unglued winter craft retreat

I’m back again for the second time in the same week. I KNOW, I’m just as surprised as you πŸ™‚ I have been getting a handful of questions about my adventure from last weekend and I wanted to get the information out to you sooner than later….so here we go!

Last weekend I piled in the car with a group of my closest girlfriends from Grand Forks and made the journey down to Fargo for an all day event hosted by the Unglued Market – a winter craft retreat – and heck YES it was just as amazing as it sounds like it would be!

Friday night we started off by heading to one of the best food and beer establishments in Fargo – Wurst Bier Hall. We enjoyed some appetizers together, both the pretzels and pierogies, and for dinner I went with the bacon flight (arguably better than a beer flight) and a side of the best sweet potato fries I have ever eaten. They are the perfect crispiness and I love the long crinkle style! This place opened up when I was in college in Fargo and I remember how much fun my friends and I had eating and drinking there. If you live in this area and have never been make sure you add it to your list of places to check out.


After our supper we headed over to Drekker Brewing’s brewhalla beer hall for a little pre-party action hosted by Unglued as a taste of the event that was to come the next day. I had never been to brewhalla before but had seen plenty of pictures and it was just as stunning as I thought it would be! A huge hall of a building with a loft and huge beams and wooden tables all dedicated to beer. They also have some fun arcade style games and bean bags which is a fun way to spend time with friends while there. They also have a huge outdoor area so I’ll definitely be planning a trip back when it’s patio season!

When we arrived we were pleased to find that we were able to get the crafting started early because they had a project for us to do in the room that was reserved for our group! We each got to stamp and decorate our own small tera cotta pot however we liked and then plant a sweet little baby cactus inside. I brought mine home and it’s loving being right by the sunny front window of my living room!



Saturday morning is when the real intense fun started!! The retreat was held at the local Sons of Norway lodge which meant Norweigan food all.day.long and it was incredible. After we registered in the morning we enjoyed a delicious Norweigan breakfast (give me alllll the Norweigan pancakes) and breakfast beers and mimosas provided by Drekker. If I could started every Saturday morning that way from now on that would be great :D.

The rest of the day was filled with crafting awesomeness. Each attendee of the retreat was able to sign up for 2 different workshops of their choosing before the retreat and then there were also free crafting breaks and other whole group crafts built in later in the day. The two workshops that I chose to attend were one on Punch/Rug Hooking and one on Embroidery. I instantly fell in love with the rug hooking and I cannot wait to continue making items with that technique and hopefully even selling some in the future! It was therapeutic but not something that requires intense dexterity like other knitting and crocheting seem to. I made an amazing rainbow to hang in my rainbow half bathroom which you can see below.

The embroidery class I definitely struggled with more but by the end of the two hours of the workshop I was feeling semi-competent. We made these mini embroidery necklaces which look like old school lockets. I will wear mine proudly because it’s pretty cool to rock something that you made yourself!



As I mentioned before the food that we were served all day by the Sons of Norway staff and volunteers was KILLER good. Lunch was sandwiches and an amazing dumpling based soup but the real showstopper was the indescribable piece of chocolate peanut butter pie that was for dessert. My mouth is truly watering as I type this….for supper we celebrated arguably the best holiday ever “National Meatball Day”. WOAH. We had amazing meatballs and gravy with mashed potatoes, carrots, and a great vinegar based coleslaw with MORE dessert. This time it was a light and fluffy chocolate cake. The Sons of Norway treated us like kings and queens and we definitely left as far away from hungry as possible.


Some of the general crafting time and the crafts that everyone participated in together were short and simple projects that are still a lot of fun! We made our own bath bombs/bath salt, our own soy-based candles, and were able to screen print our own small little art pieces. All of the items that you make you get to take home with you so how COOL is that!? Two other craft stations involved two local business – Wild Terra Cidery and Proof Distillery. It was a blast to learn about cider making and norweigan liquor from these two businesses AND do some tasting. Below is a photo of my cute little art piece that I screen printed with the theme of the weekend “hygge” pronounced HOO-GAH….yeah I KNOW….I’ve been saying it wrong my whole life and I’m ashamed hahah. I also took a shot of some of the fun sample glasses of cider from Wild Terra. I had no clue there were so many different types of cider and learning the difference between cider and beer and how they’re made very differently was intriguing.


To end out the full day of retreating (8:30 AM to midnight!!) we had an amazing night filled with karaoke and a HUGE dance/dance party in the bar at the Sons of Norway. They had a flower crown making station set up and the dance was luau theme so everyone was breaking out their grass skirts and Hawaiian style shirts for the party. When we woke up on Sunday morning my body (especially my neck from all of the headbanging hahah) was sore in places I could barely believe!

To close out the weekend we attended one final “add-on” event that Unglued had for us during the event weekend – a brunch at Wild Terra Cider Bar. Wild Terra is located in a beautiful building in downtown Fargo that the owners renovated – it was formerly a horse stable and it has such a beautiful structure. The vibe in there is so warm and welcoming and the upstairs loft area is filled with amazing vintage couches and chairs for group and casual seating. (Psst if you live in Fargo they host movie nights there weekly on a projector screen so make sure you check it out!) The photo below is the first floor and it has a stunning floral wallpapered accent wall. I had to take a picture because the morning light streaming in was so gorgeous!


Our brunch consisted of bottomless mimosa and a really fun “build you own” waffle bar. They had a TON of toppings to choose from but I was really in the mood for sweet so I went straight for the nutella and strawberries and then added in chocolate chips and froot loops for some crunch! Topped it all off with just a little bit of syrup and it was divine. For some savory-ness I had their breakfast potatoes with a generous serving of goat cheese which was SUCH a good combination. The fact that my breakfast elements ended up looking like a rainbow made my color-loving soul so happy and it was the perfect way to end the weekend.


All in all this craft retreat was one of the best and most memorable things I’ve done in a long time. Unglued and their team are such sweet and genuine people who will do anything to give the attendees a great experience. If you want to learn more about Unglued click here to be redirected to their website. Next time you’re shopping in Fargo make sure to check out their storefront – and if you’re a resident of Fargo or the surrounding area they host workshops and classes in their store location a few times per month which is a great way to expand your creative abilities and meet new people!

Last but not least….Unglued also hosts a summer camp (OMG!!!) that is a full weekend long event. They have hosted it for a couple of years and always over Labor Day weekend at a camp in the lake country of Minnesota. This year is the first time they are going to have TWO weekends and I am crossing all of my fingers and toes that I am able to get into one of the weekend to experience the awesomeness that is Unglued for 3 jam packed days.

Thanks so much for reading along with me!! Have a wonderful end of your week!


xoxo Jen


bar cart styling and colored kitchen vintage finds

Hey, friends! How is everyone feeling after the spring forward this weekend? I don’t know about you but I’ve needed an extra cup of coffee (or two) to keep up these last couple of days, but I won’t complain because it means spring is on the way!!

I have partnered up with a group of sweet blogger gal pals to present you with some fun inspiration through home decor and fun fashion pieces that were all picked up while thrifting! (keep reading for more details at the end of the post)

In celebration of spring I was looking to add some colorful new pieces to my kitchen so I took a trip to one of my local thrift stores and struck gold with a handful of kitchen decor and glassware items. Nothing beats finding some amazing pieces that match your style or home vibe for a steal of a deal.

The first thing I found was an awesome vintage primary colored floral ice bucket. I chose to style it on my countertop alongside my kitchen utensils and my red Kitchenaid mixer. I am using it to store loose kitchen items like measuring spoons and cups. The floral pattern definitely made me think spring and it’s the perfect practical storage for the kitchen! An added bonus is how much it “pops” with my metallic backsplash.




My second score of the trip was a rainbow glassware set of both martini and wine glasses. They have a unique colored line pattern around the bowl and bottom of each of the glasses and there is a handful of colors making them look extra fun all together! My snarky coasters are the perfect complement to this sassy set πŸ™‚  I styled them on my favorite vintage orange bar cart that I scored a couple of years ago at a big junk market. They add a touch of whimsy to the kitchen and will be perfect for summer entertaining and nights on the patio once we get rid of all of this snow!!!




To give you a better idea of the bar cart and styling, I took a photo from farther away. One of the walls in my kitchen was blank with no storage so I made it functional by adding a fun garage sale shelf to display my colorful coffee cup collection and then added the cheery orange bar cart to serve as additional dishware and small appliance storage. The multicolored and patterned curtain hanging on the wall above the bar cart was another vintage/junk market find from my favorite local store – Picks. I was drawn to it immediately because of the mustard yellow polka dot pattern and the sweet little yellow pom pom details. It was made by sewing a variety of hankies together. I love the vintage vibe it brings and its the perfect balance to the storage pieces!



Take this post as a sign to take a spin through one (or a few!) of your local resale, thrift, and junk market style stores. You just might find some unique treasures that would fit right in to a space in your home or pair perfectly with something else in your closet. I think we all know how many of our friends spent the first part of the year studying up on the Marie Kondo ways and probably took a few loads of items to the thrift store (wink wink). One woman’s items that don’t bring her joy just may bring YOU joy!

Please take some time to check out the other thrifted treasures that my gal pals from around the Midwest found on their thrift store adventures by following the links below. These women are some of the sweetest people I know and it would make my heart happy if you would support them and their blogging journeys as well ❀


The Dark Plum
9 thrift store shopping tips featuring thrifted outfits from all 4 seasons.

Everyday Mrs
Boho Home Finds and High End Designer Wear.

Sugar, Spice and Style Thats Nice
Bar Cart Styling and Colorful Kitchen Vintage Finds.

Live Laugh Rowe β€“ ME!!
Boho Baskets and Beautiful Vintage Vase via Live Laugh Rowe

The Glamour Pursuit
Thrifted Work Outfits

Curlybyrdie Chirps
Revamping My Spring Style on a Budget

Everyday Teacher Style
Perk Up Your Home Decor on a Budget with Thrifted Finds


As always, thanks so much for reading along. Have a wonderful week!

xoxo  Jen

rainbow living room

Happy Sunday evening to all of you!

At home I have been making a lot of changes to my living space over the last couple of months and I have reached a point now where everything is settled in just the way I like it. What sparked the changes was the beautiful commissioned art piece I purchased at the end of the summer and then received in my home in October.

Because of all of these changes I wanted to make sure I shared some updated photos as well as walked through the new pieces to the space. I also have added an amazing faux fireplace, a yellow accent chair, and a new rug: just to name a few others! The style and vibe of the space has turned very boho and electic and I love how the space feels. It has given me plenty of ways to incorporate a heavy use of color just like I like to.

If you have any questions on any of the pieces in the space please don’t hesitate to ask! Some were purchased quite recently but others not. I will always try my best to find you something similar if something isn’t being sold anymore. Ok…here we go!


Here is a wider look at the overall space. I am standing over by my dining room table to capture as much of the new layout as I can. I changed the layout of the room completely during the Christmas season and I have loved having the couch this way. It makes the room feel WAY bigger. and allows the window to be highlighted and lets in so much more light when it’s not partially blocked by the couch. One thing that is best seen in this photo is the amazing rug I found on Amazon. It goes PERFECTLY with this space and I got it for a steal of a deal. The tassels at the edges add a great element of texture and I like that the rug itself has a higher pile so its nice and warm on your feet at this time of the year!


This stunning yellow arm chair was a gift to myself for my birthday. I got it on Houzz.com (similar to Wayfair) for an amazing price. I love the statement it makes and the classic oversized shape. The infamous commissioned art by the incredible Bailey Builds team from Duluth steals the show everytime – they got the colors of my living spot on and I couldn’t be happier with it. It really stands out against the wall and I highlighted it even more by draping a strand of pom-pom garland below it from the Opalhouse collection at Target. The wooden wall decor and sparkle wording above the chair are both from Hobby Lobby. As for the pillows and blanket – the faux fur pink blanket is from Home Goods, the pink knot pillow is from Hobby Lobby, and both the blue ruffled and metallic beaded pillows are from Gordmans. My metal magazine storage basket is from the Hearth and Hand Magnolia collection from Chip and Joanna at Target!


I scored this incredible rattan accent table from Picks the other week and it was the perfect addition to this room. It doesn’t look too busy in front of the window and it’s the perfect place to create different vignettes for each season – now with Valentines and spring hopefully around the corner I have fun florals, tassel garland, and a sweet new pink and gold lamp from Hobby Lobby. The faux fiddle leaf fig tree in the textured basket was a great score from TJMaxx – SUCH a good price compared to other ones I’ve seen. My gold and turquoise yarn and metal wall hanging is from Target – it’s probably more than a year old but it might still be around!


My white faux fireplace with faux marble accents is another of my favorite new additions to the space. This piece is also from Target (only sold online) and it’s truly stunning. I have loved having the feeling of a fireplace at home – especially during these colder months. It’s certainly an investment but it’s the prettiest TV stand ever in my opinion! Atop the TV are all pieces from Target – two different gold and white vases, some faux floral stems, and then two fun gold picture frames. My vintage paned window is from Picks a couple of years ago. I love showcasing and updating photos of my beautiful friends and family there – right under my “thankful” word wall from Hobby Lobby. The fun turquoise and gold hooks on the wall for purses and jackets are also from Hobby Lobby. Another new addition is the white decorative bell hanging from my doorknob – I got it at Kittsona and love the delicate touch it adds to the entryway.


The gallery wall behind the couch also got a slight face lift – the large gold piece and the small framed canvas are both from Gordmans, the fun pink textured tapestry hanging is from Hobby Lobby, and then white feathered hanging (called a juju hat!) is from Surface Abroad. My white sectional couch was my first adult purchase after graduating from college – it’s from Furniture Row but its unfortunately no longer available. My yellow lumbar velvet pillow is from Target (Opalhouse collection) and the pink throw and two metallic style/blush pillows are all from Home Goods.


My stunning dining room table is from Picks and my chairs were a steal from a garage sale. The wooden letter board was a Christmas gift from my brother and is still available at Target! The yellow vase, floral steams, pompom garland, and the glass jar are all Target items from various times. The gold mirror is the Dollar Tree and the beautiful colored yarn hanging is from Kittsona (a few years old).

As for the dubbed “awkward corner” at the landing of the stairs I finally found the perfect set-up and now I love how it looks over there. I wrapped another string of pompom garland from Target around the banister, used the great vintage dark wooden table that was by the couch before and placed it on the landing. The silver and gold basket I spray painted myself (was a plain rattan basket from Target) and I placed a mini faux fiddle leaf inside of it – also from TJMaxx, just like the bigger one by the front door. What REALLY stole the show over there though and made everything work perfectly is the amazing sunburst rattan mirror. I found that at Hobby Lobby a few weekends ago and I am so happy I came across it. I put a more up close picture below just so you can see it in all of it’s glory πŸ˜€


It has been so fun to evolve this space into something that matches my want for color. The changes have certainly been done slowly over these last 4 months so that’s a good reminder for all of you who are stressed about decorating your own spaces – take your time finding pieces that really meet what you’re looking for. No need to rush πŸ™‚ when you find something after a period of waiting and it’s exactly what you want you’ll be glad you didn’t rush into buying something just because you felt you were on a timeline.

I love sharing my spaces with all of you and I hope you enjoy seeing photos and details! Thanks for much for reading. Have an amazing week!


xoxo Jen


the beauty of SHE

Hello, my friends! Those of you that follow along with me on Instagram (@sugarspiceandstylethatsnice) heard me talk about some wonderful events I have attended in the last month and I wanted to spend some time discussing them here so that I can build awareness for my sweet friends and the beautiful community they have created right here in Grand Forks.

SHE is a women’s empowerment movement that was started by 3 gal pals of mine: Mary, Kristin, and Nicole. I attended my first SHE event at the end of January and was overwhelmed with the community, vulnerability, and sweetness that happened over the course of a few hours together in the workshop they hosted. I learned a lot about myself and experienced a lot of emotions while opening up to a group of women about healing and the healing journey.

As I was leaving the event in January I asked if we could be expecting another event anytime soon and was overjoyed when they shared they were planning something with a Galentines theme in early February. Last Friday night they hosted a wonderful Galentines retreat and it was honestly the perfect Friday night: a pizza party, pajamas, wine, hot chocolate, candy, yoga, education on healthy relationships, and the creation of community with like-minded women.

The event was hosted at Nicole’s home and it was so beautiful!! I had to take a few photos of the space because they had it decorated so nicely for us and all of the little touches made it even more special. There was a spot for photo booth style photos, tons of food and drinks, and a big open living space that fit all of our yoga mats!

When we arrived we just got to spend time (in our pajamas – arguably the best part) getting to know the other women at the event and enjoying snacks, wine, hot chocolate, and plenty of candy. They thought of every little detail – all the way down to your gift for attending which a coffee mug of your choosing out of a whole selection of Target coffee mugs….another dream come true for me. I chose one that has to do with shopping (surprise, surprise) and enjoyed filling it up with hot chocolate and a heaping serving of marshmallows πŸ™‚

After we had a meal and team for community we had such a great session of yoga with the always lovely Kristin of Sorella Wellness. It was the perfect way to wind down and find center and grounding in your own body through breathing, movement, and meditation. There’s always something powerful about practicing yoga and in a room full of women it felt extra empowering (maybe it was the fact that we were all in our pajamas!?)

With the theme of the retreat being Galentines, Mary spent some time teaching us about relationships and the way toxicity can be found in them: friendships, romantic relationships, family connections, coworkers, etc. It was a good reminder to hear about common ways that we allow toxic behaviors to be a part of the relationships we keep with people and caused reflection on my part to think about the relationships I currently have and which ones I am negatively influencing or allowing to negatively influence me.


After the discussion on toxicity Mary changed directions to talk about what positive relationships look like and a framework to follow that will help to evaluate the best qualities that a friendship (or other type of relationship) can possess to be healthy for both parties and allow for growth and trust. The framework was created by the incredible Brene Brown and its called BRAVING. You can read more about it here!Β The framework is laid out and explained in depth in Brene’s book ‘Braving the Wilderness’ which has been on my reading list for awhile.

To end the night we spent time doing something that we did at the first workshop event I did called “circle processing”. We spend time sitting in a large circle as a group and we go around the circle one person at a time and answer different prompts or questions asked – usually about the content we learned in the workshop or from the speaker. We spent time talking about BRAVING and relationships and where we have experienced positive or negative relationships in our lives and how we’re working through and journeying through them. One woman speaks at a time and it’s powerful to have so many women listening to you and your thoughts while showing support.



You can learn more about SHE by visiting their Facebook page here (and you can also find them on Instagram!) which will keep you updated on the upcoming events and workshop that they are hosting. I highly recommend SHE to all of the women in Grand Forks and the surrounding area – it is a fabulous place to build community and practice vulnerability and self-care in the presence of other women with open hearts and listening ears.

If any of you are looking for a friend to attend the next event with please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I would be more than happy to join you πŸ™‚ As always, thanks for reading and I’ll be back with more soon!


xoxo Jen

beauty product roundup

Hey friends! I have been noticing how much you all enjoy when I share beauty products and routines on my Instagram stories so I wanted to share a blog post with all of you that showcases some of my favorite beauty go-to’s

Almost all of these products are available at Target and almost all are under $20. Each of the products is linked so if you want to buy for yourself just follow the link directly to the item πŸ™‚


Speaking as someone who suffers from really dry hair (especially in the winter months) this Kristin Ess weightless leave-in conditioner has been SUCH a good find for me. It’s only $10 and sprays on just like a hairspray. I put it on my hair immediately out of the shower when its still damp and use about 10-12 sprays. You don’t have to be afraid of how much you use because the product is so light. It provides good leave in protection and keeps my hair moisturized all day.

I change up my leave-in curl creme and product every so often just because my hair tends to “get used to” certain products and they don’t create as nice of a curl anymore after a period of time. I’m currently using Miss Jessie’s and I really like the weight and smell of this coily custard. It has been creating great curl definition for me and it’s less than $15 so it’s a major score.


I have extremely sensitive skin and way back in high school my dermatologist recommended the Cera Ve brand to me because it is so light and free of scent. I have used it for the last 8 plus years and I don’t think I will ever change. I buy both the AM and PM versions because the AM contains SPF for daytime wear and the nighttime packs in extra moisturizing for the overnight hours.Β 

The Bliss brand (which you can find at Target!!) has quickly become a new favorite of mine. The first thing I purchased was this amazing watermelon scented overnight energizing face mask and I use it 2-3 times per week. You apply right before bed and the scent is heavenly. It’s lightweight and dries really quickly – it’s easy to remove in the morning and leaves your face glowing and energized! The second product I bought to try is this under eye cream – it comes with an easy to use rollerball applicator and can be used both morning and night. I appreciate that it’s unscented especially because it’s used so close to my eyes which are really sensitive. For $20 it’s a really affordable anti-aging product.

Last but not least is this Ahava hydration cream. You can use it as a short-term application mask or you can apply it and leave on all night as another overnight mask. It is such an amazing product and always leave my skin feeling amazing the next morning (I always use as a full overnight mask). This one is a little bit more costly but certainly worth the price – I use this on the 2-3 nights of the week that I don’t use the Bliss energizing mask so just rotate between them πŸ™‚


If you follow me on Instagram you know how much I love NYX soft matte lip cream. You can score these at Target or other drug store locations and they come in TONS of shades. I don’t like shiny/glossy lipstick so I’m all about the matte. This goes on great and has long lasting wear – especially for the price. Truly can’t be beat! If you’re looking for a shade to get started with Cannes is my favorite!

I have used Maybelline lash sensational mascara for at least the last 5 years and I love it so much. After trying SO many different kinds I finally found one I love and I truly don’t know what I will do if they ever stop making it one day…I don’t even want to think about it!

Julep brand is something that I had never even heard of until my mom gave my a cute beauty gift box from them as a Christmas gift. I fell in love with the “it’s balm” lip crayons that came in the box and I’m so excited to see that there are way more color options online. I got three in my box and I’m planning to order at least a couple more. Since it’s a lip crayon it’s really hydrating and easy to apply. At $20 per stick it’s a little more than I would typically spend but for the quality I’ve witnessed so far it’s definitely worth it.

I have used Bare Minerals foundation for countless years as well. I use the matte powder because I tend to get oily/shiny throughout the day. I use two different shades depending on the time of year and sometimes combine the two. I love that it has SPF so then I have an extra layer of protection on top of my moisturizer.Β  I have always been a fan of powder foundation because I feel it’s easier to apply and I feel that liquid foundation doesn’t fare well with my breakout and acne-prone skin.


I’ve shared this Queen Bee perfume from Target multiple times now but it’s so good. It’s a great every day scent and at $25 a bottle (which will last you a long time!) it doesn’t get much more cost effective than that.

These bausch + lomb lumify eye drops are pretty amazing…I got them in my Target beauty box a few months ago and they are definitely expensive but their eye whitening and refreshing feeling really helps with my itchy, sensitive eyes.

Lastly, if you’re looking for a way to shorten time in a certain area of your beauty routine definitely considering buying some Sally Hansen Insta-Dri nail polish. It comes in countless shades and truly does try instantly (60 seconds or less). When I paint my nails at home I usually have zero patience to sit there and let them dry and I usually end up ruining them by starting a task or project before they’re all the way dry. I gave this product a try a few months ago and at less than $5 per bottle it’s a cheap way to have quick dry polish.


I hope all of you enjoyed checking out some of my favorite products that are all friendly additions to your beauty product regimen. I hope those of you in the upper Midwest with me are staying safe and warm this week. As always, thanks for reading and be back soon πŸ™‚


xoxo Jen

msp food adventures

Hi, all! Last weekend I took a nice trek down to Minneapolis/St. Paul to spend time with some of my best gal pals. I have some friends who are true foodies like myself and they knew that I wanted to hit up some great places during my visit. They did not disappoint and I did some of my best eating in MONTHS. I always enjoy sharing travel and food snippets with all of you so here is my food diary from last week including pictures of every last thing I ate! Enjoy πŸ™‚

Nice Juicery – Alexandria, MN


On my way to the cities I made a quick pit stop to stretch my legs and I decided I wanted to check out Nice Juicery for the first time! I had heard of this place before and had never had the opportunity to stop and I’m really glad I did. It’s a locally owned cold-pressed juice shop that sells juice by the bottle in about 15 different combinations. You can buy bottles individually or you can choose to buy 1, 2, or 3 day cleanses.

I decided to buy one juice to enjoy in the shop (how cute is that hexagon planter wall!!!) and then I bought a 1 day cleanse to bring back home with me to have on Monday following my full weekend of eating! Each of the juices I had was delicious and you would definitely appreciate the freshness if you try for yourself someday. The one I had during my roadtrip had cold brew coffee mixed in with a hint of mint and it was divine and refreshing.

All Square – Minneapolis, MN (Minnehaha Ave)


I heard about All Square through a Minneapolis eats/foodie Instagram account that I follow and I’m so glad I suggested to my friends that we check it out. They serve exclusively grilled cheese sandwiches but in a ton of varieties (including options for dairy-free). I went with the charcuterie grilled cheese – brie cheese, onion jam, prosciutto, and crushed almonds. It was HEAVENLY. Especially for someone who is as big of a brie-lover as myself. It was a difficult choice because the whole menu looked wonderful.

The atmosphere of the restaurant was funky and simple. They had a blue-light effect which is why my food photo looks like I had a green sandwich! I am even more glad I chose the restaurant because of what I learned when I was there: All Square is staffed entirely by formerly incarcerated employees. This allows them the opportunity to get back into the working world and provide amazing service to the people of Minneapolis. All of the employees who helped us at the restaurant were so friendly and as mentioned before the food was to die for. Please stop by to support and check it out if you’re a Minneapolis resident or plan to visit.

Muddy Waters – Minneapolis, MN (Uptown)


After our dinner we got a wonderful wine nightcap in the Uptown neighborhood at Muddy Waters which is a favorite place that holds memories for my friends. The atmosphere was really moody and comfortable. We sat in a characteristic booth and enjoyed quite possible the best plate of fries I’ve ever had. These were on the appetizer menu and reminded me a lot of “fresh cut fries” from the MN State Fair. That perfect crispy on the outside but soft on the inside texture. The seasonings were perfect and they were serve with an aoili that was light and refreshing. The perfect compliment to a glass of red wine.

Cafe Astoria – St. Paul, MN


I almost feel as though I don’t even need to say anything about this latte from Cafe Astoria in St. Paul because it certainly speaks for itself….but I will anyway. This is another Instagram find and when I saw there was a place to get a rainbow latte I couldn’t pass it up. This little cafe in St. Paul (near the Xcel Energy Center on Grand Ave) is a sweet spot to enjoy a baked good and a great cup of coffee. They have a lot of fun specialty lattes on the menu – this rainbow latte is made with peppermint to give it a nice refreshing taste. Some other top contenders that I saw on the menu – a campfire smores’ latte and one with gold foil on top to make you feel extra extra! We didn’t enjoy any baked goods because we were headed off to brunch but what I observed of them they looked like they would not disappoint!

Nightingale – Minneapolis, MN (Uptown)

Nothing says a Saturday morning brunch like bottomless mimosas. Nightingale was such a fun place to enjoy brunch in uptown. The atmosphere was fun as the restaurant was full of groups of people enjoying the weekend together. I indulged in the mimosas and for my food I went with a cornmeal style waffle at the waitress’s recommendation. I really enjoyed the texture and the fact that it was savory versus sweet like a regular waffle. It came with pineapple on top which was a good offset to the cornmeal taste. The bacon was an A plus too! When we walked into the restaurant I couldn’t help but think how fun it would be to dine there during the nicer months of the year – they have a beautiful outdoor area that would make for great people watching πŸ™‚

Nolo’s Kitchen – Minneapolis, MN (North Loop)

Nolo’s was far and away the best meal of the weekend. I am still salivating just thinking about my food from here!! The 4 of us enjoyed red wine paired with a delicious cauliflower and brussel sprout medley as an appetizer. The herb dressing that topped the vegetables was too food for words. We asked the waitress to share the secret but unfortunately we came away empty-handed!

When it came time to decide what I wanted for my main course something about pasta was attractive to me and in the big open concept restaurant I saw the station where a chef was making fresh pizza dough along with fresh gnocchi. That made my decision really easy because I am in love with gnocchi and I can truly say that this meal change my life. The photo on the right doesn’t do it justice at all because of the lighting in the restaurant but the colors were beautiful. It was the handmade gnocchi with butternut squash, a brown butter sauce, and hazelnuts for additional brunch and flavor, and some sage and parmesan cheese. Next time I am in Minneapolis I will certainly be going here to have the exact same meal again.

I also wanted to mention the atmosphere – North Loop is a really fun neighborhood to explore in MSP. Nolo’s was a big open concept space with industrial looking white pillars and white washed brick walls. A nice mix of tables and booths around the edges and the large circular bar in the middle. It’s a trendy place to be and I’ve also heard great things about their brunch menu!

Pizza Luce – Minneapolis, MN (Uptown)


Not much explanation is needed for a 2 AM slice of pizza. It is never a bad idea…especially when it’s Pizza Luce. All 4 of us grabbed a slice and enjoyed it sitting cross-legged in the appropriately dubbed “pizza corner” of Rose’s living room in our pajamas. The perfect way to end the night. The pizza itself – I went with classic cheese and it was delightful. What was equally as good was the Italian cold noodle pasta salad with mozzarella and pepperoni/hard salami.

Gigi’s – Minneapolis, MN (Uptown)


For my parting breakfast on Sunday morning we found ourselves in the neighborhood of Uptown again only a few minutes’ walk from my friend Rose’s house. They had told me lots about the neighborhood cafe, Gigi’s, so I was expecting great things and I was certainly not disappointed. It’s such a sweet local place with great coffee and even better breakfast food. I enjoyed a bacon and egg scramble with breakfast potatoes, and toast. The portions were just right and it was the perfect meal to share great conversation over.

By the time we were wrapping up our breakfast it was crazy to see how the cafe had completely filled up all the way with people of all ages from around the neighborhood who were enjoying the best breakfast around!

Bogart’s Doughnut Co.Minneapolis, MN (Uptown)

Last but certainly not least was the final pit stop I made before getting in my car to start the drive home. Just down the street from Gigi’s you will find Bogart’s Doughnut Co (BoGoDoughCo) where you would be crazyyyy not to stop for a doughnut. I went with the glazed brown butter option (obviously the theme of the weekend!) and it was so dang good. All of the options looked so fabulous but I knew better than to pick multiple to “bring home” which I knew would turn into “bring into the car and eat all of them during my drive home”.

I hope this gives you all some inspiration for great food stops next time you find yourself in Minneapolis/St. Paul. Have a fabulous week and thanks for reading πŸ™‚


xoxo Jen

the year of bold

Happy 2019, my sweet friends! I apologize for my few week hiatus from writing blog posts – I was soaking in the holiday time with family and enjoying a few week break off of class. Everything kicks back in next week so I’m getting back in to my work routines and preparing for my last semester of grad school as well so it’s time to get back on track πŸ™‚

I don’t tend to be someone who makes really specific New Year’s resolutions but last year for the first time I decided on a word for the year and what the meaning behind that word and focus meant for me. 2018 was “the year of calm” and you can read all about that in this post linked here.Β I found that my focus on rest and calm in 2018 brought me a lot of good lessons and I do feel I made a lot of positive strides throughout the year. There is still much more to be done but I feel happy with my progress and looking forward to continuing to prioritize rest in the coming year, especially once my final semester of school is complete.

When sitting down to think about my word for this year I had a lot of thoughts. One thing I discussed quite a bit with one of my best friends was “boundaries”. Up until a couple of nights ago I was certain that was going to be my focus for the year but as I was continuing to brainstorm on my couch the other night it just hit me all of the sudden: bold. Bold is what I want to focus on this year and I wanted to explain my thought process behind what that means to me and my thoughts for the coming 12 months.

As soon as the word entered my mind I began doing some searching on quotes about boldness and the definition of the word bold. Bold be defined in two ways:

  1. (of a person, action, or idea) – showing an ability to take risks; confident and courageous
  2. (or a color or design) – having a strong or vivid appearance

As I read these two definitions it became even more clear to me that this is exactly where I want my focus to be this year. Those that have followed along with me for awhile (especially on Instagram) know my love for color and how much I like to incorporate it into my daily wardrobe and in the decor in my townhouse. When I read the definition of bold surrounding color or design I look at it through the lens of personal appearance. I want this year to focus hard on having a strong and vivid personal appearance that incorporates the first part of the definition: confidence and courage.

Working on self-love and self-acceptance when it comes to my body image has really been strengthening these last couple of months and I want to continue on that path. I want to remind myself that I am bold and confident in my appearance just as it is now. That doesn’t mean I don’t embrace the continued changes and journey of becoming more healthy but it will also remind me that it’s OK to exude confidence in the state that my body is in now (and the state it will be at in April, and July, and October…)

The first part of the definition is one that will be the most difficult for me: “showing an ability to take risks”. Even though I am an extroverted and mostly confident person I find myself to be someone who tends to stay in a comfort zone, especially when it comes to certain areas of my life. I’m hoping this year to find that level of courage to take some risk in those areas where I’ve stayed closed in and comfortable for a long time. I don’t see myself turning into someone who takes risks freely and easily, but I know I have an opportunity to create more space for the unknown and be willing to give things a try that I have always counted out in the past.

I also want to focus on adopting bold in my professional life. As a younger female in the workforce I can often feel the subtle (or not so subtle) discounting of my ideas or abilities at work because of my age and experience level. I hope this year to work on comfortable pushing the envelope when it comes to my courage and confidence level at work when I’m met with resistance or find struggles when working with others.

When I was looking up the definition for bold I found some great quotes that really embody what I’m looking to accomplish this year as well


I chose “fortune favors the bold” to be my first quote of the year on the new wooden letter board I got for Christmas from my brother. I displayed it on my dining room table and hope to use that as a daily reminder of my word of the year. Throughout the year I will work to update it with new quotes that continue to keep me focused on my goal for the year.

I’m looking forward to another great year ahead on the blog and I’m so thankful to each of you that follow along with me. I hope you had a wonderful New Year and that you’re feeling refreshed and ready for what 2019 has in store for you. Cheers!


xoxo Jen