Flashback [to the beach] Friday

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OK, I promise this is the last vacation-related post for a while. But after complaining yesterday about how hard it is getting dressed for the real world, I felt like I should wrap up the week with one last glorious beach “outfit.”

I got these shorts just for the trip because I didn’t have any beach-appropriate shorts. I pretty much wore this all day, indoors and out. I know I don’t really have much to camouflage body-wise, but it’s just nice to not feel like I’m walking around naked while hanging out with my whole family. Plus I pretty much ate and drank whatever I wanted all of vacation, and these shorts were perfectly positioned so that I could remain blissfully unaware of any bloating or food babies. I know you know what I’m talking about.

Also, if you want a good giggle, take a look at the random patches of sunburn on the back of my right arm, top of my right thigh, and both ankles. It does not matter how hard I try to put sunscreen on every inch of my body every hour…it is physically impossible for me not to get sunburned. #palepeopleproblems

similar Hat* // Shorts (on sale) // similar Bikini* (under $10) // Sunglasses (under $20)

*Hat and bikini provided courtesy of H&M.

My Kind of Outdoorsy

Guess what? I’m on my way to the beach today! No, I’m not trying to rub it in your face. At least not in this post. Later in the week and on Instagram I totally will rub it in your face, though. Today I’m actually looking ahead to the one thing that will make me happy to come home from the beach: WARMfest! Indiana is very into festivals. Popcorn festivals. Covered bridge festivals. We’ll festivate anything. I’m usually more of an art and wine festival kind of girl, but last year WARMfest opened my eyes to the world of outdoor music festivals. It was so much fun, and I can’t wait to go again. Naturally, I’m already thinking about what to wear. When you’re going to be outside in the summer for an extended period of time you have to be strategic, and I think I’ve figured out the recipe for the ultimate festival outfit…

Summer Festival Style

1. Maxi dress. It’s less binding than jean shorts. Breezy, breathable, comfortable. And maxi is better than mini, because if you’re going to spend any time sitting on a blanket, you don’t want to worry about who’s seeing your business. A tank top and maxi skirt works too.

Dresses: Soft JoieSplendidBB Dakota

2. Straw hat. Style and function! Don’t be the girl with the sunburn along her hairline (not that I would know anything about that). Straw is a good option (as opposed to a baseball cap, for example) because it still lets in a little airflow.

Hats: Eugenia KimBop Basics (#2 & #3)

3. Delicate jewelry. I don’t know about you, but I feel naked without accessories. And public nudity is generally frowned upon. So being out in the heat is no excuse not to add some jewelry – it’s just not the best environment for heavy, chunky stuff.

Necklaces: House of Harlow 1960Jules Smith (#2 & #3)

4. Flat sandals. If you do a Google image search for “Coachella fashion,” you’ll see a lot of girls in chunky boots. I don’t know if that’s badass, or just idiotic. Don’t be a hero. Wear comfortable, non-sweat-inducing shoes at an outdoor festival.

Sandals: Laidback LondonSoludosIpanema

Other necessities include sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hands-free bag.

WARMfest details for my fellow Hoosiers: In case I didn’t make it clear, WARMfest is awesome. This year it runs from Friday, Aug. 29 through Monday, Sept. 1, in Broad Ripple Park. A basic weekend pass is $75, or you can get individual day tickets for $10-35 depending on the day (buy tickets here). You can find the whole band lineup here, but it doesn’t even matter if you’ve never heard of any of the bands. Last year there was only 1 that I knew, and it was still fun. Plus, the food truck situation is on point. Come hungry!

Disclosure: All of the products included above are from Shopbop. Shopbop did not specifically sponsor or pay me for this post, but I do have a partnership with Shopbop. In addition, WARMfest is providing me with media passes in exchange for coverage of the event (but I would have been going anyway!)


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Remember WARMfest? If you don’t, review yesterday’s post. Well, we had so much fun on Sunday that we went back for more on Monday, the last day of the festival. This time we went in the evening through (almost) the end of the night.

There’s nothing terribly special about this outfit. Honestly, I was mostly going for comfort. This isn’t Coachella, so I didn’t wear $150 jean shorts from Free People that look like they’re from the thrift store or wear a flower crown. Nor did I show 6 inches of midriff. Because I’m not 17. We’re a little more down to earth in Indiana. Maybe that’s why I subconsciously picked earthy colors to wear.

Anyway, on to the music! My favorites bands on Monday evening were the Whipstitch Sallies (Americana/bluegrass) and Said the Whale (indie rock). Rounding out the night (and the whole festival) were Michael Franti & Spearhead. You know how sometimes there’s a band that you wouldn’t necessarily listen to on your iPod or in your car, but you still really enjoy seeing them live? This was one of those bands. They were just so energetic and put on a really good show. It had a lot to do with Michael Franti constantly telling the crowd to put their hands in the air or jump up and down. Which is super helpful because sometimes you just need instructions to jump, you know?

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Not to get all sappy on you, but Labor Day is considered the unofficial end of summer, and I can’t think of a better way I could have ended it! Thanks again, WARMfest.

Shirt // similar Pants // Bag // Sunglasses // Necklace* // Shoes*

It’s the Remix…


*Necklace provided courtesy of Flourish Boutique; shoes purchased with gift card provided courtesy of H&M.

Summer Fun

cookout1 cookout2

Is summer not the best, you guys? After a hard but productive school year, I am totally taking advantage of every opportunity for fun and relaxation. It’s actually probably a good thing that summer is only a few months out of the year because I would be exhausted from all the sun and guacamole and booze.

cookout4 cookout5

Yesterday we had a cookout with some friends. It was the perfect activity for a Saturday evening and – more importantly – the perfect occasion to wear these new shorts my mom got me (thanks Mom).


As usual, our friends’ 4-year-old was the master of ceremonies, giving very detailed instructions for the direction bubbles should be blown and what we should draw with sidewalk chalk (I drew a pink sandwich and a rainbow car).


Said 4-year-old actually took this picture of me and Kristin. Not bad, right?


She also wanted to join in the outfit photos. Keep an eye out for Gabby’s Real Life blog in 2033.


Jacket // Shorts // similar Shirt // Nails

Risky Business





20120731-203835.jpgSome people climb Mount Everest. Some people gamble their life savings. Some people eat that poisonous puffer fish thing. When I want to feel that rush that only comes from taking a big risk…I order something online – that’s on FINAL. SALE.

Whoa. Take a breather. I know; it’s pretty crazy. It was just a belt this time, but next time, who knows? Maybe I’ll order PANTS on final sale. Just kidding…that’s insane.

Well, I got super lucky with this final sale belt, because I love it even more in person than I did online, and it fits perfectly. Since I wore it over this kind of thick-waisted skirt, it was actually a liiiiittle snug, so I’m not sure if I will wear them together again. But it sure did look cute while it lasted.

Are you entertained by my hilarious musings and adorable outfits (and my modesty)? Please leave me some love in the comments, and follow Sarah’s Real Life on Bloglovin’ or by entering your email below.


Come Live in My Closet

Late Summer Wish List

Since I’m still not in tip-top shape and haven’t ventured out in the world, I can only sit at home popping pain-killers and having dreams about shopping. With a lack of real outfit photos to show you, I thought I would share this visual interpretation of my half-lucid thoughts. While most fashion magazines are already showing us what’s on tap for fall, the reality is that we are still deep in the heart of summer here in Indianapolis and most of the U.S. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t really feel like trying on turtlenecks when it’s over 90 degrees out. These are just a few things that I wouldn’t mind getting sometime this summer and then transitioning into the fall.

What’s on your shopping wish list these days?

Maxed Out





Right now I am living vicariously through these photos of myself from last Thursday. Look at that unpuffy face that can actually make expressions besides ones of sadness and pain! And, more importantly, look at me all bathed and wearing real clothes. Ah, those were the days. I don’t know how much longer I’ll be stuck on the couch recovering from my wisdom tooth extraction, but you better believe that my first day back in the world will involve a celebratory outfit.

In the meantime, I’ll just try to fool myself into thinking I’m on “vacation.”

Seasons of Love


OK, get ready for a story so cute you might cry and gag simultaneously. It’s like a Nicholas Sparks book minus the tragedy.

My friends Bob and Lydia celebrated their 10-year wedding anniversary this past weekend, and Bob decided  to surprise Lydia with a ceremony to renew their vows on Saturday. Of course, he needed the help of some of his amazingly awesome friends (like me). I volunteered to make a bouquet and programs.



B & L had wanted to go to Hawaii for their anniversary, but because of extenuating circumstances – like Lydia’s getting pregnant with their second kiddo – the trip didn’t work out. So instead we brought Hawaii to a park in Indiana.

After the bride arrived looking incredibly confused, she was ambushed with a white dress, sandals, and the bouquet (which was really beautiful and nicely arranged, don’t you think?). Then she walked onto the little pile of sand to the tune of a ukulele. The ceremony was modeled on a traditional Hawaiian wedding, so they exchanged leis and then said their vows (which involved a sing-along, although that part’s not traditional).


Then they each took sand from under the other’s feet and put them together in an authentic coconut shell from a party supply store (hey, we had to work with what was available).



The whole thing was pretty damn adorable. Here’s the happy couple. Can you believe they’ve been together 10 years? They obviously got married when they were 13. OK, now I’m just sucking up. And can I just point out that bouquet again? It’s so lovely I just can’t get over it.


But let’s not forget what’s really important: what I was wearing. Keep in mind that these photos were taken at the end of the day. It was literally 100 degrees in the shade, and the after party was at a pool so I was a hot mess. That’s why I conveniently didn’t include photos of my head.




Skirt: Everly / Nail polish: Essie Bikini So Teeny

Saturday Night Sequins


Do you ever find yourself thinking, “What should I wear for an evening out at a VIP cabana at a lake-side Italian restaurant with a wading pool?” Of course you don’t, because who does that? Well, this weekend, did. It was quite the sartorial conundrum, but I think I pulled it off.





The sequins say “I’m here to party,” but the linen shorts say “I’m laid back” and also “it’s freakin’ hot outside.”


Me and my stylish ladies, living the VIP life for a night.


Delicious bruschetta and some of the many drinks ordered Saturday night 🙂

Top: August Silk / Shorts: Madewell / Shoes: Steve Madden / Bangles: Nordstrom / Clutch: Lulu






Last week I happened upon a blog post by Style Sprite where she wore a cute and funky floral peplum skirt. Then I remembered this peplum-ish top that I hadn’t worn in probably almost a year.

Well, when I decided to redo my handy dandy outfit inspiration cards (scroll down or click here for yesterday’s post), that top was one of the first on my list to wear.

I love the structure of this top, and I decided to accentuate the positive (anyone else singing now?) even more with the belt. Since the dark plum color is more fall-ish, I kept everything else light so that no one gets confused on what season it is – obviously a legitimate concern when it’s 85 degrees outside.

Top: Ann Taylor / Pants: Express / Belt: Target / Shoes: Payless / Bracelet: American Eagle / Necklace: really old and probably from Wet Seal or somewhere like that