the fashion affair – 2018 fall trends

Hi, all! Last week I had the opportunity to attend The Fashion Affair – Grand Forks which is an annual fashion show held in my hometown at the end of the summer/beginning of fall. This corresponds loosely with the world scene of “Fashion Week” in places like New York City. I attended this show for the first time last year and you can see last year’s recap if you’re interested by clicking here to read my post πŸ™‚

This year the show was in a new location – the beautiful Sky’s Fine Dining restaurant and Edgewood building in downtown Grand Forks. The show had been held outdoors in the past but it was a good year to transfer to indoors as it rained during the show so that wouldn’t have made for a very fun viewer or model experience if it were outside! I went with 3 of my best girl friends who I have all met through the Greater Grand Forks Young Professionals organization and we had a blast. We purchased a table for 4 on the lower level of the building and sat right alongside the runway. We were only a few tables down from the model entrance so we got to see all of the models when they first stepped out!

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The fashion features 12 different local boutiques/retailers/designers and had a great variety of items for any taste and budget. Kittsona, the local boutique that I love and am partnering with kicked off the show and they were incredible!! This year the show included one of our local running stores so there was also a whole activewear collection that showed up on the runway which was a lot of fun. A local hair studio also participates in order to show off some of the up and coming hair trends and styles that are popular for the fall season.

The thing I love most about the show is that you get an up close and personal view of all of the trends that are coming down the line for the fall season. Since summer is just coming to a close now it’s the perfect teaser and motivator to get you excited about looking ahead to your fall wardrobe and some new pieces or trends you want to try or adopt. Here are a few things that were very evidently common in the show and I would highlight as things to watch for for this fall:

  1. Jumpsuits – SO MANY JUMPSUITS – Many of them were striped (especially vertical stripes) and highlighted classic palettes of blacks and grays. Many also features the colors associated with fall like burnt orange, mustard yellow, and wine/burgundy. I love a good jumpsuit but I always think about how difficult it is to go to the bathroom when you’re wearing one…let’s be honest here!!!
  2. Front button skirts – Lots of fun textures for fall like corduroy and suede were features in the show and I love the details of metallic (or even pearl!) buttons down the center of the skirt.
  3. Floppy brimmed hats – I think every boutique in the show had at least one model wearing a floppy-brimmed hat in a neutral color like black or camel. They are so cute and would be the perfect weekend accessory to any fall look – oversized sweaters, jumpsuits, or a dressier look.
  4. Ruffles and bell sleeves – This trend is still alive and well for the new season. There were lots of dresses with fun statement sleeves that give the most delicate of details, especially to plain/solid colored dresses. It adds interest without the busy-ness that comes with having a patterned piece. Especially for those who really basics and simple pieces best!
  5. Gingham – I didn’t see a ton of gingham in the show but there was enough to want to highlight it in my notes! Especially some fun black and white gingham dresses and fun pants from Kittsona.
  6. Bodysuits – These are going to be big throughout the winter as well. They look great paired with skirts, pants, or even jumpsuits/dresses over the top. They eliminate the worry or look of having lines and discomfort from trying to tuck in/wear something like a long sleeve shirt or turtleneck under another piece of clothing. This is a good basic to add to your closet – especially in a neutral color like black.
  7. Kimonos/long cardigans – I saw LOTS of fun detailed kimonos at the show – especially ones made of lace-like material which are beautiful and perfect for layering with dresses or any other fall outfit. Long cardigans are also going to be on the scene for the cold months so watch out for duster length sweaters that will keep you warm and stylish all fall and winter long!

 

My beautiful Aunt Stacie was the lovely emcee at the event and so I got to snag a photo with her on the red carpet next to my table before the show got started. I wanted to break out some fall fashion for the show myself so I wore my black slide-on mules from Target with my faux leather Spanx leggings from Nordstrom, a simple black tunic dress from Gordmans, a burnt orange duster trench-coat from a boutique in Alexandria, MN called Creative Touch, and a mixed metal statement necklace from Kittsona.

Each place at the table had a magazine as well as a detailed brochure about the event and the order of the stores/models that would be coming down the runway. We also each got fun gift bags that will be great makeup/travel bags and they were full of discount cards and $5 off promotions for almost all of the boutiques that were in the show!Β This event is such a fun way to kick off the fall and I’m really glad I was able to attend with such a fun group of friends.

I hope you all enjoyed this little preview of fall – the weather the last couple of days here has been crisp and cool πŸ™‚ I’m so excited for the season ahead because this is my favorite time of the year! Thanks as always for reading. Have a great week!

#sugarspiceandstylethatsnice #thefashionaffairgf

xoxo Jen

diy fall wreath

Hi, everyone! It has been quite awhile since I busted out a DIY project and shared it with all of you so this weekend I wanted to make sure that changed! A few weeks ago at my favorite local resale store/junk boutique I saw a fabric wreath and thought it would be something fun to try making on my own. At a craft show in Fargo I bought a bundle of a variety of yellow, light blue, gray, and white patterned fabric squares. I hadn’t found a project to use them with yet so I knew that this would be just the thing πŸ™‚

The only other supplies that this project required was a wire floral wreath form (I got mine at Hobby Lobby for $4.99) and a pair of scissors! You can see a shot of the supplies below on the fun rug in my spare bedroom/craft room – which if definitely one of my favorite spots in my house! The white faux fur stool really adds to the fun when I’m working on a project!

The squares of fabric I bought were quite large so I cut them all into small strips that could be used for tying. I found a strip the size of about 10″ by 2″ to be the best for the “look” I was going for but there is no right or wrong answer here! I cut the strips in a few different size lengths to start and tested them out by tying them on the wreath to see how much overhang they had and if they were too long or too short to easily be tied around. A sharp and strong craft scissors would be best in this case (which I definitely DID not use!) so I highly recommend having a strong scissors as it will make the fabric cutting a breeze and cut back on time for this already short project.

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In the photo above you can get a better view of the floral wreath form that I mentioned. I bought the larger of the two sizes that were at Hobby Lobby because that size fits my front door shape nicely. You can also see the pile of the strips of fabric on the arm of the couch. After you are done cutting all of your fabric strips the only things left to do is get tying! I laid the fabrics out in piles separated by pattern so that I could make sure as I tied I grabbed from different piles to evenly distribute the patterns around the wreath. As I added more and more strips I held the form away from me so I could see if one pattern was looking heavier in one spot than other so that I could make sure to add to spots that needed more or less of one color/pattern to keep it balanced.

All in all this project took me about 2 and a half hours to complete (with a no good pair of scissors AND being left-handed, which makes me even slower at anything involving scissors) so you could certainly accomplish this more quickly than me. I didn’t pack my wreath form full of strips so I ended up having a pile of leftover fabric which I may decide to add later or use for another projects. I decided to stop when I felt the wreath looked fully formed enough but not overly done when I hung it on the door.

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I hung the wreath from a wreath hanger and it perfectly frames the only constant on my front door throughout the seasons: a simple gold wooden “home” that I found in the Target dollar spot a couple of years ago. I affixed it to the frame of the window on my door with command strips and I love using it as the center piece of any door hanging or wreath I used throughout the year and seasons. Since it was getting dark tonight when I took the photos of it on the door it’s not the best lighting but I love how the colors and different patterns play off of one another and add interest versus just having one pattern throughout.

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This small project would be an easy way to make a wreath for any season of the year – Christmas themed fabric would be a lot of fun for a holiday wreath and brightly colored floral fabrics would be perfect for a spring/summer front door piece. With the low cost (less than 25 dollars) of this project I can see myself making another wreath like this for a different season next year! Thanks for following along. I hope to have some more home-related projects for you soon. Have a great week!

#sugarspiceandstylethatsnice

xoxo Jen

kittsona fall wish list

Hi, everyone! Those of you who follow along with me on Instagram (@sugarspiceandstylethatsnice) saw an announcement on my stories last week that I haven’t had the chance to share in a post yet so here is some exciting news πŸ™‚

Kittsona, a fantastic women’s clothing, lifestyle, and home decor boutique that started right here in my hometown of Grand Forks, North Dakota has absolutely EXPLODED since they opened a few years ago. They now have multiple North Dakota locations as well as stores in Minnesota, Colorado, Texas, and South Carolina. Their online presence and website are also very strong and that means you can shop them from wherever you are in the United States!! Since I love to shop local and “shop small” with small businesses in my community, Kittsona is a place I have always loved to buy from.

Recently they announced on their social media accounts that they were looking for applicants for an influencer program to help them promote their brand and share their product with more and more people. I sent in an application and am happy to share that I have been selected to partner with them for the next 6 months as an official Kittsona Brand Babe!! I am really looking forward to this project and to working with the brand as well as the other babes who are on the project with me. As a part of the project there are some exciting perks that I get to share with all of you who follow along with me and I’m excited for you to discover Kittsona (if you haven’t already!).

At the beginning of August they launched their huge and totally amazing fall collection. All of the pieces they have been sharing so far are so incredible and I can’t wait to score a few more soon to add to my fall wardrobe. I created a lookbook/wishlist of some of the top items from Kittsona’s website that I am crushing on and I want to share them with you too! All of the items help to speak to the trends that are coming up for this fall and hopefully all of you will fall in love with the items as much as I have!

I will break the items up by category so that it’s easier to take a peek if you’re interested. All of the items I am sharing can be found on the Kittsona website so follow the link HERE to go shop!! Almost all of the items I posted can be found under the “new arrivals” tab of the website – – I will post my discount code information that all of you are eligible to use at the end of this post!

Shoes

I wasn’t interested in saving the best for last, in this case I wanted to share the best first and everyone knows that’s SHOES! All three of these pairs of shoes would be amazing additions to any fall wardrobe.

  • The bow-tie flats on the left are the pair of shoes I bought last week the second they came out because I basically lost my breath when I saw them posted on Instagram πŸ˜€ hahah they are the shoes I’m wearing in the featured image/cover photo of this post! You can see that they are much more vibrant mustard yellow in person
  • The white studded ankle boots are a fun edgy statement piece and white shoes are going to be BIG this fall.
  • The booties on the right hand side are so beautiful. They have a very detailed embroidery on them and I love the v-cut detail on both sides. This pair is a little on the spendy side but I have no doubt it means you’re getting amazing quality and they are a pair of boots you could wear with virtually anything.

Tops and Jackets

Kittsona is always on trend and their new pieces always match what people would be looking for to stay on top of the newest fashion. These tops and jackets for fall are no exception!

  • On the left is a fun olive green suede jacket. It is a beautiful fall color and suede is always a fun option to add a dressier side to your outfit. I envision this as being a great piece to wear to the office or just like they have it styled in the picture – with a graphic tee for a more casual look.
  • Colorblock sweaters are going to be a huge trend for the fall. The Nordstrom sale had so many of them so I know they’re going to be out in full force. This option is black with more neutral colored stripes. Again it would be a good transitional piece to wear in both more casual and dressy settings depending on what bottoms and accessories you pair with it.
  • This black and white striped tunic dress shirt is another piece that made my jaw drop when I saw it posted on Kittsona’s Instagram page. This would be a great addition to my work wardrobe and I can already picture myself rocking it with some fun colored dress pants.
  • This “free as a bird” lightweight sweater is a sweet piece and comes in black as well as the tan color that is pictured. It would be great for layering under a denim jacket and I also like how they have it styled with a trendy front-button skirt.

Dresses and Jumpsuits

  • It really isn’t fall at all unless you have some corduroy in your wardrobe!! This really cute jumper with the front buttons encompasses a few different trends and would be perfect for a casual look – I especially envision it being worn with tights and either long or short-sleeve tops would look good layered underneath.
  • This burnt orange jumpsuit is the perfect color for fall. Whenever I see this rust/orange color I think fall so this would be a fun piece for a night out. I like the subtle pattern that isn’t overwhelming and the tie-waist is flattering

Graphic Tees

Kittsona has recently opened a brand within their brand called humankind which you can find in a separate tab on their website. One of the reasons I love Kittsona so much is they are an inspiring and enabling company and space for women. They are always looking to build women up and share the courage and love across their stores and social media channels. This humankind brand is all centered around those principles and I am excited to see what other products come out of this project!

  • This dog graphic tee couldn’t be any more true for me. There are nights where I sit there evaluating how I could possibly bring Luna with me. I think this is one of the pieces from this wishlist that I will be buying without a doubt πŸ˜€
  • I love this GRLPWR t-shirt so much. It’s a great way to wear your heart on your sleeve and who doesn’t want to broadcast their love for the amazing female gender!?!? As I mentioned, Kittsona has always valued women and their ability to do any and everything that they set their minds too so cheers to that!

Kitchenware and Home Decor

Kittsona also has a great selection of home decor and fun small gift items, kitchenware, drinkware, beauty products, etc in all of their storefronts. Since their stores are located in different places across the US they have different home and gift items in each of the stores because they like to have state pride and local items for those shopping in each specific store. Because of that their selection online is pretty minimal but there are a few great things that anyone can purchase even if you don’t have a storefront in your city!

  • This woman’s best friend mug is so dang cute and I definitely need to add it to my coffee mug collection and rotation in my office. I already have a few dog-themed mugs that I’ve gotten as gifts from my mom and they are all from Kittsona!
  • Woven wall hangings have become such a staple in home decor over the last few seasons. They are the perfect way to add texture and depth to a space and this piece would be a beautiful addition anywhere because of its neutral colorings.

 

That’s a wrap on my wish list for this season! I hope you enjoyed checking out these pieces and know that there will be lots more to come about Kittsona on the blog and Instagram from me in the coming months. This partnership is such an exciting one and I’m most happy about getting to share it with all of you. Speaking of that….as my followers you all are able to use my discount code for 10% of your purchase ANY and EVERY TIME you shop Kittsona online at kittsona.com!!!! Don’t forget to add the code at checkout or mention it when checking out in store!

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If you have any questions about these items or anything at Kittsona please don’t hesitate to leave me a comment, send me a message, or reach out through Instagram or Facebook. I am more than happy to help! Thanks so much for reading,

#sugarspiceandstylethatsnice

xoxo Jen

duluth travel diary

Sharing my trips and travels with all of you is one of my favorite things to do! Living in the northern Midwest I am within driving distance of a lot of beautiful places with so many fun things to do. One place that I haven’t been since I was a young girl that is within driving distance of my hometown is Duluth, Minnesota. Luckily enough one of my closest girlfriends from college moved there after graduation and was sweet enough to invite our whole group of best gal pals out there this past weekend for the ultimate girls weekend! It took me a little less than 5 hours to drive there from Grand Forks so needless to say I had quite the amazing solo roadtrip concert last Friday evening πŸ˜€

Not all of our friends were able to join us this past weekend which was tough not to be all together but we are looking forward to a few weeks down the road when we ALL will get to see one another to celebrate one of our friends’ upcoming wedding! My friend who hosted us in Duluth has such a beautiful home that she and her husband purchased just a couple of months ago. It is 100 years old and has so much unique character. The yard and landscaping are beautiful and you are welcomed in the best possible way by a sweet front porch and my dream: a yellow door!!

Friday evening since we all were arriving at various times (and fairly late at night) we just spent time sitting in the living room in our pajamas and catching up; arguably the best thing to do! On Saturday morning we enjoyed breakfast together at home and then hopped in the car to check out a local woodworking shop that our friend said is one of her favorite stores in Duluth. It’s called Bailey Builds and friends πŸ™‚

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It was SO beautiful – the owner is a husband and wife team who make unique natural and painted wood decor. They sell a variety of sizes from small to HUGE statement pieces. They also commission pieces and will do specific measurements and color schemes to match your home and space. I fully admit that I was very, very intrigued and definitely had a conversation with the owner and took a card so that I could be in touch with her….One half of the ownership duo, Anna. even went as far as to take us back into the studio portion of the storefront space to show us where the magic happens. It was so fun to talk to her and hear the story behind the process. Follow this link to check our their website and you can also follow Anna on Instagram for all of the details at @annabaileying

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After our short shopping venture we journeyed up some of the hilly streets of Duluth to climb up Enger Tower and get the best view of the shore of Lake Superior and just an overall beautiful birds-eye view of the city and the harbor. The grounds of the tower were filled with beautiful flowers and there was even a wedding ceremony going on in the pavilion overlooking the harbor (that we may or may NOT have almost walked into/interrupted). The tower itself that we climbed up for the view reminded me of a rapunzel-like structure and I had to take a great photo of it for memory’s sake!

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After the wedding ceremony concluded we took the steps up to the pavilion to get the view of the harbor and we were able to capture a great group picture (minus our friend Sarah who didn’t arrive until shortly after this photo!)Β  You can see a good view of the harbor behind us and it didn’t quite make the picture but there is a magnificent lift bridge where all of the large ships enter the harbor that is fun to see in action!

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After our morning of shopping and climbing we had worked up a good appetite so we headed into the downtown area and took a nice walk down to the Canal park district. Inside of one of the market/shopping buildings is a to-go/fast service eatery that is very highly regarded. A few of my friends had been there before and had amazing things to say so we all agreed it was something we needed to have! Northern Waters Smokhaus lived up to every expectation I had and SO much more. We had to wait about 35 minutes for our food with how busy it was/how long the line was but once I tasted my food I would have waited any amount of hours to have it again!

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The sandwich and bagel selection is incredible – fish, meat, veggie, and all types of options you can imagine. Their specialty is salmon so a few of the girls went with a cajun smoked salmon bagel sandwich. As I was scanning the menu I couldn’t stop going back to the salami, olive, and cheese box so it was an easy decision. The salami was homemade and the best I have ever had. Hands down. The cheese and olives were local and so flavorful and it came with fresh bread and better for the perfect meal. I also ordered a side of potato salad because I’m always up for a cold salad and that also gets a very clear two thumbs up!

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After our late lunch we headed back to the house to spend some time relaxing, recharging, and getting ready for the evening. On our walk back to the car we took the boardwalk along the shore of the lake and sat in the rock beach and spent a good amount of time skipping rocks and enjoying the view. It’s such a beautiful place and with the vastness and size of Lake Superior you truly feel like you’re on the shores of an ocean since there is no end of the water in sight.

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After a recharge session consisting of a long, enjoyable backyard conversation over a few cocktails we changed clothes and hitched a ride back down to Canal Park to experience it in the evening and enjoy a dinner at another fantastic restaurant! We ate our supper at Canal Park Brewing Company and similar to our lunch spot it was so difficult to pick because the whole menu sounded amazing. Each of us ordered something different to enjoy and I had fun listening to everyone’s reactions to their beers and meals. I went with a (VERY) spicy burger topped with a mango chutney-style sauce,Β  ghost pepper, pepperjack cheese, bacon, and ham. The burger was SO good but I almost couldn’t make it through with the heat from the ghost peppers. The fries and my beer were both great and might have been my saving grace when it came to getting through most of the burger!!

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We also shared the nachos at the beginning of our meal as an appetizer and they were topped with pork and a great black bean, corn combination that made them unique and very tasty! After our meal we did some more walking on the boardwalk in the moonlight and walked right up to the lift bridge so we could see it up close.

Grandma’s Sports Garden is where we enjoyed an hour or two of some college flashbacks of getting our dancing in and having a great time singing along to some of our favorite songs from back in the middle and high school days. As I mentioned earlier this was my first time in Duluth since I was very young so it was my first experience of the night life and you can tell how fun it would be to have a full night out there, especially when school is in session and all of the UMD students are out and about.

Sunday morning consisted of one last front porch coffee chat as a group. These girlfriends are and will continue to always be one of my sweetest blessings in life. Nothing can replace the love that dear friends have for each other and we already are counting down the days to being together again! We also made LOTS of big plans for our annual girls weekends in the future and I will look forward to sharing them with all of you on the blog year after year.

As always, thank you so much for reading. Have a wonderful week and I’ll be back soon with more πŸ™‚

#sugarspiceandstylethatsnice

xoxo Jen