Coffee, Prose, and Pretty Clothes

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Girl About Town | Leather Leggings and Forest Sweater

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Top: H&M sweater, GAP coat (old, similar here) || Bottoms: Forever 21 leather leggings (similar here) || Accessories: Kate Spade bag, Forever 21 necklace (similar here), H&M beanie (similar here) || Shoes: Catherine Malandrino

Brian and I had a date night looking at the lights and the Christmas tree at City Center this weekend! City Center is kind of a high-end shopping area with shops the likes of Hermes, Louis Vuitton, and Dior. It was fun to walk around and see the gorgeous way the area was decorated. Our own winter wonderland in the heart of the Nation's Capital! It's obviously very manufactured but it was fun to look around with our cups of hot cocoa and our camera. 

Comfort Books

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You ever hear of comfort food? I have comfort books - books that I can go back to time and again that make me feel warm and good inside. I'm sure many of you guys have that too! You know when you're feeling sad or down and you reach for a book that's always inspiring and makes you laugh (that can't be just me, can it?) I want to share my list of comfort books with you guys today!
  • The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho - I remember when I first read this, it changed my life! I know how basic I sound but I had honestly never felt so spiritually connected to the universe as I did when I read that book. Whenever I need a bit of a pick-me-up (especially when I feel lost or unclear what direction my life is going), I read this book and it never fails to make me feel better. I wrote a review of this book way back as well, if any of you guys are in a reminiscent mood.
  • Stardust by Neil Gaiman - I really loved this book because it was a grown-up fairytale! I remember reading Tolkein and C.S. Lewis as a kid so discovering this book as an adult was a treat as Gaiman's writing reminded me so much of Lord of the Rings and Narnia. This is the book I read when I need a little bit of creativity in my life. I wrote a review on this book as well. 
  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling - This book has an incredibly special place in my heart because this is the book that started an adventure of a lifetime! Whenever I needed an escape from the real world growing up, I would pick up any one of the Harry Potter books but the first of the series was always my favorite (a close second is Prisoner of Azkaban). 
  • Matilda by Roald Dahl - This was one of the first Roald Dahl books I read and this book is what made me fall in love with reading! Matilda was a shy girl who loved to read and I found in her a kindred spirit. I've read every single Roald Dahl book since but I'll never forget that Matilda was who put me on that reading train. 
What are some of your comfort books?

Miracle on 7th Street | Printed Shirtdress and Tall Boots

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Dress: Forever 21 (similar here) || Accessories: H&M necklace (similar here), Kate Spade bag, LOFT tights || Shoes: Catherine Malandrino

So this post is a bit of a misnomer because we actually ended up not going to Miracle on 7th Street. Allow me to explain: 
I planned a date night with Brian at this new Christmas-themed pop-up bar. It's extremely popular and because I missed it last year, I thought it would be fun to go. When we got to the area, Brian and I walked by this very lit area near a metro station and he said that this would be a good quick photo op (he's such a good Instagram Boyfriend). Well, we took these photos but by the time we were done, we were freezing, especially for me because I had taken my coat off for these pictures. We walked one block up and noticed a looooong line of people waiting to get in to the Miracle on 7th Street and a bouncer who was in no hurry to let anyone in! By then we were cold and starting to get hangry so we decided to skip it altogether and go elsewhere. I guess it wasn't so miraculous after all. 
But at least we got these photos - I wore this for our date night - Tall boots and a shirtdress in a cute print! 

Share some of your failed date night mishaps with me! I'd love to hear about them!

Lipstick Challenge | Week 1

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Stephanie invited me to participate in a month-long Lipstick Challenge where a group of bloggers all came up with prompts and every weekday we'll create a look based on the prompt. I'm not super happy with the way these photos turned out (I promise I'll do much better next week), but here are my interpretations:

December 1: Wild Card
I created a heart shape on my lips!
December 2: Beautiful Catastrophe
I tried to do a gradient on my lips. It actually looked much better in person but it looked like a hot mess in the photos. Oh well...

December Bucket List

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It's finally December and we're one month closer to the new year! November was an insane month, from the election to Thanksgiving, November seemed longer than it actually was in some respects. I'm excited about December though, I love the Holidays! Here are just a few things I want to accomplish by the end of the year:
  • Go ice skating at the National Gallery of Art's Sculpture Garden: While I've always wanted to participate in this DC winter tradition, I've never gone because I don't know how to ice skate! I have a friend who recently got a job at the National Gallery of Art and highly recommended I come so I think I'm going to risk looking like a clumsy oaf on the ice and have some fun!
  • Go see the Smithsonian National Zoo Lights: This is another tradition I just haven't done! I think I'm just so averse to being cold that I hate going outside in the winter (which is why I haven't gone ice skating either). Brian's very outdoorsy so I have a feeling he'll encourage me to go outside and hang out. I might as well see something everyone else in DC has seen. 
  • Shop at the Holiday Market: I love a good outdoor market and this market that pops up every year around the holidays is my absolute favorite in DC! I took my mom last year and she loved it as well! I've managed to find holiday gifts for people here so that's a bonus. Plus, they have the most delicious churro stand!
  • See a play at the Shakespeare Theatre: I think I mentioned this before but for my birthday back in September, Brian got me season tickets to go see plays at the Shakespeare theatre! In October we saw Romeo and Juliet and this month we're seeing The Secret Garden which happens to be one of my favorite plays from when I was a kid! I am incredibly excited for this one!
  • Spend Christmas with my family: I am so looking forward to going home and just relaxing with my family. If I learned anything this past Thanksgiving, it's that being with my family helps me relax and I could definitely use that after this crazy season!
  • Spend NYE with Brian: Even though I have been in relationships on New Years in the past, I've actually never spent any of them with a boyfriend! Brian seems to be on a mission to change that for me this year so I'm very much looking forward to ringing in 2017 with him!
Thanks for reading!

Mad About Plaid | Plaid Ruffles and Wool Skirt

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Top: J.Crew Factory plaid ruffle shirt || Bottoms: J.Crew Factory wool skirt || Accessories: Banana Republic belt, Kate Spade cross body, Ray Ban sunglasses || Shoes: Forever 21 boots

When I put together this outfit, I had Jean from Extrapetite in mind. We happen to have the same skirt but I decided to pair mine with this cute twist on an ordinary plaid shirt - the collar has ruffles! This would be a great look for work during the holiday season! 

Thanks for reading!

November Empties

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I admit, I'm pretty precious with my beauty products sometimes so it takes me a while to use things up. I don't know how other people can have an 'Empties' post every month! In any case, this past month, I managed to hold on to some of the empty tubes of product I used up:
  • Simple Eye Cream: This was a good item this summer! It has a cooling effect on my eyes that really helped tone down the puffiness!
  • Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray: Another fantastic item for the summer - it gives you this 'just got back from the beach' hair that I find perfect during the warm season! Glad I managed to use this up and I will most definitely be repurchasing!
  • Aveeno "Positively Radiant" moisturizer: I really love this moisturizer, and I've been using this since college! It is perfect for sensitive skin and makes my skin feel lovely and soft! That said, I'm going to take a break from this product, just because I want to try other moisturizers - it unfortunately doesn't quite make the cut to my eczema-prone skin, but for everyone else this would be an excellent product to have in your skin care routine!
  • Maybelline "Lash Sensational" mascara: This was such a hyped mascara and I must admit, it lives up to the hype! The only thing I didn't like about this particular mascara was the wand, but I now have the same mascara in a black tube that has a straighter wand and is more my speed. 
  • Philosophy A-Z cream: Oh man was this a skin-saver this summer! It provides a sheer, yet buildable, coverage with SPF and ample moisture! 
  • Batiste dry shampoo: I love Batiste products but I hate the white powder residue it leaves in my hair. I know they have a formula for dark hair but I wanted to use this one up before I went to buy a new one so I'm glad this one was used up. 
Thanks for reading!