{feature} : m.j. redefined.

I absolutely love to tell a story…

I have identified myself as a writer for quite a while –
it is one thing I just love. 
I was extremely lucky and got to tap into this passion of mine at a very young age – 
while working at my hometown newspaper in high school. 
The editor allowed me to not only write my own column – but also to write news stories & features.  One of the things I loved more than anything was getting the chance to sit down with a person, listen to their story, and express that in their behalf through my writing.

I used to do this all the time with my blog – 
I was very specific in how I shared another person's story – choosing only people that I knew personally, that I believed in & felt a connection to – not just other fashion bloggers or people that would maybe help gain exposure for my blog or make me look better.  With this story – I am tapping back into that. 
I am sharing another small town girl’s story… a dear friend of mine – who I am beyond proud to watch succeed in her personal and professional life.

People – meet : Morgan Jessup.

Morgan and I grew up together 
in the tiny town of DeWitt, Arkansas.

We had a love/hate relationship – like most dumb girls do when they all compete with one another in a small town. 
Morgan is loud, opinionated and passionate – exactly like me. 
We butted heads at times. We’ve had a share of fights and disagreements throughout the years … and just like any friend you “grew up with” – we are VERY different people as adults than we were growing up.  Morgan has a real story of her own – a personal journey that I would never share for her – but that I will testify  has been difficult, trying and refining. This girl has gone through things at the age of 29 – that many of us pray we never experience.


Morgan is a warrior. A fighter. She is a faithful believer – and a person who strives to do what she can while she is able to do so. In these facts alone – she has become a younger friend that I respect and admire. I love her hunger. I adore her drive & fearlessness. 
And I love that I get to share a little of her story with you today. 

Morgan started off as a personal stylist in Little Rock,AR while working at a local clothing boutique. 
She quickly began to connect with clients and adored the relationships she was building. She also kept hearing many of the same complaints coming out of clients and shoppers mouths : 
“I don’t have anything to wear”, “I wish someone could pick out my outfits”, and “I need help with my wardrobe”
These are complaints that women have on a daily basis – in general – and in Arkansas it gets even a little trickier…because many do not have celebrity type salaries to hire a stylist … much less even dream of finding someone affordable to help them sort out what they ALREADY HAVE in their closets, build outfit ideas from an outside perspective, and assist them in purchasing the minimum amount of items to fill in the gaps of their wardrobe. 

 Morgan saw this need – and she went with it.

Out of this idea & realization – M.J. Redefined was born.

This is a closet consultation/wardrobe styling service – that is affordable, personal, and in my words only…f’ing LEGIT.
 This idea is so practical it’s almost a no-brainer. 
Actually – it’s totally a no-brainer.

I work in fashion every day in NYC – and I still want Morgan to dig through my closet and accessories, build me a portfolio of outfit options for any occasion, 
& tell me the basics I should focus spending my money on.

I’ll let the interview tell you the rest of her story…  
*My bad on the long ramble. I just love my friends? 
{or i just have zero clue on how to "make a long story short".}   

: q & a : 

Tell us your biz story...what, why, how, blah blah blah? 

"I started personal styling while working in a cute little boutique in Little Rock Arkansas. After styling on the side for almost a full year I decided to make a go of it and try it out full time. Word of mouth spread and I have been fortunate to work with ladies all over the great state of Arkansas as well as Tennessee. After 2 full years of styling/personal consulting/personal shopping -  I decided it was time to take MJ.Redefined to the next level. I wanted to incorporate more of the “shopping” side of my business. I know what I like and I know what looks good on other people so I figured -  why not just start an online business as well?! Now my clients have the option to shop directly from MJ.Redefined. I now carry some fabulous, contemporary lines that can be incorporated into any wardrobe to take it up that extra notch. Whether a client wants a whole new look or she just wants to know how to wear what she already has in her closet MJ.Redefined's goal is to help clients look and feel their very best. 

Everyone has their own style, some just need a little help defining it."

Describe your personal style.

"My personal style is all over the place. I love the contemporary look mixed with a little bohemian. I feel my best in an oversized sweater, skinny jeans or leggings and a high pair of boots -  accessorized to the max.  I love a great layered look as well as mismatched patterns and colors. Style is so much fun because you can recreate yourself everyday! One of the best things I hear from clients is “I would have never put that together but it looks so good”! I get such a joy out of blowing clients minds with all the possibilities they have in their closets and don’t even know it!"

What are the main questions/complaints you hear from 
clients about their wardrobe or closets?

"The number one thing I hear is “ I don’t have anything for you to work with”. That has never been the case and is in fact the reason I do have a job! Women think they have nothing in their wardrobes until I get in there closet and prove them wrong. I have to admit it is a fun “I told you so” moment when they see the finished product - a customized portfolio. A lot of women tell me that they want to lose weight before they schedule a consultation. This breaks my heart because it doesn’t matter what size you are - every person deserves to look and feel their very best every single day. We can make you look amazing at any and every size. One thing I would like to get across to clients is that I am not in the business of judging. I am in the business of helping."

How do you determine someone else's style & 
maximize that to make them look and feel their best?

"Determining a client’s style is pretty easy for me. I can tell really quickly if they are conservative, trendy, contemporary or if they are the classic “I wear it how I saw it in the store” type of girl.  Determining personal style and getting a feel of what it is they are wanting out of the consultation are two crucial factors in creating a client’s portfolio. I always try and encourage my client’s to get out of “their box”. Whether that be a lot or a little is completely up to them but I always give them options that they never considered before. Of course it is never the same options for everyone. Every girl’s “box” is different. I have been so blessed to work with ladies who have had open minds and have been willing to trust my suggestions and in doing so they begin to create their own style."

Top 3 MUST HAVE pieces every woman should own?

* A great fitting pair of skinny jeans.

* An over-sized bold colored cardigan.
* An amazing pair of boots.

Tell us 3 random things about you outside of the fashion world...

* Sometimes I will bust out a random head stand when I’m bored.

* My go to song to play on the piano is Michael Jackson’s Will You Be There (from the Free Willy soundtrack.
* I can fix ANYTHING with Duct Tape and I mean ANYTHING.

* * * 

fashion. duct tape. spontaneous head stands...

i can get down with that.

hope you enjoyed the chit chat. 

i'm about to stare into my closet & 
get pissed that i don't have Morgan here to 
pick me out a friday outfit. 

{ find this little lady's website : HERE } 


{rambling} : breakup friends.

{Random rambling}

I secretly despise the phrase 
“something good comes out of every situation”.

Maybe it’s because I’m strange and think we need the 
“bad" in situations more than the good at times. 
(I think I just got confused in my own thought. 
bear with me here.)

I particularly cannot stand it when people say these overly positive words just after you have been dumped 
find out your boyfriend is a cheating A-hole.

Because in that moment -  
nothing good could possiblyyyyy come out
of that gut-wrenching heartache.

Well guess what – I have been working on “choosing my thoughts” lately and attempting to be more positive – 
so I made a list of the good things that actually do come out of the ending of a relationship.
(I’ll spare you the entire list – bc it’s absolutely ridiculous)

At the very top of that list is : new friends.

I was randomly thinking the other day that A LOT of my very closest friends at this point in my life are a result of a past relationship ...or developed out of a really difficult situation.

These are amazing, lifelong friends – ones that I would have never stumbled upon without the douche bags of my past.

I love getting asked the question “now how did you 2 meet?”
And answering “oh I got custody of this one 2 years ago.”
(and typically not bothering to explain further
because I like to be mysterious)

This is just my random thought for today.
Since it was a positive one – I thought it was best to share
while my heart was flowing with half-way decent vibes.

Bottom line :
friends are better than douche bags.

so yeah - thank you ex-boyfriends. 
i appreciate you for ONE thing. 

{ life } : via instagram : july

just some recent shenanigans.

{ journal } : be nice.

we just should.   

{trend} : t-strappin'.

i'm having a summer love for the whole
 t-strap sandal/shoe look.

i have no clue why.
they look awesome on most people.
but i have serious cankles.
so ... this style is not flattering on my 
terrible legs whatsoever. 

i also hate wearing sandals in nyc, period. 
because my feet end up looking like i walked through wal*mart barefoot after 2 minutes out on the street.

anyway. i still love these. 
maybe i'll just love them from afar. 

{images via urban outfitters blog // here 
brands  :  philadelphia, swedish hasbeens, seychelles. 

{life} : live it.


{birthday} : i am 30.

i turned 30 years of age on friday.
it feels very strange. 
i feel a little conflicted in my view on 
completing an entire decade of my life.

actually - i take that back.
i'm not actually conflicted.
i just feel like i'm supposed to be?

thirty seems to be one of those birthdays that is supposed to leave you in drunken tears or 
high-five'ing yourself victoriously. 
i don't necessarily feel either way.
i am not upset. 
but i'm not super excited.
the only word to describe how i feel is maybe...content? 

my life has been a living proof example that -
you can make those 5 & 10 year plans for yourself...
but it may just not happen.
life may fall apart.
it also may fall right back together. 

if i was asked 10 years ago :
"where will you be at 30?"
i would've answered confidently that i'd probably 
be married, have a kid or 2, and maybe even a garden.
{i think i need a garden actually}

my twenties have been less than ideal.
the past years have actually been a mixture of 
triumph, heartbreak, brokeness, refinement, clarity, & growth.
i think that might sum up "the twenties" in general...
it is such a transitional time in life. 
it's a time that a person is learning truths about who they are & who they want to be...
and it is a fun and TOUGH RIDE. 

i would never describe myself as mature right now.
i'm pretty sure no one would.
it's actually awkward for me to think of myself as a true "adult" 
at times. 
because i feel like i have so much more growing to do.

but i've learned very slowly over time - 
that we are never "finished" people.
we are always evolving & changing. 
i may never feel like an adult.
and that's okay.

another weird realization i've come to lately is that - 
i actually HAVE quietly and slowly grown into an "adult".
it doesn't just happen.
and most don't realize the process along the way.
but - through all the sappy reflection i've done -
while trying to determine if i'm actually in the midst of a 
quarter life crisis...
i've realized that i am SO DIFFERENT 
than i was 10 or even 5
years ago. 
my heart, mind and view of the world has drastically changed.
i have evolved and grown into a more "adult version" of myself -
whether i tried to or not. 

Some things i've learned :

* i've realized that i don't want 
to "arrive" or "know everything".
i want to stay curious and young at heart - 
and i'm completely okay with admitting 
i don't have very much figured out. 

* i've realized that i truly know 
what i am good at and what i am terrible at. 
and i've realized that i'm not insecure about those weak spots within me anymore.

* i've realized that it's okay if everyone doesn't like me. 
or approve of my decisions. 
because ...i've realized that i totally trust my own convictions. 
i want to be me and follow my heart.
and i really don't care how others view that. 

* i've realized the importance of loving over judging.  
this is one i am personally so happy i have truly learned. 
i used to be narrow-minded and naive. 
but as i've grown to see my own imperfections - 
i have come to know 100% 
that it is better to love others over judging them. 
all day. everyday. 

I feel like I've settled a lot - 
maybe not in my lifestyle -
but definitely within myself. 
i am okay with the spot i am in.
i am excited about the journey ahead - 
just as much as i am thankful for the past.
all of these things work together to shape us overall.

So yeah...I AM THIRTY.
so what?!? 

Below are some photo's from my birthday weekend. 
it was amazing - i am loved & a lucky girl. 

i have a feeling that this is only 
the beginning of posts like this. 
i hope future entries will be less serious - 
and more about the fun life i get to live. 
i also hope a future post is about how i finally got botox. 

"go up on your hill and see what you find there. 
with grace in your heart and a flower in your hair."
mumford & sons