Almost-Winter Wedding Attire

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I love a good wedding, no matter the time of year! This LC Lauren Conrad dress has served me well through all of the seasons, and transitions into winter well with some opaque tights.
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If it happens to be chilly, it’s simply the perfect excuse to wear my vintage capelet. And a shot of color with my vintage green clutch.
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I love the details here…you can’t quite see the velvet bow above my side bun, my 1920s-ish earrings, and the wooden heel on the Missoni for Target pumps. 
Yay for weddings! Such a fun excuse to get dressed up and celebrate all things lovely.

Movie Style: Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday

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Princess Anne, played by Audrey Hepburn, escapes her royal guards and spends the day cavorting around Rome in the classic Hollywood black-and-white movie, “Roman Holiday.” It’s one of my favorites, and it’s currently available on Netflix.

 The iconic “Princess on Holiday” outfit still works today, because all of its elements are classic pieces for an elegant wardrobe. Here are some ideas for how to recreate this look for everyday wear or for something a bit more special. This also makes a great Halloween costume, probably with items you already own.

The elements are simple, but the look comes together to look fresh and vibrant. The canvas of a plain white oxford gains personality from the sleeves being rolled and the collar popped.

Of course a smile and bright red lips are necessary accoutrements, because, as Audrey herself says, “Happy girls are the prettiest.” And I quite agree. Then, you’ll need some Roman sandals, the very first thing Princess Anne purchases on her day of freedom in the movie. 

Roman Holiday Sandals
Ancient Greek Sandals gold leather sandals / Loeffler Randall real leather shoes / Isolรก lace up wedge sandals / House of Harlow 1960 leather ankle strap sandals / Ancient Greek Sandals real leather shoes

The full midi skirt is making a comeback, perfect for this “Roman Holiday” style. Be sure to find one with a belt or add a belt after. Here are some examples…

Roman Holiday Full Skirts with BeltsLong midi skirt / Red skirt / Brown skirt / Gucci high waisted skirt / Cameo Rose brown skirt / Golden Goose circle skirt

That’s all that is required for this easy and delightful style. But I’m always up for a variation on a theme, so I took the Princess-off-duty look and transformed it into a Princess-ON-duty look, suitable for a fancy occasion. The elements are similar, but the fabrics and details have been elevated. Of course, rolled sleeves and a popped collar will add to the effect here, too.

Roman Holiday: Variation on a Theme
Yves Saint Laurent collared shirt/ Topshop mid calf skirt / Jimmy Choo lace-up sandals / Pre-Owned Celine Canvas Mini Luggage / BCBGMAXAZRIA gold tone collar necklace / H M wide belt / Isadora pink lips makeup

                                                                                      theend150x

Fascinator Giveaway with Vivo Masks-CLOSED


Exciting News!
I’m so thrilled that Vivo is letting me give away a fascinator to one of my lovely readers! This is the perfect opportunity for entree into the fun world of wearing hats and fascinators!
 I’m giving away one of the under-$50 fascinators (the winner’s choice!), which are smaller and more manageable for wearing to Thanksgiving, a school dance, a holiday party, or a birthday. Or even just because, if you’re like me! Vivo has an amazing selection and I’m sure you’ll find one you’re in love with! Here are some of my favorites…
Favorite VIVO fascinators under $50
I think the hot pink one is my most-favorite. How about you?

Please enter and share!
 I’m so excited for this opportunity for another lovely lady to wear a Vivo fascinator.
Entry closes at midnight EST on Monday, October 13th.

Something Fascinating: What a Hat Can Do For a Girl

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(fascinator provided to me by Vivo Masks in exchange for my honest review)

There is just *something* about wearing a hat or fascinator. Something utterly delightful and intriguing, don’t you think? It’s unique, it’s vintage, ever-so Princess-y, and entirely fun for the wearer and those who may admire the lovely hat or fascinator perched on her head.

Pin This Image: Hover and click the pink heart to pin any image.

What can a fascinator do for a girl? Here are 4 of the many things: 

*A fascinator can bring interest and attention to your face, to highlight your natural bone structure and stunning eyes.

*A fascinator can show off your beautiful hair by adorning it with something special.

*A fascinator can visually balance your shape or outfit with a nice little lifting of the eye upwards.

Last, but CERTAINLY not least: 

*A fascinator is a most beguiling way to show off your personality and sartorial flair.

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It’s funny to me that these days we think it takes great courage to wear a giant flower on the side of one’s head, and perhaps it does, but just a generation ago, hats were a daily ritual for women. One I’m sad our culture as a whole has abandoned. Not I! It’s a ritual I enjoy greatly and am thrilled to show you my new favorite beauty, the Faith fascinator from Vivo Masks.

This is truly, truly a handmade work of art, with delicately ruched silk, horsehair and feathers. I simply had to take some more artistic shots to show you the delicate beauty of Faith: 

So ethereal.

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Utterly delightful to behold with the golden morning light behind it.

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Here you can see the beautiful ruched silk on the disc and the vintage velvet polka-dot veiling. 

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What a cheerful and uplifting thing. Vivo calls it a “sensation” and I’m quite inclined to agree! BEYOND fun! One might think a giant pink flower would be difficult to wear, but I find it just the opposite. The delicate nature means that the hat itself won’t overwhelm an outfit. I can envision this with a black silk jumpsuit, a little white or cream suit dress, and any simple black dress.
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Vivo Masks and Fascinators is based out of Traverse City, Michigan (and Canada) which tickles me pink. I love that this hat company has Midwestern roots, like me. Their hats are all handmade in Europe, and their Venetian party masks are handmade in Italy.

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I was also very excited to get to wear some of my vintage glove collection with this outfit. Little lace gloves and pure white leather ones that I said are, “Like wearing marshmallows on my hands,” because these are the descriptors I come up with and they are SO.SOFT.

I’m also wearing some sentimental light-pink pearls that were given to me by my parents on the occasion of my first ballet company performance when I was a teenager. Pearl earrings as well, another gift, to complement the necklace. 

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The cotton brocade (imagine, it isn’t shiny!) dress is a lovely foil for the hat…the texture grounds the delicate nature of the feather flower, but the simple shape and straps don’t distract.
The coat is one of my favorite pieces, a Rebecca Taylor gray jersey, silk and sequin jacket that hugs nicely. And the boots are my beloved wine suede wedges from Steve Madden.

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Just be sure your hat is properly affixed or you may end up with a wilting flower! ๐Ÿ˜‰
 However, I knocked this off my head myself (I’m graceful like that), but extensive wear testing shows the elastic stays
tight and neat in place for long periods of time and activity.

What’s that, you say? You’d like to try your hand (head?) at wearing a fascinator? Yes, please!
We’re having a GIVEAWAY for any under-$50 fascinator of your choice, starting Monday!
Check back then for your chance to win.

Happy weekend!
xo
Natalie 

Easter Sunday 2014

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Oh my goodness. If you know me, you know that Easter is when I am in my element. It is my absolute most favorite holiday of the year for so many reasons. Jesus #duh. EASTER COLORS are my favorites! Hats! Spring! The food! A year ago today I met the man of my dreams! It’s just the happiest holiday there ever was and I soak it up each year. It’s all of the most wonderful things and I beyond adore it.

I’ve had this dress for almost a year and I refused to wear it because I just knew it had to be my Easter 2014 dress. Lilly Pulitzer speaks Easter, don’t you think?

I don’t need an excuse to wear a hat or vintage items, but Easter sure is a good one. When you wear a lovely hat, people tend to say lovely things. Here are a few:

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Like I said, lovely things (from both men and women!). Hats are one of my favorite things and I’ve got big plans to get you all in on the hat fun next Easter, so keep your eyes peeled for the perfect Spring-y topper. You’ve got a year to find one and plan it ๐Ÿ™‚

My shoes are straw like an Easter basket because obviously I think of these things.

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Ok I think I’ve hit my limit for how many pastels and happiness and vintage and loveliness I can fit into this one post, so I’ll wrap it up now. 
Happy Easter! 
He is Risen!
xo
Natalie

Why I Cover My Head on Good Friday

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I love to cover my head on Good Friday with a veil or scarf. 
See I’m a big fan of tradition. Tradition has roots. Tradition has meaning. It has heart, if you let it. All of that feeling is up to us, though…tradition itself holds little, which is why we can so easily forget. What we bring in our hearts to tradition is where the beauty lies. The remembrance of things past that have lead us to this day, the longing of things yet to be…it’s all rather poetic and my heart clings to that. 

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Covering my head helps me feel the mourning of my Savior’s death. For MY sins. How could I not cover my head then, in sorrow and reverence for this act that was for ME? Because of me? I put myself in the place of the followers of Jesus who were there, who saw the God of the universe clinging to a cross, barely recognizable. And YES, we know He rises. But they didn’t, you see. They couldn’t comprehend that Jesus crucified, would soon be Jesus risen. Still today, 2000 years later, it is hard to comprehend the agony and beauty mixed together, even though I know He rises, that He is alive.
But the fact remains that the price was paid. The sacrifice was made. 
So I wear black.
And cover my head. 
A woman in mourning. For my Savior’s death. For my sins. 
For the bleak and hopeless outlook that would be ours had Jesus remained on the Cross. 
But this isn’t the end of the story.

Tell me, do you cover your head for Good Friday? 
Scarf: Burberry//Wool Bow Dress: Vintage//Cashmere Sweater: White + Warren//Heels: Ann Taylor
xo
Natalie

Birthday Dress

It was kinda-totally my birthday a few weeks ago!
#checkyes

We had lots of beautiful birthday snow, I made my trademark birthday coffee cake, wore a hot pink birthday crown, shared my birthday with a few other ladies from my church with the SAME birthday, had pink champagne and chocolate-hazelnut cake, received pink flowers, and all-around felt like the most-loved girl there is!

{birthday flowers!}

I love this swingy “Cream Puff” dress as I call it, with my “Cupcake Frosting” hair. Obviously I wanted to dress like desserts on my birthday! Ha! 
{birthday manicure}
I also love the high-low of this outfit…the jacket and shoes are crazy-expensive, but the tights are from Big Lots, the sweater is from a tag sale, and the dress is from a consignment shop and doesn’t have a label. 
It’s just like happiness, y’know? Find happiness in the small things and the big things. I was never a huge fan of my winter birthday so close to Christmas (someone was always sick, we weren’t in school yet so I missed the fun of a classroom birthday, I wanted an outdoor party, everyone was burnt out from Christmas and stretched thin and presents came in Christmas paper, etc. etc.). So I’ve created my own traditions. Little things.

{hazelnut-orange GF cake and pink champagne}

I choose a birthday song every year, pick up some pink champagne, and always bake a coffee cake on the morning of my birthday and put candles in it.
 (those links will take you to past birthday posts of mine for more pretty fun!)

Here’s this year’s birthday song: 

An outfit doesn’t have to be all high-end designers. And a birthday doesn’t have to be all bells and whistles. 
Find joy in the little things, the unique things, and I think you’ll find extra joy you didn’t know was there.

And Happy Birthday to all you other near-Christmas/winter babies!
๐Ÿ™‚

******

Dress: No label // Sweater: Vintage//Earrings: Charlotte Russe//Coat: Rebecca Taylor//Fleece-Lined Tights: Big Lots//Sunnies: Local store//Heels: Diane von Furstenburg 
xo
Natalie

Christmas Love

Hello dear friends! It is the night of our Savior’s birth, and I am so excited for our church candlelight service very soon here. I just wanted to pop in and say MERRY CHRISTMAS and I am so glad you are all here, sharing a little bit of life with me ๐Ÿ™‚ 

This is my outfit for Christmas Eve church ๐Ÿ™‚ 

The coat and hat are vintage and the dress is Modcloth.

And the smile? Courtesy of Christmas love and being beyond-happy. 
(PS Check my Twitter and Facebook tomorrow and Darling Magazine for my Christmas poem!)
Much love to you and yours this Christmastide!
xo
Natalie

Fancy Friday Vlog

Hey friends! It’s Friday…time for a vlog!
I just have to tell you that God is bringing so much light back to my heart and so much life back to my body. I can just feel it, you know? Like an internal Spring, ha. #blessingsbacktopraise
New theory: The happier I am the crazier/more vintage my outfits get. This is shown in some recent sartorial choices: 
Basically I am Blair Waldorf in real life.
Also yes I do have tights with knee patches. Aren’t you jealous? #thoughtso
Anyway, did you watch My Hope with Billy Graham on TV last night? If you didn’t catch it, you can stream it at any time here. You can also see my live tweets if you follow me on Twitter!

Also I read a poem for a contest and if you’re interested you can vote for me here! I’m so not going to win but we can at least maybe keep me out of last place? Yeah that’d be cool.

I hope you have a great weekend!
xo
Natalie
#sorryforallthehashtags
#I’mjustexcited