Today my blog is being featured on Long Live Classy, so it seems appropriate that I have a classy outfit to show you on this lovely last day of July.

I just ordered this sweater from J. Crew Factory (and a v-neck one in spearmint, which is what made me think to wear this necklace). I’m always on the hunt for cotton sweaters in simple, flattering shapes but in fun colors. Because basic black is for funerals. Actually, I think I will ban people from wearing black at my funeral. If you wear black, I will haunt you. Everyone must come pay their respects dressed in pretty colors and accessories. Wait, what was I talking about? Right, sweaters. I like them. Happy Tuesday!

Sweater available at J. Crew Factory in lots of pretty colors

Anne Klein watch available at Nordstrom

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What to Wear: Week 2 Update

You might have noticed that it has been a long time since my Week 1 Update of What to Wear. No, there has not been some kind of glitch in the space-time continuum. I just haven’t been using my cards every week. But I did last week, hence the update.

Wait, cards? What are you talking about, Sarah? If you are a relatively new reader of Sarah’s Real Life, or you just need a refresher, see this post, where I break down one of the ways I decide what to wear every day. To me, great style is not just about picking out the trendiest new items; it’s about how you put different pieces together. And when you have a ton of clothes and accessories and shoes like I do, sometimes it’s hard to know where to start.

The items on my card for the week were:

  • Wooden bead necklace
  • Cropped jacket/blazer
  • Patterned cardigan
  • Yellow hair bow
  • Yellow pleated skirt

Check it out! These pics should all look familiar if you’ve been reading the past week…20120730-113554.jpg

My little card definitely came in handy this week! The wooden bead necklace was the perfect thing to add to my tourist ensemble and spice up my plain navy tee. The jacket was something I hadn’t worn in forever and was contemplating tossing, but once I wore it I realized I just had to embrace its costume-like quality and have fun with it! This silky cardigan was perfect over a dress for an evening out in Chicago. The yellow bow – I always forget I bought this little guy! – is a fun addition to any outfit. And I’m glad I challenged myself to fit this yellow skirt into a work-friendly outfit.

So…how do you decide what to wear? Leave me a comment! And if you want to be in the loop for future style adventures, use the links in the main menu (above) to follow me on Bloglovin’ or Twitter!

Chicago Day 3: a “What to Wear?” Challenge

Saturday was our last day in Chicago, and we planned to go to the Lincoln Park Zoo during the day, and then head to a suburb to see a college friend star as Elle Woods in a production of Legally Blonde, the musical (SNAPS FOR ANNIE!).

The challenge: We had to check out of the hotel in the morning, so I wouldn’t be able to change between city-trekking and theater-going.

The solution: this trusty sundress. During the day, I kept it casual with a braided belt and my comfy hippie sandals.20120729-195342.jpg

20120729-195415.jpgAnd for evening, I just kept some wedges, a clutch, and my bubble necklace easily accessible in my suitcase. A little switcheroo in the theater parking lot led to this:20120729-195438.jpg


20120729-195513.jpgThe only problem with this dress is that I can’t even take a freaking pee without someone stopping to tell me how CUTE I look. My life is really hard, you guys. But you know who else has a hard life? My friend Annie, who has a real job AND is working on getting her Master’s AND has the lead role in Legally Blonde. I might be a little biased because I know her, but seriously…she is effing amazing in this show. Anyone who lives near University Park, IL, needs to go see it. Or else. There are two more shows next weekend; check out the theater’s website here.20120729-195535.jpg

Omigod you guys, I know her.


Kristin, Annie (the blonde one, obviously), and me after her show


And here are some meerkats. Just cuz.

My Week in Over-Processed Photos

Two posts in one day? I know, overwhelmingly awesome, right? Or just overwhelming? Well, the thing is that I had lots more photos I wanted to share, and I did this MWOPP feature last week and got some good feedback, so I figured I’d give it another go – with even more over-processed photos than last time! Hoorah.


Two recipes I pinned on Pinterest and ACTUALLY MADE, a bouquet of flowers I got for our anniversary dinner, wind farm on the way to Chicago, epic laundry day before the trip


Flamingos at the Lincoln Park Zoo, a unique fast food restaurant, the Bean in Millennium Park, jaguar at the Lincoln Park Zoo

20120729-182548.jpgDeep dish pizza with broccoli and garlic, view of Chicago from the lake at sunset, Italian cosmo at dinner, cute beluga whale face at Shedd Aquarium (I think he’s smiling at me!)

Chicago Day 2

You guys, day two in Chicago was my favorite kind of day: one where I get to wear two outfits. The first outfit was possibly even more touristy than my Day 1 outfit. Sneakers, shorts, ponytail? Hey, it was a hot day with lots of walking. I did what I had to do.20120729-130003.jpg



20120729-130059.jpgAs you can see, we visited Millennium Park. The Grant Park Orchestra happened to be rehearsing for a show it had that night, so we had a little listen. We also stopped by Daley Plaza where the Picasso statue is (you can kind of see it from the side in the picture above – you may have been distracted by my adorable yellow bow the first time). After lunch, we went to Shedd Aquarium. It’s hard to get photos through glass, but here are a couple of my favorites:


20120729-131257.jpgThe second picture is beluga whales; how cool are they?!

Now on to outfit #2, where I got a little gussied up to go out to dinner. Oh, I almost forgot: I did a little more shopping on day two. Are you shocked? I got some boots from Nordstrom, along with a super cute belt. It turned out to be a very good thing that I got this belt, because when I put on my dress and cardigan-jacket-thing, I felt like there was something missing. Something missing right around the middle. If only I had…A BELT! Best day ever.



20120729-132529.jpgThere you have it, friends! I’ll have one more Chicago post comin’ atcha tomorrow, and it’s a good one! Trust me, you’ll like it. I would feel so bad for you if you missed it. It might be a good idea to follow me on Bloglovin’ or Twitter to make sure you don’t forget to come back. Just a thought.

See how I wore this crochet dress last

Chicago Day 1



Thursday was day 1 of Chicago vacay 2012! We got into the city at noon and found our hotel after only a small hiccup (Google maps on my iPhone apparently doesn’t know the difference between East and West Chestnut). First on the agenda was a pint of 312 and a deep dish pizza. When in Rome…

And next was shopping! I did some damage on Michigan Avenue. But not too much. I got a maxi skirt, a striped peplum jacket, lime green cropped jeans, and a white watch. And I have my eye on some boots at Nordstrom that I might go back for tomorrow!

In the photos above, you will notice my super chic tourist style. That was a little sarcastic. I’ve learned the hard way that when I’m on a city vacation, I have to plan outfits around my most comfortable shoes or else I will be a complete pain in the ass by dinner time. Day 1’s shoe was a boat shoe, which was appropriate as I did in fact board a floating vessel.

We did a sunset boat cruise on the Chicago River and Lake Michigan. The view was absolutely beautiful. Here are a few photos. More fun to come!




Seersucker and Sunshine






Things I did while wearing this outfit:

  • Looked for a parking space.
  • Went to work.
  • Ate macaroni and cheese.
  • Picked up my dry cleaning.

Why am I telling you this? To show you why it’s important to me to put so much thought into what to wear. Because picking out my outfit might be the most interesting thing I do all day.

But! The rest of this week, boredom will not be a concern, because I’ll be on a little anniversary vacation in Chicago! So stay tuned for outfit (and non-outfit) pics from the Windy City.  First activity on the itinerary is shopping. That may or may not have been my idea.

Skirt is Everly, purchased recently at Pitaya

Shoes are Bandolino, available on Zappos

Bracelet available at Anthropologie