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Monthly Musings Vol. 4

It’s August! The summer is in full swing. I’m currently on vacation (though this post was obviously written over the course of July in it’s entirety) and I gotta say I’m super stoked to get in some beach reads and soak up ALL the sun I can for the week!

Whether you’re enjoying summer or stuck at work, here’s something to give you a little break: my favorite finds and reads from the internet this month!

  1. Part of my 2016 bucket list is to go on a trip alone. With my growing love of yoga and my forever love of the ocean I’m totally thinking this Yoga and Surf retreat might be just what I need.
  2. I can’t believe I’m only JUST hearing about REI’s United Outside summer series of events (to celebrate their first location in DC!). Campfire s’mores and a wine and photo tour? SIGN ME UP! Anyone else outdoorsy want to go!?
  3. Keeping on with this theme of adventure…these under $500 vacas are screaming my name for weekend getaways.
  4. to get politically topical…this is how to get white people to stop being racist (scientifically).
  5. Since I’m at the beach, why not enjoy these vintage beach photos! How glam was beach going back in the day, sans SnapChat and Selfies? I’m hoping my squad and I can be as glam as the one above.
  6. Now looking ahead and out of summery goodness into some prefall date nights, I really need a fire pit in my yard or on my porch. What about you? I legit can’t get over the copper metal one!

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My New Custom Phone Case

custom palm print phone case with CaseApp
When CaseApp approached me about designing my own skin or case for one of my devices I was ecstatic, and a little overwhelmed. In today’s world there are already so many choices; options to “customize” and make your device your own. But with summer looming towards us and a few tropical trips planned, I knew what I had to do. I had to get creative and let my artiste flag fly.

I found an image of a palm print background and played around with my own as well as their software. I ended up creating a case for my iPhone; a fun case that when I look at it everyday will remind me of the warm weather that is to come.
custom palm print phone case with CaseApp
custom palm print phone case with CaseApp

custom case c/o CaseApp
get your own for 20% off with code “LART20”

What do you think of my new case? What fun prints are YOU most looking forward to this summer?!

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5 Things I Read Daily

Everyone is always talking about routines, especially at the beginning of a new season or year. Part of my routine when I wake up (after grabbing a cup of coffee and lazily scrolling through InstaGram) is to catch up on the daily news in multiple forms, not just fashion. Here’s a peak at what I read!

  1. I start my morning with Washington Post’s Morning Mix; it’s a collection of the top news stories from around the country and world. You can read it online, but I love that it goes straight to my inbox in an easy to read format.
  2. While I’m in my inbox I read the Daily Skimm, which is also available online but like I said #easyaccess. It’s a humorously written account of the biggest news in the world. Do yourself a solid and sign up now here!
  3. Next up, Refinery29.com is entered into the browser. I honestly really really wish they would put their “8 things to Know” into an email blast form (they just launched it as an app but TBH I think it’s a waste of iPhone storage) but once I get on the site it makes me click into other stories and fun reads that are less news-y.
  4. After all the celeb gossip and lifestyle tips I head to ApartmentTherapy for some décor inspiration. I love being inspired by other people’s homes and the before and afters always give me such home for my own home!
  5. Lastly, I check out PopVille, which is a must for any DCer. It has news about road closures, traffic, safety, and events… My favorite is checking between 3:30 and 4:00pm for the Afternoon Animal Fix!

 

I try to get all my reading done before I start work for the day, but if it’s a slow day I’ll recheck these or check out a few others.

Do you have any daily readings in your life? What do you suggest I add to my list!?

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Girl Crush: Olivia Palermo

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I know this isn’t breaking news; Olivia Palermo is a Street Style Star. She’s been on my radar ever since her The City days where she battled it out with Whitney Port. Back then while I appreciated her style, it wasn’t me. It didn’t resonate with the still punk-y college girl on a college girl budget. Now that I’m a big girl and both of our styles have evolved I can definitely say that I look to Olivia for inspiration.

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Olivia Palermo Silk Scarf Fur Coat

She’s feminine and flirty, but her cut throat attitude still shines through. She’s not afraid to make a bold statement or try something new, and I love that. It’s something old Sahra and new Sahra both appreciate her for. And lucky for me, and all the other girls who look to Olivia with #goals flashing in our minds, she has created a totally affordable collection for Nordstrom’s; and it’s full of gorgeous pieces that need to get in my closet STAT.

The End is Here…for 2015

Another year is coming to a close. I’m  usually big on reflection all throughout the year, but the last week of December I get especially ruminative. I make yearly goal lists and I’m proud to say that 2015 I checked off most of mine, including things like visiting a new state, visiting a new country, trying foods I don’t normally like, cooking at home more, and reading more.
2015 in Review

2015 was AMAZING. I can’t stress that enough. It started by ringing in the New Year with my boyfriend and one of my best friends. We embraced snowstorms galore, traveled to not one but two new countries (the UK and South Africa!). I saw the wild animals of Africa and pet a leopard, I fed a bear in Maine. I hiked abroad and at home. I started a new job that has embraced me and given me so many more opportunities. We started to run an AirBnB out of our spare room. I tried out new beauty products, and even managed to get a face regimen down (finally). We tested cars, we bought a new car. I contributed guest posts to other blogs and websites. I finally joined SnapChat. I spent a few months volunteering my time with cats. We adopted a kitten of our own. I visited a new state, Louisiana, just in the nick of time. And while it doesn’t seem like much, 2015 was by far the best year of my life as of yet.

2015 in Review

 

and 2016 is already looking promising…

We’re headed to Marfa, Texas in 3 weeks (kicking off with my New State early!)

Our big annual trip is in the works for March

I’m planning some minor changes to the blog…want to help curate them? Fill out this reader survey and help make 2016 the best year YET for QSS!

Have a wonderful New Year, my dear followers, and I’ll see you in 2016!

XO Sahra

Hump Day Dupe

Hey guys, welcome to another Hump Day Dupe! I’m thinking of bringing this series back, as it’s been awhile since I did one and I think they’re pretttty great. But really, Let me know what YOU think in the comments and let me know if you want to see more posts like this!birkinThe Birkin; the iconic Hermes bag that exudes subtle elegance, and wealth. A basic Birkin costs a couple thousand at least, but adding colors and unique rare leathers can bring a bag over $40,000. Yes, that’s for reals. While even some quality knock offs can cost $1,500 there are plenty of other options around, I like this $22.50 option from Ami Clubwear.

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Gift Guide: 13 Books for The Blogger on Your Lists

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Bloggers are fans of wishlists, this I know. With the holidays just around the corner, I wanted to do a series of wishlists, all non-apparel. This week is the first, and I’m going to discuss the best books in the business for anyone in your life interested in fashion! Many of these I already own, and are ones I highly recommend. The 3 I do not own are on my own wishlist, as I’ve heard great review!book wishlist1: The Boss of You
I own this book; it’s highlighted, underlined, crammed with notebook pages of my own notes. It’s full of exercises and steps to get you where you want to be in your business, whether it’s owning your own store, or the business of blogging, or anything!

2. A to Zoe
I love this book for many reasons; it’s a great coffee table book, it’s by an intelligent and iconic stylist, and goes over anything and everything you could need to know about dressing for various events and curating the perfect wardrobe.

3. Writing for the Fashion Business
This book was recquired reading for my college degree, yet it’s something I go back to time and time again and definitely suggest to anyone who takes writing for their blog seriously, or has aspirations of becoming a fashion writer.

4. Alexa Chung’s IT
This book is SO NEW to the market, yet has come with some great reviews. A collection of photos, blurbs, and stories about the iconic “it” girl is inspiration enough for any blogger coveting the “it” factor.

5. Fashion of the 20th Century
Another great coffee table book, this one is for the blogger who is visually stimulated, as it covers 100+ apparel ads spanning the history of fashion.

6. Man Repeller: Seeking Love, Finding Overalls
As a long time follower of the musings of Leandra behind Man Repeller, I was super stoked when she wrote a book. One of my favorite things about her blog was her way with words; her whitty rhetoric, her uncanny ability to perfectly use SAT level verbs to describe fashion, and her effortless analogies. While I have yet to pick this baby up, I need to. And so does every blogger you know!

7. The TeenVogue Handbook
This book is perfect for the fashionista in your life who has yet figured out her niche, or where she wants to go within the industry. I bought this book in college when I was at that level, and the in depth descriptions of the positions and jobs within the fashion industry helped give me a better overall view of the business, as well as helping me hone in on my favorite aspects.

8. The Fashion Book
Dictionary-like, this mini-book offers basic information about iconic designers and fashion terminology alphabetically. The cover and size also makes it a great reference book to keep on your desk or night stand! There’s also a heftier, larger version available perfect for the coffee table!

9. Fifty Dresses that Changed the World
If your blogger wants to run the world with the air of sartorial intelligence, knowledge of the iconic fashions is necessary. This book will show what it takes to make a stand out piece and to be inspired by the greats.

10. Lauren Conrad’s Style
Another celebrity penned book, this one talks about style basics, proportion, and how to dress for both the ‘burbs and the city life. Probably my all time favorite celeb book.

11. Lauren Conrad’s Beauty
LC can do no wrong; she always looks flawless, which is why she’s been on our radar for so long. I mean, do I really  need to be the one to tell you how long its been since Laguna Beach was on the airwaves? Instead, read this book and take beauty tips from the gorgeous star.

12. Born to Blog
Not yet in my position, but a book I’ve skimmed through before and love. It’s great for those just beginning to ponder blogging for fun or to make it a business. Born to Blog offers easy steps with thorough explaining to help you get off on the right foot.

13. Vogue The Covers
Last but not least, every blogger would love this iconic book of inspiration. Whether for their bookshelf, desk, or coffee table this book showcases over 120 years worth of fashion history, beginning from the days when Vogue was merely sketches and Sears ads.

Do you own any of these books? What do you think of my picks for your blogger this season!?

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Spring Wishlist: Marble Everything

Marble isn’t just for dreaming up your ideal kitchen plans anymore! Prabal Gurung and Helmut Lang (among others) have made it a spring trend on the rise! The stone printed trend has infiltrated all aspects of stylish aesthetic from accessories to workwear, athletic attire to phone cases. I’ve already hopped on the bandwagon with my Society6 phone case, but these wishlist items are on my radar, and hopefully soon in my closet!

adidas by Stella McCartney ‘Run’ Print Tights

H&M – Long Chiffon Blouse

Jordan Carlyle Ocean Drive iPhone 6 Case

Kiind Of Slit-Front Marbled-Print Midi Skirt

THE WALART The Black Marble Travel Wallet

Rebecca Minkoff Marlow Mini Bag

00:00:Mm Midnight Methods marble print sweater

Robert Rodriguez Carrara Marble-Print Short Skirt

Olive + Oak Marble Print Box Tank

What do you think of this trend? Do you own, or are planning to own, any of these pieces?!

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Colors of the Masquerade, Watch As They Fall Away

weeks went by but felt like hours
Spring would lie in summer showers
In my hair were winter flowers

Nothing says spring in DC more than the cherry blossoms that litter the sidewalks. A sea of pink is the perfect backdrop for all things feminine, including this day time look. I’m loving the need to not wear a jacket until after the sun goes down and that I’ve been able to bring back this perfect blouse!


top c/o Cooper and Ella
UniQlo legging jeans
clutch by Charming Charlie
necklace via Side Dish Mobile
LifeStride flats

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I’ve Got That Red Lip Classic Thing That You Like

Cape Town, South Africa has rapidly become one of my favorite cities. With that infamous Mediterranean climate, famed mountains, a plethora of unique wildlife, and some of the world’s most gorgeous beaches it’s hard to find another city to compete. Before I delve into a recap of my trip here’s a look at another outfit I wore. I wore this flirty polka dot dress to lunch at The Roundhouse, a picnic themed restaurant on the side of a mountain, then to relax along the beach of Camps Bay sipping South African wine and enjoying the spectacular views [with the love of my life].

polka dot dress by White House/Black Market

Red tote c/o Linell Ellis

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