Yearly Archives :

2017

My journey into photography + our fall family photos

My journey into photography + our fall family photos 150 150 Jenn Pennell

Hello Love!

Almost 5 years ago I decided that a point & shoot camera just wasn’t working for taking the photos I wanted to take of my babies. I would see these photos on Facebook and Pinterest with that dreamy, blurry background and I would long for beautiful photos like that. I owned the gift shop at the time and couldn’t afford to have professional photos taken all the time of them so I took the plunge.  I went on eBay and bought an older model Canon DSL camera and the cheapest 50mm 1.8/f lens I could find and self-taught myself how to take photos.  I watched countless hours of YouTube videos and practiced everyday on my babes.  It soon became a passion of mine and I opened my photography business 1 1/2 years later.  Working full-time, having three kids, and then doing sessions put a lot of stress on my family so I had to cut back on that business, never losing my love for it.
Who would have thought knowing this trade would lead me to having my own fashion blog, because without it, I would have never been able to keep it up.  With a little help from my family and a great amount of support from my husband, it has turned into something great that has benefitted us all; it has lead me also to my new career as a VA for 3 different bloggers.  Knowing the system has given me this amazing new job where I help these other bloggers with their daily activities and allows me to work from home, where I am always available to do everything with my children, from attending field trips to being the first to hear about their school day when I pick them up.
I am so, so thankful that I got on eBay that day, because if not, I wouldn’t be here today!

The camera set in the photos belong to my daughter, RJ, who snaps all my photos for Shaw Avenue!  I currently use a Canon 6D + Canon 50mm f/1.4 & 85mm f/1.8 lenses for all my blog photos.

Shirt – TJ Maxx // Jeans – Gap // Camera – Canon 60D // Lens – Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 // Camera Strap – Marleylilly c/o // Camera bag – Lily Jade c/o // Floral scarf – DaisyFayeDesigns c/o
Thanks Marleylilly for sponsoring this post!

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Snow days + monograms

Snow days + monograms 150 150 Jenn Pennell
Hello Love!
Being the weather geek that I am, when I saw a snowflake icon pop up on my weather app earlier this week I was GLUED to my tv to see if we were going to get a snow day or two.  Coming from working in the school system, we take those little icons VERY seriously.  Our local weatherman, whom I LOVE, was not mentioning it but The Weather Channel was giving us hope. Even yesterday morning our local news was really brushing it off, saying it would stay in Georgia and wouldn’t be a problem in Tennessee.  My son spent all morning saying, “We’re going to get out!  We’re going to get out!”.  I was still very skeptical and told him to forget about it because it wasn’t going to happen!  My youngest child had a field trip and I was on my way to meet her class for lunch when the text came over…
EARLY DISMISSAL.
Crap.
Of course I was at the bare minimum in the pantry so I ran to Publix, bought all the junk food, and ran to get kiddos.
Not only were we going to get to play in snow and eat hot chocolate but a beautiful box of goodies from Shari’s Berries was on the front porch when we got home!
Let’s just say the kiddos (and the Hotness) were in heaven!
Thanks to Shari’s Berries for sponsoring this post!

Outfit diets:
Vest –  Amy Anne Apparel c/o // Sweater – JCrew (similar here) // Chambray top – JCrew (similar here) // Jeans – Levi’s 710 super skinny // Boots – Frye “Melissa” // Necklace – Marleylilly c/o

Shop small business and make a huge difference!

Shop small business and make a huge difference! 150 150 Jenn Pennell
Thank you PayPal for sponsoring this post. Shop small merchants with PayPal to make your holiday shopping a breeze.

 Hello Love!
It’s really hard to believe that this little blog has been around almost 3 years already.  Have I ever told you that before I started this I was a small business owner?  I don’t think I’ve really ever talked about it but I owned a little gift shop in my hometown.  Retail has always been in my blood and I knew that I was going to make a career out of it.  My lifelong goal was to be the owner of a Hallmark store and my parents actually own one now!  Unfortunately, it’s a 45 minute drive from my house so that’s why I don’t work there now. I owned my little shop for almost 8 years and it’s pretty much where my babies grew up!  My son was about 8 months old when we opened, I got pregnant with our middle a month after that, and the little came a few years later. It was a wonderful little shop but was just too hard to run and manage all that our little family needed, so I sold it in early 2015.

 Owning a small business isn’t for the faint of heart. Whether it’s clothing, food, or even running a blogging business, you’re in it to win it and it isn’t always a walk in the park.  It takes a lot of time, patience, and money to keep it afloat so that’s why I have a H U G E heart for my fellow entrepreneurs. Whenever I’m buying new things or reaching out to companies to promote here at Shaw Avenue, you’ve probably noticed that most are shops just like this! Choosing to shop at a small/local business gives you more options to buy for your loved ones this time of year and is so so great for supporting your local community.
When finding content to post here on the blog, I’m always searching for great, unique items at great prices that anyone can shop.  It’s not easy to get out and shop with three kiddos so being able to shop from home is also a huge plus.  One online company that I LOVE is Pink Blush! I had found out about them through another blogger’s website but I had assumed it was just a maternity website. I’m so glad I checked it out anyways because they have the cutest stuff! I first found the little gray sweater shown in the pictures below but when I stumbled upon the light pink booties the clouds parted and the Angels sang!  Aren’t they AMAZING?!  I cannot get enough of them.

My favorite part of the whole process?
They take PayPal.

I’ve been to many a site to buy things and have left after realizing they don’t take PayPal as a form of payment. I know that I can make secure purchases when I see that yellow PayPal clicker in the checkout page.  Are you the same way?  Not only can you make secure purchases but did you know that PayPal offers Return Shipping On Us (up to $30 in return shipping costs per order and 12 orders per calendar year), offers digital gift cards, and, my favorite, offers One Touch, where you can pay for your items without having to enter credit card or billing information.  I can purchase all my favorite things at a click of a button!

Shirt – Pink Blush // Jeans – Levi’s // Booties – Pink Blush // Purse – Rebecca Minkoff // Scarf – Daisy Faye Designs

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Favorite Chambray Dress

Favorite Chambray Dress 150 150 Jenn Pennell
Hello Love!
I love nothing more than a denim dress.  They’re so versatile and I love that I can wear them with anything in my closet.  You can add tights or a sweater to give it different looks and they look good with all shoes, from dressing it up with heels or wedges to dressing them down with a cute pair of sneakers or converse.  
When my girls at Rysa Ruth Designs asked to team up with me again you know I was game!  I have two other dresses, a seersucker and a black & white dress, and no one makes dresses like Wanda & Rysa! They’re perfection!
Dress – RysaRuthDesigns c/o // Boots – Frye Melissa // Handbag – Louis Vuitton Speedy 25 // Raincoat – Charles River Apparel c/o // Watch – JORD c/o

She said “I think I’ll go to Boston.”

She said “I think I’ll go to Boston.” 150 150 Jenn Pennell
Hello Love!
A few weeks go my husband and I were lucky enough to cross one of our biggies off our bucket list: visiting Boston.
As long-time Red Sox fans, we couldn’t have been more excited to learn that I had won a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Boston, courtesy of Charles River Apparel!  Thanks to all my friends and their support of my little blog, they engaged TO THE MAX on my giveaway I hosted along with CRA and I was the winner!  We booked the trip a few weeks later and it was AMAZING! 
My little history-loving heart was full the entire time. From seeing the Boston Commons to watching the Red Sox take on (the now World Series winner) Houston Astros to taking a boat ride on the Charles River, I couldn’t get enough.
We met the owner and wonderful employees at Charles River while we were there and got to take a tour of the plant! I got to see new prototypes, talk one-on-one with the designer and talked all things monogramming with them!  Seriously, seeing how they work was so much fun!
Have you ever been to Boston? It’s been weeks and I still can’t get enough of it!
💚 Sending out a H U G E thanks to Charles River Apparel for taking us on this trip of a lifetime and sponsoring this post! Love you guys!!💚
Monogrammed duffle bag – c/o Marleylilly // Green rain jacket – c/o Charles River Apparel (on sale now at Marleylilly) // Monogrammed weathered pullover – c/o Marleylilly // Gray striped sweater – c/o Duffield Lane

I’m a top-notch antique picker

I’m a top-notch antique picker 150 150 Jenn Pennell
 We girls love our Fiestaware!
Hello Love!
There’s nothing like a good trip to the antique store to make me want to redecorate my entire house! Who’s with me?! 🙋🏻
My house has always had a country-look to it so adding new pieces here and there give me the farmhouse look that is so “in” right now. Sundays are our days for visiting our favorite antique mall in East Ridge, TN and we always find the.best.stuff. there. Our favorite, Greenbriar and Redbriar Antiques has everything to make my southern heart swoon.  From the best painted furniture to local artist Ben Hampton prints to Longaberger baskets, we always find so much goodness!  We are always on the hunt for blue mason jars, vintage Lilly Pulitzer dresses (like the pink one seen on little bit above), Fiesta dishes (we scored a 15 piece set for $25 a few weeks ago!), and all the blue Pyrex we can find!  My mom and I have always been lovers of the flea markets and antique stores and G & R Antiques is by far our favorite! Are you an antique lover?
Shirt – Rulon Reed // Shorts – Target // Sandals – Jack Rogers // Purse – Kate Spade // Baskets – Longaberger // 

World’s best + easiest peanut butter cookies

World’s best + easiest peanut butter cookies 150 150 Jenn Pennell
Hello Love!
Now that I’m a WAHM I’m on the hunt for easy, quick recipes to make for my little family. I’ve been asking friends & family to send me their best recipes and I’ve spent a lot of time on Pinterest looking for new ones.
A woman gave my mom a recipe for amazingly delicious + E A S Y peanut butter cookies and I make all the time.  I can’t believe I haven’t shared these with you yet!
3 ingredients + 10 minutes = H E A V E N
All you need is:
1 cup sugar
1 cup peanut butter (chunky or creamy, whatever you prefer)
1 egg
THAT’S IT! 
Mix them all together, {barely} roll them into a ball, and bake at 350 for 10 minutes.
They are the best cookies EVER.
They also have no flour so does that make them gluten free?  I’m not sure.
If you have any great recipes you could share please leave them in the comments below or “friend” me on Pinterest here!

Donuts + Pink Walls

Donuts + Pink Walls 150 150 Jenn Pennell
Hello Love!
This week is bittersweet because my babies go back to school on Friday.
Wait, what?! School’s back in session already?  YES!  I cannot believe this summer is already gone.  I feel like these last few weeks have been so busy that it’s just slipped by us.  We’ve had football practice almost every morning from 7-9 am, swim lessons, baseball lessons, baseball tryouts, dance…it’s been pretty jammed packed!
While the Bubs was at football practice one morning, the girls and I ventured to our local Dunkin’ Donuts to grab some of our favorite donuts and lots of coffee for the Momma.  During our drive back we found this awesome pink wall on our Baskin Robbins!  We had to pull over and snap a few photos because you have to take photos in front of a pink wall, amiright?!
I wanted to share a little with you about a new company I recently discovered called Agnes & Dora.  I’m all about clothes that are easy to wear, not so trendy to where you only get one season out of them, and are at a price point that anyone can afford them.  The company was started by a mom out of her garage and I love to hear stories of small businesses that start like that!  I was contacted by local team, Agnes & Dora by Flucy & Lucy and we teamed up to show you my favorite piece from their collection, the frill sleeve top! The fabric is so incredibly soft and I love how versatile this piece is!  I can’t wait till cooler weather when I can pair it with my favorite jeans and olive army vest! Be sure to check them out and shop their dresses, leggings, tops, skirts, and cover-ups!
Shirt – Agnes & Dora by Flucy & Lucy c/o //  Pants – JCrew // Shoes – Gizze Handmade c/o // Scarf – Daisy Faye Designs c/o // Watch – JORD watches c/o

Tips from a shoe addict

Tips from a shoe addict 150 150 Jenn Pennell
Hello Love!
Did you know that if you wear a size 7 in women’s shoes, you can wear a 5 in girls? 
I know, RIGHT?!
I scored these adorable Cat & Jack sandals for only $5.98 the other day at Target in the clearance section!  Our clearance sections are always a hit or miss, especially in the kids department.  My girls LOVE Target shoes but we always have a hard time finding them in their sizes.  I didn’t even think to try a 5 on myself to see if they fit!  They usually have very cute colors and styles for girls so I’m glad I can take full advantage of it now!  They had a lot in size 5 to choose from too!  
So 7 women = 5 girls
6 women = 4 girls
5 women = 3 girls
Let me know if you’ll be able to use this awesome tip and if you score any great deals yourself!

Shirt – Velvet Heart (similar here) // Jeans  – KanCan // Shoes – Cat & Jack (Target) // Sunnies – RayBan (similar here) // Tumbler – SWIG c/o

all about that modest swimwear

all about that modest swimwear 150 150 Jenn Pennell
Hello Love!
Before I had kids, I wouldn’t have dreamed of ever wearing a one-piece bathing suit. 
Nope. Yuck. Eww. 
My, how times have changed. 😂
My insecurities win every summer as I try to find the perfect suit to cover up all the parts of myself that I hate; the extra fluff around my waist, the fact that I have a terribly flat chest, all those things that most women struggle with this time of year.  
This year, I decided that I just don’t care…somewhat.

First up is this amazing bikini & swim romper set from Doliray Swimwear c/o.

My sweet IG friend, Karli over at everyday_ellis (whom I love because she’s all about modesty), posted about an amazing swim set and I knew I had to have one.  I’ve worn this set a lot and have received more compliments on it than any other swimsuit I’ve ever had.
Romper // Bikini bra top // High-waisted bottom

The second awesome suit I got was this awesome two-piece from Beverly Swim c/o.
It’s the perfect match for comfort and cute!  I love that there’s a little bit of skin in the middle but it keeps that muffin top in check. 😉✅ There’s a lot of great padding in the top to help us flat-chested girls look like we got a little sumthin’ sumthin’ up there!
She had so many great suits that it was hard to choose one.  I fell in love with this geometric floral print but these are some of my other favorites!
Last but not least is my good ol’ one-piece.
I found this LaBlanca number at TJMaxx and it’s pretty much perfect.  Paired here with my LuLaRoe Bianka from my dear friend Lisa Rossiter, it’s perfect for walking the shore collecting seashells.
Suit – LaBlanca // Kimono – LuLaRoe from Lisa Rossiter // Sunnies – Leather & Wood Co. c/o