Thrown by Florida Rock Stars, the South Dade Food & Country Festival brings national and local acts together for an afternoon and evening of country music. The event helps raise funds and awareness for Thinking of You Services, a local veterans support organization. As the community rallies around them, all visiting veterans will receive a certificate of recognition with special commendations from the mayors of Palmetto Bay and Cutler Bay.
Before the landmark age of 5, children's teensy brains soak up knowledge at a rate unmatched during any other period of development. Starting Ahead Academy takes full advantage of these crucial years, packing preschoolers' heads with knowledge according to the Opening the World of Learning (OWL) and HighScope curriculums. OWL springs from the philosophy that the entirety of a child's day impacts his or her learning. So each component of the day—that is, the environment and interactions—must be approached as a learning experience. The HighScope curriculum, on the other hand, focuses strictly on the rapport between children and adults, coupled with a learning process of planning, doing, and then reviewing.
As a young girl, Monica Castillo was walking home when she realized she was being followed by a neighborhood cat, which then waited outside her house until she reemerged. The cat, a feral stray, allowed her to pet him, and eventually, adopt him. Monica’s mother, Francie, recounts this tale often, claiming that after this experience, Monica declared emphatically that she wanted to be a "doggy doctor," and never strayed from that path. After immersing herself in volunteer work, Monica attended school to become veterinary tech, a title she has held for the past four-and-a-half years. In 2011, the mother-daughter team opened Pepe Le Pooche Resort & Spa to better prepare Monica for her continuing education in veterinary school and to care for animals with kind attention and respect for their needs."Dogs know when they are being treated well," says Francie. To this end, she surrounds herself with staff members who were raised by animals or just have an affinity for them. Le Salon and Spa at Pepe Le Pooche hosts a crew of groomers who all hold certifications and have experience working around the particulars of different breeds, such as which prefer the scissors over a comb and which relish well-groomed mohawks and hair dye, upon request. Pepe Le Pooche's onsite boarding and daycare facilities are cage-free, meaning dogs have free rein of play areas for most of the day, and hunker down in 1 of 10 large suites at night. Staff members stay on watch around the clock to ensure pets’ safety and play classical music to keep them calm. The resort does not have the capacity to board felines, but they are welcome to stay for daycare. The crew also plans all aspects of dog parties, from procuring the cake to hosting a blowout bash complete with party favors.
When he’s not lavishly decorating the homes of famous friends such as Sylvester Stallone, Lil’ Wayne, and Jose Canesco, Anwar Zayden applies his meticulous designer’s eye to the projects of his clientele at Art Express Miami. At his on-site, full-service factory, Anwar and his team preserve prints, diplomas, and photos within 30 minutes with customized framing, or craft shadow boxes to showcase 3D items from plaques to swords. His in-home consultations help homeowners design and install new decorations within 48 hours, and his custom-made mirrors spruce up abodes with reflective surfaces that remind you you’re the fairest of them all even when you don’t ask. Inside Art Express Miami’s gallery, Anwar also stocks pre-framed pieces of decorative art that run the gamut from classical portraits to contemporary abstract canvases.
The Joint's expert chefs revamp dietary staples into cleverly devised comestibles, satiating culinary curiosity within a sports pub setting. The menu packs more surprises than a magician's airline luggage, featuring delectable fare such as the Mahi tacos ($10.99) or the Joint pizza ($11.99 for a 10"), which coats a crispy, cheesy circumference with grilled chicken, bacon, goat cheese, and mozzarella drizzled in truffle oil. Buns halt the outward expansion of toppings bent on plate domination, blockading the fried eggs and applewood-smoked bacon of the Hangover burger ($10.99) or the peanut butter, fried plantains, bacon, and marshmallow fluff that compose the Crazy Elvis burger ($10.99).