Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Farm Girl vs Fashion Girl

As I sat back and tried to think of a blog for this week I got this picture sent to me !
What does this represent?  Pretty much me in a nutshell!  Chanel glasses, a Shelley Seagal dress, pearl earrings and rubber boots! It really captures everything that is me.

What is the purpose of today’s blog? That you can be a farm girl and not sacrifice being a girly girl too.  I had the opportunity on this very special day to travel to San Luis Obispo, a lovely little community on the coast to speak to the Sigma Alpha Professional Agricultural  Sorority.  It was a terrific morning where I shared my passion for agriculture with some amazing young women dedicated to the future of our industry.  They were fun, passionate and smart!  I truly loved the time I got to share with them.  Like any other speaking event I enjoy wearing a dress, I think they are fun and classy and look nice when you have to appear before a group.  Just my opinion~ and this day I picked a fun little number I found at the Saks 5th Ave outlet, it is a Laundry by Shelley Seagal shift in various shades of blue ~ I love it . I paired it with black high sandals and pearl earrings, not too over the top but I thought a nice choice to speak to a bunch of girls.

After my speaking fun I travelled back home but wanted to take the opportunity to swing by a good friends home to see her daughters hog she had for the county fair.  Lucky for me Jo had a pair of rubber boots in my size that I popped right on in trade for the strappy sandals and headed to the hog barn.  It did not take me long to hop in the pen with RB (short for red boy) and check it all out.  It was like I had come home. Just a great break that really cut up the drive travelling back home.

So what exactly is my point with all of this ~ I never sacrifice being a girly girl when I can. I love dress up and accessories and fun stuff but underneath I am as farm girl as they come, never hesitating to jump into a pig pen to get in where all the action is.  Being a farm girl is at the core of who I am, you can dress me up but you can’t take that away from me!  Clothing is a decoration for personality, but it’s what’s on the inside that makes you who you are!

Blessed that I found a balance between fashionista and farm girl!

Hopefully my time spent with the amazing ladies of Sigma Alpha showed them just that ~  You dont have to sacrifice one love for another ~

Until next time ~

Friday, April 13, 2012

Just a Farmers Daughter

What's new? What's on trend? What should I wear to this or that?
These are just a few questions we tend to tackle each week on Fashion Friday at the Couture Cowgirl.  But sometimes we need to hop over to my first love ~ The Family Farm, MY family farm. 

I had the opportunity this past week to guest blog for Just Farmers Just Farmers is a digital sandbox for those interested in using conversations, relationships and community to harness the power of humanity’s inner want for social interaction in all forms. This is what my farmer friends had to say about their site it is " a play on our everyday profession as Farmers we have created “Just Farmers…”. Just Farmers is not specifically about the agricultural meaning of farmer and really is a more broad look at how through the use of different social channels conversations are being grown into crops of relationshipsand the harvest are the communities brought together in the end.  More simply Just Farmers… includes those people interested in farming communities of engaged committed individual people by engaging in conversations." I was thrilled!  How exciting first of all to share my thoughts with a whole other audience and secondly to talk about something I truly loved.  I got quite a bit of feedback on my blog so decided that I needed to share with all of you ~ so here it goes~ I hope you enjoy it !

(yes this is me and dad)
I can’t remember a time growing up when our old ranch house did not have a baby calf on the back porch, a little lamb in the bathtub, stray kittens in the washroom or baby chicks under a heat lamp in the living room. Of course this was not all at once but it was a common occurrence.  That’s just what happened when you lived on a farm, right?  And being a farmers daughter I was there right alongside my dad nursing them back to health and finding a place for them in the world of our farm – A farmers daughter ~ nothing I loved more!
As I grew up I was proud to have the title of 4-H chapter president, National Junior Hereford Association director, College Ag Ambassador, and as time went on Marketing Manager of the company for which I worked, State president for California Women for Agriculture.  I strived to do my best in all that I did, making many friends along the way and leading as best I could trying to live up to the titles I was so very blessed and honored with.
As I started my journey in social media I again wanted to do my best, to share the story of my family farm, to engage in conversations with consumers, to build the bridge and assist in connecting the dots with those that might have questions about the industry I had come to love.  I wanted to be the best Agriculture Advocate I could possibly be! I wanted fellow social media friends to look to me for assistance, to be a resource for them. I wanted to be the first one to post an interesting story or comment when our livelihood was viewed in ill light.
And then one day I thought to myself ~ Why? This is not a competition.  Who am I?
I loved my  community of farmers and ranchers more than anything and wanted to know  what was the best way to represent them, I realized it was quite simple – by being ME , being who I am – a farmers daughter.  I wanted to continue to be a resource for fellow farmers and ranchers because I believe it is my moral obligation to share my story not only to represent my family farm but for those that might not feel comfortable expressing their thoughts.  I needed to listen to them, understand and share. I needed to reach out to consumers whenever I could, to engage in conversations, share my stories of farm life and why we do what we do because I have learned through my adventures in social media that people don’t buy into what you do but why you do it .  I am eager to celebrate not only what I do but what my fellow farmers and ranchers do too, encouraging others to do the same.
So what is my point?  Am I an agriculture AGvocate or not?  Do I need a title to describe the work I do for American Agriculture?  I used to think so but as of late I have come to the conclusion that I am just ok being a farmer’s daughter. For I learned about being the best representative for our industry that I could be through all of those baby calves and chickens and kitty cats-
I learned that:
1.                              life is not always fair – sometimes as much as I took care of an animal it died, life happens and so does  death
2.                              being a team player is important- I needed to work with dad to get the job done
3.                              key to success is people not information- everything is not in a book it is gained through experience
4.                              I have gained grace through the blessings God has given me
5.                              follow your heart and intuition in all that you do, especially when explaining to others what you do in farming

“I believe that each of us has an essence, a quality at the very core of our being that makes us who we are. It is what guides our thoughts, our feelings, our tastes; it sets us apart from everybody else. I believe that finding ways to express that essence is one of the greatest joys in life. What else is as satisfying as leaving your mark on something and making it your own. “
I wish these were my words but they are from Oprah Winfrey and I read them awhile back and have kept them close because I believe they help me in sharing my ag journey with others and I believe that they can help each and every one of you.  We all have a message, a story to tell.
So as we all struggle to find our place in telling our agriculture story I think it is important to just BE – be You – and don’t try so darn hard. For you have lived it and no one can take your stories and experiences away from you.

Friday, April 6, 2012

many happy returns ~ guest blog

Well today is a BIG day for The Couture Cowgirl ~ Why you ask?
Its our first ever guest blog!  I am really quite blessed by the circle of friends I have met via social media, many of whom I have yet to meet in person.  But sometimes you come across someone you just know will be your "real life" friend once you meet them.

 Aimee Whetstine is one of those special people.

I have followed Aimee and www.everydayepistle.com for almost a year now.  She peaked my interest because she was a young woman that was not entrenched in day to day agriculture like me but she stood up for farmers and ranchers like no other. When she did not know something about what we do she did her homework, she asked questions, she connected the dots, she created the conversation.

Thank you Aimee for being a tremendous advocate for American Agriculture, for having a faith that is contagious to all who read your blog, and for having that common sense approach so many of us are missing in our day to day life.    Enjoy our blog today as Aimee takes a try at a fashion  - "Many Happy Returns" caught my eye and thought it would fit perfectly in The Couture Cowgirl spot today.

I hope y'all enjoy Aimee as much as I do - follow her blog weekly at www.theeverydayepistle.com
I will guarantee it will bring a fresh perspective to your day.  Enjoy -

Until Next Time ~

Many Happy Returns - 

Returns. The ability to take things back. Don’t know how I would shop otherwise.
Sperry cute
The crazy town that is Macy’s during a shoe sale is no place to make a decision. It’s grab and go. Four pairs snagged at the pre-sale this past Saturday should be on their way to me from Kansas City as you read this.
Will I keep all four? Probably not. I don’t need them all. But I couldn’t decide in the store.
They all fit. All comfortable. All on sale. Allgorgeous. If I left them in Macy’s unspoken for, I risked losing them to another suitor.
Remember The Limited’s old return policy?No sale is ever final. Those were the days.
Now you have to watch and make sure you don’t overstay the time limit. Sixty days are standard for generous stores and online orders. Thirty at the trendsetters. And always, always, keep your receipts.
put me in, Coach
My method is three-pronged. Try on once I get home. Make a decision as soon as possible. Return upon deciding. Not a moment to lose. While there is still time for the credit to hit my charge card’s current billing cycle.
From the pages of their books and blogs, wardrobe consultants urge me to go in with a list. Shop the list. Buy only what’s on the list.
I had a list this past Saturday. Silver sandals,black sandalsother comfortable shoes.
Macy’s, however, did not get a copy of my list when they sent their buyers a-purchasing for spring 2012. Maybe it’s too early in the season for sandals. Maybe comfort is out this year.
Nothing was a perfect fit for my list. Nothing except for the four pairs that fell into the catch-all category other comfortable shoes.
Sam Edelman stripes done right
Buying and returning is not an efficient way to shop. Yet I think the wardrobe consultants would side against efficiency in this case.
They consistently tell me dressing stylishly and within your means takes an effort. It takes time. And it’s worth the investment.
As image consultant Brenda Kinsel writes in Brenda’s Bible: Escape Fashion Hell and Experience Heaven Every Time You Get Dressed, “You’re allowed to change your mind. It’s one of the redemptions you have in life… (p. 42)”
Redemption in shopping and returns.
Sold to the lady wearing the gorgeous shoes.
I have swept away your offenses like a cloud,
your sins like the morning mist.
Return to Me,
for I have redeemed you. Isaiah 44:22 NIV