Turning Heads Linkup- 4 Year Blog Anniversary and Valentine Look - Elegantly Dressed and Stylish
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Turning Heads Linkup- 4 Year Blog Anniversary and Valentine Look

Morning ladies,

Well tomorrow is Valentine’s Day and I decided to wear another Valentine look. I thought I would talk about what i am wearing and also let you know it is my 4 year Blog Anniversary! I had mentioned in a prior post, that it has been 10 years since I had been diagnosed with EDS, and 4 years ago as i began to write this blog. At the time, I thought it sounded like a fun hobby. I didn’t have a ton of expectations, only to meet other ladies with a similar interest in fashion, and to enjoy being creative. I needed my mind to go somewhere other than to the pain I was experiencing. Today, I thought I would discuss what i have learned in 4 years of blogging. Just a little teaser, I’ll be attending a Blogger event in NYC in March, so in the near future, I will share what brand and the exciting time we have planned! 

My hubby takes my pictures for the blog, and you can see the growth in his photography since we first began taking shots. Today may not be the best example, as we did this week’s photos at 4 pm. This is a bit late in the day, and the pics are a bit hazy. So, I need to get my butt out of the house by 2 or earlier!

So before I get into what I have learned from blogging, I want to talk about this outfit. The purse and booties are new, the rest is older from my closet. I thought this Banana Republic chiffon roses cardi would be a lovely Valentine style and the flirty black skirt a classic accompaniment. I decided to forgo a necklace, as the roses themselves stand out along the neckline.

Since i had seen these circle bags on the runway, I was determined to find one for myself, but since they are a bit trendy, ( read my post on Circle Bags-Trending Now), I didn’t want to spend a lot. Enter Poshmark. I found this adorable Zara embroidered floral circle bag and scored it for $35! I love this little vintage shape, and enough room for what i would carry in a clutch.

Seeing many bloggers wearing leopard booties, I was influenced!I really do ask myself, do I lOVE it? If i answer yes, and i can see myself wearing them with what exists in my closet, then its a win! I loved the darker leopard print, and the block heel. I will be wearing these often, and i wanted to add a bit of a surprise to my outfit as you might expect a black or red shoe/boot.. the leopard is a fun alternative!

I loved the chiffon roses on this red Banana Republic cardigan.

Speaking of Zara, I decided to buy these leopard block heeled booties. I didn’t own a pair of leopard booties and thought these would get a ton of wear with my wardrobe. I did pay full retail.. which I don’t often do!

Some things I have learned from Blogging for 4 years.

  • Some people think it is easy. How hard can it be, you get your hubby to take some pictures and upload them, right? Well, initially i had no idea how much time blogging 3 days a week would take. Writing, editing photos, posing for the photoshoot, styling an outfit, thinking of topics..promoting on social media, answering comments.. etc.. takes a considerable amount of time!
  • All brands I work with are not created equal. I won’t name names, but some are so organized, wonderful to work with , and on the ball when it comes to answering emails and sending product in a timely manner. Others, are not as good. Most, are great to work with, and I do make note of the brands I enjoy collaborating with.
  • Don’t compare. It can be a natural thing to do so, but if it hinders your ability to blog, or makes you stressed filled with anxiety, it isn’t worth it! I just say to myself, I am doing the best I can, and am happy with the quality I am producing, so there is no need to compare myself to others. Blogging should be fun!
  • Social media is not my favorite. To be honest, I would love  if I just dealt with the blog and didn’t have to use social media. Maybe I am “old school”, but I sometimes feel like I could be spending my time on something more worthwhile with all of the time it takes and if  i start to think about all of the numbers, amount of followers, hashtags, reposting etc.. it can cause me anxiety!
  • Love meeting other bloggers. I think of it as the “modern day penpal” sometimes meeting wonderful ladies in other countries, states, that I wouldn’t have met if it wasn’t for blogging.
  • It is a wonderful creative outlet. I love to experiment with fashion, and be creative with my outfits. Blogging has opened my eyes to new ways of styling my clothes, stepping out of my comfort zone, as well as being inspired by other bloggers.
  • I have enjoyed writing on midlife topics, other than fashion. Writing has always been an interest of mine, and I enjoy the conversational nature of blogging.
  • Affiliate income is good for keeping the blog going, sometimes a few accessories, but it is difficult to make a living at blogging.
  • Grateful for the opportunities I have working with brands, meeting people and upcoming events I am looking forward to!
  • My hubby takes my blog pictures and he has improved and learned more as the years went by. Here is my FIRST POST! 
  • Blogging is a lot of fun!

I Do DeClaire / / Walking in Memphis in High Heels / / Sandy a la Mode / / / A Good Hue / / Style Splash / / Shelbee on the Edge /


Most clicked: Gail of Is This Mutton Blog

Pinterest pic- Nailil of Thirty Minus One blog

  • terrigardner1
    Posted at 19:16h, 05 March Reply

    Thanks you Jess for sharing that fabulous bag in the Linkup.

  • Ronnie Crouthamel
    Posted at 14:31h, 05 March Reply

    Happy Blogaversary, Jess! What a fabulous look! The boots and bag are just amazing! You seem to have really taken blogging and run with it! I find myself still struggling – not sure what I want my blog to “be”, not happy with my pictures, and horrible at not comparing myself! haha! Guess I still have a long way to go.

  • Claire justine
    Posted at 04:18h, 24 February Reply

    Happy Blog Anniversary Jess, your blog and style is beautiful and inspiring 🙂 I always love to see what you have been wearing. Love your cardigan, the roses are lovely. Great boots too Jess. Thanks for sharing at Creative Mondays 🙂 Hope you can join us again soon.

  • Patti
    Posted at 12:19h, 19 February Reply

    Just beautiful, Jess – and your bag is dreamy! Here’s to all the awareness raised today for fierce midlife women!! xox


  • blogthirtyminusone
    Posted at 16:38h, 18 February Reply

    First, happy 4 year blogiversary. 🙂 Second, love those boots, I have wanted boots like yours for a bit, but haven’t found the perfect pair. And thanks for featuring my pearly blouse look.
    Xx, Nailil

  • Petite Teacher
    Posted at 16:39h, 17 February Reply

    Hello Jessica. Lovely outfit and lovely blogpost. I haves started only a few months back and I can already rely to some of your experiences: the fun, the creativity, the mixed feelings about social media, the time it takes to write a blog and the hubby photographer. I love to decide what to write about and how to combine my writings with photos and now I know so do you. Keep on blogging and keep on posting those great photos and texts on insta. I love that too! Lieske

  • Rachel
    Posted at 06:58h, 17 February Reply

    Such a lovely look!


  • Elsie
    Posted at 13:16h, 16 February Reply

    I feel the same way about a lot of the things you said about blogging. I am realizing it is a marathon not a sprint. It’s hard not to compare yourself to others, especially on social media. But I am reminding myself that I do the best I can! Juggling real life and blogging can be very taxing. I don’t want to waste any energy criticizing myself.

  • Amy Arnold
    Posted at 11:11h, 16 February Reply

    Happy 4 years! I loved reading what you have learned. I agree about social media. I wish I could just do the blog, ha. Love those leopard boots!

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

  • Carrie at Curly Crafty Mom
    Posted at 10:13h, 16 February Reply

    I just love those leopard booties you paired with this V-Day outfit. Also, love the cascading roses on the cardi and that DARLING bag!


  • Amy Christensen
    Posted at 20:58h, 15 February Reply

    Jess, this is such a cute outfit. Happy 4 years. My 2 years was at the beginning of the month and it just sort of slipped by…I’m not very good at being timely with things. Ha, ha. Thanks for sharing what you have learned from blogging. It is a big time investment, especially when you have a job, even part time and other responsibilities, but it is fun and a way to keep our minds active, as well as hopefully inspire other ladies as well. Keep up the great work, cutie! – Amy

  • Elle
    Posted at 20:44h, 15 February Reply

    What a gorgeous red appliquéd sweater! It is beautifully styled here with that fabulous Zara bag, and chic leopard boots.
    Congratulations with the score on PoshMark ,
    You’ve done such a good job building the blog and a brand. It takes a lot of hard work and I can see that it has paid off. It’s also clear that you are enjoying it and you communicate your message so beautifully. I certainly enjoy following you!

  • Laura
    Posted at 14:42h, 15 February Reply

    Happy blogiversary girl!! I absolutely adore this outfit and those booties completely have me swooning:) 🙂 🙂

    Black Coffee Beautiful

  • rosie
    Posted at 09:55h, 15 February Reply

    The Leopard print boots are everything! Great look

    Life is just Rosie

  • Andrea@Wellnessnotes
    Posted at 18:39h, 14 February Reply

    That’s a great Valentine’s Day outfit! I love the purse!

    And I loved your insights into blogging. I started my blog nine years ago, and, overall, it has truly enriched my life. I’m in particular thankful for the connections I have made with others and some of the collaborations I’ve been part of. But you are so right, blogging is so much more involved than many think…

    I hope you are having a wonderful Valentine’s Day!

    Andrea’s Wellness Notes

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 10:30h, 15 February Reply

      Thank you Andrea! I am glad you enjoyed my post, and so smart to take a needed break! xx

  • Laura || Walking in Memphis in High Heels
    Posted at 16:19h, 14 February Reply

    Happy Blogging Anniversary! That’s so much fun! I love your top, the detail on the roses is so pretty!

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 10:31h, 15 February Reply

      Thank you Laura! ITs an older top, that is my fav part too! xx

  • Rosie Holtzman
    Posted at 16:05h, 14 February Reply

    Happy Blog-A-Versary!!! And what a cute ouufit, especially with the leopard booties !!

  • Alexandra
    Posted at 15:09h, 14 February Reply

    Happy Blog-a-versary! And Happy Valentine’s Day 🙂

  • Lisa Richardson
    Posted at 11:21h, 14 February Reply

    Before you even talked about the cute bag and booties my eyes went straight to them. You knocked it out to the park with pairing them. Congrats on 4 years!!! You are so right. It’s a lot of work that most people who aren’t bloggers don’t realize. I’ve told my husband it’s like modern day pen pals too. I love that. BTW…do you have words of wisdom or advice on how to get started working with brands? Did you reach out to them or vise versa? Thanks and Happy Valentine’s Day!❤️

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 11:38h, 14 February Reply

      Thank you Lisa! I know. .I had wanted the bag in a nude color with the embroidery for Spring, but it sold out.. so I searched on my thrifting site, Poshmark and saw the black, score! I had been wanting leopard booties for awhile… i am picky, so these Zara ones caught my eye. In my first year, I think my first collab was readers.com, and i took it for the experience, because my eyes are bad and I really couldnt see without a script! But the brands contact me, I don’t reach out, but know others do. I guess never thought of that, perhaps emailing via a contact on ig, if you see a Brand that fits your style. I have been grateful to collaborate with some lovely brands. if i think of anything else, ill let you know! xx

  • GlamorousandGeeky (@Gofashiondeals)
    Posted at 11:14h, 14 February Reply

    Love this valentines day outfit, happy blogerversary.

  • Suzanne
    Posted at 08:45h, 14 February Reply

    Happy Blogversary! And Happy Valentine’s Day!

    Love the whole outfit, especially the leopard booties. Red and leopard are such good friends.

    I agree with all of your thoughts about blogging. I despise social media. It was so much easier when all we had to maintain was the blog. Now the stress of keeping up with all of the other places people choose to connect is overwhelming. I decided to stop visiting my FB or Twitter accounts last year. It was just too much. I will automatically post to them either from IG or from my Etsy store but I no longer visit those sites.

    Ideally I would like to just get rid of all of them, including IG. The problem I find is that people have become lazy and no longer want to spend time reading blogs. Instead they just want to heart our photo on IG. People choose what social media they want to connect on and we can’t force them to choose blogs instead. It is frustrating because as you mentioned blogging takes loads of time and energy, unlike IG.

    With blogging at least I felt some kind of a connection to the blogger as I had a chance to get to know the person a bit better. IG is simply looking at photos and judging people on their appearance. It is shallow and without value.

    I have chose to continue blogging only because I’ve met wonderful people there that have become real life friends. Otherwise I would have given it up years ago. I’ve never made any money at it nor been successful in a traditional sense.

    I used to blog 7 days a week now I’m down to twice/week but I’m thinking of cutting back even more. Unlike my Etsy store which responds positively in a monetary sense when I work harder on it my blog just keeps plugging along maintaining and not growing no matter how much effort or time I sink into it.

    So yeah…I understand where you are coming from with the social media thing. I thought I was the only “old school” gal left. : )


  • thestylesplash
    Posted at 08:13h, 14 February Reply

    Congratulations on your blog anniversary Jess! I love your bag and leopard print boots! Such a pretty cardigan – perfect for Valentine’s Day! I have wedding coming up next month and I’m looking for a bag that’s large enough to fit all my stuff in but not too big. I was thinking of a clutch but a round bag would make a nice alternative. Thank you so much for the vegan leather bag recommendation – the desgns are fab and they’re reasonably priced too 🙂

    Emma xxx

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 09:31h, 14 February Reply

      Thank you Emma! That is what i liked about this bag! I can fit my wallet, lipstick, compact and phone. Enough for a wedding or if you don’t want to carry alot. i am glad you liked my suggestion, they make great bags! xx

  • Suzy Turner
    Posted at 05:27h, 14 February Reply

    Happy Blogaversary Jess!! Your first post wasn’t so bad but I see where you are coming from with the pictures. Your hubby takes fabulous photos these days 🙂
    Happy Valentine’s Day too <3
    Suzy xx

  • Mary, The Pouting Pensioner
    Posted at 05:12h, 14 February Reply

    Happy Anniversary, dearest Jess, love your 3D roses on that perfect little cardi. Hugs, x.

  • Cheryl Shops
    Posted at 00:08h, 14 February Reply

    Happy blog-iversary! I love your leopard boots too!
    Cheryl Shops | http://www.cherylshops.net

  • nbosken
    Posted at 17:22h, 13 February Reply

    Congrats on four years of blogging! That is super exciting! I know what you mean about people thinking it’s easy. People often don’t realize how much time it takes to blog.


  • Laura
    Posted at 17:09h, 13 February Reply

    Happy Blogiversary! I love your Valentine’s Day look and that fab bag!

  • Maureen
    Posted at 15:36h, 13 February Reply

    Happy 4 year blog anniversary! That’s fantastic. These are all great lessons and I get you on some of your bullet points especially social media. I am not a big fan either but it is part of the job. Love your leopard shoes. It goes so well with your Valentine’s Day outfit.

    Maureen | http://www.littlemisscasual.com

  • Theresa Campbell
    Posted at 14:33h, 13 February Reply

    Happy anniversary of your blog, Jess. I am always in awe of how all the bloggers I read are able to produce such amazing posts several times a week. I’m lucky if I can get 2-4 posts up a month! I don’t think non-bloggers have any idea how much work actually goes into it. Totally a labor of love. And, I agree with how many great new people you can meet doing it. It’s a great way to engage with like minded individuals. But, you’re right, the social media aspect of it can be extremely time consuming.

    Your outfit is adorable. Love the red cardi and that cute purse. Reminds me of the little round travel cases ladies used to carry in the 60s. I don’t have a pair of leopard ankle boots and have been looking for the perfect pair. Yours are really cute and not too high, which I like. They will go with just about anything. And don’t feel bad about paying full retail. I always tell myself the money I save thrifting and on sale items allows me leeway when I want to get something full price. It’s not a bad thing. And if you get a lot of wear out of them, they will more than pay for themselves in amount of use they’ll get!


  • thisblondesshoppingbag
    Posted at 12:23h, 13 February Reply

    Congratulations! 4 years is impressive, I’ve been at it almost 2 and I still feel like I have no idea what I’m doing, lol. I am having fun and I have loved getting to know so many kind and supportive women.
    Okay, those booties! I may have to ask you to kindly stop wearing them before I go crazy – I want a pair so badly!!! I have a hard time finding comfortable shoes and boots, you paid full price for these so they must be good! I am loving the detailing on your cardigan too – so pretty!

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 12:42h, 13 February Reply

      Thank you Kellyann! 2 years is great, you learn as you go, don’t worry about it! There are still things i can’t figure out. Hhehe, you made me laugh.. they are comfortable as the heel is a block heel and it is thick. I can’t wear uncomfortable shoes. If i see another pair on sale.. ill let you know. 🙂 xx

  • smithsuzanne2014
    Posted at 12:23h, 13 February Reply

    Hi Jess! I agree with you 100% on all of the things you said about blogging! I do love Instagram, but I love looking more than posting! Oh well…we do what we have to! This circle bag is amazing, I might need to do a little more Zara shopping! It’s so easy when everything is so affordable! Have a great day!

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 13:01h, 13 February Reply

      I know what you mean Suzanne. Zara has been one of my favorite shops for years! I am waiting on their Spring collection. you too! xx

  • Jennie
    Posted at 12:23h, 13 February Reply

    Happy Blogiversary, Jess!!! I think I have to second every single thing you shared that you have learned about blogging. I am so lax with social media because it is so time consuming. So fun looking back at your first post. 🙂 Your look today is beautiful. I really like your rose embellished cardigan and think the leopard booties offer a nice twist. Happy Valentine’s day (a day early)! 🙂

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 13:04h, 13 February Reply

      Thank you Jennie! Yes, It is!! So glad you enjoyed the post.. the blog has changed! The booties I have been wearing for the past 4 days in a row! 🙂 xx

  • Jacket Society
    Posted at 12:12h, 13 February Reply

    Happy 4 year blog anniversary Jess! It sure is a lot of work as you mentioned. Great points too…love that bag, its so fun and Happy Valentine’s Day 🙂

  • Rebecca
    Posted at 11:50h, 13 February Reply

    Congratulations on this 4 year anniversary, Jess. You produce a lovely blog and I have enjoyed reading it and being inspired by your photos (love those fur babies!)

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 11:59h, 13 February Reply

      Thank you Rebecca! So glad you enjoy the blog! I try and get my little bears in the pics when i can 🙂 xx

  • cheriejamesp
    Posted at 11:02h, 13 February Reply

    Well congratulations Jess on four years! That is quite an accomplishment. I appreciate your notes on blogging. I think my biggest gripe is the social media part, I agree with you it is a time zapper that is hard to justify sometimes. There is so much to blogging that is hidden, it’s a lot of work, but if you love it it’s worth it. Enjoy your blogaversary and Valentines Day Jess!


  • Joi Smith
    Posted at 10:38h, 13 February Reply

    I have this same bag, love how you styled it Jess!!

  • Elise
    Posted at 09:47h, 13 February Reply

    These are great lessons you have learned! Love this Valentine’s look, your bag and booties are fabulous!

    xx, Elise

  • Amy Johnson
    Posted at 09:13h, 13 February Reply

    This is such a gorgeous look! I love those leopard booties and that bag!

  • Shauna
    Posted at 09:13h, 13 February Reply

    Happy Anniversary, Jess!! What a fabulous accomplishment! Love coming to your blog each week to see all of your stunning looks. Like this look today! Perfect valentine’s look 🙂



  • Cheryl Tucker
    Posted at 08:55h, 13 February Reply

    I agree with everything you say about blogging. I also think social media is the biggest downside and the creators do it on purpose! Love you booties. I have a pair but haven’t styled them yet. Happy Tuesday! Cheryl

  • Jodie
    Posted at 08:52h, 13 February Reply

    Happy Blogaversary, Jess!! I loved seeing your first post, and you haven’t changed a bit!!
    Those booties are just the best ever, and I bet you’ll be wearing them a ton!!

  • shelbeeontheedge1
    Posted at 08:49h, 13 February Reply

    Jess, Happy Blogging Anniversary! You look fabulous as always! I love red on you. That cardigan is adorable, and your bag and boots are perfection! Great tips, too. Blogging is so much but my gosh it is a lot of work, too! But I wouldn’t change a thing! And I have met so many fabulous women, like yourself, whom I now include on my list of dear friends. Just another wonderful perk of this job! And I featured Gail’s post today as well!


  • southernrosemary
    Posted at 08:42h, 13 February Reply

    You look amazing as always ,Jess😍

  • awayfromtheblue
    Posted at 07:12h, 13 February Reply

    Happy blogaversary! 🙂 It’s so nice to look back and see your lessons. Here’s to many more years of blogging for you!

    I love your outfit too, you are stunning in red and leopard print ankle boots are so fun! 🙂

    Thank you for the link up!

    Hope you are having a lovely start to your week! It’s so hot here, another heatwave!

    Away From The Blue Blog

  • Andrea Nine
    Posted at 07:01h, 13 February Reply

    And you are the sweetest!! Happy Valentine’s week and Blogiversary!! LOVE that cardi and those boots but most of all, love you! xo

  • Chanda
    Posted at 06:26h, 13 February Reply

    Happy Blogiversary!!

  • Pam Greer
    Posted at 06:23h, 13 February Reply

    Happy Blog Anniversary!!! I love that bag and that sweater!! Oh, and the booties. Oh, just never mind, I love it all!

  • Nancy Baten
    Posted at 06:15h, 13 February Reply

    Happy Bloggerversary! And for more years to come!

  • Jaymie Ashcraft
    Posted at 06:12h, 13 February Reply


  • Tiina L
    Posted at 06:07h, 13 February Reply

    Happy blog anniversary!
    Oh yes, blogging takes a lot of time… I’ve been a bit lazy with commenting lately (writing comments on the phone is just so frustrating) because real life (read: work) has been making me so stressed.
    You look lovely, as always. And the booties are to die for!

  • stinedurfdl
    Posted at 05:49h, 13 February Reply

    Happy Blogiversary Jess! It is amazing how much our blogs have changed and grown since the beginning isn’t it? I love your booties…can you believe I don’t have an “everyday” pair?! I only have my super high wedges in leopard print…I need to remedy that!

  • Laurie Bronze
    Posted at 05:01h, 13 February Reply

    Congratulations at making it four years Jess. So many are giving up lately and I think it’s so sad after all the hard work! I just looked at your first post and had a giggle! Take a look at mine it’s absolutely dire! xx

  • Anna Marcus
    Posted at 04:03h, 13 February Reply

    I was enjoying reading your thoughts on blogging, Jess and have to admit that I agree with every point you made. Thank you for your honest thoughts. Your animal print booties inspired me to get a pair of shoes in similar pattern. Happy Valentine’s

  • Jill James
    Posted at 03:26h, 13 February Reply

    Congratulations on your fourth blog anniversary, I so admire your ability to post three times a week. Your outfit is lovely , perfect ode to Valentine’s Day.The leopard booties so good with the pretty red cardigan.

  • Wendy
    Posted at 03:05h, 13 February Reply

    Congratulations on your Blog Anniversary; tl4 Years….that is too be celebrated!

  • passion fruit, paws and peonies
    Posted at 02:57h, 13 February Reply

    I adore your cardigan with the pretty roses adoring the neck line. How perfect for Valentines Day! I hope you have a great one Jess! xx

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