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CincinNatalie

    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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    Fashion

    Linen and Denim: The Easy Outfit Combination That Works Every Time

    Linen Shirt: Urban Outfitters | Jeans: Madewell “Perfect Summer Jean: Destructed Edition” (on sale for $40!) | Shoes: Target (LOVE them and literally wear them all. the. time) | Sunnies: Express at Tanger Outlets c/o | Necklace: H&M (on sale!) | Earrings: H&M | Bag: HOBO Domino Top Handle Cross Body in “Whiskey” c/o

    I used to whine and complain about having to wear a uniform to school every day. But now? I’m all in on the uniform thing — 100% all in. Because in the summer months (or all year-round, really), I’d rather spend less time standing in front of my closet, stressing over what to wear, and more time doing important things, like hanging out with friends.

    This is why I love the combination of linen and denim. Full disclosure: I traded in my jeans for shorts now that the temperature has reached 90-degrees. But these are my favorite pair I’ve ever owned and I need to tell the world. The fit is perfection. I guess that’s why they call them the “perfect summer jean.”

    Linen and Denim: The Classic Outfit Combination That Works Every Time | Natalie Was Here

    Linen and Denim: The Classic Outfit Combination That Works Every Time | Natalie Was Here

    This outfit combination is perfect if you work in a more laid back office environment, and can easily be dressed up with colorful accessories. I’m loving bold scarves at the moment — they can be incorporated into your hairstyle, tied around your neck or your bag. Take a look at this one, this one, and this one (the color palette is my favorite).

     

    SHOP LINEN SHIRTS

    SHOP JEANS

    SHOP SHORTS

    Linen and Denim: The Classic Outfit Combination That Works Every Time | Natalie Was Here

    And speaking of bags, I’m obsessed with this one. The sweet team at Hobo sent it to me and I’ve been carrying it with me everywhere since. The leather is soft and the color is perfect for summer. It can easily be carried into fall, too. I love how it looks with white, denim and everything, honestly. It’s so good. Linen and Denim: The Classic Outfit Combination That Works Every Time | Natalie Was Here


    What are your go-to outfits in the summer months?

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    Real Life

    6 Things I Learned After Spending an Entire Weekend Without my Phone

     

     

    We spent the weekend in Lake Erie and I left my phone at home. I was without it for an entire weekend. 

    It was embarrassing for me to admit this was going to be hard. But, I knew I wasn’t alone. Did you know that the average person reaches for his or her phone 50 to 300 times per day?

    Think about that for a moment. Think about how attached we’ve become.

    I guess it’s not surprising. I rely on my phone for so many things — for directions, for inspiration, for entertainment, for “connecting.”

    So, why did I decide to leave it behind?

    I was in a bit of a rut these past few weeks and I didn’t know why. I started questioning my work, my worth — everything, really. Eventually, it clicked.

    I spend an exorbitant amount of time on Instagram — 9.5 hours per week, to be exact (also embarrassing to admit). That’s about an hour and 30 minutes per day. And that doesn’t even include the time it takes for me to plan and shoot content.

    When you spend so much time scrolling through strangers’ heavily-curated highlight reels, it’s easy to feel like the work you’re producing isn’t good enough. Like you’re not successful enough, not pretty enough, not fit enough or not where you “should be” in life.

    While we’re on the subject of “enough,” I decided I’d had enough of this twisted way of thinking. Because you are enough, and if your phone habits are making you feel less than, it’s important to reevaluate. We all have unique talents and strengths, and it is ridiculous that so many of us, myself included, seek validation through social media.

    I was ready for a break from it all, and it was really nice.

    Here’s what I learned during my weekend away:

    1. I Felt Less Stressed

    There’s this undeniable pressure to always be “on.” To respond to emails right away, to post three times per week, to be connected 24/7. When you cut ties with technology, you cut ties with all of that pressure you put on yourself. It’s freeing, and I plan to do this more often when I’m feeling overwhelmed.

    2. I Listened

    We went to a friend’s house on Friday night. I sat around the table with people and actually listened. Fully listened, without feeling like I needed to reach for my phone every 10 seconds. Think about how you feel when you’re telling someone a story and they’re glancing down at their phone. Doesn’t make you feel that great, does it? It was nice to be present in the moment, and I think everyone else appreciated it, too.

    3. I Slept REALLY Well

    I am not a sound sleeper. I usually toss and turn. Maybe this is because I stare at a bright screen before I go to bed? Maybe it’s not related at all. But what I can tell you is without my phone, I slept more soundly than I have in a really long time.

    4. I Got Bored

    I actually experienced boredom. Typically when I’m bored, or waiting in line for my coffee, I’ll whip out my phone and mindlessly scroll. I couldn’t do that this weekend. But honestly, these were the moments when I also felt the most inspired. Without having something there to distract me, I was able to think and use my own imagination as entertainment. You know, how we used to when we were kids.

    5. I Noticed Everyone Else

    When you’re not staring at your screen, you start to notice how much everyone else is. We’re walking around like zombies. It was a wake up call. While I can’t change everyone else’s habits, I can slowly start to change my own.

    6. I Made an Action Plan

    So I made an action plan to limit my phone use. I am going to allow myself 30 min/day to scroll and will be shutting it off before bed.

    Technology, it isn’t you, it’s me. And I’m ready to find my true self again.


    I’d love to get a conversation going on this topic. Do you feel like technology has taken over your life? How do you find balance?

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    DIY, Living

    Ask the Expert: Tips for Making Your Own Bohemian-Inspired Floral Arrangement

    Hey, guys! I’m super excited to introduce the “Ask the Expert” monthly series. I don’t know about you, but I love reading how-to articles on just about any topic. And while I claim to know some things, there are a few things (okay, a lot of things) I don’t know. Luckily, I have some pretty knowledgeable and talented friends who are more than happy to lend their expertise.

    Today, we’re kicking things off with Annie Heath, owner of Ida Blooms, a San Francisco-based floral company that specializes in one-of-a-kind bouquets for weddings and special events. Her approach to flowers is perfect for anyone looking to become an expert in the art of floral design, or for those of you just want to create something special for a loved one. Read on her for tips!

    How to Make Your Own Bohemian-Inspired Bouquet | Natalie Was Here

    How to Make Your Own Bohemian-Inspired Bouquet

    Repeat after me: “fillers, thrillers and spillers”

    When you choose flowers for your arrangement, there are three types of stems you should look for: fillers, thrillers and spillers. Thrillers are the flowers everybody knows: peonies, dahlias, sunflowers, roses, protea, and on, and on. These are going to be the show stoppers of your arrangement.

    Fillers, or secondary flowers, help build out the arrangement. They have less of the “cool factor,” but are very necessary to make a beautiful bouquet. Good examples of fillers are spray roses, carnations, and wax flowers.

    Spillers are the piece that will really give your arrangement that boho feel. Like their name, a spiller dramatically spills off the side of your bouquet – giving it a wild, freshly picked from the garden look. Classic examples of spillers are eucalyptus (of any kind) and amaranthus.

    Remove Foliage Below the Waterline

    Removing foliage from your flower stems (a step called “processing”) is mega important to a healthy bouquet. First of all, if you’re using a clear vase, it just looks good to have clear water on display. But more importantly, if leaves and debris are stuck in your vase, they attract bacteria and will kill your arrangement long before it’s time. I like to process my flowers before I arrange, removing any extra leaves, stems, or buds lower than the first quarter of the stem.

    Go Green

    My arrangements tend to feature a lot of greens. Since you’re going to remove most of the foliage from your flower stems, you get to make a conscious decision about the greens you want to include. I’m always drawn to eucalyptus in my bouquets.

    Scent Matters

    Ever noticed how the first thing people do when they receive a bouquet is give it a whiff? Actually, not all flowers are scentful, so be sure to include something that is. I like to sneak rosemary, or eucalyptus baby blue into my arrangements.

    Let Your Creativity Shine

    Use your intuition while you’re arranging! Flowers are already beautiful on their own, you’re just enhancing.

    Trim Stems and Change the Water

    Lastly, to keep your arrangement it’s freshest, change the water every day, and trim the stems when the bottoms turn brown!


    And there you have it! Thanks for sharing your tips, Annie! To learn more about Ida Blooms, check out Annie’s website and follow her on Instagram.

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    Travel

    Natalie Was Here: Asheville, North Carolina

    The last time I was in Asheville, I was in the sixth grade on summer vacation with my family. I got a bad case of food poisoning at a Mexican restaurant and then proceeded to accidentally delete all of the photos from our day trip to the Biltmore. The photos that were supposed to be on the Christmas card that year. I don’t think my parents have forgiven me.

    Luckily, this trip was a little different.

    My friend Lauren organized a small photography retreat. I jumped at the chance to go to something like this. So me and five other wedding and portrait photographers packed our bags and drove down south for the long weekend. When you travel with other photographers, you’re bound to take photos of anything and everything without getting an ounce of judgement.

    Planning to do this more often…

    WHERE WE STAYED

    The cutest Airbnb of all time. It’s bright, inviting, smells like cinnamon and even has an adorable little swing in the living room. I really can’t say enough good things about it. Nestled in West Asheville, this little house is perfect for a weekend getaway. It sleeps up to six people. Book your stay here!

    WHERE WE ATE

    We made breakfast, lunch and dinner at the house the majority of the time we were there. But when we did decide to venture out to restaurants, we went to:

    Farm Burger

    We dropped our bags off at the Airbnb and went straight to Farm Burger. After seven hours of driving, it was just what we all needed. Farm Burger sources their beef from grassfed cows, and that means no growth hormones or antibiotics — something we can all feel good about. They get their ingredients from local farms, so the menu changes with the seasons. It’s fresh, delicious and the perfect place to grab a quick bite.

    Bonfire Barbeque

    After a long evening of shooting, we were all exhausted and starving. Bonfire Barbeque hit the spot. Their variety of sauces can’t be beat, and the mac n’ cheese is out of this world.

    Gan Shan West 

    I’m obsessed with Asian cuisine. I could literally eat ramen and sushi and noodles every day and never get bored. So, when we decided to go to Gan Shan, I was all in. I ordered the veggie ramen and it didn’t disappoint. Also, the palm print wallpaper is definitely Insta-worthy.

    The Owl

    This adorable little coffee shop and bakery was recommended to us by our Airbnb host. They claim to use high quality, whole ingredients, sourced from places close to Asheville, including local farmers’ markets and their own back yards. If you go there, order the Lavender Latte and grab a table out back. Oh, and say hi to Elaine. She’s amazing.

    The Owl Bakery | Asheville, North Carolina | Natalie Was Here | Lifestyle Blog

     

    WHERE WE EXPLORED

    Max Patch | Asheville, North Carolina | Natalie Was Here

    Max Patch

    If you’re into hiking, Max Patch is one of the most popular hiking spots on the Appalachian Trail. And for good reason. It’s grassy, covered in wildflowers and is a perfect spot to watch the sun set.

    Looking Glass Falls

    The 60-ft falls are one of the most popular falls in Western North Carolina. Parking can be somewhat limited, but it is well worth the trip.


    Have you been to Asheville before? If so, what are some of your favorite spots?

     

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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

    Instructions:

    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

     

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    Fashion

    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.

    SHOP THIS LOOK:

    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!

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