Monday Hello

Time for a Monday blog & vlog! Just a little hello and catch-up (and a weird thumbnail image!) 🙂 

I did a little beach chair re-vamp, too…spray-paint and some vintage fabric and trim can do wonders for a rusty beach chair 🙂 

New beach chair was thoroughly enjoyed. A bit too thoroughly, as I am THOROUGHLY sunburned 🙁
But mostly, the past 2 weeks I’ve been MIA on set for a cookbook photoshoot I styled.

#workinit
And I FINALLY got a copy of the Darling Magazine with 8 of my BRAND-NEW, PRINT-ONLY poems in them! Grab your copy now at Anthropologie, WholeFoods or a local cool retailer (ask your local stores to carry it if they don’t already!). 
Darling Summer 2015 issue available to order online here too 
But it hasn’t been all work and no play…
Tee hee. 
Have a great week, my dears!

xo

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! 😉
 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 

Happy Fall!

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It has been a beautiful first few days of fall here! I love being able to wear my favorite boots and a few layers or heavier materials (such as this lovely alpaca sweater, one of my favorite fall pieces).

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These are all classic pieces that combine to make an outfit that is both timeless and modern, with the addition of a fun, colorful necklace and some details like wedges and zippers on the boots and bell sleeves on the sweater. I’ve had the Coach belt since high school!

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Big sunglasses are always a must, and a Cafe Americano can go a long way towards making a beautiful day, too.

Sweater: Catherine Melandrino//Jeans: Joe’s Jeans//Sunnies: Local boutique//Necklace: Urban Outfitters forever ago//Belt: Coach, forever ago//Boots: Steve Madden

Happy Fall, my friends!
xo
Natalie

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

A Little of This, A Little of That

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Loving this combination of oversized gingham and eyelet. 

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Peanut Butter “Buckeye” Bars I made for Big Girls, Small Kitchen

(Edited to add one more thing!) 

If you are a mother of daughters, please check out my friend Dana’s magazine, Modern Motherhood Magazine. It’s digital, short, and free, perfect for mommas, but it gets into deep subjects of raising Godly daughters and discipling them. Dana blessed me by including Good Girl Style in her August issue about Beauty. Check it out here

and something fun for YOU, too! I’m thrilled to have some free codes to take Sally Hogshead’s “How to Fascinate” personality assessment. The test is normally $37 so take advantage of this free code for sure. I love personality assessments, and this one is FANTASTIC. It gives great insight into how the world sees you, rather than how you see the world. You’ll find tidbits to help you be the BEST you and to work to your strengths in all areas of life. 
Me? I’m The Connoisseur…always in-the-know, powered by passion, high standards, and a whole lotta something special. 
Wanna give it a shot to see what YOU are? 
1.) Go HERE.
2.) Enter code: BL-goodgirlstyle 
3.) Come back and share your results in the comments! 

I can’t wait to hear!
xo
Natalie

Classy & Casual

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This is one day, one outfit concept, and two different iterations. One is a wear-to-church outfit, and the other, with the same color threads, makeup and hair, is more casual for whatever fun adventures Sunday afternoon might hold. Or this is a mighty fine outfit to wear to the office, so this could easily be a work-to-weekend post too!
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My boyfriend says Sundays are his favorites with me, because we get to go to church together and we always seem to find some fun, spontaneous adventure for the afternoon. I agree! There is something so wonderful about sitting close and holding hands while we pray, singing from the same hymnal, giving each other little knowing looks, etc. And it’s summer so the great outdoors calls after church! 
What has been your favorite summer adventure so far? 
xo
Natalie

Hummingbirds

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There are hummingbirds on my dress! #justsayin
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{trying to show you my makeup}
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I am IN LOVE with my new Lesley Evers “Tilda” dress with the hummingbirds all over it. Yes, Lesley Evers is expensive but I snagged this pattern from last year in their warehouse sale. The quality is fantastic…wearing it just elevates your entire day and positively affects the way you carry yourself. I think the silhouette also has a Princess Kate vibe to it, which is a goal of any outfit of mine!
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It has a full circle skirt which is just fabulous, darling for twirling.
Still getting so much use out of these straw wedges from Blowfish. 
Wedges are ideal for summer dresses because they give height with all-day comfort. 
This light straw is a great summer version of “nude pumps.”
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Happy July, my dears!
xo
Natalie

Mango and Plum

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I can’t get enough of this mango and deep plum color combination. It’s also a delicious flavor combination, so win-win, amiright?

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Then let’s talk about these giant pearls I’ve been wanting forever and finally found at a tag sale last weekend! So much fun and a little Wilma Flinstone-esque as my friend said, but we all know that’s never stopped me before!
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Then there’s this Holga camera that matches my outfit. I’m pretty sure it ups my cool points but then again maybe not considering it took me FOREVER to learn how to open the back where you put the film in. Either way, I hope to capture some funky summer images with this little plastic camera. 
Sunnies: Burberry//Tee: J.Crew//Pearls: Tag sale snag//Skirt: The Addison Story (Anthro, thrifted)//Wedges: MiuMiu
Happy Weekend!
Natalie

Spring Style

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Goodness I love me some Spring style. These are my most-favorite colors. Give me some pink and mint and I’m a happy girl. 
What are your go-to colors?

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I actually try not to make my outfits TOO perfect. A little imperfection is good for the soul. —> Click to Tweet!  

In this case, we have unpainted nails and “hot mess hair”–that is to say, “my hair dryer conked out in great fanfare this morning and I’m lucky to still be alive.” I might be exaggerating that a slight bit but there was smoke involved, not gonna lie.  

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Tying the cardigan was a moment of inspiration since it’s a long cardigan and the proportions were off and I was in a hurry.
I love this look and am going to deploy it in the future for sure. 

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I love this outtake, it has a certain ethereally happy and unintentionally beautiful quality to it, if I may say so myself.
It just reminds me that I’m happy, and I think that’s a wonderful thing. 
I hope you’re deep-heart-happy this beautiful Spring Monday. 
Find the beauty. 
xo
Natalie

Coral & Leopard

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Goodness, love me some Spring weather. You can just dress perfectly when it’s 70 degrees with a light breeze and plenty of sunshine. A great pencil skirt, bare legs, and a nice little cardigan. #ideal

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Sweater: Juicy Couture//Leopard Tank: Thrifted//Pencil Skirt: J.Crew//Heels: c/o Blowfish
Enjoy the day, friends!
xo
Natalie