lots of inspiration...

{a shirt made by luke- for joel's birthday- using a freezer-paper stencil}
good evening!
it has been a wonderful day. this afternoon, i was outside with luke & noticed the leaves falling to the ground. as i am typing this, a cool breeze is coming through the window, a cooler breeze- a sort of autumn breeze. the leaves are changing, too. i spotted the most beautiful red one today.
& all of these changes are starting to make me think about my life, too, and the changes that i need to make. luke & i try to & most of the time have to live with very little, & that makes us use our resources & creative talents much more. a lot of topics have been on my mind lately as to how to use these talents & resources in our daily lives.
such topics as:
+ autumn + cooler weather are approaching. what to do about new clothes?
+christmas is just around the corner. we don't want to buy just to buy. how do we show people that we care without spending a lot of money?
+the grocery bill is always our greatest expense. how do i lower the bill & still eat local & organic when there isn't a garden around during the winter months?
+i love buying gifts for others. how do i do this while staying on budget?

maybe some of these topics have been on your mind, too. well, i've made a list of solutions for our home & my spending habits that might help you, too:
+ with the changing of the seasons, i am always tempted to buy clothing that is updated & current with the trends. most often, those purchases are impractical & materialistic- two things i am trying to avoid. so, this year, i am only buying pieces that i need. i want to feel happy with what i am wearing but also know that i didn't spend a lot of money. coincidentally, {rachel} posted a wonderful {entry} about finding the perfect pieces at thrift stores. i plan to follow her advice & hit the stores soon. in addition, i purchased {these} boots & cannot wait to try them out. it has been raining all afternoon & one thing i hate is soggy feet.
+ for christmas this year, luke & i are making all of our gifts- also known as our homemade christmas. of course, this requires a lot of time & planning which is sometimes scarce around these parts so i'm starting early. for gifts, i've already made a lot of jams & {apple butter}. we would also love to give prints of our photos to our loved ones & possibly put together cookbooks of our favorite meals. simply, use your talents. they will be appreciated!
+ today, i was reading {julia}'s blog & found {this} wonderful entry about freezing food. i've also been spending many hours in the kitchen canning & making {jam} for the winter. that way, we will have plenty of food stocked-up so we don't have to buy expensive produce that is out-of-season.
+ & finally- i really, really love giving gifts. when i was single, i could easily spend my check on surprises for luke & special treats for {tori}. now, i am trying to get more creative with my gifts. i firmly believe that the presentation of the gift is as important as the gift itself. here is a beautiful {inspiration} of wrapping that i found today! i recommend recycling tissue paper, gift bags, & ribbons from gifts that you receive & use old newspapers, magazine pages, & pre-used scrap booking paper as wrapping paper. also, i love going to garage sales for home furnishings & small nick-knacks. they're typically cheaper than thrift stores & people enjoy them just as much. i would recommend that you plan in advance for a gift because thrift stores & garage sales can be a hit or miss. if you do not find anything second- hand, make your gift! for joel's birthday, we made him a bicycle t-shirt {photo above} using a freezer paper stencil & an american apparel t-shirt. he loved it!

i hope some of those ideas from others are of inspiration to you! thank you all for reading & sharing ideas in this space. this little blog community is so great!
well, i have a busy day tomorrow {it is finn's first birthday!} so i need to get to bed.


ps. happy birthday, david! we love you & are so happy you are enjoying your book :)


Anonymous said...

big smiles.. Im a newbie to your blog, but loving what you write..


Luke Freeman said...


A very thoughtful post. I hope we get a lot of great ideas from your blogging friends. I really appreciate how thoughtful you have been about us spending money. You have given up many things since our marriage, and I thank you for your openness to creatively live with less. I am so happy that you are my partner in life.

your husband.

Tori said...

i love this & you & luke very very much!

i wish i had time to write out some ideas i have but i'm trying to get my homework done so i can go see my boyfriend who i haven't seen in three daaaays!
& yes, i developed that photo! eeeee it's so exciting.

Celine said...

natalie! I love this post. My husband has been trying to figure out our finances for the last couple of months, and it has proven to be a difficult task. It made me realize that, I spend a lot of useless things. I must budget my spending, and these are all amazing tips. Thank you so much.

Jess said...

these are great ideas!
the "work" of thrifting indeed! and you really loaded up on a lot of great stuff yesterday.
i need to take a cue from you and see what i can find for the winter.

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