1. My office desk. 2. Painting of St. Edward's University (now hanging in my living room!). 3. Sleeping aids: Lionel Rupert and my eye mask. 4. Horchata from El Taccorido and Girl Scout cookies.
 1. Showing off my new faux fur coat, purchased on super sale at Nordstrom Rack. 2. Pretty dresses from an after-work adventure to Francesca's. 3. My mini Jason Wu collection. 4. Snaps from my Dad's hand-me-down, ridiculously warm flannel.
 1. The view from my study spot on my couch. 2. Contessa napping on my couch. 3. Dago, post outlet mall excursion. Check the bunny tie! 4. Breakfast at Mozart's with my soul sister Rachel. 
1. Peter Pan collar for Valentine's day. 2. My heart. 3. Accidental Spanish candy memo hearts 4. Love, as defined by my beautiful coworker Danielle.

Are you on Instagram? Add me at nicolahearts or check out my pics at Webstagram.

February Instacap

If I were a teacher, this is what I would wear on the nicest Thursday in February. It may not be spring, but it feels enough like it that I shaved my legs, put my tights back in the drawer, and shimmied into the most sunshine-y dress in my closet.

Alas, it isn't actually spring, so I didn't want to prematurely break out my frolicking gear. Instead, I layered on my favorite fall scarf and a cropped blue cardigan, tied together with a single-looped belt at my waist.

I know that this outfit ideally calls for brown loafers or suede booties, but I couldn't resist throwing on my princess flats to add a little glitter to the ensemble. Faux pas? I care not.

If you were a teacher for a day, what would you wear? If you're in Texas, how are you dressing for this unseasonably warm weather? 

Teacher's Pet

shirt: Target (similar); jeans: PacSun (really old); loafers: Cotton On

It's been said that before you leave the house, you should always take off one piece of jewelry. It seems that, upon starting college, I took that motto a little too far and am found frequently wearing only one piece of jewelry: pearls.

I know that I should accessorize more, especially because there is so much beautiful, affordable jewelry out there. Hopefully you'll soon see me with arms full of bangles, but today isn't that day. When I'm true to myself and want to look my best, I prefer to keep it simple with a few strands of pearls. This layered piece from Nordstrom stayed on my wishlist through the holiday season until I finally had to go and buy it for myself. Definitely my favorite piece of jewelry.

On an unrelated note, I have some big news that I'll be announcing in the next few days. Keep an eye out for my exciting announcement!

What do you wear when you want to feel extra classy?

Classy Girls Wear Stripes and Pearls

shirt: UO (similar); jeans: Gap; sneaks: F21

Y'all. The weather is perfect this week. You should probably stop reading this and go play outside. Did I convince you? Okay, well you can go play outside after you finish reading then.

What better way to celebrate perfect weather than in a shirt that says "c'est la vie" and a new pair of kicks? I want to listen to Band of Horses and eat snow cones and learn to ride a bike.

Woah. I got a little too excited there. I don't really want to learn to ride a bike. Maybe the figurative bike of life. No two-wheelers for me, please.

Spring is coming! What are you excited to wear?

C'est la Vie

red jeans: Gap; tank top & cardigan: Old Navy (similar cardigan); loafers: Cotton On (similar)

If you're my friend on Facebook, then you know this has been a week of stress eating for a certain blogger. Not that I ate any condiments aside from honey and cream cheese (on bagels, of course!), but I'm always inspired by the colors in different meals and how well they translate to clothing. I may not eat hot dogs, but I still find the rich red of the ketchup complemented by the smooth mustard color to be a classic pairing.

I've had a lot of trouble making outfits with these red pants because everything looks too literal. For instance, a navy and white striped shirt creates the perfect sailor costume while black gives off the impression that I'm dressing in Hot Topic items. So far, I've matched the red with grey sweaters and blouses, but the weather smells of springtime and I'm ready to lighten up my wardrobe.

Mustard is the perfect answer to my red pants dilemma because it is a beautiful mixture of a neutral and a bright color, neither overwhelming the other or clashing with my bold red pants. My beige cardigan is muted enough that it doesn't compete with the other colors and my camel loafers punctuate the look without fading away completely.

What do you pair with red? What is your favorite shade of colored denim? I can't wait to buy some high-waisted yellow shorts when spring transitions to summer.

Condiment Inspiration

I wouldn't usually consider myself to be a shoe addict, but I definitely binge once a year a buy as many pairs as I can afford (or can't, really).

I've been looking for a pair of high-top oxford booties for months and finally stumbled upon a pair I love. At first, these were a total impulse buy, but after wearing them Saturday, I know they're an invaluable asset to my wardrobe.

On the other hand, I'm eager for these grey sneakers to punctuate the spunkier outfits in my closet. Especially because they were only $6.50! There's just something about wearing a floral dress and sneakers that wins out over any other prospective outfit choices every time. Hello, comfort and style.  

What have you bought recently that you love?

Hey, I Put Some New Shoes On

No, this post isn't about shopping. Or fashion. For the first time, I recognize that I need to get some real therapy instead of relying on retail therapy for my anxiety and depression. This week, I made a big leap and had a consultation with a counselor.

If you've never been to a therapy consultation, then you probably don't know about the giant packet of paperwork they ask you to fill out, asking extremely specific questions about your darkest moments and terrifying thoughts you aren't even willing you admit to yourself, let alone a stupid piece of paper.

After taking over half an hour to finish a multiple choice exam about my own life, I felt awfully crazy and anxious. You know what anxiety-ridden people love? Guilt. The counselor took me back into her office and told me that I "ate up our consultation time" because it took me so long to do the paperwork. As if I weren't already feeling bad enough about myself, right?

I've always been radically self-aware. This is usually seen as a mature, appreciated trait in a woman my age. My counselor did not find it amusing or helpful to our consultation. Or maybe, she just wasn't listening because she was projecting her own ideas about me onto our session. Is that how this works?

Post-consultation, I know that I definitely need to see a therapist. My reactions to these seemingly insignificant moments are not "normal" and I know that I need help. This may have been a traumatizing situation, but I'm motivated to try again--from someone else, of course.

It took a lot of inner coaxing, but I've decided to write about my experiences, at least over the next couple of months, with depression, anxiety, and therapy. This blog is geared mostly towards twenty-something women. I don't have any presumptions about the fashionability of my readers. We may not share the same sense of style, city in which we live, relationship status, or hobbies. However, in my blogging experience, readers appreciate a writer who isn't afraid to share her dark stories alongside her shopping escapades. I've written about my unhealthy relationship with food, but I've only blogged a little about depression. I think that it's time someone in the fashion blogging world opens up to readers about who we are beneath our clothes.

Whatever you're going through, you're not alone. It's so important that you have a support system of people who can validate your experiences with their own stories. I hope that I can be a part of that encouragement for at least a handful of my readers. Maybe I can even inspire some of you to write about your own struggles. I don't want to get preachy about any of this, because I'm obviously not an expert. Writing is my way of starting conversations about things I don't have answers to. I hope you'll join in.

What do you think about fashion bloggers getting deep? If you've ever seen a counselor and you're comfortable sharing, I'd love to hear about your early experiences with the system. Am I overreacting to what happened to me?

Therapy Vol. 1

following, following

Valentine's day is a little different this year than it has been in the past. Last year I received Pokémon-themed chocolates from a boy on OkCupid, for several years I've celebrated by attending The Vagina Monologues, and once it even snowed. This Valentine's day, I've got a hot date with a new therapist. Yay?

I don't really imagine that my appointment will be all that hot, unless of course I have a break down and get a fever or something. I wouldn't put it past my cray-cray body. Anyway, I'll be spending the remainder of the evening with Dago, basking in our cuteness. He bought us a heart-shaped, deep-dish pizza, but we got hungry and ate it Monday. We're definitely the most romantic couple you know.

dress: Francesca's Collections (final sale!)  / shoes&tights: Target (old)
Because we all know that Valentine's Day isn't just about celebrating the love of a partner, I'm celebrating the love I've got for myself by wearing something that makes me feel beautiful. The color and shape of this dress are pretty flattering and I feel confident wearing it. What more does it take to celebrate? Break out the sparkling grape juice (because, let's be honest, that shit is the bomb) and get to cherishing the love in our everyday lives.

What did you wear for the big day? How did you celebrate love?

Valentine's and Peter Pan Collars

Did you see the snow flurries yesterday? This is what I was wearing when it happened.

I can't even tell you how long I've been waiting to make this outfit. Being a girl built like a little boy, plaid button-downs make me look flat flat flat. However, I was pleasantly surprised when I found this ex-Target shirt at Savers and it fit so well.

shit: thrifted / jeans: GAP / boots: Aldo / necklace: Nordstrom Rack

I've also been trying my hand (or, neck?) at statement necklaces. I'm obsessed with my layered pearls because they go with everything and make any outfit fancier. It may be gross and sleeting outside, but I still look fabulous.

The most important part of this outfit is slipped right over my boot socks. As I've mentioned, I desperately want a pair of green Hunter rain boots, but simply cannot justify spending the $125 while living in Austin. Instead, I've been hunting for a similar pair high and low. Well, dear readers, I found a pair! I spent an amazing day with Dago in San Marcos at the outlets and spent a ridiculous amount of money on a ridiculous amount of gorgeous clothing. 

After shopping 'til we were actually ready to drop, I made him go into just one more store before we left. Aldo. I have never given Aldo the credit they deserve for having really great, stylish shoes when I need them most. I was actually looking for my high-top oxford booties, but came across these instead. They had one pair--my size--and were on super sale. Instead of the original $75, I spent a magical $16. And the determined Huntress is successful.

What major sale pieces have you found recently? How do you style your rain boots?

The Determined Huntress

To the woman who insists that her cappuccino be free of foam, stand right in front of her, deliberately spooning out every bit of foam. She will think she is getting special treatment and tip you well.

To the client who claims to know more than you do, validate his perceived intelligence by saying things like "Wow, you're so right. I think an animated .gif would make a great header on your website." Building trust is a crucial part of client-contractor interaction.

To the girl at the expensive department store who thinks she's too cool for you, engage her in your shopping experience by asking for her expert opinion, leveling with her about annoying customers who leave heaps of wrinkled items on the dressing room floor, and point out that you wish you had her hair/shoes/arms. No one doesn't like having their style, grievances, and abilities acknowledged.

Seriously, y'all. Kill people with kindness. If you don't, you'll both have surly looks that might stick on your faces forever. Faking a smile is better than not smiling at all. Who knows, you may start to smile for real (even if you're secretly making fun of them and you'd really rather kick them in the knee).

Killing It With Kindness

Tuesday is easily my favorite day of the week. Not only does "Dance Moms" come on, but I don't have to go to work. On Tuesdays, leggings-as-pants are perfectly acceptable. Especially when paired with a cat shirt and my dad's old flannel.

 This shirt is definitely my favorite piece from the Wu collection. I promise to stop talking about Wu after this week. But, since it's still this week, how cute is the cat in the Target advertisement? He or she is a fabulous freaking cat. I obviously need that bow for myself.

shirt: Jason Wu for Target; leggings: Nordstrom; boots: Chinese Laundry
Keep your chin up--the week is half over!

 What do you wear on your days off? Thoughts on leggings-as-pants?

Cat Shirt

Most girls who have a shoe problem have it year-round. For me, I spend approximately two months out of the year stalking up on all the shoes I could possibly need. I love wearing shoes that are timeless as much as I love wearing seasonal shoes out of season. I've had my eye on these four special pairs for a while. Hopefully I can add them to my wardrobe soon.
Hattie - ShoeMint
Do you see this shoe? Have you ever seen anything more attractive? I've got Dago, but this shoe is a close second, for sure. The rich suede color blocking is perfect to finish out this temperamental winter and arrive in spring, bright and ready to skip down the lane at any moment. I could slip these on with just about any outfit and feel dressed appropriately for the occasion. Plus, this shoe's name is Hattie. You can't name a shoe and expect me not to feel attached. I have to have her.

Charles Albert Modern Lace Up Bootie - PacSun

I have only been looking for a pair of booties like this since the beginning of time. When it comes to shoes, I can be extremely picky when I want something specific. The right bootie is flat and fits just beneath my rolled jeans, laces up, and are made of smooth caramel-colored leather. Of all the places I searched, PacSun was not near the top of my list to find the perfect pair, but I obviously discredited their bootie-having skills.
Original Tall - Hunter
I don't have a lot to say here other than I love Hunter rain boots, wish it rained more so I could buy a pair, and wish they didn't cost $125 so I could buy a pair. Really, I just want Hunter rain boots more than anything and if you buy them for me, I will love you forever. Seriously, how freakin' classy are these tall, green darlin's?
Champion Calico - Keds
If I were a shoe, I would probably be a floral sneaker. The delicious mix of feminine floral prints and easy-going sneakers is so appealing to me. Spring dresses are calling my name, but I can still cozy into a pair of Keds and bobby socks before winter is through to brighten up a less-than-springtime day.

What shoes have you had your eye on lately? Do you have any of these in your own shoe collection?

If The Shoe Fits

There are few feelings as sweet as buying something you're really excited about. Being the retail therapy addict that I am, I keep my sanity by buying pretty things. 

I've had an iPhone 4 for almost a month now. Initially, I bought the Otterbox Defender in pink and black, but the largeness of the case prevents me from carrying my phone in my back pocket. (Giant case + back pocket = saggy jeans. Not cute.) Anyway, I recently fell in love with the cases at Society6. Don't have an iPhone, but fell in love with the artwork? You can purchase prints, laptop decals, and stretched canvases in the same design.

I searched through, literally, hundreds of pages of cases before choosing this one. It has all of the elements I looked for in a pretty case: a cat, a girl, pink, and fancy lettering. I couldn't be more pleased with my $15 purchase.

Before the Wu madness of this past weekend, I went on a little spree to Francesca's Collections. I wore the coral dress on my date with Dago to the Alamo Drafthouse's Master Pancake: The Notebook on Friday. It was a cold day, so I paired it with a tall pair of chocolate boots, grey tights, and a grey cardigan.

The dress on the left was on final sale for about half of the original price. I can't wait to rock this peter-pan-collared shift on Valentine's day next week. The dress in the middle was entirely impulsive and inspired by all of the pastel love that has been clogging my Bloglovin' the past couple of weeks.

I can't wait to get my case in the mail and shimmy into these girly dresses.

What have you bought recently that you loved? I'm dying to know which Society6 case you're coveting. Share in the comments!

Recent Purchases I Love

Check out my mini-Wu collection. I wasn't able to show up at 8am with the crowds, but I made it by noon-thirty. The first Target had literally one XS, which I purchased (see dress on the right), and no smalls to be found. 

The second Target had a much better selection, but I had to really strategize to get what I wanted. Seen in the text with my BFF Audrey above, I ventured to the dressing room to find any small left-behind items. Instead, I found a lovely Target employee with a whole cart of Wu to hang back up.

I snagged the adorable cat shirt in a large to wear over tights. Perfect shopping outfit for a later date. However, the blue blouse was a really lucky find. I picked up the medium to try on for giggles, but I discovered in the dressing room that the hanger was mislabeled and the shirt was actually a small. Hooray!

I still really want to find one of the bags and the blue&yellow floral dress. No such luck so far.

Wu makes me extra excited for spring. What are your favorite pieces? Did you Wu today?

Do You Wu?

Tonight is a very special night, y'all. Here's why.

1. I discovered an iPhone 4 app called Camera Plus Pro that allows me to set a timer on my camera. Thus, I can now photo-razzi myself at my own leisure risk.
2. One of my dearest friends, Hannah, is moving to Paris to work for Fat Tire Bike Tours. Though I was only able to stay for a bit, her going away (slash Rick Perry is back in Texas and isn't our President!) celebration was marvelous.
3. The party was Texas themed and I wore a super cute outfit.

apologies for the dreadful photo quality. it's a work in progress.

 Seeing as I was playing with my new app anyway, I thought I'd share tonight's outfit and announce that I'm officially going to start fashion blogging. This may eventually take place under a new domain (so keep your eyes peeled) and my photo locations/skills will hopefully improve in the very near future.

jumper/scarf: Target; shirt: J.Crew (similar); boots: thrifted (Get Back Vintage in Austin)

Welcome to my living room and my first post as a fashion blogger.

Any tips for me? What do you want to see me wear next?

An iPhone App, A Farewell, and Rick Perry

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