Thursday, March 28, 2013

Honey Beer Bread

Recently, my mother hosted a dinner party. Actually, I made it sound much more formal than it really was ... Joe was home for spring break and demanded a homemade meal, so my mother cooked it and invited us all over. (That is the truth.)

Anyway, it was my job to make bread, from the box of beer bread mix she sent home with me. Needless to say, it was delicious and I was determined to make my own, without a box.

So like any talented, young social media professional would do - I went to Pinterest and found a recipe. This one from Gimme Some Oven is spot on, so I did exactly like it says.

[caption id="attachment_190" align="aligncenter" width="300"]IMG_8207 AND THE BREAD GODS GAVE ME THIS![/caption]

Now this is my first "recipe" post so bear with me, but I promise the directions are easy peasy. The language is pulled directly from the Gimme Some Oven recipe. I'm not nearly this creative.


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour

  • 2 Tbsp. sugar

  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder

  • 1 tsp. salt

  • 2 Tbsp. honey

  • 1 bottle (12 ounces) beer (I used a Stout, part of Nick's anniversary present)

  • 1 stick butter, melted

[caption id="attachment_181" align="aligncenter" width="300"]IMG_8198 The players in this game.[/caption]


(Makes 1 loaf)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x 5x 3-inch loaf pan.

[caption id="attachment_183" align="aligncenter" width="300"]IMG_8200 Man! our oven is old ... but cool.[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_182" align="aligncenter" width="300"]IMG_8199 The necessary kitchen tools.[/caption]

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Using a wooden spoon, stir the beer and honey into the dry ingredients until just mixed. (I recommend popping your honey in the microwave for a few seconds beforehand to make it easier to stir in!)

Confession: I don't own a wooden spoon.

[caption id="attachment_184" align="aligncenter" width="300"]IMG_8201 The microwaving the honey really helped![/caption]

[caption id="attachment_186" align="aligncenter" width="300"]IMG_8203 In goes the beer![/caption]

Pour half the melted butter into the loaf pan. Then spoon the batter into the pan, and pour the rest of the butter on top of the batter. (Use a pastry brush to spread it around if you’d like, but I didn't because I'm lazy...)

[caption id="attachment_188" align="aligncenter" width="300"]IMG_8204 IMG_8205 This full stick of butter is REALLY important - adds to the delicious factor.[/caption]

Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until top is golden brown and a toothpick/knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. Serve immediately.

[caption id="attachment_192" align="aligncenter" width="300"]IMG_8209 This bread is dense, so don't expect it to be light and airy. Rather, hope for hoppy and delicious from the beer![/caption]

And then, if you want to be like me - EAT IT ALL. Seriously, yum. And don't take any pictures after you cut it, because you'll be too excited. Promise.

The reviews on the original post from Gimme Some Oven were mixed. Some said it was fabulous (which I agree) and some said there was an after taste (which I also agree), but I expected that with the heavy beer I was using. So, use your own judgement here people.

Until next time,

Monday, March 25, 2013

Spring Fever

For those of you in the Midwest, you know all about this snow that is PLAGUING us! Ugh. I want to wear gym shorts and a sweatshirt outside to walk my dog - not boots, a ski jacket, scarf, roping gloves and a headband.

But, since the only time I ACTUALLY go outside is to walk Cougar and check on the baby calves ... I shouldn't really complain. But to prepare for Spring, (which I hear is right around the corner?), I am in a cleaning mode. We're talking DEEP cleaning, scrubbing, vacuuming, SPIC-n-SPAN. Surprise Nick!

GG-Spring-Cleaning-Check-List-Printable1-e1363910165787To prepare, I visited I saw their Spring Cleaning List on Instagram and knew I needed it. I LOVE LISTS! Download your own here.

Since I am working today, I started relatively small. I washed all of our bed linens - pillow shams and duvet cover included. But seriously, Saturday I plan on dominating this list. I love a clean house, and maybe I am a freak of a 23-year-old for being obsessive about it? Planning and lists, I AM ON A ROLL!

Another thing I have Spring Fever for is new stuff. It happens every season. I get a case of the "I Wants" as my mother calls them. So, I am budgeting, and deciding to save on the stuff I already buy. So lately, I've been couponing. Not obsessive Kourtney Kardashian couponing if any of you are Kardashian fans...

But seriously, TARGET. (Love that store, like a lot.) They have bomb coupons. It's easy to get their "printer" and just select the ones you want and they print out nicely three/page. Check them out here.

[caption id="attachment_172" align="aligncenter" width="300"]IMG_8179 This is $9.75 in savings, plus a $5 off a Threshold brand item we got in the mail today.[/caption]

And to go with my new couponing habit, we recently got a cork board for our kitchen. Nick installed it last night (not by choice). But he also hung up my diploma from K-State that FINALLY came in the mail.

[gallery columns="2" ids="173,174,176,175"]

And of course while taking these photos, Cougar was BEGGING for a photo shoot. I can't that face anything!

So how do you Spring Clean? I'll take any and all tips.



Thursday, March 21, 2013

Bummed, but happy!

I was supposed to be on my way to Oklahoma City for work - literally right now. But crappy weather in the plains states has me staying home in (not-so-warm) Indiana. Turns out, it's hard to take pictures of cattle when it's rainy.

But, I thought today we'd talk about pictures...

[caption id="attachment_64" align="alignleft" width="214"]Huck_1stBday You may remember this cutie from this invite I designed.[/caption]

I like to take them. You may have noticed the photography page on this blog.

Let me tell you about my cutest subject - Huck McGee! He just turned 1 year old, and we took some festive spring photos to celebrate.

We had grand plans of shooting these outside of course, but again RAIN killed that one. Luckily, I have a great boyfriend/owner of Crown Feed & Supply that lent us the chicks and the store for a little fun. We even tried bunny ears, but Huck was not really a fan. I had never done an inside shoot before (and I have a LOT to learn) so thanks Huck for being such a great model!


[gallery columns="4" ids="150,152,154,156,157,159,162,163" orderby="rand"]

If any of you are interested in booking a photo shoot, just let me know (! Kids, seniors or livestock - I'd be glad to help.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Mambo #5

I bet the title of this post got you singing the Lou Bega hit from 1999. (If not, watch the video and it will!)

[caption id="attachment_77" align="alignleft" width="158"]IMG_1234 Buddy - fresh from the oven.[/caption]

We've started our second round of calving at our house. You may remember an earlier post about Buddy the Calf. But in other news, Buddy is live and well - THRIVING. He's pretty darn cute.

But, like I said we've been calving. We now have Stella, Sassy, Woody & Mambo to join our happy little home (barn/pasture). Mambo was born yesterday (lucky #5), hence her name. She is out of Joe's absolute favorite cow, Karen. (He seriously might like her more than me.)


But Karen gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, with no help from us.

[caption id="attachment_144" align="aligncenter" width="640"]Here's Mambo #5, looking adorable in her oversized ear tag. Here's Mambo #5, looking adorable in her over sized ear tag. Photo courtesy of Nick.[/caption]

[gallery columns="2" ids="146,143"]

Friday, March 15, 2013

Red Dirt Friday, Vol. 4

I thought I was done with "Nashville" country. I really did. I am over artists sounding so manufactured - I like a little rasp to the voice, a good beat and deep, meaningful lyrics in my songs.

BUT - I have to tell you ... I DIG Lady Antebellum's latest song, "Downtown." I like it so much I've been listening to it on repeat (for days, yes I embarrass myself).

Lady Antebellum's "Downtown" Video

But, a favorite lyric of mine from Pat Green's "Carry On" stills stands true to my general dislike of pop country - sometimes you've got to get away.

Baby's just a little bit tired of the city / Billboards and bullshit's got her down / Seem like you need a little hill country / A little back roads driving, little bit of the old top down

[caption id="attachment_138" align="alignleft" width="300"]Screen shot 2013-03-15 at 11.40.12 AM Pat Green just seems like my kind of guy. Thanks to for the image.[/caption]

The song goes onto say "Everybody's gotta get away sometime / it's okay, it's alright / carry on". So red dirt country fans, you'll see that even Pat Green thinks it's okay that I listen to Lady Antebellum.

What are your thoughts on "pop country?"

Until next time,

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Puppy Kindergarten

They grow up so fast! Seriously. Cougar has doubled in size since we brought her home (12 hours in a truck from Goddard, Kan.) on Jan. 20! She is a 31-lb. giant, and is the cutest, sweetest, smartest dog. (Okay, I'm biased.) Check out this post about Cougar and her licking habits from a few weeks ago.

On Tuesday we took her to Puppy Kindergarten at our vet's office - Oak Hill Animal Clinic . Here's a picture from their Facebook page - notice I'm restraining her from jumping out of my arms and she is posing like a goober.


But in all seriousness, Puppy Kindergarten is a cool thing - 4 nights of 1 hour classes. It teaches the puppies socialization and teaches us humans some training and house breaking tips as well. We were supposed to start on Feb. 26, but two Tuesdays in a row of intense snow in NWI but the kibosh on that.

While we were there on Tuesday, I took the time to snap a few photos myself.

[gallery ids="132,131,130"]

Stay tuned for more Cougar updates!


Monday, March 11, 2013

Making a House a Home

At one point in my life, I thought I was going to become an interior designer. (It could have been something to do with a past babysitter who went to college for such a degree...) And obviously the farm, cows and agriculture are very important to me. But nonetheless, I really like watching a house/room/idea come together.

[caption id="attachment_64" align="alignright" width="214"]Huck_1stBday I made these for the aforementioned party![/caption]

I have this friend Eric McGee that has this awesome wood working talent - THAT I DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT UNTIL VERY RECENTLY! (Seriously, we had been friends for like 8 years and I had no idea.) I was his house two weekends ago for their son Huck's first birthday, and LOVED all of his creations.

But he had made his wife, my good friend Rachael, these rustic looking shelves, (among other things like a corner booth and an awesome pantry). I said Eric, "I want some of those." And magically 8 days later, I had them hanging in my kitchen.

These shelves are so cool! They were inspired by a project Rachael saw on Vintage Revivals blog. But, mine are cooler ... mostly because they are mine.

[caption id="attachment_123" align="aligncenter" width="300"]2013-03-10 19.13.10 Please don't mind this crappy iPhone picture of these shelves, I was too excited![/caption]

Now, we've collaborated on another project, a hutch to put in our living room/office to hold stuff ... mostly DVDs. I can't wait to see what he comes up with! He did say this one will take longer than 8 days, but that's really okay with me!

Screen shot 2013-03-11 at 2.30.32 PMIf you have any appreciation for handmade in the USA woodwork (like this chair to the left), I recommend you check out ECM Fine Woodworking on Facebook.

Eric does everything out of his home in Noblesville, IN but can do amazing work and get it shipped to where you are. Call him 317. 414. 9995 or email

I think Eric and I can get along rather nicely. Perhaps I'll be his director of PR one day when he's famous? I TEASE!

Until next time,

Friday, March 8, 2013

Red Dirt Friday, Vol. 3

You can probably guess that red dirt music isn't played too much in Indiana. In fact, few people have heard of Cross Canadian Ragweed. Most even think that "Wagon Wheel" is Darius Rucker's song. GAGGGGG.

So I must look to outside sources for my musical pleasure. Insert the Red Dirt Rebel, FM 105.3 out of Lubbock, Texas -- home of Texas Tech University. (I'll give it to the Red Raiders, they've got some bangin' good music.) I found this website/live streaming radio in the summer of 2011, when I was working in Baraboo, WI for Accelerated Genetics.

If you think about it, check out their Facebook page as well. I love all of the DJs too, they are funny and sincere.

They recently launched an iPhone app, where they list all of the songs they recently played, and include the album they're from as well as a play button to listen right from your phone. Very handy for when you want to remember a song yourself so you can download it - and this is probably why my iTunes is upwards of 3,000 songs...

I've found this to be very helpful for finding new music. What tricks do you have for discovering new, awesome tunes?

Cheers to the Freakin' Weekend,

Thursday, March 7, 2013

My Top 5 Strengths

I am a total and complete nerd. In college, I was a Leadership Studies minor. I lapped up everything I learned, I was that girl who raised her hand anxious to answer questions and ask them in return. I then taught the LEAD212 class - Intro. to Leadership - LOVED it. Seriously.

I learned about my Top 5 Strengths. This Gallup StrengthsFinder is s a 30 min. online assessment. According to the website, "After you take the Clifton StrengthsFinder, you'll receive a customized report that lists your top five talent themes, along with action items for development and suggestions about how you can use your talents to achieve academic, career, and personal success."

So here are my Top 5 Themes:

Screen shot 2013-03-06 at 3.26.34 PMTo anyone that knows me this shouldn't really be a surprise. Straight from Gallup, someone that has positivity acts like this - "Instinctively, you support the people around you by acknowledging their outstanding accomplishments and stellar performances." I DO THIS. I also try really hard to make the best of any situation, and find what makes each person unique.  I speak my mind, and really enjoy feeling like I contributed to a project. I say THANK YOU a million times. I also send thank you notes like it's my job.  I fully believe in my Top 5 Strengths, and the strengths theory tells us to embrace our strengths and not work on our weaknesses. So since I don't have the Restorative theme, (People who are especially talented in the Restorative theme are adept at dealing with problems. They are good at figuring out what is wrong and resolving it), I'm certainly not going to try to be that person. Instead I'll encourage myself and my friends with positive words and hopefully the problem will resolve itself.

I read this blog from Black Gold Farms earlier today. It says there's no repeat button in farming. That just because something worked well this year, doesn't mean it will next year.

"We know that we cannot just do what we did last year and expect the same outcome. Instead, we take what we’ve learned, we take what our and our customers’ exceptions are, and we work toward a common goal. The plans, the dates, the acres, the crops, the people, the equipment, the market conditions – have all changed since last year. So we hit some parts of the Repeat button, but we also press the Control button, or the Shift button. Sometimes we even hit the Delete button – because we can only control so much and shift our plans so much and we can only depend on so much being the same as last year. There is no Repeat button in farming."

I couldn't say it better myself. I think that's what draws me to this industry. In agriculture we're always seeking improvement, finding better ways to do things (more efficient, quicker, cheaper, better for the environment, etc.). I LOVE THAT. My strengths get to go crazy in this industry. I think that by communicating the problem, trying to maximizing the situation, remaining positive even after a bad year, offering our input and individualizing to each producer's needs - BOOM. Problem solved. Well sorta. At least that's a start. Thanks to everyone else with different strengths, so we can be productive!

Have you ever done a StrengthsFinder? Do you agree with your results?



Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Wedding Bells

Don't worry - it wasn't my wedding. But, this past Friday Nick & I were happy to participate in my mother's wedding. He was an usher, and I was the program-passer-outer ... a very important job you know.

The event went off beautifully, as the church was packed. They said their "I Dos" and I (surprisingly) didn't even cry!

I was too busy talking to our friends and smiling for family photos, that I hardly took any photos with my phone. AND the lack of pockets in my dress certainly didn't help matters. But I did want to share a few.

[caption id="attachment_105" align="aligncenter" width="300"]photo Myself, the bride & my best friend Jessica[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_106" align="aligncenter" width="300"]photo(1) The bride & groom's first dance![/caption]

It was such a special day for my family. And now, it's over. (LOVE YOU KIKI!)

Until next time,

Friday, March 1, 2013

Red Dirt Friday, Vol. 2


[caption id="attachment_99" align="alignright" width="225"]IMG_1570 Kiki and Jim, her fiance[/caption]

As many of you know, my cutie-patootie of a mother (Kiki) is getting married today! She is basically my favorite person ever, and I couldn't be more happy for her!

One of my (many) responsibilities for her wedding has been to assemble a playlist to play during supper. They are having a live band instead of a regular DJ, so I gladly took on this job.

It was a bit challenging for me to not make the whole thing red dirt music ... but I didn't think everyone here in Indiana would appreciate it as much as I would. But I had to include a few of my favorites.

1. Who I Am - Wade Bowen (this will be mine and Nick's song, no doubt.)

2. Constantly - Cross Canadian Ragweed

3. Feet Don't Touch the Ground - Stoney LaRue

What red dirt songs do you think should be played at a wedding?

Until next time,