Whats In My Shopping Cart…

Three things I’m crushing on right now. Bonus: They are all on sale!
Outfit details: Shoes: Club Monaco (on sale 70% off!) Jeans: Levi’s Sweater: ALC via Material World Co.

As a style enthusiast (and that is putting it very lightly…) I am constantly on the hunt for things that I know will elevate my wardrobe. I also spend a lot of time researching online to see what is happening on the runway, and what is trending each season. In order to avoid impulse shopping, I like to add things to my cart and not buy it, just to see if I still want it in a few days. I also like to ‘favorite’ items, most websites have some sort of option to do that, so that when there is a big sale I remember exactly what I love and snatch it up quickly.

Speaking of sales, right now is a good time to do that as Shopbop is having a huge sale – if you spend $500, you get 20% off, and if you spend over $500, you can take 25% off! 

Here’s what’s in my shopping cart right now:

  1. A White Boot – Instead of sticking with basic black, I’m going for a winter white boot this year. I have been eyeing this pair because of the sleek shape that will work equally well paired with skinny jeans or skirts. that is a part of the big Shopbop sale going on right now!
  2. Statement Earrings  – Fall is the time to break out the big jewels – although I do tend to love them year ’round. I’d wear these with some high waist denim and a cozy knit. 
  3. Cozy Sweater – A cozy sweater is an obvious seasonal choice, but I added it to the list since I already have a bunch of basic sweaters that aren’t giving me life like this one. I’m going to donate or consign those boring sweaters and pick up something a little cooler like this. The sleeves are voluminous but the tight wrist will keep you from looking like you are swimming in it. 

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Five Comfy Chic Looks To Wear Right Now

Outfit Formulas I Swear By

1. Ruffled midi dress + Oversized jacket + Flats  I love to pair a very feminine looking dress like this ruffled polka dot high-low hem one by Alice and Olivia (which I scored for a steal over at Luxury Garage Sale), with an oversized destroyed denim jacket. It tones down the preciousness of the ruffles, and it will keep me warm on cool evenings well into Autumn. I also prefer to wear this with flats, very low heels, or even sneakers instead of high heels. In this instance, that is what makes the whole thing look ‘effortless’.

2. Denim Skirt + Sneakers + Button Down – A midi or long denim skirt is one of my favorite Fall go-to’s. When the chill picks up I like to wear an oversized sweater tucked in to the front just a bit – (a French Tuck for my Tan France fans). For now, I like to wear it with a button down tied at the waist to accentuate the high waist fit. I’m obsessed with all things yellow, mustard, ochre, rust, orange, and all shades in that color spectrum right now. Also, I’ve owned these Adidas sneakers in many colorways over the years and they are just an easy everyday shoe to wear. I have said over and over again I wouldn’t be jumping on the ‘dad shoe’ sneaker trend but I did see a friend wearing these and I have to say I might possibly be persuaded. Lesson: never say never.

3. Menswear Blazer + High-waist Denim + Tee – Ok this blazer has been a staple in my closet for a couple of years now. I will forever love the look of a menswear blazer with  jeans and a tee. My most worn jeans for the past year are these Levi’s pair, they are high waist with a straight leg so wearing them with a heel will keep you having legs for days. I like investing in great staples, so this Cuyana tee is on my must-have list.

4. Black Skinny Jeans + Tee + Heels – When I find a great pair of heels like these polka dotted mules, I like to keep the rest of the outfit really simple. These Madewell skinny jeans are amah-zing because with my long torso, I have the hardest time finding truly high waist pants. To make the outfit *pop* just a little I am wearing this gorgeous striped sweater by Thacker NYC draped over my shoulders for day, and layered over my tee for evening.

5. Leopard Skirt + Graphic Tee + Oxfords – Leopard print will always have my heart, and in case you haven’t noticed, it is having a moment right now too. Wearing a graphic tee makes the skirt look a little less prim and proper,(side note: Peut Etre means ‘Perhaps’ in French), and folding up short sleeves is one of my favorite styling tricks. Oxford style shoes are a little unexpected here, but I believe adding that touch of menswear in an otherwise very ‘feminine’ look is really always a winning combination.

Favorite thing: Bombol Baby Pop-Up Booster Seat

This lightweight, super easy to assemble seat makes meal time incredibly easy – whether at home or on the go.

Raise your hand if you enjoy chasing your baby around at meal times!

No? Then read on, I have a solution for you (and your peace of mind).

I came across the Bombol pop-up booster seat watching one of my favorite bloggers Saira Hayat Khan reviewing it on her instagram story. I messaged her immediately – asking for even more detail – and with her recommendation pretty soon I was reaching out to Bombol myself to get a chance to review it, and thankfully they agreed!

What Is a Pop-Up Booster Seat?

Essentially it is a booster seat that opens or ‘pops’ up in one step, and can attach to any regular chair. One strap goes behind the chair back and one goes underneath the seat, and they lock securely together with an adjustable strap. The booster seat also has adjustable front straps that go over the chest and lock in front, similar to a car seat.

The Verdict

For the past several weeks I’ve used my Bombol seat and it has truly been a lifesaver. I brought it with me to visit family and friends all summer because usually they don’t have a highchair available, and if they do it is because their own child uses it. I also took it with me on two separate trips, and it is so great to use in hotel rooms. I ended up not only using it for meal times, but any time I wanted to contain Sophia in one place. She is at the age where she loves to climb anything and I can’t turn my back on her for a moment or we could have an injury. Using my Bombol seat, I would just put some toys in front of her and she would sit there happily, and I would have a few moments of peace to get some things done.

Why I love it

What makes this seat so unique and why it is on my favorites list is because it is very lightweight at about 2 pounds, it is extremely sturdy and easy to use! I especially love that it folds down very slim and can easily fit into a carry on or can be worn with the strap as a cross-body bag. It pops up into a seat in one step, by pulling on one red plastic hook. To break it down is equally simple, just pinch together to squeeze and unlock and it pretty much folds itself. Also, the fabric wipes clean and essentially repels liquids.

Check out Bombol for additional information and detailed product specifications.

Don’t forget to use code Zahra10 for 10% off of your order!

Must Have: Cork Yoga Mats + The Samadhi Initiative

I’m so excited to finally share my latest discovery and current obsession, the cork yoga mat by The Samadhi Initiative. Read on to learn more about why I love my mat. If you are inclined to buy one, use my code ‘lovezahra’ for 15% off of your purchase!

First off, a little background, the Samadhi Initiative is a line of eco-friendly yoga mats and accessories, created by a passionate yoga teacher searching for better products to use and improve her own practice. The mats are completely customizable with your own personal mantra or favorite images that will enhance your practice. Whether you are a seasoned yogi or just getting started on your yoga journey, the Samadhi Initiative cork mat is a must-have. Especially for hot yoga, the non-slip grip of cork will be a huge improvement to traditional plastic mats, which any hot yoga practitioner knows can easily get dangerously slippery. 

I’ve been using my mat for several weeks now and the biggest surprise to me was how comfortable and thick they are under my feet unlike some cork mats I’ve tried. I’m also surprised and a little embarrassed I’ve been using plastic mats so long even though I care a great deal about the environment. Unlike plastic PVC mats, cork does not have you breathing in toxins. It is also easy to clean and naturally repels dust, hair, and insects, so it is also better for people with allergies.

If all that weren’t enough, cork is also a completely natural renewable material produced from the bark of a tree, and is harvested in a way that does not harm the tree that produces it, allowing it to continue growing, flourishing and reproducing the bark after it is harvested. Cork trees do not require excessive amounts of resources either, making them eco-friendly. Also, water-based inks are used to personalize the mats. 

What I really love about The Samadhi Initiative mats though, is that there is a place to personalize your mat with something truly meaningful to you, whether it is a design or a personal mantra. Growing up I was always praying on beautiful prayer rugs that were embroidered with geometric designs commonly found in Islamic art, or images of holy sites like Mecca. Having something to look at really helps me with my focus and concentration. For my mat, I chose to personalize with a beautiful flower and the word ‘presence’ for two reasons: 1 – I always want to remember to be present, to live in the moment and appreciate the blessings in my life instead of just going through the motions, and 2- I want to have presence, meaning the confidence to always own who I am, and always proudly live my truth.

Learn more about The Samadhi Initiative here.

Don’t forget to use code ‘lovezahra’ for 15% off of your purchase!

 

Back To School Shopping With Staples (and Brian Urlacher!)

Summer is coming to an end and that means it is time to go back to school! I’ve always loved this time of year, the Fall season begins, my birthday is in September, and a new school year for this social butterfly meant meeting new friends and having a lot of fun. Also one of the only occasions where my frugal parents would let me splurge and buy anything I wanted was going back to school shopping. Did I need the pink sparkly mechanical pencils to do my best handwriting? Of course I did. They believed, as do I, that education is priceless.

Which is why I am so excited to announce my partnership with Staples. Staples has everything you could possibly need for back to school shopping in one place, as well as in-store experts to help you shop stress-free. Now, I get to relive my childhood love of back to school shopping through Adam. I absolutely love a fresh pack of sharpened pencils, the smell of a new box of crayons, and new untouched notebooks full of possibilities. I want Adam to feel the same excitement I had when I was a kid, shopping for everything he needs to be prepared for a new school year. He loves having the responsibility of choosing his favorite lunch box, pencils, and everything else on his supply list.

It is so meaningful to work with Staples because they have a long history of giving back to teachers and families in need, so I feel good that my purchase is helping others who aren’t able to afford the supplies they need to get the best education possible.

For the fifth year in a row, Staples is partnering with DonorsChoose.org, the leading platform for giving to public schools, started by a teacher from the Bronx back in 2000. Teachers across America use the site to create projects requesting resources their students need, and donors give to the projects that inspire them. Anyone can donate in-store and online to schools in your community – it’s so easy!

On Wednesday, August 15th, let’s go back-to-school shopping together at Staples located at 111 N Wabash Ave! I will certainly be there and Hall of Famer, Brian Urlacher will be there as well! It’ll be a special event where local schoolteachers from DonorsChoose.org will receive flash-funding for their classroom projects, as well as a meet and greet with Brian Urlacher! See you there – don’t forget your little one’s back to school shopping list.

Note: This is a sponsored post – all thoughts expressed are my own.  

My 5-Step Summer Haircare Routine

All that extra sunshine, sweat, and saltwater calls for a new routine.

In summer, my usually straight super thick silky hair morphs into slightly wavy and slightly less thick, with a tendency to get frizzy. I’ve found the key to keeping it looking its best in summer is to shampoo less often and use key products that help maintain shine.  Here are my five-steps, including my must-have products. “My 5-Step Summer Haircare Routine”

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Guide – Women’s Fashion & Beauty

(Sharing exactly what’s on my list…and why!)

It’s that time of year again, the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is here! If you are a cardholder, you can shop these right now – otherwise you will need to wait until July 20th to score these prices. I’ve spent countless hours scouring the website and editing a list of my top picks for you. Scroll down to see my favorites in Fashion, Beauty, and Accessories. Beneath the image there will be a description of the item and why I chose it. If you choose to buy it through my link, I may receive a small commission which helps me run this blog! Thanks for your support and happy shopping!

 

FASHION

1. The perfect cozy heather grey cardigan for every day casual – bonus: it has pockets.
2. A bodysuit is a great layering piece, and I love the neckline and button detail.
3. Everyone needs a great denim jacket – this long distressed one is my favorite (not pictured) is one of my favorites.
4. Don’t forget to hit up the Men’s department! I love this Patagonia zip up, but also love to stock up on basics like t-shirts.
5. For the menswear lovers – a double breasted plaid blazer is a classic must-have piece.
6. Speaking of classics, I want this cami in every color – it comes in three different ones!
7. We spend a good portion of our lives sleeping, so why not invest in some soft and feminine pj’s like this one by Eberjey.
8. These high waist black denim are my tried and trues. They are high enough for my long torso and they go with everything.
9. Zella makes some of my favorite workout leggings – like these high waist crop style that are available in multiple colorways.
10. These leggings by Spanx I wear instead of leather pants – they suck you in in all the right places and have a sheen to them. I also wear them to workout!
11. The studs on these jeans are so cool – the high waist fit would be so flattering!
12. Spanx is by far my favorite shape wear and they have tons of stuff on sale – this is one of my go to styles for wearing under dresses.
13. One denim jacket isn’t enough for me, I collect them! This one with the sherpa lined collar will be perfect for winter.
14. I’m obsessed with this feminine neckline and the 90’s fit of this top.
15. The dainty tie neck detail will be perfect for the office or a cocktail party.
16. The most flattering dress that comes in two gorgeous colors, black and teal.
17.  The perfect party top – a lace inset silky statement blouse that comes in white, red, and navy.
18. I will forever love plaid and menswear and this jacket is a perfect combination of both.

 

BEAUTY

1. So many of my skincare favorites are on sale right now! This Estee Lauder advanced night repair was one of the picks we chose in my last YouTube video!
2. A great eye mask is an important part of any anti-aging regime- it helps to keep those crows feet and fine lines around the eyes away.
3. Some of my favorite Le Labo scents – this size is perfect for keeping in your purse, or for travel, and also a great gift idea!
4. I tested this lipgloss in a recent beauty video and it is So Good. It is also limited edition and a cool design. My favorite shade is ‘Ramatuelle’.
5. Tata Harper skincare line starter kit – a great way to get to know this amazing line that I swear by. It includes my favorites, the cleanser, resurfacing mask, serum and a daily moisturizer.
6. Glam Glow masks are incredibly popular for a reason – perfect time to try them out while they are on major sale.
7. Another one from our favorites video! I am excited to add Good Genes into my routine.
8. Stock up on your favorite candles from Voluspa, Jo Malone, and more!

 

Handbags & Accessories

1. A great bucket bag for everyday – this one comes in black too.
2. Ray-Ban’s in a round shape are always cool.
3. My favorite dainty necklace by Lana Jewelry.
4. A bag that you can wear around your waist or across your body is both ‘Fashun’ and function.
5. Michele watch in a cool sporty white.
6. Mini bags are having a major moment and this Alexander Wang style tops my wish list.
7. Travel in style and be able to find your bags in baggage claim easier with matching chevron luggage – available in other colors too.
8. Even though its hard to think about boots in this heatwave, I love my Hunter’s best for those rainy Fall days.
9. Alexander wang sandals that are sleek with the signature heel detail.
10. These velvet sandals are so feminine and pretty and come in a few colors.
11. Flat ankle straps are my favorite because they are comfy and leg-lengthening too. The ruffles on these are too cute.
12. For those days when I want some height – these Vince block heels will be perfect.
13. How sexy are these Charles David heels?? They are like lingerie for your feet. Need.
14. My go to Adidas sneakers – they also come in pink.

Myths About Fertility – Featuring Roohi Jeelani MD

My Post (6)Roohi Jeelani MD. is passionately helping women become mothers.

This post idea was born (pun intended) during Infertility Awareness week, where I attended an event that really opened my eyes to the struggles so many people face when dealing with infertility. There is a lot of shame, secrecy, and false information floating out there – and I thought it would be great to debunk some of those myths today with the help of Dr. Roohi Jeelani MD. Scroll down to watch our instagram live video where we discuss some of these myths and take viewer questions and answers.

But first, let’s get to know Dr. Jeelani a little bit better. “Myths About Fertility – Featuring Roohi Jeelani MD”

Video: How To Restyle Your Desi Clothes

restyle-desi-clothesI recently collaborated with DC x Asra, a South Asian Designer Consignment Shop, to share some tips on how you can reuse and restyle the South Asian clothes you have in your closet.  I think it is a lot of fun to play with clothing and just be creative and make new looks. It is what I love about Fashion – there are no rules – anything goes if you feel good in it! Watch the video below for three of my favorite tips to get the most out of your Desi clothes. “Video: How To Restyle Your Desi Clothes”

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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.