September 13, 2017

Let's Talk College....


Let's chat about college...

What did you go go school for? 
I knew I wanted to pursue something creative in college, but I wasn't sure what.  I first went to college for Interior design, which is how I ended up at High Point University.  Because High Point, NC is the furniture capital of the world, I felt I’d be better off experiencing the interiors world from there (& I was crazy about going to school there…I mean…have ya seen the place!? 


Anyway- a semester in to my freshman year, I realized interior design wasn't so much for me.  It was much more technical than I anticipated & I realized that I really just liked to decorate, not be an actual designer & engineer of homes and buildings (interior designers are no joke my friends!)  

I had always dreamed about being my own boss and wanted to prepare myself to be a business owner. But, math is not my forte and a business degree is filled with courses on accounting and the stock market.  As I’ve mentioned before, my dad and two of my brothers are accountants. I didn’t feel that my time would be best spent struggling academically in accounting courses when I knew that any future business I’d have would be very well taken care of.  I decided to major in Strategic Communications, something my university specialized in and it was SUCH a gift.  

Do you feel like you use a communications degree? It doesn’t seem very ‘creative’ 

I use my major every single day in my business.  I seriously enjoyed my workload and loved every single class I took throughout college.  I learned about public speaking, graphic design, social media, the works!  People often gasp to learn I didn’t go to school for fashion, but I wanted to major in something more broad than just fashion.  I am definitely not the design type, I cannot sew and I cannot draw (though I wish I could so so badly).  I wanted to pursue a degree that would allow me to do a lot of different things coming out of school in the case that fashion did not work out.  Communications is a really creative major believe it or not, you learn all about graphic design and it challenges you to get creative with your writing and speaking.  

Fun Fact: Joanna Gaines went to school for communications #creativesunite 

If you didn’t open up a boutique, what do you think you’d be doing?

hmmmm. I think being in charge of social for a creative company would be a ton of fun.  I love creating social content for No. 14 and I wish I had more time to devote to it.  I also love to meet new people, so I think I would’ve loved to work in HR.  Either way, I’d want to work for a creative company that celebrated style and clothing.  I love to get dressed in the morning, so I’d have liked to work for a company that was surrounded by other creatives who felt the same way! 


A bit off topic, but I know a lot of you come here to see some clothing!

A few recent purchases to start my fall wardrobe. 


Just bought these mules for fall, I am going to wear them with EVERYTHING. 


My go to outfit right now is: 

  1. these mules
  2. these jeans
  3. this tee (Also love the V-Neck Version here
  4. this neck scarf (just found this scalloped edge neck scarf and have to have it.)
  5. A leather (or faux leather here) for the chilly mornings, 

I'm crazy for a neck scarf right now! They're so comfortable & lightweight (as opposed to a statement necklace) and they make a really simple outfit look more styled. I'm really happy the trend has continued into fall 









Have you guys been seeing white boots EVERYWHERE like me?!  

I just bought these and (admittedly) knew I’d receive them and either love them, or absolutely hate them. Well, I stinkin’ love them and they're the cutest.  The laces are actually pinkish and I love how comfortable the rubber heel makes them.

  I cannot wait to wear a 'shades of white outfit' 
  1. these jeans (these are the same jeans as the green above & I absolutely love the fit, I have them in a few colors)
  2. this chunky ivory sweater (size wayyy down- runs so big!) 
    1. Also in love with this cardi (as seen from this instagram & this one too!) 
  3. these booties (they also come in a chestnut color here)




A few other white boots that I'm loving....

  1. These Balenciaga dupes 
  2. A similar Balenciaga style, with a lower heel (shout out to my people who are always on their feet, like me!) 
  3. Love the chunky heel on these
  4. A classic Chelsea Boot in white! (I have these in black and love them!) 
  5. These, with that killer heel detail, how could I not include them!? 



I always love to hear from you guys! Don't hesitate to reach out with ideas or questions for future posts!
xx






August 8, 2017

JGB Travels


What is in my cosmetic bag when I travel: 

Some people live to travel.  I on the other hand, am a creature of habit.  I love my morning routine, cooking at home, and sleeping on my own pillow way more than I'd like to admit.  I struggle letting go of control and getting on an airplane and I have never been an amazing packer.  I stress out over leaving my business when I'm away and I feel like I need to be attached to my iPad to catch up on emails hoping I'm not missing anything important for my business. 

Being that I am a creature of habit, I like to have #allofthethings with me on my trips, and I've quickly learned that this is excessive.  I have taught myself to just narrow it down to the basics because really, why the heck do I need my full size shampoo & conditioner for a weekend trip.  Am I REALLY going to run out of the travel size...le no.  






So, I have compiled a little list of my travel must haves. 

This shampoo & conditioner travel set (which also comes with a little pack of hair ties #clutch) 

Sheet masks: Great for your first night post flight & they mean that you don't have haul a big jar mask with you I like to use this moisture mask
I recently started wearing this moisture mask at home & have been really loving it!


This cloud paint that doubles as killer blush and killer lipstick.  I am obsessed with how dewey it makes your skin look.  I use PUFF during the day and HAZE in the evening. I apply them using this brush

Highlighter for a fresh look, I use color QUARTZ


Evian Spray for the flight to lock in some moisture.  These travel ones are so convenient to have!  When I am home & need a refresher, I use this rose spray (it is the best on the market and is only $7!) 

This 'chapstick' that triples as SPF & killer lip combo.  I use shade 'Bloom' & just had to go get more because my mom stole mine in Denver.... 
I also love using Burt's Bees tinted lip (I use Petunia)

A travel brush like this, I also keep this one in my bag at all times because it is so easy to store

Hair Oil to tame the mane...because I have really dry coarse hair.  I use this everyday before I blow-dry and every morning when I wake up (one pump goes a long way) 




August 2, 2017

STARTING NO. 14



Today I am starting a new series (name of series tbd) But,  most of my readers follow me because they have been to my boutique, No. 14.  I get emails from aspiring entrepreneurs every single day, which is something that gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling because I love a determined young woman looking to better herself.  Never in a million years would I have thought that people would be asking business advice from me, but the more questions I get asked, the more I realized that there is really a need for open conversation about small business and I couldn’t wait to start something like that on this platform. 

So, let's start from the beginning

(selfies with my mom when we bought the building)


Q: How did you start your business? 
I started No. 14 right out of college.  In February of 2014, my parents decided to purchase a building in a bustling area of Pittsburgh called Lawrenceville.  It was ‘up and coming’ and my parents were interested in investing in the area, knowing that they’d have a tenant for the first floor retail space- US! The building was a run down bar in need of a full gut & rehab job.  

We were able to pick all of the finishings that we wanted customized to our desired aesthetic for our future business.  The renovation took about 6-7 months and on October 14, 2014, we opened our doors.  

In those nine months between February and October:

  • I finished my senior year of college and Graduated from High Point University in North Carolina. (my major was Strategic Communications, but more on that in a future post)
  • We created an LLC
  • We oversaw the renovation of the building and spent a LOT of time in Home Depot 
  • I did weeks of research on brands that would be good fit for us
  • My mom and I went on a buying trip to purchase our inventory
  • We purchased store fixtures, receipt rolls, a point-of-sales system, shopping bags, created a logo, and a zillion other tiny details that we never realized go into the process of shopping!

A little insight on juuuust how much renovating we did....




Q: Did you maintain a job while you were waiting to open your doors? What do you recommend for someone that needs to maintain their 9-5 before they start their business?

I did not ‘have a job’ in that, I was not on somebody else’s payroll.  When I graduated in May, my full time job was very much No. 14.  We had to go to the job site almost everyday to check in on the progress of the interior and I spent weeks researching brands and trying to get everything ‘perfect’ so I wouldn’t have to re-do anything.  I wanted to make the perfect decision the first time, so I wouldn’t have to go back and re-research how to do things later on.  (which FYI, isn't an effective method.  Because, all of those details I was fussing over are not even on our radar anymore). 

At this time, I was living at home with my parents, so I was able to take little to no paycheck which I am so grateful for.  A lot of girls ask me how to open a business while maintaining their 9-5 because they can't afford not to take a paycheck. This is definitely doable.  We live in a very 'instant' world where we are able to click on something and it's on our doorstep in two days #thankyouamazon (no complaining here, I couldn't live without PrimePantry). BUT, some things are worth waiting for. 

Rome wasn't built in a day.  

If you have a 9-5 that you aren't ready to give up, make your future business your side hustle.  Wake up an extra hour early and sit at your desk with your breakfast, sit at your desk after dinner, bring your laptop to the sofa with you and do research during commercials of the bachelorette. Continue to chip away at your dream and eventually you will be ready to take the leap.

I recommend setting weekly goals for yourself because you'll be disappointed with yourself when you can't check off your list. This weekly desk notepad could be a huge game changer for goal setting because it sits open on your desk & you can't ignore your tasks when they're staring you in the face!

I also love to have a few notebooks in my bag, I blow through notebooks so quickly because I love to jot things down.  Ideas, deliveries I am expecting, No. 14's daily numbers etc. I'm a sucker for all things cute and I want the contents of my tote to match. These sweet notebooks are perfect to start your collection and get your ideas flowing.

I am going to try to do posts like this as often as I can! I keep a document in my dropbox full of questions you guys are asking that I will eventually put into this series.  Have questions you'd like me to answer? Nothing is off the table! Drop me a line here!

Can't wait to chat!




July 17, 2017

JGB Travels: Outfit packing guide

Destination --> DENVER



In a few days, my entire family and I are packing up & heading to Denver, CO for my brother Quinn's wedding!  We have all been so looking forward to this because we are just so excited for Quinn & his amazing fiancĂ© Alyssa.

Packing for this trip has been so much fun. I'm used to going to the beach, on short buying trips (when I only need 1 or 2 outfits) and to both my parents' and Eric's parents' lake houses.  Usually when I go on these kinds of trips, I pack a bunch of my basic, go-to outfits that I can mix and match throughout my trip because there are never defined plans. But, we are going to be in Denver for almost a week and have stuff planned all day, every day.


This time of year, packing is much easier than in the fall/winter when sweaters are bulky and you want to layer.  I have been trying to make this a really easy process and pack mostly jumpsuits & dresses so I have ONE piece to put on & add shoes. 

This denim jumpsuit is a dream, and so flattering (if you're between sizes, go down a size! Its running a bit big in the bust) 

I always like to pack a few basics just to hang out in. This sweatshirt dress (on sale!) is made with a fabric that we call 'buttery french terry' because it is just so so soft and comfortable.  I have this dress in both black and grey and wear them constantly. I usually add sneakers and a neck scarf to run my errands. 

  

Anytime I travel, I like to bring a denim jacket for chilly nights and super air conditioned restaurants.  This denim jacket has been on repeat (last seen on my instagram here)

Shoes are ALWAYS an issue for me while packing.  I want to pack like...every pair I own.  This time I'm going minimalist and packing nude shoes that go with everything with the exception of these KILLER neon sandals 



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June 23, 2017

5 of the most asked questions

#letsbereal 
Your beauty & lifestyle questions answered! 

I love getting questions from you guys.  A lot of them I answer directly through DM on Instagram or through email, but I wanted to take a minute to answer some of the most asked questions as part of my #letsbereal series that I started a while ago.

I also get a lot of business questions regarding day to day routine, how to work from home, and tips for small business owners.  I will most definitely do a separate post on all of that for you guys! This is the first segment of questions that is beauty and lifestyle related, I hope you enjoy!

What are your favorite skin care, hair, and make up products? 

SKINCARE
I have combination skin that is also really sensitive, I feel like a lot of skin care doesn't agree with me & I have tested a lot (a lot) of product.  I had terrible skin throughout college, probably due to ‘stress’ and lack of nutritional diet…*this is me laughing at my college self thinking I was stressed.* I will be the first to say that skin care works differently for everybody.  What works for me, might not work for you, but I wanted to share what currently works for me.  

 I have been using Bobbi Brown products for about 2 years now and they are my absolute favorite.  I use this day cream, this night cream, and this eye cream (both day & night).  In the winter I am vveerrryyyy dry, so I use this skin supplement every night in the winter, and about once a week during the summer.  You can purchase the eye cream, supplement, and day cream in a smaller size for a discounted price here (this a great package if you're trying it out for the first time or traveling!) 

I also am VERY MUCH in love with these alpha beta peel pads My mom originally got me interested in them.  She uses the extra strength ones (which may be good for your skin if you're a bit more oily!).  I use the gentle peel version because the extra strength was too much for my skin.  These pads definitely have a hefty price tag but, I have had the same package for about a year.  I only use them about every 7-10 days (in the morning) and feel that they give me that extra uumph that you just need sometimes. 

When I am feeling extra sleepy, I love using these eye pads. I keep them in the refrigerator because the cool temp of them really helps to de-puff my eyes.  

*SKINCARE HACK*
A Sephora employee just gave me and my mom an A-HA moment in skin care.  Most of us exfoliate, use face masks, and use peels at night before bed. But, we want our best skin during the day, so why are we doing these things before we go to sleep?! She's so right....both my mom and I have started to do these things in the morning, before our make up and have seen a really big improvement in our skin throughout the day. 






HAIR PRODUCT
Right now, I am so in love with OUAI products for hair.  I have been using their REPAIR shampoo & conditioner for about 6 months now and I just adore how it smells & how it makes my hair feel.  I also love their dry shampoo. Since I have really dark hair, not all dry shampoos work for me because they leave white residue.  I have tried a few 'brunette' dry shampoos and have hated the way that they make my hair feel.  This one just really takes the cake for me. For extra volume throughout the day, I use this texturizing spray with this comb.  I usually keep a travel size texturizing spray & one of these combs in all of my totes/purses to spruce up my hair mid day. I love these combs (much more than a mini hair brush) because it doesn't attach to the hair & there aren't little hairs floating around in my bag (TMI, but TRUE!) 

When I get out of the shower, I use this CC cream on my damp hair.  I usually leave this in my hair while I do my make up. Then, right before I blow dry, I use this hair oil.  This tiny little bottle lasts almost 18 months, it is unbelievable. I have been using it for roughly three years and only bought a refill once. 

TOOLS THAT I USE
This blow dryer
This curling iron 
This mini straightener (for all of the curly baby hairs close to my head) 
This round brush
This hair brush 






MAKE UP
Concealer - I wear A LOT of mascara (more about that here), and my eye lashes are on the longer side.  I have always had issues with black mascara residue under my eyes.  This stuff is liquid gold and my absolute favorite.  

Foundation: This Tom Ford foundation stick is amazing when looking for more coverage.  I use color FAWN.   It is a bit pricier, but I have never once had a bad skin reaction from it.  I also only refill about once a year because it lasts for a long long time.  When I have a spray tan & am a bit darker, I use this Bobbi Brown foundation stick  (color 4.5).  It is a bit less expensive and I don’t have a spray tan all the time, so I don’t want to splurge on a darker foundation.  

About 2 days a week, I have a ‘desk day’ where I sit my behind at my desk all dang day and get caught up on business emails, write my blog posts (!) and do ordering for No. 14.  I never want Eric to come home from work wondering what the heck happened to the girl he married, but I also don’t want to get dolled up just to sit in my office.  On those days, when I am looking for less coverage, I use this Bobbi Brown BB Cream. When I am tan, I use color ‘natural’ when I don’t have a spray, I use color ‘fair.' I also use these whenever I'm at the lake because they have SPF 35 in them & I am all about protecting my face from the sun.



What breeder did you use for Roo? How did you get her?  How did you come up with her name? 

I’m not proud to say that I actually do not know the name of Roo’s breeder.  I found her through ‘cook’s weiners.’  At the time I had inquired, they did not have any puppies, so they referred me to their friend who had two pups left.  I got in touch with them, they sent me a picture of her, and I got in the car. No questions asked.  It was that little stripe down her head & those green eyes! I couldn’t resist.  

How did I get her?

I actually surprised Eric with Roo for his birthday.  He had been itching to get a pup and we agreed a weeny would be the perfect fit for us.  When I received that picture of Roo from the breeder, I sent it to my mom.  She texted me back “so when do we leave to get her?” 

Eric had a late night at work, when he got home, my mom & I were eating cheerios (nutritious dinner) at our kitchen island and Roo walked around the corner.  He was completely shocked and tells me every day that I will never top Roo as a gift.  Obviously we treat this dog like she is our child, so we are definitely happy with her! 

Where does her name come from?

Roo’s name is really special to us.  Eric played football in college at Virginia Military Institute.  E’s freshman year, his parents, along with another teammate’s parents rented a house a few miles from campus so the football guys could retreat there on the weekends after football games (military school isn't for wimps & campus was no fun). This house turned into a ‘football house’ where everyone would gather and it eventually received the name “the Roo House.” SO many of our memories lie in that home. It will forever be part of me, part of E, and part of our relationship.  The friends that we made at VMI are not friends, they're family.  They're some of the best people we know and E and I just wanted the legacy to continue in our little pup.  

What are your favorite places to eat in Pittsburgh?
THIS IS THE HARDEST QUESTION IN THE ENTIRE WORLD.

 If you are familiar with Pittsburgh, you know that right now, it is a mecca for new restaurants.  I swear that every week there is somewhere new and trendy to go.  I was recently interviewed by The Urbanist about this exact topic- you can read that article here.  

Here is a little compiled list: 
Penn Ave Fish Company- Eric and I actually eat here 2/3 times per week, anytime we don't feel like cooking at home, we drop everything and high tail it to Penn Ave. This place has THE BEST fish in the city, by a long shot.  We usually order their sushi (literally eating takeout sushi from here while I type this).  We also love going for brunch (we order the tuna steak & eggs).  Also it is BYOB, which is amazing because we love to bring wine from one of our wine clubs that we signed up for on our honeymoon.  We also purchase our fresh fish to grill at home from here.  We especially love their salmon & their scallops.

Muddy Waters: This is an Oyster bar with all of the fixings.  We were here last week and I actually had ALLIGATOR as my entree?!? Its delicious and I really love the atmosphere.

TAKO: Probably my favorite restaurant in the city.  I have never had a bad meal here, everything on the menu is amazing & the atmosphere is so fun.  Beware- there is ALWAYS a wait- so be prepared to grab a drink in the interim. 

Altius- If you’re visiting the city, I definitely recommend treating yourself to a nice dinner on Mt. Washington. You will see the best views of the city! & this restaurant gives you popcorn when you sit down, so its A OK in my book.

Espresso A Mano- This is the coffee shop that I post about ALL the time.  Me & E love to walk Roo here & grab our favorite coffee.  

Millie’s- Only the best ice cream you’ll EVER have- I recommend going to Muddy Waters (above) then Millie’s for a treat- they're right up the street from each other!

This is a really short list, because I feel like this post is already so so long. If you'd like me to do a Pittsburgh Guide, let me know! 
What is that banana bread you’re always making?! 

HAHA I get this question at least once a day since I originally posted about making it. This is a recipe for gluten free chocolate chip banana bread and its GOOD guys.
I try to find a lot of gluten free recipes through Pinterest.  My dad is gluten free & he’s also the only person that will eat dessert with me (I totally inherited my sweet tooth from him). I also highly recommend snagging a slice once its cooled for about 15 min, the chocolate chips are still warm…..you'll thank me later. 

You can find the recipe on my Pinterest under the "breakfast" board.


Who designed/decorated your house? Did you hire someone?

We used Michael Wright who owns Steel Town Properties in Pittsburgh.  He actually purchased our house sight unseen with intention to renovate and sell.  I wanted to get in on a house at GROUND LEVEL because I wanted to be able to pick out all of the little details.  I had contacted him a few days before he closed on our house & he took me through and showed me all of this plans for the layout etc, the rest is history!  Michael is amazing, you can find his Business’s Facebook here, and if you’re local & looking to renovate around the city, he is your dude. I'd be happy to give you his contact if you are interested, just drop me a line here.

 In terms of decorating, we did not hire someone.  I chose to do it on my own (with a ton of help from my mom, because she's the decorating guru).  There is a lot I’m still eager to do, I have yet to put a single hole in these walls! We are having a ton of fun living in our house and I feel like we'll be updating the decor all the time. You can see a mini house tour here




June 16, 2017

Pearly Toes

I'd been eyeing up these pearl slides online for a few weeks.  I saw them in person last week and immediately fell in love.  I took a picture of them on my feet and the first thing I did was text my mom asking if she wanted a pair.  Needless to say, we now have matching shoes.


I am really happy I got try these on in person because they run really small.  I am a very true size 8, and I have very narrow feet.  The size 9 fit me perfectly! 

I am loving all pearl embellishments right now.  These slides and these booties have also been sitting in my cart for a few days.  I think I'm going to end up with these booties in the 'natural color' so I can transition them from late summer to fall with rompers and dresses.

My slides are the "crushed taupe velvet"


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June 15, 2017

Office Florals




My office continues to be a work in progress.  I shared a few peeks of this floral wall decal I did on Insta stories as I was placing them on the walls.  I absolutely L O V E  how these greyscale peonies transformed my room and give it the feminine feel I was hoping for.  



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