Welcome to my March shopping update with the budgeting bloggers! I am soooo excited about everything I bought this month that I don't even feel bad about how much I spent. Historically, I spend the most during the first month of the season because of temperature changes and new arrivals, so I think I'm on an okay track if I stick to my guns for the rest of the quarter. That said, let's look at some pretty clothes.

What I bought:

what i bought march1

STRUT Maroon Bow Sleeve Top - $49.00
Ann Taylor Floral Lace Skirt - $77.40 (40% off)
Madewell Anthem Scoop Tank Top - $39.50 [worn here]
Madewell Industry Button-Back Top - $63.60 (20% off)
francesca's Laney Leaf Print A-Line Dress - $35.20 (20% off)
Old Navy Mid-Rise Rockstar Built-In Sculpt Jeans - $23.96 (40% off)
Banana Republic Red Skirt via Poshmark - $25.00 [not pictured, worn here]
Vintage Floral Dress via Reverie Vintage - $55.00 [not pictured, worn here]

Monthly Total: $368.66
Quarterly Budget Spent: $368.66
Quarterly Budget Remaining: $131.34


I'd been stalking this bow-sleeve top on STRUT's Instagram for several weeks, and then it finally came home with me when I stopped in to buy a birthday gift. I'm obsessed with the way it fits and already know it's going to be one of those tops I have to actively try to not wear every single day when it warms up. (For you non-local girls, I saw that Ruche carries this top! It's currently sold out, but you can have them notify you if it comes back!)

Speaking of wearing every single day, the Madewell button-back top is one of my favorite pieces I've ever bought. I truly feel like a million bucks in it and it's easy to dress up or down. It was a bit of an impulse purchase at Nordstrom when I was trying on some jeans, but I've been wanting to add more Madewell pieces to my closet and this one is such a freaking winner. I'm still deciding if I want to pick it up in white or black, or if I really need the same blouse in several colors (I know I'm not alone in doing this!).

The other Madewell item I bought that I'm also wearing a ton is the scoop tank in burgundy. I know $40 is a lot to spend on a tank top, but I really love it and think it's going to hold up over time better than my Old Navy tanks (sorry, ON).

On the same shopping trip as the tank, I fell in love with the pretty gold Ann Taylor skirt in their window display in the NorthPark Mall in Dallas. I haven't worn this one yet because I'm hoping to get a black tank top to wear with it, but seeing it here in this post, I think I'm going to style it with the burgundy tank first because how great are those colors together (e.g. like this)?

Let's talk jeans real quick: I have been searching and searching for a replacement pair of regular blue jeans. I love my AG jeans, but they really are too big and fall down constantly, so they're a pain to wear unless I'll be at my desk all day. I saw that Old Navy put out these built-in sculpt jeans and I had to give them a try. I'm desperately between sizes right now, so I ordered both an 8 and 10. The 10 fits similarly to my AG jeans, though perhaps a little better. They do fall down when I walk, which I think has to do with the stretch that seems to be in both this pair and the AGs. Because of that extra stretch, the 8s are a pretty perfect fit. The built-in sculpt is awesome and they're really comfortable.

What I received:

what i bought march2

White Eyelet Midi Dress c/o francesca's
Knotted T-Strap Huarache c/o francesca's
Simone Pendant Necklace c/o francesca's

I always want to be transparent about the brands I work with and what I receive from them. These are the pieces I was given for my event at francesca's, which you've seen here! I have worn these shoes almost every day since, and the necklace is already in constant rotation too. I honestly feel so pretty in the white dress (which I got in a medium) and can't wait to wear it again. If any of you have your bridal shower or rehearsal dinner coming up, it would be the perfect dress!

This weekend I'm planning on picking up a few things at Old Navy (this top and this top for sure!), and then the rest of my focus is shoes. I really want a pair of New Balance sneakers to wear with jeans like this, and I hope to try these out! I also need some sandals like real bad.

As always, I'm linking up with Fran and the budgeting bloggers. Be sure to check out what everyone else bought this month and learn a little about setting a shopping budget too!

what i bought in march

burgundy tank floral skirt3 burgundy tank floral skirt5 burgundy tank floral skirt1 burgundy tank floral skirt2 burgundy tank floral skirt6 burgundy tank floral skirt7 burgundy tank floral skirt4
tank: Madewell // skirt: Forever 21 (similar) // shoes: old LuLu*s (similar) // hat: Brixton c/o Shopbop // necklace: c/o francesca's


While it's true that florals are not groundbreaking for spring, burgundy just might be. Typically the wine-colored hue is reserved for cooler months, but after picking up this tank top at Madewell a few weeks ago, I'm convinced it's my new warm weather shade.

You may remember that I wore this skirt back in the fall. I tried super hard to make outfits with it during the winter, but it looked odd with tights (I know, it seems like it wouldn't!), and this blouse didn't go as well as I'd hoped it would (which is actually how this outfit came to be!). I'm very happy to be able to wear it lots this spring, however! Next up I'm thinking about a grey tee and my denim jacket, and I definitely need a new pair of black sandals ASAP.

It's technically not warm enough to wear this outfit in Austin right now (though it was a few weeks ago -- come back, 80+ degree weather!), but I'm secretly not too upset because I feel like I can still get a few more wears in of this hat. Felt hats ~should~ be strictly worn in cool weather, but I just finally ordered this one at the tail-end of winter, and I haven't found a summertime hat I love yet. I tried on the Madewell Panama hat and liked it alright, but it wasn't love at first sight like I was hoping for. (Fit note: it did actually fit me, which was a surprise, so if you're a small-medium headed person and you've been wondering about it, it's a pleasantly perfect fit!) I'm into the straw boater hats I've been seeing, like this one, but I wish the brim were slightly narrower. While I was browsing Forever 21, my heart also fluttered at the sight of this straw fedora, which I now desperately want to go try on in person. Hats are so tough to figure out online! I wish there were a Warby Parker-esque system for trying on several at home, where I can take selfies and try them on with outfits to decide. Someone get on that app, please?

burgundy for spring

vintage poppy dress3 vintage poppy dress1 vintage poppy dress4 vintage poppy dress5 vintage poppy dress6 vintage poppy dress8 vintage poppy dress7
dress: Reverie Vintage // shoes: c/o francesca's // brooch: vintage family hand-me-down


From the post title, you might have thought this was going to be a post of my frolicking in some flowers alongside a highway. But, no. This is the story of a dress and a life-defining moment. Sometimes we are faced with the decision to continue on the path we are on or to change our course in hopes of greatness. It's this decision that brought a incredible rose-covered vintage dress into my life.

You see, Chelsea and I were out on a Sunday morning, shooting outfit photos as we are known to do. We were about to do our last outfit when we drove past a vintage pop-up next to one of South Austin's most poppin' brunch restaurants. The mannequin facing the street was wearing the prettiest dress, all covered in roses and looking just about my size. Chelsea noted it aloud just as it stole my heart from afar, saying we should stop by after our shoot.

We took some pics (which, of course, you'll see soon!) and scurried right over to the pop-up. I was so eager to shop that I basically made a parking spot on the edge of the sidewalk. We rushed over and undressed the mannequin and Chelsea helped pull the dress over my clothes right in the middle of the restaurant's lawn. A perfect fit! The pockets, the buttons on the back, the midi length, the sweet print, I just needed it all.

We started chatting with the shop owner, Helen of Reverie Vintage, who shared that she'd just moved to Austin from Korea, so many of her pieces were vintage from Japan. She was so knowledgeable and, honestly, I had to hand her my card and pay before I started browsing the racks because I knew otherwise I'd inadvertently end up leaving with another item! She had some killer clothes!

Since we were already shooting outfits, I ran to my car and changed clothes, where I remembered that this gold brooch has been living in my cup holder for a few months. Isn't it just the perfect addition?? I love that we were able to take these photos in the midst of the excitement and on such a pretty spring day in Austin. It really doesn't get better than that!

Have you added any vintage to your closet recently? Are you in the business of buying pretty things on the side of the road?

roses on the side of the road

sole society new arrivals

Hats and bags and shoes, oh my! Sole Society is killing it (and me) with their new arrivals for spring, so I thought I'd share a few of my favorite recent releases.

one // It's about time I own a pair of sparkly-toed shoes, isn't it? Skinny jeans, a pair of cutoffs, my favorite J.Crew skirt, and just about everything else I own would all be elevated to the max with these pretties.

two // I'm hoping to upgrade my straw hat game for the warmer months. How sweet is this little boater hat? And for less than $25? I'd say this baby is coming home with me.

three // I'm coming around to the tassel trend, one classic piece at a time. I love that this crossbody bag fits right in with the current trend, but will be a timeless cognac purse for years to come.

four // It occurred to me recently that I really should be rocking more statement studs with my short hair. This pair is pretty darn fierce, and I'm just as inspired to pair it with a comfy tee as I am my black blazer.

five // A sun hat with a subtle bow detail? Sign me up. Love the soft look of this hat, with its lighter shade of straw and easygoing silhouette.

six // Alright, you may have noticed that I've avoided the lace-up shoe trend up until now. I think I wasn't sure how to feel about it at first, and then wondered if I was too late to join the game, both as a blogger and a person who wears shoes in real life. I think sandals may be my answer for finally joining in the fun, especially after deciding that I'm utterly disappointed with my black sandals from last summer.

seven // I'll be honest, I've always thought mid-heel sandals like these were a little matronly, but I think, when styled right, they can read unbelievably chic. While I probably won't rock the jumpsuit they are so obviously screaming to be worn with, I think I could come up with a few outfits that are worthy of their stylish charm.

eight // By now, you've seen my Old Navy tote bag plenty around these parts. I definitely still love it as much as the day I bought it (and even highly recommend it in general!), but that doesn't stop me from lusting after its perforated counterpart!

What's in your cart, just waiting to be bought up? Whose new arrivals for spring can't you stop thinking about?

in my cart | sole society new arrivals

peter pan collar high waisted jeans1 peter pan collar high waisted jeans2 peter pan collar high waisted jeans3 peter pan collar high waisted jeans4 peter pan collar high waisted jeans5 peter pan collar high waisted jeans6 peter pan collar high waisted jeans7 peter pan collar high waisted jeans8
sweater: old Target (similar) // top: thrifted (similar) // jeans: Old Navy // shoes: thrifted Sundance (save, spend) // purse: vintage Coach via Pieceology Vintage



This is an outfit that, according to all the rules, should be totally wrong. And, yet, it feels totally right. I'm happier in this outfit than I have in any other, in a very long time. I feel so myself in this outfit. A sheer crop top tucked into high-waisted jeans? My jam, apparently. Especially in these gorgeous colors! It's funny how clothes can surprise you that way. When we're drawn to something we really love, it shows all over our bodies, no matter the supposed logic.

From my shopping so far this year, it's apparent that I'm committed to incorporating more vintage looks into personal style. I'm interested in creating stylish, sophisticated vintage-inspired outfits that are practical in my every day life. With the exception of my beloved purse, none of these items are actually vintage, and yet the color palette and silhouette take you back to a different era. I've now worn this outfit to work, to a friend's birthday in the park, and out for cocktails on a patio. It doesn't get more real life wearable than that, my friends.

What outfits surprised you recently? What color palettes are your favorite to wear?

peter pan collar + high waisted jeans

linklove0317

What a whirlwind of a week! I spent last weekend in the DFW area for work, had my francesca's event on Tuesday night, SXSW has taken over my city, and I've already got a running to-do list for this weekend. Whew! After talking to some friends about how self-care has sort of dropped on my priority list, I thought it would be cool to infuse these weekly link love posts with a little self-care action. I think it'll probably look different each post, or at least until I find a rhythm, but to start...

♥ A list of things I'm okay with this week: not having pretty handwriting, waiting until I'm out of clean undies to do laundry, buying three blue and white dresses within three weeks of each other, eating my weight in cocoa krispies for dinner every night, and wanting to see Zootopia more than any other movie this year.

♥ The happiest thing I saw this week: this video with the caption "when the only person you knead is yourself."

♥ The most important thing I saw this week: how one quote make a big impact on Alissa (and now, on me!)

♥ A catchy, nuanced, feminist song by my favs on SNL.

♥ T-shirt goals, hair goals, general goals.

♥ I need help. I want these shoes very badly, but I don't know what color to get. Brown, black, or red?

♥ My favorite person on the Internet went to the only version of Disney World that matters to me (ahem, Kleinfeld Bridal), so obvi I love everything about this post.

♥ Alice went to my favorite place on Earth (that I've never been...) and her recap is giving me all the heart eyes.

♥ My dear, darling April is stunning (both in the beautiful way and the wow way!) in this gold skirt.

♥ A little wishlist for the weekend: this playful set, these perfect gold flats, these denim overalls, this blush blazer, and these daring sneakers.

What did you do for self-care this week? What's on your to-do list for the weekend?

link love

storefront
outfit c/o francesca's

This week I got to achieve my dream of working with one of my favorite brands while also crossing off a 26 before 26 goal. It really doesn't get better than that in my world! After Thrive, Houston-based-boutique-you-love-to-shop francesca's reached out to me about hosting a styling event during SXSW. I couldn't say yes fast enough, and soon enough (no really, SX totally sneaked up on me this year!), the evening of the event was here!

I picked out this perfect eyelet dress with the most subtle cut-outs around my middle and the sweetest scallops along the edges. Paired with an edgy (for me, anyway) mixed-metal necklace and a pair of t-strap huaraches, and I was party ready. Well, not without my bottle of Moonshine lemon iced tea and bag of candy from The Candy Jar!

the candy jar pretty things jewelry

It was so cool of so many of my friends -- new and old -- to come out and shop with me! I got to finally meet some of my favorite online babes who happened to be in town for the festival/spring break, while also introducing lots of my local besties to each other. Plus, the gals behind francesca's are seriously cool, and I felt super special getting to hang out with them for a night.

babes
speaking of introductions, be sure to check out 2/3 of these ladies over on OUR ATX

Obviously I had to do a little shopping while I was there, because their spring styles are everything I want my closet to be. It looks like the three items I purchased aren't on their site yet, but don't fret, I'll be featuring them here ASAP for y'all to check out.

If you came to visit me on 2nd St on Tuesday night, I was to say the most sincere thank you. I was unreasonably nervous that no one would come and I'd look real silly crying in my pretty white dress all over the candy bar by myself. But really, so many of you showed up and it made me feel like the coolest girl in the world.


Disclosure: This post was sponsored by francesca's, but all opinions are, as always, my own!

#franlove

floral-for-spring3 floral-for-spring6 floral-for-spring4 floral-for-spring5 floral-for-spring1 floral-for-spring8 floral-for-spring9
hat: Brixton c/o Shopbop // dress: thrifted // shoes: thrifted Sundance (similar one, similar two, very similar but pricey) // purse: vintage Coach via Pieceology Vintage

photos by Chelsea Laine Francis

Though we'e had a few chilly days in the last couple of weeks, I decided it was officially springtime in Austin as soon as I stumbled upon this dress and shoes combo. I took Chrystina to do a little thrifting while she was visiting Austin before Thrive, and our neighborhood Uptown Cheapskate didn't disappoint. I actually came out of the dressing room with these two items on together and knew it would be an outfit featured on the blog ASAP. 

Since then, I've worn this outfit three times, including once to Chelsea's first-ever photo show at new boutique Kiki Nass! There was no shortage of cool people in cool clothes at that event, but these shoes had me feeling as confident as ever. I've never owned anything like them, but I cannot stop wearing them (read: coming again and again to a blog near you!). They are so comfortable, which I didn't necessarily expect. Plus, Uptown had a little tag on them that said something like "Congrats! This is one of our most stylish items! You should probs sell your clothes here, equally stylish gal." Being complimented by a pair of shoes is my new favorite thing.

Speaking of favorite things, I'm in all kinds of a good mood because of the new season. The sun is out later, meaning I can go play outside after work. I can wear dresses without tights and forget my sweater at home on accident. There has been lots of twirling and patio sitting, and I can't help but notice brightly colored walls everywhere I go, like this one on the side of an insurance building. It may not have gotten cold and dreary enough this year for my SAD to completely kick in, but I'm just as overjoyed about spring as I am every year.

P.S. Don't forget to come see me at francesca's tonight if you're in Austin! Here's the deets again on a super cute flyer they made for me:

sxsw_flyer

springtime in austin

red-skirt-black-hat1 red-skirt-black-hat3 red-skirt-black-hat2 red-skirt-black-hat4 red-skirt-black-hat7 red-skirt-black-hat6 red-skirt-black-hat5 red-skirt-black-hat9 red-skirt-black-hat10
hat: Brixton c/o Shopbop // blazer: Forever 21 (similar) // shirt: Old Navy // skirt: Banana Republic via Poshmark (love this one and this one!) // shoes: Madden Girl (very similar) // necklace: c/o francesca's // purse: vintage Coach via Pieceology Vintage


Welcome to Austin, TX, SXSWers! And by welcome, I mean, please come enjoy our tacos and don't move here because our roads can't handle another transplant. (Edit: unless you're one of my blogging besties, because I would love to have you!)

I typically avoid SXSW, except for maybe a little-known music showcase off the beaten path of the festival. In fact, I spent this first weekend across the state in Dallas/Denton for work. However, I'm really excited to actually be hosting an event downtown during SXSW this year. (Who am I??) One of my longtime favorite stores francesca's has invited me to host a shopping event in honor of festival fashion, local musicians, and stylish Austin babes. If you happen to be in Austin this week, I would LOVE to see you there. I can promise to share my favorite fran pieces for spring and the best taco recommendations in town.

WHAT: a shopping event, hosted by me!
WHERE: francesca's 2nd St District location
WHEN: Tuesday March 15 (tomorrow!), 5-7 PM
WHY: pretty clothes, sips & sweets, and 25% off your entire purchase!

Come out and show your fran + writes like a girl love!

P.S. This is an outfit that I envisioned as soon as I ordered the skirt, but wasn't sure how it would work out in real life. Well, it's one of my favorites I've ever shared on the blog (partially because Chelsea NAILED these photos)! Love when that happens.

give me liberty or give me tacos

linklove0310

I hope y'all had a fabulous International Women's Day this week! Typically, I buy flowers for all the women in my life to celebrate, but time got away from me this year and I'm pretty bummed about it. Luckily, the women I love love me with or without flowers! Similarly, I realized this week after putting my goals post into the world that y'all love me just as much posting three posts a week as you do when I post four, and if three makes me a more sane human and a more human human, you'll love that too. So, I think that's the plan for now! I know these Friday posts are well-loved, and I'd rather put time into reading blogs and sharing content I loved from other people online than throw together a last minute Wednesday post. That said, let's get into some links!

♥ Speaking of International Women's Day, Michelle Obama's speech from Tuesday has me all kinds of inspired. (Skip to 3:12 for the good stuff.) Goodness, I'm going to miss her in the White House!

♥ Chrystina did a stellar Thrive recap that you should definitely read because it's full of tips and tricks we learned from the best!

♥ Bummed that you missed out on Thrive? The lovely Mallory put together a killer list of creative conferences in 2016 so you can find the event that's right for you!

♥ Sarah has been killing it lately. I would never wish for more winter, but I do wish for a fancy sweater like this one! Cannot get over how well she styled this 'fit!

♥ I've spent a lot of time thinking about the "root" of my feminism, and a lot of the films on this list definitely helped make me into the feminist and sisterhood advocate I am today! What was the first movie that made you feel all feministy inside?

♥ No surprise here, Jen is still the coolest kid on the block.

♥ While I think at least some of you are mamas, I know most of you aren't. Having kids is something I've never been too sure about for me, though it's been on my mind I guess as I'm getting older and it seems like more and more people my age are making the decision to procreate (see, proof I'm not ready!). Speaking of not being ready, I really loved Julie's post on being uncertain about parenthood. I realized that I have a lot more thoughts about this than I was aware of. Maybe someday I'll share them here!

♥ I thoroughly enjoyed Nick's piece analyzing his life in numbers. Also, if you haven't checked out his podcast Never Not Here For You, get on that. The most recent episodes include he and his partner Megan answering 36 Questions, The Modern Love Experiment. It's super lovely and makes me feel all warm inside, and hopefully will do the same for you!

♥ On my wishlist: these classy-ass sandals, this incredible sundress, these killuh florals for spring, these too-cool-for-me earrings, this presh tank, and these hella pretty bras.

What did you love on the Internet this week? What are you up to this weekend?

link love

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