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Six Spring 2020 Trends On My Wishlist

Get In My Closet!

(Bonus: Most of these are a part of the Shopbop sale! Get up to 25% off full-price styles with code SPRING)

  1. Sunglasses are the easiest way to incorporate a trend into your wardrobe. I’m really into this pair that is just as functional as it is stylish.

2. Strappy sandals are going to be the first thing I wear once the weather is even remotely appropriate for them. I love the heel detail on this Jacquemus pair.

3. Culottes – and board shorts for that matter – paired with the strappy sandals above will be perfect for everything from work meetings to weekend brunch. I love this pair especially because it is super high waist – I’d pair with a crop top that just barely grazes the waistline.

4. Loafers – besides my favorite sneakers I recently purchased, the other style of shoe I plan to wear all Spring, Summer, and Fall are loafers. They are so versatile – the slide on makes it really easy for everyday mom life, and it looks great casual paired with jeans, or even with dressy clothes.

5. Puff sleeves – A touch of a puff in the sleeve just makes it so much more interesting, and feminine. I love this tailored style with the simple collar.

6. Croc bags – I’m digging anything with a croc-effect texture, and this ivory bag is it for me – the color will work with everything in my closet, and it will brighten up my outfits for Spring!

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I Started A Podcast! Introducing: Conscious-ish

A long time dream of mine has finally come true – I started a podcast! I’ve been wanting to start a podcast for years. To be honest I feel like more than anything, this is my true calling. My mom said even before I could speak actual words, I was talking too much – haha. Seriously though, every single teacher in my elementary school had the same comment on my report card year after year – it read: ‘lovely child but…extremely talkative, which can be disruptive.’

I’ve also wanted a space where I can freely talk about the things that really matter to me. I have these types of conversations on group chats with friends all the time, yet I never share this aspect of me online with my internet family. Plus I just love podcasts, they are my favorite way to consume content, even more than video sometimes.

In this first episode, I am just venting about some things I care deeply about, and also encouraging people to get out there and vote. If I can get one person to vote who wouldn’t have otherwise, I would feel like this is a huge success. I do swear more than usual in this episode, I think I was just riled up from the topic, so please note that and maybe don’t play it aloud in front of your children.

In the future I plan to post about everyday topics like Beauty, Fashion, Motherhood, Spirituality, and pretty much everything that is interesting! I hope you enjoy this podcast, if you do- please subscribe, rate it, and share with friends! Right now you can listen to the link below, or you can get this on Anchor or Spotify. It should be available on Apple podcasts soon!

5 Fashion Styling Hacks To Make Your Clothes Fit Perfectly

It’s not what you wear, its how you wear it.

I used to hate how clothes never looked the same on me as they did in the clothing catalogue on the models. Then I started this little blog where I have to-date taken thousands of pictures of myself in different outfits – and let me tell you I’ve finally figured out the secret – these five fashion styling hacks. The fact is, most clothes today are mass produced, which means they simply aren’t always going to work for your unique shape. Learning how to adjust your wardrobe to fit you perfectly is the key to making everything you wear look infinitely better.

Here are five fashion styling hacks that will make your clothes fit perfectly:

butt shaper fashion styling hacks
  1. Invest in the right undergarments. It is the easiest way to enhance your shape without stepping foot in a gym. These are my favorite body shapers that have really changed the shape wear game, they lift and cinch *exactly* where you need it.
@alwayscoco

2. Use hair ties to keep your sleeves casually rolled up. Take any hair tie and pull it over your shirt sleeve to your elbow. Roll up or push up sleeves (depending on your desired look) and tuck in to hair tie.

fashion-styling-hacks

3. Belt your loose dresses or long shirts to cinch your waist. This is my favorite simple way to make an outfit really fit right, and it works on every body shape.

4. Use a clear elastic to tighten loose or baggy shirts. Slouchy shirts can be cute but often times they can look sloppy. If you want to make it look a little more neat and tailored, try this trick. Pull fabric together in the front or back and secure with elastic – it will look like a little ponytail. Tuck in to pants. You can also tuck the ‘ponytail’ under into the shirt for a cropped look.

fashion-styling-hacks

5. Safety pins are your best friend! I use safety pins for everything from tightening my waist that one extra inch, to keeping bra straps from slipping out. You can use them to tuck and pin a sweashirt in the front to achieve a half tuck look that won’t budge. Or if you want to have the off-shoulder top look, pin one bra strap to your shirt. The options are endless.

6. Hem your pants to hit just above ankle. This is by far the most flattering hem length for most people and it works equally well with flat shoes and heels. You can do this yourself by using hem tape or scissors for a frayed hem look, or you can get a professional tailor to do it.

What are some of your favorite styling hacks??

Video: Muslim Women Interfaith Marriages

In this video: I talk to Imaad of @thelondonnikah about Interfaith Marriages. Imaad shares with us his own story, going from leading prayers in a traditional mosque for 12 years before completely changing course to where he is now, leading interfaith marriage ceremonies around the world. He has performed 200 marriage ceremonies to date, and therefore has a ton of great insights and advice to share.

Talking with Imaad and hearing his views on religion and spirituality was incredibly refreshing and inspiring. He also shares some practical tips and advice for interfaith couples who are looking to get married.

A little background: mainstream Muslims believe that Muslim women must only marry Muslim men. There has been some dissent on this, including an Imam who declared it is permissible, and a Muslim country that passed a law allowing women to marry outside of her faith. But despite all of this, the collective majority still puts these restrictions on women and most women tend to comply to this rule (however reluctantly).

Full disclosure: In my marriage, Tom converted. It was primarily for the purposes of convincing my family and community, but also as a way for me to ensure our kids would be raised Muslim. At the time I had also believed the mainstream idea that my husband had to be Muslim, which is something I no longer believe. I’ll talk more about my beliefs and how they have changed since I got married in my next video, stay tuned.

I sincerely believe this is one of the reasons why so many of my beautiful, successful, thriving Muslim sisters in the west are unable to find someone suitable to marry. For years I’ve been getting messages from Muslim women who are looking to marry outside of their faith. I’ve happily given my advice, telling them to follow their hearts and their gut instincts while also respecting their families. It is my hope that watching this video will give people some insight into interfaith marriage and the challenges they may face, and also some courage and hope for their future.

Video: Valentine’s Day Lookbook – 5 Outfits To Copy Now

My Valentine’s Day lookbook includes five outfit ideas to inspire! This year Tom and I are going to do a little staycation in Chicago, and my absolute saintly in-laws are coming in to watch our little ones. I was trying to pick an outfit for my night out and I decided to just film it and create a lookbook video. I hope you enjoy! If you do, please subscribe to my channel. As always, I appreciate you – thanks so much for visiting!

Look 1:

1. Faux leather pants: (exact available in Large) https://shopstyle.it/l/bdAi2 * Similar Style: https://shopstyle.it/l/bdAjm 

2. Top: Similar https://shopstyle.it/l/bdAjy 

3. Necklace: https://shopstyle.it/l/bdAix 

4. Shoes: Similar https://shopstyle.it/l/bdAih 

5. Bag: Similar https://shopstyle.it/l/bdAjU 

Look 2:

1. Dress: https://shopstyle.it/l/bdAnj

2. Boots: https://shopstyle.it/l/bdAlW (only a couple of sizes left) Similar style (under $100): https://shopstyle.it/l/bdApi

3. Ring: https://bit.ly/2SCzvCh

4. Bag: Chanel

Look 3:

1. Trousers: Similar https://shopstyle.it/l/bdAoh

2. Blouse: Similar https://shopstyle.it/l/bdAp9

3. Blazer: Similar https://shopstyle.it/l/bdAoG

4. Heels: https://shopstyle.it/l/bdAoP

5. Bag: https://shopstyle.it/l/bdAoU

Look 4:

1. Top: https://shopstyle.it/l/bdAo1

2. Dress: Similar https://shopstyle.it/l/bdAsw

3. Boots: https://shopstyle.it/l/bdAlW (only a couple of sizes left) Similar style (under $100): https://shopstyle.it/l/bdApi

4. Necklace: https://shopstyle.it/l/bdAqK

Look 5:

1. Pants: Vintage – Similar https://shopstyle.it/l/bdAsH

2. Top: Similar https://shopstyle.it/l/bdAsZ

3. Blazer: Similar: https://shopstyle.it/l/bdArI

4. Heels: Aquazzura (couldn’t find similar)

Video: My Morning Routine (That Keeps Me Sane)

What I Eat, My Workout Routine, and My Recipe For The Perfect Cappuccino

My Morning Routine

I wasn’t always a morning person with a morning routine. Far from it. For the old me, if I was up at 5:00 a.m. it was because I hadn’t gone to bed yet. But just like almost every other aspect of my life, having kids changed all of that.

All of the sudden I had zero alone time, and my to do list was never ending. By days end, I felt frazzled, irritable, and like I was suffocating.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love being a mom, I love being around my children – just not every.second.of.the.day.

I realized I needed to carve out some ‘me time’ on a consistent basis. The occasional massage on a weekend or bubble bath on a weeknight wasn’t cutting it. Evenings were too hectic and busy so, I decided I would have to wake up early and just fill my mornings with all of the self-care.

It wasn’t easy for me to wake up that early at first, but over time the value I found in taking the time out for myself, was worth more than that tiny bit of extra sleep. Sipping my green tea, meditating, journaling, bullet journaling, working out, and eating a healthy breakfast on a consistent basis has been a game changer for me. I’m much more relaxed, focused, and productive now during the day.

In this video I share my morning routine that I’ve been doing consistently for over six months. I show you exactly what I do each and every morning to combat the inevitable chaos that life and kids bring. What I do, what I eat, my (struggle bus) workout routine (leg day) and bonus: how to make the perfect almond milk cappuccino! Something for everyone in this one!

I had so much fun filming this vlog style video, which is new for me. What can I say? 2020 is going to be all about trying new things! I hope you enjoy, and please subscribe for updates on any new posts! (You can also follow me on instagram @zahra_sandberg for more updates and random fun stuff!)

Some of the products I mentioned in the video I’ve linked below. Note: Some of these are affiliate links, meaning if you purchase something that I’ve linked to, I may receive a small commission for directing you to that product.

Laneige Face Wash:

https://shopstyle.it/l/bcMi6

Green Envee Collagen Serum (PR Gifted):

https://www.greenenvee.com/product/ha…

Curology Moisturizer: (PR Gifted)

https://curology.com/guides/skincare/…

Levi’s Ribcage Straight Denim (Tango light light wash) https://shopstyle.it/l/bcMjz

Espresso Machine: https://shopstyle.it/l/bcMhH

Video: Busy Mom Approved Casual Winter Outfits

(As easy to wear as yoga pants)

I thought it would be cool to put together some casual winter outfits to solve my own daily crisis: what to wear when it is cold AF outside. I hope you enjoy the video! Scroll below for links to what I’m wearing.

I tried my best to find links to everything I’m wearing, although some pieces are thrifted and others are old, and a few pieces were rented from Nuuly – use my referral code to rent from them here: http://fbuy.me/ohJCF.

(Note: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning if you end up buying something after clicking on it here, I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you.)

Casual Winter Outfits:

Look 1:

Charcoal 80’s Jeans https://www.prpsjeans.com/products/hi…

Ankle Booties: https://shopstyle.it/l/bb9qd

Look 2:

Jumpsuit: https://shopstyle.it/l/bb9rk (Rent here: http://fbuy.me/ohJCF)

White Booties (on sale now! A few sizes left) : https://shopstyle.it/l/bb9qg

Look 3:

Blue Jeans: https://shopstyle.it/l/bb3CY

Similar Corduroy Jacket: https://shopstyle.it/l/bb9ra

White Sneakers: https://shopstyle.it/l/bb9ri

Look 4:

Similar Corduroy Pants: https://shopstyle.it/l/bb9rq

Similar Boots: https://shopstyle.it/l/bb9sM

Look 5: Jeans: https://shopstyle.it/l/bb9sT

Similar Coat: https://shopstyle.it/l/bb9r6

Similar Boots: https://bit.ly/2swXc5E

Look 6: Similar Duster Jacket: https://shopstyle.it/l/bb9ut

Flat boots: https://shopstyle.it/l/bb9uc

Look 7: Similar White Jeans: https://shopstyle.it/l/bb9ui

Cropped Cardigan exact (one size left): https://shopstyle.it/l/bb9uK Cropped Cardigan similar: https://shopstyle.it/l/bb9uM

Similar Cap Toe Slingback Shoes: https://shopstyle.it/l/bb9wW

Look 8: Charcoal 80’s style jeans: https://www.prpsjeans.com/products/hi…

Cropped Cardigan exact (one size left): https://shopstyle.it/l/bb9uK

Cropped Cardigan similar: https://shopstyle.it/l/bb9uM

White Sneakers: https://shopstyle.it/l/bb9ri

Look 9, 10, 11: Leggings Spanx Leggings: https://shopstyle.it/l/bb3CT

Thanks so much for visiting! Please like and subscribe so you don’t miss a future post!

xx, Z

Video: Bullet Journaling Changed My Life!

Video: My Minimal Bullet Journal Set-Up

I could never have imagined how much a simple bullet journal could alter my existence. Years of working at home as well as being a full-time mom has me constantly stressing out. From forgetting doctor’s appointments, events, and deadlines, to the sheer number of apology emails I’ve had to send as a result of my unorganized life. I even wrote a blog post (more like a letter to myself) about how not to be bitter, most likely to combat all of my negative feelings.

It wasn’t like I didn’t try, I had to-do lists everywhere, on notebooks, post-its, in my phone notes, and on my google calendar, but I still felt frustrated. No matter how much I did in a day, I never felt like I was on top of things. Even worse, I felt like I wasn’t even moving the needle towards my goals. I’d often find myself worrying about my to-do list, even when I was doing something fun and should have been enjoying the moment.

Then I discovered bullet journaling. The simple, rapid logging method of journaling that is intended to keep track of all things as well as keep us mindful of our most precious resources, our time and energy.

I actually started my first bullet journal a couple of months ago, in a regular journal I already owned, just to test the waters. What I quickly realized was I was doing a lot of busy work, and leaving myself very little time to accomplish the things I really wanted to. For example, instead of working on a project that I knew had a deadline, I’d find myself spending way too much time organizing a closet in my house, or responding to emails in my inbox.

I also realized I didn’t have as much time as I thought I did, since I was taking on almost all of the responsibility for housework, and ALL of the responsibility for the breakfast, lunch, dinner, school drop-offs, pick-ups, and after school activity drop-off’s and pick ups.

As a result, I’ve asked Tom to chip in with drop-off and pickup of Sophia on the two days a week she goes to daycare. The reason why we have her there two days is so that I can work, (and also so I don’t go completely insane). Despite knowing this, the other nonsensical thing I used to do is drop Sophia off late and pick her up early – because my mom guilt made me think she probably wants to be home. In reality, she actually loves daycare, playing with other kids and doing all of the fun activities. Having Tom take on that task and letting her stay the full day, gave me three additional hours of working time, six extra hours a week!

Another aha moment I had was that even though I was constantly thinking about my career, my blog, and how I wanted to create so much more, I wasn’t actually doing much of it. I had a really great intern over the summer last year who created a posting schedule and gave me her tips/suggestions – and I fully planned to do it all, or so i thought. Realistically though, because I am home with the kids, I didn’t have enough time to do any of it. I realized I actually could have done a lot of it, if not all, but I wasn’t taking advantage of my evenings and weekends at all to make my dreams happen.

Last but not least, I realized I grossly underestimate the time it takes me to do work, writing blog posts, shooting and editing videos, and even just planning and preparing to shoot. Now instead of making my daily log to-do list have 20 tasks, I’ll prioritize my top 3, and then list whatever else I will get to if time warrants. It is a simple but profound realization that I can’t just will everything to happen – I need to plan ahead and give myself the time (and grace) I need.

This year, my goal is to live intentionally every day, and keep myself accountable with my bullet journal.

If you are interested in bullet journaling, there are no shortage of amazing tutorials available online. I’d suggest starting with Ryder Carroll’s, the man who created the whole concept. If you want to make yours artsy and fancy, or just want to watch really cool and oddly satisfying bullet journal set-up videos, check out AmandaRachLee on youtube and have a field day with all of your recommended videos.

And here is my really simple, minimal bullet journal set-up for 2020, which I think is perfect for beginners.

Thanks so much for visiting! Please subscribe to get updates every time I post. xx – Z

Winter Wish List – 14 Holiday Gift Ideas

Currently in California spending Thanksgiving with the family, while also pondering what I’ll be buying for gifts and for myself this holiday season.

You may notice with most of the items, the theme is All Things Cozy…

Here’s whats on my list:

Who doesn’t love a great coffee table book? The latest from Kelly Wearstler, iconic Interior Designer (and uber stylish mom) is chock full of gorgeous art and inspiration

Shop ‘Evocative Style’

I make everyday at home just a little bit luxurious by lighting my favorite scented candles by Jo Malone. I am also a big fan of their bubble bath and perfume.

Shop Jo Malone Candles

Sometimes all you need is a glam statement earring to *make* the outfit.

Shop Earrings

Tatcha’s gold spun lip balm is as pretty as it is practical.

Shop Lip Balm

Imagine slipping your feet in to these plush babies every morning.

Shop Slippers

I’ve shared my love of this toner here before, but I have to again because it is just that good. I’m obsessed with this clinically proven Ayurvedic skincare line – I use this toner daily, as well as the Ritual Body oil.

Shop Sahajan Skincare

A teddy coat for when I have to go out but still want to *feel* like I’m in bed with a cozy blanket.

Shop Teddy Coat

Sipping hot tea by a cozy fireplace is probably the only reason I love winters in the midwest.

Shop Teapot

These boots are the perfect low profile combat boot that could work well with a dress or jeans.

Shop Boots (similar style under $150)

Perfume is such a wonderful gift because scent holds memories for a long time. Le Labo makes it even more special with their personalization option. Fleur D’oranger is my favorite at the moment, it is bright and fresh yet still sophisticated.

Shop Perfume

One of the best part of being a grown-up: wearing good pajamas every night – its part of my self-care routine.

Shop Pajamas

I love the nostalgic feel I get playing a vinyl record. This player would take the classic and make a modern statement in any room.

Shop Record Player

Jewelry always fits. This chain link piece is on trend but it is truly a classic. It can easily be worn short or long, and charms can be added for a truly unique look.

Shop Necklace

Everyone needs the perfect soft throw blanket to cuddle up with on the couch watching netlflix.

Shop Throw Blanket

EVEN MORE IDEAS:

Gift certificate to a spa or salon

Maid service for a house deep cleaning or Home Organizing service for any trouble areas like kitchen or closets

Set of new luxe bedsheets

Matcha Tea with Tea Set

Cookbook with a high quality olive oil

A creative experience: Painting lesson, cooking class, floral arrangement lesson, pole dancing (anything really!)

Professional photography session – do it for the ‘gram!

One Room Challenge Week 6: The Powder Bath REVEAL!

Six weeks have flown by I am beyond excited to finally show you my first completed One Room Challenge, which is also the first room that we have ‘finished’ so far in our new home! Note: finished is a relative term around here…

I’ve learned so much these past few weeks, including how to do some things I never thought I could do! Like installing wallpaper by myself, or working with a stone cutter to design my own sink. It definitely took me out of my comfort zone, in a good way. Overall I feel much more confident in my abilities, and I’m excited to continue making over more rooms in my house!

So before we get to the reveal, let’s take a quick peek at the before:

Now I know there wasn’t anything inherently wrong with the original bathroom. It just didn’t have my personal stamp or the ‘wow’ factor that I wanted for my powder bath. Since it is such a small space, I thought it would be fun to make it really bold and playful. I think the hand painted Mitchell Black wallpaper accomplished that task very nicely.

The after:

The next biggest change we did was the install the custom sink. We swapped out the old pedestal sink for a vintage looking brass vanity. For the sink, I went to a local granite yard and searched through tons of remnants until I fell in love with this piece of quartzite. I worked with the team to express my vision for the sink, and they made it happen. Tip: don’t be scared to ask the professionals how to do things, in my experience experts LOVE talking about what they know best. Also, when they offer installation, do it. This sink needed to be sent back because of improper measurements (cough) and the backsplash was redone to accommodate for a small gap between the sink and wall. Since they were doing the installing, they did all of this without any extra charge. I honestly don’t know what we would have done if we tried to do this ourselves.

My favorite part of quartzite is that it has gorgeous veining like marble, but it is much more durable. (Side note, I also learned quartzite stone, despite the similar name, isn’t related to the very popular quartz, which is a man-made material).

Keeping function in mind, I really wanted to add something to store toilet paper, garbage bags, and extra hand soap and towels. My original plan was to put the trunk under the sink. Unfortunately, the one I found that I bought without measuring didn’t fit under the sink because of the new plumbing. By the time I realized that, I had lost the receipt because, well, I always lose receipts. Anyway, then I thought I’d just ditch the trunk and buy a cabinet, which turned out to be quite a difficult task. After searching high and low for the perfect small-but-not-too-small cabinet, I gave up. So I revisted using the trunk after all. The bathroom is a long and narrow space, so breaking it up with the trunk did not crowd the room at all. Plus it gave me a place to add a little greenery. (I need some green in every room, even if it is faux eucalyptus because this room gets zero natural light). I had wanted to put flowers in a vase, but in this house with kids using this room constantly, I needed a plant that could get knocked over and withstand a bit of bruising without breaking.

For lighting I wanted to keep the black, white, and brass color palette and also give a touch of an industrial vibe. The mirror, which is probably my favorite piece, is a vintage find that I have owned for almost a decade. For years I couldn’t decide where to put it, and it is so heavy I was hesitant to hang it. There it stayed in our basement storage gathering dust, and I even considered selling or donating it before we moved, but thankfully I didn’t!

Lastly, the art that inspired it all is up on the walls. They are photographs I bought from Gamal Sabla, a street artist I met in New Orleans. I loved how the photos are filled with bright color and unique scenes from the city.

Now that I’m done with this powder bath, I am already excited to get started on my next project, my attic walk-in-closet makeover. Follow me on instagram @zahra_sandberg and check out my ‘home’ highlights to see what I’ve done so far!

Powder Bathroom Source List:

Don’t forget to visit the ORC blog today to see all of the other amazing reveals! Thanks so much for visiting as always!

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Windy City Blogger Collective Member

Terms

all images and content, unless otherwise noted, are property of zahra sandberg. Please request permission prior to use of any of my images. if you have further questions, email me at zahra{at}lovezahra{dot}com.