A Spontaneous Crab Feast

How many of you out there JUST. FREAKING. LOVE. your family?! I surely do (insert girl raising hand emoji here)! I love them for many reasons, but one reason is that we (the cousins) all get along really well. We’ve all been really close our entire lives.  And, when it means hanging out together, some fly in randomly from out of town or some drive four hours on a whim to share the fruits of their crabbing trip with you by putting on a full on crab boil.  And, that’s exactly what happened this weekend!

I got two calls within five minutes of each other on Friday that my cousin Ikey Boy and his girlfriend Shantal were flying in from Hawaii for a quick trip to Portland.  Just after that I got another call from my cousin Chelsea that she and her wife Angela wanted to come down and have a crab boil this weekend. They had gone crabbing the weekend prior in Washington and had a ton left.  Of course this sounded like fun (and did I mention my cousin Chelsea is an awesome cook?!)! Of course we said HECK YES!

We planned for a late Saturday lunch so we all could get together.  As you can imagine, it was stormy this weekend.  It was cold and windy, but that didn’t stop us!  We set up shop in the garage and eagerly waited for everything to finish up cooking.  We had the entire spread– corn on the cob, shrimp, Dungeness crab, potatoes, and biscuits made from scratch. It felt like we were at Bubba Gump’s or down in the bayou or something.

We laid it out over the table and indulged ourselves to the max. It was incredibly delicious.  You can’t beat good food, good beer and awesome company.  It was a necessary reminder for me that even though I had planned to get some things done this weekend, there’s nothing better than taking in the spontaneous opportunities as they come– especially when they involve the fam!  This weekend the laundry could wait, I could meal plan another day and spending time with my sister, nephews and cousins was most important.

What do you love about your family? Do you ever have spontaneous get togethers?

New Year, New Me

It’s 2018, and the year has started off with a bang! How did YOUR New Year start? We spent NYE at a low key celebration this year with some dear friends of ours. It involved hours of champagne and Cards Against Humanity- haha! I don’t know about you, but the older we get, the quieter our NYE celebrations get 😂 Well, I guess it wasn’t THAT quiet because there was a ton a laughter had by all!

With it being the new year, I’m thinking it’s time for a new me! It’s been a really long time since I’ve written a new year resolution. Like, really long time. It’s been probably since I was a kid, when it was a school assignment to write down a resolution– that long ago. So, I spent New Year’s Day jotting several goals and resolutions down for 2018. It really made me think about what and how I want this year to be and go like.

So far, I’ve been doing pretty good… except for my “consume less fancy coffee” drinks resolution. If you know me, you likely know I failed with that resolution already on Jan. 3rd- hah! Oops!

When I wrote my resolutions down I split them into categories- health, financial, relationships, mind, and spiritual. I’ll spare you all the details of what my resolutions were, but I will tell ya, there are some good ones!

One of the things I’ve been doing to ensure I keep up with my resolutions is to carry my little resolution notebook in my purse. That makes it easy for me to refer back to them and remind myself in the event I need a little nudge. I also purchased a little magnetic calendar to put on our refrigerator to keep myself a bit more organized at home and schedule in where I need to some of my resolutions. It was obviously made by a Mom, because it is SUPER CUTE.

Aside from that, the normal reminders in my phone and just mentally trying to remind myself is how I’ve been trying to keep myself on track with my resolutions. If I make it past January, that’ll be a win for me! But trust me, I’m really trying to make it to the next new year! If I’m being honest, I’m human just like everyone else, though. So even a 75% success rate on my resolutions will still be a win in my book.

Next week will be a busy one for me with lots of travel. So it’ll be a true test to keep up with my new goals. With a positive mindset, I know I can do it.

I hope your year is off to a great start so far. What were some of your resolutions?Did you write any down? You still can if you haven’t! How do you hold yourself accountable to them?

Here’s to hoping you all have a great weekend, get to enjoy this Oregon sunshine and welcoming the first weekend of the new year! Cheers friends!

Grove Collaborative Goodness

Ok, let’s be honest, when I find a cute product or program that’s good for me, my family and my home then I’ve got to take a look further and find out more. And that’s how my love for Grove Collaborative started! Have you heard of it?

Grove Collaborative is an online company that does the work for you in searching for all natural products. From cleaning to personal care and more, they have quite the selection of suggested products! Some are common household brands like Mrs. Meyers, Method and others. While some are special Grove Collaborative branded products. 

I just got my first box in and LOVE everything that came in it! I took advantage of their spend $20 and get FOUR free products offer. The best part was I got to choose all the products so there was no disappointment and I knew exactly what would be coming.  Seriously, for $20 I got seven products that together are worth more than $20! I’m all about a good deal and this was one of them! Check out all the cuteness in my knock off reveal video (idea borrowed from the 10,000 Fab Fit Fun videos out right now- haha!) that I made for my Grove Collaborative box!

If you want to give them a try, you’ll get $10 towards your order by using my link below! Enjoy and let me know what you think!

GC Link: 


Halter Breaking: The Art of Time & Patience

Morning Everyone! What a weekend… The weather here has been typical PNW weather for this time of year. Rainy, windy and cold!  Things are looking up though…It’s sunny as I write this and predicting to be sunny all week! I love the cold fall mornings when they aren’t wet!

Jace and I spent much of our time at the farm this weekend.  The girls are in the barn which means feeding twice a day and scraping/cleaning up as well.  The fall and winter weather makes for messy times at the farm.  Last year I got out of chores due to my recovering back surgery, but that’s not the case this year!  Seven calves and ten cows makes for a lot of pooper scooping–Haha!  Jace loves it when I come to help clean because I am so particular about it.

Aside from feeding and chores, we found ourselves getting two steers ready for halter breaking.  The two kids that will be using them as project steers will be by in a couple of weeks to pick them up so we needed to get them started.  Jace has really improved his halter breaking skills over the past couple of years. I remember the first time he showed me how to do it…. It didn’t look fun at all!  In fact, it looked scary for this island girl!  These days he really takes his time.  It’s so important because it can actually be dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing!  Within one afternoon, about an hour or so, he earned the trust of these little guys and was able to get halters on both of them with ease.  No fighting and bucking around.  So, what’s the secret? Time and patience!

With Jace, he really likes to get the steers to know and trust him.  He pens them together and just spends some time in with them while feeding them grain.  Cattle don’t like to be pet on their face, so he scratches their sides and backs until they settle a bit.  Next, he puts the lead from the rope halter on their back or neck and just lets it lay there for several minutes.  That gets them comfortable with having something on or around them.

Then, when the time is right and moving swiftly he gets the halter on in one quick motion.  He makes it looks so easy.  I haven’t gotten the guts yet to try it, but instead I helped by petting them from right outside the pen.  After the halter is on, we just let it be on them for awhile.  We don’t tie them up or lead them at all.  That will come in the next few days.

One thing that’s important is not to let them step on their lead while they are just getting used to the halter. That teaches them to keep their head down and in the show world, that’s the opposite of what you want.

I can’t wait to get back to the farm in the coming days to work more with these two boys.  They made great progress in one afternoon so I’m excited to start training them and leading them around. The real test will come when we try to start leading them around.  I’m sure they’ll want to stay put.  But, with time and patience, it’ll all come together.  Stay tuned for more pictures of that!


Happy Fall Ya’ll!

It’s definitely feeling like fall around here. The air has been nice and crisp in the mornings with a layer of fog over the grass and the days are getting noticeably shorter. It’s staying darker later in the morning and getting darker earlier in the evening. The leaves are slowly starting to change color and soon the herd will start eating in the barn.  Jace has been busy keeping them out by feeding in the pasture so he can get concrete work done and the barn ready for them to come back to feed inside through the fall and winter. Aside from everything else that indicates the change in the season, everything Pumpkin Spice is back and the fall decor has got me feelin’ all warm and fuzzy inside. Haha!  This weekend I met my sweet friend Veronica and her new baby girl and we took a trip to a vintage fall sale in Creswell. It was DARLING and full of vintage decor. Can you see now that my warm and fuzzy level is almost off the charts?! I wanted to buy up everything and add to my fall decor collection for inside the house. Of course, I refrained though! Instead I settled for a new living room candle I was in need of. I chose a hand crafted, by a local artisan, soy candle in Autumn Pear scent. It smells divine people! Love it!! (Ps… my inside fall decor is not happening this year as we are reconstructing our fireplace wall right now. It’s basically a construction zone in my living room– aahhh!)

Today Jace and I took a trip to (of course) our favorite store, Wilco! I decided I wanted to decorate our front door step to add to the fall season at our house. We picked out some beautiful large mums, some sweet pumpkins and a handful of small gourds. I’m not normally into the corn stalk and Halloween decor (I know, I’m boring, hehe!) so I didn’t go that route.  Of course, I needed my mums to match and I wanted them to feel really fall-ish so I chose yellow and orange ones. Ya’ll, (I’ve caught myself saying that twice now, must be the season!) I’m not kidding when I say they are huge! Super nice, full and fresh. Definitely some of the nicer mums I’ve seen around town.

The only thing missing I’m realizing as I type this is a cute wreath for the front door. Maybe I’ll get creative and make one. I’ll update if I do! Also thinking that putting the mums in tin cans or small wooden barrels could be really cute and dress it up a little too! It would be Joanna Gaines approved for sure!

Anyhow friends, I hope you get some inspiration if you need it on some fall decor from this post.  The few minutes of decorating already has me pumped for the holidays– my favorite time of year! Here are other pages to check out if you need some new fall decor ideas, or check out what I did. Super simple and super easy and hopefully a little warm and inviting for this season.

Good luck and don’t forget to share your fall decor pics!

Dishfunctional Designs:


Jenna Burger (LOVE the lantern filled gourds!):


Cute DIY Projects (LOVE the white pumpkins!):


Grace House Interiors (lovely and subtle, chic way to include fall decor inside and out):


Until Next Year, Summer…

If you’re new to Diary Of A Wannabe Farm Girl or it’s just your first time meeting me through my words on the interweb, welcome!  And, if you’re a newbie, you probably don’t know that I’m from Hawaii. What does that have to do with this post, you ask?  Well– everything!  You see, I am always a Kona Girl first and an Oregon Girl second. It means that sometimes I get to go home to Hawaii or my sweet parents get to come up to the great Pacific Northwest to visit!  And this post has to do with the latter.

You see,  mom and dad are in town right now for their yearly visit and it has been such a blast having them for the past week. I’m already sad that their trip is half way over and we still have a week more with them! Whenever they come, I love that they want to explore, get out and do things and have a good time.

This past weekend, we ventured out of the valley over to Sun River.  All of us, the WHOLE family– Jace and I, mom and dad, sis and my brother in law and my handsome little nephews.  We spent the past several days there and let me tell you– I needed it!  I didn’t realize it, but I really did!  Completely (sort of) unplugging from all responsibilities and electronics and getting to be with family, no plans in place– just wherever time and our hearts took us provided for some spontaneous times.  It was so relaxing and went by way too fast. But, as always, time flies when you’re having fun, right?!

We started our weekend by mom treating sis and I to manis and pedis.  I may be a “wannabe farm girl,” but I LOVE a good pampering!  Any trip that starts with a girls day like that is welcome in my book!  After that, we headed over the mountain, conquered the grocery store together to shop for our weekend and settled into our cozy little abode for the next few days with tasty burgers and movies.  The next day we went on a three mile walk through Sun River, checked out the Village and later that evening played some put-put golf and bumper cars.  The golfing was a little chincy, but Toby LOVED it!  He was one happy boy!  We also ventured to La Pine State Park and stumbled across a super serene area on the river.  We laughed and caught up and just enjoyed each others company as we talked about crashing a wedding that was going on in the park— of course we were only kidding and didn’t really do that!

The next day sis and my brother in law celebrated their anniversary, so we had the boys.  We took Jace’s advice to go for a drive and ended up in good ole’ Fort Rock.  Have you been to Fort Rock?  It’s a teeny tiny town south east of Bend.  It felt like it was in the middle of nowhere– and it was!  Desert scenery with sage brush stretched for miles as ground squirrels hurried across the road.  I had not idea what to expect, but when we got there it was such a neat area– so remote, so quiet and so simple.  The town was small and the ONE person we encountered was welcoming.  We stumbled upon the Fort Rock Homestead Museum.  My goodness– it was cool!  It made me appreciate all that we have today. All the luxuries of heat (and AC!), a comfy bed, a regular flushing toilet and a washing machine that doesn’t require me to do more then add the clothes and soap.  The boys were so well behaved as we weaved our way through each building. We were literally the last customers before they closed up the museum for the fall and winter seasons.  How’s that for good timing?!  Watching Toby’s eyes look like they were going to pop out of his head when we explained to him how things were back in the “old days” was pretty comical.  I’m not sure he understood completely, but nonetheless, the teacher in me came out to teach him. Once a teacher, always a teacher, right?!

Before we knew it, our trip was coming to an end.  I surely wasn’t ready to head back over the mountain and jump back into reality.  But, nonetheless, we had to. Back to the smokey air we came and back to work I went today.  I wish I could freeze the next week and this past weekend.  Saying goodbye to mom and dad after their trips are always hard but I seem to make it through the “see you next year” each time.  I am already looking forward to their next trip and our next adventure!  We’ll see where it will take us!

Besides that, one of my fondest memories of this past trip is little Parker, my youngest nephew and watching his fun little personality come to life.  That little boy has latched onto me like a little ‘opihi!  Look up what an ‘opihi is if you don’t know!  I must admit, it was hilarious every time he would yell, “Auunnttyyyy Niiikkkiiii” or every time he asked for more blueberries– that boy can eat!  I like to think I am one of his best friends and I’ll hang on to those “Aunty Nikki” cries forever. So sweet and so innocent.  My nephews truly making being an Aunty so fun and I had a blast spending the whole weekend with them too!

I hope you all have gotten to spend time with the ones you love too, made unforgettable memories and lived in the moment as this summer comes to an end. I am so grateful to have gotten more fun in during these last few bits of summer. I know I’ve said it before, but oh my goodness, this has been the best summer in a long time!

Until next time, Friends….. Have a great week!

Chickens, Cattle & State Fair Fun!

And just like that, as quick as the snap of your fingers, summer is on it’s way out.  While it went by way too fast (as always!) and was so much fun and packed full, I have to say I am starting to get the itch for fall.  Cooler weather is on the horizon and Jace’s favorite…. Beaver Football!  A clear sign summer is almost over is when it is Oregon State Fair time, and that’s where we spent much of our weekend.

We kicked off the weekend at the Oregon Ag Link Barn Dance fundraiser.  What a fun filled evening with friends!  There was good music, courtesy of Ben Rue (Silverton’s very own celebrity!), good dancing (although I didn’t really partake this year!) and just overall good people. It was a hot night, but spending time with friends getting to raise funds for great educational causes like the Adopt A Farmer program make bearing the heat all worth it.

As many of you know, I work in the ag industry.  Part of my “work” tasks this weekend included helping at the poultry stage at the Oregon State Fair.  We put on a presentation all about raising backyard chickens.  It makes me still want to get some every time we even talk about chickens (It’s the same every time we talk about pigs too!).  When it comes to backyard chickens, I’ve already done my pre-work like making sure I know how many we are allowed to have in our little town (which by the way, there is no limit! Weird, right?!). Maybe this fall, or next spring…. We shall see!

And, of course, the main reason Jace loves to go to the State Fair– the Hereford show!  After my work was done I jetted over to the show ring just in time to catch the end of the heifer show and then the bull show.  It’s a good reminder to be at these shows to see where we need to head in terms of show stock.

After that, we of course indulged in our favorite fair food (that makes 4x’s this summer already– ahhhh!), walked the vendor buildings (to cool off! haha!) and then back to the barns we went.  Jace reviewed with me what qualities are good, what to look for and things that are not desirable in show cattle.  We practiced as we walked the aisles of the barn. It was so fun! So addicting! I wanted to keep giving reasons for every single one we walked past.  Feeling pretty confident, I decided to take my skills to the Limousin show that was going on.  Whispering over to Jace, he confirmed or shook his head “no” when he agreed or disagreed with my comments as we went down the lineup.  It was so fun and while I felt pretty good about myself in that moment (haha!) there’s no way I could be a judge! It’s so hard and I’d need yeaaarrrsss of practice!

As always, it was another jam packed, super fun, hot summer weekend that went by way too fast.  As we move into fall I’m excited about football season (well, tailgating really… If you know me, you know I have never paid attention to an entire football game!),pumpkin spice drinks, the holidays, the cool weather, and everything else that comes with the season. Even through all the stressors of life, summer has been a welcomed distraction and so good to us this year!  Until next time, summer!

For The Love Of Showin’

It’s been a busy summer for sure, one that has included a few concerts, bbq’s, quick trips to here and there, county fairs and livestock auctions.  While they are all so much fun, I have to say one of my favorites are always the county fairs and the junior livestock auctions with those fairs.  Why you ask? Well first– the FOOD! Fair food every once in a while is much needed, obviously.  I mean, when else in the year is it ok to scarf down fried apple slices slathered in caramel, sugar and whipped cream? Yuummm!!

Walking the barns, checking all the animals out.

More than the delicious fair food, I always enjoy walking the barns with my guy. Yes, I know, I’m very much a city girl and whether it’s in my bow tie flats or boots, I really love walking through the barns! Every year I probably ask him the same questions or have him point out to me what makes an animal look more finished than another.  All stuff that you’d think I should know already. But, he doesn’t mind or get embarrassed that I have to ask again. He’s always happy to answer my sometimes silly questions!  We always run into about 20 people that Jace knows and we get to catch up. It really can be like a reunion at the barns and I love it!  Besides that, the biggest reason why we love walking the barns is because we like to see what all the hardworking students have spent the past several months working on.  Each year I learn a little bit more as I watch the steer show or the hog show, whether its a market show or showmanship.  One of these days (hopefully by the time we have kids!) I’ll get it all and it will all click!  I also like walking with my nephews through the barns. This past weekend at Benton Co. Fair Toby told me about wanting to show a steer when he’s old enough.  Thattaaa guuyyyy! Uncle J will be so proud! Haha!

The time that the students spent with their project animals accumulates to countless hours. The blood, sweat, tears and love they put into them is considerable.  Showing an animal, learning all about it, training it and learning to feed properly is not easy.  So, to see them get in a show ring, many of them for the first time, lead their animal around while answering showmanship questions and place accordingly, it brings a feeling of accomplishment for them.  As with anything or like any sport, some are disappointed and know what they need to do to improve for the next year while others are relishing in their big win.  It’s such a great, fulfilling experience for kids to show an animal. The things they learn and the responsibility they have at such a young age is admirable.  I can see why for some it is not easy to sell their animal at the culminating junior livestock auction.  The bond they’ve created comes to an end, but the memories made over the past several months hold strong.  Then, onto the next project animal that will steal their heart once more.

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While we don’t have our own kids that are participating in showing an animal at county fair or a jackpot show, we did have a few students showing some of the animals we bred this year.  As much as it can be nerve wracking for the students, it can also be nerve wracking for us!   As someone who has bred an animal, you want the student who’s showing them to learn, do the best they can and to do well.

With us being so new to working with 4H and FFA Students on project animals it was a good learning year for us.  While we had three students show animals we (Jace) bred, there is so much to learn, tweak and change for the coming years. I just had a nice talk with a brilliant gal who is well versed in show cattle today who reminded me that doing well in anything, even raising cattle takes practice. It takes figuring your program out, trying new things and deciding what’s best for your herd.  Such a great thing to take away from this county fair season as we look to the future on how to make improvements.  Just like the students who know what they need to do to prepare for next year, so do we.  Jace and I hope to build what we have going into something bigger than what we have now. And with that will come frustration, excitement, lots of work and taking some risks.  The students work so hard for that end goal and so will we.  But most importantly, we want to be there to help the students. Jace has always been passionate about spreading his love of livestock and this is one avenue where we will be able to help them and give back to ag youth.

Like those students who do this for the love of showin’, we will do this for the love of livestock, giving back and helping to guide those kids.  We hope to see you at fair next year!

The Meal Prep Train

Let’s be honest… the past couple of years I have totally sucked at cooking dinner every night or meal prepping my lunches for work. I’ve fallen off the meal prep train and gone down hill with planning what’s for dinner each night. I mean, my entire day at work revolves around planning and executing, why would I want to do that every single night after a long day of work? Jk, I’m a planner by nature, I just have been lazy at home to say the least. But, the bad habits of eating out or not eating at all have finally gotten to me. This weekend I said, ‘Enough is enough!’ With things always being so busy plus add a tired girl after work on top of that, I knew that if I didn’t take a few hours on the weekend to plan then I’d continue to fail.

So, here’s what I did. First I decided I wanted to prep just my lunches. Then something inside of me said, ‘Psshhh. Why not just prep the entire day for a week!’ Yes, breakfast, lunch AND dinner. So off I went turning to Pinterest of course for meal prep ideas. Before you know it, I was headed to the grocery store and then back home to start cooking and filling my little Tupperware containers.

Here’s what I settled on:

Breakfast- I saw this blog about a lady who wanted to meal prep a hearty breakfast that reminded her of her time growing up on their ranch. It consisted of scrambled eggs and roasted red potatoes with peppers. I have to admit, I wasn’t sure about the scrambled eggs, but I figured since it worked for her I’d give it a try. Plus we already had a bag of baby red potatoes so it was a win! I had my first taste of my meal prepped breakfast this morning and it tasted just fine! And I’m still full from it! Here’s the recipe if you want to give it a try!  I added a couple sausage links to mine.

Lunch- I made a knock off Starbucks protein box. It has: cucumber slices, a hard boiled egg, a couple pieces of cheese, some grapes and celery sticks with a little peanut butter and raisins. Super easy!

Dinner- This is where we always fail. Jace hates cooking and if I fail to plan ahead on dinner then it’s really easy to cave (and unhealthy) and get takeout. Knowing that Jace likely wouldn’t want to eat chicken every night, I compromised and made up a huge meatloaf. Half the nights we’ll have meatloaf, rice and steamed broccoli. For the other nights, I grilled up some awesome tasting chicken breast to go over a bed of greens for salad. We had this last night and it was so good! Here’s the simple chicken recipe if you want to try it!

So, for this week, I am feeing like super woman. Three hours of being in the kitchen over the weekend will make my life so much easier this week and will keep us on track and eating at home!

What meal prep recipes do you guys love? Share them here!

Roll Call

Today was a productive day… at home! I relished in every moment of it! See the blog tomorrow for the low down on what I finally got back into today! I’m pretty proud of myself!

Maybe you’re thinking… ‘Productive day at home?? What about the farm??’  Even though the cows and farm life take a ton of time, I am not the one that is there Every. Single. Day.  But, Jace is! Like many of you, I work a normal day job, keep up around our house and also like to have somewhat of a social life (even if it’s just a small sliver sized social life!) which is why I am not at the farm everyday. However, any chance I get, I’m there and I love helping Jace (unless it’s scooping out poop all day from the barns, like in the winter, yuuucckk!).

While it was a productive day at home, that didn’t stop us from checkin’ cows over at the farm. Although they’re out to pasture and we don’t need to feed them in the barn, we still need to check on them. You know, count ’em, make sure no one escaped and keep an eye on them for anything that could potentially pop up.

Here is a short video I threw together of our time with the boys and girls tonight!