Warm + Fuzzy = 2016 Happiness

Little did we know that by posting a kids bed to give away on CraigsList, we would happen upon a beautiful way to start 2016.

It went like this for those of you who don’t know the story….the bed had already been spoken for and so I replied to the text that the free bed was no longer available.

text 1text 2text 3

Anyone who knows our family, knows that we have had to rely on help to get through our son Winston’s medical adventures.  So what better thing to do when you come across someone who needs help?  Don’t sit idly by!

You reach out to your Facebook Friends!  What happened was AMAZiNG!  People from all over the United States and within Kansas City, stepped forward to help.

It wasn’t until the mom in need of help started texting photos, that we really began to know how much help was really needed.

Now keep in mind, I kept safety in mind, asked tons of questions to make sure the story was legit and had multiple people in tow for the first meeting.  Safety first.

Her story was true and she had a full time job as a manager at a fast food place.  On the day of the fast make-over through destiny we had a volunteer who worked within the social work field who was there to talk to the mom about available resources and help.  It couldn’t have been more perfect.  So the end goal is more than just a band aid.

The mom was brave enough to ask for help for the basics.  She and the two children had been living in the apartment since before Thanksgiving. They needed underwear, food, the bare necessities.  I thought we were going to come in and do the typical kind of make-over.  These were photos of items I had prepared to purchase for this make-over. The chic, fun accessories that made a house feel like a home and fit my aesthetic criteria as a designer.

collage decor

Which having  a lovely home is important to me no matter how much money you have in life.  Everyone single person in the world deserves it.

However, it became very clear that any spare money was needed to provide what was truly needed.  This became a moment to realize that when you are in need, the perfect silhouette of a lamp is not as important as a meal for your child.   Which is why this make-over is TRULY BEAUTIFUL!!!

Please note, I am not in any way fishing for compliments with this whole experience, instead I want to lead by example and inspire people to say “In 2016, I will do something great for someone else because I can.  One person and one act can make a difference.”  Of course it helps that I have the BEST social media friends around.

It’s another reason why I love social media and Kansas City.  Imagine, it was January 2……everyone was still recovering from the holidays.  And look what happened.

PLEASE NOTE:  Everyone you see pictured came together WiTHiN 72 HOURS of the initial ask.  We used EVERY single item donated.  WE HAD 6 HOURS in the apartment to get it all in before the mom had to go to work.  

collage2collage 1

People drove all around KC to pick up furniture, people upholstered furniture, people gave and installed vinyl decals, people painted furniture, people made art, and people helped clean.

collage vinylcollage 3

Everyone was a designer, everyone was hands on, and everyone rolled up their sleeves.  Every single thing donated was used.  There is still more to do, and being done.  The gift cards that are coming in, will be used to buy food and stock them with basic necessities.  And as my Disney movie would voice over…..”this is what life is all about.” And  I’ll add the “Holllahhhh!”

BEFORES + AFTERS (still in progress)

Living Room

living roomliving room 2

Master Bedroom (still in progress)

moms roommaster

The dining room became an actual dining room!  Thank you Chrystal for painting the beautiful robin’s egg blue table on the fly and donating the set!  And the Morrow family for recovering the seat cushions on the fly!

dining roomkitchen table2

This was the kids’ room they shared.

kids room

kids room3  kids room 4

Their closet became full of clothes that were donated!

kids room 5

Everyone asks, “How did the mom react?”  That’s everyone’s favorite part.  The joy, the relief, the tears.  However, honestly she was shocked.  You could tell she had never received that amount of kindness for no reason.  You could tell the mom had lived a rough life.  You could tell she was appreciative without the tears.  You could tell she loved her kids.  You could tell she had made mistakes in her life and she was desperately trying to get it back on track.  You could tell she needed this.  And the joy in the kids could power a city.  You all did a great thing!

There are so many people to thank.  Some wish to remain anonymous and absolutely no one wanted credit for their business that donated to the cause but I want to give everyone credit even if they don’t want it!

I hope I don’t leave anyone out!!!!  Everyone single person was an important part of this warm fuzzy!  HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!!!

Shawnee Downtown Business Association, “WallDressedUp” on Etsy, Carol Klassen Reynolds, Lindsay Dyer, Annette Dyer, Chrystal Andersen, Tamara Hudson + friends, Arlisa Grayson, Brandi Thomas, Wohlenhaus family, Jill Grace + family, Kate Nelson + kids, Jill Cline Evans, Katie Walker, Murray Family, Glenda Peterson, Heather Morrow + family, Darcy Monroe + Hubs, Bill Schneider + family, Gaddy Family, Stephanie Forbes, Caty Hulett, Heather Robbins, Kelley Mork, Gilbert Family, Tara Adler, Joscelyn + Minette Himes, Chelle Swanson-Wilson, Paul Wilson, Kris Gabrielson + hubby, Betty Sue Welch, Lindsay + Ben Bittfield, Dirks family, Jen Fescoe, Courtney Kounkel, Crim family, Jenna Baker, Donna Foy-Eckstein, and all of the people who were willing to help or donate items!!!!!!!!!!  And there will be more to add b/c more people are still helping!  Sorry if I left anyone off the list!

People are still doing stuff to help.  It’s been the love, the willingness to help at a moments notice that show us what a lovely way to start 2016.  It’s about knowing that the world is bigger than getting the wrong order at a fast food place, or having one bad day….some people have lots of bad days.  And yes, I really am this cheesy….I grew up on Disney + Musicals and I really do believe one person, one act can make a difference.  Here’s to a fabulous 2016 for all of you!



Not Finishing a Marathon: Failure or a Success?

The marathon is over & I must say I accomplished what I wanted to….

  1.  I didn’t die.
  2.  I kick-started my health journey.
  3.  I raised money for Ronald McDonald Charities.
  4.  I didn’t die.

Of course, I didn’t finish the marathon.  But I did learn a few things from my journey.

Pre Run Joy

1.  It’s okay to dream big and set crazy goals.  One thing people always said to me was, “Why didn’t you just do a 5k?  Or a half marathon?”  First I say, I couldn’t raise money for the Ronald McDonald Houses if I didn’t do this. (Yes, I could do a bake sale and such but raising money for them this way is much cooler!  We stay at a RMcDH for our son Winston’s surgeries and without them we couldn’t pull off his medical treatment.)  And second, who cares if I set an absurd goal.  Obviously, you don’t want to get hurt and a marathon is a very serious sport so that part is super important.  But my life role models are the people who took risks, possibly failed and then got up and tried something else.

2.  You’re not a loser if you are the only one that doesn’t have a medal around your neck.  The funniest part was at mile 8 when I decided, I was done.  I stopped, cried a good cry on a bench by myself as people walked by, my hubby called at the perfect time and then I caught a train.  I held my head high and still was so proud that even in the midst of my crazy life, I managed to do something.  Which running 8 miles for me is actually pretty great.  And as we know, something is better than nothing. 

I still laugh that when I tell runners I only got to mile 8, it’s like they quietly mourn my attempt.  I can see their disappointment for me in their eyes.  But I have to admit, I get it.  Running is a lifestyle, a sport, and when a marathon is well trained for, it’s a personal challenge of you against the pavement.  My mentality was different.  I used the Chicago Marathon as a “hello again” to the world that I wasn’t going to lie down and give up that things didn’t go my way in life.  Six years of medical adventures with our son, losing most of our material possessions and coping by comfort eating.  So I won just by even showing up.  Or at least that’s what my mom would say.  :) 

I did totally gain a lot of respect for all of the runners out there in the world.  Going to the pre-marathon expo and being a part of the madness was actually quite a lovely community of people and a lot of stories of persistence.  Plus I made so many new friends and memories despite not completing it.  And I loved watching people complete it….it made me want to do it again. 

early morning photo

3.  LAST….Set another goal.  I don’t know what my next absurd life thing will be but there will be one.  Rule a small country?  Learn to dance a polka?  Raise a bear cub?  Who knows….I do have on the bucket list to do an open mic night at a comedy club and see if I get heckled off the stage.  That one seems way easier than a marathon! 

Happy life adventures to all of you!  And please share your stories!  I love to hear how all of you are out there rocking life and trying new things!




Marathon Training:

This is how I feel as I run every single time…..

And this is how I feel at the end of every run……….

So now that I made the public announcement to myself and to the peeps who have been cheering along our family, how am I feeling about my decision you ask?  And how am I doing on the actual training you ask?  

Well, I must say wowzahs…..as you can imagine, pulling yourself up by the boot straps and committing to getting your healthy body back is a bit of a life event.  In your head you think, “Wow, I’m going to start feeling great… I’m going to be able to wear lycra & I will run all over the neighborhood with the ease of a gazelle.”  In reality, it is full of just pure, raw ugly determination as i look like a possible back up dancer on “Sweating to the Oldies” who is about to go into cardiac arrest.  And yet I keep running.

Here is what I have learned so far:

1.  The look in people’s eyes or the implied opinion that perhaps, you will not succeed or you bit off more than you can chew is the best fuel for training.  I want to show myself and others that it’s never too late for a fresh start with a big goal.  Don’t get me wrong, there are more people cheering me on than being disbelievers.  But it does sound absurd when you are 80 pounds over-weight and set such an extreme goal.  I love a great, large dream that seems impossible…
2.  Morning running is funny…..because at 5:30 am no one is hardly up and whoever is up, you can creepily see in their windows as you run past.  As a designer, I am amazed by how much honey oak is still out in the world as I can see into their homes.  Please gel-stain over-glaze or paint your honey oak…..I’m just sayin’…..
3.  In reality, training for a large goal like a marathon is a true test in patience.  Patience from your family because you have added one more thing to your plate.  Patience for yourself because you have to learn to forgive yourself for where your heart and health ended up and know that only baby steps will get you to where you need to go.
4.  I am beyond glad that I have set such a large goal.  It scares me to death and yet I just know I can do this.  This is my journey back into life after five years of medical highs and lows.  I needed something eventful and dramatic to mark the end of the medical era and my fabulous hello back into life. I must admit, I still have big plans in life.  :)  And I owe a lot of people huge thank yous for helping our family through five years of chaos.  Plus this will be my hello into my forties!  :)  40….I’m hoping maturity sets in at 40…..
5.  Make your first big run about somebody else as well.  I have chosen to run the Chicago Marathon for the Ronald McDonald House.  This holds you accountable and it gives you the determination to succeed as well.  (And I am realistic this is probably the only way I will ever qualify for the Chicago Marathon!)  Plus, If I can help one family through my running for them, it’s worth it.  Let alone the many families that our RMHKC running group will help.
4.  And the last thing I learned…get yourself a running coach on such a large goal.  I am using the AMAZiNG Meaghan.
Meaghan Ridgway, RRCA Running Coach
It makes an absolute difference in terms of educating yourself on your body, the art of running and how to achieve your goals.  I will talk nutrition and who’s helping me (hollahhh) in another blog because I am still tackling that one!  :)

Thank you to all of you for cheering on myself and my lovely family!!!  We love all of you!!!



10,000 Likes & I’ll run the Chicago Marathon this OCT for the Ronald McDonald House…..

Wowzahs, I just vomitted in my mouth a little….

SOoooooo I OFTEN dream up idiotic things & I really believe I can pull it off.

However, getting healthy has been a painfully long & unsucessful journey.

So maybe it’s like a band-aid, give yourself a date & hope you really don’t SCREW IT UP.

I turn 40 this October so I’m thinking, this should be my big turning 40 thing.

But you see I don’t want to be like the poor American guy who just got gored at the Bull Festival in Spain.

I’m sure he thought he was going to do something epic & fun.

And now the poor man is having sphincter surgery.

I am totally not making fun of him. But I am scared to death, I’ll have the marathon version of sphincter surgery. 

Imagine the news that day cutting to video of a girl running the Chicago marathon……what all could possibly go wrong?

1.  I may just poop my pants while running…..

2.  I may decide one song into it, it was a really, really bad idea.

3.  I may learn that I could chafe where no one should ever chafe.

4.  I may just….I do not know…..I will think of more things that could go wrong.

But maybe, just maybe things could go right…..

1.  Like I might find the old Jenny who had a joie de vivre even more than the Jen you now know!

2.  I might gain some life lessons that will feel lovely like self discipline, health, health that I share with Winston & the hubs.

3.  If and when I pull this off, I’ll see if the hubs is up for re-newing our vows!  :)

Here’s the article on the poor guy who travelled abroad for a horrible adventure.

SO when I was talking turning 40 and wanting to get healthy because that seems to be at the forefront of my brain now and it was deliriously late at night as a piano was being tuned at midnight and we had all just worked an 80 hour week……it sounded like a great idea.  I have a feeling I may be cursing you—Holly Buckendahl CEO of the RMcDHouse, April Hudson the Operations Manager, Emily Gretzinger (PR for Ronald McDonald House).  So this may be EPIC & GREAT or at the least a great story to tell….. in HONOR of Oprah running a marathon, I think I could take it on!  Are you in on this adventure with me?  I think I would need the cheers to get through it.

But if I get the likes, I’ll do it.   For reelz.  (replay Jim Carrey gagging video)




I promise to get back to design stuff but I have to say this is my “life design”…..I can’t be fully great at what I do if I am neglecting my health.  (And I have big plans peeps.)

And so I am “designing” my health and my body.  It can be whatever I want it to be.  

A friend told me that when their group of friends get together on an annual trip, they pick a word to be their word for the whole next year.

And so I challenged myself for my word and it is……drum roll……...choose.

Every day, I make a choice.  I have to admit, making choices in design…..well, that’s really just easy.

So now I must apply that strong opinion in other aspects of my life.  

(If you have not gotten bored and are still reading this…..thank you.  Because if anything, you are really just a bystander to my journey.  You will score design tips I promise.  But this is what is on the forefront of my mind today…..but I do have some amazing projects that I will be filling you in on.)

But for today, I need you to celebrate with me…. it’s official…..I made it through my first spin class in a looooooooooooong time!

Hilariously at the start of class there were some of the old school regulars who are scoffing at the January fresh meat…..you could tell they were secretly wishing us to quickly drop like flies so they can quickly get back to their regular class routine.  

And I had to laugh because halfway through the instructor said, “If you’re new, it’s been 30 minutes and you can leave if you need to.”  

There were two of us.  

Neither of us left.

But as class was winding down I noticed that my legs felt tighter and tighter.  Well, it ends up as the class progressed my seat that was at the height of the bicycle bars roughly, kept slowly creeping down and down until by the end of class I was riding with my knees up to my boobs.  (Note to self:  make sure seat is tightened fully in place.)  I played it cool as if that was intentional.

And so, even though I had the padded pants on that literally made you feel like you are walking around with a massive dirty diaper in tow, I am sore and feeling very, very accomplished.  I got over the hurdle of the first class.  Thank you to my texting friend, Amy, who is the best cheerleader an out-of-shape girl could ask for!!!

On a funny note, I was texting a new design client today and when I was telling her that I don’t humor her, spell check changed it to “hump ring”…..so I told her I don’t “hump ring her”…….  :) Luckily she laughed…..have a lovely day all of you! 



The end of 2014…..

Okay, I have to say, I’m glad 2014 is almost over and I want to say an early HELLOOOOOOO to 2015!

I know some people don’t believe in resolutions but I do.

Here are a few resolutions that I am going to adhere to and because I am putting them out there into the universe, I believe I am holding myself just one more tad bit accountable.

1.  the “stop being boring” or the “no excuse resolution”……

Enough I say….I’m bored with talking about it, feeling poopy about it and bored with the concept all around.  To know me is to know that this is an issue that has annoyed me a lot over the last year or two.   I often ask myself, how did I really let it get this bad.  And if you don’t know me personally, well, helloooo to you.  So here it is….. It’s my fault and only my fault as to why I am unhealthy.  Note to self, must be woman of action when it comes to my own personal health.  Wearing spandex around town does not inspire me to work out so I’ve learned.  And joining a gym does not make me go.  Which I have to admit, I am totally embarrassed to show up out of shape in January with everyone else but who cares.  I must not fade out with all of the newbie gym peeps.  Also, I must not have a heart attack, be winded easily and must stop wearing only black because it’s easy.  I’m boring myself.  And it’s just not me.  (All of you healthy people out there please feel free to share FREE recipes, ideas, etc.)

2.  the “cleaner”…..

Say goodbye to clutter.  Cleanse.  Say good bye to things and let them go on to a new home or be recycled.  It’s good for the soul and the brain box.  Your home environment reflects where you are in life.  Is your life in order?  Is your life too busy, too cluttered and too much?  Let’s all take the time to slow down and put things in order.  Starting with my desk.  I once was told that a cluttered desk was a sign of a genius.  I assume someone with a cluttered desk came up with that saying.

3.  turn off the tv…..

Okay, I have to admit I am addicted to pop culture, Andy Cohen and all things BRAVO related…..somehow we all end up watching the world live and stop really living ourselves.  So I will DVR all of my shows and as much as it pains me, will limit my tv watching.  (Why do I think this will be harder than eating right?  And this one makes me start to sweat at the thought of giving up my shows….oh that Andy Cohen is so smart…..)

4.  improve as a parent, a wife, and a person…..

I kind of think this one just goes to accountability.  I don’t think I specifically suck in all of these categories but let’s be honest, we can all improve in one way or another.  And I actually have quite a few things to work on.  But I still high five myself for surviving the last crazy five years of medical stuff but with a brush of the hand on the shoulder, I brush it all into the past and 2015 is a new year.

This leaves me asking…..what are your resolutions?  Hopefully more fun & exotic than mine!

One year I hope to say “travel more” or “stop walking around in my bikini everywhere” or “call back Karl Lagerfeld about being his muse”…..but for now, it’s about the basics for me……  :)

HAPPY NEW YEAR PEEPS!!!!  I honestly think it will be a good one for all of us!



winston and mummy

Happenstance Design…… are you a victim as well….


Okay, I put WAY too much pressure on what my next blog would be {{so much so}} that I procrastinated.  

There was too much thinking about branding.  

Too much social media watching and realizing how much  cooler everyone else was.  

{{WOWZAHS, I must say there are some amazing people out there!}}  

And I must warn creative peeps & everyone else as well, that too much social media is bad for the creative soul.)


And, well, after all of that, all of a sudden too much time has passed.  

So with that I say HELLO again

and i promise to be a better BLoGGeR.  

(not a fan of that word “blogger” by the way…..

I’m going for something like “design enthusiast”…..

or “purveyor of life’s design”…..

or “designer with written verbal diarrehea”

whoah….. that escalated quickly.  

(name the movie reference & you get blog follower brownie points.)

Okay, so let’s dig in & let’s start with my personal home.

I am the cobbler with no shoes. 

Not by choice because if I did, and could, they would be paired with vintage Alexander McQueen.

But seeing how we have just gone through and are still experiencing a bit of a medical tsunami & it’s aftermath, we are not able to spend cash-ola on our home.  (Thank you C&P for us even having a home.)  

But as I spend all day designing for others & making them happy by changing their environments, I am slowly re-building our aesthetic home–element by element.  In my quest to create a home that I felt was happy for our family but looked designed even though it is all designed super thrifty.  And by thrifty…….I mean, thrifty’s dodgy cousin.

I am aware that I am not saving lives or doing something heroic through design.  But I do say I get to be a bit like Mary Poppins every day.  Except currently imagine Rebel Wilson playing Mary Poppins and you have me right now at this stage of life.  (Photo is of Rebel Wilson who is amaze-balls.


Great design is still great with fabulously large budgets.

But to do design with absolutely nothing….that takes patience, skill and creativity and most of all flexibility.  

Because “Situational HAPPENSTANCE Design” is out of your control.  

You must ride the wave of life and create as you go in small moments.

Some of you may have no choice but to do “Happenstance Design”.

Some of you are slightly vomiting in your mouth at the concept of it.

But it is the reality for a lot of people.

So on that note, I will specialize my blog on realistic “Happenstance design” with the occasional client job with great budgets thrown in!

But this Happenstance Design isn’t just dreamed up through unrealistic Pinterest Boards but by truly creating lovely design out of what life throws at you.

(WITHOUT being boring or depressing.)

So I will lead by example and show you how I do “happenstance design” through current projects I am doing in our home.

I am BEYOND PsYCHeD that my gold vinyl circle decals from Classy Clutter Designs on Etsy arrived today.


gold dots_edited-1

Now where to put them.

Remember that all day long I make other people’s homes beautiful in the ways that are right for them.  

And I always start by figuring out how they want it to feel…..

So I turn my advice on myself.

How I want our home to feel:

**happy through Winston’s eyes**

**light**  we went through some serious stuff (could always be worse though) and mentally we are WAXED……


**and did I say happy……with a kooky, whimsical twist….remember I grew up on Disney & musicals

So, here are my thoughts for the gold dots….

1-Entryway hall.  Sprinkle them from the ceiling as if it was gold rain welcoming you home.

2-My office.  It needs a fresh change.  

I have done lots showing off that painted wall and now it needs a fresh change.  

I just hung this massive frame I found in the West Bottoms and painted it & now I decide what I want to hang in it.  

I will also be reconfiguring the furniture and layering in more color…..think corals……I may start wearing CAT sweatshirts…..

office 2_edited-1

And that’s about it.

No clue which it’ll be and I think I’ll surprise you…….  

And I have to say…………….THANK YOU!!!!

Thank you for reading my blog!

Feel free to write comments on what you want me to write about.

Upcoming topics:

IKEA ideas

A tour of our home

And don’t forget to check out ClassyClutterDesigns on Etsy.





….the jb man*i*fes*to….

Glass Case of Emotion Embroidery Hoop - Anchorman Movie Quote / Red Gray Minimalist Home Decor. $28.00, via Etsy.

Okay--I have to keep you guys from getting bored.  So I’m asking a FAVOR.  Give me 10 blogs before you completely decide I’m not for you.  In turn, I will:

1-Try to keep it light & not dumb.  (Like the occasional ode to all things funny.  To me that is Larry David, Louis CK, Absolutely Fabulous–I often feel like I am Eddie (the dark haired one) but in bad clothes, and anything Will Ferrell & Danny McBride touch.

2-Men & Women….I will talk some design to spare you the agony of arguments of home design decisions, wasting money on something not right, and really to just inspire you to color outside of the lines & take a few risks.  AND just because I like kooky, happy design that DOES NOT mean that is all that I can do….so don’t be scared.

3-I assure you I will have 9 yr old boy humor…i LOVe the word “poop”.

4-If I meet cool people, I will make sure you meet them as well.  (You probably know more cool people.)  Ditto for cool places.  (That will be good b/c it will force me to try new things.)

4I will let you tell me to “shut it” if I dwell about any subject too long.

5-One day I will surprise my husband with Matt Damon.

6-Then if you guys want to know more, see more, I will keep doing it.  Or I will probably just do it any way because I like to create through these mediums, I’ll do it for me & know at least my mom and brother will watch.  :)

7-LAST ONE…..I will try to always be HONEST.  (Obviously I am going to keep some of my life to myself b/c that’s for me to enjoy.)  We are not able to travel at this moment in time & I love me a good adventure.  And I have to admit I prefer the tropical, drinks on the beach, sun tanned, vacation sex (did I say that?! but it’s true) kind of adventure but our lives have been a bit of a medical, comfort eating kind of adventure more than we like.  Soooooo for now, writing about our bizarre journeys will be my way to get out.  I do have to say, I admire all of you people out there that have your sh*t together.  Yes we all define it differently, but it’s about effort.

AT THIS POINT in the blog,  I get it if it’s “too much jen”.  But I  have to say you’ll be missing out on a good time….

Thursday Throwback — Chris Farely’s Chippendales

I’m just sayin’….

Okay, that’s all for now….. thank you for being on this new blogging adventure with me!  

XOXO  jen

Black Francis of the Pixies came to hang out & chat…..

ViDEO iNTERVIEW in this blog post!!!!

If you read my first blog post & are back, thank you….you passed my “weed out” test.  Now this blog, like anything I do, I need you to bear with me and read it all and watch it all.  You’ll start to get where I’m coming from and what my intentions are with the blog.

This time, I have an AMAZiNG treat for you.  I was lucky enough to video interview the one & only Black Francis aka Frank Black.

But let me put it in perspective for any watered down music fans…….

*Kurt Cobain of Nirvana said he “was basically trying to rip off the Pixies.”

*David Bowie did a cover of a Pixies song, “Cactus” to be exact and gives the band huge props.

Seriously, Black Francis is way more influential in music than I could ever try to briefly sum up so I will save that for the music peeps who really know their stuff.  (And who will probably write mean comments at the end of my blog.)  Here is a link to a real biography….

Black Francis Bio:  http://www.allmusic.com/artist/black-francis-mn0000094501/biography

Pixies Bio http://www.allmusic.com/artist/pixies-mn0000895136/biography

 How did I get to do this interview?  Thank you to Auntie Violet.  Violet Clark is married to Black Francis and is also Winston’s Godmother.  She and Black Francis have been cheering us on throughout the highs and lows and Violet was the one to put together the 2 day Winston Calling event in LA that involved Jack Black & Tenacious D, Flea from the Chili Peppers, Weird Al, & many others all singing with Black Francis & the Pixies (minus Kim Deal) and covering Pixies songs.  Thank you Auntie Violet for everything!!

What you should know before you watch this video…

1-This is my real life version of “Between Two Ferns”….if you don’t know it, google it.

2-I did not edit this because I liked the real life aspect of everything.  I thought it was funny.  Because how many interviewers have to stop and unplug a feeding tube on a child or have dogs eating wrappers, etc. while someone very cool is chatting.  Some may see it as rude.  I don’t & I don’t think he did either!

3-My goal is to see if I can get any other cool people to come do an interview in my living room.  Perhaps Matt Damon for lunch or George Clooney for breakfast…..

Let me know your thoughts on this interview & even if you aren’t into music, you should appreciate watching a brilliant creative person open up about random stuff.  XOXO  jen  

my “moment of enlightenment”……

Here’s the true story of a low point & the catalyst it has become…..

It was January 22, 2014.  I had two speaking gigs coming up and in usual “jen style” I headed out to find something I could squeeze into and look like I had my act together.  Because I work in an image based industry as a designer, dressing the part is as important as to what beautiful interior design projects you can create.  You know….the whole hair dresser with bad hair concept.  They can be great but they are fighting a battle at first eye contact with their client if they have bad hair.  Lucky for me, most people know I’ve had a 4 year medical adventure with our son, Winston, so they are pretty forgiving.  I’ve had a million highs and lows and my image is the carnage of the journey.  And anyone who says it doesn’t matter is sweet and kind but they haven’t played the game.  But all that’s going to change because on this day, I about died.

As usual little Winston was in tow.  We grabbed the dresses I thought could work and I was already giggling maniacly (picture a Tina Fey/Liz Lemon moment) because I had just found a Rebecca Minkoff pink purse which is an incredible find at a Marshall’s.

I was starting to  get undressed and little Winston began to buckle over in fits of laughter.  Now laughter and dressing rooms are never a good combo because you throw in poopy lighting and really up close mirrors and it’s a recipe for really low self-esteem. Which Winston laughing is all good, I can’t get offended by childhood innocence.  But I do have to say (which will leave him appalled if he ever reads this while he’s older) that when I use to get dressed Winston would say, “ooooooooooohhhhhh nice”.  (Sorry kid, but you did.  And yes, its creepy but innocent.)

But today was different.  Winston could not stop laughing while staring at my rolls of flesh.  And I have to say I don’t blame him.  It was amusing seeing what I did to my body over the past few years highlighted under horrible dressing room lights, no make-up and seeing me try to squeeze into outfit after outfit.  But as if the innocent laughter was not bad enough.  I heard Winston say, “It’s behind you mom.  It’s behind you mom.”  He kept saying it until I finally took notice.

HOLY POOPERONi……unbeknownst to me, Winston had taken our item number card that the changing room attendant gives you and he had slipped it into a fat roll crease and it was hanging out of my body all on it’s own.  AND I DIDN’T EVEN KNOW IT??!!!!  It was an all-time low.  And I’ve experienced some lows.

All I could do was look in the mirror and wonder what happened to me…..

This is the story of my “moment of enlightenment” and why I have made the full commitment to get my shiz-nit together and why you are about to witness the “RE-iNVENTION of Jennifer Bertrand”…….cue dramatic music.  And by the way the dressing card number was six.

Please follow my blog for silly stories, design tips, I’d say parenting tips but not sure you want advice from me….but basically non-boring stuff from my every day professional and personal life.  Videos with cool peeps I meet, places I want to show and things I want to teach you.


PS my hubby just told me that Hitler had an office like me….   who says stuff like that?!?!