Welcome back to the week, dears! I'll be back tomorrow with a real post, but today you can check my Blog of the Month feature over on the lovely Taylor's blog Nothing But a Pigeon. She's such a sweet and talented girl, and she lives right here in Austin too! She nails cool vintage chic and has the prettiest hair. Send her blog some love!

featured | nothing but a pigeon

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I ordered this pretty little white dress from ASOS last week and I cannot wait for it to come in the mail. Being officially-officially summer now, all I want to wear are little white dresses and flower crowns. Is that too much to ask? I'm also obsessed with this tiny bag. I've been taking walks with my co-workers in the evenings and this would be the perfect place to store comfortably store my keys and phone, without having to drag around 5 shades of lipstick, my business cards, and enough bobby pins for a stable of My Little Ponies. Summer just calls for tiny versions of regular-sized things, doesn't it? (It does.)

If I could only shop one place for the rest of time, I would have no problem giving my money over to ASOS for the rest of eternity. The UK retailer covers a wide range of styles and sizes (their Curve section is arguably the best of its kind), as well as a significant range in price point. Whenever I'm searching for something specific, I click over to ASOS first because 9.9 times out of 10, they have it. In fact, they probably have at least a couple of variations on it too, so I'm not tied down to one thing. I'm a girl who loves choices, okay?

The brand of this dress is actually Vero Moda, a brand I discovered because of ASOS. Another favorite thing about them is that, while their in-house brand is fantastic, they carry a lot of different brands I probably wouldn't encounter otherwise. I could spend (let's face it, I do spend) hours just scrolling through their dress section because they list new items all the time and I'm constantly falling in love with 90% of their inventory. I don't know about you, but I'm a pretty picky shopper, so it's awesome to have to narrow down what I want from lots of great options instead of work extra hard to find something I can live with.

Because I love the store--and you!--so much, I'm giving away a $25 ASOS gift card to one lucky writes like a girl reader! The giveaway will run through Wednesday July 3 at midnight, and I'll be announcing the winner on Thursday July 4th.

To enter, you must:
> follow writes like a girl on either Bloglovin' or Facebook
> leave a comment below sharing which dress(es) from ASOS you'd use the $25 toward
> leave your email address so I can contact you if you win!

So excited for my first real giveaway--and so excited for the lucky one of you who gets $25 to spend at ASOS! Get to commenting, dears!

**GIVEAWAY CLOSED**

Disclaimer: While I did receive compensation from ASOS in the form of a discount voucher, all opinions are completely and genuinely my own.

7 // wish i were wearing + ASOS giveaway

capitol1

This time last year, I was completely overwhelmed by the most incredible and important thing I've ever been a part of. I was spending countless hours at the Texas Capitol, rallying for the reproductive rights of women in my state. I testified, I shouted, I marched, I danced, I cried, I hugged, I tweeted, and I sang. I broke the heels on my cowboy boots and lost my voice screaming the words to "The Eyes of Texas Are Upon You."

I got to know who represents me and my values in the state of Texas, and who actively works to deny my rights and silence my voice. Representative Jessica Farrar, Representative Senfronia Thompson, Representative Dawnna Dukes, Representative Donna Howard, Representative Mary Gonzales, Senator Wendy Davis, and Senator Leticia Van de Putte are a few of the names I will continue to vote for in Texas for as long as they are on the ballot because of what I saw in the senate gallery last summer.


By now, whether you're a Texan or not, you're all familiar with Senator Wendy Davis and her famous pink sneakers from the 11 hour filibuster. A name you may not have heard, but need to know, is Senator Leticia Van de Putte. Van de Putte is currently running for Lt. Governor of Texas against one of the most terrifying opponents the state has seen, and after witnessing what she was willing to do during last summer's filibuster, I have no doubt she is the next leader of my state.

You see, Van de Putte was faced with the loss of her father due to a tragic car accident, just days before the filibuster. She left Austin to be with her family at her father's funeral on the day of the filibuster, and was told that the vote would go on whether or not she was present, in an attempt to push through the bill. Knowing what her father would want her to do, Van de Putte was inspired to return to the Capitol to make sure she was there to fight for her constituents. She arrived in the evening, after hours of Davis speaking on the gallery floor. There was confusion and chaos between senators, as Davis had received her third point of order. At 11:48 pm, Van de Putte spoke one of the most important and resounding messages of the whole experience: "At what point must a female senator raise her hand or her voice to be recognized over the male colleagues in the room?"

I sat in a room with hundreds of women and men from all over the state, including my best friends--both new and old--and my mom. I think it's safe to speak for all of us when I say that we felt like cans of coke that had been shaken up over the course of several weeks, and at that moment, we all started to expel our contents at full force. And it just kept coming, as we filled the rotunda, preparing to shout and chant and stomp and dance and cry and laugh and stop the vote from happening. Van de Putte's quote was the catalyst we needed to be able to get through the rest of the night, to do our part like she did hers.

Senator Van de Putte is a catalyst for change, and that's why I am so supportive of her campaign for Lt. Governor of my state, my home. She's literally willing to go the extra mile...miles really--Texas is a big state--to make sure that the voices of her constituents are heard and that no one is left out.

I know that many of you don't live in Texas, and for you, this is just a passionate story about Texas politics. But for my friends and readers who do live in Texas, this is a passionate reminder of the power you have to put the right people in power in your state. The people who believe in your voice and will go the extra miles to make sure you're heard.

Read more about my time at the Capitol here, here, and here.

one year ago

As I've mentioned more than a couple times here recently, my body has been a changing, and that means my clothes aren't fitting the same anymore. Unfortunately, it's gotten to the point where they weren't fitting period. I gave away my last pair of too-small skinny jeans and I've been staring at a row of dresses and blouses every morning that made me feel both too big and inadequate. That's not a positive or fair way to start the day.

I've been trying to do a little shopping here and there, on Instagram, local thrift shops, and Forever 21, trying to slowly rebuild my closet. Well, after too many tears in the mornings last week, I decided I was rebuilding too slowly and needed to kick it up a notch. So I did what any (credit) card-carrying shopper would do. I went to the outlets. What better way to celebrate my body in its current form that buying pretty new clothes, and what better time than the solstice?

(Hopefully) you're all familiar with the greatness that is J.Crew Factory, which has crazy-good sales, like, always. My local outlet mall also has a Gap Outlet and a Banana Republic Outlet, and I received and email Friday morning for 40% off in each of those stores. Because money is especially tight, but so are my wardrobe choices, I went with a mission. A pair of jeans, versatile work dresses, and a couple of blouses. Since I spend 40 hours a week at work, I really needed to focus in on things I can get a lot of wear out of each and every week in the office. Weekends feel more sparse these days, so I can make do with what I've got.

Anyway, here's what I got, not including a perfect new pair of skinnies from Gap. I went two sizes up from my old/current pair, and I'm so happy I did, because they fit really comfortably and I still have room to eat a sandwich. Can you tell I was really feeling blue?

june-shopping-haul
sorry for the turrrible photo quality--took these at night. womp womp!
Have you ever had to pretty much start over with your wardrobe? What made it harder or easier on you? Any fun new buys this month or solstice celebrations to share? I wanna hear it all!

solstice shopping haul

grrrls-summer-camp

As I mentioned Friday, I went to summer camp this weekend! The lovely Hillary-Anne of Vagina :: The Zine hosted a day of Bug Juice and Parent Trap summer camp fun on Sunday. I arrived at a park in East Austin and met up with a bunch of local rad ladies I'd never met before. I went to summer camp a couple of times as a kid, but the fear of not making friends always ended up being a self-fulfilling prophecy and I eventually stopped going. I was nervous beforehand, but none of the grrrls even hesitated to become immediate friends.

camper-ready

There were camper nicknames given out, nostalgic games of M.A.S.H., and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. We all wore matching tank tops designed by Hillary-Anne, which of course struck a strong Sisterhood chord in me. I loved the letter writing portion of the day because I've been keeping up with sending snail mail to Briley while she's at camp this summer. Writing her a letter from my own version of camp just seemed appropriate!

m-a-s-h

I was a little nervous about the water balloon fight that was planned, but I loved that it turned into a trust toss instead of a fight, and by the end of it we were pelting each other with balloons to see who made the funniest face.

balloon-fight

I love that living in Austin means being surrounded by lots of like-minded people, especially women, who are excited about getting together for something like an All-Grrrls Summer Camp on a Sunday in June. I'm lucky to know brilliant women who think up these things and bring us together. It was such a fun, relaxing day and I hope I run into these grrrls again soon!

Check out the hashtag #grrrlscamp on Instagram for more camp photos!

Did you go to summer camp as a kid? Have you, or would you, ever go as an adult? This feels like something bloggers should totally get together and do!

all grrrls summer camp

follow the hashtag!
Today is a really important day for me, because this time last year, I was getting ready to head to the Texas Capitol to rally against a scary anti-choice bill. At this point in the day, I had no idea what the day would become, or that I would eventually testify on behalf of my sisters from across the state who weren't able to be in Austin to have their voices heard. I'll have a whole post coming out next week on the anniversary of Wendy Davis' filibuster remembering my time at the Capitol last summer, so keep an eye out for that.

Today, I'm just sharing some lovely links from around the Internet because things have been a little busy in my neck of the woods, and who doesn't like links?

♥ Jessica of Here & Now has been sharing the cutest, most informative tips for wedding planning in her Wedding Week series.
♥ I'm obsessed with this pin about fun, relaxing stuff to add to your bath. Are you a bath kind of girl?
♥ Can I just alternate between these two outfits for the rest of the summer? One and two.
♥ If you watch Pretty Little Liars, you need to check out this Tumblr immediately.
♥ These embroidery hoops go above and beyond, and I want them all.
♥ I was really lucky to have a dad who played by these rules.
♥ I really loved, and unfortunately needed, this awesome guide on shutting down street harassers.
♥ I thoroughly enjoyed this piece on the collapsing love lock bridge in Paris and what we leave behind when we travel.
♥ These guinea pigs want you to be as happy as they are eating watermelon.
♥ If you're looking for a few new pieces for summer or even to overhaul your whole closet, I'd love to help! Sign up for free as my client on Keaton Row and I'll get you dressed.

Also, if you're in Austin this weekend, plan to come to the All-Grrrls Summer Camp hosted by Vagina :: The Zine on Sunday! There will be popsicles, friendship bracelet making, M.A.S.H. playing, and I'll be giving a little how-to on being a blogger.

What are you up to this weekend?

link love

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dress: thrifted Rosehips Thrift // flats: Steve Madden

Polka dots two days in a row? You know how I do. This isn't the most exciting outfit, but I really love this dress and I can't believe I haven't worn it on the blog yet. If you have styling suggestions, I'm all ears. Everything I come up with is too cutesy and makes me look like a little girl, which isn't really what I'm going for.

I bought this dress off of a cute Instagram shop called Rosehips Thrift and I'm pretty much obsessed with it. Because I work forty hour weeks these days, I don't have as much time to get out and sift through racks at thrift stores as I used to. That's where shopping on Instagram saves the day! I can scroll through on my lunch break, during commercials for Catfish, and before I fall asleep. The gals who own shops are so sweet and many of them are all about fostering a community between fellow shop owners by sharing each other's profiles, purchasing from each other, and generally supporting one another in comments.

I think I first started following Instagram boutiques around the time Danielle of Goodwillista opened her shop. Since then, I've spent lots of time going through to see who different shops follow so I could fill my feed with cute thrifted items anytime I popped over to Instagram.

Here are a few of my favorite Instagram shops:
Shop Gossamer Threads
Chynna Dolls Closet
Bethany Style Page
Chic Thrifty (has the best stuff but everything sells so fast!)
Sofi's Closet 22
Underground Found
MedinaBTQ
Bamcal Vintage
Lexy CMB Shop
Shop Oh So Pretty Closet

Have you shopped on Instagram before? Share your favorite boutiques in the comments so I can follow them too!

insta-thrifting

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overalls: American Eagle (similar one and two) // tee: thrifted Forever 21 (similar) // sweater: Target // flats: old Target

I've been on a pants freeze lately because none of my pairs fit anymore. In light of this freeze, I've worn my overalls at least once a week for the last several weeks. I'm consistently impressed with how many ways I've styled them, and how comfy they are every time I put them on. I really could sleep in these things if Dago* would let me. 
On an unrelated note, is anyone else still watching Pretty Little Liars? This shit is getting out of hand. But somehow I'm still watching? And probably will for the two more seasons they just got signed on for after the current season? At this point, I better be A because there is no other reason for me to have stuck around this long. Girls. Just sit your parents down and tell them everything. For the love of Spoby!
And on the other side of the television watching spectrum, if you haven't watched Orange is the New Black and Orphan Black (two totally unrelated shows), get the to thy streaming site of choice so we can talk about it.
*He would, but I'm scared I'd get tangled in the strap and hurt myself. Sleeping is hard, y'all. 
Also this is probably how A will finally get the Pretty Little Liars--overalls straps. 

pretty little overalls

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shirt: thrifted // shorts: Gap via Poshmark // shoes: Keds // bandana: thrifted
I'm already marking items off my 25 before 25 list, and it feels awesome! The first thing on my list was to take an anniversary trip. I think some people envisioned Dago and I taking a grand trip to Hawaii or even Portland, but a day trip in the Texas Hill Country is more our style (and budget). We woke up bright and early (I'm so not a morning person) on Saturday morning and hit the road to Fredricksburg, Texas. Well, first we stopped at our favorite panaderia for danishes and donuts, and then we hit the road.

Dago recently learned that he can record pretty good sound on his phone, so we decided to do a little road trip podcasting for fun. If you have any interest in that, you can hear our car thoughts and feel like you took the ride with us here.

An hour and a half later, we had arrived. We parked just outside of the historic downtown and walked to the visitor center. We had intended on spending some time at the famous Admiral Nimitz Museum to learn us some Pacific War history, but decided that was a little heavy for our anniversary day trip. With a map in hand, we set out to find the best antiques Fredricksburg has to offer.

fredricksburg-5

I've been antiquing since I was a kid, and my parents and aunt have taken me to Fredricksburg several times, mostly recently around 2005. It's become an interest Dago and I share--admiring "old stuff" and picking out pieces we love to bring home with us. I hoped to find a little something for each of my parents while we were out, and actually fell in love with a little Scrabble tile rack with letters spelling OLD STUFF. I thought it would make the perfect kitschy Father's Day gift for my dad's office, so I held onto it with a few other items as I walked around the first shop. I was so disappointed when the owner told me it wasn't for sale, and was actually just a display piece one of the vendors had created for their corner of the store.

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I picked up a couple of bandanas with pretty prints, Dago took photos of just about everything we saw, and we stopped at a restaurant that boasted "Best Burger in Town" for a Ruben and a grilled cheese sandwich. The coolest place we went into was what the owner of the first store called a "high end" antique shop filled with French artifacts and furniture. It was a big warehouse called Carol Hicks Bolton | Laboratoire de Design. Y'all, this is literally what Anthropologie is mimicking. They carried everything from vintage ribbon to taxidermied ducks, worn brass bed frames to intricate light fixtures, and from yellowed lace curtains to trunks full of treasures. I could have spent all day in there, preferably with a bottle of wine and a wheel of brie. I couldn't, however, even afford to bring home a candle, but I did ask Dago to take this photo of me, just like a French girl.

fredricksburg-6

The weather started to heat up, and our feet started to slow down, so we called it a day and loaded our goodies into the car to return to Austin. It was the perfect anniversary trip with my perfect guy.

Auf wiedersehen, Fredricksburg! Until next time!

fredricksburg

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skirt: thrifted Dolce & Gabana // top: old Old Navy // sweater: swapped // shoes: thrifted // necklace: Target

No photos will ever do this skirt justice, but especially not iPhone photos, and for that I apologize. What I do not apologize for is the major bragging about to happen regarding my purchase of this Dolce & Gabana skirt for $33. I have been having abysmal luck with thrifting lately. I thought I'd lost my touch (or, that Austin had). I was ready to throw in the towel and become a mall-only shopper.

Thankfully, I made a trip to Target last weekend that resulted in my driving home past my favorite little resale shop in the neighborhood, Uptown Cheapskate. I left my groceries in the car and parked in a 30 minute spot, figuring I wouldn't be gone long. I walked inside and immediately starting picking up every item I had even a slight interest in. Maybe I was being too picky and just needed to surround myself with enough things in order to find the gems.

Never has a mission been so successful. I took two giant armfuls, easily 25 items, into the dressing room with me and didn't look back. As the gal was hanging my items in the room, she noticed this skirt and commented on how excited she was about someone selling it to the store. I'd loved the print, but hadn't really taken a good look at it. The fabric was insanely soft and even a little stretchy, and yet had incredible structure. I've never felt anything like it. The gold flowers felt like they had been painted on. I peeked at the tag, and lo and behold, it's a Dolce & Gabana skirt. From Italy. For $33. (Side note: also in the dressing room, I had a really cute Kate Spade top for $13 and the most incredible Anthro dress for like $20. I hit the friggen jackpot.)

I proudly brought my D&G skirt to the counter, along with a couple of other sweet vintage pieces. I chatted with the manager (who never seems to remember me, no matter how many times a week I shop and sell there -.-) and tried to remain calm when she rang up the skirt, half worried that it was actually priced at $333 or something. She seemed excited about someone buying such great fashion at such a steal, so I didn't question her pricing choices and got out of there before she could come to her senses.

I floated into the apartment on cloud nine, having just renewed my thrifting luck, and with something so beautiful to show for it. Dago wasn't really sure what a Dolce & Gabana was, but he was happy I was happy. I hung my new prize on the rack in our closet, displayed for all the rest of my clothes to see.

I wore the skirt for our anniversary dinner, which consisted of cinnamon roll pancakes and reminiscing over the last three years. It was a perfect night with my perfect guy (and my perfect skirt).

dolce date night

photo by Jenn
3 years of bingeing on Netflix, eating donuts, and dancing in the car while driving around town.
3 years of taking goofy selfies, adding to our list of fake band names, and live-tweeting awards ceremonies.
3 years of going to our favorite restaurants, taking walks at our alma mater, and making '90s music playlists.
3 years of cat snuggles, couch sharing, and giggling over Vine videos until we fall asleep.
3 years of urban hiking at the mall, thrifting at Savers, and ogling shoes on the Internet.
3 years of watching soccer games bright and early on the weekend and staying up late to blog.
3 years of hanging out with our favorite people and staying in, just the two of us (well, three if you count Tess).
3 years of becoming the people we were meant to be, together.
3 years of falling in love more and more every day.
I love you, bae. Here's to 3-times-infinity more.

three


Today I'm guest posting over on my girl Jenn's blog about a few staple pieces every professional gal needs for the working world. Pop on over and show her blog some love while she's off having an amazing experience in Mexico!

professional gal closet must-haves


It's funny how sometimes all we need to do is set new goals for our "old goals" to become a reality. Last year I wanted to make personal stylist a paid gig. I love putting together outfits and I love helping people, and it seems like this is something I should be doing. I started thinking that maybe I shouldn't style professionally if I didn't have the education or "legit" experience. I mean, really I'm just a girl with good taste and a vision, right?

Last week, my girl Michelle posted about an opportunity she's pursuing using a new platform called Keaton Row. Michelle is a fantastic social media maven and stylish being, so I'm always into whatever she's into. (#notacreep) She explained the the website allows stylists to sign up and provide services to clients for free. Plus, stylists receive commission from the retailers connected to the platform--Nordstrom, ASOS, and Shopbop to name a few. I looked into it, and since it's a work-your-own-hours design, I figured it didn't hurt to apply.

Well, I was approved! Say hello to your new online shopper. Need something to wear for the big event coming at the end of summer? Got a promotion and don't have the clothes to dress the part? Entering the job force and looking for help navigating a grown up closet? I can help.

What's great about Keaton Row, for me anyway, is that it's a stream-lined version of something I was already doing. People reach out to me all the time asking for help with shopping and putting together outfits, so I've been utilizing Pinterest boards for each of my "clients" to help. I love scouring my favorite online retailers for the perfect pieces for my friends and family, and not I can do it all in one place (and get paid).

I've spent the last few days inviting clients and putting together lookbooks for my favorite people. Here are a few outfits I've curated for people with totally different needs.





Interested in receiving some styling services? Sign up to be my client and fill out some info about your style and sizing needs. Interested in joining the stylist team at Keaton Row? Sign up now--it looks like they're going to start charging new stylists soon, so take them up on the offer now!

keaton row | meet your new stylist

photo from my Instagram
I spent all day Wednesday thinking it was Tuesday, and all day yesterday thinking it was Friday, so I'm totally checked out of this week. I realized at 10:45 last night that I didn't have a post ready for today, so I'mma play copycat on someone else's post. Maddy did a really cute confessions post earlier this week (that caused me to have Usher stuck in my head for days) and I thought I'd share a few confessions of my own.

I cannot ride a bike
I wish I'd taken ballet when I was growing up
I feel like I can't work in the fashion industry because I didn't intern in New York during high school
I'm afraid of fire, deep water, heights, and stinging insects that fly
I slept with a thesaurus under my pillow when I was little
I wholeheartedly believe in Long Island Medium, no matter what anyone says
The music I listened to in eighth and ninth grades is still my favorite music
I can't sleep without a stuffed animal
I'm really, really confused about what direction I should be taking in my career
Starting this blog might be the best thing I've ever done
I get discouraged sometimes about not having "enough" followers
I spend an unreasonable amount of time mentally planning the details of my dream wedding
But I'm not in a hurry to get married
I get really uncomfortable when other people try to suggest what's best for me regarding my body
My ideal day off would include binge-watching Say Yes to the Dress on my couch, thrifting, and eating chips
Nicole isn't my first name (I'm thinking about writing a post about this soon)
I won't read fiction except for short stories
Yes, this means I haven't read/have no interest in reading Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, etc
I'm working really hard on self-compassion
Sometimes I can't sleep because I spend too much time online window shopping and the pages scroll endlessly through my mind
My parents truly are my best friends and I tell them everything
I gauge my success by whether or not my middle school self would be proud of who I am today

What are you ready to 'fess up about?

'fess up

With each passing season comes a new set of trends. Whether you shop online or in store, follow bloggers or read magazines, it's hard to avoid the newest forms of fashion just waiting to make their way into your closet. Unfortunately, not all trends are good trends. 
summer trends 2014
fruit print // birkenstocks // embroidery // skorts // matching separates // caged gladiator sandals

While I'm loving matching separates and spend more time narrowing down which one to buy than I do seeking them out, I am not at all digging the rise of the Birkenstock. I hoped gladiator sandals would be on their way out after 2010, but instead they've gotten bigger and badder. On the other hand, I want anything and everything that has a fruit print on it. I really liked the idea of skorts when they first made their comeback last year, but the shape is all wrong this time around. I find them really unflattering, and it seems like maybe if we stop teetering on whether or not we should buy them, they'll just go back to 1996 where they came from. Now, if I could just fill my closet with beautiful, airy embroidered dresses, I'd have all the summer essentials I could ask for.

What trends are you loving, and which are you leaving, this summer?

summer trends | love 'em or leave 'em

top: Forever 21 // bralette: Aerie // shorts: Gap purchased via Poshmark (similar) // sandals: Steve Madden (love these!) // necklaces: Forever 21 and The Land of Salt

It may not be summer according to the calendar yet, but summer is definitely upon us here in Austin. It's barely June, and I'm already struggling to make outfits during the work week because I just want to wear shorts all the time. Luckily on the weekends, I can make up for it by wearing the outfits I've dreamed up all week.

I bought these shorts off Poshmark a few weeks ago when I realized that none of my clothes from last summer fit. (As I was writing this, Kendi posted the perfect piece lamenting the loss of the Perfect Pair of Shorts.) I'm trying to make summer fashion happen as quickly and inexpensively as possible as the heat wave sets in. Thankfully, these are the comfiest shorts I've ever worn. They are not, however, the Daisy Dukes of summers' past. These are probably the longest shorts I've ever owned, though they don't really look it in these photos and they still don't pass the fingertip test (legs for days was not always a good thing, my friends). They're a little baggy and get even more so as I wear them. This makes them a little harder to style because most of the tops I've bought require little short shorts just peeking out beneath them. But these are just so comfy!

So I wore them on a recent shopping trip to specifically find tops to go with them. A lot of cute tank tops out right now are cropped, or hit at a place on my hips that isn't so flattering with a pair of baggier shorts. I was stoked to find this red daisy print top at Forever 21. It's swingy, which makes it fit a little bit longer. It also fits a little lower, which gave me an excuse to show off a peekaboo of a pretty bralette and not feeling self-conscious about it.

As much as I resist "boho" looks the rest of the year, I can't help but be drawn to loosey-goosey, lightweight, less "buttoned up" as they say pieces in the summertime. Do you ever feel your style shift between seasons?

daisy and the duke


Today is my main squeeze's 28th birthday! Dago is my dream partner, my co-host, my personal stand up comedian, and the best cuddler in this universe and any other you can name. We'll be celebrating our three year anniversary later this month, so I'll save the relationship gushiness for then. It's not secret that I love making lists, so here are my 28 favorite things about the birthday boy.

01. He's the best cat daddy to Contessa.
02. He's not afraid to admit when he's wrong. (see: the Internet pants debacle of 2013)
03. He's a fantastic dresser. We noted the other day that, even though we don't coordinator our outfits, we always look like we go together. Is it bad that it irks me when couples' outfits clash?
04. He loves to laugh more than anything, and he sometimes even laughs at his own jokes.
05. He works harder than anyone, and has more compassion for everyone, which helps him an ideal leader.
06. He'll drop everything, at any time, to take care of his mom. I love their relationship (and her, obvi!).
07. He always makes sure everyone is fed. Tacos, rice, chicken--if you're hungry, he'll deliver.
08. His hair. I mean, let's be honest.
09. He's a master at the grocery store, which is only one level above the post office in my circles of hell.
10. He's 1000% the smartest person I've ever met. When I can't sleep, he tells me about historical events that I missed in history class
11. He loooooves soccer. It's fun to see him excited about something that he can both participate in and be knowledgeable about.
12. Even though he's out of practice, he can still embarrass people on guitar. #ShredwardSolohands
13. He's a sucker for "bad" movies. As picky (borderline pretentious) as he is about music, soccer, podcasts, etc., he doesn't care about Oscar-nominated films as much as he does lesser-rated action, comic book, and comedy flicks.
14. And, he doesn't make fun of me for liking "bad" music.
15. He's a true ally and never believes he's any more worthy of respect or rights than anyone else.
16. He constantly finds cool new things--podcasts, restaurants, bands, articles--that we can enjoy together.
17. He's like a sponge of memes. He's basically my personal Wikipedia when it comes to funny things from the Internet.
18. He loves our alma mater St. Edward's as much as I do. (He even has two degrees from there!)
19. He's an incredibly loyal friend. His two besties have held the same position since 7th grade. Who can say that?
20. He's also the world's most loyal fan. He lives and breathes Chelsea Football Club, and he's emotionally invested in all of the players to the point where he's cried over them on more than one occasion. (Sh! Don't tell!)
21. He appreciates a great meal of breakfast for dinner.
22. His shoe collection is almost as big as mine--and is always growing!
23. He's basically Twitter famous. (Seriously, follow him. You'll learn something, and you'll help him reach 1,000 followers.)
24. He, like me, is a Gemini. It's the best of both worlds!
25. He loves to go on urban adventures (walk around the mall).
26. He's a swell dancer. He even won a dance-off last year!
27. He waits to watch our favorite shows together.
28. Sometimes he falls asleep watching Vine and the video will just keep looping until I wake him up. It makes me laugh every time, and I fall in love with him all over again.

Happy birthday, bae! Everybody go wish him a happy birthday in the comments or on Twitter!

birthday boy

Photo by Briley Noel
It's been very goal oriented around here lately, hasn't it? I promise, this is the last goal-related post...at least until next month! May was a quick month, but it was a really good one too. It helps so much that the weather has been gorgeous, and, if I'm feeling down, I can just walk outside and feel 100% better. With that said, let's see how I did on my small goals for May.

1. get out at least twice a week for physical activity | i was totally on the path to be able to do this, and then i fell and messed up my knee pretty badly. it took forever for the wound to heal, and i wasn't up for running for most of the month. i should be back out there next month though!
2. have fun coming up with low-carb, low-fat snacks | i realized this is probably going to be a more long-term goal. i discovered yogurt, and bought some edamame that i need to learn how to cook, so that's a start!
3. enjoy more outdoor activities with Dago | see number one :(
4. finish this darn 30x30 and then give myself a break! | DONE!
5. spend some time in the pool after work | completely forgot that i wanted to do this this month. i did go one time, but it was on a weekend, so i won't count it.
6. make my 24th birthday special | this was by far the most chill birthday ever, and i think that made it one of the best birthdays i've ever had. i also loved sharing the day with my mom, since i don't love the attention that comes with birthdays anyway. it's weird, i actually like being the center of attention, but i like it when it's for something i've actively done, like perform or wear a cute outfit. birthday attention feels vain and unnecessary--all i did was wake up a day older!
7. make an appointment with a therapist | ughhhh. how many months now have i failed at this?  
8. finish How Did You Get This Number by Sloane Crosely | it took me a long time to get through the first chapter because it seemed like it lasted forever. ultimately, i think the book should have started with the second chapter instead. if that were the case, i'd probably be finished by now.
9. play around with infused water | so, i mentioned that i made sassy water the night that i wrote this post. i loved it that night, but the next day it literally tasted like i was drinking salad through a straw. i decided my next one should be more of a "i put these things in my water glass and drank it," rather than "i soaked these things in a pitcher of water overnight." strawberry and mint was a tasty combo!
10. get together with my girls | yes! even though Shelby has been working in San Antonio, she's come back to Austin a handful of times. we even had a sleepover!

Four out of ten isn't too bad, but I can do better this month. However, I do keep confusing myself into thinking I'm going to have all of this extra free time because it's summer now, even though I don't have any less days off than usual. Oh, adulthood. Here's what I hope is in store for me this June.

1. go to the pool once a week | i love popping into the pool for a bit after work when no one is there, so i think i'll try to make a habit out of it. being in water is such good self-care!
2. run at the park at least once a week | now that my knee is healing, i'm feeling ready to get back out and run.
3. make sure Dago has a fantastic birthday | i work all day, and he'll play soccer in the evening, but i want to do my best to make sure Dago has a great birthday. i'm taking him out for pupusas tonight!
4. take a relaxing, fun trip for our anniversary | we need to tack down our plans for this pretty quickly, seeing as our anniversary is only a little over a week away now. i'll be glad to drive somewhere and just enjoy his company for a day without any pressure to finish an errand or meet up with other people.
5. write letters to Briley while she's away at camp | handwriting letters is fun, and it's even more fun to send to friends at camp. i used to write letters to my friends when they went away to camp in the summers during high school, so it's cool that i can experience that again.
6. visit Shelby in San Antonio to have wine slushies at The Alamo | as much as i love Austin, it's nice to have an excuse to get out for a little while. what better excuse than my bff and wine slushies?
7. write 2 essays for my memoir | i keep putting this off, but i'm feeling really ready to write lately, so hopefully i can finally get started on this!
8. eat fruit every day | i love fruit, and it's good for me, so maybe if i eat it more often i can start to see it as a daily treat to cut down on my sugar intake.
9. make a new flower crown | help me pick which color flowers i should do! i'm thinking yellow and/or white, since the one i have is pink and red.
10. finally donate the big, ever-growing bag of clothes that overwhelms the corner of my room | my thrifting karma has been terrible lately, so it's time i donate a bunch of stuff and gain some points back. 

What do you want to accomplish this month?

june | small goals

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