fabfitfun fall box!

Well it’s already another Sunday night! Imagine that…I have had a whirlwind of a weekend as I was in my college best friend’s wedding on Friday night. You know you had a great time when you can still barely walk on Sunday night from dancing so much at the reception πŸ™‚ Before I left for the rehearsal dinner on Thursday night I checked my mail and had a great surprise….my FabFitFun box for the fall season had arrived!!

As some of you have read before, over the last year I have been trying out some different subscription boxes to get some new products that I wouldn’t normally have access to (check out the post from earlier this year right here πŸ™‚ ). My favorite box that I have decided to try out is called FabFitFun. You can check out all of the details on their website here but I will give you a quick run down of my experience so far and give you a peek at what is inside this season’s box!

There is no other word to describe this box than unreal. The value that you in this box is huge and I look forward to continue to getting it for many years. The box is centered around fashion, fitness, and beauty. The owners of the company connect with retailers and vendors around the country (and world!) to bring the subscribers a kickass product box 4 times per year: once for each season! I joined fabfitfun last spring so I have received a Spring 2017, Summer 2017, and now Fall 2017 box. I am looking forward to the Winter box already!!!

I am a traditional subscriber and chose to receive the 4 boxes per year at a price of $49.95 per box. I am billed for the season’s box about 10 days before I receive it as I pay, the shipment is processed, and it usually arrives in 5-7 days. Some of you may be worried about the price but the thing that changed my mind is the value….each box you receive is guaranteed to have $255 or MORE in value inside of it with all of the products added up. To give you a better idea the box for this season that I just received has $386 dollars in value (yes three HUNDRED eighty six). That’s almost 8 times the cost of the box. Pure CRAZINESS.

One thing I enjoy about this subscription service is that the FFF team allows you to have some choices and customization if you’d like before your box ships out! This season they gave you two “choices” on the website and you could choose between 2 sets of products that you would like to receive. The first option surrounded a fashion item and you could choose between either a knit beanie or a stylish belt. The second choice set was a beauty product and you could choose either charcoal whitening toothpaste or an apple cider vinegar hair mask.

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Here is a run down of everything I received in my box this season:

  • a beautiful and amazinglyyyy soft tan colored 100% polyester knit oversized scarf
  • a denim fabric medium-size gym bag that has a screenprinted saying on it….. “will work out for cupcakes” (I don’t think this could more accurately describe me)
  • a bronze/rose gold wire heart-shaped jewelry or knick knack holder. perfect for a bathroom counter top display as it’s pretty and modern looking. they also suggested using it on your desk at work or home as an office supply holder
  • lavender cuticle oil. this will be perfect for dry and cracked cuticles as winter approaches. great thing to work in to my at-home manicure routine πŸ™‚
  • a renewing mud face mask. this will be a great self-care product that I can use once or twice per week to exfoliate before bed.
  • a hot and cold gel pack. this product will be great to use for many different things! it can either be frozen or microwaved to be used to sooth aches and pains, cramps, or sprains. it is also fun colored and has 2 sayings on it “the heat is on” and “what’s cooler than being cool” all of the products in this box are so unique and fun to have around!! I know I will be using this on a sore back after workouts or on my stomach when I’m having cramps during that oh so dreaded time of the month.
  • a two-in-one lip crayon with both matte lipstick and shiny balm color. bright lips are coming back with great strength and the bold red color this came in will be great for so many different styles this fall.
  • carbon and coconut teeth whitening powder and toothbrush. this is the charcoal activated whitening tooth product I mentioned earlier. this is the choice I made between the two items for my box!
  • lastly, a black cable knit slouchy beanie. this will be a great “weekend hat” for me; especially now that I have short hair. It makes your look seem effortless and covers your ears for some warmth. practical and stylish is the name of the game!! this was my other “choice” I made for my box so it was fun to customize to what I would be more interested in having.

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The photo above shows all of the items very neatly packed inside of the box when I first opened it so everything is still packaged and stacked together. If you give me a follow on Instagram (if you haven’t already!) @sugarspiceandstylethatsnice I will make sure to post some photos of the products as I use them and get them set up over these next couple of weeks.

One last thing to share about the boxes!!! I do have a referral/promo code that I can share with anyone who is interested in trying out fabfitfun themselves for the first time! The code would give you $10 off on your first box which is a great way to give it a try and see if its something you would like to do πŸ™‚ Feel free to comment or send me a message and I’m happy to get it sent to you!!

I hope that you all have a wonderful week and I will see you next Sunday! As always, thanks so much for reading and for your support. I truly enjoy writing this for all of you on Sunday evenings and I hope you enjoy reading it!!

#sugarspiceandstylethatsnice

xoxo Jen

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halloween decor how-to

Happy Sunday, everyone! This weekend I was happy to spend some much needed time just being at home. I have been out of town the last few weekends and so it felt great to spend some time relaxing. Since the fall feeling and cooler temperatures have officially moved in I spent part of my weekend preparing my Halloween decorations for this year!

After work on Friday I took a trip to Target to pick up some pumpkin decorating supplies. I was able to find some great things to use (many of them in the dollar section) and spent Saturday morning on my pumpkin project. A couple of weeks ago on my most recent trip to Hobby Lobby I picked up some supplies to make a Halloween wreath. I made it a couple of weeks ago but got it all hung up this weekend with the rest of my decorations!

The wreath that I made was extremely simple but it stands out and has a lot of fun flair to it. What I purchased to make the wreath was:

  1. A foam ring wreath form (Hobby Lobby)
  2. 2 strands of black and orange Halloween garland (Hobby Lobby)
  3. A fun orange and black patterned flower (Hobby Lobby)
  4. A “Happy Halloween” door sign (dollar section at Target)

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This project took less than 10 minutes to make and supplies cost me less than 20 dollars but I think it looks like a million bucks πŸ™‚ All that was required was a hot glue gun to secure the ends of the garland on the wreath form. I then wrapped the garland tightly, stopping to glue every few wraps around. I then affixed the patterned flower to the bottom and then after the wreath was hung on the door I hung the circular sign on the wreath hanger and then settled it in to rest on the wreath form against the door.

I reused a few of last year’s decorations this year because they can be used again and again! I bought these fun outdoor spider lights at target. They are colored spiders with glittered legs and look fun hanging on the outside of my patio wall. All of the items resting on the ledge of my patio wall are from Target’s dollar section last year. The orange and black lantern pumpkins light up at night and the 2 signs (“Be a little wicked” and “happy halloween”) are both double sided. Since it is so windy around here all the time I affixed the signs to the ledge with command strips on the bottom so that they don’t fall off.

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This year I was also able to reuse the 3 craft pumpkins that I purchased last year at Hobby Lobby. I removed all of last year’s decorations (you can check out my pumpkins from last year for more ideas by follow this link!) and they were good as new and a fresh slate to use for this year’s ideas! I did reuse some of the decorations from last year’s pumpkins but did also purchase some new things. I have never been a skilled pumpkin carver so decorating pumpkins externally is a better option for me πŸ™‚ that is why I decided investing in craft pumpkins that I can use for multiple years would be more cost effective for me.

Above are pictures of some of my supplies for my pumpkins. This year I bought two different “pumpkin craft kits” from Target which are the two jars on the right hand side. They are pre-packaged in the cute jars and contain everything you need to match the pumpkin deocrations pictured on the jar. They contained paint, stickers, string, etc. I also bought some other items separately such as an adhesive “Boo”, spiders, black stick-on spikes, and then re-used the black pom-pom garland from last year. I am really happy with how each of the pumpkins turned out and it’s fun to have 3 different colors! One orange, one white, and one black pumpkin.

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I will show each of them up close below and let you know which items I used to create and decorate each one!

Both of the smaller pumpkins I decorate using the two pumpkin craft kits I bought at Target! Both pumpkins were white to begin with but one of the kits I bought contained black paint to use. I painted the pumpkin black and let dry overnight. Then the next morning I adhered the different lengths of gold “spider web” adhesive stickers to create a spider web pattern on the top of the pumpkin. The kit also included a gold piece of string and the big gold spider which I tied to the stem of the pumpkin so it’s resting on the web.

The white pumpkin I decorated with the other kit I purchased which contained the gold skull stickers as well as lots of black felt stickers. The felt stickers have shapes like bats, skeleton hands, and floral patterns. The stickers attached easily to the pumpkin and I just placed them on randomly. After I was done with the stickers I re-used the strand of black pom-pom garland from last year and hot glued it as I wrapped it around the pumpkin!

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The orange pumpkin from this year is my favorite! I attached an adhesive “Boo” from Target on the front that is made of black rhinestones. Then I outlined the letters with the black spikes I purchased that had self adhesive backs to add some 3D/texture. Lastly, I reused these fun black and colored spiders and hot glued them around the letters. I bought them last year from Hobby Lobby and I love the colored glitter on their backs!

I hope all of you are enjoying the beginnings of fall! I am excited to enjoy these next few months and all of the fun things that they bring. I am currently cozied up for the night and watching some Sunday night football as I relax and prepare for a new week. Thanks so much for reading and I’ll see you again next Sunday!!

#sugarspiceandstylethatsnice

xoxo Jen

the week in review

Tonight I had a rare “writer’s block” episode as I was trying to think of what to share with all of you. Β I have a few posts that are partially drafted and I am working to have them ready in the next couple of weeks because none of them are quite ready yet! I don’t have something very lengthy tonight but I wanted to share a short “recap” of my week and some of my posts from my Instagram account (@sugarspiceandstylethatsnice) where I try to post daily. On Instagram I can’t share too much information and get as wordy as I like to in my posts so this will give me a chance to elaborate on a few things from this last week πŸ™‚

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Over the last couple of weeks we have been undergoing a slight “office remodel” at work. Part of the remodel included creating a private office for both me and my co-worker who have been sharing a larger office space. They literally built a wall down the middle of our old office and created two separate spaces for us by adding another entrance and then re-installed some new desk set-ups. Now that I have an office space that is only mine and has a lot more blank wall space than before I figured I better get to work in decorating it! I have always wanted to create a “gallery wall” somewhere and don’t really have the right space for it in my townhouse. I was able to begin one with mostly items I already had.

  1. The “Choose happy everyday” polka dot canvas print I bought at Gordman’s when I first moved into my own apartment after my college graduation. I loved the phrase because it reminds me that happiness is truly something you can choose to pursue each day. It may not be easy to do but you can choose to get yourself in a positive mindset and wear a smile. I previously had it hanging in my living room but I figured my office would be a perfect place for it! My day-to-day work in Human Resources can sometimes be stressful so this will serve as a good reminder for me in my office space.
  2. The lighted “J” and metallic “R” are from Target and Hobby Lobby. The J previously sat on my dresser in my bedroom as it can either hang or stand. I thought in keeping with the black & white theme it would work to add it to my wall at work! The R I had purchase awhile ago but hadn’t found the right spot for yet so this was just right. Since this photo was taken I got the batteries in the J replaced so that I can flick the switch and have the J lit up as a light source. In my office I keep the fluorescent overhead lights in my office off throughout the day as they are too harsh for me to keep on all day. So I use a desk lamp and a decorative lamp along with the natural light from the window in my office to keep my work space more relaxing.
  3. The felt board is also from Hobby Lobby! This is the only thing on the wall that I purchase specifically for the space. I know how popular felt boards have become and I really wanted one for my house but I held off because I know I don’t have a place for it. When I found out about the office remodel I figured it would be a great thing to buy for that space! I like the fact that I will be able to change out the phrases and letters any time I want to. I decided to start by using part of the Magnolia Manifesto which is found at the end of Chip and Joanna Gaines’ quarterly magazine, The Magnolia Journal. This specific part of the manifesto really spoke to me: “And of all heroic pursuits, there may be none greater than a life well loved.” The phrase speaks volumes to me and reminds me that in the smallest of ways within my own life and small corner of the world pursuing a life that I love and am proud of is heroic in itself.

****Absolute and TOTAL side note butttt speaking of Chip and Joanna Gaines they had a Β HUGEΒ announcement today that they will be partnering with Target in a new brand and line called “Hearth & Hand with Magnolia” πŸ˜€ the products hit stores on November 5th and I am jumping for joy!! I can’t wait to see the partnership and Joanna shared that it will be continual as she will have new products throughout the seasons of the year instead of just a short term partnership. If you want to read more about the project and launch you can follow this link and read Chip’s blog post!****

Last week I also had a new app discovery. I saw an ad on Instagram and the app is called “Jane”. If any of you are familiar with/have bought something on Zulily it is a similar concept. The app functions as a third party seller for vendors and boutiques across the country and gives them a platform to sell their products. You can find clothing, shoes, accessories, purses/bags, home decor, storage products, pet products, and more for sale on the app and can sort by category when shopping. Most of the products are a VERY good price and the items are typically only available for a 72 hour period. Once a certain color or size of something is gone it’s gone.

I decided to order a couple of things that caught my eye and was really impressed with the timeliness of shipping, the ease of paying through the app, and the quality of the items I received. I got the white floral dress pictured above as well as the camel colored suede ankle boots. Both were under 30 dollars and they made the perfect beginning of fall outfit when paired with some mustard yellow leggings from LuLaRoe.

*Also in the pictures is my fun new fall welcome mat that I scored at Hobby Lobby for 50%. My old doormat was getting sun faded and I loved the fun floral pattern and mix of colors in this one. I am so excited to “welcome” fall as it is my favorite time of year!

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By far the most exciting part of last week for me was getting to spend the weekend celebrating the bachelorette party of one of my best friends from college. We were in Stillwater and enjoyed a great afternoon in the park, followed by a dinner cruise on the St. Croix river, and capped off the evening with a trip downtown where we danced to a cover band until the early morning hours. It was SO refreshing and fun to see most of my best girl friends from NDSU and have all of us in the same place for the first time in nearly a year. I am so grateful for each of them and what they have brought to my life and I am really looking forward to seeing all of them again in a few weeks to celebrate the BIG wedding day πŸ™‚

I hope all of you have had a great start to your week. I am looking forward to being back on my regular Sunday blog schedule this upcoming week so I will be back with all of you soon. Thanks so much for reading!

#sugarspiceandstylethatsnice

xoxo Jen

The NYC food diary!

Happy Wednesday!! As many of you may have seen on my Instagram account (@sugarspiceandstylethatsnice give me a follow if you haven’t yet and you can see more daily info from me!) last week I was in New York City for a family vacation. This was my 3rd time to the Big Apple but my first time with my family. The other two trips I had taken were both for school so this time I really got to embrace the full tourist side πŸ™‚

One thing you may know about me and my family is that we really appreciate food! We love to try new things and are always on the hunt for the best food we can find. We also know that often times the best restaurants/bars are the ones that don’t look the nicest from the outside!! During our 5 days in the city we were able to try out a lot of great places and I wanted to share some photos and short accounts from each of them with you. In case any of you have plans to visit NYC any time soon these might be something you are interested in visiting yourself if any of them sound great to you.

These restaurants are in no particular order and I will try to list the district/neighborhood behind them so that you have an idea of which part of the HUGE city we were in. One thing to note: the place we went for dinner on our first night in town to celebrate my dad’s birthday (Virgils) we were lucky to have a waiter who was a native New Yorker. He asked how long we had been in the city and when we told him it was our first night he got very excited and offered us up a lot of great recommendations for places to eat. A few of the stops we made are totally credit to him and we are so thankful!!

Eataly (Chelsea district – right across from the famous Flatiron Building)

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As I’m sure you can gather from the name, Eataly is an indoor Italian marketplace. It features a giant building filled with Italian groceries, fresh meat and seafood, in-house made mozzarella, gelato, pastries, and so much more. They also have a handful of sit-down restaurants sprinkled throughout the indoor area the size of a small mall! We were looking for more of a quick lunch on our first afternoon so we opted to walk through the panini and sandwich line and ordered something to take outside. I got a fresh mozzarella and prosciutto sandwich along with a side of pasta salad that had olives and a few other fresh veggies inside. This place was really enjoyable to walk around in and observe all of the different fresh food!

Blue Dog (located in Midtown – not far from Times Square and VERY close to Radio City Music Hall and Rockefeller Center)

Blue Dog was the last place we dined on our trip. I enjoyed a delicious passionfruit margarita prior to my dinner and I may have liked that even better than the food! It was really refreshing and tasted great after a long day of walking. For supper I ordered a Japanese noodle bowl that had peppers and zucchini. The noodles were udon which is a thicker heavier style noodle and I opted for steak as my meat choice. I had been craving noodles/pasta that day so this was a good choice for me!

Levain Bakery (Central Park – 76th and Amsterdam)

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Without hesitation I can say that the cookie in the above picture was by far the best thing I ate on our whole trip. This is the double chocolate peanut butter cookie and it is Levain’s 2nd best selling cookie. Their bestseller is their classic chocolate chip cookie with walnuts. Between the 4 of us we tried both and I can highly recommend both but as a peanut butter lover I found this one to beΒ UNREAL.Β Levain’s was a recommendation from our waiter on the first night and he prefaced the suggestion by asking if we wanted to have the world’s best chocolate chip cookie. That sounded like a no-brainer. And we are really happy we decided to make the trip there after our Central Park bike tour. The cookies are HUGE which might be hard to tell from the photo. They also have the ever coveted but impossible to achieve harder on the outside but soft and gooey on the inside texture…..OK….I have to move on to the next section because this is making me so hungry!!!

PJ Moran’s (also very near Rockefeller Center)

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PJ’s is an Irish Pub that we quite literally stumbled upon while searching for somewhere to eat after being turned away at Rockefeller Center due to low visibility. We are glad we did because it was excellent food. I enjoyed one of my favorites: Sheperd’s Pie. I love anything that involves mashed potatoes and this is one of the ultimate comfort foods for me. The presentation was quite lovely as well, if I do say so myself! It was hard to hold off on my first bite in order to take a picture first!

Virgil’s BBQ (quite literally in Times Square – less than a block off)

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This was our first food experience in NYC on the first night we arrived. It was my dad’s birthday so the choice was completely up to him on what he wanted to have for his birthday meal! My dad LOVES BBQ so this was not a surprise at all. I enjoyed a nice downhome platter of pulled BBQ chicken, baked beans, coleslaw, and anΒ excellentΒ corn muffin. This was the restaurant where we were fortunate to have the New York native waiter who gave us tons of great food tips!

Mad Dog & Beans (Financial District/Stone Street – near Battery Park)

This stop was an excellent find. Located on one of the first paved/stone streets in NYC (Stone Street) this area is unique and has lots of restaurants right in a row with outdoor seating for nice weather days. We chose Mad Dog because Mexican sounded great at the moment and the indoor decor was very inviting. We shared a HUGE vat of guacamole (pictures above on the left) that was so fresh and delicious. For my meal I enjoyed a margarita (of COURSE!) and a steak burrito bowl. All of the flavors of the meal were fresh and authentic. This is a place I would definitely like to visit again!

Johnny’s Luncheonette (Chelsea district)

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Johnny’s was a Yelp find which is something we as a family tend to rely on when we travel. The luncheonette/diner was located only a couple of blocks from our hotel and the reviews remarked the best pancakes in NYC so we figured it would be a great place to try out for breakfast. The restaurant is just as I expected. Tiny and compact with seating for only 18 people total. The 4 of us sat at the counter and got to witness the cooking first hand as the grill was right in front of us. I enjoyed these beautifully fluffy blueberry pancakes, sausage, hashbrowns, and some coffee. The perfect breakfast fuel for a long day of walking!

Any and all New York pizza πŸ™‚

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Last but not least, NYC is very famous for it’s pizza. I actually only enjoyed one slice the whole time we were there but it was delicious! I opted for traditional pepperoni and a deeper dish crust. Everywhere you look online you can find different rankings and recommendations for pizza places so feel free to explore in depth if you ever find yourself in NYC and on the hunt for the best pizza in the city!


That wraps up the food diary that I wanted to share with all of you! I apologize if reading this made you extremely hungry. If it’s any consolation I very hungry myself after reliving all of those dining experiences and inserting the pictures. I might have to go hunt down a bedtime snack πŸ™‚ Thank you so much for reading! I plan to be back this Sunday with a post on the OTHER aspects of my trip that don’t include food.

I hope you’re all having a wonderful week!

#sugarspiceandstylethatsnice

xoxo Jen

fall trends at the fashion affair

Happy Sunday to all of you on this wonderful long weekend! My family and I returned from our vacation to NYC on Thursday and I am compiling a lot of pictures and information to share with you here on the blog soon!!

Before I left on my trip I was able to attend a unique event held in Grand Forks for the first time. A Fashion Affair is a local fashion show held downtown on the top of one of our parking garages! The location makes for such a fun and new experience and the show itself is a great concept. The show featured 12 local (Grand Forks & East Grand Forks) boutiques and their upcoming trends and styles for the fall season. One of my favorite things about the event was that all 12 of the stores are owned and operated by women!! Talk about girl power πŸ™‚

The top of the parking ramp was set up with some traditional fashion show elements: a red carpet (of course!), white chairs lining one side of the carpet and the other lined with VIP tables that you could purchase to be up close and personal to the models. There was a live band who played music both before and after the show to keep the atmosphere lively. They also had food and beverages available from 3 different restaurant/bars; all of them local as well to keep with the Grand Forks-fueled theme! This way attendees were able to enjoy a cocktail/beer/glass of wine and some appetizer style foods at the show.

Another bonus of the show and event for me was that my beautiful aunt, Stacie, was the emcee for the event! She looked beautiful in the red dress from one of the featured stores in the show and did a great job as always. She kicked off and ended the show with introductions, thank yous, and announcements. During the show I was able to sit with her and my uncle as well as my friend Brittany who is the one who told me all about the show!

Some of the stores featured in the show I have shopped at on occasion (Kittsona, Mainstream Boutique, Key Bliss) but there were many more that I have never visited. It was a good eye-opener and reminder for me to explore a lot of the other local stores we have in town and support their businesses! Just as the sun was lowering in the sky they kicked off the show and had energizing music playing for all of the models to walk the carpet to. The show was broken up by store so you could see all of the different styles and outfit they are carrying for this fall season which is always HUGE for fashion.

Here are some of the fun things I noticed during the show that I am going to be on the lookout for and try this season as some of the new trends. I’m sorry that I don’t have any pictures of the models. I was so focused on enjoying the show that I didn’t take any. But I made lots of mental notes πŸ™‚

  • Suede
  • Velvet (this is going to be a big one!!)
  • Embroidery on EVERYTHING: jeans, jean jackets, dresses, shoes…
  • Mustard yellow…let’s be honest! This is always going to be in in my book πŸ™‚
  • Distressing – I saw lots of distressed knits and jeans
  • Floppy hats! There was at least one of these worn in each store’s section of the show. You can dress them up or down and the bigger the better in this case!
  • Flare and bell-bottomed jeans are BACK. A lot of 70s vibes coming from this season’s clothes

I for one am VERY excited about this time of the year and I can’t wait to share some of the fall trends I try with all of you in these next few months. A big thanks to my wonderful and beautiful friend Brittany who brought me along to the show! We both decided to show up as trendy as possible in some off-the-shoulder tops that were huge this summer and should still be for the forseeable future. Mine was even velvet so maybe I’m a little bit on trend already…there is a first time for everything πŸ˜€

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I hope you all have a wonderful week. See you back again either sometime this week or next Sunday for sure with part 1 of my NYC chronicle. Thanks so much for reading!!

#sugarspiceandstylethatsnice

xoxo Jen