Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Parties, Parties and More Parties- Entertainment A La Mode

For those of you who don't know, I am getting married in TWO weeks.  Yes, only TWO weeks!  This last weekend marked the kick-off to our wedding madness- my 3 beautiful and delightful sisters threw me a bachelorette party that was FABULOUS.  It was a mix of sass and low-key (the perfect combo in my opinion) and it made me feel so blessed to have friends in my life that loved me and supported me.  Seriously, without good friends and family, what would your wedding be?  My sisters and I reunited on Saturday and had a day of relaxing in the sunshine, jamming to music and pampering ourselves.  Then the whole clan met up and we went out on the town.  We started at Bar Lurcat, and I looked around me at the entire table, the sun was shining on a beautiful room full of beautiful people, all feeling jovial and in good spirits- and something hit me.  Having all of these people that I loved so much together and smiling reminded me that these are the moments I need to take in and remember.  These are the moments that pass by and we are too busy to "stop and smell the roses".  So I froze in my seat, and looked around, and let the feeling and the memory soak in- I feel blessed and thankful for my amazing friends!

Here are some shots throughout evening that I just HAD to share:)

My sisters and I had a full day of bonding and catching some rays. 
 Clearly feeling good about striking a pose
And more shots of the crew.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Ivan & Alyosha- music a la mode

Born and raised in Seattle, Ivan & Alyosha started with Tim and Ryan.  They have recently expanded their band to four and Tim and Pete joined.  The band has perfected a pop-folk sound incorporating tight-knit harmonies that are extremely pleasing to the ears.  They are currently navigating the indie rock world and creating their own path.  Even though they are hopefuly for their big break, nothing is holding them back from doing what they love.  They recently finished a tour through the US making stops in Tribeca, New York, Washington D.C. and Nashville.
Plus, things are different this time around. Tim and Ryan are joined by two others – Tim Kim and Pete Wilson, Tim’s brother. The band built a studio in a barn at Ryan’s parent’s house in Snohomish, 45 minutes outside of Seattle. Snohomish provides an idyllic setting with a charming main street lined by bars and little distraction. Self-recording their upcoming EP allows the guys more time together to create and perfect the new songs. Recently the band spent a week in New York playing gigs at 92Y Tribeca, Maxwell’s in Hoboken and Brooklyn’s Littlefield. They also took a trip to NPR Headquarters in Washington DC to record an NPR Tiny Desk Concert, and opened a run of shows for the Jayhawks’ Mark Olson.

In “Easy To Love,” from their self-released debut EP The Verse, The Chorus (Cheap Lullaby Records) Tim Wilson and Ryan Carbary create simple pop-folk, and Tim showcases his knack for paring a lyric down to just emotion.

If you like Ivan & Alyosha already, check out: Avett Brothers, Andrew Bird, Cinnamon Band, Travis, and Rufus Wainwright.

Dainty Little Things- Fashion a la Mode

Good things come in small packages.  Or so the saying goes.  Now don't get me wrong, I am a huge advocate of big, outrageous, costume jewelry.  A huge supporter of bright colors and statement pieces.  But my go-to, day-to-day pieces are my dainty ones.  (Rose gold items to be exact.) Now they can come in any metal: silver, gold- rose or yellow, titanium, tungsten if you wish, but my personal favorites are my rose gold ones.  I got my great grandmother's wedding band from my grandpa when I turned 18, and haven't taken it off since.  Others, I've accumulated over the years. The nice thing about these pieces is you can find them anywhere, at any price, and mix and match at your will.  Anthropologie, while they carry amazing and big statement jewelry, also carries a ton of small, dainty pieces.  They add a lot to an outfit without being too much!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sugary Sweets and a little Spice- Wednesday A La Mode

Nothing like a weekend of ice fishing up north to help get your creative juices flowing.  My partner in crime, Nicole Catherine Anderson, and I did not catch a fish, but we did however catch a few ideas on our long journey to and from Gull Lake (okay fine it was only 2 hours).  We had a chance to talk about what has been inspiring us lately in our own lives, ranging from fashion, art, career dreams, mormon bloggers (we are starting to believe all great bloggers are mormon, odds are not in our favor), to the pure beauty of frigid and snowy Northern Minnesota.  Dear friends and weekend getaways are always good for the soul, and this time, just the right push that we needed to put all of our ideas that have been swirling around in our heads into this thing we call a blog- Wednesday a la mode, to be specific.
This time around, we want to dwell on all of the sweet, sweet things in our everyday lives that we believe take a little extra effort to capture, but are well worth it (to us at least).  We hope you can find some enjoyment out of our blog as well and what we believe to be the beautiful things all around us. They may seem small or petty to others, but we believe that these are things in life that are a shame to NOT to notice.  Art, music, fashion, food, good reads and all things creative are not only the things that sweeten up our lives, but also add a little spice.  And who doesn’t want to spice things up a bit?? xoxo- Randi & Nicole 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

No, This Isn't a Motorcycle Dive Bar- Fashion a la Mode

Leather is a tough look to pull off. Unless you frequent Sturgis, are in to S&M, or hang out backstage at concerts… leather isn’t generally something one is comfortable is wearing (of course- the classic leather jacket can be a staple for a lot of people). I am talking leather skirts, shorts, dresses, vests- a little outside the norm of a clean-cut leather jacket. I am just giddy over this. Giddy, now that I think about it, is not quite the best term used when in conjunction with excitement for leather.

I am obsessed with my zipper front leather mini skirt, and my new leather hot shorts. The shorts I have yet to wear, I am waiting for more of that sweltering heat and an invite to a dive bar/ fun event that they would work perfectly for. The skirt I have worn and it has been complimented and adored. I have paired it with an oversized, chunky sweater and heels, and also with a button up shirt tucked in with flats.

(Free People)



A little tip: When wearing one of these bold, and sometimes more “scandalous” pieces, try pairing it with something to tone it down a bit. I wouldn’t suggest a low cut silk tank and leather hot shorts if you’re going to a casual dinner. Throw on a leather vest with a white v-neck and cut off jean shorts with a bright colored pair of flats… come on, this is too easy. Effortlessly chic.



I am extremely upset by the latest “unbiased poll” claiming Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota as two of the ten LEAST fashion forward cities in the US. They took this poll by taking the fifty largest cities by population and creating a “fashion-index” with 1.0 being average. They then based their index on “fashion-aware” households by counting households that made at least four purchases in top-end merchandisers in the last 30 months. They even dared put the comment “Warmth before fashion” next to our name (you CAN be good-looking and warm?!). I am completely offended. I mean, yes, I cannot control what the entire city/state wears, there are just NOT enough hours in the day for that. But come on. With only 5 cities below us on this scale, I am pretty upset. Why is it that we can be considered that fashion behind? We have the BIGGEST mall in the United States... along with dozens of other shopping venues. The Galleria in Edina is a top-end merchandiser's heaven. 

Listen here Minnesota, step it up. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Print Maker- Fashion a la Mode

I literally (word-overuse I am aware) literally cannot stress how important and EVERYWHERE prints are this season and the seasons to come. I have written about polka dots, a very simple print, but print nonetheless. What I am talking about now is, over the top, wild and crazy, grandma’s curtains, prints. Every decently fashion forward store you walk into now, whether it be in the low price range like the Forever 21’s and H&M’s, to mid-price range Urban Outfitters, American Apparels, J. Crew’s, Banana’s, even to the upward high-end stores, like the 2nd floor of Nordstrom at the Mall of America, and Zara- every single one of these bombards your visual palettes with prints! Dresses, shorts, pants, even little details such as shoes are covered in outlandish prints… not that shoes are little details, I meant physically.What is important about taking on these prints head on is just that. You need to be bold and unafraid and ready to throw out your “matching look” censor that you have been building up. This is not prep school, you don’t need to look tailored, in fact, the point is to look different. How refreshing.

Take a bold strapless dress, add a huge chunky necklace and some heels, and throw in a clutch in a solid color. If dresses aren’t your thing, take a pair of pants with a loud print, pair with a chambray, or if you’re feeling daring, a shirt in a complimenting pattern… heck you could even double the pattern up! The patterned shoes are where I am getting my pleasure from this spring. I have already scooped up three pairs… and am not feeling the need to stop there. Who doesn’t love a spicy shoe to make a used-to-bed boring outfit come alive? 

Its simple really, just go buy something and play with it (and since they have stuff at every price point, I don’t see why you can’t). And throw on some MSTRKRFT while you’re at it to put you in the right mindset. Viola! 

(J. Crew)

(Urban Outfitters)

(J. Crew)



Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Spring Time's "Winter Road"- Music a la mode

The Fine Line in Downtown Minneapolis is the perfect venue for a small concert, a wedding reception (T-minus 2 months until my best friend gets married there- Shoutout to Casey and Dust!), or a CD Release Party. And that’s just the reason that brought the 150 plus people to Fine Line last Thursday. Nels Leafblad, or Nels, as he goes by in the music world, was a fellow Bethel student with me for the too-short year and a half I attended there. Friends of both Randi and I, we both know how talented he is musically. Whether he was doing stuff for Mr. BU, singing with his friends on a Friday night, or hey- even trying out for American Idol and getting the coveted golden ticket to Hollywood, he always stood out. After returning to Minneapolis from his chance to meet and talk to singer Jennifer Lopez (god I sound like a name dropper), he decided to further pursue his dreams of becoming a musician. He rallied family and friends together to gather the funds he would need for studio time, and to make this much dreamed about CD a reality.            Upon getting a super personal invite via Facebook to join him at his CD release party (tis the time of invites over the internet), I was so excited. He had done it! And boy did he do it right.
            Everyone I expected to see was there, and even people I didn’t expect to see showed up to see Nels, as well as fellow musician and friend Matt Moberg and his wife Lauren, and two other bands: A Thousand Miles from New York, and Josh Tarp and the Still. The place was packed and buzzing. The Moberg’s graced the stage first with their haunting voices and indie, feel-good vibe. The two of them are spectacular if you haven’t had a chance to hear them yet- check them out. (Remember, Randi and I know good music…) Nels went on next. Looking like a natural he preformed songs off his CD “Winter Road”.  “Get on With Loving You” and “Stop Shivering” are two of my personal favorites. Trying to decide how to describe his voice is difficult, because he can fit in so many categories. Think Jason Mraz-like, but more folky, rawer, and there are some strong moments of country twangs in there. The CD may be called Winter Road, and yes I can totally envision listening to this by some fireplace when its snowy outside… but I can also imagine a bonfire setting this summer with this playing, a cold drink in hand, and just some acoustic version of these songs. Fantastic. 
            Sure, you might think I am biased since we are all friends, but as many of my friends can vouch, I am extremely and brutally honest. So I probably wouldn’t write this at all if I didn’t back it. Go buy it. Listen for yourself. And come to your own conclusions, but I guarantee they’ll be similar to mine.


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Not Your Average Noodle Bar- Entertainment a la mode

Last night I had the wonderful pleasure of getting happy hour with my very best friends. It has now since been dubbed our Wednesday night ritual- much to my excitement, because hey, who doesn’t love happy hour!! This week, we decided to think outside the box and try something new, so we ventured a couple hundred feet from our usual bars and hangouts (adventurous people we are) and stopped at Kinsen. Kinsen Noodles and Bar was created after the owner was under the impression that Uptown needed a noodle bar and also an Asian restaurant that stuck to the needs of the Uptown community. They serve only meat that comes from local and all-natural farmers, and also cater to the gluten-free and vegan population. They stay true to their idea of local vending also while serving Sebastian Joe’s Ice Cream (and uptown favorite), as well as Bull Run Coffee.

Wednesday nights they have some great deals. 2-4-1’s on all tap and bottle beer as well as wine. They also have an appetizer menu that on Wednesday only costs $3 a plate! Pretty inexpensive if you compare it to other happy hour “specials” in the area. Our table got orders of the spring rolls, egg rolls, and pad thai with shrimp and chicken. Although I can’t say I tried the egg rolls (pig products aint for me), I can say the rest of the food was delicious. And two cider beers for only $6? Count me in.

The atmosphere is great; it was warm so they opened up some of the sliding doors. The interior decorations were ethnic and different than any other bar in the Uptown area. My one friend mentioned that it reminded her of a California beach bar, the doors could easily open right up to the sand. A nice little get away only steps from your front door.

(Oh and a little secret. If you live in Uptown and can prove that to your waitress, you get 10% off your bill…)


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Oh So Top Heavy- Fashion a la Mode

I have been honestly searching for the perfect pair of sunglasses for the past month. I know, I know, its only been sunny for like, 4 days here in Minnesota, but regardless of the sun being scattered in its appearances, my sunglasses never are in theirs. I am one of those obsessive sunglass wearers (I didn’t know that was such a word until my Mac didn’t autocorrect me), I have even fallen asleep inside my house with them on. I think I found the style I desperately want, maybe need, (finally, stepping away from the wayfarer style I have been wearing for the past 2 years), and my style icon is none other than Malcolm X. …pause. Yes, I said Malcolm X. He made these brow-line glasses famous in the mid-twentieth century, and for that I give him credit.

The name comes from the fact that much like eyebrows frame the eyes, these frame the glasses themselves. Ray-Ban makes a line of glasses and sunglasses known as the Clubmaster, which is based on this classic style. AMC’s Mad Men has helped to reintroduce this style with the characters wearing them frequently. Flattering on most face shapes, even my rounder heart-shaped face, I’ll take em! 

Now go out at be protected by the (hopefully everywhere) sun...