Must-Have Accessory: Fashionable & Functional Hairtie Bracelets

If you have long hair, you know the importance of having a ponytail holder at the ready. Often times that means keeping hair elastics in your pocket, your purse or on your wrist.

Wearing a ponytail holder on your wrist can pinch and that hurts, which is why I’m intrigued about an inventive product: hairband bracelets from Maria Shireen.


The concept is simple and stylish – wear a bracelet that has a “channel” to hold the hair tie in place. The silver or gold bracelet is fashionable and functional. They even have plastic ones for kids and teens!

I was excited to try one out. Since I frequently write about weddings, Maria Shireen’s team sent me a bracelet from their wedding collection. It’s silver and comes with a baby blue hair tie. I can picture brides and bridesmaids wearing these bracelets throughout wedding planning and all the celebrations, including the reception and after parties.


I’ve been enjoying wearing the bracelet which is cute and comfortable. Best of all, finding my hair tie to pull my hair back onto a ponytail is easier than ever!

Think about it: you’ll always have your ponytail holder nearby. No more searching the house, office or your bag for a hairtie because you’ll have one ready-to-go on your bracelet.

The bracelet looks pretty on its own and can be worn separate from the hairtie. When worn together, it’s hard to tell you’re rocking a ponytail with your bracelet.

Feeling Glam in Fall

Fall is such a great season. Even in San Diego, the temps are cool(er) this time of year and it’s fun to wear cozy clothes and accessories in rich, autumn colors. I’ve been layering more and wearing knits and velvet.

Wearing Jane Iredale Fall Glam collection. Love this lipstick!

My accessories and makeup have taken on fall tones as well. I love burgundy, crimson and deep shades of brown.

Jane Iredale Fall Glam

Jane Iredale sent me their Naturally Glam beauty collection to try out and I’m loving it.


There’s a five-color eye shadow palette featuring shimmery neutrals, as well as a bubblegum pink blush which has delicate gold shimmer.


They also sent this soft makeup mitt, which is so useful to wipe off the day’s makeup.


My favorite items? The gorgeous, seasonal lip colors: PureMoist lipstick in Gwen, an apple red and Just Kissed lip plumper in Paris, a sheer light port wine.


These lipsticks have been the star of my fall. I’ll continue to wear them during the holidays.



Cheers to Thanksgiving!

Setting the table for Thanksgiving is always so much fun. On the table this holiday: these two sparkling wines from Alsatian winery, Dopff & Irion.

They’re made from different grapes, like Pinot Blanc and Pinot Auxerrois, in a traditional champagne method. These well-balanced sparkling wines have fine and lasting bubbles.


The Brut Blanc de Blancs NV, is ideal for dinner and even dessert. It’s light and bubbly with green apple or lemon aromas. The Brut Rosé NV, suited for cocktails, has a red berry fruit taste.

Thanks to Dopff & Irion for sending me these wines to try! I’m looking forward to sharing them with my guests this holiday. Happy Thanksgiving!

Put a Ring On It!

As a wedding editor and writer, I’m always following wedding trends. One of those trends is wedding jewelry.

There’s nothing traditional about wedding rings these days.  Like never before, there are more colors, styles and metal choices for women and men.

According to The Knot, in 2016, couples said they spent over $6000 on engagement rings. There’s another jewelry expense – wedding rings for both spouses, which can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars.


The next consideration is style. Gold, silver, titanium, tungsten and more metals, as well as colors and looks like simple bands, beveled designs and adding diamonds of other stones.

IMG_2157While brides often know what they want their wedding band to look like, men can be frustrated by the process. And even fashionable guys, can have a tough time finding a ring that fits their personal style.


That’s why I was eager to check out Manly Bands, which promise to fit different personalities and budgets, all while being sophisticated.

Manly Bands sent me a few complimentary bands: The Gentleman, (below) a polished band made with tungsten carbide, 18K rose gold plated; and The Surfer, a modern ring made with tungsten carbide featuring dark Koa wood and genuine turquoise.

My husband tried both rings and modeled them. His fave? The Surfer (below) for its bold color and how it popped against his skin tone. This ring is very hip and a fit for his lifestyle. After all, my husband is a California native.

The rings, available in sizes five to 17, are all under $200. Wedding or not, some of these rings (like The Surfer my husband likes) can be worn as an everyday accessory.

That Island Feeling! Mix.Mingle.Schmooze Hawaiian-Style

There’s something so appealing about Hawaii. The tropical smells and sound of the ocean are so inviting.

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I recently got a feel for the Hawaiian Islands when I attended a Hawaiian-themed party for San Diego Style Weddings – the wedding magazine for which I’m the editor.


The magazine’s “Mix.Mingle.Schmooze” event, which was held at Bali Hai Restaurant, featured all sorts of Aloha vibes, from the food to the music to the décor.

The flowers were so colorful and tropical. Each woman received a flower to wear behind her ear. Single women wear the flower behind their right ear, while married women (or those in a relationship) wear it behind the left ear. Haydee de la Cruz of Haydee’s Creative Flowers designed these blooms!

The photobus photo booth from Pacific Coast PhotoBus was fun. I loved the props, including a captain’s hat and fuzzy boa.

The menu included yummy pot stickers, coconut shrimp, jerk chicken lollypops and coconut rice.

Dessert was delicious too! We sampled Gelato Paradiso gelato and the Cravory cookies.

The Ohana cupcakes tasted as great as they looked! I love those personalized “SDSW” cake toppers.

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In addition to local wines, we sipped cocktails like Snake Oil Cocktail Company’s “Snake Oil Coco-Loco,” which featured coconut milk, applewood infusion, fresh ginger, pressed lemon and club soda.

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The “Passion of the Tiki” drink (seen here) was made with smashed passion fruit and pomegranate, almond, orange flower water, pressed citrus, island spice reduction and Angostura bitters.

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The “it” drink? Fresh coconut milk, served in a coconut, which was branded with the San Diego Style Weddings’ logo!


Here are a few photos of me with the San Diego Style Weddings’ team, including publisher Dena Nolen-Malasek.


With SDSW publisher, Dena Nolan-Malasek.
L-R Abby Barenholtz, social media; myself; Dena Nolen-Malasek, publisher; Suzi Battle, Account executive; Kateri Hansen, sales; Adam C. Walter, production.
Team pics
With Abby Barenholtz who handles social media for SDSW.


I recently attended the “Mix.Mingle.Schmooze” magazine release party for San Diego Style Weddings – the wedding magazine for which I’m the editor.

The latest issue of San Diego Style Weddings.

The party, held at Mission Brewery, featured great food, beer and wine, and of course wedding inspiration.


Another awesome party hosted by San Diego Style Weddings’ publisher Dena Nolen-Malasek.

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Posing with SDSW’s publisher, Dena-Nolen Malasek. Photo credit: Paul Barnett Photography.

Some of the highlights included:

  • The amazing paper flower backdrop created by Esmeralda Luxury Paper Flowers. What a colorful backdrop for photos!
  • I’m a sucker for photo booths and Captured Photos Booths didn’t disappoint!


  • Yummy milk and cookies from the Cravory. I especially liked the chocolate truffle and lemon bar cookies.
  • Comfy and stylish seating from Lounge Appeal
  • The “Idaho Nachos” (create your own potato ship nachos) from caterer Feast on This were great – a perfect late night snack at any wedding or event.
  • Cool caricature drawings from Caricatures by Dave.
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With my husband – does the caricature match us?   Photo credit: Eisenhower Photography

  • Tasty mini donuts and deep fried Oreos from Sensational Treats.
  • Pretty floral arrangements from local florists like Studio Flourish and Haydee’s Creative Flowers.


Fun fact: Mission Brewery is located inside a former Wonder Bread factory in downtown San Diego. The building has lots of open space, exposed brick and great city views.


Check out the latest issue of San Diego Style Weddings online and in local stores.


Photos are my own, unless noted.

Fashion Forward for Fall Makeup

Fall is here and I’m ready to celebrate with autumn’s colors. I am excited to check out Jane Iredale’s Fashion Forward collection, featuring eye shadows, retractable brow pencils and lipstick. The company sent samples for me to try and I’m impressed.


First I tried two Smooth Affair® eye shadows. One called Naked is sheer nude color; the other, Iced Brown, is a sheer golden brown. I liked how light and smooth they were to apply and it’s cool that they double as either eye shadow or as a primer for more shadows. They’re smudge proof too! There are four other colors in the line including a sheer pink called Petal; a matte yellow named Lemon; a champagne color called Canvas; and a shade of Gold.


Next up, I tried the retractable brow pencils in two colors: brunette and dark brunette. (There’s a blonde color too that I didn’t try.) The pencils do a nice job of filling in brows. And I totally love the built-in “spoolie” on the end of each pencil, perfect for brow shaping.


The finishing touch? The Cindy Puremoist® lipstick, a sexy shade of red! As the name suggests, it’s named after supermodel Cindy Crawford. I love the lipstick’s scent – a light, fruity mix of pomegranate and backberry extracts. Plus I love how the color complements my fair skin.


Sampling these products has been lots of fun – I’m looking forward to wearing them throughout the fall.