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Back to Blogging

Wow, it’s been such a long time since I’ve written a blog post here. So what have I been up to for the last year and a half?!

If I’m being honest, after 4-ish years of blogging, I’d finally had enough. I started my blog without any real concept, and over the years I assumed I’d find my way in the blogging atmosphere, but truthfully I found blogging to be more of a task than a passion. Don’t get me wrong, I love fashion and I love writing, and naively I figured that doing two things I love would be amazing. Instead, it became about likes, collaborations, unauthentic outfits, and keeping up with other bloggers. It was a rat race – one I was never going to win, which became defeating. It became a constant game of comparisons and wearing what everyone else was wearing because that’s what society and blogging groups were telling me to do. Frankly, it was the exact opposite of what I sought out to do when I started blogging. And so I stopped posting on my website but kept up with Instagram because I didn’t truly want to give up on something I’d work so hard at through the years. During all this, I had a nagging feeling of being lost. My page had no purpose, I had no passion and so I finally quit posting on my Instagram page too.

Let me just tell you. The 5 or so months I spent soul searching and without the constant pressure of social media was liberating! No deadlines, no pressure, no comparisons. No spending time liking other’s content, in the hopes of some ridiculously complex algorithm rewarding me by putting my content higher up the food chain. It was a breath of fresh air and allowed me to get a 50,000-foot glance at what I was doing, and what I was trying to accomplish. And then one day it just clicked.

I love fashion…but I also love a lot of things. Like ice cream. That doesn’t mean I need to write a blog about it. So I spent time figuring out where my strongest passions are. Writing is probably my number one. I’ve dreamed of writing a book since I was a kid, and it’s something I will check off my to-do list one day. This led me to conclude that I should definitely continue writing a blog. But what about? What else am I passionate about? And then it hit me – skincare! Growing up, I wanted to be a dermatologist. Matter of fact, I started college as a pre-med major (didn’t everyone start college as a pre-med major?!), but then I got lazy and said hell no to so many years of school. Even though I didn’t go on to be a dermatologist, my passion for skincare never went away.

So during my soul searching, it clicked. I should focus my blog content on skincare and beauty instead. And you might be thinking – there are thousands of beauty related websites and bloggers already out there, why bother? And you’re right, there are. And some of these bloggers and websites are pages I know, love and trust. But there is also plenty of content I haven’t been able to find, like valid skincare advice during my perioral dermatitis episode and legit products to use on hormonal acne.

So from this point forward, I’ll be putting a huge focus on all things beauty. Every now and again, I’ll post some additional content (fashion, life, maybe even ice cream!), but the vast majority will be honest and authentic reviews of products I have actually used and tested, specific topics related to beauty (skincare products to use during pregnancy, hair care products that actually get rid of dandruff, how to simplify your skincare routine, etc.), highlights of specific brands and sales, and I’ll be bringing back my Best in Beauty monthly series that will include all my favorites each month.

So who’s excited?! I know I am!! First up, I’ll be posting the 6 beauty products I could not, and absolutely would not live without. Stay tuned tomorrow for that post! In the meantime, I’ve left a nomination form on my Instagram highlights for products you’d like to see reviewed or have covered in a blog post!

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5 Avon Products You Need Right Now

Jessica here, coming to you with a blast from the past. Let’s take a second to talk about Avon. Yes, Avon! I can’t be the only one that was absolutely obsessed with Avon growing up. My mom would bring home catalogs from her friends, and she always let me pick one or two things from the catalog to order. Inevitably, I always ordered makeup. In retrospect, it was also always something really bright and unlike any type of makeup I would wear today (like purple lipstick!)…But it always made me so happy, and it’s a memory I’ve carried with me.

In college, I still ordered Avon because it was affordable. Plus, at this point I had a list of favorites that I couldn’t live without. Not to mention I was a broke college kid and ‘affordable’ was a necessity.

And then I graduated, and I moved away from everything I knew. My hometown, my family and my Avon sales reps. At this point, I was entirely clueless that I could order Avon online without going through a catalog/individual sales rep, but let’s just skip over this fact because apparently I was living under a rock.

So fast forward to about a year ago, when Avon was so gracious to reach out to me about sending me a PR package. That one little package brought back all the warm and fuzzies, and rekindled my love of Avon! So as a result, today I’m sharing my 5 absolute, non-negotiable must have products from Avon. If you’re a beauty loving girl, who also likes a good bargain, this is the post for you!

Anew Clinical Unlimited Lashes & Brow Activating Serum

Holy $hit you guys…this stuff is incredible. Prior to this, I was using Neulash. It worked just fine, but it’s so expensive. So I got this, tested it on my eyebrows and 2 weeks later my sparse brows were already looking fuller. So then I started using it on my lashes and I cannot even believe the difference in just 6 weeks. It’s so good that I already stocked up on a second tube to have when I run out, and BONUS: it’s currently ON SALE for only $39.99. If you are looking for fuller, longer lashes – this is the product! And just so you know, I have naturally gray blue eyes, and this product has had no effect on my eye color (I know that is something I was always worried about when using eyelash products).

Iconic Avon Lipstick

Sure these may be 5 of their regular shades, but you all….they come in these old school, holiday packages that were giving me major nostalgia and I can’t even with the plaid and gold lipstick tube! And the leopard! I mean, these are so fun for the holiday season and would make some great stocking stuffers for your friends too!

Skin So Soft Radiant Glow Skin Luminosity Polish

This stuff has worked wonders on my skin and I know it’s going to be something I can’t live without this Winter when my skin is miserable, flaky and dry. I use it before I do any kind of self-tan or anytime my skin just needs a little pick me up, and I always get out of the shower with a little extra glow.

Avon True Color Moisturizing Eye Makeup Removing Lotion

This is one of those products I used all through college, then separated and when reunited years later, it’s just as good as I remember. This stuff just melts away eye makeup like nothing I’ve ever used and I can’t get enough!

Anew Brightening Clay Mask

Just like the body polish, I use this anytime my facial skin needs a little pick me up and I can tell a difference right away after using it. It just gives my skin a natural glow/highlight effect. I love it..and I love the color!

Happy Tuesday loves! 

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Wearing Wool

You all already know that I’m not a huge fan of Chicago weather, BUT there is at least one perk to the 8 months of cold weather here: wool!

Wool makes everything better, right?! It’s warm, it’s beautiful and there are so many ways to wear it, two of which I’ve included in this post.

Without a doubt, my favorite way to style wool is by wearing a wool blazer. I have become so fond of blazers in recent years and I really, really love a statement blazer. Wool blazers are almost always statement blazers, so it’s like two birds one stone 🙂

I’m pretty sure this blazer was created specifically for me because it has blush tones, a faint hint of blue, it’s wool and it makes a total statement – I mean, it checked all the boxes for what I’m looking for in Fall and Winter apparel. What makes it even better is that it has a matching skirt!

If I can help it though, I tend not to wear matchy-matchy and rather will chop up pieces from ‘outfits’ to make other outfits. I’ve always been that way. Flashback to circa 1992 when I would do fashion shows with my Barbie’s and the best part was always perfecting their outfits…like switching Barbie’s skirt for Stacey’s pants, and Christie’s heels for Teresa’s sneakers and so on and so forth. Flash forward to now, and it’s not hard to understand why I push myself to create separate outfits with pieces from other outfits. It’s just in my DNA!

Could you wear this skirt and blazer together? Absolutely! And you’d look bomb dot com doing so. I just like to push it a little further to create something true and unique to me.

Which brings me to my second favorite way to wear wool – skirts! Sure you can wear wool pants (I own those too!), but I find a skirt to be the perfect blend of warmth, while still being cool enough especially for those inevitable warmer Fall days. Again, this skirt is the same pattern as the blazer and I’ve paired it with the same turtleneck so you could see exactly how different each outfit looks, with just a few small tweaks.

I picked up both of these pieces in the Wool & Leather Shop via Chadwick’s of Boston. I love the style and affordability that Chadwicks has to offer and I love their dedication to fitting women of all sizes. Bonus: it’s one of the few places that has a great selection of contemporary, wool pieces in petite sizing! If you are a petite gal like me, you’ll love this blazer and for reference, I am wearing a size 2 🙂

**Thank you to Chadwicks of Boston for sponsoring this post. As always, all opinions are my own!

Wool Blazer (Wearing Size 2P) | Wool Skirt (Wearing Size 2P) | Turtleneck (Wearing Size S) | Trench Coat (Wearing PXS)  | Chloe Heels (Wearing Size 5.5) | Cropped Denim (Wearing Size 25) | Suede Sandals (Wearing Size 6) | Nude Handbag | Baublebar Earrings  

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Fall Fashion

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!

Raspberry Dress | Taupe Booties | Old Navy Hat (0ld) – similar here and here | Leopard Clutch | Anthropologie Necklace (old) – similar here and here | Kat Von D Lipstick | Milani Lipstick | Similar Cuff Bracelet  

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6 Ways to Style a Turtleneck

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!

  1. High-Waisted Denim

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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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’.

  1. 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. 

  1. 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.

  1. 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 like this 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

Pink Turtleneck (Wearing Size S) | Topshop High Waisted Denim (Wearing Size 25) | Pink Velvet Booties (sold Out – similar here and here) | Tri-Color Hoop Earrings | Leopard Belt (old – similar here) | Clutch (old – similar here)

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