around here

around here, we are going to bed early & rising early. nights are met with a warm cup of tea, thick blankets & good books. 

around here, we are lingering in the old memories & making new ones. 

around our home, we're anticipating spring with bright yellow grocery store bouquets. 

around here, we're craving simplicity - cleaning out drawers & only keeping what we truly love. 

around here, we're soaking up the sunshine & believing in the greatness of today. 

around our home, we're using up & making do.

around here, we're simmering warm soups with autumn's frozen broccoli. 

around here, we're oh so thankful for what is & what will be.

what are you doing, dreaming, anticipating simmering, & soaking up in your space?

natural body care & e&bee giveaway!

i have been on a natural body care journey for many years, balancing our budget with our own personal convictions. sometimes we make room in our budget for products we believe in & other times we opt for the more affordable choice. i call this a journey because we hope to never stop learning, growing & changing in the ways we care for our bodies. 

we use epantry for almost all of our cleaning, homemaking & body care products, but most recently i have fallen in love with a smaller company called e&bee.

betsy & emily, a mother/daughter duo of e&bee, create 100% natural products for the face & body that are definitely affordable!

i use several of their products, but i especially love their natural foaming hand sanitizer. i drop it in my purse & use it on-the-go. 

their hand sanitizer is 100% natural with zero harsh chemicals. during cold & flu season, it's the perfect go-to product to keep the sickness at bay. 

i also absolutely love their mini organic lotion bars. the lemongrass scent is by far my favorite! 

the mini organic lotion bars are the perfect little gift for guests. i place them in our bathroom & invite our visitors to take one home & enjoy, especially during the harsh winter months!

because emily & betsy are sweet as pie, they are offering up an amazing giveaway of their product!

this giveaway includes:
mini organic lotion bar & tin, foaming hand sanitizer & two organic lip balms! 

it's easy to enter natalie creates giveaways! to enter, simply -
1. check out the cute e&bee shop
2. 'like' e&bee on facebook or follow them on ig @eandbee
3. comment below with your email address & one favorite natural body care/home care tip!

i will pick a random winner next wednesday, march 4th, & share the winner here! 

happy winning!

p.s. enter "nataliecreates" at checkout for 20% off your entire purchase in the e&bee shop! y'all, go get your shop on!

date night idea: hiking & a picnic for under $15!

on valentine's day we were gifted with the perfect weather. 

we packed up our bags, put on our hiking shoes, prepared a little lunch & headed out to one of our favorite trails.

on this particular valentine's day, we were working with a next-to-nothing budget, having spent most of our date night money for the month on takeout pizza when i was under the weather from my wisdom teeth surgery.

a hiking date fit the budget & left me feeling more connected to my husband than any dinner out could have.

often times i think we get so caught up in the glamour of an expensive dinner out & a movie at the theater. i know i feel loved when luke offers to take me out to my favorite sushi restaurant.

there's absolutely nothing wrong with a fancy dinner out (heck, i love being treated to delicious food!), but i am challenging myself to feel loved when he offers his time, not necessarily expensive date nights.

we walked along the trails, talked about our dreams & processed through some big stuff within our relationship. he's my favorite person, my biggest adventure & the best hiking partner! 

we even packed a little lunch for two of cheeses, almond crackers, salami & turkey along with two glasses of wine. this little gourmet lunch cost us around $15, the perfect price for our quickly dwindling budget. 

& if you've got kiddos, bring them along! i'm sure they'd love to see their parents holding hands along the trail! 

i'd love to know how you date on a budget! please share your fun ideas!

p.s. here's another fun budget-friendly date night i shared not too long ago - a drive-in movie date for under $15! yay!

ike & co. giveaway!

friends, i am so excited to offer up a fun giveaway today! 

my sweet friend, angie, makes jewelry magic happen in her little shop, ike & co. 

i regularly rock her rainbow bracelet with my stack of bracelet pretties! 

i'd rather rock a rainbow bracelet than diamonds any day of the week. 

she offers an amazing selection of earrings, bracelets (hello glittery gold cuffs!) & necklaces.

i love that her pieces are handmade & affordable. she has a wide selection of pieces for $20 & under, the perfect gift for a dear friend. 

today angie is offering a $50 credit to her shop!

to enter, simply...
- take a little look around her etsy shop!
- follow angie on instagram @ikeandco
- comment below with your email address & one thing you're looking most forward to this weekend!

i'll pick a random winner on wednesday, 2/25, & announce it here. 
happy winning!

p.s. angie is kindly offering 20% off your entire order in her shop with the code "nataliecreates20" at checkout! go shop now! yay!

++ giveaway closed! congrats to tara for winning!! ++

snow days & dreaming of spring colors

we finally experienced a little taste of winter with our very first snow day of the season!

it's been unseasonably warm here so with the promise of a few inches of snow, we immediately celebrated with pancakes & a walk in the wintry mix.

i used to dread winter & it's cold, dark days. in our first years of marriage, i very much suffered from seasonal depression. i still have my days, but once we moved onto the farm, my perspective drastically shifted.

i love the slow days of this season & having my farmer home more during the winter. this season allows us time to dig deep into other hobbies & interests. it's also a time to reconnect & enjoy long conversations by the wood burning stove. 

and of course, our animals are not the biggest fans of the snow. our hens would rather stay inside their toasty warm coop. the goats tend to linger in the barn for much longer than usual. little george, one of our sweet new bucks, is such a charmer. 

but with winter & it's promise of slower days, i am still drawn to the colors of spring. 

pictured above is "the skinny," a new thinner version of my classic reversible handmade headband!
my etsy shop reopens on thursday at 8am cst. i have been ordering & collecting fabric for months just for this shop update. as the landscapes grew more bare, my cart at the fabric store grew brighter! 

i love that as a creative, i can create & channel what's stirring within even if it's a reflection of what's to come, not what is. 

these last couple of months have been challenging as a business owner. i've gotten caught up in the detective role, seeking out copycats & allowing them to dim that inner light.

this shop opening was a response to that. i'm letting go & focusing just on my creative stirrings. i'm playing & sewing with bright colors & bringing in bits of glittery (in the form of the happiest gold elastic!) in my work.

i'm also dreaming of the spring garden. i am so very happy with my "spring bee" happy flag collection. i cannot wait to share it with you on thursday!
@pen_and_paint, @tweetpotatopie, @lollyjaneblog, @chas_holmquist
 & as always, i am so incredibly thankful for those who purchase my goods & believe in my work. it's such an honor to see my customers adorning their homes with the work of my hands. it's a gift that will never wear out or grow old.

how are you doing today? what do your days look like during the wintertime? what is stirring your heart & inspiring you to create?

p.s. i'll see you on thursday, february 19th, at 8 am cst at my shop!

spring craft party details

i am oh so excited to share that i am teaming up with sweet bella vita jewelry for a spring craft party in little rock, arkansas! 

if you've been around these parts for long enough, you know that a handful of times each year i lead craft party workshops!

 my craft parties are the very best excuse to get with a bunch of ladies & craft our hearts out. there's usually a theme & there's always good food along with delicious drinks. this craft party's no exception! 

{check out more details on my craft parties here & here.}

this craft party workshop is in an absolutely gorgeous historical building in downtown little rock next to the bella vita jewelry studio & shop. as you arrive, you will be greeted with delicious local appetizers & dessert! friends, we cannot wait to share a few surprises we have up our sleeves, including overflowing swag bags from several amazing handmade businesses & makers! 

brandy of bella vita jewelry will guide you through the basics of jewelry making & will assist you in making your own unique pair of earrings!  

i will share four techniques for making tissue paper flowers & guide you through making a paper flower bouquet & flowers to adorn the walls of your home (just like the paper flowers in my bedroom! yay!)! the perfect versatile craft just in time for spring!

here are the details:
+ the spring craft party with natalie creates & bella vita jewelry is march 21st
+ location: little rock, arkansas
+ the party starts at 2pm & ends around 5pm
+ $100 per person to attend
+ the afternoon's registration fee includes fare, bubbly & dessert!
+ registration also includes supplies for three projects, including jewelry making & paper flower bouquets!
+ a swag bag is included for each participant!

i love that craft parties allow us the opportunity to share a handful of hours crafting, making & simply enjoying the afternoon all together!  

registration opens at 9 am cst on monday, february 16th! 
to register, simply visit my shop right here & purchase a spot (make sure to fill out the questions listed & respond in the area marked "message to shop owner.") just remember- spots are very limited! we'd hate for you to miss out on such a fun afternoon so register today!

my central arkansas friends, bring your gal pals & come craft with us! it's going to be a blast!

valentine's day craft party with shindig paperie

i learned one thing this week.

lit candles & tissue paper don't mix.

in the midst of making tissue tassel garlands, we had a little fire incident & i'm not even kidding you- these gals kept crafting. they didn't miss a beat! we stomped on that fire & with ashes in our hair, we kept craftin'. y'all, these gals are my people. 

this week was the valentine's day craft party led by yours truly & the fabulous shindig paperie! aside from a few flames, it was an absolute blast!

we sipped fancy cocktails by the amazing jen lewis & enjoyed good conversation over a handful of valentine's day-inspired crafts. we savored mini cupcakes & a fabulous chocolate bar filled with chocolate-dipped strawberries & pink m&m's. 

the gals were even surprised with swag bags filled to the brim by generous sponsors! the gals took home tiny succulents with mini happy flags that i will be debuting in my shop very soon! yay!

i led the girls in instruction on making tissue tassel garlands in pinks, red, white & gold colors.

we also made valentines for our favorite people, including hand-lined envelopes & pretty embellishments. these girls take card making very seriously. love it!

y'all. i can't even get over the fact that i get to meet & teach amazing gals with a passion for living creatively. it fills my heart & blesses me so. 

& so i am absolutely thrilled to announce a little workshop i will be hosting in my hometown area with my girl brandy of bella vita jewelry! more info will be on the blog monday along with registration details, but you do not want to miss this fun afternoon!

my central arkansas home girls, mark your calendars! i can't wait to hug your necks!

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