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.

Continue reading




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.
  5. What Watch Crappens: After watching nearly all of the Bravo shows, you wouldn’t think I’d then need to relive them through a Podcast, too. But that’s what I do. These two men recap Bravo shows the day after they air. My favorite parts of listening to their show are voices they use to make fun of the reality stars, which sound eerily alike the Bravolebrities’ real voices!

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.


2 Comments

Tags: ,

Category: This Weekend


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

Continue reading



1 Comment

Tags: ,

Category: DIY


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



4 Comments

Tags: ,

Category: Style


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.

Continue reading




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



3 Comments

Tags: ,

Category: Style


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



1 Comment

Tags:

Category: Style