February 26, 2013

WEAR: the devil is in the details

The devil wears Prada and the devil is in the details.  A few statement pieces and creative accessories is the key.  You can even transform  your plain white tshirt and jeans outfit from hobo joe to polished and pristine with just a few good accessories.  Sometimes it's the little things that paint the big picture.   "Bling in your white tee ..." - Dem Franchize Boys

Shoes: Miu Miu // Bracelets: Hermes and Aldo // Watch: Michael Kors // Ring: Catbird NYC // Photography: Jenny Fu Photography //  Styling: Rose Tran 

February 22, 2013

WEAR: celine trio

Hands down, my bag of choice for the past few years has been the messenger.  This is mainly due to laziness, as I dislike having to actually carry a bag with my hands and would rather have my body (torso?) do the work.  

Anywhoo, I am always on the lookout for a great messenger style bag.  You can imagine my excitement when I found this beauty through two of my favorite bloggers (garypeppergirl and hopethislasts).  BEHOLD, the Celine trio!

Three separate pouches keep your must haves organized and easily accessible.  One of the best features is that the front and back pouches un-snap for you to carry on their own.  3 bags in one.  Beauty and functionality - my messenger bag dream come true.

"Look ma, no hands ..." 

Watch: Omega Speedmaster // Bracelet: BCBG // Rings: Alomonada // Skirt: BCBGeneration // Shoes: Jessica Simpson

February 19, 2013

EAT: chia seed pudding with coconut milk and fresh fruit

CH-CH-CH-CHIA!!  I first heard of chia seeds as the new "superfood" a few months ago (apparently flax is out and chia is in!?)  If you're wondering whether or not these are the same chia seeds used for those cute terra cotta looking animals that grow green grass hair after a few days of planting - you are correct!

There are a bunch of ways to incorporate chia seeds into your meal including cereal, smoothies, yogurt, baked goods and juice.  But my favorite so far has been this chia seed pudding made with coconut milk and fresh fruit.  If you like tapioca, you'll love this recipe (chia seeds become gelatinous after sitting in liquid).  It's a nice refreshing dessert or snack.

Recipe below... and if you need a little push to try it, think of all the health benefits packed into this little seed that contains omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, protein and fiber (aids in digestion, improves brain function and gives you a boost of energy).  That's a lot for a little seed.


  •  2 1/2 cups coconut milk (I used So Delicious brand from Central Market)
  •  1/3 cup chia seeds (I used Navitas Naturals brand from Central Market, $12/ 1 pound bag)
  •  agave, honey or liquid sweetener of choice (about 2 tablespoons or to taste)
  •  fresh fruit (I used blackberries, strawberries and mangos)


A glass jar or plastic container w/ lid works great so you can shake it up (if you don't have this, just use a bowl and stir).  Combine coconut milk and sweetener and shake/stir together.  Add in chia seeds and shake again to mix everything together.  Allow the mixture to chill for about 4 hours, shaking or stirring occasionally (otherwise you may have some clumps).  Serve in bowls, layering in mixture and fresh cut fruit.

February 15, 2013

WEAR: DIY love stenciled clutch

Valentine's day has come and gone. Hope all you crazy lovebirds and lovely independent women alike had a chocolate filled, champagne spilled (due to excitement and fun of course) day! Just because the day is over doesn't mean love is lost - love is always in the air!  Especially here at NB with our diy LOVE clutch.  

(photo courtesy of Emma from www.tresawsome.com)

The clutch is usually meant as an accessory for the nocturnal types, especially during the day when we want to lug ERRTHANG in an oversized tote.  However, less is the new MORE!  We're sure this is not the first time you've heard that.  Well, let me introduce you to ... the day clutch!  In this clutch, you can fit ipads, ipad minis, your wallet, keys, a lip liner or two, maybe extra feminine products and your phone.  What else could you possibly need??  OHHH yea  ... yes, I hear ya girl, what about your makeup, laptop, backup flats/shoes, gym clothes and coats (all necessities)!?  All of these things obviously can't fit into this day clutch.  Oh, the tragedy.  First world, girl problems.  Well, guess what - you can still  use this clutch.  You just need to toss it INSIDE your big a$s bag (as a toiletry bag).   It keeps everything extra organized in a roomy bag anyways.  BOOM.  Problem solved.  Versatile and chic. 

(photo courtesy of Emma from www.tresawsome.com)

Although this particular clutch veers more on the casual side (as it added a whimsical, fun element to my otherwise stuffy, uptight, fancy fur coat outfit), you can also use it for evening extravaganzas! 

Scroll down for the steps on how to create this personalized accessory.  And in the meantime, click the following link for a special message from The Beattles.  All you need is love - The Beattles

(photo courtesy of Emma from www.tresawsome.com)

All the photos above were taken by Emma, a TRES AWESOME! street style photographer from www.tresawesome.com.   She caught me outside at the Independent Fashion Blogger's Conference  that happened to coincide with the first days of fashion week here in New York.  She captures amazing moments and style (instgram = tresawsome).  Thank you Emma!

INSPIRATION: 1. Refinery's R29 shops vintage clutch  2. Kate Spade "Play Hooky" IPAD case (picture courtesy of www.caitlinschmidt.com) Caitlin's pics are all over Pintrest.  She styled this ipad case to perfection with her polka dot pleated skirt and alligator belt! Thank you for the pic Caitlin! :)

Materials: (can be found at most arts and crafts stores)
  • liquid gesso (smallest bottle)
  • acrylic paint (or any other fabric paint, glossy or matte)
  • brush (I also used an old makeup brush that I was going to toss anyways)
  • tape (painter's or masking tape)
  • letter stencils (adhesive stencils recommended)
  • large pouch/clutch (one you have on hand or I got this at American Apparel)
  • paint pen (in white because letters was in white)

Instructions: I used regular cardboard stencils and then taped around it with painters tape.  However, just as I suspected, the paint bled (but just a little bit).  I touched it up with the white painter's pen to get the lines straight.  I would recommend using adhesive stencils so the paint bleeds less.  You can use regular matte acrylic paint (what I used), or you can get any paint that's made for fabric or leather.  

After taping the letters, prep the surface inside the letters with liquid gesso (which is just a clear liquid that helps the paint adhere to the leather) by using your fingers.  Let the gesso set for about 10 minutes and then paint the acrylic paint over the letters.  Let it dry overnight in a well ventilated area.  

After the paint is dry, remove the stencils.  Touch up any edges that bled with the painter's pen and it's ready for use. :)

Keep love alive.  ❤ Enjoy!

Coat: vintage mink from No Relation consignment shop in East Village.  Skirt: H&M.  Shoes: All Saints.  Collar chain: DIY.  Clutch: American Apparel (DIY "LOVE").  Bracelet: Hermes.  Ring: That's Foxy.  Watch: Gucci

February 10, 2013

DIY: Valentine's Day Cards and Labels - Free Printables!

Happy Sunday you crazy kids!  Valentine's Day is just around the corner, and if you're a fabulous procrastinator (much like myself) you'll love our printable vday cards and labels.  Just print, cut, fold and you're all set!  What's more romantic than a semi-handmade card?  The answer is a lot of stuff, but this surely will cut it when you're on a time crunch! =)

We printed our labels out on white label/sticker paper (at local craft stores or target/walmart, $5/pack) and cut them out to place on packages or envelopes.  You can also just use plain paper and tape/glue it on.

HELLO...is it me you're looking for?

You can find the front and back of this card below - after printing the front, simply flip the page over to print on the back and follow the cut/fold lines.  We used white card stock (michaels, less than $1/sheet) and small brown envelopes (5.75" x 4.5") (michaels, $4 for a set of 25).  A quick trick to get a crisp, clean fold is to run a credit card along the fold crease.

Get your creative on and use other neutral color paper for your card.  We used brown card stock (from michaels, $4/pack) here.

Click the links below for the PDF's!  We recommend opening these in Adobe Reader for compatibility.



Neato! Bonito

February 5, 2013

DIY: light bulb vase

Anyone else have the winter blues?  Well we have a BRIGHT idea ... inspired by CB2 (below) and Anthropologie to brighten up your desk, your wall or your room.  I turned an old light bulb I had into a vase!  You can find different instructions on youtube and pinterest, but I found a good one here on Free People's blog.  :)  It's fairly simple, involves a lil bit of breaking glass and DESTRUCTION, so be careful.  Also please only use incandescent light bulbs (ones that look like like bulbs above and not the halogen kind) that contain no mercury or any gas inside because the other kind of light bulbs are very DANGEROUS and toxic. Please be safe.  


I used a string to hang it to a nail that was already in the wall - be sure to wrap tightly and use good clear tape or glue to adhere string to the bulb.  I filled it with 2/3 water and used wheatgrass instead of flowers for a fresh and vibrant feel.  This is on the wall in the entrance way into my apartment. 

OR, have it stand alone vs. hanging it.  Just like LIFE, a balancing act, if you will.  The key is to balance it when the water is settled.   This is on my window sill in my room. 

This is on my desk in my room. 

Give your desk a vase lift (haha!).  Have some other bright ideas?  Please share with us!