Playing Catch Up

off the shoulder blouse

Things may have been quiet over here in blog world, but let me tell you, that doesn’t actually reflect my real life! I’ve certainly been neglecting posting content for a few weeks, but behind the scenes and in my personal life I’ve been making moves and planning for the future. Instead of focusing on outfit details today or musing about things about the web, I thought I’d share some updates on several aspects of my life. It’ll give you a peak into all of the dimensions of my life that I realized I may not always share. So please ask any questions you may have!

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Category: Style

Chicken Dinner for Two

This post has been compensated by Collective Bias, INC. and The Coca-Cola Company, all opinions are mine alone. #ServeWithACoke #Jewel #CollectiveBias

Coca-Cola Jewel Meals

I talk a lot about Steve’s and my relationship and how it’s changed since our wedding, but one thing I haven’t mentioned are how we cook for each other as a married couple. Frankly, because weeknight dinner isn’t together. Whenever I tell friends this they’re shocked. How could we live together and not make dinners for each other?! The fact of the matter is that Steve is a verrrry picky eater. I won’t go into his specific meal routine in this post (but I will definitely share it at a later time – it’s almost comical). All you need to know is that Steve eats the same thing every.single.night. And it’s always a single-serving chicken breast. So typically the only way for me to get him to switch up his meal and enjoy dinner with me is when we can compromise, and that usually still involves chicken. Thankfully, our apartment building is actually attached to a Jewel-Osco and we found a quick and delicious meal that we both agree on. Even better – no one has to do the cooking!

Coca-Cola Jewel Meals

I’ve turned Steve on to the deliciousness of rotisserie chickens through Jewel signature meal deals. We both agree on the main course (chicken), and then can split the options of sides as well as pick out a beverage to pair with it. Now that it’s summer, I love to serve the meal with a refreshing glass of Gold Peak® Diet Tea. It’s like a sweet tea but without all of the added sugar. Eating our rotisserie chicken together reminds me of dinners I used to have with my family when we just needed something on the table that was quick, and inexpensive. Best of all, it can usually stretch to be a few meals and repurposed into other recipes, one of which I share at the end of this post.

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Category: Recipe

Shopping Swimwear Online

swimwear on amazon

I rarely can relate to people who hate shopping for clothes. I know they get overwhelmed in stores, may not like dressing rooms, or don’t know how to shop sales, but that’s just not me! I still go in-store whenever I can to search for steals and see the true fit of a piece of clothing. However, there is one exception to my love of shopping in-stores: swimsuit shopping. As soon as I step in a dressing room and have to disrobe to nearly nothing, and try on suit after suit – hiking up the ones that don’t fit or fiddling with a suit until it does – I wish I wasn’t shopping anymore. Luckily, when it came time to find swimwear for my honeymoon – I was on the hunt for a white suit – I found another way to shop. For the first time, I scrolled through the swimwear on Amazon.  Continue reading


Category: Style

Cast Iron Skillet Recipe

cast iron skillet recipes

As soon as Steve and I started putting together our wedding registry I began dreaming about all of the new kitchen utensils and appliances I could add. I used to be a big cook (in fact it’s my goal for age 30 to get back into the hobby), and there are kitchen items I always felt like I was missing. One being a cast iron skillet. Never mind that I could only think of a few cast iron skillet recipes to try, I just assumed owning a cast iron skillet would open a world of possibilities. And oh, how it has. Continue reading

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Category: Recipe

Goals for My 30th Year

goals for age 30

Well my 30th birthday came and went yesterday (July 14) and it was relatively low-key, but just was what I had asked for. Despite not making any big plans, I did receive a lot of love from friends and family near and far. Every birthday I’m surprised and overwhelmed with the nice notes of birthday well wishes. It makes me feel so special and grateful for those I’m surrounded by. I always look forward to speaking with my mom, obviously, and yesterday called her to say thank you for the beautiful Flowers for Dreams bouquet she and my father sent me. I got off our call thinking about year 30 and how I plan to make it the best year it can be.

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My Top 5 from 29

Szink Week continues on the blog. Today I’m sharing a few of my favorite memories from year 29. Here’s hoping my 30th year is just as good!

So obviously I am going to say getting married is one of my favorite memories of year 29. The whole day was exactly as I’d planned it from start to finish! I am so lucky to have these memories with Steve.

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Dirty Thirty

30th birthday

I am so excited to share that this Friday is my 30th birthday! Birthdays are a really big thing to me and my friends and coworkers have come to find that out. They always brace themselves look forward to “Szink Week,” the week of endless celebrations. I have my mom to blame for starting that tradition: when I was 16 she gave me a small gift for 16 nights in a row. I decided to resurrect that when I moved to Chicago and had friends willing to go out several nights in a row “for my birthday.” Now, five years later, I try to spread out the love so I get the feeling of Szink Week without overburdening my friends. (Except maybe Steve, being my husband I don’t think he gets the luck of taking nights off.)

Dress via my Rent the Runway Unlimited subscription {I was so excited to have a reason to dress up you can, too! Get $30 off your first order by clicking here.} | Balloons via Amazon | Hair by Sara C at Bristle + Grace Salon

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Category: Style

Red, White and Blue Work Attire

Fourth of July Outfit

I’ve been loving reading everyone’s Fourth of July posts around the Interwebs. Sarah shared party inspiration (she threw a great fête last year), Emily posted several patriotic outfits, and Delish is just making my mouth water. In reading these, I am also getting super excited for the long weekend! With four days off, I feel like I have unlimited options for patriotic fun. What I don’t have are unlimited options for a good Fourth of July outfit. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but red isn’t really in my typical rotation. I did just buy an adorable block heel sandal to fix that, but they shoe is already sold out! Lucky for you this weekend is also a big one for sales in case you’re looking to spruce up your summer wardrobe. The block heel sandal I shared is from Banana Republic. While it’s sold out, there are plenty of similar shoes on the site that are an extra 50% off of sale!

Fourth of July Outfit Fourth of July Outfit

So back to ideas for a Fourth of July outfit, I thought now would be the perfect time to share work wear inspiration – that just happens to be red, white and blue. I found this Calvin Klein shift dress at TJMaxx, and bought it in two colors it was perfect. I love going into that store so much because it carries a lot of brands that I know fit me well, and often can get the same dress in multiple colors. The shoes in this outfit have quickly become this summer’s favorite. They are compliment-magnets and also super comfortable. Who would have thought? (Again, they’re from Banana Republic but sold out. Shop a very similar pair here.)

{similar} navy sheath dress – under $30! | Banana Republic – white denim jacket | verrrry similar gingham heels | ZAC Zac Posen striped purse via Rent the Runway or own| jewelry via Rocksbox – sign up for a first month free using code “SincerelyJennieXOXO”

Fourth of July Outfit Fourth of July Outfit

I did find one little gem of a Fourth of July outfit if you want to go back into the Sincerely, Jennie archives. Check this out! I loved the polka dot and polka dot combo. Sadly, I have no idea where this pair of wedges are now! Perhaps I should go check my storage unit (that thing’s a black hole)? Looks like I’m adding one more thing to my weekend itinerary. Hope you have a great, long weekend – and it doesn’t even actually matter what you’re wearing as long as you’re having fun!

Shop the look here

Wedding Wednesday: Get Your Guy Involved In Planning

how to get your groom involved in wedding planningOnce Steve and I got engaged the questions started flying at us: Did you set a date? What’s the venue? What do the bridesmaids’ dresses look like? I immediately felt overwhelmed by the thought of planning a wedding! And the feeling didn’t go away until the ceremony began. With all the details expected of couples these days – gift bags, favors, day-after brunches – it’s enough to make a girl lose her mind. Luckily, Steve was very involved in our planning process, a fact that made me feel grateful and appreciate him even more. But then, it was also something I expected of the him as a fiancé. The wedding was half his party, too. In fact, he’s the one who had some very particular requests like a craft beer selection at the bar. He was looking forward to the party aspect of the whole thing, while I was fretting over the decisions that had to be made to get us there.

The way we each went into the planning is something I hear from many women. The guys are looking forward to having a great time with friends and family. The brides are worried over costs and responsibilities. I thought it might be helpful for me to share tips on how to get your groom involved in wedding planning. I realize this topic or some of the tips may come off as sexist, which is not my intent. However, I know some people still have a sexist attitude toward wedding planning: that it’s the bride’s big day and she should do the work. I don’t agree with that, and if you’re engaged or have been, I bet you don’t either.

Here are my suggestions on how to get your groom involved in wedding planning:

1. Make wedding meetings fun, not a hassle. Maybe you want to meet the wedding planner Wednesday night, but that’s the night your guy already has plans with his bro. Instead of planning meetings for inconvenient times for one or both of you, try to make it a date night. Once you’re done with your venue walk through, go down the street to that new restaurant you’ve wanted to try. Or head to the brewery that carries the craft beer that will be served at your wedding. (Steve and I did that during one wedding planning trip and it was a great way to unwind.)

2. Give your groom responsibilities, but ones he can handle. During one linens meeting Steve was in, I noticed he had a dazed look in his eyes. I realized he had no idea what these “runners” were that we were discussing. Lesson learned, he wouldn’t be choosing our linens. However, there’s a lot Steve could, and did, do. He had an opinion on the beer and food served at the wedding, so I gave him the job of finalizing our catering contract. He also was a huge help the week before the big day once I gave him a list of places he needed run to simply to pick up decor I had already ordered and paid for.

3. Talk about costs and what goes into a wedding before you start planning. Toward the end of our wedding planning, Steve said if he’d known in advance how much work it was he would have eloped. Ugh, hello! That’s what I said the moment we got engaged. No, I truly wouldn’t have eloped, but there were other ways I envisioned the wedding because I knew it would cut back on costs and headaches. Though I was truly happy with the way it turned out, I wonder if it wouldn’t have been easier to reign Steve in had he had a better understanding of what it takes to make a wedding.

To help your guy understand what’s going to be required of the two of you, start by looking up average costs of weddings in your area or estimates for things he mentions he’d like to have. Will he budge on the video photobooth once he sees the cost? There’s one less vendor to coordinate, too. Is he really willing to spend $50 a head to feed those guys from his freshmen year dorm that he insists need to be there, although they haven’t talked in 10 years? I’m not saying you need to fight about every cost and what’s important to who, but it helps to see how every decision fits into the overall budget you two (hopefully) decided on.

4.Talk to your guy about details at other weddings. We started looking at other weddings with a different eye once our planning process began. After each wedding we debriefed on what elements we might want to incorporate into our own. Coming to an understanding of what one another liked and expected to see at our own wedding helped us plan out all of our needs even more.

how to get your groom involved in wedding planning

So no, there will probably never be a smooth wedding planning process (if you’ve had one, I’m jealous), but I can say that having Steve’s support during ours made me a lot less stressed. I can only imagine what my stress levels would have been had Steve not helped! I truly hope you can get your groom involved in wedding planning, so you can both look back at your special day and know you did it together.

Did you miss the beginning of our love story? Check out:

Photos by Tonya Espy Photography

Chicago Summer Bucket List

Chicago summer bucket list

This past weekend Steve and I visited friends of ours to say goodbye before their move to Ohio. We are sad to have our good friends leave the city, and it also got us thinking about what’s next for us. In the car Steve asked me for my five-year plan and I jokingly said “I can give you my five-week plan.” We obviously didn’t get married without at least discussing our future, but that’s also not something we can decide in a day. Until then, we’ll be working on our Chicago summer bucket list. Keep reading to see what we hope to do in the next few months.

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