Jan 28, 2014

Cheddar Corn Chowder

This post is sponsored by Sargento Cheese. All opinions and text created by myself.


One of my favorite recipes to make is Cheddar Corn Chowder. How many Hoosiers do you know that don't love corn?! It was a recipe I came up with after my husband and I got married. I married into a freezer full of sweetcorn. Every summer, my husband's family gets together to pick truckloads of sweetcorn. Later, the corn is shucked, cut and boiled. After the corn is prepped, it is placed into freezing containers and divided up to go into every one's freezers. Everyone in the family looks forward to enjoying fresh sweetcorn all winter long! 

This recipe reminds me of winters in the old farmhouse we started in and the kitchen where I learned to cook. Although it was small, inconvenient, drafty and I had to work around the washer and dryer, I still hold a lot of dear memories there! 

Jan 24, 2014

Happiness is a Journey


Recently, I helped out my newly engaged friends by taking some photos for them. We did a little session in the snow. It was a lot of fun and I really was able to see their personalities together. They truly are happily in love and they have chemistry that you don't see in some couples.

I came across this quote around the time I was editing their pictures and I thought it fit perfectly into this picture. I wanted to share it with you guys. I wasn't planning on it, but the more I look at it, the harder it is not to share. This shot just brings such joy to my heart and I hope it brings some joy to your's. Even though we were just playing around, walking up a hill around the corner from my house, this shot really captures their journey in happiness. And they, along with many of the couples and relationships out there will continue to be happy as long as they don't treat their happiness as a destination. They don't settle. They don't get comfortable.

I really do think this quote can apply to a lot of aspects in our lives. I like it a lot. No, I love it. So many of us are wanting to be happy and in the moment. Now. Little do we realize that happiness is something we must work at and continually find and bring into our lives. Sometimes all we need is a little change to make us happy. But change takes time. Change is a journey.

Happiness is definitely a journey. Not a destination. How will you make changes and apply this to your life? Your relationships? Your work?

Choose the journey. Not the destination.


Jan 16, 2014

Creating Yourself

Yesterday, I shared with you my new planner for 2013. During my review and excitement, I mentioned the planner having various quotes and positive messages littered throughout.

Inside the front cover is a quote that I think is exactly what I needed.

"Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself." - Unknown
Such a beautiful, bright quote on a cold, cloudy mid-wintery day.

It is a quote that will stick with me for the rest of my life. In fact, I am going to have a canvas print made for my office. This is what I created:


I like this quote because honestly and truthfully, I have been trying to find myself for a very long time. I'm constantly on the fence with which direction I want to head. Where I want to go with my career, our comunnity, friends, family, house and our farm.

The sad part is, I'm so lost sometimes that I sometimes sit back and feel sorry for myself instead of doing something about it. I have been so busy trying to find myself that I haven't taken the time to create myself.

We are all given the same tools and the same opportunities. Some of us have easier access than others. In reality though, you can have all the opportunities in the world but it's how you respond to them. It's a matter of what you are going to do for yourself.

Creating yourself applies to so many aspects of life. We really are defined by our actions. Not who we want to be. You can "look" for yourself all you want and you can pretend to be whoever you want. But can you create that?

Webster's dictionary defines create as

to cause to come into being, as something unique that would not naturally evolve or that is not madeby ordinary processes.
Or....
to evolve from one's own thought or imagination, as a work of art or an invention.
Our lives are a work of art. We are our own inventions.

Don't be a figment of your imagination. Be a creation.

Jan 15, 2014

Erin Condren Life Planner


One thing I loved about being in school was that fresh, new "assignment book" we received every year on our first day of school. I remember creating collages out of snapshots of friends, magazines and print-outs, giving my cover a makeover. I had all my subjects color coded with different pens. It was something I enjoyed. It kept me organized and I looked forward to taking care of my assignment book. Then I went off to college where we had the option of buying a school planner and of course I did. I don't think I carried around a bunch of colorful pens, but I do remember giving each subject a different highlighted color.

Then, I stepped into the real world where I depended on keeping my "schedule" in a digital calendar through my various jobs so that all my fellow co-workers had access to my schedule. It's just what we did. Now that I work at home, I find my self struggling to keep a digital calendar. No one needs to see it but me. It's a pain to create all the entries manually. I decided that this year, I need to get more organized on a day to basis and it was time to get back in the routine of keeping a planner.

The day I lit a fire underneath myself was just a few days before the new year. As soon as my husband got home from work I ran out to him and said, "Can we go to Staples?!?" and he replies "What for?!" I said, "I need a planner." The look I got was priceless. Anyways, I was told we were not driving all the way to Staples just to buy a planner and to look online to see if I could find something. And look I did! I came across this glorious website:



Jan 10, 2014

snowed-in


Disclaimer: You may find some harsh sarcasm in this post. I can't be nice 100% of the time :)

This past weekend/early week, Indiana was hit hard by some snow and hard blowing wind resulting in what some may call a blizzard. We also saw some cold temperatures that Indiana hasn't seen in a long time.

But it could have been worse. Way worse.

All winter long, I have heard and overheard conversations from many people saying they wanted to be snowed in. They wanted so much snow that they could be forced to stay home. They wanted an escape from their busy lives.

Well, with some drifts reaching 4 and even 5 feet making most roads impassible, wishes came true and everyone received that "escape". And some of us definitely received more than we bargained for. Some were snowed-in for 3+ days.

Now, this wasn't a surprise. The weatherman/woman were warning viewers for a good week or more about what was to come. People had plenty of time to get to the grocery store, stock up on food and farmers had time to prepare their livestock for the cold. Unlike the blizzard that hit South Dakota this past fall, we had a huge window of warning.

I consider us to be pretty lucky.

Jan 6, 2014

Feel Refreshed in #2014

Reblogged from my contributing post at Rural Housewives of America

Think about where you spend most of your time when you are home or when you are first getting around in the morning. Your bedroom, your kitchen, your laundry room. What can you do to reduce the clutter in those rooms which then reduces the clutter in your mind? 

More than likely, the way you begin your day will reflect the rest of your day.

I am going to share with you 5 things I do to make my mornings feel more refreshed and less cluttered so I can have a good start to each day. 


Jan 3, 2014

christmas in the country gift reveal


The Christmas season isn't quite over yet.............. although the tree and various decorations are put away, the house is clean, presents are all delivered, I still have my husband's work party to attend this month and a little gift exchange that I participated in over the holidays to share. Why don't I go ahead and share that gift exchange now?

Jamie with This Uncharted Road and Laurie with Country Linked put together a gift exchange called Christmas in the Country  for ag and country bloggers. I thought it  would be a great way to meet new friends across the country and to discover some great blogs to follow and share. Yes, it meant shopping for someone you have never met across the country but I was up for the exciting challenge! Year afer year we shop for the same friends and family, which is fun, yes, but I was excited to add a new person to my list this year. 

After signing up for the gift exchange, we were all paired up with a "secret santa" which remained anonymous. We were given information about the person's likes, dislikes, allergy info and a link to their blog so we could do some detective work. Homemade gifts and locally made items representing our part of the country were highly encouraged! 

The day finally came where I would find out who my receiver was and I was paired up with Robyn at The Ranch Wife Chronicles from South Dakota! I sent her some sweet red wine from Olivery Winery which is made here in Indiana close to Indiana University. It's a favorite wine of myself and many, many friends! It's what we served at our wedding. Also, I included a locally hand poured coffee smelling Goosebeary Candleshoppe candle since one of Robyn's favorite things was coffee. Lastly, I also sent a bottle of maple syrup from a local sugar camp and a pair of dainty turqoise earrings hand crafted by Dayle at Lemler Valley Farm. I love supporting friends and small businesses! It was so much fun putting Robyn's gift together.