Natalie Notions » Where Taste Meets Travel

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tips-for-a-balanced-life

Unless you’ve been asleep these last few weeks and staying away from all media, you know that there is a new moon solar eclipse on Monday the 21st. Unfortunately I won’t be able to see it from LA and the nearest viewing is in Oregon. There was a much less hyped about lunar eclipse on August 7th, but the one on the 21st is a powerful one. Lately, I’ve been feeling the affects of this eclipse and Mercury in Retrograde. Yes, it’s a thing and not just a saying that is thrown around on Instagram. Things may seem off balance during this time emotionally or things will seem like they’re going wrong. I got a parking ticket last night, popped my tire the day before and got a parking ticket on Saturday, two in less than a week. So, I’m feeling this shift in the Universe.

To help balance this energy and my own chakra energy, there are a few things that I do weekly. Whether or not there’s an eclipse or Mercury is in retrograde, I rely on these for balance, peace, and enriched spirituality.

Crystal-healing-benefits

Yoga – I’ve been practicing yoga for over 10 years and I’m a certified yoga instructor. Yoga is more than just breathing and stretching, or in some cases sweating and holding poses. It forces me to dive deeper than what’s going on with my body on the mat and look inward to what’s going on with my emotional and spiritual state. Yoga is a practice that teaches us to look inside for answers and to better know ourselves. My yoga practice is one of my greatest joys and teachers.

Meditation – I’ve always meditated during yoga, but it wasn’t until a few years ago that I started to meditate outside of class. Lately, I’ve been meditating almost every day. There are so many benefits to meditating. It lowers stress, improves health and concentration, increases awareness…I can go on. If you’re new to meditation I would suggest doing a guided meditation. I use the Headspace app and love it!

tips-to-create-a-balanced-life

Hiking – You know where I stand on this. I just posted last week about my favorite hikes in LA. Hiking allows me to connect with nature through a moving meditation. Meditation doesn’t always have to be sitting still. Hiking clears my mind, as I don’t listen to music and often go alone. It feels like a mini vacation, even if it’s not very far from the city.

Crystal Healing – This may be a little too New Agey for some people, so if you’re not into the healing energy benefits of crystals, then grab a few simply because they’re pretty. Crystals have energetic healing capabilities depending on the stone and its properties. I keep crystals in my meditation space and by my bedside. I use them in meditation to help keep me grounded and open blocked chakras.

Journaling – Every night before I go to bed I journal. I let the pen go and write whatever comes to mind. I don’t filter my thoughts or think about what I should be writing. One thought goes to the next in a stream of consciousness. Journaling is so important to feeling grounded. It enables us to release whatever is going on in the mind, and our emotions. Some of my biggest breakthroughs have come through journaling.

Photography by Abigail Collins

Note: Solar eclipses are known to open a new path, so good things are on the horizon.

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Venice_Beach_BoardwalkI’ve always been a huge fan of vintage and love going vintage shopping. I picked up this embroidery shirt while on vacation in Asheville last month. There isn’t a label, which is often times a good thing with vintage. The detailing and boho vibe was too hard to pass up. The vintage sunglasses are rare 1970’s Brigitte Bardot, which she designed when she decided she wanted her own line of sunglasses. It takes some studying and experience to determine what is quality vintage. Here are a few of my tips for shopping for vintage.

vintage embroidery shirt

  • Look at the labels – The label is a good place to start when shopping for vintage. Look for a label that is hand sewn and not made on a factory machine or stamped onto the fabric. You can also tell if the label looks old, worn and is fully sewn into the lining.
  • Check the material – Look at the label to see what it’s made from. Touch the fabric and feel the quality. Keep an eye out for any stains, snags, and rips that might not be repairable.
  • Know the era – The fabric, cut, and style of a garment are the easiest way to determine what era it’s from. Go in with some knowledge of the styles that were popular in certain eras. It may be best to choose an era you like and start there.
  • Shop designer – Look for top designs, like Gucci, Versace, etc., which are often times cheaper when you get them secondhand. But be realistic, some pieces that were expensive then are still expensive now.
  • Study – Grab a vintage fashion book and do a little studying before heading out on your journey. It could be helpful to have some knowledge of past designers you may not know.

Venice Beach, Natalie Notions, Natalie Zimmerman

Vintage Embroidery Shirt {Similar}, 7 For All Mankind Jeans, Vince Camuto Shoes, Brigitte Bardot Vintage Sunglasses {Similar}, Madewell Leather Purse

70s_vintage_fashionMadewell_Crossbody_Bagshopping for vintageVenice Beach 70s vintage fashionVenice Beach FashionPhotography by Abigail Collins

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Best hikes in LA, Reseda Blvd hike

One of my favorite things to do is hiking. If you follow me on Instagram, you will notice that I go on a lot of hikes, even when I’m traveling. I try to go once a week and love checking out different hikes. There are a few that I go on quite often, suggest to fellow hikers, and take friends on when they visit. Here are my favorite hikes in L.A..

Caballero Canyon Trail – I hike this 3.4 mile {out and back} trail most often. There isn’t any shade, so it’s best to go in the morning or on a foggy day, plus it’s uphill all the way to the lookout point. At the top of the hike, on Dirt Mulholland Drive, there’s a bench with beautiful views of the valley.

Caballero Canyon trail

Fryman Canyon -This 3 mile loop in Studio City is pretty popular among hikers, so if you don’t know the way, you can follow the crowd. It’s a fairly easy trail and is also dog friendly. That’s something to keep in mind when hiking in LA, check to make sure it’s dog friendly and if they can be off leash.

Fryman Canyon hike, hike Los Angeles

Topanga State Park – There are so many hikes in Topanga State Park, it was hard to narrow it down to just one. Some of the hikes on this list {Los Liones and Caballero Canyon}, lead into Topanga State Park. There’s a large parking lot with a day fee to park, but if you want to avoid paying, you can park outside the entrance on the road. Here you can hike all day deep into the Santa Monica Mountains.

Topanga State Park hike

Malibu Creek State Park – Another location with tons of trails. You really feel like you are out of the city when you are here. The Santa Monica Mountains surround the park, filled with rolling hills, oak trees, and tall grass. If you want to do more than just hiking, you can also camp, go rock climbing, and horseback riding. It’s a nature getaway without having to leave the city.

Malibu Creek State Park hike

Los Liones Trail – The hike can either be 2.6 miles out and back or if you really want to go for it, 7.8 miles round trip. If you go for the longer stretch you end up at Parker Mesa Overlook, which offers a higher elevation view of the ocean. If you decide you don’t want to make the higher arduous hike, Los Liones ends at a clearing on the ridge with a bench and views of Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, and the ocean.

Parker Mesa Overlook, Los Liones hike

Griffith Park – This is an extremely popular place to hike, especially for tourists and out of town guests. There are lots of hikes in the park. My favorite is Mount Hollywood, which is the star of Griffith Park. It can be reached from the Observatory and offers 360-degree views of the city. I love looking over the ridge and seeing Griffith Observatory with the downtown skyline in the background.

Griffith Park hike, best hikes in LA

Paramount Ranch – A 4 mile loop that ends at a Western town that serves as a filming location. Most recently HBO’s Westworld was filmed at Paramount Ranch. Paramount Pictures used to own the land, but it’s now preserved by the National Parks Services. The old prop town was built in the 1950’s and can be explored after a moderate hike.

Paramount Ranch filming location

Note: It was hard to narrow down the best hikes in LA, there are so many to choose from.

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70s style

I’ve always been a big fan of 70’s fashion. The high waisted bell bottoms, florals, muted tones, wedges…I can go on. I recently pulled out this floral Free People blouse and was feeling the 70’s vibe. It’s loose enough to wear during the summer and the bell sleeves made me want to twirl to show them off. There are some fun 70’s trends for fall that I can’t wait to wear. I’m ready to bring out my retro brimmed hat and get some bright 70’s plaid.

Free People Shirt, 7 For All Mankind Jeans, Tiger’s Eye Ring {Similar}

TigerFree People floral shirt70s style outfit70s floral shirt

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Beach Wedding Guest

Last month I attended a black tie wedding by the beach. When I got the invitation I had no idea what to wear. Black tie and beach wedding don’t often go together, but when the ceremony is at the Four Seasons Biltmore in Montecito and the reception is at the exclusive Coral Casino Club, it all makes sense. I knew I wanted a maxi dress and something that I could dance in. When I think of black tie, I think of a tight evening dress, but I couldn’t wear that to the wedding. I love dancing too much. This Free People floral maxi fit the bill. It has a breezy beachy feel, while still being formal enough for a black tie wedding. And lets be real, black tie doesn’t mean that every man is showing up in a tux. It implies a nice suit.

If you’re heading to a beach wedding choose a dress that gives you that free dancing on the beach feeling. And if you’re heading to a black tie wedding, still find something that you can dance in.

Free People Mixed Floral Maxi Dress, Kate Spade Twist Bangle, Kate Spade Building Blocks Bangle

Dancing on the beachFree People Floral Maxi DressBeach Wedding DressBeach Wedding DressNatalie Zimmerman, Natalie Notions, Fashion BloggerFree People Floral Maxi DressEl Matador Beach, Natalie Notions, Fashion Blog

Photography by Abigail Collins

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