Monday, November 12, 2012

{Weekend Update}...An Update!

Happy Monday, all! You may have noticed a few changes. Some big ones, actually! After a lot of consideration, I changed the blog. My life has been changing like crazy over the past few months, and it was about time my blog reflected those changes. At a point, I had to pick up and move on. In a large part, that meant making the blog something new.

Today we're starting a fresh. You can find me at Sarah Carlson Etc. And let me tell ya, it feels good. The content will be pretty much the same. You may have noticed posts being few and far between, which was a result of much contemplating over what to do with the blog. Now that everything is settled, posts should be pretty frequent again.

Thanks for your support and readership through all the changes!

Remember! You can still find me on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Instagram! And go to the new blog! xoxo

Friday, November 9, 2012

{Friday Challenge}...Cooking Without Mom

So last week, I challenged myself (and you!) to try a new movie. I ended up seeing Apollo 13 for the first time! So this challenge is completely different. With deep fall weather sinking in, it's time to start cooking those hearty meals. My mom makes a mean beef pasty. They're like little meat, potato, carrot, rutabaga hand pie. Yum! When mom makes them, I help out, but I've never done it on my own. Surprise! That's my challenge this week. Cook mom's meal without mom. Are you up for it? What will you make?

Photo via

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Democracy Rocks!

Good morning, everyone! I'm sending out a friendly reminder that today is Election Day! Are you excited? I am! This is my first presidential election, so my roommates and I have a big evening planned for a results viewing party. (One of my roommates made Obama cupcakes - yum!) Whatever your political views, I urge you to vote. We are so incredibly blessed to live in a country that not only allows, but encourages us to have a voice. Our participation in this election is vital, so get out there and be heard!

Photo 1 via NY Books; 2 via NY Mag

Monday, November 5, 2012

{Weekend Update}...Fall Back

The moon + Jupiter

I had the great pleasure of participating in the Global Voices Concert at the university yesterday with some wonderful singers! There was a great mixture of songs, this being my favorite. My family came to the cities to see me (how sweet!) and we enjoyed a great brunch at Cupcake with an a-mazing dinner at The Old Spaghetti Factory. If you're ever in Minneapolis, I highly recommend both. Saturday was lazy with the roommates as we fulfilled my new challenge and watched Apollo 13 (I'd never seen it...) and baked late night cookies. 
Family pit stop at Art and Architecture

I hope your weekend was just as delightful. It looks like a gorgeous fall week ahead! And hooray for an extra hour of sleep! 
Nice surprise! Ice cream is included with your meal at OSF!

Friday, November 2, 2012


It's November! The month of Thanksgiving. One of my friends wasn't born in America (but she recently got her U.S. citizenship, yay!) so this year we're showing her how Thanksgiving works around here. :) Every Thursday I'll be talking about something for which I'm thankful; and I'll be asking the same of you. I want to know what makes you feel grateful. It doesn't have to be big; we're just showing some gratitude.

Since I missed the first Thursday . . .

I'm thankful for my apartment and my life in the Midwest. After seeing the devastation out East, I'm every bit more blessed to live in such a quiet part of the country. I am fortunate to live too far north to be in Tornado Valley, too inland to experience earthquakes or hurricanes, and too cold to experience deadly heat. Bonus, The Great Lakes! We've got wonderful water so incredibly close. Although it may seem pretty boring here sometimes, I'm very thankful for it right now. Let's keep praying for and helping those who need it most right now. Stay strong, East Coast!

Film Fridays

Last year my sister and I made sure that every weekend we had a movie night. This usually meant we watched a tried and true favorite, so by the end of the year we had seen one film about 28 times. 

Now that the weather is officially cold (Yikes, it's already November!), my goal is to see at least one new (new to me) movie a week. This is a lofty goal, because I'm not great at sitting through movies. So I'm in need of suggestions! Here are some films I've seen and love. 

My English class recently watched Double Indemnity, so perhaps I'll have a Film Noir phase. 

P.S . . . Would you go to the movies by yourself?  Have a great weekend!

Photo via 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Rise and Shine

Considering we talk about life a lot, I thought today we'd look at mornings. It seems silly, but I'd argue that morning is the most important part of my day. Let's have a look why . . .

I get up at 6:00 am every single day of the school week. Now, my schedule varies slightly so that some days I could afford to get up 45 minutes later, but I still always roll out of bed at 6:00 am precisely. Why? I believe it's extremely important to have consistency in your life, where ever you can find it. By getting up at six, I establish a reliable (and predictable) morning, which keeps me calm and balanced. 
I keep my alarm clock far enough away from my bed so that I must physically rise, walk a few steps and turn it off. This prevents me from checking my clock in the middle of the night (I never slept straight through the night until I did this.) and keeps me from simply tapping the snooze button. 
Speaking of alarms . . . I never awake to a harsh alarm. It's jarring and frightening! Instead, I prefer something melodic, quiet, and generally happy. This is a really nice one. 

Once I'm out of bed, I do the yawn stretch (you know the one I'm talking about) and hop in the shower, get dressed, etc. Being put together helps me feel awake and ready to go. I grab some coffee and breakfast and then check my email.
I wait to check my email until now (about 6:30) because it's important to wake and have personal you time. Our lives are filled with other people, so why not start your day peacefully with just yourself?

My favorite part? I sit on my bed or in a comfy chair and read for fun as the sun rises. That's right. I read for school all the time, but every morning I read something that's fun for me. It keeps me sharp, engaged, and excited. 

What's your morning routine? Do you think it's important to have a schedule / consistency? Are you prone to check email, phone, etc. immediately? I'd love your thoughts on the importance of peaceful mornings as a way to establish balance and happiness. What's your trick?

Photos via Instagram

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

{Fall Threads}...Auntie's Parlor

This fall we've seen so many fun and applicable trends like all black, oxblood, and classic American Sportswear. One of the most spectacular looks was beautiful brocades. Although I've never really been a granny chic enthusiast, these elaborate textiles reminded me of the sofas that populate your tea drinking, crumpet nibbling auntie. They're prim, proper, and luxurious. 

Friday, October 26, 2012

{Curious}...Food for Thought

Question: Would you go to dinner with a professor? If it was paid for by an outside third party? 

My college sponsors an event every semester called Food for Thought which invites students to take a professor to dinner. It allows the faculty and students to get to know each other outside the classroom, or just as an individual, which can be tricky at a Big Ten University sometimes. Last year I went and it was awkward, so this year I was super hesitant . . . after all, you know how office hours can go. 

But it was great! I went with my English professor, and although I had tons of back up questions to ask in case dinner did get weird, I never used them! We chatted about books, movies, films, different cities around the states. Initially I thought that taking my professor would make class with him perpetually strange and tense, but I think not now. 

So, would you do it? 

Photo via old Instagram

Thursday, October 25, 2012

{Fall Threads}...Overcast Pumpkin Patch

The gloomy skies and vibrant fall hues have been fleeting this year, thanks to a drought. In an attempt to maintain this brilliant, but subtle salut to fall, I've been wearing lots of grey with tangerines, pumpkins, and peaches thrown in the mix. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Love Beyond Words

I recently came across a thought provoking composition exploring words from different languages that simply could not be translated into English. It was a list compiled of words that describe relationships. Although most of the words I couldn't even pronounce, I instantly knew the feeling. These words from different parts of the world, different peoples attempt to describe the inexplicable emotions of relationships.

It's beautiful that we try to verbalize what we emote. But isn't there an element melancholy to this linguistic endeavor? 

The barrier of different languages prevents us from sharing the most uniquely human experiences. Although we may try to find equivalents in our languages, there will never be words the are synonymous across languages. Cultures construct the definitions, so to say that love in English implies the same definition as love in Mandarin is impossible.

But language is all about sharing.

And the honest truth is that no language, no matter how romantic, how eloquent or expansive, spoken word can't truly represent an emotion. Although this sounds depressive, it's really not.

Just because we can't verbalize it, doesn't negate it's power. In fact, I argue that since we can't perfectly evoke an emotion in words, that experience is significantly more intense and rare. We're mystified by the inexplicable. Isn't that the reason we seek these feelings; why we pursue relationships? There isn't a language, a vocabulary to express relationships, so we are actually forced by this linguistic barrier to act upon emotions, follow experiences to truly know and share.

 It's beautiful, don't you think?

P.S...See the top ten list here!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Zipper Bracelets

 These bracelets made from zippers are the easiest DIY I've seen in a while! I love the idea of the simple one strand ones below as friendship bracelets for you and your best girlfriends. Wouldn't they be cute stocking stuffers for your roommates? Finally I have a way to use my beloved, old, worn out jeans!

(via Brit + Co)

Brandy Melville

How beautiful are these accessories? I'll admit that I'm not the best when it comes to perfect accessorizing. I have a difficult time spending money on, and committing to, a bunch of jewelry that I don't wear all the time. But different rings each day, little bracelets add so much more to a look. Have you heard of Brandy Melville? They have oodles of lovely jewelry for unbelievably affordable prices! 

My Favorites: 

{Weekend Update}...A Day Late!

The Bag Girls...
Hello, all! So sorry about the post few and far between. Seeing as it is in the middle of midterm season, life is getting busy! But, amidst all the studying and copious notes, I was able to have a fantastic girls' weekend! Two of my best friends came to the cities, and did we have a blast. When you're feeling stressed, spending time with the girls is so therapeutic. Even if you're busy with mountains of to do lists, it's actually productive to be unproductive and silly for a bit. So we pampered ourselves with delicious food, shopping, and outdoor walks! 

I hope your weekend gave you ample time to unwind, be worry free, and girly!
Abby + Katie at Broder's 

Red Velvet Cupcakes...yum!
Photos via Instagram and by me. 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Going Mental

I've been flipping through the cable channels, and TNT is one of my new faves. Roomie one watches Bones on TNT, so naturally Abby and I had to see the episode after it...The Mentalist.

I'm surprised; I don't normally like police shows. But, I'm not only fascinated by the character, I love his hair. Win, win situation. I know, late to the always happens! I fell for The OC (guilty pleasure) years after it first aired; my beloved Gilmore Girls came to me through after school syndication. At least I'm consistent, though!

What have you recently discovered?
Image via

Friday, October 19, 2012

Love These...

My fall favorites have come back! Remember when I featured them last year? Especially with American Sportswear every wear, these knee pad tights add the perfect touch. Not too girly, with the right amount of quirky. These are adorable, too!

{Curious}...Roommate Duties

One of my roommates had a concert last night. Her parents even drove here to see her! How sweet? I didn't have a lot of work to do and I had been looking forward to a relaxing evening with no pressing chores all day. As McKenna was leaving, bassoon strapped to her back, Abby and I cheerfully waved her off, telling her how gorgeous she looked in her band dress and wool coat.

But once the door closed and the lock was turned, Abby and I glanced at each other asking, "Are we supposed to go to her concert?". Were we expected as roommates, as friends, to attend her concert?

When your roommate has a big test, do you act as their study moderator quizzing them?
If she has a game, do you go to cheer her on?
You're doing laundry while on a cleaning frenzy, do you throw in some of her things as well?

What do you think? What are some of your basic roomie guidelines? Do you have any suggestions for me? I'd love your feedback and thoughts on roommate duties! 

Photograph by Joe Scherschel via

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Garden Girl

As you probably know by now, I'm infatuated with blissful blooms and pastels. I've got an entire pin board devoted to florals and other botanical delights! Even though this fall is dominated by crimson, navy, and the classic black, I always love an ethereal element. The sunrise yesterday with these colors was pure beauty. These floaty pinks, sky blues, and peaches are drawing me in. I love adding an earthy taupe to keep it grounded!

What colors have you been inspired by lately?

Images via 1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

That Was Fast!

After the debate last night, social media exploded with the "binders full of women" comment made by Gov. Mitt Romney. It obviously struck a nerve, or a funny bone. This hours old tumblr made me laugh.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

{Fall Threads}...Pretty Like a Poppy

I saw this beautiful photo of a poppy field on Pinterest the other day and felt so inspired. This image is fall when I see it. It's so hazy and dreamy. The sky looks warm and the field looks crisp. And, oh yeah, the colors! So gorgeous! Be pretty as a Poppy for day and night.

P.S... Have you tried the Marc Jacobs perfume Poppy? It's delicious, and Abby highly recommends it. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

{Weekend Update}...Homecoming

I'll admit it...the only real Homecoming things I did this weekend was go to the parade. And can you blame me? The weather was so unbelievable perfect for movie days and baking. I mean, seriously. I was in heaven. I tried out a new cookie recipe and tweaked it a little and got an end result of the best oatmeal chocolate chip craisin cookies I've ever had. I'm surprised there are still some left. My room mates and I decided drizzly weather called for a movie night, so we hunkered down with delivery pizza (a luxury as a college student) and proceeded to watch the Bond movies. Who's excited for Skyfall?

I hope your weekend was great, with cozy fall weather and lazy weekend plans. On a gray autumn weekend, do you prefer TV or reading?

Photos via Instagram

Friday, October 12, 2012

Happy, Inside & Out

 This brightly colored string art is a fantastic representation of those days that are just good. Do you ever have days, even weeks, where life seems murky? When nothing is really adding up no matter how much you try to have things work out? And then, suddenly, something really great happens! And you feel like a burst of colorful "oh yeah!" and "woo hoo!" inside. This pretty much sums that up. How cool?

Images via 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Collar Files

Collared shirts are my every day staple. They add a tone of sophistication, while maintaing plenty of spunk and casualness. That's why I love getting collared shirts with pattern, print, or appliqu├ęs. What are your everyday staples?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

{Eat It}...Morning Treat

My favorite morning delight is a coconut cherry parfait. I like to use a basic vanilla yogurt with fresh cherries. I pit and quarter them. For every 3/4 cup yogurt, I find 6 or 7 cherries are a nice ratio. Although you don't have to, I like to layer my fruit and yogurt in a pretty stem glass. I feel so fancy! Top it off with whole granola, coconut; drizzle with honey, and drop on a cherry to finish it off! Yum! This is so fresh and sweet. The cherries and coconut are seriously amazing. 
What's your favorite breakfast treat? Parfaits can be great for those days you're feeling healthy. They're also fun if you have some friends over for brunch. Build your own parfait bar? Delicious!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

{Weekend Update}...Greetings, October!

 I definitely took advantage of the "holiday" yesterday and focused on some much needed schoolwork! I've had piles of readings, papers, and exams that continue to grow exponentially! But over the weekend I welcomed the truly fall weather with my family. I broke in my new oxblood penny loafers (or rather, the broke me in..ouch!) and painted my nails the most gorgeous navy purple. Enjoyed with sips of coffee and family talk, we taste tested brilliant cupcake flavors, made kabobs for dinner, and enjoyed the crisp fall air. Needless to say, I've already embraced the wonderful things fall has to offer!

What did you do this weekend? Meet up with friends? Put on flannel sheets? 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Let's Discuss...

As we all know, the first Presidential Debate aired last night. And there was lots of talking, lots of interrupting, lots of grimaces. But as we near the election, let's take a moment to think about something. 

Most ideas thrive in environments of discussion. It's really easy to shout your beliefs. In our age of social media, it's ridiculously easy! Through Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, you can create the perfect echo chamber. The more you shout, the louder, more frequent it comes back to you. The development of different, politically influenced new channels allows us to tune in on one opinion. Although it can be comforting to surround yourself with like ideas, it's not reality. 

These social media platforms boast conversation, sharing, and interpersonal communication as their foundation. However, these mediums are instead promoting virtual shouting matches. It's unfortunate, and inescapable.

Have you ever complete a group project successfully when everyone was shouting at each other? Or even worse, not communicating at all? It simply doesn't work. And although we keep talking about it, we don't follow through.

It's mighty hard to listen to people who don't agree with you. I'll admit it. No matter who painful it may be, it's important to listen to everyone. Discussion is the heart and soul of progress. You want to be at the intersection of left and right, the overlap of opposites. Remember: contrasting colors can be complementary colors.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


The other day I witnessed something a little weird...

In a women's restroom on campus, a woman had brought her young child in with her. I assumed her little one was perhaps two or three. But then they came out of the tiny stall. A rambunctious boy about five or six years old burst out. The two of them had both fit into a single stall! 

So excited was he to get out, the boy ran around the entire restroom, meeting all sorts of women. From every angle. He was so liberated & curious, that at one point he crawled into another stall, which was occupied by a poor (and  embarrassed) college girl! Needless to say, most everyone was horrified. 

I'm not opposed to bringing young kids into the restroom with you. If your boy is two or three, I don't expect you to leave him wandering in a mass of unknown people. But where do we draw the line? I can honestly say I've never seen a dad bring his little daughter into the men's room. No matter how old. So how is it okay that women bring their more the toddler sons into our place of privacy?

At some point, your little guy needs to be able to go to the bathroom on his own. 

Sometimes the women's room isn't even that. 

Monday, October 1, 2012

{Weekend Update}...Ye Olde Faire

 The Renaissance Fair reopened for this last weekend of September, before the cold autumn weather really sets in. Some friends and I drove to Shakopee for the day to enjoy the sights and sounds (and flavors) of the Renaissance and enjoyed the gorgeous weather! The Ren Fair is a unique place. As always, the dress code was varied, with amazing period appropriate pieces, modern interpretation; corsets, bralets. And then there were people like us, in everyday street clothes. The hot sun and dirt fairgrounds made for a tiring, dirty, but fun day! As the sun set, the sky turned pale and fuzzy, with a blurry full moon whispering through the dusty air. It was thick and warm as the kicked up dirt in the atmosphere started to settle while people left for the evening.

 The Puke and Snot show was fantastic. The longest running Ren Fair show, it's still hilarious, relevant, and a tad bit naught. While I didn't go for a turkey leg this year, the cream puffs were simply heaven.

 All in all, it was such a successfully fun weekend! I think most people would be hard pressed to find an experience like the Renaissance Fair. You arrive feeling skeptical, tour around feeling both out of place and included in something uniquely special, and leave feeling tired, sated, and childlike.

How was your weekend? I hope you enjoyed the gorgeous weather and did something out of the ordinary! That's what makes life interesting. xoxo

Top photos via Instagram

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