Bella Vida by Letty

miami

Spain’s Lizarran Restaurant Launches Miami Food Truck

Lizarran Food Truck

I had the pleasure of attending the launch of the Lizarran food truck in Miami. It was quite a treat to sample the menu. Fresh ingredients prepared into great looking flavorful comfort food that are easy to enjoy on the go.  The food truck is huge decorated with twinkling lights, potted plants and painted tiles evoking an authentic Mediterranean feel.

About Lizzaran

Established in a coastal town just outside Barcelona, Spain, Lizarran is transforming the American culinary scene with their fusion of Mediterranean and Spanish flavors. Combining the social and familial element of Spain’s culture creating an inviting and enjoyable dining experience for guests. With over 270 restuarants in Europe and around the world it is finally making it’s way to Miami.

Internationally recognized for the pintxos, cones and homemade recipes, Lizarran infuses fresh Spanish and Mediterranean ingredients, modern culinary technique and inherently Spanish presentation to their innovative dishes.

Foodies can mix and match combination and flavors to satisfy their specific cravings. Tasty ingredients include the finest olive oil, jamon Serrano and fresh seafood.

Lizarran Collage

About the Food

Lizarran’s Spanish Mediterranean cuisine is made up of bite sized recipes which take comfort food to a new level. Pintxos are small snacks served atop sliced bread distinguished by the skewer, a culinary stape of Northern Spain’s Basque region. Cones are handheld dishes that are ideal on the go menu items consisting of croquettes, fries and churros with Nutella.

Lizarran Food Truck

I recommend experiencing the food with friends because there is so much good stuff to sample and plenty to share. The gazpacho is something you must try. It is a creamy cold Andalusian soup with ripe tomatoes, cucumber, green pepper and garlic bursting with flavor.

The potato salad is quite refreshing and made with fresh ingredients, potatoes, carrots, eggs, tuna, sweet pepper and olives.

One of my favorites are the croquettes witch are the perfect bite sized fritter treats filled with jamon Serrano, cheese or vegetables.

When eating Spanish food another must have is the tortilla Espanola; eggs, Yukon gold potatoes, onions and Spanish ham. So so good.

Lizarran Food Truck

Another of my favorites was the sautéed vegetables; brie cheese, zucchini, bell peppers, mushrooms and carrots.

Like I said there is so much great food to sample you should definitely bring along good friends.  They will thank you later.

You can find out where exactly to find the food trucks on their facebook page and check out the menu at their website.

 

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Sampling the Miami Spice Menu at Toro Toro Miami

Toro Toro Miami Spice

This week I was invited to experience the Toro Toro Miami Spice menu and it was one of the most amazing food experiences of my life. Miami Spice is a mouth-watering restaurant promotion highlighting the very best of Miami cuisine. Running from August 1st to September 30th restaurants offer three course meals featuring signature dishes by world-renowned chefs at reduced prices. It’s an affordable way to try something new.

Toro Toro is located in the elegant Intercontinental Hotel near the American Airlines arena where the Miami Heat plays. The restaurant was brought to heart of downtown Miami by acclaimed Chef Richard Sandoval. Chef Sandoval is known for combining authentic Latin ingredients with international flavor and inventive techniques to create new and unexpected cuisines such as modern and coastal Mexican, Latin Asian, Peruvian and Pan Latin. The food is an array of hot and cold plates tapas style, steaks served a la carte and savory side dishes meant for sharing plates.

Enthusiasm is contagious. When you get a sneak peak behind the scenes of a restaurant you get to experience this first hand. The passion and zeal of the staff and chefs for what they do comes across in the service and the quality and flavors of the food. My impression was that everyone there was happy to be there and really enjoyed their job. Seeing the care that was taken with the preparation of the food highlighted my eating experience.

Toro Toro Miami Spice

Upon our arrival we were taken to a private area near the kitchen for special guests and greeted with cocktails and h’ordevors. I enjoyed a very sweet Downtowner, which is a citrus, and vodka based drink garnished with orange peel. After a delicious appetizer, stuffed shallot with a buttery white sauce we were escorted to a private dining area with views of the kitchen to sample the Miami Spice menu.

We were brought course after course a large variety of plates with distinctive flavors. This is a great place to go with a group of friends to have drinks and share plates to explore and discover new favorites. Toro Toro’s Miami Spice menu is impressive for its variety.

If you enjoy meats I highly recommend ordering the generous Churrasco Platter. A selection of the best meats and cuts of picanha steak, prime ribeye, lamb chop, chorizo sausage and achiote chicken.

If you enjoy spicy food with bold flavors I recommend the Smoked Swordfish Dip. It’s a smoky spicy dish with pickled chilies, aioli and tomatoes served with plantain chips.

Toro Toro Miami Spice

If you appreciate seafood like I do Toro Toro has lots to offer. I sampled and enjoyed the freshness of the Ceviche Nikkei with tuna, avocado, ponzu, leche de tigre, cucumber and quinoa. The Chicharron de Camarones is another dish you must try especially if you love shrimp. And my favorite dish of the evening, which just melts in your mouth, was the Chipotle Miso Seabass. The fish was perfectly seasoned with sesame seeds and eel sauce. This is a great example of how Chef Sandoval combines Latin flavors with seasonings of other cultures.

For dessert I highly recommend La Bomba which is dulce de leche mousse, strawberry ice cream, almond cookie crumbles, berries served in a chocolate shell.  You will get a kick out of the way it’s served right on the table.

 

You can check out what else is on the Toro Toro Miami Spice menu by clicking here.

Have you been to Toro Toro Miami? What was your favorite dish?

 

 

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10 Fun Things to do in South Beach Miami Florida

Best Things to do in South Beach

South Beach is a neighborhood in the city of Miami Beach, Florida.  Located due east of Miami city between Biscayne Bay and the Atlantic Ocean it is known for being trendy and attracting rich, famous and beautiful people.   This place is always bustling with locals, visitors and things to do.  Sobe is high energy and attracts large crowds especially on holidays.  I would describe it as stylish, extravagant and luxurious.  At night it is the hottest club scene I’ve ever been to.  Fashion and music merge on the beach with influences from Latin and European cultures.  I wouldn’t be surprised if you bumped into a celebrity or two during your visit.

South Beach is also known as the historic Art Deco District.  A trip to Miami is not complete until you visit and experience this area for yourself. You will be transported to another time surrounded by the interesting architecture, which dates back to the 1920’s.  Everywhere you look you will find fancy details from that long ago era.  Today there are over 800 Art Deco Structures lighting up South Beach in a rainbow of neon and pastel.

What is art deco you might ask?  The Miami Design Preservation League defines art deco as:

“Art Deco was a product of new ideas and movements and found its inspirations in many distinct early 20th Century European design styles such as Cubism, French Art Deco, German Bauhaus and Expressionism, Dutch de Stijl and Amsterdam School, Vienna Secession and others.”

They offer a free historic district sites map on their site.  You can take a guided tour or do it yourself.

South Beach Miami Beach Florida

Ocean Drive

When visiting South Beach I highly recommend both driving and walking Ocean Drive.  This street has served as the backdrop of countless movies.  You will see grand hotels, interesting art deco architecture, the gorgeous beach and when the sun sets the famous neon lights come on.  There are plenty of shops, restaurants and places to stay.  Most restaurants offer outdoor seating.  A great way to do some people watching or just enjoy the ambience and beautiful weather.

Be warned shopping here is more expensive than other spots.  A mixed cocktail can easily cost over $20.00.

A few famous places on the strip are Casa Casaurina, also known as the Gianni Versace Mansion, the Clevelander, Park Central, the Tides Hotel, the Cordozo Hotel and the Waldorf Towers.

Be sure to park your car and hit the beach.  Lummus Park Beach is on the list of world’s most beautiful beaches.  On the boardwalk you can skate, bike, run or take a stroll.  There are places for the kids to play as well as places to exercise and work out.  Out on the sand you will see Miami’s iconic colorful lifeguard stands, soft white sand and gorgeous blue and jade waters.

Lincoln Road Mall South Beach

Stroll along Lincoln mall which built in 1912 as a sophisticated retail spot is also one of the county’s first outdoor malls.  Today you will find casual restaurants, fine dining, high end designers, book stores, bars, theater and a Star Bucks on every corner.  There are art galleries and artist studios which open up for tours, movie theaters, street vendors and all types of street performers.  You can spend hours here.  I suggest having a seat, it’s a great spot for people watching.  You never know what rich and famous person you might bump into.

Head to the beach.  It usually rains in the afternoon during Florida summers.  I recommend heading out early.  I was able to beat the rain on Sunday and enjoy some beach time.  This beach has vendors for just about everything including snacks.  Be sure to get a peek of the famous lifeguard stands.  No two are alike.

Walk down Ocean Drive and see many familiar historic art deco hotels.  This street appears in numerous films and television shows.  There are lots of places to pick up souvenirs.

espanola way

Visit Espanola Way an often overlooked bohemian spot for shopping, dining and art galleries.  The area was modeled after the Mediterranean villages of Spain and France and was originally built as a meeting place by Miami Beach’s wealthiest citizens.  It’s very pretty at night it’s lit up by strings of light bulbs.

If you like music check out the New World Symphony schedule.  Some performances are projected on the buildings huge wall facing the park.  On certain nights they present free outdoor movie screenings.

Visit the Fillmore Miami Beach at Jackie Gleason Theater for live entertainment, concerts, comedy tours and private events.

If you love to dance some of Miami’s most famous nightclubs are on Washington Avenue, Collins and Ocean Drive.

Best Things to do in South Florida Sunset

 

My favorite thing to do at South Beach is to try and catch the sunset.  This photo was taken on the beautiful romantic rooftop of the Tudor as the sun was setting.

You can find more things to do, news and deals by reading my specially curated Florida twitter list.

 

Have you been to South Beach?  

What was your favorite thing to do here?

 

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The Courtyard Marriott South Beach #FloridaWish #Spons   

Courtyard Marriott Miami Beach South Beach

During my many travels I’ve stayed at various Marriott Hotels all throughout Florida and even Georgia.  I continue to patronize this brand of hotels because I can always rely on the cleanliness and great customer service.  As part of the Florida Wish campaign I stayed at the modern and sleek Courtyard Marriott Miami Beach South Beach.  South Beach is a trendy vacation spot where the stylish and cultured come to relax on the sand or indulge in fun and entertainment.  This hotel fits right into the South Beach ambiance.  Its decor is modern and artsy using en vogue fabrics and textures.

There is indoor and outdoor seating all along the lobby.  Being into photography I really loved seeing the framed vintage black and white photographs of South Beach history all throughout the hotel.  I thought it was a great way to balance the new while giving a nod to the history and art deco style South Beach is known for.  The lounge offers free wifi and beautiful workspaces next to a cafe style bistro.  There’s a big multi use space for casual or business to work on laptops, plug in various devices or watch television.

You know I am very active while traveling and enjoy lots of walking.  This is the main reason I would recommend this hotel is because it is smack in the middle of everything good.  A short walk east takes you to the beach, one block south takes you to Espanola Way and just north is the world famous Lincoln Street Mall.  You have fine dining, shopping and entertainment literally at its doorstep.

Another great amenity is the hotel valet service for your car.  Parking in South Beach can be tricky and expensive.  In addition there is new construction going on the roadways right now and you have to take all sorts of out of the way detours to arrive at your destination.  You can just leave your car with the hotels valet service and not have to worry.  Anything you want to do is within walking distance.

After settling in the first thing I did was head upstairs to the rooftop pool.  Wow, what a gorgeous view.  The space is designed to be a luxurious retreat for hotel guests.  There’s the pool and balconies with plush comfortable seating.  I spent a rainy afternoon up there catching up with some reading and writing.  It was so relaxing.  It was some much needed me time.

Lincoln Road Mall South Beach

After charging my batteries I was ready to hit the town for some fun.  Here are some suggestions for fun things to do.

South Beach Itinerary

August happens to be when Miami Spice takes place.  Fine restaurants around town offer three course meals featuring signature dishes created by world renowned chefs.  I was in the mood for Mexican food so I headed to Lincoln Road Mall.

Stroll along Lincoln mall which built in 1912 as a sophisticated retail spot is also one of the county’s first outdoor malls.  Today you will find casual restaurants, fine dining, high end designers, book stores, bars, theater and a Star Bucks on every corner.  There are art galleries and artist studios which open up for tours, movie theaters, street vendors and all types of street performers.  You can spend hours here.  I suggest having a seat, it’s a great spot for people watching.  You never know what rich and famous person you might bump into.

Head to the beach.  It usually rains in the afternoon during Florida summers.  I recommend heading out early.  I was able to beat the rain on Sunday and enjoy some beach time.  This beach has vendors for just about everything including snacks.  Be sure to get a peek of the famous lifeguard stands.  No two are alike.

Walk down Ocean Drive and see many familiar historic art deco hotels.  This street appears in numerous films and television shows.  There are lots of places to pick up souvenirs.

espanola way

Visit Espanola Way an often overlooked bohemian spot for shopping, dining and art galleries.  The area was modeled after the Mediterranean villages of Spain and France and was originally built as a meeting place by Miami Beach’s wealthiest citizens.  It’s very pretty at night it’s lit up by strings of light bulbs.

If you like music check out the New World Symphony schedule.  Some performances are projected on the buildings huge wall facing the park.  On certain nights they present free outdoor movie screenings.

Visit the Fillmore Miami Beach at Jackie Gleason Theater for live entertainment, concerts, comedy tours and private events.

If you love to dance some of Miami’s most famous nightclubs are on Washington Avenue, Collins and Ocean Drive.

All of these activities are within walking distance of the Courtyard Marriott Miami Beach South Beach.  You can find more things to do, news and deals by reading my specially curated Florida twitter list.

If you are traveling to Florida check out Marriott hotel deal click here.

Enter the promotional code SUM into the Corporate/Promotional code box when making your online reservation, or call 1-800-228-9290 in the US and ask for promotional code SUM.  The code is valid until October 5, 2014.

Don’t wait head on over and make your reservations today.

Sponsored post opinions mine

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Miami Culinary and Cocktail Tours

Culinary travel is the pursuit of unique and memorable experiences of all kinds.  It is making the food and drink an essential part of your travel.  When people make their travel plans they usually focus on the destinations without realizing how food and drink can immerse you in the local culture.  It doesn’t mean visiting only five star restaurants but it does mean local and interesting.   It connects you to the people which are the heart of the place you are visiting.  Learning about the food and how it’s prepared not only teaches, it connects you with the destinations history.

Miami Culinary Tours

Last weekend I took a South Beach happy hour cocktail tour which walked us through Miami Beach’s historic art deco district.  The tour involves visiting five hot spots and trying out a different specialty drink at each stop.  South Beach is known for being glam, gaudy and expensive.  For some it might even be intimidating which is why tours are such a great choice since you are personally guided to the hottest spots in South Beach by local experts.

Our Miami Culinary tour guide Richie was charismatic, entertaining and informative.  I’ve been on tours where the guide nearly put me to sleep but this was not the case with the Miami culinary tour.  Richie started the tour at a Colombian spot on Washington Avenue called Bolivar.  Since this was a cocktail tour he wanted to make sure to we had something to eat since drinking on an empty stomach will ensure it will go straight to your head.  We were served tasty Colombian style corn empanadas stuffed with potatoes and meat as well as patacon topped with deliciously seasoned chicken.  The food was authentic and very good.  Richie gave the group Spanish lessons while we ate and sipped on refajos.

Colombian Refajo

Refajo is a typical Colombian drink made with beer and cola.  I’m from Puerto Rico so I could taste the sweetness of the cola champaign immediately.  I’m not a beer drinker but this was a nice twist.  Before we left Richie wanted us to try Colombia’s national drink.  Aguardiente is a very strong alcoholic beverage made from anise and sugar cane.  The translation is fire water and is pretty accurate.  The drink has a licorice flavor and packs a punch so watch out.

Continuing on through South Beach’s colorful neon scenic backdrop we learned more about the city through Richie’s colorful anecdotes and tidbits of facts and history.  He shared many interesting facts about local icons, characters and actors.  By the end of the night the group really had a feel for Miami Beach culture and what life here is like.

Tudor South Beach

The tour went on and we got to try great mojitos at the newly renovated Larios, one of Gloria and Emilio Estefan restaurants.  My favorite part of the tour was drinking a sunset on the beautiful romantic rooftop of the Tudor as the sun was setting.  I do like vodka drinks and the combination of vodka and pineapple was divine.  Our bartender, Jason, surprised the group with a shot of coconut flavored vodka with pineapple juice.  It was delicious and had the group feeling fine.  The tour ended at the iconic Tides hotel with a fruity mango tequila drink which was very good especially if you like tequila.  As a Floridian I really enjoy learning new things and having new experiences.  It was fun meeting new people and adding new flavors to my travels.

5 Reasons to Take a Culinary Tour

  •  Get to know the local hot spots.
  • Learn about local celebrities and history.
  • Try new cuisine and cocktails.
  • Learn how to make them yourself.
  • Have fun meeting new people or take your friends on a private tour.

mct Collage

I was invited to join this tour in exchange for my honest review and am very happy to report the tour delivered on their promise of good food and drinks and an all around good time.  I recommend joining a tour to really get to know the history and even local gossip of the place you’re visiting.  It’s a great way to get intimate with the Miami Beach community and get a true taste and feel of the local culture as told by local experts.  You can check Miami Culinary Tours website as they have a variety of styles of tours to meet different foodie types.  I plan on trying the other tours in the near future.

 Have you taken a culinary tour?  What did you think?

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Photo Essay Wynwood Walls Graffiti Murals

wynwood walls

I had family visit me recently and it since it was there first time in South Florida I had to take them to see Wynwood’s famous walls.  You know it’s one of my absolute favorite places to be.  And guess what?  They were blown away.  It is a very special feeling when you step out of your car and are completely surrounded by huge colorful beautiful images. The atmosphere is fun and casual.

wynwood walls

wynwood walls

Most of the time you can catch the artists at work.

wynwood walls wynwood walls

This one is my favorite.  It’s beautiful, colorful, creepy and mysterious.

wynwood walls wynwood walls wynwood walls

Wynwood Walls is famous for it’s graffiti murals.

Have you been to Wynwood, Florida?  Which is your favorite mural?

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Photos of Wynwood Graffiti Murals

Imagine a place where art is all around you. Yes art.  Art is expression.

Wherever you look, someone left traces of their creativity.

Leaving no place overlooked, it’s on the walls, on the street, windows, light poles even trash cans.

Where the wind carries the acrid chemical smell of spray paint but you don’t really mind it.  It’s a welcome relief from the humidity.

Where you have to be careful where you walk, lean and sit or come away with wet paint.

Where the streets are slanted, side walks broken, but you can still appreciate the beauty of decay on crumbling industrial buildings lovingly wrapped in barbed wire.

Wynwood Walls Murals Graffiti Miami Florida Wynwood2 Wynwood3 wynwood4 wynwood2011

 

Where mystery and the mysterious are not uncommon.

The Miami neighborhood of Wynwood is an ever changing canvas where you are sure to be uncertain what you will see or experience next.

Sometimes people are the art.  You will find them costumed or painted into the most interesting characters you never thought of.

Performance art is everywhere; a group of kids dancing on the corner, a DJ spinning creating an impromptu party on the sidewalk or  an acoustic duo playing outside a fancy new gallery.

You can get food from a truck or the ghostbusters station wagon inside a bar sometimes flea market.

This place inspires me.  I come away feeling the passion expressed in artists works.  It reminds me of the passion I have for expressing myself.

Gentrification has me worried about how much longer this place will exist.  Wherever these artists flee I will follow.

 

Have you been to see Wynwood walls?

Is there a place you always go to for inspiration?

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“You must find the place inside yourself where nothing is impossible.”   Deepak Chopra

“One line placed on the canvas committed her to innumerable risks, to frequent and irrevocable decisions.” Virginia Woolf 

“I like that about art, that what you see is sometimes more about who you are than what’s on the wall.” Cath Crowley

“People say graffiti is ugly, irresponsible and childish… but that’s only if it’s done properly.”  Banksy

“Graffiti is not about clean lines, pretty colors and beautiful blends. Graffiti is my life’s turbulence exploded on a wall.” Mint Serf

“This world is but a canvas for our imagination.” Henry David Thoreau

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Secret Places: A Hidden Treasure in Downtown Miami, Florida

Alice C. Wainwright park Miami Florida

There’s nothing more exciting than learning something new and uncovering a well protected secret.  On my latest road trip I did just that.  Just barely south of Miami’s core banking and investment center, the Brickell financial district, where shiny new expensive glass and steel towers sprout up almost daily in attempt to outdo one another lies a slither of green protected public property with the most spectacular views of the Bay.  Its location, at the very north end of Miami’s oldest modern continuously inhabited neighborhood known for its famous residences, Coconut Grove.  Hidden among ancient native hardwood hammock trees and dusty historical mansions in an out of the way cul-de-sac you will find a rare waterfront park, the Alice C. Wainwright Park.

If you’re lucky enough to find parking which is almost nonexistent on this small street and not put off by the most ugly park gate, you are in for a treat.  Upon entering the park you’ll find basketball courts and renovated playground areas surrounded by plenty of shaded seating.  As you continue through this narrow space toward the bay there’s a limestone outcrop.  Climbing down will lead you to a beautiful large green open space perfect for picnicking or kite flying right with the most amazing views of the bay.  If you look to your right you can see Vizcaya, James Deering’s winter home in the 1910’s which today is a National Historic Landmark.  To the left there’s another wonderful area with gazebos’ and benches dwarfed under giant sweet-smelling pine trees.

Alice C. Wainwright park Miami Florida

This park is perfect for romantic picnics, family gatherings, barbecuing, flying kites, sitting on a bench with a good book or exercising.  I’m always looking for a new spot to just enjoy the view and this Miami park is also perfect for that.  It was a cloudy windy day when I visited.  I enjoyed sitting on one of the benches at the parks edge watching jet skiers, windsurfers and yachts go by.

Alice C. Wainwright park Miami Florida

Have you been to Alice C. Wainwright park?  What’s your favorite Florida park?

 

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“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn.” John Muir

“Her heart was a secret garden and the walls were very high.”  William Goldman

“There comes a time in every rightly constructed boy’s life when he has a raging desire to go somewhere and dig for hidden treasure.”  Mark Twain

“The diversity of the phenomena of nature is so great, and the treasures hidden in the heavens so rich, precisely in order that the human mind shall never be lacking in fresh nourishment.”  Johannes Kepler

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Experiencing Elle Spa at the Eden Roc Miami

“Our bodies are our gardens to which our wills are gardeners.” William Shakespeare
Elle Spa Eden Roc Miami Beach
Eden Roc Miami Beach Florida

Disclaimer: Services received were sponsored.  All opinions are my own.

Earlier this month I took time out for some much needed pampering.  The end of the year is incredibly busy.  My schedule overflowing with appointments, birthdays, anniversaries plus preparing for the holidays.  On top of that, this was an election year adding extra stress.  This is why it was so important we make the time to care for ourselves.  I need to take care of myself so I can continue having fun while accomplishing all of my wonderful goals.  It’s too easy to put it off.  I actually had to reschedule my spa day to do a pre-election interview for Telemundo’s, Al Rojo Vivo, with Maria Celeste. 
Elle Spa Eden Roc Miami Beach
Eden Roc Miami Beach Florida

 

Finally the day had arrived for my much anticipated spa day at the Elle Spa located at the acclaimed Eden Roc Renaissance.  It was a perfectly sunny day when I arrived at oceanfront location on prestigious Millionaire’s Row overlooking Miami Beach and the Intracoastal Waterway.  This legendary historical landmark was originally designed by famed architect Morris Lapidus, who also designed the Fontainebleau next door.  The moment you walk into the lobby you will be enchanted with his extravagant touches like handpicked statues and sparkling polished marble brought over from Europe.  I was excited to visit a hotel famous for being host to Hollywood greats like Elizabeth Taylor, Katharine Hepburn, Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart.
Elle Spa Eden Roc Miami Beach
Eden Roc Miami Beach Florida

The key factor that really distinguishes a luxury hotel from others is its dedication to customer service.  From the moment the valet opened my car door this was my experience at the Eden Roc.  Every employee I encountered was courteous and extremely capable.  Several times a year I do set aside time for a spa day and a determining factor is experiencing the best for my time and money.

 

 
I was drawn to this spa because of the Elle brand.  I’m sure you’re familiar with the French magazine which focuses on women’s fashion, beauty, health, entertainment and design.  I knew I could count on the quality of the products and services to be top notch since they are experts in the beauty industry.  I’ve been comparing high end luxury brands since acting as buyer in my first business Bella Vida Boutique and strive to associate only top quality with my personal brand. 
Elle Spa Eden Roc Miami Beach
Elle Spa Boutique

On my way to the spa area not only was the decor stylish but the smells, lighting and sounds were all strategically in place to put me in a relaxed state of mind.  I was so ready to detox from life’s daily stresses and Elle spa expedited it.  The spa was much larger than I had imagined.  Once you leave the boutique there are 18 treatment rooms, a fitness center, showers, sauna, steam, baths, nail and hair salon, etc. which you have full access to with a scheduled treatment.

 
I’ve had countless facials but this was the first time using the Tammy Fender line of products.  I chose to experience the signature Elle Spa facial, the Ultimate Glow along with reflexology.  Greeted by the head aesthetician she aptly prescribed the best treatment for my combination skin.  Her professional demeanor gave me the impression she was highly trained and knowledgeable.  Her prescription was specifically tailored to my skins needs.  After cleansing she performed a face peel as well as using the Tammy Fender brightening system. 
Elle Spa Eden Roc Miami Beach
Elle Spa
Elle Spa Description:
ELLE SPA SIGNATURE FACIAL
Our most luxurious facial experience is designed exclusively for ELLE by famed beauty expert Tammy Fender. Harmonize and balance your body with a holistic consultation, a personalized selection of pure essential oils, oxygen therapy, and foot reflexology. A rich mix of 87 vitamins, minerals, enzymes and amino acids stimulates the regeneration of healthy new cells, increases circulation and deeply restores and hydrates for lifted, glowing and luminous skin.
THE ULTIMATE GLOW
This facial removes older layers of skin, giving you a revived, refreshed, radiantly youthful appearance in under an hour. Rebuild and brighten skin with this exclusive botanical treatment, a blissful combination that works synergisticly to give you clear, luminescent complexion. 
REFLEXOLOGY
Reflexology is an ancient Chinese technique that focuses on reflex points in the hands and feet that correlate to specific organs and internal body systems. Expert compression helps enhance circulation and create balance from within, restoring the flow of energy throughout the entire body. 
 
Elle Spa Eden Roc Miami Beach
Elle Spa
I was extremely pleased.  The reflexology treatment aligned my chakras and placed me in a relaxed peaceful state of mind.  The results of the facial treatment were apparent right away.  The redness in my cheeks was gone and my skin was literally glowing with a healthy balance.  I couldn’t stop smiling.  In addition to looking better I physically felt better with the release of stress and tension I had been carrying.
After my treatment I had full access to everything the spa had to offer.  I walked around enjoying the stylish modern details of the decor.  Lounging before a fireplace I enjoyed a cup of tea.  Later I went up to the terrace to enjoy the sun and perfect South Florida weather.  And you know me, happiest when clicking away with my camera capturing souvenirs from this experience to share with you. 
 
For information on the Tammy Fender line of products click here.
 
Tammy Fender product Description:  Tammy Fender formulations are Pure Living Energy® for the skin – a collection of pure, organic custom blended skin care products based on the healing traditions of holistic medicine, freshly prepared in small batches and formulated with a divine consciousness. With an unwavering commitment to excellence and purity, Tammy Fender formulas radiate healing energy, benefitting one’s physical, emotional and spiritual well being. All products are synergistically blended and energetically balanced, working on a cellular level to restore harmony and vitality while addressing the psychology of the cell, bringing one’s whole being into balance.
Elle Spa Eden Roc Miami Beach
Elle Spa

It was a great experience and I plan on coming back soon and bringing my mother with me for a day of pampering.

To make a reservation or more information on the Elle Spa at the Eden Roc click here.

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“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. Your really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.” Lucille Ball

“Beauty is how you feel inside, and it reflects in your eyes. It is not something physical.” Sophia Loren

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Cosmopolitanism & Photography of Downtown Miami

Cosmopolitanism: 1.the theory that cultural and artistic activities should have neither national nor parochial boundaries. 2.the ideology that all human ethnic groups belong to a single community based on a shared morality.

A cosmopolitan is someone not subservient to a particular religious or political authority, someone who was not biased by particular loyalties or cultural prejudice.

Miami Skyline

Cosmopolitanisms have insisted human beings have a duty to aid fellow humans in need, regardless of their citizenship status.

Downtown Miami

Cosmopolitan duty is not restricted to duties of beneficence but also requires justice and respect. Cosmopolitan morality opposes slavery and apartheid, defends the emancipation of women and demands better treatment of animals.

Freedom Tower
Freedom Tower
Downtown Miami

“Homo sum: humani nil a me alienum puto. 
I am human: nothing human is alien to me.”

Downtown Miami from inside a parking garage

I recently caught a piece of a documentary called “Examined Life” by Astra Taylor which reignited my passion for philosophy.  I must make time to watch the entire movie.

While listening to several different philosophers, specifically Kwame Anthony Appiahspeak, speak of his philosophical ideas and ethics I pondered cosmopolitanism.

While I can fully embrace the idea of moral Cosmopolitanism I cannot commit to political or economical cosmopolitanism.  I do feel that the mere fact that we are human makes us related regardless of any other categories you would like to attach to it.  I have great compassion and caring for all children.  If I could have just one cosmopolitan wish granted it would be that each child on the planet receive an equal education because regardless of location or economics it would empower them to create changes.

Synonyms: all-inclusive, broad-minded, charitable, comprehensive, cosmic, cosmopolitan , diffuse, eclectic, ecumenical, extensive, generic, global, inclusive, indeterminate, large-scale, liberal, open-minded, planetary, receptive, tolerant, unbigoted, universal, unprejudiced, unsectarian, whole, wide, world-wide
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September Fall Crawl 
Theme: All things Fall Inspired


From September 19th to the 30th this crawl will highlight talented bloggers for you to discover. Each post will feature Fall Inspirations ranging from fall crafts, DIY projects, Food, Recipes, Decor and much more.


Today’s inspiration comes from
Kimberly of Kimbas 2 Cents.  
Kimbas2cents is a lifestyle blog where she focuses on recipes, fashion, career, and beauty. Her Fall Inspiration has me salivating it looks sooo good! She’s featuring the recipe for delicious spice cupcakes with yummmmmmmy cream cheese frosting! I want one. : )

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Growth

Growth: 1.a. The process of growing.b. Full development; maturity.2. Development from a lower or simpler to a higher or more complex form; evolution.3. An increase, as in size, number, value, or strength; extension or expansion.4.a stage of development
“Growth itself contains the germ of happiness.” Pearl S. Buck 

Light Graffiti Miami Skyline 2011
 “Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death.” Albert Einstein 
Light Graffiti Miami Skyline 2011
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“Truth, like gold, is to be obtained not by its growth, but by washing away from it all that is not gold.” Leo Tolstoy 
“Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.” John F. Kennedy 

“The key to growth is the introduction of higher dimensions of consciousness into our awareness.” Lao Tzu ” 

“Be not afraid of growing slowly. Be afraid only of standing still.” Chinese Proverb

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Synonyms: advance, advancement, aggrandizement, augmentation, beefing up, boost, buildup, crop, cultivation, enlargement, evolution, evolvement, expansion, extension, fleshing out, flowering, gain, germination, heightening, hike, improvement, increase, maturation, maturing, multiplication, produce, production, proliferation, prosperity, rise, sprouting, stretching, success, surge, swell, thickening, unfolding, up, upping

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Intuition

in·tu·i·tion/ˌint(y)o͞oˈiSHən/Noun
1. The ability to understand something immediately, without the need for conscious reasoning.
2. A thing that one knows or considers likely from instinctive feeling rather than conscious reasoning.

Rainy Night Midtown Miami 2.2011

It’s very interesting to me that some people believe we can develop our own intuition. I’ve never thought about it that way before.

There are Four Primary Intuitive Senses
Intuitive seeing – we see with our inner vision rather than our physical vision.
Intuitive Hearing – may or may not sound like your own voice.
Intuitive Feeling – a physical or emotional sensation.
Intuitive Knowing – clear and spontaneous knowing.

I’ve experienced intuitive feeling and knowing but I just took it for granted that everyone had that. When in doubt I always check to see what I’m feeling then go from there. I had an experience a while back and since then I always listen to my intuition.

It was the weekend and a group of friends were at the house. We were laughing, listening to music and having a good time while getting ready to go dancing. But by the time I got into the car I had this awful feeling that wouldn’t go away. I didn’t know what it was so I got out of the car. I asked my friends to wait so I could leave my purse at home. All of a sudden it occurred to me that I didn’t want to carry it so I placed my keys, money and lipstick in my pockets.

The club was bumping good music, we got our dance on and everyone had fun that night. It wasn’t till we left the club to go back home that we found my friends car had been broken into and the sound system stolen.

If I would’ve brought my purse I would’ve left it in the car but I followed my gut instinct and left it at home instead.

Has something like that happened to you?

“Intuition comes very close to clairvoyance; it appears to be the extrasensory perception of reality.” Alexis Carrel

Rainy Night Midtown Miami 2.2011
clairvoyance, discernment, divination, feeling, foreknowledge, gut reaction, hunch, innate knowledge, inspiration, instinct, intuitiveness, perception, premonition, presentiment, second sight, sixth sense


“Good instincts usually tell you what to do long before your head has figured it out.” Michael Burke

“Trust your hunches. They’re usually based on facts filed away just below the conscious level.” Joyce Brothers

“Follow your instincts. That’s where true wisdom manifests itself.” Oprah Winfrey

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