Waiting out Winter

Necklace, Journal and a Treat; OH MY! Winter is half way through! Here are some things that might make the next half easier!

Just like Falling into Fall, I am waiting out winter. I love the season; however, the season doesn’t love me. Between dry skin, cracked lips and the constant struggle between the cold outdoors and the warm indoors; I am just done.

What has made winter worth it? These few things!


This low-quality image holds some high-quality glam. This beautiful bar, Sea La Vie Necklace from Spartina 449 has been an absolute gem this winter. It goes with anything and is simply simple.


I got the cutest little “Notes” jot book, I call them that because they’re smaller than notebooks, from a sorority sister for Christmas. It just makes me smile to look at it. Unfortunately, I cannot find it on the Clementine Paper Inc. website, but this journal is second best! Mine is a 4×6 and the journal they have available is a 5×7, the pattern is different but the overall concept is cute and springy enough to help you make it through the next few months!


The last part to this waiting out winter post is puppy chow! I love puppy chow and always have! I have been making it too much this winter, it could be because I stocked up on Chex when it was on sale! For me, puppy chow is also great as a gluten free treat!

This recipe is from a fifth grade Mother’s day cookbook. Clearly, this is Emily’s mom’s favorite recipe. My mom put in no bake oatmeal cookies, also yummy!

Over the last 10 years of making this recipe, I have come up with some tips and tricks for making it easier!

  1. Cut your stick of margarine into three chunks and put them on the bottom of your microwavable bowl.
  2. In that same bowl pour the 12 oz. of chocolate chips over the margarine then top with the 1 cup of peanut butter.
  3. Heat that mix for about 2 minutes. All the ingredients tend to separate, but stir until smooth.
  4. You can use any kind of hollow cereal, Crispix or Chex work!
  5. Instead of a brown paper bag we’ve always used a really big Tupperware bowl. I like to put the cereal in the bowl then pour in the chocolate peanut butter sauce on top and stir with a big spoon before adding the powdered sugar.
  6. You need more than two cups of powdered sugar! After a gentle coat of powdered sugar you can pour a bunch in and then shake the crap out of the puppy chow (just make sure you have a lid).
  7. It is best enjoyed as breakfast with a glass of cold milk!

An Irish Adventure

Over Thanksgiving break, I was lucky enough to go on an educational adventure of a lifetime. I traveled to Ireland for eight days with K-State’s Agriculture Communications program.

For more specific location details, follow the Instagram photo to Instagram.

I did take many more photos, over 500 if we’re being specific; however, it takes a lot of time to go through 500 photos. I’m sure another post will cover the best of the best images!

Day 1 (Saturday)
We arrived in Shannon early in the morning and made our way to Killarney. On the way to Killarney, we journeyed to the Cliffs of Moher and to the Burren.


Day 2 (Sunday)
On our first day in Killarney we went on a sightseeing excursion to the Ring of Kerry. The ring of Kerry provided us with mountains, lakes, ocean and beach views. We stopped at Kerry Woolen Mills to learn, first hand from the owners how wool is spun and produced. Our lunch was a classic fish and chips with an apple pie tartlet at The Blind Piper Pub in Caherdaniel. This tour also provided us with the opportunity to learn about beef production on Ireland’s west coast.

View this post on Instagram

The sun shines in Ireland.

A post shared by Jena Lynn (@jena.e.lynn) on

View this post on Instagram

A little bit of "moo" for your Monday morning!

A post shared by Jena Lynn (@jena.e.lynn) on

View this post on Instagram

Mountains, lakes and fogginess oh my!

A post shared by Jena Lynn (@jena.e.lynn) on

Day 3 (Monday)
We ventured from Killarney to Cork, where we met with a local dairy farmer, Tim O’Leary and his sons. O’Leary is a leader with the Irish Farmer’s Association. Following our visit to O’leary’s farm, we stopped at Blarney Castle. Following a slightly frightening journey to the top of the castle, I kissed the Blarney stone, where the gift of eloquence was supposed to befall me. Still trying to find out if it happened or not. Do my words make more sense? On this jam-packed day, we also had the opportunity to meet with journalism instructors at the Cork Insititute of Technology. After our dinner that evening, O’Leary met us at our hotel to address questions and concerns we had about Irish agriculture.


Day 4 (Tuesday)
Out time in Cork was short-lived; however, the journey from Cork to Galway provided us with the opportunity to experience a more substantial and confined beef operation. Shortly after stopping at Billy Nicholson’s beef operation we met with a sheep farmer, where we saw a sheep dog at work and learned more about European Union subsidies that assist Irish farmers. That evening my lovely roommate, Mallory, who hosts a Facebook Live cooking show every Tuesday afternoon, learned how to make Moroccan pizza at 11p.m. in order to keep her 5p.m. time slot in the United States!


Day 5 (Wednesday)
On our way to Connemara, also known as the wild area of Ireland, we stopped at a crystal showroom and learned how crystal is made. Before that, we braved the cold to learn about the Connemara Pony Breed and met with the Canavan Family, who specializes in breeding this specific pony. We then made our way to Kylemore Abbey via a scenic route that was not meant for buses. Kylemore Abbey experienced at least three different families before Benedictine Nuns took over the estate. Here I felt as though I was taking part in Downton Abbey!

View this post on Instagram

Behind the viewfinder…or the iPhone screen. 😂

A post shared by Jena Lynn (@jena.e.lynn) on

View this post on Instagram

The nuns do it up right.

A post shared by Jena Lynn (@jena.e.lynn) on


Day 6 (Thursday)
Before departing Galaway to Dublin, we stopped at a beautiful cathedral.followed by followed by another religious stop to Clonmacnoise, a medieval monastery. Once we arrived in Dublin, we briefly toured their city park, where the United States ambassador resides, as well as Ireland’s president. Following our brief tour, we met with the Dublin Institute of Technology’s School of Journalism, where we learned more about how university in Ireland works. Students in their second year work to maintain a children’s news website CLiC News.


Day 7 (Friday)
Our first stop on this full day in Dublin was to Trinity College Library, which is always in a movie! You may recognize it from Harry Potter. While waiting entrance, camera and filming equipment were set up outside. Following Trinity College Library we met with Board Bia, the Irish food board who promotes sales of Irish food both in Ireland and abroad. They also head the Origin Green campaign, focused on environmental sustainability in Irish agriculture. After meeting with Board Bia we met with the Irish Farmers Jornal, which is a once weekly agricultural publication which includes everything from American politics, equipment information, livestock suggestions and even an area for the lonely hearts of Ireland’s farm community. Later we visited the school of Agriculture and Food Science at the University College Dublin, where we learned more about agricultural education, as well as their study abroad partnership with KSU. This evening two of us went out and hit a club, which was situated in one of Dublin’s iconic Georgian houses.

View this post on Instagram

I could just stay and smell old books all day long.

A post shared by Jena Lynn (@jena.e.lynn) on

View this post on Instagram

Friday night fun in the beautiful city of Dublin!

A post shared by Jena Lynn (@jena.e.lynn) on


Day 8 (Saturday)
A visit to Christ Church Cathedral and Guinness Storehouse were the highlights of our last full day in Ireland. Lunch was served at the Brazen Head Pun, Ireland’s oldest pub. We had the afternoon to ourselves, which included a visit to the National Museum of Ireland for me, to see some Bogg Bodies. Boggs are similar to marshy areas, where there is a complete lack of oxygen, which allows bodies or butter in the boggs to stay well preserved. The evening was free as well, which allowed me to eat dinner and pub hop with a Key Club cohort from high school. My friend Katherine spent the fall semester studying at Trinity College away from Notre Dame. It was the perfect way to end the trip!

View this post on Instagram

A pint and a pretty great view!

A post shared by Jena Lynn (@jena.e.lynn) on


Day 9 (Sunday)
After a long week, we had a long day of traveling to look forward to. After departing our hotel in Dublin around 8a.m., we arrived back in Manhattan around 2a.m. on Monday morning, a full 24 hours of travel!


Looking forward to sharing more photos…good camera photos!

Books to cozy up to

Between a crazy semester of school, traveling, working out some health kinks and trying to have some semblance of a social life, it’s been hard to actually sit down with a good book.

A couple weekends ago, I finally got into finishing up a good one. I guess it had to be freezing cold with the addition of some loud neighbors to make me get in the mood.

So here are three books, all a little different from the next. One I’ve read recently, one I read each winter and the other is in the works.

The one I’ve read: “The Culture of Fear


Although it’s named the “Best Book of 1999,” 17 years later and it’s still really good. I love sociology and could probably tack it on as another major, so this book resonated with me. I have always believed that people around me are just too afraid and believe too much of what media tells them. This book solidified these thoughts and more. If you’re looking for something totally different from your normal fiction or memoir style, then pick up this Barry Glassner bestseller about “Why Americans are afraid of the wrong things: crime, drugs, minorities, teen moms, killer kids, mutant microbes, plane crashes, road rage & so much more.”

The one I read each winter: “Where’d You Go, Bernadette: A Novel


It’s probably been a little under a year since I’ve picked this one up, as I usually start reading it in January. This work of fiction begins by young Bee Branch talking about taking a trip to Antartica. It then follows her mother, Bernadette’s relationship with an outsourced personal assistant. As the book progresses we learn more about Bernadette, her anxieties and why she disappears. If you’re looking for a good audiobook, this one does the trick as well…the narrator is great!

The one I’m reading: “White Oleander


I’m only a third of the way through this book, but I find it hard to put down when I am reading it. Janet Fitch does a wonderful job transporting you to another world. I can already see how the main character, Astrid, is developing as time passes. This is definitely a book I cannot wait to finish now that I have a little more time on my hands! Also, while searching for the image I noticed there is a movie, which came out in 2002. Just another thing to look forward to!


I’m always looking for good book suggestions!

Oh the weather outside is…cold

When the weather outside is frightful, then it’s time to stock up on the items that make winter a little more delightful!

When the weather outside is frightful, then it’s time to stock up on the items that make winter a little more delightful!

This year it seems as though winter just fell into our hands. Summer was long, fall was short and winter magically appeared.

With the first snow hopefully making an appearance soon, I can only begin to think of the items in my closet and on my vanity that is making this cold weather bearable.

First Aid!
Last Thanksgiving break I picked up a skincare kit from First Aid Beauty at Sephora. My skin was not tolerating the cold weather well, so I decided to hydrate up. My kit was very similar to this Peace, Joy & Fab Kit; however, I think mine also came with the Ultra Repair Face Moisturizer. I have replaced both the moisturizer and hydrating mist at least twice. Another reason I love these items is that they are travel-friendly and last a long time.


Yaktrax Cozy Cabin Socks
I got a pair of these for Christmas from my aunt in 2014 and again last year. They are incredibly comfortable and dual-layered. The inside is representative of those fuzzy socks you can get at Target, while the outside is more of a sweater material. The product information also says they are naturally infused with Aloe to moisturize the skin, which makes sense after wearing them. I have these on right now! They’re also on sale right now…two for the price of one!


Patagonia Better Sweater Jacket
Hello sweet warmth and comfort! I got this at the end of last summer ON SALE! Best purchase ever. It’s light but keeps you warm with the fleece on the inside. I have mine in the gray, it goes with anything. I also love how you can easily layer under and on top of this jacket. If you’re a vest person, Patagonia also makes a Better Sweater Vest.


These are probably my three favorite winter items thus far. I also couldn’t live without my Bean Boots now that I have them. Let me know if you have any winter favorites or suggestions for keeping your skin hydrated!



Social butterfly

Setting goals to be more social…on social media.


My lacking Instagram feed.


When I was in middle school, I distinctly remember writing a poem about my mother. I titled it “Social Butterfly.”

It went something along the lines of:
Social butterfly
Flying high up in the sky
Making her presence known, to all who stand by

Beyond those three lines, I can’t say I remember much else. However, I do know that my social presence is lacking, whether it be in where I am or what I’m posting on social media.

My Facebook feed is semi-populated; however, it’s full of articles I’ve written. Read what I write here!

Instagram-I’ve posted three times in the last four months.

Twitter-The last thing I remember tweeting was for my job when I was covering an event.

But, if there is one piece of life advice I know about in today’s technological focused world: I need to have a social presence, a strongish social presence that is well represented. So, in order to help up my social presence, I have come up with a plan:

  1. Take 10-20 minutes a week to think about what social interests I believe my friends/followers should be aware of.
  2. Find three stimulating articles or human interest pieces to analyze and share.
  3. Post them with at least 1-2 days between, as to not become too obnoxious.

In time, I feel like this will help me post more on Facebook and Twitter, as well as help my friends/followers broaden their own minds and hopefully think outside of their own boxes.

Instagram, that is another story. I think I need help in that department, coming up with a solid plan. Accepting suggestions!

What do you do to be more social on social media?

Falling into fall

Leaves…the only smell of fall!


Leaves candle, Bath & Body Works

If I would not have accidently swiped left…on Snapchat, not Tinder, then I never would have known last Thursday, September 22nd, was the first day of fall.


Thank you, Starbucks for the deception when you brought back the PSL (Pumpkin Spice Latte for those of you who just are as basic as I am) and making me think fall started 2 weeks ago. Not cool!

However, I am okay with the PSL making a comeback, as well as the holy grail of Starb’s drinks: the Salted Caramel Mocha!

I love fall! Not only are the falling leaves beautiful but fall, although all too short, means simple days and family events are soon to come.

And if there is one smell that encompasses those two things, family and falling leaves, it would have to be the Bath and Body Works candle, Leaves.

It is subtle yet homey feeling. I brought it out a couple weeks ago while cleaning and my roommate was obsessed.

Hurry and get them before they’re gone because they always seem to sell out quickly. I know I will be stocking up and ordering a few online because they are currently only $12.50 for the 3-wick!!!

“Ipsy” bitsy glam bag

Trade in one of your streaming service subscriptions for something you will actually use frequently!


August Ipsy Glam Bag.

One of my best friends reminded me of the really cool makeup subscription, Ipsy. I remember looking into the different monthly beauty subscriptions a long time ago but had never followed through.

I am so glad I finally did! Yay for Ipsy! I will now be trading in my Hulu subscription for some new glam each month.

My August glam bag didn’t arrive until early September, which is majorly in part to me not getting on the bandwagon until late August.

My glam bag came with 5 products:

Rodial Smokey Eye Pen in Black
Trust Fund Beauty Liquid Lipstick in “K, Bye”
Josie Maran Whipped Mud Mask in Vanilla Apricot
Organic Surge Perfecting Face Polish
NYX Professional Makeup Born to Glow Liquid Illuminator (Sunbeam)

I have come to love three of the products and have used the multiple times since receiving my glam bag. Of which is the Rodial Smokey Eye Pen in Black, which retails for around $20.00; the Trust Fund Beauty Liquid Lipstick in “K, Bye,” which retails for $22.00; and the NYX Born to Glow Liquid Illuminator, which retails for $7.50.

Considering I am fully utilizing three of these products, which retail for close to $50.00, I have a total savings of $40.00. Umm…I like it!

The bag the products came in was also very cute! I feel like, by the time I have had this subscription for a while I will have accumulated a lot of little bags.


I tried the Josie Maran Whipped Mud Mask in Vanilla Apricot, but I didn’t find it to be my favorite. It came in a really tiny sample, so I am glad I don’t feel like I am wasting it, although I will probably try it a second time and finish out the little container.

I have not yet tried the Organic Surge Perfecting Face Polish; however, I really want to. I will be taking a few trips in the near future and think the small size will be a good travel face wash!