Sunday, May 11, 2014

Lessons From My Mother

Happy Mother's Day! I'm currently sitting in Grand Forks, approximately 328 miles from my mom. From what I can remember, it's the first Mother's Day I've been away from home. Although our relationship isn't perfect, I love and have learned a lot from my mom. She's actually one of the main reasons I'm in Grand Forks, completing some military training before my pending deployment. She has supported me and prepared me for everything, from when I was a little girl, to planning for the Middle East. She's taught me many lessons, and I wanted to share a few: 


1) Never give up.
As one of the smartest women I know, she's shown me to put all of my effort into everything I do, and to stay positive. As Vince Lombardi said, "winners never quit, and quitters never win." This lesson got me through basic training.

2) Presentation is key. 
You only have one shot at a first impression. Whether it's physical appearance, a resume, or a cake, always make sure it's presentable. Iron your clothes, proofread your resume, and make sure that cake is cooled before you frost it. 

3) Have faith.
No matter how crappy your situation is, someone else always has it worse. Have faith in God, and His timing, and things will work out the way they are supposed to. It's because of this lesson that I found a new military job and have the opportunity to deploy. 


4) Quality over quantity.
It is much more lucrative to buy something that may be a bit more expensive but will last longer than something cheap that will fall apart or break (finding good quality items on sale? Even better.)

5) Listen.
We live in a self-absorbed society (selfie, anyone? I know I'm guilty). It is important to listen to others while they are talking to you. Active listening is a learned skill. Put your phone down. Focus on what they have to say, and it will take you far. 


So thank you, Mom, for helping me become the woman I am today. My strength, dedication to my work, appreciation for God's timing, and shopping abilities come directly from you. Thank you for putting up with me, signing all of my permission slips, making my lunches, reading Little House On The Prairie to me countless times, disciplining me, teaching me everything I know, and being an amazing role model. I love you!




XOXO,

Natalie

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Hola! Let's go to Cuba!

So...it's been a while since I've posted. I apologize! I've been busy traveling and doing all kinds of military trainings. I have several posts pending, so look for product reviews, city guides, workout tips, and new outfits soon!

I recently took a trip to Miami with my best friend. We spent time by the beach, enjoyed a day by the Mondrian Hotel pool, shopped up and down Lincoln, and ate some of the best food (no joke) that we've ever had. This inspired our trip to Victor's 1959 Cafe in South Minneapolis. We both agreed that the Cuban food here was better than the Cuban food we had in Miami! If you haven't been to this restaurant, make a reservation STAT!






Sweater: purchased at Heartbreaker
Skirt: The Limited, similar here & here
Heels: BCBG
Handbag: Michael Kors
Ring: Express
Earrings: purchased at Nordstrom, similar here
Bracelets: J. CrewFrancesca's, & Poshlocket


Muchas Gracias! 

XOXO

~ Natalie ~




Friday, March 28, 2014

We flawless.

Having just finished Chris Kyle's autobiography, my best friend and I decided to swing by Barnes and Noble to pick up a few books for our upcoming trip to South Beach. It was the perfect backdrop for my awesome satirical sweatshirt. Paired with some boyfriend jeans and some gorgeous Ivanka Trump pumps, it's a flawless balance between comfort and street-style.






Sweatshirt: Etsy
Jeans: Loft
Pumps: Ivanka Trump (on sale!)
Clutch: Coach, similar here
Watch: Michael Kors
Bracelets: Alex & Ani, cross cuff (old) similar here, bangles (old) similar here
Earrings: Flaunt, similar here & here
Sunglasses: Ray-Ban


Sunday, March 9, 2014

A Very Vintage-y Spring

This winter has been brutal. We're all well aware of that...but the high today is 41, and I guarantee you'll see people out and about in shorts! (I ditched the tights this morning for church and let my "glow-stick" legs get some air!) That's Minnesota for ya. I've already been purchasing some gorgeous pieces for Spring. I'm loving the ladylike, 1950's, 'just stepped out of the beauty parlor' look. Full skirts, big hair, cat-eye sunglasses, and pastels are dominating, and I couldn't be happier!


From top left:
Sunglasses: Dior (Nothing better than a cat eye!)
Watch: Kate Spade (I'm loving pink this season. I can't get enough.)
Earrings: Kate Spade (Aren't these cute?!)
Top: Ted Baker
Skirt: Halogen (So affordable! Looks like Kate Spade!)
Bag: Kate Spade (Great color, and very versatile!)
Heels: Valentino (Classic and elegant, with a shorter heel.)
Lip Gloss: Smashbox - Pout (My new favorite shade!)

 XOXO,

Natalie




(all images courtesy of nordstrom.com)

Sunday, March 2, 2014

City Guide: New York

Is there anything better than a trip to New York? The best restaurants, incredible shopping, and endless things to do...not even freezing temperatures and snow gets in my way when I'm in need of a girls weekend. In light of my most recent trip, I decided to compile a list of my favorite spots in the Big City.


Stay.  
356 W 58th Street, New York, NY 10019

Glamorous, edgy, and the perfect location. This hotel is one block south of Central Park, and within walking distance of Madison and 5th. The service is excellent, and the rooms are comfortable and clean (although minuscule...pack light!) Enjoy some grub at the Hudson Common, and grab a nightcap at Henry while enjoying some exceptionally awesome live music. 

Eat.
From Left: 
Il Gattopardo - Incredible Italian. If you're in NY, go to this restaurant! Understated decor, impeccably cooked pasta, and dessert so delicious you'll think you're enjoying it along Via Veneto in Rome. (Thanks, Colleen, for the recommendation!)
Balthazar - J'adore...my favorite brunch spot in the USA. French-inspired, ornate decor, delicious bellinis, and my favorite omelet outisde of Paris. Don't forget to make reservations, this place is always busy during peak brunch hours.
Morimoto - Still my favorite sushi in the city. Swanky decor, exceptionally artistic sushi, upbeat ambiance. Don't miss this Iron Chef's meatpacking district restaurant.

Shop.
From Left:
Catbird - Located in the Williamsburg neighborhood in Brooklyn, this delightful little shop features adorable jewels, beauty products, and gifts. Don't forget your first-knuckle ring: this store is famous for them (and they darling!)
Henri Bendel - This 5th Ave flagship location is not only stunningly gorgeous, you could get lost in here picking out gifts for your closest girlfriends (I would know, I did). Score one of their signature handbags, try on some gorgeous costume jewelry, enjoy a makeup application, and grab some snacks for the airport. Just don't miss your flight.
Soho - This is not a shop, it's a neighborhood. Plan an entire day to wander the streets of this charming area in NYC to peruse the boutiques. From Aritzia to Chanel, you are guaranteed to find something you like here. Start with brunch at Balthazar and spend the rest of your day trying on the latest collections.
  
Explore.
From left:
Central Park: Whoever designed this park to be right in the middle of the city was a genius. You almost forget where you are! Grab an ice cream bar, rent a bicycle, or pack a picnic. Plan to spend an entire  afternoon in the park! It's gorgeous.
Metropolitan Museum of Art - Amazing collections from all over the world. Halfway through your visit, relax at the cafe with a latte with some discussion about Monet and Degas. 
Ellis Island - Technically in Jersey City, this historical location speaks for itself. Search your family records and envision their entrance into the United States.


Have fun in the city!

xoxo,

Natalie





(Images are from the location's Facebook pages, or are my own images)