Sunday, March 28, 2010

RA Sushi hosts Sushi-eating Contest to benefit Radio Lollipop at Miami Children's Hospital

Attention sushi lovers and big eaters! On Wednesday, March 31st, RA Sushi in South Miami is hosting its second annual MAKI MADNESS. This sushi-eating contest is open to the public and will take place from 6:00- 9:00 p.m. MAKI MADNESS competitors will have to eat two RA Sushi signature Tootsy Maki (crab mix, shrimp and cucumber topped with tempura bits) in the fastest amount of time during the first round. The final six competitors will compete in the championship “sushi showdown.” During this final round, opponents will eat as many Tootsy Maki as they can in 2 minutes. The grand prize eater will receive free sushi for a year!!! MAKI MADNESS is limited to the first 30 entries. Applications are available at RA Sushi in South Miami, 5829 SW 73rd street (across from The Shops at Sunset Place). The deadline to register is Monday, March 29th and all eaters must be at least 18 years old to participate. Registration to compete includes a $10 entry fee (cash only) which will be donated to Radio Lollipop® at Miami Children’s Hospital.

In 1996, Miami Children's became the first hospital in the United States to host Radio Lollipop, an interactive radio station program developed in England. Radio Lollipop is operated by volunteers who engage patients in child-focused, mentally stimulating recreational activities linked to radio programs. Volunteers also visit children at their bedside to play games, read books and encourage them to participate in the radio broadcasts to win prizes. My sister (pictured on the right) and I were actually DJ's at Radio Lollipop when we were in high school. I remember how our radio shows made the children happier and forget that they were sick. There's definitely a magic spark in that station so help cheer up a hospitalized child by donating today. For more information about Radio Lollipop in Miami, visit Let the sushi games begin!

Friday, March 26, 2010

NYC Housewife, Kelly Bensimon, drops by Miami!

On Wednesday, March 24th, Kelly Bensimon attended "Alize Oasis" at the Raleigh Hotel on South Beach to enjoy the festivities during this year's Winter Music Conference. Kelly, model and cast member of Bravo's The Real Housewives of New York City, looked gorgeous as she arrived into the hotel's lounging area with her two daughters. Alize Oasis is a three day event hosted for exclusive guests including celebrities and DJ's. This special gathering also featured amazing music by Miami's favorite DJ, Mia Moretti! While I was there, I visited the Original Penguin Gifting Suite which was fully stocked with apparel and accessories from their latest collection. To check out Original Penguin, visit their store on 925 Lincoln Road or you may also go to Here are some photos from the event and make sure you take advantage of this action packed week in Miami. Viva la musica!

DJ Mia Moretti spins her records with style at Alize Oasis!
Original Penguin's Gifting Suite at the Raleigh Hotel
James Brown (right) with Original Penguin fans!
Diaset Cabrera (left) along with Winter Music Conference DJ's

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Spring fashion banks on the mid-'90s

Spring fashion banks on the mid-'90s

This spring, grunge is making a comeback of its own

Christine Laskowski
China Daily
Publication Date : 25-03-2010

IZZUE employee, Lucas, explains why grunge is back in this spring at the outlet's Raffles City location.

In 1994-5 an American teenage television drama called My So-Called Life (episodes are available on made a deep impact on my adolescent self. What I loved about the programme were the issues the show addressed, topics that seemed pretty radical for prime time television at the time: acceptance of gays, drugs, premarital sex.

Watching it now as an adult, what really jumps out more than ever is just how dated the fashions seem. Few television shows and films (music videos are a different story) really capture just how much grunge made its way into our closets, and our CD collections after Seattle grunge bands such as Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Soundgarden stormed into the mainstream.

Angsty Angela Chase's dark flannel shirts and rebel Rayanne Graff's ripped jeans, tasty Jordan Catalano's leather jackets all made an impact. In those formative years, I looked to those characters for fashion advice and altered my wardrobe accordingly. If Rayanne was wearing denim overalls with a flannel shirt over it, well, then so did I. Like, duh.

It gives me great pleasure to announce that this spring, grunge is making a comeback of its own. It's not as, well, grungy, as its original self. Rather, it's politely modified with brighter colours and splashes of studded accessories and sequins here and there. For those of us ladies who prefer a slightly more femmy look, there are options.

The hallmarks of grunge are all there: Studded belts and purses, torn jeans, hats, baggy shirts and mid-length shorts, not to mention lots of blacks and leathers, flannels, hats and scarves.

IZZUEs collection, more than any other, truly harks back to the era with baggy midlength shorts, hats, baggy shirts and tank tops, and lots of punk accessories including leather studded boots, purses, belts, vests, skirts, you name it.

Motivi offers more in the studded accessories department, adding tough, rugged flair to any outfit. Bersheka's got walls of tattered, stone-washed jeans and country flannels (199 yuan). Zara's pretty ho-hum, clothing-wise this season, but it has really done well with its footwear this season: leather bondage pumps (399 yuan) and Egyptian sandals (399 yuan) H&M does well in the way of flashy gold sequined vests (249 yuan), a denim bodice dress mini (299 yuan), and short-sleeved knit sweaters. Mango offers denim overalls (569 yuan).

From fashion to films

From fashion to films

Devraj Singh Kalsi
The Statesman
Publication Date : 23-03-2010

Priyanka Chopra

Some former beauty queens have shown that they are more than just pretty faces

Ever since Sushmita Sen and Aishwarya Rai won international beauty pageants, there has been no looking back for Indian beauties who have in the successive contests during the last decade bagged the prestigious titles.

Making a smooth transition from the world of fashion to films, these divas have shown that they were more than just pretty faces and svelte figures to drool over. Getting a break in Bollywood was no big deal for the starlets who found much to their surprise that success and survival here depends on the masses, does not rest with a pack of judges.

While Aishwarya Rai zoomed ahead with big banner films, Sushmita Sen lagged behind only to realise much later that she did not quite fit into the mould of the conventional Hindi film heroine. She acted opposite many leading and upcoming heroes, had many hits, hummable item songs picturised on her in picturesque locales. Despite all that, she did not take the industry by storm. Lack of something called the X-factor.

Steady flow of offers from leading directors who wanted to fill the void created by the exit of the mesmerising Madhuri Dixit saw in alluring Aishwarya many positive traits that could perhaps catapult her to the epitome. From RK films to Sanjay Leela Bhansali, she could not have asked for more to prove herself. Predictably, Aishwarya Rai sustained her innings with several above average grossers.

Though she did not deliver what one can probably call a mind-blowing performance or a runaway solo hit, she has managed to present multiple strengths any director looks for to make that winning combination. Right from Rituparno Ghosh to JP Dutta to Mani Ratnam, she has worked with every film-maker of repute.

Winning a beauty pageant was a different ballgame vis-à-vis acting in front of the camera. Taking cue from this fact, another former beauty queen decided early that she had to train herself as an actress. Truly remarkable effort she has put in to emerge as an award-winning actress in a very short span of time.

No prizes for guessing her name: Priyanka Chopra. Right from Madhur Bhandarkar to Vishal Bhardwaj, almost every director in Bollywood is fawning over her, convinced that a truly complete actress has arrived on the scene to fill the gap created by the departure of Sridevi and Madhuri Dixit.

A keen learner and observer, she has kept in mind that a successful background in the fashion world does not amount to much in the world of films where one has to imbibe a lot on the sets. She seems to have mastered this art of getting under the skin of the character instead of restricting herself to mere skin show. Kaminey and Fashion have proved her mettle as an actress to watch out for despite turkeys like What’s your Rashee and Pyaar Impossible.

If Priyanka Chopra created waves and made the right noises, there is also a bevy of models who arrived from the world of glamour and fashion but they failed to make any impact here despite several trials. Beauty queen Lara Dutta has been revived several times and she has done everything possible under the sun to get into the big league. Hard luck. Kaal, Partner, Billoo barber, Mumbai se aya mera dost... Success for her is still a case of once in a blue moon.

Curvaceous Celina Jaitley was off to a promising start in a dare-bare Janasheen. Much to the chagrin, this debut did not add sheen to her lacklustre career. This film sank without a trace; her subsequent offerings trounced at the box office. Which prompted her to turn a vocal activist and shoulder social responsibilities instead.

Desperation drove another beauty icon Diana Hayden to participate in a reality TV show - an unprecedented move by all standards. In spite of strutting the ramp world and winning accolades that could be the stuff of fairy tales, she could not ramp up her career in the film world. Acting in B-grade flicks like Ab Bas wrote her obituary.

Relevant in this context is another sexy siren Tanushree Dutta who rose like a meteor with Aashiq Banaya aapne. Thereafter, a dry spell followed and she is nowhere in the reckoning today.

Just one dusky super model who used her super sexy image to sculpt success is Bipasha Basu. Though she has not been able to attain Priyanka’s level of success, she has shown her histrionic abilities to some extent. All depends on suitable roles coming her way to let her magic be seen on the big sizzling screen. From films like Jism to Omkaara to Shob Choritro Kalponik, it has been a long eventful journey for her in the world of films.

A new bubbly face hits the marquee every Friday. Most of these fresh ones are forgotten as they fail to create an impression. A background in modelling or glamour opens doors for many gorgeous women aspiring to be stars but the world of films does not have a special slot reserved for them. The kind of hard work the likes of Priyanka and Aishwarya had to put in means that all beauty winners should get it completely out of their system that they are sanctified beauty queens and the viewers would therefore queue up to see their films. No. It is a different medium, a new world altogether, so everything has to be done right from the scratch irrespective of the fact that the world has been bowled over by their beauty.

'Idol' singer cited for speeding

Mar 25, 2010 2:18 p.m.

The Washington State Patrol says former "American Idol" star Sanjaya Malakar was caught speeding 110 mph on Interstate 405 outside of Seattle at Kirkland.

He was stopped about 2:30 a.m. Tuesday and given a $411 ticket.

Trooper Dan MacDonald told The Seattle Times there was no one else on the freeway at the time so Malakar does not face a reckless endangerment charge.

The 20-year-old singer from Federal Way gained fame four years ago on the "American Idol" talent show.

Information from: The Seattle Times,

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Hearts and Stars Gala on Hibiscus Island

It was another beautiful weekend in Miami and of course, the stars came out to shine! On Saturday, March 20th, Pras performed during the first annual Hearts and Stars Gala held at a waterfront estate, Casa Malinka, on Hibiscus Island (Miami Beach). All proceeds from the gala benefited the Little Lighthouse Foundation and the Ronald McDonald House Charities of South Florida. During the evening, guests enjoyed cocktails and hor d'oeuvres while bidding on an exclusive celebrity auction. The entertainment for the night included a special performance by Pras, multi-Grammy award winner & original member of The Fugees, who performed singles from his new solo album as well as some Fugees classics. If you missed this event, but would like to learn more about the Little Lighthouse Foundation or the Ronald McDonald House Charities, visit or Here are some pictures from the night!

Pras Michel, Stefi Nova (Axixs), NIR (new solo artist), Aracibo Quintana (one of the founders of the Little Lighthouse Foundation) and Selina Carrera (Axixs)

Left: Niki Adamkova, George Wallner (owner of Casa Malinka) and Ximena Gonzalez Right: Evelyn Lozada, starring in the upcoming VH1 show called "Basketball Wives"(premiers April 11th at 10pm on VH1)

Axixs performing live on-stage with Pras

Left: Julia Brown and Francisco Llado Right: Pras, David Sugarman and Korina Mora

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Sushi Samba hosts "Cosplay" with Ursula 1000 to welcome the Winter Music Conference!!!

As you may know, the 25th annual Winter Music Conference is coming to Miami Beach starting this Tuesday, March 23rd till March 27th. To kick-off this exciting musical movement, Sushi Samba is relaunching their weekly event called "Cosplay Tuesdays" on March 23rd from 12 midnight till 4:30 am (600 Lincoln Road). This is the restaurant's biggest party night where acrobats and other fun characters come out to play!
This week's celebration will not only feature your sushi favorites, but guests will be treated to the AMAZING beats of Ursula 1000 (aka DJ Alex Gimeno). Gimeno's personal taste in music includes : new wave, post punk, glam rock and hip hop. This means you're in for some eclectic sounds and a much needed dose of sazon! Don't miss the party this Tuesday: it's the only night Ursula 1000 will be spinning. For table reservations, call 305.673.5337 or visit If you need more information on the Winter Music Conference, check out Here are some photos by Eric Madrid that provide you with a special glimpse into the fun that takes place every Tuesday night at Sushi Samba!

Enter Original Penguin's Model Search this week!

Are you looking for a change in your life? Here's a great opportunity to take some of your greatest photos and potentially make a big move into the modeling scene. Original Penguin is looking for real people to feature in their upcoming ad campaign. In order to represent the brand worldwide, you must exude style and wit! To enter the model search contest, simply email your best 4 photos to Penguin's team of experts before March 26th: The email must include your name, height and clothing sizes (please do not send files larger than 2MB each). Once you have submitted your entry, the experts will select a group of finalists who will appear on Online voters will get to choose their favorites so start giving your friends a heads up! On March 29th, two winners will be announced (1 guy + 1 girl) and they will each receive 2 plane tickets to New York City along with a hotel stay. In New York, the winners will appear in Original Penguin's upcoming Fall Winter 2010 Ad Campaign photo shoot which takes place on April 10-12, 2010. For more details, visit Good luck!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Amigos for Kids kicks-off their annual ING Miami Celebrity Domino Night on March 25th!

If you grew up in Miami, then you know of the game which makes every grandfather stay up late at night until a winning team has been proclaimed at Abuela's house! The game: DOMINOES. Domino games are not only present in our neighboring Caribbean islands, but the game has actually been traced back to ancient kings. The oldest known domino set was found in Tutankhamen's tomb, among the ruins of Thebes. Tutankhamen was king of ancient Egypt in the 18th dynasty (1355 BC) and his surviving set is now in King Tutankhamen's Museum in Cairo, Egypt.

Now that you know about Dominoes, here is an upcoming event that aims to continue the legacy of this historic pastime while raising awareness for an important cause. Amigos for Kids, a mainstream nonprofit, is hosting their annual fundraiser called "ING Miami Celebrity Domino Night." Amigos for Kids was founded 18 years ago to respond to the diverse needs of South Florida's abused, neglected and less-fortunate children as well as their families. Today, the organization is best known for the help they provide to these families through education, abuse prevention and community involvement. If you're interested in attending the Amigos for Kids celebrity domino event, then mark your calendars for June 19, 2010 (Jungle Island at 7:30 p.m.). The fundraiser features live music, dancing, silent auction and of course, domino playing. Tickets cost $150 in advance, $175 at the door or $1,000 if you wish to reserve a domino table.
How can you become involved? Get acquainted with Amigos by attending a free kick-off event for their "ING Miami Celebrity Domino Night" on Thursday, March 25th. Meet the members of this organization and familiarize yourself with their cause. The party will take place at Mia at Biscayne (20 Biscayne Blvd; where Biscayne meets Flagler) from 6:30- 9:30 p.m. You must RSVP by Tuesday, March 23rd because space is limited (call 305.279.1155 or send an email to Silence is a form of consent. Get involved and never be silenced in support of our most precious gift- children. For more information on Amigos for Kids or any of these events, visit

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Chelsea Handler is coming to Miami!

The Queen of Late Night Television, Chelsea Handler, will be visiting Miami next week! On Friday, March 26th, fans will be able to meet Ms. Handler as she autographs copies of her latest book, "Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang." This event will be hosted at Books & Books in Coral Gables (265 Aragon Avenue) and Chelsea is scheduled to arrive by 3:00 p.m. Apparently, the talented comedian added #1 bestselling author to her list of many talents after the success of her first book: "Are You There, Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea." Don't miss this chance to meet your favorite late night talk show diva! Tickets are required for this event. To receive one free ticket, you must purchase "Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang" at a Books & Books store. For more information on Chelsea's book release, visit Warning: no word on Chuy's whereabouts for the day!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Celebrate St. Patrick's Day at JohnMartin's

Bring out your green hats and beads! It's time to celebrate St. Patrick's Day and word on the streets: the best party is at JohnMartin's in Coral Gables. On Wednesday, March 17th, JohnMartin's Restaurant & Irish Pub will host the 20th Annual St. Patrick's Day Street Fair (along Salzedo Street and Aragon Avenue). The event starts at 5:00 p.m. and it is free and open to the public. There will be live Irish music throughout the evening as well as a special performance by a band called "UV." Watch this band hit the stage at 9:00 p.m. for an unforgettable U2 Tribute Show. In addition, JohnMartin's will donate a portion of all proceeds to benefit the Coral Gables Rotary Club, an organization of business and professional leaders who provide humanitarian services to help build goodwill and peace within their communities. This will certainly be the place to be on St. Patrick's Day! JohnMartin's is located at 253 Miracle Mile in the heart of Coral Gables. For more information about this event, visit This Irish tradition is a great opportunity to get together with your friends, family and community. Cheers and always remember to drink responsibly.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Listen up Ladies! Designer Fashion Sale to benefit Women's Cancer Research in Miami

To my diva-status-fashionistas: shop like you mean it and shop for a great cause! On Sunday, March 21st, there will be a Designer Fashion Sale to benefit Women's Cancer Research at UM's Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. The event will be hosted at the Miami Beach Convention Center (Hall C) and it will run from 10:00 a.m. till 7:00 p.m. This sale honors the memory of fashion retailer and designer Jody Katz who lost her life to cancer in 2009. There will be thousands of featured items including: donated outfits (new-with-tags), like-new women's, men's and children's clothing, shoes and accessories from from the trendiest closets in South Florida. Bring your girlfriends and find fabulous couture clothing at deeply discounted prices! Advanced tickets are on sale for $10 and may be purchased by calling 305-323-7288 (you may also call to make clothing donations). Help raise awareness and funds for women’s cancer research this weekend: SHOP, SHOP, SHOP!

Friday, March 12, 2010

SoBe Arts launches Shakespeare Series

If you're a big fan of the Renaissance era, here is your chance to feel like you've traveled back in time! Tonight, March 12th, is the opening event for the SoBe Arts Music & Shakespeare Series: Renaissance Chamber Music (8:oo p.m.). The concert is free to the public and will take place at the SoBe Institute of the Arts on 2100 Washington Avenue, South Beach. The SoBe Arts Chamber Ensemble will treat you to the same music William Shakespeare would jam to if he had an Ipod!! Starting next week, you can also check out SoBe Art's special production of Shakespeare's romantic comedy, "Twelfth Night" (March 18- April 4). Each performance is directed by the talented Carson Kievman who will transport you to an Elizabethan garden where wine, love, and illusion take over. To purchase tickets or to find more events during this series, visit

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

FREE tickets to the Florida Grand Opera's Carmen at the Adrienne Arsht Center!

Listen up Miami! The Florida Grand Opera is giving away 1,100 pairs of free tickets to Georges Bizet’s beloved opera Carmen. This is an amazing opportunity if you've never seen a live opera. Starring mezzo-soprano Kendall Gladen, the performance will take place at the Adrienne Arsht Center (8 p.m.) on April 26th. To win a pair of free tickets to Carmen visit and sign up! You can also mail in an entry on a 3”x 5” card with name, address, phone number and email address to: Carmen Ticket Giveaway c/o Florida Grand Opera P.O. Box 561837, Miami, Florida 33256-1837 by midnight on April 5th (one entry per person and make sure to mail each entry separately). There is no purchase necessary. Watch the tempestuous gypsy, Carmen, as she captures the heart of a young soldier, Don Jose, who sacrifices everything to be with her. Meanwhile, Carmen is drawn to a matador, Escamillo, and casts Don Jose aside. For the rest of the drama, you'll just have to see what happens at the opera house! Carmen presents some of the greatest roles ever written for grand opera: the brazen bullfighter, the love-struck soldier and the object of their desires...the beautiful Carmen!

Monday, March 8, 2010

New CD debuts to honor the life of Selena

On Tuesday, March 9th, Selena Quintanilla's fans will be able to purchase a new CD box collection titled "La Leyenda" which features Selena's greatest hits. The Tejano superstar was tragically murdered March 31, 1995, in Corpus Christi, Texas by Yolanda Saldivar, the president of her fan club. Even though the 15th anniversary of her death is quickly approaching, Selena has maintained loyal fans (like myself) who continue to play her music and sing along to her infamous "Biri Biri Bam Bam" song. The CD box set includes an exclusive Selena charm and a book with personal messages from Selena’s family, friends and fans, as well as rare photos and art from her family’s collection. The CD box is divided as follows: Disc 1- Cumbias and Pop; Disc 2- Tejano and Rancheras; Disc 3- English Songs; Disc 4- Live Performances. This complete collection costs $99. If you're looking for an affordable version, then check out the 2 CD deluxe edition for $20 (30 tracks). Whether you grew up loving the sexy and charismatic 'Queen of Tejano' or you find yourself watching the Selena movie over and over again, this is a great way to commemorate the life and achievements of this 23 year old Latina icon. Viva la musica de Selena! xoxo

A trendsetter in her days, Selena liked to design her own clothes and was known for her snug pants and midriff-baring bustiers. Her fashion style earned her the nickname "the Mexican Madonna."

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The 42nd Annual Miami Heart & Stroke Ball

On March 6th, the American Heart Association hosted the 42nd Annual Miami Heart and Stroke Ball at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Brickell Key. This prestigious charity event celebrated the American Heart Association's success and widespread impact within our community. The theme of the night was “Life’s Lasting Love.” Miami's most influential leaders and celebrities gathered to support this wonderful cause while honoring award recipients and notable donors. The gala began with an amazing cocktail hour where guests participated in a silent auction as well as a live auction.

After the reception, guests headed into the ballroom to honor the award recipients of the night. Here are some of the awards that were presented during the gala: Big Heart in Arts to Dennis Scholl of The Knight Foundation; Big Heart in Goodwill to Dr. Sanford L. Ziff, Founder, Sunglass Hut of America; Big Heart- Go Red For Women to Loren Ridinger of Market America; Cor Vitae Awards for Heart Disease and Stroke, Heart to Dr. Barry Katzen of Baptist Cardiac and Vascular Institute. These outstanding individuals help make a difference in the fight against heart disease within their respective fields. Congratulations to all of the 2010 award recipients!

Latin Pop Artist Paulina Rubio (pictured above with award recipient, Loren Ridinger, of Market America) attended this year’s Ball along with her husband, Nicolas Colate Vallejo-Najera. In 2009, the American Heart Association recognized Paulina with a Big Heart Humanitarian Award in Music.

Joey Natoli along with his father, Joe Natoli, Chairman of the 42nd Annual Heart and Stroke Ball. Joe Natoli also serves as the Senior Vice President for Business & Finance and Chief Financial Officer at the University of Miami. GO CANES!

Ronald Gup, Dr. Linda J. Kaplan and Dr. Sanford L. Ziff. In 1994, Sunglass Hut founder, Dr. Sanford L. Ziff, provided a gift to the Graduate Career Services Center at the University of Miami's School of Business Administration. The building now bears his name.
Left: Joanna Palmer & Maria Hunt. Right: John Agnetti & Lucy Morillo

Left: Master of Ceremonies for the gala, Erika Von Tiehl, CBS4 News Anchor along with yours truly!

The very beautiful: Raquel Perera, Loren Ridinger and Paulina Rubio. These women were so sweet and kind. I can see why they support such a great organization. Overall, it was a wonderful night in Miami to celebrate the accomplishments of the American Heart Association. To find more information about this organization, visit Cheers to a healthy heart and lifestyle!