austin fashion blogger pom pom sweater8 austin fashion blogger pom pom sweater1 austin fashion blogger pom pom sweater13 austin fashion blogger pom pom sweater12 austin fashion blogger pom pom sweater16 austin fashion blogger pom pom sweater21 austin fashion blogger pom pom sweater2 austin fashion blogger pom pom sweater20 austin fashion blogger pom pom sweater10 austin fashion blogger pom pom sweater18 austin fashion blogger pom pom sweater9 austin fashion blogger pom pom sweater19
pom pom shirt: c/o SheIn // jeans: Gap // shoes: Madewell c/o Shopbop // lemon purse: c/o Pink Haley

photos by Chelsea Francis

Do you have friends who send you photos of clothes that remind them of you? Each and every time I get one of those texts, the item is brightly colored and printed (often in cats, if we're being honest). What can I say, I know what I like! Except, earlier this month I had a little bit of an existential crisis when it came to my personal style. I went into my NOLA trip thinking I'd packed for a cute four days, but got there and felt frumpy and conspicuous. Suddenly my go-to pattern mixing felt obnoxious and my colorful choices made me stand out among my group in a way I didn't like.

The second I got back to my own closet, I felt at home in my colors and prints and funky pieces. When I was in New Orleans, I think I was trying to fit in and pretend to dress like someone I wasn't -- someone who has a killer selection fancy solid colored blouses to wear out instead of a handful of gingham dresses and pom pom sweaters. If there's one area of my closet that's lacking, it's my going out clothes. I only need it a couple of times a year, but I always end up in a panic when the occasion arises and I have nothing appropriate to wear.

When SheIn reached out and asked me to pick an item to style, I considered adding a cute going out blouse to my closet (they have so many!!). And then I spotted this pom pom sweater that reminded me of Froot Loops and I couldn't seem to remember my objective. Ultimately, the poms won out, and I'm not mad about it!

So, if there's a moral to this story, it's to dress out loud. Whatever that means to you. Trying to fit into a style because you think it will make you a cooler/prettier/better person will only make you feel insecure, and the style you feel comfortable in is worth wearing with your whole heart on your sleeve. Or your pom pom. Those look pretty great on sleeves too.

dressing out loud

what to do and eat in new orleans

Ask and you shall receive! I went to New Orleans for a work retreat a couple of weeks back and had the best time. We had a great itinerary, thanks to both my boss and a few locals who made suggestions, so I thought I'd share the highlights from our four days there. 

what to eat in new orleans

TO EAT


NOLA Restaurant - This is Emeril Lagasse's (remember him? bam!) restaurant in the French Quarter. I was pretty young during Emeril's heyday on TV, but I do recall my dad using a lot of his Cajun spices, so he must be some kind of New Orleans food expert, right? After eating here, I can confidently say YES to that. This was one of the best meals I've ever had. The seafood was impeccable and the pasta was made fresh to melt right in your dang mouth. (I should review food more often, right?) Get the mac n' cheese. Just do it.

Butcher - From their website: "It's a butcher shop, a sandwich counter, and a wine bar." All of those things are true, and they're all delicious. Everything from the sides to the cocktails to the meat-focused sandwiches were excellent. Honestly one of the best sandwiches I've ever had and I want to go back right now.

St. James Cheese Company - If you visit a city and don't go to a cheese shop, did you even go there? We stopped here on our way to lunch (what else do you do before eat besides eat?) and asked the nice guy behind the counter for a round of mimosas and to surprise us with some cheese and meats. They did a great job choosing -- everything was delicious. It's also real cute in there and has great light for Instagrams. The important things.

Hotel Monteleone Carousel Bar & Lounge - One of the things I really hoped we had a chance to do was go to the carousel bar in the French Quarter. It totally lived up to my expectations of being equal parts adorable vintage aesthetic and fancy-pants crowd. I ordered something outrageous  with milk in it -- yes, a milk cocktail. Worth it. Yes, by the way, the carousel totally (slowly) spins.

Irish Coffee Milkshakes at Molly's At The Market - If you've been walking around the French Quarter for a few hours and find yourself with low blood sugar, head over to Decatur Street for Irish coffee milkshakes. Ours came in little plastic cups and I probably could have had five of them. Which is great because they're only like $2 a piece.


what to do in new orleans

TO DO


Lord Chaz's Ghost and Vampire Tour - The absolute highlight of our trip was our ghost and vampire tour with The One, The Only...Lord Chaz. If you've ever been on a ghost tour in New Orleans, your guide was probably once mentored by Lord Chaz, who has been in the biz for nearly 30 years. The tour isn't creepy or scary so much as it is highly entertaining. He's extremely into his aesthetic of a living vampire (three-inch stiletto nails; long, stringy black hair; exaggerated platform boots) and is a true performer when it comes to telling the ancient tales of New Orleans oddities. Enjoy the ride and grab a drink with him after the tour for the full experience!

Bottom of the Cup - This is the place to get your palm, tarot, or tea leaves read -- since 1929! If you're able to request a reader, definitely ask for Otis Biggs. He did my reading (it was FANTASTIC) and he's been with Bottom of the Cup since 1971. Such a great experience, I even bought a tarot deck of my own!

KREWE / Cubs the Poet - KREWE is an aesthetically gorgeous glasses shop on Royal Street -- white walls, lots of plants, and, of course, beautiful frames. It's definitely worth a stop in for an Instagram of the space and a selfie with some of their cute sunnies. And, while you're at KREWE, you may be lucky enough to meet one of the city's greatest artists, Cubs the Poet. From my understanding, Cubs sets up outside of KREWE pretty regularly, but you may be able to find him elsewhere as well. You give him a topic and he will write you a poem, right there on his typewriter on the street. You may have seen a traveling typewriter poet before, but you've never had a poem from Cubs. His work is wonderful and I love that I have one of his poems written just for me.

St. Charles Street Car - This was suggested to us as a hangover activity, but I recommend it in general! Taking the street car through the Garden District was a great way to see the city outside of The Square. Next time I visit, I want to take a tour of Loyola University (which you get a peek of from the street car) and spend more time walking the streets in the Garden District.

So that's it! That's my mini New Orleans travel guide. Have you been before? What were the highlights of your trip?

mini new orleans travel guide

austin style blogger jcrew pom pom sweater clogs9 austin style blogger jcrew pom pom sweater clogs8 austin style blogger jcrew pom pom sweater clogs7 austin style blogger jcrew pom pom sweater clogs11 austin style blogger jcrew pom pom sweater clogs3 austin style blogger jcrew pom pom sweater clogs1 austin style blogger jcrew pom pom sweater clogs12 austin style blogger jcrew pom pom sweater clogs10 austin style blogger jcrew pom pom sweater clogs13 austin style blogger jcrew pom pom sweater clogs2
sweater: J.Crew (just sold out, similar) // jeans: AG c/o Shopbop // hat: similar // purse: Frye c/o Shopbop // clogs: Old Navy (more clogs)


Looking at the weather report ahead of us here in Austin, I'm -- cautiously -- calling it: winter is over. Luckily, I had this sweater to get me through the month or so of winter we did have, and I wore it every chance I got. While I never really look forward to winter, I do look forward to wearing this sweater again next year!

Do you ever forget you own certain items? These clogs are one of those things I often forget I have. I'd probably wear them more, but my shoe collection has gotten out of hand and they're pretty much always buried. I started attempting to purge some of my shoes (follow along on Poshmark if you're a size 7 -- selling lots of hardly-worn goodies!) and unearthed these Old Navy babes. They made for a nice alternative to booties, don't you think?

This outfit actually reminds me quite a bit of something Katie would wear (like this, eh?), which is always a good thing because I love all of her outfits. I'm actually hoping today goes by pretty quickly because I get to *finally* meet Katie tomorrow! She and her husband are visiting Austin this week and I'm excited for Dago and I to take them to dinner (probably tacos, if we're being honest). 

Keep this in mind, people: if you come visit me, I'll dress like you and take you out for tacos. Now who's booking a ticket to Austin?

pom poms & clogs

linklove0217

I may be extremely ready for spring, but we have at least a few more weeks of winter-ish temps here in Austin. Luckily, Tieka has plenty of winter outfit inspo to get me (and you) through! Love this sweet sweater look, this casual coffee run outfit, and this maxi skirt ensemble.

Speaking of outfit inspiration, I'm definitely pinning Sade and Valery's Valentine's looks for next year!

English Factory is killing it with the spring vibes.

Surely you've experienced FOMO, but what about the joy of missing out?

One of my favorite artists, Maritza Lugo, created a powerful series showing Disney princesses struggling in a world without healthcare for women. This interview about the set has so much great info about both the artwork and about the state of reproductive care in the U.S.

This 12-year-old is publishing an activism guide for children and teens. Goooooodness I wish this had existed when I was younger!

Do you love vintage Coach bags as much as I do? Katrina's 2-step vintage purse restoration how-to is a must-have!

Rachel and Noelle are one of my favorite pairs of blogging besties, so of course I'm obsessed with their Galentine's photo shoot (and their outfits).

All these scallops got me like....

Olivia shared some real talk on self-love and particularly positive self-image that I needed to hear this week. Maybe you do too?

A wishlist: a cute jewelry dish, these comfy high-waisted leggings, a spring-y cardi, this classic crossbody (so cheap!), this button-front skirt, and this easy black tee.

link love

anthro pre-spring
I've been bit by the springtime bug and there's no going back. Luckily, Anthropologie's pre-spring arrivals are feeding my soul with pastel hues, feminine shapes, and breezy fabrics I can't wait to wear. While Anthro is typically a little out of my price range, all of these pieces are under $150, meaning one or more might come home to make my closet a little sweeter this coming season!
Can you tell I'm feeling a theme lately? I only have eyes for flutter sleeves and ruffles, full skirts and smocked tops and dresses, and lots and lots of pretty colors. If I had to choose a favorite, I think it's the pink dress, though one of those flutter-sleeved blouses might just have to join in on the fun. I'm also way into both the slides and the platforms, but how can I say no to the yellow mules? So much pretty to choose from!

Which pieces are your favorite?

in my cart | anthropologie pre-spring arrivals

austin fashion blogger floral midi skirt winter outfit1 austin fashion blogger floral midi skirt winter outfit2 austin fashion blogger floral midi skirt winter outfit18 austin fashion blogger floral midi skirt winter outfit10 austin fashion blogger floral midi skirt winter outfit5 austin fashion blogger floral midi skirt winter outfit6 austin fashion blogger floral midi skirt winter outfit8 austin fashion blogger floral midi skirt winter outfit7 austin fashion blogger floral midi skirt winter outfit12 austin fashion blogger floral midi skirt winter outfit13
blouse: Forever 21 via Poshmark (similar) // midi skirt: Forever 21 (similar) // hat: Brixton c/o Shopbop // shoes: Sole Society via Poshmark (similar) // purse: vintage Coach via Pieceology Vintage // tights: Loft


Sometimes you're in the middle of putting one outfit together and switch gears to try a different one, but get caught in the middle and realize it's magic. Also, sometimes you don't realize you're carrying your purse backwards until the very end of a photo shoot. You know, just girly things.

Other girly things? A Peter Pan collar blouse and a floral skirt. This outfit definitely channels one of my favorite style icons, Olivia of What Olivia Did, who nails ├╝ber femme styling every single time.

Being totally honest, I think I'm having a mini style crisis. When I was in New Orleans over the weekend for work (see a few snaps from my trip here!), I thought I did this great job of packing, but got there and didn't feel comfortable in my clothes. I think the "lifestyle" thing is throwing me off a little. I'm finding myself attracted to pieces that I don't really have anywhere to wear, and the things I've bought recently don't have counterparts to make an outfit. Or, at least not an outfit that feels totally me.

It may also be the case that the massive changes in weather every day are making dressing generally difficult. I bought a handful of sweaters before the trip because it was supposed to be chilly, but it was a balmy 77 degrees pretty much the whole time we were there and I had to throw together a few outfits at the last second. You'll see when I post my budget update later this month, but my purchases have been all over the place.

What's your approach to packing for trips? What about shopping for a new season? I think I need a new perspective!

P.S. Happy Valentine's Day! I hope you spend it loving on your people and loving yourself most of all!

P.P.S. Are y'all interested in my New Orleans travel recommendations from my trip? Travel isn't really my area of expertise, but we had a great itinerary and did some really cool stuff!

blouse and blooms

selfcarefriday210

Happy Friday! This is a reoccurring post I've thought about doing for a while, and now seemed like exactly the right time to start it. Every few Fridays, I'll share a few self-care tips to get your weekend started off right. Cool?

To Buy // New Underwear


Y'all, I may have started this series just so I could share my love of buying new underwear. It became a self-care strategy back in my hotline days, but has become one of my favorite things to do. Buy a pretty pair, replace your ratty or too-tight old pairs, buy 10 pairs at once so you have literally more than a week's worth. I am a huge fan of these from Gap, but also love buying a pack or two of Calvins to mix things up. My favorite shapewear undies are by Yummie, and I like them because they're not at all constricting, don't show lines, and are super soft. Lastly, since Valentine's is just around the corner, you can't go wrong with something pretty and lacy from Natori.


To Listen // Process by Sampha


Sampha is an artist I've been following through his features on other artists albums, like Solange's latest. He finally just dropped his first album, Process, last week, and I've been listening to it non-stop since. Some of the album feels like meditation, while other songs make me cry, so fair warning that his beautiful voice may bring you the therapeutic tears you didn't know you needed. My favorite tracks so far are Blood On Me and No One Knows Me.

To Follow // Motivational Tattoos


My latest illustrator crush on Instagram is an account called Motivational Tattoos, which is exactly what it sounds like. Their claim to fame are definitely the band-aid-shaped temporary tattoos, stickers, and even enamel pins, but the account is full of encouraging illustrations to help combat the yucky feels scrolling through Instagram can sometimes give us.


To Read // A Beginner's Guide to Reading Palms


I'm actually in New Orleans for a little work trip as you're reading this, and one of the things we've got planned is a palm reading. As I was poking around the Internet for something fun to share, I happened upon Refinery29's palm reading guide for beginners. If you're into that sort of thing, it can be a cool way to get in tune with yourself from a new perspective. If it seems a little out there for you, the distraction of learning about something new certainly doesn't hurt!

To Watch // Cupcake Icing Gifs


I'm going to share this without commentary because it's just that good. Especially number 10.

What self-care practices did you do this week or have planned for the weekend?

self-care friday

ankle strap block heels

It's no secret that I love ankle strap shoes. I've had so many pairs over the years, it would take me a week to gather all the posts I've worn them in on the blog. I've also grown to really love block heels. I'm pretty anti-heel in general, but block heels give just a bit of kick in my step without ruining my whole day. Plus, they're darn cute. Now, combining your favorite things doesn't always work out -- avocados on waffles, for instance, are terrible. Luckily, ankle straps and block heels are just as good as peanut butter and ice cream (which, by the way, if you've never had, get on that!).

Since the most common "where'd you get that" question I get is about my blush block heels, which have been sold out on Loft for months, I wanted to share a few (well...more than a few) pairs from around the Internet! 
I've been definitely wanting to pick up a second pair so that I don't ruin my blush ones from over-wear, but I can't decide what I want! A black pair would make the most sense, I suppose. With that in mind, I like the idea of the Chinese Laundry embroidered pair. I also think I'd get a ton of wear out of the grey ones, and I don't have any grey shoes at the moment, so that could be good. With spring and summer just around the corner, maybe I should go for the melon pair from Loft (don't fix what's not broken!) or the white ones. What do you think? Which ones are your favorites?

  

P.S. The Aldo block heels also come in blush and look almost identical to the Loft ones I wear all the time!

on my list | ankle strap block heels

austin fashion blogger modcloth outfit mary tyler moore18 austin fashion blogger modcloth outfit mary tyler moore5 austin fashion blogger modcloth outfit mary tyler moore19 austin fashion blogger modcloth outfit mary tyler moore14 austin fashion blogger modcloth outfit mary tyler moore11 austin fashion blogger modcloth outfit mary tyler moore10 austin fashion blogger modcloth outfit mary tyler moore9 austin fashion blogger modcloth outfit mary tyler moore4 austin fashion blogger modcloth outfit mary tyler moore1
shirt: c/o ModCloth (sold out, same shirt in different printsimilar) // skirt: c/o ModCloth // vest: c/o ModCloth (also love this one) // tights: Loft // shoes: Loft (very similar) // purse: Forever 21 (similar) // earrings: Gudbling

photos by Chelsea Francis

This isn't the first time I've done a little Mary Tyler Moore-esque cosplay with my clothes. Just look at this outfit post from 2014! When I was picking out an outfit to wear for a recent speaking engagement at the ModCloth store in Austin, I looked to one of my very favorite style icons for inspiration. There's something about the combo of corduroy mini skirt, a necktie blouse, and a '60s-inspired knit that is quintessentially Mary. I put these pieces together over a month ago, but I'm happy to share the look now as a little tribute after her recent passing.

Did you know that when you go to the ModCloth store in Austin, you can book a styling appointment to have someone shop with you? Y'all, it's a game changer. It's free to book one of their ModStylist appointments and someone does all the work for you when you get there. Do you feel a little iffy when it comes to putting outfits together? Are you not really sure what you're shopping for? A ModStylist appointment is the perfect solution for you. The shop gals are experts in sizing and fit in the ModCloth brands and they all have such a fun perspective on putting together beautiful looks for your real life.

Speaking of styling advice, what do y'all think of this knit sweater? It's totally not something I would usually buy (so I'm extra glad it worked out!), and I'm interested to find more ways to wear it! I'm thinking with skinny jeans and booties now and with shorts and a cute blouse when it warms up for good.

mary tyler modcloth

february small goals

I surely won't be saying this later in to the year, but did this month feel slow to anyone else? January seemed to drag on longer than it was welcome. Not that it was a totally bad month -- I got a lot done and had plenty of fun too. I'm just ready for February, you know? Before getting into my goals for this month, here's a look back at my goals from January.

1. no shopping (gift cards excluded!) | done!
2. plan + shoot my Valentine's content | done, done, and done!
3. read before bed | done! I definitely didn't do it every night, but I loved making this a habit most nights -- even for just a few pages -- to wind down without a screen.
4. find a couple of smoothie recipes I love | done...ish? I tried variations on the same smoothie over and over throughout the month: a banana, some regular or vanilla yogurt, oats, peanut butter powder, a handful of spinach, a splash of soy milk. Sometimes I add cinnamon or a little honey. Easy and delicious!
5. start the initial planning for my body posi style workbook | done! This was definitely the goal that had most of my focus this month, so I'm actually impressed that I got anything else accomplished. I've got a launch date set, weekly deadlines, and sooo much writing to do. Don't be alarmed if things slow down just a bit here on the blog over the next couple of months -- I can only write so many hours a day!

5/5; ain't a bad way to start the year! Here's what I'm hoping to get done in February:

1. stay on track with my workbook writing deadlines | I'd be lying if I said I weren't already behind on these, as it took me a little longer creatively to get started than I anticipated, but I am totally in the zone now and creating something I really happy with!
2. attempt to be an inbox zero person | Ughhh email is like my tenth level of hell. I haven't cleaned my inbox out since 2014. I'm going to unroll from some things, archive the important stuff, delete the rest, and try my best to respond to anything I can as soon as I get it. If I can't respond immediately from my phone, I'm going to give myself 48 hours to respond, or it goes in the trash. 
3. buy a new bed | This is on my 27 before 27 list, but it's also just time. I think it's not going to be the big upgrade I had hoped because we don't have room to go from a queen to king, but a new frame and mattress will make a big difference.
4. be more active | I'm keeping this goal pretty vague just because it's such a busy month, but I'd like to go on a couple of runs, walk with Dago after work, and/or find an indoor routine I don't hate.
5. do something for Valentine's with Dago | We have tentative plans and I have a tentative card idea, but neither have been set into motion yet.

Now it's your turn! What are you going to accomplish in February? Be sure to link back here and check out what everyone else is up to this month!


february | small goals

austin style blog modcloth valentines dress3 austin style blog modcloth valentines dress9 austin style blog modcloth valentines dress5 austin style blog modcloth valentines dress6 austin style blog modcloth valentines dress2 austin style blog modcloth valentines dress18 austin style blog modcloth valentines dress5 austin style blog modcloth valentines dress7 austin style blog modcloth valentines dress8 austin style blog modcloth valentines dress10 austin style blog modcloth valentines dress14 austin style blog modcloth valentines dress17
dress: c/o ModCloth (wearing a large) // shoes: Loft (similar) // tights: Loft // purse: old Charming Charlie (similar)

photos by Chelsea Laine Francis

I am so excited to finally share my Valentine's dress with y'all! Valentine's Day is my favorite holiday. Like with most holidays, I've got my own annual traditions. I always get candy and a little stuffed animal from my mom, I always celebrate with my girlfriends, Dago and I exchange cards, and, for the last six years, I've gifted myself a pretty new dress (see, with caution, 20122013, 2014, 2015, 2016). Sometimes I spend a lot of time searching through dress after dress to find just the right one, and other times I see something and don't bother searching further because it's perfect. The latter happened this year, back in December when I was scrolling through new arrivals on ModCloth. Blush pink, unique lace, fun sleeves -- it's everything I didn't know I was looking for!

I always plan on wearing my Valentine's dress to at least one upcoming wedding, and I'm so excited to wear this beaut to a wedding later this month! I've actually got three weddings in the next three months, so I think I may remix it at least one more time (crossing my fingers for no tights in March!). I love that this dress is perfectly appropriate for a wedding, but I can also wear it for dinner with the girls. I've got a work trip to New Orleans next week, and I'll be packing this for a night out! I have a feeling I'm going to get the most wear out of this dress of all the Valentine's dresses I've bought in years past.

ModCloth is my fav place to shop for dresses, so it's no surprise they have a killer selection of Valentine's-ready frocks. Here are a few of my favorites to help you celebrate Valentine's or Galentine's in style!

modcloth valentines dresses
ROW 01: ONE | TWO | THREE
ROW 02: ONE | TWO | THREE
ROW 03: ONE | TWO | THREE
ROW 04: ONE | TWO | THREE
ROW 05: ONE | TWO | THREE

Do you have Valentine's or Galentine's plans this year? What's your favorite way to celebrate the holiday?

blushing valentine

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