Hurricane Hermine hit Tallahassee and while the storm did not damage and kill people the city was left with no power for several days. Having lived Hurricane Gilbert in 1987 when living in Jamaica this was not that bad, but I definitely learned something.

1. Never ever I have seen so many people working out and going to the gym when the power is off at their house.
2. Never ever I have seen so many people walking on the streets. PERIOD.
3. Never ever I have engaged and talked to ALL my neighbors this much, like all day because there is nothing to do.
4. Never ever I partied on the front porch with my neighbors dancing to Nirvana and drinking champagne and having a blast.
5. Never ever I thought I would be so American and desperately searching for air conditioning and then complaining it is still too cold
6. Never ever I had 6 portable chargers in the house to charge my phone
7. Never ever I had so many candle light dinners and realized there is nothing romantic about it
8. Never ever I enjoyed not been on social media or in front of a TV
9. Never ever I met my step goals and hit 10,000 steps every day. EVER
10. Never ever I cleaned my fridge and freezer from left overs from 2008
11. Never ever I learned that Americans don't know a gas stove can be lit with a match!

What were your never ever from Hurricane Hermine?





I have gone through a period of vegan diet where I cut completely dairy and meat. I had to stop because my blood levels were very low, but regardless of this I still prefer eating vegetables over meat. There are many recipes that I created or adopted from others and I'll like to share with you.

Fresh  Brussel Sprouts & Sweet Sprouts Salad


INGREDIENTS (you can adapt the recipe based on your liking)
2 cups freshly cut Brussel sprouts (uncooked). I bought the ones already washed and cut from Whole Foods
1/4 cup chopped red onion marinated for few minutes in vinegar (so it won't be too bitter)
1/4 chopped pecan
1/2 cup of yellow cherry tomatoes cut in half (they are so good)
1/4 of a bag of fresh sweet sprouts the ones sold in a plastic square container at Whole Foods. Those are usually used in sandwiches.
1/4 chopped green bell pepper
2 TBSP vinaigrette dressing (You can buy the pre-made dressing by Whole Foods)

OPTIONAL:
You can grilled any meat or tofu and add it
You can add crumble blue cheese (yummy)
Avocado is laso a nice addition

METHOD:
Once you chopped everything, take a bowl or a large plate and start building your salad in layers. I start with the Brussel sprouts, then red onions, green bell pepper, pecans, and cherries. I always leave the sweet sprouts last. Pour the dressing moving quickly to ensure it gets everywhere. Add meat or tofu if desired. ENJOY!

I find salads to be fast, filling and refreshing especially in the summer. For another delicious vegan recipe check out these raw vegan lasagne made with zucchini and pine nuts.


I am an avid online shopper. I began many years ago with Ebay. At first, I had hit and miss. I would get items too small, short, or long. At times, I still do but it does not matter because I never spent more than $5 on risky items. So, how do you shop online if you are not tall or skinny or looking like a model? How to buy clothes online? Here's few tips to make your online shopping experience better.

1. Buy a Brand You Already Wear
If you have been shopping at Banana Republic you know very well how their sizes run and how their clothes suit you. Most likely you can go in your closet and look at what size pants you wear there and select the same size online.




2. Read Reviews and Look at The Chart Size
One of the mistakes of women is rushing to buy something online without the propers research. It takes just few minutes to look at the size charts that come with an item online or to look at the overall rating for that item. I just recently bought a pair of J.Crew pants in pink. I knew their sizes run bigger than my usual size in pants. I also read few of the reviews which mentioned that the pants were longer than usual and somewhat see-through. I knew that I would have to wear heels and wear nude panties. The pants ended up been fantastic, but it is true that were really long. I would suggest every woman to measure themselves (hips, chest, waist, and shoulders). This will really help to determine the true size given that each brand has different sizes. Zara for example runs smaller, so I know I need to buy a medium. Valentino shows run small, so I need to always get one size bigger. How do I know? I either bought something in the store, or I looked at their chart size on-line.

3. Look at the picture of the model
Most companies now provide details of the models wearing their items (heigh, size she wears, etc). This is useful to get a picture of the clothes on yourself. If you are interested in a pencil skirt like this one I bought at Target - you probably need to know that won't look good on you if you are 5' unless you alter it. A mini skirt on a 5'11 model, might look like a knee length skirt on you. The point is that you can't expect the same look and you need to know your measurements and those of the model.

4. Read the return policy.
Sometimes you just will get something and it sucks, especially when it comes to fabrics. This is a difficult one. All I can say is that you need to trust the brand and look at the price. You can't expect to spend $20 for a cashmere sweater from Forever21 and then get disappointed that the fabric did not feel soft enough. I would read the return policy very careful. I have had great experience and horrible experience and now I only buy online from companies that have great customer support and easy return policies in place. It is not acceptable anymore having to pay to return an item. If you think about it, you don't pay when you return an item to the store, why should I pay if I bought the clothing item on-line?

5. Don't give up
There are so many options these days when it comes to shopping online. Think about sites like Lyst, which is a curated high fashion website with a variety of brands and the latest trends in fashion. You don't need to rely on your local GAP store (I love GAP, but sometimes it is fun to spicy it up). How do I know what to buy from a new site? Here's few example on how to shop online for the first time.

1. Boohoo dress $26 - Lyst
This is a cute dress, traditional cut, good length and color. However, this is one of the pieces that could look great or horrible. Why? The fabric is light cotton, most likely some type of stretch material as everything has it these days. This means that it would highlight all my imperfections. You could see your underwear and love handles. In addition, if you are petite this dress would be considered a maxi dress. On the other hand if you are pregnant or have a pronounce belly everyone will be able to see your panty as the front opening won't stay shut! [Trust me, it happened to me]

2. AG Jeans $198 - Lyst
I love this dress. I like the dark color, which makes it easy to dress it down or up and also hides imperfections. It is proper for work, running errands, or just hanging out with friends. If you are short, the dress will probably look like a long dress, which in this case I think it is quite acceptable, since it is already long on the model. If you are tall, the dress will still look great and not too short. It's a win win situation.  I would probably buy it and determine whether I want to make it short or keep it long. This is also a great dress if you are pregnant, so you are buying a dress to wear both pre, during, and post pregnancy. And remember during your pregnancy the length of the dress will change. I would wear spanx underneath but that is because I am obsessed with spanx. In your 20s you probably don't even need to wear a bras!

And now you have it! Tips on how to shop online if you are tall, short or just you! I know how frustrating it can be to buy online, but it does not have to be, just follow some of the tips discussed here and let me know what you all end up buying! 

DISCLAIMER: All photos of me are from Mallory Brooks. All content is written by Ginevra Adamoli and should not be distributed elsewhere without consent. 








5 Fashion Movies to Fall in Love With

By Cassie at CultureCoverage.com

Fashion is one of those art forms that really benefits from the film medium; fashion, like film, is all about what one can view with the eye, appreciate with the senses, and fall in love with from first glance.

For these five style-minded movies, it’s all about seeing with a more careful eye and just falling in love with fashion all over again (or for newbies, for the first time). From inside an esteemed couture house to the streets of New York, these five films are sure to give you a second look at one of the most socially relevant art forms in the most beautiful, behind-the-scenes way possible.

1. “Valentino: The Last Emperor” (2008)


This was my first foray into fashion documentaries, and while I’m neck deep in favorites now, this was the first movie that really changed the way I saw fashion. With a very intimate look into the last year of Valentino Garavani’s time at the head of the couture house that bears his name, “Valentino: The Last Emperor” isn’t just about him or just about his clothes; it’s about the teams of seamstresses, artists and creators behind every single one of his exquisite pieces.

With incredible artistry, sumptuous materials and a grandiose finale, this film proves that there’s so much more than a pretty face behind one of the world’s great art forms but heart, soul and true workmanship as well.

2. “The September Issue” (2009)





The September Issue” was the first film to show the world what the inside of the Vogue offices looked like; it is definitely one of the reasons fashion has continued its meteoric rise to the forefront of the social consciousness. Documenting American Vogue, Anna Wintour and Grace Coddington as they build the September 2007 issue, this film is a must-see for anyone who hopes to work in the hallowed halls of Condé Nast’s most famous production.

From photographing locations to the editing board and chopping block, this film gets unparalleled access to the beloved magazine that has shaped American fashion and society since its inception.

3. “Bill Cunningham New York” (2010)






Starring one of the most renowned New York Times photographers in the world, “Bill Cunningham New York” gives an inside look at what it takes to get the best picture. The film documents photographer Bill Cunningham’s relentless photo and editorial take on the street fashion of New York City.

Offering commentary from friends and colleagues, including Tom Wolfe, David Rockefeller and Anna Wintour, this documentary is less about the curated pages of a fashion editor and more about the gritty fashion from wearers on the street. For any street style maven, this documentary is a must-see, as it launched the ever-popular obsession with what real people are wearing on the street.

4. “Neon Demon” (2016)






This much-anticipated film is not necessarily one that provides any truths about fashion, but it’s avant-garde look at how one face can change an industry is something akin to “The Devil Wears Prada”—you know it’s not necessarily real, but that doesn’t make it any less fanciful and fun to watch. Starring Elle Fanning as the fresh-faced 16-year-old Jesse looking to make it in the fashion world, “Neon Demon” is one that provides glitz, glamour, light and action, as well as a surreal amount of thrills along the way.

From the famed director of “Drive,” this is fashion-meets-horror includes a lot of stereotypes of the fashion world that may not ring true, but it also glitters like an editorial and sparkles with wit—and isn’t that what we love about fashion in the first place?

5. In Vogue: The Editor’s Eye (2012)

.

In Vogue: The Editor’s Eye” is one of those documentaries for someone who's not just looking for an inner eye into the secret world behind all the clothes but for an explanation and an introduction to fashion's key players. Filmed as an ode to Vogue's 120th anniversary, “In Vogue: The Editor’s Eye” breaks down the magazine’s famed editors’ methods of madness—or, in short, what makes them tick—as well as the huge landmarks that have occurred in the publication’s timeline.

From Grace Coddington to World War II, this film puts the women and their world in the forefront to show how fashion and, in particular, Vogue has shaped our society since its inception. You can catch the film in its entirety on YouTube. International viewers can get around the geo-location block with a VPN—no Redbox renting or Netflix login needed!

Whether your aim is to dress well or dress other people well, these movies are the perfect education in all things beautiful. So sit back, relax and get into your best fashion frame of mind because from the moment you press play, anything goes!

Love these five fashion titles? Leave a comment below. We’ve got about a million and one more style-minded adventures for the fashion lover.


About the author of this post: Cassie lives to be a fountain of knowledge on any given subject, using movies and books as resources. From fantasy literature to fashion, she’s determined to be as well informed as any one human can be from watching and reading the best that’s out there.
I have always collected vintage or new brooches. They can add a lot to an outfit whether you wear them on a coat, jacket, hat or even shoes. Lately, we have seen them used on ballet flats. Here's 5 ways to wear your brooches on shoes and where to get them.

Suede Ballet Shoes: H&M $34
















Satin Red Ballet Shoes: Etro $1,000
Leather Ballerina Flats: &OtherStories $85


Porselli Ballet Shoes: $225


Pair your ballet shoes with these brooches:

Yellow Brooch

$128 (Free shipping)



Galerie Slavik
Acqua Lily Leaf




Vintage Art Deco Duette Rhinestone Brooch


Need a step to step tutorial? Emilee Anne can help you and inspire you.

Stuart Weitzman Shoes with Brooch

Stuart Weitzman Shoes with Brooch 







Ever wonder what are the most delicious and popular recipes these days? Here's you'll find 5 top recipes on Pinterest. Now you can impress your family and friends.

1. Cardamon Rolls with Pistachio with Rose Frosting from the Baking Bird.
Credit to bakingbird.com


2. Vegan Chocolate Pudding Cake from It Does Not Taste Like Chicken.

Credit to ItDoesntTasteLikeChicken

3. Blood Orange Cake from Beyond Sweet and Savory.

Credit to Beyond Sweet and Savory
 4. Easy Thai Tea Latte from WhiteOnRiceCouple.

Credit to WhiteOnRiceCouple

5.  Avocado dressing on top of raw zucchini from my blog.





What do you do if you have too many avocados around your house? You make a delicious avocado mayo or avocado dressing - a healthy avocado dressing. I started searching through Pinterest to get some inspiration and soon enough I came across Tiffany's recipe from Creme de La Crumb's food blog. You know that I like to try recipes from other sites and then write about them, so this was just another opportunity. Let me tell you she is a genius! This is one of my favorite and easy healthy recipes, especially if you are trying to cut on carbs like pasta or meat. You can't go wrong. I can see how this avocado dressing can be used for zucchini spaghetti, as a spread for sandwiches and also as an avocado pasta sauce. I am posting the exact ingredients from Tiffany's recipe below, with notes on what I did differently. I encourage you to visit her site to see more of her delicious recipes.
INGREDIENTS
  • 2-3 large or 3-4 small zucchinis. [Gin's notes: I bought them already cut in spiral at Whole Foods. They cost between $5.00 and $8.00. Well worth the money). 
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 avocados [I added 2.5 to get a creamy denser dressing]
  • juice of 1 lime
  • large handful of cilantro (about ⅓ cup loosely packed)
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic OR 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • water, as needed [This helps if you want to have a liquid dressing, otherwise retain from water if you want a more mayo consistency.]
  • I added half tomatillo and it turned out to be a great addition. I just had it around the house. 

Preparation
I used the food processor, but you could use your blender or hand mixer. Put all ingredients together except for the water.  Mix together until super smooth. If it is too dense add water a little at the time. Taste for salt and pepper.

Place the zucchini (raw) (already cut from Whole Foods) into a large bowl or a plate. Pour the avocado dressing or avocado mayao(however you want to call it) on top of the zucchini spaghetti. You can use a spoon and just put a big spoon of the avocado dressing on top of your zucchini. Pour the remaining dressing in a small bowl in case your guests want to add more.

That's it. Again, I can't rave enough about this recipe. It's healthy, low in calories, delicious, vegan, and just perfect. 




Eating organic is the first step toward a healthy life, but we rarely (at least I don't) think about what we put on our skin. In the past years there have been many companies coming up with organic skincare products yet it is hard to choose which products will be good for us as we attempt to make a transition to all natural skin care brands and products. Organic skin care product reviews are a good way to find out what products you might want to buy.

If you like to try out a bunch of organic skincare products whether your skin is prone to acne or dry, Whole Foods is running a really great deal beginning March 18. They will be selling a beauty bag with a variety of products including organic lipstick, organic toner, organic mascara, etc. for the price of $15. The bag retails for $80. This is an amazing deal. If you have been using already organic skin care products like Burt's or Mineral Fusion, you know they are not cheap. I am already planning to get a bunch of these bags for friends!!

Here is what you get in the bag. I got to have a preview. So if you want to know a good organic skincare brand take a look!

1. Mineral Fusion Mascara: My friend Brigette has been using their products for a while now. You can get them a Whole Foods and Earth Fare if you have one locally. Why she swears by it? "I don't like to put more chemicals on my face than I need to. Especially when we already spend so much time trying to restore our skin" Brigette.

2. Weleda: This is a company that is well known in Italy. Their line of children's natural products is really good. It is very pricy in the States depending on the product, but if you ever get to go to Europe go to a pharmacy and fill your suitcases with these products. I recommend the Skin Food Creme Nutritive for winter times or if you have dry skin. I love how it smells. It reminds me of summers spent on the Mediterranean Sea. Avoid if you have oily skin or are prone to acne. I like to use it at night before I go to bed.

3. Trilogy: This is a new product for me, so I will probably review it separately in few weeks. I like to try new products for a while before really deciding if they are worth or not. You will get an oil that is said to brighten and increase elasticity. Can't wait to try it out.

4. Derma e: Their charcoal masks are a nice alternative to mud masks. It is made with algae and activated charcoal. I use these masks only when I have blackheads and I am in need of a detox for my skin. Another trick to use this mask is that if you have a zit put a small amount on this mask on it, leave it all night there and in the morning wash it off. Your zit should have disappeared.

5. ACURE: Poor minimizing scrub. I never used this one, but it is something that regularly use in the summer time to maintain my pores cleaned. Again, I think I will use it for few weeks and see how I like it.

6. EvanHealy: Rose Facial Toner reminds me of what my grandmother and later I used to use to clean our skin. At the times the most famous rose water was just in a beautiful blue bottle that you could buy at the grocery store. Santa Maria Novella has its own version. Evanhealy adds geranium which makes it refreshing to use. I dig this product especially as it is getting warm out.

7. MyChelle: Perfect C Serum. My friend and dermatologist have been encouraging me to use some type of C serum for a while now. I tried another brand a while back but I truly was not sure if it worked. I think I was doing it wrong because after talking to MyChelle they gave me some great tips to maximize the effect. Use it in the morning on clean skin. Then apply SPF! It is supposed to reduce fine lines.

8. Dr. Hauschka: Soothing Cleanising Milk. This is a great product if you have allergies and can't use fragrant products. It does contains alcohol in case your skin is too sensitive for that too. I don't know much about milk so again another organic skin care product I need to try for few weeks.

9. Burt's. I love their products. I use them for my daughter so I am already a fan. I have been wanting to try their lipsticks for a while and finally I got to do so. They are awesome. They are very soft, will provide you some pigmentation but it is not over the top. This is so far my favorite product of their line.


You take all these great pictures when you travel and then they get hidden in your computer. You keep saying that one of your annual goals is to clean up and organize your photos but you never do it. So, while attempting to clean up some pictures on a Friday lunch break, here are few pictures of my last trip to Paris in September.












Guest Blogger: Sandy Kacura (former model) 
Post written by Sandy Kacura and Ginevra Adamoli

We use technology in every facet of life. You are probably even reading this on a phone right now, or tablet. The point is that technology changes every industry in one way or another. And now it’s making its way into fashion. Here are the top ways technology is becoming fashionable and is getting into your wardrobe.

1. iWatch is the new luxurious watch.
In 2015 more than 21.3 million wearable devices like Apple watches were sold in the US alone. From watches to shoes that track your daily steps, technology has changed the way you look and you feel. Actionable technology incorporate fitness into fashion. 

2. Personalized shopping apps.
You might not have time to go shopping or you might one of these people who just don't know how to style herself, pick items that go together and look good. In the past 5 years we had a proliferation of stylist apps. Users pay a monthly membership to receive personalized clothes chosen based on a criteria by real stylist. The user then decide whether she wants to keep any of the items. If she does not she can return the items in pre-labeled returning package. You don't have to do go to a store or call. It is that simple. True Fit helps shoppers find the right fit in any item. Rachel Zoe's Box Of Style is a box full of trendy fashionable items curated by the famous stylist.


3. Mobile retail banking apps.

This is something I learned about as I am working in IT and technology. The easy way to explain movie retail banking apps is to imagine Paypal combined with your banking account, personalized to your behavior offline and online. Pretty much you will be able to perform any transactions via your banking apps. Why is this important for fashion? If there was a one-channel way to shop through out different sites in a secure way I would probably shop until I drop it. Why do you think Paypal is so awesome? Because when you shop for that dress on a fashion online site you can just click Paypal and you are done. No need to insert over and over your information. This is in my opinion important as I do most of my shopping on my mobile and I don't really like to fill in forms that are not mobile optimized.


When I was approached by Sandy, a former model she suggested that one part of the industry that still needs be fully explored in terms of technology is fashion, and I mean casting models, putting together shoots, etc. Even before you can buy that cardigan, or those boots, or even the hand crafted eco conscious pair of jeans, it has to be shot. In order for a designer, big or small, to shoot their new collection they have to pick up a phone, call an agency, wait for an email response (if they even get one), and hope they can find the talent they need.This outdated way of doing business has been standard for more than 100+ years. That’s where sites and brands like My Style Blox want to make a difference. On My Style Blox clients big or small can find talent they need to market their brand, without having to deal with agencies. The talent as well are a diverse mix. By not following the industry “norm” of telling people they are too “tall”, “short”, “fat”, “ugly”, “not pretty enough”; My Style Blox opens the doors to new and aspiring talent. Now smaller boutique designers don’t have to break the bank to find the talent they need.

As technology continues to influence our lives it will start to move deeper into other parts of fashion. It’s safe to say that we as a people love technology. And it is good to finally see technology loving fashion just as much.



My family lives in Lucca, a medieval town just outside Florence and only 10 minutes from Pisa. Known for the composer Giacomo Puccini and the olive oil Berio Lucca is quite a charming town to visit when in Tuscany. Over the years my favorite places are still running for business and when I get back to Lucca this is my list for the 10 top places to eat in Lucca. 

1. Panificio A. Giusti: Via Santa Lucia, 18
A traditional bakery Panificio Giusti is famous for its soft and delicious focaccia. The store is always crowded especially since it has been discovered by tourists. They offer a variety of foccaccia. Here the tip: ask for fresh and warm focaccia (calda, apnea uscita dal forno). Try their raisin and onion focaccia. They also just added pane nero (black focaccia/bread) which is amazing. Eat the focaccia right away otherwise it will become hard like a rock.


2. Pasticceria Pinelli: Via beccheria, 28
Near Piazza Grande this small and long bar/pastry shop is a must go for their focaccine farcite with tuna salad and tomato and their panini dolci with prosciutto crudo. This is a quick stop in the morning for your cappuccino before heading down to get some gelato at Gelateria Veneta. An interesting note: in Tuscany morning breakfasts are savory. We eat focaccia with prosciutto, valdostana (a pastry with tomato, prosciutto and cheese). While croissants are still an option, you will see them more frequently in the north regions of Italy.


3. Pizzeria da Felice: Via Buia, 12
The best pizza al taglio in Lucca is made in a tiny pizzeria with a big wood oven, not far from Panificio Giusti. Order one or two slices of pizza margherita or indulge in cecina, a flat bread made with chickpeas flour. Don’t expect any fancy service or a table. This is a quick stop for locals before you head out for a late night. You can also order for carry out.


4. L’Imbuto: Via della Fratta, 36
This Michelin chef will prepare some fine and innovative dishes all made with local ingredients. Ristorante L’ Imbuto is situated inside the Lucca Center of Contemporary Art. Don’t expect a traditional lactose or Italian meal. The restaurant does not even have a menu. Customers select whether they want to indulge in a light or laborious meal and from there it is a surprise. You can have steak served on a branch from the woods of Lucca accompanied with wild strawberries. 
Website: L’Imbuto

5. Pizzeria Sbragia: Via Fillungo 146
It was known as the best pizzeria in town. I am not sure whether that is still the case but it is still a popular place to eat pizza or do a carry out. They even deliver, which is a rare case in Italy. They will deliver your pizza on a bicycle which makes the experience even more special. 


6. Cioccolateria Caniparoli: Via S. Paolino, 96
If you are a lover of chocolate this place will not fail you. From the traditional sacher torte, to home-made chocolate spread and bars Cioccolateria Caniparoli tastes as good as it looks. Their prices are fair. For special custom-order make sure you order one week prior. Take it even further by taking one of their classes.



7. Gelateria Veneta: Via Vittorio Veneto, 74
This is the best gelato in town. The owners still use the same recipes from 1927 when it first opened. Whether you prefer fruit flavors like strawberry and lemon or rich flavors like chocolate and stracciatella this place will change your relationship with gelato forever. My favorite flavor is tiramisu. They opened different locations through out town, so watch out for their kiosks on Via Fillungo. 

8. Ristori, dessert and ice-cream: Via Fillungo 83
Ristori used to be a famous old fashioned profumeria, or perfumery with beautiful wood furniture and ancient floors. Eventually, over the years, with the increase of chain beauty retails such as Sephora the ancient perfumery closed and is now replaced by a gelateria/dessert. Here, you can find small delicious little desserts like tiny ice-cream balls on a stick covered in nuts and chocolate. Or even chocolate fondue.


9. Il Mecenate: Via del Fosso, 94
A traditional Tuscan/Lucchese restaurant Mecenate offers a variety of dishes all made with local ingredients. You can view a list of their food distributors on their site and I can assure you they are all authentic to the area. Here, you can taste crostini with lard, cod, rabbit and fried stuffed zucchini flowers - my favorite.
Photo Credit: Il Mecenate 


10. Port Ellen ClanVia del Fosso, 120
Cute and different restaurant with a sophisticated menu. This is not your typical Tuscan restaurant. They serve duck over mashed potatoes, steak tartare, and octopus. Their selection of wine is wide enough to give you options even on a budget.