Sunday, May 24, 2020

Memorial Day Sales: Women Athleisure Wear

I feel like my legging/jogger/sweatshirt game has been strong the past few months. However, with warmer weather and golf league starting soon it was time for an update. Now I will say I am the girl that is constantly wearing a sweatshirt. If you see me in a sweatshirt or a long sleeve shirt that really is no indication of the weather. I just love how cozy they are.

I had to pick up a new golf glove, and figured at the same time it was the perfect opportunity to grab some new spring/summer pieces. The sales for Memorial Day (or maybe they just need people to start shopping again) were AWESOME. 


1. Crewneck Sweatshirt - this thing is SO soft | 2. Simple Long Sleeve Shirt | 3. Running Shorts (I love this pattern) | 4. Bike Shorts (I'm jumping into this trend) | 5. Golf Skirt with Ruffle | 6. Simple Golf Skirt This price on both of these skirts are AMAZING price

If you don't own a golf skirt or a skort get one now. They are the most comfortable things ever. You look put together but don't have worry about any accidental exposures ;)

I have decided this summer that I am going to try and stay in the same color palettes so it is easy to mix and match. You know I will throw in a pop of citron every now and then but I am always loved this purpley pink color. 

If I wasn't sticking to our budget I would have definitely picked up a pair of new sneakers. 


1. | 2. | 3. | 4.

#4 are kids but I have smaller feet so I think I could make them work because they are so darn cute.

*this post contains commissionable links

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Moving Through Change

Change or move on. Short and to the point, but it is quite simply what needs to happen for you to find contentment or joy in a situation. In this season we are all facing a LOT of change. Our world has changed. How we work, where we work, who we surround ourselves with, how we get groceries, it has all changed.

For awhile now Jon and I have had the unofficial mantra of if you aren't changing you are dying. Now that isn't to say change isn't hard. However, it is something that I am around constantly Whether it is change in my life or business, or watching 400 teammates go through change in their personal lives and business I see a lot of change. 



I like to break change down into three stages: letting it go, embrace the state of limbo and focusing on the beginning. 

Take a listen to this week's Squad Life podcast to learn what it is like navigating these three phrases. 


If you loved this episode make sure you are signed up for my weekly newsletter. Don't forget to subscribe on iTunes or Spotify, share a screenshot on social or send me a message. Join our community on Instagram by using the hashtag #thesquadlife and tag @crystalcattle.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Squad Life: Unstoppable in Life with Diva Q BBQ Danielle Bennett

I first came across Danielle Bennett on Twitter. She was tweeting about grilling and steak, and I instantly could tell she knew what she was talking about. Her "Canadian girl that now lives south of the border" bio and the bright red lipstick had me thinking. Could Danielle be my long lost sister?



Food has led Danielle down a vibrant path. She is a pit master, best-selling cookbook author, has perfect BBQ competition scores and is sponsored by Traeger grills. If you follow me on Instagram you'll learn my husband LOVES our Traeger, but secretly I might love it just as much. Listening to Danielle share her story you can hear the confidence in her voice. Whether it is diving into learning how to grill the perfect cut of meat or make a cast iron dessert or making a big change in your life or career it can be hard when you don't feel confident. Danielle built her confidence by jumping right in, by asking a million questions and trusting herself to be unstoppable. As Danielle puts it, "you have God on one side, determination and grit on the other."

In this episode you'll learn: 
  • her grilling tips
  • why hands up is better than hands out
  • how to find that unstoppable women in you 


Danielle's Recommendations: 
Thermometer: this is the one our family loves

If you loved this episode make sure you are signed up for my weekly newsletter. Don't forget to subscribe on iTunes or Spotify, share a screenshot on social or send me a message. Join our community on Instagram by using the hashtag #thesquadlife and tag @crystalcattle.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Squad Life: Ashley Alderson of Boutique Hub Growing by Serving

Ashley Alderson of the Boutique Hub has cultivated an incredible community that appreciates fashion, boutiques and small businesses. She is a huge proponent of showing up as your true self even if that means you look different from the people around you. Like all good entrepreneur's stories Ashley has had to learn valuable lessons including what it is like to almost lose your business when you put too much faith into someone else and don't listen to your gut. Whether you are boutique owner, small business owner or active in a community organization you'll be able to use Ashley's advice to help keeping pushing forward in these uncertain times. 



Ashley's Favorites:
Books: Rich Dad, Poor Dad and The One Thing 
Squad Members: Jessie Jarvis, Laura Benson - Filly Flair, Fashion Posse, Kelsey Darby - The Lace Cactus, Jocelyn McClellan
Make Up: It Cosmetics CC Cream

Adopt a Healthcare Worker here.

If you loved this episode make sure you are signed up for my weekly newsletter. Don't forget to subscribe on iTunes or Spotify, share a screenshot on social or send me a message. Join our community on Instagram by using the hashtag #thesquadlife and tag @crystalcattle.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Mastering Your Schedule Tips from a Virtual Assistant

Ever feel like your schedule is out of control? Perhaps your productivity is way down because you are trying to juggle a million things. Like that work from home Zoom, home schooling and needing to cook dinner since we can't go out to eat now.

I am a terrible multitasker. For a long time I thought it was cool or beneficial to be good at it. Then I realized that multitasking really means that you aren't excelling in any areas. My friend Tara Titsworth is a virtual assistant and has learned how to make the most of each minute of the day through time blocking. If you are cringing at the thought of having your whole day scheduled Tara believes it has actually given her MORE flexibility.

This is a snapshot of what her schedule looks like. Tara puts EVERYTHING on the calendar. From coffee dates to drive time to the blocks that she will be working with her different virtual assistant clients it is all on there. Tara is pretty adamant that everything has to go on the calendar because she has found that if it doesn't get scheduled it doesn't get done.

Tara's Weekly Schedule

Now I also am a "timeblocker." But let's be clear my time blocked calendar looks more like a bunch of chicken scratch in a paper planner. Yet on the days that I sit down and plan out my day I get WAY more done. I promise giving time blocking is worth a shot.

On this Squad Life Episode Tara Shares:
  • how to effectively organize your day
  • how she overcame fears and launched her virtual assistant business
  • who should be using a virtual assistant




Tara has also graciously put together a sample time blocking worksheet that you can access here.

Tara's Favorites
IG: @tarasheatheva
Books: Girl Wash Your Face and Present Over Perfect 
Squad: Darcie at GreenBitesProject and @bemindfulmarketing
Make Up: Buxom Lip Gloss in White Russian

Receive $15 off Tara's Foundations Virtual Assistant Course with the code SQUADLIFE.

Adopt a Healthcare Worker here.

If you loved this episode make sure you are signed up for my weekly newsletter. Don't forget to subscribe on iTunes or Spotify, share a screenshot on social or send me a message. Join our community on Instagram by using the hashtag #thesquadlife and tag @crystalcattle.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Work From Home Essentials

For almost 10 years I have had a work from home gig. First in a corporate setting, and then again when I left my job to work for myself. When I asked my husband what you "need" to work from home also know know as WFH, he said "Internet and a printer." Thanks for the help Jon. While that might be true there are a few creature comforts that I love having in my home office.
1. & 1A. | 2. | 3. | 4. 
5. | 6. | 7. | 8.
1. Ring Light aka Selfie Light: I'm telling you go ahead and get one. The chances are you are going to be on a LOT more video conferencing calls. This is the light that you need to give you the perfect "I don't want to spend time on my make up" glow. Whether you go with the larger size or a smaller version that sits on your desk a ring light is worth it.

2. Softest Loungewear: Let's be real. Us "work from homers" are the queens of casual workwear. We have been showing up to Zoom calls business on top, pjs on the bottom for years. These pjs are my absolute favorite and they come in lots of different combinations of long sleeve/short sleeve, shorts/pants. Buy a pair to sleep in and a pair to work in.

3. Yeti Mic: Not a necessity, but if you want to amp up your sound quality or launch you podcast now that you have all this extra time this is the mic for you.

4. Blanket: I have two different colors of this particular blanket and I love them. My tip is go for the twin size instead of a lap blanket for ample coverage.

5. Lavish Hand Cream: Since I am washing my hands about a bizillion times more hand cream is a must. I also love this on because of its beautiful lemon smell. It feels like a little midday spa treatment.

6. Foamer: Since you now wear all the hats including at home barista you are going to nee a foamer. It will change your latte life.

7. Insulated Cup: It's about treating yourself to the little things, right? These cups keep hot things hot, and cold things cold for three hours. And it's pretty, and that matters.

8. Notebooks: Whether you are documenting your new normal, brainstorming a new business plan or just need to take notes during the morning virtual staff meeting give your notebooks a refresh.

What did I miss? What has made your new WFH life a little better?

If you need a weekly pick me up make sure you tune into the Squad Life podcast on iTunes or Spotify to hear the stories of small town girls doing big things. 

This post contains affiliate links, but I wouldn't share it if I didn't LOVE it. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Squad Life: How to Get Involved in Your Community with Molly Knuth

Small towns can be an interesting place. I mean a lot of us LOVE our small towns. A lot of us feel lost in our small town or feel like it has nothing to offer. Molly Knuth is a small town Iowa girl who not only is working to make the town of Cascade a better place to live, but she is also growing her social media marketing company her small town.

Molly and I both agree that when it comes to living in a small town getting involved is a two way street. You have to be willing to put yourself out there, try new things, put some elbow grease into a project. On the flip side if you have been a resident in your town or community for a long time it can be easy to get stuck in your ways without realizing it. To outsiders or newcomers it can feel like there is a wall up even though that may not be your intention.

I can't wait to hear your thoughts about this week's episode. Remember if you share on social be sure to tag me @crystalcattle.



Molly's Recommendations:
Book: Rachel Hollis Girl, Wash Your Face
Squad: Sweat Inspire Sisterhood
Make Up: Covergirl Mascara

Carilynn's Favorites:
Squad: @seriouslysabrina, Jen Hatmaker, Danielle HaydenSheriden Wimmer 
Make Up: Wet and Wild Megalast Catsuit Lipstick in Rebel Rose
Book: Michelle Obama Becoming 

If you loved this episode make sure you are signed up for my weekly newsletter. Don't forget to subscribe on iTunes or Spotify, share a screenshot on social or send me a message. Join our community on Instagram by using the hashtag #thesquadlife and tag @crystalcattle.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Squad Life: When Chip Gaines Calls You with Carilynn Coombs

Imagine driving in your old truck, down a dusty Kentucky road. The windows are rolled down because the A/C doesn't work and you've got two kids in the backseat.

Now imagine while you are in this situation Chip Gaines calls your cellphone. It happened to my friend Carilynn Coombs. Two years ago Carilynn and her family, who are third generation dairy farmers, found themselves in the worst scenario possible. They lost their milk contract and couldn't find another. That meant the cows had to go. In 90 days they lost their business, and then Chip Gaines called.

Now I don't want you to think that Chip and Joanna magically solved all of the Coombs family business problems. These are hardworking, "we'll figure it out" kind of people. As Carilynn puts it "if you have enough fight in you, you can do exactly what you want."

However, through a unique partnership between the Coombs family and the team at Magnolia there is a new business plan in place. First the Jericho Farmhouse ice cream trailer, then a farm store where you can buy products direct from the farmer, and one day a dairy processing plant. The day the processing plant opens will be the day that a new group of cows return to the farm. The Coombs family will be in complete control of their product and how it will be marketed. Everyday they are taking steps to make the new dream a reality.

Carilynn and her family outsider of the Jericho Farmhouse Ice Cream Trailer

If you have ever thought, "I don't know how we'll get through this," this is the episode for you.




Carilynn's Favorites:
Squad: @seriouslysabrina, Jen Hatmaker, Danielle Hayden, Sheriden Wimmer 
Make Up: Wet and Wild Megalast Catsuit Lipstick in Rebel Rose
Book: Michelle Obama Becoming 

If you loved this episode make sure you are signed up for my weekly newsletter. Don't forget to subscribe on iTunes or Spotify, share a screenshot on social or send me a message. Join our community on Instagram by using the hashtag #thesquadlife and tag @crystalcattle.


Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Squad Life: Politics, Fashion and Grace Van Cleave

This is the best kind of mash up of topics that I could ever imagine. Grace Van Cleave and I crossed paths through our Stella & Dot businesses. In addition to being a fashion junkie (the girl has mad style - like Sex and the City style) she is also a political junkie. She has done it all in the political campaign world, and was a major part of her identity. However, after find herself without a job twice in a 10 month period she decided it was time to leave the corporate America to purse entrepreneurship and launch her own business.

What you'll learn in this episode:
  • the words you need to hear to launch into that opportunity you have being dreaming about
  • what women can learn about how men approach criticism 
  • Grace's life hack for fashion


And of course we discuss Grace's favorite book, the women in her Squad that we should be following and her favorite make up product. Also make sure you check out Grace's group 24 Karat Bold.

Grace's Favorites
Book: Brene Brown - Braving the Wilderness
Squad: Rachel Rogers, Glennon Doyle
Make Up: Ever Whiplash and Skincare

If you loved this episode make sure you are signed up for my weekly newsletter. Don't forget to subscribe on iTunes or Spotify, share a screenshot on social or send me a message. Join our community on Instagram by using the hashtag #thesquadlife and tag @crystalcattle.

Monday, February 3, 2020

Friendships: Why Horseshoes are Better than Circles

Cow show friends Jill, myself and Suzanne.
Ready to talk about horseshoes? Normally I don't transcribe the entire Squad Life episodes line by line. However, this week's topic is one that really resonated with me. So listen in or read along. Either way I hope you'll create a horseshoe. 

Don't miss an episode of the Squad Life or my weekly 5 Favorites by subscribing here

When I say horseshoes I am not referring to the game my Grandma Hazel taught me to play at our family reunions. If you didn't know I am a farm girl. And specifically when it comes to all that farm stuff I really like cows. I few up as a 4-H nerd and would spend every single minute of my summers either getting ready for a cow show or proudly parading my cows around a one.



It was 1998 and I had a beautiful red heifer with a big white blaze down her face named Harmony. I LOVED that heifer and Harmony and I took home a lot of banners. However, what was better than those banners were my cow show friends. When you are 13 years old and you lived outside a town with a population of less than 400 people the selection of friends is limited. The number of people that understood my love of cows was even smaller aka my sister got it and that was it. But when I went to those show with Harmony in tow there was a whole group of other 13-year-old girls from small towns that loved cows and were craving deeper friendships just like me.

One of those friends was Jill. We both had pretty bad Dixie chicks inspired haircuts, loved tiny butterfly hair clips and the screams went into another octave when the Spice Girls came on.

We were there for the cows and the friendships, but what better way to round out any 4-H or youth cattle show than a dance party. I am talking DJ in a metal pole shed, lights slightly lowered and songs like Faith Hill’s This Kiss, Britney Spears singing Baby One More Time and Offsprings’s Pretty Fly for a White Guy. Somehow it is ingrained into a woman’s DNA that when the music starts, and you are shaking and grooving on the dance floor the natural formation is a circle. If you have heard Rachel Hollis speak she recounts that this natural instinct is important for your later clubbing years, as it allows you to put all your purses in the middle, circle up and provide protection as you booty shake the night away.

However, my friend Jill was wise beyond her years and as the circles would form she would yell out, "no circles, no circles." In my head I am thinking, "Wait what!? Why we breaking up the circle. Cruel Summer is about to come on?"

Jill never said out loud why we were disrupting our instinctual formation, but I soon got it.

A circle creates a tight wall, one that no one else can get into. The new girl or the person that doesn’t have their own circle can’t get in. You are either a part of the circle or outside of the circle. We broke a part our circle, still dancing close enough to sing as loudly as possible into the other persons face (you know that dance move), but our lack of circles allowed us to welcome others in.  

At the time the word horseshoe was never used but a few years ago I came across a quote from another insightful lady named Glennon Doyle

Horseshoes are better than circles.
Leave space. Always leave space.
Horseshoes of friends > Circles of friends.
Life can be lonely. Stand in horseshoes.

Jill was right, Glennon was right. Horseshoes. We need more of them.

Over and over again in my life I have found myself outside of the circle. It was the birthday parties I wasn't invited to, the college spring break trip I wasn’t included on, the committee that there wasn’t a seat for me at, the mom’s night out planned, but I was excluded because when you don’t have kids it is easy to forget about girls like me.

On the same note I bet I was the girl that also had my own circle and didn’t step back to welcome someone else in, and I regret that decision.

Sometimes we get so caught up in the moment it is easy to not think about others. You want to be inclusive but the hotel room will only sleep four people so that means not everyone gets to come. As a group grows you worry that you'll lose some of the closeness and the trust factor. All the above may be true but I think we still need to make an effort.

I have heard others say I don’t need any new friends. I get it. Adult friendships take a lot of work especially to turn them into deep relationships. We get distracted and don’t answer the text, which doesn’t allow a foundation of security and consistency to be formed. We feel like we are connected but honestly exchanging likes and comments back and forth on Instagram doesn’t allow us to go deeper. Research shows that sitting in front of someone and being able to look them in the face while giving them your full attention creates a psychological sense of connection. So text your friend and then meet up for dinner.

You also have to stop pretending that we are cooler than we are. Disclose that you aren’t into the Bachelor but you do love to binge watch the Kardashians. Share that you love drag queen music or that you could probably give up alcohol if you had to. Reveal that one of your biggest fears is that you won’t be remembered. If you are curious those are all my personal confessions.

When you say that you don’t need any new friends it breaks my heart a little because someone out there really needs a friend. There is always going to be a new girl in town or a new girl in the office. There is going to be someone that is going through a life change and is in new unchartered territory, and would love to hang out with someone that has already been there.

Are the wheels turning? Still not ready to take the big leap into best friends forever territory? That’s ok because low-stakes friendship, also known as weak ties have benefits too. A 2014 study found that the more of these weak tie friends that you interact with the better off your well-being is. Meaning you'll be happier. 

Interacting with your exercise classmates, that person you give the little nod to at church each week or making conversation with the other moms in the pick up line can all increase your happiness. Over the past four years I have watched people join me in my Keep Collective and Stella and Dot business. They come for the product or the need/want to make a little extra money and then they stay for the friendships. Being a part of a team and a community is something that we crave. It is something my community can provide. 

These low stakes friendships allow us to create mini networks. I wanted to say circles but remember we are going for horseshoes.

Make horseshoes. Look for the person that you can invite into the conversation. Have a mix of acquaintances and but also don’t be afraid to take those next steps of being vulnerable to deepen the friendship. 

And if you ever need anyone to coach you through the moves to the Spice Girls Stop Right Now dance I'm your friend. 


Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Squad Life: Freezer Meals, Instant Pots and Lindsy Trotter

Have you ever been headed down a path and then needed to make a change? Lindy Trotter loved her career in teaching but as her two daughters began to grow up she realized teaching didn't allow her the flexibility she needed. As she puts it "it is kind of hard to walk your daughter to class on her first day when you are teaching your first day of the new year."

A daughter with food sensitivities lead Lindsy down the path of more home cooking and freezer meals. Soon in addition to providing meals for her family her friends were asking her to cook for them as well. That is when Chilled a freezer meal and menu planning business was born.

I have personally done the Chilled Shipping service and the meals are amazing. The convenience and reduction in stress is even better.

In this episode you'll learn:

  • Whether you are a stay at home mom or an entrepreneur both can be isolating
  • You don't need a business plan to have a business
  • It is important to find the people that will push you out of your comfort zone




Lindsy's Suggestions:
IG: @ChilledFreezerMeals
Books: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle a Year of Food, Girl, Wash Your Wash
Beauty: Salis Skincare
Squad: @Just.Ingredients

Discount Code: Use the code Squad Life to receive 10% off your first Chilled Freezer Meal Bundle.

If you loved this episode make sure you are signed up for my weekly newsletter. Don't forget to subscribe on iTunes or Spotify, share a screenshot on social or send me a message. Join our community on Instagram by using the hashtag #thesquadlife and tag @crystalcattle.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Squad Life: Affirmations, Money and Failture

Affirmations, have you heard of them? Are you the camp of well that sounds intriguing but kind of weird? Like do you really want me to chant a phrase over and over again? Kind of. Jen Hatzung of Abundant Affirmations is a wealth of knowledge and a firm believer in how we talk to ourselves matters. This is actually even research that backs her beliefs.

This year I have become more and more intrigued by affirmations. Currently, I am reading You are a Badass at Making Money, author Jen Sincero is also a big fan of affirmations. Maybe people named Jen are onto something.

Thankfully I met Jen Hatzung at a conference this summer and once I realized that the cute cards with quotes on had a little deeper meaning I knew I had to have her on the podcast. Plus, I bought the money affirmation deck she created for myself.

In this episode you'll learn:

  • why you have to get comfortable with failure
  • how to use affirmation in your daily life
  • why you need to get more comfortable with money
  • the importance of networking for the stage of your life




Jen's Recommendations:
IG: @abundantaffirmations
Squad: Valour Media Group, The Collaboration Hub, Cultivate What Matters Power Sheets, Daisy Faye DesignsHayMavensXo
Books: Shoe Dog, Mindset
Make Up: Nyx Eyebrow Pencil

If you loved this episode make sure you are signed up for my weekly newsletter. Don't forget to subscribe on iTunes or Spotify, share a screenshot on social or send me a message. Join our community on Instagram by using the hashtag #thesquadlife and tag @crystalcattle.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Squad Life: Hustle vs. Rest with Maria Schopmeyer of The Farm & Co.

Maria Schopmeyer will warm your heart. She is the face and painter behind the rapidly growing sign business The Farm & Co. A business that grew out of getting together as a group of stay at home moms and crafting a few times a week. Today in addition to hand painted signs, The Farm & Co. has a metal works business, storefront and venue on their farm. Plus, Maria has started a genius wedding rental idea. You'll have to check out their website or listen to the podcast to learn more.

Maria is deeply rooted in her faith. She met her husband, Bryce when she was 13 years old, and when he senior year came around she was planning a wedding and gutting the farmhouse that Bryce and her would turn into a home.

In this episode of Squad Life you will learn: 
  • What it is like working with your husband
  • Why it is important to listen to God's calling
  • The reason why rest is so important 


Maria's Favorites
IG: @thefarm_co
Who to Follow: Jennifer Allwood
Beauty Product: Dove Dry Shampoo - I personally like the volume you on

If you loved this episode make sure you are signed up for my weekly newsletter. Don't forget to subscribe on iTunes or Spotify, share a screenshot on social or send me a message. Join our community on Instagram by using the hashtag #thesquadlife and tag @crystalcattle.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Squad Life: Choosing Your Word with Addie Yoder

Have you heard about this word of the year thing? It is something that I started implementing four years ago. For the first two years brave was my word. Then in 2019 I went with joy. This year it is abundance.

Addie Yoder is someone that brought a lot of joy into my life last year. She is a wealth of knowledge, always has the best book recommendations and is becoming quite a make up junkie like me. I love Addie's story because she has always had a passion for helping others. She decided to take the plunge down the path of becoming a life coach over a year ago. However, after she received her John Maxwell Life Coach certification she sat on it for awhile. In this episode of Squad Life you'll learn how she finally took the leap, found the courage and put her business into action.

In this episode we cover:
  • Why having a word is of benefit
  • How to read more (I need help with this one)
  • And how to taking small steps will propel you forward




Visit www.addieyoder.com and you can sign up for a free 30 minute coaching call. You can join Addie's January Book Club here.

If you need help with a word of the year bracelet or necklace shoot me a message here and I can help you create something something perfect.

Addie's recommendations:
Books: Finish (her January Book Club), The Accidental Beauty QueenBromance Book Club, The Friend Zone
Squad: Jenn Whitmer and @thegratefulfarmwife
Beauty Product: Lancome CILS XL Super Enhancing Booster Mascara

If you loved this episode make sure you are signed up for my weekly newsletter. Don't forget to subscribe on iTunes or Spotify, share a screenshot on social or send me a message. Join our community on Instagram by using the hashtag #thesquadlife and tag @crystalcattle.
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