Tuesday, December 16, 2014

11 Sparkling Holiday Gift Ideas for Everyone On Your List

Dearest readers,
Happy holiday season!  Though the temperatures are freezing, it’s arguably the warmest month for the heart.  I put together the below holiday gift guide (for my friends at bsmartguide) guaranteed to make hearts happy and smiles sparkle.  Read below for some of our favorite picks, aimed to satisfy your special pals.  So put on your Santa hat, you’ll get your shopping list checked off in no time with these shimmery suggestions.


1) For Your Cool Friend Who’s Basically In the Band
Headphones.  These babies are so effortlessly cool, I instantly think anyone who's wearing them is some sort of music mogul (also constantly wishing I was one, too).  For some reason, I think people who wear big headphones need to HEAR the beat better, because they like, do music professionally.  (Anyway, I digress.)  These headphones are totally chic, and a great investment for the friend who lives for music.  They might be in a band, or they might just take you to all of the cool concerts in Williamsburg that you wouldn’t otherwise know about.
2) For the Friend Who Loves a Good Cocktail
Accent pillow.  Home accents are always a great go-to for gift giving.  This pillow, in it’s white and gold hue, makes it easy to match in any apartment.  And we love the fun glittery lettering that has us grabbing our dancing shoes.  Pair the pillow with this adorable shaker from C. Wonder (engraved with celebratory phrases for a festive feel) for a totally fun and fabulous packaged gift.  Cheers!
3) For Your Fashion Blogger Friend
Gloves.  Aside from the sheer function and versatility of this gift, these trendy gloves are perfect for the fashion-forward friend this winter.  The leather glove with the knit overlay gives this gift the extra pow that will have your friend gleaming with delight!  I’m sure she already has an amazing pair of oversized sunglasses and a leather jacket to rock with this gift.
Option #2 for the fashion-forward friend:
4) For Any One of your Fabulous Gal Pals
Did you really think a piece of jewelry wasn’t going to make our gift guide?  Opt for a funky but versatile jewelry option for her this year.  I like cuffs, as they’re easy to pair with anything that your fashionable friend will be rocking this season.  I’m loving this Kristen Elspeth piece, as the LA-based designer sources her materials from Los Angeles and New York, and works with local metal-smiths to perfect each design. Unique designs with a local flare?  I say yes.
5) For your BFF
The purse.  We all know the BFF gift is the hardest.  It has to be thoughtful, yet practical, yet creative and amazing, much like your BFF.  This year, I'm opting for a versatile gift for my best gal - enter the black messenger bag.  I’m in love with this Clare Vivier bag.  The Clare Vivier look is classic with a twist - beautiful and functional.  Bonus, Clare Vivier products are made in the good ol’ U.S. of A (p.s. Ms. V has a great story of how she came to be a bag designer).  Shopping local feels good, my friends.
This corporate but chic carry all will have your BFF gallivanting around town like the #GIRLBOSS she is.  Include some fun accessories inside for her to use (cue a fabulous nail polish, I love this NARS color in Gold Viper, and some midi rings) and maybe even a framed pic of the two of you.  A black bag is timeless, much like your friendship.
6) For Your Boyfriend’s Parents
Wine stopper.  It’s pretty safe to say that most people will enjoy some beverages around the holiday time, and these festive bottle stoppers are great gifts for the host and hostess of your next holiday party!  And bonus, they’re monogrammed.  Hello, Mr. and Mrs. Jones!
7) For Your Awesome Boss
A Candle.  You really can’t ever go wrong with a candle.  It’s relaxing.  It’s pretty.  It’s all-around lovely.  That said, know your audience, not everyone likes scented…
I’m loving this Charcoal candle from Joya.  Each Joya item is free of additives or chemical processing and is handmade start to finish in Brooklyn, New York from an ethically sourced soy-wax blend, essential oils and fragrance.  Smells good to me.
Pick #2 for Boss or Coworker:
Notebook.  I also say you can’t go wrong with a nice notebook for a gift in the workplace.  This Michigan-made Black Hard Cover Notebook was created in one of America’s oldest manufacturing towns - Detroit. T he journals are made with the highest quality acid-free paper, and is sustainably sourced from North American forests.  Who is making meetings more fun and environmentally conscious? Yeah, you are.
8) For The Friend Who Has the Best Instagram
Polaroid Camera.  For those of you know know me (and even those of you who don’t), know that I love taking a good picture.  And am obsessed with all things vintage (excluding two-day old leftovers).  Last year, I impulse purchased a polaroid camera when buying jeans at UO, and I never looked back.  SERIOUSLY AWESOME INVESTMENT.  This is a super fun gift for you and all of your pals to enjoy.  I mean, polaroids look just SO cool on Instagram, amiright?
9) For the Him In Your Life
Whatever him that may be - dad, boyfriend, best friend, or grandfather - most likely he enjoys a cocktail every once in a while.  And a nice book on the artistry of mixing drinks will have him reading on Christmas morning, with enough time to prepare some fabulous sips for New Year’s Eve.
10) For the Friend Who is Tracking their Steps
I really do love my FitBit (well I have a Jawbone, but still, same idea).  I love knowing how many steps I’m taking, how many more I need to reach my goal, how much good sleep vs. bad sleep I’m getting.  But what I don’t always love is how it sticks out like a clunky handcuff on my wrist.  Especially when I’m trying to go to a classy affair and people are like, 'what’s that big plastic thing next to your gold bracelet?'  Well, fear no more, walking women of New York!  Tory Burch has found an elegant way to conceal your Fitbit® when you're on the go (of course she has, that classy lady).  This polished Tory Burch cuff is detailed with geometric cutout stripes at the front, and has a hinged door to offer easy installation of the Fitbit® Flex™.  Voila! May you walk to your hearts content!
11) For Yourself
Thank you notes.  Get a gift for yourself.  Well sort of.  Pick up a package of thank you notes, because if there’s one thing I believe in life, it’s that the best thing we can practice is gratitude.  Thank your loved ones for not only gifts, but for being in your life. Every day is perfect time to remind your loved ones how you feel.
My pick are these gold beauties from zady.com.  Why do we love Zady?  Socially conscious shopping, my people!  My pick for thank you notes are from Smock, as Smock makes all of its sustainable bamboo paper in Syracuse, New York, in an entirely wind-powered workshop.  Wooooosh, there it is (get it?).
May your holiday be as merry and bright as the people in your life!
This post originally appeared on bsmartguide.com

Monday, November 24, 2014

A "Just In Case" Kind of Gal

As a New Yorker, I think the "just in case" mentality is ingrained in your mind, the same way that you know that bagels are best with cream cheese.

To that end, one must always be prepared for New York's (or any city, for that matter) many curve balls. As a woman of the world, your purse acts as a great carry-all to prepare you for basically anything. At any given moment, in my purse, you can probably find enough toiletries, food, and accessories to last me at least 48 hours if needed.

As for some of my other handbag staples, you can always find lipstick/gloss, a pair of sunnies, necessary cards, and a safety pin! I'm also a fan of using everyday items that double as style staples, (hint - dryer sheets. Check out my recent post on that!

As for the purse itself, it most certainly needs to reflect my "ready for anything" lifestyle. I'm really loving bucket bags lately (see photo of what I'm carrying, below!), as they have plentyyyy of space, but still look incredibly chic. They easily transition from day to night - and you can carry all your day-to-night goodies with ease. Also, the cinch is nice added security to make sure your prized possessions don't go flying around.

For this post, I was inspired by Rue La La (if you don't know them already, you should), a fab online shopping destination that toasts designer brands at stellar prices. The gals at Rue love handbags as much as I do, and too believe that what's inside your bag is probably more important than the bag itself. That said, Rue La La has just launched a new handbag style guide, which shares info about iconic designs, must-know maintenance tips for your purse, and the origins of this essential accessory. Check it out!

What totes are you all toting around town, these days? Share with me in the comments below!


5 Keys to Being a Successful Woman in NY

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Return

Dearest friends,

Let me first apologize for my absence over the last month. As you all well know, life can get ridiculous and busy and insane. I appreciate you all bearing with me as I have been absent, but I'm here to tell you, I'm back!

I've been recently working with a good friend on some winter-ready looks, starting with the below! Stay tuned for more over the coming weeks.


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Thursday, October 9, 2014

Giveaway with Trend Tribe - Two Days Left to Enter!

Necklace: Trend Tribe // Hat: ASOS // Sweater: Forever 21 
Hi friends,

Only TWO days left to enter to win Trend Tribe's (pictured) Gold Cleopatra necklace! Enter below for your chance to win!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Photo taken by Martim Thomaz - martimthomazphoto.com

Monday, October 6, 2014

Start with a Statement

Necklace: Trend Tribe // Sweater: Forever 21 // Skirt: H&M (similar) // Purse: Rebecca Minkoff // Shoes: Report Signature Toby Bootie 
Ever feel like you’re staring aimlessly into your closet saying, “I just don’t know what to wear?” Yeah, me too. So I’m trying a new tactic, where I start with a piece of statement jewelry and build an outfit around it.

For this post on statement jewels (and more to come this week) I’m collaborating with Trend Tribe, a New York-based accessories company that not only has some super-snazzy trends (ALL for under $50!), but also provides college students hands on experience as philanthropic entrepreneurs (learn more about their Trendsetter Program here). Read on for a giveaway below! 

Trend Tribe’s Gold Cleopatra necklace (get YOURS with code justsarajane25 for free shipping!) acted as a backdrop for my cozy fall outfit. I pulled from the taupe color in the necklace to opt for a matching sweater and corresponding accessories. The chunky cropped sweater (opt for solid colors as a background) showcased the necklace perfectly, and a green hat was great for pulling out the orange contrasting color in the necklace. And as we all know, fall is great for rocking your favorite sweaters, but instead of pairing with jeans, try a circle skirt (like this one) that will highlight the waist and give a sense of occasion to the look. Fabulous booties are a must to complete the look!

Have your eye on one of Trend Tribe's affordable + adorable pieces? Use code *justsarajane25* for free shipping on any orders placed on www.trend-tribe.com, now through 11:59 EST on Sunday, 10/12!

Stay tuned later this week as I continue to share ways to make a statement. Click below for your chance to win a Gold Cleopatra necklace, this week! 


Photos taken by Martim Thomaz - martimthomazphoto.com

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, October 3, 2014

Ch-ch-changes - Stepping into Fall

Skirt: ASOS (similar) // Jacket: ASOS (similar) // Shirt: Old Navy // Sweater: Ann Taylor Loft // Photo: Martim Thomaz 
Fall has ARRIVED. And it is making an entrance.

All hail the season of crisp air, fantastic boots, and fabulous layers. That said, there are some of our favorite warm-weather pieces that we aren't yet ready to store under the bed. I'm sharing a layered look today (special for fall!), where I'm re-purposing some warm-weather faves (and closet staples!).

A chambray shirt can go a long way. Use as a base for layering thicker sweaters and jackets (you are now prepared for any temperature!). Play with varying patterns in between layers. If you're opting for a bold skirt (like this one), use the top of your outfit to balance out with solids. Lastly, the bold lip is BACK. Celebrate accordingly.

xoxo SJB 

Photography by Martim Thomaz. 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Jump into fall.

Jumpsuit: ASOS (now on sale!) // Shoes: Seychelles // Sunglasses: ASOS // Lips: NYX Shocking Pink // Purse: Free People
Anyone who has even looked at my Instagram once, or see me at basically any event over the past month knows I have worn the hell out of this royal blue jumpsuit from ASOS (I think I'm in love!). Jumpsuits are a perfect transition to fall, as they are versatile, can be worn with a light jacket, and are fantastic to accessorize with a scarf or great necklace. I like this one because of it's bright color, and cinched waist belt that gives it structure while still keeping me comfy!

I wore my jumpsuit on my latest trip to San Francisco a few weeks ago (am very overdue for this post), where the temperatures were unpredictable (as anyone who has been to SF knows well). A jumpsuit travels well (just roll into a ball - literally), and can be worn so many ways while on vacay!

Here's one thing I know for sure, jumpsuits are bound to be my new best pal.


Monday, September 22, 2014

Fall for all!

Sneak peek of what's to come on the blog this week, as tomorrow starts the official beginning of FALL.

Share what you love about this season in the comments below!


Saturday, August 23, 2014

Black, white and city lights

Top: Joe Fresh // Pants: Calvin Klein (similar here) // Necklace: J.Crew // Shoes: Levity // Bag: Free People
Happy Saturday, beauties! New Yorkers have celebrated a summer of (amazingly) perfect temperatures, making dressing from day-to-night a total breeze. A black and white look is not only a JustSaraJane staple, but also great for transitioning your wardrobe from the office (or weekend errands!) to a night out. This silk tank (Joe Fresh) pairs easily with the classic and comfy black jean (similar J Brand pair here), and can be worn with a light cardigan while at work or out and about. My Free People bag (an absolute MUST for any travelers) acts as a carry-all, perfect for packing a pair of heels for after work fun. As always at JSJ, we try not to break the bank - every piece included is under $50! Shop the look above.

Hope you're enjoying the lasting glimmers of summer, friends!


P.s. A special thank you to the beautiful Grace Flynn for working with me on this shoot.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Measure Me Beautiful - Things to Do This Weekend in NYC

Calling all ladies!

I recently collaborated with the fabulous SmartGlamour, a clothing line completely dedicated to women feeling good in their bodies. As if these awesome gals aren't doing enough great stuff to change the way women view themselves, SG is onto their newest venture. They launched an educational campaign called #MeasureMeBeautiful (www.measuremebeautiful.com) which is aimed at increasing awareness about the benefits and importance of knowing one's measurements, accepting them, and eventually - loving them.

This weekend, SmartGlamour will be hosting pop up events (August 16th and 17th) in NYC parks where they'll give out free tanks with the MMB logo on the front and slots on the back where women fill in their measurements. They'll also be showing women how to properly measure themselves.

If you haven't caught on to the Instagram campaign, just take a peek at the below, and see how women are celebrating their measurements!

So, my friends, go and give your body some love - check out #MeasureMeBeautiful this weekend in NYC!


Monday, August 4, 2014

SmartGlamour: Changing the Fashion Game, One Body-Positive Piece at a Time

Shot in Puerto Rico, wearing the SmartGlamour Meredith Wrap Dress in Black, Ring: Lulu Frost // Shoes: BCBG Generation // Earrings: Bijuju // Sunnies: Urban Outfitters 

When you meet someone who is totally changing the game, you just know it.

I met Mallorie Carrington a few months ago, the old-fashioned way -- on ye olde Twitter. I noticed she was being featured in one of my favorite body-positive publications, GirlTalkHQ, for her "Clothing Line Dedicated To Being Woman Forward, Not Fashion Forward."I use models of all shapes, sizes, and ethnicity – and there is no retouching on any girl. We will never use airbrushing to edit our girls or our clothing," Mallorie told GirlTalkHQ.

A former model herself, Mallorie felt there was a need for clothing that wasn't defined by size. So she started SmartGlamour, a line of clothing completely dedicated to women feeling good in their bodies. Every piece of clothing is handmade in New York, and ranges from sizes XXS to 3X. SmartGlamour has three main very broad goals: to empower women through clothing and help them on a road to body acceptance, to make good quality clothing that is sold at affordable prices, and to cut away at women on women hate that stems from insecurity and the belief that beauty and brains can not go hand in hand. I've been fortunate to work as a supporter of the body-positive/no-Photoshop movement first-hand, most recently modeling for Verily Magazine. We here at JSJ are in full support of loving your body, and believe confidence shouldn't be defined by a size chart. Working with Mallorie and the SmartGlamour was a real collaboration dream come true!

SmartGlamour toasts a personalized shopping experience, enabling every fashionista to custom create their look. You can choose to add-on options such as: hem length, waistband height, and custom garment measurements tailored to the exact size and fit you want. The SG website shares words of encouragement for those who may be feeling the negative stigmas attached to fashion, style, and taking care of your appearance: "the next time you need a basic fashion staple, have a bad shopping experience because you feel defined by size, you feel shamed by other women or society, or you have a difficult time finding pieces that fit correctly without alterations – shop here instead." 

Mallorie was kind enough to offer to make a dress specifically for moi, The Meredith Wrap Dress. Of course, I chose black (could you have GUESSED?). So today, my lovely readers, I am sharing the gift made for JustSaraJane. And I'm not talking just about the dress. It's a gift that a brand is truly working to change public thinking on body positivity, and encourage women to use fashion as an empowerment and confidence tool.

I'll leave you today with this fantastic quote on the SG website. "We are all born different – embrace that. Own your body – and dress it accordingly."

I want to shout this from the rooftops. Who's with me?


Friday, August 1, 2014

4 Ways to Wear Your Whites

Top: Gap (similar) // Skirt: TJ Maxx // Shoes: Franco Sarto // Glasses: ASOS
As someone who loves wearing black as much as I do, rocking a total white look was a bit of a daunting thought. But I am LOVING an all-white look this summer! So today, in celebration of barbeques, beach days, and boatloads of sunshine, I'm sharing four ways to rock your summer whites! 

1) Go monochrome
Monochrome is having a moment this summer. So clean and sophisticated. Try matching a skirt and a top (see above), or opting for a white dress (go for a light fabric like linen or cotton). When accessorizing with monochrome, you can offset a colorful piece against the white background, or just continue the white trend throughout your accessories!

2) White pencil skirt
I really love a white pencil skirt with a statement tee (try a rocker tee, can give an edge to an otherwise dainty outfit), a boxy crop top, or a peplum blouse. When finding the right pencil skirt, look for one that cinches in at the knees. Some pencil skirts can often have a boxy effect, if not cinched in the right place. Embrace your curves and highlight your natural waist with a pencil skirt this summer!

3) A crisp white shirt
What’s the easiest way any woman can look incredible without really trying? Invest in a versatile white blouse. I love the effortless look of pairing a white shirt with jeans, or cut off shorts. Add mixed metallic jewelry for an overall vibe that is summery-chic and fun. Tie-up white shirt with an skirt to highlight the waist. The opportunities are endless with a white shirt! Fit is also critical. Be sure you find one that fits you properly; tailor if necessary, as this is a piece that will never go out of style.

4) Accessorize
White shoes are so fantastic, especially when paired with an outfit where another color is the primary. I also love big white glasses, or a white clutch to complete a look. Matching your white accessories isn’t an overwhelming as other colors can be. It gives an overall cleanliness to the look.

Be bright and celebrate whites this summer!