Thoughts By Natalie » home honest talk about beauty, style, wellness and life Wed, 25 Jun 2014 15:01:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 A Really Simple Cleaning Secret Tue, 01 Apr 2014 12:00:19 +0000 As you may already know, I despise cleaning almost as much as I do cooking. I love to keep things tidy, but dusting, sweeping, and actually cleaning surfaces is something I avoid whenever possible. One of the biggest cleaning frustrations since we moved into our house has been our dark laminate wood floors. When clean, they are seriously stunning. But 99.9% of the time, they either have puppy paw prints, hair or dust on them and for a long time it felt impossible to have a clean floor. That is, until a few weeks ago when Brian agreed to a hefty purchase that is making my life much, much easier. Enter, the iRobot Roomba vacuum. I’d always thought it was so silly, but now that I own one, I take it quite seriously (okay, it’s still a little silly…but also seriously amazing!). During the day while I’m home writing or resting (or even while I’m out and about), it’s amazing that cleaning can be done so passively. I used to get frustrated when I had sweeping to do or when there was a lot of Maggie’s hair on the floor, but now I very lazily just hit the “clean” button, ...]]> 11 Backyard Overhaul Tue, 21 Jan 2014 16:57:09 +0000 Despite the fact that we’ve lived in our house for over a year now, I haven’t shared a ton with you about our space. Blame it on the perfectionist in me, but I just can’t bring myself to snap photos and share them until I feel like everything is done. I can, however, share my plans with you for the different ways I plan to make our house feel completely ours. Exhibition number one: our backyard. When we first moved in, my parents so generously gifted us a landscaped backyard (as shown above) since what was there was pretty sad looking. It’s been wonderful to have so far and having it as a baseline has helped us figure out exactly what we’re hoping for in the long run. Our biggest concerns long-term are these: 1. Having a comfortable place to sit and sip coffee in the morning 2. Creating a space that promotes conversation and connectedness when people come over 3. Ensuring that it looks really pretty :) So, with that in mind, here are our big ideas for change in 2014… COMFY SEATING + NICE COFFEE TABLE This is our number one priority. So much so, that we went ...]]> 4 Let’s Get Organized Mon, 30 Dec 2013 16:16:30 +0000 This morning started off pretty perfectly. After a full night’s sleep, Brian and I woke up early together and started our new routine of eating breakfast and drinking coffee together before he leaves the house. It’s sad, perhaps, that we’re just starting this now, almost three years into marriage, but I suppose late is better than never. Not only is it an easy way to create more quality time together, but it’s also one of the many ways we’re focusing on simplicity and discipline this year (waking up early together requires discipline, and sharing a morning meal is a simple, beautiful start to the day). And now, after such a delightful morning, I’ve decided it’s time to get really, really organized. Because who can live a simple, disciplined life with clutter all around? While Brian is at the office today, I’m totally committing myself to organizing around the house. Specifically, these are the things I’m planning to tackle: BEDROOM CLOSET: Our closet is a major disaster, and pretty much the only thing we have going for us is that all of our hangers match, which is something I’ve been particular about for years. Last week I bought a closet organizer ...]]> 13 Metallic Tipped Pine Cone Garland Sat, 14 Dec 2013 13:00:35 +0000 I love this DIY because you really aren’t limited to using paint. Sharpie makes these great oil based paint pens in gold, silver, and copper, which are another option for making your adorable metallic garland, if you want to go sans paint and brush. MATERIALS Pine Cones (Tip: Gather then from the outdoors or if you are a city dweller with no pinecones in sight, Whole Foods sells cinnamon scented pine cones, and these add that seasonal aroma all throughout the room the garland hangs. Mmm!) Metallic Acrylic Paint and Paint Brush OR Sharpie Metallic Paint Pen, in gold or silver. Flat drying surface Yarn, Twine, or Ribbon HOW TO Step 1 Paint on your metallic gold or silver onto one side of the pinecone. For a dipped look (as shown), only paint about half way, from tip to the middle of the pine cone. Do this to all of your pinecones, and allow them to dry before rotating and painting the other side. Step 2 Cut your yarn, twine, or ribbon to size. The length of your twine depends on how long you’d like your garland to be. Do you have lots of pinecones? Cut it extra long. Are ...]]> 8 DIY Burlap Wreath Mon, 09 Dec 2013 19:14:47 +0000 MATERIALS Wreath base Burlap, fabric, or brown paper bags Scissors Hot glue gun and hot glue sticks Ribbon or lace for hanging your wreath HOW TO Step 1 Using your scissors, cut out leaf shapes from your burlap (or from your brown paper bags or fabric if this is the material you chose for your wreath). The leaf shapes can range from 1″-3″ and should be more oblong in shape. The size and thickness of your wreath base will determine the amount of burlap or fabric leaves that you need. Step 2 Starting on the outer part of the wreath base, hot glue a leaf shaped piece in place. Secure your burlap with a pea sized amount from your glue gun. As you glue and layer on more “leaves”, they will stay securely in place. Repeat this step, glueing leaves onto the outer part of your wreath, and slightly overlapping the fabric pieces as you glue each piece. Step 3 Begin layering on more pieces. Glue your “leaves” working from the outer part of the wreath base to the inner part. Focus on small sections at a time. Layer the fabric pieces gradually so that a portion of the leaves ...]]> 10 Lindsay Letters Turns One Sat, 02 Nov 2013 12:00:57 +0000 In honor of the shop’s first birthday, Lindsay Letters is offering free shipping on orders made through Sunday using the code LL1STBIRTHDAY!! If you’ve been thinking about getting anything from Lindsay Letters, now is a great time to do it. These are just a few of my favorite things in the shop at the moment (though be sure to check out the rest of the shop—including new holiday items!). Wish, Folded Birthday Card / His Law Is Love Canvas / Be True Sweatshirt / Little Treat Stamp / Mistletoe Print / Darling I Am Home Canvas / Flourish Canvas / Live Creatively! Mug Are you a Lindsay Letters fan? What do you have your eye on?]]> 2 Black & White At Home Wed, 30 Oct 2013 12:00:12 +0000 Lately I’m feeling super inspired by black and white details in the home. There is something crisp, clean and classic about the combination of the two, and when softened with gold, tan and brown details, it creates a beautiful neutral look as opposed to a cold modern look. What’s inspiring you decor-wise at home lately? Photo credits: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5]]> 0 GIVEAWAY: Darling Art Prints Mon, 14 Oct 2013 17:02:04 +0000 In honor of my birthday tomorrow, I’ve decided to give you all a chance to win a special gift this week. I’ve partnered with Darling Magazine to give away two pretty prints—the Darling Magazine mission statement print, and the persona print of your choosing (I consider myself part Achiever, part Stylist). I personally am in love with the Issue No. 3 prints by Emma Block (shown at the top), but if you win you are welcome to choose any one print from the Issue No. 1 collection or the Issue No. 3 collection. Also, is that mission statement not the most inspiring and uplifting thing? Such good thoughts to dwell on. I think it would make a nice addition to a gallery wall. Here’s how you can enter to win… a Rafflecopter giveaway Which persona would you choose and why?]]> 43 Raised Garden Bed DIY Sat, 29 Jun 2013 19:00:00 +0000 I am sure you have dreamt of straight from the vine juicy red tomatoes, fresh picked herbs for your made from scratch pizza, strawberries within view from your back window, and all the other delicious perks of having your very own garden. With Natalie’s posts on whole and natural eating, and especially snippets from Paltrow’s It’s All Good, fresh produce is a big deal around here (and quite honestly, essential for healthy living). But maybe you’ve hesitated to plant a garden because you live in the city with more concrete than soil to contend with, or you feel like your thumb is no hue of green in the slightest, or you think about planting when the season has passed, or you have no idea where to even begin. Let me tell you a little secret: Until this season, I have never had a vegetable garden. I waiver in my ability to care for plants. I tend to over water. And I am still learning how to navigate through soil (and what exactly are annuals?) But, perhaps just like you, deep down in the very core of who I am there is this voice that wants to be a self-proclaimed gardner. ...]]> 0 Coastal Inspirations Thu, 25 Apr 2013 12:00:00 +0000 0