight. My schedule which I just put together this (a.m.) is chockfull of events, runway shows and designer parties without a second to relax. Those of us in the industry here who have similar schedules refer to each other as #TeamNoSleep. We walk around with smiles on our faces pretending everything is cool, but deep down inside we are stressing the (bleep) out. Many of us who are producing events wake up with migraines or we spend nights tossing in turning and trying to resolve issues we should’ve done earlier in the day. Don’t get me wrong, I rather be doing this then anything else for work especially since it’s our time to shine in the city, but in the end this is: work and hard work that leaves you in some sort of vegetable state for a day when it’s all done. When next Tuesday rolls around, my cellphone is turned off and I’m in bed trying to remember fragmented bits and pieces of the whirlwind that is Swim Week. When it all starts everyone is in a great mood, fresh faced and glowing. Half way in, you see many tempers flaring. Perhaps exhaustion, heat and dehydration are the culprits, but watch out and read below on how to survive it.
Here’s my top 10 Miami Swim Week Survival Tips
- Be polite, smile and say please and thank you with the people who are checking you in at an event as well as publicist. They work very hard and they are not your servant.
- Sit where your seat is. If you are assigned a seat. Stay there. Don’t try and move up and be so self entitled. You should be grateful to even be invited to the shows.
- Don’t criticize shows or events on social media. For God’s sake, if you don’t like it keep your mouth shut. You learned this as a kid. Now you are an adult.
- Stop trying to hate on the models and saying they aren’t pretty or they look bad. In reality, we all wish we could walk the catwalk.
- Stay dehydrated. It’s hot, hot, hot outside.
- Watch your alcohol intake. There’s lots of free booze everywhere, but that doesn’t mean you can “act the fool.”
- Unless your a photographer, stop snapping a million and one photos at shows so you can post on social media and say you were there. Enjoy the show with your eyes not your phone.
- Dress in light weight clothes, try up dos for hairstyles and bring blotting paper.
- Swap your brand new shoes for some that are just as nice and comfy but you don’t mind messing up. Many of tents are on the sand. Chances are they will. Yes, you can wear sandals.
- Bring an umbrella for torrential downpours. They happen quite frequently.
Photos snapped at Sheraton Fort lauderdale Beach Hotel
Outfit: Target Swimsuit, Vans sunnies, necklace c/o Cecilia Gonzales
Hair: c/o Beauty Schools of America.
I did this photo shoot a week ago with photographer Alexander Tamargo at the National Hotel in Miami Beach for a photo exhibit called “Our Summer Stories” I brainstormed for weeks about what to wear to how to pose to what fun cool props to use that would reflect my “305” hometown. I found cute pink flamingos and the biggest gator float ever (it’s bigger than me) The challenging part was: finding the right swimsuit since I knew I had to stand in front of a team of 10 people. Oh boy, was I nervous. I know my flaws and I know how to hide them and to pose in more flattering positions, but I had never shot with such a big team in swimwear. Hey, I obvi don’t have a rock hard figure and I’m far from that skinny model figure so you get me right? Anyway, I found the perfect suit at Forever 21 and I felt good in it. It had padding so it turned by AA’s to B cup. My big hips were minimized since it’s a high waisted cut and while, my big butt didn’t look smaller, it did look cute from behind and I felt confident.
To see the photo exhibit check out Escape Miami 2 on July 19 during Miami Swim Week from 12 to 5PM.
OUTFIT: Forever 21 swimwear, Italia Independent Sunnies, sneakers c/o Superga & lil miss miami jewelry.