Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Ever Wanted to Shop My Closet?

Have you ever wanted to shop my closet? Well now you can. Over the weekend I decided to edit my wardrobe and now I'm giving you an opportunity to shop for barely/gently worn items from my closet. All of my clothes come from a smoke and pet free home. If you have a question about an item simply leave a comment, and if you're interested in purchasing an item, leave a comment with your e-mail address and how much you're willing to pay for the item. Items will go to the highest bidder at 9am CDT and payments should be made through PayPal. Items not sold will be donated to charity.

Be sure to check the page frequently because I've got a lot of stuff to give away.


Instagram user name: shopohsarahchick

Sunday, September 28, 2014

What's Making Me Laugh: EE Musical Cat Ad

So last week I FINALLY went to see Guardian's of the Galaxy at the local movie theater. I feel like I was the last person on the planet to have seen the film (even though I'm sure there are tons of people out there that haven't seen the movie).

Side Note: Guardian's was really great! It may be the best Marvel movie to date (although I'll always have a soft spot for Iron Man. I <3 RDJr.


During the opening trailers and ads preceding the movie they played the newest commercial from the EE cell phone network (a.k.a. the EE Musical Cat Ad). This ad totally cracked me up in the theater and it's still got me laughing. Check it out!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Marion KAL

September 10- October 25

Last week I decided to join the Marion KAL hosted by Untangling Knots via The Marion KAL ravelry forum. I'd fallen in love with Lladybird's cranberry colored Marion cardigan this summer, so I decided to make one of my own using the same Knit Picks Wool of the Andes worsted yarn in Cranberry. So far it has been pretty easy to knit, although it does take some concentration to create the cables. Here's my progress after 1 day of knitting:


Are you participating in The Marion Knit Along or do you want to join? Let me know in the comments below. Stay tuned for more posts on my progress.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

What Is Your Fall 2014 Color Palette?

Autumn is officially here, which means it's time to swap out my summer shorts, t-shirts, and sandals for long pants, sweaters, and boots. 

Before determining which pieces to store and which pieces to keep, I decided to create another color palette like I did for the Spring/Summer season, because I found it very helpful in detouring my impulse purchases. First I made a color palette based on what colors I currently have in my closet.

My Color Pallet

Then I selected a few colors from my palette that resonated with Fall/Winter and divided them into three categories (neutrals, near neutrals and statement colors).

Neutrals

Near Neutrals

Statement Colors


My Fall/Winter 2014 colors are:
  • Black
  • Heather Grey
  • Dark Grey
  • Camel
  • Navy
  • Wine
  • Forest Green
  • Royal Blue
  • Red
  • Grape

Have you created a Fall/Winter color palette? What colors are you favoring this season? Let me know in the comments below.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Monday, September 22, 2014

The 2014 Handmade Fair

This weekend I decided to take a journey to Hampton Court Palace to attend The Handmade Fair which was presented by British television presenter, Kirstie Allsopp





As you can see, the Hampton Court Palace grounds are very picturesque and it was an ideal location for the Handmade Fair.


I had purchased a full experience ticket which included a skill workshop session, a session in the Super theater, and a Grand Make with up to 250 other people. Since I booked my ticket just days before the event I didn't get my top pick of sessions initially, but luckily I was able to visit the nice ladies at the Information booth to swap out some of my sessions for ones that were more up my alley.

I ended up attending:

The Coats Knitting presentation with Brandon Mably in which he taught Kirstie Allsopp how to design a quilt.

The Knit a Sparkling Project workshop where we learned how to add beads to a knitting project.

Origami Floristry where we learned how to make an origami t-shirt and tulip (neither of which I was very good at).






In addition to the workshops, there were loads of free things to see and do at the fair: you could browse inside the two Shopping Village Tents, attend a sewing workshop, attend and Etsy Business Class, or create a snowflake for Home-Start UK- the official charity of the Handmade Fair.

Beautiful Paper pom poms and flowers inside the Shopping Tent by Paperpoms

What I bought: Hampton Court Palace print by Clare Caulfield, Chieftain card by Lauren's Cows
My snowflake made from crocheted ribbon (I didn't have a hook so I crocheted it with my fingers)

Singer inside the Vintage Tea Room
The biggest highlight for me was attending Tilly's (of Tilly and the Buttons and The Great British Sewing Bee) Bridget scarf sewing workshop. I must admit that I was a bit star struck and I got totally shy. I was able to purchase Tilly's Mathilde and Miette sewing patterns direct from her though. 
Tilly's sewing work shop


Modeling my new scarf
World Pomination

One thing I noticed was that there were pom pom's everywhere as the Handmade Fair was attempting to break the Guinness World Record for longest line of pom poms to support the charity, Sense.



What I Made

  • Bridget Scarf
  • Blue origami tulip
  • "Be Inspired" button
  • knit beaded bracelet




Sunday, September 21, 2014

What's Making Me Laugh: Mittens (Feat. KT Tunstall)


While I was knitting away for the Marion KAL and making a few Christmas presents, I stumbled upon the video for the song "Mittens (featuring KT Tunstall)" from the British comedy series, This Is Jinsy. I haven't actually seen the series yet, which is about the bizarre residents of the small British island of Jinsy (based on the island of Guernsey), but it airs on Sky Atlantic in the UK and each episode features some special guests.

This song definitely gets me in the knitting mood. I'll be adding This is Jinsy to my must watch list.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

What I'm Listening To: The Knife- "Heartbeats"

This week I've been jamming out to "Heartbeats" by the Swedish electronic duo, The Knife, on my latest mix tape. 


Any video that decides to "put a bird on it" gets a thumbs up from me (well, almost any video).

Fun fact: The Knife siblings, Karin Dreijer Andersson and Olof Dreijer, also run their own record company, Rabid Records.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Scotland: To be Independent or Not to be Independent

Yesterday Scot's from Scotland got out to vote for whether or not Scotland should become independent from the United Kingdom. Groundskeeper Willie weighed in:

The world was very interested to hear how the vote would turn out and today the results were revealed. Scotland decided to vote "No" on becoming independent and will remain apart of the United Kingdom. I must say I would have been okay with the vote either way it turned out.

A Jolie-Pitt Family Wedding

I know that by now the Angelina Jolie & Brad Pitt wedding is old news, but can we talk about it for a minute!?

I love the fact that Angelina kept her Valentino wedding dress simple but then went for a statement veil with embroideries of her children's drawings. Overall, it sounded like their French wedding was all about their family with a heavy focus on the kids which I thought was really great.

What did you think of Angelina's dress/veil and the wedding itself? Let me know in the comments below.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Reader Survey Results

Last month I asked you, my readers, to complete a 10 question End of Summer Survey to help me decide which direction to go with my blog in the future. And now the results are in.


Survey Results: 


1. How did you find Oh Sarah O! ?

Some of my respondents skipped this question, but of those did comment most had learned of my blog from me.

2. How long have you been reading Oh Sarah O! ?

All of my respondents have been reading my blog for a year or more. Thank you!

3. How often do you visit Oh Sarah O! ?

50% of my respondents visit a few times per month and 50% of my readers visit once per month.

4. How do you find out about new posts on Oh Sarah O! ?

All of my respondents learn about new posts from Facebook. If you're not already familiar, Oh Sarah O! has a brand page where I share links to my latest updates.  

5. How do you feel about the frequency of posts on Oh Sarah O! ?

All of my respondents felt that the frequency of posts is just right.

6. What posts do you like the best? (check all that apply)

Previously on Project Runway, Hair/ Beauty, and Shopping Wishlists got no votes. Also, one respondent said they liked posts about my life adventures. 

7. What posts do you like least? (check all that apply)

None of my respondents reported any posts that they liked the least. 

8. What are your favorite DIYs?

Baking, home decor, and accessories received no votes. 

9. Where are your favorite places to shop?

  • Express
  • Target
  • Vintage
  • Ebay
  • Etsy
  • Amazon
10. Is there anything else you would like to see on Oh Sarah O! ?

Just more of Sarah O.



Survey Analysis:

You may have already noticed that my blog has been undergoing some changes recently as I am in the process of teaching myself how to do some HTML coding in anticipation of launching my own domain. I hope to have it ready by October 2014.

I've already started taking the survey results into consideration. Since all of my respondents like my Craftiness posts, I want to make crafting the focus of my blog, but What I'm Listening To, What's Making Me Laugh, What I'm Reading, What I Wore, Wardrobe Editing, Film/TV, and Travel posts will also remain. I hope to implement some drop down menus on my navigation to make these posts easier to find. Since my respondents seemed less interested in Project Runway, Hair/Beauty, and Shopping Wish lists, these posts will be kept to a minimum.

Do you agree with the survey results? Is there a feature you'd like me to keep or add? I'd love to hear from you! Let me know in the comments below.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

What's Making Me Laugh: Le Telepathe'- a Cyanide and Happiness Short

Warning: The following video is NSFW. Some people may find this video offensive.


Have you ever wished that you could go to a restaurant where the chefs could just read your mind and serve you whatever your heart desires? The Cyanide and Happiness Short, "Le Telepathe,'" proves why that might not be such a good idea.

Altuzarra for Target

THIS JUST IN...


Altuzarra for Target has was released at midnight in stores and online at Target and Net-A-Porter. I'm not sure what the clothes look and feel like in person, but the pictures online look fabulous and perfect for fall.

Here are some of my favorites from the collection:



Are you shopping the Altuzarra for Target collection? What are your favorite pieces? Let me know in the comments below.

What I'm Listening To: Jack White at Chateau de Fountainebleau

Sorry I'm late on the music update.


Last week, my brother-in-law shared this Jack White video on Google+ and I was like "OMG! It's Jack White"! Not only was I blown away by the music but check out the sites at Saint-Saturnin Chapel at Fontainebleau Castle. Check out Jack White's performance of "The Same Boy You've Always Known" and "Entitlement". The sites will have you thinking "I want to go to there" and the music will take you away.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

What I'm Reading: Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver




I just finished reading the A Beautiful Mess August book club pick Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver. This means I'm all caught up! Prior to picking up this book for the book club, I was unfamiliar with Barbara Kingsolvers work which appears to favor themes of social justice, biodiversity and environmentalism and this book is not exception. Flight Behavior tells the story of a woman from rural, poverty stricken Appalachia who is ready to change her life forever when she discovers that thousands of monarch butterflies have migrated onto her property. As word about the butterflies spreads, visitors flock to her farm to see the butterflies and question whether the butterflies arrival is a miracle or a terrible sign that global warming has disturbed the butterflies migratory patterns. 

I was unsure how I felt about this book when it was finished. I found the story difficult to get into at first, but after the first 50 pages I blazed through the book. I enjoyed most of the characters, but there wasn't any character that I particularly related to. And I enjoyed reading about the debates between miracle vs. science. I guess my takeaway is that I enjoyed the book, but it didn't encourage me to read Barbara Kingsolver's full body of work.

Next I'm going to share my thoughts on some of the discussion points from the discussion guide by Emma at A Beautiful Mess. Warning: Spoilers ahead!

1) An obvious easy place to start: the title. What the heck is flight behavior?

As Emma pointed out, flight behavior is an obvious reference to the butterflies and their strange new migration pattern that lead them to Dellarobia's property in Appalachia instead of their usual roosting place in Mexico. Also, the title could also be a reference to Dellarobia's behavior throughout the book: how we meet Dellarobia as she is climbing up to her small cabin with the intent to commit adultery; how Dellarobia's encounter with the butterflies changes the direction of her life from being Cub's wife and a stay-at-home mother- playing a more supportive role to someone who pursues her own interests and can do things on her own; And how Dellarobia leaves her marriage in order to move in with her high school friend, Dovey, and begin her college career. 

Like the butterflies, Dellarobia appears to have steered her life off coarse due to an unforeseen accident. We learn that Dellarobia originally had intentions to go to college to study English, but her plans were put on hold when she became pregnant with her and Cub's first child that was still-born. That pregnancy lead to her and Cub getting married and the life she had throughout the story. 

The story differs in that Dellarobia was able to steer her flight back onto (or near-to) it's original path, but it is unclear if the butterflies will be able to survive and return to their original flight path. After working with the Dr. Ovid and the scientists, Dr. Ovid helped her to enroll in the local community college and secure a work study program and she separated from Cub. 

2) Character study, anyone?

This story introduces us to many different characters: Dellarobia; her husband, Cub; father-in-law-, Bear; mother-in-law, Hester; the scientist, Dr. Ovid Byron; the minister, Bobby; the children, Preston and Cordelia; best friend, Dovey; and so on. 

Not only does Dellarobia undergo a change throughout the story, but her mother-in-law, Hester, does as well. When we are first introduced to Hester she is the matriarch of the family and appears to be constantly displeased with her son, Cub, and an uncaring grandmother. But as the book progresses, Hester appears to take an interest in the butterflies as she starts taking tourists to see the butterflies and she takes a stand against her husband's desire to cut down and log the trees on their property (which would destroy the area the butterflies were nesting) and sides with Dellarobia to protect the butterflies. Later we learn that Hester also became pregnant at a young age (by someone other than Bear) and she gave up that child for adoption. When Hester married Bear she agreed not to discuss the child she had with the other man, but we soon discover that her first-born is now the town minister, Bobby. So we learn that Hester and Dellarobia actually have something in common as they both felt trapped into their marriages.  

I really liked reading about Dellarobia's inquisitive, 5-year-old son, Preston and the relationship he developed with Dr. Ovid. Their relationship made me hopeful that Dr. Ovid's influence on Preston at an early age would encourage and influence him to become a veterinarian or scientist and break the family cycle of poverty. 

3) Let's discus the environmental themes. What did you think of how Ovid's world (science, upper of middle class, educated) and the world surrounding Dellarobia (religious, poverty, under-educated due to less opportunity) view the events that surround the butterflies? Do you think their viewpoints are fair? Have you seen this kind of issue come up in your community?

In the book, the people of Feathertown (Dellarobia's town) view the appearance of the butterflies as a miracle, Preston's classmate said that in Mexico they believe the butterflies represent the soles of deceased children, and Dr. Ovid views the butterflies appearances and a sign of environmental crisis due to global warming. Many of Dellarobia's family and community members believe that global warming is a myth while Dr. Ovid is alarmed that anyone would ignore all evidence to the contrary. 

I tend to favor the perspective of the scientific community, so I, like Ovid, find it difficult to understand how members of the Feathertown community can ignore scientific evidence or discount them as just 'theories'. 

Being born and raised in Kansas (aka. The Bible Belt), I see issues between the religious vs. scientific and upper class vs. lower class all the time. One example was the debate on whether evolution should be taught in schools which took place when I was in high school. Many religious people argued that it should not be taught in schools because they favored creationism, while others argued that evolution should be taught in school or that evolution and creationism should both be taught in school simultaneously. Lucky for me, my science teacher (who was a Catholic) favored the latter view and mentioned both evolution and creationism in class so that we the students could form our own theories and beliefs- a decision I agree with.

I also enjoyed Ovid's confrontation of the news reporter that shined light on the idea of the news media emphasizing the wrong issues and emphasizing sensationalism over facts.


Now that I've finished this book, I've got butterflies on the brain. Maybe I'll draw some pictures of butterflies.

The book club pick for September is Middlesex by Jeffery Eugenides and the discussion will take place on A Beautiful Mess at the end of September. 

Will you be reading the book? Have you already read the book (or Flight Behavior)? Let me know in the comments below. 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Fall Wardrobe Planning Part 1


I think it's safe to say that the UK heat wave is over and it's beginning to feel like fall. The cooler temperatures have got me ready to plan my Fall/Winter wardrobe and I thought I'd give you a glimpse into my process.

Lifestyle

According to Unfancy, one of the first things to consider when planning your wardrobe is what is your lifestyle going to be like. From October- December my life is about 70% working with children and running errands, 20% casual-social (like going out to dinner or going on weekend adventures with my husband), and 10% social-formal (there may be some holiday gatherings, our anniversary is in November/December, and I think my husband wants to go to a dance). So most of my wardrobe needs to be work appropriate and washable. 

Weather


Another thing that is important to consider is the weather. In England, Autumn is known for being relatively unsettled and wet with temperatures ranging from the mid-50s (degrees F) to mid-30s. In Winter it is cool, wet and windy and temperatures rarely get into the 60's and get as low as the teens. I've read some early predictions that England may have a colder than usual Winter this year. So it's important for me to stock up on sweaters and clothes I can layer. 

Word Association

In February when I was working on the Wardrobe Architect series, I came up with the following words to represent my style:

  • easy
  • timeless
  • artistic
  • modern
  • quirky
But like everyone else, my style has a tenancy to change and evolve over time. Here are some new words that I'd like to add that describe my style right now:

  • playful
  • masculine/ feminine 
  • edgy
  • vintage inspired
  • slightly sporty


What my style isn't:

  • NOT preppy
  • NOT glamorous
  • NOT retro
  • NOT girly 


Wardrobe Brand List

Next, I've developed a list of brands that I go to brands that I typically shop at. This helps to keep me on track when I do my shopping.


  • ASOS- casual dresses + skirts
  • Clarks- Shoes
  • Ebay- Jeans + vintage finds
  • Etsy- accessories + vintage finds
  • Express- Tops + Accessories
  • GAP- Jeans + pants + jackets
  • H&M- accessories
  • J Crew- tops + pants + shorts + jackets
  • Old Navy- tops + jeans + pants + accessories
  • Schuh- sneakers
  • Target- tops + shoes + cardigans + accessories
  • Topshop- accessories
The French Wardrobe Challenge


Finally, I was recently introduced to the idea of the French Wardrobe Challenge via Chic on the Cheap and wondered if I could incorporate some of these ideas into my Fall Wardrobe. I like the idea of not counting basics into your tally because these are the items that get the most wear so I want to stock up on them when I can.

THE RULES:


  • Just 5 stand out pieces per season.
  • Quality over quantity. 
  • Basics don’t count. 
  • Accessories don’t count, unless you’re spending a lot more than usual. 
  • Socks and underwear don’t count. 
  • Shoes do count. 
* I'd also like to leave my me-made items out of the tally. 


THE BASICS
  • T-shirts in black, grey and white
  • Tank tops in black, grey and white
  • White button down shirt
  • Black dress
  • Black blazer
  • Black cardigan or sweater
  • Black pants
  • Jeans
  • Black skirt
  • Faux leather jacket
  • Trench coat
  • Winter coat 
  • Ankle boots
  • Rain boots
  • Knee boots
  • Ballet flats
  • Sneakers
  • Watch
  • Faux leather bag
How are you preparing your Fall/Winter wardrobe? Let me know in the comments below.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

What's Making Me Laugh: Joan Rivers on the "Ed Sullivan Show"


Before Joan Rivers was a fashion critic, a plastic surgery maven, and the queen of revamping her career, Joan Rivers was a stand-up comedian and she was fabulous at it- quickly becoming a favorite on the night time television circuit and appearing on the "Ed Sullivan Show" 21 times from 1966 to 1971 alone.

This week we lost a groundbreaking, fearless, funny woman and she will be missed. Check out the clip from Joan Rivers 1967 appearance on the "Ed Sullivan Show" addressing life as a single girl in her mid-twenties.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

What I'm Listening To: Alt-J 'Every Other Freckle'

Warning: This video contains nudity (bare butts) and may not be suitable for all audiences.


This week the Cambridge, UK band Alt-J released two music videos for their latest song, 'Every Other Freckle' from their soon to be released album, 'This Is All Yours' (due for release September 22nd). Both videos are directed by Olivier Groulx; one features a girl and the other features a boy. Personally, my favorite parts are the scenes featuring a kitten. 




Tuesday, September 2, 2014

What I'm Reading: #GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso

I'm almost caught up! I've been able to finish two books from the A Beautiful Mess Book Club in August and I am happy to report that I was please with both of the books. This week I finished the book #GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso, the founder and CEO of Nasty Gal.

For those of you who aren't familiar with the book, or Nasty Gal, Sophia talks about how she was able to turn her eBay vintage shop into a million-dollar fashion company in just 7 years- even without a college degree; but she also discusses the trials and crappy jobs she held along the way.

This book manages to tell you Sophia and NastyGal's story without being preachy, but as if it's being told by your bad ass, no-nonsense best friend/ sister. I found her experience to be really inspiring!


I'm going to discuss some points about the book from the discussion guide by Elsie from A Beautiful Mess. If you've read the book, you can follow along below. Warning: spoilers ahead!

1. What was something you related with? 

When I first picked up this book, I expected to NOT have very much in common with Sophia aside from the fact that we're of similar age and we're both women because I've never had a company or been a CEO, but it turns out that we have more in common than I thought. We were both outsiders from the popular clique in high school and I was similarly adventurous with my sense of style back then (although I still am to an extent). We both consider ourselves to be creative and hard working people and try to do our best and find creativity in whatever tasks we're tasked to do. I also like the way that she talked about how she learned from her past experiences- that even working as a sandwich artist at Subway taught and shaped her work ethic today.

2. What was something you felt challenged by? 

Like Elsie, I also felt challenged by Sophia's seemingly laser like focus when it came to building her Brand. As a person who usually has several projects going at once and is easily side-tracked, imagining focusing on one goal day after day seemed mind-boggling. 

3. What was something you learned and put into action? 

While I was reading the book I started to take notes like I was back in school of lessons I could take away and put into practice. In particular I noted Sophia's resume, cover letter and interview rules. Also, immediately after finishing the book I bought my own Internet domain and I started taking the A Beautiful Mess Blog Design Love 2.0 self-paced online course to start brainstorming how I can make a better blog (more on that to come). 

The August book selection is Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver (and I'm nearly finished with it) and September's book is Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

Have you read #GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso? If so, what did you think about the book? I'd love to hear from you.

Side Note: Did any of you catch Nasty Gal's killer Labor Day sales? 

Monday, September 1, 2014

Taking Advantage of Labor Day Sales


Fall has been knocking on England's door since the middle of August. Last weekend I finally packed away my shorts and 'Spring/Summer clothes' and pulled out my Fall/Winter sweaters as cooler temperatures and endless cloudy/rainy days seem to be settling in.

Even though most people doing capsule wardrobes don't switch their wardrobe over to Fall until October, I've already started carefully selecting my color palette and brainstorming what items I'm going to wear, what items I need to replace, and what items I need to pack away. Since there are so many sales going on, now seems like a great time to stock up on wardrobe basics. With all of that in mind, I've created my Labor Day Sale wish list.

Sales:


Nasty Gal: up to 60% off selected items
Old Navy: take an extra 20% off all items, plus free shipping over $50.
Target: Buy one get one 50% off women's, men's, kid's, babies, and shoes. Up to 25% off home, sports, patio and furniture.
J Crew Factory: 40-60% off everything and free shipping with code LABORDAY
Ann Taylor LOFT: 50% off new fall styles + extra 50% off summer sales


What's on your Labor Day Wish list?

Disclosure

These posts contain affiliate links which may generate a revenue for the site when a purchase is made. You can read more at my Disclosure Policy page.