Crafting Your Bare Minimum: How To Be Stylish When You Feel Like You Got Hit By A Truck


Yesterday my heart broke.  I knew it was going to happen.  I had no delusions that it would be any different. But still, my heart broke.  My teenage son was visiting and had to go back home to his dad.  It was a beautiful week full of laughs, family and the beach.  But, he needed to go home and fulfill his responsibilities as an incoming senior in high school. 

It was also Father’s Day and I wanted to make sure my husband had a fun day.  He doesn’t get nearly enough praise and recognition from me, and this was a perfect day to show him how much he means to us.  We brainstormed and came up with lunch and a trip to GameStop. 

I wanted to show him a good time, but I was feeling like hell.  My eyes were swollen from crying, my sinuses were clogged, and my face was red.  I didn’t just feel like hell, I looked like it.  Mr. Holcomb and I came up with the idea of doing the bare minimum to still be true to myself.  There was no way, after all I’ve read about personal branding, that I was going out in sweats and no make up.  I needed some basic essentials. 

I picked a few things that were part of my signature and perked me up.  Then I did a bit of damage control to the areas that needed work.  Today was not the day for a smokey eye or red lip. 


My bare minimum makeup is:

1. Concealer

2. Mascara

3. A tiny winged liner to lift my eye

4. Bronzer/blush/highlight 

5. Lipgloss

6. Glitter!!!!!

I didn’t feel like having a full face of makeup but I knew some strategically placed products would help lift my eyes and add color to the face.  Glitter is one of my signatures, so I had to add it in. 

For accessories, I put on a tiara because, why not?  I needed to feel fabulous.  When you wear an outrageous accessory, nobody is looking at your eye bags.  Big sunnies hid my eyes and a sparkly necklace added some shine.  I kept my purse and shoes easy and no nonsense, and threw my hair into a claw. 

For the outfit, I layered black, red and white. It’s an easy combination that can’t go wrong.  I’m wearing a black cami and red tank top from Fred Meyer and white denim shorts from Walmart.  Nothing crazy.  Just easy, breezy and comfy, but still super cute. 

There you have it.  Easy, sparkly and still me- just a basic version. 

Do you have a bare minimum routine to get you through the tough days?  If so, I’d love to hear about it. 

What’s in a Name? My Rebranding Story

Disclaimer- I may cause some parental upset. I promise, I don’t mean to. I love my name now ūüėÄ

Have you ever thought about your name? What it means? Who else has that name? What is it associated with? 

For years I hated my name.  I associated it with alcohol (the literal meaning is “burnt wine”), strippers and dogs.  I lost count of how many times I’ve heard “Brandi?  I can remember that!  That’s my dogs name!”  I remember watching a show about the effect a name has on a person’s future.  The narrator said certain names bring to mind a trailer park, stripper vibe.  He started naming a few names, and I remember saying, “Don’t you dare say it, don’t you dare say it.”  Then he said it- Brandi. 

I decided to create a new name to use as my pen name when I started my blog.  At the time, I loved bees and my middle name Kristina.  So Kristina Bee was born.  I wrote under that pen name for six years. 

But recently, I’ve been feeling conflicted.  I am who I am, and I love who I am.  I’m not a dog or a stripper or a bimbo.  In fact, since I’ve moved to the Portland area, I’ve met so many Brandis and none of them fit into that stereotype.  The ladies I’ve met are smart, strong, creative, passionate, and just good people in general. 

At this time, I also started reading about making a brand.  I won’t get into the details,  but the author strongly suggests using your name as your brand name, becoming a living representative of your brand. 

So who am I?  I am creative, zany, funny, sparkly and passionate.  I’m weird, different, an individual.  I am not corporate, conservative, or average. Kristina Bee wanted to fit in.  Brandi Holcomb will never fit in.  Once I came to understand who I am and what I’m about, I realized my whole brand needed to change. 

Brandi means burnt wine.  I love wine and I’m smoking hot.  I’m also intoxicating and have a fiery temper.  I am Brandi, and I am here to stay!

March Favorites: Featuring The Rachel Zoe Box Of Style


This is my first favorites post, and I am so excited to combine it with a review of the Rachel Zoe Box of Style. 

March can be a hard month to get through because it’s not quite warm enough for spring clothes, but I’m so tired of plums, deep teal and burgundy.  I crave bright colors and pastels!  I needed to find a balance between warm weather and cold weather gear. 


This water bottle from BKR is a blush shade silicon sleeve over glass.  I love this water bottle because the opening is small.  I don’t have to worry about fixing the constant hole in my chin. 

My signature perfume for the month is Coach Poppy.  I spent five dollars and took this beauty home. Seriously guys, sign up for Walgreens Rewards program and the new beauty bonuses.  They do add up and you can get amazing deals. 

My planner is the Life Planner from Erin Condren.  This beauty keeps me on track with all the craziness that goes on in my life.  My favorite feature is the customizable cover. 

My fave nail polish is this pale pink from Butter in the shade “Piece Of Cake”. 


The candle from D.L. & Co. in black dahlia is floral, slightly musky, and very grown up. I usually get fruity candles, but this sophisticated scent won me over. 

My skincare superstar is this rice enzyme powder from Tatcha.  You pour a small amount into very wet hands, lather, and use it to exfoliate your face.  My face is so soft since I incorporated it into my routine.

This watch by Avon has a white face, simple black strap, and a red heel with the word “classy” on the face. It’s neutral enough to go with anything I wear, yet adds a touch of personality. 

The scarf by Symbology is metallic gold stamped on a red satiny scarf.  I like it as a pop of color on my bag. 

My hijab is by Voile Chic and is a stretch gorgette in a blush color.  It almost matches the water bottle! Blush is an on trend spring neutral and I think it will stick around through the summer. 

My earrings are from Adornmonde. You have the choice of gold or silver, and I love me some gold.  The hoop is detachable, so you can wear it as just a barbell if you like. 
My last favorite is the beautiful Tribe Alive bag.  The stitching is top notch, the zippers are YKK, so you know I approve.  It holds everything I need to get me through the day. 

The Rachel Zoe Box of style included the Tribe Alive bag, Adornmonde earrings, Symbology scarf, Butter nail polish, BKR water bottle and Tatcha rice powder.  The spring box was $100 and the value was almost $500.  I have been obsessed with every single item, and have used them every day since i received my box.  I give the box high praise because you can have access to top trending items at a fraction of the cost.  This particular box also spoke to my heart because every company featured is founded by women.  Girl power!!!! 

I hope you enjoyed my March favorites and I can’t wait to show you what’s in store for April.  It’s my birthday month so it’s bound to be special. 

I wish everyone a fabulous week and a warm spring. 

Love,

Brandi ūü¶Ą

Why I am no longer anti-Trump

Wait… what???  You may be wondering if you read that right. I’m a Muslim.  I’m hispanic.  I’m a woman.  And yes, you did.  As of now, I am no longer anti-Trump. Don’t quit yet.  Read on friends. All I ask is for you to hear me out. 

The most amazing law of the universe is the law of attraction. This law has shaped everything I am today and everything you are. 

Simply put- what you focus on, expands.  What you think about, you bring about.  Not only is it taught by new age mystics, it is also taught in the Bible and the Quran.  Actually, the Bible and Quran have the same story. Remember the parting of the Red Sea?  This is a law of attraction story. 

This is also the premise behind “no press is bad press.”  It’s putting focus on something and whether you believe it to be bad or good, it expands because you’re focused on it. 

So that brings me to Trump.  Right now, love him or hate him, it’s still ALL about him.  You may be anti-Trump, but did you catch the last part of that?  Trump.  Bam! More attention to him!  More fuel for him.  It doesn’t matter if you’re for or against.  Trump is Trump!!!
So what I am doing and what I hope you’ll join me in doing is being pro-peace.  Pro-equality. Pro-justice.  Being pro the things you want is how you attract them into your life. 

I’m not saying to just sit back and enjoy the show while everyone fights for what you want.  I’m saying to focus on that you want, what changes you want to see made, and then act on them.  Go to the women’s rights marches. Go advocate for the refugees who want let into the country.  Get petitions going and call your elected officials.  Take that action, but take it from a place of focusing on what you want.

Did anyone else notice that anti- trump rallies are more violent than pro-women’s rights marches?  There’s a reason for that.  One breeds negativity and one breeds positivity.  One breeds hate, while the other breeds love. 

So as of today, I am no longer anti-Trump. 

As of today, I am pro-love and pro-equality. 

I hope everyone has a great week and remember to focus on what you want, whether it’s a million dollars or equal rights. 

Love,

Brandi 

Why I Don’t Do New Years

 

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While everyone was out having fun and partying, I was home in bed. I fell asleep to the animated Doctor Strange movie at about 9pm.  I had a headache and just wanted to sleep it off.

Every year was the same.  I would buy a bottle of wine, toast the new year, and get emotional, as I thought about all the horrible stuff I was saying bye to. Goodbye 2016, you were the worst year ever.  But so was 2015, 2014, 2013 and just keep going.  Every year at midnight, I have this expectation that the next second will be different from the last because the year changed.
But let’s be real. ¬†The clock changed. ¬†I didn’t. ¬†Those calories I consumed from my heavy meal and too much alcohol didn’t disappear. My body stiffness from lack of exercise is still running rampant. Purchases I didn’t need to make are still showing up in my bank account.

We’ve heard the statistics. ¬†That most New Years resolutions are given up after January. ¬†Why is this? I think it’s because January holds false promise. ¬†January is a time of new beginnings because, well… because the calendar says so. ¬†So we vow to lose 50 pounds or get a new job. ¬†We make goals solely based on what time of year it is, thinking January has some magical component that will eventually solve all of our problems. We don’t make our goals from a place of belief in ourselves.

January isn’t magical- you are. When you put your faith in a day, a season, a time of year, it strips you of your own magic. ¬†Your potential doesn’t die because it’s February or November. ¬†For example- in the last month of 2016, I was able to secure my dream job in less than 48 hours. ¬†That came from hard work, positive affirmations, visualizations and ambition. ¬†It wasn’t a new year and yet, I still made it happen.

I don’t want to seem like a downer. I do believe in magic. ¬†But, magic is infinite. ¬†The power you hold in your mind and heart doesn’t care what day it is.

So how do we really make things happen? ¬†First, stop blaming everything and everybody else. ¬†It wasn’t 2016’s fault, or Obama’s, or Trump’s that you made the decisions you made to get where you are right now. ¬†As soon as you give up blaming outside circumstance, you take back your power.

Next step. ¬†I’m going to quote Shia Labeouf¬†and say, “JUST DO IT!”
Seriously,  let go of the excuses and figure out a way to make it work. You have the power to make anything happen.

So what are my plans? ¬†Well, I’m continuing on my plans from December. ¬†I’m still going to work on getting healthy. ¬†I am still going to work on my taekwondo. ¬†I am still working on my book and new website. ¬†I am not taking on new projects just because it’s January.

If you made a resolution just remember- it’s not the time of year that holds the key to your success. It’s you. ¬†It’s starting and failing and trying again and failing more and getting back on that damn horse every time you’re bucked off. It’s persistence and self belief that will get you to where you want to be. ¬†You can do this- no matter what time of year it is.

Why Old Hollywood Glamour is my Style

I am not a low-key, down to Earth, low maintenance kind of lady. I am not “natural” or normal. Average and mediocrity scare me. I get asked often if being a glamour queen is a hard lifestyle? Do I tire of it? Is it expensive? I have to answer with a resounding NO!!!! 
 

Being outrageous is actually easier for me for a few reasons.

 1. I don’t care what the Joneses are doing. Therefore, I don’t try to keep up with them. This includes my purchases as well as my beauty routine. I don’t do nail or hair salons in order to have the newest hair trend. In fact, my current hair color cost me a whopping $3.28. I’m perfectly content in a retro home decorated with thrift store treasures compared to having the newest appliances and furniture.  

 2. My style is not trendy. For the past few (or ten) years, the rustic style has been trending big time. When a style trends, it increases in price because everybody wants it. This goes for clothes as well as household decor. I recently bought a pair of beautiful, very well made black slacks for $15 at Macy’s. Guess how much the ripped and faded pair was? Ten times more expensive. If it is torn, stained, frayed, splintered, weathered, or distressed- it’s a pass for me. Not having the same taste means I can go to Goodwill and pick up gorgeous crystal or china or classic clothes for five dollars. 

 3. Glamour is my state of zen. My life has been turned upside down. Fortunately, the good stuff was on the bottom because I am loving where I am. But, as with any change, I suffered from stress in the form of sleep deprivation and anxiety. When I look at what makes me happy, things like a beautiful cup of tea, a silky robe, a supersoft throw, they calm me down. I actually sleep better when I wear gorgeous lingerie and perfume.

 4. This is MY natural state of being. But what if I don’t like sparkles and furs and crystal? That’s totally ok! Just because I love glam doesn’t mean you have to. You may like a more natural state. Thats perfectly ok- for you. When what you’re doing feels effortless, it is your natural state. Doing a winged liner and red lips, dying my hair and doing a roller set, wearing a garter and stockings, those are easy for me. Doing what’s easy (but not lazy) is the best way to find your inner style. 

I thoroughly enjoy my style. I never find it grueling or monotonous. I’ve tried being more natural. I’ve tried hippie chic, french casual and frumpy dumpy. Every single one felt like it required more effort because I wasn’t being true to myself. When you’re true to yourself, no matter what your style, life becomes more glamorous. 

 I wish everybody a fantastic weekend!

Love,

Kristina Bee

How Having Tetrachromacy Changed My Paradigm


I had my first experience with color blindness when I was 16. A boy I knew always got lime green and orchid purple mixed up. He genuinely saw purple as green and green as purple. Since that moment, I always wondered, is my red your red? Is my gray your gray? How will we ever know what the other person sees?

I’ve recently learned that I am different in a wonderful, amazing way. I have something called tetrachromacy. Basically, my rods and cones allow me to see colors that a normal human can’t. I finally have an explanation as to why I find immense beauty in everyday objects. Why others can’t see the vibrancy and contrast I see in nature. It also explains why I can never seem to find a foundation shade that matches my skin tone even though I’ve been color matched dozens of times.

So what does this have to do with life? How does the color blind boy fit in? What I’ve come to realize is we will never fully be able to see from somebody else’s perspective.

Everybody has gone through an infinite  number of experiences in life that shape who they are. We can listen and learn but no matter how hard we try to understand, we weren’t there. Even a sibling can’t say they’re been in your same body with your same brain. An example would be me and my siblings. You couldn’t find people more opposite than me if you tried! We each experienced similarities growing up in that our parents, houses and cities were the same. But we took our information given to us and processed it in a different way. That’s why we have vastly different tastes and personalities.

I’ve learned that people are shaped by their perception of their experiences and no two perceptions will ever be exactly the same.

I believe in my heart a lot of the prejudice and hatred prevalent today could be reversed if we just tried for a moment to see things from another perspective. If we think our view is the only view, the correct view, we miss out on what is really going on.

I understand that what you see is real. It’s real because you can see it. It’s so real that there can be no other way. My lime green shirt was definitely lime green until someone else looked at it and it was purple. Then I was forced to ask myself, who is right?

Until next time, I hope you can learn to see life in a different light. See colors from a different perspective.

Have a wonderful week.

Love,

Kristina bee