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    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?




    The Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide for those Who Like to Shop Small

    MERRY (almost) CHRISTMAS, FRIENDS! I’ll be heading home to Cincinnati to celebrate with my family, and I am literally bursting with excitement. I love this time of year. Everything about it is magical. From the quality time with family to the comfort of a cup of hot chocolate and Christmas movies. But my favorite ritual of all is giving gifts. I love seeing someone’s face light up when they open something special.

    If you’re doing some last-minute shopping this week, then you’re in luck. I’ve listed some amazing businesses that I love, owned by amazing girl bosses in Ohio and beyond. I hope you pay them a visit, whether in-person or online. You’re guaranteed to find something for every special person on your list.

    Let’s get into it, shall we?!


    Vernacular (Columbus, Ohio + online): This womenswear and lifestyle boutique is my spirit animal. Prices are affordable, and style options are approachable and on point. This top is under $50 and would be perfect for everyday, and I’m loving this dramatic sleeves on this little number.

    Bequest Gifting Studio (Columbus, Ohio + online): The holidays are hectic. And, if you need a gift in a flash, count on Bequest Gifting Studio to do what they do best — gifting. Beautiful boxes are filled with anything from candles and notebooks to raw honey, face masks and yes, even pancake mix. Browse their selection of boxes here.

    Idlewild Woman (Cincinnati, Ohio + online): If Idlewild Woman were a person, she’d be the coolest girl at the party. This dress would be perfect for a special person in your life. Or if you’re thinking of something smaller, yet still thoughtful, a Signature Pink candle from Overose will do the trick.


    ONE SIX FIVE (Columbus, Ohio + online): All of the jewelry at ONE SIX FIVE is hand-made, and if you’re a fan of unique pieces like I am, you will love the selection and quality of their designs. Take a look at some of their most popular gifts here.

    Emma Jane Designs (online): It’s really hard for me to pick a favorite piece from this designer, because they’re all so good. They also recently launched a 3, 6 and 12-month subscription service — perfect for any jewelry lover!

    Lane and Kate (Cincinnati, Ohio + online): This custom jewelry shop in Cincinnati creates beautiful and unique pieces, perfect for your mom, sister, aunt or friend. This ring is stunning. And can we please talk about this bracelet? If you know someone who loves dainty jewelry, look no further than Lane and Kate. You won’t be disappointed!

    Finola (Cincinnati, Ohio + online): I’ve written about Finola before and I could go on and on about this brand again. The majority of Finola designs are made with hypoallergenic 14k-gold-filled materials. Take a look at all of Veronica’s stunning designs here.


    Vernacular Home (Columbus, Ohio): It’s no surprise that Vernacular Home is an amazing place to shop. Prices are relatively affordable for home goods, and you can expect to find unique pieces that are sure to stand out.

    Rookwood Pottery (Cincinnati, Ohio + online)Rookwood Pottery has called Cincinnati home for more than 100 years. Their Heritage Mug and ornament holiday set would make the perfect gift.

    ROOT 23 (Columbus, Ohio + online)This Columbus, Ohio-based company makes a line of all-natural flavor infused simple syrups, perfect for the aspiring mixologist.


    Cypress Beauty Co. (Cincinnati, Ohio + online):  The exfoliating duo would make the perfect stocking stuffer gift for any skincare loving person in your life, and at just $10, it’s a complete steal, too!

    The Tart Peach (Columbus, Ohio + online): Lipsticks from The Tart Peach are made from all-natural ingredients and are cruelty free, so you can feel good about gifting and wearing them. The color options are pretty rad, too.

    Under Aurora (Columbus, Ohio + online)All of Under Aurora’s botanical fragrances and skin care products are made using 100% pure, high grade essential oils and other quality plant-based ingredients. So that means no parabens or any of the bad stuff. The Facial Care Collection would make a great gift, and you can’t go wrong with the Coconut Oil Spray (a personal fave).



    Eve Floral Co. (Cincinnati, Ohio): I met Evelyn at a styled shoot in Cincinnati this past year. She is just as sweet as she is talented. And she just so happens to be selling her gorgeous, custom-made wreaths at Manitou Candle Co. Stop in and grab one for yourself!

    Gia & the Blooms (Cincinnati, Ohio): Yulia, the owner of Cincinnati-based floral shop, Gia and the Blooms, has a background in design, and her floral arrangements are a true testament to that. Think rustic yet contemporary, clean yet wild. And wrapped in burlap, of course. She is now taking orders for custom holiday centerpieces. Burlap wrapped bouquets start at $35 with free delivery to the Cincinnati metro area. Ready…set….GO.

    OakOats (Online): This etsy shop is the ultimate go-to space for any plant lover. From adorable enamel pins to succulent vases and stickers, there really is something for everyone (yes, even those who aren’t naturally born with green thumbs).


    And Here We Are (Columbus, Ohio + online): And Here We Are’s mission is “to make cards & prints & things that are beautiful but not precious, irreverent but not campy.” And they nail it. Take a look at some of their fun prints here.


    Wild Honey Salon (Cincinnati, Ohio)Wild Honey is a true gem. If you’re in the Cincinnati area, I’d highly recommend paying this salon a visit. Also, Melissa stocks her salon with R+Co products, so if that wasn’t enough to convince you…

    Ambushed Salon (Columbus, Ohio): Ambushed Salon is Ohio’s first exclusively curly hair salon. As stated on their website, “Every appointment begins with a personalized assessment based upon the 4 Pillars: our foundation to giving you the curls you’ve always wanted. The philosophy behind the 4 Pillars to Beautiful Curls was created and perfected through a collection of personal experiences and education by Amy Bush and passed down to our Curl Specialists though our Curl Immersion Program.” No more bad hair days! Book an appointment for that special someone today.


    4 Delicious Cocktails to Make this Holiday Season

    Tis’ the season for a lot of things — like mistletoe, holiday music, festive parties and of course, boozy cocktails. I do not — like, whatsoever –claim to be a mixologist, but I do love the occasional fancy schmancy cocktail as much as the next girl. Especially during this time of the year. Luckily for me (and you!), there’s ROOT 23, a Columbus, Ohio-based company that features a line of all-natural flavor infused simple syrups.

    The owners, Barb and Leah, state on their website,

    We are a couple of busy moms from Columbus, Ohio who value whole ingredients, real food and quality time with our family & friends. We developed a line of all-natural flavor infused simple syrups, with the emphasis on simple, so we can balance those things we value most. Our inventive flavor combinations lend themselves to crafting delicious drinks with just a couple additional ingredients.

    They were so sweet to send me their winter mix gift pack to try, and I can honestly tell you, each flavor is more delicious than the next. There’s Grapefruit Basil and Cherry Almond and Maple Cinnamon and Vanilla Ginger. It really is hard to pick a favorite, and the drink possibilities are endless. So whether you prefer Gin or Vodka, Bourbon or Whiskey, there’s a syrup that’s guaranteed to take your spirit of choice to the next level.

    Scroll below for cocktails to make this holiday season and prepare to wow all of your friends and family at your next party.

    If you like sparkling wine…

    Cocktails to Make this Holiday Season | Natalie Was Here | Lifestyle BlogSPARKLING GRAPEFRUIT BASIL


    I love drinks that are quick and easy, but still taste delicious. Sometimes you just want something that’s low maintenance, so you can get back to what really matters.

    Top 1 oz of Grapefruit Basil Syrup with Prosecco. Garnish with basil and enjoy! 

    If you like bourbon…

    Cocktails to Make this Holiday Season | Natalie Was Here | Lifestyle Blog


    Combine the bourbon, vermouth, bitters and simple syrup in a mixing glass with ice.  Stir well until chilled. Strain into a glass and garnish with an orange peel and/or Luxardo Cherry. 

    If you like vodka…

    Cocktails to Make this Holiday Season | Natalie Was Here | Lifestyle Blog


    Muddle berries & syrup in shaker. Add juice & spirit in shaker with ice, shake. Strain into Collins glass over ice. Top with ginger beer. Garnish with blackberries & a lemon rosette.

    If you like rum…

    Cocktails to Make this Holiday Season | Natalie Was Here | Lifestyle Blog


    Top 1 oz of Maple Cinnamon syrup with rum. Top with cider and enjoy! 

    Don’t drink alcohol? They’re great in mocktails!

    Many of the ROOT 23 flavors can also be mixed with:

    • Sparkling Water
    • Lemonade
    • Iced Tea
    • Coffee
    • Milk Shakes

    Cocktails to Make this Holiday Season | Natalie Was Here | Lifestyle Blog

    What are some of your favorite cocktails to enjoy during the holidays?


    Styling a Wrap Dress + 36 Affordable Options to Wear Right Now

    How to Style a Wrap Dress | Natalie Was Here | Fashion and Lifestyle Blog

    I’m all for all things oversized — boyfriend jeans, extra roomy sweaters and flowy dresses. But if you’re looking for a style of dress that is universally flattering and will highlight your curves, look no further than the wrap dress. After I tried on this one from Vici Collection (this one is very similar), I remembered why I love this style so much. It’s feminine and flirty, and I love the ruffle details. In the summertime, I typically pair my wrap dress with strappy sandals, but in the cooler months, over-the-knee boots are my jam (I literally wear mine all. the. time).

    If you’re in the market for a wrap dress or would like to try the style out for the first time, then look no further!

    How to Style a Wrap Dress | Natalie Was Here | Fashion and Lifestyle Blog

    Find a Wrap Dress to fit your Style

    I pulled together 36 different options below that will fit your personal style and budget (they’re all around $100 or less!)

    If you love dark florals…

    If you love velvet…


    If you love polka dots…


    If you’re just here for the over-the-knee boots…

    Photos by Sydney Marie Photography


    Small Business Spotlight: ONE SIX FIVE Jewelry

    I’ve always had a passion for supporting small businesses. One of my goals for this space is to highlight other small-business owners are doing amazing things in Columbus, Ohio and beyond. Today, we’re kicking things off with ONE SIX FIVE.

    Kaleigh Shrigley and Claire Lowe met while working together at a retail store. They launched ONE SIX FIVE in 2014. I had the chance to swing by their brick-and-mortar location in Clintonville last month. It had been on my list of places to visit for awhile, and I was so happy to finally make the trip.

    The shop is bright and inviting and the pieces are one-of-a-kind, just like Kaleigh and Claire. All of their jewelry is hand-made, and if you’re a fan of unique pieces like I am, you will love the selection and quality of their designs.

    Oh, and that reminds me…you’ll probably hear “Where did you get that?” a lot when wearing their jewelry. You’ve been warned.

    Aside from their amazing jewelry, ONE SIX FIVE also features candles, body oils, ceramics and cheeky greeting cards. What I love most about ONE SIX FIVE is that all of the items you’ll find there are made by independent artists, here in the USA and abroad.

    Take a peek inside ONE SIX FIVE…

    ONE SIX FIVE Jewelry | Columbus, Ohio | Natalie Was Here

    ONE SIX FIVE Jewelry | Columbus, Ohio | Natalie Was Here

    ONE SIX FIVE Jewelry | Columbus, Ohio | Natalie Was Here

    Thank you to the ladies of ONE SIX FIVE for inviting me into the shop. I can’t wait to visit again. If you like what you see, be sure to show them some love! In the meantime, keep up with them on Facebook and Instagram