Category

Wellness

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.

 

The Doctor Is In

By | Beauty, Wellness

Up your skin-care game in time for summer at Dr. Barbara Sturm’s new spa and boutique in Miami.

Skin-care mogul Dr. Barbara Sturm is a familiar face around Miami (I couldn’t resist the pun). With her white blonde pixie cut and glowing complexion, the German natural stunner is instantly recognizable, too. She comes here often to check in with her many fans and accounts like Gee Beauty in Sunset Harbour, one of my favorite destinations for products, facials and other spa services. It makes perfect sense then that Sturm chose our fair city to expand her Dr. Barbara Sturm Spa & Boutique empire.

Following locations in London, Düsseldorf, New York and Los Angeles, her one-stop, skin-care concept recently debuted in the Miami Design District’s Palm Court. The bilevel space’s minimalist décor with pops of color emulates her brand’s clean beauty ethos. A “discovery table” with illuminated, mobile displays invites customers to find the best products within her molecular cosmetics skin-care line for their skin type. She’s forever developing innovative products. A couple new items to pick up are the Super Anti-Aging Face Cream and the Good C Vitamin C Serum. There’s even a children’s line, and hair products are next on her list.

Her facials are also well worth your time. Multiple treatment rooms are divided between the first and second floors for express and full signature facials, respectively. Along with popular treatments like the Signature SturmGlow, the spa menu caters to specific skin types from darker skin tones to a men’s facial. Clients have their choice of several add-ons including microdermabrasion, microchanneling and microcurrent. Miami and Los Angeles also exclusively feature the Summer Facial to repair sun, ozone and pollution damage. Aestheticians begin by gently cleansing and exfoliating skin with her Enzyme Cleanser. The next step cools, soothes and hydrates skin through frozen cubes of Hyaluronic Serum.

 

“In the summer we need extra protection against UVA and UVB rays, pollution and environmental stressors,” said Sturm, of her magic formula for instant results. “Healthy skin protected by a strong skin barrier is the most functional, radiant and glowing.”

She really thought of everything regarding the total experience. Guests can relax in a lounge area, and VIPs have their own discreet entrance. The new Dr. Sturm Professional Line of medically-advanced skin-care products is available at the Miami flagship following a personal consultation in a spa suite. Non-invasive Infrared Therapy is another special service here. Sturm believes in its mood-boosting benefits beyond numerous skin enhancements from increasing elasticity to alleviating sun damage and aging effects. In many ways, the new branch is her love letter to Miami.

“I’ve spent a lot of time in Miami in the past 20 years,” she said, of her long wait for the right opportunity and time to expand. “I love its energy and have so many friends here.”

 

Turn Distress into Destress

By | Uncategorized, Wellness

We’re already been through enough stress this year. Take a deep breath with these tips.

This time of the year can be a particularly stressful time. I know it’s hard to take your mind off of your endless to-do list —the planning, decorations, special meals, entertaining children home from school and trying to get some work done—but self-care should be a priority. We hear this term a lot these days. Maybe it took the pandemic for us to realize how thinly we were stretched and that we need to take a step back and reassess what living the good life truly means. I’ve put together some methods that I use to destress, and I hope that this talk of self-care continues in 2021.

Tammy Fender

Long before organic this and that, wellness pioneer Tammy Fender launched her namesake, holistic spa in West Palm Beach in 2002. It led to her line of plant-based, skin-care products made with all-natural ingredients. Beyond their fantastic results—beauty editors rave about the Epi-Peel micro-exfoliator and facial mask with kaolin clay, spearmint and rosemary—their aromatherapy element like Bulgarian Rose Water tonic is heavenly.

https://www.tammyfender.com/

Gardens

Nature soothes our nerves, even something as simple as a walk around the neighborhood. I also enjoy visiting Miami’s many gorgeous green spaces. World-class gardens like Fairchild, the Kampong and Miami Beach Botanical Garden are perfect for safe outings with fresh air and social distancing. They’re also great for families when you need somewhere to take the kids and let them run around.

https://fairchildgarden.org/

https://ntbg.org/gardens/kampong/

http://mbgarden.org/

Calm App

I’m a huge fan of Calm, a wellness app for meditation and other health benefits. Many of us are having trouble sleeping these days, so its ambient music, breathing exercises and nature sounds like soft rain are very helpful in shutting off the noise in our heads at bedtime. You can also relax by watching tranquil videos of nature scenes and instructions for how to stretch, as well as listen to expert-led masterclass programs. Try its complimentary trial and see for yourself.

https://www.calm.com/

Cashmere Travel Set

Speaking of sleep, sometimes it’s nice to take a cat nap. Some people consider it a must during their day. Even if you’re not the napping type, you can still get good use out of Maison de Papillon NY’s Alana cashmere blanket and eye mask set in a convenient travel pouch. Made from pure Mongolian cashmere, it comes in cafe or pewter. It’s the ideal gift for any occasion and travel accessory to take on the plane.

https://www.maisondepapillon.com/product/alana-cashmere-blanket-pouch-set/

ESPA Candles + dōTERRA Essential Oils & Diffusers

No matter where I am, I can turn any setting into a sanctuary with aromatherapy. ESPA’s hand-poured, natural soy wax candles are so soothing that they named one exactly that; its blissful fragrance blends sandalwood, rose geranium and frankincense. If you’re looking for something seasonal, their Winter Spice candle combines classic Christmas scents. Wafting the finest essential oils throughout your home or office is at the heart dōTERRA’s home line. I load up on a variety of their scents to supply their chic room diffusers in onyx and marble.

https://us.espaskincare.com/home/candles.list

https://www.doterra.com/US/en

 

Golden Door Resort & Spa

By | Wellness

California’s Golden Door Resort & Spa is a wellness wonderland.

Sometimes we all need to reboot and tune out the world, and Golden Door has become my go-to wellness resort. Though it’s located on the opposite side of the country—in Southern California between San Diego and Laguna Beach—I don’t mind the travel time. One visit and you’ll see why it’s enchanted not only me but famous faces from Liz Taylor to Oprah since opening in 1958. They, too, entered through its iconic copper and brass doors etched with a Tree of Life symbol. What lies beyond is much different from decades past, however.

A longtime patron bought the 600-acre property in 2012 and commissioned New York interior designer Victoria Hagan and a touted ecological designer to refurbish and enhance its signature Zen look with mature Japanese gardens. They transplanted an olive grove and installed an heirloom produce-filled greenhouse for executive chef Greg Frey’s health-conscious cuisine that also satisfies. (I’ve included links to recipes for his eggplant meatballs and fig jam dot cookies below.)

The tradition of packing light also continues. Whereas guests used to receive pink sweatsuits, affectionately referred to as “pinkies,” upon arrival, they’re now given a full set of workout attire, plus tees, terry-cloth robes and cotton kimonos that are laundered daily.You truly just have to show up, since the package extends to Golden Door skin-care products, a water bottle, journal, tote and yoga mat. Not having to stress about what to pack is my idea of heaven.

These perks along with impeccable service are designed so guests have more time to work on themselves, whether that means digital detoxing or hiking the substantial trail system. I also take Pilates and spin classes; fencing and archery are available for the more adventurous. The fitness menu is a far cry from the days when guests would hula hoop and subject themselves to vibrating weight-loss belts—a vision that reminds me of the exercise class scenes in “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” Men shouldn’t let the notion of “pink ladies” deter them from enjoying this serene retreat and its abundant activities either. In fact, the annual men’s week has been taking place since 1960.

In addition to the popular, week-long Classic package, they introduced two new programs this fall. For those who overindulged during the shutdown, the Trainer package is the way to go. Guests are paired with their own personal trainers who customize workouts including private boot camp. Because people are connected with nature and mindfulness more now too, the Land and Water package was developed to hike, swim and picnic.

Another really cool thing about this place is that they donate 100% of net profits to charity. Some of the charities that have been benefited are The New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, Palomar Health Foundation, Safe & Sound, Rady Children’s Hospital and others to help stop child abuse and bring awareness to the cause. What’s not to love?

 

https://goldendoor.com/eggplant-meatball-recipe/

https://goldendoor.com/fig-jam-dot-cookies/

Fearless at Fifteen

By | Beauty, Wellness

The glamorous Gee Beauty spa and boutique celebrates its 15th anniversary.

I’ve always supported women-owned businesses, which is just one of the many reasons I’m a huge fan of Gee Beauty. Named after a chic Canadian family—the impossibly gorgeous, savvy and kind Miriam Gee and her equally accomplished and stunning daughters, Natalie, Celene and Stephanie—the breakthrough beauty concept was founded 15 years ago in their hometown of Toronto. Years later, they expanded to Miami Beach’s Sunset Harbour neighborhood.

The spa/boutique hybrid is tailored for the time-crunched modern woman (and man, since they offer a full range of men’s products and custom treatments). The basic idea is that we all love a spa day, but it’s just not practical most of the time with our hectic schedules, whether you’re a busy parent, professional or both. They saw a white space for a 21st-century urban spa, where people can pop in for quick yet effective services such as their signature Brow Shaping and Medi Multi Express anti-aging facial in the same manner that they visit their favorite coffee shop for a latte. By thinking of your spa routine in daily snippets, you can still stick to your beauty routine without spending precious hours all at once.

I can attest to the quality of their services and products including their namesake cosmetics line. When I really want to treat myself, I indulge in one of their Luxury Facials whose themes are often based on their premier brands like Dr. Sebagh, Tata Harper and Dr. Barbara Sturm. Each of the four women has her sub-specialties regarding services and product niches, and they personally test every single item that comes into the store. Because the beauty market is flooded with options, it’s one less thing I have to think about—if it passes their approval, I know it’s great. When I’m in Sunset Harbour, I add it to my round of errands and treats like dinner at Naiyara and Lucali.

Since reopening in the pandemic, I’ve been impressed with how they’re handling protocol. They’re really good about spacing clients through limiting appointments and installing plexi-glass dividers. During services, the staff wears masks, face shields, gloves and gowns, among many thoughtful safety measures. You can also order online or arrange for curbside pickup to tide you over until you feel safe enough for in-person treatments and shopping.

I also like how they’ve always been ahead of the curve. Before clean beauty was trendy, they believed in a holistic approach and were among the first stores to bring in natural and organic skin-care lines. They’re constantly searching for better alternatives and address all skin types and tones. They recently introduced Epara, a luxury, skin-care brand whose ingredients from essential oils to botanicals are specifically designed for women of color.

For the 15th anniversary, they assembled the Glow Into Fall Skin Kit, a crème de la crème package with their top beauty picks in a complimentary tote commemorating the achievement. Some goodies inside are the Joanna Vargas Bright Eye Firming Mask, Mimi Luzon 24K Gold Hyaluronic Serum, Gee Beauty Soothing Lip Balm and Slip Skinnies silk hair ties. What a great gift for a friend or yourself.

Congrats ladies, and here’s to another 15 years!