b*loves :: the beverage and the bottle

San Pellegrino. Is there a more refreshing beverage or aesthetically pleasing brand? I think not. Classic. Simple. Bubbly. Fresh. ITALIAN. It does not get any better.

b*travels :: different is good

I met her eight years ago this month. We were placed together in the dorms during our freshmen year. We could not be more different. Our tastes and interests are worlds apart. If she is light, I am dark. If she is in, I am out. If she is up, I am down. But they say opposites attract, and in this case, it is true. We are besties, and have been through thick and thin together. We can finish each others’ sentences and know what the other is thinking with only a glance. She’s my 4 a.m. friend. The one who I could call at any time of day or night. And vice versa. Everyone should have a friend like her.

To celebrate our friendship, and summer in general, we took a trip together. It was just a little getaway to a ski resort a couple hours north. We had no schedule. We just got in the car and drove. We listened to Mat Kearney the entire trip. We brought books, and we read a whole bunch. We napped. We slept in. We ate. And ate some more. We sipped wine. We laughed ’till our sides hurt. We climbed the ski hill, twice–once at 7 a.m. after I dragged her out of bed.

We stayed a night at my parents’ house. We went to the spa, and shopped. On the way home, we hit up Duluth. Canal Park was hopping, and it was the perfect day to be there. We happened to be wearing matching shirts. No one seemed to notice though.

There was also lunch at The Italian Village, which I have dubbed the Best Italian Joint in the State. I’m not sure if it earned that title because I was superbly hungry, or because it was legitimately good. But, judging by the fact that my Italian father heartily approves, I’m thinking I wasn’t too far off. We ate massive plates of spaghetti, sipped San Pellegrino and ended with cannolis before hitting the road for home. It was the perfect weekend!

b*daily :: best boy reads

I’m here again with another post for the boys. Today I want to share a few blogs I think you might find enjoyable. This is written from the perspective that you are, well, actually reading this blog. That being said, I am going to point you in the direction of a few more, ah, manly blogs. While I don’t claim to have the inside scoop on guy lit, I do read a few blogs authored by members of the male species. These cover a range of topics–from style to photography, and from faith to life in general. A couple of these guys are my friends, and they are pretty awesome. So read away, boys!

THE SARTORIALIST | by: Scott Schuman | best for: fashion, culture
(fashion meets travel. amen)

CAVALIER | by: Taylor Pemberton & Collin Hughes | best for: inspiration
(not a blog, but very cool)

JAKE’S MAG | by: Jacob Breinholt | best for: lifestyle, urban cool
(hi jake! you rock.)

RED MEAT FOR THE SOUL | by: R. W. Glenn | best for: biblical truth
(i know this guy! and i get to hear him speak weekly. be jealous.)

OH BOB | by: Bob Cho | best for: style
(oh joy!’s hubby. ’nuff said.)

CHASE JARVIS | by: Chase Jarvis | best for: photography, adventure
(how can one guy have so much awesome?)

b*chic :: for the boys

As I author this blog, I must admit, I tend to think of my audience as female. I am girl. I write mostly about domestic things. And so, of course, I think that only women are paying any attention to what I’m jabbering on about. However, it’s come to my attention, over the past year or so, that there are members of the male species reading this blog. With that in mind, I’d like to extend my official welcome to the boys. I know some of you have been here for a long time, and this “welcome” is ridiculously belated. At any rate, I’m glad you’re along for the ride. To show my gratitude, I have decided to put together a couple posts just for you. First up, a style guide.

Now, don’t get me wrong. This style guide is not my way of saying that you need help. I’m sure that all most some of you have great style. For the rest, there are people like me. I offer a nudge in the right direction, so to speak. I provide a few basic guidelines, so that when you are standing in the middle of JCPenny, you know you’re in the wrong place. And when you arrive at J.Crew, you know where to start. Today I’m just going to give you a collection of general tips, and a handful of my favorite guy essentials.

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WATCH :: wear one. it adds something without looking like you’re trying too hard to accessorize. it subtly says that you are on your game and have places to be. also, go big, or go home.

SLIM FIT SHIRT :: find a shirt that fits. it should hug your shoulders, but hide your belly if you have one. leave it untucked with the top button open for a more casual look. tuck and button for a little sophistication. also, iron it. wrinkles don’t become you.

PANTS :: go slim without going skinny. unless you are a hipster, wearing women’s jeans isn’t cool. wear a pant that has structure. think fitted without clingy. look at the back as well as the front. baggy in the butt is a no-no.

SMELL GOOD :: girls like it when when you smell nice. a good cologne adds an air of mystery. go for a deep scent that carries undertones of leather, moss and spices. remember that less is more. we don’t want to smell you from 10 feet away.

DETAILS :: accessorize with unique, manly stuff. carefully choosing things like your tie, sunglasses, wallet, phone case, man bag, pen or notebook can add a level of sophistication and appeal to your overall style. details are what take plain old jeans and t-shirt and turn them into a LOOK.

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The above style is perfect for a casual day at the office, and can easily transition to dinner and drinks with the guys or your honey. Gap makes the best slim fit shirt and pants out there. Trust me, hubby has done road testing. For this look, I combined some really basic, classy pieces with a few more rugged accessories. The combination of slick (the watch) with worn (the iPhone case and messenger bag) gives a polished look that also feels timeless and experienced.

Seamaster Planet Ocean Big Watch by Omega ($too much) | Stretch Slim Fit Shirt by Gap ($50) | Tailored Houndstooth Pant (straight fit) by Gap ($60) | Heritage Pocket Phone Case by Hard Graft (EUR 49) | Touch for Men by Burberry ($57) | Ruled Pocket Notebook by Moleskine ($12) | Abingdon Messenger Bag by J.Crew ($98) | Aviator Glasses by Persol at J.Crew ($205) | Skinny Tie by Steven Alan ($35)

b*daily :: late summer night’s dream

Late summer is here.

The flowers look a tad faded and tired.

The golden glow of sunset arrives a little earlier.

The coolness of evening quickly follows.

And I find myself pausing and hoping…

…that the warmth and romance…

…and magic and beauty of summer…

…could go on and on and on.

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