Shopping Trip

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First thing’s first: Don’t forget today is the last day to enter the $25 Magnolia Boutique giveaway! So far there are 42 entries, and you have the option to enter up to 3 times! So your chances of winning are…um…cross multiply, do a permutation, multiply by 10, ¬†solve for X, divide by Y squared. You figure it out.

Now. I know what you’re thinking. This is supposed to a blog about “real life” style. What normal person gets this gussied up just to go to the mall for some Christmas shopping? The answer is almost no one. But when I’m in the middle of finals week and I’ve spent 2 straight days in the same t-shirt and sweatpants and I’m starting to go cross-eyed from writing SIX essays for a take-home exam, I tend to go a little overboard. To make up for the 2 normal outfits I would have worn if I left the house those days, I wore 1 extra sassy one on day 3.

And I know what else you’re thinking. How am I not freezing in these flimsy little pants when it’s 18 degrees out? Never fear friends. I snuck some leggings under there. ūüôā

To my fellow college/grad school/law school friends who aren’t yet done with finals: may you stay sane and warm. And may you like my blog page on Facebook. Thanks.

Sweater¬†(on sale under $25) // Pants // Sunglasses¬†(on sale) // Shoes¬†(in suede) // Bracelet¬†(30% off w/ code GIFTNOW) // similar Coat* (on sale) // Bag¬†(on sale) // similar Necklace¬†(50% off w/ code HOLIDAY50)¬†//¬†Lips¬†“Crush”

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

Wardrobe Workhorse: J. Crew Peacoat

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I got the J. Crew “Majesty” Peacoat last fall, and for two winters now I’ve seen quite a few people find their way to my little blog by searching for reviews of said coat. I never really did a review of it before, but I do love the heck out of it and I’ve worn it a lot, so it got me thinking…How about making the peacoat the next Wardrobe Workhorse?!

I put a lot of thought into making this relatively pricey purchase. I managed to get it on sale, but it was still $200+. Gasp! I know. But honestly I have never once regretted this purchase. I’m more likely to regret spending $50 on a sweater I wear once before it starts pilling. I’ve already gotten my money’s worth. Here are just a few times I’ve worn it already, and there are sure to be many more over the years.

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A few things you might be wondering…

  • Is it warm? YES. It’s made of wool and is fully lined; nice and thick without being bulky.
  • How’s the fit? While I’m short enough (5’3″) to fall under the “petite” category, I went with the regular fit just because I didn’t want to have exposed wrists. I got this coat to help me survive Indiana winters. Not just to look cute. As for number size, I’ve found J. Crew often run small, and I normally wear a 0 in their tops. However, I went with a 2 in this coat to make sure there was room for a sweater underneath. (I did try on the 0 but it felt just a tad too tight for optimal comfort.)
  • How’s the quality? Excellent! I’m sure you can find a similar looking coat for less, but when you see this baby up close and personal, I think the details make it worth the extra cost. It never looks wrinkled or rumpled; I’ve worn it a couple dozen times and the fabric looks the same as it did on day 1. Not to mention the buttons are adorable and luxe looking.
  • What color do you recommend? I went with a neutral, classic color just because I didn’t have one already and I wanted to make sure I would get plenty of use out of it. The exact color I’m wearing isn’t available this year, but there are new great colors each year. You really can’t go wrong.

If I’ve convinced you to get your own J. Crew Majesty Peacoat, you can find all your options here! Some colors are on sale, and be sure to check for additional deals going on (right now (as of 12/12/13) you can get 30% off and free shipping with the code GIFTNOW).

Finals Week Blues

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After spending three solid days inside studying, I finally ventured out on Monday to “study abroad” (a.k.a. at Starbucks) and to take my car in for a tune up. Because if there’s any day my car would decide to die or get a flat tire, it would be on my way to an exam. That’s how the world works.

Anyway, after I got dressed I remembered that usually when I go a mechanic, I like to wear something that says “don’t take advantage of me just because I’m a girl.” Normally that just means I wear a law school t-shirt (the subliminal message is “I’m smart and I’ll sue your ass”). But since I was already dressed, I decided to just add these badass studded boots. Because everyone knows mechanics pay a lot of attention to women’s shoes.

similar Sweatshirt // Chambray (on clearance in petite) // similar Boots // other similar Boots // Watch* (on sale) // similar Necklace

*Watch provided courtesy of Timex.

Get Under My Tree

Remember when you were a kid and people would ask: “What did you ask Santa for this year?” Have you noticed that people stop asking you that once you’re an adult? I know, I know, it’s better to give than to receive. No argument there. But why is it cute when kids tell everyone the presents they want, and it’s greedy for a grownup to do the same?

 

I’ve seen a lot of “gift guides” around the style blogosphere recently, but very few wishlists. I don’t think it should be taboo to tell people what’s on your Christmas list! I mean if we were all 9 years old, hanging out on the playground, we would be comparing notes – “Which American Girl doll do you want?” “Well I already have Felicity, but I want her canopy bed.” If anything, we’re more mature now and better equipped to handle jealousy, right?

 

So with that speech out of the way, here are a few things I would be excited to unwrap in a couple weeks! More importantly:¬†What did you ask Santa for this year, little girl? ūüėČ

 

Christmas List

 Shop here: 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8

Look Smart

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Greetings from Sarah’s couch. Sarah is deep into studying for finals. Her brain can only handle very short sentences. And apparently she’s speaking in third person now.

Anyway…this is what I wore last Thursday, which was the last day of class for the semester. Why so fancy, you ask? I had to give a presentation, and I always think if you look smart, you sound smart. But I also had to wear this outfit for 10 hours, so that’s why I went for a top that feels like a sweatshirt, a stretchy pencil skirt, and low wedges. See – I’m all kinds of smart. Now I just need to channel that smartness into the 4 exams I have to take between now and the 18th! Wish me luck!

similar Top // another similar Top (on sale) // similar Skirt // Shoes¬†(on sale) // similar Coat* (on sale under $65) // Belt // Lips¬†“Plushest Punch”

More ways to wear: It’s the Real Life Remix…

lastdayremix

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

Playing with Makeup


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Studio Gear sent me their new Holiday Smokey Eye Palette last week, so I decided to try my hand at a makeup post! In general, I feel like I’m pretty good at doing my makeup, but I also don’t switch it up very much. Like generally my idea of “special occasion” makeup is just normal makeup plus mascara on the bottom lashes. I’ve tried doing a smokey eye before, and I usually just ended up looking like a raccoon.

But the Studio Gear Holiday Smokey Eye Palette comes with step-by-step instructions so I figured why not give it another go? In the grand tradition of Sarah’s Real Life, I took photos in my bathroom, where my cat joined me halfway through the process. I didn’t use any of the fancy tools specified in the instructions; I just used the brushes I already had. I also didn’t practice beforehand, so this should actually give you a realistic idea of how your own attempt might turn out (i.e. nothing like the illustration shows but still fine).

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The instructions give you options for a dramatic look and a more subtle look. I went all out dramatic with the dark charcoal color. Look out, world! After applying the light, pearly color all over, then the dark gray color on the lid, the instructions said to use an angle brush to create a V shape with the dark gray. I wasn’t really sure what that meant, but I decided it meant something like the middle photo above. In hindsight, I think maybe I was supposed to use it all the way down the lashline and down the whole crease. Oh well. Next time.

The real challenge was trying to blend the “V” so it didn’t look like I was just a crazy person who didn’t know how to put on eyeliner. Studio Gear suggests using their special blending brush, which I don’t have, but maybe I should look into it. (Does anyone know what that is? Do you have one? And is it worth it?)

Then the pearly color goes in the corner of the eye and under the lower lashline. I did this, but I couldn’t really tell the difference. Once again this could be because of the brush I used. Or because I didn’t use primer. In other words I don’t follow directions well so I really shouldn’t complain when my results aren’t perfect.

Finally, there’s a pretty gold shimmery color that goes under the brow bone. That was my favorite part. I love a good brow bone highlight, and the gold is a festive touch.

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This also happened. I think she heard me say “cat eye” and thought I needed her help. Very helpful, Coco. Thanks.

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The Holiday palette includes a nice blush, and I also added my own mascara. Like I said before, this is normally the only thing I do to make my eye makeup fancy. I use the Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara because one time I needed to spend another $10  to get the free gift and this mascara was exactly $10.

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So there you have it! My “smokey” eye is the one on the left above. It really doesn’t look that smokey, does it? But hey, I played it safe, and at least I don’t look like a raccoon. It’s a nice change from the ordinary, and hopefully I’ll get better with practice. If I have any smokey eye pros out there, TELL ME YOUR SECRETS.

On the other eye, I used two of the colors in the Holiday palette to make a more typical (for me) look. I used the light, pearly color from lash line up to the brow bone, then used the pretty, light gray color on the outside half of the lid. Maybe I’m just boring, but I think I like the toned down version better!

*Thank you to Studio Gear for providing me with the Holiday Smokey Eye Palette for my review. All opinions are my own. Studio Gear is also offering a 10% discount on any order from their website! Just use the code SGHOLIDAY.

Flashback Friday: TOPIO (the Whole Damn Thing)

Happy Friday, everyone! If you followed my blog last month, you know all about the Take One, Pass It On challenge. Every day in November (that I got dressed), I rewore one thing from the day before. Even if you followed along, it’s been awhile since Nov. 1. Let’s take a walk down outfit memory lane, and see all 20 outfits side by side!

If you’re a skeptic who thinks “I can’t wear the same thing 2 days in a row – what will people think?!” The answer is probably: They won’t think anything because they won’t notice. I bet as you look over all these outfits, you’ll find very few of the “repeats” jump out at you.

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See? That’s what makes this little experiment so fun. It gives you the motivation to wear things in new ways. But don’t just take my word for it (because I’m biased)…Check out AJ’s TOPIO roundup and see what she has to say (and honestly she says it better than I ever have).

Even though the “official” challenge is over, I still encourage you to try the Take One challenge in your real life. And then be sure to tell me how much you love it and what a genius I am. And if you already think I’m a genius, I would love it if you would pin the photo above to spread the word about my blog!

One last huge THANK YOU to all the other bloggers who did the challenge in November! You can see their links in the weekly roundups here: Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4.

Have a good weekend!

Mad for Plaid

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I have had mad plaid on the brain lately, you guys. One night I literally dreamt about it. Granted, it was the night after I had a muscle spasm and I was hopped up on pain killers, but still…I swear I was thinking about plaid before then.

I got it in my head at the beginning of the season that I wanted to find the perfect Christmassy green plaid flannel shirt. Ideally, I wanted the something similar to the green plaid skirt I wore earlier this week. I thought it would be easy to find, but it wasn’t. Unlike my usual shopping strategy of “THIS IS PRETTY I WILL BUY THIS NOW,” I actually did a lot of research and comparison of all my options. I’m glad I finally settled on this one, because I LOVE it. It’s thick and sturdy-feeling, but not stiff. And it’s definitely the most unique plaid I saw – I like how the vertical sections are faded and the horizontal ones aren’t.

Plus, I feel like a Christmas present in it. So don’t be surprised if you see it a couple more times this month.

Shirt¬†(on sale) // similar Vest // similar Necklace (25% off w/ code STYLE25) // Bracelet* (30% off w/ code MOREMOREMORE) // similar Shoes // similar Bag (rich people version) // Lips¬†“Orange de Chine”

*Bracelet provided courtesy of Asos.

Linked up with Spotlight of the Week!

Magnolia Boutique Giveaway [Giveaway closed!]

Magnolia Boutique
That’s right, I have a new giveaway for you today! But I also have an outfit to show off first. So do me a solid and at least¬†pretend¬†you care about what I’m wearing below before you scroll down to the entry rules.
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How cute is this sweater?! It’s like a Christmas sweater with some Aztec flair. It came to me thanks to Magnolia Boutique, a relatively new online-only shop based out of the Indianapolis area. (Circle City – represent!) They offered to give away a $25 gift card to one lucky Sarah’s Real Life reader. So check out the entry rules below, and maybe you’ll get to buy yourself or someone else something special for the holidays! If I were you, I’d be going for that mint green chevron watch (with the gift card, you would only have to pay $4!) but that’s just one mint-obsessed girl’s opinion.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

How to Enter:

  • Leave a comment on this post telling me what you would order from Magnolia Boutique if you won!¬†That’s all you have to do!
  • Bonus entry: Follow me on Pinterest (and tell me in your comment if you did so).
  • Another bonus entry: Follow me on Instagram¬†(and tell me in your comment if you did so).

Please note this giveaway is open to residents of the U.S. and Canada only. Giveaway closes at midnight (EST) on Dec. 15, 2013.

Congrats to the giveaway winner, Laurie Kay!

*Sweater provided courtesy of Magnolia Boutique; necklace purchased with gift card provided courtesy of Asos.

Cher Repurposed

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When I spent $30 on this skirt for my Halloween costume (Cher from Clueless), I swore to myself I would wear the skirt again and make it worth the money. Let me tell you…it is tricky trying to wear a plaid skirt without looking like you’re in a school uniform. Or in the cast of Clueless for that matter.

After a lot of soul closet searching, ruling out anything involving button up shirts, cardigans, and blazers, I finally settled on this animal print sweater and fringed ankle boots. Those are two things you wouldn’t find in a school uniform. Unless maybe I opened my own school – in which case the dress code would be to look awesome every day. Any kid who came in wearing Uggs would get called to the principal’s office and would have to write an essay on the most recent issue of Vogue.

similar Skirt (on sale) // another similar Skirt (on sale) // similar Sweater // similar Necklace // similar Boots* (on sale)

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