J.Puccinelli

Archive for the ‘friendship’ Category

All that Glitters Ain’t Gold

In friendship, inspiration, social media on September 21, 2013 at 8:15 am

Hi my name is Jess and I struggle with feeling inadequate, with jealousy, with comparison, with…social media.

Hi Jess.

In the past year this is one of the most sound pieces of advice I’d received: “Comparison is the thief of joy”. Given to me by my bestie Justine. See photo below. She doesn’t look wise but she is. haha jk jk.

justine and jessMy generation especially lives in a world of glitter. Every day we are inundated with glitter – sparkly images of our friends and their great jobs, new designer outfits, trips to Europe, perfect relationships, pinterest worthy homes and so on. I can’t explain how many times I’ve met up with friends and the conversation centers around what they recently posted on their Instagram, or where they last checked in on foursquare.  Not to mention we’ve spent the majority of our dinner dates instagramming our food, tweeting, and looking at our phones! That’s NOT normal.

As if all of that isn’t bad enough I recently found myself emotionally invested in other people’s photos and not in a positive way. I was saying things like: ‘Babe, so and so is on vacation here’, ‘Look at this new bag she got, I want a new bag’, ‘Look who just bought a beautiful house’ ‘Really another selfie of you and your perfect hair?’…and on and on.

Jealous. Judgmental. Sad. And worst of all totally ungrateful for all of the things I should be grateful for. I was in a place where nothing was enough. As a matter of fact I would take one facebook photo and fill in the blanks with the perfections I assumed a friends life consisted of.

Bad idea. Very, very, very bad idea.

So, I started to really pray and meditate on what was going on. Why was I all of a sudden so unhappy with what I’ve been fortunate enough to be given and what I’ve worked hard for? More importantly, why was I getting so sad at seeing others happy??

Oh wait I know why – because comparison is the thief of joy.

Here’s the thing – I’m not the only one. I have plenty of friends who have gotten off facebook because every time one of their friends get’s engaged they find themselves crying. That’s not how it’s supposed to be, but it can be an unfortunate  byproduct of social media.  I didn’t want to have to quit sites, I wanted to be able to see things, process them and move on without it affecting me emotionally. So it started with these two articles that REALLY helped put things in perspective for me.

Stop Instagramming Your Perfect Life

Why Generation Y Yuppies are so Unhappy

The first article states: “My life looks better on the Internet than it does in real life. Everyone’s life looks better on the internet than it does in real life. The Internet is partial truths—we get to decide what people see and what they don’t.”

There it is. All that glitters isn’t gold. Partial truths are so dangerous.  Sure we’ve all been guilty of hiding the Negative Nancys on our timeline who are constantly griping about their bad luck and misfortune because it’s well, depressing.  But what about the people who are constantly promoting their perfect life?

Well let’s look at this:

A. Their lives aren’t perfect – nothing is perfect. I’m not telling you to take solace in other people’s imperfections but to keep things in perspective. That couple who just posted a happy photo of them at a friend’s wedding probably got into a fight on the way there. Haha! Seriously though, perspective is everything.

B. Good for them.

Here’s how I’m working through things. What I’ve learned:

1. To be aware of how much time I’m spending on social media and put my devices down. Learn to just be. Not every moment needs to be captured, shared, or filtered.

2. To be aware of why I’m posting on social media sites – is it to portray a perfect life, get a certain number of likes (aka recognition/validation) or to inspire others or to just remember a moment? What’s my intention?

3. In case I wasn’t clear in #2: To stop finding importance/validation in the response/reaction of others.

4. To be very aware and in control of my thoughts when scanning social media sites. This takes practice and intention. Your thoughts will run away from you quickly – manage them before they manage you.

5. To be grateful for everything because nothing is guaranteed and most of all because life is GOOD.

6. To be real. To be uplifting. To be honest. If I’m going to share I’m going to do it in the realest way I know how.

7. Tangible things I do: Turn off all notifications.   Log myself out of my social apps so that I’m less tempted to just sit and scroll. Leave my phone in the other room, the car, my purse.

Whew! Okay that was a big one but I hope it speaks to someone out there and if not well I’m glad I got it off my chest haha!

Love y’all!

JP

 

 

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Confessions of a Newlywed

In friendship, inspiration, love, marriage on September 17, 2013 at 11:31 pm

When my husband asked my dad for his permission to marry me, my dad told him, “Alex, Marriage is one of the hardest things you’ll ever do and it is one of the most rewarding things you’ll ever experience.”

He was SO right. I wanted to share this thought because I think people have a misconception that when you get married everything will be PERFECT. Let’s be honest, you see instagrams of newlywed couples gushing about how much they love their spouse and their newlywed activities and adorable matching shirts (guilty) – but you don’t hear about the growing pains, adjustments and tough compromises that have to be made in the first well, forever.

For all of my friends who are married, getting married, and will be married I need you to remember that even when things are hard, if you’re BOTH willing to work together, compromise and be understanding of the other person’s feelings then the reward is immense. The trials will come and that’s okay, embrace them – use them to better yourself, to better each other and as a means to love even more fiercely than the day before.

It’s overcoming these trials that will make the two of you even closer, a stronger team, an unstoppable force.  If I may, I’d like to impart a few of the lessons I’m learning along the way and as I feel inspired I will continue to add to this post.

As long as the end goal is the same it doesn’t matter how you get there.I think the biggest struggle for me has been not doing things my way. It sounds ridiculously childish but all of a sudden there is this other person with an equally strong opinion on how  something should be done and wholeheartedly believes his way is the right way. That’s hard!

Our first few weeks of marriage we spent going head to head on everything! Take for example a furniture shopping trip we went on about a couple of weeks after we moved into our apartment. The night before I’d found a great print chair in Homegoods, snatched it up and brought it home. Husband loved it and we were planning to keep it until the next day when we found two gorgeous matching wing backs for a steal in TJ Maxx. Husband says, “Yep let’s get these but I want to return the other chair today.” I say, “yeah, I’ll return it sometime next week, what does it matter?” But it mattered to him – for his peace of mind he wanted it returned that day.  Naturally we begin to go back and forth when it hit me – we both want the same thing we’re just going about it in two different ways.  So I conceded.  And it hurt. And I cried. Then it felt good – because I realized that I just tapped into something that is going to save us a lot of heartache and strife in the future:  If we are both seeking the same outcome, be okay with doing it his way. We returned the other chair that night and you know what he did? He thanked me.  He hugged me and said in the sweetest voice, ‘thank you for that’.

“A wise woman builds her home, but a foolish woman tears it down with her own hands.” – Proverbs

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Contrary to what I believed, compromise or putting somebody’s feelings before yours does not equal weakness, defeat, or inferiority – it’s actually this beautiful, beautiful thing that brings you and your somebody closer and makes you fall in love again, and again and again.

xo – JP

String Lights and Summer Nights

In fashion, friendship, Good Eats, Los Angeles, love, mr. and mrs. pooch, music on August 24, 2013 at 1:44 am

Recently I was going through old blog posts and remembered how I used to share photos of things that made me happy, inspired me or just good moments. So I’m thinking I’ll do that again today in hopes that a few of these will make you smile as well.

Finally buying THAT pair of shoes I’ve been wanting for forever. These add just enough spunk to my wardrobe.

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Seeing my husband on the big screen! My heart skipped a beat the first time I bought a ticket to see my husband in his first film. I’m a little biased but he did great and the movie was hilarious. You can download it on iTunes!

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Having my husband’s parents over for dinner and uno at our new place for the first time – incredible! We ordered pizza from their favorite pizzeria, Lamonica’s and enjoyed a summer evening out on our semi-furnished balcony.

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The first time we saw the stringed lights on over the balcony. Few things in the world give me happiness like great ambiance. I even covered my eyes for the ‘big reveal’ – I love it out there.

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Getting our wedding photos back and realizing how blessed we were to have found the photographer we had. Nicole at Sorella-Muse Photography completely captured the essence of our day. She is nothing short of amazing and I’m so happy we found her and have her in our lives.

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Figuring out how ridiculously simple it is to use our crock pot and then spending an entire Saturday eating homemade teriyaki wings and watching season two of Friday Night Lights.

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Seeing my absolute favorite twosome Johnnyswim  (think Johnny and June Cash meet Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell) and the brilliant Emeli Sande (get her album, you’ll put it on repeat) with hilarious girlfriends. I was blown away by the sheer talent these two artists displayed. No gimmicks – just a love for what they do.

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That’s plenty for now!

xx – jess

Brunchin

In cereal and wine events, friendship, Good Eats on July 27, 2013 at 12:15 am

I love brunch. I love going to brunch. I love eating brunch foods. I love cooking brunch foods. But most of all I love hosting brunch. It’s really the perfect meal – the sweeter items from breakfast meet lunch’s savory counterparts and all is right in the world.

A few months ago I got to host Easter brunch for friends. Awesome. Just awesome.

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Decor wise I kept it simple: two long tables, white table cloths, white spring flowers in mason jars styled by my lovely friend Whitney, the coolest gold chevron paper, whatever chairs we had in the apartment, and handwritten place tags for everyone.

I believe in place settings whenever possible.

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“There is no sweeter sound to any person’s ear than the sound of their own name…” – Dale Carnegie

For food we kept ours as potluck – but truth be told we had some killer entrees from Miss Becky Reams.

Champagne, fruit juices, pellegrino (duh) and great people made for the best brunch I’ve ever had.

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So there you go! Now you can host your own or call me and I’ll come do it because once again…I LOVE BRUNCH!

xx jess

P.s for more brunch inspiration check out my pinterest board.

movies and macarons (guys you can do this too!)

In cereal and wine events, friendship, Good Eats on April 30, 2012 at 4:17 pm

Sometimes brilliant ideas pop into my head – I’m not kidding.

Movies & Macarons was totally one of those great ideas I had to move on fast or else it would be just that – an idea, nothing more, nothing less and I’d have nada to show for it.

Here’s the timeline of one of the greatest ideas ever had…ahem, I should say one of the greatest excuses to spend time with ladies who make me smile uncontrollably. After you read this I’m expecting to hear all about your version of Movies & Macarons – guys this can be Movies and Man Food (I don’t know – just go with it!) or whatever you want, but the importance is to take a few hours to make the people you value, feel valued. They’ll love you for it – trust me!

Tuesday Afternoon: Text sent to roomie: Hey I have a great idea. Let’s do a movie & macarons night with some girls…You in? Beautiful! Look for the invite soon! 

Later Tuesday Afternoon: 15 minutes to design invite, click, invite has been emailed to a few girlfriends. (insert self hi-five here!)

Wednesday, Thursday, Friday: Confirm attendees, finalize snack items with roomie, clean house, and wait.

Saturday: Game on!

So here’s how I did it on the cheap (you know I’m all about being fabulous on a budget). Buying macarons can get really expensive, really fast.  So I took myself to Trader Joes and bought a box of their frozen ones – can I just say these were delicious and only $4 for 24!  Add in chips, pretzels, chocolate, and a bottle of wine and I still didn’t spend over $35 on the entire night!

My roomie did homemade red velvet cupcakes and her famous chocolate chip cookies. Then I made a batch of chocolate covered pretzels. Guys for some reason people are impressed by these and they are SO easy to make.

1/2 block of Bakers semi sweet chocolate

melt chocolate over a double boiler

dip pretzels in melted chocolate and place on wax paper

put the pretzels in the freezer for 30 min

eat all of them

Because I have two girls for roomies we pulled out all of our chick flicks for every one to choose from and I placed my nail polish collection out on the table so we could all primp and paint during the movie.

The best part of the night was that the girls who came really didn’t know each other – as a matter of fact I didn’t even really know one of them! My twitter friend Jammie, moved to LA a few months ago and I invited her over so we could become what she calls “In Real Life Friends”. She fit right in, we loved hearing about her fashion blogger adventures,  she talked styling with my friend G and she and my roomie are even collaborating on a few projects now!

Oh yeah and we watched Wedding Crashers – well they did, I fell into a sugar coma and slept through most of it…

j.ayers

What to wear: Weeknight dinner with your best girlfriend

In fashion, friendship, Good Eats on April 26, 2012 at 9:18 am

Last week I met up with one of my most favorite people on the planet, my former co-worker turned bestie JR. She and I worked side by side for two years and she taught me how to embrace laid backness of California style and I’d like to think I showed her the many perks of preppiness.

So it’s no surprise we showed up to dinner looking pretty similar.

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So! Considering the hostess (who looked pretty stylish herself) complimented me on my outfit and JR showed up with the same look, I think it’s safe to say this is perfect for a weeknight dinner with your best girlfriend.

What To Wear: Dinner with Your Best Girlfriend

All three items are super easy to throw on after work but still offers a look of effortless flair – heyyy!

So, get your colored jeans at Zara.

Get your blouse at Banana Republic.

Grab your wedges at Nordstroms.

Now on to dinner! JR and I don’t get to see one another nearly as much as we would like to so when we do break bread we take our time catching up, telling funny stories and looking into each others eyes…just kidding about the last part.

This particular night we ate at Farm Shop – delcious – if you live in the area or ever come out I highly recommend!! Not only was I sitting next to Conan O’Brien (oh yeah! oh yeah!) the ambience and service were top notch. Plus it’s at the Brentwood Country Mart which also has the cutest book shops, stores, ice cream places etc.

We started our meal with an avocado hummus, segued into a very nice cheese platter and then split perfectly roasted sunchokes, fresh snap peas and a salmon spread that was to die for. yummm!

I’m not sure what she had, but I had a glass of the Joel Gott 815 Cabernet Sauvignon…one of my favorite reds (okay one of the only reds I like) and it even paired nicely with our meal.

Great company, fabulous food and matching outfits!

j.ayers

the good news is…

In friendship, inspiration on April 19, 2012 at 11:14 am

The good news is…

I thought my last post was in October 2011 not December (translation: I’m not as behind as I thought)

I’m totally feeling inspired again (translation: I’ll finally take the time to blog)

There have been more than a few people asking what the deal is (translation: I still have one or two readers who haven’t abandoned me)

The good news is…even though I’ve been an absentee blogger, with no time to pen, and when people see me they put their hands on their hips and ask me  ‘Are you EVER going to post in Cereal and Wine again – Geez!!’ – things. are. good.

There’s more to come folks!

j.ayers

last second holiday gift ideas for every kind of friend

In friendship, gift giving, holidays, wine on December 23, 2011 at 9:46 pm

Time is running out…Christmas is like – now! Don’t show up to another holiday party or meet up with friends/family empty handed! Here are four gift ideas that should cover your entire group of amigos or familia annnnnd they are really nice and easy!

For the intellectMoleskine notebook: These are my absolute favorite, it’s a smart, classic, quality notebook that anyone would appreciate.  I love the versions with the graphics paper – tres chic! To personalize, write a thoughtful note in the front inside cover!

For the foodie – What I’ve found is that most foodies moonlight as chef’s and are often itching for opportunities to cook for their friends. Gift an adorable apron so that he/she can look legit when flipping, sauteing and tasting in the kitchen!

For the fashionista – A magazine subscription to elle for a lady and Details for a dude. Both are the perfect balance of ready to wear and high fashion,  just like your friend or family member.

For the host/hostessMonogrammed notecards: Super useful, personal and all around perfect. A simple notecard with the persons first or last initial is just darling and it’s a practical gift they will be dying to put to use. Love. Love. Love.

 Merry, merry Christmas! I hope it’s a great one for you and yours.

~j.ayers

Rando!

In friendship, Good Eats, inspiration on April 25, 2011 at 8:00 am

Just a few random things from April that I got excited about… nothing crazy – hope you smile 🙂

Impromptu grill outs with friends – YUM!

Horse hangers in dressing rooms – I have to find some for my room!

j.ayers

sigh

In friendship, Good Eats, wine on March 19, 2011 at 4:49 pm

A few weeks ago I was fortunate enough to spend time with my dear friend S.M.  We usually meet up weekly over coffee, in the gym, or even at a restaurant we’ve been dying to try. This particular week we met up at my place for a long night of girlfriend time.

It was nothing short of lovely.   We just enjoyed talking, laughing and even silence at times.

When was the last time you did this with a friend? Think of someone you haven’t spent time with in awhile, call them up, chill a bottle of wine, put on your leggings and just be.