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January 2017 Bucket List

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Well it's finally the last day of 2016. It's been a rough year for a lot of us so I'm really looking forward to January. On top of my 2017 goals, here are some of my bucket list items for January 2017:

  1. Go on a Friends-cation: My friends and I are leaving town during Inauguration weekend. I'm really excited to leave DC during a time where the city is sure to be congested and tensions will be high. 
  2. Clean up iPhone photos to make space: I have been so bad at cleaning up the photos on my phone but I want to start getting into the habit of it so I can be sure I'll always have space for new pictures.
  3. Go ice skating at the sculpture garden: This item was on an old bucket list and I still haven't gone! I want to be sure to do it before winter ends though.
  4. Bake french macarons: I baked macarons by scratch recently but they didn't turn out exactly the way I wanted them to. I want to perfect the recipe and bake amazing macarons (and maybe share the recipe here?)
  5. Start apartment hunting: While I love where I live now, I am looking for a bit of a change. Plus, Brian and I have been talking about moving in together and finding a place that would work for both of our lifestyles so the hunt should start in January!
Thanks for reading!

Twenty Sixteen: A Recap

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Today I want to do a quick rundown of some of the top posts and photos from 2016:

Most Popular OOTDs:
Army Ball (June)
Mondaze (November)

Most Popular Book Reviews

Top 3 Recipes:

Glitz and Glamour | Heeled Booties and Sequin Skirt

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Top: Forever 21 || Bottoms: Francesca's Collection skirt (similar here) || Accessories: H&M bag, Forever 21 bangle (similar here) || Shoes: Sole Society Daphne 

Here's a nice New Years Eve look if you're going to a casual party! I love how toned down this sequined skirt is because it makes it more versatile to wear. For now, I'm pairing it with this plain black shirt (a definite wardrobe basic), and my new heeled booties!
Quick mini review of these shoes: They're the Daphne booties by Sole Society and this is my fifth pair of shoes I've ordered from them (I'm amassing a small collection!) I usually wear a size 6 in shoes but as they didn't have them at the time I ordered, I went with a 5.5 instead. In my experience, stretching shoes out is easier than shrinking them. I haven't really needed to do that though, and while the fit is a bit snug, my feet aren't hurting in these. They were originally originally $99.95 but I got them on sale for $59.97 which was quite a steal! While the ones I bought are leather, they have suede versions that come in burgundy and light grey as well. 





Thanks for reading!

16 Books in 2016

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It's that time of year I reflect on some of the books I read in the past year (this is partly a book blog after all...)
Looking back, I wish I made more time to read this past year but I'm really glad I managed to read some amazing new books this year! Here are some of my recommendations: 
  1. American Gods by Neil Gaiman
  2. My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry by Frederick Backman (review here)
  3. 2AM at the Cat's Pajamas by Marie-Helene Bertino (review here)
  4. Modern Romance by Aziz Ansary (review here)
  5. Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman (review here)
  6. One More Thing by B.J. Novak (review here)
  7. Coraline by Neil Gaiman
  8. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by Jack Thorne
  9. Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
  10. Fortunately, The Milk by Neil Gaiman
  11. Stardust by Neil Gaiman (review here)
  12. Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsberg by Irin Carmon and Shana Kniznik
  13. Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
  14. The Luckiest Girl by Beverly Cleary 
  15. Freedom's Child by Jax Miller (review here)
  16. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by J.K. Rowling

Evening at the Edge | Feathered Skirt and Plaid Ruffles

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Top: J.Crew Factory || Bottoms: H&M (similar here) || Accessories: LOFT tights, Tory Burch bag, H&M belt (similar here)

Hello lovelies! I hope you all had a fantastic holiday! I am back with lots of New Years related posts!
I actually wore this outfit a while back when I went to the National Gallery of Art. A friend of mine works there and she let me know about an event happening after hours called Evening on the Edge that would be held one a month in their new East Wing of the museum. The night I attended, they had invited a troupe of modern interpretive dancers. It was interesting to say the least! Mostly, I was excited to get a more in-depth tour of the East Wing. I wore this fluttery feather skirt along with my plaid ruffle shirt as I thought this would be a festive look.
I also ended up finally meeting Carly! We live in the same area and I always noticed her snapchats when she was somewhere really close to me and we would always miss each other. I noticed her snaps at the museum that day and I immediately messaged her! She's just as nice in person and it was amazing to finally meet a blogger I'm a big fan of! 



Thanks for reading!

REVIEW: Caseapp

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I have a paranoid fear of shattering my phone. I've seen it happening so many times with my friends and even my brother and I am so scared that it will happen to me. That's why I'm okay with dropping a few extra bucks to make sure my iPhone is protected and it's also why I was eager to work with Caseapp when they reached out to me! Caseapp is a company that allows you to create custom phone and laptop cases. They offer cases for iPhone and Samsung, glossy and matte, and regular hardshell and extra hardshell (which has a silicone bumper). I got an iPhone case with the extra protection (again, I'm a nut about the protection for my phone) and added my own design. There were a couple of hiccups with my order but they were all resolved in a timely manner (I'll get to that in a minute). 
  • Customer Service: I thought that the customer service was top notch. Regarding that hiccup with my order I mentioned - When creating a custom case, you're free to upload images that will go on the phone. I didn't know this (I totally should have though), but resolution matters. I used an image that was 100 DPI which is pretty low quality. A customer service rep got back to me after I placed the order and told me that the image would look very pixelated. I sent him a PDF version of my image but I was a bit nervous because I didn't get to go back and re-create my case with my design in a specific place. Well, my worries were allayed when I received the case because they put my picture exactly where I had the image originally! If you do decide to create a custom case, I recommend using a PDF image or an image that's 300 DPI or higher. 
  • Quality: I am really happy with my case! It provides that protection I need and it has the exact design that I want. If I really had to nitpick, it would be that I picked a matte case that's mostly white which seemed to attract a lot of stains. I feel like with most of my glossy cases, if I had a stain, it would wipe off easily, but with this mate case, I have to be careful about wiping off the stains in fear of spreading it around, if that makes sense. That said, it's been a few days and no stains or dirt have actually stuck on this case. 
  • Verdict: I would definitely recommend this case to you guys, especially if you're like me and you want a case that offers protection but one you can customize so it represents you. They are between $34-$40 so they're not exactly cheap BUT I have you guys covered.
Caseapp is offering a 20% off discount if you use the code: COFFEEPROSEPRETTYCLOTHES20
This offer is only good for a week so if you're planning on getting a case either for yourself or someone else (and these would make great holiday presents), get them now! 

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Thank you, Caseapp for sponsoring this post. I was given one iPhone case of my choosing with a design of my choosing as well. I will not be receiving any compensation if you purchase any case after reading this review. 

Escape from the Cold | Leather Skirt and Matte Wellies

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Top: H&M (similar here) || Bottoms: H&M (similar here) || Accessories: Uniqlo leggings, GAP socks  (similar here) || Shoes: J.Crew (similar here)

A lot of my posts lately have been filled with me telling you guys how cold I am and how I'm always trying to escape it! Today is no exception - we took these photos at the National Portrait Gallery's atrium while we were trying to stay warm. This is a great place for photoshoots for sure - we even saw a wedding photoshoot while we were shooting too! 









I have q question for all of the other bloggers living in cold climates - how do you shoot in the wintertime without freezing?? 

Autumn 2016 Favorites

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I can't believe that winter is only actually starting tomorrow but today is the last official day of Autumn! It's a bit hard to take in considering how cold it's been the last few weeks but here we are. And here are a few things I absolutely loved this past Fall:
Fashion
  • Catherine Malandrino boots - (seen here and here) I snatched these gorgeous boots up from Nordstrom Rack and I've been wearing them everywhere! They are a great affordable alternative to Stuart Weitzman's Highland boots and incredibly comfortable to boot (pun intended)!
  • H&M lace sweater - (seen here and here) Jen has created a hashtag for this sweater on Instagram (#datshirt) because it seriously goes with everything! I can dress it up or down and layer it! It's been my wardrobe workhorse for sure!
  • J.Crew Toothpick jeans - (seen here) I was in the market for a new well-fitting pair of jeans and I settled on this pair from J.Crew. They are so comfortable and they've become my new go-to pair. Definitely going to be wearing them a lot this winter as well!
Beauty
  • Essie Gel Couture polish - These were all the rage on the internet and I can totally understand why! The colors are gorgeous! I loved the red 'Rock the Runway' shade for the winter! 
  • Maybelline Color Tattoo in 'Barely Beige' - This is seriously the best cream eye shadow I've ever used! This is a matte brown-beige shade that's perfect for my outer v, but also would make a great shadow to use on its own. Love the formula, color payoff, and it lasts forever.
  • Murad Hydro-Dynamic Quenching Essence - I received a sample version of this for free but once I ran out, I had to get the full sized bottle! It is amazing!! It will set you back $78 (it's a bit pricey). I think it's worth it and a little bit definitely goes a long way! I'll do a review on this soon!
Et. Cetera 
  • My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry - I wrote a review on this book because it was probably my favorite book I read this year! If you haven't read it yet, I highly recommend it, especially if you love Roald Dahl or Neil Gaiman like I do!
  • Stranger Things - I hopped on the Stranger Things bandwagon this past Autumn and it was perfect for Halloween!
What were some of your favorites in Autumn?

Silver Bells | Metallic Skirt and Chambray Shirt

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Top: Forever 21 (similar here) || Bottoms: ASOS (Boohoo) || Accessories: H&M bag, LouLou's necklace (similar here), LOFT tights || Shoes: H&M (similar here)

Brian and I found this little garden area completely by chance! We were looking for an isolated area to take photos in but as it was so windy and cold that day, we wandered into an alleyway to get a reprieve for a while. Lo and behold, we found this place that was surrounded by several buildings so the wind didn't cut through here as much offering a bit of warmth as well as a gorgeous backdrop for our pictures today. Our very own Secret Garden, if you can call it that haha!
I think this outfit would be perfect for a casual holiday party (a few of which I attended this past month). The silver skirt is so pretty and light and would look perfect for many different types of occasions. I can't believe Christmas is just around the corner already! Where has all the time gone??
Thanks for reading!

How I Style My Short Hair

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Since my new short haircut, I had to come up with a new way to style my hair. When my hair was longer I didn't really have to worry too much about volume just because I have a LOT of hair (though it's very fine), but I think short hair can sometimes emphasize the fineness of my strands. Luckily, my hairstylist taught me a few tricks before I walked out of her salon, and I picked up a few things on my own. If you have short hair like me, I hope this post will help you: 

Products used:
  • Garnier Damage Eraser Split-End Bandage: I used to get really bad split ends when my hair was longer so I took it upon myself to prevent it this time around. After washing my hair, I apply a bit of this into the ends of my hair and then towel dry the rest of my hair. 
  • Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray: This is a great way to add texture to my fine smooth hair. I notice that when I use heat products after putting this in my hair, It holds better and it creates a bit of volume for me. 
  • TRESemme Thermal Creations Heat Tamer Spray: I always use a heat protecting spray before applying any hot tools to my hair. I've used TRESemme for years and it works just fine. 
  • Big Sexy Hair spray: I love this hair spray because it gives me so much volume and I don't feel like it's damaging my hair! It holds forever without it feeling clumpy!
My Everyday Style:
  1. Blow Dry: I normally us a hair dryer after my hair has already dried partially with a towel (that way I'm not using too much heat on my hair). I look so silly doing this but I usually blow dry my hair with my head upside down so as to get some volume and lift. I also use a round bristle brush to create extra lift as well. 
  2. Curl (part 1): I section my hair in half (top and bottom) and use a 1 inch curling iron to create some bend to the bottom half of my hair. The hairs on the bottom half are short so they don't curl too much but I just like to have a bit of bend so it creates volume (Let's see how many times I say 'volume' in this post). 
  3. Curl (part 2): I release the top section of my hair. I raise the heat of my curling iron and wrap my hair around the curling wand (instead of using my clamp). With my front bangs, I mostly curl away from my face.
  4. Spray 'n' go: After letting the curls cool just a bit, I run my fingers through my hair to loosen the curls a tad. I finish off with my hairspray.
Let me know some of your short hair styling hacks! 

Vested Interest | Faux Fur Vest and Skinny Black Jeans

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Top: Forever 21 shirt, Forever 21 vest (similar here) || Bottoms: Zara jeans (similar by Boohoo here) || Accessories: Tory Burch tote, Ray Ban sunglasses (borrowed from Brian) || Shoes: Forever 21  

I wish I could go back to the day we took these photos - I can't walk outside wearing just a vest anymore! The temperatures have fallen drastically and it's gotten so cold! I've been wearing this particular vest under my coat for extra warmth though. It's a great way to layer this winter without looking too bulky!


Do you guys have any layering tricks? Let me know in the comments!