What's In My Carry On?

Hey y’all,

I don’t know about you but I love watching “What’s In My Bag” videos on Youtube and thought that I would share what I brought in my carry-on personal item for this ten day trip.
I ended up using the Miller tote from Sole Society. I have it in the cream color and ended up ordering through Nordstrom. I am also loving the new camel color. I love that it is comprised of three sections including one zippered section perfect for the items you don’t want to lose.

In the first section I kept a small pillow, an empty bottle that I had the sweet baristas at Starbucks fill, and a car pack of Trident gum.
In the main compartment, I kept my wallet, a Vera Bradley Large Zip Cosmetics Bag filled with my jewelry, a striped pouch filled with my electronics (headphones, nook charger, computer charger, iphone charger, etc), chapstick, my keys, snacks, medication, my sunglasses, and some tissues.

In the final compartment, I have my nook, a book, mymoleskine journal which keeps my to-do lists and blog calendar, a may designsnotebook where I write down my devotional thoughts, a few pens, and I did have two copies of Real Simple magazine in here as well.

What is your carry-on must have?


Saturday Story Time {Vol. 4}

Hey y'all,

A few weeks ago I started a new series call Saturday Story Time. Essentially, each Saturday I am going to pose a question and I would love for it to be interactive and have you answer the same question in the comments. I have loved getting to know my readers through these posts and you can catch up with the previous questions here.

Let's get to today's question:

  What movie can you watch over and over again without ever getting tired of?

Okay, so I am a bit of a movie buff thanks to my family and there is a whole list of movies I can watch every single day and never get tired. My movie picks are Pride and Prejudice (I mean the cinematography is just gorgeous and I love the soundtrack) and Beauty and the Beast, Sweet Home Alabama, What a Girl Wants and Two Weeks Notice.

What movie can you watch on repeat?

  photo signature_zpsh3oyednc.jpg

Five on Friday {May 26}

Hey y’all,

It’s Friday! That means I am linking up with some sweet bloggers to share five things I am currently loving this week.


Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. The third season of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt premiered on Netflix last week and I saved watching the show until this week so I could binge watch it on vacation. Yes, I am already done with the whole season. I love this show and Kimmy's adorable cat pjs. Seriously, I feel like as a cat mama, I need them as well.
Image result for unbreakable kimmy schmidt season 3


Table Topics. I recently picked up Table Topics from Amazon. If you are not aware, this includes a set of 135 cards with all sorts of questions that would start a conversation. My guy friend and I, started playing 20 questions back in college when we would drive to get milkshakes from Cook Out so this card game is fun for us since after eight years it can be hard to come up with new questions. It includes questions like “What do you love about your hometown?” and “What completely impractical car would you buy if money was no object?”
Image result for table topics amazon


Chicago. I don't know about you but I am a typical subburb person. I grew up in subburbs and still feel more comfortable in that kind of environment but I love visiting major cities. It's fun to live the city life for a few days and Chicago has so much to offer. I know the Lincoln Park zoo is on the list of places to visit in the next few days but I would love your suggestions as well!
Image result for chicago


Hamilton. Y’all I am still on cloud nine from watching Hamilton last night.I will try and update y'all when I have fully processed it.


Ariana’s Wedding. Tomorrow my best friend gets married! I have known Air since we were in 10th grade and little did we know that summer that we would become best friends even through high school, colleges in different states, and living thousands of miles apart. I can’t wait to help make the wedding of her dreams and cry my eyes out when she walks down the aisle.

Link up with April, Christina, and Natasha
Also linking up with Tif and Katie.
And Erika

What are your plans for the weekend?
Favorite city to visit for vacation?


  photo signature_zpsh3oyednc.jpg

Currently {May 25}

Hey y'all,

I hope y'all have been having a fantastic week and we are almost to the weekend! I am checking in this Thursday with a post of some things I have currently been loving, wanting, and anticipating.
Image result for currently


I have been on a 90s country music kick when I have not been listening to audio books. Some of my favorites are Brooks and Dunn, Trisha Yearwood, Shania Twain, George Strait, etc.


Chicago style pizza will be happening post wedding this weekend! This week though it has been pretty simple meals like smoothies for lunch, sweet potato and chicken for dinner with veggies.


Since I am vacation it has been a lot of Fabletics leggings and workout tanks from Target’s C9 line like this one.


This weekend I had the best grapefruit margarita. I think I need to recreate it when I get back to NC with this recipe.


I am off to see Hamilton: An American Musical tonight and then tomorrow begins the wedding festivities for my best friend!



I have recently started watching the White Queen on Amazon Prime (originally on Starz). The premise of the show comes from Phillipa Gregory’s Lady of Rivers series and follows the war of the roses between the York and Lancaster families for the throne of England. I am only two episodes in and there has already been so much drama and intrique! If you liked the Tudors, I think you would love this show.


I have been really focusing on getting in a walk every morning here in the city. It can be tough to get a workout in while you are traveling so I have been focusing on making sure I move at least an hour each day. I have been loving my Leslie Sansone Walk at Home DVDs with the Miracle Band to add in resistence training. I have also tried to get in a barre3 online video each day this week since they are so great as low-intensity cardio and strength but you will feel the burn and often don't need any equipment.

What are you wanting currently?


Spring Dresses Under $50

Hey y'all,

Now that it is late May, I don't know about you but it means that it is time to start looking for fun dresses. I love dresses for summer whether it's for work or events. I have been searching for some new dresses to add to my closet and had to share these recent finds all under $50!

Spring Dresses under $50

one. I love this cami dress from Lush. I think it would be perfect with a jean jacket and wedges for a date night this summer. Plus, the Carolina Blue color is perfect for early game days in the Fall.

two.This rose and scalloped dress from Banana Repulic Factory might need to make it to my shopping cart. I mean, gorgeous roses and scallops. This would be perfect for a bridal shower or even just for the office.

three. I am obsessed with swing dresses recently. They are perfect for work with a fun necklace and for feeling dressed up on the weekends running errands. This gorgeous green color would also be perfect in the Fall with some riding boots and a blanket scarf.

four. Summer outdoor weddings can be tricky to dress for since you want to be dressed appropriately but do not want to melt in the heat. I love going for one shoulder options like this dress from Nordstrom. This would also be adorable for exploring on a trip over the summer or a fun outdoor date.

five. I think every woman needs a wrap dress in her closet. They are perfect for work and are so flattering. I love the floral print on this dress since we all know that if it's an LBD or navy dress I feel like I need it in my closet.

six. Okay, everyone needs this dress in their closet. The neutral stripes with the fit and flare shape is so versatile and flattering. Perfect for work with a fun cardigan and flats to a colorful scarf and wedges for the weekend. This dress is even on sale for under $40!

Do you love dresses?
Where do you typically shop for your dresses?


Weekending {May 22}

Hey y'all,

I am sorry for the delat in this post but my internet has been wonky in my friend's apartment so Starbucks for the win! I am officially on vacation for the next week and I am so excited to share some of my travels with y'all including what I packed in my carry-on but for now I will just catch you up on one of the busiest weekends. Beware of photo overload.


Friday was hectic as I tried to finish up projects, keep my co-worker up to date on items that might occur this week. I felt like I was always on the move and it showed considering I hit 10,000 steps before 6pm and I did not even get in a workout that morning to account for the movement. 

After work, I hit up Ulta to grab the It Cosmetics CC cream in a travel size to try out since I am almost completely out of my BB cream. I ran a few more errands and then got home in time tojust relax and complete some last minute packing while watching the Great British Baking Show: Masterclass. If you love this original, this show is just Mary and Paul baking amazing creations. You can find it on Netflix. 


Saturday began with some cat cuddles since my little guy knew that I was going to be gone. I also got ready for my friend from my old bible study’s wedding that morning.
 Bible Study Ladies 
Randi was married in a beautiful little church in downtown Raleigh. It was a very heartfelt ceremony and most of us were in tears after the vows. After the ceremony we were off to Neuse River Brewery for a fun brunch reception including Rise biscuits, cotton candy, mac and cheese, and lots of fun sandwiches.
Bible Study Ladies with the Bride

After the reception, I headed home to get ready and head to the airport. I did stop in to my apartment office to get my new simplified planner! Seriously, I am in love and kind of hate that I had to leave it at home since I did not intend to use it this week while on vacation. 

The next thing I new I had checked in my bag, went through security, and was awaiting my flight. The flight actually was a pretty nice flight and I was in Chicago before I knew it. I met up with my friend, Tyrone, and we headed to his place where I promptly changed and got ready for my best friend, Ariana's bachelorette party.
Off to dinner!
By 7pm I was on my way to meet up with everyone. We had a wonderful dinner of tacos, fajitas, and margaritas at Uncle Julios, then went downtown to go bowling at 10pin.  
With the bride at the bowling alley. I have known Air for 12 years! 
Who knew bowling would be so popular but it was fun hanging out with everyone and even though there were lots of gutter balls I did make a strike one frame! 
The rest of the night was spent out on the town dancing and having fun followed by crashing at Allison's beautiful home.


Sunday started early with all of us up before 9am(yep five hours of sleep is not pretty) and hanging out on Allison’s gorgeous patio. We sat around drinking mimosas and eating Joe Joe’s before deciding to finally get up for the day. We all got ready and headed over to the Bongo Room for brunch. It was the perfect stop for brunch after our big night. I had a delicious strawberry mango tea with a breakfast of eggs, bacon, sourdough toast, and the best house potatoes.

The rest of the afternoon the bride, MOH and I did some shopping around town before we all departed to get some naps in.
After a wonderful (and neccessary) two hour nap, Tyrone and I got together for Chipotle, basketball, and Forensic Files. 

How was your weekend?
Favorite brunch food?

Linking up with Biana from B. Loved Boston


Sunday Sayings {May 21}

Hey y'all,

I hope that you are having a restful weekend. The year the Lord has really been teaching me to rest in Him and to remember that I do not need to be anxious but rather release control and follow Him.  Recently I have become obsessed with the song Thy Will by Hillary Scott since it is a great reminder that we are not promised a life without pain or suffering but rather sometime our blessings come through those painful periods and we should pray to have His will be done on Earth. 


  photo signature_zpsh3oyednc.jpg

Saturday Story Time {Vol. 3}

Hey y'all,

A few weeks ago I started a new series call Saturday Story Time. Essentially, each Saturday I am going to pose a question and I would love for it to be interactive and have you answer the same question in the comments. I have loved getting to know my readers through these posts and you can catch up with the previous questions here and here.

Let's get to today's question:

  When did you start your blog?If you are not a blogger, leave a link to your favorite blog at the moment.

I began my very first blog back when I was in college, in the spring of 2011 I think. It was called Jane Austen Meets Southern Prepster and came after I read other blogs like the College Prepster and I transitioned from a Tumblr to Blogspot. After about a year since it essentially became an online scrapbook of events from my senior year of college, I transitioned to a new blog called Preppin' Postgrad. I blogged over there from 2012-2015. In May of 2015 I decided I was done with the blogging world and said by goodbyes. Well, in October of 2015 I was missing the blogging community and decided to start Just Jess. I felt this name felt like it fit my stage of life and was something I could grow with since I have now been out of undergrad for five years.

Have you been following along since the old JAMSP days or PP?

When did you start blogging?

  photo signature_zpsh3oyednc.jpg

Paper Planner Picks

Hey y'all,

If you know me in real life, you know that since I got my first paper agenda in elementary school I have loved a paper planner. I get it from my Mom who to this day maintains a paper family calendar that hangs in the kitchen then carries around a small paper calendar in her bag as well.

In high school, my planners mostly came from Target, then in college I loved my Lilly Pulitzer and Kate Spade planners (color coded of course).

After college I have tried a few difference planner options, like the Erin Condren Life Planner and the Simplified Planner from Emily Ley.

This past year I used the daily fancy floral planner from Emily Ley and while I love all of the to-do-list space it entails, I am finding that I have not been utilizing it to the best of it's abilities. I still make lots of to-do lists on post-its or in the moleskin notebook I always carry so I am actually going to transition back to a weekly spread. TODAY the simplified planners launch for the academic year (yes, I still follow the academic year since I work at a University) and I am so excited to get my hands on a weekly navy and gold pineapple planner.

Now if you are having difficulty looking for a planner, here are five options!
Midyear 2017 Flagship Planner: Bloom Where You're Planted
Day Designer. $59. Comes in both calendar and academic year as well as an A5 mini edition. Daily planning pages with scheduling from 5am-9pm, today, to-do, dinner, gratitude, top 3 to do prompts and more. Begins with goal setting worksheets. Weekend pages include a weekly overview. Includes a front cover pocket.

IF you are leaning towards the Day Designer, you can test out the layout with a free daily page here. Also, Day Designer has a line with Blue Sky so you can find that collection here which features weekly planners, wall calendars, and monthly calendars .
Erin Condren Coiled Notebook Be Your Own Kind of Beautiful, 7
Erin Condren Life Planner. $55. 12 month or 18 month calendar options. Customize your cover with color choices and personalization. Neutral or colorful color scheme pages in a horizontal, vertical or hourly layout. You can find Erin Condren also at Staples. Those covers are not personalized but you can switch out your cover.
Image result for simplified planner
Simplified Planner. $58 for daily edition. $48 for weekly edition. 12 months. The academic calendars release in May (today!) and there is a seperate launch in September for the calendar year planners for 2018. The daily edition has one day per page with hourly scheduled spaces from 6am-9pm, space for to-dos, meals, and notes. The weekend shares a single page. There are full month view pages as well as a pocket on the inside front cover.

The weekly editions are not wire bound but book bound and feature a ribbon book mark. There is still an inside pocket and monthly views but each week is spread over two pages rather than six.

If you wanted to test out the daily or weekly page layouts you can get a free printable here.
Dahlia 17-Month Large Agenda, multi, large
Kate Spade. $36 for the large size agenda.Also available in a medium size. 17 month calendar with weekly and monthly pages, gold foil sticker sheet, concealed spiral cover, notes pages, pocket, and elastic band to close the agenda.
2018 Floral Foil Classic covered spiral binding
Rifle Paper Company Available in 17 month and 12 month editions. the 12 month planners are $30.00, book bound in cloth with 2 bookmarks, monthly and weekly views, a pocket folder, sections for celebrations, notes, and important contacts. The 17 month editions are $34.00 from August 2017-December 2018. It feautres weekly and monthly calendar pages with a pocket folder and ruler. A section for celebrations, notes, and important contacts.

I hope this overview helped if you are in the market for a new planner!

Are you a paper planner person?
Do you color code? Use stickers?

Sunday Sayings {Beauty}

Hey y'all,

I think this lesson is something that has been hard to learn over the years but I think as your grow older you recognize that confidence is important and everyone radiates beauty. I personally think your personality colors your outward appearance/perception. So let's all be pretty kind.
  photo signature_zpsh3oyednc.jpg

Saturday Story Time {Vol. 2}

Hey y'all,

Last week I started my story time posts that are inspired by April's Monday Morning Roll Call posts  Each Saturday I am going to pose a question and I would love for it to be interactive and have you answer the same question in the comments. I love the blogging community and I think this would be a fun way for us all to interact. Let's get started:

  What weird food combinations do you really enjoy?

So I know a lot of my weird food preferences come from my Mom. For instance, I eat green beans with ketchup, dip Nacho Cheese Doritos in cottage cheese, and strawberries dipped in sour cream and rolled in brown sugar are delicious. I also and like my Dad and eat a slice of cheddar cheese after eating apple pie.
What is something you eat that others might find strange?

Last weeks question can be found here.

  photo signature_zpsh3oyednc.jpg

Five on Friday {May 12th}

Hey y'all,

This week went by so fast and I can't believe it is already Friday. This weekend I don't have many plans except for some Barre3 classes, yoga, coffee with a friend and calling my Mom to wish her a Happy Mother's Day. As usual, I am linking up with some of my favorite bloggers to share five things this Friday. Let's get started.


Beth Behr's new book, The Total ME-Tox. I love Beth on Two Broke Girls and I'm excited to read her new book focusing on health and wellness. Fun fact about me, I love reading health and wellness books. It's a topic that fascinates me. The description for her book is below:
Before hitting her stride as one of Hollywood's hottest rising stars, Beth Behrs was a junk-food-loving couch potato, high-strung and stressed out. And then one day, she decided she'd had enough: she was going to take back her life. Beth began with simple steps that led to big changes-and now she wants to help readers do the same.

In The Total Me-Tox, Beth shares her journey toward wellness, along with easy-to-follow healthy recipes, shrewd shopping tips, and fun living-room fitness routines (a.k.a. "Meh Workouts") designed to revitalize and inspire even the laziest among us. As entertaining as it is instructive, The Total Me-Tox is an achievable program for looking and feeling great about yourself.


GHD. Y'all, Tuesday night I freaked out when I could not find my hair straightener. I have had the same GHD flat iron since my sophomore year of college and it has been going strong. Well, since it is a pretty expensive purchase I of course freaked out tearing apart my bathroom and bedroom along with texting friends but low and behold it was in my car. It just made me appreciate it more. If you are in the market for a flat iron, I highly recommend this one especially if you are like me and have naturally curly hair.


Chop't. I am excited that this new salad place opened up in Chapel Hill. I am treating myself to a salad for dinner tonight and can't wait to try this healthy option close to work. There is just something special about not having to make your own salad that make's it better. Seriously, if I won the lottery, I would hire a sous chef to just come and chop all my veggies. I love to cook but the prep and clean-up are the parts I dread.


The Arrangement. I have talked about this show before but this week I finally say down and caught up on the Arrangement. It's a scripted show on E! that features a young actress named Megan Morrison who when auditioning to play the female lead in a high profile film opposite action star Kyle West. The show centers around Megan and Kyle and the relationship contract they entered into. I am really excited for the next season since there was a major cliff hanger just like E!'s other scripted series, The Royals.


It's crazy to think that I graduated from UNC five years ago! This weekend is graduation in Chapel Hill and I have loved seeing the sweet graduation photos of some of my sorority sisters I advised including my great-great-grandlittle and great-great-great-grandlittle.

Did you miss a post? This week I shared about who I would put on my personal board of directors, kate spade's Joy project, my girls weekend with my mom, and some things I am currently reading, anticipating and watching.

Link up with April, Christina, and Natasha
 Image may contain: text
Also linking up with Tif and Katie.
And Erika
What are your plans for the weekend?
Favorite health and wellness book?


  photo signature_zpsh3oyednc.jpg