Thoughts By Natalie » holiday honest talk about beauty, style, wellness and life Thu, 17 Jul 2014 18:02:29 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Happy New Year!! Wed, 01 Jan 2014 20:56:13 +0000 Well, we made it. It’s 2014—and also January. For some reason the fact that it’s the first month of the year feels stranger to me than the fact that we’re in a new year, but I’m not entirely sure why. Last night Brian and I kept it low key with a date night at one of our favorite local spots, followed by lounging at home on the couch in pajamas with bubbly. It was pretty perfect, if you ask me. Since I couldn’t resist the urge to dress up, I of course wore my new sequins mermaid skirt out to dinner! I paired it with a soft white Old Navy sweater you may remember, a simple gold pendant necklace and my brown ankle boots. As much as this skirt was so perfect for NYE, I’m really looking forward to wearing it again to other events this year, mixing it with a casual tee or tank to keep it from being too over the top. It’s certainly the statement piece of my entire wardrobe, and I’m majorly obsessed with it. What did you wear for New Year’s Eve last night? P.S. More sequin inspiration and my plans for 2014.]]> 6 Mochas At Home Thu, 26 Dec 2013 17:40:28 +0000 I’ve had a lot of requests recently for recipes for the homemade mochas I’ve been making for myself—namely, a spiced “Aztec” mocha and a peppermint mocha. The process is exactly the same for both, so first I’ll give you the ingredients and then move on to the instructions. Aztec Mocha 2 tablespoons DAGOBA Organic Xocolatl Drinking Chocolate with Chilies & Cinnamon Almond milk 1-2 shots of espresso Peppermint Mocha 2-3 tablespoons Trader Joe’s Peppermint Hot Chocolate Almond milk 1-2 shots of espresso I personally use a Capresso milk steamer (seriously use it all the time!!), but if you don’t have a milk steamer, you can easily do this on the stove in a pot. Simply add all of the ingredients and heat! NOTE: no way to make espresso at home? Strong coffee works just fine! In both of the recipes, there should be 3/4 milk and cocoa and 1/4 espresso or coffee, but the ultimate ratio is up to you! Do you ever make fancy coffee drinks at home? If so, what do you make? I need ideas :)]]> 10 Merry Christmas Wed, 25 Dec 2013 21:18:16 +0000 Merry Christmas, my dears! I hope you’re enjoying a beautiful day with loved ones, and that Santa was nice to you this year. Last night we attended the Christmas Eve service at my parents’ church, then enjoyed drinks, dinner and dessert with friends in the neighborhood. It felt so festive and communal. It was just what I needed to really get into the Christmas spirit. Today, we had a lovely morning at home with my parents, but sadly my mom came down with a migraine this morning, so we’re just praying for a quick turnaround for her (it’s so sad to see the ones you love not feeling well), and otherwise lounging around watching movies and playing with our new toys from Santa. Later, I plan to dive into one of my new books and read by the fire, because doesn’t that just sound awesome? What about you? What has your Christmas Eve and Christmas morning looked like? Top image via Lindsay Letters]]> 1 Christmas Party Outfit: Help Me Pick! Fri, 20 Dec 2013 17:10:17 +0000 UPDATE 12/21: see the final pick here :) Let me just start by saying this: I NEED YOUR HELP!! I’m going to a Christmas party tonight and I absolutely cannot choose what to wear. While I’m thrilled to have discovered so many fun party outfit options in my closet, I am completely incapable of deciding what to wear tonight. Will you help me choose? To give you some context: the event is Brian’s company Christmas party. It’s a small-ish office and everyone knows each other pretty well, so it’s fun and friendly, rather than stuffy and awkward. The invitation says “cocktail attire” and it’s taking place in the same spot as last year—a super awesome restaurant in La Jolla. Now that you have the details, I would love the assistance of those of you who are willing and eager to help. Just scroll through and take a peek at the looks (forgive my terribly unprofessional photos—clearly these were taken in a hurry, as the bed behind me isn’t even made, haha), then vote below in the comments section letting me know your top pick. Thank you, thank you, thank you for your help!!! What should I wear tonight?!?]]> 62 Creative Gift Wrapping Ideas Fri, 20 Dec 2013 16:05:05 +0000 Every year I end up wrapping my Christmas gifts in whatever paper I find lying around the house because it’s just easier that way. And while I don’t see that changing anytime soon, a girl can dream, can’t she? Of Christmases to come when I don’t feel like I’m losing my mind with all of the to-dos on my list, when I feel rested and creative, and when I have an entire afternoon to create gorgeous, gorgeous wrapped gifts, like these… Are you into pretty gift wrap? Or just whatever you can find lying around (like me)? Images via Go Forth, Pinterest, @goforthcreative on Instagram, Decoist, Odessa May Society, Michael Graydon, SMAM, Nine and Sixteen]]> 9 How To Do A Rope Braid Wed, 18 Dec 2013 18:04:32 +0000 Good news, friends! You know that braid I’ve been sporting lately that so many of you have been asking about? It’s called a rope braid, and today I’m teaching you how to do it. It only takes a minute, and requires basically no skill at all. It’s simple, quick, and an easy everyday hairstyle that could totally work for a holiday party, too—especially if your outfit is super fancy. Nothing better than a dressy outfit with simple, laid-back hair. Casual-chic at it’s finest. What do you think? Would you wear the rope braid?]]> 6 Seeds & Thorns Shop: Gifts That Give Back Tue, 17 Dec 2013 19:20:35 +0000 Although Christmas is right around the corner, it’s not too late to finish up shopping for those you love—especially if you’re looking to buy something that gives back to those in need. The Seeds & Thorns Shop is not only affordable, but a portion of all profits go directly to those in poverty, slavery, hunger. The beautiful products sold are a labor of love, from the artwork to design to the crochet, and everything is handcrafted, making this a super special and original gift idea for friends and loved ones who like more unique items. If you’re still looking for handcrafted gifts from about $12-35, be sure to swing by the Seeds & Thorns Shop for something special! These are just a few of my personal favorites… While this post was sponsored by Seeds & Thorns Shop, all opinions are entirely my own. Thank you for supporting the great websites, brands and companies that make Thoughts By Natalie possible.]]> 0 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 Instant Luxury Fri, 13 Dec 2013 13:00:07 +0000 Do any of you have a faux fur jacket? I don’t have one yet, but I really feel like it’s a must-add to my wardrobe. It adds instant luxury to any outfit, and is super fun for holiday events. The key with faux fur is keeping everything else fairly minimal, or sticking to only one other statement piece, like a necklace or a bold lip. I especially love a fur coat with a monochromatic black outfit base, or with a simple jeans and tee look. What do you put on for a touch of instant luxury? Top image via Kendi Everyday]]> 1 Casual Sequins Thu, 12 Dec 2013 13:00:49 +0000 I feel like I’m seeing sequins everywhere right now—or perhaps I’m just looking for it because I love it so much. Though sequin dresses are totally expected this time of year, I’m finding myself especially drawn to more unexpected sparkly looks with pants and maxi skirts. It’s obviously the perfect time of year for glitz and glam, and the best way to sport it (in my opinion) is in an understated fashion, paired with something soft and neutral, or at the very least, going with minimal makeup and laid-back hair. Below are several looks I’m beyond in love with, plus links for where to buy similar items in case you want to give one of them a try yourself this holiday. What’s your favorite way to wear sequins? Image sources: Pinterest, Happily Grey, Glitter Guide, Bows & Sequins, A Little Dash of Darling, Hello Fashion, Clara Persis, Man Repeller SHOP THE LOOKS]]> 7