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Joys of Traveling Solo

I started my journey in solo traveling in 2017. It was my first trip to California and something I had never ventured into before. I was nervous, a little scared and also really excited. After having done one under my belt, I have since done a couple of others and will continue to do so.

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When I tell people that I will be traveling alone, I usually get met with the same expressions and same questions. I get a look of disbelief and awe. I get asked “Aren’t you scared? Won’t you be lonely? Isn’t that dangerous?” Or “I could never take a trip so far away from home all by myself.” Yes, sometimes I can get a little scared and it can be dangerous. Let’s face the reality, being a female solo traveler can have its disadvantages. You really have to watch your back and be aware of your surroundings. There are people in this world that do not have your best intentions at heart and being alone can be an easy target. I don’t venture out at night and I don’t put myself in situations that make me feel uncomfortable. Second, do I ever get lonely? Rarely. I am more focused on my destination and taking in all the sights around me. Sometimes I think about my loved ones who would appreciate the location but I do try and live in the moment.

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I believe that every woman should take at least one solo trip in her life. This is a wonderful chance at reflection and really getting to know yourself. There is such beauty in being alone in your own thoughts and presence. Some of my trips have brought out the most clarity and understanding to the matters of my own heart. I encourage you to at least try it, just have a well thought out plan and agenda before going all in.

Some advantages to solo traveling, is being on your own schedule. I am such a type A personality that I need to have a set schedule and itinerary. Deviating from my plan brings me anxiety. Since I am on my own, I don’t have to worry about being on someone else’s time or  stress out because they are running late, which puts me behind on my day. I choose the stops I want to make and the sights I want to see. If I want to take an hour taking photos somewhere, I certainly will! If I want to take in an exhibit or some other cheesy touristy pit stop, there is no one around that will turn that idea down. If there is food or drinks I am craving, I don’t have to ask if anyone wants the same, I’ll just indulge.

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Solo traveling is quite liberating, fun and a soul searching experience. It’s highly pampering and all about you!  Have you traveled alone before? How was your experience and where did you go?

Thanks so much for stopping by!

  • What I Wore:
  • Yellow Pleated Dress by Zara
  • Double G Belt by Gucci
  • White Floral Dress by The Show Box
  • Pink Polo Dress by Lacoste
  • Stan Smith Sneakers by Adidas

In a world full of pants, be a dress ~ Jules

Sneakers and Dresses

The sneakers with dresses trend started a few years back and has been hugely popular since. I’m typically a heels type of girl and wearing sneakers, unless at the gym, didn’t appeal to me. Needless to say, I’m behind on the trend but I’ve been fully embracing the look lately.

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While being in Korea, there is quite a lot of walking around. A good, comfortable pair of shoes is a must here. After a few times of venturing the city in heels, I decided to put them back in the closet for the time being. Due to the amount of traveling I’ve been doing, heels just don’t seem practical.

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Sneakers paired with dresses change up your outfit to effortless and easy. Your look becomes casual, comfortable and stylish. I can’t believe I waited so long to try this look! It now seems as if a whole new world has been opened up to me and I just can’t get enough. Who knew there were so many cute sneakers on the market? Obviously, I didn’t and I was the last one to get the memo. However, I’m happy that I’m wearing them now and will continue to do so in the warmer months.

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How do you feel about sneakers with dresses? Do you wear them often? Here are some ways I styled mine.

  • What I Wore:
  • Blue Midi Dress by Monologue
  • Pink/ White Adidas Stan Smith
  • Black Polo Dress by Lacoste
  • Black/ White Adidas Superstar
  • Pink T-shirt Dress by The Gap

In a world full of pants, be a dress ~Jules

My (Half) Birthday

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Today is my half Birthday and I think that is cause for a celebration! If you ask me how old I am today, I am probably going to lie. Not because I’m embarrassed of my age, but because, after a certain age, a woman likes to keep those things to herself. Half birthdays aren’t recognized anymore after the age of twelve or so. Up until that age, we were more than happy to tell everyone and we made sure we proudly include the half after the year. No one really has a party or anything like that but why can’t you you enjoy your special half year mark? I think we should celebrate it and I’ll do it wholeheartedly.

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There are limited things in life that we choose to celebrate. I choose to acknowledge the big and the small, it really does make life worthwhile. Life is too short, to only recognize monumental moments and achievements. I’m a big believer in loving yourself and doing the things that bring you happiness. Today, I’m going to treat myself to my favorite caramel iced coffee and eat all the macarons that my heart desires. It’s my day, my half birthday, my half birthday week and my half birthday month! Welcome to my party! I’m grateful and blessed to be alive to be able to enjoy this experience. This is my first year celebrating this special day and I’ve been anticipating this for 6 months. I plan to do make this day special every year and keep this tradition going. I’m glad I did it and I wish you would celebrate yours too!

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  • What I Wore:
  • Red Dress by Ralph Lauren
  • Black Ribbed Dress by Soul Way
  • Pink Cardigan/ Duster by Soul Way
  • Black/ White Polka Dot Dress by Old Navy

In a world full of pants, be a dress ~Jules

 

Featured

Harsh Criticism

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Recently, I went on a lunch date with an old friend of mine. We hadn’t seen each other in a while, so of course, there was quite a bit of catching up to do. I showed her my social media and I wasn’t expecting the response I received. She had put down most of my photos and didn’t like at least 75% of the dresses I wore. She mocked me for wearing longer styles  and said I looked like a missionary or a Mormon. (No offense at all to those who are, I’m only repeating what was said to show context of this conversation that took place.)  Ironically, some of my dresses are, in fact, from Mormon clothing sites. She asked me why I didn’t show more skin and why I chose to be so covered up.

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At first, I was taken a back, a little offended even. I knew it wasn’t coming from a bad place, she’s a brutally honest friend that speaks her mind and doesn’t hold back. We really do have different tastes.  However, it did sting a little. Was she right? Was she seeing something everyone else did and I was blind to it? After a while of pondering on it, I realized that while putting myself out there, I need to take the criticism whether it be good or bad. If there was a time to develop thick skin, this was it. I’m not always going to get positive reactions and it’s through the negatives that I can learn and do better. I’m not everyone’s cup of tea, some prefer coffee. Not everyone is going to love what you do or wear. It’s easy to hear the glowing compliments, but hard to listen to the negatives. What can I learn from this? How can I improve? Sometimes criticism just serves to build greater strength. If I think I’m on the right track and still feel passionate about the direction I’m headed, I’ll drown out that noise and keep going. Be your own cheerleader and your own biggest fan.

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Take the criticism, learn, grow and use it to become your best possible self. Sure, you’re not going to please everyone. I had to remind myself that this is what I like, and doing what I love is the most important thing. If you feel passionate about something, no one is going to be able put those flames out. Listening to the negatives that others have to say will only drag you down. It did drag me down, but only momentarily. I got back up and adjusted my crown, as all queens should do.

 

  • What I Wore:
  • Black Heart Tee by Target
  • Pink Ruffled Skirt by JW Style
  • White Eyelet Dress by Momento
  • Pink Polka Dot Dress by Tj Maxx

In a world full of pants, be a dress~ Jules

Featured

No Comparison

“I’m the only one of me…. baby, that’s the fun of me. You’re the only one of you… baby that’s the fun of you” Taylor Swift, Me.

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It’s hard not to compare ourselves to others, whether it be in real life or on social media. Scrolling through your feed, picture perfect lives and images flood our screens. Filter or no filter, the perfect hair, body, makeup, clothes or destinations of others can make our lives look bleak in comparison.

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I know that I’m guilty of playing the comparison game and I can’t possibly be the only one. Although I am a happy and confident girl, I can see one (or many) photos online that can make me feel less than adequate. I wonder if blogging or having a presence on social media can have that impact a little more. For example, I can feel great about a photo I’ve posted or an outfit I’m wearing, only to see a much better pic of someone else. Their page is filled with amazing photography or their outfits are stunning, with a wardrobe I can only dream of having. I start questioning if my photos are up to par, and I begin over analyzing every flaw I have.

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The thing is, we’re only human and we can’t help but to compare. It’s going to happen every once in a while, but it shouldn’t be something you should obsess over. Someone out there is going to have a better photos, higher skill set, better body, whatever it is, someone is going to do it better than you or me. We each have our own individual strengths and weaknesses. By not focusing on the weaknesses, building and enhancing our strengths is what makes us stand out as individuals. However, we all bring something worthwhile to the table and we are all so different and unique. That in itself is an amazing thing, how special we each are. We live in a big world, how boring it would be if we were all the same?

There is only one of me, there really is only one of you. When we realize that and embrace it, there is absolutely no comparison.

  • What I Wore:
  • Pink Ribbed Dress – Korean Fashion
  • Blue/White Gingham Dress by Old Navy
  • Pink Floral Dress – Korean Fashion

In a world full of pants, be a dress~ Jules

Featured

The Road To Happiness

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“The most important thing is to enjoy your life- to be happy, it’s all that matters.” Audrey Hepburn

Most people want to be happy and many just don’t know how to achieve it. I’ve spent many years being unhappy and the longer I was, it just never seemed possible to get out of the head space I was stuck in. Years ago, I wanted to quit something so badly. I was young, afraid and miserable. Someone told me to fake being happy and eventually I would actually really feel happy. This stayed with me for many years, but I didn’t follow through with the advice. Although I didn’t quit, I was still quite miserable.

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The faking bit can apply to many things, happiness, confidence… we all know the ‘fake it till you make it’ phrase. Even though I didn’t take the advice then, I’ve completely embraced it now. I mean, nothing else worked, why not give this a try?

Every day, we make choices. We choose to start our day with a cup of coffee, we choose to excercise and we choose our decisions that are going affect us. So why not choose to be happy?

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There are things in life that’s going to bring us down, even daily sometimes. Divorce, sickness, death and finances, sometimes these things are completely out of our control. I know that things happen for a reason and we may come to realize it later. However, there are things that’s happened in my life that makes me wonder if they had to happen at all? What was the learning experience or possible benefit from something so painful or negative? I may never understand but I do know that I’m alive today and that alone is something to be excited about. It’s not guaranteed but I’ve been blessed with another day.

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Instead of living day after day feeling miserable, it only serves as wasted time and energy. The biggest regret people have is what they should have done. Even I have those regrets as I reflect back on my own wasted time and energy, spent on the wrong people, places and things.

As much negative energy that we put in to being sad and miserable, the same could be said for putting in positive energy. I’ve learned, it doesn’t happen overnight and it’s most definately a choice, even if you have to start by faking it. It’s a new mindset and you’ve got to be consistent with it.

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Here are some ways to find your inner happy place. Begin by loving yourself first. Treat yourself, spoil yourself, indulge yourself, even if there is no one out there that will, do it for you. You are with you 24/7, and you cannot escape yourself, it’s impossible. Do things you love to do. Go for walks, enjoy the sunset, read your favorite books, paint, write, travel, and pet your dog. There’s plenty for you to do and most don’t cost anything. If you stop doing the things that you love, you start feeling unhappy.

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Motion is emotion. Keep on moving, you’re not going to find what you’re looking for in front of the tv, or sitting on your porch watching the world go by. Make your own happiness, just keep it in motion. Being sedentary is stale and that’s what your life will reflect.

My road to happiness was a long one. Start with loving you first and surrounding yourself with what you love. Fake it, put a smile on your face or laugh, even if you don’t want to. Eventually, it won’t be a fake smile, you’re literally going to feel that happy bursting inside of you. When you’ve reached a happiness point in your life, share it with others. Make yourself happy first, that’s where it begins. It’s not selfish, it’s your life and you only have one chance at it. Make it your best life.

Thanks so much for stopping by and I wish you all the happiness in the world. It’s out there, you just have to choose it.

  • What I Wore:
  • White Top by H&M
  • White Tulle Skirt by Migliore
  • Black/ White Maxi Dress by Joinus
  • Blue Top by H&M
  • Blue Tulle Skirt by Migliore

In a world full of pants, be a dress ~Jules

 

My Seoul Secret

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I’ve been keeping a secret. A big secret. I’m going to Korea! I didn’t dare utter this before, maybe because I was afraid that if anything  bad could happen, it would. I’m a relentless worrywart and my anxiety gets the best of me. Usually in my case, if something is going to go wrong, it typically does. Cancelled flight? Yup, it’s mine. Plane crash? Damn, why does this happen to me?! I didn’t want to jinx it and I didn’t even feel the excitement until I had actually boarded the plane. This trip is 17 years in the making and I really had to pinch myself to believe that it’s real and really happening! I could hardly contain myself, as I stretched out on all 3 seats. Yes, I had all 3 seats to myself!! Window, aisle and middle, this girl got so lucky and now I’m counting my lucky stars!

I was born and raised in Korea (Seoul, specifically) and spent my formative years here and even my rebellious teenage years here. I had dreamt of going home for so long and I’m here! As soon as I got off of the plane, I cried. I cried tears of joy, tears of sadness and tears of relief. I cried for the young girl I left behind and the woman I was becoming. Tears rolled down my my face freely, without abandon, I was finally home. It felt surreal, I kept wondering if I was dreaming. If I was dreaming, I never wanted to wake up.

Why did it take so long for me to return? Trust me, I wanted to come back. Every single day. For 17 years, I wanted nothing more than to be “home” in my “motherland.” The truth is, I had to put my longing on hold. I was a young mom raising two boys, a family. Let me tell you, raising two boys is expensive but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. My time with them was beyond precious and so fleeting. As many parents, especially single parents would know, there are always expenses and unexpected expenses that crop up. It’s really never ending, once you pay off one, here comes the other. Even if when I could afford a round trip plane ticket, how could I afford a place to stay, food and other accommodations on top of my monthly bills?

For years, I avoided a lot K-pop and Korean dramas because they were too painful. It was as if, what I had wanted so badly was right in front of me yet so far out of reach. My eyes would well up in tears every time. Seeing them made me so emotionally invested, it was just easier if I avoided them altogether. I even stopped speaking Korean, at restaurants or markets. I can’t explain why, I just know that it was easier to pretend that this part of me didn’t exist rather than face it.

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Coming back to Korea, felt like a now or never moment. My boys were grown and I was empty nesting. I was so drawn to go… I had talked about it for years. I couldn’t put it off any longer, 17 years was already long enough.

 

So, I’m here now and I couldn’t be happier. Land of the Morning Calm…. I’m home, I’m free and I love every minute of it.

Thank you so much for being a part of my journey.

  • What I Wore:
  • Black and White Dress by Forever21

In a world full of pants, be a dress~ Jules

Featured

What’s In a Name

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I often look at screen names and wonder, how did they come up with that? What’s the story behind that name? Some are funny, some are based on their name and some…well, I honestly don’t have any idea why they picked the name they did.  Your online name speaks volumes and tells the reader about you before they’ve read what you had to say or looked at your photos. It’s basically your first impression that you’re giving to your audience. Here’s how I picked mine.

I was on my first solo trip/ vacation in California. I was leaving L.A. (the fashion district, ironically) and deep in thought, letting my mind wander, as we typically do when we drive. As I was driving back to my hotel in Orange County, it hit me, literally out of nowhere. Dressedinjules! I had been debating a blog name for quite some time, and when it came into my head, I knew this was then one. All the other prospects I had in mind, immediately vanished and entered into the garbage bin. It felt right, it flowed, it had a certain ring to it, and most importantly, it felt like me.

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Dressedinjules is a play on words, dressed in jewels, actually.  I replaced the jewels with Jules and here I am today. I’ve been called Jules only by a handful of people throughout various times of my life. Each and every time someone called me that, I secretly loved it! Dressed because I love dresses and “jewels” because I’m somewhat of  high maintenance, kind of girl. Basically, Jules is showing you her life in dresses.

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So there you have it, the story of how my screen name/ blogger name/ Instagram handle came to fruition. What’s your story? How did you come up with your name?

Thanks so much for stopping by!

  • What I Wore:
  • Black Bow Tie Shirt by Rainbow
  • Red Pleated Skirt by H&M
  • Black Heels by Aquazzura

In a world full of pants, be a dress ~Jules

Featured

The Magic of Sunflowers

Stand tall like a sunflower and turn your face to the sun….

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The magic of sunflowers, a gorgeous yellow flower that looks up to the sun. It’s my favorite flower and it always puts a smile on my face. It doesn’t take long for them to grow and blossom but the beauty doesn’t last long, as summer turns into autumn. They’re so beautiful while they last though.

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I fell in love with sunflowers when I was a little girl growing up in Korea. These flowers would grow in a nearby alley way where I would run and play with my friends. Even at such a young age, they captivated me like no other flower. So unique, bright and sunny. I used to pick them and then got yelled at by the “ajushi” (older man) that would grow them. I would run away and pick another the next day.  Such a wild and carefree child I was, much like the sunflower. I had found my “spirit flower.”

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Last year, I drove to Deer Park, Washington in search of gorgeous sunflower fields. I must have arrived too late in the season and missed my chance to see them in their full bloom and glory. I took some photos anyway and made the best of my experience there.

Hope you liked the look!

  • What I Wore:
  • Denim Maxi Dress by Target

In a world full of pants, be a dress ~Jules

 

Featured

Create Your Own Fairy Tale

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All the single ladies, all the single ladies… I have been a single lady since 2015. On the heels of my my breakup, of being in a relationship for 10 years, I found myself completely lost. I wanted to replace or fill that void as quickly as I possibly could. I’ve watched people rush into relationships before they were ready or stuck in relationships they weren’t happy in. I didn’t want to make those same mistakes, so I decided to just work on myself instead. Looking back, I’m glad I took the much needed time to heal and find myself.

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 The more time that has passed, the more I love being single. This is no bs, or sugar coating, or just saying it to make myself feel better and to convince you not to. People look sad and pathetically, at you and say oh, you’ll find someone. You won’t feel that way forever, you’ll change your mind for the right one, when the right person/ guy comes around. This is actually insulting to me. I get met with a lot shock, like it’s a bad thing. I’ve been told, you haven’t met the right one, you won’t always feel this way. Wanna bet? I mean, sure there is a chance that I could meet someone amazing and change my mind but you’re going to have to be John Cena because my standards are sky high. However, John Cena, if you’re reading this, hi, you can totally slide into my DMs. Is there is something wrong with me for being completely content with not being in a relationship or a marriage? I don’t think so, and I don’t believe that being in one defines who I am. 

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 One reason why I’m happy I’m single, is that I don’t like to compromise and I no longer have to. I don’t have to indulge my masking or deep conditioning hair rituals. I don’t have to hide shopping bags in my trunk anymore. I don’t have to “run it by” my partner before I make decisions. I no longer have to sacrifice my freedom or independence. No one is holding me back anymore. I buy myself the best presents on holidays (I know exactly the things I love!), I spoil myself rotten….as you should. I go out to eat and watch what I want and I’ve gotten selfish with my time. 

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 Being single, it irks me to hear women say that their partner is their better half or other half.  Or so and so makes me a better person or brings out the best in me. I don’t deserve this person. No honey, you’re a whole person 100% and it’s been within yourself the entire time. If you do better it’s because you chose to do better. Please give yourself the credit, and not to some boy. Sunsets and sunrises are still beautiful. Being in a relationship doesn’t make the places you see or do diminish the beauty. Humans are so geared to think that we need a partner to merely exist or be truly happy in life. Is something only worthwhile or beautiful if you have someone to share it with? Being alone certainly does not mean that I am lonely.

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 My best reason for being single, is that I’m not an extension of someone. I’m not my best me because of my better half. I am my own person and I love myself first. A friend once told me that she “loves me some me.” I didn’t get it then, it took a while to get to that place. Now, I get it and  I love me some me. Create your own fairy tale, there doesn’t have to be a Prince Charming. Love yourself first, it’s ok. It’s an incredible journey. 

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Thanks so much for reading and letting me share my journey with you!

  • What I Wore:
  • Polka Dot Dress by Zappos
  • White Floral Dress by Down East Basics
  • Pink Polka Dot Dress by JC Penny

 

In a world full of pants, be a dress ~Jules