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CincinNatalie

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    3 Simple Short Hair Looks for all of Your Valentine’s Day Plans

    Valentine’s Day is officially here! I’ll admit, it’s not the biggest holiday on my list, but I’ll take any excuse to hang out with Fritz, wear my favorite red dress and go out on the town.

    I’ve had my outfit picked out for a few weeks now, but I wasn’t really sure what to do with my hair. While short hair calls for less time with a blow dryer (a major win in my book), it can require a bit of creativity in the styling department.

    Luckily, Melissa Leitru, the owner of Wild Honey Salon, knows a thing or two about styling short hair. We got together a few weeks back and she helped create three simple Valentines-Day inspired looks that I could easily recreate on my own at home.

    So, whether you have plans to go out, stay in, or grab brunch with your girlfriends, there’s a look below for every occasion.

    THE FRENCH TWIST

    Chic and sophisticated (you know, so very French). Perfect for date night at that fancy restaurant.

    STEP 1: Starting on the top of your head, grab 1/2-inch to 1-inch sections tease. Be sure to tease the hair very close to the scalp and go all the way around your head.

    STEP 2: With your hands, direct your hair into a gentle side part and smooth the hair back on one side. Secure with bobby pins vertically up the center back of the head.

    STEP 3: Direct the hair on the other side of your head to the back and create a twist. Spray with hairspray.

    THE SIDE BRAID

    Fun and easy, just the way it should be. Perfect for brunch with your best gal pals.

    STEP 1: Create a side part, grab a section of hair and start braiding, directing it towards the crown of the head. 

    STEP 2: Secure with a clear elastic and pin.

    STEP 3: Carefully pull braid apart slightly, giving it a fuller, messier appearance.

    The Messy Braided Top Knot

    Casual & cool. Perfect for those chill nights in.

    STEP 1: Section your hair at the arch of your eyebrows and secure with an elastic. Braid the hair and secure with another elastic.


    STEP 2: Wrap the braided hair around itself to create a bun. Pin with bobby pins. Using a wand, curl the remaining hair to create messy, loose waves.

    Products used: R+Co Outer Space Flexible Hairspray, small bobby pins, wand curling iron, elastics and comb.


    All images by Libby Bartley

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    Travel

    How to Spend A Weekend in Butler County, Ohio: Days 2 & 3

    After our jam-packed first day in Butler County, we were ready to tackle day two and three. If you’re planning a weekend in Butler County, here are more than a few ideas for activities while you’re there: 

    Hit the donut trail

    I mentioned in my last post that Butler County is home to the nation’s only Donut Trail, so it made sense to start our day there. We paid a visit to my old-time favorite, Holtman’s Donuts, and then ventured over to Kelly’s Bakery in Hamilton. Both were equally mouthwateringly-delicious, and writing about this makes me wish I had a few donuts in front of me right now…

    Tour the Butler County Historical Society

    After we got our sugar fix, we drove to the Butler County Historical Society for a tour. Kathy was our guide, and she was extremely knowledgeable about the area and the home’s past. 

    Fill up on more sweet treats at Henry’s Candy

    Because why not? 

    Have a picnic at the Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park

    It was a beautiful fall day, so after grabbing sandwiches from Alexander’s Market and Deli, we drove to Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park for a picnic. An Art Fair event was happening that day, so we had the chance to walk around and explore the different booths.

    Shop for pumpkins at the Niederman Family Farm Fall
    Festival

    I love pumpkin patches and anything seasonal, and the Niederman Family Farm Fall Festival did not disappoint. We toured the grounds and picked up a pumpkin to take home.

    Grab dinner at Comb’s BBQ

    We ended our Saturday with delicious barbecue with all the fixin’s at Comb’s BBQ. After a day filled to the brim with activities, it was just what we needed. 

    DAY 3

    Grab more donuts 

    Because two donut shops are not enough. On our third day in Butler County, we made pits stops at The Donut House and Stan the Donut Man. I ate more donuts than I ever have in my entire life, and it was the greatest thing ever.

    Stop for coffee

    Visiting local coffee shops is something I love to do every time we travel, so I was excited to see Cavu Coffee on our itinerary. The atmosphere was cozy, and the almond milk latte was rich and creamy — the perfect morning pick-me-up.

    Race GoKarts

    If you’re looking for a bit of family fun (or any kind of fun, honestly), then a visit to The Webb in West Chester is a must. Fritz and I raced GoKarts, played putt putt and a few rounds of classic arcade games, like Ski Ball.

    Explore the Voice of America Museum of Broadcasting

    I grew up not too far from the Voice of America Broadcasting museum, and I never realized how significant this building was in history. While I’ve driven by it many times, I had never actually been inside until this weekend. If you’re a fan of history, add this stop to your list.

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    Travel

    How to Spend A Weekend in Butler County, Ohio: Day 1

    When the Butler County Tourism Bureau reached out to me about planning a trip, I jumped at the chance to explore the area that sits about 18 miles north of my hometown (Cincinnati, for those of you who were wondering). Sure, I had heard of Butler County before, but as someone who grew up in Cincinnati, I was a little ashamed to admit I didn’t know much about it.

    For starters, did you know Butler County is home to the nation’s only Donut Trail? That’s right. A donut trail. And that trail includes 12 delicious stops along the way. It also attracts more than 5,500 visitors from 40 states. People love their donuts.

    But donuts aside, Butler County truly has something for everyone.  Whether you’re a lover of antiques, global cuisines or family fun, you will find an activity you’ll love in Butler County.

    And if you’re not sure where to start, here’s a quick overview of how to spend your first day:

    Grab a bite to eat at Dai Trang Bistro

    Fritz and I were starving after our drive from Columbus, so we made a pit stop at Dai Trang Bistro in West Chester. This place is like a hidden gem and I wish I would have known about it when I lived in Cincinnati. The menu is a variety of Filipino, Vietnamese, and Korean, and if you’re an Asian food lover like me, you’re bound to find something delicious.

    Wander around the West Chester Antique Center

    After filling up on delicious food, make your way to the West Chester Antique Center. This antique warehouse is one of the largest antique centers in Ohio. You could easily spend hours roaming the aisles. I picked up an antique dresser for our guest room and I love how it adds a bit of character to the space. Also, I couldn’t have beat the $50 price tag if I tried. This place is seriously amazing!

    Sample products from around the globe at Jungle Jim’s International Market

    I was so excited to see Jungle Jim’s on our itinerary. Jungle Jim’s was the place my parents took me to as a special treat growing up. It houses hundreds of thousands of products from over 70 countries, so you can literally find anything and everything, from every corner of the globe. As far as grocery stores go, Jungle Jims is a destination. And it’s one you will be happy you visited.

    Roam the aisles at the Ohio Valley Antique Mall

    Because one antique store is never enough. This 85,000 sq. ft. facility is home to more than 550 dealers. So as far as options go, there are plenty. They offer an array of one-of-a-kind antiques, collectibles, books, furniture, vintage clothing (including the most amazing 1960s coat I purchased. More on that soon!) and accessories. It was also voted one of the top 10 best places to shop in Cincinnati by USA Today. Not that I’m surprised.

    Dine at Troy’s Cafe

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    Head to Troy’s Cafe for dinner. This quaint little cafe is the perfect spot for a casual, but intimate dinner date. It’s cozy, and the food did not disappoint.

    Pick Up a Sweet Treat at The Cone

    If donuts don’t strike your fancy, then chances are ice cream will. The Cone is the premier destination in the summer, so while you can expect long lines, it’s well worth the wait. I ordered the classic soft serve and Fritz opted for the strawberry milkshake which he quickly finished and claimed it was the best he’s ever have.

     

    And that’s a wrap on day 1! Stay tuned for a jam-packed day 2.

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    Fashion

    Fall Vibes with SheIn

    Fall is officially here and I don’t know about you, but I am welcoming it with open arms. I grabbed my over-the-knee boots from the depths of my closet and stocked up on Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Butter (if you haven’t tried it yet, you must. It’s the best).

    While I will never jump on the PSL bandwagon, I am planning to incorporate fall colors into my wardrobe. Mustard is a great color for the season, and I am loving this mustard top. I have a feeling it will go with just about anything, from high-waisted jeans to a cute polka dot skirt.Dressing for Fall with SheIn | Natalie Was Here | Lifestyle Blog

    Top: c/o SheIn | Skirt: Anthropologie extra 20% off right now! | Boots: Macy’s (loving these) | Bag: Express (similar) | Hat: NordstromDressing for Fall with SheIn | Natalie Was Here | Lifestyle BlogDressing for Fall with SheIn | Natalie Was Here | Lifestyle BlogDressing for Fall with SheIn | Natalie Was Here | Lifestyle BlogDressing for Fall with SheIn | Natalie Was Here | Lifestyle BlogDressing for Fall with a Brixton Hat | Natalie Was Here | Lifestyle Blog

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    Real Life

    The Art of Slowing Down: 4 Simple Tips and Tricks

    This post has been sponsored by Cetaphil®. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

    I think I speak for a lot of people when I say this — we glorify being busy. We secretly love running from place to place, while simultaneously juggling multiple projects, calling our moms and checking in with our significant others. Oh, and taking care of adult things like paying bills on time.

    And even though I roll my eyes and claim to hate it, I live for the rush of tight deadlines. When I bump into a friend and she asks me how I’ve been, I find myself almost always responding with, “busy.” Seriously, why do I do this?

    In our modern world that’s driven by social media and constant connectivity, busy has become a badge of honor. And I don’t know about you, but I think we should change this. Because sometimes, you just need a mental and physical break.

    When Cetaphil reached out to me about a collaboration, I immediately starting thinking about self care and why it’s so important. And I know, I know. “Self care” seems to be the phrase of the moment. But it doesn’t require massages or trips to the spa (although, those are nice).

    When I feel like my life is moving a million miles per minute, here are a few simple tips and tricks I turn to in order to slow things down:

    SIMPLIFY YOUR SKINCARE ROUTINE

    When it comes to skincare, it’s easy to get caught up in the products that are trendy at the moment. And while it’s fun to browse and try new things, I always find myself reverting back to the tried and true. Because when I’m feeling stressed or like I’m constantly on-the-go, products that are simple, reliable and easily accessible are best. If I’m out of town and forget to pack my makeup and skincare bag (this happens more often than I’d like to admit), I love that I can just head to Walgreens and stock up on what I need.

    Through September 27th, you can save $2 on ONE Cetaphil® product at Walgreens!

    Cetaphil® Gentle Skin Cleanser was the cleanser my dermatologist recommended to me back in high school when nothing else helped soothe my sensitive, acne-prone skin. The soap-free formula is as gentle as it gets, so it’s not drying or irritating in any way. It’s also moisturizing, but it won’t leave a nasty film behind like other cleansers I’ve tried. No frills, fragrance or fancy packaging — it just works.

    After cleansing my skin, I’ll follow up with moisturizer. I’m loving Cetaphil® Daily Hydrating Lotion at the moment. My skin has been so dry lately, and I like that this moisturizer is fragrance-free, non-greasy, and keeps my skin feeling hydrated for up to 24 hours. Trust me, that’s not an easy feat. No wonder Cetaphil is the #1 Dermatologist Recommended Facial Skincare Brand.

    Walgreens has a great selection of Cetaphil products, so they’re always easy to find on shelf. I can’t wait to try the body wash and eye cream next!

    VISIT YOUR FAVORITE COFFEE SHOP

    I’m not a morning person, but I’ll do anything to fuel my caffeine addiction. Occasionally, I’ll wake up an hour or two earlier than usual and head to my favorite coffee shop before work. I love ordering a cappuccino and posting up near a window while the sun rises. It’s a nice way for me to collect my thoughts and prepare for the day ahead.

    GET OUT IN NATURE

    I recently traveled to Asheville with friends for a weekend getaway, and it was so nice to unwind and spend time outside. It’s amazing how a little time in nature helps me calm down and reconnect with myself.

    FUEL YOUR BODY WITH WHOLESOME FOODS

    Eating well makes me feel good mentally, physically and emotionally. It’s hard, though. I’m usually running out the door most mornings (literally), and it’s almost always more convenient to grab whatever’s around. But greasy, sugary or fatty foods leave me feeling lethargic and bloated.

    My favorite go-to snacks and meals when I’m on-the-go are hard boiled eggs for breakfast (they keep me full for awhile!), a kale salad with grilled shrimp for lunch that I prep the night before, and lean protein + roasted veggies for dinner.

    You really are what you eat. So, reach for the good stuff.


    What are some of the ways you practice self care?

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    Beauty

    10 Can’t-Live-Without Beauty Products, According to Readers

    I love reading product reviews, and I spend an embarrassing amount of time watching beauty videos on YouTube (FYI: Kathleen is a goddess). I have a long list of  beauty favorites I’ve discovered over the years, from skincare to makeup and everything in between. You can almost always find this priming moisturizer, this foundation, this cream blush and this liquid lipstick in my bag.

    BUT, if I had to pick a one and done, can’t-live-without product at the moment, it would be this facial moisturizerespecially in the summer. It’s not fancy by any means, but it gives my face a subtle, tanned glow and helps even out skin tone, so I can skip the foundation and still look fresh. It’s affordable and travel-friendly, too!

    I started thinking of beauty products and how certain products continually blow the socks off of beauty lovers everywhere. So, I wanted to hear from you guys. Because let’s be real — I’m always on the hunt. I posted the following question on Instagram stories, and the responses did not disappoint.

    “If you were traveling somewhere and could only pack ONE beauty product, what would you bring?”

    Here are the top beauty products that made the cut!

    Clinique Moisture Surge

    What is is: An intense moisturizer

    Product claims: Clinique touts its “auto-replenishing technology” and claims this product, with the help of activated aloe water, helps skin rehydrate itself. It also contains hyaluronic acid, and the product is proven to moisturize skin for up to 72 hours, even after you wash your face.

    Rave review: “Best moisturizer in the woooorld. It works so well without being oily. My skin soaks it up and feels so good. It’s spa-like without being a pharmaceutical grade price.” – Kate

    Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer

    What is is: Tinted moisturizer

    Product claims: Works well for all skin types and has SPF 20, so it protects the skin from both UVA & UVB rays. It’s sheer, lightweight, moisturizing and adds a hint of color to the skin, so you can skip the foundation.

    Rave review: “Coverage, moisture AND SPF!” – Alexis

    Urban Decay One and Done

    What is is: Tinted moisturizer and skin treatment

    Product claims: Claims to blur imperfections and even out skin tone with the help of light diffusing spheres and Gatuline® Radiance (derived from the wu zhu yu plant), which helps improve the look of radiance, tone and texture over time. The formula is oil free, and contains nourishing ingredients, like peptides, vitamins and moisturizers. SPF 20 helps to protect skin against UVA and UVB rays.

    Rave review: “It’s the perfect base. I can wear it alone or mix in glow drops or mix in a more full coverage foundation with it. I can customize it for whatever makeup look I’m going for.” – Preeti

    NYX “Worth the Hype” Mascara

    What is is: Mascara

    Product claims: The buildable formula makes lashes appear fuller and longer. It also features a brush that tapers at the tip, making it ideal to reach even the shortest lashes at the inner corners of your eyes.

    Rave review: “It makes my eyelashes look super long without looking clumpy or like I’m trying too hard.” – Victoria

    NARS Multiple Orgasm

    What is is: Cream blush and highlighter

    Product claims: The creamy formula is easy to use and blends effortlessly into the skin. The bit of shimmer in the formula helps give the skin an peachy glow, and it can be applied to the eyes, lips, cheeks or body. It also contains powerful antioxidants Vitamin E and Acai Oil.

    Rave review: “It’s the perfect shade of peachy pink for my lips, cheeks and even eyes! Must have!” – Hailey

    Coco Kind Chia Seed Oil

    What is is: Moisturizing facial oil

    Product claims: This organic, virgin chia seed oil contains a significant source of omega-3 fatty acids. It protects and nourishes dry skin, and delivers a powerful punch of antioxidants and phytonutrients.

    Rave review: “I have the most sensitive combination skin and it is the only thing that doesn’t irritate or make me break out. Plus it’s great on face, body, hair, literally everywhere. Obsessed.” – Natalie

    Benefit “Precisely, My Brow” Pencil

    What is is: Brow pencil

    Product claims: This ultra-fine brow shaping and defining pencil claims to draw incredibly natural hair-like strokes that last up to 12 hours.

    Rave review: “I love how much control you have with the fine tip. It allows me to fill in my brows quickly to get the exact shape I want.” – Karen

    It Cosmetics CC Cream

    What is is: Tinted moisturizer

    Product claims: Delivers color correction and sun protection (SPF 50+) in one convenient tube. The oil-free, lightweight formula is proven to fade imperfections, even out skin tone and prevent future discoloration.

    Rave review: “I love that it has SPF built right in!” – Katharine

    Neutrogena Hydroboost Hydrating Serum

    What is is: Hydrating serum

    Product claims: This formula contains hyaluronic acid, which can absorb up to 1000 times its weight in water. The unique serum formula helps you achieve a fully hydrated skin.

    Rave review: “It does wonders! Definitely something I’d bring wherever I go.” – Brittnee

    Sunday Riley’s UFO

    What is is: Clarifying facial oil

    Product claims: Formulated with clarifying plant oils like tea tree and black cumin seed oil, this facial serum also works to combat fine lines and wrinkles, revealing a more even and smooth complexion.

    Rave review: “It’s seriously transformed my skin! It’s finally looking better!” – Meredith

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    What is your can’t-live-without beauty product? Share in the comments!

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    Fashion

    43 Eyelet Pieces to Wear Right Now

    43 Eyelet Pieces to Wear Right Now | Natalie Was Here | Lifestyle Blog

    Eyelet Top: Zara | Skirt: Madewell | Earrings: FINOLA | Necklace: H&M

    Eyelet fabric evokes the feeling of summertime. I picked up this top from Zara recently, and it gives me all the warm weather vibes. I love wearing it with just about anything — from this pastel denim mini skirt to my favorite pair of jeans.

    If you ask me, every girl needs an eyelet piece in her summer wardrobe. So to help you get started, I rounded up some favorites you can wear right now through Labor Day.43 Eyelet Pieces to Wear Right Now | Natalie Was Here | Lifestyle Blog

    SHOP EYELET TOPS

    SHOP EYELET DRESSES

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