Image Slider

May Books Roundup

| On
12:00 PM
I read quite a bit but doing one book review a month means that I don't get to reviewing all of the books that I do read. When this happens, I plan on doing a mini review of all the books I do read this month starting today:

  • Brooklyn on Fire: I actually did manage a review for this particular book that I received from Blogging for Books. As I'm sure you'll recall, I didn't much enjoy this book. It's historical fiction and if you're into the that particular genre, you may want to check it out for yourself if you don't want to take my word for it. 
  • Anansi Boys: I am a new-ish Neil Gaiman fan since reading and watching Stardust and American Gods. Anansi Boys is a sequel of sorts to American Gods, though it was written before American Gods. It's interesting because the tone of Anansi Boys was so different from American Gods and I didn't expect that! It's laugh out loud funny and an absolutely entertaining read. I think I will do an extensive review on this book as well. 
  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone: This was actually a re-read (I read it for the first time when I was 11). I'd been meaning to do a Harry Potter binge read and I'm so glad I did! It's like falling in love with the series all over again!
Do you guys have any book recommendations for me for June?

Drinks on the Rooftop | Cropped Tank and Maxi Skirt

| On
12:00 PM
cropped tank and maxi skirt

Is there anything better than a cold drink on a warm day? A cold drink on a rooftop on a warm day! 
I remembered the Palm Breeze x Blo Blow Dry Bar event last year and I thought a sweet spritzer would be perfect for a laid-back Memorial Day afternoon.
I actually planned on taking these pictures by the pool in my building. We have a rooftop pool area but by the time I got there it was filled with quite a few people and I didn’t want people to move out of the way for me so I could take photos. I also actually had to go and change my skirt as well because it ended up being hotter than I thought it would be! At least my top was weather-appropriate haha.
Speaking of my top, this tank is actually a part of a co-ord set and while I like both pieces of the set individually, I don’t like how they look together. I plan on wearing the shorts of the set with another outfit soon! 
cropped tank and maxi skirt
cropped tank and maxi skirt
cropped tank and maxi skirt
Palm Breeze flatlay
cuff and wrap earrings
Happy Memorial Day and thanks for reading!

Top: Boohoo
Bottoms: Forever 21 (similar here)
Accessories: H&M earrings (similar here), Essie Polish in ‘Butler Please,’ Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear polish in ‘Celeb City,’ LOFT sunglasses 
Shoes: H&M

May 2016 According to Instagram

| On
12:00 PM
Instagram's new update
Love it or hate it, it looks like it's here to stay! I've noticed my Instagram stats changing quite a bit this month but like any other changes I have to face, I've learned to adapt while posting some fun photos of my life behind the scenes while I was at it!
I was quite happy with some of my outfits from this month and I picked my top three! I feel like we didn't have many days that were nice and warm so the few times it was, I seized the opportunity and faked dress weather haha!
Creating flatlays has become my new favorite thing to do! Every month, I take a picture of my agenda, of course, but I also think I'm getting better at creating outfit flatlays. I bought a new swimsuit from J.Crew Factory (just in time for the pool opening for Memorial Day weekend) and I quite liked the summery photo I took with it. I also wanted to do a bit more with my mobile printer from Polaroid this month for scrapbooking purposes. Let me know if you guys would like me to do a review on it!
Of course, my Instagram roundup wouldn't be complete without mentioning my trip to Richmond! The sights! The food! It was such a fun way to get out of the city!

Thanks for reading!

June 2016 Bucket List

| On
12:00 PM
I can't believe how quickly this month went by and that we're now approaching mid-2016! I feel like so much has happened already and I have so much more to do!
Last month's bucket list was a half success - I took a random trip, I spent Mother's Day with my mother, and did the Embassy Tour - but I still wish I could have done more so I decided to re-add some of the things I didn't manage to get to last month to this month's bucket list!

  1. Picnic at Jazz in the Garden: Every summer the Smithsonian institution holds musical series called "Jazz in the Garden" at the Sculpture Garden on Fridays. They usually have excellent musicians and if you can manage to snag an area to sit in (it's normally very crowded), it's a fun and relaxing way to start your weekend.
  2. Attend a ball: I was invited to attend the Army Birthday Ball and I'm quite excited!
  3. Have drinks by the pool: I get a bit body-conscious but I'm trying to be better at accepting myself and all of my (perceived) flaws. I can't think of a better and more fun way to do that than inviting my friends over for drinks and tanning by the pool!
  4. Attend a concert: There are literally tons of concerts in DC in the summer. I just want to be able to make at least one. I used to go all the time when I was younger but my work schedule has kept me away :[
  5. Go to a baseball game: I had this on my last month's bucket list but I really want to go to one! 
What are some of the things on your bucket list for June? 

5 Essentials for Working at Home

| On
12:00 PM
I was recently offered a new telecommuting schedule at work. I decided not to keep it as I have a hard time focusing on work at home but it did get me thinking about some of you guys out there who do have flexible teleworking schedules. I've had to figure out how to get things done when I wasn't able to go to the office (most recently, this happened during the snowstorm, Jonas) and I figured out a few things I absolutely need to get hustlin'! 
  1. Coffee, coffee, coffee!: I am a total addict! I feel like a different person before I've had a cup and after! I have a Keurig and it's honestly been the best purchase of my life! 
  2. Podcasts for easy listening: I like having background noise when I work and while I normally wouldn't play music or anything in the office (I don't want to distract other people), I will play a podcast or two at home! I quite liked listening to both seasons of Serial and I also like This American Life. I honestly like working to podcasts more than music because it sets the tone of my working environment in a way that music can't for me. 
  3. Band.o planner: Anyone who's been on my Instagram knows how much I love my Band.o planners! I love the random compliments inside, I love the gorgeous patterns and colors! I love it so much I bought a new one for 2017 already! My agenda contains my life! I use it to plan meetings, blog posts, social events, etc.!
  4. Dry erase/cork board: I am a visual person so it helps when I can see my ideas written or drawn out. I like having a dry-erase board that I can write and stick post-its on. 
  5. Light snacks: I am anemic and have low blood sugar so I always need a snack on hand. I usually keep yogurt in my fridge so I can reach for it when I start feeling peckish because I have an incredibly difficult time focusing on anything when I'm hungry.
What are some of your teleworking essentials?

Celebrate the Sun | T-Shirt Dress and Beau Bag

| On
12:00 PM
For the first sunny day in, I'd say weeks, I am proudly stepping out of the house in a dress without tights! Seriously, it's been so rainy that I was half convinced the weather forgot how to sun. I’m told the sun is here to stay…though that usually means it comes with a fair amount of humidity. You never can win #eastcoastsummers. I will say that I had a fun time soaking in the weather and taking advantage of the the sun sans humidity yesterday! You gotta appreciate what you have before it's gone!
I wore this outfit to a happy hour yesterday and I decided to snap a few quick photos before leaving. I like a monochrome look but I also like how a splash of red really amps up a neutral outfit. I feel like I pull out my Beau bag every spring so I figure this would be a great way to add more color to my look! My friend even commented that I looked really put-together but really, this is just a super comfy shirtdress that just looks fancier than it is because of my shoes and bag! We sat outside and a few strangers even complimented my bag! That's the power of quality accessories for ya!

Thanks for reading!

Dress: Zara (old, similar by ASOS)
Accessories: H&M bow (similar here), Ray Ban sunglasses, Kate Spade Beau bag (old, similar here), Forever 21 necklace (similar here)
Shoes: Zara (old, similar by Nine West)

20 Random Facts About Me

| On
1:18 PM
Hello everyone! 
I'm a bit behind with my blogging schedule, mostly because the weather over the weekend was miserable and I couldn't take any photos. I did however, put together this little post though. I love reading about the bloggers behind the blogs I read so I decided to write a few random facts about myself! I hope you enjoy reading:

  1. I am 5'3 (161 cm). People who know me from the blog often comment that I seem taller in photos. Good photography and proportions that work in my favor, I guess.
  2. My boyfriend, on the other hand is 6'3 (190 cm). That's right, he's a whole foot taller than me! I've been wearing heels almost daily since we started dating. 
  3. In college, I wrote for our newspaper, The Eagle, and wanted to be a journalist. 
  4. I used to play tennis in high school and I did crew in college (#coxswainlife). I'm not the most athletic person, though.
  5. I have the same birthday as Hermione Granger (my favorite Harry Potter character) according to JK Rowling - September 19.
  6. I had my first kiss at age 18. I'm a late bloomer.
  7. My parents tried to enroll me in taekwondo as a kid but took me out because I was so embarrassingly bad at it. I was small and skinny for my age and had zero hand-eye coordination, making me an easy target during sparring matches and I couldn't defend myself! I think the final straw for my parents was when they saw me at an exhibition for parents and I literally did the opposit of what the instructor told us to do while falling down twice.
  8. I am a morning person!
  9. I can't hold my liquor. I'm a cheap date. Doesn't stop me from trying, though.
  10. Oddly enough, my favorite form of social media is Goodreads! It's great for finding new books to read.
  11. I used to live with my grandparents in South Korea when I was a baby. I was their first grandchild and they spoiled me rotten!
  12. I am the opposite of a hoarder - I throw away almost everything! I sometimes regret it later when I realize I did need whatever it is I threw out, but I'm just not one to keep things for sentimental value.
  13. That said, I have kept two stuffed animals throughout the years. Theo, my bear that my brother got me for my birthday one year, and Snoopy, a stuffed dog I received from Jen
  14. I am a textbook amibvert. I'm only 52% extroverted according to the Myers-Briggs test, meaning I'm quite introverted at times as well
  15. I LOVE the show VEEP because I think it portrays politics in an accurate way. People don't always realize that Washington, DC isn't as sinister and dramatic like in House of Cards, Scandal, or the West Wing (though I like those shows as well). It's usually a lot of clever but tired people trying to get things done and then backpedalling when things go wrong. 
  16. I like listening to Calvin Harris, Sia, and Britney Spears when I go running. 
  17. I am extremely near-sighted and I have astigmatism. I would basically be blind without my contacts or glasses. 
  18. I have the worst sense of direction ever! If it weren't for GPS and smartphones, I wouldn't be able to get anywhere!
  19. I was born in California. 
  20. I did theater in high school! I didn't act because I got stage fright, but I was a techie! My first gig was doing spotlight work for Footloose. I had fun and we techies are less *dramatic* and more laid back than the actors anyway :P 
Thanks for reading!

What's in my Weekender and Packing Tips

| On
2:00 PM
As I mentioned in my last post, I managed a brief getaway to Richmond last weekend. We stayed for only one night and two days but we had a few specific activities planned, meaning I could pack light but not too light. Packing shouldn't be as difficult for short trips like this but it can be - I was at a bit of a loss because when I checked the weather forecast for that weekend, it was all over the place! I was 80 degrees on our first day, but with thunderstorms in the afternoon. The second day would be a high of 68 degrees but with lots of sun. How do you even dress for that? 
For all you ladies in a similar predicament, I put together this list of packing tips for your next mini-trip!
  • With clothes, keep occasion and weather in mind: I knew that I needed at least two day outfits and an outfit for a nice dinner out. I also knew, like I mentioned above, that the weather situation would be a bit tricky. I opted for a nice blouse (seen here), a pair of shorts (that I ended up not wearing), jeans, and comfy flats for my travel/day outfit and a dress that I could dress up and down for dinner and the second day. And just like that, I had two outfits that could work for three occasions.
  • Brink only makeup and skincare essentials: I brought my Aveeno moisturizer to use both during the day (because it has SPF) and night. I also brought makeup removing wipes, tinted moisturizer, cream blush (that I also used as a lip tint), mascara, and eyeliner. If you can make one product do multiple things, it'll be a space saver!
  • Create a checklist: I completely forgot my contact lens case and had to "borrow" my boyfriend's solution in the morning because my contacts felt so dry in the morning. I almost always forget something minor but important and creating a checklist a week before you leave should help with that. That way you can add to the list during the week while still making sure you packed all the essentials.
Now without further ado, here were the items in my Cassidy weekender from Sole Society:
  1. Zara poplin blouse: This was a great purchase for the trip - the lightweight fabric was great for the warm, sunny day while touring. 
  2. H&M jeans
  3. Zara flats: I hadn't worn these flats for walking long distances but I'm so glad I brought them along! Very comfortable while bringing a bit of edge to my outfits!
  4. Boohoo dress: This was a new purchase but it worked out perfectly for this trip! I wore it to dinner with the above flats (#3) to dinner and then with my tights (#4) and boots (#5) the next day when the weather was a bit chilly. 
  5. LOFT tights
  6. Forever 21 boots
  7. Forever 21 makeup bag: The contents of this bag are below. 
  8. Hair straightener
  9. Aveeno Positively Radiant makeup removing wipes
  10. Toothbrush
...and the items in my makeup bag:
  1. Maybelline Lash Sensational mascara
  2. NARS cream blush in 'Portofino'
  3. Aveeno Positively Radiant moisturizer
  4. Maybelline Master Precise eyeliner
  5. L'Oreal Lumi Cushion foundation
  6. TonyMoly Banana Sleeping Pack

Do you have any tips for packing light for travel? Let me know in the comments! 

Richmond, Virginia | Sweater Swing Dress and Floral Scarf

| On
12:00 PM
As I said in a previous post, I took a quick trip to Richmond, VA this weekend, thus fulfilling another item on this month's bucket list - taking a random trip! My boyfriend and I are big history buffs and we wanted this to be a brief weekend excursion. While a lot of ideas were thrown around (Philadelphia and Miami, for instance), we agreed on Richmond for it's access to a train station (Brian likes train travel), and its rich history. We had such an amazing time and I wanted to share some photos from our adventures!
My second day touring I opted for this sweater swing dress. I liked the cut out details and the fact that it had a lot of give in the waist so it was perfectly comfortable for walking and eating. It was a colder and windy day, despite the sun, so I brought a pair of tights and a floral scarf. 
We made our way to Carytown, a retail district in Richmond built in the late 1920's. They had a lot of interesting boutiques and graffiti but we managed to find the farmer's market and went to town! I bought a thai coffee and browsed through some of the handmade soaps section. 

Brian and I also visited the famous Jefferson hotel! It was a gorgeous building but we didn't realize there would be a college graduation happening so there were a LOT of families and little space for the two of us. Still, we snapped these pictures in the garden. There were a few sculptures of alligators around and I found out that back in the 1800s to the early 1900s, guests used to bring their pet alligators from Florida to swim in their pools! 

We ditched the hotel and made our way to a brewery called Triple Crossing. We tried a few beers and spent a leisurely hour catching a break. 

...and we finally ended our trip with dinner at The Tobacco Company Restaurant! This place was built in the area where traditionally many of the tobacco businesses thrived. According to their website, the district was reduced to rubble during the Civil War and rebuilt in the 70s. The Tobacco Company Restaurant had a very Victorian feel with its three-story atrium and antique elevator! They even had a smoking room (naturally) decorated in leopard print! I'm not a smoker but wow!

That concludes our trip! Below is a map of the places we went (in case any of you are planning a trip out there).

Thanks for reading!

Dress: Boohoo cold shoulder dress
Accessories: H&M floral scarf, Kate Spade bag, LOFT tights, Ray Ban sunglasses
Shoes: Forever 21 

Touristing | Striped Peplum and Lace up Flats

| On
12:00 PM
Hello lovelies!
I hope you all had a great weekend! I took a weekend trip down to Richmond, Virginia and had a blast! I'm not sure what I expected from this trip, but I think Richmond has quite a bit of the Southern charm with the progressive qualities of northern towns. That's mid-atlantic cities for you! I Snapchatted my way through my weekend adventures and if you would like to follow me on some of my other planned trips, please follow me @deborahyi08. 
I'm planning on doing a post on my trip later this week but for now, here's a quick look at the outfit I wore my first day there and toured the area! It was an incredibly beautiful Saturday with a high of 80 degrees fahrenheit! I wore this lightweight peplum top, which ended up being perfect at hiding my potbelly after all the yummy food I ate! My lace-up flats ended up being a good choice for this trip as well - they're quite comfortable and perfect for walking the beautiful cobbled streets of Richmond.
Thanks for reading!

Top: Zara (similar here)
Bottoms: H&M jeans
Accessories: Kate Spade bag, Ray Ban sunglasses
Shoes: Zara (similar here)

Bruises | Scallops and Midis

| On
12:00 PM
I am a klutz. I freely admit this - I'm constantly bumping into things, falling down, tripping over nothing, and gaining mysterious bruises from mishaps I don't even remember (probably because it occurs so frequently that I tune it out of my memories). I hesitated a bit before wearing this outfit because of the bruises on my leg. Literally, as I was leaving my apartment to take these pictures, I bumped my knee on the edge of my bed frame and it started to swell - the kind of swelling that I know will bruise the next day! My top is actually a dress but the bottom portion of it was so short and tight, not to mention a tad bit see-through. I wore a midi skirt over it and voila, two problems solved in one. Hidden bruises, and covered up bottoms! 
I actually want to talk about this dress for a minute. I am 5'3 so I like to shop the petite section of most stores because lengthwise, it fits better. I would recommend shopping the regular section at Boohoo. This dress happens to be petite-sized and it could not be shorter! I got another dress from their regular-sized section and I found that to work much better for me. I am keeping the dress because I really like the top section and I like wearing it with a skirt over it (it's like wearing a slip). Just a little shopping note. 
Thanks for reading!

Top: Boohoo dress (worn as a top), H&M jacket
Bottoms: Forever 21 skirt (similar here
Accessories: Kate Spade crossbody, LOFT sunglasses 
Shoes: Chinese Laundry (similar here)

Book Club: Brooklyn on Fire

| On
12:00 PM
I'm a history buff and a literature nerd so it should come as no surprise that I quite enjoy reading a piece of historical fiction. I like to imagine that a spunky character that had the attitudes of a modern-day woman could exist in a historical context so naturally, Brooklyn on Fire was something I eagerly looked forward to reading. My thoughts on the book? Read on to find out.

Brooklyn on Fire
by Lawrence H. Levy

The year is 1890 and Mary Handley is a detective in the city of Brooklyn. After solving a case in a previous book from this series (which I will say is not necessary read in order to enjoy this one), she sets up shop in the back of small, independent bookshop owned by her friend. Not letting societal norms dictate what she can and can't do, Mary gets herself the business cards, the makes the time, and carries the determination in abundance, she finally gets a client. 
A woman hires Mary to investigate the death of her uncle who supposedly died of a heart attack. Once accepting the case, Mary ends up butting heads with New York City's wealthy elite, including the Rockefellers, the Carnegies, the Huntingtons, and the Vanderbilts. As Mary gets further into the case, she discovers many things that will shock her and the reader. 
What I usually look forward to while reading historical fiction, is how real life characters interact with a made up one. Usually, the fictional character represents in some way or other, many elements of modern-day thinking. Mary is most certainly a feminist and quite an educated one at that. But that's about all that I like about her and the liberties that Levy takes when portraying her and the actually real characters, as George Vanderbilt. 
To me, Mary didn't feel authentic as a woman in the late 19th century. I love a good feminist in my literature but I also like an authentic one! Many of her thoughts just seem far too modern to the point of unbelievability. Even the relationship between George Vanderbilt and Mary seemed far too modern! While it wasn't impossible for a wealthy man in the late 1800s to fall in love with the daughter of a butcher, was it likely? Absolutely not. What's more, George was portrayed as someone so blind to social status that this strikes a very unbelievable chord with me that quite irritated me as I read the book. This book is not a difficult read per say but I found myself so bored and annoyed with the characters, I had to constantly stop reading, thereby taking me weeks to read a book that would normally take me a day or two. 
While the writing itself isn't bad, the story just felt quite formulaic - as if I were watching a movie. Sure enough, I saw that Levy wrote for a few TV shows like Seinfeld and Roseanne. I think that if this book were a modern-day comedy (or even something that took place in the '90s), the writing would feel more authentic, but as for this book, it felt rather anachronistic and off. 
Would I recommend this book? I would say, a soft no. If you like historical fiction like I do, a definite no. If you are just looking for an easy mystery to read, possibly yes.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for an honest and fair review. All opinions expressed are my own. 

Groundbreaking | Floral Sundress and Elastic Sandals

| On
12:00 PM
Every spring, I feel a slight guilt as I put on my floral sundresses. Why the guilt? I saw Devil Wears Prada as a kid and I can always hear Miranda Priestly giving me a judgmental side-eye while sarcastically saying, "Florals for spring? Groundbreaking!
As a personal style blogger, I do at times feel a bit pressured to be more fashion-forward but at the same time, there's nothing wrong with going the formulaic route when it comes to putting outfits together, is there? Especially when it's so nice out, and especially after such a cold winter! Floral sundresses may not be groundbreaking, but they sure are a harbinger of spring and I like them. Suck on that, Miranda Priestly! 
I also want to take a brief moment to talk about these shoes. I got these Joesy style sandals from Sole Society. These are my third pair of shoes from them and like my other shoes from this brand, they did not disappoint! I walked around for a full three hours the first time I wore them and they did not hurt my feet at all! I didn’t even have to break them in! I’m always a bit skeptical about shoes with straps (despite my small collection of them) because at some point, the straps dig into my legs and I end up with cuts and blisters. Not a problem with these sandals - the straps are elastic and incredibly comfortable. They don’t rub and chafe at your skin at all! If you’re looking for a comfy pair of sandals this summer, I would highly recommend the Joesy shoes from Sole Society.

Thanks for reading!

Top: H&M jacket
Dress: Shana blue floral dress (similar here)
Accessories: Kate Spade bag, Ray Ban sunglasses
Shoes: Sole Society Joesy