Misc.

Switching up the content a little bit today with a get to know me (and blogging) post! I was nominated by Gabriela of I Need More Clothes (could her blog title *be* (*Chandler voice*) anymore relatable?) She has posed 11 questions from personal to blogging.

The rules of this tag are to answer the 11 questions that my nominator asked me, nominate 11 other bloggers and to ask them 11 questions! Without further adieu, let’s start with the first question:

What is your favorite blogging memory?
April 13, 2015. Hitting ‘Publish’ for the very first time! It was exciting, nerve-racking and new. It gave me a place to create and call my own. I sat in a box office during the day thinking up blog names then my childhood bedroom night after night creating the space I wanted. After months, I finally got the courage to to buy a domain name and went full force. April 13th around 8pm, I launched The Brunette Blend and posted it on my Facebook page. Afterwards, I went downstairs to switch my laundry and thought, “I hope I spelled ‘Brunette’ right…”

Here is what it looked like at launch TWO YEARS ago. My has it changed.

What did you wish you knew when you first started blogging?
I wish I had known to start my blog on WordPress.org. I started my blog on a different host that didn’t allow for a lot of customization or tracking. IT was great to get my feet wet, but transferring over a year’s worth of content to WordPress was a pain. If you’re starting a blog or looking to switch host sites, WordPress.org!

Favorite way to edit your Instagram pictures?
My favorite apps to use are A Color Story + Snapseed. I like my images to be bright with a pop of color and a hint of haze.

What is one of your goals for your blog?
One of my goals for The Brunette Blend is to continue to learn to create engaging and interesting content. I never want to stay stagnant.

Who are your favorite bloggers?
I love The Skinny Confidential, What’s Gaby Cooking and The Every Girl.

Do you watch the bachelor/ bachelorette?
Probably one of the few, but I don’t follow along with The Bachelor or The Bachelorette. I think the last one I caught is when Trista chose Ryan Sutter. The year was when it was cool to have chunks of hair in your face. (OMG. Just googled it. It was 2003!) Needless to say, I’m SUPER behind, but like seeing people’s commentary on the show on social.

Favorite show to binge watch on Netflix
Right now I’m REALLY into Charmed. It was one of my favorite shows when it was on. So much so, my friend and I had a copy of The Book of Shadows from Borders. Anyway, started from the beginning when I saw it on Netflix and now we’re here (season 6).

What is your Starbucks order?
Grande cold brew or sweet vanilla cream cold brew. Currently having a problem where everything is too sweet and not enough coffee, the cold brews hit the spot.

Favorite guilty pleasure movie?

Wedding Singer!

What is one fashion trend you wish would come back in style?
Honestly, I don’t think I have one. Plus, I say if you want to rock it, ROCK IT. On trend or not. Chances are it’ll be back in ‘style’ soon enough. You’ll be seen as ahead of the time.

Mac or PC?
Mac, mac, mac! Although, based on the early 2000s, I think a PC desktop is prime for playing the Sims.

ALRIGHT! I now nominate:

Sabrina of The Brunette Ecoholic

Jordie of Pasta & Pearls

Fayrn of Really, It’s Fine

Araceli of Thrill of the Luxe

Abigail of Abigail Kay

Dulce of A Juxtaposed Mind

Savannah of The Trendy Gal Blog

Carly of The Empowerist

Michelle of The Crohnically Blonde

Summer of Summer In Season

Anna of Alive With Anna

Here are your questions:
1. Let’s get this out of the way ASAP. *N Y S Y N C or Backstreet Boys?
2. Has your blog changed directions since you started?
3. Who inspires you to be better?
4. What is one thing you couldn’t live without?
5. What is your social media platform of choice?
6. What is the first thing you do in the morning?
7. What have you learned from blogging?
8. What was the last photo you took?
9. What movie do you quote on a regular basis?
10. What is one of your beauty tips or hacks?
11. What are the three things that ALWAYS make it into your grocery cart?

Chat soon,

The Brunette Blend-Samantha-Signature

There is no flowery way to word this, but stress sucks. There is no way around that.

The past few weeks have been a giant headache, a massive zit and a running mind. I’ve been juggling multiple things, on the go and kind of put myself on the back burner. I forgot to relax, give myself a break, BREATHE.

It feels like a few extra hours in the day are needed.

“The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it.”
– Sydney J. Harris

The pity-party for us ends now. We are all so capable of handling dates on our calendar, projects, time with family + friends. We just need to make time for ourselves so we don’t combust.

Favorite Ways to Decompress from Stress

1. Make sure the house is CLEAN. I feel even more tension when my space is cluttered. Taking a few minutes to clean and organize my space calms me down and mimics how I want my mind to feel. Light a candle (my current favorite) and let your new atmosphere take you away.

2. Stress usually results in a breakout or two, so taking care of your skin is KEY. (Plus, it can be relaxing!) I love a mask or a scrub paired with a your favorite face lotion to care for skin and symbolically wipe away the stresses of the day. A fresh face always makes me feel a bit better.

3. Essential oils like lavender and chamomile are proven to relax your body and mind with its scent. I’m either diffusing lavender or spraying my pillow with a mix of lavender and chamomile (favorite spray) Pair it with fresh sheets and deep breaths and you’re set.

4. This is obviously the biggest and most obvious, workout. This will help physically release stress. I swear by The Barre Code workouts for me to alleviate stress and bump up endorphins. I joined a little before the new year and I always come back in a better mood and with a clearer head.

5. Recently, I have found that cooking relaxes me. The smells and the process of putting things together to create something is comforting and requires me to unplug. I also try to play music that matches the cuisine. Like traditional Italian music when I’m making stuffed shells or an amazing white spinach pizza. I pretty much play classical jams when I cook anything.

There you have it. My favorite ways to combat stress. I’m definitely doing a 20-minute mask tonight in my CLEAN house. We’re grilling tonight, so no Italian music.

Chat soon,

The Brunette Blend-Samantha-Signature

Maintaining a blog, a following on social and sanity is kind of a lot of work. Sometimes you want to grow so fast, that you lose sight of what you’re trying to accomplish. Let me tell you, it doesn’t happen over night or even a year.

I’ve recently gotten a lot of questions about starting blogs, growing your following and maintaining engagement. Today I’m laying a few tips out on the line as well as some things I’ve learned in my almost two years of blogging. REMINDER: this is what I like to do in order to grow + things I’ve noticed through my accounts. People may choose to go different routes, which is great! Do you.

The Brunette Blend - Growing Your Online Following

Your content is the bread + butter

The photos you present on your Instagram account should be strategic. YOUR AESTHETIC is your branding. The goal is to have your photos recognized without seeing your handle. I’m not going to lie this is HARD. I’ve changed mine like three times and found one that I actually like and KNOW how to execute. Editing photos is work and can go from fab to drab real quick.

You also want to present quality photos with a purpose. Why are you showing off this particular photo? Does it have a purpose or is it just meeting your posting quota? Sometimes it’s better to skip a day and create great content for the next day instead of sharing a picture of exploded mozzarella sticks on a paper plate.

Pay attention to the following you have

We get it. We want people to follow us and interact with what we’re putting out there. Don’t shut out the people that are helping you get there. Show them some love back. Like a pic, leave a comment, do a giveaway. Recently one of my favorite bands, The Maine, shares an article that hits it on the head. Check it out– How We Turned 1,000 Fans to 100,000 By Actually Giving a S***.

Your follower count will fluctuate (but don’t take it personally)

You’ll gain a few followers then lose 4 the next day. It can be disheartening but I promise it’s really nothing you’re doing (unless you’re posting exploded mozzarella stick photos). I’m sure we’re familiar with the follow/unfollow method. It’s BS if you ask me.

Someone will follow you just so you follow them back to unfollow you the next day to grow their page. Annoying. I stay away from this method because I want to follow people that pump out great + interesting stuff and unfollowing people is last thing I want to do at the end of the day.

Utilize loop giveaways sparingly (and strategically)

If you want to get meaningless followers that don’t care about your stuff, will unfollow you after the giveaway and/or won’t contribute later on, THIS IS FOR YOU. (That was sarcastic). Now I’m not completely knocking loop giveaways. If you and a few blogger friends want to team up and giveaway something, awesome. Do you, but don’t have a million people team up.

Before I started my blog, I saw a blogger share an awesome giveaway of a Kate Spade bag (you know I’m a sucker), probably some rain boots with flowers coming out of them and a gift card to an overpriced department store. You guys, I’m not lying when I say this thing was HORRIBLE. I got through like 15 people (there was still MORE) and called it quits. The prize wasn’t worth me sacrificing an hour to follow god knows how many bloggers. You have to pay to enter these giveaways and I personally think your money is better well spent going toward a prize you can offer to your follower and have them tag a friend for extra entries.

Stay true to who you are

Don’t sell out. Don’t post things because you think that’s what people will double tap. Trust me when I say people can tell when you’re doing things just to do them. It’s bare, there’s no personality and you’re disconnected.

The sparknotes:

-Focus on pushing out quality content that ladders up to your brand/blog

-Embrace + pay attention to your current following. They’re your team, treat them well!

-Your follower count will fluctuate, but don’t fret. You’re getting rid of people who were just looking for a follow or sometimes Instagram deleted fake accounts. BOOM YOUVE GOT THE REAL CROWD NOW!

-Large loop giveaways aren’t always the answer for long term, loyal followed.

-Stay true to who you are. Share things that mean something to you, your followers and future followers. Let your personality shine. Be weird.

Chat soon,

As the blogging + influencer communities grow, so do brand partnerships. A lot of bloggers + influencers want to team up with a brand, because it generates great content and engagement for both parties.

Many of you don’t know that my 9-5 is in social media + public relations for a company. Part of my job is reviewing blogger + influencer requests to see if they’re a good fit for our brand. Every brand + reviewing process is different, but based on what I look for, I’m sharing a few do’s + don’ts of reaching out to a brand.

The Brunette Blend- The Dos + Donts of Reaching Out for Brand Partnerships

Don’t tell the brand what YOU want from them.
Do tell the brand what you can do FOR them.
Out of all the requests, why should they choose you?

Your number of followers is NOT everything…

Don’t focus on the wrong numbers.
Do focus on engagement, impressions, clicks, unique visitors to your site, etc…you get it.
The number of followers you have isn’t everything, because at this point, are they even genuine? With all these extravagant giveaways + follow/unfollow methods, I want to see you engaging with your following and making an impact regardless of what number you have at the top of your profile.

Don’t be boring, but be professional.
Do treat your blog/brand as a business, but show us your personality through email or your media kit.
Being concise and to the point is important, especially with large brands. There are so many words a person can read and only so many hours in the day. Introduce yourself so they can decide if you fit their brand.

Just because you may not be the right for for a brand or campaign now, doesn’t mean you won’t be a good candidate for future opportunities.

Don’t expect anything.
Do put yourself out there and hope for future partnerships.
When emailing a brand, chances are you want something. This kind of goes back to number 1. Share your information, if you have an idea for how you can partner up or collaborate– share it. However, keep in mind they may have partnership programs and may not be able to throw something your way in a matter of two business days. Offer more information if asked and hope to work with them in the future. BE COURTEOUS, because if we’re being honest, you aren’t owed or don’t deserve anything.

Don’t burn bridges.
Do keep in touch.
Just because you may not be the right fit for the brand or campaign at the time, doesn’t mean you won’t be a good candidate for future opportunities. Chances are, your information is on file. Be cool.

Bottom line: Be yourself, be courteous and don’t ask for anything. PUT OUT THE FEELERS! Think of it as a first date. Show them what they can get if they partner with you.

Chat soon,

The Brunette Blend-Samantha-Signature

P.S. thanks for all the patience as I got the blog back up to speed after the phantom deleting spree. Onwards and upwards!

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 (!!!)

The-Brunette-Blend-All-About-Essential-Oils-Young-Living

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.

The-Brunette-Blend-All-About-Essential-Oils-Young-Living-Oil-Line-Up

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

There isn’t a day that passes where a piece of advice my dad gave me doesn’t pops in my head. I have advice for just about any circumstance and never realized everything he was pouring into my head. I guess that’s good parenting.

This piece of advice I’ll share is one I think EVERYONE can benefit from, no matter the walk of life, person or circumstance.

If you don’t ask, the answer will always be “no.”

Would it be so bad if the answer was no? Would you rather know instead of guessing or making yourself anxious with hypothetical answers? (Guilty).

When I was in college, I wanted to be proactive with my job hunt. I searched pages and pages on Indeed.com and applied everywhere. I came across an internship for a bridal boutique as a marketing and social media intern, but it was three hours away from my school. What if I could work remotely for them and build my resume in the process? I sent off an email explaining my interest, my willingness and offered samples. After all, if I didn’t ask the answer would be for sure a no. Plus, what was the worst thing that could happen? Receiving a “no, I’m sorry?” I was three hours away, it couldn’t touch me.

Well, I received a response, a Skype interview and shared some sample work. I got the internship. I held it for six months remotely and went into the storefront when I was home from school. It was honestly one of the most rewarding and educational things I’ve done. It all started with asking an out there question.

SO ASK. Take a leap. Stop tip toeing.

Opportunity doesn’t always knock.

A majority of the time, you have to create your opportunity. Stop waiting for something. Do you know what you want? How are you going to get it? How are you going to get there? (We’ve had this talk before). I 100% get it. Its uncomfortable, but that’s where the change happens.

Chat soon,

The Brunette Blend-Samantha-Signature

Happy Friday! With a dreaded day coming up, chilly weather and lack of sleep, I’ve been in some serious need of laughs + motivation. They’re small, but make you LOL (like in real life, not just typing it with a straight face) and really put you in gear. Cheers to the weekend!

Three Mini Things to Do to Brighten Up Your Day

1. Follow Martha Stewart on play by play of a Jason Derulo concert and how he got down to his “shirtsleeves.” She recently shared how Lady Gaga’s half time show would be a “big production.” Extra recent, she got stuck plowing snow. MARTHA I LOVE YOU AND YOUR REALNESS. In all seriousness, Martha is my girl so much to the point I deemed myself “Samantha Stewart,” except I never did anything quite as elegant…

2. Check out Liz Climo.
HER COMICS ARE THE CUTEST. I’m not lying. Witty, funny and adorable. These will instantly make your day brighter. She’s actually a character artist/storyboard revisionist on The Simpsons (SO COOL!!!). She has children’s books, the most shareable short comics and greetings cards at Target (my favorite to give!) Find her on Facebook + Instagram.

The-Brunette-Blend-Brighten-Up-Your-Day-With-these-Three-Mini-Things-Liz-Climo

3. Snag some inspiration from 100 extraordinary women.
I love a good quote and have been in need of some motivation lately. I came across a Huffington Post article that complies inspiring quotes from 100 amazing women. There are quotes from women of all ages, background and experience. With there being 100 quotes, there is one fitting for EVERYTHING.
Of course Martha was among the elites..

“When you’re through changing, you’re through.” – Martha Stewart

There will be no post this coming Monday, but regular posting will resume on Wednesday! Catch up while I’m out:

The piece your closet is missing + how to style it.

Three current beauty product favorites that are BRINGING it.

Facial Oil 101

Throwing a GALentine’s Party

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

2016 wasn’t my favorite year. So much so, my resolution was to survive and stay afloat. Here I am writing in 2017. I’ll chalk that up as a success.

However, Kylie Jenner called it.

2016 was all about realizing things.

the-brunette-blend-kylie-jenner-realizing-stuff

Source Buzzfeed

1. Life drags you through the mud, but somehow you’re able to push through.
We’ve all had our trials this year. Some have knocked us down farther than we could imagine, but here we are in a new year, still standing. A positive outlook, time with friends + family and occasionally a pasta binge can pick your spirits up from time to time. Value + care for those relationships. (Especially with the pasta).

2. Facial oil is everything.
2016 was really the year to realize that rubbing oil all over your face was actually a GOOD thing. Just like there was a time that people were all over sugar-free and aspartame loaded foods, there was a time drying facial products were ‘in.’ In my book, oil is like clean eating.

Fabulous

3. The scale weighed me down all these years.
I’m OVER scales and haven’t stepped on one in a year. I have to tell you, it was quite possibly one of the best things for me. As someone who struggled with negative body image and unhealthy habits, I cut ties with something that I obsessed over. A three digit number no longer consumes my life. I weigh myself on how I FEEL about my body. In a sea of losing weight resolutions, I want to gain confidence, health, strength and most importantly BALANCE. By not weighing myself this year, I found what was important to me. I look forward to continuing it in 2017.

4. Where do you buy matches + batteries?
I realized I was officially an adult in 2016 and have zero idea what I’m doing. Overlooking my obvious struggles of this past year and how I was forced to grow, I had to figure out where to purchase matches and batteries. That’s right. In 25 years, I have never made a match or battery purchase. Look at me now. (I still can’t find matches).

5. Not every opinion matters.
Before this year, I really cared what people thought. Would people like my outfit, would people enjoy my posts or did they get that joke? I realized, I didn’t care anymore. What did I think? Was I proud of who I was and what I was producing? It pays to be original and authentic. 2016 was just the start.

Cheers to a new year, new experiences and realizing more things.
Hope you’re ready for some exciting stuff this year.

Chat soon + stay real(izing),

The Brunette Blend-Samantha-Signature

Remember growing up and daydreaming about the house, the person, the job, the LIFESTYLE? We had some twisted, unexperienced idea of where we would be today. Like I have NO idea what I was thinking. For example, my Sims house is total garbage. WHY?

I know I’m not the only one that feels this way. I also know that I’m not the only one that questions where they are in life. Shouldn’t I be making more money? Should I be in a different profession? Why doesn’t my house look like a Pinterest board?

Here’s the thing. Most of us are probably in our 20’s, first or second job, making our OWN money to support ourselves. Why do we beat ourselves up for not having things that people years older than us have? Do you see where I’m going?

Don’t compare yourself to someone’s middle or end.

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Photo by An Early Morning Walk

We’ve heard it before and well, here we are hearing it again. As humans, we have some kind of need to compare. What’s better? WHO IS better? Who is doing what? It hurts my head with all the twisted thinking. Why can’t we be proud of what we have and what we have accomplished as OURSELVES?

How boring would it be if right out of school you were CEO of a major company? I mean the pay would probably be pretty good, but where is the room to make your mistakes? Where is your story? Sure, being an overnight success would be cool, but I think people truly care how you got there. You learn so much on your way up (and down, because you can’t go up without some dips!)

These thoughts have consumed my mind lately, but quickly change gears to my dad for motivation. A FULL TIME COMEDIAN + MAGICIAN, ladies and gentleman. Do you think he woke up one morning and started supporting a family of four and entertaining hundreds of people. NO! It wasn’t until his late 20’s after a million odd jobs and careers that he found his passion and found a way to make it work. He went from a deck of cards at a dinner theater to kids parties in safari shirts, khaki shorts and pulled what essentially was streamers out of his mouth to suits, occasionally, safari shirts, entertaining big name companies and instead of pulling streamers out of his mouth, pulling them out of shirts. Now, there’s a story. A true Drake, started from the bottom now we’re here story, if you will.

So here is your pep talk as we go into the weekend and as I venture into another journey of unpacking…

You’re killing it. I don’t care if you’re in sales, an artist (of any kind), a student or an astronaut, make the best of your situation. Hate your job? What can you learn from it and how will it propel you to where you WANT to be? BUILD YOUR STORY. Be interesting. Lose yourself, find yourself. Just because we’re technically adults, we’re still growing and learning. Its OK to throw yourself a pity party, but don’t stay long. Make mistakes, learn, create, find your passions and don’t be afraid of change. Keep writing your story, we’re still in the beginning.

What have you accomplished lately that you’re proud of? SHARE, let’s celebrate how cool you are!

The Brunette Blend-Samantha-Signature