Stunning on the Red Carpet…

I love watching the Oscars.  They are so beautiful.  Celebrate amazing art – and not just the final piece, but the whole creation of the art.  People get dressed in their finest and head to Hollywood Boulevard to walk the Red Carpet.  Most, look stunning.  Some, not as much.  I loved that the men were rocking the bow tie this year.  There is something so classy about the bow tie that I just cannot get enough of on a man.  And as always, the ladies graced us with their beauty yet again.  Here are a few of my favorites from the evening…

Mila Junis

Mila looked gorgeous.  I love the lace detailing on this dress.  I also love that she can look so serious in one shot and then while she was presenting had her cute smile on that captivates audiences.

Natalie Portman

Just look at her glow – and who wouldn’t with a baby on the way she certainly has the pregnant glow – and then to add to her glow later in the evening, she won Best Actress of the Year for Nina in the Black Swan (which was my pick for movie of the year – though The King’s Speech was a strong second in my mind, so glad if it had to lose to any other film it was that one).

Halle Berry

Hilary Swank

Amy Adams

Hailee Steinfeld

She is so stinkin cute.  How fun to get to go to the Oscars at such a young age – and she looked beautiful, but still looks young and her age.  Refreshing to see that.

I also loved the quote, “It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it.” -Lena Horne.  Brilliant.  So simple and straight forward, yet thought provoking and paradigm shifting.

Did you watch the Oscars?  Have a big party or in the quiet of your own home?  Who were your favorite winners?  Best dressed?

Hope you had a wonderful weekend, loves – cheers to a new week…

Much love,

B

Crashing Down…

It has been a rough day, friends.  Computer crashed (hence the late and very short post).  More snow.  Seriously…it needs to stop.  Things are not working today, so I am going to stop trying.  Sit back.  Relax with a night in with the roomie (and wine of course).  And then deal with life again tomorrow.  Oh, did I mention I also thought it would be a great idea to try to do taxes today, too – yes, I did.  I am crazy.  So this is me signing out for now and hoping you are having a better weekend.  These days happen.  I will be okay.  Just ready for a new day now.

Doing anything fun?  Please share, maybe your joy will increase mine!

Much love,

B

Totally Crushing…

It’s Friday.  Time to be real and let you know just what I am crushing on today.  First off, being with people I can just be me – weird little quirks and all (mer meh…yes, I have my own language and sometimes start talking in it when completely comfortable with people…)

Second, what is not to crush on in this whole look?!  I mean seriously – this is adorable and I just want to wear all of it.  Right. Now.  I still cannot get enough of the shorts with tights look, and then add in those tall socks…ooo, you just have me smitten.  I also love how the green jacket just pops because it is the right amount of color with this outfit.  I am normally a fan of dark or even all black looks – but color is growing on me.  Getting me excited for spring…we will blame it on that.

Third, hats.  I love them.  I love tipping them down and coyly hiding behind them.  Now add in those fun red nails and you know I am hooked.

Fourth, tattoos.  Specifically, bird tattoos.  I love tattoos and have one myself – but it is tiny…and I am ready for another.  In fact, I have been thinking about getting another one for far too long now – I just need to go get it already.  And yes, there is a bird involved in my design – which is why I can simply not get enough of bird tattoos.  So much so, I started a pin board simply dedicated to tattoos.  The tree necklace is pretty sweet, too.

And the final crush I will share with you today is nice and simple.  A photo.  Nothing extremely special – it just makes me smile.  Maybe it is the carefreeness mixed with the mystery – is she going somewhere to surprise someone – or is she leaving floating on cloud nine?!  I do not know…but here’s to hoping my weekend will be filled with a carefree time with friends, and yours, too!

What are you up to this weekend, loves?  What are you crushing on?  Come on…share…pretty please…this is a safe place!

Much love,

B

PS.  Don’t forget to take Catherine up on her great deal of 20% of your Arbonne order!

Someone Like You…

Adele is someone like you – she is a beautiful 21 year-old woman.  What sets her apart?  This pretty lady has one of the most powerful and beautiful voices of our time that burns with fury.  She has soul.  With her sophomore album, 21, coming out earlier this week she is proving that she means business.  She pours her heart and soul into her music – real pain, heartache and vulnerability.  It is not just music to listen to – it is music that awakens your soul to truly feel.  “‘Rolling in the Deep’ and ‘Someone Like You’ scale new heights of misery, but it’s Adele’s conviction – not pity – that forms the lasting afterimage.” says iTunes Notes – and good night they are right.  These songs stay with you long after the last note is played.  Do yourself a favor and check it out.

The lady not only has a voice – but also has style.  She is not a typical pop star, does not fit into normal categories – she is her own person.  Truly an inspiration.  Check out the video below of “Someone Like You” performed in the privacy of her own home (and do note the beauty in design that she lives in…I mean just look at those bookshelves!).

What do you think?  Are you an Adele fan?  What music moves your soul? Music moves my soul and inspires every aspect of my life.  I put it on in the morning and it really does inspire my look for the day…love when two passions collide into one.

Much love,

B

Arbonne…

Need a fun night in?  My roommates and I sure did last night – and what a fun night we had.  Our friend Catherine (catherinetong@gmail.com) came over and we had a mini spa night.  She sells Arbonne products – and they are amazingly wonderful.  The company is committed to being pure, safe, and beneficial in everything they produce and put their name on.  The company was started in 1975 in Switzerland and then came to the US in 1980, though they are still committed to the European standards (meaning there are 500 chemicals that are prohibited by European standards that the FDA allows – ick!  That just makes me squirm….putting that on my face and body, no thank you!).  I personally also love that everything is botanical, meaning no weird animal products in my products – all good things from the earth.  In fact, that is what Arbonne means – good things from the earth.  They have great face wash lines for the mid-20s gal called FC5 and amazing anti-aging (some products you can feel an instant change – seriously…and I was a doubter at first) – and they even have anit-aging for men.  Have blemishes or complexion issues – Arbonne Clear Advantage has answers for you, too.

So, after you have fun giving yourself a facial – you can’t forget about the rest of your body.  And Arbonne does not leave you hanging – there are so many fun spa treatments you can do at home, as well as wellness products.  And then my personal favorite because it lets the artist in you play – cosmetics.  And boy did we have fun playing last night – and they really felt light and great on my skin – plus the colors were natural where they needed to be and rich and dynamic where you want them (lips – so many great lip colors….I had to cut myself off.)  The make-up primer is great – and no need to test out the color, but keeps your make-up looking great all day long.

Find anything you like?  Well, I have some good news for you – Catherine is giving everyone 20% off his or her order through Saturday (February 26th)!  Be sure to use the discount code: B. in the Know. This is a great deal friends – I seriously have fallen in love with this company (I just love all things pure).  So, go take a look and email Catherine (catherinetong@gmail.com) your order (I am getting lipstick, face wash/toner, powder, moisturizer, anti-aging Intensive Renewal Serum…and a few more fun things, but I will stop boring you with my list).  Find anything good?  Please do share so I know what to check out next!

It’s the middle of the week…so go treat yourself!

Much love,

B


Gone “Hollywood” – Precious and Pricy meets Frugal and Feisty…

Oh, J.Crew. How I love your clothes. Unfortunately, your gorgeous clothes don’t love my bank account. Sigh…

J.Crew recently did another one of their glamorous ad campaigns – Gone Hollywood – and displayed their impeccable clothing around Tinseltown’s iconic landmarks.  These fashions, however, come at a price.  When comparing them with similar items, it’s clear that J.Crew is not the most high-priced ready-to-wear line, but for someone like me with a limited budget, my favorite brand seldom makes it into my closet.  So, with the gracious hosting of B., I bring to you comparable items to J.Crew’s Hollywood campaign – all at lower prices.

J.Crew tends to use unique colors and high-quality materials, so some comparisons were difficult to find. I’ve also noted whether some of these items are on sale (they will go fast!).

As I’ve researched this blog, I’ve realized that, while many of these alternate items would be wonderful to have, J.Crew is still my favorite choice in awesome and relatively affordable ready-to-wear apparel.  These other options are great, too, so enjoy the blog and happy shopping (or dreaming)!

J. Crew
Comparison

Finding a comparable silk shirt was difficult.  Thankfully, the Madewell brand is a common feature on J.Crew’s site, and this cotton light blue number has the same double patch pockets and comfortable, casual feel.

J. Crew

Comparison

While the LOFT version of this sweater doesn’t have the pearl buttons, it does have the long length and double pockets.  I like the J.Crew option for its collar style and 100% cotton blend, while the Loft has a nice shape with the loose bottom hem.

J. Crew

Comparison

The J.Crew option has its advantages with the cotton twill fabric and the features of having a hood, belt, and metallic buttons.  The LOFT version, which I’ve worn for a full afternoon (a little “gift” from my friend Emily while I helped her move into her new house on a somewhat dreary day), is both chic, comfortable, and keeps out the wind with its polyester material.

J. Crew

Comparison

By far my most difficult challenge.  The Matchstick is my favorite J.Crew fit, but apparently most other companies don’t make this exact cut – that, or they don’t style it to look that way!  I chose these Gap jeans because of their legacy for good fit, color, and wearability.

J. Crew

Comparison

I know this may seem like a stretch for a proper comparison, but between the pocket style, the color options, and the price (the PRICE!!!), I had to go with this number from Old Navy.  I like how its pockets seem to lay flat against the chest instead of billowing out, but I do like how J.Crew’s option is a sweater.  What can I say – I’m a sucker for cardigans.

J. Crew

Comparison

Again, another Old Navy find.  I can only speak for myself, but O.N. has given me the best luck when it comes to jeans and pants.  Also, they lay flat, have a straight leg, and come in many colors, similar to J.Crew.  I think J.Crew’s option will look sleeker and last longer, though (if you have better laundry skills than me, that is!).

J. Crew

Comparison

No, not the biggest bargain here, but the color is right-on, and the Ann Taylor shirt is also comfortable and more formfitting.

J. Crew

Comparison

Both are cashmere, both come in several colors, both made of light-weight cashmere.  The Gap option seems to be a little longer, while the J.Crew option looks more form-fitting and comes in 14 colors.

J. Crew

Comparison

The biggest difference with these two pants: the ankle opening (minor), and the zipper fly locations.  With J.Crew, the shiny zipper fly is in the back, while the Limited option has a traditional front fly with back pockets.

J. Crew

Comparison

I’m not a quitter, but finding a true comparison to the Maritime Dress was almost impossible.  I settled for this cute dress from Dr. Jay’s, which has the same relaxed feel and uses navy instead of a “sail” blue.  It also has a longer hem – good for the summer, or wear it in the spring with a cover-up sweater or blouse.  The J.Crew option, however, is hands-down classier; I may have to save up for this lovely piece.

J. Crew

Comparison

No, not an exact match, but easy wear since both of these sandals eliminates the need to scrunch your toes and the possibility of losing your shoe down a flight of stairs. I like how the LOFT version doesn’t require tying (tricky to keep tied with leather laces).

J. Crew

Comparison

Both are cute tops for spring and summer looks.  The Gap look is JUST a shell, as it’s meant to be layered over tanks and camis.  It’s still a stylish, versatile option for a lower price.

Total costs if you would buy all these looks

J.Crew: $1218

Others: $694.17

Savings: $523.83

So there you have it, folks.  I hope you’ve enjoyed this little comparison shopping adventure!

-Laura, of Feisty: Like I Ought to Be

Let it Snow…Again…

Thought winter was over and spring was on the way?  Yeah.  Me too.  But you see, friends, I live in Minnesota…basically a real live snow globe about seven months of the year (and that is being gracious…).  My dear friends tell me I can’t complain about the snow, or for that matter talk about it unless I have anything nice to say.  So, I decided to let the snow inspire me.  It inspires beautiful winter whites, which I love – and so I am glad I can keep enjoying them…as it is clearly still winter.  There is something light and fluffy about this snow fall that has a fun whimsicality to it…at least when I stop caring and embrace the snow.  It helps when I wear my boots…makes it more fun to run and play and push cars out.  Winter wonderland can be beautiful…this is me fighting to believe that and not just give it lip service…


Fashion can be inspired by the snow.  It is elegant and beautiful.  If only I really felt like that while interacting with the snow.  This is a little more how I feel it really looks…

Not sure if you are dealing with the storm where you are or not…but I do hope you are having a fabulous Monday and had a restful weekend.  I know I did.  Now, I am just trying to survive today…but I guess all I can do is tackle today.

How do you handle the snow?  Is there one season that seems to dictate your emotions? Winter makes me sad.  But summer makes me so happy.  Have a feeling I am not the only one…

Much love,

B

PS.  Tomorrow will be my first guest post…a good friend giving me time to recover from the breakdown of the snow.  Okay, maybe a little melodramatic…but either way she will be here tomorrow sharing her love – so be sure to share yours with her!

Perfectly Lonely…

Everyone needs alone time.  Some of us (introverts) may need a little more to be refreshed.  But at the end of the day, we all need some to survive.  I love getting dressed on a Saturday or Sunday morning and taking the morning to go read somewhere in Uptown all alone.  And sometimes my mind is still recovering from the work week, so taking time to go sit or walk around a part of the city and people watch, or write or just sit and be…it is perfect, even if it is all alone.  Do I spend every weekend like this?  No, but sometimes it is much needed.  Plus, it gives me energy so I can stay up far to late with good dear friends on Saturday nights…making this hit a little too close to home…

…which I guess does not leave me feeling lonely at all, but instead just really really tired.  Hope you are having a fabulous weekend!  Any good stories from last night?  What is the latest you are willing to stay up? Staying up until 3am is by no means responsible and sometimes makes me think I am back to my college days, but it is so fun.  Till Monday, loves…

Much love,

B