Category

Family

ONE on ONE

by Mayi de la Vega

Fresh Beginnings

By | Art, Family, Florida Finds, Travel, Uncategorized, Wellness

My big and small goals for the brand-new year.

Happy new year, and hope it’s off to a good (and healthy!) start. At the beginning of every year, I like to reflect on the road ahead. Building my business, raising my family and supporting my circle from colleagues to community dominated my life for so long. When we give and give, it takes its toll on us. Self-care has received a lot of attention in the media during the pandemic. It forced people to take a break from the rat race and focus on how they were really living. Many of us weren’t happy with what we saw. I’m reassessing what makes me happy and how to grow as a person. It can be challenging, even scary, but I know from my previous accomplishments that there’s no easy way to create change. I’d like to share my to-do list for 2022 from simple, everyday fixes to once-in-a-lifetime experiences that I’ve always dreamt of doing.

 

Move More
It’s all about movement for me this year. That may mean a brisk walk outdoors with the bonuses of vitamin D and fresh air, or more rigorous workouts that keep me on my toes so I don’t get bored. Consistency is key if you really want results. I hope to discover some new fun ways to keep my weight in check, strengthen my bones and core and glow from within. Dancing is one of the best ways to burn calories and improve mental health, so I definitely would like to incorporate more dancing into my exercise routine. Though you can certainly dance solo anytime, anyway, it’s also a great way to connect with your partner and friends. I just may get my grandkids to join me in a dance-off, too.

The Great Outdoors
I’d like to spend more time outdoors regardless of the activity. I’m going to listen to our ancient ancestors and benefit from nature’s healing powers, a practice that the Japanese refer to as forest bathing. Simply by living in Florida, we’re lucky to have close contact with the ocean and healing salt air, as well as its towering trees, wildflower-filled meadows and freshwater rivers and springs. I also hope to visit more places that offer outdoor activities with a wellness component like hiking and biking. It can be somewhere in my backyard or a faraway destination.

Bucket List Trips
I would love to take my family on an unforgettable vacation this year, such as Florence and its surrounding Tuscan wine country with stops along the Italian seaside too. Exploring this rich region’s nature, culture and history with loved ones has always been a dream of mine. After a long hiatus from my initial visit to St. Barth, I’m excited to vacation again in this piece of paradise. The Bahamas are one of my greatest loves, and their waters in surreal shades of blue are a continual source of rejuvenation and wonder for me. I take this image everywhere with me.

Creative Spark & the Pursuit of Knowledge

For many people, a bright spot in the pandemic has been picking up new hobbies or rediscovering old ones. I’d like to get back to my photography. I find the whole process very calming and rewarding. It makes you see the world differently, and there’s always room for improvement and the next amazing shot. It’s something I can do as I age too. It’s important to have a mix of activities that include those you can do more long term. I’d like to make time to read and review my books about art and photography for inspiration, and listen to podcasts especially on the subjects of wellness and self-improvement.

Setting Boundaries & Me Time

I won’t feel guilty about taking time for myself and focusing on my inward journey. When I’m at my best, I benefit those around me most. It’s also important to se boundaries for myself with people who zap my energy or don’t bring me joy. It’s okay to let go and live my best life!

My Gift Guide to You

By | Art, Beauty, Family, Florida Finds, Holiday, Wellness

Don’t panic when it comes to holiday shopping. Here are some great gifts to wow them.

Like me, you have probably been busy with Art Basel fairs, holiday engagements, peak season business affairs and family life. There’s barely been a moment to think about holiday presents, let alone browse and shop for them in-person or online. I thought I could lend a hand by suggesting some beautiful and interesting gifts. Most importantly, take a moment to de-stress and enjoy this special time. Happy holidays.

Cool Books

I love to share “Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life” with everyone in my circle since it’s helped me so much. The authors reveal the Japanese philosophy about ikigai, which means “a reason for living,” and why the Japanese never retire because they love what they do. Readers hopefully come away with discovering their ikigai.

I treated my son Daniel to a copy of “Art House: The Collaboration of Chara Schreyer and Gary Hutton” published by Assouline. A visual feast for the eyes, it chronicles their 40-year collaboration of Hutton designing Schreyer’s five homes that showcase her magnificent collection of 600 artworks.

The Perfect Handbag

Need I say more than Chanel?! The Parisian fashion maison recently opened a flagship store in the Miami Design Distict. I love its longtime architect Peter Marino’s work inspired by the brand’s iconic, black and white packaging. The location carries ready to wear, eyewear, jewelry, shoes and yes, those coveted quilted handbags.

Posh Pajamas

Campo Collection’s chic pajamas for women, men and children are made locally and sustainably with natural fibers and dyes. Its Brazilian founder, a former stylist for Armani and Marc Jacobs, moved here from New York. She also offers robes, dresses and intimates.

 

Ballet Tickets

Everyone knows and loves Miami City Ballet’s annual performances of “George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker,” but really wow them with seats to the North American premiere of Russian choreographer Alexei Ratmansky’s new version of “Swan Lake” in February. This is making big waves in the ballet world, and it’s quite a coup for our hometown company.

Uncommon Candles

Since Loewe creative director Jonathan Anderson is all about celebrating craft, it’s no wonder his candle line features uncommon scents. Loewe’s Miami boutique, which recently unveiled its new art installation, a large-scale mural by Sol LeWitt, carries the full range of fragrances more akin to kitchen gardens and yards. Some are oregano, juniper berry, coriander, black licorice, tomato, ivy and honeysuckle. Each vegetable wax candle comes in a glazed terracotta holder whose color matches the scent.

Gifts for Guys

Crémieux, the luxury menswear label from St. Tropez, opened a Bal Harbour store just in time for finding the perfect gift for your guy. I love its cashmere sweaters in Miami colors like rose pink and azure blue.

Beautiful pastries, panettone, cookies and chocolates

Who wouldn’t want to bite into a baked good that’s as pretty as delectable? Some of my favorite sources for edible works of art are Sant Ambroeus, which ships its signature panettone and holiday tins of Italian cookies; and Bachour, whose social media star pastries are available at its several bakeries around town. Another great idea is caftan queen Marie France Van Damme’s bean-to-bar collaboration with Hong Kong’s Conspiracy Chocolate. Flavors are inspired by her boutiques’ exotic locales like Dubai, Morocco, Singapore and Miami (smoked pineapple!).

Museum & Botanical Garden Memberships  

Give them an experience that lasts all year long while supporting local institutions at the same time. Think about what they love and where they live when choosing a membership to places like PAMM, the Bass, ICA Miami, NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale, Frost Science Museum, Fairchild Garden, Miami Beach Botanical Garden and more.

Jeans for Teens and Twentysomethings

Re/Done, the Malibu-born women’s and men’s brand for reconstructed Levi’s denim and other reimagined vintage apparel and accessories by heritage brands that’s all the rage with celebs from Cindy Crawford to the Hadids, opened a Miami boutique. Gen Z and Millennials love its sustainable mission and retro styles and fits from the 70s, 80s and 90s.

Jewelry with Purpose

Awe Inspired, a New York-based, feel-good jewelry collection, donates 20 to 100 percent of proceeds to partner charities like CancerCare and The Trevor Project. Its popular goddess series with signet rings and pendants is now available in solid 14K yellow and white gold. In addition to mythological and religious goddesses, pieces honor real-life goddesses throughout the ages. Choose from many including Cleopatra, Joan of Arc, Harriet Tubman, Florence Nightingale and Frida Kahlo.

Charcuterie Boards

Chaya’s Craze Boards is making a name for itself with mouthwatering, overflowing charcuterie boards. Savory and sweet options feature classic items like meat, cheese, nuts, pickles and dried fruit, as well as other less common additions like veggies, fruit, cookies and candy. They come in various sizes on handcrafted wooden charcuterie boards or in boxes.

 

Mama Mia!

By | Family, Holiday

 

Here we go again with Mother’s Day celebrations, but let’s make a difference for others too.

The adage goes that motherhood is the hardest job you’ll ever love. As a working mother of two children who now have their own growing broods, I can attest to that. It’s a selfless love that came naturally to me from the moment they placed my babies in my arms. As parents, we always give and give with no expectations of anything in return. As our children become adults, the tables turn in more ways than I ever saw coming. For example, I believe parents look to their children for more love and affection as we age, only to discover that our kids are just as busy as we once were. They’re raising families, working and dealing with the endless laundry list of our everyday lives. It often feels like they don’t have as much time for us as we’d like.

As we celebrate Mother’s Day on May 9, I’d like to stress how important it is to keep our family units close and in touch. Our careers come and go, and all we have in the end is our family. I also think we could use any cause for celebration now, even if you’re not the holiday type. Besides planning something special for your mom or any of the mothers in your life, there are other great ways to commemorate the occasion.

Brunches and other special events are happening all over South Florida, but I like the idea of a charity tie-in. Located in a gorgeous historic building, the Coral Gables Woman’s Club is hosting a high tea on Saturday to benefit the organization’s free children’s dental clinic. It’s just one of their regular fundraisers for this important service.

Many other nonprofits in South Florida are dedicated to helping parents and children year-round. Partially funded by the Miami Foundation and the Children’s Trust, the Miami Diaper Bank collects and distributes diapers—more than 4.1 million thus far—and other baby essentials to low-income families and shelters throughout our region. Donate to its “All For Moms Campaign” in honor of Mother’s Day, and they’ll 100% match your gift.

One of South Florida’s brightest stars is Lotus House, a sanctuary for homeless women, children and young adults. I’m simply blown away by this nonprofit’s devotion and level of resources to help these people find their footing in the world. They give them the tools to thrive and achieve their dreams. Beyond the basic food, clothing and shelter, they create amenities like the Lotus Learning Pod, which was incredibly beneficial when schools were shut down, and wellness initiatives such as the Wildflower Yoga & Meditation Room and Zen Garden, the David and Leila Centner Charitable Foundation Culinary Center, and a brand-new children’s outdoor play area for musical education. Residents also love “The Farm,” a state-of-the-art, hydroponic urban garden and science lab. Kids roll up their sleeves and tend to several varieties of produce from seed to harvest. Their bounty—more than 1,500 pounds of veggies and herbs—feeds everyone including at the salad bar and its homemade herbal dressings. I urge you to check out this place and see how you can become involved. It truly transforms lives for the best, and I can’t think of a better description of motherhood’s goals than that.