Fashion Friday: Thrifted Pleated Skirt

Throwback to when there were still leaves on the trees and the weather was warm enough to wear sandals! I wore this outfit to a wedding in September and immediately knew I wanted to share it on here. It took me a couple of months to get through school and enjoy the Christmas season but now my brain cells are back to their normal level of function and I actually share it! It’s the perfect combination of comfy enough for dancing the night away, warm enough for chilly autumn evenings in the mountains, and dressy enough for most occasions.



These shoes were a thrilling thrift store find last summer. They had no tags and I don’t know where they were originally purchased but they had zero signs of wear and they fit (!) which when you have feet as small as mine is an impressive feat in the women’s shoe section.

Top: Madewell via Poshmark, Skirt: A local Arc, Shoes: A local Goodwill

All of the photos, as well as the photos from this post were taken by the amazing Caitlin Verette. She is seriously the sweetest and I am in love with these photos, I can’t recommend her work enough.


I hope you have a blessed start to 2019, until next time!


2018 in Photos

2018 was quite a year! It was incredibly hard in many ways but it was also a year that I grew in my understanding of who God is and what it means to be a Christ follower. The past 12 months have been full of people I love, new experiences and wonderful opportunities. I think the best way to share the highlights of this year is in my favorite photos from each month.



I rang in the new year surrounded by friends at a decades themed party hosted by me and my friend. It was an absolute blast and so worth how tired I was the next day!


In January I also had the opportunity to visit Aspen, CO for a fun girls weekend. None of us are very avid skiiers or snowboarders so it wasn’t until we got up there that we realized we were visiting the weekend of the X Games. We had an amazing time watching the games, exploring the town, and were totally refreshed and ready to get back into the swing of the semester when we returned.



February was one of the less eventful months out of 2018 but I still managed to dig myself out of homework long enough to explore Manitou Springs and experiment with photography in some unusual settings.



The month of March can be split into three sections, waiting for spring break, spring break, and recovering from spring break. This year, I went to Steamboat Springs, CO with my mom and one of my sisters. We ate good food, watched the snow fall around us while enjoying the hot springs, and visited the last major National Park in Colorado, Dinosaur National Monument.




In April, I helped a friend plan a surprise 80th birthday party for her Grandma. We baked a cake, brought spray-in hair color, and had so much fun celebrating such a sweet lady!



In May I completed my first year as a full-time college student. UCCS was my second-choice school, and I ultimately chose it because my goal is to graduate from college debt-free. I now wholeheartedly love the school primarily because of the people that I have met and the community I found there. I ended up visiting a student ministry called Cru (formerly known as Campus Crusade for Christ) and it has been such a blessing.


In May I also traveled to Dallas, TX to visit my best friend. We got to know each other the summer before my freshman and her sophomore year of highschool and have been pretty much like sisters ever since. She moved from CO to TX after she graduated high school and I hadn’t seen her in a year so it was so good to get to visit her.



In June, I kayaked for the first time. It is much more of an upper body work out than I’m used to but it was so fun and I can’t wait to go again next summer! We tried to get across Twin Lakes to visit a ghost town that can only be reached by boat or hiking trail but a storm blew in while we were halfway across and we had to turn around so that is my first goal for kayaking once it gets warm enough!



In July, I turned 19, finally passed College Algebra, and (the most exciting thing) got to visit El Salvador and meet my sponsored child!


Meeting Nuria was the best part of my entire year and made me even more passionate about sponsoring through Compassion. If you want to read more about my trip, I wrote blog posts about Day 1, an overview, and Child Visit Day


August started with a camping trip on the western slope and finally hiking to Crystal, CO before I started my sophomore year of college!


The Crystal Mill is one of the most photographed locations in Colorado and it is located in a ghost town near Marble, CO which can only be reached by jeep or hiking. Most of the property in the town was recently purchased by a woman who planned to develop it into a resort. I was worried that the town would be commercialized and the historical and natural beauty would be lost but actually, the result was quite lovely. All of the original cabins were still there and while I wasn’t able to see inside of any of them it looks like the structure has been repaired so that they are safe to inhabit without significantly altering the appearance. Some descendants of the original residents of the town still live there and I was able to speak to one of them and he was very optimistic about the changes.

I also jumped into a new school year and while this one definitely kicked my butt I learned and grew a ton as a result.


In September I went to Kansas for my cousin’s bridal shower, learned to dirt bike and went to my other cousin’s wedding! It was a wild month but so great!



October was a month full of community. I went to my second RMGA which is the fall retreat for Cru in CO. The first night of the retreat always ends with a dance competition and after 2 years of coming in second to UNC, UCCS finally won! That led into an amazing weekend where everyone grew and we enjoyed time away from school and with God.



I also started working at Trader Joe’s in October! I am so glad to be doing something different from lifeguarding


November can be split into three categories: stress about school, Thanksgiving break, stress about finals. As you can see, most of the month was rough but the week of Thanksgiving was wonderful. My friend’s birthday was right before Thanksgiving so we pretty much spent the whole week celebrating.




In December my cousin got married! She and her husband are an awesome couple and I was thrilled to see them start their life together and gain a cousin!


December also marked the second New Years party that my friend and I threw. We ran out of time to plan much so we opted for a low-key game night to ring in 2019.

2018 was a wild ride. While it came with so many amazing moments I am more than happy to see what 2019 has in store now!

Fashion Friday: What to Wear to a Record Shop

Happy Friday!

While I posted for Black Friday and Giving Tuesday, it’s been a while since I’ve really written anything. This semester has been unusually difficult both academically and in my personal life but I’m excited to be approaching break and to celebrate the holidays with my family.

Last month I had the opportunity to shoot with Caitlin Verette. She was a blast to shoot with and I loved getting to chat with her about life and running a small business. Caitlin is based in Colorado Springs and also does wedding photography so if you are looking for a photographer, I can’t recommend her work enough!


The first half of our shoot took place at the cutest local record shop. It was so fun to browse the music in between taking photos. I found some original DC Talk CDs and now I’m kind of regretting not getting them…but not really because I have no way to play CDs.



My bag is from Wilder Bag, the most amazing vintage shop owned by another awesome female entrepreneur, Stephanie Yu. She has collections at Pikes Peak Market and Eclectic Company which are both in Downtown Colorado Springs.

Sweater: Local thrift shop, Skirt: *ThredUp, Purse Wilder Bag


Unless I let you know otherwise, my posts aren’t sponsored by any of the companies whose products I mention. I won’t accept sponsorships from companies whose products I don’t truly think are really great. However, links marked with an * are affiliate links. Should you click on the links and make a purchase, at no extra cost to you, I’ll go add to my growing stash of tea, or yarn, or pay the fines on that library book that I couldn’t put down for a month.

Giving Tuesday: 4 Great Places to Give if you Live in Colorado (Or Anywhere)

Today is Giving Tuesday, a day dedicated to kicking off the holiday season by giving. You’ve probably seen various organizations’ campaigns asking for donations or heard that Facebook is matching donations up to 7 million (which they hit by 7am this morning). Everyone has causes that are near to their heart and today I’m sharing mine.  If you connect with any of them feel free to give or share the causes you are giving to today in the comments!

The Exodus Road I have had the privilege of interning for The Exodus Road for the past year. They work to find and free slaves in SE Asia, Latin America, and the USA. Today they are trying to raise $165,000 and all gifts given today will be TRIPLED. Another great way to give to TER is through their store which is full of beautiful fair trade products that not only help their mission but also provided dignified employment to either survivors or individuals at risk of trafficking.

Unite Ministries is a new ministry dedicated to uniting churches across Colorado Springs. They host quarterly worship nights (the next one is on November 30 at the World Prayer Center). I am so excited about how God will use this ministry and the young people who founded it in my city.

Life Network provides support, resources, and education to young parents, counseling to parents who are grieving after an abortion, and education on healthy relationships and safe sex to highschool students in the Pikes Peak region. I love their holistic approach to being pro-life and that they fight for the health of the whole family and whole community.

Dressember is a month-long advocacy and fundraising challenge that officially kicks off on December 1. 2018 is the second year that I will be wearing a dress every day of December and I can’t wait. All of the money donated to Dressember will be given in grants to their partners. This year they are partnering with IJM, A21, McMahon-Ryan, Restore, Pathfinders, Best, Youth Spark, Cast, and Olive Crest, Thorn, Love146, and Saving Innocence.

Are you giving today? What organizations are you passionate about? Tell me in the comments!


Unless I let you know otherwise, my posts aren’t sponsored by any of the companies whose products I mention. I won’t accept sponsorships from companies whose products I don’t truly think are really great. However, links marked with an * are affiliate links. Should you click on the links and make a purchase, at no extra cost to you, I’ll go add to my growing stash of tea, or yarn, or pay the fines on that library book that I couldn’t put down for a month.

Make Thanksgiving Weekend Count: Where I’m Shopping this Year

Black Friday has been getting a bad rap in the past few years and for good reason. As a nation we devote an entire day to excessive consumption immediately after spending a day (supposedly) practicing gratitude and at the beginning of an entire season that should be centered around community, generosity, and gratitude. That said, Black Friday isn’t all bad. Businesses have to make a profit and my family has benefitted from the opportunity to save a lot of money on both necessary and enjoyable things. The key to doing Black Friday well is our attitude and purpose going into it. Are we mindful of the things that we truly need and will bring joy to our lives? Or are we just shopping because everything’s cheap? Black Friday is no different from any other day of the year in that we need to be mindful of the impact our consumption has on others and the ways we can either honor or further marginalize the people involved in creating the life we are accustomed to in the western world.

This Black Friday I challenge you to shop some sales but also try to do good with your shopping. To help you with that I’ve compiled a list of companies that are working to change consumption culture, including Black Friday. Some have sales, some don’t but all have amazing products that are guaranteed to be huge hits as Christmas gifts or super fun for yourself.

REI: Love the outdoors? Rei has amazing products for every outdoor activity. Don’t try shopping there the day after Thanksgiving though because their #OptOutside campaign is designed to encourage people to get out of consumerism and into nature.

Everlane: Ethically made, high-quality basics abound at Everlane. I’ve been drooling over their #damngooddenim. The best part? All of their profits from Black Friday will be used to start a farm that will provide two meals every day to the workers who create that denim as part of their Black Friday Fund.

Able: Stylish shoes and to-die-for leather bags made with ethical leather and beautiful jewelry made by individuals overcoming poverty in Nashville. This Friday their entire site is 30% off with the code ABLE30 and they offer free shipping for purchases over $49.

The Exodus Road: Beautiful gifts and products that are helping to fight human trafficking? Not only is everything in The Exodus Road’s shop made by people rescued from or at risk for HT it is supporting TER’s fight against trafficking by helping them fund nights of investigation to rescue trafficking victims. On Black Friday-Cyber Monday they have free shipping on all orders using the code shippingfreedom

*ThredUp: Y’all, I’m obsessed with ThredUp. Everything is in super great shape, and way cheaper than buying it new. It’s my favorite. There are no sales specifically for Black Friday but be sure to check them out for gifts or holiday clothes!


Unless I let you know otherwise, my posts aren’t sponsored by any of the companies whose products I mention. I won’t accept sponsorships from companies whose products I don’t truly think are really great. However, links marked with an * are affiliate links. Should you click on the links and make a purchase, at no extra cost to you, I’ll go add to my growing stash of tea, or yarn, or pay the fines on that library book that I couldn’t put down for a month.

Colorado Travel Guide: How to Spend a Weekend in Colorado Springs

I’ve written quite a few Colorado travel guides over the past couple of years. I started with Estes Park part 1 and part 2 and the most recent was Steamboat Springs but I’ve never posted about my hometown: Colorado Springs! This post was actually really difficult to write because I had a terrible time deciding which local businesses I wanted to recommend and which ones I wanted to keep to myself. Part of me wants everyone to love my favorite coffee shop but I also don’t really want my favorite table to be available even less often. I’ve managed to push down (most of) the selfishness and I’m doing a slightly different format for this post: a three-ish day schedule instead of just a list of my favorite places. I’m also not keeping you inside the city for the whole time. This is really designed for someone who either lives outside of Colorado, or is new to the area and has a few days free so if that sounds like you, or if you just want some new recommendations of things to do in the Springs, read on!

Day 1

Roll into town sometime early in the afternoon and head to Cheyenne Canyon for a hike. Seven Bridges is one of my favorites and if you have extra time you can keep going past the seventh bridge and hike into Allen’s Park. When you finish the hike head to Trader Joes. Get the ingredients to make dinner tonight, and a picnic lunch and trail mix for tomorrow.


Day 2

Get up early and watch the sunrise from Garden of the Gods (balancing rock is a great spot for this!). Grab breakfast burritos from the La Casita on Cimmaron and coffee from Intertia Coffee and head west on highway 24 to explore the mountains. Mueller State Park has some great hikes and the aspens are beautiful in the fall. If you want something more strenuous, head to Pancake Rocks for an amazing view of Cripple Creek (you can read more about Pancake Rocks here). On your way back into town make sure you stop at the Donut Mill in Woodland Park!


Eat a late lunch/early dinner at the Skirted Heifer in downtown CO Springs. They make some of the best burgers in town but don’t get there too late because the line gets crazy long! Spend the rest of the afternoon/evening shopping and exploring the downtown area. Some of my favorite shops are Rocky Mountain Soap Market, and Wilder Bag and Weighstead in Pikes Peak Market. When you’re in Pikes Peak Market, make sure to get some gelato from Legit Gelato, the orange chocolate is my favorite.


Day 3


Have brunch at Ivywild Kitchen. Ivywild Elementary School was built in 1916 and closed in 2009. It is now owned by Bristol Brewery and is home to Bristol Brewery, Ivywild Kitchen, a cute brunch place/coffee shop, a bar called The Principal’s Office, and fairtrade shop Yobel Market as well as a few other local businesses. When you’re done, explore the Broadmoor, a historic resort built by Spencer Penrose before heading back home or out of town.

Honorable mentions: I have visited some but not all of these businesses, they have all been recommended by friends who love them.

The Pop – a coffee/specialty soda drive-through in north CO Springs

Who Gives a Scrap – a second-hand craft supply store in Old Colorado City (I haven’t visited but this place looks really cool and I’m going to visit the next time I’m in the area!)

Roscos Coffee – a local coffee shop and roaster in downtown CO Springs

Switchback Roasters – another local coffee roaster/shop in downtown

Special Grounds Coffee – a local coffee shop in north/east CO Springs

What is your favorite thing to do in or near Colorado Springs? Tell me in the comments!


Fall Semester Goals Check-up

So lately on social media I’ve seen a bunch of “last 90 days” or “last 100 days” challenges and maybe I’ve been living under a rock and they aren’t new but I like to think that I beat everyone to the idea because last month I shared my 6 Goals for the Fall Semester. I just finished week 6 at UCCS and the first full calendar month since the school year started will be over when this posts so it seems like a good time to check in and see how I’m doing with these goals.

  1. Find a bullet journaling rhythm that works for me I got about 2 weeks into September really loving bullet journaling and then slowly started using it less and less consistently. Once it’s set up it’s a really amazing tool but it’s a big time investment to get your month and weeks set up. I like that it’s adaptable because I’ve never found a planner that’s quite perfect for me and I’ve almost got my bullet journal spreads to exactly what I need but I’m still not sure if I’ll keep it up once the semester is over.
  2. Get the best grades I can in all my classes I have an A and 4 Bs right now. Junior year is turning out to be a lot harder than any other year of school and it’s been a struggle to keep my grades where they are but I’m pretty happy with how it’s going right now.
  3. Apply for the Compassion Internship The Compassion Internship application doesn’t open until November so no progress on this goal yet.
  4. Learn Adobe Premier Pro, Photoshop, and Lightroom Premier Pro has quite the learning curve. I’m pretty comfortable with Lightroom’s features but I’m still perfecting my editing process. I haven’t even touched Photoshop yet.
  5. Write to my Compassion Kids every month Its September 28 today and I have one more letter to write. Speaking of Compassion: Have you seen my fundraiser for Compassion El Salvador? It’s live for ONE more week! Check it out here!
  6. Blog twice a week Last week I only posted once but other than that I’ve had two blog posts (except for one YouTube video) per week

So far I think I’m doing pretty well! Hopefully I can keep this up for the rest of the semester!

What I Brought Back from El Salvador

Every piece of clothing has a story. From the farm where the fibers are grown to the factory where the clothing is sewn together to the retail store where you buy it so many hands and lives have touched and been touched by the clothes you wear. That’s why I love slow fashion. I love knowing that the clothes I wear benefitted the people who came in contact with them and I love knowing those people’s stories. On our last day in El Salvador, we went to a local market to do some shopping. While the experience was a bit overshadowed by meeting my sponsored child earlier in the day, that didn’t totally cancel out how cool the experience was.


I got to speak to the woman who hand embroidered this blouse. Knowing the stories of the people who made my clothes is amazing, actually getting to talk to them even more so.


These shoes were made in one of Compassion El Salvador’s income generation projects. Income generation is part of how the Youth Development Program is replacing the Leadership Development Program so that more students are able to continue their education after highschool. You can read more about it in my post Compassion El Salvador 2018 Day 1: The Country Office and Home Visits. Currently, the students are making the shoes entirely by hand which isn’t very scalable. If the centers could scale the production of the shoes they could break into wholesale markets, and sell internationally but to do that they need two machines that cost $20,000 each. When I visited the country office I was inspired to fundraise and help them buy these machines. It’s been a little while but it’s finally ready! I worked with the awesome Grace Rouse to design a tshirt and it’s available on Bonfire. I don’t know if we can get to $20,000 or $40,000 but I do know that I serve an amazing God who can do anything He wants.

I would so so appreciate if you would share this and buy one if the shirts and/or the mission strike your fancy! You can get to the campaign page right here!

Much love,




The Dress I Couldn’t Wait to Post About

I bought this dress in May. When I roadtripped to visit my best friend in Dallas we decided to go to Waco and Houston together and visited Mercy House Global’s Big Red Barn. Y’all they had some really cute stuff (and still do, the fall line is to die for) including some dresses from Elegantees. I ended up getting the Riley dress from their kid’s line because I’m basically the size of a child and it was $20 cheaper (keepin it real). And then I got home and realized it was really short so I decided to just put it away and wait until I could wear it with tights in the fall. 3.5 months is a long time to wait when you’re really excited about the dress you just bought but fall is finally here and I can’t wait to live in this outfit until next May.



Dress: Eden by Elegantees, shop their dresses in adult sizes here, Shoes: Target (Sold out) similarsimilar

Have you every bought something you had to wait months for the right season to wear? Or am I crazy? Tell me in the comments!


Unless I let you know otherwise, my posts aren’t sponsored by any of the companies whose products I mention. I won’t accept sponsorships from companies whose products I don’t truly think are really great. However, links marked with an * are affiliate links. Should you click on the links and make a purchase, at no extra cost to you, I’ll go add to my growing stash of tea, or yarn, or pay the fines on that library book that I couldn’t put down for a month.



DIY Floral Applique Skirt

I love love love the floral embroidery trend. Skirts, jeans, jackets, it’s all super cute. The best part about the trend is that it is a super easy way to upcycle something you already have in your closet. I recently upcycled a pair of jeans using *these appliques so I’ve decided to show you the process on a skirt I’ve been wanting to change up.

For this project you will need:

  • Floral appliques or patches I used *these ones
  • Needle and thread to match your appliques
  • scissors
  • Sewing pins
  • *Fabric glue would also be useful. I didn’t have any when I did this project but I would recommend it.


Step 1. Gather and prep your supplies

The floral appliques I bought come in a pack of two but I cut them apart so I had four.


Step 2. Lay the appliques out and make sure you like how it looks.

Play around with this, look up inspiration pictures and make sure you really love it.


Step 3. Pin (and/or glue) everything down.

Once you have everything how you want it, make sure it won’t move around using pins or fabric glue.


Step 4. Sew it all onto the skirt.

Depending on the type of appliques you might be able to use a sewing machine or you might just opt to use permanent fabric glue. Personally, I trust needle and thread more than glue so I sewed mine down. Unfortunately, I couldn’t use my machine on the applique I chose. If you end up in the same boat as me, I recommend spreading this out, and watching a movie because it is a long, tedious, process to make sure you have it stitched down in enough spots to make sure it won’t gape or move around.

What do you think of the floral applique trend? Are you going to try this DIY? Tell me in the comments!


Unless I let you know otherwise, my posts aren’t sponsored by any of the companies whose products I mention. I won’t accept sponsorships from companies whose products I don’t truly think are really great. However, links marked with an * are affiliate links. Should you click on the links and make a purchase, at no extra cost to you, I’ll go add to my growing stash of tea, or yarn, or pay the fines on that library book that I couldn’t put down for a month.