Monday, August 25, 2014


Top from Anthropologie, slacks by BCBG MaxAzria, leopard print heels (a must for my last day!!) by Kelly & Katie.

This day represents something more than the end, checking a box, having freedom again. This day symbolizes so much more. This day proves to me that I have determination, self-discipline, heart and soul, to give my everything to something bigger than myself. This day proves to me that I can set aside what has been on my elevated pedestal and be content with what is already taking up space in my life.

This project has taught me to just be.

I remember the day I hit, 'Publish' just one year ago with both excitement and fear as I instantaneously changed the railroad tracks of my near future right before my eyes. My first thought was, "Holy crap, what did I just get myself into." While on the flip side, I knew it was time for me to pull in the reigns on a part of my life that had quite honestly gotten out of hand. Yes, style and fashion are something I am absolutely passionate about - and there's nothing wrong with that - but yet it became a black hole. There was too much month at the end of my money because I had somehow justified unnecessary purchases - quite easily unfortunately...and I was prioritizing my own need to be on the edge of the latest trends rather than first meeting my basic needs. And if I really loved something but didn't have the cash I would think to myself, "I'll just put it on my credit card - I can pay it off next month."

It was time to practice self-discipline and God made the first move.

I can only give God credit for this blog idea taking off. I had heard of people doing 365 projects before and that was intriguing to me, but just thought they were all crazy people and was perplexed how anyone managed to find time to do something so entirely all-consuming. I honestly can't explain what came over me a year ago #Goddiditagain, and never thought I would join the category of "crazies" but never say never...My grandpa Lewis always said, "If you live long enough, you'll have to eat every word you ever said." Low and behold that day, one year ago, my heart began pumping quickly in my chest, and I impulsively decided to go down this unpredictable path, joining the "crazy" train. It was almost instantaneous, all happening within an hour - God knew once I publicly committed, there was no going back - so He gave me the nudge.

While on this journey,  lessons were learned.

Wolf Photography
I learned that trying to fulfill wanting more will ultimately never be achieved. The bottom line is there will always be something better out there. The end. We are bombarded with advertisements convincing us that if we just had that, we would be much better off, more liked, and that much cooler. The truth is, there is more to this life. There is a bigger picture and we must turn our backs to this constant temptation. Being brainwashed by consumerism will numb oneself to one's true purpose on this earth. It's time to take back being thankful and content with what we already have.

I have also learned about money. As I mentioned earlier, prior to this year, fiscal responsibility was unfortunately not a top priority. It was the side-effect of whatever I felt like doing that day or in that moment. I would take care of it later. The truth is, 'later' never went away. 'Later' was constantly tapping me on the shoulder via credit card bills and having to adjust my monthly budget on the daily. 'Later' kept ruining my life. And after one year of fiscal responsibility, 'later' has for the most part gone away (we won't talk about those dang student loans though...). I no longer have credit card debt, and I have made ample progress in building up a significant savings cushion as well. I won't bore you with numbers, but I will say, the more I save, the more energizing it becomes to try and save more, though it never hurts to leave a little room for fun...

If I were to choose one theme that stuck out for me above all else throughout my project, it would clearly have to be self-discipline. In the past, I have viewed self-discipline with negative eyes. I have looked at self-discipline as being trapped, restricted, missing out. I have looked at self-discipline as being controlled in an area/s where I would prefer not to be controlled. I started this project with self-discipline as my enemy, and I have ended this project with it as my friend - though it's still a work in progress! No matter who you are, there is an area of your life that you need to take control of, allowing transformation of your heart/mind/soul. Nobody is perfect and sometimes the fear of this reality forces a tight grip on something we think we can control. For me it was my wardrobe. Now that I have a handle on this area of my life, it's time for me to dig into other areas that need a little - or a lot - of construction. In the end, self-discipline actually allows freedom to ensue.

Shopping restructured.

Will I buy clothes again? Yes. Will I be more strategic than I have been in the past? Of course. However, I have to give myself a little credit - I did have my moments of being strategic, picking my favorite of the three shiny new items and leaving the other not-as-amazing two items behind, telling myself I can only spend X amount of dollars, but for the most part, discipline was lacking and as I move forward from here, self-discipline as noted above, will be key. My goals moving forward will be:

  1. Avoid shopping when I'm bored.
  2. Identify needs versus wants.
  3. Establish a budget.
  4. Allow a few days to think on it before making the purchase.
People ask me if I'm specifically going to go on a wild shopping spree when I'm done with my blog. My answer? Not really. My reasoning? If I go on a wild shopping spree, it will defeat the purpose of saving money - one of the positive side-affects of my project. Instead, throughout the year I was able to tuck away little bits of cash here and there when I did side jobs - beyond what I was putting in my savings account - and was able to save up some cash for a few special items:
  1. A ring
  2. A black leather jacket
  3. Gray jeans
Ken & Daughter Jewelers
To explain my reasoning a little further, I am choosing to buy a ring because I want to be able to wear the ring as a daily reminder of my year of self-discipline (insert angels singing and trumpets resounding
here!) and it will be something I wear until I'm 95 years old! Every time I look at this ring, it will channel courage and will remind me of leaning on God to achieve something I truly thought impossible. 

Staying with the theme of longevity, I would prefer to get a few very special items, rather than a lot of average items. Therefore, along with the ring, I am going to get a black leather jacket. I've always wanted a black leather jacket and to me it conveys, "strength," and "sass!" Hence why it's numero 2 on my list! This project has helped me to gain strength, confidence and even a little sass so what better to represent those qualities than a black leather jacket.

Lastly, gray jeans. Not that exciting I know, but this year I realized I have so many black pieces, that a legit pair of gray jeans - to replace my current mediocre ones - will compliment literally half my closet...I'm a sucker for black...AND I'll probably wear these jeans five days in a row just because I can now! #kiddingnotkidding

Beyond those three items, I will play it by ear based on my budget. I may get a few accessories like scarves and statement earrings, or maybe a strategic pair of shoes so I can mix up the clothes I already have without spending too much moolala. We'll see what tickles my fancy. So stay tuned for a follow-up post, capturing my post-project goodies :).

The final words.

I am changed. Because of this year of my life, I will never be the same. I am changed. I have gained strength, confidence, courage, drive, and a humble heart to let go of control of my passion, while at the same time viewing my passion through a different lens. I am changed. I was held accountable to something daily for an entire year. I am changed. I was pushed to become creative outside of my comfort zone. I am changed. I was left with myself and my thoughts to contemplate life and share that perspective through my voice as a writer. I am changed. I climbed to the top of this mountain. I am changed.

Wolf Photography
As I said in the beginning, this project has shed light beyond the shadow of myself and in doing so, I hope you as a reader have been able to gain light as well. As one of my much-needed supporters this year, I challenge you to earnestly dig into the trenches of your own life and take hold of your weaknesses. Where are the missing pieces in your life? What areas of your life are you neglecting? What choices are you making that are negatively impacting other areas of your life? I challenge you to not settle for mediocrity when instead you can thrive. And I challenge you to go against the grain, taking the road less traveled, because on that road you will gain more richness in solitude than achieving popularity among the crowd. Be changed.

"My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style."

~Maya Angelou

Wolf Photography

Until next time,


Many thanks...

I could not have done this project without the support of a few key stakeholders in my life.

DJ ~ Thank you for being an advocate from the very beginning. Thank you for being my encourager and supporter, even though this was all-consuming and bled into your life as well. Thank you for being patient whenever I would have to play catch up for days on my blog and thank you for recognizing my passion for style and design and pushing me to seek my potential. I love you!

Mom ~ Thank you for teaching me how to sew. Thank you for showing me the ins and outs of the art and even passing along some of your treasured vintage pieces to live on in my closet! Thank you for supporting me on a journey I didn't expect to take and thank you for believing I could do it beyond a shadow of a doubt from the very beginning when I told you about it in the parking lot, moments after I hit 'Publish'. Thank you for your encouragement along the way, and being my ultimate advocate! I love you!

Ken & Daughter Jewelers ~ In choosing a ring, I couldn't think of anyone better to work with than Edie at Ken & Daughter Jewelers. I have worked with her before, and what I come back to every time in describing my jeweler experience and what I even hear others say as well, is that she is so intuitive and personal. She quickly gains a sense of my needs/wants for a piece of jewelry and I feel at home whenever I'm in her shop - never pressured. I say this with all sincerity that if you are ever in the market for jewelry or need jewelry repairs, go to Ken & Daughter Jewelers! It has most certainly been a blessing working with Edie and it will be a high-quality piece of jewelry that I will treasure for the rest of my life. I can't thank her enough for helping make this moment so special!!

Mapel Boutique ~ Thank you for sharing my blog with your customers and encouraging me on this project that I know made all of your Mapel Fashionista hearts stop! Thank you for allowing me to set up a display in your boutique to share my excitement of completing my challenge. And thanks to Staci's generosity, you (Jennicouture Fashion readers) can use the coupon code 'Jennicouture' online or in store for a 30% discount on your next purchase! I wanted to pass a special treat on to all my supporters/readers and Staci was eager to partner with me. Thanks Staci! It's been so fun working with you and becoming friends with you throughout the last few years and I appreciate your willingness to collaborate on this special occasion!! Much love!

My Readers/Family/Friends ~ Last but not least (!!!), thank you family/friends/readers/followers for reading all or most of my blog posts! Thank you for putting up with all my Facebook posts that cluttered your news feed. Thank you for  your encouragement when I really wasn't sure I was going to make it through the year. Thank you for sharing in my excitement both in the beginning and in the end of this crazy adventure. Thank you for allowing me to be vulnerable - allowing me to share a piece of my life and a piece of my passion with you on a daily basis. And thank you for being my accountability and support network through it all. It truly means a lot. Thank you!!

Sunday, August 24, 2014


Tee by Tresics, maxi skirt sewn by my mother!

The last post before the last I am. I couldn't be more thrilled. In honor of my blog-completion-eve, I chose to wear this vintage maxi. However, it's not just any vintage maxi. It's my mother's. What makes this even more special is my mom sewed this skirt from material my late grandmother picked out in Florida when my mom was in college. I never had the privilege of meeting my grandmother, but it was her that taught my mother how to sew, and it was my mother who taught me how to sew. So today, on my blog-completion-eve, I represent the maternal side of my family who has in one way or another played a role in the development of my love for fashion.

And to represent how I feel today, and how I choose to feel tomorrow and beyond...




Dress by Soprano, sandals by Unisa, hat by Forever 21.

In the last week or so, I've been going through my closet in particular to pull out items that I either clearly haven't worn this year, or just don't love. Though I don't have a pile that's so tall, it's competing with the Tallest Building in the World, I've been able to start identifying what's worth keeping and what's not. So as I say goodbye to things that are just taking up space, I can breathe out complexity and breathe in simplicity.

I would recommend that you go through this process either every season or every six months because otherwise you begin to accumulate too much and it becomes more of a daunting task down the road!



Saturday, August 23, 2014


Shirt by Truth, cropped pants by Banana Republic, sandals by Cole Haan.

One thing that has really stood out to me this past year, though I'm still working on it (!!) is my time management. It seems like there are so many things that suck up our precious time into a dark, never-ending black hole, and we will literally never get that time back. Technology is obviously one of them. Though it can be a blessing in so many ways, it has become the default "boredom fixer." We no longer seek creative outlets, but rather stare mindlessly into our phones seeking affirmation via number of likes and comments or even just watch everyone else doing really fun things. 

It's time we take our lives back and utilize our time like Beyonce and Oprah. Other than being two of the richest women in the world..., time is our level playing field, so it's time to step up to bat!



Friday, August 22, 2014


Top by Ogle, skirt by Kyumi, Oxfords by Steve Madden.

Standing tall or using good posture can be tough sometimes but it's very important. I know I'm constantly correcting my posture but when I have good posture, I can breath better and I even feel and appear more confident. Keep that spine in check! It will thank you later.



Thursday, August 21, 2014


Dress by Le Streghe Italia, sandals by Unisa.

So tonight was a late night for me...kind of a crazy day in general. It started out with me zipping up both cats in their travel bags and loading them up and out of my apartment so my counters could be refinished.  They weren't happy about that...Those eyes though! After that, I spent some time in my classroom, cats in tow and then made my way to Mapel Boutique to set up a display, promoting/celebrating the end of my blog! Though I am not sponsored by Mapel, I will say that I've always loved being a part of their family. Staci, the owner is always willing to collaborate, listen to new ideas, and do what it takes to make Mapel warm and inviting. That being said, Staci was thrilled when I came to her with the idea of a "Celebration Display" going on the theme "Now that she can shop..." Though I will be adding a few finishing touches tomorrow evening (today...since it's so late - ugh!) I would love for you to stop by and check out the space!! And stay tuned for a special Mapel treat ;).
Here is a sneak peek of my display...Yes I took a selfie. Deal with it ;) and ignore my super bright-white face from the flash... There was no one else there to capture this moment at 11:00 pm at night so I did it myself!




Dress by Studio Opal Boutique, sandals by Unisa.

This dress has been in my closet for waaaaay too long...It was sadly in the mending for quite a while. Then I fixed it. Then it waited. And waited. And waited. Until today when I finally pulled this gem out of my closet. I bought it in Walla Walla in a darling eclectic boutique right in the center of downtown. It was just so unique and fun AND it was on sale so I couldn't resist...This of course was long before my blog had started so don't worry, I didn't cheat! 

Labor Day is right around the corner and though I'm not wearing white today for #7 of the count down, I tell you - don't put away your whites! Wear them. Even in the winter it's OK.