Welcome to The Golden Girl!
Hi! I’m Jess! I’m so glad you decided to stop by!
Pour yourself a glass of wine (or a cup of coffee, because I guess it’s not ALWAYS appropriate to be drinking wine…maybe) and stay awhile!
What is The Golden Girl?
I created this blog because years ago because I found myself stalking my favorite blogs–as one does–and feeling a sense of inadequacy. I didn’t have a perfectly pinnable home, I couldn’t afford designer clothing (nor did I have any interest in it) and honestly, I just felt like everywhere I looked on the internet–everyone had this perfect life that seemed very far out of reach.
So–I started my own imperfect corner of the internet. A place where real women can go to feel inspired, not inadequate.
While I’ve grown up and a lot of things have changed since I started this blog 5+ years ago–that principle has always remained the same. And sure, while the pictures you see here might be pretty (it took a long time to figure out how to make ’em that way 😉) the content you’ll find here is very much real life. Nothing in this blog should leave you playing the “comparison game.”
The Golden Girl is a women who looks for the joy in the everyday madness. She reminds herself to prioritize progress over perfection, embraces balance–she orders her a salad with a side of fries–and she knows while life can get messy, that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun, too.
That’s the Golden Girl–and she is in all of us!
What can I expect to find here?
You’ll find a lot of different types of content on this blog, but it all ladders up to this: The Golden Girl is a grounded approach to living your best life.
There are style tips that make you feel confident instead of self conscious (no 90’s dad sneakers here, no way), Beauty tips that help you glow from the inside out and just general LIFE advice–from relationships, to travel, healthy living, and more–coming from a girl with personal experience, just living through it.
Basically, if it’s something we’re all going through–we’re talking about it here!
GG is more than just a blog–it’s a community–and it’s my hope that with every visit, you’ll learn something useful, have a laugh, and above all, leave feeling brighter, lighter, and most importantly, inspired rather than inadequate.
I’ve never visited your blog before, what are some of your favorite posts? Can you tell me a little more about what you write about?
I’m a serial outfit repeater and fully embrace the concept of a “style uniform.”
I’m inspired by Jackie-O, Audrey Hepburn and “perfectly undone” French girl style and would say I’m a grey area between them all. Everyday, attainable style is the main root of my blog–while I write about lot’s of other subjects, you’ll often still see me wearing a cute outfit you can shop or gain inspiration from.
Every single style post you see here is meant for REAL LIFE. That means that it’s affordable (with the occasional well-calculated splurge), versatile (can be worn several different ways for multiple occasions–in and outside of the office) and for the most part, very classic–so it won’t go out of style next season! As much as possible, I also try to focus on teaching you a style trick or two that will make you feel more confident in putting your own outfits together!
Some of my post popular posts are my Capsule Wardrobe posts and I also have a Style 101 series where I answer reader related style questions and breakdown different elements of personal style that will help you approach your own wardrobe with fresh eyes!
My beauty posts focus on clean skincare and natural looking makeup and hair. I love makeup, but I don’t wear a ton of it, and I always believe that makeup should enhance your natural features, not cover them up!
I started transitioning my beauty cabinet over to cleaner skincare options about a year ago, coming up on the big 3-0 (I turned just turned 30 this past summer!) I realized I really needed to start paying better attention to my overall health.
Honestly I always thought “clean beauty” was a hoax and that all “natural” product smelled like Eucalyptus, but after learning that the US does not regulate the ingredients in beauty products, and hasn’t passed a law regulating the ingredients in beauty products since 1938, I started paying a LOT more attention–and what I found was a little scary! You can read all about my outlook in my Clean Beauty 101 post!
Also–I firmly believe in balance here–I’m really honest about the fact that I fully embrace the 80/20 when it comes to clean beauty. If I can’t find a comparable “clean” option that I love–I don’t lose sleep over it. I love my NARS bronzer. I love my Urban Decay makeup setting mist.
So, this is my round-about way of saying, while a lot of what you’ll find here are “clean” or “cleaner” products–you’ll also find some regular favorites mixed in too–and I never sugarcoat my thoughts on any of them!
I’ve got a whole travel section on my blog right over here. If you click the drop-down menu, you’ll be able to navigate by location! I also have some great packing list posts and my Carry On Travel Capsule Wardrobe post is one of my my most popular posts to date!
I have an Ask Jess column that I publish regularly where I answer reader questions about anything. No topic is off limits! (How we split our finances? How I like my IUD? Yep, they’ve all been answered!)
Then there’s my favorite series on the blog–called Real Women Approved! It’s written in collaboration with YOU GUYS and is a compilation of your recommendations on everything from the best books to read this season, to favorite podcasts, the best bras for every body type, and more!
Tell me more about you, Jess!
Where to begin? I live in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood with my husband, Neal. I graduated from Indiana University with a degree in Journalism and spent 4 years in the Ad Agency world before leaping into the world of self-employment. I worked a lot of freelance jobs and spent a couple years scraping by on ramen noodles, spending every extra penny and free minute that I had on this little blog. Fast forward a few years later–The Golden Girl is my full time job and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I’ve never met a french fry I didn’t like–Trader Joe’s is one of my favorite places to hang out (see my Trader Joe’s shopping list here!) and cooking is one of my favorite hobbies. If I had endless funds and spare time, I would use it all to travel as many places as I could!
My favorite part of blogging is connecting with you–my readers! Helping you and bringing people together through the content on this blog is a big driver in why I enjoy getting up everyday–so thank you!
I know this is a weird question–but how do you make money?
Haha everyone asks this question, so I figured it would be helpful to explain it here! 😂
Affiliate revenue: I link a lot of products on this blog–all products that I love from places that I spend my own money on. If you click through and make a purchase through one of those links–I’ll get anywhere from 5-15% of that total purchase. So if you click through one of my posts and end up spending $100 at Nordstrom, I’d probably get about $10 of that.
The great part about affiliate revenue is that I get to create the content EXACTLY how I want–and because I’ve been able to grow this revenue stream a lot over the past couple of years, it’s allowed me to be extremely picky with what brands I partner with for paid brand collaborations. (So if you’ve ever purchased anything from my site–thank you!)
Which brings me to my next point–
Brand collaborations: The second way I make money is probably one you’re more familiar with–through advertisers–so a company will pay me to create a post featuring their brand or product. Some brands are really picky and want me to write about them a certain way or make me say certain things–I don’t work with those brands and if this is requested of me, I will bow out of the partnership. I only take on sponsors that allow me to create content on my terms, ensuring I can bring it to life in a way that is most relevant to you!
My priority, always, with brand collaborations is value to my readers first, money second. So, if you see a sponsored post on my website, just know that I stand by it 100% Nothing gets featured on this blog that doesn’t get my ruthless stamp of approval 😉
Beautycounter: Finally, I’m also a Beautycounter rep! Beautycounter became a godsend when I was looking to switch to cleaner products–they make so many amazing products so it honestly has made the process of “cleaning” up my beauty cabinet much less overwhelming!
I ended up loving the products so much that I signed up as a rep so I was able to turn this into another income stream. It’s become my #1 favorite clean skincare brand (I also love a lot of their makeup as well!) and I make up to 35% commission on each BC item that you purchase on this site.
If you’re looking for product recommendations, I have them listed in this post and I’m happy to make some recommendations for you based on your skincare needs! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or message me on Instagram and we’ll talk more!
Where else can we hang out?
If you don’t already–come follow me over on Instagram and hang out with me on Instagram stories! (I’ll likely have no makeup on while I show you my messy house and prove that blogger life isn’t all that glamourous 😜)
Any other questions? Just DM me on Instagram! I always respond.
Thank you for paying GG a visit–and I hope you’ll come back and say hi soon!