Fashion Blogger Office

Sarah's Ambitions | Blogger at Home: Office Style

A peaceful, pretty home centers me. We just moved to our new place (guys – we got the rental house!), but I wanted to share some snippets of the design I created in our old apartment. First up, my office: the true hub of the home.

This is where I spend sometimes over 80 hours a week. My office needs to be functional, comfortable and beautiful. I am a real estate marketing and business development consultant, which is a lot of fun for me. Working in a field that requires both analytical and creative capabilities, I need my office space to offer both focus and inspiration.

Seeing these pictures has me antsy to settle into our new home! I value a lovely living space above any other luxury. As stated by the great architect Frank Lloyd Wright, “If you wisely invest in beauty, it will remain with you all the days of your life.”

Sarah's Ambitions | Blogger at Home: Office Style

All-white desk furniture keeps things simple and chic, letting me easily add pops of color and edit the palette in an instant.

Sarah's Ambitions | Blogger at Home: Office Style

This magnetic mood board makes it easy to change out my inspirational pieces. Just before our move, I had a sketch I’d drawn, a test Polaroid, my feature in the San Francisco Chronicle from last year and a personal #getitgirl quote I love.

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A simple picture rail from IKEA displays my favorite pictures, sketches and books of the moment. There is also a box from favorite candy bar – strawberries & champagne – that I purchased at Dylan’s Candy Bar on a trip to LA.

Sarah's Ambitions | Blogger at Home: Office Style

The definition of a #getitgirl.

Sarah's Ambitions | Blogger at Home: Office Style

My husband gave me this book of “Pep Talks & Picker-Uppers” when I launched my marketing career, just after moving to California. I kept it in my first office desk, and it’s a happy reminder of how hard I’ve worked and how far I’ve come.

Sarah's Ambitions | Blogger at Home: Office Style

Having a chaise lounge next to the balcony window creates a perfect spot for the puppies to nap (and stockpile toys). This is a must-have for my new space and I can’t wait to style it.

Sarah's Ambitions | Blogger at Home: Office Style

I added a touch of green just inside the balcony with these fake plants and used this as an opportunity to display a family heirloom, the rolling pin my grandma used in the parish kitchen where she raised her eleven children in rural Minnesota. It makes me feel like I have a little piece of my heritage with me.

Since the chaise lounge provided a perfect viewing perch for my puppies to see over the balcony and catch a glimpse of “intruders!!!” in the parking lot across the street, I used a tension rod and café curtains halfway up the window to keep us all safe and still sunlit. ;)

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These are a few of my favorite things: this dresser is half client samples and half art supplies, stationery and photography equipment.

Sarah's Ambitions | Blogger at Home: Office Style

These custom Bow & Drape sweatshirts for Coco and Chanel are so perfect I almost can’t. I pinned these tiny tops to the wall with some of my sewing pins – smaller holes that are easier to fill upon move-out :)

Sarah's Ambitions | Blogger at Home: Office Style

Now that we are starting to settle into our new place, I can’t wait to incorporate some of my favorite décor pieces and add personalized touches. My office still has all of the non-essentials in boxes, but my desk and the puppies’ chaise lounge are obviously in place.

Shop my office style:

Stay tuned for more interior style! Now that we have an entire home to decorate, I am so excited to dive into design.

Xo, Sarah

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Striped Shift Dress

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Honestly, the past few weeks have been a doozy. Sometimes, the best thing to do in response to  opposition – whether it be the unpredictable forces of life, a colleague that disappoints you, the checklist that grows by five every time you cross off two – is to just GSD. Get stuff done.

Take that moment to cry because sometimes the world isn’t fair in people’s lives. Momentarily furrow your brow, then let it melt away. Sigh in frustration, but then take a deep breath in and fill your reserves once more. And then, press on.

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Outfit details while shopping to make a difference:

WHAT I WORE BRAND GRADE
Striped shift dress Zara C
Black jacket Vintage Dolce & Gabbana via Encore in Burlingame A
Pointed-toe heels Calvin Klein via Nordstrom Rack (sold out, similarly cut shoe here via J.Crew) C
Black and lime sunglasses Banana Republic (get 40% off today online and in stores with code BRFORTY) B+
Black, semi-structured, faux leather handbag Zara (yes, I bought it in black and in white – it’s only $36!) C
Gold “love you” necklace Gift from my husband via Etsy, similar here via Nordstrom A
Rich pink lip gloss NYX Mega Shine Lip Gloss in “Tea Rose” via Nordstrom Rack B+
Men’s silver and gold watch Old Invicta, similar here from Burberry, and so many great ones at Nordstrom C+

Learn how I grade my purchases with The Better World Shopping Guide

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it’s dressed in overalls and looks like work.”

Well, Edison, I’ll take my overalls as a striped shift dress with a side of coffee and at-my-desk puppy snuggles. And I’m equally unafraid of trying over 1,600 times to get it right. ;) #getitgirl

Xo, Sarah

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Crop Top + High Waist

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My husband and I are nearing five years together, and between that and applying for a rental house we really adore (fingers extra-crossed), we had a lot to almost-celebrate. So we almost made reservations, and instead ended up at the chef’s bar at Scratch in Mountain View. Dinner and drinks were delicious and it was just the date night we needed.

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Outfit details while shopping to make a difference:

WHAT I WORE BRAND GRADE
Tweed crop top Zara C
High-waist pants Old BCBG, love these CONSCIOUS H&M pants C
Pointed-toe heels Calvin Klein via Nordstrom Rack C
Faux leather jacket Old Target, great ASOS alternative here (free 2-day shipping with code EXPRESSUSA) C
Black, semi-structured, faux leather handbag Zara (yes, I bought it in black and in white – it’s only $36!) C
Sheer pink lip gloss NYX Butter Gloss in “Creme Brulee” via Nordstrom Rack B+

Learn how I grade my purchases with The Better World Shopping Guide

Since I work in luxury real estate marketing and business development on the San Francisco Peninsula, the fact that this market is incredibly robust makes what I do even more exciting. On the flip side, as a participant in the salmon run of renters fighting the current to move upstream, it can get frustrating. Hashtag love-hate relationship. I have a lot of hope riding on this story ending well!

Xo, Sarah

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Incognito in Paris

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If I was going to be a Parisian spy, this is what I’d wear. I would be terrible at it, but I would feel like my style was working with the crowds. It’s all about the way you choose to feel, no?

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Outfit details while shopping to make a difference:

WHAT I WORE BRAND GRADE
Soft white shirt Amour Vert A
Fit-and-flare black skirt Zara C
Black leather flats Sam Edelman via Nordstrom B+
Faux leather jacket Old Target, great ASOS alternative here C
White, semi-structured, faux leather handbag Zara C
Oversize sunglasses Dior via Nordstrom B+
Gold “loveyou” necklace Etsy, gift from my husband (sold out, similar here) A
Pale pink nail polish Mineral Fusion in “Blushing Crystal” via Whole Foods A

Learn how I grade my purchases with The Better World Shopping Guide

I wore this for a day of weekend fun with my husband. It was pretty chilly by the time we took these pictures – I can’t wait for California summer.

My favorite thing about this outfit is that Amour Vert planted a tree when I bought this top. Look good, feel good, do good.

Xo, Sarah

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Float On

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Friday style: add equal parts floaty tank, messy bun, grayscale fashion and happy hour.

Don’t worry, even if things end up a bit too heavy, we’ll all float on alright.

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Outfit details while shopping to make a difference:

WHAT I WORE BRAND GRADE
Floaty white tank Zara C
Skinny waxed denim H&M C
Strappy black heels Zara (new version here) C
Faux leather jacket Old Target, great ASOS alternative here (save 20% with code XTRA20) C
White, semi-structured, faux leather handbag Zara C
Oversize sunglasses Dior via Nordstrom B+
Pavé charm necklace H&M, also love this Etsy option C/A
Oversize jewel ring Nordstrom Rack, my gift to myself after a big career win (this one is beautiful) B+
Pale pink nail polish Mineral Fusion in “Blushing Crystal” via Whole Foods A
Sheer pink lip gloss NYX Butter Gloss in “Creme Brulee” via Nordstrom Rack B+

Learn how I grade my purchases with The Better World Shopping Guide

Xo, Sarah

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Dancing in the Rain

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Adding a splash of pink to this drizzly day was just what the gray weather needed. The ballerina theme continued with my high bun, now my go-to hairstyle for rain. With a few spritzes of my new favorite hairspray, I was good to go. Switching to cruelty-free beauty products has been quite the project, and I am excited to share a roundup of my finds soon!

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Outfit details while shopping to make a difference:

WHAT I WORE BRAND GRADE
Ballerina-pink sweater Zara C
Faux-leather leggings H&M C
Black trench coat H&M C
Black stiletto booties Old Ralph Lauren, love this style at Ann Taylor C
White, semi-structured handbag Zara C
Pavé charm necklace H&M, also love this Etsy option C/A
Rose-pink nail polish Mineral Fusion in “Jewel” via Whole Foods A
Sheer pink lip gloss NYX Butter Gloss in “Creme Brulee” via Nordstrom Rack B+
 Pink umbrella  Totes C

Learn how I grade my purchases with The Better World Shopping Guide

We took these photos before last week’s sad events. Sometimes, blogging about personal style can feel very vain, but I hope that by sharing a piece of myself and the ways I strive to live responsibly will both inspire others – and me – to do more. Life has definitely not just moved on for David and me, and I am not sure how, exactly, it will. I am so happy to have my boo by my side and am very grateful for the support we have received. Being silly together, crying together, being together: that is how we will heal.

Xo, Sarah

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The Perfect Boyfriend Jean

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After hunting everywhere for the perfectly loose boyfriend jean at all of my favorite stores and striking out, I thought it would be a stroke of pure luck to find something that fit my tall frame without overwhelming my legs. Then I read Kim’s post about boyfriend vs. boy jeans and saw her amazing find from Zara.

I immediately went on the hunt, scouring every level of the store. I finally found that same pair – but alas, they were far too short on me. Then that luck finally hit. Hiding behind a jacket, I saw some jeans that looked both long enough and not-too-destroyed. Gold had been struck!

Outfit details while shopping to make a difference:

WHAT I WORE BRAND GRADE
Boy fit jeans Zara C
Sleeveless turtleneck DIY cut from old top with too-short sleeves, similar here A
Black and white scarf Zara C
Faux leather jacket Old Target, similar here C
White, semi-structured handbag Zara C
Black heels Calvin Klein via Nordstrom Rack B+
Black men’s sunglasses Kenneth Cole Reaction via Nordstrom Rack B+
Black and silver watch Kenneth Cole Reaction via Nordstrom Rack B+
Rose-pink nail polish Mineral Fusion in “Jewel” via Whole Foods A
Sheer pink lip gloss NYX Butter Gloss in “Creme Brulee” via Nordstrom Rack B+

Learn how I grade my purchases with The Better World Shopping Guide

My perfect boyfriend jean is actually a boy jean. I can’t stop wearing them! They’re not so loose that they fall down or catch when I’m walking, and they also still look good with a top that has a little volume. I think I’m going to buy them in every color.

Xo, Sarah

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Human

Sarah's Ambitions | Human

I had an outfit post queued to go today, but I postponed it. Today is a day to pause and reflect.

Last night, my husband came across a terrible accident on the freeway and was the first on the scene. He pulled a woman from the road and tried to save her, but it was too late.

We are both still processing our emotions. Extreme sadness is the best way to describe how I feel. I am incredibly sad that the woman who died somehow got to a place in her life to be walking down the middle of a freeway lane. I am incredibly sad that the person who couldn’t have possibly stopped in time now has this devastating burden to carry. I am incredibly sad that my husband had to experience this without me by his side. I am incredibly sad that I wasn’t there to try to help save her.

There is always some good that comes from the bad. I am glad my husband was with her when she died. She was surrounded by people with good hearts. We will carry this memory with us for the rest of our lives, and it is already inspiring us to remember to be more understanding and loving. You can never fully understand someone’s struggles, so be patient, and be kind.

Being human is a complex experience. Yesterday was a difficult day for other, pettier reasons. Last night’s accident put everything in perspective.

I’ll be snuggling my puppies a little closer and holding my husband’s hand a little tighter. I’ll also be taking more time for the things that feed my soul, and looking for more ways to give back. I want to turn this sadness into something constructive in her honor.

With extra love today, Sarah

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Black and White for Spring

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It finally feels like spring-like in northern California, and while I am excited for the warmer weather to come, I know how badly we need the rain and subsequently overcast days. In the meantime, layering warmer pieces over things like these amazing, high-waist, side-zip skinny jeans is my M.O. Normally, I would have worn these with a tall pair of heels, but my favorites suddenly gave me blisters over the weekend so I stuck with comfy flats!

Outfit details while shopping to make a difference:

WHAT I WORE BRAND GRADE
Black turtleneck sweater H&M (similar) C
White high-waist jeggings Zara C
Textured grey coat H&M (similar) C
Oversize cateye sunglasses Dior via Nordstrom B+
White semi-structured handbag Zara C
Black ballet slippers Sam Edelman via Nordstrom B+
White “infinity” bracelet Banana Republic, gift from my husband B+
Red nail polish Mineral Fusion in “Crimson Clay” via Whole Foods A

Learn how I grade my purchases with The Better World Shopping Guide

We have a couple big things on our plate right now that I am very much looking forward to wrapping: figuring out taxes (#selfemploymentstressors) and house hunting. Competition for rentals in the neighborhoods we like can be so intense that landlords often don’t even return calls or emails the first day a listing goes live – it’s already rented. I’m considering wearing braids every day so I have something crossed for good luck at all times.

Xo, Sarah

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Simple Black Jumpsuit

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I love a good jumpsuit – almost literally head-to-toe chic with one piece. It has already been feeling like summer in California, and the heat has me gravitating toward simple, sophisticated pieces that are easy to wear. When it’s sticky-hot, the last thing I want to do is fuss with five layers and a bracelet stack.

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Outfit details while shopping to make a difference:

WHAT I WORE BRAND GRADE
Black jumpsuit Trina Turk via Piperlime (love this, too) B+
Oversize cateye sunglasses Dior via Nordstrom B+
Gold “love you” necklace Etsy, just like Kourtney Kardashian’s A
Black flap handbag J.Crew C
Pink lipgloss NYX Mega Shine Lip Gloss in “Tea Rose” A
Red nail polish Mineral Fusion in “Crimson Clay” via Whole Foods A
Black and gold sandals Old (love these from ASOS) A

Learn how I grade my purchases with The Better World Shopping Guide

Jumpsuits are about two 3-inch panels from overalls, which make me think of 1996. I had one striped shorts pair and one that was adorned with a huge smiley face. That was also back when I was convinced a new outfit could make me into a new person. Now, I view style as expression of myself, not a definition.

Xo, Sarah

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