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!

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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 }

Fall Favorites | Bucket List Edition

Happy Fall Y’all!

Last week, I decided to kick-off my “Fall Favorites” through the month of October (since it’s my favorite month and all). My previous post was the Style Edition which focused on cute kicks, scarves, hats and all of your autumn essentials! This week I wanted to focus more on my favorite part of Fall (I know…it’s surprising that clothes and accessories aren’t, right?). One word: activities. I mean, really…it would not truly be Fall without “autumn-esque” things to do. Now, please keep in mind that some of my suggestions are geared more toward the local, North Carolina-based crowd because I am providing specific examples, however, if you’re not in North Carolina, this may get your wheels turning as I’m sure you can find similar activities in your area! So without further adieu, enjoy my Fall Favorites – Bucket List Edition!

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1. Apple Picking / Hard Cider Drinking / Apple Pastry Tasting

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It’s not as cliche’ as you think, I promise. Grab your friends or your significant other, find a local apple orchard and make a day of it! The best part is that some of these orchards offer an array of different goods and activities beyond apple picking! Many of them even have hot, apple cider in addition to hard cider (when you’re craving an adult bev), as well as delicious apple donuts and pastries. There are a few I recommend in the Carolinas that are not far from all of you Charlotteans — Windy Hill Orchard & Cider Mill (in York, SC), Sky Top Orchard (in Flat Rock, NC) and Justus Orchard (in Hendersonville, NC).

2. Visit the Local Farmers Market

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Sure, you can do this practically any time of the year, but there is something very autumn about going to the Farmers Market to pick up some ingredients to make a delicious pie or strudel while grabbing a bunch of wildflowers to spruce up your cozy, little home. What a fun Saturday morning activity and a great way to kick-off your weekend! My absolute favorite Farmers Markets in Charlotte are: Atherton Mill, King’s Drive Farmer’s Market, & Charlotte Regional Farmers Market. I can say that I’ve been to all of them and they each offer something very special and unique – check it out if you haven’t already!

3. Visit the Biltmore & Watch the Leaves Change in Asheville, NC

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Asheville, NC is hands down one of my favorite cities in the U.S. It’s artsy, warm, quaint – but even more, as soon as autumn rolls around – the entire place transforms into a magical wonderland! I am absolutely convinced that there is no where else on this earth where the leaves change as beautifully as they do here. Plan a little weekend retreat in the beautiful North Carolina mountains, visit the largest privately owned home in the United States (the Biltmore Estate), and enjoy the scenic paradise that is Fall in Asheville.

4. Brewery Hop in Your Lovely City

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Who doesn’t enjoy a craft beer? Even more, a LOCAL craft beer? But even beyond that, a SEASONAL, local craft beer? I’m sure you see where I’m going with this. I’m a big fan of any type of Octoberfest type beer or a pumpkin beer – it’s pretty much my weakness. I am also a big fan of supporting local. So what better way to get into the Fall season than taking a little brewery hopping tour and checking out the craft beers each have to offer? It’s a great way to take in the autumn air, support your local businesses while enjoying a delicious beverage! My favorite local pumpkin beer is NoDa Brewing Company’s Gordgeous (and I may be just a tad biased because I love the people there). What are some other excellent breweries in the Charlotte area? Check out Olde Mecklenburg Brewery, Triple C Brewing Company, Sugar Creek Brewing Company, Heist Brewery, Birdsong Brewing Company, The Unknown Brewing Company, Four Friends Brewing and more!

5. Pick a Pumpkin

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I know, I know. Traditional. But a classic. ‘Tis the season for pumpkin picking – and it never gets old!

6. Festivals, Festivals, Festivals!

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Autumn is the time for my favorite thing ever – FESTIVALS! Not even just music festivals…I’m talking legit festivals filled with activities and fun! It provides you with hours of enjoyment with your friends and loved ones – that’s a win in my book. Below are a list of my favorite local/North Carolina festivals that you should definitely add to your Fall Bucket List!

1. Carolina Balloon Fest

2. The Renaissance Festival

3. Uptown Charlotte BBQ & Blues Festival

4. Stechoa Valley Harvest Festival

5. North Carolina Oyster Festival

7. Create + Implement a Fall Tradition

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I am a HUGE fan of tradition and as a newly married couple (our 1 year is actually next weekend!), I want to create as many meaningful traditions as possible for us to carry with us our whole lives. My husband’s family’s tradition was making Cincinnati style chili and watching Halloween movies each October 31st while passing out candy to trick-or-treaters. Last year was the first year we adopted this same tradition because it was one that I want us (and our future family) to have. What traditions do you have or wish to have?

8. Go Camping / Eat S’mores / Sleep Under the Stars

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What is more satisfying on a crisp, Fall evening than sitting around a fire with some of your closest friends, making s’mores and sleeping under the stars? This was the first year I’ve ever gone camping in my almost 29 years on this planet – crazy, right!? And let me tell you, I had an absolute blast! Throw on the flannel shirt, grab a few pals and drive to the mountains or nearest campsite. Camping is a great activity for Autumn because it’s not too hot or too cold – enjoy the cool weather while it lasts!

9. Try Out Some New Fall Recipes

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What better way to embrace Autumn than utilizing the seasonal fruits and veggies available and implementing them in a meal? Below are a few of my favorite Fall recipes that you’ve got to check out!

Baked Pumpkin Spice Donuts with a Maple Glaze

Root Vegetable Pan Roast with Chestnuts & Apples

Potato, Dried Apple & Chorizo Hand Pies

Bourbon Maple Apple Cider

Fall Browned Butter & Cinnamon Spiced Rice Krispie Treats

Twice Baked Butternut Squash

10. Snuggle Up with a Warm Throw + a Good Book

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As the weather gets cooler this season, take some time to yourself by snuggling up in a blanket on the couch while reading a good book – add a mug of hot chocolate and you have a recipe for pure bliss. There are so many incredible books out there that I’m dying to read this Fall. Below are the ones I have on my must-read list!

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn – I know, I’m a little late on this one because it’s already a movie but I REFUSE to see the movie until I’ve read the book – so I’ll probably knock this one out first.

Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham – Sounds extremely intriguing – about all of the experiences that make up your path in this world such as falling in love, feeling alone and more.

The Traitor’s Wife by Allison Pataki – A historical novel about Benedict Arnold’s wife.

The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty – Sounds gripping and suspenseful – check out the description on Amazon!

Wild by Cheryl Strayed – I’ve heard great things and it sounds super powerful – definitely looking to give it a go.

Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter – Takes place on the Italian coast…(#TBT take me back to our honeymoon in Positano, Italy). So reading this one.