Coffee, Prose, and Pretty Clothes

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Social Loner | Lace Up Sweater and Duck Boots

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12:00 PM

Going off on my post on being an ambivert, I think I’m a social loner more than anything.  Case in point: When I was in school, I hated studying by myself in my dorm room because it was too quiet. I had to study in the library but once I was in the library, I would stare daggers at my friends who would see me and want to talk to me. I just wanted to be in a social environment...alone. Years later, I'm still the same way. I don't mind going out with my friends but I like being quiet and observing people when I'm out rather than actively participating in whatever my group is doing. I guess I just want to be invited to do things more than I actually want to participate. I'm complicated. 

Are there any social loners out there as well? How do you cope? Let me know in the comments!

Party Night | Blush Cami Dress and Black Booties

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12:00 PM
Dress: H&M (similar here) || Accessories: H&M bag, Kate Spade necklace (similar here), Julep nail polish in 'Evelyn' || Shoes: Sole Society Daphne

This post is late - as in 16 days late! I actually wore this outfit on New Years Eve! We actually had pretty mild weather that day (highs in the high 50s) so I told Brian that I'd go sans jacket for these photos. The things I'll do for a nice photo...
Anyways, I got this dress at H&M a while back because I really liked the shimmery fabric and the simple silhouette. I knew this would be a great outfit for nights out because of the split and could be dressed down by layering a sweater over it. Don't you just love versatile pieces?

Thanks for reading!

Currently... (Vol. 36)

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4:03 PM
My first week without OOTDs! I wanted to spend some time working on posts that didn't have to do with outfits which is exactly what I did! I had a lot of fun writing more and thinking about non-fashion related blogs but I'm ready to get back into my usual routine. 
Now, without further ado, here are the things I am enjoying currently:
  • Reading: Leaving DC for the inauguration - As A DC resident who is also escaping town during Inauguration weekend, I was happy to hear that I was not the only one. My friends and I rented a cabin in Harper's Ferry and taking a break from the (soon to be) congested city. I'm not very good with big crowds to begin with so this will be a great escape. I also really liked the quote they used in the article regarding President-elect Trump supporters who will be coming: "'I definitely understand people's right to come here,' he said. 'And that's why I'm leaving.'"
  • Eating: Keren Restaurant - Brian and I went to this Eritrean restaurant this past week for a quick bite. I love Ethiopian food so this was a great new find for me. Definitely try the ful when you're there! So good!
  • Wearing: L'Occitane Almond hand cream - Dry winter air and eczema don't mix well. I've been reaching for my hand lotion compulsively these days! I am loving this L'Occitane hand cream. I find it to be incredibly moisturizing and the scent is lovely without being overpowering.
  • Watching: Doctor Who - I finally got Brian to watch season 1 of new Who with me! I was a bit worried how the 9th Doctor and the old graphics would be received but Brian's hooked and all is well in my nerd world! I can't wait until he gets to David Tennant's Doctor (he's my favorite!)
Thanks for reading!

Books to UNHaul

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12:00 PM
This is the opposite of a haul post - this is a post on unhauling! Since this is the time of year where everyone is starting fresh, getting things cleaned and out of the way is a part of that. 
I'm actually pretty good at letting things go and getting rid of things I no longer need (I'm the opposite of a hoarder, as I mentioned here). Books, however are another story. I have the hardest time getting rid of books because once I finish a story, it becomes a part of me and the characters of an especially good book become like my friends. I realize I sound like a crazy person but it's honestly the reason why I'm a book hoarder. 
In the spirit of starting anew, I do think it's time to get rid of a few books. And by "get rid," I mean donate or give away - I couldn't really just trash any of my precious books! 
If you're in a similar predicament and your bookshelf has seen better days, here are a few things you should think about when you decide which books you should take down: 
  • Books you feel nothing for: Sometimes the magic of a book is gone because it's been a while or it's no longer relevant in your life. It happens and it certainly happened to me. I added books like my "Sweet Valley High" series into the 'books-to-donate' pile. They were fun when I was a kid but they really don't do anything for me and I see no value in them right now. 
  • Books you have outgrown: I was gifted a few Chicken Soup series books growing up. They were incredibly helpful for me to read when I was a teenager and I was so inspired by the life testimonies of all of the stories people wrote in. That said, I'm not inspired by them anymore and I'm definitely at a phase in my life where I don't necessarily need those particular stories anymore. I've also decided to donate some of my old children's books that helped me start my reading journey in the first place. I'm sure they'll help another child learn to enjoy reading too!
  • Books you didn't enjoy: Last year I read a few books that I was so disappointed in that it took me forever to read them or I even completely gave up on them (which is something I never do). These are definitely not staying on my bookshelf. In fact, I'm excited to get rid of them so I can make more room for books I actually will love.
  • Books you want to read in a different format: I mentioned wanting to read more from my Kindle app this year which means if I have any duplicates of the books on my app, I should be getting rid of them as well. I have friends who love reading specific books in e-reader format and if you're in that boat, you should definitely lose the duplicates.
What are some books you've had to get rid of recently? Let me know about that decision making process!

What's On My Kindle App

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12:19 PM
As an Amazon Prime member, I get access to some free Kindle-edition e-books and the library is actually really good! I went on a downloading spree a while back and then... I never read them! To be honest, e-reading isn't my favorite reading medium because I'm a pretty traditional reader (physical copies are my favorite). But that means I'm leaving a ton of books that are at my fingertips untouched! As one of my goals for this year is to prioritize reading again, I'm planning on going through all of my Kindle books and having them all read by the end of the year. Before I list all of these, there are a few in here that I'm actually a bit embarrassed I still haven't read (as a self-professed "bookish" girl, I still haven't read Life of Pi!) No judgments please :]
  • What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Munroe
  • The Things We Wish Were True by Marybeth Mayhew Whalen
  • Life of Pi by Yann Martel
  • Mrs. Warren's Profession by George Bernard Shaw
  • Agnes Grey by Anne Brontë
  • Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
  • This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • Villette by Charlotte Brontë

Book Club: Dark Matter

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12:00 PM
For Christmas last year I looked through Jen's Amazon wishlist and got her a couple of books that she wanted. One of them included Dark Matter by Blake Crouch and I was so happy when Jen texted me upon finishing the book telling me she wanted to review it! I love a book that makes me feel anything strongly enough to want to write about it so I am happily letting her do so.
Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
By Jen

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch was the best book I've read in 2016. The plot, tone, characters, and pure originality simply stunned me. I cannot recommend this book more. It is not often a book is so unpredictably good that you need to read it twice in a row, just because it was such a fun experience.

Dark Matter follows college physics professor Jason Dressen as he is abducted by a mysterious stranger one night and wakes up in a laboratory with a different recollection of the last 15 years than the rest of the people he encounters in the laboratory. 

Jason at first believes he's gone insane, but in exploring the world he woke up in he realizes this is not his world. Daniela, the woman he remembers as his wife, isn't his wife and their son Charlie was never actually born. His worldview is simply shattered and he returns to the laboratory and begins to research his life and learns Jason Dressen in this world is a famous quantum physicist and the lab he is in is where he works on a giant Cube that acts as a portal to the multiverse. 

Jason also learns he is the only person to have ever gone into the cube and return, which means the company that runs the laboratory needs him to be the award winning physicist not the college professor. He discovers that the person who kidnapped him was in fact himself from the universe he is currently in. 

At the lab he encounters a therapist named Amanda, who discovers he is the same Jason she had worked with at the lab. As the company becomes more suspicious of Jason, they start killing the people around him to keep him and his knowledge in their hands. Amanda decides to help Jason escape the lab and then the real adventure begins. 

This story then becomes Jason's quest to get back to his world, his wife, and his son. Amanda being stranded with Jason on this journey does her best to help him navigate the journey. They experience many hardships and tragedies as they explore the multiverse. Eventually they part ways and Jason finds his way back to his world only to discover that in each of he other universes he went to his decisions created more versions of himself, meaning potentially hundreds of Jasons are all back in his world plotting ways to get the same wife and son back. Some are plotting to murder each other, some are plotting to keep them safe. 

To avoid any more spoilers I'll stop describing the plot. Truly this premise should be ludicrous and convoluted, but the author takes us on journey that kept me interested and routing for the protagonist. 

The characters are so well written and I found myself sympathizing with not just Jason, Daniela, or Amanda, but also each version of himself that was created. 

My only gripe while reading this book was actually that his son was so one dimensional and Amanda was just a vehicle to propel the plot. However both of these gripes were resolved when Amanda took off on her own to pursue her own journey (which I would love to read about in sequel) and with Charlie at the ending. 

While the book dealt a lot with quantum mechanics and string theory, the science was well balanced by the humor and heart in this book. 

An additional thing I loved about this book was the action. While I love a good action movie, I find it hard to read action scenes in books. There is usually something missing for me. Dark Matter, however, gave me all the Jason Bourne flashbacks. The way the action was written made my heart race and actually made me gasp out load. 

I cannot recommend this book to people more. It's like if the reason Jason Bourne didn't remember his life was because he was abducted by himself from another universe and sent back to that universe. 

11 Goals in 2017

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1:13 PM
This is a late post and for that I apologize. I was planning on having this post sooner but life got in the way (I mean, already? The new year just started, amirite?). 
I wanted to share some of my goals for the new year! Better late than never, right?
  1. Re-prioritize reading and try to finish a book a week
  2. Come up with a workout routine and stick to it.
  3. Set up a budget for the new year
  4. De-clutter my life and learn to live with less
  5. Post on the blog consistently 
  6. Work with and "meet" more bloggers (especially the ones in my area). 
  7. Attend more blogging events
  8. Improve photography skills
  9. Strengthen and grow my close friendships (especially with my girlfriends)
  10. Move in with Brian and create a home together
  11. I got promoted at work recently and I want to kick ass at my day job!