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Saying Hello to Spring

It’s now March. The warmer (if you can call it that) weather is slowly starting thaw the Dakota prairie. The days are getting wonderfully longer, which is long over due in my mind. The time springs ahead next weekend and so does my husband, full ahead into planting season and all the other things that come with being a farmer and a rancher in the spring. 

 In just a few more weeks will leave me a farmer’s wife widower once again. And my farming man will be busier than ever with selling bulls, getting all the cattle out to pasture, planting, and planning ahead for the summer months.

The house once again, will be empty when I come home from work. No kiss or “how was your day” to greet me at the door. It will be my duty to get the mail from the mail box instead of it being placed on my desk for me when I get home. 



The dishes will be stacked high in the sink, from a man too busy to take the time to clean up now. My laundry will be dirty. Jeans will be dirt and manure stained from many trips up and down the tractor steps to “un-plug” the 8-row corn seeder. 

 The days are not only longer, but so are the nights. Very long. Waiting. And waiting. Waking yourself up and realizing he is gone, putting in an all nighter because there is a spring rain on the way for tomorrow afternoon. You’ll see him in the morning and he’ll give you a long, sleepy kiss goodbye at 6:00 AM, when you head out the door for work in town. 

 You can watch all the chick-filks you want on Saturday nights, because there is no one there to complain, “do we really have to watch this?!”. But what you would give for it to just be Sunday, the day you get to spend and actually see this man you are now just merely living with. 



 You actually write him little notes of what happened that day or things he has to do, if he ever gets time that is, when you lay out clean underwear and fresh towels in the spare bathroom. Learning to cook for just one. He no longer needs left-overs from last weekend to eat through the week. He eats sandwiches out of a John Deere cooler now. Date nights will once again consist of lemonade and me squeezed in the side seat of an old John Deere. 

 It’s bittersweet for me. Spring brings the warmer weather, flowers, gardening, long evening runs, and those glorious North Dakota summer sunsets. But it also brings a sadness and an ache to my heart. Seeing your best friend, the one you love for mere sleeping hours of the day, just isn’t enough for this heart. 

Counting down the days, the hours, and the minutes until winter comes again.

Boutique, Clothes, Clothing, Fashion, Fashion Blog, Fashionista Friday, Red Dress Boutique, Shoes, Shop, Shopping, The LIfe of the Dakota Farmer's WIfe

Fashionista Friday: Red Dress Boutique

This week’s Fashionista Friday shout-out is to my newly favorite boutique, The Red Dress Boutique! They are out of Georgia, but they have a website where I do all my shopping from, and also a Facebook and Instagram page!

They have new arrivals everyday at 10 AM! And let me tell you, if you want something, get it! They sell out FAST! And most times, things are rarely re-ordered back in stock, probably the only downfall to this RDB! I love this boutique because they have a lot of unique pieces that are great for work or a night out, and every occasion in between!

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They not only have clothing, but also shoes, scarves, jewelry, and super cute handbags! They are the perfect site to find a complete outfit!

This week, I wore my new hot pink pointies (From the Red Dress Boutique) with high-waisted skinny dress pants, a sheer royal blue blouse and a statement necklace!

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My other outfit was navy dotted dress pants with a sheer white blouse (Red Dress Boutique, I couldn’t find the exact one I ordered, but here is another similar one) and heels.

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My last outfit was a periwinkle blue vest (Red Dress Boutique), Ivory Sweater, skinnies, and booties.

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If you sign up for texts, you get an extra 10% off your entire order and you’ll get follow up texts on sales and pre-shopping! The Red Dress Boutique has most definitely become on of my favorite places to shop! The sizes and prizes fit my budget and my body perfectly and its the perfect place to shop for some new spring clothes!

Happy Shopping, Fashionistas! And Happy Friday!  Xo

 

21 Day Fix, Blog, Blogger, Blogging, Clean Eating, cooking, Fit, Fitness, Foodie, Greek Yogurt, Health, Healthy, Ideas, Kitchen, Meal Prep, Natural, Peanut Butter, Planning, recipe, Treats, Yogurt

Healthy Cookie Dough

This is my last and final week of PiYo! (Which I will have a review on next week with my final results, stay tuned!)These past two months flew by! Yes, I probably could have eaten better, but I am proud of myself for committing to something for eight weeks, and now longer because of the 21 Day Fix is next for me! Can’t wait!

This weekend was cold here on the Z Ranch. Highs here were in the -20’s and bitterly ugly. So, I stayed inside and meal prepped and cooked for me and my hubby this week! I made stuffed peppers, a southwest style soup, and our Sunday Dinner, salmon with a Sriracha cream sauce (recipe from Prairie Californian, which I will share later this week with you)!

This weekend, I also experimented with some healthy treats! The one that I am sharing with you today was Cookie Dough! It is amazing! People have been asking me about my new lifestyle and all the cooking and meal prep that goes with it. Really, it is about the same, you just have to come up with healthier and cleaner substitutions to cook with. And as you know, I am a “add this and that and taste test” kind of cook. I rarely use recipes, unless following a new one, and even then, I use my own “healthy” variations.

We are having an ice cream church social coming up in a few weeks. I will be making this for myself and bringing it, so I don’t pig out on homemade ice cream and unhealthy toppings! It is a great treat to have on weekends! And the best part, no guilt and you can stay on track!

Here is what you’ll need:

3/4 cup Greek Yogurt (one red container for 21 Day Fix)

1-2 teaspoons Natural Peanut Butter

1 teaspoon Natural Honey

Sprinkling of Chocolate Chips (preferably Enjoy Life – no sugar, dairy)

1 Packet of Truvia or other Natural Sweetener for extra sweetness

Mix together Greek Yogurt, Peanut Butter, Honey, and Truvia. Mix well so all is combined and no lumps of Peanut Butter. Sprinkle in chocolate chips and enjoy!

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Greek Yogurt Cookie Dough

This counts as one red container and one half of a yellow for the chocolate chips, and one to two teaspoons (depending on how many you use) for the 21 Day Fix meal plan!

Stay tuned for my Sunday Dinner Recipe of Salmon with Sriracha Cream Sauce from Prairie Californian later this week!

Happy Monday! Xo

Gift Ideas, Gifting, Gifts, Honeymoon, Married, Tips and Tricks, Wedding

Non-Traditional Wedding Gift Ideas

We are once again quickly approaching wedding season for 2015. I am not sure how many weddings we will be invited to this year, but it seems in the last two years, every one that we know has gotten married! I am not at all complaining, but my wallet was.

Taylor and I got married almost two years ago and since then, I have definitely learned a few tips and tricks to wedding gifting. We registered a few places. I had lived on my own a few years before we got married, so I had a lot of “stuff” or basics anyway. A lot of the stuff we registered for was cool kitchen gadgets or stuff that I didn’t have yet, but needed for a full sized, non-apartment kitchen.

Now, that I am married, I feel that I am better shopper for wedding gifts. I know the wedding gifts we use the most and the ones we hardly use at all. I love practical gifts. With that being said, here are some tips for this years wedding season or if you are completely stumped on what to get the couple who “has everything”!

1. Look First. My first and biggest tip is, to look on the couple’s registry!! They created a registry for a reason! If you feel that things are too over-priced or you procrastinated too long and all that is left is a $400 vacuum cleaner or $200 sheets, or a set of spatulas, then it is time to get creative! Whether you know the couple very well or you don’t also can make the difference of how creative you can get, so here are some ideas!

2. First Married Date Night! A great and practical gift is a gift card to your local movie theater or the couple’s favorite restaurant (maybe where they had their first date!). Say something in the card like “let your first married date night be on us!” This is a great gift if you don’t know the couple that well and don’t know what else they really need.

3. Grocery Gift Card. This is another great and practical gift idea that anyone will use. When we first got married, I wasn’t working yet and thankfully several people had given us Wal-Mart gift cards so that helped out with groceries and stalking our pantry and kitchen. Or you can also get them a gif card for the sites where they are registered, so they can use it towards that $400 vacuum cleaner.

Get a gift card at your local grocery store, this way it is more specific than Wal-Mart and you know they will use it on groceries only! You can pretty much do gift cards for anywhere or anything. If you know the couple needs or is looking for new furniture, you could also help out in that area, it all just depends on how much you want to spend.

4. Pre-Paid Honeymoon Credit Card. Someone gave us a pre-paid credit card that we could use anywhere, Wal-Mart, date nights, or even on our honeymoon! It was a great idea, especially for the couple that do take a honeymoon right away! We used ours on a meal or two on our honeymoon!

5. Collage.  There were two different people that gave us two different, but similar gifts. One was a vintage-y plaque with our last name and wedding date, you can find similar things on Etsy.com! It still hangs in our main, front entry! The other thing is to save the couples invitation and get it framed for them! Someone did this for us and it hangs in our bedroom with some of our wedding photos! You could save the invitation and or programs as well, or other momentous and have them framed for the couple after the wedding. Yes, that would mean the gift would be a tad late, but I am sure the couple would understand once they saw their keepsake gift! Plus, it is something that not a lot of people think of doing!

6. Tupperware. I just had a Tupperware party last summer and even though I had some great containers from Wal-Mart or from wedding gifts, Tupperware is quality that is forever lasting. Seriously, everyone needs and always uses Tupperware! Tupperware has tons of new products not only for food storage, but for organizing those horrible junk or food cabinets! Not only is it a good investment for the couple, but it is quality and will last for many years!

Blog, Blogger, Clothes, Clothing, Fashion, Fashion Blog, Fashionista Friday, Fitness, Happy Friday, Love, Maurices, Retail, Shop, Shopping, Style, Trends, Trendy, Workout Clothes

Fashionista Friday: Maurices

Many of you have probably heard of the store chain, Maurices! It is one of the few stores we do have in our little big town, that I commute to. Maurices has a great variety of clothing, which is nice if you are located in a small town and don’t have a lot of shopping options!

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Sweater is from Maurices, my necklace is from our wedding! I loved it because I still can wear it with cute sweaters or tops to add a glam look!

A few years ago, Maurices used to have men’s clothing as well, but within the past 5-8 years they changed and now carry plus sizes! Overall, they have a lot of great clothes, whether for work, special occasion, casual, or even fitness (they’re newest line)!

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This is one of my favorite sweaters from Maurices! It is comfy and super warm for those freezing cold North Dakota winters!

I love Maurices because they make quality and fashionable clothing for you or as gifts, and it doesn’t hurt your wallet! I am a HUGE fan of their dress pants! Not to mention they have amazing shoes!! I have several pairs of their shoes, including heels! The heels are my favorite, well padded and actually comfortable! They are my go to shoe for work or any occasion!

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One of my work outfits for a conference! All from Maurices!

Their new fitness line is also fabulous! With my new lifestyle, I love getting new workout clothes to keep me motivated and stylish! Their clothes remind me of Fabletics, but less expensive and super comfy! They are my go to clothes on weekends at home! I also love their cute accessories! Scarves, necklaces, earrings, bangles, etc, Maurices has it all! They have all the cute chunky, vintage-y necklaces, similar to Stella Dot, but much cheaper. Their scarves are super cute for summer or winter or in between! I have a entire collection of them at home!

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Another work outfit.

For me, Maurices makes it easy and fun to shop! They have great end of season deals and they have everything I need for work, casual, church, and even fitness! If you sign up, you can get good coupons in the mail and also a taken 10 card, which once you fill up, you get $10 off your next purchase! It is a great store to shop that has a lot of different options and sizes for everyone!

http://www.maurices.com/home/index.jsp

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An outfit from yesterday, sweater and top are from Maurices!
Advice, Blessed, Blessings, farm, Farm Wife, God, Happiness, Happy Valentine's Day, Joy, Love, Married, Prayer, The LIfe of the Dakota Farmer's WIfe, Valentine, Valentine's Day

Celebrating Love for Almost 61 Years…

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I know I am a couple days early, but I wanted to get this special post out before the big day of love! What exactly does Valentine’s Day mean to you?! Maybe it’s a celebration of you and your significant other’s love, maybe it means nothing at all.

I used to never think much of the day because you should love the people (husband, family, friends) every day of the year, not just one. Recently, since we have been married, I look at it different. It is rather one day set aside to really love that special person or people in your life. For us, it’s not about the chocolate or roses, but rather it is just nice to spend precious time together. A day set aside for extra love, which should happen at least one or more days out of the year anyway, right?!

Besides our birthdays, and our anniversary, Valentine’s Day is a day that Taylor and I do something for one another. Whether we go out to eat or make a special meal at home. We try to celebrate the day of love by showing one another love. Last year, I made a heart shaped cake. It was just a little something to say, thank you for all you do and all that you are to me. Love is a wonderful gift from God and it should be celebrated! And it’s sometimes nice to take a few days out of the year and just appreciate that person and celebrate all the joys, triumphs, trials, and mountains climbed.

That is why, this year, I decided to ask someone that has been married or with their significant other for a very long time, almost sixty-one years in fact, and I just happen to know personally. Burnette Schlenker (and her husband Harry), whom I have basically known all my life. She taught me in church class when I was young and is still an inspiration to me as a woman today. She grew up in a non-Christian home and found Jesus on her own. She is one of the sweetest, kind, most loving people I know. So, I sent her a few questions on marriage, love, and of course, being a farmer’s wife.

When and how did you meet?

August 12, 1950 in a small town. We met in a group of young people.

What attracted you to the other?

It was not love at first sight. Two weeks after we met, we began to date, and did so for 3 years and 8 months. It was during this time that we grew to love each other as we learned things about one another.

How did he (Harry) propose?

He never really proposed to me. It was during our dating period that we came to the mutual agreement that we both felt that we were ready for marriage, and with the consent of our parents, we were married.

When were you married?

We were married in our church on April 4, 1954. On that day we not only made vows to one another, but we also made a vow to God, that Christ would always be first in our marriage.

Advice for engaged or newly married couples?

The most important advice that we can give to these people is that each person have made a commitment to Christ, or have grown where they have a personal relationship with Christ. We have found tis relationship is the most important one in life. We had the spiritual experience in our own lives at the ages of nine and sixteen.

Advice for Farmer’s Wives?

Thank you for asking for advice for farmer’s wives. Since farming has been our main occupation, we have learned that is calls for long, hard, and trying hours. The advice is short and simple, but not popular in our day. We can’t think of another occupation that calls so strongly for a wife to be a help meet to her husband. Please understand your importance to his occupation. Stay home and work with him and for him. He is needed by you. And wives you will be deeply blessed.

How do you make marriage last and work for many years?

It is God’s wonderful plan for us to have a good and long marriage. We do not tell that our sixty years of marriage were a bed of roses, but rather we found many roses with thorns. We found that in life we go through different season, and we learned that season in marriage are no exception. We experienced situations we never experienced before. So much was new and it came so quickly. It made us laugh, cry, angry, argue, and we had to say forgive me and pray for me. (I loved this, you don’t hear this anymore these days).

In sixty years, we learned it is not we that made our marriage work or last all these years. But only God alone as we read His Word together and became obedient to it. And we pray together. For it has been said, a couple that prays together, stays together.

So, by all of this being said, Valentine’s Day is so much more than the flowers, the cards, or candy. It’s just another day technically, just another day to love and show love in return.

When my hair’s all but gone and my memory fades And the crowds don’t remember my name When my hands don’t play the strings the same way I know you will still love me the same

‘Cause honey your soul could never grow old, it’s evergreen And, baby, your smile’s forever in my mind and memory I’m thinking ’bout how people fall in love in mysterious ways Maybe it’s all part of a plan    – Ed Sheeran Lyrics “Thinking Out Loud”

Cook, cooking, Food, German, Kitchen, Lazy Cheese Buttons, recipe, Sunday Dinner, The LIfe of the Dakota Farmer's WIfe

Sunday Dinner: Lazy Cheese Buttons

This weekend was a good one. The hubby and I spent the weekend at home just relaxing and enjoying each other. I spent yesterday cleaning and in the kitchen cooking for the week. Sundays were definitely made for cooking and making sure you and the hubby are well fed for the week to come.

This Sunday I tried a new recipe from Prairie California’s kitchen, Lazy Cheese Buttons. Here is the link to the original post,

http://prairiecalifornian.com/lazy-cheese-buttons/

I was a little nervous trying this recipe not only because Jenny is an amazing cook and that it was my first time ever making any type of cheese buttons. I was also nervous because I wanted to try to make a few revisions to make them a little “healthier” if possible. While I was making and preparing them, I was thinking, they are never going to turn out, they look like piles of well, vomit.

Turns out, they and the sautéed onions smelled up my entire kitchen quite lovely and I was so excited to try them after they got out of the oven I forgot to take a picture of them plated! But I 100% promise you, they are much better than they look! With that being said, here is the wonderful, calorie laden, heavenly recipe!

What You’ll Need:

1 container of Cottage Cheese (I used 2%, Low Fat)

2 cups of Flour (I used whole wheat to go with my diet I am on)

4 Eggs (I used organic/farm fresh)

1 tsp of Baking Powder (which I forgot to add to mine, but they turned out wonderful)

1 1/5 cups on onion (I cheated and used the frozen, as always)

1-2 Tbsp of Butter, for sautéing

1 pint of Heaving Whipping Cream

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1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl combine cottage cheese, baking powder, flour, and eggs. Mix well.

2. On a greased baking sheet, drop heaping tablespoons of mix onto baking sheet. They look sort of like cookies, so don’t be alarmed! Place into oven for about 15-20 minutes.

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3. While baking the buttons, prepare the sautéed onions. Combine butter and onions in skillet and heat over medium until onions are tender and browned.

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4. Once buttons are done baking, put onions over them and pour cream on top. Place back in the oven for another 20 minutes.

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Taylor isn’t a big fan of cheese buttons, so I had a couple and gave away the rest to my parents! I will be making these again, they were wonderful! Now that I have made these, I would even make them for company, they were that good! The cream really makes them amazing, so don’t skimp on the cream! Enjoy!