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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I took about 2 months off from writing to figure out which way I wanted to go with my blog. I always wrote about fashion however, what I really feel most passionately about is life experiences and lessons learned. I want to share deeper stories and relate to people on another level rather than just sharing fashion details. Don't get me wrong, I most definitely will be sharing those as well but I want to focus more on lifestyle. I am going to share some stories with you from when I was younger, growing up and later in life where God showed Himself in the depths of my fears. Please read along, learn about me and I pray you get some inspiration in my "Faith In Fear" series.

Good Morning my loves <3

I took about 2 months off from writing to figure out which way I wanted to go with my blog. I always wrote about fashion however, what I really feel most passionately about is life experiences and lessons learned. I want to share deeper stories and relate to people on another level rather than just sharing fashion details. Don't get me wrong, I most definitely will be sharing those as well but I want to focus more on lifestyle. I am going to share some stories with you from when I was younger, growing up and later in life where God showed Himself in the depths of my fears. Please read along, learn about me and I pray you get some inspiration in my "Faith In Fear" series. I also want to introduce my new photographer, Christina Jones Photography.

Story 1- Adolescent Believer

The seasons of our lives are not something we can run away from. They happen whether we like it or not. So many times when we are in the depths of a storm we look up and ask why? Why is this happening? Why me? What did I do to deserve this? But one thing that is true, the sun always seems to rise again.

When I was younger I was extremely afraid of thunderstorms. When I was 5 years old I was out fishing with my dad, his friend and her daughter on our boat. My dad had a boat since the day I was born so this was a common activity for us on the weekends. I would have hoped (and still hope) that my dad checked the weather before we went to make sure we would be safe that day. As we know, the weather, not unlike our lives, can sometimes be unpredictable. We can make all the plans we want but if God wants to bring on a storm, it's a-comin'. That was how this "calm" Saturday morning on the bay in southern New Jersey went. We saw it coming in the distance and my dad started vigorously pulling up the anchor and hurrying us to shore. However, we had gone so far out we knew it would hit before we could get back. I like to call this my first "NDE" near death experience. I was a little dramatic at 5. So there we were hiding under life jackets and anything rubber we could find in hopes to make that the lightning would bounce off of us if it decided to strike at that very moment.

The wind was blowing 100 MPH, just kidding but at 5 it sure felt that way. And in my drama queen defense, there was a pretty stiff wind with loud gusts and erratic waves crashing over the boat. I felt like I was literally in hell. I remember being so afraid and feeling like I was going to die. I was also irritated with my dad thinking "how could he let this happen". It now reminds me of Matthew 8 23:27 when Jesus and his disciples were in a storm on the boat and the disciples were yelling for the Lord to save them and Jesus says "you of little faith". That day I had little faith; little faith in my dad and little faith in the Lord.

When we finally made it to shore I remember leaving my dad and everyone else behind, leaving dust trailing my feet to make it safely to the truck. I was white-knucking the tire until my dad got the boat out and we could leave. When I got into the car I just sobbed. I sobbed because I was so grateful that I was alive. It's funny though because my dad was as cool as a cucumber. He knew we would be ok, he knew he wouldn't let anything happen to me. And the Lord also took care of us just he did His disciples. I needed to learn to have faith and this was my first experience of letting God take the reins during a storm, literally. I had no control, zero, I had to have faith in the people who loved me. And just like every other storm in our life we have to have faith, faith in God, faith in others and most of all faith in ourselves.

XO, Cheers!
Jenn

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Well, I never thought this would be the first blog I would write in 2019. I had taken a little break but have written some new content that I have not yet posted for February. Definitely did not want to have to be writing this but she deserves for people to know what an earth angel she truly was.

I met Holly about 3 years ago when her step-son passed away at 27 years old from cancer. You may recall a past blog I shared about Ricky, my cousin Geena's boyfriend. He was a great guy and is still thought of everyday. During this tragic time, Rick and Holly were still able to smile and keep their faith, trusting in God that there was some sort of miraculous reasoning behind the death of their son. I admired their faith because mine was not nearly as dedicated and holy as theirs. They later told us, that they felt like Ricky passing brought us into their lives and that was the best thing he could have given to them.

Well, I never thought this would be the first blog I would write in 2019. I had taken a little break but have written some new content that I have not yet posted for February. Definitely did not want to have to be writing this but she deserves for people to know what an earth angel she truly was.

I met Holly about 3 years ago when her step-son passed away at 27 years old from cancer. You may recall a past blog I shared about Ricky, my cousin Geena's boyfriend. He was a great guy and is still thought of everyday. During this tragic time, Rick and Holly were still able to smile and keep their faith, trusting in God that there was some sort of miraculous reasoning behind the death of their son. I admired their faith because mine was not nearly as dedicated and holy as theirs. They later told us, that they felt like Ricky passing brought us into their lives and that was the best thing he could have given to them.


I started attending church with a group of amazing people on a weekly basis, Holly included. We would go, worship, praise Jesus and then have lunch. This continued for many months. Then five of us decided to get baptised in honor of Ricky. All five of us stood there donning our "Rick Strong" tees, waist-deep in a hot-tub looking pool with two pastors on either side praying over us. I remember the feeling like it was yesterday. I was hot, my heart was thumping out of my chest, I felt blessed. When I looked up and saw Holly's face, she was glowing at the sight of what just took place. Rick just told us this week that in the moment, it was the happiest he had ever seen Holly. I am so glad I was able to share that with her.

Holly and my relationship grew closer as we discussed business, lifestyle, relationships, dreams, goals, struggles; you name it, we talked about it. She helped me get my health in order after a horrible stomach infection and introduced me to some amazing business people. She supported me, my blog, my work and the person I am, she respected me and vice versa. She never tried to change me, but always tried to help me grow mentally, spiritually and professionally. She became a Florida mama to me and my mom approved :)

One time, I had a crazy near-death experience. Not getting into the nitty gritty because this isn't about me, but, I had 5 SWAT team members pointing guns at me in a barricaded street. When I got out of there, I text Holly and asked if I could come there. She said come here right now. I did. Her and Rick helped me calm down and talk me through the feelings I was experiencing. I was in a really bad place mentally at that time with a guy and my current job. I told Holly I wasn't going out that way, I did not want to meet Jesus in my current mental status, I needed to get my ish together! She cheered me on and we talked about what I really wanted out of life and business. A week later I got a new job and cut off the guy. Sometimes it takes these horrible experiences for blessings to come out of them.

When Holly told us she was diagnosed with cancer I felt numb. How? How can this be? How can you do this God? I was mad. I was angry. But Holly, she stayed faithful until the very end. I so badly want her dedication to her faith. She was always such a calm person and never seemed to let the little things get in her way, always believing that it would all work out for good, as it says. During that time I stayed close with her still doing the things we did. Then she started to get more sick and we weren't able to see her anymore. My heart ached. I stayed in contact via text and a rare phone call here and there. Everytime we spoke I asked when I could see her. Holly, the positive person she was always made light of the situation because she always put everyone else before herself. She did not want me to worry or be upset, so she made it seem like she was doing ok and she would miraculously prevail through this. I knew this was not the case, but she wouldn't let anyone see her and I respected her wishes. I kept her in my prayers and used my phone as our source of connection.

The last thing I said to Holly was Sunday December 30. I sent her a selfie of myself and Geena with a text that read "When can we see you? We miss you so much!" Everytime I text her I asked when we could see her. I was persistent at least. Holly replied:

"Awww love you guys <3 Taking a bit longer to get this dialed in and totally
Fatigued in a way I can't explain. Dr says it may take 6 weeks. Visits
Take too much energy and I am not even letting my dad come. Phone calls
Have to be short too. So I will let you know when it works best. Love you both
And miss you more than you know."
 


My guilt of not responding to that text to tell her I love her eats at me everyday. I think she knew, I hope she did. But I wish I would have told her. Thank God Rick called me when he knew the end was near and I was able to go hold her hand, kiss her cheek and whisper how much I love her in her ear. She died that night, on my dads birthday 1/15/19. I had left to let my dog out and she passed at 9pm that night. When I got the news, I went into the corner of my bathroom, laid on the floor and cried for 15 minutes. After, I got up and got myself together and went to the couch with Dan and I laid there in a fog thinking of my beautiful angel, where was she? What was she doing? Was she able to see us? Did she get to see Jesus yet? Is she ok? Is Rick ok? The questions overwhelmed my brain as I laid there still, and numb.

I kept thinking she wouldn't have left if it wasn't beautiful. I am sure Ricky came down, grabber her hand and took her home. After that, I kept asking for a sign to know she was ok and to know heaven was as gorgeous as we always talked about it being. My friend send me the photo below which literally looks just like Holly. I sent it to Rick on Thursday morning. When I went there Thursday night he said let me show you this painting my neighbor Jen across the street sent me. It was the same painting. I said "Rick I sent you that too! So two Jenn's (with different spelling) sent the same picture to you this morning?!" That was my sign! That was her telling me everything about this picture is true and I have felt at peace ever since.

Holly left a huge impact on my life by showing me how to be a strong, independent, successful woman. She taught me to never settle, to always hold out for what I deserve; to never stop growing, learning and smiling. She always smiled. I don't know one time when she wasn't honestly. I still hear her laugh so crisp in my mind. Her scent surrounds me and I feel her next to me at times. I hate that she is gone, but I will always be grateful for this amazing, intelligent, beautiful woman blessing my life the way she did. And now I have the most perfect angel to watch over me, help cheer me on and guide me in the right direction.
 

Life is crazy, we never know what can happen. Live for today and do what you love. Don't say yes to things that don't bring you joy. Surround yourself with people who bring out the best in you and let go of the ones who don't. Life is way too short to be stressed or angry. Let go of anger, forgive people and love them. We are only here for such a short period of time, make it count. I love you all and appreciate you being supportive of my blog.

XO, Cheers!
Jenn

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But for me it's about a season that makes me feel safe, and loved and cozy. It's like being hugged by someone who loves you so much they just can't let go. Christmas represents Jesus and when I really started to fall in love was in 2012 when I really found my faith and learned the story of Jesus's birth.





Photos by Audra Nicole Photography
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Ok time to get candid. Although, I am always pretty candid with you guys LBH! Most of you know I am OBSESSED with Christmas. Like it's pretty bad not gonna lie. It's my favorite time of year and I start watching movies and listening to Christmas music before Halloween. Side note: I loathe Halloween. Ok anyway, so of course there is a backstory to my obsesh.

When I was 7 my parents got divorced. Of course at the time it felt like my whole world was upside down but as time went on and my mom met my step-dad and my dad moved on as well (ugh get into that story another time) it seemed to be ok and I had made peace with it. However, Christmas was difficult. Around Thanksgiving the conversation turned arguments would start on who we would spend Christmas with. It was flattering that they both wanted us, but I remember crying in the shower because of it and Christmas always felt like a chore and stress more than anything until I got older. Once we were old enough to make our own choices I really started to take a liking to it and it became more enjoyable.

When I lived in New Jersey I used to go all out for my friends kids making them cake pops and candy bags and treats! Now there is just too many and they are so far away. For me it's not about the gifts anyway. We don't really do gifts much in my family now it's money and gift cards and things for the house haha. But for me it's about a season that makes me feel safe, and loved and cozy. It's like being hugged by someone who loves you so much they just can't let go. Christmas represents Jesus and when I really started to fall in love was in 2012 when I really found my faith and learned the story of Jesus's birth.

I slowly began getting addicted to The Hallmark Channel Christmas movies and then decorations. I now have two Christmas trees, a Christmas bush and 5 large containers of decorations. I will do every and all things Christmas related from the end of October til January haha!


This may seem crazy but when I was going through my panic attacks Christmas movies were the only thing that calmed me down. When I have a bad day, no matter what season I play Michael Buble Holiday on Pandora. I love the tree lightings and of course my most favorite place to be at Christmas is DISNEY!!


XO, Cheers!
Jenn

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She goes through the same trials we do growing up, wondering if we are good enough, if someone is going to fight for us, if we will ever find someone to love us the way we want. She is betrayed by her boyfriend, twice, she is hurt like we all have been but she builds her multi-million dollar company from a broken heart. Eventually she learns her worth and stands up for what she deserves. GUESS WHO?!

 

 

 

So I have a little secret about myself… ok maybe not a secret pursue but I often indulge myself in girly RomComs to make myself feel better about whatever I am going through. I do it with books too but mostly TV. Some of my faves are One Tree Hill, Gossip Girl and Sex and the City. While I feel I can relate to parts of Blair Waldorf and Carrie Bradshaw there are also pieces of their personalities I just can't get on board with. Blair is evil and while it's great for TV it's just not who I am. And Carrie, well she makes some horrible fashion and life decisions and kind of seems a little desperado sometimes which is just not me. So, the moment you have been waiting for… who are my 3 strong women who I relate to most?!

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Photos By Audra Nicole Photography

 

Brooke Davis- One Tree Hill

  1. She goes through the same trials we do growing up, wondering if we are good enough, if someone is going to fight for us, if we will ever find someone to love us the way we want. She is betrayed by her boyfriend, twice, she is hurt like we all have been but she builds her multi-million dollar company from a broken heart. Eventually she learns her worth and stands up for what she deserves.

  2. Enter Clothes Over Bros. She builds her company in high school, grows it beyond her wildest dreams and never loses sight of who she is. She moves back to Tree Hill away from the glitz and glam to live a normal 20 something life with her best friends. She is super successful but then losesit all and even though there are times she questions herself she never gives up.

  3. She never lets silly things come between her friends. Even though Peyton went behind her back with Lucas, twice, and they parted ways for a bit, they never lose sight of what's important; their friendship. She always puts her friends first; loyal as hell, and says it like it is… mine kinda girl! She doesn't sugar coat things but never says anything to hurt you (unless you deserve it). She's always by Peyton and Hayley side. It takes a long time for her to let people in, but once she does, she is in it for the long haul.

  4. She holds out for the man she deserves and makes him fight like hell. This is what I learned most from Brooke. She was constantly hurt and a second thought. She dated men who were not man enough for her and were too afraid of her strength and independence. Julian came along and she pushed him away (I think only to see how hard he would fight). Like I said she made him fight. She chose Sam (her foster child and her home) over being with him, and when she felt like she was coming 2nd to Alex she cut Julian loose until he proved her wrong and she felt like she could trust him. She finally got the love and life she waited for and she did not settle for anything less. That's why Brooke Davis is my spirit animal.

 

Olivia Pope- Scandal

  1. Olivia doesn't put up with bullshit. She knows who she is and owns her power. She makes mistakes and owns those too. Those mistakes never made her feel like she deserves less than the best. She is fine being alone and will never settle for mediocracy. She knows her worth and her value and adds for tax and shipping.

  2. She is a badass boss babe. She runs her own company and can handle anything that comes her way. She holds her head high with dignity and grace and never runs from problems. She faces them head on, deals with it then cleans up the mess. She moves on like it never happened. She doesn't let her personal life affect her business. She is a fighter and a warrior. She survives more than anyone could imagine and does it fearlessly.

  3. She fights for love but she doesn't give up herself for it. She has an affair with the president, but doesn't settle for 2nd best. She doesn't give up her life or business to be with him but instead decides she will choose herself first and if they are meant to be timing will handle that. She loves without apologizing. She knows stolen moments aren't a life so she moves on until perfect timing brings them together. She doesn't dwell on the hurt or not having the person she loves by her side, instead she rocks her business and first handedly saves the presidency. She befriends the Mellie, and helps her become a kick ass president. They share some pretty great drunken girl moments, she chooses friendship over love.

 

Queen Elsa- Frozen

I can sum up my correlation to Elsa in a few short sentences. She doesn't let anyone in, she pushes people away and is fearful. She doesn't feel just pushes it deep inside. Then she realizes her capabilities, lets the past go and moves forward opening her heart and life to those who truly love her. She lets go of perfectionism and lets her true-self shine. She is the true definition of a queen.

XO, Cheers!
Jenn

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Dear Jenn,

The braces will come off and you will look less awkward in high school; but life is not all about looks doll. Stop being a shallow ice queen and see people for who they really are. Because one day you will be in love with him back, and it will be too late. Save your virginity for someone who you actually give a damn about. I know you think you love that boy, but you don't. Don't get those tattoos, they are not cute at 33. You're not fat. Your parents will stop fighting at Christmas eventually and then Christmas time will make you sublimely happy. You and Brittany will be best friends, so stop being such a bitch to her she doesn't deserve it! Let yourself love. I know you're afraid of getting hurt but it's a part of life and in the storm is where God makes you fight the hardest and changes who you are for the better.

Dear Jenn,

The braces will come off and you will look less awkward in high school; but life is not all about looks doll. Stop being a shallow ice queen and see people for who they really are. Because one day you will be in love with him back, and it will be too late. Save your virginity for someone who you actually give a damn about. I know you think you love that boy, but you don't. Don't get those tattoos, they are not cute at 33. You're not fat. Your parents will stop fighting at Christmas eventually and then Christmas time will make you sublimely happy. You and Brittany will be best friends, so stop being such a bitch to her she doesn't deserve it! Let yourself love. I know you're afraid of getting hurt but it's a part of life and in the storm is where God makes you fight the hardest and changes who you are for the better.

Speaking of God, stop being embarrassed about church, I know you go to satisfy mom but God is the only way you will survive everything you will have to go through in the future. Learn to love the Bible, it's ways and teachings. And also, let go of control and let God lead the way, He has better plans than what you are even imagining.

Photos by Audra Nicole Photography

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(mine is from Disney World)

Worrying changes nothing, go through the panic attacks, breathe and then focus your attention on something else, it will pass. Every struggle is a step forward. There will be a lot of ups and a lot of downs, Dad will come to the rescue more than you want but that is what he is there for.

Don't go to school to be a teacher, it is a waste of money and time. Along with that, don't go to Cabrini College; there was no lesson that came from this, just don't go. You will find a career that earns way more money than a teacher ever would. I know you dream of writing for Vogue and it's a great dream, but be realistic. There will be a crash in 2008, don't move to Hoboken, Anna Wintour is not going to hire you. It's not that easy and it's a lot of work, and you will fulfill your dream in other ways but it will not be over night. Learn patience, it's a virtue you don't have.

Don't stress and cry over men, it's worthless. Let them go. AND STOP TRYING TO SAVE THEM! Their issues are not yours! It's their shitty marriage, not yours! Stay away from that area completely. Just know, what's meant to be will be. God has a plan and you just have to trust it. Being a wife and a mom may not be in the cards for you, but you will be ok with it and your purpose on this earth is for something else!

You're a spender, start saving now. You will always like nice things, but, you will always be independent enough to take care of yourself and get some pretty nice things too! Don't buy trends, and keep the same car for longer than 3 years unless you want to lease.

Laugh at the mess. Cry when you need to cry, but wake up choosing to be happy. Go through the lessons and learn them, don't keep repeating the same mistakes over and over again. Travel much. Enjoy the simple things. Hold on to great friends and toss the crappy ones. Always speak your mind (you always do a good job with that!). Don't stop writing. Don't stop being creative. Don't stop learning. Don't look for love, but let it find you. Go after all your dreams, anything and everything is possible. Let God be the leader of your whole life.


Xo, Cheers!
Love, Jenn 2018

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Day after day it gets exhausting worrying about what I am eating and drinking and if it's going to make me gain 3-5 lbs. Being in the blogger world it's very difficult not to compare yourself to the other girls who are naturally thin and tall. I am certainly not tall, and not as skinny as most of the bloggers out there. I am 5'2", 125 lbs and a size 4 and ya know what, I am A-ok with it. Dieting and hardcore working out is just not my forte. It's not something I really enjoy. I do like to run, that is a basis of workouts honestly. I hate lifting weights, super boring, not for me. And I make any excuse I can not to do it.



Day after day it gets exhausting worrying about what I am eating and drinking and if it's going to make me gain 3-5 lbs. Being in the blogger world it's very difficult not to compare yourself to the other girls who are naturally thin and tall. I am certainly not tall, and not as skinny as most of the bloggers out there. I am 5'2", 125 lbs and a size 4 and ya know what, I am A-ok with it. Dieting and hardcore working out is just not my forte. It's not something I really enjoy. I do like to run, that is a basis of workouts honestly. I hate lifting weights, super boring, not for me. And I make any excuse I can not to do it.

Don't get me wrong, naturally I like to eat healthy. Generally I eat the same thing, chicken, turkey, veggies, brown rice etc. However, I love sweets and I love wine and I do not and will not give them up. I do consume them in moderation but here's the deal. We are only here for a short period of time, I am not going to say no to that once in a blue hot chocolate or a handful of peanut M&M's if they are going to make me happy.

I do not believe in the keto diet, because to keep that figure is a lifelong choice. As soon as you eat one carb or an ounce of sugar it will go right back on. It's not a healthy way of living. I am however, a firm believer in eating healthy, portion control and most importantly SELF-CONTROL. I am a control freak so I will never sit at home and consume a whole bag of chocolate. I used to down a bottle a wine but I have learned to control that as well for the most part, unless it's a night out.

I am stressed out enough with work, blogging and life in general I don't want to stress out about the tire around my stomach, or the fat patch under my non-so-much-there booty. I take care of myself for the most part, I probably could step it up a notch and I will but my point in this is that everyone has imperfections. I used to hate my cellulite, and I don't really have that much just a little on my thighs but then I saw a picture of Serena Williams who's rear and thighs are covered in cellulite and she is one of the best athletes to ever walk the planet. It's a natural thing, either you have it or you don't.

If you are one of the lucky ones to have a bod like Jennifer Aniston or the lifestyle like JLo (No caffeine, sugar or alcohol - no thanks) good for you, but it's not my choice. I like wine and I like sugar and I like indulging once in a while and if that means being an extra 5-10 lbs heavier so be it.

I know a lot of people who are solely focused on their weight and the struggle to lose it. I can tell you this, my sister was 140 lbs and 5'2". She did crossfit and worked out like a mad woman. She was toned but lost 0 weight. She did not build a butt or get skinny arms, how she lost the weight was by eating right. Not cutting carbs or sugars or any of the good stuff, by macros balanced eating. It's not so hard to do honestly. You just have to stay under a certain amount of carbs, fat and protein. She is now 105 lbs (she needs to gain some weight now lol); but she just does some yoga, and cardio and the occasional spinning class. She busted her butt, no pun intended, and it didn't pay off. Everyone's body type is different but the bottom line is, if you are confident with what you have screw it. I have flaws but I also have parts of me that I love, my eyes, my chest, and the front of my thighs so those are the parts of my I show off. I'm not ashamed of the other parts like my chubby arms, my stomach that is not flat at all, or my butt that is non-existent; it is what it is. I am not Kim Kardashian and frankly I don't want to be. We are always going to find things that we don't like, so my new goal is to focus on things I do like and embrace the parts of me I don't. I am lucky to have strong arms and I am lucky to be healthy enough to have weight on me.

Ladies, stop stressing out about your weight, it's a waste of time and energy that you could be focusing elsewhere like on your beautiful family, experiences and the simple things in life. Eat the cake. Drink the wine.  Have the M&M's it's not going to kill you or add a dimple to your butt! Embrace and love who you are!

CHILL OUT!!! IT'S THE HOLIDAYS ENJOY THEM!!!

Photos by Audra Nicole Photography

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XO, Cheers
Jenn

 

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I have really learned my worth and what makes me feel good and what does not. And if it does not feel right, or feed my soul it has to go. They have to go. So if there is someone lingering around your heart decide if they are giving any positive purpose to your life or just taking up space like those clothes in your closet. They fit at one point, but now they just don't feel right anymore and are totally out of style. TOSS!!!!

In life, we all go through seasons; emotionally and physically. There are times where the storms are more than we think we can handle and we have no clue how we will get out alive. Seasons where the sun shines bright everyday and we are able to stand back and appreciate all we have. And for just one moment everything is perfect. And there are seasons when it is time to declutter! Cleaning and gutting out excess can help us in our homes and our lives.

As I mentioned previously, I have been shifting to a more quality vs quantity way of thinking in more ways than one. I cleaned out my closet by giving two trash bags of clothing and shoes to my younger cousin, Hanna. I took items that I know I would not wear because I haven't in over a year and didn't think twice about tossing it. Somedays I think oh no how can I part with this and others I am cut-throat and decisive. That day I was relentless in trying to clear out my closet. And ya know what, I still feel like there are lingering items that probably need to go. I will get there.

Like my closet, I am trying to declutter my mind by focusing on my plans and goals for the future in a more precise and planned manner. We are all know we can make plans and then we hear God laugh (thank you Thomas Rhett for that lyric). But we try to create goals to help lead us to where we want to be. One thing I am certain is that we should never stop growing or learning. The best way to do this, is to stop and evaluate your why. Why you are doing what you are doing and what purpose do you want it to bring to your life and the life of others? For me, my why, is to share my life experiences with others to motivate them to feel beautiful and powerful inside and out. We are all in this together.

As for this heart, well that's a big old hot mess but I am working on it. Like the lingering items in my closet I still have those who linger in my heart but need to go, for good. I do believe this year, and what I have gone through with heartache and my anxiety I have really learned my worth and what makes me feel good and what does not. And if it does not feel right, or feed my soul it has to go. They have to go. So if there is someone lingering around your heart decide if they are giving any positive purpose to your life or just taking up space like those clothes in your closet. They fit at one point, but now they just don't fit right and are totally out of style. TOSS!!!!

XO, Cheers!
Jenn

Photos Audra Nicole Photography

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The best advice I can give a new blogger is to invest in your photos. I always had friends taking mine but I realized the more interest I was recieving from companies to help promote their brands, the better quality my photos needed to be. Branding and consistency  are some of the most important aspects of a persons business. People like a clean look on a website and photos. So, this year I decided to hire a professional ongoing photographer.

The best advice I can give a new blogger is to invest in your photos. I always had friends taking mine but I realized the more interest I was recieving from companies to help promote their brands, the better quality my photos needed to be. Branding and consistency  are some of the most important aspects of a persons business. People like a clean look on a website and photos. So, this year I decided to hire a professional ongoing photographer.

Why I love social media.

I went onto Instagram and looked up the hashtag #tampaphotograhers. I spent a few hours looking through and researching the diffrent photographers work, websites and about them. It is very imporant to mesh well with the people you work with, so having things in common and the same values and views are important. 

I found Audra Nicole on IG and I was immediately attracted to her photos. I am a big lover of natural light in my photos and my life in general. Her photos were clean, light, bright and full of personality. I went to her website which was also the same. I read about her and we had some things in common; 

1. We both love Jesus

2. We both love Disney World

3. We both love fashion

I think these three things are some of the most important qualities a person can have haha. So, I took a chance and direct messaged her. I told her what I was looking for and even though she had not been doing bloggers I knew she would do a great job; she said LET'S DO IT! She was looking to change away from families and do more branding so it was perfect timing. 

My first shoot was really fun and I liked working with her. Although I had been blogging for about two years now, she gave me so many great pointers to make my photos look better. She always listens to my opinions and takes into consideration my ideas and plans for each look. She knows my pain points on my body (arms cough cough) so she always makes sure those little areas are what I would be ok with. She shows me photos she does not like I would like so I can adjust and fix my body or clothing imperfections to retake it. I never have to re-edit my photos, she does a great job and gets them back to me within 1 week of the shoot. She is always up for props and trying different locations and is ALWAYS on time! She is a busy mom of 3 with a full-time job and a photography business... the term "superwoman" is an understatement. Check out her website and book a session; tell her Jenn sent you!

AUDRA NICOLE PHOTOGRAPHY

XO, Cheers!
Jenn

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Some days are not easy, some days are really hard and sometimes it's not a day that is hard, it's a month, or months. For me, it was 3 months of unhappiness. I'm not ashamed in admitting it because we all get into ruts. I already toldja about my anxiety which of course played a large part in the unhappiness. What I learned though during this years' storm is sometimes we have to choose to be happy, it doesn't just happen.

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Photos by AUDRA NICOLE PHOTOGRAPHY

Some days are not easy, some days are really hard and sometimes it's not a day that is hard, it's a month, or months. For me, it was 3 months of unhappiness. I'm not ashamed in admitting it because we all get into ruts. I already toldja about my anxiety which of course played a large part in the unhappiness. What I learned though during this years' storm is sometimes we have to choose to be happy, it doesn't just happen.

No matter what was going on or what I was doing I just could not find pure joy in anything and I was so frustrated and mad with myself. I would go through spurts of crying and feeling really down for no reason. I have lived alone for a long time now and it never made me feel lonely but when I moved into my new place, which is very big and wide open it made me feel super alone. So I needed to play around a little bit with the "vibes" of the apartment to feel more welcome.

I am a firm believer in feng shui and how a room can literally make your mood. Since I moved in, my bedroom just felt off. I don't know why but it did and everyone that stayed over felt the same way. It just wasn't cozy, and not a place I wanted to be. So when my sister came we re-vamped the room and changed it around until we both felt more at home. And now I love the room and I love being in there.

Ok that was one thing I changed. The next, I needed to make more time for God first! I am not a morning person so waking up to read 3 pages of the Bible is not realistic for me. I do read the daily scripture on the Bible app but I know at night is my time for me when I can be quiet and read so that is what I do; no TV, no phone, just my Bible and a cup of tea and I read and underline what I want to take into the next day with me.

I have to do cardio everyday. If not, it makes me feel miserable. I don't go crazy, maybe a good 2-3 miles but I like going at night, at sunset and jog on the water around my house! It makes me feel calm. I do this and then have my cup of Aveda Tea every night!

I started to realize that even though these things made me feel better, they are mundane and repetitive and not going to make me happy… I just needed to wake up and decide to be happy everyday. I cut people out of my life who were not good for my soul. And with that it was like an anchor that had been holding me back was cut loose and I could be me again.

There are things that people are not going to like about us or things that people expect of us that we don't like. Me especially because I am a perfectionist have to remember not to let this get to me because if I do it will bring me down and drag me around. Remembering to do my best and do it with a smile is the best way to stay happy through repetitive days.

Now I am learning to find happiness in the mundane, everyday things I do! Like staying in and watching movies or TV shows for hours on a Saturday, my morning and night time cardio sessions and writing my blogs. 

Last words, don't take on the weight of the world, it's too much for you. I do this sometimes, I let the devastation of this society eat me alive but it's not me, it's not my issue and I cannot save the world, only God can do that!

XO, Cheers!
Jenn

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You know you have 'em! Things you absolutely cannot live without whether it be a dog, a product or security blanket. What are some things you can't live without? Read mine here.

 

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  1. My dog. My Stella girl is 14 and I have had her for 7 years. She is still as sassy as they come. She thinks she runs things here. She likes wearing clothes, but not bows. She likes sitting with me on the couch NetFlix binging my romcom shows, and loves going for walks but only on her terms. She is my little BFF.

  1. Hot Tea. I have become infatuated with different types of hot tea. My favorites are Aveda and Traditional Medicinals. I like the hibiscus and sometimes make it into iced tea. Along with this, I am obsessed with my new Electric Tea Kettle . This baby plugs in and boils in minutes. It turns off when the hot water is ready.

  1. Amika Dry Shampoo and Texture Spray. I wash my hair ohhhh about once a week. I have blonde hair so it's quite dry (blog on this coming soon)! I love the smell, and the consistency these sprays give my hair. Yes they make it more dry but it's great for the 3-5th day on the last wash. I am linking them here. Be advised, if you like them on IG they sometimes have pop up flash sales where you can grab them for $13.

     

  2. L'Oreal Eyelash Primer and Telescopic Mascara. I have been using this dynamic duo for years. I have tried Dior Show and other high-end mascaras but this one is the best. I have a pet peeve with clumpy lashes. The primer thickens them up and the telescopic lengthens and widens the lashes. I have recommended to a few people who loved as well and are still using them.

     

  3. Press-on nails. Yep, I have been doing my own nails for 7 years. I buy them on Amazon. There is a specific way to do them though and I use superglue for the glue, not the pink crap they give you. I take one night every 2 weeks and do my toes and nails. Yes, these bad boys last me two weeks. HINT: File your nail before you glue to get the oils off your nails. The glue lasts way longer. Also, carry a glue with you at all times, when you feel one lifting throw on some glue. I get SOOO many compliments on my nails. Positives of this, it's cheaper and better for your nails. I cannot grow real nails, I tried. My anxiety won't allow it!

  1. Isotonix Daily Essentials and Aloe Powder. The aloe cured my acid reflux about a year ago. It helps keep my system healthy and it's delicious. The daily essentials keeps me going each day. My iso-cocktail is a shot of multivitamin, B Complex, OPC, and Calcium. I can't take vitamins in pill form, it makes me sick so these have been a life saver. They make me feel more energetic. I have cut way, way down on caffeine due to this as well.


What are some of your can't live withouts? Try any of mine, and let me know in the comments what you think!


XO, Cheers!
Jenn

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