Friday, April 18, 2014

Spring Casual

Don't forget, you can still enter the Ann Taylor bracelet giveaway! Winners will be chosen next week.

Recently I had two of my favorite jeans fall apart on me (they were from Zara in case you were wondering) so I really searched for a great investment pair. I found these by Joes Jeans and I am in love! I'd go down a size though, because there is a lot of stretch.

I'm so glad we are finally getting some Spring weather so I can bring out my favorite sandals, like this Zara pair I recently picked up. As much as I don't enjoy getting my nails done, (I feel like there are so many other things I could be doing instead and drying nails is the worst), I forced myself to today so I won't subject anyone to looking at my unpolished toes when I wore these sandals. I think nails for girls are the equivalent of haircuts for guys - they should always be maintained neat and tidy. I usually go with a natural tone like Bubble Bath, its so much easier to maintain and if it chips it isn't very noticeable.

 I'm also getting to enjoy being in my backyard again after a very long winter- and the saying 'absence makes the heart grow fonder' couldn't be more true!

Have a great weekend! Xx

Top: Topshop Similar Style | Jeans: Joes Jeans | Shoes: Zara | Bag: Reed Krakoff | Watch: Michele | Earrings: Kate Spade

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Leopard + Lace

First off, have you entered the Ann Taylor bracelet giveaway yet? If not, you still have time!

This morning I asked the hubs to snap a few pics of me before work (I know he doesn't love it, but he's such a doll). It's the little things that count the most...

I've been getting extremely bored with my hair lately, and entertaining the idea to get a lob cut (long bob) for some time now. But the first time I chopped off my hair, I went really short - I mean they used clippers behind my neck - that short. It was a horrible decision I made in high school and it took years for me to grow it out and I think I am still traumatized by it. 

 Short(er) hair seems like a thing girls love, but guys not so much. My husband once said, isn't the rule to go shorter the older you get? So I guess I think getting a hair cut also means I'm old. See my dilemma??? Maybe I just need a great blow out and I'll be fine...

Don't forget to check out the Shopbop  Friends & Family sale -get an extra 25% off of most sale and regular-priced items! I've got my eye on this skirt...

Dress: Asos (Lace-Midi Bodycon) | Shoes: Zara | Bag: Loeffler Randall for Target | Cardigan: H&M | Bracelet: Thanks to Chelsea Charles | Ring: David Yurman | Watch: Michael Kors | Necklace: Banana Republic 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Ann Taylor Concept Store Opening + Love Zahra + A Giveaway!

Someone (obviously a guy) told me the other day that he thinks brick and mortar stores are all going to be obsolete one day - in the way of video stores and book stores. I heartily disagreed, especially when it comes to clothes shopping, because we all need to have a place to go and get inspired with the newest styles, and get that instant gratification that comes with buying something new and taking it home with you the same day

Ann Taylor is one store that I personally love, not only because of the gorgeous yet affordable pieces, but also because of what the brand stands for. I also LOVE that Kate Hudson is their spokesmodel because she is a fabulous mom who has such a positive vibe and also happens to always look amazing. I swear I want to buy everything she is modeling! To make our shopping experience even better, Ann Taylor has a completely new beautiful store design, comfortable, like shopping at your best friends house. Your best friend who happens to be an interior designer, that is.

Ann Taylor is opening two brand new concept stores - one in Oakbrook Center on April 21st, and one in the Main Street Promenade in Naperville on April 28th.

In honor of the new store openings, Ann Taylor is gifting one lucky Love Zahra reader this bracelet! Scroll down for images of the interior of the new stores, and scroll way down to enter to win. Winner will be announced next week. Good luck! 

Click to flip through the Ann Taylor Spring 2014 Lookbook!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

How To Throw The Perfect Brunch - An Instagram Story

The other day I attended a lovely brunch hosted by the uber talented Mary, blogger at Sportanista. If you follow me on instagram @zahra_sandberg, you may have seen some of these pictures, but not all of them - I promise you! After attending this party, I feel I seriously need to up my hosting skills. If you are like me and want to get some tips on how to host your next brunch, read some of the ways Mary made this party the ultimate #bloggerbrunch! 

1. First off, nothing is more thoughtful than a creative and adorable paper invitation (mailed several weeks in advance).  This invite is by this Etsy company. Coordinating hashtag optional, though I'd recommend it, but that's just the blogger in me talking.

2. Create a serene and beautiful atmosphere. Lot's of hydrangeas, hanging paper decorations, and plenty of seating. I personally love the table set up, with the alternating chair heights. It's the little things that make a big impact.

3. Mimosa table with all of the accoutrements for the perfect drink.  Try serving drinks with some  polka-dotted straws, and edible flowers - I swear they make the drinks taste better!

4. After snacking on appetizers of brie, apples, and scones, start off brunch with a proper greek yogurt, fresh berries, and granola parfait. Personalized napkin holders with seating assignments are also a sweet touch.

5. Dish out healthy options (in addition to an indulgent French Toast) like this to-die-for avocado/egg/herb/cheesy deliciousness. Find the recipe here.

6. Have fun! Chit chat, take selfies, like this attempt at a recreation of Ellen's famous Oscar pic!

7. Have a goody bag! Or something cool for guests to take home. These awesome super soft burnout tees were a gift from the bloggers behind Because I Shop Too Much, Kaitlyn and Lisa of the blogs Sitersmarie and Stilettos and Diaper Bags.

Bloggers: L-R after me, Jess and JillMaryJohannaJess

(L-R) Jess of The Golden Girl Blog, moi, Lisa of Stilettos and Diaper Bags, and Kaitlyn of Sisters Marie.

The hostess with the mostess 

8. And finally, wear a killer outfit. I loved Mary's look so much, I went out and bought her shoes immediately. Imitation is the highest form of flattery, isn't it? Stay tuned for an outfit post wearing them...

Guests and their blogs:

Kaitlyn -  Sitersmarie 
Lisa - Stilettos and Diaper Bags
Jess and Jill- Jess and Jill
Mary - Sportsanista
Johanna -101 Things I Love
Jess - The Golden Girl Blog

A big thanks to Mary for having such a great party and inviting me to join the fun! Hope you enjoyed the recap. If you have any entertaining tips, please share!



Monday, April 14, 2014

The Balancing Act

People always ask me how I manage to balance it all. With being a mom, working full-time, and having a blog (and all that comes with it). I usually just laugh off the question, because I don't really feel like I am doing a good job of balancing at all - I always feel like I should be doing so much more and there just isn't enough time. I wish I could focus on any one of my interests full-time, and actually have some free time to not think or worry about what I should be doing. Sometimes I feel like I am neglecting my real job that actually pays the bills, and sometimes I feel like I'm neglecting my Adam or even my husband, and sometimes I feel like I am neglecting my blog and I should be posting much more often and spending time brainstorming and coming up with great content. All this worry has been taking a toll on me and I have to constantly remind myself to stop and take a break once in a while. 

 Why is it that the one thing you should be doing is always the hardest? Like smiling when someone is trying to cheer you up, or not eating that second, third, or fourth potato chip when you are trying to eat better, or actually falling asleep when you have a big event going on the next day. Everything you should be doing is always the opposite of what you are naturally inclined to do. *Sigh* I digress.

After I wrote this, I went on a bike ride with Tom and Adam, and I swear I felt like a weight was lifted off of my shoulders. It isn't healthy to live in your head, that's for sure. Get out there and taste some fresh air and get some exercise. I wasn't really in the mood to go at first, but the weather was so gorgeous I couldn't resist. I am so glad I did! I might not be balancing it all perfectly, but my best should be  is good enough!

About the look, I wore this for work on casual Friday. I usually stick to dark denim and quieter colors for work, but I decided to lighten up my denim and pair with a neon yellow blouse. I added the boyfriend blazer in a neutral tone to balance it out. I'd wear this on the weekend with flats and maybe lose the blazer and roll up the sleeves. 

Jeans: JBrand | Blouse: Target Similar Style| Blazer: The Limited (but here's one I'm currently loving) | Shoes: Charles David | Sunnies: Gucci | Watch: Michael Kors | Bracelet: Thanks to Ann Taylor | Bag: Reed Krakoff 

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