Monday Round Up: Celebrations + Summer Nights

Good Monday! This is the first Monday in long time that I am excited about. I start my new job today and could not be more excited. I am so ready to transition to this new position and next steps. The other part that makes this week great is that I had  great weekend. Lots happened so let's get started.

On Friday I had that day off from work. If you follow  my blog or on any of my social media channels then you know that Friday was the big exam day. What I have been studying for for months was finally here. to be honest, I was absolutely panicked. My stomach was in knots and I hardly slept all week. By Friday morning I was pretty much running on fumes and knew that as soon as the test ended I would crash. I got to the testing site and was fidgety and anxious. Before I knew it I was seated by the computer and the moment of truth began. I ran through the test several times, checking and re-checking. Worry that each click of a button was either closer to my dream or further away. Eventually, I just bit the bullet and hit submit. The next screen reads "are you sure you want to continue?" when you finally get up the courage to say 'yes' another screen pops up saying that the next few screens will be a survey. "What the what?!!!" At this point I've committed, so I'm frankly answering the survey. Do you really think anyone answers those seriously? When you hit 'continue' again, they ask you one final time if you are sure. With a big, deep breath and a gulp I continue. The screen says "PASS" My arms shot up  and a sigh of relief and amazement left my mouth. "Thank God" I thought. When I left the testing center I called Derek. Upon telling him I passed, I experienced the catharsis I needed to move on. Now off to celebrate. the Minnesota State Fair started last Thursday and I was very excited to go. My schedule was a little tight this year so I found out my parents were going on Friday and I decided to go with them. If you are not from around here, the Fair is kind of a big deal. It draws huge crowds and lots of news coverage. In the last few years they have renovated a few spots and there is always a handful of new foods to try. We got to the Fair around 2:00 PM and did not leave until 10:30 PM and we didn't even see everything. We hit some of the major sites: animal barns, beer tasting, cars and ended the night watching Gaelic Storm perform at the bandshell. It was pretty great and I captured a lot on snapchat. Do you follow me on snapchat? You should: mcainmoss










On Saturday Derek and I had tickets to the Twins game. Some of our friends sold the tickets to us when they got another opportunity and I was happy to go. Saturday was the perfect day for a game: sunshine, warm and a slight breeze. We had great seats on the second level, behind home plate, row 1. It also occurred to me that it's been a while since I saw a night game. Since Target Field was built we have made more efforts to go to day games. It was cool to be at a night game again and see the whole place lit up.  I wish I could say that we won that night but we did not. We decided to drown our sorrows at some nearby haunts. I had heard a lot of about Lee's Liquor Lounge. It is a somewhat divey bar with a bit of charm , who also regularly has bands. It's not far from the stadium and I learned you get in free with your Twins ticket. it was definitely interesting. The inside was old but well maintained and they were having some kind of sock hop. I thought it was cool, but I could tell Derek was not interested so we stayed for one drink and left. He was also hungry so we headed up to the Red Cow in the North Loop. Seeing as it was a nice night we sat outside. Derek ordered a burger and I just wanted some fries. If you haven't been to the Red Cow, you need to go. Seriously some of the best burgers in the city.




Sunday was spent running some errands and relaxing. We hit up Bogart's donuts for a little morning fuel and headed off the store. Now that I'm done studying I have to catch up on a few things I have put to the wayside. We headed to Fiji in 24 days!! I can't believe it and we needed a lot of stuff. We bought some luggage (we're adults now), Derek needed some clothes and we went grocery shopping. I have to be honest I am getting really excited for Fiji. I can't believe it's basically around the corner that I will be on the opposite side of the world.  There is still lots to do to get prepared but I am going to let myself get excited about it now.


This fashion post is brought to you by: my closet. Sometimes I like to try and mix it up for you guys by combining my pieces in a few different ways. Most of these pieces have been real staples for me this summer. The cargos are supremely comfortable and surprising go with a lot of items in my closet. I also have been rocking the rolled up pant leg this summer and I likes it. This Target tanks is one of the few tanks I have that I still think is flattering on me these days. Partnered with this jean jacket I got from Stitch Fix and this killer necklace from Primp boutique I have a casual yet comfortable look perfect for a work day. You know it's a work day because I am wearing my smart girl glasses AKA I had a headache from looking at the computer for too long.  What do you think of the look? Leave me a comment below I would love to hear from you. 









Jean Jacket| Stitch Fix (similar / similar)
Tank| Target (similar)
Pants| Gap (similar)
Shoes|Target
Ring & Necklace| Primp
Watch| Marc Jacobs

Last Ditch Summer Effort + Link Ups #H54F

This morning I am deliriously off to hopefully complete the end of a long journey. If you are reading this, please send good vibes and thoughts to me. I desperately need it. It's Friday, thank goodness, and I am ready to move on from this and hopefully after morning it will all be over. Is that cryptic enough for you? I promise I will share more later. In the meantime, let's begin.

1. WHAT A MIGHTY MIGHT GOOD MAN


This man. First and foremost amidst all this craziness lately I can always count on him. When I really need it I can lean on him to help pick up the slack around the house, help with the dogs, do the grocery shopping and believe in me. I could not have done this without him.

Well, I could have but it would have been way harder.


2. BECAUSE COFFEE
This says it all


3. MEET ME AT THE FAIR

This week the Minnesota State Fair starts. I cannot express how much I love the fair. Seemingly I should hate it, right? Huge crowds, expensive foods, farm animals, machinery, etc. I should hate it, but I don't. I can't help myself. I go every year and always get mini donuts, French fries and a crepes. I am not super experimental with the foods but every once in a while I will try something new. This picture is from the new West End area and I am obsessed!! Can't wait to go back there. They also always have a good selection of free music being played at various stages and it's fun to watch your favorite radio DJs and news anchors do their shows live. My plan is to go today as it is realistically the only day I can make it. Also, I will have all weekend to work off the calories I consumed.

4. TRANSITIONS
This was my last full week at my current job. Next week I begin the transition to  my new position within the same company.  I will still be helping out a couple of days a week but the day to day grind is gone. It's bittersweet because part of me learned so much working there, but the other ravenous part of me wants out so much there is a small voice that comes out of my mouth saying "get out!" I am both excited and nervous for the new position. It is more responsibility and more independence, which is great and scary at the same time. I have to meet all  new people, which is always hard for me, and I am walking into a bunch of new work. Wish me luck!

5. LAST SUMMER EFFORTS

This look was born out of the transitional style I am engaging in now. This time of year begins where the mornings are chilly and cool, but the afternoons are warm and inviting. How do you dress for that? Sometimes that means layers and sometimes that means having one foot in each season. I present to you the later. I saw this shirt at BR online as part of the first wave of Fall styles and thought "mine." How casual and comfy does this look? It's just as great on as you would think. I sometimes pair it with a bralette I bought at Victoria's Secret just so that I don't have to worry about overexposure during the day, but that still keeps it light and airy. For this time of year I thought shorts would be best. The top is long but so are these shorts and my legs don't get near as cold as the top half of my body. I can see myself wearing this to late night fire, or be one of those cool SoCal kids that hang out on beaches at night. Me? Likely to see me wearing this sitting on my couch. What do you want from my life?!  Either way this combines everything I love: cool, easy and stylish. Done and done!








Shirt|Banana Republic
Shorts|Target
Shoes| Target
Necklace| Primrose Park

Always, linking up with these lovelies!

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

Monday Round Up: Maxi Dresses and Study Companions

Happy Monday everyone! Sorry for the delayed post but if you are a regular reader of this blog you know I am elbow deep in studying. So because of that this post will be short and sweet. :)
 
Friday was pretty boring. I went to work, managed to squeeze in a quick workout and then headed home to study all night long. Ahhhhh yea! Except it was more like "please, Lord save me from myself." I made it better by having a Newsroom Marathon on in the background. If you follow me on snapchat (if you don't my handle is mcainmoss) you saw a series of snapchats that can only be described as "A Woman's Descent into Madness." So if you are looking for a way to some hilariously disheveled woman express her feelings inarticulately, follow me :)
 
Saturday I started the date with another quick workout, which are the only things keeping me sane this week, and then home to study some more. I studied for a few more hours before cleaning up to spend the night with my friends. Originally we were invited to have a bonfire at a friend's house, however it monsoon rained by us on Saturday so a fire was out of the question. Instead we played some games and it was a nice break from studying. However, my brain took about an hour to get out of study mode and I could not communicate like an adult. When attempting to enjoy an adult beverage I needed a bottle opener, but could not think of the word. Eventually I settled on "I want to drink this" and my friends knew what I meant. Thank goodness for them.
 
Sunday was, spoiler alert: this is the same as each and every other day, spent studying. My pups became my study companions cuddling up with me on the couch all day. Follow me on instagram: mymonochromaticlife to see more adorable pictures of them. This is basically what I will be doing between now and taking my test so expect more short posts until the test is over. I look forward to more interesting posts and retaining full function of my brain again:)
 
Onto the fun stuff. Although it is getting chilly around here lately I am still trying to hold on to all the pieces of summer that I can. I bought this maxi dress earlier this summer and keep forgetting to post it on the blog. I love this dress for several reasons 1) It's black and white. Duh. It has two of my three favorite colors in so it was almost a done deal there. 2) It covers all the parts of me that I want covered 3) It is super soft!  I was not sure if I would like it at first but once I tried it on I wanted to wear it out of the store. The top piece covers my mid section in a way that is flattering and does not make me look wider. The  fabric is also soft and light weight make it perfect for those hot summer days. I could also see myself throwing my jean jacket over this as it gets cooler to transition to the early parts of Fall. Gotta love Target for great and affordable styles. Enjoy!
 
 







Dress|Target
Shoes|Target/ similar
Necklace| Primrose Park

Transitional Plaid + Link Ups #H54F


I gotta be honest with you, lately my life is pretty boring. With the exception of a1-2 fun activities on the weekend I am deep in studying mode. I am also wrapping up in my job at work so there is a lot going on at work each day and if that is not stressful enough what I have been working towards since I was 18 is finally coming to a head. No pressure, right? ;) My schedule these days look like this: wake up, go to work, maybe go to the gym, come home, study, sleep, repeat. Lots of things are taking a backseat these days including my time at the gym, time with friends, self care and including this blog. So quick shotout to those of you who are reading and sticking with me through these shortened and intermittent posts. I have ever intention of returning to 3x per week and maybe more when this is all over.

That being said here are a five things about my week:

1. COFFEE
Need I say more? It is my life line, my life giving breath. without it I would be waaaay more cranky. I also heard this morning on the radio that Starbucks is out selling Subway for the first time in forever in fast food restaurant world, so #winning.

2. PUPPIES
My poor Riggs had some surgery last week and was walking around a little stoned for a few days. But this week he is back in the saddle and being cuddlier than usual and influencing his sister Eva to do the same. When I am studying Eva tends to sit by my feet and keep me company. This is why they are wo-man's best friend.

3. FRIENDS
The few opportunities I get to be with my friends have been a fantastic distraction. We also focus on fun and positive things and it is a great stress reliever. They are also supportive when I am freaking out and provide the confidence booster I need. Just hope they are right.

4. COOL WEATHER
This week the weather cooled off a bit and I was happy about it. I am not ready for the 60s to be permanent but it was a nice break from the 90s and humidity we were getting. I could turn off my A/C and wear my flannel pajama pants to bed again. It is supposed to warm back up again, but it's got me pumped for Fall.

5. PLAID
Speaking of, this amaze plaid shirt. Plaid always makes me think of Fall and each year I fall in love with it all over again. I was walking around my favorite Target a few weeks ago and found this gem. Plaid and Black/White? It was a no brainer! I also figured it would be a great transition piece from summer to fall. In the summer I can pair with these great J.Crew Factory shorts or even some rolled up jeans. In the Fall I would easily pair them with my favorite black jeans or a dark washed denim. It also seems like the kind of patterned that could be dressed up or dressed down. Another blogger I love paired her plaid top with a cool patterned skirt and I would love to copy that look. It is an incredibly versatile shirt, while also being feminine and comfortable. Go snag one while they are still there!







Shirt|Target
Shorts| J.Crew Factory/ similar
Shoes| Target / similar
Necklace| Primrose Park


As always, linking up with these lovelies!

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

Monday Round Up: Fancy Dinners + That Boat Life

Welcome Monday party people. By party people I mean disappointed people hat the weekend has ended. Le sigh. This weekend was pretty epic in that practically everything went as planned, which never happens.Lots to share so let's get started.

On Friday night I insisted on a date night. We had one free evening with no plans and I thought it would be the perfect time for a nice dinner. After asking around a friend confirmed that local hotspot Spoon and Stable has first come first serve seating at the bar. I thought we would take a chance and if it was too busy we would go elsewhere. We went there about 7:30 PM on Friday. As expected it was pretty crowded. We decided we would try to wait a minute and within 10 minutes we had a seat at the bar. This was a first success. Small back story: every time Derek and I have ever tried to have a nice dinner something has gone wrong. Either we cannot find a table, we have to wait a freakish amount of time or the food is terrible. Let's continue. Once at the bar we order a couple of drinks and peruse the menu. I decided on the Garganelli pasta and Derek the swordfish, we also ordered some fries. To my surprise the food all came out rather quickly. Usually nicer restaurants take their time but not here. Also pleased to report the food was delicious. This was the second success. We have literally gone to two nice restaurants where we agreed on the food. Woot! The third and fourth successes came in the form of the great atmosphere and that we found street parking right across the seat. After dinner we decided to head to another bar for drinks to let other patrons have the successful night that we did. The night capped off at our ultimate favorite bar Donny Dirks where I was inappropriately excited that they brought back the champagne cocktail with bitters. Freakin' amazing!!! Best place ever AND a successful date night. Meg and Derek for the win!










On Saturday we headed down to Wabasha, MN to visit our friends. They invited us down a few weeks ago to go jet skiing on Lake Pepin and the river by their house. I have never jet skied before so I was both excited and nervous. When we arrived they also told us they borrowed a family member's boat so we anchor up while we jet ski. Our hosts did a fabulous job preparing a full day of boating, jet skiing and sun. I tried the jet ski by riding on it with Derek. Some of it was fun but mostly it was scary and I thought I was going to fall and die. Now, you may say that is over dramatic and you would be right but the fear was real!! Needless to say I did not do it again. I did however get to lay out on a boat and pretend I was a wealthy rich lady. It was the perfect day to be on the water because it was hot and humid as could be. the only appropriate places to be would have been on the water or in my dank basement. I am glad we were at the former. My friend Jackie became pretty obsessed with riding the jet ski around got pretty good at it too. I tried to snap as many pictures as I could of her and I think the best one is the one I have below catching some air. After this weekend Derek is even more obsessed with finding a boat and my other friends want a jet ski. We spent the evening attempting to watch a movie but most of us just fell asleep, it was a long day. Sunday we went out to breakfast and then headed home. We had such a great time and hope we can do it again. 





Now onto the fashion. On Friday I thought for a bit about what to wear out. I could not tell if the restaurant is so fancy that I needed to dress up or if I could be casual. I tried to settle somewhere in the middle. I kind of impulsively got this shirt from Primp last week and knew it would match perfectly with a pair of black jeans and some loafers I picked up from JustFab.com. I won't lie, I saw these shoes on Truelane.co . I love her style and although it won't always work on me, I knew when I saw these shoes they had to be mine. For me, this look starts to hint at Fall without going all the way. It perfectly represents where I am right now. Part of me is completely stoked with the color palette coming our way this Fall, but the other part of me does not want to wish away the Summer because I love it so. Oh, I also got a sample of Anastasia Brow Powder and on a whim I tried it out thinking I would hate it. I LOVE IT! I will definitely be picking this up at my friendly, neighborhood Sephora. 








Jeans| Gap
Shoes| Just Fab
Necklace| Target (similar, similar)
Eyebrow powder: Sephora