LADY BRIEFS (VOL. 14)

Lauren is a herbalist, writer, and flower essence maker born & raised in Tennessee. Check out her small batch apothecary line,  Wooden Spoon Herbs  and  follow  her journey in seasonally grown herbal medicine. 

Lauren is a herbalist, writer, and flower essence maker born & raised in Tennessee.
Check out her small batch apothecary line, Wooden Spoon Herbs and follow her journey in seasonally grown herbal medicine. 

Lauren Haynes

What makes you feel strong?
My support system makes me feel strong. Friends, lovers, mentors, and plants. Just knowing that I am not doing this alone!
 
What was your last piece of nourishment?
My last piece of nourishment was an encouraging message from a friend, and picking elderflowers to make into medicine.

What do you grow?
I grow my spirit each day, and lots and lots of herbs for medicine!

What's in Your Tool Belt?

Garden tools are probably the biggest investment you will make in the garden and yet the most intimidating. Like all things green Amanda is here to help break down the gardening tool clutter by showing us what's in her garden tool arsenal. 

DIRT MOVERS + THE BIG GUNS

Wheelbarrow
Moving dirt, compost, and plant material around the yard
Spade
Edging the gardens, digging veggies in, assorted planting
Pitch Fork
Turning compost, mulching with straw, digging root veggies
Rake
Leaves, leaves, leaves


THE SMALL BUT MIGHTY

Work Boots/sun hat/natural bug spray
Bodily protection
Assorted Hand Tools (Hand circle hoe is my favorite):
Perfect for weeding small places, in between rows of greens, herbs, and veggies
Garden Twine and Labels
For strining off rows and labeling edibles
(Purple!) Flower Snips
A sharp one for cutting tender stemmed cut flowers for arrangements

 

Lady Briefs (vol.11)

Luci Kandler

What makes you feel strong?
Screen printing. Pulling the squeegee against the screen is pretty similar to a rowing motion - as you push the ink through, you apply pressure and pull towards yourself. Each pull, you can feel the muscles in your back and arms. The more work you produce, the more your body shows it.

What was your last piece of nourishment?
I really like to cook, it's one of my favorite things. Normally, that means a good protein and lots of vegetables (can't get enough of that green stuff! Kale! Broccoli! Brussels sprouts!) But, it was so cold and raining on Sunday, I needed something a little extra. I can cook but I'm no baker, the only thing I ever got down was oatmeal cookies- those, I got on lock. I make them loaded with golden and brown raisins, cracked pecans, extra cinnamon, sea salt, and organic chocolate chips. The best part is sharing them - perfect for Monday's long boring work meetings.

What do you grow?
I wish I grew more! I stick to herbs mostly. But I'm lucky, I have two amazing friends (you might know one of them ;) that garden like champs and sometimes there's something leftover. Last summer I went on a trip to Atlanta and became obsessed with fried green tomatoes. There were some green beauties waiting for me at home that I got to experiment with and I'm looking forward to making them again this summer.

Lady Briefs (vol.8)

Jesse Seehof, yoga + barre teacher at  Blooma  Twin Cites. 

Jesse Seehof, yoga + barre teacher at Blooma Twin Cites. 

JESSIE SEEHOF CARLSON


What makes you feel strong?  
Working out makes me feel strong, so does making it through an epic tantrum of a child and not losing my cool, when I can manage that, I feel super human. Loads of inner om'ing.

What was your last piece of nourishment?
Last bit of nourishment . . . making soup. however I am a HUGE fan of a hot bath or shower, water grounds me.

What do you grow?
When I am not growing humans, I am growing lavendar, chamomile!

Lady Briefs (vol.7)

Pull up a chair with the  Flock of Broads  and enjoy some damn good reads from daily desk cries to recipes and gift guides. 

Pull up a chair with the Flock of Broads and enjoy some damn good reads from daily desk cries to recipes and gift guides. 

MEET THE FLOCK

KATE SOMMERS
What makes you feel strong?
Starting to train again after 5 years away from running. 
Carrying both of my 4 year olds in my arms at the same time… even if it’s usually only from the living room to their bedroom
Beginning a new life in a new city with all three of my boys by my side
What was your last piece of nourishment?
Spending half of my birthday week eating, drinking and window shopping with two of my closest ladies.. oh and those guys I mentioned earlier
What do you grow?
Succulents, friendships, a balcony garden (fingers crossed) some feisty red-headed boys and now that I live in the dessert, hopefully a couple cacti.


TALIA WISCHMANN
What makes you feel strong?
When I eat a kale salad for lunch instead of French fries.
What was your last piece of nourishment?
French fries
What do you grow?
I love growing indoor herbs in the winter, because it makes me feel like I'm still getting something slightly fresh and homegrown. In the summer I'm a tomato freak.


ANGIE ENGER
What makes you feel strong?
Knowing that I am a female leader at my company, even when it's hard. Knowing that I make a difference for my coworkers and industry. And I'm damn good at my job.
What was your last piece of nourishment?
A weekend of doing normal things with two of my favorite women in a sunny city. 
What do you grow?
My marriage. Every day.
 

CARLY BEETSCH
What makes you feel strong?

Most recently, knowing my body grew a human, pushed it out and knows exactly what it's supposed to do to keep her alive. Super power strength right there. 
What was your last piece of nourishment?
A cara cara orange for the body and a video of a really sassy young boy dancing to Justin Bieber for the mind. 
What do you grow?
We've established the baby growing thing already so I'll go with my most prideful garden accomplishment to date: 4 really delicious cantaloupes.

Lady Briefs (vol.6)

AMANDA EASTVOLD

What makes you feel strong? 
Giving birth. 
Doing triathlons. 
Healing. 
Making my husband laugh. 
Hearing Ani DiFranco's "32 flavors"

What was your last piece of nourishment?
Protein.  
Protein.
Protein.
Hearing my husband laugh. 

What do you grow?
Everything and anything that will grow in Minnesota-
think wild French kitchen garden. 
Two boys. 
My heart. 

Lady Briefs (vol.5)

Sara Bartus the Hare of  Pheasant & Hare

Sara Bartus the Hare of Pheasant & Hare


Sara Bartus

What makes you feel strong?
Hugging someone I love, overcoming fear, eating healthy, and a new one for me, running intervals to a great, fast, pop song. Seeing progress.

What was your last piece of nourishment?
Crispy fried tofu, roasted sweet potatoes and cauliflower with hot sauce, micro greens, and a piece of chocolate for balance. Listening to empowering podcasts. A mug of tea and snuggling with my husband and our dog.  

What do you grow?
Herbs, orchids, ferns, and a meyer lemon tree. In the summer, lovely vegetables for the deer to steal... Joy in the little things, belief in my dreams and abilities, friendships, love, confidence, and muscles. 

Lady Briefs (vol.4)

photo by  Sean O'Brien

Mariah 

What makes you feel strong?  
Lifting heavy shit.
Saying "I'm sorry" and meaning it
Moments of uninhibited vulnerability

What was your last piece of nourishment?
Saying "hell, yes" to too many (just enough) pina coladas in Mexico
Reading Watts, Frankle, Brene Brown and The Queen Toni Morrison
Saying no to things I too often say yes to and shouldn't

What do you grow?
Pups and chicks
Self-acceptance and self-love
Indoor plants (attempt #5 at keeping them alive)

LADY BRIEFS (VOL. 3)

Ellie Taylor

What makes you feel strong? 
Hiking. Sweating. Fresh air. Watching my daughter take on new things/risks/fears. And checking things off my to-do list! I’m a working mother – you gotta celebrate the wins, no matter how small and that checkmark feels good.

What was your last piece of nourishment? 
For my growing belly: 
What I should tell you: roasted salted almonds
What I shouldn’t tell you: Cadbury mini eggs
I had both.
For my soul: an honesty-filled lunch date with a good friend. And purging junk out of my house.

What do you grow?
Babies. Ha. I’m 7 months pregnant so that’s top of mind.
Otherwise, I plant a garden of veggies in my backyard, most of which end up not being used since it’s all picked by an over anxious toddler the moment it breaks through the soil.

Lady Briefs (vol. 2)

Gracie+Gold photography.


Gracie+Gold photography.

Nora McInerny Purmort

What makes you feel strong?  
Running, deadlifting, moving my body in any way that reminds me what it feels like to struggle and what a privilege it is to be alive and healthy.

What was your last piece of nourishment?
A gluten free bagel, toasted with avocado, cream cheese and pomegranate seeds.

What do you grow?
Too many motherfucking tomatoes. I NEVER ACTUALLY EAT THEM AND THEY TAKE OVER EVERYTHING.

Buy her book! Nora has a little (huge) book coming out later this year. Preorder her book today and help her build a braver more supportive community through Still Kickin

 

 

Momma Love

 

In honor of mothers day, Tootie & Dotes have left the field to talk motherhood and celebrate a couple of amazing ladies who also happen to have birthed a babe or two.

These ladies are makers, growers, professionals, photographers, adventures, etc. but first and foremost they are women! hear them roar!  

 

 

Kate N.G. Sommers
Many of us have been admiring Kate Sommers from afar as a super talented photographer, foodie and broad of the delightfully witty flock of broads. She is also a mother of two twin boys, and in our book that makes her a goddess. 


 

 

 

 

 

 

What are you growing, raising, producing? 
Indoors, I’m trying my hand at propagating succulents (which I have been obsessed with for over a decade), outside, I always aspire for a lush and prosperous vegetable garden, raspberries, kiwi berries, choke cherries, an unidentifiable apple tree, rhubarb and strawberries. One year I found a ramp in my backyard near the compost, and I really have an affinity for moss, but know nothing about how to grow it. I also tend to a small flock of children, Arthur and Charlie, my three year old twin boys. 

Who do you admire?
Well damn, that’s hard to pinpoint. I love it when people are doing things that are different, authentic and real. I’ve always been cripplingly self conscious and worry that I let others influence who I am too much, but recently realized that as long as I am learning from them, and not stealing their ideas, I’m probably in the clear. A few people in no particular order: My husband, for putting up with me for 11 years together (married 7.5) and for growing so much as a person. My parents for allowing me to develop into the well rounded liberal that I am. My closest girl friends, who let me open up to them about my troubles and still somehow like me most of the time. My fellow ladies in Flock of Broads, for opening up and exposing their feelings to a sea of internet strangers

How do you get your hands dirty?
I was raised by a single mother and learned that as long as I have the tools and where-with-all (google) I’m positive I can do pretty much anything. I muck out our chicken coop, dig out weed trees by their roots (is there any other way?) organize the garage, sew seeds and love any opportunity to try a new powertool. 

What keeps you sane?
Watching my kids play in the water, long walks alone while listening to spotify, spontaneous art projects, fixing things that are broken, updating our 120 year old farmhouse and watching old New Girl episodes on repeat.

What are you most proud of today?
I worked my ass off when I was younger. I had a 50 hour a week job and somehow managed to have a successful photography business on the side. Neither the job nor the business stuck around, but the work I did paid off to get me the job and knowledge I have today, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I don’t have an MBA like a lot of my colleagues, but I’m scrappy as hell and love to learn and hope that I pass those traits along to my children. 

What has surprised you the most out becoming a Mother?
There seems to be this underlying expectation that now that I’m a mom I suddenly have to change my entire identity: have mom friends, wear boring different clothing, throw away my personality. Sure, I have friends that are moms, but most of those people were my friends before either of us had kids. I still shop at all of my old haunts (hey, H&M makes trendy basics that fit and that I CAN AFFORD) and I’m not going to stop dropping f-bombs just because I have three-year-old sponges… I’ll just try to use them when my kids aren’t around. 

What do you hope to leave behind?
Compassionate children who do their part to make the world better. 

Digging up beets with her granddad in Mansfield, Texas. 

Digging up beets with her granddad in Mansfield, Texas. 


Jenny Dickinson 
One of the most grounded and generous women we know, Jenny is an amazing mother of two boys, a loving wife and incredible friend with a killer eye for unique vintage finds that you can pick up at Hill Valley Boutique. She is a true northern women, maker, cook, mama, etc. and we admire the crap out of her!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

What are you growing, raising, producing, making?
Growing a garden.  Raising 2 children.  Producing home made beauty and health products.  Making all sorts of things for home and family.  These days, I am mainly making toys and entertainment for my 2 children, and building furniture and a tree house with my husband.

What kind of women do you admire? 
All kinds of women. All of them. 
I admire women who do not complain, but rather, find solutions to the problem at hand.  I admire women who do not gossip, but rather, discuss new ideas.  I admire women who aren't afraid to speak their mind.  I admire women who are mentally strong.  I admire women who are unique.  I admire women who are artistic.  I admire women who create.  I admire women who own their flaws, and try to improve upon them.   I admire women who embrace their imperfections.  I admire women who are confident and comfortable in their own skin.  I admire women who love others more than they love themselves.

How do you get your hands dirty?
Over the last 2 weeks...planting herbs in the garden with my 6 year old, changing my 4 month old's diapers, cooking from scratch in many kitchens, brewing up all sorts of coffee concoctions at the cafe/vintage boutique (Hill Valley) where I work, picking up trash around the neighborhood with my kids, second attempt at making home made dry shampoo, first attempt at making home made bug repellent, making home made diaper cream, stripping/refinishing a vintage desk for resale, churning up the compost, painting a chalkboard wall with a shark tooth border in my 6 year old's bedroom, canning sour kraut with my mom, volunteering in my son's kindergarten class, playing fetch with the dog, playing at the park with my kids, stamping price tags for my job as a vintage vendor...

What inspires you?
Everything. Especially people doing inspiring things.
People pursuing their passion rather than a paycheck.
Children.  Nature.  Art.  

What are you most proud of today? 
My children. They are, at present (and probably forever), my greatest accomplishment.
My husband. Always. My family and friends. Who they are as people, all that they have accomplished, and continue to accomplish. Never choosing a career for financial gain. But always having a career that has fulfilled me. The slow and steady process of becoming as self sufficient as possible.I am proud of my city.  I grew up, and continue to live in the great city of Northeast Minneapolis. We are experiencing a major boom right now, and it is being noticed all around the country. 

What trait have you grown since becoming a Mother? Any hopes for your children?
Since becoming a mother. Hmmm.  Pride. I have never been more proud of anything. Not even close.  And, Fear. Fear of anything bad ever happening to my children.  It is, no doubt, inevitable. Still, never have I had a greater fear, or known fear in such an intense way. Hopes for my children...endless.  I hope they are happy. I hope they grow up to be good people.  I hope they grow up to be people who make up their own minds about things.  I hope they grow up to be great friends.

What advice has most stuck with you?
When dealing with children, pick and choose your battles.  All too much of it is just not worth the fight. Also, I recently read an anonymous quote online, "The way that you speak to your children becomes their inner voice."  This quote is going to stick with me.  I think that all adults need to keep this in mind when dealing with children...and that one time that my mom told me "...everyone has at least one good quality about them.  Find the good, and focus on the good."

What advice will you leave behind?
Make your own mistakes. Everyone will tell you to "learn from other's mistakes."  You will do a fare share of that in this life as well. But, learn from your own mistakes.  And make a lot of mistakes.  Tons and tons of them!  You will learn a lot that way. 

Oh yeah, and live within your means. And, my 6 year old would like me to add: don't liter.


 

Charlotte Cooper, owner of Sunnybrook Bonnets & Hoo Hats
You are one lucky lady if you are able to call this woman sister but owning one of her adorable hats or bonnets is certainly a pretty ok consolation prize. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What are you growing, raising, producing? 
Two beautiful children, a fetus, a half dozen fruit trees, several half-finished craft projects & way too many hats.

Who do you admire?
Amanda Soule from Soulemama blog. That women manages to get so much stuff done. She denies it, but I swear she must have staff.

How do you get your hands dirty?
I’m done with diapers for the time being, so it’s mostly via planting vegetables & herbs. But I find more often than not I’m usually just moving stuff around in the garden -I feel like I’m always rearranging & organizing, either indoors or out. 

What keeps you sane?
Who said I was sane? I have a 3 & a 6 year old & a small business I try to manage from home. I’m not sure sanity & small children are compatible in any case.

What are you most proud of today?
My partner & I have successfully managed to shelter our children from most aspects of pop culture. My 6 year old has no idea who either Dora or Big Bird are & my 3 year old has never gyrated to Taylor Swift. This fact just pleases me so damned much. I know it can’t last forever, but we’re holding out as long as we can.

What has surprised you the most out becoming a Mother?
How hard it can be to actually, physically become one. I admit I felt quite entitled to my first two, but this last one (currently en route) was hard won after several long & painful detours through miscarriage-land. 

What’s the one word you would use to describe childbirth? 
Exhilarating! Incomparable! Pivotal! Just one?

What’s the one word you would use to describe motherhood?
All-encompassing.

What hopes do you have for your children?
May they be kind & wise, with open minds & hearts. And God forbid they become fundamentalists or Republicans!


What inspires you?
Creativity -the makers, the sewers, the woodworkers, the jewelers, the knitters, the gardeners, the welders, the painters, the sculptors. So much these hands are capable of if we put them to the task! I fear my life will be too short to try all the new things.

What advice has most stuck with you?
“Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” It’s a verse from the Sermon on the Mount (KJV) & the language is simply splendid & spooky & wonderful. It basically means “today has enough worries, so leave tomorrow alone.” I can’t say I always abide by it, but it’s advice that certainly sticks with me.

What do you hope to leave behind?
A few good people, a handful of truly happy memories & far too many photographs.

 


 

Rebecca Lunna
This spunky, sincere, smart woman is not only one of our favorite former co-workers but also an amazing mother, wife and friend. We're inspired by her desire for adventure, which you can follow along with over at Oh Darling Adventures

What are you growing, raising, producing?
I have a robust vegetable garden that creeps into a little more of our third acre lot every year. This year I’m adding fruit to our yard and got a dwarf cherry bush at the Friends Plant Sale where I always pick up a few fun, new things in addition to the basics. And a funny, willful, strong and often leopard clad nearly seven-year old.


Who do you admire?
In the interest of picking someone who most reflects the kind of life I’m crafting, I’m going to say Tina Roth Eisenberg (aka the Swiss Miss). She turned creative outlets in to businesses and melds her life and work in a way that seems like it’s working.


 

How do you get your hands dirty?
At home, I weed. Constantly. It’s a meditative experience for me and I find that after a weekend spent in the garden, I feel calm, optimistic and accomplished. 

What keeps you sane?
See above. 

What are you most proud of today?
I have two things. Is that allowed? But they’re related to two key themes: going outside of my comfort zone in order to grow and putting up or shutting up. 
The first is my business, Oh Darling Adventures. I have a lot of ideas, like bees, buzzing around in my head every damn day. This is one that I promised myself I’d take to fruition and I am. And it’s given me more than just a business. It’s made me feel much more confident in a different element of myself. 
The second is a more physical one. My sister in law and I have wanted to through hike the Superior Hiking Trail for more than a decade. And we both realized that a decade is too long to talk about something so we’re doing it. It’s tough to really capture how meaningful it is as an experience but I’ll be trying to on Oh Darling. 

What has surprised you the most out becoming a Mother?
The amount of personal growth I’ve gotten out of raising a child. And, of course, how often I sound like my own mother.

What’s the one word you would use to describe childbirth?
Unexpected. I prepared for a natural birth with a midwife and ended up in an operating room with a C-section. It taught me an important rule of parenting: Be flexible. 

What hopes do you have for your children?
Tina Fey’s “A Mother’s Prayer for Her Daughter” pretty much sums up everything I want for my own daughter. I’m flexible on tattoos though.

What inspires you?
People who go for it. 

What advice has most stuck with you?
When my husband and I first bought our house, we were sitting in our backyard and I was having some kind of epic freakout. (Something not isolated to that day and also salient that I can’t remember the specifics.) After a fairly lengthy pep talk, he looked at me and said, “All you really need is a loving partner and a good garden.” In times of both up and down, it’s a mantra that’s got many layers of meaning in our house.