Sunday, December 31, 2017

Starting the Year with a Vision Board

I’ve always known what a vision board was. I've heard my friends Robin Beazley and Rachel Hunter talk about their impact for years. Taking the life and goals you vision for yourself and putting those images together on something concrete. However, it wasn’t January 2017, when I was invited to Keep Collective's Director Retreat in Tucson, that I went through the exercise myself.

When we were presented with 12x12 inch foam core boards, scissors and magazines I got excited. I used to be a big scrapbooker in high school. It was really my first experience with graphic design, something that I have a passion for, but now use Photoshop and InDesign to make my visions come to life.

While I was at the retreat, surrounded by other entrepreneurial women, I started to think about what was important to me and where I wanted to take my business, career and personal life. As I cut and pasted pictures that represented my vision I knew that they were all things that I wanted, but looking back a year later I really didn’t know how much of an impact my board would have on my life.

My vision board sat on my shelf behind my desk, and everyday when I walk into my office it greeted me. The first big vision that came to fruition was I knew that I had to make a change in my career. For 10 years I climbed the corporate ranks landing in the director of marketing position for one of the fastest growing agriculture companies in the U.S. Despite how much I loved my job, I just couldn’t do it anymore. It kept me on the road all the time, and if I was going to make our family more of a priority in 2017 something had to change.

My Keep Collective business was exploding and I knew financially it could take me further than working in a corporate setting. Two phrases on my board “what does life look like” and “signs you’re working too much” were daily reminders that change needed to happen. In February, I finally summoned up the courage and walked into our vice-president’s office to quit my job. She is the most incredible boss I have ever had. Instead of leaving the company, we worked out a new structure and position giving me the flexibility I needed. #success

Other graphics on my board represented the continued growth that I wanted to see in my KEEP business. A picture of my bracelet engraved with the phrase #armpartysquad. At the time our team wasn’t a Director team - YET. In April, my team rallied around me and we officially hit Director status. A 10 to represent being in the Top 10 of sales and sponsoring at our convention in July. I earned number 1 in the company for sponsoring and was also in the Top 10 for sales. And finally the number 250. I knew that would be approximately the number of women we would need on our team to achieve Senior Director status by the end of 2017 and earn a $5,000 bonus. In October we achieved that number and in November I was named a Senior Director. Today our team represents nearly 300 women from across the U.S. and Canada. You might say I became a believer in vision boards.

Tips to create your vision board.

Get comfortable.
Give yourself some space to spread out and get creative. Invite a friend over or do the activity with your spouse so you can plan together. This can play into accountability when others know your goals. Wine will be involved in my activity ;) 

Gather your supplies.
Grab glue, stickers, washi tape, scissors and lots of magazines. Be careful to not only pull from the magazines around your house. By grabbing a couple magazines from your local drugstore or grocery store that you normally wouldn't read you will expose yourself to future that you haven’t imagined yet.

Don’t be seduced by marketing or follow clichés.
Just because everyone in the magazine has a fast car, big house, and “perfect” body doesn’t mean that doesn’t mean that is what your vision should be. Look beyond the images for deeper meaning or use words to describe your vision.

Keep it simple. 
My vision board was clearly displayed where I could see it ever days in an area where I was actually working on those goals. However, I also love the idea of taking a picture and storing it on your phone or using it as a screensaver on your phone or computer. 

This is a process you should enjoy and allow self-reflection. I would love to hear if you create a vision board for yourself and what tips you have to share. 

Friday, December 22, 2017

5 Foundations I Used in 2017

It’s the base of all my make up. I have definitely developed my favorites over the years, but as seasons change I often change up my foundation. This year, I jumped around between a few different brands and how I applied them. Step 1 is finding the right foundation for your skin type and tone, Step 2 is making sure you are using the right tool to apply. 

1. NARS Sheer Glow: This was the foundation that I carried over from 2016. I am typically a full coverage foundation gal, and what I loved about this one is it is definitely buildable. The foundation dries down quickly so you want to work in small areas. I found it best applied with a Beauty Blender sponge or something like the Sephora Pro Airbrush #55 foundation brush. Color: Gobi 

2. Ever DaylightRadiance Moisturizer Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 32 with LSR10®: In April, the boy and I headed to Punta Cana on my Keep Collective award trip. I knew I wanted something was easy to apply with my hands, and that would give me SPF coverage. I really liked how this product evened out my skin tone, however I’ll admit that even the light was a little dark for my skin tone. The good news is Ever coming out with an even lighter color so I’ll be giving this product another try this spring and summer. Color: Light but when their new shade comes out in a few weeks I’ll be going with Extra Light. You can earn $10 off you order with my Ever referral code: 

3. Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick: This was the first time that I used a stick foundation. This year I started using a lot more Hourglass products (obsessed with their Veil Primer and love their highlighter palette). Two things with this product: 1. You don’t need a lot of it, and 2. You definitely want to use it with a dense brush to make sure it is blended well. This product is high cover, comes in a TON of shades, and a little bit goes a long way. Color: Alabaster

4. Urban Decay All-Nighter Foundation: If you want full coverage this is the foundation for you. Not quite a cream, but definitely not super liquidly this product was best applied by putting 3-4 dots on my Morphe Deluxe Buffer brush and then working it across and into your skin. I love the matte coverage, but color matching can be tricky. The foundation definitely oxidizes. This means that it changes color as it dries. I would have never been able to color match my skin type without going into a store.  Color 1.5

5. Josie Maran Vibrancy Argan Oil Foundation Fluid: I just switched to this foundation in November and I loving it. It gives a very dewy finish, but coverage is still medium when first applied and buildable. I feel like this foundation gives me an immediate healthy glow. This foundation is SUPER liquid-y. I find it best applied by putting one pump on the back of my hand and then using the Sephora Pro Airbrush #55.

And don't forget the tools and a good primer are key to making your foundation last and look good.

This post may include affiliate links. 

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Fill Your Cart Friday: Leopard is a Neutral

Leopard is a neutral is pretty sound fashion advice, and it never goes out of style. I have slowly started to transition my fall/winter wardrobe into my closet. So many of the pieces I look at and think "why did I buy that, I don't wear it nearly enough." This J. Crew sweater is one I have being wearing none stop and I know I wear year round. And now I am in LOVE with this simple leopard belt. It is the perfect way to add a little fun or dress up all my black sweaters.

I was so excited when Keep Collective launched this leopard print bracelet as a part of their September Collector's Edition. If you love it don't wait too long because this piece will go back into the vault on November 1.

And then last but not least, ending it with a little leopard for our feet. You might think I am crazy but I had to include a pair of sandals because there are some pretty warm temperatures in the near temperatures. Is anyone else ready for fall?

Friday, September 29, 2017

Fill Up Your Bag Friday: Sephora Fall Finds

Harvest has started on the farm, it has finally cooled off and I have been on the hunt for the perfect pair of boots. It must mean fall is in the air. I feel like I broke out the dark lipstick a month too early with how hot it has been, but I also was thinking I could maybe will fall to arrive with dark lips and sweaters.

On my way to judge the Iowa Dairy Princess Pageant

It might be fall, but that don't mean that I don't like to keep the glow going on all year round. You will absolutely love both the Hourglass highlighter palette and the Cover FX drops. I bought the palette on a Vegas girls trip over a year ago, and even though I use it daily it still looks brand new. I was able to get a sample of the Cover FX drops in Moonlight as a sample through Sephora and instantly fell in love. It only takes the tiniest amount of product to give you an incredible glow. Currently, Sephora is having a incredible deal where you can purchase the Cover FX Custom Drops Set of minis for the price of a full size. I need willpower.

If you follow me on Instagram I've been talking a lot about cleaning clothes. I really like the moisturizer and exfoliator that I have been using, however I think the biggest thing that has improved my skin is taking my make up off. Shocking I know! I've been so lazy in the past with this, but I am been on a streak thanks to these make up wipes. I really like both wipes. The Philosophy wipes are a little thicker and the Ole Henriksen are a little more moist, but I think they both so an awesome job.

What else would you add to your Sephora Cart?

Thursday, June 22, 2017

How To Make a Charcuterie Board #DairyMonth

I  have always been fascinated with Charcuterie boards. One they look gorgeous, and two they totally fulfill my love of meat and cheese. Add in those dried apricots and my mouth is watering. Now, I'll admit the first time I made a Charcuterie board I was a little intimidated, but I quickly realized that they are way simpler to throw together that I initially thought.

Plus, when Cabot Cheese wanted to send me a giant bag full of cheese to try, and then allow you to enter to win a box full of Cabot cheese I knew I could put it to good use with this easy charcuterie board.

Step 1.
Typically a charcuterie board is best served on a wood cheese board or slate is another good option because you can write the name of the cheeses in chalk. For my board I used a wood cutting board - easy peasy.

Step 2.
Pick your cheeses. Since Cabot sent me a plethora of delicious options it wasn't too hard for me to decide. The Cabot Alpine Cheddar Cheese was a favorite of mine, whereas my husband preferred the  Cabot Vermont Extra Sharp Cheddar. For some heat the Cabot Chipotle Cheddar definitely brought it! In addition to these I also included a soft goat cheese, and brie is always a great option.

I loved this bacon onion jam with the sharp cheddar
Step 3.
Pick your meats. Our Hyvee has an amazing meat counter and cheese too for that matter. If you aren't familiar with fancy meats like prosciutto, salamis or pancetta as the people behind the counter and they will definitely be able to help you.

Step 4.
Pick your accompaniments. These could be jams, nuts or fresh fruits. A little sweetness can be the perfect accompaniment to the saltiness and sharpness of the cheese and meat. Pickled items also can be a nice pairing.

Step 5.
The last step is you need something to put all of this delicious goodness on. This could be crackers, chips, crisps or breads. The options are pretty unlimited. I didn't really add my breads to the board rather served them on the side.

A few other tips is you will typically need 2 ounces of cheese pre person. Cheese is also best served at room temperate. And I recommend a few spoons and knives so you can keep flavors separate. 

If you want to continue the #DairyMonth fun hosted by From Gate to Plate and Cooking With Carlee make sure you check out these recipes. 
Avocado Ranch Dressing by Tip Garden
Frosty Chocolate Pie by Jolene's Recipe Journal 
Gluten Free Penne with Brie, Fig and Rosemary by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Jalapeno Bacon Cheddar Grilled Cheese with Rhubarb Sauce by Grumpy's Honeybunch
Orange Creamsicle Martini by A Day in the Life on the Farm
Orange Creamsicle No Bake Cheesecake by Cooking With Carlee
Peaches and Cream Smoothie from Feeding Big 
Strawberry Crisp Milkshake by From Gate to Plate 
White Cheddar and Bacon Pasta Salad by Palatable Pastime
Whole Milk Yogurt Banana Cream Muffins by Corn, Beans, Pigs and Kids
Milk Braised Chicken Thighs from A Kitchen Hoor's Adventures 

And now for that giveaway. Cabot has donated a $25 gift box for one lucky winner. Cabot Creamery is an award-winning co-operative owned and operated by 1,100 member dairy farm families throughout New England and Upstate New York. We take care of the land so the grass grows green and tall, which makes the cows happy—and happy cowsproduce rich, buttery milk, which makes for cheese and other products that win awards year after year. And the more people love our Cabot family of products, then the more our dairy farms will thrive—today and into the future. Learn more about Cabot at

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway is open to residents of the United States only who are 18 years of age or older. Prize will be sent after the close of the giveaway and winner verification is complete. Winner will be notified by email and has 48 hours to respond. If no response within the time frame, an alternate winner will be selected. Bloggers are not responsible for prize fulfillment.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Cadbury Chocolate Egg Brownies

A couple weeks ago I decided to whip up a pan of brownies for the Iowa Beef Expo Sale. This is a sale that we attend every year and that we sell cattle in. This year we had a bull and a heifer to sell and they are now living happily with their new owners. Oh course everyone wanted to know where I got my cow sprinkles from.

The boy doesn't eat many sweets, but he reminded me (a few times) of how much he loved the Cadbury Brownies his sister made a few years ago. I had tweaked the recipe with a Rolo brownie version, but promised him I would stick to the original recipe just for him. I actually don't really like Cadbury Eggs, but anything for your love, right?

I will let you in on a recent secret ingredient, though, that I think works no matter what boxed brownie recipe you are making. Swap your vegetable oil or olive oil. I learned this tip from the "Book of Face" so it had to be right. But seriously, I have done this twice now and they are so much more moist.

3 Tablespoons of Water
1/2 cup Olive Oil
2 Eggs
Brownie Mix
8 mini Cadbury Chocolate Eggs

Preheat over to 325 F if using a 8x8 inch pan, 350 F if using a 9x9 inch pan.
Stir brownie mix, water, oil and eggs in medium bowl until well blended. Don't over mix.
Spray pan with cooking spray and line with parchment paper.
Pour mix into pan. Cut Cadbury Mini Eggs in half and insert them into the batter.
Bake for 50-52 minutes in a 8x8 inch pan, or 36-38 minutes in a 9x9 inch pan.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

FarmHer Beauty Swap Review

There really is nothing better than opening up a new box of beauty products. I had such a fun time partnering with the FarmHer gals on this Beauty Swap. Farmers come in all shapes and sizes including those like me that like to wear a little lipstick.

Instead of my traditional review I decided to take the plunge and do a VIDEO. Eek! I am no pro Beauty Video Blogger like my favorites Jaclyn Hill and Mariah Leonard, but it was fun. I was so excited to have Kylie of Gray Girl Farms as my Beauty Swap partner. Kylie and I crossed paths in social media circles a few years ago, but finally got to meet in person at a conference in December, and now she is one of my Keep Collective Arm Party Squad team members.

Here we are with another fellow Beauty Swapper, Alison of Outside the Ag Room at the Ugly Sweater party.

To see more Crystal Cattle Beauty Swap boxes. Follow #ccbeautyswap on Instagram. And be watching for another swap late spring.

I didn't make it quite clear enough in the video, but the lip lacquer is NOT sticky and has great staying power. Make sure you check it and all the other products out.

Killian Korn - most amazing popcorn ever

Ulta Eye Primer - Champagne
Maybelline The Nudes - eyeshadow palette
Salvation Intense Lip Lacquer - Didn't I Tell You
No 28 Hour Glass Primer Serum 
Urban Decay Razor Sharp Long-Wear Liquid Eyeliner - Dark Force

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