Wedding Wednesday – The Venue

University of Dayton chapelA photo snapped of us (very graciously by a student) outside of the University of Dayton chapel last spring – this was the day we decided to hold our wedding here!

I know I’ve been pretty mum on wedding plans aside from an initial engagement post and life update. Steve, my fiancé, was worried my lack of sharing on the blog meant that I for some reason wasn’t excited about our wedding; his concern is crazy but also understandable since I share so much else on here!

There’s no lack of excitement over being married to Steve, but when I think about the wedding planning there is some anxiety! As I talk to more brides it’s nice to know I’m not alone. Sure, some women have been envisioning their dream wedding for years, so the execution of the details is exciting to them. But for many others, a wedding is such a large undertaking, the many decisions make it hard to focus on the fun end result. Being eight months away from our wedding date I am still relatively calm, though not quite on top of The Knot’s planning calendar! There was one decision that was quite easy for Steve and me, so I thought I’d share that today.

Choosing our venue

One of the few things I’d had in mind for my wedding for many years was where it would be. I went to the University of Dayton for undergrad and it was the best four years of my life. The campus culture there is so unique that those happy memories really stay with many alumni forever. I know this because my grandpa, my parents and many other family members also attended UD. Without this post getting to be too much of an ad for the college, I’ll just say the college holds such a special place in my heart that I always loved the thought of getting married there. Especially after the University of Dayton chapel renovation turned it into a lovely venue.

However, since Steve went to Michigan State University and we met in Chicago, I was no longer holding on to the hope that we would get married on UD’s campus. He had no connection to the college and planning a wedding several hours away seemed tough. We have a church in Chicago, so after we got engaged we began researching getting married in the Second City. With all the options and many expenses my head started spinning! Steve saw this and recognized that it was making it difficult for me to move forward with decisions.

Leading up to a wedding we were traveling to in Columbus, Steve out of the blue offered to look at wedding options in Dayton on the way. Hearing this I immediately perked up. He said if he’d known that would have made me so happy, he would have suggested it weeks prior. Part of the reason I was so happy about our decision to get married at UD was Steve’s selfless suggestion. I knew I was with the right guy if he was attune to what I really wanted without me even coming out and asking for it.

What’s left to do

So we’ve booked our venues in Dayton, Ohio, and I’m happily moving along with some of the other details, like the dress and floral arrangements. Other, smaller-to-me-details like table settings are coming a bit slower. Have you planned a wedding before? How did you get yourself motivated to nail down every detail? I’d love to hear your experience and tips so that I can stay on track with our spring wedding.

Bell Sleeves and White Jeans

Bell Sleeve Blouse

I couldn’t believe that this last weekend was nearly October and I was still wearing a skirt and tank top, and sweating! Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice to feel the sun’s warmth and soak it up for as long as I can. (Us Chicagoans need something to hang on to come February!) But I also felt seriously out of place in summer clothes when the season switched to fall. I compromised one afternoon with these sandals, white jeans and bell sleeve blouse.

SheIn – similar bell sleeve top | Express – white distressed jeans | Urban Outfitters – black choker | Forever 21 – cat eye sunglasses

Bell Sleeve Blouse

I purchased this bell sleeve blouse from SheIn. If you’re familiar with the site you probably know the products can be hit or miss. I did a lot of research on the tops I wanted to get, which you can do by looking through Instagram photos or reading the reviews on the site. Several woman I saw on Instagram wore a bell sleeve blouse similar to this and I decided to trust it. I was excited to see that the two shoulder tops I purchased, this was the other, worked out really well if I do say so myself.

Bell Sleeve Blouse

If you’re interested in learning more about how to shop trendy online sites like SheIn, let me know and leave your questions below. I look forward to sharing my tips for doing so in a post soon.

Bell Sleeve BlouseBell Sleeve Blouse Bell Sleeve Blouse Bell Sleeve Blouse

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Category: Style

On Repeat


I have developed an outfit MO and I can’t seem to break out of it. But I’m not trying to, either! I’ve consistently been reaching for flowy skirts and a jean jacket because the outfit is a no-brainer when I get up in the morning but also looks pulled together. It was perfect for hot summer days because unlike maxi skirts, midis and shorter help your legs breathe and flow in the wind. I know it’ll be great going into the fall with booties and heavier layers under my jean jacket. I apologize in advance for the multiple times you’ll see this variation over the next few weeks, but I promise the skirts are going to be super cute and the jean jacket is here to stay!

Banana Republic – floral skirt | HM – similar gray T | similar navy pumps | Necklace via Rocksbox {get your first month free using “SincerelyJennieXOXO”} | similar jean jacket |Hair by Goldplaited


Oh, and how adorable is this fishtail halo braid? It’s actually one braid sitting on top of my head, with half of my hair twisted around it. I had it done during Goldplaited’s free braid Friday and then Saturday attempted to tame the frizz to make it last one more day. If you want unlimited braids (and blowouts) call Goldplaited to find out more about their Prep Pass, and mention “Sincerely Jennie” for $10 off the first month.

sincerely-jennie-jean-jacketsincerely-jennie-jean-jacket sincerely-jennie-jean-jacketsincerely-jennie-rocksbox-necklace

BTW I’m still using Rocksbox and loving it. It always seems to send me jewelry I wasn’t aware I needed in my collection, like this metal fringe necklace. You can sign up for one month free of the jewelry subscription service using Rocksbox code “SincerelyJennieXOXO.”

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Category: Style

Mani Monday: #ColorCurators

Formula X Atlantic-Pacific Collaboration

You might remember that several months ago I shared a friend’s review of nail polish created by Formula X and Emily of Cupcakes and Cashmere. The colors were cute, but I didn’t end up purchasing any. However, when I saw a Formula X Atlantic-Pacific collaboration I had to jump on it! The three colors, reminiscent of the coast and changing seasons, were what originally caught my eye. It was an added bonus that the #ColorCurator Blair has also been a favorite blogger of mine for years. Her style is classic but original, just like these nail polishes. I purchased two of three colors, both the grays. Keep reading for swatches and a review.

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AquaMermaid Chicago

AquaMermaid Chicago

A few weekends ago Sarah and I got the chance to live out a lot of little girls’ fantasies: we were mermaids for a day! We took a class through AquaMermaid Chicago that taught us how to swim like a mermaid. I learned that it’s a beautiful skill to master and it’s a pretty big workout. We also got some tips on how to behave like a mermaid (hint: they’re friendly). While I thought I was going into the class just for some great photo opps, I quickly learned how fun it was to be in the pool again and pick up some new tricks with a tail! Keep reading for all the deats.

AquaMermaid Chicago

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Category: Fitness

Sincerely Reading

Sincerely Reading is a reoccurring feature on the blog. When it’s not one of my book recommendations, it will be a friend’s. This week I’m sharing a Dark Matter book review.

Dark Matter book review

Title: Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

Summary“Are you happy with your life?”

Those are the last words Jason Dessen hears before the masked abductor knocks him unconscious.

Before he awakens to find himself strapped to a gurney, surrounded by strangers in hazmat suits.

Before a man Jason’s never met smiles down at him and says, “Welcome back, my friend.”

In this world he’s woken up to, Jason’s life is not the one he knows. His wife is not his wife. His son was never born. And Jason is not an ordinary college physics professor, but a celebrated genius who has achieved something remarkable. Something impossible.

Is it this world or the other that’s the dream? And even if the home he remembers is real, how can Jason possibly make it back to the family he loves? The answers lie in a journey more wondrous and horrifying than anything he could’ve imagined—one that will force him to confront the darkest parts of himself even as he battles a terrifying, seemingly unbeatable foe.

Dark Matter is a brilliantly plotted tale that is at once sweeping and intimate, mind-bendingly strange and profoundly human—a relentlessly surprising science-fiction thriller about choices, paths not taken, and how far we’ll go to claim the lives we dream of. (via Amazon)

On a Scale of “Don’t Bother” to “Couldn’t Put Down”: Couldn’t put it down – but had to because it was too scary for me!

Why? I’m such a jumpy person and anything with the extraordinary is especially scary for me. I ended up reading about half the book in a day, and then skipping through to the end. I had to know how it was all figured out, but couldn’t read anything more in the dark!

If someone likes ________, they’d like this bookStranger Things. My fiancé and I binge watched Stranger Things over the Labor Day weekend, the same time I picked up this book, and I couldn’t believe how similar they were. Both deal with alternative universes and worlds overlapping.

Drop me a note if you’d like to review a book in an upcoming post. You can find more of my book recommendations on my Goodreads page. Follow along!

This Weekend

navy blazer goldplaited braidsFYI: Every Friday get a free braid at Goldplaited with a $20 purchase. 

Happy weekend, y’all! After a heat wave in Chicago, it’s starting too cool down and I’m pretty excited about that. I love the warm weather, but would like an excuse to wear my new Banana Republic navy blazer (on sale!). The collegiate blazer will fit in nicely with my fiance’s and my trip to the University of Chicago on Saturday. We’ve never seen the campus so we thought we would explore it a bit on the way to Indiana.

If you’re looking for things to do this weekend, why don’t you…

  1. Upgrade your topknot with a bun cuff, shared by Hilary Duff on her Instagram!
  2. Say how you feel like Reese does with so many adorable workout T’s.
  3. Get inspiration from taking a sweet dress to sassy from Myriad Musings.
  4. Check out all the cute fall styles at Old Navy as modeled by real women in all 50 states.
  5. Queue up Netflix with the 20 best romantic comedies to watch by age 30 as selected by Cosmopolitan.

Pilsen, Chicago

Sincerely Jennie Places to Go in Pilsen

When I first moved in with my fiance this summer I was nervous about adjusting to my new neighborhood. For the five years I lived in Chicago I was in Lakeview, a neighborhood north of the city. Then I moved west of the city and had a lot of new sights and things to get used to. There were also a lot of new opportunities to explore. If I travel just south of my ‘hood I’m in Pilsen. Pilsen has traditionally been a port of entry for immigrants and now combines many customs of the Mexican-American community. It’s more than just good murals (although there are plenty of those), and my coworkers took me out there recently to see for myself.

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Rule Breaker

white after Labor Day

I think by now we all agree that you can wear white after Labor Day. That silly rule not to was thrown out years ago and now there are plenty of cute ways to wear white way into the fall. I thought I’d start the week after Labor Day by sharing one way I’ll be making the color last through an Indian summer.

The Limited – Logan blouse | Express – distressed white jeans | Vince Camuto – lace-up sandal

white after Labor Day

That’s really all I have to share today. 🙂 Mondays are always tough, and the “Monday” after a holiday is certainly no exception. I had a great, four-day weekend but now I have to get back into the swing of things. I hope you also had a great holiday weekend. Leave a comment below with what you did, and how you’ll be wearing white after Labor Day.

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Category: Style

This Weekend

Labor Day Weekend salesShopping Labor Day Weekend sales? H&M (where these earrings are from) has up to 60% off.

Labor Day Weekend sales to shop (and favorite products):


This week was a big week for me. Why? Because I got Instagram Stories! haha I’m still not on Snapchat for several reasons (one being a shortage of data), so the announcement of Instagram Stories was huge for my social media game. Sadly, it took a few weeks for the feature to update on my phone. Now that it has, I’m having fun trying it out! Maybe it’ll be my gateway to Snapchat, we’ll see…

Being that it’s Labor Day Weekend I’m sure you all have plenty planned! But just in case you’re looking for something to do, this weekend why don’t you…

  1. Host an adorable tea party like the ladies on Sandy a la Mode.
  2. Shop those Labor Day Weekend sales for something useful, like a sports bra that will support tatas of all sizes.
  3. Wish good luck to all the kids headed back to school, especially the awkward middle school years. This blog post to tweens/teens about school really struck a nerve with me.
  4. Take one last spin around Chicago – but on a boat. Check out my favorite boat tour.
  5. Embrace fall fashion and add a colored trouser to your wardrobe, like Laurie.