Yes, It Really Was Snowy & Sunny

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You guys, it’s a big day. This is my LAST outfit for the November Take One, Pass it On challenge. It’s also Black Friday, so you know what that means…I’m sitting at home in my PJs posting sale alerts on Facebook and Twitter but not actually shopping because I have too much school work to do.

But speaking of holiday shopping, let me run this idea by you: in addition to buying gifts at the usual chain retailers, trying looking for more unique items from local businesses and for “gifts that give back” to charitable causes. Like these sunglasses for example. Every purchase of shades from SOLO Eyewear funds prescription glasses and eye surgeries to people in need. You can read about the company’s great impact here. If you decide to buy one of their beautifully made products, be sure to use the code “SOLOten” for 10% off.

(And if you still want tips on the big-time retailers sales, you can find some of my favorites on Facebook or Twitter.)

Sunglasses* // Coat (30% off with code HOLIDAY) // similar Sweater (on sale for $13) // Boots (on sale in brown) // Necklace // similar Scarf (under $15) // Bracelet (on sale) // Lips “Orange de Chine”

*Sunglasses provided courtesy of SOLO Eyewear in exchange for this review, but I’m happy to spread the word about a good cause!

Better Luck Next Time

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Looking back at this outfit, it wasn’t my best work. I decided to remix the skirt into something more casual for school, and I was inspired by a look I pinned recently. But in the inspiration version, the skirt is shorter and not flared so I think it balances out the bulky sweater better. In my version, I think the full skirt and chunky knit are a little overwhelming on my frame. Oh well, you win some, you lose some.

A pro blogger would probably just skip out on posting these photos, but I made a commitment to this Take One, Pass it On challenge, and I’m going to stick to it! The silver lining: my new pink bag is freaking adorable and makes up for everything. So this is actually the best outfit ever.

Bag (on sale for $15) // Skirt // Boots (on sale in brown) // similar Sweater (on sale) // another similar Sweater

Challenge Accepted

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^^I love the rose gold zipper detail on this skirt!

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Question: What do you wear to a daytime wedding of people you barely know when there are scattered snow flurries and you’re in the middle of the Take One, Pass it On challenge?

Answer: Hell if I know. This? I went with this.

Skirt // similar Shirt // similar Coat // Shoes (on clearance) // similar Clutch* // similar Necklace // Bracelet // Lips “Crush”

*Clutch purchased with gift card provided courtesy of H&M.

More Stuff I Wore

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If you saw how cozy I looked in my last outfit, you’re probably not surprised that I picked this cardigan to remix. Maybe I’ll just remix it every day for the rest of the month. Or maybe I should be impressed with myself for not spilling spaghetti sauce on it 2 days in a row and quit while I’m ahead. I didn’t actually eat spaghetti either day, but still…I wouldn’t have been surprised.

Cardigan (on sale under $17 & in lots of colors!) // similar Jeans (on sale) // similar Necklace // Bracelet // similar Boots

Take One, Pass it On: Week 3 Roundup

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Times flies when you’re remixing, amiright?! Week 3 of the challenge is complete! If you didn’t know I was doing this challenge, you probably wouldn’t even have noticed my repeats because these remixes were so damn good. Here, let me spell it out for you:

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similar Shirt

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similar Scarf

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similar Turtleneck

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similar Jacket (under $40)

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Shoes (on sale in other colors)

Of course, I couldn’t have done all this great remixing without the other bloggers below. Well…that’s not really true. I could have done it either way, but it’s more fun with friends. Check out what my fellow remixers have been up to this past week:

Look what fun everyone is having! Makes you want to join in for the last week, doesn’t it? That’s a great idea. You are so smart. Check out the official “rules” here and get started!

TGIF

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Do you know what time it is? FRIDAY TIME. If you’re happy it’s Friday, put your virtual hands in the air. Now wave them around like you virtually don’t care.

This outfit rounds out Week 3 of the Take One, Pass it On remix challenge. Off the top of my head I don’t know that any new bloggers have joined in the last week, so if you have, be sure to let me know soon! I’ll put up the Week 3 Roundup on Sunday. All of you that have been with me since the beginning – you are awesome. If you haven’t joined in yet…well, what the heck are you waiting for? There’s one week left, and it’s Thanksgiving week. You’re probably going to want to wear your stretchiest pants a couple days in a row anyway. Don’t give me that look. You know it’s true.

similar Shirt // Cardigan (under $30 & in lots of colors!) // Shoes (on sale in other colors) // Watch* // Lips “Crush”

*Watch provided courtesy of Timex.

Preppy Badass

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Law school changes you, folks. You start talking about Supreme Court Justices casually in conversation as if they’re old friends, and you start telling complete strangers all the ways you could sue them if you wanted to. In other words, you become both preppy and badass. So I guess this monogram sweater and moto jacket combo is the ultimate law school outfit.

I don’t know how the cluster bead necklace fits into the picture, but I do know I dig it. I love any jewelry that is classic but makes a statement at the same time. (Sort of like a judge’s robe.)

similar Sweater // similar Jacket(under $40) // similar Pants // Necklace* // Shoes (on sale in other colors) // Bag* (on sale) // Sunglasses (on sale)

*Jacket provided courtesy of Lucky B Boutique; necklace provided courtesy of Loopsway; bag provided courtesy of Asos. Heads up! For 3 days only, everything on Loopsway.com is 10% off with the code “love10” 🙂

Size and Shape

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After the not-so-great review of Studio Movie Grill I gave yesterday, I’m happy to bring a good review in today’s post, along with maybe a little talk about positive body image and girl power. Huzzah!

I feel a little awkward giving advice about body image since I’m naturally pretty thin and maybe haven’t had the same struggles as other women have, but hear me out.

I’ve often had friends compliment me on what I’m wearing, and then they tell me they couldn’t “pull off” something similar because they’re not “skinny” like me. Listen up, ladies. If you’re under the impression all clothes would look good on you if only you were a size 2, you’re wrong. I know this because I am a size 2, and not everything looks good on me. I come out of plenty of dressing rooms empty handed.

The thing is: women aren’t just sizes; we’re also shapes. There’s no way one pair of jeans (or dress, or whatever) – even if it comes in different sizes – can be right for everyone! It takes work – and maybe it takes more work for some than others – but you just have to find clothes that are made for your body. No blog reader of  mine should ever think she’s too fat, too skinny, too short, too tall, too busty, or too whatever to wear great clothes!

Some style advice-givers (like here and here) say that “dressing for your body” means accentuating the best parts of your body and hiding your flaws, but I feel like that’s the wrong way to look at it. What they mean by “flaws” is usually “the biggest part of your body,” and I think that sends the wrong message. Please remove the word “flaw” from your dictionary. Thank you. Instead, I suggest just getting comfortable with whatever your shape is and figuring out what makes you feel awesome and confident. If you try on something that doesn’t make you feel awesome and confident, then learn to laugh about it. Don’t compare yourself to other people – those bitches are probably jealous of something you have, too!

Here, I’ll start. While I have a very small waist (rough life, I know), my hips are relatively wide in comparison. Sometimes when I tell people I have wide hips, they think I’m calling myself fat. No. I am neither blind nor an idiot. I’m just stating a fact about my shape that I’m perfectly fine with. Still, having curves on the bottom is usually my biggest challenge when it comes to dressing my body. That striped mini skirt I wore in yesterday’s post? It works because the side panels break up the horizontal lines. On my search for a striped skirt, I tried on A LOT of duds! There was one that made me look like wider than I thought was humanly possible (that was one I had to laugh about). But pants are the worst.

Have you ever noticed how much J. Crew I wear? Dresses, sweaters, shoes, jewelry…but never J. Crew pants. Do you know why? Because they never fit me. Check out the J. Crew fit guide: no matter what the size, there’s a 10″ difference between the waist and hips. I have a 12″ difference. So when I get a size big enough to fit my hips properly, I have an extra 2″ of waistline just hangin’ out. Not cute. I have this problem with the majority of pants I try on. That’s why I was very happy to receive these jeans from a new line called Poetic Justice made specifically for curvy women. Check out their fit guide: 12 inches, folks! They’re also very affordable and the quality seems great so far – sturdy but not stiff.

So if you’re like me and every pair of pants has a big gap in the back, I can confidently give Poetic Justice the SASS (Sarah’s Awesome Stamp of Satisfaction)!

And if you’re not like me, that’s great, too. 🙂 If you have a different challenge (not flaw), I would love to hear how you’ve learned to make it work for you. Leave me a comment below!

Jeans* // similar Turtleneck // similar Jacket* (under $40) // similar Boots // Lips “Romantic”

*Jeans provided courtesy of Poetic Justice; jacket provided courtesy of Lucky B Boutique.

SASS

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similar Scarf* // similar Turtleneck // similar Skirt (on sale) // Bag* // Shoes* // similar Bracelet (under $5)

This is what I wore for a date night on Saturday, remixing my Isabel Marant scarf. OK. That’s that.

The rest of this very long post is a detailed and scathing review of where I went on said date night: Studio Movie Grill at College Park in Indianapolis. It’s a chain of movie theaters that has a full menu and bar, and you order a meal to eat during the movie, and one just opened here in Indy in October. This was my third (and probably last) visit to SMG. If you live in Indy, this is definitely worth a read – you’ve been warned!

Even if you don’t live in Indy, you’ll probably find my horror story pretty entertaining. Enjoy 🙂

Visit #1: Hey, That Wasn’t So Bad

My first time at SMG was shortly after it opened. Thanks to my being a blogger, which apparently makes me a member of the press (?), I was invited to the VIP opening party. Free booze, free food, free movie? Sign me up! The night didn’t start off strong, but it wasn’t a deal breaker, ladies. My lovely date and I went to the bar and ordered cosmopolitans. Well, perhaps a better description would be: First I stood at the bar for a solid five minutes – quite conspicuously – before anyone acknowledged me. I was starting to worry I was in a Sixth Sense situation where I had died but didn’t know I was a ghost. I was in fact alive and visible. Then I ordered our 2 cosmos from a bartender who wasn’t really a bartender because he didn’t know how to make a cosmo (also not a SATC fan apparently). He kept pouring beers and other easy drinks for other customers before finally disappearing to ask someone else to make our drinks. When he finally came back, he handed me ONE cosmo. This guy was literally half-assing it. Kristin had to track down the cosmo maker to get hers. 15 minutes later, we had our drinks and enjoyed them, along with some tasty appetizers, and took a spin in the photo booth. The rest of the pre-movie time was lovely.

We went to see Gravity (side note: great movie, but SO stressful to watch). They took our dinner orders before the movie, and I ordered the (very healthy) loaded cheese fries, but asked for no bacon because I’m a vegetarian. The food came after the lights had gone down, so I couldn’t actually see it, but at the end of the movie I discovered I had been eating little bits of bacon all night. Luckily I’m not allergic and not one of those overly zealous vegetarians who freaks out if my food even touches meat, but still…I don’t enjoy the idea of eating Babe. That’ll NOT do, pig.

Visit #2: Hmm…It’s Always Something, Isn’t It?

Shortly after the VIP party, I got another invitation to a pre-screening of About Time. Even though Visit #1 to SMG didn’t go perfectly, it’s hard to complain when it’s a free party. The movie sounded good, so I figured why not?

I decided to save myself the risk and ordered something that didn’t come with meat to begin with, and I survived unscathed! But this time it was Kristin’s order that was wrong – regular fries instead of sweet potato. They corrected it, but not very quickly.

This time the movie tickets were free but we did have to pay for our meals. So our server brought the check, I gave her my card, and she brought it back. It’s just like any restaurant, but the thing is…all of this is going down in the dark while you’re trying to watch a movie. I needed to write in the tip and sign the receipt, but I couldn’t see! I figured I would just wait until the lights went back up. But our server came back around to collect the receipts while the movie was still going. I tried to whisper to her “it’s not signed yet” but she couldn’t hear me. I tried using some made-up sign language. She still wouldn’t move the hell out of the way (again – remember we’re trying to watch a movie). I literally had to grab the little black envelope out of her hand and clutch it to my chest. In hindsight, I should have just let her take it! It would have been her own fault she didn’t get a tip.

Again, not a horrible experience but still not great.

Visit #3: THAT’S IT. NEVER AGAIN.

This brings us to Saturday. So back at the VIP party, we were all given free movie passes that expired on Nov. 17. As procrastinators, we waited until Nov. 16. We went to see Carrie, and we were there early so I got a drink at the bar. Unfortunately, the experience was pretty similar to the VIP party – the bar wasn’t that busy and yet I was ignored by both bartenders for quite a while.

By the time I got my margarita, the screens in the lobby indicated our theater was seating, so we went up to the ticket taker only to find out that our theater was NOT seating. Just to clarify: “seating” is the opposite of “not seating.” So we stood around for several minutes holding our very cold glasses. Brrr.

As we were standing there waiting, Kristin and I commented (I wouldn’t call it complaining…yet) that we would probably switch back to our old theater after this time. It was nice having the free tickets, and the whole idea of a dinner/movie combined is cool, but with all the little problems we had had each time, it just didn’t seem worth coming back if we had to shell out $40 for the night.

And then…It’s like the theater gods heard us and said, “Oh, you think you might not come back? WE’LL MAKE SURE YOU DON’T.”

We sat down, ordered our food, and the previews started. Everyone started realizing there was something wrong with the sound because we could hear music and background noise, but no words came out of anyone’s mouth. Various people (including Kristin) said something to servers as they came by, but one of them just blew it off, saying “I don’t know; I just bring out the food.” Add “go get ’em attitude” to that kid’s resume.

Eventually someone started working on the issue. The screen went black for a few minutes, then came back on, froze a couple times, restarted a couple times…I guess their system runs off a 10-year-old PC full of illegally downloaded songs. All the while, everyone else seemed to have gotten their food except us. Then a manager informed us there was a blown amp, and they were waiting to hear back from tech support. He said they would hopefully know WITHIN 20 MINUTES whether they would be able to show the movie. In the meantime, everyone enjoy your food!

Oh, that food we don’t have yet? Right. All this on top of our already less-than-stellar impression of Studio Movie Grill was just the last straw. We got up and left. We saw our server (who was super nice, by the way) in the hallway, and decided to tell her to cancel our dinner just so the kitchen didn’t waste its food. That’s when a couple managers overheard, asked why we were leaving, and we explained this was our third time having issues. They apologized and offered to refund our tickets, but I told him they were free passes anyway.

We started to leave, then Kristin remembered that I had paid $9 for a margarita (a price only appropriate in NYC) that I never finished because I was saving it to drink with dinner. We went back to the manager and asked if he could refund the drink. This seems perfectly reasonable, right? A manager always wants to find a way to make it up to an unhappy customer, and this was really the only way they could do it. Do you know what he said? “We already comped your meal.”

ARE. YOU. EFFING. KIDDING. ME. Something can’t be comped unless it was received. We didn’t receive any meal so you didn’t do us a favor. Then he asked, “Well if we reimburse you for the drink, do you promise to give us another try?” That’s when Kristin turned into a badass and said, “Well if you don’t reimburse her, I can promise we won’t.” I was so proud.

They did end up giving me cash back for my drink. Does that mean we’ll give SMG another shot? Not for at least 6 months. This place clearly hasn’t found it’s groove yet and I have exactly zero patience left for being part of the experimental phase. The fact that there are Studio Movie Grills all over the country gives me hope that the business model works, but it’s definitely NOT working in Indianapolis yet.

Ladies and gents of Indy, be advised: Studio Movie Grill at College Park does NOT get the coveted SASS (Sarah’s Awesome Stamp of Satisfaction), but they do deserve the (lowercase) sass I’m giving them in this review.

*Scarf provided courtesy of H&M; shoes and bag provided courtesy of Asos. Clearly, this post was in no way sponsored by Studio Movie Grill.

Wardrobe Workhorse: Pavé Link Bracelet

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Last year for Christmas, I asked Santa for the gorgeous J. Crew pavé link bracelet. Santa delivered, but he probably wondered why I had to have a $125 bracelet. I’m sure Santa would be happy to know that almost a year later I’ve worn this bracelet more than 40 times. Below are just a few examples.j. crew pave link bracelet review, adjust for small wrist, cheaper j crew pave link bracelet, j crew knockoffs, j crew dupes, chunky link bracelets

I love throwing this baby on to add a little oomph to any outfit. It makes a statement because it’s so chunky, but at the same time it’s a classic. Sometimes it’s the only jewelry I wear, and other times I stack it with another bracelet or watch. I like having the “original” pavé link bracelet, but since the J. Crew version got so popular, similar versions have popped up all over.

Here are a few pavé bracelets for your shopping pleasure, including the one I have and several other cheaper options (in case you don’t want to wait for Santa).

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Shop the Bracelets Here:
1. J. Crew $125 // 2. Bauble Bar $58 on sale // 3. Ann Taylor $49.50 // 4. Marc by Marc Jacobs $71.99 on sale // 5. Bauble Bar $58 on sale // 6. Macy’s INC International Concepts $29.50

P.S. I should note that the J. Crew bracelet is a little bit large on a small wrist like mine. To see how I fixed this problem, see this post. I can’t attest to the size of any of the other bracelets because I’ve never tried them on.