My One Word for 2019


Friends, thank you so much for celebrating our big news in 2019 (if you don't know what I am talking about, click here.) We are so excited to collaborate with 1canoe2 to create products that speak to the quiet, rich moments that we so cherish on our farm. I absolutely cannot wait to share more sneak peeks & thoughts with you in the upcoming days & weeks! 


And with the new year comes new intentions, strategies & rhythms! I am a big believer in fresh starts & setting goals that get me from where I am now to where I want to be. One big way I do this is by picking one simple word that will guide my intentions for the next 365 days.

I have been doing this practice since 2013!
In 2013, my one word was Joy. In 2014, I lived out Quality. In 2015, my one word was Pursuit. In 2016, the word Provision rang true in my life. In 2017, Peace was my anthem. In 2018, I was drawn to the word Better.


2018 was crazy hard & crazy wonderful - there wasn't much in-between. We worked harder & longer to better our business than ever before, and I truly fell in love with my work. We traveled a lot & we were more intentional than ever about our marriage. I began attending a Masterminds Group & a seed of personal development was planted in 2018.

But I also learned one hard lesson - I cannot do it all, all at once. Most nights I felt completely depleted by the day's work & wasted many hours in front of the TV instead of reading a good book or simply going to sleep early (why is that, friends?!)

I also felt more disconnected than ever from my creative self & my social self. I poured so much energy into work that there wasn't much left for simply being creative or investing in friendships. I felt really alone at times.


So in light of 2018, my word for 2019 is Grow.

This word kept coming back to me over & over again. And while it's a simple word, I know it holds so much potential for self-discovery & self-development. 

Here are some tangible ways I will live out the word Grow in 2019:

1. Physical Health: I will get back to the basics in 2019. No crazy fad diets, no elimination. I believe in good food, moderation, exercise & the WW lifestyle because that's what works for me. I'm excited to feel my best physically so I can tackle other areas of my life. 

2. Relationships: I will invest more deeply in my marriage, friendships & work relationships with fellow entrepreneurs. I am excited to continue our weekly date & I am challenging myself to stay off of my phone when I am in the car with Luke. I also want to start another Book Club & have monthly game nights with friends. I am also excited to continue my Masterminds Group & deepen those relationships.

3. Emotional Health: This is the area I know will be most transformative & also the hardest. In 2019, I will dedicate time to my emotional health by reading personal development books & listening to podcasts. I love walking & plan to listen to podcasts while I am doing that. I also want to take a pottery class. 

4. Work: In November & December, I worked 7 days a week & it was so, so hard. In 2019, I am hiring more employees & empowering them with parts of our business that were once my responsibility. I am also creating a work schedule that has protected days off so I can have more margin in my life to achieve the above intentions. I also plan to attend a business conference.

This is a big year & I am excited to make some big changes!

What is your word for 2019? How has choosing one word impacted your year & life? Share your thoughts in the comments, friends!

love,
natalie

The Freckled Hen Collection by 1canoe2


Oh, friends. Where do we even begin?
This little catalogue I hold has been a dream of ours for so, so long. To see it all come to life makes my heart absolutely sing! 


A year ago, Luke & I sat down with the 1canoe2 team to share our ideas. We wanted to create a wholesale line of thoughtfully-made goods that were accessible, beautiful & useful. We wanted to create a line of seeds that could be grown by a beginning gardener & trusted by our fellow small farmers. 
We wanted to bring together my love for beautiful things & Luke's knowledge of gardening to create products that really inspired & equipped folks to dig in the dirt, lead a simpler life, grow their own food & slow down just a little more.


1canoe2 believed in our big dreams & partnered with us to create an entire line of goods that do just that! And they're far more beautiful than I could have ever imagined!


We are so proud of this collection. Every variety of seed is grown by us on the farm each year. Our meal planners include features that I love & use daily. Our planting calendars are sure to make garden upkeep that much easier. There are so many more surprises that I cannot wait to share with you! 


The Freckled Hen Collection by 1canoe2 will be available to wholesale customers right after the New Year &  to retail customers on January 3rd at 1canoe2.com. I will be visiting shops & shows around the country this year to share this collection & our passion for simpler living. Stay tuned for more details & product sneak peeks to come in the next days & weeks. 

Until then, thank you so much for following along. It is such a gift to share our lives, our farm & our business with you!

love,
natalie

Tips for Establishing a Dinnertime Tradition


Supper time is sacred time at the farmhouse.
Almost a decade ago, Luke & I began our family dinnertime ritual. With the hustle & bustle of everyday life, we knew setting aside an hour to eat a meal together & talk about our day was time well-spent. Whether we're eating a feast on fine china or pizza on paper plates, it's intentional, uninterrupted time we look forward to each day.


Today I want to share a handful of tips for creating your own dinnertime traditions! I've teamed up with Red Diamond - my favorite source for unsweetened tea served at suppertime - to share how we carve out time in our day to reconnect around the dinner table. 


1. KEEP A CLEAN SPACE: I know this sounds simple, but it's hard to enjoy dinner at the table when bills, backpacks & clutter fill the space. I always make a point to put everything away right when I get home to eliminate having to throw it to the side just as I am serving supper. Bonus - Create a "command station" in your entryway, a closet or right by the front door to place bills, backpacks & more so you can keep the kitchen table clean & clear.

2. CREATE A BEAUTIFUL TABLE: Light candles, treat yourself to a beautiful bouquet of flowers, get out your wedding china, & use cloth napkins. This is time to slow down & enjoy each other's company & conversation so make it count. 
If it's an extra full day & you can't quite swing an elaborate tablescape, make paper plates special by serving camp-inspired food like hotdogs & kettle chips. Turn out all of the lights & eat by candlelight - this is sure to make extra special family memories!


3. MEAL PLAN: Create a meal plan that aligns with your weekly responsibilities & commitments. If it's sure to be a busy day, make your family's favorite crockpot meal. I love to serve up delicious chili on nights when I can't quite swing an elaborate meal. 

4. THE LITTLE DETAILS MATTER: Every Monday night, we always go over to my husband's childhood home for Family Dinner. I always know my mother-in-law will have something special to drink - she never serves just water. 
This little detail never goes unnoticed to me so I am working hard to bring this small but special tradition into our home. I love Red Diamond's Unsweet Tea because it's simple (just grab it at the store & serve) & it's made with the real stuff (no weird additives - just tea leaves & water).


5. ELIMINATE DISCTRACTIONS: A big tip for a successful dinnertime ritual is to eliminate distraction. Remove your phones & set a rule that no one can answer a call, respond to a text, or scroll Instagram while at the table. This is sure to inspire richer conversation & thoughtful time together as a family.

6. SHARE RESPONSIBILITY: In our family, the rule is simple - If one cooks, the other cleans. It allows not just one family member to be burdened by the task of dinnertime.

I'd love to know your tips & tricks for dinnertime & if you've tried Red Diamond! Share your thoughts in the comments below!

love,
natalie

This post is in partnership with Red Diamond.

Overnight Chia Seed Oatmeal Recipe + Tips for a Healthy Breakfast On-the-Go


Hello, friends! Let's talk about breakfast...

The busyness of the morning often makes it difficult for me to sit down & enjoy a balanced, healthy breakfast. I feel the pull to get to the office & usually grab an on-the-go breakfast, such as a boiled egg, but by 11am I am starving! 

Today I want to share with you my new favorite on-the-go breakfast - Overnight Chia Seed Oats - that can be prepared ahead & enjoyed on the road if you so please.



It's simple, really.

 - Grab a wide-mouth mason jar & add 1/2 cup rolled oats. 
- Pour 3/4 cup Bolthouse Farms B Strong™ Protein Shake in Vanilla. I prefer Bolthouse Farms' shake to others because it has 16 grams of protein, is lower in sugar & makes the oatmeal extra creamy!
- Add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract & 1 teaspoon chia seeds.



- Screw on your mason jar lid & shake well to combine! Add to the refrigerator & allow to sit overnight. 

I often make 5-6 jars on Sunday afternoon for the week ahead. It's a simple way to have a delicious breakfast that I can grab & go all week long!



In the morning, I grab whatever ingredients or toppings I have on hand & add to my jar. 

Some ideas include: 
- blueberry crumble: frozen blueberries & granola
- peaches & cream: frozen or fresh peaches with fresh whipped cream
- coconut banana: sliced banana & coconut shreds
- fresh fruit & cinnamon: sliced nectarines & cinnamon are quite delicious!


Once I've added my toppings of choice to my jar, I screw on my mason jar & head out the door - the perfect balanced & delicious breakfast for those extra busy mornings!

Let me know if you whip up this recipe. I'd love to know your favorite toppings! Please share below.

love,
natalie

This post is in partnership with Bolthouse Farms.

Lemon Basil Quinoa Bowl Recipe


Hi, friends! I'm stopping by today to share a favorite recipe of mine that I like to make on busy evenings when dinner's the last thing I have time to make. Say hello to my dear old friend, the quinoa bowl!


Quinoa bowls are so versatile & taste even better the next day. I like to double my recipe so I can bring a delicious green salad & side of leftover quinoa to lunch!


Instead of mixing up my own homemade dressing, I like to save time & simply use Bolthouse Farm's organic dressings. There are no preservatives & it's low in calories. Plus, it's convenient & tastes amazing, y'all! I love the Three Herb & Lemon Basil atop my quinoa bowls as a fresh & flavorful addition. 


Add as many chopped vegetables as you can & you have the makings of a yummy & light dinner the whole family will enjoy. Find my go-to recipe below...


Lemon Basil Quinoa Bowl

Serving Size: 1 cup

1 1/2 cups uncooked quinoa
3 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cup Bolthouse Farms Lemon Basil Dressing
4 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/4 cup Kalamata olives, halved

Combine quinoa & vegetable broth in a medium-sized saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover, reduce heat & simmer for 15 minutes until the broth is absorbed & the quinoa is tender. Remove from heat & allow to cool. Once cool, place the quinoa in a large mixing bowl. Add all remaining ingredients & stir until well combined. Add salt to taste & enjoy!

What are your favorite ingredients paired with quinoa? Let me know if you try this recipe!

love,
natalie

30 BEFORE 30


I run out of fingers & toes counting the bounty of blessings poured out when I reflect on this wild & precious life. Thankful doesn't even cut it, y'all. 


Today is my birthday. As I thought about how I wanted to celebrate this day & upcoming year, I was pulled to the art of list-making. The past 28 years have been full & wonderful, brimming with the good stuff & lots of learning. I want to make sure that as I enter into another decade, I've soaked up every last ounce of my 20s.

So I introduce you to 30 BEFORE 30 - a list of 30 things I want to see, do, eat, experience & more before turning 30 years old. Some items on my list are simple & small while others are big & will require continued work. Some of the items on my list I've experienced before & want to make sure I experience more of while others are firsts. It's a list I've been working on for many weeks & I cannot wait to start tackling it... NOW!


30 BEFORE 30

1. Breakfast out with Luke during the middle of the week just because
2. Get a facial
3. Play bingo!
4. Sit on a beach with a fruity drink in hand
5. Reach Lifetime at Weight Watchers
6. Take a pottery class
7. Get my first tattoo
8. Visit the desert
9. Go out to coffee with my parents
10. Watch a sunset 
11. Cruise country roads with the Jeep top down
12. Unplug for a day
13. Bonfire in the backyard
14. Spend a weekend at the lake house
15. Watch a movie at the Drive-In
16. Hike a mountain
17. Create a backyard oasis
18. Spend the afternoon in a hammock with a good book
19. Bicycle on the trails
20. Go Berry Picking
21. Surprise a friend with a bouquet of flowers
22. Picnic dinner in the park
23. Eat tacos at our favorite taqueria
24. Make homemade face masks
25. Spend a morning at yard sales
26. Go to New York City with Luke
27. Host Aunt Camp
28. Learn to drive a stick Check!
29. Bake a pie
30. Go swimming at the river

What's on YOUR list? Have you ever accomplished something like this? Share below!

love,
natalie

My Go-To Sugar-Free, Grain-Free Granola & Yogurt Bowl Recipe


About a month ago I eliminated grains & sugar from my diet due to some significant digestion issues that I had been stubbournly ignoring. I've had some hiccups & special events along the way, but the changes in the way my body has felt overall throughout the last handful of weeks have been amazing! I feel lighter, brighter, less foggy & more energetic!


In making the switch, I decided to replace grains & sugar with more vibrant, nutrient-rich foods. Instead of a traditional bun for my veggie burger, I've been cooking up delicious sweet potato buns! I've been eating lots of beet kraut + pickled treats for a boost of flavor on salads & making a delicious yogurt bowl every morning for breakfast.


I've shared my yogurt & granola bowl many times on Instagram, but I've yet to share the full recipe. There are so many ways to mix it up, but here are the basics:

Natalie's Go-To Yogurt Bowl
1/2 - 1 cup plain greek yogurt 
1/2 chopped banana
1/2 cup fresh fruit of your choice 
2 teaspoons raw, creamy almond butter
2 teaspoons grain-free, sugar-free granola (My go-to is Wildway granola from Whole Foods Market)
Sprinkle unsweetened coconut flakes

Spoon plain greek yogurt into bowl. Layer bananas & fruit of choice on top of yogurt. I love adding blueberries, pomegranate seeds, raspberries & strawberries (April 4th - 10th, you can grab two cartons of organic, seasonal strawberries grown without toxic or persistent pesticides for just $7 from Whole Foods Market! Yes!) Next, drizzle creamy almond butter on top. Finally, add granola & a sprinkle of coconut flakes!


One simple addition to my yogurt bowl that I've been loving lately is my homemade, sugar-free strawberry sauce! It's so wonderful to have this sauce on hand when the berries are plentiful & on sale - pour a little on top of your yogurt bowl or mix in balsamic vinegar as a tasty dressing for my favorite spring dinner - strawberry & chicken salads!

Simple Strawberry Sauce
1 quart organic strawberries, tops cut off & chopped
teaspoon local honey (optional)
1 teaspoon water

Add all ingredients to a small saucepan on the stovetop. Heat over medium high heat until sauce begins to bubble. Using a potato masher or the back of a wooden spoon, mash your strawberries as they bubble. Once the consistency is thick & to your liking, remove from stovetop & allow to cool. Place in a small jar & refrigerate. Add to your favorite spring dishes for a boost of flavor! Lasts about 3 weeks.


What recipes are you enjoying this spring? Have you been making any switches in your food journey? Please do let me know if you make my yogurt bowl & strawberry sauce! 

love,
natalie

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