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

Blue Suede Boots, Baby!

Heeeeeeeeey guys! 🙂
Oh heeeeeeeeey blue suede boots, baby!

Oh heeeeeeeeeeeey giant new awesome sunglasses!

Oh heeeeeeeeeey blue makeup and waves in my hair!

I think I like all of these things quite a lot. 

Don’t you agree?

The perfect mix of summer and impending autumn. 
(you’ll be seeing a lot of these boots, I imagine. in. love. with. them.)
Happy Wednesday, friends!
Natalie

Pink Polka Dots

I’ve been lapping up every second of this November sunshine. Just sitting in the window like a cat, keeping it open a crack to get the crisp air inside. I soak in the sunshine and store it away for the days that are gray. 

This skirt is like a big security blanket. 
I’ve thrown it on with boots to return a movie right at the strike of the 9pm return deadline, I’ve worn it out in the rain to get Chinese food well past a decent dinner hour, and I’ve worn it to work and church. You’ve seen me throw the bottom hem up in a knot because I will admit it IS a tripping hazard. Which for me is life-threatening since I’m just a bit clumsy.  

Here I paired it with pearl earrings to mimic the polka dots, a pink polka dot tee, and my polka dot sleeve blazer. Then I threw on my new favorite blingy-bling ring. Bam. This ring practically walks into the room before I do.

Before I trip on my skirt and fall into the room, that is. 
One of these days, no doubt. 

Swedish Sort of Day

It was a gorgeous day last week for a visit to an incredibly gorgeous place…the American-Swedish Institute in Minneapolis. Last time I was there, years ago, it was simply (ha) the gorgeous mansion on Park Ave. that belonged to Swedish immigrants. This summer, they completed renovations that added an entirely new (modern) wing. Mom, Grandma, and I (sorry to the bro and sister-in-law for the salt in the wound here) ventured there on this gorgeous day.
This glass conservatory is just stunning. I adore it. 
And of course I wore my Swedish colors! 
Wondering how they still had so many pretty red roses in the courtyard…

The old meets the new. The mansion reflected in the new addition. 
 ASI just opened their Nordic Christmas exhibit, where each room of the mansion reflects the traditional decorations and stylings of a Nordic country at Christmas. I won’t bore you with the hundreds (literally) of photos I took, but let me just say: I’m crazy-inspired by my heritage, and I can’t wait to decorate in the traditional Nordic themes for Christmas this year.


Why yes, I did ride the mechanical dala horse. You know you would have too.
His name is Gustav. 
It costs a quarter. Totally worth it.
We had coffee in their new restaurant, Fika. Fika is the Swedish coffee break, filled with lots of coffee and LOTS of sweet things. We wanted to go at Fika time because we’ve gotten in the habit of breaking for Fika  at home.

Cardamom Cinnamon Roll with Swedish Pearl Sugar, anyone? 
When we were nearly finished, we ransacked the gift shop (no, just kidding. we didn’t do that; the bus tour group that was also there did that, ha!). But I did stock up on my favorite Swedish ribbons to use for my Nordic-themed Christmas, Swedish candy, and my favorite Swedish soap. And I looked ever-so-longingly at just about everything else, including the amazing array of Swedish baking and knitting books. Swoon. 
I’m so inspired! It is so much fun to be back in Minnesota with family and tradition everywhere I look.
Outfit~ Sunnies: local store, Necklace: Kohls, Blouse: Land’s End/thrifted, Sweater: American Eagle, Skirt: J. Crew, Tights: Missoni for Target, Boots: Forever21, Bangles: J.Crew and local store

Take Heart

These days, it’s a daily struggle to keep all of my heart here. To keep it present. 
Half of it is still living a small-town-happy past life, and the other half is living a city-struggling-memories life.

 I have so much more empathy now for anyone who moves. The next time a new girl comes up to me, I will say, “I will be your friend! I will sit with you at the lunch table! I mean, get coffee with you!”  
{this section refuses to get on the ‘centered’ bandwagon tonight for some reason…}

Also, I have only unpacked about 20% of my closet, and I haven’t figured out this “why my hair looks so terrible here most days” thing yet, so I’m really limping along here with style posts. Good thing this blog isn’t just about fashion 🙂 
PS> I had to wear this leopard coat because it was snowing. Again.
Wait for the Lord! Be strong, and TAKE HEART, and wait for the Lord.
Psalm 27:14
Have a great week! 

Check, Please!

This was such a happy day. 

One of the summer days where you can say with relish, “Check, please!” at the diner of life, having enjoyed the day fully, every moment of it, soaked up deeply for safekeeping. You stretch backwards a bit, full of happiness, and say, “That was one of the best days I’ve had in a long time,” as if Sunday afternoon adventuring were the blue plate special.
Can you believe this dress is vintage? Looks like it’s brand-spankin’-new. So many people commented on this dress! I think it’s just fun, fun, fun. I adore it’s yellow bows and kick pleats.
Perfect for late-summer adventuring.
You can tell this is the dress I was wearing in my photobooth pictures (that I used in my new blog design! What do you think?)
yellow daisy earrings and yellow fingernail polish
 {and pure sugar lemonade from Wendy’s, which I actually totally love}
I’m feeling quiet of spirit tonight–feeling a little bit ill, exhausted, and drained. Not the best way to start the week. But my best friend’s little boy told her out of the blue, “I want to take Natalie to Seattle!” (they were visiting there a week ago). She asked him, “Why?” and he said, “I want to show her around!” 
Well, I tell you, who needs a boyfriend when you can be Auntie to such a sweetie-pie?!?!
Melted my heart. 
Have a great week! 

Happy Repeats

There has been wonderful light in my eyes lately.
{have you noticed?}

But it makes me feel bittersweet, too. 
My heart leaped inside me, saying, Oh, I see what was missing
And the realization that I was missing something, something that came and went and will remain gone…
it’s utterly bittersweet. 

Now you have no idea what I’m talking about, I’m sure. But no matter. I’m hoping you can relate somehow, in a poetic way. I’m hoping you might say, “Yes, Natalie, I have been there. I have had light in my eyes that shone with bittersweet tears, too.”

And maybe you have a royal blue skirt that makes you happy. So happy that you have worn it three days in a row the first week you got it. It may not be a royal blue skirt…but I bet you know what I mean. 
Sometimes a happy repeat outfit that we know makes us feel good is just what we need to sift out the bittersweet and keep only the beautiful light. 
And when that fails, drive North in the rain to get a hot chocolate. 
‘Cause, speaking from experience, that works, too. 
🙂 

Happy Blues

Hello.
🙂
These are happy blues. 
No sad blues.

Just blue-sky blues. 
Honest-blue blues. 
Saltwater vacation blues. 
All the good kinds of blues.

A feeling of contentment is starting to reside deep down in my heart. If feels more whole and capable of holding on to good things and letting go of bad; of beating through difficult situations. My emotional-heart-muscles feel stronger. I think that’s a good thing, so long as it isn’t scar tissue.

The skirt was getting to be a bit long for the office, so I tied it up in a knot. No biggie 🙂
And now, the sky is pink.
There are always little blessings, my friends. Always. 
Find some, and take in the full measure of their blessing to your heart. 
xo!

Remember that Day…

Remember that day I accidentally poured orange juice over my cereal instead of milk? 
Yeah, no, I don’t remember that either…
Remember that day I woke up and inadvertently dressed like the Swedish flag?
That day was today. 

Something Swedish has been on my mind for awhile…and my subconscious must be picking up on it…

Sending me into my closet for every gold & blue piece I own…

…even turning a dress into a skirt… 

and finding that my ring and fingernails complete the picture.
I may not be blonde, but I sure am Swedish!
{sometimes I act blonde and pour orange juice over my cereal instead of milk. so that counts, right?}