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Friday, December 30, 2011


Phil and I are hitting the dusty trail (aka I-5 South) to spend the weekend holed up with friends in a rustic country cabin. Looking forward to wearing comfy sweaters, cooking pancake breakfasts and beating the pants off of everyone at MarioKart.

How will you be ringing in the New Year?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


My coworker recently turned me on to, a food/cooking blog with gorgeous imagery and a seemingly endless supply of easy to follow recipes that would impress any dinner (or lunch or breakfast or snack) guest. Last night, Phil and I hosted an impromptu dinner party simply because I couldn't wait to make Deb's parsnip latkes with horseradish and dill sauce.
Grating the potato is easy. The parsnips? Not so much.
For crispy latkes, Deb of Smitten Kitchen recommends wringing out as much liquid as possible
from the grated veg.

I wish I had photos of the finished product, but frankly I couldn't wait to pop them into my mouth the instant they came out of the warming oven, so the few prep photos above will have to suffice. For more appetizing images, please refer to the recipe here.

What made this recipe so ideal for entertaining was that I could prepare everything ahead of time and then fry up the latkes while chatting with my friends in the kitchen. Served with ample dollops of horseradish sauce, a green salad, and a plate of cheese and crostini, these parsnip latkes made a scrumptious little meal, perfect for a rainy Portland evening.


Although it gives off a serious first-day-of-school vibe, make no mistake, this is what I wore on Christmas eve for round one of family celebrations. Contrary to my usual MO, I went with the fully untucked collared shirt to allow ample room for my mother's delicious brunch. It was also the perfect occasion for Julep's glittery red "Brooklyn" nail polish.
shirt: Trouvé, cardigan: Classiques, jeans: Citizens of Humanity, booties: Steve Madden, bangle: Forever21,  bracelet: BCBG MAXAZRIA

sweater: Wilfred, jeans: AG Jeans
I meant to get a couple of pics of my Christmas day 'fit as well to show you how day two of the leopard print festivities got on, but (un)fortunately I was distracted by my cousin's three-month-old baby girl. This is the best I could muster. Please ignore the ridiculous "I love this baby so much I might tuck her in my purse and run away with her" grin on my face.

 I mean, COME ON.

In the absence of decent Christmas day outfit pics, I'll take you back to Christmas eve and the mustachioed filth that erupted when Phil's white elephant gift was unwrapped.
 '70s porn star much?
My father, AKA Yosemite Sam.

Friday, December 23, 2011


Happy holidays everyone! I have had so much fun writing this little blog the last few weeks and am so thankful for those of you who read it.
HOWES THAT will be going through a little redesign between Christmas and New Year's, so posts will be infrequent, but check back to see what's new in 2012.
Thanks so much for reading, and to those of you celebrating today, 
Merry Christmas!
xo, Natalie

Thursday, December 22, 2011



shirt: Ann Taylor, cardigan: Mom's hand-me-down, trench coat: Cole Haan, jeans: Citizens of Humanity, shoes: Qupid,  bag: Cole Haan
Yay! A photoshoot outside of the apartment! In natural light! It's a miracle! (A miracle that Phil and I were out the door early enough to have time for these photos.) Yesterday I was in a bit of a layering mood. I've been indulging in a few (dozen) holiday treats lately so I needed some layers to cover my layers if you know what I mean.
Speaking of which, Phil and I finally checked out Little Big Burger on NW 10th and Davis last night. Not only was the food delicious (the fry sauce - holy moly), but the music they were playing had my shoulders poppin' all night. You try listening to Jagged Edge - Where the Party At without busting a move. Altogether, a very enjoyable dining experience. Thanks LBB!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


 Now I know what you're thinking...haven't I already seen this grey sweater? And you would be right. A mere three days ago. And again yesterday. Which might make me the worst fashion blogger in history. So let's just accept that this is a "Portland lifestyle" post and move on, shall we?

Last night, I met my girlfriends Lindsy and Morgan for dinner at Isabel in the Pearl. Did you know that Isabel does half-price bottles of wine on Wednesday nights? Hey-O! We ordered a bottle of riesling and some fish tacos and discussed the important things in life, like why Jay-Z and Kanye didn't take the stage at their concert in Tacoma for nearly two and a half hours. My guess is that Kanye was in the middle of a pedicure. Or Beyoncé didn't want to be left alone backstage. I'm curious what you guys think. Leave a comment below if you feel like it.


My parents' hilarious neighbors

Break out the wine bottle gift bags and cocktail dresses - the holiday party season is upon us! Phil and I kicked off the festivities last weekend with a little shindig at our place. We decked our halls, stocked the bar, and put together a jolly good playlist, but the real preparation started the morning of the party. Oh yes ladies, I'm talking about the "getting ready" routine. If you're wondering what my party prep consists of, keep reading. If not, welp, see ya later!
I kicked off my morning with a fresh green juice from Prasad and a Dermalogica Multivitamin Power Recovery masque. Recommended by Victoria Beckham in her book That Extra Half an Inch, this at-home masque treatment leaves your face and neck pebble smooth in fifteen minutes flat. Love.

Being an incurable procrastinator, I put off choosing a party outfit until the day of, which prompted a last-minute trip to Anthropologie in the Pearl. There are so many lush winter sweaters at Anthropologie right now. I wanted to buy them all, but what with Christmas popping off in a matter of days, I restricted myself to the Marled and Mixed Pullover from Sparrow and this delicious pair of AG Jeans. Thanks for the new outfit Dry and Gramps!

After shopping, I squeezed in a quick pre-party workout and hopped in the shower. The dry (albeit gorgeous) winter weather of late has wreaked absolute havoc on my colored hair, so I have been shampooing every other day with a mix of ½ Joico Moisture Recovery shampoo and ½ toning shampoo (a bright purple hued cleanser that keeps my bright blonde locks from fading). 
I swear my hair has never felt softer.

Styling my hair requires a small arsenal of products. (I am such a sucker for luxe hair products, but they are oh so worth it. I buy all of mine at Sugar Labs, but you can find them at most hair salons.) 
1. I start by massaging Kusco-Murphy Beach Hair into damp roots to add volume. 
2. Next, I blow my hair completely dry with the mother of all hair driers and a big fatty round brush. 
3. Then I spray Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray evenly into dry roots just below my part and massage it in for extra volume and lift (did I mention my hair is ridiculously flat?). I also use this product as dry shampoo on days that I don't wash my hair. 
4. I then rub a light layer of Shu Uemura Frame Wax onto my palms and fingers and run my hands through the ends of my hair, which defines the ends and smoothes any fuzzy pieces.
5. Finally, I top off the whole look with Oribe's Superfine Strong Hair Spray.

Et voila!
In case you haven't noticed, I'm pale. I have my Swedish grandmothers to thank for that. So when I'm getting into party mode, I like to slather on Jergens Natural Glow daily moisturizer. With just a hint of shimmery bronzer, the subtle sheen is particularly flattering on my otherwise pasty skin.

The piéce de résistance to my holiday party look last weekend was my DIY manicure. Let's be clear about one thing: I am garbage at doing my own nails. 
So it is nothing short of a miracle that my digits made such a stylish 
appearance at the par-tay. 

When the temps start to drop, my hands usually become a dry, cracked out mess. So unattractive. But this month, I was fortunate enough to receive a few products from Julep's Mani Care line that kept my cuticles from splitting at the seams: 

The hand scrub exfoliated my dry, rough skin, leaving my hands soft and lovely, while the revitalizing serum and cuticle oil tag-teamed my nail beds with hydration and strengthening power. No more cracked hands for me! 

Of course, no manicure is complete without the polish. I know this word is overused to the point of annoying, but I am OBSESSED with Julep's "Leighton"  nail color. Described as "liquid silver," this nail polish is so luxe it even rivals my former favorite Chanel Peridot. I cannot wait to bust out the sparkly red "Brooklyn" color over Christmas.

Okay, confession time, I am so ignorant when it comes to make-up. My entire make-up and brush collection fits in one tiny red bag, and I don't know how to use half of what's in there. 
So let's keep this short and sweet: on the day of the holiday party, I was wearing MAC Honeylust eyeshadow, a sweep of rosy pink MAC blush, Maybelline mascara, Nivea lip balm, Chanel lip gloss and a partridge in a pear tree.