Coffee, Prose, and Pretty Clothes

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Emergency De-Stressing Kit

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12:00 PM
We have a convention coming up at work this weekend and I've been getting migraines up the wazoo. Poor Brian has been seeing me get stressed out a lot lately and was nice enough to cook me dinner when I had a particularly rough night and wanted to snuggle up. 
That said, when I needed my alone time to stew in my stress alone I pulled out my "Emergency De-Stressing Kit" - my handy kit for when life gets me down. I think everyone should have a de-stressing kit of some sort on hand as well (just in case you have a rough week like I did). Here's what my kit consists of:
  • Something to munch on: I love tart and sour candy. I can eat sour Starburst all day, every day! I keep a bag of Sour Punch Straws and the like on hand because that's probably the first thing I'm going to reach for when I've had a stressful day.
  • A guilty pleasure: Next on my list is something to take my mind off of things aka a bad movie/tv show/book. Lately, The Bachelor has been my guilty pleasure (sidebar: who else is excited for Rachel to be the next Bachelorette??) I've also been known to watch Bridget Jones' Diary on repeat as well. Finally, I never grew out of venting in a journal since my angsty teenage years but I find it a bit therapeutic (albeit embarrassing when I read back). 
  • Something cozy: The easiest way to get myself into a more relaxed mindset is to surround myself with comfy and cozy items. This means warm socks, nice-smelling candles, a warm blanket, and my pretty sleep mask. 
  • A treat: I like to keep a bit of cash handy so that I can treat myself to something small yet frivolous. Maybe I'll get myself a new nail polish I don't need, or more snacks. It's nice to treat yourself once in a while.
What do you do to de-stress?

Walk This Way | Sherpa Cardigan and Pointed Toe Flats

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12:00 PM
Top: Forever 21 tee, H&M cardigan (similar here) || Bottoms: H&M jeans || Accessories: H&M bag, Ray Ban sunglasses || Shoes: Butterfly Twist

As much as I love wearing all of the pretty dresses and heels, my usual outfit consists of a comfy tee, cozy cardigan, well-fitting jeans and a great pair of flats. 
I wore my "uniform" out this past weekend while running errands and we found this cute spot by Washington's First National Bank (a mostly abandoned building with great architecture and an amazing gold door) so, of course, we had to take a few snaps. 
On anther note, let me tell you about these flats: They're from a UK brand called Butterfly Twists and they're amazing!! I've been looking into getting a pair of good flats that would last a long time but can fold over for space-saving purposes in my bag. I looked into getting Tieks but when I found this brand, I just couldn't justify the price of Tieks anymore. 
The flats fold into themselves (similar to Tieks) and have very well-cushioned insoles. Brian even commented when he first saw the inside of the shoes that he wished they made separate insoles that he could buy for his own shoes. They are SO comfy. I walked about 5 miles on Saturday with not blisters and no shoe issues. How many pairs of shoes do you own that do that? This is not a sponsored post - I just really like these shoes! 

Thanks for reading!

Book Club: The Graveyard Book

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12:00 PM
SynopsisAfter the grisly murder of his entire family, a toddler wanders into a graveyard where the ghosts and other supernatural residents agree to raise him as one of their own.

Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn't live in a sprawling graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor of the dead. There are dangers and adventures in the graveyard for a boy. But if Bod leaves the graveyard, then he will come under attack from the man Jack—who has already killed Bod's family...

My Review: To summarize this book, you could use the phrase, "It takes a graveyard to raise a child." it's been a while since a story got me really excited but I was kept up at night thinking about what happens next to Bod Owens! In every chapter Bod is two years older and it's fascinating to see how his adolescent life unfolds in a graveyard, forbidden from leaving it and having a normal life. In one chapter he does go to school but, as Bod is not a normal boy, is forced to leave due to abnormal circumstances. That's pretty much the only time he was able to have some semblance to a normal childhood. This is so interesting to me because it makes me think back to when I was his age and how I would have been so unhappy if I were confined to a graveyard, never allowed to leave. For my only human (and not ghostly) interaction to be with somber visitors of the graveyard. All things considered, Bod grows up to be a well-adjusted young man which intrigues me as well.
Neil Gaiman's writing, as always, is superb. He has this simplistic way of writing where he doesn't use as many adjectives to describe what's happening. He almost simply narrates the story as a fact. I actually find it to be annoying when authors over-describe every detail so his writing is right up my alley. It works so well, especially given the dark nature of the story but it's never scary, it's never horrible. It's funny at times and made me appreciate the simple beauty of a morbid grave. 
If your'e in the mood for easy reading, a great story, or anything by Neil Gaiman, I suggest you pick this book up and give it a read!

City Slicker | Camel Coat and Heeled Booties

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Top: Forever 21 chambray shirt, Zara coat (similar here) || Bottoms: Zara jeans (similar here) || Accessories: Kate Spade Cove Street Provence, Kate Spade necklace (similar here) || Shoes: Sole Society Daphne 

One thing I made sure to do while I was in New York was to walk around 5th Avenue and go shopping! As I only had limited space in my luggage, I tried to bring clothes that I could wear multiple times in different ways. These skinny black jeans have been a staple while traveling - they make my legs look longer (which I always need). I got them years back at a Zara sale and they've remained one of my go-to pieces. I also am loving this camel coat, also from Zara! They literally go with everything and I can see this becoming a wardrobe staple as well. 
All of these staples combined, I think I managed to fit into the New York City scene. I noticed a lot of New Yorkers tend to wear dark neutral colors so I tried to stick with that color scheme. Not too shabby for a tourist, amirite? 

Thanks for reading!

Currently...(Vol. 39)

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  • Reading: Jon Stewart - Beyond the Moments of Zen by Bruce Watson - Jen got this book for me for Galentine's day and it's been such a great read! I didn't know much about Jon Stewart other than the fact that he was an excellent host of The Daily Show and I was sad to see him leave (though, I really do like Trevor Noah). 
  • Listening: Dark Matter by Blake Crouch - I've been on a audio book kick and I really love this one. If you may recall, Jen wrote a book review on this and she raved about it so it had been on my mind for a while. It's so well written (and well narrated by Jon Lindstrom). I highly recommend it too!
  • Watching: Yuna Yang Fashion Show - I've been watching my snaps/saved Instagram stories of the Yuna Yang fashion show. I still can't quite believe I was invited to be a part of one of the biggest fashion events in the world! While I only went to the one show, I am so glad I went at all. I hope to participate again either in September or next year!
  • Wearing: Anthropologie Byron Lars Carissima sheath - I wore this dress to Fashion Week and I am in love with it still! So flattering and pretty! 
  • Drinking: Biergarten Haus - Brian and I stopped by a biergarten this weekend because the weather was so nice! 70 degrees Fahrenheit!! I love this place for their authentic Bavarian cuisine and excellent selection of beer (and I'm usually not a big beer drinker!) If you're ever in DC, this place is a must try!
Thanks for reading!

NYFW Essentials

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2:00 PM
When I went to New York Fashion Week, I knew that the bag I carried would be incredibly important. As much as I wanted to carry just a chic little clutch, that just would not cut it - There's too many necessities! Here are some of the things I put in my medium-sized Kate Spade Cove Street Provence bag:
  • Maybelline Vivid Matte Liquid Lip Color: I have never found a lip color that stays on for more than 2+ hours, especially when I'm eating or drinking coffee (which, in my case, is way too often). I always carry whatever lip product I put on in the morning with me for reapplication. I may do a makeup tutorial on my NYFW look at some point if anyone would want to see that, but I went for a full coverage, strobed look witl nude lips. This matte lip color by Maybelline has been gorgeous! I have the color "Nude Flush" but I could see myself getting all of the other colors in this line. 
  • L'Occitane Almond Hand Lotion: I never go anywhere without hand lotion (especially in the winter) and this one by L'Occitane is my favorite! I LOVE the scent and it's just so hydrating without that feeling greasy. 
  • iPhone charger: I have an iPhone 6s and since the new updates were installed, my phone's been dying on me after only a few hours! I try to keep a phone charger ready at all times now. 
  • Canon Rebel T5: I actually kept one lens in my bag (the 18-55mm kit lens) while Brian ket the body and the 50mm lens on his person for photo opportunities. Perks of having an Instagram boyfriend :) 
  • Water bottle: I have been trying to drink more water to make up for my coffee consumption so I try and keep a water bottle handy.
  • Smith's Rosebud Salve: As with my hands, my lips get really chapped and dry in the winter. I've been using this specific brand of lip balm for years and it's my favorite! 
  • Business cards from MOO: I recently made business cards for my blog with the help of my bestie Jen! She designed a log for the business cards and I'm so incredibly happy with them! The back is a pretty blush pink marble and the front has my social media contact info. I handed a few of these out an during the show!
Thanks for reading!

YUNA YANG Show | Little Black Dress and Neutral Bag

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Dress: Anthropologie || Coat: Zara (similar here) || Accessories: Kate Spade necklace (similar here), Kate Spade bag || Shoes: Sole Society Tiia in 'Black Adobe'

Last Saturday I attended the Yuna Yang show for New York Fashion Week. Her collection was called "Lights in the Shadows" and it was inspired by two major world events: The people who came out to protest the South Korean president for corruption and the Women's March here in the US. The collection was absolutely amazing and there were several runway pieces I would have worn myself! Yuna Yang certainly has a unique style that I find incredibly inspiring. 
For the show, I wore this Byron Lars dress from Anthropologie. This dress has been available at Anthropologie for years now an it's a perpetual favorite. Since its debut in 2013, the design hasn't really changed. Imagine that - in an ever trend-changing fashion scene, this dress has sold for four years without changing! It's certainly prove itself to be a classic! There's a nude slip underneath the dress, and it even comes with built-in shapewear! I saw in the reviews that the hook closure sometimes can come undone but I haven't had that issue at all. In fact, I never undid the hooks at all because there's a zipper in the back. The price point is a bit steep but I managed to snag it when Anthropologie had their rare 25% off all dresses sale, and I had an extra 15% off coupon so I got the dress for a significantly less than its $258 price point. Even though I got the dress for Fashion Week, I can see myself wearing it for a variety of events! 

Thanks for reading!