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 🙂

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

Sunshiney Morning

{azaleas, still a bit wet}

It’s sunny this morning! It’s sunny! I feel like harps and trumps and angels should sing!
I’ve already been up and inspired with this lovely sunshine streaming in—I potted some beautiful fuschias for my front step.

Fuschias are one of, if not totally, my ABSOLUTE favorite flowers. Well, they are my favorite non-bouquet flower…they are just so incredibly beautiful, fun, girly, and colorful. They come in all different color combos, some more fancy and layered/ruffled than others. 
I’m pretty sure they are just about the most perfect Natalie flower you could ever find—they are fairy flowers, ballet costumes, cupcake toppers, just flirty, girly, and FUN FUN FUN.
My favorites!

See! They match my pointe shoes!
Whenever I’m feeling happy and lovely, I put on my flat ballet shoes or pointe shoes. I haven’t actually danced en pointe for many years, so I just dress-up in those 🙂 But my flat shoes…oh yes, I dance! Dancing makes my heart feel so much lighter, more beautiful…and expressed. How often do we get to feel that our hearts are fully expressed and poured out? I feel that dance can absolutely be worship too–I put on some praise music, and dance my heart out before God. Oh it is so beautiful. 
Well, those are the things for this happy Friday morning!
xo, my dears!
Natalie

Birthday Girl

                          
{happy, happy}
{beautiful, lovely birthday snow!}
                         
Last week I was the birthday girl–the spoiled rich, totally blessed, very happy birthday girl. 
Oh my goodness, it was lovely.
One must put all the happiness one can into each moment.

~Edith Wharton

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
~Philippians 4:8

I’m a firm believer in the importance of birthday, regardless of age. 
I’m a firm believer in special party dresses. 
I’m a firm believer in polka-dot hose.
I’m a firm believer in the beauty of a lovely snowstorm. 
I’m a firm believer in the deliciousness of living a happy life, and finding blessings in all of the small things. 
I’m a firm believer in a great pair of high heels.
I’m a very firm believer in birthday morning coffee cakes on gorgeous platters.
(that got a ton of compliments, Dorothy! Thank you!)
And I believe in pretty pink candles in ‘Death by Chocolate’ with amazing local ice cream after a fancy dinner with friends.
And I’m an incredibly lucky girl because my friends are believers in birthday flowers! Gah! Gorgeous pink gerbera daisies and lilies! And a pop-up birthday bouquet card! And bright pink and orange carnations (my birthday flower)! With leopard ribbon! And they believe in birthday balloons, too 😉
And every good birthday needs a good birthday song:
Rachel Platten’s “1000 Ships” sums up my birthday perfectly. And besides, it’s happy, jump-around catchy.
p.s. the dress fits my fingertip rule.

Have a beautiful week!


Puppy & Flowers

Today I need puppies and flowers.

My back is killing me, I’m tired & feeling sort of sick, and I have a TON to do (some that requires heavy lifting) today.

So, yes, puppies and flowers. You need a smile too, right?

 {pink rose from boyfriend on my bedside table in hobnail milk glass vase}

 {This adorable corgi puppy came to visit me at work this week!}

{perfectly pink gerbera daisy from boyfriend in opalescent light pink vase}
An added bonus! Since I missed “Monday Mid Day” today, let’s count this as that, shall we? And I’ll include a song so it’s more legit: 
I’ve been waking up with, “Savior, You have known me as I am….” in my head. Love it!
Have a fabulous Friday, my dears. I’m going to try my best to stay out of my bed—tea, apple-cinnamon waffles with peanut butter, and my heating pad for my back will hopefully fix me right up!

Priority Shift

{beautiful, beautiful flowers from my boyfriend, that we picked out at the farmer’s market}

Life is a fluid thing. A fluid, almost-always-out-of-reach, grass-is-always-green-somewhere-else thing.
Normal changes too often for my liking, sometimes. For a home-body, safety-zone girl like me, that’s a bitter truth to swallow. I find beauty in the routine. What’s funny is…I wasn’t always that way. I used to be the first one to jump in the pool, the first one to try the new thing. I’ve just gotten into a routine of routine
So when my routine changes and my priorities shift, it feels….strange and uncomfortable. You know, it’s like, when you’ve been sitting for too long and you stand up too fast and everything spins and is blurry for a bit, and there’s this strange weight pushing you back down again? And the new normal feels like giving something up. I hate giving things up. 
In high school my routine was simple: homework, ballet, and baking. That was it. In college, homework, chapel, and trips to the dollar store or the waffle house or home to do laundry. Now, it’s work, and being alone most of the time. I’ve grown accustomed to the time alone. I’m never lonely, as I have plenty of ideas and thoughts and projects to keep me busy. (But the not speaking until I get to work thing, now that’s a strange one) Even on a more daily basis, some weeks I’m in a routine of an ice cream on the way home from work, or an iced coffee on the way to work. And these have all been good for a time. But would I want to go back to high school routine? Nah. Ice cream every single day? Nah.
My boss’ boss said the other day to me (well, us, as a collective): Your time and energy demands are about to change. And that stuck with me the past few weeks. A new routine is coming my way. And there will be that strange chair-getting-up phenomenon. And I will still rebel against change (even good change) in my stubbornness, and will bemoan the loss of my current (super-totally-comfy/lazy) routine. 
But when whatever-this-change-is is established at the new routine…well, I think I’ll be quite happy. Quite happy, indeed.

Sweet Pea Saturday

I just looooooove sweet peas. Love ’em. They are like little fairies!!! We all know I like pretty little pink things, so when it comes to flowers—peonies, sweet peas, and fuschias are my faves. Though last year I killed my fuschia plant. Very sad, very sad indeed. Also, sweet peas were my grandma’s wedding flowers. Awww. The sweetest. I’m such a romantic fluff-ball. There, I admitted it.

But no matter—sweet peas smell like heaven (especially if you get the more-heavily-scented heirloom varieties) and when I saw these little fairy wings at the farm stand this weekend, I couldn’t resist. 

Friday Everything

This, my friends, is Friday Everything. Everything and nothing all at once.

 I’ve been pretty busy the past few weekends between travel and work, so I haven’t been able to pick up farmer’s market flowers. I pulled out these three pretty pink straw flowers from my last bouquet. Love that they stay perfect! And they are soooooo my colors.
Late-night snack gone awry that made me laugh out loud last night.
I’ve been eating my weight in grapes lately. 
That box I tweeted about yesterday? Awesome goodies from Bath & Bodyworks. My favorite soaps ever! And I love their shampoo, too. Notice how they are all pink and green? Lol. 
New (to me) scent to try…I know the boy will like the smell of this one 😛
Sigh. I thought I was done with textbooks when I got my Master’s. Guess not. Getting ready for teaching my second class of summer term. Good thing I have a tall glass of grape & cranberry juice mixed with mandarin seltzer. Yes!
Have a good weekend! I’ll try to post an outfit or two this weekend. I’ve got quite the backlog (that keeps getting sniped by Kendi! Grr!).

Note to Self

This is a note to my grumpy self this morning.

Let’s talk about how fabulous you think I am…

Kidding, of course. But we ARE to be like a city on a Hill, shining the light of Jesus into every dark corner (and to every rude waitress who gets your gluten-free order wrong, and on every rainy Sunday when you’d rather stay home and snuggle up). 
“In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in Heaven.” ~Matthew 5:16
See, the main thing is the light has to point back to God. For within us, without the Holy Spirit, there isn’t much in the way of light. It’s pretty grimy and gritty in there. And that light is what separates us from the rest of the world. It’s what points others to God…that’s a pretty big responsibility. Especially in the face of waitresses who get your gluten free order wrong for the third time and on rainy Sundays when you’d rather stay home and snuggle up and sleep.

Delight in the Lord

Be faithful to enjoy the small things, dears. Be faithful to keeping your eyes open, your heart open, your self open. Keep space within yourself, so that you can be free to admire, to dream, to enjoy—to delight and to be delighted. I’ve been reading a book that said that our opportunity is to delight those around us. Can you imagine: families, workplaces, communities, where the sole purpose of fellowship with each other was to delight one another? How is that possible?! Well, when we delight in the Lord, He fills us to overflowing with joy. He is so faithful to overflow my life with joy when I spend quality time with Him. He allows my heart to be able and willing to delight others when I take delight in Him.
3 Trust in the LORD and do good;
   dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
4 Take delight in the LORD,
   and he will give you the desires of your heart….
 23 The LORD makes firm the steps
   of the one who delights in him
;
24 though he may stumble, he will not fall,
   for the LORD upholds him with his hand.” 
Psalm 37
We have a joy that is untouchable, because our joy lies in Heaven. This world cannot take it away. Our struggles cannot overpower our joy.  
Our joy has RISEN!
And that, my dear friends, we must share.