Monday, June 30, 2014


{ What I Wore for weekend errands: J.Crew chambray top // shorts ℅ Levi's (currently running a 30% off sale promo) // Michael Kors "jet set" cross body purse // Birkenstock "Arizona" sandals // sunglasses ℅ Ozeal }

all photos | Alyssa Torrech Photography
What you see here is just a tiny sliver of what I wear… in a good week, I share 3 outfit photos, and I assure you I get dressed everyday. Somedays I go to work in one outfit, then come home and change for the evening activities. On the weekends I sometimes change a lot, depending on my mood, the weather, spilling things on myself (they don't call me Messica Jessica for nothing), etc. That is just to say, what I share here are the outfits that I like the most, the ones that I hope you will like to. I have bad outfit days, and times when I feel downright frumpy/sloppy/uncute.
I think my Birks are the epitome of this whole situation. I have had these shoes since college, the last time they made an appearance on the "cool" radar cycle. And I have never stopped wearing them since. They did however not make it on the blog much in the last 3 years because they were too crunchy, off the beaten path, uncool. And for that I apologize. I want to do a better job about documenting my outfits. The ones I wear just to the grocery store. What I throw on for a last minute get together. Just everyday me!
Are there outfits that you don't share? What are you looking for in a personal style blog?
And where do you stand on the whole Birks situation??

Don't forget to enter to win the GORGEOUS HalfUnited necklace on the blog!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Sunday Shopping: teacher style needs

{1} silky ivory blouse… a classic need // {2} I'm always looking at my watch while teaching… need to add a silver watch to the collection // {3} blue check need! // {4} needing a small "everything" bag to throw in my "teacher tote" // {5} flower child need // {6} twirly skirts are always a need // {7} animal print pump need // {8} leopard belt - need it for all those work dresses // {9} school is cold, it is hot outside. Regardless, a chic jacket is a need // {10} needing a pop of color pencil skirt.

Looking to beef up my work wardrobe with classic white shirts, feminine tie neck blouses, & black dress pants (have heard fabulous things about the Express "Editor" Pants). Also crushing on this striped dress & scalloped number from J.Crew.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

weekend reading: 06.28.14

1 // 2 // 3
This weekend why don't you :: bust out the sun hats!?

{what you might have missed on Here&Now}
{1.}  Conscious Consumerism + a giveaway.

{2.} A post on change.

{3.} Wedding Wednesday: getting ready

{4.} Summer skincare with the power of daisies.  

{5.} Nashville video tour

{6} Gear up for 4th of July with the best patriotic styles on the web. 

{posts I'm loving around the internets}
{1.} Old Navy does it again.

{2.} Love this color combo!

{3.} What shoes do you wear with a maxi dress?

{4.} How to make money blogging?

Friday, June 27, 2014

Conscious Consumerism: Half United

Well, it has been a hot minute since I did a Conscious Consumerism Post & I'm back with a bang! I am so excited about today's featured brand & product.  Teaming up with Half United to show off their new Flourish collection, a giveaway & talk about their efforts to feed children in need!

Their jewelry uses repurposed bullet casings (so cool!) to represent the fight against hunger. A half of profits from every item sold goes directly to fighting the world hunger epidemic! Wear something with a story & a cause! 
(Pssst… you will have a chance to win a necklace of your own at the end of the post!)
{ What I Wore to brunch: necklace ℅ Half United // dress ℅ Dex // shoes ℅ Shoe Carnival // Ray Ban sunglasses // Laura Mercier lipstick (shade: Poppy) }
all photos | Zipporah Photography
I love the edgy pop this necklace adds to my easy Summer weekend outfit.
Repurposed bullets and crystals that fight hunger… you know that's a win!
Off topic & not for brunch, but if visiting Nashville, put Rolf & Daughters on your must try list! They have a great mural wall at the Germantown location too! 
Check out my previous post with Half United here

And today you can be apart of the change to end world hunger too! Check out Half United & enter to win your own "Isla necklace" from the Flourish Collection below. 
Open to all US readers, a winner will be randomly chosen by Rafflecopter.

Find HalfUnited online: Shop // Facebook // Twitter // Pinterest // Instagram // YouTube 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, June 26, 2014

on change

{ What I Wore on a date: (old) H&M tank (similar) // Storets {vegan} leather skirt // Steve Madden heels ℅ Macy's // clutch ℅ Gigi New York }

all photos | Alyssa Torrech Photography

It is funny to look back at the version of myself that moved to Nashville 5 years ago. I was ending a 4 year relationship, moving away from all my college friends, embarking on a crazy journey towards a Ph.D., living in the "big city" after calling small town Arkansas home my whole life, & oh so young! 

5 years has brought change - new friends, new experiences, a degree, different last name, a career change, many moves, the loss of friends (growing older sadly sometimes means growing apart), & 2 adorable pug children.

I hear change when my alarm now goes off at 5am. I see change when I look in my closet & the pencils skirts have replaced the comfy blue jeans at the front of my wardrobe. I feel change when I come home from work after a 12 hour day of teaching & have never felt more fulfilled. I smell change when my husband cooks dinner, as we both adjust to the new life that is ours (he's shaping up to be pretty skilled in the kitchen!). I taste change when my Friday nights are more like ice cream and a movie on the couch rather than beer and honky tonks downtown.

Change is good. Change is hard. Change is refreshing. Change is the only thing we can grow to count on in this life.

I am so thankful to be surrounded by friends and family that embrace, support, love, and comfort during the many changes and stages in my life.

And just so you know, 26 going on 27 year old Jessica can totally still rock this skirt like 22 year old Jessica once did! Age is just a number right!? (less than 2 months till my 27th birthday and it's making me all sentimental!)

*Except this time, I'm headed out to dinner with my husband instead of dancing on bars with the ladies. Yup, things have changed.
How are things changing in your life? Any profound reflections on how the past 5 years have looked?

P.S. Change up your Summer wardrobe with the J.Crew gift card giveaway going on now. Enter to win here!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Wedding Wednesday: Getting Ready

I loved everything about our wedding day, but getting ready was way sweeter & more special than I had ever expected. It was just lovely to see all the tiny details come together. And I was most touched by the ties to my family that I found threaded throughout.
My grandmother's pearl necklace that I wore around my neck. My great-grandmother's brooch that held my bouquet together. A token from my grandparent's wedding to tuck in my hankie (a much needed accessory… I'm a crier!), & the ring that Tyler gave me, signifying the years we have to share together, till death do us part.
Call me an old-married-sentimental-sap, but as much as I love my costume jewelry, it is the meaningful bits & baubles that I treasure the most. The string of pearls that have been well loved by many women in my family. The brooch that probably has a wild story or two to tell. The ring that my dear husband gave me that I hope to carry in our family for generations.
I know it sounds silly, but I never thought that when Tyler went ring shopping (that sneaky boy totally surprised me, I had no part in it!), that he was not only picking out the ring I would wear for the next 10 decades or so, but he was also choosing the jewelry store we would build a relationship with.
He chose Shane Co. because they have locations in cities that we consider moving to next (that forward thinking man of mine!), paired with the local, high quality customer service that you would expect from your neighborhood store. Oh & they totally bring the sparkle factor in all their diamond rings!
We had a great experience returning back to Shane Co. to pick out his ring, & I hope that many more of my gifts in the future hail from here as well! (*hint hint* *nudge nudge* sweet husband of mine!)
If you are looking to surprise someone this month, don't forget that June's birthstone is pearl! Shop my favorite Summer just because gift ideas below & bring home something meaningful! bracelets // earrings // design your own pendant necklaces // pearls

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Shane Co. The opinions and text are all mine.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Daisy Power

It's nearing Summer time which means that I want to wear less make-up, but my skin isn't quite ready for it's naked debut. Humidity + make-up isn't a pretty sight, so I'm always looking for ways to lighten my routine and freshen up my complexion.

I can't wait to share with you what I have found - the power of the daisy, Nature's Retoucher! I've been using the daisy extract powered Burt's Bees brightening treatment for 4 weeks & (if I do say so myself), my face is luminous!
Your Summer brightening toolkit: 1. Brightening Daily Cleanser // 2. Brightening Refining Tonic // 3. Brightening Eye Treatment // 4. Dark Spot Corrector // 5. Even-Tone Moisturizing Cream. 

Make this your brightest Summer yet! The line of brightening products from Burt's Bees is "clinically proven to help improve the appearance of surface dullness", harnessing the power of the daisy! Daisy extract helps reveal a more even skin tone in as few as 4 weeks & a multi fruit complex effectively removes dirt oil and makeup. Make it part of your daily regimen for a brighter and more even complexion, naturally. 

Check out my Instagram feed to see my brightening results after 4 weeks of use & read more about these great products at Burtsbees.com & find out more on the Daisy, Nature's Retoucher

Find Burt's Bees on social media: Facebook // Twitter // Instagram

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Burt's Bees via Burst Media. The opinions and text are all mine.

Monday, June 23, 2014

My City, My Style: Nashville

Thank you so much for all your love & support surrounding the awesome project I got to participate in with Macy's American Icons feature of 5 amazing cities. I am very Nashville proud & it makes my heart happy that you care, as much as I do, about this great city!

I was extremely nervous to talk for the first time on video (I hate hearing even my voicemail message…), & narrow down my favorite hot spots to only my top 10 (so. much. stress!), therefore your positive feedback has been wonderful!

Looking forward to sharing more of my beautiful town soon… but for now, please enjoy these photos we snapped at the gorgeous Union Station hotel.

And check out the full States of Style project on Stylebistro.com including a highlight video, Nashville street style, & style guide. See more at Macy's American Icons hub here.
{ What I Wore for a day in Nashville: Levi's denim jacket, GUESS sundress (see more options below), Steve Madden fringe purse, Jessica Simpson wedges - all ℅ Macy's // Ray Ban sunglasses }
Shop this All American look with Macy's! My top picks:

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Sunday Shopping: Patriotic Style

Happy Summer! It is here! It's finally here! Time to get geared up in all things patriotic! Kick Summer off with one part starred, another part striped! I've found all the best below:

P.S. Don't forget the awesome giveaways going on now! Enter to win a $25 J.Crew Giftcard, or for my Nashville ladies, a ticket to this Thursday's Opry Mills Blogger Party.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

weekend reading: 06.21.14

1 // 2 // 3
This weekend why don't you :: celebrate Summer with a white out!
Happy 1st day of Summer!

{what you might have missed on Here&Now}
{1.}  Blogger spotlight + a $25 J.Crew giveaway! 

{2.} A life update & my teacher style journey. 

{3.} Wedding Wednesday: all about the groomsmen

{4.} Showing off Nashville with a new video post! 

{5.} Summer style - to the max-i

{posts I'm loving around the internets}
{1.} Has blogging gotten too structured

{2.} 22 times it sucks to be a blogger.

{3.} Gray might be the happiest color.

{4.} Walking on the flare side of life.

{5.} 27 things you need to read.

P.S. If you are a local Nashvillian, you could join me at the Opry Mills Blogger Reception next week (June 26th)! I can't wait to share in the Summer fun with 1 lucky reader! Enter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, June 20, 2014

Blogger Spotlight: Fizz and Frosting

Ok, so maybe I say this every time, & it probably because I have the loveliest ladies stepping into my blogger spotlight, but today's blogger is one that I truly call a friend. She is just the sweetest & cutest, not to mention, she is super stylish, & even at 30 weeks pregnant I want to steal all her outfit ideas!

Lauren is the blogger behind Fizz & Frosting. I enjoy that she is a bit sassy, super creative with her wardrobe (remix queen!) & a newlywed mama to be (2 years wed is still a newlywed to me!). You might recognize her from when she stepped in for me while I was away on the honeymoon, with some great tips for any pregnant readers with lots of weddings to attend this Summer. Or you might have just seen her face on Pinterest, because her attainable yet stylish everyday fashion is the stuff great pins are made of!

A little more about Lauren (+ a giveaway… worth the scroll!) HAPPY FRIDAY!
Love these pictures/outfits? Um, duh! Find the original posts here: maternity dress + kimono, Summer kimono, classic b&w, lace dress remix.

I love her Mix it Monday series so much I had to include another one! How fabulous is this striped dress? I have to agree with Lauren, a totally mixable staple!

Find Fizz & Frosting online: blog // Bloglovin' // Pinterest // Twitter // Instagram 

Now that we are all aquatinted & destined to be besties  Lauren is also giving away a $25 gift card to J.Crew today! Hello Summer shopping! The giveaway is open to any readers living in places that J.Crew ships. Enter using the Rafflecopter widget, a random winner will be selected next Saturday.
P.S. Comments are turned off so you can go say HOWDY to Lauren over at Fizz & Frosting today!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Back to School

Time for a life update! As many of you know, I transitioned out of a Ph.D. track graduate program in January. I cashed in my 4 years of graduate studies for a Masters in Biomedical Research to pursue my dream of teaching at the Middle School - High School level. 

I am now in an intensive teacher training program where over the course of this Summer, I will be teaching Summer school and working towards my teaching certificate. What this looks like on a daily basis is this: I teach 3rd grade Math for 5 hours, & then go to teacher school for 7 hours, to learn the skills that are going to make me an effective teacher starting on day 1 this Fall. I look forward to teaching 7th grade Science during the next school year and working towards closing the achievement gap in Nashville. Seeing the lightbulbs shine over my scholars'  heads when they realize that the content IS within their grasp is magical, and what keeps me going during this grueling schedule.
{ What I Wore to teach: dress ℅ Of Mercer // J.Crew Factory top // ShoeMint pumps // Michael Kors watch }
all photos | Zipporah Photography
This is not easy. I am changing my entire life to make this new career choice a reality. I work long, hard days. Often dealing with crying children, implementing new skills in the moment, taking aggressive feedback, & creating ALL of the materials that I need for my classroom this Summer.

After 12 hours of teaching/learning, I come home to practice my skills, & write lesson plans based on what I learned each day. Tyler & I have had to take up new roles in our relationship. Transitioning from working together in grad school and sharing similar hours, to me now coming home hours later than him, tired to the bone. He has been such a huge support for me (I get emotional just typing this because I am so thankful) - he is on pug duty morning and night, he cooks & then forces me to eat when I am too busy to even glance up from my computer, he lets me vent about teacher stuff that I'm sure he doesn't much care about, and is just generally my biggest cheerleader.
I am dedicated to making this blog space happen, but I might be more absent from commenting on your blogs, hanging out on social media, & possibly even posting everyday like I currently do. I thank you for your support & continued blog visits as I figure out this new life of mine. I am excited about sharing more of my "teacher style" and bringing you along on the journey as I figure that out!
First up on my "teacher style" journey: taking my graduate student wardrobe to a teacher worthy closet, without breaking the bank. In all my infinite free time (teacher jokes), I enjoy finding new boutiques that offer stylish but professional options. One that I think is doing a superb job of this, is Of Mercer. I am in love with their beautiful basics - sheath dresses, high quality accessories & blazers - and totally enamored with the special details they craft into every garment. This dress is my first acquisition from them, but I'm sure it won't be my last!
It's back to school for me… in more ways than one.
I just adore the leather paneled top, and fit & flare silhouette. Because I don't feel as professional baring my shoulders to my 3rd graders, I layered a button down under the dress. I love this polka dot number that makes the whole look appropriate yet fun. In the Fall, I am excited to play with layering this dress, including bringing some blazers & sweaters to the mix!
Has the function of your wardrobe shifted recently?
What pieces would make your closet more functional for your life from work to play?

If you are looking to build a foundation of professional attire, be sure to check out these picks from Of Mercer:

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Wedding Wednesday: For the Guys

I of course have tons more to over share in regards to our wedding, way more than would fit into "Wedding Week", so from now until I get it all out, I hereby decree Wedding Wednesday.
This week is all about the guys. I have to hand it to Tyler, I mostly let the guys just do their thing, plan their outfits, & show up on the day… & they totally rocked it! It certainly doesn't hurt that Ty has the most amazing group of guy friends, wonderful people that kept me laughing all day long, kind souls that helped my parents clean up at the end of the night, & ran tons of errands for us the next day while we were jet setting to the beach.
When I started out the planning process about a year ago, I was surprised that this collage I made of my "boho groomsmen" vision got pinned so many times on Pinterest! I guess other people are just as clueless as I was about what the menfolk should be wearing!
It was actually Tyler's idea to have the guys wear mix-matched but similar pants. I was trying to explain what the ladies were doing (see their fabulousness here), & Tyler thought that the guys were getting to pick out their outfits too… after I heard the record screech to a halt noise in my head, I had to agree, it wasn't a bad idea (he does in fact have a few of those from time to time)…. off topic, but why is attempting to explain Pinterest to a man harder than communicating with a giraffe? 

The groomsmen outfit directive was: bring your own pair of charcoal grey pants, a white button down, & navy suspenders. Tyler supplied the matching ties & navy Converse sneakers. Seriously, most of the guys already owned the pants + shirts and only ended up purchasing a $5 set of suspenders from Amazon. Budget friendly indeed! And they went home with a classic pair of Converse and versatile tie from J.Crew… happy friends!
The other men's attire decision we had to make was vests, jackets, vests & jackets, jackets no vests, or none of the above. We went with no vests + no jackets for the groomsmen, and Tyler went with no vest + jacket for the ceremony, but then removed the jacket for the reception (you did see his sweet dance moves in the wedding video, riiiiight… he of course can't be encumbered by a jacket when he is busting out the stanky leg on the dance floor!)
Did you have any groom/groomsmen attire dilemmas?
Anyone else go jacket-less?
Let's here it for the guys!

If you are looking to recreate a similar look for your groomsmen, here are my top accessory picks: