It's hot outside, y'all. What is there to do when it's this hot in Austin? Go back to bed. Drink margaritas! My family's liquor of choice is definitely tequila and margaritas make an appearance every time I go to hang out with my parents. While my mom prefers hers on the rocks, I'm a frozen margarita girl for life.

Pretty much every restaurant in Austin serves some form of Tex-Mex, so anywhere that serves alcohol also serves margaritas. Not all of them are worth leaving the house for, no matter how great the happy hour special is, but these are my picks for favorite margaritas in town.
Polvo's | My number one favorite margarita in town is at Polvo's. I'm obsessed with their peach margaritas and crave them all week long sometimes, but Polvo's has a zillion flavors to choose from like mango, canteloupe, and coconut, plus your regular or classic strawberry. The thing about Polvo's is that the margs come in pretty small glasses, but they get you drunk. I can have exactly one. If I have a second, I pretty much can't move for the rest of the night and have to take advantage of their yummy salsa bar until I can safely drive. You're probably thinking "ew, if it's that small and gets you that drunk, it must be pretty strong!" but you'd be wrong. I'm not into tasting the alcohol in my adult beverages, and Polvo's sugary frozen deliciousness caters to that perfectly. Plus, you can order breakfast tacos all day, which you know is super important to me.
Red's Porch | When I took a much-needed break from protesting earlier this month, I knew what I really needed was a Red's margarita. I wasn't even seated for five minutes and I inhaled the rather large swirl margarita sitting in front of me. I then proceeded to eat two and a half plates of nachos and Snapchat a picture of my "intoxicated teeth" to all my contacts. That's how you know it's working! Red's also provides one of the greatest views in town with it's open-air second story, and you can always count on a sunset with your happy hour.
Chuy's | Chuy's is a staple of the Austin community. They hold a Kids Giving to Kids Parade every year before Christmas that my dad took me and my brother to when we were growing up. It was a huge part of my childhood, partially because I went year after year, and partly because it taught me about supporting those less fortunate and especially about engaging in my community. If that weren't enough, they have delicious margaritas. When I tell you that they come from a margarita machine, you're going to be all what?? but they are really good! Chuy's is known for its jalapeƱo ranch dip, which is best paired with a couple of strawberry margaritas. For non-Austinites, Chuy's has locations all over the darn place now so you can get your own margaritas!

Where do you go for a great margarita?

Past Austin Eats posts: breakfast tacossnow cones, food trailers

margaritas | favorite austin eats

top: Keds for Macy's
I know a lot of you are probably wondering "Wow, doesn't she have less hair than she did before?" Why yes, yes I do!

After this post, I knew I needed a change. My hair had been trimmed a couple of times over the last three years, but not cut or shaped in any way. The length was making my hair really flat and thin feeling and I was just over it.

So I took to Facebook and Pinterest. I polled my Facebook friends about their favorite salons in Austin to get a better idea of where I might go for the big chop. I've gone to Ulta for my haircuts for most of my adult life, but never felt like I was really getting a cut or style for me, rather something basic they did on everyone's hair regardless of hair qualities. The salon with the most votes is a cute little shop near my apartment called Frenchy's Beauty Parlor. I fell in love with the personality of the salon and especially the price, which was exactly what I intended to spend for a good cut. I researched the stylists and decided I'd be comfortable with any of them playing with my hair, but hoped Melanie or Becca would be available.

I got a paycheck and a bad hair day on the same Friday afternoon, so I made an appointment (with Melanie!) and headed over after work. I had spent the previous week pinning pictures of Julia, Mara, and Olivia Palermo as hairspiration. I sat down in Melanie's chair and started flipping through my Pinterest page on my phone with her, explaining that I wanted a slightly angled lob. She knew exactly what I meant and went to work.

I had so much fun talking to Melanie and I felt like we clicked really well. She told me about how she started doing hair from a very young age and her spur-of-the-moment decision to move to Austin. I loved her determination to find a salon in town that felt right, rather than just renting a chair anywhere. If I didn't already love Melanie and Frenchy's, I did after that. Y'all know I'm all about doing things that feel right and passing on opportunities that don't. We exchanged advice on dating and exercise, and I felt like I made a new friend.

We decided on a length together, but as she was finishing up, I realized that I probably should have gone shorter. I decided to let her dry it so I could see what it really looked like. I knew that I wanted it shorter still, but didn't want to hold her chair any longer or make her go back and cut it all again. What is the proper etiquette when your stylist is done but you aren't?

So I went home and tried to love my new hair. It was definitely an improvement from before, but it still wasn't working quite the way I expected it to. After a week, I sent Frenchy's an email asking if there was anything they could do. Again, I don't know anything about salon etiquette and thought I was a lost cause. The receptionist called me and set up an appointment and I headed back to the shop a few days later. I was so nervous and embarrassed and thought everyone was going to hate me. I was so scared that Melanie was going to be mad at me.

But she wasn't! And, she was genuinely happy to see me. She took into account that I'm a little nit-picky paired with not having very good perception of inches, so she checked in with me throughout the cut to make sure I was still loving it. We ended up taking about another 2.5 inches off and I love it. I couldn't be happier and I've been so excited to come home and blog about it. I love how all my clothes look with it, I'm having fun learning new ways to style it, and I'm using less than half the conditioner I was before! 

If you live in Austin and are looking for a place to get your hair cut, colored, styled, etc., I highly recommend visiting Frenchy's Beauty Parlor and letting Melanie play with your hair!

**I was not compensated in any way for this post and all opinions are my own.

frenchy's beauty parlor | favorite austin spots

I was driving to dinner the other night and I returned a call to my mom on the way. She was at a party that was really loud in the background, so I was trying to get off the phone and let her get back to the laughter. Before I said goodbye, she asked if I was feeling sad again and if my medicine was still working. Up until that moment, I thought my medicine was absolutely working. I knew I was still recovering from my weeks of protesting and the media blitz surrounding the Zimmerman trial, but I was actively reaching out for company, I was writing a lot, I was reading, I was dreaming of things to come. I felt as normal as I assumed I should feel, on or off medicine. For some reason her question knocked the idea of normal out of its position in my mind and I couldn't seem to pop it back into place.

What is normal? What is normal when you deal with depression, or with anything for that matter? I have days where I feel inexplicably down. I have days where I need to recharge. I have days where I need to not be alone. I have days where I want to walk through the mall by myself and days where I want to go to karaoke with all my work friends. Is this normal? Is this something my medicine allows me to feel? Or forces me to feel?

Something about my personality that I've never been able to determine an answer for (though I usually attribute it to being a Gemini) is how drastically I identify as both an introvert and an extrovert. On any given day, you can find me yearning to be surrounded by a group of people and reaching out to anyone I want to because new friends make my heart beat with more purpose. On others, I don't want anything more than to back into a quiet space to re-energize and get back in tune with my personal needs. While my other qualities remain intact when taking a personality quiz (NFP, for you Myers-Briggs fans), I alternate between introversion and extroversion to quite an extreme. I find myself trying to answer the questions for how I might feel tomorrow. Or for whichever might be my normal state.

One definition of normal refers to being in a state of functioning. I am forever reaching for stability in my life, to be able to function the same today as I did yesterday and the week before and can count on functioning the same tomorrow, without worrying about what might throw off my basic ability to simply function. Is my medicine supposed to help me function? Or is it supposed to take me a step above?

I'm going to see my psychiatrist again in a week for the first time in two months. I was prepared to tell her that everything was going smoothly and that I didn't need to make any changes with my prescription, but now I'm feeling unsure. Is feeling down for no reason something that's normal? Even if it sometimes keeps me from functioning the way I perceive others to do with ease?

I know I say this every month, but I'm really making Here Comes the Brand a priority this month. If for no other reason, I need the money. I need to find some semblance of financial stability, in spite of my emotional instability. But it is so goddamn hard to sell yourself, to network, to show up, to try again, to try another tactic, to keep going, to not give up when you feel like you can't even get out of bed or feed yourself properly.

Is normalcy enough to reach for in trying to achieve something great? Is it enough when just trying to function?


shirt: Forever 21 // skirt: thrifted // flower: Francesca's Collections (similar) // shoes: Steve Madden
Sometimes it's the middle of the week and all you need is a big ole flower on your shirt to feel like a million bucks. I'm really, really glad I decided to buy this skirt on that fateful day at Savers. It's been a major staple in my summer wardrobe.

Also, can we talk about these shoes? I am obsessed with them. But I don't really know what they are. Are they are flat? A sandal? A flandal? A slat? Whatever they're called, I'm wearin' 'em everywhere.

something floral

Guest posting over on Goodwillista today about my loveliest recent thrift treasure: a golden J.Crew blouse. Check it out!

The reason for my guest post is super near and dear to my heart. Danielle, the Goodwillista herself, got hitched last weekend! I'm so unbelievably happy for her, and I send her and her new hubby all the loving wishes. Plus, today is Danielle's birthday. Back-to-back awesome!

Go send her some love!

the [thrifted] golden ticket

I meant to write this post back in June, and then at the beginning of July. Now it's mid the end of July, but it's still technically the middle of the year...right? Regardless, I'm going to do a little check in with my New Year's resolutions.

I love making goals and resolutions (obviously), but I think it's equally as important to check in with yourself to see how the progress is going. A lot of people find themselves disappointed when 

I love to see if I'm on track and reevaluate my goals or my life if I'm not. Sometimes goals change, which is why I try to make mine pretty open ended, but I don't think it's necessary to hold yourself to something you don't believe in anymore. Luckily, all of my New Year's resolutions are still things I'd like to be working towards, so let's see how I've been doing.

[keep in touch]
This is the resolution I've been dreading looking back at. I've done an awful job at this. I wanted to get pretty stationery and used it as an excuse to not keep in touch with far away friends. I have a handful of people I miss so much and writing letters just doesn't feel adequate for how close we were before they moved and for how much I miss them now that they're gone. But I know it's an important, special gesture that will make us both feel better. I do really want to commit to this in the second part of this year. Pretty stationery or not, I'm going to write notes to loved ones and show them how much I appreciate them even though I don't see them every day.

[make my house a home]
This one I've done pretty well at! I had a feeling back in January that I'd be moving in with Dago, so this was a really important resolution for me to set. I wanted our home to be a really comfortable place where we both felt free to be ourselves and both had an equal part in putting it together. I've had so much fun going to Ikea with him, arranging the furniture, and considering decorating options. I love how well our furniture fit together and how nicely our aesthetics match. Some of my favorite pieces right now are an embroidered cloth his mother made that hangs above our stove and that we both choose to lounge on each other's couches instead of our own. I've made a couple of prints with lyrics from my favorite song by The Cure and his favorite song by The Smiths that I need to get printed to frame above our bed. Most of all, I love that we don't feel rushed to put it all together at once, that we can take our time and build our home like we have our relationship. 

[feel healthier]
On one hand, I've done a really great job at this. My emotional and mental health is in a better place than it's been...probably ever. I'm really in tune with my emotional needs and I can recognize when my body is telling me that I need a break. I've also been much better about setting boundaries with the people in my life, as well as with media, so that I don't suffer from vicarious trauma or compassion fatigue.

However, I've been putting off my physical health. My biggest obstacle is money. In order to start exercising the way I want (going on walks at night, trying out jogging, going to a zumba class), I need a good pair of tennis shoes. The closest thing I have right now are Keds and my ankles are so bad already that I could really hurt myself trying to exercise in them. As for my internal physical health, I know I haven't been eating the way I should. My first priority when I moved into the new place was to start eating at home more. This is something I've been pretty good about, but it's also important for me to start incorporating more cooked meals into my eating so that I can really get the nutrients I need to lead a healthy physical life. Hopefully this fall I'll be in a better position, both schedule and money wise, to learn to cook new things and eat real meals on a regular basis.

As much as this is a resolution for 2013, I also know that's it's going to be a lifelong process for me to have a more comfortable and healthy relationship with food.

How are you doing with your New Year's resolutions? How do you check in on the progress of your goals? 

midyear goal check in

jacket: Gap Outlet (similar) // dress: Forever 21 (old, similar) // shoes: Steve Madden // earrings: vintage from Blue Velvet
 If I wrote every outfit post about what I honestly thought while taking the photos, each post would be exactly the same. It would be about how hard it is to take photos of yourself. To take photos of yourself in public. And to post those photos online.

I have so much anxiety about taking outfit photos that sometimes I just don't. I start thinking about it the night before, when I'm picking out my clothes. Where will I take them? What time? Will the sun be at a weird angle? Will there be lots of people around? What if my hair does something weird between now and then and then all my pictures are unusable? Then I'll have nothing to blog.

I know some bloggers mention it once in a while. Sometimes a neighbor walks to their car while the blogger is mid-pose or a creepy stranger asks to help you take your photos. From what I can tell, most bloggers shake this off and get back out there. But I really, really struggle with this.

Elizabeth wrote a really great bit the other day about someone interrupting her photo session and having a bad hair day, but going back out the next day to take gorgeous photos in an outfit she loved. I am constantly so inspired by Elizabeth. She has been blogging since I was still in high school didn't even know what a blog was, aside from Xanga. Seeing her go back out there is inspiring, but it also makes me realize how inexperienced I am and how much I still have to learn. 

Bloggers share the good stuff because, I mean, who wants to see my burnt mac n' cheese? But, I still wonder what it looks like bloggers don't get back out and take the photos the next day. Or what the moment is like when they overcome the anxiety and do go out again. I can't be the only one who struggles with taking outfit photos, as much as we all have battles with our bodies and fight through social anxiety. 

If you blog, do you ever feel camera shy? And if you don't blog, how do you cope with overcoming the anxieties surrounding your jobs or hobbies?

camera shy

Since it's been raining all week here in Austin and I haven't been able to snap any outfit photos, here are some of the loveliest links I've come across recently.

 I've been dying for Kristina to share her wedding photos and this week she gave us a peek at her getting ready shots. Dying over the robes she got for herself & her bridesmaids!

 How to deal when someone offers unsolicited "advice" about your looks.

 I found sweet Becca's blog through the Dare to Wear link up the other day and instantly fell in love with her easy-to-copy crafts. I think I'm going to try my hand at this little embroidered tea towel DIY (and get myself some sherbet too!).

 Notes on self care and self compassion that I definitely related to.

Wishing I were wearing every bit of Holly's peachy look.

 I know I'm not the only one around here obsessed with Pretty Little Liars. If you haven't been reading Vulture's recaps, you have some catching up to do.

 This is the funniest thing I've read....ever? Let me know what made you yelp "me too!"

 I loved Elizabeth's thoughts on not being tied to one style. Cannot wait to meet her at TxSC in a couple of weeks. #fangirl

 Crushing stereotypes, one Toys R Us at a time.

What are you loving online this week?

lovely links

she bats at the yellow ribbon hanging off my dress hanging off the chair.
she catches it with her claw. noticing her own movement,
she stops to observe for a moment.
not a second passes before she's got her head burrowed into the bottom of the chair,
searching for the ribbon to bat or for the laser pointer from previous play times.
"dumb cat," I whisper. "she can only see within an inch of what's in front of her."
another second and she's disappeared behind the chair,
only her tail whipping the end of the ribbon behind her.

she bats

It's finally close enough that I can start counting down the days to TxSC and not seem like a crazy person. I spent a couple of hours figuring out what workshops I want to attend and I've been carefully putting together each outfit  from top to bottom. It's safe to say that this is the most exciting thing I'm doing this year, so I want to fully embrace myself in the process.

Unfortunately, money is still tight around these parts, so I'm remixing a lot of pieces I already own and wearing some special pieces I've saved for "the right occasion" that haven't been worn yet. For prom, I'm finally going to wear a vintage dress I thrifted several years ago that I've never worn out of my closet. However, it doesn't stop a girl from dreaming about what she'd wear if she had disposable income and great taste (at least I've got one of the two!).

Dressing for any event, I battle with how I want others to perceive me upon first impression. With each dress option, I assume a different persona. Here are a few I might have worn if I had the funds.

I've been lusting after this dress for about a million years. It reminds me of the dress Taylor Swift wore on New Girl, and y'all know how much I love to dress like Taylor Swift. I love the super sweet pinks, golds, and creams of these pieces. I think this outfit says: I'm a vintage-loving sweetheart who loves movie nights and fresh flowers.
dress* - shoes - earrings - clutch - clip

Being a blogger conference, I know there will be so many girls in the most on-trend looks. Bright coral, soft mint, graphic accessories, and statement jewelry are all majorly fab in the blogosphere right now. I've never worn a one-shoulder dress, but this color and shape are calling to me. I think this look says: I like to try new things, I'm addicted to Instagram, and I love supporting local boutiques.

*This dress literally sold out while I was building this blog post. Similar here.

Stepping way out of my comfort zone here, but I pull up this dress every time I go to the Topshop website. Where I would wear it, I didn't know until prom, but this might be the perfect opportunity to step out of my box and into a wild print with edgy accessories. If I wore this look, I'd feel like: the girl who has a super amazing self-started career in PR by day and leads her pack of friends downtown for a night of karaoke and dancing by night.

What's your go to style persona?
What are you wearing to TxSC Prom? I can't wait to connect with you there!

what to wear to: txsc prom

My most favorite summer treat in Austin will always be snow cones. Even before the food trailer outbreak of 2008, snow cone stands have been a staple for a perfect Austin summer. As soon as the temps begin to rise at the end of March (or, you know, whenever), I start making drive-bys past my favorite snow cone spots to see if they've opened their window for business. Last summer, I had several weeks in July and August where I ate snow cones more than six times a week.

Because I know you're all wondering, my standard flavor is wedding cake. Here are my favorite places to get it:

caseys new orleans sno balls

Casey's New Orleans Snowballs | When you're from somewhere, there are places in your hometown that are just special to you. Casey's is that place for me. When I was little itty bitty, my dad used to take my brother and I to Casey's as soon as school let out for summer. My brother isn't really into snow cones, so Casey's really became a father-daughter thing. Some of my favorite memories with my dad are sneaking to Casey's after Hebrew School on Wednesday evenings without telling my mom or brother.

I was astounded as a kid at how many flavors they had--back when the only snow cones in Austin existed at carnivals and sporting events and the only flavors were cherry, orange, and lime. I felt so grown up walking right up the yellow steps and confidently ordering a guava and passion fruit snowball. Then dad and I would sit on the adjacent steps, sticky with colored syrup from past snowball-enjoyers, and gossip about our day.

My dad always ordered something with cream or chocolate in it, so I got as close to that as I could by trying wedding cake syrup. This is where my true love began, dear readers. Wedding cake + black cherry snowballs for life. Bonus: New Orleans style snowballs are unlike any shaved ice or generic snow cone you've ever had. They are made with a special machine that makes them incredibly soft. The soft ice soaks up the syrup in the most magical way. Plus, all of Casey's syrups are made from pure cane sugar. So delicious!

south austin sno

South Austin Sno | I love supporting a local business, and even more so when that business is right in my neighborhood! South Austin Sno actually has two locations that are just a stone's throw away from me, but I swear that's not the only appeal! The creative flavor pairings, short lines, and friendly staff also make them one of my favorite sno-stops in town. Bonus: If you're looking for a perfectly 'grammable cone, you've got to go South Austin Sno! The positively bulbous ice reaches high above the rim of your styrofoam cup, and the layered syrup is extra-vibrant!

Sweet Caroline's Snow Shack | Like Casey's, Sweet Caroline's also serves up New Orleans style snow balls. Soft, syrupy, and so many flavors to choose from. One of my favorite things about Sweet Caroline's is that it's very family-oriented, which is a major factor in being a great Austin establishment. Owner David grew up in New Orleans, moved to Texas to go to A&M.  After a lot of success creating businesses in Paris and College Station, he decided to start one at his home in Austin that his two kiddos could enjoy. The snow shack is named after his daughter Caroline.

I love how they engage the community. Even though I'm not having kids any time soon and don't have any children in my life, it's so much fun to experience a childhood memory alongside other children who are eating their very first snow cone or trying a new flavor for the first time. Bonus: You can order nerds (and other candies) in your snow cone. So fun!

What places in your hometown remind you of your childhood? Do you have a favorite snow cone spot in Austin?

Check out my favorite places to get breakfast tacos and margaritas!

snow cones | favorite austin eats

When children are learning to write, they start with a small sentence,
and then gradually add in more words until it tells a story.

The dog ran.
The spotted dog ran.
The spotted dog swiftly ran.
The spotted dog swiftly ran home.

I've had the thought, on and off, for years, that someday, I might write a book.
The thought has come back to me recently, with more fire behind it than any time before.

I know it will be a book.
I know it will be a book of essays.
I know it will be a book of essays about my life.
I know it will be a book of funny, thoughtful essays about my life.

But I don't know what the story is yet.

At twenty-three, I feel it's about time to start realizing more concrete pieces of the story
so that my someday-book can come to fruition.


one large flower crown headwrap // urban outfitters | two fresh off the vine top // modcloth | three unleash the chic heel in poppy // modcloth | four faux-leather mid-wedges // old navy | five the rosy outlook dress // bonne chance collections | six judy blue skies dress in ivory // modcloth

It's July and all this hot, hot heat has me seeing red. Or, poppy rather. I've made my love for summer florals pretty evident around these parts, but I'm craving more. I'm loving lightweight dresses and blouses to keep things cool in the Texas heat, especially in rosy shades with dainty flower details.

I'm always on the lookout for cute, comfortable heels, and both of these pairs appear to fit the bill. I love the bold color and the ankle strap on the ModCloth pair and I've almost purchased the Old Navy pair like ten times. They've gone on sale, but are sold out of my size online. I have a $10 reward for Old Navy, so I guess I need to go track them down in stores!

Also, I want to draw your attention to Bonne Chance Collections. If you haven't checked them out already, you're in for a sweet surprise. They have the most seriously precious dresses, printed in all kinds of things from dolls to dogs. This isn't a sponsored post or anything, I just can't wait til I have enough money to buy every single piece in their shop.

july wishlist

With the Texas Style Council Conference coming up at the end of the summer, I know a lot of out-of-towners will be heading into my lovely little city. As with any trip to an exciting new place, the big questions are always about where to eat. This is especially true in Austin because all of our food is so darn good. For the next however long I decide several weeks, I'll be highlighting my favorite spots in Austin, from the perspective of a born-and-raised (-and-never-left) Austinite.

This really awesome list of 100 Things You Need to Eat This Summer in Austin came out last week. As it was being passed around my social networks, I read again and again how people would love to go to these places, but could never afford to walk into the restaurant, much less order the most expensive entree/cocktail/dessert on the menu as the list recommends.

My aim with these lists is to highlight some hidden gems of the city that are affordable and delicious. These are the places I go and the places I recommend to my friends. I've lived here my whole life and have eaten my way through the parts of the city I can afford. These are my favorites and I hope they help you find a new go-to or try something yummy when you come to town.

First on the list is breakfast tacos. I can't fathom living somewhere without breakfast tacos, but apparently most of the world does. Breakfast tacos are my number one favorite food and these are my favorite places to get them.

Torchy's Tacos | Torchy's is one of those Austin chains that blew up in the last couple of years. It used to be that you had to go to The Drag (a popular strip of road by the UT campus) or an actual airstream trailer for one of their delicious tacos, but now you can get one (or three) in almost any part of town. Torchy's has a very Austin feel to it, with a menu full of an assortment of tacos with weird items inside and weirder names (see: the Trashy Trailer Park or the Dirty Sanchez). Since we're here to talk about specifically tacos of the breakfast variety, may I bring your attention to the Ranch Hand, which includes "tender strips of grilled beef fajita with scrambled egg and shredded cheese, served with diablo hot sauce on a flour tortilla." Or, combining two of my favorite foods, the Migas taco: "scrambled eggs, crisp corn tortilla strips, green chilies, avocado, pico de gallo, and shredded cheese served on your choice of tortilla." If you're feeling really bold, you can even order something off of Torchy's secret menu. Bonus: Maine Root soda on tap!
Austin Java | A lot of people probably don't think of Austin Java as being a hot spot for breakfast tacos, but those people are misguided. If you're looking for something a little more hip and exciting in your taco and you want to build-it-yourself, Austin Java is the place for you. I could rave for days about their turkey sausage and I love that I can order goat cheese, gouda, or feta on my taco. If you're a veggie, you'll love that you can get anything from asparagus to veggie chorizo in your tortilla. I'm here at least once a week because I can switch things up and know everything will taste amazing, without breaking the bank. Bonus: Austin Java has full breakfast, lunch/dinner, adult beverage, and coffee drink menus all day, every day.

Have you ever had a breakfast taco? Where's your favorite taco in Austin?

Update: There was previously a 3rd restaurant on this list, but it has since closed. RIP Tamale House.

Check out other favorite Austin eats: snow cones, margaritas

breakfast tacos | favorite austin eats

It's no secret that I've been pretty involved in Texas politics over the last few weeks, and this trend isn't stopping anytime soon*. The second special session that Texas is in regarding the anti-choice legislation (previously HB60/HB16 and SB5, now HB2 and SB1) will go until the end of July. We have a lot of work to do this month and that work will continue, regardless the outcome of the bill. Even though I technically became engaged in all this at the end of last month, my grown up goal for July is to do my civic duty to the best of my ability and to encourage others to do the same.

I specifically say "to the best of my ability" because I am learning firsthand about burn out. One of my dearest, most inspiring friends posted (and later testified) about access and ability to be present back when we were protesting HB60. She was on vacation from working at the Capitol and was supposed to be spending time relaxing with her family in Houston, but identified that she had the ability to come back to the Capitol to fight when a lot of Texans didn't. The whole reason we're protesting this bill is because it aims to limit access to health care for women. I live in Austin and will likely have access to clinics unless the country shuts them all down, but the majority of Texans don't have that ability. Since she had the gas money, transportation, and support, she was able to drive back and fourth from Houston to Austin a handful of times to stand with Texas women.

Watching her dedicate herself to the cause inspired me to do all I could do. I came out. I stayed. I invited friends to join me and kept others informed when they couldn't make it. I've been there, I've marched, I've tweeted and blogged, and now? I'm tired. I'm burnt out. But the fight's not over!

So much of my advocacy is about encouraging people to take care of themselves. You can't keep fighting if your body, mind, and spirit are weak. This whole experience has been rough on made every bit of me sore, from my fist-pumping arms to my will to not call into work every day. As important as it is to be present, in order to do my civic duty to the best of my ability, I also have to be in tune with my needs. I need to take breaks and engage in acts of self care.

So, yeah, I'm going to keep standing with Texas women, whether it be inside the Capitol, from Twitter, or by taking a bubble bath and reading a funny memoir so I have the ability to stand the next day. And when this bill is said and done, I'm going to keep encouraging my friends to become involved in whatever way they are able, even if they just means showing up to the polls when it's time. 

*I do want to make note that this isn't going to become a political blog by any means. The aim of this blog has always been, alongside the style posts, to give my perspective on modern feminism and to write about my experiences. I feel that most posts thus far on the issue have aligned with that mission, rather than delving into the actual politics of the matter. I recognize that not all of my readers, or even my friends, have the same beliefs I do and my goal is never to offend anyone. If you have any questions or comments about this issue or anything else I've posted, please always feel free to email me!

grown up goals: july

shirt: Nordy // skirt: thrifted // necklace: swapped? // purse: J.Crew Factory // sandals: Steve Madden (loving these and these)
 Before finding my new favorite dress the other weekend, Dago and I took a little trip to Savers to see if we were missing out on any need-to-have pieces. I've been searching for cute, comfy skirts to add to my wardrobe and this little number fits the bill. It's the perfect length, the cutest print, and has an elastic-back waistband that doesn't look to casual, but still gives me some feedin' room (if ya know what I mean). I had coupon and scored her for about $5. The price is right!

I actually didn't think of this outfit as being bloggable. I wore it to run errands, including going by the student loan office. In the early evening, Dago and I went out for much-needed drinks (really, just drink was all I could handle...oops!) with a friend, an intoxicated Target excursion, and then my BFF came over to watch Pretty Little Liars. Somewhere in that time, Dago was like "I can't wait to see this outfit on the blog!" And I thought, oh, hey yeah I should do that.

Expect to see a lot more of this skirt because I have been living in it since the moment I got it home.

Also, I must have untucked that part my shirt at some point during the Target adventure? You know what they say about tequila.

How was your weekend? Relaxing, I hope!

the skirt of the summer

tank: Old Navy (similar) // jeans: Gap Outlet // sandals: American Eagle (similar) // flower crown: DIY
 It's Friday! If you're reading this, then you, like me, survived 4th of July festivities!

I decided to keep things really simple this year. I worked all day at the helpline and then Dago and I headed to my parents' house for bbq and red, white, and blue cake. I've always loved hanging out with my parents and spending time at home, but especially now that they have a puppy! I am so happy that Dago gets along so well with my parents and my brother (and the pup, of course). He and my dad have the same punny sense of humor and he and my brother are both Internet nerds. While they're all sharing man-giggles, I can catch up with my mom, who recently got the cutest pixie cut. My parents are so much cooler than me, I swear.

When it came to getting dressed for the holiday, I knew that I wanted to be comfortable, first and foremost. Especially on holidays where I have to work, which is usually, I don't want to wear anything that's too fussy. I decided what I was going to wear last minute, but I'm really happy with the subtle red, white, and blue of the outfit. I considered lots of stars & stripes, pencil skirts, and fancy shoes, but I felt so free and pleased in this outfit all day, from waking up too early to go to work until walking the dog around the block with my dad as the sun started going down.

How did you spend your 4th? What did you end up wearing?

fashionably free

happy 'merica day, y'all. 
enjoy some 'nana puddin', bbq, & jello flag on this glorious day of independence.


i know i promised a bunch of exciting posts this week. they're coming, i promise! i just need like 53 naps first. here are the words i'm able to squeeze out of my fingers today:

> being an activist/blogger/social media manager/advocate is a lot of work, y'all.

> i've just about eaten my weight in cookies & cream ice cream already this week.

> ruffled shirts are really confusing to iron.

> unsalted tortilla chips are blasphemous.

> i'm not awesome at remembering to drink water.

> i want to wear flower crowns every single day.

> i could seriously sleep through the rest of this week. is summer hibernation a thing?

> self care is crucial, especially when doing something that's difficult or that requires a lot of energy.

> i am dying for a haircut. i know i just posted the other day about not wanting to cut my hair, but i really just meant that i didn't want to cut my bangs. the next paycheck i get is going to refreshing these old locks! 

> i have absolutely no idea what i'm going to wear for independence day tomorrow.

> i cannot believe it's already independence day tomorrow.

midweek thoughts

one // two // three

one // two // three

one // two // three

I bought my phone case when I was working at Nordstrom last summer. I love it and it's served me well, but it's about time for a pretty new case. The case I really really want is the Dorothy Parker // Kate Spade one. It's the perfect color with one of my favorite quotes from a woman I adore. Growing up, I would have died if someone else had my phone case--I had to be 100% unique 100% of the time--but now I love the "omg don't you love this?" and instant-BFFdom of sharing love for the same things. I'm not saying I won't still freak if someone else is wearing the same dress as me, but I love being able to give someone a knowing look of admiration for their choices because we shopped the same collection. For instance, when I see someone wearing a Jason Wu x Target piece, I make conversation about waking up for the sale, scouring eBay for the magic sizes, and throwing out our dream collabs for the future (Alice + Olivia is at the top of my list).

Sorry, I got a little side-tracked. Phone cases. I want 'em all.

wishing cases

dress: Old Navy // flats: Steve Madden
Sometimes, putting on a pretty dress is all you need to feel better. Last week was cray to the nth degree. By Friday, an easy dress was about all I could handle. Luckily, a real pretty one just entered my life.

I've been searching for the perfect striped sundress since I was at least 15. Every time I see a woman in a pretty striped dress, I have to run up and ask where it's from. Usually it's from a super fab boutique in Italy or France, so I'd decided that the dress must be unattainable.

A couple of weeks ago Dago and I went to walk around the mall and stopped into Old Navy. I've been on a spending freeze because I've not even had a dollar that wasn't owed somewhere else or didn't need to be saved for food. I moped around the women's section while Dago tried on some gingham, and then I spotted her. Hanging on a rack in the middle of the store was an online return, in my size. It was the most perfect dress I've ever laid my eyes upon. I snatched it up and took it straight to the register. Since it was an online return and they didn't have a price on it, they only charged me $15 (instead of the actual $32). #worthit

Linking up with Rachel's Dare to Wear // Stripes Edition Post!

summer stripes

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