2016 | What I’ve Been Up To

Hello Lovelies!

Happy 2016 (and early Valentine’s Day)!

Although I have a great deal in store this year (I’m back in action after a brief haitus), you may have been wondering what I’ve been up to! Let me give you a brief run down:

Our 2 Year Anniversary Trip to D.C. 

Living in the beautiful Carolinas, sometimes it’s difficult to leave. However, Shahin and I love to travel and instead of buying each other “traditional” wedding anniversary gifts, we do things a little differently in the Arminoei household. We’ve made taking a trip each year one of our traditions. This year, we decided to spend a long weekend in D.C. The fact of the matter is, I had only visited once when I was in elementary school for a field trip and well, let’s just say it’s one of the hubs’ favorite cities and he had been dying to take me there. Now if you know me, of course I did my research prior to our adventure to ensure we were hitting some of the best spots in town (duh).

The Highlights:

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{ Image courtesy of DC Internationalist }

I know, I know. I have a shopping problem and everyone is aware. Unfortunately, Zara has not yet graced Charlotte with its presence so whenever I see that big, beautiful store – I’ve got my game face on.

Zaytinya (for dinner) + barmini (for drinks) by renowned Chef Jose Andres

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Y’all – I wish I could put into words how blown away we were. After eating at one of James Beard Award Winning Jose Andres’ restaurants, Zaytina, we had drinks at his bar (which required a reservation). Once arriving, we had to ring a doorbell to enter (a little reminiscent of a speakeasy). This place was simply beautiful – clean, chic, hip. The Mixologist provided us with a drink upon arrival to clean our palates and then Shahin and I went to town. This place does hand crafted cocktails right. One of the drinks I had the pleasure of tasting was homemade banana bourbon – absolutely delicious and hands down one of the best cocktails I’ve ever had. If you’re in the area – don’t miss out on this place (but make sure you book a spot at the bar in advance!)

White House visit 

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Cliche, but one of those “have tos”. And of course, being the basic white girl I am, Starbucks in hand!

USDA Farmers Market 

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Purely by accident, we stumbled upon a USDA Farmers Market during a stroll through the city on a beautiful Autumn day. We picked up a variety of dumplings, apple kombucha and homemade cola and sat in a park to indulge.

Persian Cuisine

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I guess it’s no secret that D.C. has a buzzing Persian population. To pay homage to the hubby’s heritage, we decided to drive about 30 minutes outside of the city to get a taste of some of the best Persian cuisine I’ve had (aside from when Shahin’s grandmother comes in from Iran and cooks for us). Kabobs, grilled tomatoes and my favorite, Persian rice (tahdig). NOMZ.

Annual Family Trip: Panama 

Each year, Shahin’s dad and stepmom take the family on a trip for a belated Christmas. This is my favorite family tradition because we much prefer experiences and memories over tangible things. I didn’t think anything was going to top last year’s trip to Barcelona, but the fam never ceases to amaze me. This year we traveled to the beautiful country of Panama and stayed right in the heart of Panama City. Not doing a great deal of research in advance, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Panama City reminded me of Miami in a lot of ways. It’s actually a big, international banking city (who knew) and there were restaurants and bars galore, high end shops (hello, Chanel) and so much to see and do.

The Highlights: 

JUICE

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Weird, right? How could juice be a highlight of a trip? Juice is a big deal in Panama. We stayed at the Waldorf Astoria and each morning, they had this little piece of heaven we dubbed “liquid life” = watermelon juice. Every morning when we would come down for breakfast, we b-lined straight for the juice (even over the omelette station). This stuff was the real freaking deal. Even outside of the hotel, we would grab juice from a little stand practically every day.

Panama Canal

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We took a boat through the Panama Canal – definitely a once in a lifetime experience. Although the excursion was a little longer than expected, the views were incredible.

Monkey Island & Indigenous Tribe 

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The best excursions we had (in my opinion) both occurred in the same day – and a full day it was! First, we met our guide and took a boat out into the water where we would then pull up to various parts of a jungle (keep in mind: about a 45 minute drive outside of where we were staying). This is where an array of different monkeys would come and visit our boat while we fed them bananas (and in some cases, right from our hands). This was seriously one of the coolest things I’ve ever done in my life. Above is a shot of a monkey that was hanging out on our boat. Pretty up close and personal!

After Monkey Island, we went to spend the rest of our day with an indigenous tribe. Yes – real life. A couple of the tribe members met us and took us out on a canoe to get to their village – life jackets and all (refer to the picture below).

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Once we got to the village, we watched the tribe do a few traditional dances (and then were invited to dance with them), were fed some delicious plantains and fried fish wrapped in a banana leaf and then had a little Q&A time (thank goodness we had a translator). We were also to buy some crafts from the tribe which was a really neat concept in itself because each family had their own table and the money went directly to them. I picked up a couple of beautiful hand crafted vases – LOVE! Below is a picture of the end of our excursion. The tribe was so welcoming – definitely a experience for the books!

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Coming Soon: DIY Project 

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So what else has been going on aside from traveling? The hubs and I picked up this beauty from one of my best friend’s moms (who owns Charlotte Staging). It’s actually an antique record player but we immediately saw its potential – and if you’ve seen some of my other posts, we love DIY projects. I am really looking forward to tackling this one!

So far, Shahin’s taken out the record player, and we will be using it to decoratively conceal our entertainment center. The piece has officially been sanded and we’ve removed the grates and added shelves. Step 2 of 3 complete.

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So what’s next? Of course, you’ll need to stay tuned (blog on this one coming soon) but we’ll be painting it and transforming it even more! We’re definitely going mid-century modern here – I’m thinking brass legs and a high gloss white paint. Below is an image I snagged from Pinterest and will be using it as inspiration!

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Be back soon! XO

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{ Things I’m Currently Obsessed With }

Hello, lovelies!

It’s been an intense last few weeks trying to get settled into the new home. I will say, today was a monumental one as we had our blinds installed! Although this may not sound too exciting, we have 26 windows in our house and none were covered when we moved in – so having this little addition has made quite an impact. They’re beautiful 2.5″ white, wooden plantation blinds and they certainly add some charm to our colonial style house. Speaking of houses (since it seems to be the hot topic of the month), I’ve decided to share with you a few home decor pieces that I’m currently obsessing over. Enjoy!

1. Safavieh Lucretius Bar Cart in Gold 

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This is definitely the item that I am most excited about. To make a long story short, I won this very bar cart on an Instagram contest from one of my favorite home furnishing and decor companies, Safavieh. If you haven’t heard of them, I would recommend checking them out because their items are absolutely stunning. While you’re at it, follow them on social media as they run various contests on a pretty regular basis. Just recently, they were offering their Instagram followers a chance to win multiple pieces of furniture and home accents of their choosing – from headboards to tables to chairs. In case you did not know, I am a big fan of social media…not just on a personal level, but from a business standpoint (perhaps it’s the marketing that runs through my veins). I think the companies that utilizes social media to engage their customers are hitting the nail on the head. When I entered the contest initially, I never expected to actually win. In fact, I never win anything. Ever. To my surprise, I was contacted by Savafieh through Instagram and then via email where they provided me with a few different bar cart styles to choose from. I ultimately chose this gold number because I loved the traditional elegance it encompassed. Not to mention, I thought it would look fabulous on top of our Persian rug. Stay tuned as I’ll be styling this bad boy up soon!

2. Chinoiserie

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I am an absolute sucker for the color blue and even more, the chinoiserie style. From a design aspect, I enjoy mixing old and new and love anything and everything eclectic. Chinoiserie really adds an element to the home that makes my heart skip a beat. It’s really picking up some momentum in the home decor world and you can find the style practically everywhere – from Ralph Lauren to Macy’s. However, my favorite pieces are typically found in antique shops. I currently own a few pieces but plan on adding to my collection gradually. The vase pictured from One King’s Lane is definitely one that I’ve been swooning over lately.

3. Cognac Leather Furniture

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I can tell you exactly when I started falling for cognac toned leather furniture. I had been scrolling on Instagram back in December and stumbled upon this very picture shown above. That couch. I needed to have that couch. I was sold. West Elm always tugs at my heart strings but really, it’s been months now and I cannot stop thinking about this couch. As much as I hate to admit that a piece of furniture has rented so much space in my head, I have to own up to it. So there you have it. This beautiful Hamilton leather couch from West Elm comes as a sofa, love seat and sectional. There is something so warm and cozy about this style. Did I mention that it as on my “must purchase” list? *Le Sigh*

4. Wrought Iron Chandeliers

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There is no denying that I’m a fan of both silver and gold, but I’ve been recently turned onto the oil rubbed bronze/wrought iron look, particularly when it comes to light fixtures. Perhaps it had to do with moving into our new house – I just find it to be suiting for the look and feel of the home. These chandeliers from Pottery Barn are freaking gorg. I love the warm, rustic and classic feel it encompasses. Beauties, right?

5. Gallery Walls

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I have been a big fan of gallery walls for some time now and am officially over the moon that I can begin our very own! There are so many directions you can go in with a gallery wall. From oil paintings to sketches, to color schemes to themes, to pictures to prints – the world is your oyster. As mentioned before, I have an affinity for an eclectic style and will probably end up going with a mix of everything to satisfy that yearning. I’m slowly collecting my pieces and using Pinterest as an inspiration. This lovely set up pictured above can be found here.

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{ From City Chic to Suburban Simple }

Alright lovelies…I know it’s been a few weeks since I last posted. And no, it is certainly not normal. I am a blogger that posts weekly but I had to take a brief hiatus for a very good reason. But do not fret – I’ll be posting regularly again now that things have calmed down. So what exactly has gone on in this duration that has caused a slight pause in posting?

Welp…if you did not know, the hubs and I were looking to purchase a home. We had lived in the Plaza Midwood neighborhood for almost a year and as much as we have always loved the area, we realized quickly that the space was getting a little too tight for us. We were in a historic bungalow which had such great charm, however, to put it frankly, we needed more room.

We had been working with our real estate agent for a few months and kept finding ourselves either losing out on a house because we did not move fast enough or ended up in a bidding war because a house had multiple offers. The housing market in Charlotte is pretty hot right now and with it being inundated with buyers, not a lot of inventory and low interest rates…it was a recipe for frustration. I was down and out a few weeks back because we had lost a bidding war on a house and I had not felt defeat like that in some time. However, a week after the bad news, our dream home came on the market. So Reader’s Digest version: we put in an offer sight unseen the day it came on the market with a time table (we asked for a response from the seller by 5pm that day in order to avoid another multiple offer scenario – yeah, we played hard ball) and I went to scope out the digs on my lunch break that day. Risky? I’d say so. But I just had warm fuzzy feelings about this home and we went with our gut instinct.

Needless to say…it ended up working out in our favor and I am proud to announce that on May 26th we closed on this gorgeous southern colonial.

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I will say that I am and always have been a big believer in fate. Everything happens for a reason and sometimes, you have to believe. Not just say you believe, but actually live it by letting the cards fall how they may, putting your best foot forward, thinking positively and not letting a hit or setback deter you from still pushing forward.

Although Shahin and I have always been big into “city living” we have officially traded it in for a more simple, suburban lifestyle. Does that mean we have aged 20 years and will never go out to the bars and breweries we used to enjoy? No. It just means that we have taken a new direction in our life and marriage and are so excited to make this house a home.

Stay tuned for home update posts as I see many projects in our future! In the meantime, enjoy some other great shots of our new abode below. Enjoy!

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{ beautiful front door }

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{ living room and lots of windows }

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{ dining room }

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{ Our garden of aloe, tomatoes and radishes }

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{ the back }

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{ ivy trees and a pretty sweet shed }

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{ a pretty incredible back deck }

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{ back deck love }

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In Bloom | Swoon-worthy Vases

Happy almost weekend, lovelies!

Although the weather in the Carolinas has felt more like Seattle lately than the sweet south, it definitely makes me look forward to the beautiful weather to come! And as the saying goes, April showers bring May flowers — no truer words could have ever been spoken. With that being said and keeping this theme in mind, what better way to showcase your May blooms than with a beautiful vase? Vases are both functional and make great statement pieces in your home. Below are a few of my favorites that I’ve been eying (and I may or may not own #6). So instead of letting this dreary weather bring me down, I’m going to daydream about sunshine and fluffy, soft peonies in a gorgeous vase. Enjoy the selection of pretties below!

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1. Pineapple Mercury Glass Vase, $31.43 {from Horchow}  2. Pearl Place Rosebowl, $75 {from Kate Spade}  3. Paisley Park Coral Bud Vase, $22 {from Fitz and Floyd}  4. Indigo Aishe Vase, $24 {from Pure Home}  5. Neon Pink Wire Floral Vase, $27.15 {from Oliver Bonas}  6. Adra Vase, $39.95 {from Crate & Barrel}  7. Clear Heirloom Vase, $14.99 {from Target}  8. Aqua Frosted Bottles, $39.95 {from Pier 1}  9. Maine Tall Vase, $76 {from Neiman Marcus Last Call}  10. Olivia Vase, $49.95 {from Joss & Main}

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Nominated for the “One Lovely Blog” Award

Hi lovelies!

I’m excited to announce that I’ve been nominated for the “One Lovely Blog” Award by Stephanie of Coffee and Couture! Thank you so much for honoring me with this, I am very grateful! This nomination provides an opportunity for bloggers to share a little more about themselves in an effort to get to know one another a little better within the community.

 

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In addition, accepting the nomination requires the following:

  • Thanking the person who nominated you by responding with a blog post in regard to the award.
  • Usage of the One Lovely Blog Award logo.
  • Nominating 10 blogs that you read regularly and notifying the blogger of their nomination.

So without further adieu, below are some fun facts that you may not already know about me:

  • I am obsessed with animals – particularly dogs. In fact, my social media newsfeed consists of predominantly rescues. I secretly enjoy torturing myself and I couldn’t tell you why.
  • One day, I will live at a beach…but also own a house in the mountains.
  • My favorite food would be a toss up between cheese, sushi and chocolate.
  • I love man buns. There, I said it.
  • Attending a music festival is on the top of my bucket list.
  • I jam out to T. Swift on the reg. No shame.
  • But first, coffee. Always coffee.
  • I watch documentaries frequently.
  • I am fascinated with fashion history – the silhouettes, the designers of the time, the subcultures, the social and historical influences…all of it.
  • I’m a demographic and psychographic data junkie. What can I say? Marketing runs through my veins.

I would also like to give a special shout out to all of my loyal readers because you are what keeps me keepin’ on! XO

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2015 Trend Report | Home, Fashion, Beauty + All

Happy Friday!

Although this is the second week of January, I would like to pretend it’s the first real week of the year as many people were still in vacation/holiday mode last week. I am actually very excited for 2015 because it’s a great excuse to make a fresh start.

With a new year, comes a new you. Part of that happens internally but the other part can be external or what is on the surface. Sometimes people like to make a drastic hair change or try out a new style. Of course, what we choose is very personal but perhaps I can help get your wheels turning. Below are some of the big trends to watch in 2015 for every aspect of life. Enjoy!

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{ HOME } Eclectic Style. Pops of Color. Jewel Tones.

Think vintage, retro, mixing patterns and textures, personal touches, rich colors.

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ECLECTIC STYLE – The Rundown: This is probably my favorite trend for 2015, mostly because I feel like the style encompasses me as a person: incredibly eclectic. The mix of new and old, everything is random yet it somehow seamlessly comes together…it’s amazing. If you’re looking to change up the look of your home this year, this is a great way to do it.

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POPS OF COLOR – The Rundown: Looking to make some subtle changes to your home decor? Adding pops of color will surely do the trick and it’s big in 2015. Pick up some colorful chairs, pull out your vibrant KitchenAid mixer, or even simply paint a door a different color like in the image above.

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JEWEL TONES – The Rundown: Deep, rich jewel tones are a heavy hitter this year. There is something sophisticated and tasteful about them. I’m loving this look in the office/study below.


{ FASHION } Wide-Legged Pants. 70s Retro. Boho. Lace Up. Gingham Print.

I honestly could not be more thrilled about these style trends for 2015. Mostly because they remind me of the vintage, sepia-toned photos of my parents from the 60s and 70s. It makes me smile.

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WIDE-LEGGED PANTS – The Rundown: Although I do not think skinny pants will completely disappear, I do think wide-legged pants will soon be ruling the world, and in my opinion, we are long overdue for a new silhouette.

70s RETRO – The Rundown: As mentioned above, the 70s style is back with a vengeance (and I cannot contain my excitement).

BOHO – The Rundown: The bohemian look is also making an impact on the runway for Spring/Summer 2015…so go ahead and channel your inner flower child.

LACE UP – The Rundown: Lace ties are also quite prominent for the new year – just check out the Louis Vuitton runway images alone.

GINGHAM PRINT – The Rundown: The gingham print (yes, it may also remind you of a picnic) was gaining traction in Fall 2014 but will be huge in 2015. It’s feminine mixed with classic mixed with chic and I love, love, love it!

{ Check out all of the runway images here }


{ BEAUTY } Minimal Makeup. Bold Brows. Dewy Skin. Statement Lips. Negative Space Manis.

We are now living in a time where less is more, beautiful skin is everything and making a statement on your lips and nails is a way of life.

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MINIMAL MAKEUP – The Rundown: A big trend this year is the minimal/nude makeup look. In 2015, less is more. We’re not saying absolutely no makeup, but a more natural look, nude shades and a “fresh face”.

BOLD BROWS – The Rundown: Remember being young and plucking your eyebrows to make them thin was cool? Well, times have certainly changed. Heavier brows are in. But not an unruly brow, a very structured, well groomed brow.

DEWY SKIN – The Rundown: This ties into the “fresh face” look mentioned in the Minimal Makeup Rundown. Bottom line: dewy skin is in. Looking clean and natural with a slight sheen is what you’ll be seeing a lot of this year.

{ Images can be found here —> Minimal Makeup, Bold Brows, Dewy Skin }

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STATEMENT LIPS – The Rundown: For Fall 2014, we saw a good bit of the wine stained/vampy lip. It will definitely translate to 2015, even in the Spring. But let’s be real, any statement lip is big this year. Whether you go for the newly popular orange-red, a classic red, or even a true pink – you’re in good hands.

{ Images can be found here }

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NEGATIVE SPACE MANIS – The Rundown: This look is all over the runway for 2015. Negative space nails are without a doubt, the next big thing.

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{ EVERYTHING } Marsala

If you missed my post on the 2015 Pantone Color of the Year, Marsala, you can read about it here. But to reiterate, Marsala will be huge this year. In every aspect of life – design, home decor, beauty, fashion…you name it! Below are some inspiration images of how you can implement the Pantone Color of the Year into your life!

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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 }