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Warning!  Post from an intern ahead.  Post from an intern that has never blogged before.  (Oh dear.)

This is Susan, on of Jess’ interns for this summer.  Stephanie (the other wonderful intern) and I are currently working on Studio1423, the Jess L.C. Etsy line.  Studio1423 is your source for “vintage” Jess L.C. pieces, prototypes for future lines, and stylish one of a kind pieces.

Thrifty shopping suggestion!  Do you like the look of the new Astor St. collection? (I, for one, am a bit obsessed with owning the two-toned cluster bib necklace in Strawberry.  And the bead strand in Shore!  Actually, I could probably keep going and name everything.)   Well our Etsy shop has a few prototype earrings with the same lovely dyed jade beads.  They’re wonderfully bright and flirty.  This is a great way to get a similar look for a lot less!  (And they’re one of a kind too.)

Soon we’ll be posting on items in the shop that Stephanie and I have come up with together.  Hopefully you’ll see a bit of our personal preferences combined with the look of Jess L.C.  (Stephanie has a style that’s very casual and chic, a perfect fit for the brand.  My style is… well quite frankly my style is a bit ADD at times, but I hope that isn’t overwhelmingly apparent.)

Well!  I hope this wasn’t too painful for all of you.  Hopefully this weekend there will be another post with more information on Studio1423, as well as a little introduction to the internship team.  I’m looking forward to sharing with you all, and I hope you have a wonderful remainder of the week!

free garage sale day two – tops

June 30th, 2009   |   Life

freegaragesalelogoWow! Wow, wow! So yesterday’s Free Garage Sale Day One left me with just three items left for grabs! Check them out in case they have your name all over them. Seriously guys, this is too awesome. I can’t wait to open this up to everyone’s exfoliations. Everyday people will be able to scroll through awesome items to get for free (excluding shipping) on Makeunder. Ah, it’s a dream come true for me.

If you want to get a head start on the Free Garage Sale action, send me pictures of your gently used goods and I’ll post them this Friday for the End of the Week Exfoliation and post them next week in the Free Garage Sale goodies.


Today’s Free Garage Sale theme is tops and shirts. I have a lot of these here so stick with me. And chime in if you see something (or several somethings) you need. The details of the sale are reprinted below.


8. Pink 3/4 sleeve v-neck button up sweater size small, 100% cotton Congrats to Katie!


9. EXPRESS brown plunging v-neck sweater with ribbed collar, cuffs and waist band, size small, Rayon/Nylon/Spandex Congrats, Jill!


10. Coral short sleeve top with layer fabric on bust area size small  (from Antropologie) Congrats, Nicole!


11. Gap stretch short sleeve cream/white sweater size small, cotton/nylon/spandex/acrylic Congrats, Melissa!


12. Zara navy blue long sleeve turtleneck size medium, Rayon/Nylon/Spandex Congrats to Katie!


13. L.O.G.G. (H&M) long sleeve oatmeal turtle neck size small, Wool/Nylon/Cashmere


14. Black 3/4 length sleeve shirt, size medium, Nylon Congrats to Lisa!


15. Peach Gap long sleeve sweater size small, 100% cotton Congrats to Lisa!


16. J.Crew long sleeve cream sweater with gold button embellishments ribbed collar, cuffs, and waistband, size small, Merino wool/Viscose/Cashmere Congrats, Nicole!

The [Free] Garage Sale Details

Here’s how the (super simple) process will work:

  1. When you see something you need, use, or love, post a comment including the item number(s) you would like. (The first comment wins, and you can pick multiple items!)
  2. I will email you directly to get your address.
  3. To cover the shipping costs of this massive Free Garage Sale, I am asking that each person sends me $5 (domestic shipping) via PayPal. And if you order more than one thing, it’s still just $5 per shipment, you won’t pay more.
  4. Once I get the $5 in PayPal, I will ship your Free Garage Sale items via the USPS First Class Mail.


Ever heard of Mike Michalowicz? I first learned about him on The Big Idea on CNBC (I’m still missing that show by the way… come back on the air!). He has written a book called The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur. I have found his short videos including today’s about limiting beliefs pretty helpful. The video is longer than average (20 minutes), but it did have some great advice I found useful for myself (ahem, #3 and #5…).

Since I know many of you are also designers, self-employed folk, or want to one day be there, you might want to check it out too. Let me know what you think!

the free garage sale: day one

June 29th, 2009   |   ExfoliatingWardrobe

freegaragesalelogoAh, a fresh week! I hope you had a great weekend. I definitely needed some days off to relax and get my mojo back. And now it’s time to start the Free Garage Sale I videoed about to work here on MakeunderMyLife.

The way I see it, many of us have more than what we need/use/love and this extra ‘stuff’ can cause stress. Meanwhile there are others of us who love, need, or can use those same items. So lets give all that ‘stuff’ new life!

Check below to see the first batch of goodies. Next week, I plan on including your exfoliations and free garage sale items to the Free Garage Sale.

The [Free] Garage Sale Details

Here’s how the (super simple) process will work:

  1. When you see something you need, use, or love, post a comment including the item number(s) you would like. (The first comment wins, and you can pick multiple items!)
  2. I will email you directly to get your address.
  3. To cover the shipping costs of this massive Free Garage Sale, I am asking that each person sends me $5 (domestic shipping*) via PayPal. And if you order more than one thing, it’s still just $5 per shipment, you won’t pay more.
  4. Once I get the $5 in PayPal, I will ship your Free Garage Sale items via the USPS First Class Mail.

THE [FREE] GARAGE SALE: home goods


1. Light blue teapot with words written in brown; Espresso, Kona, Café, Mocha, etc. Congrats to Erica!

2. Light green tea cup with painted flowers and leaves Congrats to Kelly!


3. Sage green pillow 13″ x 19″ Congrats to Janeen!


4. White circle pillow with green leaves and pink flower (vintage material) Congrats to Megan!


5. Glass bowl with raised engravings, base 5.5″, top/opening 10.5″


6. Vintage Linen table cloth Congrats, Jessica!


7. Carmel Apple Pops (28)

Stay tuned tomorrow for shirts and sweaters!

*If you are international, I will check to see how much shipping will cost and email you the correct amount.

Special thanks to Stephanie who helped make this garage sale happen smoothly!



Good morning! First, let me start by announcing the winner of this June’s End of the Week Exfoliation and Giveaway Giveaway. Jill, from The Good Life For Less is lucky number 5! Her prize is the adorable white blossom corsage brooch from AAliciaAccessories in London. Congratulations, Jill! The new Giveaway Giveaway prize for July will be announced next week, so stay tuned.

I hope you have a great weekend planned. I myself will be hitting the beach with Erwin and friends. Anyone else doing the same?

The End of the Week Exfoliation


This week I’m exfoliating these adorable pearl earrings, perfect for a young lady. They are in perfect condition and have real pearls and 14k gold posts. Check out the Free Garage Sale next week to snag these pretties for someone you know!


Happy Thursday, everyone! This week has been full of buzz on MakeunderMyLife; from the video post announcing the free garage sale to the rather ‘intense’ (it’s a relative term) debate about the Pride and Prejudice films. Today, we have another killer DESIGN YOUR LIFE interview with blogger and fashion maven Jessica of What I Wore.

Earlier this month, Jessica donned the Astor St. Cluster Bib Necklace and made the homepage of Jess LC (I wrote about it on the blog here). I have so much respect for Jessica and what she has been able to accomplish with her blog, and her style sense has actually inspired me to be more creative in my own closet! So of course I wanted to peek inside her mind and see what intentions created her blogging (full-time) career and unique style.

After reading her goals, it’s clear that she really does get her joy from within and stays true to herself. I’d imagine those two traits alone help her follow her passions to such a high level. And not to taking things personally is something I am definitely adding to my intentions as well.

Practice gratitude.


The more grateful you are for what you already have, the more blessings you see all over the place.  I constantly remind myself what I am grateful for, from the most basic “I have feet to stand on” to “I am a talented and wonderful person”. Its important to remember all of the really great things we have in our lives– and when you focus on those things, you receive even more blessings.

Be true to you!!


When I was in middle school, my best friend said to me “why be a second rate version of someone else when you can be a first rate version of yourself.” I’m not sure where the quote came from, but it has stuck with me since. I’m on the quirky side and often find myself sticking out from the crowd. But that’s great and something I have come to embrace. I am me!

Say it Straight.

Ask for what you want and tell people the truth. I’ve been working on balancing being honest with being blunt.  In personal and professional relationships I’ve gained so much more by being straight forward about my feelings or wishes. Its wasteful to be misleading! Just say it straight!

Walk A Mile in another person’s shoes.

Practicing empathy is a rewarding experience.  To try to understand another person’s point of view will in turn give you a bigger view of your world and the world as a whole.

and furthermore…

Don’t take things personally.

We have no idea what is going on in anyone else’s head, even if he or she describes it to us. I used to think people were out to get me. Out to cut me off on the road or steal my subway seat or parking spot. But most of the time, people are only thinking about themselves. It doesn’t have anything to do with me!! No one is out to get me. When I adapted this way of thinking my happiness soared through the roof.

Get your Joy from within.


Like Whitney Houston sang, “the greatest love of all is inside of me”. True!! Don’t expect other people to make you happy. Go be happy on your own and that light will really shine.

Check out past DESIGN YOUR LIFE interviews.

announcing the FREE GARAGE SALE

June 24th, 2009   |   ExfoliatingLife

Check out today’s big announcement. It’s so big I had to explain it in person!

After watching the video, let me know what you think! Do you like reading or watching posts? I would love to hear your thoughts to help me create a better blog!

Also, is it just me or do I have a huge lisp once the file compresses? Anyone have any suggestions to stop this?


Today I’m taking a step back from my usual inspiration/exfoliation/intention filled posts and talking about something really important.

Today I’m talking about the Pride and Prejudice movies.


As I ‘get older’ (it’s a relative term) I realize more and more that girls even just a few years younger than me (like my intern extraordinaire, Stephanie) have only been exposed to the Keira Knightley Pride and Prejudice film from 2005. Unlike my friends and I who grew up with the BBC version from 1995 with Colin Firth. Admittedly, I am incredibly biased towards the older version. And I think it is a shame that so many young women aren’t aware of the classic 90′s version.

So, how about you? Let’s all weigh in on this important debate. Are you a fan of the older or newer Austen inspired film?

[Photo credits: BBC Pride and Prejudice cover, 2005 Pride and Prejudice]

june PBA update: quantum wellness cleanse

June 22nd, 2009   |   FoodLife


Good morning! Today is the start of my first full week of work in the past three weeks. And I’m looking forward to it. As much as I love traveling, I enjoy returning to my routine.

This weekend Erwin and I hosted our college friends Marisa and Pat. It was great to catch up with them and Marisa came armed with a small bathtubs’ worth of chocolate chip cookies and a delicious cherry scone recipe (which will debut later this week). Which begs the question, how did the Modified Quantum Wellness Cleanse go?

June’s PBA: [Modified] Quantum Wellness Cleanse Summary

Now that the first two weeks of my June Personal Bank Account is over, it’s time to reflect on how well I adhered to my intention of eating a healthier, more natural foods. Below is a summary of how well I did.


Modified-Quantum-Wellness-Cleanse Summary

Week 1 and 2

I ate plenty of:

  • Fruits and vegetables – I did eat quite a bit of fruits and vegetables. And I actually ordered salads and soups at restaurants (gasp!).
  • Whole grains – Yep, I usually eat mostly whole wheat products so this step was easy.
  • Soy and beans – Not so good with cooking beans so didn’t really eat many of these guys.
  • Healthy oils – Sure, I guess so. I didn’t really think about this goal too much.

I avoided the following foods:

  • Dairy (trace amounts in bread allowed) – I did avoid dairy except for when at home eating my mom’s dinners. I decided it wasn’t worth changing my mom’s menu.
  • Meat – Besides a few dishes while visiting my family, I didn’t eat meat.
  • White flour – Besides baked goods, I didn’t eat white flour.
  • Added sugar – Here is where I slipped (majorly). Erwin baked me cookies (pictured above) while I was visiting my family and I had (and wanted) to eat them. Didn’t you know boyfriend cookies don’t have sugar? Oh, the same goes for Marisa’s cookies. I think something about the love counteracts the sugar… not sure Kathy Freston would agree, but this is my modified cleanse.
  • Caffeine (except tea) – I did avoid pop (or ‘soda’ for all of you readers outside the Midwest). But I did drink an occasional sugar-free latte.
  • Alcohol (limited to twice a week) – Vacation and hostessing in the city was not conducive to this intention. I didn’t drink more than a few glasses at one time.

Week 3

Follow week 1 and 2 and add dairy (CHEESE!) into the mix. – This is where I am now. So far, so good.

So… when I look at the cleanse I can say that though I didn’t follow through 100%, I was flexible and worked with the intentions as best I could, adapting to vacation and visitors. And overall, I did curb a lot of the poorer eating habits I had been picking up in recent months. Going forward, I intend to keep most of these guidelines in mind. But there will definitely be cheesy oatmeal in my future. No questions asked!

end of the week exfoliation

June 19th, 2009   |   Exfoliating

Ah, the weekend. For some reason most five day work weeks for me seem to fly by, but this four day week trotted along at a rather slow pace. Has this ever happened to anyone else? The next few days Erwin and I will be hosting our friends from UofM, Marisa and Pat. It will be great to hang out and play hostess for a while.

I hope you have a happy weekend planned as well!

End of the Week Exfoliation

As for this week’s exfoliations, it’s been a rather quiet week on the exfoliating front. For those who want a chance to win the adorable felt flower brooch from AAlicia Accessories, send me your exfoliations (to jess@jesslc.com) by next Thursday!


“I’m getting rid of this mouse pad because now my new wireless mouse doesn’t need a mouse pad.”

- Erwin


This week’s exfoliation is special since it already has found a new home and is now finally being put to use! Erwin and I have a DVD player at our apartment and my old college DVD player has sat unused in the jewelry studio going on six months. Last week my friend and Jess LC ambassador, Allison, mentioned she needed a DVD player for her new Netflix subscription(!!) and the rest is history.


Good morning and welcome to all of Anne’s  City Sage readers! This week’s DESIGN YOUR LIFE is a peek into Anne Sage of The City Sage‘s intentions for her life. For those of you who don’t know Anne or her blog, it is full of whimsical writing and style. I am fairly certain without her help and advice I would not be blogging with the same frequency or enthusiasm that I do each day. Really. She is such a sweet, thoughtful, and genuine person who helped me out within the first week of my blog.

So for me to have her DESIGN YOUR LIFE interview on my blog just a few months later is truly an honor. And since reading her intentions, I am now working on dividing my intention lists into more managable categories. Want to know more? Read on!

Listen to Music


I have music playing all the time: while I’m driving, cooking, working at the computer, having my coffee in the morning. Music allows you to create or complement your mood in a way that appeals to your senses and to your memories–how many times have you put on a song and been carried back to the first time you heard it?–and it costs almost nothing.

Make Time for Exercise


From the rhythmic and meditative motion when you swim to the rush of feel-good endorphins when you run, physical exercise is a guaranteed stress reliever. I strive for variety to prevent boredom, and each activity I do has a different benefit. I love the camaraderie of a spinning class, the peaceful focus of yoga, the sheer exhilaration of rock climbing. I go nuts if I can’t get my heart rate up several times a week.

Categorize and Prioritize


I found myself getting totally overwhelmed by my to-do list; it seemed endless! Then I discovered that breaking it down into three categories–’work’, ‘home’ and ‘blog’–makes it seem much less scary. I then prioritize the items in each of the three categories, identify the few that must get done and try not to sweat the ones that can wait a few days. Be sure to cross off each item as you complete it, too; it’s such a satisfying feeling!

Eat Your Fruits and Veggies


You could analyze and stress over your diet ’til the cows come home, but one straightforward way to improve your eating habits is to have fresh produce with every meal. Berries on your cereal, spinach in your omelet, chopped kale in your spaghetti sauce. Once you get into the habit it becomes second nature; I feel incomplete if I don’t have a big salad with dinner.

Take a Time Out


Lately I’ve been working from 6 am when I wake up until 10 pm when I go to bed–not so great, I know. When I start to feel really frazzled, I try my hardest to close the computer and do something unrelated to work, even for twenty minutes. I read a chapter of a trashy novel, take a hot shower, get my nails done. Giving yourself permission to escape allows you to be more productive when you are working.

Say Thank You

Say it every chance you get, and say it to everyone–from the boss who gives you a raise to the teenager who bags your groceries. Say it with conviction, and smile and make eye contact while you say it. A genuine expression of gratitude creates a bond between the giver and the receiver, and it will brighten both of your days.

Check out past DESIGN YOUR LIFE interviews.

[Image Credits: 1. Amy Butler, Anne Naumann 2. Amanda Pratt 3. Anne Naumann, Amy Butler 4. Mikkel Vang 5. Paul Costello]

off the chain update: what i wore

June 17th, 2009   |   StyleWardrobe


Have you heard about What I Wore? Jessica Schroeder is the brains and beauty behind the awesome daily style blog. I’m now a huge fan (and became a sponsor).

When she saw the Jess LC Astor St. Collection, she knew she needed the coral cluster bib necklace. To check out the adorable (and affordable!) outfit she wore for her date night last weekend visit her site.

Maybe she can be my new Charlotte…



coral cluster bib necklace

yummy pumpkin dip

June 15th, 2009   |   Food


One of the highlights of my family visit was this modified version of my mom’s awesome pumpkin dip. Traditionally the recipe is filled with powdered sugar and is not quite the most health friendly treat. But with a few simple new tweaks, the dip is practically calorie free and though it is not for the organically inclined, it is swimsuit friendly.

Linda’s Pumpkin Dip

  • One 8oz cool whip
  • 1 box instant vanilla pudding
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (nutmeg will work in a pinch)
  • 15oz canned pumpkin
  • Gingerbread men or graham crackers
  1. Thaw cool whip. Mix pumpkin, dry vanilla pudding mix, and pumpkin pie spice.
  2. Fold in thawed cool whip and serve.

camila_2717Good Sunday morning! I hope you are enjoying a restful morning. I’m still visiting my family for one more day and I have to say, this has been a very relaxing trip even though it doesn’t involve pool boys delivering pina coladas with little paper umbrellas.

In Her Shoes

For those who haven’t read Camila’s blog, High-Heeled Foot in the Door, she has a weekly series called “In Her Shoes” where she asks ladies to chronicle a day in their life. I was this week’s lucky interviewee, so if you want to check out 24 hours in my life, hop on over and read the interview.

As for me? I’ll be working out to combat the beer and enormous amount of pizza (not PBA friendly) I ate with my brother last night.

end of the week exfoliation

June 12th, 2009   |   Exfoliating

Happy Friday to you! I hope you are excited for the weekend to come. I myself am now safely at my parents house. Looking outside at the foggy rolling golf course hills, it looks more like a sleepy spring morning in England than Downingtown, PA. Maybe I’ll pretend I’m lounging in an old castle in “Hampfredshire” (said with the PBS Pride and Prejudice accent). It sure beats the reality of this crummy weather. The silver lining however? There is a J.Crew outlet nearby with my name on it.

As for the exfoliations, Carolyn, featured below mentioned she is now officially addicted to exfoliating. I love that idea! Anyone else an “Exfoliation Addict?”


“I cleaned out my manicure supplies. Over half of the items were expired, not my style or never used. Now when I get my supplies out I don’t have to dig to find the good stuff!”

- Jill


“I finally cleared out the bottles from bathroom.  All three of these are less than half full, were bought over two years ago, and I haven’t touched them in months.  So while I should be taking my vitamins, it’s time for a fresh start!”

- Karen


“I am exfoliating…Old File Folders and old Promotion Materials for Non-Profit (pens, mouse pads, sweatshirts)”

- Carolyn


I’m exfoliating the belt at the bottom because of the new little pretty shown on top. I spied this awesome belt at H&M and had to have it. But knowing that I had a similar belt already, I had to decide if I was willing to exfoliate the old belt. The answer was obviously yes. Anyone want the black + brown belt? Comment to claim it!

leaving on a jet plane…

June 11th, 2009   |   Life


By the time you are reading this, I am taking off on an obscenely early flight to Philadelphia with a layover in Detroit. I am headed to visit my parents and youngest brother in their new home outside Philadelphia. I will be staying until Monday, next to a newly constructed golf course in the middle of Amish country.

Yes, it’s a bizzare juxtaposition.

So stay tuned, I’ll be back in action with End of the Week Exfoliations tomorrow!

weather vs. excellence

June 10th, 2009   |   Life


Yesterday morning I went on a run at 6am, as I do most weekdays. Before I left the apartment I peeked outside to check the weather from my 19th floor apartment. I could tell the ground was wet, but didn’t notice any precipitation. By the time I actually got out on the sidewalk there was a heavy drizzle, like a fan spritzing water in my face for 35 minutes and thereby turning my nicely straightened pony tail into a frizzy halo.

Normally running in this weather would have made me ache to go back inside, back to bed for another blissful hour. But yesterday I didn’t have that typical longing and actually enjoyed my run. And I have Stephen Covey to thank for my fresh perspective.

For those that know me personally, Covey’s The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People is a huge part of my life. So as I re-read this book for the fourth time, I continue to learn and refresh my habits, and the following quote has stuck with me for well over a week,

“If we think our lives are a function of our conditions, it is because we have, by conscious decision or by default, chosen to empower those things to have control over us – we have let ourselves become reactive. Reactive people are often affected by the weather, proactive people carry their own weather with them.”

- Stephen R. Covey, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

Although this quote about weather has a direct relation to my morning jog, I am also trying to carry over this idea into other areas of my life. Where else have I let existing conditions determine how well I produce? I’m willing to venture there are more situations where I grumble and drag my feet when the situation is tough. And my intention now is to determine what my goals are and let those guide my efforts.

Lightening storms excluded.


Today I thought I would show some of the old Jess LC jewelry designs and promotional material that have evolved over time. And my, how things have gotten much better! I know there are several new jewelry makers following the blog, and some may not feel like they will ever be able to grow and launch their business full-time.

But looking at some of the pieces from my past, it’s clear that anyone can learn and improve by leaps and bounds. If I can start with that hideous ankle bracelet above and now design the Chicago collection, time and practice are the keys to success. So let this little slide show of sorts act as inspiration on your own creative journey!


There isn’t anything exactly “wrong” with this logo, but there isn’t much right either.


This wristlet was designed to attach to a cell phone to act as a ‘clutch’ when going out. Wtf.

Please excuse my french.


What. Was. I. Thinking?


Heavy and proportionally awkward. Love the photo quality too.


As you can see, this is where I got a professional photographer and stepped it up a huge notch. Definitely on the right track. But what’s up with hiding her eyes??


Look familiar? This little guy is still a great seller. Especially for weddings.


Ah. My new favorite. Until my next collection anyway.

june’s PBA: food cleanse

June 8th, 2009   |   FoodLife


Reviewing May’s PBA Intention

First, let me take a moment to review last month’s Personal Bank Account [revised] intention of eating four salads a week. Though I didn’t keep official count, I think I hit the mark a few weeks and probably fell two salads short during the final week of May. So I wasn’t perfect, but it’s a good thing that I’m back in the habit of eating salad. How did your PBA go?

June’s PBA Intention

This June I decided to kick the PBA challenge up a notch. In February, my friend Kaitlyn of Eat My Blog and I followed Kathy Freston’s Quantum Wellness Cleanse for three weeks. We were pretty true to her outline but made modifications as we went along [she suggests avoiding dairy, gluten, meat, sugar, alcohol, and caffeine for 21 days]. Once we were finished, I decided I would continue to follow many of her principals in moderation. But fast forward to June of 2009, and many of those good habits have drifted, and it’s time to make some adjustments.

So for the remainder of June, Kaitlyn and I have decided to review the cleanse with some of our own modifications. Here’s the plan:


Week 1 and 2

Eat plenty of:

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Soy and beans
  • Healthy oils

Avoid the following foods:

  • Dairy (trace amounts in bread allowed)
  • Meat
  • White flour
  • Added sugar
  • Caffeine (except tea)
  • Alcohol (limited to twice a week)

Week 3

Follow week 1 and 2 and add dairy (CHEESE!) into the mix.

So there you have it. Its not a diet, but a general refresher course on healthy eating. Anyone interested in following along?

Don’t be intimidated by the list, feel free to add your own modifications. I suggest reading Freston’s book if you are interested in learning about the health and spiritual benefits of the cleanse. I know I’ll be re-reading the book to keep myself inspired as I go through cheese withdrawal.

end of the week exfoliation

June 5th, 2009   |   Exfoliating

Ah, the end of another week. So nice, especially considering the Chicago weather is acting more it’s season. Time to get out and enjoy the beach. I’m also hoping to check out the Lincoln Park Observatory. I hear they have a mean fern room.

I hope your weekend is great! Now to the exfoliations – love that Patricia turned her exfoliations into gifts for the new owners. If you have any exfoliations for next week email them to me at jess@jesslc.com and enter the Giveaway Giveaway automatically.


“I passed on these big apple circus popcorn tubs to my neighbor’s little children. I added a box of animal crackers in each one.  They were so delighted! I passed on a pile of our son’s clothing to my cleaning lady who has Grandchildren and family in Peru. I passed on a stack of things to a neighbor down the street, I delivered them in a basket and their son smiled a huge smile!  Both parents thanked me!”

- Patricia


“Here are about 20 magazines!!!  I love to get mags in the mail but keeping up with them can be time consuming!  This week I took a little time each day to yank out the recipes or articles I was interested in. Then I donated them all to the local hospital. Our hospital has a drive thru drop box so it was so easy!  Now patients and their friends and families can enjoy the latest Martha Stewart or Real Simple!”



“I moved this past weekend, just across town, and for this experiment I got rid of a dresser and a HUGE box of clothes! I put them into the back of my car, which is a large SUV, and took them to the local donation location (are you familiar with DI?). This was the first step of my moving process and it made a true difference as I packed the other boxes! I felt as though I had a breakthrough in strength as I forced myself to get rid of ALL the things I don’t use/wear. This made moving into a new place seem less overwhelming (you know, unpacking numerous boxes, finding places to put everything, etc.).”

- Laura


“One of my recent exfoliations is the curling iron that I’ve had for years and my mom had for years before that.  It’s not quite the right size for the curls I like and I can’t use it without burning myself so it’s time for it to go.”

- Karen

[photo didn't attach]

“I am giving away four items: a magazine/book holder (when my books/magazines go in there – they never come out!), LSAT prep book (don’t think I’m going to law school anytime soon), two books that I’ve had for over a year and never even opened.”

- Carolyn


I’m getting rid of these pot holders which I’m pretty sure my mom bought in 1992 that still have tags on them. I kept them around because I thought I would one day have the desire, inspiration, and follow-through to cross stitch something really sweet on them. But that day hasn’t come (in several years), and it’s time to pass them on to someone who has the skill to do something awesome with them. Any takers?? Comment to claim them for gratis.


Busy morning for me here at Jess LC, as I’m getting both of my new awesome interns for Jess LC, Stephanie and Susie, caught up on all the action. So End of the Week Exfoliations will be up later today.

But in the meantime check out my interview with Anne Sage, of The City Sage, at Elizabeth Anne Designs’s adorable blog. I explain what styles are the “wrap dress” and “boot-cut jean” of jewelry.


Welcome back to DESIGN YOUR LIFE (DYL)! Last week was full of steps to making under and DYL got lost in the shuffle. But no need to fear, DYL is back and today’s interview is a great one.

I first met Camila via a Jess LC giveaway on This is Glamorous. Camila was the lucky winner of the Astor St. Cluster Bib Necklace. Once we started chatting via email and I saw her blog, High-Heeled Foot in the Door, I knew she would be full of intentions and sage advice for us here at MakeunderMyLife. I was right. Read below to find out about her awesome philosophies (I share her ‘become a YES person’ intention).

[Random Side Note: I have the same Essie color on my tootsies as well.]

Be a DO-ER

I use to be a huge complainer. Why wasn’t I richer, skinnier, successful, etc? You name it and I probably complained about it. I would sit around with my sisters and just complain about how life was passing me by. While I was happy with my family and home life my career was  a completely different story. I had always envisioned myself as my own boss and in a more creative field. Finally one day everything changed. What was my Ah-ha moment? An episode of Grey’s Anatomy where George and Lizzie are complaining and finally decide that to get ahead in life they need to be DO-ERs. Right then and there I changed my attitude and took steps to making my dreams a reality. It started with my blog, then schooling in Interior Design and I’m now in the final steps of launching my own interior decorating company called Effortless Style Interiors!

Become a YES person

Along with being a DO-ER and ending my complaining another new addition to my life plan was becoming a YES person. In college I dealt with a lot of anxiety. Having anxiety was really hard for me and most times the best way to deal with it was to stay within my safety zone and that meant being at home. So I said no to many invitations and totally felt like I was missing out. I no longer suffer from anxiety which is a huge yay for me! I now love saying YES to different things. It’s such a simple thing to do and you really never know what you will learn from a new experience so I say  go ahead and embrace it. Get yourself out of your comfort zone. I assure you that you will have a great time.

Act silly at least once a day


I’ve always been really serious. Totally always the mother hen making sure everyone is behaving and taken care of. The big  joke in my family is that I was pretty much born a 40 year old. The older I get and the closer I start inching towards 40 (I just turned 28!) the more I want to make sure I actually have FUN! So now I try and relax a bit more and let my funny, quirky self come out.

Mix and Match

I love variety in life. I think that many times people get dissatisfied with their lives, because it’s always the same old thing. Change is scary and uncomfortable so I understand why it’s  hard to do it, but I think everyone needs a little bit of it. I think mixing and matching can be used in all aspects of your life from your clothing options, decor, food choices, music, activities, etc.

Big things come in small packages


Here are my toes with my new favorite nail polish color called Bermuda Shorts by Essie. It’s a little loud, but I love it! Don’t forget to get excited over all the little things. This has always been something that I practiced. I get excited over school supplies, a pretty packaging job on a bar of soap, my favorite song on the radio and even the perfect nail-polish shade.

Who cares about the Jones’s?

I think now a days a lot of the world is all about keeping up the Jones’s. Making sure they have the most current luxury car or the newest Chanel bag that everyone in town in sporting. While those things may be nice they aren’t the only things that can make you happy.  I say take chances and be original. To me the word strange isn’t a bad thing. I take it as unique and go with it. If you love something that’s all that matters. Don’t forget that.

Just breathe


How can you say no to this face when he asks for a walk? I constantly remind myself to do this. When I’m stressed, nervous, upset I always give myself a time-out and regroup before I make any rash decisions. One of my favorite ways to regroup is by taking my pups on a walk around the neighborhood. They get a little exercise and I get some sunshine along with time to figure things out in my head.


Yesterday I debuted Anna Alicia’s felt corsage brooches and announced that this June’s lucky Giveaway Giveaway winner would win one of their very own.

Today I’m showing my very own AAlicia flower pins in use. In the top photo Charlotte is modeling my old craft project gone very, very wrong. I decided to abandon the whole button embellishment thing and go in a new direction. I took all the buttons off, cut off the neckline (there were pen marks from my first project), and added the pin. Voila! A “custom” shirt.


And just adding the floral embellishment to this shirt makes it look super expensive and “Antropologie-esque” while still being a Forever 21 sweater.

Thank goodness for Anna’s creativity.

stuffed artichokes

June 2nd, 2009   |   Food


Two weeks ago, my friend Kristin and I cooked a special dinner for our friend Bernard’s birthday in his awesome kitchen. Kristin found a recipe for stuffed artichokes which was so simple and easy to make, I did most of the prep for the dish, while she tackled the more complicated risotto recipe.

At first I was a bit intimidated by the raw artichokes themselves. They looked so “gourmet magazine cover” that I didn’t think I’d be able to make the dish successfully. But I was surprised at how simple and delicious the mighty greens really were.


Stuffed Artichokes

by The Italian Chef

  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated Pecorino-Romano Cheese
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 artichokes
  • 2 cloves of garlic, sliced

Serves 4

1. Combine bread crumbs, Pecorino-Romano Cheese, parsley, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a medium bowl. Mix together well.

2. Cut stems off artichokes, flush with bottom. Cut pointy leaves off the top of the artichokes. Spread leaves of each artichoke out and push stuffing in between them.

3. In a pot just large enough to fit the artichokes, add the sliced garlic cloves, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and the artichokes. Drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the top of the artichokes.

4. Turn heat on to medium and cook until sizzling about 1-2 minutes.  Add water to reach half way up the sides of the artichokes.

5. Cover and cook until the artichokes are tender and a leaf is easily pulled out, about 45 minutes.  If liquid is evaporating too quickly add a little more water.

6. Transfer to a serving platter, drizzle a little of the liquid from the pot over the artichokes and serve.


june’s giveaway giveaway

June 1st, 2009   |   Exfoliating


Good morning! I hope you had a great weekend and got lots of r+r. My weekend was full of Mayfest in Lincoln Square, Up, and a walk along the beach. Chicago summers rock.

As for this month’s Giveaway Giveaway, I’m excited to introduce Anna Alicia’s beautiful felt brooches. Her Etsy shop, AAliciaAccessories, is filled with beauties like this white blossom corsage brooch. Anna lives in London and her handiwork is also sold in the London Fashion and Textile Museum shop this June as well.

I stumbled across her work via decor8 and fell in love. Later this week Charlotte will stop by to model my new felt pretties.

So if you’ve fallen for this corsage like I have, send in your exfoliations (jess@jesslc.com) and cross your fingers!


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