{ Thankful }

Hello, friends!

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, I wanted to do a special post this week.

It’s really so easy to get wrapped up in the day-to-day with what we each have going on while almost becoming blind to the “big picture”. The big picture meaning, what life is actually all about. It’s not about the money, the stress you are dealing with at work, the bills you have to pay, the coworker at the office who is getting under your skin, the car problems, a job hunt, the argument you had yesterday, the friend you feel betrayed by…sure, these things matter, but when you look at life from a macro perspective, is that what you want to remember spending your life worrying about and dealing with?

To be quite honest, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because it’s just sincere and effortless. No one has to worry about picking out the right gift or feeling pressured. Thanksgiving is about family, friends, and loved ones but even more, appreciating what you have. We live in a society that wants “more”, “bigger”, and “better.” I would be lying if I said I do not ever plunge into these temptations too – it’s human nature. However, it is beneficial to have a period of reflection…to center yourself and be sincerely grateful. It’s time to stop living selfishly and get back to our roots. Below are the things that I am genuinely thankful for this year.

signature

 

1. My Husband + Better Half

37100_10100613170733338_578087010_n

Yeah, it kind of goes without saying. But Shahin is the ultimate spouse because he’s beyond just a husband…he is my best friend, my biggest cheerleader, my stability, and the only person who makes me feel like it will all be okay. He brings me laughter, challenges me, makes me more resilient and gives me courage. Courage I never knew I even had. I am so thankful for this man in my life and will make a point to show him how much he means to me every day of my existence.

 

2. Double Trouble (Duke + Carolina)

28416_389351356129_5718647_n

28416_389351371129_3774230_n

My dogs are essentially my children – I do not actually have children of my own yet, so really, these two little pups are the light in my life. Sean and I have had these litter mates for over 6 years now and they’ve provided us with so much joy over the years. Even though they have an obsession with socks and getting on the bed when they’re not supposed to, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

 

3. My Family

1511162_10101163689564188_984813967_n

1544289_10101163689888538_358333571_n

1505514_10101163690187938_506963142_n

Between Sean’s and my own, I would really like to think I hit the jackpot in the family department. Could I honestly ask for better people in my life? All so kind and accepting. I am so thankful today and every day. My family is my backbone, my support system, and the people I trust more than anyone in the world.

 

4. My Closest Friends (Guys + Gals)

tumblr_mzjmp1D1Gn1qkr7glo1_500

{ Image Found Here }

As I get older, I’m learning that it’s not about the quantity but the quality. Friendship is something that I take very seriously. If you are good to me, I’ll be good to you in return and then some. It’s that simple. The people that I hold close to my heart have impacted my life so drastically. Some of you I’ve had the pleasure of knowing since I was 9-years-old, some middle school or high school, some during college, others in my adult life. Even if we do not see or speak to each other as often as we like, you are all so very special to me and have changed me for the better. I am beyond grateful for each of you – I want you to know that.

 

5. Music, Baby!

550419_10100613171736328_1532257008_n

In all seriousness, I love music. It’s my therapy – I mean, it literally keeps me sane. I feel like there are so many different songs that speak to me and there is one that matches the mood I am in. Feeling intense? I listen to Mumford & Sons. Feeling joy, I listen to The Avett Brothers. Feeling nostalgic, I listen to classic rock. Feeling valiant, I listen to Lana Del Rey. Feeling stressed out, I listen to gangster rap.

 

6. My Education

photo

You know that phrase, “knowledge is power”? Well, it is. I am a firm believer that you can never stop learning. This is what I thrive in – education. As I’m wrapping up my last three weeks of graduate school and realizing that this four year long journey is soon coming to an end, I cannot help but reflect and look back on where I’ve come from. A loving, established home where my parents believed in me and supported my endeavors. I grew up with the understanding that education was critical. It was instilled in my mind at an early age and I took that with me as I grew. Now, I realize – this is something I’ve done by myself. Without help from anyone else. I did not do it to prove anyone wrong, I did not do it for anyone else, it was something I did for myself – and it’s something that no one can ever take away from me. My education is sacred and I am so thankful that I’ve been given the resources to go back to school and obtain a higher education.

 

7. The Natural Beauty Around Us

photo

Sometimes, even when you’re just driving down the road, you’ll notice the abundance of vibrant burnt orange and Merlot colored leaves. Or an amazing sunset. Or a cotton candy sky. I’m thankful to have these moments. It makes me realize how immense the world is and how small I actually am, even if it is just for that instant.

 

8. Coffee + Me Time

photo

There is really nothing like sipping on a cup of fresh coffee and taking some time to yourself. Whether you decide to put in your favorite Lush bubble bar in the tub and taking a soothing bath, scouring Pinterest so you can build the perfect gallery wall, or reading a good book (right now, I’m reading Wild by Cheryl Strayed), there is nothing that compares to doing something for YOU.

 

9. Eat Well, Travel Often

10247425_10101340210988838_8683190628128408424_n

One of my favorite quotes of all time – if there is anything that I am about, it’s eating well and traveling often. I have an affinity for food – I would even like to consider myself a foodie of sorts. I’m willing to eat just about anything – and the weirder, the better. Even more, I am captivated by traveling. Every. single. aspect. of. it. Why? It’s so culturally enriching and it really humbles you. When I become old and gray, I want to have memories. I’m looking for experiences, stories and adventure. I have to thank my lucky stars that I have had (and continue to have) the opportunity to travel. I love being immersed in a completely different culture and environment – I cannot think of a life experience more powerful than this.

 

10. Traditions

931253_10100779028193658_1999801052_n

As my husband likes to say, “you’re such a nerd-alert.” I have no shame in admitting how big of a dork I am in regard to the things I am obsessed with – one being my fondness of traditions. They are really special – and I love the idea of making something your own. One tradition Shahin and I have implemented in our relationship and marriage is each New Year’s Eve, we go see The Avett Brothers…in whatever city they are playing in. Their music is something we have a deep bond and connection over. This tradition not only gives us the opportunity to see our favorite band live, but it’s also an excuse to visit a different city and broaden our horizon. Another tradition I love is our annual friendsgiving that our friends Evan and Alyssa host each year. We had it this past weekend and it was incredible as always. It’s a great way for everyone to come together, share dishes, mingle and hang out by the bonfire. I am so grateful for the traditions we implement in our lives.

Let’s talk about { VESTS } baby!

Happy Thursday, lovelies!

It’s been an extremely hectic week for me with both work and school but I managed to put together a little post during lunch that I’ve been thinking about for a couple of weeks now.

I really enjoy getting feedback on the blog from friends and family. I am a big fan of constructive criticism – I like to see the areas that I can improve on as this blog and every other aspect of my life are a work in progress. Remember, you can always strive for more. Furthermore, I also enjoy receiving special requests from people with what they would like to see on the blog. One of my good friends, Rachel (AKA the future Mrs. Hyneck), asked if I would do a post on fur vests. I decided to springboard off of that and do an all encompassing vest post. It’s funny, I think we all have this idea in our head of what we see ourselves wearing – we completely envision what we want but have a difficult time actually finding it. I am completely guilty of this. Luckily, I have a knack for hunting down things and have found quite a few that are just lovely.

There is no denying that vests (and particularly fur vests) are perfect for this brutally cold weather we’ve been experiencing lately (hello, Polar Vortex). Below are some of my favorite ones that I’ve been eying and swooning over. Enjoy!

signature

Blog Collage_vests

1. Fur Vest, $79.90 {from Zara}  2. Montana Reversible Vest, $128 {from Anthropologie}  3. Factory Novelty Quilted Puffer Vest in black, $108 {from J. Crew Factory}  4. River Island Faux Fur Vest, $113.70 {from ASOS}  5. Winter Moon Faux Fur Vest, $68 {from Spool72}  6. Faux Fur Gilet, $113.70 {from ASOS}  7. Coira Sweater Vest, $168 {from Anthropologie}  8. All I Need Faux Fur Vest, $108.99 {from Shop Ruche}

Music Muse | Tunes I’m Feeling Right Now

I’ve always been a music junkie — I literally grew up on classic rock and oldies. My parents (particularly my father), played a significant role in regard to what I was exposed to as a child in the way of tunes. Eric Clapton, Led Zeppelin, Simon & Garfunkel, The Rolling Stones, Fleetwood Mac, The Beatles, James Taylor, The Doors, Tom Petty, The Grateful Dead…you name it, I probably listened to it. Of course, as I got older, I was able to develop and form my own musical taste. I think of expanding your taste in music in relation to picking flowers from a wild, boundless garden. Each song or artist offers something very unique, just like an individual flower. You pick each stem that you fall in love with to ultimately add to your collection, which results in a radiant and robust bouquet. The compilation of my favorite artists and songs partially comprises who I am as a person – I truly believe that the kind of music someone listens to says a lot about them.

I have a very strong appreciation for all genres – even if it is not necessarily my favorite. However, I am almost always up for something new and will change what I am listening to as often as I change my Fantasy Football lineup (and if you know me, you know how frequent that is). Below are 5 artists I’m currently digging right now (and stay tuned – more music inspiration coming to the blog soon).

signature

 

1. Taylor Swift’s { 1989 Album }

taylor-swift-1989-album-target

{ Image Found Here }

I know – it’s probably all you’ve heard about for the last couple of weeks (especially if you are friends with me). I’m not usually one to lean toward the Pop genre on a regular basis, but I’ve been a fan of Taylor Swift since her first album dropped in 2006 when she was singing Country music. I’ve remained loyal to her because “Tim McGraw”, “Teardrops on My Guitar” and “Cold As You” once gave my life deep meaning back when I would drive around in my car with the windows down and the music blasting, desperately trying to get over an ex-boyfriend (come on, ladies – I know we’ve all been there before). I have to admit, I was extremely uneasy when I heard she wanted to go a different route and leave Country music behind, however, after reading reviews and hearing some opinions, I decided to bite the bullet and purchase her new album. Let me just tell you, I am now feeling a little guilty for ever questioning her (sorry, T-Swift). But in all seriousness, the album is fantastic! My favorite songs right now are: “Wildest Dreams”, “Blank Space”, “Wonderland”, “Clean”, and “Style”.

 

2. The Head and the Heart

HeadAndTheHeart-byDylanPriest2

{ Image Found Here }

Aside from classic rock, I’d say my favorite genre of music is Folk and Indie Folk. This is where my love for The Head and the Heart comes into play. I discovered this band from Seattle, Washington while listening to the Mumford & Sons Pandora station at work…and my oh my is it amazing. If you enjoy this type of music, I would highly recommend giving them a listen. My absolute favorite song by them is “Down in the Valley”.

 

3. Gregory Alan Isakov 

11-1024x682

{ Image Found Here }

I heard about this singer/songwriter from my dear friend, Ashley (who has excellent taste in music, might I add). Gregory Alan Isakov has a very soothing sound. His music is quite mellow and will put your chaotic life at ease. Try listening to “The Stable Song” first, and see how much you enjoy him. I am really feeling his vibe!

 

4. Paolo Nutini

208781_3.tif

{ Image Found Here }

Okay, I’ve been listening to him for a couple of years now – but it’s an artist I do not feel gains enough traction and attention that he so deserves. Looking at him, you would never expect the ridiculous voice that comes out – very Ray LaMontagne-esque. He’s a Scottish singer/songwriter and has one of the most soulful voices I’ve ever heard. I’ve enjoyed him so much, I put one of his songs on our CD wedding favor (“Growing Up Beside You”) – which in itself, was a tough decision to make because we were so limited with song selection. Some of my other favorites of his are “Last Request”, “New Shoes”, “Rewind”, “Jenny Don’t Be Hasty”, “These Streets” and “Coming Up Easy”. Oh and you’re welcome.

 

5. The Dirty Heads

cover326x326

{ Image Found Here }

Oh my goodness do I love this band! I’ve been fortunate enough to see them live twice and they sound just like they do in the studio. The Dirty Heads are from Huntington Beach, California and definitely bring that west coast feeling to the table. They are a blend of Reggae, Hip Hop and Rock – a very uncommon combination. If I had to compare them to other artists, I would say they have some Sublime and Matisyahu influences. I really enjoyed their Cabin By The Sea album but the newest one that was released in July, Sound of Change, offers something very different – very acoustic. Absolutely loving this one!

Swooning | Things I’m Obsessed With Right Now

Good afternoon, beautiful friends!

I hope everyone is having a joyous November so far! My birthday is on Sunday and the hubs and I are heading to the beach tomorrow to get some R&R. It’s a little unusual for us because we typically enjoy going out locally with friends, but we are in dire need of some peace and relaxation. However, I’m sure I’ll be throwing some sort of last minute shindig together the following weekend – I can’t not have a night out to celebrate with our people!

These last few weeks have been rather hectic with life happening (the usual – work, grad school, home, stress, etc.). Sometimes getting away really breaks up the monotony and helps get you centered. It’s important to remember what life is actually all about and not allow yourself to get too caught up in the day-to-day…and with that said, just physically removing yourself from everything will clear your mind. But before we head off to the coast, I wanted to share some of the lovelies I’ve been eying (because of course I’ve been virtual “window shopping” for my birthday – oops!). Below is a little mishmosh of my favorite things right now…*le sigh*. And as always, I’ve included a shopping guide below. Enjoy!

signature

 

Blog Collage

1. If you’re like me and feel the need to change your scents during the seasons, then this is the one you need for Fall/Winter. I’ve been deciding between quite a few different perfumes, but this one truly encompasses the season. It’s sweet and spicy for the free-spirit and wild at heart. {Coach Poppy Wildflower, $82 from Sephora }

2. I am a sucker for anything metallic and these little bowls are so dainty and lovely. They give me nostalgia of my grandmother’s apartment in New York where my family went to visit each Christmas. She would always play Frank Sinatra on her vintage radio and have beautiful little bowls out on her end tables that were filled with mixed nuts. I am dying to purchase these and carry on the tradition. { Gilded Thistle Nut Bowl, $12 from Anthropologie }

3. My desire for a quilted puffer vest is out of control right now. I have seen several that I love but this particular style from J. Crew Factory is a good classic to have this season. Really digging it in the navy color. { Factory Quilted Puffer Vest, $78 from J. Crew Factory }

4. I have yet to own a Kate Spade bag, but I’ve determined that it will be the next higher priced bag I purchase. I have had my eye on this style for quite some time – but this mulled wine color for Fall/Winter is AMAZEEE. Is it possible to be in love with a bag? { Cedar Street Maise Bag, $298 from Kate Spade }

5. If you know me, you know my obsession with Anthropologie’s “signature” scent when you walk in the store. It’s the Volcano candle from Capri Blue. Typically, it comes in a blue and white jar, however, I recently discovered that they are also made in different mercury glass containers. I purchased one on Amazon and it’s lasted me quite a while. Now, if I could only get the whole house to smell this way. { Capri Blue Mercury Found Glass Volcano Candle – 10 oz., $23.42 from Amazon }

6. I am currently battling a random obsession with gingham shirts – and I could not even begin to tell you where it originated. BUT J. Crew Factory has some really adorable ones and I’m all over it. $54.50 { Factory Classic Button-Down Shirt in Gingham, from J. Crew Factory }

7. Okay, I know it’s $35. BUT let me tell you how worth it it is. I know because I own one. This is a sheer lip balm that enhances your natural lip color while giving you a slight hue of either pink or coral (depending on the color you choose). { Dior Addict Lip Glow, $35 from Sephora }

8. I am super obsessed with pretty calendars and this one from Rifle Paper Company is a stunner! It has gorgeous gold foil detail and would look just lovely on any desk! { Gold Foil Honey Bee 2015 Calendar, $18 from Terrain }