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end of the week exfoliation
July 31st, 2009     |    Exfoliating

I’m now on my way to Ann Arbor to visit my “person,” Maggie. You know how Christina and Meredith in Grey’s Anatomy called each other their “person”? We stole it. Maggie also stole their profession and is now a M-3 in rotations (or internship… it’s hard to keep track of all the lingo).

Anyways, we will be jaunting around Ann Arbor and shaking off the last two weeks of stress. I hope you enjoy your weekend and have jaunting on your to-do list as well!

End of the Week Exfoliation


“This is a few shoes I don’t wear anymore for one reason or another (basically – pain or holes!).” Full blog post here.



Since the new apartment already has a microwave, this one is gonna go to the new lucky sublet-er for my jewelry studio or be sold on Craig’s List… that is unless some fabulous Chicago reader needs a new microwave for $40. Any takers?


Whoa. I heart this week’s DYL interview for sure. Any intention that involves something from The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People makes my day (I know, one day I’ll stop talking about it). I’m also implementing her intention to ask “what would you do if you weren’t afraid” as I’m finalizing the new Wellington collection this afternoon. Yesterday I found myself second guessing the Madison collection a bit more than usual.

Not only does Crystal get points in my book for digging Covey’s work, but she also has an awesome design blog called Plush Palate. Though Crystal and I are simply blog buddies right now, we will be meeting in person at Chiblogo this August.

Enjoy Crystal’s intentions!

DESIGN YOUR LIFE: Crystal of Plush Palate

Live a Courageous Life

With each decision I make or at each crossroad I arrive, I try to make sure my decisions are not dictated by fear but instead, driven by courage. Only then do I feel I am living the best and fullest version of my life. When the decision seems unclear, I ask myself, “what would you do if you weren’t afraid?” and then in my heart I know exactly what I need to do. Another favorite quote reminds me that, “when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

Know Who You Are

It is easy to get caught up in comparing yourself to others or trying to be someone you are not, but I find such freedom in reminding myself not to be anyone but me. I try to use and hone the talents that I already have, not to covet the ones I don’t. The way I stay connected to who I am is by making time for the things that truly feed the authentic me – like writing in my journal at night and spending a quiet hour by myself in the morning – and by being able to say no to the things that don’t feel right inside. This quote says it best, “the wise man is always similar to himself.”

Take Pride in What You Present to the World

I strongly believe that this is one of the greatest ways to show respect to yourself and to others. By taking time to dress nicely or by making sure the project I turn in is a reflection of my best work, I am telling myself and others that we deserve the best. I believe this is an important component for healthy self-esteem and a strive to embody it.

Find Balance in Mind, Body, and Soul


When things get busy and I start to feel off kilter, I check in with myself to make sure I am giving ample attention to each. This helps me prioritize my time and get my perspective back where it needs to be. For “mind” I do things like take language classes so I can exercise new areas of my brain. For “body” I make sure to find time to exercise as a way to relieve stress and stay strong. And for “soul” I stay mindful of my values and try to live a life that is consistent and in accordance with them.

Focus On Your Circle of Influence

This is a concept I picked up from reading, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, and that really struck a chord with me. There are many things in life we wish were different, but by focusing on the things that we can actually change within our circle of influence, our circle miraculously begins to grow and, in turn, so does the scope of our influence. When I’m faced with a challenge that seems overwhelming, I remember that through action I can go from a place of feeling powerless to a place of great empowerment and impact.



Traveling truly is something that I cannot image a life without. I cherish being able to get out into the world and opening myself up to what other places and people can teach me. Some of my best and most pivotal growing has happened during my times abroad. One thing I’m sure of is that a person or a place is never the same after having passed through it.

Check out past DESIGN YOUR LIFE interviews.

[photo credits: Miss Muse, and Simply Seductive (2)]

etsy crush: evajuliet
July 29th, 2009     |    ExfoliatingLifeStyle

I don’t do this too often. Barely ever. But this week I couldn’t help myself.


While blog reading, I came across EvaJuliet’s Etsy Shop and I knew I had to swap with her. Her prints were just too cute. So in just a week or so, I will be the proud new owner of these two pretties:


The Choose Joy print will look great in my studio or bathroom in the new apartment. I love the message and the color.


And this guy will be living in the kitchen on the counter.

Check out Eva’s shop, she’s got several other great styles (and in French) as well!

the magic bullet – is it really magic?
July 28th, 2009     |    FoodLife

I apologize for taking two precious minutes out of your day to talk about something really unimportant. So meaningless, I totally condone moving on to the next blog in your reader or site on you toolbar. Go ahead. Move along now.


For those that are still reading (hi, Mom!), I have a confession to make. Erwin and I spent 37 minutes of our Sunday afternoon watching an infomercial about The Magic Bullet. What can I say? I was mentally exhausted and the British guy, perky lady, and actress with the housecoat and cigarette were too good to be true. So was the actual product. We began contemplating a purchase after a half hour.

So we headed over to Bed Bath & Beyond to scope out the product. Though we didn’t buy it (yet), I am wondering… is it really worth it? From the infomercial, it looks like it could be a great tool, for garlic chopping, smoothies, omelet making, and margaritas. But before I plunk down $50 (minus the 20% off BB&B coupon), I want your highly esteemed opinions.

What do you think? Bite or dodge the bullet?

[photo found here]

intentional obsession: sectional
July 27th, 2009     |    LifeStyle

It has been quite a long time since I’ve done an Intentional Obsession post (in fact, many of you probably never saw those first few posts on my old blogger site). To recap the I.O. posts, the idea is that I love to get new things as much as I like getting rid of old/unused/unloved things. Keeping in mind my vision board, I like to keep tabs on items that I would like to incorporate in my life. Some things I get right away, others I research and ponder for a bit longer.


This I.O. is one of those pondering pieces. As you can see below, the living room/dining room in the new apartment has lots of light, space, and a great view of the next door neighbors (ahem).

Erwin and I have decided to make the back wall (on the right side of the photo) the “dining room” with the dining table from my studio. The “living room” will be on the left side of the photo. Even with this division of space, the room is still pretty large and I think a sectional might be the best choice for seating and cohesiveness.


Enter West Elm’s Blake Sectional. It was love at first sight. The color also matches the granite in the kitchen perfectly (which is just out of view on the right side). It’s a wee bit pricey, but according to Julie and Julia, egg harvesting brings in about $7,500. (I kid, I kid.)

Seriously though, what do you think? Is the “intentional sectional” a good fit for the room?

accept what is
July 27th, 2009     |    Life

The start of a fresh week! This weekend was filled with a great deal of relaxing after last week’s hustling. I’ve learned a very important lesson: don’t attempt to find a new apartment, sign a lease, take a one day vacation, work two full days at a sidewalk sale, work a Saturday event, train for a marathon, and have an online sidewalk sale in seven days. (PS- Today is the last day of the online sidewalk sale!)

All of this activity left me with difficulty sleeping, some chest pains, and an overwhelming sense of gratitude.


Needless to say, what I needed after that kind of week was something grounding. Something peaceful. It came in the form of a Zen Habit post.

A passage from “Accept What Is – Don’t Judge as Good or Bad” seemed to jump off the screen. Though the majority of the article speaks about withholding “good” or “bad” judgments, the suggestion that we can “change things not because you can’t accept things as they are, but because you enjoy the process of change, of learning and growing” hit home.

Since my blog is called Makeunder My Life, its pretty obvious that I have a tendency to reflect and design my life (big time). Being self-employed also demonstrates this inclination. But at times I think I might take it too seriously, too ideally. And that simple phrase about enjoying the process of change can help my motivation become less demanding and more playful.

Anyone else find this idea a breath of fresh air?

[PS- Happy birthday Mom, Carol Beth, Gertie, and Mackenzie!]

end of the week exfoliation
July 24th, 2009     |    Exfoliating

The weekend! Today is full of order filling and finalizing the fall line. This weekend I’ll be at a Team In Training event talking about the Silver Lining necklace and on Saturday afternoon I’ll be signing my lease for my new apartment! I cannot wait. We move September 1st, which means I need a sublet-er (spelling?) for my studio, which has housed Jess LC for the last two years. Any takers??

End of the Week Exfoliation


“Cannon Elph LT260–The camera is amazing and has been so good to me, but I have a digital one now and don’t use the Elph anymore.”



Now before you exclaim you can see why I’m getting rid of [this vase], this was painted by my Grandma and she etched her name, Ella 1967 into the base of the vase so it has special meaning to me. It doesn’t matter that it has been stored in a cupboard for years and not on display, it still means something to me. And now, I’m starting to doubt whether I should get rid of it. However, I do have a picture and its now part of my blog for me to look back and admire and think back on my Grandma.

Although I’m not actively exfoliating weekly and blogging, I am working on exfoliating and being left with the things I love.  Here’s the link the blog about makeunder.”


This little guy is named Bobo. He was a prize at Six Flags two years ago. He’s cute, but he’s been living under my bed for the last year and a half. Time to give him a wash and find him a new, younger friend.

DESIGN YOUR LIFE: allison n.
July 23rd, 2009     |    DESIGN YOUR LIFE


Today’s DESIGN YOUR LIFE features my good friend, Allison. Some of you may know Allison through Jess LC events – she’s usually at our booth (rain or shine) outselling myself. Her enthusiasm and people skills make her a wonderful friend and business person. I asked her to do this week’s DESIGN YOUR LIFE because she is a purposeful person who always offers great advice. On our long Sunday walks (or Mayan Palace margaritas), she also shares insightful life lessons.

After reading her intentions, I have to say, none of them are surprising to me. Which means she’s done a great job walking her talk. Her first one, “You Get Out What You Put In” is one of my favorite intentions from all the DYL interviews. It’s one of those ideas with universal truth. Enjoy!

DESIGN YOUR LIFE: allison n.

Y.G.O.W.Y.P.I- You Get Out What You Put In

I learned this acronym back in college and for some reason it always stuck with me.   I really believe this is so true for so many aspects of life.  You get out of your body what you put into it, you get out of relationships and friendships what you put into them and you get out of each day what you put into them.  This leads into my next intention…

Do your best

My dad always says this.  It is something that stuck with me ever since I was leaving my house one morning in high school stressed about a big test. My dad said, you were up late studying weren’t you?  I said, yes and he said than just do your best.  I realized no one is perfect so if you try to always do your best…you will be doing your personal perfect.

Get out and travel


I love traveling.  I really get the itch sometimes.  I love it because it allows me to develop a new point of reference .  It allows me to be out of my comfort zone, try to get in a comfort zone and then head back to my known comfort zone (home).  Every step of the way is different and you never know what stories you are doing to have to pack up in your suit case and bring home.  I also love the feeling of falling into my pillows and comfy bed that I call my sanctuary and home at the end of a great adventure.

Know unconditional love

Um, yeah- so who is perfect anyway?  Loving and enjoying people for who they are is something I work to do every day.  Sometimes it is harder than others but at the end of the day I care about those I love and I want to do so unconditionally.  This seems like climbing a never ending summit; but something that is rewarding every step of the way.

Make new friends but keep the old


I learned this motto in girl scouts back in kindergarten (can you tell I am sentimental?!)  “Make new friends but keep the old.  Some are silver the others gold.”  I love friends.  They help us become who we are in so many ways.  They allow us to be who we are.  I love meeting new people because I feel they always teach me something about myself.   I love the story behind friendship; each one has a special history.

Live close to nature


I respect nature because I feel it is bigger, older and much wiser than I or any human will ever be.  To live close to nature I try to eat at least three servings of something that grew from the earth.  I also try to get outside and breath the fresh air with a walk on the lake front or sit in direct sunlight to soak up some of that good stuff that is shining down.

Take a picture, it lasts longer

I have realized that I remember things more if I take a picture.  All of my strongest childhood memories are related to pictures that were taken.  I can vividly remember the picture of me playing in my plastic, turtle pool with the slide in my purple swimsuit with the white hearts in my old house’s front yard.  I had on pink heart shaped sunglasses and a summer smile…those were the days!  I love taking pictures, keeping journals and keeping mementos.  I told you…I am sentimental…I don’t know why but I am!  So- I figure with the digital age…if I take a picture it will last longer and take up a lot less space than if I tried to keep that turtle pool and purple swimsuit as a memory.

Check out past DESIGN YOUR LIFE interviews.

off the chain update: sidewalk sale booth
July 22nd, 2009     |    LifeStyle


Off to another day at the Daley Plaza Sidewalk Sale with Susie. I thought I’d share photos from yesterday so those of you that aren’t in Chicago can take a peek and those of you that are in Chicago, will be able to recognize our booth (come say hi!).

Yesterday the booth was packed, especially around lunch time. Here’s hoping that today is a repeat. And remember the online sidewalk sale is still going strong on jesslc.com.


On an entirely unrelated note, I wanted to give a shout out to Meghan D. for sharing this photo of her Astor St. Necklace at a recent wedding. She was a wee-bit concerned about wearing a gray dress to a summer wedding, but she said Astor’s yellow beads spotted at The Dressing Room in Lincoln Square were the perfect compliment.

Do you have a photo wearing a Jess LC piece? If so, send it to me (jess@jesslc.com) and I’ll post it here as well! And while we are on the topic of weddings, I don’t think I’ve mentioned (on the blog at least) that I do discounts on bridal party orders. Email me for more info.

PS- Sorry for the inundation of jewelry posts lately, I pinky swear things will chill out soon.







our deepest fear
July 21st, 2009     |    Life

Good morning! I am off (super early) to the sidewalk sale downtown in Daley Plaza with Susie and Charlotte. We will be there 9-3 today and tomorrow.


My trip to Six Flags yesterday was very nice. It was great to go on ‘vacation’ with Erwin, if only for one day. We enjoyed roller coasters, Wendy’s drive through (cookie dough frosty!), and a four-year-old singing karaoke to “Dancing Queen.”

The first annual Online Sidewalk Sale was a huge success in only it’s first day. I am completely blown away by the number of orders and order sizes – you ladies really like Astor St :). I also appreciated the many supportive emails I got.

But to be honest, sometimes encouraging letters like these roll off my back. And any perceived negative feedback tends to stick with me way longer than it should. As I talked to Erwin about these reactions, I remembered a passage written by Marianne Williamson. I’m going to let it marinate in my brain this week, and if you haven’t already read it, I hope you enjoy it too.

Our Deepest Fear

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

– Marianne Williamson

from A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of a Course in Miracles

Good morning! I am off to Six Flags with Erwin as a mini-vacation. We are both huge roller coaster buffs growing up with Cedar Point and King’s Island. In the meantime, enjoy the awesome sidewalk sale this week on jesslc.com and in person in downtown Chicago.

1st Annual Jess LC Online Sidewalk Sale


For the first time ever, I am marking certain styles 50% off for this week only. Yep. This never happens. Going forward, I plan to have an annual 50% sale on select styles every July. And since everyone online seems to be smitten with the Astor St. Collection, I am letting you all have your chance to get each and every piece half off. Other styles include Oak St., Elm St., and some State St. earrings. Check out the whole batch here.

Feel free to reblog, tweet, and otherwise share the sale! And remember it’s just until next Monday.

Tuesday and Wednesday: Sidewalk Sale in Daley Plaza

In Chicago? Come stop by Daley Plaza on Tuesday and Wednesday and see Jess LC jewelry in person. If you mention the Online Sidewalk Sale, you can get the same 50% discount in person as online. Plus, you’ll get to meet me, Susie, and our dear model, Charlotte.


thank YOU
July 18th, 2009     |    Life


Earlier this week, I announced Jess LC is in the Macy’s Designers of Chicago Collection. Since then, I have received such amazing encouragement, support, and congratulations in the mail, on the phone, and in comments right here on Makeunder. It has been so amazing to see how excited everyone around me has been for this new development.

With that in mind, I want to thank everyone who has been so excited for me all week and to Marisa and my Grandpa for sending me cards. Those really caught me by surprise. And also a big thanks to those who left comments. Thank you Brooke, Tim, Rachel, Rachel B, Ajay, Miss E, Natalie, Patricia, Laina, Christina, Alek, Courtney, and Rebecca!

And now for some new congratualtions


Congratulations Courtney and Lauren of Kelly + Olive for getting on Daily Candy Chicago this Friday! I was super excited to see your services on such a great site. I hope it brings you heaps of business!













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