Talking About What’s “Real”

SheIn tweed blazer

SheIn tweed blazer | Express silky v-neck blouse | Express “Queen Bee” flats | J. Crew Gigi pants

On this site I try to always share outfits, products, reviews, etc. that are real. Admittedly I often have to use the weekend to take photos of my life, so sometimes the clothes featured weren’t actually worn that day other than to capture them with a camera. However, I can assure you they were worn at some other time as a real outfit. The photos I’m sharing today may be my realest ones yet though, because this is a true work out and a c/o jacket from a brand I actually shop! Thank you to my coworker who ran outside with me on a chilly day to capture what I wore in our office, which has a business-casual dress code. This tweed blazer is perfect for work appropriate layering during cooler weather.

SheIn tweed blazer

Talking about “real,” I had a friend compliment this tweed blazer and when I told her where it was from she asked “Is that actually a real store?” Yes, it is. I’ve shopped SheIn off and on for years and would recommend it now more than ever. The way I describe it is it’s like shopping those mall brands with good deals and trendy attire, only all of the shopping is done online. It’s actually easier than shopping in stores because I filter the sizes, styles and prices so I can shop successfully. This past August, I shopped an end of season sale to update my wardrobe in the Indian Summer. I bought a lot of clothes, and pre-paid the small fee for return shipping just in case.  There were some things that didn’t work out, but luckily it was easy and cheap to send them back.

SheIn tweed blazer

I feel lucky I get to show you my real outfits from a real brand I work with: SheIn. I know some other bloggers who are also a part of their affiliate program and recently got some adorable winter items. Sarah shared the cutest cape coat and on-trend pearl sweater with me. And with all of the holiday sales coming up, now is definitely the time to try shopping the site!

Express flats

Oh, and how about these bee-utiful shoes? They’re bound to go on sale again soon, so keep an eye out.



Category: Style

Sephora Insider Sale

Sephora VIB Sale

Now through Wednesday, Sephora is hosting its annual sale for beauty insiders. I actually just (embarrassingly) reached VIB status after spending so much on all of the makeup for my wedding as well as the hair and face products I love. So I received 20% off when I went into the store over the weekend and stocked up on my favorite items. I figured now was as good of a time as any to purchase beauty products I’d be buying at some point soon anyway.

Before my wedding I had shopped beauty brands carried at Sephora, but I still was also buying drugstore products because of the lower cost. While I still use drugstore brands, I’m really glad I invested in better makeup for my wedding – even if it was more expensive. The makeup lasted through my special day, and now I have the products to use daily and for special occasions. I’m sharing some of my favorites below with a short description on why I think you should invest in them too and take advantage of the annual Sephora VIB sale. I’ve also shared a list you can shop below with all of these items as well as what I bought for my DIY wedding makeup. Let me know if you have any questions!

Murad Skin Perfecting Lotion – Blemish Prone/Oily Skin – This is a perfect example of making the switch from drugstore brands. I started using Murad products about two years ago after a visit to an esthetician. She was trying to sell me on really expensive products she’d used on my face and when I said I really couldn’t spend that much money, she leveled with me. She said if I couldn’t get the products she was suggesting, that Murad is the one product line she’d actually suggest a client get at a beauty store. I’ve tried several of their products and continue to love how they protect and improve my skin.

Urban Decay Naked3 Palette – When I purchased this palette it was my biggest beauty splurge to date. I did so much research on it and asked a lot of people’s opinions. I ended up getting it because you only get married once, right? Well, not only did it stay on all day and night at my wedding, I also love all of the shades for daytime or a night out. These palettes are all that they promise to be, definitely worth the cost!

Urban Decay Vice Lipstick – I love this lipstick so much I led my girlfriend to the display at Sephora over the weekend. There are a lot of shades in the vice collection and you can find matte or shiny options. I wore “TMI” for my wedding and received compliments on the shade, of all of the things for me to be complimented on that day. It must have been really nice!

Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Oil Mini – I finish my nightly routine with this makeup remover. The mini size is my favorite so I can travel with it to weddings, etc.

Alterna Haircare CAVIAR Anti-Aging® Replenishing Moisture Shampoo \ Alterna Haircare CAVIAR Anti-Aging® Replenishing Moisture Conditioner – I shared in a recent post why I love this shampoo and conditioner so much, so here’s a reminder that you should try it if you’re looking for softer, stronger hair.

Alterna Haircare CAVIAR CC Cream for Hair 10-in-1 Complete Correction Mini – While shampoo and conditioner can really help improve your hair health, don’t forget that was you put in it to protect it from heat tools, humidity, etc. is important, too. I really like this hair cream to help smooth my curly hair when I straighten it.

DRYBAR Sparkling Soda Shine Mist – This shine mist is the last step in my hair routine. Does it make my hair shiny? I’m not quite sure if it’s the placebo effect, but I like to think so! If nothing else, Steve loves how it makes my hair smell so I keep using it.

Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer – Okay, so this is definitely a wishlist item. I actually upgraded my blow dryer recently and it works great and is a lower price point. But I have had the experience of a Dyson hair dryer thanks to Goldplaited, and it’s everything the brand promises. It’s not noisy and it dries hair quickly, cutting down on frizz. Definitely a great investment if you’re ready!

Want more? Here are the products listed above as well as additional beauty products I use and purchased at Sephora:


Category: Beauty, DIY

This Weekend

Sincerely Jennie Trina Turk Coat 1Trina Turk Kendall Coat | Express booties (less than $30!) | Earrings via Rocksbox (using code “SincerelyJennieXOXO” for a free first month)

Today could not have started off any better. I had Taylor Swift’s new album downloaded on my phone and Chicago saw its first snow! I know a lot of people groaned when they looked out the window, but I felt so excited. I love winter, a lot. Steve’s and my first date was in winter (February, to be exact) and I told him near the beginning of our time together that I really, really liked Chicago winters. He still likes to laugh about that and how he thought “Who is this crazy person?” Sure, winter can be a bit too long. And it can be depressing when there are 20 cloudy days in a row. But give me cold air, snow and sun and I’ll be happy.

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Wicked Wedding Fun in Boston

cold-shoulder dress

This past weekend was Steve’s and my final wedding of 2017. It was his cousin’s wedding, and several aunts and uncles asked us how many wedding we’ve been to this year. We did count and we’ve been to eight. I think that’s pretty par for the course in your late 20s with a big family, but everyone else was really surprised! We’re certainly excited traveling for weddings is over for now (and just in time for the holidays). Of course the trips we did have were good because we got to celebrate our loved ones getting married. And some of the weddings we went to this past year brought us to cool cities in one of my favorite places to visit: the east coast. We got to go to Philly and Boston, where these photos were taken. I wanted to share some of the fun we had out east, as well as one of my Nordstrom sale purchases. This cold-shoulder dress is out of stock, but here is one that’s very similar as well as other options at the end of this post.

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I Vest I’ll Try It

SheIn belted vest

I’m always looking for a deal, so when SheIn reached out to me to see if I’d like to shop their website, I was game. In fact, a few months earlier I purchased several items from the shop in hopes of getting me through an Indian Summer. I love SheIn’s low prices and trendy styles. I was also really excited to see the site now offers free returns if you purchase the shipping insurance. I wasn’t at all nervous to order what caught my eye, knowing I could just send it back if it wasn’t the perfect fit. When I shopped the site most recently, I realized it was the perfect opportunity to get an item of clothing I’d been dying for but didn’t want to spend a ton on. This belted vest was just that item.

SheIn belted vest {under $20!} | TJMaxx – turtleneck with bell sleeves {comes in 4 colors} | Nordstrom – Spanx faux leather leggings {omg they’re like budda!} | Kate Spade puppy purse | Manicure – OPI Rebel Without a Moss

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Category: Style

Musings & Links

Mojo Spa

I’ve been pretty quiet around here recently. With all of the natural disasters, Vegas attack and Harvey Weinstein revelations, it’s been hard to want to write anything or even pay attention to this little site. There are so many other places to turn our attention, and I was happy to do so Saturday night watching and donating to Somos Una Voz. I thought it was pretty amazing to see some of today’s biggest stars come together and raise funds and awareness for Puerto Rico. It was just one great event in recent weeks deserving of our attention, including Mean Girls for Las Vegas and the #MeToo movement. It’s so sad that heartbreaking news has become our reality, and that the silver lining has to be people coming together to grieve and fight, but at least there are those people to keep us optimistic.

Beyond those musings, I wanted to write on the blog today to share some links, some important some not so much, that you might be interested in light of the recent news and to escape from it.

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InMovement Standing Desk – a Back-saver!

standing desk review

Each year in my 20s seemed to come with more aches and pains. If you’ve hit your  20s/30s, have you had that experience, too? It all came to a head a few years ago when I threw my back out. I simply worked out one night and then the next day I was stuck on the couch! Not something I ever thought could happen to me as a fit 20-something. (You might remember me talking about this before.) Since then I’ve tried to be more conscience of ways to protect my back. I knew a standing desk could really help, both my back health and overall health, but was intimidated about my choices. There are a lot to choose from at several price points, and I didn’t want to make the wrong decision. Luckily, InMovement reached out to me about writing a standing desk review and I’m excited to share the desk I received has been a perfect fit! Keep reading for more details, it might be just what you need for your workday.

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Category: Professional

Considerations for Planning a Long Distance Wedding

planning a long distance weddingIt’s time for another #WeddingWednesday! Lately I’ve been feeling a bit nostalgic for wedding planning (I never thought I’d say that!). I originally wanted a fall wedding because I love the flowers that are in-season and the crisp, cool weather. But one of Steve’s few requests was to not plan a wedding that could conflict with football games, so we had a spring wedding. Now seeing everyone’s fall hues and sunflower bouquets, I am getting a little jealous!

I also mentioned feeling nostalgic because there was one part in particular of planning a long distance wedding that I really enjoyed with Steve. That was planning a long-distance wedding. Our wedding was about five hours from Chicago, so we designated a few weekends to drive to Dayton, Ohio, and do some in-person meetings and logistics. I cherish memories of those weekends because it was just the two of us – neither of our families are from Dayton – and we were acting as a team. I went to college in the city but a lot has changed, so in between vendor meetings we explored the city for a good cup of coffee or took a break at a brewery.

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Sincerely Sharing: Hair Care

For years I’ve strived to have long, frizz-free blonde hair. As you can guess, it hasn’t always been that easy to achieve. In elementary school I had a wave to my hair, but then in middle school I stepped out of the shower one day and it was if my hair texture had transformed overnight. I suddenly had curls like never before. I had no clue what to do! I tried my best to tame my frizzy curls or find styles to pull my hair back into (butterfly clips helped a lot – remember those?). For special events I can remember sitting on the toilet seat for an hour while my mom tried desperately to give me a good at-home blowout.

I started high school in a new city and one of the cute boys on my bus said because of my hair he was going to start calling me “Frizzie, like Lizzie McGuire.” It might sound crazy but I was kind of flattered. He was paying attention to me, who cared why, and named me after one of my favorite TV shows! Luckily that’s the way I took it, instead of being humiliated. Still, I didn’t want frizzy hair forever. It was fate that the following summer a friend introduced me to a tool that I didn’t know was available: a straightener. My mom immediately got me my own and my days of styling my hair 2-3 times a week began. It even earned me the senior superlative of “Best Hair” in high school.

I’m sharing all of this because my hair’s health and style has obviously long been something I’ve cared about. Over the years I feel like I’ve tried all the hair care tips (at-home blowouts, changing shower products, multiple hairdressers), but somehow this year I feel like it’s all come together. My hair has never felt healthier and I have a great stylist I wanted to share with my Chicago peeps. Keep reading to learn more about my upkeep, favorite products and styling technique to turn this at-time wild rats nest into a sleek ‘do.

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Category: Beauty

Flower Power

Chicago flower crown

I know all eyes are on fall, but NYFW has me thinking about spring again – and getting excited for florals! I feel like I gravitate toward the same designers’ collections every year, and this year was no exception. I love the femininity and lightness to J. Mendel’s collection (plus the setting looked heavenly). Diana von Furstenberg continues to be a favorite designer who makes me excited to be a powerful woman, and Christina Siriano also does that for me! Not only are these designers inspiring, they’re also accessible. That’s important to me because I don’t consider myself very high fashion, just a lover of clothes, fabrics and cuts that speak to me! I recently came across Laura Hutton’s quote “Fashion is what you’re offered four times a year by a designer, style is what you choose,” and I don’t think it could be have been said any better.

Chicago flower crown

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Category: Style