Sara & Her Home
As a self-proclaimed perfectionist, it’s no surprise that the Miami home of blogger and mom, Sara Mueller, is absolutely the stuff of dreams. Every surface is beautifully arranged, and not a single pillow, piece of art or stack of dishes feels out of place. The good news, though? Despite Sara’s penchant for a well-styled home, it’s just as cozy and comfortable as you would expect of a home to two young children and their adoring parents.
Sara’s aesthetic bridges the gap between her roots in Arizona to her love for a Parisian lifestyle, and the results are a collection of spaces brimming with sophisticated style and rich color. Bright light fills the home and you only need to see one photo of Sara with her smiling children to know that it’s filled with a fair amount of love and laughter, too.
Below, Sara welcomes us into her Miami abode. Plus, she shares insight into her favorite self-care practices and her journey from businesswoman to blogger.
Tell us about your transition from government real estate to creative blogger.
The transition came about organically. My husband is in the Marine Corps and right after the birth of our son, we were faced with our first big move—from Arizona (my home state) to Monterey, California. So I had to leave my job and career behind. I wasn’t in love with the idea of being a stay-at-home mom, so a few months later, I decided to start a blog completely as a hobby and never anticipated that it could become a real job. I needed a creative outlet and a place to still feel a bit like myself. Blogging was my little escape, and it soon became a place where I connected with other like-minded people and new moms.
How has motherhood changed your home’s aesthetic?
I actually think becoming a mom has made it better. I tend to gravitate toward more formal pieces, so motherhood has added a fun component to decorating our home. I’ve learned to let go a bit and enjoy the messy parts of having little kids.
When you’re in a buying mood, where do you shop?
For the home, I’m loving Michelle Adams‘ new shop, The Maryn. I’ve been a huge fan of her style since her days at Domino magazine. And Target, of course. It’s like therapy to go and wander through the aisles.
As hard as it can be with two little kids, I try to make time for myself. Whether that’s grabbing coffee with a friend, getting to the nail salon, date night or giving myself 30 minutes of downtime to do anything I want.
If you had to wear one shade of lipstick for the rest of your life, what would it be?
I always go for my Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment in Sugar Rosé.
Can you let us in on a career low point? What helped you get through it?
I think the low point in my career came when I had to leave my job. Ten years of doing the same thing for the U.S. Department of the Interior felt comfortable and easy (I started as an intern). Leaving was hard because it forced me to get out of my comfort zone. I had to let go of my goals and come up with new ones. My life suddenly took a 180-degree turn. There were so many changes and challenges all at once—leaving my 10-year career, becoming a new mom and then moving. Thankfully, I found this creative outlet and a group of inspiring women.
Tell us a little bit about your “Mommies Behind the Blog” series. What inspired it and how do you choose who to feature?
My Mommies Behind the Blog series started as a place to profile inspiring moms; a place where they could share advice. As I mentioned earlier, I started my blog after the birth of my son. My blog became a therapeutic way to express some of the things I was going through while learning about this beautiful, creative place inside of myself. There is such a talented world of mothers and stay-at-home spouses out there. The series was my way of highlighting these talented mommies and to share some of the issues and solutions we all share.
My series has taken a break for a bit, but whenever I find a mom that inspires me, I reach out to see if they’re interested. Unfortunately, lately I haven’t had much time to dedicate to this series. But I definitely plan on bringing it back and I already have a few moms in mind.
Your bedroom feels so peaceful. What are your tips for promoting relaxation in this or any space?
One tip I’ve learned is to keep it decluttered. Bring in the things that you love and take out what you don’t. I also like to keep the décor pretty neutral with a few blue and green accents. I find those colors soothing and relaxing. I’m also quite the fan of white bedding. And recently I traded my cotton bedding in for a linen-cotton blend bedding. Living here in Miami, I find that linen seems more appropriate.
Favorite blog comment you’ve ever received: go!
“Well, you are doing an amazing job. I see so much grace and all the loveliness in your personality and life! You seriously encourage me!”
If I’ve inspired one person, that means the world to me.
How do you practice self-care?
As hard as it can be with two little kids, I try to make time for myself. Whether that’s grabbing coffee with a friend, getting to the nail salon, date night or giving myself 30 minutes of downtime to do anything I want, such as reading, catching up on magazines or watching a show.
You’ve only got 30 minutes to exercise! What do you do?
A while ago, I found this Pin for the “anywhere” workout routine and I just love it. I modified it to include a squat challenge and it’s even better. It literally takes less than 30 minutes! Try it. You’ll love it!
I tend to gravitate toward more formal pieces, so motherhood has added a fun component to decorating our home. I’ve learned to let go a bit and enjoy the messy parts of having little kids.
What do you love to do with your kids these days?
I love baking, so anytime I can entice them to get in the kitchen with me is great. We love making sugar cookies for almost every holiday. We also love playing board games. And did I mention we celebrate Fridays because there’s no homework and we can truly enjoy our time together? It’s not confetti and balloons every Friday, but it really should be. Most Friday nights, we let the kids pick a movie and we make homemade pizza. Pizza and a movie is kind of our favorite thing. It’s become a tradition, and I’m big on family traditions. I love making new memories and traditions with my kids. It’s what they’ll look back on when they’re older.
How have you made your educational background in Business Administration work for your role now as a creative blogger? Do you wish you had studied something different in retrospect?
I think my degree has taught me the business aspect, but in this evolving field of blogging and social media, it’s been more a learn-as-you-go thing. As I look back, I really wish I had studied photography. I still dream of doing that someday soon.
Top stressor right this minute?
Homework! I never knew how much homework a second-grader could have. We chose to have the kids go to a bilingual school, so now we have double the homework. We’re taking advantage of the school opportunities here in Miami. I think it’s always great to be bilingual. When we moved to Miami two summers ago, my son asked me, “Mommy what country are we in?” Ha! “The capital of South America,” my husband replied. We love the multiculturalism of Miami and the exposure it has provided our kids.
What are two or three things you incorporate into your routine to help you live a healthier lifestyle?
I think healthy living is definitely about making it a part of my lifestyle. I drink water all day—besides my cup of coffee in the morning, of course. I love cooking, so I tend to keep our meals on the healthier side, except for our pizza night. But even then, I feel like our homemade pizza is probably a lot healthier than what would come from a restaurant. And I truly live by the everything-is-OK-in-moderation concept.
Spill! What are your top three places to eat?
Here in Miami, I love eating at The Raleigh Hotel. The food there is incredible and I enjoy the casual South Beach vibe. I love Icebox Cafe for its kale Caesar salad, and OTL is great for coffee and brunch. But if I could include any place from around the world, I would definitely add Ralph’s in Paris.
What about your top 3 places to shop?
I’m big on family traditions. I love making new memories and traditions with my kids. It’s what they’ll look back on when they’re older.
If you could go back in time, what is the one piece of advice you’d give yourself as a teenager?
I would tell myself to travel more and see more of the world. When I was younger, I was driven by a purpose of “growing up” and being responsible. I still am, of course, but I think there’s a time for everything. I think my 20s should have been more about enjoying life without major responsibilities, such as owning a house. For example, I bought my first house as a single woman at just 25 years of age. That’s awesome, but that certainly added a great deal of responsibility and limited my travel budget. So I would have told myself to enjoy more, travel the world and to explore my creative instincts a little more.
What’s the most incredible place you’ve ever traveled to? What city or country is still on your bucket list?
Morocco was pretty amazing because of the great food, sights and cultural texture. But I’m a Francophile, so Paris will always have a special place for me. We celebrated our 10-year anniversary there last summer. New York is currently on my bucket list. Can you believe I’ve never been to New York City?