I’m not sure if I was blind last year, or if being a new parent put me in a bit of a haze, but I swear the trees were not this beautiful last Fall. The yellow and orange hues in mine and my neighbor’s yard are simply magical and it reminds me why I love the Fall season, even if the season in Chicago is SOOOO much different than Fall seasons growing up in Kentucky.
Growing up, I was pretty accustomed to warmer Fall days…usually somewhere in the upper 60s, lower 70s. Every once in a while, there was a day that cool enough for a coat or a day that called for summer attire, but for the most part the weather in Fall stayed pretty consistent. It was also my favorite time of year because I got to say good riddens to the 5000% humidity of the summer…and the mosquitos.
Fall here in Chicago is quite a bit different. Last week we had some days in the 30s..and some in the 80s. I mean, really Mother Nature?! That’s a 50 degree differential! Then we topped that weather roller-coaster off with a mere high of 52 this past weekend. So rest assured, all Fall I’m dressed like someone who put together their outfit in the dark, because I can never figure out the weather long enough to be dressed accurately for the temperatures.
Anyway, if you can look past the fact that this raspberry dress and booties may have been a little chilly for the weather this weekend, you will see the most beautiful Fall color that is a must have in your seasonal wardrobe. I tend to wear a lot of season shades, meaning for Fall you will see me in a lot of berry shades, yellows and oranges. This winter, I’ll start gravitating toward reds and greens. At the heart of it all, I’m just meant to be the person who dresses for each holiday and season literally. It’s just who I am 🙂 So if Fall trees are yellow, orange and berry shades, well then I have to dress like the trees.
Fun fact…growing up, my mom and I had matching vests for every holiday! They were reversible and each vest had two holidays on it. I mean, if that isn’t cool then I don’t know what is?! Side note, I wonder if I can find something similar for Beckett and I?!!! #SheIsGoingToHateMe
Back to this dress…I love the swing component to it because it makes it really comfortable, but you could easily belt this for a more structured look. You could also pair it with tights, or OTK boots to warm it up a bit, or you could layer with a long blazer or a coat for added warmth. And the best part is that this dress is only $10 and comes in two other colors (if dressing like trees isn’t your thing).
So with all this talk about Fall, it reminds me that I procrastinated buying Beckett’s Halloween costume and now Pottery Barn Kids is sold out of the one I was going to order her. #MomFail. Anyone have any recommendations for cute toddler Halloween costumes? Share below, or shoot me a message to my email!
Maybe it’s the grandma in me, but I love turtlenecks! I own one in every color (seriously!) and I wear them constantly in the Fall/Winter. Honestly, I don’t even really know why I love them so much, other than they’re usually comfortable, professional and I don’t have to blend my makeup down my neck because it’s covered <insert laughing emoji here>!?
Whatever the reason, I’ve had lots of practice when it comes to styling turtlenecks so if you’re are looking for a new way to freshen up your wardrobe this season, or want to find a new way to style those boring and basic turtlenecks sitting in the back of your closet, look no further!
Probably the easiest, yet most basic way to style a turtleneck is to tuck it into a pair of high waisted jeans, throw on a statement belt and put on some fun booties or classic OTK boots. It’s casual, but trendy and still comfortable at the same time.
With a Mini Skirt
I love the juxtaposition of showing skin on your legs, but being completely covered on the top half. It’s the perfect way to look “sexy” without showing too much of yourself. If I didn’t have a 17 month old that I’m chasing around all the time, this look would be my go-to.
Under a button down
This is the quintessential J Crew look and one I love! It screams ‘I’m so extra and have impeccable style’.
Under a dress
Guilty! I do this all the time so I can continue to wear summer/spring clothes through the Winter. It’s perfect for ladies on a budget (aren’t we all on a budget?!) and women who want to extend their current closet throughout each season.
Under another turtleneck
I know this sounds weird, but just go with me on this one. Sometimes when I wear a really chunky turtleneck knit, I feel like my outfit is just missing something. The neck is often a little loose and bigger (because I always size up in sweaters so it gives the perfectly imperfect look), so I like to throw on a contrasting color underneath the sweater so it gives just enough of a little pop around the neck.
In conjunction with a fun sweater
I know what you’re thinking. Stop thinking about ugly Christmas sweater parties, Macaulay Culkin in Home Alone and pretty much every outfit you wore as a child in the early 90s. I told you I knew what you were thinking 🙂 There is a chic way to add a turtleneck under a sweater. First you need a fun sweater…not a boring, basic sweater or you’ll just look boring and basic with a turtleneck underneath. Think graphic sweaters, like this one or this one, and fair isle sweaters likethis one and this one.
Be sure to tag me on Insta so I can see all the ways you’re styling your turtlenecks this season
Just when I thought Fall was upon us, Summer comes and slaps us with a roller coaster of hot days/weeks sandwiched in between cool Fall days/weeks. I mean talk about comfortably uncomfortable?! I dressed in pants, a sweater and a blazer the other day without even checking the weather, and found myself wishing I was in this outfit instead. Oh this outfit…it’s another one that makes me comfortably uncomfortable and puts me outside my comfort zone.
You guys probably notice, but I don’t wear a whole lot of shorts. If I’m being honest, I’ve always been a little self-conscious about my thighs. I grew up a competitive gymnast and thus at the age of 8, my thighs were super strong and muscular. Years later I stopped competing, the muscle in my thighs slowly disappeared, I grew a little taller and a little thinner and left on my thighs like trophies of my gymnast days were so many stretch marks. The kind of stretch marks that can’t be hidden no matter what length shorts I’m wearing, and the kind that get worse in summer because my legs tan and the stretch marks don’t. Uff. I’ll be honest, it’s just not something I’m ever super excited to expose so I don’t wear a lot of shorts.
Buy ANYway, these shorts were too cute to pass up on, regardless of what body demons I’m facing and how much I want to hibernate in my comfort zone. The embellishments are my favorite part about them, but the high waist is a close second. I’m such a fan of high waist anything because it makes my legs look miles long, and being only 5’2 that isn’t a feeling I get all that often.
I paired these shorts with a bodysuit…yep, a bodysuit. Prior to this I hadn’t worn a bodysuit since my gymnastics days. I just didn’t understand the need to have your shirt essentially tucked into (or this case sew to) your underwear and I had fears of some urgent need to go to the bathroom that would be complicated by a bodysuit (#irrationalismymiddlename). Well, fun fact – it was so much easier to have on a bodysuit and hello not having to tuck in your shirt every 5 seconds because it keeps riding up?!! This whole outfit is just one step out of my comfort zone after another, but isn’t that what fashion, and life in general is all about!? Challenging yourself, and stepping outside the box so you can find new things you love?
So while it might not be the most groundbreaking #ootd (it’s essentially a white tee and jeans shorts – nothing revolutionary happening on Jessica Lynna today lol), it did push me over some personal hurdles and challenge me to be myself so that sounds like a win in my book 🙂
If you saw my Instagram stories on Saturday, then you know I had what I dubbed ‘Mom’s Mini Day Out’. Basically, it was a few hours all to myself (with the hubs watching little one, of course) to relax, reset and recharge. When I got home, it was noticeable how much better I felt. I was excited for the day, in an overall better mood, my body felt less tense, and I was more patient. Overall I was a better mom and better wife for taking the few hours to myself!
If you’d asked me prior to Saturday if me-time was important, I would have answered yes, but truthfully I wouldn’t have had anything to base that off of. Since Beckett was born (16 MONTHS AGO YOU ALL!!! Where has time gone?!), I’ve really really struggled with mom guilt. If you are someone who doesn’t believe mom guilt is a real thing, I invite you to my house to which I will show you just how real it is.
For 16 months, I’ve made Beckett my top priority. Her meals, her play, her learning, her care…whatever she needed came first and foremost. As a result, I was exhausted and I had serious struggles with finding time for myself. You guys know this…I mean, I didn’t write on here for months! I felt guilty leaving her to shower (even when she was with Joe!), felt guilty not playing and teaching her every spare second of my day, felt guilty for enjoying myself on the rare chance she wasn’t attached to my hip. Truthfully, my mind was a mess, my body was in pain and I was just exhausted overall.
Evidently it was clear to Joe that I was in need of a break, as he surprised me with a massage on Saturday and I can’t thank him enough for forcing me out of the house. I woke up Saturday morning and he was practically pushing me out the door (he knows I would stay home given the chance), but I’m so glad he did. The masseuse told me that was body was pretty tense (shocker!) and that was skin was so dry she used an entire bottle of oil during my massage (#fail). So lesson learned ladies – take care of yourselves! It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate or extravagant – just put yourself, and your health first. I promise your spouse and/or children will be SO glad that did!
If you need a little help figuring out how to relax, reset, and recharge then here are 15 tips to help:
Go for a walk
Every time I go for a walk, I make a conscious effort to appreciate the beauty around me as my child does when we go on walks. The littlest things make her so happy – the dog across the street, the wind tickling her face, the sounds of cars or the butterfly that passes. The world from the eyes of a child is truly magical, and it’s something adults are often too jaded to appreciate.
Take a bath
Prior to Beckett, I did this all the time. Now the only time I get one is if she’s in the tub with me! To me, there’s something so relaxing about breaking open a bath bomb, filling the tub with warm water and just sitting starring at the water.
Get a massage
Here’s another prime example of something I did all the time prior to the birth of my child, and I haven’t done it once since she’s been born (until this past Saturday, of course!). It was nice to get some of the built-up tension out of my muscles, and it forced me to put my phone down and relax for an hour.
Invest in little things that make you happy
This is actually one I do really well! Over the course of the last year, I’ve been really good about finding ways to enjoy mundane tasks more, like cleaning and laundry. I’ve been buying Mrs. Meyers Multi-Surface Cleaner in different seasonal scents (currently loving Mum and Apple Cider) because it makes cleaning around the house exciting since these sprays smell amazing! Also, I recently caved and bought The Laundress laundry detergent because it smells so so good and makes my clothes so soft. It’s the little things people!
Find a hobby
Joe telling me to get a hobby is exactly the reason I started this blog and everyday I’m glad that I did! I love writing and connecting with each of you! It clears my mind and gives me purpose aside from being a wife and mother. I’ve also recently really taken up photography and while I’m still in the beginning stages, I really love and get so excited when I capture something magical!
Take up something new
Speaking of hobbies – take up something new. Like a cooking class, or tennis lessons. Just put yourself out there!
Ask for help
Asking for help is my nemesis. I struggle so much asking for help, because truthfully I feel like I failed when I need help. In my mind, I should be able to do everything, and google or research anything else. I’m constantly reminding myself that it’s okay to need help and that by needing help doesn’t mean I did something wrong.
This goes back to the little things in life. I love candles, so sometimes when I just need a quick reset on life, I light one of my favorite candles (really love this one!) and take a few deep breaths.
Enjoy a meal alone
This probably sounds so stupid, but after having a child I rarely eat alone (and sometimes, I don’t eat at all). I’m always just trying to eat when I’m feeding her (usually leftovers of whatever she’s eating), or I’m eating as fast as I can while I’m doing a thousand other things. Recently I’ve been putting a solid effort to having at least one meal a week, in which I sit at the table (or in a restaurant), by myself and enjoy my meal in peace.
Always eat dessert
I’m such a huge proponent of eating dessert! I feel like the more we deprive ourselves of things we want, the more we crave and when/if we give into those cravings, it’s so much worse than if you just ate a little dessert the first time you wanted it. I mean kudos to the people who hate sweets, but I eat some form of dessert every single day. Sometimes it’s just a Hersey kiss or two (or three), sometimes it’s ice cream and sometimes it’s just adding whipped cream to my coffee. But so long as I have dessert in moderation, I will never deprive myself of it. You only live once, and damn it – I’m eating dessert!
Drink tea before bed
I like to drink a cup of tea before bed. It doesn’t happen nearly as often as I’d like, but if I had the energy, I’d drink a cup every night before bed. Last week, I was truthfully exhausted! So much so, I made some mint tea and rather than sitting downstairs watching TV with Joe and drinking my tea, I decided to take my cup upstairs and I sat in bed, drank my tea and decompressed from what has been a busy few months. As a result, I slept like an absolute baby! Drink tea ladies….specifically tea in bed!
Get a mani/pedi
This isn’t something I’ve done for myself since before I got married, as I usually just paint my nails at home. But so many women swear by regular manis and pedis that I felt I needed to add it to this list. Leave the hubby with the kids and hit up the nail salon for some cuticles, color and clear mind!
Buy a nice robe/comfy lounge clothes
I work from home 3 days out of the week, and so recently I decided to get this really nice robe and some really comfy lounge clothes. It just makes such a difference! Soft, warm, cozy clothes for home are just heavenly and it’s so much better being stressed out and comfortable, rather than just stressed out.
The Slip Pillowcase
Talk about beauty rest! There’s nothing like a few extra Zzzz’s to really help you reset, but a few extra Zzzz’s on the Slip Pillowcase? Um, yes please!
Stay off social media
There’s nothing like having a few minutes to yourself, and then all of a sudden you get sucked down the social media rabbit hole. You spend all the time you were supposed to be using to relax, by getting wound up, playing comparison between you and every other person on social media. Uffff! When I really want to reset, I stay off social media. I also (and you guys already know this) make it a point to take one day a week off from posting on social media because it helps me recharge, and focus on family.
Well aside from the fact that I’m currently sitting here thinking that I’m starving (for real though!), my brain has been going about a hundred miles a minute over the last couple of days. I go through these phases, where I’m pretty chill and nothing seems to phase me and then I have 18,000 creative ideas, all of which must be implemented at that exact moment. These ideas are always followed by a 1000 questions (none of which are important) that must be answered immediately and before I know it, it’s 2 am and I’m wide awake, listening to my husband snore, wishing I could just flip a switch, and turn off my brain.
Please tell me I’m not the only one!?
Case in point – what started as a simple google search of ‘best purple shampoo’, ended with me discovering that I’ve been using it wrong all these years. This then led me to searching various other hair secrets I might not know of, which led me to a research study on the connection between old plumping/pipes, copper and hair loss. This then led to me researching water filters for my shower head, which led me to wanting a brass shower head instead of the chrome one I currently have. This led to me planning a hypothetical future bathroom (picking tiles and wall paint colors), which led me to researching houses to buy to which I could insert previous planned bathroom. After picking a house, this led me to researching how much it would cost to paint the outside of a house because the house I picked (mind you a house I’m not going to buy!) needs a fresh coat of paint on the outside…and maybe a little lawn work if I’m being honest.
You all – these are the moments where I feel like I’m going crazy! I mean, talk about 6 degrees of separation!
And this is just one rabbit hole. In the last couple days, I’ve wanted to open a clothing store, start a photography business, write a book, and change my hair color – all which were met with a considerable amount of time researching, rabbit hole after rabbit hole, and none of these will come to fruition.
I guess my point here is that even though I drive myself crazy when I get in these moods (yes Joe, I know it’s driving you crazy too!) it’s always good to keep dreaming, challenging yourself, and learning. Although my brain is filled with an endless amount of random knowledge (hello, local bar trivia nights!), it’s also the same wheels that inspired me to move to Chicago, and to start this blog, both of which are decisions I’ll forever be grateful I made. And if you’re curious, I often refer to my brain as the ‘wheels’, as in ‘the wheels on the bus go round and round’. It’s my way of saying my brain is always going round and round. 🙂
So anyway – keep dreaming ladies! Be yourself, love yourself and believe in yourself. Be comfortable being unique. Be inspired by everything. Google the sh*t out of everything. And here’s to hoping we’re never sitting in a police station being asked about our Google search history 🙂