Boys and their Toys

This week we explore a whole new topic related to farming! Boys and their toys! Two weeks ago Dad, Tyler, Kyle, and Michael hunkered under Dad’s Dodge pickup truck to install a new exhaust. We all pitched in and bought it for his birthday and I just know he has been antsy to hear how it sounds!


Now don’t let these boys fool you… They might look clean but let me tell you… there was no sitting inside without a towel! The morning started off drizzly and I needed coffee, but they did not seem to mind.

I don’t quite understand the excitement that accompanies mechanics, although I do enjoy watching everyone work together! My the end of the afternoon Dad had added a new exhaust and convinced the boys to help with break pads! All of their hard work paid off and everyone felt accomplished!

The opinion of a truck is important to the men in my life. Their trucks are used to haul livestock, machinery, hay, feed, and/or equipment. The TRUCK is part of their everyday routine. My first vehicle was a truck but the dynamic is different.


I felt sad when I sold my truck, however it didn’t serve the same purpose for me as it does for those who use it everyday. For many outdoor professionals it serves as an essential part to their daily activities.


And for that reason I will never stand between boys and their toys.

Now, I did not forget to add flowers to this weeks post! I want to make sure I add a bit of sunshine to your lovely Tuesday evening.


The arrangement is a Easter basket design and can be used as a centerpiece. Meaning, that the flowers and Leather Leaf are symmetrical all the way around the basket.

Easter is a time for celebrating! We will come back to this topic next week but I will leave you with this quote.




“Breath In & Breath Out”

“Good Afternoon” Yoga! Yesterday I wrapped up my summer internship with a fitness and health camp. It was fun watching the kids enjoy yoga, boxing, healthy snacks, and learning about sugar intake, serving sizes, and “MyPlate.”

“Downward Dog”

Megan was able to join me this week! Megan, Katie (Washington Co. volunteer) and I had a blast interacting with the kids and gearing them up to make smarter food choices. We enjoyed a book called “Fast Food.” Fast food does not always have to be greasy and full of empty calories. There are healthier options on the menu and being prepared ahead of time will help you to make the best choice.


We discussed ways to prep and enjoy vegetables on the GO. Making healthier options OUR “Fast Foods!”

test 2

I asked the campers to dish out their typical plate of spaghetti. Most plates were filled with pasta; as mine would have been! The kids were surprised to learn that 1/2 cup was one serving of spaghetti. Looking at me with wide eyes, I explained that we should vary our meals. If we have only one serving of pasta than we should add 1 piece of toast (garlic bread), a side of broccoli or side salad, and a fruit or dairy side (peaches/cottage cheese).


We walked to the community garden in Brighton. I hoped the kids enjoyed the time outside as much as I did! It was fun looking at all of the different colors. I love how enthusiastic they became when we discovered vegetables, flowers, bees, butterflies, and much more.


What’s your move? The youth had the opportunity to try tag, yoga, and boxing. I really believe in the importance of varying your exercises. I am training for a half marathon  and I am realizing first hand how important it is to mix things up. I want to ensure that I am not going to get burnt out before I compete. Just moving your body is one of the key things a person can do to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

A few of the kids really found their inner peace. 🙂

Above: Lydia is concentrating on “breathing in & breathing out.” The kids had some quiet time where they had the opportunity to concentrate on breathing.

I enjoyed coordinating the Fitness and Health camp. I am very passionate about finding the balance between what we eat and how we move.

Missed out on all of my summer adventures? Here is the link to most of my summer posts.

My senior year at Iowa State starts in 1 week!!!!! EEEEEEK Stay tuned for all things Fitness, Farm, Faith, and Food related!

Thanks for reading!




Training for a 1/2 Marathon!

WOW it is HOT!! This weekend a bunch of girls and I went camping. Mind you we had this on the calendar a month in advance! The first night we stuck it out and slept in the 90 degree weather. On Saturday we went on a float trip down the Skunk River. Seven cheery and excited ladies started the journey while seven tired and burnt ladies left the float haha. Needless to say we did not spend a second night. Next time we will be camping in the fall, but memories sure do last a lifetime.

It has been miserable running weather, but Megan and I have decided to train for a half marathon and we need all of you to help us stay motivated. I have decided what better time than the present to compete?

half marathon

Above is the training schedule. Ideally I would like to be ready by early spring. We have completed week 1. Week two is a maintenance week but it will be a very good opportunity for my muscles to recover. I have never ran more than 6 miles and I am feeling a little nervous.


My daily routine has morphed to accommodate my training schedule. I am realizing that I have to make running a major priority if I plan to run 13 miles. Both my eating and mental habits need to improve.

I am working to live an 80/20 lifestyle. Eating healthy 80% of the time and splurging the other 20%. It is all about training my mind and body to have self control.


Eating healthy doesn’t have to be a chore. This week we made a shrimp and fruit salad with a lemon dressing. The salad was a recipe that I found on “Iowa Girl Eats.”


The next day I used the left over ingredients to make a simple salad with shrimp and avocados.

Stay tuned for updates on all things Farm, Faith, Fitness, and Food related!


10 ways to reach 10,000 STEPS this SUMMER

This weekend it was no struggle reaching 10,000 steps. With all of the Summer activities that keep our schedules crammed; it is no brainier why is it is easier to reach our fitness goals. How are you reaching your goals? I would love to hear all about your favorite activities in the comments below.

I love trying new things and keeping my routine fresh. Here are 10 ways that will help me to reach my 10,000 daily steps this Summer.

1.Participating in public challenges


Michael, Megan, Caleb, and I participated in a Gladiator Assault Challenge. We ran a 5 mile mud obstacle course and did not come out of the race clean! It was one of the most rewarding runs I have ever competed in. I hope I can sign up for a few more this summer as well as a couple 5K races.

2. Attending Sport Events


Supporting those you care about is both rewarding and motivating. It can be fun to attend sporting events with friends and family. This is Michael’s (brother) first year in trap shooting and I have had a blast cheering him on. Not only do I receive a lot of steps by walking to and from ranges but I leave high on motivation from watching everyone compete.

3. Gardening


Many of you have seen my gardening posts on Facebook. After taking a few Horticulture classes at Iowa State University I now  have a green thumb. I don’t know if I necessarily believe that but confidence is key right!? haha.

4. Fishing


I have been fishing a few times this Summer and I have my pole in my car ready to go for next time! I enjoy the calm, stillness of the water and the pure enjoyment I receive just by being outside. You would be surprised how active fishing can be!

5. Running/Walking


Running is one of my favorite forms of fitness. I love challenging and pushing myself to go further. Running at school verses home looks different. I have to be a little more cautious when jogging at home. The hills and country roads can be dangerous so watch out for me and other runners on your way home!

6. Exploring


I found this trail in Ames and my oh my was it beautiful! Last week my friend Mo and I hiked around lake McBride; we got to talking and time just flew. Stumbling across trails can be an excellent way to reach 10,000 steps.

7. Dancing


Kassie and I went out dancing and I achieved 10,000 steps within an hour!! Enough said 🙂

8. Chores


Being a farm kid generates a lot of steps! Opening gates, walking buckets of feed to the bunks, and filling tanks can tire a person but trust me I wouldn’t trade it for the world! Chores might look different from person to person but laundry, dishes, and cleaning is a great way to reach your goals.

9. Biking


I am looking forward to taking this puppy out tonight!! I loving adding bicycling to my workout schedule. It is a great change of pace!!

10. Boxing/Home Workout


We have a kick boxing set in the basement and even though I am not that good I love getting down there just to throw a good punch! It is a great stress reliever and is fun to try moves I saw on “Never Back Down” haha.


Balance is Healthy

Good Morning Picking Wild Flowers. I slept fantastic with my Fitbit reading a magical 8 hours!!!! I feel refreshed and ready for the day with coffee in hand! 🙂 Waking up this morning I had an intuition to write about balance. I usually get so down on myself when I fall off the bandwagon; when I indulge, can’t fit a workout in, or the scale isn’t moving but this morning I am feeling happy with my progress!


I am encouraging myself to live a balanced life! Trying to create healthy habits does not mean losing out on late night ice cream runs! It means working to be healthy 80% of the time. My mom is my role model when it comes to truly living out this statement! She has always motivated me to eat healthy and has taught me the importance of balance. Growing up it wasn’t about diets with her,  it was about family goals. “Okay guys we are going to cut back on pop as a family” It was never about singling one person out to lose weight.

This is what an average balanced week looks like for me! It will look different for every individual.

Pic 2

I always start my morning with coffee and either oatmeal (mixed with powder peanut butter) or cereal (usually frosted flakes or honey nut cheerios).


Throughout my day I try to get an average goal of 10,000 steps in and I track this with my Fitbit. Like the picture shows I love to run but sometimes I achieve this goal with Zumba, kickboxing, or hitting up the rec center.


I often take my lunch with me to work or class  which includes a protein shake or green smoothie, salad, bagel, or sandwich. This week Megan and I bought an abundance of salad supplies so guess what I had 😉 Next week I will enjoy eating something different haha.



But a girl has got to have some fun in her routine so on Wednesday Megan and I met our friend Kelsey  for frozen yogurt and last night Adriane and I went out for Mexican and I may have got a margarita. 😉  Perks of being 21!

Pic 33

This morning I am sipping my coffee and making a sausage, hash-brown skillet! It is smelling fantastic so I better scurry but remember BALANCE is what is healthy!




Motivation after SPRING BREAK

941056_10208105324704582_7294224389125532892_n Getting motivated after SPRING BREAK!!! Finishing up a week of fun and relaxation may make it hard to feel motivated but I am anticipating my classes and looking forward to wrapping up the semester. Being back in Ames has already improved my eating and workout habits. I am back to a routine that I walk through on a daily basis. This morning I woke up and enjoyed my last day off. I had a cup of coffee and switched a load of laundry but as soon as Good Morning America was over; I was back at it. Beginning homework and projects that are due next week and working on a few work assignments. For lunch I will enjoy a V-Core Protein Shake with Multipure nutrition to add an extra boost to my immune system. Motivation starts with just jumping in and that is what I plan to do after a week of no structure. 🙂 Want to know more about my workout routine? Comment below and I would be happy to chat with you.



Today CURVES is on my agenda. I am looking forward to getting strength training in. It has been a few days and I am feeling slow and sluggish. It amazes me what activity does to your body!! I feel lighter and more flexible with everything I do!!

Just remember college students- or anyone who has taken a break from reality- to get back into routine is all about moderation. Allow yourself to ease back into strict structure. Don’t be hard on yourself and be FLEXIBLE. The most important thing you can do is to listen to your body and give yourself the best nutrition to fuel your body.




As a college student with a crazy schedule I appreciate my work having a wellness center available to all employees. I have taken full advantage of this perk throughout my time at Iowa Farm Bureau. They really strive for employee happiness and well being. I only know that my schedule will get busier and busier as I inch closer to independence therefore I am taking control of my health now.

Kelsey, one of the wellness coaches, sent a #MondayMotivation list for us to keep in mind throughout the week. She had a paragraph next to each one describing the wellness goal. I took all key words and thought about what they mean to me personally. Do my goals align? And how do I see myself in each category.

My Thoughts:

  1. Be an Optimist. Particularly this year I have attempted to be an optimist. I have found that I am my happiest when I take things in strive. I have many things to be thankful for and I try to count my blessings as the day goes on. This is also one of the hardest things to remember when I am running on minimal sleep and working on homework till 10:00 pm on a Sunday night.
  2. Have Hope. In today’s society it may be hard to have hope but I have realized that things get accomplished when I have hope. It also makes me want to jump out of bed to go make my goals happen. Having hope generally makes a person happier.
  3. Accept Yourself. Self-Image is a powerful thing. When Kelsey placed this as one of her goals for employees I wasn’t sure if I would have anything to say under this category. It is a personal topic and I tend to stay away from personal issues on the internet but I am learning to be more independent and I believe college is helping me to become confident in my personality, image, and value.
  4. Stay Connected. Social media, connecting with others, and building a online community has been a positive addition to my motivation. My blog and social media is helping me to stay accountable for all things I care passionately about! Faith, Farm, Fitness, and Food (cooking and eating healthy).
  5. Express Gratitude. Appreciating all those around me is a little hard to do when I am in my own little bubble but when I think about expressing gratitude I need to thank my parents, family and friends who keep my happy and motivated to achieve all I am destined to do.
  6. Find Your Purpose and Meaning. College is helping me to find my purpose and meaning in life. I have built a closer relationship with God and it is nice knowing that he has a plan for me (even if I don’t know what that is yet). Agriculture has played a big role in finding my place.
  7. Master Your Environment. Mastering my environment is similar to taking daily events in strive. An Ag Leaders session taught me that there are at least 10 different ways to look at one circumstance. It is not the events in our life that defines us, it is the way we act that determines who we are.
  8. Exercise Regularly. This is one of the most important categories to me in this list. I have made it a habit to exercise on a daily basis and I have seen an incredible improvement in my motivation to achieve all my goals. They say exercising generates positive thinking and I believe this to be 100 percent true! I get crabby when I don’t get the chance to workout.
  9.  Practice Mindfulness. The definition of practicing mindfulness is to be in the moment. Megan and I have been working on phrasing our statements to say we are looking forward to… verse we can’t wait… Changing this little word means that I am excited for the future but I am happy with where I am today.



Extreme Revolution- Workout Addition

Hey guys! I hope everyone is having a fantastic week! The start of the semester has been busy, but I am determined to post once a week! I can do this!!

Just to let everyone know my new healthy lifestyle has had its challenges, (especially when I want to go back to my usual habits of sipping hot cocoa/marshmallows while I power through my homework) but I have yet to stumble and I believe my blog will help keep me accountable! Ever since I got my Fitbit for Christmas (thank you grandma)! I have been able to keep track of my steps, water intake, sleep, and food!

So what is the Extreme Revolution- Workout Addition you may ask!?!? Well, I have the opportunity to intern with one of the best organizations in Agriculture. I have learned so much through my experience and I am excited to see what the future holds. An added perk to the internship includes a gym and a personal trainer. That’s right! A personal trainer for all employees. The trainers offer classes morning, lunch and evenings. With New Years behind us and resolutions in the works, the trainers are offering extreme workout classes. I thought, this is going to be perfect! Ill get my workout in during lunch and I will feel great for Spring. Trust me, I enjoyed the session, but I had to talk myself out of laying down in the middle of the gym haha. Anyone who wants to join the journey with me is more than welcome! Below is the cardio session I attended with other workouts incorporated.

Warm up for 10-15 minutes to allow your muscles time to adjust.


Here is where it gets fun! 🙂

3 sets

30 second killers

30 second high knees

30 second shuffles

30 second high jumps


Repeat 2 more times- resting in between each set

3 Sets 

30 second plank sprints (Planking and sprinting every 5 seconds)

30 second bur-pees

30 second moon crawls (Sticking your butt in the air and walking on all fours)

30 second plank


Repeat 2 more times-resting in between each set

Walk 2 laps


Let me know your thoughts! Thanks for checking out Picking Wild Flowers!