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Life Lately: January 2018

Life Lately Jessica Lynna Chicago Blogger

Striped Turtleneck | Free People Denim | Target Black OTK Boots | c/o Klasse14 Watch (12% off with code jessica_lynna)

We are a little more than mid-way through January, and 2018 (so far!) is shaping up to be a good year. My life lately has consisted of me spending the vast majority of this month working my little fingers to the bone, and taking care of a sick baby (ugh!), but she’s on the mend and sleeping soundly as I type this 🙂

For 2018, I knew I wanted to blog more, but I also wanted to work really hard at my photography. You may or may not know, but Joe and I have been figuring all this out as we go, which is partly what makes it such fun! Neither of us knew anything about DSLR cameras prior to starting my blog, and my experience in any Adobe product was zilch. Joe takes 99.9% of my blog photography and I edit 99.9% of those pictures, which can be time consuming and frustrating, especially when you have no idea what you are doing.

Up until about November of last year, I edited all my blog photography on my phone (YIKES!). I used a myriad of different apps (Snapseed, VSCO, ColorStory, FaceTune, Lightroom), but editing on my phone wasn’t giving me the control (or the results) that I wanted. So I’ve been investing a lot of time into learning Lightroom and Photoshop on my computer. If anyone has any tips, tricks or tutorials for either – please share them below! That’s basically how I’ve been learning so far…visiting one blog, then another and then another, stashing away secrets and tidbits from each. Hopefully this time next year, I’ll be a little Adobe whizkid – who knows, maybe I’ll come to love it so much that Joe and I get a 3rd dog and name it Adobe (side note: we will not be getting a 3rd dog, but the name Adobe would be adorable for a little puppy!).

So what else is going on in my life right now? Well Joe and I (and little B) just got back from Michigan where we celebrated our one year wedding anniversary! Can you believe it – 1 year! Sheesh, where does time go?!

We also celebrated my nephew, and now my GODSON’s baptism – eeeek! I’m so grateful and blessed just to be an aunt to two of the sweetest little boys, but I’m truly so honored to get to be a Godparent to one of them and I’ll cherish the unique bond that he and I will get to share forever.

And that’s pretty much it! Time to catch up on some TV while the baby sleeps and the husband is off playing soccer. Will & Grace is calling my name!!!

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You Had Me At Merlot: 5 Tips for Surviving Winter

Blogger Jessica Lynna Velvet Burgundy Dress for Valentines Day

Blogger Jessica Lynna Velvet Burgundy Dress for Valentines Day

Blogger Jessica Lynna Velvet Burgundy Dress for Valentines Day

Blogger Jessica Lynna Velvet Burgundy Dress for Valentines Day

Blogger Jessica Lynna Velvet Burgundy Dress for Valentines Day

Blogger Jessica Lynna Velvet Burgundy Dress for Valentines Day

Blogger Jessica Lynna Velvet Burgundy Dress for Valentines Day

Outfit Details: Velvet Dress | So Kate Heels | Lauren Conrad Bow Tie (old) Similar here | Similar White House Black Market Coat | Similar Leopard Clutch | Kendra Scott Bracelets (layering the gold and rose gold bracelets) | Nars Lipstick: Afghan Red

You had me a merlot…I once saw that on a t-shirt, one I probably should have bought because well merlot is delicious and I have a shopping problem. Anyway, this deep, burgundy merlot shade is my absolute favorite color to wear when the temperatures start dipping. Like literally the second the thermostat reads anything below 50, I put on all my clothes that resemble the ‘red wine’ shade and prance around in excitement.

Usually I would prance around in these burgundy, velvet pants, but I just recently ordered this dress from Amazon (yes, you read that correctly – Amazon) and how beautiful – right?!!!!! The velvet is so luxurious (and warm!) and as I mentioned already, it’s my favorite winter color!

Dressing for Winter (at least here in Chicago) is always a challenge. The temps are brutal most days and so I always look for new ways to look and feel stylish despite how cold and miserable it can be. Here are my top 5 tips for surviving winter:

1. Wear layers

This one is obvious, but it’s a must. I like to start with turtlenecks under button downs, or button downs under sweaters. Adding an extra layer with a puffer vest is always a solid win in my book too!

2. Dress when you get to where you’re going

I’ve done this so many times – especially if I’m wearing a dress. I just carry a tote bag as my handbag for that day, and I something warm (like pants and a sweater) and then change into my real outfit (like a dress) when I get where I’m going.

3. Invest in a cute coat

I’m in a coat every day for more than half the year, so investing in a nice coat is a no brainer. I have a couple staples – my new every day, commuting coat and then my cute, not trying to stay the warmest but want to look fashionable coat.  

4. Wear heavier/warm fabrics

Duh, right?! In winter, I trade in my silks and sheers for heavy wools and fabrics with weight like velvet and knit sweaters. 

5. Fuel your body from the inside, out

Warm tea, coffee, hot chocolate or Merlot (especially Merlot!) keeps me warm from the inside, out on the chilly winter days.

How do you stay warm in winter? Share your tips below!

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New Year, New Start

2017 was a roller coaster for me. Sure, there were some very high ‘highs’ for me, with my wedding and Beckett being born, both this year. But there isn’t much else in the way of positivity that I can say for 2017. It was the toughest year I’ve faced, with lots of struggle and stress and when the clock strikes midnight and we ring in 2018, I may shed a tear or two for surviving the last year.

It’s no surprise that I haven’t been blogging a lot lately. I’ve said it before, but since having Beckett I’ve struggled to find the balance between being a parent, being a full-time employee and finding time to blog. Personally, I’ve missed my interactions with you guys, especially considering writing in general is very therapeutic for me, so I’m really working to find the perfect balance so I can get back to a little normalcy. Matter of fact, putting more of a focus on my hobbies and things I love (aside from family) is among the top of my resolutions for 2018. You can take a look at my list below and feel free to comment with some goals of your own!

1. Find time for things I love
In 2018, I am dedicated to finding the time to devote to hobbies and things I love (such as blogging, and writing in general)

2. Be a better wife
I could (and probably will) list this at the top of my resolutions every year, because I think we should all, always be striving to be a great spouse.

3. Take better care of my skin
In 2017, I was pretty much just surviving, not thriving. I spent a vast majority of the year pregnant or dealing with post pregnancy hormones and my skin has taken a toll from as a result. In 2018, I was to put an emphasis on taking care of my skin both on the inside and out.

4. Eat better
I’ve noticed since having a baby that my metabolism isn’t what it once was, and thus it’s time for me to start putting more thought into the things I’m eating. I want to eat cleaner, healthier meals and I want to start eating at home more frequently.

5. Quit comparisons
Nothing puts a damper on your confidence and happiness than comparing yourself and your life to others. It’s exhausting to always wish you were better, taller, prettier, thinner, heavier, richer, smarter, etc. In 2018, I will be content!

There are plenty of other smaller goals I have for 2018, but these five resolutions will take precedence in the year. So with that said, that’s a wrap on my blog for 2017 and I will be back in 2018 guns a blazin’!

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Extra, Extra, Read All About It: The Newsette!

Since becoming a mom, I feel like I’m constantly operating on borrowed time (more on that here). The older Beckett gets, the less time I feel I have to do everyday ‘normal’ activities. Things like taking a bath (HA!) or reading the news are just time consuming and time that I either don’t have or time I’d rather spend playing with my child. And the more of myself I find giving my child, the less I can identify with the girl (I’m 30 years old, can I call myself a woman yet?!) that I once was.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not considering my lack of self-identity as a bad thing. I had a child and my life turned upside down…and that’s okay! I am still working to find my new ‘mom’ identity, so long as it doesn’t include wearing mom jeans. 🙂

So with the search for my new identity comes a focus on things that are quick: quick meals, quick workouts, quick conversations – QUICK QUICK QUICK!  Enter in – The Newsette.

I was introduced to this lovely newsletter a couple of months ago. The Newsette promises everything you want to read in the A.M. all in one place. That’s a pretty bold claim! I figured I would give this new relationship a trial run and assumed we’d break up in a day or two when the newsletter wasn’t living up to its claim. And yet, here we are a few months later and I’m writing a blog post about it! Silly me.

Sure enough, every morning a delightful and QUICK (it’s the common theme!) email arrives in my inbox, full of current news, inspiration and motivation. Most of the time, I can finish the email before finishing my coffee. #Win

So imagine my excitement when The Newsette launched their new website! Now if I find myself with a little extra time (mostly on days I train into the city for work), I can head straight to their website for an extra dose of positivity and inspiration. Don’t believe me, watch this interview with Katia Beauchamp, CEO of Birchbox and tell me you’re not motivated!

So in an effort to live by my motto (quick!) I’ll stop rambling about my love affair with The Newsette and encourage each of you to take a peak around their new website and be sure to sign up for the newsletter by clicking here!

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Seeing Spots

I am not typically someone who wears a lot of pattern. Not that I don’t like it, because I actually love pattern mixing. It’s just that patterns typically come on fabric that I just don’t like wearing. I know, that sounds completely ridiculous, but there are some fabrics that I just can’t stand the way they feel on my skin (I cannot be the only one?!). I’ve been pushing myself lately to quit being so dramatic and to learn to appreciate and incorporate more pattern into my wardrobe and it’s been a challenge, but I’m getting there.

This spotted dress was one of my first conscious purchases toward incorporating more print. It has sat in my closet for a while now, but I finally put it on and wore it outside of the house last week (I can change outfits like 5 times before I leave the house lol). I have to say that I really fell in love with print after wearing this. Something about the bold contrast between the spots against the white background, with a cute little bootie and leather bomber jacket and I just felt like a hip, cool mom (I said felt…not am :)).

With Black Friday coming up, I’m hoping to consciously add a few more pattern pieces to my closet. I really have my eye on this shirt, this jumpsuit and this dress, but Joe has put me on a strict budget after I spent a little too much money on making sure the Christmas tree we put in Beckett’s room this year is perfect. Oops! If you want to see her little princess tree, check out my Instagram 🙂

Do you have any fashion fears or things you avoid when shopping? Comment below and we will get through this together!

Outfit Details

Dress; H&M (old) – similar here

Shoes; Steve Madden

Jacket; Marshalls – similar here

Bracelet; Kendra Scott

Purse; Valentino (old) – similar here

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