This Weekend

Things to do this weekend

Happy weekend! What are everyone’s plans? The fiancée and I are taking it easy tonight and hoping to try a tacos and tequila restaurant in the West Loop, Federales. The patio looks amazing and despite it being relatively new, it’s packed every time I walk by. I have to head to bed at a decent hour because I have an early appointment tomorrow for a cut and highlight. It’s about time I freshen up my blonde, and just in time for the bbq Sarah is throwing tomorrow night. After all of this, I’m finishing off the weekend with a short road trip to CycleBar in Burr Ridge. Wow, writing it all out makes it sound like a lot, but I know I’ll have time to relax in there, too. If you’re looking for things to do, this weekend why don’t you…

  1. Get a load of the Cubs players’ wacky outfits for their road trip. Their South Beach style is great!
  2. Stock up on summer styles with Banana Republic’s sale – it’s now an additional 50% off!
  3. Try the color blocking trend with inspiration from Red Reticule.
  4. Remember, you too can fight heat and humidity with my favorite summer beauty products.
  5. Check out the cutest little #tbt bag on Katya and find a similar one for yourself!

Randolph Street Market

Sincerely Jennie Randolph Street Market

I used to work in the West Loop and every few weeks I’d see trucks and carloads of people heading into the Randolph Street Market. I was always curious as to what was behind the gates and heard a lot of stories of amazing vintages finds at the festival. I finally visited the market for the first time this year at the opening party and saw some amazing pieces being set out that I wanted to share with you.

Sincerely Jennie Randolph Street Market

There are so many unique antiques and vintage finds at the Randolph Street Market. How cool is the decanter above? Mark that to add to my bar cart! There were also a lot of accessories and clothes, and I’m sure you’d be able to find a gem and have fun poking around. I personally love 60s style so obviously the wicker purse below caught my eye.

Sincerely Jennie Randolph Street Market Sincerely Jennie Randolph Street Market

And how about this wicker furniture that would go lovely on an outdoor deck. (A girl can dream…she may one day have a deck.)

Sincerely Jennie Randolph Street Market

I want to say thanks so much to the Randolph Street Market for having me to the opening party and for giving me a sneak peek at the amazing pieces that are for sale inside. If you’re interested in browsing the market, vendors will be there this weekend, Saturday and Sunday, from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Visit the website for more information.

Memory Lane

DVF skirt

These pictures are some of my favorite I’ve gotten to take with my friend and photographer Hannah Drews. They capture an outfit that makes me think of the fun trip my fiancé (then boyfriend) and I had last May to California. We took the trip as a vacation around a friend’s wedding and spent the whole time having a blast sightseeing in the sunshine. I wore this outfit to our friend’s wedding, which was on the most beautiful ranch with an amazing backdrop. I’d splurged on the DVF skirt and it felt like the perfect fit for our trip to SoCal. Reliving the outfit now, I still think it was!

Similar black crop top | Similar pink high heels

DVF skirt

Each time I put on this DVF skirt (I wear it year-round), I not only think of the trip that I packed it for, but the day I bought it. Sarah and I were downtown after a great dinner and giddily decided to stop in the TJMaxx off of Michigan Avenue to browse. We ended up in the designer section and encouraged each other to try on DVF pieces that we fell in love with on the hangar. After seeing each other in the items, we then talked one another into buying them!

DVF skirt

Do you have any outfits that conjure up memories? In my opinion, it’s always more fun when there’s a story or feelings associated with what you’re wearing!

DVF skirtDVF skirt


Category: Style

Beauty Products

Summer Beauty Products

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Once summer comes we all want to cut down on the amount of summer beauty products we use day to day. Less product means less time spent inside in front of a mirror and more time outside having fun! But sometimes the summer heat and humidity can make it hard to completely do away with a beauty routine. Here are four summer beauty products I’m using often to keep my hair in check and skin and lips feeling moisturized.

  1. Drybar Sparkling Soda Shine Mist – I recently went for a blowout at Drybar and my stylist used this shine mist on my hair so that the style would last all day and into the night. The mist promises to tame frizz and flyaways and give hair a shine, and it didn’t disappoint. My stylist told me his secret is using the product on wet hair before styling, so it helps lock in the mist.
  2. Clarins Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil – This lip oil is aaaaaaamazing. It’s feels light but also dewy. It’s really the perfect product to give your lips a sunkissed shine and keep them moisturized all summer.
  3. fave4 Texture Takeover – This texturing spray is something else to add to your summer beauty product list if you’re looking to keep a hairstyle through the summer heat. It’s not crunchy, but will help volumize your hair while still holding its shape. I have naturally curly hair and can count on this to help me keep it in its place once it’s straight.
  4. Murad Skin Perfecting Lotion – I purchased this lotion on the suggestion of an esthetician I saw in Chicago. Summer doesn’t feel as drying as the summer, but just because there aren’t cold winds hitting our faces that doesn’t mean we can neglect our skincare routine. This lotion is good for this time of year because it’s light and doesn’t clog my pores.

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Category: Beauty

The Career Code

Sincerely Jennie The Career Code

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending a Who What Wear party at Banana Republic to introduce the founders’ book “The Career Code.”  The fashion website held events at Banana Republics across the country and the one I attended on Michigan Avenue was crowded, in a fun way! The eager shoppers along with the glasses of bubbly really put me in the shopping mood. I walked away with this floral skirt as well as a copy of The Career Code. The book, written by entrepreneurs Katherine Power and Hillary Kerr, offers advice for how women can have success at any stage in their career.

Ann Taylor – mock turtleneck | Banana Republic – floral midi skirt (on sale!) | The Limited – crystal necklace | Photos by Sarah of The Kissing Booth Blog

Sincerely Jennie The Career Code

There are plenty of books on the market about women in the workplace and becoming your best professional self. I’ve read some great ones (like “Girl Boss”), and “The Career Code” is another how-to book I’d recommend to other women. The Who What Wear founders share great war stories and practical tips. In fact, I followed one piece of advice the night of the book event. They suggest purchasing clothes that can work for the workday or weekends, which is exactly what this skirt does. It’s fun and breezy but also an appropriate length and cut for work.

Sincerely Jennie The Career Code

I’m happy to have this colorful addition to my wardrobe. Many of my coworkers even commented on how summery and cheery this skirt was. To be honest, I have my eye on a lot of other floral pieces at Banana Republic that I’m sure the writers of The Career Code would approve of! I’m just waiting for a sale so that I can pull the trigger on this lovely floral wrap dress or ruffle neck dress. Just have to make sure I’m within my clothing budget, which is also touched upon in the book. Pick up a copy for yourself soon!

Sincerely Jennie The Career Code Sincerely Jennie The Career CodeSincerely Jennie The Career Code


Category: Style

But First, Coffee

Sincerely Jennie Big Shoulders CoffeeEven though I had the most relaxing weekend, it was still tough to get out of bed this morning, so I thought it only fitting to kick off the week with a post about coffee. Hope you’ve all had your daily cup, because no talkie before coffee, right? I recently had the pleasure of visiting the Big Shoulders Coffee roastery in the West Loop and was enthralled by the process. Seriously, I don’t think I or the other bloggers in attendance ever knew coffee and the roasting process could be so interesting! We really quizzed owner and founder Tim Coonan about the process and came out with a new appreciation of what it takes to make our morning cup o’ joe.

Sincerely Jennie Big Shoulders Coffee

One of the most interesting tidbits I learned is that coffee comes from a fruit. Does that surprise you? The bean is actually the pit of a plant that grows on trees all over the world. The roasting process helps change the flavor of these beans. Big Shoulders Coffee has their own roasting process which we got to witness on our tour. You can taste the outcome of their small roasted batches at their café on Chicago Street or by purchasing Big Shoulders Coffee at a local grocery store like Mariano’s. And you might want to buy a lot of bags. I personally enjoy one or two cups of coffee a day, but Tim told us that he was recently on a talk show with a medical expert who suggested people drink four to six cups a day to enjoy health benefits for the liver and to prevent adult onset diabetes. I don’t know about you, but I’d be shaking with that much caffeine!

Sincerely Jennie Big Shoulders CoffeeSincerely Jennie Big Shoulders Coffee

I also learned that making a great cup of coffee at home takes more work than just buying good beans or grounds. Here are tips from Big Shoulders Coffee owner Tim Coonan on how to brew a great cup of coffee:

Use a tool like a Chemex or Clever Dripper, and:

  1. Keep your equipment clean.
  2. Use fresh coffee, visit Big Shoulders weekly! Or pick up a bag of Big Shoulders beans at your local Mariano’s or Whole Foods stores.
  3. Match the grind to the brewing method and use a burr grinder. (A common mistake is grinding too fine.)
  4. Use a scale and a ratio of 1 part coffee to 15 parts water as a starting point and play with this mix based on brewing method and your flavor preference. An example is 33 grams of coffee to 500 grams of water.
  5. Use filtered water heated to 204 degrees.
  6. Bloom the coffee by pouring just enough to moisten the grounds but not actually brew, allowing the water and coffee to get to know each other and not have just a fleeting romance.
  7. Allow 1 minute after the bloom before you start to actually brew.

Auto Drip Brewing Method:

  1. Repeat steps 1 & 2 from above.
  2. A basic formula for home auto-brewing is two tablespoons of freshly ground Big Shoulders coffee per cup of coffee. It is a very common mistake to under-dose the coffee. By following the above, you will make your morning coffee an extravagant and very affordable luxury.

Sincerely Jennie Big Shoulders Coffee

Thank you so much to Big Shoulders Coffee for having me out to your roasting facility. It was a great way to kick off a Saturday morning and expand my knowledge of something so ingrained in our everyday life!

Sincerely Jennie Big Shoulders Coffee Sincerely Jennie Big Shoulders Coffee

Visit Big Shoulders Coffee’s website to learn more about how to visit them and their different brews.

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Category: Recipe

This Weekend

Chicago in the Summer

Well it’s now feeling like Chicago in the summer and I don’t think people could be happier. Really, Chicagoans’ whole demeanors change when it’s sunny and warm, and warm it will be this weekend (in the 90s)! I have some boring plans to do if it also rains like it’s supposed to. My day might include cleaning and possibly another binge of The O.C. So far, there are no plans for the evening but that could change quickly! I’ve moved to the West Loop and there’s always a new restaurant or bar my fiancée and I have a blast exploring. Last weekend we went to Expat for the boozy snow cones. I highly suggest heading there (it’s on Green Street). If you need other plans, this weekend why don’t you…

  1. Plan your next amazing vacation with this guide from the housewives.
  2. Go minimilast yet beautiful like Melissa in an airy white dress.
  3. Have outfit envy all over again with 44 of Blair Waldorf’s best outfits. #NeverForget
  4. Flashback Friday to what The Hills life looks like in real life, with this feature from Buzzfeed.
  5. Just revel in this bromance between Matt + Ben.
  6. Want ALL of the ice cream thanks to Kacie’s adorable blog pics.
  7. Wish the Olsen twins a happy birthday and thank them for all of the amazing outfit inspo they gave us as tweens.
  8. Get into the OTS trend with Irene’s dress turned tunic.
  9. Check out my new favorite candles that double as home decor options.
  10. Cry a little (maybe a lot) when you see Bretagne, the last search and rescue dog from 9/11, get a final salute.

Wedding Wednesday – Shared Space

Northern Lights Candles

As I mentioned, my fiancé and I recently moved in together. We are having such a fun time spending each day to day together without one of us having to go home to our own place. So far the hardest, but smallest, challenge has been trying to fit all of my things into our small space. We spent last weekend organizing everything I moved in, and now that we’re past that, the next step is to be making our modest apartment a home for us both. Thankfully, I had help from Northern Lights candles for a part of that.

Northern Lights Candles

Northern Lights is a manufacturer of high quality scented and designer candles. As soon as they reached out to introduce themselves to me I knew that the items they offered were ones both Steve and I would love to incorporate into our home decor. For “him” we chose a Blackberry Brandy scented candle, since he loves cocktails. The candle caught my eye because of the cool cork top – it’s a unique piece of decor!

Northern Lights Candles

For myself I chose a Orchard Pear scented candle that came in an amazing mirrored jar. It’s sitting out near my makeup stand, a corner of the apartment that I carved out for myself.

Steve and I are enjoying these cozy additions to our homes and each take turns lighting a candle when we get home so the delicious scents will greet whoever gets home second. They’re small but special items that have helped turn his home into a place that’s ours.

I received these products free of charge but the opinions express are my own.

Blue Skies (and Clothes)

Sincerely Jennie The Ms Collection Dress

Remember when I told you I started the clothing rental service The Ms. Collection? I’ve continued it for the month and wanted to share another dress I received, probably one of my favorite pieces so far. Blue has long been one of my favorite colors and the reactions I got from coworkers when I wore The Ms. Collection dress cemented that. Everyone complimented the hue and how the dress looks on me. It really is the perfect color and cut to celebrate the beautiful warm weather Chicago has been having!

Dress – Maggy London via The Ms. Collection | The Limited – green clutch | Necklace – via Rocksbox {get your first month free with code “sincerelyjenniexoxo”} | Photos by Sarah

Sincerely Jennie The Ms Collection Dress

The Ms. Collection dress and other pieces the service has lent me have helped me update my closet to go from a dreary winter to warm, blue-sky spring. There’s something about this weather that makes me want to play with bright colors. I find I’m painting my nails with brighter shades, wearing primary colors together and even applying brighter lipstick. I’m excited that a lot of my favorite stores seem to be on the same page and have put out some fun pieces, like The Limited clutch.

Sincerely Jennie The Limited Clutch

The colors of this outfit – the blue like the clear skies and green like the trees – really made me happy. Do you have any color combinations that you wear to brighten up your day?

Sincerely Jennie The Ms Collection Dress

The Ms. Collection has been provided free of charge but the opinions express are my own


Category: Style

Poshmark Find

Sincerely Jennie Turban

Can you guys believe I only recently got into the online resale shop Poshmark? I’ve known about the app for a while, but it wasn’t until I was moving and needed to clean out my closet that I set up my virtual closet. Poshmark lets users upload photos of clothes, accessories and makeup they’re selling so other users can browse to buy. I spent about two hours one afternoon organizing my items, steaming them and taking dozens of photos. Within hours, my hard work paid off and I had two sales! With a little bit of extra money in my pocket, I started browsing other closets. When I kept clicking on this turban to view it I knew it was time to pull the trigger. Within days, this hair accessory arrived on my doorstep, giving me plenty of amusement as I tried different ways to style a turban.

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