Jennifer Blake

March 29, 2016

4 ways to make a rental feel like home

1. Statement pieces. There is something about big pieces of 'art' that take up a lot of room, for one it cuts down on having to buy things to decorate the wall and secondly, they look really great on white bare walls. Two of my most favorite pieces in our house are my metal ampersand and my Stendig calendar. The ampersand isn't huge, but it takes up a decent amount of space and certainly stands out. The calendar is HUGE and takes up half my office wall, but I absolutely love the black and white minimalist look to the calendar. 

2. Meaningful words. I am obsessed with typography and meaningful prints. There doesn't need to be a fancy frame, just grab some cute washi tape and print out words that mean something to you. I also love getting prints from local letterpress stores or this shop and this shop on Etsy. If the words have meaning to you, hang them up. 

3. Personalized prints. I have been married for 3 years. It took me 3 years to get wedding pictures printed. 3 years! I should have taken the time to do it earlier, but better late than never. Adding pictures of your family and your life to your apartment adds such a wonderful, homey, personalized feel. It wasn't until I hung our pictures up that this place truly felt like our own. A home to me will always be anywhere where my family is, but this little town house of ours feels full of love and life with pictures of us scattered around. Canvas prints and metal prints from Tiny Prints add an extra wonderful touch. I actually love the metal print the most, the printing is wonderful and I definitely plan on ordering more at some point and I have always had amazing lucky with Tiny Prints.

4. Small, but curated spaces. We have a lot of stuff scattered around our little home, but one of my favorite and most simple spots, is our bar. The liquor is tucked away, but a simple act of some paper straws in milk bottles, a cute print and some recipe books make this spot perfectly decorated and well loved.

March 11, 2016

when walking away seems easier than coming back

I used to blog every day. I used to fill these pages with thoughts and projects and moments. This blog started when I was in an unknown place, I had no idea what I was doing with my life, I watched the people around me head to grad school, to full time jobs; all I knew was who I was spending the rest of my life with but not what I was going to be spending the rest of my life doing. So I started this blog to fill time while Aaron went to PT school full time. I never thought I would fall in love with blogging, but I made connections and I found a place where I could say what I wanted and no one could stop me. I found an amazing, wonderful, and creative outlet.

Then life happened. Grad school happened. Moving happened. Full time jobs happened.

Somewhere between all of the changes, the blog became less of a priority and more of a chore. I felt tired and struggled with creating content, I struggled with just sharing life updates. It all just felt like a chore. So I took a week off. A week turned into sporadically posting for a month. Then I took a whole month off. Then I tried to come back to it full time, but it only lasted a week before I took another week off.

The more time I spent away from this space the harder it became to come back. I continued to read blogs but writing just felt hard. So hard. I kept reading about blogging becoming less popular, because people want to skim, they want to look at pictures not read a story. Which made it even harder to come back, because why come back if no one wants to read anymore.

Then I stumbled across a TED talk yesteraday called, Teach Girls Bravery, Not Perfection. Perfection or bust.

It felt easier to walk away then to push through this creative block. This fear that what I am writing isn't good enough. So here I am pushing back. Fighting through. This space started as a place just for me, a journal of this crazy and magical life. This space is a place I can look back on to remember the big moments, but more importantly the little moments. I'm getting rid of all expectations, all rules and getting back to the roots- story telling and connection.

February 16, 2016

s'more cookies

It was one of those weekends where cookies just felt like the thing to make. Pinterest came to the rescue and I decided to attempt s'more cookies. The recipe made a lot of batter so I made half and froze half. They were SO delicious. I followed along with this recipe, also listed out below!

For The Graham Cracker Crumble:
1 package graham crackers
6 TBS butter, melted
1 TBS sugar
dash of salt

For The Cookie Dough1 cup butter, softened (2 sticks)
1½ cups brown sugar
½ cup sugar
2 eggs
2 TBS milk
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
3½ cups flour
1½ cups milk chocolate chips
16-20 large marshmallows, cut in fourths
16-20 small snack size Hershey bars, broke into fourths

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Crush graham crackers inside a ziploc baggie with a rolling pin (you can choose how fine you want your crumbs)
Put your crushed graham crackers into a medium bowl, add the melted butter, sugar, and salt and mix together so that all the crackers are coated with the melted butter.
In a large bowl, add your 1 cup softened butter and sugars, beat until creamy.
Add your eggs, milk, and vanilla and mix again until those are all incorporated.
In another medium bowl, add your flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder and combine.
Add your flour mixture and your graham cracker crumbs to your wet mixture and stir together.
Gently stir in your milk chocolate chips.
Onto your cookie sheet, scoop 1 inch size balls.
Bake your cookies for about 7 minutes.
Remove your tray from the oven and top each cookie with ¼ piece of marshmallow.
Place cookie sheet back into the oven to bake for 1 and ½ minutes.
Remove again from the oven and let cool for 2 minutes.
Top the marshmallows with ¼ piece of the snack Hershey bar.
Allow to rest for a couple more minutes on cookie sheet before moving to a cooling rack