Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Monet at Mirbeau

mirbeau inn and spa skaneateles

Last month, my mom and I had a much-needed girls' getaway weekend in Skaneateles. Even though it's relatively close by, it was so nice to escape for a couple of days. We stayed at Mirbeau, a beautiful inn and spa, and treated ourselves to massages, luxurious baths, and delicious food. One of the real highlights for me, however, was getting to spend time in their gorgeous gardens.

peonies rochester ny
pink peonies new york state
mirbeau gardens monet
monet gardens mirbeau
bernie dexter monet waterlily dress
mirbeau monet bridge
floral dress bernie dexter

We arrived just before the end of peony season, which made for a beautiful backdrop. The gardens are modeled loosely after Monet's gardens at Giverny (which is on my bucket list to see in real life someday), so I had to pack these two waterlily dresses from Bernie Dexter to match my surroundings.

bernie dexter dress
waterlilies mirbeau
waterlily dress
pink peony upstate ny
monet print dress
mirbeau inn and spa skaneateles ny
vintage retro floral dress
Outfit Details
Dresses: Bernie Dexter (similar here)
Cropped cardigan: available here
Necklace: Macy's  ||  Hair flower: similar
White sandals: Naturalizer

bun with bettie bangs

I've been determined to make some great memories this summer – and this trip was certainly one of my favorites so far. The weeks are actually flying by and I was worried that I'd spend a lot of time being sad that this summer is so different from last year. But I'm realizing that's not such a bad thing after all. And while I still have bouts of feeling lonely and depressed, I mostly feel encouraged and excited about what's on the horizon. And lucky. I can't forget that.

peonies rochester ny

Monday, July 8, 2019


bernie dexter poppy dress

Normally, I love an outfit that instantly transports me back in time. But in some cases, a dress becomes so emotionally loaded that I can't wear it without traveling right back into a certain frame of mind. For better or for worse, this is one of those dresses.

bernie dexter poppy field dress

The last time I wore this dress, I was in a special place I loved with a person I loved. The last time I wore this dress, I had a good day with that person, which was a rarer event than one might guess. The last time I wore this dress, I was 40 pounds heavier and my mind was heavy with worry all the time. Just because this dress fit me better back then doesn't mean that everything was a perfect fit. Both my body and my mind are lighter now, but my heart's still weighed down in a lot of ways.

bernie dexter chelsea dress

The last time... I guess I decided that this was the last time. The last time I would let him take advantage of my kindness and my forgiveness and my openness. The last time I would cry in front of him and because of him. The last time I might ever see him. So I made it count and called him out and gave voice to the truths I had wanted to express for so long and acknowledged the stinging realizations that came on fast and remain stuck in my mind. The last time I would stand by and let him hurt someone else like me – someone who is probably willing to overlook mistakes and who finds the joy in everything and who is too trusting and who ignores the red flags and who has a lot going for her and who doesn't deserve to be subjected to anything as ugly as alcoholism can be. I'm paying a price for my honesty and for my courage, but I wasn't about to let this be like every other time when I looked past the nastiness and saw only the sweetness. Instead, I saw him for who he chose to be... and my heart broke even more. But at least now there's something else fueling me and moving me forward, rather than having an excuse to stay stuck and fixate on what's left behind.

poppy flower necklace
vintage rockabilly pinup dress

Poppies are often used as a symbol of remembrance. I didn't plan this symbolism out when I shot these photos, but I don't think it's a coincidence that I'm finding significant meaning in what I'm wearing. Six months ago, I'd reminisce and romanticize the good things (however few and far between). Now, I'm reminded of all the bad things and of the worst versions of ourselves and I know I don't ever want to be in that position again. Poppies can also indicate sleep or death, but I feel more awake and more alive than I have in who knows how long, despite the fact that part of me is gone for good and I still find it hard to even breathe sometimes. But, appropriately enough, I guess that's what happens when you get hooked and when you finally remember what it feels like to not be under that influence anymore.

hop skip and flutter necklace
retro girl vintage bangs

These flowers are also left on graves, so it's only fitting that I'm grieving. Mourning doesn't always look like or feel like what you'd expect. It isn't linear and it doesn't involve just one emotion and it doesn't fit neatly into a nice little box – which, in all its confusion, perfectly aligns with many of the other seemingly impossible situations I've encountered over the past three years. That doesn't make it any easier to understand or make the healing happen faster. But I know what I'm capable of – and I know that I will blossom anew again, in spite of it all.

bernie dexter vintage dress
Outfit Details
Chelsea Dress in Poppy Field: Bernie Dexter
Red Poppy Necklace: c/o Hop Skip & Flutter
Boater hat: similar  ||  Sandals: Naturalizer (half off!)

poppy necklace hop skip and flutter
bernie dexter
Be good to yourselves, my friends. You're all you've got.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Sci-Fi Rockets: Twinning With Southern (California) Belle

trashy diva sci fi rockets dress

This Trashy Diva print is one of my all-time favorites and seems totally appropriate for the upcoming Independence Day holiday. I remembered that my BFF Ashley and I both own this dress and yet neither of us has ever worn it on our blogs – so I felt it was high time for a twinning post. Funnily enough, we styled it VERY similarly. It just proves that, even thousands of miles apart, she and I are always in sync. You can see more of Ashley's beautiful photos (and get her outfit details) over on her blog today!

trashy diva rockets dress
skaneateles lake
rocket print dress

My mom and I spent last weekend in Skaneateles and the surrounding area, which felt like the perfect prelude to this celebration. I have to admit that I'm not exactly looking forward to the 4th this year, although I'm glad to be working a short week. Holidays take some getting used to when you're newly single, especially when this one used to be pretty happy. But I'm trying to make some new traditions – and I'm determined to see some fireworks, at least.

trashy diva annette dress
upstate ny skaneateles
trashy diva dress annette rockets
Outfit Details
Sci-Fi Rockets Annette Dress: originally from Trashy Diva (discontinued)
Cardigan: ModCloth  ||  Necklace: similar
Boater hat: similar  ||  Red clogs: ModCloth

trashy diva sci-fi rockets
trashy diva blog

Have a great July 4th!

Friday, June 7, 2019


instagram giveaway donut day

In case you didn't know, today is National Donut Day! And to start your Friday on an extra sweet note, I've decided to host a little giveaway over on Instagram. One lucky winner will get this donut-themed prize package, which is guaranteed to give you a sugar rush! Entering is super easy – all you have to do is follow my account, like the photo, and tag a friend (there are a couple of bonus entries, too). Click here to get all the details and enter for yourself!

pastel donut blog
Have a great weekend!

Friday, May 24, 2019

Friday Favorites #161: Memorial Day Deals

Happy Memorial Day weekend! I don't know about you, but I'm really excited to have an extra day off – and to do a little bit of shopping. Here are just a few things that are sitting in my shopping cart (plus a bunch of promo codes for you to reference before you check out!):
memorial day deals promos 2019
a   ||   b   ||   c   ||   d   ||   e

Aerie: 40-60% off Aerie collection
American Eagle: 25-60% off everything
Anthropologie: extra 40% off sale items
ASOS: 40% off new arrivals
ban.do: 25% off summer favorites
Bernie Dexter: 20% off site with code 20foryou, 60% off Last Chance with code BIG60
Betsey Johnson: 30% off with code HOT
Betty and Veronica: 55% off everything with code MDW55
ColourPop Cosmetics: up to 30% off sitewide
Gap: 40% off everything with code READY
Hearts and Found: 25% off dresses and skirts with code MEMDAY
J.Crew: 40% off with code SHOP40
Macy's: 20% off with code MEMDAY
ModCloth: 30% off full-price + 40% off sale
Old Navy: 50% off all tees, tanks, shorts, and swim
Sourpuss: 20% off with code MEMENTO
Steady Clothing: 20% off with code MEMORIAL 2019
Unique Vintage: 20% off everything with code FRESH
Vixen by Micheline Pitt: 25% off select styles with code MEM25

I'll keep adding to the list above as more codes become available, so be sure to check back before you confirm any orders this weekend! Do you have your eye on anything specific for summertime?

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

Have a great holiday!

Wednesday, May 15, 2019


gal meets glam colleen dress

If you've followed me for a while, you'll know what a sucker I am for anything novelty. Even as I get a little older, I can't quite give up the kitschiest, campiest parts of my wardrobe. It's a good thing that there are a lot of other people who feel the same way I do – and that Vendula London keeps on making the most adorable bags for me to lust after.

vendula london sweetie caravan

I've reviewed other handbags from Vendula in the past (see those posts here) and have been a fan of their brand for the past few years, so I was thrilled when they sent me this fun box bag to review from their "Sweetie Caravan" line. The design features a retro camper filled with candies and sweets (wouldn't you like to have one of those in real life?). There's even a little corgi inside waiting to greet you! It's surprisingly roomy inside and the lining has a macaron print. The attention to detail is, as always, so impressive. While I chose to hold this purse by its handle, there's also a long, detachable shoulder strap that makes the bag a bit more practical.

peach pink polka dot dress
vendula london handbags
novelty bag dog

These vegan(!) handbags are designed in London, but I'm so glad I've been able to get a few of them across the pond to me. Even better was the fact that this bag matched one of my Gal Meets Glam dresses perfectly. Although this style is no longer available, GMG just launched its May collection yesterday and I'm eyeing at least one dress from it. If you've been waiting to try these dresses, I seriously can't recommend them enough. Some of my GMG dresses from last year are actually a bit big on me now, but they're such nice quality that I will probably try to get them altered just so I can hold onto them – that's how much I love them!

rockabilly hair flower
vegan handbags
gal meets glam vendula london
Outfit Details
Colleen Dress: Gal Meets Glam (similar)
Sweetie Caravan Box Bag: c/o Vendula London
Hair flower: similar  ||  Sandals: similar

Have a great start to your week!