Argentine Artist Alejandra Zimmerli Takes Root in Miami

Posted by Mary Jo Almeida-Shore On May - 9 - 2020ADD COMMENTS

It’s no surprise that plants have become more popular than ever and it follows suit that every plant deserves its own special pot. To that end, Miami-based artist, Alejandra Zimmerli, creates beautiful pots in which to display all of your favorite plants and add a bit of colorful flair to a porch, shelf or windowsill. 

Born in Argentina Zimmerli comes from an art background, as her Brazilian-German mother used to teach art in primary school, and her Swiss-Ostraicher father would recycle items and art supplies.  When she was two years old, Zimmerli and her parents moved from Argentina to Switzerland where she began drawing and painting. Even she recognizes she had talent way back then!

The family moved back to Argentina when Zimmerli was nine years old. There, she began taking art courses. She finished high school when she was eighteen and moved back to Switzerland by herself. She was the first person to get a scholarship at the “F+F” School for Art and Media Design. Three years later, she returned again to Argentina to study art and media-design. Zimmerli worked from home teaching private art classes to students from as young as four years old, introducing them to their first steps into painting.

Zimmerli then moved to Miami and has been here for over five years. Her planter/garden pots business started when her baby was born, as did her love for plants and gardening. She admits her mother was a “garden freak,” but she never understood why, until now. Zimmerli’s favorite plants are succulents, cacti and sansiverians, especially the new kind that are variegated .

“I started everything white, and then began to add colors to my pots. Some customers helped me by giving me challenges, which is what I love, so I started creating my own cement pottery and, of course, painting them also. I like working like this; it lets me be at home with my loved ones, and I like working outside and enjoying the outdoors with my little one.”

Zimmerli selects what she’s going to paint on her pots depending on her mood. Sometimes it’s just thinking of something she likes. Other times she paints her designs because a customer has requested something specific.

Her popular “Frida (Khalo)” pots started because a customer wanted two and as soon as she finished making them, a few people saw them and had to have them as well. The popular pots are among her best sellers.  She made only small sizes at the beginning, but now she’s creating  bigger sizes at customers’ requests.

“I love all of my pots,” Zimmerli says. “I love the ones I do in concrete.  And I love the ones I paint. They all have something special.”

Zimmerli is happy with her small company. But if requests keep coming in, she is looking forward to the company growing and hiring employees to help prepare the concrete, pour the molds, and sand them. As for the painting, she will keep that lovely task for herself.

Check out Zimmerli’s work on her Instagram pages Message her for orders or email her at:

Nature’s Way Bromeliads= a True Bro-mance

Posted by Mary Jo Almeida-Shore On April - 7 - 2020ADD COMMENTS

A wise person once said, “When the going gets tough, the tough go shopping.” Up until the recent past, this applied most specifically to shoe shopping  However, being that most of the world is staying home, shopping has taken on a whole new meaning. Now, more than ever, we are focusing on our health and buying items that bring us happiness while supporting a healthy lifestyle and bettering the community. Fortunately, nurseries have been deemed an “essential business,” something we plant lovers have believed all along. 

Having a calm, peaceful mind is just as important as having a healthy body.  Studies show that just looking at a plant can help people feel more relaxed and creative. Nature’s Way Farms, a women-owned farm in South Florida encourages connecting feelings of well-being with cultivating tropical plants. Nature’s Way debuts their new plant collection to cultivate wellness. The collection includes outdoor garden bromeliads, blooming tropical plants, and shrubs that can turn landscapes into tropical retreats.

“Whether it’s practicing yoga, writing a journal, taking a run, gardening, or taking an art class, everyone should have their release – something you can turn to when you feel stressed or need to clear your mind,” says Marta Maria Garcia, Marketing Director for Nature’s Way Farms. “We hope those who choose gardening will find that our plants help them unwind, create, enjoy the sun and fresh air.”

Gardening can ignite the senses and helps provide solace and release during difficult times. Nature’s Way plant varieties like Jasmine and Gardenia are sure to delight the senses with their lovely fragrance. Art lovers and color seekers will enjoy the wayplants like Ixoras, Hibiscus, Mandevilla and Allamanda paint a picture with their vibrant blooms. And for those who seek some alone time, can create a garden oasis by adding hedges like clusia, podocarpus, and viburnum. 

The unique outdoor Garden Star Bromeliads will add bold colorthat’s out-of-this world to containers and gardens. These shade loving beauties are a wonderful solution for shady areas that are hard to landscape. They need little water and are easy to care for. Look for them in the Lowe’s Garden Centers throughout Florida. 

Nature’s Way Farms is located in Homestead, Florida and aspires to inspire those who are looking for quality time in nature and have supplied Garden Centers across the country with beautiful plants for more than 40 years. More than 700 varieties of plants are grown on 300 acres.  With a deep commitment to bettering the community, Nature’s Way also rescues, fosters and finds good homes for homeless dogs and cats.



illy Returns to Best of the Best, Teams Up with Local Miami Chefs on Coffee-Inspired Desserts

 illycaffè, a global leader in high-quality, sustainably grown coffee, is returning to the 19th annual Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival presented by Capital One (SOBEWFF®) with its passion for creating unique coffee experiences. From February 19 – 23, 2020, illy will brew classic and specialty coffee drinks for Festival attendees, including espresso, proprietary Cold Brew Aria™, and other crafted beverages made by illy Master Barista Giorgio Milos at more than ten events.

At one of the top Festival events, Fontainebleau Miami Beach presents Wine Spectator’s Best of the Best sponsored by Capital One, illy is collaborating with two local Miami chefs to create one-of-a-kind desserts. Chef Soraya Kilgore, owner of Mad Lab Creamery, is making tiramisu ice cream with illy espresso, while Chef Brielle Fratellone of Fontainebleau is creating a petite gateau made with coffee cream mousse featuring illy’s 100% Arabica Whole Bean Classico, roasted banana cake and caramel toffee. Both desserts will be accompanied with an expertly prepared shot of illy espresso to sip alongside, or to pour over the tiramisu ice cream for a delectable affogato. Read the rest here »

Photo Credit: World Red Eye

The most exclusive VIP invitation of Super Bowl LIV was the The Official Miami Super Bowl Host Committee VIP Party at Bal Harbour Shops.   The nation’s top shopping destination closed its doors to host this incredible evening.

Honorary chairs Matthew Whitman Lazenby, Christine Lynn, Rodney Barreto, Gloria and Emilio Estefan, actor Tommy Lee Jones, and Argentine polo player Ignacio “Nacho” Figueras hosted the one-of-a-kind, private celebrity-styled affair.

The fashionable event included an evening of dancing, decadent dining, as well as LED robot stilt walkers, roller-skating cheerleaders, mirrored characters, and salsa dancers in an exclusive Conga Lounge. Along with notables from the worlds of sports, media, fashion and entertainment guests were treated to this VIP experience including a Musical Performance by The Pointer Sisters.


 The Giving Back Fund’s Big Game Big Give (BGBG) presented by Oasis House, was the largest celebrity charity event during Super Bowl weekend in Miami, raising much needed funds to benefit national philanthropic advancement and local Miami nonprofits including Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. The A-list philanthropic event gathered dozens of celebrities, city and national dignitaries, players and artists at a private $65 million estate on Star Island in Miami Beach last night. 

The exclusive affair co-hosted by famed filmmaker Michael Bay and award-winning actors Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul featured a special live performance by actor/singer Jamie Foxx, who also emceed and co-hosted the event. 

Pro Football Hall of Famer, All-Time leading rusher for the Cleveland Browns, American football legend and social activist Jim Brown was honored with The Giving Back Fund’s annual Philanthropic Achievement Award, presented by Pro Football Hall of Famer and Super Bowl XXXV MVP Ray LewisMayor of Miami Francis X. Suarez presented Jim Brown with a key to the city of Miami. The event also featured a musical performance by singer Kevin Lyttle and appearances by actors Scott EastwoodKeegan-Michael KeyCuba Gooding Jr., and model Karolina Kurkova. Other dignitaries in attendance included Mayor of Miami-Dade County Carlos A. Gimenez and Governor of California Gavin Newsom. Hall of Fame sportscaster Lesley Visser hosted the red carpet. 

Throughout the night, guests participated in silent and live auctions; enjoyed curated cocktail stations from multiple brands including Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston’s signature mezcal, Dos Hombres; and indulged in delicious catering by award-winning chef Adrianne Calvo. This year’s theme for the event was “Miami Through the Decades” showcasing the city’s art and fashion through the years. Read the rest here »

On Monday, September 16, Make-A-Wish® Southern Florida and in-kind Ball donor InterContinental® Miami celebrated the 25th Annual InterContinental® Miami Make-A-Wish® Ball VIP Kickoff Party at the InterContinental® Miami in anticipation of this season’s  MASTERPIECE XXV-themed gala on Saturday, November 2, a creative interpretation of Game of Thrones. Host Robert Hill, General Manager of InterContinental® Miami and Gala Host was joined by Shareef Malnik, Chairman of the Board Emeritus of Make-A-Wish Southern Florida and Gala Chair of the InterContinental® Miami Make-A-Wish® Ball, and Norman Wedderburn, President and CEO of Make-A-Wish Southern Florida – the trio affectionately known as the “Three Amigos”– to honor the Ball’s donors and supporters.

Gala Chair Shareef Malnik announced that four-time GRAMMY® Award-winning Steven Tyler with the Loving Mary band will headline The Ball, and that T.I. will perform at the Ball’s after party, the InterContinental® Miami Make-A-Wish® Nightclub presented by E11EVEN MIAMI. Actress and documentary film director Gabrielle Anwar will return as the Celebrity Emcee for the 9th year. Malnik also announced that members of the Chairman’s Challenge Society have once again underwritten expenses associated with the Ball.

The cocktail soiree featured opulent food stations by InterContinental Miami Executive Chef Jhonnatan Contreras, decorated in a medieval theme with moat displays accented by ice statues of wolves, fortresses, copper cooking pots, wooden wheelbarrows, and market stalls. Dishes included the Field & Forest stall’s Farro Exotic Mushroom, Baby Carrot Salad, Caramelized Fennel & Apricot Salad, Roasted Beets with Goast Cheese Foam, Shaved Brussel Sprouts & Leek Spring Roll, and Zucchini Flower Stuffed with Cashew Cheese; the Sushi and Seafood station’s Jumbo Gulf Shrimp, Oysters, Spicy Salmon Roll, California Roll, and Vegetable Roll; and a variety of sweets in the dessert “cave,” whose entrance was guarded by an elaborately carved chocolate dragon.

Guests enjoyed specialty cocktails and wine served by a wait staff in renaissance costumes as they were treated to a special DECO Productions dance performance choreographed by New Century Dance Company. Attendees of the evening soiree included hosts Ball Chairman, Board Chair and Founder of Chairman’s Challenge Society Shareef Malnik; President and CEO of Make-A-Wish® Southern Florida Norman Wedderburn; InterContinental® Miami General Manager and Gala Host Robert Hill; actress and documentary film director Gabrielle Anwar; Superintendent of Miami-Dade County Public Schools Alberto Carvalho; Ball creative directors Maxwell  Blandford and Clif Loftin; socialite/philanthropists Stanley and Gala Cohen; Joseph Perez; Dennis Crowley; Eugene Frenkel; Danielle Rubinstein; Jodi Siravo; Brian Exelbert; Dr. Art Diskin; Drew Mandala; Robby Elias; Ramona Messore; Michael Capponi; Stephanie Sayfie; Yvonne Hila and Bret Beach; Linda Levy Goldberg; and Fabian Basabe.

The evening concluded with an endearing speech by Nicole Ciovacco, mother of 6-year-old Make-A-Wish® Southern Florida Wish kid, Evan Ciovacco. Diagnosed with chronic kidney disease in infancy, Evan’s dream was to go to Orlando Theme Parks as he has spent most of his life visiting doctors to battle his condition. His wish, granted by Greg Salsburg, was to go on a 7-day vacation with his family, where he met all his favorite characters, received fast-passes to all parks and attractions, and had breakfast and dinner with Mickey and friends. With tears in her eyes, Nicole described how Evan’s wish gave the Ciovacco family the will to move forward, become stronger and realize the importance of carving out family time. Nicole concluded her testimony by thanking Make-A-Wish® Southern Florida and the donors for making Evan’s dream a reality and giving him an extraordinary experience when he was facing one of the toughest challenges of his young life. Read the rest here »

Miami Socialholic
Mary Jo Almeida-Shore,Jose Almeida,Maryanne Salvat
(from left to right)