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

 

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

Becoming a Morning Person

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Top // Jeans // Shoes // Bag

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If I can become a morning person, anyone can! If you read this previous post, then you already know how much I love sleep. I never thought (before I had kids) that I could be the type of person who wakes up before dawn, especially when the option to hit snooze is still there. Now, don’t get me wrong, I will never fully be a morning person. I just love sleep way too much. Getting out of my warm, cozy bed while it’s still dark outside breaks my heart a little. But with a full time job, and two small children, it is one of the better ways to find balance.

First…

You’ll have to start going to bed earlier. This was really hard for me at first because after the kids go to bed is my only time to veg, hang out with Dean, watch Netflix, wash dishes, put away laundry, etc. But after a few 5:00 am wake ups, your body will be craving bed vs. Netflix much earlier. It only took me two days of waking up an hour early for my body to adjust, and for me to be ready for bed an hour earlier. I had to give up my Netflix watching but honestly, I should probably give up some screen time anyway. I aim to get in bed around 9:00 pm, and then read for a half hour. By then I’m struggling to keep my eyes open. It’s important to go to sleep when you hit this point, and not try to power through it, no matter how good your book is! Then you’ll hit “over tired”, and you’ll actually have trouble sleeping. So get those chores done early, and be ready to relax at least a half hour before you close your eyes. Easier said than done, I know.

Next…

Set a few different alarms for a few different times. I’m not kidding. I set three, each five minutes apart. The first alarm wakes me up. I don’t get up but I become aware that I need to get up soon so I don’t fully fall back to sleep. By the time the second alarm goes off, I’m a little more awake, and start waiting for the third alarm. By the time that one goes off, I’m usually ready to get up. Usually. 😉

Then…

Plan your time wisely. Make sure everything is set out and ready to go. For me, it’s working out so I make sure my clothes are laid out, and that I have an extra water bottle and small snack in my purse ready to go.

Last…

Remind yourself of why you are waking up early. Is to workout? That’s what it is for me. Tell yourself why it is important. There are mornings where I really need to convince myself to get out of bed. It really is a daily struggle. But then I think of all the things I have to do later in the day, and know that if I don’t get up now, my workout will not happen. Plus, I’m not sacrificing any time with the kids.

Are you a morning person? I’d love to hear your tips!

Ten Things About Me

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I love reading fun and quirky facts about people, so I thought today I would share ten (strange) things about me.
  1. I love sleep more than anything in the world but I am also a night owl. I get a burst of energy every night around 9:00. Even if I try to go to sleep early, I just lie there awake for hours. That being said, I could sleep until noon if someone let me.
  2. I love exercising almost as much as I love sleep. I will choose it over any other activity every. single. time.
  3. I am deathly afraid of spiders. Like, I will not enter a room if there is a chance there might be a spider in it. Every night before bed, I check every corner of my bedroom to make sure there aren’t any. I also have an exterminator come every three months to remove any “spider presence”.
  4. I am also terrified of deep water. The thought of water deep enough where you can’t see the bottom makes me sick to my stomach.
  5. I cannot stand the sound of people chomping on their food. Gum chewers are the worst. I literally have to remove myself from a room if someone eats like a cow.
  6. I hate being home alone. And by alone, I mean when my husband is gone overnight. I am such a scaredy cat. He travels for work, and I have called him in tears a few times in the middle of the night sure that someone was trying to break into our house.
  7. I never make my own coffee. I know that makes me sound like a brat but Starbucks just makes it so much better! But in reality, I just always forget to in the throes of getting two children out the door in the morning.
  8. I am a huge germaphobe and hate airplanes because if it. All the recirculated air. Barf. So nasty. It has also led to my fear of flying.
  9. If I didn’t have a full time job, I would never wear regular clothes. As soon as I’m home, the pajamas come on. My husband claims he has never seen me in anything other than sweats. 😉
  10. I love reading books backwards. I read the ending to find out what happens, and then I go back and read the whole thing from the beginning. I just can’t stand the suspense.
So how weird do you think I am?
Are you ready to unfollow me yet? 😉

The perfect jeans for spring

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Sweater // Jeans (on sale) // Booties // Bag // Bralette

If you are looking for the perfect jeans for spring, these are it! They fit TTS, and have that loose, mom-jean look while still being tailored to the body. They are also a perfect ankle length for anyone over 5’1″. I had to get my hem taken in slightly to give them the look that I wanted. I love that you can wear these jeans with boots or flats, and still have some ankle exposed. I am always drawn towards distressed denim in the spring and summer since I tend to be more casual as the weather warms up. And the best news, these jeans just went on sale! I am shocked they haven’t sold out although they do look much cuter on than in the stock photos, so don’t let that deter you.

What are your go-to jeans?

Everyday Jewelry

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Necklace c/o // Watch // Sweater // Jeans // Boots

If you are a mom like me, you probably don’t wear a ton of expensive jewelry. You’ve got small children pulling at you all day long, and toddlers going through your jewelry box to play dress up. Most of my “expensive” jewelry, I’ve tucked away for safe keeping. I can get away wearing this necklace and this necklace daily mainly because they are almost choker length but somedays I miss wearing something with a little more pizazz.

Even though having kids makes it difficult to wear jewelry, I do still like to pull out a fun piece of jewelry every now and again. I recently discovered Tiny Lumber, and I am so excited that I did. It looks expensive bit it ISN’T! Tiny Lumber makes jewelry entirely out of WOOD. Everything is handmade in the US, and you can even have custom pieces made. Everything is so reasonably priced, and looks much more expensive than it is. The designs are also durable so I am not worried about wearing them around the kids. They have statement pieces like this one, and then other designs like this and this that you could wear everyday.

Tiny Lumber would make a great gift for a girlfriend, teacher, sister, mom, grandma – the list goes on. I hope you will check out their website, and unique pieces!

In Collaboration with Tiny Lumber

Photos by Melissa Zimmer Photography

Lizzie in Lace

Stripe Sweater for Everyday

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Sweater here and here // Denim // Boots // Necklace

Can we talk about this stripe sweater for a minute, and these booties? This sweater is the softest, most perfect combination of neutral stripes that you will literally want to wear everyday. I got an extra small but probably could have also worn an XXS. And these booties…how perfect are they? I own four pairs of boots by this brand. They are such good quality and comfortable enough for everyday. I sized up half a size because my usual size was a little snug in the toe area.

Other Stripe Sweaters I am Loving

Are you wearing stripes this season?

XO,

Sara

stylenudge.com


Shopping My Closet

Make the Most of Black Friday Sales

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Black Friday shopping can be super stressful. To say that stores are crowded is putting it lightly. I used to love going to the mall, and waiting in ridiculous lines, and then leaving very satisfied that I got all my shopping done. In my old age though, I prefer to spend it in front of the computer screen.

However you choose to shop on Black Friday, here are some tips to make the most of it:

  1. Make a list of what you “intend” to buy otherwise you can go a little crazy. I am the return queen, and always buy more then I need with the intention of returning some items when I decide what I really want to keep. If you are not good at returning, make a list do that you don’t purchase more than you actually need. Which brings me to my second point…
  2. Make a budget. I like to allocate certain amounts of money for different people, and then I just search for items within my budget.
  3. Browse ahead of time. I like to put things that I want into my online “shopping cart” and then I keep them there until they go on sale.
  4. Don’t buy something just because it is on sale – see my first two points of making a list and a budget. You will over spend and you will buy things you don’t really need if you do this. I guarantee you! If you do see something that you love, snap a picture of it and send it to your hubby/mom/mother in law. They are probably out shopping for you as well. 😉
  5. Read product reviews. You may want to shell out the extra money if a product works better or lasts longer than it’s less expensive counterpart.

Black Friday Sales Not to Miss and my picks:

Gap: 50% off EVERYTHING with code “BLKFRIDAY”

Old Navy: 50% off everything, no code needed!

Nordstrom: Nordstrom Black Friday Deals are HERE! Plus, take an extra 20% OFF select sale items online and in-store now! FREE Shipping. FREE Returns.

Stitch Fix: Waived styling fee for JGS readers, or send a gift card!

Express: 50% off EVERYTHING + free shipping

LOFT: Black Fri-Yay: 50% Off Everything with code: FRIYAY. Offer valid 11/24 at 12am – 11/25 at 11:59pm

Madewell: 25% off your purchase with code “DONTSTRESS”

JCrew: 40% off your purchase with code “THANKU”

Splendid: Shop 30% off everything, including sale. Get gifting, Use Code TGIF

Rebecca Minkoff: 25% off orders over $100 with code “BLACK25”

Happy Shopping! I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

XO,

Sara

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Lusting After

I have a serious online shopping addiction. Like I need professional help, I could be on True Life kind of addiction. I love sites like Revolve Clothing and Shopbop because they have free shipping and free returnsOver the years I’ve learned to combat this addiction by adding items to my shopping cart without actually buying them. After a few months of staring at those items in my shopping cart, I can usually decide that I don’t need them anymore. Usually.

If I could live in my workout clothes I would. That is just about all I wear most weekends (and breaks from school). I rarely put on a pair of jeans anymore. There is just something motivating about wearing new workout clothes. It makes it much easier to hit the gym or try out a new class when you have a fun new outfit on. Here are some items currently in my shopping cart.

Lululemon Run: Top Speed Bra – Zella Ruched Tank – Zella Everyday Racerback Tank – Zella ‘Good Sport’ Stripe Half Zip Top – Lululemon Run: Layer Me Long Sleeve – Lululemon Run: For Your Life Crop – Asics Running ShoeLululemon Wunder Under Crop

And for after your workout…

Madewell Sweatshirt DressJoie Marciel Dress

As you can see, I’m already dreaming about Spring!

Happy Shopping! And Happy Birthday to my wonderful mother-in-law. Love you!