Thursday, December 20, 2012

Vegas Baby!

I thought I would share some of the highlights of our recent Vegas trip!!!

Las Vegas Blvd. also referred to as The Strip.

New York New York was fabulous!!!  I love that GI-Normous wreath!!!  One advantage of going to Vegas during Christmas time is that everything is decorated to the max!!!  We ate at The Burger Bar here and I would say it was the best food we had in Vegas.  I really wanted to eat at some swanky place, but it just didn't happen.  Everything we ate was so so and over priced, but The Burger Bar in New York New York was pretty tasty!!!

Moving along....Hoover Dam!!!

If you have been to Vegas and not made it to Hoover Dam you have missed out.  We rented a car and drove out to it for the afternoon.  This place is phenomenal!!!  You must go and take the Dam tour!  I can't believe the massive-ness of this place and to think of all the labor that went into it all the years ago when technology was not what it is today.  I was in awe of it!!!  Our Dam tour guide told us there is enough cement in it to make a 4 foot wide sidewalk around the Earth's equator!!!  An amazing piece of American history folks!!!

Moving along to The Bellagio...

The floral display is quite a site.  You can smell the fresh cut flowers as soon as you walk in.  Each display is made out of mainly flowers....millions of them!!!!  I love this huge rocking horse and you can catch a glimpse of the train they had set up making its way around the horse.

The Bellagio offers a water/light show every 30 minutes.  I recommend going at night because it is beautiful and the view of Paris is too!!!

We had to take in Cowboy Christmas while we were there.

Cowboy Christmas has everything you need for life on the ranch.  I loved this vendor who had floral displays made from antlers, ropes, boots, or anything along those lines.  

AND the reason we went to Vegas.....

The National Finals Rodeo!!!  I have wanted to go for sooooo long, and now I have finally been!!! We went to 2 rounds and watched the best of the best compete.  We even got to see Charlie Daniels perform one night!!!!  My 5 year old son has it in his head he wants to ride bulls so he was excited that I video'd some of the bullriders!!!  We hope to take the kids our to the NFR someday, but I want them to be a little older before dragging them to Vegas....ummm yeah, it's Vegas remember. Ha!

We made it down to Fremont Street and got to see several impersonators.  That was fun!!!  The light show was awesome as well.  There were a couple of spray paint artist that we watched create some awesome pieces in a matter of minutes!

The guys went off to do their thing {dune buggies in the dessert} so the girls and I headed down the strip and ended up at The Venetian!!!  

The place is stunning and quite a work of art!  We at lunch at a little place along the water.  I will tell you they have the best Mojitos ever!!!!!!!

And while the men were doing there thing we did a little shopping!

Nope, I didn't snag a Louis Vuitton handbag, but I enjoyed looking.  There was a $330,00 watch in its own special case and guess what....they wouldn't let me take a picture of it...grrrr.  They did inform us they had a watch that was ONLY $130,000!!!  Umm, no thanks.....I don't even wear a watch.  This is the largest Louis Vuitton store in the United States BTW.


Tiffany & Co. was up my alley and guess what....that there sack has a lovely gift wrapped Tiffany box in it for ME!!!  I bought it for myself and told them to do it up right and I will open it on Christmas!!!!  This is how I justified it (because I had to or I wouldn't buy it)....the guys went to ride those dune buggies which wasn't cheap.....and Tiffany & Co. isn't cheap..... Do you know that they have handbags too!!!!  What girls doesn't love Tiffany & Co.?!?!?

So there is a glimpse of our Vegas trip!  This was the first trip/vacation the hubs and I have taken since we have been married!!!  Okay, so it was the second....we went to Estes Park with the kids last year.  I think we need to take more trips!!!!!!!!!!


Saturday, December 15, 2012

My Thoughts......

My heart aches for those beautiful children and the brave staff at Newtown Connecticut.  As a parent I
cannot imagine getting that phone call.  The entire situation is horrible and has brought tears to my eyes. As I hugged my kids I thought of the parents that would not get that opportunity any more.  It really makes you cherish every moment and not take it for granted.


Here at The Farmer's Wife I try not to get political.  I don't want to debate politics here.  I am not saying I don't have my strong opinions, but I choose to keep them to myself....WHY.....because that is how I want it here.  Humorous and fun is what I like.

HOWEVER, the shooting at Sandy Hook has had me thinking a lot.  Yes, all the what ifs.  Again, this is my opinion, but I want to express it.  I believe in the right to bear arms.  I come from a long line of family that is all about guns and hunting.  Now, my family uses them to hunt wildlife and shoot at targets, but that is the extent of it.  We don't have AK-47's (or whatever else is along those lines).  Guns bring enjoyment to people who like to hunt to put food on the table.  I would hate to see that right taken away.

I believe that if the right to bear arms is taken away it will not stop the psychotic individuals {like the one who took all those precious lives yesterday including his own mother} from obtaining a weapon.  They will find a way because they are just not right in the head.

What I would be more than fine with is...... teachers, staff, or a school officer trained to use a gun.  I wouldn't want this forced on a staff member if they were not comfortable with it, but I would like to see it as an option for our schools {maybe it is in some places already}.  They had nothing to defend themselves with yesterday.  Remember, guns did not kill those precious lives yesterday....that sick individual did!!!!


Sorry if this offends anyone, just wanted to share my opinion. 


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Double Brownies

Are you gearing up for all your Christmas baking?  Do you take your neighbors a plate full of Christmas goodies?  Maybe you just need a new twist on an old recipe.  If so, give these double brownies a try!

I love all things chocolate, especially brownies.  These brownies combine a blonde brownie along with a chocolate brownie and are not overly sweet, but the caramel icing will make up for it.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Bottom layer:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Middle Layer:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup baking cocoa
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Caramel Icing:
6 Tbsp butter
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
4 to 6 Tbsp milk
2 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in eggs and vanilla.  Combine flour and salt.  Stir into creamed mixture.  Stir in nuts.  Spread into a greased 9x13 baking pan.  

For the middle layer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in eggs.  Combine the flour, cocoa, and salt.  Stir into creamed mixture.  Add nuts.  Spread over the bottom layer.  Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool completely.  

For the icing, melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat.  Stir in brown sugar and milk; bring to a boil.  Remove from the heat.  Cool just until warm; beat in confectioners' sugar until the icing achieves spreading consistency. Spread over brownies.  Let stand until set.  Cut into bars.  Enjoy!
I shared this recipe at Her View From Home.


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Prairie Hills Farm Goat Milk Products

If you love goat milk soaps, lotions, scrubs or most things goat milk you will love the products offered up by my friend Elizabeth at Prairie Hills Farm.  

I have used goat milk soaps for years and have even made my own.  I'm not the most knowledgeable in goat milk and all the fabulous benefits, but goat milk defiantly seems to be the best moisturizing soap I have found.  With the dry winter months upon us, I need all the moisturizing help I can get!  I personally do not suffer from psoriasis or eczema {thank goodness}, but I do have severe dry skin.  I have heard that goat milk soap can be an excellent choice to help with psoriasis or eczema problems because of its natural moisturizing elements such as amino acids and vitamin A.  

I have used Prairie Hills Farm soap and I love how rich and creamy it is and the scents are very pleasing.  Her best selling scents are Lavender and Almond Oatmeal.  I'm trying to talk her into offering a Cherry Almond scent because it is my favorite....hint hint Elizabeth!!!  In addition to the soap I also have a bottle of the Goat Milk Lotion sitting next to my sink so I can lather up after doing dishes.  The lotion is perfect!!  It isn't greasy and leaves my skin very soft and smooth with the pleasant scent of lavender.  Both the soap and lotion will rejuvenate your skin!

Please check out all the products Prairie Hills Farm has to offer on the online store here.  If you would like to know more about Elizabeth and her goat heard please "stalk" her here.  She raises her own goats in which all her products derive from.     

Please go and "Like" Prairie Hills Farm on Facebook.  Let her know The Farmer's Wife sent you and put a bug in her ear about the Cherry Almond Scent. 

Elizabeth is offering FREE SHIPPING the entire month of December when you spend $50 {before tax}!!!!  She wanted me to share that when you shop online and your purchase in over $50 to please to choose the "pick up" method and then provide your shipping address so you won't be billed for the shipping.  She will be posting this information on her Facebook page so be sure to "Like" her page!!!

Stay tuned for more products from Prairie Hills Farm.....I'm thinking GIVEAWAY {in Cherry Almond Scent...wink...wink}!!!


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

How to "Paint" Fancy Letters On Wood

I want to show you how to make your own sign with any font you choose.  If you think people paint those fancy signs completely by hand don't be fooled.... there is a trick and I am going to show you it.  I am sure some people are gifted and can do it solely by hand, but I am not one.  

The supplies you need are a paint brush and a wood board or plaque.  I picked up this one at the Hob Lob for less than a dollar!  Paint it with acrylic craft paint or rattle-can it in the color of your choice {I have used all different kinds of paint for this, but I am using acrylic craft paint for this particular project}.  You will also need a computer and printer for your design/font, a #2 pencil, some painters tape, a sharpie or different color paint for the initial or words, and ribbon for embellishing.

Allow the paint to dry completely.  I admit I have used a hair dryer to speed up this process.  I don't have patience...ha!

For this project I wanted to keep it pretty simple for demonstration purposes.  I chose to go with the initial R for my niece Rachel.   First you need to print your letter or saying on plain printer paper to an appropriate size to fit your wood plaque.  Use whatever software program you have like Word or Photoshop.  Prior to printing you need to flip your words so that when you transfer them they will be correct.  Note that my R is backwards here.

Next, I cut down the paper size leaving a good inch or so around my letter.  I placed the letter in the center of the wood plaque and secured with some painters tape.  Next use a pencil and outline the letter.  You will probably want to push a little harder than you would normally write.  You will see a faint tracing on your wood.  

Here you can see the faint outline of the letter.

If you prefer to see more of the letter you can outline it first and then color over the entire letter.  No need to stay in the lines because it will only transfer where the ink is on the paper.

It is much easier to see this way and I don't feel near as blind when I do it like this.

Now the image is ready to paint.  However, I like to find shortcuts and today I chose a Sharpie permanent marker rather than a small paint brush and acrylic craft paint.  Paint or color in your design.  Allow it some time to dry if you paint it.

Gotta love Sharpies!!!!!!!

Last, I hot glued some ribbon on for the hanger.

There you have it, FANCY letters!!!  


Friday, November 16, 2012

End of A Dirt Road

I love this song...always have....always will and wanted to share it with you.  I love when a song can sum up my life.  That's all!

Have a fabulous weekend everyone!!!


Sunday, November 4, 2012

Skillet Goulash

A little goulash history from our house.... my oldest daughter hated it and everyone else loved it.  Now my middle daughter hates and everyone else loves it.  Who will hate it next?  No, it is nothing fancy, but it is another go to recipe in my house and does not involve spaghetti sauce.  This is the goulash recipe I grew up on and I have been making it since I started cooking.  It is simple and I can always use simple in my life!!!

1 lb Hamburger
2 Cups Macaroni
1/2 Cup Chopped Onion
2 14oz. cans of Stewed Tomatoes (or 1 large can)
1/2 Cup Ketchup
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Salt
Salt & Pepper to taste
Parsley to garnish

Brown hamburger and onion over medium-high heat until done.  Cook macaroni according to package directions.  Drain.  Combine cooked hamburger and macaroni in a large skillet.  Place stewed tomatoes in a food processor or blender and puree.  Now, if you like chunks of tomatoes you can skip this step, but the reason my kids didn't like it is because of the tomato chunks so I puree them....problem solved!!!  Add pureed tomatoes to meat and macaroni.  Add remaining ingredients except parsley.  Simmer over medium heat about 5 minutes.  Top with parsley for garnishment.  Enjoy!!


Thursday, November 1, 2012

Dazcot Dezign Winner Announced

Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway!!!!  I'm happy to announce the winner of the beautiful necklace from Dazcot Dezign is {insert drum roll here}.............

Comment Number......

Congrats TK!!!  Be sure to contact me {under the contact tab} soon.

If you love the necklace, but didn't win be sure to contact Dana at Dazcot Dezign and snatch up one of her fabulous creations.  It is time to start thinking about those Christmas gifts too!!!!

A special THANK YOU to Dazcot Dezign for this giveaway!!!!