[ Hawaii ] An Oasis in Paradise | Natalie Dressed

[ Hawaii ] An Oasis in Paradise

[ Hawaii ] An Oasis in Paradise | Natalie Dressed
[ Hawaii ] An Oasis in Paradise | Natalie Dressed
[ Hawaii ] An Oasis in Paradise | Natalie Dressed
[ Hawaii ] An Oasis in Paradise | Natalie Dressed
[ Hawaii ] An Oasis in Paradise | Natalie Dressed
[ Hawaii ] An Oasis in Paradise | Natalie Dressed
[ Hawaii ] An Oasis in Paradise | Natalie Dressed
[ Hawaii ] An Oasis in Paradise | Natalie Dressed
[ Hawaii ] An Oasis in Paradise | Natalie Dressed
[ Hawaii ] An Oasis in Paradise | Natalie Dressed
[ Hawaii ] An Oasis in Paradise | Natalie Dressed
[ Hawaii ] An Oasis in Paradise | Natalie Dressed
[ Hawaii ] An Oasis in Paradise | Natalie Dressed
[ Hawaii ] An Oasis in Paradise | Natalie Dressed
[ Hawaii ] An Oasis in Paradise | Natalie Dressed
[ Hawaii ] An Oasis in Paradise | Natalie Dressed
[ Hawaii ] An Oasis in Paradise | Natalie Dressed
[ Hawaii ] An Oasis in Paradise | Natalie Dressed
[ Hawaii ] An Oasis in Paradise | Natalie Dressed

So I’m finally getting around to posting our Hawaii photos. It’s only been four months! Honestly, there are just a lot of photos and the task of going through them, sorting them, and editing them was a daunting one, especially with the holidays and our move. But here we are and I’m so excited to share them with you. It’s actually kind of nice having awhile between now and then because I get to go through all the photos and relive the memories.

The last time our family went on a vacation was in 2007 when we went on a cruise to the Caribbean. That’s really been our only family vacation until we went to Hawaii. When you have a big family, that’s what happens – travel is expensive with that many people and, not to mention, a little chaotic! This trip was a huge success – despite our 15 bags! ;) We had so much fun. As you can see, the house we stayed in was literally it’s own oasis. It actually came to us as a blessing in disguise.

We originally had another house booked. It was oceanfront with its own private beach, a pool, plenty of rooms, and was only steps away from Mama’s Fish House. One day I got an email from HomeAway.com notifying us of potential fraudulent activity. Turns out, the email address to the property manager was real, but the person on the other end was someone who hacked into his account and essentially stole our money. My heart dropped into my stomach. There was disbelief then anger then sadness then more anger. I couldn’t, and still can’t, understand how people can do this to other people. We were weeks away from our vacation with thousands of dollars lost and no place to stay. After some debate and realizing our plane tickets weren’t refundable, we decided to see if we could find a place to stay for a reasonable price so we hopped back on the internet, this time with our guard up, and started searching. Because of our situation and because it was so close to our arrival, we were able to book this place for a steal. And the best part is, it’s way better than the original place we thought we had booked. It’s hard to top a private home with a pool and hot tub that can’t get any more beachfront. Like I said, it was a blessing in disguise.

Because the house was so epic, we spent a ton of time at home there. We lounged. We hung out. We swam. We hot tubbed. We soaked up the sun. We played games. We ate. We drank. We ate some more. We laughed. We even played N64 thanks to my sister’s boyfriend who packed it in his bag (boys!). It was heaven. One of my favorite things about our time on the island is that most of us woke up early every day. Instead of adjusting to the time change, we’d get up at 6 or 7 and go to bed fairly early. Waking up to balmy air and the sound of the ocean lapping against the shore was like an an open invitation to get out of bed and have a cup of coffee on the deck. It was quiet, peaceful, beautiful, and glorious.

My family is everything to me – we are all very close, sarcastic, and crazy – so being able to spend this time together was invaluable. I plan on sharing the pretty photos but also the photos that show who we really are – the ones with stupid faces, photobombs, and ridiculous poses. You know, the ones that aren’t always the most flattering but document how much fun you had. I know I enjoy seeing photos that represent who people really are so I hope you’ll enjoy the posts to come!

If you ever visit Maui and are looking for a rental house for a large group, I couldn’t recommend where we stayed more. You can book it here. The owner, Karen, was a total sweetheart and we will forever be grateful for her generosity and willingness to accommodate us.

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Push & Pull | Natalie Dressed

Push & Pull

Push & Pull | Natalie Dressed
Push & Pull | Natalie Dressed
Push & Pull | Natalie Dressed
Push & Pull | Natalie Dressed
Push & Pull | Natalie Dressed
Push & Pull | Natalie Dressed

It’s crazy to me that we’re in the last week of January. This month went by so quickly. With our move and the tech conference I’m working on coming up in just two weeks, it’s been a whirlwind.

Closing this month, I feel like I need to examine where I can push more and where I need to be pulled. There are areas that, if I’m really honest with myself, I can challenge myself to be better in and commit to at a higher level. To really do the work. And then there are areas when I need to get in the flow. To stop pushing and to let things be. And all at the same time, I’m learning and finally embracing that life is cyclical. Priorities and focus fluctuate and always will. And that’s okay.

It’s actually kind of like this outfit. Commitment, structure, challenge – all the more masculine elements – are the utility jacket. Flow, surrender, acceptance – the more feminine elements – are the flippy skirt. And when you put them together, they create the perfect balance. See, fashion is just a manifestation of life. ;)

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P.S. These photos were taken not long after we came back from Hawaii late last year, which is why my legs are tanner than my face! ;)


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 Photos by Crystalin Marie

Urban Outfitters jacket (similar) & boots (old | similar) | Zara skirt (similar) | Forever 21 bag (old)