Monday, July 29, 2013

#ThankYouMiami for One-Of-A-Kind Weekends - July 2013

I love living in Miami because our weekends are one-of-a-kind. And as locals, we easily reap the benefits of having amazing venues close to home or of knowing that friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend that is our "in" to that exclusive party. Moreover, there is never a lack of great things to do - giving us a calendar full of weekend events to keep the foodie, fashionista, and Miami snob in us reeling all year.

Our July weekends looked a lot like this (and #ThankYouMiami for that):

Standard Hotel Spa & Pool Day
My husband is such a sweetheart. He is not a spa person, but for our one-year anniversary he booked us a couples massage at my favorite spa, the spa at The Standard. The highlights of our romantic stay-cation were meditating in the Hamam, enjoying tequila sodas and fresh food by the pool, and staring at the gorgeous view of Biscayne Bay.

Guilt-free pool side lunching. Chef Mark Zeitouni offers so many delicious, healthy options from which to choose, but I can never not get the Mediterranean Flatbread (pictured above).
Unparalleled vistas and lounging. There's nothing like lounging poolside with a tequila soda and this view of Miami's gorgeous mainstay, Biscayne Bay.
Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week (MBFW) Swim Week
In the summer, there's no hotter place than Miami Beach. We do summer year-round so we know how to do it right. That is why every year for the past 9 years we have welcomed locals and visitors at our hotels, beaches, and nightclubs for MBFW Swim Week to party and commiserate in our collective love for swim and resort wear fashion. It is also our biggest opportunity as locals to stock up on our beach bum wardrobe for the year at the amazing sample sales. Worst case scenario, you make a lot of awesome new friends, get pampered and drink free booze. This year, I had the chance to enjoy the Escape Miami Lounge at The Sagamore, the What Women Want event at Nikki Beach, the Don't Worry Baby pool party at Freehand, and the Lazy Sunday BBQ at The Standard - all enjoyable in their own right.

Bubbles, baubles, and bikinis. Enjoying free Zonin prosseco and Voli vodka cocktails with friends at the Sagamore Hotel during the Escape Miami Lounge event.
Whimsical details. The "Don't Worry Baby" pool party at Freehand Miami was one-of-a-kind thanks to the artsy decor and the kryogenifex machines that kept the crowds cool in the Miami heat.
WD555 Tuesday Tasting
Everywhere else Tuesdays count as a weekday, but in Miami our weekends are week-long. And, nothing screams "weekend" to a woman more than a free champagne tasting. If you're a local male, this is THE place and time to find Miami's single ladies and woo them with your knowledge of wine and culinary know-how. The featured wine is well-chosen and WD555's menu is a what's what of fancy french eats. Plus if you like any of the selections at the tasting, WD555 offers all of them at reasonable prices as part of their "Weekly Offer".

A single man's dream. A mostly female crowd congregates at WD555 for Tasting Tuesday to enjoy free champagne and chatter.
Excellent wine, excellent prices. WD555 offers the wines from their Tuesday Tasting at a reasonable cost in their "Weekly Offer".

Did you also enjoy one of these events this past month and have a different perspective to share? Did you have a fantastic one-of-a-kind weekend experience in July that also deserves a highlight? Leave a comment below or send me a tweet @ThankYouMiami!


Friday, July 19, 2013

Why #ThankYouMiami?

I have been publicly thanking Miami for almost two years. I have been thanking Miami for the good, the bad, and the ugly. Sometimes my "thank you"s seem more like rants, but in the end I'm always thankful. But why #ThankYouMiami?

The idea for Thank You, Miami was born from my growing frustration with Miami's blatant disregard for common courtesy. One day, I decided I had had enough when one too many people didn't hold the elevator for me or didn't say "Good morning!" back. And I decided to do something to fix it. So I called upon the basic manners I was taught as a kid (the pleases and thank yous) and began to remind Miami, through example, how to be polite.

Part of leading by example meant engaging with Miami through social media. And, my work on Twitter opened my eyes to a lot more of Miami than I knew existed. After a few months, I realized many things about Miami, including a baffling realization - us locals often take it for granted.

It's easy to do. I mean, we are blessed by a beautiful setting, surrounded by gorgeous and talented people, and exposed to unique opportunities. But, after living here for some time, we get accustomed to these perks and they start to seem less special. Not to mention, they are often overshadowed by the trade-offs that come with living in such a popular destination.

Due to that realization, Thank You, Miami has since evolved into something more for me. It has become a way for Miamians to rediscover Miami, the city we love but also hate. A way to thank it for the joy it brings us. But also, an outlet for laughing and commiserating about those things that drive us mad. Because if you don't laugh, you'll cry.

In honor of Thank You, Miami's upcoming two year anniversary (August 8), let's look back at our favorite and least favorite aspects of Miami through my favorite 10 tweets from this past year:

I really enjoy swapping stories with others about how awesome, but often frustrating it is to live in Miami. Do you have a reason to thank Miami or a story to share? Leave a comment below or sending me a tweet @ThankYouMiami!

Monday, July 8, 2013

#ThankYouMiami How-To: Planning Your Miami Wedding

We've only been married one year and our friends and family already want us to renew our vows. I think they just want an excuse to come party with us in Miami. After all, we did host what all of our guests refer to as the "wedding weekend to remember". But a wedding party that successful is easy in Miami.

Miami is already a ready-made party mekka. You just have to know how to make it work for you. Here are a few tips to make your Miami wedding as amazing and as successful as ours:

1. Pick a holiday weekend. We chose the Fourth of July. The long holiday weekend allowed our guests from out of town to extend their stay, giving them extra time to enjoy Miami beyond our festivities. And, because most of our visitors arrived a few days early, our wedding celebrations were extended by almost a week. Hello?! Who doesn't want to be the center of attention for a whole week?!

2. Settle only for the best of the best. I have to give my mom props for finding the best person for each task (i.e. the mariachis from Sabado Gigante). You just can't go wrong when you have the best of the best and, in Miami, the best instinctively flock like the salmon of Capistrano. The most important people to vet are your Day-Of Planner (trust me, you will need one) and your DJ/band (they can make or break your party with a wrong song selection). Here are some of the people without whom our wedding wouldn't have been as fabulous an occassion:
  • Venue: The Palms Hotel and Spa. You can't have a Florida wedding without the proper vibe, and the Palms has nailed that southern Florida vibe. It doesn't hurt that they host weddings almost every weekend of the year so they know what they're doing.
  • Cake: Cake Designs by Edda. The Queen of Miami cakes helped us carry the Florida vibe into dessert with a delicious four-tier key lime-flavored creation featuring a sugar orchid.
  • Dress: Chic Parisien. Not only did they have every dress imaginable, but they made me feel like a princess from the moment I walked in. If your bridal shop doesn't treat you amazing, walk out immediately. Dress shopping is your moment and you should enjoy every second.
  • Bridal Party Hair and Make-up: Gloria Pelo. She is a professional hair and make-up artist with an extensive portfolio. I am not big on wearing make-up, but she gave me the natural look I wanted and gave me the confidence to rock it!
  • Day-Of Coordination: Guerdy Abraira from Divine Design by Guerdy. Guerdy and her team reminded me of Jennifer Lopez in the Wedding Planner. She was involved very early in the planning process and had fantastic ideas to improve every aspect of the wedding. The day of the wedding she had a solution or an answer for everything, making the entire occasion seamless and allowing me to enjoy my day stress-free.
  • Music: AA Musicians. We were limited to choosing a DJ to accommodate our expansive guest list, but they offer bands and DJs. The DJ that was assigned to our wedding kept our guests dancing the entire night and everyone still raves about what an amazing dance party it was...even my mom, who fought for a band throughout the entire planning process.

3. Throw in a surprise element for your guests. Since I am Mexican, my parents decided to add our own special touch to the wedding: a mariachi band that walked in as my husband and I cut the cake. This surprise element made for a fantastic photo opp and was a fantastic way to end the celebration.

Happy planning!
© Thank You Miami | Miami Fashion, Food & Lifestyle Blog. All rights reserved.
Blogger Designs by pipdig