Selfie Schtik

As Cibu Brand Manager, I’ve created a lot of 259 hair styling tutorials. Cibu Do of the Day, a web series in which I attempted a new hair style every work day for three months, was a viral sensation in 2009. Cibu gained tremendous social traction and generated e-commerce income to boot. Alas, I was before my time. Priorities shifted and like many grassroots business endeavors, my focus was redirected towards more profitable projects. People always asked about those videos, though. The simple answer is that it takes a boatload of billable hours to film, edit, post, promote and moderate social content. Add salon expansion, repackaging, rebranding and two babies to the mix and ain’t nobody got time for that.

A CFO once told me that social media had a dubious ROI, at best. He was wrong. In 2015, social content is currency. And since Cibu is generating a lot of well-deserved media attention it’s clear that I need to dust off the bathroom mirror and make fresh Cibu vids to support the cause.

Mise en place! My equipment needed upgrading. Daunted by the task, I was certain new technology and hours of self teaching were required. Amazon was like, um no – here’s an iPhone tripod. Then Amazon sold me a selfie stick because that’s what everyone else who bought the tripod was buying.

So stay tuned for the return of self generated Cibu social content. With my reduced wardrobe, I’ve surely added enough time to my morning to film hair tutorials!

Today’s outfit is pretty simple. Get used to this dress; you will see it often. Versatile, comfortable and easy to dress up or down, it’s the perfect summer accessory to a selfie stick.

Someone say “selfie stick!”

Outfit details: Chloe Havana sunglasses; Asos black dress, 2014; Pave disk necklace, anniversary gift from Matt, 2014; Assorted random layering necklaces, origins unknown; Loeffler Randall Industry Bag, 2014; Manolo Blahnik gladiator sandals, originally purchased in yellow, 2007, dyed black in 2013

 Classic Cibu17, for your viewing enjoyment

Let It Go

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Perhaps the omission was a gift from the universe, easing our family’s transition through a late winter cold snap: For several months my toddler forgot to sing the theme song from Frozen. In early April, however; The Frozen Song re-emerged as a thematic element in our collaborative bedtime story. In summary: AJ hosts an egg hunt and all of his cousins are invited (”All of them, Mommy!”). There is a custom Play Doh decorated surprise egg hidden for each cousin. Anna’s egg is wrapped in a tutu and when she opens it a real ballerina dances out (these are big eggs). Caroline’s egg is decorated as an egg and when she cracks it open, baby Ashby is trapped inside and AJ rescues her. Finally, Isabelle opens her egg, emblazoned with a glittering crown, and out jumps Princess Elsa, singing “Let it Go, Let it Go, Let it Go...” At this point he falls asleep softly singing the only words anyone really knows from that song.

Yesterday the nurse at the doctor’s office needed to confirm my last name. “Is it Mapp or Bressan?” After a very pregnant pause I responded “Bressan.” I have been married for nearly six years but man was it hard to let that one go. We cling to things, don’t we? Maiden names, college scrapbooks, dog eared copies of Judy Blume’s Blubber, a $175 silk Joie blouse that never actually looks good on - they all tell a story about who we are, or were. But where is the line between identity and junk?

That evening I enjoyed a glass of champagne with a chic friend to celebrate her newly acquired American citizenship. Thinking back on the last name conversation I asked if the ceremony sparked any sort of identity crisis. “Not at all,” she replied. “I retain both my Swiss and Italian passports.”  Leave it to Ada to be a triple citizen of the world. After a moment she added, “It was kind of hard for my Dad, though.”

Today’s outfit wasn’t quite as inspiring as the pink magnolia letting go of her petals in the background. Looking to the indigo top and flats to elevate grey base layers and an overcast spring morning. 

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Outfit details: Salvatore Ferragamo silk twill scarf (2009); J. Crew ruffle trench (2008); South Moon Under indigo hi low t-shirt (2012); Banana Republic ruched grey jersey skirt (2015); Steve Madden Kstudd indigo studded flats (2012); Stella & Dot Rebel pendant necklace (2014)

The Day Before Tomorrow

Feeling good today, friends! Because: vacation. I am a big fan of anticipation. My favorite day of the week is Thursday, so wrought with possibility.  When we were little, my sister and I would spend a week each summer in New York City with our Aunt Catherine. NYC is epic, always has been, always will be, but this was the ‘80s and NYC was authentically cool. Break dancers on street corners cool. Hot pink dollar sign earrings cool. DJ Magic Mike mix tape cool. Understandably, our annual trip was a BIG DEAL. And while the week’s festivities never disappointed (Aunt Cat ran that city) my favorite part was the plane ride there. I can still feel the giddy belly butterflies. Once you were actually in the city the trip was destined to end and with that the return of another sweltering summer in Norfolk, VA.

Tell the truth day! I bought some stuff from J.Crew. Also I forgot to cancel Stitch Fix. Both packages arrived yesterday. As soon as I spotted them at the door my minimalist rationale went out the window. Matt asked if I loved our baby anymore, because she needed to eat and I straight sprinted to her nursery to rip open boxes.

In the light of day I could see that the braided rope belt wasn’t leather and the statement necklace was one that I didn’t need to make. This is when I had what my therapists call a “breakthrough.” Online shopping feeds my anticipation addiction. Until it arrives, anything is possible. The belt could be the link that connects my wardrobe; the vintage cotton v-neck tee might be the last that I’d ever need to buy. Unlike memories of late night cannolis and my first cappuccino in Little Italy or the fourth time we saw Cats!, these unnecessary online purchases left me feeling empty inside. I sent everything back. OK! I kept a pair of denim shorts. One day at a time, people.

Feeling the vacay vibes! Even the rain can’t get me down, or touch my new highlights and spray tan under this jaunty beach hat. 

Outfit details: Original Penguin hat (belongs to Matt, 2013); trusty Joie Military Fatigue Jacket (2014); Gap Women 1969 Destructed Western Denim Shirt (2015); Tinley Road Maya Vegan Grey Leather Shoulder Mini Dress (2013); Salvatore Ferragamo Louisa Silk Scarf as belt (2009); Hunter Boots (gift from sister Emily 2013); Stella & Dot Rebel pendant (2014); Stella & Dot Norah Chandelier earrings (2014); Pave diamond disk necklace (anniversary gift from Matt, 2014)

Great Hair in 5 Steps

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I work in retail. Just like the yogini in Lululemon with her story about Hustle pants or my new BF, the J.Crew dude who told me that my outfit was cute. Every hour of my work day is focused on better ways to sell Cibu. Are we one in the same? Me peddling pomade and them with their seasonal variations on things I already own?

There is a difference. For starters, hair products don’t sit in your closet for years. HALT! If you still own products that you purchased (or I gave you) before 2012 throw them away now. Seriously, they are expired and you don’t even like them because if you did you would have used them all up about - eh -  32 months ago.

You do not need dozens of hair products. You need a relationship with your Stylist so she can craft a haircut appropriate for your lifestyle and teach you how to use the right products to achieve that look at home. What do I mean about lifestyle? Well, how much time do you have? No seriously, how much time do you have to do your hair in the morning? How much time do you have to get your color retouched? Great hair is achieved by managing expectations. You are not Kim Kardashian. Do not go Fashion Week Platinum if you can only get to the salon once a season. 

Because I love you, dear reader, I am going to let you in on the secret to great hair, in 5 steps:

1.       A Stylist to give you a great hair cut and teach you how to use:

2.       Shampoo and Conditioner appropriate for your hair type

3.       Argan oil drops to nourish, add shine and protect hair from heat

4.       Styling Product to smooth hair, set curls or add volume while blow drying

5.       Finishing Product to hold look; enchance shine or add texture

Any questions? For real. I can answer any question you have about hair.

Much like an essential hair care routine, my essential outfit is usually compromised by 5 parts: Base layer (dress; pants or skirt and shirt); Top layer (Jacket, blazer or cardigan); Great shoes; Jewelry; Hermes scarf variation. Here are examples from the past two days.

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Outfit Details: Hermes Eperon d’Or Remix silk maxi twilly scarf (birthday gift from Matt, 2014); Chloe Havana sunglasses (2014); Alice & Olivia black dress (hand-me-down from fashionable co-worker, 2013); BCBG Hi-Lo Dayton cardigan in Poppy (2013); Stella & Dot Norah Chandelier earrings (2014); Stella and Dot Rebel Pendant (2014);  Loeffler Randall Tamsin Haircalf pumps (2014)
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Outfit Details: Hermes silk twill scarf, hand rolled, 36” x 36
Chloe Havana sunglasses (2014); Joie Hooded Military Jacket (2014); Stella & Dot Norah Chandelier earrings (2014); J.Crew rolled sleeve pocket tee in Stripe (2015); J.Crew Minnie Pants (2013); Stella and Dot Rebel Pendant (2014); Loeffler Randall Industry Bag (2014); Seychelles ballerina flats (2013)

Top Image: Cut by Sharon So, Bubbles Towson Town Center; Color by Christopher Houser, Salon Cielo Connecticut Ave, DC; Cibu Knot So Knotty Leave-In Detangler

Surprise Inside

My toddler can’t read so I don’t know how he found the “Surprise Egg” YouTube network. The premise is simple: Faceless adult hands crack apart plastic eggs to reveal tiny licensed treats. With great ceremony the anonymous fingers rip open a shiny foil parcel. A wee Minecraft horse tumbles out. Sometimes the creepy hands unearth a nutritious packet of Hello Kitty sugar candies or a Lego Spiderman Mini Figurine. How delightful! I think. Another adorable plastic nightmare to clog the corners my home. After each 3 - 5 minute video its  “Another one mommy, another one!” And I oblige because I like quiet.

Yesterday I received a promising e-blast from J.Crew. Considerate gal that she is, J.Crew wrote to remind me that SPRINGSALE earns 30% off all orders. Won’t you just take a peak? Oh OK. My eager fingers scan the responsive-for-mobile product pages and land on the surprise inside: Ribbed racer back tank top. Select Color. Gray, white and black, please? Only $29.50 each (plus 30% OFF!). A steal, a deal, a downright GIFT from the tank top goddess. Another one!  Another gray, white and black tank top to clog the corners of my closet.

Reason prevailed. It would be wrong to lead you astray, dear reader, on our journey to minimalist nirvana. I defied the tank tops’ sweet siren song and instead took this picture of her would-be sisters.

Outfit Details: Hermes horse bit scarf (2007); JCrew ruffle trench (2008); Rachel Pally striped tunic (2014) on top of BCBG Layering Tank Dress (2014); DKNY tights (2014); Nine West Heartset Wedge Knee High Boots (2014); Loeffler Randall Industry Bag (2014); Stella & Dot Rebel Pendant (2014)