The Classic Brunette: August 2014

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Dorm Room Tour!

I've spent the last few days moving in to my new dorm apartment, and as much as I want to say it's been fun, it hasn't. I do love good organization, but this my friends, was organization overload. I still have clothes I need to fold that I've shoved in drawers and odds and ends that need to find their place, but right now, I think I'm ready to show you all my room! My roommate had a late start moving in, and she is bringing our bathroom items, and our kitchen/living room (since we are in a dorm apartment) is super messy still, so I'll save those areas for a later post. Sorry in advance for the not-so-high-quality pictures! P.S. If you want to see some pictures of my room last year, head to my instagram!


My lovely bed! When I moved in it was incredibly high, and I had to use a stool to get on it! My parents helped me lower it, and now I don't feel like I might break something if I fall off in the middle of the night. You can see one of the paintings I put on the blog! Next to that is my "Nothing Will Work Unless You Do" Canvas that was my first blog DIY, and underneath that is my printer and dresser, nothing worth showcasing here. As I said in a previous post, a body pillow is a must! In fact, it blocks an opening at the end of the bed where my pillow would probably end up slipping down. I'm also a fan of having art, not necessarily big posters in my room, so last year I bought the Venice Pictures and the New York large canvas. The bedspread is also from last year, but the sheets are new!


I'm in love with my throw pillows from last year! I wish I could buy all of the travel themed pillows! There's literally so many of them


Here's another DIY that I made for my room! I found the tutorial on Pinterest! Go here to make your own with your home state!


In about a week my desk will be utter chaos, but look how pretty it is right now! Of course I had to put up some pictures of Dylan O'brien because, well, I'm obsessed. :) On my desk you'll spot a lovely candle from one of my roommates, my Kate Spade Planner, a DIY calendar (here's a tutorial, although mine is different as I didn't have Pantone paint chips. AKA mine was more of a challenge!), my eiffel tower desk lamp(no longer available), and a file organizer because, who knows, I might file things this year.  My mom also gave me a cork board that she had lying around, and I've already started putting pictures on it!


Here's a look inside my desk just to show you how I organized it. I realize now that I have a bunch of pens, and my mom shoved a bunch of handy computer wipes into the left side of my desk organizer!


Kind of a lame picture, but here's my ottoman and rug ( I promise it's the picture that makes the rug look dirty, in real life it's a nice ombre! Here's a similar one, although it's more expensive) and a big vase I got for cheap at Marshalls that I'm using to collect spare change. 


And of course, last but not least, my wardrobe full of clothes! I color coded everything and put my extra drawers in there as well as my textbooks.

This apartment has a huge amount of space compared to my dorm room last year. I actually have too much storage area!! I'm excited to get everything finalized here and can't wait to show you the finished space soon!

I'd love to see how you decorate your dorm! Tell me about it in the comments, post to instagram/tweet me pictures using the hashtag #theclassicbrunette, or send me an email at theclassicbrunette@gmail.com! 

Xo,










Thursday, August 28, 2014

Spot Light!

There are so many things that I come across on the internet that I could write full posts on, but others I just want to highlight from time to time. These things can be anything from a trend I see on Pinterest to a video on youtube that I thought would bring tears or laughter to your life. Every couple of weeks I plan to shed some light onto these interesting tidbits that I find, and hope that you'll take a look at them and find them as interesting as I do!



One // RogerHub Grade Calculator

This is going to be a big help for when finals come rolling around so that you can maintain the grade you have or the one you're aspiring for. You can also figure out your grade before a final, after you already took the final (provided you have your final test grade, but the professor hasn't put up your actual class grade). Honestly, I can see myself using this for every test since I am always obsessing over  what my grades are and professors aren't always getting scores in the gradebook as fast as I want them to.



Two // Leonardo Dicaprio ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

There have been so many celebrities doing the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, I'm sure most of you have all been nominated to do it too. The point of the challenge is to spread awareness for the disease and to help raise funds for treatment research. Unfortunately, I haven't come across many people who chose to donate, so when I was nominated I opted out of covering myself in freezing water (and a fine for wasting water in California's drought) and donated what I could. The thing that makes Leo's video extra special, however, is his extremely generous donation. Now, I've seen a few celebrities who have chose to take the challenge and donate, but not to this caliber. Leo donated 100,000! My jaw literally fell open when I saw that number. This just restores my love in Leonardo Dicaprio and makes me happy that the Ice Bucket Challenge is so popular. It's a great chance for changes in the medical community to be brought to light, and I hope that something great comes out of this.




Three // Limzy Wei : Flowergirls Art

These are so beautiful and I wanted to share them with you guys for a while. Although these particular designs are some of her older ones, she continues to make new flower art on her tumblr which I linked above. It's amazing how beautiful nature can be on its own, but when it's constructed into actual pieces of art I just think it's so unique. There are many more designs of hers that I like, but these just caught my eye and the colors are breathtaking.



Four // Rachel Parcell's Closet turned Office

Isn't this what you've always dreamed of? A closet with an enormous space for shoes, color coded clothing displays, a million windows, and so much drawer space you don't know what to do with it? No? Just me? Well let me tell you, I'm in love with this closet (and insanely jealous!) and the fact that it doubles as her office space is just an added bonus. Rachel runs the blog Pink Peonies and as she writes about fashion she is also surrounded by it! A true dream come true in my opinion. My favorite part of the room is that chair she has, doesn't it look amazingly comfortable?


Five // Pumpkin Rice Krispy Treats

I'm one of those annoying people who likes to get into fall right when school begins to start, so these pumpkin rice krispy treats I found on pinterest are perfect. Who doesn't love a sweet treat to get them into the upcoming season! It doesn't hurt that these pumpkins are adorable. I would invite some friends over and have these on the dessert table or make some with your little siblings/nieces and nephews for some family bonding time.

What's do you want to highlight this week?


Xo,

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Anxiety at the Dentist

This post is going to be a bit personal, and I just felt like I needed to share what I've been thinking about recently. I have horrible anxiety when it comes to going to dentist or doctor appointments, but it gets even worse when I know something is actually wrong. Maybe its the hypochondriac in me, but I always think what ever it is, it has got to be worse than what it seems.

Shots are pretty much my worst fear and cause me the most anxiety out of anything. Last time I went to the doctor I was told that I had missed one of my shots (more than likely I probably just kept putting it off for my "next visit") and luckily they had it right in the office. I immediately had a panic attack while they went to get it and was basically crying hysterically. Lets just say, it was an experience I don't like to share with people. I've been made fun of before for this completely irrational fear, and the worst part of this is that I know my fear is totally insane. People gets shots every day for allergies or for their medication, it's just a part of life. I hate this anxiety that I get, and no matter how hard I try to work out my fear, it seems it's only gotten worse as I grow up.

I'm talking about this today because a couple days ago I went to the dentist for a cleaning and was told that I have a small cavity that needs to be fixed. Since I'm leaving tomorrow morning for school, it had to be taken care of today. I've had my fair share of cavities when I was younger, and every time I panic when I remember the shot that helps numb the pain. Mouth shots are probably the worst of the shots since there's no choice but to look at the needle and the pain is a lot worse than just in the arm.

When I get extremely stressed out, my adrenaline pumps really fast, and this doesn't work out so well when the medicine is injected into my mouth. The Novocain (numbing) shot doesn't end up working, and in the past I've had to get it 4 or 5 times to actually feel something, and even then it won't be enough. Luckily, I've found a way to work around getting multiple shots! I ask for laughing gas (nitrous) now before getting the shot. That way, I'm forced to be calm, and can't really resist the dentist sticking a needle in my mouth. I still feel it, but since I'm in a medicated happy place, I don't really notice or care too much.

I just felt like sharing my huge fear because it was eating away at me in the hours leading up to my dentist appointment. Sometimes you just need to get things off of your chest, and I created this blog to not only share my fashion and beauty choices, but also share who I am as a person.

Do you also have a fear of shots, or used to have one? How did you overcome it? Are there any anxieties that you want to get off your chest?


Xo,

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Old Navy Online Sale Today Only!


Just a quick post for today, but I thought I would let you know about the sale Old Navy is having right now! 30% off your order if you use the code SHOPON at checkout! I absolutely love everything Old Navy has to offer, and it is a great place to stock up on your basic items as well as other great, affordable finds! 
I recently bought this striped dress (stripes aren't as easy to see in the picture on the site) and this sweater! The dress makes you look and feel put together and, even better, it's extremely comfortable. The sweater is just the right fit and keeps you warm and snuggly, perfect for this fall!

Here are some of my other Old Navy favorites for fall on the site right now!

Here
Here
Here
Here

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Have fun shopping everyone! Use the hashtag #theclassicbrunette on instagram and twitter to show off your favorite pieces for fall! Be sure to check out my instagram @samimast to keep up with everything outside of the blog and email all questions and suggestions to theclassicbrunette@gmail.com!


Xo,

Friday, August 22, 2014

NOLA Restaurant Review

A couple nights ago I went to a festive, not so little restaurant called NOLA's in Palo Alto. My sister just had her 21st birthday, and she went there with one of her friends about a week ago and beamed about the drinks and food (try the Hurricane, it's their signature!). I'm a fan of anything New Orleans, so this themed restaurant was just up my alley.

Via wetyourwhistle.com


As I am underage, but still wanted to get something fun, I got the Crescent City Cooler. It's a tangy and delicious blend of juices and soda served with a lime wedge. I recommend it to anyone who wants to try something different and is a fan of guava. (which I believe is the main ingredient) 


I ordered the Fried Chicken and Waffles which were pretty good! They're a bit of a different take on the dish with extra sweet waffles with honey butter and maple syrup, and the chicken has a spicy gravy to pour on top. (my favorite part!) I also had some of my mom's chicken and andouille gumbo which was absolutely amazing, so I think I'll be ordering that next time I go!


And who could resist getting beignets! You get 5 and a trio of sauces to go with them (the raspberry sauce is to die for.) 

All in all, it's a great place to go have a family dinner or get drinks with your friends (they have a great bar in the restaurant). Also, you get mardi gras beads with your meal! How cute is that! 

Have you guys ever been to Nola? They have locations in Los Angeles and New Orleans as well. Are there any fun restaurants by you that you would highly recommend? 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

I Want to Move


Since sophomore year of high school I've had this idea in my mind that I need to move somewhere exciting. In actuality, it was probably a lot earlier than that when I discovered my need to go to a new place, but that was the year when it became a serious thought. For the last two years of high school, I really thought college was going to be my way to put that into action. In fact, all but one school I applied to was located in a major city. I surprised myself when I picked that one oddball school, but I think it was a good choice for me (you know, after I went through my whole I want to transfer process). 

When I went on my East Coast college road trip, I basically fell in love with New York. I was actually planning to go to NYU, but eventually declined their acceptance for admission to stay closer to home. I don't think I was at the right place in my life to be completely on my own in one of the biggest cities in the US. I think if I had went directly into a huge city, I would have freaked out. I was terribly homesick at Chapman (that's my school!) and that was in the same state as my family! I was thinking about transferring, yes, but would that have really made any difference to my actual feelings? Probably not. It's weird saying this now since I've been saying the opposite for the past year, but I think it's good that I've finally come to terms with it.

After all this though, I still want to move to a big city. Primarily New York, (isn't that everyone's dream at one point or another?) but I also want to make my way through Boston and Washington D.C. I'm not sure why I have this urge to get to these places since I'm not chasing a dream that solely occurs there (well okay working at The Smithsonian does kind of fall under that, but ignore that fact). I just have always wanted a more exciting environment. A place where I can learn from those around me and get excited about the possibilities that are open to me. Although I didn't exactly grow up in a small town, I don't always feel like I'm getting as much out of the world as I can. 

I think I've finally made up my mind that I will move to one of these places after college. I can't stop myself from going just because I'm scared (terrified!) of being on my own in a new city. If I can survive going to college by myself, I can survive a move to a bigger city. Your twenties are supposed to be a time to explore who you want to be and, in my opinion, where you want to be. I'm ready to get out of my comfort zone, even if I have to wait 3 more years to do it.

Have you ever felt the urge to move to a bigger city? 

Xo,

Monday, August 18, 2014

A Little Bit Edgy

Running a blog is a little difficult when you don't have someone to take pictures of the outfits you want to display. In the meantime, I'm attempting to take my own pictures, so bare with me because I didn't realize how difficult the full outfit selfie game was.






Pairing leather and spiked necklaces with a soft sweater is just the type of edge I like to bring into my outfits. I could wear this outfit basically anywhere, as long as I don't have to walk much (the heels may be comfortable, but not for hours on end). If you're headed out for a long day, switch the heels to flats and you're on your way! This I think is also a great transition outfit from summer to fall. It's warm enough in the day that you don't want to wear long pants, but later at night it gets a little chilly so you'll want a light sweater to keep yourself cozy. 

I recently bought the sweater at Forever 21 (although I can't seem to find it online!) Here's a similar one, although they don't have a similar color. The skirt is old, but Forever 21 has an almost identical one. The shoes are from DSW and are amazingly comfortable. I got the bracelet from Victoria's Secret as one of those deals where you spend a certain amount and receive something, and that something was the bracelet! The rose gold is super pretty and the little angel wing clasp is simple and stunning at the same time. I got it years ago, so it's no longer available, but here is a similar one without the angel wings. The necklace is my personal favorite. It's so different from other statement necklaces that I see and can go with nearly every outfit. I've worn it to awards ceremonies, holiday parties, everyday school outfits, and I get so many compliments on it. I got it at Nordstrom two years ago, but ebay has similar ones without the rhinestones. 

I hope this outfit inspires you to try out an edgier look (at least once!) and to kick you out of your comfort zone. Of course I would love to hear your feedback in the comments or email me some suggestions at theclassicbrunette gmail.com. Also be sure to use the hashtag #theclassicbrunette on twitter and instagram to show me your own style!

Xo,

Sunday, August 17, 2014

DIY Canvas Painting

I've got another dorm DIY for you all today! This is my absolute favorite canvas that I've done! I really love doing these kind of abstract painting and love sharing them with you guys!

Here's what you'll need!
  • A canvas of any size you want (I have one of the 8 x 10 ones from the 6 pack I scored at Ross)
  • Acrylic paint (I used Craftsmart Rosy Posy, Martha Stewart's Crafts (MSC) in Pale Bronze, MSC in Pacific Iris, MSC in Hydrangea Purple, MSC in Rust, andAmericana in Poodleskirt Pink) 
  • Speedball Metal Flakes in Gold
  • Assorted Paint brushes
  • Mod Podge Spray
First, paint your canvas with the various colors listed above (or your own variety!) in stripes going down the canvas vertically so it looks like the pictures below.



It doesn't matter how long each line is or whether or not the colors blend together as long as you like it!
Then I added some gold flakes to give it some more pop! To do that I sprayed the Mod Podge over where I wanted the flakes to go and then stuck them on. If you want smaller flakes, crush them around in your hand and sprinkle them on. 


Finish it off with a couple more gold flakes spread around the entire canvas, and you've got yourself a beautiful piece of art! Mine only took about 2 days to do (only because I waited for it to completely dry to put the gold flakes on.) 


Hopefully you all liked this tutorial! It's super quick and super fun to make! Use the hashtag #theclassicbrunette to show how you DIY. I would also love to hear your feedback in the comments or via email at theclassicbrunette@gmail.com

Friday, August 15, 2014

My Skincare Routine

I was recently asked what I do for my skin routine, and I have to say it's relatively simple in my case. I'm going to start out this post saying what the majority of you already know, all skin types are extremely unique, so the things that work for me might not work for you. I luckily skipped the whole acne stage (thank you good genes!) so I actually have never worn any full face makeup such as foundation, concealer, etc. I know the majority of you are probably thinking  that I'm crazy or something, but I always had this terrible fear that it would clog my pores! Plus, my mom and older sister never wore it, so I didn't really bother to learn how to apply it. I am interested in trying out BB cream, so if you have any suggestions put it in the comments below! So with that said, here's what I use to keep my face clear and smooth!

Aveeno lotion is the most necessary item for taking care of my face. I have pretty dry skin, so after taking a shower I use about a dime sized drop which cures the dryness right away. It's scentless, so if you have sensitive skin, or you just want to apply your own scent, it's really great! I've been using it for years and I haven't found a better lotion yet!


I switch off using these two face cleansers every time I shower. They keep my pores clear and make my skin super smooth! Neutrogena's Fresh Foaming Cleanser does tend to dry out my face, but it really stops the gunk from building up and keeps my t-zone from getting oily. Clean & Clear's Daily Pore Cleanser makes my skin feel like it can breathe again and it just feels amazing. Whenever I feel a zit coming on I immediately use one of these to stop it head on! I highly recommend both of these for maintaining a clear face!


I've recommended this Mario Badescu mask earlier in my July Favorites and here I am still recommending it! I use it every Sunday and Wednesday since you're supposed to use it 2-3 times a week. My cheeks are naturally flushed, so this tones it down a bit for a more even looking skin tone. It also tightens up any loose skin (like around my eyes if they're baggy) and gives me the softest skin of my life! Literally it is such an amazing mask that I would highly recommend to anyone!


Lush's Mask of Magnanimity makes your entire face feel cool and fresh. I use this every Friday to give me a nice start to my weekend. It refreshes my face and leaves it clean and amazingly soft. The mint smell is relaxing, and I love putting it on and looking like a green monster!

So that's it for my skincare routine! I know it isn't much, but I think that's why my skin is acne free the majority of the time (that along with my luck of a good skin genes). I feel that less is more with your face, and you don't want to over kill it with products. 

Let me know what you guys do for your skin and if you know any good BB creams or anything else that you recommend! Feel free to send me an email with any questions or suggestions at theclassicbrunette gmail.com and remember to check me out on instagram @samimast with the hashtag #theclassicbrunette!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

10 Things You Need To Bring To College

During my freshman year, I came to college not really knowing what to expect with my dorm. I wasn't sure if I was going to want files in my desk, throw pillows for my bed, bed risers,etc. I didn't even know if any of this stuff was going to be useful to me. So here are 10 things that I had to eventually buy   during the school year because I desperately needed them!


Body Pillow (or a bunch of throw pillows)

When friends came over to my dorm, we always ended up hanging out on the bed. It's the most comfortable spot in the room, unless your back is up against a hard cement wall. I had a couple extra regular sized pillows and two smaller throw pillows in my room, and they were lifesavers. We held movie nights on my bed, and everyone got their own pillow to lean against the wall. This year I plan on  buying a body pillow to have along with the other pillows just because I know that it will be useful. You will use them for when your back is aching and you want more support, to lay on when you're napping (naps are huge in college, who woulda thought!) and, well, anytime you're sitting, whether it be on a bed, a chair, or even the floor (and boy do you want one then.) Target has a bunch of cute pillows for cheap!

A Comfortable Desk Chair

Since I have a ton of back issues (hello scoliosis surgery circa 2009!) what I desperately need in my life is a good place to sit that supports my back. With dorms you either get stuck with the stiff wooden ones which just kill my back and butt within minutes, or you get plastic ones that in general just suck. My school had plastic ones with fabric on them, but there were so many large unidentifiable stains that I didn't even want to sit on it once. I went to Office Max, bought a cheap and comfortable chair and was satisfied (until it broke halfway through the year and then I sprung for a nice leather one that I adore). If you have any sort of back issue this is the #1 thing you should bring/buy for school, spring for a nicer one so it actually lasts through your 4 years though! The exact one I have is here, but if you want to keep looking you can find some more here.

A Car

This one is much more optional depending on where you go to school and how your city's public transportation is. If you are familiar with the nightmare that is Southern California's public transportation system, then you will understand why I felt the need to bring a car. If you're like me and are going to a school in a smallish town with not much to do around campus, and you don't have a cheap way to get around (train, bus, etc.) a car will be a lifesaver. I unfortunately did not have a car freshman year and I felt so trapped on campus. My only option of getting somewhere was bumming a ride from someone else (which will annoy your friends if you ask over and over and over) or taking an expensive taxi (which is the worst thing for a low-budget college student). With a car I can grab food when I want it, take a trip to the grocery store, mall, movie theatre, bookstore, etc. However, if you are going to school in a larger city which is likely to have better public transportation than the Los Angeles area, I wouldn't recommend bringing a car. In that situation, a car would likely lead to you getting stuck in traffic while your friends are already waiting for you because they took the train or subway. Stick to public transportation if it's simple and easy to use (plus it is more cost effective). 

Medicine

If you're anything like me, you get your fair share of colds during the year. From sore throats to sniffles, and more, medicine comes to the rescue! Bugs spread so quickly through dorms (last year everyone in my hall got both the flu and bronchitis!) and you don't want to be unprepared. Luckily my mom had thought of everything and packed me a huge first aid kit that included a bunch of different things including Advil cold and sinus, and cough syrup (that definitely came in handy when I got bronchitis!) You can't prepare for everything, especially things you need prescription for, but you can have a good base in case of emergency. I promise you that even if you don't need the medicine that you bring, you will know someone that will.

Water Filter

Water in southern California is absolutely disgusting. As a Bay Area native, my tap water is basically as clear as it gets, so making that switch was a nightmare for me. Buying a filtered water bottle or a large filter that you can keep in your mini-fridge will help you if you happen to be in a similar situation. Even if the water isn't that gross, it's not a bad idea to get one anyway.

Fan or Heater

If you have the ability to control the temperature in your dorm, by all means ignore this one. I, however, was stuck in a room where I was either sweating up a storm or freezing my butt off. I bought a nice fan-heater combo that kept my roommate and I cool during the spring and summer, but kept us super comfortable in the winter. Heaters can sometimes be on the list of prohibited items from your school, however if it doubles as a fan it shouldn't be a problem (it can be our little secret). Trust me this was a lifesaver for me and my roomie! It also serves as a way to block noise from other rooms which is super nice when people are being loud. This one is a great size for the dorm!

Air Mattress

If you're going to have friends visiting for a weekend or maybe a friend comes knocking on your door at 2am saying she got locked out and needs a place to stay, having an extra bed is great. Either way, having one will make things easier when those things happen (and trust me, they will happen). Also, they make a good place for guests to sit when you lack actual chairs or if you want to gather on it and have a movie night.

A Weekender Bag


I can't remember how many times I either spent the weekend at a friend's house or went home and visited my family, and a good weekender bag was the number one thing that I needed. It doesn't have to be as big as a duffel bag, but it has to be bigger than a tote bag. As long as you can put your clothes, shoes, makeup, etc. into it, you should be good. I recommend one that can easily fit your clothes, laptop, and all the school books that you might need. I have this one and you can have it monogrammed! If you don't want to pay that much, this one is just as cute!

Ear Plugs/ Good Headphones

If someone in your hall is being loud and you're trying to study, ear plugs or plugging into headphones is the best way to solve the situation. You can't really do anything about noise if it isn't quiet hours, so unless you want to make the trek over to the library for some quiet time, just block it all out with some ear plugs. Also, these help if your roommate snores a lot or talks in their sleep (like I supposedly do, sorry Jacqueline!) Headphones are great for when you want to have a Netflix marathon, but your roommate has a huge test to study for. All in all, you'll make a good use out of both items. I've been using these Skullcandy earphones for years and they're so comfortable and block out sound really well!

Duster

Dorm rooms gather so much dust it's insane. I didn't know it was possible to go from clean to filthy in a week until I watched my desk get attacked by dust. Honestly, you don't want to live in a room where literally everything is covered in dust, so make sure to clean everything off every once in a while. You will be very surprised (and grossed out) to see how much the dirt and grime builds up in a short span of time, so please get a duster. I use these Swiffer dusters that pick up everything.

If you guys have any other suggestions for this list feel free to comment below! And if you have any questions for me send me an email at theclassicbrunette@gmail.com. Hope you all are having a blast getting ready for back to school!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

75% off Kate Spade Right Now!

Kate Spade is having one of their surprise sales! Up to 75% off some of their popular items including purses, jewelry, shoes, and clothes.


I've chosen some of my favorites from the sale below, but feel free to check out all the items here!


Now go check it out! These are only on sale for a couple more days!!

Xo,





 
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