Vintage Books

vintage items

I have a thing for old books. Well, I have a thing for vintage in general. But there’s something about an old book that I especially love. Maybe it’s because I’ve dreamed of having a library with a ladder like the one on Beauty and the Beast. I have always loved reading, even as a kid. That’s probably why I had an instant fascination with that old library. A few weeks ago, my boyfriend and I randomly went to an estate sale, which was more like a garage sale in a small condo. It smelled old, so I knew there had to be something good there. Nothing really caught my eye until I went into the small office. I looked at all of the books on the shelf until I came across Earnest Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast. I have never read the book and it was a hard cover, so I was instantly sold. But the best part was, it’s a first edition. Some people are selling this book for $500 on eBay, but I scored mine for a buck! My other recent vintage book purchase was This Side of Paradise by F. Scot Fitzgerald, I got a few months back at a bookstore in Beaufort. Another classic that I haven’t read. It’s not a first edition, but still vintage.

A moveable feastvintage rings

A Moveable Feast, This Side of Paradise, Brown Stone Ring {similar}, Flower Ring {similar}

Note: These rings were my Grandma’s from the 70′s.

Baby Shower Idea

My cousin throws the best parties. No detail is overlooked and there’s always a theme. She recently threw an enchanted forest princess baby shower for my other cousin (her sister-in-law). It wasn’t one of those cheesy pink tulle parties, although there were pastel pink sparkle donuts. Everything was carefully picked out and placed in its spot. But then again, her home is the same way, so I wouldn’t have expected anything less. Brunch was served in the elegant backyard among the rose garden and brick outdoor fireplace. Handmade paper castles constructed from vintage books decorated the party and carried the theme throughout. She always comes up with the most unique ideas. Some people just have a knack for things like that, and my cousin has always had it. I knew this since I was a little girl when she made me my first dollhouse, with fancy wallpaper and cute decor.

baby shower ideapaper castlecoffee and tea stationfloral tea cupsenchanted forest decor mimosa stationBaby shower decoration

Get the helpful brunch serving items: Cake Stand, Drink Pitcher, China Teacup, Antique Silver Serving Spoon, Ice Cream Dish, Chalkboard

Note: I wish I kept my wooden dollhouse. It was pretty fancy.

Get a Kick Start on Fall

Get a kick start on fall

It may be the middle of summer, but fall is right around the corner. I realize this more and more as I plan out my weekends. I had to move a late summer trip to the last weekend in September, and that’s when it hit me. I got a little sad at first, but then I thought about all of the fun fall outfits. It truly is the best time of year for fashion. What better way to get a kick start on fall than the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. I remember working this sale at the Nordstrom in Santa Barbara when I was in college to make some extra money. And it’s gotten even bigger and better since then. It’s the largest annual sale event of the year for luxury department stores. The sale starts today and goes until August 3rd in stores and online. All of the sale items are new, exclusive pre-fall and fall items. Now I’m getting excited for fall!

RVCA Hat, Anna Beck Earrings, Elizabeth and James Purse, Vince Camuto Booties, Anna Beck Ring, Topshop Dress

Note: Looks like I’ll be spending my Friday night in my pjs shopping.

Get Your DIY On

This Saturday head to your nearest Splendid store and get your DIY on. Splendid has partnered with Erica Domesek of the innovative DIY site P.S.-I made this (one of my favorite sites for DIY inspirations) to host cool and crafty events at their store at The Grove and nationwide. In celebration of their collaboration, Erica has designed a fun and summery Brushtroke Tank Top DIY activity, exclusively for Splendid, to encourage shoppers to put their creativity to work. With the purchase of a Splendid 1 x 1 tank, guests will have the chance to get in touch with their inner artist! Every location is participating so head to your nearest Splendid store on Saturday from 1-3pm to get in on the fun and get 20% off all purchases! What a great way to celebrate the middle of summer.

get your diy on

stroke-step4-final

Note: I can’t wait to take my little cousin to this event.

Dress Up

baby shower dress

Before heading out to a baby shower this weekend my boyfriend asked, why don’t you wear things like this more often. He’s right, I usually stick to jeans and more casual dresses when we hang out, and it’s because of just that. We’re hanging out. There isn’t an event I have to go to or a dinner party. But it made me realize, any day can be a reason to dress up. You don’t have to wait for a special occasion. So with that, I’m going to make more of an effort to dress up for no reason. I guess that means I’ll have to start wearing makeup on the weekends too.

santa monica roof top santa monicawhite dressdress up

Bebe Dress, Rebecca Minkoff Purse, Versace Shoes, Sole Society Earrings, Pearl and Crystal Bracelet {similar}

Note: Little girls dress up for no reason all the time. I want to be like that.

Flea Market Shopping

natalie zimmerman

I haven’t gone to the Rose Bowl Flea Market since last summer, and every time I wear this dress it reminds me of this. This was my first purchase at the flea market and when I first fell in love with going to the rose bowl to buy second hand goods. Flea market shopping is one of my favorite things to do on an early summer morning {I mentioned it before here}. It’s best to go early in the morning to avoid crowds and to get the best deals. Also, make sure to bring your own reusable bags, as vendors may not have any. If you plan on buying a lot of items, you may want to invest in a cart to carry all of your goods. My last piece of advice when flea market shopping, bring a snack and some water. You never know how long you will be there, and although there are some vendors, it’s best to bring something small just in case you’re on the other side of the market and hunger strikes.

natalie notions flea market shoppingsummer flea market dressVince Camutonatalie zimmerman blogsummer dress

Flea Market Dress {similar}, Vince Camuto Shoes, Aldo Purse, J.Crew Belt, Alex and Ani Bracelet, Anthropologie Necklace, Earrings {similar}

Note: I’m obsessed with my new Vince Camuto shoes!

Tomato and Watermelon Salad

heirloom tomatoes

I love heirloom tomatoes. They remind me of summer and the sailing trip I took in the Mediterranean, where we ate tomato salads almost every day for lunch. This is a different recipe than the salad I ate on that trip. It’s just as easy and equally as tasty. It may sound odd, but tomatoes and watermelons taste good together. Next time you’re in a rush, prepare this salad. It’s quick and healthy.

Ingredients
4-5 Heirloom Tomatoes
1 Watermelon
Fresh Basil
Balsamic Vinegar
 
Directions
1. Wash and slice the tomatoes.
2. Cut the watermelon, or buy pre-cut watermelon. Mix the two together.
3. Wash the basil and add to your liking. No need to cut the basil with a knife. You can do it with your hands. Lightly toss.
4. Serve the salad and dress with balsamic vinegar. Do not mix in the balsamic. It will make the tomatoes and watermelon soggy.
 
heirloom tomato salad
 
Note: Tomato and watermelon salad. Trust me, it goes together.

Bohemian Party

Bohemian theme birthday

Summer is the best time to throw an outdoor party. Lately I’ve been spending a lot quality time with the family. BBQs, movies, dinner dates. The easiest way to get everyone together, whether it’s family or friends, is to throw a party. Stick with a theme, whether it’s a color, food, or complete party theme with decor. For a bohemian party, you need a few key items. Blankets to lounge in the grass, fresh flowers, and music to set the mood.

backyard decor

Set up different lounge areas for guests to sit, chat, eat, and relax. Pillows are a must!

craft section

A craft station gives guests something to do and a memento to take home. Provide everything they may need for the project.

bohemian party

Hang silk scarves from the trees to create a whimsical vibe.

backyard tent

A backyard tent made out of reused wood and sheets. The best {and most popular} place to lounge and take refuge from the sun. The blanket and bean bag chairs are for the sun bathers.

Fresh flower wreath

A fresh flower wreath sets the tone of the party right when the guests walk through the front door.

Note: Buy flowers from a flower mart or farmer’s market. They will be the least expensive and the freshest.

Family Brunch

family brunch

Brunch is one of my favorite things. I love having friends over for brunch or going out to a brunch with the family. Last weekend we had a family brunch at Hotel Bel Air. It’s one of my favorite brunch spots in L.A, and I’ve mentioned it before here. It was the first time in a long time that all six of us got together, my parents, my brother and his wife, my boyfriend and me. It was a lovely afternoon with amazing food and talks of our next family vacation. We’re planning a family getaway to Lake Arrowhead for Labor Day weekend, which I’m really excited about. It should be a relaxing weekend spent outdoors hiking and reading in the sun. It will be the perfect way to wrap up the summer.

family brunch hotel bel air hotel bel air brunch natalie zimmerman natalie notions summer brunchSwan Lake Hotel Bel Air

Anthropologie Skirt, Banana Republic Blouse, J.Crew Necklace and Bracelet, Versace Shoes, Crystal Earrings {similar}, Vintage YSL Sunglasses {similar}

Note: Have a happy fourth of July with your family!

Fresh Fourth of July Dessert

4th of july fruit salad

Fourth of July food is my favorite thing about the holiday. BBQing, yummy desserts and fresh summer berries. Instead of making a flag cake like I usually do, this year I’m opting for a fresh berry dessert with homemade whipped cream. It’s a healthier option, well the whipped cream isn’t healthy, but you only need a taste. It’s also easier. I used 2-3 plastic containers of each berry. I layered the berries in a trifle bowl, which always makes dishes look nicer. It will make a pretty addition to any Fourth of July spread.

Berry salad

Homemade Whipped Cream
1 cup heavy whipping cream (1/2 pint)
2 tablespoons sugar
 
Directions
1. Place a metal mixing bowl and metal whisk or electric mixing blades in the freezer for 10-15 minutes. If you don’t have a metal bowl, use a deep glass mixing bowl.
2. Place sugar and whipping cream in the bowl. Mix on high until the cream reaches stiff peaks. This will take a bit longer than you think, so just have patience in forming it into a whipped cream.
3. Dollop the whipped cream on the fresh berry salad. You don’t need much.
 
Fresh Fourth of July Dessert
 
Note: This fresh fourth of July dessert can also be served at brunch.
 

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