Are you there, debt relief? It’s me, Jordan.

I vividly remember sitting in a class senior year of high school and a woman came to talk to us about college and student loans. She was so nonchalant about taking on debt, comparing it to how no one scoffs at taking out a home loan. This was laughably before the housing market crash, but these are statements I will never get out of my ears.

I barely knew what I wanted to be when I grew up, still full of raging teenage hormones, but was somehow “responsible” enough to sign for six figures worth of student loan debt. This toxic industry was only reinforced by my parents outdated notion that since they paid their way through school, I should be able to as well. To clarify, I don’t think paying your own way through college is wrong or you should expect your parents to foot the bill, but my circumstances and my parents were incredibly different. Their statements only reinforced taking out loans in my mind. My college, which was also my parents’ alma mater, was only a few thousand a semester during their college years. When I was accepted it was a steep $40K a year and I received very limited financial assistance.

While no one was forcing me to sign on the dotted line, media had fed me idealistic images of beautiful college campuses and that this was the path you took if you were smart. I know this story is far from unique. I luckily had a great experience that I think of fondly and built a great network that got me a job right out of school.

When I graduated, I was overwhelmed by the debt. I was only making about $32K a year, and every step forward I took with raises I couldn’t help but have lifestyle creep. There are days I often reminisce about how I made my life work with considerably less. I became so desensitized to seeing a high number on my outstanding loan amount on my bank statement that I developed an unhealthy relationship with money.

A few years ago, I got a job that didn’t have corporate cards. It was the first time I took out a credit card. In my mind, I knew that I needed to only put work expenses on that card, but easier said than done. Because of my massive amount of debt, I had very little saved up for emergencies. Someone broke into my car and I needed my window fixed, that blue piece of plastic got swiped. I unexpectedly got the flu and had to go to urgent care, it got swiped. I was exhausted and was self soothing by shopping…well you see where this is going. I racked up a few more thousand dollars that I still chip away at.

There are days I still feel like a failure with money. I think about all the things I could have if I hadn’t taken out that credit card, or if I hadn’t gone to college. My mind swirls with the freedom my husband and I could experience if this debt didn’t exist. Now, I’m really working on being better with money, having a budget and cut back on frivolous spending.

We’re lucky that there are more people, especially women, talking about money (I personally love listening to Gaby Dunn or watching Aja Dang). When I feel really down on myself about money, I try to remind myself I’m not alone and so many of us were sold this bad deal. I know there will be an end eventually if I can just stay on track. In the meantime I will be working 60 hour weeks, freelancing and selling my clothes at Buffalo Exchange.

Are you there, debt relief? It’s me, Jordan.

La La Land

I’m gonna be real. When I first visited Los Angeles I hated it. I mean really, really hated it. I don’t like the beach already (like I can handle it in small doses) and my husband loves the beach. So we spent more than half our time there.

Slowly, I’ve come to enjoy parts of LA. Mostly due to the fact of making friends with co-workers in the west coast office. I go there a few times of year for work but recently Casey and I went on a trip there for fun and to support our friends in The Ghost Inside.

Here’s a little bit about our trip!

We AirBnB‘ed it. I’m such a fan. We almost always use it when we travel for fun. We got a killer deal on a cute bungalow in Venice. It had an adorable lemon and orange tree in the backyard!

Some of my favorite things from the trip were:

Rose Cafe – Venice // OMG. That french toast was amazing. Like so fluffy, so thick. So happy a friend recommended it. I went with some gal pals while Casey explored the beach and then promptly made me take him the next morning!

The Milk Shop – Silver Lake // I think there’s also one in Culver City, but we were meeting friends who live in Los Feliz and this just made sense. It was so delicious. That macaron ice cream sandwich was absolutely unbelievable!

Yolk – Silver Lake // Silver Lake is slowly becoming my favorite LA neighborhood and this cute little home store is across the street from Milk. Casey bought me a candle and a really cute blanket!

All the succulents! EVERYWHERE! They grow so large in Southern California! I wish I could have taken all of them home with me.

I will say (said in quiet whisper voice) I’m not too wild about Santa Monica. It’s really touristy and I understand sometimes you just absolutely go an experience something. There’s so much to see and do in LA and I just feel like it’s nothing special. But hey, that’s just me!

Have you visited the LA area? What are your go-to spots?

 

La La Land

Dainty, Dainty, Dainty

I really want to set the tone of this post and the title is said to the tune of sexy, sexy, sexy from ODB’s Baby I got your money.

Now that’s out of the way we can really focus on the actual point of this post: dainty jewelry. In the past few years I’ve really moved from large statement pieces (although I’m not above them in the right situation) to smaller, minimal jewelry.

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Below are some of the pieces I’m currently craving. My go-to shops are Catbird, Etsy and Moulton. Have you gotten any good pieces lately?

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Dainty, Dainty, Dainty

Bed crushing

So lately I’ve been really wanting to update our bed. Casey and I have had the same bedroom set for a few years (since we started living together).

I really love this entire platform bed trend – but we’re at a point where we would have to update a lot of things for it to not look too disjointed.

Is there anything in your home you’ve been craving to update?

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Bed crushing

Flower Crowns

In case I hadn’t mentioned, one of my besties is getting married this year. So me and the other women in her life are busy pinning away to help give her ideas for the wedding.

One trend we’re loving are bridal flower crowns. This trend was just starting to get momentum right after my wedding (so unfortunate), so I’m living vicariously and just keep throwing them on her board. Do you love these, too?

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Flower Crowns

Buy or DIY: Wall Hangings

Has anyone else been enamored with woven and tassel wall hangings? (No, just me? whatever).

Like seriously my Pinterest is flooded with them. At Texas Style Council Camp last year we had this as a DIY activity. Let’s talk about time consuming. Granted, most things in life worth doing are. I still want to try my hand at making my own, but luckily there are quite a few on Etsy and I’ve bought one from the Dallas Flea before.

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So whatcha think? Are you into the trend? Would you buy or diy?

Buy or DIY: Wall Hangings

Blanket Weather

So (at least in Texas) we’re in weather where it could be warmish during the day, but chilly at night. Which means, having several stylish blankets around is ideal. They’re great for Netflix marathons and for the patio with your gal pals.

I got an amazing blanket when in Costa Rica and it got me searching for some more to keep the house stocked. I’m borderline obsessed with that white blanket from The Citizenry. What do you look for in a blanket?

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Blanket Weather

Etsy Faves

I’m gonna keep this short and sweet. I flipping love Etsy. I love finding unique things and its perfect for gifts, home goods, etc.

I could probably write on and on and on about my prolific love, but I’d rather just show you what I’m currently crushing on (despite my wallet’s disapproval).

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I’ll admit, finding good stuff can take time and years of building up your favorites so Etsy knows what to reco for you. It’s worth it. I find such unique stuff and sometimes for a WAY better price.

What are your Etsy faves? Any tips on finding great shops?

Etsy Faves

Adult Friendships

Okay. This is actually a really hard subject, and I think some people make it taboo to talk about making friends as an adult. I recently thought of this again because now there’s supposedly an app for finding friends (I personally just thought it was called instagram).

The first six months of last year were really, really hard in terms of friendship for me. I don’t think I ever felt so alone in my life. I had one of my closest friends pretty much go off the radar (and for good reason, she was in a season of life in which she needed to care for herself), one of my other close friends was still away at grad school, my other good friend had finally settled in a new state and my best work friend turned IRL friend moved back to the west coast.

To say I felt alone is an understatement. I cried every single day. As an adult there’s nothing forcing you to go out and meet people. I learned a lot about myself and how to make friends as an adult. 

Try new things. 

I got ClassPass, and it was a life changer. I slowly had something I could dedicate to myself. The endorphins of course helped and it was a release. I cried many times in half pigeon during hot yoga while Sam Smith’s “Stay with Me” blasted. I’m actually now close to my instructor from that class. She often gave me just what I needed to hear.

I took a water color class, which a nice creative outlet. It was something new and I got to be around other creative people.

Attend a conference

Do something that forces you to meet new people. Blogger conferences, networking events, etc are all great. If you don’t know where to start check Levo or see if there’s a local instagram meet up.

Invest in long-lost friends

How many times do you run across Facebook or Insta and think “oh, I haven’t hung with her in a while. I miss her!” Just reach out! Grab coffee, or dinner. You don’t have to have a full on GNO to reconnect in a meaningful way. My mom always said “to have friends you have to be a friend.” To that point, this is also a great time to invest in family. They HAVE to love you (right?).

Have you recently struggled with adult friendships? How did you get through it?

 

 

 

 

Adult Friendships

Ode to the half top knot

For a long time, I was all about the top knot. So it’s no surprise I’m really into the half top knot thing going on. It works on so many different lengths of hair and looks casual, yet done.

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Although this look is more casual, I highly recommend your hair being clean (or at least washed the night before). Dry shampoo is always helpful.

I also recommend not relying on elastics, but using bobby pins. I think this is an “to each their own” situation, but after talking to a few girls at work, this is our preferred method.

Would you try this trend?

 

Ode to the half top knot