March budget


  1. LOFT Pants (sold out): $23.50 (originally $59.50; paid with PayPal)
  2. LOFT Earrings (sold out): $8.50 (originally $29.50)
  3. Coach Bag (vintage via Ebay): $76 (retails for $278 new; paid with PayPal)
  4. Clare Vivier for & Other Stories Bag (sold out): $144

March Total = $152.50

$413 ($500 quarterly budget – $87 overspent) – $152.50 (March) = $260.50 left for April and May

I dub this month the month of the bags. I’m not much of a bag person; I don’t obsess over them, and I generally buy bags because of utilitarian purposes and not because they’re super cute and a “statement” piece. The last bag I purchased before this month was my black crossbody bag, purchased back in August. Before that, I bought my tote in April. So, you can say bags aren’t my top priority.

For a few months now, I’ve been wanting a vintage Coach bag in British tan (either the City or Court style in particular), and I had saved a search on Ebay and checked it periodically. Most bags were either too expensive, were a little too beat up, or were missing an adjustable crossbody strap. However, at the end of February, I found a vintage City bag starting for less than $50, and I knew that was the one. I almost lost it to a pretty fierce bidding war that went way over my initial budget for the bag, but I bid in the last few seconds and snatched it. It’s such a lovely bag, though it got a bit misshapen in the mail (USPS had it for a few extra days than they should have) so I’m working on getting it back to normal.

My white bucket bag was not a bag I was planning on buying…until I saw it. 🙂 When the & Other Stories collaboration with Clare Vivier was released at the beginning of the month, I was immediately drawn to this bag. I don’t even know why, because up until that moment I had no interest in bucket bags. After looking at the bag for mere minutes, it had sold out, and I thought that was it. I tried to forget about it, but I couldn’t stop thinking about it! It ended up coming in and out of stock throughout the first weekend of the month, and I tweeted Jessica and asked her opinion of it since she has killer taste in bags and knows quality. By the time I was convinced that I needed the bag, it was sold out again. I checked back every day and didn’t see it in stock, so I figured it was gone. I moped. I tried convincing myself that I didn’t need the bag and to think about everything else I could buy with the money, but I was still sad about missing it. By now it had been almost two weeks since the collab was initially released, so I thought it was gone for good and that no more returns would be made. By some miracle, it was back in stock a couple of days before I left for Texas, and I POUNCED! I frantically decided on a lotion to get my order past the free shipping threshold, and that was that. You guys…I am in LOVE with this bag. Obsessed. I talk about it. I talk to it. I pet it. I smell it. I’m weird, I know, but I don’t usually love bags as much as I do this one. I’m so happy I splurged on it because it brings me so much joy.

Anyway. Sorry for the novel about my wonderful new bucket bag! I wore it all weekend and am so excited to feature it in outfit posts.

I didn’t let myself spend too much more this month because of the bag purchases, but I did keep a couple of things from a large LOFT order I placed during a flash sale at the end of February. Those darn flash sales get me every time! I’m doing much better at not buying random items (or at least, not keeping them…), but I was surprised by these cotton-linen pants I added to the order just for fun. I asked for feedback on them and ultimately decided to keep them. I wore them over the weekend, and they are so comfortable and perfect for the warmer months (albeit a little big even in one size smaller than my usual). The statement earrings add some variety to my collection, and who can resist a little sparkle? 🙂

I placed a couple of orders at the end of this month (another LOFT flash sale got me, though I ordered a few multiples so I anticipate not keeping most of it). I’ve had my eye out for interesting pieces for spring/summer–mostly tank tops–since I already have a lot of basics. However, I’m also looking at adding another dress or two (I seriously cleaned out that portion of my closet), and I really want light wash denim (Madewell has my pair, of course). I also ordered a pair of white denim with some gift cards to Nordstrom I’ve had since Christmas. I’m not sure yet if they will work since I’m picky about fit and sheerness, but my fingers are crossed. I stopped in the store last Friday to try on a bunch of different brands based on the white denim I found on sale online and somehow missed the pair that I ended up ordering. (I tried on the same brand and style but in a different wash when they actually had the exact wash in store. D’oh!) I’m excited to finally be nailing down my spring/summer style! 🙂

Linking up with Franish & my fellow budgeting bloggers


One bag = one safe birth


At Texas Style Council CAMP last weekend (feel free to read my recap!), everyone in attendance was fortunate to receive a backpack from TOMS thanks to Bethany Joy Clark, the director of global customer engagement and community. Bethany gave a keynote as we finished up breakfast on Saturday morning, and one thing she really focused on is how TOMS is “a mission with a company, not a company with a mission”. TOMS continues their One-for-One mission with their newest product: bags. For every bag purchased, TOMS gives a birth kit to a mother in need, providing for a safe birth she might not otherwise have. TOMS just released a wide variety of bags–everything from backpacks to crossbody bagstote bags, and even baby bags. (Or, you can browse all bags they have available!) I love their newest One-to-One and how much they care about giving back. 🙂

In other news, this is the last outfit you’ll see with this skirt, sadly! It’s just a touch too small and I’ve decided not to hold onto pieces that, even though I love, don’t fit perfectly. Life is too short to spend a day sucking in. 😉


TOMS backpack / J.Crew Factory sweater (color unavailable) and earrings (old) / ModCloth skirt (old; last seen here) and scarf / Minnetonka Moccasin flats via Nordstrom Rack / Anthropologie sunglasses



I wore this outfit over a week ago, and since then I’ve been thinking about what I wanted to title this post. I’ve been thinking about it for OVER A WEEK, and this is the best I could come up with. I have been searching for the perfect word or phrase to describe my chosen color palette and nothing sounded quite right (or it did but more commonly referred to organized crime…not really what I had in mind). Sigh. Anyway, this is as good as it’s gonna get.

Besides the relatively bold color palette (for me, at least), it’s rather unusual to see a chunky sweater half-tucked into a “prim” A-line skirt. Hallie of corals + cognacs has been wearing one of her favorite chunky sweaters with her floaty, spring-like skirts and inspired me to try it for myself. I adore Hallie and her ability to rock the most unexpected pairings. Plus, she is hilarious! I’m glad I decided to try the look for myself because I’m a fan, and it’s perfect for those weird days that isn’t warm enough for short sleeves but isn’t cold enough for a heavy jacket. My legs are also more tolerant of cold than my arms so I bare them even on brisk days!

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Madewell sweater (last seen here) / ModCloth skirt (old; last seen here) / Nordstrom loafers (thrifted; last seen here) / American Eagle Outfitters earrings (check stores) / Anthropologie sunglasses

Recap: Texas Style Council CAMP

As I mentioned in my previous post, I spent my weekend in the woods northwest of Austin, Texas, with over 200 creative women at a sleep-away blog conference hosted by Texas Style Council. It was fondly referred to as CAMP: Create A Meaningful Presence. I first heard of Texas Style Council from a few bigger bloggers I follow, and this experience looked like so much fun…but way out of my price range as a poor graduate student. When the 50% off sale weekend happened, I decided to take the plunge (I swear my bank account cried out when I bought my plane tickets!), and it was worth every penny and more. The experience was–simply put–absolutely priceless.

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After an exhausting morning and early afternoon of traveling last Friday, I set foot on the grounds of Camp Texlake, the home of a Girl Scout camp. The area was beautifully lush and relatively remote (much to my surprise!), which made for the perfect environment to unplug and be inspired. (Lots of people were able to Instagram/Tweet during the conference, but I could barely send photos via text message, haha!) The first order of business was to have head shots taken by the lovely Chelsea Laine Francis, who graciously photographed us and the conference for free. If you’re local to Austin and in need of a photographer, she is your lady!


That evening, we indulged in a delicious dinner (catering provided by The Real McCoy Catering) and a keynote by Jenny of The Bloggess. I loved hearing her take on the blogging world. She told us she changes negative comments from trolls to positive comments, which really angers the trolls and eventually they disappear. Isn’t that great?!

We received a drawstring bag from TOMS to decorate during the “Create and Connect” mixer after dinner, and inside was a notebook from Minted and other little goodies. Luckily, I managed to fit all of the beauty samples in my [broken] quart-sized bag for the trip home!

At the mixer, sponsoring brands set out little crafts or activities for us to partake in, all while meeting new people and getting to know each other. I expected to be more outgoing than I was, but the ladies there intimidated me! I wish I had the courage to meet more people (and give out more business cards) than I did, though I still had a fantastic experience overall.


After a restless night in a cabin with eleven other women and a steady, cold rain falling the entire night, I awoke bright and early on Saturday to attend a branding workshop with Jenny and Savannah of Maiedae. I (admittedly) had never heard of Maiedae before, but they are two of the sweetest and most inspirational women! I signed up for a one-on-one session on Sunday morning to talk about my current branding situation, web design, and going about rebranding (!), and Savannah was the biggest help and so encouraging. Big things will happen to this little blog in the next few months. 😉

Following a journaling session guided by Erin of Design for Mankind, we ate a hearty breakfast and listened to a keynote with Bethany of TOMS. Bethany shared how TOMS’ One-for-One model came to be as well as shared some insight into how we can each grow our own legacies. She introduced a new term to all of us: friendtor, meaning a friend who is on the same “playing field” as us and can act as mentors as well. At the conclusion of the keynote, we each received waxed canvas backpacks–one of many new products to come out of TOMS. They’re continuing the One-for-One model by providing a birth kit to aid in safe births for mothers in need for every bag sold. So awesome!

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For the rest of the day, we attended short sessions focused on more specific topics related to blogging and the small business world. The first sessions I chose was the vulnerability session with Carli of Inked Fingers and Tieka of Selective Potential. We talked about how we choose to be vulnerable online and how being vulnerable can affect how our readers perceive us, even if its a negative perception. We discussed how to deal with the backlash of being vulnerable and encouraged each other to find ways to be vulnerable that work for us, since you might not want to be vulnerable in every blog post or talk about every aspect of your life. The stories that were shared during this session nearly brought me to tears!

The second session I attended was the connection session, moderated by Becky of Chipper Things and Indiana, the brains behind Texas Style Council and blogger on Indiana/Elsewhere. This session focused on thinking of our readers as people that we can make real connections with and less as numbers that we must grow in order to gain popularity/more sponsorships. There seems to be an inherent rat race in the blogging world, and it’s important to take a step back and remember why you started blogging in the first place (and if you started blogging to make money and not because you’re passionate about it, you’re likely in it for the wrong reasons). We discussed the difference between transparency, authenticity, and vulnerability and the act of going deeper (creating meaningful relationships with readers) instead of further (increasing readership overall).

Lastly, I decided to attend the support session with Jen of Jen Loves Kev, Julie of Orchid Grey, and Amy of Crompton Collective. They discussed the importance of building each other up in the blog world instead of tearing each other down and not letting envy get the best of us. The idea of the friendtor came back in this session with their suggestion of making friends with the bloggers that started around the same time as your and/or are on the same “playing field” as you and building a mutual partnership with them. It’s important to learn how to be happy for each other when good things happen and not let it damper our own spirit if those things don’t happen to us. This is something I’m not afraid to admit that I struggle with, especially when I see blogs younger than mine getting more opportunities than me. I’m glad I attended this session for the reminder.

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Before dinner, we listened to a keynote on intentionality with Caroline of Unfancy and Jess of The Lively Show (pictured above the previous block of text). They each explained three things they learned in the past, three things they are currently learning, and three things they hope to learn in the future. Caroline talked a lot about her journey with minimalism, starting her blog to document her process, and dealing with negativity that has come with exponential blog growth. Jess talked about her career changes and growth of her podcast, The Lively Show. She discussed downfalls and how she has learned to give herself breaks and not put so much pressure on herself.

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The plans for the rest of the night consisted of dinner and a “khaki cool” jamboree! We dressed up in our best khaki outfits–inspired by Moonrise Kingdom, Troop Beverly Hills, Girl Scouts, or whatever we pleased–and jammed the night away. There were some small businesses selling items, and some brands set up photo booth areas where we could take funny pictures. Tagspire had a bunch of Moonrise Kingdom-inspired props we could use. Minnetonka Moccasins had a s’more station (yum!), Flash Tattoos had a wide variety of pretty temporary tattoos for us, and Honest Tea made floats with their fizzy drinks and ice cream. The Flash Tattoos are really cool, and mine is still looking pretty good even a few days later! My outfit was loosely inspired by Sam Shakusky (Moonrise Kingdom), and I thrifted almost all of it! The total came to less than $20, including my shoes (I wore my wonderful red loafers I’ve featured in many outfits). Because it rained all day Friday and Saturday, we didn’t end up having a campfire, but at least we still got to roast s’mores.


The next morning, after my one-on-one branding session with Savannah, we ate a big brunch and listened to a keynote with Sophia Rossi of HelloGiggles (second to last photo below). Holy cow, she is amazing! The keynote focused on sisterhood and how we as women are each other’s biggest champions in blog world and in life in general. We all received copies of her soon-to-be-released novel, A Tale of Two Besties, and she signed them for us, too!

After a fun awards ceremony and tearful farewell from Indiana, we headed outside for the final camp activity. We broke up into smaller groups, stood in two lines facing each other toe-to-toe, and sent one person down the line at a time. The person going through the middle had to look down and cover her eyes, and we each whispered a word of affirmation into her ear as she walked by. The point was to empower each other and leave each other with positive, self-assuring reminders. Plenty of laughs and tears happened during this activity. It felt wonderful to hear the words people shared. Someone whispered “girlboss” into my ear, and for some reason that one really stuck. I never really thought about myself as a girlboss, but now I think in some ways, I am. It’s nice to have that moment to remember!


Overall, I had such an amazing experience at CAMP! I loved meeting fellow bloggers in real life since I don’t have anyone around me that blogs. I chatted with fellow bloggers about trivial blog struggles we share, like having our boyfriends/husbands photograph our outfits. 😉 I was so excited to meet some of the bloggers I follow, Tieka of Selective Potential (she’s SO sweet and basically the reason why I started blogging in the first place), Liz of Delightfully Tacky, and Caroline of Unfancy (we bonded over Katy Perry and Taylor Swift), and it was wonderful meeting so many other bloggers and inspirational women! I feel like I left Camp Texlake with a group of friendtors by my side, which is more than I could have ever hoped for! I feel honored to have been a part of the final Texas Style Council conference. Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who helped in the planning and on-site organizing of the conference. I truly had an unforgettable time!

If you read this whole post, thank you, and I hope it wasn’t too boring! I tried to think of a more creative/shorter way to write this recap, but I decided I wanted to write it all out chronologically so I could better remember it. I also had a very difficult time picking the photos I wanted to share! 🙂 If you’re interested in hearing more about the conference, check out #TxSC15 on Twitter and Instagram!

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{photo credits & people in photos with me}

Photos 1-3 (headshots) and 16 (Luna Bar photo booth): Chelsea Laine Francis Photography (Austin, TX)
L-R: Maddie of Folk Dreams Jewelry, Emma of Behind the Leopard Glasses, Brittany of Invasion of Personal Space, Hilary of Cutie Cameras

Photos 11-13 (Tagspire photo booth): Jacque Manaugh Photography (Dallas, TX)
Top L-R: Brittany, Hilary, Maddie / Bottom left: Brittany / Bottom right L-R: Jen of Jen Loves Kev, Julie of Orchid Grey, Liz of Delightfully Tacky, Caroline of Unfancy

Photos 14-15 (Squarespace photo booth): Logan Pearce Photography (Austin, TX)
L-R: Maddie, Brittany, Hilary, Emma

Casual leather


Whew, I’m back after a whirlwind weekend away! I spent my weekend at a Girl Scout camp northwest of Austin, TX, for the Texas Style Council CAMP. I had an amazing time meeting and connecting with fellow female bloggers and small businesswomen. I have SO much to share, but more on that later… 🙂

I wore this outfit on a gorgeous spring day last week. It was so nice out, I suggested to Chris that we walk to pick up our groceries instead of drive. Even though it was windy, it was a perfect spring day; the jacket was almost too much, especially when hauling the groceries home! I took my new black dress (purchased in December) out for its first spin. I normally gravitate towards fit-and-flare dresses because I find that they flatter me more than other styles, but I saw this dress on a TV show (worn by Dr. Caitlin Snow on The Flash) and HAD to have it. I was pleasantly surprised by how well it fit; it nips in at the waist so my waist doesn’t disappear yet fits well over my hips. Win/win!


Madewell jacket (similar from Sierra Trading Post; last seen here) / Banana Republic dress (on sale in limited sizes) / J.Crew flats (new version) / ModCloth tote / Kate Spade necklace via Nordstrom

My A/W ’14 favorites

Since I officially declared the end of the winter outfits, it’s time for me to look back at my favorite outfits from the past autumn and winter seasons. I had a much harder time narrowing down my favorites than past seasons, which I’m super excited about! I feel like I’m nailing down my style a little bit more every season. I’m really excited to see the outfits I come up with this upcoming spring and summer! Normally for these recap posts, I hoped to keep them to 8-12 favorites, but for this one I had to pick 14. I would wear any of these outfits now and could see myself wearing them next autumn/winter as long as trends don’t take a huge shift. Success! Which were your favorites? 🙂

P.S. I’m going to be out of town and away from wifi this weekend. I’ll be back on Monday with a new post!


Cool colors, cool temperatures | Transitional knitwear


Aftermath of falling back (November remix chain outfit #7) | Prep in my step (November remix chain outfit #18)


Mild winter | Festive


Winter neutrals | Marsala


Two months later | Season Remix: Bright lace skirt


Monochrome valentine | Belted trench coat


Textural | Marchin’ on

My boyfriend dressed me for a week

At the end of February, a Facebook friend of mine posted this article in which a woman let her boyfriend dress her for a week (a work week). I shared it with my boyfriend, Chris, thinking he may find it interesting and may even want to do it–and what do you know! He was into the idea, even with the caveat that I get to blog about it. 😉 We were going to do it the first week of March but delayed it to last week when I saw the forecast for the first week of March (thank goodness, haha). It ended up working out really well because we had some warm days in between cooler days, so he picked out a range of outfits (they look kind of silly side-by-side unless you know the weather we had).

I realize how problematic it can be when people start dressing specifically for other people, especially when it comes to women dressing for men. I wanted to do this not because I was planning on dressing for Chris and not myself (or other women, let’s be honest) but because I wanted to figure out what it was that he found me attractive in. Since I share outfit photos of myself often, I sometimes ask him for his opinion on an outfit and am often surprised at negative reactions (though it doesn’t stop me from wearing the outfits most of the time; the other times, I take a closer look in the mirror and realize he’s right). He also has a really solid personal style, so I was curious to see if he would dress me in outfits similar to his.

I did ask him to keep the weather in mind when putting together outfits and to please not make me wear a skirt sans tights if it was below 60 degrees or please not make me wear my nice shoes if it’s raining. Also, if you’re at all interested in the outfit details, they’re listed at the bottom of the post. Without further adieu…


Monday, March 9 — Day 1

Chris picked this outfit because he likes my “skinny colored jeans…for reasons” and because the boots “make my legs look long.” He thinks the “whatever-it’s-called is really cool” (the cardigan) and he also likes me in stripes. I appreciate that he played around with color and also picked out a fun pair of earrings. While I wouldn’t have paired the tee with the cardigan because the tee has 3/4-length sleeves, I was pleasantly surprised at the fact that it didn’t bunch weirdly like I thought it would. This is not at all a deviation from an outfit I would normally put together myself.


Tuesday, March 10 — Day 2

Chris tells me that he picked this outfit “because short skirt” and he “needed a top to go with it.” He thought more in terms of overall outfits instead of individual pieces, and he says that taking outfit photos of me gives him “insight into what works…and what goes together.” (He adds, “Like, not sweaters and dresses.” That is arguably his least favorite look on me and one I like to wear often in the winter, haha.) The stark contrast between the light blue shirt and bold red skirt is still one I’m getting used to, but it is growing on me…and I do appreciate a good nude-colored flat.


Wednesday, March 11 — Day 3

“Legs” is all he has to say about this day. He also “really likes these boots” on me. He picked the floral jewelry because the dress is also floral. Even though it looks like it was a really warm day, wind and clouds kept it cool so he let me wear a cardigan while at work. He just didn’t want to photograph it since it wasn’t what he had in mind when putting together this outfit. When I realized that he wanted me to wear the dress and boot combination, I was immediately reminded of this outfit I wore last spring. Another good one!


Thursday, March 12 — Day 4

Regarding this outfit, he says I’m “confident when [I’m] comfortable, and that’s sexy.” (I told him the pants are likely my least comfortable pair because they’re my tightest pair and it’s hard to bend my legs and sit in them after they’ve been washed, haha.) He is surprised that they aren’t comfortable because apparently they look soft (corduroy is soft, I agree). Not surprising to me, he likes that I wear skinny jeans. I also like myself in skinny jeans which is why I wear them 90% of the time I wear pants. One of the first things he said about this outfit when I wore it was that he picked the necklace and earring combination because “they were both pointy” and they were both gifts from him (the necklace for my birthday and the earrings for Christmas). I love a good knit sweater-skinny pant-boot combination (as you all know if you’ve been around this winter!), though I wouldn’t pair the necklace and earrings together myself.


Friday, March 13 — Day 5

He saw me wear this top in a picture and “really wanted me to wear it again”. Plus, those Madewell jeans are a favorite of his. He picked the shoes because they matched the pattern in the top (which you can hardly even see), and he also likes the necklace with the top because it “made the top less flowy” (if you know what he means). I also asked for a cardigan this day since it started off cool. My office mate remarked about how Chris and I matched this day; he was wearing a burgundy top and denim himself. We hadn’t even realized it, but Chris thinks he must’ve been subconsciously on a burgundy and denim kick.

Overall, the outfits he picked out were not as different from my personal style as I thought they would be. (I mean, obviously they couldn’t be that different since he picked outfits from existing pieces in my closet.) He didn’t go with super tight tops and tight pants or super short skirts like I would think men prefer (broad generalization, of course). I appreciate that he thought about entire outfits versus throwing together individual pieces that don’t necessarily go together. The only “interesting” parts of the outfits were the jewelry choices, but I give him props for trying. I bet it was overwhelming looking at all of the options even though I did insist that he didn’t have to accessorize me. I’m also not surprised that the outfits were kind of in line with his own personal style. When Chris was looking through everything I had the Sunday before starting, he remarked that I didn’t have as many clothes as he thought I did, which I was excited about; I think he was surprised at the limited number of options he had. Still, he didn’t spend more than five minutes considering each outfit in the mornings so it must not have been that difficult.

In the article I linked, she talks about the reactions she received from the people around her, like her co-workers. I ended up telling the grad students I’m around on a daily basis what was going on on day 1, so I wasn’t able to get candid reactions from them. However, the one female grad student I hang out with regularly liked every outfit and thought Chris did a good job putting them together. I think I may have gotten more/different reactions had the outfits strayed further from what I normally put together myself and if I saw more than the same few people.

All in all, it was a really fun experiment! I didn’t learn anything groundbreaking regarding what Chris prefers to see me in, but I wasn’t expecting to. Knowing what he likes will not change the way I dress in any way. I guess he’ll just like my outfits more when it warms up (and when I stop wearing sweaters over dresses in the winter, haha). 🙂

 {outfit details}

Day 1: Bobeau cardigan via Nordstrom / J.Crew Factory tee (old) / Madewell pants (on sale!) / Cole Haan boots (exact — on sale in limited sizes) / ModCloth earrings (old; similar from Forever 21)

Day 2: LOFT shirt (similar) / Madewell skirt (old) / J.Crew flats (new version)

Day 3: Francesca’s dress (old) / Madewell boots (on sale in limited sizes) / ModCloth necklace (old; similar) / Forever 21 earrings (old)

Day 4: Madewell sweater and necklace / J.Crew Factory pants (old) / Chelsea Crew boots via ModCloth (similar) / J.Crew earrings

Day 5: LOFT top / Madewell jeans / J.Crew flats (new version) / ModCloth necklace (old) / Kate Spade earrings via Nordstrom Rack

Winter’s last hurrah


This is officially my last winter outfit–woohoo! I wore this outfit last weekend when it was a balmy near-60 degrees. Today is expected to reach over 70 (YAS!), and all of the snow you see in the photos is long gone. So yeah…I’ll be switching back to the “spring” category when I post the next outfit. I’m super excited because I have quite a few spring outfit ideas planned. 🙂

Anyway, I wore this outfit out to breakfast with Chris and to run errands around town. I actually got pretty warm in my vest and scarf, though it was nice to have them in the shade. My loafers kept my feet from overheating. I’m glad I got to pull out this plaid scarf one last time before winter called it quits. It’s so soft and the colors are perfect for both fall and spring, I think.

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J.Crew Factory sweater (similar from J.Crew) and scarf (last seen here) / Gap Factory vest (old) / Madewell jeans / Vince Camuto loafers via Nordstrom (last seen here) / Halogen bag / Anthropologie sunglasses

Fancy flannel


As much as I love wearing flannel shirts with jeans and lace-up boots for the true “lumberjack” look, sometimes it’s fun to dress them up a little with a skirt and statement earrings. This Penfield flannel shirt from Madewell is dreamy, and I’m so happy I was able to snatch it up even though winter is nearing its end (it’s arguably over here already). The only thing I’m unsure about with this outfit is the combination of the grey skirt and brown boots. I’ll mix brown and black any day, but I get weird about mixing tan/brown with grey. (I used to be okay with mixing tan and light grey, but now I can hardly stand it! Weird how tastes change even over a very short amount of time.)

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Penfield shirt via Madewell (on sale in limited sizes) / J.Crew Factory skirt / Cole Haan boots (exact; on sale in limited sizes) / Hue tights via Nordstrom Rack / J.Crew earrings / Zoya nail polish

A month post-Whole30


I can’t believe it has been a month since my boyfriend and I were on Whole30, but I can’t say I miss it that much! In the words of the genius Taylor Swift via her song Wonderland, “Life was never worse but never better.” Actually…I think life is indeed better, because now I don’t feel guilty for eating bread, cheese, and sweet treats like those glorious cinnamon donuts above–my first post-Whole30 treat!

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The first few days of being off Whole30 were a little bit tricky because we couldn’t follow the recommended reintroduction plan due to holidays and other long-standing plans. In a nutshell, you start by eating one new food group on your first day (i.e. gluten), then for the following two days, you eat normal Whole30. On the fourth day, you introduce a different food group (i.e. dairy), then continue with two days of Whole30 and so on. It takes about a couple of weeks to finish the reintroductions properly, and we had them done in a few days. We followed a plan which included eating gluten on the first day, then eating Whole30 until dinner on the second day (gluten), followed by Whole30 on the third day until dinner that night (gluten and dairy). I’m not sure that it really affected us, though. Chris never experienced any terribly feelings (woo!), and my body was a bit out of whack, though it had been for the last few days of Whole30 so I don’t think the new foods caused it. I think my body was just trying to be sick, but luckily it wasn’t terrible.

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Even though we are very much NOT eating Whole30 right now, there are aspects of it that we’ve kept. Sometimes we still have Whole30-approved breakfasts–eggs, avocado, and grapefruit. We like eating grapefruit with breakfast whenever possible, even if we have cereal instead of eggs. Chris has also been making some meals that are Whole30-approved if not for the grain addition. We don’t pig out for every meal, and we’ve done a great job eating leftovers and such instead of always making new meals (partially thanks to Whole30). I definitely appreciate whole foods more and try not to snack as much (I haven’t had chips and cream cheese since before Whole30; my new snack of choice is either cinnamon roasted almonds or kimchi chips). The good news is that after a month off of Whole30, neither of us feel terrible about eating the non-approved foods again. While Chris is keen on doing another Whole30, I probably won’t partake because my experience wasn’t as wonderful as I had expected. However, we often recommend the program to friends that are experiencing gastrointestinal discomfort since it helped Chris with his heartburn. I hope that sharing my experience here helps you guys in deciding whether or not to do it for yourselves. 🙂

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Top photo: Cinnamon donuts

Top middle photo: Valentine’s Day-themed “monster” cookies

Bottom middle photo: Fancy chocolate covered strawberry

Bottom photo: Cast iron margherita pizza 

{All photos are via my Instagram!}