Friday Favorites: April 17th

 Edited to add: this was written last week and ready to be posted, but the snow seems to have knocked out our lovely satellite internet. So, after multiple calls to India and a nice visit with a man from Texas, someone will be out Friday to fix it. In the meantime, I’ll be writing offline and setting things to automatically post when I get to the office and have internet. Ah, the joys of rural living! 

Welcome to April in Colorado, where sometimes its 80 degrees and sometimes we get blizzards. Like actual, can’t-see-ten-feet, snow-blowing-sideways blizzards. Like right now. So, naturally, I’m thinking of summer and projects and, you know, repainting my living room.

This week has been pretty low-key so far. I’ve gotten caught up on my calf records at the office, Wacey’s been starting to get going on an actual routine, and Bert took us out for a surprise dinner date to our favorite restaurant last night, where Wacey was wonderful and charmed all the ladies.

…and he’s currently asleep. I’ll take it.

Without further ado, here’s this week of my internet-fueled hopes and dreams.

Favorite “Floral”: Potted Blueberries. This is something I can’t wait to try this summer! I’m going to put them on our back deck. Bert loves blueberries, and since these grow so nicely in pots, they’re perfect for this summer because a) I’m afraid of berry commitment/uprooting, and b) they’ll be highly convenient to water.
blueberries

 

Favorite Decor-That’s-Not-Decor: Blanket Ladder. Would love one of these in our room, and one for the guest room. Colorado weather is so unpredictable that it’s nice to have a few extra blankets around. Plus, this will take up some wall space in our big bedrooms, and give me an excuse to buy pretty blankets :)

blanket ladder

 

Favorite Kid Thing: Kiddo’s Camp Chair. I like this one even better than the high chair I posted last week, because this works from sitting age all the way to 75 pounds! It’s a little pricey, but neat. I wonder if we’d use something like this when we’re at rodeos or not. We’ll see!

chair

 

Favorite Breakfast Variation: Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread. I love this take on cinnamon rolls!

cinnamon bread

 

Favorite Food: Focaccia with Caramelized Onion, Tomato and Rosemary. Light, easy and probably make-on-the-grill-able. I’d love to make this and enjoy it on the back porch, maybe with a little sangria?

foccacia

 

Favorite Organizational/Cleaning DIY: Drip Tray. I’m planning on making one of these for inside and outside the front door! The mudroom is sort of a lost cause, and floor space (aka doggy sleeping space) is at a premium.

mud boot station

 

Favorite Decor DIY: Arrows. I’m going to make these for the guest bath, probably, and maybe something similar for our room!

 

arrows

 

Favorite Footwear: Striped Wedges. This is literally my favorite style of heel. I have a pair of these that are white instead of striped, but they’ve seen better days. How cute would these look with a sundress or skinnies?!? Someone please get married or throw a fancy party so I have an excuse to buy these shoes.

shoes

 

Favorite  Baby Thing That I Don’t Need To Buy But Might: Itty Bitty Baby Sperrys. We can all agree that shoes for things that don’t walk are ridiculous. We can also all agree that these tiny Sperry Topsiders are the cutest thing ever.

sperrys

 

Favorite Sugar Delight: Sprinkle Sandwich Cookies. Sprinkles? Check. Crumbly chocolate cookies? Check. Buttercream? Check. Can be put on a stick and therefore made better? Check.

sprinkle cookies

There you have it! I hope you have a wonderful weekend doing wonderful things! This weekend,  since the weather is going to be gross, I hope to plan and budget my garden, make a weekly spring cleaning goals plan (our bathroom cupboards are desperate for help) and maybe test some paint–I have two cans of Revere Pewter left over from my gross overestimation of the paint required to paint Wacey’s nursery, and I’m wondering if I can use it in the living room to cover up the yellow that I wasn’t meant to be so yellow.

That was a heckuva run-on sentence. Apologies.

 

Ten Things Tuesday: AI

It’s springtime, which means it’s breeding time on the ranch. I’ve talked about artificial insemination before, but here are ten more things about the process that takes up so much of our time in the spring!

1. Why AI cows? Artificial insemination allows cattle producers to improve their cowherds by using specific bulls for specific purposes. Because it’s frozen semen and not a live bull, you can use semen provided by the best bulls in the breed for the traits that you want (for instance, when we breed heifers we use semen from proven “heifer bulls” who sire smaller calves. Smaller calves for smaller cows means less pulling of calves, and a better experience for that first-time heifer and her calf both), and apply specific traits to specific cows. It also means less live bulls on the ranch–since many of the cows will be pregnant by the time it’s time to turn out bulls (AI isn’t 100% effective), there will be less cows in heat so you can use less live bulls. This is awesome because bulls are a pain. It also enables us to have a shorter calving season, since the majority of the cows will become pregnant with AI and will calve around the same time. This also means we have a more uniform calf crop because they’re more similar in age.

2. It’s very scientific–there are different protocols to use (read about them here if you would like), and whichever one you choose must be followed very closely.The one we use involves a combination of two different kinds of shots and a progesterone implant to sync the cycles of as many cattle as possible.

3. The semen is stored in special semen tanks full of liquid nitrogen to keep it frozen. Here is what they look like inside and out.


tank

canisters

straws

4. Just like the protocols for breeding, there is a special way to pull semen straws out of the tank and thaw them correctly. That’s my job! I was going to write a whole post on that, but we were too busy to stop and take pictures of each step. Basically, the canister the semen is stored in is attached to each of those little hooks in the semen tank, and you pull it up and pull out the straw (about the size of those little coffee straw thingies, you can see them above) and put it in the warm water in that blue box (called a “thaw box,” can be seen in the picture below) for about 45 seconds, snip off the end, and load it into a special “gun” with a plunger that that breeder uses to insert the semen into the cow. The canister shouldn’t be in the open air for more than ten seconds, and you should never touch the straw with your hands–you want the semen to unfreeze all at once and remain intact, rather than thawing gradually.

thaw box

5. To become a certified breeder guy (or gal!), there are three-day “AI schools” you can go to, or some state universities offer it as part of a bovine reproduction course. That’s where Bert got certified to AI.

6. It gets tedious, so bring snacks. The cows have been through the chute multiple times before the actual AI day, so they’re pretty tired of the whole process and like to let us know it.

7. For the guy breeding cows, it’s a messy job (obviously). They tend to wear outfits that are completely waterproof, or at least pants that are, and muck boots. Baseball caps are also handy, so you don’t get poop in your hair.

8. You can buy lube by the gallon with a pump handle on top. It’s the truth.

9. AI is much more widely used in the dairy industry, because they select for one very specific trait (milk production), and don’t have the space to turn all their cows out with bulls. Plus, Holstein bulls are meaner than snot.

10.   Apparently, it’s on many lists about “10 Facts The Dairy Industry Doesn’t Want You To Know/Will Shock You/Etc.” That, folks, is a bunch of hooey. Just FYI. I’ve been present for literally thousands of cattle being AI-ed, and haven’t seen one have an infection as a result, and have never seen anyone get injured while breeding (including my husband, who himself has bred thousands of cows), and has nothing to do with sexual assault. Come on.

And now, for your viewing pleasure: THIS GUY.

work

2 Months!

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Age: 2 months
Representative Song of the Month:  The movin’-and-groovin’ part of the chorus of “Shake It Off,” and he thinks it’s pretty funny when I sing the “Good Morning” song from Singin’ in the Rain. You know—“Gooooood mornin’, good MORnin’, we talked the whole night through, good mornin’, good mornin’, to you!”
Stats:  We’re out of newborn clothes and diapers now! At his checkup today he was a whopping 10 lbs 1 oz, 22 inches long.
Favorite Foods: Still Team Milk, and we’ve also added some formula into the mix to help him gain enough weight. Also if gripe water were a food, it would be on this list.
Words/Sounds: He has a whole vocabulary now! He coos and makes noises all day, and has a special repertoire of night time noises which sound something like a geriatric goat and a terrible hacking noise. It’s really lovely. We’re convinced he’s actually part gremlin.
Favorite Activities: He’s so much happier when he’s awake! He loves to be sat/stood up, and has started to really look at things. He still loves being in my wrap, though (which is truly a godsend—he even sleeps through brandings), and loves to be snuggled. And eating, obvs. He is his parents’ child.
Favorite Things: Loves his Wubbanub, and increasingly, brightly-colored toys.
Least Favorite Activities: He’s much better about being naked now, but he hates hates hates when he’s super hungry and you make him stop to burp. Also really dislikes me putting sunscreen on his face, and being changed at two in the morning when he pees out his diaper.
Signature Moves: Ahhhh he’s gotten such a personality this month! He’s now a smiling machine, and an even bigger wiggler than before. He also stretches when I unwrap him from his swaddle in the morning, or when I pull him out of my wrap and it’s truly adorable. Unfortunately, another one of his signature moves is waking up between 2 and 3ish every morning, making terrible noises until I nurse him, and falling asleep five minutes in because he’s not actually hungry and then waking right back up when I put him down again, and starting back up with the noises until he gets snuggled. Month #3’s goal is to change that signature move to “sleeps all night.” He’s done it before, so I know he can do it! It’s just how did that happen so I can replicate it every night.

He’s also the biggest ham and made friends with all of Starbucks this morning by sitting on my lap and smiling at all the ladies.

He was a champ at his appointment, but now I’ve got a cranky little fella on my hands, so time to end this post. On a high note!

Aaaaaaaaaand now…picture overload!!

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standing

DSC_0463

 

that lip

 

stretches

 

ooooo

 

couch smiles

 

Friday Favorites: April 9th

 

 

 

I’m doing Friday Favorites a day early this week, since tomorrow will be Wacey’s 2-month post! He turned two months on Tuesday, but his checkup is tomorrow, so I’m waiting until then so I can post his stats!

We start breeding our cows this week, and I’m doing my best to stay caught up on my calves. This weekend is supposed to be gorgeous, so hopefully we’ll get outside. Wacey still hates being in direct sunlight, but maybe we can rig up some shade on the porch while he naps :) Here’s a short roundup of my favorite things I’ve found this week!

Favorite Baby-cessory: Bandana Bibs. I’ve posted about my love for bandana bibs in the past, and since I couldn’t find any in a store, I bit the bullet and ordered some from etsy. I got a five-pack of these (I think we went with the plain white, yellow gingham, blue stripe, green stripe and solid red), and am greatly anticipating their arrival–the three that we have in our rotation aren’t enough!! I’ll post a review once we’ve used them a little, but all her reviews on etsy are great so I imagine we’ll love them.

bibs

Favorite Footwear: These Ariat boots. I know I talked about picking up the Cassidy model, but I saw these at the store and fell in love, and they were so much more comfortable than any other pair I tried on–no break-in needed! I don’t like the look as much–these are a little plainer, but not enough for me to care–but they had gone on sale the same day I arrived, and one of the few pairs they had left happened to be in my size! I I took it (and my 30% off coupon I has been saving) as a sign, and scooped up these bad boys for $150 less than their original price. Aka boots for a hundred bucks. Can’t beat it! See? Love.

 

boot

 

Favorite Fashion: Peasant Sundress. I used to live in sundresses, and since we won’t constantly be at rodeos (right??) I think I’d love to find one or two that are pretty and figure-forgiving for this summer, like this one. If my sister is reading this: Q, prepare to be shocked. This dress is by Free People.

dress

 

 

Favorite Funny: Matt and Brother Orange. Okay, this is awesome. A guy gets his iPhone stolen, and tracks it down to a guy in China and goes to meet him. You MUST read this in its entirety.

funny

 

Favorite Kid Craft: Bath Crayons. I can’t wait until Wacey really enjoys taking baths and playing in the tub! These super simple homemade bath crayons will be happening.

glycerin soap crayons

 

Favorite Kid Necessity: Portable highchair. I don’t think I need to go into how awesome this is.

highchair

 

Favorite DIY: Rustic Mirrors. I’ve been trying to figure out something to go on the awkward walls in (where else?) our bedroom, and these look pretty awesome. Plus, very inexpensive, so perfect!

mirrors

 

Favorite Sip: Raspberry Moscato Sangria and Red Wine Sangria. Now that I can imbibe a little, my thoughts are turning to sangria because it’s pretty tame and delicious, and perfect for summer, which means it’s right up my alley. This first one looks ahhh-mazing (although I may nix the vodka). I usually tend towards white wine/rose/moscato sangria, but we were just gifted a bottle of red and that’s where the second recipe comes in! I think the arugula would be interesting.

raspberry sangria

sangria

 

Favorite Sweats-But-Not: Eyelet shorts. Usually elastic waistbands scream sweatpants or pajamas, but I think in this case they scream comfortable yet fashionable. I generally tend towards tailored J. Crew shortss with a longer inseam (my sister calls these “mom shorts,” so I guess the label fits now), so these are a fun departure from my norm.

shorts

 

Favorite Tried It: Thai Sweet Chili Chicken. We had this last week and it was AWESOME. Bert raved about it! It’s fried, so definitely not a menu staple,  but this is officially my go-to recipe for when we’re both craving Chinese takeout but don’t want to drive the 30 miles to the nearest Chinese restaurant. My only change to the recipe was doubling the sweet chili sauce and adding more lime, because we’re sauce people and it was a little too dry as written.

thai chicken

Ten Things Tuesday: Branding

There have been too few posts around here, so to give myself a little direction, I’m starting some new “theme” posts. Tuesdays will be known hereafter as “Ten Things Tuesday” and I will do my best to relate each week’s post to what’s happening on the ranch. Some will be entirely fact, some will be silly, others will be anecdotal. Since we had our third branding today, this week’s post is dedicated to branding!

Ten Things Tuesday: Branding

branding 1
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branding 5
branding 7
branding 8

  1. Why brand calves? This is a traditional method of livestock identification that has been used for thousands of years. This way, if your animals lose an ear tag, get mixed with the neighbors’, get stolen, jump a fence, etc., there’s always a permanent way to identify them. Some states—like Colorado—are brand states, and require brand papers for all sales and transport of animals.
  2. There are different kinds of branding irons. There are irons that are heated by putting them in a fire (those are the type we use here, and the type the old cowboys used), and there are electric irons that you plug in (we used those on both of our past two ranch jobs). There are also freeze branding irons that involve liquid nitrogen or dry ice, but those are usually used for horses. Irons heated by fire get hotter but cool off quickly. Electric irons are always hot, but not as, and require electricity and an extension cord. Hot irons burn a scar into the animal, whereas a freeze brand damages the pigment-producing hair cells so the hair grows white there. Freeze branding is more often used on horses as opposed to cows because horses have thinner hides, so hot branding can be dangerous, and freeze brands aren’t practical for thousands of cattle since it’s slower, harder to get a clear brand, and require the animal to be completely immobile.
  3. There are also different ways to brand calves. Some places use a calf table, which is basically a little bitty chute at the end of the alley in the processing barn. After the calf walks in, the chute turns and lays flat on its side so the calf is lying on its side, like on a table, which makes it easy for the guy running the iron to brand the calves. There is also “rope-and-drag,” which is the traditional method of branding calves. There are different ways to do this, also. Some places head and heel each calf (a guy on horseback ropes the calf around its neck, and then another guy comes and ropes it by the heels, thus stretching the calf out between them so the brand can be put on). Some places heel the calf and drag it to the ground crew, where teams of two wrestle the calf by “flanking” it—flopping it on its side—and holding it tight like in the pictures above. This is the method we’ve used the most. Some places use north forks, like I described last year. It all depends on how much help you have, how many good ropers you have, how many calves you have, etc.
  4. Branding is also a good time to give vaccinations and get an inventory on your calves. Like many ranches, we give shots, check and replace ear tags, doctor any sickness, etc. We don’t castrate at branding like many places because we keep some of our bulls for breeding.
  5. Brandings are usually really fun because since so much help is needed, it’s a time for neighbors, family and friends to get together and share the work. And visit and make fun of each other between roping or wrestling calves :)
  6. When an animal is not branded, it is referred to as “slick.” Our grey horse, Asa, is “slick,” because we don’t own a brand (yet), and he was not branded by his previous owners. It is more common for horses to be slick than for cows to be slick. There are less horses, they’re more distinctive, and are easier to identify than, for instance, one red cow amongst thousands. We have lots of pictures of all of our horses, just in case.
  7. In general, brands can be located on different parts of the animal—most are on the left or right hip, left or right shoulder or left or right ribs. Each brand, however, has a location associated with it and that is the only place where the brand may be used. For instance, the brand we use is always on the left rib.
  8. Each county (in brand states) has one or more brand inspectors. Their primary function, as I understand it, is to make sure no one is stealing livestock. This means they inspect and write brand papers for livestock leaving and entering the state, traveling over a certain number of miles (in Colorado it’s 75) or going to slaughter. They also verify ownership transfers, keep track of all the brands registered in the state, inspect all animals before they’re sold at a sale or auction, and help hunt down and investigate the theft of livestock.
  9. Brands are often passed down from generation to generation and many stay with the ranch or the family where they originate and may be included in the sale of a ranch. However, brands can also be bought and sold. The older and simpler the brand is, the more money it costs. They are state-specific, so one brand can belong to different ranches in different states. One of the oldest brands still in use today is the cross-and-crescent brand used by the Tejon Ranch in California.
  10. One thing that’s pretty universal: you can’t brand a damp or wet animal. Well, you can, but you shouldn’t. It’ll scald, which means it will blotch and will be hard to read at best, or you can cause a nasty sore. Plus, it’s no fun to brand in the rain or the snow!

This is a good page if you want to learn more: http://www.cowboyshowcase.com/brands.html#.VSRAmfnF_ng

Friday Favorites: March 20th

Edited to add: I got totally carried away with this post. Excess of baby pictures, excess of commentary. Sorry about that, brave readers. Oh wait. You can never have an excess of baby pictures or commentary. Apology rescinded.

Happy Friday! Happy first day of Spring! We’ve had typical Colorado weather this week–all over the place! Warm and sunny, to which we say:

morning smiles 6
…and cold, wet, snowy and muddy, to the tune of not being able to go anywhere yesterday because the roads were so bad and deep with mud. Even my little Jeep couldn’t make it! To this, we say:

morning smiles 9

But, today is warm and sunny, the roads are dry, and we’re planning for a walk this afternoon. To this, we say:

morning smiles 8

The forecast for this weekend is warm and sunny, so I’m hoping that little ham above and I can get outside and work in the yard a little in between going with daddy to cake cows and a visit from my inlaws tomorrow. I’d love to get my garden prepped to plant, and in preparation for having branding lunch at our house next week, I would like to get all the dead leaves swept off the deck around the picnic table. We’ll do our best :)

Little Wacey is six weeks old tomorrow, and isn’t so little anymore–yesterday he weighed 8 1/2 pounds! We think he’s hit a growth spurt (or is finally catching up on his weight for the reals, we’ve added in a little formula because he wasn’t getting enough with just my milk) because he is ravenous 24/7, and won’t sleep worth a hoot. His last one only lasted a few days, though, so hopefully that’s the case with this one. In the meantime, Bert and I are taking turns getting up with him at night, and starting off the morning with a little caffeine, and tiptoeing around when he is sleeping :)

This week’s Friday Favorites are all about that SPRINGTIME and being fun and fancy free! As a lifelong resident of Colorado, I’m not naive enough to put away the winter boots and coats just yet, but I know we’re getting warmer, and drier, and I love it. This means my thoughts are turning to summer clothes, rodeos, gardens and lighter things.

Favorite Easter Treat: Bunny Butt Pancakes. Call us humbugs (actually don’t, because that’s a lie), but Bert and I never been big Easter celebrators (in terms of bunnies and egg hunts, etc) because we both agree that Easter and Halloween are both more kid-oriented holidays. GOOD THING WE NOW HAVE A KID! Wace isn’t old enough this year to care about Easter, but next year you’d better bet the Easter Bunny is showing up and we’re hunting allllll the eggs and having allll the festive breakfasts. Or just this one! Plus bacon, duh.

pancake

Favorite Funny: Things Parents Do To Embarrass Their Kids. Speaking of kids, I can’t wait to embarrass the heck out of them, either. I laughed and laughed at this one. I may have already posted this one to FF at some point, but it’s just a testament to how excited I am to be the goofiest parent ever. Also, just in case you were wondering, we’re totally starting off early because Wacey got a hilarious Christmas sweater vest as a hand-me-down, so that’s pretty much a sign that we MUST host an Ugly Christmas Sweater Party this year. Cue the embarrassing photos! Would it be excessive to rig his with lights and a battery pack?

embarass

Favorite Non-Embarrassing or Edible Kid Thing: Baby Shadow Box. One thing I would like to pretend I’m into but totally am not, and it probably says a lot about me that I’m into pancakes shaped like bunny butts and embarrassment but not this? Scrapbooks. I think they’re absolutely the coolest thing ever, but have zero patience for all the work that goes into them. I knew a girl in college who was the scrapbooking QUEEN and I was in awe of her. Her name was Jamie and she has been bestowed with a gift by our heavenly father. I’m completely serious. I have not been bestowed with this gift. One thing I can do? A shadowbox. Since Wace has already grown out of his going-home outfit and is almost out of his first booties (I DIE), I’m hoping to put his together soon!

shadow box

Favorite Fashion: Embroidered Maxi Dress. I’ve never been able to hop on the maxi dress bandwagon, but this one caught my eye and I might have to order it, or see if I can find one like it. I wouldn’t wear it to a rodeo because sandals at rodeos gross me out (that dirt is so not just dirt, folks. And try to climb pens and unsaddle horses in a dress, I dare you), but I’d wear it out to dinner, or to town when I want to look like something other than a swamp creature. Also, I’m not yet fitting into my old jeans, and that dress looks so comfy!

maxi

Favorite Comfort Zone: Long-Sleeved Pocket Tee. Something I would wear to a rodeo? This shirt, with jeans, boots and a fun necklace.Pretty much my uniform on a day when all chambray is in the wash? Yes. Boring? You bet. Do I care? Not even a little.

blouse

Favorite Boot: Speaking of boots, I’m in need of a new “town” pair. My husband just ordered a new pair of custom boots for himself (for riding), so of course I need a new pair, too :) Since I don’t need a custom pair at the moment, I hopped on the interwebs to see what Ariat’s got going these days, since they’re my favorite brand. I wanted something brown and square-toed, but with a pretty detail. Guess what? A sign. From above. With the Hallelujah Chorus and everything. Know why? This pair is an Ariat pair, brown, square-toed and with a pretty detail, and guess what they’re called. The Cassidy Boot. Guess what my name  is? Cassidy. Guess who will be buying these on her next town trip with the handy 30% off coupon she just got in the mail? CASSIDY.

cassidy boot

Favorite While-We’re-Talking-About-Clothes: Floral Swimsuit. For this first time since we’ve been together, the Johnstons (that’s us) are going on a VACAY. Yes, a VACATION. We’re really getting wild and driving five hours away for a week in June to Pagosa Springs, and the resort where we’re staying has an Olympic-sized swimming pool. A POOL. Aka the #1 Thing I Miss About Living In Town Even More Than Starbucks. But, I hate bikinis. Always have, always will, and am now a grown-ass adult who is comfortable enough in my own skin to tell the world that I HATE BIKINIS. Too much adjusting, too much possibility that they will come off while cannonballing, and I can never get sunscreen all over my back so too much sunburn. So, this pretty suit is at the top of my try-on list, because I’m not going to embarrass my newborn child and lovely husband by wearing one of my Speedo swim team suits. I’m saving those for when Wace is old enough to care :)

swimsuit

Favorite Sparkle: Mint Halo Earrings. While we’re (okay, I’m) confessing things, I may as well get to it. I will never like wearing my hair down. I like it pulled back, out of my face, and out of my thoughts. I pretend I’ll wear it down, but I never do. There’s too much of it, it’s too thick and hot and requires constant touching up. Plus, it covers up gorgeous earrings, like these. Which I covet. I know, thou shalt not. But I do. Sorry, Lord.

halo earrings

Favorite Future: Bulletin Board wall. I know I painted a room in our house to be a home office, but I’m hesitant to do too much with it in case it becomes a kid room in the future and I have it set up all gorgeous and have to take it down. But, when I do finally decide to take the plunge and do more than paint a space for an office, I love the idea of a big bulletin board.

bulletin

Favorite Garden Inspire: Planters. Since I’m doing a flower garden this year, I’ve been trying to figure out what to do about my herb garden–put it in small pots? Put it in the big galvanized water tank that I scavenged from the junk pile? I still don’t know, but this site has some great ideas for different kinds of planters. I’d love to do some pots around the front porch, too–there are so many possibilities!

planters

Favorite Repeat: This Italian sausage recipe. I posted this a few FF’s back, and I just wanted to tell you that you’d better make it immediately, get spicy I.S., don’t leave out the fennel, and for a real treat, sub bucatini for the angel hair. You’re welcome.

sausage

Happy Friday, may your days be merry and bright, and may all your evenings be light.

Friday Favorites: March 13th

Ta-da! The first Friday Favorites since the day before Wacey was born.

I hope you all had a good week, and that you’re enjoying warmer weather wherever you are! We’re so glad for a change in what seems like one of the coldest and wettest winters for awhile.This weekend I’m planning on some long walks with the babe and the dogs, and I’m hoping to finish our darn taxes that I started six weeks ago, ha. Here’s a roundup of some of my favorite things I’ve found the last few weeks while spending much too much time on Pinterest whilst nursing :)

Favorite Workout: Classic Barre Workout. Can’t wait to try this ballet barre workout! Barre was always my favorite part of class, but one thing about living where we do is no dance studio within 30 miles, so I’m so excited to try this one at home!

ballet

Favorite Babecessory: Bandana Bibs. We got some of these as a gift and I love them! They fit him much better than regular bibs, lay a lot flatter, and look a lot cuter, too :)

bandana
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Favorite Ranch (Yes!) Wear: Bogs Leather Muck Boots. Yes, these are LEATHER! And they’re muck boots! And they’re not expensive! I bet you can guess which boots I’ll be buying to replace my worn out pair this fall.bogs

Favorite Foliage: Leaf Dish. I love this bowl for reasons I can’t explain. But isn’t it gorgeous!

bowl

Favorite To-Try: Paprika White Wine Bucatini. We’ve been super into Italian sausage lately, and this looks AWESOME. I love pasta cooked in chicken stock, and this is definitely on next week’s menu because another bonus: one pot, super easy!

bucatini

Favorite Plaid: Buffalo Check shirt. This is a summerweight buffalo check button down, and it’s all I can do to not order it right now because I promised myself I’d stick to a budget. Solution? I’ll be putting clothes I no longer wear on ebay to finance this pretty.

buffalo

Favorite How-Can-I-Make-This-Happen?: Gorgeous desk and command center. I’d love to incorporate something like this into our house where I can keep track of things, work, and just have a pretty space. This would look lovely in my creamscicle room!

built in

Favorite Chicken To-Try: Crispy Lemon Chicken Thighs. Crispy? Check. Flavorful thighs? Check. Lemon, herbs and all in one skillet? Check, check, check!

chicken

Favorite Indulge: Soft-Baked Peanut Butter Chocolate Swirl Cookies. The tagline for these is: “For when you can’t choose between a peanut butter cookie and a chocolate cookie. Now enjoy them together!” Be still my beating heart.

cookies

Favorite Craft: Anniversary Canvas. As soon as a trip to town and a canvas sale coincide, I’m going to make one of these for our master bedroom to sit on Bert’s dresser mirror the burlap monogram I made that sits on mine.

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Favorite Pretty: Smashbox Full Exposure palette. I’ve been wearing eyeshadow lately (!), just browns and neutrals, and this palette is right up my alley. I love that it’s compact, and has matte and sparkly versions of each color so I can glam it up on occasion without feeling too out of my element. Also, not too pricey!

eye pallette

Favorite Hairstyle: This. I love it. Big, a little wild, wavy, big. This will be coming with me the next time I visit my stylist!
hair

Favorite Barstools: Cross-backed tall chairs. We’re going to do a high sofa table at some point for some additional seating/surface area, and I’d love to find chairs like these.

kitchen

Favorite Kid Thing: Glo Nightlight. Something about this appeals to me so much. I hated being in the dark as a kid, and this nighlight has little glo-balls that kids can take with them if they need to make a run to the bathroom or the kitchen in the middle of the night.

lamp

Favorite Bar: Peanut Butter Millionaire Shortbread Bars. I’ve been looking for a new dessert to make for brandings and crew meals, and I prefer bars because they’re easy to transport. I think these are the ticket! I guess I have a peanut butter and chocolate thing going right now!

millionaires

Favorite Speechless: Female company president open letter. I love love love this. I cannot say how much. I have no words. I just hope this becomes a Thing.

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Favorite Momscessory: Nursing doorhanger. I have this exact one hanging on the door of my office so that when I close it to nurse Wace, everyone knows what’s up.

nursing sign

Favorite Inspire: Ranunculus and garden roses. As the weather gets warmer, I can’t help but look towards my garden. I can’t wait to order seeds and things for my flowers, but I can’t decide! But, even though I generally don’t like roses, I think these will be on the list. Gorgeous!

roses

Favorite To Wear: Nellore Blouse. Again, everything I love in a (non-plaid) shirt. Pretty, loose but not baggy, lovely details, can go with jeans and boots, or skinnies and flats.

shirt

Ten Things

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On some of the blogs I read, they’re doing “10 Things You Didn’t Know About Me.” I’m jumping on the bandwagon because I always love to see what people come up with, and it’s fun to look back on these later on.

1. I love milk, and I used to drink it with every meal. Every single one. I’ve tried to cut back, though, because a gal can’t survive on milk alone (even if her baby can!) so I have a smoothie with breakfast and I try to just have water or juice with lunch. But seriously, I love milk. My mom used to have to have it delivered because I drank so much.

2. I prefer to drink things through a straw. Hence my Starbucks tumblers addiction.

3. I’ve never eaten a fast food hamburger. I always get chicken nuggets, usually in the form of the chicken nuggets kids meal.

4. I love to re-read books and re-watch movies. I mean, over and over. Bert always says “You’re reading/watching that again??” I think this makes me consistent, but it reality probably makes me slightly boring and predictable.

5. To the tune of #4, if I find a pair of pants or a top that I love and fits really well, I will buy multiples of the exact same pair. As in, I have four pairs of the same maternity jeans (thanks, mom!), and four pairs of the same Wranglers (in two washes, to be fair), two Eddie Bauer puffy vests and three or four Gap long-sleeve crewneck shirts. Also many pairs of Sperrys and a ridiculous number of pashminas. I am a creature of habit. I only use one purse, though. Except now I carry a diaper bag, too. Or instead. Oh well :)

6. I hate dangly earrings. I very rarely wear anything but studs.

7. I love libraries. I frequent ours and always have something checked out.

8. I prefer to write in color, and felt-tip pens are my go-to. If black ink is necessary, I prefer Pentel RSVP ballpoint pens.

9. Nighttime is not my thing. If I could go to bed at 8:00 every night (read: if Wace would go to bed at 8:00 every night) I so would. As far as I’m concerned, other than sleep, very few good things happen at night. The exceptions to that rule are dinner dates and Harry Potter movie premieres. It’s probably because I’m notoriously cranky and short-tempered when I’m tired, and I’ve always been a light person. My favorite times of day are early morning and late afternoon, when the light’s all filtered and gorgeous.

10. I didn’t get my ears pierced until I was gosh, fifteen or sixteen. I got them pierced because I was a bridesmaid in my cousin Rachael’s wedding, and she made us all earrings and I didn’t want to be the only one without earrings on! I totally went to Claire’s and everything. I’m glad I did it, because I love me some big ole sparkly (stud) earrings. However, I don’t believe I’ll ever get anything else pierced.

On another note, I’m going to start a new thing: Ten Things Tuesday! Like Friday Favorites, but less idealistic :)

Wacey James: 1 Month Update

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DSC_0300He’s super into this photo sesh, can you tell?

Age: 1 month
Representative Song of the Month: a mix of the Ben Harper version “Beautiful Boy” and “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.” The former being how is is 75% of the time–peaceful, adorable and just the sweetest baby boy ever–the latter being the anthem he is surely playing in his head the other 25% of the time, when he’s dry, full, warm, and being cuddled and it’s still not enough!
Stats: Wacey’s 1-month checkup is tomorrow, so I don’t have exact numbers, but he’s definitely getting bigger–hats that were too large before now fit him, and his onesies are becoming less roomy every day. I’m guessing (hoping) he’s around 7 1/2 pounds now.
Favorite Foods: Team Milk allll the way.This one will stay the same for at least a few more months, ha.
Words/Sounds: He’s started to make more non-crying/fussing noises, and he randomly squeaks every now and then. It’s the cutest.
Favorite Activities: Eating, being in my wrap, riding in the car and stroller, snuggling on the sofa, not sleeping alone at night.
Favorite Things: Loves his Wubbanub!
Least Favorite Activites: Anything that requires him to be naked–baths, diaper changes, getting weighed at the doctor–I think he just hates air on his skin and being cold. He also hates being flat on his back, and is not a fan of the wind.
Signature Moves: He’s started to be supper wiggly, and has a move that resembles a horizontal stanky leg when he’s nursing. He also makes the most hilarious faces, and is World’s Greatest Tooter. You can hear that kid fart from about ten miles away.

All in all, this first month has been (cliche alert) amazing and difficult all at the same time. I love being a momma, but my Type A self is craving more of a schedule. I know, though, that a schedule will come in time, and right now I’m just trying to enjoy him being tiny and snuggly and the most adorablest of adorables. This month’s goal is to get him to sleep on his own–I love to snuggle him all night on the sofa, but I miss sleeping in a bed, and I don’t want to get to a place where we’ve created terrible habits that are hard for him (and us) to break! I never thought I would be that person that didn’t have a sleep schedule immediately, but rookie mistake because you really do anything you have to in the first few weeks to get them to sleep, and to get some sleep yourself.

And, the next person that tells me to “sleep when the baby sleeps” is going to get Walker, Texas Ranger-ed in the stomach. It’s all well and good to have a nap here and there, but you know what’s better sometimes? A few quiet, peaceful hours in which you are not attending to the needs of a tiny human, and during which you can eat with both hands, tidy up the house a little, put on a little makeup, change your clothes and do some laundry so you have clean clothes into which to change. Yes, hubs can help out with these things, but if you’re like me you crave a little bit of normalcy so doing little “normal” things and making sure you’re clean and feeling good are so, so important. I would amend “sleep when the baby sleeps” to “take advantage of the time when baby’s sleeping in any way that makes you feel good.” Sometimes this will be chores, sometimes it’ll be work, and sometimes it’ll be yes, passing the eff out on the sofa.

Disbelief.

I can’t believe some things.

Like that it’s March. MARCH! March.

Or that Daylight Saving Time is on Sunday. I truly dislike DST. Why do we even have it? I like my mornings to be sunny and my nights to be dark. Why ruin a good thing?

Or that it’s still freezing and snowy. I recognize March is a snowy month, but it’s not supposed to be below-zero frigid, and we’ve had enough snow, thank you. The weatherman promises warm weather starting this weekend, and that’s excellent because there are three dogs, one momma and one baby who are going stir crazy and desperately need to get outside and go on walks, for stir-craziness (and muffin top) relieving purposes.

Okay, maybe the baby’s not stir crazy because he doesn’t know what that is, but if he did he would be it.

(And, I know. We don’t have it nearly as bad as the east coast, but I’m still throwing in the proverbial frozen towel.)

Or that Wacey’s a month old on Saturday. What?

Basically, I’m in all-around disbelief.

But that’s okay. Spring is on the way, and we couldn’t be happier. We’re all ready for the world to dry out, for the sun to shine and for the sweaters to be put away. Spring for us is pretty horrifically busy, though–it’s the season for AI and branding, plus some ultrasounding, PAP testing and semen checks. Plus we’re still calving. Plus we have things like pediatrician appointments now. Oh, and also figuring out how to pack around a baby when livestock and barns are involved. I’ll keep you posted.

Oh and rodeo season starts early this year.

Disbelief! Who knew that while I was sitting at home on my sofa staring at my tiny baby and revolving my world around him that the rest of the world would continue on and plans would be made and calendars (mine included) would be filled and I’d surface (ish) three weeks later, sort of shocked?

What can I say other than BRING IT ON.

Oh, and thank goodness for the Thing that is babywearing, because it guarantees two hands free and a happy (often sleeping) Wacey James so I can tackle all of these things I can’t believe.

[Also, because I’m a new mom and constantly worried about germs, wearing him makes it easy for me to keep him out of other people’s arms for awhile. We’ll share airspace until I’m less new mom-ish :)]

And because I can’t help it, here’s my little nugget all snuggled up on the sofa.

snuggle