Spring Refresh

Striped Cardigan Spring Outfit | Shades of Sarah3

It’s been a long time since I have devoted any time to my little space in the corner.

By all accounts, 2018 was a ~year~ and 2019 has been flying by so far. This is what I shared on my personal Facebook after the New Year:

Last winter was rough, with a broken heart and broken bones (unrelated) and a life-changing medical diagnosis. (At one point, I was seeing a physical therapist, therapist and psychiatrist all at the same time.) By December, I was settled into my first house (my first mortgage payment was due January 1st, which is some subtle symbolism). In between, I reconnected with old friends and made new ones, started a new job, went to four concerts and who-even-knows-how-many sporting events, went on two great trips to Florida, got my first tattoo, snuggled with a lot of precious dogs and turned 28. For the first time in a really long time, I feel like my life is moving in a positive direction. Who knows what 2019 has in store, but hopefully it includes some more sleep and less emotional whiplash.

I can now report that my sleeping habits are no better this year than last. To review what may have been buried in those ramblings (and is relevant to my blogging career):

  • I started a new job last summer (and bought a great dress to celebrate). I’m a staff writer at Luxury Daily, which means that yes, I get paid to write for a living. We’re a small staff, so we all write a lot. I also work remotely in Philadelphia most of the week, which means I’m spending a lot more time in hoodies and leggings.
  • I bought a house! Many thanks to my parents for helping me out with the down payment and their support over the years. I closed in November and moved in later that month. I’m pretty much done unpacking, but still have a ways to go when it comes organizing and painting.

I think those are the main reasons why this blog has been super quiet for awhile. I’ve missed blogging though, and I’m brainstorming new things to write about! Any suggestions? Do you want to hear more about WFH, or house hunting or having dogs as a twenty-something?

Watch this space! But in the meantime, here is one of my favorite early spring outfits (and yes, we’re still having chilly 50-degree days):

Striped Cardigan Spring Outfit

Striped Cardigan Spring Outfit

Striped Cardigan Spring Outfit

I shot this look with Audrey in Old City last month. Thank you, Audrey! Tell me about your spring go-tos! You can never trust spring weather in Philly!

Thank you to anyone and everyone who reads here!

~ Sarah

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Cardigan: LOFT | Sweater: LOFT | Jeans: Old Navy | Boots: Kohls | Beanie: Five Below | Bag: Century 21

Feels Like Fall

Sweater, Vest, Corduroy Leggings Outfit | Shades of Sarah
Sweater, Vest, Corduroy Leggings Outfit | Shades of Sarah
Sweater, Vest, Corduroy Leggings Outfit | Shades of Sarah

A few weeks ago, my friends and I spent a mostly sunny afternoon at the Navy Yard for the Pour the Core hard cider festival. It was one of the first days that really felt like fall, so I pulled out some of my seasonal favorites.

I love this tunic sweater. It’s comfy while making me feel put together, and it’s long enough to wear with leggings. Speaking of leggings, corduroy leggings are one of my secret weapons. I especially love them in olive. When it gets colder I wear them with riding boots, but for now I can tuck them into my combat boots,

In the past, I had my doubts about vests, being a Floridian unaccustomed to layering and all. Well, turns out they can make all the difference as temperatures fluctuate on a blustery day. I’m also glad that barrettes are trending again, because my hair cannot handle being windswept.

Anyone have a go-to outfit for the fall?

~ Sarah

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Sweater: Old Navy | Vest: Old Navy | Leggings: similar | Boots: Primark | Sunglasses: Ray-Ban | Bag: Target (similar)

Pour the Core: A Cider Festival Survival Guide

Pour the Core Philly

This weekend is one of my favorite fall traditions: cider fest! Every October, my Fordham friends make the trip down to Philly and we attend Pour the Core, a hard cider festival at the Navy Yard. I rarely drink beer, but cider is one of my go-to drinks when I’m out. A festival is a fun way to hang out with your friends and sample some ciders that you may not always find on draft at your corner bar.

We didn’t know what we were getting ourselves at our first cider fest, but after five years we’ve learned few things. Attending an outdoor beer or cider festival? Here are some tips so you get the most out of it!

BYOPN

The first year we went to Pour the Core Philly, we were in awe of everyone’s pretzel necklaces and tried to figure out where to find them. Well, turns out you need to make them yourself! That’s right: bring your own pretzel necklace. They’re actually pretty affordable and easy to make, and trust me, you’ll want one. You may think you’ll look silly or you won’t get hungry or you don’t really like hard pretzels, but you’re wrong. If you’re paying money to sample lots of cider or beer, you’ll want something to nibble on and something to help you differentiate between samples.

On a related note, take advantage of the food samples you find and drink plenty of water. PTC also has a food truck lineup, so take a lunch break before hitting up your favorite booths for second rounds.

Chat with the experts

PTC has over 75 ciders to sample, so it can get overwhelming fast. Don’t be afraid to ask volunteers and vendors about the drinks they have available! Sure, some may be more knowledgable than others, but life is too short to sample things you know you won’t like. By now, I know I prefer most sweet ciders over dry ones, and I avoid anything that is described as hoppy — but that might totally be your thing, and that’s okay! Not every cider can be a winner for everyone. (I learned that the hard way with Woodchuck Fall and Woodchuck Pumpkin.)

Dress for the weather — sorta

Okay, this is one of my life tips because I don’t leave my apartment without checking the forecast! When it comes to PTC though, there are some extra considerations to make. You spend a good amount of time underneath tents waiting in line for your samples, which means if it’s hot out, you’ll be even warmer than you think trapped with people in the shade. And wear the crossbody bag.

Also, don’t assume the weather will feel like fall because October in the northeast is a mystery. I’ve worn everything from a tank and shorts, dress and sneakers to a sweater and vest. (I don’t really recommend rompers because of the porta potty situation.) This Saturday’s forecast calls for some morning rain, so that’s a whole new ballgame, which brings me to…

Wear appropriate footwear

Another life lesson, but still deserving of its own section. Cider fest is not the time to wear your really cute fall boots. Wear your sneakers, wear your combat boots, wear your rain boots. There will be sticky alcohol spilled on you at one point and there will be mud.

Don’t drink and drive

Just don’t. PTC gets bonus points for offering designated driver tickets (which include admission but no sampling) as well as a shuttle bus to public transportation. Also, if you follow up cider fest with a cheesesteak, I can pretty much guarantee you won’t end up hungover.

Pour the Core also host cider festivals in Baltimore, Boston, Brooklyn and Long Island. As my friends and I say, a cider a day keeps the doctor away, so drink up (responsibly)!

~ Sarah