My Style: Spring Essentials

F21 Top {old} | Zara Shorts | gifted Anuja Tolia Necklace | Aldo Handbag {similar} | Target Sandals

A fun fact: I've attempted to DIY this necklace, I tried using gold safety pins strung on a gold chain. It was a DIY fail and I have a million gold safety pins in a craft box in my basement as a result. So when Anuja Tolia kindly sent me this necklace to style, I was beyond thrilled. Like I've said before, I prefer to keep my accessories minimal but highlight one or two statement pieces, often necklaces {I've just added these rings & this bracelet to my wish list as well}. This necklace helped jazz up a little print remix {also seen here} that I wore to drinks {hello patio weather} & a movie {Oblivion - a must see} with Cody this past weekend!

Shop Anuja Tolia:


My Style: Lace Top

gifted Zamrie Lace Top | Gap Jeans | J.Crew Factory Clutch {old} | Target Sandals | Gap Sunnies

So, I chopped my hair. At least six inches, gone in the blink of an eye. And.it.felt.amazing. No tears were shed, I promise {though, maybe check back in a few days}. I came to the realization a few weeks ago that it is just hair, it will grow, and by my wedding, it will be just the right length. Time to check this task off on my 25 in 25 list {and add $50 to the savings account}. Other than 'the big haircut', Cody and I spent the weekend enjoying the beautiful weather and I even managed to catch a showing of 'Rock of Ages' with my mom on Friday night. What did you do this past weekend?!


Happy Friday

Well, we made it to Friday! I'm still recovering from last weekend's epic wedding and hoping that my brother and sister-in-law are enjoying sunny Jamaica right now! Tonight I am spending the evening dining with my mom and catching a showing of 'Rock of Ages' at the Civic Center. Tomorrow will be spent getting a new hair cut (saying hello to a lob- long bob-of sorts - eek!) and babysitting my three little cousins. Sunday will be dedicated to working on all my little projects that I can't do during the week {darn that full time job!} for Go Blog Social & the Midwest Style Bloggers - and hopefully doing it from my porch as there is supposed to be some gorgeous weather this weekend!

Have a splendid weekend! 



Shopping Cart: Rory Beca

I have a thing for jumpsuits {last seen here} and this Rory Beca number isn't helping my case. Paired with this metallic floral necklace, this look is my jam.


Closet Craving: Transition Pieces

With warmer temps finally on the horizon, I can finally transition my wardrobe to accommodate the heat {and by heat, I mean low 70s}. This maxi skirt is easily remixed for a weekend at the pool, a lacy top transitions from a sexy/cool vibe to music festival ready, Lollapalooza, perhaps, and that white blouse taken from winter to spring for a summer office look, trendy yet professional. Are you more apt to remix your wardrobe or swap out winter with your summer pieces?


Travel in Style

Truth be told, traveling often gives me anxiety {lost luggage, delayed flights, etc.}. But the secret to a stress-free trip is to pack just the right carry on. A carry-all tote with a wallet that can double as a clutch, foldable flats to get through airport security, a magazine & laptop to make it through your flight {or being delayed}, a sweater that can double as a blanket, and of course once you land, a swipe of lipstick and shades to mask any sleep lines!  Don't forget a cute pair of heels to switch into!


 HP + Intel want you to Pin Your Style! For a chance to win prizes like HP Envy 4 Touchsmart Ultrabook™  or a gift card to bring your style to life, HP has teamed up with Project Runway. All you have to do is pin a photo collage that includes the HP Envy 4 Touchsmart Ultrabook™ in correlation with this week's theme, Travel in Style. Then use the Pin It button on the Pin Your Style contest pageDon't forget to share your board with friends to earn the most votes! Click here to enter, happy pinning!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective, and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own. Thank you for supporting content that makes The Brunette One possible.


Your Life, Styled: The Rehearsal Dinner

On Wednesday we traveled up to Minneapolis to get a head start on my brother's wedding festivities taking place on Saturday. Yesterday, it started to do this rain/sleet and eventually snow mix which threw a bit of a wrench into travel plans, however; safely, slowly, and surely guests have started to arrive by planes, trains, and automobiles. We will spending the afternoon getting pampered with manicures and pedicures and tonight we have their rehearsal & dinner to follow. While I didn't quite pack for the weather, I most definitely packed for the events. This dress happened to fall into my hands when I went to get my watch resized, as did a sweater to match. Sometimes you just have to treat yourself, right? 

Hoping everyone survives this crazy weather sweeping the midwest, and here's hoping to not writing about the weather next week. 


Friends & Family Event: Shopbop

You have until 11:59 PST tonight to take advantage of Shopbop's latest sale. If I were you, I would pick up a new crossbody for spring, these sandals, and a flirty dress...or two.

The Brunette One Gets Married: Traditional vs. Rustic

Cody & I decided where to have our reception
Make sure to find out all the details over here on Grey Likes Weddings!

Image Sources: Rustic Reception Venue via Style Me Pretty  shot by Mark Brooke| Modern Romantic Reception Venue via Style Me Pretty shot by shot by Aaron Delesie


Midwest Style Bloggers

Things have been quite busy around these parts! A few Midwestern bloggers {Lauren, Maya & Katelyn, and I} have officially launched the Midwest Style Bloggers site.

Starting in May, the blog will start having daily posts from all different Midwest Style Bloggers! It will be a great way to connect, network, and meet like-minded style mavens. 

With summer coming up, we would love to share some traveling tips from bloggers around the Midwest - from Minnetonka to Des Moines. We're asking bloggers to share their favorite sights, eats, hometown secrets, and whatever else you think a traveler would need to know coming to your city! Feel free to share tips and tricks from any other vacations you go on as well, we could always use more European getaway photos! Sound good? Let us know if you're up for the challenge! Email us @ Midweststylebloggers@gmail.com and we'll feature you on the blog, our new "travels" page and more.

If you're blogging from the Midwest, be sure to join the party! We'd love to share all the talent & creativity (as well as small businesses) hailing from the heartland! We plan on hosting a meet up this summer at the Go Blog Social  conference in Kansas City this August {have you gotten your ticketyet?!}

If you're interested in joining the Midwest Style Bloggers collective, please email me at: thebrunetteone@live.com!

Find us & join the conversation on our blogFacebookPinterest & Twitter!

Boston, You're My Home

Sometimes, I feel there are not enough words to make things right and the whole world should remain still and silent, if just for a moment. To remember, to pray, and to love. Life is too damn short. Unjust and monstrous moments in time occur. It is in these moments we must be kind to one another, hold onto one another, and to love one another because we only have this one wild and precious life.

To all in Boston: my heart, my thoughts, and my prayers go out to you.


My Style: Concert Attire

A glimpse into my everyday musings...When teaching my ballet class last Monday evening, the sun was shining late into the evening, the smell of grills firing up in the distance filled our senses, and the opened windows allowed a warm breeze to make its way into the studio. I literally stopped in the middle of our bar warm up to exclaim, “Doesn’t it just smell like Spring? I love it!” I believe is what the doctors could diagnose as spring fever. Cue the weather forecast to see if patio weather was in my near future as I was banking on dining al fresco for my birthday on Thursday. Flurries, high 37 degrees. Sometimes Mother Nature can be a real B, thanks for the 25th birthday present, not. But alas, I’m happy to report that the spring wardrobe I was planning to bust out can still be brought to fruition in small doses, with the help of one trusty accessory, tights. This pair of jet black tights {these are under $6!} will be getting me through these last few weeks of Mother Nature’s confusing weather patterns. This is what I ended up wearing to a Sunday evening spent with Bon Jovi with my mom and aunt! 

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective, and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own. Thank you for supporting content that makes The Brunette One possible. 


Happy Friday

Thank you so much for your many kind words yesterday. What a day! Woke up to breakfast in bed and an easy day at the office. Rounded out my afternoon with a mani & pedi at Salon Spa W {make sure to ask for Kelly} and dinner with my best friend & momma at Centro. Despite the nasty weather, I forged ahead with wearing a bright outfit to work {bright yellow trousers were no match for the wind & rain} and even wore my birthday dress sans tights AND with open-toed heels

This weekend will be spent continuing the birthday celebration birthday dinners planned for tonight and tomorrow night - I have three desserts already piling up in my fridge just waiting to be devoured once I come out of food coma from all these dinners. Birthdays may be the best excuse to overdose on chocolate cake & cheesecake if you ask me! 

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

PS. Not even a day over 25 and I'm making headway with my 25 in 25 list. I tried a new-to-me veggie/plant last night, portobello mushroom fries, and my mom signed me up for a few classes at a local gym to get me started on my new work out kick. I even signed up to do the Color Run with my best friend in July. This is gunna be a good year. 


Twenty Five

Today, I’m a quarter of a century old. I saw this on Facebook the other day and couldn’t help but chuckle to myself. I know I’m getting older and time flies much too fast for my liking. But twenty five will be a great year, yet hard to beat twenty four {I switched jobs, TBO took off, I got engaged, just to name a few things…}. I have put together a list of twenty five things I hope to accomplish this next year, much to the tune of this list. 

1.    Read 10+ new books {I didn't get the nickname Books in middle school for nothing...}
2.    Take more photography classes & a graphic design class.
3.    Attend a blogging conference….in New York…and attend a show or two while I’m there. {September 2013 via Wallis Fashion}
4.    Establish an LLC for The Brunette One and start working on the next phases of my little corner of the internet. {July 2013}
5.    Plan at least two events for the Des Moines Fashion & Beauty Bloggers.
6.    Truly enjoy our engagement and try to accomplish all of our wedding to-dos by my 26th birthday {April 11, 2014}, hopefully everything will be set for our May 31st, 2014 nuptials.
7.    Decorate at least two rooms in our townhome – and photograph them for TBO.
8.    Scrutinize my closet and donate, store, or toss all the things I never wear.
9.    Throw my first dinner party.
10. Invest in a classic, timeless handbag.
11. Take up ballroom dancing, again. {I took it in college, obsessed.}
12. Make it a habit to work out – take a class, sign up for a gym membership, and train for a race? – Disclaimer – I am not a runner. {Signed up for The Color Run – Des Moines on July 13}
13. Send more handwritten notes, thank yous, just thinking of you cards.
14. Take a spontaneous trip with my fiancĂ© and visit a city we’ve never been before.
15. Throw out twenty five things and do not replace them.
16. Eat our way through Des Moines – discover at least ten new restaurants.
17. Take a cooking class.
18. Invest in a few cookbooks or just finally use those recipes I’ve pinned on Pinterest – and cook 25 new recipes.
19. Find the perfect little black dress.
20. Read every Jane Austen novel. {Does not count for #1}.
21. Cut my hair – thinking of a LOB {this may have to wait until June 2014 – post wedding cut}. {See here}
22. Establish an editorial calendar for features like My Style, Nine to Five, Your Life, Styled.
23. Have a staycation in Des Moines this summer.
24. Try five new foods.
25. Put $50 into savings for every goal accomplished {$1250, baby}.

Cheers to 25


A Touch of Luxury

When finding yourself in a wardrobe rut, there's nothing better than swiping on a bold lip and grabbing a chic printed tote to carry your daytime essentials, eg. a wallet, extra hair ties, cosmetic bag, a novel & of course a laptop. It's the little details added to your routine that can make one feel quite luxurious! This monochromatic look is inspired by the sophisticated and timeless beauties, Grace & Audrey. One can't help but feel fancy in this twirl-worthy outfit.


I've partnered up with HP + Intel + Project Runway to introduce you to an exciting contest where you can win prizes like an HP Spectre XT Touchsmart Ultrabook™ and a gift card to bring your style to life by getting the top votes for your board. Want to participate? It's easy:

Pin a photo of the HP Spectre XT Touchsmart Ultrabook™ via the Pin It button on the Pin Your Style contest page. Then, build a board that represents that week's theme. Check out the weekly Pinsetter images on the site for inspiration.

Submit your board's URL into the site to enter. Then, share your board with friends to earn the most votes!

Good luck!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective, and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own. Thank you for supporting content that makes The Brunette One possible. 


The Brunette One Gets Married: Grey Likes Weddings


If I don’t do enough things outside of my day job already, you can now find me documenting our wedding planning adventures {The Brunette One Gets Married} over on the charming wedding site, Grey Likes Weddings. I was recently selected as one of their Blogstress Mavens {you can find my posts under Lady Brunette – it was only fitting} and will be writing about our wedding adventures over the year to come! My first post just went live and I can’t wait to share our journey with all of you – first up – the inspiration board I put together for our special day! So many things to catch you up on; we have selected our venues, the bridal parties, and I have even said “Yes to the Dress”! Stay tuned for my weekly column to watch it all unfold on Grey Likes Weddings this year!

Image Sources: Pink + Navy Color Palette via The Sweetest Occasion  | Bridal Portrait via Style Me Pretty shot by Paper Antler | Mumford & Sons Print via First Snow Fall | Table Decor via 100 Layer Cake shot by Life in Balance | Groom’s Suit via Wedding Chicks shot by Jesse Leake Photography | Wedding Programs via Style Me Pretty shot by Paper Antler | Couple Shot via Once Wed shot by Josh Gruetzmacher | Cake via Style Me Pretty shot by Heather Waraksa

My Style: Floral Shorts

For the record, on April 7th, it was officially warm enough to shed my jacket. Sunday morning we gathered to celebrate Katelyn's 22nd birthday on Sunday with a bombshell brunch at Americana with a few close friends. We may have had too many mimosas, but a much needed Sunday Funday. And these shorts? Already plotting their next wear, I am saving the matching top for a birthday celebration next weekend {I turn 25 on Thursday...eek}!

And because I never take myself too seriously...just dancing in the middle of the park!



Getting lost in a new book with a warm cup of tea {I have a black tea addiction} in my new hand-painted mug. 

Truth, I am not a morning person. I hit the snooze button five times, race out the door, and make it to work just past 8 o'clock, on a good day. I spend my days in a grey cubical in front of two large computer screens {our company is moving into a new renovated building in July - natural light, lots of white, and even sit-to-stand desks..it's the little things people}. You can usually find me updating our database for our online merchandise catalog {I buy for video games, health & fitness, and pets, whoohoo!} and researching amenities for our event management programs that operate in San Diego all the way to South Africa. 

Once five o'clock rolls around, I high-tail it home. Monday evenings you can find me teaching ballet in the East Village. Every other night of the week I am usually out to dinner with my fiancĂ©, or we are parked on the couch, catching up on the latest shows {PLL is my guilty pleasure}. Between every day life happenings and my full time job, I find time to sit down and work on my labor of love, my little corner of the internet, The Brunette One

Here is a glimpse of a week in my life. How I relax, where I find my inspiration, and even a sneak peek into a project my bestie, Katelyn, and I are working on!

Friday night agenda consisting of a pink mani & testing some beauty products courtesy of BirchBox.

Katelyn capturing the action during our video shoot at Meredith.

The editor's goodies from her home made for the most fitting props for the shoot.


Weekend Shop: Joie A La Plage Roque Slide Sandals

A must-have addition to your spring & summer wardrobe. 


Your Life, Styled: Step into Spring with Wallis

In honor of my participation in the Wallis Fashion U.S. Blogger Ambassador challenge {you can vote once a day until April 9}, I've put together two different looks that I'm itching to try for spring. Here is my take on the printed trend for spring. A classic, feminine pairing with this printed dress & blush accessories {just received these flats c/o Wallis - such a closet staple} vs. an edgier vibe with a leather jacket and white & metallic heels.  I can't wait to invest in those white heels. What can I say, I have a mild shoe addiction?!

Which look is more your style?

Shopping Cart: BaubleBar

One | Two | ThreeFour | Five

When it comes to accessorizing, I usually keep things simple. I keep a rotation of necklaces I've picked up over the past few years (mainly from BaubleBar) that seem to go with everything in my closet. In a bind, this or this necklace usually do the trick. But last weekend, I pulled the trigger and updated my collection - plus I had a few vault points just burning a hole in my pocket. The four necklaces on the sides I found through their "Look of the Week" posts about the art of layering. Great marketing - I bought it; hook, line, and sinker. And that middle piece, man, that's my kind of statement necklace.

Happy Friday!


Event: Go Blog Social Conference


Thanks to the wonderful world of blogging, I’ve been able to make some pretty great friends – if not real life friends, definitely internet blogger besties. Last fall, Kat was gracious enough to host me for KCFW and let me tag along to meet a handful of other KC bloggers for the weekend. I love the community that Kansas City offers its fashion, beauty, and lifestyle bloggers and can only hope that Katelyn and I can start to form that here in Des Moines. But while that may be a work in progress, I bring some amazing news to us Midwestern Bloggers. Kat and her good friend, Sarah Scoop, have announced the launch of Go Blog Social Conference that will be taking place in Kansas City this summer.

Go Blog Social is by bloggers, for bloggers. Kat and Sarah decided to launch this conference to find a better want to connect-the-dots between businesses and bloggers. This conference is all about doing just that, all while having fun and getting social. GBS will feature some talented speakers with great topics that can relate to bloggers of all shape, size, reach, and topic. And this limited-seat conference will give tons of one-on-one opportunities to meet businesses and other like-minded social media/blog lovers. I am lucky enough to help the duo, bringing in my experience in event planning. I am too excited for words!

So now is where you come in. Tickets will be up and available soon for purchase. But in the meantime, the Go Blog Social crew is looking for a group of talented guys & gals that want to help make this conference happen. Yes, that means interns/volunteers! Want to help us launch a blog conference? If the answer is yes and you happen to have some great skills in the social media, graphic design and/or events, department - we need your assistance! The perks, you get to attend the conference for FREE. Check out the website listings for social media, graphic design and events openings and send in your applications by April 10 to be considered. For other inquiries, ideas or if you're interested to be a speaker/panelist, please contact us at info@goblogsocial.com.
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