Thursday, June 30, 2011

Land Grant Universities

As I think about my job and my degree(s) I realize how lucky I am to be able to go to college and especially at a Land Grant University. There is just something about them ; they seem more friendly, more homey, family like, and agriculture minded.This history lesson might give a little explanation to those ideas and why some of the best Agriculture and Engineering schools are Land Grant.

Land Grant Universities were established  from the provisions of the Morrill Act (1862), which gave to the states federal lands for the establishment of colleges offering programs in agriculture, engineering, and home economics as well as in the traditional academic subjects.This was a response to the industrial revolution and changing social class. This was different from the historical higher class Liberal Arts.  The Hatch Act (1887) expanded the land-grant program by providing federal funds for research and experiment stations; the Smith-Lever Act (1914) granted federal support for extension work in agriculture and home economics.

*Kansas State University was the first school created under the act, on February 16, 1863.

I think the agriculture basis affects the people themselves, that must be why the universities seem friendly and welcoming.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Let us never forget that the cultivation of the earth is the most important labor of man. When tillage begins, other arts follow. The farmers, therefore, are the founders of civilization.
- Daniel Webster

Monday, June 27, 2011

Breakfast Casserole

This is a wonderful recipe from a good family friend and member of Kansas Agri-Women. She brought it to our last meeting and everyone really enjoyed it!

1 box seasoned croutons                                            1 T prepared mustard
1 lbs bulk sausage                                                      2 T Worcestershire sauce
9 eggs                                                                       11/2 c. grated cheddar cheese
1 1/2 c milk

Grease a 9 x 13 inch dish. Pour croutons on bottom of dish. Brown sausage: drain and spread over croutons. Beat 9 eggs together well with milk, mustard and Worcestershire sauce. Gently pour over sausage. Sprinkle with cheese. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight. Keep covered and bake for 45 minutes @ 350.

****Its great with  Italian croutons and maple sausage.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Bridal Flip-Flops

Growing up on a farm in the country it wasn't possible to run next door to the store to buy a last minute gift for a birthday, wedding, baby shower, or bridal shower. My mom, grandma, and even great-grandma always gave some of the greatest gifts and that's because they came from the heart. Many times they made those items.  I believe that my family has instilled in me those crafty skills. Now I try to make the gifts whenever I have the time. I had a shower today for a good friend and part of her gift was for the honeymoon in Jamaica.

Cute Bride and Groom Flip Flops

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Words of Wisdom

Most people  have Wordless Wednesday, I'm going to have Words of Wisdom Wednesday.

"The secret of success in life is for a man to be ready for his opportunity when it comes." 
Benjamin Disraeli 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

My Favorite Day

Not only is June 21st the first day of Summer but it is also my favorite day of the year, behind my birthday, Christmas,holidays, and so forth.........

No good reason or anything meaningful to this post. It's just my Favorite Day!

To make this somewhat educational
June 21:
-172nd day of the year 
-Longest day of the year
- In 1621 – Execution of 27 Czech noblemen on the Old Town Square in Prague ( I put this on here, because I have been to the Old Town Square)

Go out and enjoy the day. Its 85, sunny and BEAUTIFUL here!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

THE wedding cake

Here is what she wanted the cake to look like:
I had it on my fridge to remind me everyday!

Here is the process-------

 Of course the cake had to be leveled. I won't bore you with every detailed step!

My grandma glazed them so they would be easier to frost later.


12 cake mixes (easier and quicker than from scratch) I ended up getting compliments on the cake saying it was better than the average wedding cake!

 Used ready made frosting for the sheet cakes

This one got a little brown, so I designated it for the dance :)

The church kitchen seemed full of cake. I think there were 9 sheet cakes.


 The cake was covered in hot pink, black, and crystal rhinestones.

Friday, June 17, 2011


I've been gone for a week and realized it was Fashion Friday. I was struggling on topics, all I've seen for and wore for a week was suits. Then I thought about how I tried to make those suits a little more fun.....Necklaces! I took 10 necklaces with me to DC and ended up selling 6 of them. I had a request from a friend to bring some and have a "jewelry party" in my hotel room late one night. I thought I would share some of those that I sold.

Under the "jewelry" tab you can see more of them that I have, I try to update that every other week or so. The name for my jewelry and all the other items I make is called "Laurel Hill" Then of course I have my business with my friend called 2Chick Couture.

Friday, June 10, 2011


As I'm working on this wedding cake I realized (again) how handy an apron is. When I get to cooking seriously I always wear one, this is a rather new habit....probably in the last 3 years or so. When I was younger I thought it was just a grandma thing, now I realize why they wore them. Aprons are actually making a comeback in the fashion world.  My business partner and I have made a few. This is a picture (sorry picture at that) of the apron  we made and I gave Morgan at her bridal shower.
" I kiss better than I cook"
There was a pink leopard print ruffle on the bottom. Super cute if I do say so myself.

An apron is an outer protective garment that covers primarily the front of the body. It may be worn for hygienic reasons as well as in order to protect clothes from wear and tear.
The apron was traditionally viewed as an essential garment for anyone doing housework. Cheaper clothes and washing machines made aprons less common beginning in the mid 1960s in some countries such as the United States. However, the practice of wearing aprons remains strong in many places.
Today, the apron has enjoyed a minor renaissance in terms of both women and men now wearing them when performing household chores. For instance, an article in the Wall Street Journal claimed in 2005 that the apron is "enjoying a renaissance as a retro-chic fashion accessory" in the United States.

The ones I wear aren't too fashionable. Here are a few cute ones I've seen. Maybe I should make myself a one

Pink & Black Ruffle Apron

Maybe more fashionable than functional!?

Nothing will beat the old fashioned ones though,  the memories are what make those!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Busy, Busy, Busy

I try to post everyday. Some days I don't have the time and other days I'm not even near a computer. Well, today I have the time and am sitting at a computer. I was trying to think of a post related to agriculture, crafts, Kansas...... NOTHING. I'm a little preoccupied with stressful thoughts; grad classes, finishing my MS, promoting my new business, getting personal orders completed, will I be able to blog everyday, should I focus on other things besides blogging?........... How do you do it all and still try to enjoy life in the meantime.

First things first: As you know I am making a wedding cake for a friend's wedding this Sat, well then I leave my house at 2:30AM to get to the airport to fly to DC for American Agri-Women. I'm excited, all except for that 2:30am drive. I will probably drive straight from the reception, I plan on dancing the night away.

My second "issue" and #1 summer concern preoccupying my thought is called; Statistics! This is one of the last classes I have left to take to complete my Masters. I have put it off, and put it off until this summer.  I figured 8 weeks of pain is better than 16. I'm a creative, hands-on, abstract type person....NOT a numbers kinda gal.

So, I'm gonna say my prayers, Cowgirl up and deal with it!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Summer Time- Ice Cream & Cicadas

Well, Summer is here-not officially but when it is 95 degrees I call it summer.  I love making homemade ice cream and venturing out to make some unique flavors. When I was in Europe my travel buddies (Kels & Alicia) gave me a hard time because I always ordered the "weird" flavors; rice, cantalope, poppy seed..........

Here is a flavor that I don't know if I would order: Cicada! When sitting outside on a cool summer evening it never crossed my mind to make those noisemakers into ice cream. However, Sparky's Homemade Ice Cream in Columbia, MO has done just that.

The insects coated in brown sugar and chocolate are mixed in a brown sugar and butter based ice cream.

Read the story at :

Monday, June 6, 2011

Bridal Buttercream

Well I'm expanding my resume or maybe its called "biting off more than you can chew"
A friend of mine is getting married this Saturday and 2 weeks ago she had her cake decorator back out. I opened my mouth and offered to help her out (of course, thinking she would find someone else). My mom and grandma have made many a cake in their day so I thought I could follow in their footsteps.

This week learn with me about how to make a 3 Tier Wedding Cake! The following is the recipe I believe Im going to use. So it hasn't been tested out.

Quick & Easy Vanilla Buttercream Frosting


  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons whipping cream


In a standing mixer fitted with a whisk, mix together sugar and butter. Mix on low speed until well blended and then increase speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes.

Add vanilla and cream and continue to beat on medium speed for 1 minute more, adding more cream if needed for spreading consistency.
Makes 12 servings

Friday, June 3, 2011

Boots, Chaps, & Cowboy Hats

So last weekend as I sat with the guys at lunch and after branding, during the "cool down period" I listened to what they discussed. If I had my eyes closed I would have thought they were a bunch of ladies. All they talked about was fashion, who had on what brand of boots, where they got their spurs, how sturdy their jeans were...........I brought this up to A and told him that you guys would have made fun of a bunch of ladies sitting around talking about fashion, but they can get away with it? His response, " We just recognize and appreciate good tack." There you have it ladies, your rebuttal when a guy gives you a hard time about talking about shoes, jewelry, clothing, and accessories........ "I just recognize AND appreciate good tack"

I'd love to go into the history of boots, chaps, cowboy hats, spurs, wild rags, and all of that cowboy "tack" that can make some of us girls swoon. However, I'm going to keep it simple and just give you a few pictures. Detail and history on another Friday!

Spurs, Boots (Anderson Beans, my fav), Chaps

Hat, Wild Rag, Chaps

SWEET BOOTS, another guy had the same pair, but in lime green

Thursday, June 2, 2011

New K-State Colors-BLUE & GOLD

Kansas State FFA Convention kicked off last night. The campus is now covered in Blue & Gold!
Opening session was great. It had been awhile since I had sat through an entire session, last time was probably HS. I sat with my friend "S" and it brought back the memories. I even leaned over and said. "Wow, I feel like Im in High School all over again." He chuckled and looked back and said, "kinda does, doesn't it?!"

For the last 4 years I have coordinated the luncheons and receptions. This year I'm helping with foundation events and the Blue & Gold Reception. The opening session speaker was Barrett Keene, I really enjoyed his "motivational speech" It might have been geared toward the youth, but it really got me thinking as well.

Every year I get a little emotional about FFA,  my personal memories and experiences, and all the great possibilities that are in store for those who participate in FFA.

For those of you who were not fortunate enough to be part of FFA let me enlighten you a bit:
Mission: The National FFA Organization is dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.
Learning to Do, Doing to Learn, Earning to Live, Living to Serve.

Check out :

How proud I am to call myself an FFAer!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Branding in Action

Pictures of  "my crew" (yep Im claiming them) branding. What they don't know won't hurt them.

These are at the barn/pens so not a picturesque as Saturday's out in the pasture

Now onto Saturday's Branding--------------------------------
                                                                                       ~250 calves were worked.

J & A waiting on Monte....most likely

3 going at once really speed up the process.
THE WHOLE CREW-minus me taking the picture

I wish I had taken more but its hard to vaccinate and take pictures at the same time.