colorful fall capsule

I am SO excited about today's blog post - maybe more excited than I've been about anything I've worked on for the blog all year. First, thanks to you for being patient with me while I took a step back this month. Maybe it didn't feel like much of a step back to you, seeing as I was still posting two times a week, but it was a really big deal for me to not think about blog content every single night. I read a book, I binge-watched a whole show without also being on my computer, and I went to bed early nearly every night. My quality of life has already improved so much!

The other big change is that I finally had time and space to think about what I want to do with this space. In realizing that I don't have to treat my blog like it's my full-time job, I got to think about how I do want to treat my blog. A huge theme in my job as the editor of a major wedding blog is providing value - and utility - to everything we publish. We avoid just featuring things that are pretty because we aim to be a resource, not just something nice to look at. It almost makes me want to kick myself that I haven't been treating my own space the same way. 

I put out all of these outfit posts - posts I've sacrificed my quality of life in order to put out into the world - and they don't even really have usefulness! Sure, you may get an idea here or there and even pin some of the outfits I post, but I haven't been approaching my content from the perspective of providing you with a resource to help you improve your life starting in your closet (oh hey, that last sentence is my personal mission statement!).

SO. Knowing this now, how do I intent to move forward? I'll still be sharing outfit posts (you can bet your bottom dollar!), but you're going to see a lot more closet remixing around here. Styling and re-styling really is my passion and the skill I hope to pass along to you. It's hard to not get caught up in the rat race of buying new things all the time in order to have something to share, but I've got a closet full of clothes I love and don't always need something new. And when I do get something new, I want it to be because I really love it and can't wait to rock it with half my closet!

In the spirit of what I've been really loving lately, I thought it would be fun to kick off the new season with a colorful fall capsule remix. This capsule includes a couple of old pieces and a handful of new and new-to-me pieces, all of which I've been wearing a ton lately. For the next few weeks, you'll get to see 10 outfits I made with the following 10 pieces:
  colorful fall capsule items

The Tops

colorful fall capsule tops

1. Forever 21 Yellow Peter Pan Collar Blouse | I've had this blouse for a couple of years now and it's already been majorly remixed here on the blog and in real life. It's a fall staple in my closet and I love the color so much! Mine is several years old, but here's a similar yellow blouse under $20 and a one under $100.

2. & Other Stories Navy and Red Contrast Collar Striped Shirt | This tee has been on my wishlist since seeing the pink/orange version on Kelly Mindell of Studio DIY. I'm still waiting for that colorway to come back in stock, but grabbed this navy and red one for my Asheville trip (thinking it would be cold enough to wear it - I was wrong!).

3. Lush Floral Ruffle Bell Sleeve Blouse | I bought this top during Nordstrom's anniversary sale knowing it would be a go-to when the temps cooled down. I wasn't wrong - I've already worn it five or six times in the last month and it isn't even cold here yet! This blouse is sold out now, but here's a similar bell-sleeve blouse under $30, a similar one in a solid color, and a similar one under $100.

4. & Other Stories Pink and Red Contrast Collar Striped Shirt | I am my mother's daughter, so of course I bought this shirt in color colors! Both are a size 10, thought I find they run a little small and might size up in the next 

The Bottoms

colorful fall capsule bottoms

5. Gap Corduroy Button-Front Skirt | Since I've worn my black denim skirt a ton this summer, I knew I wanted a mini skirt for fall/winter. However, after shooting this outfit a few weeks ago, I thought I'd prefer the proportions of an A-line style with long-sleeved tops and sweaters. This button-front skirt perfectly fits the bill!

6. ASOS Woven Peg Pants with Obi Tie | ASOS carries these Obi tie pants in a ton of colors, but I stalked this teal pair for weeks waiting for my size to come back in stock. (Note: I got a size 12 and they fit TTS!) I had a particular outfit in mind for these using one of the tops in this challenge but was excited to remix them in general. 

7. Old Navy Cropped Wide-Leg Jeans | I've been trying to decide if I wanted to keep these jeans, and what better way to decide than by throwing them into a remix challenge! I inherited this pair from a friend, but here's a similar pair!

8. Zara Floral Cropped Trousers | The pants that started it all! These pants are the inspiration for my fall closet and for this capsule. I can't stop, won't stop remixing them and could have probably done this whole challenge as just ten ways to wear floral trousers! I can't wait to show you that even something as wild as floral trousers can be remixed again and again.

The Outerwear

colorful fall capsule outerwear

9. Madewell Jean Jacket in Pinter Wash | I finally upgraded my denim jacket game and I'm so happy! I've been rocking a vintage denim jacket for the last couple of years, but it was pretty snug and I realized that was keeping me from wearing it as often as I'd like. The fit and quality of this Madewell jacket is worth every penny. For reference, I got it in a large so I can wear it with sweaters under it!

10. Old Navy Yellow Cardigan | No fall capsule is complete without a chunky cardigan, and no colorful capsule is complete without this shade of mustard! Luckily, this sweater, AKA the best and most-used item in my closet, has the best of both worlds. I bought this at the end of 2016, but here are a few similar options: one, two, three.

And that makes 10! Stay tuned over the next few weeks to see the 10 outfits I put together!

some blogging thoughts and a 10x10 colorful fall capsule remix


Happy Friday! You want some links? I got some links!

30 black female content creators to follow on Instagram.

I've been thinking a lot about this space and how I come across on the Internet, so I appreciated Chloe's post on who she wants to be online.

Repeat after Alissa: stop working for free.

Sam Edelman has so many pretty velvet pieces right now! I think I need one of those pairs of pompom shoes.

So...the AMAs didn't nominate any women for Artist of the the year Kesha, SZA, and Lorde came out with new albums. And yet...The Chainsmokers are nominated?

Never did I think I would fall in love with a laundry room, but Olivia sure proved me wrong.

Um...pretty sure Grace just convinced me I need a leopard coat.

Tips from Sade on how to be a better person.

Kimi's tips for gaining confidence at a new job can totally apply for an old job too!

I'm not sure my hair is long enough for step four, but I'm all about these tips for air-drying your hair the right way!

Help me pick a circle bag color?

Can't wait to copy this outfit Kaylah wore using my favorite cat-collar blouse.

These seven colorful outfits on Grasie made my heart grow by seven sizes.

Do the cold temps give you dry lips? This post is for you!

A little wishlist: this embroidered sweater, this peplum tee, these amazing bird print pants, this velvet midi dress, and this mustard mini skirt.

link love

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dress: ASOS (on sale!) // shoes: c/o Fiesta Feet // purse: Mar Y Sol c/o Shopbop // earrings: c/o Woll

photos by Chelsea Francis

I have to be honest with you: I may or may not have planned a few of my outfits for my Palm Springs trip based on where we were going. I'm not proud of it (jk I totally am) and I'm even a little embarrassed by it (jk I'm totally not).

This was the outfit I planned to wear when we visited The Saguaro, the colorful hotel of my dreams. Little did I know, I would actually visit The Saguaro a whopping three times because I just couldn't stay away! The only photos I got in this outfit while I was there were on my ole iPhone (goodness, I need the new one so badly!), so I had Chelsea snap some Palm Springs-esque pics once I got back to Austin. You can just pretend I'm still in the Palm Desert because I certainly am!

I've had a few requests for my Palm Springs and Joshua Tree recommendations, so I thought I'd compile a couple of my favorite things we did during my week-long trip! For clarity's sake, I feel like I should explain that my vacation started out as a work trip, but the event at which I was going to speak was cancelled. Since many of us had our tickets already, we decided to still go and invited a handful of other photographers (most wedding) from around the country to come hang in the desert for a week. I, myself, am not a photographer (I think most of you know that!), but due to my job, I spend a lot of time talking to wedding photographers, so it was fun to run around

Where to Stay

Aloha Ranch - Yucca Valley

Aloha Ranch was the first of two Airbnbs we rented during my trip. We had five people comfortably in this home, but could have fit a couple more in the three-bedroom, two-bath setup, one-couch setup. I loved the vintage Americana decor, including a huge old western movie poster framed next to the door that I'm still obsessing over. While we didn't have a chance to use it, this rental also comes with a "cowboy dip," which is just a big tin tub you can fill with water in the summertime, as well as a fire pit.

Spirit Wind - Joshua Tree

If you've got a big group (we had 10 when we stayed), Spirit Wind is the Joshua Tree Airbnb you want to be in! It was by far the most unique home I've ever seen and its clever use of space allows for a large group to stay comfortably. It's technically three-stories because of a loft bedroom, has two official bedrooms on the second floor with an additional lounge area and office, and cubby twin beds and giant, comfy couches on the first floor. One of our favorite aspects of Spirit Wind was the circle of hammocks outside, which the welcome book notes is perfect for "life-altering conversations" beneath the stars (can confirm).

What to Do

Palm Springs Unofficial Hotel Tour

Seeing as my obsession with Palm Springs started with writing about so many weddings that took place there, visiting my favorite boutique hotels I'd never been to was at the top of my list. My top three were The Saguaro, The Parker, and the Ace Hotel. The Saguaro, as I mentioned, is like Disney Land for people who love bright colors, AKA me. The hotel has a gorgeous outdoor courtyard including a pool, as well as an onsite bar and restaurant called El Jefe. The Parker is the classiest of the three and, while the drinks are terribly expensive, it's worth visiting to see the beautifully curated interior. The Ace Hotel has a more hipster cool vibe and a great onsite diner called King's Highway. If you're going to dine-in at one of the three, I would recommend eating at the Ace! It's free to walk through the lobby and courtyard areas of all three hotels, but the pools and other amenities are available to guests or by an additional fee depending on what it is.

Palm Springs Midcentury Modern Architecture Tour

Okay, so we actually just drove around some pretty neighborhoods near the hotels I mentioned, but I just found a self-guided architecture tour that I totally wish we'd used instead! Palm Springs is known for its architecture (if you don't believe me, check out this KFC), and the midcentury modern homes are its crowned jewel. I really wanted to take one of these guided tours, but we didn't have a chance, so I guess I just need to make another trip! ;)

Yucca Valley Unofficial Vintage Tour 

I couldn't go on vacation and not hit up some vintage shops! I heard lackluster things about the vintage shopping in Palm Springs proper, so we decided to shop closer to the desert for better finds and better deals. Along 29 Palms Highway through Yucca Valley, you can find a handful of great vintage stores that have been carefully curated. My absolute favorite was The End (where I got the top worn in this post) which has a little something for everyone, all at reasonable prices. A couple of other notable shops we hit on our tour were Funky and Darn Near New and Promised Land.

Joshua Tree National Park

Hopefully a visit (or seven) to Joshua Tree National Park is on your list, but in case it isn't - GO! I've never seen anything like it, and the further into the park you drive, the more diverse the landscape becomes. Perfect for camping, hiking, photo sessions, watching the sunset and/or stargazing, spending plenty of time enjoying the park is in your best interest.

Imperial Sand Dunes

Okay, this isn't actually in Palm Springs or Joshua Tree, but at two hours away, I had to include it on this list because it was that good. In fact, the Imperial Sand Dunes are one of my favorite things I've ever seen. I actually got really emotional as we ran around the seemingly endless, overwhelmingly large dunes of sand as we watched the most incredible sunset I've ever witnessed. If you have access to a car during your trip, I highly recommend making the trip!

What to Eat + Drink

Bootlegger Tiki - Palm Springs

Though I had a drink while hanging out at each of the above mentioned hotels, my favorite cocktails were actually at Bootlegger Tiki. This tiny tiki bar is easy to miss; it looks like it's the back half of a coffee shop on the same corner, but is actually its own entity. Bootlegger is known for its handcrafted cocktails and happy hour specials. Basically, it's a must-stop for your tropical cocktail Instagram needs and the drinks really are that good!

Frontier Café - Yucca Valley

This became our go-to coffee shop and breakfast spot for the week and I honestly wish I could just go anytime I wanted. Great food (light fare and yummy breakfast) and drinks (the frozen chai!!), plus it was so cute and cozy. If you're hitting the vintage shops I mentioned above, this cafe is along the way!

2 Guys Pies - Yucca Valley

Y'all, don't sleep on 2 Guys Pizza. After spending sunset in Joshua Tree National Park, we were driving around starving, looking for a place that was open because everything closes early in the desert. We were so lucky to come across 2 Guys Pies, and not just because it happened to be open, but because it was truly an amazing experience. I have never had better service at any restaurant (I left a 5-star review on the drive home and we left a giant tip - they even tried to tell us we tipped too much because they're that kind!). The food was insanely good and in huge portions. The menu is hilarious and unique, as each pizza and dish is named after a music reference. I really cannot recommend this spot enough and wish I could hug the employees a hundred times.

There's so much that I didn't do that I'd still love to cross off my bucket list, like Salvation Mountain, Salton Sea, and Mirage (the latter was closed when we tried to visit), so I'm hoping to head back out to the Palm Desert in my future! If you've been, where were your favorite places you went so I can add them to my list?

what to do in palm springs & joshua tree


Happy Friday! Before we get into this week's links, I wanted to say how thankful I am for the support you've given me. I spilled my guts here this week and so many of you commented, shared my post, and reached out to send your love and share your own story. None of us is alone in sometimes (or most of the time) feeling like we're not enough, but we're stronger together and we heal when we talk about it.

I actually didn't realize World Mental Health Day was the day after I published that post, but I've seen some great posts and resources around the Internet this week that I wanted to include in today's link love. 

My sweet friend Lauren wrote this insightful piece for To Write Love On Her Arms about supporting a partner who struggles with depression. I get asked about this a lot, so I'm glad to have this to share now!

Similarly, I loved the language in this Buzzfeed article on tips for talking about mental health with someone who has depression. There are some great phrases to mentally bookmark for the next time your loved one is going through it.

Buzzfeed also put together a bunch of celebrity quotes on mental health that I found really powerful.

This video in honor of International Day of the Girl is one of my favorite things I saw this week.

This was a big week for feelings, huh? I loved this piece my dear friend Taylor wrote for National Coming Out Day.

If I copy this perfect casual fall outfit will someone take me apple picking?

What about this one?

Welcome to hydration station.

Valery's GLOW-inspired Halloween makeup look is EVERYTHING.

These booties are fall's hottest and most practical trend.

On wanting to be noticed (and why that's okay!).

Lots of new arrival cuteness from cupcakes and cashmere.

I can't decide which I love more - Alissa's outfit or her words on confidence + doubt.

On my wishlist: this ruffle top (that just went on major sale), this pretty pink cardigan, this bell-sleeve LBD, these tie-waist pants, and this floral embroidered sweatshirt.

link love

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