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Preparing Your Home for Holiday Guests

I have been wanting to a post on preparing/organizing your guest bedroom and bathroom for quite awhile now. I thought, now would be the perfect time due to the holiday season approaching very quickly!

Since being married for almost 2 and a half years, I have gotten our guest room ready and waiting for overnight guests! It is also the room where I have my elliptical and where I store my garden potatoes and squash!! Cozy, I know! And even better, I store sweatshirts, boxes, blankets, and a guitar in the spare room closet! Ideally, I’d like to have a space that IS cozy and welcoming for guests that can meet their needs while they are staying at my home.

These are some things I have been wanting to do in my guest bedroom!

  1. Closet Cleanout. Clean out the closet! Leave lots of room for guest’s items that need to be hung, along with extra hangers, and a laundry basket incase they want to do some laundry during their stay.
  2. Decor Ideas. Think about the decor. The ideal guest room is cozy and comfortable. I try to have no personal pictures in the guest room. I like plain, colorful, warm prints of canvas or cute decorations to add color and texture. Adding candles is always a great idea! Having a few lighthearted books for guests to read is another great idea! In case they can’t sleep or need some reading materials to relax from a long traveling day, light reading or books are great ideas! I like books on fashion, farming, nature, travel, or interior design!
  3. Storage. Do think about where guests can properly put away their belongings if needed. Have a dresser or a couple of night stands where they can comfortably store away pants, sweaters, scarves, jewelry, and shoes, if needed.
  4. Think Simple and Sophisicated. My guest room is painted a beige, off-white neutral color. The bed has a white, ruffled comforter, cream sheets, and comfy, vintage throw pillows. I have a large teal, cream, and brown multi-colored canvas print from Hobby Lobby hanging over the bed. Make things simple for guests, but fun and pretty. Make sure they have plenty of light. Place a lamp or some form of good lighting by the bed, on the night stand.
  5. Cool or Warm. Some things to also add in your guest room are a fan and extra blankets! A fan incase they are warm and it doubles as a light noise machine. Your guests are in a new bedroom in a different home, they might need a little noise to get sleep! I know, I need noise to sleep when I am in a “strange” place! Blankets in case they are cold to cover up with! I already have a soft blanket in my bedding, but have a few extras in the closet or dresser for guests to use.
  6. Wash Up! Remember to wash the sheets before AND after you have guests, including the extra blankets! I like to wash them before just so everything smells pretty and clean or incase it has been awhile since I had guests over!

Now for the guest bathroom…

  1. Towels. Always have fresh towels out in plain view. I keep a few of my extra towels in a vintage, metal wire basket by the tub. That way, they are accessable for guests! I keep the hand towels and washcloths in a over-the-toilet cabinet.
  2. Toiletries. ALWAYS keep some simple toiletries on hand for guests’ needs. Things like mini shampoo, body wash, conditioner, tooth paste, an extra tooth brush, face wash, lotion, emery board, chapstick, nail clipper, and of course, toilet paper.
  3. Organize. Remember to organize and re-organize where things go and are to go in the guest bathroom! I know for us, Taylor uses our guest bathroom to shower in when he comes in late from working. I have to remember to take his shampoo and body wash out, as well as keep it cleaned up! Have designated spot for guests to hang towels and washcloths after they are done. I have a towel rack behind the door.

Hopefully, these tips help for getting your guest rooms ready for the holidays!

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Entertaining 101: Part II

If you haven’t already, read Part I of my two part series of Entertaining!

Part I Overview… Over the past few years, one of my favorite things to do (even though I don’t do it as often as I’d like because of busy schedules) is entertain. I love having a big crowd of people over, sitting around the table or island and enjoying good food and conversation!

I grew up having a grandmother who loved to entertain. Almost every weekend, after church her and grandpa’s home would be filled with the smells of amazing meatloaf in the oven, a table full of people, and wonderful conversation. It just seems that these days, entertaining is a lost art.

No one does it. No one goes visiting after church anymore. I mean, I totally am guilty as well, and I completely understand the need for family time with your own family, as well as busy, hectic schedules. I have to say, I miss those days…

After covering some of the things that goes into PLANNING an event, today I am sharing some things that are hostess duties on the day of the event and during! Not matter if you dinner party is formal or not, you always have to be a good host. People will either like how they are treated while in our home or not. I am sharing with you five tips that I do every time I have people over. These are things that can be done either a week before or some the day before and others the day of!

  1. Set the Mood. Right after planning the menu, you need to set the mood. You can do this a few weeks before or the day of. Make sure your home is comfortable. Clean up, organize, and make things look and smell pretty! Light a few candles, set some mood lighting or twinkle lights on the china hutch or buffet cabinet. Those throw pillows that you stuff beside the sofa on a normal night, set them out! Organize the bookshelf to look pretty and organized. Just the small things can have a huge impact on how guests feel while at your home.
  2. Define the Feeding Line. At our home, we have a big main island in the center of our kitchen. I would be completely lost without it. Taylor and I always sit and eat there instead of the table. When guests come over, it serves as seating and a buffet line. I set all the food out and let people go through. That way, your aren’t constantly passing the pots along. It just works more smoothly.
  3. Smile and be Hospitable. Relax!!! Finally, this is the day you have planned and planned for! Enjoy it! When your guests ask if they can help with anything or getting things ready before eating or clean up, take them up on their offer! Most likely they actually want to help! Plus, getting the dishes out of the way makes the eating area less clutter-y and more comfortable for guests. Your number one priority is to make sure your guests are comfortable and happy…. Oh, and full! 🙂 Your guests are your priority!!
  4. Be Prepared. Be prepared for SOMETHING to go wrong. Not everything will go smoothly. Maybe you’ll be short a spoon or someone will want a toothpick, which you forgot to purchase at the store. Be prepared for something to happen or not go perfectly.
  5. Relax and Have Fun. This tip is HUGE! It may not seem like a dinner party is relaxing, especially as the host, but ENJOY your time with your family and friends! Visit, laugh, and have fun! Your guests can tell when you are stressed and running all around the kitchen fussing over the meatloaf. Just don’t! As the host, you set the attitude and mood of the event! Don’t ruin it by being a bad host!

There are my top tips of being a host and some duties of making your guests comfortable! It’s all about being yourself, being a great host, and enjoying the party!

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Sunday Dinner: Buttercup Squash Mac n’ Cheese

It’s the Sunday before Thanksgiving, and it is quiet at our house. I am the first one up. The best part of the day is getting up early, watching the sun rise over the heard, enjoying a good cup of coffee in my favorite mug, and writing. The perfect way to start out a perfect week filled with food and family.

I am already starting to plan my grocery list for the week. It’s my first time hosting Thanksgiving at our house, so I want to make everything perfect! I will be cooking, cleaning, and prepping everything over the next three days.


Thanksgiving morning, I am having everyone over early for a breakfast of caramel rolls and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade! I just can’t wait for it to be here! I am also looking forward to a FULL four day weekend!

Yesterday, I made this amazing and totally healthy, gluten free Buttercup Squash Mac n’ Cheese casserole. It’s so yummy, healthy, and the perfect dish for a cold, snowy evening! It has snowed here, but nothing stayed! The first REAL snowfall is so exciting! Anyway, this is the perfect recipe for winter comfort food!


For Thanksgiving, I will be making an un-healthy version of baked mac n’ cheese, I will be having the healthy version! The recipe calls for whole wheat noodles, but I used Quinoa noodles, which are so yummy and gluten free! I also used Monterrey Jack Cheese instead of Swiss. It was amazing!


Here is the link to the recipe! For every one cup serving, for the 21 Day Fix, it is 2 Yellow, 1 Blue, and 1 Green! Enjoy!

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Entertaining 101, Part I: How to Plan an Event

Over the past few years, one of my favorite things to do (even though I don’t do it as often as I’d like because of busy schedules) is entertain. I love having a big crowd of people over, sitting around the table or island and enjoying good food and conversation!

I grew up having a grandmother who loved to entertain. Almost every weekend, after church her and grandpa’s home would be filled with the smells of amazing meatloaf in the oven, a table full of people, and wonderful conversation. It just seems that these days, entertaining is a lost art.

No one does it. No one goes visiting after church anymore. I mean, I totally am guilty as well, and I completely understand the need for family time with your own family, as well as busy, hectic schedules. I have to say, I miss those days…

Currently, I am the social planner at church as well as the social planner and in our household! 😉  I love doing church socials. I think after planning our wedding, I needed a creative outlet to let lose on some of these ideas I had running around in my head, so I started doing church socials. Some have themes, some don’t, but either way, it is a fun excuse to get together and visit outside of church. Some of our past themes have been Chili Hillbilly Night, The Rockin’ 80’s Party, Ugly Sweater, and many more! Our next event will be in January as the NewlyWed Game (the G-rated version!!)!

Today, I am sharing with you some of my top party planning tips!

  1. Plan the Menu. Even if you don’t want to center your event around food, it will be. Food is key to entertaining, either at your home or away from home. Food is truly a conversation starter and let’s face it, the food makes the party. So plan a menu. It doesn’t have to be extravagant, simple works just as well. Do what you know with what you have. Don’t go out of your way to take cooking classes or make something you’ve never done. Just go with what you know or what you are comfortable doing, especially if you have a large crowd you are cooking for.

2. Theme or No Theme. Will your party have a theme?! That is a huge question and completely sets a TOTALLY different mood for your party, even the food you serve! So first, decide if it will be a theme! There are some really fun holiday themed parties for grown-ups as well as kid friendly family parties! Also, having a theme doesn’t always mean more work! Sometimes, it helps to stay organized and know what colors, food, or games you’ll have to plan for!

3. Plan for the Unexpected. Plan for one of the guests to get the stomach flu the day of the party, and not be able to make it. Also plan for at least 3 extra people to be there. You never know with people and what their schedules are like.

4. Have Extra. No matter if it is food, table linens, eating utensils, solo cups, or napkins, ALWAYS have extra. So many people like to take more or sample more. For the average American, their eyes are bigger than their stomach. So plan for extra, even if it doesn’t all get eaten, you’ll have left-overs!

5. Create a List. I LOVE lists. I have weekly lists of what I need to do at work, home, and a million other list-y things! You’ll want to have a grocery list after nailing down that menu. Depending on a theme or no theme, you’ll also want to deicide on some ice-breaker games, other games, and what you’re main event will be! Let’s say you are having a holiday movie themed party, so you main “event” would be of course the movie! You’d probably have some ice-breaker games, serve some light snacks, similar to what you would get at the theater! Lists can really come in handy and are essential for planning!

There are MY top five tips for PLANNING the event! Next week, I’ll be sharing my top five tips for actually HOSTING the event and what all goes into being an excellent host!


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One Year of The Life of the Dakota Farmer’s Wife

Can you believe it? One year ago TODAY, I started this blog. I started out not really knowing what to post about, share, or what this whole “blogging” thing was really about. All I knew is that I loved writing and I needed a creative release outlet.

I can remember the day I created my blog! I remember being over-whelmed by setting everything up and not knowing what to write at all. Looking back, my first posts were well, tough but good. I enjoy looking back. It’s so emotional and biter-sweet, remembering feeling the exact emotions I was feeling when I was writing each and every post.

After one year, I have actual, real life followers, a like page (two actually!), and one year under my belt as a blogger. I seriously LOVE writing and being able to share it creatively with all of you is just mind-blowing.

When I first started, I had no idea how many people my blog would reach or touch. This past year, has been amazing. Today, I am sharing with you some one year flashbacks and stats of The Life of the Dakota Farmer’s Wife/ The Fit Farmer’s Wife!

Views: 73,747

Most Popular Posts:

  • A Letter to the Future Wives of Our Farmer’s (over 47,000 views in many different countries like Canada, South Africa, Germany, France, Mexico, United Kingdom, Netherlands, New Zealand, Japan, China, many countries across Europe, Africa, and Asia. (Seriously, WOW!)
  • What I Learned Growing Up as The Farmer’s Daughter – over 12,000 views

Likes: 34

Comments: 119

Followers: 1,364

Finally, I just want to say THANK YOU. Thank you so much to all of you who shared, liked, and commented over the past year. It means so much that people actually read what you write, and more than anything it has meaning to you! I just can’t believe it has been a year.

Here’s to MANY more years!

As a thank you, I am going to be giving away a VERY special and the BIGGEST prize EVER worth up to $130!!!! To win, please 1.) Share your favorite past blog post, 2.) Share my Fit Farmer’s Wife Page, 3.)Leave a comment on this blog post! I’ll be announcing it this weekend! Good Luck!

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Fashionista Friday: Fall Essentials

Lately, it seems like a lot of posts are on fall! Can you tell I am a tad obsessed?! (: It’s been awhile since I have done a Fashionista Friday post, so here it goes… And on what else but Fall Essentials!

Lately, I have had a lot of people tell me that they love my outfit pairings for fall! I love fashion and I love fall, the two just mix well for me! Fall is the time of year when I have a shopping spree for new sweaters and boots, because as women, you know we just NEED those! There are few things that are better than getting new cozy sweaters and flannel for fall!  Plus, grown adults don’t go back to school shopping.

Today, I am going to give you the Fall Basics. The basics you need to have in your wardrobe this fall and every fall from now on to have the perfect fall look. These items are timeless, so no matter how much fashion changes in the coming years or decades, you’ll still look good!

  1. I love my yellow fall coat that I purchased on Zulily last fall! It’s not your typical coat, it has a warm and cozy, almost sweatshirt lining, and it is warm! Mine is a yellow mustard color, but you could get whatever color or pattern you’d like. I like pops of fall colors or warm neutrals! Patterns like hound’s-tooth or florals are also fun! Here, here, and here are some fun, fall coats!
  1. At a bare minimum, you should have two scarves. One for outdoor use and one for dress use. Scarves are a perfect fall accessory, plus they are functional! This year, blanket scarves are so in! Blanket scarves are bigger, cozier – perfect for the changing season. Plus, they could double as an outdoor/indoor/shawl, for more functionality! Here, here and here are some ideas! For storing my scarves, I have a cloth basket in our closet and I have a special scarf hanger, similar here.


  1. A blazer is perfect for fall because you don’t need a jacket over it. The great thing about a blazer, is that it is so versatile. You can dress it up or down with accessories, shoes, or the type of pant your pair with it. Ideas here and here.
  1. Booties/Boots. My love for boots and botties is a little ridiculous. Boots are like my weakness. I LOVE boots. I have more boots than I do regular shoes! It helps because they are so cute and can literally go with every outfit that you own. Here, here and here are some ideas.


  1. Basic Tees, Basic Tanks, Basic Long Sleeves. If you don’t have a few basic tees in white, black, brown, and navy…It’s time you get some…NOW!! I love basic tees because they can go with every single outfit, summer, fall, winter, or spring. You can pair them with blazers, sweater, cardigans, a scarf, or just keep it simple and plain.
  1. Sweaters/Cardigans/Poncho. The most essential part of a fall wardrobe is having enough sweaters, cardigans and ponchos for outter layering. I was anti-poncho for the longest time, but now, I kind of like them. A lot. They are warm and cozy. During fall and winter, the sweater or cardigan completes the look and ties everything together.


  1. Fall is also a great time to update your handbag or purse! There are so many great, new styles out that are functional and perfect for whatever look you are going for! I recently got myself a new bag and matching wallet. I try to get a new purse every year, just because after using it for year, it’s pretty much wore out! My old wallet, I had for several years. It was time for something different and more professional looking. I decided on a cross-body bag from Herberger’s, Nine West brand, similar here. It has three main compartments, perfect for wallet, phone, and all the little extras you carry with you. Plus it’s light! I hate carrying around a heavy purse!


  1. If you haven’t tried leggings yet, I am not quite sure what planet you are from, but you need to try them! For winter months, they make fleece lined leggings that are super cozy and warm. On the weekends, I have a pair of everyday leggings that I wear just to lounge around in. I love earing leggings with a long tunic or sweater or even a dress, particularly a denim dress and of course boots and a scarf! The biggest tip for leggings is making sure you are covered in the front and back. No one wants to see your butt sticking out. With the right outfit and accessories, leggings can be very flattering and not to mention, COMFY!


  1. Button-Down Shirts (Flannel or Denim). Words can’t express how much I love a good button down shirt or flannel. You can wear a button down shirt year round with any outfit. They are also great for layering with blazers, cardigans, and sweaters. If you haven’t noticed, fall is all about the layers. Here and here are some great button downs.
  1. I love fall dresses. Plaid, sweater, or denim fashion is just at its best in the fall! I love pairing them with leggings or tights and boots! A sweater dress looks great with just boot socks and boots! With thinner dresses, you can layer them with a cardigan or even a blazer for an office look. Here, here and here are some ideas.

There are all my fall fashion essentials. Most of these you can get for a reasonable price, and a few you probably own already, but didn’t know how to pair with what. Polyvore and Pinterest have great pairing and outfit ideas as well.

Happy Fashionista Friday, loves! Xo

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Autumn Decorating Basics

It’s officially fall here on the Z Ranch. Autumn has grown to be one of my favorite seasons. It’s when I can get my fill of pumpkin everything, flannel, leggings, boots, and fireside coziness. And not to mention, one of my favorite things, DECORATING!!

I LOVE fall decorating! This year, literally half of my garden was designated for pumpkins and squash! I am now blessed to have a variety of green, white, and of course the most beautiful orange pumpkins you’ve ever seen. It’s so fun to have a variety of fall colors to decorate with!


For fall decorating, I love to start with the interior of the house, to get me in the mood to move to the outside, if you will! Today, I am sharing with you some great tips that I use personally to decorate my own home for the fall season!

  1. Candles! If you don’t, load up on great fall scents like pumpkin spice, autumn leaves, apple pie, caramel latte, and crisp air! Sent helps set the mood of your home and it is inviting and welcoming to your family and guests. I get most of my candles from Walmart, Bath and Body Works, and Yankee Candle. I also, recently purchased some great fall soy, wax beads from Pink Zebra! If you haven’t heard of them, all of their scents are amazing! I personally love, Toasted Marshmallow, Pumpkin Bread, and Farm House Cider.
  2. Pumpkins! Whether real or fake, you need a good combination of both! I use both inside and outside of my home. They accent the fall colors and the entire “Pumpkin Everything” season. I love being able to grow and raise my own pumpkins! If I could, I would have an entire garden dedicated to pumpkins!

3. Twinkle Lights! For my buffet table in my dinning room, I have a fall garland that I delicately wrapped and intertwined battery operated twinkle lights. The lights add a sense of coziness and warmth, especially on those cool, crisp fall evenings!


4. Vintage Items! Nothing screams fall like something vintage! I love finding thrift store, cheap, vintage items. They are unique and personal and some, one of a kind. Even something that looks “old” will work! Hobby Lobby or your local thrift store is sure to have something funky and vintage for your fall decor needs! I have a vintage cream can from my mom-in-law that I love using to put my dried sweet corn stalks in! Perfect fall look!

5. Natural Items! Natural items like drying corn stalks, Indian corn, mini pumpkins, gourds, straw bales (yes, there is a difference between hay and straw) and squash are perfect additions to fall decor, inside and out! Plus, it adds warmth.


6. Baskets! I love decorating with metal, wire, wicker, or wood crates or baskets! You can add in some decorative pumpkins or fall fillers and add a burlap bow and you are set! It’s a perfect way to make it cozy and seasonal at the same time.

7. Autumn Flowers! I love the look and feel of autumn flowers. Plus, it’s the last call to have some fresh flowers to decorate your home with before the winter! I got multi-colored Mums to decorate inside and out with! They are the traditional fall colors and super warm, cozy and add that added POP of color!


8. Handmade Items! Last year, I had my dad make me a wood sign from a wood palette. I saw something similar on Etsy for almost $100! I knew I could make my own for a lot cheaper! For under $10 (with some painting supplies), I made my own! I hand stenciled my own lettering and mixed paint colors to get the perfect fall color palette! After I sandpappered it to make it look rough, tough, and tattered. It’s perfect for our front porch!


9. Seasonal Soaps! I take my fall decor seriously to the point of even having seasonal scented soaps in our bathrooms! I love the Bath and Body works foaming fall soaps! They are anti-bacterial and are the perfect scents for our master bathroom and guest bathroom! Guests also love the fall smells!

10. Wreaths! The last and final great fall decor is a handmade, burlap wreath! Burlap wreaths are easy and fun to make! You can add small signs and other fall decor! It looks great on your front door to welcome guests for that fall dinner party!


There! You have my fall decor ideas and tips for a great autumn home, inside and out! Happy Fall, Ya’ll!