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Friday, October 14, 2011

Fall Pieces

Fall is officially already here, if you want to get technical. Even though in Houston, we're still dealing with weather in the 80s and 90s... but this hasn't stopped me from embracing fall fashion. I haven't been able to keep my hands off of sweaters, long sleeve tops, and and heavier-fabric dresses every time I've been shopping within the past month or so. I've also made a rule for myself that if I'm going to purchase clothes, my first consideration needs to be whether I can wear it to work or not. Lucky for me, I've been finding lots of cute black/white/grey clothes. Here's a few pieces that I'm currently loving...
Left: Forever 21 dress, grey with beading and zipper back. Right: Forever 21 black lace and sheer top with high collar.

Of course I'm still wearing my Jeffrey Campbell Lita booties pretty often. I have them in two colors, and they really are the perfect look for fall, especially with tights.

I can't wait for winter to show itself so I can finally start getting away with wearing more sweaters and jackets. I do love the summer and spring seasons, but fall and winter fashion are when the dressing and the styles get really good! Plus, doing hair and blowdrying all day in a knit sweater isn't exactly the brightest idea when it's already 90 degrees outside. So bring it on, cold weather! I'm ready for you.

Hope everyone's having a fabulous Friday! One more day of work for me, and then my weekend begins!

Natalie Delaine

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Current Favorites

I've been slacking lately, and I need to get back on top of things and show this little blog some lovin'. I've been turning over the idea of starting a new blog that has even more insight into my every day life, but the idea is still in the works, so I have yet to make a decision. It'll be a little bit more of a commitment, which I'm okay with, but I just need to gear myself up for it (please bear with me!). In the mean time, I have a few of my current favorites to share...

Urban Decay's Eyeshadow Primer Potion: I'm in love with this stuff, and have been for years. On a day-to-day basis, I typically don't wear eyeshadow, but I do wear eyeliner, and putting a small dab of this on my eyelids before I apply my eyeliner keeps it from fading or rubbing off during the day. Obsessed. If you don't use it, you oughta. It's a cult beauty classic.

YSL's Touche Eclat (Radiant Touch) under-eye concealer: I use this til every drop in the tube is gone. Ever since I can remember, I've had trouble finding a product that will brighten my eyes up just enough, and this concealer does the job beautifully. It doesn't need to be re-applied throughout the day, because it's very well formulated. They put lots of love into this product, and you can tell from the very first use.
Clinique Repairwear Intensive Night Cream: It's never too early to start using anti-aging skincare products, so I recently added this to my nightly routine. It's super smooth and hydrating.
MAC Superslick Liquid Eyeliner: I was recently turned onto this eyeliner during a recent trip to the Galleria. I was searching for a liquid eyeliner that would last and was easy to apply. Sure enough, this stuff is perfect.

This is a shot of the small side table I have next to my sofa. It's very simple, but I absolutely love curling up with a blanket and a book and reading by lamplight or candlelight. It's super relaxing. I also love the little candle holder I found at Bath & Body Works. And that's a Warm Sugared Donut candle burning inside the holder... my apartment smells DELICIOUS. :) The coasters are a find from Urban Outfitters.

I've saved the best for last today... I recently became a redhead. And let me tell you what a great friend of mine shared with me the other day... Blondes may have fun, but redheads get remembered. That could not be truer. (Thanks, Jennifer, for the little insight!)

Hope everyone is having a great Tuesday! It's back to work for me! I've got two more clients at the salon and some intense Yoga to get into when I get home! Cheers! 

Natalie Delaine

Friday, September 9, 2011

A Few New Favorites...

A couple of weeks ago, I took a trip to the Galleria (surprise, surprise...) and found some great buys. Here's a few of my favorites...
Skirt: Zara; Lipstick: MAC 

I can't wait to wear the skirt with some cute boots for fall. I'm excited because we just implemented a new dress code at work which consists of black, white, and grey, with a pop of color in our accessories. So, this means I can still wear my new skirt, which is black with a grey/silver metallic finish.
Of course I am also obsessed with the new lipsticks I picked up from MAC. Here's a close-up.
Left: Vegas Volt; Right: Speed Dial

I'm already hooked on Speed Dial. I wore it for a week straight, until today, when I switched it up and went with Vegas Volt. I love the pop of color it adds to my otherwise natural daily makeup look.

I also added a little prettiness to my kitchen table yesterday. I picked up a rose from the grocery store's floral department and used a wine bottle as a vase to create a new centerpiece. It's simple, but cute. Side note: the wine was awesome, so if you're into reds, I'd recommend this one. It's called Chain Gang Sonoma County Red Wine, and can be found at HEB.

Hope everyone is having a great Friday night! As for me, I'm about to lie down on the couch and take it easy. Tonight is going to be pretty low-key because tomorrow's going to be a busy day at the salon!

Natalie Delaine

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Summer Skincare

When it comes to beauty products, my weakness is in skincare. I absolutely love trying new things and discovering what works and what doesn't. I want to share with you guys what my routine has been as of late, and give an overview of each step.

From left to right:

boscia MakeUp-BreakUp Cool Cleansing Oil
I've been using this as my nightly cleanser for about six months now, and I am OBSESSED. I have never found a product that removes my facial makeup and cleanses my skin so well at the same time. I was skeptical to try it at first, because it actually is an oil and my skin doesn't react to oily products very pleasantly, but this leaves my skin feeling incredibly clean and refreshed. I was hooked after a week.

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream
This cream is a miracle moisturizer. I've had eczema almost my entire life, and it's been a pain trying to find moisturizers for my hands and body that don't cause irritation or worsen my eczema when I have flare-ups, but this stuff is formulated specifically to hydrate parched, cracked skin, and it protects against environmental irritants. I use the Repair Cream daily on my hands, and it's so relieving after a busy day at the salon when my hands are in and out of water. Love this stuff.

Sephora Smart Dual Action Exfoliator
I use this twice a week as a regular exfoliant. It has two different steps inside the tub - one side is white and one side is green. First, I use the white exfoliant on my whole face after I've finished using my basic cleanser, rubbing in small circles. Then I use the green exfoliant directly on top of the white, but I only place it on my oiliest areas (the T-zone) and rub that in for a few seconds. To finish, I use a warm washcloth and wipe the exfoliant off. My skin always feels so smooth and polished afterward.

Smashbox Emulsion Lip Exfoliant
This sugar-based, peppermint lip-exfoliant is awesome. I use this only as needed, because it is a tiny tube, and it's a little on the pricey side ($18 for a 0.75oz tube), which kind of bums me out, but in my opinion that is literally the only downside. I wear lipstick daily, and when my lips get dry in extreme heat or extreme cold weather, the lipstick starts to look dull and almost clumpy. However, if I use the exfoliant in the morning before I put on my lipstick, my lips look smooth and soft all day long.

Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum
I love anything that makes my skin radiant, and let me tell you, this stuff did to my skin exactly what it says it will do. I noticed a big difference in even skin-tone and my face looks so much more glowy and radiant after a few months of using the serum. This one is very pricey ($79 for a 1oz bottle), but I was lucky enough to snag a sample-size (which is almost .05oz) for free in a Caudalie gift-package from Sephora when I saved up my Beauty Insider points a few months back. It pays off to spend so much time in that store! I use just a few drops of the serum on my face every night after using the MakeUp BreakUp cleanser. I'm addicted.

Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion
This classic moisturizer by Clinique has been a staple in my beauty routine for a long time. I use this every morning and every night as the last step before putting on my makeup or going to sleep. It's very gentle and light, and my skin stays moisturized all day/night with this lotion.

boscia B.B. Cream
At the beginning of summer, I started seeing lots of other bloggers post about B.B. creams, which I had never heard of. I did a little bit of research and found out that B.B. cream (also referred to as "blemish balm" or "beauty balm") has been around for years, but it was mainly sold in East and Southeast Asia. There are lots of different types of B.B. creams, most containing SPF and some sort of antioxidants that improve the skin. Lucky for us, B.B. creams are all over the market in America now, and I was excited when I discovered that Sephora started carrying one from boscia. I decided to give it a shot, and so far I actually really like it. It contains SPF 27, is oil-free, hydrates, and firms the skin. The best part is that it comes in a universal shade that adjusts with your individual skin-tone, and it gives a flawless, smooth look. I love wearing this when I'm spending the day outside, because it gives just enough color and it has SPF, so I know I'm protected from the harsh rays in this Houston heat. After I use up this B.B. cream, I want to try a few other brands' creams, so I'll update on those later on down the line.

All of the products above can be found in Sephora stores or on the Sephora website. I promise I wasn't set up to endorse any of these products, but I absolutely love them all, and my skin does, too! 

Hope everyone is having a fantastic Tuesday!

Natalie Delaine

Monday, September 5, 2011

Labor Day Weekend...

I've been a busy girl lately, so I'm taking some time to sit down and share a little bit of what's been going on this weekend! 
On Saturday, at work, I was surprised when my boss informed me that I am being promoted to Senior Stylist! I couldn't be more grateful for this new chapter in my career. Later that night, I went to a dear friend's wedding reception. Here's a shot of me and the beautiful bride. It was so amazing to see and feel the love that was present in that room. I wish you guys the best, Serena and Chase!

Sunday afternoon, I attended my niece's third birthday party. A good time was had by all. There was even a moon bounce - I couldn't resist jumping for a while myself. And of course, little miss Seppy had a blast at her party. I love that little girl so dearly! Here she is in her tiara about to blow out her birthday candles.

Today is Labor Day, which is a holiday for most of us, but it feels like a normal Monday for me, as we stylists are always off on Mondays. I did take advantage of the day, however, by cleaning my apartment and baking some cupcakes with my new mixer that I purchased this morning. 
I chose the KitchenAid Artisan 5-Quart Stand Mixer. It comes in 27 different colors (incredible and almost a little overwhelming - I know), but I decided Pistachio was my favorite. It's very vintage-looking. I love this thing so much, and I've had my eye on it for a long, long time. Finally seeing it in my kitchen makes me so happy.

I baked homemade red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese icing and coconut.

They turned out perfect! I'm about to head over to my boyfriend's house to share these treats with his family. I can't wait to eat another one. :)

Hope everyone is having a relaxing Labor Day, and if you worked today, go have a cold brew - you deserve one. 

Natalie Delaine

Sunday, August 21, 2011

What's Cookin'?

Within the past month or so, I realized just how much money I was spending on going out for meals. The options at restaurants also aren't always exactly the healthiest choices out there, so I decided to take matters into my own hands and start limiting myself to one restaurant visit per week. This means that I've been cooking every other meal on my own at home. It's been a major change for my busy lifestyle, but I've loved the results. My bank account is a little cushier and I feel much healthier. I have so much more energy now. 
One of my favorite things that I've been reading lately is Mario Lopez's book Extra Lean. It teaches you to re-evaluate your eating habits and improve them. I haven't been following the plan to a T, but I've been using lots of the recipes in the book. I want to share with you guys one of my favorites, a beef stir-fry. The recipe in the book serves only one person, so if you're going to be sharing this meal, I'd recommend doubling the amounts. 

1 tsp canola oil
4 oz thinly sliced flank steak
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp grated fresh ginger root
1 cup chopped broccoli
1 cup diced red bell pepper
1/2 cup sliced red onion
1 Tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
1 Tbsp teriyaki or hoisin sauce

1. Heat oil in a skillet or wok on medium-high heat, add beef and cook for 1 minute.
2. Add garlic, ginger, broccoli, pepper, and onion; cook, tossing continuously for 2 minutes.
3. Add soy sauce and teriyaki sauce and cook for an extra 2 minutes or until the broccoli is crisp-tender.

This is probably one of the easiest and best tasting things I've ever made at home. Not to mention the fact that it doesn't take very long to cook. I modified the recipe a little bit the second time I made this dish, because my boyfriend was having dinner with me. I removed the broccoli and onion from the recipe, added yellow bell peppers to the mixture while cooking, and added spinach leaves after it was all done cooking. 
Measuring out the flank steak
Diced bell peppers... I actually love those raw, too.
Soy & Teriyaki
During the cooking process
and... voila! The finished meal! It was delicious. I love that this meal only has 333 calories total, and it's got some good protein. For spicy lovers, I'd recommend adding a little bit of chili sauce!

Although this next part may be a little contradictory to the topic of this post (healthy cooking at home), I still have to share with you guys a little bit of goodness that my man surprised me with the other day. My favorite chocolates - Godiva Dark Truffles - and two red velvet cupcakes from Crave Cupcakes in Houston. I was definitely spoiled with all these treats, but my sweet tooth will never go away. It's impossible for me to resist indulging every now and again.

I'm about to relax with a cup of coffee and the latest issue of Lucky Magazine. I considered stopping by the mall for a few things I need to pick up from Sephora, but upon remembering that this weekend is "Tax-free weekend", I figured it's best to steer clear of the mall unless I feel like getting trampled by back-to-school-shopping moms and teenagers. No thanks. 
Hope everyone has a happy Sunday!

Natalie Delaine

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Las Vegas

Greetings, pretties! I haven't disappeared, I promise. I have been so busy lately at the salon and at home -  trying to play catch-up after the Vegas trip was a bit much for me. But! Now I'm settled at home and I can finally take a moment to sit down and share some photos from the trip!

Me and a couple of co-workers of mine getting ready to head to the NAHA ceremony. I was so happy with the way my outfit turned out. The unexpected contrast of my bright, girly BCBGeneration dress with my tough, edgy Jeffrey Campbell platforms was exactly what I was wanting. The shoes were definitely a head-turner - I even had strangers telling me they were a hit. I strongly advise every female reading this to go out and buy a pair for yourself. I promise you'll feel at least a little foxier. And that's never a bad thing!

Me and Bre waiting for the awards to start.

This was taken during the opening of the actual awards show. It was fantastic this year. For those of you who aren't familiar with NAHA, it is the North American Hairstyling Awards. Held annually in Las Vegas, it's basically the Grammys of hair. Stylists from all over the US and Canada send in their latest and greatest portfolio photos to be nominated in several different categories. It was awesome to see so many of the stylists' takes on the newest trends, and there was so much amazing work this year. I definitely left with strong inspiration and even more excitement and gratitude for being part of such an incredible industry. I can't wait to see what's in store for next year.

Here's a shot of me and the wonderful, handsome man in my life. I was super stoked that he got to travel with me, even though it was a business trip for the salon. I loved having him there. <3

These two shots were taken outside of the NY, NY hotel and casino. Unfortunately, I didn't ride the rollercoaster while I was there, but I was a little too busy checking out the AllSaints store in the Cosmopolitan during my downtime... I couldn't help myself! I even found an amazing leather messenger bag that was on sale. I fell in love. (pictures to come!)

Of course when we were there, we had to hit up In-N-Out burger. With extra sauce. I promise only one of those burgers was mine! :)

And here's one last photo to round up the Vegas post! Me on the strip, feeling pretty and enjoying the evening after NAHA ended. If only my shoes were captured in this picture... but Lord knows you guys have already heard enough about those bad boys.

I hope everybody's having a happy Thursday! Next time, I'm going to share what's been going down in my kitchen as of late... and I'm pretty stoked about it. So keep checking back for more! 

Natalie Delaine

Monday, July 25, 2011

Monday's Always a Good Day...

...well, most of the time. It's actually thundering and pouring rain right now, but (lucky me) I got to enjoy the sunshine while it lasted. This morning after a doctor's appointment, I was near the mall, so I stopped in to browse one last time before this upcoming weekend's Vegas trip. I was ecstatic when I found the perfect dress to wear to NAHA. I'll post photos of the what final outfit looks like when I put together my Vegas post, so be on the lookout when I come back from Nevada!

In the mean time, here's some other goodies I found today when I was shopping...
yellow top: bar III at Macy's. orange dress with black belt: Forever 21. tan top: Forever 21. orange shorts with brown belt: Forever 21. gold necklaces & yellow/chain bracelet: Forever 21.

It's obvious what kinds of colors and textures I was drawn to today - lots of summer fabrics and styles with the edge of autumn's colors and shapes. We're almost in between seasons when it comes to fashion, so it's awesome to see the styles transition in all the stores and magazines right now.

I'm also crazy about red lips at the moment. My favorite lipstick for this look is Russian Red by MAC. It lasts forever and adds a little unexpected pop to your summer makeup look. It may be a little too bold or matte for some, but if that's the case, there are lots of sheer red lipglosses that still give you a sexy red kisser while keeping it more on the natural side. My choice for lipgloss is Dior Addict Ultra Gloss in Little Red Dress, which has just a hint of shimmer and goes on beautifully. Below, I'm wearing Russian Red by Mac.

Hope everyone is staying dry in this crazy weather! Happy Monday! 

Natalie Delaine

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

New Goodies & Layering Jewelry

This afternoon, I came home from work and there was a sticky note on my door saying that UPS came by and left a package for me in the office. My first and only thought was, "SHOES!" - and yes indeed, my Jeffrey Campbell Lita boots have arrived! After picking up my package, I checked my mailbox, and to my pleasant surprise, the new Urban Outfitters catalogue was staring at me. New shoes AND new reading/obsessing material. Not such bad things to come home to.

Clearly even the shoebox is a work of art, complete with its own kitschy crossword puzzle. Love it.

They're perfect! And SUPER comfortable. I remember reading in reviews online how comfy these shoes are, but seriously, when you put them on, you forget you're wearing heels. Until you stand next to someone in flats, of course... in which case, you're quickly reminded how huge of a platform these shoes actually have. I am already obsessed and cannot wait to wear these with something fabulous.

One more thing I'm stoked on right now is my new Michael Kors rose gold watch, which I just purchased yesterday. I had been wanting a gold men's-style watch for a long time, but I could never set my heart on one in particular until I found this gorgeous thing. I can already tell you that I'll probably be wearing it daily, because the rose gold is so versatile and can be paired with just about any other type of jewelry. 
Speaking of jewelry, I've been seeing lots of layering with bracelets and necklaces everywhere lately. So today I threw on a few bracelets with my new watch, and voila - instant eye-catching goodness. 

From left to right - Grey and gold grommet bracelet: my boyfriend's. Grey braided/beaded bracelet: Banana Republic. Rose Gold watch: Michael Kors. Pearl, rhinestone, and chain bracelet: Forever 21. Pink and gold Indian-style bracelet: Banana Republic.

I so love this look. It draws attention to the arms, which are such a sexy part of the body, especially during summer when you can get away with wearing arm-bearing clothes on the regular. Embrace this look and go dig through your jewelry box... Start layering, and you might be surprised by all of the cute combinations you can come up with. The more bracelets, the better. That's the whole point of this look - it's unexpectedly adorable.

Hope everyone is having a happy Wednesday!

Natalie Delaine

Monday, July 18, 2011

Bare Midriffs & New Nails

Alright, so typically, when I hear the phrase "bare midriff", the first thing that comes to mind is the tacky 1990s-style bare midriffs that we all could have done without. But this summer, the bare midriff has made a comeback, in a much more tasteful, stylish light. At first I was afraid of the idea of showing a little bit of tummy skin, because like most girls, I do get insecure sometimes. Once I tried it out, however, I became hooked.
The trick to getting this look right is to choose tops that are more loose-fitting, because it gives off more of a hippie vibe as opposed to a little-too-close-to-skanky vibe. There are some tighter fitting tops that can be an exception to this rule, but they either need to be paired with jeans or long skirts, rather than shorts or mini skirts, to keep the sexiness at a good level and to still leave something to the imagination. No one wants to see you walking around half-naked looking like you just stepped out of the pool, rather than a fashion spread. Here are a few tops that I purchased this year that have been staples of my weekend wardrobe for summer.

Black and white striped sweater: Mink Pink from Macy's.
Red tank: Urban Outfitters
Yellow top: Free People
Jeans: Express
I've become a huge fan of this look. It makes me think more "1970s hippie-chick" rather than "1990s raver-princess", which is a great thing. Also, the best way to play off the look is by not showing more than a few inches of skin. Once it gets higher than that, it starts to look borderline tacky. So just keep it simple and add a little bit of subtle sex-appeal to your outfit... it's summer, you're allowed to show a little more skin!
To be more work-appropriate, pair these types of tops with high-waisted pants, which are also making a big comeback this season.

This morning I went to see my nail tech, and she did a fantastic job giving me a new custom glittery coral/pink solar color!

I decided to stick to the ring finger trend and paint just those nails a different color when I got home. I chose another glittery pink, but a much softer version. I love the way the two colors look together.

Ring finger polish: Princesses Rule by OPI

I'm about to head to mall to do a little browsing for NAHA. I now have 12 days left, so I need to get down to business and find something to wear! Hope everyone is having a happy Monday!

Natalie Delaine

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Jeffrey Campbell, I love you.

I just have to share with the world my newest obsession. I've been searching high and low for the perfect platform lace-ups, and alas, I've found 'em. They aren't even "mine" yet, seeing as how they've been shipped and haven't arrived at my apartment, but I can already tell you I'm in love.

These are the Lita by Jeffrey Campbell, in taupe suede. I've read raving reviews on how comfortable and lightweight these shoes are, despite the chunkiness and heavy look. They're exactly what I've been looking for and I cannot wait to wear them when they get here! I'm headed to NAHA in Las Vegas in two weeks, and as silly as sounds to base an entire outfit around a pair of shoes, I believe it is completely necessary, as these are amazing. I can't wait to show off these bad boys.
Check out Akira's website. Their prices on Jeffrey Campbell are awesome, and they ship super quickly. I ordered two days ago, and yesterday they were already marked as shipped!
You better believe I'll be posting photos of these as soon as they're on my feet.

In related news, I still have yet to find what I want to wear with them! I'm thinking a simple dress of some sort, but even after scouring the Galleria on Thursday night, I can't find anything that seems to be right. I've only got fourteen days, so wish me luck!

I have one more goodie to show off today... my new pair of vintage eyeglasses. 

I've had these for a few weeks now, but I've just lately been wearing them a lot more often. I usually wear contacts, but on days when I don't feel like taking the time to put them in, I can slip these on and instantly feel a little sexier. They give off a cool 1960s vibe, and the shiny silver makes them super unique, as most cat-eye glasses we see nowadays are black. These were definitely not what I expected to find when I was shopping for new glasses... but I'm glad, because they're way better than what I had in mind originally. I walked into Smith Opticians and immediately knew that this was the perfect place to find a new pair. 
If you're living in the Houston area and are in the market for a new pair of specs, I highly recommend Smith Opticians. They are very helpful, very quick to get your glasses filled with your prescription, and best of all, very reasonably priced. I was very impressed to find out that in addition to carrying new brands and styles, they have an entire room dedicated to true vintage specs that you won't find anywhere else. I must say I was very pleased with my experience there.

Hope everybody's having a fantastic weekend! I'm about to kick back and relax with the latest issue of W and daydream about my Jeffrey Campbells... again. 

Natalie Delaine

Jeffrey Campbell image via Akira.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Nail Trend!

Anybody who hangs around me knows that I am generally a big fan of change. I change my style, I change my hair, and as a personal rule to myself every two weeks, I change my nails. This week I tried a nail trend that I've seen all over the place lately, and I must say that I'm a fan. 
The idea is basically to have all of your nails painted one color except for the ring fingers, which are to be painted a different color, or embellished with some sort of design. I haven't ventured into adding designs to my ring fingers yet, but I did test the waters with something very basic. I had my nail technician shape my nails with a custom solar coral/orange color, and when I got home, I painted the ring fingers with one of my favorite summer polishes, Orange 7 by Urban Outfitters. Here's the result!

Kind of quirky, but very cute. The look is simple, yet still different enough to catch the eye. Plus I love this color combination. It reminds me of Dreamsicles, which were always a favorite of mine during the summers growing up.

Here's the polish... It's become one of my go-tos for a soft, girly look.

I've noticed that the trend definitely works best if you stick within a certain color or tonal family, which is why I think the two oranges work well together. In the fall or winter, the look would be sexy with deep, gem tones.
This trend is so easy that anyone can do it. It adds such a unique touch to an everyday look.

Hope everyone's having a beautiful Wednesday! Treat yourself to a humpday cocktail... and go paint your nails. 

Natalie Delaine

Monday, July 11, 2011

5 Things...

I'm feeling very simple and basic today, so I figured it'd be kind of fun to spotlight five simple things that made me happy today.

This antique-y lamp is one that I actually found sitting outside by the "to-be-thrown-aways" at my apartment complex. Before any of you assume I'm a crazy hoarder, I can assure you I'm not! But I loved the color and the old-school feel about it. Its lampshade was pretty beat up, so I chunked it and found a brand new one at Target that looked almost identical. The lamp has such a cozy, grandma-feel to it while still being pretty and adding something different to the room. I think it makes a great addition to my living area, at least for the time being!

These little suckers are awesome. They're called Spin Pins and they're made by Goody. They're meant to hold your hair in place when wearing bun-styles.
Anybody who knows me knows that I've been trying to grow my hair out for months and months now, and it's finally long enough to style several different ways. I bought the Spin Pins a while back, but my hair was still never long enough for a bun. Today, however, I finally got to try them out. I was a little skeptical at first thinking they wouldn't secure my hair well enough, but after wearing them in my hair for the entire afternoon, I'm officially sold. They were only $7 and they come in different shades to match the lightness/darkness of your hair. I chose the dark brown, obviously. 
The best thing about them is that it literally took me fifteen seconds to style my hair today. I gathered my hair into a low ponytail and twisted the hair into a bun close to the nape of my neck. I then grabbed one pin and twisted it into the bun vertically from the top, like you would a screw, and then twisted the second pin into the bun vertically from the bottom... and voila! Bun achieved!

The third thing on my list today is super-simple and very minor compared to the others, but I love this for summer: forgoing eyeliner when putting on my makeup in the morning. I am usually the type of person who has to have on eyeliner every day in order to feel like my look is "finished", but lately I've been skipping out on the eyeliner, and I'm actually loving the results. It looks fresher, more awake, and unlined eyes look even bigger, which is never a bad thing when it comes to playing up your features. Plus it's nice to have one less step to mess with when going through my everyday beauty routine. Just a few sweeps of mascara and some brightening cream under the eyes and you're set.

Every house/apartment needs flowers somewhere. 
My mother always kept plants and flowers around the house, and it brightened up the look of our home. These orchids are gorgeous in my living room, thanks to my amazing boyfriend for bringing them home to me a few days ago. I love that they aren't a typical type of flower that you'd see in someone's home, but they're oddly fitting for my apartment!

Last, but not least, I am definitely in love with my new hot pink and white Kate Spade Seersucker Patent Vionette. It's the perfect size to carry my essentials, and although I've been wearing it mostly as a cross-body, its chain can easily be tucked inside (without taking up much space) to carry the purse as a clutch instead. I spotted it a couple weeks ago during a day-trip to the Galleria and when I saw that it was on sale, I felt it calling my name even more. 

Hope everyone's having a happy Monday! I'm excited to make breakfast for dinner tonight. Pancakes, bacon, eggs, and mimosas. Nothing wrong with a little backwardness to quirk the day up.

Natalie Delaine