Word of the Year: 2017

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Happy New Year! I’ve known for several years that 2017 was coming, but wow, did it get here fast!

When times are hard, it’s easy to say, “Yeah, that was just NOT my year…” And sometimes it really isn’t. It’s a contrast year, showing you everything you don’t want and making what you do want that much clearer.

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My Word of the Year for 2016 was Present. It took me several months to get into the groove, but once I did, it was like the rapids, and it all came flowing so fast, I had no choice but to let go and enjoy the ride. And you just wouldn’t believe the presents that presented themselves. Presents in the form of laughter, in the form of friendship, in the form of love, in the form of money. Unreal, and yet so real!

I wanted to be fully accepting of where I am in my life right now. So I accepted.this-is-30

I wanted to start enjoying the current moments. So I enjoyed.abbey-laughing

I wanted to open my eyes to the glorious things that surround me today. So I opened them.post-5-years

I wish I could include all of the photos of everyone that showed me I am loved and filled with light. I wish I could post pictures of every place I went that confirmed that I am exactly where I am meant to be. I wish I could describe every conversation when I felt that there was no where else I’d rather be, but in that moment. Instead, I will say Thank You to the people who are special to me and filled 2016 with more joy than I could have anticipated.

Now that I’ve been living the high life, I’ve got to get into some deep sh…stuff. I’ve decided that my Word of the Year for 2017 is:

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Trust. Now that I’ve Loved, and Grown, and lived in the Present, I need to start trusting the process, trusting myself, and trusting others again.

It’s about being confident in my own life experiences to know when I’m making decisions that are leading me on my desired path.

It’s about knowing I can have everything I want, I just have to give up the control and know that it will appear when it’s time.

It’s about believing in myself to know that the trail my heart has already blazed, has only one option-to come to be. No more uncertainty.

I am SO looking forward to all of the joys that 2017 will bring!

What’s your word this year?

Light and Easy

Hello from Philadelphia!

Since I’ve been home, I’ve been thinking about everything that is important to me. Fostering friendships, laughing, enjoying my work, cultivating important relationships, eating really good food, spending time with family, laughing more, transforming my hair into “Charleston Blonde”, so I can finally be a blonde “Ole” emoji in my group text with my Chucktown Girls, more laughing, and committing to fun in everyday life 🙂

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I truly feel like I emerged out of my chrysalis into the most beautiful butterfly. I’m in the best place in my life to give and receive love. I’ve proved to myself many, many times throughout the past few years that everything is possible. “Fierce” is the best way that I can describe the feeling that I have entering my 30s.

In order for me to keep up this momentum (because, let’s face it, life throws you some lemons, even when you’re sipping that lemonade you made from the last ones), I’ve been listening to a TON of Abraham Hicks videos on YouTube. It just makes SO MUCH SENSE!

Everything SHOULD be Light and Easy. Why do we make everything more complicated for ourselves? I have SO many instances where The Universe has provided me exactly what I’ve needed at exactly the right time. So why should now be any different?

If you need some inspiration, then definitely check out the link. It’s brought me so much peace in my time of transition. Everyday, I feel closer to clarity, closer to alignment, and trying to enjoy the growth that comes from experiencing contrast. Abbey and I say, “The vortex is there for you, all you have to do is step in!”

It’s almost time for a new Word of the Year, and I’ve got one that feels like the right choice for 2017. Stay tuned!

 

Where Have You Been?

Well, this past week was QUITE the whirlwind! Lot’s of meeting up with friends, drinking too much, lounging at the beach, and eating myself into oblivion…

Instead of separate posts, this will be one week of nonsense crammed into one!

HANGING OUT AT …39 RUE DE JEAN

WHAT I WORE

My cousin is married to a wonderful girl, Meghan, that we love. Meghan’s spunky sister, Emily, happens to live in Charleston and knows EVERYONE. Lucky me! She has been so sweet and invited me to lots of things, including lunch at 39 Rue de Jean last week. It was INCREDIBLE!!! No photos, we were talking too much 🙂 We shared the Mediterranean Artichoke Ravioli and then I got the Fried Goat Cheese Salad with Grilled Chicken. The chicken was so juicy and the goat cheese melted in my mouth! Oh yeah, and some Rose…Emily got the Mesclun Salade with Duck Confit, which she said is what she always gets, so it must be delicious!

Here’s what I wore:

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Top: J Crew Factory (new from June, purchased for my trip!) I’m noticing now that it is slightly see-through. Oooh -la-la (you know, because France…)

Denim: Bass

 

HANGING OUT AT…LOW COUNTRY BISTRO

Next up was a late breakfast on Wednesday at Low Country Bistro for my first ever taste of their Coleman Farms Chicken & Waffle. Let’s just say, I hope it’s not my last! This place was recommended to me by 2 different people, and they were right-it was goooooood! The chicken was so juicy and crispy, the waffle was made of sweet potato cornbread, and the butter was infused with pecans and bourbon.

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I have to admit that I pretty much ate the whole damn thing.

 

HANGING OUT AT…THE COCKTAIL CLUB & HALL’S CHOPHOUSE

WHAT I WORE

During our lunch, Emily said I should come out with her and her friends on Thursday night. When I asked where she wanted to meet, she said, “The Cocktail Club…Everyone goes to The Cocktail Club on Thursdays!”

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I checked out their website ahead of time, and it’s a really cool place. Very rustic and industrial with moody lighting, creative cocktails, and live music 🙂 Here’s what I wore:

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Off-the Shoulder Top: Hummingbird via C’est La Vie. Remember when I posted about it here? I wish it photographed more clearly….

Black Shorts: J Crew Factory

Earrings: Charming Charlie

Clutch: Charming Charlie

I wore nude platforms from Nine West Outlet

Here I am really enjoying myself:

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And here’s what took me over the edge and kept me up all night wishing I had taken it easier…

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Drink courtesy of our second stop, Hall’s Chophouse, and the nachos from across the street, which they hand-delivered to us because we were hungry and their kitchen was closed. That’s why this place is voted among the top 10 Restaurants in the US…

 

HANGING OUT AT…CO & AMEN STREET FISH & RAW BAR

WHAT I WORE

I’ve walked by CO several times and someone told me that they enjoyed it, so I stopped in on Saturday night. It was a little confusing-a long line, but no hostess…I waited a little bit, got some menu recommendations in line, and then had a seat at the bar, where I ordered a Blackberry Cooler/Spritzer? and the ever-safe Pad Thai with Shrimp. It was SO SO good! I’m convinced there is no bad food in this town! A little spicy, with just the right crunch from the peanuts. I would DEFINITELY eat here again.

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Here’s what I wore:

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Dress: Forever21 (that I originally posted about here)

Booties: Madden Girl

And then I came home, sat inside for an hour watching the ID Network, decided I looked too cute to be sitting at home, and went on a mission to find me some key lime pie. Amen Street Fish & Raw Bar delivered.img_0635

Did I feel slightly uncomfortable that I went in by myself, at 10pm, on a Saturday night, sat at the bar, and only ordered pie? The answer is yes. Did the pie make it worth it. Also yes. Are all of my clothes seeming to shrink smaller and smaller as the weeks go by? Sadly, the answer is yes to that too…

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Earlier on Saturday, my new friend, Abbey, joined me at the beach on Sullivan’s Island. It was a slightly impromptu visit, and we had such a great time laughing and talking. She is just so sweet and insightful, and I met her through Emily! I feel so happy and excited that I am making some new friends to help me feel a part of the city 🙂

Sunday was another beach day which included more eating, laughing, talking, and sunning 🙂

 

HANGING OUT AT…SAFFRON CAFE AND BAKERY & THE NOISY OYSTER SEAFOOD RESTAURANT

Emily recommended Saffron Cafe and Bakery to me the other day, and so I took a stroll there this morning. I have been craving hash browns ever since I started thinking about them yesterday. This did not disappoint (see what I mean about no bad food?!)

I got the Eye Opener-2 scrambled eggs with American cheese, hash browns (obviously), and 2 biscuits, but I only ate 1! Yay! Don’t worry, that was the last self-restraint of the day. Eggs were buttery, biscuits were flaky, and hash browns were crispy. Incredible.

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I finished off my binge-fest with a spontaneous stop at The Noisy Oyster Seafood Restaurant. I’m sure any well-seasoned foodie would have said, “Out of all the places in Charleston, why would you stop there?” Well, it was on my walk home from Waterfront Park, all of their garage-style windows were open and I wanted to sit inside and read my book while feeling the breeze. So, there. That’s why. I got the Chopped Salad with Grilled Shrimp. The shrimp was actually really good-nice and pan-crispy. The salad was really flavorful and had a nice little crunch from the toasted almond slivers 🙂 And that’s it. I didn’t want anything else for the whole night. Just a plain old salad.

OK, I had the Old Fashioned Banana Meringue Pudding. Gahhh! Can’t. Stop.Won’t.Stop.

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Greetings from Charleston!

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Hello Ya’ll! (OK, I’ll stop)

If you follow me on the ‘Gram (sarahashley612), you will see that I have been heading down south. #sarahdoescharleston

I have long contemplated moving to Charleston, South Carolina for 4 years. Why Charleston? Why not Charleston…the vibe of the city is just *heaven*. Every building has a story to tell and is maintained so beautifully. The old cobblestones, bricks, lanterns, piazzas, weather, palm trees, shops, and award winning restaurants are all reasons why it’s been ranked The #1 City in the World by Travel + Leisure in 2015. I’ve always loved the South, so when I talked about moving here, Charleston was constantly suggested. Not to mention, every time I saw a dreamy photo of a place I felt like I needed to go, the caption always confirmed the location…Charleston.

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I made 2 trips this past year to explore downtown and the suburbs, and I still felt like I needed to see what this path meant for me, so it was about time that I bossed up and made it happen! Don’t get me wrong, I have everything going for me at home, but I felt like I couldn’t move forward with any of it until I figured out what role Charleston would play in my life. It may just be a fun experience to tell my kids about (lesson: have courage), a good time to continue some emotional healing (yep, still working on it), and also give me more confidence in being independent (get it, girl!), or solidify why I need to own a home here at some point in my life (which means I need to become a multimillionaire AND also marry a multimillionaire…)

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In order to “test” it out and really take advantage of the experience, I decided to come down for 2 months. I figured out a way to continue working at my spectacular company, found an incredible FURNISHED apartment in a “Charleston Single” house right downtown, and hopefully made a connection to help a local interior designer (fingers crossed!) So far, it’s been just the kind of trip I thought it would be. A chance to be alone with my thoughts and fall in love with where I am in my life now.

It’s working.

Word of the Year: 2016

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Happy New Year!!

I can’t believe that another year has already gone by. It’s crazy! Last year, I posted about having a word of the year, instead of a resolution. And, well, I loved it so much, I’m doing it again!

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2015 was a really transformative year for me. My word last year was Grow. And I feel that I did just that! I opened myself up to experiencing kindness and love from new people

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I continued with therapy and proceeded to heal

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I visited a place that I always wanted to go and considered what it would mean if I moved therecharleston 2015

And I moved into a new apartment!

(photos to come soon!)

 

So now that it is 2016, here is my word:

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Present.

Often, I fast forward my life and become so caught up in what will happen or what is supposed to happen, that I forget to enjoy what IS happening. I feel that in order to be happier, I have to stop worrying about next year, stop trying to design my future, and just enjoy what life is offering me now.

Here’s to a year of serious enjoyment!

Meaning of Life

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It’s funny-I never think anyone really reads what I post here. Mostly, it’s because I do it for my own fun, and also because there is so much going on in the world, that I don’t think anyone cares about what I am wearing…But, I was recently at my high school reunion (11 years, already?!) and several of the people there said they read my blog, and then my family started saying that they love seeing my posts, and then friends of family were saying the same thing, so I realized that my whole life is about giving people some kind of “beautiful solace” to take them away from everything else in life. It’s why I am good at my job and why I continue to post about clothes when it doesn’t seem to matter.

The confidence that I get from looking my best everyday helps me to be more productive, and sharing my finds with you, helps to give my life a meaning. I will never discover the cure for disease or find the answer to world peace, but I do hope that I can help you feel warm in your homes and confident in the clothes you wear, even if you only have a little bit to spend on yourself 🙂

And in other news: I moved!! I have gotten SO much unpacking accomplished in 2 days, I can’t wait to post about it. But, in the midst of packing, my camera has been missing…so give me a few days to find it and you will get a boat load of clothing pics, along with some new home photos!

 

Word of the Year: 2015

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Happy New Year!!

Instead of choosing a resolution, Layla at The Lettered Cottage chooses a Word of the Year. I think this is so “wonder-full” (which happens to be Layla’s word this year), because it allows you to keep one goal in mind and do whatever you need to do to make that phrase come to fruition.

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2014 was extremely challenging for me. I hate to talk about really personal things, but here it goes. In August 2014, after 8 years together, HJ decided that he was not ready to be a husband and called off our wedding 3 weeks before the date.

It was the most devastating thing I have ever experienced (hence the short blonde hair and new clothes). But do you know what my word was for 2014? It was Love. And that’s exactly what I did. I loved him enough to let him go and learn about himself and I loved myself enough to love me the way I wanted to be loved. To me, that meant doing things to make me feel pretty, like a sassy, new, blonde hair cut.

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It meant spending money on adult purchases, like this beautiful sofa from Crate and Barrel.

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It meant accepting love and support from others, including these encouraging letters (some from strong women I don’t even know!)

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It meant traveling to Ireland by myself to see my cousin and best friend, Rachel, so we could be together during the hardest time in my life

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But now, it is a New Year! And so here is my word:

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Grow.

This is the perfect word for me this year as I experience my life in a new way. It is so scary and yet so freeing to know that I have so many new choices and paths that my life can take. I am so ready for all of the opportunities for me to Grow in 2015.

Here’s to a New Beginning!

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