Birchbox Review: September + #H54F Link Ups

Happy Friday! So excited for this weekend to get started. I have two Halloween parties to attend. I am going to party like it's 1999! Or more like 2007 cause I was not 21 in 1999. But you get the gist. I know because it's the Friday before Halloween I'm sure the blogosphere will be flooded with costume ideas, decoration ideas, and cute and creating snacks. If that's what you are looking for, that's not this blog today. I'm not creative in that way, by nature. I can barely think of my own costume let alone give others ideas. Don't get me wrong, Halloween is one of my favorite holidays and we usually come up with something cool. Stay tuned for Monday and I'll share my costume. I am actually pretty stoked about it.

In lieu of a Halloween themed post, I am going to do my super late Birchbox review post for September. It's so late it's scary late! Get it? Scary? Cause it's Halloween? I am trying to work it in, bear with me. Seriously, I am way tardy on this. So much in fact I have  my October and have posted this yet. Le sigh. Let's get to it!

I was so excited for this. I am always trying to figure out how to get that blow out effect. I do not totally understand the mechanics of a blowout, but I know I want one. This was the first item in the box I tried. I am sad to say I was not impressed. First, I did not feel that it added any volume and luster. My hair has moderate thickness so more volume is not technically what I need, but it definitely did not add anything. Unfortunately the only thing I noticed was some serious residue. #hairfail
Buy it here, $24.00

This I was surprised by. I have been using a liquid concealer for some time now to try and reduce wrinkles. I talked about my favorite one in my beauty favorites video from a couple of months ago. This went on surprisingly smooth and easy. For a change, the color they sent me was actually pretty great. Was it worth the $26 price tag? I don't know. I really enjoy my drugstore concealer and am not ready to commit to it. BUT I do put this in my little purse as a back up.
buy it here, $26.00

When I first saw this, I will admit I was skeptical. Mostly because the colors. Purple and silver are not usually my jam, particularly in an eyeshadow. It reminds me of colors I wore back in the day when I was first experimenting with make up. But as one of my favorite music critic says "I try it so you don't have to." So I tried it. What I will say is the color went on well and was vibrant. I tested it without my eyeshadow primer to get it's true capacity. These are a few colors from a much bigger palette. If the colors were something I liked I would totally be on board with this. Although at this point I have four eyeshadow palettes so I need more shadows like I need a hole in my head.
buy it here, $26.00

This was  God send while I was in Fiji. The sample came in a small container and you did not need a lot for it be effective. While on vacation I used it as an overall moisturizer, which it is not totally efficient for but was ok. It is a thicker cream so definitely better used for under your eyes. I did not notice a significant difference in the skin under my eyes. Although I did not use it for very long so it might be worth a shot.
buy it,here. $25.00

I love a perfume sample. There are very few perfumes I can't stand. I like to keep them in my various purses to stay fresh and smelling great! I have some favorite types of scents so I know what I like. This perfume was very light and more of a fresh scent than a flowery scent. I can see this as a day time scent. It's light and not at all overpowering. For me, I prefer something a little stronger even for day time so I probably will not be purchasing this. The $90 price tag is also a major deterrent. If you prefer something very light, then this is the scent for you.
buy it here, $90.00

That's it for this month. Overall a moderately successful box. I found a few good brands and some ideas of things to try. What do you think? Have you tried any of these products? Leave a comment below I would love to hear what you would buy!

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

Trend Alert: Plaid

Plaid. Not exactly a new trend or pattern. But everything old is new again, right? What we usually hope for when this happens is a unique take on the trend. To offer a new perspective or innovative way to push the envelope ever forward. If you are living in this 2015, and have eyeballs, you will notice that this trend is plaid. It's everywhere and it's not just for Scottsman and Irishman anymore. Or hipsters, can't forget hipsters.

Have you been in a Target lately? When I make my daily stop, plaid has almost literally thrown up all over the store. They have plaid panels hanging from the ceiling and a sign that says "plaid" just in case you missed their subtle hint. Now don't get me wrong, I love plaid. It's just crazy how much play it's getting lately. Although, ever the faithful fashion gal it's time to rock this trend.

What I have noticed this time around is the use of plaid for a preppier purpose. The prepsters are taking it back. I mean, Target has it on cookie jars for goodness sake. I prefer a more subversive take with a preppy twist and I try to mix and match these strategies. So you ready for it? A few of my favorite ways to rock plaid this season AND my take at the end so read all the way through! Promise? Ok good, I'm glad we agree. :)

As I was scouring for items for this post I realized that 90% of the products are from Target. They are basically your one stop shop for plaid. If you want to check out their whole collection click over here.


Plaid 3
one / two / three / four / five

This easily one of my favorite ways to rock the trend. The are literally all from Target. If you have been at Target in the last month or two you likely have spotted these. It's hard to miss and their new home section set up highlights this trend beautiful. When it comes to plaid on home products, I prefer to use it in the "pop of color" school of thought. Plaid can easily be overwhelming as it can be a big, bold pattern and usually involves 2-3 colors. Target has some great pieces from kitchen place settings to throws. I did not include any throws in this collection because you can find those anywhere. I wanted to include some interesting ways to do this. I really favor the plaid dishware and there is something cozy and warm about a plaid mug. I picture sipping hot chocolate, or maybe an Irish coffee ;), by fire light. I also think the rug or a pillow is a good way to bring out  some color in your living room and add some dimension to the decor.

Plaid 2
one / two / three / four / five / six

This collection of accessories is just fun! I saw the Sonia Kashuk makeup brushes with plaid handles and it's about the cutest thing I have ever seen. If you are hesitant about the plaid trend or unsure if you are ready to rock it at home or in  your clothing this is a fun way to try it out. Personally, I love the little weekender bag. It's fairly neutral, has cozy and soft material, but has clean lines to balance it out. I may have to snag this for myself. Also , blue plaid makeup case is awesome. I have this style in a different pattern. It holds so much stuff! If you want a great travel case this is for you. 

Plaid 1

The last and most popular way obviously in clothes. What I think we are seeing this time around is taking plaid back from a country or hipster version of plaid is more of a funky prepster look. Take the first shirt for example. They are mixing plaid patterns but keeping colors the same. I really love this look and think it's an interesting and newer way to wear your plaid. You can see the plaid mixing again the scarf. If you prefer the cozy plaid look a great vest of pajama pants. Who doesn't look pajama pants? You look like you are out of a Ralph Lauren ad. 

 Shirt| Proper & Prim (similar/similar)
Jeans| Banana Republic
Necklace| Primp (similar/similar)
Shoes| Proper & Prim (similar/similar)
Sunglasses| Target
Bracelet| Stitch Fix (similar/similar)
Watch| Cluse

I'll be honest. I found this shirt at Proper & Prim through my friend. She bought it in a red/black pattern, which is kick butt. I prefer to find a way to wear plaid but make it funky. I paired it with one of  my favorite statement necklaces and these equally funky shoes from Proper & Prim. I love that it looks sleek and cool, but not too proper like a school girl plaid. This shirt is crazy comfortable and I could easily see pair it with cropped pair of pants or a skirt.

What do you think of the trend and the way I showed it? How do you use plaid? Leave a comment below and show your plaid!

Monday Round Up: Fashion Shows +Girls Nights

Welcome to another Monday! I am actually excited for a Monday for a change. This is true for a coupe of reasons: 1) It's going to be a super easy day at work; 2) I am going to see the Old 97s today at the Turf Club 3) I am going to a Minnesota Wild game tomorrow and (I guess this is more than a couple) 4) it's Halloween week! Woot woot! 

This weekend I was home alone as Derek was up at the cabin doing some work and preparing for hunting. This was my practice weekend as a hunting widow, and if I'm honest I hate it. I don't need him around me all the time, but I like that he's around. Generally I try to jam pack these weekends to keep myself occupied, but as a Friday I had no plans. Eek! I decided to take Friday in for myself. This usually means wine, Bravo TV's Housewives re-runs and passing out on the couch. I am proud to report all of the aforementioned things happened. It's nice every once in a while to take some time for yourself to just be. In life we do not always take that time and Friday was a nice refresher for me. 

On Saturday I had made some vague plans to hang out with one of my best girlfriends, but had yet to make solid plans. For a few days I was following some of my favorite local bloggers Chelsea Lane,, and Lindsey Herzog, Ruby Girl, and they were talking about a fashion show they were hosting at Macy's Southdale on Saturday. I debated for a while if I wanted to go, in the end I texted my friend who was totally game and we went.  I have to be honest, it was really cool to see them in person. I follow them on snapchat so it was fun to watch them talk fashion and their friendly back and forth. They introduced severl new trends for Fall in including: global, purples, country, and greys. For each trend they showed four looks they pulled from the Macy's Impulse collection (which is the collection of designers for women including Nanette Lepore, Rachel Roy, etc). I took lots of pictures and posted some of my highlights below. I  do not remember each designer for each look but the head to toe look can be found at Macy's. 

I have to say the last look is my actual overall favorite. Lindsey and Chelsea called this a 'groufit', which is a grey outfit. Although I appreciate their attempt at a pormanteau, I probably won't be using this. I do love a head to toe grey look and this model looked just like Cara Delevigne. Afterwards we hung around a bought a few things, including some kick butt grey oxfords, shopped a bit around the mall and headed out.

That night we decided to make it an official girls night by grabbing dinner and drinks. We tried one place but the wait was literally 2 hours, no thank you. After 20 minutes of searching we ended up a Nighthawks. I'll be honest, the inside was nice but they pretty clearly do not know what they want their theme to be. It was a diner, but with dark woods and strange blue lighting. I was trying to refrain from judgement until we at least ate. I am glad I did. They had a selection of delicious sounding footlong hotdogs. I had to try it. Pictured below is my dinner and it was a-mazing!! I was very pleased. I am not sure I would go out of  my way to go back there, but definitely if you are in the area check it out. 


On Sunday it was another pretty relaxing day. I decided a few days ago that I would make the trek to Bogart's for donuts so once I dragged my sorry self out of the bed I headed down. A brown butter glazed, nutella filled donut and a coffee later I was in heaven. Not to mention it was kind of a perfect Fall day. A bit of a chill in the air, orange leaves and partly cloudy. I could have just sat on a bench and watched people roll by, but I didn't. 

On the way down my sister texted me if I wanted to meet her and my niece at the mall. How could I pass that up? My niece is so freakin' adorable and I do not see her as often as I should. We hung out for a couple of hours and she was so well behaved. Plus it was nice to catch up with my sister. 

Sunday afternoon evening was spent making dinner, writing this blog and watching Walking Dead. Any other Walking Dead fans out there? I won't give anything away but it was a big episode and I am still processing it. That being said I am ready for a new day and a new week to have something to look forward to.

Ready for the fun part? On Saturday once I decided to go to the fashion show I was in a dilemma about to wear. Clearly, this was not going to be New York Fashion Week. It was at 2:00 in the afternoon in a department store. At the same time it was a fashion and some of my most inspirational bloggers were going to be there, so I had to look good. After much debate, and consultation from my friend, I settled on this sweater jean combo. The chunky sweater is very on trend right now. You can find it everywhere from Macy's, to Banana Republic and small boutiques. It was kind of a chilly day so I thought it would be a good fit. I paired it with my fav black jeans from Gap and my new maroon booties from Justfab. I am obsessed with these boots. Even the sales associate at Macy's wanted to know where they were from. For jewelry I went with a statement necklace because of the deep V-neck. I really loved this look it was super comfortable for  Saturday afternoon, but trendy enough to look like I belonged a fashion show. (Continued disclaimer, my camera is still on the fritz so pardon the quality).

Jeans| Gap
Boots| Justfab
Necklace| Target (similar/similar)
Bracelet| Stitch Fix (similar/similar)

What do you think of my look? What did you do over the weekend. Leave a comment below, I would love to hear from you!

Fall Hats & Sunnies + #H54F Link Ups

About a month ago a company by the name of Salt City Optics reached out to me to do a post on fall sunglasses and hat fashions. Salt City Optics is an online retailer for eyeglasses, prescription sunglasses, and regular sunglasses for the whole family. They carry a lot of name brands including Ray Ban, Elizabeth and James, Derek Lam and Kate Spade to name a few. I was really excited at the chance to put together a few items. These kinds of posts are always fun for me because I get to kind of play dress up by putting together items I may not get away with in real life. Plus, I have a snazzy coupon code for you all the end so stay tuned!

Fall is my absolutely favorite season, of all time, ever, hands down. Was I clear enough? I love fall. Some of what is so great about fall is all the accessories that you to get add on with the cooler temps. I have always had a thing for hats, I don't know what it is I just love it.  So I scoured the interwebs to find some of my fav pieces for you all and to represent a few different types of ladies. Here goes :)


Sunnies + Hat 1

Hat| Topshop
Sunglasses| Salt City Optics
Scarf| Madewell

This look is inspired for all my girls out there who like femininity but aren't flowery who like bright colors. Sometimes I fit into this category. I love the simplicity of an beanie and aviators. You can really wear them anywhere, running errands, on your way to work, out with friends. It is an effortlessly casual look that is appropriate for most occasions. I have to say Topshop is killing it with hats this season. They have a great variety and you know because it's Topshop the quality is good. I am favoring the grey this season, honestly I favor it all the time, but it seems to be taking front and center as a color for Fall. Also obsessing over the black rimmed aviators and no one does those better than Ray Ban. For this look I paired it with a more neutral patterned scarf. I think the colors stay within the monochromatic wheelhouse but adds more spunk to this look.


Hats + Sunnies 2

                                Left                                                                                  Right
                               Hat| Nordstrom                                                               Hat| Nordstrom
                               Sunglasses| Bikini Luxe                                                 Sunglasses| Topshop
                               Scarf| J.Crew Factory                                                     Scarf| J.Crew Factory

If you don't know Dick Tracy google it and then come back. Ready? Ok. For me this is my more inspirational look. I couldn't decide which hat I preferred so I took them both. I also am dying over the brow bar sunglasses. It seems for now only designers like Dior are carrying this style, but hopeful that soon it will make its way to the masses into a place I can afford. I see this person as your higher end trend setter a celebrity or one of the more famous fashion bloggers. I love the wide brimmed fedora. It adds an element of class. It could dress up jeans or be well suited for work. I added the funkier sunglasses, both brow bar and cat eye, to keep the look from being too stiff. I love not only the silhouette of the cat eye but the dark green adds a unique spin. For the left look I liked the checked pattern with the grey and black matching the hat and glasses and the small pop of red to add to the mix. On the right this is a colorful look from top to bottom, or rather from top to neck. I loved the look of the colorful scarf and because most of the colors are dark and muted you can get away with salmon color. What's fun about both these looks is you can have the same element of class whether you prefer the monochromatic look or are more colorful. 


Hats + Sunnies 3

Hat| Topshop
Sunglasses| Topshop
Scarf| Madewell

This last look is for my "function over fashion" ladies. I have a few friends that although care about what they look like would never put on a wide brim fedora in their life. It's about comfort and practicality. This look adds a bit of both. I like the casual style of hat with a pom coupled with a more muted pattern on the scarf. These are the pieces I can see my casual girlfriends wearing. For a bit of fashion edge I added these great cross between a cat eye with the brow bar, because everyone needs a little edge. Every once in a while when shopping with a friend who is not that into fashion I push them into getting one piece that pushes the fashion boundaries. In this set the sunglasses are that piece. It's just enough to be different but not so different the average person could not pull this off. I also love this look for later in the Fall when the temps drop down near the 30s (brrrrr) and you need a bit more fabric for warmth.

There you go, some of my favorite sunnies and hat combos for Fall (was that cool to say? Probably no, I'm sorry). What do you think of each look? I have a picture in my head of each type of girl who could pull of these looks, which one is your favorite? Leave me a comment below and don't forget to head over to Salt City Optics and use the code FALLFASHION25 to get 25% off your purchase!

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

A+ Boots

Today's post is short but oh so sweet. It's no secret I am obsessed with shoes. I currently have a crate that is spilling over with boots, sandals and sneakers as well as one of those hanging shoe cubbies AND a few of my nicer shoes are still in their boxes on my closet floor. I have definitely out grown my small little closet. (p.s. hoping to build a walk-in closet soon). So sometimes for us budget friendly gals, we head down to our friendly neighborhood Target to get some great shoes for a great deal. These boots were no different. Born from another of Target's great collaborations this line was designed by ALDO. They call this line at 'A+.' They have a few other great shoes for women and men (some were featured on my post here). When I initially saw these I knew at some point they would be mine, but I had recently bought a few other things and needed to wait. After I got back from Fiji I was having a really bad day (probably partly sadness that vacation was over and honestly my body was all screwed up from travel) so I did the worst/best thing you could do. I went shopping. My defenses were down and the boots were chanting "buy me, buy me." So I did. Lesson learned: don't go shopping when in a bad mood. Or do. Do whatever you want :)

Boots| Target

Monday Round Up: Anniversaries + Zombies

Welcome to another Monday. This weekend was pretty rad so let's get to it. This weekend was my 6th wedding anniversary. Last year was the big 5 year anniversary so we went on a trip to celebrate. That meant this year was a more simple dinner. The other piece to this puzzle was that our actual anniversary was on Saturday, but so was one of our favorite annual events the Zombie Pub Crawl (going forth will be known as ZPC). Derek pretty loves everything zombies and I always down for dressing up in costume and having a few adult beverages. We started going a few years ago and was not going to let our anniversary get in the way. We decided to go to dinner on Friday night instead. Now typically Friday nights for me involve movies, in my sweats and early to bed. So going out for dinner is a bit difficult, but the things you do for love ;). We settled on dinner at La Grolla, which is an Italian restaurant in my hometown of St. Paul. I had never been there before but my family highly recommended it. Not to mention it is located near the Grand Ave area of St. Paul which is beautiful and romantic. Dinner was delicious. We split a carpaccio for an appetizer and I had the Pollo Champagne. We topped it off with an amazing creme brulee.

Afterwards we walked over to one of my favorite bars in the area, The Happy Gnome. They have a great and unique selection of beers. There is also a pretty fancy restaurant attached but I prefer the bar. We hung for a bit before hitting up for a final night cap near at some bars near home. Overall it was a great  night. Pretty regularly when Derek and I plan to go to a nice dinner something terrible happens like our reservation gets lost, we get stuck in traffic or the food is terrible. Anytime we go out and it's successful I'm pleased. It was a great anniversary evening and important to take the time for each other.


The Happy Gnome
On Saturday was our favorite ZPC. This year we got enough people to get the horde discount. A horde as defined by ZPC was 8 people. One of my favorite parts of this event is watching what people dress up as. Some people barely slap some blood on their clothes and other people go full on dressing up as disney princesses, clowns and various animals. Our first year we went as zombie hipsters, last  year I was a Where's Waldo zombie and this year we went as zombie boyscouts. We put some blood on our clothes and used some old halloween make up and we were off to the races. In the last two years it has been hosted in downtown Minneapolis and includes, food, drink and bands. This year it seemed that there were more bands than usual. We got to stick around for a bit to hear Sum 41 play, a little throwback to my youth, before it got too crowded and I needed to step out. The battle cry of the ZPC is "what do we want? BRAINS! When do we want 'em? BRAINS!" Basically the more you say brains the better off  you are. Each year we think maybe we won't do it again but we always have fun and can't wait to go back next year. It was a pretty amazing way to celebrate our anniversary.

Be sure you follow me on snapchat at username: mcainmoss I always snap on the weekends and you can get more updates from me. 

Sunday was a pretty relaxed day, which was necessary after a busy weekend. I caught up on some rest and a little TV. Overall an amazing weekend.

Now onto the fashions. On Friday I wanted to get all dressed up for our fancypants dinner. I saw basically this whole out on Proper & Prim's instagram and thought I had to have it. I will say I ended up buying a bigger skirt size as it runs small. It also had two layers of tule, one of which I cut out because it was too bulky and looked heavy. I was able to do it with the encouragement of my friend. Paired with this black crop top and blazer because Friday was pretty chilly. I decided the star of this look was the skirt so I tried to keep everything else dainty to balance out the impact of the green and size. I had these super comfy nude heels and the long chain necklace already in my closet and they went perfectly together. I really loved the overall look and silhouette, even though at times I was uncomfortable exposing my midriff I did it anyway and I am glad I did. (Again apologizing for photo quality as my camera is still not working)

Blazer| Topshop (similar/similar)
Top| Proper & Prim (similar/similar)
Skirt| Proper & Prim (similar/similar)
Shoes| Vince Camuto (similar/similar)
Necklace| Elisabeth Ashlie
Watch| Cluse
Earrings|Sheer Addiction

What do you think of my look? Leave a comment below I would love to hear from you! 

Be sure to follow me on instagram as well and get more daily updates!