I am a blubbering mess.  At lunch today I burst into tears upon meeting this handsome boy. 

I want to send out a HUGE congratulations to the Freni Family and their perfect little bundle of joy Oliver!  I couldn't be happier for mom and dad and am so excited to get to watch this sweet boy grow up.  Love you so much Jim Jam - you are already such a wonderful mother (and can we just all agree she looks incredible after giving birth less than 24 hours ago?) and I am overjoyed for the 3 of you!

Feeling nothing but


Summer Essentials Series ~ Zucchero, Zucchero

Yahoo!  I am back from Seattle and have just enough time to unpack, wash and repack before I depart for Amsterdam on Friday.  I am so honored that the ever busy and beautiful bride to be Holly from Zucchero, Zucchero took time out of her planning to share her summer essentials with us all.  I have been reading Holly's blog for years and years now and truly feel as though she is one of my blog friends.  She has a love for the Giants, a good bloody mary and is always sharing wonderful crafts, food and finds.  Great blog, great gal, get reading!  And check out her picks below!

*What one item can you not be without this summer?*

Caudalie Lip Conditioner.  This is hands down the best lip balm out there. I recently spent too much time in the sun and my poor lips got burnt and the only lip balm that made them feel better and repair them was Caudalie! Bonus points that it's not made with any parabens or sulfates.

*What are you craving for summer 2011?*

I'd be lying if I said time at the beach, backyard BBQs or something along those lines. While I crave those things every summer, this year my mind is on my summer wedding! At the end of August I am hoping it's the best end of summer party ever. All of my loved ones, my new husband, with a gorgeous backdrop dancing the night away under the late August sky sounds pretty good to me.

*What is your essential summer song for 2011?*

The Rascals - A Beautiful Morning.  An oldie, yes, but I dare you to listen to this and not smile. This is the best song that pumps me up in the morning. Listen to this when the sun is shining and you're driving to work and it will start you off right!

Thank you so much Holly for sharing your summer goods.  I am absolutely LOVING that photo of the two of you and send the happiest of wedding wishes to the both of you.  And I am so planning to listen to that song in the morning.  I just love that feeling!  Be sure to head over to Zucchero Zucchero and check out all her lovely posts and follow up on what is sure to be a picturesque wedding!

Tomorrow check back for the ladies of Miss B and Hustle!


Summer Essentials Series ~ Hip Lip

I am so excited for that Lindsey over at Hip Lip is participating in this years essentials guide. I found this awesome blog via twitter and am always checking out which food I will be drooling over, which fashion pieces will have me swooning and just for general humor - the girl is hilarious!
*What one item can you not be without this summer?

TwistBands -- With the 100+ degree temperatures in Texas, I need my hair out of my face and off my neck! I love twist bands. They don't crimp your hair, come in lots of fun colors, and actually look pretty cute when worn on your wrist.

*What are you craving for summer 2011?*

Dresses, dresses, dresses! I'm not a huge fan of shorts so naturally dresses keep me cool. I have a serious addiction. My favorite brands for summer dresses that won't break the bank: Everly, Collective Concepts, Free People, H&M, Jenny Han, Nordstrom BP. Swell is also a great place to find beachy affordable dresses!

*What is your essential summer song for 2011?*

I can't get enough of ADELE's new album: 21.

Maybe it's because we share the same name, but this list is very similar to items I am loving this summer as well!  "Rumor Has It" is amazing and I love wearing those TwistBands as bracelets as well.  Such great selections.  Be sure to head over to Hip Lip and immediately bookmark this fantastic site.  Thank you so much Lindsey for sharing your picks with us! 

Check back tomorrow for Holly over at Zucchero Zucchero's summer must haves!


Summer Essentials Series ~ Covet Living

I realize I was supposed to have this post up last Wednesday, but due to vacation brain and computer issues I am finally able to share the fabulous gals over at Covet Living's summer essentials!  Karrie and Stephanie are always sharing such beautiful photos and that leaving me wanting everything they post.  These girls are truly living a life that we would all covet.  Gorgeous ladies and super talented.  Their summer essentials do not disappoint! 

*What one item can you not be without this summer?*

Stephanie:  Maxi dresses are my easy breezy uniform of choice in the summertime.  You can dress ‘em up (wedges), dress ‘em down (flip flops), and they’re gorgeous and effortless in an ultra feminine, hippie chick kind of way.  The best part is, they are appropriate for almost EVERY occasion:  Farmers market.  Street fest.  Daytime cocktails on a sunny patio with the girls.  Bike ride (with bloomers underneath, of course).  Hot date.  Gelato and a walk…  BAM!  Click here for some real beauts.

Karrie:  That would definitely be my single mode of transport right now: my bike.  Driving back and forth between LA and San Diego these last couple years depleted the miles on my leased car, meaning my ride’s now parked until my lease is up.   So my ol’ bike’s my hook up.  She takes me to work every morning and takes care of me during beach bar crawls on the weekends.  She’s my gurl.  The pic above is my morning commute.

*What are you craving for summer 2011? *

Karrie: A pimped out balcony, yo.  In SD I had a yard; in LA… not so much.  Hence my dream of a zen balcony with some comfy outdoor furniture, a stack of magz, some twinkling lights for night time, and a grill for my guy to man up.

Stephanie:  DYING to log some lake time.  There is no where on earth calmer or more peaceful than the lakes in the summertime…  Give me a lake over the beach any day.  I love how still and glassy the water is in the morning, how fresh the air is, and how the moon lights up the entire lake at night.  I love waking up every morning to the dull hum of waverunners and boat motors coming from outside, the sound of a creaky dock under your feet, afternoon naps in the hammock, trolling on the pontoon at sunset, and roasting marshmallows over a bonfire at night after a long day on the water.  It’s like a giant slice of heaven.

*What is your essential summer song for 2011?*

Karrie:  Hmmm… this is a toughun’.  For the first time in a long time there isn’t one jam that to me defines this summer in any way.  But the song that STILL makes me think of good crazy fun is LMFAO’s Party Rock Anthem Party Rock Anthem.  I know, I know, but just the sound of it makes me do the internal “umph umph umph umph”… if you know what I mean.

Stephanie:  I’ve been taking it back to the old school lately with some Don Henley "Boys of Summer" in the mix.  What a great jam.  I get a little jolt of nostalgia every time I hear it…  it reminds me of summer road trips when I was a kid, great times at the lake (or the Water Bowl, if you’re a Muncie native), and laying in front of the A/C unit on hot, sticky summer nights.  With my Wayfarers on, baby.

Thank you so much to both Karrie and Stephanie for sharing their selections (and dealing with my computer difficulties).  I am envious of Karrie's gorgeous commute sans car and would love a weekend away at lake as well Stephanie!  And your music selections are spot!  Such great ones!  Covet Living is one of my favorite blogs and if you are not already following be sure to add them to your daily reads!

Check back on Tuesday for Lindsey over at Hip Lip's picks!


Summer Essentials Series is Back!

I am so excited to bring back the Summer Essentials Series for a third year!  I love to share my favorite summer must haves and also adore all the bloggers who share their selections every year. 

And here to kick it all off are my summer essentials!

*What one item can you not be without this summer?*

Exfoliator.  Summer time means lots of fun in the sun which means lots of sunblock, lotion and products to protect my fair skin.  All these products add up to dull skin that needs to be sloughed away to maintain that summer glow and a good exfoliator is just what the doctor ordered.  My all time fave exfoliator is Flowers Organic Detoxifying Cranberry Vanilla Body Scrub (currently sold out) which I purchase from Chocolate Sun whenever I get a spray tan.  I recently ran out and stopped by Sephora to find the Bliss Blood Orange+White Pepper Sugar Scrub.  The scent is incredible and instead of that nasty oil film that many scrubs leave behind, Bliss promises a finer, gritter product that foams and leaves no film behind.  Exactly what this girl is looking for in an exfoliator. 

*What are you craving for summer 2011?*

The perfect wedge sandal.  Ever since I eyed these Dolce Vita Jade Wedge Sandal all I have wanted was to find a cheaper version for summertime.  Alas no luck and I am 99% sure that my willpower is wearing off and these $178 wedges are coming home with me very, very soon.  The color is perfect, the height amazing and the way they manage to make my short stumpy legs look long and lean is reason enough.  Seriously these may just be the perfect wedge.

*What is your essential summer song for 2011?*

Jane Says.  Yes I realize the lyrics are not the most uplifting but there is something about the steel drums and acoustic guitar that is super summery to me.  I have loved Jane's Addiction since my 8th grade boyfriend Adam made me mixed tape of all their songs. 

I am off to Seattle tomorrow for a week and will be sharing all the fabulous fellow bloggers summer essentials for the next week or so.  Be sure to check back tomorrow for Stephanie and Karrie of Covet Living's list!


Song Of The Week: Do Anything

Do Anything by ice1906

Oh my gosh! I was a little stumped for a song of the week for today and then my local sushi spot Sweet Fish helped me out by jamming some seriously fantastic 90's music.  Included in the mix was "Do Anything" by Natural Selection and I instantly squealed with excitement when it came on.

Words cannot express how much I LOVED this song in junior high.  Oh my gosh!  This song was up there with Milli Vanilli, Vanilla Ice, Tony! Toni! Tone!.  And some 20 years later (yuck - did I really just say that) I still love it.  Unfortunately Natural Selection isn't showing up for purchase on Itunes, so in order to enjoy this lovely tune you will need to purchase the actual CD and upload it the old way (or dig through your CD collection, perhaps it is hiding on one of those one hit wonder albums).

I am for sure eyeing a used album because I would "Do Anything" to have this song on my IPod.  Gotta love the '90's!


Happy {Carmageddon} Weekend!

With the 405 closed this weekend in LA, I am planning to avoid any travels that involve the car and instead lay low and finish my laundry, begin packing, soak up some rays and relax before my month long travels.

May your weekend be traffic free, full of fun, warmth and love!


Forever Frugal Friday ~ Splurge vs. Steal

Ever since I first saw the T-Mobile commercial with that cute bright pink Marc for Marc Jacobs 'Jailbird Stripe Dress' I have been hunting for a cheaper version of my own.  Well wouldn't you just know that Forever's Striped Dress w/ Belt is a great alternative at a fantastic price.  Don't worry, you won't end up jailed for this fantastic steal!


I'm Loving' It

The new Starbucks "Very Berry Hibiscus" Refresher is muy bueno!  I was very hesitant to try this coffee drink that tastes nothing like coffee, but let me just tell you it is so delish.  A grande drink only has 70 calories and it contains freeze-dried berries as well.  Once I finish my beverages, I fill my cup of with water and enjoy my "spa" water at my desk.  If you are lucky enough to have them sampling it at your local Sbux, make sure you give it a try. 

Also loving the Hunger Games Triology.  I am on the final book of the series and trying to find any excuse to read it.   

This bright, cheery and a little bit nautical look from Atlantic-Pacific.  I mean let's be honest, all of her outfits are lust-worthy but this one just screams glamorous fun in the sun.

Even though I am perfectly content and still loving my Yellow KitchenAid Mixer, I fell in love at first sight with this KitchenAid Artisan Susan G. Komen Stand Mixer in Raspberry Ice.  Not only would it be a brilliantly bold addition to any kitchen, but with the purchase of this mixer you are also contributing to the Susan G. Komen Cook for the Cure®’s efforts to cure breast cancer. 

This ring and grey nail polish combo.  Whenever I see this photo I instantly want to run to the nearest beauty supply and pick up a bottle of grey polish (preferably chinchilly).  Grey, yellow, turquoise and a little bit of gold...possibly new bedroom color scheme? 

Visits from friends and babies that include dinners at garlic ball heaven C&O Trattoria in Venice. 

Holding sweet little buddy Raleigh while soaking up rays, sipping some wine at Sip in Malibu and reminiscing with friends.  This past weekend Coffey and Cabe flew down from Seattle so that many of us could meet little Raleigh as well as the handsome Easton.  It was a weekend of making the best of roadblocks and rules and fully of laughter and smiles.  So much fun!


Word Up Wednesday

especially sweet with the healthy arrival of baby b!  congrats katie & derek!

my gf Ronit and i were just talking about how hard it is to abide by this simple rule, but if you do life is just so much better!

love this book and love how summer makes me feel.

so excited that soon to be mr. & mrs Y finally selected a date for "Forever Young" it is sure to epic.


Song Of The Week: Changing

Last June I professed my love for The Airborne Toxic Event here with their somber "Sometime Around Midnight".  This year I am professing my love for their latest release "Changing".  A little bit lighter and a lot more appropriate for summer.  The song just makes me sway back and forth in my seat while I sing along.

side note: does anyone else think the lead singer resembles Jonathan Rhys Meyers a little bit? 


Recent Purchases ~ Apothica.com

The generous people over at Apothica provided me with $100 to spend on anything over at their site.  Talk about exciting stuff!  As many of you know, I am a bit of a beauty product junky and Apothica offers so many products I adore and use on a daily basis at affordable rates and free shipping on orders over $49! 

I immediately added the Ole Henriksen Truth Serum Collagen Booster to my basket as I had been eyeing it for over a year now.

The Truth Serum Collagen Booster smells absolutely delightful and provides a nice little pick me up to my morning routine.  The energizing tangerine scent instantly wakes up my sleepy face and gives a little perk to my drab skin.  It also creates a nice barrier between my face and LA's toxic air pollution.  My only regret with purchasing the truth serum is that I didn't buy the Three Little Wonders Box Set (as seen above) which I believe would have provided more dramatic results. 

In any case, Ole Henriksen carries a variety of beauty products I am dying to try including this African Red Tea Glow To Go.

I love the look of liquid eyeliner so much and I have concluded that my favorite type of liquid liner are "pen" style.  They glide on so much easier and create the perfect liquid line.  The Stay All Day Liquid Eye Liner is a wonderful beauty product.  It stays on all day as promised and lasts a really long time.  I used it at least 3-4 times a week and purchased it back in February and only just ran out of it this weekend.  For $20 you get a great quality product that lasts a long time.  FANTASTIC!

The third purchase was a little more difficult to select as I wanted so many things.  I however decided to share the wealth and purchase the Voluspa 3 Wick in Decorative Tin French Bourbon Vanille candle for B.

B had just moved into his new place and it needed a little accent that not only smelled "manly" but also matched his dark wood decor.  I am already a devoted fan of Voluspa candles and wanted to introduce B to my fave candle distributor.  While I enjoy almost every single scent they offer, I needed to find one for B that wasn't overly perfumey or in an ultra girly casing.  Check and Check. 

I have to say that I was over the moon for all my purchases from Apothica.  They shipped my items in a timely matter, and threw in some free samples to try.  A nice added touch was that a consulting rep from the site sent me an email to follow up on my purchases and product satisfaction.  Never had any of my other beauty sales rep follow up on an order, love their customer appreciation!

Since I have exhausted my last order officially, I have begun hunting for my next beauty purchases...currently in the lead are:

perfectly wispy - reminds me of cotton candy at the fair

loving the blue and green glitter combo - gets me excited for Seahawk football (fingers crossed)

I am still on the hunt for a good night cream and I am completely sold by the fact that the words "blueberry" and "recovery" are in the same product title.  I have read all the wonderful benefits of eating blueberries and figure, it must be good to place directly on your face as well, right?  Added bonus, the products is organic. 

I am pretty sure my shopping cart will be full to the brim once I finish looking at the website.  I highly recommend trying Apothica for your next beauty purchases, they have a great return policy as well and guarantee the lowest price. 

Get shopping my beauties and be sure to share what you buy or love!


Word Up Wednesday

needed this yesterday.  printed it out, stuck it on my mirror. true story.

this goes with the flow chart above as well as my professional life...i am finally travelling to Europe for the first time ever (only ever travelled to mexico & canada) and visiting our Europe office in Amsterdam for training and setup.  i am so super excited!! 


Song Of The Week: Dominos

Back in January I fell in love with this Nicki Minaj song "Girls Fall Like Dominoes".  I loved the chorus and simple beat.  Fast forward a few weeks ago whilst downloading some new tunes, I came across the very chorus and beat that I loved so much from Nicki's song by the group The Big Pink.  Turns out that Nicki sampled The Big Pink's appropriately titled "Dominos" for her song. 

And so I of course downloaded it and have been listening ever since.  It is a total feel good song and perfect for the hot days of summer. 


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