Wednesday, December 21, 2016

5 Ways to Give Back this Holiday Season

Happy hump day friends! I am SO excited to bring today's post to you guys. I can't believe that Christmas is this weekend, but I've been doing everything I can to get in the Christmas spirit. I've been winter outfit planning, scheduling festive activities with family, burning all of my wintry candles, and baking up a storm!
However, my favorite thing to do to embrace the Christmas spirit is find a way to give back. I am so blessed to have all I have. I have a good job, a loving and supportive family, and a boyfriend who makes it feel like Christmas everyday. I am so lucky to always have food in my fridge and a bed to come home to, BUT, not everyone is that lucky. This time of year is so fun and exciting, but in the midst of that, it is so important to remember those less fortunate. Today, I thought I'd share 5 quick ways to make a huge difference in people's lives and spread some love this time of year.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Gift Guide: Girls

Happy FRI-YAY friends! I am triple-y excited because 1. It's Friday, 2. the last of my gift guides is going up today, just in time to order your last minute gifts for next week, and 3. I graduate from college today!! It's going to be a whirlwind of a day, but I'm happy to start it with you, here, sharing my gift guide for the girls. 

I've included everything from smaller items which would be great for secret Santa or stocking stuffers to some pretty big ones that would be amazing to find under the tree! 

Gifts for Her:

Gift Guide for Her
Dry Bar Curler Set / Phone Wallet / Barrington Tote / Beanie / Starfish Project Necklace
Signet Ring / Stila Lipstick Set / LL Bean Fisherman Tunic / Polaroid Camera
Tory Burch Boots / Marble Phone Case / Kendra Scott Necklace / Ugg Slippers
Tarte Eye Shadow Palette / Ray Ban Sunglasses / Bose Speaker / Kendra Scott Earrings

I think the Tarte palette, which I've been eyeing for forever, the Kendra Scott earrings or necklace, this adorable marble phone case, a cute Polaroid camera, a beauty gift set, a cute bobble hat, or this cell phone wallet would be great for a smaller gift that still packs a huge punch. I think those are great for family gifts or gift exchanges because you don't need to know a size and you know they will be loved all around!
My personal favorites are the Tory Burch boots, which were the best Christmas present I've ever gotten simply because they are a permanent staple for years to come, this Drybar set, this signet ring, this fisherman sweater, and this deer print tote. I think those are definitely on the more expensive end, but they're things that will be in use constantly and such good quality. I have the boots and the ring and I love that I can pretty much wear them everyday, when the boots are in season.
The Bose bluetooth speaker, the Rayban sunglasses, and the UGG slippers are also classics that are guaranteed to be the best gift under the tree. A good bluetooth speaker is something you can't go wrong with as almost everyone has an iPhone these days. A luxury pair of super sleek sunglasses? Who doesn't like that? And those UGG slippers are perfect for people like me who have cold feet year around. I already feel cozy just looking at the super soft lining. 
Last, but not least, is this Starfish Project necklace. I recently found this company and while I love their jewelry, their mission of taking girls and women off the streets, giving them a home and teaching them a skill they can find a god job with, is incredible. I love giving gifts at Christmas time that continue to have an impact year around, and this is one of them. It adds an extra special layer because not only do you get a super cute piece of jewelry, but you're also helping save someone's life. You can't beat that!

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Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Gift Guide: Guys

Good morning everyone! Can you believe Christmas is NEXT WEEK? What is even happening. I still have mess from Thanksgiving around my house...embarrassing. 
This week is Gift Guide Week on Sarah Smile Blog, and I think I came up with a few good'uns on Monday for parents all UNDER $100. I definitely think parents are the hardest to shop for, but a close second is 100% boys. Whether it's boyfriends, brothers, close friends, you name it, it's really hard to find a good gift when they're not super specific about what they want. I've rounded up some things I think any guy in your life would love, and with the exception of a few things, they're all under $100 too! 

Gifts for Him:

Guy's Gift Guide

Yeti Cup / BBQ Set / Patagonia / Vineyard Vines Hat 
Fitbit Watch / Bose Bluetooth Speaker / Tickets / Harry's Shave Set
Watch Holder / Chukka Boots / Ray Ban Sunglasses / Go Pro Camera 
Similar to my Dads' gift guide, I generally think going with more outdoorsy, rough and tumble type gifts is always a good bet. For the most part, guys like to be spending time outside, so buying things they can use for the grill, on a boat, or when they're out getting their fitness on are all gems in my opinion! That Go Pro Hero camera is a good one for any upcoming adventures the guy in your life may be taking in 2017. Those Ray ban sunglasses, that Yeti cup, and the Bose bluetooth speaker would go great with an early morning hunt or fishing trip, and that Vineyard Vines hat would work for any activity any day of the week..I'm even jealous of it. 
The Fitbit Blaze watch is SO cool and I think anyone who is health conscious or into personal fitness would love it and that Patagonia pullover is great for running at the gym or running to that early morning class. I also love this watch holder for a guy that travels often or just likes everything to have a place, and these Chukka boots are such a nice shoe for guys in the colder months. Any sort of gift set is a nice gift because it's a good intro to a brand without being lots of full size products. This Harry's one is really cool because you can even monogram the razor, plus it comes with shave cream and extra blades!
One of my personal favorites is this monogrammed grill set from Mark and Graham. It's nice to keep everything in one place, but it also looks very official, which I know all the men in my life like when it comes to their grill. Last but not least, I love personalized, special to you gifts. I think tickets for an upcoming baseball game or concert for a band you both like steals the show because it's making memories and you can't beat that!

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Monday, December 12, 2016

Gift Guide: Parents (Under $100!)

Happy Monday friends! 
This week is going to be the week of gift guides on the blog and we're starting with parents!!  I don't know about you, but I find my parents the hardest to gift for. They can buy the things they really want and I never have enough money to gift what what they truly deserve. BUT, this year I think I've done pretty well. 

I have rounded up two gift guides - one for mom, one for dad - and everything is under $100! There are some total gems in here y'all!! I personally used my parents as guides and I think any parent would love any one of these items. 

Gifts for Mom:

Gifts for Mom
Cashmere sweater (only $70!!) / Tassle Keychain / Ugg Slippers / Lush Bath Bomb Set 
LL Bean Tote / Jo Malone Perfume / La Mer Gift Set / Kendra Scott Earrings

When it comes to my mom, I try to gift either cozy things she'll want to wear all the time or luxury things she'd never buy for herself. I think the cashmere sweater and Ugg slippers would be such great "wear all the time" gifts that she'd love. The Lush bath bomb set, La Mer giftset (which everyone raves about), and the Jo Malone perfume are the perfect things to make her feel special and luxurious without breaking the bank. The Kendra Scott earrings and tassle keychain and perfect for the mom who loves accessories, but that LL Bean tote is great for the mom who always has SO MUCH STUFF. Which, doesn't everyone's mom?

Gifts for Dad:

Gifts for Dad
For my dad I tend to go for outdoorsy things or upgrade his wardrobe a little. MY dad loves technology, so I sometimes throw things like that in the mix as well. My dad is known for having the TV up pretty loud because he's A. deaf and B. we talk too much, so these bluetooth headphones would be an awesome present! I can't believe the price on these Barbour gloves, and this Patagonia would be a major upgrade for his casual style, not to mention this cashmere sweater that comes in a bajillion colors! As far as "luxury items" go, I think a new razor, this Jack Black shaving set, and this Aqua de Gio cologne set would start his year off on the right foot and make him feel spoiled and loved. 

Don't forget that my HOLIDAY GIVEAWAY is still going until 12/19, and I'll have two more gift guides up this week! See you then!

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Thursday, December 8, 2016

What to Wear to a Holiday Party

Good morning y'all! I am so excited for this coming weekend because I am off to San Antonio early tomorrow morning. If you don't know, I am a huge Billy Joel fan, and I finally get to see him live tomorrow night. So, if you don't yet, follow me on Instagram to keep up with all the festive weekend activities!
Today's post though, is all about holiday parties and what to wear for them! This season is full of cocktail parties, work Christmas shindigs, and family dinners. I always spend so much time in front of my closet trying things on and wondering what to wear. I normally wear lots of black, white, and navy during the winter, but lately I've been loving all things RED. Today, I have a skirt, dress, and lipstick to share with you, and I hope you love them as much as I do!

I got this skirt from The Styled Collection a few months ago and fell in love with it the minute I saw it. It flares out a little at the bottom, in an upside down tulip shape, and I think it's so flattering. I originally ordered in a medium because the fabric is super stretchy, but I ended up returning for a large because I find it runs a bit small. I just paired it with an old silky blouse and it made a perfect simple, yet gorgeous colorful holiday outfit! You could dress it down with flats or add some sleek heels to step it up a notch. It is now sold out (UGH), but I've linked a few similar blouses and skirts so you can recreate it if you'd like! 
 My favorite piece for the holiday parties is this red dress from Gap. It is very well made,  super soft and stretchy, and is so flattering. I really like that the length is a little longer than your average mini dress because I don't have to worry so much when I bend over or reach for something. I paired it with the Steve Madden Stecy heels, but I think it would go well with flats or even booties!



The Stecy heels are 100% out of my comfort zone, but I actually really like them. I'm horrible at painting my toes, so that makes them a little tricky, but I love how they make your legs look longer. I can always use a bit of that! I am wearing Nars Damned in these pictures and I love it. It's a more cranberry-ish, purple red, so it's a bit different than your usual holiday red. It will go well with all of my neutral colors, but I think it paired really well with the bright red of my dress too! My coat is last year's version of J.Crew's vail parka. LOVE.

P.S. Don't forget to enter my Holiday Giveaway! You could win over $150 worth of holiday goodness, so don't miss out!
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Tuesday, December 6, 2016


Happy Tuesday friends! I am SO excited to finally share this giveaway with you guys. Over $150 of holiday goodies - just for you!! When I was putting it together I envisioned everything you'd need for a special holiday party or a pamper night in. One winner will receive an Old Navy tote, perfect for work or school, a Butter London holiday polish set, a Bobbi Brown eye-look-in-a-palette set, a holiday set from Kiehl's for the softest winter skin, and a handmade beaded necklace from local designer Emmerson Designs
The tote looks so nice for everyday use I almost kept this one for myself (; The Butter London nail polishes are such good quality and the colors are perfect for the holidays and that Bobbi Brown eye set is AMAZING! I ordered one after receiving this one in the mail and I love it. It reminds me a little of the Naked 3 palette, but the shades are so smooth and it makes the perfect travel palette because it goes from day to night really well! That necklace from Emmerson Designs is gorgeous, and it has turned me, a person who hardly ever wears jewelry, into wanting to start a collection. I love how simple it is, which means it will go with everything from a tee shirt and jeans to a nice dress, but it just catches your eye! Last but not least, I love this Kiehl's set. My skin gets so dry in the winter, which is such a bummer because I love wearing skirts and dresses. This set, with one of my favorite lip cremes too!, will easily be one of your favorites! 
I love gift giving. It is hands down one of my favorite parts of the holidays, everything from finding the perfect gift, wrapping it, and watching someone open it and love it! I 100% know that giving gifts is my love language. Because of that, I wanted to extend the gift giving to the blog. It makes me so happy to know that one of you will receive this joyful little package right before Christmas and I hope it makes your holidays even brighter!

How to Enter:

Be a part of Sarah Smile's email list!

* indicates required

This part is required to make the other entries (below) count! Plus, you'll get awesome emails from me once a week giving you sneak peek's at the coming posts, or a few extra when there's something really exciting going on!

Get extra entries below!**

Sarah Smile Blog Holiday Giveaway

Good luck everyone! I can't wait to send this off to someone and I hope you enjoy it as much as I've enjoyed putting it together!
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*Open to U.S Residents only. Giveaway will run from 12/6 to 12/19*

Thursday, December 1, 2016

How to: Decorate for the Holidays on a Budget

Happy 1st of December y'all! I am SO beyond ready to dive right in to the holiday spirit. I've been playing Christmas radio 24/7, lighting as many winter candles as I can find, and wrapping presents as fast as I can when they come in. One of my favorite parts about Christmas is how cozy my house feels when the heater is running and the Christmas tree is glowing. I never really decorated my dorm room or other apartments I've lived in because it can get SO expensive, but I also never really felt like I could enjoy the holidays until I got home for winter break. This year, I set a budget and found a way to make it happen in Myles and I's townhouse! I scoured Target and a few sales at Nordstrom and pulled together some really cute, classic things that I can't wait to pull out for years to come!
Holiday Decorations
I love these cable knit stockings! They're simple but they look so nice and crisp all strung up together. We even got a little one for our rabbit Moose! At $13, they're a steal!
My other favorites are these Wondershop Santa/Tree pillows which make me SO happy every time I walk in the door (that tree is so happy looking!!), this Santa candy dish which looks way more expensive than it actually is ($8!!), and the Kate Spade Christmas village range. I got the thermos and the table runner and I love how simple but cheery they are. It makes so happy every time I see those cute little houses and I wish I could celebrate Christmas in a tiny village just like that! 
As far as gifting goes, Target has the cutest little sets. I got one from Sugar Paper that even includes twine to tie them with, (SO precious!), and I got a little tin that has 50 tags for $5! You really can't beat that. I also got super cute wrapping paper for only $2. I swear, I could've done so much damage in that section alone. 
All in all, while the pieces above are great, and all under $35, I really think that you should invest your money in whatever makes you feel the most festive. I'm slowly building up my decoration box year by year, which is a great way to be budget cautious. I also think that making a list of things you feel like define Christmas to you is helpful. For me, I have to have a tree and something Santa, so I started there. Then I added a few more things to my cart like stockings and table decorations and stopped when my budget was met. Next year, I'll add a little more, like maybe a nice wreath or a bigger tree! I've linked more cute things below, like ornament sets and wrapping paper and Frasier Fir candles (!!!!), so scroll through and see what you like!

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Monday, November 28, 2016

Cyber Monday Deals and Codes

Happy Monday friends! Wow, this past week has flown by! I SO enjoyed having some downtime with my family and friends, and hosting a giveaway for you guys, but am now moving full speed ahead into finals and then graduation!! I pulled together a few of my favorite Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, most of which I scooped up myself, and I thought I'd post them here. Now is a great time to start buying gifts, but starting next week I'll be posting my annual gift guides. So far I've got one for the girls, one for guys, and one for parents. Are there any other categories you'd like to see? Do you prefer the grouped by person or price? Please PLEASE let me know in the comments below! I want to post what you guys want to see! 
Kate Spade Cup / H&M Sweater / Kendra Scott Bracelet / Toms Booties
Gap LBD / Kendra Scott Earrings / Kendra Scott Elisa Necklace / Fair Isle Socks
Tory Burch Boots / J. Crew Pajamas / Ray Ban Erikas / Barrington Tote / Bell Sleeve Top
 I am so excited for my new Kate Spade mug to take hot chocolate to work and class! I got the matching table runner to decorate our apartment and it makes my heart so happy! Same with that reindeer sweater...LOVE. I already own those TOMS booties and absolutely could not recommend them enough. That Gap LBD is my graduation dress because it is SO stretchy and flattering...I even bought it in red during the sales because I love it so much! I finally scooped up those J.Crew pajamas after stalking them for weeks and I stocked up on my camp socks too. J. Crew has the cutest socks and I always get some for Myles for Christmas as a stocking stuffer. I recently got the Tory Burch Derby boots, but now they're UNDER $300! You can't beat that deal, so if you want them, RUN, before they're all sold out. I have been dreaming about that Barrington tote, but I actually own that Halogen bell sleeve top. I love the shape and color, but it runs small, so size up! 

Cyber Monday Codes:  

Anthropologie // 20% off full priced items 
ASOS // 30% off with code THANKFUL30 
Barrington Gifts // 10% off everything + free shipping with code: CYBER 
Baublebar // 35% off 2+ items with code: SAVE35
25% off 1 item with code: SAVE25
Chicwish // 25% off everything with code: BLK25 
Express // 50% off everything + free shipping 
Francesca’s // 30% off everything
Free People // 25% off all sale items
GAP // 50% off everything with code CYBMON
Gigi New York // 20%-30% off depending on how much you spend 
H&M // up to 30% off depending on how much you spend 
J.Crew // 40% off everything + free shipping with code: MONDAY
Kate Spade // 30% off everything with code: WIRED

Kendra Scott // 20% off everything with code: SALE20 
LOFT // 50% off everything with code: CYBERMONDAY 
Mark & Graham // 25% off everything PLUS free shipping, 
monogramming, and gift wrap with code: FRIENDS
Marley Lilly // up to 50% off
Nordstrom // 40% off designer sale 
Old Navy // 50% off everything 
Sole Society // 30% off select shoes & apparel 
Tory Burch // 30% off $250 or more with code: THANKS
Tuckernuck // 20% off everything with code: GIVE20

If you see any other good sales, please feel free to comment below! I've SO enjoyed getting my Christmas shopping out of the way while picking up a few things for myself and hope you do too! Have a great week!!
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Thursday, November 24, 2016

I am thankful for... + GIVEAWAY

Happy Thanksgiving friends! Today I plan to wake up early, bake a sweet potato casserole and a pecan pie, and enjoy time with family eating yummy food until I can't eat any more! I love Thanksgiving because it's all about cooking together, eating together, and reflecting on the year coming to a close. 
My fam last year
This year I am so thankful for...
Myles and our loving, supportive, FUN relationship. It seems crazy that we've known each other for less than two years, but I couldn't imagine my life without him. 
My family, who support my crazy dreams and wishes and are always there when I need them. We've had some downs, but we always have more ups, and I think that's the mark of any good family. I wouldn't trade Sunday lunches for a million bucks!
My education, a job I love and a steady income, a cute college apartment that feels like a home, and the cutest pet rabbit there ever was. I am so, SO blessed and I hope I never forget that. 
YOU. The bloggy community that has formed around Sarah Smile could not be sweeter if I dreamed it up. I have blog friends all over the States and Europe and I love catching up on bloglovin', twitter, facebook pages, etc. I really get invested in both my readers' lives and my blog friends' and I am SO thankful for that. It's a unique part of this world we live in and I am such a fan.
Since it's the day of thanks, I want to say a BIG thank you to all of you who take the time to read, comment, and send bloggy love my way. I got a lot of love on my "Best Beauty Advent Calendars" post, SO...
I purchased an extra Target 12 Days of Beauty Favs Advent Calendar (can't WAIT to open mine!) and I want to gift it to one of you! I think opening one present each night leading up to Christmas is so exciting and luxurious and I hope one of you enjoys it and feels a little extra special! You can enter below and I hope you have a very joyful Thanksgiving! 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Best of Beauty Advent Calendars

Good morning guys! This morning I thought I would share one of my favorite parts of the holiday season: ADVENT CALENDARS! If you're not familiar, they come in all different combinations and general have 24 to open on each day of December leading up to Christmas. I was never familiar with chocolate ones or especially beauty ones until I went to England in 2014. Since then, SO many brands have been putting them out here in the States and this year is a wonderful year for budget friendly beauty and skincare options. 
Advent Calendars

For the beauty lover: 
Similar in terms of size and cost to the Target Beauty Box, this one gives you a good bang for your buck, as you get all sorts of different products at Target prices! For only $25, there is no risk with gifting this one or keeping it for yourself. I already ordered it and cannot wait to start trying out new brands and affordable products!
This one is probably my favorite of the season! I have never tried a lot of the "holy grail" Benefit products like Bene-tint and Hoola bronzer, but this calendar comes with little minis! I love that they include almost all of their most raved about products because I get to try all of them before I fully invest. It's a little pricier at $45, but still an amazing gift for the girl who loves to try new products or for yourself if you just want to get your feet wet in benefit products, like me. If it is sold out at the link above, try here!
NYX Wanderlust
This one is SUCH a gem and I know people who love their matte lipsticks will LOVE this box. I know my sister will freak out. It comes with a range of their very popular matte lipsticks and eye shadows and is such a good price at only $50. This would be great as a gift to a massive beauty guru, but also good to split up and give as small gifts to bible study friends, sorority sisters, etc in a cute little coffee mug or something! 
  For the skincare fiend:
Yall, I have never tried anything from L'Occitane but I am SO tempted. Every time I pass the store it smells so good and all of the products have such a wide range. You get shampoo and conditioner sets, hand creme, shower gel, etc and it all sounds so amazing! I personally think this would be a great "mom" gift to make December exciting as it gets close to Christmas and have a few pamper nights! 
Nuxe Beauty Countdown
  This one is so luxurious and so precious! All the Parisian inspired packing makes it a perfect gift for anyone you really want to make feel special without totally burning through your wallet. I've never tried it, but the brand as a whole has really good reviews, so buying a set like this is the perfect way to test it out! 
  For the polish lover:
Ciate Nail Collection
This set comes with 18 mini nails polishes, 1 full size polish, 2 nail toppers, 2 nail treatments, and a mini nail file. I swear, if I didn't bite my nails down to nothing I'd have gotten this the minute I saw it. It's another good one that can be gifted as a whole or broken down into multiple smaller gifts and will literally work for everyone from your little sister to your cousin you never see. It's a good one for sure!
  For the lover of luxury:
Charlotte Tilbury
 This one is the dream, y'all. It's $200, so like not in my budget this year at all, but it is beautiful for sure. Charlotte Tilbury is known for being super high quality, so really you'd spend $200 on only a few full size products, which makes this a steal if you've got the cash to spend. It's a great way to see what you like/don't like and you can't go wrong with a brand like Charlotte Tilbury.
 I am giving away a Target 12 Days of Beauty Favs Advent calendar here, so make sure you enter!!
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