Traditions

This Christmas has been an emotion roller coaster for me as I reminisce Christmas memories and focus on creating new Christmas traditions with Jeff.  Doubtful I’ll get through writing this without becoming a sappy mess.

Growing up my Mom made sure my sister and I had perfect Christmas memories.  We grew up making more cookies than our neighborhood could eat, stringing popcorn and cranberry garland, visiting Santa at my grandpa’s Masonic Lodge, driving to downtown Columbus to see the lights, decorating the tree and waking up to a living room full of presents on Christmas morning.  I’m sure it was very similar to our friend’s Christmas, but it was magic to me.  This picture cracks me up… not sure why I was shooting my sister a stern look.

When Jeff and I were raising our little family, I was either really into Christmas or the biggest ba-humbug in history.  I never felt that I could live up to my expectations and was exhausted before I even attempted to gear up for Christmas.  Somehow, we managed to create a few traditions that stuck over the years.  We made cookies (always buckeyes), hunted and cut down the perfect tree, decorated the tree, topped the tree with a lift from Dad, and a new pair of pajamas on Christmas Eve.  Most years the kids opened all their presents before Christmas because Jeff and I simply could not wait.   Cutting the tree became an all day event, as I insisted on hunting the tree farm until I found the perfect tree, regardless of the weather.  As the kids got older, the traditions were for my benefit.  Yep, the kids were having a blast!

The year before we all flew the coop…. oh boy, did the years fly by.

Over time, I experienced my favorite traditions in other ways.  Like the year my sister and I baked cookies with my Grandma.

My Mom now makes Christmas cookies with Emily, my daughter and her friends.

Emily and Jacob (daughter and son-inlaw) have started their own traditions, including cutting down a tree from our favorite tree farm.  Emily posted to Facebook, “We got a Christmas tree. I was channeling my mom and made us walk all the way to the back of the tree lot, in the cold to find the “perfect” tree. Good memories.”  LOVE that girl!

I LOVE the smile on her face!

Last year Jeff got to place the star on the top of our tree for the first time.

This year I went shopping alone for our trees (yes I said trees, meaning two for our house and five for The Coop) and bought them from a big box hardware store.  GASP!  After all these years I discovered that I can get seven trees for the price of one.  However, it will never have the same magic.

This year Jeff and I started a few new traditions.  He joined me in making buckeyes.

We went to see The Nutcracker at The Festival Institute in Round Top.  Jeff and his mother, Ginger, had never seen The Nutcracker.  None of us had experienced The Festival Institute.  Wow!

This was my first year to decorate The Coop.  I honestly enjoyed transforming The Coop, making ornaments and hosting Christmas At The Coop.  I look forward to Rocking Around The Coop next year.  Great memories to build new traditions upon!

I miss the traditions of my childhood and the ones Jeff and I created with our kids.  It is heartwarming to watch my adult children maintain some old traditions, while creating their own.  Jeff and I have whittled down the traditions in our empty nest and have enjoyed a slower paced holiday.  I’m insisting we wait until Christmas morning to open our gifts, a first for us.

The traditions are fun, but it’s the people I created them with that is priceless.  I’m so grateful for a rich life filled with family and friends!

May your holiday season be full of joy!  In the midst of a hectic season, I pray that you savor time with loved ones and make memories to last you all year long!

~Tiffany

And the birds fluttered around her writing, “YES” in the sky!

 

The Year of Joy

In January I declared 2015 to be the year of living Wholeheartedly.  Every year seems to have a focus and a Pinterest Board to match.  I learned this year to accept myself.  I am a dreamer, a risk taker and persistent; character traits that at one time I believed to be construed as selfish.  Now I know that I can’t run from who I am.  These themes run through all the yearly boards I create.  Here’s one of my favorite pins from Living Wholeheartedly 2015

2016 The Year Of Joy

I am declaring 2016 the year of JOY!  A Pinterest Board The Year Of Joy 2016 has been created.  For something more tangible, I’ve also started a Joy Jar.

It is empty now.  I hope to fill it with moments of joy that I can read next December, an idea I’ve seen posted to Facebook several times in the past few weeks.  Wonder what I’ll discover about myself in the Year of Joy?

A moment of joy

I already have a moment of joy to put in my jar.  Yesterday I stopped into Branded Boutique, a cute little boutique in Brenham, Texas.  I was looking for a new outfit for our Christmas picture.  I’m not exactly a fashionista, but I don’t want to look frumpy for our Christmas card.  I left with a gift for myself that just made me smile!  {Please don’t judge, I know “things” aren’t supposed to make you happy.}

Every Gen.U.Ine FREE spirit needs a pair of Living Your Dream boots!

What’s behind the smile?

As I was purchasing these amazing new boots, I mentioned to the adorable shop owners how perfect these boots were for me to wear at Flown The Coop.  I learned a little bit about these sisters who run the the family owned boutique and shared a little bit about The Coop.  It was fun to talk shop with other entrepreneurs and kindred spirits.

Various social media platforms and this blog allow me share these experiences, and the fellow dreamers and risk takers I meet.  This is what truly makes my heart soar and is behind the smile!  I’ve discovered that I LOVE cross promoting other small businesses.

Cross promoting

I learned the importance of cross promoting in 2008 when I had the privilege of hanging out with early adapters who led by example.  My best friends; Michele Savoldi, owner of Columbus Impressions and Kelly Blanton, co owner of Sugar Pie Tees built their businesses by sharing themselves and the businesses they admire.

The success of Flown The Coop can be contributed to the many people who share their experiences at The Coop!  I appreciate all the friends of Flown The Coop who posted to Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.  Looking back through Visitors Posts on Facebook and Photos Of You on Instagram testifies!  Every post ads to my joy!  THANK YOU!!!!!!!  

I also appreciate the kindred entrepreneurs who understand cross promoting.  Businesses that have a large following can do so much in helping small businesses!  I have some great friends in the Roundtropolis who get it…

This year I was totally blown away by a few.

One day Tara Royer Steele, from the famous Royers Pie Haven and Royer’s Round Top Cafe, came to visit The Coop.  I had never officially met Tara, but recognized her when her precious family stopped in.  I enjoyed chatting briefly and watching her son carry their purchases to the car.  So sweet!  Not long after they left I noticed @thepiequeen post to Instagram.  That weekend a few people shopped The Coop because they saw Tara’s post.  I’m not sure if she knew how that simple act of kindness made my day!

I’m blessed to have cross promoting friends in and around Burton.  Here’s a few:

  • Abbey Road is a natural promoter.  Her recent Where The Back Roads End article is spot on!
  • Denise Withington, the Kountry Chick Karaoke & DJ has been a great promoter!
  • Beverly Martines, owner of Bel Solé B&B, has shared all the many uniques finds she has purchased from The Coop.
  • Pamela and Eric Hutchins of Skipjack Publishing are promoting rock stars!
  • Theresa Cano, owner of Garden Antqs Vintage, is a master of cross promoting our friends in the junker world.  I’ve appreciated her posts about Flown The Coop!

Burton has a hard working team at The Burton Chamber Of Commerce who are continually looking for ways to promote other businesses.  I’ve been blessed by these ladies who continually promote Burton on their business pages.

 Act of kindness

Local businesses count on your support.  It is an act of kindness to choose to shop small and local anytime of the year.  Go a step further and tell your friends about your shopping small experiences on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.  I promise your time sharing will not go unnoticed and will be appreciated!

My first Joy Jar memory is a moment of joy shopping at Branded Boutique.  I met sisters pursuing their dreams and left with an awesome pair of boots.  That shopping small experience got me thinking about the importance of cross promoting.  I am so blessed to have friends who continually promote The Coop.  Thank God they embrace my dreams, risk taking and persistence wholeheartedly as well.  🙂

May your joy overflow

Photo cred: Homegrown Hospitality

Happy Holidays!

~Tiffany

And the bird fluttered around her writing “YES” in the sky!

Rocking Around The Coop

Getting in the spirit

This year is my first year to decorate The Coop for Christmas.  Sadly, I don’t normally enjoy decorating for the holidays.  It’s just not the same since Jeff and I flew the coop, becoming empty nesters.

I forced myself to start thinking about it in October, already feeling behind the retail schedule.  Saying a little prayer for creativity, I started pinning ideas on Pinterst.  One pin led to another, and then the Christmas spirit took me by surprised.  I was actually looking forward to transforming The Coop with my new ideas.

During the same time, I was putting together our first Christmas At The Coop scheduled on December 6th, 11am – 5pm.  Planning a party is one of my all time favorite things to do.  I am really excited for all the creative people who will be joining the celebration.  The special guests include Pamela Fagan Hutchins (author), John Lowery (artist), T-Roy Miller (musician) and my son Hayden Eckhardt (barista & coffee roaster with Boomtown Coffee)!

A few of my favorite things

I had an idea of how I wanted to incorporate our existing Vintage * Industrial * Homestead goods with a Christmas selection that focused on shopping small.

First I placed orders with my favorite entrepreneurs, procuring an assortment of great gift ideas including tees, bracelet charms, candles, bags, pillow,etc.  Then I stocked up on our local homestead goods, Lazy Bee Honey and Honey jams and Lacey Farms Lavender.

This month we are introducing local talent into The Coop.  We now carry a local author, Pamela Fagan Hutchins with Skipjack Publishing.  We met Pamela and her husband this past fall at our Karaoke Night at The Coop.  Pamela didn’t miss a beat and sang two songs that evening.  John Lowery, a local artist, has been popping into The Coop since we opened in March.  It took me by surprise the day he stopped by to ask if we would display his Engelbrecht Longhorn prints in The Coop.  Of course we would!!!!  You can meet both Pamela and John on December 6th during Christmas At The Coop.

Taking time to create 

Making a list of projects I had pinned, I decided Jeff and I would create a few of our own Christmas decorations {another first}.  Jeff used his new plasma cutter to make wonderful galvanized Christmas ornaments.  He also hand crafted a mantel and some church pews with galvanized embellishments.  I created paper ornaments, paper chains, forced paper whites into canning jars and chalk boards with messages of Christmas cheer.  My friend Carolyn spent an afternoon crafting at The Coop to help me get it all done.

A vision realized

I waited until the Sunday before Thanksgiving to transform The Coop.  The weather was finally cool the day I insisted on pulling everything out for a complete re-do.  It was fun to rearrange and add the Christmas collection to our Vintage and Industrial design.

My excitement ignited when Jeff hung my chalk boards with messages of Christmas cheer.  It was one of those moments when you realize a vision exactly how you had hoped it would be.  We were rocking around The Coop as we added the Christmas trees!

I am proud that The Coop has become an unique shopping experience with Vintage * Industrial * Homestead Goods, and fun gift ideas for the holidays!  The best part is that you can feel good that you are supporting local businesses, local talent and my entrepreneurial friends.

Even Maggie Magenta got dolled up for the holidays!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I can honestly say that I am in the Christmas spirit.  I can’t wait to share it with you!

Here’s a sneak peak… check out our Christmas 2015 album on Facebook for more pics!

What is your favorite part of getting in the holiday spirit?  Will you be rocking around the Christmas Tree?  I’d love to see you ideas, hear your traditions and what you are looking for when you shop for your loved ones.

May your days be Merry & Bright,

~Tiffany

And the birds fluttered around her writing “YES” in the sky!

Christmas At The Coop

It’s hard to believe that we are celebrating our first anniversary of life in Burton, Texas!  Jeff and I moved into our Burton home a few days prior to Thanksgiving 2014.  It has been a very full year of making memories, realizing our dreams and becoming apart of an amazing community.

Christmas At The Coop

December 6th 11am – 5pm

I have thoroughly enjoyed planning our very first gen.u.ine Christmas At The Coop!  Here’s what you can expect on Dec 6th…

From the beginning, I envisioned featuring homestead goods at The Coop.  It has been a joy procuring local products, such as honey and honey jams from Lazy Bee Honey and lavender from Lacey Farms.  I am confident you will find unique gifts from our mixture of vintage and industrial home goods, along with our hand crafted items and fun tee designs.

I dream of filling The Coop with live music.  It was a goose bump kind of moment when my friend Abbey Road helped me book T-Roy Miller for an acoustic jam from 11am – 2pm. Not sure how we got so lucky! T-Roy’s guitar picking is mesmerizing and will definitely put us in the holiday spirit! Check out his web site http://www.t-roymiller.com/ and this video: https://youtu.be/7KGIu4-iQuE! If you weren’t in the holiday spirit yet, you will be now!

Where the backroads end, Burton is a homestead for creative and talented people!  I am thrilled to be hosting two very talented individuals whom I have had the privilege to become friends.

Pamela Fagan Hutchins, author and co-owner of Skipjack Publishingwill be joining us for a book signing.  I recently completed her Kate Annalise trilogy and couldn’t put the books down.  Her books will make great gifts, especially signed by the author!

 

Local artist, John Lowery has chosen The Coop to exclusively display his Engelbrecht Longhorn.  The original painting is quite large at 50″x50″ and depicts a typical scene if you drive down Engelbrecht drive between 390 and Post Oak Road.  You will be able to meet John and purchase one of his prints for the art lovers on your gift list.

Be sure to get there early!

11am – 1pm Boomtown Coffee, voted reader’s choice 3 years in a row, will be in the house!  My son, Hayden Eckhardt will be using his mad barista skills to serve java and espresso drinks.  Bags of freshly roasted coffee will be available to purchase as well.  The perfect hostess gift for your upcoming gatherings.

Make it a day!

Burton’s Heritage Society has planned a Tannenbaum Tour and Christmas at the Depot. Tour our local businesses and vote for your favorite Christmas tree, have your photo taken with Santa and enjoy the holiday spirit in our magical little town!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Make it a tradition

December 4th – 6th small towns throughout the Roundtropolis area will be celebrating the holiday season.  So, book a B&B and make a weekend of it!  We hope that slowing down for a country Christmas will become your annual tradition.

Stay updated on the event HERE!

Happy Holidays!  ~ Tiffany

And the birds fluttered around her writing “YES” in the sky!

Acquiescence

source unknown

~A reminder for me to surrender to the journey and trust.

Sentimental

While most people are busy dashing from one holiday event to another, I find myself curled up in our “empty” nest decorated for two and thinking about the journey.  This year had unexpected bends in the road.  I wonder what 2014 will bring?  It feels good to be still, enjoying our first Christmas tree at FTC headquarters and establishing new traditions for the two of us.

I am excited that Flown The Coop has settled into a nice routine of quality shows and feel blessed beyond measure with customers who have become friends this year!

Even though Jeff and I have “flown the coop”, we are grounded by our expanding family!  We are having fun planning our daughter’s wedding in 2014 and getting to know our son’s girlfriend and her son.

“If you aren’t in the moment, you are either looking forward to uncertainty, or back in pain and regret.”  Jim Carrey

I am determined to not allow the mountains Jeff and I had to climb this year wear me out.  Cancer, a stolen trailer and other various disappointments slowed me down a little.
Cherishing the relationships in my life and enjoying rest in December will rejuvenate me.

If I live the life I’m given, I won’t be afraid to die.  ~Avett Brothers

There is no way to predict which way the road will bend in 2014, the uncertainty is both scary and thrilling.  Life is a journey.

I’ve spent time researching trends, dreaming of projects to undertake and looking at what worked in 2013.  When it comes down to it, I know this journey is best traveled simply pursuing what I love.  I envision “Road Work Ahead” signs along the way.  And that’s ok.

I love being the author of my job description and pursuing new ways to connect with junque and the lovers of junque.  I love deep roots in family and strong friendships.

source unknown

I hope to be known as a person surrendered to LIVE the journey given me, despite the unexpected bends in the road.  I will reread this post mid year and see where I stand.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Hope your December is filled with the warmth of your relationships and traditions.  I also hope that 2014 will be the beginning of an excellent adventure!  Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love.  Fly free!

~Tiffany

And the birds fluttered around her writing “YES” in the sky!

 

 

 

Supporting our friends this holiday season

Now here’s an idea:

Not sure who exactly to give credit for the picture… but was so happy to see a friend share it from Let’s Paint Facebook page.  

Got me thinking!

This is not just a shop local campaign, but an idea worth sharing.

Let’s use the next couple months to think about our holiday gift list in a new way!

Who on your list has a small business, product or an amazing talent?  Why not support them by sharing their product or talent with your extended network of friends on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or an other forums?

Our network of friends are seriously the best recourse in the world!  If you are on the hunt for gift idea, ASK your friends on Facebook for ideas.  I bet they know someone (or someone they know will know someone) with that perfect item!

So Let’s Share

We all have incredibly talented friends with Facebook pages, Pinterest Boards, Etsy shops or websites worth checking out for holiday gift ideas.  I got to thinking that it would be fun to share resources here at Flown The Coop.  So… let’s get the party started!

Post a comment with a link to your friend’s Facebook page, Pinterest Board, Etsy shop or Website.  Let us know why you think they are a great gift resource.

And then share this list!  

Here’s to supporting our friends in business!!!!

~Tiffany