buy some flowers
 take a relaxing bubble bath
 make your bed
 write down 5 things you accomplished in 2013
 write down 5 things you love about yourself
 put on some red lipstick
 put on an outfit that makes you feel fabulous
♥ dance, dance, dance
 tell someone you love them
 tell yourself you love you

things to do to ring in the new year

2013 was a crazy and full year for me in general, but especially for blogging. At the end of 2012, I decided that I wanted to be a post-six-times-a-week kind of blogger. I did a pretty good job! 295 posts out of 365 days? That's a pretty big accomplishment, in my opinion. This year, I went from being the owner of a blog to a blogger.

I also dedicated myself to taking lots of outfit photos this year. I may not always have the most innovative or expensive outfits, but blogging them definitely helped me be more creative in both my shopping and dressing habits. I only posted a handful of outfits in 2012, and the photos weren't really worth rounding up at the end of the year, so I'm super excited to be able to share a whole post of my favorite outfits of the year.

It's so cool to be able to look back on everything I wore, and how my style shifted from season to season. It's fun to see my hair at different lengths and to remember where I was when I took these photos and what I did when I wore the outfits. I moved apartments, changed jobs, and tried new things.

Without further ado, here are my favorite outfits of 2013.

What's your favorite thing you wore this year? If you blog, did you notice anything cool looking back on your posts from the last 365?

remembering 2013 // favorite outfits

What a merry and crazy whirlwind of a week! If you've got a long drive back home or need a little entertainment as you take down your Christmas decorations and prepare for the new year, we've got you covered! This week, we share our end-of-year lists and talk about thinking before you tweet, elves and other very real creatures, a new Romanc-e-o, and Beiber's retirement. 

Plus, Dago teaches us all how to perfect the difficult cat eyeliner.

Check it out on SoundCloud (above) or on iTunes!

Don't forget to follow us on TwitterTumblr, and Facebook!

breakfast for dinner // kolaches

skirt: Francesca's Collections // sweater: Loft // necklace: J.Crew // tights: Loft (similar) // shoes: Lulu*s (similar)

 Merry day-after-Christmas, darlings! Or, Boxing Day if that suits you. I hope you had a relaxing and joyous day with lots of mashed potatoes. I was at work, but still enjoyed the holiday.

I could have (and probably should have) opted for pajamas at work on Christmas, but I wanted to wear something a little more festive. Plus, I already had the outfit planned. What better time to wear red and green together than Christmas? (You can see the last time I wore these colors here.)

To keep from being so literal, I chose darker tones. I'm really excited about this skirt. I mean, it has a bow and pockets. I bought it at the same time as this one. It was a real good shopping day. I actually bought the sweater, necklace, and tights all on the same day too while I was strolling through the Domain during their pre-Black Friday sales.

Speaking of sales, are any of you out doing day-after-Christmas shopping? I hear it's becoming quite the phenomenon, and stores are offering some delightfully discounted items to celebrate. I am, again, at work today, but I'm thinking that I may need to do a little browsing this weekend to see what stores are getting rid of before the new year. 

PS. You can thank the glorious and talented Cathy Chao for my new photo to the right.
PPS. I've added a FAQ page under the find me tab. Let me know if you think of other questions I should add!

red & green // round two

reader survey 2013

I can't believe it's already the time of year when people are counting down their favorites of the last 360~ days. When it comes to music lists, lots of bloggers recount their favorite albums of the year, usually filled with obscure artists and songs. There's nothing wrong with this, of course, but it's not so much my style. What do I like? Pop music. So, without further adieu, check my top ten pop songs of 2013.

10 Burn // Ellie Goulding
Ellie is an angel and a hit-maker. Her Pandora station got me through all the tedious assignments that came with the end of college, and the single "Anything Could Happen" got me through a bunch of networking events and interviews earlier this year. With "Burn," I just want to dance; the purest of wants. I'm so excited that this song came out when it did to motivate me to write my list!

09 Heart Attack // Demi Lovato
Demi is one of my biggest idols. I so admire her openness about her struggles with mental health, and her absolute dedication to promoting self-love. I've been so impressed with how honest she is about the little things like being 21 and not being able to just go to a club or bar with her friends on their birthdays, because she knows it isn't a healthy or safe choice for her. She sets an incredible example for any age, and I appreciate her being in the biz. "Heart Attack" is a great track where she brings that same openness to her experience with dating that I think a lot of women can relate to. I really hope I can catch her Neon Lights tour this coming year!

08 Miss Movin' On // Fifth Harmony
I watched the US version of the X Factor last year and voted every single week for my five harmonizing ladies. It's true, I'm a fan girl. In this super fun first single, Fifth Harmony sings about doing your own thing after someone does you wrong. Way to bring girl groups back into the game! Cannot wait to see what they drop next, and I'm so excited that they're touring with Demi Lovato.

07 Q.U.E.E.N. // Janelle Monae ft. Erykah Badu
Janelle is a Q.U.E.E.N. and a feminist and a star. I'm so glad she had a hit this year, and I'm even more glad it was this one. The way Janelle writes about gender and womanhood is so important, and she makes an incredible statement about how women are perceived and the boxes we're meant to fit in to be just so. Janelle helps make room for all of us.

06 Still Into You // Paramore
Paramore has long been a favorite of mine. Hayley writes the soundtrack to my relationships, and "Still Into You" is such a nice "we've been together a while and I wanna keep doing this for a long time because I'm still as into you as I was way back when" song. It doesn't hurt that her hair is both orange and pink.

05 Royals // Lorde
In another universe, this song would be my number one song of the year. I wanted to just make this a list of my top ten favorite Lorde songs, but didn't think that would be fair to the other great pop music released this year. Lorde was on everyone's lips and "Royals" was on everyone's radio stations. The song so perfectly encapsulates the time in which we're living, and will go down as a classic.

04 Do What U Want // Lady Gaga ft. R. Kelly
I unabashedly love this song. It's incredibly catchy and almost made it to the top of the list, but didn't because of the featured artist. Regardless of him, I love Gaga's message here. You have to look deeper than the lyrics to get it, otherwise you'll misunderstand it as a song about giving your body away to someone who doesn't value or respect it, which is not the point nor something I promote. As you can see at the end of this AMA's performance, Gaga is telling the media that they can do what they want with her body, as they have and will continue to do, but that what they write doesn't change that they will never stop her voice or own her life. It's a powerful way to cap off her year of Body Revolution.

03 Wrecking Ball // Miley Cyrus
This is another song that would have topped my list if there weren't so many amazing pop singles this year. 2013 was the year of Miley. You may not have been able to escape "We Can't Stop," but "Wrecking Ball" was the song that made you respect Miley as a voice and an artist. She feels, she hurts, and she sings. This is one of the greatest break up tracks ever written, and even though I'm extremely happy and committed in my relationship, I still find myself weeping to Miley in my car sometimes because her pain is palpable.

02 Team // Lorde
Until a teensy-tiny album dropped a couple of weeks ago, I had nailed down this track as my favorite song of 2013. As I said before, I wanted to just make a whole list of Lorde songs here, so I ended up including two of her hits. "Royals" may have been the bigger song, but "Team" is my favorite. The chorus stands as a contrast for the fortunes she sings about in "Royals," describing her own reality as "not very pretty" and a city "you'll never see on screen." This song takes you into the mind of the seventeen year old songbird's personal experience that makes her the star we relate to when we drive through our home towns.

01 Pretty Hurts // Beyoncé
Like I said above, I had it all figured out, and then a little self-titled album showed up on iTunes. Beyoncé changes the way the industry operates with her new album in more than one way. Yes, we're all talking about an album with no promotion and one that, initially, could only be obtained in one place. But we're also talking about a powerhouse who brought feminist ideology to the forefront of conversation as we end our year. What is a woman's value? What is she supposed to value? What can she do to become more valuable? These are all questions Beyoncé aims to answer in her 14 songs and 17 videos. My personal favorite, and the one that shot immediately to number one of my top pop songs list, is "Pretty Hurts." For me, it takes all the other media we consumed this year--all the photoshop, all the unrealistic expectations, all the sexualization, all the standardization of beauty--and smashes it with hindsight and self-awareness. If that's not an empowering message to take into 2014, I don't know what is.

What's on your list this year?

remembering 2013 // top pop songs

We have a special guest this week on BFD Pod, my best friend Matt! He’s a smooth brotha’ from the streets in town for the holidays from graduate school. This week we talk about BEYONCÉ. Oh, and I guess we also talk about affluenza, an interpreter that’s more than meets the eye, ya friend George Zimmerman, R. Kelly, and the weirdest Craigslist ad ever. 

Be sure not to miss Dago and Matt's explanation of the difference between a shootie and a bootie.

Check it out on SoundCloud (above) or on iTunes!

Don't forget to follow us on TwitterTumblr, and Facebook!

breakfast for dinner // omelette

I am in shock that it's December, y'all. It seems like just yesterday I was celebrating the new year and considering all of the goals I had ahead of me for the next twelve months. I've been thinking a lot lately about how I want to blog my goals for the next year. But, before I get ahead of myself, let's talk December.

My grown up goal this month is to reflect on 2013, critically and compassionately. I notice that a lot of people use goals as a way to shame themselves into getting things done. I don't think this is healthy or fair or productive. You've got to be nice to yourself if you want to be successful.

When looking back on the year, I want to identify the things I wanted to do, but didn't, as well as the things I achieved. Why didn't I do them? Sometimes it's about an outside force that I can't control, and sometimes it's even an inside force that I can't control. For instance, there's no use in beating myself up over not getting a business off the ground if I A. didn't want to and B. put my efforts and energy toward other projects. In the meantime, I gained a little following for my blog here, obtained full-time employment, met the Vice President of the United States, started a podcast that people actually listen to, found an anti-depressant that works for me, and put up my first Christmas tree. If those things aren't synonymous with success, then I don't know what is.

Overall, I'd say 2013 was one of the best years ever, if not the best. I made more friends this year than I've made in a long, long time. I moved in with my boyfriend, and bought a coffee table. I made the very first of my giant payments on one loan, and paid on another for the whole year. I rallied at the Capitol for my rights, and for the rights of other women in my state.

Since I'm wrapping up the year with a grown up goals post, I thought I'd share how the format's going to change a little in the new year. I've mentioned a couple of times how coming up with these grown up goals is a little difficult because by time I really put energy into one, it's already a new month and I have to come up with another. Plus, it's not like my goals for striking a balance or getting fit can be over and done in 30 days. The intention has always been to focus on certain aspects of my life each month to help me make these things a part of my natural routine.

I've been inspired by how a few other bloggers their monthly goals. I love how both Julie and Michelle post smaller, more tangible goals every month, and then kind of keep track of their progress from month to month. I'm usually not into making such tangible goals for the long-term, but for a month, I think it could help me stay on track and accomplish more in my 30 days than one big, lofty goal.

Does that sound cool? Is that something you'd want to follow?
What are you reflecting on from the past year?

grown up goal: december + thoughts on 2014

vest: girls' section of Target (similar) // blouse: Lauren Conrad for Kohls // skirt: Forever 21 (similar) // tights: Target // shoes: old (similar)

photos by Briley Dockery

Sorry for the disappearance over the last couple of days. Dago got sick sometime in the middle of last week, and then it knocked him out all weekend. I, having not been sick in over a year, thought I could avoid it. Alas, I was unsuccessful. By Sunday night, I was coughing right alongside him in bed, and Monday morning I felt awful. Needless to say, blogging has not been at the top of my priorities.

I'm still not at 100%, but I've been dying to share these photos that were taken over the weekend! I had the loveliest of all girl dates with my dear friends Shelby and Briley. We went to Nau's, which I'd somehow never heard of! It was the cutest little milkshake shop + drug store + perfect weekend spot. There were so many cute old couples who were obviously regulars because of the fantastic burgers and delicious chocolate malts.

I'm really excited about some of the things we talked about on our date as upcoming projects for the new year. I love when smart girls get together and get the ideas a-brewin'!

Afterwards, we went around the corner to snap some photos for Briley's Facts & Figures series. I've really wanted this outfit photographed by a professional, and knowing Briley's skills, I got a little overdressed for brunch.

See how cute this blouse is (last seen here)?? Look at the little gold buttons! Go get you one!

And for good measure...

// vest previously worn here, here, here, here, and here.
have i convinced you to get one yet?

fuzzy wuzzy

dress & boots: Forever 21 // sweater: Old Navy // scarf: Target old

Feeling inspired by fellow bloggers is a really fun part of reading blogs all day, every day. When you find someone whose look feels like something you can incorporate into your own style, without feeling like you're str8 up copying their jam, it gives your closet warm fuzzies and everything feels right with the world.

That's how I feel about Elana of Room 334. She's got her own very distinct style, to the point where I see other well-dressed ladies on the street and wonder if they read her blog. But, she also isn't doing such crazy things with clothes that I don't feel like I can relate or feel inspired by her. I love that she comes up with formulas that can be repeated a bazillion ways and still feel original and new every time.

Take this green dress. It's incredibly versatile and can be worn about a 1001 ways. However, figuring out what those ways are that works with what I've already got hanging in my closet is sometimes a challenge. Enter Elana's brilliant formula: add a cozy cardi and a circle scarf? Easy, breezy, stylish.

On another note, I want to talk about these boots. I've longed and lusted over the Steve Madden Troopas for years now, and had finally decided that maybe it wasn't meant to be. Then I found these awesome knock offs at Forever 21 for a gah-reat price, so I ordered me a pair and patiently waited for them to arrive.

They came and I excitedly started trying to make outfits with them, since I assumed I'd wear them every dang day. Turns out, not so flattering on me. Or something? I really haven't been able to figure out what it is that isn't working, but it's definitely not. Even in this outfit, I think it would look better with my slouchy tan boots than these. And they look real funny with jeans! i just can't figure it out. Somebody halp! Otherwise, I'm gonna end up taking 'em down to the Buffalo Exchange.

a fine formula

Your two favorite Time Person of the Year nominees discuss a naughty app designed for stay at home models, engagement season, Selfie-Gate, LiLo getting a Hilton beat up, Lorde’s boyfriend becoming the butt of teenage jokes, a man deciding to end it all after a shopping spree, and Tila Tequila sympathizing with Hitler for clicks. BONUS! Dago eats a kitty treat on air.

Also, if that's not enough, tune in just to hear what Dago thinks Mod Podge is for. #worthit

Check it out on SoundCloud (above) or on iTunes!

Don't forget to follow us on TwitterTumblr, and Facebook!

breakfast for dinner // crepes

dress: vintage New Bohemia on South Congress // coat: old Papaya // shoes: thrifted

Over the summer, I went on a little thrifting mission to find head scarves. While I was out, I popped into a little shop on South Congress called New Bohemia, just to see if they had anything I couldn't live without. And then they did. I walked right up to her and my heart felt like it met its soulmate. I knew she was going to come home with me. 

I got all gussied up for a night out to dinner with Dago after work. Long story short, the Time Warner guy was supposed to show up at 5pm and didn't come til 11:30pm, so we never got to go.  My pretty new dress didn't even get to see the outside of my apartment!

I wanted her first time out to be special, so I decided maybe I'd save her for the holidays. I've always wanted a little red holiday dress, so why not a perfectly '60s frock? Also, it took at least this many months to figure out what shoes to wear with her! I defaulted to my favorite platinum glitter flats, but I'm thinking she really needs a pair of emerald suede or velvet shoes. What do you think?

I ended up wearing her to my agency's holiday party. In case there were any doubt, she was a hit! Hopefully I have another chance to wear her this season, and maybe I'll even find a pair of shoes to match.

What are you wearing to holiday parties this season?

red holiday dress

blazer: stolen from brother // dress: Zara old (similar) // leggings: Forever 21 // boots: Delia*s (similar) // scarf: vintage

 Do you ever have those days? Those days where the air in your room is just a couple degrees too cold to get out from under the covers? And you haven't decided yet what clothes you want to put on to keep your body and spirits warm?

That happened to me this morning. I usually plan my outfits the night before, but I just hadn't had a chance to think about, so I woke up and stayed under my covers until the very last moment possible. When I did go stand a-shivering in my closet, I felt totally uninspired. I knew it would be sooo cold outside, so I wanted to save a couple of other outfits I have lined up for a slightly warmer day.

I started looking around and grabbing things that looked warm, until I had a whole outfit on my body. Then I quickly rushed out the door and off to work. I got there and felt so uncomfortable in what I'd chosen. I hadn't really gotten a good look at myself before leaving the house, so I didn't even know if things came together. All I could think about were the less-bloggable-but-more-cozy outfits back in my closet at home.

It wasn't until I went out to take photos that I realized that I do, in fact, like this outfit! The blazer over the sweater dress looks sharp and gives it some shape. The scarf and blazer have a slightly flight attendant look to them--in a good way, I think? I like that I ended up with navy and brown instead of my frequent default of black and brown. And, I was warm!

It may not have been as easy or familiar as some other outfits I could have chosen, but I'm glad I tried something new and found an inspiring combination to share!

What do you do when you have a closet full of clothes, you're running late, and you don't know what to wear?

// dress previously worn here

stress dressing

one // two // three // four // five // six // seven

Can you believe we made it to December? Friggen bonkers, I tell you. Anyway, new month means new things to wish for!

one // You all know my love for colored tights, but I've been a little cautious of patterned tights. After seeing Sara wear these pretty rose tights on her blog, I went out and bought a similar pair, but have been too scared to wear them. Then, I was at a party last weekend and my friend wore the coolest patterned tights, so I decided I need to step up my tights game. These are pretty intense, but I also think they'd be semi-easy to wear with skirts and dresses because the lines are all horizontal.

two // I haven't bought a new coat in a couple of years, but this winter is especially chilly! I've always wanted a red coat, and even more after reading Nora Ephron essays about them, so I've been on the lookout for the perfect one. I'm really picky about coat shapes. Is that just me? Some are too frilly and girly, making the shape is hard to wear with jeans. Others are too boxy or voluminous. What I really want is something that's slightly cinched and a long enough to cover a longer sweater, but not actually a long coat. I love the double-breasted look, and I don't really love belts. Found: the perfect red coat. I'm super digging that the fur bit is removable for ultimate versatility. 

three // I'm not  really in the market for a NYE dress, but if I were, this would be the winner, hands down. I found it back in October I think and fell in L.O.V.E. It's sparkle, it's sequin, it covers and reveals just enough to be sexy, plus it looks like it fits like a glove! Gimme.

four // I want all the festive sweaters! American Eagle has a bad rep for being a preppy high schooler's dream, but they really do have cute stuff. This year, they're rocking out some awesome sweaters (as evidenced here) and this one is no exception. 

five // Who can say no to a bejeweled, knit, emerald ear warmer? Not I.

six // These boots. Put them on my feet and call me winter ready. Actually, I want an identical pair in black, but I can't find any that I like. Halp?

seven // If you know anything about me, then you know that this is me, in t-shirt form. Whatever you're into, you can probably find 100 things you need on this website. Get to shoppin'!

What are you wishing for this month?

december wishlist

vest: girls' section of Target (similar) // shirt: Banana Republic // boots: Delia*s (similar)

I told y'all I had more fur vest outfits up my sleeve! It's surprisingly still freezing in Austin, so I'm taking notes from all my cold weather bloggy friends for expert layering. Last week Jenn mentioned that wearing her vest kept her really warm, while still allowing her to use her arms to their fullest potential. Since we take frequent dance breaks at work, but I still wanted to be warm, I thought I'd give the vesting a shot with my favorite plaid and an easy bottom half. The moral of the story is that if you haven't gone out and bought 1. a fur vest and 2. this plaid shirt, you're doing it wrong.

I know a lot of people are ready to call the season we're in "winter," but it's just settling into fall here in Texas. The trees at my apartment complex and around work have mostly turned pretty oranges and reds, and I am all about it. I can't wait for it to stop being wet so I can play in the leaves!

// vest previously worn here, here, here, & here
// shirt previously worn here

alternative titles for this post:
south by south vest: infuractive
invest in your futfure
thanks for those, dago

it was the vest of times

skirt: Francesca's Collections // shirt: Old Navy // scarf & tights: Target // boots: Chinese Laundry (similar)

 The cold weather is back! Usually when I take outfit photos, I end up with 30 or so and just choose a couple, but for this outfit, I legitimately took three. It was all I could stand to have my coat off for!

I actually wore this outfit about four times over the last week, usually just for a few hours at a time. It's my new favorite fall uniform. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I love me some black + camel.

I mentioned that I did some shopping at the Domain on the Wednesday before Black Friday, but I forgot to mention my lunch break at Francesca's! They are one of my favorite places to look for skirts, and they definitely didn't let me down this time. I actually had several that I wanted and had to narrow it down (I also bought this one that I have a couple of outfits lined up for!). I have a skirt similar to this coming in the mail from J.Crew Factory, but it got lost and hasn't come in it's navy and white, so it's really a totally different skirt than this one. Yep, that's how you justify a purchase, my friends.

Also, it has pockets. Is that ever a bad thing?

polka dots and pockets

Hello my loves! Since you're all shut up in your cozy homes on this super cold weekend, why not tune into the new BFD episode? This week we talk Bey & Jay's temporary veganism, PETA's assholeism, getting punk'd by social media, racial profiling in Houston, and how robots are taking over the world...or at least Applebee's. Plus, I make Dago mansplain a crafty item, and you don't want to miss it.

Check it out on SoundCloud (above) or on iTunes!

Don't forget to follow us on TwitterTumblr, and Facebook!

breakfast for dinner // oatmeal

 The most wonderful thing happened this year: my very first Christmas tree. Growing up Jewish, my parents so wanted my brother and I to experience the pure joys of the Festival of Lights, without ever feeling envy for our friends and neighbors with trees glimmering in their windows. Never was a pine chopped, an ornament dropped, or corn popped for stringing in the Seligman house. And I don't blame them! I grew up filled with pride in my menorah and my dreidel. But, I'd be lying if I said I never wished for a Christmas tree of my own.

In college, I lived alone and never had the funds to buy my own tree and do it up in ornaments and lights. I wanted my first time to be special, so I avoided small, pre-lit trees with determination that, someday, I'd have a tree to call my own.

When Dago and I moved into together, I knew it was time. I asked him a couple of months ago if we could get a tree, and he promised. Dago's real good about keeping promises. The weekend before Thanksgiving, we saddled up in the Versa and ventured down to the Target. Entering the Christmas decoration aisle was like a new puppy in a pet store. So much to see! So much to smell! Wait, what does that one do!?

We investigated our tree options and quickly agreed on a six-footer--for only $20! Since we don't have an ornament collection of our own, we picked out a super classy box of gold ornaments, along with a few strands of white lights. I may have never had my own tree before, but I know about class and sparkle. On the way to the register, I grabbed a pack of gold bows, because, obvi. I really love the finishing touch they give our tree!

Speaking of finishing touch, we realized that we didn't have a topper. Back in my Barnes & Noble days, someone gifted me a little Santa hat for Contessa, which she's not made good use of, so we plopped it on the top of the tree and called it good. I actually quite like it, and we may just keep it after all.

In an attempt to slowly grow our ornament collection, we I decided that we should exchange ornaments every year. I'm so excited to share what I have planned for Dago, and I can't wait to see what he comes up with for me!

Since putting up our tree, I've been completely enchanted in its beauty and light. I find myself staring off at it while blogging or catching up on our shows. Our tree is magical, and has brought me so much joy and comfort in our home.

What's your favorite part of decorating for Christmas? Do you have a stance on real vs. fake trees? As an adult, how are you building up your ornament collection?

the first christmas tree

shirt: DIY // jeans: Gap // shoes: Target old // scarf: Francesca's // glasses: BonLook

You may or may not know this about me, but I am not craft-inclined. I have grand visions of crafty goodness, but I find the actual act of crafting both exhausting and anxiety-ridden. Plus, I just don't have the hands for it. Almost everything I've ever attempted has come out pretty wonky.

When one of my favorite bloggers Becca of Ladyface Blog reached out to me about guest posting, I immediately thought "definitely!" and then got really intimidated. She's one of the most brilliant crafters on the Internet, so having a DIY on her blog means it has to meet a certain standard. I started brainstorming all of these wonderful projects I would love to accomplish. Handmade stamped head scarves! Embroidered stationery! Stenciled bunting! Unfortunately, these crafts are all pretty out of my league, and I didn't really have time to try, try again. 

What I am good at is online window shopping. I found this sweater from Asos a while back and fell. in. love. But also didn't really think it was worth the price. I mean, it's just gems on a sweatshirt, how hard could that be? And then I got to thinking, "hey! I could do that!"

So now, here we are. Head on over to Becca's blog for the full DIY so you can make your own sparkly holiday sweatshirt!

do-it-yourself sparkle

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