This Memorial Day, amid a quick trip to New York for me and everyone else’s lake weekends and beach parties, let’s take a moment to thank the men and women that have made the ultimate sacrifice for our safety and freedom.
I hope that this day somehow brings a moment of gratitude, at the very least, for the thousands of amazingly brave individuals that have lost lives in combat or during service. Even though it’s cliche, freedom really isn’t free. Thank a veteran, pray for a family of a fallen soldier (or send some comforting thoughts to the family of Charles Keating IV, the Navy SEAL who was recently killed by an ISIS member), or visit a war memorial today.
It’s the unofficial start of summer and all its glory, but please think of all the service men and women who can’t celebrate the sunshine and warm weather with us because they chose to give everything for this country.
Oh, another Nordstrom Half Yearly Sale post on a blog operated by a white woman from the East Coast? No.Fucking.Way.
As much as I hate myself for posting about this over-publicized, exaggerated event in general, there are some amazing Free People deals going on right now.
One is on their Long Beach tank, a perfect, swingy little top to have for concerts, lake days, and so on. I ordered it in grey and the teal blue… at $14 each! I’m sure I’ll wear both colors this summer, but I can see myself wearing them under a military jacket or open sweater with dark or black denim come fall.
It would look great with the Uptown Denim Shorts, now at $47, which is nearly the best I’ve seen for their denim prices. I’ve been meaning to get new white denim shorts since last summer, and I may have to order them.
And, also, if you followed along with yesterday’s ‘what to wear’ and my new bralette obsession, their Galloon lace racerback style is on sale for $25, but only in red and in a large. I will add that I have actually seen the red in person, and the color is very rich but understated… not like a fire truck red. So, if you wear a large, which in FP bralettes is probably anyone over a C, and look good in red, give that a shot!
In general, those were the only items that really stood out to me on a quick glance, but, if you’re into FP, it’s worth a browse. I noticed a ton of lingerie and some of their workout line as well as a lot of their traditional tunic-type tops, but I didn’t think the prices were discounted enough to note.
EVERYONE! As of May 23rd, I’ve officially posted 200 times on instantblonde!
Despite falling off the train a little bit in April and May, I’m really proud of myself. Writing this blog has always been a dream of mine and I’m so happy that thirty-eight of you like to follow along!
So even though we’re celebrating late, which seems to be a theme around here, it’s still a cause for a party. Pop the champagne, throw the confetti, or dye your hair blue, because it’s all fun!
Actually, just kidding. Most definitely do NOT dye your hair blue. But, if you’re looking to try balayage or take the plunge with a new length, take this as your sign to go for it!
THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for reading, commenting, and inspiring me when I get around to writing. You mean the world!
P.S. Read my 200th post all about the art on Gossip Girl!
Each year, one lucky Victoria’s Secret Angel wears the Fantasy Bra, a decadent, themed, completely over the top work of art, usually worth north of a million dollars.
But, every day, bras are the lifeline of our clothes. If your undergarments don’t fit or aren’t cohesive with your outfit, you might as well stay home.
bralette: These are so fun. I didn’t really hop on the bralette train until recently, but I’m glad I did. They have bra straps that can actually show and still look cute, and the lace adds a certain bohemian vibe to an outfit. I personally pair them with rompers or loose, casual dresses. As much as I love them, though, I will say there is a caveat. If you’re anything bigger than an A or small B, they’re not supportive at all, and they really can make a lot more cleavage, so be careful. Free People’s classic Galloon style is a cult favorite, but Victoria’s Secret and Urban Outfitters have other options.
everyday: I would suggest a t-shirt style, something with a lot of coverage that goes with a variety of tops. I’ve had great luck with Victoria’s Secret t-shirt bras, as has most every average American female between fourteen and thirty. For reference, I’m about 34 C but my size varies within VS- their sizing is NOT accurate. There are sub-collections within their t-shirt options, so definitely take a look at those. And, for the love of God, do not buy it in their adorable white and pink stripes. This is one you’ll need in nude and black.
strapless: You’ll notice that I don’t have a strapless bra featured on the collage. Unfortunately, it’s because I’ve yet to find a good one. I’ve tried one Target one- don’t judge, I was in a rush- along with an old VS one and a random few, which were Calvin Klein and Natori, I think, from Nordstrom Rack. I feel like the Goldilocks of strapless options. Some aren’t enough coverage, some don’t stay up, some dig into my ribs, and some don’t plunge low enough for the tops I need them for. Send a good one my way and I’ll love you forever.
sports: Out of this entire group, this should be the workhorse piece. It must be able to endure cardio, sprints, and the Stair Master. If it can do all of that, buy it in every color. (You should start with black, grey, or white. I’d recommend moving on to hot pink, which surprisingly complements a lot of my activewear, or a cool cyan shade.) I’m loyal to Nike’s Pro Classic , or their Pro Hero for the really intense workouts, like kickboxing or hill sprints.
“sports”: I put sports in quotes because this is the adorable athletic bra you’d buy but never actually exercise in. They’re made for hungover brunches, halfhearted yoga classes, and grocery store runs. I like Lululemon’s options, though their sizing is really warped too. I am usually an 8 in their bras, which seems big but I guess not going by traditional sizes adds mystery. Think of something that will look cute with t-shirts, peeking out of tank tops, and so on. Lululemon’s Flow Y bra is in the collage but I like the Free to Be Wild too.
sexy: La Perla is the ultimate splurge- like this beautiful Merveille style or the more plunged one I pictured, but Free People, VS, and local spots have some great options too. One of my favorite pieces ever is a lacy baby blue number from a tiny boutique in Naples. I’ll never forget the way the Portuguese store owner picked it out just for me! Even if you’re not buying something sexy with anyone in mind, just do it for you. Live a little… your Monday will only benefit from wearing something beautiful under your clothes.
Here’s to hoping this post pushed you to buy some $300 lingerie!
Recently, I went to an awards ceremony in my hometown. It was at an outdoor venue, and the weather couldn’t have been more perfect. I was socializing with school friends and neighbors when I turned around and saw him.
One of my brother’s best friend, a boy I have known since I was three years old, was also there. I hadn’t seen him since last summer, when he signed with an NHL team.
I swear that my heart could’ve exploded when I turned around and he flashed me a confident thumbs up as we made familiar eye contact. It was the kind that makes you feel homey and safe and wanted all in one.
Besides being family friends, our brothers are good friends. They actually met in Pre-K when they were four and I was two… we go way back! I remember him filming videos for class projects in middle school in my backyard and cheering him on at our brother school’s hockey games when I was a freshman and he was a senior. I fondly recall looking at the scouting combine results and watching him get drafted. Both were surreal, like, “I can’t believe I grew up sharing popsicles and tubing with him!” And even though he has such amazing opportunities and is bound to do great things with them, he is still the most humble person. He would never brag about anything, and I can genuinely say he has worked hard to get where he is. He’s the kind of guy that’s more at home on someone’s couch with his friends than he is in a suit meeting with executives.
But, damn, in the last few years he has gotten so hot. He’s always been cute- when we were little, it was the devilishly cute freckles and curly hair. He still has both (and his beautiful green eyes!), but he’s grown into himself so much more. Not only is he a stunning six foot six now, but he’s muscular with this amazingly defined jawline. If his scrawny ten year-old self could see him now, both would be laughing way too hard.
So, help. I’m basically in love with this boy, and I want to marry him. I picture us having a huge wedding here in our hometown, which would be so fun because we have hundreds of mutuals and a shared affection for local cocktails. I’ve already even picked out who would cater- our hometown is known for its amazing food- and where we’d have the reception, a huge historic hotel downtown, obviously. I can’t decide if I need to just go in for the kill and see what I can do, or gradually wait for him so that he will realize that I’m the woman of his dreams when I’m twenty-five and ready to get married. God, our kids would be so hot. FYI, for our sake, for future reference I’ll call him the athlete, just for convenience.
Anyways, help lol! I’ll see him all summer, so we’ll see how this goes!
Besides featuring show stopping fashion, cameo appearances, and makeup, Gossip Girl had some amazing sets. The entire show was, of course, filmed in New York City, and the Waldorfs’ and Van Der Woodsens’ apartments, as well as their Hamptons homes, were beautiful.
As Lily Van der Woodsen was an art aficionado herself, her apartment was, naturally, decked out with amazing pieces. One of my favorites, and probably a lot of fans’ favorites too, was the piece hanging next to their stairs. It added life to the otherwise neutral room, and mirrored the glamour ever-present in Gossip Girl.
After a little digging, I found that it’s Spectrum by Richard Phillips. It’s a pretty high-end piece, but if you’re interested, art.com offers it in a few sizes along with a cool feature to see what it’d look like against different paint colors.
Serena’s room is just like her: eclectic, bold, and effortlessly beautiful. It mixes metals and prints easily, much like her personal style. I love the canvas above her dresser so much- what’s better for New York’s it girl than an excess of sparkle?
The sparkly eye is Marilyn Minter. I found most of her work available to view on artnet.com, and, like the Richard Phillips, it also is quite expensive. Amazing work, though!
Chuck’s room, naturally, is a reflection of his moodiness and broody ways. It’s masculine and dark, but still polished. The art actually isn’t the full piece… the original goes down to feature a topless girl!
The painting is Scout, also work of Richard Phillips. Again, the full version is topless, so definitely do not google at work. It debuted in 1999, but the huge red frames and tousled hair make Scout timeless.
I hope- and genuinely believe- that in thirty, forty, or fifty years, people look back on Gossip Girl as an iconic time capsule of the 2010’s and all its cell phone obsessed glory. If not, at least the sets are incredible!
Continuing the skincare bandwagon I’ve been posting about- see here, for example- I realized I haven’t shared an age old secret of mine for clear skin and positive well-being.
Spending anywhere from ten to thirty minutes in a sauna has numerous benefits, including mobilizing toxins, improving blood flow and circulation, and opening your pores as a natural detox. It also nearly forces you to hydrate, as the first thing you’ll want to do after sitting in a sauna is down a ton of cold water!
Because I love you, I’ll outline the basic etiquette that should be followed in a sauna. First of all, the only case in which I believe nudity is okay is if a sauna is private, as in, you own the house or it’s adjoined to just your suite/room/villa and no one else’s. Stripping down in any sort of public or open sauna should be restricted to no shirts for men under fifty and a sports bra if you feel so inclined and are reasonable about it. If it fully accommodates you, a towel is probably fine in more spa settings. Secondly, don’t talk. If you want to have a conversation with your workout buddy or friend, get the fuck out. The sauna is a place of relaxation and silence. Thirdly, a lot of people find it easier to breathe out of their mouths a little bit in the sauna, which is fine, so long as you are not acting as if you’re a fire breathing dragon ejecting saliva on the rest of the sauna patrons. If you’re panting like a dog, it’s time to go.
Saunas make me feel like a new person and can really turn a gross diet day around to inspire me to make better food choices, and, I hear they provide phenomenal hangover cures. Definitely haven’t tried it, though! Just speculation!