I was recently approached by United Airlines to film a segment called “Three Perfect Days in Fort Lauderdale,” which will air on all United flights on August 1.  As a Fort Lauderdale native and self-appointed expert, I was absolutely THRILLED. First off, I feel incredibly honored that they asked me to be their hostess for the day. Secondly, there’s nothing I love more than sharing all of the amazing spots our city has to offer. Between our pristine beaches, boating canals, luxury hotels and restaurants, there truly is no other city like Fort Lauderdale (if I should say so myself).

When not I’m not at work, I tend to be more introverted, which a lot of people don’t really know about me. I enjoy doing things geared toward home, and health and wellness play a huge part in my everyday life. In this city guide, I tried to include all the best that Fort Lauderdale has to offer while also showing a bit of my personal side.

Here’s how it all went down!

1. The day started off at the store where we spoke about my experience owning a local boutique for more than nine years. It was very special to speak to the cameras (and the world) about why this passion turned project holds a special place in my heart.

michelle dimarco

2. We then headed over to my favorite coffee digs, Brew Urban Café. The funky space has a sprawling, Instagram-worthy book collection and is hands down the best coffee shop in Fort Lauderdale. Not only do they serve locally grown ingredients sourced daily from vendors within the community, but the quality of their coffee and pastries is simply unparalleled. It’s the perfect place to come, sit back and listen to local music while getting some work done. My go-to order? A vegan muffin and cappuccino. It does not disappoint!

michelle dimarco

3. Following my religious caffeine fix, we headed east to the Bonnet House Museum & Gardens. Here, we were greeted by Denyse, the curator, who graciously gave us a tour of the whimsically-designed house and the owner’s private art studio. She also gave us a tour of the beautiful gardens, including one of the finest orchard collections in the U.S. This was such a treat as I’ve never come across so many orchid variations in my life! We also encountered some resident wild monkeys roaming freely on the grounds, which was an experience in and of itself!

4. After Bonnet House, we went to the NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale on the one and only Las Olas Boulevard. Here, I spoke to the museum curator about their new exhibit, which highlights Paris and New York City from the 1890s to the 1920s through breathtaking photographs and art. It’s no secret I love the city of lights, so this was an absolute dream. The exhibit shows how the invention of electricity impacted artists, which you can actually see in the paintings. Pretty cool! The exhibit won’t be there for much longer, so I highly recommend seeing it before it’s too late!

michelle dimarco

5. We then headed south to the recently opened brewery, Tarpon River Brewing. Tarpon River is actually located in the historical 1920s stable belonging to the Snyder family of Fort Lauderdale. As a result, the brewery has a distinct Old-Florida design with reclaimed and restored barn wood. I got to interview the owner and we tasted a variety of beers, including clean lagers, mixed-fermentation sour beers and barrel-aged ales.

michelle dimarco

6. After working up an appetite, we grabbed a bite to eat at El Vez, a Mexican restaurant on the first floor of the W Fort Lauderdale Hotel with stunning hand painted murals. Created by renowned restaurateur Stephen Starr, El Vez showcases classic Mexican fare with an emphasis on Baja-style cooking that celebrates the fresh seafood of our city. I got to chat one-on-one with Executive Chef Steve Menter, and he had us try some of the restaurants signature dishes including the most delicious guacamole, tacos and nachos.

7. Perhaps what makes Fort Lauderdale so special and has given it the name “Venice of America” are the numerous intercostal waterways. I wanted to make sure this was included in my tour, so we hopped aboard the super convenient Water Taxi. Not only did we have a front-row seat to mega yachts and mansions (what a treat!), but we avoided traffic and got to the other side of town in record time.

michelle dimarco

8. My tour of Fort Lauderdale ended at Rooftop 1WLO, Downtown Fort Lauderdale’s first ever rooftop bar, which is elevated above Las Olas Boulevard and the New River. My girlfriends met me here for some hand-crafted cocktails made by the BEST mixologists. My favorite drinks are the “What the Matcha” (New Amsterdam Vodka, matcha powder and green chartreuse) and the tropical “Kiwi AF” (Mount Gay Rum, kiwi, mint, rosemary and Cointreau), which is especially refreshing on a warm summer night. There truly was no better way to end my Fort Lauderdale tour than toasting to this beautiful city!

michelle dimarco

Over the years, I’ve collected a good number of swimsuits. As a fashion boutique owner and South
Florida native, I’ve become a self-proclaimed swimsuit connoisseur. Yet, no matter how many swimsuits
I amass, I’m always likely to pick out the same ones over and over again. Why? Because they’re super
flattering of course!

Below, I’ve narrowed down my extensive collection down to 6 swimsuits you should own this summer.
From off the shoulder tops, to high-wasted bottoms, all six silhouettes are timeless. Consider these six
pieces your forever swimsuits.

Off-the-Shoulder

Top: $115
Bottoms: $96
We’ve never met an off-the-shoulder bikini top we didn’t like. And with this tropical printed Vitamin A set, the forecast is always sunny.

Top-Knot Detail


Top: $99
Bottoms: $79
Vacay the right way with this L*Space bikini. The knitted bikini contains a decorative knot detail with a scoop neck at the top, making it the perfect combination of trendy, flattering and feminine.

Ruffle Accents


Top: $88
Bottoms: $78
Ruffles on swimwear is a great way to take an ordinary swimsuit to extraordinary. Not only do the ruffles on this Montce Swim bikini add a playful element to it, but they also add an extra flair.

Thigh-High


$167
We all need a suit that can take us from the pool or beach to wherever else we want to go. Lucky for you, this Vitamin A one-piece is that suit. Simply pair it with some denim shorts or a flowy skirt, and it’ll double up as a bodysuit.

High Waisted


Top: $138
Bottoms: $82
Like a black tee, a high-waited bikini bottom is something you should always have stocked away. Regardless of your shape or size, this cut is flattering on everyone as it squeezes everything in—a plus when you might be worried about your beach bod—and gives the illusion of longer legs.

Mesh



Top: $95
Bottoms: $88
As you approach the pool in this black mesh L*Space bikini, all eyes will be fixed on you. Yes, it’s daring, but it still gives you the necessary coverage. Trust me, it’ll be your poolside version of the LBD.

Let me know in the comment section below which piece is your favorite!

Xoxo,
Michelle

If you haven’t made plans for Memorial Day yet, it’s time to get started. After all, the holiday weekend is right around the corner. In the past, I’ve typically stayed in my home base of Fort Lauderdale. It is no shock that I love everything about it: the businesses, the people, the atmosphere… everything.

However, I’ve also had the opportunity to travel to different places for Memorial Day weekend. I always think it’s great to escape for a few days and truly unwind. After all, there comes a time in every business owner’s life where you just need to disconnect. As an entrepreneur myself, I know how important it is to take a break from creating, building, growing and learning. Here, I’ve come up with a list of my top five Memorial Day destinations.

Riviera Maya, Mexico

Riviera Maya’s name alone brings up images of pristine water, white-sand beaches, sun-drenched days and margaritas. It’s true— you really can find all of these here. Make a trip to this oasis for a whiff of the Caribbean and a taste of the good life. Most all-inclusive resorts offer some really great rates over Memorial Day weekend since many Americans tend to stay a little closer to home. Yes, please!

Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Forget Palm Beach or the Hamptons. Cape Cod is the real playground of the rich and famous. Think the Kennedys, Robert De Niro, Meryl Streep and Taylor Swift. From politicians to actors to musicians, everyone has purchased a home here. And it’s for good reason. Although the water may not be warm enough for a swim, you can still enjoy a stroll down the beach and visit some of the area’s stunning lighthouses for a beach vacay unlike any other.

Palm Springs, California

I know what you may be thinking: do I really want to spend my Memorial Day weekend somewhere that doesn’t have a beach? Don’t fret. With a variety of dining & spa options, Palm Springs is the perfect destination for the long weekend. Soak up some sun and sip on cool cocktails poolside at one of the city’s many stylish boutique hotels. Memorial Day also marks the end of bearable temps out in the desert, so many properties run great specials over the holiday. Who doesn’t love a good deal?

Miami, Florida

This time of the year in the Magic City typically means comfortable temperatures. My personal favorite place to stay? The swanky, yet approachable Soho Beach House. However, be warned: Memorial Day weekend happens to fall during Urban Beach Week, which draws over 300,000 participants to South Beach. If crowds aren’t your thing, head on over to the Brickell area. With a plethora of shops and waterfront restaurants (hey, American Social), you won’t be missing out.

Austin, Texas

Last but not least: Austin. With its Tex-Mex joints, bustling music clubs and scenic walking trails, this city is making a name for itself. Not only does the Texas capital gets some of its best weather around this holiday, but Memorial Day weekend kicks off the boating season. Head on over to Lake Travis or enjoy a swim at Lady Bird Lake.

I hope my suggestions help! Let me know in the comment section below if any of you will be visiting these places to celebrate Memorial Day. Cheers to the long weekend!

Xoxo,
Michelle

 

Photos: JetSetter.com

Let’s be real, music festivals have always been about the music, but in recent years, the fashion has become just as much (if not more) of a talking point. Festival season can be seriously tricky to dress for. You want to look cool and stylish, but you do have to consider battling the elements as you never know if it will be sun or showers.

Tick tock! Tortuga is this weekend and Coachella is right around the corner. Did you think I would leave you ladies hanging? This week we hung out with Deco Drive and dished on what’s hot in festival fashion.

From the Fort Lauderdale sand to the Cali dessert, Lilac And Lilies has all of the essentials you need to create a festival-ready look. Here’s the skinny:

  • You can’t go wrong with a bohemian vibe or a rock and roll look at a festival. Well, actually, you can. My rule of thumb: pick one trendy piece and mix it with basics from your closet and you’ll look like you’re just that cool. I love this Suburban Riot tee paired with our pleated gingham skirt from Lost and Wonder. festival outfit Suburban Riot Lost and Wonder
  • Festival season is no time for blending in. Calling all free-spirited babes, you’re going to love this floral, bohemian-inspired get up from Elan USA. festival look Elan USA
  • Forgo your basic crop in favor of a trendy bikini top. We love this lace up accent by Blue Life paired with the perfect denim shorts by One Teaspoon. Accent the look with an edgy accessory or two and you’re good to go.festival outfit Blue Life One Teaspoon
  • This Velvet Heart denim shirt is easy to wear and looks good with everything! Complete the look with a playful pomp om skirt by Mink Pink. festival outfit Velvet Heart denim shirt
  • Dance ‘til dawn in festival fave Blank NYC overalls, which offer the perfect contrast when paired with our Blue Life bikini top. festival outfit Blank NYC overalls

Stop in before Tortuga, and make sure you check out the full Festival Looks segment on Deco Drive.

XO
Michelle

There’s no one right way to do Valentine’s Day, and different agendas call for different outfits. Especially now that V-Day falls on a Wednesday (so weird), some of us may be celebrating this weekend. Whether you’re staying in for a cozy night with your boo, catching a movie with your girlfriends or going to a bomb dinner under the stars, the inspiration shots ahead will guarantee you a most fashionable holiday.

#1. The casual day-date

It’s 2018 and not everyone is doing the whole candlelit-dinner thing come Wednesday. Maybe this is your first Valentine’s Day with your special someone or you and handsome are wanting to switch things up. Enter the day-date… Day-dates are honestly my favorite, but what lady hasn’t had trouble picking out that perfect daytime appropriate outfit. Is it too fancy? Is it too casual? Trust me I have been there. Try a lightweight material like this lilac dress from Lucy Love Lala Maxi. Or maybe your date requires a lot of running around town and exploring! Pair this adventure with our Yumi Kim Lizzy Romper. Black is always in, but when you add a splash of Valentine’s Day pink, it will definitely make his eyes go BING. Remember, you don’t want to look like you’re trying too hard, girl.

valentines day outfits

#2 Paint the town sexy

These looks are for my girls who are headed out for date night – ready to ignite the FIRE and let the sparks fly. You get it. I love the idea of something sexy that doesn’t scream cliché Valentine’s Day but is also a little mysterious. Paint the town red with this Yumi Kim So Social Dress. Yes, of course red is a go-to color but it’s freaking hot! Rocking a dress that accentuates the waist is sexy and sophisticated. This dress also shows a little leg which is perfect for the occasion. Or try this lacy romantic number, the Abigail Dress, for a winning combination on date night. I think these are the perfect effortless ensembles to make your man swoon and leave a lasting impression.

valentines day outfits

#3 Calling all my single ladies

So, you might not have a date for this ONE day. Who the fuck cares? Galentine’s day is a thing, and I fully support it. Maybe this is the perfect night to take it to the couch with the girls and turn on that show you have been effortlessly binge-watching. Or postpone the party to the weekend with a girlfriends-only pool party. Talk about fun in the sun! Pair this hot day with L*Spaces’ spicy Josie Top and Lily Bottom. An inflatable swan is also highly recommended.

sexy valentines day outfits

Single or not, Valentine’s Day is a day that should be addressed in a fashionable matter… with wine in the mix. Make Valentine’s Day 2018 one that you will never forget and one that makes you love yourself above all.

When it comes to holidays, I am determined to find the perfect gift. I guess you could say I am a perfectionist, but is anyone really surprised by that? Valentine’s Day is just a week away, and I’ll take any excuse to shop around for the lovely ladies in my life!

Whether you’re shopping for a friend this GAL-entine’s Day, your darling mother or just yourself (hey, I approve!), I know you’ll L O V E the unique selection of giftables available at Lilac And Lilies. Think out-of-the-box this February 14 and swap the candy hearts for dreamy druzy stones and champagne scented candles.

So, let’s not waste any more time, here are the hand-picked products I’m obsessing over, and I am pretty sure you will too.

xoxo,
Michelle

For the Fashionista

If you know me, you know that I am a sucker for anything Kendra Scott. I mean, who isn’t? First of all, she is crushing it as a woman entrepreneur and second, her styles are to die for. Lucky for you, we have her latest collection in store. This new line shines in silver, gold and bronze while mirroring the brand’s ‘fresh and innovative’ aesthetic for 2018. Think: dainty and edgy all rolled into one. Surprise your gal with the new Olive Long Necklace. This piece is super versatile as it can be worn layered or alone.

Into more color? Our Druzy Elisa Necklace is the one you’ve been looking for. A dainty metallic chain accented with a one-of-a-kind druzy stone is just the statement you AND she need. This line is amazing because it’s unique and affordable! Get one for you and your BFF.

kendra scott necklace

kendra scott necklace

 

For the one who’s Sugar, (Extra) Spice, and Everything Nice

We all have that girlfriend who is your go-to for anything daring and fun. The one you know you’re guaranteed to have a fun time with and is game for everything. Hanky Panky’s Rose Thong in pink or red is a gift this friend will love! Not only are these SO comfy to wear and adorable, but the panties are specially wrapped like an actual rose. Cute, right?

hanky panky panties

For the Wine Connoisseur

rewined candles

Who’s ready for a big night in with re-runs of the Bachelor or Real Housewives? I’m not ashamed to say that I am that friend! We love this girl because she’s down to kick back and get cozy on a Friday night. Surprise her this Valentine’s Day with a Champagne scented Rewind Candle. This amazing candle evokes the feeling of celebration and has sweet notes of white grape, honey, fresh baked bread and light citrus. Hello girl’s night! Wine lovers will appreciate this gift is actually made from a repurposed bottle of vino. Recycle chic you could say?

For the Free Spirit

This thoughtful gift is perfect for your girl who is a free spirit; she’s incredibly unique and embodies individualism. She likes to discover the trends and rock them even before they hit the market. I suggest gifting her a beautiful (and affordable) set of layered necklaces from LA designer, Wendi Grant. Subtle gold and embellished with just the right amount of sparkle, these Wendi Gate pieces can be worn with anything. The options are endless when it comes layering necklaces and you can select styles and symbols that your free-spirited gal with love.

wendi grant necklaces

jannely fashion buffet

A lot of us have a love-hate relationship with Valentine’s day but it doesn’t have to be all black and white like zebra stripes. You may find yourself alone during this holiday and no date on schedule but there are many things you can do to feel loved. There’s nobody who can love you the way you do yourself. For those of you who don’t have a clue what to do on this special day, we have you covered. We have prepared a special guide for single ladies to make them feel special on Valentine’s day.

First and foremost, pour yourself a glass of champagne and celebrate the beautiful you. There is no better way to start Valentine’s than celebrating your successes and all you have accomplished so far. If you keep going hard with your 2018 resolutions in February then cheer up and celebrate! Boss babes deserve a glass or two on this holiday.jannely fashion buffet

Dress up like you own the place

No date no problem. Our store has the newest Spring collection that will make you feel like a princess. What a better way than to cure Valentine’s blues with a little shopping? Our Veronica M. floral maxi dress is the perfect option for single ladies. you might attract a prospect or two in this ethereal dress. You can style the dress with blue or pink earrings and your favorite pair of wedges. If florals are not your style, we also have this chic off the shoulder asymmetric dress from Bishop and Young. This one is a cute option to wear at a brunch with your girlfriends or just go shopping. We styled it with a white hat and brown belt to add contrast. Now that you have a cute outfit take advantage of the day and go to a cute place to snap some photos.

jannely fashion buffet

Go to a peaceful place

Pick up a bouquet of flowers for yourself. After all, you don’t need an excuse or a holiday to buy yourself some flowers. Living Color Garden Center is a beautiful place to take pictures and spend your afternoon just smelling the roses. Take your best friend or mom and spend the day building your own bouquet. The garden has about 5 acres and is the perfect place to take spring inspired pictures. Tender yourself first and learn from the garden. This is an excellent place to meditate and learn how to cultivate your life.

jannely fashion buffet

Write yourself a letter

Do a list of all the things you love about yourself and the goals you have accomplished. This is a positive way to embrace yourself. Remind yourself how fabulous you are and write a letter from me-to-me. Self-love is the best love and only you knows what’s good for your body and soul.

jannely fashion buffet

We hope this guide helps you have a fabulous and colorful day in the garden of life. Happy Valentine’s!

Thanks to contributing writer and fashionista: Jannely Espinal from The Fashion Buffet. Visit her blog at thefashionbuffet.com.

Spring is about to hit our doorsteps and you’re probably thinking “Michelle, I wore spring clothes in December. What’s the difference?” Well my friend, there is a big difference, and I am here to help you out. Spring is one of my favorite seasons. We’ve just made it through those HARSH winter temps in Florida and are ready to break out the bikinis and rompers. Obviously, I’m joking, but I do love a deep dive into a shiny new season’s trends, especially the transition from winter to spring. Below are four spring fashion trends you should hop on now before everyone else does.

1. If you’re thinking lace is a fabric reserved just for weddings and goody-goody dresses, think again. With the right styling, a dainty lace dress can go from sweet to spicy in two seconds. I know, I know, a lot of us have a love-hate relationship with this froofie fabric but trust me, it’s coming back. Use a lace dress to show off a little sun-kissed skin like in this pretty little number. Still not convinced? Pair a lace blouse or dress with a leather jacket for extra edge.

spring fashion south florida

2. The jumpsuit’s little sister – the romper – is making its spring debut, and I personally could not be happier. This style is all about a variety of cuts, designs, colors, patterns, fabrics and lengths… the list goes on. I wear rompers literally everywhere, but always get the question of how to exactly wear this style the right way. Is a romper appropriate for that specific occasion and so on. The super short rompers with tiny little straps, bare backs, and flowy fabrics are perfect for the beach. Pair them with summer hats, flat gladiator sandals and even your bikini. Then there are the posh versions of the romper for either evening looks, dates, you name it! They also go great with heels (Guilty of being that girl in the sparkly number? Cheers!). And last but not least (personally my favorite!) there are the pretty 60s-inspired rompers with a slight dose of 70s: super short, flirty and retro just like our NEW L*Space romper. This romper has just the right amount of flare and sass.

spring fashion south florida

3. Does anyone remember the jean ancestor? Looking at you Bermuda shorts. You know the ones that hugged your thighs a little too tight, might have come in a pastel plaid print? Now let’s cheers to being those girls that wore them (any takers?). No, they aren’t making a comeback (never should have been a thing), but their long distant, very young and once replaced/removed cousin (you get the idea) is here and we are LOVING them. The 2018-approved Bermudas with added flare are just what your closet was requesting. This denim revival is sophisticated, stylish and make a bold yet tasteful statement. They’re slimming and far more comfortable than skinny jeans (unless you go the leather or patent route). Create this look with our Lucca Couture pieces! Also, maximize your flares’ leg-lengthening potential with heels.

4. I love a good, vibrant statement piece. If you’re sitting in your seat already sweating at the thought of patterns on your body, take a deep breath, chica. Fun prints are more wearable than you think. I am continuously drawn to patterns in dresses. Fun designs are a great way to showcase your personality. If you are concerned an all over pattern is not for you, know that in fact, this season’s prints will look great on any body type. Just pair these looks from Aster The Label and Velvet Heart with a neutral shoe and you will own all your print insecurities. Just please promise to keep the accessories to a minimum.

spring fashion south florida

spring fashion south florida

Visit our Spring Is In The Air on Pinterest for more inspiration.

Break some hearts this Galentine’s Day with sweet styles from Kendra Scott, Blank NYC, Rewined Candles, Hanky Panky and more. And, visit our Valentine’s Day Pinterest board for even more sweet inspiration.

 

It is no shock that I love everything about Ft. Lauderdale. The businesses, the people, the atmosphere… everything. I also love supporting our local community, which is why I have joined forces with the new and Conrad Fort Lauderdale Beach.

“What does this entail?” you might ask. I’ll be providing on-demand styling to the guests lucky enough to vacation at the resort. A sort of style concierge if you will.

Why will this come in handy? Forgot that perfect dress for a special event or maybe something popped up and your screaming “What the hell do I do?!” I am thrilled, to say the least. I will be the go-to stylist for this location (pretty amazing) and will help style people upon request. This is my absolute dream. Doing what I love to help others out… in a stylish way.

One of the reasons why this is perfect, is because of the brand. The new resort is not only stunning, but also offers a glamorous lifestyle to any Ft. Laudydaudies and out of towners.

I myself had a mini staycation a few days ago and I’m hooked! I even managed to fit in a photoshoot with some of my favorite looks and favorite spots around the property, giving you a glimpse at this beautiful resort.

To start off, when you walk in your greeted with relaxing natural tones, breathtaking pieces of art and astounding arches. The rooms are even more impressive with panoramic views of the ocean. Wood and natural elements accent the space from the bottom up, and there’s a modern kitchen to make this feel like your home away from home. For a stroll around the elegant Conrad scene, I chose a striped Elan dress. The simplicity and comfort fit right in to the beachfront surroundings.

conrad hotel lilac and lilies boutique

No staycation is complete without a little R&R! Conrad Fort Lauderdale Beach took great care of me at their 4,000-square-foot full-service spa where I spoiled myself with their ‘Enrich with the Touch of Paradise,’ and it is exactly what it sounds like. I was pampered in intoxicating exotic fragrances of Vanilla, Jasmine and Ylang Ylang before a softening body scrub and a customized massage. Ladies, need I say more? Oh, and of course there was a beautiful glass of champs waiting for me.

conrad hotel lilac and lilies boutique

One of the best things about Conrad Fort Lauderdale Beach is the outside. The pool is surrounded by tall beams dressed with a touch of greenery. This includes a heated fresh water pool and cabanas! What also makes this the ultimate escape is the view of the ocean. Yes, I am guilty of lounging outside for a majority of my staycation.

Pair this part of your day at the resort with an L*Space tropical inspired romper or even a white-knitted top from Elan paired with Blank NYC denim shorts and Dolce Vita wedges. Sorry winter, but my home looks best in summer attire.

Not really a pool gal? Take it to the green! This is one of my favorite things Conrad Fort Lauderdale Beach offers. Who doesn’t love a good lawn game with corn hole and lounging? It is absolutely a vacationers’ dream out here.

It all sounds pretty amazing, right? I can’t wait to start this journey helping guests staying at Conrad Fort Lauderdale Beach and to meet amazing woman from all over the globe. If you are traveling to the resort or even to Ft. Lauderdale, I would love to hear from you and help style you for your next big event!