Archive for April, 2012

With less than six weeks to go, I am gearing up by developing last-minute design ideas and putting finishing touches on the rest of the line for our debut at Caribbean Fashion Week (CFW) this summer! CFW offers the opportunity for designers to showcase their talents and to network with local and international people within the fashion industry.  Although I have participated in runway shows before, I have never participated in something of this calibre. Though overwhelming as it may be at times, I have to admit I am also very excited to show my work on such a big stage. My collection at CFW 2012 will be fun and very exciting. We will display 18 swimwear pieces along with accessories and beach wear that make up our Exhibela collection. Included in that collection is one of pieces from the Eco-Syiim group, that is made from environmentally friendly fabric.

This is just the beginning of a beautiful line, and I hope to use the CFW platform to grow the fan base of Syiim and display the fun, quality product we have to offer. If you’re not a fan of Syiim, I hope to make you one soon. If you already are, look out for us at Caribbean Fashion Week this June. Follow us on our blog and Facebook page for updates and giveaways to celebrate the launch!




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This is Cuba! A photographer’s dream. A culture junkie’s fix. This picture perfect island is located in Central America between Bahamas and Jamaica, some 90 miles south of Miami. Considered the largest Caribbean Island, Cuba has dramatic mountainous landscapes, dozens of miles of the world’s finest beaches with crystal clear waters and blinding white sand. It is a beautiful paradise with an amazing variety of flora and fauna as well as cultural and historical sites and activities. Despite the restrictions American citizens face with travel to the island, with everything Cuba has to offer it’s easy to see why tourism there is booming and attracting millions of visitors from different corners of the world every year.
Cuba is divided into 14 provinces, the most popular being Guantanamo, Ciudad de La Habana,  La Habana, Santiago de Cuba and Matanzas. Cuba can be visited all year-round.  The island enjoys a hot sub-tropical climate with average temperatures of 22-25 Celsius degrees in summer. There are two main seasons: the dry season runs from November through April, and the rainy season is between May and October.

Cuba is a melting pot of different cultures and races that reflect influences of the Spanish culture and African traditions. People in Cuba are warm-hearted and friendly, lively and expressive, and eager to share their culture with tourists who visit.  Cubans thoroughly enjoy popular forms of music and dance, including salsa and the cha-cha-cha which originated in Cuba. Cubans are also very enthusiastic about sports and other activities, baseball and boxing being amongst the most popular.

Attractions and Activities

Whether it’s your first visit or not, you will always find new adventures and activities to explore. Cuba has a lot to offer and provide the ideal vacations whether it be for singles, couples or families. If you’re in search of turquoise seas, pristine, glistening beaches, white sandy beaches, and a full contingent of water sports, including diving, snorkeling, sailing, cruising or fishing, Cuba is one of the best Caribbean treasures to explore.

Havana is Cuba’s vibrant capital and the leading cultural centre, boasting colonial style architecture and old hotels. Havana dazzles tourists with its beautiful sights, landmarks, museums and parks and is also the top getaways for shopping and eating in Cuba. Top attractions in Havana include the Decorative Arts National Museum, Cafe Cantante Mi Habana, and the Jose Marti Monument and Colon Cemetery, which artistic values make it one of the most important cemeteries in the world.

Manufactured very similar to the old and traditional art of cigar making, Cuban cigars are surely to taste one of life’s most generous luxuries. There are factories in Havana where visitors can see cigars still rolled by hand.  Havana cigars are tightly rolled bundles of dried tobacco, one end of which is always ignited so that its smoke may be drawn into the smoker’s mouth and lungs. This key aspect is the difference between a quality product and a knock-off, so avoid buying them from people off the street.

For the art history lovers, Cuban museums are filled with a lot of culture and history and exhibit striking collections of fine arts, natural sciences, antique weapons, etc. The best known museums are Museum of the City (Museo de la Ciudad) and National Fine Arts Museum (Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes), the former boasting several exhibits relating to archaeology, paintings and furniture of historic value, and the latter, the largest collection of Cuban plastic art and others.

Cuban Beaches are simply some of the best in the world. Most beaches are home to high-end beach resorts with pools, game rooms and fitness centers and an excess of land and water sports. Some of the best beaches include Verdadero Beach, where paradise meets adventure. It has fine restaurants, bars, museums, amusement parks night clubs and cabarets. Playa Sirena is the ideal for water enthusiasts, including incredible scuba diving and snorkeling experiences, swimming, fishing, kayaking and windsurfing. There are two cays that feature good deep wall dives with a variety of soft and hard corals and a multitude of marine habitats. Apart from water sports, other activities you can engage in are jungle hiking in the rainforest, mountain biking, yacht cruising, canopy viewing, birding, river tubing, caving and much more.

More than you’d Expect

Despite the general assumption that Cuba is stuck in time, accommodation options in Cuba vary, giving you choice from all-inclusive hotels, honeymoon hotels, golf hotels, historic hotels, business and events hotels, family hotels, self-catering hotels, countryside hotels, city centre hotels and much more. Nearly all hotels feature the ultimate in convenience, service and luxury.

Hotel Santa Isabel is a boutique hotel, perfectly located in Old Havana, and is considered the most elite hotel in Havana. This fabulous hotel features 17 standard rooms with colonial-style furniture and with modern amenities, like air-conditioning, private balcony or terrace overlooking the Plaza de Armas (the cities most enticing square), Jacuzzi, mini bar, room service, telephone and cable TV, and 9 major spacious and welcoming suites. The five-star hotel features an excellent restaurant with fine culinary options and rooftop private patio.

Paradisus Princesa del Mar Resort & Spa is an ideal example of beach resort offering maximum comfort for an unparalleled experience. This all-inclusive adult-only resort is located Verdadero beach and is ideal for weddings & honeymoons combo trips. Housing 434 elegantly appointed rooms in different categories featuring cozy ambience, and equipped with modern amenities and facilities. The resort boasts fine varied dining options, round-the-clock activities, private cocktail party, and 24-hour service. Recreation facilities include land sports and water sports.

Cuba also has popular chain hotels that such as the Sandals Royal Hicacos Resort & Spa. A five-star all-suite hotel boasting the utmost in elegance and the highest level of luxury in romantic surroundings for couples, this resort hosts 404 chic decorated suites,  5 restaurants serving an international menu, Caribbean, Italian and Seafood cuisine, 5 bars, three elegantly designed swimming pools, 4 jacuzzis, fully equipped fitness centre, sauna and steam room, several whirlpools, night club, as well as European Spa and beauty salon.

Known as the ‘Pearl of the Antilles’, Cuba is a Caribbean treasure waiting to be explored.

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We are at 50%!

We are half way there!!  Thanks so much to all who have pledged thus far. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the support!

We are three weeks away from the goal deadline and have been raised 50%. The final touches are being put onto the collection and we are excited about showing at Caribbean Fashion Week which is less than 2 months away!!

We have 25 days to raise the remaining 50%. Thanks again to those who have shown support! And if you haven’t already,  please pass along this project on to anyone you know that may be interested in checking it out. Spreading the word is so important in building funding. It’s that thin line between successful and unsuccessful funding. And again, no amount is too small!

Syiim’s Kickstarter Campaign at

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We ♥ giveways! And even more we love giveaways with jewelry. To celebrate our newly launched blog ‘Syiim BYOB’, Syiim swimwear is teaming up with Verse Jewelry and giving one lucky reader a Syiim multi-use sarong and the Luck turquoise clover necklace from Verse jewelry (winner can choose between silver or gold chain, and pink/white or pink/yellow sarong).

Our friends at Verse Jewelry offer a collection of  handcrafted jewelry with an array of luminous gemstones, polished charms and vintage finds.”The inspired designs of Verse Jewelry honor the many facets of each woman’s personality. It is the individual’s interpretation of style that makes each piece truly unique. Designer Kara Firstenberger loves the many reasons we all wear jewelry… whether it be tradition, sentimentality or simply because it makes a t-shirt and jeans feel undeniably glamorous!”

All you have to do is hit “Like” and become fans of both Syiim Swimwear and Verse Jewelry Facebook pages and then leave us a comment here at BYOB, telling us where you plan to wear your new sarong and necklace. Winner will be picked randomly and announced on April 23rd.

In addition, just for reading our blog, Verse Jewelry is giving a 15% discount throughout the month of April. Visit the Verse Jewelry online store and enter code SYIIM15 at checkout. Good luck! ♥

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  • Facebook is not affiliated with nor endorses this giveaway in any way or form
  • Must be 18 years and older to enter

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Everyone wants their favorite bikini to last longer. Here are 5 easy steps to follow to maintain your beloved purchase. Whether you spend 50 or 500 dollars on a swimsuit,  taking care of your swimwear the right way is completely fundamental to  its longevity. Disregard the washing and care instructions found on the inside tags almost always leads to the wearer’s disappointment and/or   dissatisfaction. Follow these steps and you’ll be able to enjoy your  beautiful swimwear for many years to come.

  1. Start with a good quality swimsuit like Syiim and know that Chlorine & chemicals can ruin your swimwear. Chlorine and chemicals found in pools and hot tubs are extremely harmful to swimsuits. Excessive amount of chlorine can break down the spandex of the swimwear, and can  accelerate fading of the fabric. So alternate swimsuits. Try and give your swimsuit 24 hours to dry before reusing. You can also purchase swimwear with a higher spandex content or that are Chlorine resistant.
  2. Never wash your swimsuit in a washing machine. Plain water doesn’t remove chlorine or salt so use a mild soap to wash swimsuit after every use. Although your washing machine may be set to cycle gently, it could still  be way too rough. Washing machines can ruin the shape, fabric, embellishments and  padding, as well as any delicate embellishments, stones, or beading.  Therefore wash your swimwear by hand in cold water; warm water is  acceptable too. Do not wring or twist to dry.
  3. Never dry your swimsuit in direct sunlight or in a dryer. Similar to electric washing machines, electric dryers can be too rough  for the fragile material of swimwear. In a shaded and well ventilated  area, lay your swimsuit flat out to dry. By laying it flat, you will  diminish the appearance of wrinkles and creases.
  4. Steer clear of rough surfaces. Be careful where you sit, lean or lay. Pool sides are rough so you don’t slip. It may not feel rough to the touch but it will run and pick the bottom of your suit or the front if your leaning over the edge. Take the extra second to sit or lay on a towel. Your bathing suit will last longer and you’ll be happier.
  5. Avoid getting excess lotions and oils on your swimwear.  Sunscreen, tanning oils, and cosmetics can be harmful to swimsuits. The combination of sun and chemicals from the water makes your suit wear out quicker, so use a towel to remove excess lotions and oils.

An extra fun tip: If swimming comes sunbathing, when possible do not sit for long in a wet swimsuit. Change into a dry swimsuit when possible.



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It’s Happy Hour, here and well somewhere… Try whipping up this little cocktail, close your eyes and sail away to Paradise…well if you aren’t already there!


1 ½ oz. Appleton Estate Rum

  •  3 oz. POG Juice
  •  ½ oz. curaçao
  •  ½ oz. Goombay Punch
  •  Few dashes Angostura Bitters
  •  Rhum Barbancourt float
  •  Lime wedge or orange slice, for garnish
  •  Ice


  1. Combine the Appleton Estate rum, POG juice, curaçao, and bitters in a cocktail shaker over ice.
  2. Shake and strain into an ice-filled glass.
  3. Top with the Goombay punch, a splash of Rhum Barbancourt, and a spritz of lime.
  4. Garnish. Serve. Sip!

Makes 1 cocktail.

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You can now own a little piece of paradise! The Pink Pearl Island, which is actually a cay, is a 2 acre private tropical island. One of the seven pearl cays on the coast of Nicaragua. With a Caribbean and Spanish mixed culture, turquoise waters and white sandy beaches this is most definitely a hidden paradise.

Pink Pearl Island is situated approximately 3 miles off of mainland Nicaragua’s Caribbean Coast,and is currently operating as a turnkey tourism business, or personal retreat. The island can be reached by boat from Bluefields or Corn Island airports within 2 hours, and is approximately 35 minutes from the nearest town. You can also charter helicopters but boat is usually preferred. With this purchase you would actually be buying the island, resort included.

The two-storey circular main house, situated in the middle of the island is equipped with a kitchen, shower rooms and a washing machine. There is a wrap around balcony upstairs that has a 360-degree view of the island. Accommodations include three round-thatched cabanas, each with two double beds, ocean views and private bathroom inside. There is also a ‘Fisherman style’ shack, with shower room which contains 4 bunk beds  and sleeps up to 8 people.

Bar/restaurant, called ‘Coconut Ice’ , which I’d rename if I were to purchase, includes a small kitchen area with freezer, bamboo tables and chairs. There is a workers’ cabin which has kitchen and bedroom space, a generator hut with a 5500w generator, a heart-shaped swimming pool with fresh water pump and night-light, cable TV and telephone service, and a pier placed at the front of the island to dock boats. And if that wasn’t enough, included in the sale is the 25 feet – 150 horse power Yamaha engine “Black Pearl” (I’d keep the name), speedboat for fast and convenient transport. Topping it off, there are NO mosquitoes or sand-flies on this island.

All this goes for $500,000 US dollars.  That will get you a 700sq ft studio in Manhattan.  When you look at it that way, this is a steal to be able to own paradise! Paradise and a Syiim bikini… could it get any more perfect ? 😉

photos from  For more photos visit

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