Sunday, January 20, 2013

Iowa Farm Bureau's Women In Denim Conference

This weekend I attended the Northwest Iowa Farm Bureau's Women in Denim Conference. I wasn't sure what to expect going in to it, but I had a great time! 

I went with a couple friends, Beth and Alesha, from my county Farm Bureau. They both have farm operations of their own with their family's and we were all looking forward to a weekend away!

They were looking forward to getting away from their husbands and kids. I was just ready for my phone to stop ringing.

Ahh, life of a single girl :)

First we went antique shopping where I was able to exercise my extreme bartering skills score a sweet deal.

Thanks, Dad, for teaching me that everything is a negotiation! 

I found this old tractor seat chair

and this old egg basket.

I'm strongly considering expanding my farm operation and getting myself chickens for my backyard. I'm sure my neighbors would appreciate them as much as I appreciate their dogs. :)

We heard from a great guest speaker who spoke about being married to a farmer and raising kids on the farm. She wasn't from a farm originally and had grown up in the city. She had so many funny stories of her adventures of learning how to live on the farm. I'll let your imaginations go with this one, but she told stories about warming piglets up in the middle of winter, disking for the first time, and pulling a calf with her husband. All hilarious.

It was refreshing to know that I'm not the only one that can't figure out what the heck those hand signals mean that my Dad does when hes waving his hands all around everywhere.

Then we ate. A lot.

The conference was held at Buena Vista University in Storm Lake and I was quickly reminded of why it was so easy to gain that "freshman fifteen thirty."


Apparently it was completely necessary to give us not one, not two, but THREE pieces of cheesecake?


So, we drank.

This could possibly be my new favorite wine. It's strawberry rhubarb. De-lish!

There were tons of workshops we could attend. The workshops ranged from Crop Insurance Basics to How to Organize Your Closet. Since I consider myself pretty well versed in the in's and out's of basic agriculture practices, I opted for the cooking, painting and crafting type workshops, since those are fun too. 

One of the workshops I found quite interesting was called "Freezer Meals." The whole goal of freezer meals is making 10-30 meals all at once, freezing them, then cooking as you want to eat them either in the crockpot while you're at work or thawing in the fridge all day and throwing them in the oven when you get home from work. This will ultimately save you money and keep you organized. I could imagine if you have a husband and kids this will also retain your sanity?

I think it will work great for me, since I cook for only one 99% of the time, and I'm busy and don't want to spend hours in the kitchen every night. I will make a whole bunch of meals one day and put them into smaller freezer packages, freeze them, then cook them as I want them instead of eating the same meal 8 times in a row and getting sick of it.

Six Sisters posted about this concept on their blog if you are interested in reading more. 

I also now NEED (yes this is a need, not just a want) this crockpot. Mine overcooks things and EVERYTHING sticks to it. I know I would use my crockpot so much more if I had one I liked using.

I did win a $25 gift card at the conference this weekend (heck yes!!) and my boss gave me a $25 gift card at work on Friday for being awesome (double heck yes!!!) so maybe this bad boy will be my splurge with my new gift cards!

But what do you guys think?

Aren't these shoes adorable?


I'll let you know how this adventure goes :) I'm going to try to lighten up the recipes as much as I can, and I'll share them with you all if they are any good.

The other workshop I attended that I really enjoyed was a painting workshop. They sold Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, and shared techniques on how to paint furniture as well as different techniques you can use depending upon the style you are going for.

What's so cool about this paint (and I wish I would have had this before I started my last DIY project - stay tuned, I'll share that one soon!) is that you don't need to prime or sand. You literally just wash the piece of furniture off with soap and water, and start painting. It doesn't matter the surface weather it be solid hardwood or the cheap-o plastic vinyl, it will work on it all!

Needless to say I'm pretty excited for it to warm up outside so I can attack my dresser with the quart of Old White and Clear Soft Wax I purchased :)

It was a fun, inspirational and calorie-laden weekend at Women in Denim. Can't wait to get started on my next projects in my kitchen and garage and get to the gym to work off these excess calories I ate this weekend! 

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