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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Let Life Happen

FACT: To say that my life has change in past 2 months would be a severe understatement. With Nathan and Landon being 10 weeks now, I am more nostalgic of the day they arrived. 


I have my sons to thank for all the new experiences I am becoming familiar with. Most of all, becoming a mom has opened my eyes to much more perspective. It's a completely new side of life that I always wondered about before I was pregnant. Finally, I get to experience motherhood, and being twice blessed with twins is something I am infinity grateful for. I really can't say it enough. I'm reminded of how fortunate I am to have them every day. It's all happening fast, and I wish I could slow down time to make the days last longer so they won't grow up so fast. People told me time was going to fly by once they were here, and they were right. The time I have with mu children is precious and is all theirs. 

Which is why my appearances on House Of Jeffers have been... limited. As you can imagine, my days are much different than they were pre-motherhood. Since being on maternity leave, going outside to take outfit photos is truly an ordeal as I plan everything around the twins. I owe them all of my attention and care, so stepping away to sit at the computer, when I could be watching them play or watching them smile in their sleep is where I should be. Every bathtime, every feeding, every diaper change, every cry - as their mother, I don't want to miss a thing. 

During it all, I think I've done a good job of retaining the parts of me that make me, me. I still keep my routines like maintaining the length of my bangs (even if I cut them myself more often). I make time at night to paint my nails. During feedings, I check Instagram or my Twitter feed to get in touch with society outside my little home. I keep my love for style going by committing to get dressed every morning in anything but sweats. I can happily report that pony tails and t-shirts have NOT become my Mommy Uniform. Dresses on the daily, actually. Although I might not have time to go shopping, I live vicariously through magazines to feed my shopping addiction. Besides, buying clothes for the boys is a lot more fun than doing it for myself. There's no way I can resist a smartass quote on a baby onesie... 

Each day is different. And challenging. Caring for two newborns at once is everything you think it is - tiring. But, the rewards of a hard day are seen in every moment where Nathan and Landon learn something new and develop their personalities. It's amazing. They're amazing. I love them more than I can explain...




But, one thing I think about, and miss, is blogging. Don't get me wrong - being a mom is beyond amazing and the best thing EVER. It gives me a sense of purpose that was missing in my life. But before my new role as a mom, blogging was my way of keeping myself busy. House Of Jeffers became my personal oasis of writing about personal style. 

I have my blog to thank for keeping my sanity in terms of creativity for many years. The fashion community is rich with women who are trailblazers and influencers that I can credit for inspiring me daily to produce content that I 100% stand by, and hopefully, my readers enjoy. Style is always evolving, and so is my own sense of it, and self. To fill the void of not working in the fashion industry and missing England, I created House Of Jeffers with the goal of encouraging people to be themselves - as original, odd, weird, unique, trendsetting or indifferent as they can be. And it hasn't always gotten me to where I'd like to be - and that's okay.

And if you're a blogger, you know the struggle is real.

From firsthand experience, I can say that me not following the crowd in the blogosphere hasn't always led me to the most popular of places, or put me in rank among more successful bloggers. To put it bluntly: I know my own sense of style - while not so "out there" or trendy or along the standards of what is considered stylish - hasn't put me front and center in front of brands and other bloggers. It hasn't given me 50, 000 followers on social media or dropped opportunities in my lap. It hasn't always led me to make friends with people who I thought were genuine people because  it turns out they viewed me as different or not on their level (and I'll save my stories experiencing snubs for a later time).

... My blog might not be the biggest and most popular. But it's mine. I've done it my way, and am proud to say that I didn't given in to conformities and standards of what others thought it should be. #sorrynotsorry

But I've changed, and will continue to do so. And I think it's time House Of Jeffers does, too. 

Style is still the single most important way to express my personality without opening up my mouth. But my new role as a mother has shed light on so many other things that relate to me now. There's other facets that I want to explore with my writing, and in turn, share with you. I don't hide the fact that I talk about my boys - a lot - ever since April. And I don't plan on stopping that at all. In fact, it's going to continue so much more, and expand into new territories and topics beyond outfit posts.

My plan is to feature more about my life, and create posts that speak to new mom, non-moms and everyone in between. Some posts will be personal, some will relate to children, some will explore content that relates to making life easier through shortcuts and tricks I've discovered. I don't know... more variety, really.

So, I ask you to please hang in there with me. As I get my footing as a new mom and a writer, be patient with me. House Of Jeffers IS NOT ENDING. It's expanding.

As always, I am so appreciative of all the support my readers and brands have shown me! Big love to all of you!

Until then, I'll be cleaning up spitup while sitting in my rocker thinking about what I want to share with you next on the blog.

Stay tuned - the best is yet to come!

Jen

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

A Shift in Color


Although I can never say no to wearing black as a wardrobe staple, summer is my favorite time of year for style sense I can expand my color pallette to taste the rainbow. Never one to shy away from brights and bolds, experimenting with color combinations lets me retire some of my black clothing for the season and step out in something more lively.

And now that I'm a mom to two boys, blue and green are in my life constantly. I've always loved mint green and teal, but until my Henri Bendel bag, I never wore blue. EV. ER. 



Blue is growing on me though. To get used to wearing this shade, I started with my nails first. Digging through my jewelry box, I polished off my turquoise jewelry and started wearing those pieces again. I've often resisted wearing specific colors that in my opinion weren't versatile to pair with my current wardrobe, but surprisingly, shades of indigo and cobalt are quickly becoming the norm for me... and I love it!

This lace shift dress from Shop Sosie gives a nod to vintage pieces from the 60s as it has the shape of a mod-style dress, but the timeless femininity of delicate lace. The hem is my favorite part, actually. 





Turns out, you're never too old to try new things... and for me, I'm just discovering how fond I am of wearing a color that I stereotyped for just the boys. 

Outfit details:
Lace Shift Dress - Shop Sosie / Nude Wedges - c/o Charlotte Russe / West 57th Satchel  - c/o Henri Bendel / Alex and Ani Bracelets



Monday, June 8, 2015

Gypsy Tendencies



Shopping for myself now that I'm a mother has taken on a new kind of meaning since I love buying clothes for the boys versus for me. But when I select pieces now to add to my wardrobe, functionality and comfort are definitely a priority. I want to wear things I can move in while taking care of the boys, yet, have character and fit in with my style aesthetic. I think there's a stigma of being a mom and having to dress a certain way that can be viewed as negative. Or, being a mom means you have to forget about your sense of individuality and self. For me, I want to be that stylish lady that happens to be a mom. Hopefully, a cool one. 

Let's ask my sons in a couple of years what they think of me and how I look... Should be interesting!


Tank dress, fringed handbag, gladiator sandals - Coachelle style | www.houseofjeffers.com

For our first outing, a trip to the park for a craft fair, I wore something gypsy inspired that I picked up from Urban Outfitters. This jersey tank dress was the perfect choice as it kept me cool, and had some wit to it. Each daily horoscope on the dress reads "The stars and planets will not affect your life at all." Paired with gladiator sandals and a fringed bag, this outfit is totally my Coachella mom look. 

Looking forward to adding more tank dresses to my closet - easy to style, easy to wear!

New Jersey fashion blogger Jen of House Of Jeffers styles a gypsy inspired look with gladiator sandals and a fringed Steve Madden Bag | www.houseofjeffers.com

New Jersey fashion blogger Jen of House Of Jeffers styles a gypsy inspired look with gladiator sandals and a fringed Steve Madden Bag | www.houseofjeffers.com

Outfit
Tank Dress - Urban Outfitters / Gladiator Sandals - Target / Fringed Bag - Steve Madden / Sunglasses - Urban Outfitters 

Friday, May 29, 2015

#MyMomMakes: Crafting with Innovation with Brit + Co/General Electric

I'm all about arts and crafts that let me celebrate my creative DIY side in my downtime. And being a new mom, we know those moments can be fleeting.


Finding DIY projects that are super easy to complete, not time consuming and innovative appeal to me since I like to work on projects that result in me actually using what I just made. Luckily, such an activity exists thanks to uber resourceful Brit + Co teaming up with General Electric for the #MyMomMakes DIY Shibori Tote and Pouch Kit, along with a littleBits Kit filled with technological goodness! The kit combines creativity and innovation so moms like me don't skip a beat while on the go.



Lugging around my daily essentials just got artsy as the Shibori Tote and Pouch Kit gives you step-by-step instructions on painting a canvas tote and matching pouch to create a watercolor-inspired feel. Everything I need to get my craft on was included - from the color dye paint to the paintbrush.

Once the tote is complete, I can amp up my mommy resourcefulness by assembling a fully-functional, battery-operated littleBits circuit to illuminate the inside of the bag! The kit also has other bits that magnetically snap together to create a variety of other clever do-dads that light up, dim, buzz, unleashing my inner engineer!




I loved putting together different components in the littleBits kit like a mad scientist to see what operating parts I could create. Since all the pieces fit together easily, I can reuse the kit for other projects as well!



Check out more about the Brit + Co and General Electric collaboration to learn how you can become an innovator, too!




Thursday, May 21, 2015

How Sweet It Is: Minted.com

I'm always looking for new wall art and decor to breathe new life into my home. Whether it be a quirky print with motivation or funny typography art, or, a cherished photograph, I find that a simple change like taking down old artwork and putting up something new invokes a new sense of coziness at home.

If you're looking for a site that let's you channel your inner artist with a little help from professional artists, Minted.com is it! Minted.com allows users to create custom photo gifts, prints and more using artwork created by talented artists, or, to shop from their extensive online assortment of artwork in a variety of categories.

My image of Nathan and Landon's 1 week photo looks adorable on this Stealing Hearts poster, don't you think? Since I'm a new mom, my twins are the focus of every image I snap, capturing their growth, smiles and moments daily. I can't think of a better way to decorate my home than with my favorite picture of my boys.




The site's templates and user interface are easy to use, and it's fun to play around with all the creative options available. I loved this Birds and the Bees Welcome Baby graphic that I was able to personalize for my nursery!



The site allows you to choose preferences for a truly unique work of art for your home - from fonts, to colors, and even a selection of frames are available for a complete look.




I love this idea of being able to put my personal touch on a piece of artwork that I'll have for years, and that will have special meaning to me.

But if photos aren't your thing, Minted's Art Marketplace category is set up like a well-curated collection of art that you'd find at a craft fair. Abstract art, photography, baby and kid's arts, illustrations, mixed media - it's all there for the picking. What's also cool about the category is that you get a glimpse into each artist.




And even after I'm done donnig my walls with photos of my little dudes, I can take my proud mama pride a step further by designing birth announcements or invitations. Although I've already walked down the isle, Minted's selection of wedding invitations feature whimsical themes such as florals, chalkboard, destination, letterpress or abstract interpretations. Brides-to-be, you will not be disappointed!

Check out Minted.com, and have fun creating your very own piece of artwork... or, to find new decorative inspiration for your home!

*DISCLOSURE: I was provided compensation in the form of store credit for this post. All opinions and written content is original and my own. Photos taken from Minted.com.