Thursday, May 31, 2012

Corn Report | The Numbers Behind Farming

I have a Purfeerst Farms corn progress report planned for everyone soon, but in the mean time, I wanted to share this infographic from the Illinois Corn Corps blog. It was created by Erin Ehnle, who is the talented designer behind Keeping It Real: Through The Lens Of A Farm Girl – you have probably have seen some of her work floating around social media sites, but if not, go look now. She does an awesome job of creating simple, effective infographics explaining the basics of rural life and has quickly gained an impressive following on Facebook and Pinterest. She makes "agvocating" that much easier for all the rest of us.

Remember in our last crop report (you can read it here) and I mentioned how much "risk" it took to just put the plant in the ground? And then, you wait months and pray that Mother Nature doesn't throw a drought, hail, or straight-line winds at you before you get anything back This graphic does an awesome job of explaining what I meant -- much better than I ever could. It really is all about loving what you do. Take a look!

Plus, I thought it was interesting how Mark's family almost fits the "average farmer. I think Jim is right around 57 and their farm has been in the family for over 3 generations. It's nice to keep those tradition going. Luckily, Matt & Mark are helping bring that average age down a few years! :)

If you have any questions on any of this, just leave me a comment and maybe my contributing editor (who still has done no contributing!) will help me find an answer. And, of course, make sure to go to take a look at Erin's Keeping It Real page on Facebook and give her a like!

And one last reminder, today is the LAST day to enter my birthday giveaway! I'd love for you to become a follower and enter! Click here to enter.


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Wednesday Wisdom | Too Smart

Isn't this the truth? This week, I am not going to be one the holding myself back. Hopefully, neither are you!

Have a great Wednesday, friends! The weekend is almost here....

By the way, don't forget to enter my birthday giveaway here!

Just keep swimming, just keep swimming... :) 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Hey Pretty Ladies! | Photos From The Pasture

This last weekend Mark and I spent our Saturday afternoon at the farm, like we do almost every weekend. Mark does not do townhome life well and every single chance he gets, he scoots away to the farm to the walk the pigs, wash heifers or spend some time in the tractor. And our weekends, usually always involve a trip to both of our parents to check on calves and help around the farm.

So, while Mark worked on breaking a new heifer, I grabbed my camera and snapped some pictures of the cows out on pasture. Because a majority of these cows spent their younger life in the show ring, they are super laid back and they easily let me wander around and take pictures. Plus, if a show heifer ever does get aggressive and protective after she has her first calf, she usually doesn't stick around in the herd for long. It's just not safe.

As a result, I was able to get a lot of fun pictures. In fact, I think it was more like 100+ fun pictures, but in our house, a certain someone could look at pictures of cattle for it worked out okay.

Some of my favorites are below and I added captions with some basic explanations. I know a lot of you who read my blog come from an ag background, but as Kate from At Home When I'm With You reminded me this week, not everybody does, so I tried to keep it simple! Let me know if you have any questions!

{In my opinion, beef cows have the good life. Give them sunshine, green grass and some water and they will happily lounge the day away. Check out the baby calf between the cows -- doesn't that look like bliss?!?}

{The front two are my favorite calves out of Molly this year. Molly is our donor cow who consistently produces great offspring, so we collect her embryos to put into other cows so they can raise a calf for her. It's kind of like a surrogate mother and it's an extremely efficient & quick way to improve our herd's genetics. These two calves are full sisters out of the bull, Silveira Style, and they're also full sisters to the heifer Mark gave me for our wedding. I can't wait to see how they are looking in the fall!}

{the calves were so curious about my camera and kept striking poses for me. Must mean a show career ahead?}

{"Hey, wait, I am not finished!" -- After spending about an hour out in the pasture, I decided these calves are spoiled rotten. They never get denied supper and you should she see how aggressive they are when they are nursing. Gentle isn't in their vocabulary when they are hungry. I hope it's not like that when I become a mom! This heifer calf was born in late February and she will nurse off her mother until she is "weaned" in September or early October.}

{can you tell she's one of my favorites!? Mark's family raises Angus (a breed of cattle that are normally all black), so when we get any color in the herd from our crossbred cows, we have a soft spot for them. I've labeled her our red-headed step child!}

{Eli is another favorite. Eli is a bull calf out of Matt's show heifer last year. We always breed our heifers to calving-ease bulls so they don't have any problems having their first calf, but Eli redefined calving ease. He was TINY. Luckily he is growing fast and Eli will either eventually be sold as a bull so he can breed other cows or he will become a steer (a castrated male) and we will either A. show him or B. raise him for meat.}

{Here's the Style calf that I mentioned above getting her supper. A good productive cow has one calf each year. Typically, she will have her calf in the early spring, nurse the calf all summer on pasture and then we wean her in the early fall and the whole process will happen again the next year. A cow's gestation cycle is just like a human - nine months!}
So the day in a life of cow-calf pair at Purfeerst Farms is pretty cushy, huh? 

Like I said, if you have any questions, just let me know. Next time, I will try to get some pictures of our Hereford cows at my parents. I used to be one of those people who would fight that my Hereford cattle were better than Angus any day, but since I married in, I am a lot more open minded! :)


Monday, May 28, 2012

A Birthday Giveaway!

I'm officially 24. Wahhooo!

I have been talking about doing a little giveaway for a few weeks because I finally hit the big 5-0 on followers. And I couldn't think of a better day to do it then today as a birthday celebration.

By the way, if you haven't checked out my almost-too-practical birthday wish list, you can find it here. 

 So what's on the docket for a giveaway? This adorable key fob!

If you didn't know this about me, I am a bit of a crafter ("bit" might be an understatement) and I also have this unhealthy obsession with beautiful fabric. When I found these key fobs on Pinterest before Christmas, I knew they would make the perfect gift for everyone on my gift list. So, I got my bestie on board, we made some adjustments so we had our own pattern and then we whipped up a bunch. Plus, now, every time, either one of us step into a fabric store, we have a perfectly good excuse to buy a few more gorgeous fat quarters. Perfect, right?

The beauty above is up for grabs today in the birthday giveaway! I love throwing it in my work bag so I can easily find my keys when I need them or it's a cute way to just carry your keys solo without a purse! And if anyone is interested in one even if you don't win, just let me know. I have quite a few in my arsenal and I would happily sell a few to happy customers! They are perfect for a little birthday gift (especially a new driver!) or a "just because" gift for a friend.

So, how do you enter!?

 It's super easy. Just become a follower of Cows, Corn & Country Girls via Google Friend Connect or the email subscribe and leave me a comment saying you are. If you already are a follower (thank you, thank you, thank you!), just leave a comment!

You also can receive two extra entries if you blog about this giveaway or if you tweet about it (mention @jamielmay!). Then come back here and leave a separate comment for each entry!

The giveaway will be open until Thursday evening and I will announce a winner on Friday! Make sure you don't comment as "anonymous" and if you don't have an email connected to your profile, make sure to check back Friday AM. Thanks for being such great friends and readers!

**Reminder, you need to leave a comment to be entered!**

Now, I am off to celebrate 24 years of life! :)



Saturday, May 26, 2012

Birchbox -- XOXO, Gossip Girl

After what seemed like FOREVER, I finally got my first Birchbox.
Disclaimer: This post it all Birchbox and makeup, so if you are come to CCC for cows & life updates, it might not be the post for you. Regardless though, I love having you stop by! :)

Actually, I got it two Fridays ago. But I couldn't find time to post about it. But to be realistic, I probably didn't make time to post about it because I still have mixed feelings on it.

I literally was expecting this a package of greatness...and I honestly was a little underwhelmed.

{this month's birchbox was a gossip girl special edition, which I am not ashamed to admit is my favorite show.}
Don't get me wrong, anything Gossip Girl makes my "good list," so the packaging alone was fun. But, I will be the brat that admits that I thought it would be bigger. Because in a hold-nothing-back attitude, it was kind of small. I guess a good blog photographer can make it look like a shoebox, but folks, I won't 8-month-old nephew's shoes probably wouldn't even inside.

But, let's get back to that glass-half-full outlook.

If you are a marketing nerd like me, you value good packaging and it had that. And, I am already brainstorming the ways I can reuse the box. I am thinking necklaces for when I travel? Plus, it came the Friday before GG season finale. Which, on a side note, I did not like. What happened!?

Here are the goodies I got:

{Arquiste L'Etrog, Dr. Jart+ Water Fuse Beauty Balm SPF 25+, Color Club® Foil Collection, beautyblender® blendercleanser, Twistband Skinny Headband 6-pack}
So far, I have mostly good reviews of what I actually received. The perfume smells yummy and I do need some new perfume, but I think after trying it, it won't be my pick. I haven't tried the beautyblender® cleanser yet, because I literally just bought a huge bottle of MAC brush cleaner, but I am going to give it a try because I am afriad the MAC stuff is making me break out (has anyone experienced that before?). The note card is cute and I will definitely find a use for it and the I wish I would have got a colored Twistband, but the black one does work well

Now for my bad review, Dr. Jart+ receives an F. Honestly, I don't know if there was anything in it! It's a tiny bottle to start with, but I can NOT get anything out of it besides a dribble, which doesn't really let me test it well.

However, the A+ goes to the Color Club Nail Polish. I love, love, love it. One coat & you have a gorgeous sparkly gold. If I wasn't planning on getting a manicure on Saturday, all of my nails would be painted gold right this istance. It might be something I actually by a full bottle of -- has anyone used it before? You can click here to buy it.

So...mixed reviews I guess!?  After reading alot of other blogs, I found out it's really important to have your profile accurate, so I am working on that. Regardless, I am not giving up on it yet.  I really do think it was worth if for the nail polish and brush cleaner (and the excitement of getting something fun in the mail). And, everyone seems to get a different box. I am personally waiting out for the Dior mascara some other people got or the full-size Essie nail wallet knows that would be worth it. Want to try it? You can sign up here. I'd love to have another friend do it so we can compare what we get in real life!

Any other Birchboxers out there? How was your box this month? Share a link to your blog if you posted about it! 


Friday, May 25, 2012

Turning 24! A Birthday Wish List

I am turning the big 2-4 on Monday and I couldn't be more excited.

I am sure we have talked about this before, but birthdays are a really big deal to me. I love spoiling people on their big day -- regardless if you are 3 or 82, in my opinion, birthdays are meant to be celebrated.

I think it's because I love giving gifts. I am a 100% positive it's my dominant "love language" if you have read that book. And since I love giving gifts, I also love getting them.

I have been trying to come up with a birthday wish list for the last week and have been hitting a wall. Last year, I came up with a fabulous list and lucky me, throughout the year, I got 4 out of 5. And, I had a slightly over-the-top Pinterest Christmas List that served me well, too.

Maybe I am spoiled or maybe it's this frugal mindset I have been trying to implement in our household lately, but I can't think of anything extravagant to make the list.

I mean there is no doubt in my mind that I would take any of these lovelies...

But the fact is, I don't really need any of these and I also don't think anyone who is birthday shopping for me is making a trip to the MOA where all these beauties live anytime soon.

So, while I can admit this is much too practical for my own good, my realistic birthday gift list includes a fan for my office, sunglasses, a printer, candles, someone to vacuum my car for me and that my husband sits down so we seriously discuss a trip to Europe. Plus, I am hoping for a glass of wine or a cold Blue Moon on a patio somewhere and it would be nice to see my Grandma.

Well, actually, I also am hoping one of the million blogs that I entered to win a Silhouette Cameo on this week will let me win it this time.

Is this what birthdays after 23 are like!? Do we simply wish for office fans & printers?! Is this what I have to live for for the next 70+ years?

Okay enough, I know.

Dramatics aside, I am thoroughly looking forward to relaxing and maybe if I don't get surprised with a beautiful new watch, I will make it my own little birthday gift to me next week. :)

Plus, Momma May gave me the best birthday gift ever when she decided to have me on May 28th -- almost always it means a day off work like this year.

Happy Friday! Enjoy your long, fabulous weekend.


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Wednesday Wisdom | Smile When It's Raining

Happy Hump Day Friends!

As I cruised my Pinterest boards for a little Wednesday Wisdom for us all, I somehow got hooked on this one. (I think it's because I am tired and praying for rain so I can skip volleyball and relax with my hubby. That sounds fantastic to me....).

Regardless, today's words of wisdom has always been my mantra. No need to complain about a little rain -- especially when your counting on Mother Nature to take care of your corn & soybeans. Figuratively speaking though, I live by it as well. Every misadventure is an adventure. Right?

It reminds me of the time in France when we blindly walked eight miles along a freeway (even going single-file on this tiny on ramp with cars speeding by) to our hotel in a random little town because the buses had just shut down when we got there. We had just spent the day at the most beautiful beach in the world and everyone was sunburnt, hungry and tired. I even think it was starting to rain and we had no idea if we were even going the right way because French maps are impossible to understand. And I, of course, was the annoying girl who thought it was a fantastic adventure. 

So if you like to smile when it's raining, we are officially friends. I thoroughly believe we all need a little more optimism in our lives.

And plus, if it rains tonight, I will have time to blog about the million other things I want to blog about...and hang out with my you can bet that I will be smiling. :)



Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Quick Catch Up - Eric Church

Hey Friends-

Just stopping by to say a super quick hello. Busy, busy, busy.

Such is life. Which is quickly becoming my go-to-saying that I personally believe everyone hates to hear. Such is life!? Is that glass half full or half empty thinking? I think it's half full, but I am open for opinions.

Anyway, since I am sure you were on the edge of your seats waiting to hear about EC, I needed to quick stop in and tell you he was amazing. Great music. Awesome friends. Cute husband. Gorgeous night. And, just the right amount of fun so I could productively roll into work the next AM.

You can call that a success.

Here's some iPhone pics:

{Lyssa & I}
{brantley gilbert}
{gorgeous girls!}
{playing Springsteen to end the show. So good.}
And just to prove that my husband was actually there, here is a highly-edited picture so you could at least see our faces and not a black blob. I was going to upload the photo of our 2 am McDs stop, but he didn't think it was his best look. Bless his soul for stopping for fries and a shake though... :)

If Dana ever gets around to uploading her pictures, maybe I will share some better ones, but until then...just plan on experiencing it yourself soon.

By the way, I have plenty in store for you this week. A report on my favorite ladies out in the pasture, a review of my May Birchbox and finally that giveaway I promised. And cross your fingers that I can wrap up the social media post before next week, too! Can't wait!



Friday, May 18, 2012

High Five For Friday | #Blessed

Hey All,

It's that day of the week again. Yes!

I'm linking up with Lauren @ From My Grey Desk for High Five For Friday because the little things are worth celebrating.

The MN Twins |  Let's be clear on this: currently, the Twins stink big time. Worst in the league kind of stink, but that means super cheap tickets on StubHub and since I am paying for that gorgeous stadium with my tax dollars, I might as well take advantage of it! Right?

Great friends + Legends Club + Twins Baseball = A Perfect Monday Night.

Social Media | It's no secret that I am a social media nerd. It weirdly excites me. As does advertising campaigns, online analytical numbers, and PR success stories (and fails). I know, call me what you like, but there is a reason I picked this profession. Anyways, I have found some great SM (yes, I am even that nerdy that I abbreviate it) stats and ideas that week that completely motivated me. So much so that I have a whole blog post in the works.

Did you know that the average Facebook user spends seven hours and 45 minutes on the social network each month? And you can quadruple that number for me. (I am getting paid for it people, don't judge!)

Life Changes | Two of my long-time BFF's have had some big life changes in the last few months – job, engagement, baby – that deserved celebration. Pizza, spumante, the lake and catching up? Nothing is better.

{I am a sucker for anything mini -- this bottle of champagne was too cute!}
Husband | I am not being sappy when I write this (I actually hate all things sappy), just realistic – this week Marko has been pretty great. He spent two nights in the tractor while I got to have all the fun (side note - digging is fun, just not Twins game & girls night type of fun), and the first night his butt wasn't glued to the seat, he helped me clean the house. He deserves some type of award, but by the time he reads this, the size of his head will be enough. :)

Chief | A lot of things battled for this 5th spot, but I am pretty sure that Eric Church at the Target Center is going to take the prize. I am admittedly writing this on Thursday because there is no way after a night at EC that I would want to get up & post, but am confident that this concert will be the highlight of my week.


I can't say it enough, I am blessed with so many good things!

Happy Friday!


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Passing On The Liebster Award Love

Paying forward the blog love.

My new friend Kati @ Incorporating Color was sweet enough to nominate me for the Liebster Award, which after a little research, I discovered is a fun pass-along recognition for up&coming blogs. I was honored that little old Cows, Corn & County (which I keep almost abbreviating to CCC -- do you hate it!?) made her list.

Kati's a fellow Minnesotan who's been transplanted a few times and she always surprises me with the nicest comments! It's great to have a supporter that's not my Mom and as an added bonus, she's a fellow Vince Flynn fan. Here's to girls who love boy books! Check out her blog here. If you like consistency in your blog schedule, she's your go-to-girl. I'm trying to become half as good as her!

The rules of the Liebster is that you have to pass it along to five up and coming blogs you love once you receive it and I had no problem picking out some favorites, as I recently added some new blogs to my reader list.

In no particular order, I highly advise you to visit:

Katie @ At Home When I'm With You -- First, you will be impressed with her gorgeous blog design and then you will be blown away by her DIY skills. Plus, her Takin', Fakin' & Makin' posts are super fun.

Nicole @ Nicole.Starr -- Nicole and I have an a ton in common, which means following her blog is a ton of fun. You'll get lots of cattle pictures and a good fill of cowboy boots, plus all the other ins and outs of being a young professional in our field. And if you look today, she's even got a delicious beef recipe. Yum! I got to meet her IRL last week. We definitely didn't get to chat enough, but I'm sure we'll meet again!

Steph @ The Sweet Life -- Plain & simple, The Sweet Life makes me want to be southern belle. Plus, I love her It's Okay posts.

Whitney @ The Observant Turtle -- Whitney keeps it light and fun all the time, which is just my style. Plus, I am motivated by her attempts to take fashion risks and blog about it. It's my next goal in my blog life.

Kate @ The Anniversary Home -- Last, but not least is Kate at The Anniversary Home. I'm now her Instagram friend as well (follow me! @jamielmay) and she just got some new adorable puppies, which might be why she's been MIA lately, but I am expecting a blog about them soon!

And now, according to my research, I am supposed to list 5 random facts about myself. Which, since I am a pretty random person, this is almost too easy. :)

1. I don't think I will ever be satisfied in life. I am one of those people, that while I know I am extremely blessed in so many ways, will always want more. And, I actually think that's a good thing.
2. I once won a thousand dollars because a cow pooped on my square. I swear I can win the most random things, but I couldn't win a blog giveaway for the life of me.
3. I hate hanging up clothes more than anything I know.
4. I am moderately deaf in one ear & I blame my inability to swim on it. Confused? Maybe one day I will explain it.
5. I barely break the 5-foot mark and I hate wearing high-heels. What's my problem?

Thanks for passing on the Liebster love, Kati!


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Lazy Wednesday!?

Yes, please.

Hi! My name is Jamie and I currently have the messiest house ever, desperately need to go grocery shopping and have a stack of laundry a mile high. AKA, I have a million things to do. And that doesn't even include the actual work I could be doing.

But, my hubby is working so there is currently no one holding me accountable. So instead, I am browsing through photo galleries, watching Storage Wars (the highest-quality television program ever) and dreaming about new purses while listening to Eric Church on Pandora. I will even admit that I am seriously contemplating running to the store to buy Oreos. Oh, and did I mention that I am drinking one of my hubby's Bud Light Lime?

You can't forget that when your making a mental picture of my momentarily worthless self. :)

A girl needs a few moments like this once and a while, right? It's good for my sanity.

I've been MIA from the bloggersphere for approximately one week now. Sorry, but remember I made a vow that life would always come first? I am just holding up my end of the bargain.

But don't you worry your little soul, I will be back tomorrow with a more more worthwhile post.

Until then, let me share a little bit of the greatness that I get to listen to live tomorrow night. 

It's perfectly okay to be jealous.


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Crop Report | Raining Cats & Dogs

I'll confess, I'm not a pro at this crop thing. I am a cattle girl who married into corn and soybeans and I am learning all of this right along with you.

Don't get me wrong, I understand the process of growing crops. My family's house has always been surrounded by my uncle's fields and I was a proud member of Randolph FFA where Ed Terry taught me everything I needed to know, but it's a lot different when it's your money and investment in the ground. I finally get what those economists mean when they talk about "risk."

And I got a little nervous about that risk this last weekend.

From Thursday to Sunday, we got a lot of rain in Southern Minnesota. More like a ton of rain. In fact, I was up at 2 am on Saturday night praying that it would just slow down. Farmers like rain, they don't like flash floods.

However, keep bringin us sunshine for the next week like Mr. Weatherman says and we should survive. Listen to me...I might as well go hang out at the Kenyon coffee shop and gossip about Mother Nature with the veterans.
{Remember these pictures? I took these new ones on Saturday. A lot can change in 5 days!}

By the way, my contributing editor who has done absolutely no contributing to date, said it would be great if I counted how many plants were in a row and how many rows there were so I could tell you the exact number of plants in the above picture. Sounds like fun right? If you have time to do it, let me know what you figure out. I might even give you a contributing editor title. :)

Just keep growing, just keep growing...

Until next time,


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Wednesday Wisdom

Don't settle.

It's Wednesday. Who doesn't need a little motivation? And today, there is no one better to turn to then Steve Jobs.

It's no secret, the man was a genius in all senses. And today, I am taking his advice. I am not going to settle.

'As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it."

Happy Hump Day Friends! Hope this was the extra motivation you needed!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Simple & Fabulous | Weekend Review

We had a simple & fabulous weekend.

And I am keeping my weekend recap the same.

{Since my husband didn't know you could make homemade pizza, I whipped him us a fabulous bbq chicken pizza. yum.}
{my husband was gone on Sunday, which meant a craft day & a messy spare bedroom for me!}
{we celebrated our 6-month anniversary with rainy garage sales & wine. perfecto.}
{no more wimpy grill for mark anymore! It only took him 3 hours to put together....}
{we went completely domestic and planted flowers. now, hopefully they grow!}
{Mark decided to stretch his boundaries and try wasabi peas. I am not ashamed to admit that I am too scared to try them.}
{Do you see the corn? it's still growing!}

See, simple and fabulous. Real words can't even do it justice. 

Cross your fingers that the next five days fly by!