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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.

- Lydia


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.”

- Christina

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!

whatever martha (stewart)

July 17th, 2009   |   LifeStyle

Over the past few weeks, Erwin and I have watched a lot of Martha Stewart on DVR. Yep. Both of us watch Martha.

How is this possible?


Because we discovered Whatever Martha on the Fine Living Network. Have you seen it? I know FLN is kind of a relatively unknown cable station, but it’s definitely worth checking your Comcast guide.

Each half hour episode of Whatever Martha is filled with Alexis Stewart and her friend, Jennifer Koppelman Hutt, watching old Martha clips. As they watch the segments, they make fun of the absurdities and idiosyncrasies of Martha and her guests. During craft segments, Jennifer and Alexis attempt to recreate the same craft themselves, these are invariably my favorite clips.

Throughout the program Alexis provides dirty humor and a glimpse into the realities of The Martha Show and her childhood, and Jennifer brings the ‘real world’ perspective. The result is priceless.

Anyone else a fan?

[photo credit here]

end of the week exfoliation

July 17th, 2009   |   Exfoliating

Ah the end of another week. It is unfathomable that we are now in the middle of July. The middle of July. It’s even hard to type. I think part of my disconnect is this wonderfully cool weather we are having in Chicago.

Much of my weekend will be filled with a special ‘project’ which I allude to in my exfoliation below. I also have a long run with Kristin (and Dave?) later today and hopefully a lot of fun and relaxing. Erwin has the day off on Monday so we may head over to Six Flags. It’s no Cedar Point (nothing can compare to CP), but it’s nearby.

Thank You + A Surprise

On a side note, thank you to everyone who has been giving me color suggestions and direction over Twitter and Facebook for the fall line. I have my choices made and I’m excited to get the styles photographed and online.

Also, stay tuned all you Astor St. fans, there is a BIG surprise next week on Jess LC. *wink wink*

End of the Week Exfoliation


“I took a huge donation to the Goodwill in my neighborhood. I had gone through my wardrobe when I moved back to Charlotte and all of the shoes, electronics, clothing etc. has all been sitting in my closet bagged up for about 6 months – I had not needed nor wanted any of the stuff (I actually forget what some of the accessories and clothing are and did not let myself look at any of it before I took it in). It feels so good to walk freely in my closet now! Also, knowing that it was going to a good cause always feels good.”



It’s a black skirt from Gap and it is a size 0. I bought it off eBay but I’m super small, so it’s actually baggy on me, but I hope someone else claims it, so it doesn’t go to waste!FREE GARAGE SALE ITEM



“Motorola Bluetooth Headset–My ears are too little to hold it on!”



This week’s exfoliation is a bit premature. Since Erwin and I are moving soon (!), I won’t need this tv which has been at the jewelry studio for the last two years. So if anyone in Chicago needs a new tv let me know [jess@jesslc.com].  (You’ll have to come pick it up and I’ll be charging some money for it.) Otherwise I’ll post it on Craig’s List in the month to come. GARAGE SALE ITEM


Today is Thursday, which means another killer DESIGN YOUR LIFE interview with an amazing person.This week’s person of interest? None other than Bryn of Bryn Alexandra. Though she graduated with a ‘practical’ education, she has at the age of 25, decided to go after her real dream: interior design.

After reading her intentions, I was struck by her authenticity. Her intentions are as personal as they are universal. I think many of you will find a bit of yourself in her story. As a fellow curly haired 20-something who grew up on HGTV and the desire for a lot of ‘stuff’, I can certainly see my own reflection in her words.

DESIGN YOUR LIFE: bryn of bryn alexandra

This Design Your Life series couldn’t have come at a better time. My husband jokes that I’m having a “quarter life crisis” and truthfully, I am. But I think it’s just a part of life – I’m discovering who I am and what I want to do with my life. Which is why I was so happy when Jessica asked me to do this. So here they are, my life intentions!

Do What You Love.


This is the most important intention in my life. I’ve always loved interior design, ever since I was a child. But in college, I decided it’d be best for me to pick a career path that would most likely get me a job post graduation. What 20 year old is that sensible? Fast forward and I found myself at 25 hating my career  and miserable. I decided on my 25th birthday to just put myself out there for interior design. So I did. I put myself out there on my blog, on Craigslist, and surprisingly I nabbed a few brave soles who have trusted me to work my magic on their homes. And to my surprise, they like what I can do! I won’t lie, it’s a struggle everyday juggling two jobs, and with each glimpse I get into the life of an interior designer the more I realize my day job isn’t for me. But that just pushes me harder to work at what I do love.

Build Relationships.

Confession time – I’m a major introvert. I’m one of those people who gets uncomfortable in social situations. My entire life I’ve only ever needed/had one best friend. Today, my husband is my best friend. He’s my support, the person I laugh with, the person I complain to, and that’s all I need. But as I get older I realize that relationships are an important part of life, no matter how big or small. So that’s my second intention – I want to build relationships and work at them. It’s harder for an introvert, but it’s no excuse to miss out on those specials bonds.

Live Simply.

Okay, another confession – I used to be so obsessed with material things! Ugh, embarrassing. Woman love their designer handbags, sunglasses, etc where I come from (Dallas). I got caught up in it and in college I worked an almost full time job to pay for nice things. I even got into some debt. I’m not proud of it. But then I grew out of it. I learned the value of money, and what’s important in life. I’m glad I went through that stage because I learned my lesson and I’ll never do it again. I learned a $800 purse is no better than a $50 purse. Now I live simply. I purge things when I don’t need them. I rarely shop and if I do it’s at thrift stores. I now value the simple things like a good cup of chai latte or a great home cooked meal in with the husband.

Be Myself & Be Confident.


I do often fall victim to jealousy, and I hate it! Jealousy is such a terrible, pointless emotion. Even though I find myself jealous of someone else’s possessions, or hair or whatever it is, I always try to counter those feelings with appreciation of myself. As I’ve grown older I’ve learned more to love who I am. So what if my curly hair always looks a bit crazy? Can you imagine how boring life would be if everyone was the same? I always have to tell myself – be yourself. Live creatively. Love yourself. Embrace the differences that are you! If you are happy and confident with yourself, jealousy suddenly doesn’t become an issue.

Try New Things.


I’ll end my intentions with the least serious one of the group – it’s always great to try new things! I love trying new foods, new hobbies, new experiences. I used to hate mushrooms but now I love them! Sometimes my husband and I will put on movies in different languages just to check out something new. We moved across country from Oklahoma to Los Angeles, CA. That was an experience! Spice up your life once and a while with new and different things, even if it’s something as little as choosing a different dish at your favorite restaurant.

Another big thank you to Jessica!

Check out past DESIGN YOUR LIFE interviews.

people who lead fulfilling lives

July 15th, 2009   |   Life

Every now and then I find a quote in a book that strikes a deep chord. The truth or essence of the passage seems undeniable. I’d like to share one such passage from a book that I found in my apartment building’s laundry room. Not the most glamorous place to find meaningful direction, but who’s to judge?

The passage below is from the book The Purpose of Your Life by Carol Adrienne. I have the passage saved on my computer and printed underneath a tray on my nightstand. Whenever I feel the need for a bit more direction, I read the passage. Enjoy. fulfillinglives

People Who Lead Fulfilling Lives

“People who lead fulfilling lives generally have found a sense of “home” in what they do. They have a philosophy of life that connects them to a larger vision. They accept that life is a continuing challenge. More often than not, they are able to live according to their own schedules, choosing work that is interesting and complex enough to keep them engaged. They get excited about being effective and about being stretched to learn new things.

They have a few good friends who understand their vision and perhaps even share common aspirations. They are not driven by urgency, competition or the demands of the ego.  People who are happy have found an internal harmony by participating fully in the world from the platform of their strengths and passions, having come somewhat to terms with their foibles and weaknesses.

For the most part, they do what they do best. They tend to be wholly involved and present in the moment, and not diminished by pride, envy, fear, or self-loathing. They usually know when they have made choices that are in alignment with their inner sense of moral rightness. They look forward to what life will bring each day, and, at the same time, honor their commitments and do what the say they will do. They care about the little things of life, and they also feel a part of the universal order.”

- Carol Adrienne, The Purpose of Your Life

goodness gracious

July 15th, 2009   |   Life

As I mentioned on Monday, I went to dinner with Patricia of PVE Designs. Up to that point she had been someone who has supported me consistently via comments, emails, and sponsorship. But I had never met her IRL (in real life).


Over dinner I discovered she is introspective, genuine, and intentional. Which explains why she has loved MakeunderMyLife. She shared stories of launching her business while being an active wife and mother. She also gave me candid advice for how to grow as a person and a blogger. I soaked in every word.

Yesterday Patricia shared about our meeting on her blog as well. I am so glad to be a part of this online community which has brought us together. People like Patricia make following your dreams a whole lot easier.

Thank you, Patricia.


Jess LC has been selected for the Designers of Chicago Collection at the Macy’s on State St! As you know, a few months ago I showed Macy’s my collection. Last week I found out that I was picked for this year’s group of jewelry designers. This means that my jewelry will be sold in the State St. Macy’s at trunk shows and the Designers of Chicago counter, pictured below.


There was a fancy press conference today announcing the Chicago designers they are picking for 2009 as well as the Fashion Incubator – Mayor Daley’s Fashion Council initiative. Though they didn’t mention me or any of the accessory designers, they did have an impressive speaker list including Tommy Hilfiger, Terry Lundgren (CEO of Macy’s), and Mayor Daley. I spent most of the event with my friend Kristin of organiK Revolution and The Fashion Show. She bought her new Flip Cam, and we captured a fair amount of the event. She’s busy creating a webisode covering the event which I’ll link here once it’s done.

The Back Story

Though getting into a single Macy’s isn’t an extremely big deal, this is a coming of age for me and my career. When applying to the University of Michigan and to the Ross School of Business, my essays stated I would get my jewelry line into a major department store (I think I mentioned Saks Fifth Ave., but no matter).

Today was also the second time I have seen Terry Lundgren speak. The first time was four years ago at a business school conference at his alma mater, the University of Arizona. After a case competition, I approached the HR VP for Macy’s with my first catalog. That catalog snagged me an internship at Macy’s in NYC in product development for their private label line, Baby Green Dog.

After the internship, I decided that I would venture out on my own rather than grow a corporate career. A relatively risky path. But here I am, two years after launching Jess LC full-time, and I am a designer carried in the same store. Incredible.

Which leads me to a huge thank you (THANK YOU!) to all of you who have supported me and my work. Without your help, this accomplishment would not be possible. Plain and simple.


Above is my friend and fellow Designer of Chicago designer, Dana Reed’s jewelry. We will be sharing a booth at the Sidewalk Sale next week on Tuesday and Wednesday downtown – more details to come.

interview at plush palate

July 14th, 2009   |   LifeStyleWardrobe


Yesterday Crystal, of Plush Palate, interviewed me about: Jess LC, what I’d do if I didn’t design jewelry, design inspiration, and my favorite trend (chevron!). Hop on over to check it out.

Coming later today… my BIG news/secret. Can’t wait to share with you!


I’m having an affair.

My indiscretion with Stanley began a few months ago when Kaitlyn of Eat My Blog introduced me to this fruit and veggie all-star. Until that point I was in a monogamous relationship with a man called Trader Joe. But once I met Stanley, everything changed. Stanley lives at 1558 N. Elston. He’s not super easy to find, but the good guys never are.

So what does Stanley have to offer that leaves T. Joe falling short? Two words. Cheap Produce!


I have begun include more fruits and veggies in my diet, but while shopping solely at Trader’s, I felt restricted in the F+V department. Not the case at Stanley’s. I don’t know how they do it, but the produce is (almost always) super affordable.

They also have a limited selection of other food staples like dairy, grains, and meats. Those prices are usually cheaper than ol’ Joe’s also (I now get my sour cream and eggs at Stan’s as well).


The only discernible drawback to Stanley’s is the fact that often the produce can be on the ripe side, and consuming within the week is usually advisable. But other than that, I think this produce palace is a gift from Mother Nature.




Sorry Joe, I love you so,

but your for fruits and veggies,

Stanley’s is the place to go.

weekend in review

July 13th, 2009   |   FoodLife

Good morning! Rather than do my typical quick recap of the weekend in just a few sentences, I thought I would share my weekend using photos as well. This is one of my favorite weekends so far this year. Keep reading to see some of the highlights.


To start the weekend, I ran my long run with my friends, Kristin and Dave. It was a fun run, and I was ecstatic to have two full days of rest ahead of me. After a quick recovery I went downtown to La Madia (my favorite restaurant in the loop) to have dinner with Patricia of PVE Designs. Let me just say that meeting wonderful people like Patricia is one of my favorite aspects of blogging. We shared a dinner of roasted grape and taleggiio pizza and stuffed artichokes.


Saturday was spent at a reused bike shop looking for Erwin’s next new ‘ride.’ He’s determined to find a lighter road bike to commute to work and trade in his hefty suburban mountain bike.

Later we went to Treats for some ice cream (twisted blizzard of cookie dough and Heath bar) and then visited the Lincoln Park Conservatory. Since the Conservatory is right next to the zoo, we wandered in and found Erwin’s favorite animals, the giraffes. My favorite exhibit is usually the gorillas, but they were asleep when we visited.


Saturday night was spent at Elizabeth and Eric’s rooftop barbecue. After a day of wandering around Wrigleyville and Lincoln Park, we arrived at the bbq and promptly inhaled burgers, chips, and Molly’s Cupcakes.


As for Sunday’s agenda, I will be debuting my favorite (and relatively unknown) cheap fruit and veggie market later today in more detail.

So how about you? How was your weekend?

end of the week exfoliation

July 10th, 2009   |   Exfoliating

Ah. The end of a very eventful week (I’ll have more to say on Tuesday). I am excited for this weekend to begin because once my long run is over this afternoon, I am meeting up with Patricia of PVE Designs. Other than that, there is a rooftop party and plenty of relaxation on my calender.

I also want to share something my friend and makeunder fan, Laina, shared with me this week. It’s pretty inspiring and totally exemplifies the makeunder philosophy.

“I took a huge donation to the Goodwill in my neighborhood yesterday. I had gone through my wardrobe when I moved back to Charlotte and all of the shoes, electronics, clothing etc. has all been sitting in my closet bagged up for about 6 months – I had not needed nor wanted any of the stuff (I actually forget what some of the accessories and clothing are and did not let myself look at any of it before I took it in). It feels so good to walk freely in my closet now! Also, knowing that it was going to a good cause always feels good.”

The End of the Week Exfoliation


“These are a bunch of things I cleaned out of my wallet.”



“Here are 2 some books that were just sitting on my shelf, gathering dust.  Most are textbooks from college I thought I’d use in my job, but I don’t.  Time to pass them on!”

- Christine


“My second submission is a whole slew of makeup (mostly mineral) and eyeshadow samples.  I had been active in swapping them, but I’m just getting tired of them taking up space in my cabinet.”



I am exfoliating these jeans which have been worn once, and promptly placed back on a shelf for the last three months. I got them with the intention of wearing them diligently. But the reality is that skinny jeans are not quite ‘figure friendly’ for me in most circumstances, least of all in the form white stretch denim. Those gorgeous gams in the photo belong to the new owner of the bright whites, Susie (creative director of Studio 1423).


Happy Thursday and a big “hello” to Katie’s readers just discovering MakeunderMyLife for the first time!

This week’s DESIGN YOUR LIFE (DYL) is about Katie of Color Me Katie, writer of one of the happiest blogs I have ever followed. Katie is a wonderful photographer and street artist (I suppose that is a good word for her random acts of kindness). This interview actually came about from a (first ever) reader request. Claire, a friend and MakeunderMyLife reader, told me about Katie’s blog and asked me to connect with her about DYL so she could learn more about Katie’s intentions.

Katie was extremely kind and agreed to sharing her intentions and some of her awesome photos. As I suspected, I was inspired myself to shake things up in my own routine after reading her thoughts. This morning I will not be eating cheesy oatmeal. It sounds like a small step, but I happen to have a serious addiction.

Read on!

Be creative


It’s important for me to express myself creatively every day. I have all of these fun ideas in my head and if I don’t get them out I’m pretty sure my mind would explode. Realistically, I’d probably just get frustrated and fall asleep. But explosion or no explosion, doing something creative acts as a therapy for me. I feel better after taking photographs, making street art, painting, or making wall sized collages. The messier and more sweatier I get, the better I feel.

Don’t grow up

Well, not completely anyways. I think it’s important to keep that little kid inside of you. I see a lot of people turn into grumpy old men that just complain about everything. I know that we’re all adults and we have important adult-like things to do but that doesn’t mean we have to let go of that playful side of ourselves. I’m still all about blowing bubbles, running around in the rain, and playing with my food and I always will be!

Break your routine

I hate the idea of getting up, eating breakfast, and going to work the same way every day. It eventually gets boring and I will not stand for boring! I want to wake up to a day that is always new, so I make sure I change it up a bit. First of all, who made this rule that for breakfast we should eat cereal. If I wake up and want spaghetti, I’ll make spaghetti. Whenever I leave the house I go a different way each time. I walk down a new street, ride the bus, take a different train, or hop on a forklift if I can find one! Even if it’ll take me longer to get there, I don’t care. I just always want to see something new.

Be Optimistic

It’s raining again? Wonderful! It’ll make the flowers grow. I got paint on my favorite coat? Great! I can turn it inside out, sew on new buttons, and make it better than before. There’s always a way to find something positive in a situation you would normally think was negative.

Give yourself a gift everyday

There are some days that can feel so long but it makes it a lot easier to get through if you give yourself a gift. I always like to give myself something little like a cupcake, a flower, balloons, or an iced coffee at my favorite cafe. It’s not expensive and it’s a lovely little pick me up during the day.

Be yourself

I’m not perfect, I know that. I have this thing where I trip at least once a day and somehow my dress will always find a way to fall down at the most inappropriate moments. I say the wrong things at wrong times and only have laughing attacks when I’m alone on the train, which makes me look like a crazy person. I used to be really embarrassed of myself when I was younger but now I find all these little things to be funny and they make me who I am. The next time my dress accidently falls down at a funeral it’ll fall with pride!

Check out past DESIGN YOUR LIFE interviews.

freegaragesalelogoAs I mentioned last week during the first week of The [Free] Garage Sale, I am now opening up the sale for everyone! To keep it simple I will use the End of the Week Exfoliation posts to show items that are also for the Free Garage Sale. I explain it in more detail in the video below.

marisa’s cherry and vanilla scones

July 7th, 2009   |   Food


I mentioned a few weeks ago that my good college friend, Marisa came to visit armed with awesome scones and I have finally gotten around to posting the recipe. My apologies for keeping you from this delicious breakfast food for so long. My favorite part about the recipe, besides the fact that it was pretty light, was that it is round rather than cut into small individual triangles.

Marisa has become somewhat of a cooking all-star in my mind, and one day I just might attempt her delicious cinnamon roll recipe. One day.

Marisa’s Cherry and Vanilla Scones

  • 3/4 c. dried cherries
  • 1/4 c. boiling water
  • 1 3/4 c. flour
  • 1/3 c. white sugar
  • 1/4 c. yellow cornmeal
  • 2 t. baking powder
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 2 T. butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/2 c. plain, nonfat yogurt
  • 1/4 c. evaporated milk
  • 1 t. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 t. butter extract (*editor’s note, had no clue this food existed!)
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten
  • 2 t. sugar
  1. Pour boiling water into small bowl with dried cherries, cover and let stand 10 minutes or until soft. Drain and set aside.
  2. Mix flour, sugar, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Cut in the butter until mixture is coarse.
  3. Combine cherries, yogurt, milk and extracts and add to dry ingredients, stirring just until dough is sticky.
  4. Pat the dough with floured hands into an 8″ round cake pan coated with cooking spray. Brush egg white over surface and sprinkle with 2t. sugar.
  5. Bake at 425* for 20 minutes. Enjoy!

Good morning! I hope you had an awesome July 4th Celebration. My weekend was filled with friends (hi, Catherine, Marisa, and Maggie!), dessert hamburgers and french fries, Michigan Ave., and a party at Kaitlyn’s of Eat My Blog. Now it’s time to get caught up on emails, send Free Garage Sale items, and fill online orders.

I also want to mention (again) to all you blog writers and readers out there, windy citizen or otherwise, that Chiblogo is on it’s way. I reserved the Baby Atlas room at Matilda’s (on Barry/Sheffield) so we can bring homemade treats. Which is why I have a special spot in my heart for any food blog attendees. Just sayin.

So what about you? Are you coming to Chiblogo?


the end of the week exfoliation

July 3rd, 2009   |   Exfoliating

Happy pre-Fourth of July! I have three very good friends coming into town. It will be a girls weekend (with a dash of Erwin) to remember. In fact, I’m following many other bloggers and creating the infamous mini hamburgers and french fry treats (photos to come). We might also enjoy a cocktail at the Signature Room tonight.

What are your plans for the weekend? Anyone in Chicago for the 4th?

The End of the Week Exfoliation


“My first submission is the cookbooks.  I love to cook, and always told myself I’d eventually use these cookbooks, but they’ve just sat on my shelf for years.  I figured now was a good time to get rid of them.”

- Nicole


This Friday’s Exfoliation is some earrings that I haven’t been wearing for quite some time.* Why keep them if I don’t use them?

* The rhinestone dangles at the bottom were from high school senior homecoming! I think they might qualify as vintage.


Ah, the weekend is just hours away! I am starting the day off with a meeting with my SCORE mentor, Mitch. Then off to check out an apartment Erwin and I are interested in (we are moving Sept/1!!). Later tonight, nachos with a college friend at Tarascas have my name on them.

As for the Free Garage Sale, things are moving quickly! Yesterday there was an onslaught of comments for the silver cuff. So comment early on the items below to make sure you get your treasure(s). Enjoy!

Oh, and don’t forget to send in pictures of your End of the Week Exfoliations to get a chance to win the free wardrobe consultation.

THE [FREE] GARAGE SALE – the best of the rest


Scrap booking Eiffel Tower punch Congrats to Creative Be!


Pink hand knitted short scarf perfect for a little girl approx 36″


Three tiered pearl earrings hanging from a 14k-gold heart, little less then and inch long – perfect for a young lady


Adidas running shorts, two-toned blue


Carmel Apple Pops (28) Congrats to Megan!


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

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.

july’s giveaway giveaway

July 1st, 2009   |   ExfoliatingLifeWardrobe


Happy July, everyone! As we look towards our weekend plans, I want to announce the July Giveaway Giveaway prize! Many of you may already know about Jill’s The Good Life for Less blog, and how she does awesome, affordable, and personal wardrobe consultations for people via the internet. The consultations are called The Good Look for Less and she has made these lovely ladies stylish with the stroke of a mouse.

To win the personal consultation detailed below, simply send in your End of the Week Exfoliations (up to four times a month) via email to jess@jesslc.com. If your exfoliation is randomly chosen on July 31st, you’ll be emailed and connected with Jill.

Good luck and happy exfoliating!


The Good Look for Less Wardrobe Consultation

Simply put, the “good LOOK for less” is online wardrobe styling and consultation FOR ALL! No matter if your budget for new clothing and accessories is $100, $500 or $1200 – the “good LOOK for less” serves each client with highly individualized services to make you feel and look your personal best! Clients are served by getting to know them, what their wardrobe desires, likes, dislikes, aspirations and budget are for the current season.  Then “good LOOK for less” sets out to create a shopping list for the client.  The final stage is putting together several outfits from this shopping list.  The outfits easily present what to wear with what and showcase the versatility of each wardrobe piece.  Then armed with the list and the outfits, it is up to the client to try-on and purchase items at their discretion.

This giveaway is for a mini-summer wardrobe inspiration board.  It is a $59 value and will include approximately 10 – 25 wardrobe pieces and 4 – 8 outfits, depending on the winner’s budget (somewhere between $200 and $500 is suggested).

Past Consultations:


freegaragesalelogoNow that we are three days into the Free Garage Sale I can say, this has been awesome to coordinate. I am shocked at how much has been claimed in days one (home goods) and two (shirts). Check out those days, there are still items left!


Today’s selection is a mix of items that are prefect to complete an outfit. The big ticket items are the two bags up a the top, grab them while you can! (I’m guessing the Hobo bag will last approximately 4 minutes before being claimed).

It feels so great to share all of these items with you, dear reader. I cannot think of a better home for them! And even more exciting, I cannot wait to start connecting your exfoliations to new owners next week. Enjoy browsing, and as always, details are at the bottom.


Black Hobo clutch with gold chain handle, credit card pockets and zipper inside, chain detachable for just clutch, wristlet, or over the shoulder 9″ x  5″ Congrats to Cynthia!


White clutch faux leather 11.5″ x 7″, vintage Congrats to Tiko!


Three tiered pearl earrings hanging from a 14k-gold heart, little less then and inch long – perfect for a young lady


Vintage silver cuff with flower engravings (adjustable) Congrats to Shauntelle!


Three (separate) sash belts:  grey/brown flower pattern sash/belt approx 60″, sheer pink sash/belt approx 60″, pink floral sash/belt approx 60″ Congrats to Cecile!


Woven black scarf/wrap Congrats to Shauntelle!


Pink hand knitted short scarf perfect for a little girl approx 36″


Adidas running shorts, two-toned blue

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.

Reach Out

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