On the blog today, I am featuring some beautiful pieces from Pink Lily Boutique that I have recently ordered from their fall collections. I have been playing around with some colour combos and have enjoyed styling different outfits together for different events I have coming up and for some fall inspiration for you guys!🍁 A little background first, Pink Lily is definitely not just a random boutique to me. I know there are a lot of boutiques out there nowadays but back when I first found them in 2017, Pink Lily was one of the first I really found what I was looking for in an online shopping experience. They had very clean pictures, abundant sizing information, and quick shipping. All of those things still stand true about the brand to this day with some great enhancements they have implemented as they have grown over the past few years. I remember back in college, I wanted a dress that I could wear in the summer to my internship and a pink romper that I could wear out to one of my sorority functions. I found both at Pink Lily and instantly fell in love with their products, and their company, shortly after I received the package. For the past 3 years, I have been a loyal and enthusiastic customer of theirs (I laugh at myself thinking about how much of my closet is from them now).
I also chose October as the month to share with you my favourite boutique because they have a philanthropy that is very near and dear to my heart. I used to fundraise for Breast Cancer Education and Awareness with my sorority all throughout college and in fact, Pink Lily donates to the The Pink Fund for the same awareness.💓🎗 As this month is Breast Cancer Awareness month, I couldn’t think of a better boutique to shop with. I have linked to their website here where you can read further about their philanthropy. I knew of this back when I first started shopping online with them and it just solidifies that their mission and values align very closely to mine.
Skip ahead to this year, not much has changed other than my desire to share my great finds with you guys here on my blog! A lot of the pieces you have seen in pictures in blog posts before have actually been from the same place so now I can share some of my more recent finds. I have a full try-on up on my stories right now and will most likely make a highlight out of it so that it can have a semi-permanent spot on my profile. I have 5 outfit looks I am going to share with you in this post, including sizing, pricing, and ideas on where to wear that outfit. I’ve been toying around with the idea of taking one or two pieces of the haul and dressing them in 3 different ways/styles so let me know if that is something you’re interested in seeing.
For reference: I am 5’0 feet tall, 125 pounds, and a size 4 in jeans. I predominantly wear smalls in most clothing pieces.
Top: Spend the Night Cream Chenille Cable Knit Sweater – size small fits true to size (TTS), $48. This top comes in one other colour to choose from but I am usually drawn to this cream colour during this time of the year. It goes with everything! I love anything chenille, it just feels like butter on your body. As a bonus, this top also has a hood on the back and is slightly cropped in the front. It can also be worn off the shoulder if you would like.
Bottom: Goodnight Kiss Brown Plaid A-Line Skirt– size small fits tts, $44. This skirt is very flattering and I think can be paired with many different tops. I find that the A-line cut is very forgiving on a figure as well. You could wear a bodysuit, a crop top or a sweater like how I paired it. Even though it’s plaid, it is definitely not itchy at all either.
Details: I would wear this outfit to church on a Sunday, brunch with the girls on a Saturday, or to a family event that I would need to attend.
Top: Sundown Awaits Knit Green Cardigan– size small and fits a bit oversized. If you want a more fitted look, size down but I wanted the oversized cardigan look so I stuck with my true size small, $46. This is a very chunky and oversized sweater cardigan but that’s one of the main reasons why I love it. During the cold months, I just want to bundle up in something cozy, and this delivers exactly what I want. There are three other colours that are available in this cardigan but I fell in love with this rich emerald green that is perfect for the upcoming holidays. Since you can also wear this as a top instead of an open cardigan, this is a great piece to get multiple uses out of.
Details: I think this outfit is quite versatile. I work from home but if I was going into the office on a casual Friday, I would absolutely wear this outfit (with the exception of the holes in the jeans). Especially if you get cold in your office like how I used to. I definitely think that it’s a casual outfit that can be worn any day of the week and can be dressed up or down based on the occasion.
Top: Autumn’s First Kiss Peplum Black Sweater– size small and fits true to size, $46. This beautiful peplum top couldn’t be more flattering. I absolutely fell in love with this top on the site and as soon as I tried it on, I was so relieved that it fit just like how I imagined it. I think the black looks so chic and effortlessly stylish which is what I always am looking for. Never forget, an all-black outfit will never fail you.
Details: I love this outfit for a girls night out on the town! If you want to grab drinks or even some dinner and cocktails with the girls, this is the outfit I would reach for in my closet.
Top: By The Firelight Magenta Fringe Sweater– size small and fits tts, $48. Currently sold out in this colour but if you add it to your wishlist, you will be able to monitor when it comes back in stock. It’s very comfy fitting and the fringe definitely makes it a bit extra, but in a great way. It also has small slits on either side which makes it easy to tuck into jeans or a skirt easily without cutting your hips in an odd angle.
Bottom: Diva Moment Black Leather Skirt– size small and fits tts, $46. If you are taller than 5’3″, I would size up one just for length. I really like where the slit is on this skirt as well since it is very flattering on the figure. I have a bit thicker of thighs so with a slit, it doesn’t look like I’m stuffing two sausages into my skirt lol. A leather skirt is a staple to have in my closet, and I finally got it with this one!
Details: This outfit screams girls trip to me! If I have a trip to Nashville or Las Vegas, I would 100% bring this whole outfit along. The fringe, the leather, and the pop of colour… it’s meant for a night out on the town. If you don’t have a trip planned anytime soon, this also would be great for a night out with the girlfriends or even a date night look to a concert or a dining experience.
Top: By the Firelight Ivory Fringe Sweater– size small and fits tts, $48. Cream colour is completely in stock. It’s very comfy fitting and the fringe definitely makes it a bit extra, but in a great way. It also has small slits on either side which makes it easy to tuck into jeans or a skirt easily without cutting your hips in an odd angle.
Bottom: You Inspire My Heart Rust Plaid Skirt – size small and fits tts, $42. If you are in between sizes, size up as the material of the skirt has very little stretch. This skirt was the first item I had my eye on when the boutique released their fall collections. It just looks like a pumpkin in a skirt and gives me all of the fall vibez I’m looking for during the season. It’s very comfortable and not itchy.
Details: So I would say this outfit is one of my most trendy of the group because of how big the western boot trend is this fall. If you want to read more about the fall fashion trends of 2021, click here and read my previous blog post. With the fringe sweater, plaid skirt, and western boots, I think this outfit would be great for a pumpkin patch or a fall festival in your local area. I would also wear this to a winery or a cidery during the fall because I think it gives the perfect amount of dressed up look with fitting into the season.
That wraps up all 5 looks I have put together from Pink Lily Boutique for this blog post. I hope you found this blog post helpful while navigating your fall fashion sense! If you found a piece that you absolutely fall in love with, reach out to me directly and I’d be happy to pass along my link for $10 off your first purchase! 🛍I must caution you though, you might fall in love with this boutique way more than you anticipated once you receive your first package. As you can see, I love styling outfits and pairing different pieces together…. it truly brings me joy. So I am so happy that I am able to share all of this with you on this platform.
Thanks for reading along!! I appreciate your support, if you’ve read till the end lol.🤍
Happy fall y’all!🍂 I can’t believe we have already entered into a new season of autumn. If I’m being completely honest with you, summer is my favourite season however if we are talking fashion season, my favourite is definitely the fall. Fall fashion is clearly unmatched in my eyes and it brings me so much excitement to forecast and analyze the fall fashion trends that debut every year.🧥 There are so many fashion trends that I’m loving this season and I wanted to compile them into one blog post for you guys so that it’s in one place. Even though I’ll be detailing the big trends, this isn’t quite all of them. For example, plaid, chunky boots and thick knit sweaters are a given that will be showing up however they came back every fall so I wanted to focus on the others that are more specific to the year. Specifically with the 2021 trends, we have seen a huge blast to the past to the 60’s, 90’s and even early 2000’s fashion which I deny calling ~vintage~. So let’s dive right into the trends that you will be seeing everywhere this fall… 🧡🤎
Below, I have posted my Pinterest board where I have added some of my inspiration as well as where I will continue to add throughout the season so be sure to pin and follow!
Scroll through Pinterest board for inspo here! As you can tell, there aren’t specific styles or colours that are part of this trend, just the fact that it’s an oversized blazer is #trending. I’ve seen retailers showcase a selection of solid colours, fun patterns such as houndstooth or plaid, and leather blazers to add to an outfit. I think this trend is so popular this year because it can truly be appreciated by many different people even if they have differing fashion tastes. You can truly dress a blazer up for a work outfit or down for a casual day out depending on the print you decide to go with. I’m still hunting for a blazer that I want for the season but I’m leaning towards either classic oversized boyfriend black one or a houndstooth one.
More Pinterest board scrolling for inspo! While tweed arguably makes a “comeback” every fall, I have seen it particularly popular this year with its various patterns and colours. My favourite I have seen so far is the pink and white tweed jacket. There are also a lot of neutral tweed designs that are on trend this season which is a draw-in for many. I also have noticed that tweed separates are just as popular as a set this year when paired with great basics. For example, if there is a tweed cropped jacket that you would like but not sure how to style an outfit with it, it would be great to pair with a leather skirt or pants to bring contrast to the outfit. I just ordered a few skirts in a few different colours so they can work both for fall and winter.
Okay unless you’ve been living under a rock in fashion world, you will definitely have seen this coming on my trends report. Most major retailers have included sweater vests and dresses in their fall and winter lineup as it is one of the soaring trends for the seasons. I was just mentioning to my friend the other day that while the preppy girl look is coming back into style this year, it just gives me awful flashbacks to dressing in my private school uniform growing up haha. Despite that though, now we can play with fun colours and patterns so I’m looking forward to styling a few outfits for the sweater dresses I’ve snagged so far.
I’m so excited for the western boots trend!! At first I was confused as to why there were so many cowboy boots being pictured on social media and then I realized that they were coming “back” into style. However, in Sara’s world, cowboy boots have never gone OUT of style. Not only do I wear them every year, I genuinely look for different designs for various outfits from year to year. I guess you can’t take my Texas roots out of me on this one. The one bold difference this season when it comes to western boots are that white/cream boots are the showstoppers. They are sold out on many sites currently and/or more on the expensive side. While I do think that the white boot trend will fade out after this year, I will continue to wear and style my boots long past the trendy season. My advice: if you are going to invest in boots, then invest in a pair that you truly like and are handcrafted. They will stand the test of time and they will last you for many years to come… even until the NEXT time the western boot trend comes back.
Personally, I’m super on board with this trend as I love all things fluffy… yes, just like Agnes from Despicable Me. I originally wasn’t sure how I felt about the teddy shearling all over a shoe since that can lead to your feet overheating but I do like the look of it particularly if it’s focused on the outside as an eye-catcher. A teddy purse? Gimme! The Marc Jacobs line of teddy bags this season are gorgeous and I have been contemplating on taking the plunge for a couple of weeks now… should i do it??
As you can see from the picture above, I am all smiles about the change of the seasons. Even though I’ve been gradually adding pieces to my wardrobe for the fall, it’s been hard to commit to fully transitioning clothes because of the crazy high temperatures recently. Most of September and some of October has been 80 degree weather which I don’t reach for my cozy sweaters during. I think it might get a little chilly towards the middle of the month but for now I’m sticking to shorts/tops/skirts that have more muted colours to go with the season. I’m interested to know which fall trend you are most looking forward to or which is your favourite from this post. Let me know in the comments below. Happy fall fashion to all👢👜
*All thoughts and opinions are my own. I do not own the rights to the images provided unless the picture is of myself. All other pictures have website links tied to them. I do not make any commission of any of these items.
Hi friends, welcome to my very first travel guide! I have been wanting to put together a travel guide for awhile now but obviously given the state of the world last year *cue sighs*, it had to wait. Funny enough, if I had started my blog all those years ago (when I told myself I wanted to), I could’ve been writing travel guides for various international countries that I traveled to in college. However, since I don’t have those written, feel free to reach out to me if you’re thinking of visiting the United Kingdom or Europe, and I can jog my memory to give my best recommendations. Moving right along to the travel guide that you have in front of you, throughout this post you will be taken to the beautiful beaches of the Outer Banks (OBX) in North Carolina.🏖
Even though I live in Virginia and have lived here on and off for years, this was my first time to the Outer Banks. This fact is quite surprising since many of my friends and acquaintances in the area usually take time in the summer to spend in the banks. Finally, I can say that I have made my way to OBX with my family for a wonderfully relaxing week. Plus, the Outer Banks is getting even more publicity these days with the new Netflix series. I haven’t seen it yet, but I’ve heard through the grapevine that it’s a pretty decent show. Given that we were able to fully enjoy our time being there, I wanted to round up all of the information in one blog post for you guys if you ever find yourself headed that way. I have separated the blog post into several sections: Food/Drinks, Activities, Outfits, and Location.
There are many beaches that make up the Outer Banks so I know I was confused when I first learned where we were going. Kitty Hawk, Corolla, Nags Head, Duck and Kill Devil Hills are some of the most popular beaches to name a few.🌊 We stayed in Kill Devil Hills at a beach house right down the block from the Avalon Fishing Pier. We ended up parking at the pier everyday we were there at the beach because we could drive over all of our beach equipment, there was quick access to restrooms, and there was a full service bar. There was a daily parking fee associated with being at the pier but it was well worth it especially since we spent the majority of the day there at the beach. Kill Devil Hills was a very friendly and welcoming area. It was very family-oriented and kept pretty clean. While we mostly stayed in Kill Devil, we also ventured to the other areas for different activities and restaurants and by my first impression, it seemed like it was the most quiet of all the beaches.
One of the perks of renting a beach house for the week was that there was an operating kitchen with all of the appliances needed to cook a couple of meals here and there and keep all of our veggies/fruits cold and fresh. Oh and the best part? There was a PUBLIX right down the road from the beach house which I was super excited about since we don’t have those here in Virginia and I only had been to them in Florida. However, idk how it works in your family but in ours, when we are on holiday, the last thing we all want to do is be on the hook to cook for all the meals. So of course, we did our fair share of dining out and I will list the places below so that you can have some places to reference.
Miller’s Seafood and Steakhouse (Kill Devil Hills)- We visited the restaurant right as we entered into the beach town on our first evening. It surely had something on the menu for everyone, and their hush puppies were amazing!
Mako’s (Kill Devil Hills)- Pizza is always a must while you’re at the beach however, when you are gluten-sensitive like I am, the regular pizza shops don’t always work. I was able to enjoy a GF personal pizza and a lovely caesar salad here. 🍕
Booty Treats (Nags Head)- Booty Treats was hands down my favourite place that we ate at while we were at the beach! So good, that we went two days consecutively. The huge draw to this place was the dairy-free options that were available, also very hard to find at the beach. My mom, my sister and I stood in line for about 20 minutes each night (don’t worry this is normal during peak season) and waited patiently for our orders. They were definitely worth the wait! Both nights I got the oatmilk chocolate chunk ice cream with various toppings on the two days. You HAVE to try this place! 🍦
Sun Fish Grill (Corolla)- Unfortunately when we went to this restaurant, they had just opened back up so had a very limited menu but they had great salads and fries… which is all I need for dinner anyway. This restaurant is for sure the beach bar type, if that’s what you’re looking for.
Duck Donuts (various locations)- Of course, the donut shop that was started in the OBX is a must-have. I highly recommend ordering your donuts before 8:30am if you go in person as the line is usually out the door. They also have online ordering available which is very useful if you are planning on getting donuts for large groups. My favourite are the blueberry and maple bacon donut. Gotta make sure you make a pit stop here before you leave the beach. 🍩
Stack’em High Pancakes & So Forth- No GF options here so unfortunately I was not able to go but my parents went after I left a little early and they said it was great. A local fav, make sure to get there early in the morning to avoid long lines and long waiting times. They are famous for their fluffy pancake stacks and the various topping options. Once I get back on the regular pancake train, I can’t wait to go back and try them, I’ve only heard great things. 🥞
I know what you’re thinking, you’re at the beach… that’s the activity. Well yes it is, but I always try to find different activities to do in the evening after a long beach day as well. Now when I go to the beach, I’m definitely one of those people who says “beach at 10am AT 10am and we don’t leave until we have to”. I love being at the beach, having the sun shine on my face and hearing the waves while I’m engulfed in a good book. That’s why for the week, I felt like I was in complete bliss. Since we were there over the July 4th weekend as well, we were able to watch the beach fireworks show from our house. 🎆 Along the pier, the workers advised that firework shows happen often which was great to know.
Jockey’s Ridge State Park (Nags Head)- This place was a recommendation to me from one of my friends who I ran into at the beach. Shoutout Rita thanks for recommending this place as it was one of the highlights of the trip. This park was only 20 minutes away from our beach house and was an amazing gem of the area. There were beautiful sand ridges that you could even see the ocean off into the distance. While I was there, it felt like I was back in the Sahara desert, a place I haven’t had a chance to return to in over 10 years. Pro tip: bring sandals that you can take off while trudging through the sand ridges and a mini scarf or blanket to be able to lay on the sand. We went at sunset and it was beautiful, couldn’t recommend enough.
Lost Treasure Mini Golf (Kill Devil Hills)- On one of the last nights we were at the beach, we wanted to do an activity that would be fun for the whole family. So mini golf it was! ⛳️There were a good amount of people where we had to wait in line to enter but the line moved quickly and we were excited that it didn’t take too long to start the course. I crushed all my family members 😇
Shopping- Now shopping is definitely not exclusive to a beach vacation but it is always fun looking through the beach storefronts. If you’re into the tie-dye trend, the beach is definitely the place to stock up on pieces. I walked away with tie-dyed pants, a cozy fleece sweatshirt, and some random souvenirs.
There aren’t many outfit tips for me to give on this particular trip as most of my suitcase was filled with swimsuits lol as would be expected on a beach trip. I was there for 5 days so I bought 6 different swimsuit sets, one for every day there and an extra for good measure. Given that the weekend I was there was for 4th of July, I also made sure to pack a couple of red, white, and blue outfit options to rotate through. Lots of crop tops, tank tops, mom shorts, and sundresses were stacked full in my suitcase. However, for the first time in as long as I can remember, I packed less pairs of shoes than the number of days I was traveling for. Thats right my friends, I only brought 4 pairs of shoes for a 6 day trip. I would also like to add to this section that even though at the beach, there tends to be “less clothing” on or not as many full outfits, I always like to accessorize. Everything from scarfs to sunglasses to jewelry. Accessories can amp up any outfit even one as plain as jean shorts and a T-shirt so don’t be afraid to mix and match accessory styles. Here are a few pics below to give show you some beach style and style inspiration for your upcoming trips.
All in all, I had a wonderful time in the Outer Banks! I know many of my friends have already been but in the off chance that you are reading this and haven’t been, I do recommend checking out at least one of the beaches here! If you will be able to make it down to North Carolina over this long weekend, I hope you can use this travel guide blog post to help plan your trip a bit. Please let me know if you end up trying out any of these, happy (safe and responsible) traveling!
Hi everyone, welcome back to another blog post! Trust me the wait is worth it for this one, it is 💛NORDSTROM ANNIVERSARY SALE TIME!💛 Keep reading to find out all the things you need to know:
This is it, the time has finally come, it is time for the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale aka NSale! This sale is seriously like Christmas in July 🎄. When my boyfriend asked me last year when the sale started, what the big deal was? I answered, this sale is like the Super Bowl of sales.🏈 It is, personally, the sale of the year. Okay for those of you who think that I’m being ~dramatic~ thats fine, but let me explain to you why this is the sale of all sales…
When most people (including myself) hear the words sales, the first thought is whatever season you are in is about to end. Usually most sales are supposed to get rid of the clothes on the shelf in order to make room for the next season of clothes. What sets the NSale apart is that the items that are included are the new fall/winter clothes of that year being put on sale before they are even able to be shopped. Once the sale ends, those pieces will all go back to full price and will be *currently in season. This is basically unheard of, except for when it comes to Nordstrom. 🛍
Let’s get down to the nitty gritty now. The NSale has several tiers that it opens up in. It begins with early access on July 12th with subsequent phases of cardholder statuses. The sale then opens up to the public on July 28th (tomorrow!) where anyone and everyone can take advantage of the sale prices for the upcoming seasons. All Nordstrom credit card holders automatically get early access. The following schedule is how the 2021 NSale is operating and when every tiered status can begin shopping:
Icon status: July 12, 2021
Ambassador status: July 14, 2021
Influencer status: July 16, 2021
NSale opens up to the public on July 28, 2021
The sale will be in-store during open hours and will begin online at 12am PST/3am EST. I also wanted to mention that you can easily make a wishlist if you sign up/in to your Nordstrom account, PRO TIP. This is so helpful when shopping so that you are fully aware of what you are looking for and tracking for restocks. Some of the items I have included in this blog post are currently sold out however, if it is on your wishlist, you will be notified when it is restocked in the size/colour you wanted. Be sure to keep an eye out for restocks and new items they sometimes throw into the sale when it opens to the public.
Restocked Purchases From Last Year:
Steve Madden Chain Mule: This mule is currently an upgraded version of the Steve Madden mule from last year! I got the turquoise croc leather last year with a smaller chain. I like to pick different colours in these mules so that I bring a bit of diversity into my shoe collection. This year my eyes are set on the pink and navy tweed. The tan and brown versions are easily the most popular and versatile for the fall though. I sized up 1/2 a size last year to accommodate for the very pointed toe. This year I am going to try on my true size 5 and see how they feel since I tried the 5.5 and they were too big on me.
Spanx Faux Leather Leggings: Last year, I bought my first pair of Spanx leggings and omg I don’t know how I waited so long! They go with everything and can really elevate any look in the colder months. I also love that they include petite sizes in the sale. I have them in a petite small and they fit perfectly.
Moonlight Short Pajamas: I bought these as a matching set for me and my mom last year. They are so soft and comfortable that I ordered both of us another set this year. I have the black set and I got her the navy set. I wear a small in these.
Blank NYC Faux Leather Moto Jacket: The NSale is a great time to look at jackets. This is when the largest discount will be applied before the fall starts. Last year’s version had a faux fur detachable piece to it but this year the black moto jacket is much more classic and an awesome piece to snag. I ordered a small last year.
Steve Madden Bootie: This bootie is similar to the ones I bought last year with just minor differences. However the block heel is the same and the deep ankle cuts are so flattering on the leg! It definitley elongates the leg and it’s very easy to throw on a pair of no-show socks for comfort. I sized up 1/2 a size last year to accommodate for socks. This year I am going to try on my true size 5 and see how they feel.
These are the shoes that I currently have on my wishlist. Wish I could say that I wasn’t planning on buying all of them and trying them on but then I’d be lying.🤪 If you couldn’t tell, the shoes get me every year without fail. TTS=true to size
These are the items that I think are the best value within the sale. I currently use the Charlotte Tilbury set, Elemis balm, Laura Mercier powder, and the first edition of the Hollie Woodward X Sigma brushes and they have all become staples in my routine.
I hope you’re as excited as I am for the NSale! While I know that all of this information can be overwhelming, I truly look forward to this sale every year. Part of the reason why is because I grew up shopping at Nordstrom and the NSale with my mom all the time. I remember the beautiful racks of shoes, coats, and the fun Nordstrom cafe we would stop for a kids hot chocolate during our shopping trips. Part of shopping the NSale is nostalgia but it is also because I love to look and try on the new fashions trends. While summer is indeed my favourite season, nothing ever comes close to fall fashion! If there is anything in particular you have your eye on during the sale, let me know! Additionally, if there are further questions about logistics, feel free to message me or you can find additional Nordstrom information here.
Happy Shopping- tell me what is in your cart this year! Thanks for following along with me on the blog 🤍
*All thoughts and opinions are my own. I do not own the rights to the images provided unless the picture is of myself. All other pictures have website links tied to their description in bullets. I do not make any commission of any of these items.
Hello and Happy Tuesday, friends! Work has definitely been picking up and getting busier for me so I haven’t had a lot of down time after work to write as many posts. Please be assured, my posts may slow at times but they won’t be stopping anytime soon. I can’t believe that June is already rocking and rolling. This Sunday, June 20th is already Father’s Day! I know personally, I’ve always looked up to my dad and have admired all that he’s done in his life. Most of all, he has always done what was best for my sister and I, couldn’t have been blessed with a more amazing dad.💙
I wanted to put together a few gift guides on ideas for Father’s Day. I made several different versions so that there is something for all dads out there. As a reminder, these gifts would be great for any other paternal figure in your life such as grandfather, step dads, godfathers, new fathers, etc. I also wanted to mention, which I also talked briefly on my instagram, that I know Father’s Day can also be a difficult day for some and if that applies to you, you will be on my heart that day.🤍
Pictures of me and my dad! We don’t have many but I was able to find some over most recent years. From left to right, London New Years Eve 2017, Paris June 2017, Normandy July 2018.
** Make sure to check all shipping options to get in time**
I hope these gift guides are helpful while you are shopping for Father’s Day. If you end up getting any of these gift suggestions, let me know- I’d love to hear about what you think about the gift guides. I hope that you all have a special day with your dads if you are lucky enough to live close enough to see them. Thank you for reading along and supporting!
*All thoughts and opinions are my own. I do not own the rights to the images provided unless the picture is of myself. All other pictures have website links tied to them. I do not make any commission of any of these items.
Anyone who truly knows me, knows that shoes are the way to my heart. Shoes can do no wrong and they make my heart happy. All types of shoes too, I’m not picky, sandals, wedges, sneakers, heels, slippers, boots, I like them all. I bought all of these shoes in the spring for the upcoming summer which has been fun getting them in slowly so I can try them on and see what outfits I want to wear them with. Now that I’ve worn each sandal at least once, these are for sure the shoes I will be wearing on repeat this summer. I tried to get a variety of designs and styles to accommodate different outfits and jewelry. I wanted to round them all up in a blog post for you guys to have one place to come to for reference. ☀️
If my personality was a shoe, it would be this one. I found these online and instantly fell in love with them, I just couldn’t resist. As y’all know, I usually have to have some type of pink on me whether its nail polish, a piece of clothing or an accessory. Surprisingly, I don’t have that many pink pairs of shoes so I thought the Brielle sandals would be a great summer edition.
I gravitate towards more neutral and lighter-coloured sandals for the summer but when I saw this bold pairing of gold bulleted studs on the black jelly sandal, I was instantly sucked in. Since I don’t have anything like it, I instantly felt like I could justify adding these to my cart lol. I have worn them a few times since I received them and they are perfect to add a bit of a statement to my all black outfit ensembles that I tend to lean towards in a dressing panic.
Even though this pair of sandals were last season, I bought them this year after seeing them on sale. With quarantine, I didn’t have much of a reason to buy them back then but now, I saw my opening and took it. I will say they fit very true to size but unfortunately bought a size 5.5 just never returned for a true size 5. Don’t fall into my same lazy mistake lol. I really like the clear trend because it elongates my legs and for a 5″ foot person, that is music to my ears. The studs and bullets on this sandal are great for my more edgy and trendier looks.
This style, Skyler, is basically this year’s version of the Travel style I just talked about above. However, there are a few differences that made me want to pick them up to add to my wardrobe. First off, the square-toe detail is very trendy right now so I like that they added it to this one. Additionally, the diamond bedazzling on the outline of the shoe is hard to see from the website picture but, stunning in person! Finally, the clear strap doesn’t wrap around the ankle so this is a perfect slip on and slip off type of shoe that elevates any look for the summer. These go with anything and everything, highly recommend!
These are even more beautiful in person and the perfect shade of universal nude. I remember seeing them right when they were first released from Marc Fisher and I just kept looking back at them. I waited until I could find them on sale and then I snagged them. Again, the squared-toe trend is big this season and then when you add in the braid on top, this shoe is arguably the IT shoe of the season. Even though I love wearing these, I would not recommend wearing them for long periods of time for a long distance since they have minimal padding. I usually wear them for a dinner out or a date night.
I know it sounds ridiculous but I legitimately have a shoe budget. Yes, you read that right. I make sure to pencil into my budget an amount for shoes every month because I love them that much. If that means I skimp in other things, then I skimp. I know what I value and what I’d rather spend money on and most of the time, its shoes lol. I usually buy about 3-4 pairs a season depending on if I really am into the trends or if I have an occasion that I want to wear a particular style of shoe. As seen above, I found some great summer additions to add to my closet. All serve a different purpose and if you told me to pick a favourite, i don’t even know if I’d be able to since I simply love all of them. 👡
If you end up trying any of these sandals, please let me know! I’d love to hear your thoughts or if there are other sandals that you’ve found for the summer season. If you would like to submit any blog idea topics to me, please feel free to! Always want to cater to my readers for content, especially in my favourite season, summer. Thank you for reading along!
*All thoughts and opinions are my own. I do not own the rights to the images provided unless the picture is of myself/stated underneath. All other pictures have website links tied to them in the description. I do not make any commission of any of these items.
Hello everyone and Happy Memorial Day Weekend! I know its been a few days since I jumped on here and posted but with the past few days loading up with work, by the time I’m off I’m mentally exhausted. However, this weekend I am hoping to take full advantage of it being a long one and get all of the rest I can. I know many people travel around over this weekend but I’ve always liked to stay local for this particular weekend because usually beaches and lakes are crowded since everyone wants to use the first weekend of summer to travel (understandably). Unfortunately, I think it’s also supposed to rain where I’m at for most of the weekend so my activities that I had planned for outside might have to be put on hold. In this post, I will be sharing a full list of the sales that I was able to find. If you head over to my instagram @saraeliseblog, I also have all of these graphics posted. I have included some other sales in this post, special for my loyal readers, and won’t be posting those on my instagram.💙 Click on the link to the retailer, and it will take you directly to their site/sale section. I hope you guys have a wonderful weekend and thank you to all of the service men and women who currently serve our country, have served, or given their life for our country. May we never forget what the true meaning behind the weekend and the sacrifices that were made for us. 🇺🇸
MDW SALES ROUNDUP
Abercrombie: 25% off select styles + Free shipping on orders over $75
IT Cosmetics: 30% off site wide sale with code: SUMMER + Free shipping on orders over $50 + Free makeup gift set with a purchase of over $100
Lancome: Friends and Family 25% site wide sale, 30% off when you create an account
*All thoughts and opinions are my own. I do not own the rights to the images provided unless the picture is of myself. All other pictures have website links tied to them. I do not make any commission of any of these items.
A whole post about Starbucks?? What is there not to love?! I’m not even a coffee person but this mermaid-icon based cafe is one of the places that brings me joy.🌈 One of my strengths is that I can usually find a silver lining in most situations. Now that I work from home and have been for the past year and a few months, I barely leave my house… or the basement for that matter. The very few times I leave my house during the week, it’s usually in the afternoon to run through the Starbucks drive thru and grab a quick pick-me-up for the rest of the day. This is the one thing throughout the work day that I can look forward to. It gets me away from my computer screen for about 10 minutes and I get a nice treat, sounds like a win-win situation to me. As I briefly mentioned, I am not a big coffee drinker and never really have been. I never got into it during college and there was never a huge impulse to drink it after I graduated and begun my professional career. I’m much more of a tea drinker, anyone else? What do you guys rather prefer, tea or coffee? ☕️
Over the past few months, I have tried out a few different combinations of drinks to find a few that I like and I wanted to put them all together in this blog post so that they can be all in one place. I would also like to point out that I usually only get iced drinks when its like 65 degrees or higher, anything lower I get a hot drink because I can’t stand the cold lol. I will provide the titles, pictures, and how I order the drinks below (approximate calories are taken from the Starbucks app and does not include customizations just standard renditions):
Iced Caffè Mocha (Tall) ~260 calories
No Whipped Cream
2 Pumps of Mocha Sauce (remove 1 from the standard 3 pumps in a tall)
2 Pumps of Toffee Nut Syrup
This is one of my favourite coffee drinks if I’m actually in the mood to order one. During the fall, I tried the Salted Caramel Mocha and surprisingly (I’m not a big salted caramel fan), I loved it. Since that is a seasonal drink and it was taken off the menu a few months ago, I had to do some experimenting. The toffee nut syrup makes all the difference. I liked this hot version so much, I made it iced in March and it’s basically the only coffee-forward drink I drink. I highly recommend trying this one.
I can’t remember how many years ago it was that this drink was brought to the menu but I want to say its been almost three years. I remember I tried it the same day I was wearing a dress that was the same colour of the drink so the Starbucks barista recommended it for me to try. I did, and it was my new favourite summer drink. If I’m feeling ~crazy~ then I get the grande but the tall is my go-to. Additionally, there is a version with lemonade in it and it is very good, very sweet, but I prefer just the regular refreshers since they are less sugar.
Peach Green Tea Lemonade (Tall) ~ 60 calories
I get the order as is
This drink is so good for a hot summer day! My boyfriend and family loves to go to Starbucks most days. Sometimes if I’m asked what drink I want and I don’t quite want something too heavy but just refreshing, I request this drink. The perfect amount of peach mixed with lemon is such a thirst quencher for the long sunny days. Again, I’ll get a grande if I think I can stomach it that day, but most times I get a tall. Since the tea is pretty light (sugar-wise) I splurge and get the lemonade for this version even though there is one without.
Sometimes, I omit the mocha drizzle on top (if I don’t want that much mocha)
Okay do frappes remind anyone else of high school afternoons? I remember getting out of school and wanting to run by starbs with my friends to grab a quick chilled frap before I ran to my dance studio for never-ending classes. I remember it like it was yesterday because this drink brought one of my best friends and I together. This drink came out the summer of my sophomore year of high school and we bonded over liking the Mocha Cookie Crumble… now back then of course I had a grande with FULL toppings and all the whipped cream you could imagine. There is no way I’m able to handle that these days so I have now a bit more of a modified version for those few days a year that I actually crave one of these bad boys.
I’d love to hear about what your fav drinks that you get from Starbucks when it starts to get warm outside. I’m always looking for more options to add to my list to try! I stick to almond milk for the most part and usually omit whipped cream because I don’t find the appeal in it anymore but I like trying new things for sure. I will say that I have tried the majority of the refreshers and they are equally good except for the Mango Dragonfruit one I mentioned earlier, def tops them all. Thanks for reading along and I hope you give one of my drink recommendations a try in the coming months! 🤍
Let’s all rejoice together that Friday is finally here. It’s now the weekend and we can all finally relax. I actually was just thinking about how a couple of years ago in college, my weekend would start on Thursday night instead of Friday. Ah the good ole college days were so fun. Somehow I made sure that every semester I never had a Friday class. 8 semesters, no Friday classes- it was so great which meant after I was done with classes on Friday, my weekend began (even though some of my internships were on Fridays) on Thursday and carried on throughout Sunday. What I would give to get one of those weekends back! Anyways, back to what I was planning on talking about in this blog post, basically a dreaded word…. comparison.
“Comparison is the thief of joy”
I don’t know about y’all but personally, I have always struggled with comparing myself. Not that it’s a daily feeling but I think it comes in seasons. Throughout various seasons in my life, I have caught myself feeling less than and comparing my life/feelings/scenario to others. Not even necessarily others I know, perhaps complete strangers but nonetheless, others who were not living my life. While I knew it probably wasn’t the best decision to be doing, I felt like I almost couldn’t help it. In today’s society with social media running our lives and now being isolated (safely and rightfully so, of course, because of the pandemic), it’s almost easier to compare our lives to others on the internet. This is a dangerous slippery slope to go down because as we all know, on any social media platform, it is very easy to get sucked into the black hole and start comparing and rethinking our own lives when in reality, we don’t truly know what’s going on behind the other person’s screen. In the same regard, others don’t know what is going on with us behind the screen because while technology is so useful and has brought such advancement to our lives, there is a slight negative side of it where some can rely on it so much or it be our only sense of reality, which would be a false one.
I can easily scroll through instagram and find a few accounts that I easily go down a rabbit hole on. Oh her hair looks so pretty, I wonder why mine doesn’t do that. Oh they must be so smart because they invested in blah blah, I could never understand that stuff. Oh she must not even have bad days because she’s always smiling and laughing… y’all get the point. It’s just so easy to play the comparison game especially with how our society functions these days. However, as we’ve explored, comparison can be a true root of evil. If we are constantly thinking of what other people have/don’t have, or what others lives must be like/or not like then how can we ever find peace and happiness in our own? “Real life”and some authenticity sometimes can lack on social media… instagram is definitely a highlight reel but that doesn’t meant that real life (whether it happens to you or others) doesn’t exist because it’s not posted about. On the contrary, “real life” happens everyday, its the way we choose to control our own emotions and handle the situation that really matters in the end.
In the past year, I will admit that I have compared my life or my story to others but in truth, I’ve made a conscious effort in the past months to understand why I start to have those thoughts when they arise and how to swiftly move away from them. Particularly during the past two years while navigating my post-grad life. My friends and I are all living very different lives now and in some ways it feels like I try to “catch up” or get to where I “should” be by x amount of months I’ve graduated from. In reality, those are all time constraints and expectations that we put on ourselves, we don’t actually have to listen to them. There really is no reason for me to compare because no one’s life/decisions/objects/feelings are going to be like mine because they are not me and I am not them. We all live individual lives and have our own experiences that are unique to us… and no one can ever take that away. Finding solace in the fact that no one else is living my life has helped me transition out of that toxic comparison mentality recently because if I can live my life confidently and in my own way (mistakes and all) then it’s my story to tell. I get to write the beginning, middle, and end….. with the help of the big guy upstairs of course. 🌈
If you are reading this and finding yourself agreeing with a lot of what I have said, then at least you can now realize you’re definitely not alone. It’s not just like there’s a cure either to just magically stop yourself from comparing things but I hope that with some conscious thinking, it will keep on becoming minimal in my life. I have also been trying to find the everyday joys. This counteracts the comparison game quite heavily. I’ve always been decent at finding a silver lining in situations but taking the time everyday to intentionally be grateful or joyful about something, big or small, takes WORK. Anyways, I hope you all have a great weekend and truly can find joy in all of your special, unique, and custom created lives. Oh, and Happy Mother’s Day weekend!💐 For those of you who find Mother’s Day challenging for whichever reason, I will be thinking of you. Thanks for reading along🤍
Hello friends! I hope your week has treated you well and that you are looking forward to another spring weekend. I was a little stumped on what to blog about this week mainly because I think the Sephora Sale wiped me out 😂. Not really however, I was still unsure of what I wanted to share with you guys. In recent weeks, I found myself cowering down in certain situations, feeling bad for some of the emotions I was feeling, and finding excuses for the times where I just didn’t feel “right”. I know recently I have been able to turn to my friends (you know who you are) that I’m so grateful for to talk about all of the internal troubles I seem to have been wrestling with.
To be fair, there isn’t just one facet of life that these feelings could creep into. Anything from work, friends, relationships, health, mentally, could all be relevant to what I’m talking about. It’s important for me to remember that when I start to feel like I may not be worth the trouble of …xyz…, that I remember that it’s most likely my inner enemies getting the best of me. I think we all struggle with those little voices in our head from time to time but at least in my case, mine have been making their presence known to me recently. I feel like I may be rambling a bit and going in a circle but I promise I do have a point lol. I hope that when I do share these types of posts, that someone else out there doesn’t have to feel alone if they are walking through a similar season in their life.
Anyway, back on track. I’m going to provide an example so that we can at least have a scenario in our heads. I’ll take my health for example. After battling with my diagnoses from last year (if you are confused, feel free to read my first post back to blogging here), I started to panic that I didn’t have enough answers from various doctors that I saw. The longer the time passed with few answers on how I would continue to live my life, the more frustrated I got and started to feel like my questions weren’t that important. Others probably had way worse issues than I did so why was I bothering the doctors? Maybe I was overthinking it? I didn’t realize this at the time, but now that I can reflect back on this type of situation, I know that I was just letting myself sink into the background. I want to be able to catch myself in these types of situations diminishing my worth. Of course I’m worthy enough to know answers about MY body, or bringing up MY concerns at work on a certain project, or advocating for MY emotions in my relationship. There are so many instances that I have to either stand up for myself or stand my ground in what I am feeling/saying- that it’s important for me to trust my gut and know that at the end of the day, the only person has to live with my life choices is me, so why doubt myself, my decisions, or my worthiness.
Sometimes instead of facing the issue, I can easily try to turn to ways of masking my negative emotions. The most infamous culprit is shopping or online shopping. In the moment, I feel sad or down so I go shopping (one of my favourite ways to spend time) and then think I want to buy material items. Once I have made my purchases, I am happy for only a few min after and then I go right back to the previous negative emotions that I was otherwise trying to suppress. Now of course this is a dangerous slope to go down, but this is exactly why I have been focusing on reflecting internally rather than turning to material items to get myself out of a ~funk~.
Sure, it’s easy enough to say “yeah, I know I’m worth it” but BELIEVING it is a whole other ball game. This is the part that I could argue is the most challenging. I definitely haven’t figured this part out yet but the best that I can explain it is to give yourself time and grace throughout this challenging process. It has taken me a long time to trust my gut but I am a heck of a lot farther in my journey than in former years. I think staying home for the majority of the past year due to the pandemic has left me in a frenzy of emotions…. and I’ve had to face them head on because there’s not really any place to hide from your thoughts during a shutdown lol. However, even though I wasn’t thrilled with this fact last spring, I’ve learned a lot about myself since then and am much more comfortable with feeling and understanding my various emotions as they arise. As you can tell from this blog post, my mind goes a mile a minute so I hope you’re following along with me. If there is ever any doubt in your mind, just remember that you are worth every good thing that may come into your life… and that you believe it.🤍 Take some time for yourself this weekend and enjoy it! Thanks for reading along!
I hope you have had a wonderful week, friends! If you’ve been scrolling around on Instagram at all this past week, you will have seen that the Sephora Spring Savings Event is currently happening and will end on April 19th. If you haven’t checked out my Sephora Shopping Guide blog post that I published at the end of last week, click on the title of the blog to read. Between all the questions and recommendations I have been asked this year, I figured I would go ahead and put together a huge blog post of all the items I purchased. As the week has gone on, I of course, want to order another shipment. I haven’t used a majority of these products yet as they are new purchases to me but since I will most likely be using them in the future in videos/tutorials, I figured having them all wrapped up in a blog post would be helpful. If you are planning on shopping the sale, I hope to be a helpful resource for you so if you need any more specific details on any of the products I have listed in either of my blog posts, please reach out and let me know. I have divided this post up into several sections including makeup, skincare/body care, and hair. 🛍 As a reminder, here are the main details you need to know for the sale:
If you don’t have an account with Sephora, you can sign up for free here. If you are in the Rouge status, you will be able to shop first with early access with 20% off from April 9-19. If you are in the VIB status, you can start shopping with 15% off on April 13-19. If you are an Insider, you will be able to shop with 10% off from April 15-19. Make sure to use the code OMGSPRING when you are checking out to receive your spring savings!
I think I might have one more order that I need to make so I will be adding to this post as more items come in. I wanted to say that while I have covered this sale quite extensively, I don’t want any of it to come off as that I am telling you that you NEED any of the items. At the end of the day, these things are just material items and they aren’t an essential. On my end at least, I plan several months in advance for these big sales so that I can set aside a little from every paycheck so when the time comes, I can make the most of my discount. During these semi-annual sales, I like to restock on my fav items, try luxury items that I’ve had my eye on, or invest in hair tools that I wouldn’t pay full price for normally. If there are other products you need recommendations for or a review, please let me know. I’m happy to help in anyway I can- even if that just means I’m listening to your skin concerns/makeup desires. Thank you for reading along! 🤍
*All thoughts and opinions are my own. I do not own the rights to the images provided unless the picture is of myself. All other pictures have website links tied to them. I do not make any commission of any of these items.
One of my favourite sales of the year has finally arrived! Today marks the first day of the Sephora Spring Sale that runs from April 9- April 19, 2021. This sale is one of two site-wide sales that Sephora has in a year, the other is the holiday sale usually in November. I look forward to the spring sale specifically because this is the time where I experiment and purchase products that I’ve been wanting to buy but haven’t tried out yet. This is also the perfect time to buy items that you are interested in for the summer or for products that are a little bit more of a splurge that you wouldn’t normally buy. It’s quite simple to shop the sale, all you need to know is the code to save (provided below), the Sephora tier you belong to, and your wishlist 😉
If you don’t have an account with Sephora, you can sign up for free here. If you are in the Rouge status, you will be able to shop first with early access with 20% off from April 9-19. If you are in the VIB status, you can start shopping with 15% off on April 13-19. If you are an Insider, you will be able to shop with 10% off from April 15-19. Make sure to use the code OMGSPRING when you are checking out to receive your spring savings! I have split this post into several sections so it is easier to plan your shopping strategy (and yes I take this sale that seriously). The sections include makeup, skincare, hair care, and fragrances. Within each category, I have listed products that I have on my wishlist and want to buy during the sale. I will double asterisk (**) any product that is a restock to me meaning that I’ve already used it and is a favourite of mine to repurchase. If at any time, you need a more comprehensive review of a particular product or have additional questions, please reach out to me ~ I’m happy to help! 🛍
Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Smoothing Foundation, $44 – Since I have been looking for a full coverage foundation and all of the other Charlotte Tilbury products, I’ve really enjoyed, I wanted to try this foundation to see how it would work for me. By using the shade finder, I believe I would be between the shades of 6, 7 , or 7.5 depending on what time of year it is.
Charlotte Tilbury Mini Flawless Setting Spray, $20 – This setting spray is supposed to be one of the best but since I haven’t tried it yet I would rather get the mini than the full size. Additionally, if I get the CT foundation listed above, it might be best for me to pair the same brand’s setting spray with it.
Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Instant Eyeshadow Palette, $75 – During the holidays sale, I bought the limited edition bejeweled palette and I have been using it nonstop. Since most of those eyeshadows are glittery/shimmer based, I wanted to try the original Pillow Talk Palette for everyday use. The sale is a great time to snag this luxury eyeshadow palette.
Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Waterproof Eyeliner Pencil, $22 – I have been wanting to try a brown eyeliner to achieve that perfect glowy refreshed look for the summer. I want to get the shade bourbon and try it out with my other brown eyeshadows for a more relaxed look.
Gucci Poudre De Beauté Mat Naturel Beauty Setting Powder, $62 – The reviews about this product speak for itself. I have been interested in the Gucci makeup line for years but haven’t actually tried any of them. Usually I need a powder for the warmer months to set my face, so I wanted to see how this would pair with my current foundations.
Gucci Mascara L’Obscur, $35 – Over the past two years, I have tried upwards of 10 different mascaras and while I have found a few that I like for specific reasons, I want to try this one as I’ve been told it’s an overall great quality mascara. Of course, the packaging is a big seller as well.
ILIA Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40 Foundation, $48- I feel like this foundation is calling my name. I have been moving towards clean skincare and makeup products over the last year since my health issues arose. ILIA is considered clean beauty at Sephora so in addition to being a clean brand, it has quite powerful ingredients within it and a high SPF of 40 which seems like the perfect product for me to wear this upcoming summer. Based on the shade finder, it seems that my shade would be 9 Paloma.
ILIA Mini Blue Light Protect + Set Mist, $18 – Carrying on with the clean beauty brand, ILIA, I wanted to try this setting mist in combination with the skin tint. Since I mostly stare at screens all day, I always look for blue light protection in as many products as I can. This mini product will allow me to try the mist without committing to the full size.
ILIA Limitless Lash Lengthening Mascara, $28 – One more product I want to try from this brand. I have heard nothing but good reviews about this mascara and since I’ve been trying out so many mascaras, what is the harm in trying out one more?
Rare Beauty Soft Pinch Liquid Blush, $20 – I’ve heard great things about these liquid blushes from Selena Gomez’s cosmetics brand. I am looking particularly at the two shades Happy and Lucky but unsure of which would look best with my skin tone. I might buy both just to try them out. I think Lucky would be a great summer item to wear.
Rare Beauty Liquid Touch Weightless Foundation, ** $29 – I bought this earlier last year and I really liked wearing it for the fall time. It’s medium coverage but buildable to make it more full coverage. It is very lightweight on the skin and didn’t cause any irritation or texture problems on my skin. I wear the shade 270 N but will most likely need a lighter shade for now since that was after the summer months. I plan on buying another shade during this sale. Their shade range is amazing!!
Marc Jacobs Velvet NoirMajor Volume Mascara Very Merry Cherry Edition, **sale $19 – I bought this mascara during the holiday sale and this has been the one mascara I have been wearing nonstop since then. It does not flake off at all, very thickening and not too hard to take off. Even though it is categorized as the merry holiday edition, I could argue the colours work for the summer and spring especially since cherries are very on trend now. It is currently on sale so I will def be grabbing another one.
Drybar Southern Belle Volume-Boosting Root Lifter, $26 – I kinda hate that I want this just because of the name but marketing makes a ton on me. I’m always up for trying different hair products and while I currently have a volume lift spray I like, I want to try this one and see how it works.
Drybar Texas Tease Teasing Brush, $18 – Again, the name can sell me on almost anything. Everything is truly bigger and better in Texas so I HAVE to get this teasing brush to add volume to my hair.
Drybar Hot Toddy Heat Protectant Mist, $27 – I am in serious need of a heat protectant. I have been reading some good reviews, and though some have said the fragrance is strong, I don’t mind fragrances in my hair products. I’m going to buy it and see how it holds up with all of my heat styling tools.
Drybar Detox Dry Shampoo, (mini) $14 – I have been in this phase of trying out different dry shampoos while I’ve been in the process of training my hair. I like to get several mini sizes of various dry shampoos and try them out. Since I haven’t tried this one out and that it claims its detoxing, I want to try this out to see how it compares to others.
IGK Upgraded First Class Charcoal Detox Dry Shampoo Set, ** $27 – Another repurchase for me. I bought this set during the holiday savings event and it has worked out great for me! It truly detoxes my hair and is a heavy duty dry shampoo that I usually use on day 3 or 4 hair. This set is a great value because you get a full size and a travel size which is super convenient. Excited to get this in my order.
Briogeo Scalp Revival Charcoal + Tea Tree Scalp Treatment, ** $32 – All of Briogeo’s Scalp Revival line is amazing! I bought the set of the line so I could help my dry and itchy scalp during the holiday savings event. Now my scalp is feeling much better and I use this treatment every time I wash my hair. I’m almost out of my current bottle so I need to buy it while it’s on a discount. It truly soothes my scalps and I have noticed a huge difference in the decrease of flakiness on my scalp.
Drybar The Mixologist Interchangeable Styling Iron, $199 – I feel like interchangeable irons are a popular trend but I’ve seen several types of wands in one and several types curling irons in one but I’ve never seen a wand, curling iron, and waver all in one which is what caught my eye. I’ve been looking to find a waver for the summer and since this tool has all 3, I want to try this out and see how each looks. Drybar has a great respectable reputation so I have high hopes for this tool.
Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer Limited Edition Gift Set, $399 – Okay here it is, the big kahuna, THE dyson hair dryer. I have been eyeing both this and the Airwrap for awhile but haven’t been sure of the major investment it takes to get these products. Essentially, my hair is very thick and it holds moisture forever. When it air-dries, it isn’t fully dry until almost 24 hours later. Since this hair dryer is very powerful and the new technology is supposed to do less damage with heat styling, I thought this would be the perfect tool for me to try out. This gift set is a great value to me because it is limited edition and it includes two gift brushes with the hair dryer for the price of the hair dryer regularly. I’m still nervous on actually purchasing it just because it is quite the splurge, but I think it will work well for my hair needs.
Mini Dae Hair Kit, $32 – I am in serious need of hair help. I’ve tried so many different shampoos and conditioners and haven’t been able to find one that works for my hair type. After reading the reviews for this brand, I wanted to try it out but couldn’t commit to the full size products. I thought this mini set would be the perfect way to try out the line and see if it will work for me.
Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Cream 8.1 oz, ** $45 – This is a restock for me! I have been through 2 jars of this and I can’t get enough. I haven’t had it during the summer months so I’m excited to get it now in time for the warmer weather. Smells like I’m on a beach somewhere in Mexico… which is exactly where I want to be at this point. Even though this is a splurge lotion, I find it worth it.
Olehenriksen Wrinkle Blur Bakuchiol Eye Gel Creme, $49 – This is a new product that has Bakuchiol which is a plant based retinol alternative. I struggle with fine lines on my under-eye area so I’m hoping this will help as part of my nighttime skincare routine.
Olehenriksen Banana Bright Eye Creme, $39 – I have heard great reviews about this eye creme and I’ve been on the hunt for a good under-eye product. I’m hoping this will be a good addition to my daytime skincare routine due to the Vitamin C in it. I would use this product before I apply my concealer/makeup.
Dior Miss Dior Eau de Parfum 1.7 oz, ** $105 – This is a repurchase for me! I love this scent, it was one of the first ones that my mom bought me when I first entered college. Now that it’s almost empty, I need to get another bottle for sure. This scent is classic and a timeless favourite.
Versace Bright Crystal 1.7 oz, $82 – This was a sample I got a couple of months ago and I really liked it upon first smell. I like to wear it whenever I go out to dinner but now that I’m out of the sample, I’m interested in the full size product.
Okay this is one of my longer more full blog posts I’ve posted but for good reason. I wanted to make sure that I was as informative as possible. The majority of this post are items that I haven’t tried but want to purchase during the sale. If you are interested in another post about my tried and true items that I currently use that could be purchased during the sale, let me know and I can put something together. I truly have the best time researching and trying out products so I hope that my two cents in this blog post is helpful. If you have tried any of these products or if you plan on buying one, please let me know… we can compare notes! I’m always here to help with any shopping tips. I hope you are all able to snag one or two goodies from the sale, everyone deserves to treat themself once in awhile. Thanks for reading along and your support! 🤍
*All thoughts and opinions are my own. I do not own the rights to the images provided unless the picture is of myself. All other pictures have website links tied to them. I do not make any commission of any of these items.
Happy Monday, friends! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and a great Easter Sunday filled with joy and blessings.🐰 While most of my time is spent at home these days, on holidays like yesterday, I find it to be a great blessing to be under the same roof as my loved ones. The day consisted of watching Easter mass virtually, getting all dolled up in my white dress, participating in the Easter egg cascaroñes hunt, eating a full ham dinner and dessert, and watching the movie Hop at the end of the night. A full day left me very tired this morning, anyone else? After reflecting on yesterday, I wanted to fully dwell in the sense of renewal that I felt throughout the day. As we are now fully engulfed in spring, the season of new beginnings and fresh clean slates, I want to absorb those sentiments within my own mentality.
A sense of renewal can be very impactful. Most notably, if we let go of our shortcomings, forgive ourselves for what we cannot fix, and extend grace to ourselves through the hardships. Now of course, this is all easier said than done but if we make a conscious effort to do these things, it will become easier to sway towards those directions instead of getting overly frustrated with ourselves. Our mindset is arguably one of the most powerful assets we have. If we work towards reframing our thoughts into positive ones, I think we will see the fruits of those labours manifest in our everyday lives. For me personally at least, I try to make sure that when I start playing the what if or I should’ve game, that I catch myself before I go too far. The what if and should’ve game is very toxic and can lead down a negative path very quickly. I’ll admit it’s still hard for me to not play into those scenarios but I know that in order for me to move on in a positive way, I have to let go of the second guessing.
I briefly talked about this in my other blog post, Spring Refresh (Your Mindset) but another way I wanted to relish in the season of revival and renewal is to step away from social media more often than I do now. I notice myself always reaching for my phone when I’m not focusing on other things. It’s like I always have to be scrolling if I’m not already preoccupied which is not a great habit that I want to keep. I probably am the odd one out when I say that Twitter is my favourite social media platform but it’s because that there are always more tweets to read and probes me to read a bit more, rather than scrolling on Instagram and TikTok where I can mindlessly scroll and just look at pictures and videos. Those pictures and videos can also lead to a cycle of comparison which I want to steer clear from. Especially with the pandemic still being very prevalent, it’s an easy escape to look at pictures online and compare your life with others right now. However, I always try to keep in mind that Instagram is a highlight reel and only shows a small portion of a person’s life, mine included. In the coming weeks, I would like to take intentional time away from my phone daily and when I do have my phone near me, to not always reach to mindlessly scroll.
Lastly throughout this season, I want to choose joy and gratefulness more often than I have been doing in the past. Even though I have been talking a lot about new beginnings and renewing ourselves, I don’t want to brush over the fact that there are people in my life that have helped me get to where I am now. And those people are not part of my “new beginning” because they have been with me through my past and will continue to be with my in my future. Whether it be my family, boyfriend, close friends, or various mentors, these people have played pivotal roles in my life which is something I want to acknowledge and be grateful for. A way that I was thinking of doing this was to send simple texts to those people saying “Hey, thanks for being you. You have helped me in xyz and I am truly grateful to have you in my life.”. Anything along those lines I’m sure would mean the world to people to receive because I know I would be overjoyed if I received a random note like that. It’s easy to start dwelling on the negative that has happened but it takes true discipline to shift those thoughts and choose joy for yourself.
I hope this post didn’t come off as too preachy because my intention of this post was to truly just reflect on my thoughts and share with all of you. This where is my recent thoughts have led to me, perhaps there are some correlations with celebrating Easter but even so, these thoughts have been swirling in my head for awhile so I wanted to compile them into one post to share. I’m looking forward to a new season this year, I think it will bring us great joy. Wishing all of you the best of blessings, joy, love, and the promise of renewal. Let’s all have a powerfully positive week. Thanks for reading along! 🤍
P.S. Linking last year’s Sephora Sale blog post here… big hints!! 💄
Easter is now less than a week ago and I started panicking yesterday because I realized how unprepared I feel. With that being said, I went to none other than Pinterest to craft up some ideas for the day of. In addition to decorative food items, I also looked at several different outfit options that would be appropriate for the day of. I always look forward to Easter not only because of the religious meaning behind it but also the sense of renewal and rejoicing that comes along with this time of the year.💐 Since I am feeling a little behind on my planning, I wanted to share what I have found with all of you incase you find yourself in a similar predicament. So let’s get hoppin’ to the details…
Depending on what your plans entails for the actual day of Easter will determine what meals you will want to focus on. Traditionally, we like to have a brunch of some sort and then a fun Easter dinner. I believe that is still the case this year but I haven’t checked on it. I know in years past, especially during the years I unfortunately wasn’t able to be with my family for Easter, I would spend the day/weekend with my best girlfriend’s family. They loved changing up the menu every year but everyone who came was responsible for a particular dish- we did the same thing for Thanksgiving! For the years I spent with them, I would bring a bunny garden cake which was basically a combined recipe I made from two types of cakes I found on Pinterest. I will post the pictures here (scrolling wayyy back into my camera roll for these) so you can get inspiration from it. I will also post my meshed up recipe so you can easily get the ingredients this week if you want to try your hand at it. Additionally, please find my blog’s Pinterest board below where you will find some pins I found for more snacks/dessert inspiration for the day.🐰🐣
A long-standing tradition that my family makes happen every year for Easter is to have cascaroñes. It’s a Mexican tradition that we have always celebrated with for as long as I can remember. In the weeks leading up to Easter, whenever we are making eggs or recipes with eggs, we only crack the very top of the egg, dump it into the bowl and clean out the shell. We collect them until we have several dozen and then in the week leading up to Easter, we dye them! After they have fully dried, we stuff them with confetti, apply a thin layer of glue to the rim of the egg, paste down a piece of tissue paper and viola, they are ready. Just like any other Easter egg hunt, these eggs are hidden around the yard by the parents and then the kids are let out to collect as many as they can. The best part is when you find all the eggs, you crack them on people’s heads to shower them with confetti!🎊 I have such fond memories of this growing up and I fully intend to carry this tradition on whether I have kids or not in the future. I have posted a few pictures from over the years below so you can see the full effect!
Easter was one of the two days in the year that my mom MADE sure my sister and I were dressed to the nines… no exceptions. Easter and Christmas were the two days where we had to have play clothes and nice dresses/outfits for church. 👗Now that we are older, we still like to get dressed up and find joy in looking for the perfect Easter dress to wear not only for church but for the whole day. I have compiled a few options below in case you are still on the hunt for a fun and festive outfit for the day of. While they would make perfect Easter outfits, they would also be perfect for spring in general so if you see one you like, be sure to snag it! This is a judge-free zone so I will share with you that I intend on wearing the same dress as last year because I really like it and I want to wear it again.
I feel like I threw a ton of information at you in this post but I hope you find it helpful in preparing for this weekend. I am excited to celebrate Easter with my loved ones this year and to crack a few eggs on their heads of course! If you are celebrating this weekend, please share with me how you will be spending the day and any Easter traditions/ideas you have. I hope you all have a wonderful week filled with joy. If you have made it this far, I so appreciate you taking the time read my posts. Your support means the world to me🤍
It’s that time of year again!! Spring cleaning time has arrived.🌸 Usually, I wait until a little closer to mid-April to start cleaning out my closet/room/life haha but this year I have decided to get ahead of the game and start before April even begins. Mostly because my Easter dress is in my spring clothes storage boxes and I need it before next weekend! So with that in mind, this weekend I’m going to tackle my own spring cleaning. When I started thinking about spring cleaning earlier this week, I realized that I have many areas in my life that I wanted to essentially “clear out” or minimize the clutter both in my life and in my mind. To keep this post concise and informational, I’m going to break it up into three tangible categories, closet/wardrobe, beauty, and accessories. Of course there are other areas that you can focus on this year but these are the three that I want to talk my tips through.
Closet /Wardrobe 👗:
I feel like this category might be the most obvious when I think about spring cleaning. However, it also might be the most important. For me personally, I have several boxes that I rotate between storing clothes for spring/summer and fall/winter depending on whichever is needed at that time of the year. This is good in theory for me but the downside is that I always forget about what I actually have in my wardrobe by the time the year has passed and the next set of seasons has arrived. Therefore, I buy things in anticipation for the upcoming seasons when in reality, I probably don’t need to since I have many other items just hidden away for the time-being. I can’t take credit for this idea but I heard about the hanger method a few months ago which I thought was a clever way to weed out the old in your closet however, it takes a little longer than a weekend to finish the project. If I were to implement this method, I would empty out all of my spring/summer clothes and put them all on hangers with the hook facing towards me. This way I would hang everything on the closet rack with the hooks facing towards me. Throughout the spring and summer, once I chose something to wear, I would take it off the hanger and flip the hanger to the hook facing away from me like normal. This means by the time the fall rolled around and the warmer months were over, I would know exactly what I wore throughout the warm seasons and anything with a hanger facing towards me would be the clothes I would get rid of since I didn’t wear them. I think this idea is really creative so I would love to try it out this year since I haven’t done it yet.
Alright y’all, I know there are some expired beauty items at the bottom of your makeup bag or in your bathroom closet that you forgot about. I am 10000% going through my makeup shelves this spring and clearing out any opened items that I don’t use either daily or in the past year. This applies for sanitary purposes as well since some products expire quicker than others. Obviously when we are taking care of our skin and body we don’t want to be putting items on that could cause damage to our skin. I stumbled upon this Cosmetic Calculator that I have linked for y’all because I thought this was too useful not to share. They resource a ton of different brands and by putting in some of the information from the product, you can see what the shelf life is for the product. Over the past year, I have really gone through my products to determine what works best for me and for some, I’ve gotten replacements with cleaner and safer ingredients after my health issues arose. For all the items I have replaced, I can get rid of the old ones I don’t need anymore.
Accessories (jewelry, hats/scarves, purses, and shoes) 👛:
I was hesitant on even including shoes in this category because I think they deserve their own but again, trying to keep this post concise. As far as shoes go, it is very hard for me to let go of them since they are like my fashion obsession and have been ever since I could walk basically. For the most part, I’m trying to keep shoes so I have 1 of a colour not like 4 pairs of brown boots. If I have more than 1 pair of brown boots, I have to pick my favourite and donate the rest. The idea behind it is to not have too much excess of one type or colour. With handbags and hats/scarves, this isn’t as necessary to clean out to me unless you’re having trouble fitting everything into your closet/drawers. If it’s starting to overflow, then perhaps it’s time to get rid of some. For purses, I’ve started to narrow down my selection and hopefully work towards a collection of purses. One for evening, one for everyday, one for travel, one for special occasions, and then a few here and there as iconic/specialty items. Anything that doesn’t fit in those categories at the moment for me, time for them to go. Jewelry I am working in a similar method as the purses so if I have several pearl studs, let’s try to pair that down to the ones I wear the most. I know I have a good amount of necklaces, bracelets, and rings from YEARS ago that I don’t wear anymore so I need to find them a different home.
As you can see, there are several ways to go about spring cleaning, no one way fits all, and it shouldn’t because everyone has their own method. I hope that by me talking through the strategies I’ve been thinking about has inspired you to think about what your spring cleaning is going to look like. Will you be starting this weekend, next weekend or are you an early bird and have already started? I really am trying to refine my mentality of not just keeping things just “to have” because that doesn’t serve much of a purpose and in the end, it’s just stuff. I am eager to get started tonight maybe tomorrow with my spring cleaning because I think it would be best for me to get a head start… I definitely anticipate needing the whole weekend and then some. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and enjoy the nice weather. Thank you for reading along, as always.🤍
It’s officially SPRING! As I’ve scrolled around social media, it seems like everywhere I turn, people are talking about spring and anything related to being outside in the sun. Not to sound too ~philosophical~ but I started to think more about our mindset as we enter into a fresh new season in the new year. Especially coming out of a year as tough as 2020 was, setting ourselves up for success this new season is important. I brainstormed over the weekend some ideas to share with you suggestions on how to refresh your mindset for spring. I plan on listening to my own advice since many of these items, I can use some accountability in. I have broken this post up into four parts which are declutter, create/reform routines, hydrate/exploring your taste buds, and invest in your time wisely. Each part will depict a certain facet of my spring refresh mentality.🌸
Phone: Your phone is the first thing that I would recommend to declutter. Mainly because, we all spend so much time on our phones especially now that we are mostly staying home. I know for myself, all I do is look at several screens all day so making sure that I am looking at productive/positive items is essential for my wellbeing.
Social Media: Go through your social media accounts and unfollow any account that doesn’t bring happiness to you or if it puts you down. If there is an account you have followed for awhile and all it makes you do is be critical of yourself (comparing yourself to someone else, reminding you of mistakes, egging bad behavior on, etc.), then you don’t need it. Remove the toxicity in your life, starting with unhealthy relationships with accounts on Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, Facebook, all of it.
Pictures: Right now, pick up your phone and scroll through your camera roll and start deleting!!! Guys I have over 19,000 pictures on my phone. WHO NEEDS THAT MANY PICTURES?! Granted, it has about 9 years of memories, trips, friends and locations on it but still almost 20K photos is a little excessive. Even if you don’t have as many as I do, I can guarantee you there are screenshots, or double pictures of random things that you don’t need taking up space on your phone.
Routines: I feel like before the past year, whenever I would see the word routine, i would instantly make a face, or sigh really hard. Let’s face it, it sounds like we have to go back to school and get into a “routine” which isn’t fun. I’ve had to learn how to repurpose this word in my mind in order to not instantly eye-roll once I thought about it.
Morning Moments: I recently wrote a whole blog post on My Morning Moments Routine which is linked here. This post talks about how I structure my mornings to get my mindset right before the day takes off. I go into detail on how I try to use a few minutes in the morning for myself and my health/wellbeing.
Evening Routine: Winding down in the evening is essential for me to have a good nights rest. I struggle with many sleeping issues but one component that helps me stay asleep most nights is to wind down about 30 minutes-an hour before I want to sleep and just focus on less technology. Turning off my phone, TV and laptop helps me unplug a bit and focus on my skincare, taking my night supplements and basically shut off my brain so it doesn’t keep running at night. I haven’t made a post about my full evening routine yet but if that’s something y’all are interested in, let me know!
Stay Hydrated/Explore Your Tastebuds
What you put into your body is so important! I am a strong believer in nourishing your body and that all whole/fresh foods + water are all your body needs to truly thrive (not just survive).
Drink More Water: I feel like this is also everywhere…. every health nut on the internet is pushing water on to me, but they aren’t all wrong. I think it’s important to keep yourself hydrated throughout the day but not to the point where you’re obsessed with finishing all these gallons of water. I have found that increasing my water intake by a few ounces every day has made such a difference in how I feel throughout the day, how much energy I have by the end of the work-day, and by how less excruciating headaches I get. The rule of thumb I follow is that I try to drink half my weight in oz of water. So around 60 oz a day is what I strive to have for my daily water intake.
Fruits and Veggies: I’m not a nutritionist or anything certified so you can feel free to take or leave my advice here but this is how I’m shaping up my mindset for spring. Fruits and veggies are never your enemy…. unless it is in excess. With that being said, I’ve never heard anyone say they’ve eaten too many carrots and that’s how they feel uncomfortable with their body… have you? Just some food for thought here. I want to increase the amount of fruits and veggies I eat. Naturally, I think we all tend to reach for fruits in the warmer months since they are juicy and refreshing. However I want to make a solid effort in trying to expand my veggie selection. I want to try a few new veggies and learn recipes to make them a couple different styles so I can switch things up a bit. I think finding the right ingredients is key because no one said we have to eat broccoli raw to feel our best.
Invest Your Time Wisely:
This one has a lot of creative license attached to it. There are so many possibilities associated with this facet of a spring refresh. Now is your time to pick something new to try out or pick back up an old hobby that you led slip away previously. Remember, no better time than the present to start.
Whatever the hobby is, try to see if you can spend some time outside doing it. Currently, I’m sitting on the patio in the sun writing this blog. My blog is for sure my passion project and I have loved every single minute of writing and creating content. However, the cherry on top has been getting out in the sun to create as well. Now that the warmer months are right around the corner, you can take advantage of the temperature.
Name an accountability partner! You don’t necessarily have to pick a hobby that you can do with someone else but it is nice to know another person is looking out for you. For example, I didn’t start a blog with 2 creators, but instead I have a close accountability partners to ensure that I am keeping up my posts and still having ~fun~ through it all. Your accountability partner should be someone you trust and that you have no issues keeping in contact with.
Alrighty, that brings us to the wrap up of this post. All of these items I have laid out are just suggestions on how to focus on your mental wellbeing through spring. I always try to find ways to “up my game” in the spring since this is essentially the time to get rid of the old (habits) and bring in the new (growth). I would love to hear if you plan on implementing any of these strategies this spring or if there is another way that you are planning on improving your wellness. As always, thank you for continuing to read my posts and supporting my passion project 💗
My Smile Express package has arrived!! I’m so excited to share that I have officially begun my Invisalign journey this week! I am currently on day 5 of my first set of trays since my first day was this past Monday. I have been thinking about getting Invisalign for several months and I finally took the plunge this winter to begin the process. Before I talk about the specifics, I am going to provide a bit of a background so that everything makes sense by the end of this post.
I had braces for about a year when I was in 8th grade going into high school. I didn’t have too many issues with my teeth back then so we went ahead and opted to do braces since that was very standard. My experience was great and I loved how my teeth were super straight when I got them off. A few years later when I was a freshman in college, my dentist told me that I needed to get my wisdom teeth removed. They didn’t hurt me at the time but he advised that they were growing in and it was going to overcrowd my mouth. With this in mind, I had wisdom teeth surgery where all four were removed but there was an excessive amount of swelling during the recovery process. It took several weeks for everything to be completely healed but by that time, my teeth had already shifted enough where my retainers wouldn’t fit anymore. While this wasn’t a big deal to me at the time in college, I knew I would eventually want them to be straight again. After graduating college, they weren’t my top priority but I did become a little more insecure about how my teeth looked when I smiled/laughed. Towards the end of 2020, I went to my dentist appointment where I brought up some concerns about having issues with grinding my teeth at night which resulted in a lot of sores in my mouth. I wanted to get some type of night guard as protection because it was getting to the point of having 3-4 in my mouth weekly. My dentist said he could customize a guard for me but encouraged me the if I was going to straighten up my teeth, now would be the time to do it. Unfortunately, I also was told that my orthodontist who did my braces sold his practice and is no longer in the area. SO that brings us to present day…
Why I Chose Northern Virginia Orthodontics? 🧡
Completely candidly, I heard from Northern Virginia Orthodontics (NVO) through a flyer I got in my mailbox. There was a promotion going on at the time so they were trying to spread the word around the area. Since I couldn’t go to my old Orthodontist, I figured what the heck, I”ll look them up. When I did a little research on their website, I was instantly hooked. I called immediately to set up a free consultation, I figured it couldn’t hurt. They have several locations in the Northern Virginia area including Tysons Corner and One Loudoun but I went to the Brambleton location for my consultation. I’ll be honest, I was very nervous going to a new company to talk about one of my insecurities but the receptionist that I spoke to while setting up the consultant was very nice and super inviting. I went in with a mindset of just gathering as much information as possible and to make an educated/informed decision later. I learned that NVO is the #1 Invisalign Provider in the nation and the team orthodontist for the Washington Capitals (go caps!)! Since I was mainly looking at Invisalign options, I felt more comfortable going knowing their outstanding reputation.
As soon as I stepped into the office, after all of the necessary COVID safety precautions were taken, I was ushered through a series of offices accompanied with the most welcoming and friendly staff. I was immediately put at ease and felt the warmth that the office exuded. Plus a HUGE bonus, during the tour of the office I was given, I was offered a Starbucks drink from their Starbucks cafe they have ~in office~. This was such a nice surprise to be welcomed with and they made sure I was aware that NVO donates $1 for every drink served to the NVO Foundation.
Throughout the consultation, the staff were very knowledgable and kind while answering my questions. I met with Dr. Elvi Barcoma and she took a quick exam of my teeth. I felt very confident in talking about my concerns and options with her. She truly made my experience at NVO very comforting and I was pleasantly surprised with how excited I was in beginning my treatment.
What is Smile Express?
For my current teeth situation, it was recommended to me that I use Smile Express, a special program created by NVO, to treat patients that had similar stories to mine. I was an adult seeking minor straightening within my teeth but I had previously received orthodonture work so I knew the commitment it took. Smile Express only requires two in-office visits, the first to run scans to create the liners, and then the last one is at the end of your treatment plan. Since I agreed to the program during my consultation, I was able to use that same appointment to run my scans so that counted as my first appointment. Then the liners were made for me and I waited for them to be delivered straight to me! All 25 weeks of liners were sent in a box complete with additional instructions and a mini travel cosmetics bag with extra goodies inside. Especially while being cooped up inside due to COVID, I felt like this was the perfect program for me to invest in with NVO because it required limited visits to the office, convenient delivery, and efficient personalized results.🌟
My Experience So Far:
I put my first set of liners in this past Monday so I could always start my new liners on a Monday and so far, it has been great. There was minimal discomfort on the first day while my teeth were adjusting but after that I barely noticed them. I’m on week 1 of 25 liners so if all goes to plan, I’ll be finishing up the treatment by September. I have been brushing and flossing like crazy this week which makes me happy that I invested in quality toothpaste and floss recently as well. I am really excited with how the whole process has happened thus far. I felt welcomed and in great hands with NVO and felt confident in my decision to choose Smile Express. Eagerly awaiting to see my super straight smile in 6 months!
If you have additional questions about how I started with Invisalign, feel free to reach out to me. I’d be happy to talk through my experience in more depth and listen to your questions. At the end of my treatment, I intend to make a wrap up post on my whole experience until the end.
Let’s keep those pearly whites clean and straight!🤍 Thanks for reading, as always.
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Welcome to another week, my friends. For those of you who have been reading for awhile, y’all know that holidays, big or small, puts such a huge smile on my face. Even just thinking back to all of the preparation I did in anticipation for Valentine’s Day a little over a month ago is fun to look back on. And before you say it, yes Valentine’s Day is considered a holiday in my book. In a couple days, I will be celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, a little differently because of the current situation we have all found ourselves in over the past year, but still celebrating nonetheless. Even though I don’t go all out for St. Patrick’s Day like I do for other mini holidays, I still like to keep things festive and fun💚
The best part of St. Patrick’s Day (like most celebrations) are the food and drinks, in my opinion. I love hopping on to Pinterest and finding colourful recipes to experiment with for the day of. In years past, I have made bangers and mash for dinner to fit the Irish theme. Unfortunately, since pork and I don’t agree ever since my recent diagnosis of health issues, Irish bangers were out of the question for me this year. Instead, I have opted to make Shepherd’s Pie, another traditional Irish meal, as it is one of my favourites. I had also thought about making a Guinness stew of sorts but I think I might try that next year instead since that takes a little bit more of experimentation for me. I have made Shepherd’s Pie once before so I believe I can confidently make it again. Fun fact, technically I will be making a Cottage Pie because a true traditional Irish Shepherd’s Pie is made from ground lamb, hence the shepherd part. A Cottage Pie is made with ground beef which is what I will be using… but for the purpose of St. Patrick’s Day, let’s just call it Shepherd’s Pie and move on. I will link the recipe that I am planning on using here from The Wholesome Dish.
Dessert deserves it’s own paragraph. This is where you can let your imagination run wild since there are so many possible options. I have done some digging on Pinterest and will be providing you with some inspiration from my board. In the past, I have made green-dyed rice crispy treats, pot of gold jello shots, green frosted cupcakes, and shamrock milkshakes. This year, I wanted to make something a little different so over the weekend I was brainstorming and came up with Lucky Charm Treats. Taking a slight turn on the original rice crispy treat recipe, I figured it would be fun to cover Lucky Charms in the marshmallow instead. This seemed appropriate since the little leprechaun on the cereal box is always concerned about his lucky marshmallow charms! I thought that this was just my original idea but I looked on Pinterest to look up any recipes and of course, there were pictures of others trying this out too so although I didn’t come up with it myself, I at least have a guide to go off of.
Sweater: Aerie, Size Small- I actually got this sweater just a few months ago in the fall and I absolutley love it. Other than its huge comfort factor, its lightweight and I like that its slightly oversized so I can easily pair a bralette with it. Thankfully, I bought this olive green version of the sweater and since its still windy and a bit chilly outside, this is what I will be wearing this St. Patrick’s Day. No pinches for me 🙅🏽♀️.
Jeans: Abercrombie & Fitch, Size 28S- These jeans were a purchase from last year when they were on sale and I love this particular cut of jean because I think it is super flattering for us short people when it comes to the cut of the ankle trim. I also love to get my jeans from A&F since they have jeans in short which is what I have on. These jeans fit really well back then but I will most likely be getting another pair for this fall either in a 26 or a 27, they fit true to size! I couldn’t find the exact pair but I found one that is pretty close which is linked here.
Shoes: Steve Madden, Size 6- I got these mules at the end of the summer season last year for $20 at our local Steve Madden outlet and I remember being so excited! I went up a whole size in these because the pointed toe takes up a lot of space within the shoe. I love the snakeskin pattern with the flecks of gold detailing.
I know my St. Patrick’s Day will be low-key this year instead of going to an Irish pub or a bar crawl like I have done in the past, but I still think I can make it fun. Perhaps you’d opt to go to the store and grab some Guinness too? Whatever your plans are for St. Paddy’s Day, please let me know in the comments! I would love to hear your ideas and if you are planning on making any cool recipes🤍
With all of this Irish talk, it’s making me reminisce HARD when my family and I went to Ireland a couple of years ago before the pandemic. I’ll do a little photo dump below from the Guinness Brewery. Wishing you all the best of luck this week☘️ Thank you for reading!
This week, specifically yesterday, the weather here in Virginia finally hit over 75 degrees and I instantly felt myself become happier as I walked outside. Does anyone else’s mood correlate directly with the weather? I have always liked being in a state that has all four seasons but it definitely makes me feel better when I am able to finally enjoy the warmer months. Now that the weather is starting to feel like its finally back on my side, I have realized that my wardrobe is still in the thick of my fall and winter clothes. For those of you who don’t know, I am 100% a seasonal wardrobe changer.🌷 I have several storage boxes that are rotated between the warm and cold months depending on whichever one I don’t need in my closet at the time. While I usually have a strict break between the separation of my clothes between the months, I try to keep versatile pieces within each set of clothes to make sure I can accommodate those awkward transitional months… like the one we are currently in.
As soon as I know that the 70’s weather is on its way, I know exactly what I am going to wear. How? I have a basic spring uniform that I wear during this time that I don’t quite feel comfortable enough to break out my shorts and when I can’t stand to think a sweatshirt. My spring uniform is basic but practical so that it can be easily adjusted and will still look like an outfit you put effort into creating. As a good rule of thumb, I like to have 3 colours/types of each item so that I can mix and match for the few weeks that we are transitioning in spring to summery weather. All details from the pictures are below:
Cardigan: Old Navy, Size M- Don’t sleep on old navy!! The week before I started my office job, my mom took me to our local Old Navy store in the mall and it was such a great experience because they have such good quality clothes but for great prices (and usually lots of sales to accompany). I remember I got several pairs of pixie pants and some nice tops and cardigans. Thankfully this lilac cardigan was included in that shopping haul. I have gotten so much use out of it and I think it’s the perfect spring colour. I sized up to a medium for extra comfort and a looser fit.
Lace Tank Top: Hollister, Size M- Oh my goodness y’all, this top is so old. It is kind of embarrassing how old this top is. It’s from Hollister (ahhh the memories) and I am wearing a size medium. Funny enough, it used to fit pretty well but now I can see that its a little baggy on the side, which is probably just natural wear and tear over the years, so I will most likely be saying goodbye to the top soon. Any simple white/ivory top will work as an option for this styled look. This top is also slightly cropped which I look for a relaxed fit. I also like the thick straps for when I want to take off the cardigan but not just have spaghetti straps on.
Boyfriend Jeans: Pacsun, Size 3- Again, another embarrassingly old item of clothing in my wardrobe LOL but I think this is just a testament to the a) quality of the item and the b) commitment to my clothes that I get the full use out of them. These jeans are bullhead from Pacsun and are comfortable but also feel like a true jean fit with minimal stretch. These boyfriend jeans are the perfect style for the spring because they have the rolled cuff at the bottom and minor distress with some patches behind the large holes so that wind barely gets through. I rotate through a few different pairs of jeans throughout the spring but I tend to roll and cuff the bottom fo my jeans (because I’m short) and I think it completes the look.
Sandals: Sam Edelman, Size 5.5- I got these sandals last year and I was so excited when they arrived because they are everything I didn’t know I needed. The nude sandal goes with literally everything in my wardrobe and then throw on the chunky rhinestones and I am SOLD. I sized up half a size as I usually do in Sam Edelman sandals because if I get my true size somethings they rub on the side of my foot too much. These were the perfect pair and as you’ll come to see I also got them in a light pink too. Seriously, some of my favourite and comfortable sandals since it has a cushion on the bottom and not just a flat sole.
As I mentioned earlier, I like to have a few different styles and colours of each item so that I can regularly interchange them and make a whole new outfit but still fit the same basic concept. Plug and play, as I like to call it. 🛍For example, right now I have 3 main cardigans that I can cycle through for this time period, the lilac one shown in these pictures, a green one, and a tan one so that there is a neutral colour as well as pops of colours to add to the outfit. Similarly, as I mentioned I have the nude sparkly sandals I wore in these pictures as well as a light pink pair and I also usually wear a pair of cheetah cloth wrap sandals to slip on and off. Neutrals, a pattern, and a colour are all within my rotation of sandals. I hope this helps frame a picture for you to create your own spring uniform or tailor yours after mine! Please let me know in the comments or DM me on Instagram @saraeliseblog to tell me about your spring uniform or if you have any questions or need advice on creating a look of your own.
Ahhhh at last, we can all enjoy the weekend! 🌸Thank you for reading along, as always.
** None of the items that are listed in this post are sponsored and I do not receive any type of commission through using these links. Additionally, all images belong to the owners of the websites that they are linked to.
Spring has finally arrived (even if the first official day of Spring hasn’t arrived yet…March 20, 2021) which is why I’m so excited to write this post and share with you all of my initial thoughts and preferences for the upcoming season. Whenever I think of spring fashion, I think of the movie, The Devil Wears Prada, where Miranda says “Florals? For Spring? Groundbreaking.”. 🌷Anyways, I wanted to go ahead and put this blog post together to give some style inspiration as we head into the warmer months. Whether you like the exact type/style/colour item that I include in this post or if you search around and find something similar, I just hope to be a resource for you to plant that style inspo seed. There are two different types of graphics I have created which fall under the categories of Spring Shoes and Spring Accessories. Additionally, I will list the retailers that I have used to find these items and will link them for you to start your shopping. Most of these items are on my wishlist but I have yet to purchase them, we are all in this together. With each link, feel free to explore the various sizes that are in stock and the different colours that are available. Currently trending…
As the weather is slowly getting warmer, our spring clothes are going to see the light again. Of course, there’s always some twinkle of hope that we can add a couple of new items to our wardrobe as the new season begins. Hopefully, these graphics help you in finding some inspiration to add to your closet in the coming weeks. While I do like to find items that are trending, ultimately I look for timeless and classic pieces that can work in different ways year in and year out. I have a few more spring idea posts up my sleeve but please feel free to let me know if there is anything else you would like too see in a blog post in the coming months. Hope you can enjoy some time outside this week! Thanks for reading along and supporting 💗
** None of the items that are listed in this post are sponsored and I do not receive any type of commission through using these links. Additionally, all images belong to the owners of the websites that they are linked to.
Welcome to March, friends!☘️ I’m not sure where the first two months of the year have gone, it seems like the year has been running. As today marks the first day of a new month, I figured it would be the perfect time to talk about what I do on the first of every month. I will break it down in several sections to make it easily comprehensible for you. The first of the month signifies a new beginning and a fresh start. March is particularly exciting to me because in my book, it is the first official month of spring. As a summer baby who loves the sun, I have eagerly been awaiting the end of the wintry months. As spring also represents the season of new beginnings, following a loose guideline of the points I’m about to lay out to refresh every month is helpful for me and I hope it serves as a helpful tool to you all too! For reference, I have already completed these items for March as I typically like to be done preparing for the month before the first day is over. If it takes you a little longer or if for example, the first of the month falls on a weekend, then taking a few days extra to get organized isn’t a bad thing.
Plan for the month ahead
On the first of the month, I open my planner and look at the month ahead. If I plan for as much as possible in the beginning of the month, it’s less overwhelming to have to play catch-up as the weeks follow. Items to go ahead and enter into your planner are any appointments you have (dr, dentist, speciality, etc), trips you have planned (pre-covid of course), birthdays to remember, important dates and deadlines (eg. when to file taxes by), and self-care days (nail appts, hair appts, etc.). Filling in all of these dates ahead of time, especially if you already have them scheduled in advance, makes it easy to stick to them and also gives you something to look forward to throughout the month. These moments are a great time to think about what your month looks like. Does March seem like a busy month? Or will this be more of a recharge type of month? Planning out the month as much as I can on the first day honestly lifts such a weight off my shoulders because I feel much more focused and I know where to center my efforts towards.
2. Budget for the month
Before I actually jump into creating a budget for the new month, I go back to the previous month in my budget book and start totaling everything out for the various categories. I use a standard budget book to track what I spend on every month. I went ahead and looked at how I did in February to see which areas I could improve in and which areas I managed well in. By reflecting on the previous month before I create a new monthly budget, allows me the flexibility of understanding what would be a realistic spend structure for the upcoming month. While I’m creating my monthly budget, I first think of what the essential bills that I need to pay for are, the expected purchases that need to happen that month, and where I want to intentionally allocate leftover funds to. This looks different for me every month which solidifies my belief in revisiting my monthly budgets as much as possible. One month I may want to put leftover funds towards a debt (like student or car payment), perhaps its a saving month and I want to beef up my savings, or if I have extra money to splurge on with that month, I’ll know how much. I recently learned that every month is supposed to look different financially and thats a good thing. Many times we get tricked into thinking we always have to “spend less” than the previous month but since the 2 months aren’t identical then there is barely a comparison to be made. It is much more important to stick to your personal financial goals for that month than to try to “do better” than the month before. To me, it’s just important to keep it all in perspective.
3. Set/Reflect on goals
Since the beginning of the month feels like a clean slate, I think it serves as the perfect time to reassess the goals you set for yourself either at the beginning of the month or at the beginning of last month. This is a good reminder of where you are in achieving those goals and what more can be done in order to reach for one of those goals. Personally, I like to focus on 1-2 goals per month to make sure I’m giving ample amount of attention to each in achieving. What’s the point of setting a goal for yourself if you don’t take the time to nurture your path in achieving that goal? I choose a topic I want to focus my efforts on for that month and then choose either a book or an online course to gather more information and learn from. For example, if this month I wanted to focus more on gut health… I would look for a book most likely written by a well-known gastroenterologist filled with research findings. Or I would look online to see if those doctors offered online courses in understanding more about gut health. I would like to provide a caveat to this point though. Setting and achieving goals is important, but I want to stress that they are not the end all be all. Meaning that it’s okay to take a few rest days in between or just relax and soak up the day. Actually, if anything, those days of rejuvenation are vital to your success because you don’t want to burn yourself out. Finding time to pause and relax with your thoughts is never the enemy which is important for even myself to remember.
Even though February was a really fun month, I am even more excited for March to come because it is finally the start of spring. Temperatures will rise, the days will last longer, and hopefully there will be more opportunities to spend outside. I hope by using the points provided above serves as a helpful tool to guide you on a successful path in March. Please comment below if any of these tips stood out to you or if you are planning on implementing these strategies this March. Thanks for reading today’s blog post!
P.S. a little spring joke for ya- Does February like March?
** Disclaimer, if you are an email subscriber and are reading this from your email, click on the title of the blog post above so it will redirect you to my pretty website that I took a lot of time to create. It’s much better scenery then how this is sent to your email lol **
Happy Friday friends! We have made it to the weekend and I am so excited to have a couple days to sleep in and just relax. Throughout the week I was brainstorming some more blog post ideas and while I was thinking of different routines and products to share I realized that before I even start sharing my “favs” of categories, I should probably provide some guidance on where/how I get to those products. It’s easy to pick up items here and there throughout the year but if I left myself to that method, I would be picking up things more here rather than there meaning like all the time. Since last year was the first full year that I worked full-time rather than working and being a college student, I could budget better for every month since I had a steady source of income. I am going to share with you some of my secrets to shopping sales and not feeling like you’re breaking the bank.
There are a few sales that I look forward to every year which I plan most of my purchases around. I shuffled back through my old receipts and order invoices from last year to create a simple list of the big sales I mainly shop. I wanted to provide this list to y’all for both planning purposes and for myself to be held accountable. Remember when I said I was still a little nervous to continue blogging? Well if I share these shopping events with you, I’m more inclined to keep engaged and on top of my content for all of you. Anyways, back to the fun stuff- shopping sales. I don’t know about you, but I hate that feeling of “oh this just came up” when I see a really good sale happening or a shopping event I’ve been wanting to place an order with but it just popped up to me. This might mean, I overspent on my fun money that month or I had to forgo purchasing that time. Usually it was the former of the two… who’s with me? I have stepped away from that mentality and gotten more organized with both my spend-plan, or budget if you would like to call it, and planning for specific sales. I could have made a huge list with all the retailers and sales that I would’ve liked to shop but I try to keep the big shopping orders to a minimum and I also like to spread them out through the year so I don’t feel overwhelmed. I chose my favourite sales to feature in this post where you will find my breakdown of details below❣️ I have linked all websites to the brands so you can shop around on each site.
Last year and most years before that the Sephora spring savings sale was in April and spanned a little over a week. This sale is opened up slowly by tier level or your Sephora status with ROUGE being allowed to shop the sale first, followed by VIB and then as an INSIDER. This is one of the best times for me to stock up on repurchases and try out any new products in time for summer. I typically wait to buy any high-ticket items until this sale opens since these discounts applied are the highest Sephora typically offers. Luxury items, hair tools, and perfumes are great items to put on your wishlist before the sale goes live. I anticipate it will be in April again of this year and I will link you to my previous blog post about this sale here for my thoughts on 2020’s sale.
Do you even lift bro? All jokes aside, Gymshark is an athletic brand that I trust because of all of the high quality items I’ve purchased over the past couple years. This UK-based company is always releasing new designs but keeping the quality consistent. This is something that is hard to achieve in athletic wear but this company achieved it. I actually discovered this brand when I was living abroad in the U.K.. I still like to order from them since I have really grown accustom to their products and I have never had a problem with them shipping internationally. Gymshark typically only has two sales a year, their summer or birthday sale and then a Black Friday sale. Since Black Friday tends to be pretty hectic, I chose to cover their summer/birthday sale in this post. Last year, I was able to snag such good pieces and I think I had about 10 items in my order for less than $200. I highly recommend checking this brand out if you haven’t already. I anticipate their summer/birthday sale to be in late June or early July this year.
Everyone knows Amazon… the question is does anyone know when their Prime Day sale is going to happen this year? It is typically in July but specifically last year due to COVID, it was pushed to October. I will be keeping an eye out for when they release the sale information this year. This is one of the best sales that Amazon has if you are a Prime member. I bought Prime as a college student a few years ago and even though the annual fee has increased since I’m no longer a student, I think the Prime membership is well worth it. For this sale, there are lightening deals, daily deals, and full prime deals… something for everyone to enjoy! Some of the supplements I take I buy from Amazon are included in the deals so I wait to stock up on those. There are also some great kitchen and electronic deals during this time. Once I have my own kitchen, I will definitely be placing a large order for some kitchen gadgets.
Ahhh the Nordstrom Anniversary sale, otherwise known as the NSale. This is like the Super Bowl of shopping events…. as I had to explain to my boyfriend last year. It is typically in July but last year it was in August and it did not open to everyone right away like in years past. Instead they opened it up by tier system, similar to the Sephora sale I mentioned above. I assume that this is how it will be done again this year because it was a good way for them to accommodate all of the traffic on the website due to an increase of online shopping. Unfortunately, this also meant a lot of items sold out very quickly the first few days when only top tier shoppers were allowed to place orders with deals applied. Since this is the sale that Nordstrom introduces their fall line and many fall fashion finds, I do most of my shopping during this event. Most items are new and exclusive to the year before the season even starts at a discount so it’s a great sale to shop. Once I finish shopping this sale, I typically don’t have to do anymore fall or winter shipping for the remainder of the year. I’m so excited to cover the NSale this year as apart of my blog! Nordstrom is hands down top 3 places I like to shop!!
Sephora (holiday) savings sale
The Sephora holiday savings sale is essentially the same type of sale as the spring one but in November instead of April. This is the perfect sale to stock up on previous purchases that may have run out through the year and to get some holiday shopping done. Sephora releases many gift sets during this sale at an excellent value so that shoppers are able to purchase items for their family and friends as gifts. I like to have a little list before I shop of the people I am planning on buying gifts for and then I look through various brands to see if I can find products that I think those gift recipients would like.
I know, information overload. I know this post is getting lengthy so right before I wrap up, I wanted to walk through very briefly how I plan to budget for these events. Since let’s face it when it comes down to shopping, many people just see $$$$💰. Now that I know ahead of time roughly when these shopping events are going to take place, I am able to plan better financially. There are two potential ways you could do this. For me this year, I have looked back at my old order invoices from last year’s various sales and roughly round those numbers up so I can have an idea of how much money I would spend on each sale for this year. Then I know where I can save a little more for one or the other. Once I have those numbers written down, I can either determine if I want to pull from that shopping sales events month to use money from that paycheck OR to set a certain amount aside every month and only use that saved money for that sale. This is the optimal way for me to shop this year since I already have shopped all these sales last year. Perhaps if you are unsure if you are even going to shop sales this year, you could set a realistic budget for shopping events this year and then split that among all 12 months (like a sinking fund) to accommodate for your purchases without overcommitting. For example, you could say you only want to spend $500 on any of these big sales for the whole year. If you divide $500 by 12 months that means roughly you would save $42 every month from your paycheck to and put it aside specifically to use for these various sales. This is a great starting method if you haven’t shopped these big sales before especially since it will also aid in not falling into the “oh this sale just came out of nowhere” trap we sometimes find ourselves in.
I hope all of this information was helpful! I want to share as much of my experience as I can with y’all so you don’t have to go through the expensive learning curve I did. Please reach out to me if you need any clarification or if you want to talk more in-depth about any of these shopping events/budgeting for them. I have also attached a blank sales schedule graphic above so that you can add in your own favourite retailer sales that might mean more to you than the ones I have listed. I can’t wait to go more in-depth about each one as the year progresses on. Thanks for reading and I hope you all have a wonderful relaxing weekend as we prepare for March next week💗
**All opinions are my own and websites are linked to retailers included in this post.
Does anyone remember in the early 2000’s, there were all these personality tests that we could take to see which type of personality you identified with the most based on certain characteristics? 🦋 Even today, we can scroll on Facebook and inevitably come across a Buzzfeed quiz named “pick your perfect brunch and we will tell you how many kids you will have”… I fall for those quizzes all the time! There is something about personality tests that attracts people by grabbing their attention upon first glance. I don’t know where I’ve been for the past couple of years but I apparently missed the Enneagram train! If you feel as clueless as I was a couple weeks ago, allow me to explain a bit further.
I’m just going to provide you with the actual definition instead of beating around the bush here. All of this can be found on the Truity website as well which is where I took the test. On the website, it describes the Enneagram as
“a system of personality typing that describes patterns in how people interpret the world and manage their emotions. The Enneagram describes nine personality types and maps each of these types on a nine-pointed diagram which helps to illustrate how the types relate to one another”
I’m not going to bore you with more definitions but I wanted to take the information straight from the source. A couple years ago, I remember hearing people talk about the Enneagram test and personality types which peaked my interest at first but I didn’t look into it further. Now that I have a little bit more time on my hands being at home, I scrolled past a post talking about their Enneagram number and a lightbulb went off in my head. The Enneagram! I still hadn’t researched what it was! That evening, I took the opportunity (and kindly asked my boyfriend to join me) to take the test on Truity’s website. It didn’t take too long but I focused on each question pretty deeply since I wanted to know what all the hype was about. About 15 minutes later, my results popped up on the screen. Enneagram Type 1: The Perfectionist.✨ When I tell y’all I CACKLED laughing, it was spot on. Of course getting sucked into all of the supplemental information, I read the whole page about Type 1’s. I’ll link the page to Type 1 here if you are interested in seeing what the breakdown was but the overarching theme of being hard on themselves, and striving to do the right thing basically runs through my blood. I couldn’t believe how many similarities the test pulled to myself, right down to some of my biggest fears (hello, failure). Plus, I loved reading the list of famous people who are also Type 1’s… Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Michelle Obama, Jane Fonda, I’m into it.
While personality quizzes may not be for everyone, if you are reading this, I highly recommend you to take the test.🔮 Go ahead, just do it! What is there to lose? NOTHING. I have linked the test here to see which of the 9 Enneagram personality types you align with the most:
Type 1: The Perfectionist <— me
Type 2: The Giver
Type 3: The Achiever
Type 4: The Individualist
Type 5: The Investigator
Type 6: The Skeptic
Type 7: The Enthusiast
Type 8: The Challenger
Type 9: The Peacemaker
After I took the test and of course, over-analyzed everything, I begged for my family members to all take the test too. Most of my predictions were right but it was fascinating to read more about each type and how it ultimately aligned with many characteristics of those closest to me. Was anyone shocked that I was a 1? HA no but to hear all about the core beliefs, fears, and driving forces was more than entertaining. There are still a lot of supplemental information about Enneagrams like wings, that I haven’t been able to quite grasp yet but I strongly implore you to research further and see what more you can learn about yourself or your loved ones around you. You can also look at The Enneagram Institute website here to get additional information. You’ll notice the names are slightly different like Type 1 is The Reformer instead of The Perfectionist but the meat of the information is the same. If you have taken the test, or after reading this you take the test, comment below which Enneagram Type you are!! I’m dying to know.
I hope y’all have a great week and stay warm! Thanks for reading along💗
It was a bit of a challenge trying to figure out what my next blog post was going to be because I felt a little uninspired this week especially with the icy gloom that has swept the country this past week. Check out my instagram for Texas-relief organizations and ways to donate. Anyways, while I was brainstorming some ideas, I realized that I had started to creep back into my shell again. For some background, I hesitated for so many months on starting this blog and the accompanying instagram because I was afraid of what people would think or say. Of course, those types of thoughts didn’t just go away overnight but I knew that if I didn’t start then, I wouldn’t have started at all. I would’ve kept finding excuses to put it off and justify with myself that I didn’t need to start. Why do we let our thoughts run our lives? In the past, there have been quite a few instances where I have allowed my thoughts, and nerves specifically, make my decisions for me. I have actively been trying to get away from this mindset for the past few months because in the end, those fear-driven thoughts only hurt myself, no one else.
Let’s talk about my blog as an example. It is very easy for me to go on a downward spiral about how I could’ve started my blog earlier or in a better way but what purpose would that serve? None. I would just let myself tear myself down and ultimately, diminish my self confidence. Our mind is powerful, we can’t forget that we have to nurture it to love ourselves and understand the difference between the idea of failing and actual failure. There is a clear difference and if we choose to believe that we are always going to fail at our ambitions, then we will talk ourselves into not even trying. What a disservice to not only us but those around us who could’ve benefitted from your ambition/goal. Shortly after I opened my blog back up almost a month ago, I came to the realization that there will be never be a perfect time to start something. If I had continued to wait longer to start my blog back up I’m convinced I would’ve pushed it off all together and tried to forget about it. I bit the bullet and just started. I tend to plan and over organize a lot so not really understanding where I would start was terrifying but in the back of my head I knew it was now or never. So I chose now, and since then, I’ve had such an overwhelming positive response and support from others that it reassured me it was the right decision regardless of the timing.
Hindsight is always 20/20… ever heard of that saying? I started to think back on how “perfect” it would’ve been if I had had the courage or confidence to jump on my dream of starting a blog back when I was frolicking around Europe for a few years or when I had very few responsibilities in college, but if I continue to think of what if’s, I won’t be able to live in the present and look forward to the possibilities of the future. I guess the bottom line I’m trying to get across is to not be afraid to start something new. It could be everything you dreamed and more or it won’t be, but you won’t know unless you try.
I challenge each of you to go into this weekend with a clear mind and pull those dreams that you pushed to the back of your head in front. Reflect on 1 thing that you would like to start or do and own it. Remember, there won’t be a perfect time to start, just start because you’ll figure out the rest on the way. To make it less intimidating, write practical and tangible steps on how to achieve your goal. Again my blog as an example, I had thought of all of these things that ~had~ to be done before I even thought of starting it but in reality my practical steps to just do it was to create the website, start writing my first blog post, and create an account on instagram. When it was broken down like that, it wasn’t just simple, it was achievable. I look forward to hearing from you on what your one idea is. Please comment below or send me a message on my instagram @saraeliseblog to tell me what you’re thinking. Additionally, if there is anything else you would like to see #ontheblog, feel free to share it with me. I’m open to all suggestions! Thank you for reading along and I hope your weekend is full of dreams 💫
P.S. Shoutout to Gabby for my beautiful new blogging mug!! 💗
Another Monday has rolled around friends. Who is ready for this new week? Did anyone else eat their weight in chocolate this past weekend? No? Just me? okay. Really though, I hope that everyone enjoyed their Valentine’s and Galentine’s weekend even though we had to improvise a little bit more than usual this year. I have spent the better part of the weekend planning out some future posts that I intend to publish on the blog however, I was having trouble trying to figure out which direction I wanted to go in and after all of the recent V Day content I provided.
As I have begun implementing Motivational Monday on my Instagram, it has inspired me to keep the same positive vibe throughout my posts, particularly the ones released in the beginning of the week. With that being said, I have decided that in this post I will expand upon my morning moments routine that I had mentioned a couple blog posts ago in Self-Love Is In The Air. The nice thing about a morning routine is that it is completely customizable to every individual. If something doesn’t work for you, take it out or replace it! If you want to add in an element, go for it! A morning routine is special to everyone in their own way which is one of the main reasons why this past year, I have basically created my own because I barely had one before. ☀️🌈
*Disclaimer: this morning routine is after the daily brush teeth, skincare habits, and getting dressed have happened. For your dental health’s sake, I hope that brushing your teeth in the morning is already a solid habit of yours lol.
1). Meditate/Daily Affirmations- First, I choose a card from my deck of affirmations to meditate on. I’m not very good at coming up with my own words so I try to learn through various programs how to navigate my thoughts. This can be a word that you have struggled grappling with or a word that you want to describe yourself with. One of my favourites is “I AM WORTHY”. My meditations usually only take about 3-4 minutes, nothing too time-consuming otherwise I will have lost the battle before even moving to my next step. This step is crucial in my Morning Moments routine because it wakes me up and helps set the tone for the day.
2) Say a daily prayer/read through a devotional/sit with the Bible (or your Holy Book of choice)- This step in my Morning Moments routine is really flexible. Some days I only have a few words to say in a quick prayer, other days I want to take the full 10 minutes to work through a devotional page. Again, this routine is supposed to work for you and it will look different every single day because no day is the same. When I trust in the fact that it truly is all in God’s hands, it takes a lot of stress off me and for those of you who have met me IRL, y’all know I can tend to let nerves and stress run my body.
3) Goal setting for the day- After I have gotten myself ready mentally for the day, I like to make a mini list of things off the top of my head that I know I need to get done that day. After I have that list of items, I prioritize them by acknowledging the 3 most important items to complete by the end of the day. That way, I know where my efforts need to be focused and that I won’t just continue to add the same things over and over each day. This really helps me set intentions for the day early on so I that I can get organized as soon as possible instead of scrambling later. If stationary excites you as much as it does me, feel free to buy a cute journal to keep handy for this.
4) **New addition because of covid, positivity for 1 person- I didn’t do this pre-covid but now that I have spent almost a full year indoors and away from most of my friends and family, it can feel lonely sometimes. The last part of my morning moments routine is to think of 1 of my friends or family that I haven’t seen or talked to in awhile and send all positive vibes or pray for them. Once I reflect on how grateful I am to have them as a friend or a family member, I text/message them wishing them all the best and let them know I’m thinking of them. This is a very new step to me but so far, I’ve gotten such a positive response from all the people I’ve messaged and I want to continue it for the foreseeable future. It reminds me of who is special to me in my life and is my small way of spreading kindness remotely.
I want to emphasize that even though each step may look a little different everyday, I try to keep as consistent as possible. Whenever I finish with my routine, it puts me in the best mood and I feel confident in my abilities to tackle whatever the day throws my way. The list and order above is what works for me but it took me weeks to add things in and take things out and rearrange the order to understand what would motivate me the best for the day. I also think these types of routines are fluid and are meant to be amended if there are life changes or if you find that you’ve simply outgrown that flow of items. I hope this encourages you to reflect on how you spend your mornings and if there’s room for you to use this opportunity to set your mind and body up for success before the day starts running away from you.
I’d love to hear about your current Morning Moments routine or if you are interested in perhaps starting one up this year. Enjoy the rest of your week and stay warm wherever you are.❄️ Thanks for reading!
As we head into Valentine’s Day weekend, I wanted to put together this little post to share some ideas of how to spend it. I talked about this in the past couple of posts but I will reiterate it again because it’s that important… Valentine’s Day isn’t exclusively for couples!!! I strongly believe that Valentine’s Day should be celebrated with your loved ones, whether that be significant others, family or friends, the choice is yours! Reminiscing on last year’s Valentine Day, I realized that many of us will be spending it indoors and won’t be celebrating with big Galentine parties this year. Another holiday that is going to look different this year than in years past but it’s truly what you make of it. Personally, I’m not too comfortable with the idea of going out to dinner on actual Valentine’s Day because of crowds, etc. so I have opted to spend Sunday with a fun day inside. Now I already know what you’re thinking… “Sara, I’ve been inside all year, what’s the difference?”. If there are plans in place for the day/weekend, you’ll still look forward to those activities and enjoy the special moments even more regardless of how different it will be this year.
At-Home Brunch: Okay brunch is fun any Sunday morning but if it is brunch on V Sunday, I’m sure it will be much more enticing. I have put together a Pinterest board to browse through below for all of my inspiration. Pancakes, waffles, doughnuts, eggs, fruits, there’s a little bit of everything for everyone. I think I’m going to attempt the emoji pancakes with some strawberries around them.
Strawberry dipping: This is on my to do-list for this weekend as well. Dipping strawberries in whichever chocolate is your favourite would be an appropriate activity to try this weekend. I picked up some Wilton melting molds and some baking decorations for this project from Michael’s too. Check out my inspiration below.
Charcuteries Boards before Movies: Does cuddling up on the couch with a charcuterie board sound like the kind of day you are looking for? There are several movies on Netflix that would be great for Valentine’s which I will list out. Additionally, I was thinking of making a charcuterie board full of pink, white and red desserts to enjoy. This could include fruit, sweets, savory snacks, and candies depending on what you like to snack on.
Netflix movies to check out:
My Best Friend’s Wedding
To all the Boys I’ve Loved Before (part 1, 2 and 3)
50 First Dates
The Prince & Me
Sex and The City Movie 1 and 2
Play Games Together: When was the last time you and your significant other/friends played a game together? Pull out one of your old childhood favourites or a deck of cards and get to the fun. This is something simple that could be enjoyed with a couple of people or your whole family. This will ensure that no one feels left out.
Write Love Letters: Some may say that writing love letters are outdated but I love giving and receiving handwritten notes to my friends, especially now that I barely see them at all. What if you and your significant other take some time and write love letters to each other and then you can exchange them and read them when you’re having a down day.
Wine and Chocolate Tasting: This shouldn’t take too much twisting of your arm to try out. 😉 Different chocolate types pair well with certain wines. Why don’t you try them out this weekend? If you get a bottle of red, white, and rose try them out with pieces of white, milk and dark chocolates. Determine which pairings couple the best to you. Who knows, your friends might have different opinions than you! Is your favourite type of chocolate milk, dark, or white? Mine is hands down, milk.
Create Your Own Cocktails: If you can’t go out to the bars, bring the bar to you! You can concoct your own cocktail at home with your loved one and make it the themed featured drink of the night. All you have to do is choose the spirit base (gin, vodka, tequila etc), add as much or as little of a mixer (pink lemonade, tonic, cranberry juice), and finally garnish (mint, any type of berries, or olives for a savory twist). There are so many options with this activity. Name it and share it with others so we can all try them too!
I hope this post sparked some interest and ideas for you to decide on how to spend Valentine’s Day. If it truly is not your type of day, at least try some of these ideas to do something other than lounging in bed all weekend. Big shocker, most of this post has to do with food… the best way to anyone’s heart. Please comment or let me know if you are planning on trying out any of these activities because I would love to hear how they go. Can’t wait to see all of your V Day plans and I hope your weekend is filled with love, gratefulness and kindness.
Happy Monday everyone! Was it hard for anyone else to wake up this morning? The infamous morning after the Super Bowl, of course pre-covid, was the day that most people frequently called out of work for. Let me tell y’all, this morning was a struggle to get out of bed. Don’t be fooled though, I didn’t drink a lick of alcohol last night but I did enter into a self-induced food coma shortly after the game ended. Anyways, on to the heart (all the pun intended) of the content today. We are going to shift the love train to ourselves for a minute here. While we are now less than a week away from Valentine’s Day, I wanted to center this blog post around self-love because I truly believe loving yourself fully is how you can, in turn, love others for who they are. I have struggled with this concept for many years as I always had this constant urge to make others feel better. Where are all my people pleasers at?! I was the definition of a people pleaser who would move mountains for my friends, family, acquaintances from school/work, and even complete strangers sometimes. I would put other’s happiness before my own almost like clockwork and didn’t think twice about it. This happened for a long long time until last year when I basically had a reckoning with my health. I realized shortly after that I couldn’t keep up the pretense anymore, I couldn’t consistently put others above myself because I was basically neglecting my own emotions. I didn’t like who I was. I know, cue the drama… but really, I didn’t like who I had become because I had lost almost all the love for myself. I wasn’t happy with how my life was looking (excluding my relationship that brought me joy every single day, I’m not exaggerating) which largely had to do with my attitude and mindset. Now don’t get me wrong, it is a wonderful characteristic to have a big heart for others but never at the expense of yourself and your own health/emotions.
I know y’all have also been surrounded by the social media hype of almost this “self deprecation is trendy” moment that seems to creep around on the internet. Some may think its funny or “on-brand” but it truly isn’t something to always joke about. I have made a conscious effort to cut belittling myself or my efforts, even if it was just in my mind at first. I want to share with you 5 ways that you can also join me in this effort to love yourself whole-heartedly.
Morning Moments- First on the list is to create your own morning moments that mean something to you. Whether this looks like a meditation, devotion, prayer, or just silent reflection, make this a focal point in your morning routine before your day has to start. For me, I have a little bit everything because that is what works for me. I have tried many different combinations these past few months and I have found that starting with a mini meditation to find my breath and center my thoughts for today is the best way for me to start. Then I choose an intention for the day and work through a devotional. After this, I sit for a few minutes, doesn’t have to be long, to reflect on how yesterday ended and how blessed I am to wake up another day. I strongly urge you to explore a morning moment routine if you have trouble setting yourself up for success that day. It truly doesn’t have to be long I think my morning moments routine takes about 10 minutes tops. This has quickly become one of the best parts of my day and I wake up looking forward to feeling this inner peace before my busy day starts.
Change is a part of life- I heard in one of my meditations the other day something that really resonated with me. It was the fact that for as many years as life has been created on earth and for the thousands of years that might come after me, there will never be another me. I am the only version of myself and I should embrace my authentic self. This statement struck me very deeply because while it sounds like common sense, when explained from a different perspective, it settled with me in a way that had never before. As we all have experienced in one time of our life or another, change can happen in the blink of an eye. The important thing to remember is that change isn’t the universe switching things up on you but rather change is good and an expected part of life. If we stayed in our comfort zone or in the same pattern for years and years, we’d never evolve. So instead of cursing changes, big or small in life, let’s work on embracing and acknowledging that change is meant to happen. Let’s not let life happen to us, but rather let our life happen. Through realizing change is inevitable and part of life, it has made me less likely to harbor against myself for not being prepared for a change and subsequently, allow to continue loving myself.
Find a hobby/Explore a passion- If you are reading this blog post then you are quite literally helping me fulfill my hobby and passion project. I never thought I would have the guts to start a blog because I was nervous that others would judge me or even worse that I would judge myself. However, I realized that by letting my negative thoughts drive my actions, I wouldn’t be able to explore this passion project I was excited about. I know many of us are still living our quarantine lives so this particular bullet might be a bit challenging but I highly recommend trying out that little idea that you keep pushing to the back of your head (yes we all do this too) now that we have the time to do so. It doesn’t have to be anything grand, it can be as simple as picking up the book of your shelf that you bought forever ago but never got around to reading it or it could even be trying out that super complex recipe that caught your eye but never had the patience or time to practice it. Stepping out of your comfort zone may seem a little daunting at first however if you never try, it could potentially stop you from doing something you actually fall in love with. Letting your actions shine through naturally will nudge you to loving yourself more.
Giving gratefulness a chance- The next bullet in my list is to identify 1 thing that you are grateful for per day. I typically do this at night when I’m winding down for the night but this would also be a good step to add into your morning moments routine mentioned above. I’ve also seen others recommend saying 3, 5, or 10 things to be grateful for which I think is admirable however I just stick to 1 because I think if I did more than that every day I would become overwhelmed. Again, doesn’t have to be rocket science, just something that you are grateful for and I try to make it specific to that day (not just repeating the same thing each day). I also try to make sure I’m not too vague in my statement/thought. I wouldn’t think “I am grateful for my mom”. My thought would be more like “I am grateful that I was able to talk with my mom about our days after dinner because I know I won’t have this little luxury after I move out”. Being intentional with your thoughts can truly make all the difference. I believe that being grateful for things in your life, can steer us into a direction of outpouring in others lives which can make you feel fulfilled.
Moving your body- Even if it’s just for 30 minutes, moving your body is essential for your happiness!! I cannot emphasize this enough. I feel like Elle Woods from Legally Blonde “Exercise gives you endorphins and endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t kill their husbands.”. Whatever it is that you enjoy doing for getting your body moving (sports, dance, creative disciplines like yoga, structured gym movements) is worth it. Being active will make your body feel healthier and your mind more relaxed. I have made many lifestyle changes over the past year such as, changing what foods I eat, choosing what to drink/what not to drink, figuring out which pain relief methods work best for me, and the amount of movement I do a day (I think this will be whole other blog post), but all of these changes have helped me not only nourish my body but also, nurture my mindset. Through this, I allow myself the opportunity to believe in myself and love myself.
If I knew the person I was today by this time last year, I wouldn’t have believed it. Throughout the last year my life has changed so much and I have walked through this self-love journey radically. However, this is not to say that it wasn’t without strife, hard work, and perseverance through the bad days that didn’t exactly go my way. And my work is far from over, I still have quite a path ahead. I hope that some of this post resonates with you and you can takeaway some of these bullet points to start implementing in your own life if self-love is a journey you are walking on… I would love a walking buddy 😇. Tell me in the comments or message me @saraeliseblog on Instagram to let me know if you any of these have worked for you and what your experience has been. Thanks for reading and supporting my blog posts!
Valentine’s Day is a little over a week away!! I cannot believe how fast time is flying however, I am beyond excited to celebrate one of my favourite holidays (which other day of the year is sprinkled with pink, red, and white?). While I still spend the majority (like 98%) of my time at home, I try to find opportunities wherever I can to find happiness or at least the chance to smile. For these upcoming few days, what that looks like to me is celebrating my relationship, friendships, and family relations. Sure, someone could say I’m feeding into the commercialized hype of Valentine’s Day, but to that , I would say I DON’T CARE. If you like celebrating V day, then no one should shame you for it, especially since most of us have the best of intentions anyway. I have always loved Valentine’s Day, maybe because my mom always made the day special for my sister and I, or maybe because like any kid, I liked the chocolate. Whichever it was, the exciting butterflies always flutter around in my stomach at the beginning of February in anticipation for Valentine’s Day. I even remember the year I went through a breakup 2 days before Valentine’s Day! That year, by the time the 14th rolled around, I figured I was going to want to burn down all hearts and flowers, but on the contrary, I felt even more loved than before because my family and friends surrounded me with their company. I think that’s why I have never really fed into the fact that if you’re single, then V Day isn’t for you or you always have to make such a big deal on the day if you’re in a relationship. To me, V Day is all about expressing your love and gratitude to all the people that are special to you in your life… significant others, friends, siblings, parents and any other family relatives. I do this in various ways, either buying small chocolates for my family, or sending cards to my friends, or even making dinner plans the week of with some of my close girlfriends (pre-covid, of course).💌
I hope to be a good resource for you, if you are shopping. With that being said, I have put together two gift guides, one for him and one for her. My goal was to make the shopping easier for y’all and just click and ship basically. I love finding some good deals, throw in some cute colours, and I am having a ball. I will break down the gift guides below (from left to right):
Crux Electric Air Fryer, SALE $62.99 with code HOME: I put this picture of the pink one because duh, but it comes in two other colours that would be perfect to compliment any kitchen.
HOT Wire Trivet, SALE $7.19 with code HOME: Such cute variations of several sayings to get and you can easily use this for the cocettes listed below.
Barefoot Dreams In the Wild Blanket, $180: I have heard rave reviews about this! There are several different combinations on the website to choose from. I’m waiting for the perfect time to strike to get this for myself.
CHANEL Chance, $85-$140: A classic Chanel scent that your girl will swoon over. Of course, it’s the perfect shade of pink which doesn’t hurt at all.
Fluff Yeah Genuine Shearling Slingback Sandal, $99.95: These sandals are super on trend right now and the perfect gift for a cozy Valentine’s night in. The red is a classic Valentine’s Day colour but there are lots of others to choose form if red isn’t their favourite.
Heart Stonewear Cocettes, SALE $27.99 with code HOME: Set of two stoneware pieces (good quality) that will be great for oven-baked recipes that can go straight to the table from the oven.
Elevated Heart Ring, $75: This is such a beautiful ring if you are looking for a heart-specific ring. Now fellas, this doesn’t have to mean anything more than a beautiful ring. Most women, myself included, love to accessorize with many rings so this is a lovely addition. You can never go wrong with Pandora jewelry!
Rose Quartz Crystal Facial Roller, $28: For the skincare lover!! This facial roller will help bring out her inner glow and have a relaxing facial massage every morning.
Kendra Scott Heart Pendant, $68: This is a new arrival from Kendra Scott and it came perfectly in time for Valentine’s Day. It comes in 3 metals, silver, gold and rose gold which is a great variety to choose from for the recipient.
Heart Stud Earrings, $46: Red heart earrings for a Valentine’s gift, could there BE a better gift for the occasion? (cue Chandler’s voice) Such a dazzling set that you can barely turn down at such an affordable price.
Kendra Scott Heart Small Hoop Earrings, $48: A perfect compliment to the Heart Pendant, these small everyday hoop earrings would be a great addition to any woman’s collection. Easily worn for V Day date night or for an everyday type of look. Comes in all three metals too silver, rose gold, and gold.
Godiva Valentine’s Fabric Heart Gift Box (14-piece), $34.96 (CURRENT DEAL OF THE DAY, will go back up to full price after today 2/05/2021: As a previous Godiva chocolatier, I can fully attest to the luxurious chocolate in this heartfelt keepsake box. My personal favourite type of chocolate is milk chocolate, what is yours?
The Ultimate Game for Couples, $24.99: Found this fun game on Amazon and thought it would be a perfect gift idea if you are looking to do something other than watching tv on your weeknights.
Star Wars Heart Tin, $19.99: This heart tin is filled with fun chocolate caramel hearts which would be a great addition to any Valentine’s gift basket.
Club Room V-Neck Wool Sweater, $24.99: I absolutely love this sweater! Great for any holiday party during the winter months and you can’t beat the sale price.
Light Saber Chopsticks, $11.97: What a creative gift for any guy in your life! If you are planning on ordering Chinese or Thai takeout for V-day, this could be a nice surprise to add to the ambiance.
My Girlfriend is Hotter than My Coffee Mug, $12.95: I bought this for my boyfriend last Christmas because he can’t go without his coffee in the mornings so I thought he could always think of me when he drinks form the mug. If you are looking for a similar effect, check this link out.
Electric S’mores Maker, $40: I mean who wouldn’t want to make s’mores more often? This electric maker would make a fun gift for your significant other to make any date night more cozy.
Beer Making Kit, $64.99: Is your man bummed about not being able to go to his favourite bars lately? Bring the beer to him this Valentine’s Day with this craft beer making kit this year. Unfortunately, the one pictured is no longer available so I linked another kit with great reviews.
Romantic Toilet Paper, $13.95: Okay, did you guys smirk at this one too? I think this would be a funny gift to give to your significant other at least just to make them laugh.
Massage Gun, $129: I bought this for my boyfriend last year as a gift and he really likes it! Since he works out very often, he is able to use this to relieve tension throughout his body. I highly recommend snagging one of these if your significant other has a similar lifestyle.
Bleu De Chanel, $80-$135: This scent is described as woodsy and citrusy as well as one of the top selling colognes on the market right now. The price will also depend on the size you purchase. If the man in your life is in need of a good cologne, this one would be a top one to try.
The MeatEater Fish and Game Cookbook, $19.71: Ah the way to a mans’s heart is through food… or at least that’s what my mom always taught me. This cookbook is for the carnivore in your life that just can’t get enough of various meats and fish. Sure a book isn’t the most glamorous of gifts but I can guarantee this is going to bring a big smile on his face.
Kendra Scott- Order by 2/7 for Free Standard Shipping and delivery by Valentine’s Day
Pandora- Order by 2/8 for Free Standard Shipping ($55+) and delivery by Valentine’s Day
Macy’s- Order by 2/8 for delivery by Valentine’s Day
Nordstrom- Free Shipping and Returns
Amazon PRIME- 2 Day Shipping
If you do end up using any of these links or buy any of these items, please let me know!! I would love to hear if they work well for you and if the gifts brought smiles to the recipient’s faces (and if these gift guides were helpful for you). Valentine’s Day should be filled with love, thankfulness, and joy, I hope yours is filled with it all. ❤️
Happy Monday and HAPPY FEBRUARY!!💗 February is one of my favourite months of the year because it brings so much love and thoughtfulness. If you head over to my Instagram page @saraeliseblog, you will see a couple Monday inspirational pictures that I wanted to frame our minds to in the beginning of the day. I intend on making Mondays more motivational/inspirational/upbeat on my feed and incorporate that positive energy right here in my blog posts. I feel that is important for us, especially when most of us are either working from home or do not feel safe being outside of your house, to find happiness in the everyday things that we may have taken for granted at one time. I know for myself, I truly took many things for granted leading up to the pandemic. However, this past year has given us all the unique opportunity to reevaluate our own lives and look inward to identify what (…or who) works for us and what no longer serves us.
Over the past year, I have faced challenges and triumphs in various aspects of my life, as I’m sure we all have. Whenever I felt a setback happening, I would start to downward spiral and starting pinning myself for all of the things that could’ve led up to that point regardless of the circumstances. I’ll give you an example. About a month ago, I was advised by my doctor to wean off a prescription medicine I had been on ever since my gastrointestinal disorder diagnoses in July. Eagerly awaiting this moment, I followed his orders and went on with my days and didn’t think much of it. Until one evening, I started to have an uncontrollable set of the shakes, my abdominal spasms had returned, a glooming headache was fully in motion, and I couldn’t breathe easily so I reached for my inhaler to regulate my breath. I felt defeated, instantly having flashbacks of what had happened back in the summer of last year. I started running through my head to see if I had eaten something out of the ordinary that day, went back and tracked the amount of water I drank to ensure I wasn’t dehydrated, checked my pill case to check that I hadn’t forgotten one. When I realized that my “checklist” had all been completed, I started to think to myself how am I not strong enough to handle the pain, perhaps my pain tolerance had weakened. Was it all in my head? I listened to the doctor and couldn’t understand why I was having a considerable episode in the middle of the night when no one was awake to even help. Granted, what could they really do in that scenario, other than trying to comfort me? So let’s review the characteristics I pinned on myself that night for an episode that I clearly could not solve quickly… weak, frail, complainer, and confused. I felt that I shouldn’t bother others by waking them up telling them something was wrong or even continue to find answers because I chalked it up to “my body just not being able to handle it”. Let me be clear, this is an example of what NOT to do.
The next day, I immediately called my doctor to recount what had happened the night before. He told me to go back on the medicine I had previously stopped taking because clearly, my symptoms weren’t clearing up in the timeframe that was intended. Again, those thoughts of not being able to handle what was going on with my body, started to creep back in. I stopped myself and realized that I had allowed negative thoughts in my own head to wreak havoc therefore I kept those thoughts circulating within me. That’s when I knew I couldn’t continue to feed myself negativity. How can one expect kindness from others, if they are not kind to themself? I went back through the chain of events in my head and thought how attentive I was to myself for ensuring my checklist was thoroughly examined the night before. How I was courageous enough to pick up the phone and advocate for myself to the doctor (for those of you with chronic conditions, you know what I mean on this). Finally, how kind I was to myself for realizing that I didn’t always have to find a reason to place the blame on myself. This was a turning point for me because in the weeks that passed after this incident, I found myself actively switching those negative thoughts that would creep in, with possible positive attributes. It’s all about mindset and perhaps that’s the hardest part to comprehend, for me at least.
Reframing my thoughts in negative situations or situations that are out of my control has been an area that I have struggled with before but have found myself improving more everyday. I have found that negative daily thoughts cloud my judgement which is not healthy. To counteract this, I have made a conscious effort to think through my thoughts internally to see if they are subconsciously hurting me. This may look like if I have another unfortunate painful night, I recognize the pain I’m in, proactively record/identify what is wrong, and believe in myself that my strength and grace will carry me through. Being kind to yourself may seem simple at face value, but once you dig deeper you might find there is still so much more kindness left to give yourself. If you have some trouble finding it… I would be happy to help or offer any advice I can!
Thanks for reading! Happy Monday friends, let’s crush this week 🙂
I’m a To-Do list person. There I said it. I don’t have any objections to flying by the seat of your pants, but I personally have never been able to operate like that. Ever since I was little, I had all different types of organizational items within an arm’s reach away. Journals, diaries, planners, colourful writing tools, and all the stickers you could possibly think of and it all brought me so much joy. Sure, it’s not like I was planning a world peace movement, rather a few playdates with my friends here and there. However, there was something about knowing what I wanted to achieve in a certain amount of time that I believe has largely driven me to where I am now.
Now even thought it’s the end of January, I still like to revisit my goals and intentions I set for this year. Now I’m not a huge fan of a New Year’s Resolution like some may be, but I do believe in setting overarching themes for the year so I can intentionally achieve goals I plan for myself. As a society, we tend to get wrapped up in the New Year flutter that fills the first week of January. This is ~completely~ fine, if you don’t get burned out. I found that in the years that I made huge goals for myself and went really hard in the first couple of weeks in January, by the time February or March rolled around, I didn’t feel like those goals were attainable/ didn’t want to achieve them anymore. I like to remember that yes if you set goals intentionally then you want to achieve them, however if circumstances change that inhibit you from achieving specific goals, then change them. Don’t say you epically failed and just write it off as a big NOPE for the year. Make sure your goals are aligned with what you want to see from yourself this year. Sometimes I felt like if I hadn’t achieved my various goals by March then I wasn’t going fast enough or wouldn’t be able to accomplish them all. WRONG! The intention is for the goals to be achieved throughout the full year, not the first quarter of the year. Remember, goal setting is not a race it’s a marathon. Sure you want to set yourself up for success, but kindly give yourself grace when needed. If you haven’t glanced back over your goals/word of the year/resolutions/vision boards, or whatever you chose to elaborate on this year, then I would highly encourage you to do so.
As the first month of 2021 is nearing its close, I intend to take this weekend as an opportunity to look through my previously laid out goals to check in and make sure that they still align with my intentions. The way I chose to lay out my goals this year was to separate them into different subsections, if you will, and then followed up with dot points for each. Some of my categories included Lifestyle, Personal Development, Finances, Faith, and Food/Dietary Needs to name a few of the 11 I originally created. I also found it helpful that I didn’t put a huge goal in each category, but rather small task-oriented actions under each to ensure I am working daily towards improving upon the categories. If I had set over 11 large goals, I think I would’ve become too overwhelmed to even begin. Throughout the coming months, I intend to check in with these goals and then write either the date it was achieved or if its a daily type of goal, like drinking 70 oz of water a day, I would come back to that at the end of year to see if I was able to uphold that standard for myself.
I tend to write my goals in my planner so then I have it all in one place and don’t have to keep track of random pieces of paper throughout the year. After the middle of last year, I basically threw the towel in on planners because I didn’t see any reason to buy and write in them. This year I thought to myself that even if I don’t have huge plans or consistent weekly items to add to the planner, it’s still a worthy investment since it will help me orient myself throughout the various months. Now that my blog has been reborn, I can now use it to plan out my posts more efficiently. You don’t have to get fancy and buy a super expensive planner either, a desk pad, or a journal with the year of dates would also work for intentional goal/yearly planning.
All in all, I’ll wrap up this post by saying that giving yourself grace when you are planning your goals or your weeks or even your days is so important. As we all experienced, 2020 and even throughout this first month of 2021, we have experienced a ton of mixed emotions everyday. How do we plan for that? We don’t, because there is no possible way to plan for unexpected surprises that will ensue various emotions. What we can do, is control our reactions and strive towards spreading positivity and love to all… which is exactly what I hope to do with this blog.
Comment below one of your goals for 2021 or what you use for your planner! If you don’t want to post them publicly, just DM them to me on instagram @saraeliseblog 😊 Thanks for reading!
As I typed that title, I realized how this might sound. So let me answer this upfront- no, there are no babies around here haha. My fingers are somewhat trembling as I type this post. I started this blog platform last year in April and it was one of the best decisions I had made, no regrets. However, just like how life took a turn for EVERYONE last year, my life was flipped upside down in May shortly after my blog was published. So let’s rewind a bit and I’ll explain where the heck I’ve been…
Okay so basically everything changed a little before Memorial Day weekend. At the time, we had been in quarantine for about 2 months and all were looking forward to the summer even if it was just to get outside and walk in the beaming sun. Unfortunately, over that holiday week into weekend, I started to feel nauseous and uneasy. My (chronic) migraines were picking up, I couldn’t keep any food down, my body was aching, and I felt very dehydrated. Several doctor visits, 2 CT scans, 2 covid tests, 2 visits to the emergency room, 1 HIDA scan and an upper endoscopy later, I was diagnosed with several gastrointestinal disorders in July shortly after my 23rd birthday. From the middle of May till about the middle of July, I was in a very dark place, mentally, physically, and emotionally. I can remember very clearly days upon days laying in bed just waiting for the time to pass to hopefully wake up with less pain. Even worse, I started to feel bad for even having these problems because all I could think of was how the world was suffering with COVID-19 and who was I to complain about my issues when there were clearly more pressing matters happening to others. I am going to share something that one of the ER nurses told me on my second visit. I was so fed up with not knowing any answers and feeling like a burden, that I confessed it all to the kind nurse who was with me that day. She said to me “I’m so glad you are here Sara. Many patients aren’t coming at all to the ER room because they are terrified of contracting the virus or they think their problems aren’t as important as others. It is imperative that regardless of what is going on with covid, that you remain vigilant in caring for your own health. Please pass this along to your family and friends so they know not to be scared of coming to the ER when it is needed.” Wow, mind blown. I was shocked to hear this because I was expecting them to kinda agree with me that my health issues weren’t as “important” as others… boy was I dead wrong though.
These past 6 months, after my diagnosis in July, has consisted of MANY trial and error escapades. I have been put on and taken off several medications to find what works best for my body. I have kept a food journal to decipher what my triggers are. I have tried different alternatives to foods that I once had no problem of eating. I have refrained from consuming alcohol for the most part. I have exercised nearly every week day for at least 30 minutes a day to keep my endorphins up but most importantly, I have shifted my mindset. Instead of being the terrified, nervous, and reserved person who was contemplating even going to the ER (trust me, if my parents hadn’t nearly dragged me to the car, I wouldn’t have gone) when I was in excruciating pain, I am now a curious, open-minded, adaptable woman who is fighting to get more answers. I feel somewhat proud that after all these months I am able to speak up for myself and my body. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely felt like my body had betrayed me for awhile there, but now I believe it was alerting me to know that something was wrong. I believe we can all relate to this in some way. Perhaps you also feel like your problems, health-related or otherwise, are not “as bad” or “as important” as others so you dismiss them… take it from me, your body knows itself and you are JUST AS IMPORTANT.
So now that brings us to the present day. Here I am back on my blog, with a Starbucks next to me, writing away. You may be thinking, okay so why is she doing this again after so much time has passed? To that I would answer, I have no freaking idea. Like I mentioned previously, 2020 was a dark year for me and it had a lot to do with what was going on mentally and health-wise. I felt like I was unworthy of this platform, I felt like no one would care about what was going on with me because it was small peanuts compared to everything else. I deleted my blog app off my phone, tucked away all my ideas, and basically didn’t bring it up again. I was focused on my healing journey and getting my mind back into a better place.
In November, I had a very long conversation with my boyfriend, about what my life looked like and what I wanted for myself. I wanted to find an inner happiness most of all. He was the one who brought my blog back up to me and asked me why I stopped writing. Obviously my response was, “um I’ve been ill”. As our conversation flowed and he pressed me about my reasoning for stopping, I realized something that I hadn’t thought of before. Yes I was physically ill so I had stopped virtually everything I was doing outside of my actual job, but I didn’t feel confident anymore. I felt like my body betrayed me and when that ship sank, so did my self-confidence. I started this blog to make others feel confident, empowered, and worthy of all good things that come to them. I didn’t feel any of those things for months and months so who was I to share with my audience (all of y’all) my thoughts while trying to front a confident demeanor. And thats when it hit me. THAT is my why. That is my why behind dusting the cobwebs off this blog and taking the reins back of my life. Sure, not everyday is going to be as peachy as some, we all go through our struggles, but having friends and a community to support through the tough times, can make all the difference.
I hope this post has encouraged you to never doubt what your body/mind is telling you. I still have many questions unanswered about my recent diagnoses, which I intend to seek answers for without hesitation. It is my right to know what is happening with my own body and to understand how to nurture it to thrive like it once did. Thank you to all of you who have supported me and reached out over the past months (y’all know who you are), it has meant the absolute world to me. I suppose this isn’t the fashion/beauty post I had intended to gear my blog towards but this is real life. If I can help anyone else out there struggling with at least acknowledging their own self-worth, then this blog is worth it. Can’t wait to continue writing for y’all…Thanks for listening and sticking around xoxo.
P.S. I have decided to conquer one of my fears and put my blog into an instagram account! Follow me @saraeliseblog for content updates!
I hope you all have had a great week, I am definitely looking forward to the weekend. I can’t believe that Mother’s Day is right around the corner. For those of you who are reading that surprised, Mother’s Day is set for Sunday May 9th this year which is just over a week away. My mom is one of the sweetest, thoughtful, genuine, loving, and generous people I’ve ever known and I consider myself so lucky to call her mom. I’m sure that many of you can agree that you have a similar opinion of your own mothers. Every year I struggle with what to get my mom and how to make her feel a little extra special on Mother’s Day specifically. Our moms truly deserve the world, even though I can’t give her that, I can make an effort to shower her with love that day. I also want to make it a point to explain that Mother’s Day definitely doesn’t have to be only about giving gifts and such. Some years, the best Mother’s Days have been days where we spend time together doing different experiences together. I also don’t think any mom is going to turn down breakfast in bed or a homemade dinner made for her.
From left to right: Pics with my momma💗 My sister and I with mom in London in front of Big Ben December 2016, Mom and I in front of Loch Ness in Scotland January 2017, Mom and I in Normandy France July 2018, and Mom at my college graduation May 2019.
I wanted to put together a few gift guides on ideas for Mother’s Day. I made several different versions so that there is something for all moms. As a reminder, these gifts would be great for any other maternal figure in your life such as grandmothers, stepmoms, godmothers, or new moms/expecting moms. I also wanted to mention, which I also talked briefly on my instagram, that I know Mother’s Day can also be a difficult day for some and if that applies to you, you will be on my heart that day.
I hope these gift ideas help you decide/give you inspiration on items to get for your mom if you are shopping. If you do end up getting any of these gift suggestions, let me know- I’d love to hear about what you think about the gift guides. I hope that you all have a special day with your moms if you are lucky enough to live close enough to see them. Thank you for reading along and supporting!
*All thoughts and opinions are my own. I do not own the rights to the images provided unless the picture is of myself. All other pictures have website links tied to them. I do not make any commission of any of these items.