Colors by Gender

I saw this on the blog, Monograms and Manicures, and had to share.  

This is such a true representative of the male versus female approach!

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Happy Cyber Monday!

I hope you scored some fabulous deals today (or this weekend)! I actually ended up spending more online than I did in stores this weekend. Because my best friend's wedding on Friday, I had to limit my shopping. 

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Here is what I ended up with:

Chevron Pillow Cases 
$19.00 for a set 

An Old Navy Groupoun
$10 for $20 gift certificate

Bare Essentials Foundation & Mascara from Macy's
$50 - Paid with gift card = FREE

Hope your Cyber Monday was just as productive!

Cookie Dough Bites... A Success!

As you may remember, I set my sights on creating these Cookie Dough Bites from for my sister's Thanksgiving lunch.  

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They actually turned out to be pretty easy using little ingredients and quick steps. 

Ingredient List:
  • 1 cup salted butter, softend
  • 1.5 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 6 ounces mini chocolate chips
1. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Start with the brown sugar and softened butter first. Then add the rest of the ingredients. (As you can see, I was a cheap wise baker and used all Kroger brand items.) 

2. Next, roll the dough into one inch balls and refrigerate for 30 minutes.  

3. Once taking the cookie dough bites out of the refrigerator, melt chocolate (You can use the remaining mini chocolate chips left in your 12 ounce bag or other baking chocolate).  Drizzle melted chocolate  using a fork.  

4. Present in cupcake liners or another fancy arrangement. 

  • I used dark brown sugar for these, because I had it on hand. I think that is why the dough is darker than the dough in the recipe picture.  
  • The dark brown sugar made these extra rich. I think using the light brown sugar may help.
  • Since they were so rich, I would consider making smaller "bites." 
  • Store Cookie Dough Bites in the refrigerator. 


Starting the Holiday Season in Style

I recently asked the boyfriend to write a guest post for Simply Sarah Style, because I admire his taste and choice of clothes.  With the holidays coming up, I know we all want to look our best at company parties, family parties, etc., etc.  I thought his post would come at the perfect time. If you are hoping to gift some fabulous items to the man in your life, I hope you enjoy Ben's suggestions for a pulled together, sophisticated look. 

Simply Benjamin Style
by Benjamin Boyfriend

With the recent aesthetic and functional updates to Simply Sarah Style, I felt it was about time I got in on the action.  This guest post will be a glimpse into the male perspective and some simple observations of mine; Simply Benjamin Style if you will.

I have always been a fan of form fitting clothes.  I like to buy and wear clothes that fit me; not just in the technical 15 neck, 32/33 arm--32/30 pant kind of fit, but clothes that appear to be made for my body.  I, like my better half of Simply Sarah Style, am a frugal shopper trying to avoid the pricey name brand clothes unless there is a deal or the clearance rack beckons from across the store.  Cheaper is ok with me, I don’t need that brand label to look “put together”.  With the right look, you can make anything work for yourself.
Shirts, pants, sweaters, T-shirts - everything varies depending on the cut of the garment.  You’ll find that each manufacturer has a unique cut to the clothes and it could take some trial and error until you find that “brand” that not only looks good on you, but makes you feel comfortable and confident.  For my money, I prefer a tapered shirt with a European cut (the collar would depend on the occasion).  For a dress shirt, I would prefer a spread collar while a casual shirt would necessitate a button down collar.  For pants, I am a huge fan of no pleats and no cuff; this makes your pants look simple and fancy at the same time, and reverts back to the more fitted look that I prefer.

Styles that I am drawn to this time of year consist of three principles: Simplicity, Layers and Contrast.  The fall and winter months provide great opportunities to layer your clothes; if you can keep this task simple, but at the same time using colors and prints that contrast really well with each other—you’re set!

Example #1

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This first example is a casual look that utilizes my principles.  Great contrast between the green sweater and the charcoal jacket, layers by incorporating the sport coat with the collared shirt and sweater, and simplicity with the solid color sweater.  Notice the ensemble is form fitting and not too much emphasis is put on any one item. 

Example #2

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The second example is a dressier look but still with the same principles in mind.  Once again with the sport coat (it might as well be a staple), navy gingham shirt, red cardigan, tie with a simple tie clip, and as always a simple pocket square.  This outfit has it all, great contrast from the cardigan to the gingham shirt and finally with the sport coat.  Layers with the modern three piece look, and the simplicity makes the wearer look very sleek.     

These outfits are great examples of my style.  They can be accomplished on a small budget and can take your wardrobe to the next level; just remember the three principles of Simply Benjamin Style

I hope this helps as you help your man plan his wardrobe for the holidays!  Today - Black Friday - is the perfect day to get started! Happy shopping (and styling)!


Happy Thanksgiving!

image source via Lonny Magazine
What a fabulous table for gathering!  I hope your Thanksgiving table was filled with love and yummy helpings. Best wishes for a wonderful holiday, followed by a crazy, fun Black Friday.


Thanksgiving Prep

Thanksgiving is almost here and I have an extremely busy week. Not only will I be celebrating Thanksgiving day with my family, but I will be prepping for my best friend's wedding which will take place on Black Friday.  In between picking out a hairstyle and making sure my dress is tailored correctly, I need to pick out a desert to bring to my sister's house on Thursday.  I have decided I will make the cookie dough balls I saw on Pinterest.

This recipe is actually from a family website sponsored by Disney.  You need the following ingredients:

  • 1 cup salted butter, softened
  • 1.5 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 6 oz miniature chocolate chips

I had most of those ingredients already in my cabinet. How perfect! Plus, I am a cookie dough addict (Regardless of how good it is for you.) To see the full recipe, click here.

Day #4 of DIY Holidays: Gifts with Holiday Flair

#1) Flashy Chalkboard
If you haven't noticed yet - Chalkboards are in. Wow, you see them everywhere.  The greatest part about chalkboard projects is that it is so easy to turn any flat surface into a chalkboard. I often see entire chalkboard walls featured in kitchens, craft rooms and play areas. This tutorial, provided by the The Gaines Gang, is so easy and quick. Stop over to check out the step by step directions by clicking here. Also, the best part of about this gift is that it can be re-purposed all year round! 

  • Frame
  • Old mat or picture 
  • Paint for Frame
  • Chalkboard Paint 

#2) Holiday Wreath

I love, love, love this wreath from Naptime is the New Happy Hour.  How gorgeous!  From the tutorial, it seems to be rather easy. For detailed instructions from Naptime is the New Happy Hour, check out the site by clicking here

  • Wreath Form
  • Mesh Ribbon
  • Embellishments (old holiday lights, ornaments, berries, etc.)

#3) Christmas Tree Decor
Beautiful meets easy in these simple, but elegant winter trees. Putting on the G.R.I.T.S. provides you with all the information on finding the supplies and piecing these lovely items together. I think they will definitely be on my Christmas to-do list. Check it out here

  • Candle Sticks
  • Styrofoam Cones
  • Tissue Paper, Yarn, Ribbon or Glitter 
  • Glue 

#4) Mod Podge Coasters
So I must admit that I have a thing for beautiful papers (stationary, napkins, plates, etc. - you name it!). Beneath My Heart shows you how to make a coaster set using your favorite papers. In fact these Santa coasters were made from napkins. How wonderful!  To see her full tutorial, click here
  • Tiles (buy from any home improvement store)
  • Pretty Paper (napkins, scrapbook paper, computer print outs, wallpaper, etc.)
  • Mod Podge 
  • Cork Board
  • Glue 
  • Sponge Brush
  • Acrylic Sealer 

Whew! After sharing all these ideas, I feel the need to get crafting.   

A gift from Let's Talk Chalk

I wanted to send a special thanks to Pattie and Jamie from the Let's Talk Chalk shop on Etsy. They noticed that I loved their chalkboard wine charms after blogging about them in my Wine Tasting Wedding Shower post and sent me a set. 

I can't wait to use them... especially with all the holiday parties come up.  I'm think I'll write reindeer names on them:

  • Dasher
  • Dancer
  • Prancer
  • Vixen
  • Comet
  • Cupid
  • Donner
  • Blitzen
  • Rudolph

Let's Talk Chalk also has a variety of chalkboard items for weddings, parties and everyday living. To see their full offering on Etsy, click here.


Day #3 of DIY Holidays: {Food} Gifts with Holiday Flair

#1) We WISK you a Merry KISSmiss

I love this idea from Today's Fabulous Finds - Tomorrow's Treasures.  This is perfect when working with a smaller budget and is a such sweet gesture. Click here for more clever gift-giving ideas under $2 from Today's Fabulous Finds - Tomorrow's Treasures.
  • Wisk (Try the dollar store)
  • Hershey Kisses
  • Ribbon
  • Cellophane Bag or Wrap (Try any craft store)
  • Gift Tag
#2) Reindeer Candy Bars

What an adorable idea from!  Just decorate Hershey bars with construction paper or felt and pipe cleaners. 
  • Full Size Candy Bars
  • Construction Paper or Felt
  • Pipe Cleaners
  • Glue or Double-Sided Tape
    #3) Joyful Cookies

    I recently found a variety of cookie cutters (letters, numbers and shapes) at Sur La Table for $1 each.  What a steal!  I love that you could create sets of cookies to send a holiday greeting.  In addition to JOY, you could also consider CHEER, HO HO HO or NOEL. This along with others Christmas cookie box ideas is posted on Frugal Village
    • Sugar Cookie Recipe & Supplies
    • Pretty Box
    • Wax Paper (to use a tissue paper)
    • Pretty Box
    • Ribbon 
    #4) Reindeer Rootbeer (or Real Beer)

    How cute is this?!?! This holiday-themed case of beer will be perfect for my Uncle George. I always struggle on what to get him for Christmas.  Problem solved!   For full details on this project, check out Life of a Modern Mom by clicking here
    • Case of Beer or Rootbeer
    • Pipe Cleaners 
    • Red Pom Poms
    • Googly Eyes
    • Hot Glue
    I can't wait to create these gift ideas. Pictures on my recreations to come. If you have made these in the past or are making them this season, I would love to see your pictures! 


    Gifts for the Manly Man

    wrapping inspiration from Streets Are Runways

    Day 2 of DIY Holidays
    Gifts for the Manly Man

    Generally, I think it is harder to pick out a homemade gift idea for a guy than it is for a girl.  For my favorite boy, I usually resort to clothes considering we both LOVE NEW CLOTHES.  For this post, I had to search deep to come up with clever ideas appropriate for the men in your life.  Here are my best picks: 

    #1) Stone Collection

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    Whether your manly, man is a significant other or a family member, this stone collection idea from the James Ann blog is a wonderful, sentimental gift.  Just grab a fine point Sharpie and start decorating!  Write inspirational quotes or recap of your favorite memories on each rock.  I think this would make a great conversational piece displayed on a coffee table. 
    • Stones (Find in your backyard or purchase at a craft store)
    • Sharpies
    • Bowl or bucket for display 

    #2) Scrabble Art

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    I love this idea from the Little Inspirations blog.  If you have a Scrabble game laying around, then steal a couple pieces.  If not, try thrift stores to score a game at a discounted price. While I include this under the "gifts for guys" section, you could use this concept for anyone.
    • Frame
    • Mat
    • Scrabble Pieces
    • Glue

      #3) Happiness in a Tea Towel

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      The blog, 365 Days of Pinterest Creations, shared this idea of "happiness in a towel."  Essentially, happiness is a cookbook wrapped in a kitchen towel topped with a spatula (or other cooking utensil).  Simple, but thoughtful.  If you want to make this a little manlier, try a grilling cookbook. Click here to see a full tutorial on pinning the towel just right to create the gift wrap.

      • Cookbook
      • Kitchen Towel
      • Spatula 

      #4) Pasta Night

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      This gift package is actually sold on a wine website, but I think you could recreate this at a fraction of the cost. Just stop by your local grocery store for supplies. To make this gift even better, add a handwritten note designating a date for breaking in the new cooking kit.

      • Strainer 
      • Pasta 
      • Pasta Sauce
      • Bread
      • Bottle of Wine
      • Ribbon or Raffia 

      Any other good ideas out there?  Email me at I would love to feature your fabulous, affordable ideas.

      Gifts for the Girly Girl

      wrapping inspiration via Robbie and Erin

      Day 1 of DIY Holidays
      Gifts for the Girly Girl

      #1) Monogrammed Coolers 

      The blog, Being Mrs. Cullins, featured these gorgeous, monogrammed coolers in a giveaway. I love the idea of purchasing an item and personalizing it.   If you read Simply Sarah Style, then you know this is something I do often with my Cricut machine and vinyl.  You can find coolers for a reasonable price at places like Target and Wal-Mart. Then just use vinyl to personalize them. If you don't have Cricut to cut your own vinyl, many craft stores now offer precut vinyl letters and shapes. I especially like the font choice on these items.  It is super girly and sophisticated. 
      • Cooler
      • Cutting Machine (Cricut)
      • Vinyl

      #2) Framed Burlap Earring Holder 

      Positively Splendid provided a tutorial on how to create this gorgeous earring holder.  This is stunning!  There is no reason to hide this in the closet.  This would look great on a dresser or evening on a bedroom wall. Click here for the full tutorial.
      • Picture frame 
      • Burlap
      • Spray Starch
      • Stencil
      • Acrylic Paint
      • Paint Brush
      • Embellishments (flower, rhinestones, broaches, etc.)
      • Glue Gun

      #3) Bedazzled Clipboards

      Aren't these gorgeous! On her blog, Teresa Collins tells how embellish clip boards using rhinestones or broken jewelry.  Click here for a full tutorial. 
      • Clip Board
      • Rhinestones or Broken Jewelry
      • Glue GUn

      #4) Initial Wreath

      My friend Sarah at This Crazy, Blessed Life created this wreath for her sister-in-law and I fell in love.  It was on my to-do list all summer.  With her tutorial, the possibilities are endless. You can choose a holiday color scheme or something more along the lines of the bold colors below for long-lasting decor. 
      • Wreath Form
      • Fabric
      • Cardboard
      • Glue Gun

      Do you have other DIY project ideas perfect for a girly, girl?  I would love to hear from you.  Please drop a comment below or send me an email at Hope to hear from you soon!

      It's that time! DIY Holidays

      wrapping idea  via Callaloo Soup

      Hello, friends and blog readers!  I recently received a sweet email from Sarah F. inquiring about suggestions for homemade holiday gifts. Sarah F. writes...

      Hi Sarah,
       Like you I am very crafty and for this Christmas my budget is very small, and if you have time would like to know what your thoughts are...I am also stressing because I have Christmas and then my boyfriends birthday immediately horrible!  You seem like you have unique ideas and I was wondering if you have made any male gifts. Let me know when you have time! Thank you so much,
      Sarah F.

      Sarah F. brings up a great point.  Christmas is right around the corner and many us are beginning to think about what we will gift to our loved ones for the holiday (if we haven't already).  In response to Sarah F.'s email, I am going to post a series of homemade DYI gifts.  I will break them down into three categories:

      1. Gifts for the girly, girl 
      2. Gifts for the manly, man
      3. Gifts with a holiday flair

      I will aim at providing you with fabulous DIY gift ideas for under $20 each (most ideas will be significantly under this though).  I am so excited about this series!  I also can't wait to implement these myself.

      Do you have DIY gifts ideas I should include?  If so, please share a comment below or send me an email. I would love to feature your idea on Simply Sarah Style.

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