Category Archives: Sponsored

Life / Sponsored

Clean Eating…Not Just for Humans


I’m sharing #NUTRO in my life as part of a NUTRO sponsored series for Socialstars™.

Over the past few months I have been trying to create positive habits in my personal life. From trying to create a better work/life balance (leaving work at 5pm), working out (going to yoga class at least once a week), to eating healthier (I quit eating fast food in December…trying to eat less artificial sugar). I’m definitely not perfect in my execution of the aforementioned goals, but my life is a constant work-in-progress with room for improvement.

For me, it’s about doing the little things that can help me reach my goals. Little things like making it to yoga twice a week, but not beating myself up if I don’t make it because something else comes up, or simply switching to air-popped popcorn instead of microwave popcorn (trust me, popcorn is a food group in my diet), or simply turning my work e-mail ‘off’ on my phone to help reduce my anxiety of always being available.

When evaluating my daily habits, I realized there was no point in just stopping with me but to evaluate the decisions we were making for the well being of our dog, Lola! Cody always jokes with me that I treat her like my child, and I don’t deny it. She’s my baby girl and I want what is best for her. We adopted Lola three years ago from a rescue in Nashville. We had her for a trial period, but I knew the moment Cody brought her home, she was never leaving.

So first things first, I started with the food we were feeding her. Admittedly, I was previously buying food off the shelf without doing any research. As a first time pet owner (Cody has had dogs before; Lola is my first pet, ever), I don’t have any notes or previously knowledge to best compare brands and what’s best for her.  I can spend hours going down an internet black hole researching skincare products for myself, however; I realized I needed to be spending the same time investing in products that keep my girl strong, healthy, and around for a very long time! This is where NUTRO™ came into our life.

In the food we cook for ourselves, we try to utilize all natural, non-GMO ingredients and thankfully NUTRO™ does too. I slowly introduced Lola to their new dry food product, NUTRO™ Limited Ingredient Diet Small Bites Adult Lamb & Sweet Potato Recipe Dog Food a few weeks ago and to say she enjoyed it was an understatement. Made with no more than 10 ingredients, the food not only offers high-quality protein, but also provides nutrients to promote healthy skin. We have struggled from time to time with Lola’s allergies and skin sensitivity, so anything to help her keep her coat soft and shiny, I’m willing to try! I’m sure Lola would agree, as she loves to look her best when she’s modeling for The Brunette One (exhibit ABC, and D). Prime example below, I can’t even with her guilty eyes after knocking over the bag of food, it’s safe to say we have a NUTRO™ enthusiast.

Trace amounts of genetically modified material may be present due to potential cross contact during manufacturing.

My Style / Sponsored

#50Styles50States with Old Navy


I’m so excited to be partnering with Old Navy & on their 50 Styles, 50 States campaign! They’ve asked a blogger in each state to share their unique state style, and I’m representing Iowa!

Iowans have a keen sense of personal style. We focus on creating effortless looks that balance both form and function. Des Moines is a hub for art, food, and culture that easily influences the fashion choices we make. We often look for versatility in our wardrobe that can easily transition from days spent in the office to catching the latest show at the Civic Center, wandering around the Farmer’s Market, catching the latest restaurant opening in Western Gateway Park, or a concert in the East Village.

The-Brunette-One_Old-Navy_4With an office renovation in the works, my day-to-day working environment is always changing. I often find myself traveling to my favorite coffee spots around Des Moines to get a change of scenery from my home office. You can often find me catching up on emails and tackling my to-do list at an East Village favorite, the Scenic Route Bakery. I love that I can meet coworkers for meetings between site visits (I work in office furniture and design at Pigott, Inc.) or spend time sipping coffee after hours catching up with fellow creatives.

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I try my best to get ready everyday, as I never know what will unfold. Finding a wardrobe that is effortless, comfortable, and versatile is key. I prefer to wear my Old Navy mid-rise super skinny ankle jeans in a dark wash paired with a patterned tank for my daily uniform. I always keep a neutral sweater in my bag just in case the AC is turned on high. Heels aren’t practical during the day for me, but that doesn’t mean I skimp on shoe style. A punch of color can pull an entire look together, and that’s exactly what these ballet flats do. It’s a balance of form and function around here!


Summer is on the brink of ending and I’m trying to soak up as much outdoor time as possible in Des Moines. This means spending Saturday mornings at the farmer’s market. Picking up my fresh veggies and flowers for the week ahead, and splurging on my favorite sweet rolls from Mast Family Farm at the farmer’s market. Public art installations are something that you can always find around Des Moines, so it wouldn’t be a stop at the Farmer’s Market and RoCA (one of the best spots for cocktails and appetizers before seeing a show at the Civic Center), to snap a photo of the mural wall. Yes – this is the wall featured on Chris’ season of The Bachelor!

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Old Navy provides affordable, on-trend, and versatile pieces that I can mix and match with my current wardrobe. I swear by the ‘3-Outfit’ rule. If you can style 1 piece at least three ways, you know you’ll get your cost per wear out of the piece. Swapping out a pair of skinnies for shorts and swapping flats for espadrilles, I’m soaking up every last drop of sunshine summer has to offer, the moods of Mother Nature can change in an instant, so it’s always best to be prepared!

Speaking of Mother Nature, while she is on our side, make sure to check out all Des Moines, Iowa has to offer with this list of ‘Where to Eat and What to Do in Des Moines’:

Where to Eat:

What to Do:

So now it’s your turn. Upload your favorite Old Navy outfit and tag @OldNavy #OldNavyStyle #50Styles50States and let everyone see your outfit inspired by your favorite hometown haunts! To see how others in your state styled their favorite outfits, check out the #50Styles50States round up on People!

Look 1: Open Front Cardigan / Trapeze Tank / Skinny Ankle Jeans / Pink Flats / Faux Leather Tote / Necklace (only sold in Old Navy stores)

Look 2: Trapeze Tank / Faux Leather Tote / Espadrilles (purchased in store, no longer online)

Get the Look

Photography by Cassandra Monroe Photography by Cassandra Monroe

This post is sponsored by Collectively and Old Navy. All opinions are my own.

Reviews / Sponsored



The Brunette One PopSugar June Must Have Box_8

I’ve experienced my fair share of subscription boxes, and while I’ve cut back in recent years to save some money, there’s nothing like a box full of goodies at your doorstep every month. It’s like Christmas, but year round! POPSUGAR sent me this #MustHaveBox to try this month, and it was inspired by summer – sunshine, cheer, joy, togetherness, & outdoor festivities! It’s got everything you need to prep for the perfect summer festivity!

The Brunette One | POPSUGAR's June #MustHaveBox Review

Stay fresh with these Pacifica Underarm Deodorant Wipes. After a day in the sun…or after a work-out when you have to rush to your next event, freshen up with these biodegradable wipes made with coconut milk & kale extract.

The Brunette One | POPSUGAR's June #MustHaveBox Review

In a hurry? Check your make-up with this compact mirror from Knock Knock. It’s small and will easily fit into any clutch or handbag.

The Brunette One | POPSUGAR's June #MustHaveBox Review

A snack to tide you over until the BBQ, these Pressels Sriracha Chips sure are tasty! These thin and crispy pretzels have a kick to them, and are sure to feed your appetite! I gave these to my husband because he loves everything spicy…but I made sure to steal a pretzel…or three.

I’ve already worn my Hat Attack Printed Sarong a handful of times. It can be worn so many ways and is the perfect neutral cover-up to wear to and from the pool!

The Brunette One | POPSUGAR's June #MustHaveBox Review

Possibly my favorite item in June’s #MustHaveBox, this Sisters of Los Angeles “Cheers” bottle opener. This bottle opener is the perfect accessory to any bottle of rose that we will enjoy this summer!

The Brunette One | POPSUGAR's June #MustHaveBox Review

All glitter nail polish is not created equal. This NCLA Born on the 4th of July nail polish is the perfect top coat to your manicure this weekend!

The Brunette One | POPSUGAR's June #MustHaveBox Review

I’m ready to host the next girl’s night with this Ridley’s Games Room – Who Am I? game. Time to pop some bottles of wine & get our guessing game on!

Check out my unboxing video from this month’s Must Have:

The POPSUGAR Must Have Box comes in two sizes/prices, the standard Must Have ($100+ value at $39.95/month) and the MINI (mini-size products for $18.95/month). You can purchase the boxes monthly, at a 3-month package or a 6-month package. You can learn more or sign up by clicking here