honey-sweetened quick dill pickles

dear ones, are you swimming in cucumbers like we are? 

come close as i share my newest recipe with you - quick pickles sweetened with honey! they're crunchy with a touch of sweet. perfect as a side at a potluck, packed in a jar for a picnic or thrown on a lunchtime salad! 

honey-sweetened quick dill pickles

4 cups sliced cucumbers
2 cups vinegar
1/2 cup honey
1 teaspoon dill seed
1 teaspoon celery seed
2 teaspoons sea salt

1. place sliced cucumbers in a large bowl & set aside. 
2. mix remaining ingredients in a saucepan. bring to a boil on medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve the honey & salt. 
3. reduce heat to low & simmer for 5 minutes.
4. pour hot liquid over the cucumbers & allow to cool.
5. place bowl of cucumbers in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving. to store, put in a mason jar with a tight fitting lid & keep in the fridge. 

let me know if you try them! we can't get enough! 

my stitch fix #2!

my week was made when a pretty cardboard & teal box arrived at my doorstep. dear ones, i am officially a stitch fix addict! 

it's like christmas every time that pretty box arrives! luke even joined in on the fun & helped me photograph all of my cute pieces! today i thought i'd share how i styled each piece & what i kept. 

spoiler alert: i kept everything! yay! 

1. the classic jean jacket: i requested a classic jean jacket that i could pair with every outfit during the fall season & i got just that. my stylist, mia, sent me a simple denim jacket with big pockets. she suggested i pair my jacket with the maxi dress i received in my last fix & while i would have never paired these two together, i love the edgy look. that's what i love about Stitch Fix - it gets me out of my comfort zone!

2. the green puffy vest: in my second fix, i also requested a puffy vest for layering. this puffy vest is seriously perfect. it has fun pockets & a shiny gold zipper. i love pairing it with a simple long-sleeve top, brown ankle boots & my patchy jeans. i know i will wear this with everything. 

3. the black & white bib top: for this fix, i also requested tops i could wear during the fall season. hands to the heavens, my stylist found a bib top that actually fits my large chest! i could just kiss mia, i love her so! my people, i've already rocked this top at church with my boots & i received about 2,000 compliments. those jeans are my magic jeans from my last fix & they pair perfectly with all of my new tops, too. yay!

4. the snoozefest top: this top was my least favorite piece from my fix, but i kept it anyway because it fits well & was worth it (aka free) given the 25% discount when you buy the entire fix. i paired it with my red clogs for a pop of color. i know i will wear this to work, but it's nothin' special. 

5. my favorite boho top ever: i squealed when i opened the box & found this top inside. my people, it has mustard yellow embroidered detailing! eeep! it fits perfectly & is just so "me." i paired it with my boyfriend-style jeans, a fun noonday necklace & moccasins for a boho look. i can't wait to wear this outfit tomorrow!

have you tried stitch fix yet? i'd love to know what you think!

if you haven't tried out stitch fix, click here - Stitch Fix - & get started!! it's so worth it to have pieces that fit well & make you feel like a million bucks no matter your size!


holiday craft party:: november 14th!

friends, i am SO excited to announce my next workshop with you! 

it's not every day that you can join a bunch of fun gals for a night of crafting, homemade mini pies, warm apple cider, holiday festivities & good conversation!

grab a girlfriend & join us for an evening of holiday crafting at shindig paperie on november 14th from 7-9:30pm! 

holiday craft party details:

+ we cannot wait to meet you on november 14th from 7-9:30pm!
+ we'll all gather at shindig paperie, one of my very favorite spots in fayetteville.
+ erin will be flying in to share the evening with you, too! yay!
+ we'll complete three holiday home decor craft projects. all supplies & instruction are provided.
+ we will munch on mini homemade pies & sip on hot apple cider. 
+ registration is $100 per person. 
+ seats are very limited.

registration opens up on tuesday, october 6th, at 9 am! to register, simply email me at natalie.j.freeman(at)gmail.com. i will promptly return your email with an invoice. the first to pay in full will receive seats to our fun & crafty event!

registration always fills up fast (you all are such a gift! thank you!) so set your alarm & grab a seat at our crafty table! 

my favorite fruit oatmeal crisp

today i thought i'd share one of my top go-to sweet treats for potlucks, parties & more - favorite fruit oatmeal crisp! 

favorite fruit oatmeal crisp

- 5 cups of your favorite fruit (fresh or frozen): raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, peaches, apples
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup white flour
- 3/4 cup rolled oats
- 3 tablespoons of butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons oil (canola or coconut work well)
- 3/4 cup brown sugar

1. mix frozen or fresh fruit together & place in deep dish pie pan. set aside. 2. in a medium mixing bowl, mix flour, oats, brown sugar, melted butter & oil together until crumbly. 3. evenly sprinkle on top of fruit. 4. place in preheated oven at 375F until fruit is bubbling & top is golden, approximately 35 minutes. 5. eat with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream!

what is your favorite go-to sweet treat to bake? let me know if you make my fruit crisp!


halloween happy flags are live!

friends, my halloween happy flags are now stocked in the shop! head on over & grab a set or two for your mantel & those cozy corners around your autumn-inspired home!


our youth group camping weekend

last weekend we ventured out into the great outdoors with the youth group from our church! can i just take a little minute to just brag on these kids?

i think too often we forget about this amazing group within our various communities. they can do so much & offer a wide variety of talents. it was truly an honor to spend the weekend with them.

we set up camp on friday night at devil's den state park while the kids started our first fire of the evening. we cooked entirely over the fire, including these cheesy campfire fries from this recipe.

the agenda was simple: fishing, relaxing, reading napping & hiking.

we had zero cell phone service so our time was even sweeter spent disconnected from the online world. we all tucked away our phones & enjoyed playing cards, hiking, chopping wood & napping in the hammocks.

i wouldn't have ever thought luke & i would still be living life as just us two even after six years of marriage, but i am grateful for the opportunities this time has given us. we have the time & space to kidnap our dear friends' kiddos & invest in their lives. it's a gift & one we'll cherish.

why i {still} blog.

last week one of my favorite bloggers shared that she was taking a break from her blog for awhile due to reasons unique to her own story. while i mourn the loss of reading her words every morning with my breakfast, i celebrate this big change in her life.

& as i thought about her story, i reflected on my own & why i still continue to blog even after seven years. i thought about all of the reasons why i share our story here week after week... and in the end, it came down to this: i am drawn to the personal.

let's be honest - blogging is slowly becoming outdated. 

we crave the abridged version, the quick scroll of instagram & the 1 minute clip. we struggle to find time to read our favorite books, get a full night's rest or eat a good breakfast. with the juggle of everyday life, it feels almost impossible to sit down & read a full blog post. so we scroll, we scan & we glean what we can.

can i be brave & say i want to challenge that notion in this space? 

i crave the personal, the big cups of warm coffee & the good conversation. i crave the full story, the listening ear & the deep questions. i crave the details, the loss & the gains. that is why i blog here. i want to share details of our home & full-length paragraphs rich with thought. i want to share step-by-step recipes & detailed tutorials of creative projects. i want to sit down & write about the big stuff, the little stuff & the in-between. 

i get it - we're all busy. but let's maybe make a little more time & create bigger margins for the details & the in-depth.

thank you for entering into this space every week & reading our story. it means so much to me.

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