Oh St. Valentine

[caption id="attachment_447" align="aligncenter" width="400"]happy anna howard shaw day Credit: http://www.quazoo.com/q/Anna%20Howard%20Shaw%20Day[/caption]

If you get the above joke, we are best friends.

So Valentine's Day is right around the corner can you believe it? Typically Derek and I do not do anything for this holiday. He is in the camp of it being a corporate holiday and he does not need a day to appreciate me. I am in the camp of: I never get flowers for no reason anyways so why not February 14th? This year our friends invited us to do a couple's dinner so I need a dress. Therefore dress hunting is necessary. I have an old red dress sitting in my closet but it probably does not fit anymore and I'd rather not attempt to put it on to find it does not fit. Let the dress shopping begin! Here are a few possibilities:

1) Lulus Pretty Neon Pink Dress  $61:I do not wear a lot of pink. As my blog name infers neutrals are my jam. However, if I am going to break out of  my mold than Valentine's is the time.

lulus neon pink

2) Lulus Keepsake Adore you $191: This is definitely on the pricier side but it is worth a look for sure. I love the pink floral crossed with the black it adds a bit of an edgey rocker vibe to a floral print.

keepsake lulus


3) Lulus Red Lace Romper $48: It is not secret I love a romper. I currently own two and #cantstopwontstop. This is definitely in that category and for that price it is practically a done deal.

red lace romper

4) Lulu's Heart of Midi: $48: I love how simplistic this silhouette is. The scallop shape on the bust line is unique and flattering. Also, I personally feel more comfortable in a black color than a true red.

work of heart

5) For Love and Lemons Pot Potpourri Dress, Nasty Gal, $250: I love the romanticism of this dress. It is lady-like in the color and fabric, but sexy in sillhouette. Perfection.

pot pourri

I actually had a difficult time finding dresses I would wear for Valentine's Day. I did not want just a pretty dress, I wanted something meant for Valentine's Day dinner. Unfortunately, the places I usually look to for dresses do not have online shopping in the true sense of they word. Local retailers Primp and Primrose Park consistently have a fabulous and unique selection of dresses at reasonable prices. If you live in Minneapolis check those places out for sure!

P.S. I did wind up buying one of these dresses. Can you guess which one? :) What do you think of my selections? What would you buy? Do you  have any fun Valentine's plans? Leave a comment below and tell me all about it.

Paper Crane

I have been more inspired to wear dresses and skirts lately. I enjoy the fun break from the monotony of jeans I typically wear. This weekend when I went shopping with my friend Jackie (of The Revolving Table, check it out it's great!) we got a bunch of good deals. Her more than me ;) One of our last stops of the day was H&M. This store is very hit or miss for me. Some days I love everything in there and other days you could not pay me to wear their clothes. Sometimes I think I am getting a bit too old for their target customer, but whatev I am rockin' the under 30 bracket for as long as I can.

If you follow my blog regularly you know I am not much of a pattern girl. Maybe a subtle pattern here and there but nothing really bold like this. I mentioned a few posts ago that this blog has encouraged me to take more fashion risks. Now, I am not exactly falling off the edge of fashion here but this is leaps and bounds for me. "One small step for man, one giant leap for Meg." It helps to shopping with enthusiastic and complimentary friends :) I put this dress on and loved it immediately. Despite the kind of crazy pattern the colors are relatively muted. I also so happened to be wearing my fav new Sam & Libby boots, which looked great of course :) I paired it with some delicate layered necklaces I also bought at H &M. Oh and one more hting that's great about this is that the cotton is very light weight, which means this will transition beautifully into spring and summer. I can already see myself pairing it with some great gladiator sandals can't you? Can you tell I have spring fever? Ugh and it's only January.

1) Dress: Long Sleeved Dress, H&M, $24.95

2) Boots: Sam & Libby for Target, $44.99

3) Necklace: H&M (similar)

What do you think of this crane themed dress? Are you hesitant to wear patterns like me? Leave me a comment below I would love to know what you think!

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Sunrise, Sunset

This weekend was pretty relaxed. I was trying to recover from a nasty chest cold so not much interesting to report on this Monday. I do, however, feel like this OOTD reflects best my casual weekend. I have to say everything about this outfit reads cool and casual to me right now to to the words on my tee shirt. My whole look was inspired when I found this shirt. I figured it would be the right length to tuck into my new legging jeans and would blend in well with the shawl sweater cardigan I have been basically living in this winter. The only tough call I made was weather to do a statement necklace or layer delicate necklaces. My thought process went something like this "I love my Minnesota necklace" and the deal was done. Look completed and ready for the day.

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1) Shirt: Banana Republic "sunrise sunset" tee, $39.50

2) Sweater: Old from Victoria's Secret (similar, similar)

3) Jeans: Legging Jean, Gap, $69.95

4) Shoes: Sam & Libby for Target, $44.99

5) Necklaces: Primp

6) Watch: Marc by Marc Jacobs Baker Watch, $175.00

What do you think of my casual look? Stay tuned this week for more fun outfit updates. Did a little shopping this weekend and got a bunch of great deals from some of my favorite places including Primrose Park and J. Crew. Wishing you all a happy Monday!

Gucci and Prada and Dior, OH MY!

shoes


I thought about another outfit post for today, but then I said to myself "self...shoes." So today I am going to start a little shoe feature that I will continue over the coming weeks.  In my dream world not only would I have homes in Paris, Milan, New York and some fancy place in Mexico but I would have the grandest shoe closet. Shoes are my all time favorite clothing item, which is why I am choosing to dedicate some significant blog time to it. I am hoping if you are like me shoes own your heart, soul and wallet. Hopefully you will be willing to go on this soleful journey with me. (Get it, sole, like the sole of a shoe? I slay me.) We are going to start big and bold. I am going this route first because my job does not allow for fancy schmancy shoes. In my brain I am Miranda Priestly from Devil Wears Prada, but in real life I am more Andy Sachs.  If you do not understand these references, stop reading my blog right now. Even I read that book and I am barely literate. Go pick it up and read it and then return.


Welcome back. These shoes I am going to feature  in this blog are the dream. I would never in a million years be able to afford this but so wish that I could. I will search high and low for their budget counterpart.


What I like in a shoe is something unique. It is good to have your staple black and nude pumps sitting in your closet. However, if I am going to spend  a significant amount of money I want it to be unique. I did my best to find a few that inspire me to go bankrupt for them: (brought to you by polyvore find me at mcainmoss)


fancy schmancy shoes1) Fendi blue pumps, $795, saksfifthavenue.com


2) Mary Katrantzou vintage shoes
$705 - nordstrom.com



3) Manolo Blahnik high heel pumps
bergdorfgoodman.com

4)UN United Nude ruby pumps




$270 - nordstrom.com




I decided to stick within the limits of Pantone's color trends for Spring and other trends. I picked a few that I showed next to the shoes as my inspiration. There are a lot of what I would consider dull pastels, which I think makes them more mature and less Easter Sunday. I also picked a few with a metallic hint because I have been seeing that trend crop up again, which I love! Who doesn't want to look like a sexy robot? Definitely this chick.  I love the patterns and mix of colors on these shoes. They make me remember that eventually this snow will melt and sun shall inhabit the earth. The one outlier is the grey pair. I chose this to match with the Pantone colors and because of it's special silhouette. It's sexy without giving away the whole foot :)

What do you all think? What are your dream shoes! Dream big!!

Mind the Gap

I have a love/hate relationship with the Gap. On the one hand it completely appeals to me in its monochromatic simplicity, however on the other hand they often sell the same shirt season, after season, after season. It gets a little tiresome. It also does not stop me from checking them out each time I am at the mall. Lately, their jeans have become more dependable. They went through a period where they were too tight in the waist, too big in the hip and also very short in length. They were basically making jeans for Kim Kardashian. Since I am not her, thank goodness, I couldn't buy jeans there for a while. To my benefit they have changed their style and I can wear their pants again. These jean leggings are super comfortable and soft. They are a thick jean material, so not a true legging, while also being fitted and flattering. I really enjoy jeans that are fitted with a bit of a stretch, while maintaining their shape. There is something secure about a fit like that. I bought them as a reaction to my Sam & Libby boots from Target. I was looking for jeans that were tighter around the ankle to look a little cleaner with the boot. I paired them with this coral sweater I got for my birthday from my in-laws. I really like the bright color to start to bring a little brightness to this nasty winter. I am also loving the small details of the striped elbow patches and buttons. If the overall sweater is going to be plain I enjoy a small detail as a fun surprise.  My look today is head to ankle from the Gap and I kind of feel like a Gap ad. I'm loving my comfy, low maintenance look. What do you think of the bright colors for winter? Leave me a comment below and let me know.

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1) Shirt: from the Gap got it as a birthday gift (similar, similar)

2) Jeans: the Legging Jean, Gap $69.95

3) Shoes: Sam & Libby for Target

Down the Rabbit Hole

It was another eventful weekend for this girl. As I posted about on Friday I went to the grand opening of my friend's Chiropractic office in Wabasha (it was not Winona as I previously stated). Her name is Dr. Ott at Ott Family Chiropractic and Wellness Clinic. Check her out!! After the opening they invited us back to her house for a little partying. We had probably too much fun.

Exhibit A:

[caption id="attachment_390" align="aligncenter" width="300"]IMG_1336 Last minute wop creation[/caption]

Exhibit B:

[caption id="attachment_391" align="aligncenter" width="300"]IMG_1352 Champagne out of Tupperware. I love champagne so much.[/caption]

On Saturday we woke up drove home and although I had great intentions of getting some things done, the night before was a bit too much fun. I took a nap to prepare for the evening. We were going out with my family for my birthday dinner to The Rabbit Hole and I was really excited. I bought a new shirt for the occasion. Sticking with the current blush trends I purchased this adorable lightweight sweater with an open lace back. I knew I had all the other pieces I needed at home.

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1) Shirt: Lace Back Sweater, The Limited, $59.95

2) Pants: Ultra Skinny Pants, Gap, $59.95

3) Necklace: This is old from Giuliana Rancic's line at The Loft to benefit breast cancer research (similar, similar)

4)Shoes: Calvin Klein, sold out but similar was featured in my NYE post.

And so I was dressed so off we went. They would not let us make reservations, apparently  they do not take them unless your party is six or more. When I talked with them on the phone they said wait time is typically no more than 30  minutes, so I thought we would take the chance. Upon arrival the wait time was 1 hour 30 minutes. Unfortunately on E Lake St there is limited other options so we waited. Fortunately, there was a tap-room in the Midwest Global Market building called Eastlake Brewery & Tavern. We headed over there because we were starving and adult beverages were a necessity. They did not serve food but you could bring in food from the market, which was kind of awesome. I really liked the taproom. It was quaint, hip and the beer was good. Overall a win-win.

[caption id="attachment_398" align="aligncenter" width="300"]IMG_1357 The pale ale and chips and guacamole[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_397" align="aligncenter" width="300"]FullSizeRender (2) Interior of Eastlake Brewery[/caption]

About 1 hour and 45 minutes later, and some assertiveness from my mother we finally got a table at The Rabbit Hole. At this point I was praying for the food to be good. My family had been very patient coming all the way over here and waiting so long, my sister left her little baby to come out for me. Rest assured, this story ends well. The service was quick and polite. Typically you have to press a call button for the waiter but the hostess passed along how long we waited so our waiter arrived promptly. We began with drinks. They brought water out in a golden teapot and served in small metal cups. Then I ordered a Dragon Slayer cocktail which included gin, menthe and fruit flavors. It was really flavorful, fruity without tasting like juice and the alcohol was not so strong that it's all you could taste.

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The menu consists of Korean style noodle dishes and burgers. I settled on the AhJumma burger, which really hit the spot. It was made with chili pepper, chipotle coleslaw, Gruyère, and crispy onions. I was surprised at how spicy it was (I don't know why there was chili pepper in the description) but it was the perfect amount. Just enough kick without being too painful. I really love spicy foods but sometimes it's too hot and you are stopping to drink water every two seconds. Also what I presume to be the owner came out and told us he wanted to buy us a round of drinks because of the wait. He apologized for the wait and thanked us for staying to eat with them. I really appreciated that not only were we comped for our time but the owner took the time to tell us himself. Even though I was initially very upset about the wait I would go back due to the quality of the food and the service.

[caption id="attachment_403" align="aligncenter" width="400"]FullSizeRender_3 Outside the restaurant, that's my dad making a blog cameo.[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_404" align="aligncenter" width="400"]FullSizeRender_2 The rabbit sign[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_405" align="aligncenter" width="400"]FullSizeRender (3) Ahjumma Burger[/caption]

After dinner we went to The Sample Room in NE Minneapolis. It's a quiet wine and cocktail bar. It's one of my favorite northeast places. On the way home we drove past the new northeast bar Betty Danger's and saw their new Ferris wheel. I am hoping to find someone who is willing to go with me there! I will keep you posted.

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What are some of your favorite places to eat? Would you go back to a place with a wait like that? Leave me a comment below I would love to hear from you!

Grand Opening

Today we are headed down to Winona to celebrate our friend opening her chiropractic office. So proud of her, she worked super hard and it's paying off! Unfortunately I still had to work today and we are leaving basically straight from work. So, that  means I had to dress work appropriate but also party ready.

I have to be honest, starting this blog has not been easy on my budget. I have bought a lot more  new clothing items than I normally would. I am going to try to be more creative with what is already in my closet. Hence, my outfit today. I bought this shirt a few months ago when I was scouring the internet on a boring night. I wore it a lot in the Fall and less in the Winter because it is so blessed cold. This week has been a tad warmer and I am taking full advantage! I also have been desperate to pair it with this skirt but just have not done it yet. You've seen this skirt several times now because it is so versatile and so flattering. Anything that makes me look as thin as this skirt does is my best friend :)

1) Shirt: J. Crew Factory Leather Sleeve Tee

2) Skirt: J.Crew Factory Flared Skirt

3) Necklace from previous post

4) Shoes from Target

 

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Earth Tones

I cannot express to you how much I love these pants. I bought these last winter as something I thought I would bring on my trip to Mexico if the nights got cold. Well, I never wore them there because it was sweltering. The pants I own are a bit high waisted, which typically does not look good on me. I cannot explain how the silhouette actually works on  my frame but it does. It reminds me of those sister, traveller, pants movies except these are khaki and not 90s white washed. Anyway, I am a huge fan of army green because it basically goes with everything in my closet. Provided it's in the earth tone family it will match. I paired it with this awesome crisp white blouse I bought from Target a couple of months ago as well as these awesome boots I bought from there too. I just bought these boots over the weekend for $13!! They also come in black. I almost bought the black pair until I thought about at least 4 pairs of black boots I currently have in my closet. What do you think of my outfit? Do you love army green as much as me? Leave a comment below and tell me about it. I would love to hear from you!

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1)Shirt: Women's blouse from Target, $22.99

2) Pants: Gap 1 year ago (similar, similar)

3) Shoes: Sam & Libby for Target (got them in the store on sale for $13.99)

4) Necklace: Women's Statement Necklace Target, $9.98 on clearance!

Birthday Bash

On Saturday night I officially celebrated my birthday with my friends. I had a really hard time finding a place to go for a couple of reasons 1) I had about 16 people coming so the place had to be able to accommodate that many without renting a room 2) I did not want to do dinner, I prefer to leave people the option to do what they want and dinner forces money on people 3) I wanted the option to go someplace else if people got bored. I originally called Coup D'etat and they took down my information but did not call me back for a few days so I had to move on. This is the second time I have attempted to go there and could not make it work so I'm a little peeved about it. In looking for another place to go my fabulous friends recommended places ranging from Chuck E Cheese and to a wine bar ( you might see another reason planning for this group is tough).  I bounced the idea of The Libertine located in the Uptown neighborhood of Minneapolis. This newish restaurant is the fourth incarnation of this location since Figlio's left it after 20 some years there. I called them up to see if they could accomodate us as I had never been there before. To which the man on the line, Dave, responded with "absolutely." As he is taking my information down he is asking me the standard questions, time, date, etc. When he asks how many I said "Should be 15." Dave responds "Well it would be better for us if you could have 14" and I think to  myself "uh wha" he says "yea 14 works better for us so if you could call up one of your friends and just say 'yea you didn't make the list' that should work." At this point I realize he is being saracastic and he's won me over. The rest of the phone call was just like this and I realized this would be a great night.

Cue night of and we arrive and they seat us in the lounge area which is perfect. You can order everything you could in the dining room and have a total view of the entire restaurant. There is also this amazing wooden centerpiece with white candles and wax dripping all the way down.  It was sexy and romantic without being too girly. It was also decorated mostly like this light wood combined with black and white tiles. There is a long bar running almost the length of the dining area in the middle of the room. It also had some quirky pieces a Pomeranian pillow and the plates on the wall appeared to look like George Washington or that era. Overall it was relatively modern in it's style choices.

[caption id="attachment_348" align="aligncenter" width="400"]IMG_1271 Lounge centerpiece[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_357" align="aligncenter" width="400"]IMG_1299 View of the restaurant at the end of the night.[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_358" align="aligncenter" width="400"]IMG_1300 Why yes, I did want this cute dog at my birthday party.[/caption]

Cool, huh? The next thing I noticed was the names of the cocktails. They included such things as: Yes please ;), Yo La Tengo, and The Shadow Knows. Not only were the names amazing, I mean who references an old comic book character and 90s movie of the same name with Alec Baldwin? I'll tell you who: my new favorite place! Not only were the names creative but they were delicious too:

[caption id="attachment_349" align="aligncenter" width="350"]IMG_1273 This is called "Life of Pear" and was probably my fav of the night[/caption]

I did order one appetizer the Tuna Poke Tacos which consisted of I believe Tuna, some greens and radish. It was so good and I don't even like seafood.

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A few minutes after we sit down, Dave comes over to us and introduces himself. He shakes my hand, asks if we need anything and wishes me a happy birthday. He blocked off half the lounge space for us which was amazing so we could spread out. He was funny in person too. Maybe about 30 minutes or into the night out comes a dessert and the waiter is asking who it's for. We all look around and then someone realizes it's a birthday dessert for me. Now I am pretty sure none of my friends ordered it, they denied it so it seems as though the Libertine ordered it for me. It was really delicious chocolate cake with  crunchy chocolate bar on top. It was sweet but not overdone, just perfect!

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Overall it was a great night. Most of my friends were able to make it and I hope they had a good time. All I want for my birthday is to be with the people I care about, it's the best gift I can receive. I feel blessed every year that I have so many family and friends willing to brave the frigid air to be with me for a few hours. If any of my friends are reading this thank you so much! Also special shout out to my older sister who left her newborn baby for an evening and had her first drink in 10 months! She showed in a dress and heels because she's a baller.

Now onto the outfit. I bought this dress a little over a month ago at Primp so unfortunately it's not there anymore. But I searched high and low to find similar ones. I didn't realize how short it really was because the laser cut so I spent evening yanking it down, because I am a lady :)

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Dress: Primp (similar, similar)

Shoes: Calvin Klein: these were featured in my NYE post and are sold out. So...similar, similar.

Watch: Marc by Marc Jacobs Baker Watch

Earrings: Target 

Rings and Bracelet: Primp

Oh one more thing, this cool display was in Calhoun Square and I just thought it was neat.

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The Last Waltz

On Friday night we braved the freezing temps of Minneapolis to go see what I think is one of the coolest events. My dad, who is some ways is way hipper than me, introduced this to me a few years ago. When I was living Chicago going to graduate school, my dad had introduced me to a podcast called Sound Opinions. It is hosted by two rock n'roll writers. It's a pretty amazing show you should check it out! They also happened to be based out of the Chi (one of many Chicago synonyms I learned). Occasionally they would host a rock movie at the local Music Box theater, which was a great old theater and perfect for hipster type stuff like this. I saw the Bob Dylan documentary "Don't Look Back" this way and also "The Last Waltz." The latter is a documentary by a young Martin Scorsese (check it, his hair is black in it he's so young) about a band called The Band. What I know and remember about them is they were originally the back up band for Ronnie Hawkins. They were Ronnie Hawkins and the Hawks. They were his band for a few years, split from him and release a few songs independently. In the 1960s Bob Dylan hired them to be his back up band when he switched from folk to electric. Later in the 60s they split from Dylan and toured as The Band. However they worked with many icons from 60s rock n'roll over the years. This documentary was filmed in 1978. This year they decided to split up but not before they put on a hell of a show. They did one last show and brought in some of their friends including Bob Dylan, Muddy Waters, Joni Mitchell, a crazy looking Neil Diamond, Eric Clapton and many more. In between performances Martin Scorsese interviews the band. In general I will agree with the Sound Opinion's guys assessment that Scorsese is a bit too fan boy with the lead singer Robbie Robertson but it's worth a watch to see all these amazing artists in their prime. Whew, sorry that was a long explanation but I think the history is important.

So anyway. There is a band called The Big Pink and do a tribute to The Band and this concert The Last Waltz every year. The really fun part is they use local artists to play the parts of the other artists. Some dress up in character, some don't. It's a really fun show to not only listen to classic rock n' roll but to see a variety of local talent. The other cool part is they walk around later and watch the show, last time I went I followed the Muddy Waters guy to the bathroom and it was basically like following Moses parting the Red Sea. Last time I went with my dad and sister. This time we roped in a few friends and my other sister and mom. A good time was had by all! If you are looking for something to do tonight they are performing again tonight and the tickets are dirt cheap. It was held at The Cabooze in Minneapolis which is a great location for this because it feels like an old rock club. It's grubby, grimy and black. Love it. Here are a few pictures.

[caption id="attachment_340" align="aligncenter" width="400"]IMG_1244 The Band with Ronnie Hawkins[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_341" align="aligncenter" width="400"]IMG_1247 Dr. John at the piano[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_343" align="aligncenter" width="400"]IMG_1261 Bob Dylan[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_344" align="aligncenter" width="400"]IMG_1265 The Finale, Ronnie Hawkins, Van Morrison, Bob Dylan, Dr. John, Eric Clapton, Muddy Waters[/caption]

So outfit details, I wanted to be a little bit rock n' roll for the concert

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Shirt: Lumiere from Primp, $46

Pants: J. Crew Factory Gigi Jodhpur Pant, $46.99

Shoes: Women's Ava Ankle boot Target $34.99

What do you think? I was trying to go for a bit rock n'roll with my twist on it.