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    DIY, Living

    DIY to Try: Simple, Industrial Nightstand

    Easy Industrial Nightstand DIY | Natalie Was Here | Lifestyle Blog

    We’ve officially lived in our place for almost 9 months. And let me tell you, time FLIES. I have so many ideas as far as decorating goes, and I’ve finally committed to tackling a few projects – one room at a time.

    First up? The bedroom.

    I bought a mid-century modern nightstand at Target (here’s some similar ones here, here and here). It sits on Fritz’s side of the bed, due to limited space on mine. So because I didn’t want to spend money on one for me, and because Fritz is tired of me reaching over him to grab my glass of water at night, I decided to make my own!

    The project was super simple, and I love the way it turned out. Scroll below to see the step-by-step guide:

    Easy Industrial Nightstand DIY

    You will need:

    • Wood
    • Brackets
    • Wood Glue
    • Drill
    • Screws


    1. First, measure the area. I wanted my nightstand to take up the space between my bed and the wall with little to no space in between.
    2. Grab the wood you’ll be using. I’d recommend layering two pieces for a thicker, more sturdy nightstand. I picked mine up from Home Depot and went with plywood because it was more affordable. But the type of wood you use is completely up to you! Because we’re renting, I was okay with using a lower quality wood.
    3. Glue wood together with a reliable wood glue and let cure.
    4. Once the glue has dried, stain the wood with your preferred color.
    5. Attach brackets to shelf and drill into wall.
    6. Done!

    The finished product…

    Easy Industrial Nightstand DIY | Natalie Was Here | Lifestyle Blog



    The Best Tanger Outlets Find

    It’s officially spring and here we are with a coat post. If you live in the Midwest, you know the struggle. Warmer weather almost always feels so close, yet so far away this time of year.

    The coat I’d been wearing had seen better days, so I needed a new one to carry me through the rest of winter and the chilly first few weeks of spring. This time around, I wanted to buy myself a nice coat that would stand the test of time, instead of one that falls apart after one season.

    When Tanger Outlets invited me to spend some time with them a couple weeks ago, I knew it was the perfect opportunity to find the coat I’d been searching for. I’m also so glad I waited until the end of the season, because the one I found was on major sale. AND you’re bound to find better deals at the outlets anyway (seriously, the best deals). And the Tanger team made the entire experience so enjoyable — from the delicious snacks to the thoughtful goodie bags. It was such a treat, and I can’t wait to go back. Scroll to the bottom of this post for more photos from the shopping trip! In the meantime, say hello to my little friend:

    Coat: Calvin Klein at Tanger Outlets (c/o) | Sunglasses: Express at Tanger Outlets (c/o) | Top: Zara | Jeans: Zara | Shoes: Zara

    As much as I’m ready for warmer weather to be here, I won’t lie, I’m really enjoying wearing this coat. And I’m not sure I’m ready to pack her away just yet.


    Snapshots from my night with Tanger Outlets…

    Event photography by Derks Works

    Thank you SO much to Tanger Outlets Columbus for sponsoring this post. I am in love with my find and can’t wait to wear it for years to come. And thank YOU for supporting the brands who make Natalie Was Here possible. You da best. Feel free to follow Tanger Outlets on Instagram and Facebook, and if you make a trip there, don’t forget to share your finds using #TangerStyle!

    Real Life

    5 Lessons I’ve Learned from Living with a Significant Other Before Marriage


    Fritz and I have lived together for almost two years. Time flies.

    We’ve been together for a long time, so I was excited at the thought of living with my best friend. But even though we know each other better than anyone else, I’ll admit I was nervous to take this big step. Because I don’t know if you know this, but there are some pretty dismal statistics out there about people who live together before marriage. And so many people warned me that you don’t fully know someone until you live with them.

    If you know me, though, you know I don’t always like to follow the rules. And living with Fritz has been the best decision ever. But like any big life change, living with a significant other can take a little preparation, adjustment and yep, you guessed it — compromise.

    Here are some of the lessons I’ve learned living with a significant other:


    When I lived alone, I left my clothes on the floor (still somewhat guilty) and dishes in the sink. I didn’t always go grocery shopping as often as I should, so more often than not, canned soup was what I ate for dinner. I only had myself to think about. When you live with someone else, you become a team. You share responsibilities. Your mess becomes someone else’s mess. I’m not always the best at remembering to pick up after myself, but it’s definitely something I’m working on now that I share my space with another person.


    I’m messy. He’s not. I prefer to go to bed at 10:30 on week days. He’s a night owl by nature. When you live with someone else, you will quickly realize that you are not going to 100% agree on everything. Why would you? You’re two different people with two different personalities. This is where compromise comes in. Try to meet in the middle on the things you have different opinions on. It’s not always easy to change old habits, but when you work at it together, you can make it work.


    Fritz and I both love to cook, so most nights we’ll make dinner together or for each other. It’s a nice way to reconnect after a day at work and as an added bonus, it helps us save money.


    I’m not a cheesy person. I’m the girl who rolls her eyes at gushy, over-the-top movies, and I’ve never read a Nicholas Sparks book in my entire life. So when I heard about the 5 Love Languages quiz, I laughed it off at first. Eventually I caved though, and I’m so glad I did. Fritz and I both took the quiz together. It really does give you more insight into how you and your partner give and receive love.

    For example, Fritz’s #1 Love Language is Acts of Service. So he shows love the most by doing things for me, and he appreciates when I do things for him, like help with the laundry or clean the apartment. My Love Language is tied between Quality Time and Words of Affirmation. So I give and receive love by spending time with him and telling him I love and appreciate him.


    When you live with the person you love, it’s easy to fall into the routine of doing all of your activities with them. While having a go-to companion for everything is awesome, it’s also important to maintain your individuality, too. Continue to make time for your friends, whether it’s a weekly happy hour, coffee date or workout session. And don’t let your favorite hobby find its way to the back burner. Continue to invest in yourself, your interests and your well being. When you are your best, most-fulfilled, happiest self, your relationship with others will benefit.

    If you’ve lived with a significant other before, or are currently living with someone now, I’m sure you have a few lessons of your own. I’d love to hear them! 


    My New Favorite Budget-Friendly Red Blouse

    It’s been awhile since I’ve checked in with you last. How are you? Anything new? I’ll be spending the night packing for our trip to NYC. We leave Thursday morning (pending the crazy snow storm), along with a bunch of our college friends, to watch Xavier play in the Big East tournament.

    I love New York – there’s always something new to discover. And speaking of that, if you have any recommendations, leave them here in the comments! I’m always up for exploring.Budget-Friendly Red Blouse | Natalie Was Here | Fashion Blog

    Now, let’s talk about my favorite red blouse…

    If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen me post about this blouse from SheIn. I’ve worn it a lot already and it’s definitely coming in my suitcase. Blouses are great for traveling – they’re so versatile and easy. I love pairing mine with jeans. Or, if I’m feeling like dressing it up a bit, I usually reach for a skirt, tights and heeled boots.Budget-Friendly Red Blouse | Natalie Was Here | Fashion Blog

    Blouse: SheIn (c/o) | Jeans: Old Navy | Bag: ThredUp | Sunglasses: TargetBudget-Friendly Red Blouse | Natalie Was Here | Fashion Blog Budget-Friendly Red Blouse | Natalie Was Here | Fashion Blog Budget-Friendly Red Blouse | Natalie Was Here | Fashion Blog Budget-Friendly Red Blouse | Natalie Was Here | Fashion Blog


    My Nighttime Skincare Routine: The Winter Edition

    In college, I’d stumble home from the bars and remove my makeup with a makeup wipe before I rolled into bed. My approach to skincare has definitely changed now that I’m in my mid-twenties. I’m a girl who values her sleep, but I also appreciate a good nighttime ritual. And if you ask me, pampering the skin is a great way to unwind after a hectic day.

    Here is what my nighttime skincare routine looks like, currently:

    My Nighttime Skincare Routine: The Winter Edition


    • First I use a makeup wipe to remove most of my makeup. You will always find a pack or two of these makeup wipes in my drawer. They’re a staple, and I’ve been using them for years. Makeup wipes are a great first step, but they shouldn’t be the only thing you use to cleanse your face. You’d be surprised by how much they leave behind!
    • Next, I reach for an oil-based cleanser. Oil based cleansers and balms remove all of the makeup left behind by the makeup wipe. Not only are oil-based cleansers great for removing makeup, but they’re also extremely hydrating and nourishing. I started using this one and I love it already. It looks like a balm, smells delicious and melts makeup like you wouldn’t believe.
    • After cleansing with an oil-based cleanser, I’ll “double cleanse” with a water-based cleanser, to help remove additional dirt and debris. Most cleansers dry my skin, but this one is very hydrating and leaves my skin clean, without feeling tight and dry. I can’t say enough good things about the Hydro Boost line!


    • I’ll exfoliate my skin 2-3 times per week. If you have sensitive skin, I’d recommend only doing this step 1-2 times per week to see how your skin reacts. Exfoliating removes dead skin cells which helps your other products absorb better. I purchased this peel recently and it does a great job of keeping my skin smooth and flake-free. It’s awesome and all-natural!


    • After my face is fully cleansed and exfoliated, I’ll apply my night serum. I just discovered this retinoid serum from the brand The Ordinary. It’s amazing and crazy affordable (like, less than $10 affordable). I’ve been using it for about a week now and I’ve already noticed an imporvement in my skin’s texture and coloration. If you’re new to retinoids, I’d recommend this one to start with. It has a lower concentration compared to other products on the market, so you can easily apply it every night without experiencing flaking or irritation.


    • Dry skin is a real problem for me in the winter months, and this night cream has completely saved my skin. I’ve repurchased it twice already, so that should speak for itself.
    • If my skin is extra thirsty, I’ll reach for this overnight mask. Every time I use it, I wake up with glowing skin. It’s a great product!
    • This lip sleeping mask is a game changer. I bought a trial size at Sephora after reading rave reviews, and it really lives up to the hype. A little goes a long way, and it hydrates my lips better than anything I’ve ever tried. I’ll definitely be repurchasing.

    What are some of the products you’re currently using and love? I’m always looking for new suggestions! 


    The Best Budget-Friendly Blouses to Wear this Winter

    Ah, winter. Here we are. The weather in Ohio is just downright COLD, and if you live somewhere where the temps drop during this time of year, I know I’m just preaching to the choir. Nine degrees is no joke. If you have any good coat recommendations, help a girl out!

    In the meantime, let’s talk about blouses. Because that’s probably why you’re here. I love to stock my closet with pretty patterned blouses to wear to work and on the weekends. So today, I rounded up some of my favorites. And an added bonus? They’re all under $100.




    This is the Sweater to Wear When you have “Nothing to Wear”

    The Cozy Sweater to Wear When You Have Nothing to Wear | Natalie Was Here | Lifestyle Blog

    Sweater: Nordstrom | Jeans: Zara | Heels: Nasty Gal (love this blue print!) | Bag: Rebecca Minkoff (30% off!)

    As much as I love dressing up for the holidays, sometimes I just want to ditch the dress and reach for a classic, comfortable combo instead. This cozy sweater was a Christmas gift from my parents, and I freakin’ LOVE it. It’s so soft and perfect for pairing with high waisted jeans like these.

    I mean, it literally goes with anything and everything (like these festive heels!).

    Because let’s be honest, we all have those days where we find ourselves standing in front of our fully stocked closets, feeling like we have nothing to wear. I know you’ve been there. I’ve been there, too. And that’s why classic pieces are so important. A simple black sweater like this baby can be dressed up or dressed down.

    The Cozy Sweater to Wear When You Have Nothing to Wear | Natalie Was Here | Lifestyle Blog

    The Cozy Sweater to Wear When You Have Nothing to Wear | Natalie Was Here | Lifestyle Blog The Cozy Sweater to Wear When You Have Nothing to Wear | Natalie Was Here | Lifestyle Blog The Cozy Sweater to Wear When You Have Nothing to Wear | Natalie Was Here | Lifestyle Blog Nasty Gal Brocade Heels | Natalie Was Here | Lifestyle Blog Rebecca Minkoff Cross Body Bag | Natalie Was Here | Lifestyle Blog

    Thanks for tuning in, as always! I’m hanging out with my family in Cincinnati for another day and then it’s back to Columbus before I head to Florida on Thursday with Fritz and his family. And you better believe my trusty black sweater will find its way in my suitcase.

    I can’t wait to ring in 2018 on the beach. See ya next year, snow!

    What are your plans for New Years?