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today is…

August 31st, 2009   |   Life



Have a great day. I’ll be back to work and blogging in the days to come.

end of the week exfoliation

August 28th, 2009   |   Exfoliating

Ah. The next time I write, I will be living in a new home. Er, apartment. I was lucky enough to find someone to paint the bedrooms at the new place after all, so I will be lugging home four gallons of paint this afternoon. Erwin and I are moving my jewelry studio to the apartment on Sunday and the rest of our stuff on Monday. Tuesday is for painting and RCN. And here’s hoping that the laminate flooring gets repaired today.

End of the Week Exfoliation


“I’m getting rid of two necklace chokers bought in New Delhi, India. They are 12 inches long each, and I can probably ship them for free. ”

- Aditi


“Here is the picture of my major exfoliation and the link to my blog post about it.”

- Arual


“I just discovered your blog and I’m inspired by your goal of getting rid of one item every week. I am sending you a photo of my weekly exfoliation: three cookbooks I have decided are not worth keeping. Two Rachel Ray cookbooks and “Forrest Gump’s Favorite Chocolate Recipes.” (They were all wedding gifts.) If you or any of your blog readers would like the books, I would be happy to ship them.”

- Kelley


“I’m submitting this stack of books as my exfoliation for the week. It’s time to pass some knowledge on to someone else as well as gain some more space on the bookshelf (which is actually anywhere I can stack some books in the apartment.) One of them has been sold already so yay!”

- Ruth


My move is really encouraging me to make some major shifts in what I own. This pile is just a tip of a large exfoliation ice burg which has grown throughout the week. Below are two items below that I think would be loved by some of you, so comment to claim them. First comment, first served.

PLEASE NOTE: Since I am moving on Sunday, I would like to have these items shipped to their new owners today. So if you comment to claim them, please pay the $5 PayPal invoice today as soon as you get the email request. Thanks!


Two standard pillow cases with crisp handmade trim. White and light pink.


Small lined notebook (I used about 8 pages of it, which have been ripped out).


Oh how small the Internet really is. Kind of like Chicago, it’s a big city with a lot of tiny neighborhoods. Recently I ‘bumped’ into an old Internet friend who long, long ago designed the logo for Jess LC. She is none other than Stefanie of the blog, Brooklyn Limestone, and design company, Sonic Stef Designs. It turns out that she has a gorgeous home which she has renovated from scratch and blogged about throughout the process. Like her design work, her taste in home decor is flawless. If you haven’t seen her work, it’s definitely worth checking out and adding to your Reader.

In reconnecting with her, I asked her to contribute to the DYL series. She obliged, and below are her intentions. I love the last one, so true yet hard to remember at times. Thanks, Stef!

DESIGN YOUR LIFE: Stefanie of Brooklyn Limestone and Sonic Stef

Get Tivo

Were you expecting some sort of deep platitude here?  Forget it.  Tivo will literally give me time for other things without sacrificing trash television.  Its the gift that keeps on giving!

Get in front of the camera


I struggle with this one.  Who doesn’t hate to see a terrible photo of themselves?  I rarely take a photo that doesn’t make me consider wearing a bag over my head from that moment on. I try to remember that when I’m old and rickety, I will look back on those photos and marvel at how young and beautiful I was back then.  Might as well have a few more to look back on.

Get Happy on your Birthday


My birthday is a sacred holiday in my house.  Sure, it’s a bit selfish to expect my friends and family to go out of their way but guess what? Too bad for them, it’s my birthday!!! I do something special on this day every single year and encourage you to do the same.  If it’s the number that is bothering you – just remember: you will be just as old the day after your birthday! Enjoy it.

Get a cat


I often think to myself ‘there is a wild beast in my house!’. Hours of entertainment, people.

Get Real

There is a lot of pressure to be living the perfect life – the fulfilling job, the stylish wardrobe, the ideal family, the perfect home, the plush bank account, etc.  Being happy doesn’t mean having everything I ever dreamed.  Honestly, I don’t think it’s even possible.  If I can get a couple of those things, I think I’ve done pretty well and I won’t worry about the rest. I tend to think life has a way of working out okay even if  I didn’t imagine it quite the way it happens.

Check out past DESIGN YOUR LIFE interviews.

happy birthday, e!

August 26th, 2009   |   Life

As things start to unravel a bit here at the studio (I’m starting to move out the items that I’m not taking to the new apartment), I want to mention that today is Erwin’s birthday. Happy birthday, Erwin!

We’ve celebrated with a surprise party last weekend, and tonight we’re going to dinner with his friends and co-workers to celebrate again.


Apartment Update:

Things are getting exfoliated right and left. So far I’ve got new homes and owners for: a bed frame, coffee table, lamp, picture frames, metal decor keys, wire baskets, armless chair, desk, side tables, and bookshelf. The only major item I have left to sell is my 24″ RCA TV. Hopefully this goes in the next few days.

vintage inspired exfoliations

August 25th, 2009   |   ExfoliatingLife

So far my new moving concept (moving with only items that fit my vision for the new space) is going well. I have listed several large items on Craig’s List and I am leaving a fair amount of furniture in the studio for the new occupant. But there are a few items which are up for grabs here on Makeunder as well.

I’ve decided to exfoliate these a bit differently since they are bulkier than normal exfoliations (and will therefore require more money to ship). They also have a fair resale value. See below for their descriptions, dimensions, and price (paid via PayPal).

To claim any or all of the items, please comment on this post. The first comments stating intent to purchase will get the items below.


Description: Decorative gold painted metal keys.

Dimensions: Large: 24″x8″ and Small: 18″x 6″

Price: $25 for both keys (includes shipping). Congrats, Jessica!


Description: Two decorative chicken-wire baskets in distressed olive paint. (Pine cones not included… unless you want them.)

Dimensions: Both baskets: 10″x6″

Price: $15 for both baskets (includes shipping). Congrats, Cortnee!


Description: Two faux gold frames with art prints.

Dimensions: Frames: 8″x6.5″

Price: $8 for the pair (includes shipping). Congrats, Becky!

a new perspective on moving

August 24th, 2009   |   ExfoliatingLife

Good afternoon! I hope you had a great weekend. Mine was filled with planning Erwin’s surprise birthday party. It did turn out to be a surprise (thankfully) but unfortunately I didn’t whip out the camera, so I don’t have any photos to share.

Several people that came asked me to post a few of the recipes that I used, including the Jalapeno Popper Spread and Cookie Dough Ice Cream Cake. Both were easy to make with few ingredients.


A New Perspective on Moving

This weekend Erwin and I also ordered our new sectional for the apartment we’re moving into next Sunday (!!). I’ve also been ruminating on what I want to exfoliate before I move. I thought about doing a Throw Out 100 Things challenge or something similar. But then I realized, I was looking at the move backwards.

I really should think about “What do I want to bring to the new place? Which of my possessions fit the vision I have for the new space?” And then the challenge is to only bring those items that match the new space, the new vision. So instead of planning on bringing everything, I’m going to start compiling all of the things that I want to bring. After I have everything separated this way, the things that aren’t in the “want to bring” pile are getting exfoliated. End of story.

Sure, my space will not be exactly the way I want right away, but over time I’ll have the resources to fill the new space with the rest of the items I want. And this way I’m not dragging things to the new space unconsciously, without an intention to use them.

I’m pretty pumped about this new paradigm. I’ll let you know how it goes. Anyone else done something similar?

end of the week exfoliation

August 21st, 2009   |   Exfoliating

The weekend. It’s going to be a good one. After a pretty hefty long run (marathon training is starting to ramp up now) tomorrow morning, I’ll be baking with Kaitlyn.

On Sunday Erwin and I will be ordering our new sectional and I’ll be inventorying what fits my vision for our new space and what I need to exfoliate. Be warned, there might be a “Throw Out 100 Things” challenge in the week or two to come. I’m ready for a big evolution in what I own going forward. Is any one else feeling a strong sense to change and evolve right now? Maybe it’s the season change approaching.

Until tomorrow I’ll be at the State St. Macy’s for a Trunk Show, come visit and say hi!

End of the Week Exfoliation

Remember, you can send me (jess@jesslc.com) your exofliations and I’ll post them here each week. Each exfoliation entry gives you a chance to win the Giveaway Giveway prize, which for this month is a new Madison necklace.


Free Garage Sale Items

These books aren’t going to get any more use from these eyes so they are off to someone new! Any takers? Comment and directly mention which book (or both) you’d like and I’ll ship it to you if you pay $5 for shipping.


Good afternoon! I just want to stop in and mention that Susie, my intern extraordinaire, and I will be at Macy’s tomorrow for the Designer’s of Chicago Trunk Show before the big Glamorama event that night. Here are the details:

Who: the Macy’s Designers of Chicago designers (including Jess LC)

What: Trunk Show (we’ll have the classic Chicago collections as well as the new Wellington and Madison pieces)

Where: Macy’s, 111 N. State St. (near the elevators in the jewelry section)

When: 10-4

So come on over and say hello!


August 20th, 2009   |   DESIGN YOUR LIFE


Oh boy. I’ve been excited about this DESIGN YOUR LIFE for a while now. Erwin (my boyfriend) generally stays behind the scenes of MakeunderMyLife, but he’s agreed to be interviewed for DYL following a reader request (thanks, Danny!).

Though some of you may not know much about Erwin, I can tell you that we definitely complement each others personalities. He’s a calm, steady force. His gentle nature and laid back personality make him extremely likable. I think it will be pretty clear after reading his intentions that he’s someone you’d want to be friends with.

I also think you’ll see why I consider myself a pretty lucky girl.


Let life go

In many cases I let the small problems go away in my life. Why waste negative energy when I can instill much more positive vibes in myself and in others? My stress levels tend to stay down this way and I find that I am calmer in the more challenging moments in my life.

Get out the comfort zone


Every now and then it’s great to try something new and out of the ordinary. Whether it is a new activity, music, or food (Slurpee flavors in my case), it all provides fresh experiences to enjoy. Stretching my boundaries has helped me in finding out more about who I am as a person and what I would like to become in the future.

Laughter always helps

Each day I love to watch all kinds of comedy on YouTube, television, or DVD. It keeps me upbeat and laughter is a great way alleviate any problems that might be going on work or elsewhere. I forget about any other pressures and just laugh. It’s simple.

Musical Chairs

Ever since I can remember, I have had a large affinity for music. When I say “affinity” I mean to the point where I memorized basically all of Nickelodeon show television themes from the 90′s (Jess utilizes this as a party trick). Music can change my mood immediately and I find it to be soothing. I try to expose myself to as many new sounds as possible because I never know what I could be missing out on. Speaking of music….

Dancing through life


I have always found dancing to be an amazing form of self-expression. There’s a large amount of creativity that can be displayed through dancing and I find that it’s very enjoyable. Whether it’s with friends or by myself, I can dance forever.

Take time to care


I try to take time to care about other people in my life. There are times when friends, co-workers, or anyone might be in a bad mood and individuals may try to avoid contact with them because of that fact. In those times I try to reach out those people because there might be a bad situation going on in their lives that no one may know about. That’s the case where that individual needs someone the most and for me I like to make the effort to have compassion for them. I believe that it can have a larger impact than you would think.

Check out past DESIGN YOUR LIFE interviews.

intentional obsession [update]: sectional

August 19th, 2009   |   LifeStyle

A few weeks ago I mentioned that I was drooling over a sectional for our new apartment. It looked like this:


What I liked: the neutral color, modern lines, and scale of this Blake Sectional from West Elm. What I did not like: the price tag.

So this weekend Erwin and I headed over to Roy’s Furniture to see what they had to offer. Overall, we weren’t too impressed with the selection. Except for one. The one.


It isn’t exactly like the Blake sectional, but it’s pretty darn close. We decided to get the same layout as the Blake sectional with the chaise on the end (which is the real reason I want a sectional). They say it takes about six weeks for delivery. And at less than half the price of the Blake, it’s going to be a lot easier to afford other things like a) groceries and b) a new J.Crew boyfriend blazer next month.


I also like the darker coffee poly-velvet as opposed to the West Elm version. It’s going to hide dirt and stains a lot more.

What do you think?

chiblogo recap

August 18th, 2009   |   Life

Good afternoon! I have finally compiled most of the photos from Chiblogo, take a look.

It was a great event and I’m so happy to have met so many of you for the first time in person. Check here for the full Chiblogo wrap up.


Courtney and Lauren, the two greatest hostesses to work with. Many a nacho was consumed at this table while planning Chiblogo.


Not surprisingly, Courtney made the cutest Chiblogo banner. Planning with interior designer/decorators has it’s perks.



Enter Baby Atlas. Enter Chiblogo.



Stephanie, Stephanie’s mom, and Erin.


Jillian and Crystal, journalists and humor bloggers.


Jess and Jess.


The best PB&J cookies ever.


Yeah, Erwin was there too. (Thanks, hun!)


Megan, Emily, and Erin writing the future of Chiblogo on note cards.





The not-quite-after-party.


Chiblogo 2009!


On the house.



[photos taken by Courtney]

hamburger cupcakes

August 18th, 2009   |   Food

At this point, I know I’m a borderline blogger cliche making the infamous hamburger cupcakes for Chiblogo. These little guys are super popular on blogs. I first fell in love with them on Bakerella. I then made them for a Fourth of July barbecue and now for Chiblogo this weekend. The recipe is simple, the photos tell the whole story.









the new whole foods

August 17th, 2009   |   FoodLife

This weekend was a blur of fun and food. I will start off by saying I’m busy editing and finishing the photos from the first Chiblogo event which was a huge success! More on that in the next day or so.

The New Whole Foods (AKA): “Date Night”


I’ll start off this morning with a photo tour of the new Whole Foods on N. Kingsbury (conveniently located around the corner from the J. Crew on North Ave.). I heard it was the third largest Whole Foods in the world, and decided to check it out for date night before seeing Funny People with Erwin.

Friday morning when I told E my plan, he asked, “are you sure there is going to be enough food for me to be satisfied?”

This is (a small fraction of) what we saw:















Needless to say, we didn’t leave hungry.

end of the week exfoliation

August 14th, 2009   |   Exfoliating

Happy Friday afternoon! This Sunday is my second anniversary of living in Chicago. Pair that up with Chiblogo tomorrow night at Matilda’s and I’m in for a pretty exciting weekend. Anyone else with anniversaries or coming to Chiblogo, too?

End of the Week Exfoliation


“I bought this bag at a boutique in Silver Lake that is no longer in existence. It was called Edna Hart and it was a victim of this economy, unfortunately. I loved this bag so much when I first bought it that I bought my mom one in red for Christmas. The thing is, I don’t use it much anymore. Because I don’t love it like I used to. But, my mom still does. And she is the happy recipient of my first Friday Exfoliation. Enjoy the bag, Mom. Now you have one in red and black. (Feels good.)”

- Stephanie


Free Garage Sale Item

This little pretty is a vintage tulle apron I bought two years ago, before I moved to Chicago. It’s faithfully hung on the jewelry studio refrigerator handle and added a nice little touch. But it doesn’t have a place in my vision for my new apartment. So it’s time to find a new home? Any takers? First to comment gets the apron ($5 domestic shipping).


Recently I got a very nice email from Melissa of So About What I Said. Of course I promptly responded and checked out her site. I immediately found myself in awe, inspired, and excited to invite her for this week’s DESIGN YOUR LIFE.

As you will read, Melissa has overcome incredible adversity with grace and a great sense of humor. Reading her intentions you can tell, she’s done some incredible designing in her life. Her authenticity is palpable.

I hope you enjoy her interview. I think it’s one that’s going to stick with me for months to come.

DESIGN YOUR LIFE: Melissa of “So About What I Said”

Make it a great day or not – the choice is yours


My mother is a sixth-grade teacher, and a few years ago, the school principal began saying this every morning at the end of the morning announcements. I scoffed at it for years, but it really does make sense. We sometimes can’t control what happens to us, but we can control how we react.

Surround yourself with the people (and cats!) you love


I’ve been blessed with an incredibly supportive group of family and friends. They’ve stuck by me. I know everyone says this, but I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for my mother. She’s been an incredible rock of love, support and comfort. I’m amazed at how she does it sometimes. And, of course, our two beautiful cats, Harry (the orange tabby) and Stella, make every day an adventure for us.

Keep going in the face of adversity

Having a physical disability (Freeman-Sheldon Syndrome), I’ve faced some pretty touch times. I’ve had 27 surgeries, been hospitalized more times than I can count and could probably recall every medication I’ve ever taken. But you know what? Those moments, even the ones where I felt hopeless and frustrated and “just wanted to be like everyone else,” pushed me even harder to keep going. I was determined to live my life and wasn’t going to let my disability stop me.

Write for you


I graduated college in 2005 with a major in journalism. I’ve always loved writing and the power of creative expression (my mom claims I wrote my first beautiful piece, a poem, in third grade), and have since been a freelance writer. In addition to writing for magazines (I’ve just had a featured accepted by SELF magazine), I’ve been a weekly newspaper columnist for almost 3 years. Writing has a way of being very therapeutic for me. I’ve been able to put my story, my life, on paper and not be afraid of what people will think when they read it. There’s something incredibly freeing about that. I’ve made a vow with myself that I won’t shy away from anything in my writing, remain true to myself and above all, write with honesty.

The greatest love affair you’ll ever have is with…yourself

I’ll be the first to admit that my physical disability has impacted my love life. At first, I kept wondering what was wrong with me: Do I scare guys away? Is there some inherent flaw within me? But then it dawned on me: I wasn’t comfortable with myself, in my own skin. The moment I stopped being so self-conscious of my body and started really loving myself for who I was, suddenly, I wasn’t so eager to find The One. And I also realized that any guy who can’t handle my disability isn’t even worth my time in the end.

Be happy

Two simple words, but they’ve been the hardest for me to integrate fully into my life. After my father’s suicide in 2003, I became very angry. Angry with my dad. Angry with my life. Angry with the world. I just couldn’t even envision a time when I could ever be happy again; I closed my eyes, and all I saw were the happy times my father and I shared together, like the hours he’d sit at the kitchen table with me as I struggled through high school chemistry or the long walks we’d take together just talking. Those times were gone, I thought. Forever. I would never, ever be happy again. And now, more than six years later, I’m finally starting to feel some of that happiness again. I’ve had to let some of that anger go, but it was necessary to make room for my happiness. Because even though my father is gone, I’m not. And I want to live a life filled with laughter and smiles. I know deep down that he would want that for me too.

Check out past DESIGN YOUR LIFE interviews.

emotional clutter: a farewell to baab

August 12th, 2009   |   ExfoliatingLife

I have been thinking about this day for several weeks. Maybe a month. I have known I have to do this, but I haven’t been able to come to terms with the reality.

With my move coming up in the next few weeks, taking stock of the items I’m bringing and those I am exfoliating, leaves me thinking about a special someone in my life.


Check out my video below where I explain who Baab is, and what I intend to do with him now that I’m moving forward.

Farewell dear Baab, you have been loved and will always live in my heart (and in this post).


PS- Did you notice the new Madison necklace I was wearing? It’s navy and shade :).

chiblogo – this saturday!

August 11th, 2009   |   Life

REMINDER: Chiblogo is coming up! The details are below in pretty invite format. See you all this Saturday.

We’ll imbibe, mingle, hang out, and figure out what kind of blogger community we want to create here in the Windy City. And for all those who don’t live in Chicago, come make it a road trip! Feel free to RSVP by commenting on this post or on the Chiblogo site.


julie & julia project movie – thoughts

August 11th, 2009   |   Life


As mentioned, I’ve read a quarter of the Julie & Julia Project book with lukewarm feelings, despite my excitement for the movie.

On Saturday, Kaitlyn and I did see the film and definitely enjoyed it. The food. The bruschetta. I don’t know how they did it, but that food looked amazing.


Did anyone else see it this weekend? What did you think?

We thought it was good. I did found myself comparing the movie to the actual book for the first 30 minutes, but luckily I began to let go of my assumptions and actually enjoy the story being told on film. I adored Julia, and Kaitlyn found a strong connection with Julie (she happens to be a food blogger with an adorable boyfriend as well). I think it’s safe to say that if I ever do finish the book, I will continue to prefer the movie more.

[photo credits one and two]

new apartment colors

August 10th, 2009   |   LifeStyle

I know that I’m approaching my second anniversary of living in Chicago this week because I hear the Chicago Air and Water Show jets buzzing around Lincoln Park. My first day in Chicago happened to fall on the same weekend as the 2007 show.

New Apartment Colors

Today I’m debating about paint color for the new apartment. Erwin and I checked out the space one more time this weekend and the leasing agent mentioned we might be allowed to supply paint color for the painters. I am very excited about this possibility.

Below are the ideas I have at the moment, though none are set in stone. What do you think? Any other ideas?


The one major hang up I have about the living room/kitchen is matching the granite to the wall color. I am not crazy over the khaki/black/brown tones as wall color. And I won’t be able to see the granite to compare it to paint chips before buying the paint. So this one is going to have to be a hail Mary. Unless of course, I decide to stick with plain old white. Which I could do, I just feel like it won’t feel as warm or lived in. Thoughts?



The studio is going to be warmer and cheerful, I want it to have a different vibe from the rest of the apartment so I don’t feel like I’m always working, eating, and sleeping in the same space. I also have big plans for a gold and white chevron project.


This icy blue is my favorite color right now, I have linens this color and I think it would be perfect on the walls. Soothing and subtle.

Ready for a sneak peek at the new Madison collection? Take a look at this pretty (shown in gold and navy):


Sorry for the blur/dark color, jewelry is a tricky to photograph. But you can get the basic idea. We are also doing this guy in a big statement earring as well. As for the rest of the collection, you’ll just have to wait until September.

One lucky exfoliator from the End of the Week Exfoliations will win this necklace as August’s Giveaway Giveaway prize. So send in your exfoilations (jess@jesslc.com) and enter to win the first piece of the new fall collections!

end of the week exfoliation

August 7th, 2009   |   Exfoliating

I am pumped about the next two days, which include a long training run, Julie & Julia, a 90′s Music Party, grocery shopping, tapas, a fashion show at Sushi Samba, and two out of town friends (Vicki and Amy). A whole lot of fun in 48 hours, that’s for sure. Does anyone else have a similar packed weekend?

PLUS- be sure to check in later this afternoon and see a sneak peek at a Madison necklace which is also the Giveaway Giveaway item for August!

End of the Week Exfoliation


This bag was my first jewelry sample bag (by Liz Claiborne), and I’ve outgrown the size. So on it goes to a new owner. Any takers? Comment to claim it, and I’ll ship it to you for $7 (it’s going to need a pretty big box).

makeunder on the LOVELY list

August 6th, 2009   |   ExfoliatingLife

G’day mates!

What if people really said that in Chicago? I think the city would be a better place. I also think the city would be better if we said the words “B vitamins” like Gillian McKeith of the BBC show, You Are What You Eat (which I have watched everyday and thereby lost 1.2 pounds). I also now call Erwin “Dookie Beans” in honor of Gillian. You’d have to watch the show to think all of this is funny.



Okay, back to the point. Just stopping in again to share Brandy’s The LOVELY List and the special feature of MakeunderMyLife posted this morning. Check it out!

reader makeunder: morgan’s schedule

August 6th, 2009   |   ExfoliatingLife


OhmygoodnessamIexcitedaboutthispost! This week I interrupt the beloved DYL interviews to bring you this very special reader makeunder by Morgan. A few months ago I outlined my process of making under (linked below) and Morgan sent me her schedule makeunder last week. I never thought to apply the steps to my schedule, but it make so much sense! When I get a moment to breathe, I intend to do my own schedule makeunder and register for mint.com (I hear good things).

My favorite part of Morgan’s makeunder is her letter to herself. It was like I was reading my own yearly letter to myself, tone and all.

Take a look at her intentions and I bet you’ll end up inspired like me. I have to say, I’m constantly inspired by all of you :). Keep up the great work.

Makeunder Steps

Step One – Create a vision
Step Two – Exfoliate stuff
Step Three – Identify intentions
Step Four- Reflect and Evolve

Morgan’s Schedule Makeunder

The person I want to be is ever-present, but hidden behind a cloud of physical and emotional crap. The path to contentment and my best self is found by removing the unnecessary stuff in my life. If my space is peaceful and clean, I will in turn feel calm and focused.   I need to change my environment to reflect my intentions to provide a space for my best self to develop.

Step One


Imagine how I want to feel once I have accomplished my intentions in SCHEDULE and then identify the steps I need to take to reach that end.
Solidify these ideas by creating a vision board, mantra, or writing a story.

What do I really, really want for myself? I want to feel happy, calm, collected, confident and positive in my relationships and myself.

Dear Morgan,

What a great year it’s been.  I have learned so much about relationships and myself.  I have stretched what I thought were my limits and impressed myself time after time. Working on time management and scheduling has helped my life to be calmer, more focused, happier, more confident and collected.  I don’t over-plan anymore and I am always focused on the people at hand.

When others are with me, they know and feel that they are of value to me and that I enjoy their company.  I only make plans that I genuinely care about.
I never forget to plan for myself and take time for personal maintenance.  I go to my favorite workout classes and made time to stay in shape at least three times a week without fail. I don’t get behind on things like tweezing, shaving, waxing, toenail painting; haircuts and things that make me feel good about myself and confident.

Although I see the people I care about less, I show that I am thinking of them through notes, postcards, texts and emails.

I don’t over-plan.  And I don’t let my apartment get too dirty or unorganized.  I feel good about who I am and how I treat myself and how I treat others.  Thank you for taking the time to help yourself Morgan.

Love, Morgan

Step Two


Go through whatever you’re dealing with while using the Need/Use/Love Rule.

In this case, I need to look at my plans for the upcoming day or week or summer and see if what I have planned is something I Need/Use/Love and get rid of what does not fit into my vision for myself (my letter).

I can tell you right now that this will be difficult to distinguish, only because I truly love so many people and things I do.  However, this is the simplest and most understandable approach I can imagine to tackling this problem.  I see my time management problem as something that I can carry right with me till I am my grandma’s age and although I adore and respect my grandma, I don’t think her schedule is what I want for myself (or at least not with my current mindset).

So… here I start.

Scheduling:  Things I Need/Use/Love

  • Work and Commuting Time (also keeping up friendships at work)
  • Exercise 3x Per Week (Minimum)
  • Personal Maintenance (haircuts, nails, wax, etc)
  • Cooking 2x Per Week (for joy of doing and health)
  • Paying Bills and Checking Bank Account
  • Friend Communication (Carey, Pamela, Amanda, Missy, Joanne, Jessica, Others)
  • Family Communication (Mom, Brother, Dad, Grandma)
  • Clean Apartment
  • Crosswords and The Office

(this looks like an extensive list already…. Quite daunting)

Scheduling:  Thing I Don’t Need/Use/Love

  • Prolonged Facebook Stalking/Time Wasting (I am allowing myself 5 measly minutes a day)
  • Most of the things on my Need/Use/Love list DO NOT take place after midnight (with exceptions).  Therefore, I feel like I should curb the amount of time I spent staying up till the wee hours of the morning unless it’s for something I really love and enjoy.
  • Excessive trips (if I have 3 days available to be somewhere visiting someone, I am learning to take 2 only and have some leftover time on either side for myself).
  • Jumping from one unfinished task to the other.
  • Spending more money than I have (this does not have to do with scheduling so much, but my next task is making a budget)
  • Alone time with friends who don’t need/appreciate it
  • I work in my hometown and when I’m there I feel like I need to see my high school friends, mom, dad, Pamela and her family, workout, etc.  When I am there, I will pick one thing to concentrate on and not stress myself out expecting to accomplish more.


I thought about making a planner color-coded with things I need/use/love, but those things that eat up my time are never on my planner.  I’ve decided to print this out for the time being, but also start working on a bit of an artistic collage/painting that can hang up to remind me of the things I want to keep in my life and if I’m spending time doing something not really on there or that I don’t need/use/love, to stop and redirect myself.

In college, I made 5 new year’s resolutions that I hung up next to the door to exit my room.  They were big goals and whenever I was headed to do something I would check my goals and if what I was going to do didn’t help me reach one of those goals, I wouldn’t do it.  I had great focus and self-control that year and reached each of my goals.

Thank you Jess for your blog and support.  You have been a wonderful influence on my life through your website.

and the winner is…

August 5th, 2009   |   Exfoliating

Good afternoon. Sorry for the late posting- I had my first appointment at Macy’s early this morning. The verdict is in: Madison and Wellington are hits! And as many of you know, I asked you all to weigh in about the color choices via Twitter a few weeks ago. The debate between plum and navy was heated. And it turns out that I have decided to add both plum and navy for Madison.

July’s Giveaway Giveaway Winner Is…


Number 3- Christine L! Congratulations, lady. You are now in for a sweet custom wardrobe consultation with Jill of The Good Life for Less.

I’ll be debuting August’s Giveaway Giveaway prize later this week.

(Hint it involves a piece from the new Wellington collection…)

julie and julia

August 4th, 2009   |   Life

This summer I’ve decided to give myself a break from my usual non-fiction-self-improvement style reading. I’ve decided to read this:


Yes, in honor of blogging I am reading Julie & Julia before seeing it in theaters this weekend. To all my non-blog reading friends: yes, I’m lame. To all my blogging friends: yes, I’m cool.

[... Unless bloggers are too cool for books and movies about blogs. In which case, I'm pretty lame. Period.]

One of the reviews I read compared the writing style to Bridget Jones Diary. So far (I’m about 100 pages in) I like it pretty well, but I’m not quite getting the same hilarity factor. Nevertheless, I am super excited to see the movie with my blogging and cooking buddy, Kaitlyn.

How about you? Anyone read the book? What did you think? Should I keep reading or just wait for the blog flick?

[photo found here]

off the chain update: cluster love

August 3rd, 2009   |   Life

Good (late) morning! I am back from a long weekend my old college town of Ann Arbor. It was great to visit ‘my person’, Maggie, and meet all her med student friends. I also got to visit some old haunts like The Jug and see the new business school. Plus, I got to kayak on Argo Pond.

Just for the record, Maggie is a fantastic kayak driver.

Off the Chain Update: Cluster Love


Upon coming back to town, I had the most wonderful email with these fantastic photos taken by a recent Jess LC client, Deannah, of Pretty Much Fabulous. She wrote about her two-tone cluster bib necklace (in honey) here.

Her Hubbs took the photos, and I must say: I’m thinking about making them the Jess LC homepage sometime soon…

Feel free to send me any photos of your Jess LC baubles and I’ll post them here as well.

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