Saturday, June 29, 2013

Follow me via Bloglovin!

You know you want to!

Google Reader is disappearing soon,
so don't forget to follow me if you want to keep in touch!
Thanks and have a great weekend!

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Friday, June 28, 2013

Sponsor Sincerely, Sara in July!

Sponsor Sincerely, Sara this month if you want to promote your blog or small business to readers who love fashion, books, movies, writing, DIY, and being inspired every day. Take a look at my sponsor page for more info.

If you decide to sponsor me, I will tweet, Facebook, and Instagram about your blog or business. You would also have the option to host a giveaway or have a guest post. 

If you would like to swap ads, you should have similar content to Sincerely, Sara, but it's not required. Email me ( first if you would like to swap ads. 

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Favorite Things

I love my cute little terrarium, reading Entertainment every week, getting a free drink for my birthday & using Urban Decay's Naked 2 palette everyday.

I can't get over how beautiful these colors are!

Van Heusen purse was a gift from my dad & iPad Mini was a gift from my mom!

Lovely birthday gifts from my friend Avra: the sweetest card, pretty nail polish,
delicious-smelling hand sanitizer, cute stud earrings, and The Tea Rose by Jennifer Donnelly

Cool Out of Print notebook from Jackie. Cute ball earrings and Coach bag from my step mom. 
I also got a green shirt, but forgot to take a picture. And I got gift cards from my brothers. 

A few fun links:

♥ Brittany has started a vegetarian and healthy-eating blog called Seedy Lemon!

♥ Check out Jackie's vegetarian / vegan blog Simple. Easy. Vegetarian!

♥ The perfect hairstyles for humidity.

♥ Literal meanings of places in the U.S.

♥ 7 reasons to embrace online culture.

♥ Social media tips for bloggers.

♥ Food secrets of NBC's "Hannibal." If you're squeamish you might not want to look.

♥ Bill Nye the Science Guy app!

♥ How freaking awesome are these sculptures?!

♥ I love this quote from Men in Black.

♥ Fashion loves: floral skirt, cute bikini, lovely maxi dress, aqua necklace, embroidered clutch, red sandals, and It's OK banner.

P.S. -- I'm on Shelf, which is where you can "shelf" (aka save) your items and get alerts when the price drops, as well as get coupon codes to your favorite stores! Check out my Shelf here!

Have a great weekend!!

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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Inspired By: June's Best Selling Book Covers

I traveled a lot into New York City this past month, so I had ample time to read on the bus. On my iPod, I read three novels: Tina Fey's Bossypants, Captain Wentworth's Diary by Amanda Grange, and Jay Asher's Thirteen Reasons Why

I thought Bossypants was funny and thought-provoking and she makes really good points about what it's like to be a woman today, both in general and in Hollywood. Honestly, I did think it was going to be funnier, as in laugh out loud funny, but for me it was more like giggle funny, if that makes sense. 

Captain Wentworth's Diary was a good read and I liked seeing the story from the man's perspective. It was cute and romantic and would make a nice beach read. 

Thirteen Reasons Why is about a girl, who after committing suicide, sends thirteen tapes to the people who are her reasons for killing herself. It's heartbreaking, depressing, and shocking at times.  One thing I didn't believe though was the girl who died; she didn't sound depressed, mostly she sounded angry. However, it was still in an interesting read and the suspense of where the novel would go next was wonderful. 

Inspired By: TransAtlantic
Written by Colum McCann (author of Let the Great World Spin), his latest novel spans continents and leaps centuries and follows three iconic crossings. In Newfoundland in 1919, two aviators attempt the first nonstop flight across the Atlantic. Dublin in 1845, on an tour Frederick Douglass finds the Irish people sympathetic to the abolitionist cause. From New York in 1998, a senator travels to Ireland to shepherd volatile peace talks. 

To dress like the simple cover, pick an all-white outfit with red sandals, red shoulder bag, propeller earrings, and airplane watch. Or take a cue from the stripes by wearing a gray striped maxi dress, red wedges, dangly red earrings, and fun Let's Fly Away iPhone case. 

Buy the book: B&N | Amazon

Note to Self
Inspired By: Note To Self
Written by Alina Simone, Note To Self is a novel about Anna, a girl who was just laid off from her job at a midtown law firm. She takes refuge on craigslist, where she meets Taj; hoping it will bring meaning to her life, she joins his experimental film project while her mother insists she go to hairdressing school.

If you want to dress like this vivid cover, wear a yellow peplum top, teal jeans, pencil-shaped ring, yellow earrings, and black wedges. Or if you're out, try wearing a sheer blouse, bright zippered yellow mini, blue wedges, and a bright wristlet. 

Buy the book: B&N | Amazon

And the Mountains Echoed
Inspired By: And the Mountains Echoed
Written by Khaled Hosseini (author of The Kite Runner), this novel is about how families love and care of one another, and at times wound and betray one another. The novel begins in 1952 as a father tells his children a bedtime as they travel across the Afghanistan desert. The tale is true: a father, desperate to provide for his family, sells his daughter to a wealthy couple, and the brother and sister's separation is the catalyst for the story.

Dress like the cover by wearing a tree print tank top, green shorts, brown sandals, brown backpack, and tree necklace. Or for a breezy summer night, go for a yellow maxi dress, brown jacket, tree print scarf, and brown wedges. 

Buy the book: B&N | Amazon

The Ocean at the End of the Lane
Inspired By: The Ocean at the End of the Lane
Written by Neil Gaiman (author of Neverwhere and Good Omens), this novel is about a man who forty years ago as a seven-year-old boy unwittingly discovered a neighboring family's supernatural secret. The unnamed boy's childhood innocence is tested when he gets caught up in ancient, mystical forces.

Go for the monochrome trend by wearing a navy v-neck top, blue skirt, layered necklace, and blue wedges. Or for a casual look try a light chambray top, jeans, blue earrings, and taupe booties.

P.S. -- Check out the outfits inspired by Neil Gaiman's Stardust!

Buy the book: B&N | Amazon

What books did you read this month?
Which of the books above do you want to read?

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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

DIY: Lace Embellished Shorts

Since lace embellished shorts seem like the perfect thing for summer, I decided to DIY my own pair by turning fuchsia jeans into cute shorts. If you have a pair of jeans that you would rather be shorts, then this is the time to do it, or you can DIY a plain pair of shorts that need some sprucing up. 

1. You'll need a pair of jeans or shorts, lace, needle and thread, a lot of pins, a pin cushion, and scissors. 

2. If you're turning jeans into shorts, lay the shorts on top and cut the jeans, leaving two inches for the rolled effect or to sew it for a finished look. 

3. Roll the jeans how you like them. Cut and place the lace where you want it. Make sure you like how it looks, and then use pins to keep the lace in place. 

4. Use your needle and thread to sew the lace. I sewed along the top of the lace and the sides to keep it in place. Make sure you don't sew the pockets down since you'll probably want to use them later.

5. I didn't show it, but you can iron the rolled ends of the jeans to keep them down. Just be careful near the lace. 

6. Wear and enjoy! I love the bohemian look to these shorts. Wear them with a slouchy white tee and fringe sandals, or dress it up with a black top and ankle booties. 

What do you think?
How would you wear them?

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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Outfit: Birthday Celebrations

I wore this while partying it up in New York City for Avra's 23rd birthday last Saturday. And then wore it again on my birthday with a mint-colored tee and flat sandals. A bunch of us girls took the train down for her birthday, ate and drank at a tapas bar called The Barrel, which I would highly recommend, and then hung out and laughed it up at The Boiler Room, which is a gay bar that I would also recommend because they have really cheap drinks. Yes, we went to a gay bar for no reason. 

This embroidered skirt is a new favorite of mine. I love the mix of bright and dark colors and the fun embroidery. It's just so perfect for summer. I'm going to be wearing this skirt everyday all the time. I also can't wait to wear it this fall with black tights, boots, and a slouchy sweater. 

Top // old
Necklace // old
Belt // eBay {metallic belts}
Skirt // American Eagle Outfitters {similar, similar, similar}
Wedges // ShoeMint
Earrings // old {similar, similar}
Ring // Forever 21 {similar, similar}
Bag // Old Navy {similar, similar}
Lipstick // Maybelline Baby Lips in Pink Punch
Glasses // Bonlook

Have you been into embroidered clothing lately?

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Monday, June 24, 2013

My 24 Before 25 List

I celebrated my birthday this weekend by hanging out with my friends, having a celebratory BBQ, eating too much chocolate, seeing Man of Steel with my brothers, having lunch with my favorite high school teacher, and meeting the lovely Kristin of My Life as a Teacup. It was so wonderful meeting her and I wish we lived closer because we have so much in common.

If you're curious about birthday gifts my mom gave me an iPad Mini (thanks, Mom!) that I'm so excited to use, and my dad got me a lovely emerald green purse (thanks, Dad!) that is perfect for carrying said iPad. 

This was a pretty good year, but I have a feeling 24 is going to be even better. I'll be graduating from grad school in December, looking for a job I love, hopefully I'll save enough money to get my own apartment, and I would love to send query letters out to agents once my novel is completed. 

Here's what I accomplished, or didn't, this past year:

23 Before 24
1. Finish the first draft of my novel (still working on it)
2. Take a mini-road trip with friends
3. Visit two states I've never been to before (half completed - went to Vermont)
4. Visit a country I've never been to before
5. Watch Annie Hall for the first time (I was really bored, so I re-watched Midnight in Paris instead, which is such an amazing film)
6. Go to a midnight showing of Rocky Horror 
7. Learn to play poker 
8. Eat French macarons (so delicious!)
9. Go to the Governor's Island Jazz Age Lawn Party (hopefully going this August!)
10. Take more outfit photos in fun places
11. Create a monthly spending budget (thanks Mint!)
12. Lose 15 pounds (on my way there!)
13. Get A's in my classes for the next two semesters
14. Find my signature perfume (Taylor Swift's Wonderstruck!)
15. Get Jackie, my bros, my mommy sis, my dad & Avra awesome birthday presents
16. Finish reading 25 books in 2012 + 10 books in 2013 before my birthday (check out my library)
17. Do more DIYs (check out my DIYs here)
18. Try new hairstyles
19. Experiment more with my clothes (I'm definitely having more fun with my clothes!)
20. Wear red lipstick more (wearing pink, but close enough)
21. Go to a concert
22. Find free things to do with friends year round
23. Let go of the little things I cannot control & enjoy life!

Out of the 23 things on my list from last year, I accomplished 14 of them. Not too bad. Only 9 of them I didn't do because some of them take time (working on my novel and losing weight) or money (traveling). I'm hoping to achieve more of my goals this time around!

My new list:

24 Before 25
1. Finish my novel
2. Get my first full-time job
3. Travel outside the country
4. Visit Jackie's new home in Virginia
5. Visit Lauren (upstate New York) and Sarah (Boston)
6. Walk to the post office more instead of driving
7. Visit the High Line & the Brooklyn Bridge
8. Try the 30 Day Shred
9. Read more classic novels
10. Clean out / sell books I don't want anymore
11. Organize all the notes I've scribbled down about my novel
12. Keep saving to pay off loans
13. Save my pennies to buy a DSLR in the future
14. Get back to drawing
15. Lose 15 pounds / feel comfortable rockin' a bikini
16. Sew a skirt
17. Find a beer that I like
18. Make sure my plants (bamboo plant and moss terrarium) don't die
19. Help my dad build a new deck
20. Go to another movie alone
21. Use my camera more to capture my everyday life
22. Do more product reviews (and maybe book reviews too)
23. Continue seeing new fun exhibits and things in NYC
24. Meet new people

What do you think of my list?
Do you have a list? Leave a link to it if you do!

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Saturday, June 22, 2013

It's My Birthday!

Today is my birthday!
I'm 24!

Happy birthday to me!
& Happy Saturday to you guys!

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Friday, June 21, 2013

Q&A with Sara

I thought I'd do a little Q&A, so that you all can get to know me a little better. I've been blogging on Sincerely, Sara (formerly Build Castles in Air) for a year and a half, but sometimes feel like you guys don't know all that much about me. So if you were curious about the gal behind the blog, well, here you go!

Q: Where do you live?

A: Without giving too much away, I live in Westchester, NY, which is the suburbs of New York City. Therefore I live about 45 minutes minutes away from the city, depending on traffic and mode of transportation. 

Q: How long have you been writing? When do you think you'll finish your novel?

A: I started writing back in 11th grade (2006) after talking with a friend about fan fiction. She told me that she wrote stories about the X Files, and I decided to check out and was instantly hooked after reading Harry Potter fan fiction. I started writing the A Different Road series about Harry Potter. Once I went off to college, I started writing my own stuff and have two novels that I'm working on. 

The novel I'm working on right now is called Trust Fall, which is actually the second one I started. I hope to finish it and have most of the edits done by the end of the year. I have to hand in a large chunk of it for my thesis this upcoming semester. Then I want to send query letters out to agents and go from there. If it does get published, you guys will be the first to know!

Q: What's your favorite color?

A: Purple! Close second is red. 

Q: What's your favorite food?

A: Hmm...probably chicken lo mein. I could eat that stuff everyday and be perfectly happy. That, or broccoli cheddar soup. 

Q: What's your favorite piece of clothing?

A: I absolutely adore what I call my Taylor Swift dress. It's red and lace-y and perfect and it makes me feel amazing when I wear it. 

Q: What's your favorite place in New York City?

A: Oh my god, how could I ever choose? There's way too many! But personally, two places will always be more special than anything else: One, Alice's Tea Cup! I've been here numerous times with my friends and it never ever gets old. It's just so magical and fun. Two, Central Park. It's a wonderful escape from the chaos of this city. I love all the bridges, the never ending paths, the Mall, Bethesda Fountain, I could go on forever. 

Q: How do you get your hair all wavy like that?

A: My hair is naturally wavy with a little curl. After I take a shower (at night before bed), I don't blow dry it, I just pull it loosely back into a pony tail and secure one or two more elastics along the actual pony tail. If I don't pull it back and let it air dry down it turns into a frizzy mess. Trust me on this. I also don't comb it all that much. 

Q: What's your favorite movie? Favorite book?

A: My favorite movie isn't anything Oscar-worthy or enlightening, it's the movie Stardust. There's just something about it that makes me happy; the story, adventure, romance, and fairy tale-quality to it never gets old. My other favorites are You've Got Mail, Amelie, The Shawshank Redemption, Letters to Juliet, Beauty and the Beast, and Mulan

For my favorites books, go here.  

Q: What's your favorite band?

A: I don't have one favorite band, but I do love Incubus, Mumford and Sons, Taylor Swift, Paramore, Imagine Dragons, A Fine Frenzy, Florence + The Machine, Zoe Keating, and Eisley. I'm still sad that one of my Eisley CD's got burned when my first car caught fire. True story. 

Q: What's your favorite flower?

A: Red roses. 

Q: What do you do when you're not blogging?

A: I'm most likely watching TV or reading. You guys know I'm a TV junkie. If it's the middle of the semester, then I'm probably reading for school. Or you can find me writing my novel, getting blog posts together while listening to music, reading blogs or magazines while I drink iced tea, or hanging out with my family and friends.

Little things about me:
♥ I've been friends with Jackie since 3rd grade (16 years!) and Avra since 11th grade (8 years!).
♥ I need to write things down or I'll completely forget it.
♥ I hate getting crumbs in my bed.
♥ Snails and slugs creep me out.
♥ I love reading at night before bed.
♥ I don't like using blue pens (black pen user for life!). 

If you guys have any other questions ask me in the comments!

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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Inspired By: Stardust

If you haven't seen this movie, then I think you're missing out. Stardust, which is based on the novel by Neil Gaiman, is one of my favorite movies. It's a fantasy adventure with a dash of romance, magic, suspense, and a whole lot of fun. Seriously, ever time I watch this movie it leaves me smiling. I would also recommend reading the book because it's just as entertaining. 

Tristan Thorn
Inspired By: Stardust -- Tristan Thorn
Tristan Thorn is a young man who crosses the wall between his town and a magical realm in search of a fallen star (thinking it will be just a clump of rock) in order to prove his love to Victoria, the town beauty. Instead he finds a young woman and so begins his incredible journey. 

To dress like the clumsy Tristan, wear a fedora, green sheer top, beige vest, jeans, heart ring, and oxfords. Or dress like the suave Tristan by wearing a white structured jacket, sheer mint blouse, black jeans, white floral necklace (for the flower that protects him), and blue wedges. 

Inspired By: Stardust -- Yvaine
Yvaine is a star that was knocked out of the heavens by a necklace that was thrown by the king before his death. Separately, a witch and a prince are after her because eating Yvaine's heart will give them eternal life, and Yvaine is wearing the necklace that will make Prince Primus king. 

If you need to dress up, don a black and blue dress, a pearly necklace, a star ring, and ankle-strap heels. Or go casual by wearing a gray maxi dress, a black cardigan, a bronze star ring, and sandals. 

Inspired By: Stardust -- Lamia
Lamia is the witch pursuing Yvaine for her and her two sisters. A star hasn't fallen in 400 years, so they want to eat Yvaine's heart in order to look young again and replenish their powers. Lamia is determined and will do anything to get her hands on Yvaine. 

Put on a polka dot bustier, olive green pleated skirt, heart earrings, and buckle wedges to dress like Lamia. Or instead go for a green and black maxi dress, snake bangle, green satchel, and sandals. 

Captain Shakespeare
Inspired By: Stardust -- Captain Shakespeare
Captain Shakespeare is the kind-hearted captain of a flying pirate ship. He and his crew capture lightning bolts during thunderstorms and sell them. Tristan and Yvaine come aboard after narrowly escaping from Lamia.

To dress like Captain Shakespeare, wear a striped dress, green vest, pink lightning ring, and strappy booties. Or maybe try on a blue tunic, black moto vest, black paneled leggings, lace-up boots, and sunglasses for when you're capturing lightning bolts.

Which outfit is your favorite?
Have you seen Stardust?

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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Lusting: Transparent Bags

I've been fascinated by the lucite / transparent bag trend going on right now. On the one hand, it's just plain cool, especially the hard lucite ones, but on the other hand you really have to keep your purse clean (no gum wrappers and receipts crumpled at the bottom) because everyone will see what's in it. 

What do you think of this trend?
Have you dared to try it?

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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Outfit: Bright Pants & Delicate Jewelry

It must be the super bright color, but I couldn't for the life of me figure out how to wear these pants. It should be rather easy since pink goes with a lot of colors, but everything I put on looked wrong. Maybe it was just one of those days. If you have any tips or recommendations for bright coral pants please let me in on the secret. I really do love these pants and would like to find more ways to wear them. 

To tone down these bright pants, I decided to pair it with delicate jewelry. The first being this simple but lovely necklace from the clothing store eFoxCity, where you can buy cheap clothes online (and even get t-shirts for men). I love how light-weight it is and would look good layered with other delicate necklaces. I also added my favorite little twisted ring and a floral bow ring.

Cardigan // Forever 21 (old) {similar}
Tank // Marshalls (old)
Necklace // c/o eFoxCity
Jeans // Forever 21 {similar, similar}
Flats // Payless
Floral Ring // Forever 21 {similar, similar}
Twisted Ring // gift
Bracelet // Daisy Petal Designs
Glasses: Bonlook

**This is a (partly) sponsored post, but all opinions are my own.**

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