family weekend recap

Hi, everyone! Last weekend was spent down in the twin cities of Minneapolis/St. Paul with my family – including time further east in Stillwater, Minnesota and Hudson, Wisconsin. I wanted to share a short recap with some photos of things that we did as a family as well as some of the food we ate…of course 😀

My brother lives in the twin cities and my parents and I were making the trip down for the weekend to attend my cousin’s wedding in Stillwater. We took an extra day and headed down on Friday so that we could arrive in the cities by mid-afternoon in order to go to the Minnesota Twins game that night as a family! Since we could take our time on Friday on the drive down we made a pit stop in the town of Freeport, Minnesota to enjoy a late lunch at Charlie’s Café. My mom had stopped there before and it’s “small town famous” so she wanted my dad and I to experience it too! It was the cutest place decorated in all yellow & red on the outside and was a classic “sit down and eat” diner where the waitresses are moving so fast it’s hard to understand how they keep it all straight. I went with a classic cheeseburger and upgraded to waffle fries because that is NEVER a bad idea. It was a solid meal and I would be happy to stop back there again sometime on another trip to the cities.



I love baseball and Target field is a beautiful park to enjoy a game. I’ve been to a handful of games there so far since it was constructed and I’ve been to both day games and nights games. The park is situated with a beautiful view of the Minneapolis skyline as the sun goes down and the buildings light up. We sat on the third base line so that we could have a prime view. The weather was beautiful and the game ended up being a great one with lots of good hitting to enjoy. We always have to get a picture when the four of us are together and this one turned out pretty amazingly…might even be Christmas card potential!


Our hotel in downtown Minneapolis was near a handful of the theatres in the MSP including the State Theatre and the Orpheum. On a walk around the neighborhood in search of coffee prior to the game my mom and I stumbled across an amazing mural wall that stopped me in my tracks. All of you know how much I love color and this was stunning. I have seen a handful of full-wall murals in Minneapolis before but this was the first time I had seen this one so I couldn’t pass up getting a picture. The saying on the mural is a lyric from the Prince song “Baby I’m a Star” so it doesn’t surprise me that a local artist wanted to showcase (and memoralize) one of their beloved and one of the greatest ever. I’m unsure if the mural was there before Prince’s death or not but if it wasn’t this was a great tribute. It was a good cloudy overlay at the time so the lighting in the picture turned out great!


After our evening in downtown Minneapolis we headed further east to Hudson, Wisconsin where our hotel was (just across the St. Croix river from Stillwater, Minnesota where the wedding was!) We waited to have lunch on Saturday until we got to Hudson because we wanted to find a fun new place to try. We hopped on Yelp to find a good restaurant suggestion and decided to try out something unique – a Caribbean restaurant called San Pedro Café. We definitely weren’t disappointed as the selection was really unique and we got to enjoy some great food and even better margaritas. The margarita menu was extensive and so we ordered three different ones to try – a sunset, a mango, and a blood orange jalapeno. For my meal I chose a unique pizza – pulled pork, mango salsa, mozzarella, crushed red pepper, cilantro, and a spicy lemon aioli sauce. It hit all the marks for a combination of smoky, spicy, and sweet which I loved! This is definitely a place I would go back to next time I’m in Hudson!


We sat outside on their beautiful patio filled with tropical flowers…it was so well tied in with the ambience that it didn’t feel like you were in the Midwest at all. Our waitress talked about how the person who designed their florals really outdid themselves this year. Below is a photo of the walkway to the restaurant from the back alley, covered in beautiful sprawling greens. It reminded me a lot of time spent in places like Hawaii and the US Virgin Islands with such beautiful landscapes. 


As I mentioned earlier the whole reason for our trip was to attend a family wedding in Stillwater. My cousin Julie got married and the reception was held in a great restaurant in downtown Stillwater. I took a photo of my wedding look for the Instagram account for my blog – wearing my favorite summer dress! Yellow has been my latest obsession and I love a good floral print any time of the year, but especially in the summer. My lipstick is the matte cream lip color from NYX cosmetics that has been a big game-changer for me in the lipstick world.


We had a great weekend together as a family and it’s always fun to put together a recap for all of you in case you find yourselves in Minneapolis/St.Paul or Stillwater/Hudson anytime soon. Thanks so much for reading and have a great week!


xoxo Jen


target beauty box review

It comes as no surprise to all of you regular readers that I am a big fan of two things – Target and subscription boxes. So when I learned that Target was doing a subscription-type box you BETTER believe I was all over that 🙂


Each month Target has at least one (if not multiple) beauty boxes that you can order. They announce the new boxes by email and it is usually around the 10th of the month. I has made sure to watch out for the emails each month because they tend to sell out really quickly!! Admittedly I have never looked on the website to see if they’re listed there but I have no doubt they are when they’re available. I have always followed the link straight from the emails announcing them to make my selection.

I just received this month’s box in the mail yesterday and I wanted to share the details with all of you. There were multiple box options this month and I chose to buy the one with a “Rejuvenation” theme because um, that sounds amazing, and 100% like something I need! Each of the box options is fully detailed and shows all of the products that you will get. Some of the products in the box are full size and some are sample size so it’s a nice mix of products to try and you have full transparency up front about what you’re going to get so there is no guess work.

I apologize that the lighting in that picture is so poor but that shows the full break down card of all of the products in the box. It also always comes with a coupon for your next beauty/skin care purchase at Target which is perfect if you end up going to buy more or a full-size version of one of the products if you love it! It’s almost as if Target planned it that way…..hmmm… 🙂

My box from this selection includes a face sheet mask, a 3-day tooth whitening kit, a charcoal body scrub, coconut scented dry shampoo, a foaming mousse body wash, a leave in hair mask, and a facial scrub. I just started the 3-day whitening kit last night and I’m excited to see what the results are over the course of these few days. I am really excited to try out the rest of the products because they are all new to me and the sample sizes give me the perfect preview. That way if there is anything I completely love I can add it to my list for the next time I’m in the store!


I can’t leave without sharing the most important detail about this box which is something I could hardly believe the first time I ordered it….the entire box of products is only $7.99! Yes, you read that right. The price is incredible and encourages you to try without having a worry that you’ll not like any of the products and had spent a big chunk of cash. Also as I mentioned earlier you can see the complete contents of the box before ordering so you can do your research on the products up front so you aren’t surprised.

If you have any questions about the box please don’t hesitate to ask! This is a fun and essentially really low-risk way to try out new beauty products and a fun way to stay “on trend” when it comes to skincare, health, and beauty products 🙂

As always you all rock; thank you so much for reading! Be back again soon!


xoxo Jen

daily harvest review

Hi all! I hope that you enjoyed a sweet weekend. I love Sunday evenings and I’m enjoying writing this post for all of you on my couch while watching the beautiful sunset out my front window.

If you follow me on Instagram you saw that I was up to a few painting projects this weekend so I’ll look forward to sharing some before and afters of those soon 🙂 For tonight I wanted to give you a short review post on the Daily Harvest products I have been trying over the last few weeks!

I learned about Daily Harvest through one of my favorite wellness bloggers on Instagram. They are a company that produces fresh smoothies, overnight oats/oatmeal, and soups that are sent to you in the mail in a big box packed with dry ice to keep them food safe.

This company is on a subscription basis so you can choose a plan based on how frequently you want to receive the cups as well as how many cups you want per box. Similar to other subscription boxes you can skip any weeks that you don’t want to receive an order and can skip as many in a row as you want. I have had two orders come to me so far because I got 9 cups each time. I spaced them out and now I have a fresh box so I probably won’t need to order for awhile!

I have been using the smoothies as either a breakfast option or a quick snack/light supper on nights when I got to either softball or class in the evening. The overnight oatmeal is amazing and a great option to grab out of the fridge and bring to work with me in the morning. I haven’t tried any of the soups yet but down the road I plan to!

Below is a photo of 8 of the 9 cups I Just got in my most recent order. The writing on the cups is small and tough to see the flavors so here is what I ordered:

Smoothiesmango & greens, mango & papaya, cacao & avocado, cold brew & almond, chai & coconut, apples & greens

Overnight oatschocolate & banana


I have always had every intention of being a smoothie/juice queen but have never been able to make combinations work or create great levels of flavor through experimentation. This has been an awesome option for me. I’m hoping that the combinations of the shakes I’ve had so far can inspire me to work on making my own smoothies more often in the future and using this subscription infrequently when I want to stock up for fast options.

Daily Harvest uses only the simplest of ingredients and lists them in large bold type on the side of each cup. I love looking at what’s inside and seeing that the ingredient list is so simple and fresh without added sugars. I am planning to take on another Whole30 in August and I’m looking forward to ordering some possibly compliant smoothies from here for my month! The cup in the photo below has been my favorite so far. I love cold brew coffee and so this combination with added almond milk and blended up is DELICIOUS!

The last thing I want to share is how simple these are to make. Each of them comes in their own single serve cup and they all need to be stored in the freezer (so make sure you have enough room for your order!) When you’re ready to make a cup just take it out of the freezer and take off the cover and plastic over the top. Then you add a liquid of your choice and fill to the top of the cup – I use plain water for some flavors, sometimes I use coconut water, and many of the options are great with almond milk (or any other type of milk of your choosing!) Then you dump the full contents of the cup into your blender and blend it up. Then you can pour it right back in the cup because it fits perfectly 🙂 Each cover has a straw hole in it so you can use a reusable straw and take the cup with you to go!

If you’re interested in checking our Daily Harvest you can head to their website here and see all of the plan options as well as all of their selections for smoothies, oatmeal, and soup. I haven’t come even close to trying all of the flavors so I’m looking forward to getting another order! Also, since I have ordered from Daily Harvest before all of you can use this link to get three cups free on your first order!!

I hope you all had a wonderful week. Excited to be back soon with more on my projects from this weekend. Thanks so much for reading!


xoxo Jen

fourth of july preview

Hi, all! I apologize that I’ve been on a short hiatus from a post. School has been crazy so this has gone on the back burner a little bit. I find myself looking more and more forward to graduating and having much more free time to dedicate to creating content and growing my blog.

As a short and sweet preview for one of THE best days of the year on Wednesday I thought I would share my 4th of July outfit as well as my family’s plans 🙂 I always love seeing the fun pictures and events going on around this time of year from my friends and family. With it being a mid-week this year I know it changes lots of people’s plans but I hope many of you are enjoying some lake and family/friend time.

In my family, the Fourth of July is not only America’s birthday it is also my Grandpa Roger’s birthday. Every year we throw a heck of a party to celebrate another year of life for him and it has grown in to quite the celebration. My dad comes from a large family with many siblings so when we get all of us together: aunts, uncles, cousins, grandkids, great-grandkids, dogs…it is quite the group!

We all gather in my hometown and spend the day in my aunt and uncle’s backyard. Everyone MUST come dressed in their Independence Day best. If you don’t wear red, white, and blue I don’t think they would let you in!! We usually kick off the day with a parade down the block with all of the grandkids and dogs with Grandpa leading the charge. Then we head inside to enjoy the smorgasbord of food that everyone contributes. Bratwursts of all flavors from a local meat store are always the main course surrounded by salads, fruit, beans, potato dishes, and much more.


Once we’re all weighed down from our huge meal we head to the backyard where North Dakota’s largest (and most organized) bean bag tournament takes place. My aunt Susan is the commissioner of the tournament so she decides upon the criteria for pairing up people in teams and then creates the bracket for the day. We spend hours back in the sun with 2 different sets of boards in a double-elimination tournament. The stakes are high and sometimes we aren’t the friendliest to each other but it’s all in good fun and that’s what happens when your whole family has a competitive spirit 🙂


The day is capped off with the announcement of the winning teams and everyone gets to make their selection from the prize table in order of their finish in the tournament. The best part of the day comes when Grandpa Roger takes a seat in his lawn chair with his Uncle Sam hat surrounded by his birthday gifts. We all sit back and enjoy watching him open them up as we indulge in homemade ice cream (always in three flavors: one blue, one red, one white – my favorite being the “blue”berry cheesecake) and a selection of cakes – carrot, chocolate….you name it, we probably have it!


As for this year’s outfit: I typically wear a fun sundress but I decided to go a more sporty/casual route this year. I headed to Target for some inspiration (not surprise there!) and found a couple of great items

  • The fun United States flag hat was from Target for $12.99. It will keep the sun out of my eyes while I’m playing and also helps to cover up any possibility of a bad hair day: a win-win situation!
  • This red and white striped short sleeve top is from the Xhilaration brend at Target and was $24.99 but all clothing was 20% off when I was there on Cartwheel so I saved some money that way. I love the fun long tie in the front – knotted and tied shirts are so trendy right now and this shirt will be great to wear all summer long!
  • My navy blue leggings are Calvin Klein activewear brand and are from TJMaxx. I love the criss-cross pattern at the bottom of the back of the legs. It adds fun interest and my bet is that I will get a really interesting tan line from them too (haha!)
  • My manicure and pedicure will both be bright white from Sinful colors – less than $3 at Target. I have become a big fan of white nail polish this summer so I’m expecting to keep the same style throughout the summer. Especially as I get more tan it stands out and looks great with sandals and darker skin.
  • My comfy woven brown sandals are from DSW but they were purchased a couple of summers ago! Really fun for summer and go with practically everything!

I hope that you all have a wonderful 4th of July. I can’t wait to see the fun photos and memories you create on your own adventures 🙂 Be back with more soon and as always, thanks so much for reading!



xoxo Jen