DIY S’mores Kit Pail Hostess Gift for Summer

DIY smores kit

This easy DIY s’mores kit gift can be made with items all from the dollar store, grocery store, or even a gas station if you’re super short on time! Grab a basket, kids sand pail, or bucket and fill it with all the goodies needed for s’mores! It’s perfect for a bonfire, pool party, campout, night at the cabin, use of their RV, or any other summer get-together.

DIY smores kit

Have hostess gifts gone out of style? I sure hope not. This will make you a welcome guest wherever you go. Even if you aren’t going anywhere in particular, try making this summery, patriotic s’mores kit for yourself and your own family. These days, are, after all, memories in the making. And they’re worth a little extra effort, don’t you agree?

DIY smores kit

S’mores Kit Fixin’s:

-Graham crackers


-Chocolate bars

-Roasting sticks

-Napkins (these are from Packed Party, available at Walmart!)

Then add any extra fun, patriotic, summery items you can grab. Extra toppings/candy (Reeses? Nutella?), candy, patriotic straws, sparklers, pop rocks, pop its, miniature flags, miniature pinwheels, and tinsel galore.

The USA pom poms here are actually pens I picked up at Dollar General. The gold and silver tinsel are cupcake picks. The tinsel in the front is actually a barette! And the star in the middle fell off a party headband! But the overall look is what we’re going for, so get creative!

I stamped a custom tag to make this gift even more fun and personal. I used my favorite Heidi Swapp 4th of July stamp set to make the one here. The miniature wooden clothespin matches the wooden handles of the galvanized pail. All of the details just made me so happy.

DIY smores kit

Want TONS more ideas for easy, simple DIY gifts? Check out my book Gifts in Jars today! OR try one of my most popular crafts ever, the mason jar soap pump.

Happy summer!

Desk Fan: WFH Must-Have

Vornado pink desk fan

Do you work from home? Are you tired of sweative over your keyboard? I’ve added something to my MUST-HAVES for WFH! (see the entire updated work-from-home list here). Can you guess what it is? A desk fan. Vornado makes my favorite office space heater, so is it any surprise they would also make my new favorite fan? It is called the Vornado FIT Personal Air Circulator Fan (affiliate link). It’s also PINK! Or other colors, if you prefer.

I do have an in-window air conditioner (I live in New England, where central air is only a dream!). But that’s behind me and doesn’t offer the same air flow as a desk fan. It’s also expensive to run all day. So I try to reserve that for the hottest days. On most other days, this fan keeps me nice and cool! Plus it makes a great little hair-style glam booster for Zoom videos 😉

The slim profile of the Vornado FIT fan is actually my favorite part. The back legs fold up. This takes up very little desk-top space. Plus it slips in a desk drawer in cooler months. In addition to being slim and well-designed, this offers 2 speeds. In my opinion they are high speed and extra-high-speed. This desk fan is also very quiet. It’s a little pricey but you won’t be replacing it after a few months.

This gets my vote as a true work-from-home MUST HAVE item!

Read the full article on Work from Home Must-Haves here!

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

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. 
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!



**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.

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!

End of Year Review

Merry Christmas, darlings! 

{studio pretties}

Hi friends!

I am thinking over 2016 and what a wonderful, busy, marvelous year it has been…and I hope you can say the same. Here are a few of the things I’ve been working on.

{gifts in jars in barnes + noble!!!!!}
{making gifts in jars in the studio!}

Gifts in Jars was released on October 18, 2016. It is so much fun to see my book on shelves across the country, to sign copies at Barnes & Noble, to read your reviews on Amazon (keep ’em coming!) and to host Gifts in Jars workshops in my studio. It’s been a fun ride!

{FIRST LOOK! She’s so pretttttty!}

I got the first copies of Happy, Pretty, Messy IN MY HANDS! This is my first book, my heart book (even though it’s releasing second) and it comes out on February 7, 2017. It’s available for pre-order NOW!

{making pretty food even prettier in the studio in my favorite apron and socks!}

So yes, I wrote 2 books this year. I also food styled another cookbook, which was awesome and I loved being able to do it in my own studio space this time.

On top of that, I signed contracts for TWO more NEW books due next year! I’ve got lots of writing to do 🙂 And I’ll be teaching poetry this semester at a local college.

It has been a good year for my heart. Poetry, food styling, writing books…my heart is full and grateful for it all.

Much love,

Grove Collaborative

It is VERY hard to find glass spray bottles, and hard to find good spray bottles in general. I absolutely love my high-quality Grove Collaborative  (affiliate link) one, and can’t wait to get a few more. I use this one for ironing, but also want one for homemade cleaning products and such. They’re just too handy, beautiful, and lasting. 
Do you about Grove Collaborative (affiliate link) if you haven’t heard of them. They deliver the best in natural cleaning and home products to your door, stress-free, and with all sorts of perks! Every order plants trees, offsets carbon, and does so much good. I’ve placed many orders from them and their customer service is top-notch, too. Not to mention you get the same goodness brought into your house…natural cleaning products, luscious candles and lip balms made by them, THE best glass spray bottles EVER, and, of course, my favorite Mrs. Meyer’s hand soaps. 

They even carry the hard-to-find Limited Edition scents. I am DYING over the Lilac scent this spring. It is SO good. The Apple and Rhubarb are perennial favorites as well.

Check them out, here’s $10 through this link 🙂 Enough to nab one of these gorgeous glass spray bottles fo’ FREE! OR a soap…your choice, tough call though.
(affiliate link) 

Book Review: How to Live in Fear

book provided by booklook bloggers

How to Live in Fear: Mastering the Art of Freaking Out
by Lance Hahn
3.5 stars ***

I was very intrigued by this book based on the title and subtitle. They say so much and speak to my heart right now. However, after reading the book, I am left with conflicting feelings about it. On the one hand, it is very inspirational to see a leading Christian figure struggle with panic disorder and still keep going, still keep making progress for the Kingdom. On the other hand, the book is full of anxiety triggers and I could hardly read more than a few pages at a time without feeling anxious because of his in-depth descriptions of his own panic. I also still wrestle with the whole idea of being chained to living in fear. I guess perhaps I still want a “way out.” But maybe Hahn is bucking the system by NOT saying we have to have “enough faith” or enough medication, to dissipate our feelings and lose anxiety along with any other emotions. Perhaps he IS right in saying we should freak out, and live with the freaking out, as best we can. Hmmm….this is a thinker for me 😉

Reading Lately

{courtesy booklook bloggers}

The Entitlement Cure: Finding Success in Doing Hard Things the Right Way
by Dr. John Townsend
3 stars **

I thought the title of this book really drove home a point I’m passionate about: things are pretty darn easy these days, and we get lazy. You know what laziness translates into? Entitlement. Chances are we’ll have an entire generation of entitled adults, if we don’t already. Not I! So I was excited to review this book based on the title and subtitle. Unfortunately, it takes a pretty hard-edge view of things that was rather disparaging. It was not the hopeful, encouraging or even enlightening book I was expecting. I do not need to be barraged with the negativity. I want to know how we FIX this. How can I avoid it in my own life? How can we teach the next generation to dig in and do the hard work? This book was a disappointment for me. It might speak to some, but it didn’t for me. Plus, I’m not sure anyone who actually IS entitled would pick up this book, giving it a “preach to the choir” angle that didn’t suit me. Even the cover speaks of an axe to grind…and edge, instead of a hopeful point of view.