Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

My mom is amazing.
At everything...
She can draw perfect circles.

She can answer any cooking question.

Her house is always clean.
She runs....far...and fast.
She's very organized.

She decorates fabulously.
She is very generous with her time, money and possessions.
She is spontaneous.
Her garden flourishes instead of wilts.
She can bowl, play mini golf and swim. I can't do any of those.

She sends me Caribou gift cards and bags of chocolate's necessities.

Her faith in God shows in her actions every day.
And of course, she's beautiful.

So, Mom, thank you for being just a phone call away to answer all of my silly questions and to let me vent, or share stories, or just simply say hi. You are amazing and lovely and I don't know what I'd do without you.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

the "Jen Boot"

Part of the duties at my job is trying on the shoes we will be selling in upcoming seasons to make sure they are comfortable, fit well, etc. Last summer I was brought the most amazing boot to try was love at first sight. I was so in love that it became known as the "Jen Boot". 2 pairs later (thank you discount!), I'm still wearing them. My sister is a photographer and I got to be her model the other day and she took this amazing picture of the Jen Boot. When I get home from my trip I'm going to blow this up and put it in my shoe closet (that is, if I have a shoe closet...).

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Role Models

My dad called me yesterday. He made me repeat after him, "I am NOT going on a mission trip. I am a short term missionary." I am quitting my job, leaving my family and friends and giving a year of my life to God and letting him do whatever he wants to do with it. I AM A MISSIONARY!!

My grandma was a missionary. She sent me this picture after my last post about travel clothes...her friend, Glenna made her this skirt and she said it was perfect for Africa! Looks like I'm going to have to call up Glenna and see if she can make me one too.

At one point I was talking with Grandma about my year of mission work and I asked her, "What if I get malaria??" Nonchalantly, my grandma replied, "Oh you'll be fine, I've had malaria twice." TWICE?! And she's still alive and kicking it! My grandma trusts God with her life and every aspect of her life...what an inspiration! My grandma has always been an amazing woman of God and has been an incredible role model throughout my life. And now I get to be a missionary like her! My year will be spent in 11 countries while my grandma spent a couple years in Nigeria, Africa but nevertheless, we are both missionaries.

Another person I am inspired by is a girl I went to college with. I wasn't great friends with Suzanne in college and I can't say we're close now, but I stumbled onto her blog yesterday and learned a great deal about the woman of God that she has become. She is so open about her faith and excited to share with everyone...I wish I was more like this! Check out her blog. I'm sure you'll be inspired as well.

So, THANK YOU Grandma Lynn and Suzanne Thompson! You have both been role models in my life...I'm excited to be a missionary like you, Grandma and to begin to share my faith like you, Suzanne. And THANK YOU to God for bringing these amazing women in my life!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Travel Clothes

Seeing as though I will be living out of a pack that I have to carry on my back for 11 months, my wardrobe is going to be extremely limited. This could be quite difficult to pick seeing as though I have a Carrie Bradshaw-style closet that is bursting at the seams. It'll be good for me, though.

I've been trying to figure out exactly what to needs to be light, something that can't get extremely wrinkly, versatile, and of course...cute! Any ideas??

Here are a few skirts I am hoping to buy...the annoying thing is good travel clothes aren't cheap! Oh well...I guess when you're wearing the same 3 skirts and 5 shirts for a year it won't matter if they're a bit on the expensive side.

The cranberry one is a Patagonia Vitaliti Skirt the black one is a PrAna Sunburst skirt. I love them both. :)

Thoughts on good travel clothes anyone?!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Shipping Season!

Shipping season officially started here in Duluth! I love shipping season...yeah, I know, a weird thing to love but whatever. So anyways, I ran Monday morning and I got to the bottom of the hill and saw a ship! The sun was rising and I thought I could get a beautiful picture so I bolted back up the hill (mind you this is 2 blocks and one of the steepest blocks in it was a slow bolt), got my camera and bolted back down the hill to the pier. Sadly, by the time I made it to the pier the sunrise was already over.

So, I snapped a few photos and started to head back to my apartment and then I saw the ship moving! It was coming through the harbor! Oh what a glorious morning. :) So I waited for the ship to come through, waved at the sailors (like a tourist), took a few more photos (again very touristy of me) and ran back home. Needless to say I was late to work. It's a good thing my manager is cool.

So here are the pictures I got...none of them are stunning but fun nonetheless. Oh and I have to mention yesterday was my sister's 29th BIRTHDAY! Lucky for her she's in San Diego so I didn't get to see her on her birthday. HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY SISTA!! I LOVE YOU!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

the itsy bitsy spider

Matea and I had the most fun Easter drive EVER...

and let me just tell you my niece is SMART. :)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

I heart your bike

So I've been a terrible blogger lately. Please forgive me. I'm working on another blog these days so feel free to check it out. It is my World Race site. Check it out here.

A while back I found these I heart Your Bike tags to stick on bikes that you like. They look like this:

My friend Karley and I used to ride our bikes to the beach on Park Point and we saw some very sweet bikes throughout the summer. When I found these tags I was SO excited to make something similar to these for this summer. Well, Karley had a birthday and her friend Mary sent her a pack of these tags!! She gave me one yesterday and I am extremely excited to put them on fun bikes this summer. Aren't the fun?!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Head Scarves

Head scarves are my fave. And they allow you to not do your hair which is always a plus. :)

And soon I will have long hair so then it will be even more fun!

Image courtesy of teen vogue

Boho Chic

Target is my friend. There is a new boho line, Jovovich-Hawk, that is coming in March. I'm in love with these outfits...

And on the plus side, I already have the boots (aka the Jen Boots) from my work!

Monday, January 26, 2009


My goal for this year's Grandma's Half Marathon is 90 minutes. It might be a bit steep but I'm hoping with the right training I'll be able to knock out a 6:51 pace. I've been reading Daniel's Running Formula to come up with my training program so I'll be ready to go as soon as my physical therapist gives me the green light.

Typically my training has just consisted on specific miles...3-5 miles a few days during the week and one long run every weekend with some cross training mixed in there. This year's training will consist of interval training, speed workouts, and long (longer than my normal long) and slow runs. I'm hoping my plan will be all figured out by the end of the weekend in hopes that I can start it up by February 5th (the day I have my follow-up with my orthopedic surgeon).

I'm so ready to get out there now...

Sled Dog Race

Every year Duluth hosts the John Beargrease Sled Dog Race. For the past 5 years I have never gone to watch the start of this year. Don't ask me why, I just never have! This year a bunch of friends and I all went and it was an awesome time! Yes, it was below zero but 3 pairs of pants, 2 running/skiing tops, a jacket, 2 pairs of gloves, my amazing $3 Swix hat from a vintage store, a scarf, SmartWool socks and North Face boots wouldn't even know it. :)

The picture below was in the Duluth News Tribune. You can see Athena (with my green and white jacket), Joey (in the bright blue snow pants and yellow hat) and me (well my hood). We're famous!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Spending Hiatus

I really, really want this jacket. With the new running season quickly approaching, and my knee slowly healing, I really, really want new running clothes. But why? I have 3 drawers FULL of running gear for all weather, -30 to 100, rain, snow or shine. I'm learning to appreciate what I have and spend less time thinking (or looking at/for!) what I don't need.

Over the weekend I did a bit of research on my bank account and how much I spend and where. I realized that even though over the past year I have been doing much better with not spending money on things like going out to eat or shopping, I still do well over my necessary amount. Well, thank goodness for this spending hiatus then! With the month being over half done, I have spent less than half of what I have been spending in a normal month. This is even with buying new running shoes...which some might think is not a neccesity...but it is. My current shoes are WAY over on their mileage and with training for Grandma's Half Marathon starting as soon as my MCL heals, they were a necessity. Now that I am consciously thinking about every purchase I make (thanks to making myself blog about it!), I am spending nothing on unnecessary things!

Overall, so far so good. We'll see how the rest of the week goes. :)

Friday, January 16, 2009

Moon Boots

I first saw these boots in the December Cosmopolitan issue and loved them so much I cut out the picture and made a birthday card with it. I stopped into one of the local ski shops today and THERE THEY WERE!! Front and center, in all their glory. I never thought I would see them in person but there they were...and I can't buy them. Why oh why did I have to pick now to vow to not spend money on unnecessary things? Is there a way to justify this purchase? I've had mixed reviews on these so far, what are your thoughts?

made by Tecnica

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Heidi Braids

I'm growing my hair out. I can't wait for the day when I can put it in a braid. Just like these...
via here

via here


Simple Decorating

My built in shelving unit was in dire need of an extreme shelf makeover but this is difficult when your 2009 goal is to go on a spending hiatus and only buy necessities. Luckily 2 heads are better than one. When Karley saw my collection of random jars and vases along with white stones she directed me to this DIY project on Design*Sponge via Craft Stylish.

The designer, Kayte Terry, used this as a table centerpiece with cute acorns filled with felt. Adorable. And resourceful! And perfect for my shelves! I already had the jars, stones and cardstock paper, all I needed was the sticks straight from Mother Nature. I wanted to put fabric behind the shelves and luckily I had a $10 gift card from my big sister so I only had to spend $3 on this entire project. Here is how it turned out...

I absolutely love how it turned out! It makes me want to stay at home and stare at its beauty.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


This morning I went onto the "wind-chill calculator" that the Duluth News Tribune so graciously provided for the great citizens of Duluth. Anyways, I figured out that since the temperature at the time was -19 and there was a 10mph wind the "wind-chill temperature" was -41. Yes, -41. The paper used the word frigid...I do believe that word is quite perfect.

I think we all need some cozy footed pajamas and a bomber hate to get through these next few days...

Boho Magazine

For Christmas my lovely parents gave me a subscription to Boho Magazine. I had skimmed a subscription during a trip to Barnes and Noble and fell in love. In the words of Gina La Morte, editor-in-chief:

boho is a green fashion-lifestyle magazine founded on the freedom to express your own personal style and live the life you want. each issue offers the latest in fashion, beauty, and more, while inspiring you to help make a difference in the world by giving back and going green. inside you¹ll find its content focuses on both the inner and outer you, infused with new ideas that will fill your spirit and empower you to put your own stamp on things while making the world a prettier place.

boho is an eco-friendly publication. we are the first fashion magazine to be 100% recycled in our paper, packaging and inks.

And with outfits like these? I'm in love...

Bamboo wool jumpsuit, Covet, $125.Vintage boots, What Comes Around Goes Around, $298. Wood Bracelet, Novica, $52.95.

Holly Kiser for New York Model Management | photographed by Michael Frost

taken from Boho Magazine green piece

Now all I need is my first edition to arrive...


I'm a MAC Cosmetics girl. Their eyeshadow, lip gloss, mineralize blush, mascara and of course their paint are my guilty pleasures.

For years I had nasty eyeshadow creases after only a few hours of applying my shadow. And then I tried MAC Paints. A thin layer of "Bare Canvas" under any and every shadow and I am now crease free! I really should be their spokesperson. :) Unfortunately for me (or maybe fortunately due to my spending hiatus!) there is not a MAC store nearby. Luckily though, my brother lives near one and is picking me up a new tube of paint to keep creases at bay.

get more info here

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Amazingly Red Shoes

How can anybody not appreciate an outfit as perfect as this? Fabulous white dress, perfect pale skin (no fake bake for this girl!) and amazingly red shoes?! Ideal.

Picture taken from here

A Day of Fun

Karley and I recently had "Karley and Jenn Fun Day". Prior to Christmas we decided we would give homemade gifts to each other and have a "fun day" to celebrate Christmas. And a fun day it was! Yogurt and granola with organic coffee for breakfast, a trip to the fabric store, a lovely lunch at the local Burrito Union, a quick stop at our favorite running store after heaading back to my apartment for bag making and living room redecorating.

My grandma is an insanely amazing artist and one of her crafts is knitting. Years ago she (or my mom, I can't remember) taught me how to knit. Me being the person who never finishes a craft never finished a knitted project. Scroll forward to 2008 and panicked about what to make Karley, I decided to try knitting a cowl she had been lusting after on etsy. I did a practice scarf (yes, it's finished and being worn by my good friend Joey...only a boy could appreciate it), got new needles, new yarn and started up on the cowl. In the end, she loved it! In her words, "You could sell this for $50 dollars!!!" What are your thoughts? Would you buy this cowl?

New Year's Goals

I'm not one to make New Year's Resolutions but after making one I kind of got on a roll. I consider them my New Year's Goals.
1. read a book on U.S. history

2. finish a marathon
3. finish a triathlon

4. open an etsy store
5. buy only recycled clothing (vintage, consignment, etc) for 6 months

6. run a 5k under 20 minutes
7. run a half marathon in 90 minutes

To explain one...

After redoing my walk-in closet and putting bags and bags of clothes I never wear together I decided I needed to start revamping my
own clothes into fashionable outfits rather than buying more that I'll only wear a few times before shoving them into a drawer or squeezing them in between numerous other similar items hanging in the closet. Also after reading Joslyn's blog here I decided to completely go for it in all areas of life.

There's no time like the present, right?