Updating the Outlets in our Fixer Upper

If your house wasn’t built in the last decade you probably have these old yellow outlets like I do. Don’t worry they are an easy fix and I’m about to give you a step by step tutorial. If I can do it so can you.img_6653

The first step is to flip the breaker and kill the power. Then you’ll need a screw driver or drill to remove the outlet cover and outlet.

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Once the outlet is unscrewed from the wall pull it out with the wires still attached. Next, you’ll have to unscrew the wires from the outlet. Note where the white, black, and ground wires are attached to the old outlet. img_6634 img_6635

When you’ve loosened all the screws then you can simply pull the wires off. Just like that you’ve removed that old outdated outlet.

Now to put the new outlet on, you’ll wrap the wires around the new outlets screws. Be sure to put the wires in the same spot that they were on the old outlet. Hint: the ground wire usually goes to the bottom green screw.

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Once the wires are attached, place them back in the wall and screw the outlet back in.

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Lastly, screw on the cover plate.

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Then turn on the power and woolah your good to go.

If you want to add a little glam to your outlets like I did, you can get these lighted outlet covers and usb covers from https://www.snappower.com

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By just updating the outlets it can give your house a new, fresh, and updated feel.

~The Rustic Ranch Wife

 

The Superior Way

As if our life isn’t crazy enough, it’s about to get crazier. I feel like we constantly are living in a whirlwind and as fall approaches that whirlwind is about to be even busier. Tait has been gone so much lately. A couple weeks ago he was in Sheridan, WY selling cattle at the superior sale. Then last week he was in Denver, CO selling more cattle at a different superior sale. This week he leaves to go to Wyoming to gather, ship, and deliver our cattle that he sold on the superior livestock auction. It sounds simple I know, but there is really so much more that goes into it. The whole process takes quite some time.

Superior Livestock Auction is a satellite video that markets cattle to the nation’s livestock industry. It’s amazing because you can sit on the couch in your home and buy or sell cattle that are across the nation. It really is pretty neat, you can read more at http://www.superiorlivestock.com/home/about-us/about-superior-livestock

That being said, Tait is a representative for superior livestock auction. This is what the video looks like on the TV

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Tait begins by videoing the cattle for a customer, which trust me he has down to a science. In order to get a good look at the cattle on the video that he uploads to the tv for the sale, he has to ensure that the cattle are moving at the right pace. They can’t go to fast and they can’t go to slow or be at a stand still. In addition, the lighting is very important. Sometimes Tait waits until the sun is just right. He also has to be certain he has a steady hand. If the video is shaky you can’t see the cattle very well. All these small details and many more are important to Tait because if the cattle buyers can’t see the cattle on the video when watching the auction on their TV they most likely aren’t going to buy them. img_2608

The next step is to sell the cattle, which is what Tait did in both Sheridan and Denver. The cattle are sold on a contract, which includes a delivery date, how many head of cattle are sold, the feeding program the cattle have been on, what breed and sex the cattle are, the base weight of the cattle, the vaccination program the cattle are on, whether they have horns or not, where the cattle are currently located, where the cattle will be delivered to, the brands that are on the cattle, etc. By having such a detailed contract the buyer knows exactly what to expect in their purchase.

img_1573The last steps are to gather the cattle, get brand inspections, ship, and deliver the cattle, which is the step that Tait is currently on.The cattle have to be weighed and weigh in at whatever the contract said they would weigh. To the left is a picture of Tait weighing cattle on our scale. However, the cattle can also be weighed on the truck at semi scales.

Tait just got home from Denver Friday night. We had a day to pack and get him all ready to go and now he’s already off for Wyoming to get the cattle ready for the delivery. It  takes a crew to gather the cattle and get everything ready.  It also takes a lot of gear for a cowboy to be able to do his job. A cowboy needs his cowboy hat, chaps, gloves, coats, clothing, wild rag, boots, spurs, food for the week, bedroll, rain slicker, horse, truck, trailer, saddle, horse tack, horse feed, etc. You have to be prepared for any kind of weather because you never know what mother nature will throw at you. Whether its sunny, or rain, sleet, and snow, the cattle have to be delivered on that contract date.

 

Once the cattle are delivered, the job is considered done. Tait takes pride in his work. His clients come to him for his reputation of integrity and being honest. His customers are satisfied to the point where they’ve started coming back to buy or sell more cattle. He gets the market for both the buyer and the seller. I couldn’t be more proud of the man I get to call my husband. He gets the job done the superior way.

~The Rustic Ranch Wife

 

 

The Biggest Little City in the World

Reno has been such a fun little trip. The Reno rodeo and BFI provide us with a perfect trip in the middle of June. What’s even better is that between Reno and the NFR we get a nice little rodeo vacation every six months that provides lots of opportunities for SHOPPING!!! Oooops, I mean for watching my husband rope! Yay! We also get to spend time with great company.

Tait and I are extremely blessed to be able to do what we love and hit the rodeo trail. We are even more blessed that we have family that travels all over to watch, support, and cheer us on.

Rodeo is a sport that has both ups and downs. This year Reno was a bit more of a down. However, the downs are what define us as cowboys and cowgirls. You have to be able to take that down, learn from it, and carry on. The bad runs provide us with the perfect opportunity to learn our flaws so that we can turn them into our strengths.

The great thing about rodeo is that there is always another one!

~The Rustic Ranch Wife

 

Spring On The Ranch

Spring is a busy time of year for a rancher. Between gathering the winter desert ranges, branding the calves, and turning out on the summer ranges there is hardly a spare second. I know that it sounds simple, but there is really a lot of detail that goes into it. Everybody has their own role.

The thing I love about it is that I got to spend time with my family and friends. It is a family friendly environment. We can all go, laugh, and have fun along the way. Heck, I even took my selfie stick for some extra fun. (My husband rolls his eyes at me for that, but I love pictures and we have to document the memories somehow.) Since I’ve been slacking on my blog lately the photos below are from different times throughout the Spring.

~The Rustic Ranch Wife

My Decorating Style

When I think of how to explain my decorating style it’s hard because I love the western/rustic look, but I also love the farmhouse style mixed with some vintage, shabby chic, and antiques. My house includes a combination of all of these themes. I guess you could say I’ve created my own style. Now if only I had a name for it. Any ideas?

My entryway has lots of cowboy boots (we may have a slight addiction, especially because this isn’t all of them), an old barn wood mirror, and a cow hide table runner, which fit the rustic/western theme. However, I’m sure you can spot touches of vintage, farmhouse and shabby chic. My favorite antique is my great grandmas cowbell.

My dining room has a cow hide and cow hide placemats, which fit my western theme, but then most of the decor fits more of the farmhouse/antique style.

I love to incorporate antiques into my decor, especially when they have meaning and belonged to a family member like my great grandpas journals in the bird cage.

My kitchen goes along with a farmhouse theme. However, there are some antiques tucked away too. The pots and pans on top of my top cupboard belonged to my husbands great grandma and the oil lamp on top of my other cupboard belonged to my great grandma.

My living room has touches of farmhouse with the old window, crates, tin, and barn wood.  The barn wood also fits the rustic theme along with my cow hide and cowboy fringe pillows, old cow bells, horse harness, the saddle my grandpa gave me when I was a baby, and a pair of old chaps.

My family room is definitely more western, but I’m sure you can still spot touches from the other themes.

The family room includes our trophy saddles and belt buckles and has old barn wood frames of rodeo pictures. It also includes an old scale and an old window with a picture of my husband and I. One of my favorite pieces is the old wood table, crates, and pullies because they came out of my husbands great grandmas house.

In decorating my house I’ve enjoyed designing my own style. I love being able to incorporate bits and pieces of my husband and my ancestors into the design.

I guess you could say I’m a bit of a “junktiquering” queen. But, hey one man’s junk is another man’s treasure.

A special thanks to my grandma Woodward for blessing me with my decorating skills.

~The Rustic Ranch Wife

Lucy’s 2nd Birthday

My adorable niece Lucy turned 2 this past week and I was lucky enough to get to help with the decorating. My sister in law chose “The Wheels on the Bus” theme. It turned out to be so stinking cute!


Is she cute or what? It was so fun watching Lucy open all her presents. Although a couple presents did distract her and she didn’t care to open the next.

Enjoy

~The Rustic Ranch Wife

Front Porch Lovin

My front porch is seriously one of my favorite things to decorate! I absolutely love that I get to update it with each season. It makes it that much more exciting and gives me something to always look forward to!

With summer around the corner I had a lot of fun playing around with bright colors. The end product turned out great. According to my husband it looks like a junk yard…. a cute one though. He’s lucky he added the “a cute one though.” Luckily for me, my husband gives me the reins and is always sure to comment on the new decor and how much he likes it. Did I luck out or what? I mean the decor changes almost as much as my outfit.IMG_3743

Here are some of the recent porch looks my house has had….

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I hope I’ve given you some new ideas and inspiration for front porch decor.

~The Rustic Ranch Wife

Heber City UTBRA

Heber City puts on such great races. It rained the day before the race and the groundsmen were out mucking all the outdoor stalls. They definitely go above and beyond to keep the facility nice. Luckily, Heber has a nice indoor pen so the ground is never horrible.

Barrel races are so much fun because not only do we as barrel racers get to compete doing what we love, but we also get to spend time with the amazing people in the barrel racing community.

All of my best friends are people that I’ve met through barrel racing and rodeo. You couldn’t find a better group of people if you tried.

Both of my horses worked great for me in Heber. We still have work to do and plenty of room to excel. Barrel races/competition runs show the competitors the areas in which they can improve. The improvements are something to work towards and grow together as a team.

I’m pretty lucky to have the teammates I do right now. I can’t wait to see what our future holds.

~The Rustic Ranch Wife

A day in the life of a ranch wife…

You’ll get used to mud. It covers your your driveway, you’ll never have a clean truck, it dirties your wood floor from his cowboy boots tracking it in (I could seriously sweep and mop every day), clumps in your entryway, and stains and ruins pants that cover the laundry room. Then there is the constant battle of brushing it off your horse before you can saddle and pushing cow pens at the feed yard so that the cattle aren’t knee deep in it.

 

Dinner before dark? Yeah right! However, the freezer is always full of meat. There is beef, beef, and more beef.

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You’ll get used to cowboy gear landing where it falls. Cowboy hats, spurs, boots, and wild rags among other gear will be strewn all over your house. Just put them away so he can find them the next day. He can’t help it after a long hard day.

You learn to resolve conflicts because cattle mix in the pastures and never stay where they are supposed to be, the hired help doesn’t show up for a day of work, the market is down, or the cattle aren’t the weight you desire.

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Patience… You learn patience… Trailing the cows up the mountain is an all day process. A day after day process. There may be that one cow that keeps giving you trouble and trying to go astray, or an old cow that isn’t as fast. Those old cows are sure beneficial when gathering time comes around. They know the way home and show the others. They may be slow, but they are consistent.

The cattle get on the highway at 2 a.m., or in this case they get in your neighbors front yard. It’d be to easy to get out during the day, or even better to not get out at all. It’s part of it, you just take the officers call, get out of bed, and go get your cows.

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Holidays…. What are those? Cows require care every day whether it’s a holiday or not. They need to be fed on Christmas, birthdays, and mothers day. You learn to plan around and make it work.

You get to spend date nights in the tractor feeding the cattle at the feed yard. Yes, I think his tractor is sexy, ……! You know the next part lol

Family pictures are all instantly cute. There is always an old fence, cattle, horses, old barns, weathered equipment, wild flowers, creeks, sprinklers, or an insanely beautiful view.

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You learn to work hard, ride for the brand, and pay attention to detail. The calf that’s droopy today may not be here tomorrow if not attended to in the right way at the right time.

You learn to be honest and reliable. A job that is half done isn’t worth doing. A half built fence will still let the cows out. Hard work when done right pays off.

Ranchers build friendships that last a life time. A day of branding, pushing cows, taking in the views, or any time spent on the ranch brings people together.

Ranch life is hard work. It’s our way of life. You learn to love it. It becomes unimaginable to picture life any other way. The long days, late nights, and early mornings are suddenly worth it when you begin to see your dedication paying off.

I can’t tell you how proud I am of my ranch guy. He devotes his life to ride for the brand. Not many people can hack it. A full day of work on the ranch can be overwhelming, but he works every day in a precise, efficient manner. I tell you what, good or bad, I wouldn’t trade my life I’m a ranchers wife!

~ The Rustic Ranch Wife

 

Bathroom Makeover

I absolutely love our house, but there are certain parts of it that need a little updating! Luckily I love having a project. We updated a lot in our house before we moved in, but there is still some updating to do.

My latest update was our master bathroom and guest bathroom. I first decided to stain the cupboards to give them a darker appearance. I used an old masters gel stain. By using a gel stain I avoided having to sand  my cupboards. Trust me, it’s so worth it.

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I used this foam brush to apply to gel stain evenly over the cupboards. Then I used a brush with bristles to wipe off the excess gel stain. I applied two coats to achieve the darkness I wanted. Each coat makes the stain a little darker so you can apply as few or as many coats to get your desired darkness.

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I wanted a distressed/rustic look to my cabinets so I applied the stain heavier in the creases.

I couldn’t do my cabinets and leave my countertops so I bought a giani granite kit to redo my countertops. Giani offers multiple color options to choose from in their kits.

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I was a little nervous to use this kit or any kit for that matter. I mean, what if it didn’t look good? Sometimes advertisements and pictures can be deceiving. However, this kit was so simple and easy to use. It included everything I needed to give my countertops a complete makeover. They went from drab to fab in two days! This kit also included a dvd with step by step instructions making the process even simpler.

Before you begin make sure your countertops are clean.

Step 1: Primer (Foam brush for corners and edges) Let dry eight hours.

The black primer had me a bit nervous at first….

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Step 2: Color one (the colors are labeled so that you know which one to use first)

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Step 3: Color two

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Step 4: Color three

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Once all three colors are applied (apply them on top of each other before they are dry) let dry for four hours.

You can apply as much or as little of each color to get your desired look. There were a few places that I made too light so I just reapplied some black primer over the light. There were also places that were darker than I wanted so I applied more light. You can reapply and add as you please.

Step 5: Clear top coat (apply two coats of top coat)

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Let dry four hours for each coat.

This was such a fun project that was actually pretty easy. I absolutely love the end result.

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If your thinking about it, just go for it! You won’t regret it!

~The Rustic Ranch Wife