Is It Still a Party If I Don’t Wear A Dress?

Insanely gorgeous fall weather today. I didn’t even need my sweater most of the day!

This is the simple outfit I wore to a dear friend’s little girl’s birthday party. Had to keep things simple for chasing kids rolling down hills and such. But it made me wonder: is it still a party if I don’t wear a dress? I almost always wear dresses to parties!


               Obviously I DID bring a cake. So I think as long as I bring a cake and/or wear a dress, it’s                                                                                        definitely a  party. 


Leather leaf earrings: Go Fish // Tank w/ Zipper Up the Back: Banana Republic // Jeans: ON // Boots: Steve Madden// Eiffel Tower Necklace: ?? // Ring: Kohls // Jacket: F21
Oh! And a Friday vlog for you 🙂 
Oh here’s one more pic of that cake. Gluten-free, all-natural, vegetable-colored sprinkles for the win!

Happy Friday, dears!
xo
Natalie

Resist It

Lately there’s a song that’s just been playing over and over in my head. Jason Reeve’s “Old-Fashioned Letters” (it’s sad so don’t say I didn’t warn you!) and there is one line…
“I want to run, but I resist it.”

Ugh, goodness gracious this line. I want to run, but I resist it. You know it takes a lot of effort to run, but it seems to take MORE effort to stay. 
Staying is hard. 
Waiting is hard. 
Being in a difficult transition, with no direction, and a whole lot of anxiety–yeah, staying there is hard.

When the big things are out of whack, I need to learn to be better at leaning into them. Leaning into HIM, leaning into the Word, and leaning into the waiting. 
Because waiting?

It’s actually refinement.

And I always wanted to a refined lady, polished and graceful in the waiting.

😉

xo
Natalie

Kick it Up a Notch

Some days you gotta kick it up a notch, y’know?
Grab the coffee and head out into the world with the most energy you can muster and see what becomes of it. I’ll bet my bottom dollar it’ll be beautiful. 

peplum top: charlotte russe//skirt: target//sunnies: gofish//necklace: h&m//shoes: c/o blowfish

Blessed & Grateful

{Thanksgiving outfit! Navy lace, mint cords, pearls, hair bow, smiles. Not sure why I didn’t zip my ankle zips. I just never got around to it.}
I keep trying to write something meaningful and poignant about Thanksgiving this year.
I’m a writer. I’m a poet. 
Expressing feelings in words is what I do.
And yet, this year, with my heart so full, I can’t think of anything that doesn’t sound sappy.
Trouble is, all of the cliche things are true.
I am grateful. My heart is utterly thankful and blessed and worshipful.
I am thinking of those who have passed away, who aren’t with us, who are far away, who are fighting for our country, or who are facing trials & tribulations far beyond what I can imagine this holiday season.
I truly am on the verge of tears thinking of those things.
It feels so much easier to just talk about pumpkin pie and discount codes because those are safer. 
We don’t have to be vulnerable or honest to think about those things. We can joke about them easily. And I made my fair share of jokes this Thanksgiving, to be sure!
But my heart feels so much more, and sometimes it’s hard to find the room to vocalize it or express it. 
My family isn’t really much of the share-your-heart type. We’re definitely the pie-joke type. 
Except on a day like Thanksgiving, I really want to share the deeper heart-things of life.  Maybe that only comes the day after, full of pumpkin pie, having used up all of the turkey jokes, sitting here with a mug of tea writing about it: maybe that’s when my heart gets to express its true thanks. Even if I can’t quite find the right words.
Hopefully everyday I can let those around me know I am so glad that they’re in my life. That I am so glad they brighten my day, make me laugh, hug me, and sometimes, when the mood is right…talk about the deeper things in life, and how thankful we are for each other. For family, friends, and faith.

and gluten-free Mile High Pecan Pumpkin Pie, of course. 
Duh.
xo!

Swedish Sort of Day

It was a gorgeous day last week for a visit to an incredibly gorgeous place…the American-Swedish Institute in Minneapolis. Last time I was there, years ago, it was simply (ha) the gorgeous mansion on Park Ave. that belonged to Swedish immigrants. This summer, they completed renovations that added an entirely new (modern) wing. Mom, Grandma, and I (sorry to the bro and sister-in-law for the salt in the wound here) ventured there on this gorgeous day.
This glass conservatory is just stunning. I adore it. 
And of course I wore my Swedish colors! 
Wondering how they still had so many pretty red roses in the courtyard…

The old meets the new. The mansion reflected in the new addition. 
 ASI just opened their Nordic Christmas exhibit, where each room of the mansion reflects the traditional decorations and stylings of a Nordic country at Christmas. I won’t bore you with the hundreds (literally) of photos I took, but let me just say: I’m crazy-inspired by my heritage, and I can’t wait to decorate in the traditional Nordic themes for Christmas this year.


Why yes, I did ride the mechanical dala horse. You know you would have too.
His name is Gustav. 
It costs a quarter. Totally worth it.
We had coffee in their new restaurant, Fika. Fika is the Swedish coffee break, filled with lots of coffee and LOTS of sweet things. We wanted to go at Fika time because we’ve gotten in the habit of breaking for Fika  at home.

Cardamom Cinnamon Roll with Swedish Pearl Sugar, anyone? 
When we were nearly finished, we ransacked the gift shop (no, just kidding. we didn’t do that; the bus tour group that was also there did that, ha!). But I did stock up on my favorite Swedish ribbons to use for my Nordic-themed Christmas, Swedish candy, and my favorite Swedish soap. And I looked ever-so-longingly at just about everything else, including the amazing array of Swedish baking and knitting books. Swoon. 
I’m so inspired! It is so much fun to be back in Minnesota with family and tradition everywhere I look.
Outfit~ Sunnies: local store, Necklace: Kohls, Blouse: Land’s End/thrifted, Sweater: American Eagle, Skirt: J. Crew, Tights: Missoni for Target, Boots: Forever21, Bangles: J.Crew and local store

Polka Dots, Zig Zags and Daisies

The sun was out yesterday. 
You know, after it was snowing/raining and before there were tornadoes and then it snowed again.

Minnesota, whatchyou doin’?
Calm this crazy weather down, will ya?

{Zig-Zag tights! The best!}

{Daisy Baubles! Also the best!}
But when the weather gets crazy, the outfits get crazy! 
Mixing polka dots with zig-zags and daisies.
That I like! Those are good things. 
🙂

Friendship

I’m feeling so happy and blessed today. It was a wonderful weekend–it was sweaty and hard work to throw a 2-day tag sale (alllllllllllll day both days), but such a blessing, too. I met some great people, had wonderful conversations, gathered so many ideas, drank a lot of coffee, enjoyed fellowship & company of friends, and was thrilled to make some gas money for my move.

I ended the weekend with a cookout and several toasted marshmallows, with more good friends!

This darling little dress? Well it is bound to become a great friend in my closet, too. I’ve worn it twice since I got it last week! 

{Details}

Friday morning, my french press broke. Not even the glass! I was washing it and the plunger just snapped off. Crazy. Anyway, one of my best friends is such a dear and she gifted me this HOT PINK french press. 
The best. 
Friendship is oh so dear. 
I’m already loath to leave, and start over on that front.
Enjoy your Monday! I hope you have the day off…but if not, put a smile on and enjoy the day anyway. Why not, right?
xo!

1970s

High-waist jeans and clogs just scream “1970” to me. 
My mom used to rock that look so well, including the Farah Fawcett hair.
Wonder if I could get my hair to do that these days? 

Ya think?
{Detail of Jewelry, Belt, and Clogs}
Not much to say tonight, my friends! I’m working on a project, contemplating baking some scones, and even thinking about a cup of coffee at 8pm. Hmmm….
xo!

Denim & Blueberry Pies

I am in love with my Swedish clogs. 
In. Love.
I think I’ve mentioned my Swedish background before, and how anything Swedish delights me. I’ve wanted some Swedish clogs of my own for my whole life. Now, some twenty-odd years (and $2 at a tag sale) later, I’m enjoying them immensely.

I picked up this little chambray J.Jill dress from the same tag sale. The lady had some cute style, right?! 
A flower pin, another crown braid and a vintage bag (the colors are much more true-to-life in the above photo).

 Now, after weekend of tag sales, farmers’ markets, and blueberry picking, what’s a girl to do? Bake a pie, of course!  Blueberry-Black Raspberry Gluten Free Mini-Pies to be specific!

Mini-Pies have long been one of my ‘things.’ I adore the making and eating of them. They are just so cute! 
I won a contest way back when with a mini-pie recipe I created (not this one), and ever since, every time I make them I have memories of making dozens (dozens!) of practice pies in the days before the contest. The miniature pie pans can be difficult to find sometimes, but I’m pretty sure I found these at the dollar store of all places.
Blueberry-Black Raspberry Mini Pies
by GoodGirlStyle
2 cups blueberries
2 cups black raspberries (not blackberries)
3/4 cup sugar
4 TBSPs cornstarch
A few dashes of cinnamon
A few dashes of nutmeg (for that good Swedish flavor!)
Butter
1 or 2 batches of gluten-free pie crust (depending on if you want one crust or two…I love this recipe)
Cut one batch of pie crust dough into 4 pieces. Roll each piece into a small circle, and gently place it into your pie pan. Fold under the edges and flute/crimp as you wish (if you are adding a top crust, just let the extra dough hang over the edge and crimp the top and bottom together later). Repeat for each remaining piece of dough. In a bowl, gently mix the berries, sugar, cornstarch, and spices. Ladle into each pie dish, spreading evenly among the pie dishes. It is a good thing if the berries nearly overflow. Dot small bits of butter on top here and there. At this point you can cut out four circles from a second batch of pie dough for tops if you wish. I highly recommend putting all of the small pies on a large baking sheet for easy transfer to the oven/cleanup. Now bake at 400 degrees for approximately 40 minutes. Check your pies starting at 20 minutes, because depending on your oven, your pie dough, and your pans (mine are nonstick and slightly dark), the small pies may be done earlier. The pies are done when the interior is bubbling and the crust is nice and golden-brown.

{I put a little bit of leftover streusel on this one}
What guest wouldn’t just LOVE a tiny pie all to themselves? 
Certainly no one *I* know!
But who is talking about guests here? 
Well, I did give ONE mini-pie away. 
Then I ate the other three. 
Oops.
xo!

The Birds

The birds on my blouse are innocent, colorful, cute. Playful, fun, quirky. 
The robins in the nest on my porch? Not so much. 
More like messy and aggressive. 
The mama bird dive bombs me every time I come close to the porch. 
It is rather frightening to have one angry, angry mama robin squawking and coming within inches of your face. I understand the terror of Hitchcock’s The Birds so much more now. 
I’m not sure why anyone let me watch that movie at age 11, by the way. 
Hmmmm. 
Just sayin’.
Nonetheless, this blouse, vintage necklace, and clogs are adorable, don’t you think?
Style Secrets: Necklace: vintage; Blouse: Tag Sale; Pants: Gap; Clogs: Tag Sale
xo!