Your Life, Styled: New Year's Eve

NYE Options

Well, it's time to toast to 2013 and welcome 2014 with open arms. 2013 just might have been my best year yet... I've been planning our wedding, turned 25,  chopped my hair for the first time in years, formed an LLC, represented Wallis at NYFW and was featured on The Huffington Post, represented TBO at WWDMAGIC, started freelance writing and styling, took a promotion at my day job, and this past Christmas we rescued Lola. And that was just naming the big things, whewww. Let's just say that I couldn't be more thankful for those in my life who continue to love and support this passion of mine and keep me sane during this wedding planning process.  I've been counting my blessings and can only imagine that 2014 will bring a whole new set of adventures, starting with our biggest one yet. Our wedding! We are officially 5 months out as of today, so let the countdown begin to 5.31.14!

To ring in the new year, I will be headed to Jenny's with a few others. I plan on wearing one of the three looks above, tell me, what is your favorite? I'm sure it will be a last minute, split second decision. What are you doing this New Year's? Staying in? Painting the town red? Let me know!

Black Sequin Pants

Gold Sequin Pants

Gold Sequin Dress


Merry + Happy: A Christmas Pup

I'd like to introduce to the newest addition to our family, Lola Bella. We rescued her this past weekend and she is the perfect Christmas gift. We are currently in the midst of a home test, but I have a feeling she may be around for the long haul. :) We wish everyone a very merry & happy holiday and safe travels over the next week! And if I haven't said it enough over the last few months, thank you for coming back each day and for making this year one of the best, The Brunette One wouldn't be what it is today without all of you! Make sure to stay tuned later this week for a quick announcement on the winner of the Serene Sky Boutique Giveaway! Otherwise I will be seeing you in the new year! 

Merry Christmas Eve!


Giveaway: Serene Sky Boutique

Back in August when I attended WWDMAGIC as one of their official bloggers, I was able to connect with numerous brands and kept note of brands I wasn't able to meet with in person. One of those brands that I was able to follow up with upon returning home was Serene Sky Boutique. This online jewelry boutique embraces the effortless California lifestyle. Each piece is handpicked for its unique design and quality. Not only do they offer what is fashionable and trendy, they love highlighting emerging designers. 

I've paired up with them to give you a chance to win a $25 gift card to Serene Sky Boutique

To enter, simply follow the steps in the Rafflecopter widget below! To be entered to win, you must complete each entry. Entries must be posted by the end of day Thursday, December 26th, and one winner will be chosen at random and announced on this post the following day. Good luck!
[No purchase necessary to enter, open to US readers only. $25 total value. Winner of the giveaway will be contacted via email once the giveaway closes and announced on this post soon after.]


My Style: Tweed Jacket

I wore this outfit  a few weekends ago,  a busy day full of blog work and many pre-holiday errands to run.  I loved that this blazer helped me look a bit more put together than my usual errand attire (yoga pants) and the leather trim added a bit of an unexpected edge. And those boots? Talk about an obsession. I debated for weeks on whether I should make the investment, and one day I caved. Let's just say my cost per wear has significantly gone down since making the purchase, these babies are my go-to and are so well made.  My Midwest Style Bloggers co-founders are each styling this jacket today so make sure to head over to the blog to see how they styled their jackets from Style Revel!

PS. Stay tuned tomorrow to see how you can win a gift card to Serene Sky Boutique!

Shop the Look:

Like the Jacket? Shop the Brand:


Merry + Happy: #uglyxmassoiree

Last Friday night a few of my very best girlfriends got together for a little soiree of the ugly sweater variety. Despite our choice in ugly sweaters {I DIY'd mine the night before!}, in our own ways we each still managed to glam up our look. I wore a gold flower pin from ban.do, Emily donned a fur vest, Jenny wore cluster pearl necklace, and Katelyn wore a glittery bow headband. 

We were blown away by Emily's tablescape and holiday decor, girl really outdid herself. By the end of the night we were full of champagne, the giggles, and had fantastic DIY headpieces to show for. Instead of a white elephant gift exchange, we each were instructed to bring a gift we would want ourselves. Gifts were attached to string and each string was wrapped throughout Emily's apartment, wherever we ended up, that was the gift we took home!

See all of our photos from Instagram!


My Style: Red Party Dress

BCBGMaxAzria Dress 

Shop the Look

With certain wardrobe purchases the moment you set your eyes on something, you just know that it must be made yours. I had this moment with this particular dress. I picked it up on an Instagram sale and had been counting down the days to my holiday party to wear it. The moment it arrived I tried it on and twirled around my living room. It's one of those dresses that just makes you feel so beautiful, girly, and fun! 


Merry + Happy: DIY Flower Pouf

While I've long been obsessed with ban.do, I don't always have the budget to splurge on my favorite stylish and playful hair accessories {though I've just add this and these to my Christmas Wish List}. So, this holiday season, I've taken the Pom Pom Flower into my own hands. 

Tulle or Fabric of Choice
Felt (color match to tulle)
Hot Glue/Gun
Hair Clip/Pin (or both)
Needle & Thread
Paper Plate

Step 1. Cut the edges off your paper plate, use the smaller circle as a template. Trace and cut out 10-15 (depending on the thickness of your flower). Tip: Fold the tulle and cut out all the layers at once. 

Step 2. Cut out two small circles from the felt. Stitch one tulle circle onto the felt as a 'base' layer. 

Step 3. Fold the remaining circles into quarters, sew the corner onto the center of the 'base' tulle layer/felt. Repeat with each tulle circle you cut out. Make as full of a flower as you wish. 

Step 4. Once each layer is sewn onto the 'base' tulle/felt layer, add hot glue to the back of the felt circle and cover it with the second felt circle. Hot glue your pin or clip (or both) to the backing. Let dry. 

There you have it, an easy and festive holiday DIY to adorn yourself for all of your festive soirees!


Merry + Happy: The Blogger Buzz December Edition

Sharing our stocking wishlists...
  • I already have a place picked out for this print in my living room! The room is basically British themed and I love how punchy and bright this is! Evelyn Henson is really fantastic!
  • This cake stand is so fun! I can just imagine putting fun cakes on this at the party I have to throw for my birthday bucket list
  • need this necklace! I love the script and I feel like it would be a staple in my wardrobe and I could layer it with other necklaces!
FIVE: Ashley Fine of One Fine Day
  • I'm smitten with Meg Gleason's work. The pops of color and two-centuries old letterpress from which her products are printed. I die. This hand-bound "letterquette" is just lovely!
  • Gin in a Teapot — I'm certain it was created with me in mind!
  • Being punctual never looked so sparkly. This watch from Kate Spade would look snazzy on my wrist.


Merry + Happy: Smart Couture Giveaway

I couldn't help but say "Yes!" when Smart Couture approached me about showcasing one of their pieces, I've already worn it more times then I can count! Smart Couture believes in elevating the typical cubical style by making a personal statement.  Since I'm a working girl, I'm always trying to find ways to stay excited about what I wear to the office and what better way to make a statement then this gorgeous necklace! This holiday season, Smart Couture and I are teaming up to give one of you lucky readers 'The Samantha' necklace! 

To enter, simply follow the steps in the Rafflecopter widget below! To be entered to win, the one mandatory entry is joining Smart Couture's newsletter. Entries must be posted by the end of day Monday, December 16th, and one winner will be chosen at random and announced on this post the following day. Good luck!
[No purchase necessary to enter, open to US readers only. $42 total value. Winner of the giveaway will be contacted via email once the giveaway closes and announced on this post soon after.]


My Style: Shimmer Party Dress

 gifted Lily & Violet Dress | Hanes Tights | DIY Flower Pouf {tutorial coming soon}

This past weekend was a bit of a whirlwind. Holiday parties, a late celebration of Thanksgiving Drinksgiving. I did as I intended on Sunday and spent the day cuddled up on the couch catching up on DVR while Mother Nature dropped a blanket of snow outside. 

Speaking of holiday parties, do you have any work parties on your calendar? Make sure to check out Lily and Violet's collection of  party dresses! I loved the subtle shimmer of this dress, and of course it's in my favorite hue. But I have my eye on this dress and this dress as well! 

Now until December 17th they are offering free shipping! So this is the time to pick up your party dress!


Merry + Happy: December Updates

image via

Is it me or is December this crazy for everyone else as well, and it's only day 5! I'm hoping to slow down a bit to really enjoy the holiday season as it took me awhile to get in the spirit. We put up our tree on Monday evening while watching Elf, it was perfect. I've spent the rest of this week adding holiday charm here and there to our house. Have you started decorating yet?!

Posts are a bit sporadic as real life is keeping me on my toes these days. If you don’t follow along on my Facebook or Instagram, I've started contributing to a few publications in addition to Grey Likes Weddings (which I will be posting to more in the next few weeks as I've finally started diving into the all the details). You can now find me writing for a local magazine as a style contributor, dmJuice and to Divine Caroline as their DIY contributor.

In addition to those freelance gigs, I've started really working on the details of our wedding as I mentioned earlier, we are now six months out (pinch me)! Where does the time go?! We just received second round of engagement photos, and we have been hard at work finalizing our guest list so we can send out our Save the Dates. I went through an internal debate between designing and printing my own, or use a service such as Minted or Wedding Paper Divas. I ended up designing them and will hopefully do the same for our invitation suites.  So if you don’t see me around much on the blog, know it’s because I've finally stopped procrastinating on the wedding front.

I have a few holiday posts lined up next week, but I won’t be doing a gift guide on the blog. Like I've mentioned last week, I've put together all of my favorite finds here & here to help find you the perfect gifts to give this season for everyone on your list! If that isn't enough inspiration, I've curated a few more gift guides over at Divine Caroline: Gifts for the Hostess with the Mostess, Gifts for the College Student, Gifts for Your ApartmentGifts for the Preppy Girl, and my own wish list!

I've got another busy weekend ahead, my office's holiday party on Friday evening and Cody's on Saturday. Plus our Friendsgiving on Saturday during the day. Sunday you will find me in my sweats and curled up on the couch, all day long, that's for sure!


Merry + Happy: Cyber Monday

In case you didn't get your shopping fix on Black Friday or over the weekend, have no fear, Cyber Monday is here. This is my kind of sale shopping, from the comfort of my own computer! 

ALDO :: Save 15% off site wide. CODE: CYBERDEAL13A

Ann Taylor :: Save 50% Off Entire PurchaseCODE: SHOP50

ASOS (US) :: Save 30% off site wide. CODE: GIMMEMORE

Bauble Bar :: 20% off everything with code CYBER20.

Club Monaco :: Up to 30% off with code CYBER.

C. Wonder :: Save 40% off 4 items or more, full price or sale + free ground shipping. CODE: GIFTS40

The Dreslyn :: Save up to 60% off site wide. CODE: CYBER10.

Emerson Fry :: Save 20% off on all full-price items, (with few exclusions).

Equipment :: Save an extra 20% off all sale items. CODE: HOLIDAY2013.

Furbish Studios :: Save 25% off + free shipping on any order over $100. CODE: MONDAYMADNESS 

GiGi New York :: Save 10% when you spend $150+; Save 15% off when you spend $250+; Save 30% when you spend $500+. Free shipping on all orders and also receive a free Zip Pouch when you spend over $100.

Heels.com :: Save 30% off site wide. CODE: CM30.

J.Crew :: 30% off everything with code MONDAY.

Kate Spade New York :: 30% off EVERYTHING with code CYBER30! 

Lily + Violet :: 12/1 - 12/2: 10% off $75 or more, 20% off $125 or more, 25% off $200 or more. 12/1 - 12/17: Free standard shipping 


Madewell :: 25% off your entire purchase with code FEAST25.

Moda Operandi :: Save 40% off select pre-fall and fall merchandise.

ModCloth :: Save 20% off site wide. 

Nordstrom :: Shop new markdowns of 40% or more on a wide variety of items.

Poppin :: Save 30% off all orders over $75. CODE: POPCM 

Revolve Clothing :: Save an extra 20% off final sale items. CODE: Cyber2013.

Shopbop’s Big Event :: Up to 30% off with code BIGEVENT13.

Target :: BOGO 60% off on apparel, shoes, and accessories.

Urban Outfitters (US) :: Save $15 off $75, $25 off $100 and $50 off $150 and enjoy free shipping.

image via
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