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Book Club: Eleanor & Park

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To be honest, I normally don't read a lot of Young Adult novels but after hearing so many good reviews about this one, and Rainbow Rowell in general, I decided to give it a shot. I couldn't put it down and I can't wait to share my review of this book with you guys today!
Eleanor & Park
By Rainbow Rowell

I'm not one to sit and enjoy reading sappy love stories. Call me unromantic but that's just not who I am. And while I enjoyed YA books when I was a teenager, most of the things teenagers do and say annoy me now that I'm a cranky twenty-something. When my friend recommended this book, I was immediately turned off by the teenage puppy love angle but after her insistence, I picked up a copy and gave it a read. 
It was delightful!
Rainbow Rowell paints a picture of two high school kids who don't quite fit in. Eleanor Douglas is a fiery redhead who is picked on for her weight, her hair, and her clothes. Park Sheridan is a half-Korean-half-white kid in suburban Omaha. They meet on the bus to school and while their initial meeting is rocky, they fall in love through their mutual love for comic books and music. I think most of us can find that relatable but Rowell ups the ante by introducing complicated themes as body image, and bullying - themes I think anyone who's been a teenager is all too familiar with. 
Of all the issues discussed in the novel, two of them hit home with me the most; body shaming and race. Eleanor is a "big" girl who's always comparing herself to her mother's adult beauty. She doesn't fit in because she's overweight, she wears weird clothes, she comes from a damaged home with an abusive stepfather, and she is socially awkward. While I've never been overweight, I think many girls have had body image issues at some point in their life and the way she describes how she feels about her body - how she tries to make herself smaller by not speaking, how she carries on with a brave face despite the sexual harassment she deals with at school, how she always has that little voice in her head that she's not good enough. I've been there. That may be why the line by Park meant so much to me when I read it: "Eleanor was right. She never looked nice. She looked like art, and art wasn't supposed to look nice; it was supposed to make you feel something."
I'm ethnically Korean myself so Park's perception of how a Korean is "feminine" and "weak" was really interesting to me. I obviously can't speak for men but I do think that there is a weird stereotype that Asian men aren't "masculine" enough which is unfair. Park is constantly comparing himself to his younger brother who inherited more Caucasian physical features and believes his father secretly thinks he is "a pussy." He also mentions that there aren't many cool Asian role models which really goes back to my point I made about a lack of diversity in Hollywood
The best part of this novel isn't even the love story but the way Rowell writes about their relationship through music! She even has a Spotify Playlist with all the awesome 80s music she mentions in her book! 
All in all, I highly recommend this book to other YA snobs like me - Rowell clearly remembers what it's like to be a teenager as she manages to capture the rough edges, the awkwardness, the uncertainties and the contradictions. It'll make you remember what it was like to be a kid in love again.

Sunday Brunch | Floral Dress and Denim Jacket

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Happy Monday lovelies! I hope you had a great Easter for those who celebrate it!
This past Sunday also happened to be my mother's birthday! I went home and we took her out to brunch and it was such a great day for it too - the weather was quite nice out in Maryland! 
Speaking of nice weather, the cherry blossoms in DC have started to bloom, albeit probably two weeks early. No complaints here though. They're so pretty to look at. I'm planning a trip to the cherry blossom festival next week so I can't wait for that!

Thanks for reading!

Top: H&M denim jacket 
Dress: Tobi
Accessories: Kate Spade crossbody, gifted necklace
Shoes: Zara (similar here)

Spring Uniform | White Jeans and Polka Dots

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Happy Wednesday lovelies!
As a follow-up from yesterday’s post on finding the perfect pair of white jeans, here are mine in all their glory! I can see this outfit being a regular appearance in my life outside the blog this spring because it’s so effortless but complete with wardrobe staples. Denim jacket? Check. Navy polka dotted shirt? Check. Leopard shoes? Double check. Well-fitting white jeans? A very happy check!

What does your spring uniform look like? Let me know in the comments!

Top: H&M top (similar by Forever 21), H&M jean jacket
Bottoms: J.Crew toothpick jeans
Accessories: LOFT sunglasses, Tory Burch Robinson bag, H&M bracelet (similar here)

Shoes: Sole Society Jenn pumps 

What to Look For When Buying White Jeans

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With last Sunday being officially the first day of Spring, it's safe to say white jeans will be back to play!
I have had the hardest time buying a pair of white jeans because let's be honest: a flattering pair of white jeans are so hard to find. Everyone's body is different and what may be the HG white jeans on one person may be a fit disaster on another. I went on the hunt for a nice pair of white jeans that I could throw on this spring and summer and here are some things I think you should think about when you go shopping for white jeans:
  1. Stretch: I ALWAYS buy jeans with stretch, even non-white ones. With white jeans, I would say they're especially important because they'll keep you comfortable. Trust me, I've worn white jeans with very little stretch and they will forever give me muffin top nightmares!
  2. Length and Silhouette: During my journey to find my Holy Grail of white jeans, I've noticed a a popular trend was cropped denim. While I personally didn't want to buy a pair of white jeans that came pre-cropped, the length should be something to keep in mind. Floor-grazing flares, skinny, pixie-cut - find a cut and style that is most flattering on you.
  3. Opacity: Opaque jeans are the best jeans! I'm definitely not one to push the envelope when it comes to white jeans but I've definitely tried on a pair of white jeans that showed the outline of my white underpants I was wearing. No way, José! When shopping for white jeans, try wearing a few different types of underwear (in terms of style and color) to check how see-through the material is.
  4. Low-Maintenance: White jeans are known to attract stains like no other but lately, they've come up with ways to repel some stains. If you can find a pair of jeans that are perhaps coated or come with stain repellants, you should certainly consider it.
So tell me about your experiences with white jeans! Where did you get yours from and do you have any tips on what to look for when you shope for one? Share your knowledge in the comments!

National Flower Day| Rose Dress and Gray Chucks

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After a busy week with doing extra repairs on my laptop and a bout of the stomach flu, I’m finally back with an all new post!
Today is National Flower Day and I’m celebrating by wearing my floral dress last seen here. I decided to wear these with a pair of Chucks this time instead of heeled boots. Ever since David Tennant popularized the whole suit-with-trainers look, I’ve loved the idea of wearing nice clothes with casual shoes! The juxtaposition creates an interesting aesthetic that makes it easy to dress down formal-wear.

Thanks for reading!

Dress: Forever 21 (similar here)
Accessories: Forever 21 earrings (similar here and here), Kate Spade bag
Shoes: Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars

Too Close to Home | Olive Jacket and Leopard Pumps

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Hello beauties!
I have way too many moments where I have to put my foot in my mouth. Case in point, my Mardi Gras party story told here. I had another one of these last week at work. I work with a lot of lawyers and lobbyists, most of whom wear business attire even on casual Friday. I thought it would be a funny joke to loudly ask one of the senior directors at work, “Hey! How’d the job interview go?” when he walked in in the afternoon in a full suit. While he usually had a great sense of humor, he gave me a funny look that day and walked off. I found out this week that he’s actually leaving our organization and there’s a very real chance he actually was at a job interview the day I asked him! *facepalm*
On a sartorial note, I am pulling out my olive utility jacket over more formal work-wear pieces. We are expecting temperatures to be in the high 70s (which I can't stress how happy I am about) but the mornings are quite cold, hence the jacket. I actually find that olive is a great seasonal transition color and I love the way such a cool jacket looks paired with business separates. I also find that leopard and olive go together so well so adding these Sole Society pumps seemed appropriate.

So tell me about some of the times you've talked too fast and got yourself into an awkward situation. I can't be the only one out there constantly saying the wrong thing, right?

Top: H&M shirt, Forever 21 jacket (similar here)
Bottoms: J.Crew minnie pants
Accessories: Tory Burch York tote, Forever 21 necklace (similar here)
Shoes: Sole Society Jenn pumps

Top 5 Favorite Books from Childhood

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I've always been an avid reader and this month, I'm revisiting some of my old favorites. Someone told me that reading the Harry Potter series as an adult is incredibly different from reading them as a child and as I started rereading Philosopher's Stone I've been thinking about some of the books I've loved growing up. Here are my top 5:

  1. The Harry Potter series: This needs no explanation - Harry Potter was a HUGE part of my childhood growing up! I was eleven years old when the first book came out and I basically grew up with him, since JK Rowling came out with a new book in the series every year. I even took the Pottermore test and found that I'm a Ravenclaw, which if you know me in person, is not a huge surprise. This series will forever hold a special place in my heart.
  2. Matilda: I want it on record that I loved all books by Roald Dahl but my all-time favorite was Matilda. She was so smart and brave and clever despite her very unfortunate upbringing and I wanted to be just like her! Who wouldn't have wanted to have her mental superpowers? I know I would've killed for them!
  3. The Princess Diaries series: It's funny how much I wanted to have Mia Thermopolis's life when I was a kid because I always thought I could do it so much better than her. I actually didn't like Mia as a character all too much but I really loved imagining what it would be like if I woke up one day and found out I was the princess of country. Still, it didn't stop me from reading every book in the series! 
  4. The Wayside School series: Louis Sachar at his finest, in my humble opinion, were his stories at Wayside Elementary School. I thought all of the students and Mrs. Jewell were absolutely bonkers but I loved every word of it. I think this book series was what really introduced me to how much fun you can have with language because the books were so full of puns, metaphors, similes, etc. 
  5. The Little Prince: This is one of those books that never gets old. I loved how simple the book was to read but it wasn't until I got older I appreciated the deep and meaningful message of the story. I recently saw the new film version and it was every bit as delightful as I remembered the book to be. Definitely an eternal favorite. 
Tell me about some of your favorite book or book series from childhood! 

Scallops and Roses | Scalloped Florals and Studded Heels

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I'm finally back!
I apologize for the lack of posts! My laptop decided to just die on me and unfortunately I hadn't backed up my hard drive so while I was getting that repaired, I started writing a ton of posts that I have lined up for this week. I'm actually quite excited for you all to read them!
For today's OOTD though I pulled out this super cute dress from TOBI I bought before Lent. I had been dying to wear it but the weather just wasn't nice enough. I can already tell that it will be a piece I reach for often this spring! The florals and the scallops are just too cute. I will say for those of you thinking of purchasing this dress, it's really short! I was surprised by the length because like I said about my Choies dress, I usually never have that problem. I got a different dress from them in a size up but then while the length was perfect, the fit was far too loose. Just something to keep in mind. people can't usually tell how short this dress is though unless I reach for something but this was a great piece for date night at a wine bar last weekend!

Thanks for reading!

Dress: Tobi
Accessories: Kate Spade crossbody, H&M bracelet (similar here), Forever 21 bow ring (similar here), vintage gold rings
Shoes: Sole Society Tiia