Things to Enjoy this Time of Year

Do any of you make a bucket list of things you want to do this time of year?  The month of December usually flies by so quickly that I’ve found it helpful to jot down a list and roughly plan things out in order to enjoy the season as much as possible.

Here’s what’s on my list:

Pick out a fresh Christmas tree –did this this past weekend!

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Decorate the apartment. Three fourths done with this – will post a few pics on Instagram soon!

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Snuggle up on the sofa with the hubs and pup and watch favorite holiday movies. So far have watched: Love Actually, Jingle All the Way, Charlie Brown Christmas, and When Harry Met Sally. Still want to watch: The Holiday (my favorite!), Home Alone, Elf, and The Family Stone.

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Sip several cups of hot chocolate.  We picked up some Ghiradelli hot chocolate mix when we went to San Francisco last month, so will enjoy some of that for sure, but also love drinking Abuelita– a Mexican classic I grew up with.

hotchocolateIce skate – There’s a cute little outdoor rink near our apartment that’s beautifully decorated with lights that looks magical at night.

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Make lots and lots of christmas cookies and treats to eat and to share.

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Pull out the winter wear.

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Wrap presents – I did most of my shopping online, so once everything comes in, I’ll pull out the paper and pretty ribbons, get together with some peeps, and have a little wrapping session.

gift-wrapping-partyListen to Christmas music all throughout the month. My favorites are Michael Buble, Mariah Carey, Harry Connick Jr., Diana Krall, Josh Groban, Joe, and Christina Aguilera.

What are you enjoying this season? What are your favorite holiday movies and songs?

image sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 1112
Posted in christmas, christmas decor, winter | 2 Comments

Thanksgiving Tablescape Ideas

Can you believe that Thanksgiving is only a week away? This year my husband and I are hosting a dinner again, and while he finalizes the menu, I’m finalizing the table decor. Below is a round-up of images that are inspiring ideas.

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p.s. More inspiration here.

image sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
Posted in fall, holidays | 2 Comments

Travel Tips

With the holiday travel season upon us, I thought I’d share with you a few travel tips I’ve learned, including some from our most recent trip to San Francisco (pics here). Hope any of you who will be jetting off soon find them useful!

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the view from my airplane seat, arriving to San Francisco

Accommodations

Instead of booking a hotel for our trip to San Francisco, we used the website Airbnb to find a place to stay per the recommendation of one of my husband’s co-workers.  Through the site, we found a cute apartment in a great location and paid less than we would have for a hotel. This was our first time using a site like this and because we had a good experience, we will probably use it again for future trips.

Luggage

Suitcases with four-wheels, a.k.a. spinners, are awesome. When I was in college I worked at a Samsonite store one summer and learned about all the different types of luggage. Ever since then, I told myself that the next time I was in the market for luggage, I would for sure get one with four wheels.  I ended up getting a hardcase spinner and loved it.  So much less annoying to travel with than those with two wheels.  A four wheeler can be pushed alongside you instead of having to drag it behind you, and it doesn’t topple over when left standing. Check outlet stores and discount stores like Marshalls, Ross and TJ Maxx for good deals.

Things to Take

Checklists are a great way to make sure you pack all the essentials.  Ideally write one out a few days in advance. Doing this will allow you the time to add to the list additional random things that will inevitably come to mind later on. With checklist in hand, come the day before your trip, you won’t be worrying that you’re forgetting something.

Clothes & Accessories

Stick to a color palette and bring pieces that coordinate well with each other allowing you the option to mix and match. If possible, wear your bulkiest items on the plane so that they don’t have to take up valuable suitcase space.

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what I packed for my trip to San Francisco this past weekend 

Cash

Don’t forget to bring cash! I’m so used to using my debit and credit cards on a day-to-day basis that I forget that when I’m outside of my normal routine/area, there may be cases in which I need to pay with cash.  While traveling, $1 bills come in handy for things like tipping and riding on public transportation.

Water Bottle

While you can’t bring water with you past the security check to carry on, you can bring an empty bottle with a built-in filter that you can use at the airport, and anywhere else you go during your trip.  Do this and you won’t have to spend money on overpriced water.

Snacks

While waiting to board the airplane to head back home from San Fran, I was hungry and ended up buying overpriced not-so-good-for-you snacks to stave off hunger.  Needless to say I wish I had brought more snacks along with me.  Raw almonds, trail mix, and apple chips, are a few favorite healthy options I’ll be taking along with me on my next trip.

Flight Delays and Cancellations

Keep your eye on your flight status. Ours was supposedly going to be delayed 2 and a half hours and so we went to go eat breakfast.  It ended up being cancelled and had my husband not been keeping an eye on it, we would not have known and may have likely missed an opportunity to rebook on the next earliest available flight.

If your flight gets cancelled and the next flight is fully booked, book what you can and while you’re waiting, hang out at the gate of the flight you’d like to get on. While we were waiting for our 11am SF flight, my husband and I hung out at the gate of the 10am SF flight. We sat close to the boarding area and service desk. After everyone boarded, the guy at the service desk came over and asked if we were on the 11am flight, said they had a few seats available on the 10am, and if we’d prefer to get on that flight.  Yeeessss!

Getting Around

When we weren’t walking or taking public transportation, we used a taxi to get around the city. The app Uber made getting one super easy.  It detects your location and allows you to request a taxi (or fancier car) to pick you up within minutes.  You pay with your credit card through the app, so you don’t have to stress if you’re not carrying cash.

Hope you found these tips useful. If you have any travel tips of your own you’d like to share, please share them in the comments section below!

*In case you’re wondering, Airbnb and Uber did not pay me to include them in this post. 
Posted in travel | 6 Comments

San Francisco Bound

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Bags are packed and we’re headed up north.  Excited to explore a new-to-me city! Will be posting pics throughout the trip on my Instagram.

image via a piece of toast
Posted in travel | 1 Comment

Inspired By: Blue Print

While reading the Domaine feature on Cynthia Collins, I learned that aside from being an interior designer, she is also co-owner of Blue Print – a store in Uptown Dallas.  I clicked on over to the store website and immediately fell in love.  They sell handpicked antiques, original artwork, accessories, and high-end furniture, all inside a really charming and architecturally beautiful old home:

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They do such a beautiful job with styling:

blueprint2 blueprint3 blueprint4 blueprint5 blueprint6If I ever go to Dallas, I’d love to visit the store. Looks like such an inspiring place!

All photos via Blue Print Store
Posted in decor, interior decor, little details, living room, wall art | 1 Comment

Cynthia Collins Home Tour

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So delighted that our Raja Embroidery pillow was featured in Domaine Home as part of the ‘Get the Look’ portion of their post on interior designer Cynthia Collins’ home tour. Cynthia’s home is absolutely beautiful and her design aesthetic definitely resonates with me.  Each space is bright and airy, yet cozy, with just the right dose of color.

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Photographs: Courtesy of Collins Interiors
Posted in bathrooms, bedrooms, home tours, interior decor, kitchens, living room | Leave a comment

Traveling to San Francisco!

sanfranciscoIn less than a week my husband and I will be flying out to San Francisco together for my birthday weekend! I’m so very excited because not only will it be the first time we’ve flown somewhere together since the one time years ago my husband accompanied me on a work trip to Arizona (back when I used to be a commercial real estate appraiser), but it will also be my very first time visiting the city.  I’ve heard so many great things about San Francisco and I want to see and do everything, however since it’s only a 3 day trip, I have to be selective and leave the rest for future visits.  This weekend, aside from celebrating my little sister‘s birthday, cleaning the house, and doing a bit of work, I’m squeezing in some time to plan out our days, and possibly start packing.  If you have recommendations of must-sees/dos I’d love to hear them!

image via here
Posted in travel | 11 Comments

Beauty at Home

I’m a huge fan of Aerin Lauder, so I was so excited to hear about her new book Beauty at Home, which just launched.  Aerin is one of my favorite style icons and never fails to inspire me. Her book looks beautiful from the previews I’ve seen…can’t wait to receive it in the mail!

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p.s. If you’re also a fan of Aerin’s you’ll be excited to hear that we’re using fabrics from her line for some of the new pillows that we’ll be adding to the shop. Stay tuned!

all images via Beauty at Home  
Posted in interior decor, little details, living room | 1 Comment

A New Week

working-in-style-arianna-belle-blogGood morning! Hope you had a wonderful weekend and are having a great start to the new week.  As usual, lots of things to tackle on the to-do list.  A priority item for me this week is migrating my website over to a different (better!) hosting company. Hopefully the move will go smoothly however some downtime will be inevitable, so if you see that the blog or shop is down later this week, that’s the reason.  I’ll try to post a heads up and progress updates on Facebook and Twitter. Excited to make the move as it’s the first step towards making the planned improvements to the site a reality.  Also working hard behind the scenes to make, photograph, and do all the data entry work to add lots of new pillows to the shop.  Follow me on Instagram for peeks!

image sources: 1-emerson fry, 2-original source unknown, 3-olive manna
Posted in office spaces | 2 Comments

Cozy (Faux) Fur in the Home

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furthrow-bedroom

Today I’m over on La Dolce Vita talking about faux fur throws and blankets. Head on over for lots of inspiration and a round up of sources for getting the look!

image credits: 1-interior design by ryan korban , 2- original source unknown, 3- photography by Emily Anderson, interior design by Anthony George
Posted in bedrooms, interior decor, living room | 2 Comments