Monday, December 30, 2013

2013 In Review

I am a big supporter of the idea that you need to take time at the end of the year to reflect on all of the things you have accomplished, the things you haven't but still want to, the people you have met and the ones you have let go of. It is so cathartic for me to take stock of the past 12 months and look at what has happened, what I've done and where I currently am. I am so proud of Katie and I this year for starting a blog and sticking with it (although December may have been a bit of a bust... I blame it on the holiday food coma). So, I thought I would go through our top 10 posts from 2013

1. One-Pot Creamy Garlic Pasta

2. What I Wore: Cold Night Out

3. Zara's Autumn/Winter Lookbook

4. Fall Shopping List: Cognac Boots

5. My Summer Makeup Routine

6. Nordstrom Sale: Shopping List

7. What's In My Bag: Summer Edition

8. What I Wore: Interview

9. Fall in the Park

10. What I Wore: Coffee Date

Thank you so much everyone for your support in 2013. I am extremely excited for what 2014 has in store, and I'm equally as excited to share it with you.

Happy New Year to you and your loved ones. And as always, thank you for reading!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

What I Wore: Christmas Eve

If you haven't noticed by now, I am a huge supporter of traditions around the holiday season. One of the many me and my boyfriend observe is our annual Christmas Eve brunch at the Atwood Cafe in the Hotel Burnham. I love dressing up for Christmas Eve, and this year I mixed up my outfit by pairing a Co-Op Barneys sweater over my Nanette Lepore dress. Gold around the holidays is a must. Here's what I wore:

Dress: Nanette Lepore; Sweater: Co-op Barney's; Shoes: Louboutins.

Sweater: Co-op Barneys; Necklace: Francescas.

Atwood Cafe at the Hotel Burnham.



Wednesday, December 18, 2013

What I Wore: Christmas Tea

Sticking with tradition, my guy and I donned our holiday best and grabbed Christmas tea at The Drake Hotel this past weekend. Exceptional as always -- holiday tea at The Drake gives one the opportunity to dress to-the-nines in the middle of the afternoon on a Sunday. Always a good thing. So, here's what I wore:
Dress: Boulee; Shoes: Tory Burch; Bracelet: Marc by Marc Jacobs.

Bracelet: Marc by Marc Jacobs; Ring: Bendels.

Coat: H&M; Scarf: Burberry; Gloves: Bendels.

Christmas at The Drake.

Tea time.
Full table. Love their selection.



Monday, December 16, 2013

Sick Days


You know what sucks? Being sick. Wanna know what sucks even more? Being sick your second week of starting a new job. Yup... I've only been at my job for 1 full week, only 5 days and I'm already sick. Now this is pretty typical this time of year. I tend to get some sort of virus or stomach bug the week before Christmas and this year has proved to be no different. Between the constant headache and nausea, I don't know which is worse.

Anyways, my weekend was just about the same as this morning. Headache, tired limbs, achy all over. I miss those days when I was sick and my mom would make me soup and let me eat popsicles. Oh, to be a kid again! The problem this time around is that I have no idea what is going to make me feel better.

Any suggestions?

Thanks for reading,

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Having a Moment: Plaid

If you had asked me a few years back if I liked plaid I would have given you a firm answer of, "no". But, something has changed... along with my new-found interest in mustard (the food, not the color). I have been absolutely loving plaid, especially large scarves. Here are a few of my favorite looks so far that incorporate this trend.




Are you loving plaid? Check out my Pinterest board for more inspiration and to see what else I'm loving.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Winter White

As I have mentioned before, I love wearing white. It's so crisp and refreshing. One of my favorite ways to wear white is with clunky, gold jewelry. I recently went to Christmas tea at The Peninsula Hotel. Here's a shameless #selfie of how I wore my favorite white sweater.

Sweater and necklace: H&M.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Natalie's Christmas List

Along with most of the US, I am slowly being forced out of my food coma thanks to Monday morning. Just a thought... we should have the Monday after Thanksgiving off. I mean with more food than I eat in a week being consumed within a good 3 days, I feel like I'm entitled to stay in my jammies, watch old Christmas movies, decorate my Christmas tree, and pretty much do absolutely nothing but copious amounts of online shopping. Let's take a vote shall we? All those in favor say, "I". "I, I am, I am". 

My Thanksgiving was fabulous. I loved spending time with family that I haven't seen in about a year and the food was nothing short of fantastic. One of the Thanksgiving traditions in my family revolves around the Christmas lists of the children. After dinner and the dishes are washed, the ladies of the family sit down at the kitchen table, go through the sale ads for Black Friday and go over the Christmas lists for all of the kids. They divvy up the lists and plan their shopping if they decide to go out the next morning. So, I thought I would share with you my Christmas list this year.

As my birthday and Christmas fall closer than close can get, I have an eclectic list. This year it's a bit more random than in the past, but I love all of these things. 

How awesome is this smartphone wallet? I mean perfect for mid-day Starbucks runs, or a girls night out so I don't have to drag around a purse. Love this Deep Blue shade, and the website in general is awesome! There are a ton of great gift ideas for everyone on your list.
There's nothing I love more than starting off the new year with a new planner. And I absolutely love this Deep Pink color. While I use my phone and computer calendar on a regular basis, I still really enjoy writing down my appointments and meetings. During college I used this planner, but now that I have fewer daily tasks and assignments, I like the monthly view, rather than a weekly view. 
I love the Mophie juice pack plus. The ability to have an extra 120% battery backup is a lifesaver. This is perfect for weekends away, conferences and travel (which I will have a lot more of this year). This particular one comes in red, white and black for iPhone 5 and 5s. And, it's on sale right now! Boyah!
I love the idea of products that help me get a better night sleep. I am very much a night owl, and have pretty bad insomnia. I take melatonin on a regular basis, but something like this sounds right up my alley. This little gift duo would be the perfect way for me to try out both products before deciding on whether or not I want the purchase the full sizes. I've heard tons of rave reviews of these, so I'm excited to give them a try.
Do you hear angles singing? Because I certainly do! This travel set from Cuyana is just what the doctor ordered. I love my beauty products, and keeping them in something that is just as pretty as I am when I'm done applying those products is a winner in my book! The cobalt color is my favorite, but I love the turquoise and black options as well. And, it can be monogrammed. A bit awesome, right? The cobalt and turquoise options are currently sold out, so I'm hoping that they restock before Christmas.  But, they have loads of beautiful colors!
I have been on the hunt for a cognac bag for about a year. I  found one from Zara but waited too long and it was sold out. And of course there is always the Tory Burch option, or the Prada. But this is a great, lower cost alternative. And, with the commute that I do, I love the shoulder strap. I don't think I could ever own a bag that doesn't have a shoulder strap... especially in the winter. And this scalloped detailing is just beautiful!
Love this Paula Bianco infinity scarf.  This just screams cozy. I feel like I should be walking down Michigan Ave. with a pumpkin spice latte, shopping bags and my man on my arm while wearing this.

I've talked about these boots before. I am still in love! I tried finding a less expensive alternative, but Santa, I've been good this year. I've worked hard, I've played nice. I pet the puppies and cleaned dishes. I did the laundry and ran the errands. I bit my tongue and gave praise when I should have. Oh, Santa... please?!
Love this cashmere beanie. There are tons of colors, but I like the ivory and grey the most. 
Every year I ask for a new pair of pajamas from Victoria's Secret. In the past I've always asked for a pair of flannels and this year I decided to switch it up. I always ask for a size larger than what I wear in clothes, since you want them to be super comfy and you want to be able to move around in them unrestricted when you're sleeping.

I have to give a huge thanks to R29 for introducing me to Of Mercer. Their clothes are just awesome for professional environments. I am loving this Madison Dress. The silhouette of this is gorgeous. I would take one in both cobalt and black. This would be such a stable in my wardrobe!
I love a good statement necklace as much as the next person. But sometimes all you need is something dainty. This hits the nail on the head for me. I'm trying to branch out, as I typically wear a lot of silver and this is the perfect way for me to incorporate some more gold into my wardrobe. 
Keeping with the gold trend, this necklace is perfect. I would love to layer this with the necklace above. This would make a great gift for anyone. It's customizable in a few different ways (font, black filled or not). This has my name written all over it... see what I did there? I'm pretty clever!
I was devastated when Coach discontinued my all time favorite perfume, "Legacy". I used to be able to pick it up at Ulta, and now I have to order it through Amazon or Ebay. Either way, I think a person's favorite perfume is always a good gift. I know this is my go-to for the men in my life... their cologne I mean... not my perfume. Although I'm sure it would make those other girls jealous!! 
I love me some Malcolm Gladwell. Whether it's his TED Talks, or his books, I'm a bit obsessed. I greatly enjoyed Blink and I can't wait to read more of his books. Here's an excerpt from B&N's synopsis: "In the tradition of Gladwell's previous bestsellers-- The Tipping Point, Blink, Outliers and What the Dog saw-- -David and Goliath draws upon history, psychology, and powerful storytelling to reshape the way we think of the world around us."
I wish I lived in the UK. I mean, like I constantly say I was born in the wrong country. And that feeling grew even stronger when I was introduced to Downton Abbey. I. Am. Obsessed. I also believe I was born in the wrong era. This is pure TV perfection. If you have anyone who is a huge lover of Jane Austen or The Great Gatsby, I highly recommend slipping the first 3 seasons into their stocking. I just can't get enough. And I can't wait for season 4 to air in the US!

Oh, Gatsby. I loved the book. The version with Robert Redford and Mia Farrow was alright, but I feel absolutely in love with the 2013 version. I'm not a massive DeCaprio fan, so I didn't see it for the actors... more because I just love the story. And this one did not disappoint!
Gahhh!!! I love Game of Thrones probably more than anyone should. This is what gets me through the week. When it's airing I would walk into the office on Monday mornings and sit with my coworkers for an hour talking about this. I've had entire dinner and drink conversations around this show. That's how addictive it is. I'm not usually one for fantasy worlds, but this is fantastic! I mean who didn't cry after the "Red Wedding"? My coworkers and I couldn't even talk about it the next day... we were too shocked/speechless! The first 3 seasons are available on Amazon for a decent price.

What's on your list this year? Anything I missed that I should check out?

Thanks for reading!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Giving Thanks

I have a lot to be thankful for this year. I was extended a job offer this week and I gleefully accepted (I think my interview outfit had something to do with it lol)! I am super excited to get back to working in an office. My commute is going to be a bit of a b*tch, but I'll manage for a while and then move closer to the office. I currently live in the burbs, but I definitely will need to move closer so that my commute isn't a solid 2 hours one way. So, anyways, I'm grateful to have a job with a great company. I found a list of "60 Things to Be Grateful For In Life". I've included the entire list below and love each and every number.

Here are 60 things to be grateful for in our lives:

1. Your parents - For giving birth to you. Because if there is no them, there will not be you.
2. Your family – For being your closest kin in the world
3. Your friends – For being your companions in life
4. Sense of sight – For letting you see the colors of life
5. Sense of hearing - For letting you hear trickle of rain, the voices of your loved ones, and the harmonious chords of music
6. Sense of touch - For letting you feel the texture of your clothes, the breeze of the wind, the hands of your loved ones
7. Sense of smell – For letting you smell scented candles, perfumes, and beautiful flowers in your garden
8. Sense of taste – For letting you savor the sweetness of fruits, the saltiness of seawater, the sourness of pickles, the bitterness of bitter gourd, and the spiciness of chilli
9. Your speech – For giving you the outlet to express yourself
10. Your heart – For pumping blood to all the parts of your body every second since you were born; for giving you the ability to feel
11. Your lungs – For letting you breathe so you can live
12. Your immune system – For fighting viruses that enter your body. For keeping you in the pink of your health so you can do the things you love.
13. Your hands – So you can type on your computer, flip the pages of books, and hold the hands of your loved ones
14. Your legs - For letting you walk, run, swim, play the sports you love, and curl up in the comfort of your seat
15. Your mind - For the ability to think, to store memories, and to create new solutions
16. Your good health – For enabling you to do what you want to do and for what you’re about to do in the future
17. Your school - For providing a environment conducive to learning and growing
18. Your teachers – For their dedication and for passing down knowledge to you
19. Tears – For helping you express your deepest emotions
20. Disappointment - So you know the things that matter to you most
21. Fears – So you know your opportunities for growth
22. Pain – For you to become a stronger person
23. Sadness – For you to appreciate the spectrum of human emotions
24. Happiness – For you to soak in the beauty of life
25. The Sun - For bringing in light and beauty to this world
26. Sunset – For a beautiful sight to end the day
27. Moon and Stars - For brightening up our night sky
28. Sunrise - For a beautiful sight to start the morning
29. Rain – For cooling you when it gets too warm and for making it comfy to sleep in on weekends
30. Snow – For making winter even more beautiful
31. Rainbows – For a beautiful sight to look forward to after rain
32. Oxygen - For making life possible
33. The earth – For creating the environment for life to begin
34. Mother nature - For covering our world in beauty
35. Animals – For adding to the diversity of life
36. Internet - For connecting you and me despite the physical space between us
37. Transport - For making it easier to commute from one place to another
38. Mobile phones – For making it easy to stay in touch with others
39. Computers – For making our lives more effective and efficient
40. Technology – For making impossible things possible
41. Movies – For providing a source of entertainment
42. Books – For adding wisdom into your life
43. Blogs – For connecting you with other like-minded people
44. Shoes – For protecting your feet when you are out
45. Time – For a system to organize yourself and keep track of activities
46. Your job – For giving you a source of living and for being a medium where you can add value to the world
47. Music - For lifting your spirits when you’re down and for filling your life with more love
48. Your bed - For you to sleep comfortably in every night
49. Your home - For a place you can call home
50. Your soul mate – For being the one who understands everything you’re going through
51. Your best friends – For being there for you whenever you need them
52. Your enemies – For helping you uncover your blind spots so you can become a better person
53. Kind strangers – For brightening up your days when you least expect it
54. Your mistakes - For helping you to improve and become better
55. Heartbreaks - For helping you mature and become a better person
56. Laughter - For serenading your life with joy
57. Love - For letting you feel what it means to truly be alive
58. Life’s challenges - For helping you grow and become who you are
59. Life - For giving you the chance to experience all that you’re experiencing, and will be experiencing in time to come
And last but not least… #60:

What are you thankful for this year?
Thanks for reading!