So Simple

So, I am back. Last week my family and I went to Panama for our spring break vacation. I tell you what – it’s an amazing country. If you’ve never been there, go. If you’ve been there before, go again.

The only way to describe it is to compare it to neighboring countries I’ve visited, using a boyfriend analogy:Mexico is the thorny, flamboyant party boy you want to stay dance all night with. Costa Rica was once a sweet, quiet boy who hit the jackpot and got a big head and you just hung up the phone on him. But Panama is their rugged, clean-shaven, handsome and sensible cousin whose arms you want to tuck yourself into and hope he’ll never let go.

Yes, I’ve got a mad crush on Panama. And I’ll give you the lowdown on the vacation and the itinerary in an upcoming travel section we’re developing.

As I imparted in a newsletter a few weeks ago, one of my primary goals for my next chapter is to travel. A matter-of-fact, it’s been a life-long dream.

To travel and to be a mom.

I’ve got the mom thing down.

Now it’s time to travel. In the past few years, I’ve had the luxury to travel to Ireland, London, Japan, Philippines, and Panama. I’ve had two extended “stays” (7 weeks each) in NYC – Upper West Side and Brooklyn. And we have plans to go to Hong Kong in May. I’ve also ticked a few more states off my list.

But this “luxury” doesn’t come without a cost.

For those of us who have to pick and choose, sacrifices need to be made.

As many of you know, we drastically downsized and moved last summer. We live a super simple lifestyle in a beat up house at a beach town in Oregon. And that’s the key: simple.

However, what we thought would be a sacrifice, turned out to be the best decision we’ve ever made: to live simply. I’ve never felt happier and freer than I do right here, right now. This "simple" message has been reiterated over and over again as we travel. The people we’ve encountered and spent time with in other countries live so very simply. They appear to be happy and content. And this helps us to stay the course, resist the urge to go down the path of material extravagance and indulgence.

This week I hope you’ll think about your goals for your next chapter. What do you really, really want? And what “sacrifices” will you need to make? I’ll tell you what, when you figure it out — if you haven’t already — you’ll be so very happy you did.

xx, Jen

Impactfully Good.

Shop with Purpose

You know me. I like to shop. And I know you do too. But I tell you what, sometimes I feel guilty and greedy – that the act of shopping is unnecessary and selfish, and it’s only to transiently squelch my urge to buy something pretty so I can somehow feel better about myself. Yeah, I’ve got issues. However, lucky for us (me), I’ve uncovered ways to give shopping a more purposeful consequence.

Read More

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[ Walls ]

I recently had the pleasure of sleeping in a Westin Heavenly Bed. Holy smokes! Yeah, it was heaven. And the sheets and pillows – hands down dreamy. (Westin Store)

[ Wear ]

I need a denim overhaul, stat. I’ve got jeans that I’ve been wearing since the beginning of time. This list gives me new hope – there are so many super cool styles out there. And they’re all under $150. (Chronicles of Her)

[ Workout ]

For transitioning into spring, how about a pair of super cutejogger pants? (Nordstrom)

[ Wise ]

From a person who likes to please, I have a heck of the time standing up for myself and saying, “no.” Super proud of myself for doing both this past week. It felt great because I feel like I did it the right way. It’s an art. And I’m still an apprentice…but starting to feel more like an artist. (Hello Glow)

[ Whim ]

You know what makes me happy? Creating. Like decorating a room, stylizing outfit ideas, setting goals, creating a meal plan, or planning a vacation, makes me light up. And because I can barely draw a stick figure, I like to use mood boards to help me visualize my creations. (Creative Market)

[ Winsome ]

Do you really want to focus on your flaws? It’s really not much fun. What’s way more fun – and more interesting – is to focus on our virtues…and I think we all of plenty of those. I love these simple, positive makeup tricks that help us amplify our best features. (B Glowing)

[ Want ]

Being selfishly unselfish today. My daughter, who is away at college, has a birthday coming up, so I want to do something to help her celebrate with her friends. Today I ordered this, which I’ll fill with this, this and this (plus candy). She’ll wear this, and they’ll drink punch (ha!) out of these. (Etsy)

So, Susie…

Well, it looks to us like our Miss Susie is on vacation. I guess we’ll check in with her next week…

OOTW FROM OUR INSTAGRAM FRIENDS

Who is it?

@dressingdebi.

Debi Spear is a 50-something Dallas-based fashion blogger who has worked as a TV and film wardrobe stylist.

Why we love it? Debi has that fantastically chic yet casual vibe that we are constantly aiming for and forever hoping to achieve. We love this perfectly balanced outfit — preppy with a little edge.

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