Tuesday, October 17, 2017

{twirling through the vines at wolffer estate}


Before I dive into my typical blog post I want to say thank you for all of y'all's kind words in regards to my last coffee date post. It's a scary thing to put out that personal side of me. Every word I wrote was a little piece of me that I've been attempting to hold together. To have so many words of kindness, thoughts, and prayers... I can't say thank you enough. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.










Photography by Allie Provost



Now since I never got around to it - I wanted to share a dress that I fell in love with this summer! I originally purchased it to wear to events/weddings this summer/fall. I felt the color was versatile enough to carry me through a couple of months. You can always get away with showing some shoulder at weddings even through the cooler months (in my opinion at least - I love to dance)! I paired it with wedges and yellow for a fun summer look but think it would be gorgeous with leopard heels, a pashmina scarf, and maroon earrings this October.




When I visited the Hamptons with Kristyn, Dana, and Allie we visited Wolffer Estate and took photos in the vines while sipping on rose and listening to live music. It was the perfect summer evening - y'all know how much I love to hang out at wineries ;)

I've linked a lot of dresses that would be perfect for fall weddings below! Happy shopping!




Love Always,

Thursday, October 12, 2017

{coffee date no. 7 | struggling to do it all}

Photo by Allie Provost

It's been awhile since I wrote a coffee date post. I used to share at least one a month updating y’all on all of the fun things I’ve been doing and just taking a moment to chat. It’s fun knowing there’s a real person behind the outfits and beauty. However, the last coffee post was something that had been weighing heavily on my mind and writing that became my therapy. It seems that turning to these more serious posts is not only an outlet for me but an outlet for y’all as well - because I know we can all relate. I seem to write these posts for weeks before I finally gather the nerve to hit ‘publish.’ So what’s jumbling up my brain and needing to be spilled into a blog post this time?  Struggling to do it all…

Over the past month I’ve had so much going on and I overwhelmed myself so much that I wasn’t sleeping and my lack of focus/attention became very apparent. I was physically drained of any energy my body and mind could produce. I always try to do it all – be the best designer, keep this blog running, be a supportive girlfriend, be the best friend every girl wants, make time for my friends, IG twice a day, study for my LEED exam, create innovative and fresh ideas at work, make time for my family, call my dad every day and physically be there for him, push myself to reach that new level at work, shoot new content for the blog, have the newest trends/clothes, attend work events, create new business relationships, go out on date nights, grab dinner with friends, etc. I’m exhausted simply reading that list.

These past two Mondays have been almost impossible – not just because of what was going on in the world with shootings/fires but also because of personal situations as well. I want to do so many things and be so many things that I’ve been pulling myself in multiple directions. I sincerely thought that I could balance everything with work, the blog, and my personal life because I had been for so long. I realized that I need to reorganize my priorities. Not because I was “balancing” incorrectly but because my family needed more of my time. (For those of you new around here, my dad was diagnosed with stage 4 prostate cancer four years ago. The cancer has spread to his bones and lymph nodes and he isn’t able to walk unless he is using a cane.) My once a month visits home just aren’t cutting it and attending every event under the sun during the week took away time from my boyfriend and friends.

How did I let it get to this point? I’m what you would call a perfectionist. I know… most of y’all aren’t surprised. I try my hardest to be my best, look my best, and put my best out in to the world because I’m a strong believer of karma and I truly believe that I can trick myself into thinking I’m okay half the time. Spoiler: it works and then I come crashing down. Hard…

Last weekend I was supposed to go home to visit my dad on Friday with Kyle and then go back to DC for a friend’s wedding on Saturday. Sunday I was planning on blogging the whole day while doing my laundry and cleaning my apartment. I was thinking to myself “oh this is a perfect way to balance a weekend doing everything we want to! Checking off multiple categories of our lives!” 

We didn’t leave Baltimore until Sunday... I found myself sitting on my parent’s bed Saturday morning holding a water bottle with a straw for my Dad because he was in so much pain.

Yeah.

Do you know those personality tests you can take where it gives you your five strengths? My #1 characteristic is “futuristic”. I’m always looking forward to things, I love to plan, I try to focus on that next step I’m taking, and I’m constantly thinking “okay, what’s next.” That’s why I’ve been able to juggle multiple aspects of my life simultaneously! The thought of the future and what’s next has always excited and motivated me. But sitting there Saturday morning… I was so overcome with fear of the future and what I am going to lose. I realized that’s what I’ve been struggling with for the past month. My conscious was telling me to lighten my load so I could be in Baltimore more often but I was trying to live my life as I always had like nothing was changing. I am so scared for the future that this particular aspect of my life is all I can focus on. I haven’t been able to take my work or the blog forward because my “future” is so overwhelmed by one thing.

Maybe this all boils down to two things: one, I need to learn to say no, and two, I need to understand that change happens. When I try to do everything and reach for every futuristic want my reality struggles. I can’t be in multiple places at once and I’m never going to be the perfect version of myself that I try to be. I’ll never stop fighting for my goals but recognizing what’s in front of me and what’s happening right now is an important thing to fight for as well. So for the time being I’m going to focus on putting my family first.

Now I’m struggling to just hit publish… here goes nothing. Wearing my heart on my sleeve again. 


Love Always,

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

{the cardigan I'll be wearing all season}















Photography by Laura Lehman






I bought this cardigan during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale and haven't taken it off since! I love the oversized fit and the way it pairs with a dress or, for a casual look, with blue jeans. I wore this out to dinner for our first night in Richmond a couple weekends ago. It may not have been right for the warmer weather but it's seasonally appropriate and that's all that matters ;) just kidding... this sweater is loose so that helps you dress for fall while not sweating in this warm October (I mean what's going on with this heat wave?!). I kept it casual with my favorite jeans and booties. Then I added on my favorite maroon purse from Dagne Dover!

Happy Wednesday - I'm excited to have some new content up for y'all in the coming weeks!


Love Always,

Thursday, September 28, 2017

{yellow dress for a beach walk in the hamptons}












Photography by Allie Provost



The hot "fall" days with the sun setting really early has me dreaming of summer... Now hear me out first! I'm really excited for fall but I love slow mornings followed by long happy hours out in the sun. Maybe I'm not fully embracing the new season because it doesn't "feel" like it yet. When I was in the Hamptons last month we soaked up every bit of sunshine. Walks on the beach in the morning, exploring in the afternoon, and sipping on wine at a vineyard in the evening. During the fall months I like to spend my evenings outside because of the cool air - that ain't happening this week haha. Thank goodness daylight savings is right around the corner because these dark mornings make it really hard to get out of bed! Especially when I can't pick an outfit from my fall/winter clothes ;)

Yellow is one of my favorite colors to wear, I don't think I have enough of it! This felt like the perfect dress to wear on a beach walk... blowing in the wind, light against your skin, and keeping you light as a feather. It's a great staple to have. In the cooler days you can add a jean jacket and espadrilles!





How are y'all handling this weather?!


Love Always,

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

{BeYu Cosmetics mascara | my secret to long lashes}


It's no secret that my lashes are my power move. When I put mascara on I feel more like myself - more feminine! If I could only put on one piece of makeup every day I would choose mascara. Y'all have seen my beauty reviews before... I'm always looking for the next best mascara that will make my lashes look longer, thicker, and fuller. I love combining mascaras to achieve the look I love! After a couple of failed mascara attempts from well-known popular brands (chunky lashes, flaking, etc.) I decided it was time to go back to the drawing board. Then BeYu cosmetics was introduced to me!  First, I learned all the excellent basics: no animal testing, fragrance free, good for sensitive skin, and in a wide variety of pigments and shades (hello, options). Then, it came down to the true tests - application and lasting power.




I tried four different types: Lash Expert - volume & curl, Power Volume - boosting effect, Power Volume - boosting effect & waterproof, and Beauty Queen - volume mascara waterproof. I was really surprised to like all 4 (I'm seriously picky haha)! None of the bristles made my lashes clump on first swipe and the product was distributed evenly across the bristles.





My favorite combo was the Lash Expert Volume & Curl first and then Power Volume with Boosting Effect layered over. The volume & curl distributed really well and I could already tell it was lengthening them. The boosting effect helped thicken up the roots and define my outer and inner lashes (those tiny lashes that never seem to hold mascara for me). I have really long, natural lashes but they're just blonde haha.





I applied this mascara early Sunday morning for a day of shoots, brunch, car ride home, and then dinner with my girl friends followed by some casual tears through a movie (typical Jenn). I'm not lying when I say that my mascara didn't run AT ALL. I wasn't even wearing the waterproof mascara!! I was shocked and thrilled that I didn't look like a hot mess after.




On the left: my right eye with one application of Lash Expert Volume & Curl mascara (bright blue tube) and my left eye is bare.
On the right: both eyes with Lash Expert and a layer of Power Volume Mascara Boosting Effect (silver tube).




So where can you find my new favorite mascara brand?! Wegman's! The magical store (I could spend hours in) sells this magical mascara. Looking for your closest Wegman's? Find the one closest to you here. If you don't have a store near you then you can shop online at Target here!

Have y'all tried this brand before? I'd love to know your thoughts. Also, if you purchase it let me know! I'm excited to have fallen in love with a mascara that's actually in a reasonable price range!!

*This post was sponsored by BeYu Cosmetics - but all opinions, photos, and thoughts are my own. I've been using these mascaras for the past month and am genuinely a fan and am excited to keep using them!*

Love Always,
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