Happy New Year's Eve, y'all! For some reason it's surreal every time one year ends and another begins. You'd think after 24 years I'd have gotten the hang of it. I do love a new year, though. Not only is it an excuse to get gussied up, but it's a fresh start right in the middle of a season that seems like it never ends (I'm looking at you, winter). Back in my hotline days, I always requested to work on Thanksgiving and Christmas so I could have New Year's Eve off. My plans rarely live up to my expectations, but I still enjoy having the time to move a little bit slower and on my own terms as the clock changes from 11:59 to 12:00 and from one year to the next.

I know you're probably getting hit on social media with round up posts from every blog you've ever followed, but hopefully you can live with just one more from me! I shared my favorite outfits and my favorite moments of 2014, so it only seemed right to share my favorite posts from the last year.

Starting from the top: 

I bought a new dress and got real about some body image struggles in smock and awe
I shared a few little known facts about myself in eleven
I wrote about a challenging and new feeling in on anger
I showed you my favorite ice cream spot in lick | favorite austin eats
I shed some light for Pinterest newbies in pinners' guide
I came up with a special phrase to help me remember why I started in my mantra
I let you know about my favorite product of all time in products that work | batiste dry shampoo
I reminisced on the anniversary of Wendy Davis filibuster in one year ago
I opened up about my love for poetry in poetry church
I shared a few of my favorite ways to stay close with far away friends in keeping in touch
I celebrated another blogging milestone in year three
I revealed my process for choosing an interview outfit in what to wear: to a creative interview
I showed you the method to my madness in tips | online shopping
I got real about mental health and blogging in on writing and depression
I wrote about a serious case of female harassment in why leaked photos of celebrities matter
aaand I waxed poetic about wanting a new tattoo, but not knowing if I should in to tattoo or not tattoo

It was a great year in blogging and I can't wait to keep improving and share more, better content with y'all in the new year!

remembering 2014 | favorite posts


2014 was filled with so many memorable moments, so I wanted to do a little review of a few of my favorites!

Favorite meal I ate: Brioche French Toast at Elizabeth St. Cafe

Favorite movie I saw: Into the Woods (hear my thoughts on the movie here)

Favorite trip I took: TIE between Fredricksburg with Dago for our anniversary and Amarillo to see Briley

Favorite concert I went to: Jenny Lewis at ACL

Favorite article of clothing I bought: navy polka dot skirt from J.Crew Factory

Favorite song I danced to: Shake it Off

Favorite change I made: starting a new job!

Favorite holiday I celebrated: Valentine's Day

Favorite girl power moment: Voting for Wendy Davis & Leticia Van de Putte

Favorite books I read: The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan and Wild by Cheryl Strayed

Favorite life accomplishment: Finding a therapist!

Favorite BFF bonding experience: Our girl gang photo shoot

Favorite shows I watched: Orphan Black, Brooklyn 99, Orange is the New Black, How to Get Away with Murder (And Serial, which I listened to)

Favorite OMG moment: Indiana telling me that both The Bloggess and Sophia Rossi are speaking at TxSC.

Favorite Austin experience: Jenn and Dean visiting and showing them around town.

Favorite quote: "Guard your time fiercely. Be generous with it, but be intentional about it." - David duChemin

What are some of your favorite memories from 2014?

remembering 2014 | favorite moments

I've mentioned this before, but one of my favorite things about blogging is being able to look back on the year. It's all here! I love that I can look back on last month and see that outfit I really loved, or I can time travel back six months ago and read my own thoughts on something I was going through. It's pretty surreal, but also really helpful around New Year's when I'm reflecting on the last 365. 

Here are my favorite outfits from 2014:

the blanket scarf | tartan & toasty

I loved so many outfits I blogged this year, so it was tough to choose my favorites! In comparison to 2013, I blogged less outfits in 2014, but the looks I put together were definitely better. The main reason for this is because I started shopping smarter in 2014. I spent more time considering the pieces I purchased, both from a financial perspective and from a closet perspective. How does this fit in with my current clothing? How does this move my closet forward in the direction I envision for myself? 

At the beginning of the year, I set five style resolutions for myself. The second resolution on my list was to commit to the remix. I did three remix challenges this year: my 30x30, my 7x7 workwear challenge, and the fall favorites challenge I did with Adina of Blue Collar Red Lipstick. From these challenges, I got a lot of really great outfits that I definitely wouldn't have come up with on my own (including 4-8 and 11 on this list of favorites from 2014).

Aside from the challenges, I really did commit to remixing as an idea in my whole closet. When I bought a new item, I was so careful about buying things I not only could but would re-wear a lot of ways. I think it's that second part that really made the difference this year. I've always thought about wearing things more than one way, at least from a financial perspective, but I didn't necessarily wait to find something I was excited about remixing. Now, when I buy a new skirt, blouse, or boots, I can't wait to find new ways to wear it a lot because I really love wearing the item in general.

From the list above, I think it's pretty easy to see this played out. Almost every outfit includes something that was worn in another outfit on this list (and this is just 16 outfits out of everything I wore this year!).

I may not have said yes to tulle, and it looks like I traded out my stripes goal for polka dots (not mad about that!), but I think having these resolutions in the back of my mind was really helpful in shopping smarter and therefore making better outfits this year. I haven't decided if I'm going to make style resolutions for 2015 yet, but I think looking back on this was a pretty good argument to do so.

What were your favorite outfits you wore in 2014? Have you ever set style resolutions, or do you plan to next year?

remembering 2014 | favorite outfits

Meowy catmas, friends! I hope your holiday, whether spent with the family you were born into or the one you chose, is full of laughter and light. I hope you eat lots of cookies and snuggle with lots of blankets and don't check any work emails.

2014 was a really, really good year for me. I started a new job that I love, I found a therapist who I really click with, I have amazing friends and family and Dago and Contessa. I've felt more control of my life this year, and I'm doing things that make me truly happy. The holidays are special for a lot of reasons, but my favorite is the time we get to reflect back on the year and all we've accomplished.

Speaking of achievements, if you've been around these parts for a while, then you know that making a family holiday card was on my 25 before 25 list. I convinced Briley -- well, actually, I convinced Dago; Briley was an easy sell -- to come photograph Dago and I for some holiday cards. She's a master and took some really fun photos of us together. We've never had anyone take our photos, so it was definitely an adventure! We even got Contessa in on the fun, and as you can see, she was very into it.

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I'll be sharing a few end-of-the-year round-ups next week, so stay tuned for that. In the meantime, grab another glass of eggnog and listen to this.

from my family to yours

One last gift guide! This was definitely my favorite to put together. I love supporting small, feminist businesses, so here are a few of my favorite pieces found around the web. These gifts are perfect for your intersectional, patriarchy-smashing, street-harassment protesting, zine-reading, body-positive feminist killjoy.

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

In case you missed them, check out my gift guides for your girl gang, cat mama, and baking babe. What's on your gift list this holiday season?

gift guide | for your feminist killjoy

We all have that lady in our life who always shows up with fresh lemon bars or a batch of brownies, don't we? (If you don't, I am so sorry about your life, and I hope you find one of these friends soon!) Being the cake-enabler that I am, I love finding cute bakeware and kitchen accessories for my baking babes to use in their favorite place in the house.


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

In case you missed them, check out my guides for your girl gang and your cat mama. What does your baking babe need under her tree this year?

gift guide | for your baking babe

It's no secret that I'm a cat person, through and through. I do, of course, have dog people in my life (shout out to Jenn!), but the majority of my loved ones are fellow cat mamas. From mugs to phone cases, there are tons of cat-themed gifts you could buy for your own cat mama, so here are a few recommendations from a cat mama herself.


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

In case you missed it, yesterday I shared a gift guide for your girl gang. What are you buying for your favorite cat mama this year?

gift guide | for your cat mama

What kind of blogger would I be if I didn't provide a few gift guides during the holiday season? Since every blogger and their mom is sharing a collection of shoppable items lately, I wanted to make my guides über-specific to writes like a girl and the kinds of gifts I'm actually giving this year.

First, a few gifts for your girl gang. You met my girl gang last week: badass babes with an affinity for quirky accessories, sentimental messages, pretty design, and Beyoncé lyrics. Here are a few things my girl gang might find under their trees that your girl gang would love too!


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

I'll be sharing a few more gift guides throughout the week, so stay tuned! Also, be sure to check out my gift guides from last year and Dago's gift guide for guys from 2012.

gift guide | for your girl gang

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dress: Forever 21 purchased recently, so maybe still in stores (similar 1 // similar 2) // vest: old Target // booties: Charlotte Russe (similar)

photos by Briley Noel

You know when you're on a mission to find something, and it seems like no stores want to sell it to you? I went to a wedding a few weeks ago and really wanted a cute printed dress with sleeves. I went to like five stores and found absolutely zero dresses that were even close to fitting the bill. I was trying to avoid the mall, but eventually gave in because I knew Forever 21 would have exactly what I was looking for. I should have just started there. *Sigh*

Anyway, this dress is the result! It's like nothing I've ever owned, but is exactly what I envisioned. I love the color, and I like that the way the print complements the shape of the dress, specifically the neckline and sleeves. Oh, and it ended up being half-off because of the upcoming Black Friday, so that didn't hurt either!

I didn't wear the vest to the wedding (and I did wear tights), but I thought a little fur would be a cute look for the dress' next outing. It's got that '60s vibe to it that you know I'm all about. 

Do you have any weddings on your calendar this season? What are you planning to wear?

printed dress & fur vest

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cowl: c/o Knitting Ain't Easy // blouse: Forever 21 (similar) // booties: Charlotte Russe (similar)

photos by Katie Jameson

After our picnic, I asked Katie to snap a few shots of this outfit. There are a lot of things I love about this outfit -- my favorite skinnies, a pretty colored blouse, my reliable booties -- but the best part is absolutely the cozy cowl.

My blogger (and real life!) bestie Jenn of With Luck Blog recently opened her own knit shop on Etsy called Knitting Ain't Easy, and she sent over this cowl as a gift. Like Jenn, the cowl is perfect in every way. It's soft, it's the loveliest shade of dark grey with subtle specks of color, and it is warm. I've found myself throwing it on nearly every day because it just goes with everything!

If you're looking for something knitted for the holidays, whether under your tree or someone else's, I can't recommend Knitting Ain't Easy enough. Some of my favorite pieces in the shop are the braided ear warmer, the custom striped scarf, and the hand knit infinity scarf. Oh, and the scalloped jewelry dishes make great stocking stuffers!

knitting ain't easy

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photos by Katie Jameson

Things I love: my best friends, pizza, a picnics on cute quilts. Luckily, this photo shoot has all three! I mentioned that both Briley and Shelby are December babes, and I thought it would be fun to have a little birthday party in the park. The light was ah-mazing, and the pizza was perfect (when is it not?).

I'm seriously so happy to have these photos look back at. We can all get pretty busy, and while we make sure to text every day, we don't always have a chance to see each other even every week. Briley stays busy making beautiful art and Shelby moved to San Antonio to do some really important work. We're a group of ambitious ladies, I tell ya!

Tell me about your best friends! I'm enthusiastically overwhelmed by all this Sisterhood!

my girl gang | part two

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photos by Katie Jameson

Briley's dress // same | similar
Shelby's dress // save | splurge

Welcome, dear readers, to my girl gang. You've read mention of both of these babes on the blog before, and seen Briley's killer photography, so it was about time I introduced you! The leggy brunette to the left is Briley, and the sassy blonde in the middle is Shelby. These gals are my sun and moon and stars, and I have no idea what I'd do without them. They make me stronger, and they make me feel like it's okay to not be strong all the time. They inspire me endlessly. Their victories make mine seem more attainable. They're driven, creative, loving, thoughtful, and fierce. And it doesn't hurt that they're a couple of cuties!

This photo shoot actually came about for a couple of reasons. First, since Briley is always behind the camera, she's never in photos with us. That had to change! Second, both of these ladies have birthdays in December, so we wanted to do a little something special to celebrate.

We teamed up with the lovely and talented Katie Jameson, whose photography you've seen over on Lauren's blog Make It A Double. She's a master at finding the light, making us giggle, and telling Shelby where to put her hands during photos. Thanks, Katie for coming out with us and making this unforgettable photo shoot happen!

Stay tuned, because I'll be back tomorrow with part two of the photo sesh!

meet my girl gang | part one

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cardigan: Forever 21 // sweater: Target // skirt: J.Crew Factory (similar) // flats: old

photos by Briley Noel

The polka dot skirt is back! This outfit is actually reminiscent of the very first outfit I wore with this skirt. I swapped out my denim jacket for the world's coziest cardigan, which I've been wearing nonstop lately. I resisted the longer, shawl-style cardigan last year, but I'm so glad I finally gave in because it's warm and versatile.

Speaking of versatility, this skirt might be the most blogged item on my blog. I wore it five times in my 30x30, and it have worn it three other times, not including today's post. What I'm saying is you need a skirt like this. It doesn't have to be navy or polka dotted or pleated, but you should have a skirt that you can grab and re-wear a bunch of different ways. Oh, and it should make you feel really cute too.

Also, in case you were wondering (you weren't), the only reason I'm not wearing rights is because I had an epic snag at a wedding I went to a couple of weekends ago, and Target has yet to restock their tights selection since Black Friday. Where do you get your infallible tights? I usually swear by Target, but might need to expand my horizons.

polka dot redeux

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