jacket & jeans: Gap Outlet // tank: PacSun (old) // sandals: American Eagle // bag: Forever 21 // earrings: gifted

 This was one of those weekends that had all the best parts of a weekend. I slept in both days and had brunch both days. There was TV binging, Chinese take-out, and thrifting. I wore comfy outfits that screamed "wear me to a coffee shop!" and took a sensational nap. As weekends go, this one was the tops.

Our cable went out on Thursday and no one from TWC can come out til later this week, so Dago and I caught up on some Netflix. Season 3 of Louie just started streaming, so we settled in for a good laugh. Little did we know we were about to watch some of the greatest television ever made. Louis CK may not be everyone's cup of tea, but if you like to think a little, laugh a little, and feel a lot of weird, mixed emotions, I can't recommend this show enough.  Every single episode, standing alone, was intense, hilarious, and emotional. I want to watch it all, but I'm trying to take it slow because I want to milk every episode.

On Saturday I went to brunch with a coworker-turned-dear-friend at Austin Java. She's been thinking about starting a blog of her own, and I'm so stinkin' excited because she's got some awesome ideas. I'll be sure to share it with y'all when she's got it up and running. I love having more people to talk about blogging with and not have to feel guilty or self-centered!

In the evening, Dago and I headed over to celebrate his best friend's birthday with him and his fabulous wife. They're some of my only friends who are married and I just think it's really cool. We had take-out and cupcakes, and watched that new show Brooklyn Nine-Nine, which was pretty funny. Think The Office set in a police station. We headed home early like a couple of old fogies and crawled into bed with Contessa.

On Sunday, a bunch of the girls from my work got together for a potluck brunch. My coworkers are seriously talented in the kitchen. There were vegan pumpkin cinnamon rolls, savory creeps, hash brown casserole, and lots of mimosa fixin's. I brought champagne, orange juice, basil, and raspberries--such a pretty and yummy twist on the brunch classic. 

For the rest of the weekend, we just sat around and made plans for something I'm really excited to announce later in the week. It's gonna be huge and hopefully really awesome! I'm going to have such a hard time keeping this to myself. Eeee!

How was your weekend? Eat anything delicious? Anything exciting in your universe?

ps. I'm a guest over on NeonNotebook today! 
Check out what I had to say on putting together 
a working girl's wardrobe.

weekend update

It certainly feels like Friday, doesn't it? I mean, finally. This week has been pretty draining. And for no good reason! I'm hoping to get some serious relaxation on this weekend, but I guess we'll see where the days take me. Since I'm not feeling particularly verbose at the moment, I figure I'll let someone else take the reigns.

If you follow me on Facebook, then you saw me mention an upcoming guest post with my girl Bekah over at Neon Notebook. Thier recent piece on shopping for jobs as a Gen Y girl really resonated with me. 
Anytime I see a list of tips on Pinterest, I click through before repinning to make sure I like it. Well, I love this list and it has me totally inspired to wear outfits with tall boots. Unfortunately, Texas isn't as inspired, seeing as it's in the 90s again today.
If you're a die hard Sex and the City fan like I am, you'll love this article.
One of my favorite engagement sessions I've ever seen. 
Sarah consistently cracks me up and her latest post is an absolute gem.
♥ Who knew a burrito could be so poorly constructed?
Can we petition for a Madewell outlet store so I can afford all of their perfect dresses?
Royals is my jam, but I'm loving the new Lorde single.
And I bought this song while at a red light last night.
I have such admiration for bloggers who write honestly about their lives. Kudos to Carly, Michelle, and Anna Jane!

PS. I've been wanting to make a new button for my blog for a while, and I finally designed one I like! I'm having trouble with the HTML widget in my sidebar, so for now you can copy the code in my "buttons" page over there to the right.

link love

dress: made by Dago's mom // shoes & necklace: vintage

 Okay, I know I said "so long, sweet summer," but I wanted to share one last super summery sundress look on the blog. This dress is so incredibly special to me. Not only is it eyelet, yellow, and the perfect shape, but it was made by Dago's mom! In addition to being strong, beautiful, and loving, she's a wonderfully talented woman. I love her so much!

When I was in Houston earlier in the summer for Free Press Summer Fest, I wore one of my favorite sundresses. She liked it, so she measured it and whipped up a brand new dress for me! It fits me so well and I can't wait to cherish it for summers to come.

Since she gave me the dress, I've been wearing it with a denim jacket and sandals, but I wanted to show another, less expected styling. As I pretend that the temps are a-dropping, I want to incorporate some darker hues into the last scenes of my summer outfits. 

 A little vintage and a lot of love went into the making of this outfit!

Muchos gracias, Mrs. Zepeda!
Te quiero!

save the best for last

I try to keep a running list in my phone of items I need to add to my wardrobe. There are some pieces I'm always looking for: a black blazer, the perfect pump; but splitting these lists into seasons is a good way to keep track of the trends I'm actually interested in wearing and what's missing from my seasonal closet. This also keeps me from buying yet another grey sweater or wasting money on trends I'm not into, just because they're on sale.

Now that it's officially fall, even if it doesn't really feel like it yet, I can stop looking for sundresses and shorts and start filling in some of the holes in my fall closet. Here's my list for the season so far:

__ leather ankle booties __
__ patterned tights __
__ raglan tee __
__ floral or creature printed blouse __
__ peter pan collared sweater __
__ sequin sweater __
__ long, heavy cardigan __
__ black ponte pants __
__ black jeans __
__ wool or tweed skirt __
__ leather skirt __
__ knee-length A-line skirt __
__ vintage coat __
__ big leather bag __
__ tartan scarf __
__ knit beanie __

What am I missing? What holes are you hoping to fill this fall?

// the holes in my closet idea came from kristina who actually borrowed it from fran.

holes in my closet // fall

top: Wet Seal (similar) // skirt: thrifted (similar) // shoes: Steve Madden // bow: American Apparel
If you follow me on Instagram, then you saw a sneak peek at this outfit last week. It was raining on and off all day, so I didn't get to snap any photos, but I re-wore it Sunday. This is one of those outfits that looks kind of fussy and uncomfortable from afar, but it's not! I feel so relaxed and  at ease in the light-weight maxi and stretchy crop top. I'm surprisingly glad to see that crop tops will be sticking around for another spring. I have so many more outfits to create!

As excited as I am for fall, I'll miss the ease of summer style. What will you miss most about dressing in the summertime?

so long, sweet summer

I'm heading to Houston with Dago today to hang out with his mom and our besties who just moved to the city. We're going to a punk show, a Houston Dynamo game, and brunch. I'm super excited to get out of Austin for a couple of days, and to hopefully leave my stress behind. For the car ride, I want to wear something that makes me feel really cute, but is ultimately comfortable whether I'm outside in the heat or in the freezing air conditioning. After seeing Kayley's adorable pre-fall outfit the other day, I've been dying to copy it. Here's my take on the look.

// wish i were wearing
long cozy sweater // The long sweater is an item I've struggled to include in my closet. In Texas, if it's cold enough for a long sweater, I usually need a coat, which doesn't look so cute over a long sweater. There's only about two weeks a year when I can warrant wearing a sweater like this, but that doesn't stop me from wanting one. I love the mixed colors of the knit in this sweater to make it as transitional as possible between a light late-summer look and a snuggly autumn outfit.
breezy printed sundress // How precious is this little dress? I might have shied away from a dress this girly during the summer months, but it's exactly the amount of feminine I look for in a fall or winter outfit with more slouchy or masculine styling. I can wear it with bare legs for the next few months, layered with a comfy sweater like the one above, or slip on tights and a boyfriend blazer when the temperatures eventually drop.
ruched ankle bootie // I think these are the boots I'm going to buy this fall. What do you think? I really want a pair with a slightly higher boot shaft so that I can wear my dark jeans, which are on the short side, without showing off my bare ankles. I think I'm digging the color of these, plus I love the short heel and the lack of zipper.
sweet crossbody bag // Y'all know I'm a sucker for a cute crossbody bag, and the color of this one is so perfect! There are some colors that are easier to pair with any old outfit than others, and I think this may be one of the easier shades. I'm also really digging the square shape of this bag because it's a little bit deeper without being a heavier bag.

In a couple of months, I'd repeat this outfit with patterned tights and a deliciously fuzzy knit scarf.
What are you wearing (or wishing to wear!) today?

2 // wish i were wearing

Unlike the launch of H&M's shoppable website, I had no idea this was coming, which makes it that much more exciting! T.J.Maxx is a company that is close to my heart for reasons I'll go into another time. For now, go get your shop on!

we interrupt your regularly scheduled program...again

I know it's only Wednesday and you're thinking "there are so many links to be loved that haven't even happened yet, Nicole!" but I'm having kind of a crazy work week and these links have made it so much more awesome, so I figured I'd share them to help us both get over the hump. Kay? Kay.

This coloring book finally went on sale and I need a copy STAT.
The funniest thing to come out of NYFW.
Austin's first Trader Joe's is about to open, so Elissa put together an awesome grocery list for me (and you.)
The photographer I work for was featured on BuzzFeed this week. What??
Alright OITNB fiends, here's an interview with Danielle Brooks AKA Taystee. (Spoiler: She's in the new season of Girls!)
A little dose of body love from the talented lady on the Same Love track. (Speaking of which, if you haven't watched this yet, you need to.)
It's 99 days until Christmas. I'll take one of each: + + +
♥ Perfect early fall outfits worn by Rachel and Kayley.
 This adorable post made me GOL (giggle out loud) put me in such a good mood. I hope it does the same for you!

link love

top: American Eagle // jeans: Forever 21 // shoes: Steve Madden // watch: Anne Klein
I noted the other day that I am seriously lacking blouses in my closet. I had a return to make, so I made a little shopping day out of the remaining money. I bought three amazing blouses that I'm soooo excited to style and a pair of jeans! More on the jeans in a minute. 

Right now, I want to talk about this top. This top, y'all. It's beautiful. I wasn't even supposed to be looking a things that weren't denim jackets while in American Eagle, and then I saw this top on the sale rack and raced to the dressing room. I'm all about embroidered flowers and I'm in love with the way this top is inspired by the popular embroidered flowers of Latin cultures without appropriating the style. The front of the blouse is pleated and the chest/top of the back are illusion netting, my very favorite! I feel so classy in this blouse and I can't wait to style it a billion more ways.

Okay, jeans time. My main pair of skinnies have been through a lot. I once heard a blogger use the phrase "my jeans have knees" and I knew exactly what she meant. I will definitely still be rocking them through the fall and winter with boots and my black flats, but I'm excited to have a slightly lighter wash and a slightly longer leg on my new pair of jeans. They go with everything! And they so cheap!

Did you buy anything pretty this weekend? I can't wait to show y'all what else I got!

stitches + pleats

Let's start the week off strong! This month, I'm wishing for super cute active wear.

 Colors? Polka Dots? Slouchy shapes? Giiiirl, I've been missing out on activewear for years! No more are the days of matchy sweats or jewel-toned jazzercize wear. In keeping with my grown up goal for the month, I'm wishing for clothes that make me excited about exercise. Aerie has the best sports bras, GapFit rules for comfy walking gear, and Forever 21 brings the inexpensive, cute pieces to the party.

Where do you find the best inexpensive work out wear?

september wishlist

dress: Old Navy (similar) // top (similar) & sandals: American Eagle // necklace: Forever 21 (similar)
I tried to convince myself the other day that it was cold enough to get a pumpkin spice latte because the temperature had temporarily dropped to 85°. I decided against it, knowing I'd regret starting fall too early. Instead, I let pumpkin spice inspire my outfit by adding a little fall to a bright orange dress. My work office is freezing all year round, so adding sleeves to summer looks is an easy way for me to transition without having to fully commit. 

How are you making a smooth transition into the new season?

summer sleeves

I have been lusting all week over NYFW via Twitter, Tumblr, and Tom & Lorenzo. A few of my favorite collections have been Tracy Reese, Rebecca Minkoff, Christian Siriano, and Nicole Miller. However, the collection I most want to fill my closet is Oscar de la Renta's. I'm positively smitten with the feminine shapes, beautiful patterns, and candy-colored palette. The embroidered pieces are some of my most adored. I especially appreciate the fresh take on floral for spring. If I were outrageously wealthy, these are the looks I'd add to my spring closet.

 So yeah...I'll take one of each, please! You can view the full collection here.

What NYFW collections would you love to wear next spring?

someday splurge: oscar de la renta

Weeks when I write cover letters are hard for blogging. I've already written so. many. words. How do you expect me to come up with more funny, interesting things to say? But, I have a job to do, so here I am! Just a little midweek update.

oo1. Trying to figure out what I want to do with my life is super hard. Sometimes I think I've got it all figured out, and actually, I kind of do...it's just the in-between stepping stones that are hard to figure out. Sigh. More on this later, I swear.
oo2. Contessa has been bonkers this week. Is it a full moon? Do cats' moods change during their owner's time of the month? (...ahem) Whatever's going on, she's crazy and I need her to calm down so I (and poor, sweet Dago) can sleep!
oo3. I figure I'll just stick this right in here since I don't really want to dedicate a whole post to it: last month I upped the dosage of my anxiety/depression meds, but have decided to go back down again. The added exercise, reading, and other wellness in my life have sort of leveled things out. I think. We'll see! Updates to come!
oo4. I am starting to yearn for fall weather, clothes, and treats, but I'm not letting myself take that step until the temperature drops in Austin. It's just too darn hot still to wear scarves or even think about yummy hot chai.
oo5. I have been recording all the new and rerun episodes of What Not to Wear. There was a time when I'd seen every episode of the show, but I got seriously behind all the years I didn't have television. I love, love Stacy London and Clinton Kelly, their rules, and watching women strip off body shame and put on really hot clothes. So maybe I'll be a stylist when I grow up? Back to number one.

wednesday thoughts

Happy Monday! Ready to get pumped for the rest of the week?

Since my grown up goal this month is to get fit, I figured I'd share a few of my favorite jams to get active to. Each of these songs have caught me during a moment of weakness and put a little pep in my step to either start jogging or keep pushing.
Since I love to sing and dance everywhere I go, I'm using the same energizing songs in my work out routine. If it makes me want to fist pump in the car, it'll probably make me run harder on the trail. So far, no song has gotten me as pumped up or ready to run as Holy Ground by Taylor Swift. Who would have thought my lanky blonde soul sista would produce such great pop jams for pushing til the end of the run?

What are your go-to tracks for a rockin' run?

songs to get pumped to

This actually started out as my monthly wishlist post, and then I realized I accidentally created a super cute outfit of things I want. So, now I have a new series on the blog! Don't you love when that happens?

// wish i were wearing:
// denim jacket: I'm so sad to announce that I have lost my denim jacket. I've been avoiding the topic here, hoping it would turn up. It disappeared sometime after taking these photos. I'm really stinking sad about it because I never ever lose things and I looooved that jacket so, so much. Oh, and it has my iPhone remote in the pocket, which has been really fun for outfit photos. But that's neither here nor there...or anywhere, apparently. So I need a new denim jacket. I've always loved the look of the American Eagle mid wash jacket, and I guess I have an excuse to buy it now!
// peter pan collar blouse: After assessing my closet for adult life outfits, I've realized that I'm in dire need of blouses. I have a couple of tie neck sheer blouses that look great with pencil skirts, but aren't very versatile. I love the shape and color of this particular blouse because it would pair well with any shape of skirt or pants. Holy transitional pieces, Batman! Plus, how can I pass up the peter pan collar and unique detailing across the chest?
// polka dot skirt: I'm a huge sucker for polka dots and I've been craving outfits created with a polka dot skirt base. After styling my floral skirt a bunch of different ways this summer, I realized that shorter, fuller skirts are really flattering on me. Who knew? I also love the fabric and dark navy color of this J.Crew Factory skirt, and I've already planned about a bajillion looks with it. This skirt will be coming home with me as soon as I have the funds. 
// colorblock crossbody bag: You know when you fall in love with something you didn't even know you wanted? Say hello to my new bag lust. Oh, Gap. You never cease to amaze me...or let me keep my money! I'm always hunting for a perfect crossbody bag and this might be the official replacement for my retired cognac purse. The foldover look is so trendy right now, but I think it'll continue to be a practical, chic look.
// low heel brown booties: Speaking of chic, are you not just dying over these booties? I have a pair of more slate-colored booties that I really do adore, but the heel is just too high for me to wear as often as I'd like. I've been searching for a pair of lower booties that have the sophistication of a grown up boot without the crazy high grown up heel. These fit the bill and come in such a lovely color. I could wear them with skinnies or dresses or polka dot skirts. Versatile perfection.

What are you wishing you were wearing today? 

1 // wish i were wearing

maxi: Nordy Rack (similar) // tank: Gap Body // chambray: American Eagle // necklace: Target (similar) // sandals: Steve Madden (similar)
 You know when you have an outfit in mind, and then it totally doesn't turn out the way you envisioned? That's pretty much what happened here. I've had an outfit in my mind inspired by this pin, but when I tried it the night before, it was not working at all. The skirt is really clingy along my thighs, making the tucked in shirt look weird and lumpy. Plus, my skirt isn't quite long enough to wear at my exact natural waist, so I sort of had to fake it. I've been rocking the knotted shirt look a lot this summer, so I went with the old favorite and it did me well all over again. I really grabbed the chambray last minute as a sweater for work, but I actually love the completeness it gives the look.

What outfits have you tried lately that surprised you in the end?

maxed out

One of my 24 before 24 goals was to read five books. This probably sounds like a small number, but it's been hard for me to read for pleasure for a long time. Fortunately, it seems like this goal won't be a problem because I finished two books last week! 

I'm so excited to write up a review for this first one because it's written by one of my favorite bloggers. The funny and fabulous Megan Silianoff of Greetings from Texas recently published her book 99 Problems but a Baby Ain't One. After hearing all about it at TxSC and having her sign my copy, I knew I was going to thoroughly enjoy the book.

99 Problems is written in a blog-style as Megan tells her story of fighting cancer and adopting Macy, the prettiest little girl you've ever seen. Don't worry, those aren't spoilers. No one could possibly spoil the superior hilarity and utter vulnerability Megan employs in each "blog post." Also, lots of references to Jay Z, which is never a bad thing.

One of the things that sets 99 Problems apart from similar titles is that the voices of Megan's friends and family play a role in her story. I loved that we were able to read their comments on each post as she updates about the process of her diagnoses and recovery. Her loved ones clearly care and show so much concern and support for Megan and her family, but they also set up some of the funniest one liners in the book.

The third and final section of the book is probably my favorite. Without giving too much away, the final section introduces us to Macy's birth mother. The relationship that Megan and Macy's birth mom form is so unique and special. The adoption process seems to be almost intentionally difficult, so by time Megan meets her, I as a reader was rooting extra hard that things would work out. I'll let you read the book to find out what goes down, but let me warn you that this would be the time you want to grab some Kleenex.

I'm a notoriously slow reader, but I finished 99 Problems but a Baby Ain't One in less than 24 hours. I couldn't put it down, I couldn't stop laughing, and I'm pretty sure Megan actually stopped time while I read. All of a sudden I closed the back cover and looked around and it was dark again. What the heck happened? 99 Problems but a Baby Ain't One by Megan Silianoff happened.

Go buy her book! You won't regret it. Plus, don't you want to support your fellow blogger? You do.

book review: 99 problems but a baby ain't one

I'm so excited for September. I mentioned last month that I had some grown up goals in mind for the rest of the year, and it's time to reveal one! Those of you who follow me on Instagram have actually gotten a little sneak peek at my early work on this goal. With the temperatures finally dropping (omg yeah right! maybe someday this month we'll get below 100° after 6pm...), I can finally start heading out and being active!

I know I sound really pumped right now, but it has been a long journey to get to this place. Exercise is something I've feared nearly my whole life. Being fit is something I've resisted. Strength is something I strive for in emotions and friendships, but never in my body. I have felt so awful about my body for so many years, and I've believed that spending any time on what exists beneath the clothes would only draw attention to the parts of myself that I hate.

I finally purchased my amazing pair of running shoes. I discovered the joys of compression pants. I bought a pair of earbuds. I have no excuse not to get outside. I'm starting slow: taking walks in the evening, jogging from point A to point B on the trail at the park, and even trying some stretching with the help of the old YouTube. Maybe I'll take a Zumba class (as per my 24 before 24 list) or try an entry-level yoga class. 

During September, and through the rest of the year, I want to create a weekly fitness routine that makes me feel good. Right now, that's two evenings a week out exploring my neighborhood with a ballin' playlist and my favorite pair of shoes. I want fitness to be something that adds to my wellness and emotional wealth, rather than becoming a chore or source of negativity. I have no intention of stepping on a scale because this isn't about a number, it's about a feeling. A feeling that I'm able to sustain with a little effort, that gives me energy to do all the other things I need to accomplish.

What advice do you have for me starting out? 

grown up goal: september

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