weekend recap

Monday, July 30, 2012

While Blue Eyes got his open water SCUBA certification (is he going through a pre-30th birthday crisis?), I visited my college haunts in Aggieville and did a LOT of this.
@monicarosekc on instagram
And hung out with these cuties for two days. I swear, I'd be the best dog mom, but have surrounded myself with non-animal people. Life is ironic like that.



How was your weekend? I hope it was relaxing and fun!


Friday, July 27, 2012

I had a real post planned for today, but I have to get something off my chest....

I just saw this video for the first time Wednesday night. 

Where was I each of the 100 times everyone watched this video during college? I have no clue, but if I were to guess, here's where I'd start.


Dancing on tables.

Playing Edward 40 hands.

Making it rain. 

Throwing theme parties.

Going on trips with my pledge class.


Studying. No pictures of that. But Mom and Dad, I swear I did it.

currently obsessed: beauty edition

Thursday, July 26, 2012

About 10 years ago, I shopped exclusively at department stores for my beauty products. It was "normal" to buy $70 daily moisturizers, $28 tubes of mascara, and $15 Juicy Tubes lip gloss. 

I wasn't rich; I was in high school. I worked at abercrombie kids for fun money. Remember when a one hundred dollar paycheck could be spent solely on discretionary items like Smirnoff Ice and bronzer?

Looking back, most of that fun money went straight to the Nordstrom beauty counters. It makes my tummy hurt to think of how much I spent on perishable beauty products during those formative years. 

Nowadays, about 90% of my beauty supplies can be found at CVS. There's a store less than 3 minutes from my place, I consistently have about $10 in coupons at any time, and they have everything I need to take me from Morning Monica to OK-to-be-seen-in-public Monica. 

My favorite part about buying beauty products from CVS is that I can afford to experiment. If I hate it, I throw it away. (I had an awful experience with eyeliner a few months back. $7 in the trash after a few uses = nbd compared to $20.)

So after years of almost-exclusive use of drug store brand products, I share with you my favorite finds*.
*only one of the items pictured below is a department store brand. It's worth it though, promise.

@monicarosekc on instagram

Moving clockwise from the nail polish:

1. Maybelline Color Show polish. This stuff is only $3.99 and comes in bright, neutral, and metallic options. I was debating between two shades the last time I was at CVS, but they're so inexpensive and the color is so rich that I bought them both. Pictured above: Coral Crush

2. Lumene Vitamin C+ protecting day cream. This lotion leaves my skin feeling hydrated, protected (SPF 15), and smelling AMAZING. I love putting it on right after a morning shower. The citrus scent perks me right up. If you've ever spent time with me in the morning, you know I could use as much perking as possible.

3. Olay Professional ProX cleansing system. Almost $100 less than a Clarisonic and does the same thing. This is a no-brainer to me. I was skeptical at first, but after reading the Amazon reviews, I gave it a try and have been really happy. I use the exfoliating gel that came with the ProX about once a week. The rest of the time I use a gentle Neutrogena cleanser. Hint: It is usually cheaper to buy this product on Amazon if you are going to spend $25 and get free shipping!

4. Aussie 3 Minute Miracle deeeeep conditioner. Four bucks and three minutes is all you need for really smooth hair. Some background on why I bought this: I have naturally stick-straight hair and don't dye it. I use my Chi maybe twice a month. But, I blow-dry every morning. That heat alone has made my super straight hair a little coarser and damaged over the years. I swear this conditioner has made a huge difference over the past month when I started using it every other time I wash my hair.

5. Maybelline Mineral Power powder. I think I've gone through 8 of these over the last two years. For anyone who prefers the look and feel of powder foundation compared to liquid, this is your new bff. It smooths out unevenness but doesn't look caked-on. For women with normal to dry skin, I will go ahead and say it is leaps and bounds better than Bare Minerals, at a fraction of the cost. I used Bare Minerals one time in college and swore off powder for a while after that experience. It completely dried me out and was too expensive to buy and not love. The Maybelline powder is where it's at.

6. Revlon Just Bitten Kissable balm stain. This is a new product from Revlon, but I think it's going to be a keeper. I bought it in Charm on a whim (with a coupon of course) and am very happy with the color and moisturizing aspects. It also doesn't melt in extreme heat when left in the car for hours. Solid buy.

7. Revlon ColorStay eyeliner. As I mentioned earlier in this essay of a post, I have not had great luck with drug store eyeliners. I don't wear it often, but when I do, I want it to stay in place and not end up at the top of my eyelids. The ColorStay eyeliner was a champ in the ultimate task: a weekend at the Ozarks. It didn't smear at all after jumping in and out of the water, reapplying sunscreen and squinting in the sun. Winner winner chicken dinner in my book.

8. Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place ShadowCreme. This is the department store item, and it makes the list because I can't find anything (even at CVS) that compares. Like the name suggests, once you swipe this eye shadow on, it doesn't move. One of my biggest pet peeves with cream eye shadows is after an hour or two, you have a hideous line of chunky color in your blink crease. I now own three shades of EL's ShadowCreme and am so happy with it. Even after owning them for over a year, there are no signs of drying out.

If you're wondering why mascara (my very favorite beauty invention EVER) is not mentioned, it's because the jury is still out. Top contenders include: Maybelline Great Lash, Christian Dior DiorShow, Lancome Definicils, and Maybelline Falsies.

Now I'm curious - what are your favorite beauty products?

mason jar chandys

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

First item of note today: All six of my crazy friends landed safely after free-falling from a plane for 90 seconds at 120 mph. Needless to say, I went to church Sunday night to give a little extra *thanks*.

After the long afternoon in the sun, the last thing I wanted to do was go to an outdoor concert. But that's what I did. Old Crow Medicine Show only comes to Kansas City but once a year, and Blue Eyes and I were not going to miss seeing (and singing to) Wagon Wheel in person.

Ketch, Willie and the rest of the band were amazing live! If they come to a town near you, please do yourself a favor and go to their show. Not only is the music and entertainment factor a wow, but the stage decor was possibly my favorite. Ever.

Pretty chevron lights lit up the backdrop and mason jar chandeliers hung from the catwalk.

The whole mason-jar-as-decor thing is not new. Especially if you've been on Pinterest since last June, you've most likely seen the same mason jar pins be recycled and repinned over and over. I do still enjoy a good mason jar vase, but there was something so rustic and whimsy and perfect about these chandys at the concert. I wish I had a better picture than the above. It doesn't give the chandeliers justice at all.

Can't get enough of mason jar chandys now? Me neither. I would love to host a party or shower where I could put these to use!




bucket list

Friday, July 20, 2012

I'm a constant list maker. I use them for just about everything: daily work goals, shopping, baby names (I'm also a planner), restaurants, playlists, sunday chores. Today, I have one to share with you.

It's my bucket list. A work-in-progress that I plan to make additions to, but there you have it, in that bar right above this post. Blue Eyes calls it a wish list because he doesn't think it's filled with enough dare-devilish things for a bucket list. This coming from the guy who will be jumping out of a plane at 14,000 feet tomorrow morning.....

I just have zero interest in that free falling stuff. Maybe that makes me boring. I mean, I am blogging on a Friday night. Hm. 

My friend Kyli got me started on my bucket list last summer. She asked all her friends to share their top bucket list item, and then she wanted to fulfill it with each of us. What a great idea! When she asked me, I admittedly hadn't thought much about it before. But when the pressure was on, and Kyli was looking at me expectantly, my brain synapses sparked and out came "learn to surf". 

Less than a year later, I did it! I actually got up on a board and surfed. I wish Kyli could have been in the Dominican with me, but I had to cross this off the list on my own with Blue Eyes' family. Kyli - I will go to Schlitterbahn and do the surf simulator with you, does that count?!

So I'm curious, what's on your bucket list?

on my way up
getting the hang of it 
feeling stable
terrified to fall. look at that face!

its cut or be cut

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Project Runway starts tonight! This is my reality show weakness. That's right, no Bachelorette / Real Housewives of any city / [insert show with women fighting each other or being slooty here] DVRing going on in my place.

After studying the casting sessions on mylifetime.com last night, my roommate and I curled up with our laptops, made our lists, and signed in to gchat to participate in the second annual Project Runway fantasy draft. In case your friends haven't done this in the past (and I highly recommend doing so), this is similar to an NFL football fantasy draft, except way less complicated and you're judging people on their ability to make it work instead of touchdowns and sacks.

It looks a little something like this:

yes, under gunnar it says "little house on the prairie meets jackie o". it was a long day.
I can't wait to see what weird challenges, garments and personalities come out of this year!

Will you be tuning in? If so, please root for Sonjia, Raul, and Andrea for me!

green + leopard

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

I just love getting this in my inbox. Although it means I've probably spent a benjamin, I know my closet will be a happier place in a few short days.

Through tonight, J. Crew is giving online shoppers an extra 40% off their sale items, just use the code "OURTREAT" at checkout.

Inspired by the impeccable style below, I bought what I expect to be my staple ensemble for the fall work season: the Jackie pullover sweater in jade and the No. 2 pencil skirt in safari cat. Rawr.






Tuesday, July 17, 2012

So I've mentioned a few times my love of wine. I like it. A lot. To the point where an entire bottle on a Thursday night won't give me a headache the next morning. Not only do I love the actual drink, I love the packaging too.

I use it as decor. 

As an extra savings account. 

As furniture.

via biancamiraglia @ Etsy
KIDDING! But seriously, how amazingly weird cool is that chair?

lake bound with my bests

Friday, July 13, 2012

Is there anything better than a weekend with your besties?


Well, maybe a full week. But we've got work and babies and wedding planning to get back home to. So a weekend will have to do.

I've packed my favorite swim suit, lots of SPF 30, too many pairs of sunglasses and conjured up two playlists (one for the dock and one for the dance party) for one of my favorite weekends of the year. I'm heading to the Ozarks for the 9th annual pledge class lake trip.

We may be 26, but this weekend, we'll party like it's our first year of college, when we all met.

I hope you have a lovely weekend!

braids and bows

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Two of my very favorite pretty, girly things....



Speaking of braids, maybe one of my friends will let me try this hairdo out on them this weekend. Molly - I'm looking at you!

*if you know where the two last braid images are from - please let me know! I hate not being able to give credit for those pretty photos.

i miss you b.a.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Exactly one year ago today I embarked on the biggest adventure of my life. 

I landed in Buenos Aires. It seems like forever ago and just yesterday at the same time. Someday I will post a full recap of our time there, but for now I'm going to enjoy my pictures and wish I was back there eating empanadas, drinking Malbec, learning to tango, and taking in the city with Blue Eyes.

month in photos: june

Friday, July 6, 2012

June was such a fun month! I celebrated a wedding, a birthday, two new engagements, and the official start of summer! Hope you all have a lovely weekend. I will be participating in our traditions at the lake with the 4th of July group.

Manifesto celebrating Erin's birthday

college-style partying

Remember I said I don't like jorts? These are styled perfectly and not too short. Bravo Nordy.

Birthday present for my Mom. I had to get a matching one of course. 

No longer the one that got away. similar shorts / top / sandals / watch
at a wedding shower. necklace / similar dress

The Z Man at Oklahoma Joe's, one of the 13 places Anthony Bourdain says you must eat at before you die.

surprise engagement parties are fun!

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