Summer 2017 Bucket List

It’s Summer in Chicago. Finally. Am I right?! Those cold mornings and dewy afternoons paid off. March, April, and May showers bring June flowers? Is that how it goes? Anyways, I’m in nice weather mode from here on out. The shorts have been purchased and sandals are the only shoes I’ve been wearing. With Summer comes adventure though and I’m totally ready for some serious exploring.

Last year, I made a huge bucket list full of things I knew I had to complete before those months were over. Not to say I completed everything on that list, but a large majority was crossed off. I plan to do the same this season and wanted to share my plans with all of you! Some are more extreme than others so bear with me here.

1. Swim In The Ocean

In a few short weeks I’ll be headed back to Florida for a long vacation with the hubby. I was just in Orlando after Christmas time but didn’t get to enjoy any of those gorgeous Florida beaches or swim in the sea. So, this time around, I’m doing it.

2. Fish In The Ocean

Speaking of Florida, when I’m there I think it would be outside of my comfort zone to try fishing. I’ve fished in lakes before, for small fish…very small fish. But never anything bigger than my hand. I don’t have to necessarily “catch” anything, it would just be an experience to check off.

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3. Grow My Blog Following

My blog is considerably new. This winter I ended up taking my social media platforms more seriously and began to gain a following on multiple channels. But that stuff is hard to keep up with and sometimes I slip up on posting and creating. This summer, I want to focus more on finding my path in the blogging world.

4. Go Cliff Jumping

There’s something exciting about heights and facing your fears. Super anxious to cross this one off my list. Can’t wait to find a pretty place to jump, take pics, and enjoy the Summer weather.

5. Start Real Estate Schooling

Surprise! Ya girl wants to go back to school! Specifically, for real estate. I know, I know it sounds absolutely insane. But it’s something different, new, and rewarding! Let’s hope I follow through with this new found career path.

6. Run A 5k

I’ve been obsessed with running lately. This Summer, I’d love to try a 5k in the city or a cool obstacle course type thing. Really for no other reason but to say “I did that”. Ya know?

7. Start A Garden

I’ve begun my test for a green thumb by adding a couple house plants to my living room. So far, no good. With that said though, maybe things will be different in the real outdoors. It would be neat to plant some fresh flowers and watch the colors grow.

8. Try All The Halo Top Flavors

My lover, my life, my shawty, my wife. I eat a ton of that stuff. Can you blame me though?! It’s delicious and much better for you than regular ice cream. A few months ago, Halo Top released 10 new flavors. I’ve only tried 3 out of those 10 flavors! Needless to say, this bucket list item will be crossed off before Summer’s end.

Now it’s your turn! What are you Summer to-do’s? I want to know! Leave a comment down below or tell me on my other social media platforms. Let’s share our plans and try new things!

Women Who Are Killing It: #GirlBoss Style

There’s nothing that gets me more motivated than seeing others succeed. Watching people work hard for what they want, struggle, and yet still end up accomplishing their goals is so inspiring. What I’ve learned over the years, is that finding someone to look up to, a mentor perhaps, can without a doubt help shape the way you grow. With this idea in mind, I wanted to share with you all today who my favorite influencers are and how they’ve impacted my life!

“I think women are scared of feeling powerful and strong and brave sometimes. There’s nothing wrong with being afraid. It’s not the absence of fear. It’s overcoming it. And sometimes you just have to blast through and have faith”

For me, a role model is someone who is fearless and does things without necessarily letting the views of others effect their next move. They are individuals who choose to enjoy the ride even with some rough spots. A role model doesn’t always have the answers but chooses to listen, ask questions, and learn.

Lori Greiner

If any of you are familiar with the show “Shark Tank“, then I’m sure you know of the ultimate boss lady herself. Lori is an inventor, business woman, and now television personality who not only is determined to lead but carries herself with class and integrity. This girl seems to have it all from her “Queen of QVC” title to her fashion sense and willingness to work. She puts passion into every project she gets herself into and makes everything she does seem so effortless.

Sophia Amoruso

I’ve spoken a little about Sophia in some past blog posts but thought I’d expand on why I love her so much just one more time (sorry not sorry)! The #GirlBoss herself has coined the term and was able to create something amazing out of nothing.

At 23, she started her online Ebay store “Nasty Gal“. But since beginning, things haven’t been easy. If you’ve read her book or have seen the show on Netflix, you know she’s persevered through some pretty tough shit. Nonetheless, she pushed through hardships and turned her small business into a multi-million dollar brand. Despite having the odds against her, she has proven everyone wrong from her past employers, father, and even her cheating ex-boyfriend. I admire the way Sophia overcame these things to make a better life for herself. Such a girl power story!

Aspyn Ovard

Talk about a girl on fire. Aspyn has really made a name for herself in the YouTube community. Since finding her audience, she has branched out from the internet game and has turned herself into a full blown business owner. Her and husband, Parker, are on a serious grind with their freshly launched business Luca and Grae. The online boutique features a mixture of bohemian, modern, and casual clothing all at reasonable price. Aspyn has used her YouTube platform and social media experience as a catapult for her future business endeavors. She has taken what she loves to do and made it her very own. The commitment she has to her work radiates which makes her one of my top favorite idols for this list.

“If you truly pour your heart into what you believe in. Even if it makes you vulnerable. Amazing things can and will happen”

Emma Watson

We all know Emma for her leading roles in movies like Harry Potter and Beauty and the Beast. What we sometimes forget about is her loyalty to equal rights. She has become an activist for gender equality as well as a respected feminist. I honor her level of professionalism and praise her for stepping out of her comfort zone to speak about issues that are important to not only her but many others. Emma has created a voice and has used her fame to start vital conversations that some are not brave enough to acknowledge. P.S the quotes on this post are from Emma herself! 

So who’s your biggest influence or role model? Let me know in the comments or on my other socials! Can’t wait to start a conversation with you

Spring Favs: Outfit Ideas, Things To Do + More

The weather in Illinois has been absolutely amazing lately. Bravo Chicago you’re finally doing this Spring thing right! Can you believe yesterday I wore sandals? Sandals…in April! Crazy isn’t it?! Get this, as I’m writing this post the temperature reads 75 degrees. How exciting!

Anyways, today I thought I’d publish a post all about Spring Favorites! The weather is changing which means trends and styles are too! I’ve made so many recent purchases prepping for these upcoming weeks. I wanted to share my finds and hopefully get you guys in the Spring mood too!

Two-Strapped Sandals

To start, I know I’m a little behind on this whole Birkenstock trend but man these shoes are comfy! I love pairing mine with some leggings and a large tunic. Lately, that’s been my go-to Sunday attire. Super simple to throw on and gives me the support I need to walk around comfortably.

Collared Shirts & Dresses

I’ve been totally in-to the collared look. Recently, I picked up a few striped styled collared short sleeves that go great with distressed skinny jeans. The tops make me look less grungy and more put together when paired with the rips. I’m a sucker for that kind of stuff. A perfect compromise for sure!

Dresses are my guilty pleasure. Sometimes I really don’t feel like wearing pants. Can I be the only one?! Dresses are easy and light weight. It’s basically a whole outfit in one. Gotta love that.

L’Oréal Air Dry It Wave Swept Spray

We all have that one hair product that does our locks wonders, this is mine. I’ve always struggled to find something that can tame my hair while also keeping it volumized and beachy. The Air Dry It Wave Spray gives me everything I need for a simple, quick, style. I recommend it for those who are always on the run yet want to feel refreshed and natural.

H2O+ Marine Toner

To give my skin the extra little glow, cleansing, and replenishing it needs I look to this stuff. Filled with ingredients found in the sea, it’s quickly becoming my favorite new face product to use on the daily. I use this before bed time after I’ve completely washed my face. It leaves the skin feeling renewed and healthy. Pick up a bottle of this stuff now!

Pearl Earrings

Pearl anything for that matter! Did anyone else forget these beauties existed? Because same. These wonderful pearl studs from Ice Jewelery complete all of my Spring outfits. I feel like such a classy lady when I put mine on. I never want to take them off!

To add, Ice Jewelry has so many other great jewelry options for every occasion all for affordable prices! The site lets customers purchase straight from designers keeping everything very low-cost. Plus, if pearls just aren’t your thing they carry a variety of other great pieces. With Mothers Day right around the corner, this just may be the destination for the perfect gift! Use my code Natalie10 for 10% off your next purchase. Happy shopping!

Shop Ice Jewelry Here

Psssst…stay tuned towards the end of this post for special giveaway information! You could be the lucky winner getting your own pair of pearl earrings just like mine!

Iced Green Tea & Honey Lavender Lattes 

The love for this one goes deep friends. The Starbucks Green Tea Latte gives me life. Except, I love to put my own little spin on it. In my drink, I like to add non fat milk, 2 pumps of peppermint and light ice! It’s so refreshing and revitalizes your mood quickly! Pick one up for yourself and tell me how you like it!

I’ve also been swooning over honey and lavender lattes. The sweetness of the honey engages with the lavender so well. Feels like joy and happiness every time I drink one!

Pierogies 

I come from a mixed breed family with ancestors spread throughout France, Poland, Germany and so many others. However, growing up I always knew one European style food I just couldn’t get enough of. Those were Pierogies! These consist of crispy dough on the outside filled with whatever you want on the inside. I’ve been cooking them up for breakfast and dinner non stop just to relive my childhood a bit. Some of the greatest fillings to me are sweet cheese, potato, and sauerkraut! Add a dollop of sour cream for the saltier options and sugar for the sweeter ones. So delicious!

Conservatories

Plants have become quite a big part of my home. I’m always on the look out for adding new ones to my collection, big or small. One of the greatest places I love to gain inspiration from is the Lincoln Park Conservatory in Chicago. There are so many plant species and amazing things to look at. It’s really an awesome Spring day idea if you’re searching for something to do. It’s also free!

If you’re not an Illinois native, try a local greenhouse in your area. The place will make for pretty pictures and a wonderful shopping experience. Much better than Home Depot. I promise.

GIVEAWAY TIME

Now, earlier in this post I mentioned to all of you I had a little giveaway going on for one of my favorites this Spring season. Thanks to my friends over at Ice Jewelry, one of you is going to win your own pair of pearl earrings! Here are the simple rules for your chance at scooping these up! Be sure you’re following myself as well as Ice Jewelry on our Instagram accounts, then tag a friend on the collab post I recently did with them! After that, you’re done and entered! The winner will be chosen May 15th so get those entries in quick! Good luck!