Coffee, Prose, and Pretty Clothes

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Rainy Days | Striped Shirt and Utility Jacket

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12:00 PM
Happy Monday lovelies!
I hope you had a great weekend! I helped my boyfriend and his housemates move to a new house... two blocks away from their old place haha! The forecast predicted a wet weekend so I was a bit worried that would make moving rather difficult. Fortunately, it didn't rain that day, though it poured all day the next! 
It's hard to believe it's May already, especially when you consider how cold and rainy it is this week! I supposed that's typical for DC in the spring but I have all these warm-weather dresses that I wanted to pull out. Instead I'm digging to the back of my closet to pull out my autumn and winter pieces. Bummer!
Thanks for reading!

Top: LOFT shirt, Forever 21 jacket (similar here)
Bottoms: H&M
Accessories: H&M scarf (similar here), Zara bag (similar here)

Shoes: Zara (similar here)

May 2016 Bucket List

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4:57 PM
Wow, I can't believe it's already May - Where did April go??
With the start of a new month comes my Bucket List. I had a pretty successful time with last month's bucket list and managed to cross off four of the six items! Here's my list for May:
  1. Do the DC Embassy Tour: Every May in DC, the embassies open their doors to visitors who wish to learn more about said country's culture, history, and food! It's a lot of fun and as I haven't done this since my university days, I believe it's high time I revisit the DC tradition!
  2. Watch a baseball game: This is a travesty but I've never gone to watch a baseball game, even though I live four metro stops away from the Nationals stadium! I decided that this is the year to change that! Nats game, here I come!
  3. Spend Mother's Day pampering my mom: Because why not? My mother certainly deserves it! 
  4. Buy fresh flowers: To be honest I'm not normally one to buy flowers because I personally hate taking care of them. But there's something to be said about fresh flowers on a warm day that just perks up a dull room!
  5. Go on an impromptu trip: I'm not sure where I want to go yet but I do want to just take off and go on a mini-vacation this month!
What are some of the things on your bucket list this month?

Wednesday Stripes | Cropped Peplum and Magenta Heels

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12:00 PM
Happy Wednesday lovelies!
Just a quick post today - Things have been crazy at work and I managed to snap these two photos last Sunday after I went for brunch with my family. Funny story about getting these photos - a homeless guy walked by while I was getting my posing on (so embarassing!) and offered to take my pictures. I said no and hurriedly walked away so he couldn't see how red my face became! 
I've been loving all things Zara lately! They're usually a hit or miss with me because I find their sizing to be pretty inconsistent, but I managed to snag these awesome shoes last week! I can also see this peplum top getting a lot of wears this Spring and Summer and if you're thinking of getting it for yourself, I recommend going up a size as this does run a bit small. 
Thanks for reading!

Top: Zara (similar here)
Bottoms: J.Crew
Accessories: Forever 21 bag (similar here), LOFT sunglasses, BCBGeneration bangle
Shoes: Zara (similar here)

Book Club: The Psychopath Test

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7:43 PM
Whenever I have downtime, I tend to gravitate towards reading something from the fiction section - specifically, classic fiction. Every once in a while, though, a really good non-fiction book will pull me in and I'll get sucked in. Jon Ronson is one of my favorite journalists and all-time greatest storyteller. I saw his TED talk a while back about his research into the realm of psychopathy and I was really captivated me! I knew I had to get my hands on his book and delve into his findings.
The Psychopath Test
by Jon Ronson
There are few non-fiction books that could keep me as interested for as long as I was while reading Ronson's The Psychopath Test. Ronson tells a story of his journey into the world of the insane and while doing so, he starts to question his own sanity and as a reader, he had me questioning mine as well. 
The story begins when Ronson uncovers a "mystery" - an anonymous puzzle sent to some of the most intelligent people in the world, asked to solve it. It had all of the geniuses scratching their heads and arguing with each other what the "true" answer was, only for Ronson to discover that the mysterious puzzle sender was just a bored crazy person. Thus begins Ronson's journey into discovering the differences between the sane and the insane. He takes a course on psychopath-spotting, he talks to Scientologists (who basically do everything they can to discredit psychologists' findings on psychopaths), and various other sources in various fields to discover what it truly means to be a psychopath. 
I have a few favorite anecdotes from his book - the first is when he speaks to a producer of a Jerry Springer-type show (Charlotte), who has the unfortunate task of selecting guests to come on the show. She explains her selection process: She simply asks potential guests what medication they're taking. She would look up the drugs they were taking online and see what they were for and assess if they were "too mad" to be on the show. According to Charlotte, there was a perfect amount of madness that one had to be to make for good television. When asked what constituted the right kind of madness, she replied: "'Prozac,' said Charlotte. 'Prozac's the perfect drug. They're upset. I say, 'Why are you upset?' 'I'm upset because my husband's cheating on me, so I went to the doctor and he gave me Prozac.' Perfect! I know she's not THAT depressed, but she's depressed enough to go to a doctor and so she's probably angry and upset.'" (pg. 175) I never stopped and considered why some people were so entertaining on the reality TV shows I watched but learning what guest bookers look for made me rethink judging those people. Clearly, these are people who are not well and we raise them up to laugh at them to feel better about our lives. Is that really okay?
The other anecdote I quite enjoyed was visiting Toto Constant, the founder of a Haitian Death Squad who committed murders, rapes, and countless acts of terror. Ronson writes a fascinating interview of this potential psychopath, his motivations, and how he was able to manipulate people into thinking he was a pretty cool guy.
Overall, I highly recommend this book to everyone who is interested in the human psyche. This book will seriously having you question the sanity of everyone around you and for a while, you;ll fancy yourself a psychopath spotter like Ronson (I know I did). Like Ronson concludes, ultimately, you have to really wonder if these people are truly psychopathic or if we're assigning psychopathic traits to normal behavior?

BBQ | Gingham Dress and Espadrilles

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12:00 PM
Hello lovelies!
This weekend I went to a barbecue to celebrate a friend getting his US citizenship! I wore this gingham dress and baked apple roses (in lieu of apple pies) and felt like a true American!
It's always interesting to me how diverse a population of a country like the US is. This particular friend is Iraqi-American and I was one of several people of color in attendance. While diversity is nothing new to developed countries, I still like knowing that I live in a country that celebrates immigrants and different cultures. We're all American in the end that's what counts. 

Thanks for reading!

Dress: Maison Jules (on sale!)
Accessories: Ray Ban sunglasses, Kate Spade bag
Shoes: Forever 21


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10:53 PM
Good evening lovelies!

Another week has come and gone and as busy and hectic as my schedule was, I had a great weekend to make up for it! I spent quality time with great people and did fun things and I'm excited to share with you guys some of the better parts of my week:
  • ReadingThe Psychopath Test - I took a break from Brooklyn on Fire and read this book by Jon Ronson. I'm a big fan of Jon Ronson and I think he's a great storyteller! I heard him talk about this book on a TED talk and I'd been interested in reading more about it. I highly recommend it and I think I may do a review of this soon!
  • Watching: Game of Thrones season 6 - I had been waiting all year for this!!! Is Jon Snow really dead or isn't he? Gotta know now!
  • Listening: Owen Danoff from The Voice - My roommate's friend is currently a contestant on The Voice under the tutelage of Adam Levine! It's so exciting to see a familiar face on TV every week and I highly encourage everyone to vote for Owen Danoff or buy his music on iTunes! He's seriously great! 
  • Eating: Apple Roses - I went to an American themed party in celebration of a friend getting his citizenship. Someone suggested baking an apple pie but as I'm not exactly the best pie-baker, I made these instead. I think they turned out decently and I'm planning on writing a post on how I did it this week!
  • Wearing: ASOS maxi from this post - This dress was a bit of an impulse buy and it's honestly so different from my usual style. I'm really glad I bought it because it's so pretty, drapes perfectly when worn, and (most importantly) incredibly comfortable!
  • Drinking: Soju - I had a really bad craving for Korean food so I went to a Korean fusion restaurant called Mandu's for some sojutinis and bibimbap! So yummy!
Thanks for reading!

How to Set Your Mornings Up to be More Productive

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12:00 PM
Happy Thursday lovelies!

I am a morning person. I admit, it's been a bit rough in relationships because no one has ever been as early a riser as me. I get up at 6 in the morning on weekends, even though I have nowhere to be, and I end up bugging the crap out of the people around me whose internal clocks aren't on Tokyo time like mine is. 
I've been reading articles lately about how the way you use your mornings can really set the tone for the rest of your day. In fact, getting up just 10 minutes earlier than you normally do can give you so many health benefits as eating fewer calories throughout the day, getting better quality sleep at night and being more productive! 
I've researched a few ways to use your mornings to set yourself up for a productive afternoon:

  • Make your bed: Studies show that when you can check off one task, even a small one, off your to-do list, it sets the tone for the rest of your day. Knowing you accomplished something (even if it's just making your bed) can help you get going on bigger projects in the afternoon.
  • Drink water: Hydration is best when you first wake up and drinking a glass of water in the morning has a lot of health benefits, including weight loss! Plus, it really wakes you up!
  • Get light to moderate exercise: People who exercise in the morning stick to their overall workout plan in general and burn calories faster and more efficiently. It will also help you feel refreshed and ready to take on the rest of your day once you get done!
  • Eat breakfast: I'll be the first to admit, this is something I'm working on but it's really important to eat a balanced meal in the morning. Being a regular breakfaster improves the quality of your diet and lowers your risk of obesity. 
Do you have any other tips for starting your day off right? Let me know in the comments!