autumn, Centerpiece, decor, Decorating, fall, Fall Decor, Festive, Fun, Ideas, Table, Thankful, The Fit Farmer's Wife, Weekend

Have a Happy Weekend: 10 Fall Table Centerpieces

Some things in life, just make me h.a.p.p.y. and decorating and design is one of them! No matter what the season, there is something so festive about table centerpieces! Our dinning room area, is pretty much dead-center of our home, therefore, sets the mood for the rest of the house! I love creating decorative and seasonal centerpieces! Here are a few to inspire YOU!

  1. I love lanterns!

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2. How neat is this?!

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3. Perfect Thanksgiving Centerpiece!

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4. Anothern Lantern…

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5. More Lanterns…

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6. So cute!

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7. Lanterns again… And would make a cute fall wedding centerpiece!

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8. Candles are so cozy!

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9. So beautiful!

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10. I love the idea of using a pumpkin as a vase!

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Have a Happy Weekend! Xo

check list, Clean, cleaning, cleaning check list, fall and spring cleaning, Farm Wife, organize, The Fit Farmer's Wife, to do list

Fall/Spring Cleaning Check List

I pretty much grew up in a family of neat-freaks and I am a proud one myself, to a point. I love coming home or being in a clean, organized home. I sleep better at night knowing my house is clean. I like cleaning when I can take my time and somewhat “enjoy” it. I am on an every-other-week cleaning schedule for my household cleaning, like dusting, vacuuming, scrubbing my floors (yes, I do it by hand) and do touch-ups when needed. I actually schedule my cleaning, otherwise it would never get done!

However, spring and fall cleaning are not my strong points. I HATE cleaning out cabinets, closets, flipping mattresses, cleaning windows, cleaning the oven, and ALL of the above. These are things that I do when they are absolutely needed or else they are so dirty/unorganized I can’t take it anymore! Therefore, I created a schedule to get cleaning when they need it throughout the year and check them off as I go.

Feel free to print and edit the list as needed! Post it on your fridge or even laminate it, so you can use a dry erase marker on it!

Happy Cleaning!!

Cleaning Check List

business, cattle, combine, corn, cows, fall, Family, family time, Farm Wife, Farming, harvest, Holidays, North Dakota, October, prairie, Ranch, soy beans, The Fit Farmer's Wife, The LIfe of the Dakota Farmer's WIfe, tractor

Why I Love Octobers

Octobers are filled with pumpkin spice everything, Halloween candy, and for my fellow farmers, harvest. If you read my blog at all, you’ll probably notice, I love my fall posts. I never used to love fall so much. Let me tell you a story…

Fall to me was like death. I hated fall growing up. All the leaves dying, the brightest green grass turning brown, flowers freezing up and dying, and when the whole planet of North Dakota turns a grayish, brown. I am not quite sure why I didn’t like fall. Maybe because I lost my first grandma in October, when I was 16, then a few months later my paternal grandmother, and another few months, my great grandmother. I’m just not really sure, but now…

I love the autumn season! To me, becoming a farmer’s wife changed me. Autumn is now filled with excitement, primarily because after harvest, my hubby will be in the house more and be home just about when I get home. To me, having someone there when you get home from work, to greet you at the door or help with groceries is the greatest gift. It’s a short lived gift, but still one of the best.

For farmers, harvest means we get our first pay check in close a year. Depending if you have cattle or not, harvest is about the only time farmers are brining in some sort of income, even if it does all go back into their farm operation. About 99% of the time, farmer hardly sees the money they just sweated, worked, and prayed for because it goes directly back into the farm operation. Have you ever filled diesel in a tractor before? Or bought a “new” (used but new to you) piece of equipment before? Do you know how much those guys at John Deere charge for servicing a truck or tractor? You know what I am talking about!

Honestly, fall gets so crazy and busy at times. It’s almost like holding your breath. In the middle of harvest, right before rain is coming, and you have a day and a half left, the combine breaks down. Then, the cows decide that now would be a good time to get out. Sometimes that grass really does look greener on the other side of the fence…

Fall is also just the start of the holiday seasons. The holidays that are spent with family and friends, laughter, and so much love. Here on the prairie, we look so forward to family time because family is SO important. In most cases, we run our businesses with our families and work side by side our parents and grandparents. Family time spent relaxing on the farm are days that are few and far between, but well deserved! Just talking about it, gets me excited to spend time with both sides of our families. By the way, I am hosting Thanksgiving this year… Pray for me!

Now that I am a married farm wife, autumn to me took on a whole new meaning. I am so thankful that I live on the North Dakota prairie where there are 4 seasons in a year. Especially, when the air turns crisp, the leaves are a beautiful golden, orange-red color, the sky is the deepest blue  you’ve ever seen, the harvest is close to done, and our prairie hearts are full. In every way possible.

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Have A Happy Weekend

I am trying out a new series for my blog! FIRST POST Alert!! 🙂

Every weekend, hopefully Saturday mornings, I plan to share with you 10 things or pictures that make me happy. I think pictures bring out a side in us. They make us feel emotion, whether that be happy, sad, cozy, angry, or  blissful.

The pictures that I will be sharing you weekly (hopefully!) will be what makes me happy. Of course, by now, you should know that fashion, working out/fitness, shopping, cooking, farming, being an introvert, and coffee make me happy. So let me ask you, what makes you happy?!

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autumn, Bags, booties, Boots, Clothes, Clothing, cozy, fall, fall fashion, Fashionista Friday, flannel, Fun, leggings, scarves, Shop, Shopping, Style, sweater, The Fit Farmer's Wife, warm

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

Beef, Chicken, crockpot, crockpot recipes

My Tips and Recipes for Harvest

Harvest season is soon upon us, which means fast meals, fast part runs, and pretty much fast everything. I love fall and harvest, but not the busy, fast paced part of it. This year on our ranch, will be extremely busy because the way things are going, soy bean and corn harvest will run together. It’s an early harvest this year, which is okay by me. Then, my hubby will be done sooner, cows will be home in a few months, and time will move more slowly.

  
As a farm wife, every spring and fall is a battle to find fast and easy foods that are filling and make great left-overs. I don’t know how you do it at your farm, but with me working in town full time, I don’t bring food out to the fields. I just make sure I cook enough over the weekends so that, in the evenings if and when Taylor comes in and he is hungry, he has something he can warm up. For the most part, he packs a cooler for his entire day, but he does like something hot late at night when he gets home.

  
That’s why crockpot meals are great! I seriously love my crockpot!! I actually have two, but I could have three or four! Maybe that is a little over kill, but you get the point! So today, I am sharing with you some of my favorite crockpot meals, along with a few tips for us farm wives to survive harvest!

  1. Crockpot Chicken and Dumplings:
  • 2 packages of boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 can of cheddar cheese soup
  • 2 cans of cream of chicken soup
  • 2 packages of Pillsbury Biscuits
  • Frozen Veggies like corn, carrots, and peas

Put everything in the crockpot starting with the chicken on bottom. Combine soups with frozen veggies and pour on top of chicken. Top with biscuits. Cook on high for four hours or on low for 6-7 hours.

  

  1. Tip One: Plan Ahead. Make sure to have your freezer well stocked with meals that can be reheated in the crockpot. Make sure to have grocery lists ready for unplanned store trips, when you go to town for a parts run. Keep extra snacks, cookies, crackers, and fruit snacks on hand at all times. Put the snacks and other food items in a specific drawer or cabinet so your farmer has easy access to it and doesn’t have to search the house for his Snack Pack Pudding cups! Plan ahead with other things like cleaning and doing laundry! When you have a spare moment, which is probably not too often, get household things done!
  1. Crockpot BBQ Beef Brisket:
  • 3 lb Beef Brisket

For the Rub:

  • 1 tsp. Chili Powder
  • ½ tsp. Garlic Powder
  • ¼ tsp. Celery Seeds
  • 1/8 tsp. Black Pepper

For the Sauce:

  • ½ cup Ketchup
  • ½ cup Chili Sauce
  • ¼ cup Brown Sugar
  • ½ tsp. Dry Mustard
  • 2 Tbsp. Vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 ½ tsp. Liquid Smoke

Put in crockpot and cook 8 hours on low.

  1. Tip Two: Make time for each other. No matter how busy it gets, always make time for family or an occasional date night, even if that means a combine date! Plan a quick family game night on the weekend or even a home movie night. Something quick and easy, just as long as you are able to spend time together. I know harvest gets crazy and busy, and sometimes both at the same time! It’s important to stay connected as a husband and wife and as a family. It helps everyone work together better and everything run more smoothly!

  

  1. Crockpot BBQ Shredded Chicken on a Bun

 

  • 6-8 Skinless, boneless Chicken Breasts
  • Your favorite BBQ Sauce

Place in the crockpot and smother chicken with bbq sauce. Cook on low for 4-6 hours. Place chicken in electric mixer bowl and mix on low until chicken is shredded. Place on bun and serve with potatoes and corn.

  1. Tip Three: Be prepared for anything and everything to happen. Always keep first aid kits on hand and plenty of band-aids. This is the time of year when so many of us are on the go and it seems like things happen when we are in a hurry and not fully paying attention. Be prepared, you just never know if a paper-cut or a full on stab wound will be coming through your door!

  

  1. Crockpot Mac’n Cheese

 

  • 1-1/2 cups milk
  • 1 (12 oz.) can evaporated milk
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted and cooled to room temp.
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3 cups shredded Italian blend cheese
  • 1/2 pound elbow macaroni
  • Black pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Grease the inside of your slow cooker with cooking spray.

Combine milk, evaporated milk, butter, eggs, and salt in slow cooker and whisk until smooth.

Add the Italian cheese and macaroni and sprinkle with pepper to taste — stir gently to coat evenly.

Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese on top.

Cover and cook on high for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, reduce the temperature to low and cook for 1.5-2 hours, until center does not jiggle and pasta is tender.

Place this cheesy goodness in a bowl and eat like you’ve never eaten before.
Have a wonderful and safe harvest!!

  

autumn, Blog, Blogger, fall, Farm Wife, Homemade, Hot Cocoa, Hot Cocoa Recipe, Paleo, recipe, The Fit Farmer's Wife, vegan

Paleo Hot Cocoa

One of my favorite things about cooler weather is enjoying a hot cup of hot cocoa! I love my hot chocolate! Now that I have made the change to go paleo and part-time vegan (with the right meats and proteins), I chose not to have the not healthy, SwissMiss Cocoa Mix.

Last year, I shared my Grandma Hess’s dry hot cocoa mix recipe, which is amazing and I still have some in my cabinet! It is a staple here in our home! This week, it was a mission on mine to figure out the perfect recipes for hot cocoa! I have tried other healthy recipes, and they just don’t taste creamy or as sweet. I know, I know, I am asking for a lot, but I am very picky about my hot cocoa! Without further or due, here is my Paleo Hot Cocoa Recipe!

Here’s What You’ll Need:

Makes 1 serving!

  • 1 Cup of Unsweetened Cashew Milk
  • 1 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Tablespoon Cocoa Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Truvia, or add in by teaspoon by teaspoon and taste
  • Mini Marshmallows, optional or you can make your own!

In a small saucepan over high heat, mix the milk, cocoa powder, vanilla, and truvia and whisk continually until no lumps. Bring to a full boil, stirring continually. Add in marshmallows, if desired. You can also top with full-fat coconut milk for a substitute! Pour into a mug and enjoy with a good book!