Ohio Dairy Adventure

Hi friends! I’m getting some awesome posts ready for you next week (… how about a new pumpkin recipe and an office update?), but today I’d like to take a little break and share with you an incredible experience I had this week, if that’s okay. I promise lots of pretty photos and some fun, embarrassing stories along the way! Sound like a plan?

So I guess I’ll start at the beginning of the story. I had the opportunity to attend a few blog conferences this past year, which are totally fun, exhausting, and overwhelming all at the same time. You learn new things, go to fun parties, and meet LOTS of new people… fellow bloggers, brands and companies, and even a celebrity or two, if you’re lucky. In my experience, even though I may meet hundreds of people at these conferences, I always find myself really connecting with just a handful and develop great, long-lasting relationships with them. And honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s kind of that whole “better to have 1 good friend than 1000 mediocre friends” thing.

Anyway, I had the pleasure of meeting a few women from the American Dairy Association Mideast and was absolutely thrilled when they invited me to join them on their Ohio Dairy Adventure last week. As most of you probably know, my husband and I live on a family farm in Indiana where we raise corn and soybeans.  It’s a lifestyle he was raised in, but totally new to me, as I grew up just an hour South of Chicago. WAY different than living out in the country! I’m still acclimating to life as a farmer’s wife, such as learning how to clean tractor oil and manure stains out of clothes (it’s not easy!), but I’m so proud to be part of this community and love learning new things everyday.

ADA Mideast brought 9 food bloggers from all across the U.S. to Cleveland, Ohio for a few days to give us an in-depth look at the journey milk takes from the farm to our table.

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Harvest Bonfire: Home Depot Style Challenge

Today is the big reveal! If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve seen us hard at work on this project for the past month and had a few sneak peeks along the way. (I heart my Instagram friends!) So here’s the scoop: I met some fantastic people from the Home Depot team this year and was so honored when they asked me to join in their Home Depot Style Challenge. They asked us to create a space in our home with a particular theme… in my case an outdoor “harvest themed” space. Lucky for me, we have a beautiful backdrop for this setting living on a farm, and I had SO much fun creating a space in our backyard to host bonfire parties this fall. They sent us a surprise package of goodies to use and a gift card to help us decorate our space, and I just love the way our backyard turned out!

You’ll have to head over to Home Depot’s blog to see the full reveal, but I have a few shots I can share to give you a little tease!

Host a cozy fall bonfire with these decorating tips from LoveGrowsWild.com! [Read more...]

Cheesy Pumpkin Pasta Bake

This post is brought to you by Silk // I’ve been doing this whole food blogger gig for 2 1/2 years now. In the beginning, I used my cheap-o point and shoot camera and horrible lighting to capture and share some of my favorite family-approved recipes with you. It wasn’t pretty, but it was a start. You’ve got to start somewhere, right? Fast forward a few years, and I’ve moved up to my big girl camera, learned how to edit my photos, and even taught myself some fancy words like aperture. I’ve expanding my cooking skills and learned to love foods I never thought I’d put in my mouth… like coconut and avocado. The jury is still out on quinoa…

And in my quest to continue learning and growing, I made it a goal this year to come up with a recipe using the most popular fall ingredient in a savory way… pumpkin! We’ve all eaten our fair share of sweet pumpkin desserts… my pumpkin bread and classic pumpkin pie are my favorites!… But have you ever cooked with pumpkin before? Put pumpkin in your dinner? Well today we’re going to tackle that goal with this deliciously cheesy pumpkin pasta bake!

Pumpkin isn't just for dessert anymore! This Cheesy Pumpkin Pasta Bake is super creamy and SO delicious! | LoveGrowsWild.com

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Time to Sparkle Link Party #82

The hosts of Time to Sparkle Link Party!

Welcome to Time to Sparkle Tuesday Link Party, where you can find all the newest creative ideas from around the web! Stop by every Tuesday, link up your posts, and check out what others are sharing! You’ll discover some amazing new blogs and find inspiration for projects, recipes, and more! This party is hosted by four lovely ladies, so your projects will be shared on ALL FOUR blogs!

Inside BruCrew Life | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

The Gunny Sack | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

The Recipe Critic | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

Love Grows Wild | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

Each week we will pick our favorite links as features and share them, so make sure to follow the Time to Sparkle Pinterest Board!

Let’s see what your hosts have been up to this week:

Time to Sparkle #82
White Chocolate Pecan Caramel Corn from Love Grows Wild
Italian Cheese Steak Pizza from The Gunny Sack
Beefy Enchilada Dip from The Recipe Critic
Caramel Chocolate Chunk Pumpkin Bread from Inside BruCrew Life

Here are the fabulous features from last week’s party chosen by Jocelyn: [Read more...]

Office Updates!

Let’s kick this weekend off with a little office update!

I know it’s been a hot minute since I’ve shared any new projects from the office makeover, but I promise there will be more to come soon! The last few weeks have been crazy with deadlines, a big project with Home Depot coming up, and my sweet little baby boy turning 5. I feel like I need a vacation! But that definitely won’t be happening any time soon because I have an office to finish up and the holidays to start thinking about. When do you start your Christmas shopping? Do you already have a list made or do you not even think about it till the 1st of December? I’m just curious!

So anywho, back to my office. Even though I don’t have any big, awesome projects ready to share with you yet, I have made a few big updates to the space that I wanted to share, starting with… a new work table! I originally had an old dining room table here (the one from my childhood, actually), but it was pretty beat up and needed some major refinishing. I had a few ideas giving the table a makeover, but in the end it would have cost the same or more than a brand new one from Ikea, so Momma did a little shopping! I spent $59.99 on the Hissmon/Adils table from Ikea in white. It’s a great size for the space and was super easy to put together. Note: I did find the legs to be a little wobbly with the hardware they included, so I added a few washers to make it more sturdy. Worked like a charm!

Office Updates | LoveGrowsWild.com


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White Chocolate Pecan Caramel Corn

I’m all for pumpkin and apple recipes this time of year, but I couldn’t let this season pass without sharing another one of my favorite fall treats… caramel corn! Anytime we have a chance to go to a fall festival, I buy the largest bag of caramel corn I can find and spend the next three days devouring the salty-sweet popcorn until we’re all fighting over the last piece in the bag. I’ll give you one guess who usually wins that battle.

This year I made my first batch of homemade caramel corn and couldn’t believe how easy it was to do at home. As I sat eating my first bowl of this sweet, delicious treat, I decided that this new culinary accomplishment would mean a whole lot more hours spent working off the caramel-y goodness… then I decided approximately 30 seconds later that it was totally and utterly worth it because my life would no longer be complete without this homemade caramel corn in it! You can use this as a basic caramel corn recipe or dress it up with some crunchy pecans and a decadent drizzle of white chocolate like I did. Either way, this will definitely be a recipe you make again and again! And did I mention it’s perfect for gift-giving? Read my tip below!

Learn how to make homemade caramel corn from scratch! It's easier than you think! Step-by-step instructions at LoveGrowsWild.com
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Time to Sparkle Link Party #81

The hosts of Time to Sparkle Link Party!

Welcome to Time to Sparkle Tuesday Link Party, where you can find all the newest creative ideas from around the web! Stop by every Tuesday, link up your posts, and check out what others are sharing! You’ll discover some amazing new blogs and find inspiration for projects, recipes, and more! This party is hosted by four lovely ladies, so your projects will be shared on ALL FOUR blogs!

Inside BruCrew Life | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest
The Gunny Sack | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest
The Recipe Critic | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest
Love Grows Wild | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

Each week we will pick our favorite links as features and share them, so make sure to follow the Time to Sparkle Pinterest Board!

Let’s see what your hosts have been up to this week:

Projects and Recipes from Time to Sparkle Link Party

Caramel Chocolate Pecan Bars from The Recipe Critic
Candy Corn Layer Cake from The Gunny Sack
3 Cheese Shrimp Mac and Cheese from Love Grows Wild
Pumpkin Spice Latte Brownies from Inside BruCrew Life

Here are the fabulous features from last week’s party chosen by Liz: [Read more...]