Wednesday, November 30, 2011

(update!) Nothing granny about these apple-inspired designs...*

Today's inspiration courtesy of the beautiful green apple I am currently eating, and the fact that I needed a cheer-up-color day!

I adore apple green used in home decor. And I guess in all other things, too, as I now realize that at my desk right now is a lamp with an apple green shade, an apple green coffee mug, my cheap-o apple green cell phone that looks like it's from 1998, and a poster with a big apple green squid on it. And I have an apple green Kindle case pulled up on Amazon right now that I'm deciding on.


Take a look at some examples of how wonderful the color looks when used appropriately:

House Beautiful

What's a better place for the color than in a breakfast room? Such a lovely and cheery way to start your morning. I love how the green plays off of but is different than the wall colors in the background (that's the family room).

Leave it to Jonathan Adler to use an apple green couch perfectly:

Goes with purple: check. Goes with gold: check. Matches the natural greenery outside: double check.

More greenery (not super appley, but there are apples in the picture :) ), in the form of topiaries and faux boxwood:

Tony Ingrao and Randy Kemper for Donny Deutsch, in AD
If that isn't a perfect terrace I'll eat my coffee mug. Or just drink its contents.

and because I love you all here's another Adler to ogle:

trés fun, per usual! I'm obsessed with that vase. The sheepskin couch and quilted ottoman I could do without, but I'm big on neither sheep nor quilts, so...yeah. I do appreciate that the ottoman looks like a Rubik's cube, though! Now that's all I see when I look at it, and I want to solve it.

In summation, benefits of apples (to me) include:
1) I am now full. Pectin win!
2) blog post inspiration!
3) I'm now all hyped up. Sugar win!
and 4) doesn't it cancel out the adult beverage I'm going to have later at happy hour?

I thought as much.

*I realize that is the stupidest attempt on a pun ever, and I hope you'll forgive me.

I also just found this gorgeous apple green bouquet featured on Style Me Pretty:

Now you have to forgive me for the terrible title "pun"!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Back from vacation!

Up 2 pounds but happy and refreshed otherwise!

Work, as you can imagine, is crazy right now as I play catch up, but I promise to be back in action sooner than you can say "please to make me a candy cane cocktail".

"A what?" asks you? "Like so", says me:

from ole trusty Martha

om nom nom.

Monday, November 21, 2011

We were the 1%...

on our flight from Dallas to Richmond (courtesy of Joseph's parents. Parent win!). Check me out in first class, being all tomatotastic.

But now I have bloody marys to drink and Amos Oz's memoir to read. It's a hard life, mine.

Friday, November 18, 2011


Oh HELLOOOO there, loves!

Just having a super busy day at work preparing for our 8 day vacation that starts tomorrow (not to, like, make you jealous or anything). Joseph and I are flying to North Carolina to stay in a huge house on the outer banks with his mom's side of the family, and I couldn't be more excited! I am so thankful that his family rocks and we all get along just like friends; talk about lucky!

So next week I will probably be pretty MIA, but I'll be back in action Tuesday the 29th. In honor of all you chirpers, I give you the cutest thing I've seen in I-don't-know-how long.

Courtesy of my good friend Zonk, who is one of the most rockin' people I have the pleasure of knowing and gchatting with all the time :)

If you like music (um, duh), check him out! Trés talented, that Zonk: on soundcloud

I adore you all! Have super mega awesome wonderful holidays, ok?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

It's kind of like winter outside!

Today I am WAY in the Christmas spirit! It's a FREEZING 55 degrees outside, so I've gone all out. Here is evidence; today I am complete with:


vintage cowboy boots:

Hopefully none of my coworkers saw this happen.

and Nonfat Peppermint Mocha in the Red Cup:

290 calories of EXCELLENT.

And since it's Thursday, I assume you would like something shiny. So I present to you the dress I would love to magically appear in the mail for me to wear to all of my holiday parties:

Lanvin via Barney's

Please and thank you, Santee Klause.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Come in, come in!

Welcome back, LCaL lovers (or likers, that's cool too)! Please step, once again, into mine and Joseph's humble abode, and make yourself comfortable in the living room. I wish you could see the rug better; it's a gorgeous and insanely soft ivory shag rug with hints of grey, not the weirdness it looks here. Ah well, c'est la Natalie doesn't have a fancy camera.

This is the view from the dining room:

Up close of the bookshelf situation:

You can't really tell, but that's a really great flocked velvet lampshade. I love flocking! And flocks. Like, of birds.

Looking in from the bedroom:

Coffee table is a gorgeous antique wooden chest my mom and I found in Houston (Westheimer shops: yes!). Jacques Rhinó top left.

Left = front door. Right = bedroom door. Right right = TV

And my favorite corner, which is where Aerial happily chirps his days away:

Dining room is to the left

I'm obsessed with our house, seriously. The rug is so soft I laid out on it and read my Kindle for 2 hours. My geekery has now combined with my decor love; watch out world!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Delicious Dining

Last night I made a delicious and super easy concoction that I would like to share with you. Here is what you do. 


1-2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. butter
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
1 sweet yellow onion, diced
1 zucchini (zookeenee), chopped
1 yellow squash, chopped
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
salt, pepper, italian seasoning, lemon juice
4 tbsp. 1/2 & 1/2
4 oz. linguine (I use whole wheat or gluten free)
about 1/2 - 2/3 pound shrimp, tails off!
1/4 cup fresh Parmesan cheese

Sauté squash and zucchini in olive oil over medium-high heat in large skillet until a little soft, about 5 minutes. Add bell peppers and sauté for another 5 minutes. Add onion, sauté until onions soften up, about another 3-5 minutes. Add garlic, sauté another minute, then add your salt, pepper, and italian seasoning. I don't measure these, I just put a lot and then add to taste later. Vary cooking times for veggies based on how squishy you like them.

During veggie cooking, prepare pasta as directed and set aside (4 oz. doesn't look like much but the dish is mostly veggies, so just go with it!).

Salt and pepper the shrimp, then toss them into the skillet with the veggie mixture. If they are already cooked just stir, otherwise sauté with the veggies for about 5 minutes until shrimp are fully cooked. Add the 1/2 & 1/2, butter, and lemon juice (I use a couple of tbsp. and then put more on the table to add to taste), stir, and add in the linguine. Sprinkle the Parm over the whole dish, and serve!

Cal count for the whole dish- about 1200 (this varies based on how many shrimp you use. I use a lot, like 40-50 small guys).

Sorry I don't have a picture! You know what I DO have pictures of, though? Where we ate the linguine! i.e.: our beautiful (albeit simple) dining room:

Et voila! Sorry for the lame quality; I took them all on Joseph's phone's camera (no offense, Joseph's phone camera). But I was so excited to show you! I'm sure you know that it is more awesome in real life.

Looking in from living room

Other corner. Complete with strange star mirror reflection!

Wall opposite the windows with the gorgeous bookshelves Joseph got me for Christmas last year. They fit perfectly on that wall!

Corner of bookshelf, to the left is the living room

Up close. Framed xkcd comic I got us when we moved in together. All together now: awwww.

Up close of the beautiful hurricane vase mom got me last weekend. I found a glittery gold candle to put in it that perfectly matches the charger it sits on. Mom/glitter win!

And there you have it! In an ideal world I'd have some sweet curtains in there, but since we are just renting I'm holding off on that purchase. So welcome to La Casa Nattingly! Pictures of other rooms to come!

Monday, November 14, 2011

More Pretty in Pink

Oh hi there friends! Tomorrow you get to see some "after" shots of mine and Joseph's house, but for now I just have 3 lovely pink shots for you.

This living room is such a great combination of rustic and contemporary, and the exposed brick walls make me so happy!

I'd live in there for sure.
Am I positive that I like the rug with the rest of the room? Nope, not at all. But otherwise I think designer Mark Radcliff can be commended for creating such a warm, welcoming space that looks lived-in and designer-y.

Another view of the house with a different rug, interestingly enough (he must've heard me!):

Much better.

And probably the coolest use of pink I've seen in a long time:

The abode of a reader of House Beautiful. Not mine, sadly.


I lived in a three story, pink Victorian-looking house for over a year, so I could be partial to the idea, but I think we can all agree that this is just jaw-droppingly awesome, no?

Friday, November 11, 2011


I'm not meaning to post so many recipes, but I keep stumbling upon these delicious and super easy concoctions, and I feel like it's my duty to spread the word!

Whenever it's the least bit chilly outside I get major soup cravings. Especially when I leave work and it's pitch black at 5:15 (who are we kidding; I totally left at 5:01); all I want to do is curl up with a bowl of soup and a holiday beer and read Harry Potter. Sigh. Now I'm all sad that I'm at work (um, not that I'm blogging at work or anything) and can't do that this very minute.

Anyhow, so last night I made this Cannellini Stew with Sausage and Kale, and man was it delicious (and healthy!). That links to the original recipe, but here is how I did it (much improved):


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium-large sweet yellow onion, chopped (small-medium sized pieces. I love onion)
  • 2-3 teaspoons bottled minced garlic (or about 4-5 minced cloves of garlic)
  • 1 14 oz. smoked turkey sausage, cut into 1/4 inch slices
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • (15-ounce) cans cannellini beans or other white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 4 cups chopped kale (that's like one big bunch from the grocery store)
  • salt & pepper (as opposed to Salt-N-Pepa)
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon italian seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 


  • Heat the oil in a soup pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté about 5 minutes. Add minced garlic and sausage; sauté 1 minute. Add broth and beans; bring to a boil. Stir in kale, black pepper, chili powder, italian seasoning, and salt; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until kale is tender. Remove from heat; stir in lemon juice.
picture from my recipes

Super tasty, easy, and cheap! I served it with crescent rolls, which double as dessert if you dip them in honey w/ cinnamon.

Cals for the whole pot of soup prepared as above: 1490. Good sized bowl is 1/4 of that, or 372.5 cals. Sah-weet.

So happy Friday! And since I referenced Salt-N-Pepa, and have been thinking about them since this morning (EVERY time NPR references the S&P 500 I think of "Shoop"), here you go mis amores:

You're very, very welcome.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Do you know who loves Glitter Thursday?

Barbie. For shiz, you guys. She loves it! It's second to pink in her book.

And do you know who loves Barbie? This bird right here. Growing up I never had baby dolls, but from when I was probably a little too young for it I was collecting Barbies like there was no tomorrow. I had a dream house, a frightening number of tiny Barbie outfits, a pool, a car, etc. My parents must have gotten kick-backs from Mattel or something, which they hopefully used later to fund my assuredly Barbie-body-induced anorexia therapy sessions. But that's a whole 'nother post.

After posting about Anna Sui, I started looking around for other lust-worthy Barbie items (trust me, I know how lame that sounds), and I found some total gems! Check it:

Barbie heels by Christian Louboutin!


Since I can't afford a real pair yet (well, not while I enjoy having groceries), I'll just lust over adorably teensy ones.

There are also Barbies modeled after Juicy Couture founders Pam and Gela:

Wearing, I might add, way cuter dresses than their company sells. Just sayin'.

And my favorite, of course, the Barbie couch and accoutrements from Jonathan Adler:

Plus, in honor of Barbie (and the pink stripes on my navy shirt), I'm wearing light pink suede pumps today (thanks, Katelynn!). 

All together now: all hail Barbie!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Seester Time!

Today is my sister's birthday! Everyone join me in a rousing round of "Happy Birthday to Ann Marie", preferably sung in the style of Jets to Brazil.

I also made her this inside joke card from someecards:

name that reference!

So happy happy happy birthday to my favorite person ever in the world whose sexy brain, puntastic humor, and unlimited patience and love for me are humbling and inspirational.

She also makes me into a total cheese-ball, apparently. Sigh. C'est la seesters, I suppose...

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


It's kind of a drab day here in dear ole Austin. I love the rain, but endless cloudiness with no actual storm presence makes me a little gloomy and in epic need of a nap. So if, like me, you could use a bit of a pick me up, hopefully this glimpse at some of Anna Sui's Spring 2012 Ready to Wear will do the trick!

In case you aren't familiar with dear miss Sui, she's known for her punk/hardcore girly/imaginative designs. She started designing and showing her work in the 80's & 90's, and the feel for those decades still resonates with most of her collections. Some of my favorite pieces that exemplify that are...

The Sui Hodgepodge of Avian-Inspired Awesome:

all images from NYMag

The Girly, with a Chance of DVF:

The Also Girly, Ante Upped with the Turban Addition:

The Lipstick Mosher on Casual Friday:

The Young Miss Havisham Hits Up the Kentucky Derby:

The Purple is Punky Power:

and my absolute favorite, The Baroness Boudoir Steps Out to Drink moonshine with Nabokov:

love the creepy hand reaching into the side of the frame. Gimme those ankle socks, missy!

Plus Sui has achieved my life-long goal: she inspired a Barbie doll!

What a babe.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Apartment, not TV Dinners.

Ah, what a lovely weekend! Joseph and I spent it in Durham with my seeeeeester and her husband, where we ate a ton of delicious food (eggs benedict po'boy, anyone?), walked around the gorgeous Duke gardens, and lazed around together just enjoying each others' veritable awesomeness (I'll brag if I want to!).

Unfortunately we had to return home to work and the fires that managed to crop up during the ONE DAY that I was out of the office, but it was nice to sleep in our own bed and hang out with Aerial, so not too shabby of a deal overall :)

As promised, a post with gorgeous design! Welcome to the home of Veronica Swanson Beard, a designer who also happens to be the daughter of frozen foods magnate W. Clarke Swanson, Jr. We've looked at a couple of photos of her Floridian Southampton residence, but her Manhattan apartment popped up in my recent Harper's Bazaar and I fell even more in love!

Join in the admiration. Let's start in her kitchen, shall we?

Not only does her gorgeous self make for an excellent accessory, but the perfect color teal on those cabinets? Nothing short of divine. Speaking of short, I'd definitely need a ladder to reach some of those cabinets, but it would certainly be worth it. The Moroccan hanging pendant is fabulous, too, which is probably why she used a similar one...

in her living room!

Plus I love that she used more of that teal! It's so funky but still approachable, and the leopard print accents echo the safari photos for a touch of the exotic. 

On to the upstairs sitting room...

High gloss walls, lime green silk, AND a fireplace?? I'm in heaven. It still hints at safari without kitsching it up, too.

And let's just keep snooping and find her bedroom, shall we?

It's so serene! The most successful bedrooms (in my humble opinion) are true retreats, and this one exemplifies that. It's still obviously high style, but it isn't museum-like or stuffy. I used to not be a big pink fan, but this dusty dark rose makes my heart go all aflutter.

And last but not least, the most envy-inducing part of the whole residence:

That's right. It's a rooftop garden, in the middle of Manhattan, topped with an Oscar de la Renta. 

Happy Monday! I hope you're as head over heels as I am for this place, and that your work fires are now merely embers!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Hooray for Friday!

I know it's actually Thursday, but it's my Friday since Joseph and I fly to North Carolina tomorrow to visit my sister and her husband! I'm totally pumped. She's my favorite person in the world (sorry/thanks, Mom and Dad).

I'm sorry I didn't blog yesterday; this week has been kind of insane on multiple fronts. Excuses schmexcuses, I know, I know, but in an attempt to make it up to you, I bring you this teaser for Monday's post, which you will definitely not want to miss:

So don't lose faith in me yet, readers!

Just pretend it's Friday and shake up one (or three) of these Cool Blue Martinis.

Promise I won't tell anyone why you'll be late to work tomorrow :)

And I'll see you Monday! Be here with bells on, because I sure will be!