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Mad About Plaid | Plaid Ruffles and Wool Skirt

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Top: J.Crew Factory plaid ruffle shirt || Bottoms: J.Crew Factory wool skirt || Accessories: Banana Republic belt, Kate Spade cross body, Ray Ban sunglasses || Shoes: Forever 21 boots

When I put together this outfit, I had Jean from Extrapetite in mind. We happen to have the same skirt but I decided to pair mine with this cute twist on an ordinary plaid shirt - the collar has ruffles! This would be a great look for work during the holiday season! 




Thanks for reading!

November Empties

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I admit, I'm pretty precious with my beauty products sometimes so it takes me a while to use things up. I don't know how other people can have an 'Empties' post every month! In any case, this past month, I managed to hold on to some of the empty tubes of product I used up:
  • Simple Eye Cream: This was a good item this summer! It has a cooling effect on my eyes that really helped tone down the puffiness!
  • Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray: Another fantastic item for the summer - it gives you this 'just got back from the beach' hair that I find perfect during the warm season! Glad I managed to use this up and I will most definitely be repurchasing!
  • Aveeno "Positively Radiant" moisturizer: I really love this moisturizer, and I've been using this since college! It is perfect for sensitive skin and makes my skin feel lovely and soft! That said, I'm going to take a break from this product, just because I want to try other moisturizers - it unfortunately doesn't quite make the cut to my eczema-prone skin, but for everyone else this would be an excellent product to have in your skin care routine!
  • Maybelline "Lash Sensational" mascara: This was such a hyped mascara and I must admit, it lives up to the hype! The only thing I didn't like about this particular mascara was the wand, but I now have the same mascara in a black tube that has a straighter wand and is more my speed. 
  • Philosophy A-Z cream: Oh man was this a skin-saver this summer! It provides a sheer, yet buildable, coverage with SPF and ample moisture! 
  • Batiste dry shampoo: I love Batiste products but I hate the white powder residue it leaves in my hair. I know they have a formula for dark hair but I wanted to use this one up before I went to buy a new one so I'm glad this one was used up. 
Thanks for reading!

Holidaze | Windowpane Skirt and Chambray

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Top: Forever 21 || Bottoms: LOFT || Accessories: Forever 21 necklace, LOFT tights, Tory Burch bag || Shoes: Forever 21 

After Thanksgiving, my mind goes to full Christmas mode. It’s like the days get so busy they all start to meld together! I tried to get a head start on my gift shopping on Black Friday and no luck - I get so overwhelmed with all the options. Also, some people are so hard to shop for!



Do you guys have any tips on getting yourself organized during the holidays? 

Currently... (Vol. 34)

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I hope you all had a great break this week with Thanksgiving and all of the sales! I hung out with my family, ate way too much food and watched Netflix to my heart's content! Good weekend overall.

  • Reading: Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett - I mentioned this book last week but I am almost done with this book. I can't wait to have the review of it up, it's so funny! 
  • Watching: Gilmore Girls revival - Oh. Em. Gee! This series really messed with my heart this weekend! I just sat through and watched all four episodes in one sitting and I'm not sure how to feel! I feel all the feels! 
  • Eating: Dumplings - No one in my family really likes turkey so our family's tradition is to make dumplings from scratch all together. It's a great way to just catch up and talk, especially since we don't get to do that as often anymore. We made a ton of kimchi dumplings and I took the leftovers home! 
  • Drinking: Peppermint mocha from Starbucks - since my health issues have resolved itself (see my Currently post from last week), I am finally able to drink coffee again! I was drinking about 3-4 cups a day which is insane and while I'm happy the caffeine withdrawal headaches are gone, I'm equally glad I can enjoy a cup of peppermint mocha (in moderation) again! It's just not the holidays without peppermint mochas, amirite?
Thanks for reading!

Kitchen Diaries: Matcha Oreos

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After stuffing my face with Thanksgiving food, my mind starts to look forward to the holidays. I think I associate cookies and such with Christmas due to leaving a log of different kinds for Santa growing up. That's why when I found this green tea Oreo recipe I knew I had to try it and then share it! Since being forced to cut back on coffee, I've experimented with matcha - a very strong green tea powder. I've made a few batches of these and LOVE eating them with milk and (decaf) coffee!




print recipe

Matcha Oreos
Ingredients
  • 1 stick Unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 2 tbsp Matcha powder
  • 1/2 cup Powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup Cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 1 box Famous Chocolate Wafers
Instructions
1. Melt the butter and mix with the powdered sugar until you get a light consistency.2. Add cornstarch and matcha powder (make sure it's sifted) and vanilla extract and mix until everything is even. 3. Place the mixture into a Ziploc bag or piping tube if you have one. For the Ziploc method, cut a 1/2 inch hole from the corner of the bag.4. Lay out the Famous Chocolate Wafers with the rough side facing up. Pipe in about 1 and a half inch circle of matcha frosting on the wafer.5. Get a second wafer and press slowly on top of the first wafer with frosting, making sure to apply even pressure so the frosting will distribute evenly.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 20

Thankful

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Happy Thanksgiving to all my American readers! I'm with my family today stuffing our faces silly!
I have so much to be thankful for this year and while I don't have the time to list all of them, I wanted to give a special shoutout to the following:

  • My family: As I get older, I have definitely come to appreciate them a whole lot more. We've stuck with each other through thick and thin and when push comes to shove, they always have my back. I know when I am with my family, I am in the presence of love.
  • My best friend (Jen): Through the years, I've had to let go of some friendships for various reasons (such as growing apart). That's why I really appreciate the ones I still have. Jen is the most supportive and honest friend and I am especially lucky to have her in my life. 
  • My boyfriend (Brian): I honestly have never been in a relationship quite like the one I have now with Brian. It's amazing! I know people say that a lot but it's true. He's more than just nice, he's kind, caring, and supportive! He's the type of boyfriend everyone wants to have but not everyone gets. 
  • My readers: I've been blogging for 3 years now and I'm so thankful to each and everyone of you who have followed me on my style journey! My OG readers especially are the best! Blogging is that much more enjoyable because of you guys!
Happy Thanksgiving!

Gobble Gobble | Polka Dot Sweater and Toothpick Jeans

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Top: Forever 21 sweater (similar here), Forever 21 peplum top (similar here) || Bottoms: J.Crew toothpick jeans || Accessories: Tory Burch bag, Ray Ban sunglasses || Shoes: Forever 21

To be honest I had an entirely different outfit in mind when I planned this post but with the lack of time and the sudden cold front this past weekend, this was the look that we went with!
I really love layering sweaters over my peplum tops! The peekaboo of flared fabric creates an interesting aesthetic and really makes my look more feminine while hiding any belly bulge from any potential friendsgiving dinners (huge priority for me). I wanted to wear this outfit with heels but the temperatures went down to the 40s with a freezing wind blowing all over so here we are, boots it is. 
We finally got a chance to test my new lens - check out that bokeh! I'm so excited! I think once the weather calms down a bit and we get used to the new camera and lenses, the photos will be even better! This blog is always a work in progress and I'm glad that with the right equipment, it's moving that way!




Thanks for reading!

Product Review: TonyMoly Panda's Dream So Cool Eye Stick

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When I first started my Korean skincare routine, one of the things I really wanted to find was a good eye cream. I'm still young and in my mid 20s, but I've been told countless times that wrinkle prevention is extremely important. I found this adorable eye cream by TonyMoly (the TonyMoly Panda's Dream so Cool Eye Stick) in this panda packaging and as I'm sure you all know by now I am a sucker for cute packaging. Here's my review: 

Packaging: I seriously can't get over how cute the packaging is! I love all things panda so this reeled me right in. I also liked that it was pretty practical - it's a twist tube, kind of like lipstick. It ensures I'll get every last bit of product so none goes to waste. 5/5

Formula: Now here's where the product disappoints me - it really does nothing for my skin! It says that it's supposed to help cool my eyes and reduce puffiness but... it hasn't done that at all. It's not hydrating nor refreshing. It feels good after a hot shower when I physically have the tube of product on my eyes but that refreshing feeling doesn't last at all. 2/5

Price: That said, I only paid $12 for this. It wasn't expensive but I can't help but feel like it was overpriced for what little it did. I will not be repurchasing this. 3/5

Overall, I unfortunately can't recommend this product. It's a shame because I liked the other product in their panda line, the hand cream. I really wanted to like this one because I do like TonyMoly products for the most part. It's a shame this really doesn't do anything. I would save your money and find an eye cream that actually prevents wrinkles. 

Opera | Little Black Dress and Studded Heels

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Dress: Zara (similar here) || Coat: Zara (similar here) || Accessories: Kate Spade bag, J.Crew pearls || Shoes: Sole Society Tiia in 'Black Adobe'

Like I said in my post yesterday, I went to the opera at the Kennedy Center last week! We managed to catch a production of The Daughter of the Regiment and it was a brilliant time! I wasn't quite sure what to wear because I had never been to see the Opera before. I heard a lot of people saying to go formal but as the Kennedy Center is a bit on the casual side, I opted for my black dress from Zara I got two years ago. That's a testament to the lasting power of a classic LBD!






Been to any operas or shows lately? Tell me what you wore in the comments below!

Currently... (Vol. 33)

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I want to talk to you guys about my health before I go on.
For the past month and a half I haven't really been able to keep a lot of foods down. After almost every meal I would start vomiting and feeling horribly nauseous. At first I thought that I may have been having an allergic reaction to something I was eating but after I went to the doctor's, I found out it's just a matter of severe indigestion. I'm eating too fast, too often, and without chewing. What started as a minor case of an upset stomach has turned quite severe due to it going untreated for too long. I've lost a bit of weight because I haven't really been able to eat much so the doctor put me on a strict soup diet and forced me to cut out a lot of things I enjoyed, like coffee. I'm sure I've been pretty unpleasant to work with because my caffeine withdrawal symptoms included a nasty headache that put me in a bad mood. Luckily, I've been getting a bit better and thanks to everyone around me constantly reminding me to eat slower, the nausea has lessened significantly. 
Just in time too because my boyfriend's mom was in town and I certainly didn't want to be too sick to spend time with her! We had so much fun hanging out around DC - she's from California and we couldn't apologize enough about the cold weather. It's really been an up and down week! 
Anyways, on to the things I enjoyed currently:

  • Reading: Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett - I'm on a Neil Gaiman kick lately, in case you haven't noticed (two out of my last three book reviews were Neil Gaiman books). This one is so funny and I can't wait to review this for you guys!
  • Watching: Opera, Daughter of the Regiment - Brian's mom took us to the opera this week at the Kennedy Center! I had a blast and it was just a delight to listen to all the beautiful songs!  Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg actually played a non-singing role on opening night but unfortunately we missed her. Still, it was a great time and I haven't stopped listening to the soundtrack on Spotify!
  • Drinking: Matcha tea - Since I had to cut back on coffee, I've been drinking my fair share of tea, and matcha green tea in particular! It was a hard few days but my headaches have gone away and I think I have a new tea addiction!
  • Wearing: J.Crew pearl necklace - I wrote about my necklace on my last post but this accessory has done double duty lately because it just looks gorgeous during the holidays! 
  • Obsessed With: Canon 50mm f/1.8 lens - Dubbed the 'nifty fifty' lens that all fashion bloggers should have, I finally made the investment myself! Brian even commented while taking photos with this lens how amazing the photo quality was! 
Thanks for reading!

Updated Essential Accessories

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Around the time I first started my blog, I wrote a post called "10 Essential Accessories." My needs have changed since then and I thought it was about time I updated that list. I don't actually have 10 essential accessories anymore, just five so this should be a more efficient list than the one I wrote back in 2013. Keep in mind these are the items I wear a lot in my life outside the blog and items you may recognize from the blog too:
  1. Ray Ban sunglasses: I bought these sunglasses a while back because I thought they would be perfect for travel. They fold up really small which makes then incredibly compact and easy to just throw into any old bag and head out the door! I also love that the frames are tortoiseshell, making them a versatile classic. 
  2. Pearl (or faux pearl) necklace: Pearls come in a lot of different sizes and lengths. I happen to like a set with a shorter length that's layered. I ended up getting mine from J.Crew and it's been a work wardrobe workhorse!
  3. Signature scent: This is something that may be a bit polarizing but I think having a go-to perfume or scent is nice to have. I fell in love with Marc Jacobs' Oh Lola and it's a great scent in the spring and winter. For fall and winter, this Citron Glace perfume by Gourmand serves me well! I got asked on Instagram how it is and I find the Gourmand line to be lovely! I'm pretty particular when it comes to scents but Citron Glace fits my bill. 
  4. A "goes-with-everything" crossbody bag: The amount of times I've worn this Kate Spade crossbody bag, you'd think I had no other purses! When looking for a good crossbody, I knew I wanted something small but structured and in a neutral color. This Kate Spade Cedar Street Cami fit the bill
  5. Cute phone case: I like to think of phone cases to be an accessory because my phone is an extension of my outfit! I like this one from Rifle Paper Co. - my rose iPhone looks lovely against the flowers painted on clear case! 
What are your essential accessories?

My Favorite iPhone Games

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Like any other given millennial, I am prone to taking out my phone and playing games when I am bored. Brian's always pointing out when I'm playing a new fun-looking game because he inevitably downloads them himself haha!
If you're in the market for a few free games on your smartphone as well (games that aren't Angry Birds or Candy Crush), here's a few that I've been playing on rotation:
  1. Two Dots - No lie, I played this game every chance I could for three months straight! In fact, talking about it makes me want to play it again! The premise of the game is simple - they have many different colored dots and the goal is to connect two or more dots of the same color that are next to each other. They up the ante at each level but it's still a ridiculously addictive game. I wish they would let you play it more than just 5 times every 20 minutes but when you move up a level, it's so rewarding! I've made it to level 423!
  2. 2048 - I got my whole family addicted to this one! I could slide the numbers up and down my phone all day! They have several blocks with numbers on them. When you use your finger to swipe the numbers to one side of the board, the numbers that are the same combine together. For example, if you have two 4s, when you slide them together, they'll form one block that says "8." The goal is to get to 2048 or higher without there being too many numbers to move the board. 
  3. Bubble Cloud - In college, I liked to play the game Bubble Spinner on my Macbook from Deadwhale.com. The iPhone version of that is Bubble Cloud! It's so addictive. The game is free but it has so many ads that play, which is its only drawback. 
  4. Smash Hit - This is one of those games that you can play very mindlessly during your morning metro commute. A continuous movement of the screen where you tap to throw balls, obliterating obstacles in your way! See how far you can get on it!
  5. Heads Up - If lone gaming isn't for you, I would recommend Heads Up! It's a party game originally created by Ellen Degeneres. The screen gives you a word (depending on what category you pick the words out of), and you put the phone on your head so you can't see the screen. People around you give you clues and if you guess the word you tilt your screen down to get a new word. You can skip words by tilting up. It's a fun game to play at a bar with a bunch of friends! This is, however, a paid game but at only $0.99, it's pretty worth the (small) price tag. 
What are some of your favorite smartphone games?

Chilly Mornings | Layered Sweater and Leopard Pumps

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Top: Gifted from Korea (similar here) || Bottoms: J.Crew Minnie pants (similar Winnie pants) || Accessories: J.Crew necklace, Kate Spade Cove Street Provence || Shoes: Sole Society Jenn pumps

Autumn chill is really hitting the east coast now! I mentioned this last year but I have Raynaud's Syndrome, meaning my body is not taking this well. At least I can huddle up with a warm cup of peppermint mocha though. 


Book Club: My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry

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You know how the say to never judge a book by its cover? Well that's exactly what I did with this book and boy did it pay off! The title really caught my eye one afternoon while I was browsing in a Barnes and Noble and while I didn't pick it up then, I couldn't stop thinking about it. I woke up in the middle of the night wondering what a grandmother could have possibly done to ask her grandchild to apologize to people she had wronged, in fact! I promptly logged on to Amazon and put this in my cart. 
The author, Frederik Backman, is the renowned Swedish author whose other works include A Man Called Ove (which was adapted into an award-winning Swedish film), and Britt-Marie was Here, has been compared to the likes of Roald Dahl and Neil Gaiman in terms of his witty writing, delightful characters, and ability to talk about complicated subjects with a sweet simplicity and magical charm. Indeed, I saw all of those things in My Grandmother, which was why I couldn't put it down!
Elsa is a precocious 7 year old who loves Harry Potter, Marvel Comics, and looking up difficult words on wikipedia. Granny is a 77 year old who loves smoking, drinking, and defending her granddaughter from bullies. The two make an odd pair of friends, but it works. When Granny passes away, she leaves Elsa a scavenger hunt of apology letters she left for people in her apartment building (all of whom she had wronged in some way) and giving Elsa a story of a mythical imaginary world as a clue. You find out as the story progresses that the imaginary world of "The Land of Almost-Awake," has real-life counterparts and very real stories of sadness, hurt, and fear. You find out that Granny was a badass surgeon in her heyday and served as a doctor in war zones (though they never specify which war, I'm guessing the Gulf War?). The building they lived in was full of people who were affected by the war, and had knew Granny in her prime - when she was an orphaned girl who became a doctor at a time girls weren't expected to. Elsa spends most of the book upset at her granny for dying on her but as she realizes how many lives Granny had saved and touched throughout the years, she forgives her.
I really enjoyed reading this book and parts of it had me tearing up! It's amazing how attached you get to the characters purely through Backman's writing. It's phenomenal! If I had anything to nitpick at, it would be that Elsa acts far too mature for a 7 year old to the point it's slightly unbelievable. If the author said that she was 13, it would make more sense but 7 seemed too far-fetched. He kept trying to play up how smart she was for her age but I still had a hard time believing this kid was really just a normal 7 year old. I read reviews of his other books and that seemed to be a common critique of many of his characters though.
I highly recommend this book if you want an emotional adventure. This book will have you laughing out loud one moment and bawling the next. Truly a captivating and life-changing read. 

Mondaze | Tall Boots and Grandpa Cardigan

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Top: Forever 21 tee, Forever 21 cardigan (similar here) || Bottoms: H&M jeans || Accessories: LOFT necklace (old, similar here), Kate Spade Cove Street Provence bag, Essie polish in "Ballet Slippers" || Shoes: Catherine Malandrino (Nordstrom Rack) 

Unlike most people, I actually don’t hate Mondays. I used to but now I’m seeing them as a fresh week to start over and be productive. Last week, however, I’ve been a bit out of it. Blame it on the election, or perhaps the fact that I’ve been trying to cut down on coffee (I was drinking 3-4 cups a day), but it’s been a bit difficult to get motivated to get out of bed. 
Over the weekend I finally visited the new Nordstrom Rack they built near me where I scored these awesome boots! I got a few other things that I’ll feature on the blog over the coming weeks but it felt good to be out and about again. I think that it’s about time I remember that even after a funk, the sun still rises and life goes on. 





Thanks for reading!  

Currently... (Vol. 32)

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1:44 PM
It's been a few days since America spoke and voted for President Donald Trump. This was such an intense election cycle and as relieved as I am that it's over, it took me a while to grieve for the loss of my candidate. I was (and I still am) scared of a Trump presidency, not just because I think Trump is a menacing person per se, but because of the way he campaigned - he gave people "permission" to be bigots in a sense and while I'm sure not all of his supporters are necessarily racists, xenophobes, homophobes, or sexists, I can't help but be scared to go to some parts of this country knowing how people in those places voted. I am heartbroken to think that if I'm to travel to parts of Pennsylvania,  Michigan, or Wisconsin (for example), there will be people there who won't see me as a human being with dreams and ambitions, but a woman whose worth is below that of a man's and therefore should not have agency of her own body; a child of immigrants who couldn't possibly be truly American; and a piece of meat whose body anyone can just "grab." 
After a few days of grief, I emerged with a new sense of optimism and hope. Just because I'm afraid of those things doesn't mean that's necessarily what will happen in this country. I'm sure people have their reasons for voting for Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton and other candidates. I understand - this is a democracy and he is our newly elected leader. It's up to us as a country now to hold him accountable for his actions, work with him where we can and challenge him when we must. One President is not greater than the will of all the American people and as a proud American, I will fight for this country that I love. 

If you read all of that and still have stuck with me this far, thank you! Now, onto the things I've been enjoying in the past week: 

  • Reading: Coraline by Neil Gaiman - It took me far longer than it should have to finish this book but I'm glad. It brought back childhood memories which I was grateful for this week. Neil Gaiman always makes me feel better!
  • Wearing: TONYMOLY Petite Bunny Gloss Bar in  'Juicy Cherry' - How cute is the packaging for these?? I shared my purchase on Snapchat earlier this week! They're really affordable and give you a very sheer tint with a moisturizing gloss on your lips! So cute. 
  • Eating: Turkey tacos - Brian made turkey tacos this week which was quite nice of him! Again, this was posted on my snapchat. I think we could all use a bit of comfort food once in a while!
  • Watching: South Park - I don't know if you've been watching this season of South Park but it's so hilarious and spot-on! Almost to the point where after I laugh I start crying because #tooreal
  • Obsessed with: New Canon EOS Rebel T5 - I finally got a new DSLR!!! I held off on getting a DSLR until I got better with my photography but I think I'm finally ready for one! I actually got mine refurbished from the Canon website and I bought a 50mm f/1.8 lens as well so the photography on my blog is about to get pretty interesting! 
Thanks for reading!

Chasing Daylight | Blush Sweater and Black Jeans

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Once winter hits and we change our clocks for daylights saving, it becomes more of a struggle to find the perfect time and the perfect lighting for these outfit posts. I used to wake up early on Saturday mornings to get two outfits for the week out of the way. Now that Brian has taken on the role of my photographer I can relax a bit but it’s still a challenge finding good lighting. We decided to walk a bit further out than we normally do and we happened to find this bit of wall with the really pretty leaves. 
For other fashion bloggers out there, what are some of your tricks for getting the perfect lighting with lighting is scarce?




Top: Forever 21 (similar here) || Bottoms: Zara jeans (similar here) || Accessories: Kate Spade Cove Street Provence, LOFT sunglasses || Shoes: Forever 21