Wednesday, December 7, 2016

A Very Grunge Holiday Outfit


Hey all!  Before I get into the heart of this post, I gotta ask: do you like this new backdrop?  Hopefully the answer is a "HELL YES" because for the foreseeable future I think this will be my sole photo taking place.  I now live in a place with a balcony, so yay!  Between it being cold (burr!) and being in the middle of a very slow move, I don't think I want to location scout/take the energy to take photos too far outside my location.  Plus, I'm a little out of practice with taking new photos as life + illness has thrown a huge wrench in my works.  So having a spot right outside my doorway may be awesome for starting to be consistent with blogging over the next few months, as I am a touch out of practice!  I'm of mixed minds because I've seen successful blogs that both do shoots in the same location as well as varied locations, so this is a big experiment for me!!
All About the Outfit:  If you've followed me for a while you'll remember that I'm not much of a winter holiday person.  I somehow seem to avoid the general craziness that this time of year tends to bring and have limited parties to go to with forced mingling (wahoo!).  That said, I do quite like this outfit and am considering wearing a variation for maybe NYE (the one holiday I tend to partake in this time of year, for better or worse).  I consider it a ballerina meets Carrie from Sex and the City (as cliche as that is now) meets a grunge quality.  It's definitely for the girl that doesn't want a totally basic holiday outfit or to strictly play with holiday endorsed colors.  


Style Details: The shirt I got in a ModCloth Black Friday sale.  It was already on sale and with an extra 40% off everything, I had to get it because I love elephants and it's unlike any other print I own.  The skirt is a funny story.  I got it from Nasty Gal after not having shopped there in probably close to two years.  For some reason I had $40 credit there (I have no idea why...) and also working Black Friday sales + my store credit I got a pair of black Converse shoes ( my beagle ate my old ones years ago...boo!) and this skirt.  This skirt was a risk because I feel like the few things I got from Nasty Gal didn't fit quite right length wise, their size chart seems across the board as opposed to brand specific, and I could tell it was an elastic waist which doesn't always look right.  But, I'm super glad I got it because I genuinely love it!  It fits perfectly, the elastic waist isn't awful, and it's going to be versatile--especially come winter.

Jacket- TJ Maxx Find
Shirt- ModCloth
Skirt- Nasty Gal (brand Rare London) (size XS for measure)
Shoes- Nine West

Hope everyone is doing awesome this week!  Not going to lie: it's a pseudo snow day and I'm drinking with a girlfriend as I publish this post.  Whoops!  Not my style, but hey, it happens to most of us!  Happy Wednesday!
~Lauren-Blair Donovan


Monday, December 5, 2016

Denver Vintage Shopping: Boss Vintage + Going Make-Up Free!


All About the Outfit:  It's pretty well documented that I love 1970s fashion (see here, here, and here for more on that!)  I think the maxi dresses and skirts from this era are somewhat the perfect fall into winter looks because they're easy to layer with blazers and cardigans and cover your legs.  Some people think I'm nuts for wearing a maxi dress on a cooler day, but I'm not as convinced as the rest of the population that jeans are even all that warm!

Boss Vintage on Broadway in the Baker neighborhood of Denver (or "South Broadway" or "SoBro" after Punch Bowl Social went in (grr)--excuse the Denver reference! #bringbackbiglots!) is one of the more amazing vintage stores I've been in.  They have everything laid out according to decades and on their tags they list the measurements of a piece.  I found this awesome 70s window scene maxi dress in the spring, and the day before my birthday in September I found this dress here.  It's almost a 70s does 20s-30s dress with the flutter sleeve and print of early 20th century women all over it.  It's genuinely one of the more special pieces I've been able to get my hands on!  I've been wearing it to death this fall!


So, you may have noticed that a lot of my posts have been less made-up than usual.  I got into the habit of always having a red lip with some eyeliner when I take photos.  I've cut back on make-up a bit lately as an experiment.  For one, until last month I wasn't feeling well for a few months there.  Make-up was an extra step that required energy that I simply did not have.  Luckily this coincided with a time that I got to experiment with Glo Minerals skincare line!  Not only do I love the products, but with the help of a tinted sunscreen I feel more comfortable than ever to go make-up free, including on blog posts like this and in various Instagram #ootd posts.  This whole post, the photos and the video below, features me in only the tinted sunscreen.  No lipstick, no eye-make, not contouring blush, NADA!  I'm not going to do every post like this, but I think it's important to be natural and lift the so-called glamorous veil on blogging sometimes.  So please check out the video as this skincare line has been kind of a game changer for me!  (And please subscribe to my YouTube channel!)  If going au natural is not you thing and you want to see a more full on and dramatic make-up look with myself and Glo Minerals, click HERE!

I hope everyone is having a great start to their week!  It's supposed to snow here tomorrow and I'm less than thrilled!  Having Indian summer throughout November spoiled me rotten!!
~Lauren-Blair Donovan

  

Monday, November 28, 2016

ModCloth, Ponies, and Border Collies


Hello, my gorgeous blog readers!  I apologize for going MIA AGAIN on you for likely the 5th time since June, but at least this time around it's for all happy reasons!  Let's do a quick update session before getting into this outfit!
  • I've been feeling better!  Since early November I've been relatively consistent with my health.  My fatigue vanished overnight, my appetite is back and I think I'm gaining some of the unhealthy weight I lost (the photos in this post are over a month old, FYI), and other than occasional sinus headaches on windy/dry days here, I've been feeling a-ok!  ::knock on wood::
  • I had a friend in town for 10 days!  One of my childhood best friends (and LIFELONG friends!!!) visited me over the holidays.  It was nice to see her and it was fun to be a tourist in my adoptive city of 10 years.  You can check out my Instagram to see some snaps of the stuff we did, plus the outfits I wore.
  • The holidays!  If you've been following my blog for a while, you may recall my family and I don't really celebrate the typical winter holidays.  I would sometimes see friends, but between my childhood friend being in town and my vagabond family residing in Denver for the winter, I actually did a Thanksgiving meal (brunch) with my family for the first time since 2006!  And then I did a Friends-giving at an Ethiopian restaurant (which I highly recommend doing if you're ever in a position where the normal Thanksgiving is not in the cards).  How was YOUR Thanksgiving (if you celebrated)??
  • Gilmore Girls Revival.  Omfg.  If you need a hug I will give you one.  I won't give away spoilers...but wow.  #notthrilled.  
  • Second City Classes!  I don't think I officially announced this on the blog yet, but the past several weeks I've been taking online comedy writing classes from famed SNL breeding ground institution, Second City.  That's been eating up a chunk of my time, but it's all been worth it!  I love that I can be apart of this legacy, even if it's from afar and only online (they're based in Chicago).  I'm wanting to continue to pursue comedy, but have more of an interest in being a personality/writer than an actress/improv performer, so this has been kind of a perfect fit for me.
  • I'm in the middle of a move!  This is the best news of all!  I've moved into my dream place in my dream neighborhood.  Two weeks ago it was a little intense, but it's going to be a slow move from here on out so I believe my blogging life won't take a hit again.  I have a balcony now, which may not be ideal for every photoshoot, but as winter picks up and I may not want to prance around parks in the freezing cold a private balcony may be my best blogging friend for some basic outfit shoots.  ::fingers crossed::

All About the Outfit:  As you may be able to deduce from the leaves on the trees, I took these photos back in October.  I meant to post them sooner, but life got away from me.  Within the past 10 days Denver finally is experiencing chillier temperatures, but until that point it was a very balmy fall--longer than it usually is.  That all said, slap some stockings and a cardigan onto this outfit and you can still wear this style throughout the colder months!

I'm in love with this ModCloth Research High and Low Top in Horses.  I have a wooden pony just like the print from childhood that I still have (somewhere...).  I went for a semi-monochromatic look with matching shorts from Express, but added a pop of color with these Nine West pumps and mixed print Kate Spade bag.

You may have noticed that I had an extra model in these shots: my Border Collie, Lucy!  She's afraid of cameras.  Well, she's afraid of cameras, brooms (yikes), thunder, fireworks, cop lights (yikes), my electric guitar, certain sound effects on my keyboard piano, and other things I'm spacing on offhand.  My poor shelter dog puppy!  Anyway, she was in the car with me coming back from somewhere with me when I photographed this shoot.  I decided to try using her in the shoot instead of making her wait in the car.  As you can see, it didn't go "great."  She was either afraid of the flash or kind of ticked off that we weren't going for an actual walk but walking back and forth from the camera to where we were posing.  I probably won't try this again, but one or two shots went well, so I guess it was worth it!

Style Details: 
Sunglasses- Beach store find
Top- ModCloth
Shorts- Express (also blogged about them HERE)
Shoes- Nine West via Poshmark


I know it's late, but if you were in the mood to extend Turkey Day, here's a Just Shair video for you on the holiday!
And, since I was super tempted to name this post after Ginuwine's "Pony" song but didn't, here's a video where we talk about the lyrics of that song and how ridic it is!


I hope everyone had a great holiday, and if you're not in the states I hope you had a great November as I wasn't around for most of this month!  Have a great Monday!
~Lauren-Blair Donovan

  

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE


What is there left to even say on this election?  All that can be said has already been said.  In my time as a fashion blogger, I have remained relatively neutral on my world views.  I felt like the best way to build an audience was to be a blank canvas as to not alienate potential followers.  Honestly, I've grown to regret this decision.  I think I come across hella boring without the things that make me me.  I have followers and fellow bloggers alike who have expressed their world views, and while I don't always agree with them, I still like them as people.  If I ever got more personal with my perspective, I would do it with respect and I would ask for the same kindness in return.

I genuinely went into 2016 thinking this would be the year where I would be more transparent about my world views on the blog.  You see, I used to be a blogger on religion and politics (I will admit to being pro-separation of church and state right now) but I had to let that go for a millions reasons that's not worth tackling in this post.  Parts of 2016 made me miss the gig, but mostly I was so thankful to turn off my brain at some moments.  And unlike the most recent handful of presidential elections, religion played WAY less of a factor in any of the presidential hopeful's campaigns so I suppose I didn't miss out on writing potential gold.  

I've recently started taking an online comedy writing program with famed Saturday Night Live breeding ground Second City (more on that another time) so obviously a lot of joke's I've concocted and turned in are topical and about this election.  One project I'm working on has to do with this election and my teacher emailed me this article from the NY Times on how even parody newspaper The Onion is a little burned out on this election. I felt relieved reading this.  Whether it was for Just Shair or just hanging with my friends, I'm not sure I've ever made less jokes about a presidential election.  It's been utterly exhausting.  Both main parties are officially fractured and divided and the third parties have been louder, all while everyone involved is angry.  Lewis Black recently said many times over that this year has not been a comedian's dream come true because the news is already funny and therefore there's not much comedians can add to make it funnier.  If people who have been doing this professionally for so many years are getting stumped as to how to joke about recent times, I guess that means my beginner self is in good company.  And, if the funniest people ever are struggling to be funny about this election then we are in trouble.  (Thank-you, SNL for being hilarious though!)

I'm appalled at the media and I hold them accountable for most of this.  Some years back ratings became more important than reporting factual and neutral news.  This led to feeding an already exhausting 24 hour news cycle with stories that were meant to fuel the flames of fear mongering via mostly reporting the emotional aspects of the news without the matter of fact parts.  And while the Internet is the alleged "super highway of information", more of what gets shared and read are memes with quotes out or context (or that have never even been said in the first place) and opinion pieces that are largely not fact checked.  Add in social media and suddenly everyone is an "expert,"--regardless of any actual political science background--and everyone feels like not only their opinion matters, but is more important than virtually anyone else's.  Fact checking is a dead art.  Reading non-fiction books that both expand on one's world view and challenge one's world view doesn't even occur to anyone.  Documentaries are only watched if they are playing into the opinion's hand of the viewer.  Don't even get me started on the school board that  controls all of the text books nationally or other cracks in our education system.  But the bottom line is that people have forgotten that opinions are not facts.  People have lost sight that emotion is not the same thing as logic or intelligence.  People have lost interest in learning over in being favor of appearing right.  And more than ever, people have forgotten that being kind and decent to those you disagree with is an important skill to have.  Though I love the media because I love the first amendment, and while I obviously love the Internet because hell, I wouldn't be blogging here without it, I am still hella critical about the media and the Internet because I can't see how they're not to blame.  We need to get back to a time of responsible journalism and we need to start implementing responsible social media habits.  Period.

I'm genuinely not sure what will happen tonight when the results come in.  There is someone that I am totally behind and someone that I beyond fear.  No matter who wins, we have a lot of trouble ahead of us.  The problems of this election are not going to go away.  We are divided in this country and we need to spend the next four years having some tough love with ourselves about how to become more united than we have been for a while, or it's only going to get worse.

Please vote, but not only that, vote in an informed way.  And start educating yourself now on topics you don't understand.  There's four years until the next presidential elections, but there will be other elections before then that are also very important.

What does Just Shair think about this election?  Below is a lighted hearted Just Shair video on this election.  I'm proud of it because we had some funny material that we scraped because it was worn territory and only kept the stuff that nobody has said yet, and all of it is silly and innocuous as opposed to being aggressive.  Mind you, it is obvious to see who we're aligned with and I am a little more vocal in my opinions than Shannon, but it's all more goofy and to support and silly point/idea than it is for the sake of being opinion.  So be mindful of that before you hit play:
  
(Yes, I filmed this video and the photoshoot for this post in the same day)


Style Details:  Historically I have worn shirts for the candidate I'm voting for on actual election day.  This is NOT today's outfit but one from two weeks back.  If you follow me on Instagram, you'll see what I'm wearing when I vote and you'll know how I'm voting.

Andrew WK is one of my favorite musicians and frankly he put on the best live show I've ever seen.  Earlier in this year, based on his career motif of "partying", he started The Party Party capitalizing on this year being an election year.  I thought it was hilarious and as a concert tee collector, I had to get one.  Being that it's November I went for a rare look in my arsenal, jeans, but a pair with rips all over them to go along with the Andrew WK part of the outfit.  Then I added girly frills like a hair flower (I used to wear them all the time but ceased when I grew out my bangs for some reason) and sparkly heels.  My blue footed booby brooch...well, it felt appropriate to wear a booby considering so many politicians are boobys.

Jacket- Forever 21
Brooch- Erstwilder
Shirt- Andrew WK Merch Store (sold out but there's other options still available)
Jeans- Target
Shoes- Nine West

I know not all of us our on the same side, but best of luck to us all.  I think we all need it.  And hugs.  We need hugs.  

~Lauren-Blair Donovan

  


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Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Go CUBS!

Hey, all!  I'm a big baseball fan and my mom is from Chicago so I grew up hearing about the Cubs history and am pretty amped to be here at game 7!  Anyone else into this year's World Series or have a fan favorite they're rooting for?

Anyway, I just wanted to do a quick post showing my fandom!  I decided to be silly and wear my Cubs tee with a skirt (same as my zombie skirt) from Retrolicious via ModCloth with bears all over them...get it?  Hehe. I'm not into totally normal sports attire, as I exhibited HERE. Stay safe tonight if you're out watching tonight!

~Lauren-Blair Donovan

  

Monday, October 31, 2016

Halloween Style: Zombie Skirt



All About the Outfit:  I've been in love with this print for years.  It was a Folter dress but I never got it before it went out of print.  I came close when I found it in a local store, but just from eyeballing it I knew it was too big (some Folter sizing runs large).  Then ModCloth debuted this in skirt form and I got really excited!  Since skirts are a little more versatile than dresses, I knew this was more "meant to be" for me than the dress so it all worked out in the end!

Health and Weight Disclosure:  I don't want to talk too much about my health, or my weight for that matter.  But because fashion blogging is a window into how real women fit into clothing and can be used to assist women reading a blog about what size to get, I need to come clean a little bit.  As I've mentioned, my health has been "meh" since mid-August.  I knew I lost some weight due to a lack of appetite and sleeping more than usual, but around two weeks ago I found out that I was entering a territory that I didn't want to enter.  All women have a complicated history with body image, and I'm not any different.  That said, when my health crashed 5 years ago I lost 20+ lbs and was very weak and it probably took me longer to bounce back.  I now equate maintaining a healthy weight with strength and health.  I've worked incredibly hard the past two years to build back up muscle mass, be able to run a mile (that's very hard for me for me to do), and was even able to do the physically challenging art of Krav Maga earlier this year.  I thought I was relatively the same size this fall, so when I tried on size zero pants pants that I got over the summer a few weeks back I was stunned to find them fitting like pajama bottoms and I kind of freaked out.  As I said, I knew I had likely dropped a few pounds but I was shocked to realize it was to the point that my clothes didn't fit.



This disclaimer and moment of honesty is needed in this post because when I first got this skirt (and it's fraternal twin in a map print that I wore on Instagram a week back), I got it in my usual XS and it was a little bit too big.  In my Instagram post where I'm wearing the map print, I'm wearing a belt to cover it the discrepancy.  These photos were shot today and I think it shows that I've been working very hard to make sure I eat and my waist is now around to a 24-25 inch waist.  (Before I was 23-24 inches, making this skirt too big).  I was surprised this skirt was too big, because it has an elasticized waist.  But upon first trying it on the front gapped out a bit.  I bring this all up because because women come in every shape and size, for healthy and unhealthy reasons.  Due to my recent issues, I've dropped a size and was surprised at how some items fit.  If you're a 24 inch waist or below and reading this, there's a real possibility that these skirts won't fit right.  That said, I have a postcard print skirt like this from a year ago that I've run through the washer and dryer a few times before.  I tried that on for measure when I was at my thinnest and that seemed to fit fine.  So, if you are below 24 inches, an XS may work if you shrink it.

A few people have begun asking about my weight, so this is also why I'm addressing it.  Plus it's good to talk about how clothes fit as a fashion blogger, and I've developed a new perspective accidentally.  And...social media can be really detrimental.  I have complex feelings on how my part potentially plays into other's psyches, so I wanted to take a moment to address that when someone changes sizes it's not always due to vanity or aesthetics but rather something is UP with one's health.  Never judge anyone on either end of the spectrum...or think it's how you should look ;)

Style Details:
I originally had a totally different idea for this look, but it's been really hot here so I changed it around to a shorter sleeve look (from a button down long sleeve shirt).  I wanted lavender to make the dark hues pop and go slightly against fall and the impending winter.  
Sunglasses- Forever 21
Necklace- Ann Taylor
Shirt- Target
Brooch- Erstwilder
Skirt- Folter via ModCloth
Shoes- Chinese Laundry

Just Shair celebrated Halloween all month with a video and on-purpose terrible ideas for sexy costumes:

I hope everyone had a great Halloween!  Below is my real costume (Murphy Brown), although I don't think it read that way!  At a party I went to people asked if I was both Cybill Shepard or Hillary Clinton, ha.  (I blame the wig!)  For any Freaks and Geeks fans out there, I think I read as Bill Haverchuck's Bionic Women!  Regardless, here's a video of me dancing poorly to a Temptations song.  I re-watched a few seasons of Murphy Brown earlier in the year and thought it was hilarious how many episodes featured middle aged white people terribly dancing to Motown hits at their office parties, so I needed to parody it!  

video
I'm going to take tomorrow off from blog world to work on some IRL things, but am coming back Wednesday and have been working hard on getting ahead of obtaining content so I'm hopeful I'll be back in the swing of things!  Happy Halloween, friends!
~Lauren-Blair Donovan

  

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