Thursday, September 29, 2016

I'm on the Glo Minerals Blog!

Hey all!  Some of you may remember me teasing both on here and on Instagram that I got to model with Glo Minerals over the summer for some upcoming fall products.  Fall is officially here and the post is officially out and on their site!  I had so much fun doing this and the finished product is awesome!  

The long and short of it is that Glo Minerals made me up in a dramatic smokey eye and took step by step photos for a how-to blog post, which you can read about HERE.  And they've recently launched new auburn eyebrow pencils, which you can see on my eyebrows.  As you may know, I'm kind of clueless with make-up but I now own this pencil and am eager to try it out IRL!  I was a dirty blonde growing up but had darker eyebrows, so unless you count the two (collective) years that I dyed my hair brown I've never had eyebrows that matched my hair!  This may be the beginning of a beautiful friendship, ha!  

Again, to read the post CLICK HERE and below are some more behind the scenes photos!  The post on the site lists all of the products that they used on me too, in case you saw any that catches your eye (pun intended, haha).  Happy Thursday!

~Lauren-Blair Donovan

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Indian Summer Style

I've had the weirdest season of my blogging life ever!  Between travel and illness I've had a record low number of posts, plus very few free standing outfit documentations on Instagram (meaning just an outfit pic without a corresponding blog post).  Well, summer (my favorite outfit season so missing so much of it blog-wise makes me wanna cry!!) is over, but for a lot of states in the US it stays in the 80s until close to Halloween.  Denver can be like that some years (it certainly was today!), so I thought I'd recap some freestanding outfits from the summer and showcase why they could work for balmier fall days!

Tee shirt with maxi skirts!
Sunglasses- Gap
Shirt- Amazon Find
Skirt- Ann Taylor
Flip Flops- Old Navy

I talked about this skirt back in the spring, and months later I'm still madly in love with it!  Because it's so bold and vibrant, it's easy to dress down for a pseudo casual outfit.  The above photo is from a hot day that was going to threaten to cool down, plus I was going to be indoors often in the AC.  I was comfortable, relatively casual, but still felt like myself with a novelty print plus rock tee.  This is a great end of summer/into fall look because maxi's are versatile season wise.  They are summery but if the temperature drops they can keep you warm  because your legs aren't bare!
Summer separates...with a pop of red!
Sandals- Forever 21

Guys, I need a minute to mourn that I didn't get to do my usual staple crop top with midi skirts summer look more than maybe 3x this year!!  ::sigh:: But at least this outfit was captured!  This skirt was one of my only PUG purchases from this year (because I'm obsessed with elephants) and I insisted on wearing it the day before my big trip because it was slightly cooler out.  Packing and running errands may not scream "appropriate" in this outfit, but it actually kind of was!  It was hot and I was more or less covered.  Plus I was in flats.  I've decided (right or wrong) that red goes with everything, so I did an experiment with this outfit and put red sandals on with this non-red outfit.  Since red is basically the mascot color of fall, I recommend trying it this season!  And, you may as well keep the summery looks if the temperatures are still hot--it may not last!!
Darker hued florals combined with sporting events!
Sunglasses- Forever 21
Necklace- Punky Pins
Dress- Bernie Dexter via Zulily
Flip flops- Old Navy

Maybe florals don't scream fall...fair!  But darker hued ones, like purples, greens, and navys aren't terrible for fall either.  I wore this to the only baseball game I went to this summer because I couldn't find any of my Colorado Rockies tees.   Some of us will still have baseball season into the fall (depending on playoffs and the World Series).  Dresses for baseball games definitely keep you cool, and bonus points if it's in your teams colors!
Rock sundresses to keep the breezy days of summer alive!
Dress- Bernie Dexter via Zulily

Admittedly, this isn't a "true" outfit pic, but rather a pic of me being ridiculous holding up a slew of 1990s teen romance VHS tapes while waiting for a table at brunch.  This picture was solely taken so I could Instagram that my "brunch place's VHS tape game was really on point today,"  because I thought the fact that there was a VHS tape library at the 1950s diner I frequent to be hilariously ridiculous.  REGARDLESS, you can see the bare bones of what I'm wearing.  It's a colorful sundress and I'm not wearing much else in terms of accessories, hair, or make-up.  I'm not saying I look my absolute best, but some days just a sundress is all you need if you want to be low maintenance but somewhat pop.  If the weather is still warm out near you, enjoy it!!  Wear those sundresses while you still can!  
Play with prints and colors that are fall based with shorter dresses!
Dress- Folter via ModCloth
Brooch- Deer Arrow

If you're itching to be in Halloween mode already, go for darker prints, black and white prints, or both in your summer dresses!  I wore this to a show and largely consider this an all-seasons dress, but obviously it works for the weeks leading up to Halloween!  Dressing for fall doesn't always mean covering up (especially when it's still hot out); think about playing with different colors and prints while keeping cool temperature wise!
It's a great time to wear vintage!!
Brooch- Erstwilder
Skirt- Vintage (Jumblelaya)
Shoes- Nine West via Marshalls

Being a skirt and dress queen means that I put up a fight during the colder months when it's straight up impractical to wear such articles!  But whether you're immediately experiencing crisper temperatures or it's still effectively summer weather wise, vintage is a great fall staple.  It can be airy, heavy, and sometimes a cover-up for chillier days.  Plus, I try to avoid wearing vintage in the summer as much as possible (I don't want to sweat in those garments), so fall is a time to rejoice and whip these bad boys out of my closet!  

I hope everyone is off to a great start to their fall!  What's the weather like near you?  Crisp and cooling down or virtually no change in temperature??  XO
~Lauren-Blair Donovan


Friday, September 16, 2016

Blair Reads Books #6: But What If We're Wrong? by Chuck Klosterman

Omg, this series is back!  Between a nutszo summer and some technical difficulties hindering my video taping, I went on an accidental hiatus!  But I'm back!

The book I'm reviewing today is by Chuck Klosterman, who's most famous book is probably Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs.  He has an uncanny ability to marry pop culture with deep thinking and this book is no exception!  The entire premise is trying to figure out what future historians will think about our present times and how probably so much of what we value won't even be remembered in the future.  He uses great examples from history of why this could be true and plays certain odds games in trying to predict what will realistically be talked about and appreciated from the early 21st century by future generations.  Parts are so mind boggling, but that's why I loved it!

Why anyone would like this book: I found this to be the most fascinating read of 2016 so far!  It's a great book to both learn some things about history and culture that are facts, as well as become open minded to how we'll really come across to future generations without knowing if what you land on will be true or not.

How polarizing is this book? I don't think it's polarizing.  If you don't like thinking outside the box, hate feeling small in the grand scheme of things, and hate the idea that things are constantly changing...then maybe this isn't the book for you.  Otherwise there is nothing offensive about this book.

Earring: Old Navy
Necklace: Punky Pins
Dress- Folter
Belt- Target
Shoes- ModCloth

Points of interest:
  • There's almost too many to state!  Every chapter had anecdotes wrapped within anecdotes, which made it almost impossible to review/talk about on video.  But Klosterman brings up everything from how we've changed how we view the dinosaurs, how even a few generations back the social norms of today would have been unheard of, literary greats who died as unknowns, and an interesting lecture he gave with Malcom Gladwell in 2012 where Gladwell said things that baffled Klosterman then that have proven to be true in as little as 4 years.  I could go on but there's just too many fascinating points of interest!
Would I recommend this book and if so, to who? Anyone who likes to be entertained by outside the box ideas, especially in a non-pretentious way.  Honestly, I feel like everyone should read this book because it kind of promotes humbleness as the whole point is that no matter how educated we may be as a society, we really may not know much.  Can't every human learn a lesson from that?!

Things to look out for: 
  • Not much!  There was one or two points I personally disagreed with when he was talking about how the medium of TV will be remember in the future, but I also chalked that up to having it be a chapter on TV as opposed to a full book and therefore there was only enough time for the most simple of statements on it.  Other than that, nothing!  And I'm someone who has an oddly high opinions and theories on how TV shapes our culture (being sick for several years and watching a lot of TV while bored can do that do someone!) so I'm an easy audience to disappoint in that regard.
Readability:  Klosterman books for me as always a medium-fast read.  They're effectively about pop culture so it's not like reading neuroscience.  That said Klosterman has such a specific cadence and vocabulary that sometimes requires a different kind of concentration.  And he adds a lot of foot notes on each page that are worth reading, so that can add to the flow of reading not being as fast.

Did I like it?  Favorite book published in 2016!  I've read every Klosterman non-fiction book and this is officially my favorite (previous either Fargo Rock City or Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs).

Similar books I'd recommend: 

  • The Advanced Genius Theory by Jason HartmanI read this book 5 years ago and never stopped thinking about it since.  The premise (with a forward by Chuck Klosterman!) is about how huge "genius" musicians like members of The Beatles, Eric Clapton, David Bowie, etc capture a generation with hit after hit and then come later in their careers they put out weird music that the public doesn't like so it appears "they've lost it" and rarely (if ever) recover their hit making glory days.  The Advanced Genius Theory is a book on the theory that these musicians are geniuses so advanced that as they keep evolving their musicianship we as a public "can't keep up" with their genius, thus making them misunderstood as they are not actually "losing it."  It's a theory that's impossible to prove and one I frankly mostly don't agree with, but it's amazing food for thought and is great for dinner table discussion.  Plus the book was utterly fascinating and at times infuriating read (I incorrectly guessed who the most "advanced" Beatle was and I'm still mad about it!).  But What If We're Wrong? was a book unlike any I had ever read, as was Advanced Genius Theory.  They're very different, but there are similarities in which both theories are impossible to prove and they're both in a league all of their own, which is why this is the only similar book I can recommend.  
Video review for my YouTube channel:

Thanks so much for reading and/or watching!  I hope this has inspired some of you to read this book because it's truly a great read!  Have a great weekend and I'll be back soon!  

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Music, Fashion, and Jackson Browne

Earrings- Old Navy
Necklace- Punky Pins
Dress- Boss Vintage (Denver store)
Brooch- Poison of Choice
Bag- Kate Spade

Hello, friends!  I'm trying to get back into a blogging groove!  I posted (but didn't super advertise) last week about my absence, so if you missed it CLICK HERE to read (plus see some videos I have been able to eek out).  Anyway, I've missed this, missed you, and have a quick music and fashion post for y'all this evening!

Last month I got to see Jackson Browne at Red Rocks with my mom.  He tours a lot and I'd been meaning to see him for some time, but it seemed nobody wanted to go with me.  Then I went and I found out I was asking all the wrong people because some of my friends were interested in seeing him, haha.  Jackson Browne isn't my typically go-to genre, but I like a lot of his songs and respect his musicianship so much that he definitely made my bucket list for sure.  And boy...and I glad I saw him!  Within the few minute of his first song I felt tingles and shivers because he was that good.  He also sang a song that was originally in Spanish called "Walls and Doors."  The main lyrics are "There are those who build walls/And those who open doors," to which he gently explained in the setup of this song was an especially important message given the election.  (Browne...and me...are more for the um, "door" part).  Call me an old lady (hey, my birthday is next week so I guess you'd be right!) but I hate standing.  Like in general, but definitely at shows too.  This was possibly the first audience at a concert I was at where the crowd wanted to sit the entire show (minus one or two hits). Given that this was about a week after my health started to nose dive this sitting ambiance was music to my ears!  (Pun intended).  

Ever the cloud/rain jinx, the weather was shaping up to be a cooler night for this outdoor show.  I had a different 70s dress in mind, but ultimately I reached for this lovely number that I got in late spring and didn't get a lot of use out of because it got mega hot really quickly here.  It was perfect for covering up my legs (I brought a cardigan too) and was fitting given most of Browne's hits were from the 70s.

I've already begun losing this tan :(
My mom can't keep her eyes open in photos...

If you've never been to Red Rocks before, let me give some disclaimers: it's impossible to not get a workout in to get to your seats!  It's on a mountain, and while there is an upper level parking let that's basically on level with the top entrance, that fills up quick so you'll likely find yourself in one of the lower lots.  Why am I bringing this up?  Well, I brought my  not-quite-adjusted-to-the-altitude mom and despite a moderate warning (I didn't want to scare her!) she was surprised at how winded she was walking up this steep ramp in line to the show.  I felt bad, because that was always me (despite altitude acclamation) until about a year ago.  Around two years ago I made it a point to push myself with harder cardiovascular exercises when it became clear some conditions I had in that general region were permanent and I wanted to do what I could to stay/get stronger.  Now I can do Red Rocks without breaking a sweat, but that took effort.  So for anyone going here in the future who doesn't work on their cardio and/or isn't used to the altitude...don't feel bad!  Most of us have been there before ;)  

Thanks for hanging with me!  I can't wait to come back with more content ASAP!  And for more posts like this, check out this page to read all of my concert going stories!
~Lauren-Blair Donovan


Monday, September 5, 2016

Videos + Updates

Hey, all!  This has been the longest blogging break possibly ever!  I really haven't been feeling too well lately so I've been laying low.  My Instagram, an account I usually keep up even if my blogging takes a hit, has even only had 2-3 posts a week this whole August as well.  I'm rallying though, with finally some new videos in the can and I've been trying to get clothes photographed as well in case it takes longer than expected to fully recover!  Thanks for the patience!

In the meantime, as mentioned I have been filming videos (as of this weekend actually, haha).  I started a new weekly series about weird news that I poke fun at while wearing favorite outfits and sipping tea out of my mug collection.  It's called Weekly Recap Tea Time and here's the inaugural video involving that creepy clown story, the MTV VMAs, Anthony Weiner, and yet another Oreo cookie flavor:

Because I wasn't updating the blog at all last week, I missed my day to do "other than this blog" announcements.  I didn't have much to say (luckily) but the final Olympics Just Shair video was uploaded since my last post and it's a shortie featuring my most prominent/bizarre Olympic memory from childhood...and it's dark and awkward!  Check it out:
I'm expecting to be back at it again Wednesday and hoping to resume a normal schedule from there.  And if not, I'll be sad because I miss this!!  I hope EVERYONE has had an awesome Labor Day Weekend if you're in the states and if not I hope it's been awesome anyway!  XOXO
~Lauren-Blair Donovan