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Closet Shopping | Graphic Tee and Leather Leggings

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Wondrous Wednesday gorgeous readers!

Every time I do a closet purge, I always find an article of clothing I forgot about - maybe I should clean my closet out more often! Since this month's Resolution Goal was to limit my spending on frivolous things (including clothes), it's nice to find something 'fresh' amongst the things I already own! I bought this t-shirt back in July but I wore it twice and it got shuffled to the bottom of my bureau and was promptly forgotten. Has that ever happened to any of you guys?

What are some 'hidden gems' in your closet?

Top: Zara tee (similar by Forever 21), Forever 21 jacket (similar here)
Bottoms: Forever 21 (similar here)
Accessories: Nine West clutch
Shoes: Sole Society

Book Review: The Shell Collector

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It's the last Tuesday of the month and I have a great book review from my best friend, Jen! If you missed her past few book reviews, here's one on The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and another on The Girl's Guide to Everything. Today she'll be reviewing another goodie, The Shell Collector. I hope you enjoy!

Hugh Howey is known as for his futuristic and intriguing novels. In The Shell Collector he steps back a bit from some of his more audacious plots and sets the story in the near future. The world of The Shell Collector the seas are dying, tides are rising, and weather is extreme. Shells have become a commodity and this novel focuses on a particular set that could be worth 2-3 million, if they’re not forgeries.

The novel focuses on Maya Walsh, a beautiful and feisty reporter, who is about to publish a four piece expose bringing down Ness Wilde, the leader of a dynasty of oil men who’ve lead to the dying seas. However as the first piece of Maya’s expose is published, Ness reaches out to Maya to do an interview, then the FBI reaches out to Maya to use her as a confidential informant during to help solve a forgery/murder they believe that Ness might be involve in. Maya agrees to these proposals because she wants to bring Ness down. However as the interview progresses, she begins to fall for Ness and realizes there might be more to his story than she thought.

Before this novel was published, I read an excerpt online and was enthralled! Howey writes with such skill that I had to pre-order this book. Maya was given an interesting background and a diverse heritage, Ness’s history was a twist I didn’t expect, and Howey illustrates a plausible reality for the world he creates. The novel opens with: “The trees are a decadence… just to stand there as a giant screw you to reality, a bold claim that seems to say: your world has gone to ruin, but not mine. I can afford to make any world I choose.” I was intrigued the maturity of the story and the writing of the novel.  

When I started reading this book, it was defying the stereotype of futuristic genre where a heroine has the weight of a post-apocalyptic society on her shoulders and has to choose between falling in love and something crucial to the story. However as I read on, Maya began to fall into that stereotype and I began to feel disappointed. That being said, the novel is written so well, that the cliché plot almost feels fresh. Truly, the saving grace in this novel is Howey’s writing style.

One of the most intriguing things about this book is that the environment is as much a character in this novel as Maya is. Often Maya will even personify the Sea, giving it emotions and even comparing humanity’s relationship with the sea an abusive one; saying  “Afterward, I made excuses: I blamed it on the sky, on the weather, on the poor planning. Abusive relationships often go like this: falling in love, not seeing the ugly side, coming up with rationalization when you do. It hard to get free, because you just want to recapture some lost feeling.”

Despite my complaints, I would still recommend this book. The characters are amazing, the world Howey creates is fascinating, and three weeks after reading the novel I am still thinking about it. Knowing myself, I am sure this book will warrant a re-read.

Cheeky | Lace Crop Top and Maxi Skirt

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Happy Monday lovelies!

The thing about Washington, DC is that you run into a lot of people who place their worth in their careers. In a typical DC bar, you'll be hard pressed to find someone who doesn't ask what you do for a living within the first 10 minutes of a conversation. It's not always meant to be a judgmental question but sometimes you'll get the odd guy or gal who will tell you what they do with a condescending sneer. I encountered one such young man at a bar who told me he was a Senate staffer. He asked me what I did and I thought I'd have some fun with it.
"Oh, I work as a janitor at a college." I replied to his shocked face. "Yeah, I'm a janitor, even though I'm a lot smarter than most of the students there. Sometimes I'll see a complex math equation on a board, like half of an equation, and I'll just... figure it out."
In case you didn't get the reference, it's basically the plot of the film Good Will Hunting and I don't actually work as a janitor nor do I work in a university setting. Luckily, he did get the reference and laughed while admitting he may have come off a bit douche-y. Maybe that's the key to dealing with self-important people - cheeky little comments that will get you a laugh. 

How do you deal with condescending people?

Top: Forever 21
Bottoms: Forever 21 (similar here)
Accessories: Bershka bag (also cute by Betsy Johnson), LouLou bracelets, H&M bracelet (super cute here)
Shoes: Forever 21

Warm Winter | Crop Top and Floral Midi

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Wintery Wednesday readers!
Winter is here but the day I took these pictures, we were experiencing unseasonably warm temperatures - it was 56 degrees fahrenheit - hence, I'm not actually that crazy for wearing this crop top. As I'm writing this post, however, we were back down to 28 degrees so I was a bit hesitant to post this without an explanation of my sartorial choice. I hate talking constantly about the weather on my blog (I wish I could be a lot more interesting than that) but I think it does help explain my outfits a lot more. 

What's winter like where you live?

Top: Forever 21 crop top, H&M blazer (similar here)
Bottoms: Forever 21
Accessories: Zara bag
Shoes: Zara (similar by H&M)

Short Hair Don't Care

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Tantalizing Tuesday everyone!

I got a haircut yesterday! I have a few posts lined up for the rest of the week with my long hair still intact but I wanted to share with you all my new length:

I went from this:

To this:

I've wanted to get a long bob (or a "lob") for a while now and I'm really liking this new length!

Kids | Floral Skirt and Ankle Boots

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Marvelous Monday everyone!

A friend I went to high school with announced her pregnancy recently and I don't get it. 
I graduated high school in 2008 (I'm dating myself here) so I suppose I'm not technically too young to have kids but I still can't help it that my first reaction to the news was, "You're having children? WTF I am a children!" 
I don't want any of you guys to walk away from this post believing that I think having kids is bad or even having kids at a young age is bad. Not at all! I firmly believe that everyone matures at different paces and some people reach a place where they are ready to have kids faster than people like me who still giggle at the word 'penis' and 'duty' (I just laughed as I wrote this, in fact). I guess it's just hard for me to take in that we're the same age but some people just have it together while I'm sitting here in my pajamas, writing this blog while watching 'Friends' on Netflix with some Cheetohs crumbs next to me, wondering why I'm single.

Props to parents everywhere! You folks are amazing!

Top: Forever 21 shirt (similar here), H&M coat
Bottoms: H&M skirt (similar here)
Accessories: Uniqlo tights, Tory Burch bag
Shoes: Forever 21 booties (similar here)

Currently... (Vol. 11)

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4:11 PM
Can you believe that we're entering our third week of January?? Where did all the time go? Insanity, I tell you! 
I'd hate to bore you with complaints about the weather because I'm sure there are a lot of you guys who are in colder parts of the world who would kill to have a winter like ours (I told Jen about our high of 20 degrees last week and she said she was jealous. She's in Iowa and her winters consist of highs below 0 degrees Fahrenheit!) so let's just get started with my list of things I'm enjoying currently:


  • Reading: Buzzfeed's article on the solution to homelessness - this was such an interesting article to read and very eye-opening as well. I'm very interested in this issue and small village homes is a very interesting idea to combat homelessness and poverty. 
  • Listening to: Serial podcast - Have you guys heard of this? My co-worker recommended it to me recently. It's a investigative podcast about a Baltimore murder in 1999 that lead to a 'life in prison' sentence. It's a true investigative report by a journalist and the more I listen to it, the more conflicted I feel about the conviction. On one hand, the original prosecution's theory seems a bit... thin. But I can't completely say that the guy isn't guilty. It's fascinating and I highly recommend it to those who like a good crime story. 
  • Eating: GBD Chicken and Donuts in DuPont - This is an excellent place for a happy hour and chicken and donuts are just an excellent combination of food to eat. If you're in the area and feeling a bit peckish, check out GBD!
  • Watching: Galavant - I love a good musical and a Disney musical is... everything! It's so funny and silly and I really like all the celebrity cameos (John Stamos as Jean Hamm - I see what they did there!). Also, Joshua Sasse is just... so good looking. Like, distractingly good looking...
  • Wearing: Uniqlo tights - I talked about this in an outfit post and I love how warm they are! Fun fact, these are the tights that didn't rip when I tripped and fell on my way to a party! Seriously girls, if you wear skirts or dresses in the winter, these are a must-have!
  • Drinking: PG Tips tea - I found this tea at World Market because I remember liking it when I studied abroad in the UK. It's just as good as I remember! Remember to drink it with milk and no sugar for maximum Britishness :)
Thanks for reading!

Tights | Knitted Tights and Burgundy Dress

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Wintery Wednesday beauties!

Winter is a tough season for a dress lover - a pair of tights can only keep your legs so warm during the snowy sub-zero temperatures. Sometimes I'll try layering socks over my tights but that look doesn't work for all outfits that I have in mind. 
I'm sure you all can imagine my delight when I received these knitted tights by Uniqlo for Christmas from my aunt. They are made from an insulating material called HEATTECH (according to Uniqlo's website). I've trekked to work wearing this with a dress and I haven't frozen to death yet! They are so much warmer than your average pair of opaque tights! And the cable knit design adds a cozy touch to all of my outfits I pair these with!

This is not a sponsored post - I just really love these tights and I can't recommend them enough!

Dress: (similar here)
Coat: H&M
Accessories: Uniqlo knit tights (similar by Berkshire) , H&M bow belt (similar by Mango), LouLous scarf (similar here), Tory Burch bag
Shoes: Forever 21 ankle boots

I'm Not a Hugger

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Confession time, folks: I'm not a very affectionate person.

Well, at least not with everyone. I'm the kind of person who will take a while to warm up to you. Not because I dislike people, I just like having my personal space and I get a bit selective about who I choose to let in it. 
I thought about this recently because I went to a co-worker's birthday party. She invited some of her friends outside of work (who were all lovely people). I had a great time but when we were saying our goodbyes, a LOT of her friends declared "I'm a hugger, no handshakes!" and just... bearhugged me. I'm used to huggers and I mostly just deal with this as gracefully as I can but to be honest, I get quite uncomfortable when people I don't know hug me (when I was younger, I used to squirm and I even cried for help once... that was an uncomfortably awkward situation I created for myself). I get that some people are more affectionate than others and I think that's great! I also think it's a bit unfair to impose that on people who... well take a bit of time to warm up to others. I talked to my friend about this and she thought this was ironic because I'm perfectly fine with people kissing me on the cheek as a greeting. "Isn't that more intimate?" she asked. Actually, I don't think so. A kiss on the cheek can be cold and chaste but it's nearly impossible to give someone an angry hug.  Hugs are a sign of intimacy expressed with your whole body rather than just a part of it.

So what about you guys? Are you unaffectionate like me or do you live for hugs? Let me know your thoughts on the matter in the comments!

Downtown | Joggers and Cat Ears

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Happy Monday beauties!

One of the things I love about blogging is that it encourages me to step out of my comfort-zone, style-wise. I tend to favor more feminine and whimsical styles but today I wanted to try a look inspired by street-style post on Pinterest. While I got the chambray shirt with jogging pants part down, I added some elements from my own style - a cat-ear beanie and my trusty leopard shoes!

Thanks for reading!

Top: Forever 21
Bottoms: H&M
Accessories: H&M beanie (similar here), Forever 21 wayfarers, Tory Burch bag
Shoes: Sole Society

Currently... (Vol. 10)

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6:27 PM
Hello beauties, did you have a good weekend?

Well, there's no denying that it's really winter now - it's been freezing here in DC! On  Tuesday we had snow for the first time this year and Thursday, our high was 21 degrees Fahrenheit! I was hoping we'd avoid another polar vortex but it may be happening anyway :[
Anyways, on to some of my favorite things this week:

  • Wearing: 'Chinchilly' by Essie - There's just something about this polish that has me coming back to it ever winter. It's a greyish-beige color that's just so flattering and appropriate during the colder months. If you're looking for a warm nail polish color for the winter, I suggest you try 'Chinchilly' and see how you like it 
  • Reading: Egghead by Bo Burnham - Bo Burnham is one of my favorite comedians ever! He's witty, he's clever, and he's a musician! If you've never heard of his material, I highly recommend you check him out on Youtube. He has a poetry book out and they're just as unusual, random, hilarious, and clever as his comedy material usually is!
  • Watching: Friends on Netflix - I spent a sickday watching three seasons of Friends and I'm still not done! I've forgotten how funny this show is! I think I relate to Chandler the most but I think there's a bit of Phoebe as well. Who's your character?
  • Eating: Waffle cookies - I'm not a big breakfast person but I'm trying to be better at not skipping meals. I found that nibbling on these with my morning cup of coffee is a good way to (re)introduce breakfast into my life. So yummy!
  • Listening to: My Playlist - Speaking of breakfast, my playlist I created has been interesting to listen to while getting ready in the morning. 
  • Drinking: Quartermaine Coffee - I'm planning a series of coffee shop reviews and this is the first place on my list. Is this something you guys would like to read?
Thanks for reading!

Dealing with Dismissal

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Today I wanted to write a more in-depth post about something that's been bothering me for a long time: the words, "My bad."

Allow me to explain where I am coming from with a little story.
In university, I shared an apartment with a friend of mine who I call "Hannah." Hannah, for the most part was a good friend and a generally fun person to hang out with on a Saturday night. One day, I realized that a few things in my room were missing - a $20 bill, a pair of scissors, some snacks I had in my desk that I was saving for a late night study session. Small things but things that should not be missing in the first place. I did some investigating and I found out that my roommate secretly held two parties (there were Facebook events made) behind my back. I don't think she was the one who stole my things but I firmly believe that party hosts are responsible for their guests. Now I'm not generally a confrontational person but I knew in this case I had to put my foot down - I was being disrespected and I hated that I felt I couldn't trust someone I considered to be my friend. I plucked up my courage and rehearsed what I would say to her for days before finally sitting Hannah down in the living room to tell her that I was upset that she didn't just say to me she wanted a party and how uncomfortable I now felt in my own home. Her response? "My bad. I forgot to tell you," as she continued watching TV.

It was that moment I realized how much I hated those awful dismissive words, "my bad." It's not an apology, it's not an admission of guilt, and it's definitely not a conversation closer. Here I was with, what I think is, a legitimate concern and she just shrugged it off as if I was the one who was crazy for having a problem. It was incredibly hurtful to me because as someone who had a hard time being direct, she made a lot of my fears come true. I was lied to and I felt as though the core of my being wasn't taken seriously. I was, as you can imagine, quite upset. 

It's been years since then and my perspective has changed a bit. I've learned quite a few things from that incident and I wanted to share my thoughts with you all today: 

  • You can't control how people react to a situation. I know that if anyone ever came to talk to me firmly, but honestly, to tell me that I made them uncomfortable in any way, my first instinct would be to apologize right away to rectify the situation. I operated under the assumption that most people are like me and would behave like I would - say 'sorry' for hurt feelings and and acknowledge the misunderstanding, then take steps to assure that it will not happen again. My mistake was that people don't behave in the same way as I do and it's was wrong of me to assume that they would. I still believe that I had every right to be upset at Hannah for lying to me but to be upset over the way she reacted was a waste of time. I got my point across by telling her that it was what she did was wrong. That's all you can really do - be direct and upfront. How people react to this is no longer your problem but theirs. 
  • Don't let dismissal discourage you from being direct and honest. After this incident, I resorted to being passive-aggressive for a while which, incidentally leads to other problems. I guess I thought that if being direct gets you nowhere then at least you can get your anger out through a passive-aggressive approach, right? Wrong! A lot of times people simply don't realize how their behavior would hurt others. Passive-aggression keeps these people ignorant of their flaws. Just because some people don't respond well to directness doesn't mean that everyone is like that too. Firm honesty is always the best approach. 
  • Being direct is not the same as being aggressive. Here's a word I want everyone to incorporate into their vocabulary: Tact. There's a time and place for everything and there's a way to say things that doesn't add fuel to flames. If you go into a situation at a level 8 anger more likely than not your honesty is going to sound a lot like an angry rant. Make sure you're calm and collected before you go and tell someone off. Like Winston Churchill once said, "Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip."
  • Open yourself up to constructive criticism as well. Sometimes we get so caught up in how we personally felt victimized that we forget that we may not be so perfect ourselves. If they have a laundry list of things they're not happy about, listen (even if it's difficult to hear, listen). Maybe you'll get a better understanding of where they're coming from. 
  • If they won't talk, find your own solution: I'm not a big fan of ultimatums but sometimes you really just have to put your foot down. If I could go back to that day with Hannah I would immediately offer a solution after attempting to open a discussion towards this form of unacceptable roommate behavior. "I don't like that you're holding parties here without telling me. If this happens again, I'm leaving the apartment because I would rather pay money to break a lease and feel safe in my own home than continue living in an uncomfortable situation." Done! Now, the ball is in their court and you've done all you can to take control of a bad situation. 

Ladylike | Midi Skirt and Blazer

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12:00 PM
Wondrous Wednesday readers!

When I was a little girl, my parents would constantly tell me to stop roughhousing and be more ladylike (I was quite the tomboy, you see). Part of the reason for this was that I was very impatient and always wanted to get places quickly so instead of carefully taking my time getting there, I would run as quickly as I could while tripping over everything in the process.
Which leads me to my outfit and the out-of-place bandage on my leg. I was on my way to a New Years Eve party when I stopped by a wine store. I was afraid I'd be late to the party so as soon as I saw the shop I hurriedly made a beeline towards it... only to trip over a crack on the sidewalk and scrape my knee in the process. I was wearing tights but miraculously, they didn't rip! So please forgive the bandage on the otherwise "ladylike" outfit!

Are any of you guys as clumsy as I am?

Top: H&M blazer (similar here), J Crew tank (similar here)
Bottoms: Choies skirt (same from Romewe)
Accessories: Tory Burch bag
Shoes: Sole Society