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[sponsor] anne the adventurer
August 22nd, 2012     |    Life

This sponsor post is Anne The Adventurer who is also doing a Jess LC Silver Lining Tote giveaway today. Hop over to her blog to enter to win!

Below, Anne shares why she started her blog, the intention behind it, and her advice for new bloggers.

 

What drew you to blogging?
After I graduated from college in 2010, I was struggling to find a job as a freelance writer, and just happened to stumble over amazing blogs like Makeunder My Life, Kendi Everyday, and Jen Loves Kev. I was so inspired by their zest for life and prowess as young female business owners. I started Anne the Adventurer immediately as a way to document my post-college life and join the blogging community. I’ve loved watching it evolve over the years; it’s an amazing gift in my life.

What is the intention behind your blog, Anne the Adventurer?
I want to build a positive community with my readers where we can inspire and challenge each other to find adventure and purpose in our daily lives. I really believe that the more we share ourselves authentically with one another and reflect on our past to live intentional futures, the more we will be able to positively affect change in the world. And adventure doesn’t have to mean climbing mountains every day, although it sure can! Times where my husband and I cook a new meal together (and try not to mess it up!), or I have a long talk with my mom – those are some of the best adventures and stories in life.

Tell us about your passion for helping women develop positive self-image and value.

For most of my life, I struggled with severe body image issues and an eating disorder. It wasn’t until I started down my own recovery journey that I realized how little I knew (and others in my support system knew) about what eating disorders are, and how serious they can be. Women are still fighting a hard battle in this world for equality and respect, but confidence and health always starts with the self. I want to do my part, whether it’s through writing, blogging or teaching, to help women find healing and a supportive community.

What post has been the most popular with readers?

A post I wrote for the non-profit Wonderfully Made called “Busting the Numbers Myth”. I started thinking about how my obsession with the scale was starting to show up in my obsession with my blogging stats and number of followers. I’d check my social media or blog numbers several times a day as a way to cope with loneliness or a need for a confidence boost, and it just became exhausting. In the article, I reflected on ways that I can do some “myth-busting” when life gets uncomfortable or when I am doubting my self-worth.

When you’re not blogging, what are you most likely doing?

Right now, my husband and I are planning out our goals for our second year of marriage! Also, I have a group of girls that I meet with weekly to hang out, talk, and share life with. They’re all so great!

Any blogging advice?

The best advice I can give is also the hardest to hear and to do, in my opinion. Write, write, and keeping writing. And then write some more. Finding your voice is really challenging, but it is also one of the most valuable gifts you can give to yourself and to your blog. The blog might not take off as fast as you want it to, but just keep writing and keep posting. You will discover challenges along the way, and those edges will be refined and sharpened with more writing. Also, participate in the blogging community! Be an active participant, not just a passive reader. Comment, email, tweet – get to know your favorite bloggers. It’s an amazing community to be a part of, and it will also help your blog grow!

Read more about Anne and enter her Jess LC Silver Lining Tote giveaway here

 

Tomorrow on Wish I Knew Wednesday I’ll be sharing why I changed the name and url for MakeunderMyLife.com to JessLively.com and gave it a bit of a re-branding at the same time.

A few people have asked about how to choose a name for a company and I’ll be covering that in tomorrow’s email as well. In fact, I’ll also share when I think it could be a good idea to change the name of a company, like I did with MML.

If you’d like to get the email, simply sign up by clicking on the image below. This email list is also where I announce upcoming Workshops and other BWI updates.

(If you have signed up for the BWI newsletter, you will automatically get this series.)

DESIGN YOUR LOOK 2012: And the winner is…
August 20th, 2012     |    Life

Firstly, thank you all so much for your submissions to Design Your Look 2012. We were beyond impressed with how you each styled your favorite Jess LC items.

We are excited to announce Ashley Rae as the winner of Design Your Look 2012. Congratulations, Ashley! We’ll be sending you an email shortly so you can claim your two Jess LC items of choice and $200 prize.

Thank you all so much again for your participation and support of Jess LC.

-Caitlin and Kiley

i’m back!
August 20th, 2012     |    LifeOur Wedding

 

To try to explain this trip will not be easy. It was delightful, relaxing, and will be forever sentimental for Mr. Lively and I.

As I get back into the swing of things (due to a delightfully productive period of jet lag), I want to share a few photos from the trip. I’ll go over our wedding ceremony and honeymoon in more detail later this week. As many have requested last week, there will be lots of photos!

Here are a few to start…

what i am wearing on my wedding day
August 17th, 2012     |    LifeOur Wedding

 

Now for the fun part, my outfit!

Though our wedding isn’t traditional in many ways, I still wanted a white dress. However, since we are most likely holding the ceremony in a garden or someplace quiet, but public, I didn’t want to attract too much attention with a big gown. Anything that could draw a crowd was out of the question… but I still wanted it to feel special.

Given our tight timeline, I knew ordering a bridal gown was unlikely which made my shopping trips limited and focused. I went to Nordstrom, Bhldn, and J.Crew. I also knew that I wanted to wear flats. So a short dress seemed ideal to not overwhelm my height or attract a crowd.

And again, going for short, white, wedding dress that is off the rack made the search even more specific.

Though I found some nice options at all the places I tried, the one that hit exactly the right feel and fit for me was at J.Crew in their bridesmaids dresses. 

Yep, I’m wearing an ivory bridesmaid dress that I got for $240 with tax. Because I opened up a J.Crew card with all my honeymoon shopping, I snagged some savings on the dress at the same time.

So though the dress is not “inexpensive” for a bridesmaid dress, it is a great bargain for a wedding gown. Especially since it fit off the rack.

The savings on this piece opened up my wedding gift clothing budget for lots of other items I’ll be able to wear on our honeymoon and year-round. Plus, my wedding dress can be worn on our special day and possibly at our friends and family parties, too. It’s a win-win-win.

In fact, the shoes I found ended up costing more than the dress.

Ever since we abandoned the traditional wedding route, I no longer had to consider wedding colors or bridesmaids dresses to match (which would have been coral). So I used the old adage “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue” for inspiration.

Because of my short dress, my shoes were an obvious place for me to have some fun with blue. Which apparently Something Bleu agrees with too.

Even the box matched my impromptu wedding color scheme.

As did this lovely pair of flats.

French blue. Flat. With a bow! I mean, common, they were begging to be worn in a Paris elopement ceremony (or any special occasion for that matter).

They are comfy and dressed up enough to add a little something extra to an otherwise pretty simple wedding dress.

And then it was time to add the sparkle.

The rhinestone bracelet and earrings were my late Grandma Constable’s. I am thankful that I’ll also have a piece from my late Grandma Gravette: my engagement stone. So my Grandma’s will be with me through these special pieces.

The pin, which will go on my waist, is from the 1930’s and was bought from a Brooklyn street vendor for $20. The lady vendor had a huge tray of vintage pieces, and this pin seemed more special than any that I had seen in the stores. I adore it’s design and tarnished patina so much. It also fits right in with my Grandmas’ jewelry.

I’ll also be using my Grandma Gravette’s beaded purse. When she passed away in 2004 I inherited a lot of her accessories. This was one of them. Though I’m not sure, I like to think that she might have been married with this purse, too.

For the “something borrowed” part of the equation I’ll be wearing an item my mom sent me to wear which was given to her by her mother (Grandma Gravette) on her wedding day. I’m not sure what it is yet, but I can’t wait to find out.

When it comes to hair and makeup, it cost a pretty penny 200 euros at a local Paris salon to get my hair done on a Sunday (when most salons are closed). So rather than splurge on the hair, I’ve decided to do it myself* and buy new makeup which I will apply myself.

Thanks so much for following me on this journey this week, I can’t wait to share details from the trip when I am home!

 

* To ensure that my curling iron would work in Europe, Mr. Lively did some Amazon research and found what I can only call The Mega Converter. Hopefully this monster will do the job.

[sponsor] fashion for home
August 16th, 2012     |    Life

This post is brought to you by Fashion For Home.

Question: Revolutionary prices for beautiful design?

Answer: Fashion For Home

Let’s face it, beauty and good design are at the top of any interior design enthusiast’s wishlist; no one wants trash cluttering up their hallway or hanging from their light fittings! But given that indulging in your favourite designers can often come with a hefty price tag that promises to go into the thousands (and more…), for most of us value for money is also a seriously important buying factor when its comes to our homes.

What’s that I hear?: “You can’t get both”! Nonsense!

Someone once said “Negativity is expensive” and in this case, they couldn’t be more right! So drumroll please…  I present the stuff that interior dreams are made of: Fashion for Home. This Berlin-based furniture company has eshops in the U.S, the UK, Germany, Austria and The Netherlands and with over 40 designers across 7 different ranges, there is  something to whet everyone’s styling appetite!

In terms of Fashion For Home’s 7 lines, my personal favorite is Fashion for HomeStudio Copenhagen. While many of us recognize the classic straight, crisp lines of traditional Scandinavian design, this range adds some gorgeous, soft curves to the mix: a fusion which has proven very popular among Fashion For Home’s customers. Within Studio Copenhagen, Fashion for Homethe Wimbledon sofas and armchairs are one of the best sellers and are a great example of this union of the curvy and the minimal. Other ranges such as Amore di Casa have been praised for having a far more traditional and delicate aesthetic, with intricately carved wood playing a central role in design.

I have been asked time and time again, “what’s the catch? How do you keep prices low on such great products?” The truth of the matter is that Fashion For Home cuts out storage costs, which significantly increase prices, by making-to-order. Once you order your product it will be made and shipped directly to you, without any hanging around on the way. So there isn’t a catch, there just isn’t a store!

 

When scouting for a DESIGN YOUR LIFE interviewee this week, I turned to my fellow Jess LC intern, Kiley. Kiley is one of those girls who has everything going for her: looks, smarts, talent, drive, and did I mention the girl can dress? You can see for yourself on her style blog, Off Randolph. At the same time, she’s one of the nicest and most down to earth girls you’ll meet. She’s jetting off to Italy soon for a semester abroad, so I couldn’t think of a more perfect time to ask her to share her intentions with us. Thanks for sharing, Kiley! Enjoy!  -Caitlin

DESIGN YOUR LIFE: Kiley of Off Randolph

To me, this comes above all. I often find myself saying “I’m too busy” to keep in touch with certain people, only to realize that instead of pressing snooze five times that morning I could have called my cousin who lives in a different state or an old friend. My latest goal has been to make time for those people in my life that I love, but don’t talk to nearly enough, because ultimately those relationships are the most precious things in our short life.

This Fall, instead of heading back down to Nashville, where I’m a student at Vanderbilt, I leave for Italy to study abroad for the semester. This summer has been spent preparing, getting excited, attempting to fit everything I want to pack in one checked bag (whoever made that rule was surely a man), but mostly hearing tips from everyone about how to best take advantage of my time in Europe. The thing that I hear most is “depth over breadth”; instead of racing through every European city I’m dying to see (that would be all of them), I hope to really experience a smaller number of cities, make lasting relationships with people I would not have met otherwise, and go off the beaten path in each place I have the opportunity to spend time.

I may be alone on this one, but I probably spend over an hour every day dreaming—in class, on the bus, while I walk, everywhere. And while I have no idea what my future job will be or what my future home will look like, I think there is a certain importance in dreaming because without the dreams to start out with, there is no hope of them becoming a reality.

The idea of giving back is huge to me—HUGE. Growing up, I was never a sports person or a theater person or an artsy person. I was, however, a huge fan of school and wanted to take classes all year round (weird kid, I know). One summer I took a class called Youth and Society, which exposed me to a different non-profit organization in Chicago each day. Volunteering almost every day that summer was the most satisfying thing I could have done with my time; making others happy is definitely one of the keys to being happy yourself.

In a perfect world, we’d all immediately succeed in whatever we set out to do, but that doesn’t sound like a very interesting world to me. Planning on making mistakes helps me deal with them when they happen and more importantly, learn from them quickly. Knowing that I’ll make more mistakes than I’d probably like to makes it easier to aim higher since I’ve accepted mistakes as something good in life.

Check out past DESIGN YOUR LIFE interviews.

 


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