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!

Easy Ways To Relieve Stress

Woahhhh this work week has me all types of messed up. Life has been so hectic and I’ve been having a lot going on around me. All of this commotion makes it difficult to stay focused and motivated. There have definitely been more than a few times where I just wanted to give up. Anyone else?

Well, fear not because although we all have those days we also have ways to combat them and offset the stress! I’ve come up with 5 ways to remove stress from your life in a variety of different situations. Join me in this blog post so we can all be stress free together!

Clean It Out 

Alright, stay with me here. Cleaning a space reduces the clutter from your life and will leave you feeling refreshed. Start with small places like your car, closet, or bedroom. Then, move on to the rest of your home or spend time really organizing the areas you just cleaned. Trust me, this helps!

Read Or Write 

Expanding your creative thoughts will help relieve some of that stress build up. It’s a mind aid to just let everything go in the comfort of a good book or journal. Spend sometime at a local coffee shop to dial into a better, more relaxed, environment. Let the creative juices flow! What’s been your recent favorite read?

Drive

Sometimes one of the best ways I deal with stress is to just take a lot of time for myself. There’s nothing wrong with that! I do this frequently by hopping in my car and throwing on some tunes. The trip doesn’t stop until I do. The possibilities are quite endless. A drive can mean a few blocks, miles, or hours. So long as your gas budget allows!

Gain A Green Thumb

I’ve recently began filling my little home with plants. It gives me something to plan for every day and makes my space more welcoming. There’s something wonderful about adding greenery to a lived in area! The process of potting, watering, and watching your new babies grow will give you a new distraction. Guaranteed, the tension will melt away with a succulent or two.

Bubble Bath It Up

Nothing says relaxation more than bubbles. After a long hard day, the only thing I want is a warm bath. Light a couple candles, make a hot camomile tea, and slide on into the tub. This is typically the time of the day where I shut down my electronics and spend some much-needed me time. I can’t be bothered when I’m soaking away the stress.

There are plenty of great bath products out there but some of my favorites come from LUSH. Their bath bombs make me feel like a deserving princess worthy of nothing but sparkles and scents that resemble fresh picked roses or clean linens. If that’s not your thing, try a moisturizing body conditioner or scrub. Pampering myself helps leave the troublesome thoughts “down the drain“. See what I did there?

Shopaholics Guide To Saving Money

Hi everyone! I’m wishing you all a happy Thursday or just a happy day in general if you’re reading this at a later time! In today’s blog post, I wanted to give you all some insight on the different ways I’ve been budgeting, saving, and planning lately. Budgeting my money and planning for the future was never really my forte when I began making a steady income. So to begin this guide, I’d like to take you back to-day one. My very first real job!

I got my first job when I was 18 working at an amusement park selling glow sticks. You heard me, glow sticks. The cash flow was little to nothing but it was something and much more than anything my friends were making at the time. Each Friday my pay would roll in at a couple to a few hundred dollars. For someone who had just graduated high school, this was a lot of moola to be carrying around. Here’s the bad part, as soon as I received my paychecks I would immediately start spending. I’d buy whatever I wanted when I wanted it until I ran out and there was nothing left. The next week? I’d do it all over again without a penny saved.

To make a long back story short, I moved on from that job, went to college, worked my way up in a few positions, and now we’re here. Do you think things would have changed dramatically? The answer is no.

As I moved up roles in different companies, I began to make more money. But with more money came more responsibilities. Responsibilities and no doubt bills were always increasing. Just to name a few this includes my car payment, rent, utilities, phone bill, insurance, and so many others. Every raise, promotion, or shift in my career that happened I’d assume it meant I was somehow able to spend more. In reality, I was just tacking on and creating bigger issues for myself.

Fast forward through some boring details, I’m still not the best at saving money. However, I’m positive there are others out there who struggle the way I did/do on a weekly basis and are looking for some direction! So today, without further a due, I’d like to share my tips!

Below are just a few of my most used money-saving and budgeting hacks that always help me stay on track. Not to say I don’t drift off of it sometimes!

Pay The Bills ASAP

This is an important tip because it’s something I’m beginning to learn will allow me more financial freedom in the long run. Each time I get paid, I go through my finances and try to see which bills are manageable to get rid of that week. It’s the first thing I spend on and leaves me worry free for the remainder of time until my next pay cycle. It makes knowing how much I have that much easier!

Save At Least 10% Of Your Paycheck

It can sometimes be difficult to see the value in saving money when there are more luxurious things you’d rather see it go towards. I’ve found a happy medium in saving my money by automatically removing 10% each pay period from my checking into my savings. It’s not much but it’s something and leaves me with enough leftover to budget the rest of my expenses, wants, and needs.

Take Advantage Of Sales

A good rule of thumb when trying to save your money is buying sale items! You’d be surprised how many gems are hidden in your favorite stores sale section. Just recently, I was able to pick up two dresses on sale at Forever 21 for less than $15 bucks each! Choosing to bargain hunt and spend some extra time searching is well worth it when you get to save a few pennies. It’s not a whole lot but it for sure adds up!

Make Your Own Food & Coffee At Home

Simple life hack that will save you tons! Making your own food or beverages from home can be very rewarding, less expensive, and delicious! Head to the grocery store once a week, pick up what you need, and try to avoid eating or drinking out. Some meals can cost anywhere from $10 to $25 bucks and coffee can add up just as quick too!

It’s okay to treat yourself sometimes but remember the end goal, to save as much money as you can! What I enjoy doing is giving myself a little leeway on the weekends. I try to grab a coffee and bagel on Friday and on Saturday I’ll splurge on a dinner with friends. Find your balance!

Write It Down

I find budgeting to be easiest when I write down my most important saving goals somewhere I could never forget. Try buying a small white board for the fridge as a daily reminder to keep things on a smooth path.

Eliminate Subscriptions You Don’t Use

My biggest pet peeve are those who choose to keep monthly services going when they don’t even use them! Think of all the extra money you could have if you got rid of that gym membership you don’t use? This is valuable money longing to be saved!

Download Store Apps

There is so much missed opportunity from not having in particular stores apps. Some of my favorites always have deals going on. The two I’ve always loved is Cartwheel for Target and the Starbucks app! There’s always a coupon on Cartwheel and when you join the Starbucks app program you get a free drink! Lots of goodies and savings waiting for all of you! Make sure to see if your favorite store has their own application!

The 2 Day Rule

Okay, this tip is good and I mean really good! If I’m shopping and I see something I like I automatically throw it in my cart without thinking. I don’t contemplate about whether or not I need the item, I just know I like it. For everyone out there like me, here’s what you should do next time!

The next time you’re debating on buying something you really want, put it back. Set the item back where you found it and leave the store. I know, it sounds horrible already right?! There’s more. Think about that item for the next two days and consider the reasons why you need it or don’t. A majority of the time I can guarantee, you won’t be coming back to buy it or at the least will realize it’s an item that you’re unable to buy at the moment.