gingham sundress

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

gingham-dress-silk-scarf1 gingham-dress-silk-scarf2 gingham-dress-silk-scarf3 gingham-dress-silk-scarf8 gingham-dress-silk-scarf5 gingham-dress-silk-scarf6
dress: thrifted // scarf: vintage (similar one, similar two) // sandals: Salt Water Sandals // bag: Old Navy // earrings: c/o Limbo Jewelry

photos by Chelsea Laine Francis

In case you haven't noticed, I'm a little summer obsessed, and nothing screams summertime to me like gingham and sundresses. Put the two together, and I'm as happy as a kid on Christmas morning. Well, if Christmas was in July, that is!

After wearing one of my silk scarves tied this way around my neck recently, I decided to give this smaller one a try. I've had this scarf for years now, but I actually don't think it's been featured on the blog yet. Everybody say "hi" to my red, white, and blue square scarf! I keep hearing that silk scarves are the new statement necklaces, and really I couldn't be happier about that because I'm a bit of a collector. I can't help but rummage through a scarf bin when I see one, and I usually end up leaving with a handful of printed pretties.

Typically, when I'm linking to a similar option to something I wear on the blog, I settle on one or two items that are as close as I can find. Well, I fell in love with about ten gingham dresses when I went to search, so today you get a whole widget of options. I'll definitely be keeping an eye out for that J.Crew dress to go on sale -- I need it!

What patterns scream summer to you? Are you digging the statement scarf trend?

may | small goals

Monday, May 2, 2016

small goals may

For the first time in a long while, I feel like I kicked a month's butt without getting mine kicked in return. I committed to being especially thoughtful this month. I made a point to remember my goals, but not just the monthly ones I put here on my blog. I wanted to see growth and progress and learning, rather than myself making the same mistakes or falling prey to the same demons. I wanted to fail harder and feel deeper if things were to go south this month. But you know? Even with my depression and anxiety and struggles with food and body image as ever-present as before, I managed to sidestep the usual end-of-the-month sinkhole by choosing to show myself a little extra care. 

One big change I made in April was my state of mind. I wanted to know what I was about the feel, before I felt it. I detected some patterns, I touched base with friends who experience similar ones, and came up with pretty decent solutions to lessen the blow that can sometimes feel all too inevitable. 

I challenged myself in some new ways this month, and all this thoughtfulness and attention helped to erase my usual anxiety about the unknown. I walked into my first-ever massage and didn't bat an eye. When the wedding coordinator needed snap decisions made while my best bride enjoyed time with her new husband, I thought quickly and clearly and gave good instructions. Truly, there isn't much more I can ask for from myself in a 30 day period. 

 That said, let's do a little check in with the goals I actually set out to accomplish.

1. start taking multivitamins | done! I started taking these and I have so much energy!
2. create a Pinterest strategy that works | done! Slash always in progress, to some degree. Without getting too much into it, here's the quick and dirty: use Board Booster to loop evergreen pins if you're serious about Pinterest (and goodness, clean out anything you don't want looped before you start this!), name your boards with keywords (ex. not your blog name if no one is searching Pinterest for your blog!), audit your Pinterest to find out which pins/boards are getting traction and do more of that! 
3. be the best maid-of-honor I can be | done! I just realized that I totally spaced on writing a bridesmaids blog post! I learned so much that weekend and had a blast celebrating my besties.
4. get a massage | done!!!! Post coming about this too!
5. complete as many remaining 26 before 26 goals as possible | done! Slash still in progress for the next...19 days and counting? I'll be updating y'all soon with my final count!

5/5!!! I'm feeling so great about crossing all of these things off my list in April! Let's see if I can keep up the momentum into my birthday month!

1. take a weekend trip | I actually have a few small trips I'm hoping to take this month, so if I successfully take even one I'll be happy!
2. get my hair professionally colored | You may remember that I dyed my hair pink for my birthday last year. Well, I did it myself (Manic Panic style) and immediately realized that I'm not in high school anymore and should definitely be sitting in a professional's chair when I want to change my 'do, even for something fun and silly. This time, I'm planning on a more natural look, but it will hopefully be something exciting and different!
3. finalize my 27 before 27 list | As it turns out, this gets harder every year I get older! Not only am I already accomplishing a ton of goals each year, but I keep having to come up with more of them! I'm stoked about the ones I've come up with so far, and I'm open to suggestions as well!
4. photograph my guest bathroom | I'm desperately hoping that making this an official goal will help me get this done! I've had my guest bathroom done since February before Chrystina stayed with us, but the lighting is terribly strange in there and I've been putting off trying to take photos of it for the blog. This is the month!
5. try kicking it back up to four posts a week | And, with the previous goal in mind, I'm thinking I may need to go back to four posts a week in order to put out all the content I want to! It's been nice having blogging-free nights, but I also feel like I'm not using this space to its potential when it's just outfits and links. We'll see how it goes!

Alright, goal setters, start your engines! It's time for this month's link up! Be sure to link back to this post in your own goals post, and check out all the other goals being set below!

what i bought in april

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Hey hey, it's almost May! Which means it's time to link up with Fran and the budgeting bloggers. After last month's spend-fest, I didn't do a whole lot of shopping this month. I tried to focus on closet staples that I'll wear for at least the next six months, if not more (because Texas). Here's what's happily hanging in my closet from April:

What I bought:
what i bought april
Old Navy Swing Pintuck Top - $19.76 (40% off) [worn here]
Old Navy Trapeze Tank - $13.76 (40% off) [worn here]
Old Navy Distressed Jeans - $4.95 (unsure how much off?) [not pictured, worn here]
Target Long Sleeve Pattern Cardigan - $24.99
Target Panama Hat - $14.99 [not pictured, worn here]

Monthly Total: $181.43
Quarterly Budget Spent: $550.09
Quarterly Budget Remaining: -$50.09

Welp, I've officially overspent my budget for the quarter two months in. After the way March went, I definitely expected this to happen, and I'm actually surprised it's not worse than it is. On one hand, I did really try to limit my shopping after going overboard last month. I knew that I would be stocking up on a few pairs of shoes (see below) and was excited to find these gold Salt Water Sandals, especially for only forty bucks! These are becoming an every day shoe, which is definitely going to make the cost per wear exceptionally low. After buying a few skirts the last few months, I really needed a couple of plain blouses in order to be able to wear them. The cardigan was something I kept reaching for that didn't exist in my closet. For $25 at Target, I'd say I did pretty well on that one!

The item I'm most excited about is probably the chambray skirt, which I got to try on during the grand opening of ModCloth's IRL popup in Austin earlier this month. I tried on a ton of things (including a wedding dress, because why not?), but employed a little self-control and only left with the one thing. However, I hear they're re-stocking with new arrivals this coming week, and seeing as they're only here until the end of May, I'll definitely have to stop in again soon!

What I received:
what i bought april2
Sam Edelman Trina City Sandals$120 c/o Shopbop [worn here]

As a part of my sponsorship with Shopbop, I receive a monthly credit to spend. I had a little leftover from a previous month and waited until the friends and family sale (25% off) to be able to buy these two pairs of shoes at once. I had actually planned on saving for the Sam Edelman sandals this year anyway, and was super happy to find them on Shopbop. I cannot recommend these shoes highly enough. They're the perfect balance between dressy and casual, and the sole is padded (!!!) which makes it feel like you're walking on tiny little clouds.

I bought the Swedish Hasbeens in a 37 (I am a very true to size 7 in US sizing) and they fit like they were made for my feet. Unlike my Old Navy clogs, these are legit made of wood, which is surprisingly comfortable (unless you have to randomly walk a mile in them like I did last weekend...). Hasbeens are another shoe I have been wanting to save up for over the years, so I definitely recommend keeping an eye out for Shopbop sales (I always share about them here!) to help you invest in a pair of your own!

Even in spite of my budget being shot for May, I don't anticipate doing much shopping. The only thing I think I may buy next month is a pair of shorts, since summer sets in here pretty quickly and my pairs from last year don't fit very well anymore. I've got my eye on this pair and this pair. Also, May is my birthday month, and I've got these on my wishlist!

Be sure to check out what all the other budgeting bloggers bought this month!

pintucked and distressed

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

white pintuck blouse2 white pintuck blouse1 white pintuck blouse3 white pintuck blouse5 white pintuck blouse6
shirt: Old Navy // jeans: Old Navy (similar) // hat: Target // sandals: Salt Water Sandals

Does anyone else feel like Old Navy has taken over their closet? I have to actively try not to shop there these days. I'm a big believer that personal style is about combining different pieces -- high and low, vintage and brand spankin' new, etc. -- but it's so easy to wear all Old Navy, all the time (as evidenced here, here, and probably lots of other places). While I've been shopping more vintage lately in general, I couldn't resist shopping a recent 40% off sale at Old Navy. Of the pieces I brought home, this flowy pintuck top has already received a gold star for being highly flattering and making me feel like a million bucks. It has that breezy, gauzy look that all white shirts should have in the summertime, so I'm extra glad I didn't miss it while trying to resist the ole ON.

On the same shopping trip, I snagged these distressed jeans (my first pair! sorry mom!) for $5. They're high-waisted (I'm wearing them in my usual size 10) and have undone, slightly frayed hems, the latter of which also feels super summery. With a Panama hat and Salt Water Sandals, I'm basically beach-to-BBQ ready.

Speaking of the beach, I'm hoping to take a quick trip next month and I think it's time for a new swimsuit. This is way more than I would spend on a suit, but how gooooorgeous is it? Back to reality, how cute is this lace racerback top, this striped number, and this shoulder tie cutie?