Save the Date

creative save the date

Monday marked three months until Steve’s and my wedding. Eek! One thing on our list that we’re currently executing are our invitations. The invites will be quite different from the save the dates we designed as a couple on Photoshop. Our invitations will take a traditional route, while Steve and I put our heads together to make what we felt was a creative save the date. We wanted something that showcased us as a couple. We also wanted it to involve social media.

Social media/our online presence played a large part in our relationship since the beginning. We met on OKCupid, moved our conversations to Gmail, then text, then to in-person. In the early flirtatious days we often commented on each other’s social posts. (This was back when writing on Facebook walls was cool. We cringe when some of our public messages show up on the site’s “On This Day” feature.) Now, between my blog and Steve’s job at a social media agency, there’s not a night that doesn’t go by that we’re not sharing social posts with each other on the couch. Therefore when it came time to make a creative save the date, we felt it was time to unveil our bitmojis in the form of a Snapchat mockup. We hired Steve’s coworker to do the art. I have to say, I like the artistic license she took with the flower in my hair.

Our friends caught on to the cards right away. Our parents, well, they just complimented us on such cute cartoon characters. We were really happy with our design turned out, and I like seeing that it sticks out on our refrigerator among all of the more traditional save the dates. The point of this Wedding Wednesday post is to share that you can bring your own personality into weddings. And it can begin with the first branded piece you share publicly with your guests. I’ve pulled some other creative save the date cards as inspiration. Continue after the jump to get your creative juices flowing.

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Derma E Charcoal Product Review

Sincerely Jennie Derma E Charcoal

For a long time I wasn’t someone who was clued into the latest in skincare advances or even how to take care of my own skin. Until about a year ago, I used the same cleanser that I’d used on and off since high school. But after a visit to an esthetician taught me that the drugstore cleanser may be hurting my combination skin – not helping it – I started looking for better options to address breakouts and dry patches. During my research, I became really curious about the benefits of products that use charcoal. How could something I associate with as being dirty (I can just picture it burnt on a grill) help your skin? I was really excited to learn more through Derma E’s new purifying products.

Charcoal Formulas

Derma E sent me a Purifying Daily Detox Scrub and Purifying 2-in-1 Charcoal Mask. According to the company, both formulas work like magnets to lift dirt, oils and toxins from the skin. The formulas also contain marine algae extracts to give you that radiant glow. The ingredients and promise of the products sounded great, and I couldn’t wait to try them!

Sincerely Jennie Derma E Charcoal

The Purifying 2-in-1 Charcoal Mask was actually the more impressive of the two. The first time I did the mask I left it on for the longest amount of time recommended, and after I washed it off I realized I should have been more cautious. My face was red! I went to bed worried I might break out, but when I woke up my skin looked cleaner and fresher than it ever had overnight. The mask is a great way to treat yourself with an at-home beauty routine (but I recommend testing a patch of skin first).

What I liked so much about the Purifying Daily Detox Scrub is that it is an exfoliant, but also a gentle formula so my skin doesn’t feel too dried out after using it. It’s been a great complement to the other products recommended by my esthetician. I just feel really fresh after using it.

Thank you to Derma E and BrandBacker for giving me the chance to review these products. Although I received them care of, the opinions expressed are my own and honest. 




Sunny and Sixty

Chicago palm leaf mural

So this little twirl above sums up how I felt about the weekend. Chicagoans are going wild for the 60 degree weather. Even better, it’s supposed to continue through the beginning part of this week. Although Steve and I were inside for a large part of the day Saturday, we still got to enjoy the sun. We walked outside during our lunch break at Pre-Cana (Catholic marriage preparation) and went on an evening jog. On Sunday, we planned brunch and shopping on Milwaukee Ave so we could stroll outside for a better part of the day. Really, it was just such an amazing reminder about what’s to come in a few months!

Sweater – Banana Republic | Skirt – Banana Republic {similar} | Shoes – via Nordstrom Last Chance | FAVORITE red lipstick Lorac Alter Ego in Pin Up | Photos by Sarah

Chicago palm leaf mural

Since the weather has been warmer, I’ve been mixing clothing from different seasons. I purchased so many skirts last summer that I’m trying to find ways to decrease the cost per wear by pairing them with lightweight sweaters. You might remember this printed Banana Republic skirt from a previous post. I absolutely loved how a jean jacket could dress it down in summer, and now a gray sweater makes it a little more appropriate for this time of year when the temps haven’t risen past 70 degrees yet. (Even if the Chicago palm leaf mural leads you to believe otherwise.)

Chicago palm leaf mural

Oh, and if you’re wondering what Pre-Cana is, which I mentioned above, it’s a requirement for any couples getting married in the Catholic church. Steve and I chose a course in a Chicago suburb because the day-long class fit with our schedule. We had no idea that on Feb. 18 the class would also conflict with one of the nicest days of the winter! Luckily the teacher sensed we were all itching to be outside and let us out a little early. It felt really nice to have spent that important time with Steve, and then even better to end the day with a jog together. It’s something I rarely do with Steve, but who could pass up spending more quality time with the fiancé on a sunny day?

Chicago palm leaf mural



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My Heart on My Leggings

LuLaRoe leggings

Happy Valentine’s Day! This is really one of my favorite days each year, and not just because I get to wear a plethora of pink. I love all of the love in the air, whether it’s between a romantic couple, friends, coworkers or even just for yourself. It was fun today as I talked to coworkers about their plans for Valentine’s Day, it reminded me of my Vday evening five years ago. One coworker said she was treating herself to a gourmet meal and wine. Five years ago I also treated myself to dinner – albeit Kentucky Fried Chicken – and a movie on TV, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. I had just started texting with someone I’d met on OKCupid (the website, this was before apps). He asked me what I was doing that night and I shot back a photo of my KFC. It actually really appealed to him; he took it to mean I could enjoy greasy fast food once in a while.

The texting was intriguing at the time, but little did I know it would start a long standing joke between Steve and me, that we should get KFC on Valentine’s Day. Yep, that guy was Steve. On that solo VDay I had no clue that a guy I hadn’t even met in person yet was going to become my fiancé.

LuLaRoe leggings

I’ll try not to write too sappy of a post because I probably border on that often in my Wedding Wednesday musings. I just want to say thank you to Steve for everything he brings to our relationship: his love of travel, upbeat personality even when I have a frown, and nurturing of friendships, to name a few. He helps ease my naturally stressed out self, especially during our wedding planning. That’s not to say he’s perfect or we’re perfect, but we can take the unexpected and frustrating and face it head on to turn it instead into something happier. And that’s the thing I like most about our relationship.

LuLaRoe leggings

I also want to say thanks to Steve for his support of my blogging and photo taking. He selflessly snapped photos of me in my Valentine’s Day themed LuLaRoe leggings while we were on vacation this past week. (But the photos waited until after he was treated to a New Glarus beer, of course.) I gotta tell you, what they say about these LuLaRoe leggings are true. They feel like butter. I’m super happy to have them in such an adorable print, too. (Yes, I wore my LuLaRoe leggings to work today.) So back on track, thank you Steve, and happy Valentine’s Day! Can’t wait to eat our KFC tonight!




A Watch for My Valentine (& a Giveaway!)

men's watch

This year, because of all of the big expenses Steve and I have in our lives with the upcoming wedding, we agreed not to exchange gifts for Valentine’s Day. We did still take a little getaway this past weekend, during which Steve surprised me with the thoughtful gift of a massage certificate. Luckily, I had already partnered with Jord and chosen a men’s watch for Steve. He’s quite the fan of watches and I loved that the wooden ones on Jord weren’t like anything he’s purchased for himself.

men's watch

Like I said, Steve loves watches, and he also loves cultivating his own personal style. It’s been fun to see his style evolve since we started dating four years ago. There were visits to the Trunk Club where he learned the value of layering, and online shopping sessions together to grow a professional wardrobe for work. To be honest, I think a part of his paying more attention to his attire is because I sometimes put him in front of the camera as my blogger fiancé, haha! Because I know Steve likes infusing unique items into a classic outfit, I thought the Conway Series walnut and jet black Jord watch would best fit Steve’s style. And I was right! The first day he wore it, the watch paired perfectly with his jean-on-jean combo and cognac work boots.

men's watchmen's watch

Men’s Watch Giveaway for Your Valentine

And now, it’s your chance to enter to win a Jord men’s watch for your Valentine! All you have to do is visit the link below and fill out your name and email to be entered to win a $100 gift code to use on the JORD site! One person will win, but everyone who enters receives a code worth $25.00 at the end of the contest! Here is the contest link: https://www.woodwatches.com/g/sincerelyjennie_.

A few deats: The contest will close February 26 at 11:59 pm. The $100 and $25 Gift Codes will expire April 30, 2017.
men's watch

So happy {almost} Valentine’s Day to Steve, the guy who always puts a smile on my face! Looking forward to tomorrow and our dinner of Kentucky Fried Chicken (that’s a story for another time)!

Watch Gift Ideas



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Wedding Wednesday: Being In the Wedding

how to be a good bridesmaid 1

In continuing with my wedding Wednesday theme, I am writing about another aspect of weddings today. The aspect of being a bridesmaid. I’ve been in a few weddings, the most recent one being my friend {and former blog partner} Amanda’s Chicago wedding. The day was just so much fun and special – I was honored to be help her and Brian celebrate their love.

Going into their wedding day, I had the mindset that it was Amanda’s day. I tried to ignore all of my little concerns (would my curls stay? would Steve remember the gift?) to make sure all of the bride’s were addressed. In the end, I would like to think I succeeded! (I even took it upon myself to help Amanda in to her shoes, that’s me up top.) There are so many ways to be a good bridesmaid. As I’ve already learned from my bridesmaids, it’s not all about helping the bride into her dress. Today I’m sharing five tips on how to be a good bridesmaid, as well as some gorgeous photos from Amanda and Brian’s big day. Keep reading for both!

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Donut Make Me Angry

graphic sweatshirt

How about that football game last night, huh? Just kidding, I didn’t really care about the game! I go to Super Bowl parties for the commercials and halftime show, like I’m sure half of America does. My former roommate hosted a get together that Steve and I attended and there was no pressure to wear team colors or get dressed up (thank goodness!). My friend and her husband both wore their Cleveland Browns apparel and workout pants. I followed suit in Lululemon yoga pants and this graphic sweatshirt. The perfect, comfortable outfit for all the French bread pizza and guac I consumed.

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This Weekend

pompom hat

It’s been quite a few weeks since I’ve done my Friday links roundup but a fan – okay, a friend – asked me to bring it back so I obliged. Emily, I hope you enjoy this, and I hope everyone else finds an article that gives them inspiration. (I’ve been holding on to a few of these for weeks, so my apologies if you’re already seen one or two!) So without further adieu, this weekend why don’t you…

  1. Laugh at these Jersey Shore memes paired with corresponding movie titles.
  2. Plan your next vacation to the Seven Magic Mountains, what looks like an amazing art installation! 
  3. Read a funny article on Racked about the business casual of our teenage dreams.
  4. Start shopping clothes from one of my favorite shows (GG2D) with this helpful Worn on TV website.
  5. Get in the kitchen and make zoodles with a creamy and healthy sauce – I made it and loved it!
  6. Begin planning your date night outfits for when it gets a little warmer, I love Sarah’s flirty OTS top and ripped jeans.
  7. Escape reality for a while with a help of these made-to-make-you-feel-great TV shows.
  8. Start shopping for wedding season early with fashionable (and inexpensive) dresses sold on Amazon. You won’t believe what’s on there!
  9. Get ready for a major closet upgrade – Olivia Palermo is designing a capsule collection for Banana Republic.
  10. Warm up your vocal chords and queue up Netflix to play one of these (subjectively) best musicals.

 




Layering Pieces

suede vest

Yesterday I shared top posts from the past year in honor of my blogiversary. Today I wanted to share a personal favorite post that I hadn’t published yet! Although this outfit was snapped in the fall, I love that it would be versatile enough for almost three seasons, with lots of other ways to style the suede vest beyond jeans and a T. (In fact, here is the suede vest with a skirt.) This vest was a bit out of the norm for me, as it’s more boho than my typical preppy/classic look. But I think it’s always good to have a few pieces in your closet that can change the look and feel of others pairings. This vest elevates jeans and black shirt from bleh to boho-wow!

Suede vest via Express {similar} | jeans – similar {both from Old Navy} | very similar brown booties {both from F21} | hat c/o POPSUGAR Must Have Subscription Box

suede vestsuede vest

You might be noticing that my hair seems a bit longer here than in other photos you’ve seen. If so, you’re right about that! I purchased extensions to use in wedding photos and have had fun playing with them in everyday life. There are a lot of good wig/extension shops in the Chicago area and once I started talking about my extensions I’ve heard lots of other brides-to-be, etc., shop them for their hairstyles. I won’t bore you with more details now, but I feel a blog post coming on!

suede vestsuede vest

Thank you all for following along with my blogiversary week. Don’t forget to follow on Instagram for a giveaway as my way of saying “thank you!”



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Top Posts in Year 2

In honor of a second year of trying to create quality, engaging client for you all, I thought I’d revisit the five posts readers seem to love the most. Take a look of the top blog posts to see if you missed one or if you’d add another to the category. And, thanks again for following along! I hope to make year 3 even better, so feel free to comment with what you’d like to see.

  1. Kylie Cosmetics Lip KitKylie Jenner Lip Kit ReviewKylie Cosmetic lip kits were huge in 2016, and I drank the Kool-aid. I purchased a lip kit in the color Kristen and of course wanted to share the experience with my readers! This post continues to drive traffic to Sincerely, Jennie, no doubt as more and more people search for reviews of Kylie’s products. Read it yourself to see if a Kyle Cosmetic lip kit is worth it.
  2. Seche Vive Instant Gel Effect Top CoatSeche Vive Top Coat ReviewI do my own manicures at home about once a week, so I’m always on the hunt for new products or polishes to help the color last. I have tried a few at-home gels in a Mani Monday series, and this has been my favorite. Read the blog post for more information about what to expect.
  3. Birds of a FeatherFlamingo Wall ChicagoBloggers flocked to this flamingo wall as soon as it was painted in Chicago, and I was admittedly one of them. This blog post – in which I blend in with my bright surroundings – was for my 29th birthday. I still love this wall, and smile every time I pass the cheerful mural.
  4. Sincerely, Reading – Lessons from Madame ChicMadame Chic Book ReviewI’m happy to see that one of the “Sincerely, Reading” book reviews is a top post. It’s nice to know there are other avid readers out there! Sincerely, Reading is hosted by me or another blogger and highlights a recent good read. Comb through the series to add to your book list, or feel free to reach out if you’d like to write a review.
  5. Rental ReviewsMy review of clothing and accessory rental services continues to be a top blog post for a second year in a row. It’s easy to see why, renting items helps save money and offers so many amazing designer pieces! I keep this post updated as I try other services or leave ones. Check it out if you’re curious about any clothing rental services.


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