ho hey hump day

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Tunes I'm currently enjoying while sifting and analyzing a chunk of spreadsheets and data (jealous?).....

the lumineers - ho hey
eels - mr. e's beautiful blues
foster the people - i would do anything for you
alabama shakes - be mine  *confession: totally thought the lead singer was a white guy. wrong. check it out.
jack white - sixteen saltines
dire straits - money for nothing
elton john - the bitch is back
the temper trap - love lost
little dragon - ritual union
of monsters and men - mountain sound
michael jackson - black or white



Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Something to know about my family: we LOVE the 4th of July. Like so much that I was the Statue of Liberty and my brother was Uncle Sam one year for Halloween. Side note: find that picture and post it.

When I was younger, the annual celebration of the red white and blue included a flag cake (like this one, but where you see fruit, substitute more icing), silly old school Americana music blaring throughout the house, and a neighborhood firework show in the middle of the street. The master of ceremonies (aka man with the lighter) was my Dad who had a special "fireworks" outfit. (Again, wishing Facebook was around in the early '90s so I could quickly find a picture of said outfit.) Some years we'd even have a shaving cream party and run around in the sprinklers afterwards. Is this normal? It was for me. 

When my parents bought a lake house in 1997, we started a new tradition of celebrating the 4th of July at the Ozarks. The first four years we would invite family members or a small group of family friends. Then in 2001 my parents had the brilliant idea of inviting three families that would change what the 4th of July means to me for good. It's still a holiday spent focusing on celebrating this country I'm a big fan of, but for our families, it's also a holiday rich in tradition.

What kinds of rich traditions? Let me enlighten you....

The first night dance party 

Healthy eating

Family competitions

An occasional alcoholic beverage

You didn't really think I'd write two sappy essay-posts in one week, did you?

Love these families, love the memories, and love celebrating America! Thanks to these two for getting the party started back in 2001, I can't wait for this year!

cutest rents <3

What is your 4th of July celebration like? Do we share any of the same traditions? 

harder better faster cheaper

Monday, June 25, 2012

I joined a gym a few weeks ago. With that membership came a new monthly bill to pay, and another category of apparel to furnish my closet. Before last week, I had one pair of Zella pants and a few crummy ribbed tanks to run errands work out in.

Now, I've heard a lot about this lululemon brand from my Fusion Fitness friends, but after seeing how expensive it is (um, can it really be that much better?) I knew I needed to find an option B and I had no idea where to start.

During my search for workout gear, I found an awesome little spot where the garments are comfortable, cost-effective and cute. So I'll let you in on my little secret.

layered racerback tank / sports bra $19.94

black & pink compression capris $22.94
compression leggings $14.99

racerback tank $12.94

Maybe it's not a surprise for you, but I was shocked to find all of these great pieces at Old Navy! I even price compared at Target and TJ Maxx, and Old Navy came out on top every time. I now live in the compression capris and love the layered sports bra/tank. It makes me extra motivated to get in shape when my workout clothes are cute.

What are your favorite brands for reasonable workout gear? Please dish, I'm especially looking for tennis shorts/skirts!


Thursday, June 21, 2012

@monicarosekc on Instagram 
When I was in high school, I wanted out of Kansas. I applied to schools in Indiana, Ohio and Missouri. It's not that I wanted to get away from anyone or anything in particular, I just wanted to experience somewhere different. My other requirement was this "somewhere different" needed to award me with plenty of scholarship money so my parents wouldn't feel the burden of out-of-state tuition. My mom, being the smart woman she is, made me choose one in-state institution to apply for as a back-up plan. In keeping with my stubborn redhead ways, I chose the school none of my eleven best friends picked, and which I knew very little about except it was the furthest state university from home.

Over the course of my last year of high school, for one reason or another (read: didn't get accepted to ND and didn't get enough $$ for the rest) my back-up plan was starting to look more and more like the front runner. By the time August 2004 rolled around, I was just excited for college and a whole new experience, even if it was in Kansas. 

Fast forward four and a half years to graduation. I could have stayed in that little Kansas town at least another semester. Even now, I still can't get enough of Manhattan. But with the imminence of finding a full-time job, I decided it was time to plan to leave Kansas again. 

I interviewed for jobs in Philly, had dreams of living in Chicago, and seriously considered moving to LA to be an assistant for some D-list celeb. I got an offer from the Philadelphia company, but something in my gut (and lack of somethings in my bank account) said I should stay home for a year and save up to move to a fabulous big city.

Now, the present. Four years after I decided to stay in the Midwest for no longer than a year, I'm still here. And absolutely loving it. If you'd told me when I graduated high school I'd still be living in the Kansas City metro at 26, I would have been disappointed. Or thought something unfortunate must have happened that made me stay. But really, I adore being close to my family. Many friends have moved away, but some are already making their way back, and I love visiting those who are making names for themselves in cities far away. And as I was forming another getaway-from-Kansas plan in 2009, I met a boy. 

I've learned so much about this city I've lived in most my life. There's way more than the 'burbs, the barbecue and the beach-lessness. It's artsy, exciting and filled with some wonderful people. Crazy how you can fall in love with something you thought you knew so well. 

What sparked this essay of a post? One of my favorite people is coming back to visit Kansas this weekend, and I get to see her tonight. Can't wait! 


Wednesday, June 20, 2012



It's one of those weeks where every night is booked with a cause for celebration. Monday will have been the only day I abstained from alcohol over an 11 day stretch. Today is day 7, and the effects of my social calendar are setting in. Last night I had dreams about being a refugee and I am weirdly craving a group fitness class.

But I guess I'll continue boozing it up with my friends/co-workers/family/bf until all the reasons to celebrate are over.... Until the next round of happy hours. Isn't it funny how they all hit at the same time?


a dress for every wedding occasion

Tuesday, June 19, 2012



Over the weekend I went to my first wedding of the season. The bride is from a quaint little Kansas town called Strong City. Population: 485. To get there from Kansas City, you drive 2 1/2 hours southwest through the rolling Flint Hills. The wedding was small, personal and full of cute country accents from the mason jar and burlap centerpieces to the presence of cowboy boots and blue jeans. Check out my instagram (@monicarosekc) for pics from the wedding.

Whether its a small country wedding, a black tie affair, or a ceremony on the beach, there's something so fun (albeit stressful at times) about shopping for the perfect dress for the occasion. I've rounded up some of my favorites, all under $160!

Obviously I'm loving some bright colors and maxis this year!

3. Ella Moss maxi $129.99

mint x6

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

We have all been attacked by mint over the last few months. The color is ubiquitous in fashion (that a bajillion bloggers have mentioned, I'm guilty too of course).... [insert infomercial voice] But that's not all! Now there is a SIXTH collection from BeachMint, the company that brought you JewelMint, StyleMint, BeautyMint, ShoeMint, and HomeMint. I've already written mint so much I'm starting to forget what the definition is. Does that happen to anyone else? No? Maybe it's just me.....

So here's the latest: Brooke Burke-Charvet is the celeb Creative Director behind the newest BeachMint endeavor, intiMint. Get it? IntiMint sells intimates? This one wins hands-down for best name. 

Somehow I've managed to steer clear from these addicting members-only, monthly-bank-account-depleting websites for the last two years. But with intimates starting at just $20, I might have to take the plunge. I mean, I'm going to an increasing amount of bachelorette parties each year, and I loathe paying full price for anything at Victoria's Secret. And maybe I'll look a little bit more like BB if I buy her stuff? It works that way, right? I think it's worth a shot.

weekend recap

Monday, June 11, 2012

I'm not ready for Monday, so I'm going to reminisce over the past weekend instead of write about anything forward-looking today. The past few days were quite relaxing, with a housewarming Friday night and a girls' night at the hidden Manifesto on Saturday. If you're ever in Kansas City, you must go to Manifesto. The bartenders are talented mixologists that mix delicious ingredients like red bell peppers, egg whites, cilantro, and butternut squash puree in their cocktails, and the ambiance is that of a 1920s speak-easy.

Here's a little peek in to my weekend:

Hanging out college-style at the pool with baby brother.

The quirky rules at Manifesto. 
How were your weekends? Whatever you did, I hope it was lovely and relaxing!

i crimp my hair back and forth

Friday, June 8, 2012

It's Friday! And I'm feeling very energized and giddy for the weekend.... maybe a teeny bit silly even. Therefore I thought I'd enlighten you with a pretty silly post about one of my favorite decades that has made quite the comeback this year.

It's basically the 80s all over again fashion-wise with the presence of leggings, neon, crop tops (blah!) and Ray Bans. For the most part, I love it. But I have one tiny problem - apparently 2012 decided that crimped hair didn't need to make a second appearance. What?!

So here's my plea to the fashion people out there, via pictures. Please let it be acceptable to break out my hot pink crimper more than for the occasional theme party.

Looks good, right? Obviously everyone has more fun when their hair is crimped. Case closed. 

currently obsessed

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Happy hump day! I think the title says it all. Here's what I'm coveting for the warm summer days ahead.

Tory Burch denim dress
Did someone say BBQ?

Jack Rogers navajo sandals // photo credit
I think I'm a little late to the party on these sandals, but now that I've seen them, I want them! Preferably in every color. 

Wallis dress
Perfect work to happy hour dress.

ASOS laptop bag
This pretty bag would turn some heads in the airport. 

BB Dakota maxi
The ruching and slit are so flattering on this skirt.  

Anthropologie owl jar
Now that I have a mixer, I need a cookie jar to hold all my treats!

Seaton cardigan
For those unseasonably cool nights, a kissing seahorse cardi. Love!

Lilly Pulitzer shorts
I like my scallops pan-seared with butter. And at the bottom of a pretty pair of shorts.

Want to see more current obsessions as I find them? Stop by the Currently Obsessed site and stalk me!

prime time

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


A little over a year ago, I went to an Arbonne house party and bought (among many other things) a face primer. I'd never used primer before and didn't know much about it's purpose. The consultant was adamant I needed it for my *fair, dry, freckly face. $40 later I had a fluid ounce of the stuff without the slightest idea when to put it on or why it was so important, and had a suspicious feeling it would sit in my drawer forever and never get used.

I admit, I was wrong. I used it almost every day. I found the primer kept my powder/blush/bronzer on my face better, and prevented shiny forehead disorder. Once it was empty, I found a sample size primer from smashbox which had sat in said drawer for at least 4 years. Now I'm almost finished up with the smashbox stuff and deciding whether to make another rather large (for my makeup budget) purchase of primer. Hence why I look to you - my blog friends for advice.

There are articles out there that say makeup primer is as important for your face as paint primer is to a wall. I'm not so sure I saw the line smoothing & pore diminishing benefits, but I like the idea of another layer protecting my skin from the sun and any potentially harmful/pore-clogging ingredients in makeup.

Do you use a primer and if so, what kind? Are you completely hooked or am I inventing these benefits because I spent $40 on a bottle of primer?

*whoooo's jealous??

the one that got away

Monday, June 4, 2012

Marc by Marc Jacobs rose gold & white 'blade' watch (similar found here)

Rose gold is by no means a new trend, but I still don't have any pieces of it. I think this is one of those almost-purchases that I'll be thinking back to again and again, wishing I'd clicked on the Gilt email 10 minutes earlier. The design is so clean, and the white with rose gold is such a great summer look.

Do you have rose gold jewelry? Are you still wearing it?

ombre weddings

Friday, June 1, 2012









I just love the idea of ombre weddings. Whether it's a recurring theme throughout the entire day or pops up in unexpected places (inside of a cake - what?!) it is so pretty. What do you think? Is this something you'd ever do (or did!) at your wedding?

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