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

How to Make Winter Neutrals Interesting

Anyone else feel like winter can be so bleak sometimes? Well, I’m right there with ya. When there are neutral tones in nature, I like to add some flare to darker colors in my wardrobe. Here’s the secret: details are key.

I found this dark blouse which I’m absolutely in love with! The shape of the sleeves is so interesting and I love how they bubble. Although the blouse is darker, the shiny, luminescent quality makes the outfit far more interesting.

Next, up, the pants! Again, the maroon is a darker color, but the dyed black on the sides gives the pants shading and helps bring the blouse together. Not to mention, skinny jeans always look good with some combat boots!

Accessories matter so much! I love the snakeskin pattern of this silk scarf because it gives a pop of something lighter to go with the whole outfit.

I would choose either the scarf or earrings with this outfit, but I am IN LOVE with these star earrings! They are a huge, glittery, and fun piece to add to this outfit! They’re like icing on the cake, I would wear these everyday if I could!

Every piece of this outfit (minus the combat boots) are from Urban Found. They have some incredible pieces for the winter season and I definitely recommend checking them out!

Oversized Jackets: SUCH A FAN

Ok, I don’t know about you, but oversized jackets in the Fall are one of my FAVORITE additions to an outfit! You can rock them over a sweater and they don’t make you feel stiff, and they completely pull an outfit together when the weather is so unpredictable!

The jacket that I have on I thrifted and it’s the brand Dressbarn. I almost didn’t get it as I thought it may be too ‘Spring,’ but I think the colors can go for any season. It’s a size Large which is perfect because I’m a size xs/s so it’s great for layering! I’ve linked some of my favorite oversized denim below… Come check out my finds!

  1. Zara: One of my go-to brands as they always have great neutrals and also really funky prints in their products. Their ‘basic’ collection has an awesome black denim jacket that’s perfect for putting on over a cozy sweater!

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2. Levi’s One of the original and best quality brands for denim in my opinion. Not only do they have great options on the website, but Levi’s is now carried at TJ Maxx and Nordstrom Rack if you’re looking to save some money. Regardless, I think Levi’s is worth every penny.

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3. Shein

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Ok guys… I LOVE the print on this jacket! It’s so fun and also affordable. I’ve heard really good things about the quality of Shein products. If you were going for a neutral outfit, this would be the perfect pop of color!

Friends, I am SO thankful for all of you who read my blog posts… seriously, it’s a gift! Have an amazing Friday, you made it!!!

xo, Brynne

Campus to Real Life: What I’ve Learned

Hey everyone, it’s been awhile! I’ve been transitioning from graduating college into the working world and it’s been crazy thus far! This change from undergrad to regular life can be difficult in a lot of ways, and I’ve definitely struggled with it a lot. It’s taken a lot of time and grace to find ways to navigate this part of my life as I’m sure it has for many of us. Here are some challenges I’ve faced and how I’m working through them.

Money

This is probably one of the bigger ones that many post-grads struggle with. I am the most intimidated by money out of all of these still. When you get your job(s), you suddenly are equipped with a lot of money which is great! No more campus jobs and no more class to keep you from getting more hours! Needless to say, budgeting can be difficult because it’s easy to overspend and important things such as rent, groceries, and gas money go out the window. I try save at least $50 out of each pay check to go to my savings account, and I try to limit myself in expenses I don’t need such as going out for food/drinks or buying coffee in the mornings. I also plan things such as grocery lists, rent, and gas expenses for the month to get a rough estimate of how much I will spend.

Safety Job

Here’s where we have to set our pride aside. Most of us have this idea that once we graduate, we will have our perfect dream job and life… very rarely does this actually happen. Alongside my main job is a dance teacher (yay!), I have a job I enjoy which helps me with student loans and my savings. Very rarely do we get our dream job that allows us to fully fund ourselves right away. I’ve noticed that once graduation happens, we put this heavy expectation that we should have our perfect job right away. Honestly, that RARELY happens. (If it did for you, yay yay yay!) But there’s nothing wrong with hustling for what you need to accomplish, saving money, and not being exactly where you want to be!

Downsizing

When I moved into my apartment, I realized how much crap I have. And I really mean it. Crap. I had so much random stuff that I never use such as: clothing, books, college papers I don’t need, etc. I highly recommend going through everything and asking yourself when the last time you used each item was. It will save you a lot of space! Not to mention, you can sell things on Facebook market or donate to a thrift store help downsize and to allow others to recycle items.

Friendships

College makes friendships super convenient. You can run into people on campus almost anywhere (especially on a small campus). But once everyone has graduated and spread out, you don’t have campus and class to keep connections with others. You need to reach out to others and be good at planning quality time. I’m not much of a planner, and I’ve realized that when I don’t follow through with friendships, they dissipate. Even though it may seem ‘forced’ to make plans, I’ve realized I have to in order to catch up and spend time with those I love! Planning is SO worth it.

These little themes of what ‘real life’ looks like can’t even begin to explain how it really is when you’re working through everything. Transitioning to a new chapter in life is super hard, but things come together slowly. If I have learned anything from this first month of the working world, it’s not to worry so much about making everything work perfectly right away. It takes time to adjust and that’s ok! Whether you have your dream job or you’re still figuring it out, I hope you know you’re not going through it alone! Things will work out. 🙂

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!