Friday, September 28

guest post: mastering the art of ankle boots

When I purchased these boots a few months ago, I was so excited I couldn't stand it. They felt daring and totally out of my comfort zone and I liked that about them. But as fall arrived, I realized I had no idea what to wear them with... so I turned to the master. Meet Katie. She's here to share some pearls of wisdom on mastering the art of ankle boots.

Hi, beauty and the feast readers! My name is Katie and I blog at hey little apple blossom. I'm really, really excited (annnnd also a little nervous - this is my first guest post!!) to be guest posting for sweet Allie while she's out of town having a total blast and obviously being the cutest bridesmaid in Austin. Her blog is one of my top favorites. 

(step one, according to these pictures, is to add a cardigan)

Allie asked me to put together some ideas for wearing lace-up ankle boots this fall. I have to be honest, when I got my pair of ankle boots, I was super intimidated! I'm a really short girl, and they seemed to make me look even shorter, on top of looking exactly like my boyfriend's boots... which is weird. But I find myself throwing them on with really unexpected outfits and really loving them all of the time now. Hopefully I'll be able to give you guys some ideas, too!

Idea 1: Menswear-Inspired

They look like men's boots, so why not embrace it? I bought these shorts with these boots in mind... and I have since paired them three times; it's ridiculous and obsessive. The key to this look is the socks! Proportion is important with these boots, since they're so little bitty, and you need the socks to balance out the leg to foot ratios.

Also, winter shorts are awesome. Here are mine, and here a couple of others that would be super cute: 123.

Idea 2: Dresses!

I'll try any look with a dress once. this one works out really well! I think the dress definitely needs to be above-the-knee and, again, there need to be socks. Don't worry, I've experimented with wearing this exact outfit with tights, too, and it's equally awesome.

Idea 3: Dress Them Down (a.k.a., wear them like sneakers)!

I'm kind of becoming a queen of the graphic tee (I don't know), and outfits with graphic tees can get boring. So in comes ANKLE BOOTS! Yeah. I love cuffing my jeans riiight above the boots and I tell myself that it makes my legs look longer. Not-so-secretly, this is my favorite way to wear these guys because it's so unexpected and easy. As long as I remember to put them on before my converse. 

This is my shirt, and here are a couple of others that would be super cute in its place: 12.

Well, I hope these outfits inspired you to try out some ankle boots of your own! And, Allie, I hope you get all kinds of wear out of yours this fall!

Thursday, September 27

things i dig: birthday gifts

Since my birthday gifts this year were absurdly thoughtful and awesome, I thought I'd share some of them with you! My friends really know me too well... 

In other news, I'm on the hunt for more Etsy shops... any suggestions? Let me know!

Tuesday, September 25

love stories: laura & radley

Are you ready? I don't think you are... because today is probably going to be everybody's favorite day on beauty and the feast because it's definitely mine! One of my favorite bloggers... ever... is here to share part of her love story which just happens to be my absolute favorite love story... ever... and part of the reason I started this little series to begin with.  I've been following her blog for years and never even kind of dreamed that I'd ever have the privilege of hosting her on my little blog. Meet Laura from Little Things and Curiosities and get ready for some beautiful words and heart melting story-telling about the guy who captured her heart (and let's be honest... all of ours' too) and how she just knew he was the one.

photo courtesy of cooper carras

You just know. That's what people always say about finding their other half — about knowing once and for all that they've met The One. You just know. And I understand what those people mean, because at some point in a relationship, you stop waiting for everything to become clear, to turn black and white. At some point, your questions are either answered or feel irrelevant or maybe you just stopped asking them because you decided that the gray area was sort of the point. The gray area, you realized, is everything.

I just know — and yet, there was also this one moment. This one sweet and simple, fleeting moment in which I realized Radley was It.

His face was scruffy and tanned that morning, slightly burnt, his days back then filled with bayside runs and sandy beach football and long, sunny motorcycle rides. He wore khaki cargo shorts and a green tee, the one I loved because it brought out the golden-green shade of his eyes.
It was early in the morning, a Sunday, and we were carrying hot coffees as we walked along the edge of Mission Bay. I wore cutoff denim shorts and a hooded sweatshirt and my hair was frizzy from the wind.

"The sky is cerulean," I said. "Cerulean. That's my favorite crayon."

And the way he looked at me — his head tilted sideways, eyebrows raised, a half-smirk — well, everything felt sure. He knew, and I knew, and the sky was the color of the brightest blue crayon.

{You can read about the beginning of their love story here.}

Monday, September 24

24 candles

This weekend, I celebrated my 24th birthday... most definitely the best birthday I've ever had. My friends, as usual went above and beyond with thoughtfulness and I felt so special and loved... it was just perfect. We started Saturday morning with lunch and drinks at Toronado [a friend who couldn't make it called and covered a ton of food for us as a surprise... so incredibly sweet], then moved on to some other bars and eventually home. A full 12 hours of fiesta. Woof. Yesterday, Amanda woke me up with donut holes and I opened presents. Blog Inc., Frye boots, washi tape, nail polish, recipe book, wunder unders, a clutch and an alliegator pinata [handmade by this gal] were some highlights... I am seriously blessed.

yours truly... 24 years old... beer + brat

cards, homemade alliegator pinata, favorite friends

birthday millslagle sandwich... double decker edition

blowing out the candles

It was a lovely weekend, indeed! 

Tuesday, September 18

space jam

photo (left) courtesy of design*sponge

After reading Bekuh's tips for finding inspiration, I got inspired and discovered a mechanism of my own. Lately, I just haven't been able to get enough of design blogs. Perhaps it's the grown up in me yearning to decorate a space of my own or maybe it's that fall is coming and I'm even more drawn to brick than usual. Thanks to design*sponge, I've rounded up some of my favorite spaces that will someday influence my own [semi] permanent abode.

one + two

PS: Thanks for sticking with me through my rant yesterday. As usual, I felt way better after writing it all out. Lots of goodies coming to ya this week... including my birthday this Sunday! Woo hoo! Happy Tuesday!

Monday, September 17


photo courtesy of thisrusticlife via therusticarchives

As you may remember, I dubbed 2012 "the year of the Allie," meaning that I would take care of myself and my needs and really enjoy and live my life and thus far, I think I've done a pretty good job: trying new exercise classes, getting my hair done without caring about what other people think, concentrating on this blog, volunteering, trying new foods, camping, quitting my job... and so on. But another thing I've really made a conscious effort to do is to put myself out there in the dating world. Though I complain about being perpetually single, I don't do much about it. I will admit that I have romantic and probably unrealistic expectations for dating. I want to be fought for and I want to feel loved and of course, love in return.

Through this newfound and semi-forced confidence, I've met some cool people. Some I've hoped would turn into a romance but mostly, the encounters have just been friendly, which is wonderful. New friends are always fun and I enjoy learning about people and their life paths.

But anyways, that's not what this post is about. In one of my bold moments, I gave my number to a guy, we'll call him Bob. Bob and I texted for a while and then it kind of fizzled. When I bumped into him at his place of work a month or so later, we starting chatting again. Things were looking up until one of his co-workers informed me that Bob is, in fact, married. In typical "the year of the Allie" fashion, I called him out and he responded, "but things are bad and I'm on the fence."

Dear "Bob," it just doesn't matter how bad things are.

I'm no expert, but he vowed to love this woman and to be true to her and if things aren't going as planned, bailing and texting a random girl (me) just doesn't seem like the right thing to do. This small and seemingly insignificant encounter kind of shattered my hopes. Bob and I never hung out or went on a date; just casual get-to-know-you text messaging. But putting myself in his wife's shoes just broke my heart. Of course this is an extreme example but I think that we see this type of carelessness in everyday life as well.

One of the reasons I started my love stories series was to foster my vow to take care of myself because love is definitely the number one thing I get down about. I feel like all I hear about is failed relationships and cheating husbands/wives and it makes me sad. Keeping the faith and vowing to yourself to not settle is a constant struggle. And besides romantic relationships, it tears me apart when I witness people being downright rude and terrible to complete strangers... in my opinion, no one deserves it. You don't know what battle that person is fighting and you don't know if their day was, gasp, worse than yours.

I think what scares me the most is that cheating on your significant other, getting frustrated too easily with your loved ones and being a complete jerk to a perfect stranger is becoming the norm and even worse, widely accepted. But it doesn't have to be that way.

photo courtesy of meggielynne

I don't know what the goal of this post is but I just wanted to say: treat people how you want to be treated. Whether they're your best friend, your significant other or the barista at the coffee shop who might be going a little slower than usual, be kind. It's as simple as that. If we could all just adhere to that, I think we would be a lot better off.

Thursday, September 13

inspiration... where you at?

image courtesy of the shiny squirrel via isle of view

I think I've officially hit a wall. Nothing has inspired me lately and I don't know what to do about it. Usually, I can take a walk around the block or peruse the blogosphere and I'll snap back immediately but nothing is doing it for me this week! Silly because things in my life are, for once, going according to plan. I couldn't be more excited to start my job [I got my business cards already... cue the squeals!] and I have some very fun happenings to look forward to in the coming weeks: my college roommate is coming to visit, Lori's housewarming party, my birthday, my first day at my new job, the wedding... so many things! Trust me, I'm very grateful... anddddd I've been out pretending like I'm still in college to celebrate all of these wonderful things in my near future [which has been, by the way, pretty dang fun].

So why have these positive events resulted in neglecting my blog, which is one of the most important things in my life? I'll tell you why... balance! It's something I write about FAR too often but it's my biggest life struggle. All of my attempts to get things in order, balance-wise, end with me being completely neurotic and driving myself crazy. Oy. I think I need an adventure. In the contraption above [how cute is that!?]

Where do you go for inspiration? What pulls you out of a writing rut? How do you balance your life?

Monday, September 10

things i dig: gifts for your besties

Well guys, the bachelorette party weekend was a success. We took Austin by storm and I think we're all still feeling the aftermath. Woof. It was way too amazing to see Carey, whom I haven't seen in over a year, and to bond with all of the other bridesmaids. Needless to say, I cannot imagine a better group of girls and I feel absurdly blessed to be a part of the group.

Speaking of friends, two of my bestest friends' birthdays are coming up and my dear cousin's birthday just passed. So September is a serious month of gift giving... something I absolutely love and think I'm pretty good at if I do say so myself. I've rounded up some of my favorite things floating around the Internet that remind me of some of my best friends... and who knows, maybe one of these things is a said besties' actual present (wink wink).

one // two // three // four // five // six 

PS: Can we talk about The Shops at Target? I think I'm in love.

Friday, September 7

well last night was fun

Welp, after tons of work, balloons, hat-making and sweating, the Urbanist Guide release party was a success. MIHO made the feastliest sliders in the world [obviously] and it was far too much fun bonding with all of the North Park "celebrities." And I personally had a really fabulous time hogging the photo booth...


Off to Austin, Texas for the weekend to celebrate Carey's bachelorette party! Photos to come of the fantastic food and fun that will be had!

Thursday, September 6

something had to give

As you probably gathered from yesterday's post, there's been something going on. Something I haven't been able to share with you and something that has been slowly eating away at me. A little something called my job. When I tell people what I do, they respond, "oh what a dream! That sounds perfect for you!" but that's just evidence that not everything is as good as it seems. Sometimes jobs that are seemingly ideal and perfect are actually the worst. The worst.

I won't go into too much detail but because of the content of the work, the company, the commute... pretty much everything about it... I could really go on for hours (because I have), I fell into a place I haven't been in a while. I felt depressed, useless, stupid and at times, crazy. I watched some of my favorite things about myself disappear and I cried myself to sleep many a night feeling helpless and trapped. You guys, I've been miserable. It's insane how much a job can do that to you.

But as a person who thrives on passion and uses that passion as fuel for every endeavor, to do a job that I was not only not passionate about but one that I didn't even believe in and for a company I didn't respect, just killed me.
illustration courtesy of designlovefest & katie evans

Something had to give. So I quit my job.

I never dreamed that my career would mean so much to me, but it does. Life's too short to settle and just merely go through the motions; to accept things and just "get over it"; and I wasn't going to do it anymore. That's the thing... you don't have to do it. In my case, I would have rather busted my you-know-what doing odd jobs to pay the rent than to continue sitting in a cubicle doing mindless work for people who didn't care about my growth or opinion... just for a steady paycheck.

Though it's scary and I won't lie to you, my stomach is still in knots, everything works out. It always has and it always will.

If ANY of you ever need to talk about your job or the job hunt, please email me. I'm by no means an expert but I feel that after this experience I can, at the very least, offer some advice. Real advice. Thank you all for sticking with me through this experience and I'm happy to announce... I'm BACK!

Wednesday, September 5

when skies are grey

image courtesy of art life

Things in my life have been a little grey lately, which you may have gathered from my lack of blogging. The holiday weekend was anything but relaxing and every aspect of my life seems to be running at a million miles per hour. I'm hoping things will settle down soon. I don't have much to report in the life de Allie but I would like to thank my incredible friends for constantly going above and beyond and keeping me afloat. And, of course, to you all for your constant support and positive vibes... thank you all for being my sunshine!

Lately, I've been really inspired by several posts around the blogosphere: one // two // three

And I'll leave you with a great quote by Joss Whedon, which you may remember from this post

“Passion, it lies in all of us, sleeping... waiting... and though unwanted... unbidden... it will stir... open its jaws and howl. It speaks to us... guides us... passion rules us all, and we obey. What other choice do we have? Passion is the source of our finest moments. The joy of love... the clarity of hatred... and the ecstasy of grief.  It hurts sometimes more than we can bear. If we could live without passion maybe we'd know some kind of peace... but we would be hollow... empty rooms shuttered and dank. Without passion we'd be truly dead.”

Tuesday, September 4

the coolest people you'll ever meet [august]

Hello friends! Sorry for the accidental silence. Life's been hectic. Tonight, I have some lovely friends to introduce to you; they'll be sharing a place they're dying to travel to!

I tend to get slightly attached to cities, and find myself traveling to certain places over and over. I would absolutely love to be back in Germany, exploring every nook and cranny of my favorite country [so far], especially during Christmastime! Some of my other favorite cities are Austin, Salt Lake City and Charlottesville.

I would really love to travel through Europe and go to France someday soon. My best friend is currently an au pair there and I just think it would be amazing to see where she lives and explore France! Plus, I took 7 years of French and I would like to put it to use somehow! 

Lately, all of my dreams are based on visiting the wizarding world of Harry Potter in Orlando, Florida. I'm so obsessed that I've watched strangers' YouTube videos, stalked family vacation pictures and guilted my family into having phone conversations detailing every single aspect of the park. My fingers are crossed I get to visit before I'm too old to appreciate the magic!

I would love to visit Scotland! I absolutely love the green countryside and the history. 

Italy always seemed like a great place to go, but was never a "MUST-DO." Until I saw a photo of Positano. Now, I'm DYING to go! The colors! The buildings! I just love every bit of it and vow to make it a reality!