July was a whirlwind! Anyone else feel that way? I was up, I was down, and, of course, I was shopping. As always, I'm linking up with Fran and the budgeting bloggers to share my monthly shopping budget! A couple major shopping-related themes this month: my participation in the ModCloth #StyleforAll campaign included a gift card and the Nordstrom Anniversary sale took place this month. All of this to say, many more pieces came home with me than usual. Here's what's happily joined my closet:

What I Bought

  what i bought in july

Lush Ruffle Bell Sleeve Blouse - $31.90
Old Navy Double-Strap Sandals - $19.94
Old Navy Denim Button Down Shift Dress - $29.99 (not pictured, worn here)
Old Navy Grey Boyfriend Slub-Knit Pocket Tee - $12.99 (not pictured)
Banana Republic Fray-Hem Vintage Straight Jean - $78.50 (not pictured, worn here)
ModCloth Art Show Elements Vegan Heel by BC Footwear via ModCloth - $79.99 gift card used
Collectif Upbeat Afternoon Romper via ModCloth - $49.99 gift card used
ModCloth Aglow in the Moment A-Line Dress - $79.99 gift card used
ModCloth Into the Idea Tank Top - $39.99 gift card used
Pepaloves Ceaseless Satisfaction Top via ModCloth - $44.99 gift card used
ModCloth Bookstore's Best A-Line Skirt - $39.99 gift card used
Charlotte Russe Pocket Button-Up Top - $18.99

Total Spent: $192.31
Total Earned on Poshmark: $36
Budget Spent: $156.31 (out of monthly $250) = $93.69 under budget


Instead of breaking down every item, I'm going to break down by store!

Nordstrom: I looked through every.single.page of the Nordstrom anniversary sale and only found one piece of clothing I really, really wanted: this Lush ruffle sleeve blouse. I have a feeling I'm going to wear this a ton in the fall winter - with jeans, under my chambray pinafore, with skirts - so stoked! I bought it in a large, but could have almost definitely gotten a medium.

Old Navy: I went to Old Navy in person twice this month and managed to only pick up a couple of things! I'm wearing both the dress and sandals in this post, both of which have already become closet MVPs. The striped tee is the same as this one I already own, only in grey, and it's my go-to tee to wear around the house.

Banana Republic: I actually bought these jeans at the very end of June and almost forgot to include them in my round-up, which is silly because I've worn them constantly this month! You can see them styled here. I wish they were as long as me as they are on the model, but otherwise they're exactly the vintage-y straight-leg jeans I was looking for. A little distressed, not overly tight in the waist, and a great color!

ModCloth: Okay, I know it looks like I went nuts at ModCloth, and that's because I did. I planned on saving part of my gift card for fall/winter, knowing I'd have plenty on my wishlist then, and then a couple of sales happened and there were so many things I wanted, so I just went for it. All of these things will be on the blog soon, so I'll just give a quick and dirty: I've worn the lemonade dress twice already to various summer events, which is exactly what I bought it for. Click through to see the back, which is the BEST part. The floral romper is super cute, though the fit is kind of odd in that it feels like it was made for my body and my body only? The torso/crotch ratio literally just barely fits on my frame, so if your torso is any longer than mine, there's going to be trouble. I couldn't resist the happy little striped shirt and every time I wear it, I get tons of compliments. The black tank has a real cute back and is the perfect little "going out" top. Last, but not least, the mauve skirt is the same as this one I already own, but solid instead of floral!

Charlotte Russe: I was actually doing some online shopping scouting for someone else when I discovered this perfect sleeveless white button down! I ordered it in both a medium and large and ended up keeping the large. I've worn it several days in a row now (sh! Don't tell!) and it goes with everything.

While I don't count them in my shopping budget, I did want to share a few other items I bought in case you've been looking for similar things! I picked up these three Natori bras (one, two, three) from Nordstrom (before the sale, unfortunately) and this robe (I'm obsessed) and three pairs of these high-waisted undies during the sale.

What I Received

what i received july
I received a few goodies this month from brands who support this blog! Using my Shopbop credit, I picked up this Steven Alan blush crossbody bag and this delicate rose gold Shashi necklace. Whether you've followed this blog for a week or a year, then you've seen me wear my pick tassel earrings from Gudbling. This month, the Berlin-based designed gifted me a couple more pairs to add to my rotation. I chose these pastel tassels and this unique neutral pair. Get ready to see all of these pieces on the blog soon, as I'm basically obsessed with every one!

Okay! That's it for me this month. Tell me what you bought in July and be sure to check out the other budgeting bloggers!

what i bought in july

austin fashion blogger writes like a girl bell sleeves floral shorts2 austin fashion blogger writes like a girl bell sleeves floral shorts5 austin fashion blogger writes like a girl bell sleeves floral shorts10 austin fashion blogger writes like a girl bell sleeves floral shorts8 austin fashion blogger writes like a girl bell sleeves floral shorts12 austin fashion blogger writes like a girl bell sleeves floral shorts7 austin fashion blogger writes like a girl bell sleeves floral shorts1 austin fashion blogger writes like a girl bell sleeves floral shorts22 austin fashion blogger writes like a girl bell sleeves floral shorts17 austin fashion blogger writes like a girl bell sleeves floral shorts21 austin fashion blogger writes like a girl bell sleeves floral shorts19
top: Madewell // shorts: thrifted (similar) // shoes: Moorea Seal (similar) // purse: STRUT (similar) // earrings: Gudbling

photos by Chelsea Francis

Can you believe I almost left these shorts at the secondhand store? They were so comfy and I felt like they were cute on, but the line was so long and customer service was so awful that I nearly just left them on a rack (along with these shorts that I'm now obsessed with!). In fact, I'd brought a giant bag of goodies and they only offered me like $17 for them, so I really wasn't inclined to spend more money there. Let me tell you - I am so glad I kept my cool, stayed in line, and brought these shorts home because they are everything I've been dreaming of!

Last summer I shared a post wearing a pair of cute soft shorts, but unfortunately they didn't really come into rotation in my closet. They were too low-waisted, not long enough, not roomy enough. Honestly, if H&M had them in one size up, they probably would have been a dream! This summer, I hoped to find another pair that actually fit the bill. While these are structured in look and fit, I wanted an alternative pair that softer, looser, and a little more casual. 

I love that this thrifted pair can be dressed up or down! I've traveled in them, paired with a navy tank top and sandals, and I've also been out to dinner in them styled like this. They work especially well as a swimsuit cover-up too!

Have you lucked out during any recent thrift store trips? I always love y'all's styling ideas - how would you wear these shorts?

bell sleeves and bow ties

linklove0719

Happy Friday! Just a few hours until I head to Waco for a quick day trip at the Magnolia Silos (any Fixer Upper fans out there?). Then on Sunday, I'm celebrating ModCloth's 15th birthday with fun brunch, workbook reading, and shopping party at the downtown Austin store. If you're local, RSVP here (totally free!) and come check it out!

The perfect coffee shop outfit.

And the perfect plant shop outfit!

Alissa shared the best Madewell picks for curvy girls - AKA the post the whole internet has been waiting for!

Headed to the beach? Check out Kimi's packing list from her Florida Keys trip!

Do you have a friend that, much as you love them, they take more from you emotionally than they give? This article can help.

These "correct names" for everyday items had me in stitches.

Major fall trend alert: velvet shoes. Time to break out the scotch guard, ladies!

Are you familiar with microneedling? Fran detailed her experience with this unique skincare journey and I learned so much!

10 simple habits that will improve your life - straight from a wellness expert.

We've reached that point of the season where there's still lots of summer left but swimwear is on sale!

Got wanderlust? Check out these 15 travel bloggers of color you really should be following.

Art nerds will love this wishlist.

I'll take one of each, please!

A lil weekend-themed wishlist: mock-neck tank, these precious ruffled shorts, these rainbow tassel earrings, a cute as heck ball cap, and this watermelon tee.

link love

austin style blogger writes like a girl madewell staycation striped tee8 austin style blogger writes like a girl madewell staycation striped tee1 austin style blogger writes like a girl madewell staycation striped tee13 austin style blogger writes like a girl madewell staycation striped tee18 austin style blogger writes like a girl madewell staycation striped tee7 austin style blogger writes like a girl madewell staycation striped tee9 austin style blogger writes like a girl madewell staycation striped tee17 austin style blogger writes like a girl madewell staycation striped tee4 austin style blogger writes like a girl madewell staycation striped tee16 austin style blogger writes like a girl madewell staycation striped tee3
tee: Madewell // jeans: Banana Republic // shoes: Old Navy // bandana: vintage (similar) // purse: vintage Coach via Pieceology Vintage

photos by Chelsea Francis

I have a hot take for you today: a staycation is all the best parts of a vacation without the work. No long drive or early flight, no living out of or lugging around a suitcase, no extensive planning or accommodation booking necessary. Simply turn on your email auto-response and turn off all post notifications - bam, vacation has begun! Sleep in late, go to all the places you never get around to visiting, have dinner at the slightly nicer Mexican food restaurant than the one you usually frequent. There's little I enjoy as much as playing tourist in my own town. I know I get pretty lucky calling Austin home, but I think any city, big or small, can be fun to experience as an outsider.

If you are feeling overwhelmed with all the work you have to do leading up to your vacation this summer (or all the work you'll have waiting for you when you come back), might I suggest a staycation? Heck, book an Airbnb and stay in someone else's house in your own town. So adventurous, y'all!

All of this to say - if anyone wants to take me to the beach, make all the plans while we're there, and answer my overflowing inbox when we return, I'm down for a vacation. 'Til then, I'm happy to take a vacation right here at home.

staycation, all i ever wanted

austin style blogger writes like a girl jcrew liberty floral shorts1 austin style blogger writes like a girl jcrew liberty floral shorts10 austin style blogger writes like a girl jcrew liberty floral shorts6 austin style blogger writes like a girl jcrew liberty floral shorts2 austin style blogger writes like a girl jcrew liberty floral shorts15 austin style blogger writes like a girl jcrew liberty floral shorts13 austin style blogger writes like a girl jcrew liberty floral shorts18 austin style blogger writes like a girl jcrew liberty floral shorts7 austin style blogger writes like a girl jcrew liberty floral shorts4 austin style blogger writes like a girl jcrew liberty floral shorts5
top: old Forever 21 (similar) // shorts: J.Crew // shoes: Moorea Seal (sold out, similar) // purse: STRUT (similar) // earrings: Kate Spade c/o Shopbop

photos by Chelsea Francis

The introvert vs. extrovert dialogue is as old as time (or at least as old as, say, 2014?). While I most accurately fit into the introvert camp (even over the much-discussed ambivert camp), there is actually another camp I'd like to throw in the ring. The most defining characteristic of the "-verts" is where you gain your energy - with people or by yourself - rather than how shy or social you tend to be. I definitely prefer to re-charge on my own, but if I'm being honest, it's small group interaction I most crave!

Nine times out of ten, if I'm feeling a slump coming on, spending time with 1-4 people is my favorite way to re-energize. Any larger group than that and I start feeling my anxiety pulling at my collar and that wave of exhaustion wash over me. I obviously love to be alone (since working from home, I sometimes go days at a time not seeing anyone but Dago), but it's easy for me to lose steam and long for the spark I get from company of just a few.

Does anyone else feel this way? Are you a fellow small group-vert?

small group-vert

linklove0713

Major news this week: Target will be discontinuing Merona and Mossimo in exchange for 12 new brands! (Including a gender-neutral kids' line!) It's been a long time since I've shopped at Target for clothes regularly, but this refresh may make me a frequent customer again!

I know it's way too early to think about transitional summer-to-fall outfits, which is why I'm pinning this one for later. (It's also totally perfect for working out of cold coffee shops!)

My pom-pom loving self is obsessed with this brand (how much do I need those pink espadrilles??).

Alissa is a curly-haired mermaid goddess of love and light and we do not deserve her. Oh, and she wrote a post about why she loves giving compliments. (Which is my favorite thing too! And I only bother when it's honest, so you know I mean it when I compliment you!)

Have you ever heard of a cake smash? It's a trend among children + family photographers, as well as new moms I suppose, where a baby is given a little cake of their own to destroy on their first birthday. This photographer set up a cake smash shoot for a very special 90-year-old woman and the photos are maybe the happiest thing I've ever seen!

The happiest thing I saw this week: 18 tweets about women supporting women.

Proof that even a gorgeous Bollywood actress struggles with body image, and a plea for all of us to show ourselves more love and grace to set an example for others.

Last weekend I took myself out for a bra fitting since it has been a couple of years. Thank goodness I did because I've gone up a cup size (my bras were getting so uncomfortable!) and I came home with three new Natori bras (one, two, three) that I'm obsessed with!

Caroline (and her co-host Lee) just started their 10x10 summer outfit challenge! I love the pieces and colors she chose this time around. I haven't done a remix challenge in a while, but always wonder if that's something y'all would be interested in seeing me do on the blog. Thoughts? Do you like to just see me re-wear things or would you be into seeing me style the same 10-ish pieces 10-ish ways?

I noticed the other day that my Old Navy tote has seen better days, so I'm thinking it's time to upgrade. I've always heard great things about the Madewell Transport Tote - but which is your favorite?

I loved Priya's recent post on her finally claiming blogging as her hobby. I think I'm actually in the minority for being open about my blog with family and friends from the get-to.

These Mar Y Sol bags are perfect for your next beach trip (the crossbody is my fav!).

Two great posts on culottes: one and two.

A little wishlist: this perfect striped dress (on sale!), this very cool tank top, this precious gingham flats, these festive statement earrings, these fabulous gold booties, and this totally romantic blouse.

link love

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If you follow ModCloth on Instagram, then you may have already heard - I got to model in their July #StyleforAll campaign! This month's shoot features movin' and shakin' women entrepreneurs and influencers of Austin (and one from Houston, too!), and somehow your girl was included? I didn't ask questions, showed up, got my makeup done, and got to play in a bunch of pretty clothes for a few hours in front of the camera!

170607_JulyCamp_P16591

But real talk, being included in #StyleforAll is a huge honor because it's about everything I stand for: believing women deserve to be stylish and celebrated at any and every size. The reason I became interested in ModCloth in the first place may have been their whimsical, vintage-inspired prints back when I was in college, but I've stuck around (through thick and thin) because they are a company that has pioneered size-inclusion in fashion. When others brands still don't seem to know what those words mean together, ModCloth has expanded the brands they carry and introduced a namesake line to offer more sizes than ever.

170607_JulyCamp_P16503 (1)

I've loved how often ModCloth comes to celebrate my city, too! Their one and only brick-and-mortar is located in Austin, I was fortunate to speak on a panel alongside the company's founder in that store about size-inclusivty in the fashion industry, and this entire #StyleforAll campaign is about showing off summer looks, Austin style. Having one of my favorite stores move in just down the street has been pretty awesome, I'll admit, and I have a big (Feel Good, Dress Better-related) collaboration to announce soon!

Check out my full #StyleforAll interview on being a body positive voice here and some of my favorite Austin must-sees, dos, and eats here!

Note: I did receive product compensation as part of this partnership, but all opinions are my own! Can't wait to share my new pieces with you soon!

#styleforall

austin fashion blogger writes like a girl red tank top3 austin fashion blogger writes like a girl red tank top2 austin fashion blogger writes like a girl red tank top17 austin fashion blogger writes like a girl red tank top5 austin fashion blogger writes like a girl red tank top6 austin fashion blogger writes like a girl red tank top1 austin fashion blogger writes like a girl red tank top7 austin fashion blogger writes like a girl red tank top14 austin fashion blogger writes like a girl red tank top15 austin fashion blogger writes like a girl red tank top11 austin fashion blogger writes like a girl red tank top16 top: Target (on clearance!) // shorts: thrifted Gap (similar) //sandals: Old Navy // bag: BohoBlue (similar) // earrings: Nina Berenato Jewelry

photos by Chelsea Francis

Summer vacation: a chance to finally relax, or a really crappy time to be triggered by negative body thinking? As much as you want to be able to let those thoughts go when you put on your swimsuit, go to dinner on the beach, and lay out by the pool, it's natural for them to creep in. Vacations often lead to indulging a little more than we're used to (as they should!) and we're not used to having our bodies so exposed. 

All of that said, I was surprised with how positive I felt about myself and my body while on my vacation to Port Aransas with Dago last month - so much so that I hopped on Instagram Live to share a few of the ways I helped put myself in the right mindset. In case you missed that video, I wanted to put the tips into writing here so you can refer to them for your own summer vacation.

1. Plan + pack outfits you feel good in as swimsuit cover-ups.


This tip actually spawned an entire post, but this really was one of the best things I did for myself! I like to feel put together (what? you didn't know?), so showing up somewhere in a gauzy cover-up or a pair of comfy shorts and a random cotton tank top was not going to help me feel ready to reveal my beach body. Instead, I thought about cute ways to wear my swimsuit with some of my favorite clothes - clothes that already make me feel cute and confident - so that my swimsuit felt as much like an outfit as anything else I wear. What you wear has a huge impact on how you feel (ahem...), so feeling good in your swimsuit and cover-up can help you have a positive mindset before ever stripping down for a dip.

2. Focus on making memories during your meals rather than how much (or little) you're eating.


As someone who struggled with disordered eating for years, I still have hang-ups around food from time to time. It's normal for your awareness of what you're eating to be heightened when your body is more exposed than usual while on vacation. To help combat this, I recommend focusing on everything else about the meal besides the food. Focus your attention on your company, your conversation, the atmosphere, even taking a pretty #foodstagram. There's no such thing as a "bad" meal - unless it tastes bad, of course - so don't even allow your brain space to judge your dinner choice or your decision to have dessert. When you head to the pool later for a late night swim, your mind will remember how much fun you had during dinner instead of the pasta, burger, etc. that's sitting in your stomach.

3. Bring something to read that grounds you in good body thoughts.


I actually got this tip from Instagram darling/body positive warrior Clare (@becomingbodypositive) who mentioned in her own Insta Live that she packs The Beauty Myth or other books on her own trips. I happened to have a book of poetry called Salt. with me at the beach, in which the perception of beauty is a major theme. I don't necessarily think your pool reads need to be intense body-related books, but bringing something that isn't a copy of a magazine with photoshopped models is definitely a good start. Any book that portrays women as strong and more than their bodies is a good one to have along in your beach bag, just in case you need to dive in for a quick distraction.


4. If you find yourself feeling anxious about how you look, observe the women around you and how few f@#%s they give about their bodies (or yours).


As I began to take my skirt off at the beach, revealing my swimsuit and body underneath, I felt vulnerable and exposed. That is, until I looked around and saw not a single person looking at me. The women around me were playing in the water with their children, laughing with friends, and reading books in the sunshine. And not one of them had a body without perceived imperfections. These women were out here living their lives, wearing swimsuits, and definitely not giving a damn what I looked like in mine. That was so empowering to me. If you start feeling anxious or filled with dread, look around and appreciate the bodies around you. Find your own "problem areas" on other people and see how normal and beautiful they are. Treat yourself with the same awe and kindness.

I'm curious how you stay body positive on vacation! Tell me where you're headed (or where you've been already) this summer and how you kept yourself in a body happy mindset!


body positive vacation tips

4 ways to be body positive while on vacation

Latest Instagrams

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