Wednesday, August 9, 2017

NEWS! I'm Moving To Germany!!?!?!



You guys! It took FOREVER to upload, but it's finally here!!

Make sure to SUBSCRIBE!! :)





Monday, August 7, 2017

{DIY}: EASIEST Pant Alteration EVER!

Hey guys! Happy Monday! I hope you have had a wonderful weekend. Mine was spent relaxing by the pool and getting some last minute stuff finalized. I also said goodbye to my love my little Moped for the summer. She has been re-homed. Ahhh the life of a Nomad. In a way, living the way that I do has helped me mentally, because I don't hold onto things with such vigor like I used to. I wouldn't call myself an ex-hoarder, but I definitely loved my things and was quite attached. As the years have gone by I have found that I am able to move on WITHOUT all of my things which is very convenient.

Anyways, today I thought I would share a super easy tutorial with you! I purchased a pair of pants from Target's  Knox Rose line. They looked so comfy on my coworker, and I had to have a pair. I owned 1 other pair of pants and I just had a feeling that these would FINALLY work for me! I have the lovely problem of having a smaller waist than my thighs so everything fits perfect in the thigh but is about 2 sizes too big in the waist. After cinching my pants and jeans with a belt for years I gave up and decided to stick with dresses and skirts, and stretchy pants, because the belts holding up my pants began to cause severe stomach pain. I literally haven't worn a pair of jeans since 2014. That's how bad it is. So, as you can see I was delighted when I put this pair on and they FIT SO WELL! They were also incredibly flattering. The only problem was once again they were a bit too big in the waist (which I found out as the day wore on).

I ended up finding an AWESOME no sew fix to altering pants which I had to share. There is a video on You Tube that better explains it, but I will do my best with the pictures I have to explain it here on the blog! Seriously guys, this was so easy that I went out and purchased a second pair in the same size, different color to alter them too.

No Machine Pant Alteration (Waist)

1. Pinch and Fold along the back of the pants and tuck the newly made fold underneath the belt loop.


2. Sew (by hand) the fold down under the belt loop, so that it is not visible, and continue to tuck and sew down toward the pant pocket. I've found that the key here is short tight stitches!!!




3. Sew BACK up the row you have just sewn and sew along the top of the fold to "seal" the crease at the top of the waist. This part is very important because it ensures that the fold remains flat and invisible.


see how flat it ends up being once you have sewn the top?

sew down the opposite side as well.

4. Tuck and sew any loose parts that you see that you want to improve.

It is really THAT easy. Of course, I used black thread, but if you match the colors it is even better. Now this is a quick, reversible no cut no machine fix, which will ensure that if you do need to let the pants back out it is a quick and easy process. It took me less than 10 minutes to complete. It is damn near invisible at first glance; it just appears to be fold going  straight down along the pocket seam. If you are picky about looks, you can do both sides so that it looks even. I didn't care, but note if you only do one side it will leave more space on the other side of the button/zipper which would be noticeable to the wearer (only). Like I said, I didn't care about that part.

I hope this tutorial helps someone!! Please checkout the video if you need additional guidance!


Xoxo,


Natalie

Thursday, July 27, 2017

New Blog Direction!

Hey all you belles, travelers, foodies, and essential oil fans! :)

As you may have noticed, I have been slowly transitioning my blog! For those who have followed this blog over the years, you may remember that it started out as not one, but TWO blogs! One, faith based, and one personal. Well, the faith based blog was deleted due to my URL being stolen from me (GRRR)! I initially had transferred all of the posts to this blog, but have since deleted most of them. I decided that I wanted to keep this blog religion free for the most part. I love my faith but there are certain things that I have posted about in the past that I no longer agree with and I don't feel that it is right to have them publicly displayed, considering I don't agree with them.

ANYWAYS! I have a ton of new ideas and posts coming, as well as a new YouTube vlog channel! You can expect the first video to come out very soon, and there will be a lot of exciting new changes announced! As always, I look forward to hearing from you! If you have any comments or vlog suggestions/ideas shoot me an email: northernbellemn@gmail.com

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

{Care.Com}: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

                                                      Care.com Logo

                                             
Well hello old friends. And new! It seems like I haven't posted in a while now, but I am back with a very interesting post! I am writing from sunny Arizona, where it is about 85° and gorgeous. I moved back to Arizona after my Fall semester ended and am living with my dear old dad. He is getting older and really should have someone living with him and I am just trying to get my degree and be done with school already, so it works out for both of us! As you know, I have moved around a lot! Most of the time, I am able to find a job right away which is nice. But this time, it is different because I am in school full-time and can only work part-time. This means that my job outlook has gone down significantly. The one thing I have always been able to count on is my 10 years of childcare experience. It means that pretty much wherever I go, I can find some sort of work because of my experience and high ratings.

The main way I have found childcare gigs is on a site called Care.com. For those who don't know what it is, Care.com is a company founded in 2006 originally specifically to match caregivers with parents looking for childcare. Now, it is a vast resource for those looking for caregivers for their children, elderly family members, pets, and also housekeeping/cleaning and errands. I have been on the site for about 5 years. I have several positive reviews and a slew of families that I have worked for under my belt. I get anywhere from 3-4 emails a month from families looking to hire me. Unfortunately most of them I have to turn away because of the location, however I am currently working for 2 care.com families here in the valley. Whenever I tell people that I work with parents on the site, most people are surprised that I am able to find work. They tell me that they have never been able to get hired on the site, and that they never get replies to their applications. This blog post is hopefully going to explain why, once and for all, and help some people get hired!

I will go over some misconceptions and solutions.

#1: No one replies to my messages/applications

This is the number one complaint I get from people. Care.com rolled out a "premium" feature for parents and caregivers. They claim that it allows parents to see your profile first, and that you are 3x more likely to get hired. What they don't tell you is that if you don't sign up to be a premium member, often times you can't receive any messages or replies from families for applications that you have sent out. This is INCREDIBLY frustrating and also RIDICULOUS. It all depends on the site. I haven't quite figured out what it is the triggers the system because I have been able to receive replies off and on (so I continue to send out messages to parents occasionally). It's just bad business, and makes it hard to get work. Also, reviews are everything. Parents don't want to hire someone with 2 years of experience and no reviews. It just isn't going to happen.

#2: Parents are only looking for 1 or 2 days a week

Unless this is something that you are looking for, it can be really annoying to try and get hired for substantial work. A lot of parents only need 1 or 2 days a week and consider that part time. That isn't part time in my book, and it isn't going to pay the bills. Unless you can line up several different families with those hours, it won't be very worth it. I have started posting ONLY FULL TIME (or hours I am looking for) on my profile, so that I don't have low ballers contacting me for crappy hours. The nice thing is that there is a calendar on everyone's profile where they can post the hours they are available. This makes scheduling very easy.

#3: Overbearing/Helicopter parents

There are several different types of parents. The laid back parents, the do what you want parents, no TV parents, TV anytime parents, nerdy Harry Potter/LOTR parents (my favorite), LGBTQ parents, and religious parents. Then, there are the helicopter parents. When you agree to watch a child whose parents work from home, you need to make sure that you are comfortable with the situation. I have had only 2 bad experiences with parents who work from home and were completely neurotic, and wouldn't leave me alone with the kid for more than an hour without checking on us. I realize that this is part of the culture (of both of the families). This is the thing: If a parent has hired you, they need to trust you unless there is something that you have done to betray that trust. I will NOT work for parents who don't trust me with their child. It is a slap in the face and makes my job uncomfortable and hard. It's also just annoying. You are your only advocate when it comes to self employed nannying/babysitting. You don't have an HR department or someone you can air your grievances to. I have ended relationships with a family because of this type of behavior, and it truly was for the best.

Some other helpful tips I could suggest is making one of the 30 second intro video which apparently is supposed to help you get hired more quickly. Also, making sure to reply to messages by the end of the day is very important. It can mean all of the difference between getting a job and not getting a job. Reviews are a requirement for me, no matter how I met the parents. Like I said, reviews are everything!

I really hope that this is a helpful post. If you have any comments or questions, please reply below! I respond to every comment posted.


Later,

xoxo













Thursday, February 16, 2017

Dying breed of "Real Men"? No such thing!

I recently read an article on Linkedin, and while I agreed with parts of it, disagreed with most. Here are my thoughts:

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/dying-breed-real-men-my-thoughts-article-natalie-warren?published=t

You can find the original article within my post. It is this kind of thinking that makes me feel at times we are regressing, and not progressing. Thankfully, our generation is not generally in agreement with this kind of logic!


Thanks for reading, and feel free to comment on the post :)


Natalie

Friday, December 23, 2016

Some of the BEST winter dates!

Well, as we all know, "cuffing season" is well upon us. For those of you out there who's date night ideas have run dry, I have compiled a few that might be able to spice up your life :)

1. Take a spur of the moment weekend vacation

Weekend trips do not have to be expensive. Set aside some money, plan a destination, and DRIVE! With awesome resources like AirBnB, you can find *clean* rooms, cheaper than a motel! Seriously folks, if you haven't tried AirBnB you are missing out. 


via Airbnb.com

2. Rent a car


via Turo

via Turo

There is this awesome new-ish company called Turo, that allows normal people (like you) to rent out their cars. To locate a car, you simply enter your pickup destination on the app or website, and you are given a generous selection of cars ranging from practical to extreme luxury in the area. The best part? They deliver the vehicle to you! I checked out a few options, and the prices per day are not bad at all! They are also far cheaper than most car rental companies I have checked over the years. Besides all of this, it is a very environmentally conscious company; people who choose not to own cars can rent them as needed! So, how does this factor into my date night scenario?? Well, go rent a nice car (affordably), and use the money saved for travel fun! 

3. Ice Skating 

via Depot Minneapolis Website
The town I grew up in has several parks which make ice rinks during the winter months which are completely free, and nice for cheap fun dates! If you are wanting something a little bit more upscale, there are many cities with indoor or outdoor rinks that you can skate on through the winter. Grab a cup of cider or cocoa and hit the rink! (I will say, that if you have never skated on ice before, it can take a bit to get used to and might not be too romantic ending up with bruises all over your rear end the next day!)


via Gallivan Events Center website


4. Art night

Head over to a ceramic painting shop, Art studio for some studio time, or swing by an Art museum! There is nothing like Art to get my heart pumping! If you are heading to a large Art museum, make it a two day date night. You can't possibly take it all in, in one day! Check on Groupon for discounts at Art studios and coupons for painting shops. Art museum tickets can get pricey, so take advantage of midweek discount days. Also head over to the theatre for a good play or musical! Sometimes you can get a last minute deal on tickets. Hamilton is coming to Phoenix next year and I am over the freaking MOON.
Image result for art museum photos phoenix
Phoenix Art Museum. I volunteer here! It is pretty neat.
Via Scottsdale Real Estate Group



5. Foodie night

Go to a food truck roundup (very popular in Utah!), or just hit some new restaurants in town! Although it is getting colder in the northern states, food trucks are still out and about down here in Phoenix, if you know where to look! If going out isn't your thing, you can have a cooking night; each of you choose a few items, create a menu, and cook it together! Set up a table in a place you normally wouldn't eat, or make it romantic with candles and twinkle lights!

Image result for food truck roundup
Via Google
6. Humane Society trip

Image result for humane society of minnesota
This one is not for the faint of heart. I repeat, if you have an obsession with pets do NOT go! :) Just kidding, they need love, head on over. You and your boo can cuddle some cute kitties or snuggle some rabbits at the Humane society or a pet shelter. Especially around Christmas time, when people are given pets they really can't keep, it is nice to head over there and bring some relief. You can even volunteer together if that sounds fun! It is free, and they need the help and attention, being cooped up all day. Go early in the evening, as they tend to close around 8 PM. 


Image result for humane society of minnesota
both pictures c/o AHS.com

Well that's my short but sweet list of fun things to do this winter with your loved one! If you have any other ideas, feel free to comment below :)

xoxo,

Nat

Friday, November 18, 2016

Natural Deodorant: Does it REALLY work?!?



This post is a little weird! For those of you that know me, I don't have a problem speaking my mind, even if it might be on an uncomfortable subject. But for those of you who are genuinely squeamish talking about deodorant and body odor, we probably won't be good friends HAH!

Over the last few years, I have been experimenting with different natural deodorants. A couple of years ago, I tried out Toms of Maine, and didn't like it at all. It didn't work to stop perspiration, and the scent was not strong enough to block odor. Before I go any further, I should explain how deodorant/antiperspirant works (for those who don't know). There are two types of odor/sweat blocking agents sold in stores today and those are deodorants and antiperspirants. Some of them don't contain both properties, but most do. Certain brands, like Dove, Secret, Mitchum, and Degree all contain the active ingredient, Aluminum Zirconium. This is the ingredient that sets deodorant and antiperspirants apart (There have been numerous studies linking this active ingredient to breast cancer and reproductive issues, but I won't go into that today, you can Google that on your own time). It also is responsible for darkening of the arm pit skin (which many women of color tend to get). It acts as a "plug" for the sweat pores in your armpits; first shrinking them up and then plugging them and leaving a protective "barrier". The problem with this though, is that because your pores are being unnaturally plugged, your body fights even harder to push the sweat out. This is why in recent years we have seen more and more of the "clinical strength" deodorants hit the market.

Deodorant on the other hand, is simply a scent stick that aids with odor control. It doesn't control sweat production in any way, but certain deodorants can place a protective mineral salt barrier on your skin. What I have found is that my body does not like antiperspirants. They don't work, and the artificial scents that come standard with most "traditional" deodorants on the market when mixed with my sweat smelled worse than my natural odor. So after trying Tom's of Maine and finding that it didn't work, I went back to the traditional option. After making the decision to go back to all natural deodorant, I decided to try various options to find the best one. There are people that make their deodorant at home, but I don't think that it would be anywhere as effective as what is sold in stores today, so I won't review any homemade products.

 In addition to my own personal reviews below, I highly recommend that you check out this "natural deodorant" review from Reviews.com  They evaluate EVERYTHING from toothbrushes, to chef knives, and the guide is really quite helpful. The team on this study hand tested 23 different natural deodorants and found the best and worst ones! Take a look, it's definitely worth it.

Here is what I found!




Crystal Body Deodorant Stick

Pros: Stops excessive sweat (naturally with rock salt). It doesn't completely keep me dry, but it truly works better than anything on the market. NO WHITE MARKS/RESIDUE ON CLOTHING!
Cons: Unscented. What little sweat remains does cause odor as the day goes on. Doesn't completely get rid of the sweat. You have to let it dry for it to be effective, and you have to put it on while your arms are wet.

Crystal Essense Spray




Pros: Stops excessive sweat (naturally with rock salt). What's different is that this salt deodorant comes in spray form (the salt is in water), and is also scented naturally with essential oils. My favorite scents are fresh and natural, so I LOVE their Lavender scented spray. NO WHITE MARKS/RESIDUE ON CLOTHING! Sprays on easily.
Cons: You have to let it dry for it to be effective.

Arm and Hammer Essentials


Pros: The scent is GREAT! Easy roll on, like regular deodorant. 100% natural. Baking Soda as an odor blocker! Thanks Melanie for introducing me to this one!
Cons: No antiperspirant ingredients, not even natural ones. Limited scent options.

Native Deodorant



Pros: Great scent options, I chose Eucalyptus Mint. Not tested on animals! Rolls on easily like stick deodorant. I found this deodorant on Pinterest of all places! It is only available to purchase online, but you should totally check them out.
Cons: Expensive! It was $12. It leaves a grainy residue because of the arrowroot powder. After a while, the smell wears off and it mixes with my natural scent and does NOT smell good. My other deodorants do not have that problem.

I like to mix and match my deodorants, and they seem to work for me. It's important to note that when switching, it will take your body's sweat glands a few weeks to adjust to using natural deodorant, and during the transition process you may think the natural alternatives are not working. Just give it time! I promise it will be worth it.