Style

Who else stares at a closet full of clothes and states that they have nothing to wear? I KNOW IT ISN’T JUST ME! However, it isn’t the best option to constantly be filling your cart with new pieces. Bummer, I know. There are a few ‘shopping rules’ I’ve been implementing lately that have made me feel fashionable and less like I’m blowing through money.

Easy ways for affordable style.

The Brunette Blend-Fresh Style Without Constantly Swiping Your Card-thredUp Style

Separate + Store. Separate your colder month clothes from you warmer month clothes. I’m not kidding this tip is so simple and easy, its AWESOME. When you separate your clothes and store over the seasons, you tend to forget what you have and its like a whole new wardrobe.

Resale Shop. Clothing is PRICEY especially if you’re eyeing name brands (hello, Kate Spade!) Thrifting usually takes some time and multiple trips. I came across a new site called thredUP and let me tell you, I’m HOOKED. I got a gently used Zara top for…wait for it…13 BUCKS! They have a ton of items at great prices.

Mix n’ Match Old + New. Always think of your closet when you’re shopping. Chances are you have at least two things you can pair your new item with. Plus, I think you get to be more creative! Personally, I think some of the best #OOTD come from mix n’ matched pieces.

The Brunette Blend-Fresh Style Without Constantly Swiping Your Card- thredUP Zara Top

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Shirt from thredUP (Stalk HERE) | Jeans (you know I live for Eddie Bauer jeans) | Pumps (Similar)

Chat soon,

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Loose waves are pretty much the ‘it’ hairstyle right now. Think Farrah Fawcett, but a little more relaxed + beachy. I’m all about it, because if you do it right, you can have loose/beachy waves for a few days. #LowMaintence (and you know I love to not constantly wash my hair). Its pretty much the perfect work/everyday do.

The Brunette Blend- Three Things for Loose Waves

Awesomely enough, its actually REALLY easy to achieve with the right iron + product. Other than a little curling or volumizing mousse, there are three things that I’m now never without when starting the style from scratch (bonus points for making it last and look good for a few days after).


Prep.

When creating a hairstyle, the most important thing is your hair (OBVIOUSLY). A healthy scalp is important, too. I’ve been so tired of going through shampoo bottles, that I finally opted for a new way to shampoo. I now shampoo with a bar and this one specifically has made such an impact. You can learn more about it HERE.

Curl.

Another obviously tool is a curling iron. I’m telling you, the type of curling iron makes ALL the difference. This one is AMAZING. I don’t feel like I’m ripping out my hair and the 1′-1/4′ size creates the perfect waves. All you have to do it place a section of hair in the clamp and leave about an inch or so out of the curling iron and curl. Boom. You look great.

Set.

I’ll admit, I was one of the people that got AMPED about Kristin Ess’ products being at my favorite spot, Target. C’mon, its a great product and insanely affordable. My first test was with the working texture spray and this stuff is GOLD. It creates the perfect piecey + volumized look without creating helmet hair or sticky strands.

Once you’ve got the look, all you have to do is maintain it for a few days. Dry shampoo + a low bun or pony at night (with, wait for it, SCRUNCHIE). You better believe I’m rocking this look today.

Chat soon,

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There is nothing I love more than spicing up a classic outfit with something bold and/or out of the box. #ClassicWithATwist. Just a little something that can take jeans + a t-shirt to something unique + full of personality.

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A statement piece is a MUST in your closet. Recently, I’ve had a major crush on kimonos. It could be the slouchy, carefree vibe it brings or its ability to transform an outfit. Lets be real, its probably both. Major points for kimonos because they’re a piece that can make the cut for all FOUR SEASONS.

That’s right, perfect for spring, summer, fall + winter.

I love a good detail and I love a punch of color a little more, which is why I’m head over heels for this Mustard Crochet Fringed Kimono. The crochet detailing paired with the fringe sends it over the edge and makes a distinct statement.

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I can’t tell you how many compliments I got on this piece. It literally transformed a white t-shirt and blue jeans. Talk about effortlessly chic. However, the pairing doesn’t stop there.

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Black jeans/leggings + black top
Summer dress
Shorts
Skirt
Bathing suit

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Kimono *wearing size small
Jeans
Booties (similar)

Chat soon,

The Brunette Blend-Samantha-Signature

Special thanks to Blooms & Linen for providing my new absolute favorite piece in my closet!

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Statement jewelry is my FAVORITE way to spice up an outfit for any occasion. From work to casual, there is ALWAYS room for a sparkly piece. It ties the look together and brings personality.

Since who doesn’t love a good inspo, we’re sharing our latest statement jewelry crushes from head to wrist.

The Brunette Blend-Statement Piece Day Dreams-Statement Jewelry

Earrings

Holiday Glitz Chandeliier Earrings in Gold + Black by Vera Bradley
Oohh la la. CHIC! I can’t get enough of gold and love pairing it with black. Its clean, classic and if you’ve exhausted your necklace collection, these earrings are the ticket! Just subtle enough with a bold punch.

Baguette Snowflake Studs (similar)
These are by far my favorite statement earrings. I have a pair from J.Crew my sister-in-law gave me that I have a SERIOUS obsession with. I even wore them for my wedding. It has the detail and the sparkle to bring a look together. They’re extremely versatile, too, which means they can go from day to night in NO TIME. Because I love them so much, here is another pair that is similar.

Necklaces

Boho Deco Statement Necklace by Sole Society
A statement necklace is everything. It goes great with dresses, t-shirts, collared shirts, literally put a statement necklace on anything and its #FASHION. This one is neutral with dainty details that can compliment any color or print.

Gold-Tone Flower Statement Necklace
This. Blue. Its bold and beautiful. Picture it on a white shirt for maximum color pop.

Bracelets + Watches

Leading Lady Metro Watch by Kate Spade
Of course there is a Kate Spade piece on the list (duh!) This timepiece serves up personality BIG time and the light pink + gold detailing brings a soft feminine touch.

Louise et Cie Stripped Geo Cuff
ALl about the gold and this definitely has some Spice Girl vibes which is half the reason why I like it so much. Its big, its bold and gold. STATEMENT. Spice up your life.

Marie Antoinette Stone Leather Bracelet by Betsy Johnson
This one screams fun. From the unique stones and color choices, this piece is playful and is a total stand out. Can you say wrist candy?

Whew. Alright, back to reality.

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,
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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, 

Perfect pink lipstick. Since going with a more natural makeup look, sometimes a bold red is too much and a nude is too little. This is where a touch of light pink comes in and saves the day.

I’m all about a subtle pink

and nothing that looks like I’ve just smeared frosting on my lips. Four of my most tried and true pink lipsticks bounce all across the board and deliver the perfect touch for minimal or dramatic makeup.

The Brunette Blend-Perfect Pinks

NYX | Butter Lipstick in Pink Bikini
This one wears like a lipstick + has a peachy/orange undertone. If you’re looking for a lipstick that has a nude vibe with some color, this is a good option. Especially for a fair skinned girl like me. With a few coats of the wrong shade, I can quickly lose any evidence of lips.

Revlon | Colorstay Moisture Stain in Cannes Crush
This lip stain has similar color qualities as the NYX Butter. It has a peachy undertone and goes on like a gloss, but stains the lips for longer wear. I always recommend using some type of lip scrub or moisturizer to prep lips for lipsticks, but I highly recommend using one for this particular type of stain. No one likes flakey stained lips.

Maybelline New York | Baby Lips Balm in Pink Shock
This one is PINK, baby! It looks a little overwhelmingly pink (if its possible) in the tube, but I promise you it settles nicely on the lips. Its a balm so its moisturizing and does go on too thick. It adds a nice pop of color to any look without being too in your face.

Sonia Kashuk® | Moisture Luxe Tinted Lip Balm in Hint of Pink
This one is my FAV *clap* OR *clap* ITE *clap*! Apologies for getting a little sassy there, but seriously. I LOVE this tinted lip balm. It even has SPF in it. #YES. Its subtle with a punch.

SO. Tell me. What’s your signature color?

Chat soon,

The Brunette Blend-Samantha-Signature

I’ve clipped my wings. When I say wings, I mean my winged eyeliner. I don’t wear it anymore on a daily basis.

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I’ve worn thick lines on my eyes since I got my first eyeliner pencil. Needless to say, it got old, way too time consuming and I started looking like a raccoon. Do I love a good winged eyeliner, YES! Do I love it EVERY DAY? No.

What I’ve found since not wearing so much eyeliner is that I appreciate the natural look more. With some mascara and maybe a little highlighter, my eyes pop and are much brighter. I also have more time and honestly, 100% less frustration when doing makeup, because hey, not all lines are even. More importantly, I’d much rather focus on my skin (shocker). A great skin care routine, the perfect foundation and blush can do some serious damage…in a good way.

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I’m all about an open and clean look with a pop of color on the lips lately. A little heavy on the highlighter, but please let me live my best life. In someways it reflects today’s general style. Minimal with a little something.

Just from laying off the eyeliner since February, I feel more confident and less dependent on makeup. Is it weird I feel free in a way?

The Brunette Blend-Samantha-Signature

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Cozy + cute. Minimal with a pop.

Sweater
Pants (similar)
Boots (similar)

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‘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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DECK THE HALLS WITH TONS OF OUTFITS, FA LA LA LAAAA.

Holiday outfits. We’ve got work holiday parties, family parties, family pictures, your friend’s family parties…you get it. We’ve got a lot of parties. For these occasions, I’m not about having five separate outfits. I love having a few staple pieces to spice up with accessories. Transform the piece if you will. Life’s your runway. WERK.

Which is why I’m smitten over Dear Darling‘s Grey Knit Dress. Come on. Mock turtle neck, neutral grey, transform from casual to glam? You already know I’m all about this.

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Black tights + black booties are the way to go, but add a pop of color and you’re GOLDEN. This red plaid SCARF came in handy as a make-shift shawl for our first snowy day. Really amps up the Chris Chringle feel, don’t you think?

What really gets me about this dress is the NECK LINE. I’m all about a neck line and this one is just so classic. It brings such a modern, cozy feel sans choking. Its perfect.

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This year I’m classic + simple with subtle hints and I think Dear Darling is serving it up hot this holiday season. Its all in the details.

Casual glam not your thing? Here are some other pieces I have my eye on to tickle your fancy:

Ruffle Sleeve Dress | Mock Neck Sleeveless Sweater | Sweater Coat

In the spirit of giving, Dear Darling is offering 25% off orders from now until January 6, 2017 with the code HOLIDAY.

Happy holiday styling.
Chat soon, pretties-

The Brunette Blend-Samantha-Signature

The Brunette Blend - Nine to Five Style - Target Style - Get the Look

Dress
Booties (similar)
Lipstick
Earrings

All opinions are those of The Brunette Blend.