First in Flight

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I think I made it pretty clear to everyone that I was at the beach last week (in this post and this one and in a lot of Instagrams), but I don’t know if I made it clear which beach. We were at Nags Head in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. I grew up in North Carolina, so to me, “beach” can only mean the Outer Banks. I’ve heard Florida also has a few beaches, but I see no need to check.

Nags Head is just down the road from the spot where the Wright brothers took their first successful airplane flights in 1903. There’s a memorial and visitor center there now, so we stopped to check it out before heading to the airport for our flight home. When you’re about to get on a plane in a few hours, what better time to see where it all started, right?

So this outfit was my nerdy tourist/goodbye beach/travel look.

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Do you see that? It’s aviation…reflected in my aviator sunglasses. Is your mind blown? Because it should be.

Top // Jeans (on sale) // Watch* // Sunglasses // Shoes* // Nails // Lips

*Watch provided courtesy of Dainty Wrist Jewelry; shoes purchased with gift card provided courtesy of Shopbop.

A Walk to the Pier

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My vacation is coming to a close, but I’m not ready to accept it yet. So instead let’s admire these photos from earlier in the week when we took a walk down the beach to the pier. Naturally, once we got there, we sang the Dawson’s Creek theme song. Not exactly the same pier, but close enough.

A couple days before we left for vacation, I realized I didn’t really have a cute coverup, so I went to Target to grab one. There aren’t a lot of options left at the end of August, but I found this maxi dress on the clearance rack. I didn’t even try it on. I was very pleasantly surprised to find that it fit like a glove. I wore it for several hours on the beach, went inside to shower, and put it back on for dinner. Don’t be surprised if you see me wearing it again before summer is out!

Dress // similar Hat // Sunglasses (under $15)

Beachwear. Obviously.

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Does anyone know where the beach is? Oh, I think it’s this way…

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VACATION. I’M ON IT. When I went to the beach house kitchen to get my coffee in this outfit, my aunt complimented me on my cute pajamas. I guess these do look like pajamas, but when you’re at the beach, this is an outfit. It’s been pretty windy and not super hot, but that’s a good excuse to forgo the bikini and just take a long walk on the beach in comfy clothes.

Pardon my brevity on this post, but I have wine to drink and naps to take.

Top (on sale) // similar Pants (under $30) // Sunglasses (under $15) // Ring* // Nails

*Ring purchased with gift card provided courtesy of Shopbop.

Paris, Je T’aime

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I’m usually a pretty down-to-earth, realistic person who doesn’t spend a lot of time fantasizing about things that are out of reach. I even have a style blog called “Sarah’s Real Life.” Maybe you’ve heard of it.

But there’s at least one big exception to my rule. And that’s my obsession with Paris. Where I have never been. And have no definite plans to go. Still, on a pretty regular basis, I like to think about how awesome my trip will be when I go one day. Coffee and croissants at sidewalk cafés. Wine. Art museums. Macarons. Wine. Eiffel tower. Shopping. Wine. Dancing along the the Seine with Gene Kelly. OK, maybe that last one won’t ever happen but it still pops up in my daydreams from time to time.

Sigh.

For now, I fill the Parisian void in my life with books. I like reading them now and heading off to fantasy land, but I also like to think some of them will actually serve me well when I finally make the trip (no really – it will happen one day).

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Parisian Chic: A Style Guide by Ines de la Fressange: Parisian style really has that je ne sais quoi, right? Why do Parisian chicks look so much better than everyone else in the simplest things? This book gave me at least a little bit of an idea why. The style tips are actually pretty accessible and easy to put into action. The author names some simple, essential pieces to have in your wardrobe, but I’m more of a fan of her ideas on how to pair unexpected pieces together. I’ve definitely put her advice into action! This book also has some advice on home decor and on places to visit in Paris. I’ll have to reread the latter section again sometime 🙂

Paris Was Ours by Penelope Rowlands: This one looks like a novel but it’s actually a collection of 32 essays by different authors. ALL. ABOUT. PARIS. Francophiles rejoice! Some are happy, some are sad, some are romantic. And the best part (especially for people like me who have a short attention span when it comes to reading): you can put it down and pick it back up a week, month, or year later without missing anything.

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Parisienne French: Chic Phrases, Slang & Style by Rhianna Jones*: This little phrasebook just came out this week! I took 4 years of French in high school and 3 or 4 semesters in college, but I was never fluent by any means. I will definitely need a little refresher before I go to the city of lights. In the meantime, I can use this to sprinkle some Français into my everyday. Let me just tell you: this is not your usual phrasebook. If you don’t know any French and you’re actually hoping to learn some, this might not be the place to start. But if you need a refresher and you want to learn to say really funny (and sometimes raunchy) stuff, this will serve you well. Some things this book will teach you to say in French: badass, asshole, after-party, “she’s PMSing,” “it’s a hot mess,” and “you must be tired because you’ve been running through my head all day.” And those are just some of the more tame examples (there’s a section for bedroom talk – oh la lah!). It also tells you a bunch of text abbreviations – you know, like the French equivalents to “lol” and “omfg.” Along the way, the book has descriptions of museums, night clubs, shops, etc. All in all, very entertaining and even a little useful.

Any other recommendations on books to add to my Paris collection? Let me know in the comments!

Oh, and while we’re on the subject of Paris, don’t forget that the Isabel Marant collection for H&M comes out tomorrow, 11/14! It will be available in stores and online. The black striped background you see in the above photo is a scarf from the collection (provided courtesy of H&M).

*Parisienne French was provided courtesy of the publisher for my review. All opinions are my own.

NYC Day 3

Today I have photos for you from the third and last day of my NYC vacation. That last day was also the busiest. By the end (actually by the afternoon) my feet looked like a pregnant lady’s they were so swollen. Now that I’ve recovered, I can say it was worth it. So here are all the fun places where my tired little tootsies took me:

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Fun #1: The High Line, a park that was built on an old railroad. It’s so much cooler than it sounds, I swear! I can safely say I’ve never been to a park quite like it. It’s not the kind of park where you go to play frisbee with your dog. It’s more of a walking and sightseeing park. It runs above the streets on the west side of Manhattan from 34th Street down to Gansevoort. I definitely recommend checking this place out – it’s still in progress so there will be even more of it in another couple years.

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View of the city from along the High Line.

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Just chillin’ with one of the sculptures in the park.

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Fun #2: Shopping! We walked to the southern end of the High Line, which dropped us in the meatpacking district. And wouldn’t you know it? That’s where the Kate Spade Saturday pop up shop is! I had only checked out the Saturday collection online, and I was nervous about ordering without trying things on or seeing the quality in person. Kate did not disappoint! I grabbed 2 tops and a necklace for pretty reasonable prices. You’ll see them on the blog soon 🙂

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Fun #3: Walking across the Brooklyn Bridge. This was one major tourist attraction that I had never visited. Now I can check it off my NYC to-do list! We (accidentally) rode the subway to Brooklyn, so we had the best view for the walk. The main thing I learned on my walk? People do not pay attention to the very clear markings that show you where to walk. 

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Fun #4: Nerd alert! After getting off the bridge in Manhattan, we were really close to the building that houses the New York Landmarks Preservation Commission. I spent many many hours researching them for my law review paper last year, so it only seemed appropriate to snap a photo outside the building. Nerd alert over.

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Last but definitely not least…Fun #5: The Bite Lip Lab, where I created my own custom lipstick!  I read about this place on another blog, and I knew I wanted to squeeze in a stop on my trip. The lab is in Soho, and it’s a tiny but really cool-looking (and colorful) shop. It sounds expensive, but it actually cost about the same price as your typical off-the-shelf lipstick from a brand like YSL.

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First I told them what kind of shade I wanted (coral but not too peachy), and they mixed up some colors for me to try on.

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I also got to pick from 5 scents – I went with violet, but there were some minty and fruity ones too.

bite lip lab nyc, custom lipstick

Then they mixed up my color, melted it down, and poured it into a mold that sat on a cold surface for a few minutes until it hardened. It was actually really quick! I love how it turned out. I’m wearing my custom color in this post.

Ta da! Told you it was a busy day. I’m glad to be back home and getting into the groove of school, but I’ll be ready to go back to the Big Apple before too long. Thanks to all my friends who made my trip memorable!

Shirt (on sale) // similar Skirt // similar Scarf // similar Sunglasses // Bag

Field Trip

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Yesterday, I went on a field trip with my intellectual property law class to an apple orchard. That’s right, law school is even more fun than you already thought it was. There are field trips! A small but fun group of us hung out with animals at the petting zoo, learned about honey bees, and sampled lots of apple deliciousness. We also got very excited talking about trademarks and cease and desist letters. What can I say…law students know how to have a good time.

And now for some gratuitous animal photos:

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Up close and personal with a donkey

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We called all the miniature horses Lil Sebastian (if you watch “Parks and Rec,” you know what I’m talking about)

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Of course I was excited to see this kitten, as if I can’t see a cat at home every day. But this one was so adorable, making friends with the other animals! 

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Meanwhile, this big guy’s hanging out all like, “If you want to see a real horse, I’ll be over here.”

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We took a “hayride” but there was no hay, so I guess it was just a tractor ride. Whatever, hayride sounds better. Anyway, we got a tour of the orchards as the sun was setting. ‘Twas lovely.

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We sampled lots of hard ciders and ate apple dumplings with cinnamon ice cream (no picture of the dessert because I ate it…yum).

McClure’s Orchard is on Highway 31 just north of Peru, Indiana (about an hour and a half drive from Indianapolis). For more info, see their website.

I hope everyone had a great weekend – anyone else go somewhere cool? Eat or drink anything special? Send any cease and desist letters?

My (Vacation) Week in Over-Processed Photos

I have lots of fun photos this week from vacation! Today I’m headed back to reality (a.k.a. Indianapolis). Let’s reminisce, shall we?

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A mosaic at the Orlando airport; Double Rainbow! (which appeared in my honor, of course); Learning the local laws; A fountain dyed pink for breast cancer awareness

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Lots of Spanish moss – so pretty!

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Kristin’s grandpa setting up a game of pool; Golf carts parked along the street (that’s how the old folks roll in the Villages, FL); Shopping for bamboo jewelry; Kristin and her grandma playing pickle ball

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Cinderella’s castle at the Magic Kingdom

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Metal palm trees in Tomorrowland

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Beginning of the polo match; Me stomping the divots (like in Pretty Woman!); Sipping my vodka cran, watching the game; A beautiful day for watching polo (or anything outside)

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A teeny tiny adorable little frog I found! I love the Florida wildlife.

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New Kid on the Block

Well, folks, it happened. At the ripe old age of 27, I finally lost my Disney World virginity. Yesterday Kristin’s grandparents took us to the Magic Kingdom and we were there for over 12 hours. I was definitely tired and a little grumpy by the end, but I guess it’s good I got as much out of the day as possible in case it’s another 27 years until I go again. Here are some of my favorite photos from the big day.

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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.

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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

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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

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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:

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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.

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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