Coffee, Prose, and Pretty Clothes

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NYFW Essentials

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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! 

My Favorite Valentine's Day

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Happy Valentine's Day everyone!
As many of my long-time readers may have noticed, I don't like to delve too deeply into my personal life but I wanted to take a bit of time to talk to you all about something very personal: My favorite Valentine's Day, AKA the day I met my boyfriend, Brian. 
My good friend Carly's birthday happens to be on February 14 and she graciously invited me to her house for brunch. This was a small party with only a handful of people in attendance but even if there were hundreds of people there, I think I would have been drawn to Brian anyway. 
He stood out first and foremost because he's so tall (he's 6'3)! We were introduced by our mutual friend and though we only spoke for a few minutes initially, I remember thinking that he seemed so nice and friendly. We went off to talk to our own group of friends but came together again for a game of Cards Against Humanity where we were able to talk some more - about some really personal stuff. I went from thinking that he was just some nice guy to thinking that he was incredibly kind and sweet. Before leaving the party, I discreetly asked my friend if he was single and she (very indiscreetly) told me he was and that we'd make a great couple! Before I could stop her, I saw her walking over to him and loudly whisper that he should ask me out! I walked away, completely embarrassed, thinking that my chances with him were gone but was pleasantly surprised to find a Facebook friend request waiting for me from him when I got home. We messaged each other, we went out the next week and we've been together ever since. 
It's funny, I never thought I'd meet someone like Brian because my relationship with Brian is so different from any relationship I've had with anyone ever before. I've been in love and I've had my heart broken before but with Brian, I feel so at peace. I want to say it's because we're both such amazing people and we're the greatest people to have ever lived but that wouldn't be true at all (well, at least not for me). It's because we're just simply compatible! We're similar in a lot of ways - we're both willing to put in the effort to make our relationship work, we're willing to listen to each other, even when we're upset, and we both prioritize having a healthy relationship, meaning we've been pretty good at striking a good balance between loving ourselves and loving each other. We're also different from each other as well but I think we've been really good at talking through our conflicts and I happen to think our differences complement each other.
It's been a whole year since we first met and I almost can't believe that we've already done so much together! We've gone on five trips together already, celebrated both of our birthdays, and even made plans for the future together. No matter what happens, I will always very fondly remember that Valentine's Day when we awkwardly made conversation and tried to hide our attraction to each other. Definitely the best Valentine's Day I've ever had. 

Thanks for reading!

Valentine's Eve | Black Floral Dress and Studded Pumps

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

Here's another look for Valentine's Day - a little black dress with big floral prints! I actually find this dress to be quite versatile for many occasions, not just Valentine's day so if you're in the market for a dress that'll be good for work and date night, I highly recommend this one. 
We took these photos in New York the first night we got there (so pardon my disheveled appearance). It actually wasn't terribly cold this past weekend there except on the last night when we got freezing rain. That was bad - I didn't have anything in my suitcase that could have prepared me for that! Otherwise, the temperatures weren't so bad that I felt like I would freeze without tights. I traveled by cab for the most part and most of the snow was cleared up so I didn't need boots either.
I wore this dress for dinner at the Gin Parlour. It was a great meal and I am so glad we started off our first NYC meal there! All the food was great and the cocktails were amazing!
I'm back in DC from my brief stint at New York Fashion Week and I still have quite a bit of editing, unpacking, and sifting through photos to do but I think I can safely say that this weekend was incredible! I was so inspired by all the creativity and beauty and I'm sad I couldn't stay for longer. It's crazy because the week started off so badly for me - I was stressed out and a lot of things didn't seem like it was going the way I was planning for it to. But when the weekend came, everything was okay again and I had nothing but the best time.
I will have a post up on Wednesday on the fashion show I attended so stay tuned! 
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Thanks for reading!

Valentine's Day Gift Guide

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I struggle to come up with a generic gift guide for Valentine's Day - I feel like I'm pretty decent at getting gifts for people in my life but I also think the people in my life are really unique and I like getting them things that highlight their uniqueness. That said, I always scour the web for posts like this and if I can help some of you guys with your last minute gifts, I'm happy to do so. Here are some things I considered or actually got for my friends and Brian: 
For your Valentine (him)
  • iPhone camera lens: Brian recently got an iPhone 7 (jealous) and as he likes working on his photography, I figured this would be a nice way to help him on his hobby. 
  • Carry-On Cocktail kit: For jet-setting boyfriends like Brian, this would be a great gift! It has all the ingredients you need to make yourself a cocktail on a flight...except the actual alcohol which you usually can get on those longer flights. I honestly want one for myself too!
  • Comfy pajamas: This was something Brian actually said he wanted at some point - a nice pair of pajamas. Who wouldn't want to snuggle with a guy wearing those? :) 
For your Galentine (her):
  • Friendship necklace: My best friend Jen got me a friendship necklace for my birthday a while back and I LOVED it! The best thing about this gift is that it's half your gift as well because you can obviously keep half! 
  • Tea mug: I saw this before and I always thought that this could also be a fun DIY project - you can decorate the mug! It'd be perfect for the tea-drinking gal pal in your life! 
  • Home spa kit: This would require some creativity - you can create a care package with all things your bestie can use for a home spa day! I would put some nail polish, candles, cute loofahs, a little exfoliator, moisturizer samples, etc. 
What are some of your gift ideas?

Romantic | Pink Lace and Midi Skirt

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Top: Tobi romper, worn as a top (similar here), Zara coat (similar here) || Bottoms: H&M skirt (similar here) || Accessories: Kate Spade necklace (on sale!), Kate Spade Cove Street Provence bag, || Shoes: Sole Society Tiia in 'Adobe'

With Valentine's Day quickly approaching, I figured I should have at least one outfit here that would be appropriate for the holiday. The top is actually a lace romper which looks totally stunning on its own but I wanted to pair it with this gorgeous red midi skirt. I also added this camel coat from Zara - I had been on the hunt for a nice camel coat and this one fit the bill! I love the length, the masculine cut, the wool material, the nice weight, and while it's thin, it's so warm! Checks everything on my list for sure!
I actually am pretty ambivalent about Valentine's Day. I've said this many times before but to me, it's just another day. That said, I met Brian on Valentine's Day last year so at least this year I should have a better attitude towards it haha! I dunno, relationship or not, it's just another day, albeit one with a built-in excuse to eat all the candy you want :]
Thanks for reading!

Book Club: Fortunately, The Milk

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I still haven't had my fill of Neil Gaiman books so it's with great pleasure I read Fortunately, the Milk. While I absolutely loved Good Omens, it took a bit longer to read (not the book's fault, I just got super busy). So I decided to read this short story by him so that I could quickly cross off something from my to-do list (finish a book). Gaiman wrote this wacky book for his children so obviously this didn't take very long to finish at all - just an hour.
A father is charged with taking care of his children while his wife goes away on a business trip. He forgets to buy milk for his children's breakfast cereal (and his tea) so he goes off to the market to get some. What should have been a brief trip takes several hours. When the father gets back, he tells his children a story about his whereabouts that includes alien abduction, time travel, vampires (or, wumpires), pirates, and dinosaurs. His proof? A bottle of milk that he managed to keep on him throughout the journey.
This book should take you maybe an hour to read but it's a fun little way to escape to a fantastical story in an afternoon. I kind of wish I read it as a child when my imagine was much more vivid but it's just as entertaining to read as an adult. Give it a read - your investment is just a bit of time but you'll be taken on an adventure you won't soon forget!