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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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!

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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}

#FestivalDreaming

Flower crowns, long dresses, crop tops, ankle booties, big sunglasses, warm weather, incredible jams…it means only one thing: festival season. I have to admit, seeing all of the Coachella posts on Instagram have made me incredibly envious! It’s one of those things that has been on my bucket list for quite a few years now. In fact, going to any music festival has been a top priority. I couldn’t tell you why I haven’t yet (being the music junkie that I am). Maybe it’s because the genres of music I listen to vary so drastically and I just cannot make a decision and commit! I remember vividly in high school and in my early years of college wanting to go to Bonnaroo in Tennessee and then it became Floyd Fest in Virginia and then Moog Fest in Asheville and then Coachella in California and then Hang Out in Alabama and then Forecastle in Louisville and most recently, Outside Lands in San Fran. Even still, the list goes on as there are so many music festivals out there that I am dying to attend. See my dilemma?

I’ve been to more concerts and shows than I can count but I promised myself that by sometime next year: a music festival (or two) is a must! So since I have no plans as of yet to attend one, I would like to dedicate this post to #FestivalDreaming – because that is currently my state of mind. What does this entail? Accessories and apparel that could make great signature pieces in your festival wardrobe, a pretty sweet playlist full of artists playing at the various shows this summer and if you’re just as indecisive as I am – a little 411 on a few of the festivals that I’ve had my eye on. Enjoy!

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Festival Dreaming

1. Heart Sunglasses, $14 {from Threadsence}  2. Folklore Print Shift Dress, $78 {from TopShop}  3. Aztec Print Crop Top, $60 {from TopShop}  4. Festival Coin Headband, $28.22 {from ASOS}  5. New Look Rose Hair Garland, $11.27 {from ASOS}  6. Light Brown Tassel Trim Ankle Boots, $90 {from River Island}  7. Black Trim Western Ankle Boots, $90 {from River Island}  8. Braided Flat-Sole Sandal, $59.90 {from Zara}  9. Fortunate Lace Pants in Sand, $62 {from Spool72}  10. Rock On Word Cuff, $32.50 {from Threadsence}  11. Rising Sun Native Shorts, $42 {from Spool72}  12. Black Jersey Pleat Maxi Skirt, $70 {from TopShop}  13. River Island Black Leather Chain Detail Fringe Bag, $75.26 {from ASOS}  14. Folk Embroidered Bralet, $40 {from TopShop} 15. Straw Fedora Hat, $28.22 {from ASOS}

 

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