5 reasons we are meant to be


I met my husband way back when at the age of 19 (barely), and just beginning my sophomore year of college. We were friends for a year or so, until we decided that we were being RIDICULOUS and being friends was sort of a joke and we should just DATE ALREADY. Trust me, this was the best decision I ever made! He is everything I didn't know I needed then, and has so many qualities that make him the best husband and father. I am really, really lucky. 

I feel really lucky to have him because when we decided to date, and eventually marry, I didn't really know all that I should have about him. I went on pure gut instinct, knowing I adored and loved him, that we obviously got along really well, and that he made me laugh. I never thought about how we would parent together, or figure out finances, or any of the important stuff. I just knew I needed him in my life for the long haul and it has (obviously, 15 years and two kids later!) worked out REALLY WELL. Ha.

Here are the top five reasons we are meant to be (and great reasons for any couple to make it in marriage!)

1) The most important thing that I always come back to when I think about my husband is that he makes me laugh. There is so much joy for me to just hang out with him and laugh about the same things, and to have him around to make me laugh, always. I just plain ENJOY being with him, be it in the car and not taking for an hour, out on a romantic date, walking around Disney World, or sitting on the couch at night. He is hands down my favorite person to be with.

2) One of the things I am most grateful for is that we have very similar parenting philosophies. We back each other up when it comes to discipline, we trust each other when it comes to making discipline decisions, and we want the same things when it comes to goals for our children. If we disagree on something related to our kids (which is RARE), we talk about it when we are alone and figure it out, but for the most part we always agree. This is so important! To have each others' backs in parenthood is so important, and to be with a man that has the same ideas as me when it comes to our kids is really important. 

3) We both have the same mindset when it comes to our finances! I look at our marriage as a team, and managing our finances is a major team effort. We both agree on how we want to save and spend our money, and we both work towards short and long term financial gals. Neither one of us makes large purchases without letting the other know, and we come up with goals of how we want to spend out money. Our short term goals involve saving for events (Disney next year, paying off new cars within two years, refinancing the house to lower the payment, etc), and our long term goals are for our life in the next 60 years or so (saving for retirement, putting away money for the kids' college funds, paying off any debts early, etc.) We don't have credit cards and pay for everything in cash (except the house and new car, which we pay off as quickly as we can!) We check in constantly with our money and change goals as our needs change. 

4) We have similar views on how we spend our time. While my husband and I are actually pretty dissimilar in what we like (he's super into  sports, hates clothes and style, loves Star Wars and man time and all things GUY), we match up in how we like to live. I am a huge reader (as you know), and he loves watching sports and stuff on the Discovery channel. We both love being at home and having downtime, so most likely you will find us at home together, with him watching football and me reading a book. We like quiet dinners and hanging out as a family, and good food. We like creating great memories with the kids (and rolling our eyes when they drive us NUTS), establishing traditions, and spending time together. He is a real family man and I love that about him, and our life together. 

5) We balance each other. When we first met I felt like we were pretty different from each other. As you marry and move in you have to learn to meld your lives together and if you are raised differently than the other this can be a hot mess! (Learning to live with someone is HARD.)  Over time we have changed for the better, and I think this is the influence we have on each other. I have learned to be less impulsive and to make better financial decisions, and he's learned to loosen up a bit and to go with the flow. We each take charge where we are strongest and balance each other out. He's the one that does our 401K planning, prints out the insurance info for the car, gets our tax info together, and researches cars. I'm the one that buys the kids their clothes, plans their school stuff, brings them to their well check ups, and does most of the laundry and grocery stuff. We both help out where we can, but for the most part we do what we are best at and meet in the middle. I don't have to worry about cleaning out the sprinkler lines and he doesn't have to worry about what to bring to our son's Thanksgiving feast at school. It just works.

Tell me, what makes your marriage/relationship work?

How to diversify your blog income


I think the big trend out there now is to figure how how to quit your job and just blog, which sounds awesome if that's your thing, right? While I would LOVE to just blog, I find that blogging for me tends to be more of a part time thing. I write because I enjoy it, and I get paid a bit here and there as well, and that makes me pretty happy. What's not to love about THAT? 

Here's the thing: blogging income (for me) does not just come from one place. To be able to call this a part time job I need to make money in a bunch of different places, which adds up over time. I added in what I made in each category this past month so you could see where the income comes from and how much I tend to make . My blogging income is all over the place and not super consistent, but the more I blog and work at it the more I make. Sometimes I have less time to blog, so I make less, and that is okay. I think the scariest thing about blogging (and turning it full time), would be building consistent income that I could count on. For now Ill count my blessings I make any money at all, and call it a great part time job, as it is;)

Here are the main ways I make money blogging, and how you can, too!

Sponsored posts: 

My biggest source of income comes from sponsored posts, meaning I get paid to write content and share it with you. This happens two ways: I either get contacted personally by a company that I negotiate with myself, or I get asked to pitch for posts that come up by the two media companies I belong to (Pollinate Media and Collectively.) For posts that I negotiate myself, I can make anywhere from $50 to $150, based on how much of a post I write. Sometimes I just share clothing items with a link (which is cheaper and less time consuming), and sometimes I write a full blown/multi-part post, which costs more and takes a lot more time to put together. For posts that I write via a media company I belong to, these tend to be highly conceptualized and since I work with bigger companies, I can make anywhere from $200-$500 per post (plus the products I am sent.) 

In November I made $420 on sponsored content.

Affiliate links

These are links that are tied to products I use, and if you click on them and buy something I make money off of that. Some companies and stores give more money than others, with higher priced items making more of a commission. Since I shop mostly at Target and Old Navy, with a random Nordstrom thrown in there sometimes, my commission on these types of links is less. I make about $115 ever 2-3 months on these affiliate links (via Rewardstyle.)

In November I made $35 on affiliate links.


Back in the olden' days of blogging (ha!), there was a high amount of sponsoring. You could make a lot of money selling sidebar space to other bloggers and companies looking for exposure. This has just about stopped from a small time bloggers' perspective, but I do create content for another site (Mode) that I then support on my sidebar (and get paid to do.) A lot of companies like to enquire about sidebar ads and space available, and it is up to you to determine if that is something you like. I like to keep my sidebar fairly clean, and other than my content for Mode, I don't really sell this anymore. I make anywhere from $40-$140 on a sidebar ad and creating content this way. 

In November I made $40 on advertising.


I know a lot of other blogger's make money on the side in a way that fits in with their blogging lifestyle.  One of my fellow blogging gals recently sent me a sample of Monat to review for my blog, and that is all I intended to do, I swear! And then I fell in love. This shampoo you guys…it's not JUST shampoo. It is pure magic. It makes my hair amazing, which frankly, it has never been. It is all natural and made in the USA and has these miracle ingredients that just make your hair feel better than it ever has. (Full before and after's HERE.)

Here's the thing, I never set out to sell shampoo on the internet (as my friend wisely said;), but once you try this stuff you can't NOT share it. And you know what? The market is wide open for Monat and this type of product. I see a lot of things sold out there that are pretty cool, but no one sells amazing quality shampoo (unless you go to the salon, and this stuff is WAY better. Trust me.) Us blogger's have a unique way of having a built in audience to share things with, and this is based on trust. I would never say something is awesome here and not mean it. EVER.

I want to share the wealth here. I am building a team of marketing partners to bring this to the next level. Think of it as a other way to add income into your life! There are simple plans to make $500, $1000, or $2000 your first month, how much you make is really up to you. There are also awesome advancement bonuses. If you love something, it is not hard to share, I swear! And think of it this way, you don't have to be a natural born seller. I am NOT one either. I am shy and stay at home a lot and I'm not pushy. You don't have to be either! You just have to want it, and be willing to put in some time during the day to get the word out there. That's it.

If you are curious about Monat, send me an email at becauseofjackie(at)yahoo(dot)com, subject MONAT with any questions or concerns. I would love to hear from you (and have you be a part of my team!)

Because of Jackie X French Connection


℅ French Connection dress (wearing size 2 fits true to size); ℅ Ted and Muffy boots (and similar); Forever 21 faux fur jacket (option); Baublebar tassel necklace.

Use code FCXPSW for 40% off site wide at French Connection from 11/24 at 8am till 11/27 at 7:59am!
Use code FC40BF for 40% off site wide 11/26 at 11:59pm till 11/30 at 11:59am!

My husband's work holiday party is coming up in a couple of weeks and we always have the BEST time when we go. It's typically at a local hotel and we all get rooms and spend the night and most of the next day celebrating with friends (and a zillion kids between is all.) There is babysitting provided and an indoor water park to visit and the occasion to dress up is always one I love to participate in. Spoiler! I LOVE getting dressed up. Being able to wear a fun dress and heels, sparking jewelry and fun makeup…it is perhaps one of my favorite things. (Behind reading, obviously;)

This year I plan to wear this French Connection dress above. It is faux leather, with a fit and flair shape, and it has juuuuust the right amount of sexiness for a work related party. I really like that I can make it look any way I want it too! With tights and ankle boots it can go to a low key dinner out (which it did, two weeks ago!), and with strappy heels and a bold lip (and maybe a great pair of drop earrings?) it can be really dressy and just plain gorgeous. I plan to go the second route for the party, because I never get to do that, and why not just go for it when I can. Sometimes a girls gotta dress up for her man and knock his socks off sometimes, hmmmm? ;)

Tell me, do you have any holiday parties to go to this year? What are you gong to wear?

The cutest jacket options (just in time for winter!)


We've had a relatively mild fall this year, meaning it hasn't snowed 40 inches yet and often enough I still see kids wearing shorts on the playground. This is obviously going to end SOON, and my days of wearing a light cape or blanket scarf over my shoulders in lieu of a coat are almost over. Which is OKAY! Because I have a legit coat hoarding problem and I like to be able to wear them more as it gets colder. (Though I'm not a fan of wearing ONLY my down jacket, when it dips below zero and my nose freezes off. OUCH.)

One of my ALL TIME favorite buys was my faux fur leopard coat I scored on sale from Asos two years ago. I wear it constantly, and it has the ability to look great dressed up OR down. This Forever 21 option is freakishly similar.

Speaking of faux fur, loving this draped faux shearling jacket, it is adorable, as is this gray faux fur jacket (I have a super similar version and love it!)

UPDATE! Just found this Topshop faux fur leopard jacket at Nordstrom, it's gorgeous. Also, this shaggy white faux fur jacket is GORGEOUS.

I saw this olive colored fleece jacket on QVC last weekend and had to have it! It is super cozy and warm and I like that it isn't bulky. The perfect transitional piece.

For deep arctic winter warmth, this Lands End down jacket is everything! I have the black version with the really cute blue lining (and fleece pockets!)

I kind of dig the idea of a bright colored coat with a huge faux fur collar.

Loving this shearing lined olive coat!

Tell me, do you have multiple coats as I do? My current fave is faux fur anything (I have pale pink and bright blue, and more! Ha.)

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My uniform as of late


 Free People top; Old Navy jeans, old (option); ℅ Ted and Muffy boots (option); Baublebar Zodiac pendant

My uniform as of late (at work and at home!) tends to look a lot like this: one tunic top that is flowy and long (most likely from Free People), one pair of skinny jeans (most likely from Old Navy), one pair of ankle boots (either these leopard or my stand by's from target), and a fun pendant necklace. That's it. I can pull it on real quick like when I have two seconds to dress in the morning, and I know it looks cute on. 

I wore this EXACT look last week while bringing my son to the doctors office (another ear infection), and grocery shopping.  Now that I think of it, I'll most likely wear it tomorrow for work (with maybe a lower heeled boot and camo skinny jeans?) The combinations are endless, really. 

Tell me, what is your current uniform, as of late?

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