Lightning Strikes Twice

I flew home Saturday morning to watch my brother graduate high school this past Sunday afternoon. I still cannot believe he graduated! We are now both alumni of Cypress Bay High School, one of the largest public schools in the country. (We also have the lamest mascot ever – lightning. I mean, really, just because Florida is the lightning capital of the world? Um, yeah.)

My graduating class had over 1,200 members, and we were the first from my school to graduate at the University of Miami (go ‘Canes!) because of space constrictions. And that’s where my brother graduated on Sunday, though his ceremony was much shorter than mine!

Afterwards, we went to a Thai restaurant in Coral Gables, and we got back in time to watch the Miami Heat beat the Dallas Mavericks in yet another NBA Finals nail-biter. It was a nice day, and it was really strange to reminisce about my own graduation, and about how much has changed in the last two years.

Dress – Target; Earrings – Avon; Rings – my mom’s; Watch – Movado (vintage); nail polish – Milani (My Network); Shoes – Payless.

I could be wrong, but I felt like I had a 70’s bohemian/South Beach vibe going on, though not nearly as tan or toned as most beach-goers. I bought my first-ever LBD and I love the ruffle-y one-shoulder style. I wore gold accessories and parted my crazy hair down the middle for the ceremony.

It was a complete departure from what I wore to my own graduation – but not really. I wore a black-and-gold print dress I bought at Ross for $9.99, Nine West sandals and a watch by Fossil.

What did you wear to your high school graduation?

☀ Sarah

Happy One Year!

I should've bought myself dessert today.


A year ago today, I was sitting at my mom’s dining room table, working up the nerve to hit publish on my first-ever blog post. Tonight, I’m sitting at my kitchen table in my Bronx apartment (with exposed brick and stainless steel appliances, natch) and I’m happy to say it’s my first blogiversary!

I don’t want to get too sentimental or anything, since this space is “just a blog”, but it’s really not. It’s been great being welcomed by the blogging community and creating my own little niche in the blogosphere. Not only has Shades of Sarah grown so much in the past year, but so have I. Actually, after a tough sophomore year of college, I can say a lot has changed for me in the past two weeks, but all for the better.

For those of you who have thought about starting your own blogs, I have this piece of advice: do it. Not only have I found a hobby I love and stuck with, but it’s given me opportunities too. I’m a Campus Correspondent for Her Campus Fordham and I’m an editorial at Lovelyish, a Web site run by Xanga. And I love it.

And enormous amount of gratitude goes out to my readers, whoever you are. Thanks for all of your support, especially my blog friends and real-life friends. If you want reminisce with me, you can take a look back at some of my favorite and most popular posts.

◊ 20 Lessons I Learned Before I Was 20

Girl Crush: Mia Hamm

Fashion Inspiration: Thelma & Louise

In the Sun

Fashion Inspiration: The Chrysler Building

Big Lights Will Inspire You

California Dreamin’

Thank you again everyone! Here’s to a fabulous second year!

☀ Sarah

P.S. Now’s probably a good time to let everyone know I’m looking for guest bloggers this June! Contact me here if you’re interested.

Summer in the City


Last Friday, I took a city day. The news of bin Laden’s death and subsequent reflection of 9/11 made me really emotional, and I wanted to pay my respects at Ground Zero. After I left campus in the afternoon, I bought a bouquet of daises and took the 4 to Lower Manhattan. I saw the One World Trade Center under construction, gleaming in the late afternoon sunlight. I walked around the block, and as I headed to St. Paul’s Chapel, I ran into some Buddhist monks. One of them began talking to me, asking me where I was from and what I was doing in the city.

We parted ways, and I wandered into the chapel’s graveyard. There were a lot of visitors, and I waited my turn to see the Bell of Hope, a gift from the City of London after the terrorist attacks. I placed my daisies there, said a little prayer and walked inside. St. Paul’s Chapel, an Episcopal church, was a site of refuge and rest for many volunteers and rescuers the months following the attacks. I cried as I walked the church’s exhibits honoring the volunteers and the victims. I’m not a very religious person, but afterwards I wanted to sit and reflect. Another one of the monks was sitting near me, and we started talking to. And then he asked me to take a picture of him and his friends. Only in New York, right?

After I left St. Paul’s, I took the 4 train back uptown, since I was meeting some friends for dinner on the Upper East Side. I was a little early, so I took my time wandering down Lexington Ave. I found this little Colombian (!) bakery, between 82nd and 81st, and I couldn’t help but see what they had to offer. I ordered an empanada, and when I was about to walk out, I saw their soda case. I immediately ordered a Colombiana, which is possibly my favorite soda ever. Oh, and it all cost me $2.25. I was a happy girl, but I only got happier once I had dinner with my friends at a Turkish restaurant (we’re classy).

It’s evenings like that one that remind me why I love New York City, and why I always dreamed of living here. And I’m looking forward to having a lot more days like that. This morning, my friend (and occasional photographer) Christine and I finalized our plans to stay in the Bronx this summer. We’re subleasing a lovely little apartment off-campus, and we’re both interning around Midtown. (I’ll be blogging for Lovelyish – check the site out sometime!) As weird as it is getting ready for my first summer away from home (and by home, I mean my mom), I’m actually getting really excited. New York is supposed to be amazing during the summer, and I’m looking forward to exploring. Any suggestions as to what I should add to my NYC summer bucket list?

☀ Sarah

P.S. You know a pair of heels are a keeper if you stay comfortable walking across the city in them. Payless, I salute you.

P.P.S. Watch this space, because tomorrow I’m wearing an outfit styled by Cathy from Minister of Style as part of the Paper Doll Project. Get excited!