Thursday, October 31, 2013

Turquoise Thursday: Outerwear

Anyone else think this fall has been a little odd. Yes, we have had some cold days, and yes we did get a little bit of snow already (it melted quickly), but other than that it has been pretty darn warm. The other week I made my very first trip to North Dakota. I made sure I unpacked a few of my winter things, only to discover that it was much warmer in North Dakota those days than in Iowa.

Turquoise Outerwear

I find the easiest way to add some cheeriness to a winer wardrobe is a little pop of color. And what better color to select than turquoise. 

Now this is a lot of turquoise, but this Turquoise Peacoat from J.Crew would brighten up anyone's day. 

I also really like this turquoise fleece jacket by North Face. 

The turquoise puffy vest by North Face would be perfect for layering, and would be a piece that could be worn through the Fall, Winter and Spring. 

Are you ready for winter? Are you the kind of girl that buys a new winter jacket every year or just new gloves because you can only find one of the pair! 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Beauty: Miracle Worker Moisturizer

A couple weeks ago we had a good blog discussion about one of my favorite long wear lipsticks. On my Facebook page the question came up about moisturizers.

Quick story before I tell you about my new favorite.

Awhile back the Boy and I were having hectic night. I made a deal with him I would take care of supper if he could run to Walmart for me and pick up a few things before I headed out on another trip. Those things included a few groceries and an adventure into the beauty aisle to pick up some moisturizer for me. At the time I was using one of the Regenerist Olay moisturizers.

Upon arriving back from the store the Boy claimed I can't believe you use that stuff. I was curious as to why this was his reaction. "You use anti-aging stuff? Isn't that unfair to the ladies that need it. If you are already using this stuff at your age you won't ever age!"

This is how men think.

Now back to my new moisturizer of choice. This spring my old Olay standby wasn't working. I was having a combination of dry skin, redness and breakouts. It was time for a change. While I was in Ulta (Iowa's version of Sephora) I noticed the Philosophy Miracle Maker sample size in the checkout line. I figured that I would give it a shot since the reviews I had seen online were pretty positive. The results - I love it.

The moisturizer feels heavy when it goes on, but absorbs extremely quickly and isn't oily. My skin feels great, and although I don't know if it is preventing age from creeping in it doesn't seem to hurt. I can definitely tell a difference when I'm traveling and forgot it at home.

I have now gone through two regular size (2 oz.) jars since my sample purchase. Although, it is a little more expensive initially it seems to last a lot longer that what was in the Olay container.

What is your favorite moisturizer? And where do you love to shop for your beauty products. Walking into a Sephora requires a lot of self control from me!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Crystal Cattle Radio Debut

Have you ever heard a radio segment include a discussion about a cattle show, free range eggs, youth in agriculture, the South Dakota blizzard, Dairy Queen, and a ban on cowboy Halloween costumes? Well if not today is your lucky day. 

This morning as I sat in our trade show booth at the American Royal Trent Loos, host of the Rural Route Radio show, thought that I would make a great guest on his radio show. 

If you are interested in tuning in you can listen hear to today's Rural Routes. Trent's show airs Monday through Friday every week. 

And if you are really wanting to know about the ban on cowboy Halloween costume check out this new story.  

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Beauty: Stila Long Wear Lipstick

Over the past couple of  years I have developed a love for bright colored lipstick. The problem is lipstick doesn't stick to my lips. I can use primer, lipliner, all the trick and it just wears off. However, that is when I discovered two of my favorite long-wear lipsticks Stila Long Wear Lip Color, and Mac Pro Long Wear (we'll talk about that one another day).

This was a candid photo the Boy snapped of me at one of our cattle sales. We were just gooding around, but I love the picture. 

Reasons I love Stila Long Wear Lip Color:

1. Great color: Intriguing is my favorite. It is a bright bold hot pink. If you are wanting a neon pink go with Exhilarating. 
2. Staying Power: This lipstick lasts. All day. Through food, smooches, working on the cattle, you name it this stuff lasts. 
3. Non-drying: I also really like the matte finish of this lip color. However, it definitely isn't drying. 

Now the bad news... Stila discounted this lipstick! I thought I was going to cry when I couldn't track it down on Sephora anymore. However, this week after some searching I found that still has some in stock. 

What is your favorite long wear lipstick? Have you learned any tricks over the years to keep your make-up in place? 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

10 Years of Change

Today, like most days I am really thankful for the life I have. As I sit in our living room typing this post, I get to look out on our pasture of cattle, the Boy is in a grain cart helping with harvest, and I can honestly say that 10 years ago I had no idea this is where I would end up.

This fall marks the 10-year anniversary of a pretty important decision I made. 

In August 2003, I made the move from Alberta farm girl to Kansas college student and livestock judging team member. 

I wasn't sure what the end goal was, but I knew that if I wanted to get on the right path I had to get to the Midwest. Butler Community College in El Dorado, Kansas, seemed like the perfect fit. I had a student visa, scholarship, three bags of clothes, no car, and hadn't met any of my soon to be new friends and teammates. It was exciting and scary. However, if I hadn't taken that leap of faith there is no way I would have ended up here.

Two years of college at Butler and another two and half years at Kansa State University meant a lot of adjustment, growing up, friendships and heart break, however I knew the entire time I was right where I was supposed to be. 

It isn't easy leaving your family behind in Canada, and I know it wasn't easy on them knowing that I probably wasn't coming home. However, the opportunities down here were so much greater and bigger. My experiences in Canada had prepared me for the opportunities that United States was giving me. 

During the past 10 years I watched things moving forward at home without me, relationships with old friends changed, and there were new people filling the roles that I once had. But I knew that I was in the right place because what I was experiencing "down here" were things I couldn't get at home. 

I had seen vineyards in California, gone skiing in Telluride, seen the Dallas Cowboys Stadium, saw the White House and President Eisenhowe's home and farm, was an official photographer at the World Dairy Expo, went to Disneyland and Universal Studios, I've been to more college football games than I can count, got to go shopping on the Magnificent Mile in Chicago, seen cotton and tobacco fields in Alabama, my name has appeared in stories or author of stories in numerous national livestock magazine and newspapers, I spent New Years Eve in Nashville, made new best friends, watch Garth Brooks in concert and learned what Red Dirt music is all about, I seen the Alamo and drank a margarita on the Riverwalk in San Antonio, I've been to every major livestock show.

I got to work for the largest cattle breed association in the United States, I can call some of the most respected cattlemen in the country my friends, I've traveled 26 different states, and have an amazing job with a company that gives back to agriculture everyday. 

Life has been really good.

One thing I like to remind people is that I am not the only one who has had all these opportunities. I am not unique. I however did decide to use my talents and take advantage of what was out there. 

And then I met my husband. We met in January 2009, got married in April 2011, and bought our first farm and home in July 2013. If I hadn't left Canada 10 years ago I wouldn't have found him. And he is the best thing about my life.   

So here is to another 10 years. There are things I want to achieve, and there will be other obstacles and opportunities that will pop up along the way. The only thing I do know is this is where I need to be to start on the next path. 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Turquoise Thursday: South Dakoata #RancherRelief

What better way to combine our love of turquoise with lending a helping hand. Lots of blogging friends Dairy Carrie, Double H Photography, South Dakota Cowgirl have been blogging about the terrible natural disaster South Dakota ranchers have been faced with.

Thousands of head of cattle were killed in the Atlas Snowstorm. Not only is it the worst feeling in the world to not be able to save and care for your livestock like you want, but these cattle are also these ranchers livelihood. As Heather from Double H Photography, this is their Katrina. These people lose everything, and they aren't going to be able to rebuild without our help. 

There have been lots of non-profits set up to help these ranch families. Another simple way you can help out is with the purchase of this turquoise sweatshirt. Proceeds will go to the Rancher's Relief Fund.

Turquoise Thursday: Support South Dakota Ranchers

A couple other comments about this outfit. These Seven For Mankind Dojo Jeans are amazing. I love the fit, wide leg, and the wide hem at the bottom. However, the price is not budget friendly. However, thanks to Poshmark I was able to score a pair of these regularly $169 jeans for $25! Also, I love these Old Gringo boots from Country Outfitters. A good friend of mine has them and the subtle turquoise embroidery is perfect.

Remember there are lots of ways you can thank a rancher and lend support. It might be a prayer, it might be purchasing this sweatshirt, it might be making a donation, or it might be reading one of my friends' blogs and sharing their story.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Best Pumpkin Pie Recipe

Today, October 14, is Canadian Thanksgiving. My absolute favorite part of Thanksgiving is pumpkin pie. A few years ago I found the easierst and best pumpkin pie recipe. Ready for the secret? Buy a can of Libby's Pumpkin Pie and then use the recipe on the back! Yes, that's right the recipe on the can is my famous pumpkin pie recipe. 

Pumpkin Pie Recipe

3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves

2 large eggs
1 can (15 oz.) Libby's 100% Pure Pumpkin
1 can (12 fl. oz.) Carnation Evaporated Milk
1 unbaked 9-inch deep-dish pie shell

Mix sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves in a small bowl. Beat eggs in a large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk.

Pour into pie shell.

Bake in preheated 425 F oven for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350 F and bake for 40-50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 2 hours. Serve immediately or refrigerate.

Note: Do not freeze the pie, as this will cause the crust to separate from the filling.

Also, since it is Thanksgiving please keep the South Dakota ranchers in your prayers. Thousands of cattle were killed in South Dakota Atlas Blizzard. These cattle were their passion and livelihoods. Take a minute to read what Heather of Double D Photography Blog and her family went through. She stops by this blog quite often. Let's lend her some support.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Turquoise Thursday: ILY Couture

Thanks to From Paris with Love, I discovered ILY Couture about a year and a half ago. They have now become a favorite amongst my family and girlfriends. My sister even wore their "Wifey" sweatshirt to brunch, the morning after her wedding.

Recently, ILY Couture has added a bunch of new arrivals, all perfect for fall.

Turquoise Thursday: ILY Couture Bib Necklace

I love this turquoise and navy bib necklace. And you must run out and buy this J.Crew shirt immediately. Typically, I wait for the J.Crew sale or I make a trip to the Factory Store to make my J.Crew purchases but as soon as I tried on this shirt, in the Mall of American J.Crew, I had to have it. The fit is great, and it is so easy to dress up or down. 

Turquoise Thursday: Ily Couture Multi Strand Necklace

And since navy has become my new black I am pretty sure the Navy version of J.Crew's crepe henley is going to be on my Christmas list. I love this multi-strand Turquoise necklace also from Ily Couture. The price is great too at $32. I bought this bright lipstick from the MAC store also on my Mall of America trip. Typically, I swear by the MAC Pro Longwear Lipsticks, but I loved the matte finish of this lipstick called All Fired Up. It definitely doesn't wear as long, and it is a little drying, but I love the look so its staying in the make-up bag for now.

p.s. how do you like my Polyvore creations. I signed up ages ago, but never really used it. I think you might start seeing more of these from me. If you click on the items below the collage it will take you to that item, and you can get to the store website. Any other Polyvore creators out there?

Monday, October 7, 2013

Apple Cookie Recipe

Lately, I have been on a cooking kick. Muffins, Halloween pretzel sticks and now Apple Cookies. Today, was actually the second time in a week that I have whipped up a batch of these. Thankfully, Jennifer, from Jent's Front Porch, posted a picture of these on Instagram or I would have never even known about them!

I love this recipe because it doesn't take much time and the cookies freeze well. This is important for me because with only two people in our house there is no need to have a ton of cookies around. The other reason why I like these cookies is they remind me of my mom's raisin cookies, which I don't hardly make because the boy dosen't like raisins. I think Apple Cookies are going to make a great substitute.

Apple Cookies


2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 1/3 c. light brown sugar, packed
3/4 c. unsalted butter, softened
1 large egg
1 c. chopped apple (I actually think the recip needs a little bit more apple, so I like a 1 1/4 c. of apples. We also like it better when the apples are peeled).
1/4 c. apple cider

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream together butter and brown sugar. Then add egg. In separate bowl combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg. Give this a quick mix. Slowly add the dry mixture to the brown sugar mixture, and mix until combined. Add cider and apples, and mix gently.

Drop LARGE spoonfuls of mixture onto a greased cookie sheet. I actually love using my Pampered Chef Large Cookie Scoop. (If you don't have one of these scoops they are a must for baking!) I usually can only fit eight cookies on a sheet.

Bake for 18-22 minutes. These cookies will be dark because of the brown sugar. Don't be scared.

This recipe gives me about 16 give or take each time I make them. If you are looking for an even sweeter treat check out the icing/drizzle mixture that Jent's Front Porch recommends.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Winter is Coming - Time for Silage

With the crazy winter weather our friends to the north of us had, I think in Iowa we are all aware the winter could come anytime now. During the summer our cows get to graze on grass. However, in the winter that grass is dead and covered with snow, and trust me cows don't do so well on snowballs.

Two types of feed that famers commonly feed their cattle in winter are hay or silage. On our farm we feed some of both. Hay is grass that was cut during the summer, dried and then baled into round or square bales. For the first time last year, we also fed our cows silage. Silage is the corn you see in the field chopped, leaves, corn, the whole darn plant, into small pieces. It is then packed into a pit of a bag where it "cures" so that during the colder weather it will be ready for the cattle. Silage can also be made made out of other times of crops. 

The boy and a silage crew worked on putting up the silage for our cows this week. This is a neat YouTube video he made showing just a little bit of the process. 

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