Monday, December 2, 2013

My 10 Fall Essentials

I LOVE Fall!  The crisp air, the colorful leaves, and the warm delicious food.  Of course there are a few things that I don’t like.  The dry flaky skin and the daylight only long enough for me to go to work and come home. But, let’s make this a positive post. 

There are products that I can’t live without during the fall and here are my top 10:


1. Carmex – Everyone has their lip product of choice and mine in Carmex.  I love it year round, but my lips seems to get chapped more often during the Fall and Winter, so I especially love it now.  I keep about 5 in my makeup drawer, 1 at school, and 1 in my purse that way I have them where ever I am!


2. Omega Guard – This is my first Fall with this amazing pill and my skin is so much better than it has even been.  I wasn’t positive this was helping … until I ran out.  My skin got drier and flaky.  But, within days of starting back up, my skin was much better.  I will never be without this again.  No fish burps from this either! 


3. Eucerin – A dermatologist recommended this lotion years ago.  I have eczema and this in the only lotion I’ve tried that will not make my hands breakout.  It’s a little greasy when you put it on but it dries in about 20 minutes and I love it!


4. Scarves – My favorite accessory!  I have a ton of scarves but I am always looking for another.  They are like shoes, you can never have too many.  Add a colorful scarf to a plain outfit and you’ve added warmth and style. 


5. Enfuselle Skin Line – I’ve always had problematic skin, but I can now say this skin care line has changed that for me.  I am actually happy with my skin.  I have very few breakouts, my skin is soft (even now when it is usually super dry), and the red spots on my face are gone.  I am very happy with these products!  I use …. the Hydrating Cleansing Lotion to wash my face daily (I use wipes at night because I am lazy), Refining Polisher once a week (this stuff is amazing and makes my skin feel like butter), Purifying Toner after I wash twice a day, Time Repair AM in the morning, Acne Clarifying Complex as a spot treatment or during stressful times when I am more prone to breakouts (back to school, grading, etc.), and Hydrating Moisturizer nightly.  I also use C+E Repair PM around my eyes when I remember – I have a good routine with everything else, but am slacking with this. 

6. Tights – The perfect item to transition your summer dresses into fall.  I have many pairs, but my favorite are Spanx.  Yeah, the shapewear company also makes tights.  They stay put all day!  I can’t stand when tights roll down and you are constantly having to pull them up.  Some brands tend to squish all your fat up so you have a tights muffin top – not with Spanx! 


7. Soup (and really any hot Fallish food) – I LOVE soup.  I could eat it every crisp or cold day.  My favorite is a modified version of this – so yummy!! 

8. Boots –  I don’t have enough boots!  I could wear them every day of Fall and Winter and even into Spring.  I love how boots cover your feet AND keep your calf warm!  Dress them up with tights and a dress or throw on your trusty old boots to muck around in – boots are so versatile!  I just ordered the Baking Sota boots from Aerosoles – I’ve been drooling over them for a while now and they were such a great price I couldn’t pass them up! 



9. Vitamins – and Chewable Vitamin C for Michael to boost his immune system a bit.  I have been taking Shaklee’s vitamins since February and I have yet to be sick!  I take this multivitamin and this daily.  I also take a B-Complex and/or a Chewable Vita-C when my kiddos start acting sick (or sneeze on me).  I am a teacher, so I am surrounded by well meaning germy little ones with poor hygiene skills daily (not that there is anything wrong with my kids, but it takes time to learn to not sneeze into your hand then touch someone).  I expect to get sick.  It is amazing what a few good quality vitamins can do for your health!  

10. Cuddling – This list is in no particular order, but cuddling in my favorite.  I am a cuddler – I cuddle in my sleep, I cuddle during movies, and on the couch at night.  Fall is perfect for cuddling! 

There are my Fall essentials – I know Fall is almost over, but what are YOUR Fall essentials?

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Why I'm comfortable being a meat eater

I got into a discussion on a friend’s Facebook page today with one of their friends about humane farming practices, particularly slaughter. Here is essentially what I shared with my experience as a farmer and why I’m comfortable being a meat eater.

All animals – and people – live and die. That is the basic fact of life. They can either die and provide nourishment to another or they die in vain. In Mother Nature, there is no such thing as humane slaughter. When a wolf or a coyote kills a rabbit or deer, the act is brutal. There is suffering. Mother Nature is brutal. She is graphic. I’d love to see some undercover video of that – or just check out National Geographic.

In farming, we harvest (kill) our animals in the most humane way possible to prevent stressing the animal. Not only is it the right thing to do, animals who are stressed at harvest can yield meat that is inedible. So a stressful slaughter would cost a farmer money. Not only do our morals encourage humane harvesting, economics encourage it too.

I’ve been able to witness animals be butchered by small local butchers and I have also seen the kill floor of a large beef processing company. I’ve heard some people worry that seeing an animal killed would make them a vegetarian. For me, it actually made me more comfortable with the process. It is calm, very quiet and quick.

Sometimes an animal dies as a result of sickness and never gets to be a part of the food chain. I absolutely hate to see animals die for no reason. An animal that dies from sickness provides no nourishment and has essentially died in vain. To me, these animals that die without a purpose are tragic. As farmers, we all work to prevent these deaths with no purpose. And yes, it hurts economically when an animal dies in vain too.

For people who are concerned about how meat is raised or animals slaughtered you have a few options. You can become a vegetarian or vegan or you can get to know a farmer. I’d encourage you to get to know the farmer. We are good people, doing the best we can by these animals.

I love cows, I love raising them and I love to eat them too. As a farmer I respect them in life and in death and for the nourishment they provide to me, my family, and my customers. I’m a life long beef eater and animal lover.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Happy Veteran’s Day


My grandpa was taken prisoner the night of November 10th, which makes November 11th his first full day of being a WWII POW.  I didn’t realize that until a few days ago when I found his POW story while cleaning out a box. 

  The moment her was captured when like this, “I felt a German boot in my back … At that moment I experienced the feeling of complete helplessness, knowing that for the immediate future I must relinquish the freedom I so much cherished and had been willing to give my life for.”  Like many veterans, my grandpa didn’t talk much about his experience in the war but he did write it down.  I’ve read it several times over the years and each time I am more thankful for the sacrifices of all of the men and women who have served in our armed forces included both my grandpas and my dad. Grandpa has a powerful story – he was a prisoner for 5 months and lost 90-100 pounds there is much more to it than that, but he knew what it was like to not have freedom.  And he would do it all again to know that the next generation would have that freedom he had to give up.   

I am proud to be an American and proud to have so many brave men and women who have fought for our freedom.  While I may not agree with everything that is happening in this country, I will always support the men and women in our military.   

Thank you veterans!!!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Camo Initial

Last weekend was the opening of Duck season.  Ironically, my duck hunter hubby was bear hunting.  The weather around here hasn’t been ideal for duck hunting, but it will get there soon enough. 

This summer, I decided to make an initial with the intention of hanging it on a wreath on our door during duck season.  I don’t have the wreath I pictured, but it is still awesome sitting on a shelf in our living room. 

Here is how I made it:


The only supplies needed are a wooden initial (I got an S for Schwall), some fabric (I used an old dog bed in Michael’s camo of choice – Advantage Wetlands Max 4), some adhesive (I didn’t end up using the gorilla glue only the spray adhesive), and a hot glue gun.


Put the initial on some newspaper in a well ventilated area.  Underneath the initial put some square thumb tacks or chunks of cardboard so it doesn’t stick.  


Follow the directions on the spray adhesive bottle.  My bottle said to spray it on then let it dry for 10 minutes. 


Position your fabric and press firmly. 


Let dry then cut out the general shape.

I let mine sit a week or three while I figured out how to finish it. 


Hot glue the edges and onto the back – you will need to do a small section at a time.  Depending on your initial, you will need to do some cutting to have a smooth edge.  Keep your scissors handy. 

I didn’t take pictures, but I also painted the back brown – it makes it look more finished but nobody is going to look at the back, so that is optional. 


The finished S!


I just realized the S is upside down in these pictures (notice the tulles are growing down) but it still looks amazing! 

Very simple and I can now make an initial with anything I want on it for only a couple of dollars!

What do you think?

Monday, August 26, 2013

1st day!

Last week was our first day of school! 

I planned to make a cute frame and take a picture of each of my students in it on the first day of school – but, I was lazy and didn’t.  I did however, take my camera to school so I improvised and had them take pictures with a blank whiteboard.  That way I can write whatever I want on it in picmonkey. 

1st day pic

Yes, it kind of looks like a prison photo but the pictures of my kids are much cuter – you’ll have to trust me on that!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Happy Birthday Ma!!

Today my amazing momma turns 60!!!


We celebrated last night with a BBQ (burgers, corn, and watermelon – all were amazing) and some awesome cake!!

Happy Birthday ma!!!  Hope you have an amazing day!!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Summer Goal Accomplished!!

One of my personal goals this summer was to wear shorts … seems like a silly goal but I NEVER were shorts in public unless they are knee length.  I just feel like I weigh too much and I am not comfortable even buying normal length shorts.  Thanks to my protein smoothies and exercising I’ve lost about 20 pounds!  More exciting than that I went down 3 pant sizes!!  The shorts I bought at the beginning of the summer are too loose now!

Today is my last day of summer.  It flew by, but this school year should be amazing, so I am kind of excited to start back to work.  I decided to share these pictures on my last day of summer: 


I’m not wearing makeup, I didn’t brush my hair, my shirt looks all funky, and I am pale – but I LOVE these shorts!!! 

I went from one knee length pair of shorts to three normal short length shorts.  I’ve worn all three pairs in public and felt comfortable in them (even with my pale legs).  


As soon as Chance saw I was taking pictures in his spot, he ran over to claim it.  He is such a funny puppy!!

I still have a few pounds to shed to reach my ultimate goal, but I am happy, happy, happy that I reached my summer goal!! 

Did you have a summer goal?

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Heman in Motion

Last weekend we spend the weekend up my my sister.  My nephew, Heman, has a game he likes to play – keep the bone or the stick or whatever the dog wants to have throw away from the dog.  Heman loves this game and played a few times while we were there. 


Notice how he has the bone up in the air?  Smart little man!







When the dog stopped following him, he would go back and find him and say look at this, look at this. 


Then he would start running again.



Look at that tongue sticking out!  


This was not the end of the game, it was just a break.

It is pretty hard to take pictures of a toddler in motion!  But, he sure is a cutie!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Idaho Falls

The next stop on our Idaho road trip (see post 1, post 2, and post 3) was Idaho Falls.



We walked from our hotel to the falls and saw about a million Canada Geese. 


Idaho Falls is a hydroelectric project.   



The ducks got pretty close to the edge – there was one on the other side that was right on the edge. 





It was really pretty and I’m glad we took the time to walk down before we hit the road for the day. 


There were lots of unique park benches.  A fishing lure – this was my favorite. 


a tree bench


This horse bench is double sided.


There were a few of these Canada Geese benches. 


Next stop … Craters of the Moon …

Friday, August 9, 2013

Creating an Inviting Entry

Your entry is usually the first thing people see when they come to your house.  Making sure is says “Please come in!” instead of “Leave me alone!” is important – most of the time


1 – Clean!  I’m not talking perfectly clean, but make a point to take down the cobwebs and sweep the porch.  Clean windows would be ideal too.

2 – Make sure your door is noticeable. Have you even seen those houses were you can’t find the front door?  You come to their house for one reason or another and you have no idea where or how to get in.  So frustrating!  We have a sidewalk leading up to the door off the driveway but I still wanted to make sure our door is noticeable from the street. I painted it black (if you follow me on facebook, that is old news), and repainted the trim. 


3 – Add some life to your entry!  I bought these two pots from WinCo for super cheap and planted house plants (since my patio gets no direct sunlight).  Two simple plants add so much!  Yes, my entry way would look better without the cat dishes, but that’s where they eat, so ignore them if you don’t like them. 


4 – A nice doormat – I got this at Walmart for like $10 a year or so ago.  I LOVE how simple it is.  Someday, I may make my own to say our last name or come on in or something cute but for now this mat is perfect! 


A few simple steps to creating a simple and inviting entry way!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Cleaning the Blinds

I am no expert on cleaning – and I avoid cleaning the blinds.  I hate it!  It takes forever and they are never really clean. 


Isn’t that gross!  These are the blinds on the patio door in our master bedroom.


Yuck! The blinds in our room get really dirty really fast.  We have 3 dirty dogs that sleep in our room, so I blame the nastiness on them. 


I started by vacuuming each of the slats on the blinds.


That took the bulk of the dust off but there were still spots all over.


I sprayed window cleaner


Then wiped off each slat. 


Look how clean they are!


Here is a better picture – it is pretty hard to take pictures of blinds.  Our blinds look new!  I think this is the cleanest they have ever been!

Now, this still took 20 minutes but I feel like they are really clean now. 

What is your secret to clean blinds?