Monday, August 31, 2015

anthropologie giveaway

Feeling like Monday totally sneaked up on us after spending all of yesterday brunching and baseball-game watching. But it's a short week with the Labor Day holiday ahead so I can handle it!

I finally picked up a new Capri Blue candle at Anthropologie last week after going six months or so without one (the horror). It's the best scent, and as fall looms and cozy nights in become more common, a necessary fixture on my coffee table. I stopped in to the store around 3PM on my way home from an appointment and was surprised by how many people were browsing the racks and sifting through table displays at such a random time on a Thursday. But for good reason—it's the time of year to get your home and wardrobe prepped for colder weather and Anthro's holding all the right cards. Shop clothing, shoes & accessories and house & home new arrivals, or my own wish list below!

And because the assortment is so awesome but sometimes a little pricey, I wanted to give you the chance to win a gift card to soften the blow. I understand how important it is to have that Capri Blue candle at all times! 

Prize: $200 Anthropologie Gift Card
Giveaway organized by: Oh My Gosh Beck!
Rules: Use the Rafflecopter form to enter daily. Giveaway ends 9/11 and is open worldwide. Winner will be notified via email.
Are you a blogger who wants to participate in giveaways like these to grow your blog? Click here to find out how you can join a totally awesome group of bloggers!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, August 27, 2015

found. boden mid rise zip ankle skimmer.

I was in the best mood on Tuesday thanks to an early morning workout (nothing like running/rocking out to Silento while Chris Cuomo talks Trump in the background!!) that nothing could bring down, despite my own inadvertent attempts: bad jeans, flat hair and awkward jewelry (silver! what the hell?!).

As I sat at my desk thinking about holiday taglines and Christmas-y copy—and trying to ignore the aforementioned fails—the moto jeans I spotted last week in Boden's new catalog sneakily slipped into my consciousness. They look really effortless, and you know that "super stretch fabric" has to be as comfy as an old t-shirt. I love distressed details, and the subtle finish on these wouldn't make me feel like a hoodrat wearing them to work. The crowning feature is the chic knee panelling, giving the classic jeans just a HINT of biker-chick badass-ness that is the perfect contrast to a sweet cardigan or sophisticated blouse. I need to trade my bad Tuesday jeans for them ASAP—the darker wash means they'll look good through the coming colder months.

Click through below for similar styles! This pair is a steal!

P.S. Are we friends on Instagram? The snaps are a candid look at my life in Minneapolis—and earlier this week, I posted a little preview of an upcoming outfit! Check it out and say hi!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

end-of-summer entertaining

While the weather this week is certainly fall-like, I'm in denial that it's back-to-school time! Classes at the University of Iowa—my alma mater—kicked off yesterday, which makes me reminisce. It honestly feels like another life that I walked along College Street, through the ped mall and past Panchero's to EPB and Adler for lectures. Where did the summer (and five years) go?!

If you're hitting the books this semester, The Container Store is the holy grail for all things dorm, storage, bath, lockers & lunches. That's a no-brainer. But for my fellow young professionals for whom academia is a fading memory, this time of year is about last-blast bashes before summer sputters out, and, of course, sprucing up the apartment for the guests. These endeavors may not require the classic plastic bins that are the face of TCS, but still, a certain degree of organization that the tidy retailer recognizes—and nails.

Below, shop a handful of products I plan to pick up in preparation for some end-of-season celebrating. If you're also in the mood to party, use code TCSLOVE now through Saturday, 8/29, to take 15% off your next online or in-store purchase! Shop all here.

7 | Weekly Glass Magnetic Dry Erase Board—plan grocery and errand runs before the event
8 | Converge POP Charging Station—juice everyone's phones before going out later!
9 | Marble Artisan Journal—list-making doesn't get more elegant 10 | Giara Water Bottle—filled with water or flowers, these are a pretty way to decorate the table—I'd use one color for a consistent look. 11 | Fridge Binz Soda Can Organizer 12 | Glass Slant Jar—pour Swedish Fish and M&Ms into a few of these for an easy dessert bar 13 | Stackable Square Glass Containers—fill with pistachios or cashews for pre-dinner snacking

Friday, August 21, 2015

found. billy ella matralia booties

The shoes at Boden and Anthro really speak to me (and the writer in me loves Boden even more for its copy-heavy catalog!). With clothes, I like simple black sweaters and skinny cigarette pants, but am all about a bit of boho flair, eccentric color and playful details in footwear. These painted floral booties with a side zip and 3" wrapped heel are a PRIME example of that preference. How great would they be with body-hugging jeans, a loose white tee & chunky gold jewelry?? Perfect for the urban cowgirl.

While on the topic, here's a peek at more Boden & Anthro beauties I'm saving for: Halsey Booties | Leopard Joni Boots | Rose Gold T-bar Flats | Embellished Slippers | Velvet Verlan Heels—you better not get them before I do!! ;)
Yesterday the Marketing department at my day job served up (a pretty fancy!) lunch, drinks & general merriment at Lake Minnetonka. It was finally sunny after a streak of rainy days, and playing volleyball to the tune of Ja Rule, Party in the USA, Kenny Chesney and Return of the Mack was a hoot and a half. Afterwards I headed to a neighborhood hang for some live music which was a nice way to wind down after all the shenanigans. This weekend, one of my high school BFFs is going to be in town, and we're planning to spend Saturday at the Loring Park festival—local beer samples and Walk the Moon (fo free!) is my idea of summertime happiness. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

fall fashion jackets

The weather has kiiiiiiiind of been cramping my style this week. Sunday night, my sister and I lasted about 10 minutes (barely a beer + a basket of cheese curds) before a downpour forced us, fast-walking and jeans-soaked, from the Borough block party. On Monday, I really wanted to run outside after work, so I DID, despite the sprinkles, making it almost the full three miles without stopping for the first time this summer (ha!)—nothing like some rain to up your stamina. And last night, I was all set to head to the Northeast Night Market—food, entertainment & artists at Bauhaus—but there was a 100% chance of thunderstorms and the event was rescheduled. Ugh.

With all the rain, the temperature has dropped dramatically, which has me thinking about my fall wish list—specifically, some cute jackets that can actually be part of an outfit, rather than just a layer needed to get from car to cubicle. Here are some I'm eyeing to wear now in the A/C-on-high office, and later as fall officially arrives!

Also, some mid-week motivation before I go: I wanted to attend the Create + Cultivate conference in Chicago last weekend, but didn't want to pay the $250 entrance fee. I think it's important to invest in workshops, events & networks that feed your hobby/business/pleasure, it just wasn't a good time for me. But this little recap made me feel like I was still reaping some of the speakers' wisdom (thanks, Blair!). 

Taking a cue from DooBop founder Jodie Patterson, I made a list of my own "touch points" in an effort to be more conscious of each day and what makes me feel fulfilled. It's a really helpful practice when lots of things feel undetermined, unsettled, and up in the air—which I think is VERY representative of life in your twenties. Try it out and worry less about planning/scripting/molding a future that may or may not be, and focus on feeling accomplished in the here and now. After all, baby steps now are what build into bigger, future successes. 

Hope your week is rolling right along! Fingers crossed for some end-of-the-week sunshine! :)

Monday, August 17, 2015

lip service

I don't regularly introduce new products into my makeup regimen—all about keeping it simple (and my current tubes and compacts cost enough!). But a recent Sephora email made me reconsider lip plumper. While I've been well aware of the media attention poured on Kylie Jenner and her famously fat pout, I never thought twice about recreating the look—maybe because her "overlined" style looked more blow-up doll than beauty queen to me. And, I guess, I'm not actively seeking to emulate an 18-year-old reality star.

But little Kylie isn't the first woman to use lip liner, and the product existed long before she started blowing up the Internet as its unofficial spokesmodel. Liner goes a long way in creating definition and prolonging color (read more). The size of my lips isn't one of my insecurities, but what's wrong with using a plumping potion to boost 'em a bit, just like you'd layer on high-definition mascara for dramatic lashes?

I tested out Dior Addict High Volume Lip Plumper (thank you, free sample!). Cool and tingly, it made me hyper-aware of my lips, and in turn, feel sexier, so there is certainly some fun—and value—in that. As this interview with Rent the Runway founder reminded me, you should "dress for the day you want to have and the person you want to be... Putting on an outfit or makeup that makes you feel like the best version of yourself fundamentally changes the course of your day and gives you that extra boost of power/happiness/attitude you need." Intangibles aside, the Dior plumper's collagen formula promises actually fuller lips in fifteen days. Intrigued.

I normally stick to Burt's Bees, so the biggest challenge for me will be remembering to give my lips some attention before dashing out the door. But on days I have time for extra effort, I'm all for subtly enhancing the kisser with a combination of liner + stick for a more matte, daytime look OR liner + gloss for an after-hours, seductive situation. Flirtatiousness will likely swell proportionately with both options!

two | Givenchy lip liner in Lip Blackberry + Guerlain tinted balm in Crazy Bouquet
three | NARS lip liner in Nihiwatu + NARS lipstick in Annabella
four | NARS lip liner in Patong Beach + NARS lipstick/pencil in Bahama

Read more on technique here from Byrdie

Saturday, August 15, 2015

j.crew giveaway

Surprise! I legitimately woke up at 3:30 this morning (WTF), so I thought I'd put some of that extra time to use with a bonus weekend post/fun giveaway! I'm not quite ready for fall yet, but I did peruse J.Crew's new arrivals earlier this week and .. my cart runneth over. Shop my favorites right here and fill out the form below to win $200 to stock up for next season (or snag some summer sales)!

I am bouncing off the walls right now after a few cups of coffee, rocking out to the Pop Chillout Spotify playlist as I type this in bed, and am pumped to be probably THE first person at the Minneapolis Farmers Market when it opens at 6:00 (my first time!). I'm all about the sleep and a lazy Saturday morning, but it's kind of fun to mix it up occasionally with an early rise. Happy weekend!


Prize: $200 J.Crew Gift Card
Giveaway organized by: Oh My Gosh Beck!
Rules: Use the Rafflecopter form to enter daily. Giveaway ends 8/28 and is open worldwide. Winner will be notified via email.
Are you a blogger who wants to participate in giveaways like these to grow your blog? Click here to find out how you can join a totally awesome group of bloggers!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, August 13, 2015

found. alice + olivia high waist pleated pants.

You're not expected to wear a serious suit to interviews in the creative industry (yay!). A couple of months ago, I wanted to capitalize on the opportunity and scanned my favorite websites for high-waisted pants with a dramatic sash just like this pair from Alice + Olivia. My search wasn't successful, and I don't have any interviews on the horizon, but I'd love to add these to my closet for future professional meet-and-greets and social outings (with a cute crop top!) alike. Better to have a well-rounded wardrobe that's prepared for anything than to wear the wrong thing in a pinch, right?! I think yes. You could get the same look by lacing a pretty scarf through the belt loops of this more affordable option from J.Crew, too.

It's going to be HOT HOT HOT in Minneapolis this weekend, so my plans are POOL POOL POOL. See you Monday!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

affordable throw pillows

Target works hard to constantly surprise and delight shoppers, and its throw pillow selection had just that effect on me when I stopped in over my lunch break a few weeks ago. I hadn't seen the "show room" floor pad concept yet, which I was impressed by, and upgraded fixtures really made the Home section look more like a Macy's than a mass discounter.

I've had essentially the same apartment decor since graduating five years ago, and I'm not at the point where I regularly redecorate, but a few new pillows would go a long way in giving my tiny space a necessary facelift. I found several that would have popped perfectly against my mocha microsuede sofa—coordinating Aztec combinations of soft lime, peach and evergreen—but I resisted what felt like an impulse purchase and left the store empty-handed (save for pride in my will power).

I'm now a little regretful that I didn't get them, and went online to course-correct. I didn't find the styles I'd loved in the Eden Prairie store, but was AGAIN surprised to find a ton of other cute options. I'm over my comfy-but-cliché leopard pillow, but for my current bachelorette pad, think accent pillows should still be fun and whimsical. Some of these are a little too young for me, but I love a colorful mix of prints and patterns—especially the teal/lobster pairing in the last row!

Today my company is doing lunch & lawn bowling at Brit's downtown so I'll be contemplating these decorative combinations all afternoon—going to be 80º and sunny! Also I may have dreamt about grilled cheese last night (#notashamed), so I cannot wait to get one...! Happy hump day, guys!
one | two (pretty cheesy, but how can you not feel happy when you see it?) | three
four | five | six 

shop all Target pillows

Monday, August 10, 2015

august edit

This is going to sound crazy, but I hadn't been in my apartment's rooftop pool until last night. I've sunbathed on one of the 7th floor chaises plenty of times, but never had the urge to take a dip. Last night, a little case of the Sunday blues compelled me to head up there with a glass of wine because I just didn't want another weekend to end in front of the TV. So boring (sorry Bachelor in Paradise). Just as I'd hoped, I had the sundeck to myself, and it was so nice to bob in the illuminated water and watch the sky turn from pink to orange to black. Probably going to put that scenario on loop till October.

I have several long weekends planned coming up, and with a handful of work events & parties on the iCal, I know the dog days will disappear as quickly as June and July, but at least I'm set up to enjoy them (away from the office)! My wish list this month is a balanced mix of summer and transitional pieces as I look ahead to fall. Shop my picks below to soak up August in style—and get to that rooftop pool while you still can!

one | Slit-Neck Beach Sweater—a lightweight layer that's much cuter to throw on for an evening pontoon cruise than your old college crewneck (on sale!)
two | Modern Friction™ Nature's Gentle Dermabrasion—my skin needs a good sloughing after all the sunscreen and sweat build-up of the last few months (also love this drugstore toner)
three | Victoria Eyelet Top—a sweet summer look that isn't too kiddie-looking, with just a subtle crop that's perfect for al fresco happy hours or brunch
four | Jeffrey Campbell Booties—the perfect pointed profile for every day and only $160!
five | Large Moto Satchel—I love the signature zippers on Rebecca Minkoff bags, and have a thing for jungle-green leather: more interesting than black or brown, but just as versatile
six | Essie polish in Blanc—picked this up at Target last week and it's all I want to wear before I turn to my darker fall favorites
seven | French Terry Joggers—when I moved in the spring, I tossed a ton of ratty sweats and have been relying on leggings for lounging since. But as cooler nights creep up on us, it's time for some real joggers and these are polished enough to wear in public.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

brave, hardworking, humble, hero

Special Sunday post alert! I saw a lot of great photos last week for my grandpa's funeral and wanted to share a few (especially love these first two). I think if there's one thing to be proud of in life, it's building a beautiful family and being a kind, hardworking, humble, happy person. My grandpa did and was certainly all of those things.

Friday, August 7, 2015

firmoo fashion frames

I spent the early part of this week in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan so the past few days have been a blur. It's always nice to be in Iron River, despite this trip's sad occasion, but I'm looking forward to getting back to my routine, sleeping in and taking it easy after a lot of time in the car and emotionally exhausting events.

Sweatpants and a side braid is my go-to look for lazy days, but I have a lot of friends whose first step is to swap contacts for glasses when they shift into low gear. I don't require vision correction (yet...), but I thought it'd be fun to try out some fashion frames as a finishing touch for a casual afternoon running errands, doing laundry and answering emails after arriving back in Minneapolis on Wednesday.

Firmoo's square and tortoise frames are really cute, felt well-made in my hand, and had a completely transformative effect. I looked so different in them—and felt kind of hipster!—so if you're interested in mixing it up (or actually have a prescription), check out Firmoo. The site hosts a ton of different single vision, multifocal and non-Rx frames (and sunglasses, too). You can customize your pair with lens color, coatings and thickness, and there's a "try on" option so you can see how each pair sits on a face. I found myself wanting several styles, and with retails considerably lower than popular Warby Parker, I wouldn't feel guilty picking up a few.

Ultimately, I wouldn't wear them to work or on a date, but making dinner at my apartment and watching SNL on Netflix, these trendy frames helped me transition into "relax mode" just like my favorite sweats. Considering these for another option. What do you think—would you wear glasses as a fashion accessory or save the "disguises" for Halloween? Get the details below!

Firmoo Glasses c/o | Hive & Honey Dress | Leopard Loafers
Essie polish in Bahama Mama | NARS lipstick in Heat Wave | Coach Wallet

photos by Andrew Saxum