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Pink Ruffle T-Shirt Dress

I've wanted a t-shirt dress for the longest time, but have yet to find one that I actually liked. Of course, Francesca's never let me down, so when I went shopping there the a few weeks ago I found not one but two t-shirt dresses that I loved! I actually wore this outfit for the first day of school, and it was perfect because it was cute but also insanely comfortable. I have a newfound love for dresses because they're like an entire outfit all in one and you don't have to worry about pairing a top and bottoms together!

Dress (almost identical here & here) // Necklace (not online, similar here & here) // Bracelet // Sandals

I know I said I was over the cold shoulder trend, so yes, I realize that this blog post makes me look like a hypocrite, but I really loved this dress and it was on sale so I couldn't say no! I have been seeing this dusty pink color everywhere and I absolutely love it - it's safe to say that dusty pink is my favorite color at the moment. It's still pretty hot here, so this outfit is perfect for the transition from summer to fall. The cold shoulder element screams summer, but the toned-down pink adds a touch of fall to the outfit, which I absolutely love.

I accessorized this outfit by adding this long beaded tassel necklace and my favorite gold bracelet. A tassel necklace is another item I've wanted for the longest time... and now I actually own three pieces of tassel jewelry, whoops! (Expect to see those in a blog post really soon!!)

If you started school this week, or started earlier this month, I hope it's gone well so far!

Link Love Vol. 26

What a week this has been. I started school this week, and while it hasn't been that bad, it left me feeling really exhausted and with a ton of homework. I am so glad it's finally the weekend, because this one is going to be so much fun! Today is my little sister's birthday, so we're going to the American Girl store and I'm honestly so happy and nostalgic because I haven't been there in 10 years (plus their lunch menu actually looks amazing!!) Meanwhile, I've rounded up some of my favorite blog posts and articles for you to read as you sip your morning coffee - enjoy!

1 // I'm making this cookie cake for my little sister today, and I can't wait to see how it turns out!

2 // Daria talks about how we were made to grow & thrive

3 // What are your thoughts on Taylor's new song? I like bits and pieces of it, but overall, I was pretty disappointed.

4 // Sally is giving up blogging... and I couldn't agree more.

5 // As a peanut butter lover, it made me so happy that the cure for peanut allergies could be upon us and millions of people will finally get to taste the joy that is peanut butter!

6 // The Lilly sale begins tomorrow... are you prepared?! I don't think I'll be shopping it this year, but best of luck to you if you're hoping to find some good deals!

7 // I've always wanted to go to New York so I've been loving Fran's recaps!!

8 // But honestly... why are millennials so obsessed with food??

9 // The cutest motel you ever did see

10 // Ever since finding cute wall murals while traveling this summer, I've been researching some colorful Dallas murals, and all of these are on my list!

11 // Here's everything Rachel learned after giving up shopping for an entire month

Have a great weekend!

My Thoughts + Experiences With Instagram Themes

I've been losing Instagram followers left and right lately. With the new Instagram algorithm and all of the crazy changes accompanying it, it's been harder than ever for anyone to keep engagement up. I am a pretty creative person, so I don't like restricting myself to a certain Instagram theme where all of my posts are cohesive and follow a certain color scheme. However, I have tried a couple themes over the past year in futile attempts to boost engagement and statistics. Today, I thought I'd share my thoughts over Instagram themes and the experiences I've had with them. This post is different than the ones I normally write, but I've read a lot of differing opinions over Instagram strategies and wanted to put my two cents in.

(Also... totally go follow my Instagram!! I've been trying to post a ton of fun content lately!)


This was the only theme out of the three that I truly enjoyed. I absolutely love Christmas, so I had no problem taking festive pictures filled with red and green hues. Christmas decor was everywhere, and I owned a lot of Christmas outfits, so it was fairly easy for me to keep up this theme and simply looking at it made me happy. Sadly, I had to end this theme when December 26th rolled around, for obvious reasons...


I honestly hated this theme, but it made perfect sense and worked out well. During the winter, I find it hard to take outfit pictures since everything is dead and there's no pretty nature anywhere, so a white theme was an easy way to create Instagram content. I took a lot of flatlays during this time, and I prefer shooting outfit pictures so this was a hard theme for me to enjoy. People keep asking me to bring this theme back, and maybe I will come winter, but I felt like this theme was too restricting and ultimately too white.


I unintentionally started this theme during my trip to Chicago, because the entire city is pretty much blue and gray so all of my pictures there were blue and gray. I liked this theme for a while, but I started to run out of blue clothes to wear in pictures and missed taking pictures of vibrant pinks and turquoises. During this timeframe, I was losing a lot of followers, and the blue theme slowed the decline but did nothing to help with follower growth.


I think the only theme that I could actually stick to would be a theme that is "me." And honestly, I don't know what that is yet. There are some days when I like bright colors and Lilly Pulitzer. There are other days when I prefer subdued, neutral tones and trendy, bohemian clothes. I'm torn between creating a bright and white theme or creating an unsaturated, trendy theme. I like both aesthetics equally, and I want my theme to reflect that. A jumble of all different colors and aesthetics may not look the best in a grid of photos, but that's who I am. My style is constantly changing. I'm a bit of a mess. But, I'm happy being a jumble of different styles. I love both preppy looks and trendy looks, and I want my theme to reflect who I am. So as of the moment, my theme is me. It's not perfect. It's messy. But it's happy and creative and inspirational and everything I want to be.

Enough said.

Wishlisted: 15th Birthday Edition

It's crazy to believe we're already heading into September, which means my birthday is coming up very soon. My family members keep asking me what I want, and honestly... I can't think of very much. If I see something I want, and it's not too expensive, I'll buy it, and I haven't seen too many higher quality items that have caught my eye recently. That being said, there are a couple things that I've had my eye on lately!

Disclaimer: I am not trying to brag in any way, shape, or form. I am very fortunate to have everything I have, and I do not expect to receive any or all of the items on this list. These are just some fun ideas for my family members, as they keep asking me what I want, or any other September birthday girls who need ideas of what to ask for! :)

Birthday Candle // Every time I go to Francesca's, I see this candle, and it always smells amazing. I've wanted it for the longest time, and I would just buy it, but it would be kind of weird to buy myself a candle that says "Happy Birthday" when it's not my birthday, so this item has been on my birthday wishlist for about six months now!

Kelly & Katie Tote // I've been wanting a tote bag for a while now, as I think it would come in handy whenever I'm traveling or simply going on a daily excursion. It would be perfect to put my camera in, instead of the ugly black camera bag I've been toting around for the past six months, and it's incredibly roomy so I could fit a lot of other purse necessities in it! The nude color would go perfectly with just about anything, don't you think?

Glow To Go // If you know me, then you know that I don't really wear that much makeup. I can do my makeup in under five minutes, and it takes me forever to use up a small palette of makeup. I don't like spending money on makeup, so if I ever want something I always ask for it as a gift. I don't own any bronzer or highlighter, so I thought I would ask for this small palette since Tarte is my favorite makeup brand and it's the perfect size since I don't cake a lot of makeup on my face.

Obviously, as I stated earlier, I do not expect to receive all of these items. I just think it's fun to create these posts, especially since y'all seem to enjoy them and my family members keep asking me what I want for my birthday. :)

Life Lately Vol. 26

I'm in serious denial that school starts tomorrow... it feels like summer just started yesterday! While I am the tiniest bit excited to go back to school (anyone else feel that way? There's just something so motivating about new beginnings!) I mostly wish it could just be summer forever... who's with me?

Also, I want to apologize that I'm only now getting this post up. I honestly don't have a good excuse, except that I completely forgot about this post until last night (even though I was supposed to publish it on Friday...)

The last couple weeks of summer have been so fun, but they've also flown by so fast. I've been doing tons of back to school shopping and running last minute errands ever since I got back from Chicago, so and I'm excited to do some outfit posts and haul videos with my back to school clothing. For the longest time, I couldn't find any clothes for back to school, but my girls at Francesca's came through (seriously... I go there two or three times a week so they all know my name by now) and helped me pick out some really cute outfits for school! I'm so excited to wear them and show y'all what I got (stay tuned for a haul video very soon!!).

I got a bunch of cute fall clothes that make me so excited for fall and cooler temperatures! This lace-up sweatshirt is from a local boutique, but it's the coziest thing ever and once cooler weather comes I know I'll never want to take it off.

I also went shopping with my best friend yesterday to do some last-minute clothes shopping for school. It was so fun shopping and sipping on smoothies with her, even though we didn't find that much.

One of my family's traditions is to go to a local pottery studio at the end of summer and paint some pottery. The workers already have the pottery made, so you just pick out a piece to paint and they will bake it in their oven and have it ready for you a couple weeks later. This was our fifth year going, and it's such a fun little tradition. I keep my painted items on display in my room (I have two jewelry trays, a vase, and a cross) and I can't wait to get my new item back and add another item to my collection!

Last weekend, my family and I went to the Gaylord Texan for a mini end-of-summer getaway. This is another fun tradition of ours; it was our fourth year going! The Gaylord Texan is a nice resort about twenty minutes away from our house (much like the resort I went to in San Antonio) and they have an amazing pool/water park area with slides, a zip line, and a lazy river. It was really fun getting to hang out by the pool and relax for a day. The Gaylord also has a theme every summer, and this year their theme was "Wild West," so it was fun to walk around the hotel and see all of their decor they had.

Lastly, I'm really excited to announce that I will be a rep for Jadelynn Brooke again this semester! Y'all know how much I love all of their cute clothes, and I am beyond grateful for the opportunity to rep for them again. Use my code BBHS for 15% off!

If you're starting school this week, I hope you have a great first day of school!

9 Ways To Instantly Look Put-Together

The art of looking put-together is something I struggle with on a daily basis. I'm completely guilty of throwing together a top, jeans, shoes, and a necklace and calling it a day, but I'm constantly looking for little ways to turn my clothes into an actual outfit. Over time, I've found that these nine tips create the illusion of looking (and feeling!) put-together, so I hope you find these tips helpful.

Dress in Layers // Whenever I throw on my denim jacket, my outfit goes from a couple clothing items to an actual outfit. I love fall because it's the perfect season for layering - you can add a denim jacket to almost anything, tie a flannel around your waist, or throw a cozy scarf over your outfit. These pieces add more depth to your outfit, creating a perfectly finished ensemble.

Add Some Sunglasses // I find that any outfit instantly looks more put-together if you throw on your favorite pair of sunglasses. I wear my Kate Spade sunglasses all the time, and absolutely love them!

Focus on Your Makeup // A finished makeup look can really take any outfit to the next level. I rely on bright lipsticks to finish my makeup look, but you can also go for a really dramatic eye shadow look or do a bold eyeliner wing.

Do Your Nails // This tip proves that it's the little details that add up to making an outfit look put-together. Whenever I have a fresh coat of polish on my nails, I not only look more put-together, but I feel the part too. There are quite a few nail polishes that I believe every girl should own, and they all help to complement any outfit!

Add Jewelry // If you add a few simple jewelry pieces to an outfit, it definitely takes it up a level! I have some go-to jewelry that I wear constantly, and those pieces go well with virtually anything. For gold jewelry, I love my Ross+Simons earrings, my Kendra Scott necklace, and my Kendra Scott bracelet. For silver jewelry, I always wear my monogram necklace, my James Avery earrings, and my James Avery ring. Bigger jewelry pieces also make a statement, too! I just bought this colorful necklace, love these pink earrings, and wear my James Avery charm bracelet constantly.

Wear Statement Items // A fun statement item always makes you look put-together. This item can be jewelry, shoes, a purse, or even a top! I love this top from The Mint Julep boutique because the sleeves make such a statement, and I also have my eye on this adorable tie-front blouse from Nordstrom. Statement sleeves are a huge trend right now, so for the most part, you can find a statement blouse anywhere!

Add A Purse // I never follow this advice, because I honestly hate purses, but adding a purse to any outfit, whether it be a simple crossbody or a big tote, finishes off the outfit and ties everything together. I have my eye on this tote bag, but as for now, I don't ever use purses because they bother me too much.

Do Your Hair // Again, I rarely, if ever, do this, but when take the time to actually fix my hair, I notice it makes all the difference. I'm the worst at hairstyles, but if you're talented in the hair styling department, this tip is for you! Big curls or a detailed braid add an eye-catching component to any outfit.

Be Confident // Sally from Sweetly Sally wrote a great post awhile back on why you can't pull off the latest trends, and I feel like that post goes hand in hand with this one. If you look at all the Instagram models and Pinterest girls, you'll notice that they all have this air about them that makes anything look good on them. Stand up strait, put on a genuine smile, and be confident in what you're wearing. Trust  me, it will make your outfit instantly look 1,000 times better.

I hope you found these tips helpful - I know they've definitely helped me improve my outfits over time!

What are your best tips for looking put-together? Let me know by leaving a comment below!

Link Love Vol. 25

Happy Friday! While I'm happy that it's the weekend, I'm sad because this is my last full weekend before school starts. I have next weekend, too, but since Sunday of next week is a school night, I feel like it's not really a full weekend. It's crazy to think that I'm starting school in nine days; it feels like the first day of summer was just yesterday. I so vividly remember celebrating National Donut Day on the first day of summer, and now here I am, preparing to go back to school. I know it's going to be a great school year, but I always get sad when summer ends.

Since I'm sure the paragraph above came off as really melancholy and depressing, I'm now going to lighten the mood by sharing my favorite links as of lately! I haven't done one of these posts in quite a bit, so get comfy, grab a cup of coffee, and enjoy!

1 // How to create the perfect arm party - this is something I struggle with so I'm slowly trying to work on this by building my jewelry collection!

2 // It's safe to say I'm in loooovvveeee with this pink and white home!

3 // The task of trying to create good Instagram content definitely pushes me out of my comfort zone, and I'm glad I'm not the only one...

4 // Have you seen the two travel guides I wrote this summer? I did one for Austin and one for Chicago!

5 // Shannon shares some pretty words that we all should try to incorporate into our daily vocabulary

7 // Fran's style confessions about not being able to accurately reflect her personal style completely summarize the way I've been feeling lately.

8 // I've been really trying to up my Instagram game lately, so Madison's tips are definitely coming in handy!

9 // I made this ratatouille for dinner the other night and it was so easy and flavorful; I'm definitely making it again soon!

Also, comment some blog post ideas down below, because I'm planning fall and back-to-school content and would love to fulfill any requests you might have!

Have a great week!

72 Hours In Chicago: A Travel Guide

Do you ever have those trips that fly by so fast that it feels like they never really happened? That's basically how I felt about my trip to Chicago last week - it was so much fun, but flew by in the blink of an eye and now that I'm back home, preparing for the upcoming school year, it's hard to fathom that last week's trip to Chicago ever really happened.

One week ago tonight, I flew up to Chicago with my dad and sister for a three-day mini vacation. Although we were only there for 72 hours, it was the perfect amount of time to do and see everything we wanted to experience. Chicago is full of so many cool spots, so today I'm sharing everything we did on our trip (as well as a bunch of pictures!!).


We landed in Chicago around midnight, so we woke up kind of late Wednesday morning. We stayed at the Hyatt O'Hare since it was in close proximity to the airport, and after a simple breakfast at our hotel, we took the train into the city. Since Chicago is such a big, crowded city, it can be hard to find parking, and the parking fees are quite ridiculous (it can cost up to $100 for overnight parking!), my dad elected to not rent a car for our trip. I was a little skeptical on how we would get from place to place, but everything ended up working out well. We did a lot of walking and Ubering, but I really like walking from place to place as it gave me a chance to really see the city.

Upon arriving in the city, we checked into our hotel, and made our first stop at Facebook. My dad's friend works at Facebook in Chicago, and he invited us to come have lunch there and experience a virtual reality simulation. The Facebook office was really modern compared to a traditional office, and it was really cool! I loved getting to do the virtual reality simulator - it was so weird but such a unique experience.

After our stop at Facebook, we walked along the river for a little bit and decided to head to the Magnificent Mile - a mile-long street full of shops like Nike, Nordstrom, Zara, and Burberry. Since the shops were pretty high-end, we didn't buy anything, but I always love to go shopping even if I don't make any purchases! :) 

We also enjoyed some ice cream at the Ghiradelli Cafe, and it was amazing. My sister and I split a cookie ice cream sundae (she thought she could eat the whole thing by herself but I convinced her otherwise) and my dad had a strawberry milkshake since he doesn't like chocolate. We all really enjoyed our dessert, especially since it was hot outside!

After shopping, we headed back to our hotel to prepare for the soccer game we were attending that night. The whole reason we came to Chicago is because we wanted to see the Real Madrid vs. MLS Allstars soccer game at Soldier Field. Real Madrid is my favorite soccer team ever, and I absolutely loved getting to see them play in person. They ended up winning, which I was so happy about! It poured for the majority of the game, so everyone was soaking wet and freezing, but it was so cool to sit there and cheer on the soccer players that I couldn't have cared less about the weather! 

We finished off the night by enjoying a midnight pizza dinner at Giordono's. You can't go to Chicago without trying some of their famous deep dish pizza, after all! The three of us split a pizza stuffed with spinach, chicken, mushrooms and plenty of cheese, and it's probably the best pizza I've ever tasted! It was so filling, however, that we took home tons of leftovers.


On Thursday morning, we once again enjoyed a breakfast at our hotel, and then we were off to visit Navy Pier! We arrived around 10 AM, expecting it to be pretty crowded, but it was actually pretty empty which was so nice. We rode the ferris wheel, and we didn't have to wait in line at all! They also have lots of other rides and attractions, such as rock climbing, but we elected not to do those.

After Navy Pier, we walked around Millennium Park for a little bit. I'd wanted to see the Bean (aka Cloudgate) for a couple years, and it was so cool getting to see it in person. There's another park, Mary Bartelme, right next to Millennium Park, and it has a lot of kid-friendly things such as intricate playgrounds and rock climbing walls. We walked around that for a bit, too, and it was a lot of fun!

By this point, it was around lunchtime, so we headed to this place I had heard of called Luke's Lobster. My sister is a vegetarian, so she just had some leftover pizza at the hotel room, but my dad and I lovvvveeee seafood so we really enjoyed this place. He had a bowl of lobster chowder, and I enjoyed my first ever lobster roll. Even though it might seem weird to eat lobster in a state that's not on the coast, I promise you, it is so good.

Later on in the day, we headed to Armitage Avenue to do a little shopping. They have the cutest boutiques and bakeries there, and I also stopped this colorful wall to take a picture.

For dinner, we had the best meal of our trip at Cafe Babareeba. My dad went to Spain earlier this year, and he raved about their tapas and paellas, so when I found this place while researching, I knew we had to come here. I forgot to make reservations, so we did have to wait an hour, but it was well worth the wait as my dad and I both agreed that this was even better than deep dish pizza. We shared an appetizer of potatoes with tomato aioli, and split an enormous paella con pollo y verduras para cena. (#spanishskills)

While shopping earlier, my sister pointed out an ice cream place called Jeni's Ice Cream that looked good, so we went there for dessert. It was even better than the ice cream at the Ghiradelli Cafe the day before. Their ice cream was all natural and made with high quality ingredients, which is why I think it was so good. You really can't beat all natural foods! It reminded me of the ice cream I had in Waco a couple weeks ago, and I savored every bite. I had the salted peanut butter, and the sweet and salty combination made it the best ice cream I'd ever had.

// FRIDAY //

We headed to the Sears Tower early Friday morning to go visit Skydeck, a glass ledge on the 103rd floor of the building. You can walk out there and see up to 50 miles away! A friend of mine told me to be there at 9AM when it opens so you don't have to wait in line, and that was definitely good advice!

After Skydeck, we walked around the city some more, and I visited this mural that I had wanted to see. It's hard to tell from this picture, but it's a giant flamingo!

Our hotel was right by the Magnificent Mile, where we had gone earlier on during the trip, so we stopped at the Dylan's Candy Bar there to get some candy! I had never been to Dylan's before, and it was nothing short of magical. The place was filled with bright colors, sweet treats, and smelled of chocolate and sugar. I picked out some candy bars to take back home to my mom and other sister as a small souvenir, and my sister and I got one too! I picked out cookie dough, she picked out red velvet, and we brought a hazelnut one and a cupcake one back home. They also had interesting flavors of chocolate bars like potato chip, bacon, pizza, and popcorn, but those were a little too interesting for us.

My sister had really wanted to go kayaking on the river, so we rented a couple kayaks for an hour and paddled around the river. I wasn't expecting to like it, but I ended up really loving it and it was so fun! I don't have a picture of it, but it was one of the coolest things we did on our trip.

We also stopped at this cupcake place called Molly's Cupcakes that I had read about. It was featured on Cupcake Wars, and famous for their filled cupcakes. I had a cookie dough one, my sister had a cake batter one, and my dad had a peach cobbler one. I didn't care for the icing, but the cake was so moist and rich that it honestly didn't need icing (words that I never thought I'd say, being the icing lover that I am)

On our way to the airport, we walked around Lincoln Park since it looked pretty while driving by it. It was by far the prettiest park that we visited - there was a gorgeous lake surrounded by the prettiest flowers. Needless to say, we had a pretty fun photoshoot there... the picture of my sister and I fighting is completely staged but the one where she's kicking my dad in the face is 100% real and I captured his reaction perfectly :)

The last thing we did before heading to the airport was go to Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinder to try their famous pizza pot pies! It's a little cash-only hole in the wall place, but it had a line out the door and a two hour wait. Apparently, it's the go-to pizza place in Chicago. We opted to get our pizza pot pies to go, so we wouldn't miss our flight, and we ate them at the airport once we got there. I really liked the crust on the pizza; it's dense, chewy texture attested to the fact that it was homemade. I preferred Giordano's to this place, but it was still delicious!

A couple things about Chicago I noticed:

- The weather is really weird. It will rain one minute and be sunny the next. It was like this our whole trip.

- Drivers honk. All. The. Time.

- Every store is built up. Since there's not a lot of room for stores to build out, they simply add multiple floors. We visited a 7 story Target and a 4 story Walgreens.

- Chicago has the best parks. Dallas has a cool park, Klyde Warren Park, but Chicago's parks make Klyde Warren seem like nothing.

- We accidentally visited Chicago on the same dates that Lollapalooza was happening. There were crowds of Lollapaloozers (that's what my sister calls them) everywhere... and let's just say they needed to put down the red solo cups and put on some more clothes.

Overall, it was an incredibly fun few days and I would love to head back to Chicago sometime! If you ever get the chance to go there, you definitely should. I never really considered Chicago to be a good vacation destination, but now that I've been there I couldn't recommend it more!