Posts in Lifestyle
Styling My Small Space Farmhouse Entry Way
 
Entryway decor modern farmhouse, entryway ideas, entryway table, entryway decor apartment, entryway decor small spaces
 

I have to say apartment decorating has proven to be a little more complicated than I imagined. I think I finally got one little section of the decor down though and wanted to share it with you! 

Truthfully, adding pieces to this apartment has been pretty challenging. First of all, you have to constantly be measuring everything (especially when you live in such a small space) and even then you still don’t really know if something is going to work or not until it gets delivered to your doorstep. 

Entryway decor modern farmhouse, entryway ideas, entryway table, entryway decor apartment, entryway decor small spaces
Entryway decor modern farmhouse, entryway ideas, entryway table, entryway decor apartment, entryway decor small spaces

I am also having a hard time with how mass-produced and un-unique everything is. I would definitely describe my style as an antique and farmhouse with a few modern elements. I love items with detail and I feel like everything I am drawn to is the most expensive thing on every website (classic, am I right?!), so it has definitely been a balancing act.

I finally feel like I have gotten this entryway space to pretty much what I imagined and I am really happy with it! I love that it is aesthetically pleasing, but also has some functional parts to it (a.k.a. Bins for your shoes & a bowl for keys). The symmetry of everything I think is really eye-catching and I can’t wait to see how the space evolves over time.

To shop this, there are links below to exact items! The smaller vase is a DIY project from this post and the white bowl is from Capri so I can’t link them. Happy Shopping :)

Sarah

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My Favorite Jewelry Investment - A Charm Bracelet
 
jewelry investment pieces, jewelry accessories, jewelry accessories bracelets gold, bracelets gold women, emily and ashley jewelry, vintage jewelry
 

The newest addition to my jewelry collection is a chain link bracelet, but really, it’s more than just a simple bracelet, it’s an investment piece. Today, I want to talk about why I think it’s the best jewelry invest piece you can make.

Jewelry has always been something I have cared about, probably more than the average person. I think of them as little reminders of the special people and moments in my life (I can definitely go into that more in another blog post). 

My first charm bracelet has so many special memories: my first communion, each Christmas when I would get a new charm, and all of my pets as a child. When moving in May I found it amongst all my jewelry and remembered how chic, yet sentimental charm bracelets are. Since then, I had it in my head that I really wanted to get a new charm bracelet. And when I get an idea in my head...it must happen.

Then, I found the perfect bracelet from Emily & Ashley. They have more modern chains, but also offer vintage charms and I can’t wait to collect mine over time. It’s an investment, but I think one that will pay off. See below for why.

Why I think charm bracelets are the best investment jewelry:

// Sentimental

They are a way to collect amazing mementos from the happy memories you have throughout life. I look forward to looking back in 10 years at the amazing memories collected on my bracelet. 

// Timeless

Charm bracelets have been around for so long and if you invest in the right one, they never go out of style (which is why I chose Emily & Ashely). You can wear them for forever and collect the charms over time.

// Stylish

Charm bracelets add just that, charm, to any outfit you wear. Especially if you are a gold jewelry lover like me, it adds the little touch of vintage shabby chic to every outfit I wear.

What’s your favorite jewelry investment piece?

x,

Sarah

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Waking up early: How to do it + why I love it
 
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Waking up before everyone else is a habit I started when I was pretty young and have continued to my adult life. Today, I wanted to share why & how I think you can add it to your life.

I have to say, when I tell people I wake up before 7am (usually 6am) almost everyday, they seem pretty shocked. They look at me horrified and always ask me why?!!?!

For me, it’s always been this way and honestly mornings are my favorite part of the day. But, I know for a majority of people waking up before you have to (or before 9am) is their worst nightmare. I figured if I shared why I love waking up early and some tips to make the morning the best part of the day, that other people will start this amazing habit.

Tip to help you wake-up early:

// Have a treat for yourself in the morning

The key to getting yourself out of bed so early (especially in the beginning) is to give yourself a reward once you do. For me, it’s a big cup of coffee that I can enjoy myself in the morning. It gives you something to look forward to the second you gain the courage to hop out of bed.

// Go to sleep at a reasonable time

If you are trying to change your schedule around to wake up earlier the best way to start is to go to sleep earlier, so your body will try to naturally wake up earlier. Try starting this on a day where you did a really hard workout or had a long day at work, so you can easily fall asleep.

//Remember the benefits of waking up earlier

Remembering why you want to do this whether it’s to work on a side project, have time before you kids wake up, to train for a marathon, to ground yourself, you have to remember that when you are laying in bed pressing the snooze button. 

Why I love it:

// You truly get alone time

It’s probably the only part of the day where you can truly just be alone. No emails, texts, calls, work, etc because most people aren’t even up!! If you are an introvert like me, this is basically the best thing ever!!

// Everything is quiet and still

In the mornings (even in NYC) everything is still, quiet, and peaceful. You feel like you have time to relax for a second while the rest of the world wakes up. And honestly you feel like you are ahead of the game. 

// You have time to prepare for the day

Waking up early means you aren't rushing around the second you get out of bed which means you aren’t starting your day off reacting to things (which I need to do a whole blog post on). It gives you time to slowly wake up, think about your day, and enjoy your morning coffee. It keeps you grounded.

Also remember to not be so hard on yourself and to sleep in on the weekends :)

x,

Sarah

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How To Avoid Burnout In Less Than 1 Hour A Day
 
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Recently with work being extra crazy, I’ve tried to find ways to bring in balance and rest into my life on a daily basis. I wanted to share with you how the smaller things I am doing recently that have helped me with this!

So what brought me to this point?

I feel like my whole life I haven been the type of person who will be super focused and work really hard for as long as it takes to finish the job, then I will go into intense rest where I can’t even think about answering text messages or even talking to anyone. I didn’t really think anything of it because usually I plan my life so far in advance that I didn’t go into these two phases that often (think during final exams). 

Currently, my life is like final exam week 24/7 and I’ve been trying to fight the burnout and fatigue that comes along with working yourself that hard. 

I found that the things that made the biggest difference really didn’t take much time. Really, I just felt so overwhelmed that I didn’t realistically ask myself “how long would this actually take?” Because when I honestly answered the question, everything was around 5-10mins.

// Clean the house

10mins

Being in a clean environment where you don’t have the “I should pick up my clothes” nagging voice in your head is really therapeutic. 

// Plan your meals in advance

5mins

Whenever I decide to go to the grocery store, I always make a list of what meals I want to eat that week. Then, I base my grocery list off of those meals. It makes shopping at the grocery store much more streamlined and helps with not picking up unnecessary items.

// Pack your lunch

5 mins

I think people think that packing lunches is a large task, but realistically, it will usually only take 5 minutes. If you know what you are having every day and plan out meals that are easily prepared (or where you can bulk prepare), then it can be as simple as taking out a tupperware from the fridge and putting it in your bag.

// Spend time alone with yourself in the morning

30 mins

Again, this seems extremely daunting. Getting out of bed 30mins earlier?! But guess what -- it makes all the world of difference. By putting aside time for youself and making the choice to put yourself above everything, it changes the tone of your day (if even only the first half).

//Light a candle

1 min

Wow. Candles make suck a huge difference when it comes to the mood. I feel like when I light a candle it reminds me to just take a deep breath and relax for a second. Plus they smell amazing!

What is something small you do during the week to bring you back to yourself & avoid burnout?

x,

Sarah

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DIY Vintage Wall Art
 
wall decor diy, wall decor diy living room, diy home decor, diy home decor on a budget, diy home decor for apartments, vintage aesthetic, vintage home decor
 

Y’all decorating an apartment is no joke. It takes so much thought, planning, and $$$. Today, I wanted to share a really cool (and cheap) way to add a unique piece of art to your wall, without breaking the bank!

Vintage Wall Art:

I had the idea while ago when I first saw these vintage magazines at a work party. I was honestly mesmerized that this little piece of history was so well preserved and I thought it was so cool seeing what used to be on the cover of magazines and what their ads used to look like. So, I thought it was a really cool idea to frame these and use them as artwork and I love how it turned out!

Why I love it:

It’s extremely unique:

  • Since it’s vintage, most likely no one else is going to have this in their home

Really easy:

  • All you need is a frame and the magazines

It’s super inexpensive:

  • Literally, you can but this frame from Target and go to a local vintage shop, Brooklyn flee, eBay, etc to find these.

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Taking Lessons From Vacation To Real Life
 
life lessons for women, real life quotes, real life truths, real talk quotes lessons learned, lessons learned in life,
 

Ugh, don’t we all love vacation? It’s a time to unplug, relax, and not have a worry in the world. Somehow life is always just better while on vacation. After being in Italy for the past week, I felt like I hit re-set on my mindset and learned a few things that I wanted to bring back to my everyday life. So, here’s a post on what I learned and how to implement it into your day-to-day.

Be bored:

In today’s society, being busy is a status symbol. It signals how important you are and if you are successful enough. On vacation, you are the opposite of busy… At first I had no idea what to do with myself, I was so fidgety while laying at the beach. Then slowly I just learned to be still, be bored.

How to implement into real life:

Setting aside once a week to spend 1-2 hours with friends, family, or your bf/gf to just talk, look out the window, drink a glass of wine, etc. No screens, no agenda. Just soak in what is happening around you and be present in the moment.

You can’t plan everything:

Italians basically don’t plan or worry about anything. They have a more laissez faire attitude about pretty much everything, which is the exact opposite of Americans. Yet, in the end everything always works out okay and life keeps moving. I think giving up a little control over everything could give us all a little sanity back.

How to implement into real life:

Anytime you start having time anxiety, feel like not everything will get done, etc remember that it’s not life or death. Everything will be okay in the end. You will make the train, that assignment will get done, and everything will come out in the wash.

Read More:

While IG, Youtube, and FB are all amazing for keeping in touch with people and getting inspiration, there’s nothing like reading a good book. I feel like I haven’t really gotten into a book in a loooong time, but in Capri I started reading Jackie, Janet, and Lee and I was obsessed. Reading it all the time, and it reminded me how much reading brings you into another world, kind of like a form of meditation.

How to implement into real life:

Even though I can’t read as much as on vacation, I still am going to try to read some of my book every night before going to bed. It’s a great way to not look at electronics, but still have a way to wind down.

I’d love to know what you bring back from vacation and implement into your everyday life. Comment below :)

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What Not to Eat
 
healthy eating for beginners sarah gross design
 

The healthy eating topic is an interesting one. A lot of the time if you eat “too” healthily you get judged, but when you eat badly, you feel horrible (for lots of reasons). The past year, I have really been trying to educate myself on what is good vs. what is harmful to my gut health and digestion.

With varying illnesses in my family from diverticulitis to IBS, I’ve always had stomach aches and pains. While the common thing to do these days is just taking a probiotic, which is definitely great for you, but I wanted to do more research instead of relying on a pill to cure all of my stomach issues.

I’ve learned that the best way to make all my stomach pain go away is to eat certain foods while cutting down on others and to drink as much water as I can. There are also specific factors to living a healthier lifestyle that I think some people miss because the information isn’t really available unless you search for it yourself. So, I wanted to share with you the things I look for in my foods:

Do:

Fresh produce:

Basically anything from this part of the grocery store is A-okay with me. I would say try to buy organic, but honestly, you are doing yourself a favor by just staying in this part of the grocery store for a majority of your time. Eating fresh foods means fewer preservatives and random ingredients that you can’t control yourself. I love to snack on veggies and fruit but they can also be used the base of a meal or the side dish.

Clean ingredient list:

You need to be reading the labels of basically everything you eat. Things I try to avoid are natural flavors (literally in everything), dyes of all types (just google it you’ll understand), and that long list of words you legit can’t pronounce. When you start looking at the ingredient list of foods, you start to see all of the random shit they put in the foods you are eating. Add all of that up over time and it honestly freaks me out.

Fish from the counter:

This has honestly changed my life because you can ask for a certain amount and you know that what you are getting is quality fish that hasn’t been sitting in a container for a week. Even the pre-cut salmon they have at the counter I don’t pick up, I’ve tried it and it’s not the same as the fresh stuff.

Don’t:

Processed snacks:

Even at Whole Foods you can run into a lot of processed items. Even when I am there I always try to look for items without a crazy long list and without natural flavors. Some of my favorites are the Simple Mills crackers, Lara bars, and avocado oil chips.

Processed sugar:

We all love some good chocolate after dinner, but even that can be mostly fillers and is something I watch out for. You can find great alternatives that taste just as good at Whole Foods like the Hu kitchen chocolate bars, they are delicious.

Dressings/Dips:

These ones really are the trap, especially salad dressings and hummus. Make sure if you are buying dips and dressings to check for random additions on the labels.

x,

Sarah


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Healthy Summer Recipe: Mango Shrimp
 
Easy healthy dinner recipes quick shrimp mango
 

Today I’ll be sharing one of my favorite recipes to make in the summertime. This fresh and flavorful dinner is so easy to whip up and is definitely a crowd pleaser (or you can keep all of it for yourself, like I do). Either way this recipe is a staple for me at this time of year and if you try it you wont be able to live without it. So let’s get into it!

Serving size: 4 people

Ingredients:

  • 3 zucchini

  • 1 lb shrimp

  • ½ lemon

  • Garlic salt

  • Salt + pepper

  • Olive oil

  • Fresh salsa

  • 2 mangos (or 1 big one)

Directions:

  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F

  • Slice zucchini however you like (I did long strips), place on a baking sheet, coat with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Let cook until edges are crisp (around 20-30 mins).

  • While the zucchini is cooking, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and cook frozen cauliflower rice until tender. Should take around 10 minutes. Then remove from pan.

  • Which the zucchini is still cooking, coat raw shrimp with olive oil, pepper, and garlic salt. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and place shrimp with one side down. Let cook on each side for 5-7 minutes or until golden. Remove from pan.

  • Remove zucchini from oven and let cool for 2 minutes and chop up the mango into cubes.

  • Now you are ready to serve! Place the cauliflower rice as your base, add shrimp, and top with salsa, and mango. Place zucchini on the side.

Tell me if you try the recipe :)

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DIY: Coconut Body Scrub
 
DIY natural organic body scrub
 

I lovlies! Today I wanted to share a DIY that I have been loving lately. About a month ago I tried making this body scrub and have been addicted ever since. It’s pretty much the easiest DIY ever and you most likely have the ingredients already on hand. Plus, for the container, just use a glass jar from tomato sauce (remove the label to make it look cute).

I love having this ready in the bathroom for when I want to feel super clean and fresh. It’s also great to use before you apply fake tan, going on a beach trip, or just want to be super soft. So ready on below for the easiest DIY of your life.

Oh, and it smells AMAZING.

Ingredients:

  • Coconut oil (at room temp - so it’s liquidy)

  • Granulated sugar (mine was brown, but it can be white too!)

  • Essential oils (optional)

  • Glass jar (Used a Rao’s tomato sauce jar)

Steps:

  1. Pour around 1/2 cup of sugar into your jar.

  2. Add around 2-3 table spoons of coconut oil at room temperature. Add enough to where the mixture sticks together, but not so much that it becomes to much of a liquid. You want it to have some movement, but to still keep it’s form. (Think of the consistency of your favorite lip scrub!)

  3. Add 4-5 drops of your choice of essential oil (which is optional)! I chose lavender and am obsessed with how the smell turned out. If no essential oil is added, it will smell like coconut oil which is fab to.

It’s literally THAT easy! Share if you make some yourself below :)

How To: Cut Down on Screen Time
 
how i stay off my iphone tips and tricks..jpg
 
 

No, this isn’t another blog post about how phones are ruining our lives. That’s a little dramatic, even for me. I’m here to let you in on a few simple tricks that help me worry less about what’s going on in the world of Instagram and focus more on living my life. These tips keep me from getting distracted 24/7 and help put my phone in the background of my life, not the forefront.

I also want to note that this isn’t a new thing for me; It’s not just empty advice that I don’t even follow myself. I’ve been doing this for as long as I’ve had an iPhone (aka a really long time) and it works.

For my lock screen, I made sure of a few things to help discourage me from always tapping/glancing at my phone.

Turn off “Rise to wake”

This feature honestly bugs the crap out of me. I recently changed phones and it automatically turned on. Basically what it means is if I’m holding my phone while walking or doing literally anything, it lights up every time there is sudden movement. This might sound like a great feature in theory but in reality I was constantly accidentally skipping songs or disabling my phone by accident. I’m not about that so I turned it off and you can too. It’s so easy!

Go to Settings > display & brightness > tap button to turn off rise to wake

Keep your phone on Do Not Disturb

WOW. What a life changer. To activate Do Not Disturb just tap the white moon icon on your drop down menu. When turned on, it stops your phone from lighting up every single time you get a notification.

I find that this helps me keep my attention on what is going on around me because I have to make a conscious decision to click my phone to see what the notifications are. Not being constantly bombarded with notifications and messages also helps me feel less stressed (especially in NYC).

BUT, be sure to put those people whose calls you don’t want to miss on your favorites list because if not they will automatically be sent to voicemail.

Settings > do not disturb > turn on “Do Not Disturb” toggle

Turn off Banner iMessage Notifications

This one may seem extreme because pretty much everyone uses this feature but, trust me, you won’t miss it. This turns off the notification you get at the top of your screen every time you get a text message. I find that with them on, I get so easily distracted and always immediately tap the text message to respond. It’s important to remember that it isn’t a crime not to answer someone right away (or at all) if you don’t want to.

Settings > notifications > messages > unclick “Banners”

I feel like these 3 easy steps have not only helped me stay focused during moments like important conversations and meetings, but have given me the time I need to start learning how to fully live my own life instead of being constantly worried about how others are living theirs. Making checking my phone a conscious decision instead of a mindless habit is a major key to have a little more balance between real life & digital life.

How To Stop Yourself From Buying ALL The Things
budgeting and money management

I recently was talking to someone about how i keep myself from wasting money on unnecessary things. Its something that can be so easy to do, especially with this consumerism culture are are living in today.

You can get caught up in needing the new it bag you see on your favorite influencer or the mask that will make all your skin problems go away. I even find it hard to see an Instagram ad and not want it immediately (IG targeting is SO good these days).

So how do you put the credit card down and not give into what you want?

I’ve come up with a verrry simple method. I make a note in my phone of all of the things I want/need to buy. At a glance iI see what I really need to be spending my money on, and what I probably should be spending on. It gives you a perspective that takes you out of the consumerism mindset and shows you what you really need vs. what you want.

I typically wait 1-2 weeks before buying clothing/makeup/beauty though since I feel like the time helps me see if I really want it or if I was just caught up in thinking I needed it. If an item stays on my list for along time, I probably REALLY want it and can buy it and know I’m not wasting my money.

I hope that helps some of you be better about saving some $$ and ont wasting it on what is trendy at the moment.

xo

Sarah