Twenty Fifteen: Recap

It’s almost 2016! While I will be hanging out with friends tonight, I wanted to take a minute here on the blog to reflect on the past year. This blog has really seen me through a lot of ups and downs and I wanted to capture some of that here:
Top Three OOTDs (on CPPC):

Casual | Joggers and Beanies

Happy Wednesday!
As I prepare for New Years Eve festivities, I’ve been running around town trying to get details for the various events I’ll be attending just right. I’ve been wearing this kind of outfit during my errands - something comfortable and casual that’s also warm. 

15 Books in 2015

With the year coming to an end, I wanted to take this time to reflect on some of my favorite books I've read this year! I'm fortunate to have a librarian friend who gives excellent book recommendations (some of which have made this list), and I'd like to pass these on to you guys as well! All book descriptions are from Goodreads

Oxfords, Not Brogues | Laced Shoes and Tweed Shorts

Good Monday morning lovelies! 
I hope you all had a wonderful holiday! I hung out with my family and ate way too much food (seriously, the more I ate, the more I could feel that I was really testing the tensile strength of my leggings)! 
I watched Kingsman: The Secret Service with my family and while it wasn’t the most brilliant movie ever (despite Colin Firth and Samuel L. Jackson’s amazing performances), I quite liked the idea of gentleman spies. Galahad (Colin Firth) taught his new protege the meaning of “Oxfords not brogues,” and while I already knew what the two terms meant (thank style blogging for that), I found myself laughing when he said, “Words a man should live by.” As you can see, it’s a phrase that inspired this post - my unbrogued oxford shoes with beading details pair perfectly with my tweed shorts!

Christmas Eve Eve | Plaid Dress and Clubmaster Sunnies

Wondrous Wednesday everyone!
I hope you're all enjoying your week so far! We had a holiday party at work last week and this was the outfit I wore, although I think this would be a good outfit for any formal holiday dinner. I recently got this dress from Choies and while I LOVE the plaid print and the thickness of the fabric (seriously, it's so warm!), I was a bit surprised to find how short it was! Usually, I have a problem with things being too long on me as I'm only 5'3 so I usually disregard reviews that state how short items are because I find that those tend to be a pretty decent length on me. This dress, however was a tad too short and the zipper in the back ends at an awkward place (right above the hips) so it's a bit difficult to put on. Once it's on, though, it fits comfortably. Just a quick review for those who are planning on purchasing an item on Choies anytime soon. 
I struggled to find a good title for this post and I decided to just name it after the actual day - the day before Christmas Eve! Haha I think Christmas Eve is a holiday on its own. I get that day off work so the night before Christmas Eve deserves some recognition, don't you think?

Autumn 2015 favorites

The joke around my neck of the woods is that we have only have two seasons: Summer and Winter. Spring and Fall only exist for about a week. This year was a bit different though - Autumn really pulled through! It's all coming to an end now (today is the first day of winter after all), and before it goes away completely I wanted to share with you some of the things I enjoyed using this past season:

Autumn 2015 favorites

Holiday Festivities | Fuzzy Vest and Lace Skirt

Hello lovelies!
I hope you all had a great weekend! I know I did - my best friend Jen came to visit and we had the most wonderful time!
Jen and I have been friends for more than ten years now. We met in our 9th grade English class and we've bonded over our mutual love of books, art, history, and our English classes (it was our best subject)! Regular readers of this blog may remember that she was the one who designed my blog header and is a regular guest writer/book reviewer. I've mentioned this before but she's a librarian so I take her book recommendations very seriously!
She moved away from the area for her job so it's quite rare for us to see each other in person anymore. It's always a super fun time when we do manage to hang out. We went downtown, had dinner at Teaism and stopped by the Holiday Market by the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery. Needless to say, we had a lot to catch up on!

My Blogging Essentials

I thought it would be a fun idea to let you all in on some of the behind-the-scenes stuff for my blog. I'm always curious and fascinated by how much work goes into people's blogs and the kinds of tools they use to make the magic happen. As for me, I've boiled my blog down to six essentials: 

Let's Get Organized: Emails

Recently, I finally reached the Holy Grail of productivity: 0 emails in my inbox!! I think clearing up email inbox clutter is something a lot of people struggle - I noticed on my boss's phone that she had 8,423 emails that she hadn't opened! Yikes! I think I can safely say that it happens to the best of us. Here are some of my tips on staying on top of your emails:

Closet Strategy: Ugly Sweater Party

This year, I've been invited to two ugly sweater parties! Last year, if you'll recall that I wore this glitzy sequined ornament sweater but this year I decided to go uglier haha! I got this reindeer sweater for both occasions! The great thing about this sweater is that it lights up when you flick a switch in a discreet pocket inside!
The first look was for an Ugly Sweater party for a charity - I knew that I'd be working with children a bit so I wore a pair of well-fitting jeans and my trusty rain boots (it was a bit wet earlier that morning).

Book Club: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

Terrific Tuesday lovelies! This month's book review will be on Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy! I actually finished reading this book a while back but I didn't have time to actually write the review itself until fairly recently. That said, this was quite an enjoyable read and if you want more than my two cents, read on:
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
By John le Carré

Fancy | Taffeta Skirt and Crop Top

'Tis the season for holiday parties galore! 
I've received an invitation to a dinner party myself and this was the outfit I wore.  
I've often wondered how other people go tights-less in the winter. It gets quite cold in these parts and I've told you guys about my issues with Raynaud's disease. I don't know how others do it but I have been wearing thick wool tights on the metro/uber ride to my destination. Upon arrival, I go to the nearest bathroom and take off my tights and stuff them into my purse. It's usually warm inside anyways.

The Best Gift I've Ever Received

While I enjoy the custom of giving and receiving gifts this season, I think it’s safe to say that I sometimes run out of ideas on what to get people. It’s then that I am reminded of the best present I’ve ever gotten from my best friend Jen: Snoopy the stuffed dog.

Cold Front | Trench Coat and Tall Boots

Wonderful Wednesday, lovelies!
I don't do so well in the cold. A few years ago I started experiencing this weird thing where my blood circulation wouldn't reach my hands (and sometimes my toes) when I was cold and the tips of my fingers would feel swollen and turn a bit blue. Once warm they would return to their non-swollen, non-blue state but I thought my body was going crazy for a while! I recently found out that this is a symptom of Raynaud's Disease. Apparently, this is quite common and very treatable - I just need to stay out of the cold. Living in DC, however, the cold is kind of unavoidable in the winter! I would dread my commute because even that 15 minute walk from my apartment to work would cause my fingers to get visibly swollen. I really need to invest in some better gloves!

Holiday Gift Ideas

Hello lovelies!

The holiday shopping season is upon us again and I've put together a little list of some ideas I've had to give some of the people in my life. If you're at a loss as to what to get for others, allow this handy little guide to give you some ideas:

Holiday Gift Ideas

Rain, Rain, Go Away | Chelsea Boots and Cat Beanie

Happy Monday, lovelies!
Last week was the rainiest it's been in a while! While I subscribe to the philosophy that I'd rather it be raining than snowing, it does pose a certain challenge when attempting a photoshoot, mainly in that I don't want to get my camera wet and potentially cause damage to it. The weather did grant a very temporary reprieve one afternoon and I quickly grabbed my camera and snapped these photos of what I was wearing. 
These rainboots were a recent purchase. I have tried many a Hunter boot but I just don't like the way they look on me. They're usually too wide in the calf and the stores don't often carry the size below mine (I'm a size US6 which is pretty small). I've been told to try the kids' section for Hunter boots and perhaps I'll try that someday but I digress. These chelsea boots from J Crew have been a lifesaver! I'm a fan of ankle boots (as I find them to be more flattering on my frame) and the matte texture is chic and work-appropriate as well! I've trudged through the rain for several miles altogether in these and they've held up nicely - no blisters, no sores. Just comfort and style all around! If you are in the market for rainboots and are looking for an alternative to Hunter boots, I suggest you try these J Crew boots on for size! This is not a sponsored post, I just really like these boots!

Kitchen Diaries: Lemon and Garlic Dump Chicken

When I moved to my new apartment, the first thing I made sure to pack was my slow-cooker. This thing = LIFE! I don't know how I used to live without it but I've been making so many slow-cooked meals lately and it's been phenomenal! 
I'm not a food blogger by any means but I wanted to share one of my favorite slow-cooker recipes today. I think most of my readers are on-the-go busy people with jobs and an actual life outside of the blogosphere like me. I know I always appreciate when people give me efficient and easy cooking tips so I'm hoping you guys can relate.
I found this lemon and garlic dump chicken recipe on Pinterest and it has been life-changing!! I had most of the ingredients on-hand and it didn't require a whole lot of prep time! Simply marinade the chicken, put it in a plastic bag and keep it in the freezer until you need it. How easy is that?
Since I work so close to home, I usually stop by my apartment during lunch. The day I had this for dinner, I took the chicken out of the freezer and dumped it into my slow cooker, turned it on, and went back to work. By the time I got home, the chicken was done! 

Bundled Up | OTK Boots and Chunky Sweater

Well, it's official: The cold weather has come down on us again! 
While I don't live in the part of the country that's gotten snow yet, I've been having to reach for my some of my cold weather gear like my chunky scarves and my gloves. I managed to snap these photos when we had a "warmer" day (and by that I mean it was 55 degrees Fahrenheit). I want to reiterate how much I love these boots - It's like I don't even need tights (yet)! The only problem with them I've had so far is that they're too wide in the thighs and there's no way to adjust but I think I'm going to add some holes for laces in the back so I can actually wear these without having to pull up my boots haha. 

Empties (Vol. 1)

Hello everyone! 

I know I usually post OOTDs on Wednesday but the weather has been so rainy and dreary and I didn't want to venture out where the camera would get wet, and I couldn't find anywhere with good indoor lighting so here's my last minute post of some of the products I've used up this month instead! I actually enjoyed writing this and I was planning on having this out last weekend but Thanksgiving plans got in the way so I figured now would be as good a time as any to post this up.

Movie Night: Love, Actually

It's finally December and I can finally start getting into the Holiday spirit without people telling me it's too early! 
For me, the Holidays just aren't the same without the movie Love, Actually. It's a wintertime essential film for me and literally as soon as we all got back from our respective Thanksgiving Dinners with our families, I pushed my roommates into our living room and made them watch Love, Actually with me. 
They loved it! I told them never to doubt my taste in movies haha!
As famous as this film is, I won't give you a huge plot summary like I usually do for movie reviews. Instead I've compiled a list of little known facts about the making of this movie: