Friday, December 19, 2014

Ugly Christmas Sweater Action... and Other Fabulous Christmas Cheer! {TV Segment}







I'm wondering when the ugly Christmas sweater became so infamous. It's ubiquitous and we just can't seem to get enough of the cheesy garment everyone loves to rock during the holidays. Bubble gum pink sweaters with reindeer antler and bells? Or how about the outdated red colored ones with fake grass and snow flakes permeating the front of the sweater? Yeah, those exist. Even Jimmy Fallon is taking advantage of their popularity! He's been giving them away on his Late Night show this past week. And I've been loving it!

I thought it'd be super fitting to rock one on my my latest TV spot, where I'd be featuring some of my favorite gifts to treat your loved ones to. I admittedly have no sense of humor but I've been in need of injecting some kind of funny in my bones. I knew my mom had a few of these ugly things so I went begging. And bless her heart... she spent a few hours sifting through boxes and boxes of her vintage stuff just to find one for me to wear. And, golden was the moment when the ugliest thing emerged from her closet. I got so excited!

But, it was a size large. The thing was already hideous, so a large would look even more ridiculous. I was so convinced I wanted to wear it, I had her take it in on the side and arms just to make it look a bit more presentable. At least for the camera.

I think the sweater was more of a hit than my fabulous Missoni pumps (paired with classic but edgy fishnets, no less!)... Though the small frames on each side were fun and festive, there's no way that sweater could have been well-received by anyone on your list! My mom loves it and has sworn to wearing it next week.

But, you be judge! Here's the holiday gift segment which aired yesterday on ABC Action News "Positively Tampa Bay!" And, I hope you love the items I featured, mostly my lovely new bags from L & Sons!

Check out more fabulous ideas from the brands I featured on their websites:

CBHerrera.com
JamJewels.com
LandSons.com
OliveandCocoa.com
TampaSoy.com

Happy HanukkahMerry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa and a lovely holiday season to you!

Wearing:

Zara skirt, Missoni pumps, vintage Christmas sweater, bracelets by C.B. Herrera and Jam Jewels. 

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

B! Inspired Luxe Holiday Gift Guide, 2014


It's that time of year! We're merry, eating well, lighting our home with pretty décor, decking the tree, baking cookies for our neighbors, and checking out the sales, checking off our lists, and wrapping.

I've been so wonderfully busy working, mostly away from my home and office that I've not had much time at all to think about the tokens of appreciation and love I want to get for my family and closest friends. But in keeping with annual tradition of curating some of my favorite things or anyone in your life, I set to making the B! Inspired Luxe Gift Guide, happen! Last year's issue, shared here, was my first digital guide, so I've been really excited to share this one.

And while I wish I had given myself a lot more time to peruse, test, review, and decide on the best things for the discriminating person (because a month is just not enough!), I'm so glad I used the time away in Europe to inspire some of my findings.

From opulent gold accents for the home to high end flying objects for the guy in your life, and $700 gold tip booties for us, I mean mom, I hope you'll love what I've come up... your loved one will grin from ear to ear. I love every section, truthfully, but I love most sharing with you the things I use a lot! Like the L'Occitane products. Perhaps it's because I have a crazy affair with all things France... or just because they're Provencal ingredients are spectacular. They really have something for everyone. And of course,  since I travel 70% of the time, everything from the Wanderlust Life section excites me! Especially the black label Samsonite suite case. Oh, and the SOL Republic wireless earphones. Those things let me sleep real, real well on my 9 hour flight home from Brussels. I don't travel without anymore!

This season is about giving. But! If you have the urge to pick up something for yourself, don't feel bad! Sometimes we have to take care of ourselves just as much.

Tis the season to spread love and cheer! Remember to give and share time with those less fortunate than us! The true joy is in giving, not receiving.




Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa and a lovely holiday season to you!


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List of Retailers: 

Avon.com
Barneys.com
LGeorgeDesigns.com
Loccitane.com
Sephora.com
RadioShack.com
Nordstrom.com
Maille.com
LePalaisdesThe.us.com
Goat.com
Sensse.com
Anthropologie.com
JosABank.com
Zara.com
Bluefly.com
LeatherGlovesOnline.com
BergdorfGoodman.com
Orico.com
FarmhouseFresh.com
TimetoSpa.com
Lancome.com
ArtistryBeauty.com
KitchenAid.com
BarnesandNoble.com
DWR.com
OliveandCocoa.com
WilliamsSonoma.com
Samsonite.com
Houzze.com
TampaSoy.com
TheFrencyBee.com
iCanvas.com
Horchow.com
Amazon.com
BeatrizBall.com
Bestbuy.com
Macys.com
iRobot.com
DJI.com
Nest.com
BandH.com
Newegg.com
Target.com
Bloomingdales.com
TripleAughtDesign.com
NeimanMarcus.com
OfficeDepot.com
TimBuk2.com

CORRECTION:

*The Maille boutique in NYC is located at 185 Columbus Ave, (Columbus Ave and 68th street); and not Columbus Circle.




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Thursday, December 04, 2014

Avon, Reinvented


Affordable skincare. 
My upgraded Mark Swarovski barrel pendant on C.B. Herrera crystal necklace

Our "Avon Lady" has been MIA for over 5 years now. I know her quite well.... I went to school with her kids. Up until recently, she'd make her monthly visit to my mom's house and offer up her inventory from the global beauty catalog brand. I've not missed her presence so much thanks to the new cult image Avon's going on. Have you seen?

The brand has always been known for affordable beauty basics. And aren't we all familiar with mom and abuela's vintage jewelry -- like the classic owl pill case/brooch -- they kept so well maintained in their original packaging? I have the owl in my robust pin collection. No lie. I've not worn that little guy in forever, but I may allow him to make a cameo.

It's now 2014 and their presence is just as strong if not bolder. Their jewelry now has a name "Mark," appealing to young, sassy women looking for trendy pieces at affordable prices. Who knows... those pieces may be our daughters' coveted collectibles in 20 years. I'm not into trendy trends, so I found a way around their super cute Swarovski barrel from their late Summer collection. I took full advantage of my mom's jewelry studio and made a dainty graduated Swarovski necklace to swap for that lanky chain it came with. It's dressier, classier, but distinguishably Mark. For $50, I have a stunning piece I can wear with most anything.

For beauty enthusiasts wanting to be in the know of all things new and fabulous, their Anew Vitale skincare collection is designed to refresh and revive our skin. I've not tried it out yet but it's received some commendable reviews, especially for daily cleansing and eye depuffing (I'm still looking for the magic cream for dark circles -- though an increase in water intake has helped). My favorite though, remains to be their Skin So Soft body oil (I still have vintage bottles) and their new Haiku perfume which I wore most of late summer. It's the perfect scent for simple every day use. It's not what you want to wear on your first date or a black tie gala -- I'm more for classic scents like Jo Malone (hello, Basil) or Chanel, for those occasions -- but it's so pretty for a bit of dabbing in the morning or Sunday brunch with the girls.

And their lipsticks. Let's talk about that. I won't lie here. I keep one in my car drivers' door pocket. and swear by that tube. It's the perfect color (raisin or something like that) for when I forget my makeup bag -- which happens more often than I care  --- since my two "don't leave home without" prods are gloss/lipstick and mascara. And, unlike most brands claiming to stay on all day, I've had super fab success with their tints having enough pigmentation and strength to stay on at least 5 hours. Coffee and all.

Since their brand is pretty much all things feminine and basic necessity (with some fashion thrown in there), they've got something for vegan lovers and budget conscious. Their latest tote is a carry all suited for all the holiday and Christmas shopping we're doing. Compartments were the best thing invented in handbags. Lost keys and cell phones during an already stressed shopping environment is enough to make me stop for coffee ... in the mall... and who has time for that?!

Avon, reinvented. Gotta love classic all American brands that support small biz owners. Give your local Avon Lady a call and bring her some sales this holiday! There's something for everyone. I'm sure of it!

WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE VINTAGE AVON PRODUCT?!

I love this little guy...via Etsy!


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Tuesday, December 02, 2014

B Chic! With These Fall 2014 Hat Trends

I had a moment this morning. I woke up thinking about my lifelong hat obsession. I started wearing them when I was 3 or so and have since then become a collector  of the head accessory. From flapper style from the 30s, to traditional church hats, to cocktail pill boxes, to masculine fedoras, and my mom's hand knit collection, I have a hat for everything. There was a time I had over 200 styles. And wore them all. I talked about it in this post with great passion! I've scaled back in the last 2 years but only because my hairstyle is changing and evolving. And if you know hats, you know you can't rock a hat with every hair style. Fortunately, I've got a hat head, so I've been able to get away with just about any style. 

And while my hair is the shortest it's been in almost 20 years, I'm committed to rocking my hats the way I love and used to. I was known as the "hat queen" about 10 years ago. I want that name back! 

Here are some classic and haute styles en trend this season as seen on tons of runways during fall fashion week; all of which we can don this fall. There's something for everyone. If you don't have a hat head or the guts (especially the big crowd attention grabbers -- the 15" fedoras and such) to pull off a larger than life brim, there's a topper for you. Even if it's a pretty knit one for every day wear. Sass it up. Make it yours. 

THE BERET

The quintessential French hat. I was just in Paris two weeks ago and noticed ubiquitous this ultra chic hat is still worn. Woman and young girls make this their uniform. And somehow, they make it work with everything from pant suits with a crisp white collar shirt to jeans and fabulous wedge sneakers. If you're on the edgier side, opt for a sequin one. Don't forget to droop it to the side. It's modern swag. Or the way it's always been done. 

Rodarte F/W '14

THE CONE 

This is definitely for the bold-hearted. It doesn't go with everything nor does it belong on your "grab and go" hat stash. Reserver it for big days where you don't want to play dress up. Let this sky high fashion forward style carry the entire look. Colours like chartreuse are pretty but subtle enough to draw the right kind of attention. Long hair or oval-shaped faces look great in this topper. However you wear your hair, just don't be afraid to get the some stares. It's inevitable. Some cities in the US just aren't ready for this fabulous style. Carry on.

Tia Cibani F/W '14
FUR

I get it's not for everyone, but fur hats are the epitome of high fashion, glamour and luxury. I personally love the few I have and don't mind the crazy warmth they give. Old vintage styles were demure and paid attention to simplicity while modern design add extra oomph with ear flaps and extra large sizes, towering up to 6". In all their glamour, they are a staple in any fall wardrobe. Lanvin's '14/'15 runway show exemplified their trend by fusing furry accents into other styles. No matter how much of it, the fur trend is here to stay. 


KNITWEAR

This is the IT hat for anyone and everyone. Wether your'e into the fancy, feathered out styles or the more basic everyday ones, these are super easy to wear. Beanies, triangle types, flirty pompoms or slouchy looks snowboarders have popularized, knits are the basic basic. Consider it a starters'  hat. Totally effortless. Chic. No fuss. 


CLOCHE

Channel your inner Downton Abbey character with a well-designed cloche. This is classy at its best. The all Americana vintage style never goes out of style and offers a level of femininity few other styles do. As with most hats, let it speak for itself. No need to adorn yourself with much more. It's a beautiful statement piece. And in cream... it's screaming, "timeless!"

Via Etsy

BRIGHT AND STRUCTURED

Fret not the bold look. The juxtaposition of  structured and bright just work. It completes an already beautiful look. This woven Marni hat, with its close resemblance to the famed Russian fur topper, is all about confidence and boardroom chic. 

Miroslava Duma in Marni hat
 FEDORA

A fur felt fedora can be a girl's best friend all season long. A  causal or structure fedora will you your look a punch. It's that masculine touch we're all attracted to. It's a bold hat without being too dressy or laxidazy. Take a chunky knit swear or a light blouse with some skinny jeans and accessorize with a neutral fedora. Lotus green works too well with any outfit. It'll spice up any everyday look. I wear mine when I just feel like a fantastic accessory. It never fails me.  

Eric Javits fedora via Saks Fifth Avenue

Ronja Furrer for Vogue

BASIC FLOPPY

A bit over-styled here, but the boho look is perfect for the floppy hat. It's so fabulously 70s. And so fabulously feminine. If you had to ask, it's probably the most beloved modern day hat. It's sexy, glam, and just all around perfect.  Maxi skirts work best with the iconic hat.  For fall, a fur felt or wool in neutral colors like cream, burnt orange, black,  or gray will go a long way. Go all the way glam or boho chic. 

Blogger featured in Vogue Italia

What's your hat style?! What are you loving on this fall?! 

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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Best to Travel With For Long Trips {A Continuing Learning Experience, Part I}






I do this to myself every time I get ready to travel: I pack, unpack, repack, analyze, unpack, repack. And somehow,  I always end up with a ludicrous amount of extra baggage I never needed. It just doesn't fail.

On a recent trip to St. Thomas, I thought I was doing super-well when I managed to get everything in a carry on. Everything for 5 days, including a laptop, my digital camera, all of my toiletries, 3 hats, 2 sunglasses and a crazy number of shoes. I was so excited. So proud. I had finally conquered that need to take everything and more.

But, it was the islands. And the weather was hot. I didn't need much.

So perhaps, not a practical success; more of a personal victory.

But I'm now in Europe, traveling through the continent and totally regretting not having edited down my traveling wardrobe. I have only worn 60% of my packings, though I've committed to wearing each pari of shoes for the sake of not feeling like a complete tool for bringing so much. And even more disappointing is that I've only needed 20% of my toiletries and makeup. So even though I brought three (and more) of everything, I have managed so far to stick to a few that have just worked marvelously every day, no matter the weather (because as you can imagine, every city has dished out something wildly different) or occasion! And that minimized the amount of times I mulled over which products to use.

So now that I consider myself graduated from the school of proper packing for extended travel, I'm going go share what are the perfect essentials to travel with which allow you to get by for a month! It'll free you from over-packing and being that weighted bag lady!

TRAVEL ON!

BEAUTY EFFECTS

Facial wash: This is the only thing I don't bring in travel size because with all the walking around and exposure to the elements, I figure I'd be washing my face a few times a day... I didn't picture it but Aveeno's Skin Brilliance skin brightening wash is glorious with its super smooth feel and gold sparkle.

Toner: A small bottle could do tho I ran out last week! I typically keep Artistry Beauty's travel size stocked up but it's so good I go through it too fast. Set the face for everything that's too come.

Moisturizer/SPF 50: A must-have no matter where you go! Keeps you protected from the sun even tho it could be cloudy. I've been swearing by Artistry Beauty's Ideal Radiance SPF 50 from their latest skincare collection. It offers great protection and a great base before applying my makeup without that cake-y white opaque look others do.

Skin Smoother: This is something relatively new in my regimen and I'm now swearing by it. After I apply my SPF, I run a quick layer of L'Oreal's Youth Code Texture Perfector to give me a super- supple effect. Next to their Miracle Blur gel, this is everything! This is the regular size and fits your ziplock bag if you're forced to put everything in one of those.

CC or BB: This isn't totally necessary but it's been extremely helpful when I want to go super-light on makeup. Peter Thomas Roth's CC cream has been magical! It's given me a great even toned layer before a bit of blush. Even after the SPF and Code Perfector, it's still light enough to not feel over done. I skip pressed powder when I use this yummy stuff. The travel size is enough for a month! A bit a day will go a long way!

Night Face Oil: I can't get enough of Orico London's Superico Face Oil! I need supersize bottle of this stuff! This is now my 3rd bottle. I use it only at night to revive my pores after a super-long and stressful day of moving around so much! It's like butter on your face! And it smells like the best spa you could ever be treated in. Its $43 but so worth the effect. I've written about it here and here Treat yourself to this. You will not be disappointed.AT.ALL.

Eye Cream: Only necessary if you're moving 100 miles a minute and traveling to 5 countries. Your eyes will show the tiredness. A light but effective eye creme will revive the happy look.

Travel Size Perfume: Because I'll never make the mistake of carrying a full size bottle of my favorite perfume again. I did that in 2006-- and left a $300 bag full of makeup on the plane in Nice, France. I learned my lesson good and well. Little sample tubes are perfect! Plus, they don't occupy space or add on weight. Take three: one for day, one for night, and one to switch it up. Jo Malone is ideal.

Hair Elixir: Matrix has you covered. Curly, straight, textured, or processed hair is in good hands with their Exquisite hair oil. This isn't a travel size but it's such an essential to keep your hair looking bright during the stress of on and off planes, trains, cabs, hotels, apartments, etc... Not to mention the changing climates! Trust me on this one. It's almost like having a little bit of gold in a bottle! A smaller bottle would have been better but they didn't have one. SO.... you know I did bring a 2nd option, better sized, but it just hasn't been as wonderful as this. Stick to what's good!

MAKEUP EFFECTS

Never leave home with 10 lip glosses. Or 5 tubes of lipstick. Ever. We've established I'm carrying way too much so I've narrowed down what works just perfectly on an long trip! You just can't go wrong with these selections for every day. There are a few things here and there I've left out... but that's mostly for contouring and a more dramatic look in the event you have a cocktail party or black tie soirée to attend.. and I did which is another reason I'm overloaded. But who's to tell a girl that too much makeup is too much?!

Mascara and lipgloss are like water. We just need them. Don't ever leave the house without! Where'd I'd typically defer to L'Oreal's Voluminous mascara I pulled out the fancier stuff since I had some fancy events to go to. Lancome's new and ultra sexy Grandiose mascara is full of drama for night. But it's lovely for day, too, since it gives a bit of daily umph we don't always go for. It stays on ALL day and doesn't run. That's what counts.

10 glosses is too much. Seriously. But it's what I brought. After trial and error the first few days, I realized all I really need is a good red to act as bold at I need to at night. A good and pretty pink for all day. A rose-y balm for in between the selfies. And a great dark mauve for evening on nights you're  taking a break form the cherry red. I left out a neutral colored gloss, but it's essential. It tones down any color. Lancome's mauve gloss is super-yummy and lustrous for night fetes. Aerin's new red gloss is perfect for black tie. Her rose balm is even more practical. Artistry's plum pink from last year is a fab option for all day. I've done well without proper lipstick.

Going light on these long trips will also keep you free from going mad trying to have different looks. Make it easy for yourself.

One blush. One eye palette. One eye liner. One pressed powder. You already know I bought a few of each. And you already know I found the perfect one of each for every day.

Lancome's new Color Design 5 Pan eye palette in Bronze Amour is more than stupendous for a fall look. You have all the colors you need to go light, bold and sexy. Clinique's latest chubby stick for the cheeks in a soft mauve is gorgeous and last longer than powder blush. And finally, Aerin's Essential Brown liner from her latest fall collection pairs well with any look you go for.

This is all tried and true. I'm on Day 20 of this fabulous Eurotrip and I've fared oh-so-well with these! Trust a traveling girl!

A few more essentials I've found super-helpful that you may want to consider; and also avoid having to buy while on the road -- like $11 for a small bottle of nail polish remover! Yup. Had to do that.

Nail polish- two colors max : Nail polish remover wipes : Tweezers : Nail file : Chapstick : Hand sanitzer : tissue : travel size hand lotion : makeup remover wipes or facial wipes -- Korres makes a really great one : Aspirin or Tylenol (trust me on this one!)

I'll address perfect travel essentials for your wardrobe!

Check out these other travel posts and series:

Winter Travel Essentials...The Beauty Edition
Chic Essentials for Winter Travel
Holiday Travel
Chic Essentials for Travel in 24 hours!

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*All prods on counters now! If you want specific colors, leave a comment and I'll let you know! 
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Friday, November 07, 2014

{Beauty Bloom} TV Prep Makeup Looks







Host of CBS's "Atlanta Plugged In" and me after our 1st set


Every now and then I have to do my own makeup for appearances. Just every now and then. And when I do, I tend to freak out, tho only initially. I love having my makeup up done, but over the years I've come to quasi master a technique and look that works for me for any situation. I try my best to go light, but I've mentioned before how much of a makeup junkie I am.

I follow trends, new looks, runway face charts, colors, etc... but when I'm stuck on something, there's little that'll get me to break from that regiment. And with all the reviews I get to do, I always find something that screams "amazing!" Mostly, it's a foundation that did a super magical trick...that's been L'Oreal's True Match line for the last 2.5 years or so.

But a break is good. Real good. So when my MUA in Atlanta had to cancel last minute before 3 appearances, I threw a little sparkle dust, thanking myself for always, always carrying a bountiful stash of goodies JUST.IN.CASE.

For a simple look but natural look that would cover up the blemishes (that monthly "attack"is such a mother!") I quickly played around with a few new prods which I'm now fully loving on. They did every bit of the trick and more.

For priming, I stared with Lancome's 'La Base' primer. The bomb.dot everything! Silky and just perfect. If I had to, I'd wear it everyday. It literally gives you (at least the wrinkle-free, closed pore skin type) a lovely smooth canvas to work with.  I'm obsessed.  Laura Mercier's foundation primer was everything, too. Creamy, but light with a noticeable slither of shimmer created a lovely starting base of makeup. It was fluffy soft and evened really well. Much lighter than L'Oreal's True Match which I never thought I'd be able top. I applied with my index and middle finger an it was good. Wondering if a foundation wedge would work better. But, it worked so well, I didn't need foundation, per se. L'oreal's True Match Crayon remains to be my daily go-to for under eye coverage and any one rebellious brown spot that won't lighten.

For that segment, I used Laura Mercier's Golden Bronze pressed powder. It's not mineral based, but it also applied super evenly and didn't cake up. It's funny how we stick to what know and is easy but not until we try something totally different, do we realize so many other options can work well. I'm loving this combo by LM. Their blush brush is perfect for any of their bronzers. I used a lighter bronzer just to touch up some areas that needed some highlight.

I'm still good and faithful to Estée Lauder's eye shadow palette form about 2 falls ago. Love it. Great colors that won't ever go out of style. But their latest Pure Color palettes are great for every day w/out looking intentional. This shade set worked well since I wanted to go bolder on my lip. So the eyes were tamed down but still I created a bit of creasing.

I love focusing on my eyes, though. So if I don't go hard on the shadow, I'm all about some great eye liner and mascara. No can do without mascara. Bobbi Brown's Kohl liner and Aerin's new fall '15 collection has a lovely liner in "Essential Brown" -- more on her new line later... it's gorg. L'Oreal's mascara never fails me, even if I wear falsies, so I stick to that! I went with their butterflies effect one. Loved it, but not as much as their Voluminous stick.

And for lips, EL's Pure Envy full line is robust and rich-colored. The "Intense Nude" was great as a base was a bit too matte for TV...Thank goodness for I happened to be carrying Artistry Beauty's "Plum Glaze" lip gloss. Love that stuff. Nice amount of shimmer; not too much to interfere with with studio lights. Stays one for a least 2 hours. Just enough time to go live twice and can another!

It was a good look over all. Not cakey at all; lasted the entire day -- at least enough to carry through to an early dinner. And felt honestly clean. Now I'm looking for the next look I'll play with, especially  since my makeup look is dictated by how I wear my hair. I went curly this time, but my winter/holiday segments I'm going all the way straight. Still not used to this short curly do... but that's another story!

Wash your face, girls. So key in keeping a healthy glow, especially after a day of "heavy" makeup.

Check out the segment here! And the taped will will air on Monday the 10th! If you're in Atlanta, check it out at 12:30 pm!


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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Get Fit with Microsoft, B So Chic! Style

I'm out of town, finding my way around the Virgin Islands, but that doesn't mean works stops! I am so tickled to introduce you to my fabulous, behind-the-scenes sister... Karen! It's taken me 8 years to convince her my work is every much everything I make it to be and that's there's life in traveling, sharing, cooking, and blogging all about it. I finally convinced her. But it had to be something that totally fit her lifestyle and interests... and that would be something involving outdoor life and fitness, both which she and I do love, love doing together and whenever we can. So here she is, on behalf of B So Chic!, sharing a bit of what she loves! 



By Karen.

While my sister is eating her way around St. Thomas (check her out on Instagram), and not counting calories, I'm at home, thinking about all the candy I'm going to kindly take away from my 6 nephews and nieces tomorrow. Yep. They don't even know how I'm going be their little fairy that stole the good, yummy stuff. Especially those twizzlers.

It's Halloween!

When my sis asked me to do some yoga or Zumba at a Microsoft Store, I gave her that side eye look every friend (and sibling) avoids. Because you know it means they are not even considering what you're saying to them. But my sister loves to talk and is pretty good at convincing me to do things so I let her chat and reel me in. And so here I am.

It's actually quite perfect timing my sis is out of town so that I could jump in for her. Literally.

On this Thursday morning --- while my sis is probably having a really carb heavy breakfast on the beach --- I'm getting dressed in some really cute workout out (the best to own) to head over to Tysons Corner Mall to hang out with Microsoft. News to me and now nows to you --- they host in-store events that are actually engaging and not just full of sales pitches.

I see kids (and the shameless, totally care-free adults) playing X-box, mostly the dance games on the Kinect, on the 2nd level of the mall, and now that I think of it, right outside the Microsoft store. And today, we all have a chance to take that casual fitness into their stores. I'll be doing some yoga (that's really my sister's thing) and Zumba, around 1this afternoon with some of their experts -- on the Kinect. This will be my chance to show my sis I'm not so behind-the-scenes and also  burn some extra calories before tomorrow's candy crush. And truthfully, my sis and I dance to Just Dance 4 on the Kinect at least once a week. That's our little secret. We have video so prove it. Sometimes we battle each other.

But that's the point... to burn some super calories in an hour to make room for all the nibbling I'll be doing. And to see how others dance to those games!

No pain no gain. And in this case, pain will gain us all some swag. I won't be among the first 150 people, if you are you get get to play for a giveaway.

In the area, come join me (and my sister, virtually) and Microsoft from. We'll be way ahead of everyone one else tomorrow... While they suffer from immense guilt on Saturday morning from all the candy, we'll be feeling great because we played ahead of the game!

I might even surprise our mother with a the latest Just Dance.

             

Here are the deetz:

Get cute in your workout clothes. Come to the Microsoft store at Tysons and... know the schedule.

10am – 6pm: In-store giveaways to first 150 consumers.

12pm – 1pm: Yoga Class or Store Provided Fitness Activity (What I'm aiming for!)

1pm - 5pm: In-Store Workout activities continue in Xbox Fitness Area. Optional fitness tests available for us. Xbox Fitness workout options to include Tracy Anderson, Gillian Michaels, P90X, and Insanity. Trainers will be at the store to help us with all workouts.

5pm: Evening snacks provided (the healthy kind, of course.)

6pm-6:45pm: Zumba Class (or perhaps this session!)

Being fit is sexy. It really is.


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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Support the Pink {Breast Cancer Awareness, Part II}


(Robert Griffin, III, rocking pink arm bands during a Redskins game -- the best NFL team!)
It's running wild. It seems to be everywhere. And no cure? I don't get it. I'm stricken with sadness in learning that a dear, dear friend has been diagnosed with breast cancer. This news rolled in in the last two days... untimely timing, in light of it being Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

My last post, almost two weeks ago was dedicated to the young women and mothers I know whom have survived or are corageously fighting. I covered all the women I know in that post. I did not anticipate sitting down today, penning this post because yet another friend, this time, one extremely dear to me, had to hear those words: "You have breast cancer."

In my most mystified state of mind, inclusive of helpless sadness, I'm filled with hope that something can be done. Humans are exceptional creations. We are creatures capable of doing anything we want. We were made that way. Without getting too spiritual on you, God knew exactly what He was doing when He created us in His image. He's equipped us with everything we need to thrive and survive. The dichotomy in that is this: how is it possible for us to be so ingenious? So creative? So imaginative and so intelligent but fail have to come up with a cure. That's were I become a synic; a disgruntled skeptic, eventually losing faith in what they tell us.

The flip side is having faith in humanity as a corporate body that is compassionate and wants better. A body of people that love and will go the unconditional extra mile to better ourselves. And if by no other way other than to done a color in simple support for awareness, then we do it. Awareness, much like education, is key to many problems. When we know, we care. And when we care, we fight for what's right.

That's the hopeful and beautiful side to this dodgy and killer disease. Men, women, children, young and old, feeble and agile, rally in support of in the simplest way. As basic as wearing a big bowtie to walking a 3-day mile to raise money, there's something we can ALL do to highlight the need, the cause, and the goal: to eradicate breast cancer and give women the peace of mind knowing one day we won't worry about "will it be me?!"

Of all the campaigns, efforts, and product sale collaborations with major foundations, few actions and public displays have really touched me the most and caused me to look more into it.

Hoda Kotb has been the most poignant yet subtle spokesperson for me. Have you noticed she wears a pink rubber ring on her index finger every single day? Her "Forward" ring is a permanent fixture every Monday morning. She never takes it off. She can walk a red carpet, attend a gala, go wine crushing with Kathie Lee, but her ring is always on that finger. That's a bold statement. It's not in your face, but after a while, you can't help but notice the consistency and passion behind her action. It's now part of her.

Awareness.

The most heart-warming is the NFL's directive that players wear something pink during the month. I get chills seeing these huge brothers, some massive body types, weighing up to 300lbs+, running out in pink socks! Or pink elbow bandages. It's a lovely juxtaposition. And it's powerful. To know these young men are compassionate and disspell social ideas of manhood by wearing pink in support of US.

Awareness.

And like in my last post, big beauty brands support in their own way by launching special featured products were proceeds go to the larger cause. From glam to pharmacy brands, most of them come out with something we can all enjoy. My beauty friends in NY sent me a few goodies they're offering in support bringing us a better life; a healthier life --- for me to enjoy and share with you. These are every day prods we'd use anyway, so why not buy these specific ones this entire month?!

Check out Avon's new "Anew" skincare line, packaged in different hues of pink. I'm only starting out the full regiment (for about 2 weeks to see how it works), but the day cream, most of which I'm obsessed with feels good so far. I need to spend more time with the night cream.

A few other every day prods like Curel's 'Ultra Healing' body lotion and Ban's makeup removing wipes are donating sale proceeds.

Hoda's ring can be purchased at NBC's online store.

Awareness.
(Pink flowers in our garden)
If you don't or can't buy anything that supports Breast Cancer Awareness, here are few simple things we can all do -- even in the last remaining week of the national campaign:

Wear something pink everyday! 
Create pink floral arrangements and display around the house. 
Take a neighbor a lovely bouquet; or a female friend who is fighting. 
Make pink cupcakes -- everyone loves cupcakes! 
Host a super causal pink party and have everyone wear something pink; even if it's small pin-on ribbon. Serve rosé. 

(Beatriz Ball Collection in support of BCA)

Awareness.

And of course, check out the first installation of my personal awareness efforts for more chic options!

Go all the way pink! Be bold. Be beautiful. But be aware. 

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