Monday, January 27, 2014

Mommy Monday - Nuby Mommy Review: Booster Seat

I'm excited to be continuing my partnership with Nuby in 2014 as part of their Nuby Mommy Blogger program.  My first review of the year is on their Booster Seat.

Once your child moves out of the high chair they still aren't big enough to just sit in a regular chair, you've got to find yourself a booster seat.  When
My old, dirty juice can stool
My Farmer and I picked out a high chair we got one that could transition into a booster seat.  It was a good idea but we never did it.  We've just kept it as a high chair and found my old juice can stool that my Great Grandma made me and used that as a booster seat.  The juice can seat worked out great for a long time but it has really started showing it's wear recently, after all it is probably 25 years old...  So I was on a quest for a booster seat that was easy to clean, could fit an almost three year old and that could be secured to a chair.  I found just what I was looking for in Nuby's Booster Seat.

Nuby's Booster Seat has a wide sturdy base that can hold children 65 pounds and less.  It is very durable and easy to clean.  Another nice feature is that it can be fastened to a chair.  I recommend this chair for anyone looking to give their child a little boost so they can sit at the table.  If you are interested in getting a Nuby Booster Seat for your house, check them out on

The Booster Seat is so comfortable, LP fell asleep on it...
To learn more about Nuby, get connected through their various channels of social media:

Also, be sure to check out my other Nuby reviews on their Fun Drinking CupsClik-it No Spill Grip n' SipTear Free Rinse PailSnack Keeper and Fun Feeding Bowls.

When did you move your kids from a high chair to a booster?

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Wordless Wednesday Felfie

Harvest Felfie
Joining the Felfie craze!
A felfie from this past fall in my tractor

Selfies were so 2013 - Felfies (Farmer selfies) are the new thing for 2014!  Check out felfies from across the world here.

Be sure to Comment for a Cause!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

What kind of grocery shopper are you?

When you enter the grocery store, what are you concerned about?  Brand names?  Nutrition?  Taste?  Price?  There are many factors that probably go into making your decisions.  We all probably have some different priorities, but that is what is great about living where we do, we get to make our own food choices.

The Iowa Farm Bureau Food and Farm Index just released their survey results as part of a semi-annual series.  The first part of the survey looked at the many factors driving the food purchases of Iowans.  The survey asked participants, Iowa residents ages 20 to 60, which three factors are most important to them when they determine which meat, poultry and dairy products to purchase.

Iowa Farm Bureau Food and Farm Index
For me the top factor is price.  I'm always trying to get the best deal; I use the sales ad when creating my shopping list and use coupons to compliment my list.  The second factor would be taste.  I only buy food that tastes good to me, which I think would be the same for everyone.  I do like to experiment with new recipes and food, but if the recipe doesn't get family approval, I cut my losses and throw it away.  In the era of Pinterest and the Food Network I can always find new things to try.  The third factor for me would probably be nutrition.  When it comes to meat, poultry and dairy I like to go for lean cuts and low-fat options.

So what do the survey results tell me?  Well first, it looks like I am an average Iowan.  Second, I see by far, price and taste are the top factors influencing purchasing decisions.  Nearly 8 out of every 10 participants marked price and taste.  Third, it looks like the next set of popular influencers were food safety and nutrition.  I think these are both "hot topic" areas of discussion and a place where I think most shoppers are looking for more information on and where I, as a farmer, need to not only be educated myself, but willing to share what I do to provide nutritious and responsible food choices.  The last interesting thing I noticed was convenience was one of the bottom factors.  I feel like many people are trying and wanting to "get back to their roots" and do more homemade things, and food/meals is an easy way of doing that.  I personally love making meals and treats from scratch for my family.

Factors influencing grocery shopping

So what factors do you look at when grocery shopping?  LP goes for the foods that are easy to reach!  (Word to the wise, be careful when shopping with a toddler.  You can be waiting your turn at the meat counter and then turn around to see your son has filled up his cart with every item from the neighboring deli section...)

Be sure to Comment for a Cause!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

No more excuses

For the last week I feel like I have neglected my to-do list, including blogging, and I'm not sure why.  I remember the days where I use to get several of my to-do list items done daily, the days where I made time to talk and connect with friends, the days where I made my ideas a reality and not just another item on another list.  The thing is, I have probably felt this way for a little over a year.  When it all started I made the excuse that is was because I was pregnant.  And then after MP was born I made the excuse that is was because I had a little baby in the house.  And lately I've been telling myself that the excuse is because I have two kids two and under that I take care of all day, every day.  Well today starts not making any excuses for myself.  Today I join almost 40,000 other women from across the world in an online bible study from Proverbs 31 Ministries called Made to Crave.

I hope this online Bible study will help me stop making excuses and feel good about myself today.  I hope it will help me reach my goals and grow closer to God in the process.  I have never participated in an online Bible study before.  I look forward to it's flexibility to fit in my schedule and still have a community of others that I can connect with to share, pray and focus.

Made to Crave Proverbs 31 online Bible Study
My new bedside reading material

If you are interested in joining the Made to Crave Bible study stop making excuses and join today.  If you don't have the book yet, you can read the materials online.

Are you participating in the Made to Crave Bible study?  Have you ever participated in an online Bible study before?  I know a couple other women participating in the study and would love to hear from some more!

P31 OBS Blog Hop

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Our Anniversary Tradition: Chocolate Melting Cake

Six years ago today My Farmer and I said "I do".  We had a beautiful wedding and a fun reception with many family and friends by our side.

After exchanging our vows
At the end of our 1st night as Mr. & Mrs.
Following our wedding we took a cruise along the western side of Mexico.  While on our cruise we fell in love with the cruise boat's Chocolate Melting Cake.  We had it almost nightly while on the boat.  So as soon as we got back I knew I had to recreate the cake so we could have it at home.  I make the cake now for our anniversary, My Farmer's birthday, Valentine's Day and any other special occasion, or if I'm really craving chocolate!

My Farmer and I with our servers who introduced us to the
Chocolate Melting Cake on our cruise
So here's to six sweet years of marriage!

Chocolate Melting Cake for Two - the Perfect Valentine's Day Dessert

Chocolate Melting Cake for Two
2 squares semi-sweet baker's chocolate
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
3 Tbsp flour

Butter two souffle cups and place on baking sheet.

Microwave chocolate and butter on High for 1 minute or until melted.  Stir with wire whisk.  Blend in egg and egg yolk.  Stir in powdered sugar and flour.  Divide between prepared custard cups.

Bake at 425 degrees for 12-14 minutes or until sides are firm but centers are soft.  Let stand 1 minute.  Serve immediately topped with ice cream of whipped topping.

Chocolate Melting Cake for Two
Take them out when the middles are still soft but the outsides are firm
Chocolate Melting Cake for Two - Great for birthday, anniversary, Valentine's Day
Mmm... See how it is all ooey gooey in the middle.
Get a little bit of the outside, center and ice cream on your spoon for the perfect bite!
What are some of your memories from your wedding day or honeymoon?  Do you have any food memories that correspond with those special days?

This recipe was added to Little House Living's Recipe Exchange

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Wordless Wednesday - Happy Birthday My Farmer!

Happy Birthday to a great husband, father, best friend and farmer!  I'm excited to celebrate tonight with birthday supper (his choice tonight - Greek Steak and Spaghetti) and birthday cake and ice cream.  What are some of your birthday traditions?

Monday, January 6, 2014

Celebrating Epiphany

Merry Christmas!  Today, Epiphany, is the twelfth and last day of Christmas.  It celebrates the day when the wise men finished their journey and reached the manger, where Jesus Christ was born and made into man.  I'm celebrating the 12th Day of Christmas today by sharing 12 photos from Christmas.

LP and his cousin eating cookies on Christmas Eve
LP, MP and their cousin wearing antlers
Our Christmas Tree
Santa filled everyone's stockings on Christmas Day morning

My Farmer and MP opening her stocking on Christmas morning
LP opening gifts from Mom and Dad on Christmas morning
The classic Christmas morning pajama photo!
MP getting some help from Dad opening her gifts later on Christmas Day
MP and LP checking out their stockings at Grandma's house
MP and My Farmer became quite the present opening team
This was the first year that LP really got excited about opening gifts
LP thought it'd be funny to be a Christmas gift

I hope you all had a blessed Christmas!

Friday, January 3, 2014

January Comments for a Cause - Make-A-Wish

One of my New Year Blogging Goals for 2014 was to start a Comments for a Cause program.  This is a program where I will donate 50 cents for every comment made on my blog to a chosen organization or campaign monthly.  It was very easy to decide which organization would be my first recipient - Make-A-Wish Iowa.

I think what Make-A-Wish does for children with life-threatening conditions is amazing.  The hope, strength and joy these wishes bring to these children and their families is unbelievable.  I have gotten to witness this magical experience first-hand through a couple different ways.

The first way that I got to experience the magic of Make-A-Wish is through my cousin, Jake.  My cousin Jake was diagnosed with a rare bone cancer when he was in high school.  During his battle he had a wish granted to go fishing in Alaska (the photo to the right is of him doing just that!).  He always said that his wish meant so much to him during his last year of life.  And because of that, I knew I needed to get involved, which leads me to my second way of experiencing Make-A-Wish.

Me giving high fives to all of the dive team members
on a cold day with windshields below zero last month
I wanted to help make wishes come true for others after seeing the impact it had on both my cousin Jake, as well as his immediate family and even our extended family.  I have been involved with the North Iowa Make-A-Wish chapter for six years and currently serve as the chapter's vice chair.  I help with wish granting, fundraising and community events.  I even do some pretty crazy things to raise money for Make-A-Wish, like go sky diving (twice) and jump into Clear Lake in December (three times - I have passed on the opportunity when I've been pregnant ).  I started with Make-A-Wish with the sole purpose of granting wishes, but as time has gone on have found that fundraising can be just as rewarding.

There is something special though about giving a Wish family the initial call to let them know they've been approved to have a wish granted.  For those that don't know, there are four types of wishes that can be granted:
  • I wish to go...
  • I wish to have...
  • I wish to meet...
  • I wish to be...
I wish to go is the most popular type of wish, equaling about 70% of wishes.  These are travel wishes, and the most popular destination is Walt Disney World (Walt Disney Company is involved in 40% of all wishes granted), where Wish families stay exclusively at Give Kids the World.  I wish to have is probably the second most popular.  These are commonly shopping sprees, playgrounds or special iPads or equipment to help the Wish child.  I wish to meet is when a Wish child meets their favorite athlete or singer or movie star.  Finally, I wish to be is how Make-A-Wish all started.  In 1980 seven year old Chris Greicius was battling leukemia and all he wanted to be was a police officer.  With some organization and help from the Arizona Department of Public Safety, Chris's wish was granted.  This type of wish has even made the national news lately with Bat Kid in San Francisco:

In Iowa, a wish is granted every other day.  In the United States, a wish is granted every 38 minutes, and, on average, a child is referred for a wish every 28 minutes.  The average cost for an Iowa wish is $8,600, so get to commenting this month!  Every dollar helps make another wish come true!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Guilt Free Meat Eating: Our Bodies Are Made to Eat Meat

One of the greatest things about living in the United States is that we live in a country with the freedom to choose.  But there are a lot of times that media, culture, etc. question those choices, opinions or beliefs we have.  One area that is challenged in different sectors of society is the choice to eat meat.  I for one love eating meat and don't like to go a meal without it!  I love the flavor, as well as the energy that meat gives me as a protein source.

There are many reasons why I don't feel guilty eating meat.  One of those reasons is that our bodies are made to eat meat.  Have you ever looked closely at your teeth?  Go ahead, go the to the bathroom and check them out.  The first teeth you'll see are your top front incisor teeth, and then on each side of them are your canine teeth, followed by your molars.  Each of these has a special function:
  • Your incisor teeth are designed to cut food.
  • Your canine teeth are designed to tear food.
  • You molar teeth are designed to grind food.
Your teeth are created for us to eat both plants and meat.  This makes sense, as we are omnivores.  The incisors help cut the plants we love to eat.  The canines help tear the meat we love to eat.  And the molars help grind everything so we can easily digest all of our food we love to eat.

Our teeth aren't the only things that help us with digestion of meat.  Our gastrointestinal tract (GI tract) is created to help with the digestion and absorption of meat proteins as well.  Gastric juices in the stomach contain digestive enzymes.  These enzymes help break down food for digestion and kill pathogens to keep us healthy.  The enzyme, pepsin, is even specifically constructed to break down meat proteins into more easily digestible products.

If you are interested in learning more about other guilt free meat eating reasons check out the blog, On the Banks of Squaw Creek.  This post is part of a series hosted by Katie at OBSC.  Other contributors include:

Home Again Finnegan
Lipstick & Tractors
Farm Girl Facts of Life
My Other More Exciting Self
Life on a Kansas Cattle Ranch
Kellie for Ag

Have you ever thought about how our bodies are designed to eat meat?  What other reasons can you think of why we should feel guilt free while eating meat?

Be sure to Comment for a Cause!

New Year. New Goals.

The New Year is a perfect time for a fresh start, a clean state, or a new beginning, and that is why so many people look forward to this day.  Some people transition into the New Year by declaring a resolution, making predictions, choosing three words to live by or doing nothing.  For me, I set goals.

Goals are great because they help you think thoroughly through your ideas.  I can't help but think of making goals for 4-H in my youth when I write down my goals every New Year.  A goal must contain 1) the action, 2) the result, and 3) the timetable.

New Year.  New Goals:

  • My goal is for our family to go on dates with each other, My Farmer and I, My Farmer and LP, My Farmer and MP, LP and I, and MP and I, four times each this year.
  • My goal is to create more me time by waking up at 6:30 am daily to do things I find enjoyable.  I will also plan on connecting with friends by doing something special for a friend monthly.
  • My goal is to preserve memories and special dates for my children by journaling in specific journals for each kid.  I will keep the journals in my office where they are easy to get to.  I will plan on journaling at least once a month.
  • My goal is to promote my blog more by sharing each post on Pinterest and Google+.  
  • My goal is to start a Comments for a Cause program by choosing a new organization monthly to donate 50 cents for each blog comment to.
  • My goal is to attend a blogging conference or gathering by the end of the year to help me learn more about blogging and make more blogger connections.  I will ask other bloggers what conferences they recommend to help me determine which one to attend.

Happy New Year everyone!  What do you do to transition in the New Year?