Thursday, May 31, 2012

resolution round-up: May

Well here we are at the end of another month... where did May go!? I guess I was having too much fun at the derby, hanging out with friends, and attending weddings to keep track!

Before I wrap up the month's outfits and analyze how I kept my resolutions, a big thank you goes to Ashley from A Decorative Piece of Citrus Zest  and Kacie from Kacie's Kloset for awarding me the Liebster Award! Thanks ladies!

May outfits were full of pattern (mixed pattern, leopard, polka dots, stripes, bright florals, paisley, abstract colors), texture (lace, jersey, straw hats, (faux)leather), and COLOR (red, yellow, blue, purple)... a certain sign that Spring has sprung and the days are heating up, and stretching out!


And in the 5th month of 2012, I think I did pretty good keeping my resolutions at the front of my mind... some better than others... but... I'll count it as an A for effort this month!

Health
- I am still sticking by drinking water before soda... and I guess my bladder is finally cooperating, so I don't have to go to the bathroom every 30 min!
- Exercise will never be my favorite thing... but I am turning in my parking garage pass and getting a bike starting in June

Finances
- My savings/retirement plan are still in recovery from moving and all the issues that come along with that territory (security deposit, pet fees, packing supplies and truck, and turning on new utilities)... I admit I was a little frivolous with shopping this month (Spring always does that to me!), but I have plans to get back on track... going to be sharing those with you in a few days...

Relationships
- I had a great time with my girlfriends this month, and despite having to see another one off to Chicago (can't wait to visit her!), I am enjoying new activities (Bunco, kickball, movie nights) with new and old friends alike
- Tyler & I had a great month together ... we tried new things (the Kentucky Derby for the first time!), and relished nights in just enjoying each other's company (my favorite!)
- I made new stationary with my Kickstarter reward from Etchpop, and enjoyed reaching out to old friends with old-fashioned snail mail... it is the little things

Spiritual
- Still no home church, but I am enjoying reading my devotional, and The Happiness Project has helped to focus my happy and intentional thoughts over the recent days

Lifestyle
- I am sure that one of these days, I am going to sit down to my sewing machine and IT is just going to happen.... yea... right now it is just a paper weight on my desk... but it looks good
- My camera and I are becoming better friends... still trying to tinker around on my own, and have signed up for a DSLR instruction class next month!
- Getting better at trying new recipes (even made mini quiches for a meeting as school.. yum!), and also just joined a farm community supported agriculture (CSA) project and am getting inspired (more to come about that soon!)


Phew... ok that was a brain dump (this is for my own public record too, after all!)
How did your resolutions hold up in May? Still on the wagon?
Can you believe we are already 5/12 of the way through 2012... cah-razy!
xx
Jessica

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

mellow yellow

I know it is so lame to talk about the weather all the time... but it is H-O-T here, and this fact directly affects my fashion choices... so now that I have justified my right to talk about the weather... I am going to!
 The time of year is upon Nashville where I regularly try to test the bounds of wearing a bikini as a public-appropriate outfit... when it is 98 ˚F and feels more like 106 ˚F you would too... and we haven't even started talking about the humidity yet! (Chances are, if you run into my boyfriend between May - August, he is talking about humidity! Love you babe... but your Oregonian temperament just can't hang in the durrty South!)

So how do I stay cool, save attempting indecent exposure?
Hats, breezy skirts, and loose, but body flattering silhouettes ... oh and sweet tea!

Case in point... this black maxi dress is a LOT of fabric, but the fact that it is loose and light, actually helps keep me cooler than I would be if all my haven't-seen-the-sun-in-months-skin was out and exposed!
{ What I Wore : Old Navy maxi dress (love this one & this one, also from Old Navy) // Target neon belt (love it in orange!) and woven wedges // J.Crew bubble necklace }
 
finally found a replacement for my ratty black woven wedges! yay for Target

So expect to see this and other maxi dresses in HEAVY rotation in the coming months!
How do you keep cool?
Oh, and you can call me mellow yellow
xx
Jessica
P.S. I am liking up to Marionberry Style's Trend of the Month Challenge - it is "Yellow", and I can't wait to check out everyone's sunshiny looks!

kickstart

Have you heard of the group funding platform for creative projects - Kickstarter?

"Kickstarter is a new way to fund creative projects.
We believe that:
• A good idea, communicated well, can spread fast and wide.
• A large group of people can be a tremendous source of money and encouragement.
Kickstarter is powered by a unique all-or-nothing funding method where projects must be fully-funded or no money changes hands."

I love buying and supporting creative endeavors (Etsy anyone!?) and was thrilled to start checking out and backing new innovative people's work through Kickstarter's amazing program.
So far I have backed a variety of projects including:

Etchpop (an at home card printing kit)

Short Snout Brewing (a start up brewery out of Oregon)


MySaver iPhone cable (GENIUS... prevent cable fraying!)


Beyond Earth: a poster series done in vintage style


Bunny with a Toolbelt's Elephabet Book (My favorite is S is for Sushi-phant!)


Wear you Live (poster and tote)

c/dock iPhone charger station


Float needs his wings (a sculpture that was made as a result of a man leaning how to resin cast toys)

Also these, which the "backer rewards" went for presents, or I haven't received yet:
Creatures - the card game
Krochet Kids Peru limited edition hat
"Mercyland: Hymns for the Rest of Us" (now available on iTunes)
The Delta Saints' latest album, "Death Letter Jubilee"
The Endangered Alphabets Project (book)


Have you checked out Kickstarter yet? 
Right now I have my eye on these projects:
a project that appreciates the process of vintage sign painting


this device that turns your iPhone into a scanner


obsessed does not describe my feelings for this iPhone/computer interface device (since my boss doesn't like seeing me texting on my phone during the day)


a new Southern clothing line... and many many more!


I hope you will check it out and let me know what you think!
xx
Jessica
P.S. come back at 2pm to see how I am staying cool despite the 100% humidity and close to 100 temp days here in Nashville!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

holiday-schmoliday

I might have been at work on Monday (my experiments never sleep), but I certainly looked like I was headed to something fun afterwards! Gotta keep making my labmates thinking I have an exciting life-after-work!
{ What I Wore: Madewell lace shorts (Madewell's current style // another affordable option) // StyleMint "Hollywood" striped tee // Steve Madden bow flats (similar) }
What did your Memorial day holiday hold? 
Work? Beach? Grilling out with friends?
Hopefully burning the midnight oil at work even when I don't want to, will afford me some nice time off this summer to travel! (fingers crossed!)
xx
Jessica

Monday, May 28, 2012

outfit perfection

Where ever you might find yourself on this Memorial Day, I think you might agree with me, that this outfit is what you would rather be wearing... you don't even want to know what I have on today....

Feminine pinks, polka dots, and shoes made for walking to the farmer's market... yup, perfection!
"old school pin" via PeopleStyle Watch May 2012 Issue
Get to shopping!
Forever21 Scoop Neck Tee
Old Navy Canvas Tote
GoJane Sandals (similar wedges)
Julie Collection Aruba Drop

xx
Jessica
P.S. I am trying to branch out, and joined the ASOS style competition... vote for my street style outfit here (I seriously appreciate every single vote!)

Friday, May 25, 2012

the "IT" list

It's the freaking weekend! I hope you gals have a great time! 
I can feel Summer (aka humidity) in the air!
Check out these wonderful bloggettes while you relax pool-side this weekend!

  • Sweetie Pie Style celebrated the solar eclipse with a cute tie dye scarf! The perfect accessory to jazz up any outfit! (find Sweetie Pie Style on Twitter!)
  • Lipstick & Lollies goes for the unexpected and pairs bright, cheery citron with a muted olive! Throw on some pink lipstick and she has such a fun look!
  • Olive & an Arrow has joined the white skinny jean club and just in time for summer! Don't forget to check out the cute top she paired them with! (find Olive & an Arrow on Twitter!)
  • Franishh found a total budget friendly pearl bib necklace! She made a few adjustments to make it her own and now she has the perfect statement peice! (find Franish on Twitter!)
  • City and Burbs is minty fresh in her new skinny jeans! She pairs them with leopard and pink for a bold vibe! (find City and Burbs on Twitter!)
  • Rachel's Look Book is adding a little sparkle to her life with a gold sequined top! Paired with a pink maxi, she is looking seriously sweet! (find Rachel's Look Book on Twitter!)
  • Here & Now has officially entered wedding season and she is showing us how to look our best for the festivities! We even get a peek of her man's threads! (find Here & Now on Twitter!)
  • Style Your Life is taking a cue from warmer temps and put together what could be the perfect weekend outfit - maxi skirt, tee, sandals and hat. (find Style Your Life on Twitter!)
  • DahliaLynn Lane pairs stripes and floral for a combination that is sure to raise your spirits! A match made in heaven! (find DahliaLynn Lane on Twitter!)
  • Fabulously Average is trying out the peplum trend and knocking it out of the park! Head over to find out where she got her top for a steal! (find Fabulously Average on Twitter!)
  • Wardrobes I Met and Liked shows us a different take on the leopard that we all know and love! Pop over to find out how she kicked it up a notch!
  • Urban Frill shows us a business casual look with a bag that play many roles! And her neckalce? Gorgeous!
  • Seize the Styles is sporting a candy striped dress that reminds her of fruit stripes gum! If this outfit doesn't make you happy, I don't know what will! (find Seize the Styles on Twitter!)
  • Second Street East is crushing on ikat for home and wardrobe. Head over to see the pieces she picked to bring the pattern into you room and closet! (find Second Street East 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!


Any big plans for the weekend - long or otherwise? (Monday is a workday for me... sadness)
I am headed to Memphis, TN for a science conference (NERD alert!), but if you are familiar with Memphis and have any suggestions of where to eat or shop on my free time let me know!
xx
Jessica
P.S. I am trying to branch out, and joined the ASOS style competition... vote for my street style outfit here (I seriously appreciate every single vote!)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

verbatim

3 years ago I spotted this sweater + shorts + sandals styled together on the pages of a J.Crew catalog... and immediately purchase all three items... and continue to wear them all together. 
J.Crew styling gets it so right, and sometimes, it is just better to not mess up a good thang. 
{ What I Wore: J.Crew sweater (this year's version), shorts (LOVE these), sandals (similar) // Matt & Nat purse // Spike the Punch necklace // Michael Kors watch }
Looking at this outfit actually makes me realize that I am (slowly but surely) building a functional wardrobe - I bought quality items that I loved, and three years later the individual items are still relevant. With the addition of a statement necklace, and on trend watch, this outfit is lifted out of 2009 to 2012

Have you ever ordered an entire outfit from a styled page out of a catalog?
What are some items that have been long time residents in your closet but you still find "on trend" today?xx
Jessica
P.S. I am trying to branch out, and joined the ASOS style competition... vote for my street style outfit here (I seriously appreciate every single vote!)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

beauty rut-ine

{This is a long (wordy) post, but I hope you can make it to the end, because this girl (ME) needs help getting her beauty routine act together!}

I had my first "make-over" at 13, and walked away from the Clinique counter looking like a baby hooker. While I didn't let that early hiccup with makeup stop me from experimenting with different looks as a teen, or later working at a Clinique counter, I have now fallen into a beauty RUT (hence RUT-ine instead of routine). As I mentioned yesterday, I have a hard time trying new products because 1. I like what I already know 2. I feel bad trying expensive, full size products and am too polite to return them (do people actually return used beauty supplies!?)... so I pretty much have used the same brands/items for the past 5 years, simply purchasing a refill (on auto-pilot) of the same item when it runs out.

I have combination-oily skin (i.e. blackheads on my chin, wrinkles on my forehead... let me tell you it is pretty awesome !!), and the brands I have found that work best with my finicky skin type are Bobbi Brown and Clinique... not to say that I have even extensively branched out from these lines, but I tried them and they work.

I am a pretty low-maintenance gal when it comes to my "beauty routine"... and I think my boyfriend would actually agree with that (my requirements for snuggling maintenance are a whole different issue), and as such have my "everyday" make-up application down to 3 minutes max!
My everyday make-up is very natural, with a hint of shimmer. 
After using Clinique's 3 step system for combo-oily skin (Type 3), I apply a daily sunscreen, followed by concealer around my eyes, and a sweep of shimmer block on my cheeks. I finish with a coat of black mascara, a pass of brow shaper to coerce my never-waxed brows into shape, and a little color on my lips.
For night time events and special occasions, I do like to "spruce up" my make-up with a little drama... big eyelashes, rosy cheeks, and kissable lips (the lip stain I use is boyfriend approved - not sticky, and not transferrable!)... but I still don't know how to apply eyeshadow... the idea of attempting a smokey eye seriously makes me nervously laugh!
In addition to my everyday make-up, I add a hint of cream rouge (right now Bobbi Brown pot rouge in Calypso Coral) to the apples of my cheeks, line my eyes with liner and apply faux eyelashes coated with a lash boosting mascara to help incorporate my natural lashes, and color my lips with either a long lasting red lippy (Estee Lauder Double Wear in Stay Scarlet) or a lip stain (Cover Girl Outlast lip stain in Plum Pout). A splash of perfume, using Michael Kors Very Hollywood right now, and I am good to go!
I definitely get a A+ in hair laziness... these are seriously the only products I own (with the addition of two tools - a Chi straightener, and a basic blow dryer). My favorite shampoo is 2-in-1 Head&Shoulders... yes, you read that right. My awesome stylist at the fancy salon I frequent can't believe it either - but this $4 bottle of suds makes my hair softer and silkier than any of the expensive Bumble&Bumble, Redken, or salon brand shampoos I have used in the past. 
The most done my hair gets is a quick blow dry, and either straightened or curled with my Chi (15 minutes tops). If I go to these lengths, I spray the heck out of my 'do, and usually wear it again the next day with the help of the magic that is dry shampoo (I have tried out several, and this one is stellar at oil absorption, and smells amazing!)
Usually my hair is washed at night, towel dried, and sprayed the next morning with Bumble&Bumble Surf Spray to accentuate my naturally wavy texture... easy. peasy.
Shampoo // Dry Shampoo // Hairspray // Beach Spray
While I am not very adventurous at trying new beauty products, there are some that have gotten such rave reviews that I really want to see what all the buzz is about. I want to stop paying so much for salon mani/pedi treatments, and really get good at doing my own at home with quality polishes. The Clarisonic Cleaning System promises to get rid of my blackheads... seriously, I should already own this. The new movement is barely there skin coverage with benefits is the Beauty Balm Cream, and Clinique seems to be making a superior product. Moroccan Oil - if Padma uses this stuff and gets those results it should work for me... right!? Lastly, while I am only 24, I want to start preparing my skin for beautiful aging... both my grandmothers have flawless skin and claim that slathering their face/neck in creams is the reason... I think the pore minimizing/skin refining promises of the Idealist cream is something that would be perf for my combination skin.
Essie Wedding Season Color Collection // Clarisonic Cleaning System // Clinique BB Cream // Moroccan Oil // Estee Lauder Idealist Cream
Ok - I shared all of this, so that we could get a conversation going about what your routine is like. Do you have any GO-TO products? What is on your beauty wish list? Any recommendations/tips from other gals with tricky combination skin? 
Help a sister out!

UPDATE: Thank you for all your wonderful advice today! Also, I just read a post by Jules about her natural beauty routine, and she has some great information! Check it out.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

have you tried it: birch box

Have you jumped on the BirchBox Bandwagon yet? I finally bit the bullet, and got my first box this month.
I am not really a girl who gets super pumped about trying new beauty products - walking into a Sephora actually brings about a certain amount of anxiety because there are so many products and I don't even know where to start!
I have a set of products that I know work with my skin, and I am nervous about trying new products, hating them, and then being too polite to return them, so they sit on my bathroom shelf collecting dust.
So when I found out about the BirchBox service, that for $10 delivers a box of sample sized beauty products to my front door every month, I decided to take the plunge.
The May BirchBox was "Gossip Girl" themed, and included some amazing products that were tailored to the products I am interested in. (and yes, I still LOVE GG)

My first box included:
Bvlgari Omnia Crystalline Fragrance
Color Club Nail polish In Clambake Coral
Kiehl's Abyssine Cream
Miracle Skin Transformer Body SPF
Twistband hair tie
Gossip Girl Notecard
I have really enjoyed trying out the new products (I shocked even myself!) I had already been introduced and converted to a Twistband believer, but have found new favorites in both Color Club nail polish and Kiehl's Abyssine cream. The Color Club nail polish is a rich, 1 coat color, that has lasted on my toes for 2 weeks now (a near record for my at home pedi). The Kiehl's cream has been used at night so far, and I am super impressed with how soft and smooth my skin has become. The glow of the Miracle Skin Body SPF is interesting... but makes me feel like I have dewy Carrie Underwood legs... not something I go for everyday, but might pull out for a special occasion. I don't wear fragrance everyday, but have enjoyed trying out the new Bvlgari scent, fresh and light enough for day, but sexy and interesting for night as well.

I fell even more in love with BirchBox after reading the interview of the ladies behind the genius idea in last month's Matchbook Magazine.
Katia and Haley are super impressive ladies that are not only gorgeous but down to earth to boot!
Have you tried the BirchBox service?
Or is there some other mail order beauty sample service that I am missing out on?
Dish ladies!
xx
Jessica

Monday, May 21, 2012

wedded bliss

Oh weddings... not sure if it is the love in the air, or the open bar, but weddings are my new favorite thing. It is so amazing to see my friends grow up and meet the person of their dreams, and then get to celebrate in their major milestone. 2 more weddings this season... bring it on! I'll better start practicing my Wobble!
{ What I Wore: H&M dress & clutch // Nine West Wedges (similar) // J.Crew belt (similar) }

Ty's friend from college married the sweetest girl at a beautiful chapel on Vanderbilt followed by a reception at the historic Union Station here in Nashville. Neither the couple not the night could be more perfect. Cheers to their beautiful union and a happy life together.
Getting dressed up to cut a rug at the reception!
How's your wedding season shaping up? 
Are ALL of your friends getting married this year like mine?!
xx
Jessica

Friday, May 18, 2012

the "IT" list

Hello Friday!
Thank you for all your sweet words yesterday, you guys make me so happy!
Hope you have some fabulous lined up for this weekend (right now fabulous to me sounds like a pool and a post-sun nap!), and get a chance to check out these other great posts!

  • Sweetie Pie Style rounds up one of her favorite new arm party trends - the open-ended cuff! Check out her beautiful picks! (Find Sweetie Pie Style on Twitter!)
  • A Fashion Fixation found a real gem at the Shops at Target! The dress is gorgeous and perfect for summer!  (find A Fashion Fixation on Twitter!)
  • Lipstick & Lollies is a pro at mixing patterns! See how she pairs polka dots and paisley for a polished, causal look!
  • Urban Frill Looks so chic in black, gold and lace! You must check out her amazing tassel necklace!
  • Olive & an Arrow is sporting an all-white ensemble that makes me want to head for the islands! Love the fun necklace she paired with it for a pop of color! (Find Olive & an Arrow on Twitter!)
  • Franishh shows us some serious arm candy! Head over to check out where all of her pretties are from! One might surprise you! (find Franish on Twitter!)
  • City and Burbs is going bold with a fabulous floral dress paired with bright accessories! Pop over to check out this super fun look! (find City and Burbs on Twitter!)
  • Rachel's Look Book mixes vintage pieces with a few new ones for a dressy look with a boho vibe! Check out her hair accessory that makes the look! (find Rachel's Look Book on Twitter!)
  • Here & Now looks ladylike in her scallop shorts and top knot! Also, she shows us where to pick up our own scallops for under $50! Yes, please! (find Here & Now on Twitter!)
  • Style Your Life shows us what to wear for an entire 11-day trip to Italy by mixing and matching a few key pieces! Impressive! (find Style Your Life on Twitter!)
  • DahliaLynn Lane found an amazing old bag she had while moving! She pairs it with a chic wrap dress for an adorable look! (find DahliaLynn Lane on Twitter!)
  • Second Street East is keeping it casual with neutral pieces mixed with a few fun accessories! The sandals are such a great buy at an even better price! (Find Second Street East on Twitter!)
  • Fabulously Average adds a little polish to her bohemian look with a trench vest!  Head over to see where she found it! (Find Fabulously Average on Twitter!)
  • Wardrobes I Met and Liked goes denim on denim but in a fun, unexpected way! The polka dot skinny jeans are to die for!!
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!


I am headed to a wedding in town this evening, then a going away dance party for one of my girlfriends who is moving to Chicago (can't wait to visit her at her new place!)
TGIF!
xx
Jessica

Thursday, May 17, 2012

happiness is...

I am an enabler... I am enabling you to want more, desire what you don't have, and lust after material possessions... and that probably won't stop (have you seen the cuteness that I am eyeing for Summer?)

But I want to start enabling something else too... happiness, gratitude, appreciation, contentment

I am 24 (and a little bit), happily living in a great town, in a exciting relationship with a wonderful man, mother to THE cutest pug-child, enjoy more good than bad days at work (although that might be close), call some of the most fabulous girls MY friends, bask in the warmth of a loving family, and love my new creative outlet I have found in blogging. I use the phrase everyday, but actually, I do not NEED anything.

Things that make me happy: furry woodland creatures // pretending I have a green thumb since I can't kill my succulents // red wine, need I say more? // Making friendship bracelets, and crossing projects off my Pinterest DIY board // Pugs, Doug the Pug, tan pugs,  puppy pugs, old pugs, black pugs, pug videos, pug swag... pugs // Fresh flowers, preferably of the ruffly, pink variety
Sure I would like the entire J.Crew Summer 2012 collection, a new chair in my living room would be fabulous, and if my boss believed in vacation days a trip to the beach would warmly welcomed... but forget it, sitting in my living room, in my camping chair, drinking red wine with the boy and my pug is where I am Here&Now, and I am ok with that. 
Even better, I am happy

I want to make happiness something that we remember to focus on everyday! In fact, I just bought this print to hang in my bedroom as daily inspiration.
{via}
I love seeing insights into what makes others happy, and since making appreciation of my own happiness more of a priority, have seen many posts about happiness and the simple pleasures of life pop up on my favorite blogs (here, here, here, here).


So who's with me? Let's celebrate our happiness. Exclaim, murmur, think of our joy, and if you feel comfortable, share what is making you happy these days in the comments!

xx
Jessica

P.S. Have you read "The Happiness Project"? The sisters behind A Piece of Toast swear by it (testimonial here), and I just ordered it... I'll keep you posted!

P.P.S. My sister always giggles when people say "Happiness is...", because she has the mind of a 9-year-old boy and somehow hears a dirty word... odd one!

P.P.P.S. Blogging can sometimes be a pretty facade of fake-ness (aka photoshopped reality that only show the best parts), and I love that there is a movement to make this internet world a little more real. Jess of MakeUnder My Life didn't know the huge ball she set rolling when she started the "Things I'm afraid to tell you" series... So powerful to know that we are not alone, but fortunate to have such a wonderful community of fellow bloggers as a support network

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

currently coveting: Summer 2012

For summer, I am craving crazy prints, woven accessories, and touches of gold...
I may not be shopping much, but a girl can (online) window shop, right?!

{ Clockwise: Love necklace // Tortoise Sunnies // Floral peplum dress // Woven Clutch // Bright Earrings // Woven Wedges // Blue Nailpolish // Woven Tote // Printed Skinnies // Aztec Printed Croptop // Woven Box Clutch }

What is on your summer "cravings" list?
check out more of my wish list here & here
xx
Jessica

happy as a scallop

Good Morning! 
This outfit pretty much sums up my current favorites: leopard + scallops + chambray + gold jewelry 
Seriously though, scallops are everywhere these days, but my favorite place for them is on the lower part of my body... check out all of these super cute ways to wear scallops...
{ Top Row: ASOS Pink Scalloped Skirt // High-waisted Blue Scalloped Shorts // ASOS White Scalloped Shorts // Threadsence Orange Scalloped Shorts }
{ Bottom Row: Lipsy Orange Scalloped Shorts // Free People Lace Scalloped Shorts // Bloomingdale's Black Scalloped Shorts // ASOS Coral Scalloped Shorts }

Adorable right... (most of these picks are under $50... stock them up!)

This pup makes me pretty happy
{ What I Wore: J.Crew Chambray Shirt // ArdenB (faux)leather shorts (these are only $15!) // Thrifted Python Clutch (love this printed python clutch) // Nine West Leopard Heels (cute affordable option) }
Details shot... scallops, chambray, python print, gold accents
xx
Jessica