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    Pretty in Paisley

    There may be a massive blizzard affecting a good chunk of the country today, but it certainly feels like spring in Texas! Reason number 39,271,075 that I’m glad we live here! 
    Whether you’re from the North or the South, a maxi dress is the perfect piece for any time of the year.  You can layer it up with chunky sweaters and scarves, or if the weather’s just right, all you need to do is throw on a fun statement necklace, and you’re good to go. I’m absolutely loving this light and airy paisley maxi from The Mint Julep Boutique right now. It’s a great transitional color, which will make it easy to style throughout the year. 
    Today I’m teaming up with The Mint Julep Boutique to give one lucky follower a $25 gift card! The Mint Julep Boutique is one of the fastest growing online boutiques, with an inventory that is updated everyday. Trust me, you’ll be browsing their oh-so cute collection for hours! 
    A winner will be announced this Sunday, February 1st. So be sure to enter the giveaway below and pop back on over Sunday to see if you’ve won!


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    Celebrating the B-Day at Brazos Bend

    Last weekend we were treated to THE most beautiful weather that you could ever imagine Houston, Texas having during mid-January.

    It also happened to be my birthday weekend, so the delightful sunny weather felt like just one more cherry on top of an already generous birthday sundae. 🙂

    For years lately, I’ve always enjoyed using my birthday as a little excuse to either travel or go on some sort of new adventure.  Last year we spent the weekend in New Orleans. And this year we were toying with the idea of going to San Antonio, but having just visited Austin we decided we wanted to stick around closer to home.

    I love love love camping, hiking and anything outdoorsy, (yes & I am also a fashion blogger…makes total sense right?) When Patrick and I lived in Tennessee, the Smoky Mountains were practically in our backyard. It was something we almost took for granted, being able to go on a hike or camp whenever we desired. Now living in the big city of Houston, “getting away from it all” and exploring the outdoors has become pretty difficult.

    That was until I asked pretty much every born and bred Houstonian that I knew where a great place nearby was to hike, camp, and/or explore the outdoors.

    Brazos Bend State Park had been highly recommended, and being just a 45 minute drive from downtown Houston, off we went!

    I had read that it’s pretty common to spot an alligator or two when hiking the park’s trails.
    But I’m not going to lie, pulling up and seeing that big ol’ alligator on the entrance sign had me just a bit bugged out.
    Patrick and I put any fears of nasty gators behind us and set off for the trails, with our golden retriever, Lily, in tow.  
    If you’re local and considering which trails to hike when visiting the park- we hiked the around the two big lakes, Elm Lake and 40 Acre Lake. The five mile loop only took a couple of hours and gave us just the taste of nature we were craving.
    Lily was clearly not afraid of the gators. 
    Also, I must mention how I’m obsessed with all of the Spanish Moss trees that were in this park! 
    The swampy scenery with the moss swaying in the wind sure was a beautiful sight.  
    So naturally I snapped a whole lotta photos! 

    Twenty minutes into our adventure we spotted our first gator, sunning not too far off from the trail.

    Can you spot it below?

    I stayed a safe distance away from this dinosaur-esque creature and zoomed in to get a good shot. 
    It’s honestly surreal being so close to an alligator without any sort of fence for protection.
    But these ginormous creatures didn’t seem to care too much that random pedestrians and puppies were walking a mere three feet from them.
    It was kind of insane, if you ask me. 

    And soon enough, we spotted another one!

    Which, I then had to take a picture of it, showing my shoe so you all could see just how close these things were to us.  
    Absolutely nuts! 

    Halfway through the loop, hikers are treated to an observatory tower that overlooks the entire park.

    Not wanting to drag the pup up all the way up there with us, Patrick and I took turns climbing to the top.

    Words really can’t describe the spectacular view from the top of the tower, so therefore please check out the photos below. 🙂

    Once we reached the opposite side of 40 Acre Lake, we turned a corner where we found a trail shaded with the tallest of trees that were just dripping with Spanish Moss. 
    ‘Twas a lovely sight indeed! 

    Not to leave any of you fashionistas hanging and wondering what to wear when you go on your next nature hike, I must tell you, I was super comfortable during our hike in my stretchy BDG jeans from Urban.  
    And not knowing whether we would be traipsing through swampy waters while adventuring, my duck boots were the obvious choice for the occasion! 

    All in all, we spotted NINETEEN alligators during our hike through Brazos Bend.  
    It actually was quite fun to keep count.  
    The three of us, Lily included, were exhausted from our adventurous day and drove back into town to relax a bit before a big fancy birthday dinner at Cafe Rabelais, the most precious French restaurant in all of Houston. 
    It was a wonderful day and I am so thankful for my sweet husband who loves to go on random adventures with me!  
    Do you guys have any fun quirky birthday traditions that you like to do each year to make the day special? I’d love to hear them! And as always, thanks for stopping by the blog! 
    alice


    Signs of Spring

    This weather lately has been such a tease! It’s only my second winter in Texas, and I still can’t get over the fact that it is 72 degrees … in January! With that being said, I’ve got my mind on SPRING and I am absolutely ready for it to be here. 
    Many of my favorite places to shop are slowly starting to release their new spring collections.  It’s kind of like watching flowers bloom in the garden, one by one a little pop of spring color shows up.  I’ve rounded up a few of my favorite pieces that I’m just itching to wear as the season changes. This floral Boden Skirt would look gorgeous with a white sleeveless top, on a bright sunny day of course. And I love the thought of pairing this white ASOS skater dress with these funky floral Seychelles heels. I also can’t even begin to tell ya’ll how ready I am for “laying out weather” … and to rock this Kate Spade Bow Bikini. I’m not going to even get started on how thrilled I am that Kate Spade has come out with a swim line! 
    What are you all looking forward to the most about spring?
    Shop the Set:

    Pineapple Lace

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    Can you believe it?! This weekend, the sun had finally come out to say hello! 
    I didn’t need much more of an excuse to pull out my new favorite “winter white” – this pineapple lace top from Anthropologie.  I’m actually a firm believer in white after labor day, especially because my closet just so happens to be filled with white lace frocks. I’d have to say they’re my biggest weakness. 

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    Kendra Scott Gold Cuff, Kendra Scott Cuff, Kendra Scott Roni Cuff, Kendra Scott Gold Bangle, Elaine Turner Gold Clutch, Elaine Turner Bailey Handbag, Bailey Handbag, Seychelles Prowl Heels, Seychelles Anthropologie Cream Heels,
    Can you believe it?! This weekend, the sun had finally come out to say hello! 
    I didn’t need much more of an excuse to pull out my new favorite “winter white” – this pineapple lace top from Anthropologie.  I’m actually a firm believer in white after labor day, especially because my closet just so happens to be filled with white lace frocks. I’d have to say they’re my biggest weakness. 😉
    I paired this top with some of the most comfortable high rise skinny jeans I’ve ever owned.  And you wouldn’t believe their price tag – under $20! Yep! The dark rinse of these Jordache skinnies make them great for dressing up or down. And with that killer price tag, I may just have to get a pair in every color. 
    We certainly soaked up the sun this weekend, while celebrating my 26th birthday! I can’t believe I’m already in my “late twenties.” Time is sure going by. Fortunate that my birthday fell on a Saturday, Patrick and I were able to spend the day hiking through Brazos Bend State Park, where we took probably 10,000 pictures. The park is filled with Alligators, not only were they so photogenic, but the scenery was absolutely beautiful.  I’ll be sharing a bit about that later this week!
    Hope you all had wonderful weekend and enjoyed the sunny weather too!  
    As always thanks for stopping by the blog! Don’t forget to follow The Lone Star Looking Glass on FacebookTwitterPinterest & Instagram!



    A Plaid Maxi Dress

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    Are you longing for this nasty horrible cold weather to go away as much as I am? It’s either been raining or absolutely freezing out, thus the lack of blog photos lately. I’ve been bundling up in my heaviest sweaters and coats for the past few days now. Texas, I didn’t sign up for this! The good news is, it’s supposed to be in the mid 60s and sunny this weekend, and I absolutely cannot wait!
    A bit tired of bundling up in sweaters and Uggs for so long now, I changed things up yesterday and had fun getting all dressed up for work. I’ve been itching to wear this plaid maxi dress from Anthropologie that I scored over the holidays on super sale. Have you shopped Anthro’s sale lately? Everything is currently an extra 40% OFF. Be sure to check it out: here!
    I’ve always been a sucker for anything plaid and as soon as I saw this dress on the hanger, I couldn’t wait to try it on. It’s such an interesting cut, as it hits just above your ankles instead of going all the way down to the floor. But it works, and the length also makes life much easier when you’re running around all day wearing a maxi dress.

     This watch set from TOKYOBay is also something I’m loving lately. The large quirky numbers are fun and different and the straps are interchangeable. The set comes with two different straps, so you can change them out whenever you’re in the mood, which is really like getting two watches in one. It seems that every time I want to check the time, I’m always pulling my phone out of my purse, which isn’t so much fun when I’m in a meeting at work. I haven’t worn a watch in forever and it’s been so nice lately to just glance down at my wrist to see the time. Silly to be so excited about something so little, I know. 😉

    If you’re curious about the jacket I’m wearing, it’s from Anthro and is unfortunately sold out. As is the dress. But I’ve linked several just as cute options below. This brown vegan leather one from Swell is less than $100 bucks! 

    Here’s to hoping for warmer weather to come as soon as possible!  I’ve been staying indoors, cooped up on the couch watching Scandal to basically just avoid going outside. It’s nice to veg out every once in awhile, and that’s what January is for, right?

    Thanks for stopping by the blog! Don’t forget to follow The Lone Star Looking Glass on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest & Instagram!

    Only three more days until the weekend!


    xo, alice 



    An Afternoon in Austin

    This may be mostly a fashion blog, but travel also happens to be one of my other favorite things in life, so why not take a moment to do another little travel post?  

    With that being said, that may just be one of my favorite things about living in Houston – the fact that there are so many unique travel destinations just a hop, skip and a jump away. 

    With just a little less than a three hour road-trip away, we couldn’t say no to a short weekend getaway in Austin over the holiday break.
    Plus, my old college roommate, Julie, lives there, and a visit with her has been long overdue! 
    We certainly made the most out of our short weekend trip to Austin.  And with Julie, our expert tour guide, we knew that on Saturday, we were in for a great day of sight seeing. 
    Which happened to start out on South Congress Street. 
    Probably one of the only busy metropolitan streets in the United States, where it’s completely normal to parallel pork your horse.  😉 
    Only in Texas! 

    Our little group briskly made our way to Gueros Taco Bar, we happened to be very very hungry that morning, but we couldn’t help popping into Heritage Boot for a quick peek before lunch.
    Let me tell you, the cowboy boot boutiques on South Congress are, in a word, FANCY. Fancy fancy boots! 
    These boots were so exquisite, that signs on the boot shelves said, “please do not touch the boots.” And it took everything in me not to do so. Because, goodness they were all so beautiful! 

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    Leaving the shop, we imagined which pairs we would take home with us if we didn’t have to pay rent that month.

    Now wouldn’t that be fun?

    Luckily we were soon distracted as we arrived at Gueros, with the prospect of delicious Mexican food looming very close in our future.

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    Gueros Taco Bar Austin Texas, Geruos Taco Bar South Congress, Gueros, Gueros Austin, Gueros Mexican Restaurant

    The little fish in the pond came out to say hello while we waited for our table. 
    Such a friendly little guy.
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    Naturally as soon we sat down, our group ordered an extra large serving of queso to get things started. 
    I’m not sure where in the US  you may live, but when I was living back in Tennessee, the queso at all the Mexican restaurants was served in tiny little bowls and was made up of a detectible white soupy consistency. (You could almost drink it….which I may or may not have seen people do a time or two.)

    Totally kidding…..

    Needless to say, I was shocked once we moved to Texas, and the Tex-Mex restaurants all served bright orange queso, in much bigger bowls. Everything’s bigger in Texas, right?!
    It’s delicious nonetheless. 
    And Guero’s queso did not disappoint.
    If you know me well, you’re probably laughing at me right now …. the queso fanatic that I am. But this is some serious stuff ya’ll!

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    If you’re ever find yourself in Austin anytime in the near future and happen to have a hankering for Mexican food, I definitely recommend this place!

    Patrick and I split the fajitas for one, and we had more than enough food to share between the two of us.

    But that may be due to the fact that we filled ourselves up on chips & dip before the meal even arrived. 🙂

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    Gueros Taco Bar Austin Texas, Geruos Taco Bar South Congress, Gueros, Gueros Austin, Gueros Mexican Restaurant

    After lunch, our lovely tour guide led the group down the street of South Congress, where we went in and out of the most eclectic of boutiques.

    Gypsy Wagon being my all time favorite stop of the day, I just had to tell you all about it.

    And side note, can I please have one of everything in here?

    Oh, please?

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    I still can not get over how precious these metal bowls are! 
    My one regret is not leaving the shop with the blue one in my possession.  Because I’m now imagining serving a heaping salad in that pretty pretty bowl. Wouldn’t it be cute sitting in the center of a dining room table? 
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    The Gypsy Wagon was not only filled with all sorts of Southwestern trinkets, unique & stylish clothing and accessories, but there also happened to be a little chair, nestled in the corner, specifically reserved for Willie Nelson. There was one right next to it too, reserved for Waylon Jennings.  
    Tempted to post my feet up and relax for a bit, I decided I better not. What if Willie had walked in a moment later and wanted his chair?

    Our afternoon in Austin was really only just getting started. On to another boot store we went!

    But this time it was Allen’s Boots, which is an Austin, Texas “legend,” whatever that really means. All I knew was that my dad had repeatedly mentioned we must must stop here during our visit.

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    And stop in we did. 

    Because how often do you get to see a snake’s head sticking out of a cowboy boot!?

    And the best part? At Allen’s Boots, we were allowed to touch the fancy boots!

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    But I honestly wasn’t about to pick up that creepy thing.

    Save it for the real cowboys.

    What I really love about exploring the shops and boutiques of South Congress is that you really never know what you’ll stumble upon next. Whether it be a snake toe boot or a group of hipsters (and their dog) playing some funky tunes, there’s a surprise tucked around every corner on this bustling street. 

    Surprises sometimes include rather large cactus plants.

    And even larger outdoor flea markets filled with unique handmade treasures and vintage finds.

    Which of course we had to stop and check out.

    Julie and I both left the market with new copper and silver rings that were made and shaped right in front of us. These little pieces of jewelry were only $5 and $10 a piece! How could we say no to that?

    After perusing all the stalls and the most random assortment of goodies, and even stumbling upon a parking lot filled with preowned cowboy boots selling for a bargain, our tour guide said it was time to head on to our next adventure in Austin. 
    Which was a sunny outdoor beer garden that included a dog park. 
    That girl really is the best tour guide!
    Banger's Austin Texas, Banger's Beer Garden, Banger's Rainey Street, Banger's

    Banger's Austin Texas, Banger's Beer Garden, Banger's Rainey Street, Banger's

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    If you need a break from playing tourist in Austin, I recommend stopping for a cold one at Banger’s in Ausitn’s Rainey Street Historic District. 
    Their appetizer list was long and the beer list was even longer. With the sunshine and nice weather, it made for a wonderful afternoon, and having a dog run only a few feet away was like our own free entertainment.
    We spent the rest of our trip in Austin hanging out with Julie and her friends and exploring Austin’s nightlife.  
    As for our first trip for 2015, it was a successful one! And now my travel bug is only itching more and more!

    The next place on our travel list is San Antonio. Do any of you guys happen to have any hotel, restaurant, or fun recommendations of places we should check out or things that we should do!? If so, I’d love to hear!

    Hope you get to all get to knock some travel destinations off of your bucket lists in 2015! And as always, thanks for stopping by the blog today.
    alice