Thursday, August 14, 2014

A Green Trench Coat

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I hate to say it, but it's starting to get a little chilly around the edges of the days now. Really I don't mind one bit, because I'm a layers-girl. Layers give so much additional visual interest to an outfit, especially the opportunity for a texture switch, which I love. 

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This green shortie trench coat (trench. coat. green. short. just making sure you got that) has been in my closet for awhile, but I wasn't sure how to wear it. The cut is odd with jeans and a top and it's a heavy piece that can overwhelm other floaty dresses. Luckily, this thick textured dress from Tibi was the perfect foil. The cinched waist (isn't this such a fun vintage belt?) creates just the right resting spot for the short jacket. 

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This outfit would transition well into fall...can't you see it with my knee-high blue suede boots? But since it's still summer, I'll keep wearing my summer faves: my basket-weave Blowfish Shoes wedges. 

Do you have a piece lingering in your closet that you aren't sure how to wear? 
Let me hear about it and maybe we can come up with some ideas for it!

xo
Natalie

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

A Little of This, A Little of That

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Loving this combination of oversized gingham and eyelet. 

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Peanut Butter "Buckeye" Bars I made for Big Girls, Small Kitchen

(Edited to add one more thing!) 


If you are a mother of daughters, please check out my friend Dana's magazine, Modern Motherhood Magazine. It's digital, short, and free, perfect for mommas, but it gets into deep subjects of raising Godly daughters and discipling them. Dana blessed me by including Good Girl Style in her August issue about Beauty. Check it out here


and something fun for YOU, too! I'm thrilled to have some free codes to take Sally Hogshead's "How to Fascinate" personality assessment. The test is normally $37 so take advantage of this free code for sure. I love personality assessments, and this one is FANTASTIC. It gives great insight into how the world sees you, rather than how you see the world. You'll find tidbits to help you be the BEST you and to work to your strengths in all areas of life. 

Me? I'm The Connoisseur...always in-the-know, powered by passion, high standards, and a whole lotta something special. 

Wanna give it a shot to see what YOU are? 

1.) Go HERE.
2.) Enter code: BL-goodgirlstyle 
3.) Come back and share your results in the comments! 

I can't wait to hear!
xo
Natalie

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Reading Lately

My goal this year has been to read a book a month, and so far I am on track or exceeding that number (I have lost track of a few library books I read, ugh!). I thought I'd share a few thoughts on books I've read recently.



Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus
(I received a complimentary copy of this book for review from BookLook Bloggers)
by Nabeel Qureshi
4 1/2 stars ****

This was a fascinating account of a devout Muslim, Nabeel Qureshi, finding Jesus and his strenuous path to acceptance. I have had the pleasure of hearing Nabeel speak with Dr. Ravi Zacharias, both great thinkers with great hearts. Nabeel's serious, intellectual struggles are thoroughly explored, a great read for those who have a theology background. I did want the "Wow" moments to stand on their own instead of being bogged down in lengthy explanations sometimes. 

I stayed up waaaaaay past my bedtime to finish this one, though, a good sign. The second I was done with this book a friend nabbed it from me to borrow, another good sign.  I would definitely recommend it to anyone, just beware that it’s a bit intellectual and not light reading for the beach by any means. That doesn’t mean you should shy away—instead, jump right in. Learn how to better pray and make friendships that open doors. Nabeel, while an incredibly smart writer, is also warm and welcoming and won’t leave you hanging as a reader. In the end, Nabeel has to come to grips with what he is studying and what God is laying on his heart…despite the consequences that still haunt him. What a story! 




The Wal-Mart Effect
by Charles Fishman
5 stars *****

This was another fascinating read...an upsetting and thoroughly interesting discussion of our current (ok, in 2006, when the book was written) economic climate and the double-edged sword we've created. I've read Sam Walton's biography (the founder of Wal-mart) and it's interesting to me how the two books paint vastly different pictures of Walmart. I think with Walmart the intentions are good (Save money! If we streamline everything then we save money which saves you money!) but the execution is blind and with little regard for the businesses and people that make Walmart work. This book is well-researched, fair, honest and direct. It really comes down to this: What are you willing to sacrifice to save a bit of money at Walmart? This book might help you realize you aren't willing to sacrifice anything to shop at Walmart. I highly recommend everyone read this book.







A Year Without Made in China
by Sara Bongiorni
2 stars **

I had such high hopes for this--a real journalistic-homey combination of practical knowledge, research and personal experiences. In reality, the book falls quite short indeed. It was far too self-pitying and she didn't follow her own rules for the experiment well at all. It's the same story told a bunch of different ways. It's a story I would have been happy to have read about in the Wall Street Journal for about 20 minutes of my time, tucked in the back of my mind, and carried on with my life, checking labels more often than normal to see where things were made. I skimmed the middle section of this book because it was so dull and poorly written. I learned a few little tidbits: sneakers for little boys and lamps are rarely if ever made in the USA anymore. But this wasn't a "Made in USA" experiment, which would have been a much more interesting experiment in my opinion. Not worth picking up.






L.L. Bean: The Making of an American Icon
by Leon Gorman
4 1/2 stars ****

Only pick this book up if you're interested in the detailed business workings of L.L. Bean. If not, you'll be bored to tears, at least after the first few chapters that are more personal. But if so, you'll find the tale of modernizing L.L. Bean a fascinating and worthwhile journey. Leon Gorman is L.L. Bean's grandson and he ran the company from his grandfather's death in the 1960s until the new millennium. His staunchly-held beliefs that the business was built on principle and not profits helped keep the L.L. Bean mystique alive, and indeed, to keep it thriving through several economic slumps and losses of identity amidst crises.








Limitless Life: You are More Than Your Past When God Holds Your Future
(I received a complimentary copy of this book for review from BookLook Bloggers)
by Derwin L. Gray
3 stars ***

Derwin Gray is a former NFL linebacker-turned-Pastor, which is a great starting point for those coming to this book from a football perspective and realizing it is really a spiritual-life-application book. Pastor Gray talks about how we are more than our labels and that Jesus gives us freedom from labels. I found the writing stilted at first, which made it hard for me to get to the meat of the book. Then I found a few troublesome spots with theology (a more prosperity gospel-centered theme). However, I persevered with the book, picking it up in between other reads. I found some good themes in here, but felt that if you don't know how to separate the chaff from the grain this book might not be an ideal starting point. However, if you are an established Christian struggling with sin and labels in your life (selfish, addict, abused/abuser, etc.) this may be a great book to help you break free from the cycle. I appreciate Pastor Gray's convictions and his belief that pain and suffering show us how big and great our God is. I loved this line: "No matter where we go, who we know, and what possessions we have for show, our souls are still eternally thirsty until we drink living water." And these powerful words: "People may have given up on you, but Jesus has not." If this book speaks to you, pick it up and I will pray it helps you find victory. And if it doesn't speak to you, at least take those words to heart: People may have given up on you, but Jesus has not. Amen!


What have you been reading lately? Did you have any reading goals for the year? I'd love to know!



Happy reading!
xo

Natalie

Monday, July 28, 2014

Classy & Casual

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This is one day, one outfit concept, and two different iterations. One is a wear-to-church outfit, and the other, with the same color threads, makeup and hair, is more casual for whatever fun adventures Sunday afternoon might hold. Or this is a mighty fine outfit to wear to the office, so this could easily be a work-to-weekend post too!

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My boyfriend says Sundays are his favorites with me, because we get to go to church together and we always seem to find some fun, spontaneous adventure for the afternoon. I agree! There is something so wonderful about sitting close and holding hands while we pray, singing from the same hymnal, giving each other little knowing looks, etc. And it's summer so the great outdoors calls after church! 

What has been your favorite summer adventure so far? 
xo
Natalie

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Happy Birthday, Prince George!


It is Prince George's first birthday today!! 

photo by John Stillwell, found here

Happy Birthday handsome prince! 

I love the hint of red in his hair, his chubby cheeks and wide eyes. What a little charmer!

photo by John Stillwell, found here
Such a great family photo!

It is Prince George's First Birthday! Oh it's so very exciting because he's just the most darling little thing ever and Kate with him...I swoon. Couldn't be any cuter. 


Remember last year when we were all still anxiously waiting and I dressed like "off-duty Kate" in honor of the occasion? Here's my outfit. I still love Kate's off-duty/mama duty outfits (and secret footage of her being adorable with George!). I've loved following along with the adorable family their first year.


Here he is at 8 months, our first official look at him, stunning in a little monogrammed sweater with his family and Lupo, in a photo taken by Kate's dad that just doesn't even look real.

So today I will have a special tea in honor of Prince George and, of course, dress in honor of Duchess Kate again (though I really prefer to call her Princess Kate, I know, I know!) and wear my polka-dot Cath Kidston bracelet that my friend got me while she was in England when Prince George was born!


And of course my other friend who was also in England at the time brought me that beautiful Welcome Baby tin! So pretty. While you enjoy your tea in honor of Prince George today, enjoy reading this fantastic Vanity Fair recap of his first year. 

Rose Tulsi tea with local honey and gluten-free ladyfingers. 

Will you be doing anything fun to celebrate today?

Happy Birthday, George! 
Love,
Natalie

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Hummingbirds

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There are hummingbirds on my dress! #justsayin

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{trying to show you my makeup}

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I am IN LOVE with my new Lesley Evers "Tilda" dress with the hummingbirds all over it. Yes, Lesley Evers is expensive but I snagged this pattern from last year in their warehouse sale. The quality is fantastic...wearing it just elevates your entire day and positively affects the way you carry yourself. I think the silhouette also has a Princess Kate vibe to it, which is a goal of any outfit of mine!

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It has a full circle skirt which is just fabulous, darling for twirling.
Still getting so much use out of these straw wedges from Blowfish. 
Wedges are ideal for summer dresses because they give height with all-day comfort. 
This light straw is a great summer version of "nude pumps."

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Happy July, my dears!
xo
Natalie

Friday, June 27, 2014

Mango and Plum

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I can't get enough of this mango and deep plum color combination. It's also a delicious flavor combination, so win-win, amiright?

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Then let's talk about these giant pearls I've been wanting forever and finally found at a tag sale last weekend! So much fun and a little Wilma Flinstone-esque as my friend said, but we all know that's never stopped me before!

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Then there's this Holga camera that matches my outfit. I'm pretty sure it ups my cool points but then again maybe not considering it took me FOREVER to learn how to open the back where you put the film in. Either way, I hope to capture some funky summer images with this little plastic camera. 

Sunnies: Burberry//Tee: J.Crew//Pearls: Tag sale snag//Skirt: The Addison Story (Anthro, thrifted)//Wedges: MiuMiu

Happy Weekend!
Natalie

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Dear Kates Yoga Pants and Shorts


Remember when I told ya'll about the wardrobe secret weapon of Dear Kates underwear? Jenna and her team are back with an even more impressive undertaking: yoga pants and shorts!


They incorporate the attention to detail and "cute factor" of Dear Kates, as well as the Underlux fabric that makes them so fantastic (three words: no. camel. toe. #justsayin). They're leak-proof and VPL-proof. And they're guaranteed to make your tush look amazing, soooooooooo who isn't on board with all of that?

as if that isn't enough: a hidden key pocket, K stamp detail on the back waistband, and never-see-through fabric.



Their Kickstarter already raised $100,000 (their two stretch goals were reached to incorporate contrast color stitching (I'm all about the watermelon or ocean view!) and a longer short length. Their new goal is to add a sporty bralet to match (which one will win?! They are all so cute!).


Get in on the awesome-ness at Dear Kates Kickstarter campaign here
The campaign ends on Saturday, June 28th, so get in while the gettin's good. Discounts and goodies for backers galore! And yep, I'm in on it, too and pledged. Join me!

Natalie

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Winners and Life Lately!



eyeglasswinners

Email me and I will send you details and your code :) YAY! Can't wait to see what new specs ya'll pick out! Be sure to tweet or instagram me :)

Around here it has been all vintage dresses and wonderful picnics, just the way I like June! Don't you agree?

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 {vintage dress complete with pockets!}

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{my favorite vintage cooler shaped like a picnic basket}

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{his and hers drinks...mine was the DELICIOUS Strawberry-Rhubarb agave soda, and his was the grapefruit San Pellegrino}

picnicfoods
{cold cuts, sharp cheese, homemade potato salad, chips and fruit snacks}

PS. You can find more of my summer adventures on my brand-new instagram! :) 

We also had a stack of magazines to read and played Frisbee. Perfect summer evening. 
Here's to many more picnics this year!
And more giveaways with more winners!
:)
xo
Natalie

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Firmoo Review & Giveaway

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It's June! Lovely June, one of the fairest months of all, don't you think? Quite lovely indeed, if I do say so myself (and I do! :)). Time for long dresses, sunglasses, and iced coffee. Did I mention sunglasses? Ya'll know I have a soft spot in my heart for sunglasses, but sometimes with allergies I just cannot wear my contacts and that makes sunglasses almost impossible! Prescription sunglasses can be SO expensive.

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But not from Firmoo. I desperately needed some new ones, as my old ones I've had since I was 15 (the frames were Salvatore Ferragamo and were actually my everyday glasses until I got a new pair and replaced the lenses with sunglasses). Those Ferragamo frames are actually still just fine but were about three prescriptions outdated, though, and since I'm not ready for fit-overs yet in my youth, it was well-due time for a new pair.

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These are a really fun gray and black animal print with a slight cat eye. They are currently only available in red (odd?). The order process with Firmoo is perhaps the smoothest of all the online ordering I've done of glasses, and Firmoo is constantly running great deals. The glasses shipped to me directly from production in China, which bothered me slightly but was a surmountable obstacle. The price is great, and the quality is just fine. True, they aren't Ferragamo, but the price wasn't even close to Ferragamo either!

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I got an 80% tint (I use these mostly for driving and I like dark glasses for driving) and of course an anti-reflective coating and UV protection (non-negotiables for me, especially for driving). Each additional coating is a slight increase in price, but certainly nothing compared to the cost at a traditional optometrist.


I think these pink and animal print frames would make fantastic sunglasses for summer! 

Now for the best part! Firmoo has been generous enough to let me give away (!!!) five (FIVE) (!!!!!!!!!!!!) codes for $30 off frames. There are a lot of frames under or just over $30 that include free single-vision lenses, meaning you'd be able to get the frames for free or almost-free and just pay for lenses (and shipping, does not apply to discounted products) if you, like me, have a very high prescription or add on the bells and whistles. This is so exciting!

Up to three entries per person: If you'd love to add some fun new eyeglasses or sunglasses to your wardrobe this summer, leave a comment here for one entry. You can earn another entry by following me on Twitter (@fashionatalie). You can earn a third entry by tweeting about the contest here: Click to Tweet!
Please leave me a separate comment under this post for each entry.
Contest closes at midnight on Friday, June 6.

Have fun and happy sunglasses shopping!
xo
Natalie

Thursday, May 22, 2014

#allthelove

There's so much to tell you in this post!

First of all, I'm an Auntie for real! It's so exciting to welcome Avery Kate to the world, the first daughter of my brother and his wife, Stephanie! Isn't Miss Avery cute??? My brother and Steph ain't too bad lookin' either ;) Love you guys!

{yeah. I'm related to them. #boom} 

Stephanie just so happens to be the amazing photographer/baker/writer behind Girl vs. Dough. Be prepared to drool once you head over there. But you should definitely head over there today becauseI'm sharing an amazzzzzing recipe. I'm more than happy to bake delicious things so they can snuggle Avery extra for me.

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Caramel Apple Crumb Cake. Say no more. I swoon thinking about this cake. Even the smell of it is highly intoxicating, not to mention its depth of crumbs and caramel-y goodness. Oooo, you need to make this! Just in case that photo doesn't get your mouth drooling, how about a video of the caramel drizzle:


Yeah, that oughtta do it.
I present to you: Caramel Apple Crumb Cake. #makeitnow

Now Stephanie doesn't sit still for long! While pregnant with Miss Avery she also created her eCookbook Quick Bread Love. Woahhhhhhh are there some good-sounding recipes in here, ya'll! Let me further entice you: Coconut-Chai Tres-Leches Muffins? Yes please. Or perhaps Roasted Blueberry-Basil Corn Bread for those of you with a salty tooth. That's just the beginning. There are 30 tasty recipes in all, plus Steph's tips and tricks. 

Quick Bread Love eCookbook
*affiliate link :) 

I can guarantee you'll find something you canNOT live without in this e-cookbook of Stephanie's! 

So there you have it: #allthelove. Baby love, family love, caramel-apple love, and Quick Bread Love. 
So much love!
xo
Natalie

Monday, May 19, 2014

Spring Style

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Goodness I love me some Spring style. These are my most-favorite colors. Give me some pink and mint and I'm a happy girl. 
What are your go-to colors?

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I actually try not to make my outfits TOO perfect. A little imperfection is good for the soul. ---> Click to Tweet!  

In this case, we have unpainted nails and "hot mess hair"--that is to say, "my hair dryer conked out in great fanfare this morning and I'm lucky to still be alive." I might be exaggerating that a slight bit but there was smoke involved, not gonna lie.  

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Tying the cardigan was a moment of inspiration since it's a long cardigan and the proportions were off and I was in a hurry.
I love this look and am going to deploy it in the future for sure. 

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I love this outtake, it has a certain ethereally happy and unintentionally beautiful quality to it, if I may say so myself.
It just reminds me that I'm happy, and I think that's a wonderful thing. 

I hope you're deep-heart-happy this beautiful Spring Monday. 
Find the beauty. 

xo
Natalie
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