Tuesday, August 25, 2015

GROWTH- A Prayer For Back To School

It's a new school year and it's a big one for us, our oldest daughter began middle school.  I've spent the last two months asking myself, how did this happen so fast?  Much to my surprise having a daughter in 6th grade has brought back some vivid memories for me, as if I was in middle school just yesterday.  I remember the mean girls, the popular girls, the smart girls, the athletic girls, the country girls and so on.  I can still feel the internal tug-of-war and the confusion of trying to figure out where I belonged, as if just being me wasn’t okay.   I have an anxious feeling within my soul, like my daughter's experience will be as confusing as mine.  

It really doesn't help that we just moved to a new town and our children are entering new schools for the second time in two years, that's an entire blog post in itself.  Just today during a particularly anxiety ridden time I was praying and contemplating the complexities of our situation.  During my daily run, I was listening to one of my go to podcasts, Midday Connection. I was very excited to listen because one of my favorite Midday guests, Dr. Jennifer Degler, was talking about stress and the timing couldn't be more perfect.  During the podcast, God reveled to me many things, but what impressed on me the most was that I'm in a period of grieving.  Grieving because my daughters are growing up and I’m not ready.  Grieving for time and relationships lost to moving numerous times.  It's as if the past two years we've been fighting one battle after another, never gaining, never getting out of survival mode, never growing and at times losing vision and hope.  I'm sure we gained many positives during our time in the desert, one always does, but the positives of difficult situations can be almost impossible to see when you're in the midst of a battle.  The word that kept coming up during my run was growth; it's what we've been missing and what we need so desperately.  I realized that what I really truly want for myself and my family during this next year is spiritual, emotional and relational growth.  This is my prayer for the next school year.  I hope it will bless you as well.
Grace- for others and themselves.

Resilience- of spirit and mind, even when things are hard and unfair.

Openness- to positive new experiences and people.

Wisdom- to know which friends to keep at arm’s length and which ones hold close.

Thankfulness- for one thing each day, even if the day has been difficult.

Humility and Hope- Humility to realize the world doesn't revolve around them and hope for the future, this time in their lives will be but a blink.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Wonderfully Delicious Brisket

Wonderfully Delicious Brisket


It's a good thing my hubby's a hunter, because my family loves a good chunk of meat!  The latest dish I created was the "Wonderfully Delicious Brisket", it's a combination of recipes I found on Pinterest.  I couldn't find exactly what I was looking for so I created my own, I love to do that, don't you?  I used a brisket from a buffalo my husband hunted a few winters ago, even though I used buffalo you could use any type of meat that's available.  I have to say it turned out great!  This is what I did:

3 or 4 lb Brisket 
1 1/2 Cup Water
1 Tbl Spoon Beef Bullion
1 Packet Ranch Seasoning
2 Oz Liquid Smoke
3 Tbl Worcestershire Sauce
1 Tsp Garlic Powder
1 Tsp Pepper
1 Tsp Salt
1 Onion 
1/2 Cup Butter

1)Spray the crock with cooking spray and place brisket in the bottom.  

2)Pour water, Liquid Smoke and Worcestershire Sauce over top.  

3)Dissolve the beef bullion into the water mixture and sprinkle Ranch seasoning packet over top.  Sprinkle garlic powder, pepper and salt over top.  

4)Gently pull the edges of the brisket up and let the liquid underneath.  

5)If you wish, put the brisket in the refrigerator for 8 hours or overnight.  If not you may go on to the next step.  I didn't marinate the meat overnight and it still turned out delicious!

6)Cut the onion into slices and place over top of the brisket, place stick of butter on top.   

7)Cook on low for 8 hours.

8)Let the brisket rest for 15 minutes then slide the brisket against the grain and serve with your favorite BBQ Sauce. (I added some ketchup to the leftover juices from the brisket and served it as the sauce, it was delicious!) 

There you have it!  A Simply Country Living brisket recipe. Do you need dinnerware to serve this tasty dish on?  If so, check out my dinnerware section on Simply Country Living.  I'm having a free shipping special just to say "thanks"!

Until next time, Live Simply and Live Country!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Fantastic Red Velvet Cupcakes

If you know me at all you know I have an obsession with baking, like a serious need to go to BA (Baker's Anonymous).  My little baking problem started about 10 years ago when my girls were babies.  Over the years I’ve tested and tweaked a lot of different recipes in order to find what I like to call "Baketastic Perfection".  The hands down winner of all time is this recipe for Red Velvet Cupcakes.  It’s by far my most requested flavor from friends and family.  Why is it so good?  I'm not 100% sure but I think it's because of a little tweak I made to the recipe after watching an old rerun of DC Cupcakes.  I started using raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar instead of plain old white vinegar.   I think this little tweak makes a HUGE difference, maybe you should try the recipe and let me know what you think!   

¾ cup butter
3 eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
¾ teaspoon salt
2 ¼ cups sugar
1 1-ounce bottle of red food coloring
2 tablespoons milk 
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/3 cups buttermilk
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
1 ½ teaspoons raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar

Let the butter and eggs stand and come to room temperature, for about 1 hour.  Line your muffin tin with the cupcake papers.  In a medium bowl stir together flour, cocoa powder and salt, set aside. 
Preheat oven to 350⁰F.  In a large mixing bowl beat butter on medium speed for 30 seconds and gradually add sugar, continue beating until light and fluffy, scraping down sides if needed.  Add eggs, red food coloring, vanilla, and milk beating after each addition.  Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk beating until just combined, don’t over beat!  In a separate bowl mix baking soda and apple cider vinegar, then grab the kiddos and have an impromptu science lesson.  After the science lesson fold the vinegar mixture into the batter. 
Spoon the batter into your muffin tin and bake for about 20 minutes.  Let the cupcakes cool completely then frost with Cream Cheese Icing.  
 Then you can proudly display your masterpiece on this cool rustic cupcake stand from Simply Country Living!  That's "Baketastic Perfection"!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The Birth Of Simply Country Living

For the longest time I've wanted to be an entrepreneur, I mean for a LONG time.  So why did I decide to go with a Rustic Furniture and Total Home Decor Boutique?  First, let me share with you a little bit about me, we're all friends here!   

I grew up in a small town in the Black Hills of South Dakota, Spearfish, to be exact.  For those of you unfamiliar with the area, it's about an hour and a half drive from Mount Rushmore (depending on time of year and tourist traffic of course).  Growing up I was always on a horse and in a lot of rodeos, up until I was in college at the University of Wyoming(go Pokes!) on a rodeo scholarship.  I guess you could say I know a bit about country living.  Years later my life is still very country.  I now live in scenic Cody, Wyoming, which I absolutely love.  I still spend many of my days on a horse, now it's focused on teaching my own children about horses, rodeo and so on.  If we aren't on our horses we're probably milking our Nubian goats, gathering eggs from our flock of chickens or something of the sort.  If it's summer we're more than likely outside, which is where we prefer to be.  

Now it may make a little more sense why I choose the endeavor I did.  I figured that if I didn't want to be inside all the time but still wanted a beautiful rustic and functional home, maybe you would want the same.  That's why I choose the products I did.  Simply Country Living to me means beautiful, high quality pieces that are durable and long lasting.  If you take care of these products they'll enhance your life, not rule it.  That's what living simply and living country is all about.  Take the high quality ultradurable washable stain proof area rugs.  They stand up to wear and tear, stains and you can even wash them off with a mild detergent if you need to.  That's music to a busy mom's ear.  

Black Forest Ultra Durable Stain Proof Washable Area Rug

 Or the handcrafted ceramic pottery dinnerware and bakeware.  These are the most beautiful pieces that are made with nontoxic materials right here in the USA.  They come in so many colors and patterns that there's absolutely something for everyone.     

American Blue Handcrafted Pottery Bowl

Those are just some of the offerings at Simply Country Living.  I truly hope you take a minute to look around, join the e-mail list and subscribe to the blog.  I would love to share my simply country life with you!
Tuesday, August 18, 2015

This Country Momma Cooks!

How This Country Momma Cooks!

 Okay, I know that there are more than enough country cooking blogs out there!  But I can't help it, so Pioneer woman please forgive me.  I have to post some Country Momma Cooks memoirs to the Simply Country Living blog.  Cooking, baking and time spent in the kitchen are just too important to me than to simply ignore.  Do you ever have a moment in a particularly stressful day when you step into a space and there's a noticeable weight that's been lifted off of your chest and you feel like you could stay in that space forever?  Mine is my kitchen.  I can begin to cook dinner and my hands go into autopilot and my mind turns to God and his blessings.  There's only one other place where I can really let go like that, church.  But that only happens on Sunday.   So where else should I go?  Obviously the kitchen!  My kitchen is so important to me that when we recently moved into a new house guess which room was the first to get unpacked, you guessed it, the kitchen!  I love an organized, clean and uncluttered kitchen.  Having a clean, uncluttered space is the only way I can truly let my creativity take over.  I love to use some of the kitchen gadgets from Simply Country Living to help with that part of my kitchen. 

The funny thing is I rarely use a cookbook anymore, it's either Pinterest, from memory or a creative creation that I come up with.  The latest concoction that I whipped up was the something I fixed for dinner the other night.  I took some Italian Sausage (made out of wild game, my husband's a hunter) mixed with veggies like broccoli, corn and mushrooms, fresh delicious goat milk, Parmesan cheese and cream of mushroom soup, cooked for a bit in a cast iron frying pan and served over whole grain brown rice.  My family gobbled it up!  It was super easy too, which is nice on a busy week night.  Sometimes I'm just not into following a recipe, I just want to cook and create!  That's how this Country Momma Cooks, how about you?   How do let go and create in the kitchen?
Thursday, August 13, 2015

5 Must Have Gadgets For An Organized Kitchen!

5 Must Have Gadgets For An Organized Kitchen!

 Who doesn't love an organized kitchen?  I suppose there are some that don't, but I'm definitely not one of them.  Nothing makes me happier than a beautifully organized kitchen and pantry with matching canisters, bins and everything labeled!  Just the thought of it makes excitement run through my veins.  

Below are my 5 Must Have Gadgets For An Organized Kitchen:

These are my absolute favorite kitchen organizers.  They get the produce of off your counters for an uncluttered clean look.

This handheld label maker is super easy to use.  I use it to label all of the Mason Jars that contain my pantry essentials.

 I love these!  They're perfectly rustic and simple, don't you agree?

 This Paper Towel Holder is fantastic because of it's built in spice caddy, that's why it's on my must have list.  Of course I have too many spices to put them all in there but I do put my most used in there for easy access when I'm cooking dinner.

I LOVE my hanging chalk board!  Mine has a permanent spot in the kitchen where I can write the weekly menu and schedule, memory verses or important notes.  If you don't have one or something similar you NEED to get one!  It's a definite must have for an organized kitchen.

Well that's my top five list.  What's on your top 5 kitchen organization and gadget list?  I would love to know!  Until next time, here's to simple country living from a Wyoming country cowgirl!
Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Schools Starting and So Is My Kitchen Remodel

My Plans for Fall Include a Kitchen Remodel, Yours?

School starts next week for my two daughters, we venture into middle school for the first time, yikes!  All though we've had a fantastic summer filled with adventures and new beginnings I'm more than ready for us to get into a routine.  This summer was particularly chaotic for us, we moved for the second time in two years across the beautiful state of Wyoming.  We love Wyoming so we were all okay with the move, but agreed this was the last move, like forever!    We found a beautiful 20 acre parcel of land just outside of Cody with an amazing view.

It's breathtaking isn't it!  This land came with a well built two bedroom, two bath home with a full unfinished basement and a detached two car garage.  The house is for lack of a better word, dated.  Another accurate word is smelly.  We've been peeling wall paper and painting like crazy!  The smell is under control but the house is still screaming "make me pretty!"  So we have our work to do.  As soon as school starts and the house is empty for a bit I'm digging in.  My plan is to start in the kitchen.  I'm so excited to furnish my kitchen with rustic decor from Simply Country Living.  There are so many pieces I'm eying!  I will update you on our remodel progress.  I would love to see before and after pictures of your remodel, feel free to share!

About Me

My Photo
Welcome to the Simply Country Living Blog! My name is Amanda and I'm passionate about living the simply country life. I live in Cody, Wyoming, the rodeo capitol of the world! If that's not country I don't what is. I live on a small place with 20 irrigated acres with four horses, one pony, 15 chickens, 11 Nubian milking goats, one dog and one cat. I'm the owner of Simplycountryliving.com, a on-line country home boutique full of high quality, unique products you will love!
View my complete profile
Powered by Blogger.