Crying For Country

First thing first- I am not a fan of most country music. I would say 90% of it gets on my nerves. I don’t understand the country, redneck,’Murcia lifestyle.

So why am I crying?

When Pulse night club was attacked, I was devastated. I mean, being LGBTQ friendly, those were my people.

When the mosques were being attacked, I cried because back then, when I was a Muslim, those were my people.

When schools get attacked, I fear for my own kids and cry along with the country because I am a mom and those are my people.

When the Aurora movie theater shooting happened, I was just miles away. I frequented Aurora and had friends there. Those were my people.

When Columbine happened, I was a senior in high school just a city away. I met one of the fallen girls, Cassie, the summer before. Those were my people.

People who were at that concert on Sunday, I cry for you. I understand we probably have more dividing differences than just taste in music. But, there are a few things that unite us. First- our love for this country and our desire to protect it and it’s people. Second- humanity. We want love. We want respect. We want our kids to grow up happy and healthy. We want fun. We want justice. We want to be able to go to an event without fear. We get sick. We get married. We travel. We have families. We all have that crazy family member that makes us wonder how they are related.

Sunday’s concert goers, I grieve with you and I pray for you because you are also my people. Only unity and love will conquer the evil you witnessed and I am sending you every ounce of love I have. Heck, I may even give another listen to your music.

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Fashion Show Survival Tips

I just got back from fashion week at Bellevue up by Seattle, Wa. This was my second year going, and I had even more of a blast than last year. This year, I knew what to expect, so I went in with my eyes wide open and ready to learn. Boy, did I learn! I learned a lot about etiquette before, during, and after the show. Here are some tips and tricks to navigate your first fashion show.

1. RESEARCH THE DESIGNER

Even though he didn’t show his collection, Christian Siriano was the presenter. Those of us in VIP were so excited to meet him and felt lucky just to have 45 seconds to get a pic with him. That being said, there were those who didn’t do their research. Before the show, the screens showed clips of his New York show. He is known for putting a diverse group of ladies on stage and every time they showed the curvy, plus sized ladies, there were snide comments around me. Then, when he came out and commented how proud he was, the same catty women exclaimed how beautiful the models were. Ugh. Do your research, that way you don’t diss the presenter unknowingly.

2. DON’T BE A CATTY BEYOTCH

The woman next to me was rude. That’s the only way to describe her. She cut down the gift bags, made fun of other ladies outfits, and made a fuss when the whole room gave a girl with Down’s Syndrome a standing ovation. Just don’t be her.

3. DO MEET NEW PEOPLE

I go to these events alone because I know I am going to meet somebody and have a wonderful time. This time, three total strangers met up and by the end, we were taking selfies, being goofs, sharing our dreams, and making plans for the next year.

4. DON’T DRINK TOO MUCH

Alcohol is in abundance at these events. The VIP pre-party had champagne and a full cash bar. Then, the before party had two free drink tickets and another cash bar. Having a couple of drinks to lubricate the situation is perfectly acceptable. Being a sloppy drunk isn’t.

5. DO EAT BEFORE YOU GO

Fashion shows = teeny tiny appetizers

6. DON’T FORGET COMFY SHOES

My advice is to bring a pair of stylish flats with you. My feet were hurting so badly because I was wearing poorly made shoes. Two days later, I still have cramps in my calves and my soles ache. One of my savvy new friends brought a pair of gorgeous fur and leather slippers. I had shoe envy all night!

7. DO GO ALL OUT WITH YOUR CLOTHES

This is a fashion show. Show your creativity, your chic style, your sexy gowns. Celebrate and honor fashion by having fun and showing your true personality.

8. DON’T FLASH YOUR GOODS

Ladies in the front row, the other side of the runway has a prime viewing area of your legs. I had the unfortunate experience of having a view of much more than that! Be aware of what could possibly be showing, especially because every single person has their cameras out.

You don’t want to be the next day’s meme.

9. TAKE PICS

The best way to document what you love is to snap a quick pic of the model right before and right after s/he passes you.

10. DON’T GET DISCOURAGED OR INTIMIDATED

You will encounter some amazing clothes and accessories from the other ladies. I saw one lady with the Chanel Boy Bag and my heart fluttered. You will also see some well known people. I met Christian Siriano but, I was more excited to meet two bloggers I follow religiously. Don’t be afraid to talk to the people who intimidate you. There was a lady in front of me in line for the meet and greet. She was fashion. She had head to toe high end designer clothes and accessories. She was also scowling. When it was our turn to meet Christian, I needed to know if my makeup was ok. I was sweating buckets, and I pictured myself to look like Miranda Sings. I had to ask her for a quick once over. She never smiled, but she said I looked beautiful, everything was in place and she even gave me some anti-sweat tips for next time. Don’t be afraid of the fabulous people! They’re people!

11. DO ENJOY YOUR GIFT BAG IN PRIVATE

Nothing says amateur like ripping open your swag bag before you leave the building. Muster up your self control and once you get to the car, have at it!

Fashion shows are serious business but they are also so much fun. Be courteous, be confident and have a fabulous time!

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 😀

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 🦄

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.