Happy Friday and morning of Halloween Eve. I only have one day of weekend this weekend, so I better make it count! I'm going on a work trip from Sunday to Monday up to Dallas for a conference, but don't you worry, I've got my November goals, an outfit, and a wishlist ready for you because I worked really hard last weekend to write two weeks of posts all at once. Speaking of goals, don't forget to get your goals set and your blog post ready to link up on Monday!

But, since Monday is, like, super far away, let's focus on some Friday link love.

♥ Yet another great way to style a blanket scarf. Can't wait to put an order in for one of these and style it exactly like Rachel did!

♥ YES to everything Anna says about the patriarchy and anxiety. This was, like, my whole summer of therapy in 2014.

♥ I finally gave up on my dream of buying Hunter boots and then Rach went and made me want them again.

♥ Does Jessica look like a walking Kate Spade ad or what?

♥ Do you deal with the battle of the button down shirt gap? Here is a top secret (obviously not) and inexpensive solution!

♥ Love Kaity's Halloween day-to-night outfit...which I would copy but I'm just wearing my costume to work like a weirdo.

♥ Things I want and or need (you decide!): this kitschy sweater, these adorable rainboots, this great blazer, this olive midi, this cozy sweater-jacket-thing, and this crazy cat dress.

What's on your plate for Halloween? I think I'm watching Hocus Pocus with the girls and eating pancakes. Oh, and, you know, being Pizza Rat.

link love

It's almost a new month, which means it's time to reminisce on my October buys (and, you know, see how much I spent). Here are the pretties that came home with me this month:

Forever 21 Mustard Blouse - $17.90 (not pictured)
Old Navy Curved Bar Necklace - $10.99 (not pictured)
Soft Joie Tammy T Sweatshirt - $138 c/o Shopbop*
Black Pleated Dress thrifted - $9.99 (not pictured)

Total: $207.55

I'm happy to say that I didn't go overboard in October! I really could have, but it was a busy month and I didn't do much shopping. I'm already wearing the heck out of everything!

The oatmeal sweater (pictured) and mustard blouse (not pictured because even though there were many in stores, I have never been able to find it online?) from Forever 21 were actually purchased in October after I posted my buys for the month. I went to the mall on my lunch break and walked around the store with my coworkers. I hadn't intended to buy anything, but I figured these were two pieces I would get a lot of wear out of through the fall and winter. I do wish I had taken the time to try them on in store, because the sweater doesn't quite fit the way I would like (the sides aren't vented, so it doesn't sit quite the way you would expect), but it looks great tucked in and the fit hasn't kept me from wearing it.

If you haven't noticed, I shop a lot on my lunch break. As I mentioned in this post, I stopped into Old Navy to try on the high-rise Rockstar jeans a few weeks ago. They didn't have them, but I did buy probably my two favorite items for fall: this navy patterned midi skirt and this printed smock dress. Two things I love? Midi skirts and smock dresses. Also Old Navy, obvi.

I was so excited to pick up a few pieces with my Shopbop credits this month during the Friends and Family Event, especially since I used the whole thing on my Sam Edelman booties in September. I actually purchased the black BB Dakota dress before the sale started because they kept running out of my size and they happened to get one Medium back in stock so I swiped it up as soon as I saw it. I haven't worn it yet, but I'm going to be wearing it this weekend and I'm so excited because it's perfect.

During the sale, I decided I wanted to buy a sweater that I wouldn't otherwise be able to afford. Sweaters just seem like the kind of thing where quality makes a difference at various price points. I would say that assumption is correct based on the quality of the Soft Joie sweater I decided on. I've never owned a sweater this nice! (Sizing note: I ordered my usual medium and it's slightly more oversized than I expected, but I still love the fit. If you're not looking for quite an oversized sweater, I would size down.) Since it isn't as cold in Austin or cold for as long here as in other places, I don't buy too many sweaters, and I know I'll be able to wear this one for years to come. I'll probably buy one or two more sweaters this season because my beloved Loft sweaters (seen here and here) and my favorite Target sweater (here) have all gotten a little/a lot snug. Would love to pick up a replacement emerald sweater like this one!

The Gorjana gold bar earrings were something I decided to buy because they were at the right price for how much I had left of my credit, but also are something I've wanted for a while. Surprisingly, they might be my favorite thing I bought this month. I've never owned truly nice jewelry, especially earrings. I am in love with these and just can't take them off. They're perfect every day studs and the quality is incredible. For $40, I might make this a new birthday gift I get for my girlfriends because who wouldn't love these?

Okay, so you probably noticed that I bought two navy midi skirts this month. The Old Navy one is a statement piece and while I'm wearing it at least once a week, it's not especially versatile. One piece I always wish I had when I'm putting together outfits is a navy midi, so I finally decided on this Uniqlo skirt after seeing it on Rach Martino (hello major blogger crush!). (Sizing note: I would suggest sizing up one if you're between sizes. I got an 8, which is I guess my normal size now or sometimes it is? Anyway, it just fits and is maybe a little snug depending on what's tucked into it or if I've eaten. I don't know anything about Uniqlo's sizing having never shopped there until now.)

Lastly, I decided I needed a pair of black fringe booties after trying on a pair of April's when I was at her house recently (see her pair styled here). I've struggled with finding the perfect pair of black booties for years (here's my current pair). They never seem to go with jeans the way I want, but I think because these are both suede and have a (mid-)heel, they'll be a winner. I haven't gotten them in the mail yet, so I'll let you know.

So, there are a few items that I don't technically have yet that I'll be sure to include in November's wrap up. I just put in an order at Old Navy because the Rockstar jeans were finally in stock in an 8 (crossing my fingers they fit!), and then of course I also fell in love with this dress and this plaid shirt that reminds me of a J.Crew shirt everyone had a few years ago. I'll let y'all know how those all work out!

As always, I'm linking up with Fran and the other budgeting bloggers! Be sure to check out everyone else's pretty fall buys. 

What did you pick up in October?

P.S. Do you follow writes like a girl on Bloglovin'? Because you should! It's the easiest way to keep up with new posts and follow all of your favorites in one place!

what i bought in october

easy minimalist fall wreath diy

I was talking to my friend Stephanie the other day about wreaths and how I've never had one because I was raised Jewish, and we don't make wreaths for our holidays. I don't really know if that's true, but my family sure didn't! Later that night on Pinterest, I came across this adorable DIY for a minimalist wreath and advent calendar, when I decided I was totally capable of the wreath part -- it looked so easy! Plus, I already had a bunch of embroidery hoops from my hoop art phase of early 2014.

I decided to switch things up a little and make a fall wreath with pretty orange and red leaves, instead of with pine needles and pine cones. If you've been looking for ways to spruce up your home for fall (besides buying all the tiny gourds and scattering them about), this minimalist fall wreath DIY couldn't be easier or more festive!

easy minimalist fall wreath materials

fake leaves in various sizes
8" wooden embroidery hoop
floral wire (I used gold, but any color is fine because it will be hidden)
pretty string

easy minimalist fall wreath2

Step One: Separate your leaves from the bushel (branch? bouquet?), leaving an inch or two of stem on each leaf.

easy minimalist fall wreath3

Step Two: Cut a section of floral wire about 8"-1' long. Choose a leaf (I started with a small one), and wrap 2" of the end of the wire around the base of the stem, as close to the leaf as possible.

easy minimalist fall wreath4
easy minimalist fall wreath5

Step Three: Place the leaf on the embroidery hoop, centering the stem between the two circles. Begin wrapping the floral wire around the hoop and the stem until the leaf is secure. You may choose to just wrap all of it around, but if there is any excess wire, you can just cut it off and bend the remaining end around the edge of the hoop.

easy minimalist fall wreath8

Step Four: Repeat steps two and three with leaves of varying sizes around the hoop. I decided I didn't want to center the leaves on my wreath, but you can shift the position of the leaves by carefully moving each leaf and  the wire around the edge of the hoop until you decide where you like it. You really can't mess up because you can always unwrap the floral wire if you decide you don't like the placement of your leaves.

easy minimalist fall wreath6

Step Five: Once you've secured leaves around one side of the hoop, repeat the same steps around the other side in whatever pattern you like. Be sure to keep the stems hidden by securing them with wire and tucking them behind surrounding leaves.

easy minimalist fall wreath7

Step Six: When you have achieved your desired look, tie a circle of pretty string through the clasp of the embroidery hoop. Now your wreath is ready to hang on your door! 

My door didn't have a way for me to put a nail in it, so I picked up a clear 3M hook and stuck it about an inch below the peep hole.

How easy was that? So easy! And so festive! If you decide to do this DIY at home, I'd love to see how it comes out!

Looking for more fall craft inspiration? Check out these 95 cozy fall decorating ideas!

easy minimalist fall wreath DIY

oatmeal sweater floral skirt1 oatmeal sweater floral skirt5 oatmeal sweater floral skirt3 oatmeal sweater floral skirt4 oatmeal sweater floral skirt11 oatmeal sweater floral skirt10 oatmeal sweater floral skirt9 oatmeal sweater floral skirt2 oatmeal sweater floral skirt6
sweater: Forever 21 // skirt: Old Navy // booties: old American Eagle (similar) // purse: vintage Coach via Prototype Vintage // short necklace: gift // longer necklace: Old Navy (similar)

photos by Chelsea Laine Francis

After a rainy weekend, it's starting to feel a little more like fall around these parts! By that, I mean I don't totally die of heatstroke if I wear a sweater, but it's still smart to keep some skin showing so I'm not sweating through the day. Solution? Cozy sweaters and flippy skirts. (See last year's edition here!)

I'm so glad I picked up this printed skirt from Old Navy over the summer because it's truly season-transcendent. You saw how I wore it for summer here, and now for fall I'm wearing it with a sweater, and in a few months I plan to wear it with tights.

I don't usually wear outfits as muted as this, but I'm actually digging the de-saturated look. This oatmeal sweater is a more pale shade than I typically gravitate towards because it's so close to my skin tone, but with the right accessories (and a darker lip!) I think it's rather pretty. I anticipate wearing this sweater half-tucked into high-waisted black jeans or even layered under a long cardigan with leggings on the weekend.

Have you broken out any sweaters yet?

short skirt, long sleeves


Happy Friday, y'all! No really, it's happy! To sort of follow up from Tuesday's post, I started a new medicine this week and so far I'm really liking it. Whereas I've recorded my depression at a 7-9 most days for the last two or so months, I didn't rate it above a 3 this week! Of course, this doesn't mean I'm cured or anything, but I've been able to keep a eye on things like my mood and other symptoms like suddenly I'm hungry first thing in the morning for the first time in my life (weird!).

Also, I would be remiss not to mention how incredibly grateful I am for all of your support on Tuesday's post (and always). This community means so much to me. Having a place, a safe place, to share what I'm going through and be reminded -- by so many -- that I'm not alone, is truly remarkable. You are remarkable. Thank you for making this space what it is.

Okay, so I may not be feeling as blue this week, but I'm certainly on the sappy side of things! What can I say, I've got a lot of feelings. You know what else I've got a lot of? Links!

♥ Speaking of feelings, my dear friend Anna decided to start a blog this week after reading my post and receiving an unexpected change in her diagnoses. It's a brand new blog, but I can already tell that it's a space online I'm going to frequent when I'm trying to figure it all out too. Definitely go check it out and read her story!

♥ Aren't we all just trying to make our mornings a little easier? I'm loving (and trying out!) Jen's 10 tips for having the best morning ever.

♥ It may not feel like fall yet here in Austin, but I'm already eyeing blanket scarves for the colder months. Love these four ways to style the sometimes overwhelming accessory. (P.S. My darling friend Stephanie at Interlaced Goods will be carrying pretty blanket scarves soon, so be sure to follow along and keep an eye out!)

♥ If it doesn't start feeling like fall soon, I'm going to try to copy Kaity's late-summer-yet-totally-autumnal look.

♥ I'm currently in the business of styling my shelves, which has been surprisingly harder than I thought, so I especially related to Emma's post on styling side tables.

♥ Her blog may be called Perfectly Priya, but she really is perfect. Just look at those jeans and that hairdo!

♥ Are you a leggings loving girl? Jenn is on the search for the perfect pair. No really, this is her third post about her journey! She's basically an expert now.

♥ Fran is the definition of #bloggergoals for me, so of course I loved her post on being an "average-sized" blogger. (Oh, and this perfect fall outfit post too.)

♥ After seeing this pin and this pin, I'm obsessed with buying a leather jacket. What do we think about this one?

♥ I'm suddenly having serious shoe cravings, so here are a few on my wishlist: these tortoise flats, these black fringe booties, these pretty green d'Orsay flats, these casual suede slip-on booties, and this perfect pair of ankle-strap black flats.

What's on your plate this weekend? I'm working on a top secret, super easy DIY for the blog that I'm so excited to share! I know, that doesn't sound like me, but I promise it'll be cool.

link love

So I wanted try something a little different with this week's wishlist post. I usually share with you what's "on my list," which is one way that I shop; I look for a specific item and I find it in every store that's selling it until I pick one. The other way that I typically shop is by store. Sometimes I just open my browser and say, "Hey, I wonder what Loft is selling these days," and then I go check out the new arrivals.

Fall is probably my favorite season to shop for, even though we don't get a lot of it here in Austin. I tend to focus on buying layers (groundbreaking, right?), but I also love fall color palettes and shopping from a single store usually helps with coordinating in the same tones. This season, Loft is killing it in both the layering and color categories. Here are a few pieces that are in my cart right now:

in my cart loft fall arrivals
one // two // three // four // five // six // seven // eight // nine // ten // eleven // twelve // thirteen // fourteen

I could not be more obsessed with the cozy orange cardigan, though I'd really like to add a duster to my closet this season, so I have my eye on the mustard one. How cute would it be with the black booties? (Answer: so cute.)

Do I need the pink midi skirt, or do I need the pink midi skirt? Let's be honest with ourselves; I do. Also, I've become obsessed with the idea of wearing my new Old Navy clogs with socks (because I saw someone on Instagram do it...don't judge), and I think this scalloped pair would be just precious.

Lastly, you can't talk about fall fashion without talking about jewel tones and outerwear! Gimme the burgundy sweater dress and tweed blazer, please!

Are you a Loft girl? What pieces are you still adding to your closet for fall? Do you typically shop by item or by store?

in my cart | loft fall arrivals

Back in July, I made the decision to switch from two therapy appointments a month to just one. I've been seeing my wonderful therapist every two weeks for a little over a year now, during which we've talked about a whole variety of things, mostly stemming from my struggles with depression, anxiety, disordered eating, and body image. I found myself having less and less to talk about, so I asked her if I could see her a little less often, and we agreed that it seemed like a good time.

I've made a ton of progress in the last year. I'm no longer having full-on panic attacks at the grocery store and I'm even trying my hand at intuitive eating. My self-care strategies are solid and my relationships are better than ever. That must mean I need a little less therapy, right?

As it turns out, no, not right. While I celebrated becoming a once-a-month therapy-goer, I've accepted that being a person who does need therapy twice a month isn't something to feel guilty or ashamed for. I've realized that the maintenance aspect of therapy is just as crucial for me as the appointments where I'm working through something major and urgent.

When we decided to have fewer appointments together, we also decided that I should start tracking my depression throughout the month. I was wondering if there were any patterns -- maybe I was more depressed the week before my period, maybe I'm more depressed at the end of week -- and keeping a written record seemed like the best way to discover any patterns that might have been hiding.

What I found was that I have been exceptionally, inexplicably depressed for the last two months. I found myself with a lack of appetite, lack of motivation, and even, oddly, a lack of interest in talking (I *love* to talk! I have a podcast for heaven's sake!). I was depressed at work, on the weekend, and even, unfortunately, in Marfa. Something was up and I felt totally powerless to do anything about it.

I guess that last sentence should be in present tense. Just because I've acknowledged my depression hasn't made it go away. I'm very much still experiencing some of the more difficult depression I've been through since being diagnosed in 2009, but through tracking I've been able to bring detailed notes to both my therapist and my psychiatrist so we can all come up with a plan to help me feel better. For the sake of transparency, I'm currently adjusting my meds and I have returned to twice-a-month therapy (in case the latter weren't clear already).

To begin tracking my depression, I would rate how depressed I felt that day by recording a number 1-10 (1 being least depressed, 10 being most) in the corner of the monthly calendar in my agenda (small version available here). Quickly I found that a number wasn't always enough, and that I wanted to leave more detailed explanations of how my depression manifested. Was I over or under-eating? Did I just want to sleep or could I not seem to get any? Was I unfocused or irritable? Luckily, the planner has lots of room to make notes, so I started jotting down a few relevant things like "didn't eat until 5pm" or "unfocused/jittery."

As someone who has changed depression and anxiety medicines several times in the last six years, I've become aware of the sorts of things to look out for that aren't normal, but might feel normal. For instance, I recently tried a medicine that I thought was working because I didn't feel depressed anymore, but after further assessment, we realized it wasn't a fit because I could not stay in my seat at work and I was completely restless and jittery all the time.

When I decided to write this blog post, it occurred to me that it could be useful in a more tangible way than the "me too" moment of reading someone else's account of dealing with depression. With the help of my darling and talented boyfriend Dago, I bring you the weekly depression tracker!

weekly depression tracker by writes like a girl blog
click image for downloadable version!
My tracker isn't clinical or medical, but it's something that's been helpful for me that I thought might be helpful for some of you, too. There's a space to write your daily depression rate of 1-10 in the boxes at the top, as well as check boxes for other symptoms that I've noticed with depression and/or changing medicines. My hope is that the check boxes will help you detect some patterns you may not have noticed, while the rating will help you consider the severity of your depression.

I'm not here to tell anyone to see a therapist (though I do recommend it!) or get on meds (they have helped me, but they aren't for everyone). I just know that depression affects a lot of people, and specifically a lot of people who have found and stuck around for this little corner of the Internet. If even one of you downloads and prints off this tracker and tries it, it's all worth it for me!

Have you ever tried tracking your depression before?

how i track depression (and how you can too!) + worksheet

old navy midi skirt7 old navy midi skirt5 old navy midi skirt4 old navy midi skirt3 old navy midi skirt10 old navy midi skirt9 old navy midi skirt12
tee: old Old Navy // skirt: Old Navy // booties: old American Eagle (similar) // purse: vintage Coach via Prototype Vintage // short necklace: gift // long necklace: The Land of Salt // ring: c/o Limbo Jewelry

photos by Chelsea Laine Francis

I'm sure literally none of you are surprised that I'm wearing Old Navy again. Over the last year or so, my whole closet seems to be filled with their prints, basics, and seasonal trends. This midi skirt is the newest addition and you should expect to see it lots. I went into the store on my lunch break last week to try on a pair of the high-rise Rockstar jeans, which they didn't have in my size, and I couldn't walk out empty-handed sooo here we are.

Old Navy was one of the first stores I started shopping in when I had a job in high school and didn't have to depend on my mom to take me somewhere if I wanted new clothes. A lot has changed since those days, most notably the quality and cuteness of what they sell. It seems like every time I hang out with one of my girlfriends, I compliment a top or skirt or sweater and mention that it must be from Madewell or J.Crew, and then they inevitably tell me it's from Old Navy. I can't tell you how many times this has happened in the last year!

I want to be one of those girls who shops are fancy boutiques all the time and has a closet full of one-of-a-kind pieces, but that's just not how I shop. I do have some unique items I've picked up thrifting, and once in a while I grab a lucky find from a boutique sales rack, but mostly I like shopping somewhere I know I'm going to find things that fit in my closet, fit in my budget, and fit on my body. Shopping is a big part of my self-care (you can decide for yourself how healthy that is, I suppose), so it's important to me that my time spent shopping is as positive as possible.

Especially as a blogger, I like being able to show how I style pieces that you're able to purchase and style too! It may not always be Old Navy (and, honestly I would love to branch out more -- the Old Navy is just so easy to get to on my lunch breaks!), but I do love sharing pieces and outfits here that are obtainable and re-create-able.

What stores do you find yourself shopping in again and again? How else would you style this skirt (because I've already worn this outfit three times since I got it!)?

closet by old navy


Happy Friday! I've convinced Dago that we should go to Olive Garden tonight, so I have that to look forward to while I finish up this work week. Since you can't all come to Olive Garden with us, here are some links to help you get through the rest of your day until that weekend bell rings!

Ever wondered if those Pinterest hacks really work? This Refinery29-er did the tried out a few of the most popular and shared her results!

Need some last minute Halloween inspiration? This little cutie has got you covered.

Do you like Miranda July, Rihanna, or really great interviews? Read this one.

Speaking of interviews, this hilarious fake one may as well be real.

Holy crap have you heard of Faceblind? If you think my synesthesia is cool, go read out Mia's faceblindness!

Have you been looking for a few new blogs to add to your reader? Hilary over at The Cutie Life (who you should definitely be following) rounded up a bunch of awesome blogs she loves (including writes like a girl!) that you should check out and add to your Bloglovin' ASAP!

When will it get cold enough for me to wear this? Serious question.

Do you sleep well at night? I thought I did, and then I was put on a sleeping pill recently for some allergies I was having and realized I hadn't been sleeping well because the sleep on the pill was amazing! Jen wrote about sleep this week and it's such a great read that gave me a lot to think about.

I've been feeling a little overwhelmed lately with balancing by time, so I really love these 5 tips from April for utilizing my time better.

I just got paid! Here's what's on my wishlist for this weekend: this chic sweater dress, these heart-eye earrings, this cool take on a moto jacket, this collared striped shirt, and these shimmery flats.

What's on your agenda this weekend?

link love

nicoles apartment2

Dago and I have been co-habitating apartment-dwellers for going on three years now, and our apartment has looked almost exactly the same since we moved in. When we decided to shack up, we simply moved all of our furniture from our separate lives together into one apartment and called it good. Having both lived separately, and me having previously lived alone, we both had a couch, a chair, a TV stand, a side table, a desk, etc. The only piece of furniture we've actually purchased together is our coffee table, a large, round, wooden table with a bottom shelf cluttered with J.Crew catalogs and copies of our alma mater's magazine that come in the mail.

Looking at our living room, we have several large pieces of furniture: the coffee table, a long vintage floral couch, a wide cream-colored love seat, a giant wooden shelf used as a TV stand, a thinner mid-century shelf used to hold DVDs and such, and a six-foot cat castle. We also have a tall lamp, a coat rack, and two big pieces of art, plus a wall that's just a fireplace. All of this to say, we have a small space with a lot. of. stuff.

And this never really bothered me, until recently. I am suddenly in major nesting mode for the first time in my life. My entire Pinterest has turned into interior design madness and I am legitimately dreaming of couches in my sleep. I unfortunately don't have the time or funds to totally re-do our space or to move into a perfect little house with beautiful light, but there are a few things I've done that made me fall in love with my space all over again.

nicoles apartment1

1. remove a piece of furniture | We ended up getting rid of both our coat rack and the giant wooden shelf, freeing up a ton of room along the main wall. We weren't really using the coat rack for coats, just a few rarely-used bags and a soccer scarf or two. The wooden shelf was something Dago picked up from his old band space that we've been using as a TV stand, but I've always hated it! I think I used to have this idea that I needed to hold onto every piece of furniture I owned because someday I might want it, but that just caused me to keep stuff I didn't like or need (or have room for!). I'm so glad both are gone!

2. replace a large piece with smaller ones | In getting rid of the big shelf, we scooted over the mid-century shelf and put the TV on top with the DVR and XBox on the two shelves. At first we used a tall bar stool to hold the router and modem as a temporary option, but I ended up loving the way it looks and we decided to keep it there. Something about having the two smaller pieces of furniture instead of one big one adds a little visual interest, as well as some much-needed white space. In another big-for-small swap, we got rid of a big painting I did a while back that said "Home is where the pants aren't" that hung above the TV and we're replacing it with an art wall of smaller pieces we both love. So far we just have a show poster from a concert we went to back in 2012, but I'm hoping to get a hanging banner like one of these and a few other pieces to hang.

3. hang a shelf (or two!) | To the left of the television and its new stand situation, we hung two wooden shelves from Ikea. Since these shelves are just to the right of the door, there's now a ton of open space that used to be crowded by a coat rack, floor lamp, and the mid-century shelf. Something about not having another piece of furniture makes the whole room feel so much bigger, plus I have two whole shelves I can style now with whatever I want!

4.  flip your books | This is such a small change that for me made a big visual difference. For a few years now I've had my own bookshelf organized by color (much like this), but changing up some of my books from being shelved upwards to laying on their side has made for a more deliberately aesthetically pleasing look. I also chose a few of our favorite books to put on the new wall shelves, and they're strategically stacked beneath plants and next to a picture frame.

5. add some plants | Speaking of plants, what a game changer! You know that I bought a big snake plant back in August, but I picked up a couple of small cacti (in these pots) for our shelves and they're just so cheery! I also bought a vintage vase at a flea market that has me grabbing fresh flowers every time I go to the grocery. It's true what they say, fresh flowers are an instant source of happiness!

6. move your light sources | I was surprised at how much moving our lamps around changed the feeling of the room. We have a big glass vintage lamp that used to sit on the mid-century shelf, but now that that's got the TV on it, we had to move it. The lamp now sits on an entry table against another wall so the light is coming from behind us/beside us instead of right in front of us. It's super calming! We also moved our beloved little Ikea Knubbig lamp onto the top shelf and it's just a little orb of glowing happiness up there.

7. try a new candle | There is nothing better than a great smelling home, is there? Even when it's a mess, if it smells nice, I can relax. (Hm, that reminds me of those gross Febreze commercials!) Dago and I are big fans of the Glade candles, and we pick one up every weekend at the grocery, usually in Clean Linen or Angel Whispers. However, I like to switch things up every once in a while, so next time I'm at Anthropologie I plan to pick up this one. Even if you can't rearrange your space in a big way, changing the smell can make a refreshing impact! (Bonus: we bought this ballin' candle holder and it looks SO COOL when the candle is lit and the room is dark while we're watching TV at night!)

So there you have it! One weekend, two new shelves, a couple of cacti, and some quality time with my boyfriend and an electric drill were all I needed to feel completely refreshed in my space and fall in love with my apartment all over again. I expect us to live here quite a while longer, so it's good to know that I don't need to go throwing all my furniture out to feel like my home is keeping up with me. (Plus, now I can focus my attention and funds on someday getting one of these!)

How do you get new life out of an old space?

7 easy small space refreshers

Alright, shoppers, start your engines! It's the Shopbop Friends & Family Event and (most) everything is 25% off! One of the reasons I'm a big fan of Shopbop is that I know I'm shopping among great quality brands across the board, whether it's shoes, jeans, or accessories. Because their prices are a little (and sometimes a lot) higher than I typically spend, sales like the Friends & Family Event are a great way to finally pull the trigger on some investment pieces that I know I need to add to my closet anyway.

While it's true that I shop primarily at fast fashion retailers like Old Navy and Forever 21 for trends and seasonal pieces (perhaps controversial and not everyone's cup of tea, but true nonetheless), as I get older, I do try to invest in certain items that I expect to wear for years to come. A few of those items I hope to add in the near future are a sturdy work bag, a pair of designer jeans, a superb pair of black flats, a go-to LBD, and a classic watch. Here are a few things I've got in my cart to narrow down from when I shop the sale later today!

investment pieces from shopbop
Madewell tote bags // designer skinny jeans // Sam Edelman black flats // BB Dakota LBDs // Kate Spade watches*

What is it about black and camel that just screams classic? I especially love that each of these pieces has something a little special, so not only will I be able to use it for years to come, but I'll want to!

To shop the sale, use the code INTHEFAM25. The sale ends October 15th at 11:59 PM PT, so get on those investment piece purchases ASAP!

*I discovered this morning that Kate Spade is excluded from the F&F Event, but it looks like most of the other watches Shopbop carries are included.

investment pieces from shopbop's friends & family sale

floppy hat floral scarf1 floppy hat floral scarf2 floppy hat floral scarf3 floppy hat floral scarf4 floppy hat floral scarf5 floppy hat floral scarf6 floppy hat floral scarf7 floppy hat floral scarf8 floppy hat floral scarf9 floppy hat floral scarf10
dress: Old Navy // scarf: thrifted (similar) // hat: Francesca's (similar) // shoes: Steve Madden (similar) // purse: vintage Coach via Prototype Vintage

photos by Chelsea Laine Francis

In case you wondered if I travel in style, I do. But also comfort! This dress is just a glorified nightgown, the scarf is for my always-freezing arms, and the floppy hat is perfect for backseat naps in the Tahoe. And when we roll up to the gas station, I look like a Palm Springs movie star instead of a crumb-covered sweater ball. It's all in the styling, my dears!

After we arrived at El Cosmico, we laid around for a bit in our safari tent before heading off to dinner. Chelsea graciously snapped a few outfit photos for me among the yurts and teepees, and damn she nailed it, y'all. I was all "let me show them how my scarf can double as a faux-kimono" and she was all "wait, hold it there in the wind while I take the coolest photos ever." I'm a lucky girl to have such wonderful, talented friends. Also to have this scarf, which I'm obsessed with and you should expect to see a lot, a lot.

Have you thrifted anything lately you can't get enough of? What's your go-to travel look?

desert style


Happy Friday! I know I've been a little down the last few Fridays, but I've had a really great week and I have a very chill weekend ahead. Dago and I are headed to Ikea this weekend for a little living room and office decor shopping, and I think we may try to fit in The Martian between naps, Netflix, and nomming on Trader Joe's snacks. Before we get into the weekend, let's get into those links!

♥ It's no secret that I love female-centric publications and creative ventures from my own community, so it's no surprise I'm obsessed with Lady ATX Magazine. In addition to style tips, favorite sips, and need-to-know info for thriving in Austin, you can find a Studio Session with yours truly talking about vulnerability online, what it's like to podcast with my boyfriend, and how to say yes to your passion projects. The mag also did the sweetest feature on our #sisterhoodxmarfa trip full of quotes and photos you haven't seen yet! Spend some time on the site and check it all out now, y'all!

♥ Body posi mantras for everyone!

♥ While minimalism isn't really part of my M.O., the light in this little space is too good to not lust after.

♥ Really into ModCloth's decision to do away with the term Plus Size, especially after reading their reasoning. How do you feel about it?

♥ How cool is this Anthro-inspired DIY from Maddy?

♥ Speaking of DIY, do you think this geometric cement pot project is out of my league?

♥ Fran is making a very good case for Santorini (not that it really needed one, but, you know).

♥ Outfits I can't wait to copy: Jenni's sundress + booties + long cardi look, both Kaity and Kimi's window pane skirt outfits, Katie's transitional ensemble, and Adina's faux professorial look.

♥ One of my goals this month is to organize my desk area in our home office, so obvi I need some cute, new office supplies, right? Here are a few things I have my eye on: these pretty paper accessories, this sophisticated gold basket, these sweet pencils, these fab desk clips, this rad lamp, these kitschy mugs, and this precious hanging planter.

What links did you love this week? What's on your schedule for the weekend?

link love

I have a shopping bug like nobody's business this week and I'm having an especially hard time containing myself. In honor of wanting all of the things, my wishlist is just an entire color this week instead of a collection of the same items. That color, specifically, is my favorite fall color: mustard yellow! Not all blondes can rock yellow, but it's one of my favorite colors to wear and I think it looks quite smashing on me, if I'm being honest!

So. Much. Yellow. Y'all. In the best way. I just want all the the cozy, twee, classic mustard yellow pieces! This ModCloth midi skirt has been on my wishlist forever and will probably be purchased with my next paycheck. Can't wait to pair it with colored tights in the colder months! I also love cute little A-line skirt, so like why not this yellow ASOS skirt? How adorable is this yellow pleated dress from Forever 21? It's an interesting shape that may or may definitely not be flattering, but I am dying to go try it on to see. For just a little bit of mustard and a really cute print, I'd love to wear this precious fox scarf errday this fall.

I don't really need a pair of heels, ever, but if I did, it would be this pair of ankle strap mustard Seychelles heels. How cute would a pair of skinnies by with this Urban Outfitters turtleneck and my Sam Edelman booties? Lastly, this dreamy Banana Republic dress might be the classic yellow dress I've been looking for. I love the idea of a chic LYD for events and head shots, etc. and I love the pretty golden color and feminine shape of this dress.

What's on your wishlist this week?

on my list | mustard yellow

red flats navy gingham8 red flats navy gingham1 red flats navy gingham9 red flats navy gingham4 red flats navy gingham5 red flats navy gingham7 red flats navy gingham6 red flats navy gingham2
shirt: Forever 21 (similar) // jeans: Gap Factory // shoes: Franco Sarto // tote: Old Navy // scarf: thrifted originally Totes // bracelet: gift from Emma, originally Bauble Bar

I can't believe I haven't shared this outfit with you yet! The day I wore it was hot hot hot, but it's finally cooling down a little and I know this look will be in heavy rotation for fall. In fact, this is sort of like a 2015 version of one of my favorite outfits from last fall. I'm nothing if not a little predictable, I guess.

Coincidentally, that outfit was the one I wore to my first day at Junebug Weddings, and today is my one year job anniversary! It's been a whirlwind of a year and I'm as excited as ever about my job. Every day I'm looking at the prettiest weddings in the world, connecting with the most talented and creative wedding professionals, and trying to keep my emoji heart eyes in check looking at so many dreamy wedding dresses. It's the dream.

Speaking of emoji heart eyes, did you get a look at my bracelet?? My dear friend Emma mailed me this little cat emoji bling and I've been wearing it every chance I get. I've never been much of a bracelet wearer, especially being that I'm at a computer all day, but this dainty piece of jewelry stays out of the way and adorable all day.

Because I promised a review, let's talk about these shoes for a sec. I posted a wishlist of red flats back in August and lots of you recommended I go with the leather Franco Sarto pair. I'm so glad I did! First, they went on super sale (they still are -- more than 50% off!), so that made them a little more appealing than the rest. Then they came in the mail and they are truly the most comfortable pair of shoes I've ever worn. The leather is incredibly soft and the sole of the shoe is sturdy quality. The shape of the shoe is different than my other flats, being cut with a longer front section, for lack of a better explanation, that fits like a glove on my foot. I've been pairing them with everything from little white dresses at the end of summer to stripes and jeans for fall.

What pieces (or pastimes!) have been giving you emoji heart eyes lately?

emoji heart eyes

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