Transitioning to Fall

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Dress (extra 10% off with code: TULIP) // Bag // Booties // Necklace // Sunglasses

It’s still HOT around here, and I’m so tempted to keep filling my closet with summer items but then I remember that I live in Chicago. In Chicago, the start of school is right around the corner which means that fall is basically next week which means it’s basically winter already. Ain’t that the (sad) truth?

I’ve started stocking up on fall pieces, as well as a lot of items that will transition well from warm temps into cooler ones. This dress was a MUST buy for me. It can be worn so many different ways. It would be really cute layered with this jacket or this top as the leaves start to change. It is adorable with booties but would also look really cute with mules or even a pair of sneakers.

I am absolutely loving the dark pink color of this bag to transition from summer to fall. It’s small enough to use everyday but also large enough to fit a computer and use for work. It brings a fun pop of color to any outfit.

Not sure I am ready for fall BUT shopping for fall clothes is my favorite 😉

XO,

Sara

On Being Insecure

Tank // Bralette // Jeans // Booties // Necklace

You’re probably thinking, “She takes pictures of herself, she must love how she looks. Why does she need to talk about being insecure?” WRONG. I happen to love writing and find it cathartic. I also love fashion and style so that’s how this blog was born! But I’ll let you in on a little secret, I absolutely hate having my picture taken. I’m super self conscious, and tend to look away from the camera.

When I look through my pictures for the blog, I find so many flaws. I hate my legs, I hate my hair, I hate my nose, blah blah blah. On a daily basis, I find myself drawing attention to my “flaws”, staring aimlessly in the mirror, looking for reassurance from my husband that, “no, you don’t look big in those jeans.”

There are so many ways in our day to day lives that make us think that everyone else has it perfect. I find myself comparing my life to others – my house isn’t as big, my clothes aren’t as nice, etc. etc. Instagram is the perfect example of this. The family of 12 vacationing in Thailand managing to take beautiful pictures along the way? I can’t even get my kids to Disney World. Hell, I can barely get them to take a picture with me. How does the mom of five manage to get herself perfectly put together when I can somehow only manage to wear the same outfit three days in a row?

But then I remember to remind myself, is Instagram reality? In most cases, no. It is a minuscule sampling of what we project our lives to look like. We don’t really know what goes on behind anyone’s closed doors. Maybe they are dealing with insecurity and self consciousness the same way that I am? Maybe they are having marriage troubles? Maybe their eldest child was just diagnosed with ADD? We just don’t know because it’s not portrayed.

I had been struggling a lot recently in my own life with anxiety. Mom life had worn me down, and I was feeling like I wasn’t “keeping up with the Joneses” (more on that later). Then the guilt set in. Because when I sit back and examine my life. I really am so lucky, and so blessed – wonderful family all around, amazing kids, a great husband. So where is this insecurity stemming from?

Unfortunately, it’s our nature to compare ourselves to others, and, due to my own insecurities, I feel like I’m being judged more than most people are. While I am working constantly to become less insecure and less “aware” of what others think, it is a process. My husband is great at reminding me, “Who really cares what other people think?” So I just try to make that my daily mantra. When I feel my insecurities really taking hold, I STOP, and make myself think of three things that bring me joy. That joy has really helped dig me out of the insecure hole I was beginning to bury myself in.

No ones life is perfect. But the fact that I wake up every morning to two beautiful babies calling my name down the hall is pretty damn great. I just need to keep reminding myself that my greatest joy trumps all my other insecurities.

Do you struggle with insecurity? Lets chat!

XO,

Sara

 

Basic Invite

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Can you believe that it’s already time to start thinking about your fall family photos? I’m no where near ready for fall but I love any opportunity to pick out new outfits for the kiddos. Sadly, school will be back in session before we know it! Summer is so bittersweet.

I’m at that stage in my life where every weekend there’s a baby shower scheduled or a first birthday. Holiday cards are always sent. Fall family photos are always taken. I’m constantly on the hunt for the perfect card whether it be for my daughter’s birthday party or Christmas cards to send to my family so I was really excited to discover Basic Invite.

What sets Basic Invite apart from other online stationary companies is that they are one of the few websites that allows customers almost unlimited color options with instant previews online. Once you select a design you can change the color of each element on the card to over 180 different color options so you can make sure the card is exactly how you want it down to the littlest detail. You can choose from over 40 different colors of envelopes so that you can make your invitation stand out even before it is opened. And ALL of their envelopes are peel and seal so the envelopes can be quickly and securely closed. #momwin!

My favorite feature is that Basic Invite is one of the few websites that allows customers the ability to order a printed sample of their actual invitation so you can see exactly how it will print, as well as the paper quality, before you ever have to place your final order.

I know it is early to start thinking about holiday cards BUT Basic Invite offers an address capturing service that allows customers to simply share a link on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any other form of social media to request their friends and family’s addresses which will be stored in the customer’s account and can then be selected during the design process. Basic Invite offers recipient address printing at no cost on all Christmas card orders. Get those fall family photos booked ASAP!

Right now Basic Invite is offering 15% off with coupon code: 15FF51

Some my favorites are their baby shower invites – gender neutral baby shower invitations and owl themed baby shower invitations, and of course, their holiday cards.

I hope you enjoy Basic Invite as much as I do!

XO,

Sara

In Collaboration with Basic Invite. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

 

 

Dresses for summer

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Dress // Shoes

I recently discovered a love for all things dresses. I’ve said before, I don’t wear a lot of dresses when I am teaching. It’s too uncomfortable with the amount of time I spend sitting on the floor. Then one day this summer, I threw on a light, airy dress after a day at the pool, and there was no better feeling. I was hooked. I found that they are also perfect for keeping cool with the fam at a carnival or street fest, date night, baseball game, and the list goes on.

So today I’m sharing my favorite dresses to get you through these Hot summer days! Happy shopping!

XO,

Sara

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Picks

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Dress

1. Cut Out Bootie

2. Bralette

3. Brown Bootie

4. Adidas Sneaker

5. Nike Sneaker

6. Waffle Stitch Cardigan

7. Sports Bra

8. Exposed Seam Sweater

9. Moto Leggings

10. Striped Tee

11. Striped Sweater

12. Swing Jacket

While I don’t think this Nordstrom Anniversary Sale adds up to other years, I did find a lot of great staples for fall. My goal with this sale is always to find timeless pieces that I will wear over and over. I always stock up on shoes, workout essentials, and a few sweaters and tees. I WAS really excited about all of the boots that are included in the sale. I had a really hard time narrowing down the ones to purchase. I would have bought about six pairs if I could have! I’m also still on the hunt for a new pair of jeans – I’m leaning towards these. And I haven’t even begun looking at kids stuff yet. Above and below you can shop what I have bought for myself so far from the sale.

Shop the Post

XO,
Sara

The Toughest Age Yet

Top

Being a mom is the hardest job you will ever have. Rewarding, yes. Easy? Oh hell no. I’ve heard that once you have two kids, any number after that doesn’t matter. Two is the hardest it is going to get. I don’t know if Dean and I will be ones to test that theory because two is so freakin hard. And then you go through a period that we boldly thought the kids were getting easier. HA! I know, I know, I can hear you all laughing at how naive we were.

And just when you think that life with two kids is getting a little easier, one of them turns four, and you the ground rolls out from under your feet all over again. FOUR. Four is the toughest age yet, at least in my opinion. I imagine there studies out there saying how teacher’s kids are worse behaved than most kids but I’m afraid to look. That’s got to be it, right?

Chloe has reached a whole new level way beyond threenager. Not only has the three year old sassiness stuck around guns blazing but the two year old tantrums have come back with a vengeance. The letters B-R-A-T come to mind. We have also learned that biting, hitting, and pinching are effective ways to resolve an argument. Telling your mom 20 times each day that she “is mean” is the way to get what you want. Screaming in stores and restaurants. Four has been awful. What happened to my sweet little girl?

Now don’t get me wrong, there are days that I just adore spending time with her. She can carry on a conversation and tell stories for hours. She likes to shop. She likes to go out to eat. She is turning into a little person and that is so much fun to watch. But on bad days, look out. There is no reasoning with her. She is so strong willed. And the worst part is, you just don’t know what might set her off. I understand tantrums with Ryan. Although equally frustrating, he’s TWO. It’s expected at two. It was not expected at four.

Four has given me a run for my money.

I know it will get easier. And I’ll miss these days someday. But right now, please send wine.

XO,

Sara

Shopping Poshmark

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Poshmark Outfits

Top (Purchased on Poshmark) // Skirt (Purchased on Poshmark) // Shoes // Bralette

Top (on Sale) // Bralette (purchased on Poshmark) // Shorts // Shoes // Sunglasses

I recently began cleaning out my closet, and started putting things up on my Poshmark store. While I was doing this, I started browsing around and found some really great deals on things I was already looking for. And the best part? The items were NEW. And not just, new-without-tags-who-really-knows-how-many-times-its-been-worn, like really new WITH tags still on for half the price what I would have paid in store. But finding these deals is not always easy.

Below are my three tips on shopping Poshmark.

  1. Know what you are looking for. There are MILLIONS of things on Poshmark. So if you type in “dress”, five bajillion dresses will pop up and a lot of the pictures are not the best quality. It’s hard to find what you are looking for. BUT, if you type in

    Madewell silk meadow wrap skirt in field bouquet“, the EXACT skirt will pop up. So if you are eyeing something in a store but don’t want to pay full price for it, search for it on Poshmark. New things are added all the time.

  2. Even if you are not ready to pull the trigger and make a purchase on Poshmark, make sure you “LIKE” all of the items you are looking at. They will get saved so you can find them again easily, and you will be alerted if there is ever a price drop or a special offer.
  3. Don’t be afraid to make an “offer”. I’ve gotten a lot of items this way. If I find something I like but feel it’s priced to high, I can “offer” a lower price. The seller can than accept, counter, or decline.

Poshmark is a great way to get things you are looking for at a huge discount! If you are feeling ambitious, you could even start your own store and get rid of all those things you don’t wear anymore. They even have a section for children’s items.

Will you Poshmark?

XO,

Sara

Shop the Post

Smart Snacking

Since I was about 16 years old, about half of my life, I have battled hypoglycemia. On top of everything teenagers deal with, I found myself breaking out in cold sweats after eating, seeing double, unable to focus, and feeling like I was constantly going to fall over or pass out. Fun huh?

Soon after, I was diagnosed with Hypoglycemia. Basically, after I consume a high carb meal, my body would produce way too much insulin, and my blood sugar would drop way too fast causing me to feel like I was going to faint.

So how is Hypoglycemia different from diabetes?

Hypoglycemia is similar to diabetes in that you have to follow a low sugar, small frequent meals type of diet. You also need to worry about your blood sugar dropping too fast. It is different from diabetes because your blood sugar never gets too high which is the main struggle with diabetes. I do not have to give myself insulin injections like someone with diabetes would.

So what did you do?

When I was younger, I had a really hard time regulating my blood sugar. The foods I should have been eating did not always meet the convenience factor that I needed. It wasn’t until after college, with my Nutrition degree in hand, that I really started to understand what my body needed.

A lot of finding out what worked for me came from trial and error. I discovered that all of the high carb foods that I loved so much were like poison to my body. I can no longer eat bagels with butter for breakfast (sigh) but I will enjoy the occasional bagel along with two eggs for protein to balance out the carb content. Eating a cinnamon roll or donut for breakfast without protein would quite literally put me in bed for the rest of the day.

To this day, I still struggle finding acceptable snacks that are easy on the go so I was really excited to discover Sugar Smart Box! Sugar Smart Box is a monthly subscription snack box that delivers low sugar and low carb snacks right to your door. What I loved most about the Box was that everything inside could easily be thrown into a lunch box, backpack, or purse. As a mom, I’m always looking for a healthy snack I can throw in the stroller as we are running out the door that won’t go bad when I forget to eat it right away. My kids loved a lot of the snacks too which is always a plus. You can check out Sugar Smart Box here.

What are your health struggles? I’d love to hear!

XO,

Sara

In Collaboration with Sugar Smart Box.

The Perfect Petite Summer Maxi

Dress // Shoes // Sunglasses

I am normally not a huge wearer of dresses. They just don’t fit in well with mom-life, and kindergarten teacher life. Dresses aren’t really practical when you are sitting on the floor for 90% of your day. I also tend to shy away from maxi dresses because they swallow my petite frame (I’m barely pushing 5’1″ if you are wondering). I just can’t pull them off.

Enter THIS DRESS. And maybe you are thinking, “Well Sara, you can’t pull this one off either.” But let me tell you, it is one of the most comfortable things I have ever worn, and the perfect dress for summer. This maxi dress hits me at the perfect ankle length so that my shoes don’t get all tangled up in it. It’s also long enough that I can sit on the floor in it without worrying that something inappropriate might be hanging out. It also comes in a pretty blue color (pictured below), and I debated which color for awhile. I ultimately went with the red because I wanted something a little “spicy” for summer. 😉

I already see myself wearing this dress every weekend. It’s so versatile. I wore it to a birthday party in the city this past weekend, and I plan on wearing it to my mom’s retirement party in a few weeks. It would also be perfect for BBQ’s, baby showers, summer festivals, street fests, concerts in the park, the list goes on…

Snag this dress soon because it will sell out!

XO,

Sara

Book Review (2)

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This winter took a toll on my soul. I found myself feeling anxious all the time, and I was having trouble sleeping. Deciding I needed to do something to get out of my funk, I made the conscious effort to read more books and watch less tv. I am absolutely LOVING this change in my life. I am sleeping better, and feel calmer. I honestly don’t miss tv. I can catch up this summer. Right now, I so look forward to climbing into bed with a good book. I am excited to share with you all of the amazing books I have read recently in my “Book Review”.

  1. The Last Mrs. Parrish: Of all the suspense on this list (titles 1 – 4), this was by far my favorite. Amber befriends Daphne in an effort to steal her husband and her life. It had a twist that I loved, and didn’t see coming. It was so hard to put this book down. I stayed up really late finishing it one night. This is a must read!
  2. The Wife Between Us: If you enjoyed The Last Mrs. Parrish, you will love this book! Don’t read them back to back like I did though as they have a similar theme. This one had a twist that I didn’t expect at all, and it shook me a little bit!
  3. The Safest Lies: I enjoyed this book a lot but it gave me nightmares. Didn’t stop me from reading it though 😉 Basically, the mom in this story was kidnapped as a child and, out of fear, has not left her house in 17 years. Her daughter is trying to live a normal life but after coming home late one night discovers that her mother has vanished. I loved the story, and the characters. This book ended kind of abruptly though, and that is one of my pet peeves. I need to know exactly what happens to everyone, and this book didn’t give me that. Still a good book, and I recommend it!
  4. The Marriage Lie: This was another easy read, and I enjoyed this book but it was probably my least favorite out of all the the suspense on this list. The husband “disappears”, and  is presumed dead. The wife spends the book digging up secrets from her husbands past, and trying to discover the truth about what happened to her husband. I liked the story but I didn’t love the characters, and felt it needed more of a conclusion but I still enjoyed reading it!
  5. The Light We Lost: This book was one of Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine book club pics, and it was uh – maiz – ing. I needed a break from all of the thrillers and suspense I was reading, and this book was the perfect choice. It’s your modern day tragic love story but it’s so well written. I loved the characters. I loved the writing. In fact, as soon as I finished it, I reread it. It was that good! Read this book!

What books have you been reading? I’d love to add some new ones to my list!