Thrifty Style- Floral Bomber

Spring_Style_Stripes_and_Floral
Very_Sarie_Style_Florals_Stripes
California_Casual_Style_Very_Sarie
Florals_and_Stripes_Casual_Style
Spring_Style_Stripes_Florals_Very_Sarie
Florals and Stipes Target Style
Casual Spring Style Florals and Stipes
Casual_Style_Floral_Bomber_With_Stripes

Today's thrifty style post is an example of how I love to mix slightly more expensive pieces with trendier pieces that I'll probably only wear for a season. 

I picked up these AG cigarette jeans over the holidays, and no, they weren't cheap, but they are so amazing: the perfect amount of stretch, and they feel like satin- so soft! I knew I would wear them a ton so the price was worth it. (And in just a couple of months, I've worn them countless times.)

Here, I'm mixing them with some pieces from Target- mainly this adorable floral bomber and a simple striped tee. I love the mix of the 2 patterns, and the bomber looks adorable dressed up with heels for a night on the town too. 

I picked up the leather slip-ons at the thrift store (Sorry, I can't figure out what the brand is!), and the Rebecca Minkoff crossbody purse my friend found at a discount store for $10. YES!!! $10! She's the best! (And not just because she let me have the purse!)

Photos Kate Richards

The Moon Juice cookbook

The Moon Juice Cookbook
Moon Juice cookbook
The Moon Juice Cookbook
The Moon Juice Cookbook

Hi, my name is Sarah and I have a cookbook addiction. 

It's true. A full cupboard in my kitchen is dedicated to them. For me, good cookbooks are the perfect marriage of food, photography, design and sometimes a sprinkle of education. When these elements come together in perfect harmony, it's almost impossible for me to resist.

The Moon Juice Cookbook is exactly all those things. In fact, this one hasn't even made it's way into the cupboard yet. It's been too preoccupied in my living room and on my bedside table as I hungrily devour all of the information and gorgeous photography.  I can't seem to get enough. It's a cookbook that's been elevated to coffee table book status- although it's still stuffed with plenty of elixrs, and concoctions I'm dying to try out. And that right there is what makes this book different: The focus on alchemy, elixrs, and superfoods. Flipping through the pages it's easy to see how Moon Juice creator Amanda Chantal Bacon (and yes, I do think it's hilarious that her last name is Bacon) has created such a captivating brand. The pages ooze with her light, infectious, healthy vibe. By the last page, you'll happily be declaring "I'll have what she's having!"

Go check it out and prepare to be delighted. 

Starting Our backyard container garden

Very Sarie Container Gardening
simple vegetable container gardening

I've experimented with backyard gardens in the past with varying results. (Mostly not great, if I'm being perfectly honest.) It's been a few years since we've grown any vegetables, but when Mr. Gooder announced he wanted to get a garden going again this year I was ready for the challenge. 

Our biggest issue is that while we have a decent sized yard, we also rent, so it limits us in where and how much we can plant. Basically, we're restrained to having a container garden. But... we already had one very clever container garden in the works:

Rain gutter self watering garden

Let me introduce you to the self-watering rain gutter container garden. Ours (Pictured above) looks a little scraggly because it's actually 2-3 years old. It was used the last time I tried to do a vegetable garden and failed pretty epically. I made 2 REALLY big (rookie) mistakes. 1) Too many plants in one pot, and 2) COMPLETELY wrong spot in the yard for sun exposure. My poor plants were getting blasted with the western setting SoCal sun every afternoon and there was no amount of water that was going to help them out. Poor babies. 

I'm not going to go into the logistics of the self-watering garden now- maybe another day in another post. This youtube channel will tell you everything you ever wanted to know thoug. Plus, if you are anything like me, you will fall in love with Larry from Brainard MN. (The super smart guy behind this, and several other DIY self-watering garden ideas.) We cleaned everything out, refilled the pots with fresh soil and were ready to go in no time.

starting a container vegetable garden
self watering vegetable container garden
growing vegetables in a container
planting a sweet potatoe

We had some already started plants that we grabbed from the garden center, but we also decided to try our hand at starting some things from scratch in seed pods. (I know- party animals!)

And I grabbed this sweet potato that started sprouting on our counter and plunked it in the ground as well. Even if we don't get potatoes, I love the look of sweet potato vines in the garden.

Starting seeds in jiffy pods
seed starts for vegetable garden
Grow Great Grub gardening book

Then I pulled out Grow Great Grub by Gayla Trail.  I picked it up a few years ago, and it's still one of my favorite gardening books. It explains things very nicely for beginners or someone like me (who knows enough about growing vegetables to be dangerous but could definitely know more.) The back section of the book has individual plants listed out with the best ways to grow them + solutions to problems you may encounter. A few recipes are scattered throughout as well for good measure!

I'm looking forward to giving little updates here and there about our little garden as it (fingers crossed) takes off! Wish us luck!

Thrifted style: Butterflies and Fringe

My_style_Very_Sarie_Butterfly_Top_Fringe_Heels
Very_Sarie_Second_Hand_Style_Dior_Glasses_Jcrew_Butterfly_top

I realized recently that about 75% of my closet (probably more) comes from thrift stores, consignment shops, and second hand online shops like Thred Up and Poshmark. I've written about my history with thrifted fashion before, but it got me thinking that it would be fun to do a series of thrifted/ thrifty fashion posts. 

I have so much second hand stuff in my closet, it's inevitable that something I'm wearing day to day will have come from one of these spots. And it's not that I can't afford to shop in "real" stores- because I can, and I do- but I am a big believer that anybody can be fashionable at any price point. And second hand fashion doesn't have to be the kooky vintage duds that college freshmen experiment with when they are trying to "find" their style. (Guilty!!)

My_style_Very_Sarie_Butterfly_Top_Fringe_Heels

I've also come to embrace that I like to swap things in and out of my closet on the regular, AND I don't mind having a lot of options. Trust me- I LOVE the idea of a capsule wardrobe. I've tried one out, and I actually employ a lot of the philosophies of a capsule collection when I travel so I can keep things light, but ultimately it's not for me day in and day out. 

Now, having said that, because I've experimented with capsule collections I've gotten REAL honest with myself about what works for my life and my body, and I've done several big ol' closet purges. I had to break up with A LOT of heels in the process (Insert super sad face) but seriously, how many pairs can I wear when I spend most days working from home?? After purging, I've built my closet back up, but now  I'm positively giddy when I look at all my garments hanging together. I honestly love it all, and when I don't, it goes. 

It's helped me remember that mixing and matching things in my closet and getting dressed every day is a creative joy! And this same joy is available to everyone- because we all get dressed every darn day! 

My_style_Very_Sarie_Butterfly_Top_JCrew

Since I've come to understand that I do like to create variety in my wardrobe + I enjoy designer stuff as much as the next gal, second hand clothing shopping gives me the freedom to do that guilt free. I still splurge on some pieces that I know will be staples in my wardrobe. But I also love that I can mix those pieces with my second hand treasures as well as those crazy cute finds at Target and H&M. (I LOVE hi/lo fashion and mixing a $20 dress with a pair of designer shoes or jeans.) And let's face it, I do love the thrill of the hunt. You have to in order to dive into thrift store or consignment racks.

I also think a lot about my environmental footprint and I try to be good were I can. Shopping second hand makes me feel better about my clothing purchases- especially when I read about the detrimental effects of fast fashion. I've actually thought about doing a whole year with only second hand fashion shopping, but I'm not quite there yet. Maybe someday... 

Very_Sarie_Thrifted_Style_Dior_Glasses_Vintage_Jewelry
My_style_Very_Sarie_Butterfly_Top_Fringe_Heels
Thrifted_style_Very_Sarie_Butterfly_Top_Fringe_Heels

So what's thrifty in this outfit? Glad you asked, cause most of it is:

Loft Jeans (Old-Purchased new. If you are vertically challenged like me, they have the best petites)
JCrew Top (Second Hand)
DV Fringe Boots from Target (Old-Purchased new)
Vintage Chain Necklace (Thrifted)
Vintage Christian Dior Glasses (Flea Market)
Vintage Rings (My Grandmother's and my Best Friend's Grandmother's)
Copper RIng (Old- Purchased MANY years ago, it might be Ralph Lauren?? Can't remember)
Brass & Stone Vintage Pocket Knife Necklace

Looking forward to more of these posts, and I'm curious to know if you do a lot of second hand clothes shopping yourself. Let me know in the comments!

Photos by Kate Richards: Drinking with Chickens

Simple Veggie "noodle" salad

vegetable noodle salad very sarie
spiralized vegetable salad very sarie

Wanna know my favorite way to use a spiralizer? Making a veggie "noodle" salad by using up ingredients that are about to go bad in the fridge. Almost any combo of veggies + dressing work. Just spiral them up, top with a dressing and wah-la! 

This one was carrots, peppers, and red cabbage. I mixed in some cilantro, stirred in a dressing made from lime, fish sauce and soy sauce, and topped with some sprouts. Couldn't be easier!

Foraging lessons

Ever since I was a little girl, the idea of finding things in the wild that you could live off of has fascinated me. We had quite a bit of undeveloped land around us back then so many days were spent marching through fields and creeks pretending we were explorers discovering new lands. We made mud pies and stirred mysterious spices into pretend cauldrons. 

Over the years I've reveled in doing anything that allowed me to snack food from the wilderness and bring it directly to my table. (Morel hunting in the midwest was always something to look forward to.)

Since moving to Los Angeles, I've joined a couple of different foraging classes, and it's fascinating to discover just how much stuff there is all around us that can be harvested. Once someone pointed out pink peppercorn trees to me, I realized they're on just about every block in LA.

Last fall, I joined Pascal Baudar on one of his many nature & foraging walks. Even though everything was dry and crispy at the time, there was still plenty to see and learn. (I'm dying to do another walk now that it has been raining cats and dogs in Los Angeles!) And the foraging isn't just confined to plants- we learned about a sugar deposit on tree leaves that's essentially bug excrement, and ate black ants that had a lemony aftertaste.

Once the hike is over, Pascal gathers everyone together to sample a variety of foods he makes from foraged ingredients: Pears cooked in forest floor, sprinkled with the bug sugar, pickled quail eggs, hot sauces, spice blends, mustards, the most flavorful herb infused water I've ever sipped, dried + marinated crickets, and a variety of fermented sodas and beers. (He also offers classes specifically dedicated to fermenting wild beers and sodas.)

The walk just so happened to be in the same spot as a petting zoo too, so you know... Cute animal alert!

Pascal also has a beautiful cookbook out called The New Wildcrafted Cuisine. Even if you're not going our foraging for ingredients, I highly recommend it- gorgeous photography + so much great information about plants popping up all around you throughout the seasons. 

Why women's marches across the globe have become a collective awakening

I knew the day was going to be much bigger than I had imagined as I was circling the car around the metro station looking for a parking spot. It was clear that there were no spots to be had. And upon venturing out into the side streets, it was clear there were no spots to be had there either. “What the heck!” I thought. The march wasn’t even scheduled to start for almost 2 more hours. I had already dropped Mr. Gooder off to go downstairs to grab tickets, and as I made my way further and further away from the station, I realized it would actually be faster to go home, call an uber and be dropped back at the station. Turns out I was right. I even made better time than our friends who were also circling for a spot at the same time as me.

Los Angeles Womens march
Los Angeles Womens march
los angeles womens march

So. Many. People. And this was just the metro station. It was exhilarating to see everyone. But my anxiety also started to kick in. The platform was uncomfortably (and dangerously) crowded. And in short time it was clear to us that we should actually jump on the train going the opposite direction, ride it to the next (and last) stop, so we could then just ride it back down in the opposite direction.

When the car showed up, we realized others at stops further down from ours had the same idea. It was packed with people from the Hollywood station. The four of us looked at each other and decided in a split second to take our chances squeezing in

Los Angeles Womens march
Los Angeles Womens march
Los Angeles Womens march
Los Angeles Womens march
Los Angeles Womens march
Los Angeles Womens march
Los Angeles Womens march

Ok- squeezing in was an understatement in this situation. We were packed so tightly, that when the train doors closed, serious claustrophobic panic set in (for me). I clung to Mr. Gooder, closed my eyes, and breathed deeply until I could feel my fluttering heart slow.

If this was a “normal” crowd, I never would have made it. I think very few of us would have. But this wasn’t a normal crowd. Because this overstuffed, uncomfortable train car was filled with smiles, and laughter, and kindness, and camaraderie. In a space where it was almost impossible to move an inch, I saw people moving their bodies in synch so the few poor souls who were actually trying to get off the train to get to work and their normal lives could. At each stop, the crowds of crestfallen people who had no hope of getting on the already tightly crammed cars clapped and cheered us on as we pulled out. And in this moment- before I saw any signs or heard any speeches in the sea of humanity that was downtown Los Angeles that day- I knew that we have the power to change the world

And that was just the beginning of the day. Just as these marches are just the beginning of this fight.

Los Angeles Womens march
Los Angeles Womens march
Los Angeles Womens march
Los Angeles Womens march
Los Angeles Womens march
Los Angeles Womens march
Los Angeles Womens march
Los Angeles Womens march
Los Angeles Womens march
Los Angeles Womens march
Los Angeles Womens march
Los Angeles Womens march

I was raised to believe that I could do anything my three brothers could. I’m sure many of the women I walked alongside on Saturday where too. It never occurred to me that my rights could be stripped from me. But here we sit, in 2017 and that is exactly what is happening. White, scared men with power are doing the unthinkable. They’re trying to turn back time. To go back to when the world was a “better” place. Change is difficult for all of us, so I can empathize with their fear. Except that, it wasn’t a better time. Not for women, or anyone of color or different faiths or sexual orientation. And really, there is no going back now. It’s impossible. The genie has been let out of the bottle. There is only going forward, and now- more than ever- it’s imperative that we raise our hands and work together as a collective to paint the picture of what forward looks like.

Los Angeles Womens march
Los Angeles Womens march
Los Angeles Womens march
Los Angeles Womens march
Los Angeles Womens march
Los Angeles Womens march
Los Angeles Womens march
Los Angeles Womens march
Los Angeles Womens march
Los Angeles Womens march
Los Angeles Womens march
Los Angeles Womens march
Los Angeles Womens march

I had zero interest in showing up on Saturday to spread hate and divisiveness by chanting “not my president!” Because the reality is, he is. And because he is the president to so many who didn’t vote for him and are so vehemently opposed to him, this march was a collective awakening. Women, all over the world, waking up and recognizing the power they have. The power that has always been our birthright. Just like in fairytales, sometimes the ogre has to show up before we realize we have it.

Women have the power to birth new life. And by showing up together, we are all birthing together- men included.

We are birthing beauty, birthing love, birthing unity. And it will not be an easy birth- or a short one. But we are here, and we are ready. And we are together. Energetically pressed body to body like in that train car. An impenetrable mass of determination and love.

DIY remineralizing "Earthpaste" toothpaste recipe

Earthpaste toothpaste recipe

I have something to confess: I make my own toothpaste. I guess this means I'm officially a "crunchy Betty." That's fine. I'll wear that badge. I've certainly been called worse things. 

Actually, this will hopefully be the first of many posts where I share with you the various ways I'm cleaning up my cosmetics and medicine cabinet. A long battle with severe adult cystic acne forced me to look at what I was putting on my body and into my body and years of clear skin later, and I'm still tinkering with recipes for health & wellness products. 

homemade clean toothpaste

One of the biggest offenders in conventional toothpaste (and some "natural" brands too) is Sodium Laural Sulfate. Dudes... This is what makes shampoo, dish soap, and laundry detergent foam. Yuk. I so don't want that in my mouth. Not to mention it's a known skin irritant for most people and it can cause canker sores in people prone to them. No thanks.

I've tried many natural brands, and I really love Earthpaste, so I thought I'd try my hand at making a DIY version. I've been using it for months now and can't see myself going back. Plus, this version is whitening and remineralizing to boot!

A word of caution- if you're not familiar with clay-based, mineralizing toothpaste, it does take some getting used to. First off, it doesn't foam, and it does feel a bit like brushing with dirt the first few times you use it. I assure you though, your mouth is getting nice and clean! And speaking of clean, I now have a true clean feeling after brushing, not that artificial, I just chewed 10 sticks of peppermint gum kind of clean. 

DIY earthpaste toothpaste recipe

Making a batch of your own paste couldn't be easier. Simply combine the dry ingredients with water until it's the consistency you like and then add 10-15 drops of essential oil to taste. I like using peppermint, lemongrass and sweet orange in mine. Cinnamon and clove oils would also make great flavors. 

The "parts" in the recipe can be anything you chose depending on how much you want to make. I usually use 1 tablespoon. So 1 TBS = 1 Part

2 Parts Baking Soda (Whitens teeth)
3 Parts Bentonite Clay (Binds & draws out heavy metals and toxins. Plus, it's alkaline and full of minerals.)
 3 Parts Calcium Powder (Provides extra calcium to mineralize and whiten enamel)
2 Parts Xylitol* (Inhibits the growth of bacteria and sweetens the paste)
3-4 Parts water (Binder)
10-15 Drops Essential Oil (Flavoring + anti-bacterial agent- depending on the "flavor")

* A note about the xylitol: It's best to use a powdered vs crystallized version. Otherwise, your paste will have a gritty or granular feel to it. This doesn't hurt anything, but most people would find it unpleasant. 

Let me know if you try it out- I'd love to hear what you think! (Even if you decide it's not for you!)