Business Girl Crush: Evelyn from Mindful Mamas

It’s official! Our business girls crush section will be a monthly event! And I’m excited to show you all the beautiful women who will be part of this inspiring section during the coming months! Every time I meet a woman who, like me, has the courage of creating her own business I’m inspired! This section is for you to be inspired, get ideas and reach for higher dreams, whether you are going for a better position at your job, or someday being your own boss!

Our April edition is all about a beautiful woman called Evelyn Brill, her project: Mindful Mamas. It’s the first time we have a therapist (small pause here, Evelyn is a licensed mental health counselor, and has mainly worked with children & parents) on our BGC section, but let me tell you, this girl is not your average therapist – she created Mindful Mamas, a support network for moms. Eve’s approach is all about providing moms with the right parenting tools for what she calls “mindful parenting” – Actually, I’ll let Eve tell you in her own words all about her program and what inspired her to be her own boss:

Vintage style photoshoot

- Carolina Benoit: Tell me about Mindful Mamas…

Evelyn Brill: Mindful MAMAS is a support network for  the most important (& most challenging) job in the world: MAMAhood.  My program provides Mamas of little ones (ages 0-5) with interactive & educational support groups based on principles of positive, “mindful” parenting.  Mommies gather in groups to learn about healthy parenting practices & child development, while they bond over their own mamahood experiences. Each group session has different topics that help Mamas explore their roles, their understanding of their kids, and how to combine these two to raise one seriously awesome human being (while going insane as little as possible along the way)!  The main focus of Mindful Mamas’ approach is to nurture and strengthen the relationship bond between Mama and her child.

- CB: What inspired you to open your own business?

EB: I was traumatized about having a boss like Bill Lumbergh (movie: Office Space). That’s when I first decided I needed to be my boss. My mind is constantly filled with ideas, and I knew that having my business was going to be like having a blank canvas on which I could venture out and chase after the ones I feel passionate about. I’ve also had tons of support from my amazing husband & family. Having my business means endless possibilities, but it also means that I’m responsible to make them happen (partly terrifying and partly exhilarating).

Evelyn Brill on Carolina Benoit Blog wearing please don't tell

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 Eve wears shorts, top and necklace from Please Don’t Tell Shop,

- CB: Any challenges before taking the leap?

EB: The biggest challenge has been stepping outside my comfort zone and trusting that I am “ready”… I am comfortable in the “getting ready” zone!businessgirlcrush1

wearing please don't tell shop in floral jumper and green shirtEve wears a top of her own, and a floral neon jumper by Please Don’t Tell Shop

- CB: How do you dream to see “mindful Mamas” in a couple of years?

EB: My dream is to open an entire integrative center for Mamas. I also love nutrition and health, so I want to find a way to integrate both passions – Keep your tabs on Mindful Mamas!

- CB: Any tips for women who want to have their own businesses?

EB: It’s a challenge to have it all – And mostly a myth, in my opinion. The key is to stay mindful of your situation and strive to create balance in your life. Starting a business is very exciting, but it’s very easy to lose yourself along the way. Make time for YOU. Go to that booty sculpting class, get a manicure, drink fine wine (or cheap tequila), dine with friends and most importantly, make time for your loved ones. Finding a perfect balance is nearly impossible, but the good news is, each days you have 1,440 minutes to do it all over again!

Eve, you nailed it! It is easy to get lost while working on your own business! Sometimes I catch myself working crazy hours, and not having time for anyone, including myself! Finding the time and balance is necessary to keep a healthy and creative mind!

miami bay yatch girl gorgeousEvelyn mendall brill wearing carolina benoit please don't tell shop in Miami bayEve wears our beautiful Japanese garden pants shoes of her own, and the Naomi Shirt by Please Don’t Tell Shop

- CB: What characteristic in children inspire you?

EB: They are brutally honest and have no filters! They call it as they see it, no bullshit. Period.

fashion blog carolina benoit

- CB: Any business girl crush of your own?

EB: Jessica Alba. Both regular girl crush and business girl crush. She launched The Honest Co. and I love anything it stand for.

- CB: Who is your hero in real life?

EB: I know this might sound cliché, but my grandparents are my heroes. They came from very humble upbringings, endured plenty of hardships and still managed to become rock stars in every aspect of life. They built everything I stand for today. But I have tons of heroes. Anyone who dedicates time to better humanity is my hero. Thankfully, that list is way to long to write. Anyone who has to fight to live is also my hero, unfortunately, that list is also too long to write.

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- CB: A tip for a new mom?

EB: You are going to “mess up“. A lot. And although you might freak out about that, I can tell you that those “mess-ups” are an important part of the journey for both you and your little one. Focus on building a strong connection and relationship bond with your newbie through reading their cues and responding to them as best you can. Also, make sure you set up your village to help you out! (You’d be surprised at how long you can go without showering or eating).

- CB: Now for the designer in me, why did you choose and elephant for your logo? I love elephants!

EB: Elephants have always had a special place in my heart. Their nurturing & protective nature makes them so in-tuned to their kin, which really connects with Mindful Mamas. Most importantly, they are matriarchs, and well… as we all know, girls run the world!

- CB: The best part of having your own business?

EB: Infinite coffee breaks

- CB The hardest part of being your own boss?

EB: Infinite coffee breaks!

- CB Now for the fun part! Describe your personal style:

EB: Edgy and feminine with a love of prints & colors.

- CB: Any last thoughts on mindful Mamas?

EB: I created these groups because I truly believe that parents cannot get enough support when it comes to doing the toughest job in the universe! There are basic techniques that can create a certain emotional climate in the home – And that is what really matters when it comes to shaping your child. Also, taking good care of your relationship with your child, because it is what will help them develop healthy future relationships and outlooks on the world. Mamas: Stand tall! You are rock stars!

businessgirlcrush12For this last look Eve wears our Naomi Dress in black, and our gold flat face bracelet

I have to say, her work is truly inspiring, specially as May is fast approaching and we have a day to think about all the amazing things mothers do for their children! Take a moment to visit her Facebook Page , and if you are in Miami and are a mother of a little one 0-5 think about joining her program (I would definitely join if I had a baby!)

At last, I have to thank Valerie Lopez from VLOPZ, her photography gets more gorgeous every day! And the newest addition to our team: Juliana Mesa – props and artistic design (she’s the girl behind all the books, balloons and objects on our shoot)

If you think you have what it takes to be featured on our business girl crush or would like to nominate someone email me: info(at)carolinabenoit(dot)com. Thank you for reading me!

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A Tour Inside My Home

I live in a small one bedroom apartment in Miami, which is starting to feel a little like New York (high rent and very high prices). The outside of the building is very Miami, white, modern with green windows, and although I love my city, I prefer the look of NYC Brownstones and Key West homes. I wanted to create my space in an unconventional way, filled with fun details and unique pieces that are very one of a kind! I’m still working on the kitchen and my bedroom, but will post photos of those later! Take a look inside my nest -

Every room needs its focal piece, in my living room it is the savaged wood console from India that I bought at One Kings Lane. its aqua tones give the room light and a touch of fun. I don’t own a TV on the living room, so I placed a gold mirror on top of it, 3 small ceramic pastel vases, and vintage books with a Pottery Barn clock for a whimsical feel.

Shabby Chic decorLibrary decor

We are big time readers, so our bookcase was starting to look really cluttered. I decided to limit myself, and place books in a harmonious way, thinking of colors that look good together, and balanced shelves that not only hold books but also items dear to us, like my wedding hanger,  a kaleidoscope Hen got for me in Barcelona, and our engagement picture. SONY DSCTalking about details, I absolutely love vintage at home! I bought this sewing book from the 1950′s and after my dear baby sister scribbled on its cover, I discovered that the beauty of this book was inside its pages, with quirky advice and fashion sketches. Now it sits open with its most beautiful page on display. SONY DSCMy work is still not done. I’m missing something above my sofa and haven’t been able to decide on a piece. A gallery full of pictures is not for my home – small space and big furniture can make it look easily cluttered – I’m thinking a simple industrial piece or non-conventional photograph will do. I went for a very comfy sofa in denim blue, because after all, denim really goes with everything! shabby chic industrial decorMy feminine decor can really get the best of my husband who thinks our home has too much pink and fashion details, so I choose the bookcase in an industrial sharp metal and our dinning table in a deep dark wood. In the future I want to change the chairs to industrial type or colorful leather. My salt a pepper elephants are a great conversation piece, as we love to entertain around this table. fifi lapin bookFor my coffee table I went for a fun and “touch me” feel. I have a good choice of books, like “What shall I wear today” and the “Alexander McQueen” face changing book, this gives the table a dynamic feel without feeling too crowded.how to decorate a coffee tablebohemian homecarolina benoit at homevintage style homehow to decorate tipsI think that your home should feel like your own, and I never buy things from only one store. I love to mix pieces, fall in love with them and make our house a reflection of ourselves! Sometimes it does feel like my personality is taking over the house, in that case I step back and let my husband take stuff out and re-decorate; designers can get a little too creative at times, like when I wanted to paint the kitchen black and use it as a chalkboard, or the time I wanted an uncomfortable duvet – it helps to have a voice of reason telling you it’s time to hang your designer hat and be practical.

Some people might love it some other will hate it, but at the end you are the one that has to sit on that sofa, eat at that table and look at that home everyday in the morning – so you better make it your own.

On a completely different note, my globe broke on a photo shoot! you can read about it on my Instagram feed; but at least I had time to write about it and take some gorgeous pictures!

Hope you enjoyed this little tour of my living room and dinning room! Have a happy weekend!

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A little Town Called Shuzenji

Arai ryokanThe town center at Shuzenyi, is colorful and cute! Very traditional and definitely completely different from Tokyo’s craziness and Kyoto glamour, but like every place in Japan, it has a strong identity.

SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSCAt our traditional Japanese hotel or Ryokan.SONY DSC

Above: Plum blossoms that smell like heaven! and below, at a shinto temple, fortune-telling wishes are given to people on small papers and when they don’t have a good message, people tie them like on the picture below, so they don’t become a reality. SONY DSCI’m slowly sharing pieces of my Japan trip, which I still get a little nostalgic about. I consider it the best trip of my entire life. I hope these photos inspire you to visit this beautiful, and in many ways untouched country!

After Hakone, we took a train to a quiet and very calm town called Shuzenyi. The town is famous for its iconic, Michelin star rated Arai Ryokan (traditional Japanese hotel) and for its hot springs which are all over the place. I honesty felt like the town was not for me, since it is very quiet and traditional, but looking back on the experience, it still makes me laugh to tears!

*** I wore a faux fur hat, a wool Sisley Cape, a dark green blouse by Maison Scotch, and a leather skirt from Please Don’t Tell Shop, Dotted stockings from J.crew and J.crew Booties, leather gloves from Barcelona***

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A Picnic At The Garden

 

 

Perfect bridal shower picnicpicnic ideas

Picnic fashion fans for a picnicJewelry for a picnicnail for wedding or bridal shower_MG_7159Mother and daughther picnicJcrew girls outfits for weddings_MG_7185I wanted to share with you pictures of my bachelorette party! Since I didn’t want a night of partying or the classic bachelorette stuff sold at party city, I decided to have  an afternoon picnic at the Fairchild Botanical garden (I can’t wear my Valentino skirt to a club, but definitely can pull it off on a glamorous garden) – Thankfully my friends accepted and enjoyed the picnic more than any night out, plus I got a chance to have my sisters, mom and grandma celebrating with me!

Here are the best tips for creating a queen worthy picnic with your friends:

1. Have everyone take one thing, whether its drinks, cake, finger food or plates, this will help you to be relaxed and not be overwhelmed by the planning.

2. Dress up! The fun part about outdoor picnics is that you can feel like a modern Marie Antoinette in gorgeous dresses and fun skirts! – plus have your insta-famous moments!

3. Make gifts for your friends for an instant picnic upgrade – I went for paper fans with a beautiful butterfly pattern, reminiscent of the Fairchild Butterfly garden. For a personal touch, I attached a tag with each one of the names and a personalized friendship note. My friends loved it and it came in handy, Miami can get a little hot outdoors!

4. Bug repellent is a must! If you want your friends to be happy and comfortable don’t forget this one! I never get stung by mosquitoes, but some of my friends were overwhelmed by this annoyance. Definitely pack this one in your purse and prevent annoying bugs!

5. Talking about forgetting something, don’t leave the wine bottle opener at home! I tend to forget the opener every time. Make this your top priority if you really love wine and cheese together on your picnic!

Spring is the perfect time to enjoy a a picnic with friends and a good bottle of wine, I hope these pictures inspire you for your next fashionable picnic!

* I wore: A re-designed Valentino dress, made into a skirt, a necklace from Please Don’t Tell Shop,  my favorite Denim shirt from Gap (seriously I wear this everyday, and need a new idea)*

My mom wears a T-shirt from Please Don’t Tell and a Gaultier Skirt.

On a different note: At this point before the wedding planning I was looking very tired! And after the wedding I had to do some serious skin recovery! Stay tuned for advice on how to rescue your skin after a lot of stress and sleep deprivation!

All the photos taken by VLOPZ photography. A special thank you to my friends for creating a dreamy picnic in honor of my bachelorette party.

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The Perfect Winter Getaway!

I know probably most of the country is desperate to leave the cold and start sipping margaritas on a distant beach, but for us living in Florida (or at least for me) the best vacations include coats, boots and warm drinks! That’s why, while choosing our honeymoon destination we decided a Japanese winter was the most romantic thing ever!

We spent a couple of days in Hakone, a town near Mount Fuji, with volcanic activity, Onsens (Japanese Hot Baths) and Lake Ashi, which will take your breath away. I specially loved the old railroad system, which zigzags inside the mountains and near rivers, until you arrive to this romantic and beautiful place full of nature.

Cold winter getawaytravel bloggerAt the railroad station

Japan Hakone Mount FujiFashion Blogger Cold Weather FashionFaux Fux Fashion ColdBlogger In JapanModest Fashion BloggerAt the top of the mountain…

Tznius FashionBehind you can see Lake Ashi. Sadly because of weather I never got a chance to see Mount Fuji. I specially loved the gloomy feeling created by the haze and volcanic activity.

Ps. Right before going to the mountaintop, make sure you grab a hot drink from the vending machine!!! It is really really cold!

I hope these photos inspire you to visit Hakone, it is truly a beautiful place, and if you are not a fan of the cold, the Japanese Onsens are worth the visit.

*** I wore: A faux fur coat from Please Don’t Tell, A vintage messenger bag, Handmade Spanish gloves, BCBG Boots, A Banana Republic Hat, and a Benetton Coat.***

 

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The Flower Power Trend

How to wear the flower maxi dress trendHow to wear a flower maxi dress if I have big hipsPanama hat, chambray shirts, the miami lookTips from a latina on how to wear an all over printI have been both blessed and haunted by my big hips and Latin tush my whole life, but that doesn’t mean I deprive myself from wearing a trend that I absolutely love. Spring 2014 biggest trend is the all over flower print. Blame it on Kim Kardashian at the Met Gala or at the laser printing technology that is creating realistic and sumptuous prints, this trend is here to stay.If you, like me, absolutely love this trend, but feel a little self-conscious when stepping out of the house looking like a botanical garden, here are some tips on how to rock this trend:

1. Consider your silhouette, since I have wide hips, I tend to choose skirts or dresses that are not skinny (cigarette style) Instead I opt for a straight or A-line look. If, for example, you are bustier, try cutting the print with a monochromatic jacket in a contrasting color.

2. Spanx, Spanx, Spanx. I never get tired of telling anyone I meet that Spanx is the greatest most amazing invention of all time. Not only it is super comfortable, it also keeps everything together and makes you body look perfectly balanced. The nude one double serves as lining for see through dresses or skirts.

3. Layer: Layering not only makes you look more stylish, it also helps to accent your silhouette, or hide anything you don’t love. The classics are: Cropped jackets, chambray shirts and vests. Try to add your personal style to each outfit. I can certainly claim that the front tied shirt is totally me!

Ps. After a long break I’m back to blogging and so happy to have a response from you guys <3 Thank you for keep reading me!

* I wore: My favorite Gap 1969 chambray shirt, A J.Crew Panama Hat and our Garden On Acid Dress from Please Don’t Tell Shop

 

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Tokyo – Please Take Me Back

 

Tokyo Vintagewinter fashionSONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC   SONY DSCSONY DSC Soy treatSONY DSC SONY DSCSONY DSC SONY DSCTokyo stole my heart, more than Paris, and just like New York. The lights, crowds of people and city life make my heart skip a beat! We started our day at the imperial palace, which is modest and simple for a palace! I mean, this is where the emperor lives! But as the guide said to me: “he’s an emperor, he doesn’t need to show he’s rich – it’s not Versailles” This thought stayed with me as a staple of Japanese thinking, the complete opposite of Miami!

After walking the city, we decided to split the tour and went to a small street next to the Asakusa temple called Nakamise. Full of stores that sell traditional Japanese candies, and souvenirs things like chopsticks and fans. Nakamise is great if you are into tasting new things and if you need to buy some gifts for the family.

We then went to see a very different part of the city – this is  what amazes me the most about Tokyo, one second you are at the most traditional temple, or seeing a person walking by wearing a kimono, the next second you are seeing a Lolita pass by wearing a fun costume and eating crepes! Harajuku is Lolita street, off course you won’t see a Lolita every second, but this is definitely where young people gather to shop, eat and have fun! I did some geeky shopping here and If you have a few days in Tokyo consider this one of the must see stops.

We finished the day in Shibuya, to witness the famous diagonal crossing that every Hollywood film set in Tokyo has featured; it was mind-blowing! I have never seen so many people cross the street in perfect harmony while creepy music plays on the background (oh yes! something amazing about Tokyo: music plays on every corner of the city, and no one is honking their cars, the city is very ethereal)

We stayed a day longer in Tokyo before exploring fully the rest of Japan, and I will be posting photos so stay tuned… Have you been to Tokyo? tell me your experiences! I’m definitely going back, it really stole my heart! PS. If there is a Japanese person reading this, please help me find the recipe for Kibidango sweets!

* I wore: BCBG Boots, Ted Baker Coat, H&M hat, Kate Spade Gloves and a Tiffany’s Bag*

(BTW this is my honeymoon so I’m sorry if the photos are not very blog-like and look very much like a family album!)

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Calle 8 Engagement Shoot

caro-hen-edited_1 caro-hen-edited_2 caro-hen-edited_3 caro-hen-edited_4 caro-hen-edited_6 caro-hen-edited_7 caro-hen-edited_5 caro-hen-edited_8 caro-hen-edited_9 caro-hen-edited_10 caro-hen-edited_11 caro-hen-editedTo celebrate my wedding and other love related things (like February) I wanted to share with you a very special something… My love story!

A couple of years ago I met this amazing young man who stole my heart in a second. He is smart, fun to be around, and funny! Here are some pictures by the very talented Vlopz Photography that symbolize our love, Miami and our baby: tutti.

We decided to take these pictures in Miami’s iconic Calle 8 and its most special places. The session started at Azucar Ice cream parlor, a symbol of all things sweet and Miami-like (Azucar sells ice cream flavors like avocado, champagne and abuelita tina) and judging by the long lines you should definitely have it on your “must-see” list when you visit Miami! If you don’t eat the Ice cream, the place is worth a visit, its floors, decor and outdoor look are totally “instagramable”, if that even qualifies as a word.

Across the street you can visit the classic domino park, where older Cubans and locals play domino, smoke cigars and talk about Fidel. There, for a small fee you can even rent some domino pieces and play.

We finished our day at Versailles Cafe, now this is really iconic! The inside is simply stunning and truly a Miami jewel, but if you really want a taste of the city, stand outside, ask for a shot of “colada” (although be aware, this can keep you up for hours) and listen to all the conversations (Spanish dictionary recommended).

I hope you loved the photos, and visit Miami or if you live here, share with us the special place that you love.

And about my outfit: I wore a J.crew hearts shirt and a skirt of my own design in tulle and silk, J.crew shoes and Heart Bobbi Brown Lipstick.

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Once Upon A Time

Ohhh Dear! The day of love is fast approaching and we created a gorgeous look-book so you can gather outfit inspiration that won’t break your bank!

carolinabenoit-valentines-dress floral dress dreamy miami spanish monastery Tapestry sequined dress: $110 CLICK HERE TO SHOP prayers well spanish momnastery miami please don't tell ethereal lace dress shop Lace Maxi Dress: $129.00 CLICK HERE TO SHOPlace dress carolina benoitRebelle Rebelle Headband $28.00 CLICK HERE TO SHOP

Tube Necklace $32.00 Click Here To Shop

valentines day outfits romanticplease dont tell bow blouseBow blouse in gold chiffon (pre order )

Flower organza dress $79.00 CLICK HERE TO SHOPleather neckline blousebox clutch lace blackLace lucite clutch $75.00 CLICK HERE TO SHOPplease dont tell shop and carolina benoitLaser cut blouse $52.00 CLICK HERE TO SHOP

Wool Shorts $43.00 CLICK HERE TO SHOPblack shorts with pocket embelishment woolbrown door romantic photoshoot cheap polka dot dress Polka Dot Dress $54.00 CLICK HERE TO SHOP

Bow belt, available to pre-order rose gold necklace cheap Birds Necklace $56.00 CLICK HERE TO SHOPbow belt cheap skirts modestfloral earrings Marie Antoinette Earrings $15.00 CLICK HERE TO SHOPpleated bow skirt black blouse cheap please dont tell shopPleated Bow Skirt $48.00 CLICK HERE TO SHOP

Pleated black blouse (available in white and blue) $55.00 CLICK HERE TO SHOP

All photos by the very talented VLOPZ Photography, Model: Lauren Arboleda from Food From The Heart. A very special thank you to both! Photos taken at the Spanish Monastery

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And The Winner Is…

Organized MakeupFirst of all, a big thank you to all of you who entered the giveaway! And thank you Face By Rochi, Vlopz Photography and Bobbi Brown for making it happen!

We have two winners for our giveaway chosen through Rafflecopter:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The winners are:

M.J MOORE: Extreme Party Mascara – Liked Carolina Benoit on Facebook

JUAN S. ALEMAN: Classic Lip Palette – Left a blog post comment.

Congrats to our two winners!!! Please reply by January 28 to: info(at)carolinabenoit.com with your full mailing address. If there is no reply by that date, we will re-shuffle the giveaway and choose a new winner.

Have a lovely Sunday!

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