An Anthropologie sale too good to pass up

With an extra $40% off sale items at Anthropologie, you need to hightail it over to the website or your nearest store and scoop some of these goodies up! If you're anything like me, you love so many items at Anthropologie, but the price point often makes many of the items unattainable. Not now. Get high style for a fraction of the price!

Here are my top picks:

Originally $38 | Now $15

The 9 Month Update

Well, hello there! I know it's been a little while since my last post. I've been busy taking in all of the special moments centered around my baby's first Christmas, like his first meeting with Santa (get a glimpse here). It's astonishing how quickly the first nine months of his life has gone. In three short months, we'll have a one-year old.


Holiday Gift Guide

Let the shopping games begin! I've pulled together some savvy and stylish gifts that are spot-on when it comes to sensible pricing. Whether you're shopping for that special lady in your life or treating yourself, I have a feeling you'll find something on this list that brings delight.
Happy shopping, my friends! 


My love affair with Elm & Iron

Let's take a second and marvel over all things beautiful and interesting in the photo above. Ah, yes. There are so many to appreciate. The mix of rustic and glam, exotic and local, industrial and natural. Iron & Elm in OTR has it all.

This store seriously had me at hello. I first visited last year and fell in love. I even picked up a few things for Baby P.'s nursery as well as a few items for Christmas gifts then. Now, each time I head back, I want to buy it all - scoop it up and shower my house with home decor goodness.


Locust Creek Caramel Apples: One tasty treat

An apple a day keeps the doctor I right?

NKY and Cincinnati friends - I feel like I must tell you about these beautiful and absolutely delicious caramel apples. My high school friend Nicole received rave reviews when making them as a hobby and decided to offer them up to the locals.

I saw these and immediately thought they would be perfect for teacher or hostess gifts. With the holiday season upon us, I always have my eyes open for special treats that will serve as tokens of appreciation.

Love gourmet goodness too? Here's what you need to know: 
  • They're only $5 a pop.
  • Buy 6 apples, get 1 free.
  • You can customize your toppings. Pick from a variety of candy bar or cookie options. Plus, select white or milk chocolate for an extra layer of goodness.
  • Apples are good for five days (as long as you don't cut into them and wait five days).
  • Do not store them in the refrigerator. 
  • They come beautifully packaged.
  • You can order through Locust Creek's Facebook page.
Now, who's ready to indulge or treat someone special?

I was gifted two apples to sample, but all opinions are my own.

A baby boy baptism

I thought I would share a few snapshots from Baby P.'s baptism. My goal was to keep this family party simple, using only party supplies I owned. Low budget, low hassle, because, frankly, baby are expensive and all-consuming.

I put my milk glass collection to use and incorporated grocery store flowers to whip up some basic arrangements. I also incorporated the collection of black and white gingham tablecloths that I had in the closet. I purchased them from H&M for our housewarming party and have used the heck out of them ever since.


How to win $2,000 in furniture from Bargains and Buyouts

...which, let's be honest, is really like $4,000 in the real world. I say that because you know you Bargains and Buyouts gives you the most spectacular prices.

I first learned of this opportunity earlier this month when I partnered with my beloved furniture store to host their very first blogger event. It was great fun catching up with with other local bloggers in the home design space as well as hearing the Bargains and Buyouts startup story first hand. We sat right in the middle of the dining section and talked shop over about an ideal Saturday morning.

Marc and Greg, the owners, are wonderful. They're down-to-earth people who believe in the ultimate shopping experience. They've worked hard to create an environment in which the customer can get the best price on a wide array of home furnishings. The absolute thrill of this store is that you 1) never know what you'll discover, because the stock is always changing and 2) can negotiate the price. These two factors work in unison to produce a retail experience like no other - one that leaves you on a serious buyer's (or decorator's) high.


Bringing Nursery Design to Life

You might remember when I first put together the concept for Baby P.'s nursery. It was right around this time last year. My goal was to give our Bluegrass baby a southern gentleman-inspired room, outfitted in black, white, Kentucky blue and kelly green.

My original vision included a feature wall of a black and white gingham pattern behind the crib. Well it turns out the wallpaper I loved was coming from another country. It took so long just to receive the sample strip I ordered. Then, financially it didn't make sense. It was going to end up being crazy expensive and take forever to arrive, so I tweaked my plan.

As a reminder, here's the originally concept:

Here's a recap of what actually came to fruition from this plan: 

Horse canvas from Brookside Photography (repurposed different horse canvas from my living room) 
Custom silhouette print from Minted (purchased) | Kentucky print (purchased) 
Gum ball machine nightlight (didn't end up purchasing, although I still love it) 
Striped crib sheet (purchased) | Dwell Studio dresser (purchased) | 
Blue and green storage bins (purchased) | H is for Horse tray (purchased)  Hello pillow (purchased) 
Gold floor lamp (Went with a Target one instead) | Dwell Studio crib (purchased) 
Sheepskin (Repurposed different from living room) | Gold pillow (decided to pass)  
Glider and ottoman (purchased) | Black and white storage bin (purchased)

When creating a space, I think it's important for people to remember that it's okay if your space doesn't come together exactly as planned.

The most visually appealing rooms are 1) collected over time and 2) evolve due to trial and error. Sometimes you don't know how the scale of all the pieces are going to come together until you straight up style them in the space. I promise you there will be points where you have to buy things and then return what doesn't work. It is truly a refine as you go process.

So what does Baby P.'s space look like today? Here's a sneak peak:

I'll have to photograph a full tour soon.

In this photo, you probably only recognize the glider, sheep skin, crib and lamp look-alike. All of the other items were either gifts (the tent, toy horse, cloud/star mobile and birch trees), last-minute splurges (the Pottery Barn window shade) or items reused from other rooms (the horse pillow).

While my dream gingham wall didn't come to life, I was able to create some interest. My husband and father-in-law installed trim in a higher-than-normal position. We used Mindful Gray from Sherwin-Williams on the bottom and topped the space off with bright white.

I'm pleased with how the space came together. Although, it did take months. I was still adding finishing touches even after our baby boy arrived, but that's okay.

So, what do you think? Are you an evolve-as-you-go type of decorator?

A recipe for Thanksgiving dinner design

Since moving into a home more suited for large-scale entertaining, I've taken over the Thanksgiving responsibilities for my mom's side of the family. While I don't cook, I do pride myself in serving up a mean dinner table design. I love pulling all of my supplies together to create a visually appealing tablescape, and enjoy picking up new odds and ends, ensuring guests can expect to find a different twist on decor from year to year.

When purchasing entertaining products, I tend to gravitate toward items that aren't occasion specific - ones I can continue to use time and time again. I thought I would share my go-to recipe for creating a well-rounded dinner display. Here's what you need to know:

Start with jewel tones 

Inspiration via 100 Layer Cake
Jewel tones on the table is no brainer, especially for fall. The rich, bold colors reflect the season and are easy to mix and match.


A Quick and Easy Fall Gift

My favorite time of the year is full of the most fun and festive goodies. Once the stores start putting out all of the fall decor and home accents, I can't help myself. I want all of it! So instead of buying it all for myself, I decided to spoil my friends. I put together two of these gift baskets for my besties who both have September birthdays.

It all started with this wooden, polka dot crate. I saw it on the shelf in Target yelling, or better yet, screaming my name. It's so Simply Sarah Style. I had to have it...uh, had to have it for my friends, that is.


A fall festival to-do list

I love fall. Hands-down, it's my favorite season. With pleasant temperatures and some sort of festivity every weekend, it is, no doubt, the best time of year. Ever since I can remember, I've been a festival go-er. My mom and I were always out and about exploring new places and getting ideas for new projects and crafts.

Since there's so much to do in town and around the region, I thought I would share a quick list of the fall events I typically attend. Here's to celebrating pumpkin and apple everything!

September 24: Country Applefest (Lebanon, OH)

October 1 - 30: Fall Fest at Neltner's Farm (Camp Springs, KY)

October 7 and 9: The Wool Festival (Falmouth, KY)

October 7 - 29: Keeneland (Lexington, KY)

October 8 and 9: The Sauerkraut Festival (Waynesville, OH)

October 15: The City Flea (Cincinnati, OH)

October 16: Herbst Farm Tour (Camp Springs, KY)

Others I would like to try include:

Every Saturday in October: Country Harvest Trail Days at Reed Valley Orchard (Paris, KY)

All October: Various festivities at Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill (Harrodsburg, KY)

All October: Fall Festival at Kinman Farms (Burlington, KY)

October 19 - 22: The Pumpkin Festival (Circleville, OH)

Any events I missed? I'd love to hear your suggestions.

Cincinnati shopping: A trip to Bargains and Buyouts

I love home design. There's just no denying it. When I walk into a room, my mind instantly sketches up what it could look like and explores at least ten hypothetical design possibilities within minutes. If I only I had an unlimited budget to make all of my design dreams come true.

Unfortunately, I don't, but I do have a solution to cure my design envy. I said it before and I'll say it again... 

Here's why:
  • You can find a wide variety of home decor items: furniture, rugs, artwork, patio furniture, pillows, lighting, mirrors, mattresses and a variety of "you never know" kind of items (e.g., kitchen sinks, electronics, even clothes).
  • You can negotiate! Each price tag features the retail price and the Bargains and Buyouts price. Then you can negotiate on top of that. (Be sure to check out the pricing on the items from my first ever B&B haul.)
  • They have a rewards program that allows you to pile on savings, even on top of your negotiated price. (Get more details here.)
  • The sales associates are so nice! Seriously, I get great service every time I go. (Josh, the GM, is my man. Ask for him. He'll take care of you!)
I've outfitted my house with numerous Bargains and Buyouts finds. Honestly, not a week goes by that someone doesn't ask me about this store. (I'm sure some of you probably discovered Simply Sarah Style through my initial Bargains and Buyouts post that went wild on social.) 


A bun in the over and burgers on the grill: Highlights from a baby boy shower

On Simply Sarah Style, I often talk about how to pretty things up, but today, I thought I would share a manly approach to celebrating. My colleagues and I thought we would throw a "bun in the oven and burgers on the grill" shower for one of our designers and his wife.

Well when you discover your company grill no longer works, its time to take action. And by take action, I mean get in your car and drive to White Castle. I guess most guys love White Castle, so there's no shame in our last minute "catering" plan.

Since this took place at work during happy hour, we thought we would keep it simple with typical burger/picnic foods.


A visit to IKEA West Chester

Last week, I had the most pleasant blogger experience. Heather from the blog, the Food Hussy, invited me to join her and other local bloggers for an event at IKEA in West Chester.

I've been an IKEA fan since the day it opened its doors locally. I love IKEA, because of the customer experience. I can immerse myself in design possibilities all afternoon while browsing their showroom floor. I know I can find farmhouse chic or ultra modern and everything in between.

I mostly leave with a dolly full of home accents, plants and a few household staples, like their baggies. (An important side note: If you weren't aware that IKEA has the best ziplock baggies in the world, you are missing out. They're so colorful and come in six different sizes. I refuse to buy baggies anywhere else. Yes, it is the small things in life that make me happy.)


Beyond the obvious, 10 tools for new moms

I admit it. I was the girl at the baby shower who brought the cutesy outfits and monogrammed bib. Then the tables turned. I was expecting my first baby and quickly realized I needed practical items...many of which I didn't even know I needed. Yikes!

I instantly felt like a bad gift-giver, because I had been giving people the things they actually like to spend their own money, not the practical things they needed. Think about it. As a new mom, aren't you excited to buy cute clothes and accessories? But, you're not excited when you realize how many practical things you need, and those things, my friend, aren't fun to spend your money on.

The items above ended up being godsends. They're items that make my life as a mom easier, especially as I try to master the parenting game. Some are unexpected. Some are a little more typical, but the brand or texture truly made a difference to me.
  • Rosie Pope Blankets - We keep two of these in our diaper bag. They're small enough that they don't take up much room, but large enough to throw over the car seat as a protector from the rain, wind, etc. Rosie Pope has the cutest line of baby clothes and accessories. I absolutely adore the blankets we have and have given her flamingo bibs and burp cloths as gifts. (For the record, bibs and burp cloths are practical items. I didn't have nearly enough when our sweet boy was born. Can you ever have enough bibs or burp cloths? I think not.)
  • Fischer-Price Rock-n-play Sleeper - I had no idea I needed this specific model. My friend, (a seasoned mother herself) actually pointed out that I wouldn't be happy with the brand/model I originally selected. She said, "You need to take that back immediately. I promise you'll thank me later." She was right. I purchased the same model she had and have to say this is the most useful piece of gear we own. The difference between this model and others is the fact that this one rocks itself. Most vibrate, but require you to physically rock the sleeper yourself. This one does it all! It rocks, vibrants and plays several different white noise sounds.
  • Baby Saline Spray - Our sweet boy was so stuffed up during his first few months. Listening to him try to breathe was awful. It even affected his eating. We used this spray often.
  • Nose Frieda - My husband still thinks this is gross. Essentially, you use a tube (a sanitary tube) to suck snot out of your child's nose. Crazy, I know, but it works. It's not cheap either, but is worth the investment when clearing your child's nasal buildup.
  • IKEA Kallax Shelving Unit - Seriously, this is the best addition to your child's closet! Depending on the size of the closet, use it horizontal as a side board to create storage and an extra surface space, or use it vertical as a standard bookcase.
  • Babies-R-Us 2-in-1 Activity Walker - We just ordered this during a sale and only ended up paying $25 for it. It's been perfect for our five-month old, who is not content just hanging out in the sleeper anymore. He wants to move. This walker is adjustable, so you can set it at the perfect height for your little one.
  • OXO No-spill Formula Dispenser - I started out breastfeeding and eventually switched to formula. I had no idea this handy container existed. I was just carrying around a full canister until my best friend suggested this small dispenser.
  • IKEA Drawer Storage Organizer Bins - Seriously, get these. Get one set for each of your dresser drawers. You'll thank me later. They're perfect for organizing socks, bibs, pacifiers, clothes by name it! 
Seasoned mommas - What are your go-tos?

(Affiliate links were included in this post.)


A LuLaRoe giveaway winner + other beloved styles

A special thanks to all who entered the LuLaRoe giveaway! We had an overwhelming amount of entries. I'm excited to see that others are just as excited about stylish and comfortable clothes as I am.

Kayla W. - You are our winner! Be on the lookout for an email from me.


Discovering the world's best legging, and more comfy and cute clothes

I have a wardrobe secret that is too good to keep. I've discovered the world's BEST legging!!! I mean, I'm all about a $10 pair from Target, but the day I felt LuLaRoe leggings, it was life-changing. To be honest, I missed the boat the first time around. Last summer, my friend Lindsey (below) invited me to a LuLaRoe pop-up party, but I was unable to attend. Then I found myself complimenting friends on their attire only to discover that the pieces I was drawn to were from LuLaRoe. 

This year, Lindsey decided to host an online party and I immediately scooped up my first pair of leggings. I ordered solid black. Altough, they come in a wide range of patterns (as shown in Lindsey's photo below) and other solids. When my pair arrived in the mail, my husband and I marveled over the silky, buttery fabric texture. I was hooked! 

A "ready to pop" baby boy shower

I'm excited to share a glimpse at the "ready to pop" shower my colleagues threw as a surprise for me and my baby boy shortly before my due date. They know I have a weakness for popcorn, especially all of the specialty varieties at Patty's Popcorn in Hyde Park, so they felt the "ready to pop" theme was perfect. Plus, I'd been feeling like I was ready to pop at that time.


Baby boy update

(Finally hitting publish on this post I started months ago.)

Our baby boy arrived in March and life has been a whirlwind ever since. This boy has stolen our heart (and also all of our time), so please excuse me while I continue to take a bit more time off. I'm still mastering the art of mommyhood. 

In the meantime, I thought I would share some photos our of precious boy. Meredith from Lifelong Memories Photography captured these moments for us the week after our son was born. 

I cannot get enough of his little toes in the photo below!

Our boy is full of so many expressions and this photo was snapped just at the right moment, catching the start of a yawn.

I plan to periodically check in with a post here and there, but will not be holding myself to my previous once-a-week schedule. I promise I have plenty of baby shower photos to share though! Lots of inspiration. My family, friends and colleagues were so good at spoiling baby P with thoughtful themes and the most precious goodies.

In the meantime, let's stay in touch through social. You can reach me most often through Facebook (Simply Sarah Style) and Instagram (@simplysarahstyleblog).


Entering nesting mode

Dear blogging friends and avid readers,

As we approach the due date for our first child, I've decided to take a little blogcation. I would like to take the remaining two months before our new baby boy arrives to spend quality time with this handsome guy and prepare our house and the nursery.

While my pregnancy has been a smooth ride, I honestly feel like a slacker. I'm typically a planner in all aspects of my life, but with this baby, I've ironically been so laid back. I haven't done a ton, except go to my doctor's appointments, read my BabyCenter emails and ponder name options.

That's why I feel it's now time to shift focus from other personal priorities (like blogging) to getting ready for our next adventure, so the next two months will be all about preparing for Baby P.

Not having to worry about developing and photographing new content for the blog will be a relief. I'll still periodically post to social media, so you can follow along with updates and inspiration, particularly on Facebook and Instagram.

I thank you for following along for the last five and half years and hope you'll bear with me as a take a little time off. I do promise to share Baby P's southern gentleman-themed nursery when it's complete.

Happy 2016, my friends. May it be filled with joy and many personal victories!

(Photos by our dear friend, Steve from Brookside Photography)
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