ZARA

What I'm Thankful For...

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For those of you who've followed along on the happenings of my life this past year, you'll know it has been a rough one. I was left heartbroken, stabbed in the back, tricked, conned, bamboozled... Nonetheless, my heart is still so full and I still consider myself to be hashtag blessed. I've listed off FIVE things I'm beyond thankful for.

BOTH MY CAREERS. In addition to blogging, I have a full-time job. I'm a creative recruiter. I work with some of the biggest Fortune 500 Media and Entertainment companies and help them find talented individuals to work for them. I love it. I love the people I work with and I love that I get to find people a "home" in their professional lives. I feel fortunate enough to be doing something I love, that getting to help others find that is an incredible feeling. And of course, I'm thankful everyday to be blogging. To be able to connect with you all whether you live the city over from me or across the ocean in Asia or Europe. Blogging has opened so many doors for me professionally but it has also helped me improve as a person. It's enabled me to form connections with others, build relationships with other bloggers who are just as obsessed with makeup and fashion as I am. I've gotten to travel the world "for work" to create content for my blog. All in all I'm incredibly thankful for both my careers. 

MY HEALTH. When you're younger you never imagine you'd develop health problems/issues as you get older. A couple months ago I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder. I've actually lived with it all my life, but more recently its been getting more and more unmanageable. After 4 months of tests and trials, my allergist and immunologist landed on a course of treatment to help manage my condition. In addition to my autoimmune,I've started going to physical therapy twice a week to help treat and manage my scoliosis. Both these conditions require treatments involving shots and man oh man, you wanna see me go from fierce and strong to weak and cowardly... just put a needle in front of me.

MY LOVED ONES. With everything I've been through this year (and of course all the years that have come before) I'm so thankful to my support system. My girlfriends who are my sisters through thick and thin, I'm thankful that you always have my back and cheer me on in all my endeavors. Amanda, Angel, Kaisa, Michelle and Anelisse, THANK YOU. Ya'll know I wouldn't have survived the hardships of this year without you. 

MY ABILITY TO JUST PICK UP AND GO. I used to think this was me running away from my problems, but I've realized its actually me feeding my need to wander. I'm not one of those individuals that can be caged or tied down. My soul feeds off adventure and exploring new places and I'm so thankful that I'm able to do so. I'm thankful to my job which has a pretty lax time off policy and the fact that I have income to do so. 

MY LIFE. Even with all the wack shit I went through this year, I'm still thankful to be living the life that I do. I know that in my roughest moment, their are others who have it even harder than I do. Complaining and bitching about all the bad in my life is just offensive and disrespectful to those who face actual hardships in their day to day. I consider myself to be lucky that I don't have to worry about where I'm going to sleep, or where my next meal is coming from. Next time you se someone less fortunate or maybe someone having a rough day... PAY IT FORWARD. Buy the person behind you at Coffee Bean their morning coffee, or share your dinner leftovers with a homeless person. These little acts and gestures have a bigger effect than you know. 


dress: Zara "Dress with Silver Stripes" in black
boots: Marc Fisher "Alinda Over The Knee Boot" in black
sunglasses: zeroUV "Retro P3 Round Flash Color Mirror Lens Metal Sunglasses 9208" in gold midnight
belt: Gucci (borrowed from my mama) - similar here

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LA, We Meet Again

I'm definitely a SoCal girl through and through but after the break-up, the healing and the perspective that followed, I knew it was time for a change. I have been spending a ton of time up in LA as of late, probably because two of my favorite humans, Vicki and Moray, are getting married next month so there has been lots of wedding prep, events and festivities. Spending all that time in LA, I knew one thing was for sure... I FUCKING MISSED IT. I missed being able to go to our usual spots, Twain's and Spitting Chicken (both of which no longer exist but... you know what I mean) or go out and grab a drink at the Hudson or EP/LP. 

For the past month, I've been hustling. Researching potential jobs, phone interviewing any moment I could and make the drive back and forth to LA to interview in person. Last Friday, I got a call that my hustle had paid off. I got a job! And not just any job, the one I really wanted out of the ones I interviewed for. I wanted this job more than I actually wanted to be back in LA. The people were great, the company sounded amazing and I felt like this is a place where I could really grow professionally. It was a month ago, when I was at Theresa's with Vic, Cait and Michelle and then and there over our sangria, I decided I'm moving back. I willed it and I made it happen. 

I ran into Evelyn of Everything Evelyn last week at a blog event and she said the sweetest and spot on thing to me. "Jen, this break up has done wonders for you. You look amazing!" For those of you who are lucky enough to know Evelyn, you know she's one of the most kind-hearted people who just infects you with her positivity. It honestly just radiates from her. But when she said that to me, it clicked. I am back! I'm on top of the world, I'm on top of my game. Not only do I look amazing, I feel amazing. I feel like the me I was pre-CS, only better. I feel stronger and more resilient. I feel extremely capable of conquering this new chapter in my life. I honestly cannot wait to get my butt back to LA and see what I can make happen. 

Of course, I'll miss Orange County. These past two and a half years being home in picture perfect OC, I achieved more than I ever thought possible. I launched my blog (and kept at it... if I'm being honest this blog is my 5th attempt at blogging), I created a small business with my best friend Amanda, I got closer than close with my high school best friends, I made new friendships that carried me through the rough times, I loved and I lost and I found a career for myself. I really became an adult being back home. It's crazy how the one place I tried to escape growing up, was the place that ended up giving me perspective. But it's time for me to blow this popsicle stand...

LA, I hope you're ready for me. We meet again.

sunnies: zerouv (part of the first look's for summer, not yet available)
jacket: zara (no longer available), similar here and here
dress: huxley + harper (no longer available), similar here
jewelry: marida jewelry "havana choker"
shoes: joe's jean (no longer available), similar here

Weighted Words


Dear Men,

If you have nothing truthful to say, say nothing at all.

From,
A Woman Naïve Enough to Believe You


I’ve always been taught that you should never say anything you don’t mean because your words have an effect on others, no matter what you think. A couple days after the “don’t hate me” text message I did something I shouldn’t have fucking done. I sat at my desk and re-read our entire text conversation from start to finish to see if I was hallucinating his feelings towards me. Apparently I'm a masochist?! But nope, I didn’t. I almost wish I had, so then it would give me a reason to get over this. I highly doubt I hallucinated all the perfectly sweet things he was saying. What I didn't realize at the time is that he could have just been saying them without meaning it.

I’m one of those people that ever rarely says anything I don’t mean because I understand that words have weight behind them. So unfortunately, I expect others to follow suit. This is why I’ve only said "I love you" to one man. I understand that those three words have a world of weight behind them. They are powerful words. They’re not words that should be blurted out over a mutual love for salt and vinegar chips or a disdain for Joseph Gordon Levitt. (This happened IRL with him) Words are extremely powerful and in the end his words hurt more than I could've imagined.

I feel like I was conned and lied too. What's funny is we had a running joke about "the long con." How he was dating me to murder me, ha. If you know me I'm really intrigued by murder and crime shows. On our first date I told him one of my fears about dating apps was that I could end up murdered. In the end I'm still here, still alive but definitely conned. I’m the naïve woman who believed him and what he was saying. It’s extremely hard for me to sit here and not feel like a stupid idiot, but I have to snap myself out of it. I have to remind myself, I was completely honest and truthful the entire time. I was me. I was not pretending. I did nothing wrong.

After spending four days feeling sorry for myself, eating my weight in pie and ice cream, I have to say I’m proud of myself. Don’t get me wrong, my feelings are still fucking hurt and I still feel like a damn fool. But I’m extremely proud of myself for taking a risk. My friends are amazing enough to remind me of that as well. I’m a VERY guarded person but with him, I let all my guards down. I went into this experience open and honest, excited for what would come from it. But let me tell you, what happened was the exact opposite. I never imagined he would break things off, let alone in a text message. I feel like that was a new low I experienced as an adult. If he was feeling a certain way, I would have thought he would have enough respect and courtesy for me to communicate that to me in person.

For any parents reading this, teach your sons (and daughters) that if they are in a similar situation to mine to have enough respect to break things off in person, face-to-face. Also, they shouldn’t be adding a “don’t hate me” at the end. The person on the receiving end is entitled to how they feel in that moment and days to come. If they hate the person after all is said and done, they are allowed to. I don’t harbor any hatred or resentment towards him. I’m hurt and disappointed by him but I’m more mad and upset with myself. I’m mad and upset for not realizing sooner that he could have been saying these perfect things without believing them. To him they could have been empty words he was throwing out loosely to get me to fall for him. Not only did I fall, but I feel like I crashed and burned.

He fooled me. He conned me. He lied to me. But hey, now I know for next time. As much as I could say I wish I had never met him, that would be a lie. I had a couple conversations with my friend Matt about this and he reminded me that no matter how hurt I was and wishing I hadn’t met him, would I trade in those feelings for never experiencing the good I did with him? I had to think about it... but in the end, no I wouldn’t. You take the good with the bad. The time I spent with him was wonderful, we went from zero to sixty fairly quickly and I was genuinely happier than I've ever been. I learned a lot about myself and found out how open and honest I could be about my feelings. It’s unfortunate it ended in the manner it did, but I’ll be okay. Moving forward this is something I’m just gonna have to make clear to the next person I choose to take a risk on. “If you have nothing truthful to say, say nothing at all," because your words are weighted and I (unfortunately) will believe them.


top: zara (sold out), similar here
sunnies: zerouv "oversize moon and start sunglasses a331" in black
pants: topshop "jamie coated skinny jeans" in black
purse: aliexpress
shoes: zara "flat shoes with bow details" in black
choker: whim things

My Journey With Anxiety

Dear Me,

I don’t know how to tell you this but you’re a major stress ball with a lot of anxiety. I know the word alone makes you anxious. Let’s talk about your anxiety and what happens when it does kick in.

From,
Me


I feel like I’ve been dealing with anxiety forever. I was officially diagnosed with anxiety in 2006, my first year in college. I notice as I get older it gets worse and worse. Nowadays I try and avoid situations that make my anxiety worse, however I’m not always able to. I think in my college days, I would just drink to cope with the massive amounts of social anxiety I would get, which would lead to several blacked out nights. That was college Jen. Let me also add, one of the worst social anxiety black outs I experienced also led to me getting my grandmother’s vintage Louis Vuitton purse stolen. Yup... It was a bad night.

There are 6 different situations in which I notice my anxiety is starting to take control of my life.

1.     Avoiding social situations
I don’t know exactly when I started avoiding social situations altogether, but it’s something my friends do bring up quite a bit. In college I was someone who was always down to go out, take shots and party until the sun came up. But now days, I don’t even bother trying to come up with a creative excuse. I’ll literally tell someone I’d rather be in bed, Netflix-ing with wine and a bag of hot cheetohs. On the occasion that I do end up “out”, I’ve mentally prepared for at least two weeks. My girlfriends are really good about sending me calendar invites weeks before a big night out so it’s on my radar and I have enough time to put my party pants on. Gosh, how lame do I sound?! Recently, my social anxiety has gotten better. I’ve been the one texting my friends, trying to plan nights’ out so I thought I was slowly overcoming this. However, last week at a blogger brunch, my anxiety kick in bad. I found myself just very out of place, very quiet and getting really nervous. Which I find to be really odd. I think attending blog events really helped my social anxiety, it put me in situations where I needed to put myself out there and really make an effort to engage with others. But hey, I’m only human... I have my good days and my bad.

2.     I lose my voice and become mute
Even though blog events and networking has really helped me overcome my fear of public speaking and large social settings, sometimes these environments get the best of me. When that happens I can feel myself shrinking, getting smaller and smaller and I just shut down and stop talking. This is still something I am navigating; I haven’t quite figured out how to snap myself out of it when this happens. I tend to just excuse myself and go home. Although this isn’t the best way to remedy this situation, it’s the only thing I have found that slowly snaps me out of it. I’m still working on this day in and day out.

3.     Overanalyzing anything and everything
When my brain goes into overdrive and my anxiety comes at me in full force, I overanalyze anything and everything. Why did this person use an exclamation point and not a period? Why haven’t they texted me back? Oh my gosh, they hate me. What did I do? Maybe I should have said this or that. I was recently talking with a girlfriend of mine and she put things into really great perspective for me. What you are overanalyzing, is it a fact or a feeling? If it’s a feeling that’s fine because you can feel the way you feel but unless you know it’s 100% fact don’t stress over it. I know, I know, it’s a lot easier said than done but unless you know something is 100% happening or gonna happen no use giving yourself an anxiety attack over it.

4.     Thinking the world is going to end (not literally, but my brain always goes to worst case scenario)
I think this ties into how I over analyze, but in addition to over analyzing my brain goes to worst case scenario. When that happens, check yourself. This isn’t Armageddon… the world isn’t gonna end. Sometimes I forget how strong I really am. I’m a child of divorce, struggled with bullying and some other things I am not so proud of…so I had to grow up strong, really depend on myself and my choices. Yes, there have been some hiccups here and there but I think I’ve done pretty well for myself and am extremely proud of the person I am. Whatever bad comes, I need to remember that I will survive it.

5.     I eat anything and everything
I am an emotional eater. When I’m sad, I eat a pint of ice cream, an entire bag of hot cheetohs and can probably chow down about 3 cupcakes. For as long as I can remember, I’ve had an emotional connection to food. When something good happens you go out to a fancy dinner and drink to celebrate. When you experience a heartbreak you curl up on the couch with your bestie and go through a lot of Ben and Jerry’s. I hate how food controls my life, especially because I don’t work out. If anyone has any tips on how to break this emotional connection to food… I’m all ears!

6.     I’m mentally and physically exhausted
There are days where I feel just drained. Like I’ve been put through the ringer, been hit by a bus and just been told that I’ve failed at life. I hate this part of anxiety because it makes me feel worthless and for someone who really values their worth, this feeling sucks. The feeling that you can’t do anything right, the feeling where you’d rather stay in bed than face the day. I haven’t experienced very much of this lately but when I do I hate it. I think it’s important to surround yourself with people who continuously uplift you and also find something that makes you happy. I’m lucky enough to have a really close group of girlfriends who have known me for long enough to know that when I get into one of these mental exhaustions they very bluntly tell me to snap out of it, no sugar coating allowed. I also have found some activities that put me in “good moods” and make the day cycle through pretty quick. As cheesy as it sounds, go find your bliss. Do what makes you happy. Anything that stresses you out or gives you anxiety is not worth it. These two things will help snap you out of your mental and physical exhaustion and make you really happy that you’ve carpe’d that diem.

Although I have yet to find the solution to tell my anxiety to kick rocks, slowly but surely I’m finding things that help ease me out of it. You just need to remember to let yourself know that you are strong and you will survive whatever comes.


top: forever21 "mesh fringe sleeved top" in black
jeans: topshop "coated jamie" jeans in black
jacket: zara "metallic biker jacket" in dark silver
shoes: steve madden "paiton" in tan nubuck
photos: photobyvincent

Black & Yellow, Black & Yellow

This yellow leather jack from Zara is my new favorite thing, whats even better is I got it 50% off during the Zara summer sale. (So unfortunately, it's no longer available) I love how bold it is and even with temperatures reaching 90*degrees in sunny SoCal I had to wear it. Because how loud the color is I opted for a monochromatic outfit. I opted for a basic white tee and black pants look, with some fun grey boots. Annnnnd of course, I accessorized with a choker from Whim Things.

top - lou & grey "signature tee" in white (sold out), similar here
bottoms - h&m "super skinny regular jeans" in black
jacket - zara (sold out), similar here
shoes - public desire "darla mirror heeled ankle boots" in grey patent
choker - whim things "single black velvet choker"

xx JEN

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