Wrap Dress + Link Ups #H54F

Cue Friday happy dance! This has seriously been one of the longest weeks ever. It has not even been that busy but each day has felt like it should be the day after it. Makes the week slower when you go "oh thank goodness it's Wednesday" and it's only Tuesday :( A couple of things spruced up the week:


Early this week I finally got my approval from the Social Work Board to take the license exam. I have been studying but I got extra nervous when I got this. BUT I am also excited to finally be taking this test and moving on to the next phase of my life.


I got to watch my beautiful niece again this week. She gets easier each week and now she is crawling and pulling herself up. As she becomes more independent she becomes more fun to watch AND she's got the best laugh in the business. #auntielifetho


I managed to convince Derek to go to dinner in the middle of the week. We were looking for  patio because the weather around here has finally changed to warm, but 0 humidity. I wanted to take advantage of this brief moment in a Minnesota weather pattern. Betty Danger's was our best option as it was close and fun. It is super colorful and interesting there and the food is always delicious. Success!


Banana Republic is quickly becoming one of my favorite major retailers. Ever since they re-launched as The New BR their stuff has been totally on point. I managed to snag a 40% of late last week and put in a small order. It arrived on Wednesday and I'm in love.


Speaking of BR: enter the wrap. I tried this on and fell in love immediately. It fits like a glove and I have to say, my butt is bangin' in it. Who doesn't love their derriere to look good? I am obsessed with this dress. I added the belt, also from Banana Republic, to break up the dress and cinch the waist a bit. Typically a cinched waist does not work on me as I have a 12 year old boys' sillhouette but I think it added a little something. The cotton fabric is soft and thick so this will easily translate into a Fall look. In this version of this I dressed it up but I can already envision a few ways to dress it down. If I had a great pair of gladiator sandals I would rock those too. 

Dress| Banana Republic
Shoes| Vince Camuto (similar / similar)
Belt| Banana Republic (similar / similar)
Necklace| Primp + Target
Watch| Marc

As always linking up with these fantastic ladies:

H54F - A weekly link up, hosted by Cup of Tea, Bright on a Budget, Coffee with Caitlin & Della Devoted

Monday Round Up: River Weekend

Welcome to another Monday folks! It was another busy weekend for me. Pretty eventful although unfortunately I have few photos, more details on that later. I am going to try and keep this blog short and sweet today. Friday was a bit of a rushed day. I had a work training and staff outing and was not initially expecting to go out of town. See Derek has friends that go every year to the Apple River in Somerset, Wisconsin. If you are not from around here Apple River is a huge attraction where people tie inner tubes together and ride down the river. It's a pretty well oiled machine and official. Each year we get asked to go and each year we can't. This year we finally made it work.  At first I was not going to be able to go as we could not get a sitter for the pups, but at the last minute we found a patchwork group of family and friends to help us care for them. I ran home packed as quick as I could and off we went. The river is only about 45 minutes away from us which was great so we go there around six, set up our tent and was ready to party. Apple River has a reputation as a party place and it definitely held up to it's name. 

On Friday we hung out by the fire, and played a few homemade games that the others had brought. I'm not much of a camper so I needed to be pretty exhausted before I could fall asleep in a tent. The crew that goes has everything planned out well. They have self made bean bags, kerplunk and a version of beer pong played with a soccer ball and garbage cans. Oh also a giant jenga game with dares written on each block. I played for a bit but mostly walked around and talked. On Saturday it was river day. Again, they had this all plotted out perfectly. We had three coolers and a floating stereo that three of the guys built. The stereo was the coolest part. It is made of wood and fiber glass and they put a touch screen on it so you can select your songs. It looked professionally made and everyone we passed on the river remarked on cool it was. It takes a few hours to go down the river because we stop along the way to drink a little and play games. Overall we had a really great time, but near the end I was ready to be done. There are a bunch of rapids at the end and it gets a little rock so you have to sit strategically so at to not injure yourself. It was also about 1,000 degrees on Saturday so being in the water was not too shabby.

There were a few casualties. On Friday, I went to use the restroom at the campground, which for the record are glorified latrines and smell something fierce. I brought my bag of toiletries, towel and phone with me because I thought there were sinks but I was wrong. I went to put my phone up on the cinder block wall that separated each latrine and much to my terror the top layer was not sealed off and my phone fell to the bottom of the 6 foot wall. I screamed in terror and a kind lady in the next stall tried to help me move on. Thankfully in our group we had some smart and strong dudes and they brainstormed a few strategies. Later on Saturday one of the guys took a hammer to the wall and made a whole to grab my phone. Downside: breaking the brick broke my iphone screen. Hopefully I can get the screen fixed. Another casualty occurred when one of the friends dunked Derek in the river while he was wearing his sunglasses. They fell in the river never to be found again. Derek almost lost his wedding ring when it got hit by a rock in the river. 
by some stroke of fate ,and what I'm sure looked like Frodo catching the One Ring, he caught it and all was well. Nothing irreparable occurred so I consider that a success. As one of our fellow river goers put it "never bring anything on the river you can't afford to lose." Truer words were never spoken.

Here are the two snapshots I took:
Giant Jenga

In the local bar, no  men allowed on the dancing stage

I compiled a few items that if you ever finding yourself this summer camping and tubing down a river here are a few essentials. What I learned very quickly is that you  need water shoes. Nothing fancy because they will get beat up. The riverbed is really rocky and there are not storage lockers. You go down the river with the clothes are you back and leave everything else behind. I had a cheap pair of flip flops I wore and they broke pretty fast in the current. Next time: water shoes. Also, the bathing you wear needs to be fully coverage. The current of the water and people horsing around you don't want to have to watch for potential slips. The one I posted is incredibly similar to what I wore and I felt secure all day. Next: the two S's Suncreen and Sunglasses. It was sunny so you needed those and a cheap fun pair of sunglasses is what you want. Remember the saying "never bring anything on the river you can't afford to lose" this is where that is relevant here. Also, sunscreen because, c'mon! I got pretty red even with my SPF 30. I cannot imagine what would have happened without it. After the river you are going to want some comfy clothes. I picked out a few camper friendly pieces including a hat. It is still sunny and you'll want to protect your forehead from the sun after a long day of floating. Also, safe to pack a sweatshirt more to protect from the bugs than the cold. I also would encourage inexpensive flip flops because camp grounds are dirty and disgusting. Don't bring nice things. Next year, if I go I will pack smarter like this :)

River Weekend

River Weekend by mcainmoss featuring a black hat

one / two / three / four / five / six / seven / eight / nine / ten

What do you think? Leave a comment below, I would love to hear from you.

P.S. I signed up for Stitch Fix yesterday. Excited for my first box on August 3rd. Anyone else signed up for this? What do you think of it?

Jogger Pants + Link Ups

Well, it's that day again. TGIF!! I could not be happier it is the weekend. I am a little bummed as my husband is heading out of town without me, but I'm an independent lady and I'm sure I'll find the warm light of a store and the fresh smell of new cotton blend to keep me company. Lately, I have been super stressed. Work is crazy, social life is crazy just feeling like I am running all the time and have little time to stop. Therefore, my wardrobe lately has had a singular focus: comfort. I must say it took me two trips to my precious Target to commit to these pants. I checked in with one of my fashion consultants, AKA Candice, and she originally said no. I went back to try on a smaller size ('smaller size' is music to my ears these days) and I liked it so I put a ring on it, a cashier's ring to be exact. I knew this would go perfectly with some of these pre-existing items in my closet and it was a success.I really love the taupe color as I think it will transition well from Summer to Fall. The Banana Republic top is light weight as is the pants so I knew it would be a good match for a concert at the local Cabooze. My dad and I see a lot of concerts together and Lake Street Dive and Dawes were playing together at the outdoor plaza. We went a couple of years ago to see the Alabama Shakes and it was awesome!! I took a couple of pictures on my phone, they are a bit blurry but you get the idea. 

Panorama shot

Lake Street Dive-they are awesome!

Blurry me with a creeper

Pants| Target
Shoes| Target
Watch| Marc Jacobs 

Per usual, linking up with these lovely ladies!

H54F - A weekly link up, hosted by Cup of Tea, Bright on a Budget, Coffee with Caitlin & Della Devoted

Monday Round Up: Weekend Wedding

Happy Monday! So this post is a little late and it will be a little short, but bear with me cause there is an amaze outfit at the end of this. I had a bit of a whirlwind weekend. Friday I had to buzz quickly out of work to head up to my friend's rehearsal dinner. They seriously live about an hour away so I had to rush. I picked up my friend, headed quick home to change then up we went. We missed the actual rehearsal, which was fine because we were not in the wedding, but we got there just in time for the good part, dinner. They did it casual with a BBQ back at their house. It was kind of nice to have it be so casual and relaxed. It felt very much like the couple they are. We did not stay too long because for one, Derek had to get up early for the wedding and two because it was my friend's birthday and I wanted to see her too. I missed most of the party but snagged some of the nacho bar goodies. They had just started an outdoor movie when we arrived. They set up a projector screen and some comfortable chairs to settle in to watch the most recent Muppet Movie. It was such a cool experience and a lot of fun. 

Gotta love the Muppets

On Saturday was the big day. Derek and I woke up early to hit the gym before he had to leave. I knew there was no way I would be going the next day so it had to happen. Turned out to be a good idea too because I was for once in my life ready on time. The ceremony was held at Panola Valley Gardens in Lindstrom. Another friend of mine got married there years ago, but this was different as the ceremony was held in a different shelter. The day was crazy hot so I was thankful that we had shelter blocking us from the sun. Our friend officiated and they wrote their own vows. True to form, it was beautiful, simple and fun. Just like them.  The reception was held at Scandia Creamery and it was gorgeous inside. Twinkly lights abound and fun texture mixes of light wood and stone. We danced and partied all night and had a great time. It was an amazing day celebrating amazing friends. 

Isn't my man handsome?
Sunday was honestly a wash. I was so tired from the day before I laid in bed all day, but it was nice to literally do nothing. Hence, the tardiness of this blog. But now onto the fun stuff. I bought this dress probably 2 months ago from local boutique Proper & Prim. I saw it, tried it on and thought "mine." I knew it would be perfect for the wedding as it was lightweight, standout color, and a forgiving cut. It basically covers all the parts of my shape I'm not in love with and highlights the best. Not long after I finally committed to these amazing Chinese Laundry shoes. They are the perfect color family for this dress and they are basically the standout item of this whole look. I will say, they are not comfortable. Much to my dismay part way through the night they came off and sandals came on. I knew for the rest of the look I wanted to keep it cool and casual. I borrowed this fantastic necklace from my dear friend. As popular as this style is, it was crazy impossible to find one. I also used this hair tutorial from the Small Things Blog to keep it low key and casual for this colorful outdoor wedding. 

Dress| Proper & Prim
Necklace| The Limited
Shoes| Chinese Laundry 
Rings| Charming Charlie's & Target

A Birchbox Review + Link Ups

 Happy Friday 'erbody! Can I get a Whoo hoo?? _______! I left that space for you to whoo hoo. Another weekend is upon and I could not be more thrilled. I have been pretty stressed lately with work, balancing outside activities and studying for my license test. How do people fit everything in? Needless to say taking care of myself has been a must lately. Which is why Birchbox has come back into my home. I belonged to Birchbox for a long time and came to cancel it when it seemed like I was getting the same samples over and over again in the mail. I decided to join up again when my cousin Candice, She's Leaning In , kept texting me her amazing monthly boxes. I decided to get back on board. My first box is the beautiful box you see below. I needed a bit of time to try everything and now I am ready to review it in full!

This was the Style Me Pretty box and it was bridal themed. I was a bride about 5 1/2 years ago so not really in need for bridal items, however I was happy it was more about beautifying than true 'bride' box. There was a fair mix of skincare products in this one, which makes sense if you are thinking bridal. I am always looking for the best skincare items. I am of the belief it is never too early to do skincare anti-aging products. So bring it on!

I tried this for the first time a few days ago. It says that it is meant to smooth and to shine. I have tried products like this before and sometimes it adds almost a greasy residue or does not work as much as you would like. I have to confess that I am a maj Moroccan Oil fan, so I am hesitant to try other things. I was pleasantly surprised with this. It did make my hair a bit smoother and definitely reduced fly-aways. It also did not make my hair heavy or greasy feeling which was great. Even with second day hair it did not add to any oils in my hair. Overall I liked it. If I am being honest, $56 is too much money for me so I probably won't purchase it.

I have received this before. Actually, I think twice before. This represents my innate problem with Birchbox and their repetition of products. I am pretty disappointed with this product. It has all the right things. A great name, the right description and it feels like it should work. It has kind of a grainy feel on the skin so it always seems like it should help clear off dry skin and make skin brighter. I have used it several times and each time it never really works the way I hoped.

I have tried several drugstore make up removers. They all work relatively average. Every few months I tell myself "self, you need an actual make up remover." I usually find the wipes to be more of a nuisance and I just stick to soap and water. One time I got an amazing liquid make up remover from Birchbox and it was the best thing ever, unfortunately I don't remember the name. These wipes worked about as good as any drug store brand. They were sufficient and removed my make up but left some leftover mascara and lipstick remained. I will stick with my soap and water.

Here is another item I have received before. Although for this one I was happy about. I seriously love it. Anything that helps to both moisturizer and even my skintone, I'm down.  This is just the right amount of moisture and coverage. It is not heavy  or thick which is great too. I do not typically like liquid foundation because it tends to be cakey and heavy but this is nothing like that. I think this is maybe the one item in this box I might actually commit to. 

This is not pictured, I forgot to include it in the box. It comes in a small, circular compact. This color is bright pink, they love bright pinks at Birchbox go figure, and is a powder with a golden undertone. I tried this one day and it goes on fantastic. The color is vibrant and I applied it with my finger, not sure if you are supposed to do that but whatever. Unfortunately I cannot speak to if it stays on all day or not because I had to take it off right away. The only reason I did this is because the color is a bit too pink for me, but if I could find a color I like I would totally do this too.

Last but not least this embellished hair tie. This is the classic Birchbox grab item. For a while it was food items, granola bars and the like. Once I got some enormous bobby pins that were white and blue. Where would I wear those Birchbox? Where?! This seems pretty, full disclosure I have not worn it. I am not sure where I would wear it either. I do not put my hair in a ponytail unless I am at the gym and this would look rather silly there :P I do have a wedding to attend Saturday and another one in August so maybe I will give it a try. I will keep you posted.

P.S. I may need to back off on blogging three days a week for a while. As much as I love this blog I am in the midst of studying for a big test in my licensure and I need my focus to be there a few weeks. I will still be blogging but maybe less in the next few weeks. So stick with me please! I look forward to bringing more fashion to you all! 

As always linking up with these fantastic ladies:

H54F - A weekly link up, hosted by Cup of Tea, Bright on a Budget, Coffee with Caitlin & Della Devoted

Embroidered Top + Pastels

So against my better judgement sometimes in the summer you will see my in pastels. I know, I know it seems against my nature and I can't disagree. But sometimes something just catches your eye and you have to go with it. This happened to me twice at a recent shopping trip to Proper & Prim. The first and moment prominent is the shirt pictured below. It has several things I love. First, it is a light weight fabric. It is mostly polyester and spandex so there is a bit of a stretch. What's great about this is that it breathes well in this painfully hot and humid summer. Second, this embroidery. I  mean, c'mon! How beautiful is this? There was no way I was leaving the store without it. I have seen few things like it and it had to be mine. I knew it would look great with these light wash jeans and my sandals. I love when I can buy something that fits right into my pre-existing wardrobe. Derek loves that too ;)

Shoes| Target
Watch| Marc Jacobs

What do you think? Leave me a comment below, I want to hear from you!