Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Coffee With a World Changer - Kat Harris, The Refined Woman

You know how I know God is good? Because He is continually amazing me with the caliber of people He brings into my life. Introduced by a friend at a church service, I knew that I had to spend more time with Miss Kat Harris. After our brief introduction, I walked away with a few tidbits about her: blogger, photographer, LA|NYC girl, lover of Jesus.

After a couple months of trying to get together (man we are two very busy ladies), we were finally able to sit down over coffee at Intelligentsia for a chat about life, love, dreams, impacting future generations and what it means to be The Refined Woman.

What do you do for a living?
I'm a working woman, who loves fashion, photography, and hopes to encourage other woman to realize their potential and worth.

Three words to describe your life currently.
Focused. Vulnerable. Connection.

Tell me more.
Focused - Maybe clear is a better word. I feel very clear about where I'm going with my life, who I am, why i'm doing what I'm doing. I'm clear with where I am going with my photography business and The Refined Woman. I feel very clear.

Vulnerable - Anytime you step forward to chase your dream it is terrifying. I feel like everything on the inside is flipped on the outside. I have to let go of the fear of failure and judgement, and that is vulnerable.

Connection - Staying connected to myself, staying connected to God, my community, my vision.

Talk about The Refined Woman.
My vision with The Refined Woman is to empower and encourage young woman to embrace their beauty, value, identity and worth. The Refined Woman started as a fashion blog. It is a joint effort between myself and my good friend Emily. It has evolved recently to the point where we still have fashion posts, but they highlight very classic investment pieces. We have felt a shift to share more of our hearts and lives because it is what people are connecting with. The heart behind The Refined Woman is to put content out there that places value on women, and inspires them to chase their dreams while having confidence in themselves.

What are some challenges you face when blogging?
I think that God is always challenging me to think if I really believe what I'm preaching through the posts I publish. The Refined Woman is authentic and embraces her season of life, so that means when I do a style post I can't put sunglasses on because I look tired, and if I'm not feeling super skinny I don't reschedule. Those are the days that I have to take pictures, because it's a sharpening tool. I also recently started a series on the blog called, "Real Sex in the City". It is another one of those things that God was like, "I have an invitation for you..", and it is scary. That series has been super vulnerable but such a blessing.

Give me some steps for inspiring bloggers.
Create a vision. Why are you doing what you are doing, be clear and specific. Through that lens you can make decisions about the direction of your blog. Practical things...find 10 other blogs you connect with, look at them and ask yourself why. Is it the content, color palette, ascetic...why do you like it. Also, when someone comes to your blog what are four words you want them feel through your site. For me it's timeless, intimacy, movement and laughter. So anything that goes up falls in line with those brand words. From there, quality is way better than quantity. Consistency is important, but do it in excellence. What is going to distinguish you in an ocean of bloggers is authenticity and excellence.

Dating in New York City...Go.
I think it is all about the perspective you have about yourself. I eventually realized that I had to shift the way that I processed it all. I've dated guys and it has been wonderful, incredible and beautiful, but in the end we wanted different things. God taught me that you can really really care about someone but they might not be the best fit. In the end love is worth the pain, and I want to keep my heart open to what God has for me.

Let's talk New York City. 

Favorite place to eat. 
Saxon & Parol. Their Old-Fashioned is amazing and the food is incredible. Caracas, I dream of that place.

Favorite place to get coffee. 
Intelligentsia. Toby's Estate.

Favorite place to shop. 
Madwell, J.Crew and Zara. I am a creature of habit.

Finally, do you have any New Year's resolutions?
I think the biggest thing is I've tried to shift my vocabulary this year. Instead of saying, "I have to" or "I need to," I am trying to change it to "I choose to," "I get to" and "it is a gift to." This sort of vocabulary shifts the way you look at the world.

Thank you Kat for teaching me more about being The Refined Woman. I'm inspired and encouraged to be a better woman. Check out her blog here and photography website here.

naturally ginger

Pictures c/o The Refined Woman

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Market Table Brunching

I love when I can squeeze in a proper brunch on a Sunday. After church at HillsongNYC, my Fran Hannah and I headed to Market Table in the West Village. I was pleasantly surprised by this new dining experience. It was an excellent recommendation and I can not wait to head back for dinner. The cuisine is very seasonal American, farm to table. 

Nestled into a cozy corner, we sipped on coffee and tea to warm up and chatted about life, love and the future. 

After much deliberation, I decided on the Lentils, Kale, & Braised Ham Hock. It was topped with a red wine poached egg meurette. I was a bit freaked out by the color, but the taste was wonderful. 

They have a variety of unique vegetable sides. I opted for the Baked and Sliced Sweet Potato covered with brown sugar, sage and a mini roasted bok choy. 

This deliciousness is the Orange Blossom French Toast. It is smothered with blackberry sauce, almond butter and vanilla cream. 

With Han preparing for her wedding and living back on Long Island for a few months, time with her is so precious. It was wonderful to have some girl time with one of my best frans. I'm so excited for what's to come for her over the next few months!

(Jacket: Zara / Shirt: Madewell / Hat: Hatattack)

Restaurants are getting more and more creative about how they deliver the check. Market Table slips the bill in a journal which dinners are encouraged to write about their experience. It was fun to read what others wrote and leave my mark.

Bon Appetit!

Naturally Ginger 

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Shower With Love - Hannah's Bridal Shower

Last weekend I got to celebrate one of my very BEST Frans. She was "showered" with love and amazing gifts. The many woman who showed up are a testament to the incredible person she is. I doubled as Bridesmaid and Photographer for the day. Here are some snapshots from the celebration. 

The BEST Frans a girl could ask for. 

Welcome to the family Bryan.

xoxo - Naturally Ginger

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Urban Cowgirl

Some things I love about winter:

1. Hats
2. Chunky Scarves
3. Layering

On, what I think was our last mild winter day, I decided to combine all three of these. This outfit can be easily replicated in a variety of ways. I love mixing and matching long sleeve shirts (collared or without), sweaters and statement accessories for a variety of casual yet fabulous looks. 

Many people think they can't wear hats. The great news is that EVERYONE can rock a hat, they just have to find the right shape and fit. Personally, I enjoy a fedora shaped hat...the larger the brim the better. But there are tons of varieties out there to choose from. Great places to start include Brixton, Urban Outfitters, and Goorin Bros. A great patterned scarf can liven and warm up an outfit. I picked this beauty up last year, but fell in love with a ton at Zara and H&M this season. It is colder than ever out now, make sure to pick one up!

Hat: Reiss London / Jacket: Zara / Sweater & Shirt: Loft / Jeans: Victoria's Secret / Necklace: J.Crew / Scarf: H&M

xoxo - Naturally Ginger

Photos by Kait of Madly Mignon