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September Book Haul

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September has been an awesome month for reading! Most of my friends know I'm an avid reader so they all got me books for my birthday (no complaints here!) Here are some of the books I've gotten or bought this month. I've either finished reading or started reading a lot of these and I'm so excited to have a bunch of things to review for you guys soon!

  • Stardust by Neil Gaiman (review here)
  • My Grandmother Asked me to Tell You She's Sorry by Frederik Backman (SOOO good so far!!)
  • Coraline by Neil Gaiman
  • The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
  • Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman
  • Good Omens, by Neil Gaiman
  • Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari (I'll have a review up soon)
  • Freedom's Child by Jax Miller (review here)
Can you tell I love Neil Gaiman?

Thanks for reading!

National Coffee Day

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Happy National Coffee Day! As I'm sure you've picked up from the name of this blog, I am a huge coffee lover! In honor of the here are a few posts from my "Coffee Break" series (should I bring those back?)
I'm also including a list of places you can get free (or discount) coffee today as well:
  • Dunkin' Donuts: Get a hot medium coffee for 66 cents today (for 66 years in business!)
  • Krispie Kreme: Not only will you get a free coffee when you go to any participating Krispie Kreme today, you'll get a free glazed donut as well! Sweet!
  • Wawa: Get yourself to a Wawa (they're all having this promotion today) for a free cup of joe!
  • Peet's Coffee & Tea: Get a free cup of coffee with the purchase of any food order today only!
  • Starbucks: No free coffee here (unfortunately) but they will be donating one coffee tree for every cup of Mexico Chiapas coffee sold today.
  • McDonald's: Get a free iced coffee if you download their app!
Thanks for reading!

Newseum | Lace Sweater and Comfy Chucks

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Top: H&M (similar here) || Dress: Zara (similar here) || Accessories: Kate Spade bag, Ray Ban sunglasses || Shoes: Converse
Last weekend, the museums of DC opened their doors to the public for free. For those of you who don't know, most of the museums here are already free (all of the Smithsonians!) but a handful of really interesting ones aren't. For example, the Spy Museum and the Phillips Collection have an entrance fee. That's why Brian and I took advantage of the free museum day to visit a relatively new but amazing museum of the news - the Newseum! I remember the last time I visited was back in college when it was just built. It was awesome to go back and see some of the new exhibits and the improved old exhibits (like the piece of the Berlin Wall)! It was a very cool day (nice to get relief from the humidity) so I wore my sweater of this comfy midi dress and threw on a pair of Converse lo-tops for easy walking.










Thanks for reading!

Book Club: Stardust

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After I read American Gods and its sort-of sequel Anansi Boys, I knew that I was a Neil Gaiman fan for life. So I went out and got as many books of his that I could find. My Neil Gaiman journey lead to to read Stardust which was no surprise considering how much I enjoyed the movie starring Claire Danes and Charlie Cox. 
I think I expected the book to be incredibly close to the movie, mostly because I knew Gaiman helped work on the film. Little did I know that Gaiman purposely made changes to the movie so that people could enjoy both forms of media separately - and enjoy I did! Gaiman's strong suit is his ability to write flowery prose in a succinct way (odd? Absolutely, but it works for him). This is absolutely felt in Stardust, a fantasy-adventure novel about a boy who goes on a journey to win the heart of the woman he loves. Though the synopsis of the book sounds tiredly familiar, the story takes many twists and turns so it's never boring and it's always entertaining. It's everything a book should be and more. 
I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a good adventure story and a bittersweet ending!

Romeo and Juliet | Pleated Maxi and Tassel Clutch

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Dress: Anthropologie || Accessories: gifted clutch, H&M earrings || Shoes: Sole Society Tiia in "Adobe"
For my birthday, Brian got me season tickets to see plays at the Shakespeare Theater here in DC. We saw our first play last week and it was amazing! It was Romeo and Juliet of course, which is such a classic (spoiler alert, they die in the end 😜)
I want able to get much pictures but Brian managed to snap these for me with my iPhone. Next post will have better quality photos, I promise.
What's your favorite Shakespeare play?

Handwriting Tag

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I've been writing this blog since 2013 but I have never really did a post about my handwriting! Longtime readers may have caught glimpses of it though (in posts like here and here). I actually really love writing things out and I've been told I have pretty decent handwriting. I saw a post by Yige on her handwriting which inspired me to find a handwriting tag to do. Here it is in all it's glory;
Questions:
  • Name: Deborah
  • URL: www.coffeeproseprettyclothes.com
  • Blog Title: Coffee, Prose, and Pretty Clothes
  • Write "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog"
  • Favorite bands/artists: Ingrid Michaelson, Norah Jones, The Wild Reeds, Beyonce, Oasis, Arctic Monkeys, Beck, Hall and Oates, Stromae, Supergrass, Beatles, Electric Light Orchestra, Ed Sheeran
  • Favorite foods: (Korean) kimchi, galbi, bibimbap, bulgogi, Laotian, pizza (especially &Pizza), Chipotle, sushi, curry, doner kebabs, wasabi peas, mapo tofu
  • Favorite books: The Harry Potter series, American Gods, Matilda, Lolita, The Alchemist, The Little Prince, Bossypants, Anansi Boys, Stardust, Never Let Me Go

Ways to Boost Your Mood

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As positive as I try to be, some days it can feel like an uphill battle. Work stresses and personal stresses can really take a toll on me and all I want is something of a booster shot for my mood so I don't feel grumpy all the time.
Here are a few ways that have helped me cope through the bad times:
  • Listen to upbeat music: The fastest way to a better mood, at least for me, is to listen to fun music! I'll put on the "Mood Booster" playlist on Spotify and it really changes things! 
  • Read a 'comfort book': You know how some people have comfort food? I have comfort books - the kind of books I can read over and over and it never gets old. I could read any of the Harry Potter books, One More Thing, or the Alchemist all day, every day! They make me laugh and really feel things in a way that makes me feel good. 
  • Eat a bowl of fruit: I don't know about you but when I'm in a funk, I tend to either stress eat or eat because I'm bored which really starts adding the pounds. Lately I've been trying to keep my refridgerator stocked with healthy things like carrots and fruit (watermelon was a favorite this summer). That way, when I get the munchies, I won't feel so guilty while still feeling a whole lot better about myself. Let's face it: who doesn't feel good when they eat?
  • Watch the "Happy" documentary: I got really into documentaries a few years ago when I discovered one called Happy. I'm sure many of you have either heard or seen this but this movie seeks to find out why some people are "happy" and what makes a person happier than others. If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it. It never fails to lift up my spirits! 
What are some things you do to get yourself out of a funk?

Snallygaster | High Waisted Shorts and Lace Up Flats

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Top: Forever 21 || Bottoms: Forever 21 || Accessories: Kate Spade bag (similar here), Ray Ban sunglasses || Shoes: Zara (similar by ASOS)
Last weekend I went to a craft beer festival in Navy Yard called Snallygaster, named after a mythical beast that is said to lurk in Washington, DC. I had the most difficult time remembering the name of this event, though. I kept calling it "smelly-gasm" instead to the sound of pointed laughter. Lesson learned.
I wore this outfit as the weather was overcast but humid. I never know how to dress for days like this so I tried my best with these awesome high-waisted shorts and a simple long-sleeved shirt. The real kicker (pun not intended) were these flats, though - I got several compliments and a friend said, that they looked "classy and functional but badass!" I'm sold!




Thanks for reading!

Summer 2016 Favorites

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Wow, summer just really few by, didn't it? I feel like it only just started and now we're approaching October! Yikes!

Makeup
  • L'Oreal Lumi Cushion Foundation: As cushion compacts become more and more popular, I decided to try a drugstore brand before investing in a high-end. I don't think I really need to, though, because this offers the perfect amount of coverage while giving my skin a gorgeous glow! I use the shade N3.5 and it's a "true match!" 
  • Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara: I went through two bottles of this this summer because not only do they make my lashes look sensational (ha!), they do not melt off my face in the humid east coast weather and stay on in dry California heat! LOVE!
  • Aveeno Hydrating Sunscreen: I find most sunscreens to be drying - not very good for me since I have very dry skin to begin with. I love this sunscreen as it feels like moisturizer.
Nails
  • Essie "Mint Candy Apple": This is an eternal summer favorite. I've loved this polish since Essie first came out with it and I always go back to it in the summer! I'm legit terrified that someday they might discontinue it. Let's keep our fingers crossed that they'll never do that.
  • Deborah Lippmann "Build Me Up, Buttercup": This is my very first Deborah Lippmann polish and I gotta say, I'm hooked! The color is such a gorgeous pastel shade that was absolutely perfect for the warm summer days. 
  • Formula X "Incandescent": I've never bought an orange color polish before. Coral, yes, but never orange. I love how soft and pastel-y this color is and it's surprisingly flattering on my skin tone. The formula is what really sold me. Only two coats to get it opaque and it's not streaky at all!
Fashion

  • Forever 21 bodysuits: I thought that bodysuits were a thing of the past until I bought one - the idea of tops not riding up during the day was appealing to me. I now have three (they're breeding in my closet!) and I've managed to find a whole slew of ways to wear them! 
  • Sole Society Joesy: As I spend a large portion of my time surrounded by people much taller than me, I like to add a bit of height. I quite like shoes by Sole Society so I bought a pair of their Joesy sandals and they've been the best investment all summer! I fell head over heels for them (pun not intended... actually I take that back. Puns should always be intended!) I love the of the flexible straps and perfectly summery material. These have been super wearable for every day and the color goes with everything!
  • Forever 21 chambray shirt: I got so many wears out of this shirt - it’s so versatile and easy! Seriously, everyone should have a trusty chambray!
Hair
  • Big Sexy Hair Hairspray: Humidity turns my hair into a frizzy, flat mess. This hairspray protects my hair from getting too crazy! I really like how it smells too!
  • Mini 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 short hair bun and I don't readjust during the day. At all. No joke!
  • Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray: I always like having a texturizing spray of some sort in my hair. I've been using this Bumble and Bumble sea salt spray for years and it hasn't disappointed me yet! 
Movies, Books, TV
  • The Little Prince: I used to adore the book The Little Prince (I even used to have a planner with the book as the theme, seen here)! I was so excited when they had announced there would be a new movie version and that it would be out on Netflix! I highly recommend you guys check it out! It's a very family friendly film that's sure to warm everyone's heart.
  • Anansi Boys: I have officially entered the Neil Gaiman fandom (especially after reading American Gods). This book is a sequel to American Gods but it reads almost nothing like it! I had always heard that people who didn't care for American Gods loved Anansi Boys but I happen to be in the category of people who liked both. This book is so funny yet thrilling, and will keep you on the edge of your seat! 
  • Bachelorette: I have joined the Bachelor/Bachelorette train this summer! I never watched an episode of this popular reality series until this year but I got hooked because people kept commenting on how much of a character ‘Chad’ was. I can’t wait for the next season! 

What were some of your favorite things this summer? 

Another Candle | Floral Maxi and Tassel Earrings

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Dress: Forever 21 (similar here) || Accessories: Forever 21 earrings, Kate Spade bag || Shoes: Sole Society Joesy
Today is my birthday - I had to add another candle to my birthday cake and I'm still coming to grips with officially entering my *late* twenties. 

I celebrated with my friends on Friday and Brian took me out to a nice mussel dinner Saturday night. Finally, Sunday I celebrated with my family - Korean tradition dictates I'm to eat seaweed soup on my birthday so that is what I did! 
This morning, I got up earlier than normal and determined to start off my birth year right, I ran five miles at the gym! I felt great and hopefully, I'll make other good decisions this year regarding my health, job, personal life, etc. Here's to hoping!
Thanks for reading!

How I Edit My Instagram Photos

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My non-blogger friends think I'm crazy the way I go above and beyond for my Instagram photos. While most people snap from their phones and upload onto their feed, I have an entire process that involves computer editing (shout out to my blogger friends who are in the same boat!) If you are a beginner photographer and what to up your Instagram game, here are a few tips on editing that I'm happy to share with you:
  1. Take the photos with a quality camera and edit them on a computer first: I use a Samsung NX1100 and it takes very decent quality photos. It came with Photoshop Lightroom which I use to fix the lighting, add sharpness and vibrancy, etc. You don't necessarily need Photoshop though, I also happen to use Picmonkey a lot (and it's free!)
  2. Email it to yourself: I send the edited photo to my email. I'm sure there are other ways to get that photo to my phone but this is the best way I know how. If you have a better way, though, I'd love to hear it!
  3. Open up A Color Story app: I used to use VSCO but I've recently discovered A Color Story and it's been a game changer! They not only give you filters to use, but also effects like adding sunflares and bokeh! It's quite beautiful and it's free to download! 
  4. Post on Insta: That's it! Easy enough, right?
Do you have any tips on Instagram editing? Share them in the comments below!

Floraled | Wiggle Dress and Studded Heels

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Dress: ASOS || Accessories: Kate Spade bag, BCBGeneration bangle || Shoes: Sole Society Tiia pumps in 'Adobe'
I recently got this dress for work thinking the midi length would be perfect for an office setting. After I tried it on, I realized I probably couldn't wear this to work because the front of the dress comes up to my thighs! I figured I would save this dress for date nights though (and blogging of course). 
I think you guys can all guess if you've followed me for a while but I am really into floral print - doesn't matter the season or the weather floral prints all day for me! I think that's why I picked out this dress, despite the short hem in the front - that floral haze has me reaching for my wallet all the time!





What's your favorite print to wear?

Book Club: Freedom's Child

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"My name is Freedom Oliver and I killed my daughter." Thus begins Jax Miller's debut thriller novel. I was drawn to this book originally because reviews online said this was an action-thriller type of book that keeps the reader in suspense. Well, I like a good thriller with suspense - I loved Gone Girl after all! Unfortunately, this book did not quite live up to the hype with me.
Freedom Oliver is an alcoholic, a PTSD survivor, and a "cop-killer," or at least labeled as one to go under the witness protection program. A series of bad decisions as a young woman led her to having two children with an abusive policeman husband (whom she later killed). The dead cop's brothers (and mother) come looking for her while she goes looking for her missing daughter she gave up for adoption to a religiously extreme family (also a cult leader). If those plot lines don't sound captivating, then you won't understand why I felt I needed to pick up the book
I hate to use the term "try-hard" but that's exactly what kept popping up in my head as I was reading it. I feel the author bit off a bit more than she could chew with all of these crazy plot lines. It was a bit sad because she had the recipe for a great and exciting novel but at the end of the book, all I could feel was that the book was all plot and felt lacking in substance. It was all too much and I couldn't enjoy this book as much as I wanted to. It was a shame. That said, the novel's pacing was fast (which I liked) and if you're into an exciting beach read, this would be perfect. 

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review

White After Labor Day | Toothpick Jeans and Tie Front Top

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Top: Zara (similar here) || Bottoms: J.Crew || Accessories: Kate Spade Cove Street Provence bag, Kate Spade Earrings, LOFT sunglasses || Shoes: Sole Society Tiia pumps in "Adobe"

I am so glad that more and more people are disregarding that old rule against wearing white after Labor Day. I don’t think I could part with my white jeans just because September rolled around. I also found this great tie front top at Zara that I think pairs perfectly. I don’t see why I have to put all of these things away because it’s “supposedly” autumn (because the weather says otherwise). 





Are any of you guys wearing white as well? 

Currently... (Vol. 28)

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  • Watching: Stranger Things - I, like basically everyone who doesn't live under a rock, have succumbed to the delight that is Stranger Things. I love this homage to 80s TV shows and I find the children of the show to be amazing actors! 
  • Wearing: Essie Gel Couture polish in "Stitch by Stitch" - I love these polishes and this particular shade of pink is perfect for everyday! 
  • Listening: The Little Prince soundtrack - After I saw the new movie on Netflix, I knew I had to go find the soundtrack because the music was so beautiful and whimsical! I highly recommend you check this out!
  • Eating: Tune Inn - This pub is an old DC favorite. It burned down a long time ago but was rebuilt by the residents because the place was so beloved! If you're ever in the area, you should check this place out!
Thanks for reading!