I’d like to thank my Western PA roots for my obsession with everything and anything fall-related. Most of my life was spent attending school in a picturesque small town in the heart of the Laurel Highlands. My Octobers were painted yellow and orange, and my heart ached to wear riding boots and vests year-round.
You know what they say: a healthy body is the foundation for a healthy mind. About a year ago, I finally decided to take a few extra steps and start working on my fitness. (*starts singing Fergalicious*) The benefits have been through the roof all around, but it’s remarkable how much of a difference you can make just by taking an hour out of your day. If you read my last post, I briefly mentioned a newfound focus on inspiring others to take the same steps to a healthier lifestyle.
Talk about perfect timing.
Well, if you haven’t noticed, I’ve been taking an extended break from writing Pittsburgh & Pearls. I just wanted to take a minute to fill you all in on what’s new in my life, and some plans for the future.
Sarah, what’s going on? Where have you been?
To be completely honest with you, 2016 has been the busiest year of my life. Spring semester has always been a bit crazy for me, but I never expected to transition into my first actual not-so-summer Summer. Ask any college student: internships are a lot of work. Find the perfect one for you, and you’ll put 1000% of your energy into being the best intern possible. Mix in a summer class and things start to get a little tricky. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love staying busy: I’m my best self when I have a lengthy to do list written out. However, sometimes I find that it gets a little hard to breathe.
Another fun fact about me, which you’d know if you’ve followed me for quite some time: I’m a student athlete, and this is the first year I’ve put my health and fitness as a number one priority. To me, a healthy lifestyle is key for a healthy mind, but there will be a lot more on that topic very soon (hint hint, wink wink).
A dream internship in the city + summer class + attempting to maintain a solid workout schedule + playing tennis
= not a lot of free time.
I’m definitely not complaining. My life is incredible. For a while, I was becoming way too consumed with the idea of maintaining the “perfect” image. Most millennials can attest to the fact that social media has become almost a necessary evil. Way too many people become obsessed with their online identities, myself included. I’d rather get to know my readers on a more personal level than promote that ideal front.
Maintaining a blog is hard work. You would be so surprised by how much time and energy is put into running a successful blog. Not to mention, I realized how much I have changed since I’ve started my website. I didn’t want to put in that time and energy to feel like I wasn’t putting forward my most genuine self, since I genuinely care about the content I produce for you.
After brainstorming for a while about the future direction of my blog, I realized that it is definitely in my best interest to focus on things that might help others become their best selves; promoting the development of creating a healthy lifestyle and mindset. That being said, I’ll begin emphasizing lifestyle: food, fitness, travel, etc. (alongside my usual fashion and beauty posts).
I can’t wait to dive into what I have planned for Pittsburgh & Pearls. To my readers: thank you for sticking around all this time, (almost 3 years!) and growing up alongside me.
All college girls love a great deal. Free pizza? I’m in. Even if it means attending a meeting for a club that I’m hardly a part of. I was beyond excited when Andrea from Clothes Mentor Wexford invited me to visit her store and shop around. Mention the words “J.Crew” and “Kate Spade” and “discounted” in the same sentence and I’ll try and be there as soon as I can.
Clothes Mentor focuses on buying gently used better brand-name fashions and accessories, and their selection is fantastic. Some of my favorite finds were pieces from J.Crew (shocker, right?), Kate Spade, and Banana Republic. Not to mention that everything in the store is in great condition. It’s perfect for college girls who want to incorporate trendy and high-end products into their wardrobes without having to deal with the prices that usually follow. Trends may come and go and wardrobes are always changing anyways, so why spend the full price when you can experience high-end resale?
Andrea proposed that we try a challenge: to see how many fabulous outfits we could put together for about $100 — we ended up picking out 3 ensembles (dress, shoes, & accessories) that are perfect for spring events.
Look #1: Little Black Nanette Lepore Dress
Guys, I am absolutely OBSESSED with this entire outfit. I actually ended up buying the dress and heels since it took me a little too long to stop twirling around in them. My go to trick for styling little black dresses has always been to incorporate a pop of red, usually with red lipstick and shoes. In this case I decided to switch up the pop by using a bold pattern in the same neutral color palette as the rest of the outfit with my choice of shoe.
The Betsey Johnson choker statement necklace was also a really bold move for me since I usually opt for simpler accessories with this kind of neckline. I loved how edgy and young it made the dress feel, while remaining extremely classy.
Dress : Nanette Lepore – $45
Necklace : Betsy Johnson – $35
Shoes : Nine West – $24
(bonus: Dolce & Gabbana handbag)
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Total : $104
Look #2: Blue & Yellow Eliza J
I fell in love with this dress from the second I walked into Clothes Mentor. I usually don’t opt for pieces that are incredibly bright, or yellow, but when in Rome, right? Inspired to create a look that was bold for spring, I contrasted a royal blue necklace and matching suede shoes against the lemon color (a little hard to see, sorry!) I also really loved the texture in the dress, which made it feel incredibly appropriate for spring and summer. I also fell in love with these heels, which have a navy pleather accent on the toe and felt like a modern take on a vintage design.
Dress: Eliza J – $14
Shoes: Ralph Lauren – $24
Neckace: Talbots – $10
Bracelet: Nordstrom (x2) – $6 each
(bonus: Lenvin handbag – $750
& Dolce & Gabbana sunglasses – $99)
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Look #3 – All Pink Kate Spade
My dream world is entirely Kate Spade everything. I seriously wish I had a lifestyle where I could wear their dresses everyday. I was so excited to have found this dress as it combines a few of my favorite things; Kate Spade, tweed, and the color pink. It reminds me of Elle Woods or Jackie O, and the second I tried it on I felt so chic. Adding all pink accessories, including the Kate Spade handbag made me feel like Barbie, and I loved every second of it.
Dress: Kate Spade – $85
Heels (not pictured, but here): Julianne Hough – $24
Bracelet: Talbots – $12
(bonus: Kate Spade Handbag – $40)
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I ended up leaving with the Nanette Lepore dress, two pairs of heels and two bracelets for exactly $100! I was beyond excited, and can’t wait to style these pieces with my own wardrobe for you in the future!
Which was your favorite look? Let me know in the comment section below!
Every woman loves a high-quality handbag. Throw in the words “sophisticated” and “handcrafted”, and you’ll garner more attention. ClaudiaG Collection, a brand of boutique-style, beautifully handcrafted handbags, versatile accessories and trendy jewelry, knows how to attract every type of woman. With clientele ranging from your style-savvy shopper to hardworking mom to even the business executive, they produce a quality product that can be appreciated by women of all walks of life.
Their new Spring & Summer Collection is bold and bright, and it makes me want to pack up my bags, throw on a Lilly Pulitzer dress and travel to Palm Beach for a week or two. The collection is fresh and modern; incorporating it into your summer collection is a fun way to change up your everyday accessories. You’ll definitely see me toting my new bag around this spring break!
Let’s be honest ladies; high quality leather at an affordable price in any form is really hard to come by. The ClaudiaG Collection is the only brand in the direct sales industry offering a full and complete line of genuine leather handbags, all exquisitely designed in exclusive limited editions. Luckily for us Pittsburghers, ClaudiaG is launching its Spring & Summer Collection at an event at the Donegal Community Center (in Donegal) on Saturday, February 13th at 10 am. If you’re interested in joining an effortlessly chic and high quality bags and accessories family or even just want to learn more, Teresa Snyder, a ClaudiaG consultant, will be sharing how and why she personally got involved with the company, as well as showing off their new Spring & Summer Collection.
Local ladies can register for the complimentary event, by visiting www.cgevolution.eventbrite.com. For more information about ClaudiaG, check out www.claudiagcollection.com. And, connect with the brand on Facebook,Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter.
I hope to see you there!