What if life is NOT a problem to be solved?

Tiffany Eckhardt, Certified Life Coach helping women believe their best years are ahead.  What if life was not a problem to be solved?

What if life is NOT a problem to be solved, but is actually a mystery to be lived? 

I have talked to so many midlife women who feel there is a big question mark over their future.  

Society, community and family traditions influence women in their journey.  Women tend to neglect themselves in the service of family and career.  After decades of doing for others, wether you stayed home or had a career, the end of that defining chapter is near.   

There is no owner’s manual for this next season. This is what I call the midlife conundrum.  The big question mark of “what do you do now?”  

I think a better feeling question is, “who do you want to BE now?”  

This new season is an opportunity for you to discover your truest self, to embrace the mystery.  

Self-Aware is the first step in Self-Care  

Getting to know yourself is the most transformative work you can do and will solve the midlife conundrum.  

I am a personal growth junkie.  Given the choice, I will read a book that dives deep into the human psyche over a juicy romance novel. 

It is no wonder why I chose to become a certified life coach. If you are willing to do the work, I truly believe your best years are ahead.  

What is your unique framework?

In my pursuit of personal growth, I’ve taken several personality tests.  I am a RED/BLUE or an A/B depending on the chart.  I scored an 8/7 on the Enneagram test.   

So, I’m a challenger that shows enthusiasm, which is frustrating because I don’t particularly like being naturally driven with a direct personality.  I enjoy parties, but hate being the center of attention, partly because I’m afraid of what might come out of my mouth with no filter.  

Personality tests are interesting, but I never really knew how to apply the results to life.  

It read my mail

I finally found a profile that gave me clear applications to my life and unpacked the mystery.  

My friend and colleague, Lisa Scoffield recently introduced me to Human Design.  It is a new service she is offering in her coaching practice.  Human Design is a science that gives insight into your personality traits, your health, your personal psychology, your talents, your wisdom, and your vulnerabilities.  When Lisa offered to run my chart, I responded with an instant YES!  

Again, I geek out over these kind of things, but I never expected it to read my mail. 

Pure Generator

I am a Pure Generator.  My strengths are energetic, master of their work, sustainable energy and self-aware.  My weaknesses are often frustrated, quits too soon, can’t make it happen and can feel stuck. 

Lisa explained my profile with an in-depth thirty page report.  As I read through it I started to have a-ha moments, and at times felt sad.  I felt sad because I never fully understood the patterns in my life until I read this.  I spent nearly 50 years believing I was broken and there is something seriously wrong with me.    

Yes, I have a tendency of challenging everything from the school system, the medical system, society’s conditioning, etc.  Weirdly enough, I have a sense of duty too.  I am a work horse who will work until exhaustion.  I am direct to a fault and a social butterfly, until I suddenly feel that I’ve had enough.      

The most impactful revelation in the report is understanding how I am designed to make decisions.  I’ve been conditioned to think I need to hustle and make things happen.  My best approach for making decisions is to pause, listen to my gut and wait for a strong YES or a strong NO.  My biggest fear is that I will wait and it will never come. 

I now understand how I’m wired and how I can best show up in the world with my gifts.  How I can be aware of my weakness, but shine through my strengths. 

If you are curious about your Human Design Chart, I encourage you to reach out to Lisa.  

Lisa is lovely and deeply committed to helping people live their truest self.  Simply click this link and pick a date on her calendar:  LISA SCOFFIELD

Deny your own wisdom?   

Self-Aware is the first step in Self-Care.  If you are willing to do the work, you will discover your truest self. 

Coaching allows you to get in touch with what you already know.  Don’t deny your wisdom.  

My biggest joy in life is helping women believe their best years are ahead. Life is a wonderful mystery.

When you get in the habit of knowing yourself, there is no fear or limitation that could ever hold you back.  

If this resonates with you, I’d love to help you!  Take advantage of my FREE mini session.  It is your opportunity to chat with someone who truly believes your best years are ahead.  

Click the link below and choose a date on my calendar.  It really is that simple!

Tiffany

Tiffany Eckhardt, Certified Life Coach


What if your dream is measured in miles?

Tiffany Eckhardt, Certified Life Coach helping women believe their best years are ahead.  Learn how to go the extra miles for your dreams
Will you go the extra mile????

What if your dreams are measured in miles?  At what mile marker do you let the dream die?

You set out to achieve a dream, thinking it will be achieved at the mile one marker. 

What if the dream couldn’t actually be realized until you reached mile 4?  

In your minds eye, did you stop at mile one? Or did you continue?  

What if it took 20 miles?  Would the dream be worth it to you?

Determination of a weed

Last week we chatted about resiliency.  I am convinced resiliency is the secret to achieving abundant dreams.  I believe in your capacity!  

Your best years are ahead when you are willing to go the extra mile.  

Getting older has it’s benefits.  Life experience has taught me the importance of perseverance. 

My motto is “fall seven times, stand up eight.”

I had an a-ha moment in my garden this week.  

Y’all, the weeds took control while we were out of town.  This is not the first time I faced a major clean up in my garden.  In fact, pulling weeds is a daily chore.  As I was cleaning out rogue grass and weeds I thought to myself, “these damn plants refuse to die.” 

In that moment, I wondered if I am as determined as a weed?  

Am I willing to go the extra mile?  

GRACE for your dream

I believe the life you desire will present you with opportunities to be persistent.  So, I offer you grace.  

You will skip through miles of pure joy and adventure!  But when adversity hits, you will need to be determined, learn new skills and develop resiliency to reach your dreams.  

How do you navigate the extra miles?

  1. Universal law of construction

Jeff and I have remodeled and restored seven homes in the course of our thirty years of marriage.  One thing we can tell you for sure is that it ALWAYS takes longer and cost more money than expected.  

Is that a failure?  No, it is wise to allow for the unexpected.  

Failure is a stepping stone on the path towards your dreams.  Decide on how you will define failures, and do not let them define you. 

“If you want success, you need to double your rate of failure,” Thomas J. Watson.  

2. Instant results verses hard work.

It is like winning the universal lottery when a dream comes quickly without much effort.  You may think that you are destine or chosen.  You definitely feel excited.    

On the flip side, what does it mean when it takes a long time to realize a dream?  Could sticking with a dream create perseverance?  Going the extra mile gives you something to be proud of.  It shows what you are made of.  You learn so much more from the stepping stones of failure than you do from instant gratification.  

Sometimes it is simply good for your soul to really “earn” the dream.  

“When we suddenly shift toward both focusing on and finding joy in the process of achieving instead of having the goal, we have gained a new skill,”  Tom Sterner.  

3. Curiosity is always the answer to a road block!

Yep, questions are the answer!  Asking your brain questions forces it to focus on solving problems.  It can’t help but answer the question.  Isn’t that cool?  

How will this make me stronger?

What can I learn from this experience?

How can I use this?

What do I want to create from this?

How many miles will you travel for your dream?

You know that failure does not define you, that you are capable of hard work and are curious, but maybe you just need a little push from someone who believes your best years are ahead.  

When you live your life in an intentional way, you create the life you desire!  

I’d love to help you navigate the miles ahead.  If this resonates with you, schedule a FREE mini session. 

Click the link below and choose a date on my calendar.  It is really that simple.  

I hope our paths cross on your journey.  

~Tiffany

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

Tiffany Eckhardt, Certified Life Coach

We Are Fancy! Mister Rogers Said So!

Yep, we are fancy!  Mister Rogers said so. Must be true! 

Let me tell you my FANCY story. 

Once upon a time, my real estate career came to a premature end.  In 2008 the real estate market tanked, along with all my hopes and dreams at the time. 

Not long after I quit, my colleague Wes invited me to apply for an inside sales job at a local manufacturing company.  I had reservations.  I am not corporate or like following rigid rules.  Could I sit at a desk all day???  I decided to apply and successfully made it through an interview.  I knew I’d get it!  Wes knew I was a hard worker and good enough at sales. 

Can you imagine my shock when he called to request a second interview?  I remember telling Wes, “What the heck?  You know me.  What on earth could they need to ask me?”  Wes assured me it was just the policy of the HR department.   UUGH – stupid rules.  As I walked out my front door the morning of the second interview, I turned to asked Jeff, “I have no idea what this could be about, do you have any advice for me?”  His reply was classic Jeff, “I can’t think of anything but, {insert a long pause} this is your one chance Fancy, don’t let me down.” 

I got the job.  It lasted six months.  Turns out I can’t sit at a desk.  I saved all the money from that job for an epic trip to Italy with Jeff.  So, I technically did not let him down.   

Jeff called me Fancy, it must be true.  LOL!  Friends have nicknamed me Fancy ever since then.  I own it!

Are you FANCY?

 If fancy isn’t your thing, what do you want to be known for?  

  • A career can not determine your identity.  
  • Opinions of others can not determine your identity.  
  • ANY outside influence can not determine your identity.  

The truth is YOU determine your identity.  You tell the story of YOUR future by choosing the words you want to identify YOU.  What words would you choose? Use a Thesaurus!  Try on words as if you would try on clothes in a dressing room.  

  • Why did you choose certain words to describe yourself?
  • Do you like your reasons?

Hey seasoned woman… this is YOUR season. Be zesty! Let the words of Mary Oliver inspire you.

Hire Life Coach, Tiffany Eckhardt to help you work through who you want to be.

Steps to become who you want to BE

1. The first step is to identify what you would like to accomplish.

Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life? Mary Oliver

Allow yourself to dream big about YOUR wild and precious life.  If you could do ANYTHING this year, what would that be?  Get creative! What do you want your commemorative stone to read?

Don’t prejudge wether you think it is possible right now.  Really, the more impossible the goal the better!  Then write it down!  

2 ask yourself, “who will I need become to accomplish your impossible goal?”

Success leaves clues.  Do you know of anyone who has done what you hope to accomplish?  Make a list of attributes that person has.  

You are worth becoming the person of your dreams!   Make a list of 25 ways YOU are Fancy, fabulous, zesty, improbable, beautiful, etc!

What do you want to believe about yourself? 

3. Finally, make a list of obstacles that would prevent you from becoming the person of your dreams. 

Remember:

  • Thoughts cause feelings 
  • Feelings cause actions (behavior) 
  • Actions create results.  

It is important to understand the 60,000 daily thoughts that are rogue in your subconscious.  There is a story line in your mind that limits who you can become or achieve.  Take control of the story!  

You know yourself.  Think about the ways you will most likely let yourself down and sabotage your story? 

Make a list of 25 obstacle thoughts.  You can compare the Fancy list to the obstacle list.  

Out smart your brain by identifying the negative thoughts ahead of time.  Your brain will subconsciously use those thoughts against you. 

Now build a plan to address road blocks from a place of authority. Decide ahead of time how YOU will respond to obstacle thoughts with planned responses.  

You are FANCY!

I hope you take the time to create this one wild and precious life!  You are FANCY (if you want to be).  

You can accomplish ANY worthwhile goal if you are willing to become the person who makes that goal a reality.  Take control of your thoughts, feelings, actions and results.  

I have had the honor to work with several people in the last couple months.  It is rewarding to help people question their thoughts and develop thoughts that serve the life they want to create. 

Every brain needs a coach.  I’ve experienced a powerful transformation with coaching and self-coaching.  I’d love the honor of working with you!  Learn More: Three Reasons To Hire A Life Coach

I’m rooting for you!  Happy Holidays!!!!  

~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

Flown The Coop Liquidation Sale

Make plans to come out to our Liquidation Sale at Flown the Coop.  Shop our “junque” with garage sale prices {except consignment and choice pieces}.  To be honest, we won’t know exactly what we have until we pull it all out.  I know for sure we have doors, sleds, canoe, Coca Cola machine, barn beam, wood, car hoods, signs, furniture, and misc. smalls…. and we’re ready to liquidate!

Thursday, June 14th – Saturday, June 16th

11am – 5pm

But first let me share with you how we got here….

Flown The Coop’s humble beginnings

From humble beginnings to Liquidation Sale... Flown The Coop is a genuine free spirit

The storefront was a blank page three years ago.  The dream of a store in Burton, where Jeff and I could work and live, was sealed with the promise of a rainbow.

Flown The Coop sealed with the promise of a rainbow

It has been a wild ride!  I cherish the friends I’ve made,  both customers and/or vendors.  I have loads of memories from buying trips, and the cool “finds” I brought back to The Coop.  The numerous events, from White Linen Night to Backyard Karaoke Bashes, have filled my cup!  I even treasure the obstacles that have been thrown my way.  All in all, I am blessed with a wonderful creative outlet.  I have become a better version of myself because of this adventure.

So why a liquidation sale????

I am, and will always be a gen.u.ine FREE spirit.  I am keenly aware when I need to adjust my wings.

Flown The Coop's Tiffany loves her WINGS, and is excited about the future... especially the liquidation sale June 14-16

The recent changes that have been made to the storefront are well received.

The Coop feels bigger with an open floor plan.

The classes are well received!  It is pure joy building relationships with customers who attend the classes.  I am currently working with a variety of teachers to offer classes that will work for them and potential students.  Jeff and I have plans to double the classroom space.  Groups will be welcome to use this space as a collaborative work space, private wine tastings and for small events.  The Creative space is a genuine “parks & rec” at Flown The Coop.

After the Flown The Coop Liquidation Sale????

Expect exciting days ahead for Flown The Coop…. I say “exciting” because I have no clue what’s in store for us (no pun intended).

One thing is clear, I can’t go on as it is.  My resolve has tanked with sales.

Customers can visit the storefront on Saturdays through the summer, along with scheduled classes and events.

The Antique Show in the fall is still up for debate.  Although, I have booked a band September 28th.  I will have a BIG party that night. STAYED TUNED!  (follow the EVENTS page on this website)

The guest house will be underway shortly.  That is a done deal… FINALLY!  I am looking forward to sharing every step of the way with you.  I might even let you in on some of the design decisions.

My enthusiasm and energy is being poured into a few passion projects.
  • I love sharing my wellness journey and Young Living Essential Oils.  There has never been a more important time to focus on keeping the body well!
  • Join our Burton Oilers Facebook Page for the wellness community & conversation.
  • I love sharing Scout & Cellar, a clean crafted wine company that pairs well with wellness.  I’m having so much fun sharing what I learn about the wine industry, classifications of wines and offering wine tastings.  #friendsdontletfriendsdrinkdirtywine
  • Gadabout Gals is my latest collaboration with my best friends Michele and Kelly.  Our launch last week exceeded our expectations!  Read how all that came about HERE.  The three of us and our Gadabout Guys have BIG plans to cross the globe together.  Individually, we have interesting adventures you can follow as well.

With mixed emotions, I look forward to what lies ahead.

Your friend,

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!

 

 

Taking The Leap

photo cred: Ryann Beck

Photo cred: Ryann Beck

I was I glad to say good bye to 2017.  Last year was a challenge, to say the least.  I shared about my health struggles in a June blog post Zest For Life.

I gleefully leaped into 2018!

Before 2017 ended, I immersed myself in self help books, podcasts and youtube videos.  I was inspired to dream again.  I created a bucket list, then encouraged my family to create their own bucket lists to share at Christmas.  {side note:  sharing bucket lists at Christmas is a fun activity.  I use the bucket lists for future presents ideas}

One item on my bucket list is a vacation to Belize.  There is a difference between a trip and a vacation.  My heart longs for a relaxing tropical vacation!  In my mind’s eye, I see a whole house on the ocean with a pool.  I want to feel ocean breezes while I sip cocktails by a pool.  {A pool is ideal, because It is not dreamy to lay on a sandy towel with grit in my crevices.}  I also see hiring a chef to take care of us.  Wouldn’t that be luxurious?

I set my bucket list aside to work on figuring out 2018.  The list lingered in my thoughts as I struggled to live in the present moment.  Although my wellness journey is continually making an amazing difference in my life, personal loss and business struggles were getting me down.  Months later, following the advice of another podcast, I put a price tag to some of my dreams.

I did a quick search of homes in Belize.  Can you imagine my excitement when I discovered most of the homes for rent included a chef?????  In my excitement, I posted a picture of The Villa Groovy Gehko to Facebook.  This property is a perfect match!  So glad I’m an over-sharer on Facebook.  I love sharing dreams!  It resonated with many of my Facebook friends.

Fast forward a couple weeks… enter my adventurous tribe into the bucket list story.  The three of us are world class dreamers!  The time felt right to discuss our next adventure.  We’ve been throwing around a trip to Italy for years, and it will happen one day!!!!  Kelly threw out the idea of Belize.  She shared my desire for a true vacation.  The house I found to rent would be a perfect and could include husbands and friends.  So, we invited Jason and Jeff.  Later our friend Laurie joined the adventure.

After a little prodding from Kelly, Jeff agreed to the adventure.  My tribe truly believes that life is too short… TAKE THE TRIP.  You always need something zesty to look forward to!   I am so glad that Kelly persisted.  This trip has been dripping zest into another struggling year.

Just in the nick of time

As I write this blog post, Texas Antiques Week is coming to an end and our trip to Belize is less than thirty days away!

Flown The Coop will be open eighteen straight days during the spring show.  I absolutely love seeing so many wonderful friends who make the bi-annual pilgrimage to our neck of the woods.  I love junking… but it’s the people I’ve come to know and love who make it truly special.

Honestly, it is the people that keeps me going.  I appreciate all of you!

Unfortunately, the first quarter of 2018 has not been an improvement from last year.  Trends in retail have been harsh on a very small shop struggling to survive in a secret town that often feels like a ghost town.  Burton takes one step forward and six steps back.  I’ve seen businesses come and go.

Thank God for my wellness journey and focusing on Young Living!  It has turned into a passion, keeping me well and in good spirits as I face monumental decisions concerning Flown The Coop.

{credit also goes to all the great podcasts I pour over – keeping my thoughts positive}

The dreamer in me will not give up the ghost.  Jeff and I have long talks about various directions Flown The Coop could go.  There will be slow changes over time.  I believe God will lead me to the perfect plan.  He gave me a rainbow over Burton three years ago as a sign.  He knows the plans he has for me, plans for a hope and a future.  He knew I would need this trip to Belize at this very point in my journey.  God is good!

I can’t wait to get to Belize!  This tropical vacation is the rejuvenation I need to conquer the remaining of 2018.  I will be jumping off the pier in celebration of a dream realized, which symbolizes hope for dreams to come!

“There is freedom waiting for you,
On the breezes of the sky,
And you ask “What if I fall?”
Oh but my darling,
What if you fly?”
― Erin Hanson

My advice to you… Go for it!  Take the trip!  BE a big thinker in a small world.  Believe in abundance.  See possibilities everywhere.

The end of Texas Antiques WEEKSSSS will bring slight changes to The Coop.

  • We’ll be closed on Sundays starting on April 8th.  Jeff and I need a day to recharge our batteries and enjoy adventures together.
  • We are also going to start on my beloved Guest House project.  YEAH!!!!
  • The Coop will offer more classes.  Stayed tuned!!!!!

We will also be closed the first week of May…. #Unbelizable.

Take the leap… take the trip… go for it!  Fly!

~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.

Exploring The Back Roads

The Local Experience

I love to travel, preferring trips spent exploring back roads and discovering local hot spots.  No matter where I go, I always spend the trip wondering what it would be like to live there.  Several years ago Jeff and I realized a dream trip to Italy.  One of our best decisions was renting an apartment in Naples for a week.  We thoroughly enjoyed walking to the neighborhood markets and bringing food back to prepare in the kitchen.  Every evening we saw the same couples strolling down the street as a part of their daily ritual.  By the end of the week we felt satisfied that we immersed ourselves in the local experience.

Back Road Dreaming

As a dealer who set up in Warrenton at Bar W twice a year, I often wondered what it would be like to to be a local in the Roundtropolis.  I found it was difficult to immerse myself in a local experience.  I was there to work and had so little time to get away from my booth.   After a day selling junque, my friends and I would go to our favorite local restaurants, which were always packed with visitors and dealers.

I woke up early some mornings to spend time exploring before I had to head to my booth.  On those early morning road trips, the back roads seem to be calling this road warrior to the country.  A dream to open my own store in a small community was developing.  I was willing to answer the call, but the dream felt just too far out of reach.  And really, did I want to be “caged?”  Could I live in the country?  What did locals do for fun?

Where The Back Roads End

You know the story… dreams do come true!

After a full year, I can honestly say that living on a back road is more than I could have ever imagined!  Our friend Abbey Road coined the phrase, “Where The Back Roads End.”   Burton IS where the back roads end!  Life travels at a slower pace out here.  It is not uncommon for people to stop by The Coop just to shoot the breeze.  I love the sense of community!

We are supported by the most generous and hard working people.  The business owners of the Roundtropolis understand the need to promote each other, which has been helpful in growing Flown The Coop.  I showcase several local entrepreneurs, a local author and a local artist in The Coop.  The creative community is flourishing on the back roads!

Our social calendar is never boring.  I am so grateful to live in Burton with so many kindred spirits who enjoy life!    Here’s one of my Facebook posts from February 8th:

For those who wonder if country life is boring… We started the weekend Friday at ROYERS ROUND TOP CAFE and then dropped by a friend’s house to sit by the fire for a bit. After another great day at The Coop, Saturday evening we went to Saddlehorn Winery for wine tasting and sang carpool karaoke on the way to a Mardi Gras party at The Stone Cellar. Sunday I worked in my garden (this weather is awesome) and then went to a Super Bowl party at The Cottages on Mill Creek-Round Top Lodging.

Exploring the back roads for yourself

Wether you need to recharge yourself in the quietness of the country or you’re in need for an adventure, exploring our back roads will not disappoint.

When you hit the road, I hope you make your way to Burton.  We are located half way between Houston and Austin on 290.  It’s where the back roads end.  If you want the local experience, stop by The Coop to ask for directions.  I would love to visit with you!  I try to keep up with what is going on, where to eat, nice places to stay and who you need to meet.  I’ll point you in the right direction.

You never know what you’ll discover off the beaten path.

Happy Trails,

~Tiffany

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

 

My secret town

Burton, Texas is often overlooked in guides written to navigate Texas Antiques Week.  In fact, Burton has managed to be the best kept secret among the dealers who enjoy getting away from the crowd without the crazy lines.

In 2011 I was invited to join a group of dealers to eat at the Burton Cafe during the fall show.  Ludmil and Linda Marcov of Willow Nest lived in Burton at the time.  After dinner our group walked a block to their homestead for a chance to tour their shop and home.  It was love at first site.  In my wildest dreams I could never imagine that in four years I would call this magical property my home.

I pinch myself everyday!  The best way to get to know a new hometown is to become a tourist in your own town.  Here is what I’ve discovered about this secret town….

This community is alive!  It didn’t take long to get to know people and feel apart of this wonderful community.  A quick look at the Burton Chamber of Commerce calendar for March gives a glimpse of the numerous events and opportunities to interact with our neighbors.  The energy put into events is admirable.  The chamber of commerce and area businesses have been extremely supportive of the Burton Preview Party and the Burton Blogger Party events planned for Texas Antiques Week.

There are three restaurants within walking distance and literally within view of our little white house.  The Brazos Belle Restaurant, with an authentic french fare, was recently featured in Texas Highways magazine.   Burton Cafe is a wonderful german restaurant where we discovered german pancakes and the red rueben.  The Burton Short Stop is a local favorite.  They make the best hamburgers and finger licking fried food.

This sleepy little town rocks during the weekend!  Every Thursday night the locals come out for Karaoke with Denise the Country Chick Karaoke & DJ at The White Horse Tavern.  On Friday and Saturday nights it is fun to watch two stepping couples let their hair down to live music at The White Horse.  I wish I had known about the White Horse when I was a dealer in the field.  It would have been a great way to unwind.  In addition to nightlife, it is not uncommon for motorcyclists and classic car enthusiast flock to Burton for day trips.

The rolling hills of Washington County is known for the numerous wineries.  I was thrilled to learn Saddlehorn Winery was only four miles away!  Another relaxing destination I wished I had known about during Texas Antiques Week.  The winery and tasting room are located in a renovated horse barn with scenic views of their vineyard.  Jeff and I joined their wine club and have enjoyed pick up parties in their fantastic event room.  Saddlehorn just announced construction on their outdoor patios.  I will toast to that!

It’s only natural to mention the parks.  Lake Somerville is a short picturesque drive from downtown Burton.  There are a few campgrounds to launch a boat, camp or have a picnic with the pet like deer.  Behind the Cotton Gin Museum you can explore the Indian Creek Nature Area.  This little nature preserve is a labor of love by local members of the Texas Master Naturalist.

Photo Credit: Heidi Jaster

I love that Burton’s charm has been preserved over the years.   The town is filled with historic homes, the official Texas Cotton Gin Musuem, The Burton Heritage Society located in the historic Burton Railroad Depot and established downtown businesses.  The Nesting Co Flourist is a lovely business.  Heidi Jaster is not only an accomplished florist, but a talented photographer.  The Burton Bridge Ministry Thrift Shoppe, located in a historic corner gas station, is a mission of Burton area churches and another best kept secret.

Photo Credit: Heidi Jaster

In recent years visionary businesses have fallen in love with our secret town.  Old Glory Antiques established their Old Glory Texas pop up shop in the 3000 square foot dance hall in the spring of 2014.  Their bunkhouse adjacent to their shop was featured in the October issue of Country Living.  This spring Texas Antiques Week will usher in two new businesses.  In addition to Flown The Coop, Joel and Shelby Geshay will open Bayberry’s on East Texas St. on March 25th.

The biggest joy of our new hometown is in our backyard!  Jeff and I have really enjoyed country living and so excited to open Flown The Coop in this wonderful community!  We’ll be kicking off our new venture on March 25th during the Burton Preview Party.  This will be a city wide celebration with food trucks and live music.  The party will continue on Friday, March 27th when Burton rolls out the red carpet for the first ever Burton Blogger Party.  Click through the Burton Preview Party and the Burton Blogger Party links to see details on the events.

In 16 days the secret will be out!  We know that as people become more aware of Burton, it will be a favorite Texas Antiques Week destination and a day trip destination all throughout the year.

Hope you stop by and see me!  When you come be sure to tag any posts to Facebook or Instagram with #BringmetoBurton so we can see Burton through your eyes.  I also use #2flownthecoop, #secrettown, #BurtonTX.  Search these hashtags if you want to see what has been posted recently.

~Tiffany

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

Check it out!  Recently published Social Marketing on the Fly, a guide to social marketing on the road.