What To Do When You Lose A Pet

by The Classic Brunette, 4:00:00 AM

Last Tuesday my family had to put down my little sweetheart Baby due to kidney disease. This isn't my first time losing one of my cats though. In middle school and high school I lost the two cats I had had since birth, two other tough losses. Baby's passing, however feels different somehow. I think it's because I was here from the start of him and his brother Tux's introduction into our family, whereas with my old cats they were already older than I was, and my parents had raised them from kittens to 20+ years old. Obviously I loved them dearly, but I feel I've taken Baby's death much harder than theirs. Baby was one of my best friends, and will forever be a part of me.  

I was having a rough time these past few days, and decided to google what others have said about the loss of a pet, but didn't really find anything. So I decided to write a post of my own to maybe help someone out there if they unfortunately have to go what I'm going through now. This is just what has personally worked for me in helping, at least a little in Baby's passing. Hopefully this advice will help someone else as well.

1. Don't Be Selfish

We had known for a few years that Baby had kidney disease. He was getting by and was happy as can be, but the weekend before his passing he was suddenly not himself. He wasn't eating or drinking, and spent all of his time on the floor and trying to hide from us. It was clear that something was wrong, but we all, myself especially, wanted to pretend that it wasn't as bad as it was. If your pet isn't acting like themselves, especially if they aren't eating or drinking, take them to the vet to see what's happening. Hopefully it's just a cold, but if it is something more serious, I urge you to think about how your pet wants to spend his/her last days. If they will be suffering in any way and aren't going to be able to live "their best life" then consider putting them out of their suffering. For Baby, he had gone into liver failure, and there's nothing we could have done, unless we wanted to give him fluids to keep him for another few days, which would have been completely unfair to do to him. I made this my first piece of advice because it was so hard for me to see that it was my cat's time to go, since I didn't want my time with him to end. Please please please don't be selfish with your pet's time.

2. Allow Yourself To Grieve

I've been crying all week. I cried when I thought he was just sick and might get better, I cried when my mom said we should make an appointment with the vet, and I cried when he took his final breath in my arms. I cried and cried and cried, and I'm still crying. If you're like me, your pets are your best friends. They've been with you for years, you can talk with them about anything, and they are your family. Losing a pet is a huge loss, and it will take a lot of time, so let yourself grieve as long as you need to.

3. Let Your Other Pets Grieve

Baby's brother Tux is still with us and we were worried how he was going to take Baby's passing. We normally have a vet come to our home, but unfortunately she was booked that day, so we took Baby to a pet hospital, but then brought him home for our regular vet to pick him up that night. Our vet said it was important to let Tux see Baby's body, so we let him come up to him, smell him, and notice that he wasn't reacting to him anymore. It's an important step in your other pet's grieving process so they have some understanding that he/she is gone and that they weren't taken somewhere and never came back. Tux still searches for Baby in the house, which is 100% normal. It's very sad to watch, but eventually they will come to understand. Pets can grieve just like humans, especially if your pets knew each other for many many years. Try your best to give them some extra love during this time, it's hard for them too.

4. Always Remember The Good Times

Try your best not to remember your pet as sick or in pain, they wouldn't want you to have that as your last memories of them. It helps me to remember all the cute little things that were just so "Baby." Things like how he liked to sharpen his claws on walls, even though he didn't have any. If you focus on the happy times, it will hopefully bring you happiness instead of sadness. Do I still think of all the cute things he used to do and cry about it because I miss him? Of course I do. But I want to remind myself of these happy memories of him so that I will always have them in my mind when I think of him in the future.

Sorry this post was a little different and more personal than normal, but I really felt like I needed to write this, even if it was just to help myself in this process. Hopefully this will reach someone who needs it.

Dedicated to Baby, AKA: My sweet little prince, Buhbee, Babel, Signature prime Baby, Mr.Baby, Pretty boy. I hope you gained your claws over the Rainbow Bridge.

I'll start off this post by saying that this topic has been on my mind for a while now and it may end up as a bit of a jumble of thoughts. As many of you know, I'm a history major at Chapman University. Now let me also add that I was never the person who questioned what I would major in while I was deciding what school I would attend. I had always loved history, and in fact, I essentially had a 10 year plan that would end with me getting a PhD in American History and working at a Smithsonian museum. Anyone that knows me can tell you what a huge history nerd I am, and that I love spewing all of my favorite weird and hysterical facts and stories from history. However, last year I realized that there might be something that wasn't clicking anymore with my future ambitious plans. I realized there was a difference between a passion for learning, and a passion for doing. 

I have a huge passion for history. I love to learn all the interesting facts that other people might find boring, and I love knowing whats happened in the past to make us all who we are. But, I didn't love what I could do with history. I don't love research papers, I don't love giving historical presentations, and I just can't see myself entering that field anymore. I love going to museums, but I now know that I would much rather be wandering through one looking at the artifacts than trying to run the museum itself. 

Of course, in recognizing this I hit a bit of a wall. My first thought was that it's way too late to change my major, and I don't want to go back to school to learn something completely new. I thought I had wasted the last three years of college in something that I didn't want to pursue anymore and I was very lost and confused. I did however understand what direction I wanted to go in. 
I've been blogging for two years now and I'm obsessed with it. I love taking e-courses in my spare time to help grow my blog, and I love understanding social media and marketing strategies. I have a passion for writing, blogging, and everything that comes with it. I don't mind taking the time to learn more about this potential field in my spare time because it doesn't feel like a chore. I get excited when I realize there are new ways to grow my business or expand my reach. I have the passion for it and the passion to do it. Although I'm a few years late on figuring out that I want to work somewhere in this industry, I know that all hope isn't lost for me.

Yes I've spent my years in college studying something that won't exactly guide me on my way to professional writing, blogging, PR, social media, etc. But, I'm still able to take control now and steer myself in the direction I'd like to go. History has given me the advantage of learning how to become a better writer (via the huge amount of papers I've had to write and my upcoming thesis...) as well as giving me a great deal of info on how to do better research on any topic. So I know I'm not completely starting from scratch. In my years of blogging I've self-taught myself a number of important things that I'm sure I would have learned if I had been taking classes in this field. So not only am I not starting from scratch, I actually have a pretty defined foothold in this career path. 

In an attempt to lead myself into this new direction I'm also trying to put more emphasis on my blog and make it as good as possible. I also applied to be an intern with an online blogging network (woohoo catch me in the fall as a Style Guru with College Fashionista!), and will be taking as many classes in public relations and social media marketing as I'm allowed. I'll also be searching for more ebooks, ecourses, and other information so I can stay afloat with the other soon to be college grads who actually studied this information for four years. 

I wanted to write this post because I know there are so many others like me who feel like they're stuck in a major and that they now are forced into a certain career path. I'm here to tell you that it's never too late to change your path and strive for what you really want. All you have to do is put forth some effort and work your way up to where you want to be.

As long as you are actively trying to figure out where you want to end up and are trying to take the steps to get there whether this be through experience, internships, jobs, more school, or something else, you'll be okay.

Anyone else feeling/felt this way?

Second Blog Anniversary Q&A

by The Classic Brunette, 5:00:00 AM

It's my second Blogiversary!! Well, it was on August 2nd, haha. I actually thought that my anniversary was on the 8th, but when I went to check it was on the 2nd. So this is why this post is a week late, but either way I'm still very excited about celebrating my two years with this blog that has become such a huge part of my life. Also, did you know these cool fun number balloons cost $10?!?! Something I didn't know when I went to get one, but they're a little worth it, right? 

I decided to do another Q&A post for the anniversary because I have a much larger audience than I had last year, and I wanted to open up the floor to you all to get to know me and my blog a little better. So without further ado...

How Has Your Blog Changed Your Life?

I want to start this answer out by saying that creating this blog has changed my life in practically every way possible. I now think in the mindset of "a blogger" pretty much constantly. If I'm eating I'll be like "that would make a nice photo for instagram" or if I'm walking around and see someone with a cute outfit I'll take that as inspiration to write a new outfit post. This can be a bit weird at times, but it doesn't mean everything I do in my life has to be about my blog. I'm still a regular person, haha! 

Blogging has also made me a stronger person with some of the negative comments and people out there (though thankfully there haven't been many!), and it's surprisingly made me a better business woman. I really had no idea about the business side of blogging when I started The Classic Brunette, but there's so much that goes into it, most of it being about marketing. It's also changed some of the dynamics with my friends and family since they've most likely had some part in the blogging process whether it be through taking photos or helping me brainstorm post ideas. Honestly blogging has changed so much and has become such a huge part of my life that I don't really remember what I was doing before blogging...

What Has Been The Biggest Challenge With Starting Your Blog?

I think I would have to say trying to design my blog and do everything myself. You may have seen me freaking out the other day when I accidentally changed a little thing in my coding and essentially ruined my whole blog's layout. I no joke started having a panic attack because I didn't know what to do and thought I had ruined everything that I had worked on these past two years in a millisecond. I had a lovely woman from one of my blogging Facebook groups help me out, but doing things yourself can get messy. So trying to figure things out is a real challenge when you basically have no idea what you're doing half the time! 

Another issue that I struggle with is budgeting my time between blogging and school. Since I'm in college and running this blog, I have a lot on my plate. I have photoshoots, location scouting, social media, writing posts, editing, etc for the blog along with all my school work. I have to take the time to make sure I'm organized enough to get everything done on time, which sometimes gets out of control. There were a few weeks last year that I just couldn't get my posts up on time because of finals or stress. It's a challenge to make everything work, but I enjoy it so much that I'm not too bothered by it. This coming year I'll have an internship and probably a job that will be added to the mix, so we'll see how that plays out!

Which Platform Do You Recommend New Bloggers Start Out?

There are so many choices you can make when choosing your blog platform: blogger, wordpress, squarespace, weebly, etc. I personally love Blogger. I've been on blogger for my entire blogging career and I honestly don't think I'll ever leave it. I toyed with the idea of switching over to Wordpress in the future since most "big" bloggers end up going there, however there are a few who remain on Blogger and are completely fine. It's so easy and simple to use, and I honestly just don't want to deal with learning a whole new platform just yet. I think Blogger is great for this reason as well. It's very user friendly and extremely simple! 

What Is Your Favorite Movie?

This is such a hard question for me. Seriously I'm probably the biggest movie buff and I have so many favorites that I love. I'm a huge fan of anything comedy, so I would say my two favorites are Bride Wars (yes, that horribly cheesy wedding movie with Anne Hathaway and Kate Hudson), and This is the End. I also am obsessed with The Blind Side even though I don't really like football, haha!

How Do You Get Your Eyelashes So Thick/Long?

I was seriously gifted with the best eyelashes in the genetic lottery. I have naturally dark and long lashes, but I normally layer a few different mascaras to really intensify them. I use Doucce's Punk Volumizing mascara, Covergirl Lash Bloom, and I recently got a sample of Urban Decay's Perversion mascara which is seriously AMAZING.

What Is Your Favorite Form Of Social Media?

Another tough one, but I would have to say it's a tie between Instagram and Pinterest. I love Instagram because I feel like I can connect to you all a lot better and you can't really beat seeing all the highlights of your day to day life in one place. I also love Pinterest because I get so much inspiration on there! I essentially use Pinterest like Google most of the time when I'm looking for something to eat, do, or make. So I would say Instagram is my favorite for both blogging and personal reasons, but Pinterest is mostly personal since it's difficult to connect with readers there!

What Are Your Blogging Goals For Your Next Blog Anniversary?

I always make my number one goal to remain consistent with my blogging. I want to commit to my two posts a week without skipping! I also hope to at least double my readership, but I also want to connect with my readers more. I love responding to all of the wonderful comments I get here and on social media, and it's so incredible to see how far my blog has come in these two years, I can't wait to see what will happen in year three. 

A huge thank you to everyone who has read my blog, helped me out here, left a kind comment or sent me an email. You all mean so much to me and I'm glad I can provide happiness and inspiration to you. This blog has grown into a job that I love doing, and I really have you all to thank! 

The Best Face Masks To Fit Your Budget

by The Classic Brunette, 5:00:00 AM

When I was younger I always thought of face masks as something that only existed in a spa-type environment. I pictured ladies getting manicures in white fluffy robes with some type of mask on their face, cucumber slices on their eyes, and soothing music playing in the background. I don't think I realized they could be done at home until my freshman year of high school, when I was at a sleepover and my friend had a few different face masks in her vanity cabinet. I'm not sure how I was in the dark for so long about these magical little beauties, but I'm so glad I've been using them ever since!

I've had my go-to face masks through the years, but none have ever truly done anything than just make me feel like I'm pampering myself. I decided that I was going to do a little research, with the help of some wonderful companies, and see which masks really work like they say they will. I was given the chance to try a number of masks, all at different budgets, and thought I would create this handy guide for you all! So without further ado, here's what's been in my face mask arsenal lately.

Masks From Kollection K

All these masks are from the Korean beauty website Kollection K, and are all in the sheet mask style. I don't know if y'all have ever seen what sheet masks look like, but they're a little terrifying. I'll spare you the pictures of me in one of them, but here's me holding one up. 

My mom said I looked like a ghost in it, although I kind of thought I looked like a feature-less person. Either way, they're a little funky! But, I have to say, they work wonders. Here's what I tried from Kollection K...

These two masks are very similar. Like the packaging says, the Strawberry mask is for brightening and revitalizing and the Lemon one is for moisturizing and brightening. I have to say, the lemon one really did smell like lemons! It was fresh, and gave me that spa-like feeling when using it. The strawberry one however didn't really smell like strawberries, it did smell delicious and fruity, but I couldn't exactly figure out what the scent was. Both masks were extremely moisturizing and I felt like I didn't need to put on any lotion for days after!

Y'all I loved these masks. I've seen these before and I knew I had to try them if I had the chance. The Red Wine mask makes me feel like I woke up with perfect skin. It shrinks and de-clutters your pores, seriously my face felt so clean! With the Makgeolli mask it was the same way, my skin felt refreshed and clear. It's the perfect thing to use if you feel like your face just isn't getting clean with your everyday cleanser!

Glam Rock Mask (c/o) - 1 for $3.80

First things first, this peach mask smelled AMAZING. Seriously if I didn't think I would die from the chemicals I would have eaten it since it smelled so good. I didn't see too much change with my skin with this one, although the scent lasted for a while, so if you just want to smell delicious it's a keeper!

I was really excited to try the Aloe mask since I have particularly dry skin and have heard wonderful things about the Beauty in a Food mask line. It's supposed to be for deep moisture, and it works wonderfully! My skin didn't need lotion for 2 whole days, and in my book that's a win.

Okay, let's be honest, I really liked this last Glam Rock face mask because it looked like I was headed for some type of spa masquerade ball. It's supposed to prevent wrinkles and lift the skin under the eyes. I did notice that the bags under my eyes were a little less...baggy, but other than that I didn't see too much else with this one!

Masks From Peach and Lily 

Although Peach and Lily is well known for the great Korean skincare they sell, (seriously they sent me this power toner and this cream and I'm obsessed!!) the sheet masks they carry are also incredible! Both of these masks claim to have calming effects, and I think they really live up to that. My face sometimes has red patches, especially during the hot summer, and after using these masks it neutralized my skin and got rid of the red! Plus, they both smell amazing, very herbal and, well, calming! I think these masks are perfect for the days when you're feeling stressed out and need to unwind. They put you in a relaxing mood and will make all your problems melt away.

Face Masks From Farmacy

I loved these masks. Each one was different, but blended so well with the other two that I completely understand why they're paired together in this medley. Together they make your face feel smoother, less irritated, calmer, and more energized. If you're feeling like your skin isn't getting the love it deserves lately, you definitely need to treat yourself to these masks. It will make you feel like you're getting a fresh face! Who knew I would end up loving a mask made from kale, broccoli, and cucumber!

Masks From Manuka Doctor

I was a little bit nervous trying this mask since it contains bee venom, (YES, you read that right!) but it ended up being my favorite of the bunch! It honestly makes me feel like I refreshed my whole face and gained a new, tighter layer of skin. I swear I looked in the mirror after using this mask and thought I had lost a little weight in my face just from using it, maybe it was just my optimistic thoughts kicking in, but whatever it was, my skin looked 10x better after this! It feels very calming and cooling on the skin, exactly the opposite of what I thought it would be, and I will most definitely be ordering another one of these after this one runs out!

Have you tried any of these masks? Do you have a favorite face mask you swear by? I would love to know in the comments!

Products were provided by Kollection K, Peach and Lily, Farmacy, and Manuka Doctor for review purposes, however all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make The Classic Brunette possible!