recognizing emotional pain

Each week at work I spend time on different sites that present content on human elements and human capital in the workplace. These articles help me to explore new or less familiar human resources related topics that help me to perform better at my job and to understand new things in my field that I can expect to encounter.

A couple of the resources that I visit are the SHRM (Society of Human Resource Management) website and blog, the Thrive Global daily newsletter that comes to my email inbox, and my favorite: the TedX ideas website. I am assuming many of you are familiar with or have watch/attended/been inspired by Ted talks throughout the last few years. The organization and its influence have spread like wildfire and we even host a local TedX event in Grand Forks.

The Ted ideas website has excellent content sorted by a number of categories: Tech, Business, Arts & Design, Science, and We Humans. You can get to the website but following this link! Earlier this week when I hopped on there to review what was new I found a brand new article in my favorite section (especially as a HR careerist), We Humans, and was immediately drawn to reading it. The title of the article is “Why we need to take emotional pain as seriously as physical pain” and you can read it by following this link.

After I read the article I felt like I needed to take a break for reflection because it brought about so many thoughts and things that I wanted to think through for myself. I read the article on Tuesday the 13th of February and as the week progressed I found its content becoming even more and more relevant for me on a personal level and even more relevant on a national level as we experienced another devastating mass school shooting on Wednesday the 14th.

I won’t recap the article in a large amount of detail here because if you are interested in the topic I would really encourage you to give the article a read yourself after you finish reading my post. It isn’t a crazy lengthy read and it also has a video of the content expert at the end talking on the same subject to get more in-depth. This is the format of all of the articles on the website and I think it’s a great platform that allows you to dig in further on subject and articles that you find helpful, intriguing, and are curious to learn more about.

As you could probably tell from the title of the article it went into depth explaining the differences in our modern society in how physical pain is treated and recognized versus how emotional pain is treated and recognized. I’m sure that without even reading you can guess that as a society it is much easier for us to treat and recognize physical pain because it often has very visible cues and faces. Physical ailments and injuries are (and of course I’m not a doctor!) in my experience fairly easy to see with our eyes and possibly diagnose right away – oh no, looks like you gave your ankle a bad sprain during that soccer practice – someone quick run and get the nurse, it looks like Jen broke her nose during the basketball game and needs medical attention now….

On the flip side of the coin we have emotional pain. Something that often doesn’t surface or show itself in a recognizable or obvious physical way because it is something that we are experiencing internally and the type of emotional pain we’re experiencing or why it came about isn’t apparent to anyone looking at or observing us. That is not to say that emotional pain can’t manifest itself in a physical way (crying, blank looks, anger, visible tiredness, etc) but we aren’t able to understand why someone is experiencing emotional pain unless we ask them.

The author of the article, Guy Winch, describes some of his own experiences through sessions he has had with patients over his years of experience as a psychologist. It was tough to read about the accounts he heard from teenagers who experienced heartbreak or tough emotional situations and then suffered greatly at school because of their inability to focus after being in a difficult emotional scenario. His main story in the article describes an openly gay teenager who worked up the courage to ask another gay kid at his school to hang out after having a crush on him for a long time. When his crush openly declined his invitation and embarassed him in front of other classmates the student had to try to take a test the next period but could barely focus from the emotional distress. When he brought the information forward to his teacher and said he struggled during the exam his teacher told him he was “making excuses”.

As a society (myself included) we don’t often acknowledge or ask others when they seem down if they are in pain of if we can do anything to help. They might not be in outward pain but I have certainly been through my own heartbreak and know that even though you don’t look hurt anywhere physically you are torn and in pain inside. Sometimes emotional pain can last a long time, sometimes it’s gone quickly. Sometimes it comes and goes in waves; when we have reminders of our pain it can come rushing back without a moments notice. As fellow humans I think we could all work harder at showing our compassion for people when they’re in emotional pain. This kind of pain can effect us similarly and it might make it tough to do the normal things that are expected of us at work, school, and in relationships and friendships.

The other aspect of this reflection for me was that often times I don’t acknowledge my own emotional pain that I might be experiencing when I am going through tough situations. This article was a reminder to me that it’s OK if I don’t always feel on top of my game when I’m going through challenges in my work and personal life. I am going to work to be better about keeping my emotional health and awareness at the forefront and not feeling embarrassed by emotionally tough situations.

I wanted to share this with all of you in the hopes that it sparks some reflection for you as well. It’s good to challenge ourselves to step outside of our norm and I am going to challenge myself to be more aware of others: my coworkers, friends, family members and remember to ask them if they’re OK if I get any signs that they might be in pain. Offer to help or just acknowledge that you’re there for them if they need anything. Just having that conversation with someone might make all the difference in the world for them. Having someone acknowledge the pain they’re feeling will be a welcome change and can help them to realize it’s OK if they aren’t feeling 100% like themselves and might need some time to get back to normal.

As always, thanks so much for reading! It was fun to go a little bit different of a direction this week. Look forward to sharing something new with all of you next week 🙂 Have a great one.


xoxo Jen



beauty product rundown

Happy Monday, everyone! This week I wanted to share some of my staple beauty products with all of you. I have a pretty simplistic beauty and makeup routine but in the last couple of years after college I have found the importance in a skincare regimen to keep my skin as healthy as possible, especially in our climate that can be so cold and dry in the winter. I’m also going to discuss some other products from my routine including hair care, makeup, and perfume.

Here is the picture of all of the products I’ll describe and discuss briefly. I’ll share where I got all of them and almost all can be found at your local Target (surprise, surprise!!)



Moisturizer – for the longest time I always used a basic moisturizer for both the morning and the evening that had an SPF base since I have such fair skin. This past year I read an article about the importance between evening and morning moisturizer and how it doesn’t make sense to use an SPF base moisturizer in the evening because you need something more focused on hydration than sun protection. A few months ago I changed to using two different products: an AM and a PM moisturizer. Both are CeraVe brand and I have LOVED them. I used this brand previously and it is really simplistic and doesn’t contain any fragrance or ascent which is always key for me. They are both from Target and range about $10 – $12 a bottle.

Hydrating face mask – as I am sure all of you have seen “face masks” have exploded this past year in popularity and now you can find them everywhere. It can be overwhelming because there are so many different options/types of masks. I have tried a fair number of different types of mask and really have landed on this “Hydrate” mask as my favorite. It is “miss spa” brand and can also be purchased at Target. They are between $2 and $3 per mask and it’s a sheet mask so you remove it from the backing and press onto your face and leave on for 20 minutes. I tend to use a mask about 2 nights per week and love the relaxing feeling of laying and closing my eyes while I wear it. I always use it right before I go to sleep because then after I peel it off I can let the excess soak in and work while I’m sleeping.

Under eye masks – these masks were a part of my winter FabFitFun subscription box and they are UNREAL. They are small half moon shaped masks that you place right below your eyes for 20-30 minutes. They help to re-energize the skin underneath your eyes and reduce the appearance of tired eyes. The brand name is Grace & Stella and they are $16 for a pack of 8 pairs of masks.



Dry shampoo  – I typically only wash my hair every 2nd day at most, but sometimes only every third day. A great dry shampoo is key to keep my hair looking clean after multiple days. Not Your Mothers is my favorite brand I’ve tried and I like the Beach Babe version because it has a nice coconut fresh scent to it and helps with the wavy/curly texture of my natural hair. This is also a Target item!

Hair oil – just like my skin, in the winter my hair tends to get quite dry instead of oily after a day or two without washing it. In order to add some oil and health back in to it I work Moroccan argan oil through it while it’s still damp after the shower and then add as needed in the days following to keep it from drying out. A little goes a long way with the oil and it adds a healthy shine to your hair. This is one version of the oil but you can also buy a version that is more like a spray. The brand is OGX and I also buy it at Target.



Mascara – I have tried dozens of mascaras over the years and about 2 years ago I found this one and have never looked back. I have really long eyelashes but they are so light blonde that I need to find something with the right kind of brush to get them to look natural and not too dark black. I use Maybelline Lash sensational (in NON waterproof – I’ve never been a waterproof mascara fan) in brown-ish black so it doesn’t have as dark of a coloring. I’m always crossing my fingers that they never discontinue this mascara because I don’t know what I’d do!!

Eyeshadow – I also use Maybelline brand for my eyeshadow: Color Tattoo 24-hour. This is a cream based eye shadow in a bronze gold shade. I like that it’s neutral but dressy so I wear it almost every day. I find that cream based shadow stays on all day and doesn’t build up in the creases liked powdered eye shadow tends to do for me.

Lip color  – for Christmas I received a set of small sized lip glosses from Bare Minerals. I really like this neutral shade of brown-ish pink that goes with everything at this time of year. Bare Minerals is sold at Sephora and stand alone stores as well!



Charcoal tooth whitener – This Molr coconut and charcoal based teeth whitening powder was also in one of my FabFitFun seasonal subscription boxes. It’s an interesting thing to use but once you get used to it it feels normal! Its just a black powder that you dip a special toothbrush in and then gently brush your teeth with for about 2-3 minutes. I use it about 3-4 times per week and it really has made a difference!

Perfume – Just this past week I purchased a new perfume from the new fragrance line at Target. The brand is called Good Chemistry and I purchased it in the roller ball because it’s easier to apply and has a longer lasting power than body spray in my opinion. I chose the “Daydreamer” scent and am really liking it after the first few days of using it. It was really affordable at $12.


I hope that these products are interesting to you! I look forward to sharing more beauty regimen products with you in the future and enjoyed sharing my basics with you. Thanks so much for reading and have a wonderful week 🙂


xoxo Jen

scarf styling – 5 different ways!



Happy Monday, everyone! I delayed my post until tonight since I was enjoying the exciting SuperBowl last night and more importantly the This Is Us episode which couldn’t have been anymore emotional if they tried!!

This week I wanted to share some fun scarf styling with all of you. In recent years I feel like my accessory interests have slowly shifted from looking for fun shoes to looking for fun scarves. When I look at the scarf ladder in my room I can’t even remember where I got most of these scarves or how I ended up with so many but I LOVE using them in different ways with my outfits; and not only in the winter and fall. I have lots of brightly colored scarves that are lighter weight and fun to wear and accessorize with in the summer as well.

I find it best to organize my scarves by color. That way I can easily find one that matches the outfit I am picking out and I don’t have to sort through to find something specific. I bought this ladder at a garage sale and painted it turquoise to match with the rest of my bedroom theme. An easy and inexpensive organization tool that lots of people also use for blanket storage!


In order to take full advantage of these fun scarves I wanted to learn some new ways to style them and tie them that aren’t the typical wrap around the neck or double wrap of an infinity scarf. Last winter in the dollar spot/front section of Target I found this awesome book that had 25 different ways to tie a scarf. I loved the photos and the detailed step by step drawings so I could easily follow along. I also appreciated that they have different styling options for a variety of types of scarves (square, oblong, long and skinny, bigger blanket scarves, etc). Even though this book is long gone from Target’s dollar section I have no doubt you could find it on Amazon or another website by searching for it! Lauren Friedman is the author 🙂


I chose 5 of my favorite styles from the book to tie and share photos of with all of you. This post will be quite photo heavy since I just wanted to share pictures of the instructions with you rather than re-typing or explaining in my own words. I tried to focus the photos on the words so they are easy for you to read and try out yourself if you would like to!

Once you get through the instruction photos for each I have a photo of myself at the end with a scarf tied each way so you can see it in “real life”. I also have the illustrations from the book for each so you can get a general idea of how they are supposed to turn out!

  1.  The Tie – to be used with a long oblong scarf, thinner is better here 


This is a good option for a dressier outfit at work and a fun patterned scarf. By wearing a plains solid color blouse and a fun scarf over the top this style of knot has a masculine undertone as it mimics a neck tie.

2. The Fan – this is also meant for an oblong scarf 


This is a fun style to be worn even with a thicker fabric scarf in the winter. It creates some interest and allows the scarf to cover almost your whole front.

3. The Boy Scout – you need a bandana style or square scarf for this one!


I like this style because it allows the scarf to be visible in both the front and the back. By having the fold with the pointed corner down the middle of your back it makes the scarf extend and add interest to the back of your outfit as well!

4. The Bunny Ears – this also needs an oblong scarf and the thinner the better


This is a good style to choose if you have a scarf that you really want it to stand out or be the star of the outfit. It almost turns your scarf into a statement necklace and is a good method for winter because it keeps your neck warm under a jacket! It also works well with summer scarves that are thin and light. It looks pretty with a sundress or with a jean jacket

5. The XX – this can work with any oblong scarf both thick or thin


This is one of the simplest methods in the book to do but I feel like it adds a really fun difference to the styling of an outfit. I do this often with my thick blanket style plaid scarves in the winter because it allows me to spread the scarf out over my shoulders and create more of a wrap feel but the X in the front adds some fun dimension!

Here are photos of each of the 5 styles on me and matched up with their book illustration!

Clockwise from top left: The Tie, The Fan, The Bunny Ears, The Boy Scout, The XX

I hope this post gives you some new inspiration for styling your scarves as we reach the middle of winter. It’s always nice to change things up and this is an easy way to do something new with items that you already own in your closet! Have a wonderful week and as always thanks so much for reading 🙂


xoxo Jen

office ambience

Happy Sunday, everyone 🙂 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 décor 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 décor 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 décor 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 décor 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 🙂 **

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 décor 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 🙂

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 🙂

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 glasses  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 🙂

– – 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 😀

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 🙂 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 🙂

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 🙂 I will see back here next Sunday with more to share!


xoxo Jen

Rent the Runway experience 💃

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 🙂

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 💃 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 🙂


xoxo Jen