Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A week of Instagram: Starbuck, Cows, and FFA

More like weeks. 

Yes, I haven't been blogging. Lots has been going on and I hope to fill you in on it soon. However, in the meantime here is a snapshot of those weeks.

Three things that describe me: Starbucks, MAC Lipstick and Hereford Cattle.

This picture was the beginning of my absence from the blog. My husband's family is from Iowa, and that's where we all live, but they also had a Hereford Ranch in Oklahoma. However, the decision was made to disperse the cattle and sell ranch this fall. There were lots of mixed emotions: a celebration of lots of years of hard work and success and a little sad to know that everyone will be headed in different directions. The Boy and I will still be raising our own Hereford in cattle in Iowa under the name JJB Cattle Co., and we are excited to continue on part of the legacy that Jon's family started. 

From Oklahoma it was off to Indianapolis for National FFA Convention. More than 55,000 youth descended on Indy for a week of leadership and fellowship. It was a blast having so many of my Instagram, blogging and Twitter friends stop by the booth to say hello. Some were even sent to the booth by their mom or dad. @erinlars and @theperfectdaughter were two of the girls I met. It is always exciting to meet other young ladies or women that have passion and drive.

Hanging out in Indy, with a shopping mall attached to our hotel was meant it only made sense to take a trip to H&M. They had all kind of winter jackets that I could have easily taken home. However, I held back and instead picture up a new scarf. Image that another scarf. 

A day home and then it was out to California for a work trip. After a few meetings around the board table we headed out to a couple farms that raise pigs. These two pigs will likely be sold to a 4-H or FFA member and then shown. You'll notice the plastic boots that I am wearing, these are for biosecurity reasons. Pigs are more susceptible to diseases than our cattle. So when we were on the farm we had to wear these plastic boots over our shoes. On each farm we would put on a new pair of plastic boots. 

What does your week in photos look like? Let me know if you are on instagram and be sure to look me up! Username @crystalcattle

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Turquoise Thursday: Winter Gear

It's getting cold outside.

So I really couldn't complain because it probably won't be that cold outside it I just put on a proper coat, but I am not quite ready to give us my beautiful fall days. Yet below freezing night time temperatures might force me to make a change. The 70% change of rain on Saturday that is supposed to show up while we are watching Kansas State dominate Iowa State also is making me want to dig out our winter coats.

What better way to put yourself in a cold weather mood than some new turquoise winter clothing.

Has anyone been on the Northface site? They have all their new winter coats out and lots of turquoise winter coat options. 

This one is kinda cool too. To be honest I'll probably just stick with basic black (again) however I would love to layer a turquoise jacket like this underneath. 

I thought this minty green color was pretty, but I need something without a hood. When I can't detach hoods from coats it drives me crazy. They call this the Decagon Jacket. 

OK, I know this jacket isn't turquoise but I had to show it. I can't quite determine how warm is would be, but isn't this tunic jacket great. I prefer the black version but this heather white showed the details so much better. 

Are you ready for winter? 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

All dressed up: black, leopard and sparkle

Time to celebrate

This weekend the Boy and I were wedding goers. It was fun being at a wedding the day before our 6 month anniversary. Parts of our wedding day were such a blur, so it is always nice to sit back and reflect on the biggest day of our lives. May sound cliche, but so far it really has been.

What did I pull out of the closet for this occasion? Well it was so cold out you don't get to see the cute black strapless dress I had on, but don't worry my accessories will made up for it.

I am crazy about this leopard scarf I got at Top Shop last year, and I am glad that Fall is finally here and I can break it out. Here, and here and here are similar versions. My other outerwear staple is a long wool coat I got at Old Navy a few years ago. Be watching Old Navy brings back the best black wool/pea coats every year. Promise. 

Remember how I was crazy about ILY Couture jewelry. Well I finally got me some. This pave bracelet was awesome. Keep on eye on the Ily Couture Facebook page because they are always have Facebook offers (yes, they actually work). 

Has anyone been to J.C. Penny lately? Yeah, they have really stepped up there game. I got a beautiful red scarf there the other day and picked up these earring. They Boy even asked me where I got them from. Bonus points to him for noticing, and bonus points for me for finding awesome deals. These earrings aren't on their website however if you are looking for something similar, but not a deal check out these David Yurman earrings. I love David Yurman. Too bad money didn't grow on trees. 

What is going to be your fall or winter go to accessory? 

Monday, October 8, 2012

Hunk of Meat Monday: Bacon Shortage Looming

No more bacon?! 

The bacon for my corn
chowder soup
With the number of food items that we can now get bacon included in chocolate, ice cream, bloody marys, and oh lets not forget the traditional BLT, plain old fried up bacon or my corn chowder with bacon (recipe below) what would we do without one of America's favorite foods?

Britain's National Pig Association is reporting that because Europe's annual pig product decreased this past year, and producers are decreasing their herd size due to high feed costs that we could see a global shortage of bacon.

What about our farmers in the U.S. what is their story? The U.S. Department of Agriculture showed in its monthly outlook report from August, that we are also seeing a decrease in the number of pigs in the U.S. Again this is due to the high feed costs from poor corn and soybean crops (that is what hogs mostly eat). Plus, add in the fact that we are exporting more and more of our pork, China has seemed to catch onto the trend, will we be standing in line for our bacon ration?

No, probably not. In this Minnesota Public Radio report Iowa Farm Economist, Steve Meyer, stands that no one in the U.S. or around the world will be standing in line for bacon. However, you can expect to pay more for it next year due to lower availability. To be exact you could pay between 6-10% more for your bacon.

Honey you better start bringing home more bacon, or we aren't going to have bacon.

Corn Chowder
2 cups diced potatoes (I like using red with the skin on)
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
2 cans kernel corn with juice
1/4-1/2 bacon, fried and crumbled
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper

Sauce 1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
4 cups milk 

Just cover potatoes, onion and celery with with water (I actually like to use chicken broth) and cook until tender. Now add corn with juice, bacon, salt and paper. To make sauce mix butter and flour, over medium-low heat, and then slowly add milk. Stir until thick. Add sauce to rest of ingredients, stir and serve. This will make 8 to 10 cups. 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving, nope I am not early

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!

Tomorrow, October 8, is Canadian Thanksgiving. Back home my mom is preparing a big Thanksgiving meal for our family. Differences in Canadian Thanksgiving and American Thanksgiving - not much. I like to tell people it got colder in Canada sooner so the English and French settlers needed the help of the Native people much sooner, thus Thanksgiving in October.

I looked back at last year's Thanksgiving post and I have a lot to be thankful for.

1. Family
Last year I had a fiancé, this year I have the most amazing husband and best friend ever. Today the Boy and I are celebrating our six month anniversary. (I'm going to post some more wedding pictures this week). Also, our family is growing. My sister is now engaged and will be married this time next year. More cousins are married. And I have a few new second cousins. I have a family both far and near that support me and love me.

2. Work
This coming week will mark my first year with the new company, and I couldn't be happier. I am mentored by an incredible lady, have awesome co-workers and I was given the opportunity to work from home. I can have the career I have always wanted while still living in rural America. I think that is awesome.

3. We have a farm
The Boy and I both have office jobs, but we are growing our farm. I think this fall it is really coming together. In this last year we bought a trailer, bought a herd bull, actually bid on cattle at sales, took home banners from the State Fair, started in to the freezer beef business and sold heifers that will be shown by juniors (kids) this coming year. Cattle are our passion and I am so grateful that we have the opportunity to fulfill our dreams.

So Happy Thanksgiving. Feel free to bake yourself a pumpkin pie and celebrate with us!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Turquoise Thursday: Country Outfitter Stop Posting Pictures

We are pleading with you. 

A while ago I liked Country Outfitters on Facebook. Simply put they hands down have the biggest, most amazing variety of cowboy boots. I want to own them all. They take me on these incredible highs, squeals of excitement and then I have to jump off the cloud and tell myself Crystal you can not get yourself another pair of boots (yet). 

So what do I do when I really like something but know I shouldn't buy it. I blog about it. Hoping that one of my readers might treat themselves and I therefore can live through you. Your husbands can thank me for helping you spend your money instead of my own. 

I blame my friend Jenny. I had no idea that these Corral Turquoise Floral Tool boots even existed until she posted them on my Crystal Cattle Facebook Page. Now I can't stop starring. Corral you do a mighty fine job with your boots. 

Next the Ariat Cabrella Cowboy Boot. Just enough turquoise to make me happy, and yet still be practical. 

You want turquoise, you've got it. Another great turquoise boot from Corral

And finally I end with these. Turquoise, copper and black. Cowboy Boot perfection. 

Now whose is getting their credit cards out. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

A week of Instagram: A lot of pumpkin and drive time

Another week has flown by. 

Actually it has been two weeks since my last Instagram update, but some fun things have happened in the last week.

Look how handsome my guy is. We attended a banquet that was honoring the Boy's dad. It was fun to get dressed up and see a bunch of the Boy's family that live out of state. We are approaching our six month anniversary. Might be time to share some more of those wedding photos? 

In the past 10 days I have spent more than 60 hours on the road, and have covered the states of Iowa, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Nebraska and Kansas. Luckily I have been listening to my Tina Fey Boossypants audio book. Anyone else out there read audiobooks or have some suggestions. 
The bracelet was a Christmas gift last year from my mom and is Banana Republic. 

You need to run to your closest Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory and pick up some Pumpkin Fudge right now. This stuff was amazing, and made for the perfect thank you gift for a friend of mine. Luckily, she was willing to share. 

I told you there was a lot of pumpkin in this post. I blogged about these pumpkin cupcakes I made earlier in the week, but I am pretty proud of 1. how tasty they were and 2. how pretty they turned out. 

This past Sunday I finally got to spend it at home. While the Boy was in the tractor participating in corn harvest I took the opportunity to spend some time with the show heifers. I wash and clipped (gave them a hair cut) two of our heifers. This heifer (girl) we call Symphony. She is for sale and we are hoping that a junior (young cattlemen) will buy he and continue to show her perhaps as a 4-H or FFA project.

I reached a milestone this week. 1,500 followers on the Crystal Cattle page. Thank you so much to everyone that has been following along. Sometimes I don't blog as much as I would like, but I always try to post once a day on the Facebook page. If you haven't liked me yet head on over to Crystal Cattle right now! 

How have your week been? And what are you looking forward to this week? My would include the K-State vs KU game. Those Jayhawks are going down. 

Monday, October 1, 2012

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting Muffins and winners announced!

Pinterest wins again.

Last night I went on a bit of a cooking binge. Made supper, pumpkin muffins and raspberry cookies. I took most of it over to the grain elevator so the guys doing harvest could have a treat. One of them asked the Boy how do you get your wife to get start cooking as soon as she gets home from these trips. The Boys response was it just happens! She likes cooking and since she can't when she is on the road she makes up for it when she gets home.

Pumpkin cupcakes are delicious. That is a fact.

The recipe I want to first share with you is a pumpkin muffin/cupcake. I have really been craving pumpkin and since this recipe only had two, I repeat two ingredients I thought they would perfect.

Ingredients needed:
1 Box of yellow cake or spice cake mix
1 Can of Pumpkin (15 oz).

Blend two ingredients. Put into muffin wraps and back for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees. I felt like my muffins definitely needed the full 25 minutes.

As an added touch I topped my muffins with some cream cheese icing. I'll admit it, I bought store ready made icing. And it was delicious I might add. I guess this is a pretty popular Weight Watchers recipe. That means healthy right? And it was no big deal that I had two?

Now onto announcing the winners of the Boot Barn Cody James contest and the Cowgirl Crush Earrings.

Emily Writer you won yourself a pair of Cody James or Shyanne Cowboy Boots from the Boot Barn and Sara Wall you are the winner of the Cowgirl Crush earrings! Please find my email under the About tab and email me with your contact information.
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