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Bridging the Gap : Living the Luxe Life

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This special post featuring lifestyle blogger of Lost Luxe, Caitlin Sauer, begins the launch of Bridging the Gap, connecting midlife bloggers with millennial bloggers. 

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When I first approached Caitlin to pair with me in the Bridging the Gap campaign, I had hoped she would accept. Like asking someone you really like to a high school dance, it was kind of an awkward teenage feeling. To my delight, she said yes

Bridging the Gap is a grassroots campaign that partners millennial and mid-life bloggers for reciprocal mentorship —  over 200 Millennial and Midlife influencers are blurring the generational gap in this event. However, if women like us — motivated, purpose-driven and goal-digging laser focused — are connecting, you just gotta know it will go so much deeper than sharing stories and blogging skills. It goes deeper and lifts us higher. As the hashtag expresses: #wearestrongertogether

Of course, you may have also guessed that somewhere in this act of connecting, food and wine would somehow be involved. Or matcha lattes and avocado toasts, maybe. In our particular case, Caitlin and I met at a hip Venice café and ordered some fig & ricotta toasts to nosh on while sharing and listening to each other’s story.

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What I already knew about Caitlin: she’s a radiant beauty with a big genuine smile. Her casual California elegance flows through her Instagram grid. She has a chic lifestyle blog called Lost Luxe. I was absolutely enchanted by her Instagram feed, so I reached out in a few direct messages — and that’s how our ‘sister’ connection began. When I wanted to participate in the Bridging the Gap campaign, I just knew that Caitlin was the best gal to partner with.

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I wasn’t sure how to approach a millennial gal to help me expand my food-focused social media goals. I’m a busy working mom of three, I’m in my late forties, and I’m a food writer and photographer, among many other titles. How can I grow my brand appeal beyond food?

Actually, one of the things I’ve really wanted to learn from someone like Caitlin is how to create a style post. I marvel at all of the Instagram liketoknowit shopping ways and want to incorporate a little lifestyle and fashion in between my food posts. So it was interesting that during our lunch date at Butcher’s Daughter on Abbot Kinney, Caitlin shared that she’d love to learn how to shoot food photos. She doesn’t cook much, but, she told me candidly, we could definitely start with some vodka cocktails. I agreed! I also suspect an epic cheeseboard might inspire her creativity with the camera. 

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Her husband, Mark, does all the shopping and cooking for the two of them. Since I just cannot even, it’s possible that my mouth flew open in surprise <insert surprise emoji>. It’s difficult for me to go a few days without creating something delicious in the kitchen. The plus for Caitlin? She has a hunky husband do all the cooking. 

Yes, we agreed on many things over lunch — including the fig and cashew ricotta toasts — and chatted about how challenging it can be to get our guys to take photos of us for Instagram posts when they’re just not in the mood. (Hello, Instagram Husband?)

Yes, I was very excited to meet with Caitlin. I got more chatty than usual, and attempted to summarize my entire 47 years into several paragraphs. As any writer knows, editing down a huge chunk of dense content takes lots of intellectual keyboard finesse. Conversation works better in such cases. 

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Once our fig toasts arrived, we took photos for our Instagram stories per the opportunity. (Side note: actress Pamela Anderson was sitting right behind us, eating her vegan lunch. We weren’t playing paparazzi though, and kept snapping pics of our tabletop spread.)

For the special occasion, I wore my new black & white gingham dress by Varga. We planned to take photos for the Insta out on Abbot Kinney after our lunch date, so I wanted to wear something cute. Turns out that my vintage Marilyn sundress was perfect for twirling in the dappled sunlight… so, who’s the millennial? 

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Soon my 20-something burlesque dancer self came out again (she’s been hiding behind the velvet stage curtain for over twenty years). So, of course, over lunch I told a story about boobs, my boobs in particular.

(My décolletage was mic’d during my MasterChef appearance, always a fun story to tell!)

We laughed a little about my obsession with pushup bras — I probably own more than six Victoria’s Secret Bombshell Bras — then I told her about my days as a stripper, my series of breast implants, and the decision to remove them and go au natural.

On a more serious note, I shared about knowing women that have had breast cancer. Caitlin’s mom, it turns out, went through a double mastectomy. Later, she told me that one of the hardest moments of her life was caring for her mom while dealing with her own health issues. She herself had been diagnosed with skin cancer. 

It was quite comfortable to share between each other, the light and dark moments of life stories. I knew we could really understand each other on a deeper, more real level. 

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 Caitlin is the prettiest! I feel like a sister to her, a friend, and I could be her mom too. I have two daughters, so maybe they wouldn’t mind an older sister? But I’ll take Caitlin as my new bestie. We can share stories and friendship over cheeseboards, rosé, scented candles, avocado anything, and champagne. I kind of proposed to her as we stood for a photo together in front of an engagement ring shop. (But, le sigh, she’s already taken.) 

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Recently married to her husband and long time beau, Mark Sauer, the pair look so beautiful together in their wedding photos (posted on Instagram, naturally). They met through a mutual friend at a lake. As Caitlin noticed Mark wading into the water, she turned to her girlfriend and said, “Who is that?” It was a love at first sight moment. After two weeks of dating Mark, she told all of her friends that she was going to marry him.

They’ve been together almost ten years now, married for two.

Fairytales do exist. 

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Of course, this being a food blog, the first thing that comes to my mind is what is Caitlin’s favorite food? Well, it’s double creme brie. Cheese platters in general are very special to her as Caitlin’s Grandmother, Audrey, always puts one out when she has guests over. It’s a tradition she loves to carry on:

“My love for luxe and entertaining comes from my grandmother and style icon, Audrey. If you’ve been following me for a while you’ve probably seen pictures of how glam she is. She is now 90 but she’ll still always have a bottle of wine and a cheese platter ready for your arrival! I took this pic in her living room years ago and it’s still one of my all time favs because it sums up her spirit so perfectly.” ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

LostLuxeQuote-Chic-GrandmaCaitlin gathers much inspiration from strong women like her grandmother and mother. Obviously grandma has class and style. Her mother is an artist and a independent woman. What better mentors to have?

“My mom is my number one inspiration in life. She is hands-down the strongest person I know and my inspiration and drive for creating my own brand and business. She is an incredible artist and has always worked for herself doing what she loves. It is from her bravery that I get my own. I always count on her for wisdom and advice and know she will be with me to celebrate my wins and helps pick me up from any losses. She has taught me more than I could ever put into words, but most importantly to be a good person.”

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“I am drawn to stunning visuals and blogging is a creative expression for me. My blog brings my passions of fashion, home decor and entertaining together with my belief in gratitude, presence and connection in a way that I felt was missing.”

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Caitlin grew up in Camarillo, just about an hour north of Los Angeles. She just turned 30 on August 1st. 

She loves a good DIY, hiking, wandering and exploring new areas, writing and eating. Given that Caitlin’s not so much cooking, it’s one of the reasons why she’s excited about our pairing. (Hopefully I can show her how to make something she just might enjoy putting together in the kitchen… at least beyond the cheeseboard.) 

 
Yet, we can both emphatically agree upon cheese and rosé, which is a good thing, always
 
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“Just a reminder {and note to self} “finding your purpose” doesn’t always have to be this enormous, life-altering thing. Sometimes your purpose can just be smiling at the person who looks sad in the grocery store. That could have been the only reason you were sent out into the world today. That’s all.”
 
Caitlin is inspired by the strong women in her family: her mom, her mother-in-law, aunt, grandma, and by strong women in general. She loves Boss Babes! She’s inspired by soulful music (jazz and standards especially), sunsets, nature, a good meal, a deep conversation, and delicious smells (I noticed her post about scented candles). 
 
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What makes Caitlin unique is her open mind and intuitive wisdom beyond her young years. She likes to engage with everyone she comes across. Smiling away with her bright 1000 watt smile, she’s the person chatting with the bagger at the grocery store, making conversation in the elevator or asking how their day is when they pass on the street. Caitlin loves connecting with people. She tends to play the role with friends of listener and advice giver. She’s in love with life and wants everyone else to love theirs too.
 
The hardest challenge Caitlin faced was last year: she was diagnosed with skin cancer. She went through the process of having it removed, and then her mom was diagnosed with breast cancer.
 
“It was hard enough handling my own cancer, but when my mom was going through it, I felt so helpless. I was lucky enough to move back home for a month and care for my mom, but it was definitely the most difficult experience in my life thus far, and it taught my how much I can handle.” 
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Caitlin’s blog Lost Luxe is about living a luxurious yet real lifestyle. How real life doesn’t look like Instagram. She will tell you that the people you see in those little squares on the app, the ones with “perfect” skin, use Facetune and Botox. She knows that even when you work to stay positive and grateful, some days are harder than others {and that’s ok}. You’ll find her posts are about what helps her stay focused and strong while creating her dream life. How you don’t have to sell your belongings, live in a hut and eat granola to be happy/real/a good person. Creating a life that feels good and celebrating every day is the true essence of luxury.
 
Take it from this young yet deeply soulful woman: being your authentic self, being in love with life, being strong, being inspired by family and friends, is the greatest luxury.
 
Caitlin Sauer, Lost Luxe
 
 

 

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