The Practice Life!

The practice life is rich in opportunity!

The Practice Life is taking action on an idea, and an exercise repeated regularly in order to improve or maintain one’s proficiency.

Tiffany Eckhardt, owner of Flown The Coop takes a look at life as a practice.

People practice patience, hospitality, yoga, wellness, gratitude and their business.  Here are a few practices I’m currently working on.

Patience

Let’s just say that I am cultivating patience in tandem with all the other fruits of the spirit (Galations 5:22-23). This is a necessary gift from God!  I don’t come by it naturally.  Our guest house project is testing my patience.  The struggle is real.  I’ve been dreaming of this project for three years.  I do not claim to be long suffering.  It takes practice to accept the things I can not control.

Hospitality

I love to practice hospitality.  I was fortunate to hear a speaker on hospitality as a young mother.  The speaker set me free from imperfect entertaining.  Entertaining is preforming to impress your guest.  Hospitality is welcoming friends in your home with the intention of blessing them.  The focus is on the guests, not on me.

One of my biggest joys is to have fun events and classes at Creative At The Coop.  It is a gift to be able to offer what I’ve learned from years of practice.  I enjoy learning new skills for my practice!  Recently I discovered the ease of creating a charcuterie board.  Charcuterie boards have been a fun creative outlet for my Scout & Cellar wine tastings.

Yoga

My wellness practice began over a year ago.  Jeff and I first embraced a paleo diet and Young Living essential oils!  My home and health became less toxic as I transferred my buying habits to plant based items.  Most importantly, I learned how to listen to my body for clues on what it needs.

I’ve noticed a need to be more active.  Jeff and I joined ​​gen·e·sis yog​a​​​ in Brenham.  Yoga is a patience patient practice, supporting mobility and mindfulness.  I discovered a love for restorative yoga!  It feels like a yoga massage!  I love the challenge of the strength building poses.  I need a lot of practice at this stage of the game!

Business

I am not a doctor or a lawyer.  I am a serial entrepreneur that has spent my life practicing business.  This is one area of my life that feels like an endless climb upward.  I had to learn to embrace the mystery and create a pro mindset.

Podcasts have become a staple in my development this past year.  Some of my favorite podcasters feel like friends.  Truly, at this point in my life I need mentors.  I long to surround myself with people who are in spaces I want to occupy.  Check out my latest blog to learn about 5 podcasts to finish 2018 strong!

Grace

Flown The Coop Guest HouseFinally, I’d like to offer a bit of grace by imagining all areas of life is a practice.  I am grateful to God for grace!  It is an open gate to excepting life in it’s fullest.  I will repeatedly, on a regular basis, move toward my goals allowing myself to makes mistakes along the way.  No one is perfect right out of the gate.  The important thing to remember is keep on practicing.  Right?

Are you giving yourself grace to view life as a practice?  Let’s encourage each other to finish 2018 strong!  Please feel free to share your stories in the comments below!

 

~Tiffany

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

5 Podcasts To Finish 2018 Strong!

Listening to podcasts has given me access to incredible thought leaders who have influenced a new mindset.  I am a firm believer that at any point in my life I have the power to change my story.  I am so excited to join Rachel Hollis’s #Last90Days challenge to finish 2018 strong.  The Last90Days challenge got me thinking about the biggest obstacle to realizing my dreams. I believe the challenge is the narrative I create in my head.   Tiffany Eckhardt's 5 Podcasts to Finish 2018 Strong

Many of these leaders have inspired me to take a leap into the unfamiliar with Flown The Coop.  I’ve developed new skills, thought about life in new ways and became laser-focused on incoming producing activities.  By far, the biggest tool I’ve learned to harness is my mind.

Top 5 podcasts I listen to on a weekly basis

The Life Coach School with Brooke Castillo

Tiffany Eckhardt's 5 Podcasts To Finish 2018 StrongI am a BIG fan of Brooke Castillo! Brooke has a brilliant way of putting thoughts into perspective.  She is dynamic and energetic, full of wisdom!  Brooke’s main premise is,”Thoughts create feelings. Feelings create action.”  She has over 200 episodes.  I recommend starting her podcast from episode 1.

Rise Podcast

I recently discovered Rachel Hollis.  You have to read her book, Girl Wash Your Face!  She is seriously on fire with life!  I love her no nonsense approach to success.  She speaks frankly about the lies we tell ourselves in a way that feels like love.  I joined her #Last90Days challenge and am seriously excited to see how 2018 end!

I enjoy her Facebook Live every morning at 8am central with her husband Dave.  They are a great team!

The Essential Oil Revolution

Tiffany Eckhardt's 5 Podcasts To Finish 2018 StrongWellness has a huge impact on going for your dreams!  You have to be well to hustle!

I had no idea of where to start when I received my Young Living starter kit.  The Essential Oil Revolution was a God send, full of practical advice!  I love the variety of interviews, from Lucy Libido to Nadine Artemis.

The Goal Digger Podcast

Tiffany Eckhardt's 5 Podcasts To Finish 2018 StrongI adore Jenna Kutcher, a boss babe, promoting body positive!  She is a viral sensation.  Jenna’s Social Media training has been a game changer for me.  She owns a killer multifaceted business!  There are over 140 episodes.  Not all of the content is applicable to my life, YET.

The Story Brand

Tiffany Eckhardt's 5 Podcasts To Finish 2018 StrongDonald Miller has an excellent way of communicating ideas… through a story!  Clarify the message to create a story in which the hero is my customer and my business is the mentor.  This concept forced me to look at how Flown The Coop solves problems.  I recommend returning to The Story Brand podcast regularly to recharge marketing creativity.

I highly recommend any of Donald Miller’s work!

Bonus:   The Strangest Secret by Earl Nightingale

Tiffany Eckhardt's 5 Podcasts to Finish 2018 StrongOk… The Strangest Secret is not a podcast, but a vintage 1950s YouTube video still relevant today!  I was challenged to listen to this recording for 30 days.  I hear something different every time I listen.

What is the secret to success?  It is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal.

 

 

Renewing my mind daily with podcasts like these propels me toward my worthy ideals!  Let me know what your favorite podcasts are!  Let’s encourage each other to finish the year strong!

~Tiffany

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

Charcuterie Board – Discovering The Ease of Creating

Tiffany Eckhardt, founder of Flown The Coop and Scout & Cellar Wine Consultant: discovers the ease of creating a charcuterie board

Wine tasting led me to discover the ease of creating a charcuterie board

Scout & Cellar wine tastings have ignited my gift of hospitality.  I learned a long time ago that a smart hostess always keeps it simple.  It was pure joy the day I discovered the ease of creating a charcuterie board.  These boards filled with beautiful colors and a variety of flavors makes the hostess look like a culinary genius.

First of all, charcuterie boards are not scientific or rigid

I tend to gravitate towards meals and dishes that are simple, yet make a splash.  The very reason I love creating charcuterie boards!  As I throw random finger foods together the board becomes a culinary piece of art.  It is really that easy!

The ingredients to a good charcuterie board is up for interpretation.  Techically, charcuterie is a french term for smoked, dry-cured or cooked meats.  Charcuterie boards have become a fancy cheese board.  A typical charcuterie board includes a variety of cheeses, nuts, honey, crackers, fresh and dried fruit, along with meats.  My friend Robbie introduced me to the ultimate charcuterie board at a wine tasting she hosted.  I learned to add tortillini screwers from her board.  Her board was filled with wonderful ideas and definitely made a splash!

Tiffany Eckhardt, founder of Flown The Coop and Scout & Cellar wine consultant discovers the ease of creatign a charcuterie board.

Robbie Birch’s ultimate charchuterie board on a beautifully hand crafted board her family creates!

The basics of creating a charcuterie board

You want to start building on a wood cutting board.  I have found a long skinny one works best for me.  I’ve unsuccesfully tried smaller boards.  Creating a fun board is like feeding a large family.  The food just keeps mulitplying.  I recommend my friend Robbie’s boards at The Birch Tree.  Stayed tuned… she is creating a long one for me!

Start builidng with cheese, an important element.  Few foods go better with wine that cheese.  Buy several different textures and flavors.  Place the cheese selections in a procession ranging from soft to hard to mirror a wine tasting.  Placing Harvati cheese at the top to pair well with a sauvignon blanc.  Brie would be nice for chardonay.   Red and white wines pairs well with gouda.  Aged Cheddar would be nice with a Malbec.  Smoked gouda is my favorite with a cab.

A true charcuterie board will have an assortment of meats.  Fresh summer sausage from a local meat market is a treat!  The deli at your grocery store will work fine as well.  I grab a few different sausages and prosciutto.  Scatter the placement of the meats around the chesse, leaving room for additional layers of goodies.

Now it’s time to get creative!

Fill in every nook and craney with a variey of finger foods.  Here are a few suggestions to get your creative juices flowing:

  • Dried and fresh fruit
  • Nuts
  • Crackers and brochetta
  • Have fun with screwers:  tortillini, mozerella balls, basil, dried tomatoes, cherry tomotoes (My friend Michele first introduced me to tomato and mozzerella screws with fresh basil!  I immedieately fell in love!)
  • Jar of local honey (Lazy Bee Honey in Burton)
  • Bowl of olives
  • Hummus
  • Vegetables

I do not want to overwhelm you.  Keep it simple and have fun.  I was proud of my humble first attempt.  The more I practice the more elaborate mine become.

Tiffany Eckhardt, founder of Flown The Coop and Scout & Cellar wine consultant discovers the ease of creating a charcuterie board

My humble first attempt at a charcuterie board

I hope my interpratation of a charcuterie board has encouraged you to create one for your family and friends.  It is an easy way to creatively offer the gift of hospitality.  They will love it!

The final ingredient

You can’t have a great charcuterie board without a great bottle of wine or two!  I am happy to help you select from the Scout & Cellar portfolio.  The difference between a clean crafted wine and a bottle from your grocery store is the difference between a strawberry picked from a farm and one bought at the grocery.  Let me help you discover wine the way natuer intended it.

Cheers!

~Tiffany

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

Essentials Oils for Travel – Five Essential Oils I never leave home without

Flown The Coop Travel Essentials, 5 Essential Oils that I never leave home without

The road warrior lives on!

I officially retired Miss Dixie (my pickup truck) from hunting for junque across the United States.  I have moved to the right side of wellness and embraced the mystery of new chapter.  The open road calls to me for entirely different reasons.  I love my new Gadabout Gals gig that allows me to hit the road spreading love for destinations, excursions and flavors (favorite restaurants).  To ensure a “well” trip, I focus on travel essentials.  I never leave home without the following five essential oils.

Flown The Coop Travel Essentials - 5 Essential Oils I never leave home without

Digize Essential Oil

I learned my lesson the hard way.  We were on our annual trip to New Orleans.  It is a fact that we will eat meals that are not apart of our daily diet.  Who can pass up bread pudding, poboys, gumpo, fancy cocktails, etc.?  My husband and I literally ate our way through the Big Easy!

Normal digestion can not be expected!  Unfortunately, I forgot my Digize at home.  BIG mistake!  Now I will never leave home without it!

Flown The Coop Travel Essentials - 5 Essential Oils I never leave home without

Thieves Essential Oil Blend

Thieves is the foundation of most Young Living products and the gateway oil into a wellness routine.

I place a drop of Thieves on my tongue or in a drink before I board a flight.  Thieves supports a healthy immune sytem.  Have you ever thought about all the germs being spread inside an aircraft during flight?  Supporting my immune system with Thieves allows me to sit in a stranger’s personal space with confidence.

I diffuse Thieves in my hotel room to nuetralize any unfamilar odors.

Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender is the swiss army knife of essential oils.  There are numerous reasons to pack lavender!

  • Lavender supports a good night sleep at the end of a fun filled day of travel.
  • Relief from the stress of travel can be found in an episom salt bath with lavender.
  • Diffusing lavender is like bringing the comforts of home into a hotel room
  • Reach for lavender to support and soothe skin
  • Putting a dab of lavender under your nose will help with stinky situations

Flown The Coop Travel Essentials - 5 essential oils I never leave home without

Peppermint Essential Oil

Bad breath happens anytime I feel nervous!  Peppermint essential oil has come to my resuce many times!  I whip it out, add a drop to my fist and then lick it.

Becareful with peppermint… it is strong and can be considered “hot.”

There are several good reasons to pack your peppermint!

  • Peppermint supports a natural digestion and curbs appetitie.
  • Diffuse peppermint for mental clarity.
  • Rubbing peppermint on the temples can relieve stressful situations.
  • Diffuse peppermint to kick start your day.

Flown The Coop Travel Essentials - 5 essential oils I never leave home without

Lemon Essential Oil

Lemon Vitality essential oil is my favorite oil to put in water.  In fact, it helps me drink more water and prevent dihydration.

Lemon is also known to support the circulatory system.  I’m not sure which is worse dihydration or swollen legs from extended travel.

Lemon is an excellent choice to diffuse!  It makes any space feel fresh and clean.  Add peppermint to it and the room will feel invigorating!  Clarity of thought is an added bonus to diffusing lemon essential oil.

Wait… There’s more

That’s 5 essentail oils that I never leave home without.  In all honesty, I pack a whole arsenol of essential oils, like Frankincense, Cedarwood, Cypress, Valor, Tea Tree, Patchouli, Copaiba, Stress Away, Peace & Calming, etc.  The 5 that I included will be a good start on a travel kit.  The good news is that all five essential oils I shared are found in a Young Living premium starter kit.  Buying a premium starter kit is an affordable way to get the oils that will support any travel adventure!

Stayed tuned to my blog for future stories from the road…. take a second to check out the Travel Diary over on the Gadabout Gals site!  We are having a blast!!!!

~Tiffany

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

 

Mystery, an epiphany unlocked a pro mindset.

 

The entrepreneurial journey unfolds in mysterious ways.  I admit, I have been fighting the mystery.  I want a clear cut road map with guaranteed destinations, an expectation belonging to an amateur mindset.  An epiphany unlocked a pro mindset.  I will embrace the mystery!

 Flown The coop! Embrace the Mystery... Tiffany's epiphany... the journey is a brilliant mystery.

Flown The Coop

Flown The Coop closed the doors to regular hours on Saturday, August 4th.  Big dreams die hard.  Change can be heartbreaking.

I will continue pursuing creative classes on a variety of topics.  I will host an occasional event, like our BIG Backyard Bash on September 28th. (why not???? we have a fun space for a party!)

Jeff and I are talking to contractors about our garden guest house.  I have dreamed of this project for almost four years.  Stayed tuned for progress updates as the project comes together.

Embracing the mystery... Tiffany's entrepreneurial journey of letting go of expectations.

An ephinany

I have operated in survival mode for too long, trying to make sense of it all.  Thank God for authors who speak right into our souls at the perfect time.  I’m starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I reread Turning Pro by Steven Pressfield.  This little book is incredibly insightful into an amateur mindset and a pro mindset.  Funny how all the books I’ve read lately are all pointing to mindset.  Mindset by Carol S. Dweck, PhD is a great resource for learning the difference between fixed and growth mindset.  I loved Girl Wash Your Face, by Rachel Hollis.  Rachel shares raw life experience in an attempt to get her readers to identify lies and create a positive mindset.

I had an epiphany reading Turning Pro.  I am a Networker.  Recognizing this truth about me is the moment I “Turned Pro.”  My amateur mindset has been running from this gift.  It seems skeevy.  It has a ton of bad connotations.  Entrepreneurs survive by networking themselves with people.  I believe that I have a gift for connecting people and promoting ideas I care about.  I have the gift of hospitality which is a really handy skill for a Networker.

Hi!  My name is Tiffany.  I am a Networker.  The best epiphany ever!

I can’t quite put my finger on how to define my new role as a Networker.  I am embracing the mystery.

Letting go of Flown The Coop retail was my first hard step.  Pros do hard things.

Stepping into the mystery

I will step into the mystery by working on business developments that promote my passion for wellness and the pursuit of a life well lived.  All of my projects require me to learn new skills and get out of my comfort zone.

I am building a team with Young Living.  I adore this company and their commitment to bringing a wellness mindset to every home.  On top of the business opportunity, I am impressed with the company’s world wide philanthropy opportunities.  It makes my heart sing!

I am also building a team with Scout & Cellar Wine, another company with high standards and a commitment to wellness.  Working with Scout & Cellar is an exciting journey into the clean crafted wine industry.  I am learning to savor good food and great wine.  I have inhaled my food without thought for far too long.

Gadabout Gals ~  The launching of Gadabout Gals, our lifestyle travel site was a true labor of love with my favorite gal pals and is a collaboration made in heaven.  The three of us truly love to travel finding adventure in excursions, destinations and great flavors.  We are using our combined influence (networking) to promote our experiences.

Clear as mud

I have two choices

  • I can control the future with fear (amateur)
  • I can embrace mystery as a beautiful reality.

I will put in the effort and allow the mystery do it’s thing.

I will focus on the only thing I have control of, my mindset.

I will let go and fly free!

~Tiffany

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

Launching Gadabout Gals

Michele, Kelly and I, aka Gadabout Gals, are over the moon excited!

Gadabout: (n) A person who travels often or to many different places for pleasure.

It is our pleasure to announce the launch of Gadabout Gals, a lifestyle travel site.  The three of us travel so well together, both in friendship and on adventures.  We decided it was time to share our zest for life with the world.

First, here’s a little back story…. straight from our About Page.

We met on Twitter.  It’s a funny story…and we love sharing it because we very fondly remember being a part of those early days of Twitter and emerging social media. That’s when we all met and realized we were connecting with true kindred spirits.

Each of us joined Twitter in 2009 and separately began finding and following other Columbus peeps (back then, if you followed someone on Twitter, they followed you back. AND they tweeted back & forth with you. A lot. Shocker!). We all happened to join a social group, maybe more of a social experiment, called TasteCasting where we would meet-up at various restaurants and blog, tweet, and post about the food and restaurant. Who knew then that we would become lifelong friends and make such strong connections that would carry us through many of life’s ups & downs and twisty turns.

Over the years, we’ve traveled together multiple times and enjoyed many fun adventures, both near and far. We’ve also used our emerging social media influences to help promote various brands — from restaurants, entertainment, excursions, bed and breakfasts and various other fun things to do and places to lodge through a social travel group we called Weekend ReTweet. We thought the play on words was pretty clever.

Our Latest Adventure

We share a common mindset… Life in the prime should be celebrated!

You Better Belize It!

Lounging poolside at the Villa Groovy Gecko, we hashed out a dream of recreating Weekend ReTweat.  We were influenced by the ocean breeze…

Gadabout Gals poolside soaking in Belize and building dreams

Or was it the magnificent sunrise and meditating on God’s goodness every morning…

Gadabout Gal witnessing a Belizean sunrises and soaking in God's Goodness

It could have been the massage at the end of the pier…

Gadabout Gals getting a massage at the end of the Villa Groovy Gecko pier

I am confident it was the sunset cruise we took with Nautical Adventures Belize that sealed the deal.  We needed to see more destinations, experience more excursions, explore the flavors of different cuisines.

Sunset sail with Nuatical Adventures Belize.

So buckle up… we are embracing our prime years with enthusiasm and will bring you a wild ride!

Follow us!

We are now enjoying adventures in our prime and around the world while using our various social media networks to actively promote travel destinations and experiences. Our goal is to create a buzz about destinations we visit using “world of mouth” marketing. Combined we have a pretty big social media network and can make a big influence. We’d like to influence them to enjoy the places and adventures we are able to experience!

We are truly having the prime of our lives while experiencing the globe — and we LOVE sharing it all with the world! We’d love for you to allow us to share you.

You can find Gadabout Gals at https://www.gadaboutgals.com.  Join our email list for future opportunities to join us.  Email us if you have a destination you would like us to promote.

Then be sure to follow our social platforms.

  • Instagram
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • Pinterest

Life is a journey, come travel with me!  It promises to be an excellent adventure!

~Tiffany

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

 

 

Life in the Prime!

A women in her Prime! Going for it!

The beginning of an epiphany:

In preparing for our vacation to Belize, I discovered a picture of a fearless young girl jumping off the end of the pier at The Villa Groovy Gecko.  I admired her youthful inhibitions and knew I had to recreate that picture! {See Take The Leap}

The Villa Groovy Gecko, our vacation home in Placencia, was perfect!  After a tour and home instructions, the gang didn’t waist any time tackling island life.  First stop, floating in the pool, then we made cocktails and soaked it all in.  Jeff tried out the paddle boards and a few of us headed to the pier to watch.

The pier was calling me.  I knew in my gut that it was time for me to take the leap!  I wanted to get this act of bravery over with.  The only problem was a rare influx of seaweed had washed up shore.  The water looked mucky and I had no idea of what I’d be swimming with.  Even in my younger days I didn’t like to swim in lake or ocean water.  I just kept thinking, “I can’t let that young girl have all the fun.”  So I did it… I took the leap!

Our dreamy trip to Belize

I can honestly say our vacation to Belize was the best!  I fell in love with The Villa Groovy Gecko, and the entire staff who took such good care of us.  It was special to experience a bucket list dream with my hubby and best friends!  The weather was great with only one day of rain.  The day it rained, my friends and I had a epic dance party in the foyer. #winning  I watched the sunrise every morning from the end of the pier, and experienced a breezy massage there too.  There were adventures in the village, at a waterfall and a sunset sail. Finally, at our last dinner Jeff and I went international with our karaoke version of Inspite Of Ourselves (a John Prine song).

The vacation was everything I imagined and more!  Here are a few highlights:

 

The Epiphany

I had plenty of time to think.  The ocean breezes and the jungle air helped clarify a few things for me.

Conversations I had with Kelly and Michele, while lazily hanging at the pool, stuck with me. {This is where the epiphany set in}  I’ll be 50 years young in two years.  I am middle aged.

I don’t feel old.  I don’t act old.  I still have HUGE dreams.  So, why would this number even effect me???

Dreams aren’t reserved for the young, but for the young at heart. I believe the only real limitations I have are the ones I create.  I still have thirty plus years to blow up my dreams, and the confidence that I lacked in my youth.  Watch out!

Future plans?

When I returned home, I had a conversation with Jeff about focusing energy on our middle age.  It is time for us to get laser focused on what we want, where we want to go and how we’ll get there.  No time to waste!

Kelly, Michele and I agree that there is a market for women (and men) who are coming into a new freedom.  After raising a family and/or pursuing the career of our youth, it is time to pursue out of the box ideals.

Success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal ~Earl Nigthengale

I believe success is defined differently in the prime of life.  “Worthy ideals” may be a call to travel, or start a new business, or maybe it is time to do volunteer work on a passion project.

After the conversations I had with my tribe (Jeff, Kelly, Jason & Michele)… and my epiphany in Belize… it is no coincidence that I found an advertisement for Prime Women Magazine,  “Redefining the ageless generation.”  BINGO!  Confirmation to my hunch.

There are a bazillion ideas running through my head.  The future looks as mucky as the water I leaped into at the end of the pier in Belize.  One thing I know for sure, I am not letting the young have all the fun!  I’ll take the leap!  Here are a few things I’m working on:

  1. I love the course Flown The Coop is on.  Creative At The Coop classes start this Saturday (May 19th).  I LOVE all our product lines and supporting local entrepreneurs.  The redesigned the store looks amazing!  Exciting times!
  2. Jeff and I are planning the start of our guest house project.  This is going to be challenging, but so rewarding!  Stay tuned!
  3. I’m going to attack business ventures with confidence.  I am currently building three businesses; Flown The Coop, Young Living and now Scout & Cellar.  They are all wellness focused and allow me to express my passion for entrepreneurial endeavors.
  4. Travel and travel real estate is calling my tribe.  Currently researching vacation property.  AND… Kelly, Michele and I are looking at relaunching a travel project we started nine years ago.  EEKS!
  5. Wellness has taken on a whole new meaning for me.  I started my wellness journey in response to health crisis.  Now, I want to make wellness an integral part of my life.  I am going to be extremely picky what I ingest, inhale and/or place on my body.  I am going to be even pickier about the thoughts that I entertain.  I need my body to keep up with all the business, travel and lifestyle adventures I have planned.

No more inhibitions, I am a women in my PriMe!

Reach out to me by email or comment below if you can relate to life in the prime!

  1. I’d love to talk with you about entrepreneurship in the prime years.
  2. I’d love to encourage you in moving past limitations.
  3. Let me know what travel interests you have.

Life is a journey, come travel with me!

~Tiffany

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

 

 

A Creative CAT

Let me render my heart this morning…

Today I started my day journaling.  For me, this is the only way I can make sense of the million thoughts that circle in my head all day long.  What stood out this morning is:

The creative mind is like herding cats.

I’m a cat in the cat/cat herder philosophy.  Back up:  I should explain the philosophy that came about on a trip to NOLA.  My husband is a cat and was frustrated by attempting to keep a group of cats together.  In total annoyance he yelled, “Y’all I feel like I’m herding cats!”  The cats busted out laughing.  We spent years coming up with truths about this philosophy.  If you are a cat, you can never be a cat herder… you just don’t care that much.  If you are a cat herder, you can never be a true cat… because you just can’t trust the cats to be in charge.

Back to my morning.  I found myself anxious about all the ideas that I have and how to achieve them.  Fear crept in, as it always does.  This creative life is FULL of insecurities. Then it hit me… BAM!  Insecurities don’t have a chance when you have a tribe!

I stopped what I was doing and immediately messaged my two BFFs, Michele Savoldi and Kelly Blanton.  I wanted to thank them for being my cheerleaders and let them know how they keep me inspired.  Thank GOD we met 8 years ago!  The love of family, a great help mate and a tribe is the wonderful foundation that God has blessed me with.

I felt this truth bubbling up and the need to write about it, hoping it might touch one of you… dear kindred spirits.

So… I sat down at my desk to punch it out before the idea had time to fly the coop.

Before I could get my Internet to come up I noticed my trash needed to be taken to the road.  The cat in me was off…

I took the trash to the road.  Let Jack out and checked his food situation.  Meandered into my garden.  Dang, the carrots aren’t ready YET.  Took a few pics.  Realized how good the garden is to my wellness.  Decided to share it in a Ripl (a great app by the way).  It had been updated, so I needed to sync with Instagram again.  Forgot my password.  UUGH.  Finally got it uploaded and posted correctly to all my social media platforms.  Sit back down to type.  I see a color test to take to determine my personality.  I am 40% blue (TRUE) and 40% red (TRUE).  GREAT!  I hate that I am that personality.  Watch a video on Yellows.  I wish I could be more like them.

I’m back to the blog with even more evidence that I am a cat.  MEOW!  Let’s herd me in.

These tendencies of mine can be downright maddening.  I also tend to be a little hard on myself.  I’m learning to like (because love is too strong of a word) who God created me to be.  One of my Mom’s favorite sayings is, “Go with the flow and you’re sure to grow.”

This reminds me of a TEDtalk I watched a long time ago.  (oops just got sucked into FB briefly while searching for this video). Elizabeth Gilbert gave an awesome TEDtalk “Your elusive creative genius.”  She is the one who influenced my decision to sell my car and travel to Costa Rica to spend a month at a language school to find myself.  Didn’t find myself, nor learn Spanish… but that’s another story.  Here’s a GREAT quote around the 2min marker, “What I have been thinking about lately is WHY.  Is it rational, is it logical, that anybody should be expected to be afraid of the work they feel that they have been put on this earth to do?  And what is it specifically about creative ventures that seems to make us really nervous about each others mental health in a way that other careers don’t do?”   I want to personally thank Elizabeth Gilbert for giving me permission to speak to my creative thoughts.  For example, “Hey creative idea, I’m a cat… please stay with me until I finally sit down to work on it with my full attention.”  I’m busy going with the flow.

So, I hope this speaks to one of you precious creative souls.  Believe it or not, it’s only 9:52 in the morning.  I have a WHOLE day to be a CAT.  I’ll choose to show up for my job and keep plugging away at my creative ideas.  Despite the fact that I will get sidetracked by paths that lead to unexpected places.  I’m a stubborn CAT! “¡Olé!”

Please let me know I’m not alone… share in the comments or comment on a social platform.  I’d love to hear from YOUR creative stores!  Beyond my two BFFs, I know there is a massive TRIBE of us!

~Tiff

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

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!

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.

IMG_1354

IMG_1347

IMG_1348

IMG_1345

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.”

 

 

IMG_1343 IMG_1344

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!

IMG_1341

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

0e0eb563316fd576bbfec0cbf07b0ee2

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