Sometimes my wishlist items are more like "I wish to try this" items than "I need this in order to complete my life" items. This is definitely true for this week, in which I'm considering pretty oxford flats for fall. I have owned a couple pairs of oxfords in my life, but they never really seemed to fit into my closet the way I wanted them to. Lately, however, I've seen lots of cuties (here, herehere, here) rocking oxfords that are a little more feminine, and I'm starting to reevaluate my stance on the shoes.

Here are a few pairs I have my eye on to try:

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

So many pretty shoes! I love that there are some dainty, delicate options of this otherwise masculine shoe because that's right up my alley. My favorite pair are definitely the suede oxfords from Nordstrom Rack, which would look just as cute with my black jeans as they would with a mini dress and tights. However, I'm also slightly obsessed with all of the cutout pairs (two, three, four, and eight) because, duh, how cute are those? But would those look weird with tights? Or would they look extra cute with patterned socks? The classic brown pair from Forever 21 is pretty similar to the Aldo pair I owned in college, but it's a nice safe option for a good price. On the other end of the price spectrum is the J.Crew pair, which, goodness they are gorgeous, but for that price I better wear them every day and to bed. Lastly, the chic ivory pair from Madewell remind me of a wedding I blogged recently where the bride wore oxfords with her Jenny Packham gown and I just about died. Not very practical for fall or winter, but damn sophisticated if you ask me!

Are you an oxford sort of girl? Am I the only one who struggles to feel femme in such a masculine shoe? What are your tricks for styling them?

on my list | pretty oxfords

sisterhoodxmarfa8

So three bloggers, two makers, and a photographer walk into a bar in Marfa, Texas...

Doesn't it sound like the beginning of one of those long-winded jokes? Even now that we've taken our trip, I can't help but giggle at how silly we sounded explaining our adventure to people both beforehand and along the way. The goal for the trip was simple: connect with a group of creative women in one of the most artistic towns in the country. That town happens to be in the middle of the desert in West Texas, and the creative women happen to be five of my dearest, most inspiring friends in Austin.

sisterhoodxmarfa1

Meet the sisterhood: Chelsea of Chelsea Laine Francis is a photographer and social media manager who you've seen all over my blog for the last nine months (long enough to have a friendship baby!) with her beautiful and empowering images. Stephanie of Interlaced Goods is a stellar crocheter and barista who loves quiet mornings with coffee, chunky scarves, and natural light. Pei of ps Paper Shoppe is a stationery designer who is making all her dreams come true by opening a storefront and workshop space called The Paper + Craft PantryApril of Pieceology is a style blogger and soon-to-be vintage shop owner whose style is pretty different from my own but we couldn't complement each other better. Katie is a community manager, soon-to-be blogger, and fellow sisterhood advocate who is dedicated in every thread of her being to bettering the lives of women all over the world.

sisterhoodxmarfa2

Because I've had this post open for a week trying to decide how to write it, here are my highlights:

1. Watching the terrain of Texas change as we drove from Austin to West Texas.
2. Arriving in the calm and still desert, seeing all the colors and textures of El Cosmico.
3. Heading into town for pizza and shots where a salty bartender I named Jeff tried his best to refuse us service, and having a fabulous time anyway.
4. Being pulled out of bed, barefoot, to look up at the Milky Way and consider how small we are and how special it is that we exist and that we get to exist together. "How lucky that we live in a world with stars," I said in a moment of dumb awe.

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5. Waking up slowly in my tent to the chilly desert air.
6. Going for breakfast at Do Your Thing and having a delicious almond milk chai and slice of toast with butter, honey, and sea salt.
7. Dancing and jumping around in our desert-chic (courtesy of Noonday Collection) in front of the Prada Marfa installation in, truly, the middle of no where.
8. Running into a couple of guys at Prada who were traveling across the country promoting their coffee subscription box, and realizing they had just been in Austin a few days prior where they visited our favorite local coffee shop.

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9. Visiting the crowned jewel of Marfa, Hotel Paisano, where we shopped in the exceptional gift shop and sat in the courtyard waiting for the rain to stop.
10. Sitting around the table of our HomeAway rental eating spaghetti in total vacation bliss. (Moscow mule mugs and pretty plates courtesy of West Elm.)
11. Driving an hour to Fort Davis to the Star Party at the McDonald Observatory and seeing a Friday night football game happening with this insane view in the backdrop of the stadium.
12. Looking into the humongous sky at one of the world's least light-polluted spots, seeing every twinkling star in the constellations above, and whispering to each other about how small we are and how beautiful it is that we can experience the world and the great beyond.
13. Watching the Star Party leader I named Dean (actual name Mark) point with a badass flashlight into the sky and tell us all about the moons of Saturn and the upcoming Blood Moon.

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14. Driving 30 minutes to Alpine to see the only Slayer espresso machine in all of Texas, taking over the positively Instagram-worthy Cedar Coffee Supply, and drinking the loveliest iced chai with lavender honey that anyone has ever made.
15. Stopping on the side of the road, taking off our tops to pose for photos, and listening to Chelsea get her motivational speaker on when she heard us say less-than-friendly things about our bodies.
16. Laying around our HomeAway reading, snacking, planning, and sharing ideas. With so many creatives in one house, the inspiration was palpable!
17. Getting all dressed up to go to the best bar in town, Planet Marfa, where we sat in a circle inside a tall teepee sipping beer and taking selfies.
18. Meeting Mike Spillers, former Olympic gymnastic coach and current game enthusiast, who introduced us to his brilliantly addictive game Stackers that we played on the floor of the teepee for an absurd amount of time.
19. Ordering both nachos and grilled cheese, then taking all of the food home to put on Korean face masks, drink wine, and laugh harder than we had all weekend.

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20. Recognizing the different kind of quiet excitement in the car on the ride home. On the way to Marfa, we were six friendly creatives ready to take in some West Texas air, drink some wine, and share our stories. On the way home, we were six sisters with inside jokes and mutual memories ready to take on our journeys together. 

Alright, I know it's sappy, but it's true! And we couldn't have done any of it without....Chevy. Okay, well, we probably could have, but it wouldn't have been quite as awesome (or spacious)! What I mean is that the whole trip spawned from an email from General Motors inviting me to borrow a vehicle. Since I'm in the business of creating cool content, I figured I should take down, like, three birds with one Tahoe (no actual birds were harmed in the making of this metaphor) and take a creative girls trip across the state as a way to test drive a Chevy, spend time with my girls, and even complete one of my 26 before 26 goals in the process. This trip and this post were not sponsored by Chevy and all opinions are my own, but it's safe to say that the Tahoe was the mascot of our adventure.

So thanks to Chevy, my sisters, and the great state of Texas for the vacation I needed more than I knew and an experience I'll never forget.

P.S. If you're interested in seeing some really remarkable images from our trip, check out Chelsea's latest black and white blog post!

sisterhood x marfa | the recap

It's that time again -- budgeting bloggers time! Today I'm sharing my September purchases and my monthly spending. I actually only shopped one weekend this month -- Labor Day Weekend -- so nearly all of these items were bought in just a couple of days. I figured after I picked up as much as I did, I didn't really need to shop for the rest of the month. You'll see why when you scroll down...

what i bought september


Mata Traders Lace Dress - c/o Mata Traders*
Moulinette Souers Shirt Dress for Anthropologie - thrifted $25.99 (originally $118)
Madewell Lace Blouse - thrifted $12.99 (originally $118)
Halogen Floral Skirt for Nordstrom - thrifted $5.99 (originally $78)
Forever 21 Crochet Crop Top - thrifted $4.99 (not pictured, see here)
Banana Republic Yellow Gingham Button Down - thrifted $11.99 (not pictured)
ASOS Black and Yellow Floral Dress - thrifted $6.99 (not pictured)
Cropped Sweater (brand unknown) - thrifted $5.99 (not pictured)
Navy Floral Scarf (brand unknown) - thrifted $7.99 (not pictured)

Total: $296.94

So...remember that time I didn't shop much for a while? Well, I went thrifting over Labor Day Weekend, pre-Marfa, and picked up...a few things. On one hand, wow it looks like I bought a bunch of stuff (I did!), but on the other hand that holds my debit card, I really didn't spend that much for all that I got. Additionally, thanks to my handy research skills, you can see that I actually saved a ton of money! Thanks, thrift stores!

The only bit of buyer's remorse I'm experiencing is the orange shirt dress. I've been trying to thrift a 1. shirt dress 2. orange dress 3. Anthropologie dress for a significant amount of time. Truth is, I wish it fit better. The buttons gap badly and don't stay closed in the torso (but not really for size reasons? For once it's not an issue of the garment being too small, just not quite fitting correctly). The neckline is a little low. The hemline is a little short for such a flared skirt. I look like a vibrant news anchor in it. Does anyone use Poshmark? I'm thinking of listing it there just because I know people search for Anthro pieces.

A little bit of of housekeeping: you might notice that two items listed this month were c/o. The first, my Sam Edelman booties, were purchased with Shopbop credits that I received as a part of their blogger program. I'm very excited to be working with Shopbop for a few reasons, but specifically because the products they carry are investment pieces that I value adding to my closet as a mid-to-late twenty-something. These boots are valued at $140 and I would have purchased them myself, with my own money. They're a great pair of boots I'll review soon and that I will love for years to come.

The other c/o piece is the Mata Traders dress that I wore last week. This partnership came about out of a collaboration with my dear friend Indiana. A few months ago I mentioned that I'm now open to working with brands that I support, so I'm excited to have had the opportunity to work with a fair trade company with as cute of clothes as Mata Traders!

It's really important to me that I'm transparent with y'all about what I receive, who I work with, and whether or not I really love it. Know that moving forward, that is what c/o means on this blog. It means I write like a girl, and I'm honest like a girl too! ;)

Last thing: this post does not include the cost of my new bras because I wear them every day and including them here felt ridiculous. 

So. I don't really set budgets yet because I'm using these last few months of the year to feel out what my spending is really like. Considering everything, I don't think that spending less than $300 on 18 pieces (not including the two c/o items) is bad at all. For reference, in June I spent $301 and bought 11 pieces.

I am, however, linking up with Fran and the other budgeting bloggers! Be sure to check out what everyone else bought this month (I think it's going to be a good one with Labor Day Weekend sales!). If you're not linking up, tell me what your favorite September purchase is below!

what i bought in september

linklove925

Happy Friday! This whole week was pretty weird. Even when a vacation is relaxing, I always feel like I need a vacation from my vacation, you know? I thankfully thought to take Monday off of work, so I had a tiny vacation post-trip, but I didn't really get to enjoy it. I haven't mentioned this on Twitter or anything, but I have obtained a rash (one I got before traveling out to West Texas, so we're going on longer than two weeks now!) that is evidently attacking me from the inside...or at least that's what the dermatologist I saw said. Anyway, I haven't been especially attentive to anything but my itching this week, so I apologize for that. I'll be back full-force next week (thanks to a bunch of awesome steroids I'm on?)! In the meantime, here are some people who ruled the Internet while I was away.

♥ I know I'm the worst and I haven't written about Marfa yet -- I promise it's coming! In the meantime, check out April's recap here!

♥ If you loved my Taylor Swift-inspired look from Monday, you have to see the way Indiana styled the same dress. Spoiler alert: she pulled the ultimate Swift move and wore it backwards!

♥ Did you watch The Emmys this weekend? Love these questions the starts were asked on the red carpet!

♥ Being a feminist Texan, it's no surprise I love Wendy Davis (or maybe it's no surprise if you'd read this post). Her recent interview in Rolling Stone is exactly the political push I needed.


♥ Do you watch Empire? This is the only recap you need.

♥ You know I'm a sucker for birthday bucket lists and Jen's 26 before 26 list is perfectly balanced!


♥ Speaking of outfits, here are a few wishlist items since I'm officially filling my closet for fall: this printed frock, this long-sleeved dress, these incredible oxfords, this easy black bucket bag, and this field jacket, and this pretty geometric skirt.

What links did you love this week? Do you have any fun plans this weekend?

link love

Denim with the holes already in them? Not usually my thing. But after spending a weekend with April in her cute distressed AG jeans, I'm suddenly lusting after a pair of holey jeans to pair with sneakers and sweaters once the temperatures drop. Since I've never bought pre-ripped denim, I'm looking at a wide range of options. Here are a few I'm considering!

on my list distressed denimone // two // three // four // five // six // seven // eight // nine

On one hand, the black jeans and dark wash pair look like they would fit right into my closet, but I am really attracted to the lighter wash pairs to try something super different in addition to being ripped and tattered. I can't wait to try some pairs with my pink slip-ons or a pair of clogs!

What's on your list this week?

on my list | distressed denim

mata traders lace dress7 mata traders lace dress5 mata traders lace dress6 mata traders lace dress8 mata traders lace dress1 mata traders lace dress2 mata traders lace dress3 mata traders lace dress4 mata traders lace dress10 mata traders lace dress9 dress: c/o Mata Traders // shoes: Old Navy // hat: Francesca's Collections (similar) // necklace: The Land of Salt // purse: vintage Coach via Prototype Vintage

photos by Chelsea Laine Francis

Has Taylor Swift worn this exact outfit? No. (Though once she got close.) Can you picture her wearing it and did I absolutely channel her while wearing it? Hell to the yes. When this pretty lace dress arrived at my doorstep I fell in love with the gorgeous teal color, the reversible neckline, the pockets, and the sweet 3/4 length sleeves, but as soon as I put it on, I couldn't get enough of how great the dress made me feel when I was wearing it. Isn't that how all dresses should be?

I was so excited to style this dress because it's a perfect transition between summer and fall, but also because my bestie and mentor Indiana has the same dress in burgundy and I couldn't wait to see the outfit she put together too! Be sure to check out how she wore the dress (and then listen to her hilarious podcast too)!

Indi and I agreed to wear this dress out for a date night, but I sort of broke the rules and wore it for a girls night out at the ATX West Elm Blogger Dinner with 12 total babes. While my date nights with Dago tend to be a little more on the casual side, I'm definitely using this dress as an excuse to visit somewhere a little fancier!

I love how the teal color looks with this dusty shade of cognac I've been digging this season, so of course I paired it with my new Old Navy clogs and my floppy felt hat. A couple of sizing notes: these clogs are gorgeous, but not very comfortable (for me, anyway!). I wouldn't recommend wearing them to an event where you'll do much standing. Also, the sleeves on the Mata Traders dress are a little snug. I was worried they wouldn't fit, but they were just right on me, so if your arms are any bigger than mine I would size up (I'm wearing a small here).

Also, you're probably wondering "where the heck is your Marfa recap!?" It's coming, it's coming!

taylor swift vibes

Eeeeee this time tomorrow, I'll be en route to Marfa! A little Google informed me that the temps are actually cooler in West Texas than in Austin, and luckily I just picked up the coziest shawl cardigan to throw over my crop tops and midi dresses while we're in the desert.

Because I tend to be a little indulgent, I'd love to add another long cardigan to the mix....you know, for versatility reasons. Here are a few longline cardigans that are on my wishlist for fall.

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

I love that even in this time before fall really sets in here in Austin, it always makes sense to have a cardigan with me to combat the freezing offices and coffee shops I frequent. While I'm always a big fan of chunky cardis like one, six, and nine, I've been feeling the maxi cardigan trend and I'm interested in trying out one like three, four, or seven. However, now that I've discovered the greatness of shawl cardigans, two, five, and eight are looking extra cozy!

Are you into longline cardigans for fall? What's on your wishlist this week?

on my list | longline cardigans

atx west elm blogger dinner

On Sunday night I was invited to join a small group of Austin bloggers for an intimate dinner at West Elm. Each blogger brought a dish (I made these lemon bars and, y'all, they were AMAZING. Thanks to Meg for the recommendation!) and the conversation was just as good as the food. I didn't know I could form a crush on a tablescape, but West Elm changed my mind on that real quick. I also didn't know West Elm was such a committed resource to creatives, especially women, in the local area, and again the evening provided a pleasant surprise.

Before the official topics of conversation even began, each table was deep in discussion about our community: how it's changed over the years, where it's going next, and what we can all do to be more engaged and involved. I love events where I get to connect with bloggers outside of my "genre" because it's so interesting to see how these different, yet so closely related, communities interact with each other. I'm still not confident where writes like a girl falls as far as niche; there isn't a body posi style blog option in most drop down menus, I usually go for lifestyle or fashion. Though, I think this is one of the big things about blogging that has changed in the last four years I've been utilizing this corner of the Internet; we don't have to fit into a box someone else defined because no two blogs are truly the same and everyone has a uniquely beautiful story to tell. Alright, I know it sounds cheesy, but if you read the title of the post and didn't think you came here for a whole tray of cheese, you were mistaken. Blogging has, in a lot of ways, gotten back to the roots of the whole thing. Like Livejournal and Xanga from days of old, we're back to sharing our hearts online and having those "me too" moments bonding over something deeper than owning the same pair of shoes. There is an inherent Sisterhood in what we're doing here, so we better celebrate it.

So we're eating our lemon bars and fried chicken and watermelon-feta-basil salad when the conversation shifts from how we can support each other to how West Elm can support us. Our local West Elm, as well as others around the country, have grown to host events lifting up creatives in the community, from popup shops with local artisans to workshops bringing city-dwelling strangers together over the love of crafting. Our West Elm wants to take things a step further, and they're including the city's influencers in on it. We were asked to write down what event we'd like to host at West Elm in our wildest dreams, no holds barred. After a few moments of quiet nervousness, we started scribbling and explaining our visions for city-wide co-working, book clubs, personal styling events, and speaker-led discussions. Hearing what all of these creative, smart, inventive women were coming up with was unbelievably inspiring, and West Elm's enthusiasm for making it all happen could not have been more empowering. Having a safe space to grow and learn and be creative while being a successful and respected woman is something we need more of, both in Austin and in the world, so the whole evening was the definition of cool.

Hosting events is something I have wanted to get up to for a while now, but it's something that causes me endless anxiety. About a year ago a new thrift shop opened in town and I went to the grand opening with business cards in hand in hopes of convincing them to allow me to host a styling event. Sure, I handed out the cards, but I did absolutely zero follow-up because the idea of inviting a bunch of people somewhere with the purpose of seeing me is terrifying. So maybe I don't need to put on a styling event, maybe there's something else I should be doing to share my...whatever it is you come to this blog for with my community in person, offline. I have some ideas, but I'm extremely curious what it is you'd be interested in meeting me for, hearing me speak about, watching me do, etc. I love telling people what it is I think they should do (Host a book club! Design a calendar! Document your journey! are just a few recent suggestions from yours truly), and while I mostly do it because I want to partake in whatever it is they create, I also hope for reciprocation. What should I be doing? What do you want from me? (But like, in a really cool, positive way.)

I have some awesome ideas that I'd love to be able to bring to fruition, and I'm so grateful for the support of West Elm and my Sisterhood here in Austin for helping me sort out how to make it happen.

Speaking of support, be sure to check out recaps of the event from Jesse Coulter and Chelsea Laine Francis (and follow their wonderful blogs!). Also, if you're local and interested in getting in touch with West Elm to A. host an event or B. be on the West Elm planning team, let me know and I'll hook you up!

on creatives, safe spaces, and sisterhood

denim vest floral skirt1 denim vest floral skirt2 denim vest floral skirt3 denim vest floral skirt8 denim vest floral skirt4 denim vest floral skirt5 denim vest floral skirt6 denim vest floral skirt7
vest: thrifted Gap (similar) // tank: Old Navy (similar) // skirt: Old Navy // shoes: Steve Madden (similar) // necklace: The Land of Salt // ring: c/o Limbo Jewelry // purse: vintage Coach via Prototype Vintage

photos by Chelsea Laine Francis

Every year or so, another decade seems to be back in style, doesn't it? Last year we saw lots of '60s silhouettes and prints, this year it's all about the '70s, and the '80s will surely work their way back into retailers in the next year. I was strangely super aware of this as a kid, too. 7th grade in 2002 was extremely '70s inspired and I had a closet full of bell bottoms, peasant tops, patchwork denim skirts, and chunky stacked booties (what? I've always been into trends...). I remember my parents sticking their tongues out and shouting to the skies "why would the '70s come back!?"

Then, in 2003, AKA the year of my Bat Mitzvah and therefore Bat Mitzvah season, it was all about the '80s. I wore all of my parents' old concert tees, lots of Hot Topic-purchased accessories in neon and black, combat boots and dirty converse. I remember having this hot pink and black striped asymmetrical skirt from BP at Nordstrom (my first and only Nordstrom purchase until well into college) that I wore to all the Bat Mitzvahs, which I styled in Cyndi Lauper-inspired fashion with lots of bangles, an off-the-shoulder graphic tee with metallic lettering, and black booties. Let's just say I was truly prepared for '80s day during pep rally season at school.

One decade I always feel drawn to, no matter the trends, is the '90s. As a '90s baby, I'm most comfortable in denim vests, ditsy floral prints, and button downs as outerwear. Look how on-trend I am, perfectly matching one of the babes in this photo of early '90s television starlets!

I'm sort of obsessed with trying to guess what will come into fad next. For instance, I am frequently found monologuing about the fall of J.Crew statement necklaces, colored jeans, wear-all-the-things style of 2013 in favor of über-normcore pieces in 2014, and a minimalist color palette in 2015. And it's not just with fashion; lately I'm infatuated with guessing interior design trends. In 2013 it was all about chalkboard walls, painting an accent wall or even entire room black so that you could write your grocery list, love letter, or inspiring quotes right there on the wall. Now you can't open Pinterest or Instagram without seeing white walls, white counter tops, and white tables and chairs. Everyone is stripping down their homes, paring down their furniture and belongings to just the "necessities" and a succulent or two. (Speaking of succulents, do you think they'll go the way of mason jars in a couple of years? I think people are going to be so sick of them pretty soon -- it's just the way we are!).

I am constantly trying to guess what's next. People are bound to get bored with the absolute minimalism. We live in a capitalist society -- we love our things! In fact, most minimalists aren't just throwing out their furniture and clothes and living with what's left -- they're replacing them with more on-trend pieces. It's still about buying something, just a different something. So where do we go from here? Will color trickle back in with neon accents in white rooms or will we go cold turkey and fill our homes and closets with wild prints and every color again? I guess the current surge of '70s fashion is reintroducing prints in a big way, but I don't see those as sustainable staples so much as fleeting statements.

Is this what interior design and fashion students talk about in class? Do they have some kind of pie chart or venn diagram to be able to forecast the coming trends before the rest of us? I'll just be over here scrolling through Pinterest and Instagram placing my bets on changing trends.

Do you follow trends in fashion and design? What do you think is the next big thing?

changing trends

linklove911

We made it to another Friday! This time next week, I'll be lounging in the desert in West Texas, Beyoncé style. Until then, I've been simultaneously giggling and weeping at your comments on my post from earlier this week. So many of you shared your stories about bras, boobs, and body image, and I can't possibly express how much I appreciate your support and Sisterhood.

To show my gratitude, here are a few links I'm loving from this week!

♥ This week happened to be National Suicide Prevention week. Mental health is something I have written about some on the blog, but is something that affects me every day through depression and anxiety. Whether you struggle with your own mental health issues, or support someone in your life who does, know that you are home.

♥ On the topic of bras and breasts, I couldn't agree with Sara more about needing a bra revolution.

♥ Okay, we need to talk about a certain fall trend that is taking over retail this season. This early '00s take on '70s fashion redeux is not cute y'all. Wide leg denim, suede skirts, and a little extra fringe here an there? Totally. Into it, even. The tacky-ass patch work and unflattering peasant tops? No. Ankle flares? ABSOLUTELY NOT. Just say no to bad '00s-verion-of-'70s-inspired fashion, y'all.

♥ On the other hand, this denim on denim outfit is just so very, as they say.

♥ Feeling old? No? You're about to.

♥ I have always loved and identified with Anne Hathaway, and this profile reaffirms my adoration for her brand of cool.

♥ Another perfect article from my favorite Buzzfeed babe.

♥ I have a confession to make: I change in my car when I shoot outfit photos. Loved Mattie admitting she does the same in this post about how to shoot 5 outfit posts a week.

♥ Looking for a few truly female positive songs to add to your playlist? Love all of these (especially Little Mix, Mary and Hailee!)

♥ Need something awesome to wear to work on Monday? Adina has you covered with her August capsule recap. Outfits 4, 13, and especially 15 are my favorites!

♥ A cozy weekend-inspired wishlist: this perfect patterned sweater, these incredibly soft-looking tall socks, these matched pj sets, an effortless flannel shirt, and these grab-and-go wristlets.

What are you up to this weekend? Share your favorite links in the comments!

link love

If you haven't noticed, my Marfa trip has me feeling a little more boho than usual. I'm finding myself drawn to more flowing and even skin-baring pieces that would be perfect for a few days in the desert. One particular look I've found myself lusting after is crochet details. I love that this free-spirited element can transition from desert to real life with just a couple of styling choices!

I picked up a crochet crop top at Goodwill (originally Forever 21) over the weekend that I can't wait to pair with a little bralette and my high-waisted Levi's. As soon as I got it home, I started looking to see what other crochet pieces I could add to my wardrobe for fall. Here are a few of my favorites!

  on my list crochet details
one // two // three // four // five // six // seven // eight

more pretty crochet pieces

While crochet typically falls more into '70s style, I love the 1960s look of this Topshop blouse! I've also been on the lookout for a flowy kimono-type sweater piece, so I'm digging the fact that this Nasty Gal kimono combines crochet into the mix. A scarf with crochet details really might be the best option because it's so versatile and I could wear it any time, any where. Could this olive dress with crochet bodice be any sweeter? It makes me want to pull out my tights and boots ASAP! Speaking of boots, how perfect would this crochet hem tunic sweater look with skinnies and tall boots?

On the more feminine side, it's no surprise I have a crush on the crochet inset on this black midi skirt from Express. As much as I want to shop for fall, I know we have several weeks of summer left here in Texas, and I can't help but picture this baby pink tunic tank in my transitional wardrobe (paired with cutoffs now and my green utility jacket later!). Lastly, the shape of this all-over crochet dress isn't my usual go-to, but I adore the delicate pattern and would love to wear one of these long necklaces with it for a night out!

What are your thoughts on crochet details? What's on your list this week?

on my list | crochet details

how bra fitting changed my life

When I decided to make getting professionally fitted for a bra one of my goals for September, I honestly didn't know what to expect. The only time I have been fitted is when I was about 16 and my mom took me to Macy's because I needed nicer bras to wear with my suit for speech tournaments, and the little cotton bralettes I had just weren't cutting it. I don't remember much about that fitting, but it was awkward and I walked away with two padded Wacoal bras, one in black and one in nude, each with a little satin bow in the center.

The next time I really took notice of my chest and whether or not my bras were fitting was the summer of 2014. I had been working full-time at my hotline job for about nine months and had gained a significant amount of weight. I was constantly uncomfortable in my clothes because I didn't really have anything that fit. I eventually went out and purchased a chunk of a new wardrobe, but that didn't include bras in a new size. In fact, I was complaining constantly about how much the underwires in my bras bothered me, so I bought a couple of wireless bras from Gap in 34A, the size I've worn since I was 16, and called it good.

Recently those Gap bras, as well as the single strapless bra I own, haven't been fitting so well, so I thought maybe it was about time to do the grown up thing and get fitted. I stumbled across this article the other day that inspired me to go to Nordstrom and see what they had to say. I recently purchased a new swimsuit top in a 34B from J.Crew, so I was pretty sure I just needed to go up a cup size, but maybe a band size too. Do you think I was right?

 So, without further adieu, let's look at my body in a bra, shall we?

aerie audrey bra

Hey, those are my boobs on the Internet! Well, sort of. Anyway, here is the Aerie "Audrey" strapless bra I have owned since sophomore year of college. As you can see (though apparently I couldn't for the last several years????), my poor breasts look pretty sad in this bra. It does little more than cover the important bits, providing approximately zero support.

When I entered the dressing room, I told the lovely Nordstrom fitter that I needed to leave the store with a strapless bra, and would also consider buying a regular t-shirt bra if I fell in love with one. Little did I know that EVERYTHING WAS ABOUT TO CHANGE!!!!

Paige, the fitter, measured my band size from behind. She slipped the measuring tape under the wire of my bra and, without asking the size of my current bra nor measuring across the cups, she slipped out of the dressing room to retrieve some bras.


When she returned, she hooked me into a lacy unlined bra with ruched straps (I tried to track down which bra this is, but I can't seem to figure it out UPDATE: several lovely commenters let me know that this is the Chantelle "C Chic Sexy" bra). IMMEDIATELY my posture improved. Like, I couldn't believe how straight my shoulders were without trying, all because the band and straps seemed to fit so perfectly! I assumed that this had a lot to do with it being a new bra, as opposed to all of my worn out bras.

I didn't think that the cups fit me particularly well in this bra, so I asked Paige what size it was. 32D. I was...shocked doesn't begin to explain how surprised I felt. The little edge of cup that didn't fit great had everything to do with the bra itself (I'm not an unlined girl) and nothing to do with the size. In fact, Paige and a senior Nordstrom fitter agreed that I needed to go down a band size and UP a cup size. 30DD, y'all.

calvin klein seductive comfort

The next bra could not have fit more perfectly. Paige hooked me into the Calvin Klein "Seductive Comfort" in a 30DD and my whole weight shifted. I felt thinner, taller, fuller in all the right places, and happier. And, holy cow, my boobs looked as awesome as they felt! Later in our appointment, Paige tracked down this baby in beige and I bought it. I have never felt so supported or comfortable in a bra as I do this one. As soon as I get paid, I'm going back for the black!

natori feathers bra

Now that we found my size, we started looking at more options. Paige found this gorgeous blue Natori "Feathers" bra and, even though I mentioned not liking lace on the cups because I tend to think it shows through my clothing, I fell in love. I realized that I have never really felt sexy in a bra until I put this on. I always thought of bras as entirely utilitarian, and over the course of the last year, I wasn't even utilizing bras for what they're really for -- support! How did I get so far off track when clothing and body image are the two things I spend all my time thinking about? I unfortunately did not purchase this bra, but I do definitely plan to go back for it!

betsey johnson forever perfect

Because I really need a strapless bra, we focused in on finding the one. First I tried on the Betsey Johnson "Forever Perfect" bra in 30DD and then in 32DD and, well, it wasn't perfect at all. My cups spilleth over and I became suddenly insecure about my chubby armpits.

wacoal red carpet

Paige called in the senior fitter, who said "It's time for the Wacoal." Oh, Wacoal -- back to the brand of my first real bra! However, I was not expecting the monster of a bra that entered my dressing room! Two big cups and a band so wide it needed four separate hooks. I was sure this Wacoal "Red Carpet" bra in 32DD would eat me up, but it actually fit pretty well! I say pretty well because I still think the cups come up a little too far, but that may just have to be something I have to get used to. Thankfully, Nordstrom has the world's best return policy. Either way, my puppies aren't going anywhere in this bra! Anyone have tricks for putting on a bra with four hooks?

UPDATE: I ended up returning the Wacoal "Red Carpet" bra after a few comments about it not fitting correctly and honestly agreeing. I exchanged it for the Calvin Klein "Naked Glamour" bra in a 32D and it's a perfect fit!

same person two bras

SIZE I ENTERED THE STORE WEARING: 34A
SIZE I LEFT THE STORE WEARING: 30DD (as my mom said "Is that even a real size??)

As I write this, I am still very much on a high from the fitting experience. I was so excited leaving the store that I stopped into Gap for a sec and preached the gospel of bra fitting to everyone who would listen, include Shaunte, the very-happy-to-see-a-happy-customer-on-Labor-Day cashier whose day I positively made, thankyouverymuch.

But, in all seriousness, I think this experience and my new bras are going to change my life in some bigger ways than eliminating breast pain. I mentioned above that my posture immediately improved. My posture is something I have been incredibly insecure about for the last couple of years. I used to have stellar posture, but with the weight gain (and apparently boob-size-gain), I just slumped, slumped. slumped on over. I mean, no wonder -- my poor DD breasts were chillin' in sad A cups with no support! Earlier this summer when I was doing physical therapy, we determined that my poor posture had a lot to do with my constant dizziness and vertigo. Who knew that all I needed was a new bra?

I also already feel 100x better about my body. I always felt yucky about my tummy sticking out further than my breasts. It was so hard to shop and see myself that way. Now that I'm in the right size bras, my breasts are lifted several inches higher than they were in my old A bras and my figure already looks so much better! I have never felt better about myself and my body as I do wearing my new bra. I can't wait to fill my closet with properly fitting bras!

I also want to be sure to give a shout out to Kimi over at Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair (who, if you aren't following, you need to be!). She sent me a link to a subreddit about bra sizing the other day and informed me that true A cups are actually very rare. I looked into it and decided that I was the exception. Aren't we always the exception? No. We aren't. Go get fitted, because you are almost definitely wearing the wrong bra size. Go to Nordstrom. Find your Paige, find your bra, find your confidence!

P.S. This is not a sponsored post by Nordstrom or anyone else. All opinions and boobs are my own. ;)
P.P.S. Thank you to all of the brilliant former and current bra fitters who commented on my goals post! Y'all are badasses for what you do! Go spread the gospel!

how i went from a 34A to a 30DD and changed my life

pizza pin high-waisted shorts1 pizza pin high-waisted shorts2 pizza pin high-waisted shorts4 pizza pin high-waisted shorts6 pizza pin high-waisted shorts7 pizza pin high-waisted shorts8 pizza pin high-waisted shorts10 pizza pin high-waisted shorts11
tank: Old Navy // shorts: vintage Levi's via Prototype Vintage // shoes: thrifted Converse // brooch: gift jesiiii

photos by Chelsea Laine Francis

This brooch is easily one of the best things that happened to me this summer. After lusting after jesiiii's whole shop for years, Chelsea surprised me with the love at first slice brooch for my birthday and I just cannot stop wearing it out! I love pizza and brooches and supporting small shops and sisterhood, so really it represents everything I'm about.

Specifically, I've been wearing this outfit nearly every weekend this summer. It's a very typical weekend-in-Austin outfit: favorite vintage finds, tied-up tanks, comfy shoes, and a little statement maker. Typical as it is, I've gotten tons of compliments on it!

This outfit is also perfect for a long weekend. I didn't have big Labor Day plans, and that's exactly how I like it. On Friday, Dago and I decided to go out to dinner to get our weekend started where we ran into a dear friend from college and her boyfriend and invited them to join us! About the time we finished catching up and enjoying our breakfast for dinner, Chelsea invited me out for margaritas for girls night with Steph and Katie. We stayed out drinking and gabbing until 10 PM and it was so needed.

I woke up early on Saturday morning to start Mr. Robot with Dago after it had been recommended to us a ton throughout the season. Y'ALL. It's the best show. Seriously. We watched the whole thing in a day. Tune into our podcast this week to hear all about it and how much we loved it, or just start watching yourself (we found it online through USA's website and it's also on Hulu Plus!).

I took a little detour after the second episode to go thrifting and Labor Day sales-shopping with Chelsea and Katie and, holy cow, we found some great stuff! Let's just say Madewell, Anthropologie, and Nordstrom all made an appearance in my thrifted finds. Plus, I grabbed a few more things from Old Navy to get me all set up for fall (seriously so excited about this sweater).

On Sunday, Dago and I went up to my parents' house for brisket, banana pudding, and horseshoes. I love having my family so close and hanging out over good food and fun games. It's the nicest thing that Dago and my parents legitimately enjoy each other's company and we can all just chill out together and laugh.

Today my only plans are to go to the pool, the grocery store, and the couch. Actually, if I have time in that busy schedule, I may try to make an appearance at Nordstrom for a bra fitting -- stay tuned!

How did you spend your long weekend?

Also, while I was writing this post, I got this song stuck in my head so I thought I would share!

love at first slice

linklove904

I know I say this a lot of weeks (because Fridays always come at the end of the week and, whether it was good or bad, it was probably too long) but this was an especially long and especially difficult week for me. It was one of those weeks that was hard for no reason, where I tried really hard to not sob at my desk, and where I may have spent at least one lunch break shopping at Old Navy and/or buying a milkshake and fried cheese curds at Culver's. I was, as they say, a week. But, thankfully, we have a three-day-weekend ahead and I plan to do as little as possible. I need a break and this weekend couldn't have come at a better time!

You know what else couldn't have come at a better time? These links. Thank goodness for the Internet during weeks like this, you know?

♥ Dago sent me these pit bull brothers and I almost cried at my desk -- but out of happiness this time!

♥ You know how all those girls you knew in high school are posting their engagement sessions? My high school friend had the BEST ENGAGEMENT SESSION EVER.


♥ This is a thing that is happening less than half-an-hour away from me. God bless Texas, y'all.

♥ I'm so glad there is finally a word for my favorite genre of television: sadcom.

♥ Obsessssssed with Rachel's late-summer outfit. As she says, every girl remembers her first Anthro purchase! Considering this as my next one.

Speaking of great outfits, I want to wear a version of Priya's sassy work outfit like tomorrow (er...Monday?).

♥ All the canary yellow all year, please.

♥ If you didn't get a vacation this summer, or that vacation wasn't in beautiful Santorini, you deserve a peek into April's summer travel adventures.

♥ A few transitional pieces on my wishlist: this unique gold jewelry, this lightweight trapeze sweater, these 3/4 length sleeved dresses, these stacked ankle booties, these grey jeans, and this plaid and striped scarf.

Just a few more hours to the weekend, babes. We can do this. And, if not, those cute shoes are still waiting for you at Old Navy on your lunch break, so go get 'em, tiger.

link love

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