You’re probably guessing by the random title of this post that I recently turned 32 (on July 15th!). I’ve always made a big deal out of birthdays and try to drag out the celebrations as long as possible…more like a birth-month than a birthday. Anyone else feel me?!
I thought it would be fun to share 32 random things I’ve learned over the years. Nothing ground breaking, just some life lessons that have mostly come at me the hard way (I’m stubborn like that). Will likely be the last time I’m doing this because I have a feeling I’ll struggle to come up with 32 of anything…except maybe my favorite ice cream flavors? Could be onto something there.
Hope you enjoy!
32 things I’ve learned:
1. Gratitude is everything. A simple “thank you” goes a long way.
2. Hold out for what you love. This can apply to so many things from choosing a partner in life to picking a living room couch. Don’t give in to something (or someone) you really like; make sure whatever you choose sets your soul on fire. Never settle.
3. Be nice and expect nothing in return. This is one of the best recipes for happiness.
4. Eat the cookie. Life is just too short.
5. Be curious, not judgmental. I have to remind myself from time to time that it’s not my place to judge. Ask questions before pointing the finger, always.
6. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Maybe growing up with two brothers helped with this but somewhere along the way I learned to laugh at myself and have some humble pie. Again, life’s too short.
7. Travel as often as possible. This can be stressful on a budget, I realize, but it’s always doable. Whether it’s just a weekend road trip or a Mediterranean Cruise, traveling is so important at any age.
8. Respectfully agree to disagree. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve had to apply this in my adult life and it’s saved friendships galore. Especially when it comes to politics.
9. Practice what you love. While the saying “practice makes perfect” may not always ring true, practicing does yield positive results. If you want to succeed at something you love, practice.
10. Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself. The freedom that comes from forgiveness is a magical thing. It doesn’t mean the other person always deserves that forgiveness, but you certainly do.
11. Pancakes are better at supper. I’ll eat them anytime but breakfast for supper is always a good idea.
12. Someone else’s success doesn’t diminish yours. There’s room for all of us to grow and thrive.
13. Friendships change and that’s okay. As you grow as a person, and so do your friends, life can lead you in different directions. It’s normal and healthy even. Hold on to those friends who last through the years, no matter the miles between you.
14. Follow your passion. No matter how big or crazy it might seem to some, chase your dreams and never give up. I promise you’ll be glad you did.
15. Save. No-one likes talking money, including myself, but having a financial plan is really important. Pay off debt, get your credit straight, and save whatever you can.
16. Be genuinely interested in others. I think we’ve all known that person who sits in a circle and only talks about themselves and their own life, without ever asking anyone else a question. Don’t be that person. Ask questions and build new relationships.
17. Wait for the sale. Almost everything goes on sale eventually. Be patient and wait for what you really want at a better price.
18. Say no. I’m such a yes person, so I’m looking at myself on this one. I’ve gotten better with age but it’s such a freeing feeling when you stand up for yourself and learn to say no to what you shouldn’t, or can’t, do.
19. Don’t hold grudges. Easier said than done but this goes along with the forgiveness thing. Set yourself free.
20. Embrace spontaneity. Buy that plane ticket the night before. Try Vietnamese food for the first time. Don’t pass up opportunities to do something that stretches your limits and helps you grow.
21. Don’t be pressured. Don’t want to have kids? Don’t let society make you feel guilty. Don’t want to drink at a party? Stand your ground. No-one should have the power to make you feel bad about doing, or not doing, something. You’ll be glad you stayed true to yourself.
22. Ironing never gets fun. 32 years later and ironing still sucks. #wrinklesforlife
23. Own your mistakes. We all make them. Owning up to them is what helps us ensure we don’t make the same mistake twice.
24. Life doesn’t stop after a baby. In fact it only gets better. A little crazier, but better.
25. Give compliments. I still remember a compliment someone gave me 15 years ago about my eyelashes standing in line to check out at Brookeshire’s. That’s how long her words stuck with me. I now wear eyelash extensions on my stumpy lashes so I’m not sure if she was just blowing smoke but regardless, it was kind. Be the person that gives a stranger a compliment they’ll remember 15 years later.
26. Happiness comes from within. May seem cliche, especially coming from a fashion blogger, but it’s true. Possessions won’t make you happy. It’s a choice we make every day. And that’s encouraging really, to know that we hold that happiness within ourselves.
27. Accept people for who they are. You can’t change people. It’s vital to remember that people are doing the best that they can, and let them be.
28. Pick and choose your battles. Some things are worth losing time and energy over, some are not. Choose wisely, for your own well being.
29. Don’t ever lose your inner child. While we all have to grow up at some point and pay bills, never lose the ability to let loose and have fun. Embrace your silly side and gravitate toward people who make you laugh until you cry.
30. Stand up for yourself. You owe it to you.
31. You don’t have to like everyone, and not everyone will like you. This has always been a tough one for me because I’m such a people pleaser. But I’ve learned over time that this is so true, and it’s okay.
32. Be nice to everyone. This can be difficult, I know, but it’s true that what goes around comes around. Kindness doesn’t cost a dime; spread that stuff like Nutella.
**8 new outfits shared at the end of this post!
Oh my goodness, where to start?! It’s been a whirlwind of a day (the past two days, really) and I fully intended to do a massive try-on at my local Nordstrom yesterday for the Anniversary Sale. You guys know that this is the biggest sale of the year as far as Nordstrom shoppers are concerned and I always try to cover it as best I can. I want to be a resource for y’all in case you’re shopping the sale either Early Access for card holders or Public Access on July 19th. Anyway, my local Nordstrom at The Woodlands Mall wouldn’t let me try on yesterday when I had a babysitter so today, the boys got to go with Mommy for a fast and furious try-on session. I think y’all will get a kick out of their shenanigans and please don’t feel too sorry for them- we were in the dressing room for all of 15 minutes and they were both rewarded with a toy and Chick Fil A afterwards. I didn’t even get around to looking at shoes, bags, or accessories, but I did find some clothing items that I loved and brought home (most all of what you’ll see below). I plan to get to Nordstrom again before the sale opens to the public in a week, so check back when I update this post for lots of new finds!
SWEATER | JEANS | NAME NECKLACE | HEART LAYERED NECKLACE
LOVED this sweater (size small). It’s $38, not itchy at all, and the prettiest shade of pink (but also comes in more color options). I was also so excited to see that the popular Free People “holey” jeans are part of the sale. They’re marked down to $51, have great stretch, and run one size small (I’m in a 26). Also wanted to link these necklaces because they’re my current favs. Use code BRITT15 to get 15% off the name necklace!
TOP | JEANS
This tee is SO good, y’all. I’m in a size small; it fits a little loose/over-sized which I love. It’s only $15 and comes in 5 color options. I own the black and white striped from 2 years ago and wear it all fall and winter. Stock up on these because they will sell out! Also great for layering under vests, sweater, etc. and great because they’re a little longer in the back.
SWEATER | LEGGINGS
I fell in love with this tunic sweater right away and knew it would be coming home with me. It’s on sale for just under $50 and the quality is amazing. I’m in a size small and would say it runs true to size. Perfect for wearing with leggings. And speaking of leggings, y’all know by now that I literally live in the Zella Live-In Leggings; they’re the BEST for sucking you in in all the right places while still being super comfortable. They’re on sale for $38 and worth every penny. I’m in a size XS and they run TTS.
MOTO JACKET | CAMI | JEANS
I’ve been on the fence about a BLANKNYC moto jacket for years and I’m so glad I took the plunge and bought this one today. For $64 (goes back up to $98 after the sale), it was a no-brainer. It’s so comfortable and will add so much to all my fall and winter outfits. It’s also the perfect lightweight jacket for us Houstonians! I also grabbed this leopard and lace cami that’s $25 and runs TTS (I’m in size small).
CARDIGAN | TEE | LEGGINGS
This tee is the same as the white one above that’s $11. I brought home this whole outfit because I didn’t want to take it off! The cardigan is cozy and soft, and a great deal at $31. It comes in 4 colors I believe and I also want the rust color. I tried on 3 different cardigans but this was the only one I really loved and also happened to be the most inexpensive. #winning
TEE | JEANS
Obviously I was all about the comfy tees today, but had to share this scoop neck one as well because it’s slightly different than the others in length and neckline. It’s a little on the long side which I like, especially for layering. It’s $15 and runs TTS. Also love the pocket detail on this one.
TOP | JEANS
These jeans…I cannot say enough good things. They’re the Wit & Wisdom “Ab” Solution Jeans which means they have an elastic waistband that’s super comfortable and sucks you in. I’ve owned these jeans for over a month now and can honestly say they’re the most comfortable pair in my closet. I also had to pick up this henley because it’s on sale for $24 and will be great for layering all fall and winter (size small). Also cute just by itself!
JACKET | JEANS | TOP
Here’s a look at how this top looks layered with a cozy BLANKNYC jacket. I felt like a teddy bear in this and was ready to head to Aspen. Not quite conducive to current Houston temperatures, but I know I’ll love having this come Christmas-time. I got the size XS in the jacket, it runs TTS.
TOP | JEANS
Another top I had to pick up (in size XS) and some really flattering dark wash jeans (size 24, run TTS). I cuffed the jeans at the bottom because they’re a tiny bit long on my 5’3 frame, but I don’t think most people would need to cuff them. They have a great stretch and are more mid than high rise.
NORTH FACE HOODIE | JEANS
I saw my friend Kylee talk about this North Face Hoodie and had to try it on for myself. I tried on the XS but plan on ordering the small because it was snug on me, so I suggest sizing up one size (especially if you plan to wear a top underneath). It is really cozy and I love the overall look and feel of it.
These hunter jeans are also such a great piece for fall; you can wear them with booties or dress them down with sneakers. So many options and they’re super comfortable with a good stretch. They run TTS.
TOP | JEANS
Grabbed this $18 tank because it’s one of the few things in the Anniversary Sale we Houstonians can actually wear right now without having a heatstroke. It’s super soft and has good length to it. Sadly I just saw it’s only available in size XX-Large online, but I’ll check for restocks for y’all and will update this if it becomes available again. Also you can call your local store and check as my store still had lots of sizes yesterday.
TOP | JEANS | CARDIGAN
I’d heard several bloggers rave about this $44 Leith cardigan and had to see what the hype was all about. Turns out they were right- it’s the perfect cardigan! Has such a cozy fit, hits at just the right length, and the material isn’t itchy at all. I think I’ll be ordering another color or two. I’m in a size small for reference.
And that’s all I have for y’all today! I do have a lot more in store starting next week. I also will be doing a big denim try-on on Instagram stories tomorrow sharing my favorite jeans of the sale aside from the pair in this post. There are some really good ones that I think y’all will love! Are you shopping the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale this year? If so, what’s on your list?
dress | shoes | sunnies | bag
photos by Ban Avenue Photography
The title of this post is ironic because I’m sitting here writing it in my hometown of Sweetwater, Texas, a far cry from the city. But the truth is, it’s one of my favorite places to be. The saying “there’s no place like home” is something I relate to in a big way, especially when it comes to being in the place I will always call “home”. There’s something so peaceful, so calming, about staying at my parents’ house and having childhood reminders at every turn. While I’ve now become spoiled to getting Starbucks and Chick Fil A anytime I have the urge (Sweetwater doesn’t have either establishment), this small West Texas town will always have a special place in my heart.
When we are back in Houston, I love it there, too. Maybe because I grew up in such a small town, I can appreciate what both sides of the spectrum have to offer. I don’t take for granted that I have both HEB and Kroger less than 5 minutes from our house in Houston. I love the convenience of tollways, despite the traffic we often encounter along the way. There are pros and cons no matter when you live and the biggest con of all you’ll hear anyone say about our city is “Summers in Houston are the worst”. While this can definitely be true weather wise, my boys and I try and make the most of our summer days.
I love taking the boys to our neighborhood pool in the middle of a hot July afternoon and seeing the joy in their eyes as they splash and play. I enjoy getting dressed up in a floral wrap dress and meeting my friends for brunch in River Oaks District. There’s nothing quite like watching an Astro’s baseball game at Minute Maid Park, or spending the afternoon shopping at the likes of Louis Vuitton and Prada in The Galleria. There are endless dining options in Houston, many of which have amazing seafood compliments of our coastal location. There are few meals I love more in the the summertime than eating jumbo coconut shrimp and lobster bisque at Pappadeux. And this just scratches the surface of what summer is like in our city.
So the next time you dread a trip to Houston in July, just remember the things I mentioned above. And make sure wherever you’re staying has really good AC.
P.S. I found my dress on major sale here and it’s a favorite! Runs a little big for reference.