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

Adventures in Austin

I promised I’d be back with the details from the remainder of my vacation I took a couple of weeks ago so here it is! Two of my best friends from college live down in Austin, Texas and I have had it on my radar to visit them. The right time finally presented itself and I hopped on a plane from the St. Louis airport and continued on down south to Austin πŸ™‚

I spent 3 days exploring with my friends and had a fabulous time. Austin really is the fun city that we’ve all heard it to be: filled with unique people, great food, music, and of course some of their famous “weirdness” (keep Austin weird, right!?) Those of you who have followed me for awhile know that when I travel it’s all about the FOOD….so many of my pictures reflect what I ate so I hope that’s ok with all of you!

Our first venture on my first full day was a trip to Oasis Texas Brewing Company, a local brewery that overlooks the manmade Lake Travis. The view was spectacular and only made better by how delicious the beer and food were. It was Cinco de Mayo (woop woop!) so I enjoyed a refreshing and appropriate margarita-inspired beer. The glass was “dressed” with a lime, and cayenne pepper and salt around the rim. We sat at a table closest to the lake and took in the view of the sailboats and yachts.

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We were there during the lunch hour so we shared a couple different appetizers that were to die for. First we tried out the fried green beans with the chipotle mayo dip. Perfectly crispy and the dip had just the right amount of heat. Then we went for round two and ordered the housemade chorizo queso. I can’t even find the right words to describe how delicious it was. I am a big queso fan and THAT was queso done right.

The brewery grounds themselves were a sight to see. You were greeted by a unique water tower with the Oasis name and the inside of the courtyard was old-world feeling with mystical patio lights and Spanish-style buildings.

Saturday night we made a venture downtown and I got to check out the Austin night life. We spent time in two different “districts” – the first is called Rainey Street – and was the most unique string of bars I’ve ever been to. A developer bought single family homes lining the street on both sides and turned all of them in to bars so from the outside it looks like a giant string of house parties. Each of the homes serves drinks/beers inside and then in the backyard of each home is a food truck. Completely GENUIS.

I apologize that I don’t have any good pictures from the place we chose on Rainey Street, but we spent our time at Craft Pride. They serve only beer brewed locally in the Lone Star State (52 – yes, fifty two – different Texas beers on tap) and their backyard food truck serves Detroit style pizza that was two thumbs up.

After Rainey, we headed to the infamous 6th Street. It was PACKED especially with the college crowd so we spent some time people watching and enjoyed another cocktail on a rooftop patio high above all of the craziness. Before heading back to their house we made a pit stop at Voodoo Doughnuts and I’m so glad we did. We each picked two doughnuts – one for a nighttime snack and one for breakfast!! I went with a captain crunch doughnut and a butterfinger doughnut. Both were as incredible as they sound and I’m glad I got to experience a place I’ve seen and heard a lot about from those who have visited the locations in Portland and Denver!

On Sunday we got to experience both of my favorite parts of the trip: wine tasting at a local winery’s tasting room AND spending time at the dog park – and not just a regular old Lincoln park dog park….

Grape Creek winery is a winery that my friends are members of so they took me to a small town near Austin that has a tasting room (versus driving the hour and a half to the actual winery). We were able to choose 6 wines from their selection and taste. It was my first experience with a formal wine tasting and it was really interesting to compare and contrast the offerings. After our tasting we ordered a bottle for the three of us to share and took it out to the beautiful covered patio attached to the tasting room. It was the perfect way to spend an afternoon and enjoy being outside.

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That afternoon we rounded up their sweet pup, Pike, the one year old red lab and took him to their favorite local dog park. As I mentioned above this was no normal dog park….it’s called Dog House Drinkery. The dog park not only serves beer but also employs people who monitor the dogs’ interactions within the park that is comfortable filled with seating options such as lawn chairs, picnic tables, and big shade umbrellas. You can pull up a chair and spend the whole afternoon watching your dog play and enjoying a few cold beers. Truly heaven if I’ve ever experienced it. The cherry on top was the fact that there was a local artist playing guitar and singing just outside the dog park gate so it added even more to the ambience. I now am in the process of thinking how I can bring something similar to Grand Forks because WHY NOT!?

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I was elated to be able to keep the can koozie as a memento of that magical afternoon and will always think of it fondly when I’m enjoying a beer at home on my own patio this summer.

The rest of my time with my dear friends was filled with trivia, pool time, lounging in the backyard, telling stories, reminiscing on our college days at NDSU, and much more. I also took another little side trip – – well more like BIG side trip – – which if you follow me on Instagram (@sugarspiceandstylethatsnice) you already know a little bit about. In the interest of time and because there is so much content from that short side trip I am going to save that for it’s own post that I’ll share this weekend so keep your eyes peeled πŸ™‚

As always, thanks so much for taking the time to read. I love sharing my travels with all of you and I hope if you are planning any time in Austin yourself sometime soon that these recommendations will be helpful to you! I’ll see you this weekend with more Texas adventure details in another post.

#sugarspiceandstylethatsnice

xoxo Jen

blogger adventure (part 1)

Hi, everyone!! First – I apologize for what seems like a lengthy hiatus from an actual blog post for you. I am so happy to be back πŸ˜€ These last few weeks have been a whirlwind and part of it is because of the story behind this post!

I just returned from a week-long vacation and I have SO MUCH fantastic content that I am working on to share with all of you over the next couple of weeks so stay tuned. This post is about my very first blogger adventure that took place last week.

A couple of months ago on my Instagram account I eluded to some exciting news that I had received. Due to confidentiality and some other legalities I am not able to divulge all of the specifics to you but I can share an overall background of the projectΒ that I get to be a part of for the next 8 months. Myself, along with 14 other fantastic Midwest bloggers were selected to serve on a Fashion Panel with a marketing company who is working with a national retailer on their brand, stores, etc.

After a lengthy interview and selection process I was notified in March that I had been chosen as one of the final 15 to be a part of this exciting project. The Fashion Panel entails three separate trips/sessions over the next 8 months that involve detailed focus group work with the other women on the panel as well as executives from the retailer we are working with; all run by the marketing company.

The first of these three trips took place last week and all of us got to meet for the first official session in St. Louis, Missouri! While I can’t share details of the session it was an incredible experience and was made so wonderful by getting to know and work with the other 14 women. I am already so looking forward to our second trip in a few months when we can all work together again. I will be sharing more about these gals on Instagram so that you can get to know them as well πŸ™‚ Below is a group shot of all of us on the final day of session one!

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We stayed at a boutique hotel in STL called the Moonrise Hotel in a neighborhood called the Delmar Loop. It had the ever-popular multicolor lighted staircase that was perfect for photos during the session! Even though I can’t share specifics from inside the session I wanted to share a few other tidbits from my time in general in STL. I had never been there before and the neighborhood we stayed in offered up some great food and the 15 of us were able to make some fun memories over the meals we shared as we got to know one another!

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On the first afternoon I arrived a little bit early and had some down time prior to our first evening meet and greet. I asked the bellman if there was a coffee shop within walking distance where I could sit down and read for awhile. He suggested an Italian pastry and coffee shop a couple of blocks away and he said I wouldn’t be disappointed! I enjoyed my afternoon spent at Piccione Pastry. I indulged in an indescribable cannoli and an iced mocha while soaking in some inspiration from my two favorite sources: HGTV magazine and the Magnolia Journal.

The two evening meals we shared as a group were within our neighborhood of our hotel. The first evening we enjoyed Italian cuisine at Tuvolo and I had a piece of lasagna that I think weighed about 3 pounds and some excellent wine. The second night it was only appropriate that we enjoyed some downhome STL BBQ so we dined at Salt and Smoke for some family style barbeque and the best potato salad I have ever eaten.

 

All in all it was an excellent experience and I’m so excited that the project is only getting started. I will look forward to sharing parts 2 and 3 with all of you as we progress through the remainder of the project and 2 other fun travel destinations together! As I reflect on this trip I am so thankful for the opportunities that sugar, spice, and style that’s nice has brought to me so far and I look forward to hopefully more things in the future! A huge thanks to all of you who take the time to read and follow along with me πŸ™‚ I am certainly grateful for each of you.

Next up: straight from STL I hopped on another jet plane and went even farther south to visit some of my best friends who live down in Austin, Texas. My next post will break down that trip with all the details and of COURSE…more food!!!

Lastly, if you aren’t following along with me yet on Instagram I post daily content there and would love to have you join me – you can find me at @sugarspiceandstylethatsnice

Be back soon,

xoxo Jen

 

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

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