Real Tea: Mixing Patterns is Cool

Ok you guys: skirts are difficult to wear in the winter… They’re cold, the wind blows them in different directions, and they can be so difficult to pair with other winter wear! But guess what? I’ve got the perfect fix for you!

I am Trends may come and go, but cheetah print is here to stay. I haven’t seen a pink cheetah print skirt in my fashion discoveries quite yet and this one would definitely takes the cake. It’s super flowy and surprisingly warm for the thin material it’s made from. It’s also lined so you don’t have to worry about layering it with anything.

I adore this white pullover! Chunky knits are my winter weakness and I love how cozy this one is. It’s wool and the simple heart pattern is so fun! I love mixing this bigger pattern with the smaller cheetah print. Mixing different patterns is such a simple way to spice up an outfit.

I also enjoy playing with tucking in the sweater or leaving it untucked. You can play with this style depending on your preference.

That’s all for today folks! Thank you always for reading, and you can get this whole outfit from Urban Found! They have stores in Holland, South Haven, and Saugatuck if you’re looking to do some Holiday shopping!

Have an incredible day!

xo, Brynne

Jazz Up Neutrals With Camo

This winter, I’ve been obsessed with playing with neutral tones and jazzing them up. There are so many neutrals out there besides black and white! I’m really feeling camo this season.

First of all, I’m in love with this gray top! I like the layered look of the long and short sleeves; it gives the whole outfit some extra texture!

Next up are the camo pants! I love the color and they can make so many other colors work with them. Not to mention, the zipper detail on the bottom of the leg is super cute and lets you adjust the leg length.

If you know me, you know that accessories complete the outfit! I love the mixture of long gold levels and smaller silver beads in this necklace. The rounded look is so unique!

Last but not least, I’m in LOVE with this full leather purse! The leather is so well done and soft, and is a great neutral to add to an outfit with brown tones. I would recommend it anywhere!

That’s all for today folks! Again, this outfit is completely styled at Urban Found, you should definitely check them out for some last minute Christmas shopping! They have stores in downtown Holland, South Haven, and Saugatuck.

Have an amazing pre-Christmas weekend, and thank you for reading!😊

Xo, Brynne

It’s Holiday Party Time!

I am giving some MAJOR actress vibes with this outfit! (My other side as an artist is coming out.) This might be one of my favorite outfits to style thus far! This is the PERFECT outfit to go to a Holiday party in!

First of all, the statement piece is definitely the fur jacket! It’s vegan fur and the coziest thing in the world! Not only does it look fancy, but it feels like I’m wearing a bathrobe!

Next up we’ve got this awesome knit cream sweater! I love that there’s metallic looking pieces in the fabric which give it a little glam! It’s a great neutral because it’s fun at the same time!

I will forever be a fan of olive colored jeans. Seriously you guys, I love the color because once again, they’re a neutral that can go with almost anything! The high waist with the buttons up the front is such a fun detail!

Last but not least: Statement. Earrings. Urban Found has the best selection of earrings, and I will forever be a fan of them! I love the thread of these and they are the perfect glitzy match to the coat!

All of these clothing items besides the shoes are from Urban Found! They have 3 locations in West Michigan: Holland, South Haven, and Saugatuck. I highly recommend checking them out as they have such great selections and affordable prices for the Holiday Season!

I am so thankful for all of you reading my posts! I hope you have a cheerful Holiday season!!!

Xo, Brynne

It’s Ok to Wear Orange In the Winter

Oh hey you guys! Look, I get it, orange is a daring color to pull off, ESPECIALLY in the Winter. I am here to tell you that you can pull it off!

These skinny cords are some of my favorite pants! They are super stretchy and comfortable, and I love the button detail and high waist. I definitely recommend getting a pair such as these.

I am obsessed with chunky knits, and I’m absolutely in love with this one! The cream calms the orange down, and has a tint of warmth that goes so well with the cords!

The hair clips are next! Gold is one of my favorite colors to use to accessorize as it goes with just about anything! And this tortoiseshell pattern is very in, and I’m really enjoying the big hair clip trend!

Also… this purse! It’s vegan and has a lot of storage space. I’m usually not the biggest fan of bigger totes but honestly this one is the perfect size and style that it wouldn’t be clunky.

Last but not least, I always like to jazz up an outfit with some bangles! Silver and gold is a great addition to this outfit, and using different kinds of metals brings out the warm and cool colors simultaneously!

Alright folks, that’s all for now! As always I REALLY appreciate you reading my blog, and please let me know if you have any questions for me! Every item is from Urban Found, a super cute West Michigan boutique! I highly recommend checking them out in store or online.

Have the best day ever!

xo, Brynne

Discontent in the Performing World

One of my biggest struggles as an artist is the idea that where I am now is not good enough in my career. There is always someone who has done something better, who was cast, or who has something that you don’t. When I get into this negative mindset, it’s hard for me to push those thoughts away. I ask myself will I ever be good enough? Why am I here when I want to be there? What do they have that I don’t? I have one big piece of advice for you: it’s a trap.

Personally, I don’t see my artistic journey separated from my walk with Christ. If it were not for Him, I would feel pretty terrible about myself. One of the biggest things I have learned is that God uses our biggest disappointments as small shifts in another direction. He redirects us to a perspective we did not quite see before. The times where I have not been cast and been absolutely heartbroken have given me the opportunity to take on another artistic opportunity. The moments when I’ve gotten an opportunity that I wasn’t pleased about have led me to appreciate what I’m given and grounded me in humility. Those times where it’s easy to blame myself or others around me for unhappiness have only been graced and held in positive esteem because I have the hope and trust that God has something in mind for my future.

I was reading through 1 Samuel chapter 1 a couple days ago and was drawn to the story of Hannah. She was consistently disheartened because all she wanted was to have a child and was not able to give birth. She faced judgement from women around her because she could not conceive and cried to the Lord in disparity. But what set her apart in her trial is that she knew despite her situation, the Lord had power to provide what she needed, even if it was not at the time she expected. She said

“O Lord of hosts, if you will indeed look on the affliction of your servant and remember me and not forget your servant, but will give to your servant a son, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and no razor shall touch his head.” (‭1 Samuel‬ ‭1‬:‭11‬ ESV

And because she believed, she was given a son. Had she waited years for this moment? Yes. Did she feel abandoned at times? For sure? Were there times that she doubted God had her best interest at heart? Absolutely. The amazing thing about faith is that even though we cannot see what the future holds, we put our trust in the idea that God can see the huge landmarks in our life that are out of sight to us.

To bring this back to my life, I want to point out some things. I had no idea that I would be working close to where I graduated after school instead of moving to a city. I also had no idea what I would be doing artistically after graduation until a month before I became an alum. I forget that I am human and I can’t control where I’m going to be at all times. Although where I am now is way different from my ideal goal, I’ve learned that it’s ok to have unexpected steps towards the dream you want to reach. It’s also ok to be confused for a bit. The more I settled into what my next chapter of life was going to look like, the more I realized the multiple reasons God placed me where I am for a purpose. Not my will but Yours.

Comparing myself to others in my career is setting myself up for failure, as it will to anyone who does this. We all have different paths because we are different people. I truly believe the places I go have a will far beyond my vision.

When you’re feeling down, just remember that your path is not meant to be exactly like someone else’s. You are meant to take your journey for a specific reason, and it’s going to be beautiful.

Why Do I Love Jesus?

A wise friend asked me a couple days ago why I love Jesus. Honestly, it stopped me dead in my tracks. That’s not something that I think about quite often. Yeah, I love Jesus, I know he died for me, but why? It took a lot of thinking to figure out.

Here’s a disclaimer: I think this answer can change at various points for any person who is trying to answer this question for themselves. If you can’t, I totally get it. It’s a simple, yet difficult question. But I have to know why I love Him in order to tell other people about Him. It would make me a pretty naive Christian to follow blindly.

So I came down to a couple thoughts. The first one is that Christ lets me discover why I love Him. We were not forced to love God the minute we were born. That freedom of choice is beautiful beyond our human knowledge because if God wanted to, He could have forced us to love Him. But truthfully, what would the point of love be if it was forced? It would be slavery, not love.

The second thing I thought of is His sacrifice. It took me a very long time to emotionally understand this and I still need to remind myself of it when I get too focused on my own life. I talked about this in a previous blog I wrote last summer (Check it out here), but it truly came down to my love of the arts, the gift God has blessed me with. I had to be a part of Jesus’s world by being a part of Godspell which made me see the crucifixion night after night. I would leave the stage every night with tears and mascara streaming down my face. I believe the Lord picks the perfect moments to teach us exactly what we need to hear. I also believe He gives us the right people for those times. The incredible cast that I had the honor of doing that show with became family. They were my friends and my fellow disciples. We laughed, cried, hugged, and joked every day together. If it were not for them, I wouldn’t understand the fellowship that Jesus created during His life. And my fellow cast mate that played the role of Jesus led us with such humility and grace that he was truly believable. That experience showed me that Christ was a friend to His disciples and followers. He loved them and gave himself up to save us. To see that before my eyes night after night was such a rare gift.

The third reason is His grace. This is the one that I struggle with a lot as I do not have a lot of grace for myself. I reflect a lot on the mistakes I’ve made, and usually I look back on them in a way that doesn’t allow me to move forward. I’ve been realizing if you let your past haunt you, you’re not giving yourself grace. And if you’re not giving yourself grace, how can you give that properly to others? The beauty of God’s grace is that He gives it to all of us, no matter what you’ve done. In no way does He hold it against you. It’s the balance of knowing you are forgiven and learning from your mess-ups after it’s happened. He loves us so much that He’s always willing to forgive and love us afterward, but loves us too much to want us to make the same mistake again. Wherever you fall into, whether it be lack of grace or understanding the truth, I’ve learned how important it is to learn both aspects of God’s forgiveness in order to understand His love.

I am very thankful for those in my life who ask the difficult questions. I love to get those because not only does it make me think, but I cannot be a witness of Christ unless my thoughts are challenged. If any of you have questions on my faith, please let me know!

Xo, Brynne

 

New Orleans Day 3

I took a bit of a break from writing as I’m back to school and my life is now crazy again… On the bright side, I’m so glad to share my highlights of Day 3 with you!

In the morning, my family and I went to get breakfast at the Ruby Slipper. There are multiple locations for this breakfast and lunch restaurant, but this location is especially interesting because it used to be an old bank. The crazy thing about it was that the bank was robbed by Bonnie and Clyde and was their last robbery before they died. Our waitress showed us the holes in the outside of the building that are rumored to be bullet holes from the robbery.

In addition to the dramatic backstory, the breakfast food was amazing! I got their cinnamon pancakes with a vanilla cream cheese frosting spread which I loved. It was light, sweet, and perfect for the morning. There were a ton of classic southern breakfast items on the menu as well such as eggs, grits, and fried green tomatoes.

After walking around the French Quarter for a little, we went back to our Air B and B to get ready for our Bayou tour. If you don’t know what a Bayou is, they are the swamps of Louisiana. This state is known for their swamps as they have alligators, snakes, and even wild pigs that roam the waters. We decided it was worth checking out. The company that gave us a tour was called Cajun Encounters, in Slidell, LA. They’re a large company and had at least a hundred people waiting for their tour by the time we got to the Bayou. The experience was interesting overall as we learned a lot about the Bayou ecosystem. Sadly, we didn’t see any alligators because in March, it’s not warm enough for alligators to come out of hibernation. It’s very rare that you see them in that until April so if you go on a swamp tour, I highly suggest that you wait until after March!

Our last stop of the day was at a seafood shack called Kenney Seafood. It’s far from fancy, but if you’re looking for some fried seafood, it’s the perfect place to be. You could choose between combinations of crawfish, shrimp, oysters, and more. I had a mixture of fried shrimp and crawfish which was so delicious. You can also get sides of fries, coleslaw, chowder, and other sides.  There was a plaque on the wall which  showed the waterline of where water flooded the restaurant during Hurricane Katrina. It was shocking to me because the plaque was about 5 1/2 feet above the floor. This day opened my eyes to the horror and destruction that Hurricane Katrina made. Even as we were on the swamp tours, we saw houses that were built on the Bayou, where residents resided in their day-to-day lives. During Katrina, almost all of them were destroyed, and because they were built on the Bayou, it was impossible for them to get house insurance. Many people rebuilt their houses from scratch or abandoned the scraps completely. We saw multiple houses that were flat as pancakes, forgotten by the owners. It was eye opening to see the  remaining destruction from the hurricane as it happened when I was eight, and I wasn’t there to experience and understand the horror of it myself.

Overall, it was another great day of exploring Louisiana. Not only did I learn a lot, but I was able to see the world from a deeper perspective. I hope you enjoyed and I cannot wait to share more of my adventures with you!

How to Fight Distractions and Motivate Yourself

This past week, I’ve have been so busy with homework. Almost every night I’ve been staying up between 12 am and 3 am finishing assignments and other work when I thought I would have more time to finish them and go to bed at a reasonable hour. Then I realized every night I went to bed late, I was also watching Netflix the second I got home from classes or glued to social media. It made my entire evening SO unproductive. During the day, I also found myself showing up late to important events or not getting ready in time and rushing out the door! It made my days very stressful.

Not to mention, it really effected my spiritual health. I felt so disconnected from God, and I also didn’t take the time out of my day to journal or blog. It felt like a complete waste of my nights when I could have been getting ahead on assignments, balancing my sleep schedule, and taking time for self-care. If you’re like me and have done these things before, I totally get it and I’m trying to figure it out too! This weekend I thought of some ways to keep myself accountable for getting things done and also maintaining a healthy lifestyle!

1) Don’t check your phone when you first wake up. I am the QUEEN of morning phone checks. I see if class is cancelled, if my bosses sent an important email, if I missed a message on Instagram, or if I got a text after I went to bed. Unless you are only shutting off your phone alarm to wake up, do not check your phone! It’s made me late to classes/work before and it always makes me rush my morning routine even if I am on time. Not to mention, starting your day off with social media is an all-too-easy way of opening up your mind for comparison. The first thoughts you have when you wake up should be positive. Getting the phone out of your face is one step towards that. (Also, don’t check your phone when you’re about to do work. You will get sucked into scrolling for hours and lose track of time.)

2) Make a to-do list. I’m not a super organized person. Honestly, one of the few reasons I’ve grabbed onto certain organized habits is truly because of my roomie because that’s natural for her. Otherwise, my belongings are everywhere and I can’t seem to get it together. One of the tactics I’ve learned from my Type-A bestie is making a to-do list. If I do it way before the time I’ve given myself to complete tasks, it really puts me in the mindset of how much work I have to get done. Also, I felt SO accomplished when I crossed something off the list. Crossing things off the list motivates me to get it all done and once I do, I finally know that I can relax.

3) If you have free time, don’t say you’ll do it later. Let me spell it out for you: B-I-G  M-I-S-T-A-K-E. Every time I have an assignment due later in the week and I don’t use my free nights to work, I just want to punch my past self in the face when it’s past midnight and I’m still working. Those spare moments when you’re bored and pull out your phone between classes, you could be saving yourself an hour or too in the evening to relax. Just remember that.

4) Do not watch TV. GIRL DON’T DO IT. I don’t care if you are watching Gossip Girl, Friends, Grey’s Anatomy. I have a secret… they end each episode with a cliff hanger just to get you to watch more. First you watch one episode, and then at some point, you’ve gotten to 10 episodes. It. Is. A. Trap. So shut down your Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. Turn away from your TV screen. Part ways with your Fire Stick. You can see if Ross and Rachel end up together after you finished your work.

5) Make your workspace peaceful. You will get things done faster when you put yourself in a calm and relaxing work environment. Personally, I work the best when I’m not around others. Then there’s no excuse for me to talk to someone. If I’m at home, I really like lighting a candle for some ambiance and a nice smell (lavender is great for work and studying). If music doesn’t distract you, I enjoy putting on music without words or relaxing folk music so I don’t get distracted.

6) Reward yourself when you get your work done. Tell yourself beforehand that you will treat yourself ONLY if you get everything done that you anticipated. It might mean a piece of chocolate at the end of the night or finally finishing that season finale of your favorite show. Sometimes telling yourself there’s a light at the end of the tunnel is a great way to push through.

I hope your week is productive and filled with rest and happiness! When I write, part of the reason is so that I follow my own advice! So if you think you’re the only one who needs to follow these things, I am right there with ya. But hey, we can keep each other accountable! Let me know if any of these tips work for you!

xo, Brynne

Jumpsuits in the Winter?

Photo by Ben Douma

One of my favorite kinds of clothing to wear are jumpsuits, but it’s so sad when they go out of season. Never fear, there are ways to keep your jumpsuits around for the winter season!

Photo by Ben Douma

My favorite jumpsuit is from Spring Sweet, and I love it because it’s classic, yet feels like I am wearing pajama pants! I paired it with one of my basic turtlenecks and put a pair of tights underneath it to keep warm in this chilly weather! I’ve linked two jumpsuits at the bottom of this article that are so cute and almost identical to the one I have.

It’s really easy to find some cute basics to put underneath a jumpsuit, and I found my turtleneck at Aeropostale. My favorite affordable and cute turtlenecks are also linked below.

Although my jumpsuit was originally purchased for the summer, the neutral tones definitely help my outfit mix into the winter season.

As always, thank you so much for reading! I love finding new ways to wear fun pieces, as fashion with a college budget can be difficult!

Xo, Brynne

Jumpsuits:

Forever 21: Polka Dot Palazzo Jumpsuit

https://www.forever21.com/us/shop/Catalog/Product/F21/Dummy_extra30/2000265866

Forever 21:

Smocked Polka Dot Jumpsuit

https://www.forever21.com/us/shop/Catalog/Product/F21/CLEARANCE_ZERO/2000295852

Turtlenecks:

https://www.ae.com/gifts-aerie-real-soft-ribbed-turtleneck-true-black/aerie/s-prod/5495_1183_073?cm=sUS-cUSD&mmCat=cat8010026

https://www.madewell.com/fine-ribbed-turtleneck-top-in-lesley-stripe-K4416.html?dwvar_K4416_color=KA5897&cgid=apparel-teestanks-turtlenecks&position=4&position=4&activeChunk=0#start=1

Navigating After-College Anxiety

As a senior in college, I can attest that I’m pretty scared for what’s coming next. Some people in my graduating class are engaged, have a job lined up, and know exactly where they’re going to live. I on the other hand, am sitting on the couch, eating a bag of doritos, with zero intentions of engagements, no idea where I’ll be living, and not a clue as to what job I’ll have. So my anxiety is asking me what happens if I don’t attain what I am hoping for right after college? Am I going to become a hermit? Will I live in my parents’ basements for ten years? The biggest question thus far: what if the things we end up doing never measure up to what we intended? We may never know, but God certainly does.

I was reading the book of Ruth a couple days ago and I thought it touches on my exact feelings on the future after school. If you haven’t read Ruth’s story, it’s a quick read and incredible. Ruth’s story begins with her husband passing away and her living with her mother-in-law, Naomi, and her sister-in-law, Orpah. Naomi begs Ruth and Orpah to leave her in order to find a husband and a better life, and while Orpah leaves, Ruth decides to stay. From the beginning I find this incredibly interesting. Ruth says “For where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you (1:16-17).”

Ruth had every reason to  leave. Naomi gave her permission and she truly had no other option in that moment to get remarried. But Ruth knew what was loving and chose to follow God’s will of being compassionate to others before satisfying her own needs. Her action of staying is a reminder that she chose what God wanted before her own. Ruth decides to stay with Naomi and find a job to provide for her and her mother-in-law, which leads Naomi to work in the fields of Boaz, an honorable man in the clan of Elimelech. Although Ruth was a Moabite, a race that was looked down upon in the eyes of the Israelites, Ruth was still kept safe from the harm of the male field workers (known for sexual assault/raping women) and caught the attention of Boaz himself. When Boaz told her why he favored her, he answered “All that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband has been fully told to me, and how you left your father and mother and your native land and came to a people that you did not know before. The Lord repay you full for what you have done, and a full reward be given you by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge (2:11-12)!” Ruth’s obedience to God’s call not only kept her safe, but revealed the way that God provided resources for her.

Spoiler alert: by the end of the story, Ruth ends up marrying Boaz and giving birth to a son. Not only that, but Naomi, who felt defeated and useless as a widow, now had a child that came from her family line that she could care for. Because Ruth stayed patient, obedient, and put others needs before hers, she not only made her life better, but Naomi’s life as well. God put together exactly what she needed when she trusted that His will is all that she needs. Ruth had no idea that she would end up remarried after she chose to stay with Naomi. But God saw how much she loved Naomi and created an amazing life for Ruth she never knew would stem from obedience to the Lord.

At twenty-one years old, I am pretty scared for my future. As a reminder, I have no clue where I’m living after school, no idea what job I’ll have, and I’m surviving off of minimum wage jobs and freelance side hustles. Trusting that God has a future for me when all I see is a huge question mark can be pretty intimidating. I don’t know if I’ll ever be as easily trusting as Ruth was to give over her life to God, but this story inspires me to do so. It’s really scary when we don’t know what’s in front of us, but sometimes we aren’t meant to know. We have to take it day by day and understand that the things God slowly reveals to us are like points on a road map. The smaller points start showing up in front of us and he will make the points that are His will easy to recognize. Sometimes we just need to take the leap.