The Uniform

Today I wanted to share with you all my go to uniform when I’m not sure what to wear: all black with a few statement pieces. I know all black might seem cliche, but pairing different textures together for a monochromatic look can be incredibly chic. I also chose black pieces with a bit of interest. My tank is from H&M and has a completely sheer back, which gives the opportunity to show off a fun bralette. I also chose my Gap high rise jeans with ripped knees to play with proportions and show off a little skin at the knees. To punch it up, I like to add a statement bag or shoe. In this case I incorporated both. I’m absolutely in love with my new Rebecca Minkoff blue suade bag that I snagged in the Nordstrom abbiversary sale. I have also been loving my new silver reptile print Birks which I found at Nordstrom Rack for only $60. They look amazing together and are put on show with an all black base.

What has been your summer uniform? Let me know in the comments below!

xoxo,

The Blonde Brunette

The Value of Money

Recently I’ve started a new internship with a financial advising firm that I was very lucky to be chosen for. It’s been one of the best learning experiences of my life. I’ve learned more in the last few weeks than I have in my entire high school career. (Not college, because holy cow have a I learned a lot there.) But I’ve also come to realize something else that is more of a life lesson.

I’ve come to realize that for my future career, while how much I’m making is going to be important because it will set the tone for the rest of my life, I’m not going to chose my career based off of how much I will be making. Crazy right? Growing up I always wanted to be successful. I never really had a specific career that stuck with me throughout my childhood, but I always wanted to be the best at whatever I was doing so I could give the people I loved everything they could ever want. I don’t know how on earth this was instilled in me at such a young age, but I definitely remember thinking that’s why I wanted to be successful. So my kids could grow up in a beautiful safe home that they felt comfortable in and their friends would feel welcome in. And to me, this meant that I needed to be successful and provide so this could be achieved.

While I will always continue striving to be the best that I can be, I’ve come to realize that doing something I truly love and enjoy doing as a career is far more important than the salary that comes with it. I would be so much happier being a personal shopper at Nordstrom than I would being an accountant for a huge firm. I’m not saying I won’t ever work on financial things, because now I have a lot of experience in that field, I just want what I’m working on to contribute to something that makes me happy. So maybe I’ll do finances for my own boutique one day a week and the rest of the week be styling clients. I obviously have no clue where life will take me but I do know that I’ll be basing most of my career decisions off of what makes me happy and will bring me and those around me the most joy.

So for now, I’ll continue killing it at my internship and learning as much as I can. I’ll continue with my business major because business and politics are something I’m very interested in, but I’m going to be re-launching this blog and following my dreams a lot more. And I think my 8-year-old fashion obsessed self would be very proud of that.

A Little Collegiate Advise

Hello all! So as you know I started college this year, and holy cow has it been an adventure. I joined a sorority, took on some challenging professors, handled some rough roommate situations, and I’ve survived thus far. (cheers to me) Literally everything about your life and what you know changes in college. So here are some tips and tricks I’ve learned from my first semester as a college kid.

To start off with I’ve had to learn how to deal with people who I don’t quite understand all the time i.e. most of my professors. In high school, every assignment is clearly outlined and you know exactly what you have to do to get an A. College is not like that. College is more like, you’re handed a 40 page article that you have to analyze in a 3 page paper written with the literacy capabilities of a Nobel Prize winning author. It’s hard. So how I’ve learned and changed my approach is always asking my professor what he specifically wants for the assignment, and sending them my draft or sitting down with them during their office hour to discuss it. This is a lot more time consuming, but I mean I did manage to get a 4.0 last semester, so clearly it works. Knowing what your professor wants and discussing your interpretation of that can also help you grow as a student as you learn your own strengths and weaknesses.

Another thing I’ve learned is there are not enough hours in the day to get everything done. That saying that “even when you think you don’t have homework, you do” is 100% accurate. It’s insane. You need to always know what you have coming up so you can be working ahead on it while also knowing what you have due currently so you can make sure to turn everything in. Life is hectic. I probably would’ve died without scheduling all my obligations in my phone with an alert attached so I wouldn’t miss anything as well as keeping an updated planner with everything I needed to get done, as well as upcoming due dates scheduled in with warnings. You life is going to be non-stop, so also try to schedule in things you enjoy doing, like hanging out with your friends to do something besides study. Managing your time and schedule well is one of the keys to success in college, and possibly beyond. (I don’t know about the beyond part yet, but I’ll let ya know when I get there.)

Your stomach doesn’t want to eat dining hall food all the time. It will tell you that, believe me. So try to have a couple meals a week that are easy on your digestive system. You can get little microwaveable servings of rice at Target that you can pop in for a minute and have a serving of rice ready to go. Grab a steamer bag of frozen vegetables to go along with it and maybe some frozen grilled chicken and bam. A healthy meal straight outta the microwave. And keep fruit and such in your mini fridge. Fueling your body with healthy foods will make you feel 100X better and help you keep up your energy levels with maybe just 2 cups of coffee instead of 10.

Not everyone you meet will be your best friend, and that’s ok. I think going into college I thought I’d find my best friend immediately but it took a little while. And that’s ok. It takes time to really get to know people, and sometimes things come up that make it hard to be friends or things that tear you apart. And that’s ok. Not everyone who comes into your life is meant to stay there for a long time. But keep being kind and respectful and your truest self you can be and you’ll find a bestie in no time, I promise. I found mine and it took a little trying, and I honestly didn’t even like her at first but now I can’t imagine my life without her.

My last little tidbit is that college has it’s ups and downs and you’ll find that out very quickly. I’ve cried a few times from stress or anxiety or life just being too much to handle. But I’ve laughed till I’ve cried with friends more times than I can count. And I’ve passed more tests than I’ve failed. I’ve been on time to class more times than I’ve been late. You’re going to have rough days, maybe rough weeks, but honestly college is my favorite period of life I’ve been in yet, and I’m excited to see what else it has to offer!

I hope this has helped you a little bit, or amused you at least. Either way I hope you enjoyed. (and side note, as you can probably tell this blog is going to be a little more life style based now that I don’t even have time to shower some days, so stick with me while I get everything sorted.) Thanks for all your love and support from the beginning of this until now, and let’s hope college won’t kill the blog completely!

xoxo,

The Blonde Brunette

Being a Conservative Christian and a College Student

Long time no blog!! My apologies, college turned out to be a lot more time consuming and a whole life style change I wasn’t exactly prepared for, but more on that later. Today I wanted to address a reoccurring theme I’ve discovered while being a conservative Christian attending a non-Christian college. It opened my eyes to so many new things, and I’m still struggling to find more positives, but I’m working on that one.

First off, let’s start with the stereotypical favorite college pastime: drinking. Holy cow did I luck out, because well I don’t drink. I hate the taste of alcohol and I have an insane fear of throwing up (like I will full on have a panic attack if I think I’m gonna puke, which is just ugh). So drinking for me just isn’t that appealing. And you might be thinking, then how are you “lucky” in this prospective with college? Well, in my friend group everyone either doesn’t drink or drinks pretty responsibly. Which rocks because they don’t judge me for not drinking, they don’t pressure me to drink and I don’t have to deal with many drunk calls at 2am. (Which I genuinely appreciate.) Another reason I’ve chosen not to drink is because I, personally, feel like this sets a bad example for those who are not Christians of what it means to follow Christ. I’m not by any means saying drinking is bad, but for starters I’m not of legal age, and second off it exhibits self control on my part to chose to have fun without it. That all being said, I’m pretty lucky to be accepted by my friends for this choice. I know it’s not popular, and I know I won’t meet as many people because I don’t go out every weekend and I might not seem cool, but that’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make if it means standing up for my values.

Another stereotypical college thing is everyone is hooking up. And wow have I found this one to be true. I was naive enough to not get what someone was asking me about the first time I was asked what my “number was.” And he was asking how many people I’d slept with. (Talk about an awkward question.) But that’s honestly a casual question people will ask you in college if they’re interested. They want to make sure you don’t have anything (cough cough std’s) and know how willing you are to sleep with them. First off, I may be the only person of my generation to not understand the whole wanting to sleep with someone after meeting once, no thanks. And secondly, must we focus every relationship around if we can have sex or not? Honestly. I’m just looking for someone to go on dates with and hang out with, I’d prefer to actually watch Netflix than “Netflix and chill” with you. #sorrynotsorry 

And coming from a Christian grade school and a Luthern high school where I thought that people, in general, didn’t drink too much and were waiting to have sex. But I was wrong. Like 110% wrong. So now comes the hard part. Being different. Just because I’m in a new environment doesn’t mean I’m going to change what I’m doing or how I’m acting. Being a Christian in college means standing up for your beliefs and showing others why life is different as a follower of Christ. And of course we all make mistakes and are obviously not perfect, but most of the time we are the only way some people get to see Christ. Knowing this, it makes how you present yourself seem a little more important, huh? And it’s the little stuff: being on time for class, being attentive and helpful in lectures, being kind and supportive to your friends, forgiving those who don’t necessarily deserve to be forgiven, and lastly one of the hardest ones as a crazy busy college student, making time for God. When you set aside time to do anything, you’re showing it’s an important priority in your life. When others see that no matter how late you were up studying or how little sleep you’ve gotten this week that you still get up for church or that you still stay up and extra 20 min to spend some time with God at the end of your day, that’s being a light to the world. And although my faith is challenged daily in college, I hope and pray I am able to live up to the challenge of being a conservative Christian in a non-Christian college.

Anxiety: College Edition

I have anxiety. Clinically diagnosed, daily struggling anxiety. It’s something I battle with on a daily basis. You might not notice it because I feel like it’s something I’ve gotten pretty good at disguising. Something an average bystander may not know about anxiety is that a person who deals with it can be completely fine and having a great day until something triggers it. For me, my biggest trigger is situations that I feel I have lost control over. So mystery bus tours, heck no. And if I am not as informed as possible about what will be happening or expected of me in a new environment or situation, I freak out. I have a hard time getting out of my head and just being present in the situation because my mind is whirling a mile a minute about all the possible things that could go wrong or what could be happening next. Throughout the past year I’ve learned some techniques to help ground myself and be present in the situation, but that doesn’t make these instances any less frequent. The reason I guess I’m sharing this so publicly now is that the start of college, moving everything I count important into a new place, having a new home base and place to sleep every night, and all new people, that is my worst nightmare. So adjusting the first couple days/weeks was probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. But I did it. My roommates are amazing and have been there to keep me busy and laughing so I wasn’t in my head too much, they give me space when I need it and keep our suite clean, which helps me so much with not being stressed. And just when I thought I was getting settled into that lifestyle, it came time for recruitment week at my school. Being jam packed with school, recruitment week events, long nights, and homework for a week straight and never knowing what was coming on the Greek side of things was the second most stressful thing to have to go through within one month’s time. As stressed out as recruitment made me, I was able to get a bid from my first pick, the Alpha Gamma Delta’s at my school. I’m still a little stressed out from this week and all the newness Greek life brings, but I think I’m going to love all the support from the amazing girls in my chapter as I go forward in my college career. The reason I chose to tell you all this now, is that I have been MIA for several weeks, and I’m kind of challenging myself to start posting again, as hard as I’m sure that will be to juggle with all my school stuff. Blogging is something that is important to me because it allows me to have a creative output to get some stuff off my chest, and hopefully allows me to help guide a few of you, whether it be in beauty or fashion or life in general. And my next few posts will be my experiences throughout recruitment week at my school. And I guess I wanted you all to know that I had so much anxiety about it kind of throughout the whole process just because of how I am personally before I shared those posts with you, because I probably freaked out way more than was actually necessary. And for those of you who are struggling with anxiety, you’re not alone. Believe me when I say I feel you. I pasted out on a plane one time from being so dehydrated and anxious about flying, but that’s a story for another time. So with ALL of that being said, I hope you enjoy my next few posts on my experiences with the formal recruitment process! (ps, if you’d like me to do more posts on how I deal with my anxiety, I’d love to help if I can! You can always email me too, and we can chat that way!)

xoxo,

The Blonde Brunette

How To: Remove Pit Stains

Hello loves! As I’ve been getting ready to leave for college, I’ve been going through all my clothes and packing. During this process I realized that my favorite J.Crew white t-shirt had absolutely disgusting pit stains.

  
GROSS. So today I wanted to share with you all how to remove any staining on your white shirts! Let’s get started with what you’ll need:

  
1 cup of vinegar, 1/2 cup baking soda, 1 Tablespoon of salt and 1 Tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide are what you’ll need.

First soak the shirt in 1 cup of vinegar and 2 cups of water, or a 2:1 ratio of water and vinegar. Let the shirt soak in this mixture for 30 minutes.

  
After the shirt is done soaking, make a paste of your 1/2 cup of baking soda, 1 Tablespoon of salt and 1 Tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide. Remove the shirt from the water-vinager mixture and gently squeeze most of the water out. While the shirt is still damp, spread paste on the stains and let sit for 30 minutes.

  
  
After that 30 minutes you can rinse it out and toss into your regular wash with laundry detergent of your choice. (I suggest having a load ready to go so the wet shirt won’t sit for an extended amount of time and get a musty smell.) Here’s a before and after shot, my shirt is now looking good as new!  

I hope this trick was helpful for you guys! I know it saved my favorite shirt, so I love it! Have a fabulous day!

xoxo,

The Blonde Brunette

Important Jewels

Hello loves! Today I have an exciting post for you because I’m partnering with Invaluable, the world’s premiere online auction marketplace. At Invaluable you can buy jewelry, fine art, collectibles and more. They have some amazing jewelry on their site and have asked me to share some of my favorite pieces with you all today.

First off is probably one of my most prized possessions. My grandmother gave me this charm bracelet, and added new charms each year. And each charm has a special meeting between her and I. For example, the bell represents her bell collection that I got to admire every time I visited her. I usually only wear it around the holidays since it’s rather gaudy, but I love it just the same.

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The next piece I wanted to share with you guys was this ring that my grandma bought my mom. She then passed it down to me and I absolutely love it. I wear it almost everyday and even bought my Pandora rings to match it. It means a lot to me because it shows my Irish roots, while also being passed down through generations. (Sidetone, I have no idea what this is made out of, I’m fairly certain it’s not sterling silver, but whatever it is makes it indestructible.)


My last piece to share with you all today are my absolute favorite earrings, I wear them at least 4 times a week. It’s kind of a problem, but they’re beautiful so not really. My dad gave me these Kendra Scott earrings for Christmas last year and I love them. I’m considering getting them in Rose Gold soon too. I just love how laid back and stylish they are.


I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s post! And a huge thank you to Invaluable for partnering with me on this post! What is your most valued piece of jewelry? Let me know in the comments below. Have a fabulous day!

xoxo,

The Blonde Brunette

Preferential Treatment

Hello loves! So something happened to me the other day while I was out shopping that upset me, and I wanted to kind of rant/write to talk to you about it. The other day I was out running one errands, going to the hardware store. I didn’t look my best, but I also didn’t look awful. I was wearing a crewneck and nike shorts with a little bit of makeup, so still presentable. I saw that a local boutique, in which I’d shop before, was having a sale so I decided to stop in and have a look. I walked into the store to absolutely no greeting from any of the 6 workers in the small shop, or question as to what I was looking for or if I needed any help. A woman at least 20 years older than me walked in a few moments later and 3 of the girls working immediately went to aid her in her shopping. I looked at some of the full priced fall items and didn’t see anything I liked so I moved to the sale section. Still no one approached me, if anything they dodged me. I found a dress in the sale I liked and wanted to try it on. I walked over to the area of the dressing room, and stood there waiting to be served. 4 of the girls were talking at the check out counter that was about 10 feet from where I was standing and continued to talk until I walked up to the counter, and still continued to jabber until I said “excuse me, I’d like to try this on” to which one of them stopped their conversation to say, “go right ahead, the dressing room is over there.” At this point I was extremely upset by the way I was being treated. I knew it was a higher end boutique, because I’d purchased a few special occasion dresses before from there, but that didn’t mean they could treat me differently. I had enough money from working this summer to buy a multitude of things from their store if I had wanted to. I tried on the dress, decided I didn’t like it and left. None of the workers reached out to me before I left or on my way out.

The reason I’m telling you this story is not to sulk in the fact that I was treated badly, but honestly as a note of encouragement and empowerment. I’m sure women, and men, sadly get treated like this all the time in stores they “don’t look like they belong in.” But that doesn’t mean you have to take it. You can do one of three things if you are ever treated poorly by the staff: The first response being, simply walk out. If they don’t have time for you, you don’t have to make time for them. They shouldn’t have your business, especially if it is a higher end store, if they don’t treat you with respect. The second response kind of goes off of that one in that after you leave, or after you’ve finished your shopping at that store, write this manager or store owner a letter about how you were treated and how rude their employees were. Hopefully a letter from a very dissatisfied customer will help them change their policy in the future. Lastly, one of the best in their face responses is to go in, find whatever you were specifically looking for on your own, and check out. If they ask if you received any help from anyone, be honest, tell them that no one helped you and you were a bit disappointed about that. Showing them that you are still in control of your purchases and your day is the ultimate wake up call for them.

I really just wanted to share this with you all to make sure that you are never treated the way I was in this particular instance, and that if you are you don’t succumb to anyone’s disrespectful behavior and get what you want out of the situation. Another quick tip, is if you expect this might happen in a store, bring a friend or family member along for moral support. You should never need moral support while simply out shopping for something, but sadly there are a handful of brands and shops that are still rude to cliental that doesn’t fit their perfect business mode. Be strong and be brave in your shopping endeavors, and have a fabulous day!

xoxo,

The Blonde Brunette

A Day In Wears: Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation

Hello loves! Today I wanted to try a little bit of a different post, and I’m super excited about it. For me, one of the most important qualities in my makeup products is that they last pretty much all day, and don’t require much maintenance. So a Day In Wears is going to be a new series where I check in with you all as the day goes on and see how whichever product I’m testing out that day is wearing. And today’s product is the new Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation. This foundation is also Mattifying and oil free. I was given a sample after making a purchase at Sephora and decided to give it a try. (This also explains why this foundation is slightly/incredibly the wrong shade for my skin tone. I just blended it down my neck, like a lot.) I was given the shade Nude, which as mentioned, wasn’t the shade I would choose for myself but I made it work. Upon first application this foundation is incredibly matte. Like you-look-kind-of-dead-until-you-put-the-rest-of-your-makeup-on matte. Which is really great for if you plan on taking any pictures that day, you will only shine where you want to!

8:00am: first application, and looking flawless.   
11:00am: making lunch for the kids I was babysitting, and still looking awesome! 
3:00pm: right after my hair cut, you like? And still feeling good about the makeup! It had settled a little bit along the sides of my nose so I blotted that away, but otherwise looking good! 

 7:00pm: getting ready for a going away party for a friend, and noticing a bit of wear and tear. Definitely emphasizing my dry patches, and needing some touch-ups on blemishes. I applied a little bit of concealer where I needed it.

 10:00pm: after applying a bit of concealer on a few more obvious blemishes. Not looking too bad!  

And yes, I realize I am not wearing the same top in any of these pictures. My first top is my PJ shirt, then I threw a sweat shirt over my navy v-neck for the second shot since it was cold, took off the sweatshirt for my hair cut, then came home and threw on an oversized tshirt to nap in, and then changed for the bonfire. So yeah. It was a crazy day, but all the better to test out this foundation. I was incredibly impressed by how long this product lasted and the flawless finish it gave my skin. I have dry to combination skin, and I did notice that towards the middle and end of the day that you could see the foundation clinging to any dry patches I had. That being said, I probably wouldn’t recommend this to anyone with very dry skin. If you have normal, oily, or combination and are looking for a flawless finish, I highly recommend this product. It was very light feeling on the skin, one of my pet peeves is super thick and goopy foundations, and this was not one of them. The only thing that catches me up on this product is the price. It’s $55 for 1oz of product. To me, that’s a little bit much. So if you have the money, this would be a great everyday flawless face for the office, or if you just want to save it for special occasions, that’d work too. I hope you guys have found this helpful! Have a fabulous day!

xoxo,

The Blonde Brunette

 

BaubleBar Service: Rant

Hello loves! So I recently placed an order on BaubleBar.com. I was super excited to see some lovely jewelry that was highly recommended and supposedly high quality. I ordered a pair of tassel earrings that I was super excited about (and caused me to place the order) and I had planned one of my sorority event night outfits around them. The image online showed a pair of antiqued gold earrings with white gems around the stud and baby pink beaded tassels. I was so excited to receive them! 3 days after I placed the order I received an email from a member of their “SWAT” team, no clue what that means, saying that there had been a mistake with the picture online compared to the actual earrings. I was sent what seemed to be a picture taken on a phone of a pair of earrings with light gray stones and asked by this “SWAT” team member if I would still like the earrings and encouraged to take them as they’d be “perfect for fall.” Here’s a comparison of the two side by side:

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I chose not to get them because I really wasn’t a fan of the lack of contrast and the cloudy coloring on the gray earrings. My account was refunded immediately for the price of the earrings, which I appreciated. But the thing is, I ordered some other things from the site 8 days ago and have just received them. Yet BaubleBar guarantee’s 3-5 day shipping. There is also no apparent way to track where my package was at any time during transit, so for awhile there I assumed it had been lost in the mail. The rest of my order consisted of the Meteorite Stud Trio of earrings, which I thought resembled my favorite Kendra Scott earrings from the photos online. After receiving the actual product, I am very sad to report that they look like rocks someone found and glued to posts with little to no shine unless placed in direct sunlight. Here’s the image online and here is an image of what I actually received:

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Vs. The image on Baublebar

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I’m in my perfect right to say these look slightly less appealing in person, right?

Next up in the line of fire, was an awesome bracelet set where you got to choose your own three bracelets for a set. I was stoked about this. Here are the three I ordered:

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I loved how they looked together, and I was a huge fan of the gold bracelet covered in tassels. (Tassels are my favorite.) BUT the pink threaded cuff is TINY. I mean tiny. And I have average to small wrists, but this cuff is so tight on me that if I move my arm in anyway, it twists and presses against one of the two larger bones in my wrist. Whichever way I move my hand, it digs in on the opposite side into that bone. And since the bracelets are technically a set, I can’t return just one of them, so they all had to go back. I mean “beauty is pain” but not every time you move.

To say the least, I am not pleased with the color mix up, which they STILL have not removed from their site more than 10 days later. So anyone who attempts to order this color in the earrings must be receiving the same issue. Is it that difficult to change the image or take it down once you’re aware there is an issue? I think not. I’m also very upset that $75+ of my purchases where nowhere to be found in the bleak black hole that seems to be their shipping methods for several days. Overall, I am very upset with the way my order has been handled and am less than impressed with the quality of the majority of what I received. I wanted to put this review out there because it took me almost a year to finally order from this site after hearing about it from handfuls of bloggers, whom I’m sure have their needs catered to endlessly to encourage positive reviews. And to be honest, a brand with that much hype should not have a missing package 4 days late or the wrong image on their site. Sorry for the negativity, but MAN did that feel good to get off my chest! I hope you all have a great day and I hope a missing package situation never befalls you!

xoxo,

The Blonde Brunette