Friday, January 31, 2014

Hello 24!

Hey y'all,

Today concludes Birthday week since today is my real birthday! I have no current plans for the day except for shopping with my Mom so you will have to check back later to see what all the excitement brings. 

I hope you all have a wonderful Friday celebrating the end of the month as I go embrace a new year with all it's possibilities and the shift from early to mid-twenties!

Have a lovely day!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Birthday Celebrations {Work/Floor Party}

Hey y'all, 
Today is my last day of work for the week! YAY for only having two full weeks of work this month! I love long weekends and this weekend is about my birthdday! My lovely co-workers have already showered me with lots and lots of birthday love.

Earlier this week CC blessed me with the traveling balloons. Our floor has a set of birthday balloons that keep being reused and when it is your birthday the vase finds it's way to you. 

This morning GM gave me a lovely bouquet of flowers that are now sitting in a vase on my desk. KW made a birthday banner for my office space and I love over the top birthdays but my floor is so sweet and are a huge blessing.

AC brought in fruit and chocolate chip cookies at 9am along with the balloon bouquet. KW also found a Happy Birthday crown. To say I have been spoiled and it is only 10:30 in an understatement. I love my office and my birthday and so far today has been pretty close to perfect.

P.S. SHOUTOUT TO jHl FOR HER BIRTHDAY! I am excited to hopefully get to celebrate our birthdays together this weekend!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

What I'm Loving Wednesday {Birthday Wishlist}

Hey y'all,

Since it is Wednesday I thought I would share some of the things I am loving this week, including the fact that there is snow on the ground here in NC! I am bundled up here at work but for those of you out there I hope you are all safe and warm as snow can be very dangerous here in the South with very little experience driving in it. STAY SAFE! 

Now on a happier note, less than 48 hours until my birthday! The blessing and the curse of a January birthday is that you are so close to Christmas. I love that my left over Christmas list serves as a guide for my birthday wishlist, but I then go months until any big holidays. I mean, except for my Easter basket I wait 11 months before gifts come around. This year it was hard to think of things. My mom and I typically go shopping as my gift and since I am in the process of losing weight, I do not really want to shop for clothes until I reach my healthy, goal weight but we have a while until that. So, I have compiled a few things I am hoping to get but it is always a surprise.

24 birthday wishlist

1. This bookworm always accepts giftcard to bookstores. I don't have any books in particular I am searching for and I have a lot on my Nook I need to get through, but I will never turn down books as gifts.
2. I love my Vera Bradley duffel in Night Owl I got my first year in college. It is the perfect size for weeks at a time or even over packing for a weekend away. I love the Baroque pattern and since it is retiring the duffel comes in under $60!
3. A new Patagonia Re-tool Snap T pullover. I think I might split this with my parents since some of them are on sale for under $85 during the 30% off sale! I got my first pullover in April and have lived in it all year long!
4. Riding Boots. I love my current set I got back my Junior year of college but after four years the pair is looking a little rough, I mean we got them for under $75 at Belk so I think 4 years of wear and tear (I wear them constantly) is great. I think we will be heading to T.J. Maxx or Marshall's to hunt out a deal.
5. And I couldn't not include this gorgeous top released in my favorite print on my birthday list! This is the only exception to my clothing rule since I doubt this will make it to the ESS in August.
Click through to Polyvore or the individual images to pick up these items for yourself.

I hope you all stay warm on this snow day!

What would be on your wishlist during this time of year?

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Top 5 Birthday Dresses

Hey y'all,

Every year in Jaunary I search for the perfect birthday dress to splurge on for my big day. This year since my day of birth will be celebrated with a relaxing weekend with my parents and the fact that I am trying not to splurge on any clothing items I am just looking at dresses from afar. I typically always look at local boutiques for dresses and here are 5 dresses I would seriously consider for my birthday dress...
Linear Equation Dress from Vestique
Love Is A Battlefield Dress from Red Dress Boutique
Polished & Pretty Dress from Girly Girl Boutique
Groove & Jive Shift Dress from Fedora Boutique
and my dream birthday dress:
Vela Dress from Anthropologie
Do you have a favorite boutique? Do you shop for the perfect birthday dress? 
My 21st birthday dress was from Vestique's store in Raleigh!

Monday, January 27, 2014

A Glimpse Into My Weekend

Hey y'all,

It's officially birthday week! I can't believe my birthday is so close, this month has truly flown by and we are almost in February! CRAZY!

Anyway, I though I would share a bit of my weekend through some photos.

1. Friday I unexpectedly got a call to babysit and after watching Lilo & Stitch 2 I allowed the twins to watch Let It Go on my computer before they went to bed. I mean, who doesn't love listening to Disney music before bedtime?

2 & 3. Saturday I hosted a wine, cheese and cupcake gathering at my place to celebrate my birthday with some friends. It was a great night of catching up, eating good food and playing the birthday quiz game. It asks for questions like "If Jessica was a state what state would she be?" and "What is Jessica's spirit animal?" It was a lot of laughter and a relaxing night in. I even was able to see MScott (on the left in the photo) who was in town from Grad School in VA! 

4. On the way home from Church before the party Saturday I caught this picture of the sunset while at a stoplight. I mean how beautiful is that?

5. Sunday wrapped up with watching Downton with my roommate while we sipped tea and painted our nails.

How was your weekend?

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Sunday Sayings

Hey y'all,

I hope you have had a relaxing day and as you watch the Grammy's, Downton, or Sean & Catherine's wedding as you prepare for the week I hope that this quote will inspire you:

Also, my church's current series is called God and the Rest of the Week, this week's message was focusing on Busyness through Luke 10:38-42. I highly recommend it as one of my goals this year is to focus on my relationships and remember the word No so that busyness does not overcome my life.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

52 in 52 {week 4}

Hey y'all,

So here we are on week four of 52 questions in 52 weeks. It is strange revealling all this personal information but I like all the interview questions and I mean where we grow up and who we grow up with does influence our personalities. Now onto this week's question:

Tell us about your mother (hers name, birth date, birthplace, parents, etc.) Can you share some memories you have of your mother?
So my mom is vDj formerly vKj. She was born and raised in Southern California in a rather large family. I mean she is the youngest girl in a family of five kids, four girls and a boy (the baby). She is from the Orange County area and yes we did not watch the O.C. because it annoyed my mom but I have been to Laguna Beach when we visited her family. Her family all live in CA and it has been a long time since I have been to the west to visit but that is one trip I am planning this year. 

My mom is my rock and my inspiration. She stayed at home to raise four kids and instilled in us a love of reading (she has worked as a librarian before). I always think of my mom as the one who took us to borders, the library, was there for all our ballet recitals, was there for all the boo-boos, has the best hugs and is okay with me calling her almost everyday. My mom has survived loosing her parents, having a husband who was deployed a lot, and dealing with four kids and all the struggles of motherhood. I constantly look up to her and her strength. I have gained so many things from my mom, my allergy to benzoyl peroxide, my love of books, my frugal shopping skills, my love of baking/cooking, and my mother-hen gene. 
Aren't Moms pretty magical? What is your favorite memory of your mom?

Friday, January 24, 2014

Five on Friday {J.Crew Factory Arrivals}

Hey y'all,

So we are officially one week away from my 24th birthday! So next week's posts will center around birthday celebrations and shenanigans but in the mean time, it is currently freezing here in North Carolina. I mean, when it is 11 degrees outside but feels like 2, the walk from the parking deck to the office is brutal. Hence why I am currently loving on these beautiful summer like clothes from the J.Crew Factory new arrivals section. Here are my Top 5 picks:

I think this tank would look great tucked into a pencil skirt with a light cardigan, perfect work a day at work. I think I am just drawn to the pattern since it looks like a less defined and muted version of Lilly Pulitzer's First Impression print.

This cardigan comes in the navy and mint colors separately but I love the two combined on this piece. I think this would be the perfect comfy cardigan for running around town doing some errands or throwing on some jeans and riding boots for a casual Friday at the office.

I love J.Crew Chino Shorts and for some reason I am being drawn to this pattern. I keep thinking these with a chambray top and jacks would be the perfect summer uniform. The pattern also comes in the Factory Printed Tissue Scarf, if you are afraid the bottoms are too much.

How perfect would this be as a beach bag? I think this would also be a great everyday bag in the summer since it is made of cotton canvas with a full zipper on top. Here's to dreaming of a week at the beach.

I couldn't make a top 5 and forget the dress that everyone raved about last year! I even tried on the dress in yellow, back when I went to the Factory in Lynchburg over the summer but we all know that yellow is not meant for the pale Irish skinned girl writing this blog. I am currently lusting after the navy and bright poppy colors. I mean for under $70 we all know this dress will be gone soon!

{honorable mention}

And I am also loving this necklace and all of the critter  & polka dot socks.

Are you dreaming about summer? Any J.Crew Factory items you are coveting?

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Hearts & Spades: Kate Spade Surprise Sale!

Hey y'all,

Since it is my birthday month I would typically tell myself "Treat Yourself" but since I am trying to reign in my shopping and focus on eliminating some of my student loan debt I will just have to settle with informing y'all of all of these great bags that Kate Spade New York has on super sale during their "Greatest Hits Sale". You can view all of the sale selections here until 1/23, but here are some of my top picks:

Cobble Hill Leslie
$428 $179
I love it in black and palamino
I love my Pride and Prejudice Book Clutch I snapped up during a surprise sale last year and this sale has two others:
Emma Book Clutch
$328  $129
The Great Gatsby Book Clutch
$328  $129

Are you a kate spade fan? Do you treat yourself the month of your birthday? 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Age of Aquarius

Hey y'all,

Today starts the time of the Aquarius horoscope, typically I am not into astrology but, Lilly Pulitzer has been making Murfee scarves for each of the signs. Since I am a water-bearer (10 days until I turn 24!) I was really excited to see what Lilly would come up with for my sign...

Aquarius is described as:
Here is the murfee scarf:
I'm not in love with it. Typically Aquarius is shown as waves or a person holding a jug of water but this was very mermaid focused. Nothing against mermaids, they were just not what I was expecting for my sign. The first image in this post was a Lilly 5x5 from Pinterest and I thought that would be more inline with the Murfee. Maybe I will love it when I see it in person but for now I think I will pass. 

However, this bangle from C.Wonder might fill my Aquarius fix:

Thoughts? Have you seen the Horoscope Murfees?

Weekend Update

Hey y'all,

If you were like me and had yesterday off I hope you enjoyed the long weekend, for those of you that were hard at work yesterday I hope you were able to take a moment and relax remembering MLK and his acts of service. Since it has been a really long time since I did a we into my life. thought I would share a glimpse into my life. Sorry if it is too long!

Thursday night, I opened my mailbox to find this:
It says "I have my mister...but I need my sister...Maid of Honor?" Yep, I am officially in Jenn's wedding this August! If y'all are wondering about the lamb, it is our sorority symbol and all of us bridesmaids were in PBX together.

Friday I was in a funk at work and was really glad to be home with a long weekend ahead. After deciding to do stretches instead of hitting the gym I ate the last of the beef stroganoff I made for my book club. Around 7pm I headed over to Top This to have dinner with Traci, Jordan and Melanie and no I am not a Hobbit eating twelve meals a day, I just had a small salad. It was such a needed time to catch up and celebrate Melanie's pilot's license! We headed down Franklin Street to grab some Gigi's cupcakes. I might be in the minority but I am not the biggest fan of Gigi's. I think the ratio of icing to cake is wrong and the cake itself was on the dry side. We then headed to Traci's place to watch Just Friends. It was a great start of the weekend and I was able to get to sleep by 11pm which ever since the new year my sleep schedule has been wonky and I figured MLK weekend was the time to reset.

Saturday began with reading in bed until noon. I then get ready to head to Raleigh to spend some time with the lovely bride-to-be Laura at her Bridal Shower.  It was a great shower filled with lots of joy, laughter and a few tears. I can't wait to watch her walk down the aisle in less than two months! 

After the lovely shower it was home to relax and watch some of  the Smuckers Skating Spectacular (and re-watch Gracie Gold's Nationals performance)and then head to church. The sermon was all about discerning God's path for our lives.
And since it had been an emotional few days I decided to make spaghetti sauce at 8pm. Yep, I cook when I am stressed.

Sunday began a bit later than usual since the family I babysit for did not need me, I still helped out at the church nursery and then headed home. I was able to squeeze in lunch, a trip to the local Aldi's for some produce and then head to the dealership in Raleigh for my car's 10,000 mile service. 
Waiting Rooms are for planning and reading.
After heading back from the dealership I met up with some co-workers to catch Frozen at the local discount theater. Yes, it was my third time seeing it and yes I still got tears in my eyes near the end. Let it Go still never gets old.
The rest of Sunday was filled with Downton and Sherlock like any good anglophile would enjoy. I also was able to pick out a few options for the bridesmaid dresses so that is one more thing off of Jenn's list.

Monday. Since I had the day off for MLK, I did nothing until 4pm Monday, yep, all I did was watch daytime-tv, do some chores, and read. Around 4pm I emerged from the apartment to head to the gym and then grab dinner before small group. Small group was very chill since we really just wanted to love on one of our leaders who is going through some rough times. So sweets and a chick-flick it was.

And now I think I am getting sick so it is plenty of fluids and medicine for me.
Any big plans for y'all today? 

Saturday, January 18, 2014

52 in 52 {week 3}

Hey y'all,

This week at work has been pretty crazy and I have been feeling out of wack so sorry for the no-posting, now we are back on track with the weekly question for the 52 questions in 52 weeks. This weeks question is all about your father:

Tell me about your father (his name, birth date, birthplace, parents, etc.) Can you share some memories you have of your father?

Well for starters my Daddy is also known as D.M.D. He is a September baby as a lot of his family, I mean my Aunt and baby sister are also September babies so we always have a lot going on in that month. He is one of two boys and was born & raised in a small town in Northern New Hampshire not far from Canada, Maine or Vermont. Yep, very New England and we were all so heartbroken when the Old Man of the Mountain fell a few years ago.
My Dad is one of my biggest role models. Yes, he was not always around a lot due to being in the military but he has taught me so much about hard work, having a passion, being focused, and so much more. He is such a caring man and I am blessed to have him and my mother as role models of a great marriage. I have learned from him how to ski (both downhill and cross-country), how to cook pancakes on a griddle, to have a passion for traveling, to be strong in your faith, and to be strong. I love spending time with my Dad even if it is just talking at the kitchen table, dragging him to see every animated kids movie on the planet (yes he did go to see Frozen with us over Christmas break), or talking to him on the phone. My dad is a giant kid as my mom calls him but he sees life as full of wonder and questions and we need to explore it (after working really hard). I am his little girl and always have been and I am glad that he is there as my Daddy-Daddy and I'm Jessica-Jessica. Yes we watched the Tom-Tom commercials too much, but I think that was because my Dad used to watch Grey's Anatomy with me every Thursday.

Link up below:

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

WILW {January15}

Hey y'all,

I can't believe it is the end of the day but I have had a really crazy week so I am now just getting around to this.I'm loving...

...random chats with the bestie. I mean, there is nothing like a best friend that just gets you and all of your crazy. I never have enough time catching up with aMl and I am still holding out that she moves back to NC soon!

...this was my devotional yesterday morning from Jesus Calling and it really spoke to my heart. 

...I finally figured out what I am doing to celebrate my birthday! I turn 24 at the end of the month and I am going to have a wine tasting/gathering at my place next weekend with some of my close friends from college. I now need to find cute decor ideas so if you track something down feel free to email me!

...successfully cooking beef stroganoff for my book club this week. I hosted book club this month and made my Mom's famous dish.

...celebrating rMc! We all went to Cowfish in North Hills to celebrate the birthday girl and it was really great food. It was also a photo op for me and my roomie sine we never take pics together!

...our apartment is decorated. Our dining room is all decorated and it is so nice to finally have a cozy feeling at home. 

...anyone else watch the US Figure Skating Nationals? I loved watching the women's free skate programs on Saturday night but Sunday night the men's programs were tough to watch with the quads causing lots of problems.

What have you been loving?

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Rainy Days Call For A Little Lilly

Hey y'all,

I realized I have yet to share with y'all any more outfit photos from my adventure with Allison back in November! I have a go to outfit for work on rainy days and while today is really gross outside I almost wore this exact outfit to work. I always like to mix bright colors in on a dreary day to cheer myself up, I mean life is colorful even in a stormy gray day.

My current go to work bag is the Flicker Sophie from Kate Spade New York (sold out) but I am loving this Michael Kors one and this blush Kate Spade tote.

Top: Old Navy (old)/Pants: Target/ Shoes: Ralph Lauren Amarissa Flats (old)/ Scarf: Lilly Pulitzer Murfee Scarf in Fiesta Pink Spring Fling/ Monogram Necklace: ElizaJay Charm/ Watch: Anne Klein (old)/ Bangles: KSNY bridesmaid idiom & this is the year (2012 version this years can be found here) idiom
I hope y'all have a nice (dry) day! Do you have a go to rainy day outfit? 

Here's my OOTD today: