Thursday, April 28, 2011

Turquoise Handbag - Turquoise Thursday

Ooh, ahhh

So you already know that I LOVE turquoise, but do you know that I also love ostrich skin. Therefore that makes this Turquoise Ostrich Skin Handbag from Dooney & Bourke amazing! 

I really, really want it, but it really, really doesn't fit into my budget. 
The alternative might work out quite nicely. 
I'm probably going to buy this. I just need to rework the budget a little bit.

And finally since we've got our hearts racing, why not one more. 

I am so glad turquoise is the in color this year. Time to pick up a new handbag.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Brand new earrings

We shall name her...

This is an ear tag. The Button goes
through the ear and into the tag.
An ear tag only will come out if it cut
out or that is suppose to be how it works
Easter weekend was filled with lots of work around the Boys farm. Including getting all the baby calves tagged. On almost all farms cattle get an ear tag, which is like a earring for cows. However, each farm has a different system to I.D. their cattle. On my family's farm each cow gets a name that will appear on her registration paper (like a paper on a purebred dog), and they also get a number, and that number will appear in their ear tag.

On the Boy's farm the calves also get numbers, however the Boy prefers to refer to each of his calves by name, and a shorten version of that name goes in the ear tag. Since I don't see the calves all the time it can get a little confusing when there are little red and white calves running all over the pasture, so I convince him to tag the calves this weekend so I could start to remember whose who!

I was the tag maker. I quickly got this duty when I made a comment about the Boy's penmanship. hehe

Me spell checking one of the names. Last thing we needed was calves with misspelled names!

Jon tagging one of the younger calves. 

The tags for the calves. The number at the top is their mother's number.

We put all the other calves in the alley. Jon held their heads while I gave them their new earrings. 

Sally with her new earring. The letter in the corner of the tag stands for her sire (dad's) name. 

It is funny to watch the calves get used to their new tags. They tilt their head to the side as if the tag weighs 5 lbs. instead of its actually weigh of a couple ounces. 

It is important that the calves are I.D. so that we can keep records on them. Performance information like birth weight and weaning weight will be recorded. Also, if an animal is sick and is treated this will also be recorded.

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Royal Wedding serves beef

Here comes the bride. 

Yes, I am one of those people that is pretty excited about the Royal Wedding. I mean the head of Canada is still the queen. I remember my mom crying watching Princess Diane's funeral. And I had one of those celebrity freak out moments when Queen Elizabeth visited Calgary, Alberta. I was interning with the Calgary Stampede and she made a visit to the grounds. By accident I ended up standing 20 feet away from her, and when she saw me she waved. Top ten moment.

I will be waking up to watch the Royal Wedding, and have been keeping close tabs on all the wedding details. I am hoping that the Australian are right and Prince William and Kate will be serving beef at the wedding. Otherwise you might have a wedding meal situation like this. Click here.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

I am Second - Trevor Brazile

Trevor Brazile is second and so am I

"The more concrete they put down, and the less grass the more being a cowboy means to me," Trevor Brazile, 8-time All Around World Champion Cowboy.

Awesome quote, but that isn't quite what this post is about. This is...

"The hard, part is over. Now you just have to believe."

I hope you and your family have a wonderful Easter and remember that second place isn't such a bad spot to be.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Boiled eggs, fires, and peta-supporting celebrities

Farm and Ranch Blogs worth reading 

I hope you are having an awesome weekend with your family and friends. I am traveling back to Iowa to celebrate Easter with the Boy and his family. Today there isn't a post from me rather 3 things that I thought you might find worth reading

The Perfect Boiled Egg - I never quite get boiled eggs right, however I really do love to eat them. Especially, on salads, and with Easter here this weekend 5 Chick and a Farmer's tutorial has perfect timing.

picture from Life on Kansas
Cattle Ranch
Pastures up in flames - Have you noticed pastures on fire in Kansas (and a few other places too) lately. That is because it is burning season. Debbie Lyons-Blythe of Life on a Kansas Cattle Ranch does a great job explaining why burning last year's grasses is important for maintain good grass health and ecosystem. It's worth checking out the posts just to see the pictures.

10 Singers who support animal rights extremists - 10 misinformed celebrities that don't truly understand what HSUS and Peta are all about. They would love it if we were all vegans, and that means no more livestock. Celestet Laurent does a great job of identifying those that aren't supporting what my family does.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Go Texan - Turquoise Thursday

Those Texans sure love their turquoise.

This week's Turquoise Thursday post comes from one of the men that follow my blog. When I was in Texas at the beginning of the month sitting in my trade show booth, starring at all the Turquoise Jewelry from Reads Jewelers, he stopped by and said he had something for my blog.

Yes, folks, that is a turquoise ear tag. Typically, we use ear tags as an I.D. method in livestock. However, Go Texan is using them as a promotional item. Kind of like my ear tag luggage tags. 

Go Texan, created by the Texas Department of Agriculture, to help promote the products, culture and communities that call Texas home. 

And since yesterday we decided we are definitely not going Vegan, here is a great beef recipe I found on the Go Texan website. 

Fresh Tomato, Beef and Bow Tie Pasta 

Serves 4.
1 pound lean ground beef
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 cups fresh tomatoes, chopped
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1-1/2 cups uncooked bow tie pasta
2 T. fresh basil, sliced
3 T. Parmesan cheese, grated

Cooking Directions
In a large nonstick skillet, brown ground beef and garlic over medium heat 8-10 minutes or until beef is no longer pink, breaking beef up into 3/4-inch crumbles. Pour off drippings. Stir in
tomatoes, salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat five minutes, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions. Toss beef mixture and basil with pasta. Sprinkle with cheese.

Recipe courtesy of Texas Beef Council

*Remember that lean beef is an awesome source of zinc, iron and protein, and contains 10 essential nutrients. 

Finally, I want to thank everyone that left comments on the Animal Abuse in Agriculture post. Hopefully, one day there won't be any reason to write posts like that.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Oklahoma City Bombing Memorial

A time to remember.

At 9:02 a.m. on April 19, 1995, the world changed. That was the moment that the bomb, Timothy McVeigh attacked the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building with in downtown Oklahoma City, exploded. 168 lives were taken on April 19, 1995.

A few weeks ago I had the chance to visit the Oklahoma City Bombing Memorial and Museum. It is an amazing place, and I highly recommend taking the change to go through the museum and visit the memorial. These are a few of the images I captured.

This water way, was once the street that McVeigh parked the vehicle that contained the bomb.

Each chair represents a life lost. The little chairs represent a child's life.

There are three times posted as part of the Oklahoma City Bombing Memorial. 
9:01 represent life before tragedy, the innocence before the attack.
9:02 represents time during tragedy.
9:03 represents moving beyond tragedy.

I thought about the times the most. A tragedy can strike at a minutes notice, but a minute later we can have hope again and be moving forward. Kind of like the saying it is a new day. 

Choosing the Perfect Steak for Grilling

Steak Grilling Tips - Part 1 

It is finally grilling season! Tip to fire up the grill and through on some steaks. However, there are few things you should consider in your quest to make the perfect steak. I mean you don't want to waste you money on a delicious piece of meat that turns into shoe leather.

In Part 1 we'll talk about choosing the right cut of beef for grilling. Part II will be Grilling Tips.

The wonderful Flat Iron steak
1. Some pieces of meat weren't meant to be grilled. Perfect grilling steak are those that are very tender naturally. My favorite choices are the Flat Iron (the second most tender cut of beef, but at a much more economical price), Kansas City Strip (strip steak), and the sirloin are my favorites. Other great options are a T-bone or Ribeye, but since I like a smaller portion sides I go with the first mentioned. Plus, don't forget if you are looking for one of the 29 leans cuts of beef look for loin or round in the name.

1a. Don't choose the sirloin steak if you like your steak prepared any higher than medium doneness. It isn't as tender as some of the other cuts so it does a lot better when cooked to medium-rare to medium.

2. Look for marbling. Marbling is the the little white flecks of fat within the meat. Those flecks of fat give the meat it's flavor. Also, the marbling will keep you meat a lot more tender as you cook it.

I only buy meat that is of Choice or Prime grade, AAA if I'm in Canada. Choice and Prime refer to the amount of marbling. If you really want a great grilling steak experience stay away from Select steaks. 

3. Where you buy your steaks makes a difference. I love beef right off the farm, but unfortunately due to distance I can't raid my parent's fridge whenever I want. If you can find a local beef producer to buy your beef from I highly recommend it. Next best option is straight from the meat cutter at your grocery store. I really enjoy being able to pick and purchase my meat. Plus, if you are unsure about what is the piece piece of red meat for your grill is the meat cutter will be able to help you out. 

What are your favorite steaks to grill? 
And don't forget to come back tomorrow for more grilling tips. 

Friday, April 15, 2011

Miss America Agriculture

Pageant Queens, Farmers and Ranches

Today, is just a quick note, but I really wanted to say thanks to 2011 Miss America Teresa Scanlan. Today Teresa Scanlan published an article on titled Why All Americans Have a Stake in the Success of Our Farmers and Ranchers. 

2011 Miss America
Teresa Scanlan
Before you read on, stop and think for a moment. How do Farmers and Ranches affect your life?

The question is a little easier for me because Farmers and Ranchers are my family, my passion, my livelihood, and they provide me with the food that ends up on my table. However, it doesn't matter if you are a fifth generation rancher or living in a sky-rise apartment Farmers and Ranchers do impact your life.

I encourage you to read all of Miss America's article, but here are a few quotes that rang true for me.
As I write this, America has just 210,000 full-time farms. That’s it. And being from an agricultural community, I know these aren’t large corporations with giant bank accounts. These are small businesses with huge overhead expenses and a history of modest profits.
Modern-day agriculture has to do its part in reaching out and teaching us about what they do and how they do it. Educational groups like The Hand That Feeds U.S. and the U.S. Cattlemen’s Association are a good start, but it’s not enough. 
The rest of us must reconnect with our rural roots and understand that we all have a stake in the success of farmers and ranchers. Urban and rural America need to come together, and I plan to spend my time as Miss America to make that happen. 
And finally I love this last quote of hers. 
After all, I was Miss Nebraska first. And if a small town girl from the Midwest can make it all the way to Miss America, maybe she can help bring America back to the Midwest.
I'm no Miss American but I guess I hope through my blog and answering consumer questions maybe I can also bring a little bit of America back to the Midwest. 

I mean it might work. 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Turquoise nursery decorations

Turquoise for a boy or girl

I was so excited when my good friend Jill sent me an email with the photos of their baby nursery, all decked out in turquoise! Jill and Cole aren't sure whether they are having a boy or girl so they decided to go with a more neutral palette of turquoise, beige and dark wood.

Jill and Cole's family raises purebred Charolais, Simmental and Hereford cattle, so it is only proper that each of the breeds are represented in these baby calf pictures! 

I love how Jill has tied little bits of the farm into her sleek, classic design. The fat little cow on the top shelf is too cute.

Jill couldn't leave out rest of the family members either. Jack, Jill's Jack Russell is her other right-hand man. Again, I love the dark wood pieces they have chosen for the room. Congrats Jill and Cole can't wait to meet the newest member of your family.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Things to see in San Antonio

An afternoon stroll in San Antonio.

A couple weekends ago I mentioned that I was in San Antonio. Remember the Texas Women style post, and me thinking it has to do with something in the water?

Well, I am pretty sure they aren't drinking any water out of San Antonio's River Walk, but it's pretty nonetheless. 
If you're in San Antonio you have to check out the River Walk.

There are a million delicious places to eat along the Riverwalk. The Little Rhein Steakhouse is one of my favorites.

And it was nice to see some signs of Spring. 

I stayed at the Menger Hotel, which is an old historic hotel.

Beautiful detailed craftsmanship.

And of course I loved it's turquoise walls. It didn't hurt that I could also look out my bedroom window and see the Alamo.

Hello, people walking into my shot. You now get to be apart of my things to see in San Antonio blog. 

And if I come how could have removed this gate and transported it onto the airplane, it would have been coming with me. I love it!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Chicago bans school lunches

No more brown paper sacks.

I was pretty shocked to read this article “Chicago school bans some lunches brought from home.” What?!

I grew up in a school that didn’t have a cafeteria, so the whole school lunch deal is a little foreign to me, but I couldn’t imagine not grabbing my lunch from the fridge each morning, before I headed out to meet the school bus. However, some students won’t have that luxury anymore. 

I read two articles about the banning of school lunches and these are the key points:

-       The school thinks they can protect students from their own unhealthy decisions
-       Families that don’t qualify for free or reduced priced lunches, will have to pay the $2.25 daily cafeteria price, moms and dads think they can prepare an at home lunch that costs less than this
-       At least 30% of a child’s calorie intake is consumed at school
-       The school feels that this action will help with childhood obesity problems
-       If children had special dietary needs or allergies they would be allowed to bring their own lunch

We all know that teachers and schools have a great influence on children. I mean that is where they spend a huge chunk of time each day, however when did it become the responsibility for schools to decide how our children should be raised?

Steps like this concern me. When will the school district decide that they should adopt Meatless Mondays, because someone fancies it will be a good idea?

I know that the lunches that my mom, and later on myself, packed contained fruits and vegetables, usually a dairy product, and I won’t lie there were cookies and fruit snacks in them too. I think I turned out just fine. 

Monday, April 11, 2011

Five Guys Beef Burgers... Yum

Delicious beef burgers. 

Today, I had my first Five Buys Burger experience. I had heard a lot about Five Guys, but hadn't had a chance to gobble up one of their delicious burgers, and I have now decided that people probably go there for their the French fries as much for the burgers.

Look at all those Idaho potatoes!
I was impressed that Five Guys uses Peanut oil to fry their fries in, which is an oil that doesn't contain any trans fats, but I came for the meat!

I decided to go with their small burger (1/4 lb) with ketchup, pickles and mushrooms. I was impressed that their burgers are fresh made, and the meat is never frozen. Definitely a million times better than the pre-made frozen patty burger that I had a Toby Keith's Bar and Grill this weekend.

Yes, I love beef!

This was my delicious meal. And no I don't carry around postcards in my purse so I can create extremely "artistic" I Heart Beef" postcards. Five Guys provide these cards, so you can scribble out your love. See... 

I figure it would only be appropriate to thank Five Guys. Maybe on my next trip I draw a I love Farmers masterpiece. 

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Little baby boys who like cows

This is cute.

Remember the last give-a-way we did on the blog? Well Lindsey Allen has received her prize from Purple Banner Designs, and again they knocked it out of the park.

Isn't this blanket and shirt so cute!

I didn't know if Lindsey would go with a football theme, since it is such a big part of her family, or the cow that Purple Banner Designs is so well known for. I'm glad that her little one will be sporting a little bit of agriculture.
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