Sunday, July 31, 2011

Buckets of Turquoise - Seriously

Sometimes Turquoise shows  up on Sundays. 

I had to share this picture that Rosie Templeton sent to me via Twitter. Yeah, she is an instagrammer too. (I plan on converting the whole world.)

"The Fringe Festival in Saskatoon! Big folksy outdoor show, awesome jewelry and dresses." - Rosie

I hope you all have had a great weekend. I finally made it up to Iowa again to see the Boy again. It was fun playing big kid this weekend - working on the cattle, picking out new carpet for the house, talking about wedding registries, and a little dirt track racing. And you won't believe how tall the corn is! 

Friday, July 29, 2011

Lady Gaga Moves to Nebraska?

Little Monsters Love Agriculture

Ok Lady Gaga isn't moving to Nebraska as suggested by SheKnows, an entertainment gossip site. However, it is true that Gaga has been spending a lot of time in Nebraska with what she calls a "cool Nebraska guy," and more importantly Lady Gaga told Star Pulse, "that there is nothing sexier than shooting a scene in a cornfield." Can any farm girls confirm or deny?

Her next music video "You and I" will feature barns, small towns and cornfields all near Springfield, Nebraska, according to the Des Moines Register. I guess after the infamous Meat Dress and her recent GagaVille - a spin on Farmville (if you haven't watch the video it's a must) Lady Gaga is showing that she likes us agriculture people - wait I think she would say us agriculture monsters.

When there are superstars out there that choose to support agriculture (unlike Carrie Underwood) I choose to support them. I also think that Lady Gaga is actually pretty darn smart and talented, yes quirky, but different isn't always bad.

I was also excited to see this in my roommate's US Weekly.

"I like weaning calves on my buddy's Utah farm," Josh Kelley of Lady Antebellum in 25 Things You Didn't Know About Me. Yup, they get added to the "I support agriculture" ipod playlist. 

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Turquoise Cross

Put a little turquoise on. 

So I am still trying to figure out how to top last week's Turquoise Thursday. It truly is one of my favorites ever. But this week I have a few treats for you again.

I see turquoise crosses a lot, but I thought this simple turquoise and gold necklace was unique. Always count on to give you great finds. 

And maybe you need some turquoise earrings to match. I like the silver detail in them. 

And the money you save on the last two items you could spent on this turquoise cross ring. I always told my dad it wasn't how much you spent it was how much you saved. Seems logical. 

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Home to Canada and Back to Midwest Home Again

Repack, unpack, repeat

In the the last 20 days I have been to six states and Alberta, Canada. I have been on eight flights. And I am about to do more traveling this weekend and next, so I apologize for a lack of blogging. Maybe next year I should instigate a vacation week from my blog. Just a little chance to catch up. Anybody do that before?

However, on my little break with my family I did manage to take a few photos.

This is Elle. She is one of my sister's and parent's Simmental cows. Last year they purchased her after I took a look at her at a sale in Kentucky. Elle's originally family are awesome new friends of ours. I love cattle, but I think I love the people in the cattle business even more. 

This is our family's Border Collie Bud. He is a working dog and helps up move our cattle. A good cattle dog is like having an additional man helping move cattle. Also, using a dog is a great stress free way to move cattle. That is something that is really important to our family. We want our cattle to always be treated in a low stress manner so they are more comfortable. I can't wait until the Boy and I have a good working dog one day. 

This was my view above Alberta. I love the patchwork of fields below. The bright yellow fields are Canola as in Canola oil. You don't see this crop often in the U.S., usually only in the northern states, but it  is common in Canada. 

This is what is looks like from the ground. I think Canola is one of the prettiest crops. I also try and show my love for Canada by always buying Canola Oil at the grocery store instead of Vegetable Oil. I know I'm a nerd. 

p.s. Remember that Canola is low in saturated fat, a source of omega-6 fat, high in omega-3 fat and cholestrol and trans fat-free. 

And finally maybe it was Canola Oil that were used for these French Fries. I love French Fries - I know not super healthy, but hey everything in moderation right. But do you know what I love even more than French Fries? French Fries and gravy. It is a Canadian thing, and for some reason has been hard to replicate south of the border. If they would have had it I would have order poutine, which is French Fries, Gravy and Mozzarella cheese!

Reminder all of these photos were taken on Instragram if you are on it let me know. I'm Crystal Cattle. 

Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Five Best #Agblogs in Alberta, Canada

We are talking about agriculture and a few other things. 

Remember, the Summer Synergy project I was helping out with? Summer Synergy is a youth livestock show held in Alberta, Canada. This year the marketing project was participants had to create agriculture blogs. My partner Tiffany and I had a great time coaching the participants and in the end helping choose the top blogs.

If you want to add a few new great blogs to your list check these out:

First Place - 

Rosie, dived head first in blogging and social media. You can now find her Tweeting and using on of my favorite apps, Instagram, as well. Rosie let's you see an inside glimpse of life on her family's Hereford farms and the variety of agriculture organizations that she is involved in. She also has great style so look for cute cowboys to show up on her blog every now and then.

Second Place -

I just love the design of Carling's Red Hot Cowboy Boots Blog. She covered everything from Pigs (one of my favorite posts), the difference between cow/calf farmers, seedstock farmers and feedlots in this  post, and encourages others to participate in the Ag in the Classroom program. Plus, you have to check out her gorgeous prom/graduation dress.

Say tuned. I'll featured third through fifth later next week.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Favorite Turquoise Thursday Yet

We are talking turquoise and Indian Pearls

Yeah, I know it's Friday - but my days have  been a little messed up, and I couldn't let this Turquoise Thursday go bye.

In past couple of days I have found some of my most favorite turquoise and jewelry pieces, i.e. if you are a mother, sister, grandparent, future husband, friends, or just would like to give me a gift these pieces are on the wish list.

This turquoise bracelet from Ann's Turquoise is perfect. Thank-you Pinterest for leading me to you bracelet I hope to own one day. I feel like a toddler jumping up and down right now saying I want, I want, I want. 

Oh turquoise you are such a pretty color. If you haven't ever checked out Whispering Pines go there now. Now only to they carry beautiful turquoise pieces, but lots of home furnishings as well. I have blogged about their really cool pillows before. 

I know these are black, but trust I know they come in turquoise - I have seen them before on my friend Catie's earlobes and I plan on finding myself a pair. I had to post these anyways best again thanks to my Pinterest friend Brandi I have stumbled across the most amazing jewelry store Bunk House Designs! And that leads me to these. 

Because not all turquoise has to be bright blue. Yup add it to the list. These Bunk House Designs ladies are excellent. They know their turquoise and they know Indian Pearls. What is an Indian Pearl you may ask? See for yourself. 

Both this necklace and the bracelets are also making me currently jump up and down saying I want, I want, again. I have one little tiny Indian Pearl bracelet that I bought for myself after the Denver Stock Show this year, but I am very limited in my collection due to the cost of these little pearls. Why must pretty things be so expensive? 

Now who is running out and making a purchase. I hear a few of you are new owners of the Junk Gypsy Necklace

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Showmanship Finals

The Big Dance.

I wanted to share two final videos with you from the National Junior Angus Show. This time the showmanship finals. This contest really showcases the most elite showman from across the country. How does it work?

Well, showmanship is your ability to show your animal. It is important to have your animal presented to the judge appropriately at all times, so your animals strengthens can be showcased and the flaws can be minimized.

What makes this showmanship contest unique is that you first have to qualify through your state, and you only ever get one shot to compete in the National Junior Angus Showmanship Competition. There are two rounds, first the preliminaries were approximately 40 juniors compete, it is then narrow down to a Top 15, and they compete in a second go round. From their a Top Five is selected.

Below are the two videos from the show. You might not understand why I have such a passion for showing cattle, but I think these videos might give you a small glimpse.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Perms and Simmental Cattle

Keep reading. Embarrassing photos are revealed.

It's interesting the tags that get placed on your as you move from point to point in your life. In my professional network many people know me as that Angus girl. And now there are some that refer to me as a Hereford girl due to my past internship with the American Hereford Association and now the Boy and I's engagement. The truth is I am actually a Simmental gal at heart!

My family has always had Simmental cattle and my sister and I were surrounded by Simmental cattle from the time we were born. My first cow, appropriately name Crystal Cow, was a big red and white spotted thing. Her first calf was name Stacy Cow, and appropriately given to my sister.

Today, I am very excited because I get to return to some of those Simmental roots. I'll be speaking to 55 engergitic (let's hope they are energetic and I don't put them asleep) young Simmental enthusiasts at their leadership conference, The Summit - Mark Your Spot.

Getting ready for the showring.
My family was extremely active in the Young Canada Junior Simmental program and I even attended to National Classics in the U.S. - one in For Collins, Colorado, and one in Bowling Green, Kentucky. It was probably after my second National Classic that I really started thinking about attending school in the States. The people I had met through the American Junior Simmental program (the Hege, Parke, McDowell, Phillips and Harker families) were awesome people, I would have the opportunity to be apart of a Livestock Judging Team and Agricultural Communications was a degree only offered south of the border.

Hopefully, I'll inspire a few people today.

Myself (yes, that is a perm), Aleesa, Cody, Krista, not sure, Jake and Chris all the awards banquet at that Junior National in Kentucky. 

I was quite the karaoke star - I am pretty sure we are signing the Dixie Chick's Good Bye Earl here.

One of the last National Classic I attended in Canada.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

An instagram week in photos

I'm back

I have arrived back in the Midwest after a wonderful week in Pennsylvania. I had an awesome time connecting with old friends, making new friends and enjoying some great cattle! Although, I have been a little quiet on the writing front I was busy taking photos and editing video.

Remember the amazing app Instagram I told you about? Well here is my past week in photos. And if you are on Instagram be sure to search for me as crystalcattle. I've loved following a lot of you, so be sure to leave your username in the comments below if you are also using the Instagram app.

I love this I Heart Beef silly band of my friend's, Katie.

Can't got anywhere with the turquoise back. The yellow thing is an eartag and on the other side is my contact information. The I Heart Beef sticker has seen some better days, but it is holding in there!

I love taking pictures of cattle. 

Everyone is chasing these blue ribbons at the National Junior Angus Show. 

The cutest showman of the entire show. This young Angus showman is from South Carolina. 

This is a tea towel that one of the teams was using in the Cook Off Contest. If anyone knows where you can get these please let me know! 

Friday, July 15, 2011

National Junior Angus Show Videos

The Champions are being slapped.

Well, I am five days in to this seven day event. I've had an awesome time in Pennsylvania. The people here know hospitality and how to put on a good cattle show. I've snapped hundreds of photos and we have taken hours of footage. I wanted to share with you a couple of the videos I have finished editing so you can see the excitement. I also think you can tell by these videos that showing cattle is definitely a family affair. Nothing better than a cattle show.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Making your own Turquoise Necklace

Let's get crafty!

Yes, I am still at a cattle show, and trust me I have seen lots of turquoise this week. Although, I haven't been blogging much because of all the chaos I still counted leave you without a little turquoise. So today if you follow More Design Please's instruction's very careful you can make this...

A gorgeous turquoise braid necklace. I am sure you can actually pick any color you want!

Good luck!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Temple Grandin and Calgary Stampede

Calgary Stampede and animal care

Thanks to my friend Robbie for posting this video. I have met Temple Grandin numerous time, and heard her speak even more. This interview with her about the Calgary Stampede and their animal handling techniques is amazing.

No matter how many times I listen to her she amazes me. I encourage to listen to her interview.

p.s. I am still at the National Junior Angus Show this week. So I apologize if I don't respond to all your comments right away. I will have some updates on the Crystal Cattle facebook page.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Cow, goat, rice or soy milk - what do you prefer

I'm all about sporting g a milk mustache.

Prize winning dairy
cows at the World Dairy Expo
Recently, I have been spending a little more time in the dairy section of my grocery store. I've been on the search for Greek Yogurt, I'll blog a little more about that another day. What I have noticed on my quest is the variety in "milk" options. I put milk in quotes because a lot of what you see really isn't real milk - soy milk is not milk in my opinion. It's got to come from the cow to pass my test.

However, these milk substitutes are good options for those with health concerns such as lactose intolerance.  Recently, I came across this article that talks about different milk options. It gives pros and cons of each and answered a lot of my questions.

Check out The Skinny on milk nutrition: Cow, goat, rice or soy? 

What kind of milk is in your fridge. Growing up I used to drink 2%, but after college I switched to 1%. All that same nutrition with a few less calories!

One of my favorite photos from when I photographer the World Dairy Expo a few years ago. 

p.s. I am still at the National Junior Angus Show this week. So I apologize if I don't respond to all your comments right away. I will have some updates on the Crystal Cattle facebook page

Friday, July 8, 2011

On the Road Again to a Cattle Show

Load up the heifers and the kids

On Sunday, I will be hoping on a plane to Pennsylvania for the National Junior Angus Show. More than 3,000 people and more than a 1,000 head of cattle will all gather for one of the largest junior national shows in the country.

While I am moving east, the Boy will be making his way to the Junior National Hereford Expo, an equally as large cattle event, in Kansas City.

See what is inside a trailer here.
On my way home from the July Fourth weekend I saw this livestock trailer. Whenever, I see a trailer on the highways I always wonder where they are coming from or where they are headed. During the past two weeks there has been hundreds of these trailers on the road all headed to a junior national.

So what makes these events so unique? We'll I grew up going to junior shows and junior nationals was the highlight of the year. It was more than just showing a heifer, it was where I got to see my second family and my friends that really understood my passion for livestock, I got to travel across Canada and into the U.S. I learned more life skills at a cattle show than anywhere else. I also got to dominate at Quiz Bowl - yes I was that girl.

Since, next week will be crazy you probably won't be hearing from me much. I'll try to post some photos on the Crystal Cattle facebook page, and I'll be working on lots more videos like this one I did a last year. I love capturing these moments at the show. I know it sounds funny that at 14 years old a kid can say they have been working towards these moments their whole lives, but it is true.

My blogger friend Melissa at Born in a Barn wrote an awesome post on packing the trailer for the National Junior Angus Show. Take a second and check it out here.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Turquoise Kitchen

Dreaming in Turquoise

I have always enjoyed food (no surprise there) but I also am loving to cook more and more. All this thinking of things I can whip up leads to what kind of kitchen I hope to have one day. And although the Boy has told me I can't turn the whole house in a huge piece of turquoise I am allowed to sprinkle it here and there.

Photo via
Like this turquoise kitchen island. I think it is pretty much amazing, plus it would give me extra work space for all the deliciousness I plan of whipping up. 

Kitchen design by Timothy Mather, photo via Canadian House and Home
Or maybe I just paint the ceiling turquoise. I think that back splash is pretty amazing too. Not sure if I would be brave enough to do that in my own house. 

Photo via
Turquoise cabinets might be the perfect touch too. I encourage you to check out this blog. These cabinets used to be wood. Here is the before photo

Photo via
But if I could have any kitchen I wanted this would be it. Turquoise - check, exposed beams - check, stone - check, huge - check. Yup this kitchen would be awesome! Just think of all the wonderful beef recipes I cook make for my family and friends. I promise I would invite you over for some meat loaf or a steak.  

And if you didn't get enough Turquoise then check out my Turquoise Room board on Pinterest. Yes, I think Pinterest is equally as cool as Instagram

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Instagram the greatest iPhone app

Click, Edit, Post

Recently, I made the switch from Blackberry to iPhone, and in the process I asked my facebook followers what their favorite apps were. I got some really great suggestions, but I have to say my favorite so far is Instagram

So what is it? Instagram allows to your take, edit and upload photos to your Instagram profile. The photoshop actions (those are the things that change your photos to black and white, sepia, etc) are awesome, and just take one click to apply. Once your photos are posted your followers can then like or comment on your images, and you can do the same back to them. The app even allows you to post the photos simultaneously to your Facebook or Twitter pages. It is also a simple way to capture your Wordless or Wordful Wednesday photos.  

Ever since I've downloaded the app I have been snapping photos our the Boy's cattle, the farm and all the things I've been whipping up in the kitchen! Remember this post about showing cattle? Those are all instagram photos

I wanted to share with you some of my favorite instagram photographers just incase you decide this app is for you. And search for Crystal Cattle if you want to follow me. 

I love the photos that kaitmcdee post. You can tell she is a farm girl with style. I am pretty sure I would pose with the Ivomec gun like that. (Side note: Ivomec is a dewormer that you pour on the backs of cattle to control parasites in livestock. Got to keep them healthy)

I follow Angsamp both on Instagram and on Twitter. She is always posting beautiful photos of her ranch. Plus she has a cool combination of jobs lawyer and rancher. 

I have talked about Our Little Ranch Photography before, and both Luke and Catherine has Instagram profiles. It just goes to show you don't need a high powered camera to take beautiful photos. Caution though Luke is also snapping pictures of delicious food - you might get hungry. 

Since I can't always be around for the crops being harvested I love it when other people post pictures. Kuhngirl1 also have picture of everything from cowboys to baby pigs to cupcakes on her profile. 

And finally I love Christina of Little Fashion Diary. Everyday she posts fun outfits and new finds, you can tell this girl likes to laugh and have a lot of fun. Her blog is definitely worth checking out if you love fashion or need some inspiration.

If you are on instagram or sign up let me know. I would love a peak into your everyday. 

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

2011 Iowa Corn Report III

It's growing

I apologize for the gap between Corn Reports. The last time I was in Iowa I forgot to take a photo, oops! I am sure Corn Farmers gurus could tell you a lot more about what is going on in those fields right now, you have to remember I'm just a cattle girl that has a fascination with Iowa corn. But as you can see it's growing.

June 6, 2011
And almost a month later it is getting to be close to as tall as me.

July 4, 2011
As you can see the corn has grown tremendously in the last month. In my opinion, this time last year, the corn was a little taller, however it is still on track to being a great crop. 

It is always exciting to think about how much food these fields will provide for our livestock and people. The crops look good right now, but the Boy's farm needs some rain. Especially, to keep the grass growing for his cattle. 

The Boy and I had a great Independence Day weekend. I think it is great that I get to celebrate Canada Day and Independence Day each year. Between going out to the farm we were able to get some golfing in (I had an awesome game), hanging out with his sister and future brother-in-law, who were up from Texas, rode in the parade, watched some fireworks and spent a little time at the pool with his cousin. I would say a pretty good weekend.
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