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Friday, July 31, 2015

Beach, Boardwalk and Bangs

A mural in Asbury Park, New Jersey is the perfect place for an #ootd photo op! Fashion blogger House of Jeffers wears a crop top and floral print skirt
Living in New Jersey, the thing to do in the summer is to go "down the shore" aka to the beach. It's almost like a right of passage in your childhood that your parents take you to the boardwalk as a child, and it becomes something that carries over into your teenage years and adult hood. And it never gets old. 

New Jersey has a lot of beaches, more so than boardwalks. On a not so hot afternoon, I packed up the twins and drove to exit 102, to Asbury Park. I spent a lot of time there in my 20s as the legendary Stone Pony is there - back when I used to be a music journalist. The area during the mid 2000s wasn't the greatest. The boardwalk itself was completely barren and abandoned from it's earlier years in the 1930s as a popular destination spot. However, they have since built the boardwalk back up into an artful celebration of culture centered around the beach. There are murals everywhere that are a fashion bloggers dream come true. 

Um, how could I NOT take photos in front of Madam Marie's!? The mural outside her shop oozes of gypsy vibes. This is by far my favorite summer photo location.

A mural in Asbury Park, New Jersey is the perfect place for an #ootd photo op! Fashion blogger House of Jeffers wears a crop top and floral print skirt

As for my outfit, I curled my hair that day to test out my newly revived ombre. The striped crop top and floral print skirt  - a give in being that I live in skirts from June to September. So comfy and colorful!

And here's yet another mural. I think Asbury Park is going to become my go-to for summer #ootd posts!

Summer #ootd post featuring ZeroUV sunglasses, crop tops and floral print skirt | House Of Jeffers |

Summer #ootd post featuring ZeroUV sunglasses, crop tops and floral print skirt | House Of Jeffers |
Mirror Sunglasses - ZeroUV / Striped Crop Top - Forever 21 / Floral Print Skirt - Forever 21 / Gladiator Sandals - Forever 21 / Steve Madden Bag / Alex and Ani Skirt

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Boho Summer Spirit

Boho-inspired look for summer inspired by Coachelle music festival, styled by House Of Jeffers |

I've adapted a boho feel to my clothing this summer. Festival inspired, I'm throwing it back to the days when I used to go to concerts every weekend. There's something about the carefree spirit of bohemian clothing that seems effortless and perfect for summer. Give me a pair of gladiator sandals, plenty of gold accessories and a fringed handbag and my hipster heart is happy and content.

Boho-inspired look for summer inspired by Coachelle music festival, styled by House Of Jeffers |

Gladiator Sandals from Forever 21, as worn by House Of Jeffers |

Plus, I'm all about a skirt and top combo. This black skirt has a delicate lace slip under it that has a vintage vibe to it, while my Moroccan print crop top encompasses the boho vibe. Oh, and a pink lip is a must for me. I tend to wear pink lipstick year round - some habits can't be quit. 

Fashion blogger Jen Jeffery, creator of House Of Jeffers -

I'll have to plan my outfits with a little more office-friendly thought as I'm winding down the end of my maternity leave. Any new mom can relate to the idea of returning to work, and leaving your child. I'm saving my complete thoughts on returning to work for another post as I'm already having a hard time facing the fact that I won't be with the twins 24/7 come August.

Hope you're enjoying the amazing summer weather!

Outfit Details:
Moroccan print crop top - Forever 21 - Black Lace Trim Skirt / Gladiator Lace Up Sandals  - Forever 21 / Fringed Shoulder Bag - Steve Madden / Half Moon Necklace - South Moon Under / NARS lipstick in YU 

Sunday, July 19, 2015

True and False: Parenting Perceptions

Three months into being a new mom, I'm discovering lots of unspoken truths that come with the territory. No matter what advice or nuggets of wisdom people give you, there are just some things that you discover firsthand. Although I'm caring for two babies, and babies seem to have a lot of shared routines and behaviors no matter the gender, I will say that taking care of newborn twins at once is completely different than tending to one.

Perception when it comes to parenting is a mere assumption of "how it is". And then there is truth - the way it really is but never really gets discussed because as a parent, you end up figuring out that all those parental perceptions you thought were one way, are not as they seem.

So, let's dive into these disillusions of parental truths, and expose them for what they really are, shall we?

1. Changing your baby in public

The perception: If you have to change your baby's diaper while out, it's simple: You just use the changing table in the women's restroom.

The truth: Maybe I'm paranoid, but there is no way in hell I'm putting my 3 month old sons on top of that changing table. To even call it a "changing area" is an insult to changing tables. It comes as no surprise that public restrooms are the places where germs and cretins convene and have germ orgies. And everyone who enters that restroom is leaving a little bit of their cooties behind.

Perfect place to lay down my kid, right?

I keep a foldable changing pad in my diaper bag, along with wipes and antibacterial lotion. One glance at the state of the stalls and toilet, let alone the changing table, and I wouldn't even put down my changing pad on a public restroom changing table... or put it back in my bag.

The reality: You end up changing your child in your car. I have a truck, so I can open the trunk and lay down one of the boys there.

2. Sleep deprivation is soooo funny.

The perception: Knowing in advance that you are going to be woken up at all hours of the night is a source of humor for people when preparing you for parenthood.

The truth: Sleep deprivation IS NO JOKE. Ask me how many times I laughed my ass off when someone mentioned all the restless nights I was in store for.

Um. Zero.

The reality is that you will be so tired, your head will be hitting the back of the chair as you feed your child. You'll cry just a little bit inside when you're running on 2 hours of sleep, and just when you nod off to sleep, you'll probably be woken up again in an hour. It's all in the name of love - I love my sons unconditionally and when they cry, I want to be the one to soothe and comfort them. But there have been days when I'm so tired, I worry that I won't have enough energy to get me to the rest of the night without a nap during the day. But on those days when we've had a rough night, the last thing I want to do is laugh about the sleep I'm not having.

3. People respect your privacy as a parent.

The perception: This really isn't a parenthood perception, but more of a human being perception. Strangers going about their business respect each other's privacy, and you in turn show the same courtesy.

The reality: People, especially women, assume because they had a baby, and so did you, that they can ask you really personal questions about your children and you because you have that in common.

I didn't think much of this at the time, but a woman, who was very polite and innocent enough, was asking me about the boys and my delivery. I obliged and answered her questions. But she asked me if I was breastfeeding or bottle feeding. I answered, then we carried on our conversation.

I thought about it later, and it made me think: This woman was asking me such a personal and intimate question. What made her feel she had a right to know? If a guy came up to me and asked, I probably would have been creeped out.

Does that mean I have the right to ask her about her sex life? Maybe I should have, actually.

4. There is no such a thing as stupid questions.

You've heard this phrase before. And while I've asked my fair share of stupid questions, I like to give people credit for using their own common sense when it comes to enquiring about my children.

But some people are not so gifted.

I have been asked a lot of stupid questions, and have heard some equally how should I put it - annoying observations from strangers about the boys.

The top of the list: "Are they twins?"

<Insert epic eyeroll here..>

I hate to sound ungrateful for the curiosity and attention the boys receive, which, 95% of the time is positive, but let's break this down: I'm pushing a double stroller, with two car seats on it, with two babies who are the same size, and while Nathan and Landon aren't identical twins... It's pretty safe to assume they are a.) brothers and b.) twins.

Looks a little something like this:

Obvious, right? I could understand if the boys were a different age and in appearance were visually bigger than the other. But they're not.

Another question I get is: "You must go through a lot of diapers?" or "Do you change their diapers a lot?"

Well, I do have two asses to wipe, and I don't let the boys sit in filthy diapers for hours. And, even though there are two of them, essentially they ARE babies, so yes, we breeze through diapers. Parents of singleton's have the same experience so I'm not sure why it's fascinating to wonder about shitty diapers, but people love to ask.

The joys of parenting are amazing! But nothing prepares you for your new role other than diving in, and not letting what other people tell you taint your vision of what it is. Personally, I try to take the words of warning I get and keep them in the back of my head as a friendly "head's up", but I don't let it mold my idea of what being a mom should be.

What are some of your parental perceptions that you've discovered aren't what you were told?

Sunday, July 12, 2015

It's Always Sunny

It's no surprise that I wear my hair the same way for the most part. Straight. I'd love to say that I possess the talent to create those effortless DIY braids you see all over Pinterest, but suffice it to say, I wasn't meant to be a hairstylist.

But, the humid weather hitting NJ has motivated me to try to incorporate something different into my everyday look. My summer uniform typically consists of a dress of some sort, to which I add to the foundation of my outfit with accessories.

DIY braid tutorial for long hair | House Of Jeffers blog |

The perfect compliment to this dress was two small braids that I styled my hair in for a touch of depth to my do along with a gorgeous statement necklace from Carolee Jewelry. The turquoise and Mother of Pearl pulls from the colors in this floral print dress for a retro inspired look. I say when you are looking for an accessory to add to any outfit - go with a statement necklace or sunglasses. I happen to love this one because I can dress it up with a frock or add it to a plain black tee and still look like I pulled together a fashionable ensemble!

Heart Shape Sunglasses | House Of Jeffers |

I've always felt that my summer wardrobe is my best look. This time of year is just so much more upbeat and inspiring considering all the opportunities there are to be outside and enjoy the weather. Expanding my color palette beyond my fall favorites of grey, black and red means I can wear pastels, floral prints in bold colors and utilize my quirky accessories like heart-shaped sunnies and my slue of Kate Spade bags. Oh, and the Swedish Hasbeens, which I purchased last year from Modcloth are as adorable in person as they are online. I would absolutely recommend getting a pair for yourself!

Swedish Hasbeen Sandals paired with a kate spade new york bag, styled by fashion blogger House Of Jeffers |

Swedish Hasbeen Sandals paired with a summer dress, styled by fashion blogger House Of Jeffers |

Necklace - Courtesy of Carolee / Heart-Shape Sunglasses - Urban Outfitters / Scalloped Bag - kate spade new york / Red Swedish Hasbeens - / Floral Print Dress - Forever 21

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!