Style

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and I’m thinking of what I’ll wear. I wanted to share some outfit inspo for everyone, so we’ve got three inspo boards: one for the classic girlies, one for the casual fashionistas and one for the party girl with the EDGIEST, coolest pieces.

Classic with a Twist

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You know I LOVE classic with a twist and this outfit serves it up HOT. Pieces like the bow tie top, gold rings + pearl earrings bring the classic and sweetness. The leather circle skirt, black booties, tights + the red lip give it some edge.

Casually Cute

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I’m OBSESSED with this outfit and will be on a mission to find it. The dark denim brings a more casual vibe and the browns + mustard color really amp up the fall feel of this look. To add contrast, this black + gold clutch adds some edge + fun. Just for some added glam, gold watch paired with a dainty bracelet. This outfit is so much YES.

The Black Out Wednesday

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This outfit is TOTAL EDGE and TOTAL comfort. I’ve incorporated leggings into this outfit, because its Thanksgiving and you need to recoup. Pairing the strips with a faux fur white vest contrasts and YOU KNOW I have to tie in gold when black is present. To add some color, a pink lip and orange nail polish. Plus, no morning after is complete without sunnies.

Basically some inspiration for super dressy, casual and casual glam. The fun thing about style is that its so UNIQUE and has major personality. These boards go all over the spectrum, but hey, THATS STYLE and the best part is you can pick choose to build the perfect outfit. What are you planning on rocking this Thanksgiving? Something with some give? Me too…

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Finding your voice can be tricky. It’s complicated in real life and just as complicated in the blogging world. Talk about trial and error.

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Both spaces are tough to stand out in. After all, both are saturated and fear of disapproval is HIGH. Who wants to be rejected?

Since starting The Brunette Blend and this year especially has really taught me to work on letting go of insecurities and unapologetically be myself. There has been too many times where I’ve been a chameleon and haven’t been true to myself. I’ve been learning to do that through my writing as well.

It’s a struggle to find your voice through text and have it remain constant or try to have how you usually speak be present on a page. It is SO easy to follow others and how they write.

Like most things, when you start something for the first time, you mimic what you admire, not copy, mimic. The more you do it, the quickly you realize how truly BORING it is and not you. Bloggers get a rep for being picture perfect and shoving macaroons into this seasons “it” bag, perfect hair and the outfit that somehow is ALWAYS photo shoot ready.

After keeping up with my blog, I realized that wasn’t me, nor did I really want it to be me. I LOVE these types of bloggers, I’m just not that type. I’ve never had a macaroon and to be honest, I’d probably hate it. My hair more often times than not is not tamed and ask me about my outfit, I’ll proudly shout I got it from Kohls, Target, a clearance rack or Dress Barn. (More details on this outfit at the end of the post!)

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I’m dramatic, a mix between girlie and lazy, heavily caffeinated and can be funny from time to time. We’re not perfect, but you can’t hate on trying to be better and better (thats what this blog is all about). What I’m saying is explore yourself and your craft and most importantly, give it time to evolve. Give YOURSELF time to evolve and grow. FIERCELY be yourself at any stage. EMBRACE those quirks, because that really makes you unique.

Keep being you, you’ll find people like you better that way–

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Lazy Chic.
Sweater (similar)
Jeans (similar + less destroyed)
Hat (exact, ‘borrowing’ your S.O.’s works, too — thanks, G!)

I’m all about classic with a twist. I LOVE to mix modern with timeless pieces and I found a piece that achieves both. JORD creates handcrafted wooden watches that are so much more than a look. Each watch has a unique story and is comprised of different elements. JORD is creating more than a watch, their telling a story.

The Brunette Blend-Classic With a Twist JORD Wooden Watches-In Packaging

The Frankie 35 Series is helping me tell mine AND helping me be on time. The modern minimalist vibe this particular watch brings makes it perfect for wearing solo or for mixing in with your arm candy. Personally, I love adding thin gold bracelets. The dark sandalwood and gold brings a warm and glam pop.

The Brunette Blend-Classic With a Twist JORD Wooden Watches-Styling

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Another reason why I’m kind of crushing on JORD is because they offer cool and fashionable watches for both men and women. You can dress them up and you can dress them down. Perfect for accessorizing any outfit. Let me just let you in on a little secret, watches are a GREAT present to give. The holidays are coming up, so you’re welcome. In all seriousness, I’m considering getting one for Grant. With a watch obsession and quite the collection, a wooden watch is nowhere in sight.

Now for the fun part,

Giveaway Alert

Enter HERE

JORD is giving away a $75 e-gift code for one lucky winner to put towards the watch that’ll tell your story AKA the watch of your choice. HOLD UP! Just by ENTERING, you AUTOMATICALLY WILL RECEIVE $20 toward your watch! Talk about the ultimate win-win.

The contest ends on 11/6/16 + all codes expire on 1/1/17 so go, go, go! Can’t wait to see which is your fav + what it says about you! #TotalLibraMove

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This post was sponsored by JORD Wood Watches

Watch Gift Ideas

Hello from Chicago, but we’ll quickly transport to New York shortly. Buckle up and prepare for take off.

The Brunette Blend-Welcome to New York-Airplane

After a delayed flight, we land in New York, hop in a cab and I began singing Taylor Swift’s Welcome to New York in my head. Its only fitting, right? Right.

The Brunette Blend-Welcome to New York-Times Square

G and I scrambled to our hotel room to get ready for my long awaited birthday gift- Wicked at the Gershwin Theater. We had dinner at a cute Italian restaurant and walked to the Gershwin for me to cry at the beginning of show, at Defying Gravity and For Good. I’ve seen this show three times and I never fail to tear up at these exact moments. Mad love for Wicked.

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A memorable part of the night was on our walk back to our hotel. Weaving and ducking through crowds in Times Square, stopping to see a dance battle and continuing to swim through a sea of people. We finally reach the stretch where its a little less crowded and in the far distance, I can see our hotel. We pass a very small man in a reflective orange vest. We hear footsteps hitting the ground rapidly and heavy breathing. Finally about 100 yards away we turn and this man had ran at FULL speed to catch up with us to extend his arm with a piece of paper and say, “Cheetahs?” Oh, no thank you. That was odd, what was Cheetah’s anyways? We continue to walk on until a few more feet and see the ever important “Cheetah’s.” You know what Cheetah’s was? A GENTLEMAN’S CLUB! I couldn’t keep it together.

The next morning we went to brunch at the Plaza (no, not Cheetah’s) and came across my version of paradise. A four floor Kate Spade store. You guys, I kid you not, I was embarrassingly giddy. I won’t bore you with written words about it, pictures tell much more:

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Isn’t it the best?! She’s seriously living colorfully up in here, while I snapped over 50 photos on my phone. #SorryNotSorry.

The rest of our trip was quick, but the most undull thing in the world. A highlight being seeing Hilary Duff on the streets of New York. I never knew what I’d say/react to seeing someone famous. Now I know. I acknowledge their exisitace and status in my head and keep walking. What I really wanted to do was run up to her and tell her how I listened to Metamorphosis on my walkman in grade school and then again on the floor of my sorority house years later. Maybe next time.

A trip for the books for sure. Anyway, stay tuned for a birthday reflections post AND my latest makeup trick (I’m LOVING it).

Talk soon!

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Guess what I’m wearing underneath ALL of my dresses? *wink*

BEIGE SPANX!

AND I’m sooooo feelin’ myself. I’ve mentioned these before, but wanted to dedicate a whole post to my absolute FAVORITE fashion tip for carefree, confident and gust of wind proof style.

Spanx tighten, smooth and provide a more shapely figure– all for it, BUT I can’t say that’s the main reason for my obsession. I’m all about carefree spinning in a dress.

The Brunette Blend-A Dash of Confidence + a BUNCH of Comfiness: Spanx

Spanx are my BFF when it comes sweaty summer days (sticky, sweaty thighs, no thanks) and are THE BEST for unwelcome gusts of wind. (You can’t tell me you haven’t been a victim of a butt cheek peep show!) With Spanx, you can walk freely and confidently. The best part about Spanx/shapewear is that it comes in a variety of styles and pieces (think slips, tops, capris, etc). The shorts are my go-tos.

When it comes to Spanx, I actually go a size up. At the end of the day, I want to be smooth and comfortable. What I don’t want is to be essentially planking on a chair, trying to sit up. Not. Cute. However, just because they aren’t completely skin tight, DOESN’t mean they can’t hide the pasta I devoured or the extra chip + guac I snuck.

Not that you shouldn’t feel confident or FIERCE as all get out in your dresses, but if you want a dash of extra confidence and an overload of comfiness, Spanx are everything and you’ll wish you invented them.

SO! What’s your fashion secret?

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Glam Black Dress (Stay Fierce Boutique) | On-Core Mid-Thigh Shorts (Spanx)

Hey supernova girls! Do you ever look back at photos and say, “WHAT WAS I THINKING? WHY DID NO ONE TELL ME? WHY DID I IGNORE THEM?”

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Yep. We’re talking beauty experiments/trends. I’m pretty sure we’ve tried similar beauty trends that didn’t stick around for too long. Let’s talk and laugh at five of them:

1. Two chunks of hair in front of your face // YOU KNOW we all did this. Half up, half down, better pull two pieces of hair to frame your face. Ponytail? Better grab two pieces of hair to cover my eyes. Let me pull two strands of hair in front of my face while I rock this thick headband, completely defeating the purpose of a headband. I get it, it was cool, WE WERE COOL.

2. Raccoon eyeliner // how is it that when we receive our very first eyeliner pencils, we immediately line our entire eye? Are we programmed to start our eyeliner journey this way? I made my eyes SO small and closed off because I’d line my waterline in black. Please don’t get me started on winged liner. I would have a weirdo line and then curl the ends. #HighschoolProbs

3. Over tanning // remember when Jersey Shore came out and everyone had to be orange? GTL FOR LIFE. Seriously, I spray tanned level three with this ghost-like skin. It probably deserved a level 1/2.

4. Brows // eye brows are so important, but the only constant about them is THE “IN” STYLE IS ALWAYS CHANGING. One day it’s cool to have thin brows, then the next day they better be full. Now we have to fill them in, which can be a disaster (I found a photo from last year and my brows, I don’t want to talk about them). Honestly, live your eyebrow life, but if you’re filling them in- PLEASE DONT OVER EXAGGERATE YOUR BROW or you’ll look like caterpillars are putting up camp.

5. Curling your hair, but straightening your bangs // once you cut ties with your two chunks of hair stage (see number 1), you moved to half bangs. Not full on bangs, but longer bangs you could push to the side. We LOVED these half bangs. We seemed more mature as this was a more adult hairstyle. We LOVED THEM SO MUCH, we had to make sure they were prominent in any hairstyle. Could my half bangs take a break and be curly? Absolutely not. Could I wear an updo without my bangs making an appearance? Absolutely not. They needed to be ready at all times. So as we pulled out our curling iron, our straightener came with, because God forbid our bangs flow with a hairstyle.

What if we tried to bring these trends back but spice them up and make them more 2016? Should we try it? Share a beauty trend you tried and let’s see how we can spice it up. We’re making fetch happen…

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Finally lifting my AOL away message status- the brunette is BACK! Life’s kind of hit me in the face, dragged me by the hair and then sat on me. IM NOT DRAMATIC, OK!? Ok.

I’ve been stressed, like pimples and getting gray hairs stressed. So I’m making a conscious effort to de-stress and unwind the tense ball in my chest.

Regular workouts, cooking for the soul, girls nights, date nights and fresh air with Sir Indy are on the agenda. Please send additional tips to de-stress + manage anxiety. MY FACE, SOUL + HAIR THANK YOU. Also, any tips on how to get a dog to appreciate a great floppy hat are welcome.

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We all know that some retail therapy can help. On sale retail therapy? EVEN BETTER! Back to school sales + outfits are rolling out, but can we be real and acknowledge the fact that Chicago’s weather is going be HOT for another few months?

Target’s sales racks are INSANE right now. Things I’ve been eyeing for months are $20 or less. (Don’t get me started on their fall boots, I’m in love.) This fun, flowy, gypsy-like number transitions nicely. 9am-5pm style, meaning go to work in it + hit happy hour in it, too.

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This style is also flattering on a variety of body types. The cinched waist helps define that hour glass figure and the neck line, cheekily modest. One of my best friends actually snagged this dress awhile back and per usual, it looks GREAT on her. It was no surprise that when I saw it, I HAD to try it on and even less of a surprise, I loved her taste in clothes.

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Accessory wise, I kept it light + neutral. My summery-est Kate Spade bag and rose gold arm candy. As for hair, a simple twist + clip. I’m feeling the very unpolished look lately.

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Easy + breezy, just how I want to be living life right now. Hopefully this dress can inspire! Happy Monday! Hope its stylish and stress free.

PS, don’t forget to share your stress melting tips!
PPS, another interview with an inspirational badass is on its way.

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Dress | Shoes | Purse (similar) | Watch (similar) | Bracelets (similar)

There is something about a fresh coat of nail polish that makes you feel put together.

Summer is OFFICIALLY in session and I’ve been itching for some freshness. I haven’t been one to shy away from a bright, vibrant red or any shade of pink as both colors made me feel like I had it goin’ on, but its good to shake it up sometimes. Pastel and out of the box (for me, at least) colors have been on my radar. Here some current favorites that will keep spice up your nail game.

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Bikini So Teeny by Essie
I’m calling it. Blue is this summer’s color and this shade serves it well. The perfect light blue to welcome longer and warmer days. Bonus: it has a shimmer to it.

Grapely Admired by O.P.I Infitnite Shine
First of all, who doesn’t giggle at or wish they thought you named O.P.I’s nail polishes? ME! Lilac is in, but if you’re fair skinned like me, sometimes the lighter colors look a little washed out. The pigmented boldness of this color is the best of both worlds.

Mint Candy Apple by Essie
Remember like three years ago Lady Gaga announced, “I also believe that MINT will be very big in fashion next Spring…” Girl was on point and its still hanging around. This was my most recent nail polish exploration and I really did love the color. Subtle, yet bold and isn’t that the best way to be?

Pinky Promise by Sally Hansen
Ok, I HAD to throw in a classic and a forever favorite. After all, we’re talking perfect pastels for summer. This color is light, sweet and feminine. Similar to Grapely Admired, Pinky Promise gives the feel of an effortlessy, light pink, but enough color to be seen.

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Mint Candy Apple by Essie

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What’s your summer color?

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Things are starting to officially heat up! Chicago has hit the eighty degree mark and that means dresses. I’m loving a light blue for the warmer months ahead. Fresh and crisp. I pulled a few dresses I’m currently crushing on for every occasion this summer!

Here are some summer blues worth having….
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Come on. Cute, right?
1. Summer Bliss Blue Stripes Flare Dress | Perfect dress for a day at the office. Coffee in hand and gettin’ it all done. #GirlBoss

2. Light Blue Stripe V Neck Button Up Casual Dress | Casually cute with sweet button details makes it perfect for a summer bridal shower. Perfect dress for casual date night? I think so! Think Italian Ice roaming around Lincoln Park *heart eye emoji*

3. Blue Ruffled Bell Sleeve Babydoll Dress | Hello, wedding season! A simple dress with bold sleeves makes it an elegant and fun choice for celebrating and dancing.

4. Line Dot Off Should Dress in Stripe | Off the shoulder has been BIIIIIG. How could it not be though? Cute and subtle. Perfect dress for brunching and exploring the city. Accessorize with your fav sunnies.

5. Light Blue Lace Splice Off the Shoulder Dress | The lace detailing on this is too cute. Another great choice for date night. Low messing bun and a pink lip.

BRB, filling my online shopping cart and bursting with dress envy/inspo. What colors are you looking to rock this summer?

talk soon-
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I never thought I’d be one to say this, but I’M OBSESSED WITH A ROMPER! Of all things, a romper.

The last time I wore one was in college and I thought I could beat the bathroom + romper system and not take the whole thing off… Romper wearers, you know what happened. Pee. Pee all over the romper. Lesson learned.

After that incident, I had a fear of rompers and thought they weren’t the best fit for me. I guess once you find the perfect one, all theories are out the window. The Dollop of Heaven romper (see it on in the Arizona Getaway post or Meet the Brunette section) was found at one of my new favorite places, Altar’d State. (It smells great in there + they have the cutest stuff, go if you haven’t been!)

The Brunette Blend - Spring Weekend Obsession Rompers - Altard State - Dollop of Heaven - Flat Lay

Obviously, this isn’t sensible for a day at the office BUT its the weekend’s new best friend (ESPECIALLY considering it should be 80 degrees on Sunday!) Enjoy a few picks to get the weekend started!

The Brunette Blend - Weekend Obsession Rompers
White Pineapple Printed Strappy Romper | Kate Spade New York Leopard Crepe Romper | Summer Sleeveless Chiffon Rompers with Bowknot | Patterned Jumpsuit | Magnolia Wrap Over Playsuit | Blue Stripe Print Spaghetti Straps Button Up Casual Romper