Sunday, October 23, 2022

The Soubrette Brunette's Enchanted Birthday Giveaway! [CLOSED]

The Soubrette Brunette's enchanted birthday giveaway

I'm turning 34 on Friday, but I'm starting the celebrations early with my annual birthday giveaway! This year, I've gone with a mystical, enchanted theme for all my ethereal and magical followers. Read on to find out what's up for grabs this time!

enchanted birthday blog giveaway

This year's winner will receive a curated prize package of otherworldly goodies, including:

  • Dreamland skirt from she and reverie
  • Colourpop Hocus Pocus 2 eyeshadow palette
  • "In the Mushroom Forest" print by Art of Stephanie Marie
  • "What's your sign?" horoscope game
  • Vintage witch composition notebook
  • Cat tarot cards and guidebook 
  • Flower fairies postcard book
  • Herbal scented candles
  • Mushroom mug
  • Moon and star necklace
Honestly, I wish I could keep all these prizes for myself! But I'm just as happy to send them to one of you. Here's how you could potentially win them!

Enter the giveaway using the Rafflecopter widget below. If you're unable to enter via mobile, please try on a desktop or laptop! One (1) winner will be chosen to win the prize package pictured and described above. (In the event of product unavailability, comparable substitutions may be made.) 

You must complete ALL required entries in order to be eligible. (Yes, I do check!) In particular, make sure the name included in your comment matches your email address or the name you've used to sign in. I cannot count entries for users marked "unknown" or that I can't verify!

This giveaway is open worldwide and will run from now until 11:59 PM EST on Saturday, October 29, 2022. The winner will be chosen at random through the widget and will be contacted via email, so remember to provide a valid email address in your blog post comment! The winner must respond within 48 hours of being contacted to claim their prizes and coordinate their receipt. If no response is received, a new winner will be chosen. The winner will be announced via the widget once confirmed. This giveaway is hosted by The Soubrette Brunette with sponsored prizes courtesy of she and reverie; no other brands or businesses are officially affiliated with this giveaway, including Instagram and Facebook. 

Thank you for entering (and for spending another year with me)! Best of luck!

Thursday, September 1, 2022

The Soubrette Brunette in Home Magazine: Storytelling Through Style

the soubrette brunette sammi cohen rochester ny

Hi! It's been a while! I hope you're having a wonderful summer. If you don't follow me on social media, you might have missed a really fun development: I was featured in the July/August issue of Home Magazine! I had the chance to talk about my style ethos and share some of my favorite images from outings around Rochester. Should you feel so inclined, check out the entire issue of Home Publications or read my article at your leisure. 

The blogging landscape has changed so much over the last decade, but I can't see myself saying goodbye to it any time soon. Though I'm more active on Instagram and Tiktok these days, I hope I'll have the energy to keep updating here every so often. Because I work full-time in digital marketing (and blogging is a huge part of my job), co-run a business on the side, and perform whenever I get the chance, it can be tough to keep up with so much photo editing and writing. Frankly, posting on social media actually streamlines the process and it's where people go for this kind of content now. That said, maintaining this blog is super important to me (plus, you never know when a platform might deactivate your account). So if you're still here, I appreciate you!

Fingers crossed my next update will be sooner rather than later. :)

Monday, April 11, 2022

Easter Basket Instagram Giveaway!

easter basket giveaway

Hey, little bunnies!

This is just a quick PSA that I'm running an Easter-themed giveaway over on my Instagram! I normally use my blog to host giveaways, but I'm trying out something new this time.

Just watch my latest reel and follow the directions in the caption to enter. One (1) winner will receive this basket of goodies! I promise, the prizes are sweet. :)

What are you waiting for? Enter the giveaway here!

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

Galentine's Day Brunch 2022: How to Throw a Party Your Gal Pals Will Love

galentine's day brunch

Let's go, girls.

If that line doesn't make you want to strut, I'm not sure what will.

valentine's favors candy

It's nearly time for Galentine's Day 2022! It surprised me to recently learn that a lot of people aren't actually familiar with the phenomenon of Galentine's Day. Maybe it's a generational thing. But this one's for the ladies – so it's a holiday that deserves more attention. 

Ever since I first watched Parks and Recreation, I've been a fan of Galentine's Day. (Check out my previous Galentine's Day post!) How could you resist Leslie Knope's commitment to celebrating female friendships? I'm lucky enough to have a bunch of lovely ladies in my life and I was thrilled to have the chance to bring some of my Galentine's Day party ideas to life with a few of them!

galentines day

Those who still follow my blog are getting this content a little bit early than everyone else will on Instagram, since Galentine's Day is officially on Sunday (yes, the same day as the Super Bowl... which seems... a bit unfair). So if you want to know how to host a Galentine's Day Party in advance, feel free to draw inspiration from these photos and my tips below. 

galentines day table

Galentine's Day Decorations

I believe that when you're learning how to host a Galentine's Day party, you have to go all out. I picked up decor from Target, Amazon, Marshall's, Michael's, and my mom's house. I even ordered a bunch of balloons (and had them delivered!). My vision was inspired by Carrie and Miranda's ill-fated Valentine's Day dinner in the Sex and the City movie mixed with a child's birthday party.

galentines decor

Some of my decorations are no longer available, but I'll include some links below to what I used (or very similar items).

Since I love pink, I already had a lot to pull from. I'm a bit of a traditionalist, but feel free to come up with your own theme! You could do all red, red and white, all black, or bright and bold colors! There are no Galentine's Day decor rules, in my opinion. 

galentines day menu

Galentine's Day Menu

I've seen a number of posts on TikTok showing some Galentine's Day party ideas and Galentine's Day menus, but I planned my celebration early this year. 

I knew from the beginning that I wanted to host a brunch. Not only do I love breakfast food, but it's a meal that I can handle making! It's also easy to supplement ready-made items (or ones you can heat in the oven). In comparison to a fancy dinner party, it's relatively low stress while still feeling festive.

galentines day party

Of course, a Galentine's Day brunch is a natural choice for February 13th (thanks to Leslie Knope's love of waffles). There are a ton of possibilities for Galentine's Day brunch foods, which made it difficult for me to narrow it down. But when I finalized my Galentine's Day menu, I was pretty pleased with my selections. 

galentines food

galentines brunch

galentines day party ideas

For Galentine's Day 2022, I served:

  • Quiche Lorraine
  • Apple maple chicken sausages
  • Spring mix salad with lemon dressing
  • Heart-shaped waffles and fresh strawberries
  • Real maple syrup
  • Breakfast potatoes
  • Fresh fruit
  • Chocolate and almond croissants
  • Strawberry mousse cakes
  • Heart-shaped macarons
  • Chocolate covered strawberries
  • Assorted juice, sparkling cider, and coffee

Surprising no one, I made way too much food for the number of guests in attendance. But that meant I got to send everyone home with Galentine's Day brunch leftovers (and I was able to enjoy some myself for the rest of the week)! 

Don't forget to grab yourself this adorable Dash mini waffle maker to satisfy your heart-shaped waffle cravings! It's so easy to use and comes in a bunch of different styles. 

galentines party

How to Plan a Galentine's Day Party: Quick Tips

I'm definitely not an expert and I'm not really someone who loves hosting parties. But I care about my friends, I love food, and I get a lot of joy out of creating beautiful spaces. With that said, here are a few quick tips to keep in mind if you're wondering how to plan a Galentine's Day celebration.

Use what you already have. I save decorations from year to year and ended up borrowing a bunch of stuff that could work with a pink-and-red theme. (Thanks, Mom!) I love that I had access to lots of heart-shaped bowls and plates, but you don't necessarily have to go out and buy a lot to make your tablescape look valentine-y. I raided my own china cabinet for some floral antiques to use, a red or pink tablecloth on  a card table with plain white dishes will look just as elegant!

Keep your guest list small. I suggest this all the time as an introvert, but having only a handful of guests will make things much more manageable. You won't have to buy as much Galentine's brunch food (in theory, anyway!) and you won't feel overwhelmed trying to balance social obligations while you cook. And if you have limited seating like I do, it won't be a problem to fit everyone around the table! That way, no one feels left out of the conversation.

Remember dietary restrictions. I admittedly could have done better on this one! I'm a cheese lover, so I had a number of items on my Galentine's Day menu that contained dairy. Not every person with lactose intolerance will be able to take medication, so remind yourself to check in with your guests about dietary restrictions. If you have vegetarian, vegan, or gluten-free guests, make sure they can enjoy a complete meal (even if they aren't able to sample every dish). If your guest list is a bit larger, you may want to use place cards to label dishes as being vegan-friendly, gluten-free, or non-dairy to cut down on confusion.

Dress up (if your friends are game). It's no surprise that I love any excuse to dress up. While most of my friends keep things a bit more casual than I do, something I adore about them is that they appreciate my enthusiasm for a good theme. My friends dressed up in a way that felt right for their personal style, which made things even more fun (and they were still comfortable!). For reference, the dress I wore is from Unique Vintage!

Don't bite off more than you can chew. Except when it comes to waffles. :) Learning how to host a Galentine's Day party (or any kind of event, for that matter) can be stressful. Plans can go awry and if you're too focused on perfecting every detail, you might become overwhelmed. During the planning stage, check in with yourself to ensure you're not taking on too much. Give yourself plenty of time to prepare and keep your expectations in check. In the end, it's not about pulling off a party without a hitch; it's about celebrating the most important ladies in your life!

galentines day 2022

Are you planning anything special for Galentine's Day 2022? With only a few days left until the 13th, there's still time to schedule something with your best gal pals! Even if it's just a virtual hang or a quick cup of coffee, Galentine's Day gives us a great excuse to show our most favorite women how much they mean to us. But really, we should try to do that every day.

Tuesday, February 1, 2022

The Soubrette Brunette's 9th Blogiversary Giveaway! [CLOSED]

blog giveaway the soubrette brunette

It's hard for me to believe... but I started this blog 9 years ago this month! 

My relationship with blogging (and with many of you!) goes back nearly a decade. I've made so many friends through this community. I probably wouldn't have gotten into marketing if it weren't for my blog.  And this creative outlet has been absolutely priceless. I may not have thousands upon thousands of followers or made much money from it... but I feel really thankful that I took the risk and started my blog.

the soubrette brunette giveaway

Of course, as I do every February, I have to celebrate my blogiversary by giving back to you! Although I would probably still be creating and blogging even if no one else cared, it means so much more because there are people who do care! And as a thank you for being here, I'm giving away three different prizes this year! Keep reading to find out all the details.

giveaway selkie trixie cosmetics pusheen shop

For this year's blogiversary giveaway, there are 3 separate prizes – so you have 3 chances to win! If you're a fan of Selkie, Trixie Cosmetics, or Pusheen, you're in luck because...

I'll be giving away:
  • $50 Selkie gift card
  • $25 Trixie Cosmetics gift card 
  • $25 Pusheen Shop gift card

While I love giving away physical prizes, I opted to go with gift cards this year for the sake of both convenience and variety. These are all digital gift cards, which means they can be sent via email and enjoyed right away! These are also 3 of my favorite brands at the moment and I'm excited for 3 followers to win something special. 

As always, you'll need to enter the giveaway through the Rafflecopter widget below. (If you're having trouble, please try on desktop! I've heard a few people have issues with this on mobile.) 

Just like my last giveaway, you will need to complete ALL ENTRIES in order to be eligible to win. (Yes, I will check to make sure you've done them all! Don't risk disqualification!)

One (1) winner will be chosen for each of the aforementioned prizes at random. That means 3 winners will be selected in total, 1 for each prize. *Note that I cannot accommodate requests for specific prizes – it's all the luck of the draw!* In the unlikely event of availability issues, comparable selections may be made. Limit 1 prize per winner.

This giveaway is open worldwide and will run from now until 11:59 PM (EST) on Monday, February 7, 2022. Giveaway winners will be chosen through the widget and contacted via email. Remember to include a valid email address in your blog post comment! I will never contact giveaway winners via any other method. Winners must respond to the email within 48 hours of being contacted or a new winner will be chosen. Once confirmed, winners will be displayed via the widget. 

This giveaway is not sponsored or endorsed by any brand or business other than The Soubrette Brunette. Please note that I am not responsible for international shipping unavailability or costs related to shipping, taxes, or related fees.

Thanks for entering and best of luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, January 28, 2022

Friday Favorites #165: Be Mine, Valentine

It's been quite a while since I had the time to put together a Friday Favorites post! But with Valentine's Day right around the corner, I wanted to share a few things that I've fallen for.

I always love shopping for Valentine's Day gifts for myself, as well as finding Valentine's gifts for best friends. I may be single right now, but that doesn't mean I shouldn't show myself and my gal pals some love! Whether you're looking for something cozy to practice some self-care on February 14th or you're looking for that viral Betsey Johnson heart dress from TikTok, I bet you'll swoon over something I've included below!

Please note that this post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking on one of these links, I may receive a small commission (at no cost to you!) that helps to run my blog. Thank you for supporting The Soubrette Brunette!

a    ||    b    ||    c    ||    d    ||    e    ||    f

  ||    h    ||   i   ||   j   ||   k   ||   l

I don't really have any plans for Valentine's Day this year – and I'm actually okay with that! I might pick up a few things to pamper myself, but I think I'll be keeping things low-key this year. 

If you're looking for some more ways to treat yourself this February, be sure to check back here on Tuesday the 1st! I promise I'll have something special waiting for you. :) What do you think it could be?

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

A New Year's Eve Survival Guide for Introverts and Highly Sensitive People

HSP and introvert new year's eve survival guide
dress: c/o Unique Vintage

Let's face it: being an introvert and a highly sensitive person (HSP) isn't always easy.

If you identify with being a highly sensitive person or being introverted, you'll know that certain social situations can sometimes feel overwhelming. We can handle them if we've learned how to adapt (thanks to our more extroverted friends and available introvert and highly sensitive person coping strategies). But whether we actually want to partake in them is often a different story.

For a long time, I thought it meant I was abnormal when I felt drained after attending a social gathering or dreaded the thought of going to a party or crowded bar. But I eventually learned that the "introvert hangover" is incredibly common – and that there are highly sensitive person coping strategies that could also help me understand my needs a bit better. 

This is especially important during this time of year, as HSPs, introverts and holidays may not always mix well. Introverts and HSPs alike may feel like they're being pushed past their limits when they don't have enough downtime and feel pressured to be "on" for too long. My holiday celebrations tend to be pretty low-key, but in retrospect, I wish that I would have had an introvert's guide to the holidays to consult in the past! 

My New Year's Eve festivities are also pretty quiet these days. I was never big on going out, but I'm now even more inclined to stay in on the last night of the year. Not every HSP or introvert feels the same way, however. No matter what your plans are, you deserve to celebrate in a way that helps you feel your best. If you're looking for a more subdued NYE – even if you don't have a lot of HSP or introvert traits – read on.

In the interest of HSP and introvert holiday survival, I've put together a little guide for a better New Year's Eve. Here are just a few tips I'd recommend that introverts and HSPs (or literally anyone!) keep in mind as they plan for how they'll ring in 2022.

highly sensitive people introvert new years eve

Keep It Small and Short

Speaking from experience, the perfect HSP or introvert New Years Eve celebration is one that doesn't last all night. A lot of us tend to lose steam after a few hours, especially during large gatherings that require us to socialize with a lot of people. Instead of sending out an invitation that specifies "5 PM – ?," plan to attend for only a few hours at most. This might mean getting home before midnight – and that may actually be a good thing.

It's not just the length of time that matters; it's also about who's in attendance. Personally, I tend to fare better in a small group of people I already know. If you identify with being a highly sensitive person or introvert, try to keep your guest list on the smaller side. With a smaller group, you'll probably feel more at-ease and won't have to spend your energy reserves meeting a bunch of unfamiliar folks. 

At a time when COVID-19 cases are on the rise, even among the vaccinated, this can give you the perfect excuse to host or attend the perfect introvert New Years Eve. A virtual New Years Eve party will provide you with a little bit of social interaction without ever having to leave your house! And since most people won't want to spend several hours on a Zoom call, you won't have to deal with an introvert hangover on January 1st. 

Plan to Stay In

Maybe this goes without saying, but any introvert or highly sensitive person survival guide will probably include an option for staying home during the holidays. This doesn't mean you shouldn't challenge yourself to go out and socialize (during non-pandemic times, at least). But it does mean you'll want to figure out how you like to celebrate and honor that when making plans.

Whether you have a virtual New Years Eve on a video chat with friends or you decide to enjoy a night in with your BFF or partner, staying home can be the best way to celebrate this occasion. You can dress up or down, you'll have access to your own kitchen and bathroom, and you can turn in whenever you please. 

Having access to these kinds of creature comforts can take the pressure off and allow you to make your own traditions. You don't have to ring in the new year at a bar or in a crowded apartment. Instead, you can play board games, watch a movie marathon, order takeout, or pamper yourself – whatever your heart desires. I'd be willing to bet that you'll go to bed (and wake up) a whole lot happier if you plan to spend at least a portion of the evening decompressing at home.

Get Enough Sleep

HSPs, in particular, tend to feel the negative effects of inadequate sleep. I know that I'm more likely to develop a migraine if I haven't had enough shut-eye. And since no one wants to start the new year off with a headache, I'd prioritize your sleep leading up to your celebrations.

The holidays can often wreak havoc on your sleep schedule. If you know you tend to get grouchy or feel ill when you're sleep-deprived, don't sacrifice your forty winks for the promise of merriment. Being a highly sensitive person sometimes means prioritizing your body's needs. Sometimes, that means cutting things short for the sake of a good night's sleep.

Try to stick to a bedtime routine during the holidays or even take a nap before your New Year's Eve plans. And don't attempt to offset your sleepiness with coffee or soda! HSPs can also be more sensitive to caffeine, which means you may not be able to rely on the methods that others do to feel more awake. The best thing you can do is honor your regular schedule as best you can.

hsp introvert holiday survival guide

Eat and Hydrate Properly

If you're anything like me, you become hangry to the nth degree if you aren't careful. HSPs often feel the effects of hunger or low blood sugar more than other people, which means you really shouldn't go for too long without eating.

When planning for your New Year's Eve festivities, take breaks to have meals and snacks. Be sure to nosh on some protein! Trying to do too much on an empty stomach may make you feel overwhelmed or lightheaded, which definitely isn't ideal if you're out of the house and in a social situation. 

Take care to hydrate, as well. Whether or not you plan to drink alcohol, you'll feel a lot better if you don't become dehydrated. Stave off a possible headache and feel your best by drinking lots of H2O. 

Take a Time Out

Introverts and HSPs can often become drained or overstimulated in noisy social environments. You don't necessarily need to avoid these situations entirely, as it's often better to learn the introvert and highly sensitive person coping strategies that will allow you to navigate the world as it is. 

Instead, plan to take some breaks during the evening so you can reset. This might include grabbing a buddy to go outside for a bit of fresh air or asking your host if there's a quiet bedroom where you can retreat for five or 10 minutes. If you start to feel like everything's a bit too much, give yourself permission to take a few moments for yourself. Take some relaxing breaths, have some water and a snack, and dim the lights. Small time-outs like these can help you recharge a little bit during a gathering.

Bring or Wear Comfortable Shoes

Whether you're looking for introvert New Years Eve tips or you simply want to have a better time when you're celebrating, I'd recommend thinking ahead to the tired version of yourself. You might feel great in your high-heeled boots when you're heading out, but you're going to be pretty miserable by the end of the night. 

To get more longevity out of your social reserves, you'll want your body to feel its best. That means dressing for comfort. You don't have to opt for ugly footwear, but I guarantee you'll be overjoyed that you brought comfy shoes in your purse to change into later on in the evening. Bring some bandaids, too. You'll thank me later.

hps introvert new years eve

Consider Staying Sober

I know this one might be a bit controversial – and this isn't going to apply to every introvert or HSP across the board. As a teetotaler, I'm also biased in this area. But if you've got highly sensitive person traits or you tend to be more introverted, it might be worth examining your relationship with alcohol on New Year's Eve (or during any occasion, for that matter).

Research suggests that some HSPs are more sensitive to the effects of alcohol than the average person. I've definitely found this to be true for myself, which is just one reason why I don't drink. Anecdotally, many HSPs say that they rely on alcohol to temper the overstimulation we sometimes experience; because we're constantly taking in so much of what's around us, booze can sometimes be used to dull that sensation and make things feel a little more manageable.

Understandably, alcohol and other addictive substances can present problems for some HSPs. Introverts may also lean on alcohol to help them come out of their shell. Obviously, this can be problematic in some situations.

If you feel pressured to drink alcohol on holidays to fit in or calm your anxieties, you're not alone. But if you find that drinking has negative effects on your mood or your life, you may want to look for some highly sensitive person coping strategies that don't involve imbibing on NYE. 

Looking for some alternatives to boozy beverages? Check out my New Year's Eve mocktails post from last year for inspiration.

There's nothing inherently wrong with having a glass of champagne or having a couple of drinks on NYE, even if you've got HSP or introvert traits. But if you've partied too hard in the past and you'd like to wake up feeling good, remember that you can still have a great time while sober.

Set Boundaries and Have an Escape Plan

Highly sensitive people are often confused with empaths. It's possible to be both, but these terms are actually mutually exclusive. In turn, empaths can sometimes have poor boundaries with other people. As someone who is highly sensitive and a people pleaser, I'll tell you that I've often sacrificed my own well-being for the sake of others' good time.

Being an introvert and HSP in her thirties, I've now learned that these tendencies can be really damaging for me. It's still not easy for me to set boundaries, but it's become a necessary part of life. Note that setting boundaries doesn't mean trying to dictate others' behavior; it simply outlines what you're willing to accept or tolerate (and what you're not). You don't even have to tell anyone else what your boundaries are. But regardless, you need to be prepared to follow through.

For example, say that you know you don't want to be around other people who are engaging in certain behaviors on New Year's Eve. You can't control the decisions that others make, but you can make your own choice about the kinds of situations you're willing to be in. You might set a boundary that you won't stay at a party where someone's choices make you uncomfortable or you won't ride in a car with someone who's been drinking. You'll have to follow through on this boundary if that does happen – which means having a plan of action. 

In this scenario, you might strike a deal with your friend or partner that you'll leave at a certain time or if you feel the situation is no longer healthy for you. You might also ask a friend to call them to pick you up or download the Uber app and plan to use it if necessary. 

Even if you don't anticipate needing to follow through with a strict boundary during your New Year's Eve celebrations, you may still want to have a "plan of escape" if you simply feel too exhausted or overwhelmed at any point. Again, setting a time limit on the festivities or even establishing a signal with a friend can ensure you have a great time without pushing yourself too hard and regretting it later.

new years eve survival guide introverts highly sensitive

Refer to These Tips For HSP and Introvert Holiday Survival 

Being a highly sensitive person or introvert doesn't mean you're drastically different from other people. It also doesn't mean there's something wrong with you or that you need to "get over" these traits! Introversion and high sensitivity can be incredible assets. But if you get stressed out in highly social situations or you want to avoid feeling drained at the end of the night, these tips can often help. 

Again, this doesn't mean you shouldn't ever push yourself to go out. (Although right now, a virtual New Years Eve party would be a lot safer!) You don't always have to stay in, even if your HSP and introvert traits are strong. But no matter where you celebrate, looking out for your unique physical and emotional needs can be one of the best ways to enjoy yourself. 

If you identify as an HSP or introvert, what are some of your favorite survival tips? Do you feel like this introvert and highly sensitive person survival guide applies to you? Let me know in the comments!

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