As a blogger, I’m part of a beautiful community of creatives. We may share our ideas through a virtual network, but often times we have the opportunity to connect in person, sit down and chat, and really get the creative juices flowing! Grab your coffee and meet my friends, appearing as guest bloggers in this near-to-my-heart section.

10 Ways to Keep Your Cool

With record-high temperatures topping the charts around the globe this year, I think it’s safe to say things are heating up! And as the mercury rises, there’s more than one way to keep your cool. Read on for ten heat-defying ways to help keep your cool this summer.



  1. Apply a cooling cucumber mask to your face. While enjoying the frigidy-fresh feeling, your skin might even benefit from a reduction of swelling, irritation, and breakouts thanks to the anti-inflammatory and mild astringent properties of the wonder veggie.


  1. Wear light-colored clothing—the lighter, the better (white is your friend this season)! Going with moisture-wicking fabrics will also help with staying dry and cool (see this week’s style blog for more ideas).


  1. Carry your own portable shade, like a sun umbrella or wide-brimmed hat.


  1. Meditate. With all the world throws at us, taking time to seek peaceful moments can definitely help with keeping your cool.


  1. Don’t forget to hydrate! (I know, I know, but It’s a hackneyed phrase for a reason.) Carry a water bottle or thermos (Yetis are amazing) that will keep your drink chilly for hours.


  1. Make slushies, popsicles, gelato, or just get some ice cream for a sweet summer treat.


  1. Switch out the bedsheets for satin or breathable cotton to catch some cooler zzz’s at night.


  1. Aloe vera soothes like none other. Especially after a day in the sun, applying aloe vera is super cooling and naturally counteracts all the heat the skin absorbed. It’s a great natural remedy for burns as well.


  1. Refresh your diet! Go with chilled shrimp instead of steamed, cold chicken on a fresh, crisp salad, and cold soups like gazpacho that cool from the inside out.


  1. Treat yourself to a spa day – at the salon, at home, wherever. Plus, feeling great from self-care is definitely cool.



How are you beating the heat this summer? Share with us in the comments!



Chasing the chill,




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Summer’s Coolest Styles

August is here (already?) and I think it’s safe to say most of us are feeling the heat! – Wearing the right types of great-fitting clothing helps to keep cool and feel better—but beyond that, there are some great wardrobe tips and tricks that I’ve found actually make a difference. Luckily, National is offering some great options for these to help keep cool this season. Here are some of my favorites:



This sleeveless Picot Knit Tank by UltraSofts® feels especially great when the heat rises. Nine out of the ten colors it’s available in are lighter colors, which deflect more heat—and with its UPF 50+ rating, it makes for a great everyday shirt during the hotter months.

womens tank shirt

Knit Tank by UltraSofts®


It’s what’s beneath that counts—and barely-there comfort never fails! This 18 Hour Cooling Comfort Wirefree Bra by Playtex® supports you keeping your cool, with silken cups that feel great and wick away moisture all day long.


18 Hour Cooling Comfort Wirefree Bra by Playtex®


Crinkle cotton fabrics – try in a muumuu style. You won’t regret it. This Santa Fe Border Print Dress is a great choice because the drape feels worry-free and offers ample breathability and room to move, letting you feel fantastic even on the hottest of days.

crinkle cotton dress

Santa Fe Border Print Dress by National®


Be level-headed keeping your cool under a UV-protective sunhat. But make sure it’s a breathable one, like in straw, mesh or airy fabrics, so that body heat can still escape. This Beach Basics Hat has a shady 4” brim and is available in white to deflect even more heat.


Beach Basics Hat by Sun ‘N’ Sand®


At the end of the day, catch some cool zzz’s in these short-sleeved Moisture-Wicking Pajamas by Najerika Lingerie® for a better night’s sleep and a renewed, refreshed morning.

womens pajamas

Wicking Pajamas by Najerika Lingerie®


What are you wearing to keep cool this season? Share with us in the comments section!


Beating the heat,




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Easy Ways to Be Slightly More Active

Getting the ball rolling is always the most daunting part, but knowing what’s best makes it all worthwhile. And with practice, incorporating different types of activity into daily life becomes second nature—a feel-good way of living. Even with the shift in many people’s lifestyles these days, opportunities for taking even the smallest of steps to be more active are still all around us and can ultimately help improve the body, mood, and mind.

Here are some minimal-effort, any-day, everyday ways to be more active:


  • Park further away and walk. Whether it’s a bit further out in the parking lot or a few blocks away, this is a great trick to get more exercise in an easy, routine way.
  • Volunteer. Whether running a 4k or helping out at a local soup kitchen, volunteering is a positive and effective way to be more active physically, mentally, and in your community.
  • Take the stairs.
  • Cook your meals rather than order out. Even if your homecooked dish has the same amount of calories as the takeout, burning extra calories from moving about in the kitchen will automatically put you ahead and will probably be healthier, anyway.
  • Set aside some time each day for an activity you enjoy. Whether going for a daily stroll, tuning in to your inner self during yoga, or doing some easy stretching, setting aside even just a few minutes for the littlest things can make all the difference.


Are there any tips or tricks that work well for you? Share with us in the comments section!

Taking it one step at a time,




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Action-Packed Styles

As we move through the week, one thing I’ve been especially grateful for is having breathable, cooling apparel in my wardrobe as the days grow hotter—especially as I’ve been trying to incorporate extra movement and exercise throughout the days wherever possible. And thank goodness for moisture wicking—you never know when it will come in handy! Add some UV protection in the mix, and I’m ready for whatever the day brings.


So, for these reasons, Wic-Tech™ by National® has quickly become a summer favorite. They have all of the above–and feel exquisite! Which style is your favorite? Share with us in the comments!


Ready for action,


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12 Ways to Celebrate Christmas in July

’Tis the season to be merry, bright, and HOT! That’s right folks, it’s Christmas in July this week! This unofficial holiday, reportedly founded in Brevard, NC in 1933, has since become a fun concept celebrated all across the globe, whatever the season. Here at National, it’s undoubtedly summer—and we’re always in the thankful, joyous spirit.


In lieu of the twelve days of Christmas, here are twelve ways to celebrate Christmas in July this year.


  1. Make a Christmas dinner. Whether a traditional bird or a conservative casserole, fun with food is one of the best hands-on ways to dive right in to the holiday spirit!
  2. Strut around in your favorite holiday sweaters and your best red and green attire.
  3. Don’t have a holiday sweater, or just want something new? Perhaps try starting a knitting project! Here are some free “getting started” templates from
  4. Send mini Christmas cards to your loved ones – a sure-shot way to spread good cheer.
  5. Bake some sweet holiday treats. From classic Gingerbread Men to Soft Sugar Cookies, there’s nothing like the aroma of warm baked goods to bring the holiday season to life.
  6. Buy yourself and/or your loved ones small “Christmas” gifts.
  7. Any leftover material from the cards and packaging can be used to decorate your living space! Here’s a neat DIY wreath idea from, as well as some paper decoration ideas that are absolutely adorable!
  8. Enjoy some Christmas classics. Hallmark channel will be airing a medley of Christmas movies 24 hours a day up until Sunday evening, so pick up the remote and enjoy a binge fest any time of day or night!
  9. Sing, play, and/or listen to Christmas carols.
  10. Do some early Christmas shopping. Certain retail stores are even offering discounts on Christmas décor and the like, so grabbing some stuff early could help save time and money later on in the year.
  11. Craft some fun Christmas-themed drinks. But since it’s not exactly the month for hot cocoa, try sipping on something cold, like these super cute Polar Bear Frozen Hot Chocolates!
  12. Give to a charity or sponsor a child. After all, giving is one of the very best things about the holidays.


How will you celebrate? Share with us in the comments!


Wishing you good cheer,


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Top Picks for Christmas in July

Did you know Christmas in July actually started in North Carolina? Yep, nearly 90 years ago at a girls’ camp in Brevard. And here in Lexington, National is celebrating with our own mini event! We’re featuring different daily savings all week long. (To keep current with these, you can have them e-mailed to you each morning.) Here are some of my favorite brands and styles of the week—’tis the season!


UltraSofts® are such a good wear this time of year – as the sun tends to linger around these days, the UPF 50+ helps shield the skin from harmful UV rays, making for a great “Christmas” gift, as well! A couple of my favorites are this Diagonal Yoke Top and the Isabella Top – so classic and comfy!

Shirt women's UltraSofts®

Diagonal Yoke Top by UltraSofts®


womens shirt

Isabella Top by UltraSofts®


To kick that UPF 50+ up a notch, Wic-Tech™ apparel sports that along with moisture wicking. The fabric is easily movable and feels fresh and breathable—ideal for anything from my daily walks to athletic activity. The Skort is super cute and feminine, too!

Wic-Tech™ clothing

Wic-Tech™ Attractive-wear by National®


These Reebok® Princess Classics are so comfy – I could wear them every day. The soft lining absorbs moisture, they’re vented, and are padded on the inside—the combination of which really does the trick for me for summertime wear.

womens reeboks

Reebok® Princess Classics Tennis Shoes


After a long, hot day, there’s nothing like kicking back in a lightweight lounger! This Santa Fe Border Dress is actually fitting for any time of day, but the easy crinkle cotton style just makes it a good go-to for cooling off.


Santa Fe Border Print Dress by National®


Christmas in July can still be celebrated, even from the comfort of home! Which styles inspire you most? Share with us in the comments section!


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How to Look Good in Clothing

It may sound simple, but there’s more to it than meets the eye. Did you know…the mere way we carry ourselves and style what we wear can be a game-changer on how we look in clothing! Here are some easy tips & tricks that anyone can do to look better in everyday, any day attire.


  • Tricks on the side: Tops, blouses, and jackets with side panels or princess seams can help enhance and slim the midsection while staying as comfortable as ever (I’m loving this Promenade Jacket as well as this Full Zip Jacket!). Also, garments with a brought-in waistline, whether with gathers or elasticized accents of any type, add further accentuation and shaping (like with this Eyelet Jacket).


  • You’re in good shape for summer. Shapewear: a woman’s go-to to bring things in—wherever you need. The process is simplified through garments that have it built in, like these Pull-on, Pull-in Pants by National®. So easy!


  • Long-lasting style safe to camp out on: Women’s camp shirts. This look has been taking the fashion industry by storm this year due to its versatile wear that flatters any body type. With features like traditional notched collars and button-down fronts, they can be worn over a tank or tee or buttoned up, and tucked or untucked. Plus, Camp Shirts by Donnkenny® offer a no-iron bonus—a must-have if easy care is important to you!


  • Grade-A style: Muumuus. Another classic, flattering drape. To get the most out of your A-line fit, practicing good posture can help the drape from the top-down while thinning out the rest of the body. A knee-length or lower cut can help create a flattering silhouette as well.


  • Throughout the ups & downs, turn to vertical stripes. While horizontal stripes can cast a widening effect, their vertical counterpart does just the opposite, making the wearer appear taller and thinner. To take it a step further, combine with a slight heel to elongate your look.


  • A healthy variety of wardrobe and lifestyle: Practicing a good diet (here’s some go-to recommendations by the American Heart Association) and keeping hydrated will also help with looking our very best in clothing, every single day.

What works best for you? Share with us in the comments section! Also, remember that when you do find something you love, don’t hesitate to build a section of your wardrobe around that theme. Go with what works!



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Summer Crinkle Styles

Making the most out of lightweight, easy-care fabrics is one great way to be more comfortable this season. Let’s talk about one style that deserves some time in the spotlight: the classic crinkle. Since the puckering process takes so well to airy, lightweight fabrics like cotton, rayon, and polyester, and so little of the fabric actually touches your skin, the scrunchy style makes for ideal wear in the warming seasons right around the corner.


Personally, I think my favorite thing about crinkle fabrics is that I never have to iron them—just wash and dry! Priceless. Also, the typical draping fit combined with the aforementioned non-cling aspect tends to offer a more flattering look (no matter the coming or going of a few extra pounds).


Luckily, crinkle fabrics are available in all sorts of women’s dresses, blouses, and nightgowns—and here are some that I love!

womens crinkle dress

Printed Crinkle Crepe Smocked Dress by National® – with a smocked bodice in an easy, flowing fit.


donnkenny camp shirt

Donnkenny® Camp Shirts – notched collar, comfy shoulder pads, and side vents – in Donnkenny’s signature yoryu polyester.


crinkle nightgown

Crinkle Cotton Gown with Lace by National® – for breathable, stylish zzz’s.


crinkle blouse

Lorelei Lace-Up by Blouse National® – just subtly crinkled, tunic style, rayon gauze.


crinkle dress

Floral Crinkle Lounge Dress by Metropolitan® – the muumuu style doubles down as a day dress or a comfy lounger.


What’s your favorite type? What styles will you be wearing this summer? Share with us in the comments section below!



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Ways to Relax This Weekend


Sometimes we just need to pause—and remember to relax. Whether busy and bustling or calm and collected, a healthy pause in any lifestyle can go a long way. This week, we’ve been looking at some new ways to relax, and now seems like the perfect time to try some of them out. What relaxation techniques work best for you? Are you trying anything new? Share in the comments below!


  • Reflect. Make a list of the best things in your life, and take time to reflect on those in gratitude.
  • Express. Whether it’s writing, conversing, painting, or making music, expressing your thoughts and feelings is one of the best ways to let off some steam and cool down.
  • Music. Whether you’re a musician or an appreciative audience, enjoying music has proven to have stress-relieving effects on the brain.
  • Pamper. Hair, nails, and/or a long, relaxing bath. Oprah Winfrey spoke in an interview once about her bathtub being the most important object in her house, as that’s her best way to relax.
  • Concentrate. Puzzles, movies, TV shows, or diving into a good book are all great ways to promote focus and prevent negative thoughts or mind-racing.
  • Stop. Prayer, meditation, or simple quiet time—and nothing else.
  • Act. A short walk, new yoga, or a light workout are great forms of self-care with a relaxing end result as well.

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Summer Sleepwear

Summer’s almost here, and along with sprucing up a new, fun-in-the-sun wardrobe, of equal importance is sleepwear that’s appropriate for the season. As it’s time to start switching out cotton flannel for cotton-modal, and body-hugging knits to airy, roomy fits, here are some suggestions that’ll uncover the ways to get an easy, breezy night of zzz’s all summer long.



lullaby pajamas

Lullaby Pajamas by National®

Honestly, these are some of the softest pajamas I’ve ever felt! Extra brushing, a hint of stretch, and an easygoing fit make these pajamas a must-have—and they’re way more luxurious than their modest price point might suggest.




Geo Floral Cotton Gown by National®

Made from lightweight, breathable cotton, this sleeveless gown has a four-button placket at the neck and a flounced hem that keeps you super cool in a relaxed fit. Lace and ribbon trim add a sassy, feminine style.



women's pjs

Wicking Pajamas by Najerika Lingerie®

These Wicking Pajamas are a great choice for those who tend to sweat excessively while sleeping. Short sleeves and an open V-neck let more body heat escape, and the polyester-cotton blend is super soft and comfy!



women's robe

Butterfly Zip Robe by UltraSofts®

This lounge dress flaunts generous hem vents for cool, relaxed comfort. Plus, it has UPF 50+ from the UltraSofts® knit, making it a great all-day house dress as well for when you need to step outside.


So, from gowns and robes to two-piece sets, whether silky-smooth or lightweight and soft, the right cuts and fabrics will help with getting a stylish, sound night’s sleep this summer.



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