August 28, 2013

SOUL: the road not taken

beautiful words by mr. frost.  sometimes you just gotta take the road less traveled.  

design by neato! bonito.  font by magnus cederholm
xoxo, NB

August 21, 2013

FEATURE: cream style x neato! bonito

CREAMSTYLE x NEATOBONITO! I am very excited to post these pictures from the photoshoot with the Cream Team for their Cream Style app! I was fortunate enough to be able to shoot some looks for their style feed and be featured on their blog. You can read the interview HERE!   Also very fortunate to call the dynamic duo of photographer and stylist (of this shoot), MY FRIENDS!  It doesn't seem like work, when you get to do the things you love with the people you love - a LIFE collaboration, if you will. We packed our bags full of dreams and took a leap of faith to relocate to the big, bad City of New York all for different reasons and at separate times but here we are - collaborating ...and thangs!  Drake couldn't have said it any better, "started from the bottom, now we here, my whole team here."  And I couldn't be more proud of the two young ladies mentioned here.  Made in Austin, TX!  :)  

Jenny is the amazing photographer who usually shoots weddings but took a break from that to do wonders in capturing these awesome photos! Rose is the firecracker in-house stylist  for Cream who styled and came up with all these looks.  She gave me the wonderful opportunity to be featured on the their app! Inspired by the philopsophy of "if you work hard and you're kind to people, amazing things will happen", they are a living testament of this. Both of them also share Neato Bonito's same love for food, fitness, fashion, friends and fun. Projects like these with people like this are an ever burning fuel for our inspiration.  

Cream has been described as "keeping the pulse on the industry's tastemakers, serving up daily inspiration to make sartorial statements" by the Hall of Style.  Cream's founding team is based out of the fashion teeming city of  Seoul, Korea and right here in the great New York City! You can find out where to get all the pieces I'm wearing, browse their other carefully curated looks, and most importantly, SHOP all the looks on their app!  Available for free download in the app store now. TAP DAT APP baby!  Also, see how you can win the Saint Laurent bag pictured below in the info at the end of the post!

Photography: Jenny Fu Photography  //  Styled by: Rose Tran  // Makeup: Nina Soriano

Cheers to more life collaborations! xoxo, nb.

Cream Style is giving away this gorgeous "it" Saint Laurent duffle bag that you've probably seen gracing the arms of Kate Moss in all the magazines and tabloids.  You can WIN THIS BAG.  To enter,  all you have to do is share any look from the app.  No limit to entries. More shares = more entries.  For more details, please go HERE!

August 19, 2013

DIY: rhinestone and chain statement necklace

DIAMONDS on my neck!  I've been looking for the perfect statement necklace to pair with some casual tops like sweatshirts and graphic tees.  Nothing like fancy-ing up a basic top with some grand jewels, right?  And since I couldn't quite find one that I loved (either something was off or the price was NOT right), I decided I'd have to just make this bad boy myself.  

We've used this term before, but there was some major FRANKENSTEIN-ING going on to piece this necklace together.  This basically means we hoard fun costume jewelry pieces, take them apart, then mix and match to create a new masterpiece!  It's actually really fun to do because you get to customize the entire piece, and once you're done it's one of a kind!

Now, remember - there is no science behind this.  It really is just gathering some pieces that you like, taking them apart and then attaching them back together.  Most of the "parts" I used were from the bargain bins at H&M and Forever21.  Have fun with it!

For this necklace I used:

- An old F21 silver chain I had
- A pendant that used to dangle from a pair of H&M earrings
- A pair of old Forever 21 earrings (not pictured here)
- Another pair of H&M earrings (I removed the neon roping)
- Pliers - I used two pairs which is useful for opening/closing loops

Here are some tips:

- Make sure you have plenty of "connectors" (the loops that attach the pieces together) in the color you need.  You can also buy these at craft stores in different sizes.
- If the pieces aren't laying right, add or remove loops to balance them out
- You can easily snip away earring backs using your pliers 
- Measure the chain length you'll need on yourself and adjust to your desired length

Enjoy Frankenstein-ing your own piece!

August 14, 2013

FEATURE: guy DIY pocket tshirts to buy

This week, we're excited to FEATURE the fun and simple designs of Mana Aesthetics!  We are always looking for inspiration and admire the tenacious attitude of the young and talented.  These tees from Mana Aesthetics definitely is DIY at it's finest.  Their pieces take the classic tee (and other basics) and give it a little twist with patterned pockets and sleeves.  We're loving this heather gray tank with floral pocket - keepin it simple with a pop of fun!  Our model is actually in a guy's size S tank.  This would be a great DIY project but this time we'll leave it to Mana Aesthetics to make it for you!  For this post, we want to simply share and to respond to all the, "I have no time for DIY, where can I BUY?" requests.  The answer is right --->  HERE!  Also this is to answer requests for more GUY DIY stuff.  This is our attempt towards a step to include YOU GUYS in our fun! Get 'em while it's hot.    

Mana Aesthetics is designed and made in Austin, TX (woot, some hometown lovin!) by the talented David Kim, we just love his go-getter mentality and entrepreneurial spirit.  Stay hungry, stay foolish! 

Thanks to our model, Doah Kim and photographer Jin Kim.  

Tank:  Mana Aesthetics // Shorts:  BCBG // Belt: H&M // Bracelet: Hermes, That's Foxy  // Sunglasses: Jimmy Choo //  Bag: Saint Laurent // Necklace:  Brandy Pham // Styled by Margaret of Neato Bonito // Photography:  Jin Kim 

August 12, 2013

DIY: gold plated metal studded belt

Hello!  I feel like I've been behind on this blog game due to traveling, full time job, part time job, working on projects, working on my fitness and basically LIFE.  My apologies, but don't fret, I'm back and trying my best to balance all of this and slowly but surely will be revealing the projects and collaborations we've been working on!    

I don't know about you, but I am a belt lover!  I have a clear storage box in my closet full of over 50 different kinds of belts (fabric belts, metals belts, leather belts, OH MY!) for every outfit and occasion.  As I've mentioned before in our previous DIY peplum ostrich feather belt post, belts are figure flattering, fun and flirty! It just creates dimension and has waist-whittling effect at the same time.  However, as opposed to the ostrich feather one I made, this ONE is a bit less feminine with the metal plates, spiky studs and all.  Doesn't make it any less fun!  You can style it with a more floral feminine dress or the way I did here with a casual short/tshirt combo.  Read below how to get your CHAMPION status on and make your own heavy weight  belt! 

  • brass plate- I bought a k&s engineering bendable brass plate from my local art store. 
  • 1 in satin ribbon- I bought 2 yards from local fabric store. 
  • E6000 glue- I always have this glue in my craft box. 
  • flat back gold studs - I bought a bag of a 100 of these a long time ago for other projects.
  • scissors  


1.   First you want to wrap the ribbon around your waist and tie a bow in the back.  It should feel snug but comfortable.  Then, trim the excess ribbon with scissors.  Then, lay the brass plate in the middle of the ribbon (as pictured in step 1).  After you measured it to what you think is the middle, mark it off.  I just placed two studs at either side to mark my place.

2.   Apply a thin but sufficient layer of E6000 glue to the back of the brass plate and then press the plate onto the ribbon where you marked it off.  Press firmly until the glue starts to dry.

3.   Lay the studs on the plate to see where you want to glue them.  After playing around with the placement and you come to your final decision, mark the placement with a small dot with a pen.  Then apply glue to the back of the studs and lay them where you marked them off and press firmly and allow to dry before picking up the belt.

4.  Finally, for a finished touch, I added studs to the end of the belt so when you tie it in the back, the bow will have also have a studded look.  And voila! Wait about 30 minutes for the glue to dry before you start styling with an outfit.

Tip:  you may not get through airport security in this so maybe not the best travel belt :(  Other than that, happy metal plating!  

Skort: Choies // Shirt: Brandy Melville // Belt:  DIY // Bag:  Saint Laurent // Watch:  Michael Kors // Bracelets: Vietnamese gold, H&M cuff, Hermes and DIY black beaded M intial bracelet // Shoes:  Chanel Espradilles (sold out) // Sunglasses:  Carerra Racing // Photographed by:  Doah Kim 

August 7, 2013

EAT: cheese and charcuterie board

 More cheese please!  Simple and delicious, I love throwing together a quick cheese board when having guests over.  There's no cooking involved, and it's so fun to pick at and test out cheeses while chatting it up with your favorite peeps (and favorite wine).

Throw in some fun little sides and you're all set!  This summer, I'm all about the dried FIGS!  I mean, I love fresh figs, but sometimes they can be hard to keep stocked without going bad.  Enter...delicious, chewy, sweet dried figs!  So FIGgin good.  You also gotta have some sort of carby goodness (I used crackers), meaty goodness (I used salami), and of course some classic olives finished off with some dijon mustard to spread. 

who cut the cheese!?!