Remembering Ava // Love is why I am here

Remembering Ava // Love is why I am here

My heart is full this week. Thanksgiving has quickly come upon us, and while everyone is preparing for their feasts, I am preparing myself to remember why I am here. This entire journey online has been one of joy and hardship at times, and I am reminded everyday why I started. Three years ago, the weekend after Thanksgiving, I lost my daughter Ava. I was 33 weeks pregnant and I had just had the most wonderful Thanksgiving with my family that I worked so hard to host – from the food (my husband happily cooks!) to the decor, to the table setting and “What I am thankful for” place cards – I really went all out. I remember with distinct detail what we all did that day and who we all thanked while seated at the table.

why I am here

So what I thought was a day full of usual pregnancy pains from the hustle and bustle of the holiday dinner turned out quite differently. The last thing I ever thought was that I would be at a hospital hearing someone say “there’s no heartbeat”. While it was the calmest voice a person could possibly speak, all I heard was a loud siren go off in my head. “No!”, “check again!” , and “you’re wrong!” is all I remember saying, but I do remember the moment I accepted that the nurse was right. Time moved too quickly after that (while in the moment it felt painfully slow), but I count my blessings every day that I was able to hold my daughter and have one photo of us together that I will forever cherish. The details of recovering from such a devastating experience still haunt me, but I move on. I keep remembering why I am here. For Ava. For my son. For my family. 

why i am here

why I am here

This Season’s Gold is meant to honor the season Ava was born, still. Love is why I am here everyday sharing what it takes to move forward in life, what it takes to feel good on the inside and out after all of that, still. Raising a young boy, still. I am thankful to you for reading and always returning to see what is new, still. I can’t wait to share more.

why I am here

Something special is headed your way for all subscribers. Be sure and subscribe here if you haven’t had the chance! Wishing you all a very Happy Thanksgiving! 

Featured // Le Motto top | Loft jeans |Cardigan (old, similar) | Steve Madden heels (old, similar) | Pink & Blue Co. child name plate necklaces | MZ Wallace clutch | Beret (vintage, similar under $30) 

PC: Sony Rodriguez signature

Transition // Fall Leaves, Fall Skin

Transition // Fall Leaves, Fall Skin

Changing seasons means taking care of your skin after a summer spent in the sun. It never dawned on me to change my skin routine from season to season. But after doing some research, I realized that those changing leaves served as good reminder to change my skin routine and treat my skin for fall differently than I do for summer.

fall skin

With every passing year, I started to notice that I get some dark spots from exposure to the sun and uneven effects of the sun on my skin. Enter Neutrogena. As a brand that I have used before and go to when finding new ways to treat my skin as a collective regimen, Neutrogena’s new Rapid Tone Repair Line can target those dark spots and even out my skin. With a rapid release type of retinol (good for age spots), vitamin c (diffuses brown spots), and a boost of hyaluronic acid (keeps my skin moisturized) the daily moisturizer, the night moisturizer and the dark spot corrector are what I needed to transition my skin from summer to fall.

Fall Skin

Starting the day with a moisturizer that includes an SPF 30 or more is a great way to protect your skin while keeping it moisturized as the cool air of fall sets in and starts to deplete moisture from your skin, ever so slowly into winter. We often make the mistake of thinning out our moisturizer when we put it on, so don’t be afraid of layering a good amount on your face. Neutrogena’s day moisturizer is lightweight, smells good, and provides a great hydrated base for my foundation.

Fall Skin

Fall Skin

At night, after washing my face and following my usual cleansing routine, I apply the dark spot corrector directly on the spots that have darkened from sun exposure, particularly on my chin and near my lips. When I think back to how I treated my skin during the summer, I often wore a hat that covered most of my face expect my chin in most cases, which makes perfect sense now that I am finding that’s where most of my dark spots have been.Fall Skin

Followed by the spot corrector, which addressed specific areas of my skin that I knew needed to fade, I ended my night time skin routine with the Rapid Tone Repair moisturizer labeled Night (making it very easy not to mix things up!). I particularly love the light feel of this moisturizer while knowing it is still targeting my need for moisture, smoothing my fine lines and evening out my skin tone while I sleep. Many night moisturizers can sometimes feel sticky, so it was nice to wake up not feeling stuck to my pillow or with a residue! 

Fall Skin

fall skin

Fall Skin

Thank you so much for reading! I have been diving into so many skin care products lately, testing them out and learning how to care for my skin better these days. If you have a favorite product or skin routine you’d like me to share, please let me know in the comments below! Have a great week! 

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Thank you to Neutrogena for partnering on this post!

Maggy London // Black and White for Fall

Maggy London // Black and White for Fall

Between August and September, so much has happened around the world. Family and friends have been at the forefront of my mind in the past two months and even still today, so I needed to take a break and ensure that was happening first. If you are able to donate in any capacity to help the American people of Puerto Rico, please visit here for more information that directly goes to the aid desperately needed there.

Maggy London dress

Now that we are into Fall, I want to share this pretty Maggy London black and white midi dress (on sale for under $60!) . You’ve definitely seen me share many Maggy London pieces this past year. Some of your favorites have been this black and white wrap dress, this colorful lace dress, and this beautiful sheer top! I feel in love with the brand because it represents all that I admire in a clothing brand from feminine dresses and tops (and now pants!) to pretty prints.

Maggy London dress

Mixing prints is something I’m enjoying lately, and a good tip is that any leopard or tortoise heel (as shown here) is the perfect way to add to any black and white look, even stripes!

Maggy London dress

And since the Fall is taking it’s sweet time to show up keeping us in warmer temps the last few days, this dress is the perfect transitional piece with a classic black and white twist on florals. One of the best attributes to a Maggy London dress is how fitted it can be on the waist, making for the perfect detailed belt to add to the look.

Maggy London Floral Sheath

Maggy London

Adding some texture and cutouts for an edgy style while still looking classic to work is a great way to try something new in your wardrobe. So go for it!

Thank you so much for reading and supporting this space! You can expect a weekly post and more to come for the holiday season (dare I say that too soon!)

Outfit// Maggy London (now on sale for $59!) | Loft Earrings (on sale!) | Banana Republic bag | Ann Taylor shoes  (similar)

Thank you to Maggy London for partnering on this post!

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Thoughts // What it Takes to Be Brave

Thoughts // What it Takes to Be Brave

It isn’t easy being brave, is it? Bravery takes so many forms that sometimes I am not sure I am even the right person to talk about what it takes to be brave. But I do know I feel brave. I feel brave every time I get up in the morning and accept another day as a gift. So I go out and make the best of myself – for my son, my family and whomever I come in contact with that day. I do so in spite of all that I fear. And with that personal experience, I’d like to share what I  understand to be 3 ways of thinking to becoming and being brave. Feel free to leave your own thoughts about a bravery in your life in the comments below! 

what it takes to be brave

Anything that has hurt you before did not win.

I know for a fact that any hurt I or you have ever experienced did not win. Why? Because you are still here – reading, learning, growing. That alone is brave. It is brave to face all the ugly battles of the past and still stand strong because even at your weakest moment, you survived. It may have hurt you. It may have stifled your growth in that moment, but you did not let it win. You did not succumb to it, because you are here. You are strong and brave. You conquered it.

what it takes to be brave

Fear of taking a chance only controls an unprepared mind, so prepare for bravery.

Take chances. Plenty of them. I am a Virgo, and while I’m not fully convinced a zodiac sign defines me, I like to plan, be organized, and am slightly flawed in my desire to be perfect. As an actor, anything spontaneous is critical to success on stage. You have to be in the moment and be present. Ready for anything. And that is just it, you have to be READY (and prepared!) for anything; not afraid to leap into the scene because you prepared for what would come your way! I learned that my fears came from not being prepared for the unexpected. If you are afraid to take the risk, don’t let the fear hold you back, but just prepare and accept the best of the outcomes, rather than the worst. That will be your brave moment.

what it takes to be brave

Throw an anchor into your truth to stay grounded as your grow. 

The truest form of bravery is when you know your truth. Really know it. Knowing what you are seeking to gain from being brave in any given moment of your life has to be based on your understanding on your own truth. What do you want? Why do you want it? Who and how does it help? Asking yourself these questions clarifies what you are about to do that requires bravery so much so that your confidence in doing that very thing will build. It prepares you. When I wanted to start this space, I was quite unclear in my mind. I did not know where I wanted it to go, I just wanted to do it. And I began. But it wasn’t until I took a few hours in true focus, that I started to face my truth, and discover how to grow. How to not be afraid of all that was required to really “doing this”. When I stopped myself, identified that truth, that is when this space began to grow.

what it takes to be brave

Thank you so much for reading this post. It is a little something different, but I am happy to share ways in which I feel inspired to live a positive life. I hope you found something in it to feel inspired by, every if just for a moment. 

Outfit Details // Maggy London dress (my absolute favorite faux wrap dress!) 20% w/ code “Jessica20” | Steve Madden sandals | DVF clutch | Maybelline Super Stay Matte in Voyager

Thank you to Maggy London for partnering on this post. 

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Giveaway // The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

Giveaway // The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale has been live for a few days now and with – dare I say it? – FALL coming around the corner, I picked up a few pieces that I knew I would love throughout the season! I have been wearing these Nike sneakers almost every day already because they are so comfortable and easy to slide on and go. Since I’ve been keeping myself in flats this summer, I also was wanted a classic pair of white kicks and these from Treasure & Bond with blue suede fit the bill. Getting for fall means getting ready for New York Fashion Week, and loved when I saw this pleated skirt which is the perfect golden yellow for the transition from the late summer season into fall!  You can’t go wrong with a new pair of over the knee boots, so I decided to pick up another pair and these from Marc Fisher fit like a glove! I couldn’t get away without buying a great off the shoulder top, so I grabbed this one from Free People in hunter green!

I’m currently overhauling my entire home with new furniture, bedding and loads of pieces for a nice change of pace in my house while not having to move. Ever feel like you need that sometimes? Me too! I’m excited to parter up with a great group of gals for the giveaway below! Be sure to enter and check out the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, because its the one not to miss!

nordstrom anniversary sale giftcard giveaway

In celebration of the recent launch of Lili Alessandra a maker of fine linens and soft furnishings on Nordstrom.com, I have partnered with a few of my favorite bloggers to give away a $500 Nordstrom gift card! Simply enter below by completing the rafflecopter. You’ll receive one entry per completion. This giveaway is open internationally and ends on 8/8. Winner will be announced here. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway