The Coolest Place in Miami!

Aside from dipping into a pool or heading to the beach, the Drinkhouse Fire and Ice Bar is another way to keep cool in Miami. Just how cool, you may be wondering? 23 degrees cool, my friends! Now, this was not my first experience visiting this type of establishment. About a year ago, we visited the ice bar in New York City, so we knew a little what to expect.

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Upon check-in, we were given jackets, gloves, and warm Ugg boots. The boots were a nice addition that wasn’t provided in our package in NYC. Also, unlike New York, we were able to bring our phones inside of the ice bar to take photos. With all of the ice sculptures and carvings, there were plenty of photo-ops for the blog and the ‘gram. Take a look!

Ice, Ice Baby 

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I Scream. You Scream. We all Scream for Ice cream! 

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Everything is made of ice… Even the glasses! 

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After visiting the Ice Bar, guests are welcome to warm up in the Fire Lounge for some lively libations or just stepping back outside into the Miami heat will work just as fine! The Ice Bar is rather small and can fill up rather quickly, however, it is one of those once in a lifetime (twice in a lifetime for me, lol) places that you have to experience!

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Have you ever been to an ice bar? Would you go to one?


– A Black Girl About Town

Vacation Vibes: South Beach, Miami Pt. 3~ Catamaran Cruise

Immediately following our Cultural Walking and Food Tour in Little Havana, we had to jet to our next activity: a three-hour Catamaran Cruise. After walking most of the morning, it was nice to sit on a boat and feel the breeze.

The Tranquility sailed past notable landmarks like star island, where we were able to see the fabulous homes of the rich and famous, including Will Smith, Gloria Estefan, and Vince Mcmahon of the WWE, to name a few. Our guides (David and Tanner) also pointed out homes where some of the most iconic movies have been filmed, like Bad Boys 2 and Scarface. Say hello to my little friend! Get a look a these views!

Monument Island

Star Island

After a few minutes of cruising on the water, we reached our destination which was a small beach with kayaks, paddleboards, snorkel gear, water trampoline and other activities for us to enjoy.  After trying my hand at kayaking, I felt much safer splashing in the water. 

Those who didn’t wish to participate in the avtivities (the beach was rocky!) were free to stay on the boat. Wine and beer were available for purchase as well as complimentary peanuts and pretzels. Guest were also welcome to bring their own snacks in a reasonable sized cooler. 

Overall, I enjoyed this cruise and would recommend it to anyone looking to see a different view of Miami. The staff was great and were very knowledgeable! 

What are some amazing cruises that you guys have been on? Stayed tuned to see what other cool places we visited in Miami!

– A Black Girl About Town

Vacation Vibes: South Beach, Miami Pt. 2: Cultural Food and Walking Tour (Little Havana)

 

There was no way that I could go to Miami for a second time and not visit the historical town of Little Havana. It is named after Havana, the capitol of Cuba and is the place where many Cuban exiles (and others) have called home. I’ve always wanted to learn more about the Cuban culture and ever since I watched ‘Celia,’ a mini-series documenting the life of La Reina de la Sala (The Queen of Salsa), Celia Cruz, I’ve become even more intrigued. Check out the series if you get a chance. It’s on Neflix. Anyway, the closest I’ll probably get to Cuba is by visiting Little Havana, so I booked a cultural walking and food tour through Viator.

We met our tour guide Annalise at 10am at the Bay of Pigs Memorial in Little Havana. On this 3 hour tour, we strolled down calle ocho (8th Street) taking in the sights, sounds and tasty dishes. Surprisingly enough, we learned that only about 30% of Little Havana is actually Cuban. The remainder of its inhabitants are from Central American nations like Venezuela.

Bay of Pigs Memorial

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Sugarcane Water from Los Pinarenos Fruteria

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Calle Ocho Walk of Fame

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Domino Park~ Some serious game playing goes on here in Domino Park!

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Tower Theater~ Spanish films and English films (with Spanish subtitles) are shown here.

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Azucar! If you are familiar with Celia Cruz’s music, then you’d know this is her signature phrase she would scream out while performing– Azucar!!! (Sugar) A painting of the singer is located on the inside.

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Ball & Chain~ Est. 1930 One of the only places in Miami where white and black musicians were allowed to play together.

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Trying some Cuban coffee! Strong is an understatement!

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Comida Cubana

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We broke around 1pm for lunch! Our guide Annalise ordered Tostones (Fried Plantains), Medianoche (Cuban ham Sandwich) w/ fries, masitas (pork topped with onions), and rice and beans. This food was amazing! I was grateful to have a tour guide because the only things I’d be able to order would be a glass of water! Ha!

Do we have on the same outfit?? #bishstolemylook #whoworeitbetter lol

20170719_132853But seriously, if you are considering doing a tour of Little Havana, I would suggest booking with an actual tour guide. I initially wanted to do a self-guided tour, but the bonus of having a tour guide is having someone break down the history, has knowledge of the neighborhood and also knows the language. It was well worth the money and as a first-time customer on Viator, I was given a 10% discount.

Just a heads up… our tour was cancelled and had to be re-scheduled for another day. This happens when not enough people are booked for that particular day. Luckily, we were able to push it up to another day but we had something already scheduled for that afternoon, so needless to say, we were short on time. In the future, I would try to make this the only thing I have lined up so that I have more time to explore other places and purchase souvenirs. Also, wear comfy shoes and keep an umbrella handy. This tour takes place rain or shine and we were lucky enough to have both.

This tour was a success! There was soo much that we saw that didn’t make it to this post but I hope you enjoyed! Have you ever done a walking tour with a tour guide? Self-guided more your thing? How was that?


– A Black Girl About Town

Follow me on social media! Twitter:: @its_Zeena  Instagram:: @zeenathefashionista

 

Vacation Vibes: South Beach, Miami Pt. 1

South Beach. Miami. The Magic City. A place so beautiful, it’s a no brainer as to why it has served as the backdrop for countless movies, TV shows and music videos. In celebration of my 27th birthday, I spent four fun-filled days wandering the streets, indulging (more like over indulging) in the cuisine, and enjoying the nightlife that is Miami.

Day 1:

We departed from Philadelphia International Airport at 8:15 am. While some of you were still hitting the snooze button, I was somewhere flying in the friendly skies.

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(This li’l cookie was bangin’ lol)

Sometime after 11am, we were cruisin’ the streets of South Beach!

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(Collins Avenue)

Check-in was a breeze. We stayed at the Essex House, located on 10th and Collins, owned by the legendary Clevelander Hotel.

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After getting settled in, it was time to get something to eat! Those two little biscotti cookies could only hold a girl over for so long! We originally decided to go to the Sugar Factory, however, when you’re walking down the strip, waitresses from various eateries can easily persuade you to go elsewhere. And guess who fell for the trap?

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Lucky for us, the food was actually good! But do you see the size of that drink? I don’t know if you can tell by the picture, but it was huge! Any drink you of your choice in that big, ole glass, $35 a pop! There was no way I was going to drink that by myself.

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In my 27 years, I don’t think I’ve ever tasted food so fresh!

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(Randomly posing in front of a fountain)

That pretty much wraps up the first part of this recap but stay tuned for part two where I’ll be exploring the culture and cuisine of Little Havana!

– A Black Girl About Town


Follow me on social media! Twitter:: @its_zeena Instagram:: @zeenathefashionista

Outfit- Forman Mills

Event Recap: Conversations w/Claire Book Tour (Philly)

This weekend I had the pleasure of attending the Conversations with Claire Book Tour here in Philly. Claire Sulmers is the Editor-in-Chief of one of the top fashion sites, none other than FashionBombDaily.com. She is also author of The Bomb Life, a personal memoir that details the ups and downs she encountered while trying to break into the fashion industry and ultimately her rise to the top. This intimate discussion was moderated by MinaSayWhat! of local radio station Power 99. Here are a few gems that I took away from this event!

1. Stay true to yourself!

It can be very tempting to want to follow the crowd and do what everyone else is doing, especially nowadays with this insta-fame, social media age that we’re living in. You see girls half naked on the ‘gram with thousands upon thousands of followers and you may feel the pressure to follow suit. Claire stressed the importance of staying true to yourself and never compromising just to ‘fit in’ with what has  become the norm.

2. Have an ‘Accountability Partner’

An accountability partner is just a fancy way to say a person that makes sure you’re getting your Sugar Honey Iced Tea together! Someone who reminds you of your dreams and holds you accountable to your commitments. Whoever they may be in your life, mother, father, sister, brother or friend, it is important to have one. For example, Claire told us that one of her goals was to start waking up at 5am, but due to her being a “night owl,” it’s sometimes a challenge. One of her friends recently reminded her about this commitment and it helped push her to be a woman of her word.

3. Find one thing that you’re good at and master it!

Jack of all trades. Master of none. I’m sure this is a term that we’ve all heard at some point in our lives. There’s nothing wrong with doing multiple things. It shows versatility but sometimes we can be attempting to do so many things that nothing actually ends up getting accomplished, or they’re getting accomplished rather poorly. Sometimes we have to take a step back and focus on perfecting one thing before we can venture into other avenues.

4. Success Doesn’t Happen Overnight

Contrary to popular belief, success does not happen over night! Claire has been grinding at this for ten years! Ten years folks! That alone was confirmation for me to keep doing what it is that I love. There was a time when she was sleeping in a friends tub in Paris (Spoiler Alert) and now she’s rubbing elbows with celebrities and casually throwing fur prayer cloths across her lap!

5. “Have Faith in God. Have Faith in Yourself.”

Claire spoke a lot about having faith, both in God and in self. There were times in her career where different things tried to come up against her, but having strong faith is what really helped her get through those tough times.

Claire was very humble, down-to-Earth, and sweet as can be!  She took the time to take pictures with almost everyone at the event and really listened to each girl’s question, giving great feedback. The next stop on the book tour will be NYC so to all my blogger friends in the Big Apple, I hope you got your tickets because it is sold out! She will be stopping in other cities as well! Get ready bombshells!

Here are a few pics from the event!

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Mimosas, the preferred drink of fashionistas everywhere!

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Swag bag

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Oh, hey Claire!

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About the Outfit

Blazer:: Forman Mills

Skirt:: Charlotte Russe

Shoes:: Forman Mills

-A Black Girl About Town


Follow Me on Social Media!

Twitter:: @its_Zeena

Instagram:: @z_marie 25

Recap: Macy’s Celebrates Black History Month 2017 (Philly)

I must first start off by giving a big round of applause to Macy’s for not only publicly acknowledging Black History Month, but for contributing to the festivities in such a major way. Each year, select Macy’s stores across the country hold in-store events for Black History Month featuring a celebrity guest of some capacity. Last year, actress Jurnee Smollett was in attendance and I was so bummed that I missed out. This year, I was determined not to be left out so I was stalking their website, waiting for the moment that any information about the event was posted!

The evening kicked off with musical selections from a band known as the Rakiem Walker Project based out of Harlem, New York. Rakeim Walker is a saxophonist and also the musical director of the band, not to mention, he’s worked alongside several big named artists in the industry. (Yes, I did a little homework) The group rotates between three lead vocalists. That night, we were blessed with Gloria on the mic as the group covered some crowd favorites from The RootsYou Got Me (Things Fall Apart) to The Jackson FiveI Wanna Be Where You Are and several others. Take a listen!

Following the performance, there was a pre-filmed interview with Saul Williams and a poetry reading from the artist as well.  The special guest of the night was celebrity Chef and owner of the Red Rooster Restaurant in Harlem, Chef Marcus Samuelsson, who’s been on tour promoting his new cookbook. He stopped in to have some thought- provoking discussion about why he chose to open a restaurant in Harlem, the importance of giving back to the community and so much more.

Following the Q&A session, we were able to sample a few of the chef’s recipes!

Double Dragon Rice w/ Grilled Shrimp 

“Mr. T’s Meatballs” 

Squash Salad w/ crunchy Quinoa + Pumpkin Seed Vinaigrette 

You can’t tell me that doesn’t look delicious! In addition, each person who RSVP’D  online for the event received a $10 Macy’s gift card redeemable that night! With my gift card, I purchased this cute travel mug.

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Oh, and did I mention this event was FREE???

I definitely hope to attend some more black history celebrations before the month is over– and just in general! How do you plan to celebrate Black History Month this month and throughout the year? You can follow Chef Samuelsson at on social media at: @marcuscooks and check the Macy’s events page to see how you can get in on the festivities!

– A Black Girl About Town


Follow me on Social Media!

Twitter:: @its_Zeena

Instagram:: @z_marie25