Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Beauty: The Best Detangling Hair Brush EVER

Recently, I tried out a new hair salon. The girl gave me a great cut, however the product she sent me home with has changed my life. Seriously.

This year my hair has gotten really long. And although I have fine hair it gets supper knotted up/tangled. I had tried to use a pick on as much as possible but somedays it felt like I was ripping chunks of hair out. I was telling the hairdresser about this problem and she said I need a "Wet Brush."

It is called the Wet Brush and seriously it may be the best beauty product I have bought this year. With only a couple passes it will untangle the biggest of knots in my hair. My hairdresser said she not only recommends it to long-haired ladies, but also to little girls. She said it is gentle enough that even little girls can get those awful tangles out of their hair. I believe her.

I have used it both when my hair is wet and dry and it works great both way. You can buy this brush through the Wet Brush website or I have found them at even a better price through Ulta.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Hunk of Meat Monday: Nothing Hamburger, Cream and a Jalapeño can't fix

Lately, I have been on a Pioneer Woman recipe kick. I was really wanting to make this Spicy Macaroni and Cheese recipe however there were a couple little problems. 1. I had no macaroni (maybe a big problem). 2. I only had a green pepper, and the boy doesn't like corn or red onions. 3. I really wanted to incorporate hamburger into the meal. So what does one do? Well you make up your own recipe!

Cheesy, Spicy Hamburger and Spaghetti (the Boy helped me come up with the name)

4 cups of spaghetti (or about half the box if you are guestimating)
1 tablespoon olive oil 
1 tablespoon butter
1 green pepper, chopped
1 jalapeño, finely diced
1 4 oz can chopped green chilies
2 to 3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup cream 
1 cup (or a little more) grated Pepper Jack cheese
Salt & Pepper

Break pasta into thirds and boil until al dente. Make sure you water is salted well. 

In skillet, add olive oil and butter. Saute garlic and vegetables over medium heat for a couple minutes. 

In a second skillet brown hamburger, seasoning with salt and pepper. When hamburger is almost browned add the green chilies and vegetable mixture. (You could probably just use one skillet, cooking the hamburger first and then adding the vegetables. However, I haven't experimented with this yet.)

Add pasta to hamburger mixture. Pour on cream and then cheese, and add salt and pepper to taste. Stir all together and let the flavors meld together for a few minutes before serving.

With Thanksgiving this is a great time to think about all the people you are thankful for. I am thankful for agriculture because not only has it give me a job, it also is my passion. I am also thankful for the beef farmers, dairyman, and vegetable growers that made this meal possible!

p.s. sorry for no picture on this one. I wasn't sure how the recipe would turn out so I didn't take one before we ate. And then the next day we ate the leftovers so fast I forgot! 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Turquoise Thursday: It's a new Crystal Cattle

Today's Turquoise Thursday is about this new look. Did you notice ;) I am not sure if it is turquoise enough for me, and there are a few hiccups I am still working work. However, overall I am liking the new look, and I think it is a good representation of Crystal Cattle.

But, since you come to the blog to get your turquoise fix I'll give you a little turquoise from one of my favorite blog House of Turquoise. Yes, a full blog dedicated to turquoise everyday! I am in love with this ottoman.

And don't forget you only have a few more days to sign up for the Holiday Beauty Swap!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Where does your beef come from: Commercial, Crossbred and Purebred Cows

I have mentioned before that the Boy and I raise Hereford cattle. This year one of our bull calves was born on our Florida cousin's birthday, so we named him Parker after the birthday boy. One of the first questions Parker asked us was would we keep Parker or would we be eating him. This is a question we get quite often so I came up with a few pictures for you.

In the cow business there are two types of cattle: commercial (sometimes called crossbred) and purebred (sometimes called seedstock). Commercial cows are made up of multiple breeds of cattle and are typically bred to purebred bulls. If the cow has a bull (boy) calf 99% of the time the calf is castrated and turned into a steer. These steers are then weaned and fattened and will eventually enter the food chain. (Commercial cattle can be any color).

If one of those commercial cows has a heifer (female) calf that heifer calf will likely be used as a breeding female, as long as she is the quality the farmer or rancher is looking for. She could stay in the farmer or rancher's herd or be sold to another cattlemen for him to use as a breeding female. 

If the quality isn't there or the farmer or rancher isn't keeping females that year the heifer calves could also enter the food chain. Clear as mud?!

Purebred cows are made up of one breed, and lots of them have a registration paper with a pedigree similar to a purebred dog. If the calves from a purebred cow are the quality that we are looking for the heifer calves are used as breeding females. The bull calves will also be used for breeding. However, if the quality isn't there then they may enter the food chain just like a commercial calf. 

The cows that you see at most cattle shows are purebred cattle. Some people buy cattle from purebred breeders like the Boy and I to exhibit at shows before those animals become breeding animals. 

What is boils down to is that most of the beef you are eating is from commercial cattle. Even more important is whether the animals are commercial or purebred they are both quality beef for your family. And finally to answer the initial question Parker the bull is not going to be eaten!  

Monday, November 18, 2013

Holiday Beauty Swap

Are you a make-up junkie? Have a draw full of beauty products? Love getting product suggestions from friends? Well here is your opportunity. I am excited to announce the first Crystal Cattle Beauty Swap, and to help me this month is Jenny of j.l.d. Photography and Rural Housewives.

How does it work? Once you have signed up we’ll pair you with another beauty loving blogger. You’ll have a little bit of time to get to know your new blogging friend, and then you’ll send each other a gift of beauty products. Sign up for the Holiday Beauty Swap will take place November 18-25. We’ll send out the pairings by Dec. 1. Get to know your partner and be sure to get your package in the mail by Dec. 15.

Once you have received you box feel free to link up and share your new beauty finds! You don't have to have a blog to participate. Below is a list of a few rules and guidelines. We ask that you try and stick to the rules as closely as possible.

  1. Follow the Crystal Cattle and j.l.d. Photography blogs or Facebook pages.
  2. Email your partner within 72 hours of receiving your match. If you haven’t heard from your match after three days are up, let us know and we’ll pair you with someone else. 
  3. Be sure to ask your partner questions about their likes and disklikes, skin tone, preferred colors, etc. or maybe they want to be surprised! 
  4. Each box should contain a min. of $15 worth of product. Please include one full size item. You may also include samples of products with your one full size item. 
  5. Items must be new, unless you’ve discussed this with your partner. (Perhaps she loves purple nail polish and you have bottle you know you won’t use anymore.) 
  6. Packages must be shipped by Dec. 15. If possible it is a good idea to get a tracking number incase something gets lost. 
  7. Once you receive your package create a post revealing what you received and link up with us on January 2.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

I am Not a Mommy Blogger but I have Influence

I am not a mommy blogger. I think that exact phrase was first coined by Brooke Clay on her blog. It is no secret that through my blog I want to give people a glimpse of what life on a farm is really like. It's hard, and frustrating, and some days we make money and some days we lose a lot of money. And many days I have cow poop on my shoes or clothes, but I also am probably wearing MAC lipstick. That is what farm life is.

I am a multigeneration farmer. I have been doing this my while life. I have two degrees in agriculture. I know my stuff. But yet somedays I feel like I don't have credibility.

Awhile back Trent Loos interviewed me about my blog and path to share agriculture's story and he asked me if I communicated much with mommy bloggers? My response was, "No."

You see it seems like until you have kids other people just don't trust you as much when you are talking about food. It is was even worse when I was single. At least now I am married. That somehow seemed to give me more street cred. And I am not alone in my thinking.

Dr. Jude Capper, an amazing rancher and scientist and lady behind the Bovidia blog, wrote a post asking "Do Moms Have Instant Beef Credibility?" Dr. Jude is expecting her first child and she confirmed what I have always suspected. She and other mothers are more credible than me, and all those other young women that are either too busy chasing their dream or just plain not interested in having children.

However, that doesn't mean I don't have influential. If you have heard me speak before there is this great book out there called The Influentials. And in it discusses how one in 10 Americans tells the other nine what to vote, where to eat and what to buy.

You have influential no matter what stage of life you are in. And you have to decide how you are going to use that influential. I hope I can influence you to believe that farmers no matter how big or little their farm is, whether they use GMO seed or only do organic, if they use antibiotics or not, they are all good people that care about the food they are producing. And if you are confused about why and the world would a farmer do that you would ask one or ask me and I'll help you find the answer. And two if you are going to invest in a longwear lipstick it should be MAC Pro Longwear Lipcreme.

One of the Hereford heifers we raised. 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Turquoise Thursday: HMK and the Most Beautiful Notecards

Each year because of work I get to take a trip to the American Royal for the livestock show. During the day I get to visit with current and potential customers about their feeding programs, watch the judges select their Grand Champions and catch up with good friends from across the country.

The nights however are filled with trips to the Plaza shopping district for MAC Make-Up, H&M and a new favorite HMK. (OK maybe it was only one night but it reminded me why I love Kansas City and its shopping). Lipstick and cows go together in my world. 

I was about ready to head home when I spotted a store I hadn't seen before by the Apple Store called HMK. It was a boutique style store with the most gorgeous wrapping paper, cards and stationery you have ever seen. They also had lots of fun jewelry and handbags at all different price points, and a cute selection of children's wear and gift. 

It was on of those boutiques that you knew as soon as you walked in you were walking out with something. My heart settled on these.

Notecards by waste not paper

I didn't do a very good job of taking pictures in the store but they had a whole selection of these gorgeous turquoise and gold leaf note cards with accents of lime green, navy & purple. These are definitely going to be special occasion note cards. 

After visiting with a couple of the sales ladies they informed me that HMK is actually a concept store for Hallmark. We also talked about Turquoise Thursday and my cows so if you are reading hello ladies! Hopefully Hallmark takes this concept nationwide (or maybe just to Cedar Falls, IA). 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

We leave a lot up to Mother Nature, and Mother Nature never takes a day off.

Other than updates from the Boy I have been pretty removed from the farm this past week. My agriculture office job has taken me to Kansas City and Fresno, California this week helping market the products I represent (they are a vitamin and mineral supplement for livestock cattle VitaFerm and Sure Champ.)

The Boy has been fighting against the weather as they try and finish up the last little bit of corn harvest. Another inch of rain has delayed things again today. Although, Mother Nature is creating an inconvenience she isn't in threatening mode yet. 

So why I am really brining up Mother Nature? Because of this video I saw today about a new movie called Farmland. It gave me goosebumps. I hope that's not just because I am a farmer, but because this story will resonate will all people. Even though you might not live on a farm or even know someone that lives on a farm trust me agriculture still impacts you. 

I hope you'll take a minute to watch the Farmland trailer. And this spring maybe we can all have a virtual viewing party. 

 Photo credit Don Holtz

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