Category Archives: Tips

Practicing Gratitude

I feel like I should preface this by saying that this is not exactly easy for me to write. It’s hard for a person to be vulnerable and put her/himself out there without feeling like a little bit of an asshole, but whatever. I’m doin’ it anyway.


Something inside of me changed when the new year started. I can’t explain what it was exactly, but it felt profound. I knew deep down that this year, 2018, will be the year that I cut the bullshit, and find happiness. True, unrelenting happiness. Not that I’m not a “happy person”… because, dude, I’m the epitome of a happy-go-lucky, optimistic gal, to the extent that it might annoy people. I live a good, happy life. But my core happiness has always felt like a chunk was missing and I just found out what it is: gratitude.

Sure, once a year (usually around the 4th Thursday of November) I like to think about the stuff I’m thankful for in my life. But to be thankful and actually “practice gratitude” everyday? Ain’t nobody got time for that! Right? WRONG!

This process started when my best friend sent me an episode of Oprah’s podcast, Super Soul Conversations. I listened to the episode featuring the late and oh-so-great Maya Angelou. When Maya mentioned that she woke up every morning and just said “thank you” to God, no matter what was going on in her life be it happiness or hardship, I was so taken aback by the simplistic beauty of the small act that I probably started tearing up (I was a basket case, TBH). I have since listened to the podcast’s episodes featuring Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat Pray Love), Gretchen Rubin (The Happiness Project), Brene Brown (Daring Greatly), Shawn Achor (Big Potential), and so many more where they all said the same thing, something along the lines of “there is no joy without gratitude”. HOLY CRAP THAT MAKES SO MUCH SENSE.


So I’m making the effort to pause and be grateful every single day. Here are a couple of obvious things I’m beyond grateful for:

  • That I live in a world that can be so inspiring if I let it be. Just knowing that I gain so much inspiration from any and all things colorful has made me so, so happy! Thanks world and all artists everywhere.
  • That I found a partner in life who has the exact same sense of humor as me and that we find pure joy in making each other laugh. Thank you, Joel Blumer!
  • That I am always ready and willing to learn new things and for my undying love of reading. Thank you to all literature and libraries!

Just sitting here writing this is giving me an overwhelming sense of gratitude! I’m so grateful to have a creative outlet, this very blog, where I can share the “secret” to happiness with people all over the world. This epiphany is not something I want to keep to myself, but rather something I want to shout from a metaphoric rooftop. Thanks, Internet! And thank YOU so much for reading!



It’s Only Natural: Bathtub Cleaner

There are two types of people in the world: those who get grossed out by the thought of sitting in a tub of one’s own filth, and those who think that there’s nothing more relaxing than a nice, hot bath. I have always been, and always will be, one of the latter. I. LOVE. BATHS.

Growing up, my designated Saturday chore was to clean the bathroom. Part of which was to scour out the bathtub (that our family of 8, minus my dad who has been a strict showerer his whole life, used) with Clorox and Comet. I definitely inherited my mom’s “bleach the living shit out of everything so all the germs will die” mentality, which I have been trying to get away from for a while now. Last time I was in Texas visiting my parents, my sister and I made a deal with our mom that if we cleaned the whole house she’d pay for us to get manicures and pedicures. I volunteered to take charge of my old stomping ground, the bathroom. When it came down to cleaning supplies, instead of handing me the usual harsh, germ murdering chemicals, my mom pointed me in the direction of the kitchen to grab three things: vinegar, baking soda, and dish soap.

Although I had been into finding natural replacements for products for a while at that time, I was still doubtful of how well this technique would work; especially when compared to the lethal combination of Comet and Clorox. I was shocked to see that using natural products actually works so much better than the other stuff! Bonus points for not having to open a window because the fumes are burning your eyes. Here’s how to clean your bathtub using natural ingredients:




  1. White Vinegar
  2. Baking Soda
  3. Dish Soap (optional, you could use water instead*)
  4. Scrubber Sponge
  5. Elbow Grease (but not that much)


How To

  1. Squirt (ew “squirt” is one of my least favorite words ever) some dish soap into your bathtub and use a damp sponge to spread it all around.*
  2. Sprinkle baking soda onto the soap (you really don’t have to use the dish soap, but it helps the baking soda stick to the sides of the tub)
  3. Spray vinegar onto the baking soda and watch it fizzzzzz for a couple of minutes.
  4. Using the scrubber side of your sponge, scrub your tub. The chemical reaction of the baking soda and vinegar should do most of the work for you.
  5. Rinse your tub.

Et viola! This technique has gotten rid of all sort of bathtub gunk, even purple hair dye splatter and glitter bath bomb residue!



Take a bath, wash yo-self. Take a bath. Show me whatcha scrubbin’ with….


How To Fight The Winter Blues


Last spring, when the flowers started blooming and we, in the Northeast portion of the U.S, started to see Mr. Golden Sun a little more often, I realized just how bad my seasonal depression was. Like a switch had flipped, I suddenly had much more energy, was less lethargic/sluggish/depressed, and my general outlook on life had returned to positive as soon as winter was over. Not to be dramatic, but spring made me feel like I had reason to live again…

Since this winter, that pretty much just started, is supposed to be worse than last, I thought I’d try some ways to prevent Seasonal Affective Disorder. Because, who wants to be S.A.D?! Not me!




Tips For Combating Seasonal Depression

  • Sunshine– Even though it’s rare to see the sun from December-April in Pittsburgh, anytime it shines, I make it a point to go outside and stand in it. 15 minutes of sunlight will give you a sufficient amount of vitamin D. Even if the temperatures drop to single digits, bundle up, go outside, and let those sunny rays of delight do their thang.
  • Vitamin D3 supplements– since the sun can be an elusive sonofabitch, I started taking these in November and they seriously make a huge difference. You can get vitamin D3 from food, but it’s so much easier to take a little supplement than it is to eat a can of sardines if ya ask me.
  • Exercise– A BIG FAT DUH. There’s no way around the fact that you should be exercising. I was loving our routine of me running/walking in intervals + weight training while Joel rode his bike at the park by our house, but then stupid winter happened. We ponied up and got a gym membership because we can motivate each other to go.
  • Cute Winter Clothes– when I moved to Pittsburgh, my aunt bought me a really nice wool peacoat and it was pretty much the only thing I had to keep myself warm. Fast forward 4 years, and I am now the proud owner of too many sweaters, a few faux fur coats, and an array of colorful leather jackets. These items of clothing are just enough to brighten the dullest day and remind me that I usually look forward to getting dressed in the morning.
  • Make A Grateful List– it’s so freaking cold and you’re probably feeling cranky and annoyed about it, but try to remember all of the good things in your life! I am so grateful for the roof over my head, gas heating, and for all 3 of my almost identical gray faux fur blankets. I am feeling especially thankful for the cow that made my one authentic leather jacket. If he/she hadn’t sacrificed his/herself, I’d probably have pneumonia by now. Thank you, cow.
  • Plan A Trip– I may have had a stomach bug and had to miss my twin sister’s wedding at the beginning of January, but we’re booked to go to Texas for my brother’s wedding at the end of this month. Little weekend trips to get away from snow and ice? I’ll take them! We’ve also been flirting with the idea of a springtime road trip, which gives us something to look forward to.
  • Fresh Flowers- IDK what it is about having fresh flowers in our home, but it’s a small thing that makes me so happy. If you’re a monster and see fresh flowers as a waste of money, try potted plants instead.




I have to say, I have implemented these few things into everyday life and I feel SO MUCH BETTER than I did last year. It’s kind of crazy that tweaking my routine a little and making a ritual out of taking vitamins and working out has completely changed my life. I can feel myself (slowly, but surely) becoming the best version of myself and all it took was a quick seasonal ass kicking.

You may have won the battle last year, winter… But I’m gonna win the war. 46 days until the first day of Spring!

Dress/SheIn, Faux Leather Jacket/Amazon, Shoes/Sold Out (similar),Floral Stickers/A Design Kit

What To Wear To A Winter Wedding


Well, it’s wedding “season” for us anyway. We have 3 to go to in a time span of about a month, and I’m soooo excited for all of them. I. LOVE. WEDDINGS. I’ve had my bridesmaid dress for wedding number 2 (my twin sister’s) for a while now and have been mentally planning what to wear to weddings 1 and 3 for way too long. Like I said, I’m excited!

Picking out what to wear isn’t rocket science, but sometimes it’s hard. If I don’t plan what I’m wearing to a specific event or outfits for a trip far enough in advance, I usually spend an hour or so staring at my closet screaming “I HAVE NOTHING TO WEAR” while crying ever-so-dramatically…

Even though the three weddings will be vastly different, I thought I’d give myself (and you, dearest readers!) some general guidelines of what to wear and what NOT to wear to a winter wedding.




How To Dress Yo-self Before You Wreck Yo-self: Winter Wedding Edition. 

  • You can never go wrong with an all black ensemble. This skater dress with eyelash lace detailing is chic as hell. I can fit a box of leftovers in this black quilted bag. Add a pop of color with a jacket or shoes. Cool!
  • I’m always a fan of accessorizing with minimal gold jewelry and Madewell has some of the best I’ve seen.
  • Layer up! It was 22 degrees when we took these photos and the fact that I was wearing this bodysuit with tights under my dress was keeping me quite cozy. If I wear this dress to my little brother’s wedding in Texas in February, I’ll probably be able to skip the tights and bodysuit.
  • Take advantage of post Christmas sales!!! Joel got a new black suit on the day after Christmas for $71 at Nordstrom Rack.
  • If you’re a guy, don’t wear shorts. If you’re a gal, don’t wear white. Easy!
  • Ask yourself these questions before buying any garment for a wedding or big event: Can I dance in this? Can I easily pee in this (the bodysuit I’m wearing in these photos is, luckily, very easy to undo!)? Will this look okay in photos? Am I comfortable in this?
  • Keep in mind that if you’re a guest at a wedding, it is not your time to shine and it is not your day. Don’t be over the top and don’t worry too much about what you’re wearing.




See now, wasn’t that easy?

Note to self: Louboutins + Tights + Icy sidewalks are a recipe for disaster. WEAR YOUR KATE SPADE BOOTIES BEFORE YOU FALL AND DIE, YOU IDIOT.

Fur Jacket/ J.O.A, Purse/Similar, Sunglasses/Amazon, Dress & Bodysuit/TOBI

Binge Worthy

Speaking of wearing robes and being cozzzzyyyy…



It’s the most wonderful time of the year!!!! My favorite part of the holiday season is the part with no plans in sight and nothing to do. Does it count as “dolce far niente” if the TV is on? Yes, it does. I’ve done my research, and have found the best shows to binge watch (and which to avoid) during your well deserved time off. So kick back, relax, and turn on the ROKU.


  1. The Office/30 Rock/ Parks and Rec- The holy trinity of goofiness. Everyone needs some comic relief in their life! We re-watch one of these annually and rotate between them.
  2. Breaking Bad- Seriously, this show is probably the best show ever made and it’s EVEN BETTER when you go back and watch it again. So many Easter Eggs and so much foreshadowing!
  3. Gossip Girl- I was v anti GG when it first aired because I was loyal to the books, but what started as a guilty pleasure show to watch while I drink coffee in the mornings or when Joel’s working late, has turned into a full-on addiction. So bad, it’s good.
  4. Pretty Little Liars- FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DO NOT GET SUCKED INTO WATCHING THIS. We made the mistake of binging the first two seasons when we had the flu and it was such a waste of time because nothing ever happens.
  5. Skins (British Version)- I may be pushing 28, but I guess I have this thing with teenage drama.
  6. The Great British Bake- YAAAAAAAAS, but don’t watch if you’re hungry.



  1. The OC- Speaking of teenage drama, this show singlehandedly shaped my youth. I was obsessed in 2004 and with the exception of the fashion choices and the cameo appearance of Paris Hilton in season 1, it holds up. Even the last season was not as terrible as I remembered it.
  2. The Mindy Project- Danny and Mindy 4ever!
  3. Younger- Another guilty pleasure show that I couldn’t turn off.
  4. The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills- If you’re going to watch any housewives series, this is the ones to commit to because they’re the most glamorous and the most dramatic.
  5. The Handmaid’s Tale- One of those rare occurrences where the movie/tv adaptation is better than the book!



  1. The Grand Tour- IDGAF about cars, but Joel got me looooving this show! It’s so over the top and ridiculous, plus I love me some dry British humor.
  2. The Man In The High Castle- Nope, sorry. Great concept and cool intro, but terrible execution.
  3. Z: The Beginning of Everything- I read the book version of Zelda Fitzgerald’s life and loved it! I only watched the first episode of the show, but my BFF and sister love it and I trust their opinions.


Well, it’s been fun, but I have to go see what happens between Blair Waldorf and Chuck Bass… Happy binge season to you all!

XOXO, Gossip Girl Sarah


How To Get Away With Wearing PJs In Public

Fashion, much like art, is at times simply “what you can get away with“….

IDK about you, but I am definitely an advocate for wearing pajamas in public places. I’ve been known to go to the movie theatre in an American Flag print nightgown (worn as a dress, obviously) and I’ve graced quite a few strangers at the grocery store with the presence of my Darth Vader boxer briefs (I originally bought them for my husband, but kept them for myself). Since it can be annoyingly difficult to find “dressy” clothing that can hold a candle to the comfort of sleep clothes, I decided to test drive wearing a bathrobe in lieu of a jacket to see if I could get away with it.

Long story short: If you looked up “pulling it off” in the dictionary, you’d probably find these photos.





Bathrobe/Target, Skirt and Top/SheIn, Sunglasses/Forever21, Mules/ASOS

Speaking of bathrobes, when we were getting ready for Paris back in September, I ordered this beautiful floral kimono to wear around the city of lights. When I opened the package from my online purchase, Joel said “ohhh that’s a pretty bathrobe” and that’s part of where the inspiration for this post came from. Bathrobes (and bathrobe inspired kimonos) are, like, so IN this season.



“Is that a bathrobe?!” -The man in the striped shirt


Floral Bathrobe Kimono/Zara

Confidence is key to wearing pajamas in public. Just try not to accessorize with a shower cap and/or bunny slippers and you’ll be golden.

It’s Only Natural


photo via

There are two ways of getting into a pool: the first way, you use your big toe to check the temperature and if that feels good, you slowly lower your body in as it gets used to the water. And the second way is… AHHHH! YOU JUMP!

I like to think of this scene from Superstar as metaphor when it comes to taking the plunge into living a more “granola” lifestyle. Though, unlike Mary Catherine Ghallager, we prefer the former method and are going ever so slowly into all-natural, organic living…


Now that we are officially closer to 30 than to 20, we’re getting to be more aware of the products and foods we are putting onto and into our bodies. Did 21 year old Sarah care about how the synthetic fragrances and aluminum in her deodorant could potentially cause breast cancer and/or kidney problems? No! I just wanted to smell nice! Did I give a crap about all the plastic I was wasting by buying the tampons with plastic applicators?! Nope. I cleaned everything with bleach and other harsh chemicals and I never really cared about the effect it had on myself or the world around me. Had Joel, at age 23, ever even heard of Whole Foods or knowingly been within 100 yards of a Farmer’s Market? Probably not, too busy eating chicken wings or whatever… Ha! Just kidding, Joel’s parents are actually two of our healthy living gurus who raised their kids on lentils. Luckily, somewhere along the line, our eyes and minds started to open (thanks a lot to all of our gurus). That old saying about how “our bodies are our temples” always struck a chord with me; and since I plan to live a long and prosperous life, I need to start treating it as such…. Plus, we all need to start caring a little more about this world we have to leave to the generations to come.

The thing is, buying organic versions of all of your beauty/bath products (shampoo, soap, makeup, deodorant, toothpaste, lotion, etc), cleaning products, plus all of your food can be ungodly expensive and ridiculously overwhelming. “Whole Foods? More like ‘Whole Paycheck’ am I right?” Hence the whole “taking it slowly” thing I mentioned earlier. We are implementing holistic teachings as well as plant based meal options bit by bit. I mean, I spent the last 2 years trying to find a good replacement for my old deodorant and I just now found one that actually works. Slow and steady wins the race, doesn’t it?

Going all natural is really not as hard or as expensive as I had originally thought it’d be… I didn’t know until recently that tofu could taste so good or that I could clean the bathtub with just baking soda and white vinegar! I’m glad that that being a little more “crunchy” is the cool thing to be these days. This is a band wagon that people should want to be on and I can’t wait to talk more about it!