B on vacation...

The B-Life is taking a short vacation. We'll be back with you in March!

B a Recessionista!

Most of us have finally come to a point where we've realized - Houston, we have a problem. This recession has spiraled out of control, and we can no longer pretend it's not real, just because we avoid opening our 401K statements. If it hasn't touched us personally, we all have a friend who is way too bright to be out here in the world without a job, or at minimum, an interview. That being said, the recession has officially smacked us in the face, and it's time to take action, and be pro-active about saving and spending wisely. It's a personal challenge of mine, so I wanted to start by thinking of ways to be more prudent without sacrificing too much of my normal routine.

1. Call your credit card company and ask them for the lowest interest rate available.

Just play a little hardball and use phrases like "I'm thinking of closing this card" or "What's the lowest interest rate you're currently offering?"

2. Create a budget: Income - Expenses = Amount Banked Per MonthThe easiest way is to start backwards when creating a budget. If I make X amount per month, and I want to save X amount per month...how much can I spend? Work it out!

3. Carry cash...only.
Tried and tested - this has a 100% success rate! Swiping your debit card all day long is gonna put you in a bad place. Take out exactly what you're allowed to spend in cash on Sunday afternoon for the upcoming week. When you only have $40 left and it's Friday morning, you're gonna think twice about that $5 latte.

4. Accept industry invitations. (Think: open bar)
Remember when you first moved to the city and you accepted every industry invitation and there were open bars for days? No shame in your game. Get your swagger back on someone else's dime.

5. Embrace your inner child - dust off your piggy bank for splurge purchases.
Want a new flat screen or the latest Balenciaga bag? Don't deny yourself completely, but do employ old school tactics and stash a little cash each week for your splurge. Patience, my friend.

6. Throw a dinner party.
Eating out usually costs $30 per person at minimum. Don't neglect your friends just because you're trying to save Start a rotating dinner club where each member takes a turn hosting. For less that $100 you can easily feed 5 people.

7. Brown-bag it.

8. Reserve taxi rides for weekends only.
When leaving the party with friends you can split the tab! Otherwise, use that unlimited MTA card. That's why you bought it!

9. Make a list of free events.
Peruse the weekly "happenings" section of your local newspaper for free events. You'd be surprised at how active your social life will be once you incorporate a few art gallery openings, movie screenings, and the list goes on...!

10. Explore a side hustle.
You have to find a minimum of 2 streams of income. Period.

If you have any other smart money tips, please email them to me at
theblife@gmail.com. Let's keep this thing going! xo, Jen


B...the SEXIEST date spot in NYC!

The Great Jones Spa
29 Great Jones St., NYC 10012

Ok, the secret is out. (And I'm sorry to my Facebook friends who I asked to wait patiently for this post.) It's not a restaurant, it's not a lounge, and no Wayne, it's not a swingers club. My current vote for the SEXIEST date spot in NYC, unless someone proves me otherwise, is the Water Lounge at The Great Jones Spa. When I stumbled upon it accidentally over the weekend, I felt like I was on the overnight "dream date" on The Bachelor.

The Water Lounge at The Great Jones Spa is an oasis in the middle of Noho. Just picture, you and your date stripping down to tasteful bathing suits, and rinsing off in a multi-head shower before you take on the definition of an adult water park.

For $50 (or free with any spa service over $100), you and your boo can enjoy 3 hours in the 4-part water lounge: the River Rock Sauna, the Chakra-Light Steam Room, the Thermal Hot Tub, and the Cold Plunge.

You can explore the wet activities as a pair, have light conversation while you sip green tea, and detoxify your body, and stimulate your (eh hem...) senses. Your experience will only be further heightened by the calming sounds of the waterfalls surrounding you, and the light jets of the thermal hot tub.

The water lounge feels like a Roman bath, with sex appeal. The power to balance, restore, provide a comfortable setting to get to know each other intimately (through conversation) is all there. And once you dry off and throw on your white robe, my guess is you'll be itching to start part 2 of your date.

B-Life hint: Try going Wed - Friday. The water lounge closes a little later at 9:30PM.


Outstanding Oscar Fashion: Sensational Seven!

Taraji P. Henson wearing Roberto Cavalli

Vanessa Hudgens wearing Marchesa

Alicia Keys wearing Armani Prive'

Marisa Tomei wearing Versace

Beyonce Knowles wearing House of Dereon
(great work Mrs. Tina! - So Vanity 6, but love it!!)

Jessica Biel weating Prada

Sarah Jessica Parker wearing Dior Haute Couture

B quoted: John Legend

"The best training is to play by ear: trial by fire." ~ John Legend


Reader Submission: B outraged!

Hey Jen,

I just thought the below would be something worth posting and commenting about on your Blog. This is very disrespectful, outrageous and upsetting. I will be writing a letter and think your blog is a good communication board to encourage others to do the same.

It should be understood that this new generation of young voters and Americans who want to move forward and look to the future will NOT tolerate such shameful reporting and antics... It's plain out not funny!!!

The main thing I would like to get across is that "we" whom all a have a part and responsibility to this presidency MUST respond to this!!! This was the NY Post... where are their heads at to allow such a thing to be printed? I think this is the perfect opportunity to nip this sort of bad behavior in the bud by making it be known that this is upsetting and not cool, not cool at all! Please encourage ALL to take 10 minutes and write to the editor

I'm pissed, really pissed!


B reviewed: For the Love of Ray J

It's with some shame, and complete candidness, that I review yet another reality show "For the Love of Ray J." On one hand you have to thank the stars that Flavor class="blsp-spelling-error" id="SPELLING_ERROR_0">Flav's coon show has come to an end, but on the other hand, are we really happy that Brandy's little brother has continued his legacy. Admittedly, (and don't you tell a soul), yes.

Watching Ray J "search for love" is kinda like watching your egg-head cousin run through girls with b-level game, and having a chuckle at how emotionally involved these chicks are after 1 night of living in his "house". To be fair, Ray J does have a charm, an honesty, and a little swag that makes his commentary quite humorous and engaging. I also have to admit, after seeing the tape, you also feel that Ray J, just might be entitled to a girl that can handle him...all of him.

Speaking of the girls...not bad. While I doubt any of them are doing anything super significant, other than participating in the show, some of them seem like genuine, cute, round-the-way girls that I could be friends with. What's more is that you feel like you actually know a girl just like "Unique" or just like "Cocktail", unlike the characters like "New York" who were completely manufactured.

Check you local listings for show times, but don't tell anyone you read about it on ont style="font-weight: bold; color: rgb(0, 0, 102); font-style: italic;">The B-Life.

xo, Jen


B a look-a-like?

Do these Hollywood (and political) stars ever get a case of mistaken identity? Between dabbling in similar trends and mutual red carpet events, it's likely.

Desiree' Rogers & Terri Vaughn

Fonzworth Bentley & Ryan Leslie

Vanessa Bryant & Kim Kardashian

Chudney Ross & Essence Atkins

Nas & Timbaland

Lil' Kim & Monica "Danger" Leon (from For the Love of Ray Jay)



What: Sol Village
When: Wed. February 18th, 8PM
Where: SOB's - 204 Varick St. @ W. Houston
Why: Eric Roberson & company...love it!


B bizarre or brilliant?

Hmmm, it's several days later, and I'm still a little baffled. You be the judge. How are we feeling?


Trend Watch: B armed!

Long shoulder bags are perfect for Spring, and they're completely fuss-free. The long Chanel chain-link bag is the classic iteration of this trend, but there are lots of fun versions to choose from. Slang it across your shoulder, pack light, and you're all set!

All-Purpose Edge (a la Rihanna)

Urban Outfitters - Colonial Madness Mini Pouch - $69 ($49 in the store!)

Femme Avant Gard (a la Solange)
Forever 21 - Croc Heart Clutch w/ Chain - $19

Sporty Chic (a la The Simmons Sisters)

Ethnic (a la India Arie)

West/Feren - Berkshire Bag - $175

Artsy (a la Denise Huxtable
Forever 21 - Sequined Shoulder Bag - $12

Glamorous (a la Apollonia)
Carlos Falchi - Baby Satchel - $255

Preppy (a la Ashley Banks)
Miu Miu - Stamped Leather Clutch - $420

B Tubed: "I'm on a Boat" featuring T-Pain

I didn't want to like this but...damn.




What: JI Group presents...44
When: Friday February 13th, 10PM-4AM
Where: Amalia/D'or - 204 W. 55th St. (btw. Broadway & 7th Ave.)
Why: My president is black...!
What: threeKings present...President's Weekend
When: Sunday February 15th, 10PM
Where: Branch - 226 E. 54th St. (btw. 2nd & 3rd Aves.)
Why: Branch & threeKings is a beautiful combination


B Loved: Planet Fitness

I have to admit, it took me a while to warm up to the idea of joining a gym in Harlem. I fought it for a while, holding on to a crappy midtown membership and joining my company gym. I finally gave in to the irresistible $19 a month offer at Planet Fitness, figuring that for minimal investment, I could end up all the better by having a gym 5 blocks from my apartment. Low and behold, I was right! Some refer to my most-visited place in Harlem (5 times a week!) as Club Planet Fitness, based on the vast number members, some of which will eye you down unrelentlessly and ask for your number if they muster the courage. It is fun, however, to run into friends, foes, old college buddies, and potential crushes every now and then. But the club/reunion atmosphere can be avoided all together if you go for the morning routine. It’s like a relaxing pit stop before you take on the day. For all of my Harlemites trying to get fine in ‘09...I highly recommend Club PF.


B a Valentine: FOR THE FELLAS

Valentine's Day Tutorial: FOR THE FELLAS

Ladies, forward this to your man, your brothers, uncles, friends, foes and the like. Fellas, take notes. No matter what your girl says, she wants to celebrate this Hallmark holiday with the rest of them. It's not about breaking the bank or planning for months, but it's about doing a small gesture to say "I'm happy you're in my life." Plus, V-Day is the perfect holiday to earn a few brownie points whether you're married, engaged, dating, or just in that "I want to get to know you better" phase. Here are a few ideas...

One of my best V-Day’s was when my then-boyfriend gave in to my many pleas to watch The Notebook (for my 4th time) on DVD. It was sweet, and it was the only gift I wanted that that year.

Don’t have enough vacation days to fly away? Woo your boo with a night away from home in a luxury hotel suite. Spring for room service and just enjoy a romantic night in your hotel-provided terry-cloth robes.

Put your girl on to something new. There’s nothing sexier than a man who can show you a thing or two. Dance lessons, a wine tasting, or even a cute potting class will allow you both to discover something new – together.


Ever give your girl a hard time for her addiction to Sex and The City or even her affinity for red bottom’s. Succumbing in to your girl’s main fetish is the ultimate way to say I love EVERYTHING about you, including the crazy, quirky things that don’t make any sense. You might as well jump off the deep end with her now!


Baking a homemade sweet treat is a delicious and unexpected way to put a smile on your girls face. The most manly of men look the sexiest when stepping outside the box (even if it’s Betty Crocker) for their girls.

I said it last year, and I’ll say it again. Flowers are a mandate. Fellas, please shower your lady with something fresh and colorful in the form of a flower. Please don’t let your girl be the one at work with no flowers. All her co-workers will be like “oh, damn, I thought she had a man.” But really, there’s no better feeling than seeing your mail guy come down the hall with a fresh vase of buds with your name on it. It never gets old!!