Skip to content

T G I F + Booze Delivery.

February 20, 2015

Drizly 6

This week has been a particularly taxing one. Between side-projects and my 9-5, the to-do list can be a little much. I’m probably saying yes to too many things.

Lately, nights have been spent with a computer in my lap and a dwindling stash of thin mints. Last night I set the work aside to spend time with friends. Thinking I already had a bottle of wine at home, I volunteered as booze tribute. Turns out I drank the last bottle. Whoops. I don’t know about you, but in these single digit temperatures there are very few things i’m willing to venture outside for, booze included.

Enter Drizly – an alcohol delivery service new to STL (and my current hero!).

Drizly 2

Here’s how Drizly works:

Place your order via the app or through >> wait for it to appear at your doorstep >> pop open a beer and enjoy!

Want to try Drizly? Use the code FreeSTL for free delivery.

Drizly 1

Drizly 3

Drizly 7

Drizly 5

[All photos by Hannah Leigh Imagery.

Jess Signature

This post made possible in partnership with Drizly. All opinions and thoughts are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make City in a Jar possible.


florals // 02

February 10, 2015


Having not celebrated Valentine’s Day for a solid 25 years, I never had to feign excitement over some weird stuffed animal. I also never got flowers. And while I think roses are completely expected, it would’ve been nice to get some. This Valentine’s Day, if you’re sending flowers, you should skip the roses and go for something a little different and unexpected.

Valentines Florals

From left to right:A bouquet of all white lisianthus is lovely and simple. Just as pretty as roses, but not as costly!The pink Patriot Tulips with hypericum berries will look real good sitting in a vase. I know this because they are currently sitting in my living room, in a vase, looking pretty as flowers tend to do. Lastly, the pink Duke Protea, which almost looks like a plant and will last up to a month! Send those to symbolize your long-lasting love…or something cheesy like that.

Valentines Florals 3

Valentines Florals 2

What’s your favorite flower? Mine is the Ranunculus, but they aren’t in season in Missouri yet!

All bouquets from The Crimson Petal.

[All photos by Abby Gillardi.] 

Jess Signature

a graphic tee.

February 3, 2015

Boobs Tee 1

I could label this post NSFW, but I wore this shirt to work. It’s (probably)NSF(your)W.

Really, how many places can you get away with wearing a shirt with a variety of boobs printed on it? Everywhere, I say! If you don’t mind a sideways glance or two…

It’s probably my favorite top right now. You can snag one for yourself from the San Francisco based shop, Gravel and Gold (bonus: it’s on sale!).

Boobs Tee 4

Boobs Tee 3

Would you wear a shirt with boobs on it? What’s the wildest thing you’ve worn to work?

[All photos by Abby Gillardi.]

See the rest of the style column here.

Jess Signature

My Funny Valentine

January 28, 2015

Sappy cards are for, well, saps. I prefer to tell those I love just how much I love them in a cheeky way. Here are a few of my favorite silly cards to give your Valentine this February.

My Funny Valentinethere is nobody else | you’re my everything (bagel)

spooning you > winning the lottery  | thanks for the hickey | let’s make out so hard

i’m so glad i swiped right | you make me go weak at the patellas

Just for fun, I will be sending out Valentine postcards to anyone who wants a little extra love! If you’d like to be my valentine this year, just give me your info by February 5th and i’ll drop you a card in the mail!

Jess Signature

Portenzo: love your craft, craft your love.

January 27, 2015

Portenzo 1

A conversation with Darin Murray about Portenzo and the many products coming out of the workshop. 

Kicked back in a chair, still donning his Knife + Flag apron, Darin told me the story behind Portenzo just before I toured the workshop complete with sewing rooms, a monogram station, and a very large collection of leather. Portenzo has been around for 4 years, but Darin has been crafting goods of various sorts for much longer. Founded on an idea of quality goods made with love, the iPad case was the first product and remains one of the core goods Portenzo produces.


Portenzo 3

How did Portenzo come to be?

I have had several businesses before Portenzo, many of which involved making (high end cabinets, concrete countertops, rehabbing and remodeling, furniture), and some which involved computer work (professional illustrator, web developer.) When the iPad first came out, a friend of mine ordered a popular product and said “dude, you should be able to do this”. At the time i wasn’t interested in getting into manufacturing.

When his case finally came, it was already broken and falling apart.It was put together with haste, and was not high quality. It was not made with any love what-so-ever. There was no packing slip, no label on it, nothing. Just a shipping address on a box. I thought, if people are buying this, I can definitely make something that people would enjoy.

Portenzo started out with the iPad cases. I was just tinkering in the garage in the beginning. Two weeks later we had a website and orders coming in from all over the world.

When did you stray from the iPad cases into other leather goods?

A few months after we started, we added a leather iPad case which became the Alano Collection. The first ones were made on my dining room floor with a cut mat. It was time consuming, so it kept being put on the back burner. Demand continued to grow for it. We added the lasering and embossing capabilities so we were able to do some really cool designs and the Alano collection kind of grew from there.

What is your favorite thing about Portenzo?

Making something quality. Making a product I can look at when i’m done and it doesn’t look homemade, even thought it is handmade.

What have been some of your favorite partnerships or products?

The Alano iPad case is made out of one single super thick piece of leather. It’s very unique. There is nothing like that out there.

I’m also extremely proud of the bag line that we haven’t put out to the public yet. Those bags represent me in every way that I could want them to.

I like being able to have such a full, diverse shop that allows me to have an idea, sketch some things out and have it made that day with all the resources in the shop.

Tell me about the Lumberjack Leather line.

The Lumberjack Leather line was born out of necessity to have some super durable, high quality leather goods that stand out from your average stuff. Lumberjack is meant to have that rugged, course detail distinction. It’s meant for work in the field. It’s all for on-the-go working.

Where did the name Portenzo come from?

It was the name of an invisible childhood friend.

Does your personal style influence the products you put out?

100%. I don’t want to make anything I don’t like and wouldn’t carry.

From whom do you draw inspiration?

Tom Huck. He’s not in leather work – he’s actually a printmaker – but he’s inspirational in the detail of his work and the quality and commitment he puts in it. Also, because you look at his work and can recognize that it’s Tom.

I really like the principle behind Saddleback Leather. He came up with stuff out of necessity and happenstance. It really spoke to him and he committed to it. Their stuff is made for lifetime use. Their motto is “ your kids will fight over it when you’re dead”.

Speaking of mottos, does Portenzo have one?

Love your craft, craft your love.

Portenzo 4

Portenzo 5

Portenzo 6

[All photos by Jarred Gastreich.] 

Jess Signature

florals // 01

January 22, 2015

January Florals 2

22 days into the new year, i’ve finally come up with a mix of resolutions and goals for 2015.

+ work : write more

+ wellness : yoga, running

+ creativity : take a class, work on my puns

+ lifestyle : defining my style, more gatherings, more trips

+ relationships : resolve, foster


And, with a new year, comes a new feature! Expect things to smell a lot better ’round here.

City in a Jar has teamed up with The Crimson Petal to feature gorgeous florals every month. With a theme of fresh starts, Kelly created an arrangement filled with fresh white florals.

January Florals 3

Roses (purity, starting the new year clean), cedar (cleanses the negative), eucalyptus (for a spiritual connection), and hydrangeas (to say thank you to the past).

January Florals

I’m sure, unlike my procrastinating self, you have all made resolutions/goals on time. Tell me what you’ve set yourself up for this year in the comments.

[All photos by Abby Gillardi.] 

Jess Signature

Tucson, Arizona

January 13, 2015

Three weeks ago, I tossed a sleeping bag and some clothes into the trunk of Kelsey’s Honda. With a thermos of hot coffee and an atlas we barely used, we hit the road heading south. Our 8 day trip took us through five states, including a stop in Marfa, Texas – thanks for that recommendation, Collective Quarterly. We spent the majority of our time in Tuscon, Arizona, where a friend of ours recently moved, hence the road trip. Together we explored what I think are the best spots in the city.

The Southwest was unlike any place i’d been before. I loved the mountain views surrounding the city and consumed more salsa than I thought possible. And the Saguaros, oh the Saguaros! I compiled a list (and accompanying illustration) of places to check out should you find yourself in Tucson, Arizona.

Tucson Map With Locations

Romero Pools.

Located in Catalina State Park, this 5.8 mile round trip hike is worth the pools that await. The uphill climb is a 900 ft elevation increase, which wore me out and it turns out the pools were way too cold to dip in during December. Nevertheless, the hike itself is beautiful and justified out the mass amounts of tacos I ate later that day.

Saguaro National Park.

Nothing on this trip excited me more than seeing these tall, old, beautiful cacti. Head to Saguaro National Park to take in thousands of Saguaros. Some fun facts about Saguaros: the name is pronounced “sah-war-ro”, they can live to be 200 years old, and if you damage one it’s considered a class four felony. So, while you are imitating your favorite plant, just be sure not to topple into it. (Which besides the felony, is promised to be a painful experience.)

Sabino Canyon.

Mountains on mountains on mountains. As part of the Santa Catalina mountain range, the Sabino Canyon Trail is the best way to see the mountains up close if you’d like to skip the hiking. A $8 tram ride up the trail will let you take in the beauty of the Coronado National Forest without all that pesky walking. If you don’t mind the walking, hop off at the last tram stop, and hike your way through the mountains to a tram stop a few miles down. The views are incredible.

Dragoon Brewing Co.

This Arizona based brewery has a newly expanded tap room in West Tucson. Typical of tap rooms, Dragoon Brewing Co. has 9 of their own brews on tap and stacks of board games for you to plat while you enjoy the beers. Rumor has it, there is a secret ping pong table in the back, but maybe that’s just for the folks who actually brew the beers. If you like craft brews, it’s worth a visit.

El Guero Canelo.

I wouldn’t say i’m a connoisseur of hot dogs, but i’m not not a connoisseur of hot dogs. Topping my list is the Sonoran dog; a bacon wrapped hot dog, in a bun that is more like a soft bread boat, topped with tomatoes, beans, grilled onions, mayonnaise, mustard, and a jalapeño sauce. Pair it with a Mexican Coke and call it a meal. But don’t just get one anywhere. Make your way to El Guero Canelo for the best!

BOCA Tacos Y Tequila.

BOCA has a salsa platter to put all other salsa platters to shame. I can’t remember the names of the 7 different salsa’s we tried, but I can remember liking every single one of them. I also don’t remember reading the ‘fire roasted anaheim’ part of the description on the Rajas taco I ordered. Holy. Hot. But too damn good to stop eating. Everything we had there was amazing. If you’re in the mood for tacos don’t even think about going anywhere but BOCA.

4th Ave. 

On 4th Avenue, you’ll find a handful of bars, including the original Plush (now named The Flycatcher) and a sprinkling of shopping spots. Among the collection of presents I picked up for friends, I snagged a gorgeous blanket and a couple new pieces for my closet. 4th Avenue is good spot to wander around, grab a drink, and spend a little money.

Gates Pass at Tuscon Mountain Park.

If you’re not into the whole tram and tour guide combo offered at Sabino Canyon, Gates Pass is a gorgeous alternative. Take a drive into the Tuscon Mountains and stop at any of the scenic lookouts. Get out and wander up one of the hills to take in the vast landscape. While I didn’t personally witness a sunset here, I hear they are pretty dang swell at Gates Pass.

Exo Roast Co.

With such a long list of excellent things to do in Tucson, it’s understandable that you’d need a little caffeine to keep you going. I recommend Exo Roast Co. for the laid back, hip atmosphere and the top notch single origin roasts processed in the vintage German roaster sitting in the back of the shop.

Hotel Congress.

I don’t know how I survived 25 years of life without eating Huevos Rancheros. After discovering them our first day in Tucson at Cup Cafe inside Hotel Congress, I was hooked. After numerous attempts elsewhere, I’m convinced Cup Cafe has the best Huevos Rancheros in the city. Besides having their breakfast/brunch game down (hi, build-your-own bloody mary bar), Hotel Congress is a landmark hotel that boasts the capturing of John Dillinger back in the 1930’s. The late night dance parties at Club Congress weren’t too shabby, either.

Tap + Bottle.

If you’re looking for a relaxed atmosphere, good beer and/or wine, and bartenders who know their shit, hit Tap + Bottle. They’ve got a whopping 20 beers on tap and 6 wines by the glass which will satisfy almost all who belly up to the bar. And if there’s nothing on the draft list that really appeals to you, the entire back half of the place is a bottle shop. Pick a bottle of booze, be it beer or wine, and they’ll pop it open for you to enjoy!

Jess Signature