Okay, so I totally have to start out this month’s post with this tote bag I bought a month or so ago.  I was in major need of a good bag to drag all my stuff to and from work.  I think the last time I bought one was five years ago, so it was time!  I searched high and low without much success and then one day, the bags from Etsy seller ikabags popped up on the Etsy homepage.  I was in.love.  After agonizing between four different designs, I settled on the combo you see above.  I’ll admit that the price was a little more than I was planning to spend initially, but this bag is so well made, it’s totally worth the cost.  It has a nice assortment of internal pockets to hold the smaller items rather than having them scattered around the bag.  I get compliments on it all the time and recently one of my friends saw me with it and said, “That is so you. It was made for you!” Couldn’t agree more.  Also, random little tip – one day I decided on a whim to throw a lavender sachet in my bag and I adore having it there.  Every time I pick it up, I get a fresh wave of natural lavender scent (one of my favorite smells ever).

Since we all know I can’t go more than two months without finding a reason to buy new shoes, these adorable flats were my most recent reason.  As much as I love the housewares and some of the clothes and accessories at Anthro, I haven’t really paid any attention to their shoes before.  I normally see all their chunky heels and wedges on other blogs (which are majorly not my style), and it never occurred to me that they would have so many cute flats!  Now I know.  Uh oh.

In spring and summer, I’m all about bright, fun nail colors.  Even in fall and winter I used to tend not to wear many very dark shades. Last winter, I picked up this OPI classic (Lincoln Park After Dark) and decided to give it a try.  It is by far my favorite color for the cool weather months now, and I kind of just want to wear this until spring time.  It’s a slightly metallic dark purple that is so dark, it *almost* looks black.  But not really black.  I haven’t worn that since I wanted to be Claire Danes or Christina Ricci in middle school.

With cold weather approaching and an ever growing urge to knit, fingerless gloves are on my mind.  I’ve been saving a lot of my favorite patterns and can’t wait to make several of them!  Friends, if you have a preference let me know, because more than likely I’ll be gifting you a pair!  These are a few of my faves.  The patterns pictured above are Fallberry MittsSabrina Mitts, and Cuffed Hand Warmers.

On a related note, though I have never actually seen a movie with Ryan Gosling, I adore all the “Hey, girl” memes I see around the interwebs.  This one is for sure my fave.

Reading of the fun variety has ceased until my exam is over, but I did read a couple of books worth mentioning in the past few months. First, Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell.  I’m no literary critic so I don’t have anything eloquent to say about why I find this book so incredibly wonderful except: Sheesh, I really, really, really loved this book.  Go read it and you’ll understand why.

Another fun read was Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple.  I thoroughly enjoyed the characters in this book because nearly all of them have qualities that make you both love and hate them simultaneously.   The plot may be totally unrealistic, but I’m reading fiction for a reason, right?

I’ve never been able to really get into the hashtag thing and when people tag Instagram photos with 20+ hashtags well… don’t get me started.  One of my friends and I have been having entire text conversations in #hashtag for a while and we find it endlessly entertaining, so this video sums up my feelings pretty well.  I’m sure 90% of you have already seen this passed around Facebook but I had to share it anyway.  Consider it part humor, part PSA.

Disclaimer:  I have no affiliation with any of the products or companies mentioned above, and they don’t even know I’m writing about them.  I’m just sharing things I love with you, because I love them!

  • Tasha

    Love this post! The flats are amazing, wish I could wear flats :(
    I will be looking for that OPI color this weekend–very nice for fall/winter months. And the fingerless gloves are my favorite! My hands stay so cold I often wear them even in the house. Too bad I can’t knit.
    The video is very funny and I am one of those people. Well maybe not that bad. I guess the reason I get the whole hashtag thing is because if you are wanting to connect with others about your pictures then that is the purpose. At least that is what I think. Now I will feel paranoid to use more than ten….just kidding. :)

  • Linzi

    Hi Annie! Your Things Loved posts are the best. I recently saw that totebag on Etsy (among many others by that seller) and thought that one of them might make for a fun diaper bag. After having kids and now having the totebag, what do you think? Is it practical?

  • Sharilyn

    I love your monthly favorites posts. Thanks for sharing! On the Ryan Gosling thing, I hadn’t ever seen a movie with him in it until a few months ago. I never saw the appeal of him, but then I watched Crazy, Stupid, Love. Please, do yourself a favor and watch this movie. Just trust me! :)

  • annieseats

    Yes, I think it would be great as a diaper bag! Especially with all the pockets inside.

  • You just convinced me to add Eleanor & Park to my Goodreads “to read” list – it looks really good!

  • A great roundup, and now I have some ideas of what to read when I’m not driving during my upcoming road trip!

  • Mindy Pannell

    Yay! Love the bag and I’m off to sign up for a knitting class!

  • annieseats

    Yay! You will love it, I bet. I never knew how much fun it would be!

  • Love your monthly favorites posts! A few people have recently told me to read Where’d you go, Bernadette so I definitely need to put that one on the top of my list!

  • Liz N.

    Annie, I love all the patterns for the fingerless gloves! So hard to choose, but the Fallberry Mits pattern caught my eye first. Knitting has always been a challenge for me (I threw a hissy fit when I couldn’t quite finish the toe part of a Christmas stocking several years ago!). I might give it another shot during the cold winter nights! Lincoln Park After Dark is my Fall/Winter polish. The other color I love by OPI is Black Cherry Chutney. Is there any skit with JT/Jimmy Fallon that doesn’t have me in stitches?!

  • Angela

    These posts are my favorite!

  • Lanette

    Hi Annie,
    Love your favorites posts. Not sure if it was last month or the month before but I bought the planner that you recommended. I love it so much. It really helps this very unorganized person (me!) be a lot more structured and that is extremely helpful. Just want to tell you that I adored ‘Eleanor and Park’ too. Such a great story. I just finished Rainbow Rowell’s newest book, ‘Fangirl’. And dare I say, I liked it even more than ‘E & P’. Big, huge thumbs up! The tote bag looks divine, by the way. Perhaps a place to carry my planner? Ha! :)

  • SKeeter

    I’ve made the Fallberry Mitts several times and they’re wonderful! An easy pattern to memorize and the fit is perfect. :)

  • Kayla W

    I’m in love with that bag, may know what I want for my birthday now.

    Eleanor and Park was amazing, just read it last week. So.good. Fangirl by the same author is supposed to be really good too. I’ve got it on my to read list.

    I really want to learn to knit. I know 2 crochet moves but that’s all I’ve been able to teach myself. I was going to check out one of the Indy-area yarn stores when we were in town last month but I ran out of time. Definitely want to take some classes sometime!

  • annieseats

    Yes! That’s exactly where my planner is, actually :) And glad you liked the planner. One reader had such, ahem, delicate sensibilities that she said she would never read my blog again after posting that. Ha!

  • Annie B

    I am totally obsessed with that bag! Now just to figure out how to justify buying it to my husband when I already have a perfectly functional (but not as adorable or sturdy!) diaper bag…here’s hoping mine wears out soon!:)

  • Of course you like the ‘buy all the yarn you want’ meme. Doesn’t everybody sane like that idea? I am also a knitter and would love to have someone tell me that!

  • Jes

    LPAD is my all time favorite OPI color! Great choice!

  • Ginnette

    If you are saying that you’ve never seen a film with Ryan Gosling… are you saying you’ve never seen “The Notebook”??? Please tell me you are kidding! If not, leave whatever you’re doing and watch it NOW! ASAP! You will LOVE this movie, I promise

  • annieseats

    I have not, and I know, everyone tells me it is great! I did read the book and I am kind of a weirdo about seeing books of movies I have read. In general, I don’t do it because I like the story to remain as it is in my imagination rather than to be restricted to what the director/writer/actors portray. Occasionally I make exceptions but usually it’s with more action/suspense type books.

  • Ginnette

    I know what you mean, but if your read the book a long time ago maybe you dont have it so fresh in your mind and you can enjoy the movie hehehe, Its worth watching it, because its realy a great movie. But of course i know what you mean… in movies they cant give every detail of the book (i guess because of timing) :)

  • waterlooheather

    I love this post, and the #hashtag video. I just posted it to my Friday Finds even though, like you, I’m sure most people have seen it.
    Love your blog! Might have to run out and pick up that nail colour. xo

  • Denise Wesely

    Difficult time getting past that tote bag. I love it! Might be fabric shopping later today and pulling out my sewing machine to see if I can make one of my own. Hopefully I can find some nice leather for the bottom. Love, love, love it! Thanks for sharing.

  • Nina Balistreri O’Brien

    oh my gosh. i just fell in love with that bag. Do you think that would make a good diaper bag!?

  • annieseats


  • Love that bag- I think I have a new diaper bag for my wish list! Also loved Bernadette- I’ve heard so many good things about Eleanor and Park- must read soon!

  • Love the bag! Definitely need to go etsy shopping now!

  • Aimee

    I have to have that bag and the seller makes them in waterproof! I’m so glad you started doing these post. I have found so many wonderful and cool products because of you. Thanks!

  • muse2323

    I loved Eleanor & Park, too!

  • Steph in Lex

    You wanted to be Claire Danes or Christina Ricci in high school, too? Glad I wasn’t the only one! I still kind of want to be Claire Danes… ;)

  • Cara

    Annie, just thought you should know that thanks to your wonderful “Things I’m loving” posts I have now become an Etsy addict myself!! Thanks for sharing these wonderful shops and their awesome products :)

  • Diana

    I LOVED Eleanor & Park too. Literally stayed up until 3am to read it in one sitting. One of my favorite books of the year.

  • Kristin Johnson

    Hey Annie! I’ve been eyeing the ika bags on etsy ever since you posted this article. I was wondering….how has it held up? I just love the look of those bags but I’d like to know if it wears & tears easily. Don’t want to waste $150!

  • annieseats

    Hey Kristin! I still adore it just as much as I did when it was new. I carry it to work every day and it is basically as good as new (minus one drop of nail polish I got on it – dang!) I still highly recommend. Worth the price, IMO.

  • Kimberly Ingram

    I love that you like that “hey girl” meme best! I made it and about 6 others and it makes me so happy every time I see it out there! :)

  • annieseats

    Wow, you did? That is so awesome. I love you for it. My husband likes to quote it all the time :)