{ellie saab from the back}

ellie saab

Glorious in all its full frontal extravagance, Ellie Saab’s shimmering, sheer, beautifully cut creations are what a glamorous girl’s dreams are made of. Coppery nudes, delicate silvers, the loveliest of greens, sophisticated to petal-bedecked feminine, watching the gowns come down the runway, one can’t help but to utter a little “ohh” or “ahh.” Lovely as they were from the front, I take special pleasure in seeing the back of dresses, especially any as beautiful as these.

ellie saab

ellie saab

{images via tfs & style}

{you are a matchbook girl}

Does this sound like you? As you are a reader of this blog, it probably does. You are a matchbook girl and you should head on over here to read the newly launched mag. I’ve been anxiously awaiting the launch of this magazine, and when it launched late January 25th, I devoured it. As this blog promotes living a beautiful life and finding beauty everywhere, I’m confident that any reader of {bits of beauty} will hold Matchbook in warm regard.

{btw, there is a printable check list of 50 classics {as you see below} in the mag which you should definitely print out!}

{update: aidan’s birthday wish}

The munchkin has blown me away. He’s raised over $1,000 in 2 weeks and was featured on NBC Miami. He is officially going for $5,000 in order to provide funds to build an entire well. It’s estimated that $5,000 will provide water for 250 people which is about 50 families or 1 community.

If you could share his story or just a link on your blog {maybe during your weekend links or a round-up} or even just retweet/like any of the related links, you’d be helping his cause out greatly. Almost every time someone new shares his links, he gets a donation.

I’ll be creating badges this week for those of you who are bloggers and want to place one on your sidebar.

In case you have no idea what I’m talking about you can read the first post here and see his campaign here.

Bang, Bang!

bangs -noun
a fringe of hair combed or brushed forward over the forehead

We may relate bangs {or fringe} with hipster girls and a bevvy of stylish french ladies, but it’s said that the hairstyle was popularized by a freed Arab slave living in 9th century Spain. Whoever thought of the style, I’m thankful to them. I’ve had bangs most of my life. It’s amazing how “done” they make you look. They are the key to lazy girl style. I’ve been sporting slightly modififed Jane Birkin fringe since last July, but might just go a bit heavier.

Tips on wearing bangs:
*Ask your stylist to make the sides longer and to give you some blending pieces around the face to help sweep them to the side if they get long or to pull down when you’ve got a messy up-do.
*If you decide to trim your own bangs at home, NEVER cut them wet.
*Use a midsized round brush to blow out the sides/blending area, holding the brush vertically and rolling backward. Just a quick blast of a dryer and one rotation should be enough to keep the sides from looking puffed up. {See Louise’s bangs on the last picture above.}
*Use a comb and point your drier’s nozzle downward on your bangs when drying.
*Use a little dry shampoo to give them mussed-up texture.
*I use an eyebrow razor to trim and texture my bangs between visits to the salon. Of course, you could use a real hair razor, but I don’t trust myself with something that sharp close to my face!

Have you had bangs? What’d you think of them?

{from the redwood forests}

Had my first visit to California over New Years, specifically San Francisco and Napa Valley. We stayed at the gorgeous, historic Berkley City Club the first night before we drove out to Napa, and the Napa River Inn, through a sweet deal on Jetsetter. We hit up Bouchon in Yountville, of course, followed by a little wine/beer tasting and an awesome twister party with a pirate piñata acquired at the local Target. {Oh, how I wish I’d gotten video of that!} With a hangover, we set out on a wine tour on the 31st and were dying by 2 p.m., but managed to make it out to a japanese resto down the street to ring in the new year. I also got to meet some delightful bloggers, Andi, Caitlin, and Melissa {who makes delicious granola bars, fyi}, in person. Yay!

Such good times, but my favorite had to have been our trip to Muir Woods. After a heartstopping drive up to the woods {wtf is with California and no guard rails on roads with steep cliffs?!}, we got to walk, in complete and total awe, amongst some of the tallest trees in the world… with the pirate and a giant red balloon I picked up on New Years Eve. Awesome.

Below is a gorgeous video I happened to find a few days after my return that depicts the breathtaking beauty of the redwoods better than any words I could ever type here.

{things my son says & does}

There are times where my son says or does something that makes my heart swell and my eyes tear. Like the first time he said “I love you” out of nowhere, or the time when, at age 4, I took him shopping with me and as I tried on a certain shirt, he looked at me and said “Mommy, you look beautiful.” From preschool, he’s sat and pondered God, mortality, equality, love, homelessness, hunger, and all sorts of other subjects we often assume are too deep for children to really think about on their own. When he walked in on me watching the war scene from Benjamin Button, where 15,000 people died in a day, he asked if it had actually happened. I told him it had and after a quiet moment he said, “Mommy, that’s a lot of people. A lot of souls broke that day and a lot of mommies were very sad.” {Ya, that made me cry.}

So, I shouldn’t have been surprised when the other night at the dinner table he informed me that he wanted to donate his birthday to charity:water.

Several weeks ago, ABC aired a special, Be the Change: Save a Life, profiling a handful of awesome organizations making a big impact in some seemingly simple and innovative ways. One of those charities was charity:water. Aidan was taken aback by the number of children who didn’t make it to age 5 because of a lack of clean water. He sat quietly making the comparison between the cost of providing water for one person and the cost of products we consume on a daily basis. He quietly went to bed that night, but never mentioned it again until Tuesday night. He sat at the table and weighed the options, thinking to himself out loud, eventually coming to the conclusion that a life is more important than any presents he would receive. Instead of presents, he would ask everyone to donate $8. {Bonus cuteness: When I asked him how much he wanted to raise, he said $5 million, but when that wasn’t an option on the site, he decided $800 was a good number.}

I think he’s pretty spectacular for having made this decision all on his own at the age of 7. If you think he is, too, please make a donation here or pass the link to someone else.

{somebody to hug}

We don’t touch each other enough.

We’re all getting more socially connected through technology, but we’re neglecting the benefits of real, physical contact. We used to make a point to congratulate friends in person, but not we’re more likely to shoot them a “Congrats!” on facebook. It’s a double-edged sword, since it helps us stay more connected while depriving us of essential physical contact.

I’m latina and live in South Florida, so touch is a part of greeting most people; we kiss cheeks and hug just about everyone. Still, because of technology, I have less of an opportunity to do so. Unrelated to technology, I made a self-observation recently: The older I get, the less I touch and hug people. I don’t know what to think of that change, other than that I think it kinda sucks. Of course, I hug and kiss my son constantly. I’m affectionate towards my very close friends and family, although less now than before. So, I’m making a point of randomly giving out warm hugs and pats on the back.

It’s such an awesome feeling to be welcomed openly with an embrace or to receive an unexpected rub on the back. I think we tend to get too busy to realize how much we’re missing it. {Granted, American culture has a different comfort zone than my own heritage and many other cultures, so if you are from one of those cultures you may or may not identify with this post.} Physical contact with another helps us process our connection to that person better. {There’s a reason why touching a person’s arm when talking to them will make them feel closer and find you more persuasive.} Research has shown that touch is an integral part of infant development and can increase survival rates in premature babies; talk about the power of touch! There’s even hugging meditation.

So, when was the last time you randomly hugged a friend? When was the last time you laid your hand on your mom or dad’s back just because you were near?

{around the web}
+The absolute best 404 error page ever
+ You can learn more about the Free Hugs Campaign here.