Coffee, Prose, and Pretty Clothes

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Galentines Day Care Package

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Every year, my best friend Jen and I send each other care packages. This year, we exchanged Valentine's day (or Galentine's Day, as stated by the wise Leslie Knope) packages. It's always so much fun to put these together! Jen and I have known each other for over ten years so I have a pretty good idea of what kinds of things she likes. Below are the list of things I put in her package:
  • Haribo gummy bears: I know that chocolate is the traditional Valentine’s day gift but it’s Galentine’s day and on Galentine’s day we eat gummy bears (or at least Jen and I do).
  • Soy wax candles: Jen has a terrible sense of smell which makes her a bit paranoid about odor. I got this candle for her because although she can't smell it, it will make her home smell nice, putting her mind at ease. 
  • TonyMoly panda mirror: I couldn't resist getting this mirror for Jen! It's so cute and it kind of reminds me of the trip to the National Zoo we took together when we saw the Giant Panda bears!
  • Homemade green tea oreos: I posted a picture of them on my Instagram account a few weeks ago. I made a fresh batch for Jen and am sending these to her. If you guys would like to see a post on how to make them I'd be happy to do one! They're very easy and quite delicious!
  • Eat Yourself Calm book: Jen has been very health-conscious the last few years and I also know that as a hard-working millennial she's bound to get stressed at times (I know I do!) I found this book and thought it would be perfect for a healthy-eating, stressed-out librarian. I've read it through before sending it to her (hehe) and it's chock full of great tips and recipes!
  • Calligraphy temporary tattoos: I first saw these on Wendy of Wendy's Lookbook and I thought they were so cute then. I saw these again at a bachelorette party I attended and I figured it's time to buy a set of my own and for Jen. These temporary tattoos have inspirational words written in gorgeous calligraphy, like "Powerful," and "Warrior" (my personal favorites). These are perfect for a smart and strong woman like Jen. You can get these from My Baby Olive Juice

What are some of the things you get your girl friends on Valentine's (or Galentine's) day? Share your knowledge so we can be ready next year!  

Romance | Cut Out Maxi and Strappy Heels

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Valentine's Day is just around the corner! I'm actually going to be attending a brunch that morning, as it is my friend's birthday, but otherwise plan on being home with my Netflix account (#foreveralone). 
I bought this dress after seeing it on Jean from Extrapetite. February is a busy month at work and we're in the middle of a huge conference with formal dinners on the schedule. This dress seemed perfect for an Awards ceremony that I am required to attend. It's going to be a cold night and the long sleeves will help keep me warm while the cutouts and the slit are demure qualities that keeps the outfit from being boring. I did, however, think this would also be a great outfit to post for the Valentine's day season, especially for anyone going to a fancy dinner! A note for anyone who does plan on getting this dress - the slit actually goes all the way up and I was a bit scared a wrong move or a gust of wind would cause me to accidentally flash people. I pinned the slit down do where my upper thigh is to prevent embarrassing accidents.

Anybody have exciting Valentine's day plans?  

Dress: ASOS (on sale)
Accessories: LeChat Perfect Match nail polish in 'Emperor Red,' J.Crew pouch

Shoes: Forever 21 (similar here)

How I Stay on Top of My Blogging Schedule

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How to Stay on Top of Your Blogging Schedule
One of my goals this year was to have less gaps in my blogging schedule. When I first started out I had a lot more time to blog because I didn't have a time-intensive job. My circumstances have changed and so have my standards. My current job requires a lot of my time and taking outfit posts on the go just aren't good enough for me. I need to plan my posts ahead of time in order to do my job well and also put out quality posts. These two things sometimes butt heads but I've been coming up with better methods to stay on track and make sure you guys who do take the time to read my blog have something to read. For those of you in the same boat, here are some tips that have worked for me:
  1. Have a generic schedule in place: I find that having a generic schedule of some sort helps make planning easier. For example, I reserve Mondays and Wednesdays for 'outfit of the day' posts while Tuesdays are for book reviews and movie reviews (first and last of the month) and any other random posts I'm feeling would be appropriate for the week, etc. This helps to keep the posts I do decide to write more organized and at the very least I'll know what subject to write about on a particular day.
  2. Write a to-do list every day: I'm a nut about to-do lists and I couldn't live without them! They really help me with time management and helps me to organize tasks that must be completed. I have a separate list of to-dos for blog-related activities which includes making sure a post is written and to do social-media promotion for them at a certain time of the day when traffic will be high. Consider keeping a list to track these kinds of activities.
  3. Take pictures in bulk: I spend my Saturday and Sunday mornings to take all of the photos that will be featured on my blog for the week. This has been especially helpful in the winter when it gets dark so early. When you take pictures in a few days rather than the day before, you have more time to play around with the quality and re-do pictures that didn't quite turn out the way you envisioned in your head. And on that note...
  4. Write posts in bulk as well: I keep a notebook in Evernote specifically for outfit-related posts. I don't always write a title or a body paragraph but a lot of them only contain what pieces I plan on featuring for the day. I usually write the posts on Saturdays and Sundays. Doing this has cut the time I spent touching things up during the week leaving me free to focus on my job!
So now I'd like to hear from you guys - those amazing bloggers who work full time and also manage to create regular content! What's your secret to staying on schedule! Let me know in the comments!

Year of the Monkey | Striped Sweater and Studded Heels

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Happy Lunar New Year!
In case you didn't know, today marks the first day of the year of the Monkey! A quick google search tells me that those born this year are "adventurous, quick-witted, and ambitious." 
DC's Chinatown will be having a celebration tonight so I plan on going to see the festivities. I've lived in DC since my college days but I've yet to attend this event! I'm told the parade and the festival is usually quite fun so I'm really pumped! 
On a sartorial note, I'm wearing all new pieces today! I went on a bit of a shopping binge as I'm planning on giving up shopping for Lent this year so I've been stocking up. The jeans I got during the Zara sale and the striped sweater was from a LOFT sale (40% off!). I had been in the market for a new big structured tote the past two years. I'd been holding off buying one until I had a clearer vision on what I was looking for in a tote. This one has been amazing and I'd be happy to write a review and a step-by-step guide to making an investment purchase if it's something you guys would like to read.
And these shoes. My goodness these shoes have been an excellent purchase! They've been conversation starters with strangers I've met on the elevator as well! If you like the look of the Valentino Rockstud pumps that all the bloggers are wearing but don't want to pay $1000 for them, consider these an affordable alternative! 

Thanks for reading! By the way, I'm curious to know what Chinese New Year animal you guys are? Let me know in the comments below!

Top: LOFT sweater, H&M shirt
Bottoms: Zara
Accessories: Forever 21 necklace (similar here), vintage aviators (similar here), Tory Burch York tote
Shoes: Sole Society Tiia 


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Today is special: Coffee, Prose, and Pretty Clothes turns 3 years old!
Thank you all for supporting on my style journey and reading my blog! When I first started blogging, I wasn't really sure what I wanted to accomplish, I just wanted a space on the internet to post interesting outfits and connect with other bloggers. I had no idea how much fun this would be and how devoted I would be. In the past, I would start blogs and stop writing in them after a few days when I would lose interest. You guys who read my blog and leave comments keep things interesting and I want to take this opportunity to thank you all for the words of encouragement! I hope that I can continue to post good content worthy of your time!

My Updated Skincare Routine

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About two years ago,  I posted a post called "My Winter Skincare Routine." Well, it's safe to say that this routine has changed for me. Getting older, new schedule, and having different budget constraints have allowed me to experiment with different products and get to know my skin a bit better since this January 2014 post (I've been blogging a while now!) 
When I visited my family in Korea last March, my cousins got me into Korean skincare. For those of you who may not have heard, South Korea is very famous for their skincare and makeup products. Women in Korea use an average of 10 products for skincare alone (that's not including makeup). When I visited Seoul, I did notice women had incredibly good skin and I happen to believe that an ounce of wrinkle prevention is worth a pound of cure, so I jumped on the Korean skincare routine bandwagon.
My skin has gotten noticeably better and smoother! People have even commented on how good my complexion has gotten! I wanted to share this magical routine with you guys today. Note that the products that work for me may not necessarily work for you. I have dry skin that's even drier in the winter so if that doesn't sound like your skin type than perhaps use products that cater more towards whichever skin type you are. 
Night Routine:
  1. Remove Makeup: I always always remove my makeup before I go to bed. Sometimes I'm too tired and exhausted to do any of the other steps but I always take off my makeup. I use just a regular drugstore-brand eye makeup remover but I've also recently added Garnier's SkinActive Micellar water to take off the makeup on my skin. It has truly done wonders and makes my skin feel amazing afterwards! 
  2. Cleanse. Twice: Something that my cousin (who taught me the steps of this routine) really stressed was about cleansing your face with two different types of cleansers. a foam and an oil cleanser. I am reluctant to give up my Cetaphil cleanser because it has yet to fail me in the cleansing department but as someone with incredibly dry skin, I thought it would be wise to invest in an oil cleanser. Now oil cleansers aren't just for dry skinned people because different oil cleansers will do different things. I got this L'occitane Shea Butter Cleansing Oil and it hasn't broken me out yet. I've never used a cleansing oil before this one so I don't have anything to compare it to but it's quite nice and has a nice scent to it. I also like how soft my face feels after using this.
  3. Exfoliate: This is not recommended for every day, In fact, I only exfoliate my skin about 2-3 times a week using Freeman Charcoal & Black Sugar mask. Yes, this is technically a mask but it works perfectly as an exfoliator. 
  4. Toner: I've reviewed this before and I'm going to stick with this one - Dickinson's Witch Hazel Toner has been amazing! I've used this for about two years now and while has an incredibly strong smell (like tequila, almost), I can't deny how awesome it makes my skin feel. And at $5 for a 16 oz bottle, I would say it's more than worth your money!
  5. Sheet Mask: Like exfoliating my skin, I only use this a few times a week (maybe once or twice). The ones by TonyMoly have been life-changing and very affordable! You can buy 11 for $10 on Amazon! What a deal!
  6. Essence: This is a relatively new item on my routine but I can't deny how worth it it is! Essences, for those new to all of this, are skin products that work on your skin's cellular level. It's honestly made the biggest difference in my skin. When I was beginning working on a routine, I picked out a sample of Murad's Hydro-Dynamic Quenching Essence using my Sephora points. It changed my life! I went to buy the full-sized bottle and was so disappointed to find it was $78!  Unfortunately, I can't live without this now because I've seen what my life and my skin could be with it and there's no turning back for me. I drank the kool-aid. Luckily for those who don't feel like dishing out almost $80 for this, there are many affordable essences out there such as this one from Skinfood! 
  7. Eye Cream: Ever since I turned 25, I started using eye cream regularly. They say that you first show signs of aging in your eyes and your neck so I've slathered the crap out of my neck with essences, serums and moisturizers and used ton of eye cream. I got this Panda So Cool eyestick by TonyMoly. It has this cooling sensation when you apply it over your eyes. Perfect for de-puffing in the morning too, I might add! Also, how cute is that panda packaging??
  8. Serum: Okay, I know you're probably thinking, 'this is way too much' but stick with me now. The point of all layering these products on is to keep your skin hydrated throughout the night. I've been using this Snail Repair Ampoule by Mizon and I've had amazing results. By the way, ampoule is like a concentrated version of serum and I know it sounds disgusting to put snail mucus on your face but trust me, it repairs your skin like no other!
  9. Moisturizer: At this point, you guys may be thinking 'what's the point?' but moisturizing is key! I used to use Aveeno's Active Naturals Daily Moisturizer but I've recently switched to Skinfood's Peach Sake Emulsion for night thime. I can do a review on the emulsion (which is just a fancy word for moisturizer) later when I've used it for longer. 
  10. Night cream: Last step guys! I use TonyMoly's Banana Sleeping Pack that I've raved about here and here! Now if your face doesn't feel moisturized, I don't know what will!
Morning Routine:
  1. Moisturize: I usually hit the gym and shower in the morning and once I step out of the shower, I'll need to re-moisturize my skin. I use Dove's Extra Dry Cream Oil body lotion after toweling off and then use Aveeno's Active Naturals Daily Moisturizer on my face. It has SPF in it which I like. 
  2. Eye Cream: I swipe the Eye stick by TonyMoly again. Like I said, it's really good at reducing the puffiness in my eyes.
And that's it for my morning routine. I just apply my makeup afterwards.

So tell me about your skincare routine! Would you try the 10-step Korean routine? Let me know in the comments below!

Aftermath | Puffer Coat and Plaid Scarf

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Hello lovelies!
As you can see, I've finally run out of photos of outfits I took pre-Jonas. I am now back to wearing my puffy down coats and all-weather boots to get through aftermath. Luckily, it's been quite warm lately (well, warmer than it was, if you can call 42F warm) and this coat hasn't been taken out as often but, I'm glad I have it. 
A purchase I'm happy to have made has been this tartan blanket scarf! I've had my eye out for the perfect plaid oversized scarf and I happily snatched it right up during the same Zara sale I got my coat in! I went to Zara on the Tuesday after the blizzard because I had the day off. Our office was closed because the snow still hadn't been completely cleared in some areas, but luckily, my neighborhood in DC was cleared enough. I had been getting a bit stir-crazy anyway so I was itching to take a walk and breath fresh air. I had heard that Zara was having a sale from Yige so I ventured into one that was nearby and boy was that place empty! I think I was one of maybe 5 people in the entire store, excluding the employees. The streets were pretty dead and the areas here and there that hadn't been shoveled were being avoided like the plague. So I guess it made sense no one was crazy enough like me to go shopping on a snow day. Still, I'd rather it be isolated than packed in the store (I'm not a big fan of crowds) so I would say it was a pretty good shopping trip. 
It's interesting seeing the aftermath of a snow storm in the city. I think just because DC is more densely populated than in the suburbs, the snow can get cleared a bit more quickly. My parents live in Maryland and they were telling me the snow plow trucks didn't come to their neighborhood until Tuesday, in fact. A full two days after the snow stopped! It's no wonder a lot of offices decided to close for a few days after the blizzard so that people could drive in safer conditions. The DC metropolitan area is just really ill-equipped at handling the snow. 

Do any of you guys live in one of the areas that got hit with Jonas? Tell me about the aftermath in your city! Id love hear about your experiences!

Top: Forever 21 sweater, Zara coat (similar here)
Bottoms: H&M 
Accessories: Zara tartan scarf (similar here), vintage sunglasses
Shoes: Gap boots (similar here)