Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Autumn Rain

I couldn't help but be reminded of a particular poem when I wore this outfit...

"My Sorrow, when she's here with me,
Thinks these dark days of autumn rain
Are beautiful as days can be;
She loves the bare, the withered tree;
She walks the sodden pasture lane..."

-My November Guest, Robert Frost








Photo credit: Zach Egolf Photography

I love everything about this sweater! The rain boots are super charming, and the blue, quilted leather elbow patches add that sophisticated flair that I've come to love and expect from Talbots. Keeping with the elbow patch trend, this wool blazer is the perfect layering piece for a crisp Fall day. Sometimes, I like to wear a blazer instead of a standard jacket/coat because a blazer better defines the waist, and creates a more feminine shape.

How would you style this sweater?

Want to Get Jessed Up?
Sweater: c/o Talbots, Comfy Rain Day Shoulder-Button Sweater
Blazer: c/o Talbots, Highland Plaid Blazer
Chambray shirt: LOFT (Similar)
Pants: LOFT
Flats: Target

Monday, October 27, 2014

Fitness and Lifestyle Update

As you guys know, I've been trying to move toward living a healthier lifestyle. I've amped up my activity level by working out 2-3 times a week with my wonderful (and very patient) trainer, Tim. I've also been trying to keep better track of what I'm eating.

At this point, I am feeling much stronger. I've noticed slightly more definition in my arms, and when I really suck it in tighten my stomach, I can see that I've firmed up a little there as well.

As far as weight: I've gained 3 more pounds. I weigh more than I have in years.

At first this really upset me. I felt extremely defeated. I've put in so much effort at the gym, and I've made better food choices than I have in the past (generally). But this feeling of disappointment quickly diminished over the last weekend.

On Sunday, I participated in the Race for the Cure. I was determined to run the entire 5k race (3.1 miles) in under 40 minutes. I'm not a runner, nor do I run on the treadmill at the gym, so I thought giving myself a 10-12 minute per mile average speed was the most realistic. (Let's be honest: a six minute mile wasn't gonna happen!)

Drum roll please... Not only did I run the majority of the race, I completed the 5k in 37 minutes. I stopped to walk for about five minutes because my hip was bothering me, but other than that, I was running the whole time. That's a little over 10 minutes per mile, and I am damn proud of myself for it.

Had I not been training with Tim over the last several months, completing the race in 37 minutes would not have been possible. The hard work and sweat I put in at the gym and the better food choices - though not resulting in many visible physical changes/weight loss so far - resulted in me being able to accomplish something that otherwise wouldn't have been in the realm of possibility for me.

Before the run: showing our spirit in these pink tutus!

This was taken right when I completed the race -  so happy to have finished it in 37 mis!

Happy we ran for a good cause and raised money for breast cancer research!

Regarding the weight gain: some of it is muscle mass. Tim has me doing lots of strength training exercises, as well as lifting weights. I am gaining muscles that I didn't have before I started working with him. Also, though I've made better food choices (choosing an apple instead of chips), I am still having issues regulating my portions. I am hungrier these days because I am exerting so much more energy each day during my workouts, and I have a hard time staying within reasonable portions. As I've mentioned in previous posts, I am a snacker. I've yet to be able to get that back on track. Additionally, I have issues with my thyroid, resulting in difficulty regulating my metabolism. Because of that, it's an added level of complexity and difficulty when I try to lose weight.

So, I've decided to do Weight Watchers for a couple months just to get my portion control back on track. Doing that, and keeping up with my workouts, should jump start my metabolism and hopefully I will start to see those results. It's not all about the number on the scale, but I do realize that I am eating more than I should be. With a little more conscience decision making when it comes to meals, I am hoping it will get me get me back on the path to a healthier lifestyle!

Side note: have you tried Weight Watchers? I am open to any recipe suggestions!

Until Next Time,
GJU

p.s. In the Baltimore area and looking for a trainer? You're in luck. Tim is currently accepting new trainees! I'd love to work out with you. Shoot me an email and I'll put you in touch! getjessedup(at)gmail(dot)com

Monday, October 20, 2014

Admiring the sunset

"I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers."
- L. M. Montgomery





This Talbots poncho is going to be a staple in my Fall wardrobe. It's so soft, and I love the fringe detail. Paired with skinny jeans (or cords in this case) and ankle booties, I'm ready to take on the day.

Want to get Jessed Up?
Poncho: c/o Talbots (similar here and here)
Scarf: I made it! 
Pants: LOFT
Ankle Booties: c/o Talbots

Special thanks to Zach Egolf Photography for taking beautiful photos for this blog post!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Top that!

I'm a big fan of tops that do all the work for me. Something patterned, something pretty. Something that has enough going on that I don't need to accessorize it beyond a simple stud earring. A top that does all the talking.

Over the last few weeks, I've snagged some new tops that do just that. A couple I've already had the chance to wear, but I can't wait to start wearing and integrating these new pieces into my Fall wardrobe! Excited to see what kinds of different outfits I can come up with :)

These first two tops I got from my own version of heaven Anthropologie. I absolutely love the lace detail of the first top! Paired with the floral pattern, it has such a flirty, feminine feel to it. The second top I've had a chance to wear, and I can't tell you how many compliments I received! And is anything better than being complimented on a brand new top, tags freshly ripped off? Nothing. Beats. That. The sheer black layered over the champagne colored satin underneath is just gorgeous. I also like the cut of the top-- super flattering on me because it flows nicely over the hips, helping to smooth out my curves.

Only Hearts Ditsy Daisy Cami, $39.95 (on sale!)

Swingpane Tank, $59.95 (on sale!)

Last weekend with my cousin celebrating her Bat Mitzvah.

This LOFT top is also going to make lots of outfit appearances this fall. The rich navy color contrasts sharply with the crisp white hearts. I love the flutter sleeves and zipper detail on the back as well! Again, because the pattern of the shirt is busy enough, no jewelry/accessorizing is needed. I think adding a necklace or ornate earrings would create a look that's too loud.

Heart Print Shoulder Pleat Shell, $49.99 (on sale!)


I wore white denim with this top the first time, but I think I'm going to
try it under a blazer with darker denim next time.

This sweater from Talbots was made for me. I absolutely adore the rain boots graphic (super cute!), and I love the button shoulder detail. I can't wait to snuggle up in this sweater on a rainy day. It's sure to be a conversation starter... and if you know me, you know chatting is my strong suit!

Comfy Rainy Day Shoulder-Button Sweater, $89.50, c/o Talbots

Have you purchased any tops lately that talk the talk? Or have you been eyeing anything at your favorite store?

Would love to see what you've found!

-GJU

Monday, September 29, 2014

Miss New Bootie

I am so happy it's finally Fall. Pumpkin picking, apple picking, spiked apple cider, crisp air, gorgeous colorful leaves... I could go on and on. This is my all-time favorite time of year.

Along with the changing weather, comes a reason to buy new shoes (right?). A style that's really catching my eye this year is the ankle bootie. I saw people wearing them in previous years but this year, I decided to give it a go.

Yesterday I picked up these babies at DSW. One dark brown suede pair, and one lighter brown leather pair.

Lucky Brand Eastin Bootie, $89.95

Franco Sarto Nino Bootie, $69.95


I also have this gorgeous black suede pair from Talbots that I can't wait to break in!

Willa Silk Suede Ankle Boots, c/o Talbots, $189


Here are some of the looks I'm loving for fall, that I'll definitely be trying out with my new booties!

Alessandra Ambrosio loves her brown suede booties with blue jeans...

...and with her white denim, too!
 
Rachel Bilson in grey ankle booties

Fashion Blogger StylishlyMe shows off her booties with cuffed denim

close up

Leather and lace. In love with this look.
Photos from of A, B, C, D

I'm feeling super inspired by these looks and can't wait to try them out! Are you digging ankle booties? How would you style them?

Til next time,
GJU

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Working on my Fitness

I figured it's time for an update regarding my new found desire to work out and be more healthy.

As I've mentioned in previous posts, I'm working with a trainer to get myself back on track and hopefully on a path to a healthier lifestyle. My trainer, Tim, has an eclectic approach to training sessions. Some days we do circuits, some days we do mostly weights, and some days are primarily cardio. 

Over the last couple weeks of training, Tim's been able to capture some photos of me working out so that I could share some of the exercises on my blog. Though I used to be an athlete when I was still in school, my body today is nowhere even close to being in the shape it was then. The exercises Tim has me do at the gym are not only accessible for anyone to do (at their own pace), but also they are all exercises that can be done at any strength level (and as you get stronger, you can add on weights, etc.).

Here are some of my favorites:

Walking squats. Any one can do this, and it's a great workout for your legs and tush!

Want to step up your squats? Hold a medicine ball or weights. Don't have weights?
Get creative... bags of groceries, your pet... 

Step Ups. Up with the right, then left. Down with the right, then left. Next, reverse it
by going up first with your left. Do this for a minute and trust me, you'll feel it! Weights
can also be added to this exercise.

If you have a resistance band, loop it around a pole/bench and wa-la! Many exercises in one!
Loop it down and pull up for biceps. Loop it high and pull down for triceps. 

These next videos are exercises that require you to be at the gym, or a facility that has a sled and heavy ropes.

This first video is me pushing a sled with 135 Lbs. on top. Pushing it from the longer/taller end gives me more leverage to push a little faster. In the next video, I am pushing the weight from the lower end which is much more difficult. This exercise works out everything: Arms, core, legs. And the best part is, although it sucks while you're doing it, it's actually kind of fun (I feel like a badass when I'm done).


video


video

This last video is of me using the battle ropes. Tim has me whip the ropes in an alternating fashion, producing waves in the ropes. Other exercises including moving the ropes up and down at the same time producing one large wave, doing lunges while moving the ropes, and moving side to side. The battle ropes are great for gaining arm strength, and also for stabilizing the core and strengthening legs. I have a hard time remembering to look up and keep my butt down, but overall, I can definitely see an improvement in how long I can keep the ropes going without giving up.


video

What exercises do you like to do at home or at the gym? I'd love some suggestions for things to do at home one the days I don't make it in to see Tim!

Until then, keep working it out.
-Jess


Thursday, July 24, 2014

Frame of Mind

If you've followed my blog over the last couple of years, you know I love my Warby Parkers. I got my first pair back in September 2011, and since then, I've become a huge fan of the brand. (Miss my previous posts? Check 'em out here!)

Aside from the frame designs, there are two more things I love about Warby Parker.

1) Buy a Pair, Give A Pair: For every pair of frames purchased, Warby Parker gives a pair to people in need. So far, they've distributed one million pairs of glasses with the help of their nonprofit partners. Click on the link to watch their video. It's pretty awesome. You can look good, and feel good about it.

2) 5 Pairs. 5 Days. At Home Try-On: Looking at glasses online and trying to figure out if they will complement the shape of your face, eyes, etc. is a daunting task. Fortunately for me for all of us, Warby Parker has a solution. You can pick five frames (that will be shipped to you for free), wear them around for five days to figure out which you like best, buy your faves online, and ship back the samples. (Return shipping: also free. Winner, winner.)


I have the Huxley frames in Whiskey Tortoise

It's been a couple of years since I've picked up a new pair of frames, but I think it's about time. Warby Parker's new Beacon Collection (which launches today!) is the perfect reason to step up my frame game. 

The Beacon Collection is inspired by those days that start out with no plans, but end up being all-nighters full of memories. Those days that seem to pass us by too quickly, and turn into those nights that you wish could bottle up and re-live again and again. 

It's basically a collection that describes my ideal summer: too many good memories to count, and not enough days to fit it all in. They're a lifestyle... a frame of mind that's open to anything, up for adventure, and never ready to call it a night.








Images provided by Warby Parker

Warby Parker describes the collection as frames that "make a similarly fine companion to late night dates, rooftop sunrises, and everything in between." The collection is unexpected, unsupervised, and easy.

GJU Gets the Inside Scoop

I was lucky enough to get the inside scoop on WP's new frames in the Beacon Collection before the launch. Love eyeglasses but don't need them? Not to worry. Several of the styles are available in sunglasses.

I did my homework, and here's my summary of the Beacon Collection. Get in-the-know, get on their website, and find your Beacon frame of mind.

Garrett
Distinctive. Smart. Refined.
These frames are perfect for the work day/happy hour/night out on the town transition. The Oak Barrel pair reminds me of my Huxley's.

Oak Barrel


Blue Slate Fade


McKee
Easygoing. Sprightly. 
I am obsessed with the McKee in Moonstone. The round frames and grey matte color are a cool combo that I think would accent any gal on the go.

Whiskey Tortoise

Moonstone

Ingram
Shades of leisure and revelry.
Something about these frames reminds me of Ferris Bueller. And I think that's perfectly fitting. 

Revolver Black

Tiger Tortoise

Nancy
Cosmopolitan, world traveler. Oversized frames to match and oversized personality.
The Lemon pair? Be still my beating heart. 

Tourmaline

Lemon


So, which pair speaks to you and your lifestyle? If you couldn't tell from my editorial comments, I am swooning over the McKee in Moonstone and the Nancy in Lemon. 

Let me know which one's get you in the right frame of mind. Once we have our Beacons, let's go out. See you there.