Let's face it...life can be hard. And confusing. And, at times, just downright intimidating. Everyone needs an encouraging word from time to time, so we decided we'd take a stab at giving some of our best business and life advice. Enjoy!

"It took me a long time to figure out that you shouldn't wait to be yourself around people and coworkers -- it is too exhausting to hide your true colors. It is also good to remember that you are not always going to agree with everyone. It is important to be respectful of others' beliefs and sometimes just agree to disagree and continue to have open dialogue. It is not worth fighting over things just to be able to say you are right." – Kate G.

"My voice is important, and I don't think I knew that when I was younger, so I feel a lot more confident saying what I think, but making sure to couch it in a way that is more gentle, rather than just word vomit. Have confidence in your ideas and your thoughts because they're important.

Wear whatever you want. If you are uncomfortable, you will lose that confidence, and that's the thing that makes people kind of go "huh?". Instead of how you look it's what you're projecting, so if you feel good and confident, you will look good and confident." – Kelsey

"Don't worry about what other people think. If you're so hung up on what everybody else thinks, it's gonna distract you from being yourself, and you'll kind of float around for a while, worrying about making everybody else happy in the world, in the environment around you, and you'll lose touch with who you are and it'll take longer to find out who you are. So just truly be yourself, especially if you're on the road to being a good, positive person, and that will give you self-confidence that will naturally come about. Don't be afraid to poke fun at yourself a little bit for your insecurities, because that also lets everybody know that you're not a threat when you talk to them. That drops people's walls down and they'll open up to you to a whole world of conversation." – Jake (honorary 1canoe2er, pro beard-grower and stellar carpenter!)

"The most important thing that I missed is that I should be confident in who I am in and my skills, because that will take you further than anything. Don't let the fear of failing dull your life or hold you back. Don't always be the nice guy and let others seize those opportunities that come along. Believe in yourself and know that you are just as important and worth it and you should not hold back. Try to go after what you want in life. Go after what makes you happy and completely disregard whatever people will think or might say because what is most important is your own happiness and self worth, and I would just say at the end to challenge yourself every day. Challenge yourself to learn, to be a better person, and live life to the fullest." – Crystal

"I think that my best life advice is to not worry about being weird. Just be comfortable in your own skin. Embrace it and take the things that make you unique and just run with it." – Beth 

"I think it's really important to take the time to decide what you want to do. I think that whenever you first graduate college you're like "I am a Psych major. That means I can do this, and only this." But I think it's really important to not box yourself in and explore other options that you might think better suit your interest because you might be surprised. A good life skill is how to market yourself so make sure that when you interview for whatever job make sure you do your homework, your research, and tailor yourself to that company to make yourself appealing." – Angela

"I'd tell myself to be good to the people around you. No one has it all figured out and it's better to be lost together than alone. And an act of kindness goes a long way." –Liz

"I have three main points: the first is to be willing to be surprised. I was always very adamant on life looking a certain way and it had to be my way and I didn't allow possibility for any other options. I really wish I would've been more open to multiple possibilities even if it doesn't always seem like it's amazing at the forefront. You're not supposed to peak whenever you're 21, 22, and I just thought I would, and whenever I didn't I was so ashamed and I felt like such a failure and that's not how it should be at all. Enjoy the journey, let life be life, and be willing to be surprised because that's so much more fun and so much more fluid and organic anyway.

2. Kindness matters so much. One thing I noticed through different employers I had is that kindness is actually really hard to find and it's all about how you treat people. That's what matters -- that's what people will remember is how you made them feel and did you go above and beyond in treating them like people, or were you just in a hurry to get your work done?

3. Work hard, but not at the expense of losing yourself. Working hard is very important. You should always give your all in whatever you're doing. But I think there were times when I definitely lost myself in what I was doing and I let it takeover my life. I know where I was coming from. I was very driven and I wanted to do my best and this was my best but I didn't make many memories along the way. There were times when I became a shell of a person because I was just so stressed with what I was doing rather than having a proper balance in life." – Gretchen

"I wish that I would have started to get to know not only the business world and how the people around me function best, but also myself and how I function best. I wish I would have realized at a younger age that when I go into a job I have a lot of control over how I'm managed and how others around the office interact with me. You don't just have to go in and your manager treats you one way and one way only -- you kind of get to shape that relationship. But the catch is, you can't start to shape it until you realize: this is how I work, this is when I'm most productive. Do I really like being around people or do I like being by myself? Do I respond best to bullet points or paragraphs of details? Answering questions like these will help you define your boundaries, which is super important. No one will respect your boundaries unless you know and respect them.

When I was an intern, I was really eager to please everybody, which is great. Work hard and please the people that you're working for. But now being on the flip side of that where I'm the one doing the managing, I think I would tell my younger self to not let that desire to please interfere with taking risks and being a self-starter. Present an idea to your manager before they even realize that they need it. That's a huge help. Doing what your told is great, but creating work without being told is what will really make you stand out against the rest." – Haley

"I feel like a lot of my advice has to do with being afraid. DON'T be afraid. Don't be afraid to be different. Everybody's different. I tend to be an introvert, and so I always felt like there was something wrong with me. But along the way you learn that everybody has different personalities and that's okay. Be who you are and work to your strengths.

Also, don't be afraid to make mistakes. Everybody screws up. Don't try to be a perfectionist. If you make a mistake, own it, fix it, and then it'll be good. Don't be afraid to do different things just because you have an education in this or this is what your degree is in. Don't be afraid to learn something or do something different if you feel lead to go that way. Work hard and be nice to people." – Janel

What life advice would you give to your past self? Comment and let us know!

:: Claire the Intern ::

It's been a busy summer over here, so we wanted to give you guys a quick peek at what's been going on at the bank. And don't forget to follow #barntobank on all of our social media to stay updated on the process. Enjoy!

Court Street... where all the action takes place.

Demolition is a messy process.

But we found some pretty awesome treasures in the process!

History covers these walls... and ceiling!

And the view of our little town doesn't hurt, either.

And here's some bonus photos of just a couple of the brave souls who are tackling this project!

Told you it's a dirty process!

Once these walls are finally done, we can't wait to start DECORATING! We'll surely hang up a few of our art prints, but the rest is still up in the air! Any interior decorators? Comment with some fresh ideas!

Thanks for checking in! Have a great week, and keep checking back with #barntobank!

:: Michaela the Intern ::


{Without You Spots | Featured in the Pen Pal Collection!}

When’s the last time you sent someone a letter? Not an email or a sticky note pressed onto their door – I’m talking about good, old-fashioned snail mail. Do you remember how it feels to pick it out, wield your favorite pen, and to pour your thoughts into that card? Unlike electronic communication, the limited space makes each word precious, and when you pull that long-awaited response out of the mailbox, nothing feels better than seeing your loved one’s familiar handwriting spelling out your name.

When you take the time to participate in a written conversation, you start an ongoing relationship that no email chain can replace. Here at 1canoe2, we miss that tangible exchange, and we want to bring it back! Here’s the game plan: 

  1. Pick a pen pal. It can be your grandma, your best friend, or someone you’ve lost touch with – it’s completely up to you.
  2. Break out your favorite card. Write your pal at least once each month. We will send out a prompt every month for inspiration, but you’re more than welcome to start a different conversation!
  3. Share your wisdom. Is there a line in the letter that just speaks to you? Or maybe the envelope is too pretty to keep to yourself? We’d like to see! Tag your favorite pen pal moments on social media with #1c2penpal and we’ll do the same. You may just get some free swag out of the deal ;)

{Bushel and a Peck}

If you’re feeling stressed, don’t be! We’ve got you covered with five easy tips to handwriting letters, brought to you by an honorary 1canoe2er, Whitney. She's pretty much the best, and she gives stellar advice on how to love others with a full heart. In fact, Whitney is the pen pal of our Creative Marketing Director, Haley!

Ready to get going?! Here’s your first prompt: Pick a pen pal and write them a catch-up note to get yourself started. Fill them in on the pen pal details, or just direct them here to get them up to speed. And guess what...you can even choose US as your pen pal! Send the 1canoe2 crew some love and we'll do our best to answer your letters. You can send mail to:

1canoe2 Pen Pal
413 Court Street
Fulton, MO 65251

Now I know what you’re thinking… you’re gonna need some new cards! Well, my friend, you are in luck! Use the code 1C2PENPAL to get 10% off the Pen Pal Collection.

Thanks for joining in the pen pal movement!

:: Claire the Intern ::


{Streets of Venice}

Last February I was fortunate enough to take an impromptu trip to Italy with Rachel, one of my best friends from college. We had such a great time! Italy is an extremely small country compared to the United States, so we were able to see quite a bit for only being there a week. Here are some of my tips, tricks, and must-dos:

TRAVEL TIP :: Subscribe to airline alerts via their individual websites. The airline will send you a weekly email that outlines specials that are running. Most of the time they’re pretty small…a couple dollars here, a couple dollars there…but every once in a while they drop a big one. Such was the case for my impromptu trip to Italy. Emirates Airlines was having a special to fly from NYC to Milan for..brace yourselves..$400 roundtrip!! Sold. 

TRAVEL TIP :: Being flexible pays off. I like to build up my travel savings account (yes..I have a separate savings account just for travel) and then sit on it a while before booking a trip. That way if I find an amazing deal (like the Italy flight special) I’m ready to take action immediately. Here’s my timeline for Italy — 

Found the flight special :: Wednesday

Booked my flight :: Thursday

Left the country :: Monday

Zach, a former 1canoe2er, was there when I booked my flight only 4 days out. To put it in his words, it was the biggest YOLO moment I’ve ever had.

PLACES TO SEE {THE COLOSSEUM} :: Jaw-dropping! I would 150% recommend spending the extra money to go to the lower level where you can walk the same corridors that gladiators and beasts alike walked hundreds of years ago. Down there you can also see the “elevators” that were used to release the animals into the arena. Ultra cool!

RANT :: I promise this will be the only rant. Please…make it a priority to put the phone down every once in a while. I was in Rome during the height of the selfie stick movement and to be honest, it left me feeling a little sad. I’m confident when I say that 95% of the people I saw on the street had selfie sticks glued to their outstretched hands. Rome is basically one giant museum without a ceiling. There is a new discovery around every corner. Discoveries that you are most likely paying hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars in travel costs to see…why pay all of that hard-earned money just to look through a lens!? I want to be present in the details, the weather, the crowds of people around or lack there of — being mindful in that moment is going to engrain that image in our minds and give a crisp recollection of details in a way that a photograph will never be able to do. The moment is not robbing us of a photo op, our photo op is robbing us of truly experiencing the thing we traveled thousands of miles to experience.

PLACES TO SEE {VATICAN CITY} :: What a beautiful place. Rome surrounds Vatican City, which is actually its own city-state. Not only is it headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church and home to the pope, its walls house some of the world’s most famous artwork. Michelangelo’s work on the Sistine Chapel alone is enough to make me want to go back again and again.

NOMS :: They say when you’re in Rome you should do as the Romans do. Well, Romans eat super delicious food. So we ate duper delicious food! And drank our weight in wine and Lemonchello… :) Unlike the precedent that fast-food has set in America, Italians take their time with meals, so Rachel and I followed their lead. The average dinner probably took us on average 3 or so hours to complete. The waiters in Italy expect your meal to take a long time and respect your privacy. They don’t hound you like American waiters do. In fact, it was hard at times to get the waiter’s attention in order to bring the check. Tipping isn’t necessary in Italy, but Rachel and I usually included a small tip (10 euro) with our long meals because not tipping felt strange. This was definitely more for our own comfort than their expectations. 

TRAVEL TIP :: I heard that renting a car in Italy was a little intimidating, so Rachel and I booked train tickets from one city to the next. We bought our tickets in advance and used a kiosk to print the physical tickets once we were at the station. The trains were was easy, comfortable and cheaper than renting a car would have been. Plus we didn’t have the extra stress of navigating. Italian streets didn’t seem to follow the same grid pattern that many of our cities do, so I was relieved not to have to navigate. Once we were in the city, we simply walked everywhere we wanted to go or jumped on a bus.

TRAVEL TIP :: Hostels are great! A lock on your suitcase is always a good idea, especially if you don’t have a private room. They will supply towels but don’t forget about footwear. Rachel and I tied doggy bags on our feet because we both forgot about shower shoes!

PLACES TO SEE {DUOMO} :: Situated inside the Florence Cathedral, the Duomo is a must-do! Visitors can climb up to the top of the dome to be greeted by an amazing view of the city. The climb involves steep steps and parts of the stairwell are incredibly tight, so if you’re claustrophobic at all, I would consider sticking to the ground floor.

PLACES TO SEE {ACCADEMIA + UFFIZI} :: Beautiful museums! The Accademia Gallery is most widely known as the home to Michelangelo’s David and was the smaller of the two. Uffizi Gallery is huuuge but worth it. My favorite painting was Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus. Being an art major in college, I felt like I spotted a celebrity when I saw it on the wall!

NOMS :: Get the steak! Florence is known for its steak and for darn good reason. 

TRAVEL TIP :: Transportation in this city is so fun!! The street are made of water (obviously) so there are water buses and water taxis to get you around. The taxis are super pricey, so I’d recommend taking the bus system. It takes a little longer because you have to dock up at every stop, but it’s fairly easy to navigate and much cheaper. Clothes that layer are a great idea in this city. Even when it’s warm on land, the water buses are a bit chilly when they get moving!

PLACES TO SEE {THE STREETS} :: We didn’t have a destination in Venice…Venice was our destination! Simply walking the sidewalks made for the perfect day. Because the large streets are water, the alleys are the way to get around on foot.

TRAVEL TIP :: Rachel and I had an experience in Venice where the hostel location we booked wasn’t the same location where we stayed. I think the address that we had was only the office location so then we had to walk to a second address to actually settle in and sleep. The man running the hostel couldn’t give us the address for some reason…so the entire exchange felt shady. While it all turned out perfectly okay, we felt extremely uncomfortable moving to a second location where no one back home would know where we were! I ended up turning on my cell service to take a picture of the location on Maps and I texted it back to my family. From now on I will be sure to ask if the room is on the same property of the address listed with the hostel information. Better safe than sorry.

If you’re planning a trip to Italy — have so much fun!! Comment with any questions and I’d be happy to chat with you!

:: Haley ::

P.S. If you’re a reader like me, you may be interested in one of my favorite travel books — Off Track Planet’s Travel Guide for the Young, Sexy, and Broke. Check it out!

A month before my 30th birthday, I started feeling anxious about how I would spend such a milestone of a day. Despite my long history of disliking my birthday (cue ‘its my party and I’ll cry if I want to’), I wanted to focus on the truly great people I’ve been blessed enough to be surrounded with. Quickly, I found myself online booking a cabin in the woods for the weekend of my birthday. I wanted a place that I could retreat to with the people that make life so wonderful. I found a little place 45 minutes away, booked it and started inviting all my people.

As the weekend approached, I was packing up and feeling giddy that I got to spend my birthday this way. I started thinking about how I could create a visual reminder of the weekend and decided to put together a little collaborative art project for everyone to work on while we were at the cabin. The brainstorming began and I started thumbing through an old coloring book of famous artworks that I bought while I was in college. I found a piece I loved by a great folk artist named Grandma Moses and decided to do something with it. I’ve always been drawn to her work and she created most of her pieces late in life. There’s something so hopeful about that and I hope I can still be creating that long!

So, I enlarged the page and cut it up into thirty pieces. I took a stack of the pieces with me to the cabin with some art supplies and had the gals work on them while we chatted and ate (and ate and ate). The rest of the pieces I brought home with me and I stuck them in the mail to friends and family that couldn’t be there. Checking the mail became pretty exciting as the pieces started to return. Each piece had such personality. I’ve got some artistically talented friends who used beautiful drawing techniques and then I’ve got some who rolled their eyes at the thought of coloring and had to be begged to complete a piece. But each one turned out great.

I eagerly waited to assemble all the pieces until I got the very last one. The final product makes me a sentimental mess. It’s a quilted version of the people that make life good. I don’t deserve to have these thirty people along for the ride, but I’m so grateful for them and I’m hoping this artwork will help me remember that on a regular basis.

:: Liz ::

On March 22, 2016 in Wood County Oklahoma, a small fire began. Because of high winds and dry climate, that fire would spread into neighboring Kansas. Over 400,000 acres of land would be burnt, making this the largest fire in Kansas history and the 7th largest fire in the history of the United States. The widespread blaze soon became known as the Anderson Creek Wildfire.

 

 

Within a day and a half of the fire’s beginning, communication headquarters had been set up in Barber County’s largest community, Medicine Lodge. Here, volunteers from around the community and outsiders specializing in this type of crisis management worked around the clock to provide support to those fighting the fire in the Gyp Hills. Churches opened their doors to feed the volunteers and collect donations for those affected by the blaze.  

 

Locals and firefighters from all around fought side by side to put out the massive flames. After 14 hour days of fighting fires, those in the heat of the situation came back to Medicine Lodge and told stories about how the fire seemed to spread a mile a minute due to the high wind speeds. The rugged terrain of the area made the process seem hopeless at times while the firefighters watched the trees burn at the bottom of large canyons. Wall clouds of smoke could be seen up to 40 miles away as ash rained from the sky on all of the surrounding communities.  

 

The Kansas National Guard Blackhawks were brought to the area to dump 660 gallons of water at a time on the flames. As a member of the community, seeing the Blackhawks flying from the hills back to the lake gave us a boost of hope that our firefighters now had the resources they needed to get ahead of the flames. After 10 days of continuous burning, the fire was contained.

 

The people who live in the Midwest are known for their resilience and the citizens of Barber, Comanche and Wood Counties are no different. As the fire smolders in the vast canyons of the burnt sienna colored Gyp Hills, the citizens of the area are helping their neighbors to re-build fence, round up cattle and begin rebuilding the outbuildings lost to the fire. People and agricultural organizations from the surrounding area have blessed those affected with gifts ranging from hay donations and hedge posts to cleaning supplies and clothing.

 

Researchers are still debating what the long term effects of this fire will be. Livestock in the area were lost, and those that survived now suffer from smoke inhalation. Burnt udders are leaving calves under nourished without extra supplements provided by milk replacers and hay. The people of the area have lost thousands of miles of fencing, hay reserves, outbuildings and even homes, but they remain humble and positive for what is yet to come.  




Five of my all-time favorite podcast episodes/TED talks for a little motivation and inspiration. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do! If you're stashing away your own favorites...send them my way in a comment!

How simple ideas lead to scientific discoveries
We are all explorers. The people that made discoveries just thought a little bit harder about what they were looking at and they were a little bit more curious. And their curiosity changed the way people thought about the world and thus it changed the world. They changed the world. And so can you. - Adam Savage

Why should we look at the clouds more often
Paying attention to something outside yourself is just enough to find yourself centered again. - Gavin Pretor-Pinney

Listen, learn...then lead
Leaders can let you fail without letting you be a failure. - Stanley McChrystal

Why it's time to forget the pecking order at work
No idea is born fully formed. It emerges a little bit as a child is born. Kind of messy and confused but full of possibilities - Margaret Heffernan

The source of creativity
Fear and creativity are conjoined twins - Elizabeth Gilbert

:: Haley ::

Hiya folks! Today I am here to help show you how to make some fun little pennants out of our fabulous Tucker Prairie fabric. They are very simple and I have done my best to outline the steps for you below. Keep in mind that I am an amateur crafter, so if I can do it you can too!

Supplies:

-¼ inch dowel rods (I got mine at Michaels)

-rotary cutter

-Tucker Prairie fabric

-cutting mat

-pennant pattern of desirable size (I made mine out of some scrap paper)

-sewing machine

-pinking shears

 

For these particular pennants I am showing below, I did not have any fabric left of significant size to make my pennants the same fabric on both sides. I ended up using complementary fabric patterns in different colors to give the pennants a two-tone effect.  If this is not desirable, just make sure you use one large piece of fabric, folded. This will also allow you to skip to steps 3-5 below. 

 

  1. Place pennant pattern onto fabric square(s).
  2. Using rotary cutter on the cutting mat, cut along pennant pattern. 
  3. Once fabric is cut, you will need to stitch the two pieces of fabric together on the straight edge that will be next to the dowel rod. The fabric pieces should be right sides facing together.  You will want to make sure that you stitch as close to the edge as possible. Be sure to back-stitch some at the beginning and end so the stitches do not come out.  
  4. Once stitched together, cut off excess fabric as close to the stitching as possible without cutting the stitches. This will limit the amount of excess seam when you add the flag to the dowel rod.   
  5. Fold the fabric where the right sides are now facing out and line up the edges.
  6. Start with the needle on the sewing machine about a ¼ inch in. Continue sewing around the edge of the flag using the ¼ inch line on the sewing machine as a guide.  
  7. IMPORTANT: To make a turn, you will want to make sure that the needle stays in the fabric. Stop the needle at desired spot, with the needle in the fabric, and raise the foot.  Turn fabric and realign with guideline. Lower foot and continue sewing.  You will need to do this maneuver several times to accommodate all the points on the pennant.     
  8. Once finished stitching, you should have a ¼ inch stitch line around the entirety of the flag.  
  9. Using pinking shears, cut along the edge of the pennant, not cutting the stitching, at desired width.
  10. Insert dowel rod into the opening.
  11. Repeat above steps until you have desired number of pennants!

 

Happy stitching!
:: Kate ::

 

I spent 6 lovely years living in Nashville, and sometimes I miss it so much it hurts! I love all things Southern: literature, steeplechase, traditions, and of course: the food. Mostly the biscuits. The Loveless Cafe is on the western edge of Nashville, and it’s the home of my very favorite biscuits in the world. Since I’m living back in my home state of Missouri, I had to try to figure out the secret recipe. I think I’ve come pretty darn close with this from a copycat recipe I found on Pinterest.


Loveless Cafe Style Biscuits

Yield: About one half-sheet pan of biscuits. Quantity depends on the size of your cutter. You can halve this recipe if you want. It makes a ton!


1 (¼-ounce) packet active dry yeast

2 tablespoons lukewarm water (105º to 115ºf )

5 cups Southern soft-wheat self-rising flour*  

¼ cup sugar

1  ½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon baking soda

1 cup vegetable shortening (Crisco)

1/2 cup buttermilk powder (you can find this on Amazon)

2 cups water

4 tablespoons (½ stick) butter, melted


* If you can find Martha White, get that. If not, I just use regular self-rising flour and it’s fine.


Directions

Get all of your ingredients together. Get some hot water from your tap. Make sure it’s not TOO hot.

Dissolve the yeast in the water in a 4 cup measuring cup or similar sized bowl. After a few minutes it should be foamy. If it’s not, your yeast isn’t any good and you need to get some fresh yeast.  Stir together the flour, sugar, salt and baking soda in a large bowl. Add the Crisco. Using a pastry cutter or just your fingers, crumble up the shortening until it’s in small pea sized chunks and coated with the dry ingredients.

Stir the buttermilk powder and water into the dissolved yeast. Stir into the flour mixture using a fork, just until moistened.

Grease a baking sheet with a little butter. Knead the dough lightly, about six turns. Do not overwork! It will make the biscuits tough. Roll out on a lightly floured surface to a ½-inch thickness. Stamp out biscuits with a 1 1/2-inch cutter. (Don’t twist the cutter  or the biscuits will rise taller on one side.) Gather, roll, and cut the scraps. Arrange the biscuits with sides touching on the prepared baking sheet - pack them in tightly. Cover with a damp lint-free towel. Let the biscuits rise in a warm place until they have doubled in bulk, at least 2 hours.  You can refrigerate them at this point.

Preheat the oven to 425ºf. Bake until the biscuits are lightly browned, about 15 to 20 minutes. Brush the tops with the melted butter and serve hot.

Serve with additional butter, honey or jam.

 

:: Beth ::

Fresh favorites from former 1canoe2er, @wlbuckner

 

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