2020 Family Photos

2020 Family Photos

I meant to share these awhile back but never got around to it so I thought I better before the year is up. I’m so happy with how these turned out, despite the “over it” attitudes and constant begging for them to smile. These are still probably my favorite family photos to date. Baleigh did such an awesome job and I loved that we added some of our horses in them this year.

We hope everyone has a happy and healthy 2021! We are blessed.

Cowkid Santa Letter Printable

Cowkid Santa Letter Printable

I’m so excited to share a fun little Santa Letter I made for cowkids to send to Cowboy Claus this year! I used some of my custom Christmas Cow designs I had a friend make a few years ago for my store and thought it would be fun to whip these up as a fun activity to share with you.

I hope your your little ones enjoy them as much as mine! Feel free to download below.

Transforming Your Bedroom with Rod’s Western

Transforming Your Bedroom with Rod’s Western

When I was contacted by Rod’s about collaborating awhile back I was ecstatic! I love shopping there for unique finds, especially bedding! I’ve bought a few bedding sets and quilts from them over the years and have loved every piece I’ve purchased.

Many of you know from previous home posts on my instagram, I’m a sucker for Pendleton. When I was discussing home goods with Maddie + Steph at Rod’s, I knew I was wanting to give our bedroom a little refresh and I truly believe a bedspread/quilt can transform the entire look and feel to a space. I saw this Wyeth Trail quilt and felll.in.love. The whole color scheme is my vibe with the warm tones and it literally goes with everything!

I previously had the White Sands Pendleton quilt on our bed. My mom had purchased it for me from Rod’s a couple of years ago for Christmas and I saw today that they still had that one if you are interested.

I love these quilts because you can easily put them over a duvet during the colder months or like we do, just have it over your sheets. I’ve thrown my White Sands quilt in the washer many times and it holds up so well! The quality of these beautiful pieces is unmatched and it’s always my go to when I’m trying style a room for a client or for my own home. A king set like mine includes (1) 110×96 quilt and (2) 20×36 king shams. I love putting different colored/patterned sheets underneath.

This is my favorite quilt they’ve come out with and it fits our bed perfect. We have a king and got that same size which lends us plenty of room to spare.

Today would be a wonderful day to grab this (and a few other goodies) while taking advantage of their Cyber Monday specials! Receive 10% off sitewide using code: CYBER2020 at checkout and any order over $75 ships for free.

They were such a joy to work with and they are also one of my favorite places to shop. I know I’ll be frequenting often when my home design bookings start in January and I can’t wait to pick some of their pieces for my clients. If you have any questions on sizing, colors, etc, please do not hesitate to email me-I’d be happy to help!

Fight for Us

Fight for Us

It’s the week of Black Friday and as a small business owner that also means trying to capitalize on the potential sales for the weekend but also (attempting to) compete with big box. In reality, we know we can’t offer the same great “deals.” There’s no comparison. Not in retail. For me, this weekend also means trying to make enough to pay the bills to float us for several of the “hard + slow months” to come while also balancing all of the other financial obligations and surprise expenses that tend to surface when we don’t have much cash to spare.

2020 has cut many of us at the knees. I know it’s been a tough year on everyone. There isn’t a single person I know who hasn’t had some life altering event, illness, or hardship these last 11 months. We’ve all struggled emotionally, physically, spiritually, and financially. It seems like if it isn’t one thing, it’s another. This pandemic has rocked our world. We feel all sides of it. Hurt, panic, stress, fear, sadness, did I say stress? We are trying to navigate foreign waters we never thought we’d have to tread in our lifetime while keeping our community safe and respecting one another. However, we also know our economy won’t be able to bear the weight much longer and a collapse is imminent if we continue on like this.

Speaking from a standpoint of someone who is in a hard industry to begin with, adding a world pandemic, election year, and numerous other hurdles to the mix, I’m shocked I’m still here. To be very transparent, if this continues, I won’t be much longer. That goes for many others as well. However if things continue on like they have, I’m not sure I want to. I’ve wanted to throw in the towel more times than I can count these last 6 months. I read an article the other day that Amazon is up 100% and over 20% of small businesses have CLOSED in 2020. Do you understand how astronomical those numbers are? 20% of all small businesses in the United States. Amazon (other big companies were named you’d be all too familiar with) but one hundred percent!? I can’t imagine that kind of growth. Those numbers take my breath away and also break my heart. Because I know the blood, sweat, tears, stress, sacrifice and a plethora of other emotions and grit that go into trying to offer a product, experience or service (in my case all three) that Amazon can’t boast. I know what it’s like to be the cleaning lady, book keeper, customer service representative, sales associate, shipping manager, merchandiser, among many other hats you adorn when you take on the roll of owning a store. To see all of that go down the drain is heart breaking and discouraging.

Don’t get me wrong, I know that I chose this. I’m not asking for pity or for anyone to feel sorry for me. I’m truly thankful I’m still going and that I have this opportunity. I knew it wasn’t going to be a cake walk or that I’d make a ton of money. I never went into this for the money. I’m telling you this because there’s purpose in what I and so many others do-this thing that might not seem like it holds as much value or importance as someone with a more prestigious job title. I wanted to see my downtown grow and flourish again. I wanted to see the storefronts fill up with beautiful items staged behind glass for people to walk by and window shop after hours like they used to. I wanted to bring something unique to our town, to encourage others to take the leap so we could be a thriving community that was filled with shops, restaurants, family owned businesses that offered a trade and specialty stores, rather than abandoned empty shells or loan companies occupying our city’s historic spaces. Maybe it’s my reminiscent, old soul that refuses to let certain things pass along with the times but I truly don’t believe it has to be this way.

This choice I made has come with so many amazing friendships, opportunities, and blessings, especially the flexibility to be with my girls. Both of them have grown up in this store. My youngest literally has. She and I went back to work when she was just 10 days old and her first year of life was spent in a pack and play next to my register. My friend (then main street coordinator) Amy, would come by on her break and help me feed her while I tended to customers. She learned how to roll over, crawl, and said some of her first words within these walls. I would not have had that working a 9-5 for someone else. I also can’t imagine not knowing some of the people I know now. Some of the most special individuals in my life I met from them walking in, and that was only made possible by this little shop on main street.

It’s where God put me for a time and a season, be it however long, but I know He uses me here just like he uses you during the majority of your day. It might be someone having the worst day of their life and they just need to come inside to escape and have a friend to pray and talk with. Or it might be a mom who’s waited years to finally have a baby and she gets to pick out their first outfit. It’s sitting in the floor having a heart to heart with my daughter or catching up with a friend. You never know who you might impact or what a small conversation can do for someone. I believe the personal relationships we get to have with our customers is important and needed. Our world is thirsty for community and real connection. Not just for our services and products we offer.

This choice wasn’t taken lightly. Looking back I think I might have been a little crazy diving into something I didn’t know much about other than the two years experience I had working in a boutique while in high school. I know I haven’t always made the best decisions and had so much to learn before I jumped into this journey, but my heart has always been for Ada, for a small business and what it could be again.

I’ll tell you right now, I don’t want to live in a world where brick + mortar no longer exists. It’s been a dying breed over the last decade but at the rate things are going with 2020, extinction is on the horizon. I don’t want amazon prime and target to be my only options. I want to be able to go visit with actual members of our community and spend my money knowing that it’s supporting a local family and the place where we live. I’m not saying you need to carelessly spend money and buy things you don’t need just for the sake of keeping a store open. That’s not it at all. I actually think the opposite. But there are special occasions, birthdays, home updates, etc. that you could pick something up from us instead of priming it to your doorstep. We will make a way to do the same if need be if it meant you’d choose us over them. We do offer things that you use on a regular basis, not just something to add on a hanger in your closet or another throw pillow for your couch. (although we have a pretty great collection of those as well.) :)

When I shop I want to actually hand pick the merchandise I’m going to gift someone for their wedding or brand new baby. I want to have my item gift wrapped and stop to have a face to face conversation. I don’t want to spend money on stuff and junk just to spend it. I want a quality and thoughtful gift if I’m going to give one. We try to give back to our community when we can. We give a discount to our military and first responders any day of the week because we appreciate what they do for us. Same goes for our teachers, college students, and nurses on Tuesday’s. We also love supporting a local ranching family who are friends, by keeping a freezer stocked full of beef to sell directly to the consumer. Another unique offer and experience.

It might cost me a few dollars more. I might have to leave my house, get out of my car, and walk inside, but more times than not, I leave refreshed and grateful that I live in a small town that has a unique place to do business with. And friends, we need more of that. Our spirit needs more connection. Not just behind a screen. I know we are living under different circumstances for the time being, but this didn’t just start this year. It’s been going on for a very long time.

I can speak for Farm Girl and many of my main street neighbors when I say we are doing our best to adapt and accommodate. Farm Girl now has our entire store online, shipping nationwide and to Canada, we offer curbside pickup, and delivery. Stretching and growing more than I could have imagined just over a year ago. I never would have thought I’d be signing us up for Doordash to deliver goods around Ada or purchasing a sign to roll out in front of our store to show people where to park for a curbside order. I never thought I’d be doing 80% of my business online and 20% in person. Which, I know this year has skewed those numbers significantly, however, it was about 60/40 last year. We are stretched thin but doing whatever we can to make the consumer happy and keep our doors open. We are exhausted. It’s not as simple as just closing down for some of us. Our bills keep coming and are expected to be paid no matter what state the world is in or our current situation. Completely closing could be detrimental to some families.

I’m so grateful that we had online options to work with when in store sales started to decline over the last few years and then 2020 happened. But many businesses do not have that. Let’s also not forget the mass filtering that’s going on in regards to social media. I made a post on our 61K follower instagram page and got 48 likes the other day. It’s not making sense. But I can scroll and ads upon ads for target, amazon, walmart, etc. pop up. Being made to shut down early this spring for awhile was really rough. I thank God for our amazing online and local customers who have been spurring us on since March (and way before) because without them, I really don’t think I’d be gearing up for my 7th holiday shopping season.

We’ve gotten spoiled to instant gratification and having everything at the tap of our phone screen while also using our keyboards for conversation rather than communicating in person. I’m not saying it’s wrong to shop online (praise be that we have one!) or save where you can because you have to. I’m also not trying to take up for any business who’s truly been in the wrong that you choose not to support either. I get all of those things. I’m also a consumer just like you. But, I am trying to offer up some perspective from this side of the counter.

I also know that cost is a huge factor when choosing where to put your money. Small IS usually more expensive. But there is a reason, and good reason at that. It’s expensive to run one. Packaging, wrapping, utilities, rent, merchandise, displays, loss, etc. We also don’t get the major deals because we can’t bulk buy like large retailers.

Regardless of cost, I will always pay more for a job done right the first time, a great experience, and for a quality product. In many cases, you truly get what you pay for. I’ve learned that the hard way in some of my own choices.

I don’t want to give up on one of the great pastimes that has made it through the years. I don’t want to see the mom + pop vanish. It might seem silly to you but I’ve heard so many stories of what my store was “back in the day” or how you could park at one end of main and it would take an entire day to get to the other end because there were so many options to shop and eat. The great sidewalk sales, The Front Porch, Shipes Shoes, Evans Hardware, the corner drugstore, parades like the one below among so many other retailers, restaurants, businesses, and events. What a time to be alive and in a thriving community with other people.

If 20% (or more) of small businesses closed this year alone, how many people were without a job? It’s hurting more than we realize. Individuals, families, communities. When you spend small, your money stays small. It stays here. It goes toward the place you reside.

Fight for us.

We need you to rally. And I’m not saying just with money. You can share and like our posts, leave great reviews or encouragement, refer a product we have or a service someone provides to a friend before sending them online or to a big corporation. Prayers. All of those “little things” are just as important, they are free, and we appreciate it more than you know.

I’m not speaking up just for retail either. I am obviously passionate about it because it’s what I do, but I’m also speaking for electricians, beauty professionals, auto repair, family owned restaurants/nutrition clubs, photographers, etc. Those are the individuals that will help support your child’s t-ball team or place an ad in their yearbook. I also want to say, I’m in no way trying to be insensitive of our healthcare workers or anyone who isn’t in this line of work by focusing in on one of the many issues of 2020. Though it might seem less in comparison, it will have serious and lasting affects on our country, economy, and people. This post has been on my heart for two years and with 2020 struggles, I needed to finally share my concern for what I’ve noticed over a long period of time. The last several months have just confirmed it all for me.

It’s an honor to be invested in our community. My husband and I both. He’s a Firefighter/EMT here and I work a few blocks away from his station in the heart of downtown Ada. I pray one day it gets back to the way it was. In the mean time, support your mom + pop. Buy local, small, American made, handmade, and direct from your farmer and rancher. Be kind and love your neighbor and pray for our country. I want us all to make it, for Him to heal our land and hearts, and to get through this together.

I also want to point out that regardless of what happens, God is still good. He is faithful. Our circumstances and outcomes aren’t always what we have in mind but I will continue to remain thankful for what I’ve been given and the rich friendships I’ve gleaned from this experience. I’ll continue to work hard and pour my heart into this business because it’s my responsibility to steward well. I don’t think He’s done with us yet.

God bless you all and Happy Thanksgiving from Farm Girl to you.

http://farmgirlboutique.com | instagram.com/farmgirlada

Current Photos by: Baleigh Creed Photography

Historic Photo: 1940s Ada, OK (if anyone knows the source please send it to me)

Broken Bow Family Trip 2020

Broken Bow Family Trip 2020

We had such a nice family get away the last three days at one of our favorite places! We try to come to Broken Bow aka Hochatown each year and it’s one of the kids most talked about trips that they look forward to. I shared our cute cabin on stories this week and had a lot of questions about who we rented from and things to do so I thought I’d compile all of the answers in one post to send out.

This was my first time using Lakewood Luxury Cabins and we had a wonderful experience with them. We stayed in their Shadow Dancer cabin they just built and started renting this month. It is so beautiful! I loved the layout of everything-you can view the mini tour I did on my instagram under my Broken Bow highlight.

The cabin has two masters and then upstairs is basically an entire kids floor with two built in bunks, living area, bathroom, game area, and balcony. I’m almost certain the couch can pull out too.

We last minute decided to bring our sweet boy, Chief, who turned two. He had the best time and loved getting to do what he does best. Sleep.

It rained the entire time we were here so we didn’t get to do everything we had planned (go karts, canoeing, hiking, and a few other places) but we did enjoy just hanging out and playing at the cabin in the creek, shopping a little bit, visiting the petting zoo, panning for arrowheads, and visiting some of our favorite restaurants.

We always try to eat two meals at the cabin and one out. Pro tip: make an online grocery order the day before you go at Pruetts in Broken Bow. We had them ready when we drove in and was loaded up and off to our cabin in 10 minutes. This keeps us stuck to our list and from over buying food. Hochatown is going to be expensive to eat out as it has gotten more touristy over the years so we usually stick to this schedule and it works out fine.

Some of our favorite places to eat & shop:

We had the best time just getting to be together. The girls played a lot on the play set outside, we cooked s’mores, played lots of ball with Chief, napped, watched movies, hot tub after the kids went to sleep, enjoyed reading and cooked some treats. I will say if you bring kiddos, go grab a cheap set of walkie talkies and rain boots to take! The girls had so much fun with those running around our place and keeps their feet dry. We usually carve pumpkins while we are here too but everywhere was out. We usually come third week of October though so we hit it a little late.

If you have any other questions let me know! This is one of our favorite things to do every year and we are actually coming back in December for our anniversary. I can’t wait!

Beddy’s

Beddy’s

I literally squealed when I got the email about partnering with Beddy’s. I’ve been eyeing these for the girl’s shared bedroom and they are game changers when it comes to bed making. Since they both share a room, it’s pretty tight quarters with two twin beds and not the easiest space for them to make it back each morning.

I love this company because there is nothing like it on the market. Each set is all one piece! Yes, sheet, blanket, AND comforter that goes on the bed like a fitted sheet. You also get a sham and coordinating pillow case. The all-in-one feature makes it so easy to put on, make, and wash. The quality is impeccable and my girls love the independence of getting to make their beds without needing help. Also to mention, they LOVE the comfort. Each set has a sturdy zipper on either side that makes it easy and smooth for a kid to zip it up.

We chose the Vintage Blush set but it was a hard choice next to the Nantucket. They have a wide variety of colors and patterns and Beddy’s comes in sizes toddler all the way up to king! They are perfect for any bed and there’s one to accommodate anyone’s style preference.

I plan to incorporate a set into each kid room for my home design clients next year. The versatility in colors/designs makes my job so much easier in decorating a variety of home styles. I never recommend something I don’t love or try for myself. The only thing I regret is not knowing about them sooner!

Beddy’s has so graciously given me a discount code to share with my followers for 15% off your order! Use code: FARMGIRL or click here to apply code at checkout. I’d love to hear from you if you decide to purchase one for yourself or kiddo!

If I can help answer any questions comment below or send me an email and I’d be happy to help!

Banana Pudding

Banana Pudding

Banana pudding is such a sacred, simple dish enjoyed at birthdays, holidays, backyard barbecues, and many other gatherings. It’s one of our favorite deserts and my go-to when I’m in a pinch and need to take a desert to feed several. It’s also one of my most requested Hayfield Meal treats by Zack. If you want to cart it to the field, just assemble in a Rubbermaid and attach a lid.

I made a big batch of this to take to the guys and thought I’d share the recipe I love to use. It’s super unhealthy but I’m not making’ ya eat it so don’t judge, just scroll on if ya don’t like it.⁣⁣⁣⁣

 Banana Pudding the Farm Girl way. ⁣⁣⁣⁣

  • 4 boxes of cream cheese jello
  • 2 cups of milk per box (6 cups total, box also gives instructions)
  • tub of whipped cream
  • 2 bags of cheap wafer cookies. They are the best.
  • Teeny tiny splash of vanilla
  • bananas

Mix jello and milk and let set up for a few minutes. Whisk in whipped cream and vanilla. Grab a big bowl and begin assembling. I like my pudding in layers and start with cookies. Zack likes extra cookies in his so that’s why I buy two bags and layer heavy with them. Layer bottom with cookies, then slice bananas, add next layer with pudding. Repeat this until you almost reach the brim and finish off with a layer of cookies on top. Put in refrigerator for 2-3 hours. Take out and serve. ⁣⁣

Let me know if you make it and how you like it!

Enjoy!

Wandering Inn to Round Top, TX

Wandering Inn to Round Top, TX

This past weekend was a check off of my bucket list and such a fun little getaway. Two weeks ago my friend Jess asked if we wanted to take a trip down to Round Top with our daughters and on a whim we booked a room at The Wander Inn. We took our oldest girls to The Pioneer Woman Boarding House almost two years ago but had yet to take our younger ones with us on a girls trip so it was time.

If you are planning a trip to Round Top, I highly suggest booking a room at the Inn for the full experience. It’s such a laid back, relaxing place to kick off your boots. So much attention was paid to the little details and Amie and Jolie have done a great job with the design of this property. We stayed in the Star Dust Room and it was such a cute room! We had a spacious bathroom, two queen beds, and a balcony where Jess and I would escape to after we got the girls in bed to sit under the ceiling of stars and just get to enjoy the quiet. If you are around four little girls all day, you already can imagine the luxury that is.

One of my favorite things was no TV. This place forces you to relax and enjoy a slow pace. I actually got to sit on the front porch with a cold drink in a rocker and read a little of a new book and it was glorious.

We had our room and then shared a living space in the Star House with three other guests. Its full of comfy sofas and chairs, a coffee bar, and a plethora of fun books. The girls enjoyed playing games and the old records reminded me of our home and record player we like to listen to.

Delicious hot biscuits are delivered right to your room in the morning and they were so good! We spent our Saturday shopping, starting with Junk Gypsy World HQ. Such a cute place with unique finds! I could have spent thousands between the bedding, clothes, vintage pieces, and gifts. We’ve actually carried Junk Gypsy’s boots, paint, and their book over the last four years in my store so actually getting to visit was a dream come true for me!

In true fire family fashion, about every road trip we go on, we usually find a cool fire truck! I’m going to start making it a tradition for us to stop and take a picture. This one was on their property and for sale!

We had lunch at Popi burger and spent the rest of our afternoon shopping around Round Top which reminded me a little bit of Mayberry! So many cute little places to eat and shop. We had the best pie ever at Royer’s Pie Haven and I scored some super cute used boots at Wimberly! The already broke-in kind are the best kind.

The rest of the afternoon we spent back at the inn so the girls could run around outside. They climbed trees, swung from the vines, played tag, games, and built a tepee out of branches. Jess and I got some reading in and I took my camera out and shot some pictures of the longhorns…..because cows. And it felt like I was right at home.

We picked up dinner and brought it back to the Inn. We had Manditos and it was so good! The girls finished off some strawberries for desert and ended the night playing flashlight tag and finding an armadillo. It was so beautiful here. The stars just shine a little brighter in the country.

Even though they can be a little wild, I enjoyed bringing our girls and all of the adventures we take the four of them on. I hope they remember all of the unique places we visit over years to come.

We are planning another trip with just us mamas one day. It’s a place that is just good for the soul. Until next time, Round Top!

Hugo

Hugo

Sometimes when you lose something special to you, pieces of that loss will show back up in other things. In this case, a horse. ⁣⁣

13 years ago I lost “the one” to a brain tumor and it wrecked my world. That one horse you only get to have one time. The special one. He was my all around rodeo horse and we did it all. He was my safe place, one I could turn steers, run barrels, or hop on bare back in a halter and ride trails for hours. We were both 16 when he passed and since then I’ve had a lot of great horses but not one that compared to him in personality, disposition, athleticism, heart, etc. ⁣⁣

I still have Flash, my heel horse but we’ve been looking for something I could head off of, Zack could learn off of, and something else the girls could hop on when they wanted to. I’ve looked for months and gave up hope long ago I’d ever find another Pete. ⁣
⁣⁣
Until two weeks ago. I was on a Texas Team roping horse group and came across this guy and just knew in my spirit I needed to try to get him. ⁣I could just tell. ⁣He traveled from The New Mexico/Texas state line all the way to our ranch yesterday and it feels like home.
⁣⁣
It might not mean a lot to someone on the outside looking in but I felt like yesterday I got a little bit of my Pete back and some of my heart. We had so many plans and lot of rodeos to do and I lost a lot of precious time but I’m excited to start some new memories with this boy who reminds me so much of him. I’m excited for him to teach my husband and let my girls love all over him. ⁣⁣Next project as soon as hay season is finished is getting our arena up and breaking in fresh steers on this guy.

Horses have ways of healing places of your heart you didn’t know needed to be healed. Welcome to the Rafter PS Hugo. You are loved so much already.

A Fresh Start

A Fresh Start

Launch day is finally here! Welcome to my new blog. This space has been a labor of love for the last 8 months and I’m so excited to get back to writing and sharing.

After 10 years of blogging, I decided to give this space a facelift with the help of my sweet friend Talia and start from scratch. Most of my ramblings over the last decade have been geared more towards family updates and a way for me to get my thoughts out as journal entries for my kids to read one day. Albeit I will still be doing that, but this space will now serve a few other purposes and as a creative outlet for me. You’ll also find more recipes with Hayfield Meals , Home Design projects, faith, favorite things, happenings on the Rafter PS and more! I have so much planned for my little corner of the web and can’t wait to start sharing with you all. ⁣⁣For the full effect, viewing on a computer is best!!!!

Every single detail on this design was personalized to me. The main logo is a redraw from a photo of me below. The rope, and horseshoe details to symbolize my hobbies. The Indian paintbrushes throughout as my favorite flower and a personal family sentiment. Our brand, my about story, love for music, rose the longhorn, a quote from one of my favorite books, etc. Everything was carefully planned and thought out.

The rural lifestyle is in my bones and I am grateful we get to raise our kids this way. I’m thankful I get to live out the rest of my days, still on the back of a horse, in a paintbrush covered field of cattle. What a blessing. I cannot wait to document this trail ride of life on my small corner of the web. I hope you enjoy this space as much as I do and hope it serves as a place where you can find unique things, laughter, encouragement, tips, and to use as a resource.

Happy Trails.