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Fran has so many unique and helpful tips in this short trip packing post!

Two words: flamingo shoes.


These new tassel earrings from Shashi are killing me.

My girl Valery has a cool new project that is so on-brand for me (and probably you too, if you're reading this blog!)

You've probably seen this by now, but at SXSW Joe Biden confessed his fav Obama bromance meme!

Is it cold still where you live? Get some inspo for your remaining chilly days from Kimi's Fall/Winter favorite outfit roundup!

And, if spring has arrived, here's some midi skirts on midi skirts on midi skirts.

If you've been curious about capsule wardrobes, Caroline just shared her spring closet with so much insight into how she built it!

Pillow inspiration for you cozy babes.

This leopard clutch is such a good dupe of this designer one!

My dream home. Katie has shared peeks from her house here and there (which I've linked to here and there), but her official home tour is up and I'm actually dead. (That Jenny Lewis poster? YES PLEASE.)

On my wishlist: this cute tee, these easy yellow sandals, these great culottes (who am I??), these chic espadrilles, and this perfect work-from-home robe.

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how to wear a denim dress

A popular question for ~fashionistas~ in magazine interviews is always "What is the one item every woman should have in her closet." While I think there's probably no one item that every woman would benefit from, my two cents is that most closets would benefit from a denim dress. Like a little black dress, they're incredibly easy and versatile -- as you'll see in a sec, they go with everything! -- but I tend to think they're a little more interesting than the black dress standby. Anytime I see a woman in a denim dress, I think, "damn, that woman has style and definitely didn't accidentally drive away with her coffee on top of her car this morning." Not that I did....but, you know, a denim dress has an air of put-togetherness that I appreciate in another woman.

Because I can't seem to go a week without wearing this denim dress from ASOS, I thought I'd show you a few different ways to style it!

Pastels

After crushing on goods curated by Houston-based Lisa Chow at Girl Crush Project forever, I saw she was donating a portion of the proceeds on these pastel clay necklaces to the ACLU and finally pulled the trigger on buying my own. The day after it arrived, I wore this outfit to a bagel brunch, followed by one of my bestie's bridal shower. I love how sweet this lil pastel look is! (P.S. It looks like 10% of the sales on these are still going to ACLU if you want to grab one for yourself!)

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necklace: Girl Crush Project // shoes: Loft (similar) // purse: STRUT (similar)

Cozy

I mentioned in this post that I wanted to style this ModCloth vest (back in stock and on super sale!) with a dress, and here I am! I have to say, I think this looked cuter in person than it did in photographs (hence only letting you see it from one angle!). This is the perfect early-spring outfit because you've still got a cozy element for those chilly mornings or evenings, but the outfit is pretty perfect for 70 degree weather. Also, I can't stop, won't stop wearing this bag + shoe combo, last seen when I wore this dress here.

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vest: c/o ModCloth (on super sale!) // bag: Frye c/o Shopbop // shoes: Old Navy (sold out online, similar booties) // necklace: The Land of Salt

Colorful

Alright, honesty time. I promise this styling looked way better when I planned it. My photographer and bestie, Chelsea, and I were actually chased by an angry man while we were taking these photos (note the change in location!) and we were trying to be quick when we continued in the back alley of the same building. Everything got real wrinkled in our initial escape (yep, happened twice) and I didn't take the time to tie this scarf as cute-ly as usual. But! Let it be known that a denim dress is as great with bold colors and a vintage-influence as it is for a getaway!

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scarf: vintage // earrings: Beehive Boutique (similar) // shoes: Kate Spade c/o Shopbop // clutch: Old Navy (sold out online, similar)

Casual

While I can't speak for the men of Austin, the women here are incredible! My sweet friend Miranda of Live Free Creative Co. gifted me one of her incredible shibori-dyed bandanas recently and I've been wearing it nonstop. Of course, I had to try out a monochromatic look with it and my denim dress! Add my favorite purse and a pair of casual loafers, and I've got a great outfit for brunch, Saturday errands, and an impromptu double date over some pizza.

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bandana: c/o Live Free Creative Co // bag: Frye c/o Shopbop // shoes: Gilt (similar)

all photos by Chelsea Laine Francis

Since my own denim dress is almost sold out (I'm wearing the UK 12 by the way, and probably should have gotten the UK 10 just because this style is so oversized), I linked to a bunch of their other fun denim dresses below! I included a few from their Curve line, but def check out the site if you're looking for tall or petite sizes too!

P.S. My posting may be a little sparse for the rest of the month. It has rained the last two times Chelsea and I tried to take outfit photos, and I'm about to go out of town next weekend, so I'm a little lacking on content. Also, I'm trying to focus as much attention as possible on the Feel Good, Dress Better workbook, which I am SO excited to be able to share in the next couple of months! I hope you'll forgive me for being a little distant around these parts for a couple of weeks!

4 ways to wear a denim dress

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One of my best and oldest friends put a longtime dream into motion this week when she launched Courage, Dear, a site for tough and tender hearts to find inspiration and solidarity. Add the blog to your reader and follow her on Insta for honest writing, gorgeous hand-lettering, and the words you felt like you've been waiting to hear.

You may or may not know that I have an obsession with a girl gang of British bloggers. One of the first of their blogs I followed was Kristabel's, who I absolutely adore. Her recent post on being Black, British, and a blogger showcases all the things I love about her. I'm so thankful she shared her experience!

Speaking of Britain, my girl Charlotte put together a guide for finding a therapist in the UK, as inspired by my own post on how to find a therapist!

And, speaking of self-care, check out these five self-care ideas under $30.

I may be headed to frigid Seattle later this month, but Sarah's Mexico honeymoon packing list has me dreaming of a tropical vacation.

J.O.A.'s new arrivals have everything you cold shoulder and off-the-shoulder loving gals could need.

Find out how Cathy gained 3000 Pinterest followers in less than two months.

Some real talk about Anthro from a biz perspective.

I meant to share this a while ago, but I loved Courtney's honest NYFW recap -- and why it's not all it's cracked up to be.

All these Madewell sandals give me heart eyes.

My new favorite follow on Instagram: Haley Drew This.

Basically obsessed with this DIY.

On my wishlist: these suede mules, a pair of cropped jeans, this super flattering tank, some comfy leggings, the perfect striped tee for spring, and these classic-meets-unique loafers.

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dress: ModCloth // shirt: Old Navy (current) // scarf: vintage c/o Winola Vintage // shoes: Madewell c/o Shopbop // purse: vintage Coach via Pieceology Vintage

photos by Chelsea Francis

For all the personal style crisis-ing I've been in lately, this outfit is pretty spot on. Stripes? Check. Fit and flare chambray? Check. Ankle strap block heels? Check. Vintage floral print silk scarf? Check. In fact, this outfit is an almost exact dupe of this one I wore in October.

When I was looking at ModCloth's new arrivals before my Galentine's event at their Austin store last month, I fell head over heels in love with this chambray pinafore dress. It was the very first item I grabbed when I walked into the store, and as soon as I put it on, I knew it was coming home with me. I have so many styling visions in mind for this one already (most of them involve stripes, surprise, surprise), so get ready to see it on the blog a lot in the coming months!

You may have noticed that I didn't post my February budget. It wasn't intentional; as I mentioned, February was a shit show and I honestly lost track of time at the end there! The short story is that my spending got a little out of control last month, but I did counter that with a bunch of Poshmark sales. In addition to losing track of time, I lost track of what I spent and earned. Let's assume I came out over budget, but not by too terribly much? Yeah, that sounds good.

I did want to share a few of the things I bought though! In addition to this chambray pinafore, the ModCloth Galentine's party resulted in this raincoat (which I'm OBSESSED with), these fancy pants (coming soon to the blog!), and this striped (duh) Peter Pan collared top in black and white.

A few more purchases I'm stoked on: these adorable pink Nikes that are the most comfy shoes ever and two cute swingy dresses (one and two) from Urban Outfitters. Thanks to my ongoing partnership with Shopbop, I also brought home the Madewell heels featured in this post and a Sonix portable charger.

What's your favorite thing you bought last month? Have you started shopping for spring yet? I wanna know what's on your wishlist!

pinafore + floral

march small goals

Woof. February was hard. I went through some of the worst anxiety and especially depression that I have in months, I had the worst cold I've had in years, various members of my family were in and out of the hospital. It was not a great month and everything felt like it was piling up. That said, for the most part, my goals were not priority last month.

1. stay on track with my workbook writing deadlines | done...? I spent the majority of the month emotionally invested in this project, but not actually getting as much work done as I expected. I experienced an unexpected onslaught of doubts and fears that kept me from writing and moving forward until the last week or so of the month when I finally broke through my creative block. I'm still not caught up to where I want to be, but I also adjusted my timeline with this project so I'm not rushing something I care so much about. For that reason, I'm giving myself this one!
2. attempt to be an inbox zero person | I did not accomplish this goal. I did, however, try to respond to emails as soon as I got them when possible, and I deleted about a year's worth of emails. I still have a lot to delete, unfortunately, and just not enough time to do it right now.
3. buy a new bed | Lol nope. Maybe in May?
4. be more active | I...I'm not going to give myself this one, but I did go on a few walks with Dago, which was really nice.
5. do something for Valentine's with Dago | done! Our plans were almost cancelled due to a family emergency and then at the last minute we got to have dinner and visit our favorite panaderia for some treats before heading home to watch TV. I didn't say we had to do something exciting, just something! Plus, we did our annual DIY card exchange and Dago knocked it out of the park.

Two-ish out of five is...not great, but also I'm giving myself grace because it was such a hard month. Some months, the best you can do is survive, and that's the most important goal of all. So! Hopefully March is an easier month and I get to more of these goals, huh? Here's what I'mma try to get up to:

1. pack well for my Seattle trip | I'm speaking at a photography workshop in Lake Quinault later this month for work. Given how poorly I packed for New Orleans and how "meh" I felt about my outfits in Nashville (not to mention how different the weather is in the PNW!), I need to do some serious packing research before this trip. 
2. finish writing two sections of my workbook | This honestly feels a bit lofty from where I'm sitting, but here's to hoping I can make it happen!
3. go on at least two walks a week | Partially to be more active and partially for my sanity.
4. get a massage | It's about time.
5. clean out our bookshelves | We recently decided that getting rid of our lifetime (and mostly college) collection of books would help us have more space in our apartment (we've got two big bookshelves in two different rooms). Neither of us are book re-readers, so we'll probably both hang onto a few favorites and send the rest off to Half Price and try to make a few bucks!

Alright, that's it for me. Your turn! What small goals are you setting for March? Be sure to link back here and check out all the other goals being set!


march | small goals

march edit Welcome, March! I am so thrilled to usher in a new month. I'm especially excited because spring is basically here to stay in Austin, and it is my favorite season to dress (and shop) for. I've been going back and forth on doing monthly wishlists again, but I was inspired to make this one and here we are!

As I plan my shopping for the month, I'm thinking again about my style intention for the year: lifestyle. I'm as drawn as ever to billowy tops and dresses and super feminine details like embroidery and bows -- no surprise there. Y'all know I love a good shoe, and right now I've got my heart set on finding the perfect pair of easy mules for spring. Does it get cuter than pom poms? Maybe only with two-tone ruffles. I can also see myself lacing up more sneakers this spring and summer, and those Rifle Paper Co. x Keds sneaks need to come on and join my closet.

Let's chat about the beautiful elephant in this month's edit: I think (and hope!) that this American Eagle romper is the perfect romper for me. It looks like it's made to fit my short torso-ed frame and I am so into the colors of those stripes. Cross your fingers for me? (I mean, come on, how cute would it look with those pom pom mules, y'all??)

Now go on and shop all these pretties below:

march edit

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sweater: Nordstrom Rack // skirt: Nordstrom Rack (found in store) // earrings: Gudbling // shoes: Loft (similar) // purse: STRUT (exact!!)

photos by Chelsea Francis

So....uh...I accidentally wore a turtleneck to a drag show in New Orleans. Actually, it was half drag show and half Magic Mike-esque performance. No, I did not have a place to put my dolla bills. Yes, my coworkers did think it was hilarious. The night's event was a surprise -- our only attire instructions were to dress up. I packed my Valentine's dress (which, by the way, also has a high neck) and this outfit, and decided on this one at the last minute, before knowing where we were headed for the evening. Having been to drag shows before, this would not have been my first choice.

In addition to being totes inappropes for the venue, this was one of the outfits that I was not feeling myself in while in NOLA (as discussed in yesterday's post). I felt like a polka dot potato, which was not exactly the look I was going for when I put this outfit together in the dressing room. Back in Austin (can you believe these photos were taken in Austin? They look hella NYC to me!) I felt more myself and remembered what I liked about it in the first place. I don't even look like a potato! (At least I don't think I do. Please don't tell me if I'm wrong!)

I asked for packing tips recently, and the best one that I should have heeded was to wear your favorite outfits. This was something I'd never worn out of the house, or even out of the dressing room, so I really didn't know how it would wear. While I do like it now and will likely wear it again, I would have been much happier (and less anxious) on my trip in outfits I know I look great in.

Have you ever worn something that was super wrong for the occasion? Make me feel better with your stories!

turtleneck at a drag show

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