small goals july

This year is absolutely flying by, but it's nice to check in every month with my small goals to stay on top of the things I want and need to get done. I was really, really set on accomplishing all five of my goals in June, and I got so close, but not quite the whole enchilada. 

Here's what I had lined up, and what I knocked down.

1. celebrate our anniversary with a day tripdonedone, and done!
2. buy a dryer | I'm so sad to say that I didn't accomplish this. I ended up doing a lot more shopping than I expected in June, so my dryer money went to a few pretty dresses and cute tops. Womp womp.
3. hang out in the pool | The rain in Austin tried to keep me away, but I finally got a little pool time in with Briley on Sunday evening!
4. walk at least once a week | done!
5. set up Buffer to schedule social content | done! I plan to share more about Buffer soon!

4/5 is, again, not bad. Hoping for 5/5 this time around!

1. no clothing purchases* | Because I purchased so many things in June, I'm going to attempt to not shop for clothing this month. I want to focus on the clothes I have now, and I want to...
2. buy a dryer | Since all my dryer money went to clothes, my July clothes money goes to a dryer. So...uh...anybody have tips on getting a dryer off Craigslist?
3. finish You Feel So Mortal | Excited to check off another book on my 2015 reading list!
4. send three blog partnership pitches | I've spent a lot of time thoughtfully determining a few brands that I think y'all will be really excited about and I'd love to partner with them to share some awesome content with you. Sending pitches is super intimidating, as it turns out,  but I need to bite the bullet and send these emails!
5. try 5 new ways to incorporate fruit into my every day routine | This month's healthy eating initiative takes a little more creativity, which I think will help me accomplish it. I'm looking forward to yummy lunches at work this month!

What are you up to in July?

*Excludes bags and purses. I have some dire purse needs that I'll be sharing in upcoming wishlist posts. I realize this seems like cheating, but IdowhatIwant.

july | small goals

After my devastating closet crisis of Spring 2015, I decided June was the time to take back my wardrobe. I set out to start thrifting again, re-introduce color and pattern into my closet, and, most of all, buy pieces I'm truly excited about. I'll say it: I did a great job this month. I am feel so eager to wear my clothes every day and make new, fun outfits. I think I did a pretty good job of buying diverse-enough pieces that I won't feel the need to shop much in July or August. Maybe a few accessories, but I'm feeling like a new woman...or, more correctly, like myself again.

Enough with all the dramatics. Here's what I bought in June!

what i bought in june

Blue Poplin Dress from Old Navy - $22.99 (on sale!)
Green Eyelet Dress from Old Navy - $5.99 (thrifted! (last season)
Blue Oxford Shirt from Old Navy - $22.00 (on sale!) (seen here)
Goldfield Skirt by Edme & Esyllte from Anthropologie - $49.99 (eBay!)
Vintage Floral Crop Top - $4.99 (thrifted!) (not pictured, but seen here)

Total: $301.54

One of the things I'm really excited about is a bunch of pretty dresses. If you saw my closet in years' past, the majority of my hangers were holding pretty dresses in a variety of colors and textures. Being able to wear a dress most days a week has been so nice -- who doesn't love the ease of wearing one piece to work?

I've been following Fran's How to Build a Cohesive Wardrobe series and one piece of advice I found really helpful was to find your 10 favorite outfits on Pinterest and determine what elements make you like them. For instance, this pin told me I need to get a midi dress in my closet, this pin is the epitome of my love of patterned button downs, this pin reminded me how much I love wearing shades of poppy and coral as a blonde, this pin reinvigorated my love of '60s silhouettes, and this pin (and basically all the others on my to wear board) inspired the purchase of my printed midi skirt (more on this one coming soon!).

It kind of goes against everything I've ever learned about shopping, but it was nice to shop without a real shopping list. I went exploring, instead of just running an errand. I knew some silhouettes I was looking for and I had these pins in mind while shopping, but I also got to try on pieces that inspired me on a deeper level. I think because of my experience with capsule challenges, I know the colors I'm drawn to and the pieces that will inevitable go together, because this collection -- while not meant to be a collection at all -- is actually pretty cohesive. Coral, chartreuse, blue, and black are still my main colors, as they've always been, and there are so many layering options!

As far as budget, I'm still sort of figuring out what makes sense for my life. I definitely spent more this month that usual, but 1. I think it was clear that I had the need and 2. I didn't buy much in May. Though, buying 12 pieces for $300 isn't too bad. I only paid full price for half the items and only one of those items was over $40, and that item was a pair of shoes.

One of my 26 before 26 goals is to go one whole month without shopping. I'm considering making that month July, but I haven't decided stay tuned on that I guess!

This month I'm linking up with Fran's Budgeting Bloggers, so be sure to check out her June buys and the other awesome bloggers in the link-up!

what i bought in june


UPDATE: SCOTUS just ruled that same-sex couples have the right to marry in all 50 states. This is an amazing day in history and such a wonderful reason to celebrate! Here's the playlist we're partying/crying to in the office this morning.


Welcome to Friday, kittens! Here are a few of my favorite links from around the web (do people say web anymore?) this week:

♥ I may not be able to tell you the future, but this magical emoji machine sure can!

♥ I love outfit recaps from past seasons, especially with looks as cute as Rachel's!

♥ I am obsessed with BuzzFeed's series where women of different shapes and sizes try on a clothing line to show you how it really looks on a variety of beautiful bodies. Their latest Victoria's Secret swimsuit shoot totally nails it!

♥ Since it's been unseasonably not-that-hot in Austin lately, I'm thinking I might recreate this cozy scarf outfit.

♥ My girl Chelsea was included in The Glitter Guide's round-up of inspiring Instagrams you should be following! Be sure to follow her and check out the others!

♥ As a girl who will always choose comfy undies and a flat shoe over skimpy skivvies and high heels, I can totally get behind this article.

♥ My favorite wedding I blogged this week (and maybe ever) took place at a zoo.

♥ A little wishlist for the weekend: two printed skirts I need in my closet ASAP (one and two) because could I be any more predictable, these pretty suede ankle strap flats, these glam little cluster earrings, and this reversible vegan leather tote that may be coming home with me after my next paycheck!

Link me to your favorite corners of the Internet in the comments!

link love

It's no secret that I've had gingham on the brain lately; I think I mention the print in at least every other blog post if not more often! First I had my eye on a gingham smock dress, then gingham midi skirts. I've always been a big fan of gingham button downs and you can find me styling them several ways throughout this blog. Gingham is such a summery print (I mean, it's basically just a picnic tablecloth, amirite?), but the right pieces can transcend the seasons. Here are a few of the gingham pieces that are giving me heart eyes this week!

on my list gingham print
one // two // three // four // five

First things first, I'mma need that red gingham sundress on my body like yesterday. How friggin cute! Styled with my clogs and a headscarf? Stop. Best summer outfit of all time. But I'm also digging the more chic-leaning looks like the shirtdress and the little shell. I'd totally pair that shell with my high-waisted black jeans or a solid color midi skirt like my chartreuse one! Speaking of midi skirts, y'all know I want a gingham one, and this blue baby is perfectly flirty. And, just because I can't resist a good button down, I had to list a summery lemon yellow gingham because I can tuck it into my denim shorts now and layer it under a cardigan in a few months!

What's on your list lately?

on my list | all things gingham


I talk a lot about clothes here on this little blog, but I rarely mention beauty products. I figure if you're checking in to see what shoes I bought and love, you might be interested in the products I can't live without. I thought it would be fun to share my top ten tried and true products with you, and, to take things a step further (more fun!), make it a link-up so you can share yours too! 

My mission here is not only to introduce you to a couple new lip colors and my go-to zit zapper, but also the dependable every day products I've relied on for years like deodorant and body lotion. There are just too many products out there to try, so it can be nice to have a trusty recommendation that you know I wasn't paid to write. ;) 

Without further adieu, my top ten!

01. Batiste Dry Shampoo | The number one product I can't live without is none other than Batiste Dry Shampoo. As a gal with bangs living in the heat of Central Texas, a good dry shampoo is crucial to avoid "stringy bang" (holla if you hear me). I've tried several different shamps and the only one that I've ever had any success with is Batiste. It gives me incredible volume, doesn't leave visible residue, lasts all day, and smells great. I used to exclusively buy the Blush scent, but then I tried out the Blonde shade, and lately I've been using either Cherry or Fresh. As a buying tip, Ulta often has a BOGO deal on Batiste! (Here's a review I wrote last year if you're interested in hearing more!)

02. Sonia Kashuk Beautifying Blush in Flamingo | My second most beloved product is definitely my blush. I grew up performing in theatre and learned to do stage makeup before life makeup. Because of this experience, I'm extra picky about blush. I deeply believe that blush is the most important makeup product a person can wear on their face (mascara is a close second). It brightens you up and gives your face definition. I mention all of this to make the argument for matte pressed powder blush. A lot of other blushes I've tried were pressed powder with a subtle shimmer or were creme blushes that just melted or absorbed right into the skin. I don't know all the science behind it, but this Beautifying Blush goes on bright (brush it on the highest point of your apples in layers!) and stays put all day with a pretty and natural-looking flush.

03. Clean & Clear Persa-Gel 10 | I've written a review of this product before, so I'll keep this short. Got a zit? Need it gone? This works. Fast.

04. Lush Ocean Salt Face & Body Scrub | This is one of those products that seems to be on everyone's must-have list and I finally understand why. I was introduced to Ocean Salt, and Lush in general, this past winter and I have no idea how I lived so long without either. Nothing makes my skin feel cleaner or softer than Ocean Salt. I use it on my face, focusing especially on my nose and the skin right next to my nose, but I also use it on my arms to combat my mild Keratosis Pilaris.

05. Revlon Super Lustrous Creme Lipstick in Sassy Mauve | It's pretty rare that you see me on this blog not wearing lipstick, and, nine times out of ten, I'm rocking Sassy Mauve. This is a shade I inherited from my mom when I was in high school and she was getting rid of makeup she never used. Lip color is a tough thing to recommend to a wide group of people, so while I could talk all day about my adoration for Sassy Mauve with my complexion, I'll stick to recommending Revlon's Super Lustrous Creme Lipstick in general. The color is rich and lasts. I'm a big fan of creme lipsticks because they look the most natural (as natural as bright red, deep burgundy, or berry can look, I guess!) and feel the most comfortable to wear for long periods of time.

06. Dove Advanced Care Go Fresh Revive Anti-Perspirant | I told y'all I was going to rep my deodorant, and here we are. I've been using Dove Advanced Care for probably four years now and I have no intention of changing. It does all the things an anti-perspirant should without irritating my skin (who knew my outside was as sensitive as my inside?) and without getting all over my clothes. The Advanced Care Go Fresh line comes in a few scents, but Revive (which is just pomegranate) is my favorite. I'm not a girl with a signature scent, but I feel myself in the pretty and subtle scent of this deodorant.

07. CoverGirl LashBlast Volume Mascara in Black | I mentioned that mascara was the second most important makeup product to me, but it's not super exciting which is why it's listed all the way down here. As a blonde eyelashed-lady, I've tried a ton of mascaras because I simply won't leave the house without it. I like CoverGirl's LashBlast Volume Mascara because it makes my lashes nice and full without ever being flaky or spidery. I don't need the length because I have decently long lashes already and I wear glasses, so volume is definitely the most important thing to me. 

08. CoverGirl LineExact Liquid Liner in Very Black | This is another product I've reviewed (and there's even a very silly looking tutorial -- this is why I'm not a beauty blogger, my friends!) and continue to use. I don't wear eyeliner very often because I'm lazy, so I save it for special occasions. I love that I can just swipe on this eyeliner without worrying about a whole involved process, and I can get it right on the first try whether I'm in my bathroom at home or sitting in my parked car outside a restaurant. I love that the applicator is short so I can get a good grip on it, and the pen tip always stays sharp for a super straight line. It's also nice that the liner dries immediately and doesn't smudge.

09. CoverGirl Lipslicks Lip Gloss in Daring | This is a product I recommend to everyone in my life who doesn't like lip products but wants a little bit of color. I hate lip gloss, but I love lip balm, and CoverGirl's Lipslicks line is a wonderful marriage of the two. I swear by the Daring shade because it's just red enough that it looks like you bit your lip a little, which is often all the color anyone needs. It's not scented or flavored, which I honestly like because I get to put it on and forget about it completely!

10. Aveeno Stress Relief Moisturizing Lotion | Lotion is one of those things I always need and always seem to forget. Is that just me? I'm currently trying to remedy this forgetfulness by making it a habit to rub lotion on my hands every night before bed. Aveeno's Stress Relief Moisturizing Lotion is my favorite because it smells like lavender and it really does help calm me down as I rub it into my skin. I like that it makes my skin soft all day (if I can just remember to put it on!) and never greasy (isn't that the worst?). Plus, am I the only one who feels like Jennifer Aniston when using Aveeno products? No? Just me?

So there you have it! And while I'm loyal to these ten products, I'm not tied to a whole lot of others, so I'm excited to see what you all recommend! If you decide to put together a ten products post, link up with me below!

the 10 products I can't live without


It's Friday! I'm back with another link love post as promised, though short on the links. My heart is so incredibly heavy with all of the news coming out of Charleston and I've been following updates via Twitter instead of spending too much time reading blogs. If you're looking for a particularly powerful piece about the tragic terrorism Charleston faced this week, I recommend this article (you know, since this is supposed to be a link post and all).

And in a little lighter news from the blogosphere...

♥ I love when bloggers get real. Hilary over at Cutie Cameras invited bloggers to share their real blogging outfits and the results are both comfy and cute!

♥ Loved April's post on anxiety and progress. Vulnerability online is hard and I so appreciate when bloggers open up about their struggles.

♥ I'm not crying. You're crying!

♥ Raise your hand if you binge-watched all of Orange is the New Black in the first weekend! Then take this quiz and tell me who you should go on a crime spree with. (I got Flaca, which I love.)

♥ My dear friend Katie introduced me to a fab new-to-me blogger this week and I'm obsessed.

♥ Speaking of amazing bloggers, if you're not following Franish, what are you doing with your life? In particular, her new series about building a cohesive closet is a must-follow.

♥ A super cute wishlist for the weekend: these adorable earrings, this insanely cute dress, a sweet pink skirt, a pair of bow shoes that I NEED, and this obscenely precious tote.

I hope everyone has a relaxing weekend planned with lots of recharging and support and snuggles. Also waffles.

link love


Hi y'all! I don't usually post on Thursdays, but I wanted to pop in today to share a special feature I wrote for an amazing site called Proud2BMe. The editor (who is about to retire the position and go to grad school!) reached out to me to write about my experience as a blogger who struggles with body image and disordered eating. At first I was like, um totally I'll write that! And then I found myself putting it off and avoiding it because, as it turns out, it was really difficult to write. I worked through a lot of stuff while writing this post and I'm so honored to have it featured on Proud2BMe!

You can check out the full feature here!

featured | on style blogging and body image

After studying my 'to wear' board on Pinterest last week, I discovered that I need at least 7 midi skirts in my closet. It's basically the answer to my closet crisis.... Alright, so I'm partially joking, but I do very obviously love midi skirts and feel like myself in them. Anytime I need to dress up for an event, I gravitate towards the couple of midi skirts I have because they make a statement. That's one thing that's definitely me: pairing a statement piece with versatile basics.

While midi skirts are a pretty bold statement because of their length even in a solid color, I'd love a pretty printed skirt for summer! Here are a few of the skirts I'm eyeing lately:

on my list printed midi skirts

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

I mentioned in my link love post last week that a gingham skirt is officially on my list, and I love that one and three are both a little imperfect in print. The red especially has my eye! While I love the femininity of the roses on four, I also like the more abstract floral prints on two and five. Six is also a pretty abstract print -- more of the '80s variety than dainty florals -- but the soft pleats look super flattering and easy to style.

In addition to these printed midi skirts, I actually fell in love with one last week at a thrift store. It didn't quite fit, but I tracked down the next size up on eBay and my bid won! I am SO excited to get it in the mail at the end of the week and start styling it for summer!

on my list | printed midi skirts

body positivity and mindfulness

You know how once you become aware of something -- like the 2015 Honda Civic in blue or Trap Queen -- you seem to encounter it everywhere? I've been extremely aware of the negative body talk all around me lately and I can't believe I never noticed before how rampant it is. Sure, I would hear my girlfriends lament about their thighs if shopping for shorts came up in conversation, but the way all the women around me speak about eating, exercising, and existing in their bodies is so devastating.

Being body positive is something I really have to work at. It requires so much more than just saying I love the way my body looks just the way it is. I have to be compassionate towards myself both in private and in public in regards to my body because otherwise the damaging body-negative language will infiltrate and send me into a sad body spiral. Part of the way I've been more mindful about body positivity lately is by shifting the language I use to talk about my body. I wanted to share a few key phrases that have been really helping me in hopes that you'll embrace a little body celebration instead of body shame.

What I hear: "I've been so good/bad this week." I hear this phrase more than anything and it's really shocking how self-shaming it really is when you think about it. Eating shouldn't be seen as something we do that is right or wrong or something that should be rewarded or punished when we do it a certain way. Not only is this an unhealthy way to talk to yourself about food, but consider how it makes the people around you feel when you talk negatively about food choices that they might have made too.

Change the conversation: "How can I nourish myself right now?" Re-focusing the phrase from whether or not food is good or evil to thinking of it as something that energizes you is not only a more positive mindset, but will help you make healthier choices too. Your body doesn't always need a salad -- sometimes it needs protein, iron, or potassium. Getting in touch with what your body needs to be strong, focused, and productive is way more "right" than denying yourself certain foods because you've eaten salad four days this week.

What I hear: "My stomach will never be as flat as hers." Comparing your body to someone else's is natural in the society we live in, but it's also pretty irrelevant. There are so many factors that make her body the way it is and that make yours the way it is. Really, it's like trying to make your fingerprint look more like someone else's.

Change the conversation: "I love the way my shoulders look in this blouse." Admittedly, it can be tough to say you love a part of your body 100%. We're just not raised to do so. But, if you can take a baby step and throw yourself a compliment about the way you look, you'll start to appreciate other parts of your body too and won't feel as prone to comparison. I think the comparison burns the strongest in me when I'm focused on how pretty/successful someone else is and I'm not considering myself at all. If I spent 5 extra seconds a day complimenting my own unique beauty, I'd be a lot less likely to put myself down when I encounter someone else's.

What I hear: "This dress makes me look like a sausage." Comparing your body to sausage isn't very nice, especially when your body did nothing wrong. It's not your body's fault the dress doesn't fit right. Don't fault your body for the laundry list of faults of the retail industry.

Change the conversation: "This dress isn't worthy of my body." Instead of shaming your body for something that it didn't do wrong, put that energy into shaming the retail and fashion industries for not making clothing that fits a whole range of sizes and shapes. Or, if that advocacy isn't your style, just use the energy in hanging the dress back up and moving on to the next one feeling optimistic that a worthwhile dress is out there and will make you look and, more importantly, feel amazing.

What are some ways you've replaced negative body talk with body positivity?

body positivity + mindfulness

loft black dress loft black dress7 loft black dress4 loft black dress3 loft black dress6 loft black dress8 loft black dress10 loft black dress9 loft black dress2
dress: LOFT // shoes: Steve Madden // necklace: The Land of Salt

photos by Chelsea Laine Francis

I'd like to introduce you to a couple of serious contenders for closet MVP this summer. First, say hello to my new LBD. Yes, a little black dress, but also a LOFT black dress. Her sleeves and amazing fabric won me over, even though she's a shape I would usually walk right past (too boxy, not a flared enough skirt). I'm so glad I tried her on because I fell in love and, as a bonus, she was 50% off! Gotta love those weekend sales at LOFT, amirite?

The second item I'd like you to meet is my purse. This was actually my very first purse as a child, and I think even then it wasn't new. As you saw last week, I've been searching for a new clutch, but didn't have one yet when I wore this dress out or took photos. I really thought it should be styled with a clutch instead of my usual crossbody. I pulled this purse out of a bin of old dress up clothes I hang on to because I thought it added a little personality to the otherwise black outfit. Just before we started taking photos, Chelsea suggested I tuck the two little straps inside the purse and hold it like a clutch. Voila! I think I may add a little button inside so I can carry it around without my phone, keys, and wallet spilling out everywhere I go!

Am I the only one who has held onto items since childhood? Also, shout out to my mom for having such great taste in my first purse. Moms, the original style icon.

first purse, latest purchase


It's been a while since I posted on a Friday! I wanted to bring back my weekly link love posts. These are some of my favorite features from other bloggers because I love to see what my friends are reading, plus I get to find some cool corners of the Internet that I may not have seen otherwise! So here we are. Here are a few of my favorite links of the week!

♥ Chrystina had the most brilliant post about having a vomit contingency plan. It sounds weird, but I swear it's just amazing.

♥ April posted about one of my favorite vintage stores in Austin! Anytime my extended family wanted to hang out with me when I was a kid, I made them take me to Room Service. So many memories (and fabulous vintage!)

♥ Love the way Alice styled her JORD. A gingham skirt is officially on my wishlist!

♥ Need another podcast to add to your listening roster? Internet darling Indiana just launched a hilarious new show with her husband. I present to you Mom Jeans & Dad Jokes.

♥ I loved (and needed) this list of body positive ways to support yourself if you're a binge eater (or just in general!)

♥ Two of my favorite posts this week were from Houston blogger Meg: she reflected on finishing her fourth year teaching and then said goodbye to the greatest grocery store in the world because she's gettin' hitched and movin' to Louisiana! Is it weird that both of these posts made me cry?

♥ The summer reading list you need

♥ Your feel good video of the week

♥ My favorite wedding that I blogged this week on Junebug. Obsessed with her vintage dress and the family style reception! P.S. we're running a $200 giveaway for Anthro. Go enter

♥ On my wishlist: this ice cream print, this perfect printed skirt (please go on sale!), these geometric earrings, this floral midi dress, this hilarious pouch, and these comfy espadrilles.

Share your favorite links of the week in the comments!

P.S. Today is mine and Dago's four year anniversary! Please send posi vibes that our plans don't get rained out because while I plan to watch all of Orange is the New Black this weekend anyway, I also want to go on an adventure!

link love

First things first: y'all are amazing. Everyone's response to my post yesterday is so appreciated. Y'all had some really amazing input about getting my style back on track and I'm excited to get back to shopping instead of just checking items off a list.

One really great suggestion I got from Jen was to try adding in some accessories to make my current basics more exciting. I thought it would be fun to start with a piece I've always wanted to own, but never have. A statement clutch is such a cool way to liven up an LBD or a tee and jeans. Here are a few of the ones that have caught my eye recently!

on my list statement cluthes
one // two // three // four // five // six

To be honest, I'm having a terrible time making up my mind about what I want in a statement clutch. I guess that's not a surprise when I'm having so much trouble defining my style in the first place. I love the summery look of the straw bag, the modern classic of the spotted one, and the romantic vintage look of the embroidered one. The leather bag is gorgeous and would be so versatile, while the confetti clutch is just absolutely fun and such a conversation starter! The coral bag is trendy and cool and I can see myself wearing it with a ton of stuff too. How do I decide??

What's on your wishlist lately?

on my list | statement clutches

blue tank black midi1 blue tank black midi2 blue tank black midi3 blue tank black midi4 blue tank black midi5 blue tank black midi6 blue tank black midi7
tank: Old Navy // skirt: ASOS // shoes: Steve Madden // necklace: The Land of Salt

photos by Chelsea Laine Francis

This is a post I've tried to start a couple of times from different angles, but I think I've finally gotten down to the issue: I'm in a major closet crisis. I feel like this is style blogger heresy to admit on the Internet, but it's also incredibly true.

Over the last year and a half, a few things have changed that I think lead to my crisis. First, as I've written about before, my body has undergone some pretty big changes in shape and size. Last summer I did a pretty huge purge of my closet because nothing I owned fit me anymore. I continued to purge through fall and winter, and by time spring rolled around, I had hardly any clothing left.

The second factor is the idea of capsule/limited wardrobes. Last spring I did a 30x30 challenge, which ended up being an awesome experience in getting the most out of my clothes. I mixed, matched, and remixed like never before. Unfortunately, by the end of the challenge, most of those items were lost in the Great Closet Purge of Summer 2014. Mid-summer I got frustrated with trying to rebuild a wardrobe through thrifting and I bought a handful of pieces at the Banana Republic and J.Crew outlets. I then shared a 7x7 remix challenge to show how I got the most out of those few purchases. Fall and winter set in, and again I purged previous years' clothes that didn't fit, purchased just a few new pieces, and remixed them all season.

As I started adding a few items to my closet for spring, I was struggling: struggling to find things that could wear a bunch of ways, struggling to find things that fit my body the way I wanted, and struggling to find things that fit the woman I am and aim to be. I so associate clothing with being a physical representation and expression of the person I am. There's a quote from Caitlin Moran's book How To Be A Woman that I deeply relate to: "When a woman says, 'I have nothing to wear!', what she really means is, 'There’s nothing here for who I’m supposed to be today.'" When I get dressed every day, I think about the kind of woman I want to be that day. The clothes in my closet today aren't speaking to me the way I need them to. When I pick out an article of clothing in a store lately, I don't think "That's the kind of woman I want to be." I think "Is this the kind of woman I have to be in order to wear this?"

I was looking through my archives recently looking for summer outfit inspiration and what I found were thrifted gems and impulse purchases that I was so excited to wear (example A, B, C and D). I remember never wearing the same outfit twice because I was constantly inspired by my wardrobe and I had endless options to choose from. I miss feeling this way.

Everything I've purchased so far this season is either black or blue (in fact, I even have the same top in black and blue). I find myself wearing the exact same version of seven or so outfits every week. I don't have many options and there are only so many ways I can wear the same few items. The pieces I've purchased are too cohesive -- I'm just matching everything back to itself and I desperately need to branch out.

But I'm finding that I don't know how to branch out. Or, maybe it's that I don't know what kind of woman I want to be, or rather that I don't identify with the options retailers are offering for me. I feel like there are essentially three styles lately: The Coachella Go-er, The Every Girl, and The Minimalist. The first is a look that is completely opposite from me: tribal patterns, fringe, crop tops and flowy bottoms. The second can be summed up by floral skater dresses found at Target and fast-fashion trends seen on every girl between 15 and 27. The third is what I've been buying into; mostly void of personality, solid neutral-colored pieces in boxy shapes. I feel like I'm being offered the options of a personality I don't identify with at all or two styles that are plenty accessible but not individual or inspiring.

I guess I'm sharing all of this for a few reasons. I'm a style blogger who has lost her style. Shopping has been totally exhausting the last couple of times I've gone (a new experience for me). I'm not wearing new or exciting things to share with you because I'm wearing the same outfits you've already seen.

I want to get back into thrifting. I gave up last summer when I was so angry with my body and just needed the solace of clothes existing in my closet without having to put in the work to find them. I want to think about who I am in regards to my style. I want to look at some magazines and Pinterest, but also old outfits of my own that I loved so I can figure out what it is that I love about an outfit. I want to make shopping lists, but also allow myself to be impulsive and buy beautiful things that I'm excited to own, instead of just things that are practical and match my other (decidedly) boring clothes.

Have you dealt with a style rut or closet crisis? How can I fall back in love with fashion?

closet crisis

jord wood watch2 jord wood watch1 jord wood watch4 jord wood watch6 jord wood watch7 jord wood watch3 jord wood watch8
shirt: Old Navy // shorts: Old Navy // shoes: Nordstrom Rack // watch: c/o JORD

photos by Chelsea Laine Francis

This is such a quintessentially summer in Austin outfit: chic little shorts, shoes that garner compliments but not blisters, a statement accessory, and a lightweight shirt with sleeves to protect chilly arms from the torturous air conditioning inside every building. I finally bought the light blue oxford shirt of my dreams and I'm so glad I did because I will be living in it this summer! As you can see here, the blue is almost a third neutral that kind of acts as a buffer for the black and brown I've got going on throughout this 'fit.

But enough about my shirt. This watch, y'all. So once upon a time I was crazy about having a watch and Dago got me one for Chanukah and I wore it constantly (if you were around these parts back in 2012, you may remember). Then spring rolled around and I didn't feel like it really transitioned seasons very well. Part of the reason I love my new JORD watch so much is because it's wooden, which feels very summery now, but I can also envision myself wearing it with autumnal hues in the fall and then with cheery holiday outfits in the winter.

If you haven't checked out JORD watches, I'll give you a sec to go do that right now. I had such a hard time choosing a color because they're all so uniquely beautiful! I ended up with the Ely in Natural Green and Maple and I love it, but I think I want my next one in Maple!

Be sure to check out all the styles -- I want to know your favorite!

*I received a watch from JORD for review, and as always all opinions are my own!

austin summer uniform

If I'm going to be spending some time in the pool this month, then I'm going to need a cute swimsuit to do it in, right? Last week I shared my brand new high-waisted bottoms from Urban Outfitters, but failed to mention that I don't have a top to wear with them. My old tops just don't fit right anymore, so I'm looking for an updated style to fill that hole in my closet. Specifically, I'm loving balconette bikini tops. The vintage style is adorable and I think the shape would look cute with my bottoms!

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

I've always been a fan of mixed-and-matched swimwear, which is why I bought black bottoms. The color of this Topshop top (1) (tongue twister, much?) is giving my heart eyes, but there are also so many cute prints! The Urban Outfitters top (3) is probably my favorite, but I really would prefer not to spend $40 on a bikini top. If I end up waiting until the last minute, I'll probably end up with the spotted Old Navy top (6), which wouldn't be so bad, but is definitely the least fun of the bunch.

Are you in the market for a new swimsuit this season? Are you into mixing and matching your tops and bottoms? What's on your list this list?

P.S. It's Dago's birthday! Everybody wish him a happy birthday!!

on my list | balconette bikini top

small goals june

It's officially June, which means it's officially summer! I'm so excited to have the best summer ever, y'all. I'm so excited for day trips, nights by the pool, margaritas with brunch, and playing at the park. If you couldn't tell, summer is my favorite season, making June one of my favorite months! June is also a busy month for us with Dago's birthday on the 3rd and our anniversary on the 12th. Lots to get done this month, so let's get into some small goals!

Here's what I did (and didn't do) in May:

1. celebrate me for my birthday | done!
2. finish up and reflect on my 25 before 25 list | done!
3. get my 26 before 26 list polished and posted | done!
4. take salad to work one day a week | nopenopenope. I didn't even do this once.
5. go for a walk one day a week | done! The weather here in Austin definitely tried to keep me from it, but Dago and I managed to walk once a week this month! Wish it had been more often, but that darn rain would. not. stop!

4/5 is never a bad ratio! I'm crossing my fingers that I do at least as well with my goals for June:

1. celebrate our anniversary with a day trip | Last year we went to Fredricksburg for our anniversary and it was the most fun thing ever, so this year we're going to go for another day trip! This time around we're thinking Pedernales State Falls, which happens to be on my 26 before 26 list anyway!
2. buy a dryer | Also on my 26 before 26, I'm hoping to buy a dryer this month! It's going to be our anniversary gift and, honestly, it's going to be the best gift we can give ourselves because they dryer-less life is not cute.
3. hang out in the pool | It's warm, the water is cool, why not? But, from last summer, I know it'll only happen if I make it a goal!
4. walk at least once a week | Again, I think I'll only stick to walking once a week if it's a goal because it hasn't become a real habit yet.
5. set up Buffer to schedule social content | My dear friend Mia (who recorded the funniest episode of our podcast with us last week!) introduced me to this cool app that helps you schedule all kinds of social content from Facebook to Pinterest! I'm excited to get some new eyes on my blog thanks to this helpful tool!

What are you up to this month?

june | small goals

After posting my 26 before 26 list last week, I had a lot of people message me that they wanted to put together their own birthday bucket list! This makes me SO excited because I love the idea of lots of people putting together lists of healthy goals and then crossing them off over the course of the next year! Plus I'm really looking forward to seeing what other people include on their lists because as I get older the number of things I need for my bucket list increases and I'm always looking for ideas. Math is weird, right?

Because this is my third birthday bucket list, I feel like I have at least a little wisdom to share. Here are a few of my best tips for making your own birthday bucket list!

Balance big and small goals. This may seem obvious, but having a balanced list is one of the most important factors in a successful bucket list. If everything on your list is lofty, it's easy to feel like none of it is attainable. On the other hand, it's good to have things you really have to reach for!

Consider all the areas of your life. In addition to balancing the attainability of your goals, you have to balance your goals with all of your different needs. My main categories are creativity, experiences, relationships, wellness and adulting. Yours may focus more heavily on things like career, fitness, cooking,  and spirituality. The idea is that you include goals for all the areas of your life so you don't end the year feeling weaker in some areas that didn't get much of your attention.

Choose things you can actually cross off. This may be a personal preference, but I tend to not feel as fulfilled by a goal if I can't physically cross it off the list. For instance, last year I set out to love the way I look in a swimsuit. This is a feeling that changes constantly, so I wasn't able to feel like I really accomplished it, even if I did it once. When I see goals like "keep the house cleaner" or "eat better," I worry that they can't be checked off because they aren't quantifiable. For me, goals that aren't quantifiable are not only harder to track, but less satisfying.

Don't forget to have fun! While some goals are meant to improve your professional skills or make you healthier, some are just meant to increase the levels of fun in your life! I like to think about things I'm always saying "oh, I would probably like that, but I've never done it." Maybe for you that's kayaking or going to one of those drunk painting classes. For me, this year, it's watching 5 Audrey Hepburn movies because at 25 it's embarrassing that I haven't seen any except Breakfast at Tiffany's!

So what are you going to accomplish before your next birthday? I love that birthday bucket lists allow you to set a whole new list of goals for yourself that aren't dependent on New Year's. For reference, be sure to check out my 24 before 24, 25 before 25, and 26 before 26 lists! If you've got a birthday bucket list, I'd love to hear what's on yours!

tips for creating your own birthday bucket list

© Writes Like a Girl | Austin Style Blog | Body Positive Fashion Blogger. Design by Fearne.