Natalie Notions » Where Taste Meets Travel

  • a written word......is the choicest of relics. - not be represented on canvas or in marble only, but be carved out of the breath of life itself...


While I was on on my trip to Asheville I committed myself to taking videos and talking into the camera. It made me nervous at first, and still does, but I’m just rolling with it. This video of my stay and visit to the Biltmore Estate doesn’t even do it justice. I was able to capture the estate house, Antler Village, and the barn. But I left out the gardens, winery, and shops.

Now I know to take tons of more videos on my next trip. And, I’ve decided to invest in a better camera for my videos. I’m really getting into this. Would love to hear what you think!

Note: I’m taking my own advice and doing what scares me.

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Go West Style

I’ve been eying Janessa Leone hats for quite some time now. I would see the hats styled in my Instagram feed and on my favorite blogs. Last month I finally decided to pull the trigger and invest in one of the timeless pieces. I went back and forth about which hat I should buy as my first Janessa Leone, and finally decided on the wool Gabrielle. All of her wool hats are sustainable and cruelty free, made from 100% virgin wool take from a lamb’s first sheering, which makes it the softest and finest wool available. Call me crazy for wearing wool in the summer, and a wool hat let alone, but it’s such a unique classic piece I can’t help it. I brought it on my trip to Asheville, so if you’ve been following along you’ve already seen it. But it’s just too great!

I’m looking forward to taking this hat into the seasons.

Janessa Leone Gabrielle Hat, Splendid Dress, Madewell Bandana, Saint Laurent Paris Booties

Janessa Leone Gabrielle HatJanessa Leone HatSaint Laurent Paris bootiesJanessa Leone hatMadewell bandanaJanessa LeoneJanessa Leone Gabrielle Hat

Note: Shop the look below!

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Asheville North Carolina

STAY

The Inn on Biltmore Estate – Located on the Biltmore Estate property, the inn sits atop a hill overlooking the mountains and the sprawling grounds. Whether you stay at the inn or the Village Hotel, both are on the grounds and allow you access to all of the activities and amenities. With plenty to do on the property, you can easily spend a few days there, depending on how adventurous you want to get. There are restaurants, shopping, wine tasting {free when you stay there}, the barn, and plenty of outdoor activities. There’s also live entertainment and festivities for the kids.

Biltmore Estate, Asheville

Omni Grove Park Inn – Another hotel with a magnificent view. For over 100 years it has remained a resort destination. It was built as a health spa where guests could enjoy the fresh mountain air in Asheville. They brought in the top spa officials and salon specialists from New York to attract world class travelers. Over the years presidents and celebrities have all stayed at the hotel, from Taft to Obama, as well as Thomas Edison and Henry Ford. The Spa is amazing, but it books up fast, so make sure to make a reservation well in advance.

Omni Grove Park Inn Asheville

SEE

Biltmore Estate and Gardens – Definitely take a tour of the Biltmore Estate house. If you can call it a house. And get the guided tour. It may seem a little silly walking around with this phone looking thing around your neck, but not only are the majority of people doing it, but it will inform you about everything you’re seeing. I suggest doing the house tour first to avoid the crowds, then take a stroll through the lavish gardens and down to the pond. George Vanderbilt knew what he was doing when he built his home. It has all of the top amenities, even for that time.

Biltmore Estate North Carolina

Basilica of Saint Lawrence – This beautiful church is hard to miss when you’re walking downtown Asheville, which is also a must. Regardless of your religious preferences, it’s a beautiful building with gorgeous art work inside. The architect, Rafael Guastavino, originally came to Asheville to work on the Biltmore House. He liked the area and decided to stay and build the Basilica with the Catholic community and another fellow architect. Be sure to look up at the pattern on the dome ceiling. This is part of Guastavino’s patented tile work that he brought to the US from Spain.

Asheville North Carolina, Basilica

SHOP

East Fork Pottery – This well curated store offers classic, well-designed pottery all made entirely by hand. My dear friend Connie and her husband Alex Mattise established the company in 2010 and recently opened the retail shop. All of their objects are made from North Carolina clay, in a dirt-floored workshop in the mountains of Asheville. Their pieces are timeless, which I love, and are color glazed in beautiful muted tones. Not only can you stock up on pottery while you’re there, but you can also pick up fun gifts and items for the home.

East Fork Pottery Asheville

ScreenDoor – This antique shop was so lovely and inviting. The over 100 vendors, each added their own unique vibe to their station. It was easy to look through and see how the items would fit in your home. Some antique shops just pile everything in, leaving you to dig through the stuff. The organization made it more shopable and inspiring for my own home design. I especially loved the vendor below. It was very simple and chic, with lots of plants, but it made me want to hangout in the space all day.

ScreenDoor, Antiques, Asheville

Antique Tobacco Barn – This antique mall will take hours to go through, even if you don’t look at every little thing. There’s more than 70,000 square-feet, filled with lots of home decor and furniture. There aren’t too many vendors with clothes, if that’s what you’re looking for {like me}. If you’re traveling, you might want to stick to the smaller items, unless you’re driving and have a truck, which I wish I had. I ended up leaving with a small pitcher and an old book to add to the collection.

Note: You will love the lush green mountains that surround Asheville.

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Bandana style

Summer style should be easy and carefree, like the season. Or at least that’s how I think summer should feel. One of the easiest ways to change up an outfit is to add a bandana or head scarf. I’ve posted about my love of wearing head scarves and different ways to wear them, but have yet to post it styled this way. This bandana has become my new favorite accessory for the summer. I’ll be sharing another way that I styled it soon!

Madewell Bandana, Banana Republic T-Shirt, Hudson Jean Shorts, Saint Laurent Paris Booties

Head scarfBandana styleAmerican summer style

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Natalie Zimmerman, Natalie Notions

I was a little nervous to create my YouTube page and post my first vlog yesterday. Even though I’m not even talking to the camera in it, which I will be doing in the future, it still made me nervous to share it. I immediately thought – No one will care. No one is going to watch it. And both of those may be true. But it was a lesson in doing things that are scary.

Sometimes it’s hard to put ourselves out there and do something we think might be embarrassing or make us look silly, but we can’t get caught up in that. Nothing would ever get done. If you do something that scares you, you will feel empowered. Whether it’s posting a video on YouTube or cliff diving, that feeling after –  of, I actually just did that. I’m the sh*t. – that’s an amazing feeling. It’s especially important to cultivate this feeling when you are feeling low and down on yourself. It’s an instant mood and confidence booster.

This week, get out and do something that terrifies you. I would love to hear what you did and how it made you feel!

Janessa Leone Gabrielle Hat, Who What Wear Dress, Saint Laurent Paris Booties

The Swag InnThe Swag Inn, North CarolinaJanessa Leone HatJanessa Leone HatJanessa Leone Hat, Gabrielle Hat

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