This post is sponsored by Horizon but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.
By now, everyone has seen what a huge, and I mean HUGE, trend anything having to do with the word “farmhouse” has become. I’m totally not ashamed to say that I jumped on that bandwagon years ago at the peak of my Joanna Gaines obsession, and mama’s never looked back. Then, a couple of years ago we bought our first house (you can read more about that here), and it was as if all of my “Fixer Upper” dreams came true all at once. I mean we had a total fixer upper on our hands y’all, and we couldn’t wait to transform our little Murray cottage into the kinda farmhouse the Gaines’ would be proud of.
We even got a little boost in motivation when I found out just weeks later that we were pregnant with our second baby (oh Cha Cha ?). We knocked out projects left and right over nine months, which would have taken most people a solid year or two to finish. Not that I would recommend having a baby just to finish a house, but it sure did the trick ? Now a year and a half later, we’re slowly but surely getting around to decorating room-by-room. Sometimes, it’s as if Joanna herself is standing there with me picking out the latest style of cotton garland at Kirkland’s – one can dream, right? Then one day, as I sat there pondering “WWJD” – it hit me…what does the farmhouse lifestyle mean anyway?
I mean, we throw the word farmhouse around like a bunch of teens swooning over the latest trend in fashion. And yet, do we truly understand what it means? My guess is, when Joanna and Chip first revealed their version of farmhouse living, they never would have thought in a million years it would be turned into such a pervasive, all encompassing term. Because I kinda always hated going along with a trend just because it’s the trendy thing to do – all this really got me thinking. Isn’t choosing the “farmhouse” lifestyle more than just decor? Wouldn’t it be truly something if we actually sat back and remembered that people have been living and raising families on farms for hundreds of years, and that maybe there’s something more to it than just how we outwardly portray it?
Ok ok, enough with the heavy, and on to what I’ve come to realize as some very simple ways that my family can start to adapt our own farmhouse lifestyle – beyond just the Joanna-inspired milk jug planters strategically placed on our front porch (but dang they’re cute).
Step 1: Eat Organic
I realize eating organic food may not be the most novel idea, and by now most of us tend to buy organic foods whenever possible, but it’s still worth noting. Especially when it comes to feeding young, developing, hungry bellies. The biggest thing for me, was transitioning my family to drinking grassfed milk. I was so happy to find one of my favorite brands of milk, Horizon, now makes Organic Grassfed Milk. It’s not only great for the family, environment, and cows – it’s also made without GMOs (even their cows eat organic ?.
They’re also committed to raising their cows humanely and don’t use antibiotics or growth hormones,* plus their cows are pasture raised on family farms.** For all of these reasons, and not to mention it also just tastes better than any other milk, I will never go back to drinking other kinds of milk. I always purchase our Horizon Organic Grassfed Milk at Walmart, and you can learn more about what makes Horizon farms special by visiting: https://www.horizon.com/standards-of-care.
Step 2: Love Thy Neighbor
I know it sounds trite, or just plain “a given.” But can you honestly say that you’ve done this – like actually felt love for your neighbors? Because before we moved into our first home, we’d been living in 1 bedroom apartments in LA and NYC – two places (especially the latter) where this doesn’t exactly come so easy to do. But I have to say, from the moment we even looked at our sad little fixer upper – we knew we’d hit the jackpot on neighbors. They’ve been there for my family in ways that I would have never, ever imagined. From bringing over food when they knew Grant was traveling for weeks on end, to stopping by and dropping off Starbucks for me in the morning “just cuz” – I can truly say that I love our neighbors. Oh sure, you won’t always click with everyone and there will surely be the occasional issue, but even then – at the end of the day, I still can find compassion in my heart to show them respect as long as they do the same. I’ve come to accept this as the unspoken code of the farmhouse manual, and it’s been something I’m grateful for time and again.
Step 3: Raise Mindful Children
This one might be what I think about most when it comes to parenting our two young children. In a world of technology obsessed zombies (and trust me, I’m not excluding myself from this label half the time), it often dawns on me – are we teaching our kids that doing mindless tasks like playing on their tablet or getting sucked into a video game for hours is what our days are meant to be like? Again, wouldn’t it be something if we took a cue from our ever-so idolized farmers, that maybe a little manual labor or just getting outside and working in the yard could actually do the whole family some good? Let me answer that one for you. Yes. We’ve always said that one thing we will never regret as part of our decision to fix up a house – is what it has taught our son Garrett about hard work, determination, and ultimately seeing a job through to the end. He has grown into one of the most hard-working 5 year olds I think I’ve ever met. The kid just loves to be outside, in the garage, or in the garden helping us tend to our home. And that folks, is what I like to think the farmhouse lifestyle is all about.
I hope I’ve given you some things to think about, and if you have your own tips for adapting this lifestyle for yourselves – I’m all ears!
* No significant difference as been shown between milk from rBST-treated and non rBST-treated cows.
** Per National Organic program regulations