Zest For Life

Flown The Coop is dedicated to those who can’t be caged.  Our mission is to aspire to inspire creativity and a zest for life.

I can honestly say that I have stayed true to creating a lifestyle on my terms.  Jeff likes to remind me that I created my job (especially when I find anything to complain about).  I love my little shop, that provides an outlet for creative energy, and all the lovely people who have crossed my path since opening my doors.  Flown The Coop is not just a place to buy unique finds and gifts, but a developing lifestyle brand.  The kind of lifestyle that questions conventional wisdom, looks for alternatives uses for the discarded, and continually promotes the makers, creatives, entrepreneurs, and anyone who believes in pursuing a fulfilling life on their terms.

Flown The Coop is an unique mixture of Industrial, Vintage and Homestead Goods.  Curating industrial and vintage pieces for The Coop is my original passion.  I also enjoy finding fun gift items, like the Blue Q socks and oven mitts.  Our Homestead Line has naturally developed as I discovered local products that support Burton’s entrepreneurs.  I am excited to now introduce Young Living essential oils to the Homestead Line.  I am impressed with the Young Living seed to seal guarantee, that insures a pristine final product.  These products promote my new passion, WELLNESS.

Photo cred Who is Leading Photography & Garnished Events

My journey toward wellness began at the beginning of the year with a bundle of unfortunate health issues.  What started as a year to be Fierce, turned into the year of Resilience.  As a result, I dove into learning about wellness.

First Jeff and I focused on our diet, changing to a (more or less) Paleo diet.  I then created a wellness room for stretching and an inverted table for Jeff’s back (this was inspired by my friend Pamela Hutchins, author extraordinaire).  I discovered Lynsey Kramer’s Five Chicks Wellness Facebook Page and Instagram.  If you aren’t following The Yonder Way Farm, along with their various social media platforms, you are missing out!  They are the most adorable family with an impressive devotion to providing local and healthful food to the surrounding area.  I became intrigued by essential oils as I saw Lynsey share how her family was using them in their daily lives.

Convinced essential oils were worth trying in my pursuit of wellness, I purchased a starter kit.  It arrived just in time for a buying trip to Ohio.  Stress Relief became my friend on the way to Ohio as I drove through some hellacious storms.  I discovered Frankincense helped some skin issues.  A mixture of coconut oil and Panway helped ease lingering discomfort in my arm that I broke in February.  I used that same mixture, adding Copaiba, to help in healing my new tattoo.  Lavender helped me relax.  I picked up a car diffuser that made a HUGE difference in my truck (lets just say junking is a dirty job).  When I returned, I fell in love with Thieves.  I washed all my new pieces and the whole store, including windows, with a mixture of water, vinegar, dash of blue dish soap and Thieves.  I have enjoyed dropping Tangerine and Lemon into my water.  Honestly, I am a little surprised by how often I grab an essential oil during the day.  Check this info graph out for a few ideas:

There is so much to learn!  So… Flown The Coop is offering an Essential Oils 101 Class Thursday, June 15th at 6:30PM.   Lynsey Kramer will be teaching us the basics about essential oils and how you can incorporate them into your daily lives.

Come for light snacks and drinks. Weather permitting, we’ll hold the class in the back yard. If weather is not coroporating, we’ll move the class inside The Coop.

Check out our Facebook Event for more details and to let me know if you plan on attending.

 

I invite you to join my wellness journey.  I plan on sharing more as I continue to explore various aspects of living on purpose.  Cheers to a zest for life ~ let’s live with a lot of flavor and gusto!  What have you recently discovered in your pursuit of creating a lifestyle on your terms?  I’d love to hear from you!

~Tiffany

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

Road Therapy

 

It is time for this road warrior to hit the open road.  The Road has a way to clear my active mind and set my soul free.  I’m off to see family and friends, hunt for treasures, experience spring for the second time, and then to come back to Burton recharged by the adventure.

Don’t get me wrong!  I’m not escaping from anything.  In fact, I’m torn between wanting to stay put and the call of the road.  I’m hoping to use the endless hours on the road to listen to books on tape and get infused with new ideas.  Road therapy is part of my creative process.

I’ll share my adventure on Facebook and Instagram @2Flownthecoop.  AND…You’ll be the first to see any cool piece I discover.

Are you looking for a certain piece?  Email your item or list of items to Eckhardt.tiffany@gmail.com  I’d be happy to text you pics of finds that might work.

The Coop

Jeff will be the ring master of this shit show (might even wear the socks) Saturday and Sunday (May 20 & 21, May 27 & 28).  Marlene will keep Flown The Coop open Thursday and Friday (May 25 & 26).  They will be happy to see you!

The Coop will be closed June 1rst – 4th.

Road Trip Therapy

I hope you are able to hit the road soon!  I’d love to hear your stories from the road!  What has the road taught you?  What treasures have you found?  What are your fondest memories of the road?  Where do you plan to take off to this summer?

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
the rains fall soft upon your fields
and until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

~Tiffany

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

 

 

 

A Feel Good Experience

e88c7da511340f6f93482e1b771d52a3I am one of those crazy people who actually believe in changing the world.  Well, at least in making a difference on the local level.

I aim to make shopping at Flown The Coop a “feel good” experience!  First by supporting local makers, creators and entrepreneurial friends… the backbone of the American Dream.  Shopping small and local not only makes a difference to creatives, but also to Burton’s economy.  Earlier this year I turned my attention toward ways I felt could directly contribute to my community.  I made the decision to donate ten cents for every dollar spent at Flown The Coop to the Bridge Ministry of Burton, TX.

The Bridge Ministry of Burton,TX. is a collaboration of thirteen churches in the Burton area.  There are six ministry teams within the Burton Bridge Ministry; Seniors, Children and Youth, Helping Hands, Community, Corner Shoppe and Manna Ministry.  This type of community outreach is rare and could only be accomplished by people who believe in making a real difference.

Today I had the privilege of lending a helping hand to the Manna Ministry, a Food Pantry led by Karen Nelson. This dedicated team meets at the Food Pantry at 5:30 am every Tuesday.  Together they unload the delivery truck, organize items and greet their clients with dignity and respect.

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Carolyn’s Country Corner

 

The Manna Ministry feeds over 200 households every month.  Most of the volunteers know each client by name and are interested in their families.  Carolyn is in charge of the miscellaneous items donated by local grocery stores.  They call it Carolyn’s Country Corner and is filled with “exotics.”

 

 

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Karen Nelson saw the need to create Manna Ministry in June 2014.  She is responsible for following all state and local guidelines, keeping records, volunteers and storing the donated food.  It is not uncommon for a neighboring Food Pantry to call Karen throughout the week with donations.  This week she picked up a load of sweet potatoes discarded by a Houston grocery store due to a damaged shipping box.  They were good looking sweet potatoes!

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I’m sure I’ll be back to help out at the Manna Ministry Food Pantry.  I left feeling good about serving my community.  Burton is truly a wonderful community to live, work and serve in.  It is my hope that you feel it too, whether you are a local or a welcomed visitor!

Stayed tuned as I visit the remaining five ministries, and a sneak peak of exciting projects in the works!

#BringmetoBurton

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How are you attempting to change the world?  Share with me!  I’d love to root for you!

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

~Tiffany

 

 

 

Resilient

“When we face a decision to fall back or press on, the whole universe holds its breath.”  John Eldridge

Let that sink in.

Fierce or Resilient?

My 2017 Pinterest Board was labeled “The year to be FIERCE.”  What was I thinking?  The Board should be labeled RESILIENT.

It’s hard to be fierce when you are recovering from a major surgery, then break your arm and face another health scare all in the first quarter.  I’m not a sick person!  Dealing with doctors is not my favorite thing to do.  Up until this year, I have avoided the doctor’s office (except for the yearly well visits required by insurance).  Good health was a badge I wore proudly!

Finding a doctor was a frustrating ordeal for me in 2016, followed by various issues that led up to surgery on January 9th that didn’t go as planned.  Six weeks later, I was disappointed to learn that the doctor who did my surgery was moving to a different health care system and would no longer accept my insurance.  When a new and potentially scary health issue arose, I was more defeated by the necessity to find a new doctor than I was the scare.  Even more aggravating is the system that requires a regular doctor to order tests, who will then inevitably need to refer me to a specialist if there is a problem.  I spent a couple days deciding wether to press on and have the new issue looked at ~ or fall back and ignore it.  Side note, I never made it to my follow up appointment for my broken arm.  I figured that they would just confirm what I already knew, it’s healing fine and just be careful.

As if walking through an internal struggle about health issues and recovery wasn’t enough, I had to add shame and embarrassment by transparently posting my dismay to Facebook, along with a sad picture to emphasize just how miserable I felt.  Why do I always feel the need to air my emotions so publicly?  I feel like a whiner just explaining my situation.  I have friends and family who are quietly walking through FAR WORSE.  Fortunately, I discovered most people didn’t see it as a character flaw (craziness displayed on the porch with a cocktail) and sent massive words of encouragement.  This embarrassment was a wake up call to me and was the catalyst into a life lesson.

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I now have both.

Proper perspective is helpful when faced with the choice to fall back or press on.

Resilient

re·sil·ent
adjective
        (of a person or animal) able to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions.  strong, tough, hardy
AKA – FIERCE

Resilience is an important life skill that is not taught in school, or comes naturally.  It is only learned by walking through rough stuff.  Although, it would be helpful to teach children to look at the world honestly and not expect life to handed to them.

I had expectations that I would hit 2017 with fierce determination.  I am truly happiest when I am fiercely pursuing an idea.  My ambitions were to conquer fitness and weight loss, and had grandiose business dreams for Flown The Coop.    Reality was a healthy dose of adversity; physically, emotionally and with my business. The combination has given me a fresh lesson in resilience.

I am a “glass half full” type of girl who is currently working on the idea of happiness.  I’m learning to align my expectations with realty, an essential skill in withstanding or recovering quickly from difficult conditions.  I generally see life through a lens of possibilities and abundance.  The lesson is:  pray, do your best and let go of the outcomes.  I am not in control.

There are two ways I look at adversity.  I’m doing something right and am a target, or I’m doing something wrong and am being punished.  I chose to believe that I’m doing something right.  I didn’t come this far to fail now.  I am learning to dream big dreams and make exciting plans for the year, with the expectation that there will be bumps in the road.  It’s not healthy to avoid trials.

I’ve had plenty of time to analyze life while recovering from surgery.  It is encouraging to think there is a host of witnesses in the universe holding their breath; waiting for me to flip a switch, to embrace my life as it is and live in the flow.  They are cheering me on!

I’m not a quitter.

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that which Christ Jesus took hold of me.  Philippians 3: 12

Trust In You by Lauren Daigle has become my anthem.

Yeah, I know most people don’t put their struggles on the Internet for the world to see.  My hope is that transparency will encourage you.  Life isn’t always what it appears to be on a polished Facebook or Instagram account.  Going for dreams and pursuing ideas is the sweet spot in life, full of promise and excitement.  Equally important are the seasons that stretch us and makes us stronger.  In 2017 I will be Fiercely Resilient, while I give myself permission to cultivate dreams with my expectations balanced in realty.

Your Word

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What is your word for 2017?  I’d love to hear about your goals, dreams, visions, and even setbacks. Let’s cheer each other on!  If you are faced with the decision to fall back or press on, I will hold my breath and cheer for you!

~Tiff

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

Social Purpose

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Commitment to A Kindred Tribe

From the very beginning, Flown The Coop has been committed to dreamers, doers, makers and believers in the American Dream.  As much as possible, I fill The Coop with locally made products and curate items that are created by entrepreneurs I personally know.  I love to be surrounded by a kindred tribe of creatives.  I will always look for ways to cross promote entrepreneurs.

This year I added a line of sassy socks by Blue Q, a company that donates 1% of sock sales to Doctor’s Without Borders.  As customers read the witty sayings on these socks, The Coop is invariably filled with contagious giggles!  Purchasing these socks are not only fun, but also allows customers a  feels good to be helping a worthy cause.

It just feels good!

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Commitment to Community

This year my attention is turned to another “social purpose.”  In addition to our commitment to a Kindred Tribe, Flown The Coop will align with a cause (or ministry) in 2017.  Honestly, I didn’t have to look far to find a worthy cause to support.  Burton is blessed with the Burton Bridge Ministry, a ministry that is having a BIG impact on Burton.

The Burton Bridge Ministry was founded in 2010, when all 12 churches in and around Burton decided to combine outreach efforts and form a separate non-profit organization. They believe that, working together, they can make the community a powerful example of what it looks like when one town commits to truly living out the Christian discipleship, loving our neighbors as we love ourselves.  Check them out!  I promise you’ll be impressed with the scope of their impact on Burton.

There are five ministry teams within The Bridge.

  • Seniors Ministry
  • Children and Youth Ministry
  • Helping Hands Ministry
  • Community Ministry
  • Corner Shoppe Ministry

Starting this January (2017), ten cents for every dollar spent at The Coop will be donated to The Burton Bridge Ministry.  On top of that, I am committed to dive into all the different ministry teams.  I want to look at ways that I can use my gifts to benefit their outreach.  Stayed tuned!  I hope to blog about what I learn, introducing you to Burton’s finest.

It just feels good!

And though she may be little, she is fierce.  ~Shakespeare

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Pinned from WomenYouShouldKnow

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ha!  I’ve always felt rather small in the big picture, but its never stop me from dreaming BIG.  In fact, I believe great accomplishments are realized when we offer our gifts and talents to the greater good.  I’m looking forward to fiercely go forward in 2017 contributing in my small way to Burton and a Kindred Tribe.

BTW:  2017 will be the year to be FIERCE!  Stayed tuned for more on that topic.  🙂

As always, I’d love to hear from you.  What is on your heart for 2017?  What is your mantra for the year?  Let’s make 2017 a year to be proud of and encourage each other.

The rising tide lifts ALL the boats.  🙂  ~JFK

~Tiffany

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

The Coop

The Coop, an unlikely dream for a road warrior who continually flies free!  The story of our amazing journey…

I declared 2014 as the Year Of Focus and read it on our kitchen chalk board every day.  I started the year Celebrating What Is Right In The World after watching a video by DeWitt Jones.  He taught me to live with uncertainty, yet act with confidence and the importance of moving from good frame to great frame.

During Texas Antiques Week last spring a dream was born in my heart.  One evening I drove through the beautiful countryside surrounding Round Top and Warrenton imagining living in Washington County Texas.  I remember feeling despair thinking that it was a wild and unattainable dream.  

I didn’t exactly dismiss the dream.  My heart longed to own a property that we could live and work from.  I dream of organizing events and making our dream coop a destination.  Jeff and I casually looked in various rural and urban areas surrounding Houston.  Everything seemed out of our reach.

I figured my big dreams were years away and that I needed to learn to be content.  Instead I immersed myself in self help books and YouTube videos.  I know it’s corny, but I prefer books that encourage me to get my shit together over novels.  The first book I read was You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero.  I had been reading Brene Brown books prior to that and soaked in the idea of shame resistance.  I also caught a Super Soul Sunday with Paulo Ceohlo, which totally blew my mind.  I reread The Alchemist  prior to the fall Texas Antiques Week.  I was learning to believe in the impossible and that I was worthy of big dreams

To be honest, I was dreading Texas Antiques Week in the fall.  I felt stuck in my current situation.  Thank God, He had something amazing in store for me!

As I was settling into my home away from home at Bar W, my friend Meloney mentioned to me that the house she was staying in just went up for sale.  I’ll never forget that conversation.  My eyes got big and I proclaimed, “I want it!”  I made a quick call to Jeff to tell him about the opportunity, fully expecting him to tell me I was insane.  Instead, he said let’s talk to the owners.  A few phone calls later, we agreed to meet the owners to write up an offer on Monday.  This all happened on a Friday.  That weekend was nerve racking.

Saturday God gave me a beautiful reminder that He is in control and loves to give us good things.  That evening we saw a double rainbow over Burton, Texas.  This picture was taken from the property we were hoping to buy.

It was an exciting day when we signed the contract for our dream coop.  I woke up that morning dreaming of the party we would throw there in the spring.

Jeff and I haven’t been through the loan process since 2006.  The hoops we were asked to jump through were ridiculous and quite unnecessary, but in some ways were blessings in disguise.  The weeks following taught me patience and perseverance.  By faith I started packing and organized our Epic Moving Sale.  Each day I woke up expecting to hear good news and went to bed without a clear to close.  As you can imagine, I experienced every possible emotion, but sensed that God was developing my indomitable spirit and a stout heart.  Finally, on day fifty three, I envisioned my dream as a bird in a cage and then envisioned setting it free to fly.  That was not easy for me to do, and honestly the vision exercise didn’t work.  I was a wreck.

I posted this quote to Facebook on the Thursday we were supposed to close.  Jeff had made arrangements for us to move in early, believing it would work out somehow.  It wasn’t until we started unpacking the trailer on Friday that we finally received the clear to close.  What a relief!!!!

Dreams do come true!  Here is a little glimpse of our new coop, our adorable little house with a picket fence and a store front for Flown The Coop!  We have BIG plans for our little homestead.  Stayed tuned as we develop our dream!

Our adorable little home

The Coop, A Flown The Coop destination

Hustle Day

Inspiration that I stumbled upon today on Pinterest.  (source unknown)

I am a natural dreamer.  I enjoy spending time visualizing all the possibilities, but have learned that The Hustle is a necessary part of realizing my dreams.

Definition:

The Hustle (according to Tiffany’s Dictionary) is loosely defined as the consistent pressing into an idea or goal in the pursuit of a dream, being open to opportunities, saying “YES,” and does not include the shady practices of a person solely in pursuit of money or power.

 

Let’s do The Hustle!

Uh oh…Guess what day it is.  Guess what day it is!  Anybody?

It’s hump day.  Wednesday.  Looks like the camel is the only one happy about it.

I propose we change “hump” day to “HUSTLE” day!

Let’s get happier than a camel on Wednesday.

I don’t know about you, but I am the happiest when I am pressing into a dream.  Wednesday doesn’t seem like the time to wind down, but to pump it up!!!!

Hustle day is half time for the week.  A day to regroup, take a look at your dreams, get excited about the possibilities and examine your opportunities.  And then… dance, do, make it so!  There is still more life left in the week!  Do The Hustle!

HUSTLE DAYYYYYY….

What about you?  Will Wednesday be a “hump” day or a HUSTLE DAY?  I’d love some ideas on how we can campaign for a universal shift away from the dreaded hump day.

~Tiffany

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

Acquiescence

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~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.

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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!

 

 

 

Freedom

Dedicated to those who can’t be caged!

Veteran’s Day is the perfect time to reflect on freedom.

I believe in the American Dream and am proud to live in a country that was founded on the principles of independence.  I am grateful for those who have sacrificed to protect our freedom.  In fact, the military men and women enlisting today understand that there is a good chance they could pay the ultimate sacrifice.

I enlisted as a reservist in the United States Air Force after graduating high school.  In 1988 America was not in war and had no prospects of war.  It was an adventure, an ironic choice for an individual who bucks authority.  Lucky for me, I met Jeff in tech school.  We enlisted a few weeks apart and became fast friends.  My Mom says I enlisted in the Air Force to find him.

Funny side note:  Jeff remembers whistling “Don’t worry be happy” when he got off the bus at boot camp.  I knew I loved him from the very beginning.

Within a year we were married.  The military was a good choice, until the first Desert Storm.  I faced potential deployment orders and being forced to leave our newborn daughter Emily.  Miraculously, I was speared and was granted an honorable discharge after the conflict ended.  Jeff thoroughly enjoyed his time in the Air Force and served for a total of seven years.

I’m clearly not a hero.  As much as I love to encourage the pursuit of dreams at Flown The Coop, it is the brave military men and women who should get the credit for being dedicated to those who can’t be caged.

Personal Freedom

I think of freedom in terms of cultivating an authentic life on my own terms.

I love the idea of flying free!  I am drawn to birds, except bats.  I hate bats.  I often wondered why birds symbolize freedom?  Is it their ability to roam free?  Birds seem to embody strength, and yet fly with a lighthearted spirit.

It wasn’t until I came across a well known Bible verse that it finally clicked for me.  According to Matthew 6:25-27 birds don’t worry.  It goes on to state, “who can add a single hour to life by worrying?”  That explains my love for birds!  I want to be free of worry.

I long to fly free!  I want to escape the cage of worry, cultivate trust and soar with wings as eagles!  I understand that putting an end to worry it is easier said than done.  It requires persistence.  It demands boldness to step into dreams and hope for the future.  I’ve learned it also means learning from past mistakes.  Freedom is a state of mind.  Especially when you realize the cage is open and it’s your choice to be free of it.

When it gets hard whistle, “Don’t worry, be happy!”  See what happens.

 

What is your definition of freedom?

By definition freedom is a thing.  It is the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.  My personal freedom is pursing an authentic life without worry.

What does your personal freedom look like?  

Veteran’s Day is the perfect opportunity to ponder what freedom means.  I am grateful to those who have paved the way for me to fly in the direction of my dreams.  Our veterans past and present deserve our deepest gratitude for their sacrifice.

Thankfully I’ve Flown The Coop,

~Tiffany

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