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I’m so excited about this post. Mainly because I’m thrilled about owning these dresses, and I’m so excited for you to get your hands on them too. 

First of all – let’s talk wearability x affordability. You’ve seen the photos of above – these soft-to-touch, jersey, cozy, everyday dresses are the ones you throw on when you take your dog on a walk, that favorite that is the perfect cover-up for your swimmie at the beach, the ones you lounge in on hot summer days (yes, Texas) and on and on and on – and on. The everyday dress – but with the softest most comfortable fabric to boot. And the price point? Welp, they’re all from Walmart – so you betchya, they’re attainable and affordable – with lots of colors and lengths to choose from. I found the Walmart Fashion brand TheMogan and was smitten by the selection of soft, easy, dresses that you can easily accessorize, re-wear, and style up or down.

I have linked all of them below (scroll through by clicking the arrows on the sides; there are more soft cozy dresses than the ones I photographed) as you’ll notice Walmart carries each dress in a whole lotta sizes and colors. (Be sure to scroll down and click on your size to see what colors are available.) I styled each of these looks pretty simply, but I love the idea of also dressing these everyday casual chic pieces up with more fun accessories like hats, fedoras, hair scarves and more. If you haven’t browsed Walmart Fashion for clothes yet (truthfully this was my first clothes order and I am p-u-m-p-e-d about it), you definitely should. Whether it’s for spring or summer, this dress selection won’t disappoint and will get you all the re-wearable soft and chic dresses your closet is craving this summer.

I’m also linking my favorite faith-based books and accessories also found at Walmart here.

XO-J

Photos by Divina Stennfeld

Thank you, Walmart for sponsoring this post; all opinions are my own.

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A few of my favorites to style: high-waisted ‘kinis and classy jumpsuits. Hope you love them as much as I do! XO J

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If you don’t already follow my diary, it’s an Instagram dedicated to Jesus, a platform dedicated to a really good cause (anti-trafficking), and a community of really encouraging women.

This last month we launched a sweatshirt line that benefits survivors of trafficking via a non-profit called the Sanctuary Project. This community of survivors works together to package and ship every one of our sweatshirts ordered – meaning each product sold supports a really good cause. Plus they’re really cute! This line was launched on my Jesus account:  @my_darling_diary.

Something else we launched this month was more Scripture and more encouraging words. I’ve attached them above if you want to save as an iPhone or desktop wallpaper. Hope these encouraging words lift you up and fill you up!

XOXO J

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Empowerment weaved into and through the fashion industry is the new new. 

You know I’m all about it, especially after the release and launch of our clothing line that’s created to empower and stir joy and grace. But it’s not just me that’s all about wanting to outfit my wardrobe in encouragement. When Express came to me with their closet full of empowering tees, I immediately was smitten with their personal power messages–especially through soft-to-touch / affordable pieces.

When it comes to girl boss plans and chasing after my goals, it takes a lot of courage for me personally to chase after my dreams. A lot of what I do with my mission, my blog, my ministry and more boils down to not acting on impulse but carefully planning out my next moves in my career. After time passes and the details have set into place, it’s go time. This allows time for plans to change if they’re wrong, or if they don’t lead to a solution that’s fruitful. Does chasing after my dreams make life scary? Absolutely. I have a payroll, I have a following; there’s a lot of pressure involved in entrepreneurship. Do I get fearful? Yes ma’am, or sir. But it’s those challenging moments of fear and in contrast: courage that strengthens me, my perseverance and my mission. I’ve learned my biggest lessons through failure and I have fought and overcome my largest battles through falling down – getting up and trying again. But the next time: I’m all the wiser from the speed bumps of the journey. If I could encourage you in anything today, don’t be afraid to follow your dreams. But make sure to wait, be still, listen, plan, create, and rest in your ideas before taking them into action.

And for me – I’m excited about what Express has to say to echo the above with their new empowering tee line.

I styled these girl power tees around South Congress during SXSW – playing with pops of colorful walls and wearing cheesy big smiles paired with Express tees. Styled with nothing but the casual best: sneakers and denim (find Express denim shorts here) – I’m declaring these tees my spring-to-summer everyday ensemble.

Shop Express’s empowering tees here!

Thank you, Express, for sponsoring this post! All opinions are my own.

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It’s finally… HERE! Today is dream day.

As we launch our first shop and clothing line ever! This has been a dream of mine since I was a little girl, throughout fashion school, and into blogging. But never did I dream that it would also employ women in Austin, TX – women who are survivors of trafficking, abuse or addiction.  And that’s why my heart couldn’t possibly love it more. Keep reading. It gives back and it’s chic.

The designs? Enter our casual-chic pieces, sweatshirts designs with a faith and joyful-based twis. Every product is designed with purpose, inspired to encourage, created to jumpstart faith-based conversations–and silhouetted with soft materials and chic designs.

We designed:

But here’s what really matters to the heart: every single product sold employs female survivors of trafficking, abuse and addiction – via a Gospel-based nonprofit, Sanctuary Project. I am so blessed to partner with Holly Hayes, founder of Sanctuary Project, author, as well as survivor of human trafficking – as the women at Sanctuary Project will be packing *your* orders. We’re pretty excited and hopeful about what God is doing here in this ministry. W-O-W  Join the movement and spread the love by wearing your heart on your sleeve!

We also released our coveted My Darling Diary to the public, but we expect to sell out quickly. Get your hands on our soft-to-touch sweatshirts and our diary here.

And did I mention, free shipping*? But it’s just the beginning. Stay tuned in coming months as we release MORE goodies. Shop on at Shop Darling here!

We want to clothe your wardrobe with strength and dignity, enable you to start grace-based conversations, and embellish your everyday casual wardrobe with a confident kind of comfort. I hope you love the line as much as we do.

XO-Jessi

* Free shipping in the US; discounted shipping outside the US.

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Dishing beauty products seems to be all the rage on Instagram stories these days–but I wanted to come at it from a different angle. My goal as blogger or influencer is not to tell you that you need a lot of beauty products to feel beautiful –  you are beautiful; just as you are. But over the years as I started to grow out my hair again, recover my skin from years of stress, and to simplify my makeup routine – I’ve fallen in love with certain products that accentuate a more natural look. With the help of a lot of professionals along the way, I’ve learned the best products for that everyday gorgeous. Examples of this change in my personal day-to-day include: switching from an all-day-wear foundation to a light CC cream, growing out my hair using specific enriching products, and less is more when it comes to eye makeup. Read on below for the tips and tricks I’ve learned along the way. 

Top 5 Products I Use for Taking Care of My Skin:

Coming from someone who beat a past of acne, it’s a good idea to treat your skin with a lot of love and much-needed, good-product respect. 

  1. The best of the best for skincare: Tula’s Purifying Face Cleanser, Pro-Glycolic 10% PH Resurfacing Gel, and Hydrating Day & Night Cream. I can’t say enough about Tula and what these products have meant to the health of my skin. If you haven’t read my post on how I changed my skin, read it here! Use code: JESSI for 20% off orders 
  2. Rose Quartz Crystal Facial Roller – This pretty roller not only feels amazing on my jaws, it has a bunch of health benefits–including helping to boost natural collagen, circulation, and lymph drainage. Put it in the fridge to cool it down, put on moisturizer before – and it just feels so dreamy.
  3. Isle of Paradise Tanning Drops – You drop 2-3 drops of this in your moisturizer and you get a little self-tanner over night, while moisturizing. I just started using it 2-3 times a week and I love it for a little extra color in the face – no sunshine or additional fake tanner needed. It’s a great way to keep your skin healthy and protect it from damaging rays of the sun.
  4. CC Cream: Supergoop! CC cream in light/medium – This is my everyday go-to! The best lightweight foundation around, sometimes I don’t even add foundation or powder on top of this because it has a mattifying tint to it. The best part? It has SPF, heart eyes. And it’s from Nordy’s.
  5. bareMinerals Matte Foundation Powder – Here’s the super lightweight cherry on top of the CC cream…a matte powder gets rid of any shine + you can continuously add layers until you reach the coverage you like. I suggest using this brush – you won’t regret it.

Top 5 Products for My Everyday Natural Makeup Look:

A little bit of brow, under-eye concealer and mascara can go a long way. Natural is the new new. 

  1. Hypnôse Drama Instant Full Volume Mascara – smooth, clean – volume and length all in one. I love this one because it’s not that clumpy but still does the best work! I keep coming back to it!
  2. Anastasia Beverly Hills Dip Brow & Brush – the most natural and efficient brow method I’ve used. It also stays all day.
  3. MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural – the best bronzer around. You won’t regret it.
  4. Tarte Shape Tape Under-Eye Concealer – the thickest and most efficient under-eye around.
  5. Mary Kay Pro Palette – I use super natural colors and I’ve never found a shadow that stays so long – I’m talking all-day, no creasing, natural color. Can you tell I’m smitten? If I wear eyeshadow (which isn’t everyday), I only wear this one! I’m that obsessed. My favorites are: “hazelnut,” “glazed,” “latte,” and “burnished bronze.”

Top 5 Products I Use for Keeping My Hair Healthy & Growing it Out:

Coming from someone who killed their hair via heat, extensions and stress, year 2 of growing it out I’ve learned a thing or two. Here are the products I’m using to grow it out healthy and happy again. 

  1. Olaplex Hair Perfector No 3 Repairing Treatment – The best hair mask for recovering your hair, recommended by my hair stylist! It’s an at-home treatment that strengthens and protects your hair structure.
  2. Sugar Bear Hair Gummies – I love these little vitamin gummies and I swear they work. After I started using them, I noticed my hair growing exponentially faster.
  3. Ouai Rose Hair Oil – Using a hair oil on the daily on my ends (tip: don’t use too much) has helped immensely in growing out. This rose-gold hair and body oil is a mix of nutrient-rich oils from all over the world.
  4. Bumble + Bumble Dry Shampoo – I try to wash my hair only twice a week to prevent putting heat on it from re-styling. I love using dry shampoo (tip: spray it on right after your work out or before bed)
  5. This brush for combing hair – Your hair is most sensitive when it’s wet – I’ve also heard wooden combs work for not tearing your hair.

There you have it! My top 5 – I hope this helps some of you out if you’re dealing with any of the issues above! XO J 

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I actually only worked a 9-5 for about 6 months before spreading my wings and jumping into the world of entrepeneurship.

Before that, I worked retail for 6 years. In that time, I had a really fun time experimenting and styling fun outfits. But as for office wear goes: I really do miss getting all dressed up to head into an office. When you work for yourself, the hours are all out of whack (10am can actually meaning 10pm) and sometimes sweats and a tee are just the key to meeting rigid deadlines. Regardless, I know a lot of you girls are living the 9-5 life; and if you’re not an Austin startup (meaning jeans and tees for you), and you do need to look 9-5 chic and professional – I’m dishing on a favorite dress that I found on the racks of Nordstrom–and it comes in 5 really darling colors.

This tortoise-ring embellished faux wrap dress is totally precious with a boyfriend blazer, pumps, spectacles and more. I’m particularly darling to the mustard – especially turning it into a happy-hour showstopper post-work. The black is the most classic, super chic and very wearable. And the dusty pink is just well – darling. You can shop it here, and find more wear-to-work pieces by Nordstrom here. Happy Monday – pretty girls! XOXO

Photos by Divina Stennfeld

Thank you, Nordstrom, for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own.

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Happy love month, love bugs!

Find the above dresses below + even more affordable dresses and picks! XO J

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Want to throw a galentine’s gifting party? 

We did and it was a b-l-a-s-t. If you don’t – that’s fine, because I’m chatting about not only how to throw a Galentine’s Day party but *also* how to throw yourself your own successful non-fomo Valentine’s night if you’re single like this lady. So sweethearts, what did me and the girls do, you ask? We feasted on heart-shaped waffles, dined in on heart-shaped cinnamon rolls, 2 pizzas – grapefruit mimosas with raspberry embellishments, and sweet treats. All. the. things. Plus, of course, tons of girl chats, Chloe snuggles, dance parties and more. And also gifting. What did we gift? Beauty goodies, most of them under $20–all from Walmart. Don’t believe it? You should check out their Valentine’s Gifting shelf and you’ll be smitten.

Don’t have a ton of gal pals or want to spend the extra dime? What I do on the actual holiday – Valentine’s Day  – (still single b-t-w) is draw myself a bath, bake a few cookies, read a really good book and call it a night. Scroll below for tips and tricks on a single girls’ night – but if you want to throw a little gal pal party too – keep reading. You don’t need to go all out with the balloons and such (I admit it: that was just me getting extra at Party City). Just find a few of your favorite gal pals, gather the girls – grab some sweets, treat foods – and tell each gal to bring a beauty gift from Walmart.

The recipes that will melt your heart:

The gifts for gal pals: 

Highlighter Palette (this is my favorite highlighter palette ever; it works just as well as the designer palettes)

Philosophy Bath & Shower Gel

Matted Lip Gloss – Satin Ribbon

The Cutest Maybelline Gloss – LOVE the packaging and the way it looks!

What to gift yourself on Valentine’s if you don’t want to throw a party: 

Draw yourself a bath and get yo’self a spa night:

Philosophy Bath & Shower Gel

Bodycology Sweet Love Fizzy Bath Bombs with Vitamin E

Olay Fresh Reset Pink Mineral Complex Clay Face Mask

Rose Shea Sugar Scrub

And lastly, treat yourself to this pretty Lip Gloss

Check out the rest of Walmart’s heart-infused gifts and single-girl tricks on their gifting shelf here. We hope you are inspired by our little team party, and happy February, darlins! XO J

Photos by Divina Stennfeld

Thank you, Walmart, for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own. 

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