Fashion Friday: Saint James Boutique

Today I am sharing a recent new boutique find!! Stephanie owns this adorable online boutique which has the cutest clothes and accessories!! She is a mom, teacher and hustling her dream biz of owning a boutique.  She’s so easy to work with and very sweet!

See how beautiful she (and her clothes!) are!?  This Susie Leopard Knot tank would be the perfect layering piece for Fall/Winter. 

I opted for this gorgeous Lauren V-Neck Twist top in hunter green.  My husband loves the way green looks with my blonde hair and I knew it’d be a fabulous top for the holidays!  You can dress it up or wear it casual.  I’m wearing it with a pair of leggings for a causal day look.

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Her shop’s Instagram & Facebook feeds are full of her beautiful pieces as well as uplifting and positive quotes.  If you’re looking to support a small business and add a little style into your wardrobe, be sure to check her out!

I was able to scoop up these cuties!!  They can be worn so many different ways.  They have sold out, but check out her Jewelry page to see more!  She also has a collection of perfect bags to accompany your outfits.

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How sweet is this Mila Pleated Drop Waist Dress for holiday gatherings?!

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Steph is so amazing, she is offering my readers 10% off your order!!

Code: JENNDELLEFAVE

If you join her mailing list, (link is in her bio!) you’ll get 15% off.

Cheers to the weekend my friends! Happy Friday Style babes!

Getting Quiet

If you happen to follow me on Instagram you may (or may not) have noticed I haven’t posted in a week.  If you know me well, Insta is my favorite slice of social media.  I started blogging back in 2011 and I believe it was that year that Instagram made its debut.  I loved my little blogging/insta community. It was real, raw, and pure.  Friends from all over could share their photos instantly with adorable captions.  I had so many amazing connections with women over fashion, food, family, husbands, you name it!!

Fast forward to 2018 and my feed was filled with overly airbrushed images, ads to buy something and picture perfect squares of everyone’s perfect lives.  I knew that when I would scroll, put the phone down and then only to pick it right back up and scroll again, it wasn’t making me feel good.  I kept brushing it off because I still do have some amazing, inspiring and uplifting people that I follow—but that wasn’t how I was left feeling after looking at Instagram.

Instead of feeling empowered, I felt insecure, jealous, envy and literally joy was being sucked out of me.  I’d wish that my house was more perfect, that my kids could strike amazing poses for photos and that I must not really be inspiring anyone because, well? To be honest, I was hung up on the numbers.  I don’t have 21k followers.  Hell, I don’t have 1,000.  And I was beating myself up.  I must not be helping enough people.

Regardless, I was going through a low point, feeling sorry for myself, oh woe-is-me, playing the victim, and if I’m being brutally honest? I was ready to go to a Dr and ask for a little magical pill that would maybe make me feel happier.

All because of Instagram? No.  Absolutely not.

But I can say that taking a little fast from Instagram, helped me quiet my mind, soul and allowed me to truly listen.  I have never been addicted to anything, but I believe that I had a problem with incessantly checking this silly app! So once I removed it off my phone, a lot of things happened.

Instead of mindlessly scrolling, I picked up a book:

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This book seemed to speak to me and allow me to reflect on what the hell was going on inside my mind.  I didn’t read it cover to cover, but I don’t think that I needed to or was meant to.  I got what I needed out of it.  People need other people in order to not only survive but also thrive.  Staying home I clearly don’t get as much social interaction as I used to when I was a teacher, but somehow I stopped going out pretty much all together.  I’d get the groceries.  Visit my husband at his work.  Do the school drop off/pick up.  Take the kids to the occasional park or library.  Dance class.   But when was the last time I did a mommy meet up?  Play date?  Had fun with the kids some place other than home?

I immediately decided to take the kids to the Museum of Play that very next day since Brooke had a day off.  We had so much fun.  While they played in the “Vet clinic” for no joke, 45 minutes, I decided to look up the local gyms in my area.  Interestingly enough, the gym I was interested in was having a $1 sign up fee and $20 a month membership.  What?!  You know what I did? I took immediate action.  Why? Because that is how you conquer fear.  Anxiety.  Stress.  You do something. Anything!! After we left the museum I went straight to the gym and signed up. I knew that the classes would be excellent for me, I’d be more social and around happy, energetic and healthy people.

Know what? It’s working.

I’m not saying that medicine is a bad thing; if you honestly need anti-despressants or anti-anxiety meds then definitely take them!  I was at my OBGYN’s office Wednesday of last week telling him about how I had been feeling.  It seemed to coincide with my monthly cycle.  The sadness, crying, overwhelm.  He suggested I figure out the root of my problem, come to a solution and execute!  If that didn’t work then he obviously suggested that I go and talk to someone and maybe explore medicinal options if need be.

I can’t explain why I was feeling the way I was.  I have a beautiful life and everything I have ever dreamed of.  I listen to positive podcasts.  I read leadership books. I was grateful, writing gratitude lists, trying to cling to anything that seemed to try and help pull me from that funk.  The guilt I felt about just not feeling happy or well, was becoming overwhelming and only when I took the bull by the horns and acted upon something did it all change.

While I have only been going to the gym for a week, my body, mind and spirit are in so much better of a place.  I feel as though I’ve cleared some cobwebs, decluttered the social media accounts I choose to follow and have really begun to listen to what matters most.

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I’ve also started to listen to a little meditation on you tube each morning. Maybe about 10 minutes or so, and I just allow myself some time to wake up and listen to good things.  I feel like it helps our crazy morning routines go by with more ease, less stress and certainly more smiles.

As women, we can sometimes take other people’s problems on as our own.  It’s our job as a mom to fix boo boos, wipe tears and lend an ear.  I tend to be overly empathetic and while I know watching the news isn’t great for me, I didn’t realize how much toxic energy I was absorbing through social media apps.

I’m a little apprehensive in sharing all of this publicly, but as Brené Brown keeps speaking into my ear, the power lies in vulnerability. (I’m currently listening to her newest book, Dare to Lead.)  So I suppose I am sharing all of this on my blog so that if you’re feeling stressed, sad, overwhelmed or just not happy, I am suggesting that you get quiet.  I went and got a pedicure and put my phone down.  I read some of a book.  I listened to that still small voice that I don’t make enough time for.  It’s never too late to start something different.  To make one small change.  One step leads to so many more. After you get quiet, I also highly suggest you force yourself to work up a sweat.  10, 20 or 30 minutes whatever–get your body moving! Just as we were intended to be social creatures, our bodies crave movement.

I think I’ll be taking more “social media cleanses” and I know that checking myself has done more wonders than I could have imagined. Once I realized that time is our biggest gift and the one thing we can never ever get back, I knew I had to be more strict with my time.  Where my time goes, my energy flows.

 

And of course, in Jenn fashion, there are a few quotes that really resonated with me…

 

 

 

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You matter. You are beautiful.  You are strong.  You are brave.  You are real.  You are living this one life that is truly a gift.  When you fall down, brush yourself off and get back up.  You are not a victim; you and you alone are responsible for your happiness.  Happiness is your birthright.

All my love,
Jenn

My Thoughts on Being a Stay at Home Mom

So many thoughts.  Good thoughts. Frustrated thoughts.  Scary thoughts. Silly thoughts. Wonderful thoughts.  FOMO thoughts. Unforgettable thoughts. Questioning thoughts. Breathing thoughts.

It’s funny, if you think too much how crazy you can drive yourself.  Staying home to me has been one of the biggest gifts, blessings, passions, best and most wonderful thing!! At the same time, it can be a tad lonely, scary, worrisome, and if I let it, questioning.   In today’s world, women are told we can be and do anything.  Yay!  No I am not a feminist (far from it) but I love that we have the ability to do whatever we want.  I think the hardest part is that you have to find what you’re happy with.  Throughout the last 5 1/2 years I have had thoughts cross my mind that maybe I should go back to work. I will admit that it’s mostly when things are hard, (duh life is hard!) but also as teacher friends get ready to go back to school in the Fall, I have a twinge of “what if…?”

But as with anything, I allow myself to work through my feelings.  I write, I talk it out, usually with my husband and good friends, or my mom.  I try to figure out why I may feel a certain way and go from there.

I will say that running a business and staying home is not for the faint of heart.  I truly believe there is MORE than enough work to do taking care of a child, or children, cook from scratch, clean the home, care for dogs, and take care of a husband who works crazy intense hours.  It’s hard to find time to do things that need to get done, things you want to get done, plus play with the kids, enjoy the time with them and possibly give yourself some down time too.

I believe it takes a village to raise children, and villages don’t really exist in my world, so other than an awesome sitter who actually just had a baby of her own, it’s hubby and I.  Family lives far away and so a lot falls onto my shoulders.

I had to take a good look at our life and pick and choose what and where I want to spend my time.  For me, there are several non negotiable terms when it comes to our home life.  I find it extremely important for the kids to eat a warm breakfast most days.  Even if it’s a bagel and cream cheese or one little egg.  I think that a hearty meal first thing in the morning sets you up for success.  I also will always be here to greet the kids off the bus.  Until they are in high school, I truly find that after school time to be crucial.  Is this the only way to be a mom?  Absolutely not! But in my heart, it’s the way I want to be.

I’ve recently discovered my true need to break a sweat at a gym.  We had a monthly membership to the Y, but I decided it was a tad expensive and canceled it in August.  Well, September was absolutely nutty trying to get into a groove with one in Kindergarten and one in preschool a few hours each week.  Once we settled into the swing of things, it was all of a sudden Halloween.   I would make lame attempts to do at home workouts, or walk the dogs and play with the kids, but I missed socializing with people! I haven’t even been there a week yet, but I can tell you in the few times I’ve gone, my smile is bigger and my mind is quieter. I’ve also implemented a few more things, but I’ll touch on those later.

Bottom line, being a momma is hard.  We worry even if we don’t want to and I always want to do the right thing.   I will tell you it’s difficult to not give into the tantrums, the junk food, the instant gratifications.  But it’s so worth it.  Stay at home or work at home, moms are amazing.  (Dads are too, but this post isn’t about them!)

Like I’ve stated before, there is not “right way” when it comes to staying home or working as a mom.  There is only what’s best for you.  For me it’s a crazy combination of staying home, and also working.   I believe that once the kids are both in school full time I will be open to even more opportunities.  I have quite the ‘bucket list’ of dreams I’d like to accomplish and the ultimate dream being to work with my husband every day.

Regardless of what your “job title” may be, the best advice I can offer is to stay focused.  Don’t get caught up with what other people are doing.  This I am learning, is very tricky with social media in my hands.  I can very quickly get down on myself for not being where I would like to be.  It’s good to push ourselves, but it’s a whole different ball game to compare and lose sight of what is right in front of us.

Would I stay home or go back to work if I had to do it all again?  

I’d stay home 100%.  Even on the hardest of days where I feel like I accomplished nothing, I know that I am making the right choice for my family.  If you stay home and feel like you’re in a rut, then I highly suggest shaking up your routine.  Get out more; have more fun; meetup with some other mommas or do a baby or toddler class.  Leave the dishes be and get on the floor with the kiddos.  Snuggle them on the couch and ignore the laundry.  It’s all gonna be there anyway.

Also, mamas, ladies, women friends, do not ever feel guilty for filling your cup!!  Take the bubble bath and lock the door.  Pour a glass of wine and play the jazz music.  Sneak off to the coffee shop and bring your laptop.  Join that gym and go do your favorite class.  Read that book or follow that dream inside of you.  You are worth it!!  If you’re so caught up in your crazy busy life and don’t even know where to start, then you definitely need to stop and take a pause…

I’ll be sharing more on my pause in an upcoming post.  Until then, feel free to comment or reach out to me. You are not alone!! Motherhood aint easy, and there are way too many mean girls out there competing.  Life is not a competition; it’s your journey and yours alone.  Tune out the negativity and quiet your mind…I bet you’ll be pleasantly surprised!

Make today beautiful friends.

 

Hello November!

Well, October came and went….pretty damn fast!!

I could say, “sorry I didn’t blog every day in October,” but you know what? I’m not sorry.  I did what I could; I had a few rough moments, days where life turned into a blur and things just didn’t turn out.  So ya know what? You get yourself up, brush yourself off and start again.  Don’t quit.  You can rest, just don’t quit.

I feel like I needed to take a few steps back, re-evaluate where my heart and mind were at and just be.

I really had such a great time trick-or-treating with my gang last night!!  We went to our friends’ house and we basically just started an awesome new tradition.   Their little ones are 2 1/2 and 6 months, so it gave me all sort of feels and flashbacks to when our life was like that!! It was so cool to see our two, who are 3 & 5 run to each house and really get excited over their costumes, candy and all things Halloween.

I will remember this Halloween as, “Black Panther & Mavis.”

We enjoyed pizza, cider & donuts as well as some much needed hanging out time.  All work no play is never good for anyone and I am realizing that this mama NEEDS MORE TIME WITH OTHERS!

How cute is this little dalmatian!?

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The trees are really changing and it’s quite lovely!

This has got to be one of my favorites.

Baby’s first Halloween!

It’s crazy when you can step back for a bit and reflect, you can come to some amazing conclusions.

I enjoyed a much needed pedicure, latté and even read a bit of a book earlier today.

Tomorrow Brooke has off from school and hubby’s staycation begins.  *Let’s pray he gets a big buck sooner than later!!

Here is to the last 60 days, the final months of the year.  We have so much to be grateful for this year and in this season, I hope to find the magic all around.  I look forward to an amazing Thanksgiving with family and a joyous Christmas spirit.

May your days for the next two months be Merry & Bright!

Fall Beauty Must Haves!

I am such a girlie girl.  I absolutely love makeup and all things beauty related.  I am not a beauty guru by any means, and I was brought up in a “less is more” household.  I was raised not really wearing any makeup.  Bonne Bell chapsticks, a little cover girl blush and my eye lash curler got me through high school.  In college I overplucked my brows and wore way too much white/shiny eye shadow.  Thanks to Britney Spears!

However, as I have gotten older I do find the joy in applying makeup and using great skincare products since I am 37, not 22.  I have never had Botox, but am not against it.

This past Spring I decided to switch from Mary Kay skincare to a more natural, botanical line which happens to be a Stella & Dot sister company.  Ever Skin Care has done nothing but better my skin!! I haven’t had any crazy breakouts and honestly feel like my skin actually has a glow to it.  I do use makeup wipes to take off my makeup with every night and I just started using this Trio into my routine.  I love the beauty water, which cleanses and removes makeup.  The brightening gel is amazing and I am really loving the priming moisturizing cream.

I also use their tinted moisturizer daily as I don’t like to wear a foundation. (not pictured)

They just launched a few matte long lasting lip colors.  I have been a HUGE fan of their plumping nude glosses for every day.

I tried this long lasting matte and it does last for awhile! I will say that I felt like it was a tad drying, so I need to work on keeping my lips moisturized.  It’s a super pretty color, this is Crush.

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My friend Jenna sold me on these two products!  This I saw HUGE results with.  An instant glow and rejuvenated face for sure!  They do sting a bit around my nose, but nothing terrible.  I don’t use them every day but when I do, my skin looks and feels fabulous.  It does have witch hazel which my friend Elizabeth told me could be a bit much on sensitive skin, but as long as I don’t use it daily it seems to be fine!

I was a really big fan of Younique’s Rose Water as a toner, but honestly after they changed the glass bottle to plastic, I was meh over it.  Jenna also recommended this to me and WOW!!  This stuff smells so good and I use it as a toner or even a mid day spritz to refresh!

If you are local, she knows her stuff and is excellent at what she does.  Show owns Mint Skin Spa in Spencerport and I swear, before the end of the year I am booking a lash tint and lift with her!!

The Younique gals never steer ya wrong!  Use the chapstick (vanilla) then line with Prim which is actually an eye pencil, followed up with a liquid lipstick called Stellar. Shop those products here!

And this is a bit blurry, but again I used Younique, it was palette 2!  Here I have on my beloved Lipsense, I believe in Sheer Berry.  I just love a good bold lip for date night!  I still curl my eyelashes daily and I am obsessed with Younique’s Epic Mascara.

Never forget the brow powder either! I got mine years ago at my brow place.

As for my hair products, I have been trying something new, which I will blog ALL about soon!  (Icy blonde, anyone!?0 I’m using the purple shampoo, by Joico found at Ulta or Amazon.  I curled my hair with my chi straightener.

And lastly, I may not be 19 any more, but goodness gracious I still love me some good old fashion Bath & Body Works Fall scented lotions.  They may have chemicals and I try not to use them all year, but once in awhile? Yes. Yes. Yes.

What are your current favorite Fall beauty must haves?!