The Give-Back Gift Guide

Giving gifts feels even better when you know you're giving back! Read on for three of my very favorite brands and products that make an incredibly positive impact on the world.





(RED) is a nonprofit organization that partners with iconic brands to raise money to fight HIV/AIDS in Africa through the Global Fund. Working with brands like Amazon, Apple, Beats, Alex & Ani, and more, (RED) seeks to engage the private sector in raising awareness and funds related to HIV/AIDS in eight African countries.





A New Day and Vital Voices joined together to bring a limited-time collection to Target focused on celebrating the passion, strength, and undeniable power of women. Vital Voices supports fearless women leaders across the globe to amplify their voices and increase their impact in their pursuit of economic empowerment, public and political leadership, and the protection of all human rights.





H&M's Conscious - Sustainable Style collection is a selection of sustainable fashion pieces designed to make you both look and feel good. Their range of organic and sustainable clothing offer you a variety of new wardrobe favorites - everything from soft knits and stylish t-shirts to the latest denim looks and comfortable underwear.

So this holiday season put your money where your heart is! Shop brands you love and can feel great about - it makes the giving go even further.

2019 Workspacery Refresh Weekly Planner

It's here, it's here! The day has finally arrived when I can transition to my beautiful new 2019 Workspacery Refresh Weekly Planner! Huge thanks to Jenna of Workspacery for sending me the beautiful black grid planner to review. I'm also super excited to be an affiliate of Workspacery which means when you shop through the links in my post, I'll receive a small commission!


With three cover options, weekly task & time organization, a goal planning section, planner bookmark, inside front cover pocket, and a new slimmer and more lightweight design the 2019 Refresh Weekly Planner might just be my favorite version yet!

Hazel & Ollie Holiday Collection

One of my favorite lady-bosses just launched a new Holiday Collection of jewelry and I couldn't be more excited! You might only know Emily as the incredibly talented florist behind The Bloom Academy but you might not know she's also an accomplished maker who produces hand made goods for kids & grown ups through her brand Hazel & Ollie. Read on for details on the big holiday sale from Black Friday through Cyber Monday!


Forever 21 Pre-Black Friday Sales

Is it just me or do Black Friday sales seem to start earlier and earlier every year? This year Forever 21 broke out the Pre-Black Friday sales offering 30% off sweaters, 30% off shoes, and 50% off select outerwear! You need to hurry though - these deals are just around till tomorrow (November 21)!

From top left: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9

Sweaters



Outerwear



Shoes




Happy Thanksgiving!

Helm Salon KC Grand Opening

Anyone else feel like finding a hairstylist you love is about 10x harder than dating? I mean, you're trusting a person with scissors and a razor ON YOUR HAIR. That's a big deal. Lucky for me I've been in a solid relationship with my lovely hairstylist, Shanna Austin, for a while now and I'm super excited to share that this gal just opened her own salon, HELM Salon, in the River Market Kansas City!


There are several fabulous things about HELM right off the bat:
- It's location is great and there's ample parking
- The space is relaxing and decorated beautifully
- They carry Kevin Murphy's full line of affordable, sustainable, Earth-friendly, and ridiculously amazing smelling products

H&M Sweater Roundup

It's officially sweater season! I popped by H&M yesterday and, wow, do they have an incredible assortment of super chic and super affordable sweaters to choose from!I rounded up some of my faves and tossed in a couple $5 tops and a dress for good measure.


Some sweater trends to be on the lookout for this season include color block patterns, pops of bright colors, pearl accents, high necklines, and cropped lengths.




What are your favorite sweater trends this year?

LocalE Review + The Fashion Column Twins Giveaway!

"On October 3rd he asked me what day it was. 'It's October 3rd.'"
We're going to just consider it serendipitous that LocalE, The Fashion Column Twins, and I happened to plan a (pink) sweatshirt giveaway on Wednesday, October 3rd. What a perfect way to celebrate the magical year when the October 3rd Mean Girls holiday also falls on a Wednesday when everyone feels very compelled to wear pink! Lucky for me Emily and Elizabeth are anything but mean girls. I was so incredibly excited when they reached out to see if I'd be interested in collaborating on a giveaway (check out my latest Instagram post for entry details)! I remember when I first moved to Kansas City their gold sequin sweatshirt was a piece of KC swag I wanted more than anything. I'm so excited to now have it hanging in my closet!

Read on for giveaway details and make sure to enter the giveaway here on Instagram! Entries will be accepted through Sunday, October 7!

The Facial Bar Lash Lift + Tint Experience

A couple of weeks ago I had the chance to visit The Facial Bar for the first time! They were incredibly kind and invited me in to tour their space, learn more about their philosophy, and enjoy a complimentary lash lift + tint! Also, since visiting their Crossroads location The Facial Bar announced they'll be opening a second location in Olathe - huge congratulations to them!


The Facial Bar was established in 2015 as the first and only facial salon in Kansas City. Priding themselves on providing a variety of skin care options suitable for any budget, The Facial Bar's goal is to make skin care accessible so that everyone can have healthy, glowing skin! Their services include facials, peels, waxing, and (most recently) lash lifts + tints. All of the skincare services offered are 30 minutes and include steam, neck & shoulder massage, extractions, and ice globes to end the service. The aesthetic of the salon is light, airy, open, and clean. The chairs are arranged side-by-side in an open, casual environment to promote a laid-back, social feel.

Workspacery Content Planner Review

A new month means a new opportunity to get organized and thankfully we have Workspacery here to help! Introducing the Workspacery Content Planner! My dear friend, Jenna, is a an organization queen and the mastermind behind the Workspacery brand. Her new organization ideas and strategies never cease to amaze me and I was so tickled when she sent over the Workspacery Content Planner to try out! Read on for my full review and some lovely September calendar freebies from Workspacery to download at the end of this post!


It was crazy, we were packing the car to go to Florida and just before we got in the car to leave the mailman delivered a package and it was the planner! I wanted so badly to have the Content Planner for the road trip there and back and thought some pool-side planning would be very inspirational (which it was).

10,592 Days!

Well, I've officially been on this earth for 10,592 day which means it's celebration time! Tayanna (photographer behind Hey Tay & resident bestie) and I met up at Pink Antlers last night and had an incredibly fun impromptu photo shoot! Read on for more pics and my love letter to Pink Antlers!


Entering the last year of my 20s is a little scary, I'll be honest. I'm trying to not overthink it - it's just a number! And, truly, I'm so fortunate to be at an amazing point in my life - Corey and I have been married for 5 years, I've been at the same company for almost 5 years and have had amazing career opportunities, I have an amazing family and a group of furry kids who love us a lot, and I also have an incredibly cool car and closet. I need to practice gratitude much more earnestly.


I've seen so many bloggers with incredibly cute birthday photos so I just had to join in on the fun! Pink Antlers is a mom & daughters owned store at Park Place in Leawood, KS. They are absolutely one of my favorite shops in Kansas City and have products ranging from home decor to party supplies to children's toys to organizational goodies. When I go into Pink Antlers I always end up leaving with a new goody that I'm absolutely in love with!


Pink Antlers also offers workshops throughout the year! On September 18th Carly Rae Studio will be teaching Modern Floral Watercolors class and September 19th she'll be teaching Botanical Watercolors class! If you follow Pink Antlers on Instagram and/or subscribe to their emails you'll get regular updates on upcoming shop events!


OH! And, oh my goodness, Pink Antlers has a shop pup. Frankie is an Australian Shepard/Poodle mix and I'm completely in love with her. She is so chill and sweet but is absolutely down to snuggle if you are. Like, can we just clone her please because I want a Frankie in my furry squad!


Big thank you to Pink Antlers for letting us shoot and hang out with you last night! And HUGE shout out + thank you to Tayanna for always being down for random photoshoots. If you haven't checked out Tayanna's work you have to. She is immensely talented and does portrait, family, wedding, blog, and boudoir photography! Tay is always down for new ideas and I absolutely love her encouraging attitude and creative eye. I absolutely would not have started my blog without her love and encouragement!


Happy (almost) Labor Day weekend everyone! Thanks for hanging out and here's to another 348 months on this beautiful blue planet!

Betty Rae's River Market Preview Party!

Betty Rae's Ice Cream is making Delaware Street even sweeter starting August 29th with their new River Market location! Corey and I had the chance to check out the space during their preview party recently and it was absolutely delicious.


If you've ever driven by Betty Rae's Waldo location you have seen how popular this ice cream joint is - the line regularly goes out the door and into the parking lot! I'm lucky and am equidistant from both locations so delicious ice cream is always easy to access. Betty Rae's is known for their delicious (and slightly zany) ice cream flavors. Currently they're scooping:

Coco August Pop-Up This Saturday - 8/25!

Emily Bordner and I are popping-up at COCO Brookside this Saturday, August 25 from 1 - 3 pm for some jewelry-wearing, summer-to-fall-shopping fun! To prep, we pulled together some of our favorite COCO looks, called up the amazing Beth Grimm, and journeyed to Messenger Coffee Co. to shoot.


Oh, and Sam Smith (the Sam Smith) was at Messenger Coffee Co. while we were there. I didn't see him even once but I did see his mostly-finished breakfast plate. A true celebrity encounter!

Early August Events 8/3 + 8/4 with Bella Patina, Target, and The Kindred Shops

It's shaping up to be a busy weekend but I'm so excited to share the fun with you all -
be sure to read on for all the deets you need!

Oh, and make sure you're following me over on Instagram. That's where all the action will be!

Shop my look here and shop all of my looks at LIKEtoKNOW.it/annie_austen
August 3rd: First Fridays with Bella Patina
August 4th (am): Wild Fable try-on sesh at KC Speedway Target
August 4th (pm): Emily Bordner pop-up at The Kindred Shops from 2:00 - 4:00 pm

Nordstrom's 2018 Anniversary Sale!

A huge sale and new trends? That's my kind of Thursday! It's the first day of Nordstrom's Anniversary sale and I've rounded up some of my favorite finds!

The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale doesn't go public until next week but for cardholders the fun starts today! Read on for details on this year's trends and to see some of my other fave finds from the sale.

Modern Neutrals
"New-season minimalism goes soft and sophisticated in dreamy pastels. Keep the details delicate, the shape drapey and the color palette cool."

Retro Remix
"A new wave of vintage vibes has arrived. Make way for a modern mashup of tailored plaid, playful crochet, and bold vintage blooms."

Urban Pioneer
"Wild West hits the city in streamlined rodeo references. Chic country details like canteen bags, luxe bolos and crisp white cowgirl boots complete the look."

First Friday Weekend with Lou & Renae + Special Discount

Brace yourself  - I'm about to add yet another event to your fun-things-to-do-this-weekend list!
Shop this top here!
It's First Fridays, Kansas City's monthly arts + antiques celebration! I've been a First Fridays lover since we moved to KC and regularly spending the evenings strolling the Crossroads galleries and the days antique hunting in the West Bottoms. Bella Patina is one of my favorite West Bottoms store where you can find a wide range of antiques, local goods, furniture, clothes, and more. The top floor of Bella Patina is home to one of my favorite KC boutiques, Lou & Renae!

Brookside Sidewalk Sale July 6th - 8th + COCO brookside Pop-Up!

You know what I love? Shopping. You know what I love even more? Sales! And, lucky me, both of those things are happening this weekend! I'm so excited to be a Brookside Ambassador for the Brookside Sidewalk Sale July 6th - 8th! This Saturday I'll be at COCO brookside with Emily Bordner from 11:30 am - 2:00 pm - I can't wait to shop with you! Want a sneak peek at some of the sales? Follow along on my Instagram stories here and read on for sale details.







Some of the other participating Brookside vendors include: 

I can't wait to see you at the Brookside Sidewalk Sale + COCO brookside event this weekend!

Coco Brookside/Emily Bordner Pop-Up + Giveaway

When Emily Bordner proposed collaborating on a new earring line I had to pinch myself - I wasn't cool enough to help create a real life jewelry collection! But here we are and collaborate we did. I've always admired Emily's ability to curate jewelry that can go with literally any outfit. Maintaining that minimalist aesthetic was a focus in our collaboration - we wanted people to be able to rock any of these earrings with every outfit in their wardrobe! Read on to see the pieces AND get details on our COCO Brookside pop-up event and giveaway this Saturday, July 7!
Shop this dress here and earrings here!
To show off the versatility of our new collection we partnered with COCO Brookside and styled some of their fabulous clothes! COCO Brookside is another female-owned business and fashion wave-maker here in Kansas City. I absolutely love every piece Abby picks for both COCO Brookside and sister-shop Ladybye! Both stores are the embodiment of effortless feminine fabulousness - my very favorite aesthetic. This Saturday, July 7 Emily and I will be at COCO Brookside from 11:30 am-2:00 pm to help you find your perfect pair of earrings from our collection and a trendy summer look to match!

Stars, Stripes, + Sales

How is it July already? I cannot believe how fast this summer is already flying by!
Shop this top here and other cute red and white tops here, here, and here!
Now I'll be honest, I'm not typically one to wear much red white and blue BUT this year I found some really stylish pieces that are perfect for Fourth of July and beyond! I met up with my gals Lexi of Funny Little Fairytale and Madison of The Tangled Twenties to shoot the most adorable picnic/Fourth of July looks ever! Make sure to go check them out - they have amazing content!

Peaches Vintage Collective Grand Opening!

Ever since I was a little kid I've had an obsession with vintage clothing. Vintage skirts, high waisted jeans, jumpsuits - I love it all! Whenever I break out my favorite retro finds I always get the same questions - how do you know which pieces are worth purchasing and how do you integrate those finds into your existing wardrobe? Read on for my tips + tricks and get details on the grand opening of Peaches Vintage Collective this Saturday! All the pieces in this post are from Peaches Vintage Collective and, trust me, by the end you'll be wishing you were already there shopping!
I had the chance to meet Tara, owner of Peaches Vintage Collective, while attending Strawberry Swing's Spring Swing a few weeks ago! Tara is one of those people who instantly knows how to work your best features. Less than a minute into our conversation she'd gathered up a stack of clothes for me to try on. I was shocked that nearly everything in the stack of clothes she picked for me fit and ended up buying two pairs of cutoffs and the cutest polka-dot top! I think it was at that point that we knew a collab was in our future.

Master Bedroom Refresh

I hate when I pick out a room color and end up not loving it. This happened a couple of years ago when we decided to paint out bedroom a super dark green. I didn't mind the color, but I wanted it to be a more black-green as opposed to the jewel-toned green instead. Like I said, it wasn't bad but it wasn't we'd been hoping for. After two years of living with the color, I decided to go the absolute opposite direction courtesy of a gallon of primer and two gallons of Behr's Ultra Pure White paint. Poor Corey.
Before and after!

Victoria's Secret Semi-Annual Sale!

It's one of the most wonderful times of the year! No, not Christmas. The Victoria's Secret Semi-Annual Sale! I scored some incredible deals in store (six sports bras and two body sprays for $76) but there are lots of amazing deals online too! I've rounded up some of my favorite picks below. Oh, and right now VS is offering free shipping on orders over $50 with the code "SHIP50"!

Did you score any awesome deals during the sale? I'd love to hear about them in the comments!

Passport to Style - Thursday, June 7!

Shopping, savings, sips, and snacks - this is what you'll enjoy next Thursday evening when you join me for the Legends Outlets Passport to Style event from 4:00 - 7:00 pm! And to make this event even more exciting I'm also giving away two tickets over on Instagram! Make sure to go check out my latest post for entry details. You can also purchase tickets via the link here!
Get your tickets to Passport to Style here!
I'll be there with some of my favorite KC influencers including Shelby Ditch (Shelby Ditch Blog), Sheina Fernandes (Sheina Fernandes Blog), Pam Carper (Sideofglam), Mika Jade (Layers and Lipstick), Abby Wood (ABBYWOODWEAR), and Sarah Jean Hagler (Professional Stylist). We'll shop with you, share some of our favorite finds, and provide one-on-one fashion + beauty advice! AND the best part is that you'll receive a one-night-only style passport that gives you access to special sales at Beauty Brands, Nike Factory, J.Crew Factory, Banana Republic Factory Store, H&M, Maurices, Francesca's and more! I'll be spending the evening at Francesca's sharing some of my very favorite pieces and summer trends!

Whole Foods KC Grand Opening

It's Wednesday, May 23 and that means it's the grand opening of Whole Foods KC! Located right next to UMKC, the Trolley Track Trail, adjacent to the Country Club Plaza, and about five minutes from our house, I expect Whole Foods KC to be my new go-to grocery store and happy hour location.
And yes, I did say happy hour because Whole Foods KC also has a full-service bar called The Fountain Room where Happy Hour deals go from 4 - 7 pm Monday - Saturday and 2 - 10 pm on Sunday. I had the opportunity to scope the new store out during their Pre-Opening Party and, trust me, you are not going to want to miss out!

The Boss Diary Feature

Happy Saturday lovelies!

I had to pop in and share something really exciting - my blogging journey was featured on The Boss Diary! I'd absolutely love for you to give it a read and check out all of Nkay's other wonderful posts. It was so incredibly kind of her to reach out to me and I had a blast answering her questions! The interview actually served as a really great opportunity to step back and look at where I started, why I started, and where I want to go. To be honest, I should probably take the time to ponder those questions more frequently!
Thank you again so much Nkay - you are such a wonderful boss lady and you always show the importance of building others up. I feel like this quote could practically be your mission statement: "No matter where you are in life, inspire and empower the women around you. Success is sweeter when shared."

Target Try-On Sesh 4.30

Happy Monday! Target is offering buy-one get-one half off on all tops in the Universal Thread and A New Day collections! They also have an extra 20% off of clearance clothes, shoes, and accessories in store and online! If you're shopping in store, just scan the clearance item with your Target app and the coupon will be automatically added so that you can scan and save at checkout. If you're shopping online use the code SAVE20 for the extra discount!
I threw together a quick little try on sesh that I did this evening with some of my favorite pieces. I do lots of try-on sessions on my Instagram stories so make sure you're following me over there for all of my latest faves! You can find the links to most of the items below. Two of the shirts were not yet available online for some reason but I've seen them in a few stores! If you're interested in them, definitely make sure to hit up your local Target within the next couple days to get the BOGO deal.

H&M Outlet Steals

I'm a bit of a bargain hunter. I'm almost exclusively a bargain hunter. There's something so ridiculously satisfying about finding the perfect item at a steep discount! This past week it was absolutely gorgeous outside so I decided to pop over to The Legends Outlets in Kansas City, Kansas. A H&M outlet just opened and I'd been dying to check it out! And not only did I score some amazing deals but I also linked my favorite pieces (and similar items) in this post. Make sure to read on for all the details and my exact savings!
I had no idea that decision to go to the H&M Outlet would lead me to my mega-deal mecca.

KCFW - F/W '18 Wednesday Runway Show

As promised, here's my recap of Wednesday's Fall/Winter 2018 Runway Show! I was so excited to attend for the second year as a member of the media, thank you so much to Kansas City Fashion Week for the opportunity! I'll have an additional post soon with details on my look but today we'll focus on the designers and collections featured in the show. 
I loved how many of the pieces featured in the collections on Wednesday could be worn off the runway just as easily as they were worn on the runway. I cannot wait to incorporate some of these trends into my wardrobe. There was such great inspiration at this runway show!

KC Fashion Week's VIP Shopping Event at Kindred!

Mimosas, baked treats, and shopping: these are the core components of a perfect Sunday morning.
This past Sunday I had the opportunity to attend KC Fashion Week's VIP Shopping Event at Kindred in Oak Park Mall. It was so fun to shop, snack, and socialize with members of the KC style community! Seeing other bloggers pick and style their favorite pieces was such a source of inspiration. I always love the chance to get a fresh style perspective!

Friday Favorites - 3.22.18

Happy Friday everyone! Today I've rounded up some of my favorite go-to products from clothes to beauty to accessories. Everything in the list is under $30 and the majority of the items are under $15!


Also, happy National Puppy Day! Corey and I feel like the worst dog parents because we haven't shared some big news...
We added Jake to our family back in the fall! He's a boxer something mix who's about 10 months old and a big bulldozer of love. Finn absolutely loves having a buddy to hang out with and I know Jake loves having Finn too! Our cats are less than thrilled about the whole situation.

Be on the lookout for Kansas City Fashion Week posts this next week! I'm so excited to be covering some of their events again this year. If you're planning on going to any of the events let me know!

Casual Buffalo Plaid Look

Spring is making it's way back to Kansas City! It's been a bit gloomy but spring showers are just part of the whole seasons changing thing. With temperatures in the 50s and 60s this week I certainly haven't been complaining!
It's usually around this time of year that I get tired of my winter wardrobe and start putting together new pieces that I haven't worn before! It's been such a cold winter that I haven't gotten to wear one of my favorite coats from last year. Last weekend it was in the 40s and I took that as my opportunity to finally break out the buffalo plaid.