Living LBD: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge

/ Monday, April 7, 2014 /
It's no secret that I simply adore Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge (or Kate Middleton, as the media knows her still). I was glued to my laptop prior to sweet Prince George's arrival and woke up well before my normal waking hours in high school to watch the Royal Wedding. Super embarrassing fact: I've watched all of those mockumentaries detailing William and Kate's courtship. I still haven't quite given up on my dream of becoming a princess so Kate is an excellent role model.

Kate Middleton. Perfect black dress. Love this! She always looks so fab and I wish I had this dress!
(via Pinterest)
I'm also an avid reader of What Would Kate Do? and I'm a proud member of the Glosse Posse so my Twitter feed is constantly filled with duchess-related tweets. Kate has countless qualities that make her an ideal example of an LBD life, so in honor of the Cambridges' trip down under, I thought I'd compile a list of my favorite Kate traits!

1. Authenticity-I don't know about you, but I certainly thought it was brave of Kate to walk out of the hospital within a day of giving birth to dear Prince George and not worrying about hiding her post-postpartum baby belly. Previously, I had never quite thought about what a woman looks like after giving birth so I found it refreshing to see Kate show what new motherhood truly looks like. Of course, Kate was simply glowing!
Catherine Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge
(via Pinterest)

2. Modesty-I know that the media has highlighted recently that Kate has had some wardrobe malfunctions with her shorter skirts blowing up in the wind and showing the royal thighs, but overall, I've always found that Kate dresses appropriately for the occasion and has even brought wearing pantyhose/stockings/whatever you want to call them back into fashion. I, for one, feel much better when I go to a fancier occasion and am wearing pantyhose. Much classier!

Some were born great. Some achieve greatness. And some have greatness thrust upon them!
Pantyhose! (via Pinterest)
Catherine Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge
(via Pinterest)
3. Dog lover-If you're a dog person and dogs like you, in my opinion, you're a stellar human being. Dogs are an excellent judge of character and Kate's relationship with Lupo is simply precious. Plus, the Cambridges' decision to include Lupo in their family photos completely touches my heart.
Google Image Result for
(via Pinterest)

4. Mother to the Prince of Chubby Cheeks-Can I just say that little Georgie may be the cutest baby ever? His cheeks are just begging for kisses. Such a darling family; I can't wait to see more of them during their tour!

Oh, and I thought I'd include this for fun :)
I love Kate Middleton, but some of the captions on this website are just too funny to pass up #katemiddletonforthewin
(via Pinterest)

Weekly Recap: 3/31-4/5

/ Sunday, April 6, 2014 /
Another whirlwind week for me. Some days I wonder if I'll ever have a real break, but thankfully the end of the semester is soon approaching and I always take a week off work after the semester ends for some much needed recuperation. In the mean time, here's a quick overview of my week!

(original via Flickr)
Before the week even started, I knew I would be neck deep in tons of writing. I had a short story (over 10 pages!) and a rough draft due for my big senior seminar research paper. On Tuesday, I had a breakthrough in my research on how emerging writers use Twitter to create a career-focused image and essentially, my research took a whole new direction. While what I've found so far is awesome, it definitely put a lot more work on my plate. Even though my fingers had barely left the keyboard over these few days, I did steal a few hours to catch up with some of my favorite people. I'm trying really hard to manage the whole work/life balance, but I certainly felt myself struggling this week. Oh and my outfit inspiration was for the week was Blair Waldorf, check out my outfit of the day!

This was the day everything was due, but also a big opportunity. One of my favorite professors in my college's writing department asked me to introduce a speaker who was coming to give a lecture for the humanities series called "Lost and Found." So Thursday afternoon, I drove downtown to go pick up Dr. Matthew Kirschenbaum, Associate Professor in the Department of English at the University of Maryland and Associate Director of the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities. When I arrived at his hotel, I spoke with the valet and tried to explain that I would only be inside for a moment to go pick up the speaker for the college. However, he insisted upon parking my car because of hotel policy. By the time I returned to the valet station, the poor valet had just finished parking my car and come down the stairs. His face looked as if I betrayed him! Finally, Dr. Kirschenbaum and I were on our way and he was subjected to my inadequate attempts to make small talk. Evidently, there was a bit of a miscommunication so when we got to the college, I had no where to take Dr. Kirschenbaum, which meant that we sat around for a bit while I tried to entertain him. When we finally got into the lecture room, I didn't have the proper password to set up the PowerPoint so we had to sit around and twiddle our thumbs even longer. I felt so bad, awkward, and completely unprepared. Luckily, Dr. Kirschenbaum was completely ace and very, very kind to me. My introduction for him was a little shaky because I'm a nervous public speaker, but his presentation was truly interesting and I learned so much about the evolution of word processing. 

Another busy day for me! Unfortunately the night before I didn't have much sleep (stress and adrenaline!), meaning I was pretty dead at work and could barely keep my eyelids open without downing a good bit of caffeine. Have you ever had one of those days when you try so hard to stay awake that you forget to do anything, even eat? Yep, today was one of those days. I nearly passed out at work because I had forgotten to eat breakfast or lunch. Thankfully, I recovered and went to my first meeting of the day with the Dean of Academic Affairs to participate in a Shakespeare presentation to mark his 450th birthday on April 23rd. Last semester, I was in a Shakespeare class that looked at appropriations of Shakespeare's works. For my final project, I ended up creating a Tumblr account called Beatrice Presents where I wrote as a modern-day Beatrice from Much Ado About Nothing. For the celebration of Shakespeare's birthday, I will be talking about my project at the college's library. Needless to say, I'm truly excited for the opportunity, but again, public speaking terrifies me so this will be another challenge for me!

After this meeting I went to Starbucks ran a few errands and then headed downtown again with one of my best friends, Lauren, for a senior class e-board meeting. There was also an alumni event going on at the same time so I got to talk to a few people and might have some exciting opportunities in the near future! I'll keep you posted. I ordered a drink (Malibu and Coke, yum) and headed to the meeting, which was really productive with a bunch of EXCELLENT ideas being thrown around. I'm really excited for next year!

I ended the night by walking around town and going to Wayne White's art exhibit for First Friday. The exhibit was amazing and I ran into a bunch of people I haven't seen in ages. After I dropped Lauren off, I headed back to the city with my friend, Sean, to go to the local Irish bar for late night happy hour. We had lovely time, but I had to pull a Cinderella and get home by midnight because Saturday was another early morning. 

Lauren, Sean, and I were together again (#SpartaNation #YCPRoadCrew reunion) for an Alumni Leadership Conference. We had a yummy breakfast and lunch, but since I had to get up early again, I was really struggling to stay awake. Fortunately, I learned a lot about the Alumni Relations department that I'll be working with extensively since I'm on the e-board. I feel so blessed to have all these opportunities coming my way, but by the time I got home, I essentially passed out at 5 p.m. and woke up this morning at 8 a.m. 

Right now, I know there's no way that I can keep going at this pace so hopefully this week will be a bit more relaxing. I don't have nearly as much scheduled. Most importantly, I feel that by writing this out, it puts into perspective how busy a twenty-something's life is and makes you feel less alone in the adventure. 

Living LBD: Audrey Hepburn

/ Monday, March 31, 2014 /
This week's Living LBD lady is perhaps the ultimate LBD icon. I mean, not only is Audrey Hepburn known for  wearing a little black dress in Breakfast at Tiffany's and several other of her famous movies, but she is the epitome of grace and class. Audrey has so many excellent qualities that we all should try to emulate, which means she may be a reoccurring example on Living LBD, but I shall begin with what I love best about her:
Audrey Hepburn during the filming of Funny Face, Tuileries Garden, Paris, 1956.  This picture was taken by famed American photographer David ‘Chim’ Seymour.
(via Pinterest)
1. Kindness-Audrey spent the last years of her life dedicating her time to UNICEF. She was an active spokesperson for the cause and made several trips to impoverished areas to meet the people and lend a helping hand. I know that I'm guilty of getting caught up in my own everyday struggles and I often forget to give back to others who are less fortunate. Audrey acts as a reminder that anyone living a quality life means that we have to give back and show compassion to others.
UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Audrey Hepburn in Vietnam, 1990
(via Pinterest)
2. Humility-Those who aren't well read on all of Audrey's virtues usually just associate her with a pretty face and a handful of inspiring quotes. However, Audrey was much more than that, but never acted it as if she was any different from the rest of the world. She claimed that her humility came from the fact that her mother always taught her that the needs of others came before her own. One way in particular that Audrey showed her humility was how she perceived her own looks. Not only did she star in a movie about having a funny face, but she always felt her own facial features were odd. This shows that even extraordinary women feel less than comfortable in their skin from time to time. Fun fact: Audrey was extremely embarrassed by her size 10 feet!
Audrey Hepburn
(via Pinterest)
3. Amazing style-I don't know about the rest of you, but I often ask myself "what would Audrey wear?" when I'm getting ready in the mornings. Audrey always knew what worked for her body type (tweet skirt suits, Breton stripes, ankle pants, ballet flats), but still tried to be aware of trends. As she aged, she retired some of her more youthful frocks and embraced the looks of the 70s, 80s, and 90s, but with her own flare.

Audrey Hepburn Style: A Look Back At The Icon's Best Expressions (PHOTOS, GIFs)
(via Pinterest)
Signora Audrey Hepburn Dotti photographed at Piazza di Spagna in Rome (Italy), in October 1970.  -Audrey was wearing coat of Valentino (made of white wool, of his collection for the Autumn/Winter 1970/71), sunglasses of Oliver Goldsmith (the same that she wore in “Charade”) and Céline shoes.
(via Pinterest)
Audrey Hepburn & Robert Wolders  First meeting in 1980 at a dinner party held by a mutual friend, Robert (or Robbie as Audrey so fondly called him) was suffering after the recent death of his wife, and Audrey, by her own account, was ‘not in a happy place’. They immediately bonded, and realised remarkably, how much they had in common.   His words...."We met at a time when we each had gone through trials, but we knew exactly what we wanted—togetherness."  (via This is Glamorous)
(via Pinterest)
4. Quotable-Okay, so remember those quotes I said people always know Audrey by? They really are amazing even if they're popular with people who don't really appreciate how inspiring Audrey is. Audrey was great at putting into words how people are so much more than their appearance. And who doesn't love inspirational quotes??
~ Audrey Hepburn another great quote. If i could die and be reincarnated as her I would
(via Pinterest)
Audrey Hepburn
(via Pinterest)
Audrey Hepburn
(via Pinterest)

Weekly Recap: 3/24-3/28

/ Saturday, March 29, 2014 /
My goal is to make this blog an honest illustration of what my life looks like. I think a lot of the time when we look at a famous blogger or social media guru's life, we only see the magazine spread version of their life (glossy pictures, short descriptions of the fabulous parts), but we don't often get to see the biography version with all the triumphs and mistakes. My point is that this blog is going to be an autobiographical representation of what my twenty-something years look like, not just interesting Instagram pictures and fun Twitter updates. So without further ado, here's what my week looked like:

I usually try to schedule the least amount of activities on Mondays so I can get back into the swing of things for the week. I'm one of those people who really likes routine so I have to spend Monday adjusting to what a weekday feels like—waking up early is the hardest part. This past Monday I put aside time to run a few errands so I'd have everything I needed for the rest of the week. Boring stuff, but it needed to be done. Other than those few errands, I mainly did homework.

Party at the president's! I've been fortunate enough to be part of my college's networking tour throughout the area and in honor of all the events we've been going to as representatives of the college, my road crew family and I got invited to dine at the college president's home. It was an absolute blast, mainly because all of the people involved are amazing, inspiring individuals. We wrapped the night up taking selfies with the pres! While this definitely was an awesome experience, I was feeling very awkward the entire night. Sometimes I have trouble feeling comfortable in situations and don't feel as if I'm acting normal, if that makes sense. Luckily, I've developed ways to cope with the anxiety of not fitting in and evidently no one was aware that I felt off. I think my feelings of unease might have come from the fact that my mom had a medical procedure that morning and I hadn't been home to check on her! 

Group shot at the president's house
As you will probably notice as a running theme in these posts, I know the best people at my college. After a long day of classes and trying to figure out how to do my marketing homework (humanities major with a minor in marketing can be a difficult combo especially when doing research), I went to a photography class run by my faux adoptive father (the school's photographer who "adopts" students) and had seemingly thousands of photos taken of me. I truly don't like having my picture taken because I'm insecure about the way I look a lot of the time. I'm always hyper aware of any double chins or squinty eyes in my pictures. However, the photography students were really nice and were telling me what a nice smile I had and how photogenic I am. Of course, this didn't completely erase all the self doubt, but I was able to relax and just enjoy myself. 

By Thursday, I was pretty out of sorts. I usually don't have as many activities keeping me on campus late, but this week was a list of never-ending events. Thursday was the first meeting of the senior class executive board that I was fortunate enough be elected to. All the members got to know each other over pizza and some great ideas were tossed around the table. It made me really look forward to next year and all the fun I'm going to have being a senior! Even though prior to the meeting I had coffee with one my friends, I was really dragging when I got home and just wanted to pass out even though I had a ton of work still to do. In all honesty, I'll admit that the work I turned in Friday probably wasn't my best! Oops...

This week taught me a lesson. I cannot overbook myself and still function for a full five day week. By Friday mid-morning, I finished an exam and peer reviewed editing drafts, but still had my work shift left. As I sat down at my computer, my brain wanted to stop functioning and I could barely remember to do basic things, like button my coat. Luckily, my shift wasn't too long and I went home to take a nap. When I woke up a couple hours later, I had a nasty headache that I couldn't seem to get rid of. Finally after a round of pain relievers, I felt better and had a chance to read for the rest of the evening (book review to come in the near future). It felt like such a treat and was a great break after such a long week. 

Unfortunately, next week looks like it's going to be pretty busy too so we'll see how I cope with it!

Living LBD: Blair Waldorf

/ Monday, March 24, 2014 /
As part of this blog, I would like to start off each week by looking at a woman who I think is living a LBD lifestyle. This person may be real, fictional, deceased, or alive, but possesses certain qualities that we all should admire and use to inspire our own journeys.

First up is Blair Waldorf from the TV show Gossip Girl (the book series Blair is completely different so we're going to stick to the show).

Blair Waldorf | Gossip Girl S-1 When Blair and Serena posed in Blair's mom's Stolen Dresses
(via Pinterest)
Perhaps one of the things I love most about Blair is that she's a deeply flawed character that is going after her dreams. On the show, Blair really did a lot of scheming that ended up reflecting poorly on her, but at the heart of it, she had important principles and philosophies she lived by that helped her finally achieve a LBD lifestyle. Here are some of Blair's qualities we should all strive to have:

1.Confidence & Self-Awareness: Blair is extremely self confident and knows what is important to her. She pursued her dream to take over her mother's fashion label, despite many set backs, and eventually used what she knew and loved all her life to redefine her brand. Superficially, she knew what her style was like—always decked out in lady-like dresses and killer pumps. She looked like she could take on the world and often did. 

2. Phoenix-Rising-From-The-Ashes Syndrome: Maybe I've seen Harry Potter one too many times, but I always think of people reinventing themselves as a phoenix rising from the ashes. Because the show ran for several seasons, we were able to see Blair's vulnerability, which often appeared when one of her plans didn't go according to plan. Many times, it seemed like Blair wouldn't be able to repair her life after the latest disaster, but through her perseverance (and the magic of television), she manages to pull through and become a better person in the end. 

3. Romantically Aware: If you're at all familiar with the plot line of Gossip Girl, you know about the relationship between Blair and Chuck. While their love is certainly crazy and a little unrealistic a lot of time, Blair shows strength of character in how she handles the ups and downs of their relationship. Even after Chuck tries to sell her for a hotel (outrageous, I know), Blair doesn't come running back to him, but instead distances herself and works on being the woman she wants to be. Later on when all is forgiven between the two, Blair still refuses to jump right into a relationship with him again because she wants to define herself as an independent woman and get to know herself before being Mrs. Chuck Bass. 

4. Fantastic One-Liners: If you still think Blair is a horrible example of living a LBD life, you certainly can't deny that she has fantastic quotes. I think we could also use a few more quips and witticisms in our lives!

Yes, yes I am rewatching gossip girl on netflix! The first couple seasons are my favoriteeeee
(via Pinterest)
Blair Waldorf quotes
(via Pinterest)
gossip girl quotes, blair
(via Pinterest)
If you have any suggestions of women who should be featured in Living LBD, let me know in the comments. I would love suggestions!

xoxo, S 

Grown-Up Hair Care

/ Sunday, March 23, 2014 /
Since settling into my twenty-something years, I've really started practicing a "quality over quantity" mindset, but it's still a difficult life choice to execute because I live on an extremely limited budget (#studentloans). However, on Friday I went to a new salon to get a hair cut because I had heard really good things about the stylists' resumes. Needless to say, it was a true eye opener and I was there for an hour and half getting an education on proper hair care.

As someone who prides herself on beauty knowledge, I was surprised by how much I had to learn. I've always used drugstore hair products because I really couldn't afford anything else and never believed there was much of a difference between drugstore and salon quality (which is weird because I've always tried to buy luxury brand makeup).

However, as soon as I left the salon I was converted; my hair had never felt so shiny and lush in my life. The haircut itself was leagues above anything I had received in the past, but I definitely noticed a shift in my mindset. Also, I think I should point out that I'm kind of a wash, blowdry, and go kind of girl, which means that I don't use a lot of product on my hair (build up does bad things to my locks). So here's what my new hair care routine looks like:

1. Matrix Biolage Scalptherapie Antidandruff Shampoo-This might seem a little bit of a TMI, but I want to be honest with you all. I had been complaining for week about how my scalp was really itchy, but it didn't feel like dandruff, which I had suffered from when I was younger. I learned from Rachel, my stylist, that there is in fact a difference between dandruff and dry scalp, and I was definitely suffering from the latter. Rachel was sweet enough to gift me a bottle of this wonderful potion to help with my problem. My scalp still gets pretty itchy if it hasn't been washed in several hours, but I'm confident this will help it over time and my hair is already looking glorious, if I do say so myself ;)

2. Matrix Biolage Smoothproof Conditioner-My hair is weird in the fact that I have a lot (so think thick) of fine hairs. Essentially, I have a ton of really thin hairs that aren't coarse like you would normally associate with thick hair. Anyway, because of this, I have to constantly battle frizz because I can't use a  heavy frizz-free product that will weigh down my fine strands. I have high hopes that this conditioner will make me less frizzy!

3. Sonia Kashuk Hair Brush-While at my appointment, I was educated on the importance of having a good hair brush with boar bristles. Rachel was telling me all about the differences between brushes when I happened to notice that there were Mason Pearson brushes (the holy grail of hairbrushes) among their inventory. Of course, I experienced a bit of brush envy, but then remembered a book I had read called How to Look Expensive by Andrea Pomerantz Lustig that talked about how Sonia Kashuk's hair brush was a much, much, much cheaper dupe for a Mason Pearson brush. Since I haven't used both brushes, I can't tell you if the Sonia Kashuk brush really is comparable, but I love it! I get a nice scalp massage every time I use it and it makes my hair look great!

I just want to give a final thank you to Rachel for giving me such a wonderful education!  I can't wait to see her again in 8 weeks for my next hair cut!

xoxo, S 

Living a LBD Life

/ Monday, March 3, 2014 /
Hello lovelies, 

My name is Sarah (@miss_sarahmich) and I am your quintessential twenty-something with a desire to live her dreams but with no idea how to make it happen. I am fortunate enough to have people in my life that encourage my self exploration and was inspired to start this blog. 

Before we get started on this journey, here's a little Q&A: 

What is a Little Black Dress Lifestyle?

The Little Black Dress Lifestyle is all about living a sophisticated and elegant life filled with style, success, and happiness. The LBD is the quintessential item in every woman's wardrobe that transcends every personal aesthetic. A little black dress can be worn by the men's wear enthusiast or the Southern belle and still be a spectacular representation on one's self. Essentially, it's a universal celebration of beauty. This is my way to share my heart and the insights I've gained while trying to be true to myself and establish my empire. 

How do we achieve a Little Black Dress Lifestyle?

By following our dreams and passions. An LBD gives us the extra boost of confidence we need to take on the world. However, looking the part is only half the battle so we must cultivate LBD confidence even when we're not dressed in our cocktail dresses and Friday night finest. Navigating what it means to be a modern woman is difficult, but by living our dreams and developing an attitude of leadership we can all have a Little Black Dress Lifestyle. 

“Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.” 
-Nora Ephron
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