Thoughts By Natalie » relationships and femininity honest talk about beauty, style, wellness and life Mon, 14 Jul 2014 13:43:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Laws Of Attraction Thu, 29 Aug 2013 14:51:00 +0000 I recently stumbled upon an article in T Magazine called Laws of Attraction. It’s about how a woman’s true beauty is uncovered with age, and how this is something that is done especially well by the French, who know how to honor what happens to women as they age. Though I’m only 26, I have always been especially interested in aging, especially why women tend to feel less beautiful as they grow wiser, and also why our culture seems to be uncomfortable with the female aging process. The piece was so fascinating I read it several times, and wanted to share some of my favorite parts with you in order to have a bit of a discussion on the topic (my emphasis added)… “Only with stupid men does a woman’s intelligence count against her. But maybe a hundred generations of stupid men have succeeded in convincing women that they’re only as good as the condition of their skin. There has probably never been a period so youth-obsessed as ours: we speak of unlined faces as we once spoke of noble minds, and a certain Fitzgeraldian gold lies in the shallow caverns of youth, from where our popular culture mines it ...]]> 2 Happy Birthday, Brian!! Wed, 28 Aug 2013 12:00:00 +0000 In honor of Brian’s 27th birthday today, I’ve decided to write him a little love letter… Dear Brian, I never thought I could love someone as much as I love you. Convinced that I would never get married, everything changed when I decided to start dating you. You were unlike anyone I’d ever met—brilliant, funny, honest, kind, generous, and of course, a guy who loved Jesus—which was absolutely a must for me. Though we had our share of awkward dates, we fell in love quickly, and just haven’t looked back. After two and half years of marriage, I can honestly say that the more I know you, the more I love you! I hope you know how amazing you are and how grateful I am for you! You are my best friend and my partner in crime. Thank you for laughing at me when I’m goofing off, making my coffee when I wake up slower than you, writing me love notes when you leave the house before me, supporting me as I pursue my dreams, and just being there to live life with me. Our marriage is an adventure that I’m so honored to be a part of. Happy 27th ...]]> 2 Anniversary In Paradise Mon, 26 Aug 2013 17:42:00 +0000 While visiting our friends Tom and Jessica in Hawaii earlier this year for our second anniversary, Jessica—who is a professional photographer—so kindly decided to gift us a photo session on one of the dreamy Oahu beaches. As she shares on her blog, “For most couples, the time between wedding pictures and the first baby seems to be way under documented in my humble opinion”—and I couldn’t agree more. The scenery is stunning and such a special reminder of not only our anniversary and our pre-baby season of marriage, but also of Brian’s first ever trip to Hawaii. As I’ve shared before, getting my photo taken in a formal setting usually makes me feel pretty awkward. I was totally nervous at first, and probably making Jessica’s job much more difficult! But overall, it was so much fun to work with her and see her in action, and of course Brian and I are totally obsessed with the outcome of the photos. She’s so talented, and somehow managed to help us look normal rather than freaked out or over-posed. Now that’s a gift! Would you ever take (or have you ever taken) “just because” photos with your significant other? P.S. Check out ...]]> 0 33 Years of Commitment Fri, 16 Aug 2013 15:59:00 +0000 Today is my parents’ 33rd wedding anniversary. Thirty. Three. Years. While there are several things I love about them as individuals—my dad’s intelligence and creative talent, my mom’s light-heartedness and diligence in her work—what I love most about them as a couple is their commitment to one another. Now that I’m married, I understand that while marriage is absolutely the best decision I ever made, it’s also something that requires work, selflessness, trust, and above all, commitment. And I love that I have my parents as an example of a marriage that lasts—what a gift that is to me! Happy anniversary, Mom and Dad—I love you!! What do you respect or admire most about your parents’ relationship?]]> 0 Let’s Talk About Modesty Sun, 28 Jul 2013 22:57:00 +0000 0 When Comfortable Solitude Meets Necessary Community Tue, 02 Jul 2013 19:00:00 +0000 The following is a guest post by my dear friend and Darling Magazine co-worker Tracy Le. She’s a writer and photographer who frequents coffee shops, values conversation, is inspired by kindness, and believes in a good, strong hi-five. Her works and quirks can be found at We need people. This is a truth I’m projecting primarily towards myself. I used to boast in my alone time, my solo-ness, my singleness, but when it comes down to it, my moments of utter joy have involved others. And I say this all to give recognition to that, to them. Thankfulness hardly covers it. This acknowledgement-turned-simple-reflection stems from my preference of my own company, and my own company alone. Just me, my thoughts and my God and no room whatsoever for anyone or anything else to disrupt me is my usual mind frame. I’m learning now, there is unfilled space and it’s meant for people. And it’s guided by our calling ultimately, to love others. If I’m about myself, the company of others will deter my ability to do anything useful, especially the loving part. Perhaps it’s specific seasons of our lives that bring certain truths out more boldly. Of late, I’ve ...]]> 0 Baby Fever Fri, 07 Jun 2013 12:00:00 +0000 Back in March I shared with you about changing my tune on the whole motherhood thing, and since sharing those thoughts so publicly, I’ve felt freed to embrace what can only be referred to as baby fever. I see babies and I want to hold them. I hear screeching children at Target and I want to console them. I learn that friends are pregnant (including this one) and I almost want to cry tears of joy for them because of what a miracle and a blessing that is. While I won’t be volunteering at the church nursery anytime soon, nor adding a little bun (or buns) to my oven just yet, I can say that I’ve been intentional lately to spend time with little ones and learn more about what life as a mother really looks like. Ella’s baby dedication in April. Because I love to learn first-hand, I’m thrilled that this weekend we are having our very first miniature house guest for four whole nights. Our friends Lindsey and Travis are visiting until Monday along with their sweet little girl Ella. She’s serious and observant and curious in all of the best ways, and I’m so excited to spend ...]]> 0 The Best Mother’s Day Gifts Under $150 Mon, 29 Apr 2013 12:00:00 +0000 Below is an article I did for Glitter Guide this week, featuring Mother’s Day gift ideas for all kinds of moms that are under $150. Scroll down to read it in full, and check out the original on Glitter Guide’s website. We recently shared some DIY Mother’s Day gifts to try, but for those of you who are less crafty (or shorter on time), we’ve compiled a list of gifts suitable for a variety of mothers out there. Whether your mom loves style, cooking, or correspondence, trust us—we’ve got you covered! OliveBox ($25 – $295) OliveBox is a subscription service that delivers a delightful box of paper and lifestyle products to members’ doors each month. From cards and artwork to inspiring books and gifting ideas, this is perfect for the moms who never fail to send a thank-you note! Apolis + Kinfolk Garden Bag ($62) Does your mom love spending time outdoors? This tote can hold gardening tools or serve as a handy picnic bag. Lulu Frost Ladyship Bracelet ($144) Give Mom some sparkle. This Lulu Frost bracelet twinkles without being overly flashy. Rifle Paper Co. Mother Daughter Card ($4.50) For moms whose footsteps you’re proud to follow in, this ...]]> 0 Exercising With A Significant Other Fri, 19 Apr 2013 12:00:00 +0000 0 The Day We Said "I Do" Tue, 16 Apr 2013 12:00:00 +0000 This week I’m doing a little reflecting on my relationship with Brian in honor of our two year wedding anniversary. Today, my friends, is our actual anniversary, which means that two years ago today we made the biggest (and best!) decision of our lives. As I look back on our wedding, I can honestly say I wouldn’t change a thing. I loved the location, the food, my dress, and literally every single thing about that day. It was truly delightful! Here are photos from the most special day of our lives so dar—the day we said “I do”… Photos by Brett & Emily Photographers (If you live in Southern California, I HIGHLY recommend them! They are talented, personable, and just so pleasant to work with.)]]> 0