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):
Angelina Jolie's Leg (April)
Rewind, Replay (June)
Pretty Woman (November)
Top Three Instagrams:
Top Three Books:
Go Set a Watchman
A Cuckoo's Calling
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
Top Three Coffee Shops:
Quartermaine Coffee
Tout de Sweet

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. 

Thanks for reading!

Top: H&M jean jacket (similar here), J.Crew tank (similar here)
Bottoms: Forever 21 joggers (similar here)
Accessories: Forever 21 beanie, LOFT sunnies, Zara bag (similar here)
Shoes: Target (similar here)

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

  1. Dark Places by Gillian Flynn: Libby Day was seven when her mother and two sisters were murdered in “The Satan Sacrifice" of Kinnakee, Kansas.” She survived—and famously testified that her fifteen-year-old brother, Ben, was the killer. Twenty-five years later, the Kill Club—a secret secret society obsessed with notorious crimes—locates Libby and pumps her for details. They hope to discover proof that may free Ben. Libby hopes to turn a profit off her tragic history: She’ll reconnect with the players from that night and report her findings to the club—for a fee. As Libby’s search takes her from shabby Missouri strip clubs to abandoned Oklahoma tourist towns, the unimaginable truth emerges, and Libby finds herself right back where she started—on the run from a killer. 
  2. A Cuckoo's Calling by "Robert Galbraith"After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike is barely scraping by as a private investigator. Strike is down to one client, and creditors are calling. He has also just broken up with his longtime girlfriend and is living in his office.
    Then John Bristow walks through his door with an amazing story: His sister, the legendary supermodel Lula Landry, known to her friends as the Cuckoo, famously fell to her death a few months earlier. The police ruled it a suicide, but John refuses to believe that. The case plunges Strike into the world of multimillionaire beauties, rock-star boyfriends, and desperate designers, and it introduces him to every variety of pleasure, enticement, seduction, and delusion known to man.
    You may think you know detectives, but you've never met one quite like Strike. You may think you know about the wealthy and famous, but you've never seen them under an investigation like this. Introducing Cormoran Strike, this is the acclaimed first crime novel by J.K. Rowling, writing under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith. (My review is here)
  3. The Martian by Andy Weir: Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there.
    After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate the planet while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded on Mars' surface, completely alone, with no way to signal Earth that he’s alive — and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone years before a rescue could arrive.
    Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment or plain-old "human error" are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark's not ready to quit. Armed with nothing but his ingenuity and his engineering skills — and a gallows sense of humor that proves to be his greatest source of strength – he embarks on a dogged quest to stay alive, using his botany expertise to grow food and even hatching a mad plan to contact NASA back on Earth.
    As he overcomes one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next, Mark begins to let himself believe he might make it off the planet alive – but Mars has plenty of surprises in store for him yet.
    Grounded in real, present-day science from the first page to the last, yet propelled by a brilliantly ingenious plot that surprises the reader again and again, The Martian is a truly remarkable thriller: an impossible-to-put-down suspense novel that manages to read like a real-life survival tale. (Jen's review is here)
  4. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow RowellEleanor... Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough...Eleanor.
    Park... He knows she'll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There's a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises...Park.
    Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.
  5. Egghead by Bo Burnham: Bo Burnham was a precocious teenager living in his parents' attic when he started posting material on YouTube. 100 million people viewed those videos, turning Bo into an online sensation with a huge and dedicated following. Bo taped his first of two Comedy Central specials four days after his 18th birthday, making him the youngest to do so in the channel's history. Now Bo is a rising star in the comedy world, revered for his utterly original and intelligent voice. And, he can SIIIIIIIIING!
    In EGGHEAD, Bo brings his brand of brainy, emotional comedy to the page in the form of off-kilter poems, thoughts, and more. Teaming up with his longtime friend, artist, and illustrator Chance Bone, Bo takes on everything from death to farts in this weird book that will make you think, laugh and think, "why did I just laugh?" (Jen's review is here)
  6. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John Le CarréA modern classic in which John le Carré expertly creates a total vision of a secret world, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy begins George Smiley's chess match of wills and wits with Karla, his Soviet counterpart.
    It is now beyond a doubt that a mole, implanted decades ago by Moscow Centre, has burrowed his way into the highest echelons of British Intelligence. His treachery has already blown some of its most vital operations and its best networks. It is clear that the double agent is one of its own kind. But which one? George Smiley is assigned to identify him. And once identified, the traitor must be destroyed. (My review is here)
  7. Go Set a Watchman by Harper LeeMaycomb, Alabama. Twenty-six-year-old Jean Louise Finch--"Scout"--returns home from New York City to visit her aging father, Atticus. Set against the backdrop of the civil rights tensions and political turmoil that were transforming the South, Jean Louise's homecoming turns bittersweet when she learns disturbing truths about her close-knit family, the town and the people dearest to her. Memories from her childhood flood back, and her values and assumptions are thrown into doubt. Featuring many of the iconic characters from To Kill a MockingbirdGo Set a Watchman perfectly captures a young woman, and a world, in a painful yet necessary transition out of the illusions of the past--a journey that can be guided only by one's conscience. 
    Written in the mid-1950s, Go Set a Watchman imparts a fuller, richer understanding and appreciation of Harper Lee. Here is an unforgettable novel of wisdom, humanity, passion, humor and effortless precision--a profoundly affecting work of art that is both wonderfully evocative of another era and relevant to our own times. It not only confirms the enduring brilliance of To Kill a Mockingbird, but also serves as its essential companion, adding depth, context and new meaning to an American classic. (My review is here)
  8. Bossypants by Tina FeyBefore Liz Lemon, before "Weekend Update," before "Sarah Palin," Tina Fey was just a young girl with a dream: a recurring stress dream that she was being chased through a local airport by her middle-school gym teacher. She also had a dream that one day she would be a comedian on TV.
    She has seen both these dreams come true.
    At last, Tina Fey's story can be told. From her youthful days as a vicious nerd to her tour of duty on Saturday Night Live; from her passionately halfhearted pursuit of physical beauty to her life as a mother eating things off the floor; from her one-sided college romance to her nearly fatal honeymoon—from the beginning of this paragraph to this final sentence.
    Tina Fey reveals all, and proves what we've all suspected: you're no one until someone calls you bossy.
  9. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy KalingMindy Kaling has lived many lives: the obedient child of immigrant professionals, a timid chubster afraid of her own bike, a Ben Affleck–impersonating Off-Broadway performer and playwright, and, finally, a comedy writer and actress prone to starting fights with her friends and coworkers with the sentence “Can I just say one last thing about this, and then I swear I’ll shut up about it?”
     Perhaps you want to know what Mindy thinks makes a great best friend (someone who will fill your prescription in the middle of the night), or what makes a great guy (one who is aware of all elderly people in any room at any time and acts accordingly), or what is the perfect amount of fame (so famous you can never get convicted of murder in a court of law), or how to maintain a trim figure (you will not find that information in these pages). If so, you’ve come to the right book, mostly!
     In Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, Mindy invites readers on a tour of her life and her unscientific observations on romance, friendship, and Hollywood, with several conveniently placed stopping points for you to run errands and make phone calls. Mindy Kaling really is just a Girl Next Door—not so much literally anywhere in the continental United States, but definitely if you live in India or Sri Lanka. 
  10. The Silkworm by "Robert Galbraith"When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. At first, Mrs. Quine just thinks her husband has gone off by himself for a few days—as he has done before—and she wants Strike to find him and bring him home.
    But as Strike investigates, it becomes clear that there is more to Quine's disappearance than his wife realizes. The novelist has just completed a manuscript featuring poisonous pen-portraits of almost everyone he knows. If the novel were to be published, it would ruin lives—meaning that there are a lot of people who might want him silenced.
    When Quine is found brutally murdered under bizarre circumstances, it becomes a race against time to understand the motivation of a ruthless killer, a killer unlike any Strike has encountered before...
  11. A Storm of Swords by George RR Martin: Here is the third volume in George R.R. Martin's magnificent cycle of novels that includes A Game of Thrones and A Clash of Kings. Together, this series comprises a genuine masterpiece of modern fantasy, destined to stand as one of the great achievements of imaginative fiction.
    Of the five contenders for power, one is dead, another in disfavor, and still the wars rage as alliances are made and broken. Joffrey sits on the Iron Throne, the uneasy ruler of of the Seven Kingdoms. His most bitter rival, Lord Stannis, stands defeated and disgraced, victim of the sorceress who holds him in her thrall. Young Robb still rules the North from the fortress of Riverrun. Meanwhile, making her way across a blood-drenched continent is the exiled queen, Daenerys, mistress of the only three dragons still left in the world. And as opposing forces manoeuver for the final showdown, an army of barbaric wildlings arrives from the outermost limits of civilization, accompanied by a horde of mythical Others—a supernatural army of the living dead whose animated corpses are unstoppable. As the future of the land hangs in the balance, no one will rest until the Seven Kingdoms have exploded in a veritable storm of swords...
  12. A Feast for Crows by George RR MartinWith A Feast for Crows, Martin delivers the long-awaited fourth volume of the landmark series that has redefined imaginative fiction and stands as a modern masterpiece in the making.
    After centuries of bitter strife, the seven powers dividing the land have beaten one another into an uneasy truce. But it's not long before the survivors, outlaws, renegades, and carrion eaters of the Seven Kingdoms gather. Now, as the human crows assemble over a banquet of ashes, daring new plots and dangerous new alliances are formed while surprising faces—some familiar, others only just appearing—emerge from an ominous twilight of past struggles and chaos to take up the challenges of the terrible times ahead. Nobles and commoners, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and sages, are coming together to stake their fortunes...and their lives. For at a feast for crows, many are the guests—but only a few are the survivors.
  13. Texts from Jane Eyre by Mallory OrtbergHilariously imagined text conversations—the passive aggressive, the clever, and the strange—from classic and modern literary figures, from Scarlett O’Hara to Jessica Wakefield.
    Mallory Ortberg, the co-creator of the cult-favorite website The Toast, presents this whimsical collection of hysterical text conversations from your favorite literary characters. Everyone knows that if Scarlett O’Hara had an unlimited text-and-data plan, she’d constantly try to tempt Ashley away from Melanie with suggestive messages. If Mr. Rochester could text Jane Eyre, his ardent missives would obviously be in all-caps. And Daisy Buchanan would not only text while driving, she’d text you to pick her up after she totaled her car. Based on the popular web-feature, Texts from Jane Eyre is a witty, irreverent mashup that brings the characters from your favorite books into the twenty-first century.
  14. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar WildeWritten in his distinctively dazzling manner, Oscar Wilde’s story of a fashionable young man who sells his soul for eternal youth and beauty is the author’s most popular work. The tale of Dorian Gray’s moral disintegration caused a scandal when it first appeared in 1890, but though Wilde was attacked for the novel’s corrupting influence, he responded that there is, in fact, “a terrible moral in Dorian Gray.” Just a few years later, the book and the aesthetic/moral dilemma it presented became issues in the trials occasioned by Wilde’s homosexual liaisons, which resulted in his imprisonment. Of Dorian Gray’s relationship to autobiography, Wilde noted in a letter, “Basil Hallward is what I think I am: Lord Henry what the world thinks me: Dorian what I would like to be—in other ages, perhaps.”
  15. The Psychopath Test by Jon RonsonThey say one out of every hundred people is a psychopath. You probably passed one on the street today. These are people who have no empathy, who are manipulative, deceitful, charming, seductive, and delusional. The Psychopath Test is the New York Times bestselling exploration of their world and the madness industry.
    When Jon Ronson is drawn into an elaborate hoax played on some of the world’s top scientists, his investigation leads him, unexpectedly, to psychopaths. He meets an influential psychologist who is convinced that many important business leaders and politicians are in fact high-flying, high-functioning psychopaths, and teaches Ronson how to spot them. Armed with these new abilities, Ronson meets a patient inside an asylum for the criminally insane who insists that he’s sane, a mere run-of-the-mill troubled youth, not a psychopath—a claim that might be only manipulation, and a sign of his psychopathy. He spends time with a death-squad leader institutionalized for mortgage fraud, and with a legendary CEO who took joy in shutting down factories and firing people. He delves into the fascinating history of psychopathy diagnosis and treatments, from LSD-fueled days-long naked therapy sessions in prisons to attempts to understand serial killers.
    Along the way, Ronson discovers that relatively ordinary people are, more and more, defined by their most insane edges. The Psychopath Test is a fascinating adventure through the minds of madness.

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!

Thanks for reading!

Top: H&M blazer (similar here), H&M shirt
Bottoms: Forever 21 shorts
Accessories: GAP tights (similar here), Forever 21 glasses (similar here), H&M necklace (similar here), Forever 21 satchel (similar here)
Shoes: Zara oxfords (similar here)

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?

Thanks for reading!

Dress: Choies (similar by Tahari)
Accessories: LOFT sunglasses, GAP tights, Kate Spade crossbody, H&M bracelet (similar here), POP Beauty nail polish in 'XMas'
Shoes: Forever 21 (similar here)

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

  • Naked 3 palette: When I was a kid, I had a boyish haircut that was extremely unflattering on me and kids thought I was a boy. I like having shorter hair though so when I do cut my hair, I gravitate towards makeup to make my face look more feminine (call it PTSD). I think I used this every day since I got my haircut - it's such a beautiful palette with gorgeous rosy colors that's flattering on a wide variety of skin tones!
  • Maybelline Lash Sensational mascara: This is a new mascara I tried. I love how long and voluminious it makes my lashes look and it's not a pain in the butt to remove!
  • Make Up For Ever lipstick in n23: I got this as a free birthday gift from Sephora and I honestly love it! It's a very flattering neutral shade. Think, "My lips but better." Once I run out, I'm definitely buying the full sized version.
  • OPI "Steady She Rose": I love love love this color for every day. I wear it to work all the time and it gives such a subtle and soft but ladylike color that goes with everything. I highly recommend this for days where you want to have something on your nails but need to look professional.
  • CoverGirl XL Gel Polish in "Raspberry": I love how deep and complicated this berry shade is! It's quite a stunner and the formula is fantastic! 
  • Essie "After School Boy Blazer": I've never saw such a perfect 'true navy' polish before! The color is so dark (almost black) but has the loveliest sheen and I can see this becoming a staple in my Autumn stash. 
  • Forever 21 Midi Skirt: I really love how midi skirts look but it's hard for me to find one that's flattering, given my short frame. I really love this layered one from Forever 21 - the length is very flattering and versatile for so many types of occasions! 
  • Zara Mini City bag in Pink: I think I wore this bag every single non-working day throughout Autumn! It's a light pink color but it pretty much goes with everything I own in my closet! It's the perfect size and it's not too heavy! 
  • H&M cat beanie: This beanie = love! I've worn it so many times to combat the chilly morning air. Absolutely cute and cheeky!
  • Batiste Dry Shampoo: Although I don't like to wash my hair too often, it gets so oily so fast! Luckily dry shampoos are a thing now and I worship at the Temple of Batiste. Highly recommend this to everyone!
  • Big Sexy Hair spray: Humidity turns my hair into a frizzy mess. This hairspray protects my hair from getting too crazy! 
  • Spin Pins: I don't know how I managed to do my hair without these in the past. Seriously, these are amazing. One spin pin does the work of 20 bobby pins! I stick two of these in my hair bun and I don't readjust during the day. At all. No joke!

Movies, Books, TV
  • Inside Out: Hoo wow, this film... Well let's just say that I watched this movie while I was already going through a transitional phase in my life (much like Riley in the film) and I was not ready for all the feels! Definitely check it out if you can. 
  • The Martian: My friend Jen did a review of this book and after seeing her rave about it, I went out to read it myself! It is such a fantastic read and I highly recommend it!
  • The Flash: Okay, I had to really pick between this one and The Arrow because both are so good and it's leading to even more spinoffs (Legends of Tomorrow anyone??) I like how much more light-hearted this show is than The Arrow (not to say anything about the grittiness of The Arrow), and Grant Gustin certainly plays the part of Barry Allen perfectly. 
What were some of your favorite things this Autumn?

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!

Thanks for reading!

Top: Forever 21 shirt, Forever 21 vest
Bottoms: Forever 21
Accessories: Kate Spade crossbody, Forever 21 necklace (similar here), gifted gold necklace
Shoes: Zara (similar here)

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: 
  • Macbook Pro - Well you can't be a blogger without access to a computer of some sort. I come from a big Apple family and I really like having an efficient tech ecosystem so most of the things I use for my blog are by Apple. 
  • iPad Mini (with Retina display) - I used to have the iPad 3 but I found that I would use either my Macbook for the big stuff and my iPhone for the small stuff and my iPad for.... well not much really other than playing a few games and watching movies on Netflix while working. I used to try and read books on it but it was too big and bulky and felt awkward in my hands. I gave it to my mom and got myself an iPad Mini and wow, is this thing super useful! I find that for blogging, it's basically replaced my iPhone. I highly recommend it if you're in the market for a small tablet. 
  • Samsung NX1100 camera - As a style blogger, having a good camera is important. I bought this interchangeable lens camera because I don't consider myself skilled enough for a DSLR. I think this is a very good introductory camera before I upgrade to a full DSLR. 
  • iPhone - I have my Blogger app on my phone so I can do on-the-spot edits when I'm out and about. While my iPad does some of the bigger tasks, I use my iPhone for social media and checking to see if my scheduled posts actually made it out. My contract is up in November and I think I'll upgrade to the iPhone 6S but we'll see what other phones are on the market by then. 
  • Evernote - I have Evernote on my Macbook, iPad, and iPhone because this is where I jot down ideas for blog posts! It's so useful and keeps me organized
  • Moleskine notebook/Band.o planner - I like having a physical copy of my editorial calendar on hand which is where my handy Moleskine planner comes in handy! I color code and jot down EVERYTHING in this thing. Absolute must-have, whether you're a blogger or not.

So to those who have blogs, what are some of your blogging 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:
  1. If it will take you 5 minutes, just respond right away: I used to be guilty of not replying or acknowledging that I received an email. A simple "Got it. Thanks" takes so little time and yet I think we've all been guilty of ignoring the kinds of emails that warrant that sort of reaction. Trust me - those emails will fill up in no time so just respond right away and save yourself some grief later. 
  2. Delete email chains except the last one: At the end of the day, if I was a part of a long email chain, I just delete all of the messages except for the very last response. Everything that was said is already recorded on there anyway so you really don't need the rest of those emails taking up space in your inbox, do you?
  3. Folders are your friends: When you do need to save a few emails for longevity, use those folders! They're there to help you organize your emails so you know where everything pertaining to, say, finances are. 
  4. Use those flags: If you use Outlook like I do at work, those flags are really handy to have - they turn red when you go past the due date and haven't cleared them off and guilt you into getting things done! 
  5. Don't forget your "Sent" inbox: Sometimes I forget to clear up my inbox full of emails I've sent. Those are important too! be sure to keep those clutter free!
What are some of your tips on keeping your inbox clear? Let me know in the comments below!

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).

Top: Forever 21
Bottoms: H&M jeans
Accessories: GAP socks
Shoes: J.Crew boots

For the second party, it was a more social gathering so I went all out with the cheesiness! I paired my sweater with this little sparkly number. My sequin skirt was a great way for me to show a bit of leg while maintaining the fun spirit of the party. 

Bottoms: Francesca’s Collection (similar here)
Accessories: Kate Spade wristlet

Shoes: Michael Kors (similar here)

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
I admit, I was only inspired to read this book because I saw the movie… and I only saw the movie because I was on a Benedict Cumberbatch movie binge and I knew he played a secondary character (Peter Guillam). Oh the things I do to indulge my delusion of being in love with a celebrity who doesn’t know I exist...
From the moment Jim Prideaux’s character was gunned down by spies, (which was the first scene in the movie, also, spoiler alert!), I was completely captivated by the film. I can completely understand why this movie was nominated for all those Academy Awards when it first came out! I knew immediately that I had to pick up the book and read it for myself!
For those who haven’t heard of the book or the film, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy is a novel by John le Carré, the pseudonym of David John Moore Cornwell who was an actual employee of the British Secret Intelligence Service. He wrote this book in 1974 as a part of a trilogy although the main character (George Smiley) does appear in a few of le Carré’s other books. 
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy is a novel with a familiar plot - a Russian Spy has infiltrated the highest ranks of the British Secret Intelligence Service. Someone is spying on the spies and it’s up to George Smiley, a disgraced former MI6 employee forced into an early retirement to find out who the mole is. 
It’s interesting because when I first read this book, I was a bit turned off by how slow the pacing was. If you’ve ever watched a 70s movie and have been frustrated by how slow it is to get to the crux, that’s what reading this book first felt like. I was then introduced to some rather interesting characters that propelled the story forward and the pacing got better for me. With the introduction of each new character, the less clear it got who was actually the mole. le Carré does a brilliant job writing the perfect mystery novel. Each character is so interesting and complex and trying to unravel their complexities is a difficult task and George Smiley’s process is equally complex and brilliant. Reading Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy is an adventure and I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good whodunnit novel.  

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.

What are your thoughts on going tights-less this winter? 

Top: Forever 21 
Bottoms: Choies (similar here)
Accessories: Forever 21 cuff (similar here), H&M bracelet (similar here), Juicy Couture clutch (super cute here), Victoria's Secret lipstick (old, similar here)
Shoes: Forever 21

Product Review: TONYMOLY Magic Food Banana Sleeping Pack

Hello lovelies,
I mentioned in my empties post that I'd be doing a review on this night cream (the TONYMOLY Magic Food Banana Sleeping Pack - that is a mouthful!) so here it is! Before I run through the criteria of what makes a good product for me, let me tell a bit about how this product came into my life.
I've been struggling with eczema for the past three years. I would get rough dry patches on my skin and nothing I did could get rid of them. Two years ago, a small rough patch appeared on my face near my ear. No amount of moisturizer could get rid of it and not only that, it started spreading towards the center of my face! The area was so dry and flaky and I was afraid that it would only get worse!
When I went to visit my family in South Korea last March, I picked up this little banana-shaped lotion because it promised to be extremely moisturizing.
My life changed.
After using this product for only two weeks, my rough patch just disappeared!! Think about that - I was struggling with an eczema patch for two years but this thing cleared it up in two weeks! Needless to say, I am a huge fan!
Packaging: The packaging is absolutely adorable and to be honest, it's about 80% of the reason why I picked this up in the first place. TONYMOLY is known for their cute packaging and this one is no exception. My only gripe about their packaging is also actually a plus - it's a squeeze-tube bottle which is great for dispensing product without making a mess, but it makes it rather difficult to get the last few drops of moisturizer when you reach the end. It's also impossible to tell how much product is even left in the bottle so I had to twist and squeeze the bottle to make sure I wasn't wasting any product. For that I give this moisturizer a 4/5
Formula: Like I said before, I got my eczema under control thanks to this little gem! It smells like bananas and a little of this goes a long way so it lasted me a long time. 5/5
Price: This was honestly not expensive at all, especially considering how well it worked! I paid less than $10 on this and I have certainly paid much more for moisturizers that did nothing for my eczema. 5/5

Tell me about some of your favorite night creams/moisturizers. Are any of you struggling with dry skin or eczema? Let me know some of your tips on handling it!