A version of this article was originally published on my lifestyle blog, Mascara Maven.

The Blogger Union has partnered with CreativeMornings/Miami for a collaborative storytelling marathon. Tune in to read the story of our city told by local creatives, bloggers and entrepreneurs. Each week, a different member of CreativeMornings will take over to post what inspires them about South Florida. Do you want to take over the CreativeMornings/Miami blog and share your take on our community? Email Paola at info@thebloggerunion and we’ll get working on it!

Hi, I’m Christina Nicholson - a former TV reporter and anchor who owns and operates Media Maven, a public relations firm. I started my own business after having two kids and quickly realizing that it’s difficult to not only find a full time job with a flexible schedule, but a boss who empathizes with the struggles of being a working parent.

For about a year and a half, I’ve been helping other small businesses owners, like me, grow their business through media relations, video production, writing, blogging, and social media.

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When I was working in news, so many people would ask me, “How do you get to be on TV?” First, I would explain to them it’s not as glamorous as it looks. Then, I’d explain the process I went through of school, internships, making a tape, sending it out (hundreds of times), making a new tape, sending it out (hundreds of more times), then bouncing from market to market. It took a lot, but many can bypass all of that. If you are an ‘expert’ in your field and you think you’re good enough to be a panelist on TV – you can do it too. You just need to promote yourself as an expert in your field.

Thanks to my fellow reporter friend Stephanie Tsoflias with Reel Reporting for sharing these five simple tips on how you can get on TV as an expert:

  1. If you are a doctor, attorney, computer programmer, etc. – pretend you’re talking to 5th graders. These types of experts have a tendency to try to sound smart and they go on too long. Keep it short and simple and speak in normal language.
  2. You have to practice being on TV before you can get on TV. You can do that with your phone. Pretend you are having a normal conversation.
  3. Stand for one thing. Have an opinion about issues.
  4. Hire a person who handles public relations (like me!) until you make your own relationship with assignment desks, reporters, bookers, etc. (I think I have a leg up on working in PR for this reason… I used to be the media!)
  5. ALWAYS send out an email the minute you hear a story breaking you could be an expert on. It can be as simple as, “I am an expert if you guys are doing a story on such-and-such.” That’s it!

Christina Nicholson

Media Maven, Owner

Website: MediaMavenAndMore.com

Lifestyle Blog: MascaraMavenAndMore.com

Facebook.com/MediaMavenAndMore

Twitter.com/MediaMaven_CN

Instagram.com/MediaMavenAndMore

Youtube.com/c/ChristinaDanielle723

LinkedIn.com/in/CNicholson723

Pinterest.com/TheMascaraMaven

A version of this article was originally published on my lifestyle blog, Mascara Maven.

The Blogger Union has partnered with CreativeMornings/Miami for a collaborative storytelling marathon. Tune in to read the story of our city told by local creatives, bloggers and entrepreneurs. Each week, a different member of CreativeMornings will take over to post what inspires them about South Florida. Do you want to take over the CreativeMornings/Miami blog and share your take on our community? Email Paola at info@thebloggerunion and we’ll get working on it!

Hi, I’m Christina Nicholson - a former TV reporter and anchor who owns and operates Media Maven, a public relations firm. I started my own business after having two kids and quickly realizing that it’s difficult to not only find a full time job with a flexible schedule, but a boss who empathizes with the struggles of being a working parent.

For about a year and a half, I’ve been helping other small businesses owners, like me, grow their business through media relations, video production, writing, blogging, and social media.

People think when you’re on TV, you have hair and makeup standing by, and someone is there telling you what to say, and you’re just a face on TV – someone else did all the work. Not true. At least in my case. Yes, I did have professional hair and makeup done – but only a handful of times. Sometimes people wrote things for me to say while I anchored, but as a reporter, not so much. And it is A LOT of work – especially as a reporter, outside, in August, in South Florida! So, let me fill you in on some things you don’t know and don’t see… behind the scenes.

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If you’re a reporter, you’re lucky if you have access to a bathroom. Many times you’re stuck out in some place you don’t want to be… holding it. One time, I was doing a story outside the American Airlines Arena where the Miami Heat play. Nothing was going on at this time, so the main parts of the arena were closed. I was visibly six months pregnant and really had to go. I had a baby pushing on my bladder for goodness sake. Do you know, the ladies working the office in the AAA told me I could not use the bathroom because it was not for public use?! Even after I told them who I was and what I was doing there… they told me to WALK AROUND THE ENTIRE BUILDING (in my heels mind you) to find a public bathroom. Sidenote: The AAA is not a small building to walk around. On the other hand, many strangers in random neighborhoods have been kind enough to let me use their facilities.

When we’re at crime scenes, which we are a lot, we become detectives and have the whole thing solved by the end of our live shot.

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Speaking of crime scenes, I have accidentally stepped in more blood than you’d like to know.

When you photobomb our live shots, you are only making yourself look like an ass. I look fine. If I ever went to your job and started jumping and yelling behind you whenever you started talking, people would send me somewhere for a mental evaluation. You’re an idiot.

If you can’t see my feet – assume I’m wearing flip flops, because I probably am.

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For everyone who gets mad at reporters for the stories we cover, take it up with someone else. We are the bottom of the barrel. We take orders. We do what we are told. Call the boss to complain. The last thing we want to do is stick a mic in someone’s face on the worst day of their life and ask them to tell to us about it. As the messenger, we get threatened, yelled at, pushed, and worse in the field. It’s not fun.

The hardest working people in this business are the ones who make us look good – the photographers. I can’t say enough nice things about them. Not only are they the hardest working, but they are the ones the crazies run after and try to hit when they don’t want to be on camera after breaking the law. Allegedly.

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Many times, we don’t have a photographer. We are the ones shooting what you see, then we jump in front of the camera and shoot ourselves!

The camera really does add 10 pounds. I think it may also make us taller. In the studio, we stand on boxes to look taller and so you can see the pretty set at the perfect level behind us. Maybe that’s why us TV people do appear smaller in real life, unless you know us personally – then we look the same.

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We get yelled at by a lot of people and blamed for a lot things. None of which has to do with us really. We are just the messengers. When you start out in the business, you care about that. Then after about a week or two – you’re numb to it.

When you’re standing in a hurricane and nearly blowing away, you’re also watching your photographers back to make sure nothing flies his way.

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At the end of the day, I have been known to have about 10 layers of powder on my face.

Everyone has fallen asleep in a news car. Everyone has felt the fear of tipping over in a live truck.

Even though we act like we want the Miami Heat to win the National Championship, we don’t. Why? Because that means lots of overtime many of us won’t get paid for, pots and pans being banged in your ear on live TV for hours at a time… while being pushed and shoved by drunk idiots until the wee hours of the morning. Then, when that special report that lasted until 1:30am is over – you can’t leave because the traffic jam has turned Bird Road into a Reggaeton concert. Then, a couple of days later, there’s the damn parade in 100 degree weather. (Can you tell I’m speaking from experience?) It’s one of those things that’s fun the first 30 minutes or so, then… But I still have a smile on my face

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Up until the time you see us on air, we are talking to someone beside us… stopping just in time to appear like we were cool, calm and collected just waiting for the camera to roll.

When a producer is standing up in the control room, stay back. Standing = stressing.

Even we think we look stupid standing in the dark in front of a place you can’t see where nothing is happening behind us. Again, we don’t make these decisions.

If you are in a newsroom and there is food nearby, and it’s free – it will be gone in five seconds. Literally. (And when there is food in the newsroom and an email goes to all employees saying “Because of our long day with the hurricane/election/whatever it is coverage, we ordered everyone pizza,” reporter and photographers get really pissed… because we’re not there for it. We are standing in the hurricane/voting booth/wherever – starving.)

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I’ve never been in a newsroom where the floor of the studio is cleaned on a regular basis.

Many times, all of the reporters and photographers are standing inches away from each other, doing the same live shot, at the same time. We are all talking over each other. (And some reporters are yellers.) It’s somewhat distracting.

Even though we are working for different stations and compete on air for ratings, we are the best of friends in real life.

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And when David Beckham comes into town, look out! And make sure you look good too!

Christina Nicholson

Media Maven, Owner

Website: MediaMavenAndMore.com

Lifestyle Blog: MascaraMavenAndMore.com

Facebook.com/MediaMavenAndMore

Twitter.com/MediaMaven_CN

Instagram.com/MediaMavenAndMore

Youtube.com/c/ChristinaDanielle723

LinkedIn.com/in/CNicholson723

Pinterest.com/TheMascaraMaven

A version of this article was originally published on my lifestyle blog, Mascara Maven.

The Blogger Union has partnered with CreativeMornings/Miami for a collaborative storytelling marathon. Tune in to read the story of our city told by local creatives, bloggers and entrepreneurs. Each week, a different member of CreativeMornings will take over to post what inspires them about South Florida. Do you want to take over the CreativeMornings/Miami blog and share your take on our community? Email Paola at info@thebloggerunion and we’ll get working on it!

Hi, I’m Christina Nicholson - a former TV reporter and anchor who owns and operates Media Maven, a public relations firm. I started my own business after having two kids and quickly realizing that it’s difficult to not only find a full time job with a flexible schedule, but a boss who empathizes with the struggles of being a working parent.

For about a year and a half, I’ve been helping other small businesses owners, like me, grow their business through media relations, video production, writing, and blogging.

I hope my takeover this week gives you some hope to go after your dreams - personally and professionally, while giving you valuable knowledge to build on those dreams.

I hate wasting time. But to be honest, we all waste a lot of time. Usually, it’s out of our control. I’m sure many of you reading this hate meetings for this reason. If it’s an hour long, I’d bet about 10 minutes of it was productive. Then, there is the meeting to talk about the meeting. I could go on. 

Luckily, I’m my own boss now and only attend the ones I want to. If you haven’t noticed by now, I love finding ways to be more productive. Here are six ways to increase productivity:

1. I stopped commuting. To me, it makes no sense to spend time sitting in rush hour traffic, twice, to sit in front of a computer at work all day. Obviously, this pertains to me working at a public relations firm. When I was a TV reporter, commuting was essential. That’s not a job that can be done from home. But many jobs can be done from home in front of a computer. When I didn’t spend time getting presentable for public and commuting to work, I gained an additional 2-3 hours a day. That’s huge! There’s lots of potential productivity in those hours.

2. I have a to-do list. And it is detailed. I get really excited about organization, so I actually have two to-do lists – one in general with no deadlines, and one more immediate with deadlines. I make sure it’s ready to go before I start working, so when I’m ready to begin no time is wasted. (Yes, that means you have to work a little bit on Sunday night, but it’s so worth it Monday morning!)

3. I eliminate distractions. I used to leave all the tabs on my computer open. When I would see an email flashing in one, I would stop what I was doing, open that email, and deal with it. It may have taken two minutes of my time or 20 minutes. Then, I would go back to what I was originally doing. This is so inefficient and a great way to get off track. Instead, I give myself a task to do – with those tabs closed and my phone face down. I don’t want to see it light up with a notification! Unless it’s a life saving emergency, which I’m sure it’s not, it can wait.

4. I work when it works. For some reason, I’m more productive at night. Some people are great in the morning. I’m good in the morning, but great at night. Around 3pm-7pm, I just can’t function when it comes to work. I don’t know what it is, but it’s me! If I try, it’s a waste of time, so I work when it’s best for me. (Another one of my “corporate America” pet peeves: Not everyone needs 40 hours a week to do their job and not everyone needs to do it between the hours of 9am-5pm. If that were the case, what a coincidence that would be!)

5. I schedule everything. Like, ev-er-y-thing. And I set reminders. This helps me plan out my day, week, and month. If you know what is happening, you will be more productive because you have a plan to follow. Use working out for example: If you say, “I’m going to the gym this week” you probably won’t go or you’ll put if off. If you say, “I’m going to the gym Tuesday morning at 9:30” you will probably go because it is a scheduled plan.

6. I get to the point. I don’t want someone to take up my time by sugar coating and beating around the bush… and I’m impatient. I’d much rather prefer someone just get to the point, so that’s what I do. It’s also a great way to get rid of any confusion!

Finally, since I brought it up, my advice on getting out of a meeting: Take that list of things to do and devote the meeting time to getting it done. Tell your boss and ask someone to brief you on what was discussed. That = productivity!


The Blogger Union has partnered with CreativeMornings/Miami for a collaborative storytelling marathon. Tune in to read the story of our city told by local creatives, bloggers and entrepreneurs. Each week, a different member of CreativeMornings will take over to post what inspires them about South Florida. Do you want to take over the CreativeMornings/Miami blog and share your take on our community? Email Paola at info@thebloggerunion and we’ll get working on it!

(This following article was originally published on The South Florida Sage)

The SoFla Sage: Italian Food Takeover Part 3: Enjoy Hand Crafted Italian at Louie Bossi’s Ristorante in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Louie Bossi’s is a high-energy Italian eatery located on the famed Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale where everything is made from scratch using only the freshest ingredients. Executive Chef Louie Bossi serves delicious house made pastas, wood burning Neapolitan pizzas, home cooked Sicilian comfort food and, of course, Chef Louie’s famous house cured salumi. From the hearth baked bread and artisan jams to handmade pastas and pizza dough, gelato and crema di limoncello, everything is house made using the time honored methods of Italian craftsmen. The beverage menu showcases an impressive wine list with a heavy focus on Italian vintages including 50+ wines by the glass as well as handcrafted cocktails, craft beers and locally sourced coffees.

The brand new 10,000-square-foot restaurant offers distinct indoor and outdoor dining experiences including a stunning 2,000-square-foot piazza with a fire pit and bocce ball court.

Salumi + Formaggio with olives, marcona almonds, truffle honey and dried fruit

The house cured salumi is a must during your visit to Louie Bossi’s! With delectable accompaniments such as truffle honey, you may find yourself paying a visit just for this appetizer.

Brooklyn Caesar – pancetta, poached egg, tuscan kale

Caesar is one of my all time favorite salads. I enjoyed the use of tuscan kale in this version which was amplified by all the goodies on top, so good!

Risotto Al Futti Di Mare – shrimp, clams, mussels, calamari

If you’re in the mood for risotto – this dish is for you, very flavorful with plenty of fresh seafood.

Mafaldine – ragu of pork with ricotta, n’duja

WOW – no wonder this is one of the signature dishes at Louie’s. The ribbon shaped pasta with wavy edges on each side, known as mafaldine, is made in house and accompanied by perfectly cooked ragu of pork. This dish is a winner!

Tiramisu – marscarpone cream, espresso, savoiardi biscuits

This was my first visit to Louie Bossi’s and I can absolutely see myself going back. I sat inside and enjoyed the ambiance and energy. I would like to visit for brunch and dine outside in the bright and unique space. Speaking of the outdoor dining area, be sure to bring your competitive side for a game of bocce ball, or should I say, Bossi Ball!

Holli Lapes, RD, LD/N is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist in South Florida. Holli is the founder of The South Florida Sage (http://thesoflasage.com/) a food & drink blog featuring culinary experiences from the Miami, Broward and Palm Beach area. For more on her work in the Nutrition & Wellness field, please visit https://mywellnessrd.com/

Louie Bossi’s on social media:

Follow on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/louiebossi
Like on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/louiebossie
Tweet on Twitter: https://twitter.com/louiebossi

The South Florida Sage on social media:

Follow on Instagram: http://instagram.com/thesoflasage
Like on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheSoFlaSage
Tweet on Twitter: https://twitter.com/SoFla_SageSays

All images appearing in this post photographed by Holli Lapes, property of TheSoFlaSage.com 

The Blogger Union has partnered with CreativeMornings/Miami for a collaborative storytelling marathon. Tune in to read the story of our city told by local creatives, bloggers and entrepreneurs. Each week, a different member of CreativeMornings will take over to post what inspires them about South Florida. Do you want to take over the CreativeMornings/Miami blog and share your take on our community? Email Paola at info@thebloggerunion and we’ll get working on it! 

(This following article was originally published on The South Florida Sage)

The SoFla Sage: Italian Food Takeover Part 2: Quattro Gastronomia Italiana on Lincoln Road Celebrates 10 Years with New Executive Chef in Miami Beach, Florida

For 10 years, Quattro Gastronomia Italiana, one of the longest running successful restaurants on Lincoln Road, has been serving up authentic Italian cuisine to locals and visitors alike. The restaurant has just renewed its lease and promises to remain a South Beach staple for those seeking sophisticated regional Italian food in a stunning indoor-outdoor setting. With a newExecutive Chef, Dario Bellofiore, and an array of new dishes, Quattro continues to bring genuine Italian fare to Miami Beach’s premiere pedestrian corridor.

Chef Bellofiore has just introduced several new seasonal items that expand on the award-winning restaurant’s mix of Italian favorites and inventive dishes. According to General Manger/Partner Roberto Sanso, “We are thrilled to have Chef Bellofiore join the Quattro team. There is definitely a parallel between Miami and his hometown of Venice – both cities are surrounded by water and feature access to fresh and delicious seafood. His years of experience are a welcome addition to the restaurant and Miami Beach.” The Italian toque’s seafood expertise is apparent in new plates such as Polipo del Mediterraneo con Farro Legumi Pomodorini – grilled Mediterranean octopus with farro, legumes, cherry tomatoes and a lemon dressing.

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Polpette Umido – Stewed Meatballs with San Marzano Tomato, Fresh Mozzarella Cheese and Olive Oil

I asked the manager Roberto Sanso – “are these San Marzano Tomatoes?” He replied with “yes, that is where I am from. The smell of the fresh tomatoes growing in Italy is unforgettable.” I thought that was pretty awesome. Also, our waiter was from Italy too. When the staff of an Italian restaurant is actually from Italy, you know the food has to be good!

Quattro fans will be happy to see beloved signature plates remain on the menu, such as theParmigiana di Melanzane in Forma  – baked eggplant layered with mozzarella and parmesan cheese, the Agnolotti Alessandrini alla Stufato – braised beef ravioli with Piedmontese sauce and the Branzino Intero in Crosta di Sale Marino – whole Mediterranean sea bass baked in salt crust.

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Preparazione Casalinga del Ravioli di Casa Savoia Tartufati – fontina and taleggio cheese ravioli drizzled with white truffle oil

To quote what I said about this dish on Instagram “I’m pretty sure I would be ok with it if this was my last meal on earth.” But seriously, it was amazing. It was very rich, creamy and just flat out delicious.  This is a signature item on the menu and I am happy to report that the addition of a new chef has not altered the integrity of the dish.

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Cavolini Di Bruxelles Con Prosciutto –  Brussels Spouts‏ With Crispy Prosciutto

I love to have some greens on the side with a pasta dish. Yum-o! When they say crispy they mean it, that prosciutto was uber crispy.

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Costatine Brasate Di Manzo E Risotto – Braised Short Ribs With Risotto Parmesan and Shaved White Truffles

Well, this was epic. Another one of Quatto’s signature dishes holds true. We swapped out the mushroom risotto for a parmesan truffle variation. After I eat the ravioli as my last meal, I would then like to have this risotto as my pillow to lay my head on as I rest in peace. Ok, maybe I am going overboard here – I think you get the picture!

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Mozzarella gelato? Sort of. At least that is what it reminded me of. I am forgetting the Italian name for the flavor. So simple and fresh!  Quattro offers Gelati E Sorbetti Della Casa (Homemade gelato and sorbet).

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Tiramisu Piemontese Della Casa – House made classic tiramisu

The tiramisu was airy and delightful – what a great meal! Walking up and down Lincoln Road can be intimidating at times. With many hostesses standing outside, greeting you with persuasion in hopes you will eat at their restaurant. Personally, this technique makes me not want to eat at any of the restaurants. I don’t know if this is a strategy that Quattro implements but I can’t imagine they would even need to do so. I am so glad I got to try this authentic asset to the iconic Lincoln Road!

Quattro Gastronomia Italiana is located at 1014 Lincoln Road in South Beach. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner daily. Quattro offers a two-course lunch for $25 Monday through Friday. Reservations are strongly suggested. Telephone: (305) 531-4833. Follow Quattro onFacebook, Twitter: @quattromiami, Instagram: @quattromiami. www.quattromiami.com

Holli Lapes, RD, LD/N is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist in South Florida. Holli is the founder of The South Florida Sage (http://thesoflasage.com/) a food & drink blog featuring culinary experiences from the Miami, Broward and Palm Beach area. For more on her work in the Nutrition & Wellness field, please visit https://mywellnessrd.com/

The South Florida Sage on social media:

Follow on Instagram: http://instagram.com/thesoflasage
Like on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheSoFlaSage
Tweet on Twitter: https://twitter.com/SoFla_SageSays

All images appearing in this post photographed by Holli Lapes, property of TheSoFlaSage.com

The Blogger Union has partnered with CreativeMornings/Miami for a collaborative storytelling marathon. Tune in to read the story of our city told by local creatives, bloggers and entrepreneurs. Each week, a different member of CreativeMornings will take over to post what inspires them about South Florida. Do you want to take over the CreativeMornings/Miami blog and share your take on our community? Email Paola at info@thebloggerunion and we’ll get working on it!

Hello creatives! My name is Holli aka Sage or {The SoFla Sage} from The South Florida Sage Food & Drink Blog and my takeover on Creative Mornings will feature Italian food in South Florida, because everyone loves a taste of Italy! According to Zagat, this comforting cuisine ruled as the most popular among Americans, with 22% of surveyors calling it their favorite. South Florida has a diverse array of Italian eateries with regional influences. 

“As a child I wanted to be an artist. A fundamental part of being an artist is to create. Briefly in high school, I wanted to be a chef. In college I wanted to become a dietitian and a photographer. I became a dietitian, a photographer and a blogger. For a living, I now create blogs and other content, manage social media platforms for a dietary supplement company. I create content for two blogs of my own. But most importantly, I’m doing what I’ve always wanted to do: I’m creating.” - Holli Lapes 

(This following article was originally published on The South Florida Sage)


The SoFla Sage: Italian Food Takeover Part 1: Atlanta-based Restaurateur Brings Tuscan Cuisine to Miami’s Shorecrest Neighborhood - Biscayne Bay 

Antica Mare, the authentic Tuscan restaurant and Miami outpost of Atlanta’s award-winning Antica Posta, opened its doors in February 2016 at 7999 Northeast Bayshore Court in the Shorecrest Club, the new luxury Bayfront apartment complex situated just off the Kennedy Causeway.  With breathtaking bay views, a sophisticated ambiance and fresh regional Italian cuisine, Antica Mare is poised to become a new local dining gem.

Antica Mare is the first  South Florida venture for restaurateur Marco Betti, whose flagship restaurant Antica Posta has earned raves and accolades for nearly 17 years in Atlanta, Georgia.  According to Betti, “I’ve always loved visiting Miami and when the opportunity came about to open right on the Intracoastal in this great new luxury building, I knew it was a perfect fit.  I’m thrilled to be a part of this community and can’t wait to have everyone come in and visit.”

As with its sister restaurant, Antica Mare delivers straightforward Tuscan cuisine featuring a selection of seafood, meats and house-made pastas, all utilizing skillful technique and fresh ingredients imported from Italy.  

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Crudo di Tonno con carpaccio di tartufo nero — Fresh sashimi grade Tuna Crudo topped with black truffles carpaccio 

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Crudo di Branzino — Fresh Pacific Sea Bass Crudo, Arugula, evoo citrus dressing

Sage Says:  The crudo is a great way to prime the palate! Both were very fresh, light and fragrant.

Primi Piatti selections are available in appetizer and main course portions ($12 – $24) and utilize both fresh and dry pasta.  In fact, Betti provides diners with a pasta guide on the menu to help navigate.  

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Gemelli alla Fiorentina — Gemelli pasta with prosciutto, green peas, and fresh cream

Sage Says: Deliciously cheesy! You will want to lick the plate. Offered as an appetizer or entrée portion.

Secondi Piatti ($24 – $38) choices are ample and include Salmone alla Livornese – salmon sautéed with cherry tomatoes, olives & capers, served alongside fresh vegetables; Filetto di Manzo alla Griglia con la Salsa Verde – grilled prime center cut beef filet with parsley-pinenut pesto and sautéed fresh vegetables; Carrè d’Agnello Arrosto alla Toscana – Tuscan oven roasted rack of lamb with a sage-rosemary seasoning and fresh sautéed vegetables; and the famed Betti family recipe,Oven Roasted Tuscan Chicken Breast with Truffle Sauce.

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Roast Beef alla toscana — Kobe roast beef sesoned with Tuscan herbs, sliced thin topped with natural au jus

Sage Says:  What a beautiful dish! The kobe was delectable and the salad served in the center was perfectly seasoned and dressed.

Dolci ($6 – $8) are traditional but sublime, from Panna Cotta with a wild berry sauce and a nougatSemifreddo to classic Tiramisù and Cannolis. Guests can also opt for a selection of imported cheeses.

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Panna cotta con salsa ai frutti di bosco — Fresh cream pudding with wild berry sauce

Sage Says:  This was probably the best panna cotta I’ve ever had – great texture and topped with an overtly fresh berry sauce.

Antica Mare’s bar features an approachable selection of wines, available by the glass or bottle, full bar, craft beers, and signature cocktails.

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Designed by Miami-based architect Paul Gershen, the 224-seat indoor-outdoor restaurant combines fine dining and modern sophistication with a warm and welcoming ambiance.  Upon entering, guests are greeted by lounge seating and an expansive walnut bar showcasing over 100 varietals of wines. The main dining room boasts soaring ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the water, giving an airy yet intimate feel.  Diners can opt to dine outside right on the Intracoastal under a trellis of twinkly lights with stunning views and balmy air. A private scarlett-hued dining room, seating 60, is the perfect spot for social and business events.

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Antica Mare serves dinner Tuesday through Sunday, from 4PM to 11PM.  The restaurant is located at7999 Northeast Bayshore Court on the ground level of the Shorecrest Club high rise apartment complex.  From 79th Street heading east, make U-turn before bridge and take right on Bayshore Court.  The restaurant is on the Northeast corner of 80th and Bayshore.  Discounted valet parking.  Telephone: (305) 398-1001 www.anticamare.com

Holli Lapes, RD, LD/N is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist in South Florida. Holli is the founder of The South Florida Sage (http://thesoflasage.com/) a food & drink blog featuring culinary experiences from the Miami, Broward and Palm Beach area. For more on her work in the Nutrition & Wellness field, please visit https://mywellnessrd.com/

Antica Mare on social media:

Follow on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/anticamare
Like on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AnticaMare
Tweet on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AnticaMare

The South Florida Sage on social media:

Follow on Instagram: http://instagram.com/thesoflasage
Like on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheSoFlaSage
Tweet on Twitter: https://twitter.com/SoFla_SageSays

All images appearing in this post photographed by Holli Lapes, property of TheSoFlaSage.com

The Blogger Union has partnered with CreativeMornings/Miami for a collaborative storytelling marathon. Tune in to read the story of our city told by local creatives, bloggers and entrepreneurs. Each week, a different member of CreativeMornings will take over to post what inspires them about South Florida. Do yo want to take over the CreativeMornings/Miami blog and share your take on our community? Email Paola at info@thebloggerunion and we’ll get working on it!

Hi Tumblr! My name is Estrella and I am super excited to be taking over the Creative Mornings page this week with The Blogger Union-Miami. My blog, www.lacasabloga.com, is all about travel, lifestyle, beauty, and wellness. For many years I have called South Florida home and would like to share some of my favorite places as well as how South Florida inspired me and helped mold me into the person I am today over the years. So, I hope you enjoy!

This article was originally published on www.lacasabloga.com

South Florida Guide: Ft Lauderdale & Miami

Although I am not physically in Florida anymore (which, by the way, breaks my heart to even think about), I still tend to day-dream about some of the spots that I absolutely loved there.  During my 4 years in South Florida, I lived in a total of 4 different cities! So, basically I couldn’t sit still in one place for more than 1 year. LOL! I lived as far south as Brickell Ave, also known as the Miami Financial District, and just recently moved from Ft Lauderdale, which is the furthest North I lived, so it’s safe to say I had my fair share of exploring a good part of South Florida.

I didn’t think it would be fair to only list Miami spots, since Broward county, which is about 40 minutes north, also has some cool spots to check out as well. So I am dividing this post into two different areas you may visit: Miami and Ft Lauderdale.

If you are in the Fort Lauderdale area, make sure to check these spots out:

  1. Whenever you are in need of a cup of joe, or just a place for cool photo ops, check out Brew Urban Cafe. I promise, when you step in, you will feel like you are in a Harry Potter movie, hehe. The decor and unique way this coffee shop is set up is perfect for lounging, and catching up on some work. Not only is it a coffee shop, but they also host weekly movie nights (for free!), have yoga classes every week, open mic nights, and host music events there every once in a while. Need I say more? Although, don’t be fooled by the book wall; the cafe isn’t your neighborhood library!
  2. Craving Mexican? Rocco’s Tacos, famous for their….you know, tacos, is a good place to enjoy their fresh made guacamole and sip on some margaritas. Go on a Tuesday and enjoy $15 all you can eat tacos-but beware as the wait can get pretty long.
  3. For a more relaxing lounge/bar, head on over to Rhythm & Vine, a fun, quirky, “Garden & Den” with an outdoor and indoor space. The food trucks located on site makes for the best finger food to pair with those gin and tonics. ;) Live music is played frequently, so make sure to get there early for some good vibe tunes. I was never much of a “club scene” type of girl, so I much prefer the laid back type of places, if and when I did make it out of the apartment!
  4. If you are in the mood for some Italian, Louis Bossi has a great variety of Italian eats on their menu! If you are up for enjoying the beautiful Florida weather, make sure to get there early enough to enjoy your meal in the beautiful patio they have out back. I highly recommend it!

For those of you in Miami:

  1. I think we can all agree that breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day, right? Which is why I skipped Denny’s and went straight to The Daily. This quick serve eatery not only has the best breakfast in town, but serves sandwiches and salads for lunch or dinner. My personal favorites were always on the breakfast menu.
  2. I know I’m not the only one that craves sweets first thing in the morning which is why I found this little gem that has the best donuts in all of Miami! The Salty Donut, is a pop-up truck nestled quietly in the Miami Art District area. Just a forewarning, get there early as the line may get pretty long, but it’s totally worth it. This isn’t your average Dunkin Donuts.

    C. I am sold over on Italian food all the time (it is absolutely my fave). But one     restaurant in particular stole the show. Perricones won my heart over at “bruschetta” and also because that is where my boyfriend took me on our first date almost 4 years ago. If you don’t get too full on the bread, try one of their signature pasta dishes. Thursdays are $10 pasta nights and live music is played on the weekends-perfect date night choice? I think yes. The ambience is always on a thou.

    D. If you want to hit the town for a little nightlife scene, check out Blackbird Ordinary. The music is great, the drinks even better, and no cover unlike most of the night clubs in Miami. The back patio area is a great place to unwind, get a breath of fresh air, and dance the night away under the stars.

Which one of these places have you visited and what did you think? If you haven’t been to any of the spots I mentioned above, which one would you like to visit the most? Let me know your thoughts below!

Ciao,
Estrella

The Blogger Union has partnered with CreativeMornings/Miami for a collaborative storytelling marathon. Tune in to read the story of our city told by local creatives, bloggers and entrepreneurs. Each week, a different member of CreativeMornings will take over to post what inspires them about South Florida. Do yo want to take over the CreativeMornings/Miami blog and share your take on our community? Email Paola atinfo@thebloggerunion and we’ll get working on it!

Pascal Depuhl is chief mind changer at Photography by Depuhl, a Miami-based visual content creation company. It’s common to find him in the mountains of Afghanistan or the jungles of South America and it’s just as common to walk away from the visual content he creates with your mind changed.

To get a glimpse of what’s going on in his mind check out his blog.


Robert

looks more like a hit man, than a pastor and he’ll be the first person to tell you. He’s also one of the very first people I met working on fashion photo shoots in Miami, as I started coming down to South Florida in the mid 90’s to escape the winters in Chicago and New York  (for obvious reasons).

If you’re looking for the soul of Miami, look no further than Robert and his wife Elizabeth, who have dedicated their lives to serving the people of Miami. You won’t find someone with a bigger heart for Miamians, than these two.

The church Robert pastors is called Calvary Chapel Miami Beach, a non denominational church just north of 71st Street on North Beach, a block west of ‘O’ Cinema with a few hundred parishoners. It is one of the most diverse places I know in Miami in regards to pretty much every metric you want to look at from old to young, from fashion models to the homeless and every color under the rainbow and the only thing these people have in common is the love that these they have for the inhabitants of the Magic City.

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Photo credit: Photography by Depuhl

The house of worship also never seems to close with 5 services on Sunday (one is completely in Spanish) and there’s always something going on in this place, but it’s not just inside the building. It blows my mind how much impact this little place has with it’s community outreach–locally and globally:

Globally Calvary Chapel Miami Beach sends out teams to help with construction, education and medical missions in South America, Africa and other places - in the photo below, Robert is letting the congregation know that Dave (one of the top orthopedic surgeons in the US) and his wife Pam are moving to Nairobi, Kenya to work at a hospital for the next few years.

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Photo credit: Photography by Depuhl

Here in Miami people who attend this church visit nursing homes and prisons, feed the homeless, do food drives every day of the week, work with victims of human trafficking, teach english as a second language, make up a large part of the ‘God Squad’ - which helps the city of Miami Beach keep the peace during Urban Beach Week. Calvary holds a pretty cool sunrise service on the beach every Easter in addition to teaching children, youth and adults about Jesus, who died, but didn’t stay buried … 

Robert also serves as one of the chaplains for the Miami Beach Police Department and even the cops don’t seem to mind, that he looks like a hit man than a man of God.

The Blogger Union has partnered with CreativeMornings/Miami for a collaborative storytelling marathon. Tune in to read the story of our city told by local creatives, bloggers and entrepreneurs. Each week, a different member of CreativeMornings will take over to post what inspires them about South Florida. Do yo want to take over the CreativeMornings/Miami blog and share your take on our community? Email Paola atinfo@thebloggerunion and we’ll get working on it!

Pascal Depuhl is chief mind changer at Photography by Depuhl, a Miami-based visual content creation company. It’s common to find him in the mountains of Afghanistan or the jungles of South America and it’s just as common to walk away from the visual content he creates with your mind changed.

To get a glimpse of what’s going on in his mind check out his blog.


Ocean Drive’s art deco hotels, Miami Modern 1970s buildings, Wynwood graffiti art, downtown’s sky scrapers - everywhere you look in Miami there is world class architecture. Meet Gabriella, an architect from Ecuador. Our kids went to school together and I had a chance to photograph a MiMo inspired house she build, called the Dilido house on the Venetian Islands in Miami Beach. 

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Photo credit: Photography by Depuhl

Gabriella is a fireball of energy as we’re walking through the house on my initial scout. I’ve brought my youngest daughter - she’s brought hers and we don’t see either girls, who are having a blast exploring the construction site. 

Photo credit: Photography by Depuhl

Gabriella has been inspired by the Miami Modern architectural style and has merged into an ultra modern house, that is spectacular. Her husband is from Germany and this couple embodies one thing I love about Miami: the amazing melting pot of cultures, nationalities, histories, education, race, religion, creed, ect. that this city is. The results are spectacular. In architecture and in the people that live here. 

If you’re wanna see some of the work, that goes into creating architectural photography, you can check out my blog series:

The Blogger Union has partnered with CreativeMornings/Miami for a collaborative storytelling marathon. Tune in to read the story of our city told by local creatives, bloggers and entrepreneurs. Each week, a different member of CreativeMornings will take over to post what inspires them about South Florida. Do yo want to take over the CreativeMornings/Miami blog and share your take on our community? Email Paola atinfo@thebloggerunion and we’ll get working on it!

Pascal Depuhl is chief mind changer at Photography by Depuhl, a Miami-based visual content creation company. It’s common to find him in the mountains of Afghanistan or the jungles of South America and it’s just as common to walk away from the visual content he creates with your mind changed.

To get a glimpse of what’s going on in his mind check out his blog.


If you’ve never heard of Knaus Berry Farm, you’ve been living under a rock - or maybe you just don’t like Cinammon Rolls.

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Photo credit: Photography by Depuhl

The family farm, run by my friends Tom and Susan (and her sister and her husband), has been around for decades and is open from November to mid-April. It’s a popular place and the cinammon rolls, that Tom gets up very early every morning to bake, are worth standing in line for. 

If you don’t have a sweet tooth - and believe me you will once you’ve tasted these delicious treats - you can pick strawberries, grab a delicious milk shake or buy locally grown honey and other vegetables. 

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Photo credit: Photography by Depuhl

Tom even roasts his own bald bakers blend coffee; if you are fortunate enough to catch a glimpse of this master baker, you’ll understand why.

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Tom and Susan are kind Miami natives, who love getting to know all the people who come to Knaus Berry Farm to enjoy this place and the food that’s grown and made here. When you go tell them Pascal says hi and bring me a cinammon roll back, would you?

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