Sunday, December 21, 2014

Currently...

It's the end of another week and boy has it been a long one! Since we have the holidays coming up, I've been on intense-work mode trying to get everything done before the office closes for two weeks. But enough of that, here are the things I'm enjoying currently:

Currently

  • Watching: Drunk History - My friend recommended this show to me but I never got around to watching it until recently. I'm beating myself up for that because this show is hilarious!! I'm a big history buff so these inebriated re-tellings of historical events have had me in stitches! I even learned a thing or two from the show, like the Scopes Monkey Trial. I had never heard of it before but I looked it up after hearing about it on the show (I mean, these comedians aren't exactly the most reliable sources, as entertaining as their retellings are. They're drunk, after all!)
  • Wearing: Sole Society Jenn pumps - After my leopard flats fell apart, I was on the hunt for a new pair of leopard shoes. I knew I wanted a pair of pointy-toe heels (seriously, I can use all the height I can get) and I knew I wanted it in a d'orsay style because they look gorgeous! I love how comfortable these are - the heels aren't too high (2.5 inches) so it doesn't look obscene in more conservative environments and the print goes with pretty much everything. I do wish the heel were a tad higher but overall this has been my go-to pair of shoes as of late.
  • Reading: Texts from Jane Eyre by Mallory Ortberg - I got this book as a gift from Jen in our Christmas care package exchange. It's a quick read but it's absolutely hilarious! I'm a book lover so just thinking about what some of my favorite literary characters would say if they had cell phones is a weirdly funny concept. To see it written out in all its witty glory was an interesting read to say the least. 
  • Drinking: Nutella Latte - As someone who isn't too big on chocolate, I can take a small dose of Nutella every once in a while. I saw that they had Nutella lattes on the menu at my local coffee shop and ohmygoodness these are so delicious! 
  • Listening: Michael Buble Christmas album - Ok, I know, this is totally basic, but I can't help but listen to this album! Michael Buble has such a smooth jazzy voice that I adore listening to and it's perfect for the season. 
  • Eating: Hanaro Sushi in Bethesda - A friend and I ate here recently and it's quite delicious! 

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Christmas Care Package

My best friend Jen and I have this tradition: Every year we send each other a care package full of small trinkets and things we think the other may need for Christmas/the winter holidays. We started this because we were far away from each other for a while and couldn't hang out together like we used to so we decided to get creative. I know it seems weird that I'm sharing what I am sending her before I send it to her (because she actually reads this blog) but we're weird people - we hate surprises. In fact, she and I are a big fan of movie/book spoilers (I know, weird) so care package spoilers are no biggies for us.



  • Forever 21 candle: I thought the Eiffel Tower picture on this candle was really pretty. Jen can't smell very well which I know makes her a bit paranoid about how her rooms smells. I can't think of anyone who would appreciate these more than her.
  • Mug with candy: I bought these separately but isn't the sweater design of the mug so cute? I certainly think so!
  • Book of Insults and Comebacks: I know I'm a super-nerd for doing this but whenever I hear a witty insult or comeback, I go and write it down in my notebook (so I'll always be with a ready retort). Jen and I often discuss awesome ways to put awful people in their place so I knew this book would be right up her alley!
  • Hand Lotion: Jen currently lives in a colder part of the country and I know how chapped a girl's hands can get from all that windchill. Lucky for her, I got her covered! This L'Occitane hand lotion is seriously the best and I believe that Jen deserves nothing but the best :]
  • 'Egghead' by Bo Burnham: Jen and I are huge fans of Bo Burnham - he's so witty and funny and completely vulgar! He wrote a book of poetry and as Jen hasn't read it yet, I find it my duty to present her with this book! 
  • Passive-Aggressive Notes: I find notes from Knock-Knock absolutely hilarious! Jen is one of the most direct people I know so I know she'd get a kick out of these "passive-aggressive" notepads. So funny!

Friday, December 19, 2014

My Favorite Holiday Movies

Since I have the next two weeks off from work, I decided it's the perfect time to break out the holiday classics while lounging around in my pajamas and a face mask. 
  • Love, Actually: Ahh, the ever-classic British film! I'm not going to give a redundant synopsis of the film here since you can find that pretty much anywhere (and seriously, if you don't know what the movie is about you should just watch it because it's fantastic!) I will say that this is a great movie to play a drinking game with: If you quote a line accurately, everyone else has to drink BUT the last person to quote a line accurately must refill everyone's glasses. Much fun all around!
  • Home Alone (1 and 2): I seriously loved these two movies as a kid and to this day I still love anything by John Hughes. I think a part of me always wanted to be as clever as Kevin McAlister and be able to outsmart a pair of grown men the same way he did. Well, now that I am a "grown-up" (heh) I wouldn't be surprised if I were outsmarted by a kid like Kevin. 
  • Nightmare Before Christmas: Tim Burton films are either a hit or miss for me but I remember how much this movie captivated me as a kid. I don't think I ever saw a movie quite like this - the stop-motion animation, the music, the storyline itself. It was just something new and interesting and definitely the work of a creative genius. 
  • Elf: This movie, like pretty much any other movie Will Ferrell is in, is so silly and ridiculous but you can't help but laugh out loud! Will Ferrell is pretty much an overgrown kid so a role like "Buddy the Elf" fits him like a glove. 
  • Frozen: I know everyone and their mothers loves this film and I'm going to sound so basic but oh man, is this film sooo good! The songs are catchy and cute and just... gah! Love it so much. 
What are some of your favorite holiday movies?

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Cold Weather Essentials

With another polar vortex slated to hit the east coast this year I started stocking up on my cold weather gear. I think anyone who lives anywhere that's actually cold will say the following things are a necessity when temperatures start going below freezing: 

Cold Weather Essentials


  • Thick Coat: This is obviously a given but let me break it down by material so for those of you who are building a new winter wardrobe can get an idea of what to look for when investing in a coat:
    • Wool blends are always a great option - they're very good at keeping its shape and won't absorb moisture (like pure wool coats) while still keeping you very warm.
    • Down coats are the warmest, though not necessarily the chicest. They do an amazing job of insulating heat evenly and are usually waterproof and windproof. 
  • Gloves: I used to have a love-hate relationship with gloves. While I like keeping my hands warm, I hated having to take them off whenever I wanted to access something on my phone. Luckily, they started coming out with these awesome gloves where the index fingers and the thumbs are touchscreen compatible! No more cold fingers!
  • Scarf: I love me some gorgeous scarves!! My current favorite is this leopard print infinity scarf from LouLous - they seriously go with everything!
  • Hat: Hats are the best - they keep my hair dry and protect it from frizz on those cold rainy days. I like beanies for their casual laid-back aesthetic but there's something classic about a structured wool hat.
  • Earmuffs: One drawback to the hat, though is that it sometimes gives me hat-hair. If it's not raining or snowing outside, I just forgo my hats altogether and settle for keeping my ears warm instead. 
  • Boots: When shopping for boots, look for ones made of sturdy material that is waterproof and at least knee-length to protect you from rain, slush, and wind. I've been lusting after these Hunter boots! What a classic! 
  • Tights/Leggings: If you're a dress/skirt kind of girl like me, these fleece-lined leggings and tights are a must! They keep your legs so warm without adding too much bulk. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Ugly Sweater Party | Sequin Sweater and Leather Skirt

Lovely Wednesday!



What's the holiday season without an ugly sweater party? 
I was invited to one this past weekend and this is what I wore. I don't think this sweater is ugly at all but there is a very limited window of time I can wear it and look season-appropriate. 
I did get a lot of comments along the lines of "this is an ugly sweater party. You look too cute - party foul!" I'm just gonna take that as a compliment and roll with it. 








Top: H&M sweater
Bottoms: Forever 21 leather skirt (similar here)
Accessories: H&M tights, Prada bag (similar here), Forever 21 earrings (similar here)
Shoes: Forever 21 booties (similar here)

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Book Club: The Girl's Guide to Absolutely Everything

Today's Book Club review comes from my best friend, Jen. Longtime readers of this blog will remember that Jen is not only the designer extraordinaire who did the header for this blog, but her day job is a librarian so I trust her book recommendations, of course. When she offered to write a Book Club review for me, I knew it would be a great opportunity for my readers to gain more insight on some interesting books out there.
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Usually I couldn't care less about self-help/guidebooks. They all have a different formula to sell to make you into your perfect self, or offer advice based off the authors own miserable mistakes - frankly I’m usually not interested. Having said this, The Girl’s Guide to Absolutely Everything by Melissa Kirsch feels like my own personal Hitchhiker’s Guide to Galaxy and I highly recommend it (both actually). 

I picked up this book out curiosity thinking: "I'm an adult, what could this book possibly tell me that I don't already know or that I couldn't find on the internet," but after looking at the table of contents I was intrigued. Kirch highlights almost every random question I've had. So I started reading it and was hooked by page 10. 

Kirsch takes every question you've ever had about life and lays out it in an eloquently written guide - Questions you were too embarrassed to ask your mom or too proud to ask your friends about. For example, how do you know when you need therapy, and if you’re considering therapy, what type do you need? What kind of health care do you need to have? How can you improve your body image? How can you nail a job interview every time? Is grad school for you? What kind of budget do you need? Are your id and superego controlling your spending habits? Do you need an 401k, an IRA, or something else? Are credit cards a gateway drug to debt? Are stocks something you should get involved with? What are some etiquette essentials? Are you a good friend? How do you make new friends or eliminate toxic ones? When is a friendship worth saving? Can you do long distance relationships? 

Kirsch covers a lot in this massive tome, but it was a quick read and didn't feel arduous to me. 

Kirsch discusses these questions along with input from professionals in their given fields. For example, when Kirsch deals with body image, health care, and mental health, she has quotes and opinions from gynecologists, nutritionists, Chinese medicine experts, psychiatrists, therapists, and more. This diverse and reliable input allows the reader to understand some of the solutions to the questions discussed in a more comprehensive manner. For example, when discussing 4 ways to make cramps more manageable, Kirsch gets a nutritionist to illustrate the benefits to taking a combination of primrose, borage, and fish oil to combat PMS symptoms. The gynecologist says to give up ice cream, cottage cheese, and yogurt, because a dairy fast can give some women a reprieve from menstrual symptoms. The Chinese medicine expert recommends staying away from cold things (ice cream, cold packs, etc.) because coldness obstructs blood and chi flows, so use warm things (hot packs, tea, application of warm herbs to the abdomen, etc.) to restore balance to your body/soul. Finally the crampologist recommends ibuprofen, a heating pad on the pelvis, and a heat pack to stick under your clothes during the day. 

Kirsch truly covers a lot of ground in this book, and it would be impossible for me to discuss all of it here. However, I’ll try to touch on some of my favorite bits.

When discussing stress and getting the blues, Kirsch tells the reader to try talking it out with a friend or family member to get perspective, write down what you are feeling, and most importantly don’t suppress what you are feeling. She states “We wouldn't appreciate our good moods if we didn't acknowledge our bad ones.” Kirsch also tells the reader to consider therapy if you’re stress or blues are persistent. Kirsch outlines some of the reason someone might get therapy, the various types of therapy and what issues they are used to treat, and how long you could expect to be in therapy in these therapies.

The woman’s sexual bill of rights is another section of this book I liked the most. Some of these “inalienable rights” include the freedom of speech, a woman’s right to sexual pleasure shall not be infringed or limited, the missionary position should never be assumed (any position should be fair game), a woman is entitled to stop any sexual contact “that makes her feel like a blow-up doll,” women are different and respond differently to sexual experiences, all partners should have a clean sexual bill of health, women can do what they want with their own pubic hair, orgasms don’t determine success, and finally hygiene before or after are with the woman’s rights.

In addition to the Sexual Bill of Rights, Kirsch provides an awesome list of women reading materials, a few of which are: The Good Vibrations Guide to Sex by Cathy Winks and Anne Semans, The Clitoral Truth by Rebecca Chalker, and How to be a Good Lover by Lou Paget. There is also a very interesting question and answer section, and information about birth control and STDs.

"Home Ec for Modern Times" was a chapter in this book that covered homemaking tips that your mother didn't teach you. Kircsh discusses how to find an apartment or home to live that fits you budget (noting that you your rent or mortgage should be no more than 25% of your gross monthly income), what to look for during an inspection, do you need renter’s insurance, and how to sign a lease. Kirsch talks about quick and easy ways to keep house, like creating an installment plan to keep your apartment spotless, which involves cleaning in installments (one task a day, 15 minutes a day, or one room a day) and this will help you stay either tidy, clean, or spotless. Kirsch also discusses how to hire a housekeeper if needed and how much you should pay him or her (and tip!).

Finally, "Fashion Sense for Any Era" was a chapter where Kirsch discusses the importance of not following trends and dressing to your figure. Kirsch talks about finding foundation items that are comfortable, dependable, and solidly constructed. Foundation items are: a good pair of black pants, a little black dress, a classic cut skirt, jeans that fit you to perfection, a white button down, or a solid colored cardigan. Kirsch also discusses a cost per wear equation. Cost per wear is the cost of garment divided by the number of times you wear the garment. If you spend $200 on a pair of pants and wear it at least twice a week all fall and winter (about 64 times), you are spending $3.13 per wear. Conversely a pair of pants that costs $29.99 that you wore four times costs $7.50 per wear.  Additionally Kirsch provides advice from an image consultant who gives some very interesting insight in to dressing common sense and how to figure out what looks best on your body type; for example if you have short legs you could balance it by wearing heels, high-waisted dresses, or dresses that hit just above the knee, but you should avoid low-rise pants, flats, and ankle straps.  

There are of course many other interesting sections to this book, that I haven’t talked about, but it is a very long book. Despite its length, it is a quick read, and its ok to skip around depending on your problem or interest.

I would recommend this book ladies in high school, college, 20-somethings, middle-aged women, and to the classy ladies in the red hat society. I would recommend this book to fathers, brothers, and husbands. This is officially the first self-help/guidebook I enjoyed and will probably reference back to when my friends or I am having a problem.
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If you enjoyed this review, be sure to check out Jen's tumblr page here. It's pretty amazing!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Three Prints | Leopard, Polka Dots and Plaid

Majestic Monday, beauties!



I'm gonna go ahead and mix three different prints today: Plaid, polka dots, and leopard. Whaaa? I know - I'm totally off-roading from my usual 'safe' dressing path. Print mixing is nothing new obviously, but if you asked me even three years ago if I would consider mixing stripes with polka dot or even wear leopard print and I would have said, "never!" Well, looks like I was wrong, wasn't I?







Top: Forever 21 shirt (similar here),  Forever 21 sweater (similar here)
Bottoms: American Eagle boyfriend jeans (similar here)
Accessories: Tory Burch bag
Shoes: Sole Society 
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