Year: 2014

A Little Post-Holiday Reflection

post-holiday reflection

The end of the holidays always make me feel a little sad, because it’s my favorite time of the year, and I can’t help but think of how much will happen between now and this time next year. 2014 felt like it zoomed by, and between all of the good, bad and otherwise that happened, I think it was my favorite year yet.

I’ve been (inadvertently) reflecting on this year lately. There are the silly little things that are bound to happen – arguments, stress, falling outs with friends (and, like, a really weird stint as a barista) – but overall, the picture is good. I spent two amazing weeks in the UK, had great experiences, met wonderful people, and I’m finally doing what I love. But perhaps best of all, I’ve learned a lot –  a lot – about myself. Not that I’m done figuring everything out, but I’ve gained a much better sense of self and of what I like. For one – I really, really like being alone. I also really love keeping my environment tidy and bright and organized, and I like surrounding myself with plants and pretty things. I like to take time to read and go outside. And I’m learning to cut the things out of my life that cause me stress without feeling guilty, and I feel mentally and physically so much better.

But there are still all the things I said I would do this year, on my goal list – some of which I didn’t quite get done. But I noticed through the year that I had changed and not all the things on my list seemed quite so enticing, and other things came up that I’d have liked to add. But 2014 was my year of taking chances, and reminding myself of that periodically helped me in a lot of situations. So I’m re-adopting it again for 2015, and going into the year with a really good sense of what I need to do to have my best year yet. I know the only constant in life is change, but I’m in a really good place right now, and I’m set on staying in that place.

So, where does the blog fit into all of this? I kind of did a horrible job posting this year, which I think is just a testament to the kind of busy year I’ve had. And I realized a few months ago that I’ve somehow slipped into trying to make this blog something that I think it should be. But I’ve decided that I’m going to make sarah kate style exactly what I want it to be – that is, whatever I want it to be. I’m going to write about whatever it is I truly like, and not limit myself to the kinds of posts I’ve done before. I have so many ideas, and I feel so inspired and excited right now. I’m not too pleased with myself for previously making false promises of coming back and posting religiously, but now more than ever, I really want to make this blog something that I’m proud of.

That being said, I might be taking the rest of the year off to relax, rejuvenate and work on posts for next year. As always, thank you for your continued support. I’ll see you all in 2015. xo

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The Essential

the essential scarf 1

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I never really understood the whole scarf thing until recently. I desperately wanted to jump on the scarf bandwagon – I constantly saw bloggers and random people around town sporting them, and couldn’t help but envy how cozy and effortless they looked. But whenever I went to recreate the look, the scarf looked awkward and puffy and out of place, and more often than not, I found myself trying to create an outfit around the scarf, rather than throwing it on as an afterthought.

Recently, though, I’ve come around. Fed up with the lack of scarves in my closet, I went on a mission to find the perfect scarf. And I very quickly succeeded. Now, this, the softest, longest, scarf I’ve ever come across, is mine – and it cost just $17 and a trip to Target.

As a new scarf convert, I’m here to share tips – and convert you, too, if you haven’t been already.

1. Check the length. The longer the scarf, the better. That way, you can wrap it around your neck several times comfortably, or tie the ends together to make an infinity scarf. It just gives you more to work with. Plus, a long scarf – if it’s wide, too – works as a blanket in a pinch.

2. Find the perfect pattern. I’m partial to a knit scarf in a neutral color and scarves in plaid or geometric prints. Please stay away from anything embellished – sequins and those little glittery threads are the best way to make it look like you picked up your scarf in the children’s department. I’ve never seen it done tastefully. (Please let me know if you ever see it done well.)

3. Wear it with pride. If it is a little puffy, just accept it. Think of it as an accessory just like a purse or statement necklace. A scarf + a plain sweater is an easy, go-to look that’s as equally well-suited to running errands as it is to grabbing a cup of coffee or late brunch with friends.

Here are some of my favorites:

1. The height of luxury: cashmere (and in an array of dreamy neutrals). $59.95

2. Cool stripes in two color options (bonus! It’s on sale!) $29.99

3. A little unconventional, but it’s ridiculously chic. $65.38

4. Classic Burberry-esq plaid, without the price tag. $30.32

5. Unique contrast trim – in dark green and rust. $28.43

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Winter Beauty Essentials

winter beauty

I don’t change my beauty routine very often, usually opting to mix it up seasonally with different perfumes, nail polishes and lip colors. Here are a few of my tried-and-true favorites when it comes to winter beauty.

Tokyo Milk Perfume // I’ve been a fan of this company for a while now – maybe it’s just because I have such great memories associated with the scent I have from them. Unfortunately they don’t seem to be selling their wonderful little sets of layerable perfumes online (although I just saw a bunch in a store the other day), but this one sounds beautiful – a lot like one I have from them; sweet but still musky. Plus, that picture on the bottle makes it feel like you’ll magically become a part of the 19th century French aristocracy when you wear it. And that’s kind of my dream.

Essie Stylenomics // This nail polish almost looks black from a distance, but it’s not, and that’s why I love it. It’s an ultra dark green that undoubtedly goes with anything and everything you’ll wear this season (um, like winter white?! Swoon.)

Clinique Almost Lipstick // This is my go-to lipstick. Put on one layer for a rich berry stain, a little more for a darker burgundy lip. It’s so thin and creamy you’ll forget you’re even wearing it. Plus, the tube is thin, glamorous and it’ll last you quite a while.

Benefit Hoola // So, I can’t fairly say that this is the best bronzer out there, because it’s the only one I have. But it’s definitely good. It blends pretty easily and makes you look all naturally glowy. And isn’t that all that anyone wants?

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Kale Chips

kale chips

In case you were wondering: I’m one of those people who loves kale. (I also wear scarves and thick frame glasses, avoid mainstream music like the plague, read poetry and was once a barista, but that’s besides the point.) And I started buying (and subsequently devouring) raw kale chips, but they were kind of ridiculously expensive. So I picked up two bunches of kale at the farmer’s market and went home determined to make my own. Turns out, it’s the easiest thing ever, provided you have time to wash a ton of kale and an oven with a dehydrate setting (dehydrating keeps the kale raw so all the kale goodness stays in tact). Set the oven to 135°, pop the kale in on a baking sheet for 2-4 hours – and that’s it. The good news is that it’s actually impossible to ruin them – there’s only so much water in kale, and you’ll know when it’s all gone. My favorite way to serve them is sprayed with olive oil (if you don’t know what I mean, buy one of these. Now. You’re welcome.) and sprinkled with sea salt. Simple and delicious. Alright, I’ll stop now, before this turns into even more of a love letter to kale.

kale chips 4 kale chips 3kale chips 2 kale chips

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Baltimore, Part Two: Mt. Vernon

Baltimore may not be as renowned as cities like New York and Los Angeles when it comes to cool restaurants and cultural hotspots and museums, but there’s never a shortage of things to do and see here. Without a doubt, one of my favorite neighborhoods in the city is Mt. Vernon, largely due to its stunning 19th century architecture and perennially picturesque park (these pictures were taken there). It’s also home to the Washington Monument, an awe-inspiring church, restaurants, the annual Baltimore Book Festival, and countless other can’t-miss spots. Here are a few snaps from my recent outings there.



Just a few minutes south of Mt. Vernon, the brand new Chesapeake Shakespeare Company theater downtown is a must. They’re my favorite Shakespeare company (yes, I go to enough Shakespeare plays to actually have a favorite group…I’m kind of a nerd) and the theater just opened in September. It’s a refurbished bank building, and the inside is just amazing. And their often-musical renditions of famous plays will make you truly appreciate The Bard, if you don’t already.



The Helmand, owned by the brother of former Afghan President Hamid Karzai, looks relatively unassuming from the outside, but their food has been raved about for years. It’s consistently delicious – like, really delicious (I’ve been frequenting it for almost a decade), the service is almost startlingly fast and the location is perfect. If you’re ever in Baltimore – you must eat here. End of story.


{Two of my favorite entrees: Aushak and Mantwo. Unlike anything you’ve had before.}


{The Helmand’s crown jewel: kaddo borwani. Not to be shared. I could eat it forever.}


{My latest favorite: Chicken Lawand. Rich, perfectly spiced, and doused with cilantro sauce and a spoonful of rice – it’s to die for.}


{Don’t skip on dessert – the special ice cream (creamy cardamom and loads of dried mangoes and dates) is perfectly light, and Turkish coffee, though bizarre, is worth a taste.}



The Walters is one of my favorite museums in the city (along with the BMA) – it has a cool façade and a truly extensive collection.


And now, some pictures. Just because.

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