Blogger Spotlight – Gia of Dress Up Files

I often lament it is hard to make friends once you are out of college, besides maybe your coworkers but there is a limited supply of them especially if you don’t change jobs often (like me). I’ve been so lucky to become friends with so many amazing people I meet through blogging, and Gia is one case in point. Gia has enviable style and refined taste, which you can see immediately when you read her blog, Dress Up Files. Besides that she is also mom of two sweet little girls, and balances blogging with mommy hood like a pro. I’ve asked her to share some of her secrets, tips, and her current wish list items with you all. Read below for more about Gia!

Also, if you haven’t done so you can still enter to win the silk scarf by Heritage S, just CLICK HERE!

What is your favorite part of being a blogger?

As a stay at home mom, life can so easily revolve around the little ones.  But, the blog and keeping my passions (in fashion and decor) alive give me so much joy and overall, make me a happier, more fulfilled mama.

How do you balance having two (adorable) daughters and still manage to look fabulous all the time? (What is your tip to look great as a busy mom?)

I’m all about dressing appropriately for the occasion.  If I’m heading to the playground with my girls, I’m leaving the 5 inch heels and leather skirt at home.  But, I’ll still be in a cute pair of flat ankle boots, skinny jeans (w extra stretch for comfort!) and an interesting focal point (be it an eye catching necklace or a cool jacket).  The key is to find wearable, comfortable pieces that are still chic and flattering.

Favorite bar/restaurant in Chicago?

I love Gilt Bar.  Delicious fare (try the truffle pasta and the bone marrow!), a great and super affordable ($16/bottle!) house wine and dark, sexy lighting.  Dinner always flows better when you’re in great lighting that makes everyone look beautiful.

Who is your biggest style influencer?

I admire different things about different people so it’s hard to narrow down to just one.  Some of my favorites are Miroslava Duma, Elin Kling, and bloggers Sincerely Jules and Andy Heart.

What is your guilty pleasure?

Reality TV…the trashier the better. 

Favorite piece in your wardrobe? (1-2 items, could be clothes or accessories)

Chanel 2.55 Classic Flap Bag.  I got it almost 10 years ago and it remains as chic and classic now as it was 50 years ago.  I look forward to using it for many more years to come and hopefully passing it down to one of my girls.

What is on your wish list right now? 
I have been drooling over the Chanel Boy Bag for a long time now, as 
well as the Proenza Schouler PS11 mini! In my dreams though.  We are currently renovating a home so no big bag purchases in my near future!

For more about Gia read her blog Dress Up Files, or follow her on twitter/instagram @dressupfiles.

Follow Me! @zahra_sandberg


Last week we took a quick trip to escape the snow for some sunshine in Key Largo, Florida☀️ We spent every moment possible outside, Tom and Adam got their Scuba Diver PADI certification (yay!) while Sophia and I spent our days either swimming or drawing marine life and landscapes. This was my first trip after my sister passed last November, and even though I look so happy here, there were so many moments I felt the grief and sadness, as if it happened just yesterday. I am still figuring out how I want to show up in this space, as I have changed so much as a person since the loss. I just don’t feel called to post some of the things I shared before. Maybe that will change someday, or maybe it will just naturally evolve into something new. I think I will take this year to just process it all. (Even the idea of taking an entire year to think through something is a huge shift for my usually hyperactive type A personality) My focus at the moment is just living in the moment with my family and friends, spending time doing things that make me happy and healthy. I hope to share some of that journey here with you ~ thanks for following along ❤️
I had planned to shoot this outfit in collaboration with @lenacoutureofficial right before my dear sister passed away. Saba, the designer, was more than understanding if I didn’t want to anymore - but after thinking on it for a while I decided I wanted to - in my sister’s honor 💗 She was always my biggest hype woman. When i would feel like I’m not good enough or that I should quit (which was often) she would tell me I was unique and great and to keep it up. When I think of my sister, beauty and love is all that she embodied in her being. She expressed that on the outside also - as she loved to wear everything glam, bright & colorful, and full of bling. Hair done, nails done, everything did - that was Nusrat. For this shoot I took the time to get glam after a long hiatus - and makeup and hair took so long because I think I forgot how to do it, but afterwards I was surprised how I felt transformed. When I wore this gorgeous outfit that I know was designed with such love and incredible attention to detail by @lenacoutureofficial, I felt all of that beauty - like a walking piece of art, and very much at peace. Thank you so much to @divmophoto for capturing the feeling so well 💕
Ski weekend with my favorites ❄️❄️ So proud of Sophia for skiing on her own for the first time!
There are some trees with seeds that only grow after a fire. Their seeds are completely sealed with a resin that have to be physically melted off by a great fire in order to propagate. So to do we as humans, gain wisdom only after great pain and suffering.*
A month ago (and one day) I lost my sister and best friend to cancer. I am still completely gutted and broken. But, I’m also so so grateful to have had felt the love that now brings me so much heartbreak. ❤️ I am so inspired by her - and I will forever live my life to honor her memory. Miss you sis ❤️
Classic outfit combo: oversized blazer + denim 🖤fendi mules @shoeslutz
Just a mom who loves mums 🌸 🪴
Cozy for a coffee date ☕️
French. Toast. Egg. Bake. Save this recipe for a weekend or holiday brunch - it’s SO good and fool-proof! I’m not even a sweet person and I love it. The pecans are a non-negotiable IMO - I get honey bourbon vanilla pecans for this and it is just heavenly. Enjoy!