austin fashion blogger writes like a girl gingham asos dress1 austin fashion blogger writes like a girl gingham asos dress2 austin fashion blogger writes like a girl gingham asos dress3 austin fashion blogger writes like a girl gingham asos dress4 austin fashion blogger writes like a girl gingham asos dress5 austin fashion blogger writes like a girl gingham asos dress6 austin fashion blogger writes like a girl gingham asos dress7 austin fashion blogger writes like a girl gingham asos dress12 austin fashion blogger writes like a girl gingham asos dress13 austin fashion blogger writes like a girl gingham asos dress14
dress: ASOS // purse: c/o Pink Haley Handbags // shoes: Loft (very similar) // earrings: Gudbling


Oh hey, I turned 27 yesterday! And this is what I wore! When I spotted this dress on ASOS, I knew it would make a great birthday dress because it's equally festive -- I mean, just look at those ruffles -- and easy to wear again. Plus, it was perfect for my day of fun and low-key activities: pizza eating, craft fair shopping, margarita drinking, and ice cream enjoying. What, you don't spend your birthday eating all your favorite foods? One of us is doing birthdays wrong, and I don't think it's me!

Because this birthday girl loves goals, I'm celebrating with a look back on the 27 goals I set for my 26th year.

27 before 27 - recap

12/27 doesn't sound very impressive, but I did so many cool things this year! The big ones are definitely leaving the state, the speaking opportunities, and, of course, the workbook! I'm also so glad I decided to set out to paint something once a month, to sell clothes on Poshmark (upcoming post on this!), and to get quarterly massages. I plan on keeping up with the massages for sure! Who knew my perfect white button down would have a cat collar or that our guest room would become our podcast studio?

As for the things I didn't do...there are a few overarching reasons why:

A. I started and didn't finish. This applies to the enamel pin (designed but never produced), visiting three beaches (only one), watching the Best Picture nominees (saw five out of nine), and cooking five new recipes (stopped counting, but I think I only did three or four).

B. My circumstances changed: I meant to bring baked goods to work but then we started working from home; I thought my car was almost paid off but I had another year.

C. I was focusing on other things or forgot about it entirely: pretty much everything else.

Overall, I'm really proud of what I did accomplish. I advanced myself personally and professionally in exciting new ways during my 26th year. Even with the setbacks -- and there were some major ones (Dago's injury, both of our mothers' health issues, the passing of my grandmother) -- I'll look back on 26 as a good year.

Here's to hoping 27 is even better, more fruitful, and more fun! Stay tuned because I'll be sharing my goals for this year tomorrow!

birthday dress

austin fashion blogger writes like a girl white eyelet skirt10 austin fashion blogger writes like a girl white eyelet skirt1 austin fashion blogger writes like a girl white eyelet skirt9 austin fashion blogger writes like a girl white eyelet skirt8 austin fashion blogger writes like a girl white eyelet skirt11 austin fashion blogger writes like a girl white eyelet skirt3 austin fashion blogger writes like a girl white eyelet skirt7 austin fashion blogger writes like a girl white eyelet skirt4 austin fashion blogger writes like a girl white eyelet skirt5 austin fashion blogger writes like a girl white eyelet skirt2tank: Old Navy // skirt: J.Crew Factory (this season's version) // shoes: Kate Spade c/o Shopbop (more Kate Spade flats) // clutch: Old Navy (very similar) // necklace: vintage


Remember this skirt? I bought it last year during Memorial Day weekend and was sure I was going to wear it a ton. A white eyelet skirt is something that had been on my wishlist forever, something I reached for all the time that I didn't have in my closet, and yet something that I just didn't end up wearing all that much. What gives?

With my recent style shift, I've been going through my skirts and selling several on Poshmark. I was initially ready to let this skirt go, but decided to give it another chance. It's spring, almost summer, now -- what better time to rock a little white and eyelet?

I'm super glad I decided to hold onto it because this outfit has opened my eyes to all the options this eyelet skirt really holds! This new color combo also has me excited to shake things up a bit. The coral necklace is yet another gem I inherited from my grandmother's collection.  And the touch of gold? Not to toot my own horn, but I'm pretty proud of this outfit as a whole!

Love the look of this skirt? I rounded up a few similar white midi skirts below!

coral and chartreuse

writes like a girl morning routine

Has anyone else noticed morning routines become a bit of a buzzword lately? Everybody seems to have one or wants to know how to get one. I'm not a morning person, so having a routine wasn't really of interest to me (though maybe it should have been? Maybe that's the point?). However, now that I have one, I kind of get the hype!

My morning routine just sort of happened upon me, but I thought I'd share the two things I just can't seem to stop doing every day!

No. 1: Daily Tarot Pull


If you follow along with my monthly small goal posts, then you know that last month I made a habit of doing a daily tarot reading for myself. I started off with pulling three cards each morning, but it honestly became a little time consuming and I wasn't getting as much out of it. Now, I pull one card every day. First, I shuffle the deck. Since the deck is so big, I split it in half and then in half again to shuffle. I like that this is both more effective in actually shuffling (not a talent of mine) and in keeping my full attention for a few moments completely void of screens. Flow activities were an important part of my self-care back in my hotline work days, and I've been loving this small return to that. 

Anyway, so I shuffle until I feel ready, and then I choose the first card on top of the deck. The question I keep in mind is "What do I need to know about today?" I use the Goddess Tarot Deck (here), which has different meanings for the Major Arcana than a traditional deck. I always have the guidebook handy because I definitely haven't learned all of the Major and Minor Arcana. I read a little about the story behind the card, but my main focus is the meaning of the card. I take a few moments to meditate on how the meaning of the card answers my question. 

In an ideal world, I'd also journal about that meditation and meaning, but honestly I write for my job and for this blog, and journaling on top of that sometimes feels like too much. However, my friend Maggie is doing a cool thing where she has a specific notebook she writes in during her daily card pull to keep track of things like trends in what cards she pulls and how they're affecting her day-to-day and long-term goals. (Read more about her process here!) She's the best and I wish I could be that diligent!

I thought it would be fun to give an example of a card and how I interpreted them into my day. Yesterday's card was XII - SACRIFICE - KUAN YIN. This is a Major Arcana card (The Hanged Man in the traditional deck). Kuan Yin, I learned, is thought of as the holy mother of compassion and mercy. Basically, in Chinese culture, she is said to have been so compassionate and merciful in her life that she was turned into a goddess when she reached heaven. The keywords that go along with this card are Compassion, Surrender, and Patience and the meaning has to do both with empathy and with sacrifice in order to gain enlightenment or to surrender to higher goals. My meditation had to do mostly with being a good listener. It was a Monday morning and I was tired, but I wanted to make an effort to hear out anyone I came across in my daily interactions. I may have tasks or small goals I want to accomplish for the day, but if I was faced with choosing between my own want and someone else's need, I should do my best to help them reach their goal.

One thing I do want to note is that my deck also mentions a "reverse" meaning for each card. This applies to cards that are flipped upside-down when they're pulled and tends to instruct an opposite meaning. In the case of yesterday's card, the reverse meaning is to avoid pain for gain and refers to the focus of materialism to the detriment of spirituality. These alternate meanings can give a little more context to a card, but after talking to a master tarot reader while I was in New Orleans about it, I personally don't take a lot of stock in the reverse meaning. Plus, I think turning an upside-down card has more to do with me being a bad shuffler than anything else. ;)

No. 2: Harvest Moon Tonic

I am probably most excited about this part of my daily routine! One of my oldest blog friends Lindy Callahan reached out to me last month about a new venture she started and it's just about the coolest thing ever. Lindy's family has live and farmed in the same Utah county since the 1850s and she was recently inspired to start a micro flower farm of her own called Harvest Moon Flora. Out of this farm came a line of natural skin care products, beginning with floral tonic sprays she brews herself! Lindy is a nature-loving licensed aesthetician, and I couldn't be prouder of her for finding the perfect career move!

Lindy was sweet enough to send me a tonic to try, and I'll be honest, I had no idea what a tonic was. I chose the Bergamot Spark tonic after reading that its combo of green tea and Bergamot (a citrus fruit, I learned) has a grounding, energizing affect. I'll be honest here and say that my night routine is even less eventful than my morning one used to be (I'm lucky if I run a makeup wipe across my face before I go to sleep - yes, I keep them next to my bed). I thought it was much more likely I would actually use a spray in the morning, when I wake up at the same time every day, than at night.

I'm proud to say that I have been STOKED to use my tonic every morning! In fact, it's made me do a better job taking my makeup off at night so I have a fresh face to spray in the morning. Not only does it help me feel focused and ready to start working, but I've absolutely noticed a difference in my skin! My face feels tighter and brighter. I have combo dry/oily skin, but overall I can tell that my dry spots are less dry and I don't get as oily as quickly. Plus, it obvi smells great.

You can learn more about Harvest Moon's floral tonics here, all about the incredible flower farm here, and about Lindy herself here! (Note: Lindy did send me a tonic to try, but I put together this post of my own volition and all of these opinions are my own!)

What does your morning routine entail? Or, for that matter, your night routine? Now that I'm a routine person, I'm interested to know what others do and what I should consider adding to mine!

2 ways i've updated my morning routine

austin fashion blogger writes like a girl old navy culottes1 austin fashion blogger writes like a girl old navy culottes2 austin fashion blogger writes like a girl old navy culottes6 austin fashion blogger writes like a girl old navy culottes16 austin fashion blogger writes like a girl old navy culottes13 austin fashion blogger writes like a girl old navy culottes14 austin fashion blogger writes like a girl old navy culottes17 austin fashion blogger writes like a girl old navy culottes5 austin fashion blogger writes like a girl old navy culottes8 austin fashion blogger writes like a girl old navy culottes18
tank: Old Navy // culottes: Old Navy // backpack: c/o ESPEROS // clogs: Lotta from Stockholm via Poshmark // necklace: vintage


One of my favorite pages in Feel Good, Dress Better (launching June 8!!!!) is an activity where you answer some questions about your personal style icons. The women you follow on Instagram, pin photos of to your outfit inspiration board, and look to for ideas when getting dressed in the morning. When I did the activity myself, I was happy to analyze the style of my friend Laurel.

Laurel Kinney is an Austin-based personal stylist whose style I've followed for years (like, a really long time). We ran in adjacent circles, but while I was still a broke college kid, she was building a successful business sharing her fashion expertise with the people of our fair city. It wasn't until this time last year that we actually met in person, one-on-one, for the first time. I think I wore a blazer, a signature piece in most of her outfits, to our coffee date.

Before meeting Laurel in person, her style intimidated me a little. She leans a little androgynous with her outfit choices and wears fashion-forward silhouettes that are much more front-row-at-fashion-week than found-this-at-the-mall. I was enamored with her look, but only from afar. At the time, it didn't feel accessible or "me."

After getting to know Laurel, I found so much more playfulness in her style. Her clothing isn't overly serious, it's tailored but comfortable. Laurel is full of laughter and silliness (her Insta stories are a must-watch) and, from my view, she seems to value finding ease in everything. That ease, that playfulness -- that was something I could get behind.

I started to think of ways to add Laurel's "tailored ease" to my "playfully classic" style. The two actually complement each other well, so I started looking for specific pieces that fit into both categories. As soon as spring rolled around, wide-legged cropped pants and culottes moved to the top of my must-find list. I've long dismissed people who said skinny jeans are over (they're so universal and they have their place in nearly every woman's closet, so I just don't think we're all going to make the transition to flare jeans anytime soon), but I became interested in shaking things up in the pants department.

I know this feels like a long story that ends with some Old Navy pants, but I'm always interested in hearing from women how they form their personal style, how it ebbs and flows. I've been in a style shift lately and, while I still completely identify with my playfully classic personal style identity, I'm exploring what that means.

This outfit doesn't have a defined waist. It actually doesn't have much of a defined anything, other than the racer-front treatment on the straps (a favorite of mine!). A year ago, this outfit wouldn't have felt like something I could wear. Now, wearing it makes me feel playful and classic and like I run this town (I don't, but still). When I walk into a coffee shop and someone I know says "hey," I feel like maybe other people think I'm important because I'm dressed like I might be. And, more importantly, I'm carrying myself like I am.

Who are your personal style icons? What pieces have intimidated you but you're excited to try anyway?

P.S. I highly recommend signing up for Laurel's newsletter! It's my favorite one I get to my inbox and I always learn something cool from her. Obvi this post isn't sponsored by her at all, but I'd be remiss not to share it!

personal style icons

linklove0511

Happy Friday! I hope you had an awesome week! I felt like I was attached to my planner this week, either checking to see where I needed to be next or jotting down brunch dates, mixers, and panels throughout the next month. May is crazy busy for me, but I'm loving every minute of it so far! Likewise, I'm loving these links and thought I'd share them with you!

My girl Priya leveled up her blogging game with a brand new site + URL! Also, how cute are her jeans?

If you're not sure how to feel about Coach buying Kate Spade, Courtney flawlessly breaks down why it's totally okay.

Stop everything - Ban.do teamed up with Starbucks for a collection of drinkware.

I want to copy this outfit ASAP!

Everything you need for a perfect Memorial Day weekend.

Do you rock white jeans? I'm skeptical about them on me, but this outfit and this other outfit have me reconsidering!

Sweet Fran went wedding gown shopping and said "yes" to the dress!

One of my favorite things about summer? Straw bags.

3 ways to up your Pinterest game today!

With my 27th birthday just around the corner, I loved reading the 28 things Chelsea learned in her 28th year.

Such a cute gift for recent grads!

A little wishlist: these navy mules, these chunky sequin drop earrings, this striped tee, these gingham shorts, and this vintage-inspired dress.

link love

madewell favorites

I have been having a major Madewell moment lately. Of course it's a favorite brand that kills it at having a clear aesthetic and quality pieces, but I haven't found myself loving past collections as much as I am this season. Strangely, it wasn't until I started putting this post together that I realized it. Duh, Nicole, everything Madewell put out recently is in your personal color story. See what I mean?
Oooo-wee, that's a whole lot of pretty! Stripes and gingham, ruffles and ties, and all the pretty muted colors I could ask for. It's safe to say I want it all! I've already mentioned that the chambray midi is next on my to-buy list, but then I discovered the gingham bell sleeve blouse, the rusty pink ruffled blouse, and the little tie-back sundress...and it's safe to say my bank account is in trouble. Also, I just ordered a pair of wide-leg cropped pants from Gap, but if they don't work I'm definitely going to give this Madewell pair a try!

What do you think of these pretties from Madewell? What's in your cart right now?

in my cart | madewell favorites

austin fashion blogger writes like a girl asos cold shoulder gingham dress11 austin fashion blogger writes like a girl asos cold shoulder gingham dress2 austin fashion blogger writes like a girl asos cold shoulder gingham dress3 austin fashion blogger writes like a girl asos cold shoulder gingham dress5 austin fashion blogger writes like a girl asos cold shoulder gingham dress9 austin fashion blogger writes like a girl asos cold shoulder gingham dress7 austin fashion blogger writes like a girl asos cold shoulder gingham dress10 austin fashion blogger writes like a girl asos cold shoulder gingham dress13 austin fashion blogger writes like a girl asos cold shoulder gingham dress15
dress: ASOS // shoes: No.6 c/o Shopbop (exact) // backpack: c/o ESPEROS // necklace: vintage // sunnies: Forever 21 (similar)

photos by Chelsea Laine Francis

Since we've started working at home, I extra appreciate the couple days a month when we all get together. Of course I enjoy catching up with everyone while we co-work, but I also like that I have an excuse to get a little dressed up on a weekday! I work with some super well-dressed women and I think we all use seeing each other as an excuse to show off our favorite new outfits (or maybe that's just me...).

I had planned on wearing this outfit for one of our meetings a couple weeks back, but then this ASOS dress came in the mail and I was too excited to wait to wear it. It was an unexpectedly long day that included a morning coffee shop meeting, two different Mexican restaurants, and a walk around a nearby neighborhood for some filming. I felt adorable all day long (AKA the goal), but when I got home I discovered that I had an intense sunburn on each shoulder -- in the shape of the cold shoulder sleeves. *Insert several laughing while crying emojis here*

Dago, being ever the comedian he is, was sure to chime in with a "those don't look like cold shoulders to me" joke. Luckily, the burns had mostly faded by the time we had this photo shoot, but if you notice what looks like large and oddly-placed bruises on my shoulders in any upcoming posts, that would be why!

I don't know if I'll add another cold shoulder item to my closet (only time will tell), but I have already bought another ASOS gingham dress. It'll be hitting the blog soon, so stay tuned for that!

A sizing note about this dress: It has exceptionally tight sleeves! I ordered the US8 and the US10 just because I know sizing, especially in sleeves, is often an issue for me. The 8 fit well everywhere else, but I could barely get the sleeves on and off my arms, so I went with the 10. Y'all know I love that blousey/smocked fit, so I'm happy with the 10! I also linked to some more gingham dresses below since the remaining sizes are limited in this one.


what they don't tell you about cold shoulders

27 birthday wishlist
one | two | three | four

Oh hey it's almost that time! I randomly put together a birthday wishlist for the blog last year, mostly just to have some easy content, but then EVERYONE I know told me they were stoked I did (and like several people bought me things from it?), so I decided to do it again! While I don't expect anyone to buy me any of these, I recognize that I can be a tad hard to shop for because I usually just buy whatever I have my eye on!

Even though all of these things are $50 or under, all of these are things I've left in my online shopping cart instead of pulling the trigger on. I think being a style blogger has gotten me stuck in a clothes-only shopping habit, but looking back maybe I've always been that way. I don't own a ton of jewelry or accessories because I never think to buy it for myself. I own very little makeup, and all of it can be found at Walgreens or Target. Do you know that I've never owned an eyeshadow palette? All of this is silly because I'd get way more wear out of makeup or accessories than I would a pretty skirt. Here I thought I was making a birthday wishlist and now I'm rethinking all my shopping habits!

Anyway, if you are a person who happened to be thinking of getting me something for my birthday, but didn't know what to get *cough Dago, my parents cough*, I hope this list is helpful!

Do you tend to buy more clothes or makeup and accessories? If you've got a birthday coming up, what's on your wishlist?

P.S. Do you think I have a favorite color or...?

birthday wishlist

TW: This post mentions an eating disorder and discusses eating disorder recovery.

austin fashion blogger writes like a girl black and white summer non-denim shorts1austin fashion blogger writes like a girl black and white summer non-denim shorts2 austin fashion blogger writes like a girl black and white summer non-denim shorts3 austin fashion blogger writes like a girl black and white summer non-denim shorts4 austin fashion blogger writes like a girl black and white summer non-denim shorts5 austin fashion blogger writes like a girl black and white summer non-denim shorts6 austin fashion blogger writes like a girl black and white summer non-denim shorts7
shirt: Madewell c/o Shopbop (exact) // shorts: Anthropologie (similarsimilar, similar) // shoes: J.Crew Factory // bag: Old Navy (similar)


For the first time since 2012, I fit in all my shorts from last summer. The last five summers have meant starting completely over when it came to my warm weather wardrobe (something I wear 75% of the year here in Austin). I mentioned last week that I'm at my heaviest weight ever, but I seem to finally have plateaued. In a pleasant surprise, it's allowed me to finally feel comfortable in my body.

One of the things they don't tell you when you recover from an eating disorder is how much weight you're likely to gain when you, you know, start eating again. My body has changed so drastically over the last five years that the body I used to have doesn't even feel like mine anymore. It took me a long time to stop thinking about that body in terms of something I could have again, or that I even wanted. It wasn't that it was a "bad" body, but it was a body that existed only in a state of sickness and that's what had to change.

And change it did. Going from a size 0 to 10 in just a couple of years meant my clothes weren't fitting anymore by the end of nearly every season, much less the next year. I am so happy to be where I am at a size 10-12 simply because I've gotten to know my body and actually enjoy the clothes I wear for more than a few outings. There are so many variable that lead to negative body image, but certainly seeing it change drastically in a relatively short period of time doesn't help.

I realize this post feels a little heavy, but I thought it was important to share for a couple of reasons. First, to celebrate the fact that I'm loving the body I'm in now, because that's as powerful a statement as it is a feeling. Second, because, like I said, not a lot of people talk about what happens in the years you spend recovering from disordered eating. If I can be one voice chiming into that conversation, I can hope to help someone feel less alone in their own experience.

Cheers to cute shorts, self-love, and taking care of our bodies!

P.S. See how I wore these shorts three ways last summer here and another black and white summer outfit here!

last summer's shorts

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