Polka Dots, From Desk to Denim

 
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I’m reading the book Joyful right now, which profiles research-proven design principles that universally bring us joy. This polka dot top - which I would’ve instantly described as “fun” - could inspire that sensation in me for three reasons: polka dots are circular in shape, they represent abundance, and the color of this top is like a happy sunset. Basically this top = joy and I couldn’t agree more. Even better is finding two ways to wear it right out of the gate - with black pants for a fancy schmancy occasion, or with sneakers for casual occasions. In either case, I am certain to feel joy from what I’m wearing that day!

Top: Nordstrom Rack, $27 (similar, similar, similar, similar)
Dress pants: Express, $45
Skirt: H&M, $25
Heels: J.Crew Factory, $35 (similar, similar, similar)
Sneakers: Adidas/Amazon, $79
Earrings: Saks Off Fifth, $13 (similar, similar)
Purse: Bloomingdale's, $70 (similar, similar, similar)
Approx. dates: Sneakers, earrings are 4 years ago. Pants are 2 years ago. Purse is last year. Skirt is recent. Top is new.

One $18 Dress, Through the Years

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Just a few ways I’ve worn this dress since I bought it 5 years ago!

 
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This dress is dress goals. I’ve been loving and re-wearing this thing for years and it only cost $18! My goal is to keep and wear everything I buy forever, but it doesn’t always wind up working out that way. I get frustrated with myself that not every purchase winds up being a “win” but I’m celebrating the ones that do. It’s fun to look back on all the different ways to wear it, but today’s version might be my favorite based on comfort alone. Now I’m thinking it would be cute with sneakers, too! Do you ever struggle with making your clothes last?

Jacket: NM Last Call, $45 (similar)
Dress: Forever 21, $18 (similar, similar, similar)
Belt bag: Walmart, $14
Shoes: H&M, $25 (similar)
Earrings: Saks Off Fifth, $13 (similar, similar)
Approx. dates: Dress is 4 years ago. Earrings are 3 years ago. Jacket is last year. Shoes and belt bag are recent.

 
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I'm So Happy White Shoes Are a Thing

 
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The morning of these photos I was part of a photo shoot for the nonprofit I work with, Samaritan Village, (if you have a moment please vote for them here!) where the amazing Mosaic Salon did my makeup so much better than I typically do! Later, I headed downtown to Wall Crawl, where my husband Joshua snapped these photos. The smile on my face has a lot to do with who is behind the camera (wink), but it’s also because I just love white shoes. I always have, so the fact that they are trending for fall is just an added bonus! They go with everything and are so easy to throw on. Do you like white shoes?

Top: c/o Jane.com, $26 (similar, similar)
Jeans: Levi’s/Amazon, $49
Shoes: c/o Jane.com, $28 (similar)
Earrings: c/o Jane.com, $10 (similar)
Purse: Mud Pie, $13 (similar, similar)
Approx. dates: Purse is 3 years ago. Jeans are recent. Top, shoes and earrings are new.

The Mock Neck Top

 
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I am loving the shape of this top! It reminds me of the J.Crew polka dot top I posted recently, but I love the addition of the smocked waist. It feels vintage - like way, way back - so to steer clear of “costume” territory, I kept the rest of the outfit modern (high-waist, ripped jeans, anyone?). The top is slightly sheer, so I added a nude, lace bralette over my usual strapless bra which was the perfect solution. I also rounded up more options below! Is this a shape you would try?

Top: Forever 21, $20
Jeans: Levi’s/Amazon, $49
Shoes: Cole Haan/Amazon, $54 (similar, similar)
Purse: Macy’s, $63 (similar, similar, similar)
Approx. dates: Shoes are last year. Jeans and purse are 6 months ago. Top is new.

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Inspiration:  @TENINDVR  via  ShopStyle

Inspiration: @TENINDVR via ShopStyle

Why I Quit Blogging Full-Time

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We need to have a long overdue chat, you guys! I made a major life change and did not properly discuss with you. (where are my manners? please forgive me!) The truth is, I’m not sure when I made the decision to quit blogging full-time - it unfolded rather slowly. It started as an itch - the feeling of “there’s something more” - years ago. I ignored it, naturally, because to not ignore it - to dream for something bigger, when life had already presented me with such an amazing, mind-blowing journey with J’s Everyday Fashion - felt ungrateful, too ambitious, too scary. But this itch, this voice, only got louder and louder until I found myself pretty much miserable a couple years ago - something HAD to change. Joshua and I brainstormed “what to do next” (he’s been working with me on the blog full-time since we got married in 2015) and we agreed that he was going to open a photo studio, while I kept blogging, at least for the time-being.

Fast forward and we opened Wall Crawl in downtown Orlando two months ago! Which is nothing even close to resembling our original plan. I blame the itch. When I gave myself permission to dream - when I listened to stories from other women who are multi-hyphenates, who have had many successful careers and roles, I said “you know what, why NOT me?” And that little invitation is all it took for the voice to become a full-blown roar - including the idea of Wall Crawl, a 4,500 square foot photo studio and event space with 20+ backdrops that change seasonally, which thankfully Joshua was just as excited about as I was. (Our skillsets are the ultimate match - I have crazy ideas, and he knows how to problem-solve and make them a reality!)

Beyond Wall Crawl - I’ve got some exciting news about my ethical clothing line Eden & Ivy I can’t wait to share soon, as well as a third project I’ve been dropping hints about for awhile. In other words - YES! I can do all the things. I can pick up a paint brush even though I’ve never painted a wall and create a mural. I can style backdrops even though I don’t have any experience in interior design or crafting (but know what I want in a photo!). I can design a clothing line. I can write new-to-me genres like fiction and poetry - because, anyone, ANYone can!! You, my dear friends who are reading this, are no different. You are not just one thing. You are not limited to just one role. No age is too old to start a second, third, or fourteenth career. Finding your untapped passion and talent (trust me, you have some!) is one of the most thrilling things in life - whether it’s planting a beautiful garden and watching it bloom, opening a business, or painting a wall. I would’ve said 9 years ago when I started blogging, “I don’t have a creative bone in my body,” but is it really our lack of creativity that holds us back, or simply our beliefs about it?

So yes - blogging is not my full-time gig anymore. Wall Crawl and Eden & Ivy and this other project are all my new babies which are getting a lot of my time and love, too. But one thing I want you to know is that YOU - yes YOU - made all of it possible. Especially Wall Crawl - because you shopping and reading for the past 9 years funded the entire project (how insane is that?!). Every time someone walks in the door and gasps, shrieks, or laughs (and they typically do), I get tears in my eyes. It’s such an amazing feeling to have a space that makes people HAPPY - and YOU DID THAT! So Wall Crawl is your baby, too.

I’m not going anywhere, there will always be blog posts and there will always be outfits, but I'm only doing 2-3 blog posts a week now, and now you know why. Thanks for your patience with me this year as I took time off to build Wall Crawl - and thank you for your support over the last (nearly) decade - you made it all possible! For that, I am eternally grateful!!

Sweater: Forever 21, $23
Skirt: H&M, $25
Sneakers: Adidas/Kohl’s, $52 (similar)
Earrings: Jane, $5 (similar)
Purse: Old Navy, $30 (similar, similar)
Approx. dates: Shoes are 3 years ago. Earrings, purse are last year. Skirt is recent. Sweater is new.

 
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Not So Sure About This Dress

 
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Sometimes I’m unsure about an item until it arrives in the mail and I can try it on. Sometimes even after I try it on, I have to mull it over for a bit. And sometimes, I order a dress, take photos in it, see the photos and go - “you know what, I may not be so crazy about that dress after all!” This dress falls into the last category. It’s super cute and I’m convinced it would look great on someone else, just not me! I’m glad I gave it a shot though - trying new things is the best way to find what you really love and will wear forever.

Dress: TJ Maxx, $60 (also in navy and black)
Shoes: Dolce Vita/Amazon, $73 (similar, similar, similar, similar)
Purse: Bloomingdale's, $70 (similar, similar, similar)
Earrings: Saks Off Fifth, $13 (similar, similar)
Approx. dates: Earrings are 4 years ago. Shoes are 3 years ago. Purse is last year.

Red Leopard Skirt, Two Ways With Walmart

We are proud to partner with Walmart for today’s post.

 
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Skirt  /  Top  /  Purse  /  Shoes

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Skirt  /  TeePurse

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Skirt  /  TeePurse  /  Sneakers

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Skirt  /  TeePurse  /  Sneakers

 

Skirt  /  Top  /  Purse  /  Shoes

I’m back for round two of We Dress America this fall with Walmart – a style campaign that is all about inclusiveness and “style that doesn’t discriminate, at prices that all of us can feel good about.” In other words – clothes that won’t break the bank, with free 2-day shipping on orders $35+! (Woo hoo!)

For today’s post, I styled two outfits around the cutest $14 red leopard skirt! The first look is perfect for date night – with a black eyelash cami, BCBGeneration red handbag and black ruffle mules, you will be ready to have such a fun night. For the second look, I threw on a Levi’s graphic tee, black belt bag and sneakers to give this skirt a totally different personality. I love wearing sneakers with skirts and this combo is so cute for weekends!

Check out more Walmart faves on a budget below – and tell me how would you wear this skirt?

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Top  /  Sweater  /  Top  /  Top
Booties  /  Shoes  /  Purse  /  Booties
Skirt  /  Skirt  /  Dress  /  Dress  /  Jumpsuit

Stopping To Smell The Roses

You know that feeling when you’re really busy - hectic, rushing from one thing to the next, constantly forgetting things and missing deadlines? I’ve been operating that way lately. We say to ourselves, “well, it’s just for today, or this week,” but how long has it really been? At some point it just becomes normal and not being busy is the thing producing anxiety. (Like without activity and people needing things from us, we might cease to exist.)

It’s got very little to do with today’s cute polka dot dress, but as I sat down to write a rushed blog post, I decided to slow down and be intentional instead. I needed this reminder today and I’m sharing it here, on the off chance that it’s a welcome reminder for someone else! Slow down. Sit in silence. Enjoy the rest.

Dress: Nordstrom Rack, $35
Shoes: H&M, $25
Purse: Bloomingdale's, $70 (similar, similar, similar)
Earrings: Saks Off Fifth, $13 (similar, similar)
Approx. dates: Earrings are 4 years ago. Purse is last year. Dress, shoes are recent.

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Only Wearing Puff Sleeves From Here On Out

 
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I’m being just a lil’ sarcastic when I pledge to only wear puff sleeves from here on out, but part of me is alllll about it. Where has this shape been all my life? It makes me feel like I’m on holiday in Italy (modern, but mixed with lots of nostalgia and history) and gives my boxy body type the appearance of curves, the likes of which I’ve never seen. Give puff sleeves a try - you might love them, too!

Top: Zara, $30
Skirt: Madewell via Stitch Fix (similar)
Shoes: JustFab, $30 (similar, similar, similar, similar)
Purse: Jane, $35 (similar, similar)
Earrings: Jane, $10 (similar, similar, similar)
Approx. dates: Purse, shoes, earrings are last year. Skirt is recent. Top is new.

 
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The Perfect Denim Skirt

 
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This is one of those stories where you don’t find the skirt, but the skirt finds you. Has that ever happened to you? I was minding my own business, doing a return at H&M for some pants I ordered online when I spotted this skirt. How could my closet be missing such a staple? I realized. I love how it makes this otherwise preppy, office-appropriate shirt look way cooler and more weekend-appropriate. It also works with two recent outfits - floral pouf sleeves and rainbow tee with sneaks. I’m diggin’ it!

Top: J.Crew via Stitch Fix (similar, similar)
Skirt: H&M, $25
Shoes: Nine West/Ross, $28 (similar, similar)
Purse: Macy’s, $63 (similar, similar)
Earrings: Jane, $5 (similar)
Approx. dates: Earrings are 2 years ago. Purse is 1 year ago. Top, skirt and shoes are new.

 
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Leopard Skirt with Sneakers

 
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Leopard skirt - part 2! You saw a dressy outfit with this skirt in Friday’s blog post, and today is the casual version. I loved wearing it with sneakers for a day spent on my feet running around at Wall Crawl. All the comfort, without sacrificing on style! Plus this skirt was only $15 - I’ve already gotten so much wear out of it!

T-shirt: Forever 21, $16 (similar below)
Skirt: TJ Maxx, $15 (more leopard skirts in this post!)
Sneakers: Adidas/Amazon, $79
Earrings: Saks Off Fifth, $13 (similar, similar)
Approx. dates: T-shirt is 6 years ago. Earrings and sneakers are 4 years ago. Skirt is recent.

The BEST $30 Outfit

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I still can’t believe this outfit was only $30(-ish) dollars so if you’re like “how is this even possible?!” I am right there with you. The best part is - both the top and the skirt are still in stock in all sizes! I can’t recommend this outfit enough. I’ll be featuring another way to wear this leopard skirt (with sneakers!) on Monday. And if you like this Wall Crawl decor - I shared those links to shop as well!

Top: Forever 21, $18
Skirt: TJ Maxx, $15
Shoes: J.Crew Factory, $35 (similar, similar, similar)
Purse: Bloomingdale's, $70 (similar, similar, similar)
Earrings: Saks Off Fifth, $13 (similar, similar)
Approx. dates: Earrings are 4 years ago. Shoes, purse are last year. Top, skirt are new.

 
 

That '90s Floral

 
 

The ‘90s are huge this year. Especially “micro florals” which is a fancy name for the small floral prints that you see on this shirt. This print combined with the shape (I’m all about the square neck and puffy sleeves lately!) made this top an instant win. It’s giving me all the nostalgic feels. Are you a fan of ‘90s styles?

Top: Forever 21, $13 (similar)
Jeans: Levi’s/Amazon, $49
Sandals: Jane.com c/o, $27 (similar, similar)
Purse: H&M, $25 (similar, similar, similar)
Earrings: Jane, $5 (similar)
Approx. dates: Earrings are last year. Purse was 6 months ago. Jeans, shoes are recent. Top is new.

 
 

I Finally Found A Yellow Dress

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I stopped counting the years as they ticked by and I tried and failed - repeatedly - to find a yellow cocktail dress that I could love. It’s a saga I’ve blogged about many times, so I’m happy to report that I have finally found “the one!” And being able to photograph it in front of one of my favorite walls at Wall Crawl made it all the more sweet. (I did this mural and think I might be obsessed with creating rainbows now!!) It was totally worth the wait.

Dress: ASOS, $65
Shoes: Charlotte Russe, $25 (similar, similar, similar)
Purse: Macy's, $55 (similar, similar, similar)
Earrings: Kendra Scott/Amazon (similar, similar, similar, similar)
Approx. dates: Shoes, earrings, purse are 3 years ago. Dress is recent.

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Look-for-Less Leopard Skirt

 
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‘Tis the season of leopard skirts! This print is trending big time right now, but leopard is also a total classic, so it’s not something that will just come and go. I’ve had a silky, mid-length leopard skirt on my wish list for a couple months now, and I’ve been stalking this one at Bloomingdale’s to see if it would go on sale (it hasn’t). Then I stumbled upon this look-for-less version on Amazon and read the rave reviews, and decided to give it a try! For $29, the quality is not great - it’s not lined (but also not see-through at all), but I added this slip anyway, for comfort. It fits true to size (I’m wearing the S) and the pattern is spot-on (wink). It’s a lot more affordable than the Bloomingdale’s option, but I’m sure that one is much nicer quality, too. So it really just depends on your budget - both are great options!

Bodysuit: Eden & Ivy, $38 (fair trade)
Skirt: Amazon, $29 (with this slip underneath)
Sneakers: Adidas/Amazon, $79
Jacket: NM Last Call, $45
Earrings: Saks Off Fifth, $13 (similar, similar)
Approx. dates: Sneakers and earrings are 3 years ago. Jacket is last year. Bodysuit is recent, skirt is new.

 
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An outfit idea for winter!

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Today's Everyday Fashion: White Top + Shop This Decor

 
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I‘ve posted so many white shirt/jeans outfits over the years, you guys are probably sick of seeing them. (I never seem to tire of wearing them, though!) I linked to outfit details below, but I also linked to perhaps the most exciting part of today’s post - the decor. This is one of 20+ walls in our new photo studio in downtown Orlando (Wall Crawl). I purchased the decor, and then asked local plant stylist Anna LaBeau Caibio to work her magic with greenery. She did a FAB job, and then I promptly killed most of the plants, so these are faux replacements (whoops). It’s such a fun and affordable interior look - and hopefully you’ll have better luck with the plants than I did! 😉 Deets below.

Top: Zara, $30 (similar, similar)
Jeans: Levi’s/Amazon, $49
Heels: DSW, $50
Sandals: Jane.com c/o, $27 (similar, similar)
Earrings: Amazon, $8 (similar, similar, similar, similar)
Purse: Jane.com c/o, $35 (similar, similar)
Approx. dates: Heels, purse, earrings are last year. Sandals, jeans are recent. Top is new.

 
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Shop this decor:
Chairs
Rug
Faux plants - One, Two, Three, Four
Mirror
Stool
Large basket
Pillows

Star Sweater, Two Ways With Walmart

 

We are proud to partner with Walmart for today’s post.

Sweater  /  Skirt  /  Shoes  /  Purse

 

I’m so excited to be a part of We Dress America this fall with Walmart – a style campaign that is all about inclusiveness and “style that doesn’t discriminate, at prices that all of us can feel good about.” (Yes and yes!) If you haven’t shopped Walmart.com for clothes lately there are a huge number of affordable options, and they offer free 2-day shipping on orders over $35. (Also yes!)

For today’s post, I chose to create two outfits around this $12 star sweater and $15 straw purse. The first outfit with the Sofia Vergara leopard skirt and Circus by Sam Edelman shoes is my personal favorite. (I love a good print mix!) But the look with the Sofia Vergara jeans and Time and Tru leopard flats is so comfortable, I could see myself reaching for it on the regular.

Check out more Walmart faves on a budget below – and tell me which outfit do you like best?

 
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Top  /  Top  /  TopJacket (also in plus)
Shoes   /  Boots  /  Sandals  /  Sunglasses
Jeans  /  Skirt  /  Pants  /  Skirt (plus)  /  Skirt

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Today's Everyday Fashion: A New Kind of Work Attire

 
 

For the past 8 years I’ve been working at home full-time, mostly sitting at a computer in comfy clothes (cough, pajamas!). Now I’m running a brick-and-mortar business with Joshua and spending all day on my feet. The biggest adjustment I’ve had to make in my wardrobe? SHOES! I’m finding that I’m much more likely to reach for sneakers and other comfy shoes these days (like the white flatform espadrilles I recently scored on Jane.com, pics below). I’ll still be shopping special occasion attire (whenever I used to be out and about, it was typically at events), but you can expect to see more casual outfits in the coming weeks, too. I’m over here just trying to find my groove and adjusting to a totally new kind of work life - and the attire that goes with it!

Sweater: Jane.com, $27
Tee: Walmart, $8 (similar, similar, similar, similar)
Jeans: Levi’s/Amazon, $49
Sneakers: Adidas/Kohl’s, $52 (similar, similar)
Earrings: Jane, $5 (similar)
Approx. dates: Earrings and sneakers are 2 years ago. Sweater and tee are 4 months ago. Jeans are recent.

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Above and below - recent work outfits I posted on Instagram!

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Today's Everyday Fashion: Retro Polka Dots

 
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We shot these photos a couple weeks ago and I’m so excited to be finally posting them! I’ve been sharing my outfits via Instagram stories, so you may have seen how I wore this $12 polka dot top with sneakers recently. Bold black and white polka dots are a perennial favorite, and the retro shape of this particular top with the square neck and puff sleeves slays me. It sold out online already unfortunately, but I rounded up lots of similar options for ya below!

Top: TJ Maxx/Paperheart, $12 (similar below)
Jeans: Amazon, $49
Heels: J.Crew Factory, $35 (similar, similar, similar)
Sneakers: Adidas/Amazon, $79
Purse: Bloomingdale's, $70 (similar, similar, similar)
Sunglasses: Amazon, $10
Approx. dates: Top, jeans are new. Heels, purse, sunglasses are last year. Sneakers are 3 years ago.

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ASOS (also in plus) / Zappos / ASOS (plus)
Eloquii (plus) / Shopbop / ASOS (also in plus)
ASOS / Missguided / Nordstrom Rack

 
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Introducing Our New Business - Wall Crawl

 
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Joshua & I opened our new business two weeks ago! Wall Crawl is a photo studio concept in downtown Orlando - 4,500 square feet with 20+ “walls” that change seasonally. It’s an amazing place to take family photos, photos for fun, and to play, explore and tap into your creativity. These are just some of the walls - seeing them (video + pics below) might help explain why I kept saying I was so physically tired. 😜 It was a lot of painting and decorating over 3 months, but the laughs and shrieks of joy from people as they walk in the door are totally worth it. If you’ve been reading awhile, then you know how adamant I am that art and beauty matter - they are so important, the antidote to much of the pain we experience in today’s world. (This TED Talk was also a huge inspiration for us.)

There are many stories I’d love to share one day - how we came up with this idea, and why we took such a huge leap despite having no way of knowing what would be waiting for us on the other side. The many, many moments of doubt, wondering what in the world we had gotten ourselves into. The physical tiredness, and the sweetness of joy and assuredness that we were in the right place, that would catch us at the most unlikely moments, and take my breath away. I have never felt more alive - not because of the thankfulness we feel for Wall Crawl’s success so far (and we do!), but because of the spiritual journey leading up to this, that made it possible to enjoy it in such a pure way. Not needing it to be anything other than whatever it becomes, showing up fully but not being invested in any certain outcome and knowing, ultimately, that nothing I do or accomplish defines my worth. It is, simply: ridiculously, over-the-top FUN. And I’m just thankful to be along for the ride! xoxo, J.

Click to watch the video!

[ Want to see more? There’s another video here. ]