Reintroductions

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Hola Chica Cactus LoafersMany, many moons ago, Julia tagged me in this post to answer 11 things about myself. Now that The Blog Connect is over (more on that later), I figured I might as well answer these questions (and share some photos from…last summer??). Better late than never! 😉 In case you are new-ish around here, these are the basics: my name is Sarah, I’m a Miami native living in the cold Northeast, I love all dogs (especially mine), and I’m accumulating plants at an alarming rate. Now, onto Julia’s questions!

What has blogging taught you?

Ugh, so much. There are skills that are actually practical: self-revision, photography, SEO. Mostly, I am grateful that blogging has opened up a lot of opportunities for me. I interned at a lot of cool places in college, and my blog definitely set me apart from other applicants. Now, I’m on the board(?) planning committee(?) of PHLbloggers, and we just hosted our third Blog Connect Conference. A crazy amount of my friends in Philly, well, I met them through blogging. I’m not sure if starting a blog was my ~sliding doors~ moment, but it has definitely changed my life.

What was your favorite blog post to write?

The first one that comes to mind is when I got to visit the set of American Ninja Warrior! Outfit photos are fun, but I also really like writing about sports (like I did here and here).

What are some of your favorite blogs to read?

Lucky for you, I still have an entire page dedicated to my blogroll!

Where do you live and what do you love about it?

I’m coming up on five (!!!) years in Philadelphia, which is crazy. I did not expect to fall in love with Philly the way I have, but here we are. So what do I love about this city? I love the neighborhoods, the walkability, the food, the people, the history, the culture, the beer gardens, the weather from May through October. I decidedly do not like the Eagles or winter, but nothing and nowhere is perfect.

What was your college major?

I double-majored in communications and American studies (basically the study of American history and culture). While not always  relevant, most of my classes were interesting.

What is your dream travel destination?

This is so dull, but London. I’ve always loved English history, and I still haven’t been! Also on my list are Prague, Montreal and Vancouver (again).

What’s the most memorable experience you’ve had traveling?

Luckily, I’ve had mostly positive experiences traveling. My trip out West was great (even though I still have to finish blogging about it!). I’ve been blessed to go to Colombia and Costa Rica numerous times and learn more about my family history and heritage. One of the most meaningful experiences though? Probably my service trip to Esperanza in the Dominican Republic.

What is your favorite season?

In Philadelphia: summer. In Florida: winter. Basically, I aspire to enjoy my retirement as a snowbird.

What have you been reading lately?

The Internet? Is that not a legitimate answer? I did go on a tear of James Patterson books this winter in an attempt to clear out my bookcase.

What is the most meaningful souvenir you’ve gotten when traveling?

Such a good question! There are definitely some pieces of jewelry and clothing I’ve purchased while traveling that mean a lot to me. I also collect postcards, so those are always fun. Nothing beats personal photographs though.

What is one thing few people know about you?

This is so hard. I think I am a pretty open book, so nothing came to mind easily. Despite all my traveling, I’m actually petrified of planes and heights — but I think a good amount of people IRL know that about me. I also cannot ride a bike! I 100% used to know, but guess what, after ten years without riding a bike, you do, in fact, forget how. I wish I had some secret fun facts that make me sound less inept, but not today!

~ Sarah

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Top: Primark
Jeans: Gap Factory
Flats: H&M
Necklace: InPink (RIP)
Woven Bag: Thrifted? Hand-me-down? No idea.

Thing I Need To Tell You About, Vol. 4

Holy unexpected-blog-hiatus! I’ve been having a fun summer, so no complaints here! The early part of the summer was spent hosting friends at my apartment (one of my favorite things to do — I love planning weekend itineraries) and I recently got back from a trip home. I have missed this space though, and some of blog friends have been killing it lately. So what better way to get back into the swing of things than a quick hello?

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Home Run Derby vibes. #AllRise #asg2017

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I went home!

I spent a very wonderful, not-nearly-long-enough four days back in South Florida. My dad and I went to the Home Run Derby, and while it was a little anticlimactic at the end, it was still a great experience to check off my sports bucket list. Other activities included: eating lots of Cuban food, browsing the MLB All-Star exhibition, free slurpees, browsing Publix, winning second place at a trivia night and an afternoon in Wynwood. (Speaking of Wynwood, I ended up at Federal Donuts, their first location outside of Philly, instead of Coyo Tacos and am I too Philly now?)

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West Philly walks.

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I’ve had lots of great girl talk lately.

I really value my friendships. Once we’re friends, you are basically stuck with me for life. I especially enjoy catching up with my friends in smaller groups of two or three: over brunch, happy hour, shopping or even just neighborhood walks or long drives in my car. (Some of the places I’ve hit up? Adobe, La Calaca Feliz, Philly Style Bagels [yes, really], and True Food Kitchen.)  I’m really grateful I’ve gotten a lot of hearts-to-heart in this summer. I have the best friends.

I’ve been driving a lot.

I’ve written a little bit about my driving before. It took me nine years to get my license, but I was still very apprehensive about driving as a whole. Unlike a lot of people I grew up with, I mostly learned how to drive in the city. My biggest challenge? Highways (and merging and parallel parking). This summer though, I’ve road tripped to Gettysburg (post coming soon!) and Ocean City, New Jersey. I am going to attempt to drive to Long Island next month. This is a big deal for me, and I am really proud of myself.

So that’s that for now! Even though I haven’t been blogging on here, I’ve still been working on content, so I hope to have some fun stuff up soon.

~ Sarah

Blog It Better: The Blog Connect

The Blog Connect2017I think I’m finally recovering from a case of exhaustion and writer’s block, which means it’s Blog Connect recap time! I was lucky enough to be part of this year’s planning committee, and it was so rewarding to see everything come together! First up on Saturday evening, my co-sponsorship director Melissa and I welcomed our wonderful speakers at The Baker’s Jar (16th and Bainbridge).

Melissa and me — it was cold so I had to wear ankle boots!

After we met and chatted with our speakers, it was time to head to ellelauri (19th and Chestnut) for our kickoff party! It’s a super chic boutique, and the staff is super nice. Boutiques can intimidate me, but ellelauri has items across different price points and the pieces are all so fun. It was great to catch up with blogger friends and meet new people before the craziness of the conference on Sunday!

The Blog Connect ellelauri

With Lola from Found City

Blog Connect Concihairge BraidBraids by Concihairge. Obsessed. (Also doesn’t the purple lipstick make the whole outfit pop?)

Priyanka from Paint the Town Chic spearheaded the party planning, and it was awesome! In addition to a braid bar by Concihairge, we had a flatlay space with help from Ann Blake from Ann Blake Photography. We had kombucha from Inspired Brews and white wines from Pinot Boutique (perfect for summer!). Our snack game was on point too: macarons from ICI Macarons, and savory snacks from Agno Grill and Pure FareBai supplied us with plenty of juice and sparkling water! After a fun night with my blogger babes (and bros), it was time for some sleep!

We got an early start at Saxbys the next morning for a full day of speakers, workshops and panels! A million and one thanks to Saxbys for hosting us again this year and keeping me fueled with iced chai lattes all.day.long. Would not have made it without your tea and lovely baristas.

Saxby's Blog ConnectAnother lifesaver? These awesome custom planners from Erin Condren. They came in super handy for the attendees during all the awesome presentations we had throughout the day.

Erin Condren Blog Connect PlannerThank you again to all of our speakers, presenters and panelists! We wouldn’t have had a conference without you — and our attendees, of course!

Speakers

  • Ten Game Changers to Take Your Blog to the Next Level | Sarah Morgan
  • Create Your Own Space in The Blogosphere | Sola Onitiri
  • Finding Your Voice: Write With Confidence, for Crying Out Loud | Andy Shaw
  • SEO Bootcamp for Bloggers | Jess Herbine

Breakout Sessions

  • Monetizing Your Blog with Your First eBook (using content you’ve already created) | Angela St. Cyril
  • Growing Your Blog into a Podcast | Angelica Yarde 
  • #FeministSockBoss: How to Monetize Your Blog with Physical Products | Jennifer Dziura

Working with Brands Panel

We also had a yummy and healthy lunch from Grateful Plate and a cupcake break with Cupcakes By Ruth (I also practiced my new flatlay skills — thanks Ann!).

Cupcakes by RuthAnd of course, it wouldn’t be a blogger conference without a lot selfies with friends. Andy, Kendall and Emily: thanks for indulging me with a selfie stick and the balloon wall!
Blog Connect CollageOne more shout out to the brilliant beyond brilliant team I worked with: Priyanka at Paint the Town Chic, Melissa at Skinny Affair, Chrystina at Chrystina Noel andSarah Moore at smoorelovin. Learned so much from you all!

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Photo by Tim Becker

Thank you to Julia Dent and Tim Becker for all the fab photos throughout the weekend! You guys are absolute rockstars. Want more Blog Connect? Check out these awesome recaps:

~ Sarah