Thrifty Dating

*Disclaimer: I apologize in advance for all the selfies in this post.

Since taking my unplanned hiatus from blogging, I’ve had a lot of time to do other things. Take away a 21st century kid’s WiFi connection and she’s forced to do things like read books, interact with humans outside of Facebook, and be outside. Go figure. I’ve also had time to do a lot of thrift shopping around the Fort Worth area. In addition to finding some great jumpsuits, belts, and the occasion denim poncho, a thought occurred to me today: the way I go thrifting is similar to the way I have been viewing dating, as of late.

A few thrift store finds.

Allow me to further explain. When I go to a thrift store I don’t go to find the latest trends or to have some item that every other girl is wearing around town. I could have bought that shit at Forever 21 if I wanted that chevron striped blouse or neon pink mini dress. 

No. I’m at a thrift store to find that one item that is buried underneath racks of clothes I would never consider. That one item that’s worn in, that’s old news, that has character, that has a history behind it’s seams, and most importantly – one of a kind in a sea of worthless crap.

My dating parameters reflect the same notion. I’ve realized that I can’t date a cookie cutter guy who loves Coors Light, goes to the gym or plays video games in his free time, works at some sort of business that involves finance or real estate, and wishes for nothing more than for the Texas Rangers or the Dallas Cowboys to get to the playoffs this year. That just isn’t right for me. Neither is the guy who wears Buddy Holly style glasses, wears plaid in the middle of the summer, rides a bike because he’s ‘saving the environment’ and can’t afford a car, and spews the same hipster bullshit I hear all the time.

There’s a guy for me somewhere who can make me smile as much as a floral printed jumpsuit. He’ll also fit me just as perfectly.

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Ignore the awkward pose, in reality this thing looks bitchin’ on me.

Looking over the racks of discarded clothing, I also realized how many loved things end up going back into a sea of unwanted items. How many lovers will I end up discarding over the years? Will it be comparable to the amount of unwanted plaid pant suits with shoulder pads? Maybe. But that’s life. We use and consume until something becomes undesirable to us. Whether it’s because it’s last season or because it forgets your birthday, somehow and some way, clothes and people start to become nonessential to our lives over time.

But the cliches still remain tired and true: one person’s trash is another person’s treasure. There’s plenty of fish overalls people in the sea. There’s got to be someone out there for each of us. Someone who fits into our lives as perfectly as a blazer fits into my wardrobe. Someone equally as fabulous, outrageous, original, but definitely worth more that $2.99. Someone like a shirt with a shark on it. You just have to dig to find something truly unique.

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Mind, Body, and Soul Project

Being single has been a blessing in disguise. It’s a never ending quest for self-improvement each day. Without the distraction of a boy or a relationship to occupy my thoughts, I’ve had time to reflect and change the things about my life that make me unhappy. I’ve tried to distill my plan to a manageable set of ideas that I hope to achieve on a daily basis.

Each day I do something to better my mind, my body, and my spirit/soul.

And you know what? It’s really working.

I feel better and happier at every small accomplishment for myself. Instead of getting wrapped up in the dramatics of life, I step back and think about the little changes I can tweak to make it a happy day, every day.


Each morning I wake up and start my day with a TED Talk. If you haven’t been exposed to this wonderful site yet, it hosts videos from conferences around the world where speakers present innovative, funny, inspiring, and new ideas. Please check it out if you have even just 3 minutes to spare.

I actually do my homework. Because let’s face it, a lot of college kids take our education for granted. A reading is something we highlight and skim over in order to have a vague understanding in case the professor asks us a question over it. God forbid we actually learn.

I meditate. I try to think about my actions, I reflect on what I say to people. I’m mindful. I try to create my own internal happiness and I realize that I’m capable of anything I set my mind to, whether that’s compassion, forgiveness, or personal growth.


When I went through a weight loss phase, I went to the gym religiously, counting down the minutes I would endure on the godforsaken treadmill. I would then come home and eat steamed vegetables or boiled egg whites, compulsively entering my calories into a food diary. I only drank water. By that I mean no alcohol. 

I literally and physically worked my ass off.

You can’t live like that forever. We’re meant to enjoy food in moderation. There are other ways to exercise without it feeling like torture. Now, I go to the gym each day and I run until I feel good. I smile while I’m there because I know that my body is meant to be used every day. I lift weights to foster a sense of strength, both internally and externally. I leave when I feel done, without the watchful eye of the clock looming over my workout.

And it all feels good because it’s no longer a chore.



The greatest part about my project is all of the aspects are interconnected. Each workout fosters happiness and satisfaction. Each new item I learn makes me feel empowered and intelligent. So ultimately the other two could be the only things I did and I would still feel wonderful inside and out.

Instead, every day I do something that I want to do wholeheartedly. Yesterday it was reading a book and making espresso. Today it’s writing this blog at my favorite coffee shop. Tomorrow it might be yoga, making dinner with a friend, or just sitting in my room with incense and listening to music with the windows open. Last week I woke up every morning and danced around my room to this song.

Most of the time it’s ending the day with a good beer or a glass of red wine….or both.

These little things may seem so insignificant they could be considered a waste of time, but I look forward to them. These moments make waking up worthwhile. The drudgery of work, school, time commitments, and exhaustive conversations don’t have to define my day. I appreciate and enjoy those few seconds where I feel content with my choice to fulfill my desires. These inner victories give me a sense of accomplishment and provide the momentum to tackle the bigger dreams. Eventually it will be taking the steps to move to Austin, TX after graduation or finding a job that I look forward to doing every day.

But I still want to take the time to sit outside, breathe, and enjoy the sunshine. I enjoy everyone to do the same because it can change the course of your day.

Single Girl Style

*Warning: The majority of this blog post does not contain any real information, but expresses my frustrations on the subject.

Fairly recently, I became single for the first time since I was 15. Needless to say, back when I was ‘dating’, the style was totally different because it was 2006…and I was a sophomore in high school.

Now it’s a completely different ball game.

When I was in a relationship I wore what I liked wearing because I didn’t have to impress anyone but myself. Sure I wanted to look cute and garner a few compliments from my girlfriends, but hotness was never a real factor that I considered necessary when I was getting ready.

See that? I still can’t comprehend that. So this is my dilemma right now. What is single girl style? How do you pull it off without looking like a slut muffin? And how much do you have to sacrifice your personal style to impress guys?

Slut Muffin

There are a lot of slutty girls out there. Want to know how I know this? Because they dress like it. I understand that everyone has varying degrees of appropriateness and being single, that degree is fairly low. Sometimes when I go to a bar, I look around and I feel like I just ran into the girls from Jersey Shore and wonder, “How did they end up in Texas? Did they get lost on their way to Las Vegas?”

And I know that not everyone dresses exactly like that, but today in America the single girl uniform is fairly simple.

Single Girl Uniform

  1. Tight
  2. Short
  3. Low-cut
  4. Heels.

Simple and effective, but not right for everyone. The types of guys that are attracted to this are usually not type of guys you want to talk to. So what’s the right combination? So far this is the advice I’ve gathered from men, women, and magazines (which are written by women).

“Guys like simple.”

“Wear a big necklace it’ll draw attention to your cleavage.”

“Don’t look like you’re trying too hard.”

“Can you walk in 5 inch heels?”

“Look cute, but still sexy. But not too sexy, but enough so that they know you’re single.”

“Just wear something low-cut.”

“Why is everything you own so flowy?”

And that’s how I feel after hearing all the advice, reading different articles, buying new clothes, and trying to be something that I’m not. It’s a really strange feeling to be alone after being with someone for so long and it’s even more strange that I feel like I can’t dress like myself when I go out to meet people.

SGS (Single Girl Swag)

The most important thing to have when you go out, besides heels (which I will say, are a complete must and add to SGS), is single girl swag. It’s when you feel great in what you’re wearing so it translates to confidence, which is truly the sexiest thing a girl can have when she’s going out. If you are feeling good, it doesn’t really matter what you’re wearing, you will get some attention because of the energy you are giving off. So here are some of my tips for going out. I’m sure after this blog post you will take my advice, because obviously I know what I’m talking about.

Smile, brush your teeth.

Wear heels, it doesn’t matter what size heel because you will always feel sexier (and the oomph in the back doesn’t hurt either).

Wear something you feel comfortable in. Tugging at your shirt or pulling up your low-rise jeans isn’t sexy.

Don’t wear any rings on your ‘ring finger’, even if they are in no way like a wedding ring, guys apparently notice.

Wear tight jeans or a tight skirt.

Shave your legs.

Bring out lipstick, your phone, and a sense of humor. Don’t take the night too seriously.

Be your own damn self. Stop trying to dress for others or for the venue you’re going. Just do yo’ thang and rock the single girl swag.

Carrie Bradshaw and Holly Golightly, ultimate SGS.

Florentine Fashion

Italians have a reputation for being fashionable and let me tell you that they have not let me down. They are always well-groomed and prepared to look good for the day when they venture out into the Italian streets. I agree with the sentiments I’ve heard that Italians are partial to black and neutrals because almost every single jacket I see here is black. However, as I see the spring trends creep into the beautiful windows along the major shopping streets, I see bursts of spring colors like teal, peach, and yellow and I have an inkling that Italians style may begin to bloom when it warms up.

After being in Italy for a week I’m already worn just about everything I’ve brought, save for a few dresses just aren’t warm enough for the chilly weather we have been having the past few days. I’m beginning to analyze the things that I’ve brought and wondering if they accurately reflect who I am. I’ve brought with me one of my favorite dresses which is full of bright colors, but after seeing all of the black here I feel like the dress screams “HELLO I AM AMERICAN!” rather than my usual,  “Hello! I am quite wonderful and fun!” But in reality, this dress really does represent me, but I feel like if I want to fit in with the Italian fashion, I’ll need to sacrifice a part of me (the loud, outrageous part) that often is shown in my clothing choices.

When I bought this dress I immediately knew that I wanted to wear it when I went out because it’s a very lively dress and I wanted to tell people that I’m fun. But here I feel like it would seem like I’m screaming for attention in a negative way. I’ve always dressed in a way that reflects who I am or who I want people to think I am. I’ve always chosen clothes that I’m drawn to which are usually bright colors, fun patterns, or basic pieces that I can mix and match with my loud accessories. These clothes, in addition to my outgoing personality, create a persona which many people describe as colorful. Even in middle school, I would dress in different themes every day depending on my inspiration, which could range from ballet to hippie to punk rock. In 7th grade, I even made my own pair of jeans and planned an entire outfit around my two favorite colors, black and hot pink .

Ignoring my horrible haircut, this outfit was pretty in style at the time for my middle school. Even though looking back makes me cringe, I remember feeling so confident and in charge of my style that I didn’t care. I’ve always identified myself through my clothing so I often believe that others practice the same thing and therefore I often judge a person based on their wardrobe. However, through my new experience with a limited wardrobe, I understand that there are limitations people face with their closets. Budget, practicality issues, and environment are all issues that people face when they get dressed in the morning. Clothing choices are simply about choosing which persona you want to exhibit that day, sometimes you are dressing to fit into a certain environment or layering on several shirts that may not match because its so incredibly cold outside you don’t care. Every fashion choice we make reflects more than just our personality, it reflects the choices we make for our day. I still believe in the idea of communicating through our fashion choices but I also believe that clothing was created for a purpose and for most people they still function with a purpose of clothing our bodies. But I’ll still live my life wearing adorable clothes that fulfill the same purpose.

Also, for girls who are dying to know about the shopping scene in Florence, it’s incredible! The stores range from cheap to affordable to expensive. H&M and Zara are always crazy busy, but I bought a ton of great clothes for a reasonable price including a trench coat for only 20 euro! There are also a lot of cute boutique stores that are a little pricier but have different unique clothes.

*TIP: In the middle of February, almost every store in Florence has MASSIVE MARKDOWN SALES where almost everything is 50% off so you can get great deals on early spring merchandise and winter wear. I’m planning on hitting the stores tomorrow during my break tomorrow. I’ll post later about the best stores to hit when in Florence.

How Do You Say “Ready!” in Italian?


This word accurately reflects the excitement and readiness for my upcoming trip to Italy!

After my lovely friend Monica arrived back from her study abroad semester in Florence we got to talking about everything and anything Italian and European related. Let me tell you, two days isn’t even enough to talk about every thing I need/want to know.

The biggest thing she helped me realize was that I needed to narrow down my list of places I want to travel. So for my international trips I’ve decided to go to Paris (of course), Amsterdam, Istanbul (for spring break), and Berlin (which will be my next blog post after this). All of these places have different cultural backgrounds and I think will give me a good vibe of Europe. In addition to these trips, I’ll also do a trip when my parents visit me and when my younger sister visits me. For her, I think Croatia or Prague (or Greece) would be really great places to take her out since she loves young nightlife. I’ll also be doing future blog posts this summer on those locations to compare between them.

Monica also helped me to come up a good list of places to travel within Italy. I mean, although I’m there to experience Europe, I am in Italy and I want to be able to take away a little bit of Italy when I leave. So for Italy I’m going to travel to Cinque Terre, Venice for Carnivale, Bologne, Milan, and the Amalfi Coast, which will all be further explored virtually from my laptop this summer. Of course if I have the money or time I’ll go to some other locations as well but those are the ones that sound the most interesting so far. Also, TCU provides a trip to Rome and Sienna so those are also places that I’ll get to see as well.

I just can’t wait for the next 6 months to fly by so that I am able to finally see all these places I’ve been researching for the past few months. I love my friends and I am quite comfortable in my American bedroom, in my American suburban home, deep in the heart of Texas, but I’m ready to explore a new world and new side of myself. Monica explained study abroad as, “Challenging yourself every day, even in the littlest things.” and that’s something I am looking forward to doing while I’m there. When we were talking at lunch she said, “It’s weird coming back and seeing that nothing has changed here, but knowing that I’ve changed and seen so much.” That thought was a reality check that I may come back with so many experiences and memories that I will be a changed person when I come back. However, that’s something I’m excited about.

Now, she also explained what to pack for Italy. Her main advice is pack what you love and what represents you. So here’s my beginning list of what to bring:

-A cute winter coat. So my printed blush pink coat from Anthropologie will definitely be accompanying me.

-Some basic black pieces for layering.

-Jeans, at least 2 pairs.

-Leggings. I will be bringing every single pair I own.

-Flat boots. I’m thinking of investing in a custom leather pair when I get there to wear for the majority of the trip.

-Not too many accessories because you can always buy lots of scarves and jewelry there.

So far that’s the list for packing, which is a good start. I think the best thing I’m going to back is a smile and a good attitude, because I’m going to look like an American regardless, so why not be a polite and nice American. Hopefully going from blonde to brunette before I leave will help me to fit in a little better.

The 70s Trend: To Boogie or Not?

I once read a coffee table book about vintage fashion that had a section entitled, “The 70s: The Decade that Taste Forgot.” I’m still inclined to agree somewhat with this affirmation even 40 years later when trends are resurfacing. However, I’m in a love/hate relationship with these trends. There are some I can’t wait to rock this summer, but there are some that I just don’t understand. I’m going to highlight a few that pieces that I like and that…I well, don’t like.


The Maxi dress is definitely a love item. I have about four in my wardrobe right now and they are honestly the easiest thing to throw on and look fashionable. Not to mention they are the most comfortable clothing item that was very created. I love the pattern on this BCBG dress and think it’s a great print for summer.

The peasant top is such an effortlessly cool look for the summer. Throwing it on with shorts and some cute wedges will be my go-to staple for dinner with friends. Forever 21 always has a wide range of on-trend styles and this one fits the bill. A word of caution: make sure that it billows in the right places, otherwise you could end up looking like its going to swallow you.

This tan satchel is the perfect earthy tone to compliment a summer tan. It’s big enough for all the necessary things like your wallet, phone, and sunglasses. 


And last some funky sandals are the easiest way to add some hippie-flair to an outfit. These Jeffrey Campbell ones are great and versatile and can add some fun to any plain dress. 



On the topic of Jeffrey Campbell, they are really digging this 70s trend. The majority of the shoes coming out are platforms. I’m not a huge fan of the platform look because I just think it’s too much of a throwback to the era.

While I do love a maxi dress, I do not like the maxi skirt. For any girls with hips, that style will be very unflattering. Which brings me to the mid-calf length skirt. This length also cuts ladies’ legs down to stubby tree trunks and ends up looking dated and old-fashioned.

And another look that is flooding websites are wide leg jeans. Unless you are a size 2 and they fit perfectly, these jeans will look oversized and unkept.

Overall though, I do like a lot of the trends that the 70s revival is bringing back. feather details in jewelry are really fun when done in moderation and avaitors are my new favorite shape for sunglasses. However, some styles are meant for the history books. But some style icons, like Brigitte Bardot, will never go out of style.

I Can’t Wait: To be an American in Paris

“So just love, make mistakes, and have wonderful times, but never second guess who you are, where you have been, and most importantly, where it is you are going.” -Carrie Bradshaw

My eternal icon, Carrie Bradshaw, traveled to Paris (aka her Mecca) in the final two episodes of Sex and the City. The fashion, the plot, and the breath-taking scenery could easily make these some of my favorite episodes. Did I mention the clothes they feature in these episodes? Some of the most memorable outfits are featured in these episodes, rightfully so because Paris deserved awe-inspiring fashion.

Like I said, amazing.

So, the whole point being, I absolutely cannot wait to go to Paris. It’s the city of love and I do love love.

Notre Dame, Effifel Tower, La Siene River and the Lourve are all the things you must do while in Paris. Which of course, I will do. However, I’m wanting to know some of the other activities and places that draw people in to Paris.

Well what else is there to do? Well shopping would be a top contender.


I will certainly be pinching pennies this summer if I want to afford anything in Paris. The first stores I will be checking out are the vintage stores which can have a range of Parisian secondhand fashion. Aspasie & Mathieu is a vintage store that is known for great accessories. Le Dépôt-Vente de Buci is another vintage store that has great fashion, supposedly marked down 20-30% more than other stores. As I’m stated before, I love a good flea market (or any type of market, really) and Marché aux Puces de St-Ouen is a flea market with tons of stalls dedicated to vintage fashion. But the number one place to go shopping in Paris is the Galeries Lafayette which touts over 75,000 brand name items. There is even a fashion show every Friday! Can you said Oui!



Moulin Rouge, another great draw for Paris, is going to be first stop for a night of cabaret. If it’s anything like the movie I may just do ahead and start freaking out now. I’m definitely going to see a French play, preferably by Moliere and Comédie Française has three stages and each one usually features a French playwright for the evening. Cannibale Café is a hip bar/restaurant with decently prices meals and a cool atmosphere to enjoy a few drinks with friends. The Frog & British Library is a popular cafe with students so I’m sure if we hung out here for a bit we could possibly make some international friends-if they don’t absolutely hate Americans already. Maybe I’m start out by saying I’m from Texas…and use a heavy accent.

While I always use Lonely Planet to find some good reference material for traveling, I recently found Fodor’s Travel Intelligence which has a good category called “Places to Explore” which lists the neighborhoods to check out in a city.

Overall, Paris is something that I want to ask people about. It’s a place that you can’t plan for and has a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ that you can’t really experience until you are there. I guess this is one trip I’m just going to have to make an impromptu adventure.


Loader-saveTravel tip from my friend abroad right now: The Jewish ghetto of Florence has some really cool stores and is a great area to explore.

Fashion at Your Fingertips

Considering the situation I find myself in at the moment-stuck in a classroom watching 2 hours of student presentations on race, gender, and mass media-I couldn’t think of a better way to send this time blogging!

As most of my friends know, online shopping is somewhat an addiction of mine. But I just can’t help myself, when all of my favorite stores in one place-and with great sales!

Most of these stores offer in-store deals that are similar to their web site counterparts. But the major difference is the obvious availability of these online stores. Ebay, which is like a megastore combining millions new, old, and just plain crappy items that can be listed at any time. Then there are also websites like Etsy, an online web site that allows people to list vintage or homemade items on personal “shops”. It’s like a giant antique mall, except you don’t have to dig around is what feels like your grandmother’s garage. Another great aspect about online shopping is the idea that web site can hold a multitude of different brands and designers. Karmaloop has tons of brands ranging from Alternative Apparel and Free People to Converse and Quiksilver. What these websites have to offer are more choices, more opportunities, and more sales.

In October, I attended the American Advertising Federation’s Student Conference in Dallas. One of the speakers, Christ Pitre, talked about the 10 Commandments of Social Media. And interestingly enough, he compared each one to one of Beyonce’s songs. Here is the bio of him from AAF:

“Chris Pitre is a Social Marketing Strategist at IDEA, a national digital agency headquartered in Houston. He oversees the social media initiatives for global clients like HP, as well as the agency, and serves as an in-house maven on social, mobile, and integrated digital marketing strategies. Prior to joining IDEA, Chris worked in marketing roles at web development firms and an ad agency. In addition to helping brands navigate the social web, Chris sits on the board of the American Advertising Federation Houston as the Social Media chair and served as chair for Interactive Strategies, an interactive marketing conference hosted by the Houston Interactive Marketing Association where he sits on the board of directors. Chris, a Houston native, graduated with a B.B.A. in Marketing from The George Washington University, where he participated in NSAC, was a finalist for Most Promising Minority Students, and served as president of the AAF Ad Club.”

Chris Pitre’s Twitter:

During his presentation, he discussed the idea that social media could be integrated into retail marketing and advertising. Pitre suggested that companies could make their products available to tag in Facebook pictures. Those same pictures could show up when you access a website, so when you are shopping, you can pick the same shirt that your friend wore in her pictures last weekend. Pitre made a huge point in saying that these tactics could integrate social media in a more productive way to generate sales. Also, the same tactics could make the online shopping a more personal experience by using information gathered by social media. As some of you may know, any links in your likes section are sold to companies who pay for that kind of information, specifically to market directly to your demographic, psychographic, etc.

Fashion doesn’t just deal with shopping, there’s also a great deal of personal expression in the way that we dress. For me, dressing is either for comfort (during class) or for style (anywhere else) and is a great way present myself to people. Magazines from Lucky to Vogue to Nylon, all have various web content to encourage trends and watch for new ones. A great website to find inspiration for fashion is Chictopia, where real people can post pictures of their daily styles.

This is just one of the thousands of styles that people from all over the globe post. The global village we now live in continues to become smaller each day and sites like Chictopia encourage cross-cultural communication and new relationships.

I love the way the Internet connects different cultures, especially when it deals with different cultures and different countries. Before I went to Australia this summer, I spent a few hours trying to figure out the types of fashion that Australians like to wear.




I Can’t Wait For: Florence, Italy

This is the beginning of a new category in my blog called I Can’t Wait For, where I will be researching and virtually exploring all the places I eventually want to see in Europe. Since I’m going to be spending about 5 months in Europe, specifically Florence, Italy, I thought I might start reading up on some of the best things to do in city.

So far, the shopping is making me want to hop on a plan right now and start ravaging through the massive leather markets in Florence. Thanks to another blogger, I was able to read up on some of the great opportunities to snag an amazing italian leather item. It sounds like a dream come true, with several tons of leather to choose from. It reminds me a lot of the Queen Victoria Markets in Australia, where I bought  my amazing leather backpack which is one of my favorite purchases from Australia.

I know the museums are going to be art overload in Florence. With Italy being the birthplace of the Renaissance, how could you not go to the hundreds of museums over there? I plan on doing a lot of art hopping over there, but I’m hoping to find a few amazing galleries with some modern art work and graphic design to see. I’m not exactly sure how I’m going to find some studios where I can see work, but I know there are several design schools where hopefully I can see some spectacular Italian coursework. The Florence Institute of Design is one school I keep hearing about and also the school I will be attending, Lorenzo de Medici, an international school over there will have some student work to display.

Last, I’ve heard about gelato. I’ve had American gelato, but everyone tells me that legit Italian gelato is amazing. I’ve also heard about the wine and the cheese. I’m not sure if Italy can top Wisconsin cheese, which I was basically raised on because my dad is from there, but I can’t wait to try it. Apparently, Le Fonticine is amazing place to try for some awesome pasta dishes. I have to admit, while food is all amazing and what not, I’m somewhat of a picky eater. As open minder as I am with most things, food is just one thing that it pretty difficult for me to handle.

Overall, I can’t wait to absorb some of the amazing culture over there. I’m sure I will be adding more posts about Florence in the next coming months. I have an entire year to get ready for my experience abroad. Hopefully I’ll be adding some articles about Italian language and of course, more fashion spots to hit up.


Next to come: The Loomis Agency. The advertising agency that I will be interning with this summer. Just to give some insight on a small, but mighty, advertising firm in Dallas, Texas.