Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Solitude


A few weeks ago I had a string of bad days. I was sick. I was emotional. I was alone. It was the first time that I realized how alone I really am.
And I'm not trying to get all depressing on you. I know that I have great friends and family (and readers!) who care. I know that I'm not alone in that sense. I mean physically. Literally.
There were things that I had to do that week that seem so minuscule now but were huge daunting tasks to conquer then.
But I did it. I survived. And I survived on my own!
I'm learning (or trying) to appreciate and grow in these times of solitude.
In previous moves, I spent so much energy resenting the fact that I had left my family and friends, my place of comfort.
I don't want to waste another second doing that.
And as I sit here, alone, writing at the beach, listening to the waves crash, I remember that this place, this crazy island that I live on, is truly magical.
Yes, I would prefer to share my moments here with an awesome person or amazing people. But until then, I can't let this magic pass me by.



Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Spring in Texas

Most people that live away from "home" reach the peak of their homesickness during the holiday season.
All of their family and friends are gathering in their hometown. They want to be there, surrounded by their loved ones and all of that holiday cheer stuff.
I get that.
But for me, I miss Texas the most in the springtime.
The rodeos and music festivals. The patio weather, cook-offs, and crawfish boils.
The bluebonnets and the quest to find the perfect spot for a picture.
These are just some of the things that I crave when spring hits.
These are just some of the things that I love about Texas.


Monday, February 2, 2015

Where I'm Supposed To Be


It's been almost 3 months since my last post! So much has happened and I'm back to finally spill the beans. 

I know that many of you have followed my story through losing my husband and losing Duke. I want to make sure to not only share my losses with you, but also my gains. Because the lows seem to be validated once you get to a high. And I want you all to know that it does get easier and it does get better.

Hawaii has such a special place in my heart. It watched me grow into a woman, into a wife, into a mom to Duke. It has taught me about living simply, that there is more to life than work and earthly things. And it watched me fall down onto my knees in the midst of my toughest season thus far. So much has happened here. Yes, I said here. :)

A few months ago I got a Facebook message that read "JT! Do you still want to come back? I'm hiring. The job is yours if you want it." The message came from a friend I had met at a conference in Maui in 2011. I'm notorious for keeping in touch with people and this relationship was no different except that he was equally involved in staying in touch. He never knew the details of what was going on in my life but he would often send me words of encouragement and lots of positive vibes. I hadn't mentioned moving back to Hawaii to him but recently he told me that he "could just tell" from my posts that my heart was on the island. So back to the message --- as you can imagine, I was about to explode with emotions. I was excited, scared, and had so many questions. Hawaii had definitely been on my heart but I had no plans of moving back so soon. I had built a new life in Texas. It seemed like it was just beginning. I had just started feeling whole again. Was I ready to start over.. again?

Without risks there are no rewards. Everything after that message fell into place so perfectly that it was impossible for me to deny that it was being handed to me for a reason. My marriage is what brought me to Hawaii in the first place. And if Duke was still alive, I don't know that I would have been able to come back. The flight to Texas had traumatized him and I don't know that he (or I) could have handled the months of quarantine that animals have to go through when entering the island. The way this all so effortlessly worked out is still blowing my mind. 

My friends and family are all very sad that I'm farther away now. But they are also so happy for me. They've been amazingly supportive since day one and I know that my healing has been fast tracked largely because of them. The other day I was telling a new friend my story. I kept saying how lucky I felt to have this opportunity. She looked at me very bluntly and said "I mean, maybe some of it is luck. But I don't think you're giving yourself enough credit. You obviously are doing something right if a company relocated you here. You should be very proud of yourself." It was kind of like a lightbulb went off in my head at that moment. I guess I hadn't really thought of it in that way. I am pretty dang proud.

And because I've received so many messages telling me how strong I am, I need to tell you this --- I am not perfect. I make mistakes. A lot of them. And I have many moments of weakness. The other night I had way too much to drink at a place near my old home. Where I lived with my husband and Duke. Where our little family seemed so happy for 3 years. I left the bar I was at by myself and walked to our old building. I sat in front of it and cried my eyes out for about an hour. I mean sobbing. Like an embarrassing cry. People were walking by and asking if I was ok. It's a little funny and incredibly dramatic when I think about it now. But it felt good. I've done fairly well keeping myself together so letting it go so intensely and so publicly and in such a meaningful place just felt.. good. Since the majority of my memories here involve him, I thought I'd spend a good amount of time, at least at the beginning, fighting tears and trying to forget. But it's not like that at all. Just like before, I often find myself smiling at the memories. Because they're good ones. And I refuse to let him take away the good parts.

So here I am. Back on this crazy little island. I don't know why God brought me back here but I can't wait to live out His plan. It's terrifying yet exhilerating. I have no doubt that this is where He wants me. Because for the first time, in a long time, I feel like I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be.


Thursday, November 13, 2014

Centime Gifts

custom signature necklace

custom ring

custom handwriting necklace

A few weeks ago I was contacted by Ginny at Centime Gifts. She was incredibly sweet and after reading about some of the things I've been through within the past year, she asked me to send her a few handwriting samples. I sent her my signature and some of my favorite words. A few days later there was a gift in the mail from her. A ring that says "Duke" in memory of my sweet boy who went to doggy heaven in August, and a necklace that says "Jessica Stronger" in my handwriting. How cool is that?! My favorite quote is "What does not kill me will make me stronger."... because I truly believe it. I'm stronger because of the things that life has thrown my way. So the word "stronger" reminds me of this. It doesn't get much more personal than that! I was speechless. The necklace is stunning and the ring makes me smile. Both items immediately went to the top of my favorite jewelry list. And they are always conversation starters. I love them so much! 

Thank you, Ginny!

P.S. Check out her entire site at centimegift.com and use code FEARLESS20 for 20% off of your purchase from now until December 15th!

personalized ring

personalized signature necklace

Necklace: c/o Centime Gifts
Ring: c/o Centime Gifts

Use code FEARLESS20 for 20% off of your order at centimegift.com from now until December 15th!


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Fearless.

fearless tank top

I got a ton of feedback from my very personal post about my divorce. More than I could have ever imagined. And more positive than I could have ever hoped for. I've been so inspired and uplifted by the stories that I've heard about people in similar situations, the words of encouragement, the prayers, the kindness that has been shown to me. I've really just been blown away by it all. Sharing my story not only helped me, but helped readers too. And that means more to me than I can put into words.

Along with the countless comments, emails, messages, and phone calls, I received a gift too! Whitney (the hilarious writer behind I Wore Yoga Pants to Work) sent me a fun package that included the sweetest note, a fearless koozie, and a Fearless tank that she designed. Besides the fact that it's super comfy, it has a ton of meaning behind it for me. I'm so grateful for Whitney and the many people that I've met along this little journey of mine.

Thank you all.


IWYP clothing

i wore yoga pants

Today I will not look behind me. 
I will choose faith over fear.
I will use my energy not to worry but to believe.
I will not be afraid.
I will radiate positive vibes.
I will count my blessings.
I will choose joy.
Today I will be fearless.

fearless

iwyp clothing

iwyp by whitney ellen

Get the look ---
Top: c/o IWYP
Skirt: Express (similar)
Boots: Steve Madden
Bracelets: JewelMint, InPink, Wanderlust (similar)
Necklace: gift (similar - use code FEARLESS20 for 20% off until December 15, 2014)


Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Home.

texas home tshirt


home t

home t

home tshirt

Home. It's a funny word, right? A tiny word that has a whole lot of meaning. I've had several "homes" but one always remains, wherever I am. TEXAS, y'all.

I was trying to describe what it was like to be a Texan to a friend from Pennsylvania. He said he was more of a Texan than I was because he's from the "country" in PA. Ummmm no no no. This obviously enraged me (my fellow Texans know what kind of pride we have) but as I began to explain what the difference was, I kind of hesitated. I didn't even know where to begin. Because being Texan is a feeling. It's hard to describe. It's country music and dance halls. It's beer. Lots of beer. It's BBQ and sweet tea. It's breakfast tacos and Tex-Mex. It's Spanglish, y'all, and ain't. It's jeans and cowboy boots, big hair and belt buckles. It's southern rap (hello H-town chopped and screwed!) and southern swag. It's southern accents, southern gentlemen, and my favorite - southern hospitality. It's a feeling deep in my bones.

And let's face it, no one retires and moves up north, right? (that was just a little stab at my PA friend ;))

I thank my lucky stars that I'm a Texan.




home texas t

Get the look ---
T-shirt: c/o The Home T
Denim: Nine West (similar)
Boots: Cavenders (similar)
Necklace: Ginger13
Bracelets: 31Bits, c/o Ettika, BCBG
Dog: Barnaby is available for adoption through SAPA! email jessicataylor(at)about(dot)me



Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Fashion Week San Antonio 2014

I'm super excited to announce that I will be covering Fashion Week San Antonio 2014!

Events will take place November 1-7 and the official schedule can be seen below.


Let me know if you'll be attending any of the events!


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

San Antonio Beer Festival 2014

sa beer fest

The San Antonio Beer Festival took place this past weekend at Maverick Park. With over 80 breweries and 250 beers, live music, and yummy eats, I was pretty much in heaven. The weather was perfect and there were even games to play if you didn't have your hands full with beer and food.

This was my first year to attend SA Beer Fest and I was a bit hesitant about the $40 price tag on the tickets. The website and facebook page didn't make it very clear about what exactly the ticket price included. 

Now that I've been, let me tell you --- it's worth it.

The ticket gets you:
+ entry into SA Beer Fest
+ 10 drink tickets which you can use for any drink (beer!) at the festival
+ the official SA Beer Fest cup to use for said drinks

You do have to pay for food but the prices are very reasonable. Especially for the yumminess that comes with it. There were booths and food trucks that were difficult to choose from. I finally settled on a food truck and tried mini tacos, quesadillas, and a funnel cake. Yea, all of it. So good.

I'm already looking forward to next year!

















Monday, October 20, 2014

Swiffer Effect




Swiffer is spreading the #SwifferEffect with the Big Green Box! 

I've been a Swiffer user for years and since my new home has stained concrete floors, I feel like my Swiffer is part of my weekly and sometimes daily routine. Especially with pets in the house! Most of you know that my sweet Duke went to heaven a few months ago. He shed like crazy! And my recent foster baby sheds too. Swiffer helps me not go to completely crazy with the pet hair that seems to be everywhere. And when I found out that Swiffer has partnered with the ASPCA, my support of them was pretty much a done deal.

Did you know....

  • Swiffer Sweeper picks up 3x more pet hair, dirt, and dander than a brrom and dustpan 
  • 38% of pet owners say the leading source of pet "cleaning tensions" in their home are hair dust bunnies and/or shedding challenges
  • 50% of Americans say that concerns about pet hair in their home is one of the top reasons why they are worried about getting a pet, wouldn't get a pet, or don't have one.

I was so surprised by these statistics! I've been lucky enough to not only experience the Swiffer Effect myself, but to spread the love to friends too. Swiffer gave me a big green box and gave me one to share. I knew immediately who I would share it with. Chezlea and her 8 month old pit bull, Sosa, were the perfect fit! I knew Chezlea loves a clean house and would appreciate the ease of Swiffer.

Barnaby and I went over for a playdate and surprised them with the big green box! Chezlea said she felt like it was Christmas and she immediately started swiffing. The pups stared at her like a crazy woman but hey, can you blame her? No more furry floors for us!

swifter green box

swiffer effect

swiffer pet effect


I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.


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