Renaissance Men and Women are a polymath. They are curious and creative, have a thirst for knowledge and new experiences, and most importantly, they are always learning. They are men and women of their times, yet understand that some things in life are timeless. In an age that encourages the world to drift aimlessly through life, Renaissance Men and Women live a life of intention and purpose.
The Truth Renaissance hopes to bring attention to individuals who embody the definition of Renaissance Men or Women. In this series of interviews, you’ll learn about their interests, inspirations, passions, and desires.
Jenna Wessinger is the voice and creative mind behind the lifestyle blog Just A Touch Too Much. On her blog she shares her exquisite fashion sense and everything food, travel, and beauty.
In this interview, you'll learn the story and details behind Just A Touch Too Much, as well as her thoughts on fashion, food, living with purpose, and more!
The Truth Renaissance: Can you tell me the story behind your blog Just A Touch Too Much and the meaning behind the name?
Jenna Wessinger: Really the name came from my paternal grandmother. I forget now exactly where we were going, but she walked out of her room in head-to-toe sparkles for a quick mid-day trip to run errands. When I asked her if she felt she had enough sparkles for the outing she informed me that “Too much is never enough”. I was floored by this awesome clapback and it has stuck with me ever since. When I decided to start a blog, I knew this mantra would have to be front and center in everything I did.
TR: Describe how you first got into blogging?
JW: I spent many years in the IT industry when I first moved to Atlanta. I loved my job, but I was really needing a creative outlet for myself. I started making these Sunday suppers for all of my friends to enjoy, and I would post the menu on my Facebook page. Then I started posting a picture or two of the meal. In the meantime, I was always getting texts and pics from my friends asking for sartorial advice or wanting to shop in my closet for a specific event. At a certain point it just made sense to start a blog where I could post about my favorite recipes and my favorite outfits.
TR: How would you describe your blogging style?
JW: I try to keep everything conversational and relatable. If I’m wearing an outfit or a dress that isn’t exactly an everyday type of outfit, I’ll talk about why I am wearing it, and where I’m wearing it so that everything has context. The same goes for my recipes and beauty posts. They are all based on things that I’m currently wearing, eating, and doing in real life. I always want my posts to look and feel authentic, otherwise what would be the point of having a blog if not to showcase my perspective.
TR: How do you manage time to run your blog efficiently?
JW: Because I work a 9-5 job, planning ahead of time is so crucial. I have a very long and detailed spreadsheet that I have been maintaining since I started JATTM. It has every post I’ve ever done, every post I have scheduled, and all of my one-off ideas that I want to remember and save. Most of my blogging and picture-taking happens on the weekend and the occasional long lunch-break (hopefully my boss doesn’t see this). I try to have everything for the week wrapped up by Sunday evening, but there are times where I’m up late the night before polishing and updating a post right before it goes live.
TR: What was the most challenging moment in your blogging journey so far?
JW: Probably hitting that “Publish” button for the first time because once it’s live, it’s live! Expectations have been set and now I’m out there for all the world to see. I do have to constantly remind myself that this is a space about me and my perspective and, at the end of the day, is really for me more than for others. If I’m not happy with a post or a look or a sentence then I can’t expect anyone else to be either.
TR: What is the biggest difference in your life post-blogging?
JW: I feel like I have a great excuse to be a little more creative with things; to push myself a little bit further and to really know myself better.
TR: How would you describe your personal style?
JW: I love classic, traditional pieces but with a bold twist. I love a classic white oxford but with a ruffled collar and cuff links. Or a tweed pencil skirt in neon yellow.
TR: Who are your style icons?
JW: I’m an old Hollywood fan, so I definitely look to the styles of the Hepburn’s, Katherine and Audrey, as well as Grace Kelly for style inspiration. I will say that one of my biggest style inspirations was my maternal grandmother. She was a style icon if ever there was one. There wasn’t a single trend that she didn’t have two of.
TR: What is a personal truth or rule you have when it comes to fashion?
JW: Every fashion icon, no matter how varied in their tastes, all have one thing in common; confidence. All you need is confidence. It doesn't matter what you wear.* What matters is how you wear it. *This does not apply to Ugg boots or ponchos.
TR: What is your favorite accessory?
JW: A cocktail ring. Two if I’m feelin’ froggy.
TR: What are three staple items you feel every lady should own?
JW: Leopard pumps. A fitted trouser. A classic wrap dress. A woman can conquer the world with these tree items. I actually did a post on my top 15 must have items.
TR: On Just A Touch Too Much, you share some amazing recipes. Have you ever considered putting a book together?
JW: Oh wow. No actually, but I am now. I have my family recipes written down as well as those I’ve created on my own with the hope that I’ll someday be able to pass it down to my daughter or granddaughter. There are so many amazing recipes across all branches of my family tree that I wanted to make sure that they were preserved for future generations.
TR: What’s your favorite recipe from your blog?
JW: Ohhhhh this is hard. It would have to be a toss up between my mom’s spaghetti recipe and my Dad’s Chicken Wings. I usually have one or the other whenever I go home (both if it’s a long visit).
TR: What’s the one kitchen tool you couldn’t live without?
JW: My small, orange dutch oven. I love it so much that I’ve actually named it Leonard. I don’t know why,
TR: What is your favorite dish to make, and what is your favorite dish to eat?
JW: My favorite dish to make because it looks harder than it is would have to be Coq au Vin. My favorite dish to eat would again be either my mom’s spaghetti or my dad’s chicken wings. There’s just no way I can ever eat enough of those.
TR: If you could just banish any one food, from the earth, what would it be?
JW: Broccoli. Bluck.
TR: Outside of blogging, what are a few of your other interests?
JW: Well, since I blog about my interests, I’d say the one thing that you’ll never see on my blog that I love is politics. It’s something that I grew up discussing and debating around my family’s dinner table (always civil and always with a multitude of views and opinions).
TR: Where would you most like to live?
JW: Last year I took a business trip to San Francisco and wow what a city! It’s just beautiful and so vivacious. If it didn’t take me so far from my family and southern food, I’d already be a resident.
TR: A website and/or blog you visit often?
JW: I’ve recently fallen in love with the blog Teggy French. She’s got great style from Palm Beach circa the 1950’s and it’s just a great space for inspiration.
TR: What is your favorite film?
JW: Singing in the Rain. There is never a time where I don’t want to watch that movie.
TR: What music are you listening to these days?
JW: I’m so all over the place with my music tastes from Rap to Classic Composers like Strauss. Really it’s whatever pops up on my shuffle.
TR: What’s the last book you read or what are you currently reading?
JW: Total fan moment but I’m on book 6 of the Outlander series.
TR: Do you collect anything?
JW: Vintage jewelry. The best pieces are timeless and are something I hope to pass down someday.
TR: What is your favorite quote?
JW: “Nothing is impossible. The word itself says ‘I’m possible’.” – Audrey Hepburn
TR: Over time, the definition of what it means to be a lady has evolved. What do you think it means to be a lady in 2017?
JW: I think that a lot of times a lady is judged based on societies’ perceptions. I don’t really like that as a principle. I think that no matter when or where you are, a lady is a woman who is confident in herself, her abilities, her wants, her needs, and has no issue expressing herself and going after what she wants.
TR: Who are your heroes in real life?
JW: First and foremost, every single woman in my family. I was raised by a collection of strong, capable, unapologetically intelligent, and absolutely powerhouse women. Growing up it’s the only way I knew how to be. My mother was and is still my biggest role model and I’d like to think that she raised me in that same image.
TR: What does purpose mean to you, and what would you say is your purpose?
JW: Purpose is that thing that drives you. For me, I’ve never wanted to be a member of the crowd. I’m at my most comfortable when I’m going against the grain of the norm.