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Valentine's Printable

Valentine's Printable

Valentine's Day is just around the corner and this year I’m getting a little head start. I wanted to do something different, something that wouldn’t involve candy of any sort. When I saw these sunglasses online I instantly knew I needed to use them. The sunglasses come in packs of 12, since I’m using for both girls’ classes I bought four and will just keep the extras for something later on. The printable below is available for download, I had mine printed at my local Kinko’s on C44 card stock. When assembling you can guesstimate cutting the slits with any type of sharp knife, just be careful! Don’t forget the good Valentine decorations always sell out early so make sure you snag these adorable mailboxes below their gone! Heart Shutter Sunglasses Hello Love Mailbox Download your free printable here

Local Black Friday + Small Business Saturday Deals

Local Black Friday + Small Business Saturday Deals

Don’t forget to Shop Local this weekend. Here are some great deals for both Black Friday & Small Business Saturday. Get out and support these businesses, they are what make our small town so great! All business websites are linked. Julie Vos Jewelry 25% Off all Jewelry from 10am - 2pm 10% Off all Jewelry from 2pm - close. Influence Style The Lakewood Ranch Location will be closed on Friday sale will all day Saturday. St. Armands Location in store only Black Friday Specials include: 9am -10am 40% off 10am - 11am 35% off 11am - noon 30% off noon - 1pm 25% off 1pm - close 20% off Online and phone orders = 20% off Pure Barre Sarasota New clients - 25% off the first 3 months of a lifestyle membership 30% off retail Sarasota Facial Aesthetics Purchase a $250 gift card get $50 Purchase a $500 gift card get $100 Purchase a $1000 gift card get $200 Carats Fine Jewelry and Watches Diamond Stud Earrings $399 Blue Topaz Diamond Necklace $499 Diamond Bar Necklace $599 BluHome Small Business Saturday 11-5 pm 20% off regular priced merchandise Cryostudio Sarasota 20% off gift cards now through December 1st Cadyn and Charlie 35% off everything plus free gift on orders over $250 Shore Brand Shore will have a “wheel of deals” promotion where they have customers spin a game wheel with several discounts ranging from 20-50% off. This can be used on your entire purchase that day! It’s a fun way to change up Black Friday which can be so overwhelming. This will be their 3rd year running this promotion. In this case the early bird does get the worm because they only have the 50% off slot from 9-11am! Kay & Elle 40% off everything *exclusions apply use code: blackfriday Shop my look, sweater is from Marmalade

Lucy

Lucy

If you have been following for awhile you may recognize this sweet face. Lucy is the newest addition to our family, a 7 month old French Bulldog that is as sweet as she is cute. I get asked all the time where I get Lucy’s collars since they are ever changing. I wish I had a special response but given the fact that she’s a puppy and still growing I’m not looking to make a big investment yet. There seem to be a lot more cute options for smaller dogs (we previously had a yellow lab), and I particularly like Bone & Co. line from Petco. They are great quality, adorable and reasonably priced! So in case your looking for something special for your furry companion, I’ve put together a last minute gift guide below. Lucy is one of our biggest blessings. She is the best gift our family could have asked for this year.

DIY Tie-Dye

DIY Tie-Dye

Tie-dye has made a big comeback in 2020 and it looks like it’s here to stay. Every brand is taking a run at it; one of my personal favorites was the set I purchased from Target at the beginning of the year. It’s been sold out for a few months now so we decided to re-create it at home. As school came to an end and my role as homeschool teacher turned into camp director I began to look for activities to do with the kids. With the help of Pinterest and Amazon Prime we had this fun activity to look forward to! I originally searched for plain white tanks for the girls but they were pretty hard to come by (apparently I’m not the only one with the idea). I later found these adorable hooded sweatshirts and matching joggers. Next I searched for the dye. Now I’m sure there are many do-it yourself options out there however I wanted something a little easier for the girls. This kit had everything I needed and included 24 colors, rubber bands, gloves, and a table protector. It even had directions in case you were trying to achieve a particular pattern. I prefer winging it over following the directions so we just scrunched up the hoodies and pants and wrapped them in rubber bands. I would highly suggest taking this activity outside as it can be messy and staining would be a concern. I let the girls pick two colors each. We lightly dampened the clothes with water before adding the dye. This allows the colors to absorb better, if you're looking for more white spots I would suggest keeping it dry. I added water to each dye bottle and let the girls do their thing. The best part is there is no right or wrong way to go about it. Each came out so different and cute! When we were finished I placed them in individual gallon zip lock bags and set on the back deck. The directions say to leave for 24 hours however we were pretty excited to see how they came out and only made it 12 hours - ha! We rinsed each set separately under cold water getting the majority of the dye out and then transferred to the wash for a cold rinse cycle. Pro tip: make sure you wash separately!! With plenty of leftover colors I can’t wait to do it again. What has been your favorite family craft during quarantine? Comment below. **This activity was completed before Liv broke her collarbone. She is doing great now and will be back to her normal self in 4-6 weeks!

Our Working Relationship/Juggling Act

Our Working Relationship/Juggling Act

If you work with your spouse in any capacity you know that it can be a little bit of a juggling act. People ask us all the time how we do it and to be honest we are still navigating it all. We are always trying to find a good balance between work life and home life. Thankfully in our case we both run our own businesses and enjoy collaborating when the opportunity presents itself. For those that don’t know, I work full time as a Realtor and my husband owns a design-build construction company. He specializes in both renovations and custom homes. In my six years of business we have collaborated in many ways; rentals, renovations and even a few new builds. To break it down I typically identify the property and then we jointly decide what needs to be done - renovate or build new. The design, permitting and construction can take anywhere between 8 months to 2 years. At the end of the project I prefer to lightly stage and get ready to list for sale (and if we are lucky we don’t need to make it that far). Since we only average one project together a year our investments only make up 20% of my business. I spend most of my time working directly with my own clients whether buying or selling.

We get asked all the time, what do we prefer - a new build or renovation. To be honest it’s a hard question to answer because I truly love both. When it comes to renovating both Nick and I have a pretty good eye. There is nothing quite like seeing the transformation that happens during a remodel. Without getting too technical we have many limitations here in Florida when it comes to renovating within a flood zone. Since most of our area falls under the base flood elevation renovating has become difficult and we just don’t see as many of them.

These days everyone wants move-in-ready. At this point Nick and I have built two custom homes for ourselves and two for investments. We have an in-house design team that allows us to take the project from start to finish. There is something very satisfying about taking a project from paper to fruition. It’s definitely not for the faint of heart and one of the reasons I think we do best on our new construction projects. About 2 years ago I identified a waterfront property that wasn’t on the market, this property was unlike any other - waterfront on both sides, a huge lot (for Florida standards) and great boating water. There was an existing structure on the property that needed to be torn down before we could get started. We spent 3+ months designing a home that was over 6,000 square feet and took advantage of every view imaginable. In December with only 3 months left of construction to go we decided to put it on the market. Even with the holidays we had multiple showings and by the New Year we were under contract. The project has been at a stand still for a month now while we wait to close. Nick will be staying on as the builder and I can’t wait to see how the new buyers finish the space. So todays the big day, my first closing of the new year but also a day to celebrate as a team. A new buyer is coming in just a little more than halfway through the project to finish what we started. The days leading up to today haven’t been the easiest or without a few arguments but I’m looking forward to celebrating this success and welcome many more. While I can’t share any details, I’ve already identified our next project. I’m currently dreaming up plans of the new house and can’t wait to take you along on the journey. From the land acquisition to architectural drawings to construction and everything in between. Stay tuned as there will be much more coming in 2020!

Outdoor Patio

Outdoor Patio

One of the many great things about living in Florida is that you can almost always count on being outdoors. Just when I think it’s getting too hot the afternoon rains come to cool everything off. We have a few different outdoor areas to enjoy however my favorite is the covered porch just off my office. What I love most is how cozy it feels, even on the hottest of days I manage to get a nice breeze off the bay and the view isn’t too bad either! I love the pop of pink that the rug adds! I originally went with these rocking chairs because of the narrow deck however they quickly became one of my favorite places to sit. Our outdoor grill area is on the lower level which we did in sandblasted marble. The texture gives a grip even when wet and never gets hot. Because the lower level is exposed to the elements year round I wanted to go with a brand of furniture that I knew would stay behind they products. For the lounge area we went with this Restoration Hardware Province sectional and swivel chair. For the chaise lounges I didn’t want anything to bulky yet heavy enough not to move on the windiest of days. These lounge chairs are perfect. The cushion fabric is a performance fabric called perennials linen. When it came to shade I was limited to using umbrellas; however, I have to say this one has held up so well and it’s reasonably priced too!

Easy Fall Florals

Easy Fall Florals

Whether it be something simple for our kitchen counter or something more elegant I have always loved creating floral arrangements. For the most part you will always find a large clear vase of white hydrangeas in my kitchen or informal entryway. However when I found these adorable white porcelain pumpkins at the craft store I knew they needed something more. I can always count on the Trader Joes floral department to have exactly what I’m looking for. Sunflowers, eucalyptus and baby's breath were all that was needed to complete the look. The best part is each vase of flowers was less then $10. Did you know that you can place an order with Trader Joes if your needing specific florals for an event?

Thanksgiving Table

Thanksgiving Table

It's our first Thanksgiving in our new home and it’s also my first time hosting Thanksgiving dinner. When we were designing our home it was really important to me to have a formal dining room. I love to entertain and had dreams of hosting family and friends in that space. This year we will be hosting fifteen people, a mix of kids and adults, both friends and family. With a table full of drinks and food I need to be realistic about our table decor. We purchased a new dining table for this home from Arhaus, the finish doesn’t require a table cloth so I’ve gone with a layered look with chargers and plates. I picked up these Thankful napkins this year from Williams-Sonoma. Our plates are also from Williams-Sonoma, they were a gift from my grandfather for our wedding. (We have been married for almost fourteen years so if that says anything about the quality.) What I love most is that they are classic and I’ve been able to go back and buy more throughout the years. It also makes adding decorative salad plates throughout the seasons fun. For the table, a large pumpkin sits at the center with both dried eucalyptus flanking the sides. I love these gold starfish that add a coastal element and tie back in with the chargers. THE KIDS TABLE Does anyone else remember sitting at the kids table well past the age of 12? {insert hand raise} Well this is not your average kids table, more of what I would like to call the ‘overflow’ table. I’m so incredibly grateful to be celebrating Thanksgiving in our new home with the tables overflowing with all the people I love the most. Formal Dining Links: Dining Table Dining Chairs
Frosted Glass Pumpkin Wine Glasses
Turkey Plates Salad Plates Water Goblets Brass Charger
Place Card Holder Thankful Napkins

Kids table links:
Placemats Charger Plates

Happy Thanksgiving! Please let me know where you are spending yours!

Celebrating ONE Month

Celebrating ONE Month

Today we are celebrating ONE month at Sara-Ferguson.com, so as a little ‘thank you’ to my subscribers and followers I’m doing a $200 Visa gift card giveaway. The winner will be announced Monday, December 23rd at 5pm EST on Instagram. The rules are as follows, including a bonus entry at the end of this post. This last month has been a huge learning experience, here are three things you may not know about #bloggerlife 1. It’s a lot hard work and dedication 2. It’s not as glamorous as one would think 3. It’s super rewarding; I can’t tell you how many messages I’ve received this last month - both with words of encouragement and those that have been inspired to get out there and do something! Here's my IG video from today + a few laughable moments and outtakes to show what really goes on behind the scenes. So thank you again for all your love and support this last month. For a bonus entry, please comment below with a blog idea you would like to see from me in 2020.

Arugula Pizza Recipe

Arugula Pizza Recipe

Making pizzas on the grill is one our favorite family dinners, something we do at least once a month. The kids typically do a traditional red sauce and cheese pizza however my personal favorite is an arugula pizza. I can’t take full credit for this one as I’ve taken some bits and pieces from an Ina Garden recipe I was given a few years ago. It’s basically a white pizza with a cold salad on top - Amazing if you ask me! It’s been a crowd favorite for parties, book clubs, family nights and even those friends that say they don’t care for arugula! So here it is, THE arugula pizza recipe Ingredients for the pizza: 1 pizza crust. Can either be purchased pre-rolled at Publix or you can make your own (see below) 1 wedge of fontina cheese 1 block of gruyere cheese 1 half stick of goat cheese Salt Olive Oil Ingredients for the dough: This recipe was given to me from my mother in law. She recently traveled to Italy and made pizzas with a private chef, this is the real deal and our go-to now! 8 cups of regular flour
2½ cups of water (100-110 degrees)
2 tsp. of salt
4½ tsp. of yeast or (2 tsp. If you make the day before)
1¾ tbsp. of olive oil 1. Put the yeast into the water
2. Add flour while stirring, until a sticky dough forms
3. Add the oil
4. Leave the dough covered in the fridge overnight
5. Next morning cut the dough into pieces of approx. 8oz balls
6. Put them spaced on a tray back in the fridge until you use them *I’ve linked a few tools below that we use when we make pizzas, you will definitely need a pizza stone if you don’t already have one* Start grill and set the temp for 600 degrees, you can also do this in the oven just set to highest temp. If using store bought pizza, roll out dough and poke holes using a fork, this will decrease the amount of bubbles when it goes on the grill. If making fresh you can skip this step. Very lightly brush on olive oil and add salt to pizza dough, place pizza on grill for 1-2 minutes or until the dough cooks lightly. Bring pizza back inside. Either before or while pizza dough is being warmed, grate both fontina and gruyere cheese and keep separate. Pull goat cheese into small pieces and set aside. When the pizza comes off the grill add fontina and gruyere cheese, and top off with goat cheese. Place back on the grill until all cheese is melted and the crust is at your desired crispness. Pro tip: Cut the pizza before adding the cold salad on top. Ingredients for the salad: 1 bag of pre-washed baby arugula (I buy organic when available) 1/4 c olive oil 1 lemon 3-5 cloves of garlic Salt & pepper I take a large glass bowl to make the salad dressing. Mix 1/4c of olive oil and the juice of 1 squeezed lemon. Depending on how much you like garlic, finely shave 3-5 cloves into the dressing and stir. I definitely go a little garlic heavy. Add salt & pepper to taste and let sit on the counter. When the pizza goes on the grill I will place the arugula in the dressing and toss, place in refrigerator to cool before adding to the hot pizza. This is also a great dressing to make and have on hand for everyday salads (I don’t refrigerate). I prefer to make all my own dressings Buon Appetito!

Daily Routine

Daily Routine

As we gear up for the first full week in January, a time where most everyone starts their New Year resolutions I thought it would be the perfect time to share what a typical routine looks like for me. At the end of this post I’m also sharing my favorite go-to smoothie recipe. My fitness & wellness journey has been a work in progress over the last year and a half. A typical week day starts at 5:00am, I wake up, take the dog out, and get ready for the gym. Four days a week I share a personal trainer with 2 of my girlfriends. Sharing workouts with friends that have the same fitness goals is a great way to stay motivated and keep the cost down. When I came to Dave almost 2 years ago I felt frustrated with my overall health. It wasn’t the weight I saw on the scale, but rather how I felt in my clothes and my overall strength. Dave’s training philosophy was not something I was use to and his workouts intimidated me quite honestly. I started out only 2 days a week, grew to 3 and now happily go 4 days a week. Our workouts are one hour and are mostly strength training related with small bursts of cardio. A typical workout consists of a short warm-up to get our bodies moving followed by 4-5 sets consisting of 3 exercises each. Some of my favorites include weighted Bulgarian lunges, squat holds on the wall, 30 second high knee sprints (the real way abs are made), and plank holds. Dave has also taught me the importance of allowing your body to rest, Wednesdays are typically my day off and I take the weekends to do something I enjoy whether playing tennis or going for a run. Since working out is only part of the equation here are some other things I’ve changed to help me achieve my goals thus far - Drinking alcohol. I was in a bad habit of having a glass of wine almost every night while cooking dinner. What I didn’t realize was that it wasn’t the calories I needed to worry about. Alcohol suppresses your fat burning enzymes, so drinking everyday can nearly negate all the hard work in the gym. Before the holidays I was really good about saving my wine for a Friday or Saturday night, starting this week I’m back to it! Another great benefit for me was better sleep and feeling more rested overall. 


Cheat meals. In a perfect world there would only be one per week, but I’m not quite there yet. I try to keep it together during the week and save my cheat meals for the weekend. We all have our weaknesses and cheese and crackers are mine, in fact I could consume a charcuterie board for dinner. 


Intermittent Fasting. This was a total game changer for me. I stumbled on a program called the FASTer Way to Fat Loss and signed up for a 6 week session in September 2018. I’m not a consultant and not currently in the program but if you want to find out more information you can check it out here, www.fasterwaytofatloss.com. What I took away from the program and have stuck to is intermittent fasting, I loved that it wasn’t a diet but rather an eating schedule. There are a few ways to go about this and I will tell you how it ’s worked for me; Monday-Friday I fast which means I finish eating my last meal by 7:30pm and don’t eat until the following day around 12pm. During the fasting period I can only have: water, unsweetened ice tea w/lemon, black coffee (absolutely no creamer even if it has zero sweetener). I typically break my fast with either a smoothie, eggs or salad, have a snack around 3pm with my kids and eat dinner at 7pm. The hardest part for me was giving up creamer in my coffee so on the weekends I indulge. 


My favorite smoothie. I’ve been drinking this same one on and off for years. I recently came back to it after getting my braces on this fall, it just makes one meal that much easier for me to ‘eat’. What I love most, besides the taste, is that it’s a plant based protein powder, has 2 servings of fruits & veggies and is organic. I’ve linked my two favorite flavors below, chocolate and chocolate peanut butter. Recipe below. Smoothie Recipe
1 scoop of protein powder
1 cup of unsweetened almond milk (I prefer the Califra brand)
1 tbsp of Justin’s peanut butter
1 half banana (you could switch this for 1/2 avocado if your watching your sugar)
1 scoop of ice

Blend until the consistency is smooth like a milkshake

I invested in our Vitamix a few years ago and it’s probably one of my favorite kitchen gadgets. I not only use it to make smoothies but have also made hummus and other dips as well. They are pricey but well worth it.

Kitchen Reveal

Kitchen Reveal

I’m super excited to start sharing our home with you all and, since the kitchen is the heart of the home, it seemed like the perfect place to start. If you’ve been following my Instagram stories you may have caught some glimpses here and there. In today’s post you will get a closer look of some of my kitchen must haves and tips if you're going through your own kitchen design or renovation. Before we get started, I wanted to give you a little background on how we got here. My husband Nick is a custom home builder, and I work as a Realtor — given the two professions, we move A LOT. In our almost fourteen years of marriage we have moved 9 times — yep! We have done countless renovations and built two custom homes together. This home is a true labor of love and probably my favorite project we have done together. When people ask if this is our ‘forever’ home, they are usually surprised with my response — no. I typically get the ‘itch’ for another project every two years so when the time comes and the perfect property presents itself, we will just do it again and I look forward to the ride. So without further ado, let’s get started. When we designed our kitchen there were a few things that I knew I wanted — 


Appliances - This is something you're going to want to know early on in the design process. When you select your appliances it’s important that you give the appliance spec sheet to your kitchen designer. This is going to be key when laying everything out. We decided to go with a smaller refrigerator so we could have more storage and also add a built in coffee maker. White Everything - There is something about an all white kitchen that is so timeless — crisp, clean, with plenty of opportunity left to add pops of color with accessories. Our kitchen cabinets are Benjamin Moore Simply White in a semi-gloss finish. 


A fun twist to your average fruit bowl — use a large faux shell to display fruit. 


The Cabinets - We went with a shaker cabinet with small detail that mimicked the trim throughout the home. The real customization came when we designed the hood. We included both upper and lower pull outs for spices and oils. The glass upper cabinets with X pattern is the perfect place to showcase crystal glassware. Both the glass cabinets and under cabinets have LED light strips that can be dimmed for mood. An important feature to note is that the cabinets meet the ceiling. We used two pieces of crown molding to create a polished look. You can say good-bye to greenery on top of the cabinets! Dry Bar - My goal here was to create a hutch-like upper cabinet to serve as storage for our wine and crystal stemware. We brought back the glass cabinet door with the X pattern in order to tie everything back to the main kitchen. The bar is an extension of the kitchen in the most perfect way. For our backsplash we used an antique mirror that was locally sourced and installed.


The Island - We love to entertain, and when we do, everyone wants to hang out at the center island. Our island is not overly big in size, 4.5ft x 9.5ft, and this is partly due to the quartzite slab we selected for our kitchen. I wanted to avoid having a seam and, since natural stones vary in size, I allowed that to dictate the size of our island. If you’re looking at man-made quartz such as Cambria etc., you should be fine as they are standard sizes. You may also notice the difference in thickness of the island. The edge detail is called a mitered edge and gives the look of a thicker counter top. Family Dining - In our past homes we enjoyed family dinners sitting at the island, however, as the kids got older I wanted to be able to sit across from them rather then sitting side by side. Our 48” round table is the perfect size for our family of 4 during family dinners and also serves as the perfect ‘kids' table’ during holiday gatherings.


Cabinet Color: Benjamin Moore Simply White semi-gloss
Wall Color: Benjamin Moore Simply White flat
Cabinetry: Custom
Backsplash
Plumbing Fixtures: Gormans Plumbing Supply, Sarasota FL
Appliances: Mullet’s Appliances, Sarasota FL 
Kitchen pendants, dining table and chairs, and shell chandelier were all sourced by Melissa DeMore Designs.


Accessories: Linked below


Builder: Nick Ferguson, NC Ferguson Construction www.ncfergusonconstruction.com Interior Designer: Melissa DeMore Design www.melissademoredesigns.com