Thoughts By Natalie » guest post honest talk about beauty, style, wellness and life Fri, 11 Jul 2014 16:31:49 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Your Guide to a Fit Pregnancy Tue, 27 May 2014 17:07:26 +0000 Hi Ladies! I’m so excited to have the chance to pop over to Natalie’s blog and share a few tips on having a healthy pregnancy. First a little introduction: I met Natalie several years ago at a Bible study. I was immediately drawn to her because of how genuine and approachable she is. Plus, she has adorable style and always looks so put together, which is something I am constantly working on. We recently reconnected to chat about her blogging adventures and discuss our shared passion to redefine beauty to be about more than the outer appearance. I was so excited to learn that Natalie was expecting! I am mom to this 19 month old pumpkin named Sienna and motherhood has been one of the greatest blessings and adventures of my life. Through my own pregnancy, recovery, and journey to find my best post-baby body, I learned a lot about the benefits of exercise for moms to be. I have made it my mission to help women live a healthy lifestyles not only for themselves, but so that they can give their children the incredible gift of healthy example to follow. That’s how my company Tailored Fitness was born. We ...]]> 8 Practical Girl’s Guide to Pastels Sun, 06 Apr 2014 18:27:57 +0000 The beginning of any season always has me feeling giddy. I love watching the new trends roll out, which also means I can bring back my most loved seasonal wardrobe pieces again. A few trends are coming back for spring, one of which is a personal favorite, the pastel. For me, pastels symbolize the beginning of spring. The soft, dreamy colors remind me of sherbet ice cream, warm spring days, and childhood playfulness. With such fond memories, it’s why I love pastels so much. If you have always thought about adding a bit of pastel to your wardrobe but aren’t sure where to begin, I’ve got practical guide with three easy steps for freshening up your closet for spring. 1. Accessorize The quickest way to add a pop without spending a lot is to add an accessory, such as a cuff bracelet, a pair of sunnies, scarf, or a cute cross body bag. It will add a great pastel pop without costing a fortune. 2. Update Your Beauty Bag Another fun way to incorporate pastels is to find a great new nail color, blush, or lipstick that will help you feel fresh for the new spring season. 3. Add a ...]]> 2 DIY Gold and Berry Red Anthropologie-Inspired Necklace Wed, 18 Dec 2013 13:00:42 +0000 This time of year means lots of parties, gatherings, and reasons to sparkle. And just as Natalie loves sequins and a pop of metallic, so do I! Especially pairing gold with anything and everything this season. When I saw this necklace mixing berry red and gold at Anthropologie months ago, I couldn’t shake the inspiration. And so, as many DIYs go, I set out to see if I could recreate the look for less, hoping to wear a handmade pop of shine this holiday season. (And if you don’t fancy red, this necklace would be pretty in any color, really!) What You’ll Need 21-25 wooden beads (an even amount for the painted portion of the necklace + one unpainted bead as a fastener) Waxed cotton thread, 20-30 inches in length Red Acrylic Paint Gold metallic acrylic paint, gold nail-polish, or a gold sharpie oil paint pen Flat work surface and paper to protect it from paint mess Paint brushes (a thin brush for the gold detailing) Scissors STEP EIGHT: To get the length of your necklace just so, before tying on your wooden bead closure, hold the necklace up to your neck and test it out for length. Pinch your ...]]> 2 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 8 Ways You Can Give To A Women’s Homeless Shelter Tue, 22 Oct 2013 19:20:15 +0000 The following is a guest post by my friend Lauren, who blogs at Pearls Poppies Pinkies Up. I hope you are as inspired by this post as I am—what a powerful example of true beauty Lauren is through her kind heart and service to women who have no place to call home. Over and over, I am reminded of this reality: Our world is fleeting. Unlike me, there are woman who lack the privilege to choose from a closet full of clothes when deciding what to wear. They do not have a full pantry, where come breakfast, are faced with the choice between oatmeal or peanut butter toast. There are women who do not get to choose between hitting snooze or waking up early to go on a run. You see, there are woman (women just like you, and just like me, with personalities, passions, and working hearts and minds) who wear one outfit each day with hopes that maybe, just maybe, they’ll get to wash it in a shelter sink that night. There are women, who are given breakfast bags and food despite whether they like it or not. And women who, upon waking up when the sun rises ...]]> 10 Sunday Sessions: On Finding Your Niche Sun, 07 Jul 2013 19:00:00 +0000 The following is a guest post by Mary Beth of Annapolis & Company—a blog about creativity in the everyday. She likes rainy days, Starbucks coffee, vegetarian food, abstract art, foreign countries, family time, Sunday worship services, the ocean, and all things stripy and nautical. I hope you enjoy her guest post and make some time to swing by her beautiful blog! I am an artist. Not the traditional kind…with a paint brush and a blank canvas. But an artist with my camera. With styling and lighting. Clothes and ingredients. Interiors and thrift store finds. It’s been a long road coming to that realization and then coming to terms with it. But I’m here…finally. Living in my own skin and I can’t tell you how good it feels. How nice it feels to be a child of the king, wife to my husband, mother to my children…plus a creative. For the longest time, though, I was searching. Searching to find what it was I was supposed to do with my life. Of course, I had a plan. Get married. Have children. Fix up a house and live in it. Travel. See the world. But as a young 19-yr-old saying my vows ...]]> 0 Through The Tunnel: A Recovery Story Sat, 06 Jul 2013 19:00:00 +0000 The following is a guest post by my friend Anne Taylor, a lover of stories. Through writing, blogging, and community outreach, she strives to help people live life with intention and joy, and equip them with the resources they need to share their passions and stories with others to help make a better world. Anne is a writer, owner of the blog Anne The Adventurer, and is currently working on her first book. She lives in Denver with her husband, Spencer. Below she shares her story of recovery—I hope you’ll be encouraged and inspired by it! Spencer and I had been married for six months when, late one night, I found myself crying on the edge of the bathtub over an ice cream bar. It began in the kitchen, when I opened up said ice cream bar. Spencer innocently asked if I was veering off my latest diet, trying to encourage me. Without warning, I screamed at him to lay off, threw the ice cream into the trash can, and ran off to the bathroom where I slammed the door and started sobbing. He gave me a few minutes and then came in to sit next to me. He gently ...]]> 0 Committing To Not Compare Fri, 05 Jul 2013 19:00:00 +0000 Hello, Thoughts By Natalie readers! I’m so excited Natalie asked me to guest post while she is away. Natalie and I have been good friends via the Internet for a couple years now, and I’m always inspired by her passion for helping women feel beautiful. My husband, Joe, and I recently moved from Iowa to Minnesota where I work as a food editor and blog over at Espresso and Cream. To celebrate our two-year wedding anniversary, my husband and I are taking a trip to Italy at the end of the summer. We’ve been planning and saving for our trip for quite a while now and we’re both incredibly excited to visit a country we’ve never been to before. Of course when we began planning we set a budget that’s reasonable for us and outlined where we would stay, how long we would stay and what we would do accordingly. While I was planning our trip I saw an article in a women’s magazine that outlined a celebrity’s lavish European vacation. I read and enjoyed the article, then went along with my own trip preparations. Later that night, while I was getting ready to go out to dinner with my ...]]> 0 Wanderlust: Dallas Wed, 03 Jul 2013 12:00:00 +0000 The following is a guest post by my dear friend and former college roommate, Rachel Johnson. She’s the Director of Project Development for the Touch A Life Foundation, a non-profit organization committed to the rescue and rehabilitation of exploited and trafficked children in West Africa and Southeast Asia. She lives in Dallas, TX—hence her expertise on the city—and can be found blogging at Through Painted Deserts. I was anxious to move to Dallas from Los Angeles when the opportunity presented itself nearly four years ago—I had never set foot in the Lone Star State. Was it everything it was cracked up to be? And, specifically, was Dallas a place I could call home? Looking back now, I know God had a very intentional plan for me and my life, and that the amazing city of Dallas was meant to play an integral role in who I became and what I pursued. This town has become one of my most favorites in the world, and here are a few reasons why: White Rock Lake I have a serious affinity for White Rock Lake, a beautiful body of water surrounded by 10 miles of biking and running paths. It is the perfect ...]]> 0