on-my-list-blue-oxfords
one // two // three // four // five // six // seven // eight

Last week I shared something I needed, but this week I'm just talking about something I really, really want. It's very Mean Girls, but I feel like I always see cool girls wearing these easy blue oxford shirts, so I want an easy blue oxford shirt so I can be cool too. I'd wear it with black twill shorts and espadrilles and flip my hair when I laugh during brunch with my girlfriends......

Okay, cool girl fantasy over. I'm leaning towards one of the Gap shirts (one and two), but how cute is the sleeveless H&M shirt? I want it. I want it now!

on my list | light blue oxford shirts

sweater: Target // top: Nordstrom Rack // jeans: Banana Republic* // shoes: Nordstrom Rack // Texas necklace: Apricot Lane Boutique (similar) // bar necklace: Betsy Farmer Designs


I mentioned last week that my birthday is coming up in less than a month. I'm coming up on 25, which is kind of a milestone right? Birthdays are weird for a lot of people for a lot of reasons. I wrote earlier this year about how my synesthesia made me feel uncertain about the year 2015, and those same things were making me dread turning 25. Not only do I not connect with the numbers on that emotional level, but I also feel a lot of pressure by it being such a milestone. I thought, "can't I just skip it and turn 26?"

Through therapy and journaling, I've changed my attitude towards turning another year older. This birthday is a milestone for a reason. And I'm already starting to feel its effects.

The other day I was supposed to grab drinks with someone after work on a Friday and they got caught up and weren't going to make it. I decided to head over to Nordstrom Rack to walk the aisles and see what I could find. I stumbled upon these espadrilles -- a shoe I never would have considered -- and this slinky, sheer shirt. In the dressing room, with my high-waisted jeans and black bralette, for the first time, I really felt like a woman instead of a girl. I felt comfortable in my body, I felt sexy and wise; my soul felt tall.

With this birthday, I feel like I'm shedding a skin and revealing someone who has learned from a lot of mistakes; someone who is embracing herself instead of fighting with her. It's a good feeling y'all. This is gonna be a good year, the year of the woman, and a great start to a new chapter.

I'll be sharing my 26 before 26 list soon, as well as the results of my 25 before 25 list!

How do you feel about birthdays? Do you think of 25 as being a big deal, or is it just another year?

*I highly recommend these Banana Republic jeans! For reference, I'm wearing a 28 Long. They're intended to be ankle-length, and the Regular fit were super short on me. Just thought I'd share in case you were looking to add a pair to your closet!

the year of the woman

denim and denim blue on blue on blue how to wear a headscarf for spring Sisterhood bar necklace by Betsy Farmer Designs shades of blue | writes like a girl Steve Madden sandals Gap 1969 Tencel® denim shirt
top: Gap // shoes: Steve Madden (similar) // necklace: Betsy Farmer Designs // headscarf: Madewell


Sometimes the best outfits are so simple it's silly, really. A few things I'm bound to feel comfortable in:

1. A soft shirt in a pretty shape -- who doesn't love clothing that is just so soft! Bonus points if it actually looks good, right?
2. An easy color scheme -- can't go wrong with denim on denim, if you ask me. Plus we all know that blue is universally flattering.
3. A headscarf -- sometimes I just feel like the top of my head needs a little something. Is that weird?

I can already tell I'm going to reach for this new Gap top a ton this spring/summer. Like at least once a week. I've always been a fan of the blue-on-blue look -- it just makes me feel like me -- but I'm also excited to copy Jenni's outfit with the same shirt and my black high-waisted jeans and favorite new espadrilles.

Can we talk about this wall for a sec? Chelsea and I were driving around looking for a place to snap a few photos of this outfit when we passed this crazy wall. When you see the whole thing, there's like a big mermaid or something on it, but we thought this little section near the corner was perfect for my ombré blue 'fit!

shades of blue

jacket: Gap Factory (similar) // top: LOFT // purse: Old Navy // shoes: Steve Madden (similar) // necklace: Apricot Lane Boutique (similar)

Photos by Chelsea Laine Francis

This outfit should look familiar you to because I have worn it before. Well, almost. You see, if there's one thing I learned from my mama, it's that when you find a piece of clothing you love, you should buy it in every color. I wrote about how much I loved this top a few weeks ago, and then saw that LOFT included it in their 70%-off-sale sale. So I bought it in black too. Now I have two shirts I love, and I got one of the for $13!

In other exciting news, POPPIES!! If you couldn't tell from these photos, I was so excited when Chelsea and I stumbled upon these because poppies are my all-time favorite flower and I so rarely see them! These were just so bright and they ended up matching my new bag perfectly, so we obvi had to pull over. Did I mention that this is someone's front yard? Bloggers will do anything for their outfit posts!

What's your favorite flower? I always love finding out people's answers!

peplums and poppies

on-my-list-black-sandals
one // two // three // four // five // six // seven // eight

You know how there are some things you want, and then others that you need. I find that I most realize what I need when 1. I find myself reaching for something in my closet that isn't there, or 2. I wish I had a different something from the thing I reach for. This became painfully clear last summer when I first recognized that I needed black sandals, and then proceeded to buy a pair that I hated wearing.

The sandals I bought were from American Eagle (seen here) and they fit all the criteria I thought I had. They had an ankle strap, didn't go between my toes, and weren't patent leather or some weird material. Unfortunately, I learned upon their arrival that they had the slightest wedge on the heel. The wedge was super short and super thin, making me walk like a newborn foal. I would go out of my way to not wear outfits that required a black sandal because I so dreaded wearing them.

This year, I'm trying again. I love the look of the thicker covered section at the front of the sandal (no idea what to call that??), but I tried on this Gap pair and it rubbed my toes when I walked, so I didn't buy them. The Steve Madden pair is almost identical to the cognac pair of sandals I already own and love (seen here), which makes them a top contender. I'd love to get something a little different, though, if I can find the right pair!

Seen any black sandals you think might be the ones? I'd love to see! What's on your list this week?

on my list | black sandals

handkerchief dress handkerchief dress dress with back cutouts simple gold bar necklace handstamped bar necklace by Betsy Farmer Designs
dress: SoLa (for non-Austinites, get it here!) // shoes: Steve Madden (similar) // necklace: Betsy Farmer Designs (gift from Indiana)

Photos by Chelsea Laine Francis

I make a point of checking out SoLa any time I have an exciting occasion to shop for. Every time I stop in, I find something I love, get to pet the most adorable French bulldog Miss Venus, and get to chat with store founder Coral who always remembers my name! As if that didn't already make her the world's best shop girl, she also did a double take to make sure all my bits would be sufficiently covered in this dress for TxSC (look ma, no bra!).

I wore this little number on stage to moderate the final keynote with Sophia Rossi. I didn't quite know what I was looking for in a dress for the occasion, but as soon as I saw the open back and unique hemline, I had to at least try it on.

Never has a dress made me feel more confident so quickly. Especially a dress that doesn't fit my usual fit and flare formula! Between showing off my tattoo and my legs without being overly revealing, I was sold. I can't wait to wear this dress all summer! It's perfect for everything from margaritas on a porch to watching live music in the park. 

I don't have any special events coming up soon, but SoLa happens to be pretty close to my favorite ice cream shop, so I think I'll be popping in soon anyway! I love supporting my local businesses, and it doesn't hurt that they sell such cute stuff!

Speaking of supporting small sellers, I'll be sharing more about this sisterhood necklace soon. In the meantime, be sure to check out Betsy Farmer Designs!

P.S. I just realized today is exactly one month 'til my 25th birthday! Eep!

handkerchief dress

on-my-list-white-eyelet-tops
one // two // three // four // five // six // seven

It's been a few weeks since I've shared what's on my list, but after a fun shopping trip with Briley and her lovely mama this weekend, I've got pretty things on my mind again! Warmer weather and bluebonnets have me craving light and breezy eyelet tops. Whether it's a lacy scallopped trim or a delicate eyelet patterned, I want all the shapes! I bought a cute blouse at Old Navy this weekend that I'm still deciding on, and these contenders are making that decision even more challenging!

I'm already dreaming of pairing a pretty white eyelet top with my high-waisted black jeans and my favorite vintage Levi mom shorts, so help me choose! What's on your list this week?

on my list | white eyelet tops

book-report-not-that-kind-of-girl

Time for another book review! I finished Lena Dunham's Not That Kind of Girl on Thursday and have had a couple of days to process it, so I'm ready to share my second review for my 2015 reading list series.

Going Into It | As much as I don't want to spend this entire post discussing Lena-the-human, it's hard to discuss Lena-the-writer without at least addressing that she is a very controversial character in current pop culture. I had reservations going into this book because I'm aware of her often problematic comments and thought processes. However, I ultimately decided that I wanted to read the book for myself, with a critical mind, but without too much prejudice.

I guess to give some background, I watched the first three seasons of Girls and enjoyed it enough, though I don't have HBO and haven't yet made any effort to watch the fourth season. I did really love her film Tiny Furniture and I have a tendency to like her writing in the form of New Yorker articles, etc.

The Book | I essentially read this book in two sittings. By that I mean that I picked the book up and then put it down for a month or more before picking it back up. After I started reading the second time, I was good about reading regularly, almost every night before bed. The reason I stopped was because the introduction is just too much and I was worried about what that meant for the rest of the book. We know from Girls that Lena is on the self-absorbed side, so having a whole book to write about herself could easily get out of control. After a self-serving introduction comes a section called Love & Sex, which I'm sure her editor encouraged because people love the ~wild and crazy~ shock factor of Lena talking about sex. I put the book down because this sounded exhausting. However, after picking the book back up, I was pretty pleasantly surprised. 

One thing I realized while consuming Not That Kind of Girl is that Lena experiences life in hyperbole. To be really clear, I'm not saying she exaggerates her stories. What I'm saying is that she experiences things on a deeper and bigger level than the other people involved, and it makes her accounts of those experiences seem over-the-top. I trust Lena as a narrator because she describes what she felt, which she remembers really vividly. 

Aside from being able to trust my narrator and finding her stories and perspective entertaining, I love her prose. I would happily read a 10,000 word Lena Dunham description of her visit to a dog park. Can you imagine the dynamic imagery of the beagles and spaniels? And the way their different poop smelled and the thought process she went through when a spotted bull terrier sniffed her butt? I love Lena as a storyteller because I love the way she brings me not only into the scene, but into her experience of the scene. She may come off as a rather special snowflake in life and in writing, but she does have a uniquely intriguing mind and I appreciate her way with words.

One of the sections of the book that sticks out to me the most is a trip she took in her late teens or early twenties to London with a frail artist she intimately admired. I thoroughly enjoyed Lena's trip down memory road, complete with nostalgia blurring the corners, as she explored the kind of attraction you can have to another person who you connect with intellectually. I may not relate to her every narrative of sexual adventures or early-life therapy appointments, but I can find something to hold onto in the way she connects to people and experiences. I find value in that as a writer and a reader.

I want to talk a little about her description of her sexual assault. This is an extremely personal trauma that many, many writers have bravely put into words. Lena beautifully interlaces the story of her assault with stories of other sexual experiences and relationships. From a writing perspective as well as a human perspective, I think this was a smart and thoughtful choice because this particular incident occurred young in her sexual life and has affected every encounter since, in some way or another.

Lena uses the episode effect throughout the sections of her book, which I liked because we got just enough sense of each story and the characters in her life to understand where she was going with the following paragraph.

My Recommendation | While I decidedly enjoyed the book, I realize that it's very much an acquired taste. Most people aren't going to be able to get past her aforementioned hyperbolic explanations of things, nor her general mentality. There was a quote that I made sure to note for this particular part of the review. If the following sentence doesn't totally turn you off, then you might like the book:

"I haven't been to London since age fourteen, when I was angry my mother forced me to ride a Ferris wheel and even angrier because I liked it."

So there you have it. Have you read Not That Kind of Girl? What did you think? If not, do you plan to read it after having read this review? In case you missed it, here's my review of Yes Please.

book report | not that kind of girl

pollen

wearing | Black on black on black. I don't know what is drawing me to black in springtime, but I'm diggin' it.


reading | A Tale of Two Besties. I finished Lena's book last Thursday (review incoming tomorrow!) and promptly started Sophia's book so I can have it done for her official Austin book tour date on May 12 at Book People. Hey Austin babes -- come with me to this!!

watching | Daredevil. I missed a few episodes while I went to brunch and Dago kept watching, but lordy is it a great show! Get thee to Netflix!

enjoying | Spring evenings. I'm a lover of those summer nights, butt spring evenings are so exciting because the time has just changed and it's just starting to get dark later and later. Plus, it's warm! And all I want to do is hang out outside.

avoiding | Pollen. As much as I want to be outside all.the.time right now, I also don't want to be outside at all because of the crazy amounts of pollen polluting Austin! Dago has been sick for a week with terrible allergies and it's feeling like my turn as I seem to be itchier and snifflier than usual.

using | Stitcher to find and follow new podcasts! When you make your account, be sure to follow Breakfast for Dinner!

trying | Physical therapy! This is my official first step in finding some relief from my vertigo. As this blog post is going live, I'm undergoing some tests and learning some eye and ear exercises with my very first physical therapist. Wish me luck!

planning | My 26 before 26 list! Any recommendations?

drinking | Peanut butter milkshakes from P.Terry's. Every year I try to petition to get them to make it a #forevermilkshake like they have Caramel and Root Beer (both highly inferior), but I haven't had any success. Alas, I'll just have to order as many as I can before the next flavor shows up!

buying | Smock dresses and blouses & high-waisted bottoms. Expect to see a lot of them this season!

waiting | for Orphan Black to start next weekend! Is anyone else into the #cloneclub?

What have you been up to lately?

life lately

small-goals-april

It's April! In fact, it's almost mid-April. Sorry for the mini blogging break. I try to not apologize for taking time away from this space, but I can't help it. Though, I never really take time away. Even if I'm not writing a blog post here, I'm brainstorming, making lists, planning photo shoots, doing research, checking out new arrivals to share with you, etc.

That aside, the reason I've been away boils down, mostly, to dizziness. I mentioned in my last couple of small goals posts that I've been experiencing more frequent uncomfortable bouts of dizziness. I finally had my doctor's appointment with an ENT at the end of March and was diagnosed with Migraine Equivalent Vertigo. Never heard of it? Yeah, neither has anyone else. Basically, the way that most people get migraines -- frequent long periods of extremely painful headaches -- I get with dizziness. It's still kind of like a headache for me; I get a terrible pressure in the front of my skull, and inconsolable pain in my eyes. To put the dizziness part in perspective, it's that feeling like when you're on a swing and you swing backwards and you sort of lose your bearings and you get that fast pressure in your skull and your brain feels like it shrivels a little. The same feeling you get when you go up in an elevator. But for like...an hour and a half at a time, if not more.

While being on the computer doesn't instigate this feeling, looking at a screen for 9 hours at work + 4-5 hours at home certainly doesn't help. As much as I've wanted to write (especially after coming down from my TxSC high!), I've almost literally not been able to type here. 

So, that's a little about where I've been the last couple of weeks. Because my brain is starting to do the shrivel thing, let's get into the goals from last month and the new ones for April!

1. get all things CAMP in order and have the best weekend ever | DONE!!!
2. pay off my credit cards | DONE!!!
3. explore acupuncture | Sorta done? I did some research and got some awesome insight from a lovely friend of mine. I'm seeing a neurologist and physical therapist for my newly-named Migraine Equivalent Vertigo, but I'm going to ask both about acupuncture as a possible method of relief.
4. make some progress in a book | done! I'm almost finished reading Not That Kind of Girl!
5. become a salad eater | Oh gosh. Not necessarily done, but progress! It took a few different tries, but I've been loving spring greens, carrots, and Italian dressing for something light, but still filling. I'm not reinventing the wheel here, but I realized that keeping things simple can be delicious.

Aaaand onto April! These are some pretty lofty goals for a month that we're already significantly into, but let's do it anyway, right?

1. Give physical therapy a try | Who knew they could do physical therapy for your eyes and ears? Apparently, they can, so I may as well give it a try!
2. Go for at least 1 walk per week | Now that it gets dark later and it's warmer out, I need to get back in the habit of taking walks in the park for self-care. It's so hard to get in the rhythm of things you haven't done in a while, but putting goals here helps me be more accountable for things I want to do.
3. Review Not That Kind of Girl | Now that I've finally almost finished this book, I'm excited to get another book review up! In case you missed it, here's my review of Yes Please.
4. Create a media kit | In blogging goals for this month, it's time to finally make a media kit. Anyone have a favorite guide for blog media kits or awesome tips for me? Please share!
5. Make Breakfast for Dinner business cards | For similar reasons, it's time our little podcast baby has some business cards! People ask me where to find BFD way more often than they ask about my blog, and I'd love for us to have something to give them!

What are you up to in April?

april | small goals

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