Change is in the Air…

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Back in 2013, I started this blog as a senior in high school partly out of pure boredom, but apparently also because I was not a very cool teen.  I mean, let’s be real, having a food blog as a 17 year old does not scream “hip”.  Luckily for me, I totally dgaf-ed, because here I am four (almost five!) years later!  I’m not going to link to my first post, because it’s embarrassing as all hell, but feel free to go looking for it; you might get a kick out of how teen-Sara talked, and also I had a totally cool signature line at the time, wow!

Anyways, I guess I’m just feeling a little nostalgic, because again, here I am four years later, and I’m graduating mother-f-ing college on Friday!  I honestly can’t even believe four years has already passed.  Plus, on top of graduating, I am also leaving to travel Europe for 4 months, aaaaand I have a really big project I’m working on that I’m hoping to share with everyone soon!  I’m busier than I’ve ever been, but I’m so happy and excited for the future!  Get super excited, because SSL is going to Europe, and I will be posting mad pics on the blog and Insta!

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For my senior pics, I wanted to stick with a “winter, spring, summer, fall” theme, because idk I guess it’s symbolic, but also I love living in a place with such distinct seasons.  For these photos, I went back to the hiking trail near Nevada City I told you guys about a few weeks ago.  Before we took pictures, we hung out in the city, eating lunch at South Pine Cafe, which is the cutest little restaurant that serves super fresh, healthy food, and I’m in loooove.  I’d be totally fine if they expanded to Reno.  Also!  We hit up The Curly Wolf which my brother calls the “Harry Potter” coffee shop because of its dark, semi-gothic style.  I’d 10/10 recommend taking a day trip to Nevada City if you live near the area, because it’s just so cute, and of course the Independence Trail hike is amazing!

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Thanks for sticking with me all these years.  I can’t wait to see what’s in store for SSL and life ahead!

xoxo Sara Lynn

*Song of the Day: Kinder Blumen by Real Estate

New Years House Party

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2016 is over!!!  Can we all just breathe a sigh of relief, already?  From what I’ve seen & heard, it seems as if 2016 was a difficult year for a lot of us, soooo…solidarity and all that jazz.  While 2016 was pretty rough, I’m so excited for everything that will happen this year!  Some things to look forward to:

  • Spring Break trip!!!
  • Graduation!!!
  • Europe!!!
  • New career (???)
  • Probably tons of things I don’t even realize are going to happen yet!

Seriously, 2017 should be pretty amazing!  Although I realize not all of my problems will be thrown out with my 2016 calendar, it does at least feel like an opportunity to take control and make this year much better than the last.  I’m especially looking forward to improving my mental health and taking some risks in my life!  I definitely don’t always choose the riskier option, but I’m hoping to step out of my comfort zone and see where it takes me.

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I’m also beyond grateful for all of the positive people and events that helped make my year brighter: my new job, friends & family, therapy, continuously learning, and some self-love helped me through my difficult moments and made me stronger!  Mental health illness can be a bitch, but I feel so very lucky to have a strong support system!

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I will be spending this New Years with some close friends eating good food (of course), and venturing the downtown crowds for the 2017 count down!  Since New Years is always for celebrating, I put on one of my favorite 1920s-inspired party dresses, shook last-night’s curls out of my hair, and threw on some red lipstick.  Every time I wear this dress, my situation goes something along these lines:

Stranger: “I love your costume!”

Me *on the outside*: “Thank you so much!”

Me *on the inside*: “Actually I just dress like this all the time!”

It’s always a good laugh between me and my friends, but I love when people notice my unique outfits!  Talking about vintage, thrifted fashion is one of my favorite things to do (;

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Dress/Shoes/Purse: Thrifted  Tights: Target  Necklace: Family Heirloom

I hope your night is filled with messy hair, cheap champagne, and some wonderful people!  Have a beautiful 2017 filled with love and adventure!

And as for you, 2016, tonight I’m dancing on your grave.

XO Sara Lynn

*Song of the Day: What Are You Doing New Years Eve? by Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt

The Perks of Being a Wildflower

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When I was younger, I loved looking up the symbols of birth months – birth stones, astrological symbols, birth flowers; being a July baby: ruby, Leo, larkspur.  But, I was never all that excited about my birth flower, not compared to April with sweet peas or August with lilies.  I never saw my birth flower growing wildly in fields near my cabin in Utah or daintily posed in the floral section of the grocery in puffy bouquets sprayed with dense TDZ.  I had no idea what a larkspur was, and I had completely forgot about them, right until recently when, while scrolling through the Travel Nevada Instagram, I noticed a picture featuring a vibrant, purple field of flowers with an orange sunset setting the scene.  Larkspurs!  I had finally found them, and they were so close!  I was (clearly) excited, until I reached my destination and realized I was actually looking at…

Lupines.

Also, I had missed prime lupine season, so all I was going to find after an hour drive to Lake Tahoe at 7 p.m. after an 8 hour shift was a bunch of green bushes with a few leftover purple flowers slowly closing for the season.  But never the matter.  I was at the lake, it was a beautiful day, and fields of green and purple are even better than just fields of purple, in my personal opinion.  However, my favorite color has been green my whole life, so I may be biased.

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Apparently, the best time to visit the lupines is in June, when the weather is warm, the lake is higher, and the water can reach the bushes.  There are fuzzy, mostly-black bees swarming the flowers, and little orangey-red ladybugs fly around with them.  I also found a tiny, secluded beach where the wildflowers are abundant, and I spent a quiet evening relaxing in the sand and watching the sunset.  After a few hours at the beach, I stopped by one of my favorite local pizza places, Wild Garlic, where I had cheese pizza with plenty of jalapenos, ranch, and honey (for the crust.  A Reno thing, I believe).  After a long day at work, I was very excited to relax and enjoy some me time, especially in such a serene place.

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Pictured here: My new Lucky dress, which is definitely a favorite. Similar.
My old, trusty lace TOMS that I wore to my high school prom years ago. Similar.
Jewelry made by my aunt 🙂

If you’re visiting Reno or Tahoe, and want some good local recommendations, feel free to reach out!  I’d love to share my favorite spots 🙂

XO Sara Lynn

*Song of the Day: Asleep by The Smiths

 

Trying Something New

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Lately, I’ve been in a major need for some change.  A lot of frustrating/sad/difficult events have been happening in my life so I’m trying to take it as an opportunity to make myself happier and not let my anxiety take over.  While a lot of these changes are not within my jurisdiction, I’m taking this time as an opportunity to focus more on my goals and the direction I am going with my life.  I’m getting rid of anything I feel is toxic or not helping me progress toward my goals and focusing more on travel, music, food, and making friends.

Like any 20-something, I’m looking for success and happiness and love and adventure and any sign that I’m doing what I’m supposed to be with my life.  This story is not new, and everyone experiences it, but that does not mean that we don’t struggle with our choices and chances either.  At times, I shelter myself, not because I do not want to put myself out there, but because I’m perfectly happy being on my own.  I’m working toward opening up and having more fun!

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A few weeks ago, I spent the weekend at my aunt’s house to watch her puppies and have some time to relax by myself.  It was nice to get away, watch movies by myself in my jammies, eat Thai food, and enjoy some fresh air with a beautiful view.

One of the nights, I decided to go out for a solo dinner after a particularly long day at work.  I decided to wear this romper, which honestly, has been hanging in the back of my closet for the past year or so.  When I first saw it, I fell in love with the print, and I actually thought it was a dress.  I don’t usually wear rompers, but again, the print was amazing, so I tried it on and eventually bought it because it was on sale.  I usually wear it with a skirt over it so the top acts as a shirt, but since I am trying new things, I decided to wear it as a romper and step out of the box.  I will admit that this is not the biggest leap of courage, but sometimes small steps are better.  At first I didn’t feel comfortable, but the more I wore it, the better I felt, especially with my favorite Lucky boots.  It felt nice to wear something that I normally wouldn’t and take a “risk” with my fashion choices.

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Getting away for a little while helped ease my mind, and I had a lovely weekend petting some cute pups (who you might notice as little blurs in some of these pictures.  They were afraid of the sound of the camera timer, which was pretty funny, so they showed up as little blobs.  Oops!).  Taking pics with some of my aunt’s vintage furniture was really amazing as well – such a cool house to get pictures in!  I’m looking forward to what the future has to bring, solo travels, and new opportunities, friends, and people.

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Romper from H&M, boots from Lucky, jewelry is old

Have a happy, relaxing weekend and be looking out for some exciting upcoming posts!  I just got back from San Fran, and I have some fun stuff to show you all 🙂

Xo Sara Lynn

*Song of the Day: Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want by The Smiths

Casual Friday

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Dress: Similar Necklace: DIY Shoes: Converse

Last weekend, I stayed at my aunt’s house to watch her dogs while she was out of town. Her house is perfect for fashion photography.  Spacious, forest-y, perfect lighting, privacy. I was in love with the photog conditions here.  I always want to take pics in the forest, but it can be difficult to get the lighting perfect and set up a tripod with a timer and, most importantly, hike to said destination in whatever cutesy outfit I’m wearing.  But now?  Aunt’s house.  All the way.  Why didn’t I think of this before?

Anyways, the other day I was going through a bag of clothes that my friend gave me a while ago.  I don’t actually want to tell you how long it took me to go through the clothes, because it’s actually kind of embarrassing, but the bag got thrown in the back of my closet, and I got busy, and well…you know what happened.  Anyways, I pulled out this t-shirt dress, which I actually thought was a weird long shirt and almost didn’t try on.  But then I decided to give it a chance, and ohhh my gosh, it’s the cutest most comfortable t-shirt dress!  I was stoked on life.  I wore it at work and on a date and at the park and while hiking a little.  It can do anything.  Where can I buy all the t-shirt dresses?  I’ll become a spokesperson for them, I swear.  Also, they go so well with everything like sandals, oxfords, sweaters, flannels, etc.  Where have t-shirt dresses been all my life?

(I loooooove you t-shirt dress).

If you haven’t already noticed, dressing up is one of my favorite things to do.  I like crafting outfits, putting different clothing articles together that are out-of-the-ordinary, and I love when people compliment my fashion.  It definitely gives me some confidence, especially since most of my outfits are thrifted and original.  However, my other favorite thing to do is find clothing that is amazingly comfortable but also super cute.  Hi t-shirt dress hiiiii!

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Look how beautiful that view is!  And the clouds?  Ugh, magical.

I hope you have an amazing Friday ♥

Xo SaraLynn

*Song of the Day: Karen by The National

Little White Blossoms

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Dress: CLE Paris  Hat: Chatties  Shoes: City Classified  Jewelry: Old

Last Monday, Reno had an overnight blizzard.  And by blizzard, I mean 6.8 inches of snow, which I guess doesn’t necessarily warrant the term “blizzard”, but for the love of God, it was March.  The snow was at a record high with 3 ft. falling in the Ruby Mountains. Skiers didn’t quite know what to do with themselves.  Classes were cancelled.  Chaos ensued…!

…And then today, I wore a sundress.  When spring hits in Reno, you don’t know what you’ll get, and today we got perfect, sunny mid-70 degree weather.  Tomorrow, there might be a hurricane or an ice age or something, and although that’s essentially impossible, I wouldn’t put it pass the executive at Mother Nature’s Northern Nevada Department to carry out that kind of large-scale project on such short notice.  However, today we got spring, and spring means flowers!  In Reno, March comes with hundreds of thousands  of tiny white and pink flowers all over our trees, and it is my favorite time of the year, aside from when those flowers turn into leaves and then the leaves turn into brown and red and yellow leaves and then those leaves fall to the ground.  But the tiny flowers are a close runner-up.  To match the tiny white flowers, I wore my new, thrifted maxi dress.  This dress is one of my new favorites, because 1. If you’re a 90s kid, you probably have a picture of you and your mom at your third birthday party, and your mom is wearing a dress almost identical to this one and 2. It matches perfectly with my new hat!  (For the record, I bought this hat months ago, and didn’t know what to do with it.  Then I kind of thought the hat thing might be too overrated.  Then I wore the hat and understood why everyone wears them, because they’re adorable and I’m obsessed!)

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P.S. Speaking of the 90s, today I learned that, with the return of the new Powerpuff Girls series, you can go online and “Powerpuff” yourself, and let me tell you, I was excited.  I flipped open my laptop, and headed to the website to procrastinate on folding a little bit of laundry.  Right when I hit the website, I see…

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https://www.powerpuffyourself.com/#!/en

THIS.  Right on the homepage.  And I mean, at this point, why even go through with it?  (But just kidding, I did anyways, because the laundry wasn’t going to procrastinate on folding itself.  And for the record, I chose a darker red hair color and a striped shirt, so there is still virtue in originality).

P.P.S. I just turned on the TV, and Clueless was on!  The dream of the 90s is alive in Portland Reno.

XO Sara Lynn

*Song of the Day: How Soon is Now? by The Smiths

 

 

Valentine Hearts and Foggy Weather

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Dress: Innocence  Jacket: Hot Kiss  Scarf: Old  Boots: Minnetonka

This morning was amazing, because 1. I got a barista job after months of trying, and 2. It was just so beautiful and cloudy in Reno today, which is my favorite weather ever.  After I went to my job interview, I drove around town, celebrating with coffee, and the weather was perfect, temperate, and a little foggy.  I love foggy weather in Reno, because it gets a little cold, makes the colors of the mountains pop, and the temp feels like NoCal.

Normally, I love staying up late at night and sleeping later in the morning, but waking up early today made me see Reno in a different way.  I normally only experience the town around the busy hours of 10 a.m.-6 p.m., but today it was serene and much less stressful to drive in.  I listened to my San Fran CDs (Little Joy and Modern Vampires of the City) and drink way too much coffee (to fit the mood obviously!).  It felt so amazing to not feel anxious and actually enjoy driving for once (which is probably something I should work on anyways, but driving is so stressful!)

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Talking to a tree.  No really.  That’s what I was doing in this pic.

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Fulfilling my dream of being the “heart eyes” emoji.

Today, I wore one of my favorite dresses that I got in London, which just so happens to be festive for upcoming Valentine’s Day!  This dress makes me feel so cute, and I also got to prove that red heads definitely can wear red.  (Not that I necessarily ever believed we couldn’t wear red.  Take that society).  But still, it felt like an accomplishment nonetheless.

I hope you have a wonderful Valentine’s Day with your love or friends or family or dog or by yourself or not at all.

XO SaraLynn

*Song of the Day: Brand New Start by Little Joy