Spring Cleaning

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As of late, the grunginess of winter has been overflowing all corners of my apartment, especially my bedroom. My boots were covered with white stains from the snow, my sweaters were so worn in from overuse and my closet felt musky from an abundance of hanging winter coats. I wasn’t sleeping well because of this and I knew that my eye itching was stemming from a combination of the change weather as well as the winter dust.

Of course I know that “spring cleaning” is an actual concept, but honestly, this is the first time I took it very literally and very seriously. I needed to change my environment in a big way to kick start April on the right foot.

All good things take time but now that I have invested a few hours of throwing things out, I feel 100% better. It’s made a huge mental difference and I slept so well last night. I’ve definitely been able to  kick off my week feeling totally refreshed – try it out, I promise it’s worth it, you will feel amaze too!

Here are 10 c’est moi natasha spring cleaning secrets!

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1. Buy 1 new shirt, throw 3 old ones out – Make space for spring clothes in your drawers and in your closet – you’ll definitely need it for new, warmer weather purchases.

2. Open your windows – It can be easy to forget but letting fresh air run in and out of your bedroom makes everything feel THAT much better.

3. Replace old kitchen towels and old bath towels – This made a huge difference and I promise it’s not a waste of $$ whatsoever.

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4. Change your sheets, bed cover and box spring cover – Guaranteed you will sleep SO much better.

5. Clean out your fridge and fill it up with fruits, yogurt and veggies – Keep it very colorful for a healthy kick start.

6. Go through all winter clothes and throw out old sweaters – Start throwing old sweaters out as soon as possible. You don’t need that J.Crew sweater you’ve had for a couple of seasons, I promise.

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7. Take your boots to the shoemaker – This year, ALL of my boots needed a good polish and a good scrub. It needed to get done so that I didn’t feel like I was storing away worn in shoes.

8. Take all your nice sweaters to the cleaners  – The worst feeling is when you open a box full of nice sweaters that are… dirty. Take all of your nice sweaters to the cleaners and dry clean them before storing them away. Winter 2016 will thank you.

9. Get rid of old undies – You just have to.

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10. Color coordinate your closet – Spring is here folks and let’s celebrate with fun colors – no more winter greys for me. When I color coordinate everything, I feel as though I can conquer the world, one outfit at a time.

Pinterest bedroom inspired Images borrowed from 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5

Black Tie

10984245_10203766925707966_4612093655586463556_n{Close friend’s wedding in San Francisco – photo credit}

Wedding season starts as soon as you hit your 20’s and it’s a ridiculously good time. Post college, save the dates & invitations start pouring through the mail. Before you know it, you’ve been invited to be a bridesmaid, a maid of honor, a best man, or a wedding guest. This past January, I had the privilege of being one of those wedding guests at a beautiful wedding in San Francisco. A very close friend of mine from college, invited me to fly out and celebrate her very special day with her close friends and family.

It was an amazing black tie wedding, filled with love, laughter and great company. The ceremony was held in a gorgeous Catholic church right in the heart of the city. The ceremony was followed by a wedding reception at a stunning country club overlooking the SF sunset right on the bay. The view of the Golden Gate Bridge was picturesque – the night could not have been more perfect.

This was my first black tie wedding and I wanted to wear something elegant, appropriate but fun too. When I think of black tie attire, my mind automatically goes to long dresses of sorts. Greyish, blacks, blues and reds are dress colors that first come to mind (never beige or white, obv). I have a few friends that are invited to black tie weddings this summer and they’ve expressed a bit of a challenge with finding the perfect dress at a reasonable price. Here are a few options under $200 that I loved. Happy FRI YAY!

559961_bk_xl {Classic Black // $191.25}

_9817402{Sparkly Grey // $196.00}

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 {Pretty Red // $163.50}

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{Sexy Blue // $198.00}

Fries

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{image via c’est moi natasha instagram}

If I could only eat one meal every single night forever and ever it would be….. a basket of french fries with Heinz ketchup. I am a HUGE french fries aficionado. No shame..it’s my number one weakness. If I read on a menu that a meal comes with french fries, I will solely order that meal so that I can have the fries. I know, I know, it’s pretty crazy.

McDonalds fries though…those are the absolute very best. They are perfectly salty, perfectly crispy and perfectly golden. I just can’t.help.it. When I read that McDonalds in Sweden was starting a Big Mac clothing line, all I could think about was but how about the fries?! I mean, I know the Big Mac is ya know THE Big Mac but hey give some love to the fries! I have to admit though, the clothing line is pretty brilliant.

As I was reading about the new clothing line, I found myself hungrily (not sure if that’s a word) scouring the internet for some cute fries gear. Below are some pretty cool looks!

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Now which one should I get my hands on..?

Image 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5

Categories

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{c’est moi natasha headquarter}

I am a firm believer that everything should have its own proper place. In other words, sweaters belong in the sweaters drawer, t-shirts belong in the t-shirts drawer and underwear belong in the underwear drawer. It’s just the way things are supposed to be – organized and thought out. I realize that not everyone may think this way, which is perfectly okay, but I personally love when things are neatly packaged together (even in my rolly bag).

As I’m starting to familiarize myself with building c’est moi natasha on WordPress, it made sense for me to start bucketing each post I create into various categories that I love writing about. I’ve been organically creating blog post categories as I go along but I wanted to make sure that having categories in place was not going to dictate or limit what I write about. At the same time, it seemed really important and logical for me to place each post I write about in its own, neatly, thought-out, place.

Earlier this month, I talked about how I want to continue improving c’est moi natasha and learning site enhancements as I go along. This past weekend, I challenged myself to create a drop down categories menu on my site header. I wanted to create an experience for you where if you were interested in reading a post on a specific topic, all you had to do is move your cursor on top of the categories menu and a drop down list of topics would magically appear.

After an embarrassingly amount of time watching “How To” Youtube videos, I am proud to say that I was finally able to create just what I had in mind. See a screenshot of the new site enhancement below!

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If you click on a specific category you are interested in, you can read blog posts on that particular topic. Here is how I’ve separated out each of my categories and subcategories – I’ve also included examples of posts that would be listed under each bucket:

What do you think?! Do you like the categories menu? Play around with it and let me know! Hope you like it!

A Little Something

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On Friday night, I was invited to a friends apartment for cocktails, pizza, and some March Madness watching. I wanted to buy her a little creative something to thank her for having me over but I couldn’t come up with any great gift ideas other than the typical bottle of wine or a scented candle.

The other day, I was walking home to my apartment, and stopped by Chelsea Market for just a quick peak (I love it in there). My eyes glued over to Pamela Barksy bags and I was hooked. I spent a good amount of time reading each and every quote, having a fun laugh with myself. I started thinking about this gathering on Friday night and upcoming social occasions – these bags would be perfect gifts. I decided to buy a couple of the medium sized zippies to have on hand for upcoming occasions. My friend loved hers and I can’t wait to go back for more. They are so cute and definitely useful but also tie in a good laugh with good friends.

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What thank you gift do you give to friends when you are heading over to a party or a dinner? I am always looking for great gift ideas!

March Madness

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Ladies and Gents, March Madness is upon us. Co-workers, friends, brothers, sisters, dads, moms, husbands, wives, boyfriends, girlfriends – everyone I know is watching young college basketball players dominate all over the country. Basketball brackets are on top of mind and weekends are filled with NCAA watching.

As I’m relaxing at home on this cold, snowy weekend (happy spring), I wanted to make a wintry cocktail that I could sip on and cozy up with throughout the Saturday/Sunday games. A nice Black Russian seemed perfect. It’s easy to make and even easier to enjoy… Here is how I made mine for this afternoons game watching!

Ingredients:

  • Stoli Vodka
  • Kahlua

Recipe:

  • 1 Part Kahlua
  • 2 Parts Vodka

Instructions:

  1. Fill a rocks glass with a good amount of ice
  2. Add ingredients into the rocks glass
  3. Stir ingredients together with a classy stirrer
  4. Enjoy!

P.S. Here are some weekend dessert recipes to enjoy as well – Chocolate Covered Strawberries and Blueberry-Orange Tart!

Packing Tips

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{Image via}

It’s no secret that I am very passionate about traveling. Weekend getawaysweeklong getaways or romantic getaways, I love it. A big part of traveling is packing appropriately which can be a challenging feat. It can also be a dreadful experience but if you follow an organized process, you won’t leave any necessities behind.

My mom is the most perfect packer – I am definitely not just saying that. She is a true globetrotter with years and years of experience. She has actually perfected the art of packing. I am happy to say that I started learning and listening early on as she’s taught me her magical ways.

Do you have any packing Do’s and Don’ts you swear by? Would love to hear them! Here are a few of mine that I’ve learned along the way!

Do’s:

1. Invest in a rolly bag – Leave the Vera Bradley fabric duffle bag at home. Even if you are traveling for just a couple of days, a rolly bag is always the way to go. It’s easier to get organized and it keeps everything in its rightful place. Invest in a nice piece of luggage because it will last you a lifetime. I currently have my eye on this one.

2. Separate your undergarments, shoes and beauty items – If you separate these items out first, it ensures you won’t leave any necessities behind. Having a proper bag for each of these will make it much easier to organize them within your rolly bag. I love using these types of  fabric laundry bags to put my shoes in (I actually take them from hotels I stay in – keep your eye out next time) and this case is my favorite investment piece for beauty items. I highly recommend it.

3. Put your outfits together ahead of time – Coordinate what you are going to wear and how you are going to wear different pieces ahead of time. Once you know which jeans with which cute shirt or which floral skirt with which white tank top would look good together, pack them in their order. This way, you will know exactly how many outfits you have for each day and it will keep you from over packing.

4. Pack a pair of undergarments in your carry on – If you are traveling to a far destination, you will more than likely check in a bigger bag. Having said that, make sure you pack a toothbrush, a pair of black jeans and a t-shirt, just in case your checked in bag get’s lost. Trust me, it happens! I have lost my fair share of luggage and it’s an amazing feeling to have a few back up items.

5. 1 1 1 –  Shoes take up a lot of space so limit the amount of shoes you pack. Rule of thumb for me is 1 1 1 – 1 pair of heels that I can mis match with anything, 1 pair of flats (sandals or boots) they need to be comfortable and 1 pair of sneakers, girls gotta exercise. This doesn’t include the shoes I wear for the plane ride, so I usually slip on a nice pair or flats that I can wear throughout my trip.

Dont’s: 

1. Never check in valuables – Those nice pairs of Chanel’s or Manolo’s go in you carry on bag and so does your jewelry. There is always a chance your checked in bag will get lost or someone may go about stealing valuables – it does happen. Bring it with you in your rolly so you can keep an eye on your things of worth.

Music Thursday ~ No.5

I am not a very techy person. My phone’s storage space is always too full, I don’t know how to use shortcuts on my Macbook (it’s a work in progress), and I easily get flustered when something I try to open or download isn’t happening the way I want it to.

This week, I could not for the life of me properly open an internet browser on my computer. Images weren’t loading and I kept having to click “authenticate page.” Needless to say, it was a mess and I grew a bit irritable. I thought my computer was bugged and I searched every discussion forum I possibly could to fix the issue. I randomly stumbled upon an article that told me to do the following:

  1. Go to your Date and Time Preferences on the right hand corner of the computer
  2. Open it
  3. Make sure “Set Date and Time Automatically” is checked off.

I carefully followed directions and voila, I am BACK on Safari. How did that happen? No IDEA. Random? Definitely! But I am glad to be finally be back online.

Last week, I did’t post a Music Thursday piece because all I had was Florida on my mind but this week I definitely have a song I need to share. It is super soothing and super cool. Let me know what you think!

The Sea

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{The Sea menus}

So… there’s something I need to tell you… and you may judge me just a bit for it. I am not a big sushi person. I know, I know NOT normal BUT I am open to eating sushi on occasion. Sushi outings were never a big part of my life until I started dating the boyfriend. He absolutely loves sushi and could eat it every single night if he had it his way.

To mix it up and to celebrate our last night in Boca, we decided to have South East Asian food. Just five minutes away, lay a restaurant called The Sea. It’s supposedly one of the best in town but we had to taste it in order to believe it. What initially sold me was that there was not only sushi but a variety of asian food – think, pad thai, dumplings, edamame etc.

We started off with Aji Tuna Pizza and oh my goodness I have never had anything like it! Topped with Aji Tuna, cilantro, avocado, wasabi mayo on a baked tortilla – this pie was was really amazing. It was light and crispy, a perfect meal to share with everyone. I’m a big mayo fan so the drizzled wasabi mayo was the ideal touch. The presentation was wonderful too – sprinkled onions and green herbs made the pizza that much better.

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I loved the vibe of the restaurant. Wooden chairs, wooden tables and romantic decor with very cool light fixtures surrounded the entire scene. The windows were all open to let in the warm Florida breeze and blue curtains draped down the sides to make it more of a comfortable feel. 
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Just like the Aji Tuna Pizza, the sushi presentation was very impressive. We ordered Salmon Avocado Rolls (pictures to the left) and Tuna Tataki rolls (pictures to the right). The rice was perfectly salted and just the right amount of sticky which made it really enjoyable.  The seared tuna and the salmon were really fresh and smooth too. Overall, the dish was gone in two seconds… and I had more than half of it!
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The Thai Spring Pork Dumplings were mmhmm good. I am a big dumplings fan so I tend to always add some sort of meat to the meal order. The steamed pork dumplings were served with a sweet soy reduction which was really yummy.
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And the best for last – the Berry Berry Sake Martini. I have never had a martini with sake so this was new to me but oh so delicious! It didn’t have that strong gin after taste which paired nicely with the asian food. The menu had an extensive list of martini’s, but the berry berry seemed perfect for me because the blackberries and blueberries seeped straight to the bottom of the glass. 
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Restaurants and food experiences can really make a trip. This particular trip was filled with amazing food, unforgettable experiences and wonderful company to top it all off. If you ever make it down to Boca, make sure to make your way to The Sea, it’s truly worth it.

Sushi

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Tonight is our very last night in Florida – the days went by SO fast. I had another lazy day today and my redness is starting to turn into tanness which is always a good thing. The food in Boca Raton has been absolutely amazing. From delicious meat on our first night in The Crown Room to last night’s tasty seafood in Steeplechase, we have definitely been spoiled for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I even made it to Chill after a hearty lunch by the pool this afternoon, which is an exquisite ice cream bar, where I proceeded to devour an ice cream cookie sandwich (coffee ice cream tucked rightt in between two soft chocolate chunk cookies).

We are going for a bit more of a casual feel tonight, hence the silk Express shorts, and are trying a sushi restaurant right in town for dinner. I am very excited to see what this Sushi Pizza talk is all about…. I will definitely keep you posted tomorrow!

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Shirt: JCrew // Shorts: Express // Shoes: Chanel // Scarf: JMcLaughlin // Bracelet: Marc Jacobs