Book, Book Review, Books, Bookworm, Good Reads, Learn, Love, Lovestory, Rachel Hauk, Read, Reading

Book Review: The Wedding Dress

I recently read the book “The Wedding Dress” by Rachel Hauk. It was a page turner and overall, a great book! Normally, I am not a big fan of multiple story plots, but Hauk managed to pull the two plots that were 100 years apart, together very well!

The story takes you to back through the years starting in the early 1900’s about a young girl who is engaged to be married looking for the perfect wedding dress, which happens to tie all four women of the book together in the end.

“The Wedding Dress” is almost like the “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants”-esque. The history and timeline of this book was great! It is like you are right there with each bride the entire time, no matter what the decade in history!

The ending took me by surprise and the entire book was just beautiful, just like love itself! I read the book in the matter of a few days, because yes, it was THAT good!

Happy Reading!

21 Day Fix, 21 Day Fix Approved, Arthritis, Autoimmune, BeachBody, BeachBody Coach, Beef, Blog, Blogger, Blogging, Clean, Clean Eating, Clean Eats, Cook, cooking, Emerald Coach, farm, Farm Life, Farmer, Farming, Fit, Fitness, Health, Healthy, Kitchen, Lean, Main Dish, Meatloaf, recipe, Recipes, Spices, Sunday Dinner, The Farmer's Wife, The Fit Farmer's Wife, The LIfe of the Dakota Farmer's WIfe, Wordpress

Sunday Dinner: Meatloaf

One thing I love doing is making a recipe my own. Whether it was one of my mom’s or grandma’s or a childhood favorite, I love re-creating it to make it healthier for me to enjoy now! I feel that a lot of times, just because we are eating a certain way (I refuse to say diet, because I am not on a diet, it is my choice of eating and frankly, it is not a diet to me!), we limit ourselves to foods. That should not be the problem! Why don’t we just re-create the healthier, better versions!

This weekend, I was hungry for my late Grandma Sharon’s meatloaf, so I re-created it a healthier, clean version that I will enjoy this week as my lunch! It has no brown sugar topping or unhealthy processed grains. It does have, some nutritious vegtables and proteins to keep you feeling full throughout the day (it would be a great meal to take out to the field for those hardworking farmers of ours!).

It turned out wonderful, and I am excited to share it with you!

Sorry, I didn’t take a lot of pictures, when I was meal prepping on Saturday. This is one of those recipes, I just threw together, so I’ll do my best to explain everything to you!

What You’ll Need: 

  • 1/3 cup, canned mushrooms, chopped finely
  • 1 red or green pepper, chopped finely
  • 2 pounds of lean ground beef, or you could even use 1/2 lean beef and 1/2 ground turkey
  • 1 can of organic, no salt added tomato sauce
  • 2 organic eggs
  • 1 cup of Sharp Cheddar Shredded Cheese
  • 1/8 – 1/4 cup of organic mustard
  • 3/4 of a sleeve of whole wheat saltines
  • 2 Teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 Teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • Pepper to taste
  • Extra Mustard and Ketchup for topping (Yes, I know Ketchup is not exactly “clean” or 21 Day Fix approved, but I drizzled a little on top and it was worth the small cheat! I probably used a couple of Tablespoons all in all of Ketchup for the entire loaf, not bad!)

What To Do: 

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the meat of your choice, mushrooms, pepper, mustard, tomato sauce, cheese, eggs, crackers, garlic and onion powder, Worcestershire Sauce and pepper. Mix well until all ingredients are combined.

In a large baking dish, (I got mine as a wedding gift from my uncle and aunt off my gift registry from Sur la Table, here is the 2.75 Quart Blanc Round Cocotte), combine the above ingredients. Using your hands, make into a loaf. Then, drizzle the Ketchup and Mustard on top to desire. Place in preheated oven and cook for about one and a half hours or until done. Enjoy!

I like serving mine with a few saltine crackers on the side, almost like a dip! It is so yummy and makes great left-overs! For the 21 Day Fix, one cup of meatloaf would equal 1/2 purple (tomato sauce), 2 reds, 3/4 green, 1/2 yellow, and 1/2 blue.

On a side note,  if you haven’t heard of Sur la Table, it is a great kitchen shop to visit! They have EVERYTHING from linens to bakeware and cookware, to spices! Things that would make excellent gifts for Mom! Right now, they have 20% off one item and free shipping! The promo code to enter at checkout is MAKEHERDAY15. 

Happy Monday!

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Fashionista Friday: Loveable Spring Bags

It’s spring. And it’s also that time of the year to switch out your winter handbags for new, fresh spring and summer ones! It is a great time to do so! There are tons of hot, new colors out for this spring and summer season! Not to worry, I am here to give you 6 of the hottest spring/summer bag ideas!

1. Purple Satchel from The Red Dress Boutique

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In case you haven’t noticed, lavender is in! Personally, I LOVE this bag! It is the perfect size and color (one of my favorites)! You can easily fit in everything you need and it’s a good look for the office or a girls’ night out!

2. Michael Kors – Pale Pink Dome Satchel

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There are no words except for perfect! This bag is gorgeous. This bag is a little spendy, but remember you are paying for designer, good quality leather that will last longer than your average bag!

3. Periwinkle Tote – Walmart

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Talk about a pool or beach day! This is your bag! It can hold all the essentials, book, towel, suntan oil while still being stylish! It comes in 6 other fabulous summer colors! And the best part, it’s easy on the wallet!

4.Marc Fisher – Macy’s

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This adorable little crossbody is great for date night or a night out! It comes in four other colors and it’s the perfect spring accessory!

5. Fossil Preston Crossbody – Fossil

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Wouldn’t this little number be so great for the 4th of July?! You’ll be paying for the timeless leather that is used by Fossil, but Fossil leather means quality. This classic piece will be a favorite year after year, even beyond Labor Day Weekend!

6. Marc Fisher – Macy’s

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Here is another Marc Fisher that, for the price, doesn’t compromise on style! This would be perfect for that summer vacation coming up or shopping in style! Perfect bag for all summer long!

Hope this Fashionista Friday helped you decide on a bag or two for the upcoming months! Happy Shopping and Happy Friday! Xo

21 Day Fix, Autoimmune, BeachBody, BeachBody Coach, Birthday, Blog, Blogger, Blogging, Chicken, Clean, Clean Eating, Cook, cooking, Eating, farm, Farm Life, Farmer, Farming, Fit, Foodie

Sunday Dinner: Chicken Stir Fry with Pineapple and A Birthday!

Well, this weekend was an interesting one! Let me first flashback to Friday.

Friday, I found out my brakes on my Jeep were wore out to the bare metal. Taylor made me an appointment because all week I was hearing this grinding noise. This was extremely frustrating because I just had it in to get the brakes checked a month ago and the repair man said nothing was wrong. Huh. So Friday, I had my Jeep at our local Co-Op to see what was going on. Of course, parts had to be ordered from a far-away land and won’t be in until later this week. Totally not complaining, I would rather go local any day!

Also Friday, Taylor caught a spring flu bug. Not fun. He was up pretty much all night and felt achy for the next several days after. Finally Saturday night, he ate his first meal in three days. He wanted fish. Not something I would be craving after being sick to my stomach for three days! I gave in and cooked him tilapia, noodles, green beans, and biscuits.

I was ever so thankful that Taylor’s stomach issues cleared up and that I didn’t get it (thank you Shakeology!!), by Sunday for his birthday! He insists on a Dairy Queen cake year after year, they are his favorite so, guess what was waiting in the freezer for us to devour on Sunday after a meal of roast and boiled potatoes (per his request also)?!

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Since I was homebound for all of the weekend, I spend it cleaning up the house, doing laundry and letting some fresh air in to get all the flu bugs out. Oh and cooking and meal prepping!

This week, I made a chicken and veggie stir-fry (21 Day Fix Approved and Clean as well) and today I am sharing it with you! I haven’t tried it yet, it is in my lunch for today though, but it smelled amazing!!

What You’ll Need:

  • 5-6 chicken breasts, cooked and cubed
  • 1/2 cup onion
  • California Stir-Fry Frozen Vegetable Mix (in the frozen veggie section)
  • Garlic Powder
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Ginger
  • Honey
  • Pineapple, sliced

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Place cooked and cubed chicken with onions and veggie stir-fry into electric skillet. Cook over medium until frozen veggies are tender. Add in pineapple. Add in spices and honey. Mix well until everything is coated in spices and honey mixture. Cook another 3-5 minutes over medium high heat.

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And that is lunch for this week! Yummy!

Happy Monday! How was your weekend?!

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A well planned week ahead!
BeachBody, BeachBody Coach, Beauty, Blog, Emerald Coach, Fashion, Make-up, Sephora, The LIfe of the Dakota Farmer's WIfe, Trendy, VIB Sephora, Wordpress

My Love For Sephora + 15% OFF!!

Today is a big day for me for a couple of reasons! First, it is my first promotion as a BeachBody Coach! Yes, I am now EMERALD! YaY!! I made emerald within my two weeks of starting out as an active coach! I am so excited to be apart of the BeachBody family doing something I love plus, make a little extra money on the side!

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Today is also a big day for shopping at Sephora! I rewarded myself on my new promotion today by placing a make-up order online plus, I have a 15% your entire order coupon! Sephora is my favorite incase you didn’t already know from my previous post, Raiding My Make-Up Bag!

I tend to get about 80% of my make-up from Sephora, so it is great when they have a sale! I don’t order often, but I definitely make a list of all the things I need or am getting low on at home before I place my order! It helps save time and money!

I also love the free samples that Sephora gives you at online checkout! It’s great to test new products or perfumes before you buy! I have tested several samples and I ended up buying them later! Also when checking out, see what new monthly promotions they are offering! Sometimes, it’s a magazine subscription or a new foundation (to get in on these promotions, your order has to be $25 or more). The promo sizes are typically a little bigger than the sample size, which is nice! I have found a lot of great moisturizers and face washes with the promos!

Another great thing Sephora has going on now is, for $10 you can get free 2-Day Shipping for FREE for a entire year! Normally, if you spend over $50, you get free 3-Day Shipping, but the 2-day option is nice incase you are low on something and it needs to get to you fast!

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Finally, here is my Sephora VIB Insider 15% Off Coupon Code to enter at checkout: VIBLOVE

Happy Thursday! XO

Drought, Dry, farm, Farm Life, Farmer, Planting, Planting Season, Pray, Pray For Rain, Rain, The LIfe of the Dakota Farmer's WIfe, Windy

Praying For Rain

In case you haven’t heard, North Dakota has been in the news a lot about the drought we are currently having. We received well below normal snowfall this winter, in fact, we hardly had any. Now that it is spring, temperatures are soaring and the winds are roaring. Trust me, every night I can clean the same window sill and check it a few house later and literally dirt will be sitting where I just cleaned. It is bad. But unfortunately, the dirt inside my home is the least of my worries.

Just recently, there have been several fires breaking out in Bismarck, our capital city. The college was evacuated and the streets of Bismarck were chaos. We are not only facing dangerous fires, but also for this farming community. Small sloughs in pastures are starting to dry up and disappear, which is devastating for cattlemen, like us.

Farmers are starting to dig and plant their fields, but all you see is a whirlwind of dust. WIth the extremely low grain prices already and cattle prices are falling rapidly as well, we as farmers can’t afford a drought, not this year. Farmer’s work hard and long hours and take a gamble every year with weather. We don’t protest the low grain prices, we just have to deal with it. There are no raises in farming. What you get is what you get. And drought across our North Dakota prairie, could also mean soaring food prices nation-wide.

In case you didn’t know, North Dakota ranks first in the production of flaxseed, canola, durum wheat, all dry edible beans, all dry edible peas, spring wheat, honey, lentils, sunflowers, barley and oats. Which is a food source for many of you most likely.

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Bismarck Fire by University of Mary. KFYR TV Photo Credit
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KFYR TV

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And as you can see, its windy and hot everyday and little to no chances of rain in the seven day outlook.

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So I ask you, as friends, and fellow blog readers, no matter what religion or your beliefs, please remember our little state of North Dakota in your prayers and thoughts. RIght now, please join me and say a little prayer for us.

21 Day Fix, Autoimmune Diet, BeachBody, BeachBody Coach, Blog, Blogger, Blogging, Cake, Clean, Clean Eating, Cook, Dessert, Diet, Easter, farm, Fitness Coach, Food for Arthritis, Food For Health, Foodie, Get Fit, Healthy Eating, Lean, Peeps, recipe, Turkey

Sunday Dinner: Egg Noodle Veggie and Turkey Hotdish

This weekend was fun and full of family! Friday night, we had dinner at my parents. My mom made a delicious meal of beef tips or orange chicken over rice with a salad. Saturday was a lazy day at home when I watched most of the History Channel’s The Bible series. Have you seen it? It was wonderful and I was so blessed by it!

Sunday was Easter! My mom-in-law asked me to be in charge of dessert. I was thrilled. I had seen the perfect idea on Pinterest a few weeks ago, a Peep garden scene cake, complete with little carrots and of course, Peeps! I also made Bunny Bait (a chex mix with popcorn, M&M’s,pretzel sticks, chex, and almond bark) and pistachio pudding dessert!

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The Peep cake turned out awesome and the kids loved it! I also got to see my sweet, chubby, and giggly niece and god-daughter, Sydney! She loves Blue’s Clues right now and she is just the chunkest little lady, ever! We love her!

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With the fun, busy and holiday weekend, I didn’t get much time to meal prep, that is why last weekend I was thinking ahead. Last weekend, I made plenty and froze for this week! One of the recipes I made was a turkey egg noodle hotdish and 100% 21 Day Fix approved! So today, I am sharing that recipe with you!

What You’ll Need:

  • 2 cups of Egg Noodles
  • 1.5 pounds of Lean Ground Turkey
  • 1 1/2 cups of Skim Ricotta Cheese (I used some cheddar instead, and I used way less cheese than what is called for)
  • 4 cups diced veggies, Spinach, Tomatoes, Onion, and Green Pepper
  • 2/3 cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
  • Dash of Pepper, Salt, Garlic Salt, and Dried Basil

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Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook meat and drain fat. Cook noodles and drain. Sautee veggies until tender (I sauteed mine in olive oil). Combine meat and veggies, top with noodles, and then the cheese in an 8×8 pan. Bake for about 15-20 minutes.

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This turned out to be a yummy recipe that I would definitely do again! And it froze well too!

On the 21 Day Fix meal plan, this would equal one yellow, one green, one blue, and one red containers. In case anyone is interested, I will be hosting a challenge group starting April 27th (through Facebook)! With the help of Shakeology, BeachBody programs and me as your coach for FREE, we will get you to your goals before summer! If anyone is interested in more information, please like or comment on this post! To date, I have lost over 11 inches with the help of PiYo, 21 Day Fix, and Shakeology! Not to mention my psoriasis has cleared up and my arthritis is doing so much better!

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