Friday, May 30, 2014

Summer Outfit Idea With Kohls

Outfit Details

Cami: Apt 9 $11.99 (here) / Skirt: Princess Vera Wang $25.99 (here)
Shoes: Lauren Conrad $36.99 (here) / Bag: Simply Vera $34.99 (similar)
Necklace: Apt 9 $9.60 (here)  

I teamed up with Kohls again for a fun summer challenge!  They asked me to put together a head-to-toe look where I could only spend $100.  After taking advantage of their Memorial Day sales and using Kohls cash that I have accumulated through other purchases, I was able to complete the task.  I even attached a photo of the receipt so you can see how much I saved: a total of $109.43.  Now that's a lot of savings!  I also got back another $10 in Kohls cash.

 I honestly started shopping at Kohls for my mother initially.  It's one of her favorite stores and she would always rave about their sales.  And I am all for a good deal!  I would always find great gifts for her there and when I started looking around for myself, I realized that they had some great pieces for me too.  They even have a petite section which is perfect for my 4'11 self.  Some of my favorite brands that they carry there are Lauren Conrad and Apt 9, so when looking for an outfit those were the first two sections that I went to. I tried on a bunch of things, but this ended up working out the best.  It was super hot on Memorial Day when I shot this look, so I wanted something that was easy to wear with a fun pop of color.

I always tend to get the same style of ankle strap shoes, but since they are a staple for me, I like to have a few different ones to switch around.  I have to say that so far, these are the most comfortable ones I have.  This seamless cami is everything!  I seriously have to go back and get them in more colors, but I especially love this pink one with the skirt.  It's the perfect layering piece, but also works really well on it's own for those hot summer days.  For once, I am not wearing any gold.  I wanted my accessories to somewhat match with the color in the skirt.  This necklace was the last one in the store so I took it as a sign ;)  Since I already had these rings and sunglasses at home, I decided to add them on to finish off the whole look.  Hope you liked :)

Cheers to a lovely weekend!

Disclosure: This has been a sponsored post in collaboration with Kohls.  All opinions expressed are my own and this has not been edited by any third parties.  

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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Summer Style Refresh

After allowing both my room and closet/office space to be completely cluttered the past few months, I have finally done some "summer cleaning" and boy does it feel good!  I always try to clean out my closet & revamp my wardrobe every time the seasons change.  I like being able to start a new season with some new pieces, but I also like to go through what I already have to see what can transition.  Cleaning & organizing can be really overwhelming, especially when it comes to clothes, shoes, and accessories.  As women, we have so much of it all and we tend to hold on to certain items for awhile, even if we aren't wearing them.  (totally guilty!)  Before I started blogging, I was doing style consultations where I would go to girls homes and clean out their closets with them.  It was always a challenge, but I definitely learned some tricks along the way and a process that has really worked for me. 

 Well for starters, try to keep your pets (if you have any) out of the room.  As you can see my little boys photo bombed lol I had to include them. I swear every time I sit down with my shoes or clothes that's when they want to play!

There is no way I could get any of this done without some upbeat music and my caffeine fix! This Bottled Starbucks® Iced Coffee has become a new must-have for me whenever I need a quick refresher.  It tastes so good and makes for the perfect companion when cleaning out your closet or for when you're on the go.  It also comes in vanilla, caramel and low calorie too!

Ok, let's get to it!  I always like to start with my shoes first because I think they are much easier to sort through than anything else.  I do my best to keep the newest and frequently worn ones in my closet room and keep the rest in my bedroom closet.  This just gives me easier access to them.  I always tend to keep the same pairs on rotate, so sorting through them every so often is a good reminder to give the others some love!   For spring/summer, I try to keep a good mix of pumps & sandals in different colors up front on display.

Sorting through clothes definitely takes up the most time.  Everyone has their own process, but for me I literally take every single thing out of the closet and dump it on my bed.  Then, I go through each piece one at a time and create two piles: toss it and maybe.  The ones I know that I am keeping I hang up in the closet right away in different sections: long sleeve, short sleeve, dresses, etc.  And the ones that I am unsure about, I make the final decision at the end. I have a new rule that if I have not worn something in the past year, it's time to let it go. For the items that I no longer want, I donate some to the Lupus foundation and some I sell on Poshmark.  Once I have everything situated, I hang up the most recent items on my clothing rack along with some versatile & transitional pieces that I know I can constantly rework.  It takes up more time, but it really helps to try things on as you are doing this.  Usually my maybes become "ohhh, that's a no!" haha  It's always more fun to do this with someone else.  It makes me think of the Sex & The City movie when Carrie is moving out and trying everything on for the girls ;)

Up next is my jewelry.  This used to take me awhile to sort through, but now that I have some necklace stands and bracelet & ring holders, it makes the process go by much quicker.  I love having my jewelry all in one place now because before, it was just creating a ton of unnecessary clutter.  This is a great way to keep all of your pieces together and it also looks really pretty on display too.  For summer, I'm really gravitating towards bright colored statement necklaces and gold cuffs.  

The last thing I do is try to "decorate" my space with books, candles, perfume bottles, etc.  and typically, I try to switch it up as often as I can.  Whenever I bring in new items, re-organize or change up the space, I just feel more inspired and at ease.  I still have to finish up the other side of this room, but I can't wait to share when it's all done. 

Hopefully this post helps when you decide to do a closet refresh of your own!  
Happy Thursday <3

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Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Starbucks Coffee Company via Mode Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Starbucks Coffee Company.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Naty Grams

Life lately...

If you are the light, you cast away the darkness. 

My little cutie pie nephew, Blake. 

With my brother from another at his studio checking out some amazing artwork :)

Writing is such a release.  I've been having trouble sleeping at night so my blogger love Nadia surprised me with this journal to jot down my thoughts and ideas before bed.  Super thoughtful!  She found it at Home Goods. 

Simple mornings.  Coffee in my favorite mug & fresh fruit to start the day. 

Bookworm.  I've loved reading ever since grammar school.  I could lose myself in a bookstore for hours.  I was checking out The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell.  It's about that moment when an idea or trend reaches its threshold, tips and spreads like wildfire. Now, I'm checking out #GirlBoss.

 I feel like I have been going through something recently and I just have this urge to explore and discover new places and things, more than ever before.  That is one of the reasons why I am taking a road trip to Canada next month.  More on that soon!

The most amazing kale salad that I would like to eat every single day :)

Selfie of a simple black & white look I did recently.  Pants are from Cortefiel and top is Lauren Conrad for Kohls. 

Freedom is the oxygen of the soul.  
This is one of my favorite places and it always makes me feel so at peace.  It was extremely therapeutic for me when I first lost my father. 

And sometimes, you just have to let go.  I think it's important to remember to take a step back from the hustle and bustle of our every day lives and just have a moment to mentally escape from it all.  

Happy Wednesday <3 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014


Outfit Details

Romper: H&M (similar style) / Jean Jacket: Old Navy (here, here, & here
Shoes: Charlotte Russe (also love) / Clutch: Grateful Bags / Sunglasses: Rivet & Sway (here

Everything is better when it's personalized... don't you agree?  I especially love this whole monogram craze that has become extremely popular.  Having something with your initials or name on it makes it that much more special.  So today, I want to introduce you to Grateful Bags.  I love it when a brand has a story or a powerful message behind their line. Jenny Ross, the designer, firmly believes in waking up each morning and starting the day with gratitude, giving back and chasing your dreams.  Her line gives you the chance to exude your personal style, fashion sense, and most importantly, to be grateful.  I love her positivity, outlook and the way she has been able to incorporate that through her bags.  Having one of her monogrammed pieces with your initials is a daily reminder of being grateful for who you are.   

The really cool thing about Grateful bags is that you get to customize everything.  Since you are choosing the style, color, font and initials, it really will showcase your individual style.  I decided to go with a black bag and a gold cursive monogram.  This bag in particular comes with a removable strap so you have the option to wear it over your shoulder or use it as a clutch like I did here.  I always wear gold so I knew that would be the best color choice for my monogram.  I wanted this to be a bag that I could wear with pretty much anything and I'm so happy with the outcome.  Jenny is giving everyone 40% off and free shipping with the code SUMMER.  So if you decide to customize a grateful bag of your own, make sure to use the code!  

I styled this romper before, here, so I decided to switch it up a bit. I love pieces that can easily be transitioned from day to night.  It's getting much warmer out, but the nights are still a bit cool, so I paired it with this denim jacket that I got customized at an Old Navy preview.  Denim jackets are a great staple piece this season.  I wore it out the other day and some guy said, "Hey Naty!" I turned around and asked how he knew my name and he said it was written on my jacket. (duh) HAHA! Now if that isn't a conversation starter then I don't know what is ;)

P.S. I got ombré again! Hope you all have a great Tuesday.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day Memories

There are certain moments in life when you remember every detail specifically.  It doesn't matter how much time goes by, those feelings and those memories still feel so recent.  Four years ago on Memorial Day weekend, I was heading home Saturday night after going out with some friends.  I remember being stopped at a traffic light when my sister called me.  She wanted to let me know that she was on her way to the hospital with my dad because he was having really bad stomach pains.  I just remember feeling so scared and this sudden wave of uncontrollable emotions took over me. I wanted so badly to keep a positive outlook, but I knew deep down that there was something terribly wrong. 

Now a week prior to this, my dad mentioned that he had not been feeling too well.  This was a man who was rarely ever sick a day in his life so we were all instantly worried.  We had celebrated my mother's birthday and a few of my relatives had mentioned that my dad's skin was looking a little bit jaundice.  The thought of something being wrong with his liver was our first instinct.  A few days after that party, I had lunch with him at a local pizzeria.  He could barely get through the meal.  I kept telling him that he needed to see a doctor, but my dad was stubborn and always wanted to be strong for everyone else.  Two days after that (bringing us back to that Saturday), I had plans again to see my father, but I was out running errands all day and told him that I had to cancel.  I remember hanging up the phone with him and suddenly got a really bad feeling that I could not shake off.  So I stopped by his house and he was so happy to see me.  I knew as soon as I saw his face that he was not ok.  He said that he had a bad night and couldn't sleep.  His stomach was still bothering him and this had been going on for a week or so.  I made him promise me that if it happened again that night, to let one of us bring him to the hospital.  

So when I got that call from my sister, I knew it was going to be something serious because if my dad allowed her to take him to the hospital, then deep down he knew it too.  We were there all night with him as the doctors ran multiple tests.  Even in his bed in the emergency room, he told us to continue with our plans for going down the shore the next day.  He didn't want to be the reason that we couldn't have fun.  He was such a selfless man, always putting everyone first before him.  I remember holding his hand and telling him that there was no way we were going to leave him.  That moment as I looked into his eyes, I saw fear for the first time.  The doctor came over to tell us that they found a mass on his liver and needed to run some more tests.  And then it hit me.  I knew it was cancer.  We all knew it.  

On Memorial Day, he was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer and it had already spread to his liver and his lymphnodes.  There are no words to describe what it felt like hearing that diagnosis.  My entire world came crashing down in that instant.  They didn't give us a time frame for his life.  They weren't sure if the chemo would work.  We just had to try and do what we could to keep him here for as long as possible.  I think I was in denial those next three months.  I knew what was happening but it was just so hard for me to accept.  It was hard for all of us to come to terms with the fact that my father could die.  I prayed for a miracle every day.  Deep down in my heart I really believed that a miracle was going to happen  Whenever my dad would talk to people about having cancer, he always said, "I'm going to fight it."  And he did.  He fought as hard as he could those three months.  And that's why he is my hero.  I learned so much that summer about life and myself, but most importantly I learned how to fight through fear from the most amazing man I've ever known.

When he passed away, everything changed and I was not ok for a very long time.  I learned to deal with his loss without really dealing with it.  I just had to force myself to go on with my life.  To be completely honest I don't think I've ever accepted it.  There will always be a piece of me that is missing.  If you've lost a parent or any loved one for that matter, then you know that time doesn't ever heal that wound.  I thought a lot about doing this post because it's so personal.  I think each time I write about my dad I open up a little bit more.  What happened with him is such a big part of me and my life.  I want to be able to share more on here than just my outfits because there is so much more to me than that.  I'm no expert on dealing with loss because even four years later, I'm still dealing with it.  But if any of you have experienced something similar, please don't ever hesitate to reach out.  It's a constant battle, this I know.

If you took the time to read this, thank you so much for allowing me to share it with you.
And I just want to say thank you to all those who have served our country.  You have made the ultimate sacrifice and we are forever grateful! We remember you today and always. <3

Friday, May 23, 2014

Dress Up Your Tee

Outfit Details 

Shirt: H&M / Skirt: Aeropostale (here) / Shoes: Zara (similar style)
Bag: olivia + joy (here) / Bracelet: Capwell (here) / Sunglasses: Rivet & Sway (here)

Happy Friday loves!  

For today's post, I just wanted to share a fun way to dress up a simple tee. Whenever I go shopping, I always seem to find more bottoms than tops.  I'm not really sure why that is but I think I am just a little bit more picky when it comes to shirts.  I've been trying to sort through all of my clothes lately and couldn't believe that the majority of my closet is made up of dresses, pants and skirts.  That's pretty much the main reason I rework a lot of the same tops into different looks.  I tend to buy more of the simpler ones that I know I can get much more use out of and it doesn't get much simpler than a solid colored tee!  The styling options are truly endless.  Since it's such a casual piece, I just wanted to show it's versatility by pairing it with this dressier floral print skirt. I think adding a bunch of different solid colored tees into your wardrobe this season will be a great way to mix & match many outfits.  White and black tees are definite must-haves, but I would also try to include at least 2-3 other bold colors. :)

Cheers to a fun & safe Memorial Day weekend everyone!

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