Friday, December 28, 2018

2018 Outfit Round-Up

At the end of every year, it's customary for me (and many other bloggers I know) to put together an outfit round-up post. It's a fun way to look back at my fashion choices from the past 12 months and reflect on how things have changed during that time.

Normally, I have a lot of outfits to choose from. But this year, it's dawned on me just how little I blogged during 2018. I published blogs only about once a month until more recently. At the time, I chalked it up to being too busy and too tired. Those things were certainly true, but I also think I was spending a lot of time being worried and worn out emotionally and giving too much of myself in situations that were probably unhealthy. When I looked back on some of these photos, I remembered quite vividly how sad or anxious or stressed or mad I was about situations I really didn't have much control over. There were some very bad days happening behind the scenes. It's amazing how we can rationalize a really messed up version of what "normal" is when we're in the midst of it. I didn't even get a chance to publish a lot of the photos that I took – and when I did, they were often delayed so long that they were out of season once I put together the posts. Sometimes I didn't post anything because I just wanted to enjoy the experiences that were truly good because they had been so rare. It wasn't until late summer and early fall that I felt like I was finding my stride again, and I know that timing isn't coincidental. It was when I finally started to feel like myself again and like I had some semblance of control over my life.

The truth is that this year has been really hard. I don't think I realized (or admitted) just how hard until now. I know that a lot of people are finding themselves in much more trying situations that mine. But I also don't want to minimize what I'm going through, either. It makes me sad to know I didn't have the energy to put into my blog last year. It's disappointing I felt so drained that my creative outlet felt like too much work. That happens, I suppose. But I'm hoping that in 2019, my spirit will be a bit renewed. Isn't that we all hope for?

Without any further ado, let's take a little look back at some of my posts from the past year. Which one was your favorite? What do you hope to see more of here in the coming year? 

the soubrette brunette
January   ||   February   ||   March

soubrette brunette blog
April   ||   May   ||   June

retro vintage blogger
July   ||   August   ||   September

vintage fashion blogger
October   ||   November   ||   December

Sending love and light to you for the rest of this year and into the next.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Please Come Home For Christmas

tatyana katie dress and jacket
All images by Emma Rizzo Photo
Well, it's Christmas Eve. It's finally here. I've really been looking forward to having a quiet celebration with my parents. We open all the major gifts (apart from the "Santa Claus presents" that are saved for Christmas morning) and eat a lot of appetizers. It's changed a lot from the Christmases we had when I was young, but it's a nice tradition. The last couple of Christmases weren't what I imagined, and yet I'm still anxious about what this one will be – and how I'll feel once it's over.

dark green christmas dress
christmas pinup
genesee country village and museum christmas

I'm not normally one to feel melancholy around the holidays. At all. I'm hoping that by the time this post goes live, I'll feel a lot more excited and a little less lonely. I know I'm very lucky to be spending the holiday with my family and I know I'll be spoiled with gifts. I'm so thankful for both of those things. But I also can't help feeling a bit blue. All those sad Christmas songs on the radio give me the impression that I'm probably not alone in that. The bottom line is that things change and it's hard and I'm trying to make the best of it. Cheers to that.

tatyana boutique dress
poinsettia hair flower
dark green retro dress
genesee country village museum
retro dress bettie page tatyana

Speaking of making the best of things... I recruited Emma to come with me to the Christmastime event at the Genesee Country Village and Museum this year and she was sweet enough to oblige and snap some photos of me (in the pouring rain, no less!). It's such a great place with so many historic buildings that have been transplanted to their grounds. I wish I could live in one of these darling houses! I decided that while this emerald green outfit isn't from the right era at all, it would look perfectly festive in this environment. Emma was a real trouper and a true friend to take these photos of me in the cold and the wet. It's a testament to her skill and her positivity that they turned out as well as they did!

pinup retro christmas outfit
GCVM rochester mumford ny
green christmas dress
christmas outfit
tatyana boutique green dress
Outfit Details
Katie Dress and Jacket Set: Tatyana
Poinsettia hair flower: Stardust Dames Boutique
Gold heels: B.A.I.T. Footwear (similar)

emma rizzo photo
Wishing the happiest of holidays to you and yours, my friends.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Mele Kalikimaka

pink gal meets glam joy dress

Christmas is less than a week away – can you believe it? The past month or so has been really hard, but I'm glad that the last few weeks have gone by quickly. I still have a few holiday outfits to share here on the blog, including this pink velvet number from the Gal Meets Glam collection. I shared this dress on my Black Friday wish list post and it's one of the only things I actually bought for myself. It's my third dress from GMG and, like the others I own, it's beautifully made. But unlike the other GMG dresses I have, this one has a fair amount of stretch – so much so that I could have comfortably sized down. At least it'll be super comfortable for holiday eating and general merriment.

pink velvet dress
pink christmas tree
erstwilder glazed gift ham brooch
blush pink dress

This dress is classically beautiful, so I opted to pair it with something kitschy. This glazed Christmas ham brooch is one of the funniest things I've ever seen. Erstwilder gave them out as freebies with larger orders during their Christmas release, but unfortunately I wasn't able to snag one then. I ended up finding one in a swap group and it arrived just in time for the holiday. The ironic thing is that I'm a Jew who celebrates Christmas and who has never eaten a spiral ham in her life. But I couldn't pass this up! (The meat itself is a different story.)

pink christmas dress
retro pink christmas decor
gal meets glam collection
pink christmas tree
pastel christmas
Outfit Details
Joy Dress in Pink Velvet: Gal Meets Glam Collection
Glazed Gift brooch: by Erstwilder
Gold heels: ModCloth

pink christmas presents
Decor Details
Sisal bottle brush tree: At Home
Christmas tree pillow: Pier 1 (similar)
Retro pink bird ornament: Target
Hot air balloon ornament: Kohl's
Mint green velvet drop ornament: Michael's
Pusheen ornament: Hey Chickadee (2018 version)

erstwilder brooch

As you can see, my tree is up and a few gifts are wrapped... but this weekend will be devoted to getting all the rest of the holiday details ready. Presents, cookies, classic movies, and plenty of time with my family. I'm trying to keep my chin up, in spite of everything. The funny thing is that I'm not quite as worried about how I'll feel on Christmas as how I'll feel after it's over. For now... I'll be listening to non-stop holiday music and trying to focus on other things.

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.  ban.do 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!
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