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2/9/19

Style Finds: Dresses for $50 or Less!



Happy Saturday, loves!

I hope you're having a great weekend so far! I'm popping in with a quick round-up for you. Several of you have asked for more budget-friendly style finds, especially dresses in time for V-Day next week. You know my affinity for dresses, so how could I say no? I was elated to find so many closet-worthy options to share with you all, aka the hidden gems.

So whether you're celebrating Valentine's Day (or Galentine's Day) or have sworn off the very notion of it and just want something cute for every day, I've got you covered! 

All of these dresses are $50 or less!
They're feminine and pretty with a touch of fun and flirty. And they'll take you right into Spring, so even better.

I had so much fun sourcing these, and hope you love them as much as I do! Just click on any of the images in the above collage (it's clickable) or scroll down to see more favorites.

Any guesses as to which of these I may have snagged? ;-)

XO,
Sara  

2/6/19

Lilac Love // Gal Meets Glam Re-stock Alert & Sale!


Craving a little Spring-style inspo? I know I am!

I'm so excited to share this gorgeous Gal Meets Glam dress with you all since it has recently popped back in stock and is now 60% off, making it $60! This dress has been out of stock for nearly a year now, which is actually when I first shot this look. I was forced to put these photos and this blog post on the back burner for awhile since this dress flew out of stock. I know most of you gals like to get your hands on the actual items I'm wearing, so I didn't want to share a post featuring a dress that was already sold out, especially since I couldn't find any similar options.

But, I'm happy to say it's back! (At this price it'll no doubt sell out again quickly, so if you were eyeing this one, now's the time to snag it!)

Click here to see all the other lovely Gal Meets Glam dresses that are now up to 60% off!
This soft, lilac color and the dainty, feminine ruffles on this dress had me at 'hello.' It's so darling! Made of a nice, crepe fabric, it's soft and lightweight, is fully-lined, and zips smoothly up the back.

It would be so pretty for any upcoming Spring events like weddings, bridal showers, baby showers, or lunch dates. But it's cute for any day, really, because it looks beautiful dressed up or down. For a casual weekend look, just throw on a pair of strappy sandals and a tipped cardigan for contrast. 
I went with a dressier look here, adding floral slingback pumps, a vintage wicker box bag, and a cropped cardigan with embroidery details to play off the vintage theme of the bag. I had the kindest onlookers compliment me while I was shooting this look (a bit awkward at times, but comes with the territory of blogging) and was told this look was very 'First Lady' (or FLOTUS.) I smiled and replied, "Wow, thank you -- I'll take it!" 
I love that it's petite-friendly; I find most of the Gal Meets Glam dresses to run a tad large and long for my frame, so I was thrilled to see that petite options were being introduced in several of the newer styles. I'm wearing size 0 since that was the smallest size available, and it runs a little wide in the waist and hips on me. That said, it drapes and flows nicely, so I haven't altered it and think it looks fine despite the looser fit. The flirty hemline falls just a couple of inches above my knee (I'm 5'2, for reference) but still looks ladylike and demure. Any shorter and I'd feel uncomfortable, but that's just me. I've always preferred longer hemlines.
The only shopping deterrent may be the price point of the GMG line. It's priced in the same range of Kate Spade, with dresses that can run anywhere from $150 - 500 each. Ouch. They're beautiful, no doubt, but I rarely splurge on dresses in this range unless I have a special event and need something with a 'wow' factor stat. But now that I've found these dresses at discounted prices, I'll be more tempted to shop all the pretty selections, especially with Spring fast approaching.
Scroll through to see all the other pretty dresses on sale!

GAL MEETS GLAM SALE


Are you eagerly awaiting Spring, too?

XO,
Sara





1/16/19

Winter Escape to Big Bear / Snow Style

Happy 2019, Everyone!

I hope your year is already off to a wonderful start! It's been awhile since my last blog post, and if you've been following me on Instagram, you know that I took a break from social media and blogging in general to focus on other pressing projects. I've also been making a conscious effort to be more present with family and friends and put down my phone and step away from the computer. Sometimes it's a much-needed break; I love blogging as a creative outlet, but at times there are just other things that require my attention. Not to mention, I have 3 little ones to look after, so it's important that I don't sacrifice quality time or energy with them, especially since they're growing like weeds! Moving forward, I will do my best to blog when I can, and keep future posts brief and more photo-centric (less wordy.) The goal is to keep it simple and sweet.
Winter Escape to Big Bear

Over the holiday break, my extended family and I ventured out to Big Bear for a fun, winter escape. It was such a blast with the 12 of us, despite the frigid below-20-degree weather! (Being born and raised here in SoCal, I don't acclimate to cold climates very well!) It was our first time visiting Big Bear as a family, and I was so happy that my dad, step-mom, brother, the kids and their cousins could all go up together. I wanted the kids to be able to enjoy the fresh, powdery snow that fell over Christmas and the days following, and enjoy a true winter wonderland -- sledding, throwing snow balls, building snow men, staying in a cozy cabin and running around and playing to their little hearts' content. They had so much fun, they're already asking when we're going back! I have a feeling we'll be adding Big Bear to our annual vacation circuit. (We already have Pebble Beach/San Simeon, Yosemite, and Cancún in the mix...)
Travel tip: Late November through early January is peak season at Big Bear, so if you're wanting to visit it during the holiday season, try to reserve your cabin/vacation rental early to secure your reservation. Rentals book up quickly and you may be looking at well over $1,000/night for your stay. Because we had a large group, most of the larger cabins had already been reserved, but we were fortunate to find a beautiful, spacious, 2-story cabin near the lake and snow resorts through CoolCabins.com. (See their FAQ page for helpful information.) Be forewarned: prices are steep during peak season, especially for the larger cabins that accommodate 10+ guests. Split among all of us, it was a little more reasonable, but still pricey nonetheless. Each cabin has its own owner, contract, and stay requirements, so be sure to review those carefully prior to booking. Some cabins are pet-friendly as well.
Snow Style: What I Wore

For this trip, I knew layers were an absolute must, and kept my outfits simple. I packed several pairs of leggings and thermals to help combat the cold and often wore 2 - 3 layers of pants just to stay warm! I bought these black, fleece-lined leggings at TJ Maxx, which I also found online here and similar here. I've never heard of this brand, but for only $8, these babies kept my legs nice and toasty, so they're now a winter staple for me. They're not waterproof, so if you plan on all-day sledding, skiing or snowboarding, you'll definitely need snow pants. I have an old Burton pair I use for snowboarding, but didn't wear them for this trip. These are similar in pink if you need snow pants. These may work for petites also.
Huge, fluffy blanket scarves were also a lifesaver! If you still don't have these in your winter rotation, you need them stat! They're not just a trendy fashion prop featured by every blogger under the sun; they truly take you from miserable-cold to tolerable-cold. Trust me, I now have a whole new appreciation for them!  This pink plaid scarf was my favorite and most-worn one throughout the trip because it feels like a cloud -- soft, cuddly, and warm (almost to the point of suffocation, at least during snow-play.) Once you take it off, you immediately feel the difference. I just draped it around my neck and let it hang down and that did the trick for me; not too hot, but still plenty warm.

I found a couple of other similar scarves here and here that also look cute and snugly.

My pink Hunter boots got plenty of use as well! I initially purchased them with only rainy days in mind, though they're scarce here in LA, but I have to say, these held up nicely in the snow as well. I wear the big kids' size 4. Just add a pair of thick socks (I layered 2 pairs for extra warmth) to keep your toes from entering frostbite territory. Rubber boots = no insulation.

My beanie is another find from the kids' section and on sale now for only $7! I have a smaller head, so I was happy to find this one that fits perfectly. It must run large for kids because the smallest size fits me (1 1/2-4.) Strange, but it works for me!
This insulated, white puffer-coat also became a fast favorite! I shared a quick snap on Instagram here before the trip in my excitement. Finding a petite-friendly puffer-coat that doesn't swallow you whole or make you look like the Michelin Man, is a feat in itself! I found this coat online after a long search, and was thrilled to see in the item description, "designed to fit and flatter 5'4" and under frame." This really stood out to me since the coat wasn't actually listed as "petite" anywhere in the name or on the site. I was even more optimistic when I saw size XXS in stock in this beautiful ivory shade. (It comes in black as well, but I preferred the ivory.)

It's beautiful! This coat is extremely well-made and looks even better in person! I was immediately impressed with it when it first arrived, especially with the fit and design details. I purposely searched for puffer-coats with a belt to cinch the waist and give it a more flattering shape. This one definitely does the job with its simple buckle-belt (just press to open as you would a seatbelt) while still keeping you nice and warm. The removable, faux-fur hood and the softly-lined pockets are a really nice touch as well. I snagged this coat on sale during a flash-sale event, but see it's now on sale again for just over 50% off with free shipping! The price point is a steal for this coat, and I highly recommend it for you petite gals wanting a stylish and practical puffer-coat. I also found it in more sizes here, starting in size XS for just under $100! If you love this one as much as I do, act quickly while it's on sale!
This other wintry look was one my husband snapped of me on his cell phone just outside our cabin. I kept this look simple with my go-to combo of a mock-neck sweater, layered over a long-sleeved tee, fleece-lined leggings, thermal leggings, and for accessories, gloves, faux-fur ear muffs (kids' size & only $5!), and a tartan-plaid scarf (several colors available.)

The ear muffs were my favorite find since they were in the kids' section and were a steal! I love that they're adjustable, too -- perfect if you have a smaller head like I do. My daughter would steal them, too. ;-) If you can't get your hands on these exact ones, these and these are also cute.
Okay, the belt wasn't exactly practical, but it lent a dressier look for lunch/dinner outings, so it made an occasional appearance. This one was wait-listed (6 months?) since size 65 is perpetually out of stock everywhere, but I did manage to get my hands on one. That said, I've always held the view that if you're not wanting to invest in a designer belt, any slim waist belt would work just as well for this look.
These boots are the best Sorel dupes! I've had mine for about 2 years now, and the quality is still holding up nicely for boots that were roughly $30. I love the Sorel line, but knew the cost-per-wear for me wouldn't justify the price. Unlike my belts, I rarely use winter boots like these, so I went with the budget-friendly option.




The snow-covered cabins were so charming and looked like scenes you'd see in calendars or on postcards...truly beautiful and ethereal. How pretty is that pink, Victorian cabin? I'd love to tour the inside of it on our next visit; I think it's a Bed N' Breakfast! (Update: I googled it, and it is a B&B called Apples Bed & Breakfast Inn, for those of you wanting to check it out. It looks darling!)

We got some amazing family photos this trip and made so many wonderful, new memories. I'm grateful for trips like these with my favorite people. One of my goals this year is to remember to invest in family and experiences over things.

What are your goals for the year? Have you ever been to Big Bear?

Thanks so much for stopping by! It's time for me to go relax with the babies by the fireplace and enjoy this stint of rain we're getting in LA this week!

xoxo,
Sara
Lip Color: HD Spark
Outfit details linked in the blog post & in the widget below






7/12/18

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale - My Thoughts & (Selective) Picks


Collage is clickable; simply click on any item for details

Oh, the infamous Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, or #NSale, as you've no doubt seen splattered about your Instagram feed. To preface this post, I have to say, I was actually on the fence about preparing this post. On one hand, I love a good sale as much as the next gal and want to excitedly share all of my amazing finds with you (it's one of the reasons I blog in the first place); on the other hand, I've been a bit put off by the incessant over-promotion of the sale by bloggers over recent years. The sale jargon and educational posts on how to navigate it, etc. have become redundant and annoying to an extent and it's become a hot-button topic for some. 

I totally get it. I do. Sometimes there can be too much of a good thing. So why am I posting my NSale Picks anyway? Well, it's two-fold. 1) Despite my frustrations surrounding the over-saturated marketing both leading up to and during the sale, I'm actually really excited about the sale itself. Some of the discounted goodies I found while sifting through the various departments are still worth sharing and considering, even if you've been debating on whether to forego this year's sale madness altogether; and 2) several of you personally reached out to me via direct message (DM) on Instagram and shared that despite feeling the same frustrations I do with the #NSale hype, you'd still be interested to see my picks because you always love what I pick. (What a compliment!) I appreciated the kind words and feedback so much, and wanted to acknowledge those of you who took the time to empathize and encourage me to share my favorites anyway. So, here you go -- this post is for you! 💗

A few things: I'm sharing only the items I either already have and love (some of these pieces have made an encore from last year's sale due to sheer popularity) or would actually purchase or consider purchasing myself. I was very selective with my picks, choosing those I think are most worthwhile, despite my attempts to whittle them down, and am sharing them all below by category to keep things simple. I've also included a bonus sale category below which everyone can shop now, with or without a Nordstrom card! (No pressure and no fear of missing out! This is only for you fellow sale-hunters looking to browse/shop something pretty, yet different at Nordstrom than the usual #NSale fare.)

Key Reminders:

July 12 - 19:  Early Access for Nordstrom Cardholders
July 20:  Sale Opens to Public

All online orders and returns ship for free.


My NSale Picks By Category:


ACCESSORIES/BAGS



BEAUTY



CLASSIC/WORK-WEAR



COATS/OUTER-WEAR



FITNESS/ATHLETIC-WEAR



FOUNDATION/LAYERING BASICS



SHOES



BONUS SALE ITEMS I'M LOVING (NON-NSALE)



And there you have my top #NSale picks! I hope you find them helpful, whether you're shopping or simply browsing. You'll see I kept mostly with the classics -- pieces you can wear season over season to get the most cost per wear.

Do you have any favorites? Or are you sitting this one out? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Thank you, as always, for stopping by!

XO,
Sara

6/25/18

10 Cute Bags for Summer! (Most Under $100!)

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9 // 10
{Click on any number to shop}


Hi, Everyone! I hope you're having a great start to your week!

Today I'm sharing 10 Cute Bags for Summer!

I love these kinds of round-up posts because it's like virtual window-shopping! You get to see all the pretty picks of the season and hopefully get inspired on how to style them.

Straw totes in every shape and style, everyday totes with extra-special touches, crossbody bags with tassels and in an array of rainbow of colors -- they're all summertime staples, and I'm covering them all! With so many bag finds lately, I knew I had to share my favorites with you all, especially since most are under $100! Only a select few are a bit more spendy (in the $200 - $300 range) but that's because they're from reputable, boutique designers/brands who generally source higher-quality materials, making their bags more durable, long-lasting, and investment-worthy, in my opinion.

So, let's talk Summer bags!


How fun are these colors?! I love the candy-colored stripes and the gold hardware. The clasp has a bit of a vintage design to it, too. This would make such a fun statement piece with any simple, solid-colored sundress. I'd wear it with a blush dress and white espadrilles for a colorful, summery look. I posted this bag to my Insta-stories today (be sure to follow me on Instagram if you're not already!) because it's on sale for $329.25, regularly $439 with code "EXTRA." (Sale ends at 11:59pm tonight, PT.)


Dome satchels are such a classic design and look elegant with any outfit, but the striped scarf that comes with this one is what made it on my list! Who doesn't love navy stripes, especially in Summer? Remove the scarf and wear it as a hair tie, too; you're actually getting 2 pieces for the price of 1!


My love for wicker and straw bags has no bounds. I have a few already but keep finding more cute ones like this one! This is such a great little bag with all the special details of a vintage one, plus it comes with a gold chain crossbody strap! It also has gold, protective feet at the bottom -- always a plus. And wait until you see the interior lining...


4. Tory Burch Fleming Flat Wallet Crossbody (Wallet on Chain) - on sale!
Tory Burch always has the cutest crossbody bags, and this one is no exception. The pretty fuchsia color of this WOC packs such a pretty punch, and would look amazing against a little white dress or navy-striped dress with wedges! I shared this one in my Insta-Stories, too; it's on sale today for $179.25, regularly $239 with code "EXTRA." (Sale ends at 11:59pm tonight, PT.)


A darling bow tote that comes with a matching pouch for only $50? Yes, please! This roomy tote is perfect for carrying your everyday essentials and then some, plus it comes in a host of other beautiful colors. The pearl color shown above and the mauve color are my favorites.


I'm all about romantic flowers, as you well know, so this one was a no-brainer for me. This one is such a pretty take on a classic tote. The small, metallic pouch that comes with it is also adorable and perfect for loose change, chapstick/lipgloss, and keys. This tote is also on sale now for $71.20, regularly $89 with code "BIG." (Sale ends tomorrow, June 26th, at 9:59pm, PT.)


Structured bags with a simple design like this never go out of style. Period. Made of italian leather, this is a top pick for anyone looking for a durable, polished bag for the office and every day. It zips at the top, too, keeping all your items secure. This warm, "perfect sand" colorway is my favorite of the two, though the navy is really beautiful as well. This tote is on sale today for $269.25, regularly $359 with code "EXTRA." (Sale ends at 11:59pm tonight, PT.)


This whipstitched tote is another chic, everyday option with the prettiest details; the stitching is eye-catching and easily my favorite detail, while the slouchy design is practical and easy to carry. The pebbled leather is also lower-maintenance for any spills, which definitely comes in handy for any white handbags. And if you're in need of a roomy tote, this is it: it can easily fit a laptop and all your daily essentials, too. This tote is on sale today for $224.25, regularly $299 with code "EXTRA." (Sale ends at 11:59pm tonight, PT.)


I actually did a double-take on this one because I thought it was a designer bag! Would you believe this bag is only $45?! I know I couldn't. This is such a stunner of a bag that gives you the look of "high-end designer for less." I love the chevron quilted design, the top-handle and detachable crossbody strap, turn-lock clasp, and protective feet. This is easily one of my favorite bag finds, and all of the colors are beautiful! This bag comes in the pretty blush colorway shown above, as well as a white and a black colorway. If you've been looking for a vegan alternative to most designer bags, this is a perfect option, and will no doubt garner tons of compliments.


Last, but certainly not least, is this mini, white satchel with the cutest, little detail: a striped, grosgrain ribbon. Is this not one of the sweetest bags you've ever seen? I absolutely adore it! Mini, white bags are everywhere this summer, but this one really takes the cake. Made of durable leather, it's a higher-quality, everyday bag that can be worn on the arm or crossbody with the detachable strap. The grosgrain ribbons attach at each side for easy tying and untying, and the main compartment zips at the top, keeping all your items secure. Cute and functional = my kind of must-have bag!

And there you have my 10 Cute Bags for Summer!

I hope you enjoyed this round-up as much as I did! I'd love to hear which ones are your favorites and why!

{Also, I've snuck in a few more of my picks into the widget below, so be sure to scroll through!}

Thank you, as always, for stopping by, and I hope you have a lovely rest of the day!

XO,
Sara



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