Wedding Wednesday: Bridal Shower

Pinterest Bridal Shower

One of the best parts about being engaged (besides getting closer to Steve!) has been celebrating with our closest friends and family. A lot of our friends have witnessed the evolution of our relationship since the beginning. For example, at my friend Amanda’s wedding in November, a college friend and her husband were laughing remembering when Steve and I came to their Washington, D.C., wedding nearly four years ago. Steve and I had only been dating about four months. Apparently when I RSVP’ed they were like, “Who is this random Jennie is bringing to our wedding?” It turned out to be my future fiancé!

Pinterest Bridal Shower

While on that trip, Steve and I stayed with my friend Amanda (above). She lived in a studio apartment, and I shared her bed with her while Steve graciously slept on an air mattress. Amanda and I gossiped about our relationships late into the night. At one point, Steve called out through the dark, “You know I can hear you!” It’s happy memories like that at the beginning of our relationship that make celebrating our impending nuptials with the same people so fun! For today’s Wedding Wednesday I wanted to share photos from my friend bridal shower in Chicago. It was the perfect Pinterest bridal shower, as described by Amanda, the hostess with the mostess. Keep reading to see more amazing decor and bridal inspiration.
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Clarins Spring Launch Event

Clarins Spring Launch

With my upcoming wedding (and impending 30th birthday) I’m trying to stick to “quality over quantity” more often when it comes to beauty products. Sure, I still look for deals (I can’t say no to a drugstore mascara that does its job), but I also weigh the lasting effects of what I’m purchasing. I’m willing to spend more on a product if it means more pigment and staying power.

I was extremely excited to be invited to a Clarins  launch event for their new spring products.  Clarins was one of those brands my younger self would have never thought she could – or should – afford. I’ve gradually been introduced to the brand through its lipstick, and now I see the rest of their products are just as purchase-worthy. I find myself reaching for Clarins makeup daily, whether it’s for a day at work or night out. Read after the jump to see my four favorite Clarins products you should add to your makeup drawer.

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The Bigger the Hoop

hoop earrings

Okay, so I want to talk about something real that I grapple with when I’m putting together outfits. Is it true that the bigger the hoop the bigger the….well, I’ll let you finish that. (A friend recently finished that statement with “THOT.” LOL) I personally love hoop earrings and have worn them ever since high school when I finally had money to start shopping for my own jewelry. I never thought that they went out of style, and have about eight pairs on my earring tree. But I guess they must have been a fashion faux pas at some point, because now they’re back? I see all kinds of 90s style hoop earrings again. The pair I’m wearing here is Kendra Scott, via Rocksbox. I love how dainty they are and that they have little gems along the earring. I’ve been wearing them nonstop since they arrived in the mail.

Hoop earrings/necklace/ring – via Rocksbox {sign up for a month free using code “SincerelyJenniexoxo”} | Rent the Runway – floral jacket {get $30 off your first order with my link} | Express – skinny jeans

floral jacketfloral jacket

In addition to the hoop earrings I’m wearing, I just have to sing praises for this floral jacket. Earlier this winter I tried on a Zara floral bomber jacket that was for sale at an incredible low price. Sadly, it was a size too large. I couldn’t find another size anywhere – not in stores or online. (By the way, have you ever tried calling a Zara store to check if an item is in stock? I did, and they are not helpful if you don’t have the item number. Just an FYI before you try calling.) That bomber jacket that got away has been in the back of my mind for a while. I was excited to see something similar on the Rent the Runway site when I was choosing items for my next Unlimited shipment. I wore it two days in a row I liked it so much! I’ve sent it back already to exchange it for something new, so you can go online now and get it for yourself. J

floral jacket hoop earrings

I’m glad we tackled the tough fashion question here, the meaning of hoop earrings. Leave a comment and let me know what you think!




Crowning Event

Crowning Event

It seems like Mondays are starting to have a floral theme. (Remember my DIY bouquets last week?) These photos are from last weekend’s Crowning Event with Allie. I met Allie at a Bitches Who Brunch event last spring (she’s the Chicago editor-in-chief) and have kept up with her on social media since. Lately I started seeing her rocking the most adorable flower crowns, and I was amazed to learn she is making them through her own business, Crowning Event. She offers workshops so others can learn how to make their own crowns, so I signed up immediately with my friend (and former blog partner) Amanda!

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This Weekend

Banana Republic friends and familyBanana Republic – gingham heels {they’re selling out fast – so snatch them up!}

I have to brag a little about my gingham shoe find. I purchased this pair of chunky heel sandals this week during the Banana Republic Friends and Family sale. During this promotion, you can purchase up to five regular-priced items for 50% off! That marks the heels down to $64. But I wasn’t done. I had Banana Republic rewards to use from the store’s credit card. After applying those at checkout, my total was a whopping $8!!! This is the kind of purchase I hold on to for years just because it’s a victory in the sale world.

If you’re in to gingham of any sort, I highly suggest you shop the Banana Republic Friends and Family sale this weekend.  There is gingham galore! I’m talking bathing suits, pants, more heels and accessories. A-dor-a-ble! It all seems perfect for my upcoming bachelorette party in Charleston. The heels are definitely getting packed in my suitcase, now I have to find the perfect white dress to go with them. (Thankfully, that’s where my Rent the Runway Unlimited subscription comes in.) Can’t wait to see the other gingham pieces I ordered online!

If you’re giving your credit card a rest, no worries. I’ve rounded up several other things to do this weekend! This weekend, why don’t you…

  1. Take your Big Little Lies obsession a little bit further by reading up on what the costume designer wants their clothes to convey. And then, enjoy a new episode on Sunday!
  2. Go head over heels for the monochromatic look all over again with Lo’s camel outfit.
  3. Brush up on your Disney knowledge with this video of Easter eggs you may have missed the first time around.
  4. Whether you’re celebrating St. Patrick’s Day this weekend or next, know which drinks you’ll have at the bar.
  5. Choose your next read with the help of Ashley, who just launched a website for her book list!



Back at It: Rent the Runway Unlimited

Rent the Runway Unlimited Reviews

Guys, I am so excited to share that I started using Rent the Runway Unlimited again! You may remember I cancelled last winter after several months of use. (You can read my Rent the Runway Unlimited reviews here and here.) I loved renting three designer pieces at a time, for an unlimited time, but I couldn’t justify the cost anymore. However, with my wedding coming up I found myself ready to make a lot of clothing purchases for bridal events. I realized that instead of buying a lot of white dresses I’d wear very infrequently after the wedding, it made more sense to just pay for the service for a few months. I got my first order via UPS last week and boy was I happy with it! The Rebecca Minkoff purse above was just one of three pieces. See more photos of what I rented after the jump, plus a link for $30 off.

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Currently Listening

favorite podcasts

I know the following statement might seem contradictory to my life (being in communications and writing my blog), but here’s the truth: I can be slow at adopting new digital trends. I’m still not on Snapchat (I simply creep on people through my fiancé’s) and I just recently downloaded Podcasts from the app store. Early on I dismissed podcasts because I deemed them all too boring. And how was I supposed to listen to an in-depth story during my daily public transit commute? But as soon as I heard about an hourlong show that focuses on the Real Housewives franchise, I decided to give them a chance. And boy, am I hooked. (Just two years later than everyone else.) I started searching for more podcasts to listen to in a pretty simple way – I went to the top charts section in the app. I want to share my favorite podcasts with you, but don’t expect them to be groundbreaking. Who knows, though, maybe you’re still adapting, too!

Favorite podcasts

  1. Bitch Sesh: This is the one that got me into podcasts (thanks, Marissa!). Who wouldn’t want to listen to two funny women rehash all of the week’s Real Housewives episodes? Bonus, they always share quirky, silly stories from their lives. By the end of podcast I find myself wishing we were all in the same room so I could talk back over a glass of wine!
  2. Missing Richard Simmons: This one has been top of the charts for several weeks now, and for a good reason. It’s like Serial for workout-aholics or reality show buffs. (I think, I’ve never actually listened to Serial.) I’m a little too young for Richard Simmons, but I do remember how the man in spandex shorts was fascinating. And now he’s been out of the public eye (missing?) for three years! What could have happened? This show host wants to find out.
  3. Pod Save America: Ok, I’m drinking the liberal Kool-Aid. But really, you might not like this one if you’re not a Democrat. The show is hosted by former Obama speechwriters and spokesperson. They deem it “A no-bullshit conversation about politics. This is a political podcast for people not yet ready to give up or go insane.” Not only does this series help me understand the ever-changing political landscape, the guys are actually pretty funny, too.
  4. Another Round: These ladies are fun. Heben and Tracy host a Buzzfeed podcast and bring on fun hosts to shed light on current political and cultural situations.  They recently had Jordan Peele on a guest, but my personal favorite is when Matt Bellassai joins them.

Do you have any favorite podcasts? What should I add to my rotation?

BTW: See the workout clothes in this post on!




This Weekend

Crowning EventImage via Crowning Event

I seem to have suddenly become flower obsessed after my floral design class earlier this week. Just yesterday I came across the most beautiful Instagram full of flower crowns and noticed that the company is in Chicago, and that it’s hosting an event this Sunday! I quickly signed up for a class with Crowning Event to learn how to DIY a flower crown. I can’t wait! Not only will it be fun to get crafty again, I’ll also be well-equipped for festivals and bridal activities this summer. There are still spots if you’re in Chicago and want to join. Bonus: You can get a discount on tickets using code “INSTAGRAM2017.” If flower crowns aren’t your thing, I still have plenty of other ideas. This weekend, why don’t you…

  1. Update your makeup drawer (I know I need to) with a new mascara, based on great recommendations from Between the Pearls.
  2. LOL like my fiancé and I did with this article ranking Girl Scout cookies in order of their betchiness.
  3. Get in that romantic feel with outfit inspo and lace from Every Chic Way.
  4. Learn why Columbus, Ohio, really isn’t that bad, especially according to this Racked article on the city’s influence in the fashion industry.
  5. Plan your next vacation (and dream of blue water) with a trip suggestion from Bows & Sequins.


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Flower Power

Chicago School of Flower Design

You know how I feel about flowers? They’re lovely ways to add color to your home, but I really don’t know what makes them beautiful together. A few days ago, if you asked me to go to a farmer’s market and put together a bouquet, I’d have been stumped. I wouldn’t know what colors complement each other, which size vases to use with which flowers, etc. That’s why I am still in disbelief that I made three bouquets Monday night in three hours! Granted, I made these in a class that provided me with step-by-step instructions and flowers, but now I’ve walked away with more knowledge from that one night than multiple years of me staring at bouquets in markets. I just had to share my excitement about the Chicago Flower School of Design (and *humblebrag* with photos of these bouquets).

Chicago School of Flower Design

Steve signed me up for the flower school as a Christmas gift. I’m DIYing our wedding flowers (with supervision from a professional), so he thought the class would be good practice for me. And he was right. The School of Flower Design is led by Michael Gaffney, a renowned floral designer who shared plenty of stories from elaborate weddings and catering to the stars. He opened the class explaining that flower design is like cooking. It’s about 10% creativity, and the rest is sticking to a “recipe.” Sure, the flowers or colors in a bouquet might change, but the key elements need to be there for it to be pleasing to the eye. Once he explained it like that, I was better able to follow his directions for the three bouquets we learned that night.

Chicago School of Flower Design

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Invested

winter vest

Well it’s back to tights for those of us in the Midwest, but I can’t really complain. Seventy degree weather in February is amazing until you realize why it’s 70 degrees. (Climate change, ya know?) Anyway, I still have some dress/skirt+tight combos I’m looking forward to wearing and sharing. I try my best to stretch out my fall/winter wardrobe into spring, a la here, to avoid feeling the need to purchase new spring clothes. (That didn’t stop me for shopping for my Charleston bachelorette, though. I thought this floral maxi was perfect!) What about you? What’s your cutoff for tights and other winter wear?

winter vest

By the way, the vest in this post is one that I hesitated to buy at first. Now, I can’t believe I ever had reservations! It’s the third time I’ve shared an outfit with it on the blog, and I’ve worn it countless other times IRL. Although this Express vest is no longer available, I’ve rounded up some similar vests below. I think it’d be worth investing in a lightweight option for spring. Khaki vests just add something to an outfit!

winter vestDoughnut Vaultwinter vest



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