valentine's day ready & loving yourself

what’s too many #LBDs? asking for a friend.

hellooo february, the month of love! last year i wrote a post on dating tips to celebrate valentine’s/galentine’s day and it was shockingly a huge success. this year i wanted to do something different (of course). and instead i’m bringing the focus back on #1, which is YOU. no amount of dating tips will get you anywhere if you aren’t in love with yourself. sure, some people get lucky in life to meet their soulmate at a fairly decent age, some take a long timeee #ahem. so you’ll be dang sure the man who ends up with me will be beyond exceptional. because i won’t accept anything less. it’s about to get real deep here on JDC. recently i went through a shift in life that took me to another level of self love and greater appreciation for my own journey! ah, gotta love those life experiences/lessons. more after the jump.

PS — this dress is everything. i snagged it for almost $50 #hellobargainshopper and didn’t even care when i’d wear it again, heck i was gonna wear it for this fabulous photo shoot so what gives?! i LOVE the longer sleeves, the mock neck, the classy crochet (never thought i’d use those two words in one sentence) overlay, the length, and the peplum hem. it screams JANNA all over it anddd the look of this dress like one from Self Portrait at a fourth of the price. the only thing is… don’t get this snagged on something or you’re pretty much screwed. :D but hey, if this isn’t your jam, i’ve linked a ton of other options under $100.

currently on my playlist: all of me by John Legend

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the last few months i spent a lot of time soul searching. gosh, i learned so much but still such a novice. i started to make some subtle changes in my life that had some HUGE impacts — only in a few months too!! and hey, they’re not gonna be anything new you haven’t heard of all over the internet. but people always talk about self love, anddd um, the next question is great, what does that entail? through some guidance i’ve found what works for me and the results are insane. the amount of people, connections, experiences, and opportunities that have come into my life are CRAZY. i invite you to join me and step into this higher meaning of life. sharing my tidbits in my random thoughts below.

  • JOURNAL. journal every morning and night. while i’ve heard of this i never actually practiced it. the mind is most clear in the morning, so take time to jot down the things you’re grateful for. start with three. at night before you sleep, reflect on your day — how did a certain person, thing or instance make you feel? heck, it’s your journal write whatever you want. just write though. writing reaffirms the learning process. you’ll become so good at this that you’ll start jotting WAY more than three things in the AM. i even started to write down the things i wanted in my life that i haven’t quite obtained yet. this is a form of “acting as if” and it’s a powerful thing. do this for 30-days straight, until you can start doing it subconsciously in your mind. so i’m that gal who’s getting ready in the AM / driving to work talking to myself about all the things i’m grateful for in my life. call me crazy but it’s a game changer or is it life changer? haha. when you live in a constant state of gratitude, it puts you on a totally different level of existence.

  • BREATHE. breathing is everything. breathing or any form of meditation helps calm the mind. imagine all the information your brain takes in and processes everyday, YIKES! hate to have that job!! breathing helps clear that clutter, it helps you become more in tune with your intuition so that you can ultimately make the best decisions that align with your true self. close your eyes right now and take three deep breaths, i bet you can already feel some calmness flow through. try it!

  • AFFIRM. find an affirmation. read it, write it (remember, writing it down reaffirms the learning process), repeat it out loud. heck, get so good at it that you memorize it or write your own affirmation. do it for 30-days straight. affirmations are so powerful because they say it takes 30-days to ingrain something in your mind. essentially, what you’re doing is reprogramming your subconscious mind. there is a whole boatload of information on the subconscious mind but in summary, it controls 95% of your brain, it stores memories, habits, past experiences and retrieves them. its job is to make sure you respond exactly the way you are programmed through past experiences. so CLEARLY it is the the KEY to personal growth. reprogram it with affirmations. start affirming TODAY!

  • ENERGY. energy is everything and everything is energy (even on a scientific level)! yes, life is full of problems and we always want what we can’t have etc…. but let’s just redirect our focus from our problems and what we don’t have to what we’re grateful for as this is the running theme for this post. try to see the bigger picture. you’ll find yourself vibrating at an energy of love, joy, happiness, and peace. these are some of the highest forms of vibrational energy. AND only in this state will you be open enough to attract, accept, and see all the things/people/connections/opportunities coming into your life. LIKE A MAGNET. because… you attract what you are. period.

  • TRUST. doing all the above creates a direct relationship with your intuition, that gut feeling. generally speaking, i consider myself an intuitive person by nature. BUT i recently learned i was never completely following it 100%. see, listening to your intuition is good, but the real thing is actually FOLLOWING it through. which most of us fail at because or ego makes us question our intuition. trust your intuition when it FIRST speaks to you. it’s a powerful thing that’s why it only speaks once.

in all instances, all answers and self love come from within. focus on yourself, choose yourself at the end of the day. always always. let go. forgive, learn the lessons. remember, that your value and self worth stands no matter what happens or who walks in and out of your life. sending you all the love & strength on this beautiful journey of stepping into your authentic self xx

dress | Bardot fiona mesh trumpet dress in black (wearing size small) — same from Macy’s // same from Zappos // same from Nordstrom // same from Nordstrom Rack // same from Bloomingdales // same from Lord & Taylor
shoes | Jimmy Choo abel pumps in black patent (old design) — current design // similar
bag | DVF lytton clutch in black quilted leather (old) — similar and a good Bottega dupe
rings | Gorjana amara ring set // Amanda Deer c/o CZ solitaire ring // Amanda Deer c/o CZ accents midi ring
bracelet | Vita Fede mini titan crystal bracelet in gold
lips | Christian Louboutin velvet matte lip color in rouge 001M (FAVE RED) -- similar in a matte liquid

photo credit: Steven Gunter

dating tips & galentine's day in loungewear

happy galentine's day!

so listen, i don't know if you know, it's valentine's week. if you've gone to target, you know. everything is red and pink and heart shaped. it's the hallmark day of all holidays. YIPPEEEE! now, if you're single, this is what you do --> you go buy yourself loungewear -- because NOTHING says 'i love myself' like some soft joggers and a loose thermal top. #seriously. feel free to add a disco ball sippy cup for good measure too. jokes aside, you get what i'm sayin'. treat yourself to something because you deserve it! if you find yourself waving the single-awareness flag, wave it proudly and refer to this quote below.

life is always about the JOURNEY and never the destination.

and your journey could a lot bumpier than others, maybe you even get stuck in some muddy patches along the way, but that's life. you gotta trust the process -- that it will lead you to where you need to be in the end. live consciously in this moment, laugh at the confusion, and embrace it because at any moment, it will change. know that you have never missed out on anything that is meant for you, and that the next best thing is just around the corner. you see, there is so much that happens to us that we have very little/no control over. the only thing we have control over is our self -- our emotions & reactions. knowing and understanding this will give you so much peace in any life situation. i promise. not sure where i wanted to go with all that. but i hope you took something away?! i spend a lot of time writing for google, but most of the time i'm writing for myself #selfentertained and to reinforce positivity. we can always use that right?! 

besides #selflove it's also about the little things in life too. like how all that valentine's day candy will be on sale at target, so you'll know where to find me come February 15th. :D xx ok, i'm out. see ya next week.

side ramblings: this past week was filled with some fun events! i was able to check out @sonestabeecaveatx at the hill country galleria, their @meridian98lounge has a great view and don't get me started on the bacon wrapped dates... the night ended with a small tour of some shops at the galleria. my favorites were @milkandhoneyspa and @manaculture! the weekend was the grand opening of @theartofshoesaustin in the cutest house were i was able to meet the owner and participate in a DIY shoe accessory workshop. overall, a fun week of socializing!

PS--i had so much FUN writing the last part of this post and hope you'll read the rest!

>>MY DATING TIPS/TIDBITS CLICK the READ MORE button!

currently on my playlist: bad at love by Halsey

that time my lil blogger sis @simplyyvan asked me to be apart of her @urbanoutfitters photoshoot!

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why am i single? well, it's because i haven't met my EQUAL, i wouldn't let anyone into my life unless they were AWESOME. the single journey for me has been quite interesting. a recent article came out describing Austin men as the WORST when it comes to dating (so glad i bought a house here!). i've learned SO MUCH along the way. i mean geezus to be able to talk to a complete stranger takes major skill. deciphering text messages, picking up on when you're about to ghosted or breadcrumb-ed or whatever the new term is should be resume skills at this point. the internet, social media, online dating, and having access to people 24/7 have made us a REALLY. SAD. BUNCH. who lack human decency. the standard is set SO LOW. how low? i mean i'm shocked when someone actually messages me back! here are my tips/tidbits whether you're a man or woman when it comes to dating (because let's face it, i'm better with bullet points):

  • trust your intuition/gut, it's usually 99% correct (head > heart)
  • when someone shows you who they really are, believe them
  • actions > words 
  • consistency is KEY
  • vulnerability is strength and in the right hands this is the best gift you can give someone
  • exemplify human decency = treat others the way you want to be treated (golden rule, duh, sad i even have to type it)
  • be direct & use raw/honest communication
  • HAVE FUN! expect nothing but be prepared to be pleasantly surprised
  • silence actually speaks volumes. no answer is an answer. SOOOO ironic isn't it? 
  • when it comes to online dating, you probably have one shot to win someone over so bring your A game = best version of you, this shouldn't be hard for you! 
  • ghosting? breadcrumbing? zombies? = ain't nobody got time for that
  • when you start blaming yourself, STOP IMMEDIATELY because...
  • it's really hard to mess up the right thing (if there is anything you take away, THIS IS IT!)
  • when it's right, it should feel easy
  • good things TAKE TIME
  • stop making excuses for other people
  • stop thinking about what you feel and remember what you deserve
  • a good man will never keep you waiting by the phone no matter how busy they are. think about how much time it takes to send a text. literally NO TIME. and trust me, if you haven't heard from him, i'm 120% sure his fingers haven't fallen off
  • if he likes you, he will squeeze out any ounce of time to see you, even if it's just 15 minutes to see your face! TRUST ME 
  • never underestimate the power of SPACE. space allows someone to miss you, to yearn for you. THIS IS WHAT YOU WANT
  • until you're exclusive, date like men = HAVE OPTIONS because 95% of men will fall off the face of the earth (and bc they're doing the same thing to you)
  • texting less actually creates more excitement when you meet in person
  • men respond to distance. not words. so stop trying to explain yourself!
  • what you chase runs away. never chase ANYONE
  • know that not everyone is going to like you (even though you're a bad ass) and you're not going to like everyone. attraction is not a choice
  • master EMPATHY
  • don't let some bad experiences harden your heart
  • rejection teaches you what's not meant for you
  • don't let dating or a man be everything in your life. do things you love, hang out with people who make you feel good. for me, it's about working out, blogging, hanging out with my GFs and family, going to events, photography, making a list of next eateries to hit up, working on my house. your life and happiness come first
  • at the end of the day, it's about being genuine in every interaction. be compassionate. be the change you want to see in the world. seems futile but i believe that change starts with YOU
  • have the strength to walk away (with dignity) and the patience to wait for what you deserve. AND this is why you should work on your backside, so that you LOOK GOOD WALKING AWAY. just sayin'
happiness is letting go of what you assume your life is supposed to be like right now and sincerely appreciating it for everything that it is. at the end of this day, before you close your eyes, smile and be at peace with where you’ve been and grateful for what you have. LIFE IS GOOD.
— marc & angel

an austin blogger galentine's day

february. the month of L<3VE.

excited to share this galentine's photoshoot with y'all! if you're looking for some valentine's day inspo, look no further. these Austin bloggers have you covered from head to toe (that's how we ROLL). i love how each gal brings something different to the table in terms of personality and fashion. i admire all these ladies and blessed to call them my friends. though i've only known them a few months, i have a feeling it is just the beginning of some great and much needed friendships in my life. if you told me two years ago that i would get to shoot something like this with some fabulous bloggers, i would have totally laughed. chyeaaaa rightttt.. ! this brings me to one of Michelle's // @stylebeacon quote i read on her page, "Be patient. You never know what’s on the horizon and life can surprise you in many beautiful ways. #beaconisms"

for this i choose to go non-traditional with a black mesh wide leg jumpsuit. i can't stress how much a jumpsuit always wins. the only one-piece power suit you need to feel super confident. the mesh detail adds a little something and i added some pops of red lips, nails and some statement hoops!

lastly, single or taken this valentine's day -- remember that it's all about that #selflove. 
one of my blogger friends Amber // @everyonceinastyle wrote this post on how to be single during the holidays but it really applies everyday. all my single ladies must check it out!

currently on my playlist: i hope you dance by Lee Ann Womack

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the beatles. blogger style. i say a pretty good shot despite tripping and being flashed at by a stranger. (true story).

Hilary // byhilaryrose.com

Hilary is blogger i followed way back in the day. at an event last year, i went up to say hi to her (i'm shy btw). she recognized me and introduced me to all her blogger friends; the rest is history! #thankfulforher. i am a fan of her affordable style (i want everything in her closet) and her happy go lucky personality which is totally infectious! i may be buying that hot pink dress soon…!

pink dress | ASOS cold shoulder with ruffle in pink
lilac dressElizabeth and James leonie dress from Rent the Runway
necklace | Kendra Scott isabella choker necklace in ivory zellige
clutch | Diane von Furstenberg evil eye miniaudiere from Rent the Runway
shoes | Steve Madden carrson sandal in sand suede

Haylee // itsmehaylee.com

Haylee is the queen of makeup & hair, and… not to mention, she knows how to work the camera (please teach me your ways Haylee!!). i love how she took a mauve bodycon dress and layered it with a lace cami! and that lip color… i know i can't rock that!

dress | Charlotte Russe crushed velvet wrap dress -- similar
top | boohoo lace high neck -- similar
earrings | similar 1 // similar 2
clutch | similar 1 // similar 2
shoes | similar 1 // similar 2
lips | NYX liquid suede cream lipstick in sway
eyes | MAC eyeshadow palette in purple times nine

Dani // thedaniaustin.com

Dani is the cutest thing! you should see her instastories! i love how she went with a burgundy one shoulder dress with pink lace up heels and dressed it up with a classy statement clutch. i know, aren't those earrings so pretty on her? i might have bought some. gosh, these blogger friends..! 

dress | Sincerely Jules everly one shoulder cotton dress in burgundy
earrings | BaubleBar crispin drops in light pink
shoes | Steve Madden christey wrap around ankle tie sandal in light pink
clutch | YSL monogram quilted envelope clutch in black
watch | Michele deco diamond dial two tone watch

Michelle // stylebeacon.com

Michelle is the business-boss lady of the bunch and such an easy person to talk to. i feel like I can talk to her about anything. Michelle's dress is a dream. she is rocking the off the shoulder with a drop peplum-ish hem. plus, she is perfect in each frame. #iwishiwas.

dress | For Love & Lemons clemence off shoulder dress in tiramisu
shoes | Elaine Turner juliet in black suede
earrings | Kendra Scott danielle filigree
clutch | Elaine Turner hazel quilted foldover clutch in black

Kaley // myclosetlife.com

there is a never a dull moment with Kaley. Kaley makes me laugh until it hurts and i love her for that! forget needing to work out them abs when you're hanging out with her! #itslikeaworkout. she adds life to each party and knows no stranger. Kaley adds her own style to this ballerina dress with a silk scarf and some black lace ups!

dress | free people ballet punk set 
scarf | Vintage find in Lebanon! -- similar 1 // similar 2

 Meg // theautumngirl.com

this is Meg's first pleated skirt. #notthelast. i cannot tell you how happy that makes me! i love how she went with a mini and paired it with a sexy white blouse (i may need this too!). she coordinated this whole shoot, thanks so much girl! 

top | ASOS clean pajama blouse with pocket detail in ivory
skirt | boohoo metallic pleated mini in red
earrings | gorjana kelsi ear jackets
necklace | similar
bag | Kelly Wynne halo in polynesian pearl
shoes | Sam Edelman yardley in camel suede

Jess // uptownfashionbyjess.com

Jess is a stylist so she always keeps up with the latest! i am so thankful she didn't leave me in the dark and wore black with me #nopunintended. but her maxi is so valentine appropriate because of the roses and the movement on that dress is just magical!

dress | Lovers & Friends golden ray maxi in rose print
earrings | Kendra Scott alex earrings in black
shoes | similar

jumpsuit | BCBG Generation mesh panel jumpsuit in black -- similar with cut outs // similar and avail in red // similar with a cold shoulder // similar with lace long sleeves
earrings | BaubleBar dianne hoops
bag | Chanel boy wallet on chain in red caviar leather -- similar
shoes | Michael Kors carla sandal in black (old) -- similar 1 // similar 2
bracelet c/o The PeachBox roman empress bangle in gold
rings Gorjana c/o shimmer stacking ring set // Gorjana amara ring set // Gorjana mini stackable ring set // Etsy stacking & midi rings // Gorjana candice CZ ring // BaubleBar ice chevron midi ring (sold out) -- similar
lips | Christian Louboutin velvet matte lip color in rouge 001M -- similar in a matte liquid
nails | Smith & Cult polish in kundalini hustle

happy GALENTINES DAY!,
JD

photo credit: Brandon Hill
venue: Fall Creek Vineyards in Driftwood
balloons c/o: The Balloon Bar

vday roundup

valentine's/GALentine's countdown!

in case you are running out of inspo, i rounded up some of my favorite posts from these fab ladies, whom i admire and support. hope you enjoy!

xoxo,
JD

Taylor | www.stopdropandvogue.com

Taylor knows fashion. she follows a lot of designers and writes about it. her whimsical vday shoot is my favorite, featuring balloons, flowers, a huge mirror i wish i had, a lipstick printed flowy dress complete with red cutout booties! she knocked it right out of the park.  

Julianna | www.blushandcamo.com

Julianna always dishes the BEST styling tips! her vday look features a tulle skirt which is one of my favorite things to shoot. such a fun, feminine, flirty piece, and love how she pairs it with a blue lace crop top. absolutely stunning!

Laura | www.styledadventures.com

fashion is all about versatility, so i love how Laura styled this ($30) dress two ways: dressy and casual with a few simple changes. what a flawless transition. in her next valentine's look she is covered in kisses! (literally!!) 

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Kristen | www.suburbanreno.com

i love how Kristen takes the pegged NYE sequin dress into vday (wait til you see the back of it!!) and how she paired it with some chunky heels too! forget red or pink when you are covered in GOLD sequins. she also did another vday post with some sequin pants (use her code "XOSUBURBAN" for 10% off these goodies!). i call her the #sequinqueen. do not try to outdo her.

Jessica | www.fashionablyfitjess.com

Jess is one of my favorite down to earth gals who has the best sense of humor. her posts always have me rolling or slapping my desk. her valentines look is right up my alley, a pleated skirt, blouse, and some mid heel ankle straps. i am in love with her pink handbag with the cutest bow on it!! check out her cute casual vday look.

Jenna | www.visionsofvogue.com

the off shoulder look never gets old, Jenna is rocking this #LBD like nobody's business, and you need to check out her red lace up pumps. Jenna is extremely talented in piecing all her looks together, so be warned when you go to her website and start clicking on things!! i want to raid her closet.

Ela | www.wunderbliss.com

Ela goes for a non-traditional vday look -- a flirty white tulle skirt, burgundy velvet heels (totally unexpected and... swoon) and understated accessories. like me, she knows less is more. and i could never do this but she is totally pulling off those retro white shades too. love Ela, she is one of the best!

Lauren | www.fashionoverfatigue.com

Lauren is also a Texas blogger!! (high five) here she rocks the off should crop top with a floral printed midi skirt that will take you right into spring. blogger minds think alike because i have the same exact top, let's hope i can look just as good as she does! 

Mei | www.blameitonmei.com 

like me, Mei is a skirt fanatic. here she takes the pantone color of the year, rose quartz/pink, pairs it with a matching clutch and tops it off with gold accessories, including those red soled heels! total #shoeenvy

Amanda | www.amandabrezovsky.com

Amanda's vday post is all about a cozy night in with dinner, wine, and sweet treats! now this is up my alley. check out that wine bottle taper holder! her rose printed skirt is perfect for this occasion and needs to make its way to my closet!!

Bailey | www.hotdresshotmess.com

Bailey shows us how to achieve her makeup look in a few simple steps using drugstore makeup. if i could only apply liquid liner like her and by golly, her #browgame is so strong! 

Kait | www.makeminemaroon.com

Kait takes a black lace dress and adds her favorite color maroon to her vday outfit with some pumps and some vampy lips! she's always got the cutest shots and such a smile! also see her other vday post in a Shabby Apple maxi dress

Rita | www.styleroundtheclock.com

Rita posted like two instagrams before she revealed her entire look! she is such a natural beauty, i like how she went with a casual look and topped it off with a chunky scarf but still looks so chic.

Ciera | www.worldwidestylista.com

Ciera really worked the vday posts, she gives us ideas of things to do for three types of dates: 1) night in, 2) casual, and 3) romantic. then she created a look for EACH of these. #workitgirl. check out all three looks here. note to self: need a NAMASTAY in bed sweatshirt. 

Lauren | www.stylelixir.com

Lauren shares her vday picks for the gals and guys. basically if you have a man you need to get him that mug #7!!! so hilarious! still can't get over it. LOL. 

www.fitfabfull.com

no vday is complete without DESSERT. wait, this is everyday in my life actually! fit.fab.full always has drool-worthy desserts, honestly, i don't know how she stays so fit sharing these recipes! in her post, she shares a whip cream cheese frosting and chocolate ganache that will go over any cake! (even if it is from a box). 

Michele | www.classicandgray.com

there is no doubt, Michele knows her stuff, and... i think she likes pink. i'm not sure but that is my guess. i hope her boyfriend read her post. lol.

Krista | www.hundredblog.com

Krista posted a MAJOR GUIDE to vday. she covers the day in general, and gives tips on clothes, hair, and makeup. this is her look from last year in this white Phillip Lim dress. this babe has got your back this vday for sure. plus, her writing cracks me up.

 

Anna | www.pepperandlife.com

another his & her gift guide, but Anna's featured a lot of things i haven't seen before, such as that VitaMan, Beard Envy, and loving that manly looking Polaroid Snap (ladies, this is a double gift because YOU CAN USE THIS TOO! win win!! haha!!).

Shell | www.acourageousbeauty.com

Shell put together a unique post where she pieced together outfits for HIM & HER! too cool. and such a great idea, esp if you like to help your man dress up a bit!