Thursday, October 20, 2016

Biking Through Brussels Dress Review

About the Dress:  How incredible is this dress?!  I've loved it since it hit the ModCloth website back in August and I am honestly shocked it took me for forever to purchase it.  I was starring at it and everything during the ModCloth IRL opening, but somehow I managed to escape without taking it home with me!  The name of this dress is the Biking Through Brussels Floral Dress in Houndstooth, and I'm definitely in love with the style of the Biking Through Brussels Dresses!  (I own three!) I love that this one is a classic cut with the always classic Houndstooth print, but it has a funkier flare to it with the floral print over it.  There's something very 70s about this dress to me, which is rarer for an above the knee style as so much of the 70s fashion was about either bell bottoms or maxi dresses.

The Fit:  I was wearing the Biking Through Brussels A Line Dress in Forest  to the ModCloth IRL opening, and the CEO, Matt Kaness, asked if I had owned any of the previous dresses they released in this style.  I own the In Bloom one from last year and he asked if I noticed a difference in the fit.  I answered honestly and said that immediately that I didn't and I asked why he asked.  He explained that they narrowed the chest on the fit model they used to cut the dresses, so it should fit better up top in smaller sizes.  (I'm an XS for measure).

I read through some reviews raving about the change and within the next week or so wore the In Bloom dress for comparison and I did find that one to run a little bit bigger than my Forest one, or now even my Houndstooth dress.  That said, I don't think anyone would notice that it was slightly looser on me--I didn't even totally notice because I'm not only on the smaller size bust wise, but I'm very narrow in the rib cage area in general and I tune out dresses that aren't perfectly snug in that area because it's basically white noise to me.  This all said, now that all of this has been brought to my attention, if you're built similarly to me, this dress will fit great but it won't be necessarily as snug as a bug in a rug around your chest.*  But again, this would have been white noise to me if all of this wasn't pointed out.  

The long and short of it: the newest Biking in Brussels dresses are more properly sized.  But depending on your measurements, there still may a little bit of, um, "room to grow"*, regardless.'ll love this dress and I couldn't be more thrilled with this purchase!

*I realized upon writing and reviewing this before publishing that I may not have the correct capacity to accurately measure how much this dress has changed.  Between a busy first half of my summer and a chronic illness flare up since August, I have lost some weight from not eating enough initially due to my schedule and then losing a lot of my appetite.  I don't believe it's noticeable to the naked eye, but some of my clothes are fitting differently.  I have some skirt posts coming up where I'm fully prepared to disclaim this information because the fit of my normal sizes are looser on me.  I did not initially think twice about how that could be biasing my review of this dress, but as these are some of my favorite pieces I'll be sure to wear them again and will update how I feel about the fit once my ducks are in a row health wise.  My stance that this version is a little tighter in the chest is accurate though--just by how much is where I may be corrected.

Style Details:  Though I believe this can be a year round dress, something about the yellow just screams fall to me!  Navy is just a great autumn color as well, so I decided to oversaturate with navy!

Sunglasses- Forever 21
Earring/Necklace Star Set: Kate Spade via Poshmark
Brooch- Erstwilder via DNJ Retro
Cardigan- Banana Republic
Dress- ModCloth
Shoes- Ralph Lauren via DSW

Hope everyone is having a great week!  I was a little more MIA from blog world this week than intended, but I'm trucking along and enjoying being back in general!  XO
~Lauren-Blair Donovan


Thursday, October 13, 2016

Cherry, Cherry

All About the Outfit:  This is definitely a simple outfit, in that there's no bells or whistles with NO accessorizing.  Black and red is so dramatic already that I didn't feel like it needed anything extra.  Plus, while I'll admit that I have gotten more into accessorizing over the past year or so, sometimes it's just nice to keep it simple...and it's a time savor!  Dark hues and pops of red are super perfect for fall too.  Because it's (rarely) cold enough to bundle up this time of year, cardigans are needed as the temperatures bounces back and forth from chilly to balmy throughout the day!

Style Details:
Cardigan- Old Navy
Dress- Bernie Dexter (discontinued; see similar HERE)
Shoes- Nine West

Music Time!
I can't not laugh when I hear Neil Diamond's, "Cherry Cherry."  If you've seen the underrated comic gem, Saving Silverman, you know why!  Jason Biggs, Steve Zahn, and Jack Black are all in a Neil Diamond cover band.  After Biggs falls for Amanda Peet's character she forces him to quit the band.  After discussing how evil Peet's character is, Zahn and Black bust out the most comedically angry rendition of "Cherry Cherry" that I've ever seen and I've never been able to hear the song the same way since!  (This song was picked for the blog post name due to the cherries on my dress!)
Because I feel like it...I'm going to make a side note and go on a tangent!  What is with comedy and Neil Diamond?  Colorado local rejected "wannabe" American Idol contestant, Magic Cyclops, did his hilariously fake audition using a Neil Diamond song as well.  (He's a comedian largely based in music, for those who saw the audition and thought it was for reals--a lot of my PA friends were surprised to hear from me that I knew of him prior to his AI moment and hear it confirmed that it was a total joke).  He put on a show after his AI stint and featured Neil Diamond heavily, including using a banner that (falsely) claimed Neil "Diamondz" died in 1984, and biking around with an ET doll for "Turn on Your Heart Light."  Something about Mr. Diamond seems to truly lends himself to comedy...!

At the Magic Cyclops concert I referenced, back in 2012!

Thursday Announcements:
  • Speaking of comedy, I have a kind of big announcement coming soon!  I've been hopping around like a little bunny since Sunday when things became official, as it's a very positive step for my future comedy endeavors.  But I haven't told everyone in my real life just yet, so I'm going hold out for a week or so before going public.  Stay tuned ;)
  • As you may know, I was very sporadic in posting from August until earlier this week, largely due to chronic health issues flaring up.  Click HERE to read more about that, plus a complete list of the content that I was able to put out during those two months but didn't necessarily advertise properly.
  • The dress I featured in this post had quite the comedic week, as it was used for a cover up prior to Just Shair's most recent shoot of parodies of "sexy" costumes for Halloween.  Below is a sneak peak of what we'll be debuting next week; our first "sexy" costume was Sexy Sloth and Sexy Ostrich (because girls can make any animal sexy right...haha...YIKES!)  Tomorrow we're debuting our second look, so follow Facebook/Instagram/Twitter to find out the latest!
  • We released a new video this week on all the BS that birthdays can be, involving abusive traditions, how terrible the birthday song is, and a special treat for those who watch after the credits!  

Thank-you all for a lovely first week back!  And thanks for yesterday for exceeding the limit of the coupon code I had for y'all yesterday for awesome store, Lovely in Lilac!  I'll be off from blogging this weekend, but am looking forward to a full week next week!  Have a great weekend!  XO


Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Lovely in Lilac Collab (Update**)

**For those who saw this post earlier and perhaps on my Instagram, I've had to remove the coupon code!  Lovely in Lilac is a newer company and there was a limit to how many codes could be used, and that number got exceeded!  Thank-you for being enthusiastic and I hope you love your purchases!!

I'm very excited to announce a collaboration!  Lovely in Lilac is a newer company that features quirky dress prints and fun accessories.  Over the next several months they will be continuing to grow, but currently they have an amazing selection of dresses--predominately by Folter, sister brand Retrolicious, and Voodoo Vixen!  I was very excited to see several dresses that are either harder to find or sold out elsewhere, including the dress I'm wearing by Folter (the Anatomically Correct Dress).  With Halloween around the corner, it's totally fitting..and getting harder to find!  Plus me being me, I will wear this all year long, ha!

Lovely in Lilac's selection is awesome and over the next week I'll feature a few more looks from them.  But if you're looking for fun Halloween themed dresses, as well as other fun but not as spooky quirky prints! Click here to go to their site!
One incredibly fun point on this glows in the dark!!  How fun is that--not to mention safe for walking around at night, ha?  I'm wearing a Deer Arrow brooch and Ralph Lauren pumps to highlight what the bones look like at night! 
  I'm a long time fan of the brands Lovely in Lilac feature and those dresses are truly amongst my most worn outfits!  And thanks for welcoming me back yesterday after an extended sporadic posting schedule!  If you missed my post on that and why I went MIA, you can read about it HERE!
~Lauren-Blair Donovan

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

I'm baaaack!

Friends...I have a few posts ready to go AND have some collabs happening, which means barring from my being hit by a bus (::knock on wood::) I think I'm back for realsies!  Ugh, finally!  Thanks to all who have been patient and concerned--I appreciate it.  The long and short of it is that I've had a rough go with my myriad of chronic health conditions the past two months after around a year or so of being relatively healthy.  Some days were better and more normal than others, but I seemed to never be able to catch up with various aspects of my life (especially blogging)  and the idea of doing hair and make-up for outfit posts just. Didn't. Appeal. To. Me.  Lol.

As I mentioned, I have a few posts and collabs ready to go and am itching to be back in a more full-time capacity!  At the bottom of this post I'll share the content my comedy project, Just Shair, did during my time off and link a few posts/videos I managed to eek out the past several weeks that you may have missed bc I fell short promoting my content a few times.  
All About the Outfit:  This was a bit of a unicorn/centaur dress if there ever was one for me!  Tatyana released this dress a year or two ago and I feel like it was never in my size!  I own the green bird dress like this and I feel like this one fits better (or at least the zipper is easier!).  I love the nostalgic car print and was thrilled when I found this on eBay in the beginning of the summer and am now starting to rock it because I generally don't do sleeves in the summer...especially longer ones like these!

Style Details:  I was initially going to be more on the nose with the color scheme involving footwear, but ultimately opted for my Nine West yellow pumps to bring out a pop of autumn!  I did go on the nose with the Deer Arrow pink Cadillac brooch.

Dress- Tatyana via eBay (Beach Bash brand)
Shoes- Nine West
Blazer (below)- Banana Republic via Good Will

Of course the good news is that it's that time of year where blazers are more than acceptable pieces of clothing to wear!  I got mega lucky and found this at the Good Will earlier this month while searching for a Halloween costume.  It's Banana Republic and it was...FIVE DOLLARS!  #score  So if this a 3/4 sleeve dress looked too chilly for you for this time of year, this is a good option to pair a similar dress with!
Notable blog posts. My work was sporadic and my advertising for said work was worse, so bear with me as I have a few best of posts/videos from my off/on Internet presence in case you missed it:
  • My collaboration with Glo Minerals is out and I have the links how-to on smokey eyes with all the products HERE!
  • Blair Reads Books: But What If We're Wrong? by Chuck Klosterman.  I'm back (sort of) to reviewing books on both here and my YouTube channel.  I'm back on accidental hiatus again, but here is one I got out despite feeling under the weather and I hope to be back to this series in a week or so.
  • ModCloth IRL Denver.  All about how the store works IRL and my experience with working with the company.  This is especially pertinent as it's been announced that they're opening their first permanent store in Austin, TX.
Blog's YouTube Videos:

I often film and edit a bit ahead of schedule, so I was able to get a few videos out but didn't advertise them too much!  

ModCloth Unboxing #2.  I discuss my latest finds from one of my favorite companies!
Weekly Recap Tea Time #2.  It pains me that my health, catching up with life, and Just Shair duties forced me to temporarily cease this series.  When I started it I thought I would be able to go full speed ahead as I didn't believe I'd be benched for so long.  I want this series to come back, but I'm going to be slow with it and wait for other projects to resume as normal.  But in this one the new iPhone and Dancing with Stars cast is covered, as that's what was happening in my last video of this series ha!  Hopefully in about 2 weeks I can resume this segment...
Blair Reads Books! As mentioned, this was my latest book review on Chuck Klosterman's latest book.  This was one of the most fascinating reads ever, so I highly recommend checking it out!
Just Shair! Things have been busy and in full swing at Just Shair.  Thank-goodness for a partner!  There's been a million photos of us doing really silly things, so please follow us on Instagram/Twitter/Facebook to catch up and stay up to date!  Here are our two latest videos, but please feel free to subscribe to our YouTube Channel too!:

Bad Song Lyrics 2: Rap and Hip Hope Edition!  We put out our first bad lyrics video a while back, but we finally did the second half of our footage covering rap lyrics we find silly.  I mean, c'mon..."Spending quality time with his kids...when he can..." doesn't make him a mighty good man!

Bloopers, Scrapped Footage, & Tangents!  When a comedic duo makes a blooper while filming, lots of laughs and more jokes about it get spawned pretty quickly!  And sometimes we film stuff we cut but it's still gold, even if it didn't fit as nicely into the intended segment!  Plus, every once in a while we film something and don't release any of the footage (usually due to the energy of the video not working), but it'd be tragic if we let EVERYTHING go from it!  This video is a compilation of the first 10 official videos we made plus one that never saw the light of day, and though I may be biased...I think it's a ton of fun!  

All About Fall!  This isn't your basic fall video!  It takes dark turns left and right, as we bring up that leaves are essentially death, fall is a little racist when you think about, and debate when it's acceptable to watch people get concussions while playing football--but all in a fun way!!  Ha, but seriously: you've never seen two girls talk about fall in this tone!

Thanks for hanging in there with me...I'm glad to be back!
~Lauren-Blair Donovan


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