Author: Jess

Front Door Makeover Goals

I decided my front door needed a serious makeover finally and well it finally got one!  When we bought our house it really wasn’t very old (7 years) but it just looked tired, dirty and outdated from bad paint choices and the green front door was zero exception.  I took my boring, bland tired door to fab and popping that added so much curb appeal!

Let’s start with the horrible dark green color of the front door, the color makes the door look outdated and like I said above just plain tired.  So freshening it up with a better pop of color really made a huge difference.  Choosing a bold color really will make your door pop out from the rest of the house, and let’s be real that one really wasn’t doing it!  The more it melds into the rest of the house the less appealing it will be from the street.

As you can see the before and after didn’t seem drastic at first until you actually see the colors next to each other.  The contrast pops a lot more when you see the two colors next to each other (luckily my HOA didn’t notice, thank goodness!)

Now keeping our accessories modern and of large enough scale for our incredibly tall door.  I went out and found the fake plant (because let’s be real I forget to feed myself some days, a plant was gonna die) with a unique but simple pattern that doesn’t detract.  The greenery gives it height but not overwhelming our door with its size was critical.


It’s fall and i was so excited about these non traditional looking pumpkins.  The quirky look of them just made me so happy.  Moving away from the non traditional looking pumpkin gave our door a unique twist. Finding items that make you happy and have different shapes and sizes really give the door variety.

The next step was find even more size and height variety.  When I put the pieces I had already together there just wasn’t enough height for my taste.  And since Jeff, my fiancé is a lighting designer a lantern had to happen! I found this one which is actually a Christmas decoration (RIGHT!?!?) and it had the right height, color and shape so it came home.

I’ll be honest there was still a missing touch in front of the door, and the tiny pumpkins really finished it off perfectly for us.  It added a touch of whimsy and finished off the floor area so perfectly.

I know that these are a lot of fall items however the same principles can be applied to any set of decorations.

Last but not least every door needs a wreath!  It’s the easiest way to warm up a front door and make any home look super homey.  This wreath is simple, clean, timeless and works for every season.

So at the end of the day I am in love with my door make over.  It went from dab to fab. It’s a great way to freshen up your house for very little money, a few hours and some elbow grease.

I hope I’ve given you a little inspiration for your weekend project and I can’t wait to see how your doors turned out! Tag me in your door makeover photos on Instagram (@jessdinius) so I can see them.

What Happens When You Become Well Dressed

Have you ever heard the phrase “change your shoes change your life”?  There’s a reason that when we dressed in a fantastic outfit we feel great. Turning heads when you walk in a room is one of the most empowering feelings in the world.

The idea of ditching the oversized tees, leggings and flip flops for great fitting and flattering pieces changes both the way you see yourself and the opportunities in your life.  See how you show up for one part of your life is how you show up for your entire life, when you start dressing well it spills over into all of your life.

You Start Taking Better Care of Yourself

When you feel better about yourself you take better care of yourself.  When your clothes fit and make you look fab it’s always a massive boost of confidence.  When I have the extra boost of confidence I start  doing all of those amazing self care things that I seem to lose interest in when I have less self confidence.

Your Job Uplevels

No seriously, ever heard “dress for the job you want not the job you have?” It’s true! It’s much easier to be taken seriously when you look polished, presentable and put together.  At the end of the day clients, upper managers and all of your coworkers start taking you more seriously.  It’s easier to be thought of as more powerful when you are well dressed, polished and put together (let’s be real no one wants to listen to a person in I’ll fitting pants and top or flip flops and tee shirt).

You Become Someone People Want To Hear From

Being smart dressing means that people assume you are smart (one of the downfalls of being a woman in this world), so people listen to what you say.  The first sign in our society of a smart and educated person is being very well dressed.

You Ditch The Old Outdated Wardrobe

When you start having clothes that make you feel and look better you stop wanting to wear the crappy things in your wardrobe and are thrilled to ditch anything that is anything less than fabulous!  You know you look good and you refuse to settle for looking anything less than amazing!    This is the moment you start cleaning out your closet.  I have a post on the 7 questions to ask yourself when cleaning out your closet that is perfect for helping you clean it out!  Time to ditch the daily, sweats, flips flops and over sized tees for well fitted smart pieces that make you feel like a million bucks, and let’s be real you deserve it!

Becoming well dressed is a life changing life choice that improves so many aspects of your life that I’m hoping you make a giant leap to do so.  Change your clothes and change your life!

 

7 Questions To Ask Yourself When Cleaning Out Your Closet


There are two times of year that I clean out my closet, spring and fall.  These are the two times when closets do the biggest transition,  I find that when it’s time to shift my closet it’s easier to look at what I’m actually wearing and what’s just taking up space in my closet.  Here are the critical questions to ask yourself

Does This Fit?

There’s no point in keeping a bunch of clothes that don’t fit you anymore.  Clothes that don’t fit just take up room and taunt you as unwearable items.  You should never wear things that are ill fitting to begin with and this removes that temptation.  Let’s also be real, you are also worth more than a bunch of ill fitting clothes, you should walk into your closet and be able to just grab things that just fit and make you feel fabulous.

Have I Worn This In The Past Year?

Lets be very straight here, if you haven’t worn it in a year, you aren’t going to wear it (special occasion items bring the exception, I’m not wearing that formal gown very often let’s be honest but I’m not buying a new one the rare time I have to wear one).  This means it’s taking up space that could be taken up by something that you might actually wear and love.  Eliminate the waste of space in your closet that makes getting ready in the morning more difficult than necessary.

 

Will I Wear This Again?

Why on earth are you keeping clothing that you don’t like? I’m genuinely asking you this.  If you have a clothing item that you will never wear again it’s time to LET IT GO! Don’t hang on to clothing due to guilt or some feeling of obligation to cling onto anything, if you don’t wear it let it go! ( Noticing a patten yet?) So many of us cling to things that are just weighing us down, the freedom of just being able to actually grab things you love and will wear is amazing! It’s also going to make getting dressed in the morning so much quicker and easier.

 

Is This My Style Any More?

Over the years our style changes, heaven knows mine has gotten MUCH better and changed a lot since I started this blog and it’s evolved! We can’t hang onto things from 3, 5 or even 10 years ago that just don’t fit into the style of what we wear now or who we’ve become or even the fact that styles that change from year to year.  Get rid of the things that no longer suit who you are anymore! Let your personality as it is shine.

 

Is This Still In Good Shape?

Ok why are any of us wearing clothing that isn’t in good shape? You are worth clothes that aren’t falling apart.  Please read that again! You deserve a wardrobe full of clothes that have all of their buttons (fixing them on that sweater you love is totally acceptable but if you can’t find it then it needs to go), doesn’t have weird stains, holes, covered in pills or is stretched out.  The way those items look reflects on how you feel about yourself and frankly YOU DESERVE BETTER! If it needs a repair you won’t do or can’t do or it’s seen better days, chuck it out!

Would I Buy This Again?

If you were to walk into a store and see that item again on the rack would you buy it again? (don’t count price regret cause I think we have all decided we’ve paid too much but love an item)  Really decide if this is an item you would ever buy again in your life, if the answer is no then it’s not worth keeping.  Treat the space in your closet like money, if you wouldn’t spend your money on it, don’t waste your closet space on it!

Does This Make You Feel And Look Amazing?

Look at the clothing and really ask yourself “Does this make me feel powerful, beautiful and amazing?” If the answer is no then, why. Why are you wearing it, why are you keeping it and why is it taking up space in your closet and life when things that make you feel amazing could take their place.  Let those amazing things take their place!

Alright friends now it’s your turn to clean out your closet and make getting dressed more fun and so much easier.  Let me know how much you cleaned out of your closet!

Your Period Isn’t Just Heavy or Normal

I tell my story in hopes that it will help someone else who is suffering, to let who ever you are know that you are not alone and you don’t have to fight alone.  Warning, this is very honest, brutal and a bit graphic but the very real truth of my very hard journey.

The first time I knew something was really wrong was shortly before my 13th birthday.  I was rushed to the ER doubled over in excruciating pain.  The doctors assumed it was an appendicitis by the amount of pain I was in.  Needless to say I was terrified, I had never experienced

 

pain like this in my entire life. An ultrasound was done and they found a cyst hanging from my right ovary and one single adhesion from my fallopian tube to my bowel.  I hadn’t even had my first period and here I was about to have surgery.  The entire process was terrifying!

My very first Gynecologist appointment was set because surgery had to happen, and here I am a terrified 12 year old before my first period sitting on the table clueless about what’s about to happen.  In walks a very elderly man, he explains what’s going to happen and I absolutely refuse.  The first time a man has his hands there I really don’t want it to be this creepy old guy and I felt so uncomfortable and burst into tears.  I was treated as some horrible brat not the scared child I genuinely was, finally a female doctor was brought in and to this day I still believe there need to be other options for children other than stealing their innocence.

From here my periods never really normalized.  I was 13 and couldn’t function for the first 3 days of my period, I was in insane blinding pain and enough blood it became alarming enough to put me on birth control.

I went through multiple types till I found one that balanced my hormones at least decently.  The phrase “crazy bitch” was used more than once by my mother, we’re not going to pretend kindness was her strong suit.  My “best friend” knew what I was going through and decided to announce to the entire male population of my middle school I was on birth control… let the slut shaming begin because I had something seriously wrong with my body.

We switched insurance so I had to switch Gynecologists and this one decided my dosage was just too high for someone my age so I was immediately switched to a low dose with a high chance still of ovulation and breakthrough bleeding (why exactly does this birth control exists if it’s highly likely that it won’t do anything it’s supposed to do?), yes this comes into play later.  My periods become heavier and more painful than ever.  Nothing I do can stop me from waking up in a pool of blood overnight.  The terror is something I can never forget.  I continued to be talked down about the severity of the issue and that I just have heavy and painful periods and it’s just normal, then the fainting spells started but it was still swept under the rug and I wasn’t taken back to the doctor despite my begging.

Another year passes and we change insurance once again, we end up at a giant HMO with an internal building and doctors on staff and an internal pharmacy and hospital.  Everything gets transferred by my primary care over and I continue as “normal” until one day once again I wake up in blinding pain… once again and an appointment is made to see the gynecologist the next day.  One ultra sound and a series of blood tests later we found the remnants of a burst cyst, they also found insanely low blood levels.  My doctor started pulling my files and reading about my surgery.  It turned out that my mother had level 4 Endometriosis that was so incredibly severe it caused the need to remove even her appendix and a section of her bowel when she had a hysterectomy.   In looking at the ultrasound the doctor was able to see endometriosis growing and assumed that the growth found in the first surgery was caused by endometriosis.  All the symptoms were there, the insanely heavy and painful periods, exhaustion, insanely long periods and a strong family history. I was switched onto a high dose birth control and instructed to take it continuously.

This treatment plan kept me from much pain most of my adult life but the more I read and the more I learned about it the more I realized what it meant for my ability to have kids.  Many years later when they went back to check on the progression I was told I only had a couple of years left to have children.  It hasn’t always been the easiest pill to swallow but overtime we have become a person beyond happy with my grumble of pugs.  My amazing fiancé is always supportive, always amazing and loves me through it all.  I am so lucky and no one should settle for anything less!

The last few weeks and the reason for my recent absence is a horrible pain flair up.  Out of no where I’ve had more pain than I have had in over a decade.  I almost literally fainted from the pain, sweats, things turning black and white and the while nine yards while in charge of an executive walk through with the owner out of town no pressure,  I spent the entire drive home swearing to my best friend climbing the walls of my car.  I was used to occasional cramping and pain after sex or random minor cramping but this level of pain is totally new.  Every part of me is trying at only 33 to avoid a hysterectomy because there’s so manny other issues that come with that so we shall hope and pray that some serious pain killers keep the pain at bay,,, cross fingers this is a small bump in the road and not a serious complication.

 

Tell me your story Endo Warrior! You are epic and amazing and I can’t wait to hear it

A Pumpkin Spice Recipe Better Than Starbucks!

Who doesn’t love when the weather gets a little cooler, the leaves change and pumpkin spice everything comes out in the stores?  One of the biggest markers of Fall is when Starbucks releases the Pumpkin Spice Latte, but at five dollars or more a pop who can justify that treat as often as we want it!  Enter the Pumpkin Spice Latte at home Dupe.

Frankly I find this dupe better than the original version, it’s not flavored exclusively with those high sugar, high chemical syrups that just make me feel really blah and icky after drinking.  By using food instead of the syrups I think it really ads something extra that in my opinion makes it that much better (plus you don’t have to leave the house to get this version, you can stay in your pajamas).

What you will need for this version:

1/4 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice

1/2 cup milk (or almond milk if you are like me and can’t drink or don’t like regular milk)

1 tablespoon of canned pumpkin purée

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1 teaspoon of sugar

2 tablespoons of half and half cream

1 Cup of coffee

Now if you want to get really fancy with it and go full blown Barista for the full coffee shop experience (which I totally recommend)

1 scoop of whipping cream (or non dairy substitute)

a dash of nutmeg or cinnamon (or both of you are super fancy)

How to make a Pumpkin Spice Latte

1) Heat the milk, pumpkin purée, Pumpkin Spice and vanilla in a pan and heat over the stove on medium, whisking together

2) Heat the mixture until thoroughly heated and starts steaming, be careful not to boil or curdle the milk.

3) Pour the mixture into a large mug

4) Add your coffee, keep in mind if it’s on the stronger side it will be diluted by the Pumpkin Spice mixture

5) Next add your sugar and cream to taste

6) Mix until thoroughly blended.

7) Add whip cream to the top and nutmeg or cinnamon to the top.

8) ENJOY!

Now that you have mastered your at home Pumpkin Spice Latte you can avoid the high priced giant morning me at Starbucks and save yourself quite a bit of money in the short and long run!

This is the perfect treat for all of those holiday get togethers with gorgeous brunches.  It’s also the perfect addition for all of those cold winter and fall nights putting up decorations or hanging out with friends.

I hope you enjoy this recipe and let me know where you enjoyed it, even if it’s just lifting up your morning car ride!

4 Gorgeous Dresses for Fall Wedding Guests

It’s no secret October is one of the biggest months of weddings out of the entire year!  This means it’s time for us to pull out all of the wedding guest dresses.  If you are feeling a bit uninspired feel not your fashionable bestie is here for the rescue!

With weddings it’s really hard to feel like you have the right balance between looking fabulous and not wanting to upstage the bride (let’s all give her the day right!?!?) but it doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice style

This first look I’m so obsessed with for a fall or winter wedding because not only is it really flattering and a great fall floral, the price is a steal for under $25!  The cinched waist with the flared skirt hides anything about a stomach or thighs we don’t exactly love.  The winter floral is a unique twist on a normally boring and safe choice.  The length of the skirt is fun and flirty but still appropriate.  Oh, did I mention it comes in tow colors both wedding appropriate?  Both black and navy, so you can be as colorful as you choose!

If you are looking for a more colorful option, this gorgeous watercolor maxi is the ticket.  Just add a sweater and flats and this is the perfect modest and super comfortable wedding choice.  The flows nature of this dress lends itself to every body type, just add a belt and you have the most figure flattering option on the planet.  This dress is for sure more of an investment but it’s still well under $75 and is so incredibly well made, it’s a staple I try to wear as often as possible!

This fun purple dress is a vintage inspired number with great wrap detailing on the bust.  This rockabilly style dress has just enough stretch to cling to the places you want (aka under your rib cage and the bust area), just add a great statement necklace and some fabulous shoes and you are ready to go!  It’s a great classic look that even grandma will approve of and love.

So this might actually be my favorite fall or winter wedding guest look. It’s such a timeless wrap coat dress and the belt just cinches in perfectly (can you tell I love a belt?).  The velvet fabric is just so luxurious and rich that it looks like it cost FAR more than it actually did and that is always a plus.  There is just something elegant and classy about a coat dress and this one takes the cake, it stands alone on its own with out needing any embellishment.  It’s just a classic look that I feel should be a staple in every woman’s closet.

i hope this round up of wedding guest looks gives you the inspiration and ammunition to tackle this fall wedding season.  You can look fabulous and fashionable on any budget with any body type without overshadowing the bride.

Lemme know, how many weddings are you attending this fall? Anyone really special?