Category Archives: Life & Style

Here, there and everywhere

It’s been a while since I’ve shared my stories on the blog, but I’ve been doing a lot of fun things lately. I figured it was time for a quick update, so here’s a rundown of what I’ve been up to in no particular order:

  • I visited Altru Hospital and met a couple caring nurses who were trying their best to make the holidays a cheerful time for their patients. Melissa, the childlife specialist, took on a little project with the ever-so-popular Elf on the Shelf. She refused to take credit for the little elf named Elfie. “He just showed up,” she said, creating some holiday magic for the children in the pediatrics unit. To read more about their efforts, click here.
  • I chatted with Steven Grant Douglas about his journey from The Empire in Grand Forks to Broadway. The talented actor from Stephen, Minn., landed a lead role in the nationally touring production of “Ghost the Musical” right after performing “Avenue Q” in Grand Forks. We talked about his role, the tour and adjusting to the much larger audiences and life on the road. Read more here.
  • I visited with Rachael Hammarback, owner of RH Standard, about the best choices in winter work wear. We talked tights, boots and leggings. Yes, leggings as pants for work. More here.
  • I joined a group of charitable carolers as they sang holiday favorites to neighbors and friends for Caroling for Warmth. They raised money for people in need of warm clothes such as sweaters and long sleeve shirts. More here.
  • I talked to Ashok Bhatia, of India, and Omar Alomar, of Iraq, about how they celebrate the holidays and how their traditions differ from American traditions. To read more, view the full article here.
  • I visited with several boutique owners about the best New Year’s Eve fashion accessories. We discussed statement necklaces, sequins blazers and cocktail rings. More here.
  • I joined a group of regular trivia-goers for a night at El Roco. While there I met “the king of trivia” and learned about the history of the game in Grand Forks. More here.
  • I reviewed a ton of apps such as 99 Dresses, Lift and Circle.
  • And I met a couple stylish people along the way to do quick Q&A’s with for my weekly Street Style.

This month, I’m excited to share my first episode of my new video series “In the Artist’s Studio.” I’ll be back with more on that later.

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Vintage love

I haven’t always had a love for vintage, but after meeting and interviewing some vintage collectors, researching vintage items and actually doing my own hunting, I’ve developed a great love for the old.

I recently had the opportunity to interview Michel Starnes, a self-proclaimed natural born picker. Starnes lives between her two homes in North Dakota and Florida, which she’s packed full of vintage finds from auctions, garage sales and estate sales.

Ever since Starnes was a little girl she’s been attending auctions, flea markets and sales. First, it was to please her parents. Then, it was out of need to furnish her apartment. Now, she does it purely out of love. When she came to the Herald for her interview she brought a few of her smaller items for the photo shoot. The items included some awesome binoculars, some vintage glasses, a metal toy airplane and sewing machines drawers which she’d fastened together to make hanging shelves.

Starnes and her husband are interested in old home decor and aeronautical pieces. She said when she sees something interesting she gets complete tunnel vision. Some of the items she keeps for herself; others she sells on her Etsy shop. She said someday she hopes to open a little storefront full of old vintage items and cool ’80s pieces, along with some pastries and coffee.

To hear more about her favorite finds and dreams for the future, read the full article at

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Refashionista inspires me to thrift, upcycle

When I walked into Kristen Peterson’s apartment for an interview, I immediately thought it was cluttered and messy. However, after stepping inside and taking it all in, I realized that wasn’t the case. Her apartment is full of awesome handmade decorations, vintage artwork, reupholstered furniture and old thrifted items.

Kristen regularly searches thrift shops for vintage items and old, sometimes even ugly, pieces that she can cut, rip, sew and make into something completely new and trendy.

Kristen has never taken any sewing classes, yet she has created these awesome wearable pieces and has even been featured in Altered Couture Magazine for her work, which made me think, Maybe I can do this too. I’ve been looking into buying a sewing machine and have opened my mind to thrifting more often. I love when someone I interview can inspire me to do something new.

If you want to read more about Kristen’s refashioning, check out the full article here

Amazed by others’ talents

One thing I love about journalism is that I get to meet people that are truly talented and passionate about what they do. This past month I’ve had the opportunity to talk to musicians about writing and making music, what inspires them and why they keep doing it. I’ve talked to artists about how they got started with their craft and how they’ve grown through their artwork.

One of my favorite stories so far was about recent high school graduate, Abby Schumacher. Abby has always loved fashion; this year, her art teacher challenged her to design and create her dress for senior prom. Although Abby had little-to-no experience sewing, she accepted the challenge. Starting from scratch, Abby designed and made her very own gorgeous dress for prom.

To read Abby’s full story, click here.

Abby’s courage, patience and talent truly amazed me, and I was so happy I got to write the story. I just know that this is only the first of many Abby Schumacher designs, and I can’t wait to see where she goes in life.


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Street Style

It’s been about a month since I started my job as an Accent reporter for the Grand Forks Herald, and I couldn’t be more happy with it. Everyday I’m interviewing artists, musicians and stylish people in the community. I get to listen to music, discover new artists and go to awesome shows.

One of my favorite parts of my job is my weekly Street Style feature. Every Friday, I wander around downtown Grand Forks looking for someone with impeccable style. Once I find someone I ask them a few questions about their style and outfit and take their photo. I love it because I’m always checking out people’s clothes and shoes, and now I have an excuse to ask them about their look.

Here’s the link to my second Street Style feature:

Right when I walked into Urban on Friday, I saw Sarah’s outfit and knew she was the one! I love her effortlessly chic look. This week, the Isaac Schmidt is the first male to appear in Street Style. Be sure to check it out in Accent Sunday morning.

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First column more difficult than expected

Today, my first column printed in the Grand Forks Herald. You would think that someone who has more than five blogs and often writes about her own life would easily be able to write 20 to 25 inches introducing herself to the readers. However, that was not the case.

I don’t know what it is about writing introductory columns or “about me” pages, but it is one of the most difficult things for me. Maybe it’s the idea of boiling my life, dreams, personality and hobbies into just a couple paragraphs that freaks me out. Or, maybe it’s the fact that I really don’t think I’m that interesting. Either way, it was a challenge.

I spent hours writing and re-writing this column, asking myself “what do I want readers to know about me” and “what would they actually want to know about me.” I was finally able to cut it down to a couple major points:

  • I’m a writer,
  • I like to run,
  • I’m obsessed with blogs,
  • I like fashion,
  • I love music,
  • and I like to stay busy.

If you would like to read the full column, you can check it out here. If not, you should go check out my first Life & Style story. (It’s more interesting then my life anyway.)  The story is about AllisoNicole’s, which is a small business in Grand Forks that does interior design consultation, catering, floral design and clothing. The store is super cute and definitely worth a stop! Read the article to find out more, and then go check it out!

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