Don’t Rain On My Parade

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Sometimes I go through these weird periods of random depression where I can’t seem to find inspiration anywhere. A life with a lack of inspiration is not a life I want to live.  Some days I just want to be like blah blah blah blah blah bleh bleh bleh bleh blehhhhhhhh mahhhhhhkaesjfoaijdvkzsdjvozseihfao;wiefhao;sdjvlzskdnfksehorifjscdkldjfzksd dakfoiwef sioeafhaoisd vsdkfjaweihfaw c asiehfdiawehsv zkjdfaiw ;eshdf, ya know?

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I can’t even tell you how much writing this silly ass blog has helped me. The act of going out on photoshoots around town, getting to document my travels, attempting to DIY something, as well as sharing my soul to the world has been the best therapy I’ve ever experienced. Granted, this is more of a satirical version of my life than the real thing, but whatever, it’s working.

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I guess what I’m trying to say is thank you. Thank you for letting me do me. Okay BYEEEE.

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How To Sneak Onto A Yacht

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Last year, before we had our honeymoon plans set in stone, Joel was showing me the satellite images of the harbor of Monaco during the Monaco Grand Prix and it was yachts on yachts on yachts. It’s kind of expected at one of the most prestigious sports gatherings in the world. When we “just so happened” to be in the neighborhood back in May, I made it a point to get invited onto one of those GD boats. Did I succeed?! You bet your sweet ass I did…

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After watching the practice races in the early afternoon, we ran into some sweet Brits who told us that we had to go down to the marina when the race was over to witness the crazy parties. “Alright, alright, alright” we said in our best Matthew McConaughey accents, “we’ll do just that”.

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We walked along the dock and were amazed to see that, so early in the evening, the parties on board most of the yachts were already in full swing. I walked a little ahead of my brand new husband so people wouldn’t think we were actually together. We (me*) were immediately beckoned onto a boat filled with hilarious drunk Australians dancing the night away, then onto one with about 8 dudes and a Mexican Flag blowing in the wind. As we walked, we met two fellow American 20 somethings who shared our goal for the night. We teamed up with Russ and Ross (*real names? idk), who, with Joel, pretended to be a part of my entourage. Some nice elderly Swedish bros let us right onto their boat, no questions asked! After I got yelled at for jumping over something fragile and we were not offered any beverages, we all decided to try our luck elsewhere.

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Because of my South Texas roots, the boat with the Mexican flag seemed like our best bet, but when we walked by, all of the guys on board had disappeared. Our new friends told me to just go for it, so I shrugged my shoulders and oomphed my hair and went for it. I, all alone, walked onto a 60 ft yacht filled with a bunch of strangers.

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I walked right on that boat like I fucking owned it. I went right up to each gentleman and casually kissed him on each cheek like I was the fanciest girl in the world. We small talked and drank together and 5 minutes later, Joel joined us. The look of disappointment on the faces of the yacht owners was only really noticeable when the rest of our new gang showed up. 1 girl to 11 guys was not an ideal ratio, apparently. We took our beers and exchanged quick and slightly awkward goodbyes to rejoin the 99%.

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Tips for sneaking onto a yacht (in any country)

  • have boobs
  • having blonde hair probably doesn’t hurt
  • just walk right on and say something like “this isn’t where I parked my car”

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The (Sheet) Mask(s)

After “yes, honey, your ass does look fat in those jeans”, the top insult you can say to a woman is “you look tired”. My brother recently moved to Pittsburgh and he likes to tell me how tired I look all the time. I’m just like “well, bro, you’re looking at me sans make-up and pre-coffee so fuck yeah I look tired. I AM TIRED.”

I have a few not-so-secret weapons to combat my needs-rest-bitch-face: 1. drinking water, duh. 2. exercise! I just got a yoga studio membership. 3. sheet masks!

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I tried different sheet masks every day for five days in a row and I can see significantly less redness and less puffiness on my face. Plus, it’s just fun to spend 20-30 minutes with something cool on my face while I relax. I prefer sheet masks to a regular wash off mask because you just put it on and take it off, no rinsing necessary.

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If you want to treat yo-self to a spa night with a sheet mask, I highly recommend these. The red wine and the lemon masks are my favorite. Just chop up a cucumber (or zucchini in my case- eh, close enough, right?) and chill the eff out, girrrrrl. You deserve it.

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3 Out Of 5 (Adventures in Cinque Terre)

After a lovely time in Venice, Joel and I took our pizza filled bellies to the train station to head to the western side of Italy. We knew we wanted to visit the beautiful villages that make up Cinque Terre, but to save some money we followed Joel’s sister’s advice and stayed in the much more accessible, metropolitan city of La Spezia (at this sweet airbnb with the nicest hosts). When we arrived at the station in La Spezia, we had trouble using the kiosk to buy our tickets to both Cinque Terre and to Nice for the next leg of our trip. Come to find out, Trenitalia workers were on strike for the rest of our time in Italy. NBD, we’d just have to get creative in the transportation department. No trains? No problem.

There was a pamphlet in our room that advertised taking a boat to Cinque Terre, so early in the morning we set off. Sounds easy, right? Well, we were staying on the side of a mountain, with no Uber or Lyft available, and the marina was miles away so how would we get to where we needed to go? THE BUS, OF COURSE! Oh, if you ever have the opportunity to take a bus in small town Italy, do it! Joel and I were by far the youngest people on the number 12… picture a bus filled with your grandparents and all of their friends bonding and speaking Italian. Sooooo freaking cute. We gave up our seats to an elderly couple and I will never forget the look of genuine gratitude the woman gave me while she squeezed my hand!

After Google Maps took us to an office building instead of the boat we needed to be on, I was ready to throw in the towel and hop back on the bus with the adorable old people and play BINGO or bridge or whatever. But the marina was just across the street so we paid the 20 euro for our round trip tickets and were on our way!

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The boat did not go to all five towns like was advertised, but only to the first and last of the five towns. We got dropped off at the furthest town, Montessoro, and had to swim to shore. Just kidding, there was a ramp…

Montessoro- the town with the best beach.

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After finding out the seaside trails that link the towns had been closed due to construction since 2011, we decided to check out the train station just to see if any trains were running despite the strike. No harm in trying! 5 minutes later we were in transit to Manorola.

Manorola- the perfect pastel town that you see in most pictures when you look up “Cinque Terre”.

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I find feline friends in all the cities I travel to. That, in and of itself, could be its own blog post.

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We walked down to the sea and saw people jumping into the freezing cold Mediterranean. I wanted to do it too! Me, my hair extensions, and 4 other American tourists cannon balled right in. Freaking amazing.

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I mean….. HOLY SHIT, RIGHT?! So stunning.

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I pretended to be disappointed when we couldn’t find a way to access the hiking trail to the next town. “Ohhhh man, I really really wanted to do that hike… Oh well, wanna get gelato? “is what I was saying to Joel when we were overheard by a couple who had just completed said hike. “Just start on those steps over there and they’ll take you over the mountain. Be careful, though, it gets pretty steep and the steps kind of disappear” the man told us. “OH WOW THANK YOU SO MUCH” I said while giving him a death stare behind my Ray Bans.

Alright, let’s do this shit…

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Just when I thought I couldn’t take another step up that freakin’ mountain, I was passed up by a 6 year old…. It’s only a quarter of a mile, but when I reached the top I kissed the ground and my sweaty husband. Then we made our way to Riomaggiore, the last of the 5 towns we’d be visiting, and the promise of gelato.

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Going down was much easier (THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID) than up, but we still had to take it slow and watch our footing. One slip meant certain death, and I was still not into the idea of dying on my honeymoon.

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Riomaggiore- the town with the red house, gelato, boats, and beer.

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3 out of 5 isn’t a bad amount. We’ll get you next time, Vernazza and Corniglia! This was the most adventurous and exhausting part of our trip, but so absolutely worth it.

Our boat picked us up in Riomaggiore to take us back to La Spezia. Here, we had pizza at two different places in a row before taking the bus home to watch our favorite Italian game show for the last time….

Arrivederci, Italy.

Summer Simmer Pot

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Breaking news: simmer pots are not just for Fall/Winter! Yeah sure, having your home smell like an apple pie filled heaven in mid-November is amazing, but why do Spring/Summer seem to get left out of the mix? I took to Pinterest to look up Summer Simmer Pot recipes, but only found a handful as opposed to the hundreds that were popping up for Autumn (like this simple, yet intriguing one by my Instagram gal pal and DIY kween, Elsie).

I can see why people might not be into the idea of a Summer Simmer… It’s so hot and humid here in Pittsburgh, and when our air conditioner was on the fritz last month, the mere thought of turning the stove on made me sweat. But that’s all fixed now, so I took my Sunday afternoon, inside of our cool house, to test drive a summah simmah.

When you think of the scents of summer, what comes to mind? IDK about you, but I want to make my house smell fresh and citrusy from March-August. So the Citrus + Mint + Floral Simmer Pot was born!

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Here’s what I used:

  • 1 grapefruit
  • 2 clementines
  • 1 lemon
  • mint leaves
  • rose petals

I used the peels from half of each fruit, then sliced the rest and put them in a medium size pot. After filling the pot halfway with water, I added the mint leaves and rose petals (the daisies in the pot were just for decoration. I took them out before I turned on the stove). Voila! The rose and mint is really subtle, but the combination smells amazing! Now all I have to do is keep adding water for my house to instantly smell nice and fresh.

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Think of all the different combinations you could use too! Rosemary + Vanilla, Coconut + Lime, Lavender + Lemon! I was also thinking about Fresh Cut Grass, but maybe it wouldn’t simmer so well. Hey man, they can’t all be winners…

Taking Care Of Blondness

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In my 26 years on earth, I have had a lot of different hair colors. Black, bleach blonde, reddish, dark brown, ombre, purple, pink, and I even dyed it teal for my Katy Perry Halloween costume last year. I’m not even sure what my natural hair color is anymore! Is it brown or dirty blonde? Who knows. It’s taken me this long, with so many trials and lots of errors, to finally come to the realization that blonde is best (for me).

For my wedding back in May, my hair dresser/best friend/cousin, Christina, spent 4 hours foiling in a shload of highlights to get me to the high dimensional platinum blond of my dreams (and Pinterest board). I’ll never forget sitting in the bathtub and giggling at 2 a.m. while she rinsed out my hair for me! As a simple way to show my gratitude to my girl, I vowed to take the very best care of my hair….

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Enter Klorane… When the good people at Klorane asked if I’d like to try out their hair products for blondes, I was like “DUH”! They’re known for carrying good, all natural, 100% vegan, plant based products; not to mention the best dry shampoo I’ve ever used. I’ve been doing my new blonde routine for a week and a half now, and I love it! My hair is ridiculously soft and shiny AF.

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I’m particularly smitten with the Sun Lightening Spray. I used to use sun-in lemon spray, but it’s so bad for your hair. This version uses chamomile and honey to help naturally lighten hair, so in between hair appointments, my locks stay light and bright.

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If you’re interested in trying any of Klorane’s amazing products, feel free to use code SarahSaid15 to receive 15% off of your purchase from their site, good through the end of summer (August 31st).

Look at me, I’m like a walking commercial. It’s a hair flip, it’s whatever. But really, I wouldn’t endorse a product unless I truly loved it. Trust.

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KTHANKSBYEEEEE.

Holy Color Explosion, Burano!

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Call me basic or nerdy or whatever, but if it weren’t for the combination of Pinterest and Rick Steves, I probably would have gone my entire life not knowing about the existence of Burano. For those of you who haven’t heard of Burano, it’s one of the islands that make up the city of Venice, Italy, and is a 45 minute water taxi ride from mainland Venezia. One of the popular excursions people make when visiting Venice is to take a day trip to both Murano and Burano to see the famous Venetian glass blowing and lace making, respectively. But Burano is also known as one of the most colorful cities in the world. WE. HAD. TO. GO.

It was a rainy day in Venice and we missed the first boat because someone had to have two slices of pizza for breakfast (guilty as charged!)… We ended up taking the afternoon boat straight to Burano to visit at magic hour. Besides marrying Joel, this was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Burano in the late afternoon on a Monday is PERFECT.

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I mean, all the heart eye emojis, right?! We spent a couple hours on the island just drinking it all in. My jaw was at the floor for most of it because I love all things colorful so, so much. Rick Steves and I would recommend visiting Burano in the late afternoon/early evening on a weekday to avoid the crowds AND MAKE SURE YOUR CAMERA IS CHARGED.

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p.s. if you notice that my jumpsuit ebbs on the sheer side, I apologize. If you didn’t notice then IT’S NOT REALLY DON’T GO BACK AND LOOK, YOU PERV.