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B! Inspired Issue 03 | May & June 2014

The Gift Of A Mother Why Mothers Are One Of Life’s greatest blessings

Momspirational Stories Why Mothers Are So Special: Loving Stories By Every Day Mothers

Fit & Fabulous

A Single Mother’s Story On Staying Fit at 40!

Monaco: The Romantic Getaway

The Antiquitous Sexiness Found In The South Of France.

WINE & DINE HER! Easy & Delicious Mother’s Day Recipes to Indulge Her




How To Find Happy Every Day: A Photo Project

Spring Reading Finds

Welcome Message

Home Library Worthy Covers

A Mother’s Love: Why Mother’s Are a Blessing

A Daily Instagram Porject

Ode To Mother

Global Grooves & National Tunes We’re Vibing

B! Inspired Quotes

Delectable Eats for This Mother’s Day

Selfie Love

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Momspirational Stories

Feature Story: Monaco’s Romance

She’s Lace-y

Mother’s Day Luxe Gift Guide

Living The Best Life At 40!

Espresso & Tea

Monaco: A Romantic Getaway

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Welcome to the Mothers and Spring Issue!

other’s Day is this Sunday and I’m so excited. I love honoring my mother and celebrating the unified motherhood, though I’m not one {yet}. I was torn between making this issue all about my relationship with own madre and what she means to me and the idea of featuring other relationships that have poignant impact. I also wanted to include other features and stories, as this issue is a mild soft launch to the official debut of B! Inspired, another moment I’m thrilled about! I finally settled on sharing both the love affair I have with my mother and why she’s my rock, but also highlighting a few stories from men and women who make a loving statement about their own mother. My goal is to show some serious love to our mothers in a special way without being too cliché. The irony in that is that mothers are known for their own innately cliché modus operandi: To love, nurture, grow, protect, and inspire. While I intentionally didn’t expand on Image: Bren and her mother in Paris celebrating Bren’s birthday in 2006

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everything a full-length issue typically offers, I tried to make every feature a significant one you can relate to and be excited to flip through the pages. Ultimately, I want to offer a varied cocktail of food, lifestyle, fashion, and bite-sized endearing anecdotes. In addition to the luxe gift guide, which naturally focuses on fabulous goodies for any mother, I wanted to give you a little insight into one of my favorite places in the world: Monaco. I was there 5 years ago this month for the 3rd time and I fell in love with the enclave even more then. It’s a personally written piece on why it’s a magical place and easily deemed as one of the most romantic heart beats in world. I hope you read each real story and leave with a thriving and introspective look at yourself as a woman and mother. I hope to inspire you to be the best mother you can be! I know I have one and hope to be the same one day eventually! Bren-


Daily B! When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life. –John Lennon

“Still Butterfly” by Bren Herrera

My Best Friend:

The Woman I Call Mami


e drink Cuban coffee every morning at exactly 7:45. I make it for her, sweeten it to our mutual liking -- after much coaching her to accept my palate’s lesser need of sugar -- and start the day with moderately quiet chatter comparing our respective night’s rest. Unless I’m traveling, that’s how my mornings go every single day with my mother. It wasn’t until a recent trip overseas I realized how special our kitchen sink conversations are and how critical they are for setting the tone of my workday. My mother, like many other around the world, is the solid foundation in our home; the single most revered person in the family who is automatically held responsible for maintaining a house in one piece, keeping the children clean, well-clad, and polite; for catering to her husband and making sure dinner is on the table for everyone to enjoy. That’s the prototypical mother, at minimum. But my mother, so I’ve learned in my adult years, is more than la madre in whom I confide my most sacred tales of love, sadness, inquisition, dreams, and fear. She’s beyond the wise mother who’s experienced everything I’m contemplating at the moment and extends her counsel in order for me to escape the perils of those silly mistakes and decisions I’d make otherwise. She’s spared me a lot of pain and comforted me when I didn’t take heed. She’s been right every single time in anything she’s dropped her 2 cents into in my 30+ plus years. I can rely on her for leading me in the right direction. But I also realize she’s a woman, not just a mother. A woman with feelings and real emotions, not always intended to be stoic for the sake of ensuring everyone else’s peace of mind. She’s a woman who likes to dress up and wear lipstick, and not

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worry about making sure the chicken soup is readily available; but instead seeks out very little things she knows make me (all of us, really) smile – like a succulent plant or an espresso demitasse set– instead of treating herself to the much smaller things that bring her joy. And so as I grow older and really analyze her sacrifices for our family and group of friends, I realize it’s my responsibility she reap the benefits of raising strong, determined children. For me that means treating her to lunch at her favorite café at least once a week, where we can order our delicious bruschetta pizza and not worry about my deadlines, or automatically giving her whatever beauty products I receive for review that tickle her feminine fancy. Those are simple things for me to do, but impact her in ways I don’t think I’ll ever know. My mother is my foundation. She doesn’t judge me. Instead, allows me to be an adult in my dutiful right, to learn and relearn. She inspires me every day to be the best woman I can be and has always instilled in me a fervent spirit of relentless work for the things I want to achieve. My mother is my best friend. She’s the biggest blessing in my life. And for that I’m a better woman whom will hopefully render the same love and passion for my children one day.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mami!

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Ode to Mother Momspirational Stories: Sentimental Thoughts of a Child


others are the epicenter of so many homes, so many lives, so many decisions. Have you

noticed during football games or award shows how winners always thank their mothers first? Universally, mothers a force to be reckoned with. Through God, they’ve given us live and committed to rearing us in the best way they know how (I say know in the present because a mother never stops teaching), exhausting all resources to give their children the best life possible. In a lot of cases, sacrificing their very own living to forward ours. Life with our mothers is just better.

These four adults pay homage to their own mothers in a simple statement. A statement eloquently



their mothers mean to them.

Ana Serafin, Chicago, IL Ana Gil Garcia , Chicago, IL

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My mother is an amazing role model who has been able to break down many barriers thanks to her passion for education. She taught me to never allow anyone to belittle me, be strong, keep my head up, and never stop exploring the world. It is thanks to her love for discovering new things, that I have been in love with travel and exploring the world.

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Dr. Christina Arpante, Santa Fe, CA Marie Arpante, Manhattan, NYC Reginald Carson, Atlanta, GA Virginia Lewis Carson, Dover, DE Growing up with a fashion diva within steps from your bedroom is one of the greatest joys I’ve ever experienced. My mother gave me the appreciation and love for an art form that is paint on fabric. Her soul and inspiration for life is one of many reasons why she became my first love.

Michelle Buckmire, Alexandria, VA Marilynn Lindsey, Palm Springs, CA

When I think of my mom, I think about how she embodies kindness, perseverance, and strength. One of my most vivid memories stems from when I was a child. Mom left a gray cable knit cardigan sweater in the main hall closet. She explained that it represented “a mother’s arms”, there for me whenever I needed her arms around me, for warmth or comfort.
 My mom is my foundation with which I will forever rely upon. She is warm, understanding, and infinitely patient even amid conflicts and thorny emotions. She is my cheerleader, counselor, and teacher. Her love is infinite, with no beginning and no end, and is reflected when she says, “I love you circles.” Back at you mom. I love you circles. Thank you!

My mom. Amazingly independent, always adventurous, infinitely supportive, simply stylish, admirably fearless, inspiringly creative, and ever up for fun. My mom has self-sacrificed for me more than I’m sure I know and has supported me even when it terrified her. She has courage in spades, taught me more about myself than I ever could have imagined, and I’ll love her for an eternity.

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But First, Let Me Take a #Selfie!

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Their Instagram feed or Facebook timeline may not reflect what these uber busy women love doing on their down time. You’ll probably see more about what they’re doing with their kids, what they’re buying for them, or what a tired day looks like at 9. But when they have time, they like to spend it wisely. We’ve asked these fabulous mothers to share with us the top five things they love to do for themselves. After all, being a mom starts with being who they are as women.


21 year old son: Miami, FL:


2 daughters: Atlanta, GA



12 week old boy: Cullman, AL @KerryAnnSchrader

* Massages really are a girl’s best friend. I need * Get a massage monthly or once every


* I love experimenting with makeup and hair.

2 months.

* Mani/pedi’s make me feel so feminine,

Especially eye makeup! Eyeliner is my favorite.

* Go to the gym at least 2x per week

especially since I’m in scrubs all day.

* Self-pampering with mini spa treatments at home,

* Enjoy Sushi at my favorite Sushi restaurants

* Going to yoga is great for my life’s balance.

including a mani and Pedi. I’ve become pretty good

even if I go alone just because I love sushi!

* Leisure reading relaxes me. Read books

at it. Cocoa butter and vitamin E are good to me.

* Meditate at least 3x per week

for pleasure

* Drawing is very therapeutic. I’ve being painting

* Beach time as much as I can!

* I love going for long walks on the beach first

since I was three

thing in morning.

* Nothing like reading books and watch television shows pertaining to criminal psychology and forensic science.


4 boys: Fayetville, GA @NaturalBabydol1


1 son: Bronx, NY: @Laliquin


2 tween girls: Annandale, VA @Merarihc

* Eat an ice cream cone dipped in chocolate in

* Putting on red lipstick. May sound silly but no

the car alone.

matter what kind of day I’m having red lipstick is

* Go for a walk by myself at sunrise on the

* Sit in Starbucks to escape the busy day

an instant pick me up.

beach while on vacation with my family.

during lunch.

* Going to a bookstore and just wandering around.

* Get a massage for my whole body. So

* Treat myself to monthly massages.

* Writing. Even if I’m writing about being a mom,


* Pack a bag and take a trip to unwind.

it’s still something I do just for me.

* Thrift store shopping; the hunt is as fun as

* Have a girls night out.

* Waking up before everyone else and leisurely

the find!!

drinking my coffee.

* Go swimming. The water has a calming,

* Getting my hair or nails done. It doesn’t happen


soothing but also energizing effect on my

as often as I would like, so when I have the time to

mind that helps me gain clarity.

do it - I feel really special.

* Sleep!



2 kids: Rocky Mount, North Carolina

2 boys: San Francisco, CA

5 year old boy: Atlanta, GA



* I meet up with the other homeschooling moms in my community for a quiet, kid-free dinner at our local Italian restaurant for simply me time! * Every day, I take a walk all by myself! It allows my mind a chance to settle and focus, and keeps me fit too! * Going to the bookstore all by myself is a blessed event. I love the quiet atmosphere, surrounded my some of the things I love best - BOOKS! * Gardening is my secret passion. My blooming garden does so much to lift my spirits! * I love when the kids go out to play and I can run to the kitchen and throw together some guacamole and scarf it down before they come back in wanting to have some!

* I like to spend time alone, outdoors, enjoying nature and talking to God. * A trip to the spa is something I don’t mind splurging on. Don’t get there as often as I’d like, need to work on that! * I treat myself to a Mounds bar from time to time. Nothing like a little chocolate! * Helping others is very important to me. Being a blessing to others makes you feel so good! * Learning something new, whether through a book I read or a digital course I take-educating myself is something I do for me. Never stop learning.

* A relaxing mani/pedi session. I go religiously every 10 days. * Shopping for a sexy pair of shoes. What’s better than that?! * Savor a glass of Prosecco paired with strawberries. * Cook one of my favorite dishes, more than likely Cuban. * Hire a cleaning service so I can take a break. This would be awesome!

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HOME LIBRARY WORTHY COVERS Reads we’re all over this month! We’ve been busy reading a lot this early spring, which is a great break from work. We share five reads we think will inspire, motive, invoke certain feelings, and make you smile.


The Design and Typography of Louise Fili We love this vintage-esque hardcover typography book by font-type expert veteran Louise Fili. From restaurant to poster & postage design, Fili, former Director of the New York Times Book Review, exhibits thee design process behind her work spanning her 40-year plus career as a graphic designer. If it’s iconic and has letters on it, Fili probably had something to do with it -- like Tiffany & Co. and Sarabeth’s. Yup. Her design. We love her work and want every book she’s ever published. Princeton Architectural Press.


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London Jungle Book You and your kids can cuddle and marvel at the images Indian artist Bhaju Shyam has put in this book. On assignment in London, his first trip or flight ever, to paint the walls of a restaurant in London, he radicalized iconic monuments like Big Ben and transformed it into a rooster. He turned London into an exotic jungle while he was there. And now we can see what the city looks like through his eyes. As an avid traveler, my favorite: Loyal Friend No. 30: a bus he relied on. Check it out and you’ll understand. Travelers and artists will appreciate this creative hardcover. Tara Books.


On Becoming a Mother

The Book of Trees:

Visualizing Branches of Knowledge

Did you know that in northern India, windows are opened, household clay pots are broken, and locks unlocked when a woman is in labour– all symbolizing openness - encouraging the opening of the mother’s cervix! This book is for you new mothers! It’s the best-curated book of stories, folk songs, crafts, and lessons from mothers of all cultures and traditions. We love the global approach to inspiring new Mamis how to embrace their new miracle. What a great birthing gift. Available on Mother’s Day, May 11th. By Brigid McConville. Oneworld Publications.


I have a personal affection for trees. They are so enigmatic. They give life. But this is just about trees, as we know them –sources of oxygen. This is science and design cleverly combined. Author Manual Lima examines 800 years of the tree diagram’s history. If that weren’t intriguing enough, he illustrates two hundred intricately detailed tree diagrams on a remarkable variety of subjects, from some of the earliest known examples from ancient Mesopotamia. My favorite: the Tree of Love from Matre Ermegnaud’s Le Breviari d’amor, depicting the typology of love. schematizing all possible types of love. Princeton Architectural Press.


Listverse.com’s Epic Book of Mind-Boggling Top 10 Lists If you’re anything like us you probably think you would win on Jeopardy every time. Read a few chapters of this book and we’d say you have a good chance of not finishing last! Wal-Mart category? Just tell Tribe you know a guy found 10 human teeth inside a brand-new wallet. By Jamie Frater. Available on May 13th. Ulysses Press.


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I love nature. I love trees. I love going for walks. And I love flowers. It hit me sometime last year that I wanted to learn more about the botanical life. During my walks and runs, I always see lovely flowers in bloom, especially at the end of April and all of May. The old adage ‘April Showers Bring May Flowers’ came to life as a way to experience a happy moment every day. I took a daily picture of a different flower the entire month of May, no matter where I was. I shared it on Instagram and created an album on Facebook. I engaged my friends and follower and had the guess the name of the flower. I solicited help for the ones I didn’t know. The most ironic part of the project was that the flower I loved most didn’t come to me until May 31st, the very last day of the photo project, and I had nothing to do with it. Unbeknownst to me, a friend had been following my project all along. He snapped the picture while taking a lovely walk in Middleburg, VA with a friend. It’s since been my most beautiful prized flower. Here are the May flowers April showers brought, as shared on my IG feed last year. Go out and learn something new! Follow me on Instagram to see this year’s daily flower find! B! Inspired

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GLOBAL GROOVES & NATIONAL TUNES WE’RE VIBING From our library to yours, these tunes will take you on virtual trip around the globe, expanding your beat base.

Rita Ora, U.K. The British singer wooed us her with her live performance on Jimmy Fallon last week. Clad in a white prom dress and had an artist paint her while she belted out ‘ Will Never Let You Down.’ We’re her newest fan!

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Gramatik, U.S. via Slovenia Funk, Rock, Electro you name it, Gramatik hits every genre with ‘Torture’ (Feat. Eric Krasno) and the rest of the EP.

Lui il est tout mon monde Et bien plus que ça Seul je crie son nom quand viens le désarroi. May / June

Paolo Nutini, Scotland ‘Caustic Love’ Lighting up the Indie charts, Paolo has that relaxing flow that will ease your night after a long day at work.

Caravan Palace, France Indila - France

‘Caravan Palace’

‘Mini World’

An album from 2005 but well worth introducing you to this French Gypsy Jazz/Electro Swing group. From the second you hit play you are warped to a time when a traveling circus was the big thing in town. We’ve learned some swing dancing thanks to this group.

Wow, just wow. Just know you parle French to enjoy her hit song “Tourner Dans Le Vide” . Indila’s voice is evocative and the beats are enough to make anyone’s ears happy.

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¡A Comer!

Flanboyant Eats

Spring bestows upon us lovely weather, a new harvest, and renewed intentions in every facet of life. It’s a great season to shed idle efforts and focus on exciting ideas that will yield results. Our diets are one of those subjected to revision and we say no better time to be inspired to eat better but also explore, trying out new things. I hand selected these recipes because each reflects an element of spring eating: colors, aromas and flavors. Each of these will be add to a complete al fresco spread for the mother in your life. From refreshing sangria to delicious taro root fritters, she’ll delight in your efforts!

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MAMI’S MARSHMALLOW FRUIT SALAD Ingredients: • • • • • •

24 oz. sour cream 2 -16 oz. can of tropical fruit cocktail, drained 1 - 10 oz. bag of marshmallow 6 Tbsp. sugar Mint leaves for garnish, if desired 1/4 cup Maraschino cherries, sliced, for added color, taste or just garnish.

Method: In large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients. Chill at least 4 hours or until marshmallows have softened. Garnish with mint and cherries if desired. FlanboyantEats.com

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ยกA Comer!

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VANILLA ICED ESPRESSO Ingredients: • • • • •

1 cup brewed espresso 3 tbsp. raw sugar 1/4 cup cream (I use half and half) 1 tsp. good quality vanilla extract Ice

Method: Sweeten brewed espresso and chill for 3 hours or fast freeze for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove from fridge and transfer to martini shaker. Add cream and vanilla extract to coffee. Shake well. Pour over ice-filled glass. FOOD NOTE: How do you like your iced coffee? Share your tips and recipes on Flanboyant Eats blog. FlanboyantEats.com

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ยกA Comer!

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SIMPLE CABBAGE SALAD This salad is so vibrant and a perfect example of a dish that you want to serve at any spring brunch, luncheon, or simply enjoy before you main dinner course. The cabbage, which is used raw, is slightly “cooked” in a citrus marinade and thickened with homemade mayonnaise. It’s delightful and sure to brighten any mother’s dining experience this Mother’s Day. Not to mention, it’s incredibly easy to make! Get the full recipe on FlanboyantEats.com

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ยกA Comer!

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SPICY WATERMELON GAZPACHO Ingredients: • • • • • • • • • • •

1/4 one medium watermelon, seeded and cubed 18 - 1” watermelon cubes for garnish 2 cups pineapple, cubed 1/2 cup Chardonnay 1/4 cup honey or agave (less depending on sweetness of watermelon) ½ tsp. jalapeño, seeded leaves from 3 stems fresh basil Juice from one fresh lime 1 tsp. ginger, grated Pinch of salt to taste Mint leaves for garnish

Method: In large processor, add all ingredients, except 2 basil stems. Set to chop setting to break down the chunky fruits for 1 minute. Stir and switch to pulse for 2 minutes. Stir and switch to liquefy for an additional 2 minutes. Chill for 3 hours. In small saucers or medium bowls, place 3 watermelon cubes in each saucer. Fill will soup. Garnish with mint leaves and Jolly Rancher candy on plate. Chef’s notes: For a thicker soup, you can use plain yogurt while processing all ingredients. Also, squeeze a pinch of added limejuice once served. Jolly Ranchers can be crushed and added to soup once served. Food Note: We suggest you always seed jalapeños unless you want your heat level to be searing. And always make sure to wash your hands when you’re done working with them. Your eyes will thank you. Oh, and you want to experiment with making chipotle, just dry out your whole chile. FlanboyantEats.com

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ยกA Comer!

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DARK CHOCOLATE BREAD PUDDING Ingredients: • • • • • • • • • •

22 oz. eggs 5 oz. egg yolks 18 oz. sugar Pinch salt 1 tsp. vanilla 1 tsp. almond extract 5 oz. cocoa powder 2 qt. heavy cream 10 oz. dark chocolate 1 loaf sourdough, cubed

Method: In large bowl, whisk together eggs, yolks, sugar, cocoa, and salt. Whisk cream, vanilla and almond extracts. Pour over bread and chocolate. Let soak. Fill greased ramekin with soaked bread. Using hands (wearing gloves) or back of wooden spoon, smash bread mixture into ramekin and continue filling until its topped. Bake at 300F until custard is set. Top with a scoop of mint, mamey or vanilla ice cream. Garnish with mint if desired. FlanboyantEats.com

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ยกA Comer!

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Marneley Rodriguez This Citrus White Wine Sangria is packed with juicy citrus fruit (use whatever you have on hand) and made with Mom’s favorite white wine. Perfect for a brunch setting or a summer deck party. By Marneley Rodriguez from the food blog Cooking With Books.

CITRUS WHITE WINE SANGRIA Ingredients: • • • • • • •

1 bottle of Pinot Grigio (or your favorite white wine) 20 ounces sparkling lime water 2/3 cup cardamom syrup (or plain simple syrup) 1 large orange, peeled and sliced 1 large lemon, sliced 1 large lime, sliced 1 cup frozen strawberries

Method: In a large pitcher, whisk together your wine, sparkling lime water, and syrup. Taste and add more syrup if needed. Add all the fruit and stir. Serve with added ice if needed. Cheers! Visit CookingWithBooks.Net for more recipes.

ยกA Comer!

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FRITURAS DE MALANGA {MALANGA FRITTERS} Food Note: Did you know malanga is a typical Caribbean and West African root tuber, also known as taro root? It’s super fibrous and easy to digest, making it great for babies developing digestive system when puréed. It’s also the vegetable used to make the wildly popular Hawai’ian poi dish. Ingredients: • • • • • • • • •

3 medium-sized malanga, washed and peeled 1 egg 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 Tbsp. apple vinegar 2 tsp. curly parsley, small chop 2 tsp. fennel, minced 2 tsp. salt 1 tsp. black pepper 1 tsp. cayenne pepper

Method: In big bowl, shred malanga using cheese shredder. Add egg and remaining ingredients into bowl. Blend well. Use hands if necessary. Heat canola oil in 12” non-stick skillet. Drop tablespoon worth of mixture into skillet and fry until golden brown on each side. Place paper towel on plate. Using a slotted spoon, transfer fritters onto plate and allow excess oil to absorb. Garnish with fennel and parley. Serve immediately. Yields 12 fritters. FlanboyantEats.com

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Daily B!

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Luxe Travel

The Most Romantic Rock… is not a Diamond How Monaco Stole my Wife’s (and my) Heart By David Hall


t’s the exclusive enclave known by name to an entire world, but in physical enjoyment, only a distinct few. The town muse Grace Kelly called home for many years. If you’re under 45, that name may not ring a bell, unless you’re a black and white, midcentury film aficionado. As a child growing up in the ‘50s, Grace Kelly was one of my favorite Hollywood icons; I had a child’s crush on her. She had an allure, something regal about her that even a 10-year old could perceive and fall for. No wonder Monaco’s Prince Rainier “stole” her from Hollywood royalty and offered her the Monegasque crown, in 1956. Monaco’s well-deserved fame as a Mediterranean jewel and playground for the rich and famous only skyrocketed after the fairytale wedding, and six decades later is still growing. If you’ve never been to Monaco, make sure to include it in your “bucket list”, and try to make it there pronto, because once you visit the diminutive city-nation –the whole country covers less than one square mile- you’ll never get enough of it! Take it from me; my wife and I have been there only twice…and a soon return isn’t soon enough. Perched atop a massive rock, very close to the easternmost end of the seductive French Riviera, Monaco is completely surrounded by France and gawks nostalgically into the distance at the coast of Italy, where many of its ancestors came from. Make sure to take the coastal drive into to Ventimiglia, Italy. It’s worth spending the day there. Our first time, we drove down from Paris, my wife, my daughter, and I. As we approached The Rock on the meandering highway that hugs the rugged Mediterranean coast, the raw natural beauty that surrounds you everywhere overtook us. We arrived

in Monaco as night began to fall, and were greeted by the glittering lights of Monte Carlo, the most attractive nook of the city and no doubt one of the most renowned places in the world. When you think of Monaco, the first image that comes to mind is that of the most famous casino in the world, where obscenely rich, high-stakes gamblers bet –and often lose- tens of thousands of dollars in a matter of minutes (we saw them!); ritzy hotels, begging $5000 for a single night’s stay; flashy, luxury cars; and opulent yachts. And of course, for Formula 1 fans, the Monte Carlo Grand Prix! All that is true…and then some, but there’s more than that to Monaco; less glamorous perhaps, but it is what really made us fall in love with the place. Eerily quiet nightly strolls back to our rented condo overlooking the yatch-yard and the Prince’s palace, invited an enigmatic feeling of being in a place you could escape to and no one would know. Similar dawns as the sun started peeking above the horizon with soft strokes of wind from the calm Rivera initiated magnificent days. Subtle yet energetic movement at the daily Condamine Farmer’s market where locals and restock on their week’s food supply. Robust heirloom tomatoes, purple-hued garlic bulbs, and beautiful artichokes, all lend to the supreme quality of life the Monégasques; that’s evident in the ebb and flow of the day where people hustle to work and stroll in the afternoon for a coffee tryst. In the end, it’s a nook reserved for a modern opulent lifestyle if you have it to afford, or a small little hometown for natives like Messer. Busser, who lives quite unassuming life, retiring for bed around 8pm every night. The idea of a juxtaposed simple life with an intentional glamorous flair and a richly historic river as the setting is as romantic as you can ask for. It’s what took my wife’s breath away. And I followed suit.

Overlooking the French Riviera from Eze, France

Spring Fashion Trends

She’s Lace-y

Nothing about this season’s lace resembles Grandmas wardrobe. The delicate and intricate style is timeless and remains to be classy. We love these modern takes on cutouts in various colors and Mint Green Lace Skirt, silhouettes.

Christopher Kane Spring, 2014

IvoryLace Earrings, Anthropologie, $32

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White Willow Bag, Mulberry, Price upon request Peach Lace Bootie Stiletto, Jimmy Choo, $1800

Navy lace slip-ons TOMS, $59

Cream Lace Parasol Rose & Delilah Studio

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Spring Fashion Trends

Bright Organza Lace Tee, Anthropologie, $98

Beaded & Sequined Lace Dresses, Paris, 1952, Pierre Balmain

We don’t hide our affection for the soft appeal of lace. This season’s trend is exciting especially since it reminds us of the exquisiteness of Balmain’s dresses from the 50s. The French designer knew dresses were the perfect piece for the sophisticated woman. Today, the fashion house knows opulence in a futuristic way. And we love that too.

Purple pencil skirt, Zara, $79

She’s Lace-y! Ulyana Segeenk in white lace skirt during Paris Fashion Week Blush blouse with satin bow, Viktor & Rolf Resort

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Mother’s Day Gift Guide This is the time to really splurge on the special Mother in your life. She’s constantly putting you before herself, so a lovely gift showing how much you appreciate it will let her know you care. And she deserves it! After much perusing and testing out, these are the fabulous finds we love and think any mother, new, veteran, young or youthfully aging will lust over! Wonderfully tried and true.

Terry ‘Tea to Tan’ Eau de Teint Water Color Bronzer I’ve never been one to tan or intentionally apply a bronzing lotion, but when we came upon Terry’s ‘Eau de Teint,’ we couldn’t help but want to bathe in it. It’s the sexiest liquid glow you’ll find. A sunset tinted infusion of tea extracts, which creates a subtle tattoo water glow, will have people thinking you live in Fiji. That’s a good look.

Barneys, $58

Korres Wild Rose Brightening Sleeping Facial We love the working force behind international products we’re enjoying in the US. This Greek brand is our new fave brand to become familiar with. This 95% natural facial cream will sleep away the sun stress of season and literally make you look bright and fresh every single morning after you wear to bed. It’s rose-y and creamy.

Sephora, $48

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Korres Wild Rose Face & Eye Serum All-nighters don’t have to end with dark circles and baggy eyes. High levels of Vitamin C help reduce wrinkle and fine lines we start seeing in our mid-20s. We don’t think that’s sexy. Smoothen them out and reduce those all-nighters!

Sephora, $41

Raw Spirit ‘Wildfire’ Perfume We scooped this up because of its awesome charitable work for supporting indigenous Australian ag campaigns. Aussie sandalwood and amber mix up to fuse a seductive smell anyone will appreciate. I mean, spritz, spritz with a cause? Yes! Oh, and it fits in your purse. Perfect for traveling!

Nomad Two Worlds, $35/.25 fl oz. Cargo Spring 2014 Lip Glosses No girl can live without a fabulous lip gloss. It has to be high shine without any icky sticky mess. This new collection lasts hours beyond lunch and that 3 pm must-have coffee sip.

Nordstrom. $16/each

Peter Thomas Roth De-Spot Plus

Everything we’ve tried by Peter Thomas has worked, so this has to also! We tried it for 3 days and liked what we saw. But you really need at least 9 days to see a noticeable difference in spots from sun and aging. Oh, and stress. We enjoyed the immediate luminosity, though.

Sephora, $78 Luxe Mother’s Day Gift Guide

GLOW Kit by Dr. Brandt Who needs expensive in-office treatments when you can use overnight resurfacing serum and the ruby crystal retinal hydacréme kit combo to highlight your natural beauty? This is perfect for serious skincare lovers. Get your glow on all summer. You’ll see a difference after 5 days. We did.

Barneys, $65

Chateau Krigler No.12 Eau de Parfum

This is luxe and decadence at its best. This classic parfum by the exclusive French house of scents was first created in 1912 and worn by Grace Kelly in the 50s. Not so romantic, but we gravitate to the almond notes, which pair lovely with the musky base. It’s highly sophisticated and meant for a bona fide fragrance connoisseur. She really deserves this.

Krigler Boutique in Plaza Hotel, NY, $195

Philip B Nordic Wood Hair & Body Shampoo Anything that serves two purposes in one shot is a good thing. Hair and body shampoo really targeted for men but so smooth and intoxicating with its soft spruce, Balsam fir and cedar wood essence, makes it completely appropriate for the confident woman.

Neiman Marcus, $34 Urban Decay Ultra Definition Loose Powder

Pressed powders are great for keeping in our pocketbooks, but loose is the way to go at home. We love, love anything UD puts out and this silky smooth loose powder gave us exactly the color and evenness we think makeup should offer. Great range of colors, too.

Sephora. $34

Elemis Limited Edition Cellular Recovery Skin Bliss Capsules Gift Set Mamas are busy being amazing so these little candy-sized capsules, packed with Moringa oil, lavender, and rose, will bring her back to life! Pink to start the day; Green to restore her while she rests. The results are insanely attractive.

Time To Spa, $152 Erno Laszlo Active Phelityl Intensive Cream Mothers just stay busy. We want to indulge them in every way imaginable. Laszlo’s super luxe cream takes care of her every beauty need. Locked and loaded with fab moisture she looses while running around making life happen, she’ll know to grab this when she needs an effective boost. The single ladies here love it more!

Nordstrom, $65 Orico of London Superico Face Oil The best oil you will ever apply to your face before you go to bed. We have few words other than the best we’ve ever enjoyed. At least in the last 4 years. A must, must have. The smell alone will rock her to sleep.

Orico of London, $48

L’Occitane Lavender Collection The French cosmetics house knows lavender like no other. This set is on our list for every mother we love and adore. They deserve the relaxing sensation the purple herb naturally elicits. Don’t think about this one. It literally has everything she needs. We especially the soufflé feel of the hand cream.

L’Occitane, $68 Luxe Mother’s Day Gift Guide

L’Occitane Divine Collection Splurge on her with this oh-so-right luscious set of crèmes and and cleansing foams to make every woman enjoy the feeling and look of a 20 year old. We especially love the smell of the Corsica flower. It’s new to us. She’s going to love the cleansing foam. It.is.amazing.

L’Occitane, $182

Bobbi Brown Art Sticks

We already know she’s a lip color master, but the MUA’s latest is a great thick color lipstick that looks like a fancy pencil. They’re matted to ensure long-lasting creamy and shaded lips. Sip on all day and you’ll be fine. Shea butter plus, anyone?

Bloomingdales, $26/ea.

Avon Femme Perfume We’ve been hunting for perfect scents any mother can enjoy, no matter her chemistry or budget. Avon’s latest fragrance is very delicate with delicious notes of jasmine, pink grapefruit, and pear. You won’t feel like a flower tree, rather a soft whiff of sophistication will capsulate your audience.

Avon, $30 Aerin Baume de Rose

Where was this during winter? A balm for everything? Lips, face, cuticles, eyes, you name it, this covers it. We really like it on our hands after typing emails for hours and hours. New mothers will love it for her eyes from lack of sleep. Made with over 350 petals, it smells like a rose garden.

Aerin, $58

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Gift Guide / CHIC TECH Yes there are more than three tech items out there for her, but we particularly love these three this month. They kind of cover everything we need everyday! Well, beyond our we-can’t-live-without goodies. Nikon Coolpix L830 Digital Camera Want to snap with the best of them of don’t want to pay the best of them price? The Nikon Coolpix L830 is just what you are looking for. Light and Fast this camera will grab all your memories from close ups to shots far away with the 34x zoom. Photos and HD Video the L830 has got you covered. Makes it the perfect camera for quick weekend

RadioShack, $299 Brookston Bluetooth Big Blue Speaker Let this sexy white Bluetooth speaker sit on your desk and pump out tunes while you work, even if you’re 35 feet away. Big Blue will wirelessly connect to your smartphones, laptop, and tablets. We love the sleek design, clear & loud sound. But the big blue dot it the most fun. Easy to connect—pair once and then connect instantly every time.

Brookstone, $150 TYLT Syncable Lightning Charge & Sync Cable White charging cables are so passé. Since we run out of juice more often than we care, to, carrying a charging cable is essential. If you have to have one in your care, use a funky, conversation-starter. This is it. And it doesn’t tangle.

Amazon, $24.99 Luxe Mother’s Day Gift Guide


Palais des Thés Lavender Loose Leaf & Fleur de Geisha

We’ve been lusting and craving every single tea this fine French teahouse creates. The pink canister is one of 8 exclusive loose-leaf teas ranging from red, to black teas and exquisite white. Lavender loose leaf is by far our fave so far. Sexy, light, and super fragrant.

Palais des Thés Online, $15-$30 Daylily Herb Pot Double these uber cute planters as herb pots or really unique vases and even for storing all of your makeup brushes. The rustic look and price really attracted us.

Anthropologie, $8 - $10

Ceramic Owl Measuring Spoons

For the hip-cooking mama, give her these and her food will be filled with whimsical love. The owl sketches are subtle but present enough to know they’re hooting for her culinary masterpiece.

Sur La Table, $20

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Gift Guide / LUXE ACCESSORIES & LIVING Elliott Lucca Bali ’89 Crossover bag We love that the cross body bag is still en trend and a musthave bag. We love the lightly metallic and woven detail on the flap of this one.

Lord & Taylor, $145

Olive Branch Ring Holder by Michael Aram If you collect jewelry and wear it often, you have to display it in a chic way. This is the perfect holder to sit on your vanity. It’s delicate but bold enough for costume or fine jewelry.

Nordstrom, $69

DW Home Sweet Pea & Pomegranate Candle The sweet and spring fresh scent of this will relax you after a stressful day, but also create a bright ambiance on gloomy days with the bright pink hue.

TJ Maxx or HomeGoods, $6

Nike Free Flyknit+ DC Love these in honor of D.C.’s 2nd inaugural Women’s Marathon, which our editor ran! They fit like a glove and perform like a combat boot. Ankles fully protected.

Nike, $135 Luxe Mother’s Day Gift Guide

Perfetto Pencils Get your hand-writing (and design) skills back with these black and red double-sided pencils by famed graphic designer Louise Fili.

Amazon, 12/$15

Lucky Brand Red Stone Charm Bracelet

Charm bracelets will never go out of style; we might as well snag some up that are timeless and pretty, without being so conventional.

Lucky Brand Store or Amazon, $35

C.B. Herrera Turquoise and Fresh Water Pearl Bibb Necklace This beautiful three strand turquoise necklace adorned with fresh water pearls is sure to add a splash a color to any outfit. Be hip and chic while wearing this “IT” item, seen in many top fashion magazines.

C.B. Herrera, $175 LoLë Yellow ‘Glow’ Yoga Mat This bright lemon yellow mat satisfies the length for the taller Mamis and padded cushion for the tender-boned ones. But the color! That’s really it.

Lolë or REI, $35

Health & Fitness

Living The Best Life At 40! By Keela Carr


Be honest with myself

have long been a fan of health and fitness and a voracious consumer of competition in all its forms. And for many years my life has revolved around training, eating, dieting down, and any sweaty adventure that I can get myself involved in. Then came one blessed day in June of 2011, when my son was born. Becoming a mother has definitely added to my list of things to do and there are more times than I can count when household chores and training have had to take a backseat to the many duties of motherhood. Being a mother also introduced me to an entire new set of worries and stresses. The quest to obtain my pre-pregnancy body and do it quickly, the idea that one must have it all, do it all and be all, was absolutely overwhelming for me and I began to feel the joy of my life slipping away. After a particularly difficult day, I decided to come up some guidelines, a set of rules that would help me reset and focus on the wonderful life I’ve known and lived. These following six reminders or life mantras have done for my life a world of good and helped me not only regain my physical health, but helped me drastically increase my mental fitness and well being. You don’t have to be where I am to start with these, but they’re great motivators to get there

Many times I have worked with clients who’ve had set back after set back when it came to reaching their wellness goals because they weren’t honest about their time, level of commitment. I am honest with myself about my ability to take on more projects. It removes the stress of pushing myself toward an unrealistic effort.

Start the day on a positive note I must admit that as the mother of an extremely rambunctious toddler, there are nights when I collapse into bed only to the sun come up (what seems like) 5 minutes later and I wake just as tired as the previous night. I have found that if I focus on the beautiful colours, the cheerful chirping of the birds and my little one’s gorgeous, happy little face. I am ready to bound out of bed HITT the day.

Be kind to yourself and others I cannot say this enough. Be KIND! Be kind to yourself. Speak words of encouragement and positivity to and about yourself. Be your own cheering section. Be kind to the people around you. The smiles and happiness this brings can do so much for ones mental and physical well being, from lowering blood pressure to releasing dopamine and other feel good hormones.

Set timely and obtainable goals

Have a plan, but be very flexible

Whether I want to train for an athletic event or drag my 2 yr old off for an afternoon of running errands, I have to keep my goals realistic. Otherwise, both my son, myself and those around us fall victim to poor planning.

My daily life consists of 3 to 4 schedules all running simultaneously, but that could change at the drop of a hat. Clients cancel, little boys won’t go down for naps, muscles are sore, bodies are tired and it’s just not going to happen. It has taken me sometime, but I am learning to

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be flexible, that there is a rather calming joy in taking a deep breath and moving on to the next thing.

About Keela

Be courageous

Keela’s a 40-year old mother to an amazing son and a life-long

I absolutely love a challenge! And for me, the more frightening the better. Now I know this is too outside the box for some, but what I have found is that it pushes me to be courageous, to move past my comfortable fear. What a marvelously liberating feeling to live courageously. I’m forty and fit! You can too. It’s work — hard work — but you’ll live a healthier, happier, and more fulfilling life. Your children deserve a healthy mom! Health and peace.

lover of health and fitness. For the past 15 years she has worked as a nationally certified personal trainer and health consultant. As a fitness trainer, she offers a variety of training styles to meet a variety of needs. I am certified through NASM, ISSA and ACE. My skill set allows me not only to train athletes. She currently resides in sunny central Florida where I enjoy training, racing and competition of any kind. I strive, through my own healthy life style to motivate and inspire my clients and others to live their own fit and fearless life styles. Find her on Facebook.com

Coffee & Tea Lovers’ Delight

Sipping Swag What is life without a bold cup of coffee, a shot of espresso in our case, or a soft cup of tea first thing in the morning? The sun rises, flowers bloom, and we follow suit with an aromatic cup of goodness. We’re seriously crushing on these designer espresso makers, demitasse cups, teapots and tea cups. They take drinking coffee and tea to another level of sexiness.

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For the Super Fancy Entertainer

Otto Expresso Maker, $830

Copper Turckis Coffee Pot, $24.95 Sur La Table

Slick and Minimalist

Bodum Santos Glass Stovetop Vacuum Coffee Maker $79 Bodum

Alessi Demitasse Cup & Saucer Michael Graves for Alessi, $152 s/2 Bloomingdales

Slick and Minimalist

TWG Stainless Steel Tea Pot, £ 151.00 Harrods Alice Sun Espresso Cup & Saucer - Kuehn (Kuhn) Kerami, $90 Houzze

Genie Tea Pot, €199.00 Stefan Lie

Sterling Silver & 14k Gold Tea Cup & Saucer Charm | London, Wedgwood “Cuckoo” Tea Story Tea Cup & Saucer, Peach, $500 $50, each Stephen Einhorn Bloomingdales B! Inspired May / June

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B! Inspired Thank You! ÂĄGracias! Merci!

Follow me @BrenHerrera on Twitter & Like on FB at Facebook.com/BrenHerrera

BrenHerrera.com | FlanboyantEats.com | BeeSoChic.com For advertising inquiries or to receive a media kit, please email us at magazine@brenherrera.com DC’s Cherry Blossoms at the Tidal Basin

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Profile for Bren Herrera

Bren Herrera's B! Inspired Mother's & Spring Issue, 2014  

This issue is all about the Mother! We're featuring great stories on a mother's love, travel stories, and of course, the Mother's Day Luxe G...

Bren Herrera's B! Inspired Mother's & Spring Issue, 2014  

This issue is all about the Mother! We're featuring great stories on a mother's love, travel stories, and of course, the Mother's Day Luxe G...