Ooh La La: Americana or French Style?

Americana or French Style?

Do you think this style is retro-Americana or vintage French style? The background says America, but the outfit says France! Don’t you love the word Francophile, which means a person who loves or admires French culture. It’s just fun to say, too…Francophile. So call me a committed Francophile, despite my porch decorations.

Ooh La La!

This outfit is so fun for June…it just shouts SUMMER at the top of its lungs. The striped, French-inspired red striped t-shirt with navy blue embroidered “Ooh La La” is so fun. I love the half-sleeves too…you don’t see those too often and I think they are super flattering. It was thrifted, of course, for 25 cents on quarter day!

I look ready for summer camp!

I paired this cute tee with vintage washed-silk pleated, paper-bag-waist shorts. Also thrifted on half-off day for $2.99 they are vintage Express. Of course, POCKETS add to the appeal of these shorts and they are flowy enough to feel like a skirt. They are keeping me ultra-cool, perfect for this 90-degree heat-wave we’ve been having. I haven’t decided if they’re flattering or not (I’m leaning towards not…leave your vote in the comments!), but they are comfy indeed!

What do you think of the vintage silk shorts? Let me know in the comments if they’re keepers or not!

I wore my rose-gold FitFlop sandals and my new bespoke straw hat. The FitFlop sandals were purchased during their Black Friday sale, of course (always shop a sale!).

THE HAT

I purchased my handmade hat full-price as an “I finished writing my new book!” splurge from my friend Behida Dolic’s atelier in Hudson, NY. She’s a true artisan, creative, beauty-maker, love-giver, and all-around fantastic human being, so it was worth every. penny (AND IT WAS A LOT OF PENNIES). But it makes me feel like a million bucks, truly!

Then I added my favorite red lipstick to complete the French Riviera-inspired look. It’s Jane Iredale’s lipstick called “Natalie,” which is obviously perfect. Don’t you just want to hop on a boat and eat gelato when you look at this outfit? It has a bit of an Audrey Hepburn vibe, don’t you think?

XO
Natalie

Outfit Deets

Sunglasses: Tiffany & Co.

Hat: Behida Dolic Millinery

Lipstick: Natalie by Jane Iredale

Earrings: J. Crew

Tee: LOFT

Shorts: vintage Express

Sandals: FitFlops

Nails: RedAspen Nail Dashes in Megan’s Mint Julep

The Blog is Back!

pink peony on vintage wooden crate
Happy Pretty Messy

Oh goodness, this has been a PROJECT, y’all. I transferred all of my old blog, Good Girl Style, here, so it now has a HOME! I know so many of you liked and missed my old posts. Here they are! However, they don’t look as pretty. YET! I’m still working on designing the new blog but I wanted you to have your Happy Pretty Messy, Good Girl Style inspiration now. So excuse the messy look for awhile. In the meantime, the happy is ALL still here!

XO Natalie

What is Half Sleeve Length in Clothing?

Half Sleeves, Yes Please!

Fashion Dictionary

In women’s clothing fashions, a half sleeve is a type of sleeve length and style. The sleeve ends *AT the elbow* or *3/4 of the way TO the elbow on the upper arm*. This type of sleeve length is between a short sleeve and a 3/4 sleeve length. As such, they may also be called elbow-length sleeves, but often end just above the elbow. This type of sleeve is regularly found on tee shirts, camp shirts and dresses. The sleeve can be tight to the arm, balloon-style, or loose.

Kate Middleton, or Duchess Kate, is fond of the half-sleeve and is often seen wearing it. She has worn this sleeve length in everything from a simple, casual white tee-shirt to a formal, full-length evening gown.

Who Should Wear a Half Sleeve?

A half sleeve length is flattering on most body types because the sleeve length tends to hit at the narrowest part of the waist. If you have a short-torso and the sleeve lands where your pants do, opt for a shorter sleeve, such as a cap sleeve or standard short sleeve.

This sleeve length is also good for either showing off toned arms (in tight sleeves), or covering less-toned arms in looser sleeves that cover more arm.

Pin Me for Future Reference!

See more photos of this outfit post for an example of a half sleeve tee shirt, this time worn with pleated shorts.

How Should I Wear a Half Sleeve Length?


Shop Dress Here! (aff. link)

This sleeve length is flattering with wide-leg pants and bell bottoms for a 1970s-style, because the longer sleeve length will help balance the visual weight of the wider bottoms. Again, make sure the sleeve is still hitting above the waist and they are not in alignment. It’s all about proportions! The half sleeve top is also flattering with a midi-length skirt or on a midi-length dress. Kate Middleton often opts for this sleeve-length which balances out cropped trousers or midi skirts/dresses as well.

Work from Home: 8 ACTUAL Must-Haves

I’ve been a work from home creative, freelancer, and full-time employee for over 10 years. I’ve got WFH life down to a science. That’s why I’m telling you these no-fuss, no-muss absolute MUST HAVE items for your home office vibe. These aren’t pretty pen containers and adorable tiny unicorn USB essential oil diffusers. These are get-it-done more-productive-at-home helpers.

Me in my home office!

Even if you’ve been working from home since the pandemic started, do you have all of these creature comforts and necessary products? Aside from a desk-height surface (I’m not picky, it doesn’t even have to be a proper desk) and a chair that can keep your elbows in alignment with your keyboard, and your eyes in alignment with your screen (more info here!), here are the other 8 things you absolutely need to work from home.

Work From Home Tips

Please note some of these are affiliate links where I earn a tiny percentage of the sale at no cost to you!

8 Actual Work from Home Must-Have Items

Eye Drops

1) EYE DROPS: The computer screen gets all of your attention when you work from home. With fewer noises and movements to attract your eyes away from the screen, you tend to forget to blink. Eye drops to the rescue. This also helps prevent headaches. Similasan Computer Eye Relief drops are my favorite.

Desk Chair Butt Pillow

2) DESK CHAIR BUTT PILLOW: Oh so glamorous, isn’t it! When you work from home, you tend to sit a lot longer than you might in an office environment. There you’d get up to chat with coworkers, look at someone’s new project, go out for a lunch meeting, etc. Even the cushiest chair pillow goes flat with a butt sitting on it for 8 hours a day. A butt pillow may not be sexy, but it sure is helpful.

Unlimited Amazon Prime Music Streaming

3) UNLIMITED AMAZON PRIME MUSIC STREAMING: I’ve tried the other services. I have. They’re just not as good, so go ahead and fork over the additional $7.99 and let Amazon rule even more of your life. My music-snob husband dug deep into his catalog to see if he could find a song that wasn’t available. He tried dozens, and only one came back as unavailable, because it had been banned in the US. So trust us and get Unlimited Amazon Prime Music now.

Sturdy Slippers or Indoor Shoes

4) STURDY SLIPPERS: My feet get cold sitting at my desk all day PLUS wearing ‘shoes’, even if they are technically just sturdy-soled slippers, makes me feel much more productive. I know they’re a bit pricey, but Ugg slippers are my favorite for winter, and good old Birkenstocks or Adidas or Lacoste slides (my current favorite!) are perfect for summer! All of these will last for years.

Desk Fan/Space Heater

5) DESK FAN/SPACE HEATER: Depending on the time of the year, don’t forget a sturdy desk fan or space heater. Sitting still for a long period of time means you’ll be colder than if you were up and about, or warmer if you’re just sitting in a hot room. Vornado makes my favorite space heaters because they have a vintage-retro style and really do the job. I just added a Vornado desk fan to my desk and it has been a great help this summer too!

Mug Warmer

6) MUG WARMER: I honestly don’t know how I ever allowed myself to drink lukewarm or cold coffee. My plug-in (to the wall, not USB) coffee warmer was a gift from my brother-in-law and I’ve become totally addicted to it for keeping my coffee perfectly toasty. I highly recommend this to avoid cold-coffee-grumpiness. It might seem silly, but it’s not! This is the exact one I have (mine is white).

Laser Printer

7) LASER PRINTER: You absolutely must have a LASER (not inkjet) printer if you print more than 1 page a year at home, in my opinion. I make do with a black and white laser printer, but color laser printers come down in price every year. They print hundreds of pages on one toner cartridge (yes, it’s semi-expensive, but not compared to inkjet cartridges) and prints without fail for those hundreds of pages. Inkjet printers are not reliable nor cost-effective if you’ll be printing anything.

Here is the exact Brother version I have and it has been a faithful companion through 5 books now. You can also get one with scanner/copier capabilities if you need that (but you can scan documents with the Notes app in your iPhone!).

A Bra!

8) A BRA: Ladies, listen to me. You will not be nearly as productive without a bra as you will be with one. Not to mention in winter, you’ll be COLD without a bra. Trust me. If you don’t have any meetings or feel comfortable, go ahead and wear a sports bra or wire-free comfy bra. Just don’t go without some kind of support.

Bonus Items

Nice to have, but not necessary.

-Great coasters to protect your desk

-A wrist gel pad

-A desk candle

-A stash of dry shampoo, hairbrush, and quick makeup or a facial mist for last-minute meetings

Yes, it might be tempting to think you NEED a kitty-shaped lamp for your desk, or a great wall tapestry for your backdrop. You might think you absolutely need Airpods or a standing desk or a fancy gadget that reminds you about your posture. Those things might be nice additions, but the above items will get you working, at home. Which is, of course, the purpose of working from home…right?

Will Work for Coffee Image by Emma Matthews

Warby Parker Fall Collection 2020 + Blue Light Filtering Lenses

**I was compensated for this post. This post also contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

If you haven’t purchased blue-light filtering lenses yet, NOW is the time. With so many of us working from home more and staring at the computer more, blue-light filtering lenses are no longer just a good idea, they’re a necessity. The last two pairs of glasses I’ve purchased have had blue-light-filtering coating, since I work from home and stare at my computer at least 8 hours a day. 

Warby Parker is the place to go for not only the coolest frames, but blue-light filtering coatings. I LOVE how Warby Parker offers new collections each season, featuring old favorites, new cool styles, and great new colors. It’s the way to always have someone saying over Zoom, “I love your glasses!” and you can say, “Thanks! Warby Parker and they’re blue-light filtering too!” Learn more about Warby Parker’s blue-light filtering lenses here.

I was scared into getting blue-light filtering glasses when a co-worker of mine, my own age (30 at the time), went to the eye doctor expecting a regular check-up and came back scared to death, having been told she had the eye health of someone three times her age, and that it was likely from staring at the computer all day. 

The best part is, Warby Parker can put the blue-light filtering coating on ANY style (or lens…even progressives!) you choose! And their new Fall 2020 collection is fantastic. My FAVORITE is the “Shea” Warby Parker eyeglass frame in Peacock Green….

To die for, right? Love that little sweet cat eye and that COLOR. 
OR 
How much are we LOVING this lighter celadon green, as Warby Parker calls it, “Rosemary Crystal” (sounds like a book title to me…a mystery!). in the WRIGHT frame…it’s just right!
And let’s talk sunglasses for a second. I am DYING over these perfectly-rounded-rectangle Warby Parker sunglasses called Lila

Warby Parker Lila in Marzipan and Griffin in Pacific

Even now, Warby Parker is still offering their home try-on, so you don’t need to leave your home or GUESS what frames will fit your face and style. Don’t worry, they are keeping things super sanitized. But if you don’t feel like taking advantage of that program, and have an iPhone X or newer, try their app that allows you to try Warby Parker’s latest frames on virtually.

I’m adding these to my Try-On box RIGHT NOW.

What are you waiting for? NOW is the time to give Warby Parker’s Home Try-On program a try!

xo

Natalie

**I was compensated for this post. This post also contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Freelancers Rejoice!

This is an affiliate-sponsored post. I may also receive a small commission if you click on one of these links, at no additional cost to you. These help keep my blog up and running. Thank you!

I’ve shared my love of Freshbooks before, but they have a fantastic new feature that makes their service even more valuable to freelancers. I’ll tell you  more about that in a minute.

What is Freshbooks? It’s an invoicing and accounting software for anyone who routinely sends invoices (like myself, for my freelance writing/photography/styling) or tracks expenses and/or time for clients. Sure, you could make an invoice template yourself and track everything yourself. Why waste that much time? Why bury your head in a spreadsheet for hours at a time? Sure, you can send invoices through PayPal, but is that really professional? I love Freshbooks for so many reasons, but the first is that the invoices look top-notch professional, and are easily trackable. You can even track your time to add to the invoice IN Freshbooks itself. You can even take credit card payments directly through the email invoice…and clients who can pay by credit card tend to pay MUCH faster (Freshbooks says 11 days faster…that’s more than 2 business weeks!). Can you automate this? Yes.

When it comes to tracking expenses, Freshbooks couldn’t make it any easier for you. Use your phone to snap a photo of a receipt, log it, and it stores it in the cloud until tax time for you (which they make SO easy). You can even mark certain receipts as billable to certain clients or projects. Can you import bank transactions to make logging credit card purchases more efficient? YES. Can you bill a client in a different currency? YES. Freshbooks makes it all so easy, you guys.

All of your double-entry accounting needs are covered, too, so you don’t need Freshbooks plus another app or software. You can keep all your P&Ls, COGs, CAs, BSs (that’s Balance Sheets ;)), and you can even give your accountant direct access come tax time.

So now that you’re already sold, let me just put a little cherry on top for you. Freshbooks just released a new feature: Retainers! No, not the kind you put in your mouth. Here’s what Freshbooks can do for you with retainers: “- Collect recurring client payments in advance, track hours against the allotted time, forecast monthly income, effectively manage project progress and avoid scope creep, set clear expectations with clients, and streamline invoicing.” Your life just got even easier.

Sign up for Freshbooks here!

Learn how to create an invoice that gets you paid fast here!

For more of my favorite resources for bloggers and freelancers, click here!

NEW Warby Parker Frame Home Try-On

This post contains affiliate links 🙂 
Have you tried Warby Parker’s Home Try-On service? It’s FREE (you do need to add a credit card juuuuust in case you don’t return them on time), and you get to choose 5 frames, sent to your house, to try on. I cannot even tell you how important this is in the world of buying glasses online. I’ve bought many frames online, as well as many in-store, and there is nothing like being able to try a frame on, to feel it, to see how it molds to your face. Dimensions online are all good and well, but it’s hard to know how those dimensions match up on YOUR face. Even uploading a picture of yourself so they can superimpose the frame on your face is not a great option.
Every few seasons I order a box from Warby Parker and show you the frames, to give you an idea of how they look on a real person, with a heart-shaped face, brown hair, green eyes, and 80 million layers because it’s January in New England. This time, the frames I chose were: Welty (Whiskey Tortoise), Rosemary (Rose Crystal), Sims (Petal Tortoise), Millie (Birch Tortoise), and Turner (Chestnut Crystal). Without further ado…

This frame they sent me was very crooked, so I had to tilt my face differently to get it to look sort of normal 😉 It looks like this frame may not currently be available in the petal color.

I actually like ALL of them, which is unusual for me. I think my favorites are the Rosemary Rose Crystal and the Turner in Chestnut Crystal. The crystal ones seem to be the winners this time around! Which makes me happy, because I’ve had my fair share of dark, heavy frames lately. I wasn’t interested in trying any of the wire-framed ones quite yet…they’re still a bit too hipster for me, and besides, I had ones very similar to those during all of my elementary school years, and I’m not sure I’m ready to relive those, ha. 
Which do you like better for me? Do you have any of these frames? I’d love to know your thoughts in the comments!
Don’t forget to order your own FREE at-home try-on box from Warby Parker…you’ll love it! 
xo 
Natalie

All Married Up

Your Good Girl Style guide, Natalie, is now all married up! And I do mean married UP, since my new husband (!!!!!!) is quite the catch, and I could not be happier or more blessed to be his WIFE! The wedding was everything I wanted it to be and more…it was such a FUN day! No one told me how fun it is to get married 🙂 I’ll share our wedding photos just as soon as we get them back; in the meantime, here’s one of my favorites from our engagement shoot. We are walking perfectly in step. And this was a genuine moment…it was the end of the shoot and we were walking back to the car, and I was freezing, so he put his arma round me to keep me warm!

50 Things to Do When You’re Sad and Lonely

I saw an article on Facebook the other day that said June is the month when the most breakups happen. And two days later I got dumped. Big time.

I’ve had my share of heartbreak, or more than. And I’m going through it again right now. My boyfriend of almost-a-year broke up with me a week ago today. So this is for me, just as much as it is for you…things I’ve learned in past heartbreaks and things I’m learning now that help ease the pain a little bit.

There’s no way to erase the pain of feeling sad and lonely. There just isn’t. Trust me, I sure wish my Mr. Clean Magic Eraser worked on life. But these things help refocus you, redirect your heart, help you laugh, leave things behind, and learn to do life better on your own.

See a breakup takes things from you. It just does. It takes your self-esteem and self-confidence. It takes your sense of security. It takes away a circle of influence and friends (his family, his friends, things you did together). It takes away the things that filled your time (evening walks, television shows you watched together, plans you probably still have for future dates that make you incredibly sad). My boyfriend and I had all sorts of summer plans, both firm and loose. The friend’s wedding in Maine (firm). Going to watch a Little League baseball game at the ball field down the street (loose). Going camping!!!! (loose) The vintage camper rally (firm).

These things won’t be happening. But the things below? The things below will. The things below are firm plans. I WILL do them, my heart MUST do them, my summer will not be torn apart by a man who doesn’t want me, doesn’t love me. How dare he, I say. How dare he decide he doesn’t love me. And then I say…yes, actually, I’m glad he dared. I’m glad he did because I loved him, but I do not want a man who doesn’t love me back. I deserve more than that. So do you.

These things give life back to you. They give love back to you. Take heart, dear one…you might be sad, and you might be lonely, but you are no unloved or unworthy. Never.

I painted this and it’s taped by the lightswitch on my way out the front door
“But listen to me. For one moment quit being sad. Hear blessings dropping their blossoms around you.”
 ~Rumi 

1.) Buy Happy Pretty Messy (read, review on Amazon ;))

2.) Try your hand at baking macarons.

3.) Change the sheets. It always makes you feel better. If you have some money to splurge, get a pair of Egyptian cotton sheets. You’ll feel like a princess.

4.) Throw away his toothbrush. Or use it to scrub your dirtiest bathroom grout and THEN throw it away. That’s what it’s good for, and what it deserves.

5.) Have a tag sale. Sell all of the things that remind you of him, clear out clutter, make a few extra bucks, talk to some people, and it keeps you busy on a Saturday morning.

6.) Try blue mascara. It’s fun, I like it, and it’s $3. See if anyone notices. He certainly wouldn’t have.

7.) Watch the Bridget Jones’ Diary trilogy and cry your heart out.

My poetry in a German literary magazine

8.) Write some poetry. About how horrible he was.

9.) Clean out the kitchen cupboards.

10.) Clean behind the refrigerator.

11.) Watch this video.

12.) Blast “I Will Survive” and dance your heart out.

13.) Host a tea party.

Me and my Grandma, one of my biggest fans!

14.) Call your mom, dad, grandma, aunt, uncle…call your loved ones. Hear their voices.

15.) Go to the water. Whatever water you can get. In order of preference Ocean>Lake>Pond>Bath>Shower

16.) Send postcards to a few family and friends. They’re a novelty item now.

17.) Buy new, ridiculously soft, incredibly fluffy towels.

18.) Drink a cup of tulsi tea. It reduces stress and balances mood. I’m drinking one right now as I write this.

19.) Get a hot water bottle if you don’t have one. I highly suggest heart-shaped! I can’t survive without mine for snuggles.

20.) Invest in a weighted blanket that helps you feel like you’re being hugged. It reduces anxiety and stress.

21.) Spend an afternoon volunteering at the local pregnancy center, food pantry, women’s shelter, career help center, Boys & Girls club, Habitat for Humanity, United Way, animal shelter, etc. VolunteerMatch can help. Bonus: You often get free t-shirts when you volunteer 😉 I have a few from building playgrounds for schools, doing Habitat for Humanity, and more, and I love them.

22.) Go to church.

23.) Read Susan Branch’s blog for a taste of the simple things in life.

24.) Check out a pass from your library to go to a local museum for free. Most libraries offer free passes to local museums nowadays, and you can reserve them ahead of time online.

25.) Make some money on the side by signing up for Swagbucks or eBates to pad your budget.

26.) That thing you do, that everyone always says you could sell? Sell it. Use Etsy, eBay, CafePress, Shutterstock.com, local Facebook groups, and in local boutiques.

27.) Consign some of your fancy clothes for credit, or “free shopping” as I like to call it. If you don’t have a local place, check out TheRealReal for designer clothes and ThredUp or Swap.com for regular duds.

28.) Get some new clothes with a purpose. Shop on Schoola where they donate profits back to schools. You can actually see which schools  will be getting the profit from what you purchase.

29.) Reach out to mentors and people in your life you admire and ask them to write you recommendation letters. Of course a breakup always spurs thoughts of career change, but even if it doesn’t, these letters are good to have on file and will boost your confidence.

30.) Write a book. Seriously.

31.) Spend time with kids. If you or your friends don’t have kids, or your nieces and nephews don’t live nearby, volunteer or get a part time job at an after-school program or daycare. Kids are good fro the soul, make you laugh deeply, and offer love freely.

32.) Read books before they actually come out (called a galley) for free by reviewing them on NetGalley.

33.) Pre-order my next book The Self-Discipline Handbook. It will arrive at your doorstep in January when you’re ready to take over the world again.

34.) Get a new, amazing bra that makes you feel VA VA VOOM. My friend Kimmay can help! She’s been on national television multiple times helping women find the perfect bra for them, and how they are more than just numbers (age, bra size, clothing size, number of kids, income, etc.) She’s amazing and will rock your world.

35.) Watch Little Women, the Winona Ryder version from 1994. This is my go-to “need a cry” movie, it’s heartwarming and heart-wrenching, beautiful and bleak, and it always warms my heart and inspires me, particularly in winter.

36.) Go to an event at the local high school. Support the football team, booster club, drama club, etc. Most high schools put on superb plays and concerts, and the cost of admission is low and supports the school.

37.) Spend the night away from home, but not alone. Being in your own comfort space feels good for awhile, but eventually you need to remember what it’s like to wake up in a new place with new possibilities. Ask a friend if you can borrow their guest room for a night, or grab a friend and go on an overnight adventure.

38.) Get a new welcome mat for your front door.

39.) Paint your nails the color the exact color the QUEEN uses!

40.) Sew yourself some new pillow cases. It’s one of the easiest projects, you can do it in an afternoon, and you get to go shopping for cute new fabric.

41.) Listen to this song on repeat. Preferably while writing poetry. “You don’t need to change a thing about you…the guy that says goodbye to you is out of his mind.”

42.) Follow george_and_charlotte on Instagram for doses of the incredible cuteness that is George and Charlotte, Prince and Princess.

43.) Make yourself some cute bath products, such as my mojito lip scrub and lavender-lemon lotion from Gifts in Jars.

44.) Re-read Happy Pretty Messy. I need to read this book to myself like, daily. And I’m the one who wrote it.

45.) Set up a slackline. I talk about it in Happy Pretty Messy and it’s easy to do, and one of my favorite things.

46.) Treat yourself to the best of the best of chocolate and wine for a little bit. Splurge, indulge, enjoy.

47.) Make a list of the things you like about yourself, big and small. Things he didn’t notice. Things like the curve of your tummy to your hip and the way you make coffee in the morning because you’ve perfected the pour for the pour-over coffee.

48.) Accept every invitation that comes your way. You need life right now, and adventure.

49.) Drive for 2 hours. Go somewhere. Go anywhere 2 hours away, just do it.

50.) Rest in the knowledge that if he couldn’t see your beauty, your worth, your radiance…if he wasn’t willing to do anything for you, if he didn’t engage emotionally, or didn’t put you first, or didn’t think you were good enough, HE wasn’t good enough for you. YOU WIN. He loses out. He lost you.

This hurt won’t last forever. 
YOU CAN DO HARD THINGS. 
Shine even brighter into the world, you beautiful thing, you.
Published
Categorized as musings

Boss Lady Jumpsuit

Posing during a book signing at The Toadstool Bookshop in Keene, NH
GUYS. This BOSS LADY Jumpsuit is just perfect for summer Happy Pretty Messy book signings. I love how it is structured and work-appropriate (for me), but also just fun and carefree. It’s ideal. AND IT HAS POCKETS. And, um, did I mention its only $14? Yeah, you heard right, it’s only $14 from Tobi. They sent it to me for free to review. My honest review? LOVE. IT.

Wearing the pink clogs mentioned in Happy Pretty Messy, of course! 

$14 you guys. Pockets. Strapless or straps. Perfection.

I love it. You will too.

You’ll shine it in, I know you will.
Get your boss lady (jumpsuit) on.
Love,
Natalie