Leopard coat two ways!

Hello Winter!!  What’s better than a leopard coat?  A reversible leopard coat.  You decide what mood you’re in.  All out leopard or just a hint of leopard.  I know having options makes tolerating this cold weather so much more bearable for me.  🙂

Leopard reversible coat with denim

 

 

 

 

Some of my other winter favs are from ABLE denim! Beautiful leather bags, jewelry, denim, apparel, and shoes… all made by women locally & globally who have overcome extraordinary circumstances… from addiction to homelessness to prostitution. Check it out using my link: http://able.refr.cc/sarahschumacher & sign up for their emails to get $10 off your first purchase!

All amazing jewelry from Collections by Joya

Leopard coat and denim

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

Easy appetizers and drinks I served at my holiday swag bag party.  

Cheers Sarah, Christine, Rachel and Ann Santa define nice

 

 

 

 

 

I was in search of some easy appetizers and drinks to make for my holiday swag bag party.  I called my go-to foodie friend Christine to discuss options.  I knew she’d be a big help, because she knows I don’t have time to spend hours in the kitchen cooking, but still want to wow my guests with a fun snacks and drinks.  

The primary goal for my menu was to serve appetizers I could assemble quickly, that would require three or fewer ingredients. I decided to showcase a mix of sweet and savory apps that were served cold and hot.

Here’s what I chose:

filo cups

Spinach Filo Cups.  

  • Filo cups
  • Your favorite dip (spinach artichoke works great!)

This is my “go-to” appetizer for all my parties, and are a huge hit.  They look really fancy, but they’re the easiest tasty bites to assemble.  Dierbergs carries already-baked filo cups.  While you’re there grab some of their fresh spinach artichoke dip.  All you do is spoon the dip into the filo cups, and bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees.  You can also order them at pre-assembled, and take them home to bake.  

Anne and Sarah Jessica

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crockpot Meatballs

  • 1 package of meatballs
  • 1 bottle of BBQ sauce (Sweet Baby Rays’ Honey Chipotle is really good).
  • 1 jar of apricot jelly

The crockpot can be your best friend when hosting a party.  Just throw the ingredients into the crock, and it takes care of the rest.  The apricot jelly adds a different twist to this classic appetizer.  My guests raved about this one, and requested the recipe.

cream cheese stars

Red Pepper Stars

  • 1 brick of cream cheese
  • 1 bottle of red pepper jelly

Divide and cut the cream cheese into a creative shape using a cookie cutter.  To prevent the cream cheese from sticking, spray the cookie cutter with Pam.  Then just top your shapes with the red pepper jelly, and enjoy with toast bites or crackers.  These are a simple way to make the holidays special.  For Valentine’s Day do hearts, shamrocks for St Patrick’s Day, and pumpkins for Halloween or Thanksgiving.

Baked goat cheese and marinara

  • 1 jar of your favorite marinara
  • 1 log of goat cheese
  • Fresh basil for garnish

This appetizer was inspired by my favorite tapas restaurant in St. Louis: Barcelona.  It’s so simple and looks so festive.  All you have to do is pour the marinara sauce into small baking dish.  Next slice the goat cheese and bake at 375 for 15 minutes, or until toasted and sauce is bubbling.  Serve with toast bites.

Cinnamon Chip Breadbowl

Cinnamon chip bread bowl

  • Cinnamon Chip bread bowl  from @Great Harvest Bread Co
  • Cheesecake fruit dip
  • Apple slices

I love making this Cinnamon Chip bread bowl into an amazing party treat.  This bread tastes like heaven!  Just core out the top and put in the smooth and tasty cheesecake fruit dip from Dierbergs’ deli department.  I also like to serve it with fresh apple slices.  If you’re looking for a show-stopper; this is it!

 

chocolate dipped clementines

Chocolate covered clementines

  • Clementines
  • Dark chocolate or chocolate chips
  • Sea Salt

First, peel and divide the clementines.  Next, melt the chocolate chips in the microwave, and dip half of the clementine into the chocolate.  Sprinkle with sea salt before the chocolate hardens.  Finally, place them on parchment paper and let cool in the refrigerator.  

Veggie Platter

Veggies and Dip from Dierbergs

I like having veggies as a healthy option for my guests.  I ordered a veggie platter from Dierberg’s because they’re always fresh and beautiful.  Just throw them onto your own platter and it looks like you did all the preparation.  

Buntini's

Bundtinis from “Nothing Bundt Cakes”

These delicious miniature bundt cakes, may be small, but pack a punch for any sweet tooth. Nothing Bundt Cakes has two   locations in Chesterfield and Brentwood.  They have a compact variety of flavors in six types of products (i.e. bundt cakes and bundt towers).  I went with chocolate chocolate chip (yep, that’s twice the chocolate) and red velvet for this party, and they all disappeared quick.

What we drank:

Very peary cocktail

Very Peary Breeze

  • 1 part pear vodka
  • 1 part cranberry juice
  • 1 part apple juice
  • Frozen cranberries
  • Rosemary

Just like the name indicates, this drink is like a fresh breeze.  Once mixing the three drink ingredients, throw in some frozen cranberries.  These make for festive ice cubes, a nice pop of color, and keeps your drink cold without watering it down.  Finally, garnish with rosemary.   

Wine decisions red or white? Heather C

I also had a variety of red and white wines and water on hand.  You can jazz it up the water by putting a large ice cube with frozen oranges and cranberries inside the container.  

SaveSave

So that covers what we ate and drank at the Swag Bag Party.  If you missed all the fun swag items you will want to check that out here.  The recipe for the Peary Beary Cocktail here and other party ideas here.
Next I’ll be showing you how I turned my office wall  into a photo back drop.  Here’s a sneek peek.
Photo wall
XOXO  Sarah
Party Pic photos by the talented @verajeanaephotography

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

I was tagged by @Kaitlinclaywell to share my answers to 15 winter related questions.  I absolutely loved reading Kaitlin’s questions and answers.  She is so happy and fun and lives life to the fullest.  I love following Kaitlin’s blog because you never know where she’ll pop up that week  major benefits of being able to work anywhere on the planet.  So I thought this would be fun.  

I absolutely love the holidays but I don’t like winter.  While holidays can be stressful, I thrive during this time.  I enjoy fun activities with my boys, parties, food and drinks, shopping, checking out Christmas lights, and much more.  Because I get so much enjoyment from the holidays, it’s no surprise I go into an activity slump in January.  

  1. What’s your favorite holiday tradition?  

Our favorite tradition, which has been around since my oldest son was little, is our “Elf on the Shelf” who’s name is Chip.  I sometimes wish he would be around the house all year, because the boys behave knowing Chip is watching and reporting to Santa.  The only downside to Chip, is remembering to move him to a different location around the house each night after the boys go to bed.     

Elf on the shelf trouble

  1. What is your favorite go-to lippies?

A makeup artist at Nordstrom told me red lips were big this winter, so I wear a subtle Bobbi Brown shade called Cranberry.  Besides lip stick,  Burt’s Bees’ lip balm is amazing.  Several of my friends gave it out at my swag bag party in November, and it was very popular, so I’ve started using it.  

  1. What is your favorite winter scent? (perfume, candles, etc.)

My favorite winter smell is pine greenery and Christmas trees.  

To wear I prefer sweet perfumes like Viva la Juicy and Daisy by Marc Jacobs.  

  1. What’s your go-to winter fashion trend?

My style is classic, but I try to incorporate leopard, sequins, fur, leather and lace when possible.

Leopard coat and denim

  1. What is your favorite holiday movie?

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.  We watched it recently for our family movie night, and my boys are now obsessed with it.

  1. What’s your favorite holiday tune?

All I want for Christmas is You by Mariah Carey.

  1. Do you prefer to travel or stay home?

I enjoy both, but if I had to choose, being home Christmas morning is so fun.  Some of my family live out of town, in Cape Girardeau but not too far away, so it’s easy to travel and join in on all the festivities.

  1. What’s your winter skincare must have?

Without a doubt, moisturizer.  My dermatologist says the best thing for your skin is moisturizer, sunscreen and retinol, so I never forgot to stay moisturized during the cold months.  I use Aveeno

  1. What is your favorite winter haircare product?

I really don’t have a favorite haircare product, but I love wearing stylish hats.  I’m in and out of buildings all day for work, so it’s easier for me to throw on a hat and still look put together.  (@NeverEnough)

Never Enough

  1. What is your favorite winter activity?

Looking at Christmas lights, especially ones that have pulled out all of the stops.  Two winter activities I’m hoping to do this year is tubing at Hidden Valley and sledding at Art Hill.  

  1. What is your favorite winter beauty product?  

I always feel better when I have a tan but I don’t want to damage my skin so, I use L’oreal’s Sublime Bronze towelettes  during the winter to get a little glow.  

  1. Love or hate the snow?

I love snow once a year.  I prefer just a dusting, because I don’t like driving in a lot of it; especially when I’m  “white-knuckling” and I hate being cold.  

  1. What is one item on your wishlist?

Having two busy-body boys, a full-night’s sleep would be tremendous.

  1. Favorite holiday treat?

I can’t pass up an Oreo cookie truffle ball.  The problem for me, is limiting myself to just one.  So, when I do eat one of these tasty treats, I savor it.

  1. Do you finish your holiday shopping before December or are you a last minute shopper?

I start early, but I always have some last minute things to grab too.  

It has been fun reflecting on why I love the holidays so much. I love reading these kinds of posts because I feel like I get to know my favorite bloggers better. If you do this tag, be sure to let me know! I want to learn more about you all. I’m tagging some amazing St. Louis mom bloggers below that I’m obsessed with. Be sure to check out their answers.  

Katelyn @thebejuledlife

Emily @emmyloustyles

Jen @andhattiemakesthree

Meghan @meghan.lane

Happy Holidays and thanks to @@Kaitlinclaywell

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSave

How to throw a swag bag party and all my tips.

This is the hottest girls night out idea and perfect for the holidays.  You don’t need to be a celebrity or a blogger to get a great swag bag.  You just need to host a FUN filled holiday swag bag party and I’ll tell you how.  Swag bag party | Sarah Out and About

  1.  Invite your friends.  The swag bag party is a modern twist on the favorite things party.  The same premise applies.  Set a budget,  mine was $5.  I let my friends decide how much they wanted to spend but if you bring 4 items (spend $20) you take home 4 new items in your swag bag.  If you bring 6 items (spend $30) you take home six new swag bag items.

Swag Bag Party | Sarah Out and About

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.  When the girls arrived I had them put the swag on my dining room table and asked each of them to write their name on a piece of paper for each item they brought.  So if they brought 4 items they wrote their name down 4 times.  Swag Bag Party | Sarah Out and About

3.  After eating, drinking and taking lots of FUN photos (blog posts on all those details to come) we started the swag bag game.  Here’s how it works:  Each person talks about their swag, why they love it, where they use it, etc.  Then they tell everyone where they can get it and depending on how many items they brought they draw names and those people get to take home the swag.

I also handed out a swag bag to each guest to put all of their goodies in.

Holiday wrapping tip:  My friend Jessica gave me this idea.  She gets the Erin Condren labels personalized and buys the brown or white paper bags then coordinates the label with the tissue.  This makes a custom and super affordable gift bag for the holidays.

 

Swag Bag Party | Sarah Out and AboutIt is such a fun party and getting to hear what your friends are loving and hearing about new items you may not know about.  I had a friend write down each item so that if you didn’t get swag you were interested in you can check it out later.

 

These items are all great stocking stuffers, teacher gifts, gifts for your BFF, sister, mom, friends, etc. Who doesn’t want a swag bag?

Swag Bag Party | Sarah Out and About

Swag Bag Party | Sarah Out and AboutSwag Bag Party | Sarah Out and About

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is a list of all of the swag bag items brought to the party

Gold Bond Hand Lotion Target

Silicone wine glasses Amazon

Mini gold wallet Old Navy

Bissinger’s gummy pandas Bissinger’s

Woodsy Owl Ornament Cracker Barrel

Hand Made Holiday Soaps Christopher’s boutique

Aveda Foot Lotion Ginger Bay Salon

Burt’s Bees Lip Balm Target

NYX Lip Moisturizer Target

Plaid Blanket Scarves Online

Silver Arrow Earrings Zulilly

Buntlett Cakes Nothing Bundt Cakes

JR Watkins Hand Soap and Yogi Chai tea Target

Fingerless gloves Old Navy

Wet Brush Target

Burt’s Bees Lip Balm Target

Chapstick Total Hydration Target

Johnson & Johnson Travel items Target Aveno Lotion, Neutrogena make up remover, Listerine, Lavender Bath, Neutrogena hand cream

Ok so tell me what you would bring if you went to a swag bag party.  I want to know all the fun things you love!

XOXO  Sarah

Photography by:  @verajeanaephotography

 

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

Are you ready for a very peary holiday cocktail?  This drink is so simple and festive for the holidays.  It looks like your drinking Christmas.  Yes!!

You’ll need:

Pear vodka
Apple juice
Cranberry juice
Cranberries and lime for garnish

Mix equal part of the pear vodka, cranberry juice, and apple juice.  Stir, garnish, and enjoy!!

Party Tip:  I like to freeze cranberries and the juice to add to the cocktail.  This prevents it from getting watered down.

very peary holiday cocktail cranberry ice cubes very peary holiday cocktail

SaveSave

Here is a step by step guide on how to use Trunk Club Women and what I got for a holiday party.  

Trunk Club Women is a great service:  

  • If you need a cute outfit for an event and don’t have time to shop
  • You don’t enjoy shopping but you do like looking good
  • You want someone to help you style outfits and put a complete look together
  • You want to add a few current pieces to your Winter wardrobe

Step 1:  Go to the site:  http://www.trunkclub.com/invite/APLJPZ

You’ll be prompted to answer a series of brief questions.  First, you specify your preferred style, what you’re shopping for, clothing colors, patterns, etc.  Then you’ll answer body type-related questions, like areas on your body you’d like to disguise, and what fit of jeans you prefer and what you’re looking for in shoes.  Finally, you’ll give some price ranges that fit your budget and, favorite brands.  Presto! Your account is set up.

Step 2:  One of Trunk Club’s stylists will contact you to get more specifics on what you’re shopping for.  They’ll create a virtual “look book” before your items are shipped, so you’ll be able to edit what items show up at your door (i.e.  omitting ones you know you wouldn’t wear, not your style, etc.)  You’ll also have an opportunity to give your stylist feedback, so they’ll be able to refine what items they pick for you or add anything that is missing.

Trunk Club for Women

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 3

Your trunk arrives at your doorstep!  Take your time trying on each item, so you see what you’d like to keep.  My stylist Lyndsey even sent me ways to style each outfit.

Trunk Club for Women Box

Step 4

After trying everything on, you’ll be able to give feedback (i.e.  item is too big, own similar item, didn’t fit, etc.)  After you have decided what you want to keep you schedule a pickup via the Trunk Club app and it’s as simple as selecting the day, Trunk Club sends you a shipping label and you set it on your porch.  DONE.  It doesn’t get any easier than that!

Here is what was in my recent trunk:

Trunk Club Women Trunk Club Women Trunk Club Women

Trunk Club Women Trunk Club Women Trunk Club Women Trunk Club Women

 

 

 

 

Trunk Club Women Trunk Club Women

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another great perk of Trunk Club is if you need anything altered, all you do is take the item(s) and your receipt to any Nordstrom; they’ll take care of the rest.

If you like anything from my trunk, all of those items are available or order your own trunk, you deserve it.  🙂  

SaveSave

SaveSave

Check out my previous Trunk Club Women posts:

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

Christmas tree inspired OOTDI am loving all the holiday decor.  This OOTD inspired by my Christmas tree.  Here are some similar pieces I am loving too.

Ruffle Top | White Jeans | OTK boots | Feather earrings (similar)

 

 

 

Others I’m loving:

SaveSave

 

Grade School

 

This is the ultimate gift guide for grade school kids age 5-10.  Here’s the Scoop:   I talked with Logan’s teachers and my friends who teach grade school and they gave me the best ideas of fun activities and games they use at school that the kids LOVE.  The holidays will be here before you know it and your kids will be making a laundry list of things they want.  If you’re tired of your kids getting junk that they don’t play with the day after Christmas you have come to the right place.

Forward this gift guide to the grandparents, aunts, uncles, anyone who wants to know what your child wants for Christmas.  Everyone will feel good about giving your kiddos something fun that will also stimulate their mind over the long Christmas break.  

 

This gift guide is organized for recommendations I got for kids age 5-10.  

1. Playstix

Playstix, the toy that inspires kids to build extraordinary things.  Playstix have grooves that interlock and they are color-coded to make building easy.  Kit Includes Playsitx and idea booklet with instructions and examples of things you can build.  

 

 2. Magna Tiles

Are you a quick-thinker, have a good eye, or just always seem to get the luck of the draw? This brain-bending game can be played three different ways, making it great for all types of kids. Each player tries to recreate the card pattern drawn using their set of 16 cubes. Each level will offer a new challenge, as you race to get your ‘bitz in order! A great game for sleepovers or family night.

 

9. Kinetic Sand

It’s more fun when it’s Wacky! Kinetic Sand is the squeezable sand where you can FEEL the fun! You’ve seen it before, but you’ve never felt anything like it! Pack it, pull it, shape it and love it, Kinetic Sand is so incredible you can’t put it down. It’s kinetic – meaning it sticks to itself and not to you! It oozes, moves and melts right before your eyes. It flows through your fingers like a slow-moving liquid, but leaves them completely dry. Kinetic Sand stimulates children’s creative skills allowing them to create anything they can imagine over and over again. Kinetic Sand never dries out and is gluten free. This soft and stretchy sand easily cleans up while delivering non-stop fun! It’s squeezable sand you can’t put down. Feel the difference with Kinetic Sand!

 

10. Pattern Play 3D 

Using brightly colored, multi-shaped wooden blocks, the goal is to turn 2D images into 3D structures. Some build-outs seem to defy gravity; others are stunning works of dimensional art. All puzzles will challenge kids and adults while providing a rewarding, towering finish! Includes 22 high-quality wooden blocks, 20 cards with 40 puzzles to solve and a 9-inch square wood tray.

 

11. Legos 

The great thing about Legos is not only are they great to keep your kids occupied and help with following directions and building but depending on what your child in into they have so many themes and options.  These will be huge in our house this Christmas.  
Create your own LEGO® vehicles with LEGO Classic! The LEGO® Classic Medium Creative Brick Box inspires open-ended building play and vehicle creation in a wide range of colors. Designed for builders of all ages in mind, this collection of LEGO® bricks in 35 different colors will encourage open-ended building play, and inspire any imagination. Windows, eyes, and lots and lots of wheels add to the fun and offer endless possibilities for creative construction and vehicle play. A great supplement set to any existing LEGO collection, this set comes in a convenient plastic storage box and includes ideas to get the building started.

 

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

Pre-schoolers Gift Guide recommended by teachers 

All of these gift ideas were recommended by son’s pre-school teachers. These are some of the hottest items kids love, that are not only fun but have some educational component.  One thing is for certain, these gifts will not be gathering dust!

Forward this gift guide to anyone you know who’s purchasing a holiday gift for a child age 2-5. Family members and friends alike will thank you!

Cash Register

    • The Learning Resources Pretend & Play Calculator Cash Register is great for growing imaginations.
    • Realistic money and a working calculator add to the fun while simultaneously helping to build math skills.
    • A winner of the Best Classic Toys Award, it’s a must-have addition to any child’s toy collection.

Marble Run 

    • Give your kids endless hours of engineering fun with the Mindware Marble Run game.
    • This engineering game gets the fun rolling, literally.
    • The kids can build tracks that twist and turn with colorful pieces that simply slide together.
    • They can test their design by sending marbles through chutes, merry-go-rounds, windmills, S-curves, a U-turn slide and centrifugal funnel, then make adjustments to send it off again.

Play-doh

    • Play-Doh Numbers Letters N Fun Art Multi Kids Toddler Games Play Set Playdough
    • Kids can roll, cut, press and mold their way back to school, identifying their ABCs and 123s as they play!
    • Then they can kick it up a notch, creating simple words and number combinations. Item Features:
    • With over 35 colorful number and letter molds the possibilities for creative learning are endless Set of colorful letter and number molds lets you mix and match your ABCs and 123s for endless spelling and counting fun Play-Doh -style

Wood Blocks

    • Wooden blocks never go out of style, and this classic Melissa and Doug block set will keep your child busy for hours.
    • This 100-piece set in bright beautiful colors is the ultimate for creative building and constructing.

Design and Drill

    • Get creative-on the go-with the Design & Drill Take-Along Tool Kit!
    • Kids use an electronic screwdriver to screw colorful bolts into custom pictures and patterns.
    • When it’s time to pack up the fun, all pieces fit in the storage case. Requires 3 AA batteries (not included).

Floof

  • Indoor Snow That Is Easy To Mold and Can Be Used Over and Over Again!
  • Super Soft and Smooth Texture That Feels Lighter Than Air!
  • Set Includes 6 Snowball Molds and 150 Grams of Floof Clay.
  • Safe and Non-Toxic Formula.
  • Designed For Children Ages 3 and Up

Turbo Twister

  • Patented 360-degree front axle rotation.
  • NEW: PULSE Lighting Technology: GREEN Opaque Glow
  • Radio Control, 49 MHz. Requires 5 AA batteries (not included).
  • Play indoor & outdoor, will interfere with other 49 MHz RC units, can play within proximity of 49 MHz RC toys
  • Fun & Safe for 3-Adult
Turbo Twister

Legos

    • Features an easy-to-build farm with opening doors and windows, and a feeding trough
    • Includes 3 brightly colored bricks decorated with farm animal produce
    • LEGO DUPLO products are specially designed to be safe and suitable for small hands
    • Farm measures over 7″ (18cm) high, 7″ (19cm) wide and 3″ (9cm) deep
    • Combine with 10615 LEGO DUPLO My First Tractor for more barnyard fun
    • This learning toy is suitable for ages 1½-5

Magic Tracks

    • Magic Tracks are amazing tracks that bend, flex and glow!
    • The Mega Set includes two battery operated cars that light up and 18 feet of track.
    • Kids can connect the tracks in any configuration. This set will provide hours of fun!

Fold & Go Barn

Your child will have hours of imaginative play with this beautiful doll playset from Melissa & Doug

Crayola Mess Free

  • Create colorful, mess-free creations with the Color Wonder Art Kit. This kit includes a variety of tools to create fun scenes that encourage creative
  • This kit includes a variety of tools to create fun scenes that encourage creative storytelling.
  • With all Color Wonder products, the inks and markers won’t color on skin, furniture or fabric and ONLY color on the special Color Wonder paper.
  • Perfect for on-the-go creativity.

Experience Gifts:  Kidzxplor gift card

  1. Rockin Jump
  2. Kor Komplex
  3. Vetta Soccerdome
  4. Companion teaching bakery
  5. My Gym
  6. Chess Hall Of Fame
  7. Sweetology
  8. Pinot’s Palet
  9. My Gym

 

 

 

A gift card to Kidzxplor.

I can’t say enough good things about Kidzxplor.  I first started using their app last Christmas break, and I was amazed how awesome it is.  If you have active kids who love doing new things, give Kidzxplor a try.  Their app has tons of activities all over St Louis.  Buying through Kidzxplor is extremely more affordable than purchasing directly through the companies, and allows you to try classes before you make a long-term commitment.

Here are some of my 3-year-old’s favorite places through Kidzxplor :  Little Fishes Swim, My Gym, The Little Gym, Vetta Soccer, Kokomo Joe’s, All American Gymnastics and Rockin Jump.

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSave