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March 2014

My Everyday Style | 03.17.14


Do you have a pair of boyfriend style jeans? I’ve always liked them on everyone else but never thought I could pull them off. I am way to attached to my skinny leg jeans anyways. After getting a fun gift card in the mail for a free pair of Madewell jeans, I decided to go for it though. Why not try something a little different?

They are super comfy and cute with flats. I’m thinking I might be wearing these more often than I thought. What’s your favorite way to style your boyfriend jeans?

Kev and I got to spend a whole day (A WHOLE DAY!!) on a date on Saturday. The girls played with their Grandparents and we headed into Boston. Oh my heart- it definitely belongs in Boston. We got to walk to all our favorite spots, try out some new restaurants that helped us stay on track with the cleanse, and then we went to a super intimate Mates of State show at Berklee. It was so fun! They ended the show covering Miley Cyrus with a bit of Frozen mixed in. Crazy Awesome. Love them!







Top: Target
Rip & Repair Jeans: c/o Madewell
Red Bow Flats: Target
Personalized Druzy Initial Necklace (I have a “K” for Kev): c/o Wrenn Jewelry
Glasses: c/o Bonlook
Delicate Gold Bracelet: Stitch Fix

Our 40 Day Food Cleanse


Well, we are a week and a half into our food cleanse for Lent. I kind of want to jump up and down and shout how much I love it!! Of course I have some weak moments where I want to shove my face with 10 of the Trader Joe’s Donut-O’s that are sitting on my counter right now, but for the most part it’s been so yummy, fun and doable.

Like I mentioned in my Lent post, we are following Drea’s cleanse e-guide. Basically it’s all vegan, no (or very little) processed and no sugar. It’s not about counting calories, or starving yourself. It’s about resetting, feeling healthy and learning about what we are putting into our bodies. Aside from the cleanse, eating clean really is something we should challenge ourselves to do more often. Start by trying to eat clean even 1 or 2 days a week.


Here are a few things I’ve learned about eating clean this past week…

1. It does not cost more to eat all whole foods.
I was sure our grocery bill was going to go through the roof. LIE. When you cut out all the other processed food you normal buy (condiments, bread, pasta, crackers, cookies, etc…), you really don’t spend more when just buying veggies and fruit. Especially when you are heading the the grocery store with a meal plan and a list of the exact things you need. It also helps when you try to buy local and what is in season. Which is pretty much nothing here in the northeast, but oooh I can’t wait for the summer.

2. It does take time and thought.
It’s been pretty easy to eat clean, but it does take some effort. Every Sunday I sit down, look over the recipes and browse a few blogs for ideas. Then I come up with a meal plan for the week. I’m talking breakfast, lunches and dinners. I find my weakest moments are when I am hungry, without a plan and no allowable snacks. Those are the moments that have me justifying in my head that it’s ok to eat the Inner Peas from Trader Joes that I brought with us for the girls. After I grocery shop, I spend one evening cleaning, chopping and organizing all the food. That way when I am hungry I will have some homemade hummus and carrots all ready to go. Plan ahead. Plan filling and yummy meals. Eat often.

3. Dishes.
It might be just us, but whoa baby! we have a lot more dishes. Thankful for a dishwasher and a handsome husband that willing does the dishes.

4. Overnight Oats are gross.
Ha! It might be just me but the cold texture of the oats just doesn’t work for me. I much prefer cooking them and topping them with a dash of unsweetened almond milk, some cinnamon, hemp seeds and a ton of fresh fruit. *edit: Umm I didn’t know you could heat up overnight oats. Whoops! Trying that tomorrow.

5. Be adventurous
It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking “well, what can I eat then?” leaving you feeling like there is nothing to eat. Truth be told, there are tons of things you can eat. Try something new, even if in the past you thought you didn’t like it. Try new vegetables and fruit you’ve never eaten before. Find some recipes that excite you. Remember you can always substitute things to make a recipe work for you. I found a soup recipe I wanted to try, but it had a few things that didn’t work with the cleanse. I added water instead of veggie broth, almond milk instead of heavy cream and cut the oil way, way down and used coconut oil instead. The soup was DELICIOUS!! We have had it twice already.

6. Habits take a while to break.
The very first day I found myself with a mouthful of waffle pieces that I ate off of Finley’s highchair. Whoops. I was so used to eating the leftover bits and pieces of what they eat all day. Over the past week I have been more conscience about what I put in my mouth (that’s what she said- sorry. had to.) Although this morning I may have licked my fingers after a drop of Rowan’s maple syrup got on them. Oooh Sugar!! Speaking of sugar… After a few days and some good mental review over why I am doing this in the first place, I can pass the bag of M&M’s a lot easier than before. It really makes you realize the lies we teach ourselves that we “need” certain things.

7. Have fun!
I am actually having a lot of fun doing this! It makes me proud at the end of the day thinking about the good things I’ve put into my body. It will most definitely be something that last much, much longer than the 40 days. Clean eating has taken a hold of me! I am looking forward to adding a few things back once this particular food cleanse is done. I miss plain greek yogurt and some bread here and there (pizza!) but overall this cleanse has already really made an impact on our household.

You can buy Drea’s 30 Day Cleanse E-Guide Here.






*For those of you that are asking the top dish is just a bowl that I put a handful of spinach in then layered on top: roasted sweet potatoes, roasted beets, roasted chickpeas, carrot sticks, red quinoa, avocado, some hemp seeds and then added a big ol’ dollop of homemade hummus. Let me tell you… it was DELICIOUS!

‘Gro’ Something Greater




When I planted a little indoor herb garden I thought it would be just that… an herb garden. We’ve grown much more than just the herbs though; we’ve grown so many family memories in the process. Rowan has been so excited about growing herbs in the house. When we first put the seedpods in she would run down every morning to see if anything had sprouted. As the herbs started to grow we watered the plants together, added the nutrients and then learned how to harvest each of the herbs. It has given me so much joy watching her be so interested in something. Because let’s face it, 3 year-olds don’t have the longest attention span. Her eyes just light up when I tell her it’s time to trim the plants. We bought her a tiny pair of kid scissors that I let her use to trim the herbs herself. Now that we have a pretty hefty indoor garden, it has been so fun to find ways to use to the herbs together. We love cooking in our house and I try to include Rowan as much as I can. One of my favorite things we have done with our mint was make some homemade Mint Chocolate Cookie ice cream for Finley’s first birthday party. It just seemed so special to use something we grew together to make something that could be shared with friends and family as we celebrated Finley. Watching Rowan’s wonder over the whole experience this winter has made me so excited for us to plant a vegetable garden this spring!

I just wanted to share with you Miracle-Gro’s new “Gro Something Greater” campaign. When we grow something, we really do grow something greater than just plants. I love hearing what having a garden means to people. Everyone has such unique stories. That’s what this campaign is all about! It’s a place for everyone to share what they ‘Gro’ when then garden. All the stories are so inspirational. Last fall we marked out where our new big garden is going to go this year. Can’t wait for the snow to finally stop (ugh!) so we can get out there!

Head on over to and share your story!
Following along on twitter and instagram with #grosomethinggreater

What are you going to grow this year?
Do you garden? Share your tips with me!!

Crafts With Kids | Egg Carton Floral Wreath


With spring just around the corner (as I chat to myself daily) what better way to celebrate than with a super cute and easy craft you can do with your kids. I had a bunch of wooden embroidery hoops lying around that we decided to glue our flowers to. But you could make all kinds of different wreaths with the flowers. Rowan thought the finished craft was pretty cool and hung the wreath on the door to her room.

Materials needed:


1. Cut out the egg pods from the carton. Trim and cut them into different shaped flowers. Use all the parts of the carton to create centers and to cut leaves out. If you kids are good with scissors they can totally do this part. It was a little too hard for Rowan still.

2. Let them have at it! Give them a bunch of bright colors to paint all the different flowers with. Do your kids always want to mix all the colors into one mucky brown color? I always have to try to get Rowan to paint with each color separately.

3. Hot glue all the parts of the flowers together. I added a few vintage buttons and pom poms to our centers.

4. Arrange and hot glue to wooden embroidery hoop. Attach string to top and hang somewhere in your house.

5. Pray that spring is around the corner.







Weekend Favorites


It’s the weekend! Yay! Anyone have any big plans? It was 40 something degrees today and it felt like summer. That’s being dramatic, but I am so tired of it being so cold. I am convinced we need to move back to Hawaii. I may or maynot have been scheming this all week. At least I was dreaming of being back down in FL with my family. I didn’t take too many photos on my camera when we were there. Here are the few random ones that I did get.








Here are some of my favorite links from around the web this week…
1. Love this post on gardening over on Ohdeardrea. Growing a garden really can be a metaphor for life. Love her insight.

2. Shared our love story (how Kev and I met and fell in love) over on Danielle’s blog last week. Did you know we got engaged, married and moved 6,000 miles away all in 5 weeks?

3. This baby rain coat is about the cutest thing ever! Pair with some rain boots- ooh!

4. Ha! This article made me laugh. JBBB.

5. This watch is just so simple, yet beautiful. A watch you could wear everyday.

6. For the Frozen lover in all of us. This cover is my favorite, plus how can you go wrong with Jimmy Fallon

7. I am so touched by how Ashley shares stories about her daughter. So tender and raw. Love their family!

8. I’ve become mildly obsessed with the idea of both the girls having a pair of hightops. In white of course!

9. So intrigued to try this spaghetti squash pizza crust. It sounds delicious.

10. This sleeping bag is so beyond ridiculous. How fun would it be?

11. Enjoyed reading this perspective on using the word “blessed”. What are your thoughts?

12. This is my kind of outfit! Mara looks beautiful even in just a tshirt and jeans. Those shoes!!

13. My most favorite designer! Ooh to own this dress or super cute swimsuit.


French Inspired Baby Shower


This past weekend, my friend Erin and I hosted a French inspired baby shower for our very classy, beautiful and pregnant friend, Brigid. When I dream of owning my own party planning business, Erin is part of that dream. We make a good team. She is super creative and very talented! We had so much fun coming up with the menu, decorations and table settings for the party. Erin was the brain child of this one. I just helped execute all of it. The lovely folks over at Minted helped us with some of the fabulous decorations. Brigid picked out these great invitations, which really set the tone for the whole party. The shower was at 2pm, so we just went with light fare. Cheese boards, baguettes, fruit, and 2 delicious salads. Erin made a citrus salad with a spiced honey dressing and then a bacon, potato and watercress salad. Mmmmmmmm


We wanted to carry out the french theme like the in invitations, but not cross that line into cheesy Eiffel Tower everywhere sort of party. We went with striped black and white table cloths (just fabric from hobby lobby), and a pretty orange, peach, gold and mint color scheme. Erin picked up some fresh flower bunches from the local grocery store and we made the bouquets for around the room. We spray painted mason jars gold to give them a little something extra. I thought the cake came out so great with the flower cake topper we put together. Isn’t the milk glass cake stand from Minted so beautiful? I have to say, this was hands down my favorite party I have ever decorated for. I was just so happy with how it all came together. It was a such a wonderful day celebrating Brigid!



















Minted generously gifted us these items: Cake Stand, Gold Circle Banner, Straw Flags, Flags for the Cheese, Table tent cards, Favor boxes, Favor box Stickers, Pretty floral table runner, Tissue paper fans, Invitations and Thank You cards.

All the other dishes I have been collecting from thrift stores/target for the past couple years.

I made the tassel garland for Rowan’s birthday. It was awesome to get to reuse it!

Letter Garland is by Rifle Paper Co. Can be found here.

Recipes for salads can be found here and here.

The 40 days begin…


I’ve never participated in Lent before. I grew up in churches that never mentioned it. My naive, young self thought it was only something my friends that went to the Catholic church in town did. As I got older though, I learned more about it. I learned the history of it, the reasons behind it, yet still I chose not to participate. Giving something up for 40 days? Yeah. That wasn’t for me. Last year I had a strong conviction I should do something, but honestly for my own comfort I didn’t want to commit.

At the beginning of the New Year I read “7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess” by Jen Hatmaker. Omgosh. That book! It has changed so much in me over the past 2 months. It’s basically a book about fasting in some respect from 7 areas we seem to waste the most time, energy and money in. It’s endearing, hilarious and life changing. I am slightly obsessed with Jen Hatmaker. The book made me face a lot of what my idols are in my life. What I cling to, waste time on, hold important (when they’re not) and worry over. It really convicted me and I finished it just in time to start thinking about Lent.

Lent isn’t suppose to be used as a second chance for resolutions. It’s giving up and fasting from something, but making sure you are replacing it with prayer, reading, or worship. I’ve really prayed over my motives and searched my heart this year. I want to be doing all of this for the purpose of growing closer to God. We’re at a turning point as a family. We’re starting a big journey and I want Jesus to be front and center. I’m really good at filling my time with everything but him. I am desperate to change that. I want to make room for Him and I don’t want worldy possessions to steer my heart. I want these next 40 days to be a way to reflect what the Easter season is all about. There’s nothing magical about all of this. It’s not like a switch is flipped and you come out perfect. I know I will fail at what I am fasting from, but in my imperfections I hope I can see just how perfect Jesus is and how badly I need him.

I highly recommend reading this blog post on Lent by Ann Voskamp.

I picked a theme for Lent… “Live Simple” Here is what my Lent season will look like:

1. Kev and I started Drea’s Mise En Place: A Thirty Day Cleanse today. We will continue working through it for the next 40 days. I love Drea and I love this e-guide. It has beautiful pictures, lots of great information, recipes, shopping lists, etc… I feel like it’s totally doable. It’s not juicing, but eating whole, vegan and simple. Something we should be doing more of anyways. We already eat loads of veggies in our house and I am a vegetarian who doesn’t like fake meat to begin with, so I am hoping it will be a sort of easy transition. I wanted to do this though because I have a major sweet tooth (CANDY!!). I just really hate the idea of being enslaved to the feeling of needing sugar. I don’t want to be enslaved to anything. I will continue to blog on this one throughout the 40 days. I really do recommend this e-guide to anyone- it’s perfect for anyone wanting to jump start a healthy lifestyle.

2. I will be giving up Twitter (on my phone) and Facebook (altogether). SO.MUCH.WASTED.TIME!! I will need to hop on twitter (from my laptop) from time to time in order to fulfill some obligations I have relating to blog work but I am deleting the apps from my phone until Easter. I want to be present. When I really think about how much time during the day I am scrolling through all those media outlets — Ouch! It’s embarrassing.

3. Kev is giving up TV, so in turn I am too. TV isn’t really an issue for me — I don’t really enjoy watching it to begin with but we do sometimes like to watch an episode of something before we go to bed. At the moment we LOVE Brooklyn 99. So funny. Without it though, I plan to go to bed earlier and have dedicated time at night reading, reflecting and journaling. I bought a Lent journal from Jessi. I am really looking forward to using it.

4. No excess clothes spending. Self explanatory. I love me some new clothes, shopping is therapeutic to me. I love looking at clothing websites (I used to love actual shopping but that doesn’t happen anymore with kids). With no money to spend — I wont need to spend time looking through the sale sections at my favorite places. Do I really need another pair of shoes just because they are on sale? We have TOO MUCH stuff in our lives that we do not need.

5. I would like to clean out our closets, bins, drawers, etc… and donate everything. I am very grateful for all that we have, but there are others that could use it more. I want our house to be simple, beautiful and full of love, more than “stuff”. I want to be filled with a giving spirit.

I am looking forward to having more family time, more time to read, more time to be creative, but more importantly I am looking forward to creating room for Jesus.

Are you participating in Lent this year? I would love to hear what you are fasting from.

Hi, I'm Jen!

Welcome to my personal lifestyle blog. It features topics such as motherhood, family life, fashion, cooking, and all sorts of adventures. I hope you enjoy what you find!

Jen Loves Kev