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Breast Cancer Awareness Month: An Update on My Mom

It’s been a while since I’ve talked about my mom in my posts. Matter of fact, I really only wrote one post about her being diagnosed with Stage 3 Breast Cancer (you can read that post here) and with Breast Cancer Awareness Month upon us, I figured now was as good a time as any to update you all on how she is doing.

Having been diagnosed in December, it’s been a long year. For me yes, but for her I’m sure it’s been an eternity. My momma completed chemotherapy, followed by a mastectomy and just completed her final radiation treatment last week (perfect timing, eh?!). During all of this, she’s been extremely sick, with little to no appetite, and battled every day with very low white blood cell counts, which ultimately left her hospitalized a couple of times. During this long road, she lost her hair, she lost weight, she lost the chance to see her granddaughter born, she lost her breast (among various other things), but in the end – she won the war!

After her mastectomy in July, the doctor was pleased that the pathology report came back from her surgery with no cancerous tissue! As a precaution, the doctor advised that my mom complete radiation treatment – and as any scared cancer survivor would do – she did as her doctor told her to do!

She finished her last radiation treatment last week, just in time to raise awareness about a cause that will remain near and dear to our hearts forever!

And while I’m ecstatic for my mom and so proud of her for how much she endured, there are women everywhere that are not as fortunate. And with this, I will passionately advocate for awareness and encourage support to national and local programs that fund research for a cure, and that help with any and all aspects of this disease.

So that leaves us with how YOU can get involved?

First of all, you can stop reading this post and go check your breast for any abnormalities. If you’re not sure how, you can follow the steps provided here. After you’re done with this, come back and finish reading the post.

No seriously – stop reading and go check! Do it yourself, have a spouse or friend check or schedule an appointment with your doctor – but make sure you check!

Now that you’ve completed your self-examination, it’s time to get involved.

There are plenty of ways to get involved – volunteer at your local charities, walk for a cure or part ways with some of your paycheck and donate it. But I understand that there is no ‘one size fits all’ way to do good in this world. So this October, I’ll also be purchasing items that I know will give back to the greater good..and these are products I’ll most likely need anyway (most likely being the operative word – because do I really need more beauty products, or candles or jewelry lol).

If October finds you with an abundance of cash and you decide you can part with a dollar or two – I know daughters, mothers, cousins, friends, sisters, brothers, fathers, children, pets, etc. will be eternally grateful.

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Summer Stripes

I cannot believe that summer is coming to an end. Pretty sure I blinked and it was over. Now if only Winter could be as generous…Anyway, this morning I got up at the butt-crack of dawn (seriously, I have to get up at 5:30am – why?!!!!) and I looked at the weather. Checking the weather is literally the first thing I do every morning and today it said ‘currently 53 degrees outside’.

53 degrees?! FIFTY THREE DEGREES?!!? What the what?!

I have to mentally prepare for this kind of weather. I cannot have something like this just sprung on me! Like I need full on pep talks to myself and adding extra ‘insulation’ lbs. so I don’t die of frostbite. Thankfully I haven’t lost all that baby weight so I’ve got that going for me this Winter, but I cannot emphasize enough how much I am not ready for Winter.

So with that said, I’ll be living out the remaining days of summer in this dress. Like literally, I’ll be wearing it every single day. Nothing screams ‘denial Winter is coming’ more than this colorful little number, right?!

It’s cheerful, it’s happy and it’s everything summer should be! Plus, it’s only $19! It sold out really quickly last time it was on the site (I waited over a month for this to arrive on my doorstep!) so just a heads up in case you need it in your closet as much as I did when I first saw it 🙂

Happy Monday!

Outfit Details
Dress; SheIn
Shoes; Steve Madden (old) – similar here and here
Earrings; BaubleBar
Watch; Michele

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Birthday Brights

fall fashion express vest chicago blogger


fall fashion express vest chicago blogger
fall fashion express vest chicago blogger


fall fashion express vest chicago blogger


fall fashion express vest chicago blogger


fall fashion express vest chicago blogger

Y’all, yesterday was Joe’s birthday..say it with me: Happy Birthday Joe!!!

I’ll make today’s post short and sweet – there’s still celebrations to be had (time got away from me yesterday – don’t judge!) and cake with my name on it. Okay, the cake literally has Joe’s name on it, but it is practically begging ME to eat it, so a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do, right?!

Anyway, I picked up this vest from Express about a month ago and I am really loving that I can wear it with just about anything. It goes with slacks, it goes with dresses, it goes with jeans…like literally it goes with everything!

The white color makes me feel ultra-sleek too…although this is one outfit I would not recommend wearing when carrying around an infant. I just know the second I pick up Beckett wearing this beautiful crisp, clean white – Beckett will decide to spit up all over me, or even worse – have a blow out!

For the record, prior to having a child, I had no clue it was even possible for a child to literally poop through their diaper, through their clothes and on to yours. I thought a blow out meant someone popped a tire while driving, or maybe just a bad ‘contained’ diaper. Well if you’re curious, it is entirely possible for said scenario to occur. And it’s just as fun as it sounds 🙂 Hence the rule of “no wearing white when holding baby”.

Happy Tuesday loves!

xoxo, Jessica

Outfit Details

Vest; Express

Dress; H&M

Necklace; Ebay (I know what you’re thinking!!)

Shoes; Jimmy Choo

Sunnies; Gucci

Bracelet; MantraBand

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The Idea of Perfection

4 tips for staying organized


4 tips for staying organized


4 tips for staying organized


4 tips for staying organized


4 tips for staying organized


4 tips for staying organized


4 tips for staying organized

As I mentioned in an Instagram post yesterday my life has been crazy busy. I remember a time like 2 years ago that I thought I was ‘busy’ and I kinda wish I could go back in time and slap myself for being so naive. Nothing prepares you for being a full-time mom, wife and employee. NOTHING.

Nevertheless, you all responded with such encouraging words because you all are the best thing since sliced bread!

I did get a lot of questions about how I stay so organized. Maybe it’s the fact that I haven’t posted to this blog in 2 weeks, or my inconsistent scheduling when it comes to posting on Instragram, but I have no idea what gave you all the impression that I’m organized lol. Nevertheless, here are my tips for staying afloat when all you really want to do is sit in your bathroom and cry. For the record, crying in the bathroom almost made this list.

1. Invest in a planner and use it

My best friend buys me a new Kate Spade planner every year for Christmas. Like literally she’s done it for the past 4 years or so – and I could not survive life without it! Thanks little Dino – you’re the best 🙂 But what’s the point of a planner if you aren’t going to use it to actually help you plan? This is where I put pertinent information for my work schedule, my editorial content and deadlines for my blog, Joe’s work and travel schedule and any important dates for Beckett. I’d be such a mess with out a place to log everything. And don’t preach to me about using my phone to schedule everything (JOE!). I am old fashioned and I need to write things down in an old school calendar with old school pencils. It’s just how I operate people!

2. Understand things Change

I try to get as many things done ahead of time as I can and for good reason. Now that I have a 3 month old, my day is inevitably going to veer off track at least once, if not twice. As much as I try to plan, Beckett just isn’t going to cooperate with everything I have scheduled. Some days she’s a perfect angel and our day goes completely according to plan. Other days I swear she’s smarter than all of us and doing things just to spite me. The more accepting I become of our changing schedule, the easier I find to balance it all.

3. You Can’t Do it All

This is the hardest for me to understand and accept. I have an extreme Type A personality and admitting defeat is not something that sits well with me. But at the end of the day I’m human, not superhuman and I simply cannot do everything I want to do, every single day. Case in point – this blog. I don’t even remember the last time I posted and even though I have outfits already photographed, I simply haven’t had the time nor energy to edit and post them. When push comes to shove, I have to be okay letting things fall by the wayside and for me, my family, my full time job and my sanity all take precedence. One day I hope to get in a better rhythm, but until that day comes – repeat after me: I can’t do everything for everybody every single day.

4. F*ck it. 

Excuse my french, but the world isn’t going to end because I didn’t get to wash my hair, clean all of Beckett’s bottles and the dishes, work, blog, watch a movie with Joe, play with the dogs, eat breakfast, lunch and dinner, wash, fold and put away laundry, exercise, look perfect etc. etc. etc. every single day. Instagram, although I love it, makes it so easy to see other moms who portray themselves as killin’ it at life (maybe they are!), but this just leads me to feel bad about myself for not being able to do it all. Maybe that mom has mastered the art to being a supermodel, perfect mom, successful employee, trophy wife, fitness fiend and overall bada$$ human being. Kudos to them! I fell asleep on the sofa last night during date night with Joe. I woke up having not charged my phone and 15 minutes after my alarm went off. My underwear is two sizes to small, my child is in daycare and I screwed up at work today. I’ll probably skip the gym because running makes my thighs chafe (thanks pregnancy) and I might have cookies and milk for dinner. Guess what? The world is still revolving. I’ll look put together and perfect another day. Or maybe I won’t. F*ck it.

So if you are feeling busy, stressed or overloaded these are my tips for living to see another day with a smile on my face. Okay, maybe not so much of a smile, but like a half grin and some puffy, sleep deprived eyes. For the record, and more often than not I just skip right to number 4, but feel free to use any of these tips you find useful 🙂

xoxo, Jessica
Outfit Details
Sweater; J Crew Factory
Denim; Target (modified by me)
Shoes; Valentino
Handbag; Tory Burch

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ABC…Easy as CBR?!

new parents cord blood banking decision
new parents cord blood banking decision


new parents cord blood banking decision
I know I’ve been writing a lot about mommyhood on the blog lately, but let’s be honest – I’m not the most fashionable right now wearing pajamas with spit up pasted on them. Nothing prepares you for becoming a parent. And to think, before I had Beckett I was convinced I would blog every day and start a second business, all the while cooking and cleaning every day. Joe was going to come home from work every day to the perfect little trophy home, with his trophy wife and trophy daughter.
So far during my maternity leave I’ve watched countless episodes of friends, have gone more than 24 hours without changing from pajamas, and once I forgot to brush my teeth until after 1:00pm…yeah I know – that’s completely disgusting but I pride myself and this blog on keeping things real, so there’s some real expectations from a real parent…you know, the stuff you don’t really hear.
You know something else you don’t really hear about? Cord Blood Banking. Yea, I know what you’re thinking – what the H-E-Double Hockey Sticks is cord blood banking?  To be honest, I had no idea what cord blood banking was either, until I got pregnant and I didn’t really learn about cord blood until I got to that ‘chapter‘ in my pregnancy read along book. And again, being completely honest here, that chapter of the book came WAY too late in my pregnancy for Joe and I to discuss and decide upon prior to Beckett’s birth.Joe and I first read about cord blood banking about 2 weeks prior to finding out we’d be induced. Truthfully, we wish we would have read about it sooner into my pregnancy, so we could have better understood the process, the costs and then weighed the pros and cons. Instead, we felt so rushed with everything that happened in the last few weeks, we ended up not doing a lot of things we would have liked. I mean we didn’t even get maternity photos taken (gasp)…I guess 40 weeks (in my case, 36 weeks) goes by faster than you think.

So with July being Cord Blood Awareness Month, it’s my hope that I can educate at least one person about cord blood banking, so that he or she can make an educated decision that is right for them and their family, without being rushed or unprepared when the big day comes. So let’s start with the basics – cord blood banking is the process of collecting the leftover blood  from the umbilical cord after birth and banking/storing it for the possibility of future medical use. Right now, the stem cells from the cord blood are being used in treatments for a broad range of diseases, such as blood disorders, cancers, immune disorders and metabolic disorders.  While the thought of a newborn baby or child being anything other than perfect is unimaginable and unfair, the reality is families everywhere have benefitted from cord blood banking. To learn more about the process such as costs, and more specific details, please check out CBR’s website by clicking here.

Should Joe and I decide to have another child in the future (oh my god, I can’t even fathom a second child right now <insert frazzled and stressed emoji face here>) we would definitely consider cord blood banking. Maybe the next time around, we will be a little more prepared too…but then again, Joe and I thrive when things are a little – hectic. 🙂


xoxo, Jessica

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