Happy Friday! You want some links? I got some links!

30 black female content creators to follow on Instagram.

I've been thinking a lot about this space and how I come across on the Internet, so I appreciated Chloe's post on who she wants to be online.

Repeat after Alissa: stop working for free.

Sam Edelman has so many pretty velvet pieces right now! I think I need one of those pairs of pompom shoes.

So...the AMAs didn't nominate any women for Artist of the the year Kesha, SZA, and Lorde came out with new albums. And yet...The Chainsmokers are nominated?

Never did I think I would fall in love with a laundry room, but Olivia sure proved me wrong.

Um...pretty sure Grace just convinced me I need a leopard coat.

Tips from Sade on how to be a better person.

Kimi's tips for gaining confidence at a new job can totally apply for an old job too!

I'm not sure my hair is long enough for step four, but I'm all about these tips for air-drying your hair the right way!

Help me pick a circle bag color?

Can't wait to copy this outfit Kaylah wore using my favorite cat-collar blouse.

These seven colorful outfits on Grasie made my heart grow by seven sizes.

Do the cold temps give you dry lips? This post is for you!

A little wishlist: this embroidered sweater, this peplum tee, these amazing bird print pants, this velvet midi dress, and this mustard mini skirt.

link love

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dress: ASOS (on sale!) // shoes: c/o Fiesta Feet // purse: Mar Y Sol c/o Shopbop // earrings: c/o Woll

photos by Chelsea Francis

I have to be honest with you: I may or may not have planned a few of my outfits for my Palm Springs trip based on where we were going. I'm not proud of it (jk I totally am) and I'm even a little embarrassed by it (jk I'm totally not).

This was the outfit I planned to wear when we visited The Saguaro, the colorful hotel of my dreams. Little did I know, I would actually visit The Saguaro a whopping three times because I just couldn't stay away! The only photos I got in this outfit while I was there were on my ole iPhone (goodness, I need the new one so badly!), so I had Chelsea snap some Palm Springs-esque pics once I got back to Austin. You can just pretend I'm still in the Palm Desert because I certainly am!

I've had a few requests for my Palm Springs and Joshua Tree recommendations, so I thought I'd compile a couple of my favorite things we did during my week-long trip! For clarity's sake, I feel like I should explain that my vacation started out as a work trip, but the event at which I was going to speak was cancelled. Since many of us had our tickets already, we decided to still go and invited a handful of other photographers (most wedding) from around the country to come hang in the desert for a week. I, myself, am not a photographer (I think most of you know that!), but due to my job, I spend a lot of time talking to wedding photographers, so it was fun to run around

Where to Stay

Aloha Ranch - Yucca Valley

Aloha Ranch was the first of two Airbnbs we rented during my trip. We had five people comfortably in this home, but could have fit a couple more in the three-bedroom, two-bath setup, one-couch setup. I loved the vintage Americana decor, including a huge old western movie poster framed next to the door that I'm still obsessing over. While we didn't have a chance to use it, this rental also comes with a "cowboy dip," which is just a big tin tub you can fill with water in the summertime, as well as a fire pit.

Spirit Wind - Joshua Tree

If you've got a big group (we had 10 when we stayed), Spirit Wind is the Joshua Tree Airbnb you want to be in! It was by far the most unique home I've ever seen and its clever use of space allows for a large group to stay comfortably. It's technically three-stories because of a loft bedroom, has two official bedrooms on the second floor with an additional lounge area and office, and cubby twin beds and giant, comfy couches on the first floor. One of our favorite aspects of Spirit Wind was the circle of hammocks outside, which the welcome book notes is perfect for "life-altering conversations" beneath the stars (can confirm).

What to Do

Palm Springs Unofficial Hotel Tour

Seeing as my obsession with Palm Springs started with writing about so many weddings that took place there, visiting my favorite boutique hotels I'd never been to was at the top of my list. My top three were The Saguaro, The Parker, and the Ace Hotel. The Saguaro, as I mentioned, is like Disney Land for people who love bright colors, AKA me. The hotel has a gorgeous outdoor courtyard including a pool, as well as an onsite bar and restaurant called El Jefe. The Parker is the classiest of the three and, while the drinks are terribly expensive, it's worth visiting to see the beautifully curated interior. The Ace Hotel has a more hipster cool vibe and a great onsite diner called King's Highway. If you're going to dine-in at one of the three, I would recommend eating at the Ace! It's free to walk through the lobby and courtyard areas of all three hotels, but the pools and other amenities are available to guests or by an additional fee depending on what it is.

Palm Springs Midcentury Modern Architecture Tour

Okay, so we actually just drove around some pretty neighborhoods near the hotels I mentioned, but I just found a self-guided architecture tour that I totally wish we'd used instead! Palm Springs is known for its architecture (if you don't believe me, check out this KFC), and the midcentury modern homes are its crowned jewel. I really wanted to take one of these guided tours, but we didn't have a chance, so I guess I just need to make another trip! ;)

Yucca Valley Unofficial Vintage Tour 

I couldn't go on vacation and not hit up some vintage shops! I heard lackluster things about the vintage shopping in Palm Springs proper, so we decided to shop closer to the desert for better finds and better deals. Along 29 Palms Highway through Yucca Valley, you can find a handful of great vintage stores that have been carefully curated. My absolute favorite was The End (where I got the top worn in this post) which has a little something for everyone, all at reasonable prices. A couple of other notable shops we hit on our tour were Funky and Darn Near New and Promised Land.

Joshua Tree National Park

Hopefully a visit (or seven) to Joshua Tree National Park is on your list, but in case it isn't - GO! I've never seen anything like it, and the further into the park you drive, the more diverse the landscape becomes. Perfect for camping, hiking, photo sessions, watching the sunset and/or stargazing, spending plenty of time enjoying the park is in your best interest.

Imperial Sand Dunes

Okay, this isn't actually in Palm Springs or Joshua Tree, but at two hours away, I had to include it on this list because it was that good. In fact, the Imperial Sand Dunes are one of my favorite things I've ever seen. I actually got really emotional as we ran around the seemingly endless, overwhelmingly large dunes of sand as we watched the most incredible sunset I've ever witnessed. If you have access to a car during your trip, I highly recommend making the trip!

What to Eat + Drink

Bootlegger Tiki - Palm Springs

Though I had a drink while hanging out at each of the above mentioned hotels, my favorite cocktails were actually at Bootlegger Tiki. This tiny tiki bar is easy to miss; it looks like it's the back half of a coffee shop on the same corner, but is actually its own entity. Bootlegger is known for its handcrafted cocktails and happy hour specials. Basically, it's a must-stop for your tropical cocktail Instagram needs and the drinks really are that good!

Frontier Café - Yucca Valley

This became our go-to coffee shop and breakfast spot for the week and I honestly wish I could just go anytime I wanted. Great food (light fare and yummy breakfast) and drinks (the frozen chai!!), plus it was so cute and cozy. If you're hitting the vintage shops I mentioned above, this cafe is along the way!

2 Guys Pies - Yucca Valley

Y'all, don't sleep on 2 Guys Pizza. After spending sunset in Joshua Tree National Park, we were driving around starving, looking for a place that was open because everything closes early in the desert. We were so lucky to come across 2 Guys Pies, and not just because it happened to be open, but because it was truly an amazing experience. I have never had better service at any restaurant (I left a 5-star review on the drive home and we left a giant tip - they even tried to tell us we tipped too much because they're that kind!). The food was insanely good and in huge portions. The menu is hilarious and unique, as each pizza and dish is named after a music reference. I really cannot recommend this spot enough and wish I could hug the employees a hundred times.

There's so much that I didn't do that I'd still love to cross off my bucket list, like Salvation Mountain, Salton Sea, and Mirage (the latter was closed when we tried to visit), so I'm hoping to head back out to the Palm Desert in my future! If you've been, where were your favorite places you went so I can add them to my list?

what to do in palm springs & joshua tree


Happy Friday! Before we get into this week's links, I wanted to say how thankful I am for the support you've given me. I spilled my guts here this week and so many of you commented, shared my post, and reached out to send your love and share your own story. None of us is alone in sometimes (or most of the time) feeling like we're not enough, but we're stronger together and we heal when we talk about it.

I actually didn't realize World Mental Health Day was the day after I published that post, but I've seen some great posts and resources around the Internet this week that I wanted to include in today's link love. 

My sweet friend Lauren wrote this insightful piece for To Write Love On Her Arms about supporting a partner who struggles with depression. I get asked about this a lot, so I'm glad to have this to share now!

Similarly, I loved the language in this Buzzfeed article on tips for talking about mental health with someone who has depression. There are some great phrases to mentally bookmark for the next time your loved one is going through it.

Buzzfeed also put together a bunch of celebrity quotes on mental health that I found really powerful.

This video in honor of International Day of the Girl is one of my favorite things I saw this week.

This was a big week for feelings, huh? I loved this piece my dear friend Taylor wrote for National Coming Out Day.

If I copy this perfect casual fall outfit will someone take me apple picking?

What about this one?

Welcome to hydration station.

Valery's GLOW-inspired Halloween makeup look is EVERYTHING.

These booties are fall's hottest and most practical trend.

On wanting to be noticed (and why that's okay!).

Lots of new arrival cuteness from cupcakes and cashmere.

I can't decide which I love more - Alissa's outfit or her words on confidence + doubt.

On my wishlist: this ruffle top (that just went on major sale), this pretty pink cardigan, this bell-sleeve LBD, these tie-waist pants, and this floral embroidered sweatshirt.

link love

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dress: Zara // shoes: No.6 c/o Shopbop // purse: Mar y Sol c/o Shopbop // earrings: Beaded by W

photo by Chelsea Francis

It's no secret that I've been feeling burnt out by blogging. After six years, I suppose that's to be expected, but I never anticipated feeling this way. While I saw other bloggers post less and less, take time off, and share about their dwindling desire to produce content, I felt more inspired than ever to say something new and make the most of my space on the Internet.

Lately, for the first time, I've felt more like spending my weeknights out with friends than sitting at home and blogging. Maybe that sounds silly, but I lived for hunkering down on my couch to write every night. It's been my routine for so many years that now not wanting to even open my computer has me a little shaken.

On one hand, it makes sense. My lifestyle was never exactly sustainable as far as the amount of content I've been producing (keep in mind that I write for my day job, have a podcast, and wrote a workbook this year, plus having a social media presence). I did a little interview recently for Urban Outfitters where they asked about my "day in a life" and I actually felt a little ashamed by the consecutive hours spent in front of a screen, if only because there was so little time spent away from one.

In 2017, I tried to take things to the next level with the workbook. I spent four months writing Feel Good, Dress Better, on top of my already content-heavy schedule. Since its release in June, I've just not had the energy or motivation to promote it. It's like I wrote all the words I could already, and now I'm just scraping the bottom of the barrel for the few remaining sentences I can string together.

I've honestly prided myself on having it all: a job I legitimately love, a thriving blog, a weekly podcast, a wonderful and supportive partner, a fantastic friend group. The downfall was, of course, my messy home and my sometimes-worse-than-others mental health, but lately the things I've sacrificed have outweighed the things I have. 

My depression and anxiety have taken over to the point where some days all I can do is sleep. My self-esteem is the lowest it's been since college, and for no real reason. There is so much tragedy going on in the world around us - discrimination, fear, bigotry, disaster, and hatred - that it's hard for me, as for a lot of people, to find the right words or to talk about seemingly trivial things. Trying to post to Instagram isn't a matter of not having content, it's a matter of being far too difficult to even muster a photo and caption, much less hashtags or a consistent feed. If I'm only going to get one or two things done in a day, none of them can be Instagram. I just don't care enough, and it certainly doesn't matter enough.

So what does matter? I guess that's what I've been trying to figure out. I mentioned in this month's goal post that I'm going back to therapy after taking a year off. The decision to go back is one of the only things that's made me feel better in a while, and I haven't even had my first appointment yet. I'm looking forward to regaining my energy so I can be excited about something.

I swear I still love having a blog. Last week, it occurred to me that the people I keep comparing myself to do this shit full time. Can you imagine what I could do if I blogged full-time? Putting up 3+ posts a week for six years while working a full-time job never felt like a chore until this recent bout of depression. I have no intention of leaving my job (which I lovelovelove) or my blog, but I do hope to find a better sense of balance and a more realistic, sustainable approach to all of this. I don't necessarily have to give up any of my projects, but I do need to take a step back, put less pressure on myself (this blog does not even come close to paying my bills! why do I treat it like it does?), and enjoy my life more instead of just writing about it.

trying to have it all


How about some link love, huh? I know I said I'm going to scale back on blogging this month and this is my third post this week, but I've got so many links saved up to share that I promise putting this post together isn't as involved as it usually is!

I really appreciated Grace getting candid about the ways in which bloggers do or don't acknowledge serious topics in this post. In the past, I've been very vocal about my beliefs, especially politically, on the blog, but these days I tend to take to Twitter and talk on my podcast about these things. On one hand, I don't feel like I should have to post on every platform, but I also don't want my readers/community to think I'm purposely avoiding certain topics on my blog. Sometimes I do actively want my content to be an escape from the terrible things going on. I think because I personally follow so many people commenting on news and trauma that others might also feel a bit inundated with it. I know there's one right answer, but it helped me a lot to read Grace's post.

Olivia (whose blog got a marvelous face lift!) wrote about her October shopping freeze. Maybe I'll give this a try again in November?

I'm feeling super inspired by Caroline's fall starter kit. I'm thinking about doing a little fall capsule to start the season and help me figure out what my closet actually needs before just shopping a bunch.

Every corner of Chelsea's home is chic comfort to the max - even her kitchen and dining room!

Do you struggle to keep your home tidy? Have you ever thought that instead of changing your habits, you should change your habitat?

Summer may be ending, but my desire to wear cute jumpsuits lives on and on.

Y'all. How hot does Valery look in this Grease-meets-goth outfit??

Basically every female character written by a man, ever.

Whether you're familiar with Rupi Kaur or not, this profile is a must-read.

I have such a huge crush on these flats and can't decide what color I want! Black? Blush? Help?

I've been searching for a perfect cauliflower and leek soup recipe for what feels like years and then A Beautiful Mess just randomly publishes one and OMG I can't wait to make it.

Rachel dropped 10 truth bombs about fashion blogging.

So many ruffle sweaters, so little time!

A little wishlist: this blush sweater, this leather wrap skirt, these printed tie-waist pants, this vegan backpack, and this classic midi skirt.

link love

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pants: Zara // tank: Old Navy // shoes No.6 c/o Shopbop // bag: Mar y Sol c/o Shopbop

photos by Chelsea Francis

As much as I've been not wanting to blog (or even open my computer...) lately, I've been dying to share this outfit with y'all! It's currently my front-runner for favorite outfit of the year and I've been wearing the entire thing on repeat since the end of August. I mentioned last month that I'm shaking up my personal style ID from playfully classic, and this look perfectly captures how I want to dress every day. It's colorful, it's comfortable, and it's chic, so until I come up with something more succinct, that's my new style ID!

Luckily for me, that new style translates perfectly to the airport, a place I spent a ton of time in September. Airports basically call for an elastic waist and I appreciate that these pants provide that in such a stylish manner. I also love that when I got off the plane, I didn't feel like I needed to run and change before anyone saw me because I already looked like myself!

I've been searching far and wide for more pants like this and found a ton on ASOS that I can't wait to buy in every color. In case you're also obsessed, here's some pretty pairs you can shop. P.S. Which color should I get? I have the teal pair in my cart, but I can't decide!

What's your go-to airport outfit?

airport chic

october small goals

Welcome, October! September felt like both a long and short month, mostly because I was traveling for half of it. I spent the first week of the month in Palm Springs and Joshua Tree on a bit of an impromptu vacation, while last week was spent in the mountains outside of Asheville, North Carolina for work. I'm having some serious summer camp-esque homesickness from my work trip at the moment! I miss waking up to all the amazing people at The Photo Rehab conference in our shared camp. Being around 50+ creative souls was exactly what I needed. In last month's small goals post, I mentioned feeling exhausted and unmotivated. I don't yet feel cured of my lethargy, but I think my goals this month will move me towards that path.

Before getting into my October goals, here's how I did in September:

1. Enjoy my freaking vacation | Done! All my travel in September got me a little behind on blogging, but would y'all still want a little Palm Springs and Joshua Tree recap post?
2. Go to the gym every week that I'm in Austin | Not quite. I actually only went once in September, but I blame it on adjusting from jet lag the week I came back from California. I wanted to go to the gym, but I wanted sleep more!
3. Choose a new Personal Style ID | Done-ish. I came up with a new ID that I think fits better, but I'm not totally in love with it yet, so this is a work in progress. My new (if temporary) ID: colorful comfy chic. More on this soon!
4. Drink more water | I knew I would inevitably forget about one goal, and this was the one! Traveling makes drinking enough water tough. Womp womp.
5. Do one big marketing push for FGDB | Done-ish! This goal actually ended up being about planning something fun for October rather than September, but I blame that on travel. I'll share more about what I've got planned below!

3/5 isn't bad for a month where I was only home 1/2 the month! Here's what's on deck for October:

1. Host my first Feel Good, Dress Better panel | I'm super excited to share that I've partnered with ESPEROS SOHO and four of my favorite female business owners for an event all about how FGDB can help women improve their businesses by investing in their closets! The event, called Feel Good, Dress Like a Boss, will take place on October 17 from 6-8 at ESPEROS SOHO on 2nd St. You can get all the deets and RSVP here!
2. Go back to therapy | It's been just over a year since I took a break from therapy, but I've decided it's time to go back. I'm going on three or so months of feeling the way I do, both as far as being unmotivated and in terms of struggling with my self-esteem, and I know that therapy can help me with both of these things. I actually started feeling better as soon as I made the decision to go back, so I'm looking forward to setting up some appointments and finding the right therapist for my current needs! 
3. Scale back on blogging a bit | Ugh, this one is so tough, but I think it's something I need to do. I've actually been considering taking a whole month off due to burnout, but I don't think I'm ready to be away for a whole month yet. Instead, you'll see me a little less here and on social this month so I can both spend more time promoting the workbook and just enjoying my life offline.
4. Get back into Poshmark | I took a little Poshmark break while I was traveling, but have a ton of stuff to list! I've got a bunch of fall stuff I've been waiting to post once it got a little more seasonably appropriate, so stay tuned for that by following me on Poshmark!
5. Upgrade our bed | This has been a birthday bucket list goal of mine for a couple of years and I'm SO excited that it's finally happening! I had no idea that Wayfair sold mattresses until one of my coworkers bought one last month. I've had a lot of luck with the quality of their other products and my coworker is super happy with the mattress she bought, so we're going that route for both a new mattress and bed. All I can say is it's about damn time!

Your turn! Add your October small goals below either in the comments or by joining the link-up!

october | small goals

event of the season

Raise your hand if you've been itching to do a little fall shopping! Thanks to my ongoing partnership with Shopbop, I get to tell you about one of my favorite sales a day early. If you've followed along with this blog for a while, then you'll remember this sale from last year. Shopbop's Event of the Season sale provides 20% off of orders $500 and 25% off of orders over $500 using code EOTS17. The sale includes both full-price and sale items, and this year, you can shop the sale through September 29th at 11:59 PM PST.

So, what should you shop during this sale? My recommendation: denim! Jeans are one of those things I've found is worth spending the extra money on, so why not shop all at once and get some savings while you're at it? Before you head off to shop, here are my four favorite denim brands at the moment and why you should consider adding a pair to your cart during the sale.


Known for being super soft, these jeans are as comfy as they are flattering. On two separate occasions, I have stopped women in public to ask about their perfect-looking jeans only to find out they were Mother brand. If you've been looking for jeans with perfect distressing or ankle fraying, check Mother out!

mother jeans


Looking for a classic pair of jeans for every day? AG is your brand for quality denim, classic cuts, and unfaltering color. Note that these run a little big because of stretch!

ag jeans
Paige Denim is feminine, fashion-forward, and hella flattering. I like that there's really a style for everyone, whether you're shopping for flares, distressed, super skinny, vintage-inspired, or boyfriend fit.

paige denim
High Rise Sarah Straight Jeans // Hoxton Transcend Cropped Jeans // Hoxton Transcend Vintage Ankle Jeans

What do you look for in a pair of jeans? Be sure to grab a pair (or two) during this week's sale! Check the deets below:

shopbop event of the season

shopbop's event of the season | what to shop

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top: Lush via Nordstrom // skirt: c/o Madewell // shoes: Madewell // purse: Steven Alan c/o Shopbop // necklace: The Land of Salt

photos by Chelsea Francis

If you live anywhere like Austin, fall weather is still at least a month out. To combat the heat and start enjoying sweater weather in my soul, I like to play my favorite fall albums around this time every year to get into the season. It's like playing Christmas music, but less jarring! Whether you're looking for something to snuggle up to this fall or you're sipping an iced pumpkin spice latte and pretending it's seasonally appropriate, these albums are the perfect soundtrack for the rest of September.

1. I'm Alone, No You're Not - Joseph
2. Emotion - Carly Rae Jepsen
3. Pure Heroine - Lorde
4. American Football - American Football
5. From Under the Cork Tree - Fall Out Boy
6. Heavier Things - John Mayer
7. The Execution of All Things - Rilo Kiley
8. Ivy Tripp - Waxahatchee
9. The Con - Tegan and Sara
10. Heartstrings - Leighton Meester

What are your favorite fall albums?

P.S. Here's a playlist with a few songs from each album if that's more your style!

my favorite fall albums

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