Mother's Day Candles for Every Woman's Journey


As a shop owner, a large part of my day is spent curating beautiful, unique & well-crafted goods for Freckled Hen Farmhouse. Gift giving is my love language so naturally, I love finding the perfect gifts to offer in our shop. 

I search high & low for specific items to stock our shelves & when I come up short, I find a way to make it myself. 


As I was creating Freckled Hen Farmhouse's Mother's Day Collection, it became very apparent that there was only one story being told - the simple, easy, predictable image of motherhood. 

Where were the hundreds of stories of loss, infertility, difficulty & pain? 

While Mother's Day is beautiful for some, it's hard, messy & painful for others. I wanted to create goods that spoke of - not silenced - the journeys of so many.   

Here are just a few -
  

For the woman who has lost her mother - you are forever her daughter. Your grief is not silenced & your pain is not forgotten. 


For the woman who longs for her own child - we see your pain, sister, & we save a seat for you at the table. 



For the woman who's love surpasses any title, we recognize & celebrate your sacrifices. You are truly incredible.

---

Who are the women in your life that you can make time to sit with, honor & celebrate this Mother's Day? I encourage you to grab a bouquet of flowers, a candle & coffee for these sisters. We should never walk alone.

Click here to shop the collection now & share your journey (if you feel comfortable) in the comments below.

love,
natalie  

Thoughts on Shorts & Why You Should Wear Them


Let's talk about something most of us avoid all summer long -
SHORTS.

You know what I am talking about. The pieces of fabric sewn together to hide your rear that never quite fit right, neglect to hide your jiggle & awaken your knees from hibernation.


Shorts & I used to be enemies. And based on conversations I've shared with a handful of my girlfriends, you'd prefer to keep shorts at a distance, too.

But here's the thing, sisters - After about mid-May in the South, it gets real hot. And I can't handle another summer of jeans in 100 degree weather. I know you can't either.

So I am encouraging you this summer to Free the Knees! Embrace your thick thighs, rub some fake tanner on your legs if you have to & wear those darn shorts!


I have been where you are & I still struggle to embrace the jiggle sometimes. 

Just last week I was debating on wearing shorts or leggings on my evening walk with my husband. I was picking apart every flaw in the mirror when my husband turned to me & said, "Dang, girl! Your legs look good." 

I kept the shorts on. 

You know why? Because these legs are training for a 5k race. Because these legs are strong. Because no one picks apart our bodies quite like we pick apart our own. And because my husband sees my beauty when I see my flaws.

Sister, your legs are just fine the way they are right. now. - you deserve to feel comfortable & free this summer no matter your weight, your size or your cellulite.


 If you're still not convinced, here are some tried & true tricks I use to feel shorts ready:

+ Wear cotton or linen - It can be tough to find denim shorts that fit just right so I often lean toward cotton or linen shorts like the ones above. Shorts from American Eagle Outfitters have been my go-to for the last few years because they're breezy & compliment the size of my thighs. I've linked some of my go-to styles here. 

+ Go up a size - Don't be afraid to go up a size. You know the denim shorts that practically stick to your inner thighs? You sit down & rolls just below the hem appear? That's because those shorts suck, not you. Grab a bigger size - it's just a number & that number does not define you or your worth.

+ Self-Tanner - I recently bought a bottle of Neutrogena self-tanner & since then, I've wondered where it's been all of my life. It gives me a nice little glow & puts a pep in my step. Here's the one I love & use every week.

+ Rock a heel - Date night or not, find a fun wedge to rock with your favorite pair of shorts. On days when I am feeling less than confident, I put on a cute pair of shoes with a slight heel & instantly feel better.

+ Just put the darn things on- As they say - fake it until you make it. I promise you, you'll thank yourself for the gift of comfort. And soon, you may even learn to love the shorts - & body - you're in.

I'd love to learn about your shorts journey & any tips you may have to feel short ready. Comment below & share!

love,
natalie

Protein Waffle & Egg Sandwich Recipe


This blog post is in partnership with ALDI.

Y'all know I have three true loves in this world. 
1. My cute husband. 
2. Breakfast foods. 
3. ALDI.
Who can relate?! 


Today I am excited to share how I am elevating our breakfast game with my favorite new ingredient - Aunt Maple's Protein Pancake Mix from ALDI! 

I recently started training for a race I will be running on my 30th birthday. With this in mind, I am eating high protein foods on mornings after I run, but I do love a good pancake or waffle every now & then. Aunt Maple's Protein Pancake Mix from ALDI (available February 27th for a limited time) allows me to enjoy a decadent breakfast while also being mindful of protein. 


I changed up the recipe on the back of the box a bit by adding in 100% pumpkin puree, which can be substituted for cooked sweet potato if that's what you have on hand. This addition bulks up your mix & allows it to stretch a little more. 

Here's the recipe:
Makes 2 large waffles
Prep Time: 10 Minutes Cook Time: 20 Minutes

1/2 cup Aunt Maple's Protein Pancake Mix
1/2 can 100% pumpkin puree or 1 medium sweet potato
1 cup water

Preheat your Ambiano Belgian Waffle Maker found at ALDI. In a medium-sized bowl, add all ingredients & stir until well combined. Add 1/4 cup of water if your batter is too thick & mix well. Spritz your waffle maker with canola oil & pour 1/2 cup of batter onto the maker & flip. Cook until your waffle is golden on the top - you'll know it's done if it easily slides off the waffle maker in one piece. Each waffle is 3 WW SP with the addition of 100% pumpkin puree - will be more with the addition of sweet potato. 


Once your waffle is cooked, set to the side & fry an egg just the way you like it. Once ready, fold the egg inside your waffle like a sandwich & drizzle with a teaspoon of Specially Selected 100% Pure Maple Syrup found at ALDI. 


Enjoy on a lazy Sunday with family or on a busy morning at home while you work!

Pro tip: If you're not a huge fan of clean-up, make a large batch of waffles for the week & freeze. Layer each waffle with parchment paper on top of each other & place in a freezer bag when cooled. Simply warm in the oven when you're ready to eat! 


Comment below & let me know if you stop by ALDI to grab Aunt Maple's Protein Pancake Mix. I'd love to know what you think of my Protein Waffle & Egg Sandwich recipe!

This post is in partnership with ALDI.

love,
natalie

Simple Tips for Staying Hydrated During the Winter Season


I don't know about you, but I really struggle to stay hydrated during the winter months. Without much thought, you'll find me grabbing an unhealthy drink instead of a healthier choice. While it doesn't seem like a big deal, it really is! 

Hydration plays such a key role in our health journeys. When we're dehydrated, we often mistake thirst for hunger & grab the nearest snack. We can also feel so tired & sluggish when we're not intentional about getting our liquids in during the day.


I've teamed up with Red Diamond Coffee & Tea - my favorite source for unsweetened, all-natural tea (no weird additives, just tea leaves & water) - to share a few simple ways I creatively stay hydrated during the winter months. 


1. Keep a large glass in plain sight: When I am working from home, I start with pouring a large glass of Red Diamond ready-to-drink iced tea or infused water to have on my desk while I work. I use a large container so that I don't need to refill it dozens of times throughout the day - this keeps me from having to get up from my workplace every time I need to top it off.


2. Infuse Your Favorite Drink: I love infusing my water or iced tea with fresh or frozen fruit! When I am headed out the door, I grab my to-go bottle & fill it with fruit, ice & a drink of choice. Some of my favorite combinations include strawberry & kiwi, cucumber & fresh mint, and blueberry & lemon. 


This is also a great way to save wilted fruit from going bad. When you notice your fruit is past it's prime, wash it & throw it in the freezer on a cookie sheet. Grab a handful & add to your to-go bottle. 


3. Get Creative in the Kitchen: Lunch & dinnertime are also excellent opportunities to consider hydration. Plan a few broth-y soups with veggies & beans in your mealtime rotation this week. It's a simple way to add a bit more liquid to your diet & keeps you warm during those chilly winter months. 

Comment below & let me know how you stay hydrated during the winter months! 

love,
natalie

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.
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