B at Jazz Fest!!!

Looking for a last minute getaway this weekend? If so, head to 'Nawlins (my fave city - tied with NYC, of course)! This is the final weekend to get in on the action at New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. Jazz Fest is arguably, the best event to go down in the bayou - even above Mardi Gras and Essence Festival. If N.O. Jazz Fest is new to you, let me sum it up: Food, Music, Sun. It's a pretty simple concept, but ooooweee, if you've never had crawfish bread in one hand, and a daiquiri in the other while laying on a blanket listening to Stevie Wonder, you haven't fully lived!

Check out a few of the acts hitting the stage this weekend!

Friday May 3rd


Saturday May 3rd



Sunday May 4th





B in the Spotlight...Alesha Renee'

B in the Spotlight w/ BET's...

1. What are your stats ?
I'm from Lake Charles, Louisiana raised in Houston, TX. military brat! Attended Univ. of Houston pre-law. I currently reside in NY.

2. How did you get into the world of entertainment?
I was discovered by BET at 22, making me the youngest person on the network! I had to interview, do cold reads and cold interviews and a week later out of 20,000 people, I'm here!

3. Did you always plan to be in limelight?
Yes! In one way or the other I started off wanting to do music... then went to entertainment law then ended up in broadcasting.

4. What was your first big break?
I think I'm actually still waiting on it… lol. I have a great start to my career and while I'm learning and growing I'm still not in the place where I'm a household name, and that’s the goal… so that’s the big break I'm waiting on :-)

5. Was there someone that you met along the way that totally shaped your career path?
Um...pre-television days it was Mr. Malinsky, my high school broadcast journalism teacher. He ALWAYS knew I would be in entertainment. He said “pickles ALWAYS remain you and the world will love you like we all do.”

6. What projects are you currently working on?
I'm currently developing my non-profit organization called Mae Bells Angels, as well as serving as a spokesperson for NCADV - the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the BET Rap It Up Tour, the Pantene “Total You” tour as well, as some acting

7. Have you met any celebs that you absolutely love/or that you could have done without?
lol - I won't throw any one under the bus...but, I LOVED QUEEN Latifah! She was FABULOUS!!

8. What was it like when you first started getting recognized on the street?
Crazy, because it took a minute for it to kick-in that people were just recognizing me and for the longest I was always wondering why in the heck were people staring at me...lol.

9. Where would you like to see yourself in the next 5 years?
Happy, successful and growing in my craft.

10. If you weren't a media figure/actress, what else would you be doing?
I'd probably be a psychologist, dealing with all my friends issues since they think I have all the answers - lol.

11. When you're not working, how do you spend your downtime..if you have any?
I take bubble baths, cook, write, read, spend time with family, and watch church online.

12. Any advice for someone trying to pursue similar path?
Yes, be you and just have fun! Take it one day at a time, tomorrow will work itself out.

13. If you had to give yourself one "B" what would it be?
Photo credits: Nigel D. for The Avenue Report Magazine

Thanks Alesha - keep doing your thing!
xo, Jen, The B-Life

B quoted...

"There is a light at the end of the tunnel... hopefully its not a freight train!" ~ Mariah Carey



Some great options for this weekend...

What: George Lois: The Esquire Covers
When: April 25th, 2008 - March 31st, 2009
Where: MOMA (Museum of Modern Art) 11 E. 53rd st. (near 5th Ave.)
Why: This collection is just as artistically relevant as it historically telling.

What: Samba Soul
When: Saturday April 26th (8:30p, 10:30p, 12:30a)
Where: SOB's 204 Varick St. (@ W. Houston)
Why: The music of Brazil...I'm so there!

What: threeKINGS presents....Spring Fever
When: Saturday April 26th
Where: France Origine - 71 Spring st. (btw. Lafayette & Crosby)
Why: It's time for a good one.


B Classic...

This is an ode to my dear friend who just finished paying off her first Chanel bag. In another exhilarating "taxi debate", we recently discussed whether it makes more sense to drop a thou on a once in a lifetime trip or on a handbag that you'll have forever. Personally, I was a little torn. But on that note, I was inspired to do a post on "the classics" - i.e. fashion staples for those of us looking to invest in a few items that might not appreciate, but will carry valuable stock in our overall wardrobes. 
Ever heard of a CPW (cost per wear?). Well, the CPW of these items might just make a case to support my (now debt free) girl's side of the argument. What do you think?











B out....TONIGHT!

What: Living Measure
When: Tuesday April 22, 2008 6:30 - 9:30P
Where: Libation (137 Ludlow St.)
Why: It's a party supporting Edeyo
- a charitable organization that serves children in Haiti by providing educational and nutritional support.


Living the B-Life!

Girls Brunch at Red Bamboo!
(L to R: Sally, Olivia, Gwen, friend, Susan, and Denise)

A few b-lifers were out and about and wanted to share their fabulous experience at Brooklyn's Red Bamboo. Let's see what the girls had to see about the vegetarian/Caribbean/soul favorite:

"As soon as we walked in the Brownstone-style restaurant, we fell in love with it's style and ambiance."

"...the best drinks this side of Brooklyn!"

"If you are seeking a chill-like neighborhood feel then you are at the right spot. The 1st floor has dining area and bar. The 2nd floor has more seating for dinner, bar, and lounge area with a fire place and patio as well!"

"It was our first time eating Vegan cuisine - you must try the mac and cheese and buffalo wings."

Learn more at: www.redbamboobrooklyn.com

B quoted...

"I mean, there are only so many notes. What makes something original is how you put it together."
~ Lenny Kravitz


B-LOVED: Abas Valet Clutch!

Have you ever played "that's my car" with the new Saks Holiday catalog? Or perhaps you've taken "window shopping" to the next level by going inside to inquire about a price? And of course, there are those of us who spot certain items, or hear about an experience that we absolutely covet without following through, due to price, impracticality, or other priorities (ah, priorities...). If this sounds like you, then I need your help and contributions for the brand new B-LOVED section.

Right now, I am totally loving my handy, dandy Abas clutch. I've had mine for over 2 years, but I get compliments on it at least once a day. Plus, Abas continues to roll out pretty metallics, lacquered animal prints, and other colors/textures that would make any bag-lover drool.

Beyond the styling, the Abas clutch is totally functional! It's large enough to carry when heading out, but compact enough to stuff into a larger bag.

The design is perfectly lady-like, with a retro, yet modern appeal. It's for the girl with lots of plastic, maybe a metro card, and hopefully a little cash to boot! Don't be scared by the $100+ price tag...you'll feel special every time you pop your Abas clutch open in the train station, at a restaurant, or perhaps the next time you go "window shopping".

Where to Buy:
Frosted Moon Emporium on South Portland (btw. Lafayette & Fulton) - Brooklyn, NY

The B-Life is looking for all reader submissions for items, places, things, etc. that are B-LOVED by you! Email me at theblife@gmail.com so you won't be in love alone.


B out...TONIGHT (4/16)!

Spring is in the air...oh yes it is...no turning back...spring is in the air!

What: "It's a Shoe Thing" Shopping Event
When: Wed. April 16th 6-8P
Where: Te' Casan - 382 W. Broadway (btw. Spring & Broome)
Why: The Fashion Bomb is giving us a little bubbly PLUS a 20% off discount. Thanks Claire!!!

What: Women Who Jam
When: Wed. April 16th - Doors open at 7p - Show starts at 8p
Where: Ashford & Simpson's Sugar Bar - 254 West 72nd Street, New York
Why: "A subsidiary of NABFEME, Women Who Jam! is a popular all female national music showcase and respected brand of live entertainment designed to provide a promotional outlet and gathering place for ground breaking female entertainers including singers, musicians and poets who are often overlooked by labels, concert promoters, radio and the media. Showcases are supported by record executives, industry tastemakers and music fans alike!"


Spa Week is baaack - April 14 - 20th, 2008!

It's Spa Week once again, so it's time to indulge and start setting up those appointments. For $50 you can wind down, re-energize, or melt away the week's stress with hot stone massages, body scrubs, reflexology and more. You deserve to treat yourself, so why not start a "me-time" tradition when you can get your thrills for the cheap (relatively speaking, of course).

The B-Life Pick - Dorit Baxter NY Day Spa
47 West 57th Street, Suite 301
New York, NY 10019

Spa Week $50 Specials

55 Classic European Facial
45 Sea Mineral Body Scrub with Warm Hand Paraffin
Brazilian and Eyebrow Wax

relax, relate, release...


B Out - This Weekend!

Happy Friday!!!
What: Bloom
When: Friday 4/11
Where: Nest - 215 W. 28th St. (btw. 7th & 8th Aves.)
Why: Spring is in Bloom + come out and celebrate with Columbia Business School students

What: ArtCrawl Harlem
When: Sunday 4/13
Where: All around Harlem!
Why: Explore the best art in Harlem's on a guided bus tour where you'll be escorted to various uptown galleries like Canvas Paper adn Stone Gallery, Essie Green Gallery, Tribal Spears and more!
For more information call Jacqueline Orange of Taste Harlem at 212-866-7427


B in the Spotlight - Will DuBose Jr.

The B-Life is all about living right and making it by doing something you LOVE. We recently spent a little time with Will DuBose Jr., a talented architect & designer who strives to create beautiful and personal spaces for his clients. What makes a house a home? Or better yet, in NYC, what makes an apartment/loft/condo, etc. feel like more than bricks and drywall? Adding personal touches to your space with a creative redesign can make all the difference!


Since its inception, Will’s company, Striving Design, has completed over 25 projects in New York City and surrounding areas. Work thus far includes: retail, commercial, and residential. Will received his Masters of Architecture at the University of Michigan, with studies completed at Oxford University and Morehouse College. He has also taught interior design at Pratt Institute, while running his Manhattan-based design practice.

  • Designer for HGTV's show Freestyle
  • Completed Interior Design for Magic Johnson’s Brooklyn Clock Tower apartments
  • Partnered with Dhani Jones (of the Cincinnati Bengals) for numerous projects, including the design of a Costa Rican eco-retreat.
  • Prepared designs and proposal for work at the residence of Hip Hop Mogul and Businessman. Hint: Can’t stop won’t stop
  • Completed designs for the residence of Anthony Mackie (Million Dollar Baby, We Are Marshall, She Hate Me)
  • A residence for a Showtime, CBS, Actor/Comedian
  • NYC Upper East Side apartment
  • MakeupMania flagship Store (182 Allen Street) opening in May
  • Brownstone of Textile Designer Malene Barnett
  • New Jersey Home of Doctor and retired basketball legend
1. What are your stats (age, hometown, schooling, etc.)?
I was born and raised in Chicago, IL, received my Masters of Architecture at the University of Michigan, with studies completed at Oxford University and Morehouse College.

My mom is a social worker and dad is a barber. My dad (through years of barber shop discussions) can talk about any subject: from television to molecular biology and he will sound good (I get that from him). My mom can relate to anyone and is a true striver and a mighty nice person (I get that from her).

2. How did you end up choosing architecture & design?
I began my studies as an artist. I visited Italy in summer of '93 to study art history and was enamored by Micheangelo and Brunaleschi's work. Since they did both architecture and art (and very well at that) I said I could too. I just knew I could make it happen.

Also being raised in the urban area of Chicago I was inspired to develop good housing thru the good and bad neighborhoods. Sometimes the best housing was all about the people who lived there; how they decorated with what they knew - grandmothers with plastic slipcovers and running mats throughout the house.

3. What has been the biggest challenge so far?
The biggest challenge is keeping the confidence. More important than anything anyone can think about me or any other prejudices I may encounter, believing that I can rock an apartment, home or office design matters most.

Kitchen - BEFORE

4. And the payoff?
The biggest payoff is looking at a space after it is done. The rhythm, the patterns, the big items purchased, the small architectural elements... all make sense. And doing this work (design work) everyday, full time, helps me realize what an opportunity I have been afforded.

Kitchen - AFTER

5. What makes you good at what you do?
My artistic background as a painter. I can put colors together that most folks cannot see. I create compositions that translate from 2d to 3d because of my experience as a painter, a designer, and a striver.

6. What would be your dream project, and why?
Designing a home for a highly spiritual person: the Dalai Lama, a pastor, an Islamic priest, or the Pope. Someone who spends lots of time at home. Spaces can assist in elevating your mind state, your condition, your health.

...Also designing a home for my grandmother

7. What do you think about all of the design shows on every network?
Has it helped or hurt your industry?
I have done a design show on HGTV and its been helpful to my career. However, I want to delve deeper as a designer in my next show. I have been told by producers taping me, "act gay! Give em what they want."

Will, Host - HGTV's Freestyle

8. What excites you about architecture/design?
What excites is me creating possibilities: Designing a room that makes a user stop and stand in awe.

9. If you weren't in your current field what else would you be doing?
I would be a writer. I would start a magazine... www.strivemagazine.com, as a matter of fact I will do that tonight. check out my mag site (smiles).

10. What has been your biggest triumph up to this point?
I consider the biggest triumph my next breath. My possibilities are here right now and I am creating more just being aware of right now. Many of my friends didn't make it to this point. I am just happy to be here doing what I love.

11. And failure?
Biggest failure...hmmm? At this point I have no regrets. "I just do it." I make so many mistakes, all the time, 75% of the time. But that's the beautiful part of it. Mistakes are a key part of the design process. If you want a good design you have to experience the mistakes.

12. What advice would you give to aspiring architects/designers?
Just do it and Just say next... every great professional does it.

A doctor loses a patient... They say, "NEXT!!!!"
A lawyer loses a case... They say, "NEXT!!!!"
Architects and designers and any other great professional has to realize, if
you are going to do something as great as designing a building or space or a
room, you will make mistakes. And if you make mistakes, say "NEXT!!!" That
will be part of the process.

13. If you had to give yourself one "B", what would it be? "B (bold,
bad, bossy, etc.).."?
Can I please have two words?..."Breakthrough Babyboy"

Thanks Will, now I'm inspired! When are you coming back uptown?

xo, Jen, The B-Life

Will's Contact:
Will DuBose Jr.
phone: 646-344-9798
fax: 646-304-3271
Striving For: Vivid, Embracing Interiors and Architecture


Saunders Sermon & Friends. - 4/9/08

Wednesday's never sounded so sweet...until Saunders Sermon brought the live jazz, that is! The B-Life is co-signing on this one, so if you're looking for a chill way to take in hump day, take it in at Sweet Rhythm

Saunders will knock you out with his one-two Trombonist/Vocalist combination - leaving you a little confused about which instrument you like the best. He's young, endearing, and he puts on a show that's laid back and goes perfectly with a mid-week cocktail. If Saunders alone isn't enough, he just might bring up friends like Lee Hogans (awesome trumpet player), Jesse Boykins III (a singer/songwriter with promise), or other members of his oh-so talented band. This is definitely a great look on a Wed. eve.! Don't just take my word for it...check it out for yourself.

Sweet Rhythm
88 Seventh Avenue South (@ Bleeker St.)

Saunders Sermon

Guest trumpeteer - Lee Hogans

Featured singer - Jesse Boykins III