Wednesday, January 29, 2014

What I Wore: Date Night in Beverly Hills

Earlier this week while in Los Angeles, I found myself in dire need of some empty carbohydrates. Since I had an entirely way too busy week prior, I justified it as being totally OK. And since LA has an amazing Italian restaurant on almost every corner, I felt this was the right type of food to carbo-load on, and found myself at La Dolce Vita in Beverly Hills. This iconic Italian joint offers up some of the best Italian food I've had in a quiet and intimate setting. 

Since it's located in Beverly Hills, I decided to wear my gold Sam & Lavi pants. Cuz what says Beverly Hills better than gold pants, right?

Here's what I wore:

Top: Blue Life; Pants: Sam & Lavi; Shoes: Louboutin; Necklace: Nordstrom.

Ring: Bendels.

La Dolce Vita's amazing tiramisu.

Monday, January 27, 2014

What I Wore: Flirty Date Night

Let me start off by saying that I can't believe that I have work today. I really thought that we were done with that fluffy white stuff (I think it's called snow?!). And I was really hoping that this arctic cold was going to go bother someone else.

Blouse - ASOS; Skinnies - American Eagle; Shoes - Charles by Charles David 

Anyways, this is what I wore on a warmer night for dinner. This top is one of my absolute favorites. I bought this from ASOS a few years ago and it's one of the best online purchases I've ever made. I'm mad about polka dots, and have an unhealthy love of chiffon tops, so this is the best of both worlds. 

And these shoes... Let's talk about then for a quick minute... They're awesome. They're like leather but they're not. They have this weird/awesome texture that allows them to not get ruined by salt and snow. Which means they're perfect for Chicago. Overall I just love this look. It's my go-to combo (skinnies, blouse and heels) for date night and going out. 

Stay warm my friends, stay warm!


Sunday, January 19, 2014

A Sunday Post?

Sorry for not posting on Friday like I ought to have done! So, why not do a Sunday post?

I had a great week. Work is going really well, I've caught up with great friends and just overall had a good time. Here are some pictures from my week:

I wore this outfit earlier this week. You've seen this Gap cardigan before, and this black tank with a bow is a recent purchase and is currently on sale. I don't typically wear my cardigans this way (buttoned up), but I really love this look!

Katie and I had a fantastic dinner date this week to celebrate a promotion for her, and just a "we have our sh*t together" dinner. Things seem to be going pretty well for both of us professionally right now, so it's exciting to share with each other! We went to one of the many Fracnesca's locations. I had the spinach and cheese ravioloi, we split the bruschetta and a bottle of proseco, and I'm pretty sure Katie had the rigattoni. Their food is always fantastic, so I highly suggest going to the closest location to you.

Yesterday I started my day off in bed, catching up on some blogs that I read. and then I had lunch with a friend from college and we decided to go shopping together. The mall that we went to is outdoors, and after walking around for (I kid you not) 4 hours, it was great to sit down by the new fireplace and drink some warm tea! And my feet were exhausted so it was a welcome break!

And who doesn't love froyo?! I went last Sunday after actually being able to walk out of my first yoga class. I'm headed to my second one right now, so wish me luck!

I hope you guys had a great week. I am excited to sleep in tomorrow since my office is closed for the holiday. I plan on doing laundry and some cleaning... I really need to dust. Have a great Sunday!

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

What I Wore: Sushi Night

To get over a week was both long and stressful, and to fill a craving that could only be met with $16 cocktails and $20 sushi rolls, the guy and I headed over to Jellyfish -- our new fav spot for great rolls, blue lighting and loud music. Here's what I wore:

Top: Akira Chicago; Pants: Zara; Necklace: H&M; Shoes: Louboutins.


Monday, January 13, 2014

On the Hunt: Cocktail Dress

I'm going to California at the end of February for a work conference and I am in need of a work-appropriate cocktail dress. Sure, I have plenty of LBD's... 19 to count (don't tell my man!), but a new job, a new conference and warmer weather are all perfect excuses in my book to go out and get a new one! Plus, I'm on a strict fashion spending ban for a while. Since I already have pretty much everything that I need for this conference, I can make an exception for a dress and these shoes. It's a fairly conservative group of people, so I can't go crazy with hem lengths, sparkles or cleavage (not that I'd want to). I don't want to spend more than $150 on a dress, so here are my top picks:

shop - I can see wearing this so many different ways, on so many different occasions. So to me, that makes it a worthy investment. I would wear this as shown with flats, with heels, tights and booths, strappy sandals. It may not necessarily scream cocktail attire, but with the right shoes and accessories, it could work.

shop - Possibly not the best option for warm California weather, but I still love the detailing on the cuffs.

shop - Love the peter pan colar. This would definitely get a lot of use from me!

shop - I love the detailing and that I would only need to pack a pair of earrings to wear with this. However, as someone who actually has hips (and doesn't have to pop them out in pictures like the model), that middle band might not be too flattering. But, it's worth stopping at H&M to check out.

shop - this is definitely not work-appropriate, but I had to include it anyways. I love anything that has cutouts or is backless. I love that the sides are exposed. I would probably take this to my tailor though and have her shorten it just a bit. The length seems a bit long to me, so I would have a few inches chopped off so that it either sits at knee length, or mid-thigh.

shop - This is probably the most weather appropriate option. I actually really love the pattern and the colors. And the silhouette is really flattering.

shop - Again, probably not the best option because of the weather, but this is just too cute. It's not really all that "cocktail dress" like, but I would wear it as such.

shop - Okay, this one is over budget, but not by much. And it's freaking adorable! Definite contender!
So what do you think? Which one is your favorite? Did I miss any?!

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Thinking Warm Thoughts

If you live in Chicago, you are probably just now starting to emerge from the deep freeze that terrorized the city over past couple of days. As I was driving down LSD to work yesterday morning, I noticed Lake Michigan steaming from the cold weather -- a very sad sight, especially for someone who spends the bulk of their summer months at those beaches. While I sat in my frozen car -- that I had spent a good 20 minutes chipping ice off of -- I thought about beaches that weren't frozen, and began dreaming of the tropics, sunshine and beach weather ... and Resort wear season.

Alas, I spent the rest of my Tuesday combing through bikinis, cover ups, shorts, and other items that it was way too cold to even think about wearing. And naturally I came up with wish list. I'm still loving the fringe bikini top for this season and obsessed with printed silk cover ups.

Here's to warmer days ahead!

Boys & Arrows

Tori Praver





Friday, January 3, 2014

Natalie Resolves To...

Happy New Year! The pictures are from my birthday and from a snowy night walk earlier this week!

I love the promise that a new year brings, and like most of the world, I typically spend the first couple of weeks in the new year trying to figure out what my resolutions are. And each year I come up with them, work really hard for a few weeks or even months, and then stop. To combat that pattern this year, I'm not going to make a list of goals such as loosing 10 lbs, or working out everyday. Instead, I'm going to try to make lifestyle changes.

1. Try harder.
Sometimes I think I just go through the motions. And this includes working out, my job, and my friends. I feel like I've been a rather shit friend lately. I need to put in more effort to call and text and spend time with my friends. I feel as though I've maybe taken advantage of the fact that they will always be there for me and I know that I can't continue that. I also want to try harder when I'm at the gym. Instead of going every single day and only half-assing it, when I'm there I'm going to try a lot harder and put in more effort. When I put in more effort and try harder, I am usually much more excited about the results and that goes for every aspect of my life.

2. Spend more time on the things that make me happy.
I have a tendency to please everyone around me. This year I'm going to try to do more of the things that make me happy. Reading, cooking, sleeping! This also includes saying "no" to the things that don't make me happy or that I don't have time for. I think I've been pretty good at this lately, but I want to continue it. I've realized recently that this is my life and I need to be doing the things that make me happy. And if going to a certain event or spending time with certain people isn't something I'm going to enjoy, then I'm going to politely decline. This may make me seem like a selfish person, but again, this is my life, not my parents or my families, and I need to be happy with the things that I do, and the people that I'm with.

3. Be more adventurous.
We all get into ruts and this year I want to branch out. I want to try yoga, cooking classes and a few restaurants that have been on my list to hit, but I just haven't gotten to them yet. I'm still building a list of these things, but yoga is going to quickly be crossed off. I signed up for a class on Sunday! Wish me luck... I have a feeling I'm not going to be able to get out of bed on Monday.

4. Be more organized. 
I am terrible at staying organized. Sure, everything has a place, but at the end of the day, I tend to just throw everything around and not put it back. When I get in a cleaning mood, there's nothing that can stop me. So, I think I just need to take the extra time to hang back up that jacket I decided not to wear, or make sure that the dirty sock actually makes it into the laundry basket. I think I'll call in it the 60 second rule. If it takes less than 60 seconds to do something right, then just do it right away. Make sense?

I'm sure this list will grow as we get further into the year, but I think this is a good start. What are your resolutions or goals for 2014? I would love to get a few more ideas!

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

What I Wore: New Year's Eve

I love sequins, and there is no better time to bust out the sparkle like New Year's Eve. This year, my gang and I attended the NYE celebration at Tortoise Club in Chicago. Here's how I rang in the new year:

Dress: Nordstrom BP; Top: MINK PINK; Ring: Bendels; Shoes: Louboutin.