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Now that its feeling a little more like fall outside, I’ve brought the vibe inside. One of my favorite things to do is to flip a room to match a specific season. A few little swaps and adds can transform a room. No painting or new furniture required. Matching your outfit to the pillows is optional.

The Brunette Blend-Four Easy Ways to Create a Fall Inspired Space-Samantha Boots

Four Easy Ways to Create a Fall Inspired Space


1. Change your accents. Pillows and throws are easy ways to set the tone of your room. They also are extremely easy to switch out! White, gold and grey accents are great bases to add more fall-like colors. We chose a plaid orange, white and grey throw to compliment the variety of pillows we have in the space.

The Brunette Blend-Four Easy Ways to Create a Fall Inspired Space-Fall Pillow Set Up

2. Revamp your mantel. Fall isn’t a lush season, so allow your mantel to reflect that. Let the outdoors inspire you! Add staw-like, budding faux plants to add height. While you want to pull in browns, add warm, jewel tones to add color + interest. Add picks to wreaths and vases for additional color to tie it all together. For more tips on creating your mantel, read previous post: 7 Tips for Creating a Pinterest Worthy Mantel HERE.

The Brunette Blend-Four Easy Ways to Create a Fall Inspired Space-Fall Mantel Set Up

The Brunette Blend-Four Easy Ways to Create a Fall Inspired Space-Fall mantel

3. Spice up the coffee table. Similar rules to the mantel apply. You want to add height, color and interest. For our set up, we took two brown books to prop up a golden lantern, we paired this next to a deep red fake plant and tiny white pumpkin to break up all the orange and browns we have in the room.

4. ADD AN AREA RUG. This will INSTANTLY make your space feel cozier. It also helps ties the room together. We found this rug at Kmart and its pet friendly, which means easy clean up and no chewing temptation.

The Brunette Blend-Four Easy Ways to Create a Fall Inspired Space-Fall Area Rug2

Room shot and a few other inspiration photos below! Stay tuned for a room revamp. Oranges and purples coming at cha. What colors are you using this fall?

Chat soon,

The Brunette Blend-Samantha-Signature

The Brunette Blend-Four Easy Ways to Create a Fall Inspired Space-Fall Living Room

The Brunette Blend-Four Easy Ways to Create a Fall Inspired Space-Fall Living Room Trick or Treat

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Its been evident via Snapchat and Instagram that I have a FULL BLOWN essential oil obsession. A lot of questions have come in about essential oils and to be honest, I’m still experimenting and working on my potions (yes, I totally feel like I’m making potions, which is another reason I love it- HA!). With that being said, I’m not an expert on it just yet, so The Brunette Blend has a very special guest today. Meet Lindsay Lyon. She’s giving us all the must know info on essential oils, like what in the world are they and how to use them AND oil recipes (!!!)

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The natural living bandwagon, surely you’re on it? Or still waiting to hop on?! It seems like in the past few years natural living has been running at full speed into the spotlight, for the good. A few years ago, when I was taking more steps into a healthier lifestyle I started hearing about Essential Oils for the first time, and assumed they were nothing more than fragrance for your home.. kind of like a candle! Boy, was I wrong! These amazing little bottles are designed to create a positive emotional state, supporting physical wellness and spiritual awareness, purifying your home and even refining your beauty routine. The practice of using essential oils is nothing new and pretty simple. Essential oils come from plants and have therapeutic properties that help one’s wellness. Oils can be applied directly to the skin, internally and diffused aromatically.

[Essential oils] are designed to create a positive emotional state, supporting physical wellness and spiritual awareness, purifying your home and even refining your beauty routine.

WHAT ARE ESSENTIAL OILS?
Great question! Here is an excerpt from “The Happy Oils” handbook (a 30 page ebook you get for free if you order a premium starter kit!)

“Essential oil is the “lifeblood” of a plant because the oil protects the plant from disease, provides nutrients and helps to repel insects.

Essential Oils were mankind’s first medicine! Because really, since God created plants in the beginning of time, oils have been used for healing and anointing all throughout Scripture. Today, they are still used to bring health and healing to the body (physically, spiritually, mentally and emotionally.) Essential oils can be found in the plant’s flower, stem, leaves, bark or fruit.

Essential oils are very complex containing hundreds or thousands of different chemical compounds; this is what gives each plant its unique healing attributes and characteristics. They are quickly absorbed by the body when applied topically. The oils work on every system in the body on a cellular level to assist in the elimination of toxins. The fragrance of the oils works on the limbic system in the brain where emotions are stored. Essential oils can help release emotional trauma, relax and clear the mind.

Here are some of my favorite tried and true recipes that I use for the most common ailments we have around here.. all recipes are made using the oils that come in the Young Living starter kit!

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1.) Sleep Support
We NEED sleep… but sometimes going to bed early doesn’t happen, and sometimes staying asleep or falling asleep is a struggle. If I need a little support to help me fall asleep or stay asleep I use Lavender & Stress Away. Lavender is a common scent used in many calming soaps a lotions. It is a calming oil that is perfect for bedtime use! I love to put a couple drops on the bottom of my feet and on my forearms. I also like to put a drop or two in the palms of my hand and inhale for an aromatic effect. Stress away is a blend of Copaiba, Lime, Cedarwood & Lavender and promotes a calming and relaxing atmosphere that compliments well with sleep!

2.) Tummy Support
I have always had a more sensitive stomach and it always lets me know. I recently was told by my doctor to cut out gluten and dairy.. and this news was delivered to me only 2 weeks before Thanksgiving. Can you tell where this is going? 🙂 Basically i did NOT follow the new eating plan. This is where Digize comes in. I have received so much relief from this oil. It is the ONE oil I always, always, always have with me for digestive support. It is a blend of Fennel, Lemongrass, Patchouli among others! I simply apply a couple drops to my belly when I am having troubles and feel relief within minutes. Peppermint is another great one to use for nausea related to motion sickness and even menstrual cycles. I like to add it to my water, a drop on my nose for easy inhalation, and a couple drops on my belly. I am sure to take it with my for winding car rides.

3.) Respiratory Support
When I am feeling a tad under the wellness line, I reach for the R.C. This oil stands for “Respiratory Care.” It is a blend of Myrtle, Pine, Lavender, Cypress, Peppermint to name a few. I apply a couple drops to my chest in spine for support and add it to a hot bath.

4.) Skin Support
Lavender and Frankincense are my favorites when it comes to skin support! This duo is my go to for support for blemishes, wrinkles, and over all clearer skin. I love using them as a eye moisturizer and night time cream. They are also great for those random ( and annoying ) bruises that pop up in the most untimely manner!

5.) Headache & Sore Muscle Support

My husband gets headaches weekly, so I always have Peppermint and PanAway in stock to help support his pain. I apply peppermint to his temples and the sides and back of the neck. The cooling sensation of this oil brings relief and eases discomfort. I love PanAway for use post workout when my muscles are wrecked. Simply add a drop of PanAway and water to a spray bottle and spray on a warm wash cloth and apply to the spots of discomfort.

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They’re good for maintaining optimal wellness, making your body strong and less dependent on chemically filled medicine.

The ways to use these oils are endless. I use these amazing oils on a daily basis! These oils aren’t just for when you’re feeling a little under the weather.. they are good for maintaining optimal wellness, for making your body stronger and less dependent on chemically filled medicine! Of course, there are situations when there is no question that you need medicine, we aren’t talking about those moments, because there are plenty of other moments when it is almost too easy to reach for the Advil when you could be choosing a better option for yourself. You can’t overdose on oils, so they can be used all the time!

If you have any questions at all regarding essential oils and their uses, leave a comment or email me { Lindsay } at lindsaylyon515@gmail.com. I am more than happy to talk to you about them! I wrote a more detailed post about them here!

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Me again! Special thanks to Lindsay for fueling my oil addiction even more (lol) in all seriousness, did you know OILS could do all of this? I’m about to douse myself in the sleep support blend. To those who are hoping on the essential oil train with me, I hope this was helpful. I know I learned so much and cannot wait to keep experimenting.

Chat soon,

The Brunette Blend-Samantha-Signature

ATTN PET PARENTS:

Taking care of a pet can be a lot of work. Sometimes even frustrating work. Indy’s first birthday is tomorrow and there are a few things that have made my life SO much easier. Easy to the point I would be doing a giant disservice if I didn’t share. I pinky promise these items are nothing weird. No pet clothing needed…

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Earthbalance Tooth & Gum Wipes:
Puppy/dog breath is among one of the worse smells in my book. You know I personally take oral hygiene seriously and when it comes to Indy, it doesn’t really change. Dental care is important for all so instead of busting my butt to brush EVERYDAY, I use wipes for in between days. It helps keep teeth + gums healthy AND bonus, fresh breath. These wipes are THE BEST. Natural + super easy to use.

Martha Stewarts Pets Quick Bath – Bathing System
You already know how I feel about Martha. GOTTA LOVE HER! Just when you think you couldn’t love Martha anymore, she graces you with an indoor/outdoor pet hose that makes your life easy. This is SERIOUSLY the best $30 I’ve spent. It instantly transforms your bath tub or outdoor hose into a quick and efficient dog wash station. The only thing easier would be to drop your dog off for grooming, but let’s save the money for margs. In all seriousness, if you have a dog and need something that gets the job done, THIS IS FOR YOU.

Earthbalance Ear Wipes
Clearly, anything that comes in wipe form is gold. Ear infections happen and treatment can be EXPENSIVE, so its important to make sure your pup’s ears are clean. These wipes do just the trick and are, once again, easy to use.

Inflatable Collar
I’m not going to lie, the first time I had to put Indy in a standard e-collar, I cried- #DOGMOM. He hated not being able to see, so we found an inflatable collar, which we like to call his neck pillow. He’s able to see, eat, drink and play normally without being too bothered. However, he just got fixed a few days ago and to be super safe, he sleeps in his standard flexible cone and when supervised he can wear his neck pillow.

The Gentle Leader
This has been heaven sent. We’ve tried a variety of collars + harnesses, but Indy would either drag us around town or choke himself. The Gentle Leader loosely goes around his snout for gentle control and doesn’t cause him any discomfort. All parties are able to enjoy the walk. If you have a rowdy pup and walking in a chore, try this. You’ll be SO surprised at how well they walk with such a simple design.

If you have a pet, is there something you find makes taking care of your furry friend easier? Let me know! You know how I feel about easy + efficient!

Chat soon,

The Brunette Blend-Samantha-Signature

Forever 21 helped organize my closet.

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My very first job, other than babysitting, was a greeter at Forever 21 when I turned 16 years old.

Aside from greeting and writing down when the alarm accidentally went off, I was in charge of working the whole front of the store, which was the safari section at the time (whoop, just did the math + that was almost 9 YEARS ago). Throughout the store clothes were organized by sleeve length and color. It was so routine for me that one day I emptied my home closet and reorganized according to Forever 21’s standards.

I may sound a little OCD here, but I’m telling you, it 100% makes my life so much easier when finding a piece of clothing. YES, I still do it to this day. Now, you don’t have to get down to the nitty gritty and start organizing by color or pattern.

I challenge you with this…

When you’re bored or its raining outside, reorganize your closet according to sleeve length. Starting from the left put in tank tops + gradually work your way up to long sleeves. How many times have you lose a tank top because it was stuck among shirts + dresses? Check the left side of your closet… THERE IT IS.

For skirts + dresses, I pick one side of the closet + organize my sleeve length. Now you have your sections: skirts, dresses, shirts + sweaters.

I PROMISE you, you will never lose a piece of clothing in your closet again.

Chat soon,

The Brunette Blend-Samantha-Signature

After getting a dog, all dreams of a crisp white bedroom went out the window. I swear, Indy looks at dirt and it ends up on his paws and in return, on the comforter.

The last thing I want guests to sleep on when they visit is a dirty white comforter. Hence why we went for whimsical, playful and colorful. PLUS, I feel like everyone is doing the crisp, pristine white linen thing and I’m craving a splash of color.

The Linens

Don’t worry my crisp white aficionados, it makes its way into the room as an accent. Otherwise, its an explosion of navy, bright yellows and colorful florals. Everything is just a touch.
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The End Tables

Why splurge on expensive end tables for a guest room when you can use TV trays? Yessss. That’s right, those are TV trays. They look fancy, right? They’re a great bamboo color and having them face differently brings a whole new vibe.

The Lighting

Lamps. KMART. The navy ties nicely with the comforter and compliments the yellow. I LOVE the shape of the lamp which gives the room some extra personality. Psst. The lampshades are crisp white.
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The Artwork

Can we take a moment and appreciate Louise? Yes, we’re weirdos and names our llama painting, but seriously, how could you not? Its cute and just odd enough to tie the room together. Its quirkiness at its finest. Plus, its from TJ MAXX. You know how I feel about TJ’s…
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HAVE FUN. Be playful and creative. Let your personality show through. Don’t overlook the crazy artwork and the random pieces in your parents’ basement or thrift store.

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Chat soon,

The Brunette Blend-Samantha-Signature

UPDATE: Since February will be a weird month for me, I won’t be celebrating Valentine’s Day or my favorite, Galentine’s Day. I do think its important for YOU to celebrate. SO, let’s revisit last year’s post with tips on how to host a casual + fun taco party with your best gals. It even includes a pretty + low maintenance cake.

“Go ahead, ladies. Celebrate your romance on Valentine’s Day. But save Galentine’s Day for your female friends. The “ladies celebrating ladies” holiday honors friendships between women and was first introduced by Amy Poehler’s Leslie Knope in a 2010 episode of NBC’s Parks and Recreation.”

Basically, celebrate with your girls! I threw my first Galentine’s Day last year and really enjoyed it. It quickly became a February favorite. An excuse to eat, drink, and spend time with some of my best friends? Count me in x3247328947. Plus, I love a good decoration. (Check out these XOXO balloons…Target, I love you.)
The Brunette Blend - Galentines Day 2016
I get it. We’re growing up. We have jobs, we have S.O., errands to run, the cat pooped on your white rug…again, you have to be an adult. We all have things going on, but its important to get together when you can and I think thats what makes Galentine’s Day so special. It doesn’t have to be on the 13th, this year we had it a couple weeks early, because life and I was really excited, ok?


So, a few Galentine’s Day “rules”…

-You get an invitation in the mail, none of this evite BS. Excuse my abbreviated language, but getting fun mail is so rare that I love sending it.
-Decorations are drenched in pink, red, and white. 

The Brunette Blend - Galentines Day 2016 Drinks
The Brunette Blend - Galentines Day 2016 Decor The Brunette Blend - Galentines Day 2016 Decor2 Utilizing candy as decoration and swapping our green paper straws for pinks were easy ways to bring in the Valentine’s vibe. Now, for the important part, food! Tacos are always a good idea. So versatile and easy to please everyone. Customize your own plate with a taco bar.

If you followed along on Snapchat (BrunetteSnapz) you saw the saddest candy hearts and how we took an angel food bundt cake and gave it a makeover with a semi-homemade strawberry cream cheese filling, then added carnations to cover up the hole. I’m always for homemade, but sometimes doctoring store bought items is needed + with imperfect frosting, it looks like it was baked with love.

The Brunette Blend - Galentines Day 2016 Cake

Chat soon,
The Brunette Blend-Samantha-Signature

The Brunette Blend - Galentines Day 2016 Full Decor

If you’ve been following along on my Instagram, you know I’ve been in the process of decorating our place! Christmas decorations have left the building and have left us with extreme emptiness. Up until two weeks ago, my mantle housed two candle sticks, a photo and a mirror. #Sad.

The goal right now is to make the house Pinterest worthy and quirky. To gather mantle inspiration, I turned to the holy grail of home jealousy. Pinterest.

After finding some inspiration, we began project “Rustic Spice.” Not quite the sixth Spice Girl, but the mantel in mind brought a rustic feel along with some zing.

The Brunette Blend- 7 Tips for Creating a Pinterest Worthy Mantle-Full Shot

Tips for Creating a Pinterest Worthy Mantle

Find inspiration. Troll the internet or even better, pick up a magazine. Pick and choose pieces to create your own style.

Don’t make it perfect. One thing I’ve noticed lately is that I really like things to coordinate opposed to match. Mimic the feel not that actual objects.

Pick a focal piece. My focal piece is a window pane that we decorated with a wreath. A photo or mirror could be a good focal point as well. What is the first thing you want people to see?

Its all about height. The focal piece is a big deal, but the objects with different heights really make it pop. Think candle sticks (refrain from mirroring them on both sides), plants, vases and random knick knacks.

Keep personal photos to a minimum. Photos in pretty frames or a nice touch, but make sure its PG and not too in your face.

Add color. Since I wanted this mantle to transfer over to spring + summer, I wanted to add little spots of greenery. Different sized fake plants really did the trick along with the rustic red of the metal sphere.

Fill in the space. Incorporate things that tie the look together and add depth. One of my pet peeves is when things are lined up in a straight line or lined up against a wall. Create interest by having certain things pushed forward while others are back. It also helps fill in any blank space.

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P.S. if you’re wondering where most of the knick knacks came from, take a GUESS. TJ MAXX + Marshall’s

Chat soon, 

‘Tis the season for a A LOT of things. Sure, we have the holidays, but quite a bit of engagements happen around this time (and not just mine). Something about the snow, lights and holiday happiness can really prompt the forever kind of love.

Two years ago TODAY, my husband asked me to marry him.

The first night of engagement is surreal. Did that really just happen? Please don’t forget the incessant #LetThePlanningBegin hashtags. Once you get the BIG things out of the way, like venue, dress and chicken or fish, you get down to the DETAILS.

Details are all that and a bag of chips. Looking back at my wedding photos, there are definitely some things I would have liked to have been a little different. The highest on that list? Place cards.

Yes, I was the DIY (not so DIY) bride. I wrote approx. 100 place cards. Letters were uneven, names weren’t in the middle of the card, my hand was tired and I hated them. Not to be cocky, but I’m about to save you future brides + grooms some time and headache. Also, make your wedding look BOMB.

Allow me to introduce you to
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Wanderlust Calligraphy Co. is a new business specializing in custom calligraphy. From custom quote pieces to place cards to gift tags, this chick provides GORGEOUS work. I think photos say 1,000 MORE words than I ever could. Let the below do the talking…

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This easily adds a touch of class and personality. To me, it makes a quote even that more special. Bummed that I wasn’t able to have this talent at my wedding, I opted for a custom Wanderlust Calligraphy Co. piece featuring lyrics from our first dance song. This is probably as sappy as I can get.

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I feel like this would instantly make my wedding Pinterest worthy and calligraphy is HOT right now. Its seems so effortless, yet its absolutely stunning. Again, DETAILS. Perfect for weddings, but just as special for adding a little glam to that present or being a gorgegous gift on its own.

If you want to see what Wanderlust Calligraphy Co.’s is up to and how to get your very OWN custom, amazing pieces, visit her Etsy Shop, Facebook + Instagram.

Chat soon-

The Brunette Blend-Samantha-Signature

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Podcasts. People have been ALL about them lately, like crazy into them.

I jumped on the bandwagon about a few months ago and I can’t say I’m mad about it. I have four that that each do something different that I wanted to share. Maybe you’re looking for a different form of entertainment or a different way to soak up information, here is what I’ve been loving:

The Brunette Blend-Podcast Vibes

1. The Skinny Confidential Him & Her Podcast // I really love Lauryn’s writing style as a blogger and when I heard about this podcast, I couldn’t wait to dive in. It’s funny and upbeat, but I really love the blogging + business tidbits they share. It’s really inspiring and motivating.

2. The Joy Junkie Show // one of my friends recommended this podcast and I can’t say enough about it. She’s spunky, positive and full of empowerment. This chick could be a motivational poster. I’m always working on embracing myself and my relationships and this podcast really assists in a deeper dive. Its actually made me LOL at my desk a few times.

3. Anna Faris is Unqualified // first of all, who doesn’t love Anna? While I don’t know her personally, I feel like I do lol. Sweet and funny. Her show is nothing short of that. She has celebrity guests come on and they call people with (poor) relationship advice. Laugh out loud funny and a whole new view on how your fav celebs got started. #Inspiring

4. Serial // you guys, my guilty pleasure is crime shows. Criminal Minds + Derek Morgan. Hey. Obviously, I was interested in Serial’s mystery plot and juicy investigation. Each season, they tell a story week by week. Currently, they have two completed seasons so you can just blow right through them without a seven day cliffhanger.

They’ve been a great way to soak up knowledge and empowerment while multitasking. Its also been a nice distraction for me as my music playlists have been getting too repetitive (anyone else have different Pandora stations that all sound the same?) With working a full day and trying to get our lives together at our place, there isn’t a whole lot of down time– cue the multitasking.

Are you following any podcasts regularly? I’m exploring new ones at the moment and would love some recommendations!

The Brunette Blend-Samantha-Signature

Happy New Year! 2016 is here and….WE HAVE A BAR CART! Exciting, yes? Pinkies up, because we’re feeling fancy.

The Brunette Blend - Bar Cart

Cheering for a bar cart may not be the most exciting thing, but when you’re building your new place, every new addition brings excitement. Here is the thing, you see all these fabulous apartments and lofts online featuring glamorous furniture, accessories, etc. They explain it in a way that makes you think you can make your very first place look like it popped out of a Pottery Barn catalog.

In real life, your first place is mismatched furniture from your childhood room and items your mom has stored away in the garage. Don’t get me wrong, these are great, but its not that living room you placed on your Pinterest board. Its vanilla when you want chocolate or strawberry…with sprinkles.Your Pinterest room comes gradually, so never under estimate the power of repurposing and straying a little bit from the picture in your mind.
The Brunette Blend - Bar Cart Stylin'
We finally purchased our gold bar cart and we anxiously awaited its arrival. It finally arrived and we got to stylin’ with a lot of what we had (i.e. the stripped book is last year’s planner) and of course we had to make a little run to TJ Maxx (the best place for finding little trinkets!)
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Chicago actually got some snow this weekend and I had trouble finding *pretty* fresh flowers, so I opted for some fake ones in the meantime. A shaker, champagne, straws, and fun cocktail napkins are a must. I wanted to add a little something extra and found this amazing rose gold clock. I love the vibrant colors. Honestly, my favorite part of this cart is our personal touches and trinkets.
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I’m sure this cart will get a makeover in the future, but right now, I’m really loving it. I love the colors, the pops, and the glam factor it adds to our industrial place. When decorating anything, always make sure to have fun, have it reflect your personality, and not stress out when it isn’t how you painted it to be in your mind. I’m working on the last one. Hey, its a new year, right? I have time…

xo S