B Trendy: Color on the Block!

Nicole Fiscella of "Gossip Girl" rocking Herve Leger

Color block
is far from being the new kid, but it's taking over on dresses, tops, and even shoes. Color blocking is best for those who want bold, beautiful color, without the fussiness of patterns or anything prissy. Color block makes a strong statement, and helps you maintain the power aesthetic of your look.

1. Richard Nicoll Silk Draped Dress; 2. L.A.M.B. Noel Sandal; 3. Alexander Wang Stretch Mesh Combo Dress; 4. Arden B Color Black Dolman Top; 5. Marc by Marc Jacobs Madras Color Block Bikini; 6. Marc by Marc Jacobs Silk Color Block Jumper

B quoted...

"If someone shows you who they are, believe them." ~ Maya Angelou

Talk is cheap, but actions have worth. Trust is a powerful thing, as long as it's earned - with action, not rhetoric.


B Loved: Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies

A few weeks ago, our girl "O" put Levain Bakery on the map or the cinnamon buns, but my boy has been telling me to try the Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies from his secret Upper West Side sweet shop for a minute, promising - "this will be the best cookie of your life."

Verdict? Ummmmm, yes it is! Or should I say "yummmm"? These perfectly golden brown, crispy on the outside, warm and chewy with their semi-sweet dark-chocolaty goodness on the inside, heavenly treats will bring out the inner cookie monster in anyone.

Levain Bakery - 167 W. 7th St., NYC (212)874-6080


B Around Town - NYC

The weather is heating up, and your schedule should follow. With so many options, it's time to leave your couch with reckless abandon. Enjoy!


B Advised: The First Kiss

It's hard to believe how awkward the notion of a "first kiss" can be...even in your twenties...or thirties. Many of us have been kissin' fools for over a decade, but the who, what, where, how, and how long, still play a part in getting to that perfect end-of-the-date smooch. A few guidelines:
  • Men, you're directing this movie. Please make the first move.

  • A first kiss is welcome on a second date, and if it doesn't happen by the third, you have to ask yourself, "am I in the friend zone"?

  • Asking for a kiss is a little awkward, so like Nike - just do it, BUT...give a little non-verbal warning via:
    - a backhanded caress on the cheek
    - a warm squeeze of the hand
    - rubbing of the thigh
    - eye contact
    (Now the lady knows you're coming in...)

  • It's in good taste to progress from a cheek kiss (first date), to a prolonged lip-to-lip kiss (no tongue), to the full monty on the next round.

  • Try to avoid popping mints, gum, or god forbid - breath spray, right before the moment - it's a definite spontaneity killer.

  • You don't have to wait until the end of the date to get your "first kiss" out of the way - kill it at a stoplight...or in a taxi. Sexy.

  • Alcohol is an approved form of social lubricant (aka. liquid courage) to take the nerves out of the first kiss. (Hint: Champs is great - Tequila - not so great)

  • Please don't update your Facebook/Twitter status after you've sealed the deal.


B Trendy Alert: Zippers!

Zippers are showing up everywhere in unexpected, yet fabulous places! B does the trend justice in the photo above with Gabrielle Union. Give it a try on a shoe if you just want to dip your toe in or go for the garment if you're really feeling it...

B Quoted...

"It's a shame to call somebody a 'diva' just because they work harder than everybody else." ~ Jennifer Lopez

If J.Lo's definition of 'diva' is correct, it surely applies to most of us. The B-Life & The Committee are currently re-working a few things to work harder for you. So don't call us divas...


B at REBIRTH! 2009...

New York Urban League Young Professionals invite you on join them on Saturday March 28th to...
Rebirth! 2009 - The Presence of Black: African-American Dance

Rebirth! is NYULYP's annual fundraising event - a Harlem Renaissance-inspired event which aims to fascinate the five senses while celebrating the African-American cultural arts experience. Sponsors include: Moet Hennessy, Belvedere, Uptown Magazine, Mercedes-Benz and BET.

Here are a few selects from past Rebirth! events...

Click here for more info to purchase your ticket!


How to beat the "blahs"...

We're all guilty of sinking into a bad case of the blahs every now and then. Try switching it up to beat the blahs. Ok, I won't get crazy, but I did this post as much for me as for anyone else. Here are a few tips to renew your spirit and beat those blahs with a bat!

Call an old friend from your hometown or your college.
Reconnecting with an old buddy you haven't talked to in months, or years, can be good for the soul. If it's someone outside of your usual circle, 9 times out of 10 they're going to have a totally different perspective and lend a nice out for your blahs...

Have a meal in a neighborhood you rarely visit.
For me, it's Chinatown. Take a new route, on a new train, and discover the potential for...something new.

Clean out your closets.
Clear out your closets and make room for new pieces and a new outlook. Not only will lose a those items you don't need, but you'll lose what you don't want - which prevents you from being the person you want to be.

Start popping multi-vitamins.
A One-A-Day will change your life. Whether it's about the mental or physical is a mystery, but it will work!

Parent a plant.
A wise person told me that you should never be the only thing breathing in your house. If it's not a kid or a pet, you can love a plant.

Send out your resume.
Tired of the old ball-n-chain, otherwise known as you J-O-B? Look around to see what's out there in your market. Polish up the resume and even take an interview or two. It's kinda like dating...always keep your options open.

Take a last minute vacation...anywhere.
Every Wednesday, the airlines post last minute airfares so you can seriously take mental vacation with an actual vacation. Nothing beats a blah like a spontaneous 2-day trip in a fabulous hotel with a little 48-hour adventure on the side.


B Loved: Terax Hydrate Bontanica Leave-In Moisturizer

This just in...my latest hair care discovery. With the summer approaching, I'm wishing you lots of beach vacations. But with that (and the process to get your hair back in presentable form), comes the potential for ocean/sea water, chlorine, and sun damage. And even without the the beach, our hair faces so many elements and exposure to hot tools, so we have to take action and protect it. 
Terax Hydrate Bontanica Leave-In Moisturizer is a light weight liqui-gel that serves as a layer of protection before you go to town on your tresses. It reminds me of a higher-end (and way more effective) Infusiam 23 from back in the day. As an added bonus, you'll even see a little more shine once the formula is applied. Shout out to Raves for letting me get a dab during Inauguration Weekend. Muah!


B in the spotlight: Christian from Harlem Heights!

The streets are buzzing about BET's newest and dearest project - Harlem Heights, and everyone has an opinion about the characters that fuel the story line. I may be a little biased, but it's safe to say Christian is my favorite "character" on the show. With his boy-like charm, obvious good looks, and laid back ambition, it only makes sense to get a little deeper with the someone that everyone wants to know more about.

Q: Are you ready for celebrity?
A: Ha! I mean, I am a low key dude. I don't know if I am ready for people to recognize me in the streets. It might be a little weird when you notice someone looking at you you know? But at least I know its because they are watching the show!

Q: How is Harlem Heights different than other BET reality shows?
A: Well, there isn't a show on television that relates to young black professionals in New York City...let alone anywhere. Everyone on the show represents a demographic of African American men and women that hasn't been captured. Fashion Designers, Magazine Editors, a Single Parent Father, A Television Producer, just to name a few... I don't know of a show on any t.v. network that can boast such a dynamic group of people working in different fields such as the aforementioned. Baldwin Hills is a show that showcases young African-American men and women doing their thing. A lot of those guys are still in high school, we are older and already into our careers.

Q: What is your “character” on the show?
A: My character? Well, I guess I am the "cool kid" LOL. I am just laid back you know. I kick it with everyone and you might occasionally hear my opinion on one or two subjects here and there! I mean, I think that is for the viewers to decide.

Q: Any truth to the “love” rumors between you and Brooke on the show or is it all for the cameras? (We’re friends so I need 100% truth.)
A: There are love rumors? Really? Brooke is a good, good friend...and anytime two people of the opposite sex become close rumors start to fly. Brooke is someone I confide in and trust, she is a great person and an even better friend.

Q: What are you up to now that the show has wrapped?
A: I still am the Lifestyle Editor for Dime Magazine. We just dropped our March issue, which is on sale now. LeBron James graces the cover, so if you're a basketball fan pick it up now. Currently, we're working on our next issue. Its gonna be a goodie..I can't tell you too much but bball fans will like the content alot.

How does you 9-5 as a Lifestyle Editor at Dime Magazine cross over with your real life? What is a typical day like?

A: A lot of my job requires me to meet with clothing companies and footwear companies so I can have a heads up on hot items dropping on the market. A lot of product comes to me before it hits the streets so I have to be in the know. My days are never really the same. I have an English Degree which I use every day! LOL. I still write for the magazine as well so if I am not writing I am looking over pages for corrections, putting content up on our website for our online readers (totally different from our in book content), interviewing players, and attending events. My job is very exciting, and you're constantly are getting geared for the 'next thing.'

Q: Name 3 things that you can’t live without, and why?
A: I can't live without my Blackberry, a Basketball, and a NY Yankee Fitted Hat. LOL. My Blackberry because I do so much work outside of the office. I need to be accessible at all times in regards to communicating with my co-workers. Whether it is looking at a pdf, sending game info to one of the guys by a computer, or simply sending a confirmation for a meeting, I have to stay sharp. Also, my father and I talk everyday, without fail, so I need to communicate with him too. A Basketball is self-explanatory. I play every chance I get. Basketball is an addiction. I play year round and will continue to. The Yankee fitten is classic!! Anyone who knows me knows that I keep a fresh Yankees. I wear it all the damn time too. I kinda stole the idea from Denzel Washington. He is always rocking one, why can't I?! LOL

Q: You’ve already done a lot, but tell me, what do you want to “B” when you grow up? What’s your legacy?
A: When I grow up...I want to 'B' a positive influence on the masses. Men and Women. I hope people of all races can look at all I have accomplished and say, "You know what, I can do what Christian did, Hell...I can do it better!"

Thanks Christian! I have a feeling I might get a few more questions about you on the side... The B-Life hopes you'll grace us with another guest spot!
xo, Jen

Tune in to BET to watch Harlem Heights on Mondays at 10/9c


Photo: Nakesha (center) and friends

B-Life reader Nakesha, wants to spread the word about Shecky's Girl's Night Out fashion & beauty event! Coming to a city near you, Shecky's brings you an evening of discount shopping, cocktails (I should have listed that first), an opportunity to score up to $100 in free swag, and the chance to kick it with your girls doing what you love best...

The Shecky's Girls Night Out event is usually free for subscribers, or up to $30 for a ticket. But try to catch a deal on the ticket price if you can to maximize the fun for less! GNO is hitting the Chi, DC, ATL, The Hamptons, Philly, H-Town and more... Check it!
Thanks for the heads up Nakesha!
xo, Jen 
The B-Life

The B-Life is now accepting READER SUBMISSIONS. Let us know what's hot in your neck by sending an email to Jen at theblife@gmail.com.

B at the sample sale!

From chic Rachel Roy frocks to cheeky Only Hears basics, now is the time to stretch that dollar with a few feel-good investment pieces. Happy shopping!

Rachel Roy
Mar. 15-19. Sun.-Thurs., 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
230 Fifth Ave., b/t 26th & 27th Sts.

Lauren Merkin
Mar. 17-21. Tues.-Fri., 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sat., 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
231 W. 29th St., b/t Seventh & Eighth Aves.., ste. 201

Mar. 19-21. Thurs., 12-7 p.m.; Fri., 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
13 Crosby St., b/t Howard & Grand Sts., 2nd flr.

Only Hearts
Mar. 19-22. Thurs.-Sat., noon-8 p.m.; Sun., noon-7 p.m.
230 Mott St., b/t Prince & Spring Sts.

Mar. 25 & 26. Wed., 8 a.m.-7 p.m.; Thurs., 8 a.m.-6 p.m.
Warwick Hotel, 65 W. 54th St., at Sixth Ave., 2nd flr.


The B-Life wants YOU!

Do you want to promote your business?
Do you want to share pics from a past event?
Do you need advice on a particular topic?
Do you want to share info about a hot spot (in NYC or anywhere in the world)?
Do you want to share an article/post that you wrote?
Are you hosting an event?
Are you looking for volunteers for a community effort?
Are you hiring?
Are you mad as hell about something?
Are you in love with a product or service?

Contact Jen at theblife@gmail.com

Ps. The B-Life is looking for a few exciting people, places, products, and projects to feature in an upcoming filmed segment. Send an email to the address above for consideration.

B Loved: Sofrito NYC

Sofrito, 400 E. 57th St., NYC

I walked into Sofrito NYC I suddenly felt like I was anywhere but Midtown East. The energy, the people, the laughter, the music, and all around JOYOUS vibes were so pervasive that I felt consumed, and little confused. Where was I? My boy casually brought me to Sofrito, with the hope that I could get a glass of sangria and "Spanish food". Little did I know, Sofrito was an experience...and one you should all have if you haven't all ready! To be honest, I felt a little played that I'd been in the city so long without the pleasure or knowledge of such a place.

In short, the food is amazing! You must try the empanadas and the Sofrito Mojito. Delish! Come dressed a little jazzy. because people all around you will be looking and feeling they're best. Sofrito feels like a South Beach, or San Juan hot spot on a very good night. And according to my boy (and newly appointed NYC restaurant muse), Sofrito is always booming.

Before heading out, check the website for the entertainment schedule which ranges from a live DJ to Latin swing Monday thru Friday. If you like tasty, flavorful food, and are ready to let your hair down for the eve - this is your spot! I might even see you there...


B a jumper (for your body type)!

Get in on this HOT trend at the beginning of the season so you can get the most mileage out of your jumpsuit. Like, most, I a huge fan of the high-low shopping philosophy, but unfortunately you can't cheap out if you're going to jump for this look. Every detail counts and it will show. Get in early, wear your new jumpsuit in every city, and accessorize, accessorize, accessorize, to switch it up!

If you've got a petite frame like Thandie...
Sue Stemp Jumpsuit - $1,095

If you've got an hourglass like Halle...Theory Jilleny W Jumpsuit - $345

If you've got womanly hips like Alicia...
Alice + Olivia Trevor Draped Culotte - $440

If you've got an amazing decolletage like Rosario...
Black Halo Strapless Jumpsuit - $390

If you've got a modest chest like Kerry...
Zimmermann Honey Rider Jumpsuit - $437

If you've got a full figure like J.Hud...
Alice + Olivia Flutter Sleeve Jumpsuit - $367


B quoted...

"We are getting an education of a lifetime. We're actually out there in the real world." ~ Solange Knowles