Wear what you love & dont care what they say!

Meet Jenn

Jenn

Hello & welcome to my fashion & lifestyle blog, Style My Mind! Here I post weekly about affordable fashion trends, but ya know, like real affordable! My favorite products, beauty routines & lifestyle experiences! I'm a girls-girl who loves the outdoors, white tee shirts & Disney World. Join me on my journey!

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Stay-cays are easy and affordable because you don't have to fly anywhere, you just figure out what you are looking do like relax, or hike and be one with nature or maybe explore. In this case I am totally ready for a relaxing weekend with my ladies.

I found this little gem suggested by my photographer, Christina Jones. And oh my goodness is it adorable! We were like "we need a stay-cay asap." Sometimes the best thing to do when life gets overwhelming is to grab your girlfriends and shut down for a weekend. Since I have been dating I realize how easy it is to get wrapped up in that person and be with them more than your GFs. I was like Whoa. I need to re-evaluate because my girls are there for life, and this guy may not be. So I have been working on those relationships a little bit harder these days and this is the perfect getaway for it.



Stay-cays are easy and affordable because you don't have to fly anywhere, you just figure out what you are looking do like relax, or hike and be one with nature or maybe explore. In this case I am totally ready for a relaxing weekend with my ladies.

Here is why I love The Belleview Inn. It's older but they renovated it into a blissful, tropical paradise outside of Clearwater Beach. The beach is only about 15 minutes away, so you miss the shoobee, tourists in that area if you prefer. There are also a ton of great local restaurants here, such as Cristinos Coal Oven Pizza. It is the best Italian place around.

The furniture and decor at Belleview is stunning. Everything is so clean and quiet. They have a sweet piano playing as you are welcomed into the lobby and greeted by the kindest staff. They were so helpful and grateful to us for being there. There is a cute coffee shop right in the lobby as well as some peaceful escape rooms for meetings or vegging.

There are two giant porches outside, front and back, donned with rocking chairs and sitting areas to drink your coffee and enjoy the crisp morning air. The pool is small but pristine and lined with chairs and cabanas. There is a beautiful golf club right on the location as well and the landscaping is top-notch filled with colorful flowers and palm trees.




They have multiple room packages to choose from that can include golf rounds as well. The rooms are renovated and very modern with hardwood floors and studded furniture. Right now the standard room is about $200 per night. The Jr. suites which include a king size bed and parlor area, as well as refrigerator and coffee maker run about $300-350.


Dress: BP. Nordstrom
Jacket: Don Me Now (Tampa)
Bag: Crooked Smile Creations
Necklace: Harper & Jewels use code STYLEMYMIND for 15% off
Make Up: Beautycounter 


Overall I give this historic hotel 4 stars! It's definitely a place you want to visit.

Xo, Cheers!
Jenn

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"I'm so unwilling to offer any of my limited free time to any man who isn't, like, the man. My girlfriend said this to me, 'No more princes. A man shows up as a king for you or nothing,'" Bush said. "And like, yeah, I built my own castle. I'm good. I don't need you for anything so you better be a value add." With that, Faris added, "Build your own ladder, I'm not growing my hair out."-Sophia Bush




Photos: Christina Jones Photo
Location: The Belleview Inn
Look: ShopStyle
Makeup: Beautycounter

A few weeks ago I read this article from Sophia Bush who was on Anna Faris' PodCast "Unqualified" talking about her past relationships and how she settled and some of the biggest mistakes she made in her past. I read this at the most perfect time. 

Reading her article I realized if I just look past the big differences like religion or political stance,  I would be settling for the potential in the relationship instead of what it really is.

"What I realize is that I have to own my role in it, because more often than not, I have chosen to date the potential I see in someone and not who somebody is in this current moment."- SB

It's so true. We look at the men we are dating sometimes and make excuses or just say "he will change." People don't change, and more importantly men don't change because they don't like to admit their faults or insecurities. I have been described as intimidating because most women don't have their lives together like me. I make a lot of money, have my own place, my own business, can take vacations and have the freedom and finances to do mostly whatever I want. Well, most guys, like to be needed and when a woman doesn't need them it becomes a threat.

Bush shares that what she realized is that when someone, especially a man, tells a woman she's "intimidating," it really means he's "intimidated."-SB

It's not my problem that you have been with girls and I am a woman. I feel like at this point if this is how the other power operates I am fine being single forever. Sorry, but not sorry. I always say it's better to be wanted than needed. And in my last relationship this was true, because his ex wife was a money grubbing cheater who needed him but didn't want him. In the current situation he has always dated girls who needed him financially and emotionally because they were so insecure so it made him feel better about himself. I want to help someone be a better version of themselves but they have to WANT to be that version, if not you can't force it.

"And I realized that if I wasn't as patient with myself or as loving to myself as I've been with partners who just didn't, at the end of the day, deserve it...and again that's not a hateful thing, it's just to say like, 'You don't deserve this piece of me,'" Bush says. "That's OK, I f--ked up giving it to you when you didn't deserve it...and I don't deserve to treat myself that way either."-SB

Why am I going to give you the best part of me if I am not getting that in return? That is a clear waste of my minimal spare time. At the end of the day, I know who I am, I know what I want. You need to write your non-negotiables down and don't settle for less than that because I know people who have and now years later they are stuck. Don't let yourself get stuck with someone you already know isn't best for you. My favorite part of this article:

"I'm so unwilling to offer any of my limited free time to any man who isn't, like, the man. My girlfriend said this to me, 'No more princes. A man shows up as a king for you or nothing,'" Bush said. "And like, yeah, I built my own castle. I'm good. I don't need you for anything so you better be a value add." With that, Faris added, "Build your own ladder, I'm not growing my hair out."

And I will just leave it at that. Read the full interview here.

 Xo, Cheers!
Jenn



 

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When Olivia called me and said "Hey I need a plus one to a wedding in Asheville next weekend… do you want to come?"... My immediate response was, "YAAAAS girl!!" I did not know much about Asheville, just that it was mountainous with gorgeous weather. And I certainly had not heard about The Biltmore. When I told people I was going their first question was, "Are you going to The Biltmore?" Well that was where the wedding was and where we were staying. Everyone raved about it so I got extremely excited and started doing some research on it.

#LIVELIKEAVANDERBILT


When Olivia called me and said "Hey I need a plus one to a wedding in Asheville next weekend… do you want to come?"... My immediate response was, "YAAAAS girl!!" I did not know much about Asheville, just that it was mountainous with gorgeous weather. And I certainly had not heard about The Biltmore. When I told people I was going their first question was, "Are you going to The Biltmore?" Well that was where the wedding was and where we were staying. Everyone raved about it so I got extremely excited and started doing some research on it.

It looked like a castle and I automatically thought, "I want to live here." We arrived to our hotel, Village Hotel at the Biltmore and it was so cute and tucked away in the valley of the mountains. Our room was adorable, we loved the wine area with a built-in cedar holders topped off with a Kuerig and mini-fridge. The decor was very barnyard chic with roosters and country themed bedding. We were tired but decided to rally. We made coffees, touched up our airplane makeup and hit the town. We stopped at our hotel restaurant, Village Social, to grab a bite and some of their homegrown Sauvignon Blanc.

After we had some food and booze in us, we were off to Antler Hill Village. It was something out of a Hallmark Christmas movie. This sweet little town deep in the valley filled with restaurants, music and smothered in history. We took a walk around and learned about the historical fields and homes located on the property. We saw the animals on property, and all the old farming machinery they used to use. The barn was adorable and super educating on how things were done in the 1800s.




If you aren't familiar with The Vanderbilt family here is some info.

The Vanderbilt family is an American family of Dutch origin who gained prominence during the Gilded Age. Their success began with the shipping and railroad empires of Cornelius Vanderbilt, and the family expanded into various other areas of industry and philanthropy. Cornelius Vanderbilt's descendants went on to build grand mansions on Fifth Avenue in New York City, luxurious "summer cottages" in Newport, Rhode Island, the palatial Biltmore House in Asheville, North Carolina, and various other opulent homes.

The Vanderbilts were once the wealthiest family in America. Cornelius Vanderbilt was the richest American until his death in 1877. After that, his son William acquired his father's fortune, and was the richest American until his death in 1885. The Vanderbilts' prominence lasted until the mid-20th century, when the family's 10 great Fifth Avenue mansions were torn down, and most other Vanderbilt houses were sold or turned into museums in what has been referred to as the "Fall of the House of Vanderbilt".[2][3]

Branches of the family are found on the United States East Coast. Contemporary descendants include fashion designer Gloria Vanderbilt, her youngest son, journalist Anderson Cooper, actor Timothy Olyphant, musician John P. Hammond and screenwriter James Vanderbilt. Wikipedia

After we ventured the village, we toured the winery and of course went to the complimentary wine tasting which was divine. We tried 7 different wines and landed on a few we really loved. My favorite is the Malbec.  We ordered 3 bottles each of some wine to have shipped home, it was so tasty!

After the wine tasting we were feeling pretty good :) We really needed to get more food in our bellies and just wanted to veg out after a long day of travel so we headed back to Antler Village and ending up at Cedric's Tavern to listen to some music, grab some dinner and have a few more glasses of the Malbec.



Saturday evening was the wedding so we did not want to get into too much during the day, especially because with two bloggers it took us a few hours to get out the door and on the move. We decided to take a walk up the mountain to check out the vineyards and have lunch at The Inn, which was INCREDIBLE!!!! We had a beautiful spot outside we were sat on rocking chairs overlooking the mountains and vineyard. Three hours later we were still there enjoying some rose and the blissfully peaceful landscaping.

We wanted to get one more touristy event in before the wedding so we were off to the Estate Gardens. It was beautiful. The flowers were breathtaking and the property was astounding. It's incredible to think this is how people lived. People just don't have this kind of money or detail in their architecture. The greenhouse was probably a mile long filled floor to ceiling with different plants and flowers. Nature is just gorgeous and I loved being in the moment.


We headed back to the hotel and got ready for the wedding which was on The Estate property overlooking mountains and trees. It was quaint but very elegant. We had such a great time. Of course the wine was flowing and we were invited downtown but my consumption led me to believe one more glass and I was done. We headed back to our hotel bar for a night cap.


Sunday we toured The Estate. It was so interesting. There are 250 rooms and we probably only saw a quarter of them. There is literally a room for everything from indoor swimming pool, to gym, to stables and a cooks area. The fashion was unreal, so much detail and so much class. The history was so interesting and seeing real photos from the inside of the house in the 1800s was amazing. Just makes you wonder how our world will look to those in 200 years. It incredible to be able to visit these types of places and I am thankful that they preserved them for us to do so.

I highly recommend if you ever get a chance to visit The Biltmore that you do, it's a time in history captured for us to enjoy, take advantage!

XO, Cheers!
Jenn

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In 2015 I went to Paris, London and Dublin with my sister and BFF Amanda. My dad bought my sister and me our flights for our birthdays; I was turning 30 and my sister 25. I used to get really bad packing anxiety and going somewhere for two weeks in the "winter" (it was March but still boot weather there) freaked me out. How was I going to fit all my boots? All my clothes? I needed an umbrella and a jacket, scarves, gloves etc. So I decided I needed to do some research, I went right to Pinterest and searched "how to pack for Europe."





Outfit: BP. Nordstrom
Bag: Crooked Smile Creations
Photos: Christina Jones Photo

In 2015 I went to Paris, London and Dublin with my sister and BFF Amanda. My dad bought my sister and me our flights for our birthdays; I was turning 30 and my sister 25. I used to get really bad packing anxiety and going somewhere for two weeks in the "winter" (it was March but still boot weather there) freaked me out. How was I going to fit all my boots? All my clothes? I needed an umbrella and a jacket, scarves, gloves etc. So I decided I needed to do some research, I went right to Pinterest and searched "how to pack for Europe."

I started two weeks ahead of time and I watched multiple videos and blogs. I decided to plan out each and every single outfit with accessories included; I tried them all on and then laid them all out. I also take photos in each look to remember what I planned so make it easier to select an outfit each day. I learned to pack undies and socks inside of your boots and then lay the boots long-ways at the bottom of your suitcase.

The Art of Clothes Rolling

The art of rolling your clothes is a miraculous discovery in my opinion. Have you done it? It really is a space saver and keeps everything nice and neat. Take the long sleeve shirts and lay them on top of each other, then the short sleeve tops inside those and tanks inside those. Fold them all in half together and then roll tightly! Do that with jeans and shorts, then dresses and skirts. I packed a lot of versatile outfits so that I could re-wear some of them again like jeans, plain shirts etc.

This year, me, Dan and some of our friends are heading to Amsterdam, Berlin and Prague. I have never been to any of these cities and I am so excited, especially for Prague. I already warned Dan about my crazy packing skills and how I start weeks in advance. I have already started buying outfits and been mentally dressing myself. The stress is really on this time because now I am a fashion blogger. In 2015 I had not started my blog yet. Anyway, I always check the average temperature for the time of year. We are going in May this year which apparently is still spring there, 60-70 degrees. When I went the last time I brought a lot of boots because it was freezing. This time I am bringing some platform sandals as well as boots. I linked some of the shoes I am wearing on my shopstyle app here.

Where to stay & What to see

Ok, so the first time we went to Europe we went to a travel agent, this time, I am the travel agent. We decided to go with AirBNB because we have 7 people going and we needed more space plus it was a lot cheaper. Let me put it to you this way, I got a quote with an agent for $2,500 per person. I booked the flight and AirBNBs for $1600 per person. It took a lot of time and research though. Dan's friend suggested booking the flights through www.skyscanner.com and we did. The layovers are a little longer but the flights were $621 per person round trip! It's cool though because we stop in Copenhagen on the way back for like 7 hours so we can go explore a little which will be fun.

If you do book your own trip, be sure to google or ask around for the best areas to stay, especially if you haven't been there. FYI if you have life insurance a lot of times they have travel assist and they can help you plan for a trip i.e. where to stay, what shots you may need. Little bit of my insurance knowledge ;) So I actually googled it and asked my fabulous IG followers for assistance. I looked at all the AirBNBs and what we needed. The hart part was the bathrooms. A lot of places there only have 1-1.5 baths which stinks for 7 people and 3 of them being women. But we did get 3-4 bedrooms and it costed $650 per person for 8 days; the hotel would have been way more and a lot less space.

Next thing to do is start planning what to see and do. We did a lot of planning before our last trip but we did have one day where we just went with it and it was an awesome day. It was the day we discovered hot wine. This time I want to plan a little but also do a lot of random exploration. I heard the castle that Cinderella's castle is based off of is about an hour south of Berlin, and we will damn well be going. Prague has a lot of really affordable shopping so I am very excited for that. Berlin has that grapefruit German beer, I hope ? If you are going to Europe make sure you get the outlet adapters and plan to use a credit card because it's more difficult for them to rip you off that way.

Lastly, find the best selfie-spots!!!

XO, Cheers!
Bon Voyage!
Jenn

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Happy 34th birthday to me! WOW, I am just not sure about that. It's bittersweet. 33 was a good year for me because even though there were a ton of struggles I think I finally learned myself, who I am, and what I will and won't settle for! I have learned the value of a dollar… sorta! Haha, a little better :) and realized that there is more to life and my purpose, than marriage and children. I am happy where I am.


Happy 34th birthday to me! WOW, I am just not sure about that. It's bittersweet. 33 was a good year for me because even though there were a ton of struggles I think I finally learned myself, who I am, and what I will and won't settle for! I have learned the value of a dollar… sorta! Haha, a little better :) and realized that there is more to life and my purpose, than marriage and children. I am happy where I am. My family is doing well and everyone is healthy. I have a great job and I love being a blogger. I love where I live and I have a great guy to go on adventures in life with. When I say I honestly feel completely at peace this year and turning 34, it's true. But THANK GOD FOR THE BOTOX!!


But I do have some goals for myself this year in 2019

Go to fashion week in September

Learn and love a workout routine that I actually like and stick to it

Branch out in movie genres

Read my Bible EVERY SINGLE DAY (I really do try!)

Declutter & organize my closet (UGH)

Visit 3 places in the Tampa Bay area I have never been yet

Host another charity event

Reach 2M+ in premium add issue for work (insiders will get this)

Personal financial goals


I think goals are always good to have because crossing them off when you achieve them feels so damn good. But I think one of the bitter parts of goals is feeling disappointed if you don't achieve them. So, I also want to change my mindset to be more positive. I definitely have a more "whatever happens, happens, God's will" mindset now but I want to look at the glass half full instead of empty; I mean I would rather have a glass half full of wine than a glass half empty of wine DUH! My mom is one of those people who believe in envisioning what you want and I am a little skeptical but what's the harm? When she was here a few weeks ago it was calling for flat out rain and clouds in the low 60s and I was like there is NO WAY we are getting on the beach. She swore up and down it was happening, we were getting on the beach that day. Low and behold the sun came out and we were on the beach for a little over an hour. So maybe there is something to the power of positive thinking huh?


What kind of goals do you set for yourself? Do you add more when you achieve them? How do you feel when you haven't gotten to check them all off? Curious to know! Leave comments below or on my IG!

Photos by Christina Jones Photo
Shop my look HERE!


XO, Cheers!

Jenn

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I met Courtney again after that and she gifted me some of the products. She is such a doll. I used them for a few more weeks and decided I was ready, I wanted to be healthier and more cautious of what I am putting in and on my body. I have lost so many close people to cancer and every little bit of "safer" helps! I told Courtney I was in, sign me up.




When I first started blogging I used to take collaborations and partnerships with any and everyone. I just wanted to get my blog out there and didn't care how I did it. That is definitely one of the lessons I learned NOT to do. Now I am super selective with my time and who I partner with. I am not looking just to get free products or make money, I am looking to build long-lasting relationships with businesses and brands that I actually love and believe in.

Courtney slipped into my DMs a little over a month ago, she also followed up with an email. I always appreciate when businesses reach out via email it seems more genuine. Now I have been with a direct sales business before and it's not like I did not like it but a lot was expected from me and I did not have that kind of time to dedicate in order to be successful.



Photos by Christina Jones Photo

I met with Courtney being very skeptical thinking "I am not doing this again but she seems cool so I will meet with her." I really liked her when we met, as a person. We got to know each other a little before she went into showing me the products. I left the first meeting without any intentions of joining but possibly helping promote their platform. I liked the idea of "cleaner products" but felt like it was not something I ever pushed before so wasn't sure it was for me or my brand. She gave me some samples and I took them home and tried them. I did like what she gave me but felt like I needed more and more time to be convinced so she let me borrow some of her products for a shoot.

I fell in love with the makeup and especially the charcoal mask. I told her I wanted to use them a little longer and start introducing them on my story to see what kind of response I would get. I got messages right away and learned more from some of my followers that had been using the products. One of my friends who is finishing up her nursing degree educated me a little more about the chemicals in some of the products we are using and how harmful they are. She told me she switched majority of her skincare and makeup over to Beautycounter and have been an avid user for over a year. This really intrigued me.

One year ago, I started using Beautycounter and have since switched over my entire beauty routine to their safer products. As a soon to be nurse practitioner who works in preventative medicine, I feel passionate about eliminating harmful and toxic ingredients anyway we can.  Our skin is our largest organ and I truly believe that what we put on our bodies effects how we our bodies function. I recommend cleaner products to my patients to help reduce allergic and inflammatory symptoms. For me personally, Beautycounter has helped clear up acne and reduce redness and dryness in my late 20's. I highly recommend these products for everyone looking to make a safer choice! -Kirsten Nelson, Beautycounter User

I met Courtney again after that and she gifted me some of the products. She is such a doll. I used them for a few more weeks and decided I was ready, I wanted to be healthier and more cautious of what I am putting in and on my body. I have lost so many close people to cancer and every little bit of "safer" helps! I told Courtney I was in, sign me up.

I ordered a bunch of products and had my sister try them when she was here. She was sold as well. She ordered the "best of" kit and has fallen in love with the mask, cleansing balm and facial oil now! She is also one looking into being more natural because she wants to get pregnant next year and these products we use on the regular are not good for us let alone a baby!

My favorite product is definitely the charcoal mask.
 

Ten minutes to a purified complexion.

This nutrient-rich kaolin clay mask deep-cleans and balances, absorbing excess oil and drawing out impurities. Activated charcoal minimizes the appearance of pores, giving skin a smooth, refined appearance, while salicylic acid stimulates exfoliation. Perfect for those concerned with congestion and oily skin.

Consumer Panel Test Results:

In an independent consumer study, after two weeks of use*:

97% said mask refined and smoothed skin.

94% said mask absorbed excess oil.

87% said mask detoxified pores and purified skin.

84% said mask made skin look clearer and more even-toned.


Right now Beautycounter is having a 15% off site-wide SALE. These sales do not come around often so if you are interested in anything grab it now!

Beautycounter products used in photos:
Tint Skin Hydrating Foundation

Brilliant Brow Gel

Velvet Eyeshadow Palette

Nectar Satin Powder Blush
 

XO, Cheers!
Jenn

 

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If you did not know, I am obsessed with toothbrushes. It's one of my "tell me something people don't know about you" items. I cannot tell you when this obsession took over or why honestly but I believe because teeth are the first thing I notice on a person and my girlfriends can attest to that, we are all on the same page. It is so important to take care of your teeth because poor dental hygiene can lead to other medical issues. Brushing and flossing is so simple to prevent teeth conditions or more.

If you did not know, I am obsessed with toothbrushes. It's one of my "tell me something people don't know about you" items. I cannot tell you when this obsession took over or why honestly but I believe because teeth are the first thing I notice on a person and my girlfriends can attest to that, we are all on the same page. It is so important to take care of your teeth because poor dental hygiene can lead to other medical issues. Brushing and flossing is so simple to prevent teeth conditions or more.

I started using cariPRO™ ELECTRIC TOOTHBRUSH a few months ago and it has not failed me. Here is what I love about it:

The five settings and personally, the "whitening" one. I have never seen that before so I am loving it. I also love the "Gum care" and "Sensitive" as well. I bleached my teeth for a little too long a few weeks ago and had to use the "Sensitive" setting for a few days, it worked great.


The small, easy charging dock. It's easy to take it on vacation with you if you want. I always say when I go away how I hate using a regular toothbrush because they just don't feel as clean no matter how long you brush and I hate that sweater feeling on the back of my teeth.
 

It charges quickly and stays charged for a while. I can easily take it with me on a long weekend with no issues of having to recharge.

I love the sleek slate and blue color. I am a fashion-gal of course I need to look at the style of the toothbrush haha!
 

Lastly, it's SUPER quiet. I did not think this was something I would even think about until I switched from my old electric toothbrush to this one! It's like riding in a luxury car over a Hyundai.


Photos by Christina Jones Photo

I have also used SmileBrilliant's whitening kit. It's awesome. They send you the mold, you mold your teeth and send it back. Then they send you personal trays with the whitening gel as well as the desensitizing gel. You leave on for 30-60 min and do a few times a week. I will link their website below.

SmileBrilliant

I am also giving one lucky winner a chance to win one of these beauties. You can enter below.

cariPRO Giveaway

I am also offering all my followers 20% with code stylemymind20

Like I have been discussing taking care of yourself, watching what you put in and on your body is super important. Cancer can take up residence anywhere on or in your body so be preventative in all ways possible, including your teeth!

XO, Cheers!
Jenn


electric toothbrush

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Helloooo!! So, today is the 3 year anniversary of Style My Mind. I have to be honest, there was a point in December when I thought I may quit and shut it all down because I had no idea where I wanted to go with my blog. Instead, I sat back and remembered my "why". Why was the reason I started my blog? Because I love writing, I love fashion and I love sharing my life experiences to help motivate others. That is when "Faith in Fear" started. We always share the happy stories but sometimes we need to be vulnerable enough to share the truth.



Shop my bag at Crooked Smile Creations

Helloooo!! So since it's my 3rd year of blogging I have to be honest, there was a point in December when I thought I may quit and shut it all down because I had no idea where I wanted to go with my blog. Instead, I sat back and remembered my "why". Why was the reason I started my blog? Because I love writing, I love fashion and I love sharing my life experiences to help motivate others. That is when "Faith in Fear" started. We always share the happy stories but sometimes we need to be vulnerable enough to share the truth.

That is what today's blog is about. Why it's better to be truthful and honest than sugar coat things. Granted I realize there is a time and place for all things but I have gotten a lot of feedback and majority of my friends love that I am straight forward and say it like it is. But, I expect it back too.

I am the friend who will always tell you when something doesn't fit right. I will always tell you when you're an idiot to keep running back to the same loser over and over again. I am honest about my life, about my faults. If I like you, you'll know it. If I don't you will definitely know it.

I don't play pretend friends with people I don't like or respect. I also don't let anyone disrespect me. If you say something insulting or rude I will let you know it. If you are the best friend ever, I will tell you and show you.

I am as loyal as they come and I won't ever make promises I don't intend to keep. I talk a lot, a lot! But lately I do try to sit back and respond instead of react because here is what I found out. A reaction can sometimes be plain out nasty, "OMG that shirt is hideous". Now I know I can say this with some of my friends, but not all. So if it's someone who's a little more sensitive I may say, "I think you would look really awesome in something like this," and show an example.

I used to be unintentionally hurtful with my brutal honesty so I have tried to spruce it up a little bit. My reactions can be strong and I learned maybe not to say everything that comes to my mind, but instead think about the appropriate way to say it.

Funny story, I met my friend Alyssa in 2005ish at Clancy's Pub where I worked for about 6 years. She had just started and I had to train her. I told my manager time and again that I am not a good trainer, I am rude and don't pay attention. I still got the newbies. Anyway, Alyssa was 5 years younger than me and a little sheltered. Like never saw a clam, or a crab cake. Of course this was something I made fun of her for. (She is allergic to seafood so she gets a pass). But I used to snap at her "ALYSSA", tell her to get my drinks and would say "Me and my friends are going outback to smoke, you can come or not come I don't care." And she of course never came with. TBH I have no idea when it was that Alyssa and I became such good friends. She was so quiet but so hilarious. I told her what to do and she laughed it off. She never took offense to it but looking back, what a bitch I was. She loved it. 11 years later, I was in her wedding, helped get her a big girl job, and am now dating her husband's best friend! How about that?!

Photos by Christina Jones Photo
Shop my look HERE!

Most people appreciate the honesty but the point is, know your audience. Tracy for instance I can say anything to her however I want to say it about anyone in any form and she will die laughing. She never takes offense and knows I have a great big heart I just have a strong, Jersey girl opinion with a loud Italian mouth. Gianna, same thing! Marissa, ditto! All my girls know me, they know I don't say things to be hurtful or rude… it's who I am.

Sunshine mixed with a little bit of hurricane!

XO, Cheers!
Jenn

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Well, well another year has come and gone for my baby blog and as per usual, I have learned a ton. Firstly, we aren't really "bloggers" anymore are we? Or are we "influencers"? I am just not sure so I'll be both. Also, has the IG algorithm gotten straightened out yet? No? Ok, let's shoot for year 4.




Well, well another year has come and gone for my baby blog and as per usual, I have learned a ton. Firstly, we aren't really "bloggers" anymore are we? Or are we "influencers"? I am just not sure so I'll be both. Also, has the IG algorithm gotten straightened out yet? No? Ok, let's shoot for year 4. Since everyone loves numbers here we go:

ONE

Do not conform to the blogger/Like To Know It world. I didn't and I am glad I didn't. I see a lot of these bloggers probably do really, really well with it but that's just not my real life.  I don't run out and buy the newest things that hit the racks just to wear and post on my IG to sell you something you don't need. I have had more luck working with brands and building my brand that way. I am going to be transparent: I do not make a lot of money from the brand collaborations. I definitely have some income there and I do charge per post sometimes, really depending on the collab. But I really look at the importance being on the relationship and building your contact list.  There are a few things I learned working with brands and brings me to point 2.

TWO

Do not take every single collab that comes your way just because they are going to pay you. You will get burnt out, and if it doesn't go with your brand or something you would use, why would you promote it? I did that a lot last year and got really overwhelmed. So I took some time to think about it and decided that if it doesn't fit my brand: fashion, faith or beauty I am not going to join it. If I don't believe in the product I will not try to sell you on it just because it makes me a couple bucks.

THREE

Don't forget your why. Don't forget where you started and why you started. I began my blog because I love to write and I love fashion. In the beginning my blog focused mostly on fashion and what I discovered is that you run out of content that has substance writing about clothing over and over again. I took a step back and took off from my blog for two months and decided I wanted to focus more on lifestyle blogging with a side of fashion and beauty. That is what people seem to relate to more and really want to read about.


FOUR

If you have to make a business change to better your business, do it. I changed photographers and not because I did not love my photographer but I needed someone who could travel more and was a little more of a partner in my scheduled shooting like Christina Jones Photo; who specializes in branding and bloggers. I know how to style myself, I know how to pose. I needed someone who would scout locations and travel to fashion week or Disney etc. Because of changing to a lifestyle blogger I needed someone that fit more with my lifestyle.

FIVE

Collab with the locals. No one wants to see constant photos of just you. People want to see you're a real person so show that on your feed and in your stories via blog and IG stories. I love working with local companies and up-and-comers to help lift each other up. I started working with a local bag company because I absolutely love her handmade leather crossbody bags, they are gorgeous and I want to help promote her brand (shop Crooked Smile Creations here).

FINAL THOUGHTS...

Listen to Julie Solomon's "The Influencer PodCast". This really taught me about what to do and what not to do with my blog and helped me regain focus. I have long car rides and this is my go-to PodCast to help better my knowledge on this ever-changing business.

XO, Cheers!
Jenn

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2019 has not started out the way I hoped. I am having trouble holding onto my faith right now and I am mad at myself for it. I do believe as a Christian, there are times we struggle to understand especially us with anxiety and an urge to control everything. Death is one of those things we have zero control over.



Shop my JUST FAB look HERE

2019 has not started out the way I hoped. I am having trouble holding onto my faith right now and I am mad at myself for it. I do believe as a Christian, there are times we struggle to understand especially us with anxiety and an urge to control everything. Death is one of those things we have zero control over. Within a matter of the first two weeks of 2019 a tragic car accident took a family friend as well as two others due to a selfish, troubled young man trying to take his own life. He took three other lives instead.

Photos by Christina Jones Photo

January 15th God called my good friend Holly home to heaven and I have been numb ever since. It's January 21 as I write this, I stare at my laptop still in shock that I am writing it. It was not a shock that Holly passed because she did have stage 4 cancer, but why God took her is shocking to me. Holly's step-son passed in 2015 also from cancer, and now her. To say I am a little angry and bitter is an understatement. I am trying so hard not to feel this way but my inability to understand God's plan is eating me alive. I sit here and analyze why? Even after all these stories I have written, knowing that something great comes out of tragedy and heartache, I am still questioning it.

"But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." -Isaiah 40:31



I met Holly when her step-son passed and remained friends with her ever since. She helped me through heartbreak, through troubled times, and helped strengthen my health after a terrible stomach infection. Holly was that person who was always smiling, always laughing. I don't think I ever saw her without a smile. I can hear her laugh still so crisp in my mind and smell her scent so freshly surrounding me. I guess maybe this is why I am numb, I feel like she is still here. I have felt calm because she was the most devoted Christian I have ever met so the only thing I am not doubting is that her and Ricky are united and happy together with Jesus.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths right." -Prov 3:5-6

I just keep thinking and praying for understanding and for hope of the future. I know that people die, and it doesn't matter if it's suddenly or over time it all hurts the same. What I took from Denny and Holly's passing is this:

Do what you love. Don't do things that don't bring you joy. If you're happy, don't explain yourself. Eat the cake. Drink the wine. Surround yourself only by people who bring out the best in you. Invest in yourself. Enjoy life, but do it responsibly. Travel. Eat good food. Stare at the stars. Read good books and drink good tea. Snuggle your animals everyday. Tell the people you love that you love them. Hug people longer. Value the time we have here together. Work hard. And never, ever settle!

XO, Cheers!
Jenn

 

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