Currently... (Vol. 49)


Happy Sunday and welcome to another roundup of the things I've been enjoying lately!:

Reading: 

Trigger Warning by Neil Gaiman - I checked out this book from the library. I finished watching American Gods and I went into a bit of a Neil Gaiman withdrawal. Trigger Warning is a collection of short stories written by Gaiman. Some of them are longer than others but all of them have that classic Gaiman quality - a little weird, beautiful, and with a bittersweet ending. I recommend it!

Watching:

Big Brother season 19 - I got sucked into this show and I really can't stop watching! Brian and I have been on a bad reality show kick lately and this is one of our new obsessions. I am rooting for Alex but I think Kevin (who's been really quiet and not causing any drama) will go really far. I can't stand Cody, Paul, and Josh though. 

Listening: 

Atomic Blonde soundtrack - I have a bit of a girl crush on Charlize Theron and I am so excited to see this movie! I've been listening to the soundtrack when I go running and it's seriously the best! Very 80s-heavy and awesome for the gym!

Eating:

Eritrean food at Keren: I love that DC has a big Ethiopian and Eritrean population because it gives us opportunities to eat all the yummy Ethiopian and Eritrean foods! Keren on Florida Ave is seriously the best and extremely affordable! 

Wearing

J.O.A. midi skirt - I have been loving this midi skirt and it seems like you guys like it too! I can't wait to wear it with a moto jacket when the weather gets cooler and with boots!

Obsessed with

Yongnuo 35m f/2 lens for Canon - I recently got this lens because I wanted something a bit more versatile than my current 50mm f/1.8 lens. I got this Yongnuo one for less than $90! If you know anything about photography and lenses, you know how crazy affordable that is. We've shot a couple photos with it already (in fact my Summer BBQ post was exclusively shot on that lens) and while the sharpness isn't amazing, it works really well for what we want on this blog. 

Thanks for reading!

Photography and Blogging (Vol. 1): My Photography Equipment

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. 

I think I've come a long way since my very first OOTD post. When I first started this blog, I used a point-and-shoot camera on a tripod with a timer. Nowadays, my blogging photography equipment has gotten quite the upgrades and I've learned so much about photography along the way. I wanted to share some of the things I learned with you guys so I decided to start a mini series on blogging photography. Today's post will be all about the equipment I use and some of the things I recommend. 

Why I Bought a Kindle (Even Though I Have an iPad)


During the last Amazon Prime Day, I went out of my way to buy a glare-free Kindle. Admittedly this sounded a bit frivolous because I have a perfectly well-working iPad mini I sometimes read from and as someone working to clear my life of clutter, this could potentially be a waste of space and money. However, since I got it, I've been using it every day! I was even encouraged to (finally) get a DC library card so that I could check out e-books! For those of you thinking of getting a Kindle like mine, here are a few things I considered and why I ultimately decided I needed both a Kindle and an iPad mini:

How Much My Face Costs


As I started to get a bit more budget-conscious and fill my home only with things that make me happy, I started to think about how much money I spend on my makeup and skincare routine. Listing out all of the products I use almost daily made me kind of depressed but I also know that skincare and beauty products are things that I actually enjoy and I would rather pay money for a good product that makes my skin happy. I've listed all of the products and makeup along with their prices. These are all things I use on a regular basis and I love them all. 

Currently... (Vol. 48)

Another week down and we are inching ever so closely to autumn. We actually had the hottest week ever, here in DC with temperatures in the upper 90s to over 100 degrees Fahrenheit! I gotta say, it's hard to be a fashion blogger when you want to just stay at home in an air-conditioned room in minimal amount of clothing. In any case, I managed to get all my photoshoots for the next week up on the blog (I had to coax Brian to step out in the hot sun with me), and enjoy a couple things along the way.

Reading: The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin - I found this book randomly on the Kindle reading section of Amazon. It was free and I downloaded it on a whim and it has now become one of my favorite books I've read (up there with Ove and Britt-Marie). It's an easy and relatively short read - I read it all in one weekend because I couldn't put it down! I also read it on my new 8th Generation Kindle that I got on Prime Day (it was $40!) and I will say that reading on a glare-free kindle is so much more productive than reading on my iPad! I'll do a post on that later. 
Watching: Second City at the Kennedy Center - my friend invited me to come and see Second City as they're doing shows in DC. Second City, in case you didn't know, is an improv-comedy troupe that has boasted very successful alumni including (but not limited to) Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Stephen Colbert, Steve Carell, and Bill Murray! They were hilarious, as expected, but also incredibly poignant and smart. If you can catch a show near where you live, you should totally check it out.
Wearing: BootayBag underwear: I received a BootayBag recently for an Instagram collaboration. For those of you who don't know, BootayBag is a monthly underwear subscription service. Every month they send you two undies. The ones I received are so pretty and super comfy as well!
Eating: Shake Shack - My mom's good friend was visiting DC from South Korea! She heard a lot about Shake Shack so of course, I had to take her (and my mom) there for a girls date. So yummy!

Thanks for reading!

Currently...(Vol. 47)

Wowwee, since getting back home from my Hawaiian vacay, it's taken a bit of time to adjust back to normal life. I had a mountain of work waiting for me when I got home and trying to get my internal clock back on time took some time which was why I hadn't been posting consistently the past two weeks. I've used this time to get caught up and write a few posts for next week - I'm so excited for what I have planned for the blog!
Now, onto some of my favorite things:

  • Reading: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo - I managed to read this book while beachside in Kauai. This was really eye-opening and inspiring! I had Brian reading it too and we both agreed to work on keeping things tidy. We're pretty clean and clutter-free people to begin with but the KonMari method seems like a new way to view the home and surround ourselves with things that bring us joy. Brian even used this method recently to reorganize the apps on his phone and he says he's been using his phone more productively! 
  • Watching: American Gods - I raved about my love of Neil Gaiman books and I especially enjoyed reading American Gods. I was thrilled when I first found out it would be adapted into a TV series and was super giddy when I read the final cast list. I waited until the show's first season was all out to just binge it all at once and my word it's done better than I ever thought it could have been! I'm so glad Gaiman is involved in all of this because otherwise I would have probably hated it. If you haven't seen the show yet, I highly recommend it! 
  • Wearing: Scalloped swimsuit from Zaful - I wore this swimsuit to the beach and while it's super cute and very comfy, the tan lines I got from it has been... odd to say the least. I'll talk about it in a post tomorrow though.
  • Eating: Locomoco from the Kalapaki Beach Hut - I think locomoco is officially my favorite dish from Hawaii! For those of you who are unfamiliar, locomoco is a rice and hamburger patty dish that's served with an egg on top with gravy. The gravy they used at the Kalapaki Beach Hut was especially delicious and I went back multiple times!
  • Drinking: Mai tais - I had my first taste of mai tais on this trip and I think I will forever chase that feeling that I had when I first tried it. 

July 2017 Bucket List

Greetings from Sunny Hawaii! I have scheduled this post to go up on my first night in the beautiful island of Kauai. If you're reading this, please feel free to follow along my Hawaiian adventures on my Instagram!
Clearly my July is off to a great start and I'm hoping this will set the tone for the rest of the month as I have quite the bucket list!

  • Go to Hawaii and attend a luau: This is my very first time in Hawaii and it's been my dream to go since I was a kid! We made reservations to go to a luau and I can only imagine how much fun and amazing it's going to be (not to mention delicious)! 
  • Celebrate Brian's 30th birthday: Independence day also happens to be Brian's birthday (which is the reason why we're all in Hawaii in the first place). I'm so glad I get to spend my favorite person's milestone birthday in one of the most beautiful places in the world!
  • Get a library card: Switching gears completely here, I have been meaning to get a library card forever! Now that I'm pretty settled in my new apartment, as soon as I get back from Hawaii I'm planning on marching straight to my local library and getting myself a library card! 
  • Read by the pool: We have a rooftop pool in my apartment building. I've been up a couple times but I haven't really used it much. I think on a weekend I'll bring a book up there while I dip my feet in by the edge. These are the kinds of things that excite me haha!
As you can see, after I get back from Hawaii, I'm going to keep things a bit more low-key. 

What are some things on your bucket list this month

Currently... (Vol. 46)

I still can't believe how quickly the week flew by! I must say it was an extremely busy week - both in my personal life and at work ( I earned my paycheck this week!) 
In any case, here are a few things I'm
enjoying currently: 
  • Watching: Below Deck Mediterranean on Bravo - I'm slightly ashamed to admit that I am now a bad reality TV junkie. Brian got me hooked on this show last week and I am super invested, it's kind of embarrassing! Do any of you guys watch that show as well? I'm #teamwes on the  Malia love triangle at the moment (technically Bobby still likes her too but he doesn't really have a chance, does he?) 
  • Eating: Slow cooked miso chicken - Brian made this delicious dish recently and we've been reaping the benefit of leftovers ever since! It's so delicious and ridiculously easy to make. Plus it's a Hawaiian-themed dish which is perfect for our trip coming up next Friday!
  • Drinking: Wall Street Journal Wine Club wines - Brian recently subscribed to the Wall Street Journal Wine Club and they sent over 15 bottles of red wine. Needless to say, our wine stash is covered for a while. We've been taking notes on which bottles are good and which are just meh so that when they send over another box, it will be curated with only the ones we like. 
  • Wearing: Missha Sunscreen - I'm planning on doing a review of this soon but I really love this sunscreen! It's not greasy, smells good, blends well under your makeup!
Thanks for reading!

World Refugee Day | Faux Wrap Dress and Tory Burch Robinson

Dress: H&M || Accessories: Kate Spade necklace, Tory Burch bag, LOFT sunglasses || Shoes: Michael Kors

Before I start this post, I'd like to apologize for the picture quality as I was having camera issues and was forced to use an iPhone camera. I'd also like to note that due to the nature of this particular post, I'm not including any affiliate links here today. 

Yesterday I attended two events on Capitol Hill for World Refugee Day. In his day job, Brian works at a non-profit that helps promote education for children (and especially girls) in developing countries so this event was more his scene than mine (I work with financial services), so I asked for his help writing this post. I hope you find this post informative about the refugee crises in the world today.

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Spring 2017 Favorites

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

It's been so hot lately so it feels like Summer is in full swing BUT the first official day of Summer is actually tomorrow! Weird, huh?
I've collected a roundup of some of my favorite things from the past season, sort of as a way to reflect all I've done.

Currently... (Vol. 45)

After not posting almost all of last week, I've posted six(!) times this week! I'm definitely getting back into the swing of things with this blog. 
Anyways, here are a few things I'm enjoying currently:
  • Reading: Life of Pi by Yann Martel - This book has been on my bucket list for a long time and I've finally picked it up. I saw the movie when it first came out but the book was certainly a memory refresher. I like it okay so far but at the moment I'm not sure why the book was as hyped the way it was. Once I finish I'll have a more definitive opinion. 
  • Listening: A Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith - I read the first two books of the Cormoran Strike series (A Cuckoo's Calling and The Silkworm) so I'd been wanting to see what's next for Cormoran and Robin Ellacott. As usual, the writing is fantastic and I found myself completely sucked into the London that J.K. Rowling (Robert Galbraith is her pseudonym for this series), paints. The mystery is quite compelling and all of the clues provided point anywhere and everywhere. I really can't wait until I finish this audiobook. 
  • Watching: Bachelorette - I am hooked on Rachel Lindsay's season as the Bachelorette! I just LOVED the way she shut down DeMario when she found out he had a girlfriend but also the way she shut him down again when he begged to come back! She is so smart and amazing and I can't wait to see the next episode (it looks like it's going to be woke AF tomorrow). 
  • Wearing: Essie polish in "Pacific" - As much as I hate chipped nail polish, I hate the smell of nail polish remover on my fingers more. When my old polish started to chip, I admit, I let it go on for far too long. In fact, by the time I finally removed it, it was down to a few small patches on my nails. I decided to go with a gorgeous pacific blue with a silver polish on my ring finger as an accent. I haven't been excited for my manicure in a while but I'm glad I feel happy whenever I look at my nails. 
Thanks for reading!

My Bullet Journal Supplies

Ever since I discovered the world of bullet journaling, I've been wanting to up my game. I find the whole concept of customizing my own planner to be incredibly helpful and useful! I can create my own trackers, my own goals, my own weekly spreads, and even my blog planners!
If you haven't heard of this method, check out my post on bullet journaling here or read about bullet journals from the creator here
In any case, here are a few things that I've been using to take my bullet journal to the next level. I may even do a flip through of my weekly spreads if you guys would like to see that in a future post (and if so, please leave a comment below!)

Books That Pass the Bechdel Test

The Bechdel test, for those of you who don't know, is a simple gauge that asks whether or not a particular work of fiction has an active female presence and if her presence is marred with gender inequality. For a book, movie, or show to pass the Bechdel test, it must: 
  1. Contain two women who are named
  2. The two women meet
  3. The two women have a conversation about something other than a man. 
It's simple, right? It happens in real life all the time. Yet it's a bit harder to find that happening in works of fiction.
Fear not because today I'm listing a few books I've read (and some that are reviewed here) that pass the Bechdel test and would highly encourage you to read. 


Things I'm Cutting From My Budget

Things I'm cutting from my budget to keep my finances organized

One thing I'm constantly updating and revising is my budget. I think that when you can create a reasonable budget that you can actually stick to, you can have anything you want! I made a few changes in my budget early this year and I am starting to really see how it's made a difference in the way I spend (and view) money. I made a lot of cuts that have really helped me and by listing them here, I am hoping they can help you rethink what you can save on too:

Empties (Vol. 3)

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links


I've been blogging since 2013 and this is only my third 'Empties' post! I tend to be a bit precious with my beauty products so it takes me a while to completely use something up. If I buy something I like to make it last. It's the reason why I'm always impressed with people who have an 'Empties' post every month - either they have a lot of different products they've used up over a great period of time and can rotate things out or they just use up a lot of products on a monthly basis. Not me, though. I will buy a tiny bottle of moisturizer and make it last for 5 months haha. 
In any case, I managed to be fresh out of a couple of things at the same time so I figured it's a sign that I need to do an empties post. Here they are:

Not Your Typical Father's Day Gift

GIVEAWAY CLOSED! Thanks for entering!

Disclosure: I received complimentary press samples products or services for this post. As always, all opinions are my own. I only ever accept products I truly love or believe in.

My dad is so difficult to shop for. He's incredibly picky about most things so finding a gift for him on his birthday, Christmas, and especially Father's Day is quite difficult. 

Enter JORD watches.

Product Review: Glossier Boy Brow

I am low-maintenance when it comes to my brows. I was blessed with good genes when it comes to excess body hair and therefore I've never plucked, tweezed, or did anything to my brows in my life. In fact, all of my photos until the last two months feature me sans brow makeup. 
As bold brows are becoming more and more of a trendy makeup look, I wanted to try upping my brow game. I tried to use a pencil but as a brow makeup newbie I had no idea what I was doing and I ended up looking like I had Sharpied my brows in. Not attractive. 
I stumbled upon Glossier's Boy Brow in my quest to find the perfect brow product for someone like myself. They promised easy application and a natural-looking finish which are two things I absolutely wanted.


Solo Date Ideas

As someone who's been in the workforce since 2012 and lived with roommates all of her adult life, getting a day completely to myself is rare. When I do get the occasional day off - and by that I mean no work obligations, no social engagements, not even blog responsibilities! - I like to treat myself to a solo date. I really think that spending time with yourself and treating yourself is incredibly important. The relationship you have with yourself is the most important one so why not spend a day pampering yourself and getting to know yourself better? Here are some ideas:




My Year-Round Closet Essentials

I'm updating an old post today on some of my year-round essentials!
To be honest when I first wrote my old post I thought about some of the things other bloggers had been saying I needed and compared it to what I wore and adjusted the post accordingly. Today, I don't want to tell you guys what you need to have but I think a lot of you guys may find similarities in my list and what you guys wear on a daily basis. I'm listing these to help you guys if you are in need of an update to a classic item or if you guys are in the market for some of these things.

  • Chambray shirt: This piece has been a regular since the early days of my blog. I've made an update to the one I used to wear and bought a lighter-colored one for a great price at Forever 21. Quality-wise, I think it's great and it's certainly held up for the last three years! I found a similar looking one from F21 here but I also love the ever-popular ones by Madewell too. 
  • Plain white tee: I have bought several plain white tees from Forever 21 over the years and while they don't last the longest, they're certainly some of the softest! Even Brian has told me on occasion that my PWTs are the softest he's ever felt. Plus, at $4 a pop, you're not breaking the bank for them so why not give them a try?
  • Navy sweater: I'm a sweater aficionado, mostly because I'm always cold. I used to wear my Navy bow sweater religiously but I've moved on to the flowy peplum version by ASOS. This looks great paired with blue jeans or white jeans and I'm planning on pairing it with white shorts this season as well! 
  • Skinny blue jeans: I am all about spending more money on quality denim which is how I ended up at J.Crew and buying a pair of their toothpick jeans. Skinny jeans are a classic that flatter every body type (as long as you wear the right cut and size), and J.Crew makes the most flattering jeans ever. I've also bought a few jeans from H&M before as well and they're quite affordable and flattering too. 
  • Black pants: Another great piece by J.Crew unfortunately, they discontinued their Minnie pants but luckily their Martie pants are a great dupe. These pants are a work essential for me - I wear them all the time and they look great on the weekends too! 
  • Little black dress: I have since ditched my old Forever 21 LBD and switched to this classic, a-line silhouette number from Zara. I paid a bit more for this dress but I think it's worth it and I've found it to be incredibly versatile too -I've worn it to the opera, a Simchat Bat, and even to work. You can find great LBDs anywhere but some of my favorites are from White House Black Market, LOFT, and ASOS.
  • Black heels: These Zara heels are a classic - I love the pointed toes because they make my legs look longer (and at 5'3, I need all the height I can get). When getting a pair of black heels, make sure you like the toe and that the heel isn't too high for you. One way to tell if a shoe is too tall is to put it on your feet and try to stand on your tippy toes in them. If you can't stand with there being at least an inch of space between the heel of your feet and the shoe, it's too tall. 
  • Neutral flats: I raved about these flats from Butterfly Twists last winter and while I still love them, unfortunately the metal bow has since come off while I was walking. I re-glued it on with some superglue but for the price, I feel like that shouldn't have happened. That said, I do still like that these flats can fold up but Tieks also do the job (though at a higher price point). I also love that these flats have pointed toes (see point about making your legs look longer above). Charlotte Russe also has a great pair of pointed-toe flats for $14 if you want an even lower price point. 
  • Leopard pumps: I bought these shoes a few years ago from Sole Society and they still remain one of my favorite pairs. I've had to take them to the cobblers to get the heel fixed on one occasion but they're still elegant, classic, and versatile. I love the d'Orsay design and again, the pointed toes. While Sole Society no longer has these specific leopard heels in this design, the d'Orsay pumps in other colors are on sale now. If you need a leopard heel Kate Spade has a gorgeous one that's on sale now. 
What are some of your year-round essentials?

Currently... (Vol. 44)

Welcome to another post where I talk about some of the things I really enjoyed throughout the week! Is it just me or did this past week go by incredibly slowly? I walked into work on Tuesday thinking it was Thursday only to find out we had three more work days to go instead of one. Ugh.
Anyways, here are some of the things I loved this week:
  • Reading: Creative Lettering and Beyond - I have been interested in hand lettering for quite some time so I finally bit the bullet and bought the ever popular instructional book on it. It's very informative but I've found that I need a lot of practice. I'm not the most graceful artist but  I think this will be a fun hobby to pick up. 
  • Listening: Britt-Marie was Here - I love Frederik Backman novels so I decided to listen to the audiobook version of the spinoff to My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry. I find Britt-Marie to be simultaneously annoying and sympathetic and I love an author that makes me feel complicated emotions for a character like this. 
  • Wearing: Missha Safe Block - In my quest to convert all of my skincare goods to Korean Beauty products, I found myself in need of a sunscreen. I stumbled upon this one by Missha and I am seriously in love! This one doesn't leave a white cast like a lot of the other sunscreens I've used. It's also very moisturizing and gentle.
  • Watching: A Man Called Ove - I'm almost done with the Frederik Backman novel so I decided to watch the Swedish movie adaptation of it. I love it! Just like the book, this movie made me feel so many emotions. It made me laugh, cry, and want to call my grandmother (the only grandparent I have left). 
Thanks for reading!

Summer 2017 Reading List

Ever since I graduated from school, I've had less and less time to read for pleasure. Most days, my reading is limited to news articles or regulatory comment letters, not fiction. Well ever since I decided to make recreational reading a priority this year, I've come up with a list of all of the books I want to read. For the summer, I created a specific reading list goal: