Natalie Notions » Where Taste Meets Travel

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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!

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

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While I was in North Carolina I decided to take some videos of my trip. This is my very first vlog! I was a little nervous to do it at first, but it was such a fun trip I wanted to share more. I loved The Swag, which I mentioned before, and this video diary gives a little more feel of the place. The lush green forest surrounded the property, with nothing else around for miles.

I’m working on another video diary of The Biltmore and can’t wait to share it. I’ll be doing more travel diaries and videos, especially now that I feel a little more comfortable doing it.

Note: Would love to hear what you think!


The Swag, North Carolina, Boutique Inn

When my mom and I arrived at The Swag in North Carolina, a 14-room rustic inn, we were immediately greeted by the friendly staff. If we arrived earlier a staff member would have given us a tour of the grounds, but we got there just in time to drop our luggage and sit down for dinner at 7pm. Every night at the same time a 3-course gourmet dinner is served. All of the guests sit at their assigned seats, which the owner and innkeeper, Deener, sets. Deener and her husband Dan are the loveliest people. It was an honor to sit at their table every night. They have the most interesting stories and I got some great insight from Dan. At the communal table we also met other people who were traveling. I love staying at small inns and B&B’s for this reason. You never know who you will meet.

We woke up just in time for breakfast the next morning. An elaborate spread was waiting for us in the dining room when we went downstairs. A hearty oatmeal set us up for a day of hiking and exploring the grounds. We grabbed our lunch, which was packed for us in a hiking backpack, filled up reusable bottles with their fresh well water, and set out for the the 2.5 mile hike that circles the property.

The Swag Inn, North Carolina, Great Smoky Mountains

We got about 1/4 of the way on the hike and spotted a bear. If you follow me on Instagram, then you saw my post about it. We finished the hike with a little more speed to our stride. We stopped off at Dan’s Hideaway to have lunch while we listened to the nearby rolling stream. Around The Swag there are several different hideaways, each with a place to sit and relax, and most with a hammock for lounging.

The Swag, The Great Smoky MountainsThe Swag, North Carolina, Waynesville

It rained the next day, so we decided to stay inside and relax. After another great breakfast {the cinnamon rolls are award worthy}, we did a quick workout in the small weight room. We then spent the remainder of the day reading in the rocking chairs by the fire in the living room. It’s funny how I can sit and read for hours on vacation, but it’s a struggle to do that at home. That alone felt like a vacation.

The Swag, Rustic Inn, Cabin

We enjoyed breakfast with Deener and Dan before checking out of The Swag on the final day. The staff sent us on the road with a sack lunch and fond memories of our time spent there. Before we left I took one final look out at The Great Smoky Mountains from the back patio. I took a deep breath of the fresh mountain air and knew that I would be back there again some day.

Great Smoky Mountains, The Swag

Note: My walking stick arrived yesterday. Everyone gets a beautiful walking stick to use and as a souvenir. Now I need to figure out how to display it.


Natalie Zimmerman_Fashion Blogger

I always feel like I need to be doing something, and if I’m not busy enough, then I’m being lazy. I don’t know if you feel that way too — like you’re never doing enough. Your to-do list is always growing. There aren’t enough hours in the day. That feeling comes in waves for me and I’ve definitely been feeling like that now that I’m on summer break. But this isn’t necessarily true. It’s something that I’ve put in my head because I’m not doing so much that I’m exhausting myself. It shouldn’t be that way.

Right now I’m in the process of developing a TV series with my friend and writing partner, and we’re working with one of our teachers as a mentor. So technically I am still taking a class. I did a polish on my feature, edited a TV drama spec, and about to start editing my TV comedy spec. Along with blogging more and doing research for two other projects. I’m trying not to get down on myself because I am working. I’m either writing or doing something along the process.

If you’re like me and have this problem of feeling like you constantly have to be busy. Stop. Breathe. You don’t need to do it all and it doesn’t all need to be done today. Or even this week. This is what I’ve learned so far this summer and have been working on. Say yes to things that make you feel happy that aren’t work. It may take some time to not feel guilty, but being happy is so much better than being stressed.

Enjoy the summer!

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When to Change Your Perfume

I recently changed my perfume after using essential oils for the past few months. I ran out of the one I was using and it took me awhile to figure out what I wanted my new scent to be. Some people like having multiple perfumes. They’re what I like to call perfume collectors. This isn’t me. I love having a signature scent.

Here are a few reasons to change your perfume.

  1. Change of Season – I have a few friends who change their perfume with the season. So if you like having different scents when the weather heats up, then right now is a good time to change your perfume. Scents during the summer are light, airy, and crisp.
  2. A Special Occassion – Having a cozy night in? Maybe you want something mellow and earthy. Going on a hot date? Maybe your scent is fun, flirty, and floral. Your calendar might dictate your scent.
  3. Change of Mood – Change your perfume when you’re simply over it. You want a new perfume, so you get one. You want try the latest scent from your favorite designer, so you grab it.
  4. A Breakup – I associate smells with relationships and even times when I was single. Scent is tied to memory, so this is a good reason to change the smell you had with your last lover. Create some new memories with a new scent.

When to Change Your Perfume

Note: My new scent is Miss Dior Absolutely Blooming.