The Classic Brunette: 2017

Thursday, April 20, 2017

10 Reasons To Be Happy

Have any of you watched 13 Reasons Why, the Netflix show that has gotten insanely popular since its release a few weeks ago? I read the book a long time ago (think 8th grade) and loved it, and was so excited there was going to be a TV show based on it! It sounds very strange to say that I love a show that talks about such serious subjects like suicide, but I think it's a great way to make people aware of what other people have going on in their lives. Anyway, if you haven't watched the show I highly recommend it!

But I wanted to take a second and share on the blog that I know life can get you down sometimes, but there are also so many reasons to be happy! I'm sharing 10 things that always make me happy because sometimes we all need reminders to love life!

1. Visiting with family and just enjoying their company

2. Having a cat cuddle up next to me and it starts purring

3. Going to the movie theater 

4. Having deep conversations with friends

5. Getting an A on a test I studied hard for

6. Long car rides listening to my favorite music

7. Starting a new novel

8. Walking around Target without a purpose

9. Singing along to Disney songs

10. Writing blog posts!

What are a few things that make you happy? Leave them in the comments!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Skincare And Relaxation With Boohoo + Soap & Glory

Life has seriously been crazy lately! I've had some late midterms, had to play catch-up with writing my thesis (due in two weeks, ah!), and a few other things on my plate that have left me with barely any time for myself. Now that a few of those obligations are ending, I can take some 'me' time, even if it's still limited. 

In those rare moments where I find myself able to pamper myself, I try to accomplish multiple things at once. For example I'll put on a hair mask and type up an essay or I'll take some time to go swimming but that will also be my break from studying. As a senior I have tons of things going on, especially in this month before graduation, so my time is precious! Thankfully Boohoo and Soap & Glory have been helping me find products that are great for my short moments of relaxation!

I think my favorite way to feel relaxed and pampered when I'm short on time is to moisturize and smell delicious. Both are accomplished with Soap & Glory's For Daily Youth Moisture Lotion and their Hand Food! I can't get enough of the moisture lotion since it smells like peaches and makes my face SO soft! And I always seem to have the driest hands on the planet, so the hand food is great to keep in my bag. Plus it doesn't hurt that it smells like marshmallows! Soap & Glory has actually been one of my favorite beauty brands since I discovered it in middle school, and it's been great for those 'treat your self' moments or spa-quality product use at home!

Boohoo was also nice enough to gift me this red scalloped bikini just in time for the warm weather, and I can't wait to start heading to the pool during my study breaks! We have one in our community that is less than a block away from my house, so it's so easy to pop on over for a quick swim, something I'm so thankful for! I sometimes have a difficult time committing to one swimsuit, which makes Boohoo one of my favorite places to buy swimwear! The prices are affordable, the pieces are trendy, and they have so many options!

I'm so excited to wear that bikini for summer and adopt these new beauty products from Soap & Glory into my routine!

Thank you to Boohoo + Soap & Glory for gifting me these products! Thank you for supporting the brands that make The Classic Brunette possible!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Free People Embroidered Spring Dress

Free People Perfectly Victorian Mini Dress in black
Free People Perfectly Victorian Mini Dress in black
Free People Perfectly Victorian Mini Dress in black
Free People Perfectly Victorian Mini Dress in black
Free People Perfectly Victorian Mini Dress in black
Free People Perfectly Victorian Mini Dress in black
Free People Perfectly Victorian Mini Dress in black
Free People Perfectly Victorian Mini Dress in black
Dress: Free People (c/o) | Booties: Forever 21 (old), similar | Monogram Necklace: Baublebar | Lip Color: YSL #52

Y'all I am living in this dress. I know I addressed that on Instagram the other day, but I just want to say it again because it's that true. I noticed this Free People dress last summer and I instantly knew it was going to be a winner. I think I'm going to pull out the big guns, people, and say that this dress is probably my favorite piece in my closet. *insert allll the jaw-drop emojis* But honestly, I think this is one of my favorite items I've ever owned. It's flattering, comfortable, and easy to throw on. Since it came in the mail I've probably worn it at least twice a week, and that's how you know I love something. If I'm willing to be a serious outfit repeater I have to be able to do it with something this cute, haha!

When I originally saw it I was worried it would be too short, as my legs are pretty long for my height. However it's the perfect length! Just short enough where it's flirty, but long enough that I'm not scared about flashing anyone on accident. I've been wearing it to class, to meetings with professors, to my internship, basically everywhere I've been the past few weeks! Another thing that I LOVE about this dress is the fact that it has a slip inside the dress so I don't have to worry about it being too sheer. For some reason extremely sheer clothing is a trend these days, but for people like me it's a nightmare. I'm not bold enough to wear sheer clothing, and I don't like getting that surprise when I put on a shirt and realize you can see through it. I will let the fashion adventurers take on that trend! 

I also think embroidery is going to get even trendier this season! I love the floral details stitched onto this dress, especially because the bright colors are a great contrast to the black. SO pretty! I've been seeing embroidered items everywhere lately from everything from classic white t-shirts to baseball caps to even denim jackets! I don't know about you, but I'm all for it!

What do you think about the embroidery trend? Also what do you think are going to be huge trends for spring and summer?

Sunday, April 9, 2017

How To Deal With Negative Comments As A Blogger

There's something not too many people talk about in the blogging world that I really want to address: negative talk. Honestly, I don't know why it doesn't get brought up more often. It's an ugly side of blogging, but I think people should be aware that people aren't always so happy to see bloggers doing what they're passionate about. If you haven't experienced negativity, I hope that you are one of the lucky individuals who never has to! But I'm sure if you've been blogging for a while like I have, you're accustom to having a few negative comments thrown your way or have had someone say something disheartening to you. After a while, some negativity isn't a surprise and you can easily shrug it off like it's nothing. There will always be 'haters' who either don't understand, don't care for what we do, or think we're all just plain stupid. 

In the past I've had people who have told me that my blog was useless, a time-waster, not worth the work, you name it. And most of these things were said to my face by people I knew. I'm happy to say that most people aren't like this and are extremely supportive of what I do (yay!) however there always seems to be a few bad apples who want to drag me down. If it isn't bad enough people in real life try to tear me down, I've had people call me out on my actual blog commenting some not-so-nice things. 

I try to remember that sometimes people who are commenting don't mean to come off as rude, insensitive, or mean. I always try to give commenters the benefit of the doubt, if the message isn't outright nasty that is. Sometimes someone will want to start a dialogue with me, critiquing something I wrote or arguing the case for another answer to a problem. I am ALL about dialogue and learning from others, and in all honestly I'm not the end all be all for things. Everyone has their own interpretation of what is right, so who am I to call anyone out on their opinion versus my opinion. I love when I can engage in a conversation with a reader and understand different standpoints. So this is the first way I deal with negative comments, I actively try to engage with the commenter and have a discussion on our differences. Who knows, this person might have been trying to understand my opinion more and wanted to share theirs as well! 

Going off that, my first piece of advice is to, when possible, start a discussion with that person and try to understand their point of view. You can normally tell which types of people you will benefit from having a discussion with, as they most likely won't directly insult your work, who you are, or your opinion. These people will ask you questions and offer their own opinion.

I want to say that that's the only kind of negative attention I've gotten as a blogger, but it's not. Recently I was attacked on both my blog's Facebook page as well as my personal Facebook account targeting my blog and social channels. An acquaintance from high school commented on a few posts out of the blue (after no contact for 5+ years) and started attacked who I was as a person, my intelligence, and called me and my blog all sorts of nasty things. I won't go into any explicit detail, but it was jaw-dropping. I was in absolute shock and had no idea what to do. I thought to myself "All I am doing is writing some articles and posting pictures of some things that I love and someone is trying to tear me down for my hobby and part time profession." It was absolutely insane. I wanted to share the steps I took in dealing with that horrible ordeal in hopes that if you ever get a message that is even slightly awful you can overcome it as smoothly as possible.

Vent To A Friend/Family

I immediately texted screenshots of the comments to my mom and a few blogger friends of mine. The nastiness of the comment was just so hurtful, I wanted to turn to people I knew would build me up, not tear me down. My mom was extremely supportive and reminded me just how much work goes into this passion of mine, and that no one can tell me how to live my life and explore my passions. She also had some choice words to say about the person, but I'll leave those out of this post, haha. The blogger friends I shared with were also incredibly supportive and then shared their own experiences with comments like this. It was nice to know that I wasn't alone, and that there were other people who understood the amount of effort and love that goes in to creating a blog and everything that goes along with it. 

Option 1: Respond Kindly And Be The Better Person

If you choose to, you can respond to the person and address their comments. I chose to do this but then ultimately went with option two later on (see below). In responding, try to keep it short and sweet, literally. Be nice and do not fight back, it will only make things worse. Obviously stand up for yourself, but it will only escalate if insults and angry comments are exchanged. As my 'attacker' commented on my intelligence and what he found wrong with what I was doing on a public page, I chose to write a message similar to this: "I'm sorry if my posts are upsetting you, please feel free to unfriend me if it is an issue. I would appreciate if you have an issue with the content of my blog or posts to not post it publicly, as a courtesy to me. Next time please feel free to privately message me your concerns." I knew that responding directly to what was said would just add fuel to the fire, so I just wanted a resolution and to stay above the drama. 

Option 2: Delete

I am so glad that the delete button exists in this world. Don't want to deal with something hurtful and negative that you absolutely did not deserve? Delete, unfriend, report, block, and MOVE ON. After writing my response, realizing the person who wrote the comment unfriended me (I've learned that most of these people don't like to see the consequences/responses of their comments, go figure.) I thought I might as well get rid of it and move on. I don't need to sit around and wallow over these comments from someone who does not know me or what I do. Delete, report the comments if they are harmful (Facebook has an option for 'annoying' which is the closest option) and get that person out of your life. NO ONE deserves to be attacked for their passions and doing what they love. 

They (Most Likely) Don't Know You Or What You Do

How come it's always the people who have no idea who you are or what you're up to that are criticizing you. Don't let these people's comments sink in as you know yourself and what you're working towards, and they probably have no clue. The person who essentially called me an idiot had only spoken about one sentence to me, and yet felt they knew exactly who I was based on what he saw on my blog. Obviously my blog is a large part of who I am, but there is also a large part of myself that is not shown on here. Only the people I regularly interact with know my personality, my intelligence, my perseverance, my passion for blogging and writing, etc. There are things you may choose to share/not share on your blog/social media, and most likely the people who are saying bad things have no idea who you actually are. Also let me just re-direct these people to a post I wrote about how much work actually goes in to creating a blog post (which probably should be edited to include some more things since I now have more experience since the post was published.) You are the only one who truly knows you and your intentions, do not let the haters get you down!

I also want to talk briefly about blogger on blogger hate for a second. After discussing my situation with a few blogger friends, it seemed that other bloggers are largely tearing each other down. Whether they're attacking a certain system some bloggers use when working with companies (for example free posts vs paid posts) or just ultimately tearing another woman down for her appearance, it's extremely disheartening. Bloggers know the struggle of other bloggers, so we should be helping one another! It's hard enough getting others to believe and support our passion without tearing each other apart for every little thing that we do! So I'm just hear to point out that if you're another blogger who needs support, I am here to build you up and support you in your goals! 

If you've ever received negative feedback how have you handled it? Also if you ever get negative comments and want someone to vent to, don't hesitate to reach out to me! I'm always available through my email!

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Grad Announcements And Gallery Wall Reveal

Happy Thursday everyone! My graduation announcements arrived in the mail and I am SO excited about how they turned out. I was worried that things weren't going to be centered or that the colors would be funky because I chose a bad photo (I opted out of having them double checked by a designer), but they look amazing. 

I chose this design that felt very 'me,' bright with lots of white and gold. I wanted my announcements to be simple as well, and I'm glad I found exactly what I was looking for! These designs are from Minted, and they had TONS of different designs to choose from!

I also recently set up my gallery wall, and had a few pieces from Minted as well. I figured I would share that on the blog today too. I wanted to have a lot of gold, bright colors, and things that inspired me. It's not all that expansive right now, however I hope to add more to it in the near future!

Hello Sign: Michaels, extremely similar | Large Gold Frame (similar) | Pink Painting by me | Small Gold Frames from the dollar store! | Paris Print | Gold Map of New Orleans 

I've been meaning to put up this gallery wall for about 2 years now, so I'm really excited to finally be moving forward with it! It also seems that everything kind of fell into place with it these past few months. I somehow found everything I needed to create the image I had in my head easily, after two years of being stubborn with it. The hello sign was on super clearance at Michaels, the large gold frame was in a random place in target and was both one of its kind and on clearance. And the two small gold frames were found at my local dollar store! Everything worked out perfectly!

Do you have a gallery wall? I would love to see it!

is post was not monetarily sponsored by Minted, however I did receive free product in exchange for posting my honest opinions!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Spring Wishlist $25 And Under

Beach Babe ClutchPink Pom Pom Dress | Teal Ombre Earrings | Blush Tassel/Crystal Earrings | Dusty Rose Tassel EarringsFlute Sleeve Open Back Top | Black & White Striped Ruffle Top | Distressed Denim Shorts | Rose Gold Tote | Colorful Pom Pom ClutchTurquoise Seaglass Necklace | Denim Pom Pom Top | White Pom Pom Trim Bell Sleeve Top | Flamingo Clutch | Striped Bell Sleeve Top | Fringe Pom Sandals | Blue One Shoulder Ruffle Dress | Lemon Crossbody | Pink Espadrilles | Basic Brown Sandal | Ombre Pink Drop Earrings |

Spring is finally here! I know, technically its been here for like two weeks already, but I'm finally just starting to believe it. The weather has been so nice these past few days, and I've been breaking out all the off the shoulder tops and sandals! Spring is always my favorite season in terms of fun fashion, because it's always full of bright colors and fun accessories. But like anyone else in college, I don't exactly have the budget to be spending a lot on clothes. So I've rounded up all my favorite clothes and accessories that are $25 and under so that you can have all the fun of spring trends without breaking the bank!

One of my favorite items that I found is this pink lace pom pom dress for only $24! I think this dress might be my favorite dress of the season, because it's so fun and feminine. And for the price I'm not afraid to buy a trendy piece like this, however I think that the pom poms are pretty subtle anyway. I'm so excited to add this to my closet.Speaking of pom poms I was also thrilled when I saw this white bell sleeved top with colorful pom poms! With the bell sleeves and the off the shoulder details, this is going to be such a great blouse for the warmer months. I'm thinking this top would be great for a beach day if you paired it with denim shorts.

I've also been obsessed with Baublebar's new line at Target! Their accessories are so pretty, and way less expensive than the stuff from the Baublebar website. I picked out a few favorites like these Teal Ombre Earrings that are so perfect for spring.

What are your favorite trends for spring?

Monday, March 27, 2017

VII Code Oxygen Eye Mask Review

Am I the only college student who doesn't get enough sleep? I'm laughing just writing that question, because of course I'm not! I think one of the worst things for my beauty routine is my lack of adequate sleep. If I'm not up working on school stuff, I'm editing photos or writing blog posts. All these long nights constantly leave me with bags or dark circles. If you've ever had dark circles, you know just how hard they are to get rid of!

I was given the opportunity to test out this overnight oxygen eye mask from VII Code and I've found that it is a great treatment for my dark circles! This mask is an 8 hour overnight treatment, which is something that I haven't seen with any other sheet mask. It's a gel based mask which makes for a very nice cooling effect when you put it on. Although I guess you could wear the mask during the day if you're planning on having an 8 hour long at home spa day, it's easiest just to wear the mask overnight and let it do its magic. It's as easy as putting on the mask and going to sleep, literally. The gel is sticky, so it's best to get the positioning right on the first try (so you don't waste any of the serum), however I didn't have any issues with repositioning if I put them on wrong.

Since I have sensitive eyes, the mask was a little uncomfortable at first because I wasn't used to the cooling effect of the gel. However after about a half hour my face/eyes adjusted to having it on and I actually found the gel to be pretty soothing as I fell asleep. You're supposed to start seeing results after a full treatment of the mask which is 2/3 times a week for three boxes worth, however I've seen results after my first use! Obviously my circles didn't completely disappear, but the area underneath my eyes was less sunken in and a little brighter after one night with the mask on.

Although I'm hoping to fix my sleeping habits and fix my dark eye circles on a more permanent level, I think this eye mask will do the trick for now!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Grad Announcement Photos And Grad Gift Guide With Minted

As if I haven't said it enough on the blog, I'm graduating from college this semester! I took these graduation announcement photos last week before my spring break (which I'm on right now, hallelujah!) and I am so happy with how they turned out. Also, since she doesn't get enough credit, let me just shout out my best friend/roommate/TCB photographer Steph for always being there to shoot with me! Especially for this shoot since I made her get up before 7am... You're the best, Steph!

I'm thrilled, terrified, and just plain in awe that I'm already graduating (more about my thoughts on that in this post). Only a few more months and I'll be done with school! Seriously this past year has flown by, and although I'm sad I'll be done with college, at the same time I'm SO excited to graduate! I'll be sharing the final grad announcement design once I get them in the mail, but until then I'll just be admiring my photos, haha!

I also wanted to take this opportunity to share some of my favorite gifts for grads, as the time before graduation will definitely pass faster than you think! I've collaborated with Minted to bring you some great gifts for the grads in your life to help them either start their new 'adult' life or to help them create special memories of college. It may seem a little early to be sharing graduation gifts, but I just want to make sure that if you order something more personalized, it will allow enough time to be delivered! I've gathered a few of my favorite picks below!
Gold Foil Wall Art | Rosé Print | Class of 2017 Photo Art | Gold Graduate Print | Cinque Terre Print | Personalized Pink Lace Stationary | Personalized Gold Pattern Stationary | Abstract Painting Print |

Minted has a huge variety of prints and art pieces that are the perfect gift to give a grad to start their new adult life! Many students move into their first "real" places after graduating, so offering a beautiful art print is a great way to help them get started! You can choose from something sophisticated like an abstract painting, or go with something more fun and whimsical like this Rosé print (my personal fave!). Or you can go with a more personalized piece like a gold foil city map. There are tons of cities to choose from, and if your grad has a connection to a certain city, I think that would be such a sweet gift to give. I ordered a New Orleans map for myself because the city has been a huge part of my college memories! I studied 'abroad' there for a few weeks during my sophomore year, and am writing my senior thesis on New Orleans Voodoo, so I wanted to commemorate my love for the city in some way.

Speaking of memorable places, if your grad is more into photographs you can gift them a beautiful photo of their favorite place. For example if they studied abroad in Italy they might enjoy a photo of the Cinque Terre coastline (above) or a photo of a beautiful town in Tuscany. Another great option is to give a photo of the grad, or even form photos into a memorable piece of art like the Class of 2017 one above! If art or photography aren't your grad's thing, stationary is another great gift that they probably won't think to buy for themselves!

Do you have a grad in your life?

This post was not monetarily sponsored by Minted, however I did receive free product in exchange for posting my honest opinions!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Introducing Khaleesi...

Here she is! The newest little addition to my household is finally here, and to say I'm obsessed with this little cutie is an understatement. Khaleesi (her name, and yes it's from Game of Thrones 😉 ) is a blue merle australian shepherd puppy and is a little over 2 months old. Although she's my roommate's dog, I've definitely had a lot of the responsibility for her these past few days! But my roommate gets overnight duty where she deals with the crying, so I'm thankful I don't have to deal with that. I just get all the play time, cuddles, and the occasional bathroom mess. 

Sometimes I just catch myself staring at her because she's too cute to even be real! But then she reminds me of her flaws when she pees on the floor, potty training is very difficult, haha! In the end though she is so worth all the trouble, and is the most cuddly pup you will ever meet. She is so sweet, barely makes a peep unless she's playing tug of war, and loves to be held. It's so funny to watch her bounce around, chew on her toys, and then slump over into a nap (did I mention she LOVES to nap??) My favorite thing though is to watch her go upstairs, because she gets so confused as how to get down! 

Australian Sheperds are super smart dogs, so training has already been pretty easy for her as well. She's very good at 'sit' and is slowly recognizing her name. Now if only she could learn where to go to the bathroom...

Do you have a pet? Did you ever potty train a puppy? If so I would love any tricks and tips!! Also you can follow Khaleesi on Instagram if you want to keep updated with tons of cute photos!

Monday, March 13, 2017

Instagram Lately

Hope you're all having a great Monday! This Instagram roundup is long overdue, and is coming at a great time because just came out with their new app that makes it SO much easier to shop my Instagrams! I for one am not a fan of getting emails from (anyone else hate extra emails?) so being able to screenshot images and have them all saved in one app is great. You can download the app here, sign up, and screenshot away! I included some simple instructions below just in case you're still confused!
I've been using the app myself (because I too shop via Instagram sometimes, haha!) and I love that everything is in one place. It makes things so much easier, and it really doesn't take much effort on my part to screenshot an image! It's also easier for me because my phone is a HOT MESS. I have so many photos of random things, and I used to just screenshot photos from Instagram that I loved and wanted to save for later, but would never be able to find them with how many images I have. So this is also just incredibly convenient if you're like me. If you've downloaded the app let me know what you think of it! Okay, now onto the actual Insta photos!

 Outfit post for this photo HERE

Shoes [Shade: Taupe]

Top | Jeans | Monogram Necklace | Bracelets (currently all on sale!!): 1 2 3 (use code SAMIMAST15 for 15% off)

What would you like to see more of on my Instagram?
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