office ambience

Happy Sunday, everyone ๐Ÿ™‚ I have had a nice, relaxing and low-key weekend. Sitting down to write for all of you is the perfect way to wrap up the week. On my Instagram page I have shared a few photos from my office since moving in to a new space a couple of months ago. I really enjoyed decorating it and creating it into an inspiring space for me during the workweek. A few people have asked some questions about where I got my dรฉcor so I thought I would share a full office tour with all of you!

My co-workers love to swing in to my office and check it out as I add new things. Many of them have also asked me to take over their office next! In my two previous jobs I didn’t really have a defined space that belonged only to me so I didn’t invest in any type of office supplies or dรฉcor since it wasn’t really an option for me. Starting at Altru this past spring was my first time getting my own personal office and I was so excited to have a space to make my own. My thought process was that since I’m spending around 40-50 hours a week in that space I should make it somewhere I enjoy and feel calm and inspired to do good work.

I don’t remember what piece of dรฉcor sparked me to decide on the theme I ended up with but my office is decked out entirely in black, white, and gold. I like the clean color palette that is classic and easy to keep neutral and not feel overwhelming. It’s hard to tell the “size” of my office from these photos but it’s actually quite cozy. The large windows (the best part of the whole space!!) make it feel much bigger and especially since the windows don’t begin until halfway up the space so it has a “treehouse” feel. Especially when the trees are full of leaves.

I’ll share all the photos below and let you know where I got each of the items! I got everything at a variety of places and a good mix of things purchased more recently and items that I had had prior to and re-used in this space.

My amazing gray office chair with the fun riveted detail was a TJMaxx no-brainer. I found it last winter and had used it in my house previously but once I moved to my new job brought it with me to utilize as my office chair.

Behind the door of my space I have two hook: one black and one gold, both from Target, to hold my large work bag/purse and my jacket. I like that the black hook has a wide piece to easily distribute the weight of my often heavy work bag. It also keeps things off the floor and more organized.

The wall to the left as soon as you walk in the door houses this small three-shelf black bookcase from Target. It works great as storage for reference books and other notes and items. On top of the bookcase is a fun funky gold geometric battery-operated lamp from TJMaxx. The unique circular gold mesh metal shelf unit is from Target and it actually from the “pillowfort” children’s dรฉcor collection. It works perfectly for my cute, small cacti and succulent plants and I use the middle shelf to display my different coffee mugs that I keep at my office. I wrapped a set of battery-operated LED fairly lights around the shelving unit to add some additional light, especially in the mornings.

**Of note, I have never enjoyed fluorescent lights and the harsh feeling they give me, especially after long period of time. Since I have such big windows in my office to produce natural light I only utilize lamps and the LED lights in my office and never turn on the overhead lights. It helps to keep me feeling calm and relaxed throughout the day ๐Ÿ™‚ **

On the largest wall to the left of my desk I have this mini-gallery wall of the black, white, and gold inspiration. The black and white polka dot canvas “Choose Happy Everyday” was purchased at Gordmans. The “Wherever you go go with all your heart” hanging is from TJMaxx. The fun black lighted “J” is from Target and the small metal “r” is from Hobby Lobby.



To the left of my computer monitors and on my “guest” space when I have employees or others in my office houses my favorite show-stopper lamp from Target. Faux marble base and then a gold stand and dome. It looks a lot like a high end streetlamp/streetlight to me and it gives me lots of light at my work space. For the winter season I bought a small frosted white tree and a galvanized metal bucket from Picks, and then strung a fun set of bronze star lights from Target around the tree for even more light. It’s a fun all winter long piece that I will take down in the spring and replace with something more appropriate for the season. In the front I have my favorite letter board from Hobby Lobby with currently a very “New Year” appropriate motto – May you choices reflect your hopes, not your fears – My co-workers love to come by and check out whatever quotes and sayings I change it to over time.

On the right side of monitors and just below the window is my larger work space. The company who provides our desks also provided me with two large memo/tack boards to be able to hang reference materials and photos. To dress up the boards (that were covered in a scratchy blue material) I bought some fun black and white striped fabric that was on clearance at Hobby Lobby. I cut and measured pieces that were the right size and then pulled tight over the back and stapled for an easy design hack that makes a huge difference. I use one board as a display for sweet photos of my family, friends, and Luna. I also have two dictionary page prints that I purchased at the Unglued craft show from a vendor last year. The second board I use as a reference board for frequently accessed documents so they are easy to see.

The large window ledge provides another fun spot for dรฉcor and additional details. IN the middle of the ledge I have a really fun chicken wire basket with a variety of glass bottles that was purchased all together at Kirklands in Fargo (LOVE that place). My plan is to change the items inside the bottles with the seasons but for this winter I have added some fun wintry magic looking items. I found the 3 large, dramatic frosted birch branches and the shorter gold leaf floral stems at Hobby Lobby. I love how it looks in front of the window! I also have my framed NDSU diploma displayed and it is very rare that I don’t have some fresh flowers up on the ledge to provide some life and good smell to the room! This wintry arrangement was $7 at Target last week ๐Ÿ™‚

On the wall behind me when I’m working at my desk (alongside the two hooks from the beginning of the post) I have a fun framed portrait of the lovely Audrey Hepburn from Gordmans and a really beautiful black and cream woven yarn hanging/mini tapestry from Hobby Lobby. Above my monitors I purchased one additional large cork board from Target for less than 10 dollars. I covered it with another great black&white patterned fabric find from Hobby Lobby and use it to display this amazing oversized art calendar from Zandbroz in downtown Fargo.

My office is certainly a happy place for me and I love spending time in there and being as productive as possible during the week. I hope you all enjoyed checking out some of the pictures! As always, thanks so much for reading and I wish you a great week ahead. See you next Sunday


xoxo Jen


warby parker glasses review

Happy Monday, everyone! I apologize I didn’t get a post to you last night on our normal Sunday night schedule but I wasn’t in a great mood after the Vikings game last night and decided it would be better to wait until tonight….it was a great season and hoping they can perform highly again next year ๐Ÿ™‚

About two weeks ago I ordered a second pair of glasses to have and they arrived in the middle of last week. I posted a picture and got a few questions about where I got them so I wanted to share my experience with all of you! I have one pair of glasses already that are a dark brown/almost purple color and since I am now back to wearing glasses all the time I wanted to order a second pair that are very different from the other so that I have two options to pick from based on what I’m wearing/how I’m feeling that day.

Clear glasses have been a big trend lately and I always wanted to give them a try so I figured this was my shot. Since they’re pretty “trendy” I immediately thought of the Warby Parker brand because I have always been able to count on them for stylish frames that are simplistic in nature. I checked out their website and definitely wasn’t disappointed. They had multiple of their frame styles offered in a clear or light colored frame.

I first heard about Warby Parker when I was studying at NDSU during undergrad. A friend of mine came to class with cute new glasses and I asked where she got them. She told me all about Warby Parker and I at first thought it was CRAZY because I knew there was no way that I would order glasses online and not have the chance to try them on/see how they looked on me before buying them. She calmed my worry by letting me know that I had the ability to “try before I buy” through their home try-on program. I was convinced and gave it a shot. I was impressed and ended up loving a couple of the pairs I ordered in my first try on.

I bought my first pair from them in 2013, another in 2015, and now most recently in 2018. I have had nothing but great experiences and have found the glasses to be really high quality with a great mission behind them. Whenever you buy a pair of Warby Parker glasses they donate/supply a pair to someone in need of glasses. It’s very similar to the TOMS shoes mission if you’re familiar. I think about how many people around the world must need glasses but don’t have access to an eye exam or the ability to have a pair of glassesย  prescribed to them that will help them in their daily life. I like the feeling of contributing to someone else through my purchase.

To give you an idea on price: most glasses that are single correction (either distance or reading) will start at $95 for the frames AND lenses which is quite a deal. If you are someone who has a progressive prescription (needs correction for both distance and reading) then the price will go up. Other additions will also cause an increase in price such as transition lenses or other non-standard features.

Warby Parker makes all of their frames and also makes and fits lenses in house which makes their production time quite fast. I ordered my most recent pair and after sending them my prescription I had my glasses in less than 10 days! If you live in a bigger metro area it’s possible you have an actual Warby Parker storefront in your city that you’d be able to check out. For those of you who don’t have a physical location near you their website and app are EXTREMELY user friendly and will help you pick out glasses for home try-on in a snap. To close, I’ll walk you briefly through the home try-on and purchase process and you can check out the newest specs I found ๐Ÿ™‚

– – For reference, the pair I chose to purchase was the Haley frame in lavender crystal – –

  1. Either head here to their website or download the Warby Parker app through your app store onto your phone.
  2. You can begin by taking a style quiz which will help narrow down the frames you might be interested in based on your preferences to shape, color, and the shape of your face, etc. If you’d rather skip the quiz and just browse you can do that, too!
  3. Choose your frames for home try-on.
    1. You can choose 5 frames to try-on at home for a 5 day period with absolutely no cost to you. The frames, shipping, AND return shipping are all free (unless of course you lose or damage any of the sample frames)
    2. Peruse through the website or app and add frames to your home try-on. You can add or subtract if you change your mind but you can only choose 5 total. Most frames are available for home try-on but some may be unavailable if they’re sample frames are all out with other customers at the moment. It’s also possible that a frame you like is available for home try-on but not necessarily in the specific color or pattern you like. If that’s the case you can always order the pair that’s available so you can at least see the fit and how they look on your face.
    3. Once you’ve chosen your 5 frames sit back and wait (impatiently) for the home try-on box to arrive with your sample frames ๐Ÿ˜€

Here is a sample photo of what the home try-on box looks like along with screenshots from within the app on my phone that shows you the 5 frames I chose in my try-on prior to choosing my most recent pair

  1. Once the sample frames arrive you can have 5 full days testing them out. Try them all on for size, wear them to work, out to dinner with friends, or any of your normal activities. Get opinions from others and determine whether or not a certain pair will work for your style and fit wise. The frames come with just plastic sample lenses in them so no correction is present.
  2. At the end of your 5-day trial package the frames back up in the handy box and send them back with the pre-paid shipping label.
  3. Hopefully by this time you have decided on a pair (or two!!) that you loved. Now all that’s left to do is select that frame and make your purchase. The website will walk you through choosing your frame, the color, what type of prescription you have (single or progressive), and make other choices like what type of coating you want on your lenses, if you want them to be transitional, etc. Then all you have to do is take a picture of your prescription and attach it with your order online. The WP team will review it and make sure your lenses are just right (P.S. if for some reason they can’t accommodate your exact prescription/they have other questions they will get in contact with you right away to make sure they understand everything.)
  4. Voila! After about 7-10 days (depending on multiple factors) you should have your brand new pair of glasses at your door and ready to go. You also can smile extra wide knowing your purchase of a pair of Warbys allowed someone else in the world who needed glasses to get the glasses they needed!


As always, thanks so much for reading! I look forward to sharing more with you next week as I have a couple more posts all lined up and ready to share ๐Ÿ™‚ Have a wonderful week!

#sugarspiceandstylethatsnice #warbyparker

xoxo Jen




bathroom refresh

Happy Sunday, everyone!!! I can barely type this post because I am still in shock and pure joy from the end of that Vikings game. Skol is all I can say….I am heading to Minneapolis for Super Bowl weekend and am keeping my belief at an all time high that it will be the Vikings in that game.

But now to talk about what my post is ACTUALLY about: After wrapping up my kitchen remodel officially a couple of weeks ago I had about a quarter of the can from my chalk paint that I used on the cabinets left. In my house I have both a half bath and a full bath and the vanities in both of them are the same light colored oak that my kitchen cabinets were before I painted them. I decided to use the leftover paint on both of them to give a little refresh to the bathrooms.

I chose fairly similar color schemes for both of the bathrooms prior to the paint, more cool tones, so the gray worked well in both spaces. Just like in the kitchen the vanities needed only 2 coats in order to have a nice even matte finish. Then I waxed them over and added need hardware in both as well.

Here is the half bathroom with it’s small upgrades that make a big difference

For those who may not have read my kitchen remodel post, the chalk paint I used is Country Chic brand in Charcoal and I purchased it at Picks, a great resale store that is here in Grand Forks. My rug that is mushroom, teal, and beige is from Kohls. The fun lantern on the countertop is from Gordmans and the turqoise marbled knobs I just purchased at Hobby Lobby this weekend. Replacing the hardware can make a really big difference for a minimal amount of money. I love the pop of color that these provide.


Behind the toilet I hung a canvas also from Gordmans and my color block and polka dot towels are both from Kohls as well. I like the brown and blue combo! The tissue holder is a really cool abstract floral and it also has a matching soap dish. They were a gift from my mom when I moved into my house so I’m not sure where they’re from but they were perfect for this half bath right off the kitchen on the first level ๐Ÿ™‚

The upstairs bathroom is a full bath so quite a bit more space, especially wall space to utilize. I find myself gravitating towards purple and blue tones and when I moved into my townhouse I had never had more than one bathroom so needed to get some new decor. The vanity in the upstairs bathroom is much larger so that I can have storage as its the only full bath. I repainted that and also upgraded the hardware.

The hardware I chose for upstairs is a brushed silver pull with a fun white stone detail in the middle. I found them at Menards for an excellent price and I like how they have a classic look to them but still stand out against the dark gray.

As for the rest of the bathroom, when I moved in I liked the paint colors that the previous owner had chosen. A mid-range gray on three of the walls and then the main wall of the bathroom had a stripe pattern alternating gray and white. Since I needed to outfit a 2nd bathroom I was able to start from scratch and just decided to base my decor off of the current paint rather than repainting. I spent a long time looking for a shower curtain and settled on this great purple and turquoise floral patterned one from I liked how it was a bold pattern but not too “busy” in my mind. Purple has always been a favorite color of mine so it was an easy choice.


With turquoise being another favorite I chose two different powder/light blue rugs: one more shaggy for in front of the vanity and another one that is the soft foam bath mat for in front of the shower. Both are from Target. On the striped wall I chose a painted sign from Hobby Lobby with a line from one of my favorite hymns. Up until this weekend that hung alone on the wall. When I made a trip to Picks this weekend two of my friends encouraged to buy this awesome distressed old screen window. I hung it behind the sign and then rehung that over the front. I like how it allows the painted sign to stand out more now and also adds more of an overall statement to the already striped wall.

The small wall along my sink allowed for a bit more space for decor. There I hung the Irish Blessing canvas I have had since college that I can’t remember where it’s from. Then I purchased this fun wood board with three mounted mason jars from Gordmans. I filled all of the jars partially with a pretty light blue marble vase filler from Michaels as well as a handful of fake floral stems in purple, blue, and white. It adds a sweet touch to the bathroom and I like the feeling of the florals even if they aren’t real!


It was fun to wrap up a couple more small projects around my house that weekend but even though they are small budget wise they make a big impact. It’s a good reminder that sometimes a small amount of money and some time invested can make a space look almost brand new. I’m looking forward to a few more projects this winter and most of them will be surrounding organization in my closets. I’m looking forward to sharing everything with all of you along the way!

I hope each of you enjoyed your weekend whether it was filled with work, fun, family, friends, or relaxation. As always, thanks so much for reading ๐Ÿ™‚ I will see back here next Sunday with more to share!


xoxo Jen

Rent the Runway experience ๐Ÿ’ƒ

happy Sunday, everyone!

I have a short and sweet post for you this week but wanted to share a new experience I had last week when trying a new service that I had heard a lot about.

Those that follow me in my personal Instagram probably saw a post from New Year’s Eve. This past year I was on the board of directors for my local Young Professionals organization and one of the duties of my committee seat was to plan the annual charity gala event that takes place on NYE.

The prep for the event was crazy and time consuming but I have an amazing committee of people who made it so much better and we put together an amazing event that we’re proud of! Since the prep for the event was so crazy I found myself a couple of weeks before the event wondering what the heck I was going to wear to my own gala!! Then I remembered a service I had heard about from friends and decided it would be the perfect time to try it out…enter Rent the Runway ๐Ÿ™‚

This website (or app) allows you to rent (or buy) designer dresses, gowns, cocktail length, full length, you name it! This concept is genius because the kind of dress I was looking for to wear on the red carpet at this event was not something that I would probably find myself wearing more than once or twice.

Investing in a gown like that to only wear it on a few occasions isn’t very budget friendly. Rent the Runway has made getting gowns like that both budget friendly and easy!! I perused the app and searched based on certain parameters that I was looking for:

– full length

– in my specific size

– within my budget (picked a price range)

This narrowed down the options the app presented to me and I could look through and see if any styles caught my eye. My favorite thing about the app is that not only are there photos of the gown from the app itself on a model but there are also photos of other customers who have ordered the dress shown in the reviews and comments.

This really eased my main concern of ordering the dress in my “normal” size but not have it fit properly. As many of you I’m sure have also experienced there is no way to pinpoint your typical size because it can be so different from brand to brand! This way when I found the dress I wanted I could read the reviews and see pictures of others who had had the same dress and how it fit them (true to size, runs small, runs big). There is also an opportunity for them to list their own size, height, and weight and bust size to help you compare and really find the best size for you.

Once I made my selection I chose my preferred size and then they also allow you to choose a 2nd size at no extra cost! That way you have two of the same dress that arrives and then you avoid any size emergencies right before your event.

My first experience couldn’t have been better. The floor length wine red Monique Lhulier dress that I selected fit me really well and gave me the perfect elegant look I was going for for this event. The top was sheer paneled lace with really pretty floral detailing. I didn’t get a good photo of the back but it was a big open keyhole which was dramatic and classy.

Here are a few more photos from that night that give a better full length shot of the dress. It was so fun to take photos on the red carpet with my friends and committee who were there to support me for this big event!! I felt like a real life version of the red dancing girl emoji ๐Ÿ’ƒ all night long!

As for the rental period, I chose to have the dress arrive 2 days before my event. It was a four day rental so this gave me one day after my event to get the dresses bagged back up and dropped off at the UPS store for delivery back. Rent the Runway takes care of the dry cleaning and laundering and also pays the return shipping!

As for cost, since it was my first time ordering I had a 20% off code which helped a little on the price. My total cost for the 4-day rental, tax, and shipping was just under $55 dollars. Without the code I would have been closer to $70-75 but I still find that really affordable to get a high end designer gown!

I don’t have any events on the horizon that would require me to get another cocktail dress or gown but I’m really looking forward to utilizing Rent the Runway again when it’s time for me to find the perfect dress!! I highly recommend it to anyone who might be looking for something fancy but doesn’t want to spend a ton of money.

Thanks so much for reading and have a great week!! I’ll be back next Sunday ๐Ÿ™‚


xoxo Jen

the year of calm

Hello all, I hope that this post finds you all well, rested, and recharged after a wonderful Christmas and New Year with friends, family, and loved ones. Today I have spent some time reflecting on 2017 and all of the memories it brought me. Some joyous, some difficult, moments of laughter, moments of tears, but most of all another full year of life that I am grateful for.

I have never really been one to embrace a huge resolution or change with a New Year but I have found myself in this season of life wanting to take extra time to reflect and decide how I would like my next year to look. This reflecting is different for everyone I would imagine: some may want to accomplish certain things in a year such as fitness goals, travel destinations, learning a new skill, and the list goes on.

What I have found in my mind the last couple of days during my thinking is that I really want to embrace a new feeling in my life this year. The best phrase I could come up with to describe this feeling I am seeking is “the year of calm” and as soon as I said it I knew it felt just right. Turning 25 this year has brought me a lot of thoughts that I am slowly sorting through. Some deep feelings of accomplishment, some anxious thoughts about how life is changing, some anxious thoughts about 25 and what that might mean, some happy moments reflecting on how far I’ve come, but equally as many about how far I still want to go.

I apologize if these sentiments and words are seeming vague as you read them but I wanted to write this post as a way to get them on (electronic) paper and have a way to hold myself accountable as 2018 unfolds. I wanted to share my thoughts with all of you who take the time to read my posts and I am so thankful for each of you. Starting this blog in the summer of 2016 has been one of my most favorite ways to spend my time as a creative expression and a way of exercising my love for writing.

In a few paragraphs I am going to try to describe what “the year of calm” is going to mean for me and some ideas I have for action steps and specific things I can do to make those changes throughout the year. Before I dig into the specifics I wanted to share the photo I saw on Instagram that sparked my initial thoughts about these changes that I’m wanting to make. I think the words really jumped out at me and it showed me that it was something I needed to read and attach to. So this year is all about the moments between the destinations for me. Moments where I will learn to embrace the quiet and prepare myself for whatever reveals itself next.



For as long as I can remember I have always been someone who enjoyed being busy. I like to take on new challenges, new projects, and begin new things that I haven’t tried before. Having this mindset and energy level has given me a lot of opportunities, especially during my college years and these couple of years since graduating and beginning a career. I have found that in the last few months I have been yearning for some calm in my life. Days where I was craving just some quiet time to relax but didn’t have the ability to do that because of commitments I had made (work, school, social, etc).

I have read a few articles recently about how a measuring stick in our modern culture, especially in the US, for being successful is to tell people how busy you are. This really opened my eyes because often when people ask me “How are you?” or “How have you been?” my response is usually: I’m good but I’m so busy! My challenge to myself this year is to no longer look at be busy as an accomplishment. My new level of success will come from my ability to embrace the calm and quiet and teach myself how to relax.

After living by myself (plus Luna of course!) for the last 2.5 years I feel I have gotten into a great routine and actually really enjoy living alone. I like the freedom to have my own space but also love the fact that I can host and entertain whenever I’d like to but then things reset back to my personal space when the gathering is done. Even though I’ve found that I love living alone I still struggle to allow myself to fully relax and enjoy time in calm and quiet. This upcoming semester with only my one graduate school course one evening per week I am going to challenge myself to find some time for calm in the other 4 nights of the week. Some of them may turn in to study nights or nights with projects and tasks around the house; but for the most part I want to try some new ways to unplug.

Some other general ideas I have for embracing this year of calm are to be intentional when I take on new commitments. Reminding myself that keeping a lesser schedule will allow for a greater level of emotional health for me and physical health too. Melissa Hartwig, the creator of Whole30, said that this year she is going to help others learn how to comfortably say no. I am hoping to get some good advice from her as this is an area where I struggle.

Lastly, I am looking to build a new morning routine for myself that will allow for a larger amount of time in the morning before I go to work that I can add some quiet reflection before starting my day. I typically read before going to bed but want to try flipping things around and spending 15-20 minutes reading in the morning. This will allow me a slow start to the day and some time to enjoy coffee or sitting outside in the early morning (when it isn’t winter of course!). I also have never given meditation and breathing exercises/yoga a full shot. These are two things I also hope to incorporate into my morning routine. A short meditative exercise through a highly recommended app I downloaded (I will share about this with all of you after I’ve tried it for a few weeks) and some simple stretching in the morning should get me off on a better foot before starting my work or weekend day!!

I hope that all of you are feeling ready to welcome 2018 with open arms and that if you have goals for this year that you have the tenacity and courage to pursue them wholeheartedly. I appreciate you reading this and am glad to have all of you accountable to me as I share my journey to embrace these new things this year for myself.

#theyearofcalm #sugarspiceandstylethatsnice

xoxo Jen