Friday, December 14, 2018

HSP Gift Guide: Perfect Presents for Highly Sensitive People

This time of year, there's no shortage of gift guides out there in the blogosphere. I really enjoy putting these kinds of posts together, but I wanted to make sure that mine was a little bit different. And then I remembered the post I wrote on self-care tips for introverts and highly sensitive people (a.k.a. me) a while back. The post seemed to resonate with a lot of you, as well. Maybe it was time to write about that subject again, but in a different way.

A lot of my friends who are writers, bloggers, artists, and creatives identify with being empaths, HSPs, and introverts. And I think it can be really easy to forget that these traits are actually gifts, rather than faults. So what better way to remind you all of these special gifts than by putting together a gift guide for yourself or for the sensitive, introverted, or empathic person in your life?

As a rule, HSPs tend to feel more deeply and observe more closely than other people and we have to be very careful about how we use our energy. Self-care is important for everyone, but I feel really strongly that it's especially so for us. I've curated some gift ideas that are introspective and comforting for when the world overwhelms us and we desperately need to check in with ourselves.

gifts for highly sensitive people

a.  The Highly Sensitive Person (the go-to read for HSPs!)
b.  Weighted blanket (to help you sleep more soundly)
c.  Start Where You Are (a nurturing self-exploration journal)
d.  Cowl neck pullover (made of the *softest* material)
e.  Kate Gabrielle pin (to remind people to handle your heart with care)
f.  Peach plushie heating pad (this will keep you snuggly and pain-free this winter)
g.  Color Theory sensitive tote bag (to carry around your comforting must-haves)
h. anxiety necklace (a stylish way to end the mental health stigma)
i.  Get Relaxed tea (a soothing blend of chamomile, lavender, and rose)
j.  Mist Your Mood (an equally comforting room mist of lavender and chamomile)
k.  The Introvert Activity Book (for when you need to recharge, distract, and express yourself)
l.  Lavender blossoms grow kit (so you can grow your own soothing scent at home)
m.  I Don't Know How to Cook (to help you nourish your body without feeling overwhelmed)
n.  "Sensitivity is my superpower" mug (to remind you that your sensitivity really is a gift)
o.  Lavender and sage soy candle (a way to instantly make you feel cozy and calm)
p.  S'mores USB heat-up slippers (to make you smile and keep your feet toasty)
q.  The Great British Baking Show on DVD (for when you need the ultimate comfort show)
r.  "Stay Home Club" print (for when you need an excuse to stay home with your cat)
s.  Bamboo bath caddy (so you can treat yourself to a *fancy* soak in the tub)
t.  Bee Balm healing salve (for when your sensitive skin needs some TLC)
u.  The Mini Book of Mindfulness (so you can learn to live in the moment)

Of course, the best gift you can give to your HSP may not be material at all. Experience gifts can be even more appreciated because it can convince us to really take the time to take care of ourselves. If you really want to pamper your HSP and show them how much they're loved, I'd recommend: a professional massage, a day outdoors, or a weekend at a quaint bed and breakfast. Helping them with chores around the house, cooking them their favorite meal, or offering to take a major task off their plate can be a huge relief and be even better than unwrapping a present. Anything that prioritizes their well-being and makes them special and taken care of is usually a good bet in my book.

I can speak only from my personal experience as an introverted HSP who's been dealing with a lot of stress and sleep issues for the past couple of years, so some of these picks may end up being more beneficial to me than others. But I hope you'll find this guide at least a little bit helpful for someone on your list! Do you have any suggestions that I missed? I'd love to hear about them in the comments so that others can heed your advice, too.

Please note that this post contains some affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking on one of those links, I may earn a small commission that helps to run my blog. Thank you for supporting The Soubrette Brunette!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Silver Bells

modcloth collectif dress
All images by Emma Rizzo Photo
I may have a fake Christmas tree at home, but there's nothing quite like the real thing. I knew that I wanted to take photos at a tree farm this year (we opted for Powers Farm Market, one of my favorite local treasures) and this session did not disappoint. My friend Emma and I lucked out on this beautiful, snow-kissed day amongst the evergreens. It doesn't hurt that this ModCloth x Collectif dress may be my new favorite of all time. It's so satisfying when all the elements come together – and you can end it all with apple cider, a fry cake, and a visit with some very curious alpacas.

blue velvet vintage dress
collectif velvet dress
christmas photos vintage

If you can't tell, I'm gearing up for Christmastime festivities. I've finished all my shopping (and am about to start wrapping), I'll soon be baking cookies, and I'm looking forward to doing some holiday festivities this weekend. I thought this season might be particularly painful – and it is in a lot of ways, believe me – but I'm surprised to find that immersing myself in holiday preparations has been truly enjoyable thus far. If nothing else, it's a welcome distraction.

christmas card vintage girl
modcloth velvet dress
christmas dress
new year's eve dress

You know what else is enjoyable? When a dress fits this well. I love a good velvet dress, but this one from ModCloth is an absolute dream. It's incredibly comfortable and yet unbelievably flattering – the perfect combination for the holiday. It's actually back in stock in just a few sizes at ModCloth (as of this writing, anyway), so if you've been hoping to snag it, don't miss your chance!

velvet holiday dress
modcloth x collectif vixen velvet midi dress
velvet dress

FYI: I ordered my normal UK size and am glad I did. While there's a good amount of stretch, I personally couldn't have sized down (though some might be able to) because of the bust. This dress is also available in a gorgeous dark green. It's currently sold out right now, but I'd recommend signing up for a restock notification in either color so that you get an email as soon as one is returned or if it's completely restocked!

holiday dress
modcloth holiday
the soubrette brunette christmas
Outfit Details
Vixen Match Velvet Midi Dress: c/o ModCloth
Necklace: ModCloth (similar)
Silver heels: Bettie Page (similar)

christmas outfit vintage rockabilly retro
Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Monday, December 10, 2018

Baking Spirits Bright

modcloth christmas sweater

Holiday shopping is so much fun, isn't it? I love spending time scouring websites and stores in search of the perfect present. I actually pride myself on my gift-giving abilities. I don't like the thought of phoning it in and giving a loved one something generic. Fortunately, there are a lot of options available to me so that I can always find something truly special.

vintage baker book

For many years, I've turned to ModCloth for gift items that are quirky, unique, and fun. My apartment is actually filled with housewares and office supplies I've found on their website, including dish drying racks, measuring spoons, candy dishes, silverware, mugs, and lots of other home accents. And while I've definitely purchased presents for others from their site, I'm always tempted to keep these items for myself. This time, I actually did – oops!

christmas tree sweater modcloth
the vintage baker recipe book
pillsbury cut out cookies

One of the things I knew I needed was this beautiful vintage baking book! I'm a big fan of The British Baking Show (and of baked goods in general), but I have virtually no skills when it comes to baking. I'm making a concerted effort to get more comfortable in the kitchen and this book looked so delightful... so I had to treat myself (literally). All of the recipes sound amazing. Maybe I can even add one of the cookie recipes into our holiday baking repertoire this year! For now, enjoy the sight of these cut-out cookies I made on a whim and have been eating ever since. And let me know what your favorite cookie is for this time of year – I'd love your input!

baking book
vintage baking book
modcloth plaid skirt
Outfit Details
Holiday Nights Knit Sweater: c/o ModCloth
Potluck Hostess Plaid Skirt: c/o ModCloth (similar)
Heels: ModCloth (similar)  ||  Brooch: similar

quirky books
cookies pyrex
llama dish towels
Gifts and Housewares
The Vintage Baker: c/o ModCloth (available here)
Writers and Their Cats: c/o ModCloth (available here)
Llama tea towel set: c/o ModCloth
Gingerbread house Pyrex: Target
Hearth and Hand candle (Fir and Leather): Target

writers and their cats book

I think the holidays are hard for a lot of people. I've always really loved them, but the last few years have included some sad times. This year might be sad for other reasons. I'm trying not to think about that, though I'm not always successful. Still, I am really looking forward to celebrating with my parents and with my friends. Focusing on finding just the right thing for everyone on my list has been a welcome distraction. Now I just need to wrap everything (and watch some Christmas movies)!

cat book writers

If you're still looking for some great gift ideas, ModCloth's Holiday Gift Guide has you covered. Plus, they're running a great sale through today (40% off orders $100+) that can take the sting out of holiday spending. They've already sold out of a lot of items – including just about everything I'm wearing or showing off in this post! – so don't wait too long! 

Have a great start to your week!

Monday, December 3, 2018

GIVEAWAY: Holiday Memories with RetroViewer! [CLOSED]

retro holiday photo woman

Happy December, everyone! I don't know about you, but I'm already gearing up for the holidays. My tree is trimmed, I'm planning to bake cookies and make latkes, and I've done pretty much all of my holiday shopping. I absolutely LOVE finding the perfect gifts for people I care about. But if you're stuck on what to get one of your nearest and dearest, I may have the perfect solution.

pink christmas tree
vintage christmas gift
retro christmas outfit

Some of you may remember this post from October wherein I talked about RetroViewer – a nostalgic viewfinder that you can customize with your own images and text. I filled mine with photos of my closest friends and had a ton of fun creating it. I commented at the time that I thought this would make THE coolest gift. And now, you'll have the chance to get one for yourself (or for someone on your list)!

retroviewer image3d
image3d retroviewer gift
custom viewfinder retroviewer
unique custom christmas gift

Here's the deal: one (1) lucky winner will receive their own Image3D RetroViewer. You get to choose the body color and customize your reel with seven (7) images – and you'll get free shipping, of course. You can include the photos that mean the most to someone you love and give it to them for the holidays... OR you can treat yourself and put it under your own tree to open! It's totally up to you. Learn more about how to enter below (it's easy, I promise).

retroviewer giveaway

Giveaway rules: This giveaway runs from now until 11:59 PM EST on Thursday, December 6. Because you'll need to get your order in by December 10 to get it in time for Christmas, I made this giveaway a bit shorter in length than others – so don't wait to get your entries in! This giveaway is open worldwide, but you must be a follower of my blog to enter. The winner will be contacted via email (so provide a valid email address, please!) and must respond to that email within 24 hours; otherwise, a new winner will be chosen. The winner will be announced via the widget after their acceptance has been confirmed. It will be up to the winner to place the order for their RetroViewer (with the complimentary promo code provided by Image3D) in time to comply with holiday shipping restrictions. Thank you for your support and best of luck! 

Friday, November 23, 2018

Friday Favorites #156: Black Friday 2018 Edition [DEALS AND PROMO CODES]

Happy Black Friday, everyone! I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving and are ready to drop some cash. I put together a wish list of items I may be purchasing for myself this year (I promise, I'm buying things for other people, too!). Plus, I've rounded up a TON of promo codes and deals for you to use as a reference for all of your shopping needs. If you're planning on buying something today (or already bought something!), tell me all about it in the comments so I can live vicariously! :)

Please note that this post contains some affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking on one of those links, I may earn a small commission that helps to run my blog. Thank you for supporting The Soubrette Brunette!
pastel gift guide 2018
a   ||   b   ||   c   ||   d   ||   e
f   ||   g   ||   h   ||   i   ||   j
k   ||   l   ||   m   ||   n   ||   o  

And now for the deals and promo codes! I'll be adding to this list as others come in, so check back!
Happy Shopping!

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Sorry / Grateful

voodoo vixen plaid tartan dress
All images by Emma Rizzo Photo
My world has changed a lot in the last week. I'm not really ready to talk much about it yet, but suffice it to say that there's a lot to get used to and I'm spending a lot of time deep in thought or fighting back tears. Even when you feel a change is coming, that doesn't make it any easier or less heart-breaking. Knowing something might end up being for the best doesn't mean you're ready for it to happen.

voodoo vixen dress
modcloth shoes
camel coat

Still, there's a lot to be grateful for this Thanksgiving. I am thankful for the people in my life who care deeply about me. I am thankful for everyone who has reached out to me with kindness and compassion. I am thankful for my home and for my job. I am thankful for my cat and for creativity and for laughter and for warmth and for comfort. I am thankful for sunshine and for the seasons and for the knowledge that time does heal (if not completely, at least enough that it won't always hurt to breathe or to remember). I am thankful for my health and for my desire to improve it. I am thankful for words and for music and for art. I am thankful for good deeds in this weary world. I am thankful to have known love; if I have lost it in the end, at least I found it and experienced joy even in the darkest of places and in the darkest of times. I am thankful... in spite of it all.

plaid dress vintage
rochester ny autumn
portraits rochester ny

And now I'm sorry (hence this Sondheim-inspired title) that this post has turned into something more melancholy than I intended, especially because this autumnal dress from Voodoo Vixen should be the star of the show. Emma took some photos of my friend Kelsey and me on what was basically the last day of real fall here in Rochester. We got to capture some dreamy golden moments and my dress looked absolutely perfect against the backdrop of yellow and orange leaves. Now, everything's covered in snow. It seems appropriate that the cold came in all at once, without warning and without apology.

voodoo vixen samantha dress

Back to the dress. This is probably the most beautiful plaid I could imagine for Thanksgiving – and you may be able to find it on sale this week for Black Friday. I was eager to get my hands on it because of the print and because it's actually called the "Samantha" dress. I love all the details (the pockets are so cute) and the plaid is even prettier in person. However, I will say that this dress runs small and that the fabric has no stretch. I actually ordered up from my normal size and it's still not quite big enough to comfortably accommodate my bust and my arms. If you want to snag it for yourself, Doll Me Up still has some sizes (and should be restocking soon); they have an accurate size chart to go by and I would suggest choosing your size based on your bust measurement. The dress comes with a matching fabric belt, so you'd be able to cinch it a bit if it's too roomy (plus, you need a bit of space for holiday foods). Other than that, it's truly a lovely dress and it's so perfect for fall festivities.

plaid dress
fall leaves rochester ny
highland park rochester ny
Outfit Details
Samantha Tartan Dress: c/o Voodoo Vixen
Coat: Hell Bunny (similar)
Tights: similar  ||  Shoes: similar

plaid dress vintage retro

I'm a bit all over the place lately, but I'm trying to stay busy and focus on things I'm excited about. I've already started decorating my house for Christmas and I'll probably be putting up my tree this weekend. I've always loved the holidays and am trying not to think about the fact they suddenly feel a lot lonelier this year. I don't even feel that excited about pumpkin pie, which isn't like me. Maybe I'll feel differently tomorrow. That's all I really hope for lately – that I'll feel differently tomorrow.

Sending love to you and yours.
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