Easy DIY Gift Baskets

Whether you’re trying to make a custom, one-of-a-kind gift basket for a friend’s birthday, need a last-minute house-warming present for a loved one, a token of appreciation when meeting your significant other’s family for the first time, or simply a just-because gift, these gift baskets will become your go-to idea! …

‘Tis the Season… For Getting Real

Hello my darlings.

Long time no blog seems cliche, but I can’t think of a better term to chalk my blogging absence up to. It’s been an exciting year, and now that my shoulders are sitting a little lower and my breathing has slowed, it seemed appropriate to give this site a good refresh. But what would I write about?

I graduated last December. It was a surreal moment. My boyfriend at the time was off doing who knows what in Australia, and my parents flew in when I was flying around like a chicken with its head cut off. Between working nearly full time and finishing up capstone courses, I’m surprised I had the energy and mental stability to throw on a dress and walk across that stage to receive that hard-earned piece of paper.Read more

DIY Halloween Costume Ideas

What costume will you wear for Halloween?

Halloween is fast-approaching, and time is running out to figure out what ghoulish goblin or pretty princess you’ll trek out into the night as on October 31st. At this point, you’ve got 11 days to shop-and-ship, and let’s be honest: are you really going to trust the expedited shipping to get your costume to your home in time? Not to mention–will it fit?

Read more

Odds and Ends

Decorating a 20-something single apartment with used furniture and a tight budget.

Let it be known, folks: I hate change. I loathe it. Fatigue and fear both hit me equally when I think about the process of moving all my belongings down 3 flights of stairs and back up three more flights of different stairs in a new area.

But, two other feelings overwhelm me more than the former: excitement and creativity. Not only is this the first time I will get to live in my very own, but it’s a blank canvas to express myself through interior design.

Since this realization, my Pinterest board dedicated to apartment inspiration has been going CRAZY. But now, about four months to move-out date, I’ve started to slowly collect some essential items for the new apartment-to-be.

Standing floor mirror – $10 on an online garage sale.

standing mirror inexpensive on a budget

 

and, my latest thrifty find might quite possibly be my favorite:

Queen Size Brass Bed Frame, $75 online garage sale

brass bed frame antique queen size on a budget inexpensive

Quite a beauty, eh? I also snagged a comfy-as-heck queen-size ALL-WOOD futon for $150 at an actual garage sale. Not to shabby, I’d say. I’m at $235 for the furniture, and all I really “need” is a spine-worthy mattress.

With that in mind, I’m opening the floor to y’all! What items or must-haves did you wish others would have told you to buy when moving into your own place? What’s something you would not have survived living alone without? Can’t wait to hear your suggestions!

Happy Valentine’s Day, Crafters!

To all my crafty, DIY-loving friends out there: I hope you have a wonderful Valentine’s Day, and a craft-filled weekend!

I know what I’ll be working on this weekend…

Valentine's Day Hot Pink Puff Stitch Cowl Craft DIY Heart
Making more of these “puff stitch” cowl beauties!
Crochet Headband Easy DIY Project Flower Bow
… and making more of these headbands in other colors!

 

 

Valentine’s Day: What to Wear in Cold Weather

Well, just when I thought I could start putting away the mittens and bringing out the fabric scarves for Spring, Texas went and changed it up on me… again.

Thank goodness the weather isn’t as bad as #icemageddon we had back in December.

Now, I don’t have any fancy-shmancy plans like most lovebirds this Valentine’s Day, but one of the girliest things my blog followers will learn about me in due time is that I love dressing up for holidays. Yep, I had an outfit planned for next Friday. Judge me.

But, with the weather, it looks like my sheer top and fabric-pink scarf will have to take the bench while I scour my winter essentials for a suitable outfit for the pink-and-red holiday.

What can look cute, girly, and a touch of sexy without compromising warmth? Here are the essentials I came up with:

Tights

Polka dot ones if we’re getting specific. But really, any tights can dress up an outfit this Valentine’s Day while simultaneously keeping your legs warm!

Polka Dot Tights from Nordstrom

These beauties are available from Nordstrom at only $11!

The next must-have is LAYERS. Layers is the best way to keep your “little black dress” incorporated into your Valentine’s Date outfit without having to compromise warmth for fashion. So, with your black dress under, the next cold-weather Valentine essential is:

A Red Coat

Red Coats for Valentine's Day

From Left to Right: Betsey Johnson Wool-Blend Bell-Sleeve Cape from Macy’s, $110; Wool-Blend Pea Coat from JcPenney’s, $60; Calvin Klein Belted Hooded Buckled Wool-Blend Coat from Macy’s, $113.

The best part about your red coat is that with different lengths, design, and accents, you can transform your look from business attire to dinner date in no-time.

Lastly, give your outfit a little extra “something” with a unique accessory, geared toward the romantic holiday:

Accessorize with Hearts

Warm Accessories for Valentine's Day

#1 – Cashmere Heart Scarf in Black or Red from Burberry, $225
#2 – Red and White Heart Infinity Scarf on Etsy, $18.10
#3 – Black and White Heart Infinity Scarf on Etsy, $20.50
#4 – Heart Knitted Headband on Etsy, $28
#5 – Crochet Pattern for Heart Headband on Etsy, $4.90
#6 – Crochet Heart Headband Ear Warmer on Etsy, $20
#7 – Fingerless Hand Knit Heart Gloves from South Moon Under, $28
#8 – Betsey Johnson Beading Heart Mittens from Zappos, $22
#9 – Heart Pattern Fluff Woolen Touch Gloves from Mini in the Box, $8

So, there you have it. A chic, fashionable outfit for Valentine’s Day, without having to freeze your buns off for the sake of the holiday. Hopefully this helps spark some ideas from your wardrobe!

What “must-have” items will be in your Valentine’s outfit this year?

Personal Stylist? You Know It! (My First Stitch Fix)

** Disclaimer: A Dash of Sarah was NOT compensated in any way, shape, or form for this blog post and review. All thoughts, suggestions, and opinions are of my own. **

 

In case you don’t know me in-person, or haven’t seen the eruption of various fabrics in my room, here’s something I should be upfront about: I love clothes.

Seriously, if you don’t believe me, go check out my Pinterest board, where I have 142 (and growing) pins on my fashion faves.

But, here’s the problem. I can “pin” and “heart” to my heart’s content. But, when it comes to actually going out to the store and recreating the thousands of pins I just scrolled through, my mind runs blank. I don’t know if it’s the overwhelming amount of clothes on the racks, the people in a rush to get their shopping done, or the fact that I never like the lighting in a dressing room, but I can never find a true “winner.”

And so, with that being said, I introduce to you my fashion-savvy savior for this problem:

Stitch Fix

What is it? Think of Stitch Fix as your online personal stylist, delivered to your door.

How does it work? You fill out your style profile, which includes your body size, height, weight, curves, etc. It also goes through your preferred style (from classic glam to bohemian, etc.), and how adventurous you are at trying new styles. You can share social networks like a Pinterest board and Twitter, allowing the stylist to check out your pins and tweets to get a better feel of your style preference and your everyday-life happenings. Then, schedule your fix and wait for the package to arrive.

Then what? The package will arrive with five hand-picked items. Try them on, keep what you want, send back what you don’t within three business days. You are automatically charged $20 when the box ships, which goes toward your purchase. It’s THAT simple.

My First “Fix”

Talleda was my personal stylist, and she did a wonderful job. I promised myself I’d only keep two of the five items (due to budget), but MAN was that hard after opening my box!

41Hawthorn – Queensland Dolman Jersey Top

stitchfix batwing black top

 

I loved the cut of this shirt. I love when shirts are a little loose and baggy in the winter. It allows for layering and is so easy to move around in at the office or on campus. But, I had just purchased a shirt like this at an off-brand store, so this one was a no-go.

Kensie Jeans – Kaleigh Ankle Biter Skinny Jean in Burgundy

2014-01-007

Is it possible to be in love with a pair of pants? Because I’m pretty much there when it comes to Kensie “Ankle Biter” Jeans in Burgundy. They contain stretch-denim material called that’s so dang soft and comfy to wear! Not to mention they fit PERFECTLY. That’s saying a lot, coming from someone with a whole lotta junk in the trunk, and cursed blessed with short leg genes. This was a DEFINITE keeper.

Fun2Fun – Caterina Plaid Tab-Sleeve Shirt

StitchFix Plaid Tab Sleeve Shirt

I wasn’t so sure about this shirt… until I tried it on. I’ve never been one to grab a plaid shirt off a rack at a store and think to myself “This would be perfect for my wardrobe!” My eye is usually drawn to the more glittery, laced, and unique pieces instead of a classic go-to. This shirt was SO SOFT. It hung perfectly, and I loved the tab-sleeves, making it versatile for work and school with a simple roll of the sleeves. However, due to budget constraints and the fact that I’m sure I could find something similar for less, I passed on this one.

Fate – Garvey Tribal Print Open Front Cardigan

StitchFix Fate Tribal Print Cardigan

I literally squealed when I opened up this cardigan from my fix. I had taken a sneak peek at the names of what I was getting ready to receive in my fix, and when I saw “oversized cardigan,” I couldn’t wait! It was everything I wanted to receive and more. It’s so comfortable, and goes PERFECTLY with the new Kensie jeans from my fix. As this was one of the things I was pinning most frequently on my Pinterest board, I was so happy when my stylist mentioned seeing similar styles on my board. I kept this comfy gem with no hesitation.

Sweet Rain – Howard Cotton Beaded Detail Surplus Jacket

StitchFix Sweet Rain Green Jacket

Well, Stitch Fix managed to pick out 4 out of 5 things I liked, but this wasn’t one of them. I liked the color, but nothing really drew me to this jacket. I’m not a fan of the random “bling” pockets on a safari-type jacket, either. I tried it on for the heck of it, but this was the first no-go, and went back in the box.

 

The Outcome

So, I kept the Kensie jeans in burgundy, and the aztec print cardigan. I have worn each numerous times just these past few months! Overall, my first Stitch Fix was great. It was so exciting to get a box full of five surprise items to try on. They did a great job of getting my size and style right, and the quality of the clothes was awesome. I already scheduled my next box for January 31st. I can’t wait for it to arrive!

Stitch Fix Review by A Dash of Sarah

Want to try Stitch Fix out yourself? Do me a huge favor and use my referral code HERE! I promise you’ll love it. Here’s a hint: submit a Pinterest board for them to go off of, then pin your desired style… a LOT. I really hope you love it as much as I do! I’m officially obsessed! 🙂

 

** Disclaimer: A Dash of Sarah was NOT compensated in any way, shape, or form for this blog post and review. All thoughts, suggestions, and opinions are of my own. **

Oops, I’ve been MIA!

Hey there my dashing dears!

I meant to blog more these past few months. I realllly did! But I have been MIA: Missing in Action Adventure!

I’ll have plenty more scrumptious restaurant reviews for y’all soon enough, but I just wanted to give you a taste of why I’ve been virtually absent on here the last couple of months!

Late May through Mid-June

I flew back home to sunny California and had a great time catching up with family and friends.

20130527_144625 20130527_144642 IMG_20130527_170923 IMG_20130530_184922 IMG_20130531_213052 IMG_20130601_214446

 

In June, my girlfriends and I set off on an adventure: our first girls-only trip outside of California! We’ve known eachother for 6+ years, and were so thankful to have the opportunity to catch up with one another on a 9-day long trip to Maui, Hawaii!

I will blog more about that adventure later, but here’s a little teaser from our time in paradise:

Boarding the Plane to Maui aerialview jump threeamigos bay luau

And of course, after all the fun, it’s time to head back to reality! Since my return back to Texas I’ve been working, starting my first semester as a Senior in college (I’m set to graduate December 2014), and enjoying what my little college town has to offer!

Just popped in to say hello. I will be back with adventure catch ups and DIY projects SOON!

 

 

DIY Sock Bun Tutorial

I don’t know about you, but I try to wash my hair every other day because of its oily-ness. My roots get oily, but my ends stay dry and brittle, especially if I over-wash. Unfortunately, wearing my hair down isn’t always an option, whether it’s because I’m on-the-go, don’t have time to do my hair, or am experiencing a case of “second-day hair.” When this happens, I turn to the sock bun.

I love a well-made sock bun, because while it takes just minutes to complete, it looks chic all day, and is work, school, restaurant, gym, bar-ready. It’s one of the most adaptable hairstyles depending on the occasion, and is easily accomplished in just 3 easy steps. See for yourself and learn how to perfect the sock bun in my Step-by-Step video:

Step-by-Step Video Tutorial for a DIY Sock Bun

 

Pictures and Written Instructions

In order to create your sock bun, you will need the following items:

DIYsockbunneededitems

 

To create the sock bun cushion, follow the steps provided at the beginning of the video. You will want to cut your sock as shown in the following picture:

cuttingsockforbun

The sock bun is so versatile, and can be achieved in three easy steps:

3 step sock bun

Step 1

Step 1 Put Hair in Ponytail

Step 2

roll bun with sock cushion

Step 3

 secure sock bun with pins

The Final Result

After these three simple steps, you should be left with a donut-shaped bun like this!

diy sock bun tutorial result

 

 

Let me know how it turned out for you, and what other hairstyle tutorials you would like to see! Stay tuned for more DIY tutorials to come! 🙂

 

The Brilliance of Using Bedsider.org

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Bedsider.org. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

“Hey Mom, I want to get on the pill.”

Levora Birth Control PillThis doesn’t seem like the typical thing one would openly say to their mother, especially when away at college and just-turned 21. But what an outsider may not realize is that my decision to start taking birth control was not for the typical desire to keep from getting pregnant, but rather for stability.

I was always very irregular then it came to my Time of the Month (TOTM). Sometimes I’d start at the end of the month, sometimes I’d have my TOTM in a three week gap, other times I’d go 2 months before starting again. This irregular cycle was crippling in my life. I would cramp up at random times, and be in extreme pain when I’d skip a month. I would get moody and irrational, and not realize until after the fact that this was due to PMS, as I didn’t know when I was supposed to have PMS. And forget wearing white or khaki, I never knew if today could be the day I started when I put on clothes. I can’t tell you how horrifying it would be to be in the middle of cheering at a football game in high school, and after finishing a routine realize that I started, and had exactly 5 minutes to make it to the bathroom before I visibly stained my white cheer skirt.Read more