How To Wear Neon Part 1

Ahhhhh neon.  I adore neon.  One of my favorite colors is electric blue, and I see neon yellow as a pseudo neutral.  If you can only conjure up images of the 80s and  early 90s, then read on my friends. My goal is to make neon relevant again by combining it with fresh patterns, textures, and color combinations. 

An unexpected but fantastic combination is neon yellow with berry.  This day I went to my husband’s school so he could do some placement testing.  I seized the opportunity to get some quiet writing time in. 

The trick here is to treat the yellow as a neutral and let the berry be the actual pop of color.  Paired with the grey, the yellow pops. But as you can see, when paired with berry, the neon actually tames in comparison. 


I love this outfit!  I feel vibrant and I sure don’t blend in. 

Next is my play with neon blue, my favorite!

Have a glamtastic week!

Love, 

Kristina Bee

Pants- Calvin Klein

Shoes- Payless

Shirt and Jacket- My MIL’s Closet

Photography by Marcus D. Holcomb

Three Things I Learned in Retail That Training Doesn’t Teach You

I’ve been working for almost twenty years.  Of those twenty years, less than a year has been with a non retail entity.  Working in retail has a specific culture that transcends the genre of a company.  It doesn’t matter if you work as a customer service rep for a cable company, make window displays for a New York shopping district or make French fries.  Most people follow the unspoken rules and complain about how boring and unfulfilling their jobs are.  It doesn’t have to be that way. Success in retail sometimes means breaking away from convention and standing out as an innovator. 

Rule 1: There is no job too small.

Be willing to jump in and do the work.  When I worked in a retail pharmacy, I walked in one day and saw an unfamiliar face at the pharmacist station.  I was pretty new, so it wasn’t surprising and I just did my job as best as I could. When the other technicians and pharmacists came in, I kept being pulled aside asking how it went.  I thought this was strange because they never do this when anybody else covers shifts.  What makes this unfamiliar lady special? Turned out, she was the district  pharmacy supervisor.  There weren’t enough pharmacists to cover shifts that day and she came in and did the job that was underneath her.  To be honest, she was so cool and friendly that I didn’t know she was higher up. Conversely, I’ve worked with pharmacists who have refused to take out the trash or ring up customers because it wasn’t their job.  I say, if it is legal and ethical, it’s your job.  Now, if you’re in management and your own duties are being sacrificed consistently, there may be a need to delegate more. 

Rule 2: Everybody is replaceable.

Have you ever had those people that thought the store would burn down if they went on vacation? Recently, I was asked “What is going to happen when I’m gone for four days?”  My answer?  “We’ll be just fine.”  It doesn’t matter if you’re the lowest in the pay scale or the CEO.  If you don’t show up, somebody else will.  The store won’t burn down, the world won’t end.  Humility will get you so much further than arrogance. 

Rule 3: Don’t kiss up to upper management.

This one is controversial but hear me out.  Remember that feeling of pure anxiety you got when you heard Mr. Smith will be here Monday?  Everybody ran around like chickens with their heads cut off in an effort to make your workplace look perfect.  Let it go! In my experience, upper management only actually shows up about 20% of the time.  Your workplace should always be beautiful for your customers.  They are your driving force.  Your customers, not your upper management are your employers.  Management is there to help.  If you try and pretend everything is perfect, when it isn’t, how can he help you?  If your DM or RM isn’t aware of a problem, he can’t fix it.  Do you need more hours, better equipment, suggestions to boost morale?  Swallow your pride and ask!  Just make sure to have the facts and figures to back up your request. 

Retail is a hard job.  It is thankless, ruthless and draining.  I’ll admit, some nights I go home exhausted from helping so many other people, and I wonder who is going to help me. But, most of the time, my heart is overflowing because my job really is about connection and helping people live better lives. 

I hope everybody has a wonderful week!

Love,

Kristina Bee

Back To My Old Self

On my last post, I mentioned a makeover. Being tired of looking tired and frumpy, I decided today was the day.

This last week has been very trying. Not only has work been extra tough, the negotiated pay rate was not what I was paid in my check. I got it straightened out but I look like I’ve been through a battle. Adding to the stress, I hurt both my shoulder and ankle and just want to lay in an ice bath.

First thing this morning I gave myself a facial, co-washed then deep conditioned my hair and did the grooming stuff we, as ladies, neglect when we’re busy.  I gave my hair a blowout but it didn’t look quite right. I’m not accustomed to the humidity in the Pacific Northwest and my hair frizzed pretty badly. So I went back in with a 3/4 inch curling iron and alternated the direction of curl around my head. I cut some bangs, sprayed enough Elnette to cause breathing difficulty and voila, my hair is done.

My makeup routine is pretty simple. I used eyeshadow from the boudoir palette from Too Faced, liquid liner, and natural foundation, blush and lip color. If you want a full breakdown of what I used, let me know.

I wanted a typical “me” outfit. My favorite is flowy pants, wrap shirts with Ralph Lauren and Coach thrown in. That’s exactly what I did here. I added some sparkly silver earrings and rings because I need a sparkle in my life. If you’ve known me awhile, you know my infatuation with silk scarves tied around my neck. This one is from Coach and it gives a little pop of color.

I’m almost done. Wen I get home, I’ll do a home manicure with my favorite Essie polish in Wicked. I feel refreshed, relaxed and pretty. I’m inspired to really dive back into my fashion love. Just in time for fall!


Bloopers 

I hate to call this one a blooper because I love it but what is that thing growing out of my head?


Let me know what you’d like next. I love your input.

Love,

Kristina Bee

Photography by Marcus D. Holcomb

Finding My Pretty

“Finding your pretty.”  What on Earth does that mean?  I believe it is a journey of finding your most beautiful, confident, genuine self. I want to thank my soul mate, Jaunnette, for asking me the tough, objective questions I needed to think about.  You make such a positive difference in my life and I love you!

My journey, like most women, has been life long.  I’ve been the ugly duckling, I’ve been “hot”, awkward, gorgeous, and invisible at different parts of my life.

Lately, I’ve been feeling invisible and lost.  I’ve been having an identity crisis of sorts.  What started as a normal hormone filled night, with the bloating and skin as bad as my mood, escalated into a genuine sadness for the old me.  I wanted to feel pretty again. 

After a tough realization that I was trying to please other people and not myself, I got the idea to think back to when I felt the best about myself.  Not just when I thought I was pretty, but when I felt strong, feminine, charming and healthy. 

Here are two pics from that time. This was before I learned about filters and Photoshop.  They are completely real. 


I don’t believe in living in the past.  I will never again be 31 years old. My job, friends, interests, even my home is very different. 

What I can do is take what worked and make it work for me again.  I can analyze what I did to make me feel pretty and feminine. 

For me it’s soft curls, bangs, natural makeup and great skin. I’m excited because I will be having a makeover shortly and I can’t wait to share it with you. 

What makes you feel pretty?  Are you all natural?  Do you love crazy hair and makeup?  Are you tattooed or pierced?  Hair in a ponytail and wearing workout clothes? 

Whatever it is that makes you feel good, own it.  The great thing about beauty is there is no one standard.  We are all uniquely beautiful.  Go ahead and shine, hon.  Find your pretty! 

I would love to know when you felt the most beautiful, inside and out. 

Love,

Kristina Bee

Chicken with a White Wine Cream Sauce Over Angel Hair Pasta


This is a family favorite that I make once or twice a year. If you’re watching your calories or fat intake, this may not be the best dish for you. It is creamy, buttery, rich, and delicious. I serve it with a spinach side that I will have a recipe for shortly. 

1 shallot minced

1-1 1/2 lbs of boneless skinless chicken breast cubed

2 cloves fresh garlic minced

1 stick of butter

1 pint heavy cream

1 1/2 cups white wine

1 can diced tomatoes, drained

Parsley to garnish

Sauté shallot and garlic in 1 tbsp butter until fragrant and translucent. 

Add tomatoes and cook over medium- low until heated through. Set aside.

Sauté chicken in 1-2 tablespoons of butter until no longer pink inside. 

Add tomato mixture

Add wine and heat to a boil 

Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes

Add heavy cream and 1/2 stick of butter and let simmer for 5 minutes. Then turn to low heat.

Prepare angel hair pasta as directed on package.

Taste sauce to be sure all the alcohol is cooked out. You’ll know because it won’t be bitter. Salt and pepper as needed. 

Plate pasta and sauce, and sprinkle with chopped parsley.  Serve with a hunk of French bread to mop up all of the sauce.


Enjoy!

Love, Brandi 

Photography by 

Marcus D. Holcomb

A Ray of Sunshine in a Grey Day

Yesterday, I woke up and felt the grey.  I didn’t even have to look outside.  I could feel the heaviness of the clouds in my body. Everywhere I looked, grey, grey grey.  But, I felt the need to put a little bit of sunshine in the day since it was my eighth wedding anniversary. 
The first idea was to go get coffee together and get some groceries for our spectacular anniversary dinner we were going to cook together.  While we were out, the sun made a short appearance and we decided to drive to the park and take some pics. 
It was a wonderful hour spent chasing the perfect lighting, trying to capture the beauty of this majestic place.  An impromptu date with my wonderful husband made the grey go away.


Outtakes and bloopers 

These are lighting tests. I can’t seem to be serious during them. 

Photography by 

Marcus D. Holcomb

Diary of a Fashion Blogger- Desert Shoot

Hello my loyal readers! It’s been a while since I’ve done an OOTD or fashion blog, and I know you miss them. I decided to make this one extra fun and special. Instead of one outfit, I have two. Both are featuring the Jersey maxi- skirt from H&M. This skirt is very long! So long, in fact, that I can wear it under my bust as a high waisted skirt. It has a slit to the knee on each side and is made of a soft, flowy jersey.
The setting is the beautiful Riggs Hill in Grand Junction, Colorado. Riggs Hill is full of geological diversity. In fact, there is a memorial plaque for a man who found a dinosaur skeleton there! It’s desert upon desert. You need to watch out for cacti, lizards, and bugs galore. I chose Riggs because I like the juxtaposition of ancient rock formations against modern clothing.


Right now it’s 97 degrees and not a storm cloud in site. It’s hot and dry. With me, I have my daughter and husband. I also have a bag with a change of clothes, extra shoes and a bottle of water.

The hike was tough! It’s a steep incline and without proper hiking shoes, it’s slippery. Add to that my asthma and it’s a challenge. My daughter did amazingly well on the way up. We didn’t climb to the tip top because it has steep cliffs, deep crevasses and no shade whatsoever. We stopped and made camp at a little covered bench.


 No sooner that my husband started scouting locations, my daughter started getting hot and cranky. We needed to make this quick! We found a rock that had perfect lighting and I felt the need to do my best Wonder Woman pose. We took a few pics and I went back to base camp and changed. It felt so good to get out of the two long long sleeved shirts I had layered. After a few more pics on the same rock, I felt inspired by the campfire ring. I’m not sure why but I thought it was beautiful. By this time, my daughter was becoming like a typical overheated six year old. It was time to make the trek back down the hill.

All in all, we got two pics I fell in love with and I had a blast taking the hundred others that made it to the cutting room floor. There is something about nature that makes me feel alive, strong and beautiful!

 

Have a fabulous weekend my dearies!
Love,

Kristina Bee
White shirt- JC Penny

Silver jewelry- a birthday gift from a friend

Shoes- Payless Shoes

Berry shirt- Pollux

Cream undershirt- Modefa

Black hijab- Goodwill!

Black ninja under scarf- Etsy

Maroon hijab and under scarf- A gift from a friend overseas

Skirt- H&M