Friday, August 31, 2012

dog days of summer

{ What I Wore: Armani Exchange halter top // J.Crew white denim // Steve Madden sandals // Spike the Punch necklace // Matt & Nat purse }
Get the Look
halter {$11.50} + white denim {Designer $120 // Discount $32} + bow sandals {$30} + white purse {Designer $95 // Discount $49.99 } + punchy accents {necklace $10 // bracelet $12 // ring $10}
A little birdie told me that tomorrow is September... and I am trying my hardest to ignore it! Where did my August go?! (I am a little extra attached to this month because it is MY birthday month... and yes, I do claim and celebrate all 31 days!)

Getting the most of my summer favorite: white jeans, bright jewels, melon lips, gauzy tops

Thursday, August 30, 2012

August in review

Phew - August was none stop action including:

... Needless to say, I wasn't home very much, and I totally blew it at keeping to my resolutions,
but I did manage to get dressed everyday, so I'll re-cap my month of outfits
From pattern mixing, a slew of shorts, simple sundresses, and savoring every last drop of summery goodness... here I be clothing myself 18.5 times (boom)
How was your August?
Was it a whirlwind getting ready to go back to school, or shift out of summer mode?
Any other Leo babies out there celebrated their birthdays?

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

making a statement

{ What I Wore: Everlane tank // BaubleBar necklace // H&M leopard skirt // Target wedges }
I don't always make a statement... but when I do, I do it with red lips and a mega necklace

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

F/W '12 trends

Good Afternoon, after drooling over the awesome J.Crew Fall collection this morning, I am making some Fall trend predictions of my own. Join me over on Pearls & Pugs to discuss all things camo, burgundy and leather... you know you wanna!


J.Crew Fall/Winter 2012

I have been holding out thinking about Fall fashions... but I think I am finally ready to talk about it. Starting with J.Crew of course.
Their styling is always amazing... but can be sometimes the uniqueness can be over the top
Click to see what I am loving, wearing, and scratching my head at

Monday, August 27, 2012

trends that make you go hmm... feathers

{via here, here, here}
Lately, feathers have been ruffling some of my favorite bloggers, appearing on runways, and are all over stores. This luxe material definitely makes quite a statement...
but I have not yet decided if I will be adding any to my closet yet....

not going to lie...

{What I Wore: Old Navy vest & dress // J.Crew straw tote // Ann Taylor wedges {similar, for a steal}}
...I put this vest on Friday, and continued to live in it over the weekend - justifying that it literally goes with every thing in my closet

I also crossed something I am very excited about off of my "30 Before 30" list #27:
meeting up with a fellow blogger in REAL life!

Friday, August 24, 2012

like it, love it

So I liked my J.Crew crewcuts vest, but I love my Old Navy safari vest. This guy is a game changer.
Bianca: There's a difference between like and love. Because, I like my Skechers, but I love my Prada backpack.
Chastity: But I love my Skechers.
Bianca: That's because you don't have a Prada backpack.
(name that movie and I will LOVE you forever!)

{What I Wore: Old Navy vest // H&M lace shift // Nine West wedges // J.Crew men's belt }
Get the Look
utility vest {$28) + lace shift {$75} + leather belt {$35} + brown wedges {splurge {$80} // save {$30}}

the "IT" list

  • The Double Take Girls are thinking ahead to fall with a transitional blazer that is perfect for bridging the gap to cooler temps! It was a steal, too! (find The Double Take Girls on Twitter!)
  • Lilies, Lattes & Lace is all wrapped up in a summer dress! Pop over to see how she styles this classic silhouette!  (find Lilies, Lattes & Lace on Twitter!)
  • A Fashion Fixation is taking her inspiration from Pinterest and using what she already owns to create a bright, versatile look! So cute! (find A Fashion Fixation on Twitter!)
  • Rachel's Look Book looks stunning in a vintage blazer and striped maxi! An outfit meant for dining al fresco on cooler nights! (find Rachel's Look Book on Twitter!)
  • Urban Frill has found a comfy, stylish outfit that makes her feel great - what more could a girl ask for?! And it involves leopard...which doesn't hurt either! (find Urban Frill on Twitter!)
  • Miss Top Ten Image found an oldie (but a goodie!) that she forgot was in her closet! Don't you love when that happens?! (find Miss Top Ten Image on Twitter!)
  • Here & Now is savoring the last weeks of warmer temps in a look that is fit for a summer soiree - complete with a floppy hat! So cute! (find Here & Now on Twitter!)
  • Ishi goes for a twist on the classic work ensemble with chambray and edgy jewelry! She is definitely the most stylish girl in her office!
  • Fabulously Average mixes a whimsical dress with a little southwestern charm! Pop over to check out her sweet kicks! (find Fabulously Average on Twitter!)
  • Leopard and Lillies is rocking leather in the desert and still manages to make it warm weather appropriate! Don't miss this cute look! (find Leopard and Lillies on Twitter!) 
  • Minted Glam is finding her khaki vest to be indispensable in the transition to fall! It adds a fun safari vibe to any look! (find Minted Galm on Twitter!)
  • Fancy Francy rounds up all of her favorite combat boots that are under $100! They are sure to be a fall staple so go pick out a pair! (find Fancy Francy on Twitter!)
  • Ash n' Fashn is already envisioning how she will style her black lace dress through fall and winter. It is truly a 4-season piece! (find Ash n' Fashn on Twitter!)
  • Second Street East is feeling sassy in red and leopard - definitely a chic way to make a statement! Head over to check out the room it inspired! (find Second Street East on Twitter!)
  • Sweetie Pie Style rounds up some of her favorite pieces of the moment, including a fabulous Kate Spade sweatshirt! Hide your wallets! (find Sweetie Pie Style on Twitter!)
the IT list is brought to you weekly by Jill of Good Life and edited by Michelle of Second St. East.
For more information on how you can be involved - click here

Thursday, August 23, 2012

summer soirée

{What I Wore: NY & Co hat // J.Crew cream tank // skirt c/o Oasap // Ann Taylor wedges }
Get the look
sun hat {$38} + neutral silk tank {$38} + yellow midi skirt {$35} + gold wedges {$70}
The blogosphere is buzzing with excitement about Fall fashions (and while I am admittedly too!) I want to savor these last few weeks of summer... after all, I still have things to do!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

boy problems

Does your man friend have style? Do you try to "suggest" things for him to wear? Does he listen? I think that Ty has a great, unique style... and I only take a small bit of credit for slightly influencing his purchases at Urban Outfitters, introducing him to J.Crew and stocking his closet full of staples come birthdays/holidays... so yea completely not tooting my own horn :)
But seriously, men's style is not my forté, so lucky there are wonderful male fashion bloggers and sites to help out with what you need to know before buying fashion for your boyfriend.

is simplicity ignorance or bliss?

I have gotten a couple of comments lately about my "simple" style/outfits... and I honestly don't know whether to take it as an insult or a compliment. When I get dressed - I strive for a combination of covering my top & bottom, adding shoes, and finishing it off with jewelry. Sometimes when I want to take it to the next level, I might even add a hat/belt/scarf or all three (look at me, cah-razy!)
{ What I Wore: StyleMint dress // J.Crew chambray button down // Nine West sandals (similar) // brown belt (similar) }

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

vacation files: berry pickin'

Ok, I think this is the next to last photo diary of our Oregon vacation adventures... 
I just had SO. MUCH. FUN. it can't even be contained in 1 much less 5 posts!
I had never been berry/fruit picking, and apparently this is big business in Oregon... and Ty and his family just had to show me how it was done... sign me up!
Love me cute, furry peach bottoms!

note to self

Since turning 25 I have had some time to reflect on where I thought I would be by my "mid-twenties" and where I see myself before the end of this second decade.
So in this spirit, I have written a future letter to myself from my (hopefully) much wiser self

Dear Jessica,
5 years ago you thought that by now (25) you would be a “grown-up”, including a “real” job, a husband, and the possibility of children on the near horizon. But now that 25 is actually a reality, none of those ideals have come true, and you are (by your 20 year old’s standards) surprisingly OK with that. 5 years ago you could have never imagined yourself in school pursuing your Ph.D., living in Nashville, seeing your sister have kids first. But this is not anyway negative or complaining – the life you have made here is amazing.

Monday, August 20, 2012

party don't stop

My summer backyard wedding equation:
short dress (to keep cool) + girlie accessories (to add personality) + easy wedges (for walking in grass)
{ What I Wore: boutique dress // ModCloth crystal necklace // Ann Taylor gold wedges // J.Crew belt // H&M purse }

Get the Look:
floral dress {$50} + crystal necklace {$9} + pink belt {$10} + pink clutch {$78} + gold wedges {$48}

Sunday, August 19, 2012

vacation files: Portland, Oregon

Ok, I'm almost finished documenting my Oregon vacation... just a couple more! We had such a blast, and since this little slice of the internets serves not only as my platform for launching to fame (not!), but also my diary, I can't help myself!

This set is from some of our adventures in Portland - Farmers' Market, food truck meals, rail cars, river front beers, and catching up with friends new and old.
Dressed for a warm day exploring Portland on foot/rail
Love how the farmer arranged her tomatoes in an ombre gradient... it's like she did it just for me!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

gift guide: bachelorette

Panama City Beach baby!
I am currently kicking it on the Florida beaches with my gal pals for my college bestie's bachelorette bash!

Friday, August 17, 2012

this is 25

{ What I Wore: Topshop peplum top // Arden B shorts {similar} // Zara heels {similar} // boutique necklace {love this one!} }
This is what 25 looks like. Happy Birthday to me

 Me and my 2 large checked bags are on our way down to Panama City Beach, Florida to celebrate my college bestie's bachelorette party. And you know I am getting me a rental car...
 oh the perks of getting older!

30 before 30

 Today I am 25... I have lived a quarter of a century. To me age is simply a number so I welcome and celebrate each and every birthday (maybe I say that now), and I have certainly enjoyed my 25 years... but am looking forward to the next 25. Where will I be? What will I be doing? I can't even venture a guess, for the next few years as I complete my degree are very up in the air... but I look forward to finishing my 20s in style.
Here are 30 things that I would love to tick off before I reach my next decade:

{ 1. } Make a signature cocktail (Champagne + St. Germain)
{ 2. } Find my perfect shade of red lipstick (Nars "Heat Wave)
{ 3. } Have a progressive dinner party
{ 4. } Re-learn how to knit
{ 5. } Define my style aesthetic (working on it here)
{ 6. } Invest in a classic handbag (December 2013 - this MK one)
{ 7. } Learn to french braid my hair
{ 8. } Complete my Ph.D. (Graduated with my Masters January 2014)
{ 9. } Start stretching... I want to be able to do the splits again! 
{ 10. } Ride in a hot air balloon (29th Birthday, see evidence on Instagram here & here!)
{ 11 .} Visit NYC (completed June 2013)
{ 12. } Party in Vegas (Bachelorette Party, 2015)
{ 13. } Play in Disney Land (completed during our 2016 road trip - evidence on Instagram here)
{ 14. } Travel to all 50 states (21 more to go! Over half way there!)

AlabamaAlaska, ArizonaArkansasCaliforniaColorado, Connecticut, Delaware, FloridaGeorgiaHawaii, IdahoIllinoisIndianaIowaKansasKentuckyLouisiana, Maine, MarylandMassachusetts, Michigan, MinnesotaMississippiMissouri, Montana, Nebraska, NevadaNew Hampshire, New Jersey, New MexicoNew YorkNorth CarolinaNorth Dakota, Ohio, OklahomaOregonPennsylvania, Rhode Island, South CarolinaSouth Dakota, TennesseeTexasUtah, Vermont, VirginiaWashington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming

{ 15. } Attend a real life fashion show (Nashville Fashion Week, 2014)
{ 16. } Go back home for my 10 year high school reunion 
{ 17. } Go back to Europe (maybe with Ty !?)
{ 18. } Take a road trip with Ty to Oregon (Instagram evidence here)
{ 19. } Learn all the constellations
{ 20. } Read 20 new books (passed the mark & still going!)
See my Summer 2015 Reading List + Reviews here

{1. The Paris Wife 2. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? 3. Little Bee 4. Bel Canto 5. Truth & Beauty (highly recommend!) 6. Where'd You Go Bernadette 7. The 5 Love Languages 8. Gone Girl (messed up, in the best possible way) 9. The Fault In Our Stars (if in need of a beautiful cry, dispatch this book) 10. Hyperbole and a Half (SO my humor, I laughed so hard I might have tinkled a little bit) 11. The Goldfinch 12. All the Light We Cannot See (beautifully heart wrenching) 13. Bossypants (I think Tiny Fey is my spirit animal) 14. The Girls of Atomic City (an interesting historical non-fiction read, especially if you are from/live-in Tennessee) 15. Grace, A Memoir (MAN! She has lived the life, loved getting a peek behind the front row of fashion) 16. Room (such a gripping story - haven't seen the movie  yet, but it is on my list!) 17. The Night Circus (strangely beautiful, transported me to a different time) 18. Me Before You (I dare you to read this and not cry!) 19. Modern Lovers (I love the characters & their individual story lines in this) 20. The Woman in Cabin 10 (Being my anxious self, I read the last page of this book & it still took me for such a twisting ride!) 21. In a dark, dark wood (perfectly dark and suspenseful) … }

{ 21. } Find a church that I enjoy going to (gave up on this one, but found a new respect for nature here in Colorado)
{ 22. } Get plugged into regularly volunteering (Realized that as a teacher, my job is also a LOT of volunteering)
{ 23. } Finally stop biting/chewing my cuticles (January 2014 thank goodness for wedding planning and gel manicures!)
{ 24. } Live outside of the South (even if for just a little bit!) (Moved to Denver, Colorado Summer 2016)
{ 25. } Color my hair (I've always wanted to be a red head)  January 2013
{ 26. } Get a custom design for my site  Completed October 2012
{ 27. } Have a blogger meetup  First one August 2012
{ 28. } Get a regular blog series up and running Blogger Spotlight
{ 29. } Interview one of my favorite big-wig bloggers
{ 30. } Attend a blogger conference Southern Blog Society Conference (2013, 2014, 2015)

I might not accomplish them all, but maybe I will be able to look back on this list in 5 years & smile at the memory of a fabulous decade!

the "IT" list

Good Morning! I hope everyone has a fabulous summer weekend... 
I am promising myself that starting next week I am going to get back into the swing of being a good blogger and better to my body (and liver!)... ekk!
  • Olive and an Arrow is rocking purple pants and pumps for a fun office look! Pop over to see how she puts a casual twist on it! (find Olive and an Arrow on Twitter!)
  • The Double Take Girls goes for a royal look with the Queen's signature color! Paired with polka dots, it is the ultimate girly outfit!  (find The Double Take Girl on Twitter!)
  • Lipstick & Lollies saved her first sock bun experience for a rainy day and, I must say, she knocked it out of the park! So cute!
  • Lilies, Lattes & Lace celebrated her wedding anniversary in a special dress reminiscent of the one she wore on the big day! Gorgeous! (find Lilies, Lattes & Lace on Twitter!)
  • A Fashion Fixation is loving the high-low dress trend and even figured out a way to make it work for the office! She looks amazing! (find A Fashion Fixation on Twitter!)
  • Rachel's Look Book gives us the run down on how to transition our maxi skirts from summer to fall! Head over to check out all of her great tips! (find Rachel's Look Book on Twitter!)
  • Urban Frill has a case of the blues in a monochromatic ensemble - though the color can mean drab, this outfit is anything but!  (find Urban Frill on Twitter!)
  • Miss Top Ten Image went for an easy breezy island look while on vacation complete with a head scarf! Love it! (find Miss Top Ten Image on Twitter!)
  • Here & Now tried out the glasses trend in black and white from head to toe. Head over to find out where you can get your own pair!  (find Here & Now on Twitter!)
  • Ishi infused a bit of european style into her look - cat eye frames and an eiffel tower shirt make for one chic outfit!
  • Fabulously Average mixed yellow with maroon for an unexpected color combo - love the combination of summer and fall! (find Fabulously Average on Twitter!)
  • Leopard and Lillies is a vision in red in her long flowing maxi! Add in a little glitter and this is one dashing outfit! (find Leopard and Lillies on Twitter!) 
  • Second Street East is ready for the lake in crochet shorts and chambray! Comfy, cute and casual - there is nothing better! (find Second Street East on Twitter!)
  • Sweetie Pie Style takes us through three ways to wear the same top - dinner date, drinks with friends and Sunday brunch! How to choose?! (find Sweetie Pie Style on Twitter!)
the IT list is brought to you weekly by Jill of Good Life and edited by Michelle of Second St. East.
For more information on how you can be involved - click here


Thursday, August 16, 2012

secret garden

After some voluntary flight bumping (hooray for sweet travel vouchers!) Ty and I are finally making our merry little way back to Nashville... but my thoughts are still on the wonderful week that we spent in Oregon... hiking, eating, exploring, visiting family & friends, laughing, playing Cribbage and drinking beer. Oh the wonderful beer... (sorry body... we will get back on that healthy eat kick soon... maybe next week... after the weekend you know...)
Next flight is calling for boarding, so I am going to climb aboard, close my eyes, and dream of secret gardens (AKA the wonderful oasis that is Ty's parents' backyard...) 

now & later

It is that time of year... I am over my Summer clothes, and drooling about the new Fall collections popping up on shelves everywhere... what's a girl to do!?
Head over to Anna's blog Happy Medley to see my tips for shopping during this transition period (including 3 outfits to wear now & later)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

vacation files: Multnomah Falls

What I Wore: J.Crew jacket, chambray top, shorts // Steve Madden sandals

Multnomah Falls was at the top of my Oregon vacation wish list. Although this spot is a bit of a tourist cliché, it is definitely a must do in my book. It is so funny to be driving along a major highway and happen upon this gorgeous waterfall... worth getting out of your car and taking a look

trends that make you go hmm... attitude glasses

Need to work on being a little more subtle with my camera remote... but look at the focus on my face!
{ What I Wore: Urban Outfitters blazer & glasses // Ann Taylor shell & wedges // J.Crew shorts // ModCloth necklace }
Get the Look:
white blazer {save // splurge} + white shorts (now on sale) + leopard shell + gold heels + attitude glasses

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

vacation files: trout fishing in Oregon

On the second day of vacation, we ventured into the woods for a little bit of mother nature's beauty and rainbow trout fishing. Nothing fresher than catching one's own lunch!
See more of our (slightly bad news bears) fishing trip after the jump...

Here&Now: GSD

I lurve Mini + Meg's new-ish series, highlighting how successful bloggers/business women get sh*t done (GSD). I constantly struggle with the balance of my day job (biomedical research Ph.D. student) and my passion of blogging... so any and all tips are appreciated!

I figured I would “interview” myself in the same spirit, and then we can all chat about how we maximize our waking hours… and GSD

Here&Now Deals

The time has come for back to school shopping!
To help everyone get a little more from their budget, I have created a page of discount codes and deals
Check it out at the top right of the page

If you come across any stunning deals, coupons or discount codes feel free to share them in the comments!

P.S. clinking some links on this page can result in generating commission for the owner of Here&Now, me! Thank you for your support of my blog through visiting affiliate links

Monday, August 13, 2012

vacation files: Oregon Coast

Apparently in Oregon it is not the beach or the shore... it is the Coast. And it is gorgeous. 
Enjoy a photo diary from my first day exploring the Oregon Coast... 
Brewery tours, clam chowder, fish & chips, beach front sunsets, and sea lions... oh my!
(for more picture from my Oregon vacation, follow along on Instagram @jesshereandnow)
Newport, Oregon bay

Friday, August 10, 2012

the "IT" list

Good morning lovelies, I am having a blasty blast here in Oregon! So far we have visited the Oregon Coast, toured the Rouge Brewery (Ty's favorite type of beer), fished for rainbow trout, and enjoyed yummy home cooked food (Ty's dad is an excellent cook!)... and that is only in 2 days! 
I can't wait to share some more stories and pictures when I get back!
(In the mean time follow along on Instagram @jesshereandnow)
This weekend I hope to have some relaxation time to catch up on blog reading (maybe next to Ty's parents' koi pond!)... including these wonderful ladies below. Enjoy your weekend!
  • the Queen City Style looks to her closet for inspiration in recreating her latest running outfit! Blue and yellow is the theme and it is spot on! (find The Queen City Style on Twitter!)
  • 100 Inspirations recreates Jennifer Hudson's casual and stylish look including loafers and polka dots! Head over to find out where to purchase it all for under $105!
  • The Double Take Girls looks adorable in her "back-to-school" outfit complete with yellow and stripes - a superbly preppy summer look!   (find The Double Take Girl on Twitter!)
  • Lipstick & Lollies might be checking in to colored denim rehab soon! The color of the week? Purple! So cute!
  • Lilies, Lattes & Lace shows us her colorblocking skills with primary colors - a perfect look for wrapping up summer! Love! (find Lilies, Lattes & Lace on Twitter!)
  • A Fashion Fixation managed to make it through tax-free weekend without too much damage, but did pick up an adorable new top! Pop over to check it out! (find A Fashion Fixation on Twitter!)
  • Rachel's Look Book made a video to show us how to style a belt into a cute little flower motif! You don't want to miss this one!  (find Rachel's Look Book on Twitter!)
  • Urban Frill tried out a new way to style a skirt - head over to see her easy way to shorten the length in a snap!  (find Urban Frill on Twitter!)
  • Miss Top Ten Image found a pair of lace trousers and knew they had to be hers! Head over to see how she styled them! (find Miss Top Ten Image on Twitter!)
  • Here & Now shares with us her list of comfortable (and stylish!) must-haves for a day full of traveling! So cute! (find Here & Now on Twitter!)
  • Ishi pairs two of our favorite trends - floral and neon - for a look that is worthy of a night out on the town!
  • Fabulously Average is in a fall state of mind with jewel tones and a little layering! A perfect outfit for the upcoming transition to cooler temps! (find Fabulously Average on Twitter!)
  • Second Street East is trying out one of fall's new trends courtesy of her husband! Camo, anyone?! (find Second Street East on Twitter!)
  • Sweetie Pie Style takes 4 summer pieces we all own and tells us how to make them work for fall to add longevity to our wardrobe! Don't miss this one! (find Sweetie Pie Style on Twitter!)
the IT list is brought to you weekly by Jill of Good Life and edited by Michelle of Second St. East.
 For more information on how you can be involved - click here


Thursday, August 9, 2012

southern girl

 { What I Wore: (old) Forever 21 dress // Justin Cowboy boots // House of Harlow cuff }
Get the look:
sundress + cowgirl boots + gold cuff { save // splurge }

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

trends that make you go hmm... pleated (p)leather skirts

I have been eyeing leather skirts since Fall 2011 and am even more excited to see these skirts making a strong return for this Fall/Winter... 
check out how some fabulous ladies have been rocking their leather skirts:
{ Image 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 }

I just purchased this skirt, and I am officially obsessed... this trend is a go for me!

P.S. Today I am linking up {here}

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Clothing Budget: July 2012

Right now I am on a plane headed West. Follow along with my vacation adventures via Instagram (@jesshereandnow)

Ok, in my resolutions round up from last month, I mentioned that sticking to my shopping budget had gotten a little tricky. I am not a financial expert, or someone that should really be shelling out budgeting advice, but I thought that I would share my story/struggles and maybe it would resonate with the rest of you... 
and hopefully this will help keep me accountable too!

Just a little background info about my financial situation:
My day job is as a graduate student. I am fortunate to get paid (a modest amount) to do research that I am passionate about. And I have the luxury of having a month shopping allowance for myself. If I want something, I can usually purchase it for myself (not that I always should). That being said, I typically allot $150-200 a month for shopping (clothes, make-up, new technology...), but that is an average, and I do often save up and spend several months shopping allowance in one fell swoop (currently squirreling away moolah for a new iPhone).
Nude Steve Madden Heels $69.99 (on sale from $139.99)
Glitter Zara Heels $29.99 (on sale from $49.90)
Blue Zara Heels $29.99 (on sale from $49.90)
Topshop drop hem dress $84.00 (returned)
Topshop peplum top $36.00
Everlane tee $15.00
J.Crew crew cuts vest $68.00 (returned for new Old Navy version)
Total: $180.97