5 Year Anniversary

5.22.2015

Today is my 5th wedding anniversary with my husband, Alex! We were engaged in December of 2009 and married 5 months later.  We had both graduated college 1 week prior, and were married at the beautiful ACU chapel in Abilene. We were best friends before we dated, and best friends to this day. We've learned a lot about each other over the past 5 years...1.) I'm OCD 2.) Alex doesn't know how to put anything away, BUT we love each other more every day. Last year I did a recap of our past 4 years together, and I really enjoyed looking back on the things we've done together as husband and wife. So, I'm going to continue that tradition on the blog today!



Year 1 
  • Married 1 week after we graduated college
  • Vacationed in Playa Del Carmen for our honeymoon
  • Moved in to a small university house so I could pursue my MBA
  • Alex worked in banking, I worked at a non-profit
  • Enjoyed hanging out with our college friends who stuck around 
  • Started this blog because I was bored and needed a creative outlet
Year 2 
  • Made one of the biggest decisions we've had to make; Where to move after college? We applied in Austin and San Antonio, and decided that which ever city offered Alex the first job we would move there.  Thank you Austin for choosing us!
  • Alex moved to Austin, and I stayed behind in Abilene to finish up my degree. Three months of living apart was not fun.
  • Both found our dream jobs while at a liquor store, odd but a very true story
  • Vacationed in NYC and Saratoga Springs in the summer
  • Became pregnant!
  • Vacationed in Las Vegas to celebrate Alex's new job at Apple
Year 3
  • Welcomed our son, Turner Jack, in to the world
  • Took a leap of faith and quit my marketing job
  • Saved for our future home and to pay off student loan debt
  • Learned how to sleep less and love so much more
  • Vacationed in Port Aransas with family
Year 4
  • Bought our first home
  • You got arrested accidentally and it was one of the best days of your life
  • Worked on project after project making our house in to the perfect place for family and friends
  • Had Turner dedicated in the church we attended before we bought our house.  Started the search for a new church to call home.
  • Grew more together as parents and best friends than ever before
Year 5
  • Became DEBT FREE!
  • Vacationed kid less in California for a week
  • Renovated our Master Bathroom
  • Found a church we feel love
  • Didn't go on enough dates, but had some great ones thanks to friends willing to babysit
  • Made the decision to host a foreign exchange student
  • Created an amazing friendship with our neighbors, and enjoyed many game nights and parties together
  • Supported and encouraged each other through job changes 
  • Learned how to juggle our crazy schedules while raising a toddler (you are a great teammate)
Thank you Alex for being a patient, loving and supportive husband. Ja kocham cie. We've both taken the day off to celebrate...whoo hoo! First stop, sitting in line for 3 hours to eat at Franklin BBQ.



Summer Bucket List - 2015

5.20.2015

I absolutely love reading my favorite blogger's summer bucket lists (Jen & Kelsey), so I thought I would write out my own this year. Writing out a list also gives me motivation to try new things, so here it goes...


1. Hike/swim McKinney Falls
2. Walk the Lady Bird Lake Boardwalk
3. Cool off with a Snow Cone
4. Kayak or Paddle board Lady Bird Lake
5. Grab a pie from Royers Pie Haven
6. Gelato from Dolce Neve (Supposedly Austin's Best!)
7. Have a picnic at the Round Rock Splash Pad
8. Play at the Brushy Creek Lake Splash Pad
9. Date night out dancing
10. Neighborhood BBQ
11. Swim lessons for Turner
12. Attend Free Yoga on the Lawn at the Domain (free Monday & Wednesday nights)
13. Spend the day at Hawaiian Falls water park
14. Organize a Happy Hour for North Austin (Round Rock/Georgetown/Cedar Park/Pflugerville) bloggers
15. Paint master bedroom furniture
16. Build a chalkboard menu
17. Redecorate guest bedroom in preparation for host daughter
18. Vacation in Maui, Hawaii sans toddler (surf, hike, lay on the beach, snorkel)
19. Attend the Haven Conference (DIY blogger conference)
20. Attend Round Rock's free Yoga on the Plaza
21.  Swim at Round Rock's Rock'N River Family Aquatic Center
22. Take Turner to his first movie at the Dollar Theatre
23. Swim with my niece's in their new pool
24. Girls night out
25. Spend a few hours relaxing at SpaSocial

Let's see if I can mark all of these off of my list in a few months. What's on your summer bucket list!?

#JESSECOULTER - No. 10

5.17.2015

Have you ever "liked" a blogger's Instagram photo, and then received an email with the item details and it was insanely expensive! I don't know why I follow bloggers who have MUCH bigger budgets than I, maybe for inspiration?  After a few instances of being extremely pissed off that bloggers would send me to a dress that costs $600, I decided I should start linking my outfits to show you affordable yet fashionable options.  So from now check out the bottom of my style posts to find links to either the exact item or a similar option (many of my items are OLD). If you follow me on Instagram, sign up HERE and every time you "like" my post, you will get an email with the links to my outfit pieces!

Tee: Gap. Shorts: DIY Thrifted Levi's (Tutorial HERE). Sandals: Old Navy Sunglasses: Forever 21
Jacket: Jcrew Factory. Tee: Forever 21. Pants/Flats: Gap.
Tee/Jeans: Gap. Sandals: Birkenstocks. Sunglasses: PacSun
Dress: Forever 21. Shoes: Creature's Boutique
Jacket: Jcrew Factory. Jeans: Old Navy (Rockstar Skinnies). Rain boots: Walmart. Tee: NY Airport.

How To Start A Blog

5.14.2015

Are you sitting there wanting to start a blog, but don't know how to get started. If you have the desire to start one...DO IT! If you have the desire now, you will likely have the desire 5 or 10 years down the road, and then you'll just be kicking yourself that you didn't start sooner. I love reading other people's blogs, and I think more people should have one!

Here are 5 easy steps to get you started!

5 Easy Steps to Start a Blog - Jesse Coulter

1. Choose your message

First off, decide what you want to write about. My advice would be to write down all of the things in your life that bring you joy. Then write down what you are passionate about (maybe that list is similar to the first). Whether that be food, parenting, religion, dating, budgeting, fashion, writing, traveling, woodworking, exercising, quilting or whatever....just write it all down and then decide what you want your blog to focus on.

My blog originally started as a fashion blog, but over the past 4 years it has transitioned in to a lifestyle blog. Everything I write about I'm passionate about. I have a message that I want my readers to hear. For example my latest post about Kerbey Lane's newest location in Round rock talks about their amazing pancakes and kids playscape. It may not be a profound blog post, but I'm a mom and I want other moms in my area to know about it.

2. Decide where to host your blog

If you don't know what that means, it's basically the site that will store your blog. Some sites you have to pay a monthly or yearly fee, and some are free. Wordpress and Blogger are free (I use blogger). Squarespace has a fee, but it is very user friendly.

3. Choose a blog name

Brainstorm blog names. My advice would be to keep it simple. Don't make your blog name super specific, because overtime your blog's topic will likely change.  When I first started blogging, I was set on the title of "9-5 Style" or something stupid like that. I was working in an office at the time where I had to dress professional everyday, and I was pursuing my MBA. I was focused on fashion in the workplace. Thankfully that blog title was taken, and I could not come up with anything else. So, the only thing I could think of was my name. I'm SO glad I chose that as my blog title, because it leaves me free to talk about WHATEVER I want.

After 4 years of blogging, I finally purchased my own domain name. Jessecoulter.com was taken, so Jessecoulter.net was the next best thing. I used GoDaddy, and it cost me $10 per year. Prior to that I didn't pay a cent for blogging. When I was first started blogging, I thought it was stupid to invest any money in to my blog since it was a hobby and I didn't take it too serious. My advice would be to go ahead and buy your domain name, because you never know how successful your blog will be one day. Having a .com or .net makes your blog look very professional.

4. Buy a template

You're probably thinking, "How do I design a blog? Where do I get a logo? I have no graphic design experience!" Don't worry....Etsy is here to save the day! This was my most stressful step in starting a blog. Back in the day, I had my good friend Casey create my logo (which is still my logo by the way!), and then I tried to learn as much about HTML as possible to create a semi-good looking blog. It sucked.

I discovered blog templates on Etsy a year ago and my graphic design problems were solved. $15-25 for a simple and functioning blog template (including a logo) was just what I was looking for. Now, you need to know that there are likely other blogs out there with the same template, but I was ok with that.  There are wonderful graphic designers out there that can create a beautiful custom blog for you, but it can be a very expensive process. If you have the extra $, go for it! Once you purchase your template all you have to do is insert the link in to your blog HTML code. You might have to google a few things to figure this out, but most of the time the designer will have detailed instructions on how to insert the template in to your blog.

5. Start writing!

Brainstorm and write down topics you want to post about. I like to keep a list on my phone of blog topics. I'll get inspiration or random thoughts through out the day that will inspire a blog post, and if I don't write it down I usually forget about it. Start writing your drafts! It may take a while for you to push "Publish", but that's ok!

Don't feel bad if your Mom is your only reader. Don't let feeling like no one will read your blog or no one will care, keep you from blogging. Let your desire motivate you, whether  that be for a creative outlet or to tell a story/start a movement that you feel will make a positive impact on the world.


I hope these 5 steps help you on your blogging journey! If you have any questions please feel free to reach out to me. 


Kerbey Lane's Newest Round Rock Location

5.13.2015

The opening of Kerbey Lane's newest location in Round Rock fell perfectly on Mother's Day this past weekend. Alex, Turner and I headed there for brunch, and we were surprised by the huge location. I'm so excited to have a 24 hour diner close by!




If you know me, you know I love breakfast food (specifically pancakes and french toast)! We had buttermilk pancakes, blueberry pancakes, eggs, bacon, sausage, orange juice and an omelette. Their menu is not limited to only breakfast food. They offer things such as chicken fried chicken, Tex Mex (mmm...queso), sandwiches, gourmet burgers, soups, salads and more. They also have a large variety of vegan and gluten free options.



Their kids menu is affordable and has lots of options for picky eaters. Kids eat FREE on Tuesdays!



One of my favorite parts of this location is the kid's playscape! Thank you Kerbey Lane for keeping the kiddos in mind.  The last thing I want to deal with while I'm hangry is a fussy kid that can't sit still while waiting for a table. 

Simple Closet Makeover

5.08.2015

A few weeks ago I decided to update my guest bedroom closet in preparation for my host daughter coming in just a few months. I was planning on completely renovating it, but Alex advised the shelves were perfectly fine and we should just keep it simple since we wanted a quick turn around.  All it took was a gallon of white paint (3 coats to be exact) to makeover this closet, and I also removed one of the shelves at the bottom to leave room for hanging longer clothes. Now on to the fun part of decorating it. I'll be frequenting Home Goods and Target looking out for storage and organization baskets/bins. Let me know if you see any cute ones that would look great in this closet!



I plan to do the same with our 2nd guest bedroom in the next few months, and then completely renovate my master bedroom which will take A LOT of work. I'm seeking inspiration from my favorite closet makeover to date.

#JesseCoulter - No. 9

5.07.2015

My favorite time of the year is here...shorts and sandal weather! My polka dot Loft shorts from last season are on rotation, and as you can see I'm mixing with my favorite color....gray.

If you are on the hunt for a pair of RayBan Aviators, yet can't fork over $150, check out Forever 21 or PacSun. I scored these for $7 from the PacSun outlet, and I love them!

Top: A&F. Shorts: Loft. Sandals: Gap. Sunglasses: PacSun
Dress: Old Navy. Shoes: BCBG via DSW Shoes. Necklace: Nordstrom Rack
Top: ASOS. Shorts: Loft. Panama Hat: Aerie ($20). Sandals: Old Navy.
Find more deals and style inspiration on my Instagram account here!

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