Thoughts By Natalie » sponsored honest talk about beauty, style, wellness and life Wed, 02 Jul 2014 12:00:32 +0000 en-US hourly 1 BUMP STYLE :: Walking the Dog Wed, 02 Jul 2014 12:00:32 +0000 Featured here is The Mia Dress, which has gotten tons of wear since I got it a month or so ago. It’s so easy to slip on in the morning and I’m a total sucker for a black dress. I styled it with a long gold pendant necklace and my favorite studded tan ankle boots. Though it’s a short style, its flowy nature makes it far from inappropriate when sitting down, which I appreciate. Oh, and the back is so pretty…I absolutely love the pleated detail, the covered buttons and the fact that it’s a bit longer than the front. This will certainly be a dress that I’ll wear post-baby. (These photos were snapped for my very first collaboration post with HATCH Collection for their Bump Project—a style diary to map a mama’s journey through the HATCH wardrobe as her body and her style needs change shape.) _________________ What I’m Wearing: HATCH Collection Mia Dress (c/o HATCH) H&M Mirrored Sunglasses / Similar Madewell Ensign Necklace Timex Weekender Watch Old Navy Studded Ankle Boots / Similar Photos by Joyful Steps Photography in collaboration with HATCH Collection]]> 0 The Socially Conscious Shopping App You Have To Download + A Giveaway Tue, 24 Jun 2014 12:00:44 +0000 I recently discovered a new app that makes shopping for unique, high-quality, and socially-conscious fashion a breeze. Founded by two women (love that!), Orange Harp isn’t just about shopping, but more so about attaching meaning to the products we bring into our lives. The brands selected to be included on the app are hand-picked and must be committed to the Orange Harp philosophy… Design: Products are made of high-quality, natural, or renewable raw materials. Community: Brands care for communities by giving back and upholding fair standards—for people and animals. Planet: Practice energy-saving manufacturing techniques, eco-friendly shipping, and other methods that protect the earth. Even better, 1% revenue supports Not For Sale to help end modern-day slavery. Isn’t that great? I downloaded it a couple weeks ago and just think it is such a brilliant concept. Now, without further ado, the giveaway!! THE BRAND LOVEHEWN is an ethical fashion jewelry line crafted completely from vintage, recycled, and natural materials. THE PRODUCT LOVEHEWN’s Amber Agate River Stone Necklace is crafted from a slender vintage brass chain with a lovely rose gold patina, and a smooth, oval vintage amber agate stone. The necklace measures 18″ in length and the amber agate is approximately ...]]> 2 BUMP STYLE :: Backyard Reading Thu, 19 Jun 2014 12:00:26 +0000 Featured here is The Lily Dress—a dreamy Greek-goddess like dress that is so dreamy and feminine. The draping of the fabric emphasizes maternal curves in the most beautiful way. On my body, I’ve found that it’s especially flattering when belted right above the belly, so that’s how I styled it here. Also, whenever I wear this dress I like to either brush my hair to the side or wear it up in a bun to show off the stunning detail around the neckline—that part alone is what made me fall in love with this dress! (These photos were snapped for my very first collaboration post with HATCH Collection for their Bump Project—a style diary to map a mama’s journey through the HATCH wardrobe as her body and her style needs change shape.) _________________ What I’m Wearing: HATCH Collection Lily Dress (c/o HATCH) Merona Double Prong Jean Belt Anthropologie Monogram Mug :) Photos by Joyful Steps Photography in collaboration with HATCH Collection]]> 5 BUMP STYLE :: Stripes + Ssekos Thu, 12 Jun 2014 12:00:59 +0000 Once again, I’m participating again in Sseko Designs‘ annual style campaign, showing off how I wear my sandals. Much like last year, I’m sporting stripes—this time a super adorable tunic I received from HATCH Collection and my favorite J.Crew pants. Since Sseko’s hope is to connect women across the world and encourage them to empower one another, they also sent me a beautiful bangle with the name of one of the team members in Uganda on it. ‘Sofia’ is the name on mine, and I’m told that she has worked hard to overcome every obstacle placed in the way of her education. She’s passionate about women’s rights, and hopes to run her own catering company one day in order to employ ladies like herself. Sounds like a pretty remarkable woman :) Be sure to check out my Instagram feed this week to see how you can win a pretty bangle for yourself! _________________ What I’m Wearing: HATCH Collection Bateau Top (c/o HATCH) J.Crew Minnie Pants (also available in maternity) with Ingrid & Isabel BellaBand Target Purse (similar) J.Crew Link Bracelet Sseko Designs Mojave T-Strap Sandals Sseko Designs Bangle Shop similar items below… What style of Sseko sandals do you like ...]]> 4 Mix & Match Bikinis Tue, 10 Jun 2014 12:00:14 +0000 Shopping for swimsuits is probably one of the least appealing annual tasks we do as women. While it’s so fun to have a new suit to sport by the water, the shopping environment tends to do nothing by damage to our self-esteem. I mean, harsh fluorescent lighting is definitely not the preferable way to view yourself in a teeny bikini. In all honesty, I’ve become more of an online swimsuit shopper to save myself from an inaccurate judgement about what the suit actually looks like. (Though I always risk the suit not fitting properly, I spare myself so much agony by being able to try it on in normal lighting and the comfort of my own home.) All that being said, you can imagine my delight when I recently discovered the ASOS Bikini Mixer. By clicking the arrows on the site, you can easily mix-and-match over 100 tops (in sizes A-G cups) and bottoms to find a bikini combo that suits you best. For extra inspiration, they have an “inspire me” button that randomly puts together two pieces to consider pairing together. Easy, fun and interactive, right?!? The best part of all is that they offer free shipping for orders ...]]> 2 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 Let’s Talk About Holiday Fitness Mon, 04 Nov 2013 13:00:35 +0000 One of my girlfriends once said, “I don’t do exercise that requires shoes,” and I have to say, it’s not too shabby of a rule. Though I’d never be able to toss my Nikes and abandon my love for jogging, I agree that there is something especially wonderful about shoe-free exercise—especially during these chilly fall and winter months when the idea of leaving the house to exercise is really not everyone’s idea of fun. If you identify with those thoughts, you’re in luck—my friend Robin from The Balanced Life is about to kick off her third annual Slim & Strong in Six program! Starting November 11 (that’s a week from today!), Robin will send you a new 40 minute Pilates video every Monday morning leading up to Christmas. The good news is that can all be done from home, it’s suitable for all levels, and all you need is a computer with internet access. Excited? Me too. Here are some of the nitty gritty details… WHO You, Robin and your computer (all levels welcome). WHAT 6 carefully crafted Pilates videos that can be done from the comfort of your own home. Weekly emails to remind you to get our your ...]]> 0 Peet’s Pods Mon, 05 Aug 2013 12:00:00 +0000 Okay, okay—so they’re not officially called Peet’s Pods—but shouldn’t they be? Recently I had the opportunity to try the new Peet’s single cups, and I have to say they did not disappoint. A long-time fan of Peet’s Coffee—namely, the Major Dickason’s blend—I’ve been awaiting this moment in time ever since I first purchased my Keurig brewer. I’ve settled for other tasty coffee pods in the meantime, but now that Peet’s makes their coffee available in these cute little pods, I just might have to switch back to my old favorite for good. As many of you know, my morning coffee is a sacred thing. Having Peet’s available in pods makes sipping my favorite coffee so much more convenient (seriously, if you don’t have a single brewer you’re doing way too much cleaning…I love mine!). When I first tried the Major Dickason’s blend as a single cup (with a splash of my favorite unsweetened coconut milk), I wasn’t sure if it would be as good as what I brewed in my old coffee maker—but I was pleasantly surprised to discover the same rich taste that I love so much about Peet’s coffee. It’s a good strong brew that wakes you up ...]]> 0 Heather + Claudette Fri, 26 Jul 2013 14:00:00 +0000 Heather and Claudette are my newest necklaces from To: Hello Beautiful, and I wanted to show you a few different ways to style them! Last week I tossed on my Heather necklace on with a simple blue summer dress, my straw fedora and flat sandals for and afternoon of running errands around town. I love the way it made the whole outfit look so much more put-together! Since I’ve recently gotten into layering necklaces, on Monday I paired Heather and Claudette together with a monochromatic white outfit and leopard pumps. How would you style these necklaces? (Disclosure: To: Hello Beautiful is one of my beloved advertisers, and the jewelry featured in this post was provided by them.) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .FIRST OUTFIT Fedora: J.Crew Factory (similar) Dress: Target Necklace: To: Hello Beautiful Sandals: Naya SECOND OUTFIT Necklaces: To: Hello Beautiful Shirt: American Eagle (similar) Shorts: Old Navy Bag: Target Shoes: Anne Klein Keep in touch! Facebook // Twitter // Instagram // Pinterest]]> 0 Interview with Lacy Ellman of A Sacred Journey Mon, 08 Jul 2013 15:25:00 +0000 Today I’m glad to introduce you to Lacy of A Sacred Journey, who was my featured sponsor for June (I’m a little behind, but better late than never, right?). To give you more information about what A Sacred Journey is all about, I thought it would be fun to interview Lacy and let her tell you about it herself… Could you give everyone a quick overview of what your goal is through the website? A Sacred Journey is all about our journeys in life and how they become more meaningful when we engage them with spirituality and intention. At first glance it’s a site about pilgrimage and the intersection of spirituality and travel, because travel can allow us to grow and encounter the Sacred in unique ways. But as you look deeper you’ll find that it’s not just about the transformative journeys that we can take abroad, but our daily and interior journeys as well. My goal with A Sacred Journey is to invite people to engage their journeys, whether at home or abroad, and help them to discover how journeying with purpose can transform our lives. When we do this, our journeys truly become sacred. What inspired you to ...]]> 0