Sarah's Real Life
09. 28. 2016

I’ve only been back from my family beach vacation for 3 days, but it already seems like it ended so long ago! [insert the crying emoji here] My life is so tragic. I’ve already forgotten how to relax. Maybe a fun little recap of our time in the Outer Banks will do the trick. Or maybe it will make everything worse and life will no longer be worth living. Who knows. Let’s give it a try just for funsies…

vacation1Essie gel polish in “Pinned Up”

Before we left, I realized I would be staring at my bare feet for a week so I figured I should make my toenails look pretty.

vacation2My Shoes (c/o Shopbop)

Here’s me and the wife, being basic bitches with our skinny jeans and Starbucks while waiting to board the plane to North Carolina!

vacation3Bikini Top // Bottom (both on sale) // similar Hat (on sale)

Aaaand now for something a little less modest. (I’ve been eating my veggies and working out so just let me show off for one second, k?) I rarely get new bathing suits because I so rarely wear them, but I decided to spring for 2 new bikinis before this trip to the Outer Banks. There’s one, and here’s the other:

vacation4Bikini Top // Bottom (both on sale in other colors)

I was glad I had this high-waisted brief later in the week after I’d been eating and drinking with abandon! #foodbaby

vacation5

Speaking of food, there were 11 humans and 2 dogs, so dinners were pretty epic. We took turns cooking, and for our turn we put together a pretty fantastic taco bar.

vacation6

I used this mid-September beach trip as an excuse to wear some of my favorite summery clothes (like this maxi skirt) one last time. And wouldn’t you know it…now Loft is making this same style skirt in solid navy for my fall enjoyment!

vacation7

You guys, I read a book. A whole book. For the first time in…I don’t even know. I didn’t even know I could still read, so it was a nice surprise. I highly recommend The Only Street in Paris to my fellow francophiles. I felt like I was on two different vacations the whole week!

vacation8similar Dress // Shoes (c/o Shopbop) // Watch

This was one of my more presentable outfits (we went out to dinner the last night), and in true living-from-a-suitcase fashion, every single item had already been worn once that week.

vacation9

Top (on sale) // similar Jeans // similar Shoes // similar Bag (on sale)

After getting sunburned on Thursday, I had to cover up and head to CVS for a bottle of aloe. And triple sec, but that’s not so much related to the sunburn as it is related to margaritas.

vacation10

This is my favorite photo I took on vacation, and it was just about an hour before we left. I love it a little because Kristin’s wearing a shirt that says “Tipsy Mermaid Saloon,” but I love it a lot because we look so happy. :)

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09. 27. 2016

long line vest, sleeveless top, olive green skinny pants

When: before vacation // Weather: warm // Real life: work

long line vest, sleeveless top, olive green skinny pants

long line vest, sleeveless top, olive green skinny pants

long line vest, sleeveless top, olive green skinny pants^One of my favorite lip colors for fall – Revlon’s Cherries in the Snow

long line vest, sleeveless top, olive green skinny pants

long line vest, sleeveless top, olive green skinny pants

long line vest, sleeveless top, olive green skinny pants

“Ask Sarah. She’s a fashion blogger.”

This is something I hear from my friends all the time. Thanks to my status as a highly influential blogger (I hope you hear the sarcasm there), they turn to me for answers to questions like “Does this look good with this?” “Are these still in style?” “Where can I find one of these?” “What do I wear with my new hat?”

I love answering these questions. But once in a while, people ask me whether it’s “OK” to wear something. Most recently, I got one of these questions about vests. Specifically, cropped tuxedo-style vests. Would I wear one? Well, no, I wouldn’t. But that doesn’t mean it’s not “OK” for someone else to wear one. When it comes to vests, these days I’m into the long-line vest. If you want my opinion (and apparently a lot of people do), I think a cropped vest is a bit dated and would look awkward as part of my current wardrobe, which is more modern. But if you rock a more quirky look, by all means ignore my advice. I mean, what do I know? I’m just a lawyer.

But back to my fabulous advice on vests: I like that a longer vest is slimming and elongating, and that it covers my butt and makes my more fitted pants look more work-appropriate. A long jacket can do the same thing, but on a petite person like yours truly, I think the lack of arm fabric looks less overwhelming. So basically: if you don’t wear long vests you’re a loser.

Vest (on sale) // similar Top // Pants // similar Bag // Ring // similar Shoes // similar Sunglasses

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09. 25. 2016

chambray dress, white Converse

When: Friday // Weather: mid 80s // Real life: North Carolina aquarium

chambray dress, white Converse

chambray dress, white Converse

chambray dress, white Converse

chambray dress, white Converse

chambray dress, white Converse

similar Dress // Shoes* // Ring* (on sale) // similar Bag // similar Sunglasses // similar Earrings // similar Headband

This is one of those outfits I hope looks better in action than it does in photos. But even if it doesn’t look that great…what do I care? It’s a beach outfit. At the beach, my standards are decidedly relaxed. A fancier blogger would make more of an effort, but this is pretty much the most effort I make at the beach. I mean, I’m wearing a dress, shoes, and lipstick. What more do you want from me? I left my tiara at home.

You might have noticed by my bright red ankles, but I got a wee bit of a sunburn on Thursday. I’m like microwave popcorn…you might think you have everything under control, but leave me in the heat for 2 seconds too long and I’m burnt to a crisp and stinking up the whole house. That metaphor got a little out of control, but you get the point. So when the rest of my family was up for going to the aquarium on Friday, I was 100% on board. I hadn’t been there since I was a kid, so it was basically brand new to me. To distract you from my mediocre outfit, here are some photos of the animals I saw:

North Carolina aquarium

North Carolina aquarium

North Carolina aquarium

North Carolina aquarium

There were, of course, lots of fish, but it’s hard to get good photos of them in an aquarium. So instead, here’s a photo of the cool fish sculpture outside:

North Carolina aquarium

Sadly, vacation comes to an end today, and it’s back to the real world. But on the bright side, I’m going home to cooler temperatures that will be perfect for hiding my burnt popcorn thighs.

See more details of my vacation on Instagram (or just wait for the inevitable Insta-roundup).

*Shoes and ring purchased with gift card provided courtesy of Shopbop.

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09. 22. 2016

linen pants, knotted chambray, vacation outfit

When: Tuesday // Weather: beachy // Real life: vacation

linen pants, knotted chambray, vacation outfit

linen pants, knotted chambray, vacation outfit

linen pants, knotted chambray, vacation outfit

linen pants, knotted chambray, vacation outfit

linen pants, knotted chambray, vacation outfit

In case you hadn’t heard, the autumnal equinox just happened. I was worried that while I was at the beach, fall would start without me back home in Indiana. Luckily, from what my Weather Kitty app tells me, it’s been even hotter in Indianapolis than it has in the Outer Banks. GOOD. I don’t want anyone getting a head start on sweater weather while I’m still baring some midriff.

Speaking of weather, we had a few cloudy days at the beginning of the week, but my sensitive skin is a fan of that (also makes for better photos)! My sensitive skin reminded me today just how sensitive it is today. Every year I say I’m not going to get burnt and every year I end up make an emergency aloe vera run. Before you ask, I wore SPF 30 and I reapplied 3 times. Keeping my skin protected at the beach is like walking up a down escalator…with one leg…and the escalator keeps speeding up. Eventually you just have to give up, fall down, and have a margarita. That’s good general life advice, actually.

Pants (on sale) // similar Shirt // similar Shoes (on sale) // similar Bracelets

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09. 21. 2016

yellow midi dress, leather slides, beach outfit

When: Sunday // Weather: beachy // Real life: brunch, driving, and (duh) the beach

yellow midi dress, leather slides, beach outfit

yellow midi dress, leather slides, beach outfit

yellow midi dress, leather slides, beach outfit

yellow midi dress, leather slides, beach outfit

yellow midi dress, leather slides, beach outfit

Ah, the Outer Banks. Where a glass of wine counts as an accessory. (It’s Nobilo Sauvignon Blanc, if you’re wondering.)

This is the most dressed up you’ll see me at the beach, but we spent the first part of the morning at brunch and hanging at my parents’ house before hitting the road. I decided this dress was perfect because it would be comfortable in the car for 3 hours, and it has a nice, sunny, “I’m at the beach and I’m not mad about it” vibe. The fact that the salty wind and humidity turned my hair into a 60s housewife flip within 10 minutes was just a bonus.

similar Dress (exact still available in maternity) // Shoes* // similar Rings (on sale)

*Shoes purchased with gift card provided courtesy of Shopbop.

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09. 19. 2016

Mossimo high rise jeggings, long cardigan, wide stripe tank, black Panama hat, studded flats

When: last Saturday // Weather: warm // Real life: friend’s birthday party

Mossimo high rise jeggings, long cardigan, wide stripe tank, black Panama hat, studded flats

Mossimo high rise jeggings, long cardigan, wide stripe tank, black Panama hat, studded flats

Mossimo high rise jeggings, long cardigan, wide stripe tank, black Panama hat, studded flats^^Not to toot my own cheekbones, but that’s some decent contouring there! I used a L’Oreal blush/highlighter set, and you can read more about how I did it here.

Mossimo high rise jeggings, long cardigan, wide stripe tank, black Panama hat, studded flats

Mossimo high rise jeggings, long cardigan, wide stripe tank, black Panama hat, studded flats

Mossimo high rise jeggings, long cardigan, wide stripe tank, black Panama hat, studded flats

Back in Hoosier land, this was a perfectly appropriate mid-September outfit. But as I sit here in my oceanfront beach house for the week (go ahead, be jealous), I feel like I look oddly overdressed in these photos.

Over the next few days on the blog, you can expect to see a mix of me looking very clean and put together (outfits I wore back home, pre-vacation) and me looking sweaty and sunburned but happy (outfits I’m wearing at the beach). If you want more vacation details, you can follow me on Instagram!

Am I excited for fall? Totally. But will I take full advantage of this last morsel of summer? You bet your watermelon cocktail I will.

Jeans (only $30!) // Top (on sale) // similar Cardigan // similar Hat // similar Shoes // Bracelet // similar Bag

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09. 16. 2016

What the fashion world calls “pre-fall” I call Augustember. They might have more money and access to fancy crap, but I…well, I have some stuff too, and Augustember is a cooler word to describe that end-of-summer, not-quite-fall time of year. On that note, here are some more of my recent outfits to show you just what Augustember is all about…

augustember1similar Dress // Belt // Sunglasses // similar Shoes // Bag (c/o Shopbop)

Fall colors, short sleeves. That’s what I’m talking about.

augustember2Leggings // Bras

OK, this isn’t really season-specific, but I did stock up on more activewear recently! I’m a fan of Forever 21’s gear, believe it or not. Their leggings aren’t too thin, and they hold up through the wash (on delicate cycle, air dry). The sports bras have just a touch of shaped padding, which is nice for preventing that uni-boob look. And even if you get a dud that falls apart, everything’s so cheap it doesn’t matter.

augustember3similar Tee // Jeans // similar Shoes // similar Bag // similar Jacket

A Labor Day weekend errand-running, thrown together outfit that just happened to end up kinda cute.

augustember4similar Top // similar Jeans // Bag

Light tweed and distressed denim? More Augustember magicness. This one was a casual Friday look.

augustember5Dress (on sale) // similar Shoes // Bag (c/o Shopbop)

In case you’re not catching on, the keys to Augustember style are: tweed, bright colors, and leopard print.

augustember6Top (on sale) // similar Skirt // Shoes // similar Bag

But the best part about Augustember is: you can switch back to summer style whenever you want.

augustember7Top // similar Shoes

Just one more work outfit from earlier this week, and then…

augustember8Bikini Top (on sale) // Bikini Bottoms (on sale) // Sunglasses

GUESS WHAT?! Starting tomorrow I’m officially on vacation. I’m heading to the North Carolina Outer Banks where my outfits will be a little more low maintenance. I’ll still have to lug my laptop along and answer emails, but emailing on the beach still involves being on a beach. If you’re in need of a vicarious getaway, feel free to stalk me on Instagram.

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09. 14. 2016

blush floral dress, Gigi New York uber python clutch

When: Sunday // Weather: gorgeous and almost fall-like // Real life: delayed wedding reception

blush floral dress, Gigi New York uber python clutch

blush floral dress, Gigi New York uber python clutch

blush floral dress, Gigi New York uber python clutch

blush floral dress, Gigi New York uber python clutch

blush floral dress, Gigi New York uber python clutch

blush floral dress, Gigi New York uber python clutch

I’m 3 days away from vacation and I have the to-do list that doesn’t end. I will make it, but in the meantime, I’m a little short on spare thoughts to share. So I’ll just let these photos speak for themselves, and you can try to draw some deep meaning from the juxtaposition of an old limestone church, a shiny modern skyscraper, and me in a breezy floral dress.

Dress (on sale in petite, but I am wearing regular) // Bag // similar Shoes // Earrings // similar Bracelet // similar Sunglasses

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09. 12. 2016

silk neck scarf, striped shirt, skinny pants

When: Wednesday // Weather: warm // Real life: work

silk neck scarf, striped shirt, skinny pants

silk neck scarf, striped shirt, skinny pants

silk neck scarf, striped shirt, skinny pants

silk neck scarf, striped shirt, skinny pants

silk neck scarf, striped shirt, skinny pants

Here’s how a recent conversation went in Ann Taylor:

Me: “I can pull off a neck scarf, right?”

K: “Can I pull off a neck scarf?”

Me: “Be serious. Can I wear this?”

K: “Why is it called a neck scarf? Don’t all scarves go around your neck?”

Suffice it to say I never got a straight answer on whether I looked cool with a piece of silk tied around my neck. So naturally I bought it and wore it and here we are. What’s the verdict? (This is mostly a rhetorical question because I’ve already decided I look awesome.)

Scarf // Tee // Bag* // similar Shoes // similar Sunglasses // similar Earrings

*Bag purchased with gift card provided courtesy of Shopbop.

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09. 11. 2016

Meijer supplied me with several complimentary products to facilitate this post, but I am only featuring the ones I have tried and liked!

Nothing like a new season to make you want to chop off your hair, throw out all your clothes, and get a couple tattoos, amiright? Slow your roll, girl. I know the feeling, but let’s not do anything drastic. I’m pretty good about trying new trends and switching up my hair style every once in awhile, but I have to push myself to get out of beauty/skincare ruts. When I want to experiment with new products, I say the good ol’ grocery store brands are the way to go. They’re way cheaper, and I like to tell myself the lack of sampling ability just makes it exciting.

I got to try out a bunch of new products this month thanks to Meijer, and these are my new favorites (just to take some of the guess work out for you). First, a look at the products doing the “behind the scenes” work:

drug store beauty product reviews, Neutrogena moisturizer review, Cover Girl Tru Blend review, Maybelline Color Tattoo review

I’ve been using Aveeno Absolutely Ageless restorative night cream mainly because it smells nice. I’m not that picky about by night creams because – let’s be honest – none of them are magically going to erase wrinkles so why bother? I also received the Aveeno day cream, but it’s a little too greasy for me. I’m greasy enough on my own, so I like a daytime moisturizer that just sinks right in – the Neutrogena Hydro Boost is right up my alley. And speaking of my greasy nature, I was pretty pumped to get this L’Oreal clay mask (here’s me wearing it while drinking wine like a boss).

drug store beauty product reviews, Neutrogena moisturizer review, Cover Girl Tru Blend review, Maybelline Color Tattoo review

OK, makeup time! I must admit this Cover Girl Tru Blend foundation really truly does blend well. And it’s more matte than the fancy Clinique stuff I’ve been using for the past couple years. (Back in May, I actually bought the Tru Blend concealer out of necessity when I ran out of my $25 Bobbi Brown concealer while traveling, but I ended up liking it just as much. Well done, CG.)

drug store beauty product reviews, Neutrogena moisturizer review, Cover Girl Tru Blend review, Maybelline Color Tattoo review

My blush shade is another thing that I haven’t changed in a couple years. I’m not ready to give up my standby altogether, but I can appreciate this L’Oreal palette. According to the directions, you’re supposed to put it along the bridge of your nose and on your forehead, but it’s very shimmery, and I’m no longer a pre-teen at a dance recital. Instead, I mix the 2 darker colors on the edge of my blush brush and apply just under my cheeks, like so:

drug store beauty product reviews, Neutrogena moisturizer review, Cover Girl Tru Blend review, Maybelline Color Tattoo review

Then I mix the 2 lighter colors and apply those to the apples of my cheeks. Fancy, huh?

drug store beauty product reviews, Neutrogena moisturizer review, Cover Girl Tru Blend review, Maybelline Color Tattoo review

Wait, didn’t someone mention tattoos earlier?! It’s happening! I know what you’re thinking: “Color Tattoodefinitely sounds like something that should be left for that aforementioned pre-teen dance recital. You’re probably right. It’s super highly pigmented, but I decided to use it like an eyeliner along with a neutral shadow. The finished product looks something like this:

drug store beauty product reviews, Neutrogena moisturizer review, Cover Girl Tru Blend review, Maybelline Color Tattoo review

It’s actually kinda nice, isn’t it? I like the dark purple because it’s a little softer than solid black, so the thick line doesn’t look quite so heavy on what I like to imagine is my Cate Blanchett-like complexion.

drug store beauty product reviews, Neutrogena moisturizer review, Cover Girl Tru Blend review, Maybelline Color Tattoo review

That just leaves brows and lips! My favorite things about this Neutrogena MoistureSmooth color stick are that it smells good (strange but true) and that it glides on really nice and soft. My only complaint is that also glides off pretty easily.

drug store beauty product reviews, Neutrogena moisturizer review, Cover Girl Tru Blend review, Maybelline Color Tattoo review

So there ya go – I’m officially out of my beauty rut! All of the products featured in this post are available at Meijer, but if you don’t live near a Meijer, you can also find them at most major drug stores and grocery stores and on the interwebs. If you do live near a Meijer, their fall Beauty Week promotion is from September 15 – 21!

This post was sponsored by Meijer Beauty.

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