Who's ready for a quick distraction from the election? Because obviously you're all going to vote (hopefully even early!), so we don't have to talk about it here? Right? Okay good. Onto the links!

This sweet blogger lost her home, cat, and livelihood (she ran a vintage shop on Etsy) in a fire. Her story is devastating and could happen to anyone. Please consider giving if you have the means.

A dear friend of mine wrote something about the importance of showing up and sharing, inspired by my post from earlier this week.

General alert (because no one alerted me): Nordstrom carries J.Crew now! First on my list is this striped turtleneck.

The funniest thing I've read this week.

Fall outfit inspiration on Sarah, Alena (I maaay have bought that purse...), Daphne, Chelsea, Molly, and Rachel.

My favorite installment yet in Chelsea's Normal Girl's Guide to Freelance.

Have you heard about the new Instagram feature yet? Now if only Twitter would step up and take care of its users.

A reminder to invest in yourself.

Love this roundup of budget-friendly bloggers. Some of my favs made the list!

I shared this on my Facebook this week, but thought you deserved to read about a little goodness in the world too.

The wallpaper inspiration you've all been looking for (or is that just me?).

Real talk: why millennial women are burning out.

A wishlist for the weekend: this cat turtleneck, these disco-themed sweats, this ruffled button down, this colorful sweater, and these booties.

link love

leather loafers suede loafers fall loafers

Does fall make anyone else feel suddenly collegiate? I start wanting to fill my closet with button downs, cardigans, and especially leather loaders. I have this outfit in my head that I already want to repeat: straight, high-waisted denim, white collared shirt, oversized cardigan, and a pair of classic loafers. I see myself sitting outside of a coffee shop with a book and mug of hot chocolate, plenty of autumn leaves at my feet. Except, I don't have any loafers! It seems I'm not the only one with this vision, as there are a bunch of great pairs to shop this season. See?

Now comes the hard part. Do I want the leather Madewell pair or the suede Kristin Cavallari pair? A classic penny loafer or a pair with tassels? One of the feminine pointy pairs or a more masculine shoe? So many decisions!

Are you shopping for a new pair of loafers? What's on your list this week?

on my list | loafers

writes like a girl lularoe amelia ladybug dress1 writes like a girl lularoe amelia ladybug dress7 writes like a girl lularoe amelia ladybug dress2 writes like a girl lularoe amelia ladybug dress3 writes like a girl lularoe amelia ladybug dress9 writes like a girl lularoe amelia ladybug dress11 writes like a girl lularoe amelia ladybug dress5 writes like a girl lularoe amelia ladybug dress15 writes like a girl lularoe amelia ladybug dress12
dress: LuLaRoe c/o Megan McClary // shoes: Loft // purse: STRUT (sort of similar) // earrings: vintage

So, I has planned on writing this post about how sometimes a dress is just a dress, and it doesn't need a lot of layers or extensive styling, but then I got attacked by nine (count 'em -- NINE) wasps. Something about the bug print seemed to call for me to tell you that story. It's a cautionary tale, dear friends.

I was doing a little Sunday cleaning a couple of weekends back. All the furniture that had been moved during Dago's injury was finally going back in its place. As I was returning something to our outdoor storage closet on the patio, I found myself in sudden and excruciating pain, covered in a swarm of angry yellow jackets. I screamed absolute bloody murder, startling both Dago and people hanging out by the pool by our place. It all happened so fast, and I was stuck there in shock. Dago was telling me to run back into the house, but since yellow jackets can, you know, fly, I was afraid they'd just come with me! Finally I got back inside, where I continued screaming and sobbing while I begged Dago to fix it. He asked where the stings were and I just kept shouting "EVERYWHERE!"

I ended up getting in the shower, where I sobbed for another half hour, until Dago brought the apartment manager over to check out the situation. She found a MASSIVE nest under our patio table, where they had obviously just been lying in wait for me. On Monday, the maintenance guy came and blasted those mother buggers! I'm still afraid to go out there to put away the stuff that's now just been sitting on the patio for two weeks. Also, if you look closely at my arms in these photos, you can see the swelling and redness from a few of the stings.

In conclusion, don't do chores, and don't go outside. For more reasons to not put things back where they go, read this post!

Oh, and, say hello to my new hair!

a bug's life

writes like a girl madewell emporia plaid shirt fall outfit12 writes like a girl madewell emporia plaid shirt fall outfit3 writes like a girl madewell emporia plaid shirt fall outfit1 writes like a girl madewell emporia plaid shirt fall outfit2 writes like a girl madewell emporia plaid shirt fall outfit7 writes like a girl madewell emporia plaid shirt fall outfit11 writes like a girl madewell emporia plaid shirt fall outfit4 writes like a girl madewell emporia plaid shirt fall outfit13 writes like a girl madewell emporia plaid shirt fall outfit10 writes like a girl madewell emporia plaid shirt fall outfit8
shirt: Madewell Emporia Plaid Shirt via Poshmark (very similar) // utility shirt: Old Navy // jeans: Old Navy // shoes: Old Navy (sold out online, available in stores) // necklace: PSYCHE JEWELRY // purse: vintage Coach via Prototype Vintage

If you're here, I have to assume that you've read a blog or two for inspiration. You probably have at least a few favorite Instagram accounts whose lives and closets you look at with heart eyes. You even have a Pinterest board full of smiling, stylish women you sartorially admire. Just as likely, you've felt discouraged when stepping into your own closet or standing in front of the mirror, not seeing the same polished affect you had in mind. I feel you.

I was texting Chelsea the other day about how disappointed I sometimes feel looking at my own blog outfits and not seeing the "sheen" I so admire in the fashion bloggers I look to for inspiration. I was feeling down on my style, on this blog, and on myself. I know I'm not alone in that; there's think piece after piece about not letting the perfect captures on Instagram make us feel like our own lives are less than.

I really love this outfit. I enjoyed wearing it, I think it photographed well, and I'm excited to re-wear it when the temperatures drop for good. I created it with a specific blogger in mind -- truelane. In my opinion, she's the queen of the cool girls, always rocking flats, sleek city layers, and a laid-back vibe. When I got these photos back, my heart dropped just a little in seeing that, though I had all the components of a great truelane outfit, I was still missing the sheen.

It sounds silly, but I think I was hoping to get these photos back and see truelane actually wearing the outfit...on my own blog. But I don't need to be her, or even look like her. Me and my outfit are good enough! I think a lot about whether my approach to style and this blog are aspirational or inspirational. I think (hope!) it's obvious that I want a sense of personal style and put-together outfits to be accessible, so I tend to fall on the inspirational side of things. Maybe the sheen isn't there because I want to break it down and make fashion available to everyone. Or maybe I have my own sheen for readers who look up to my style, and I'm just too close to my clothes and these photos to see it.

When it comes to blogging, I have doubts all the time about why I bother. Does anyone really need me to put up photos of me in, essentially, a T-shirt and jeans on the Internet? Well, kinda. Because it's not just a T-shirt and jeans. I work hard to put something else out here, to fill a pocket that isn't currently occupied. And that's something that only I can do and that makes what I do (and am) worthwhile.

Like with anything you see, whether on Instagram or Pinterest, remember to make it your own. It doesn't do anybody any good to clone what someone else has already done. Yes, be yourself, because no one else will, but also celebrate the things that make you and what you do different! If you're feeling inadequate, consider what someone else might admire about you.

on finding inspiration without getting discouraged

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