old window DIY

Last weekend after the farmer’s market my friend Brittany and I decided to make a stop at Picks. I hadn’t been there in a couple of months so there was no way I could say no to that idea! Every time I’ve gone there to shop I have found something that is the perfect fit for a spot I had been working to fill at my house. This time was no different! I picked out an old 8-pane white window. The glass is removed and so it was just the frame. I have a big space on the wall along side my front door that I have been trying to find something to fill and could visualize that this would be a good fit 🙂

Once I got it up on the wall where I wanted it I took some time to think about what I wanted to do to add some personality to it. It’s a beautiful classic piece on it’s own but I wanted to make sure I was utilizing it for something other than just decor if I was able to.

As I was brainstorming I started thinking about pictures and prints of photos. I know that prints are becoming a thing of the past in a lot of people’s opinion but I still really enjoy making physical prints of photos to hang up. I find that I get to enjoy them much more than if they are just on my phone and not being looked at often. In looking at the panes of the window I figured there had to be a fairly easy way for me to hang/display photos in each of the panes. So that’s where I got to work!

I have always wanted a reason to buy and use the pretty LED battery powered lights that have been so popular lately. I love that they are bendable on the cable so you can wrap them around objects to get them just how you want them to lay. I found a 7 foot length of them at Target for 5 dollars! I wrapped them around the middle intersections of the panes and then let the end trail off. The only downside is that the battery pack is tough to disguise….so I just ensured I left enough length at the end so that it could extend down far enough to reach my TV stand. That way the pack rests down low and I can turn the lights off and on easily. The sparkle is so simple and pretty. I look forward to have them turned on in the evenings when I am reading and relaxing.

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My next hurdle was determining how I was going to get photos and other things to hang from the panes. I considered some sort of string/rope/twine but thought that that might not be the best route. Then I thought about binder/buffalo clips and how easily those would hold photos or cards of any kind. They were my choice but I still had to determine how to affix them to the window. I decided to buy some really miniature command strips (Side note: they honestly have an entire AISLE of command strips at Target now. It’s overwhelming how many kinds of hooks and strips there are to pick from now!) because I knew that they would be clear and not distract from the window. I used them on the back of each binder clip and pressed them firmly to the spot in the center of each window pane. Now they can be opened and closed with no problem and changing out any photos or cards in the future will be a breeze

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I am so happy with how something so simple turned out and it makes a huge difference in my living room/entry way. I will be excited to change out the photos over time and I am also thinking about how it will be the perfect place to display any Christmas cards I get this upcoming winter 🙂

This weekend I was happy to have not too much on my schedule and had some time to sit outside and enjoy the beautiful weather we had. I spent some good quality time out on my patio reading and getting even more inspiration for some additional small projects at home. I snagged a book from Kittsona lifestyle last summer when I first moved into my house called “Happy Handmade Home” that was written by two design-loving sisters that have their own blog/website called “A Beautiful Mess”. If any of you have similar style to me or like to do your own hands-on DIY projects I highly recommend checking out their stuff. I found a lot of new pages to flag of some simple makeover projects that I want to try out. Their website is A-MAY-ZING and has so much content and amazing design ideas, recipes, and so much more. You can check it out right HERE 🙂

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Thanks so much for reading! It has been exciting to get “back into it” and find some new projects to take on. I have a feeling that these next few months are going to bring a lot of fun new changes at my house and I’m already looking forward to sharing them with all of you. Have a wonderful week and I will see you next Sunday 🙂

#sugarspiceandstylethatsnice

xoxo Jen

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pipeline projects

Happy Sunday to you all! I am reflecting on such a great weekend spent celebrating a dear friend and a refreshing visit with a friend in Fargo. I hope you all have enjoyed some relaxation, fun, or a combination of both this weekend. Before I get in to the topic for my post tonight I want to share a sweet photo from the bachelorette party I attended. One of my best friends and long-time roommate in college, Dana, is getting married next month and I am so excited to be one of her bridesmaids. We were able to spend Saturday celebrating her and her upcoming marriage with a day on the water and time spent on the lake. Here is the full bride squad soaking up some rays in our nautical themed tanks 🙂

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I also kicked off my weekend with a short whirlwind trip to the farmer’s market on Saturday morning. The vendor who sells the fresh flowers always has an absolutely amazing selection….but they go FAST. So you to be there right away to get best pick. I scored a bouquet that reminds me so much of fall and I know that no one wants to hear it right now but we are so close to my favorite season that I can almost smell it 😀 The big, beautiful red zinnia in this bundle is what caught my eye and they are making me smile right now as they sit alongside me at my dining room table while I write for all of you!

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Now for the real purpose behind this post!! Sorry it took me a few paragraphs to get here, but I really wanted to share some memories from the weekend. On my way home from the bachelorette celebration this afternoon I made a pit stop in Fargo to catch up with one of my best friends, Lynsi. We haven’t been able to catch up or see one another in a couple of months so it was nice to spend some quality time together. She lives in a great place in downtown Fargo so we took a short walk to the The Boiler Room, one of my favorite places to eat on Broadway. We arrived at an appropriate time for brunch so I decided to order the Scotch Eggs and was not disappointed. Although the best part of the meal may have actually been the 3-cheese tater tots that were served as one of the sides!!

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If I didn’t take a picture of the food before I ate it you may not have actually believed I was there!

During our meal we were able to catch up on a lot of adult things that life has been throwing at both of us lately (new jobs, new cars, searching for new apartments, and much more!). It is so interesting to see how your conversations evolve as my friends and I shift into new stages of life where budgeting, finances, living situations, etc. sometimes become the forefront of our thoughts. After we wrapped up our brunch I asked Lynsi to guide me to a coffee shop downtown. I knew there were a handful of new coffee shops that had cropped up since 2015 when I moved from Fargo back to Grand Forks. She brought me to Young Blood and I was overjoyed. She told me as we were walking that it was “my style” and she hit the nail on the head. The shop is all white and very minimalist which I think always has such a unique feeling of freshness and creativity. They had small accents and a really funky vintage-style espresso machine that highlighted the bar. They also had a fun gold patterned wall that sparked my discussion that followed with Lynsi and the whole point for this post….

I have a few what I like to call “pipeline projects” that I am hoping to complete at my house within the next year. I have done a lot of aesthetic work at my house from a decor, paint, and style perspective over the last year but I haven’t made any major renovations or changes. My house is in a state where it absolutely wouldn’t need to have anything changed from a code or safety standpoint but there are a few projects I would like to complete that would give me a sense of accomplishment and bring my house to another level of uniqueness catered to me. Here are some of my pipeline thoughts and I hope that as the year progresses I will be able to accomplish them and share with all of you on the blog!

  1. New flooring throughout the first floor of my house.
    • Right now my first floor contains about 80% carpet and 20% laminate/tile finish. I would love to install a mock-wood floor that matches the tones of my living space (more dark wood and gray tones) in the entire first floor. My dog really enjoys laying on the cool tile, especially in the summer, and I know that it would be more comfortable to her to not have so much carpet. I also feel like a hardwood style floor would make my main floor feel bigger and the maintenance and cleaning would be easier. Also, to have continuity throughout the first floor bathroom, kitchen, and then living/dining room area would be a big plus. I would let carpet remain on the stairs and upstairs in the bedrooms as that’s a preference for me in my own room. This project will definitely be considered sometime down the road as I will be saving for a number of months in order to make sure I’m financially prepared as I know that good quality flooring is not cheap!!
  2. Kitchen cabinet painting
    1. This project could be happening in the very near future as it doesn’t require a huge financial investment! I know that the time investment is a different story but my kitchen isn’t massive so the amount of cupboards is quite manageable and could hopefully be knocked out in a weekend! My good friend Brittany is a kitchen designer and has offered to help me with this fun project so it will be a good bonding weekend for us 🙂 I have yet to officially pick a color (my cabinets are currently standard light oak) but I am leaning towards a darker/warm gray color. It will still be neutral but will help the kitchen “pop” and I’ll be able to add an additional fun element of some new hardware to add my own personality to the cupboards. We are planning to use chalk paint to help cut back on the time element and also reduce some of the strong odor during the project
  3. Dining room accent wall
    • Since my dining room and living room are in a shared space I have been thinking that the wall where my dining room table is could be used as a “definer” to split the spaces up even though they are physically together. Seeing the wall in the coffee shop today (that can see in the pictures earlier in the post!) gave my the idea to seek out an easy to remove wall stick/removable wallpaper style that I could affix to the wall in my house where the dining room table sets. I have admired some of these stickered papers at Target (click here to sneak a peek at the brand and finishes I will be choosing from) before so I think I’ll have to take a trip and see if any of them might work for what I’m looking to do! This would also be a relatively inexpensive (both money and time-wise) project that I could tackle and would create a whole different feel in my house.

Those are my 3 major dream for the near future and I can’t wait to accomplish and share them all with all of you. I am going to leave you with a photo of the GORGEOUS and delicious latte I had at Young Blood today. It was called the Miel and it was a honey cinnamon latte. Yes, it tastes just as amazing as it sounds. There is just something about latte art that makes me smile and I hope it makes you smile too! Let’s make it a great week and I will see you back here next Sunday. Thanks so much for reading ❤

#sugarspiceandstylethatsnice

xoxo Jen

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giving back and growing with YP

I would be lying if I told you that being in your early to mid twenties was an easy time of your life. I am not sure how many of you around my same age would agree with me; but I would be willing to bet it is a fair number. Graduating from college and adjusting to a life of career, routine, and responsibility has its fair share of challenges. It’s also important to note that this season of life also has the opportunity for SO much joy!

The first year following my graduating from college was very trying for me. Moving back to my hometown and trying to adjust to a difficult first job with extremely long hours made me worn out and tired. I struggled being away from all of my close friends and support network that carried me through college and made my years at NDSU so wonderful. After leaving my initial post-college job and forging into a new career path about a year after graduation I started to feel things click…

Getting used to a job with a more “normal” schedule of just weekday commitments and working during the day (hallelujah! Those of you that work at night like I did for about 9 months deserve MUCH credit from others. The wear and tear on your body is incredible.) was a positive transition for me and I found myself jumping at the chance to break out of the shell I had been in since being back in Grand Forks and find things that I loved to do. I had begun to attend graduate school the spring following my graduation so I was working through that addition to my life and was excited to be back in school and continuing to challenge myself academically. (As of the this week and the completion of my summer semester course I am HALFWAY DONE with my graduate degree!! So exciting and can’t wait to graduate with my MBA less than 2 years from now). Professionally things for me were starting to feel good but on the personal side I was longing for connections with friends and community that I didn’t have at that time.

One place where I was struggling the most was meeting friends my age and getting to know people who had similar interests to me outside of work. I tried meeting people through workout classes and other avenues but it wasn’t very easy. I was starting to make some friends in my MBA classes but I decided I needed to look beyond that to find a core group of people who were passionate about the same things as me and were a blast to be around. I didn’t know if it would be possible, but in July of 2016 the opportunity with all of this (and more) fell right in my lap.

It was a Wednesday morning and I was attending One Million Cups, a networking and idea-sharing presentation that runs on coffee and conversation with others. The speakers that day were the current President and Executive Director of Greater Grand Forks Young Professionals (GGFYP). They were sharing about the impact that their group had on Grand Forks and the surrounding area and how valuable something like this was for a community. I was sitting in my seat at the Empire and the lightbulb totally went off….This was exactly what I needed to get involved with in order to find my groove and get to know others in my age group.

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I filled out my application and membership form online that night and then began to receive the weekly YP emails. I got up the courage and went to my first committee meeting that summer and walked into a room full of people I didn’t know. I am excited to say that one year later some of the people in that room are some of my dearest friends who I love spending time with. I quickly learned that the committee I joined aligned very closely with my interests. They were tasked with connecting the YP membership with the community through partnerships and volunteering. Over the first few months of my membership I jumped in with both feet and became as involved as I could. I met so many wonderful people through the social events, volunteer projects, and professional development opportunities that were provided to us.

In late 2016, the current chair of the committee I served on approached me and let me know that she would be running for the Vice President opening on the board. She told me that this would make her seat vacant and up for re-election to fill the 2nd year of her term. She encouraged me to apply and said I would be a great fit for the role. I took some time to think and decided it would be an amazing opportunity for me to grow in my leadership skills and so I went for it. My application was selected and in January I became a part of the GGFYP Board of Directors for 2017.

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Most of the lovely 2017 GGFYP Board of Directors at the conclusion of our Great Plains Young Professionals Summit conference last week!

It’s hard to put in to words what these last 8 months have looked like for me in terms of growth and joy. I have been positively pushed and challenged as I managed a committee and our monthly meetings, planned events, set up volunteering opportunities, attended board meetings, participated in strategic planning, and so much more. I am so grateful for the Executive Director and all of my fellow board members who have made this experience so valuable.

As summer begins to wrap up my team is full speed ahead planning our wonderful end of the year charity gala. I know how quickly time seems to fly and I know that the same will happen with these next 4 months. I will always be happy I decided to go to One Million Cups that morning in 2016 because it provided me with just what I was looking for. For my YP friends who are reading this post: my heartfelt thank you to you for being a friend. I have so enjoyed getting to know each of you and look forward to many years of laughs, challenges, events, and memories with you to come!

Those of you from Grand Forks reading this post; if you are interested in learning more about YP please contact me!! I would love to meet with you over coffee/lunch/drinks/dinner to share more and help you get involved. Those of you not from Grand Forks: I know that there are many Young Professionals chapters across the country. I encourage you to look for one in your area if you are interested in growing professionally and personally while making wonderful friends and giving back to the community that you live and work in.

Thanks to all of you for reading! Cheers to a wonderful week ahead 🙂

#sugarspiceandstylethatsnice

xoxo Jen