Valentine’s Day: Outfits

Hello loves! You’ve made it half-way through the week! Which means, today is an outfit post day. And you should be excited. Today I have not one, but four outfits for you. I wanted to make sure I covered all the bases of possible outfits one would need to get through Valentine’s Day. (Minus the comfy PJ outfit, because I’m sure you all have that one down pat.) So let’s jump into the outfits, I’m going to work my way through from the most fancy to the most casual.

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{Lace T-Shirt: Loft, Midi Skirt: Banana Republic, Heels: Joe’s Jeans, Necklace: Loft}

I am in love with this outfit. It is the essence of feminine and classic, and what holiday is more appropriate for that than Valentine’s Day? The simplicity of this skirt allows it to be worn in so many different ways, so I dressed it up with heels, some lace and a muted pinky statement necklace. Lace and classic shapes are great way to play up the femininity in your look without drowning yourself in pink.

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{Leather Jacket and Dress: Banana Republic, Heels: DSW, Earrings: Francesca’s Collection}

This is definitely more of an edgy or going out option for the night. Also, we’re looking past the pale legs, ok? Ok. I added a punch with the red for the occasion, but if you want to do another color, go for it! I love the simplicity of a leather jacket and an LBD (two closet staples) and then adding in fun shoes and jewelry for an easy night out look.

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{Button Down: Gap, Skirt: Express, Tights: The Limited, Booties: Lucky Brand, Bangles: Michael Kors, Alex and Ani, Local Boutique, Earrings: TJMaxx}

This is the perfect dressed up, yet somewhat casual outfit. The flannel look of the top mixed with the casual fit of the skirt takes this away from looking like your typical 9-5 skirt and button down outfit. I also am in love with these booties, which are SO comfortable. (My lovely mother has dubbed these my “witch boots,” and my entire family refers to them as such.) This is one of my favorite outfit combo’s, I usually just switch up the top and tights, but shh that’s one of my lazy day secrets.

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{Cardigan: Banana Republic, Tank: Banana Republic, Jeans: Gap, Heels: Joe’s Jeans, Necklace: American Eagle, Earrings: TJMaxx}

This outfit is my new obsession. Oh. My. Goodness. Like seriously, I can’t handle how much I love this. I love the muted color scheme, and the crisp white against the light-wash of the jeans is amazing. The necklace I’m wearing is super old, but it works perfectly with this outfit. (Shout-out to my 13 year old self for that one.) And yes, I also have these heels in black. Kate Spade gives the wonderful advice that if the shoe fits, buy it in every color. So I did. And they are the most comfortable and most worn heels I own. The color scheme of this outfit makes it romantic and laid back, which is perfect for your casual Friday outfit, or just a chill Valentine’s Day!

I hope I’ve given you some outfit ideas that you can use to pick out the perfect outfit from your own closet! And I’m sure I’ve got you covered on all the possibly levels of formal you could need… Unless you’re going to a gala, in which case I’m jealous. Anyways, have a fabulous day!

xoxo,

The Blonde Brunette

Valentine’s Day: “Dates”

Hello loves! For the second day of this Valentine’s Day week, I wanted to give you some ideas on how to spend this Saturday. I’ve also added in some DIY gifts to go with each option. Let’s dive in!
My first themed day and DIY gift is a movie date. This works for all my single ladies, as well as those of you spending your night with a special someone. Like I’ve said before, I’m a huge fan of movies and this sounds like a fun and chill way to spend the night. If you’re spending the evening with your girls, I’d suggest either The Other Woman, or Life As We Know It. Spending it with your significant other? Then I’d suggest a Nicholas Sparks movie, or The Avengers. I’m more of an action packed thriller girl myself. The DIY gift for this is super simple, and will surely be used.

What you’ll need: 1 large popcorn bowl, packages of microwave popcorn, boxed candy, and a movie or two of your choice. Top it off with a bow and you have a thoughtful, and relatively inexpensive gift to go perfectly with your night in.

My next date idea is for either single ladies or those with a love interest. A fun date would be to cook dinner together! I love cooking with other people, that way I don’t get all the blame if it doesn’t turn out. This way you also won’t have to fight the hoards of people that are out and about on Valentine’s Day. (Especially this year, with it being on a Saturday and all.) The DIY gift to go with this is by far the simplest: baking. All guys love getting food as gifts, and to be quite honest, I would never complain over fresh baked cookies myself. Might I suggest my Molasses Cookies?

My last idea is one solely for the single ladies out there. This entails a spa night in with your girls. Lather on the face masks, grab your favorite nail polish and curl up to spend a relaxing night in. If you’re of age, I would also suggest some wine, it seems right for the occasion. The DIY gift to go along with this I like to call “Spa In a Jar.”

What you’ll need: a mason jar, a nail polish of your choice, a face mask sample, fuzzy socks, a nail file, and anything else you can possibly fit in that jar. This is a simple gift that’s also incredibly useful; I know any gal would love it.

Those are my three Valentine’s Day idea and DIY gifts! I hope you enjoyed, and consider trying one of them yourself! Have a fabulous day!
xoxo,
The Blonde Brunette

Valentine’s Day: Gift Guide

Hello loves! Welcome to the first day of an entire week dedicated to the national holiday of love: Valentine’s Day. If you’re like me, you may be single and not love Valentine’s Day that much, but hang on a second before you jump ship. This is not just a holiday for couples who are all over each other, this is a holiday all about celebrating all of the people in our lives that show us love all year round. Personally, I’ll be spending the day with my closest friends and will be pampering myself just the same for dinner with them as I would if I had a boyfriend. So with that all being said, let’s jump into this week on a positive note!

Today’s post is going to be focused on some of my top picks for gifts perfect for this occasion. These are great to give to your mom, sister, or your girlfriends. I tried to do a range of prices so you can pick which one best suits what you can spend. My top picks include: 3 of my favorite rollerball perfumes, 3 pieces of jewelry and a few random additions as well.

No.1: Dolce and Gabbana Light Blue. This is my all time favorite perfume, my signature scent, my go-to, you get the point… I love how light and fresh the scent is and I feel it works for many occasions. I’m going to direct you to the description of the scent on Sephora.com , since I am no perfume expert and have no idea what notes are in it. I will say though, it is definitely a floral perfume with a bit of musk to it, which I love.

No.2: Elizabeth and James Nirvana. This comes as a rollerball duo with both their Nirvana White perfume, a lighter floral scent, and their Nirvana Black perfume, which is a more musky nighttime scent. One of the huge advantages to this duo, is you can layer them and they still smell fantastic. So if you wear Nirvana White during the day and it’s still lingering by the time you want to go out at night, no problem! Pop on some Nirvana Black for your night adventures and you’re good to go.

No.3: Tory Burch. Everyone flipped out when Tory Burch came out with her first ever perfume, and I completely understand why. It as just as classic and loveable as all the clothing and accessories she’s known for. This perfume features peony and sandalwood, along with many other notes. All I have to day is you did good Tory Burch, you did good.

No. 4: For the ladies in your life who love a good statement piece, I have just the thing. The Fringe Fir Drops Earrings from Baublebar. I am obsessed with these. Obsessed. I want them in my life, so a personal recommendation from The Blonde Brunette herself, buy these.

No. 5: The new and improved studs: Tessa Silver Earrings by Kendra Scott. I received these as a Christmas gift, and they are seriously my favorite earrings ever. They’re high quality, so they won’t break or cause any reactions. I am absolutely in love, and how unique is the geode-like stone?

No. 6: I am a huge fan of the new Pandora Leather Bracelets. They make an excellent gift because you can customize them by the color of leather, and whatever charms you choose to add on. I also received one of these as a gift and love wearing mine for stacking. I also gave my mom one for her birthday, which she loves. This just proves how great this gift is for women of all ages.

No. 7: We all have a friend who is obsessed with their pet, and to be honest, who doesn’t love an adorable animal accessory? I bring to you the Garland Pet Collar from Baublebar. I just about died when I stumbled upon this, and my dog would totally be rocking this if my parents would allow it.

No. 8: My last gift suggestion is something I will admit I have been tempted to buy myself, but can’t justify why I would need another one. That is the new Victoria by Victoria Beckham Nail Polishes. I love everything about this. I love the packaging, the colors, the size of the polish, just everything. A round of applause to Victoria Beckham for creating two of the most classic colors that we all have, but all want HER specific shades. Whomever you gift this to will definitely not be disappointed.

You thought I was done, but no… How could I forget about the boys? Since well, they are so much easier to buy for, here are my top four picks for the men in your life. And to me, that means the top picks in watches and cologne.

No. 1: One of my closest friends got this cologne for Christmas, and I love it, so I’m passing it on as one of my top two for you. The Tommy Hilfiger “Man” Cologne. I know we all have our own opinions on how we want guys to smell, and personally, I’m a fan of this one. (I couldn’t find a roller-ball size of this cologne, my apologies.)

No. 2: My second cologne pick is actually my favorite of the two, save the best for last right? This is another recommendation from one of my friends. (I don’t go around smelling men often, I promise.) Polo’s Black wins this dual for my favorite. It just smells great, I can’t really describe it, but I know it is one of their most popular scents. I most definitely recommend this one.

No. 3: My first watch pick is a little less expensive than the other, but I think the Warin Watch from Aldo is killer. I would suggest this for a younger more fashionable guy. But seriously, this thing is stunning. Like I would probably steal if I gave this as a gift.

No. 4: My second watch pick is definitely more classic, and almost exactly $20 more. Which I justify by the fact that this watch comes with 2 bands, one leather and one linked. This watch is by Flud, and is the Moment Interchangeable Watch. I absolutely love the blue watch face, but they also carry it in green if that’s more to your taste.

There, now I’m seriously done with the gift guide… For today that is. Tomorrow, look forward to some ideas on how to spend your valentines day and DIY gifts to go along with each idea. I hope this will help you pick out some great gifts for your loved ones. And remember, it’s not the size or price of the gift that counts, it’s the thought behind it. So even if a homemade card is what you choose to give this year, its is just as valuable, if not more, than any other gift. Have a fabulous day!

xoxo,

The Blonde Brunette

Winter Essentials: Skincare

By this point of winter, I think we’re all aching for the warmth and even the humidity of summer. Maybe it’s because I naturally tend towards dryer skin, but my skin is craving moisture like none other. So today I’ll be sharing my holy grail skincare products for the winter months.

First off I’d like to start off with exfoliators. This is one product that seems to be overlooked when thinking about moisturizing, but it’s a key to getting rid of the dead skin cells sitting on your skin when it is particularly dry. My favorite facial scrub is the St. Ives Pink Lemon and Mandarin Orange Scrub. I get mine at Target, it retails for about $5, not bad! My next most necessary scrub is the eye scrub I use. I know, you’ve been taught all your life to be the most gentle on your eyes, so this may sound a bit weird. Personally, my makeup doesn’t apply well if I have any sort of dry skin under my eyes so this is a key for me. I use this gel once or twice a week under and around my eyes: the Perricone MD Blue Plasma Orbital. It retails for $65 at Sephora, I justify that price by the fact that it lasts for ages.

st-ives-even-and-brightperricone-md-blue-plasma-orbital

Now, let’s talk moisturizer! My go-to everyday moisturizer is the First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream. If you have dry or combination-dry skin, I highly recommend you try this out. I started using this when it first came out because my skin was painfully dry and I have not stopped using it since. The large tub from Sephora is $30 and lasts a good 5-6 months, which is a great bang for your buck. My favorite moisturizing overnight mask is the Clinique Moisture Surge mask. I put this on at night if my skin is feeling extra dry, and I wake up with baby smooth skin! This mask retails for $38.50 at Sephora.

FirstAidBeauty_UltraRepairCream_600clinique moisture surge

Let’s discuss eyes next! My newly discovered favorite eye cream is the Origins Eye Doctor. This cream has a thick, rich consistency which I love. I use this morning and night, but I do have dry skin, so using this as a night cream might be all some of you need! The Eye Doctor cream retails for $35 at Sephora and lasts a good while! Another favorite eye cream of mine, that’s a lot lighter, is the Caudalie Vinosource S.O.S Morning Eye Rescue. It is exactly that! This is the perfect eye cream to put on in the morning as a base for your makeup. This eye product retails for $34 at Sephora.

origins eye doctorsos morning cream

And lastly, the two random dry weather favorites! My holy grail lip balm is the Rosebud Perfume Co. Minted Rose Lip Balm. It makes all the difference in the world for my chapped lips in the winter. I have three tins of this, which should tell you how big of a fan I am. It retails for $7 at Sephora and lasts about 4 months for me. My favorite overall body moisturizer is the True Blue Spa Lay It On Thick body cream from Bath and Body Works. This is the thickest and most long lasting cream I have ever tried. This cream retails for $20 at Bath and Body Works.rosebud lip salvetrue blue spa

I hope my winter moisturizing essentials will be helpful for you this cold and dry season. I wish you the best of luck in keeping your skin healthy and nourished! Have a fabulous day!

xoxo,

The Blonde Brunette

Winter Nail Polishes

Now that we’re fully into winter, pale as ever, and have hours on end to spend inside hiding from the cold… Tis the season to break out our favorite wintery nail polish colors, am I right ladies? Here are some of my favorite nail polish picks for this winter season!

To start off, let’s talk about one of my all time favorite shades for the winter: red. This is an all time classic, tried and true winter color. My personal favorite shades are maroons because they contrast against my fair skin quite nicely. I am a also a huge fan of the classic holiday red. These are my top three reds for many years running:

{Berry Naughty, Carry On, Scarlett O’Hara}

berry_naughty carry_on scarlett_ohara

Another one of my favorite winter looks is the crisp clean look of a neutral nail. I am a huge fan of the light pink/nude nail for any season, so winter is no exception. The darker nudes are also a favorite for this season because they contrast a little more against the lighter skin tone we all sport. My last favorite for winter, that I would consider a neutral, is white. The crisp clean look of a white nail in winter reminds me of the snow that is surrounding us this season. That all being said, here are my favorite neutral picks for winter:

{Ballet Slippers, Don’t Sweater It, Tuck In My Tux}

ballet_slippers dont_sweater_it tuck-it-in-my-tux

For those who want a more unique and unexpected shade, I’ve got you covered! The winter months are the most suitable time to break out some of my favorite shades of blue and green. Navy, sapphire, and forest green are some of my favorite colors year round, but they look a whole lot better in January than they do in July. Here are my holy grail winter blues and greens:

{Stylnomics, Aruba Blue, Fall After School Boy Blazer}

stylenomics aruba_blue Fall_After_School_Boy_Blazer

Hopefully you’ll find a new favorite somewhere in this post, and something to do while curling up on the couch on a cozy winter night. Have a fabulous day!

xoxo,

The Blonde Brunette

Trends To Try: 2015

Hello again! Unless you live under a rock, you’re probably well aware of the fact that we have just rung in the new year. And with each new year comes a slew of new trends. The only con to this rush of new trends and predictions is, we must decide if we want to take part in or pass on these trends. I’ve chosen the 10 most talked about trends, so let’s dive in!

No. 1: Military Green. This was seen on the runway of Marc Jacobs, which is definitely one of my favorites. Personally, I love military green. It works as an unexpected neutral, so rather than grabbing a dull black, gray or white shirt, try experimenting with military green! Just make sure this color doesn’t wash you out before you invest in several pieces. If it’s not your best color, I’d suggest trying it in a coat, accessory or pair of jeans. This way it’s away from your face enough that it won’t wash you out.

{image: harpersbazaar.com}
{image: harpersbazaar.com}
{image: lolobu.com}
{image: lolobu.com}

No. 2: Black and White. This trend is back… AGAIN. After several seasons, are we even considering this as a trend anymore? I’m only ok with this still being around because I do have a soft spot for the drastic contrast of black on white. It is an incredibly simple concept that works for everyone’s style, and it’s easy to pull off!

{image: nowfashion.com}
{image: nowfashion.com}
{image: withlovefromkat.com}
{image: withlovefromkat.com}

No. 3: Blue and White. I have been waiting my WHOLE LIFE for this to be a trend. Oh my goodness I am SO EXCITED. This is a monthly… weekly… even sometimes daily combination I wear. No shame. My friends tease me about the immense amount of blue and white I own, so this trend I am putting my stamp of approval on whole-heartedly. (Also, blue is an universally flattering color and pairs quite well with white.)

{image: style.com}
{image: style.com}
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{image: fabsugar.com}

No. 4: White from Head to Toe. I am obsessed with this trend as well. In case you couldn’t already tell, I’m a big fan of white (and blue) clothing. The head to toe white look gives a clean and surprisingly elongating silhouette. This also gives you the excuse to buy that incredibly impractical pair of white heels. So go, buy those shoes. I support your decision.

{image: vogue.com}
{image: vogue.com}
{image: lolobu.com}
{image: lolobu.com}

No. 5: Gingham. Gingham is back at it! I’m pleased with this trend too! The modern twist is that the gingham this season is a larger print than the more classic prints we’re used to seeing, which I’m all for. An updated classic is always a win in my book.

{image: fashiongonerouge.com}
{image: fashiongonerouge.com}
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{image: extrapetite.com}

No. 6: Shirtdress. I’m actually quite a fan of this trend as well! I love that this is coming back into style, and how cool and casual is this kind of dress? This look will be absolutely perfect for running errands, beach outings, and brunch. Just remember, belting at the waist is the key to pulling this off so you can keep your shape, and don’t get the whole “I’m wearing a tent”  look.

{image: vogue.com}
{image: vogue.com}
{image: mesewecrazy.com}
{image: mesewecrazy.com}

No. 7: Flats, Slides, and Sneakers. This is the first time in ages that we’ve seen this trend. It was all over the runways, which is something we rarely see because it isn’t the most flattering look on the runway. But BOY is it good for all of us normal people! That means that instead of all the crazy uncomfortable heels that seem to come out every season, we will be seeing more stylish flats. Thank goodness.

{image: solesociety.com}
{image: solesociety.com}
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{image: nike.com}

No. 8: Aprons. A new trend this season was an “apron” in the front of a dress, skirt or even pants. I just don’t understand why you would need an apron attached to your clothing… And am I the only one who feels like the “apron” will get caught on everything and blow up in the wind? I just don’t see this as a very practical trend.

{image: popsugar.com}
{image: popsugar.com}

No. 9: Culottes. These are basically the new version of gauchos from the 00’s. Culottes are a type of loose fitting cropped pants that resembles a skirt, but are really pants. Personally I’m still deciding how I feel about them, but I’m leaning towards disliking them. (I may be slightly bitter about this one because of the glance back into my awkward middle school days when gauchos were all the rage. Those were dark times.) I do like the fact that they give you the effect of a midi skirts, while also giving you the security and comfort of pants. We’ll have to wait and see how I end up feeling about these.

{image: style.com}
{image: style.com}
{image: fashion.telegarph.co.uk}
{image: fashion.telegarph.co.uk}

No. 10: Flared Jeans. I’m actually kind of happy about this being a trend! Flared jeans are incredibly flattering for those with long legs. (For those who were not blessed with ridiculously long legs, throw some heels on and you’ll get the same amazing affect.) They lengthen your leg and balance the proportions on almost any body type. Fingers crossed that this will seer people away from wearing cotton jeggings with fake pockets…

{image: flickr.com}
{image: flickr.com}
{image: nichollvincent.blogspot.com}
{image: nichollvincent.blogspot.com}

That, my friends, is the round up of 2015’s biggest upcoming trends. I encourage you to try at least one to challenge yourself and bring some fresh new pieces into your 2015 wardrobe. For each trend, I tried to find one example straight from the runway and another that was a street style version, which is so much more wearable. But I support you in taking the trend and making it your own, because that’s what style is all about. Have a fabulous day!

xoxo,

The Blonde Brunette

Cozy Winter Essentials

Now that Christmas is over and the small amount of love we had for a winter wonderland is fading, well more like gone, I hope to put a little more love back into the season. One of my favorite things about winter and the cold weather is that it gives us an excuse to cozy up in the most comfortable of clothes, fuzziest socks and softest blankets. In case you are in need of any cozying essentials this winter, I’ve got you covered! Here are some of my top picks for this winter season:

No. 1: The fuzziest blanket around.

Fuzzy throw

No. 2: A wonderfully white sweater.

Cozy sweater

No. 3: A cozy, but cool cardigan.

Cozy cardigan

No. 4: A warm printed scarf.

Animal scarf

No. 5: A fashion forward fur snood.

Furry scarf

No. 6: A pair of soft lounging pants.

Cozy sweats

No. 7: Fuzzy socks. You need at least one pair in your life.

Fuzzy socks

As you can see, I’ve included all the links to these winter essentials so that you won’t have to even brave the cold when going out to the mall, you can order them from your nice cozy bed. You’re welcome. And with that, I hope you have a fantastic day! Stay warm!

xoxo,

The Blonde Brunette