junk market adventure

This past Saturday I was able to attend an awesome and unique event in Fargo at the Scheels Arena called the “Junk Market” which is hosted and organized by a shop in Fargo called Eco Chic. The event essentially brings together vendors who sell a variety of products all together in one space for a two day show. They are able to set up their spaces/booths and display their products to anyone who pays the admission fee at the door. Whether you are looking to browse or do some serious shopping it was a great place to be!

My day was made even more fun because I was able to go to the market with my good friend and one of my college roommates, Corinne 🙂 She shares similar passions with me for decorating and home design so I knew this would be the perfect thing for us to explore together! She and her husband are also recent homebuyers and have been putting in a LOT of hard work at their house and she wanted to look for some touches to add. Here is a fun photo of us at the entrance to the market in their photo space on a vintage couch!

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I went in to the show with an open mind as far as what I was looking for and what I could add to my house for some finishing touches or some additions to rooms that don’t quite have everything that they need yet. A couple of the things I really was looking for (like a cool vintage coat rack for my entry way and a bench seat for my bedroom) I didn’t have any luck finding but I did strike gold in some other ways!

One purchase I am really excited about was actually something I found at the very last booth of the show! Corinne and I were very thorough in our snooping so it took us a few hours to walk around and look at each booth. I found this amazing vintage bright orange rolling bar/coffee cart and I knew it would be a great addition to my kitchen. As soon as I looked at it I knew exactly what I would use it for and as soon as I brought it inside I got my keurig set up on it as well as all of my fun coffee mugs. Now it makes the perfect coffee cart station for me!

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One of the most unique things we saw at the show was a vendor from Iowa who makes prints on dictionary pages. He either backs them and then imposes words/quotes or he also had some with vintage pictures on top. I loved the look of them and decided to pick out 3 so that I could have a “set” of them to hang together in my place. The three I chose are in the picture below. I have yet to find the perfect place to hang them up; but hopefully soon! Both of the quotes really stood out to me when I was looking through the big bins and boxes of prints he had and I wanted the third one to be a photo in order to balance out the words. Hot air balloons have always been a favorite of mine and riding in one is the number one thing on my bucket list! I like the vintage picture of them and the simplicity of the black and white.

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The most well-decorated tent we visited at the show was a vendor from Ottertail, MN called Rust and Luster. Corinne and I spent quite awhile admiring all of the handmade, unusual jewelry that they had as well as the set up they had with the ability to make your own necklace from a chain of your choice and then small or large hangings and charms. Here is a picture of some of the selection so you can see all of the options there were if you wanted to make something of your own or buy a small piece to bring back and add to a necklace you already own!

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As I mentioned before, Corinne and I spent quite a bit of time in this vendor’s booth and I kept admiring one necklace in particular for quite awhile. Corinne finally convinced me that I should buy it because I kept picking it up and wrestling with the idea of getting it. I loved the mix of the metal and the big shiny stone and I like that it is neutral enough to be worn with almost anything. I have already wore it twice this week so I am happy I decided to go for it!!

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Our overall experience at the market was great and we had a fun time getting to talk with some of the vendors about what they do and see all of the creative and new ideas that people have with their art and their products. It is very reasonable to attend the market (only 5 dollars for admission!) so I encourage anyone who is interested to attend in the future. We learned that Eco Chic actually hosts the market bi-annually, once in the spring and once in the fall, so I am looking forward to making it to the show twice a year from now on!

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One last sweet thought to leave all of you with involves coffee. On our way down to the arena floor we saw a coffee stand for “Ladybug Latte” which is a coffee shop in West Fargo. We decided to stop and get a drink because it smelled so great and all of their lattes sounded delicious. I ordered a coconut mocha latte which was a great sweet treat and I have definitely grown to have a taste for coconut! I had a pleasant surprise when they handed me my cup when my drink was done….at Ladybug each lid has a quote or saying written on it to either give you reflection or inspiration while drinking your coffee. The one on my cup made me smile and it was a great start to a wonderful day doing some “junk adventuring” with my sweet friend 🙂

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Thank you all so much for reading!

 

xoxo Jen

continuum: 10 years of greatness

Today is the 10th anniversary of one of my favorite albums: Continuum by John Mayer. In the 10 years that this album has been around it’s hard to describe the influence that these songs had on me but I’m going to try!

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I remember first being introduced to John Mayer and his music by the summer nanny that my brother and I had growing up (I hope you’re reading this Kristen!!!) I was really young at the time and had no idea what an impact John Mayer and his music would make on me as a grew up through high school and college.

My “John obsession” probably reached it’s highest peak in my middle to late high school years when I was about 16-17 years old. His album following Continuum, Battle Studies, which came out in 2009 had an official release date of the day after my birthday and I remember placing my pre-order online for the album and actually receiving the album a day early…which at the time was the world’s BEST birthday gift. That album came with me that following week on the bus to Kansas City for a church trip and I remember listening to it on my walkman on repeat, all the way there and all the way back.

In April of 2010 I had the unforgettable opportunity of seeing John live for the very first time during his Battles Studies tour at the Fargodome. I remember sitting on Ticketmaster, anxiously refreshing the page and trying to have the world’s fastest clicks when the clock turned to the top of the hour when I was able to purchase tickets. My speed and anxiousness paid off and I was able to get 2nd row tickets to the show with my friend Sarah who was equally as “John obsessed”. It’s hard to describe how the night of the concert felt and all of the emotions I had but I remember crying tears when he came on stage for the first time and had many other moments of tears as he played some of my favorite songs.

In 2012 I was fortunate enough to see John live a second time….this time in perhaps one of the world’s most breathtaking, unique concert venues….Red Rocks in Denver, Colorado. I went to the show with my good friend Rachel and I experienced all of the same emotions I did in 2010 but this time with an even more incredible backdrop.

Although it’s a difficult task to pick my favorite of all of John Mayer’s albums I would say that Continuum would top the list. Each and every song strikes such a chord (no music pun intended!) with me in different ways and comes in tune with different emotions. John’s voice is a masterpiece all it’s own but even more awe-inspiring is his guitar playing. He is gifted beyond measure and watching him solo and play at the concerts was magical to say the least.

While I love every track on Continuum for a different reason, “Gravity” will always be the most special song to me. It was special enough to become permanent words on my body as the most powerful line to me became my first (and only so far) tattoo. In interviews I have watched or read from John this is often brought up as one of the songs he is most proud of and connected to as well. Below is a picture of my tattoo which was beautifully done in Japan by Curran’s tattoo artist.

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I look at it every day and smile because the words “Just keep me where the light is” remind me of powerful things. Staying in the light to me means keeping yourself out of the dark places that we pull ourselves into or that we allow others to pull us into. Everyone’s dark places are different; maybe it’s when you’re lonely, maybe it’s when you’re overwhelmed…whatever it may be it’s important to be conscious and pull yourself back into a place filled with light. Sometimes we can do that on our own but sometimes that requires the help of other people. These words might mean something different to everyone but that is how I can best describe what they mean to me. The light keeps you warm and it’s the best place to be.

John Mayer also released a live, recorded concert version from his Continuum tour and named the show and the DVD “Where the Light Is”. This DVD has been watched COUNTLESS times by me and when I have tough days I find it one of the first places I go….throw it in the DVD player, whether I’m focusing on watching every moment or just having it play in the background it gives me a sense of calm and comfort.

I wanted to share this with all of you in the hopes that I’ll have some equally obsessed John readers listen to Continuum tonight for old time’s sake AND in the hopes that I’ll bring some of you readers to the John Mayer world if you are new. If you would ever like to borrow the album or the DVD I would be more than happy to lend it to you (as long as you promise to give it back 😉 hahaha)

And mostly, this post is a public thank you to John Mayer. I know many people who have an artist or a band that have brought a lot to their life and John Mayer is definitely that artist for me. He has got me through lots of long trips in the car alone (our duets together sound pretty good, in my opinion!), some unforgettable nights in concert, as well as helping me through some tough nights of tears. But, most of all, he’s brought me a huge collection of music that will always feel like home when I play it.

Here is a link for all of you to check out….my favorite version of my favorite song. John playing   Gravity in his “Where the Light Is” concert live in LA. I hope you’ll listen and enjoy 🙂

Happy 10 year anniversary to Continuum and thank you all for reading!! John has been keeping his fans updated lately and it sounds like there is more new music to come from him soon….the word soon is so tricky because who knows what soon means, but I’ll be waiting!!

P.S. In case anyone was wondering John is still looking handsome as ever in 2016!! Another tip I should share with any other John Mayer fans out there is that he is by far the funniest “friend” I have on snapchat…I encourage you to add him and see all the shenanigans he is up to!

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xoxo

Jen

a little sparkle never hurt!

Over the long weekend I decided I wanted to wrap up one of my final projects in my new house and officially take care of decorating and setting up my second bedroom; or more like a bonus room for me!

When I moved in I decided I wanted to be able to use the second bedroom as a free space and some extra room for me instead of having it always filled with a second bedroom set. I chose to buy a futon so that I can have room for guests when they come to stay but also use the room for other things most of the time.

I got this great black futon from Target.com and I love that it looks like a stylish couch/loveseat when it’s folded up. It is surprisingly comfortable to sit on and it is more of a microfiber/suede feeling material. I got the fun accent pillows so long ago that I can’t remember where they are from…but the sparkle and the metallic definitely brought the accents to the room that I was hoping for.

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The real showstopper of the room though is my wall tapestry. I got this amazing piece of art from “Natural Life” a brand that you can find items from in some stores in Grand Forks (like Curious gift shop). I got the tapestry last year online in the sale section of Natural Life’s website and fell in love with the colors. When it arrived it was so big that I didn’t have a place for it in my old apartment, so I was really happy to be able to showcase it in my new place and put it up on an entire wall 🙂

I also bought it because of the saying: Small Acts Change The World. I think it is a great reminder to me that affecting the people in my own world everyday can have a big effect in the bigger picture. We need to do the best we can in our own “little corner of the world” because our actions can cause ripple effects. Some days it is hard to stay focused on being kind to others but it truly is the best thing we can do for others; simple smiles and small gestures can make all the difference to someone who is having a tough day.

The art up on the wall behind the futon is from TJ Maxx. I had a fun shopping trip over the weekend with my freshman year roommate from college, Krista, and she always brings out the sparkle/glitter in me because it’s one of her favorite things!! The picture on the left is entirely covered in gold sequins so it has a nice shine to it and the black and gold photo on the right brings out just the right colors from the futon and pillows.

I also struck gold in another way at TJ Maxx….I found this AMAZING office chair which I knew would look perfect in this room as the new seat for me to use when I’m playing my keyboard. It rolls and has adjustable height so I thought it would work great and it is nice to have a chair with a back when you are playing instead of just a bench. The rivets on the chair are what initially drew me to it so it adds the silver side of the metallic spectrum to balance out the other gold elements in the room.

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The teal curtains are from my bedroom at my old apartment and they are from JC Penney. They are really heavy duty and also light blocking because I bought them while I was working overnights/sleeping during the day and needed to ensure that my room would stay nice and dark. I love the rich tone of the color and it matches exactly with the teal shade in the wall tapestry.

A big shout out goes out to my dad for helping me put my futon together and for hanging up my curtains for me! He’s always willing to help me with the projects at my new house and I love learning from him. Luna was also quite the helper and my sidekick in putting the final touches together in the room. By the end she was pretty tired…here she is relaxing and enjoying the final product!

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Thanks for reading everyone! I always enjoy sharing my projects with all of you. I hope you all enjoyed your long weekend break and I’ll be back soon with more to share

 

xoxo

Jen

#sugarspiceandstylethatsnice