Fall Textures

It felt like Autumn today. 
So I broke out my new little fall sweater (new = 25 cents from tag sale!) and paired it with some classy patent pumps for a texture swtich. These pumps have a rattan heel, which I thought matched the texture of the sweater nicely. 

And I don’t really have much else to say except I’m tired.

So I’m going to have some coffee and get to work on business plans. 
Sounds good-ish, right? 
{trying to pep-talk myself, ha}
Have a good one!

This Body Brought to You by Sour Patch Kids

{girls! I finally pulled up the hideous weed in all of my photos! it wasn’t technically mine to pull up, so I had to wait for the exact right timing to obtain permission. permission obtained. weed gone. lightning bolt on picture. yes!}


Sour Patch Kids. Those wonderfully chewy, sour, sweet candies. The boy and I ate FAR too many of them at the drive-in movie this past weekend. And then we both decided we were going to quit eating processed sugar {seriously}. But I snuck (what?! is that not a word?! it’s underlining it! what is the past tense of ‘sneak’? help a sister out!) the rest of the Sour Patch Kids into my purse. 

Then yesterday, while editing this photo, I noticed that my thighs are practically STUFFED into these pants. And quite obviously, I needed to start exercising. So I grabbed a handful of Sour Patch Kids for energy, and did 50 jumping jacks in the kitchen. No lie. 
Then I went for a loooooooong walk. Uphill. And on my way back I realized I had a dribble of mocha-fudge frozen yogurt dried down my arm. 
I think I need a sugar intervention. Like, seriously. I’m not even kidding. 
Style Secrets
Hairclip: H&M
Sunnies: Local boutique
Necklace: Gift (my name in Hebrew)
Cami (under tee): Walmart
Tee: Old Navy (thanks, S!)
Cardi: Marc Jacobs
Ring: Local store
Capris: Gap, thrifted
Flips: Havaianas

Fear vs. Faith

Decision-making models are practically countless. Just take one business class and you’ll find that out! But we, as Christians, as Good Girls, have really only two options: world-based decision-making, or Heaven-based decision-making. Or, as a more pleasingly alliterative alternative, “Fear vs. Faith.” Have you ever seen someone make a decision based on worldly assumptions, convictions, and desires? I truly believe it comes down to a decision made in fear: I have to do this or I won’t be good/cool/rich/thin enough. Or the worldly decision is based on selfishness, which is really just fear cloaked in self-righteousness.

What does the alternative look like? Well, it looks…scary and humbling, if we’re being honest. It looks….unpredictable. Oh dear. This is really making me want to put on that cloak of self-righteousness and cower under selfishness again. A faith-based decision is based on two things that seem at odds: a knowing and a not-knowing. We may not know why a decision makes sense, we may not know the full details of how it is going to work out or what glory God will be given, but we know with utter certainty that God has our backs. God does not want us to be fearful or selfish. Jesus equates little faith with fear.

26 He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. 
Matthew 8

 A faith-based decision allows God to show us how strong He is, and often allows us to learn a lesson and be refined. “Giving in” to a faith-based decision may mean letting go of long-held ambitions (that whole cool/rich/thin thing?). It may mean de-focusing on the scary 10% of something and focusing on the rewarding 90%. It may mean relying on the kindness of strangers, or taking a pay cut, or riding the city bus next to that not-so-clean looking person. Sounds scary right?

The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”
Romans 8:14-16

Fear enslaves us. But when we receive the Holy Spirit, we are freed from fear! Embrace that truth. And we can cry, “Daddy, Daddy!” to a Father who blesses our faith.

Dear Abba, 
Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you have not given us a spirit of fear or timidity! Thank you that you allow us the grace of your strength when we step out in faith. When we call to you, when we cry out to you, you answer. Help us to make decisions based on your convictions and promises, Lord, not those of this world. 
Your Daughter, 
Natalie

Not a Day Less Will Do

Below is my specialty pose. I call it the “Crazed Flamingo“:
{you can tell when the boyfriend took the pics, because I make silly faces. because he says things like, “oh yeah! work it! the camera is loving you!”}
 {ballet pink fingernails}

And this song. This lullaby of a love song:

 
Style Secrets
Tee: F21
Sweater: Garage sale
Necklace: Self-made
Belt: Thrifted
Ballet Pink Pencil Cut Jeans: Gap/thrifted {so in love}
Slingbacks: Dressbarn/thrifted

Monday Mid Day

 Monday Mid-Day Pick-me-ups!! Not that I need a pick-me-up. I’m pretty darn happy! 😀

A free song: 

Cloverton’s “Take Me into the Beautiful” I posted a few Mondays ago is the free song download on K-Love this week! Click here to download to your iTunes!

 
An awesome hair-styling product:

                 Mom, this one’s for you. The Aveda Confixer is really expensive, but I scoured the shelves at a few stores to find this one, which I believe is very close, and at least $5 cheaper (though still a bit of a splurge!). It’s a fantastic liquid gel that you put on prior to styling.

Thrift Store Scores of the Weekend: {you’ll be seeing these in outfit posts soon!}

Have a beautiful and happy Monday! I have a Weekend-to-Work for you this week, so get excited! 

Midsummer’s Eve

  Apricot-Lavender Crisp and Lingonberry Juice  
{to celebrate my Swedish heritage on a particularly Swedish day, Midsummer’s Eve, when the treats were served}

 
{the weather has been so horrid all week, taking pictures in my kitchen is like trying to take pictures in a dungeon. Sorry for the poor lighting}
{remember how I told you here that I loved the cookbook Organic and Chic? This is another recipe from that book}
This combination is amazing. My co-worker almost died in delight when eating this. Deeeee-licious. We decided to make jam this summer with apricots and lavender. Wonder if anyone else has ever done that before. If not, we’ll make millions, it will be so delicious. Please don’t scoop me and start selling it tomorrow 😛
Anyway, we also had this…

Because, despite the brown hair, I’m quite Swedish and yeah, sure, you betcha, I’m quite proud to be!

A Picnic Dress

I saw this dress at Target and I knew it had to be mine. It is the perfect picnic dress! And the boy and I have a perfect little picnic spot that’s just ours. The dress fits the fingertip rule, but of course, is also pretty floaty, and needed a pair of shorts underneath.
Style Secrets
Sunnies: Local Boutique
Necklace: Lucky
Cardi: Target
Dress: Target
Shorts: Soffe
Sandals: Target (wore my croc mary-janes for exploring)

Wrinkles and Smiles

{I ironed this dress. Honestly, morning of, I ironed it. Then I drove for 2 hours. And sat at a graduation for 3 hours. Oh well}

 {pretty folded shoulder detail}
{this is the actual face I make at the boyfriend when he takes my picture. he’s a lucky man, right?!}
Loving the color and the folded shoulder detail of this new Gap dress. Bought it to wear to my cousin’s bridesmaids brunch, but that didn’t end up happening. So it was perfect to wear for some friends’ graduations! The leggings were necessary as it was 53 degrees and rainy. And I caught a cold. Hmpf.

Style Secrets
Umbrella: J. Crew (sadly, broken now)
Necklace: Gift
Dress: Gap
Blazer: Tommy Hilfiger
Leggings: Target
Boots: Hunter

Free Music Download!

Now I love free, and I love music, and I love Jesus. So, Good Girls, what’s better than a free 10-song Christian music download from the Creation Christian music festival?

Well, having this cold go away before the weekend would be better. And that rhubarb-white-chocolate ice cream sundae I have plans to make soon might also trump. But other than that, this is such an awesome thing!! The songs rock!!! Brandon Heath, Tenth Avenue North, Francesca Bastitelli (why is her name so darn hard to spell? I tried three times!), The Museum, KJ-52, and Chris August, and more!

Download it to your iTunes NOW!!!! Click HERE!

Ballerina Outfit and Donuts

I rather love that title. Two most wonderful things: a ballet-inspired outfit and a donut. I’m happy today, you guys, because it’s  just a happy day. And because last night, I learned that today was National Donut Day (I literally accidentally just typed Natalie Donut Day, hahahaha). Then I went to bed and forgot. But oh, my subconscious, my subconscious wisely didn’t let me forget. I woke up and thought, “I know I usually keep these gluten-free donuts for Saturdays, but I want one today!” and even took a picture of it. A few hours later, Tumblr alerted me again to the fact that today is National Donut Day. Way to go, subconscious!
Style Secrets
Headband: ??
Necklace: ??
Ballet Pink Tee: Forever 21
Cardi: Marc Jacobs
Skirt: Forever 21
Ballet flats: Target