Wear what you love & dont care what they say!

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Jenn

Hello & welcome to my fashion & lifestyle blog, Style My Mind! Here I post weekly about fashion trends, lifestyle, beauty and some personal experiences.

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In honor of my five years here in Tampa I am sharing some of my favorite things to do in Tampa, Clearwater & St Pete!

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In honor of my five years here in Tampa I am sharing some of my favorite things to do in Tampa, Clearwater & St Pete!

 

Kraken Cycle boats We did this for our work Christmas party and it was a blast. It's like a peddle pub on the water so you bring your fave bev's, play your fave music and cruise up and down the river. Beware! Every bridge you go under you have to take a drink… there are 7 bridges up & back!!

 

 

Gin Joint I still haven't gotten the total experience of this place but the vibe is amazing and we had a great time. The drinks are fantastic and the staff is personable and interactive. The place looks legit out of the 1950s and there are zero TVs. Fun place for a birthday theme party!

 

Curtis Hixon Park There are always things going on here whether it's the margarita festival, Oktoberfest, concerts or the Christmas skating rink. They have free yoga and other activities you can join in also. I would check their site to see what's coming up!

 

 

Little Harbour his was an adorable little discovery my amazing photographer introduced me to and is also where these photos were taken. This little beach area is located in Ruskin, FL on the east side of the bay. It has an adorable little beach, a restaurant and boat dock. You can stay right there at the hotels and you have everything you need for a mini-staycay!

 

Best Happy Hour Award goes to Kona Grill. It's one of my go-to places at International Plaza. They have all night HH and their menu is the best. Drinks are about $6-8 and they have great sushi and flatbread on their menu as well. I love going with the girls to catch up!

 

Go for a run on Courtney Campbell Causeway, it will take your breath away. They just built this walking bridge and it's a fabulous place to catch a beautiful sunset.

 

LuLu's Oyster Bar in Indian Rocks beach. Great bang for your buck kinda place. It's not fancy, they have paper towels hanging from hangers off the ceiling and the wine is cheap BUT we went with 4 people all drank and had apps and meals and it was $99. The seafood is very fresh too. Yum!

 

 

St Pete Beach is where we go to the beach, right at Toasted Monkey bar! They have music and games. There are actually a bunch of hotels and beach bars you can walk to right along there. It is a lot less "touristy" than Clearwater is. Get there early because parking is no beuno!

 

Marriott Sand Key is another one of our lounge-out spots at the end of Clearwater in Sand Key. It's super fun, there is a bar that over looks the bay. You can rent wave runners or swim in their resort style pool, and it's free!

 

The Canopy is Downtown St Pete is a rooftop bar we frequent. It's pricey but has great views, amazing drinks and usually some good social activity. You can also walk beach drive right there as well and hit up some of the other places. DTSP is my favorite place honestly! We love to walk around Snell Isle or go to events at Vinoy Park. There is a lot to do in one area!

 

 

Ok so these are just some of my faves but hopefully it gives you some ideas of places to visit! Some other things to do is rent kayaks at Honeymoon Island and head over to Caladesi Island. For my fashionistas check out the local boutiques Scout & Molly's in Hyde park (other great stores and shops in there too), Fab'rik, The Look, Debra Kents etc.

Happy Travels!

XO, cheers!

Jenn

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Since Florida is SO HOT in the summer it's hard to look cute all the time at the beach but so many of you take vacations or hang out at resort pools and today I am sharing how to style your swimsuit. Myself, like so many others, are loving the one-piece movement. They have been making so many adorable, stylish one-piece suits and I am loving them. Especially since my "summer bod" is still in progress.  Read more about this look!

 

Hello Beauty Queens 

Since Florida is SO HOT in the summer it's hard to look cute all the time at the beach but so many of you take vacations or hang out at resort pools and today I am sharing how to style your swimsuit. Myself, like so many others, are loving the one-piece movement. They have been making so many adorable, stylish one-piece suits and I am loving them. Especially since my "summer bod" is still in progress. 

I think this particular suit is a great one for a Sunday Funday at a hotel pool or hanging out at your favorite yatch club or beach bar! It's super sexy but not overly revealing. I love the deep V because it can still give you a nice tan line for those V neck tees and tops! 

I styled mine with this amazing clutch by Shiraleah. If you have not checked out her bags, definitely do! She has some adorable ones at Nordstrom that I am linking on my ShopStyle for you to shop! 

This look is also linked here --> ShopStyle <--for you to shop! I styled it up with a floppy white "Out of Office" hat and a lace kimono. I linked another really cute "Rose All Day" hat on my ShopStyle link above. I also inlcuded my Prada sunglasses and another pair I like for this look too!  A sheer kimono is a great way to stay cool but cover up if you head to the pier for lunch or want to take a walk on the beach!

Make sure you are using sunscreen. I have recently started using Sunbum (linked). Be careful what you are putting on your skin. This is hypoallergenic, paraben and gluten free as well as vegan. I also have the oil on there as well and the lip balm. I use it all! I also linked all my favorite summer hair products and the white ball drop earrings I am wearing on my Amazon!

Happy swimming!! 

Photos by Audra Nicole Photography

XO, Cheers!
Jenn

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So, my full time job requires a lot of travel. I am on the road or flying somewhere about 30% of the time. I am a pretty healthy eater majority of the time and I am really good with portion control however, I do indulge a little more on weekends. While traveling, it can be very difficult to stay fit and eat right with all the happy hour cocktails, lunch and learns and dinners in different cities. I like to explore and try different foods in different cities so I don't hold myself back when I am traveling. The key is to stay on track while NOT traveling. Read more about my work outs, supplements & favorite place to order organic groceries to your door!

 

 

 

 

 

Happy summer lovelies!

 

So, my full time job requires a lot of travel. I am on the road or flying somewhere about 30% of the time. I am a pretty healthy eater majority of the time and I am really good with portion control however, I do indulge a little more on weekends. While traveling, it can be very difficult to stay fit and eat right with all the happy hour cocktails, lunch and learns and dinners in different cities. I like to explore and try different foods in different cities so I don't hold myself back when I am traveling. The key is to stay on track while NOT traveling.

 

Being that my birthday just passed (well two months ago haha) and it seemed to be a month of celebrating I am carrying a few extra LBs right now, I can totally feel it. It happens but I know it's time to buckle down and maybe detox for a few weeks. I do try to stay on a weekly workout routine and always, always take my supplements daily. You may not know this, but keeping up with your vitamins can help keep unwanted belly fat and extra insulation off. 

 

Get my daily essential vitamins HERE! If you are interested in buying them seperately, or more information on my powedered vitamins please email me stylemymindjenn@gmail.com.
 

First thing I do in the morning is put on my mixologist cap and shake up my Isotonix cocktail. I found these supplements last year when I was having horrible GI issues. I suffer(ed) from IBS and acid reflux. Since I have been on these products, I no longer have to take my reflux medicine and the IBS has subsided.

 

•           1 packet of medical grade Aloe this will help heal your entire GI system from the throat down! SAVIOR, seriously!

•           1 cap Isotonix Multivitamin

•           1 cap OPC 3 (amazing benefits. This is what helped my IBS. Also, my friend's cholesterol dropped 30 points in one month after adding the OPC 3 to her supplement regime).

•           1 cap B Complex (some days require one morning and one afternoon shot) this has lessened my coffee intake along with the MochaTonix.

•           ½ scoop powdered fiber (IBS!)

 

Shake it all up with the instructed amount of water and I take it down on my way to work. I can feel it work every day. I didn't take it until 2pm a few weeks back and I was draaaagging. As soon as I took it, it livened me up and I had way more energy for the afternoon.

 

The other two products I use are the digestive enzymes and TLS Carb & Fat Inhibitator. The enzymes are perfect if you have eaten a very filling meal or if your belly is super bloated. Take half, or a whole packet with some water and it helps digest that food sitting in the gut. The TLS product helps to curb your appetite. Take  2 before your 2 largest meals and it will help portion control. This along with cardio 4 times a week and 2-3 gym visits is how I maintain myself during my work trips. This allows me to indulge a little bit and not pack on the LBS!

 

I also found a great app to use if you cannot get to the gym or you are in a hotel and don't want to use their gym. The Nike training app or Swork It are great 15-20 warm up routines that really get the blood flowing. They have different work outs for different body parts or whatever you are looking for.

 

I also just started using Peach Bands. My sister sent me them and I love using them to workout at home or on the road. They are small so they fit in your suitcase. There are a ton of resistance band workouts on YouTube as well. I love that you can use them while watching TV or talking on the phone. All about multitasking!

 

As far as eating goes, I just started ordering from Thrive Market. They have all organic snacks and meals and are great for travel food. They have some great premade meals like quinoa and basil pesto that does not require refrigeration or to be heated. There is no MSG in this either. I take one of those and a travel oatmeal with me if I cannot get to food. For instance if I am at a 7 hour benefit fair without food, I will pack this and some organic popcorn and sweet potato tortillas.  I love Thrive because they deliver to your home, the prices are cut in half and you get $20 and free shipping off your first 3 orders!! Use the link above and check it out!

 

Outfit ShopStyle

Photos Audra Nicole Photography

 

XO, Cheers!
Jenn

 

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I have wanted to write this blog for a few weeks and now with the death of Kate Spade I definitely felt a tug on my heart strings to share the truth about mental health.  My sister has always been very open and honest in sharing about her anxiety disorder. She has been living with it for quite a while and she has been someone I have turned to a lot in the last few years for help. I only recently was diagnosed with this disorder but have known for years that I had some issues. They really came to a head in the last few years with some of my relationships and in the work place. I would read things, articles and books and they would describe traits and I would think "OMG that is me!" but I never wanted to admit that this was something I had. I don't have anxiety attacks often but I do get anxiety often.

Good Morning Beauties!

I have wanted to write this blog for a few weeks and now with the unfortunate death of Kate Spade and others, I definitely felt a tug on my heart strings to share the truth about mental health.  My sister has always been very open and honest in sharing about her anxiety disorder. She has been living with it for quite a while and she has been someone I have turned to a lot in the last few years for help. I only recently was diagnosed with this disorder but have known for years that I had some issues. When my therapist told me "you have anxiety with panic disorder" I cried. Even though I knew this, to hear someone I don't even know diagnose me was a hard pill to swollow. My anxiety really came to a head in the last few years with some of my relationships and in the work place. I would read things, articles and books and they would describe traits and I would think "OMG that is me!" but I never wanted to admit that this was something I had. I don't have anxiety attacks often but I do get anxiety often. I appear cool as a cucumber on the outside, but inside I'm just a burning piece of toast!

General anxiety disorder (GAD) can mean many things for various people. For me, it means perfectionism, fear of the future, anger, OcD and trying to control every aspect of my life. It has become exhausting. My body and mind are running constantly. I keep my hands in many pots to occupy my obsessive thoughts. My therapist explained to me that OcD (big O little c) is a part of my GAD. There is a difference between a big O and a big C. A big O means obsessive thinking. I continuously find myself thinking the "coulda, shoulda, woulda, what if" ways. "Well, this could have happened but instead this did so how can I fix it? How can I change it?" or "What IF this happens in the future? How can I control it to happen or not happen?" The fact is, we have very little control in life, but we can control how we think about things and how we react to them. So my therapist suggested I start CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy). She knew right away what my challenges were and how I could be helped. I needed to cut out the people who were causing my obsessive thoughts and take time for me, for some self-reflection and relaxation.

So right there in her office she taught me how to relax my body. I am a busy lady who is always on the go, prefers running over yoga and only Netflix binges when it's down-pouring. Otherwise you can find me do anything else besides being still and alone with my thoughts. My brain is my own worst enemy. She taught me how to deep breathe which has honestly saved me. I use this tactic every single day now with a meditation app. I do the app once in the morning and once at night. Throughout my day I will pause and take 3-5 deep breaths to bring myself back down to earth when I am getting too worked up or upset. I cannot believe how much this works. Part of my diagnosis is also "panic disorder".  I have had about 5-6 panic attacks in my life. One was just a few weeks ago for no reason. Most of them happen at night when I wake up out of my sleep because I am having trouble breathing. I have crappy sinuses so sometimes I can't breathe well. I am thinking this is what happened and I woke up in a panic thinking that I was dying. Well, if you haven't had a panic attack or know nothing about them, there are two different kinds; internal and external. This was an internal panic attack caused by… you guessed it, my overactive brain. I thought myself into a panic attack because of the weird feelings my body was having, absolutely nothing else was wrong. I had a great day, everyone is healthy and I spent the afternoon relaxing at the pool. So a few minutes into the panic I pulled up my Aura app and did my deep breathing and meditation for about 15 minutes. I calmed down and went back to sleep. This was the quickest panic attack I ever calmed down from. Try breathing! I am also going to get into yoga! After my travel and moving is done… somethings can't change, I like being busy, it is what it is haha!

CBT is great because it's relatable and made me realize I am not the only one with these challenges. I call my sister a lot when I am having a moment and she is a wonderful resource for me but I am also using ­Midwestern Center for Stress & Anxiety, "Attacking Stress & Anxiety". I listen to the CDs/DVDs about once a week and do the workbook 1-2 times a week. It really helps you learn why you think and react the way you do sometimes. For instance, I am a re-acter not a responder so this teaches me to stop and really think about the response I want to give someone or a situation and what I want to get out of it. When we react, like I do most times, anger comes out and then regret later and I feel guilty for behaving the way I did. So now, I am taking my time with my responses and even my actions. One of those people I had to shed for a bit I often think about texting but I know it's not good for me right now so I stop and think to myself what is the point? What would I expect from it and what good would it bring to me? And I realize at this point in my therapy it would not bring anything good for either of us so I retract my phone and go on with my day.

I like to plan things, I am a planner.  I don't think this is a bad thing but I am working on trying to be more flexible when my plans don't go as expected. I have very high expectations for myself and others and this often leads to disappointment. So I am changing my thought process and trying to be less of a perfectionist.  I am not perfect, I am never going to be and neither is anyone else. I can't expect someone else to want the life I want for them. I can't expect someone to love me more than they are capable of. And I can't expect anyone to change their life or beliefs for me. Those are some examples of unrealistic expectations. One of the activities the workbook had me to was to come up with three "shoulds", so three things I feel I should be doing or have.

  1. I should be married. Why? Why should I be married because society says that is what you're supposed to do? 60% of marriage ends in divorce anyway and most people I know who are married are miserable. Maybe this is something I one day want. It's not a priority for me but it's no one else's decision but my own and I need to be ok with it.
  2. I should have a bigger savings account. Ok maybe this can be a goal. No one tells me I have to do this, but it's probably wise. So I increased my 401k and will go from there. It's probably not as big of a priority, but a good goal to work on.
  3. I should own a house by 3 Why? People in NYC rent for life. I had a discussion with my dad recently and he said really unless you have children or plan to have them it's not worth buying. I don't make millions and I have my own business, so the write off isn't as vital as it is for some. I like renting because I like change. So the response to this one is, no I don't HAVE to own a house by 33, it's my life and my choice and I am doing what's best for me.

    *BONUS*
  4. I should want children. I always wanted kids. I never dreamed of a wedding or my wedding day. I did think of my kid's names and that I wanted a daughter. I would day dream about how I would dress her up! Now, I am not sure if kids are in mine/Gods plans. This one I am going with "whatever God wants for me". Children are a lot of work and I am still a little selfish in my career and schedule and it's not fair to bring a child into the world under the current circumstances. I like picking up and going. I travel a ton and don't want to share my money right now, #truth, it took a while for me to get where I am, I want to enjoy it. I think this is becoming more accepted these days. Kids are expensive as hell.

My blogs are never this long and I apologize but I really wanted to be open and honest about my challenges because I know there are a ton of people who are like me, not wanting to admit or confront them. I have a beautiful life that I created with God and I have taken chances most wouldn't ever take. I have grown so much in the last 5 years and yes I have some roadblocks, but don't we all? I think the best thing is knowing we are not perfect and anxiety is totally manageable and fixable. If you would like more information or want to talk, please email me at stylemymindjenn@gmail.com.

Shop my look here

 Photos by Audra Nicole Photography  

XO, Cheers!
Jenn

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Ladies, I want to share some affordable products I started using and really love. These are must-have for summer. Some of my makeup faves are the Motives Contour Kit, my eyelash duo, and the Motives Bloom palette. As for hair, I love the Tresemme Texture spray, Amika dry shampoo and L'oreal Air Dry It. Read more here.

 

Every few months I like to update you ladies on some of the new products that have entered my life. As we enter a new season, summer, I thought this was a perfect opportunity to introduce you to some must-haves I am using.

1.       Bloom Palette: I am oogling this eye shadow palette right now. The colors and pigments are so bright and so smooth. I don't usually wear eye shadow but since I got this, I wear it every day. I love mixing the sparkling copper with yellow or the coral. I have used the purple to outline the under eye lid which looked really pretty as well.

 

2.    Thick & Full Shampoo & Conditioner: The last few years I feel like my hair has started to thin a little bit. I think that comes with age as well as my consistent blonding and curling routine. Whoops! I researched some products that would maybe help thicken it back up and this along with the next one seems to be working pretty well. It restores the broken follicles in the hair which then in turn gives a thicker, fuller appearance.

 

3.       Living Proof Thickening Cream: this is a texturizing cream used prior to blow drying your hair which gives it a thicker consistency. 

 

4.       Smashbox Photo finish & Motives Primer: I double up these days. I use the Photo Finish for my full face & then the Motives for under & between my eyes to full in the small creases. 

 

5.       Motives Powder Contour Kit: I was super afraid to contour because it looked like way too much time and if you don't do it right, you can walk out of your house looking like a damn clown. When I discovered the Motives one and how easy it was, I took a chance. It worked out well. I love it. And *TIP* I actually use the "highlighter" to highlight my eye brow bone after I put on my eye shadow to give it a little lift! 

 

6.      You Glow Girl Highlighter: I actually do not use the highlighter from Motives for highlighting aside from my eye brow bone because I like a more shimmering high-def look so I got this one and I am obsessed with it. It makes you glow like you just got in from the sun. Gorgeous. *TIP* Mix this with the coral color from the Bloom Palette for a peachy-shimmering cheer!

 

7.       L'Oreal Air Dry It: Who doesn't love a beach wave?! Seriously. Ok I have great wavy hair but it can also get a little frizzed out. So I use this before I go to sleep along with the thickening cream to wake up with beachy waves. You can also throw it in there after a shower and just let it air dry if you feel your hair gets a little cray sleeping on it wet. 

 

8.       Amika Perk It Up Dry Shampoo: I have used many DS's and this is my fave. It came in my IPSY bag and I fell in love. It has the best smell and consistency.

 

9.       Tresemme Texture Spray: I love the Oribe texture spray but not the price so I tested out this new affordable one from Tresemme. I hate hard, crunchy hair. Hello it's not 1999 stop scrunching your hair. But I do like having some texture and a little hold. This provides both. If you have hair that does not hold a curl well, I would suggest a step or two up from a texture spray. Mine, luckily, holds a curl really well so I get away with a light hold. 

 

10.   Sexy Hair Hot Sexy Hair Protectant: This is important. I did not start using one until last year and I am so mad at myself because I fried my hair multiple times. Use one ladies. This one smells good and is reasonably priced.

 

 

11.   Last, my dynamic duo I swear by! L'Oreal Primer & Telescopic Mascara: I have used designer mascara such as Dior Show & Chanel & when I tell you nothing compares to this one, I mean it. I love long, silky lashes. One of my biggest pet peeves, is spider lashes. The primer helps create fullness where the telescopic brings the length without clumping! You can get both for less than $15. Try it! You will not be disappointed. 

XO Cheers!
Jenn

 

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Ok, so the jig is up! I am a Disney queen. I love it. It is my escape from life, my happy place and I have learned the ins & outs & how to do it up, adult style. Read more to find out my tricks...

It's summer vacation, where ya heading? Don't write Disney off as a place just for the kids. It's definitely not! In this article I want to share with you my best practices when visitng the most magical place on earth.

1. Stay at the Hilton Palace in Disney Springs

It's the most adult hotel in Disney with all the same perks. There is a shuttle to the parks, a hop across the street to Disney Springs BUT the kids pool is seperated from the adults, they have a great pool bar and adult games like cornhole and ladder golf. They totally have a lazy river which is my favorite spot. We like to rent fun floats and dance to the DJ on Saturdays.

I think this fella had a little much too adulting

2. Steer clear of Magic Kingdom, stick with Epcot and Animal Kingdom. Hollywood Studios comes in at number 3 because its's converting to like all Star Wars and that's just not my jam. Epcot has awesome events like the flower show happening in spring and food and wine which happens in the fall. And you can always drink around the world. The best ride there is Soarin'. DAK is my other favorite park because well, the animals! You can also drink and my number one favorite ride is there Expedition Everest. Also, really love the safari! Make sure you do Fast Passes 30 days before your trip. I still haven't gotten on Pandora yet, I am so upset so if you see it available - book it. Download the Disney app!!!

ALWAYS HAVE A PONCHO!!

3. Buy a cute backpack and bring your own snacks and water. Disney doesn't have to be expensive. Make sure the water is closed and you're good to go. 

We didn't bring this food but one of our fave places to eat is Splitsville in Disney Springs, great food and drinks!

4. Always have themed shirts for fun!!!!! You can be a big kid here... but with alcohol!!!! I have 6 pair of Disney ears. As an adult you actually have money, so go here planning on spending it. Not necessarily on food but they do have the cutest clothes and souveniers. 

5. For Florida residents the Silver Disney pass is $140 down and $28 a month. After your first year, nothing down $32 a month and totally worth it. Blackout dates are from June-mid August, 2 weeks at Christmas and Easter break. You don't get parking but if you go to a hotel and tell them you are there to eat, park there and take the monorail or shuttle over to the park. Also, you get 20% off all shops and 10-15% off certain restaurants. 

Xo, Cheers!
Jenn

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I discovered Salty Mermaid, a swimwear company, in Tampa a few months ago. What originally drew me in was the originality of their style along with the colors of their suits. Then, I noticed they give back to the community with every purchase. That's when I became more invested with this company. Find out more in this blog.

Salty Mermaid was created in 2016 by Jessica, a woman who loves bikinis and had a dream to help both animals and people live their best lives. She created her swimwear with some amazing causes in mind, the Rhinos and the Rainforest. (Click link for more details) Of course, she designed a collection with South Africa in mind, which is wear my suit comes from. Of course I picked Bohemian Queen Bikini, haha. I am far from bohemian but always a queen.

My first impression of the actual swimsuit was the incredible softness of the fabric. I dislike bathingsuits that are too stiff or rub too hard in some areas if ya know what I mean. This one is super comfortable and very flattering. The colors are so bright, it just makes me happy when I wear it. Also, here's a secret, the bottoms are reversible to purple. I love the braided sides of the bottoms as well. These come in brazilian or cheeky, I went with the cheekys :) You can mix and match like mine with the solid bottoms or top, and patterned. I prefer going with one of them being solid, too much patter isn't for me but to-each-their-own, which is why this site is great. You can match so many tops and bottoms differently. It's really fun, you can play and style your swimsuit literally all day. 

I have gotten so many compliments on it and while that makes me feel great, the causes this suit supports make me feel even better. I am an animal girl, and I love giving back to this beautiful world. Stock up just in time for Memorial Day weekend.

XO, Cheers!
Jenn

 

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Accessories galore! I am all about the earrings this year! I love finding different, new and bold earrings to wear. I like feathered, beaded and colorful. I found The Gem Co Shop on Instagram and love their collection and their prices! Read more here.

Diff Eyewear

Pink  Feather Fan Earrings

Gold Layered Necklace

Black Oversized Sunnies

These are sold out but linking dupe: Black Circle Tassle Earring

Manna Kadar Lipgloss

Gold & White Matte Statement Earring

As I said in previous blogs, one of my favorite parts of being a blogger is getting to meet a wonderful mixture of people from all over the world. I love seeing fashion in a form of art, and people living out their dreams. I did an interview a few weeks ago with a blog company and they asked me what interests me in fashion and I said someone once told me that you should invest your money into more staple pieces that will last longer and accessories than trending styles. So, I really took ahold of that advice and have been living it more and more. Accessories can really make an outfit, change an outfit or spice it up!

As I was perusing on Instagram I found a cute page called The Gem Co Shop. I loved their pieces and loved their prices even more. They run about $12-30 and the quality is fantastic. They do have more than just earrings so make sure to visit their page! 

{Photos by Audra Nicole}

They're all linked above and here are some of my other faves as well:

Cream Beaded Statement Earring

Yellow Beaded Circle Post Earrings

Teal Beaded Hoop Earrings

XO, Cheers!
Jenn

 

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When I started reading this book I was like "OMG this is so me!!" and I am sure it's probably a lot of you as well. Who really likes rejection? Who likes to feel inadequate? Probably no one. Lysa shares intimate details from some difficult times in her life that really help build a rapport with her and understand that we are not the only ones going through such hard times. We are not alone, we are loved and we can get through it. Read more here.

 

 

 

 

Photos by Audra Nicole

 

Lysa TerKeurst's book Uninvited changed my life.  I am a very strong, confident person in most of the areas in my life however; I do not handle rejection well, have a strong reaction to things I cannot control and have slight a fear of abandonment (nothing like laying out all your flaws for everyone right? haha). Soon after beginning this book, I realized Lysa is my soul sister. I also felt like I am not alone in feeling this way.  Most of the time I turn to TV shows to feel relateable to others i.e. Brooke Davis from One Tree Hill is also some sort of spirit animal. But that gets kind of tired. Because as we know, no one can make us feel better or lift us up better than ourselves and the Lord. In this book, Lysa shares very personal experiences where she is completely vulnerable and honest, letting us into her not-so-Christian-like character trait. We all have 'em! Let's be honest, we were not made to be perfect we were made for a purpose and most of the time it's to help someone else. In my eyes, Lysa's fulfilled her purpose, at least in helping me.

 

I want to take you on a walk through a few of my favorite stories and quotes from the book and share how they helped mold me into the better person. I am not completely fixed, everyday I have to work on not reacting and not trying to control things but I am learning! Join me on this journey so maybe I can touch one of your lives as well.

 

"The beliefs we hold should not hold us up even when life feels like it's falling apart."  This quote in the book hit home for me because I claim I am faithful, I claim I believe and I claim I want the life God wants for me however, when I am rejected or life isn't going my way I shut down and starting feeding myself negative thoughts. It's really unhealthy. If we have faith and we truly believe God knows what's best we need to live like that every day in every situation, keepng Him in control of life not you. Life was not promised to be easy. But looking back, every time I went through something traumatic or painful I realized a few things; it doesn't last forever, that feeling is only temporary. And secondly, something great always came next. If we keep holding on to our old ways, old relationships etc we will never open ourselves up to a relationship with God or anyone else for that matter.  Lysa goes on to say you cannot tie your identity to a circumstance, because circumstances are ever-changing and unpredictable unlike God who is never changing and always wants best for us. I could have used this book a year ago when I was totally heartbroken over a man I was seeing who decided for ME that I deserved better than him. Turns out, he was right, BUT at the time holy rejection! I shut down, I cried, I got down on myself and felt like I was not good enough for him and he just didn't want me. I didn't understand what I could do to change his mind. But what I didn't know until reading this book, is rejection isn't about you it's about them and their circumstance. And without giving away his personal life, he was going through some difficult circumstances which had nothing to do with me. In fact, I was the sun in his life and he told me that every day. He eventually came back of course haha and that's again when I realized he was trying to make the best decision he could at the time for the situation but that didn't mean I wasn't good enough, in fact it was the opposite.

 

"God is good. God is good to me. God is good at being God." I reiterate this to myself every morning, or at least once a day when I feel I cannot control something, which is often. I  had a big issue with wanting to control everyone around me. Like this quote from Lysa's book, "Here's the plan, and trust me it's really good God. So if you could bless all this … don't mess with all this …. Just bless it and we'll be good." Ok, story of my life. I was and still am trying to control plans and situations with everyone around me. I may not talk about it, it may just be in my head but I do it. Like ok I really feel like he should just love me because why wouldn't he? Or, ok here's what's going to happen God, are you good with that? You can only control you, that is it. Not a circumstance, not another person, nothing else but yourself and your feelings and reactions. But here's the trick, you can't let your emotions or feelings dictate who you are or run your life. Validate the feeling, feel it and then move on. Lysa tells us not to let heartbreak actually break you but let it change you. Let it make you better, let it mold you. I took heartbreak and made it into this blog two years ago and I am so glad I did. If it wasn't for that pain I was going through I may never have felt the urge to even begin this. I was looking for an outlet and I found it here, thank you God.

 

If God had given me my "plan" I had 6 years ago, I would be married to my high school love, living in New Jersey with a few kids and most likely a drinking problem out of boredom. He knew that wasn't the life he had planned for me. The life I have now is way more than I ever even considered asking for. I never thought I would have the bravery to leave my family and friends, but I did and God had my back every step of the way. This is why I am saying, you have to trust with every part of you. Not when you feel like it, not when it's working out but in every single situation. I still struggle constantly and we are only human, so it's expected, but this book has helped me tremendously in trying to let go of my control and be at peace and be more present in moments. I have less anxiety and am enjoying life a little more now.

 

 I just wanted to take a minute to share what I took from the book. There is a whole world of Lysa on these pages that I did not write down here (but I have like every page folded down or written on haha!) and you may take something different from it. I have already suggested it to 3 people and I am praying it helps them just as much as it has for me. Thank you Lysa for blessing me with your words to help me become the person I am meant to be. Oh also, I am now starting her other book Unglued, about how to make emotions and reactions work FOR US and not against us. Stay tuned.....

 

*Outfit Details*

 

Shirt : Amazon 

Earrings: The Gem Co (these are sold out but there are so many other cute ones!)

Shoes: Lucky Brand

White Crops: Lauren Conrad

Gucci Beltbag

Sunglasses: Amazon

Layered Necklace: (my fave) Amazon

 

 

XO, Cheers!
Jenn

 

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Lifestyle Blog Alert!! I always like to dedicate time once in a while to reflect where I am in life and maybe inspire or uplift one of my readers. Life, of course, is more than just looking cute but it doesn't hurt that's for sure! In this blog I want to briefly talk about my journey to where I am today. I am by no means at the destination, I am actually not sure I believe there is a destination in this life because I always want to keep growing and moving forward. Keep reading for more......

"Turn your face towards the sun, and the shadows will always fall behind you." - Walt Whitman

As we all know, life is full of ups and downs. And anything can change in a matter of moments. I have gone through a lot of this the past few years. We have all loved and lost; if we are lucky. And while in the recent moments the pain feels like a giant boulder just got launched into your whole body, we know deep down that time will heal that. God promised that this life would be worth it, not easy! And if there's anything I know about the big guy upstairs, He doesn't lie and he always fulfills His promises in His own time, not ours. So day after day we push through rising up like the sun, burning bright with the best intentions of living our best day

 I remember when I fell into my first "rut". It was about 2006 and I was 21. Yeah, a rut at 21 LOL. My friends were all older and graduating college and I still had two more years left at Rutgers. I was a waitress at the time at Clancys Pub in south Jersey, working nights and schooling days. My life felt super redundant like a scratched record playing the same screaching melody over and over.  I remember my dad always telling me, "your time will come just keep doing what you're doing, you're not where you want to be but you're better than you were last year." While I fake smiled and nodded my head at him to his face, as soon as he turned away I rolled my eyes and shook my head. I don't want to hear that. I needed to hear more than that. Never the less... my time came! And I graduated, moved to Hoboken, moved back from Hoboken and started grad school all within 4 months. Toldja, things can change instantaenously. Also if you have read my past blogs on my old site, I am a serial mover and this is where it started. My 3 month stint in the city next to the big city.

Currently, my best friend is 26 and falling into her first "rut". And guess what I keep saying to her? "Don't worry your day will come. I was in the same place you were then." haha I wonder if she rolls her eyes at me.

It's true though and looking back I so badly wanted a job and my own place etc and now I have a job and my own place and a lot of responsibility. I just wish I would have enjoyed my time in present moments a little more. Don't get me wrong, we LIVED! But I didn't appreciate my mundane life as much as I should have. 

When my aunt died in 2012 is when I decided I was done with the black hole that is New Jersey and moved to Florida.  Living here the last 5 years, I have really learned a lot more about enjoying experiences, present moments and learning from the hurt. Being hurt sucks, sucks, sucks but I do believe it happens for a reason. I am an overreacter and an overthinker sometimes and am working on that. So instead of being annoyed about not being able to control a situation I now take a minute before responding or before reacting and really think about it and try to see it from someone else's aspect. I know I can be totally irrational and I do realize that. Let the small stuff go people, it doesn't helo to worry. Pick and choose your battles. You don't want to go through life carrying the weight of the world or anyone elses issues on your shoulders. It's not worth it.

I struggled to get where I am. I moved a lot, went through some financial ups and downs but always paid my bills on time and budgeted the hell out of my bank account. I went on vacations, made great friends and mantained a lot of relationships that otherwise would have fizzled out if I let them. I am finally content with being on my own and understand that my story is not like everyone else's. I never asked for a husband, I asked for independence and a fulfilled lifestyle... which is what I have. It's not that I don't want to get married, I am just not settling because I worked really hard to get where I am and it's going to take someone special for me to bend. I date, and I have fun and I live my life. I think the point of this blog is, whether you're in a rut or happy or wishing for someone else's life... remember God wakes you up for a PURPOSE not to be PERFECT. Live YOUR best life everyday, not anyone elses. Enjoy the moments because next thing you know it's "your turn" and you're already on to your next chapter.

Outfit details: Scout & Molly's Hyde Park
Shoes: Jessica Simpson

Shop Looks here!!

Xo, Cheers!
Jenn

 

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