Archives for ‘Tips’

What To Say/Not To Say When Someone is Sick

September 19, 2011 By: Jenna Category: Tips

Going along with my post on trials a few weeks ago, here is an excellent list of phrases to use, and phrases to avoid, when you’d like to reach out to someone in need. Based on recent familial experiences, I can tell you these really stood out to me as being the truth:

To avoid


They already feel like a burden. Listing off their needs only compounds that feeling.


If the person has been ill for awhile, they have probably spent a considerable amount of time researching and hanging out at the office of several different providers. If you do feel like you have to tell them about a miracle solution that worked for your friend or your aunt, offer up the suggestion once and then let it be.

To use


I’ve actually personally experienced how awesome it is to hear this one. Mrs. Corn sent me a lovely package filled with toys for T1, and explicitly wrote that I didn’t have to write her a thank you for the gift. The toys were awesome, we’re still using some of them today, but that little note was the part I appreciated most.


Don’t overstay your welcome. Unless the person is talking non-stop, a shorter visit is better than a longer one.

As you can tell, I have this topic on the brain lately. If you have suggestions that aren’t on the NYT list, I’d love to hear them!


Vacation Planning Tips

August 17, 2011 By: Jenna Category: Tips, Travel

I’ve got vacation planning on the brain (we’re leaving in two weeks!) and so I was more than happy to oblige when my friend Anni asked if I’d be interested in writing a guest post for her Through My Lens travel series. Click over to read my guest post, where you’ll find my views on some of the best ways to plan a vacation that’s a bit off the beaten path.

And because this post needs a picture… me in front of the Coliseum, auditioning for America’s Next Top Model. (Kidding!*)

*But seriously, that really is me in a wedding dress in front of the Coliseum. You can see more of them here if you’d like.


The Sock Bun

August 15, 2011 By: Jenna Category: Tips

If you follow me on Twitter or Formspring, you may have seen me talking about the sock bun. I am borderline obsessed with this hairstyle. It looks fancy, keeps my hair off my neck in the summer, and allows me to go several days without washing my hair while still looking put together. I learned about it from this video, and I recommend watching it if you’d like to see how it works from start to finish.

If you want to see me acting like a Beauty Department wannabe model, check out my little graphic below.

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Pinterest Explained

August 10, 2011 By: Jenna Category: Tips

I’m assuming that a lot of you know what Pinterest is, but I love the site so much that I wanted to make sure EVERYONE knows about it. Once upon a time Google had a service called Google Notebook. I still use it, but it’s now become a site that you can only access if you used it previously. I use it to bookmark all sorts of things, like articles on birth, parenting, Chicago places you recommended that we eat, and a host of other things. It’s an awesome service that I’m grateful to have, but it does have one huge limitation, and that is the ability to bookmark photos (plus the interface overall isn’t very pretty).

Enter Pinterest!

To sum it up, Pinterest is a site you use for bookmarking things, and you do this bookmarking using images. Blogposts/pictures/items for sale/stuff from Flickr/quotes/etc/etc/etc. The one thing you can’t use Pinterest to bookmark is articles with no pictures or sites that use flash (that’s where Google Notebook still comes in handy for me).

When I was wedding planning this would have been a lifesaver! I had folders and folders full of pictures which had no sources (and thus were pretty much useless when I started writing for Weddingbee), and I couldn’t access them away from my computer, or easily share them with other people. Now I use Pinterest the most for bookmarking recipes, crafts I’d like to try, home decor ideas, photographs I love, and ideas for hair/makeup/outfits.

This is what I see when I clicked on my Pinterest page while writing this post. All those pictures you are seeing are “pins” that other people have saved to their own profile. If I like something I see on this Pinterest page, I click on the picture and pin it myself. Then someone who follows me likes it and pins it, and that keeps happening over and over. It’s fun to see what becomes popular!

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A Delightful (Really!) Bridal Shower Game

July 25, 2011 By: Jenna Category: Tips

I feel kind of ambivalent about showers. As the guest of honor, it’s overwhelming to have so much attention lavished on you (and I’m obviously someone who likes attention.) The games are usually cheesy, although I always like the food.

Last week I attended the shower of this lovely friend of mine (the girl planning a grey and yellow wedding in a month!) and my mom was asked to organize the game portion of the evening. My mom asked me to do a little brainstorming, and so I turned to my Weddingbee friends to ask what shower games they had experienced and loved.

I decided to try out a game that incorporated the story of the couple.

I emailed the bride and asked her to write up their story as a couple. I then rewrote it, adding in as many “rights” and “lefts” as possible. If I was writing out my own story with That Husband, I would write something like this:

That Wife was starting to think that marrying That Husband would be the right thing. Unfortunately he had already left for Dallas! She made a decision right away that she wanted to fly down and visit him as soon as possible. That Wife wondered how long it would take them to get married, because she had right around 30 credits left during her time at BYU.

My mom wrapped up 5 different prizes, and we passed them out to different people in the circle. We directed those holding a present to pass it right or left every time they heard the word “right” or “left”. I stood in the middle to read the story, and just before I started we decided that any time I said the name of the couple, the gifts had be tossed across the room to the person opposite.

This was the winning element to the game! As you can see, the gifts were flying, everyone was laughing, and those present learned a few things they didn’t know about the couple when they walked in the door.

When I finished the story, the person holding the gift unwrapped it and kept whatever they found inside.

I plan to use this for any and all showers I host/come up with games for in the future. And I think I’ll brainstorm a way to tweak it for baby showers as well.

Are there any other shower games I should consider adding to my arsenal?


      I'm a farm-raised almost-crunchy stroller-pushing picture-taking lifestyle-blog-writing gastronomy-obsessed divine-seeking thrift-store-combing cheese-inhaling pavement-pounding laughter-sprinkling lover of individuality and taking chances.
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