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Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Squad Life: Customer Service Grows Businesses with Becki Smith

Ever felt like you needed some liquid courage to start a business? Becki Smith did. A shot of tequila to be exact. Becki was finding success in her careers but not enough joy, so she took the leap into full time photography and started Smith House Photo. In this week's episode of the Squad Life you'll learn a ton simple business principles that can be applied to any niche or industry.

  • Be a consistent learner 
  • Treat everyone like a supermodel 
  • Provide amazing follow up 
  • You don't have to only focus on one thing 
By following these strategies Becki has rapidly grown her business over the past five years. She has photographed everyone from Kristin Bell to Molly Sims, and worked with brands like Crate and Cultivate, Work Party, Keep Collective and Kendra Scott. Plus, she is the lady responsible for my gorgeous head shots. 

Beauty Products: Green Clean Face Wash
Instagram: SmithHousePhoto
Reads: Elizabeth Gilbert Big Magic, You're Not Lost by Maxie McCoy, The Road Back to You
Becki's Squad: Maxie McCoy, Luke and Cat 

If you loved this episode, don't forget to subscribe on iTunes or Spotify, share a screenshot on social or send me a message. Join our community on Instagram by using the hashtag #thesquadlife and tag @crystalcattle.

You can also receive an email reminder in your inbox each week by signing up here.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Squad Life: How to move from corporate career to owning your own business with Nichole Rohrich

How does one go from dream corporate career, to side gig to owning your own business? Nichole Rohrich, boy mom of soon to be FOUR figured it all out and even was able to get Rachel Hollis to wear one of her Minted Olive shirts. A graphic designer by trade, Nichole felt she reached the peak in her corporate career fairly early. As she was looking for more she thought a side gig might help her continue to explore her creative side. She joined Keep Collective, the same social selling business that I am a part of, for the the discounted jewelry, however she quickly fell in love, worked her butt off and found success hitting #3 in sales company wide in 2017. KEEP grew Nichole's confidence, network and business skills, giving her the courage to start The Minted Olive in the fall of 2017 with her husband David. Today, along with her family The Minted Olive is her sole focus.

The Minted Olive is all about living your best, most comfy life. And I can attest that Nichole's T-shirts and sweatshirts are some of the coziest ones in my closet. Nichole designs each shirt to reflect joy, gratitude or the chaos that life hands us.

If you are sitting there wanting more yourself, or a little inspiration on how to handle life, kids and your passions this is the episode for you.


Nichole's Recommendations:
Beauty Products: Tarte Shape Tape and Ever Daylight Treatment Corrector
Instagram: @the.minted.olive and @nichole.rohrich
Minted Olive Discount Code: SQUAD 10
Nichole's Squad: @limelifewithnikki

If you loved this episode, don't forget to subscribe on iTunes or Spotify, share a screenshot on social or send me a message. Join our community on Instagram by using the hashtag #thesquadlife and tag @crystalcattle.

You can also receive an email reminder in your inbox each week by signing up here.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Squad Life: How to Start a Blog and Stay Consistent with Raquel Lynn

I have been connected with Raquel Lynn through our blogs for almost a decade. That is an eternity in the blogging world. I did a bunch of searching to see if I could get an accurate stat to no avail but I will say I have seen a lot of blogs start and stop in their first few months and even fewer get past that one year mark. That isn't to say it isn't possible. However, to be successful you need a plan.

Raquel Lynn started the Horses and Heels blog in 2009 and today the lifestyle brand can be found on Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Growing a blog to the level that has doesn't happen overnight. However, by being consistent, forming a relationship with her readers and focusing on her email list she has been able to turn her little blog into a successful business. Raquel shares her actionable steps on how you can start your blog and then keep it running from the long haul.



Raquel's Recommendations:
Beauty Products: High Meadow Skin Cream and Kiehl's Reviving Concentrate
Instagram: HorsesandHeels_

If you loved this episode, don't forget to subscribe on iTunes or Spotify, share a screenshot on social or send me a message. Join our community on Instagram by using the hashtag #thesquadlife and tag @crystalcattle.

You can also receive an email reminder in your inbox each week by signing up here.

Monday, July 29, 2019

My Ride of Die Lipsticks #NationalLipstickDay

It is a pretty close toss up between National Lipstick Day and National Donut Day as to which one is my favorite. Thankfully, wearing lipstick everyday won't make you gain one thousand pounds. 

I LOVE lipstick. I can be rocking four day dry shampoo hair, gym shorts and sneakers covered in cow poop or walking into a boardroom and it is the one accessory that gives me an instant pick me up. I know a lot of women are intimated by all the choices. My biggest recommendation is go into a store and have a beauty consultant try on a few with you. For me it has to be long lasting. I also don't really care for glosses because 1. blowing hair stuck in lips isn't my thing and 2. it doesn't last.

I have broke my favorites into two categories. Let's get started!

Pinks and Nudes | These are great when you are wanting a more subtle look. One swipe of these lipsticks will help you pull everything together. 


1. Ever Soft Smooth Stick Soft Strawberry similar to a lip balm, more of a sheer cover. I am obsessed with this one. 2. MAC Snob 3. MAC Pink Plaid 4. MAC Brave a great neutral 5. Flower Tickled Pink an inexpensive option 6. MAC Pro Longwear Unlimited it is a retired shade but the one I'll be buried in. I have a stack of back ups! 

Bold Color | Sometimes you have to be brave and play with some color. 



Now tell me what are you favorite brands, formulas or shades! 






Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Squad Life: Filling Up Your Cup So You Don't Shatter

If you follow me on social you will have seen that in the past 45 days I have had some pretty cool opportunities to attend some incredible conferences. First in June I saw Rachel Hollis and her gang speak at the Rise conference in Minneapolis and then it was Keep Collective's women empowerment conference in Denver in July. There I was inspired by Jessica Herrin, Sallie Krawchek, Maxie McCoy, and a whole slew of other incredible women.

Are you saying to yourself "man I wish I could do stuff like that." The truth is you CAN, and you NEED to. Filling up your cup is the only way you are going to have the strength, knowledge and energy to pour into others. Tune into these weeks Squad Life podcast to hear my simple tips, and then I want to hear your feedback!



If you loved this episode, don't forget to subscribe on iTunes or Spotify, share a screenshot on social or send me a message. Join our community on Instagram by using the hashtag #thesquadlife and tag @crystalcattle.

You can also receive an email reminder in your inbox each week by signing up here.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Squad Life: Money, Mentorship and Small Towns with Hannah Miller

I am pretty sure it was some hashtag that brought Hannah Miller and I together a LONG time ago. She is someone I very much admire. If you looked up side hustle in the dictionary I am pretty sure you would find a picture of her. Hannah has always complemented her corporate careers with an array of side gigs. It has been a simple way for her to fulfill her passion, even though those passions are ever changing.

After this episode you'll surely be making a stop on Amazon to pick up a few of the books she recommends, and of course there is a great conversation about her favorite beauty product. If you want to know more behind of the story of why both of us love It Cosmetics make sure you check out Rachel Holli's podcast interview with founder Jamie Kern Lima.

Hannah's Businesses: Hannah Mo Consulting, Goin' Coastal Outfitters
Instagram: @HannahMoMiller
Book Recommendations: Broke Millennial, The Financial Diet, The Crossroads of Should and Must
Beauty Product: It Cosmetics Foundation
Squad Recommendations:  Brooke Clay, Rural Gone Urban, and Vance Crow

If you loved this episode, don't forget to subscribe on iTunes or Spotify, share a screenshot on social or send me a message. Join our community on Instagram by using the hashtag #thesquadlife and tag @crystalcattle.

You can also receive an email reminder in your inbox each week by signing up here.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Squad Life: Be the Hero of Your Own Story

Being a farm girl myself you had to know that it won't be long until I invite a fellow boss farm girl onto the Squad Life podcast. Danielle Hayden was the perfect place to start. Not only are her husband, Daniel and her changing the imagine of agriculture, but she recently hit the five year anniversary of her photography business Two Arrows. Only 50% of small businesses make it to five years, but Danielle gives tangible tips on how she proved the odds wrong.

We cover all the buzz words like the Enneagram and self care, but what makes Danielle truly amazing is that she doesn't just talk about these things. She has put them in to play to literally change the trajectory of her health, marriage and business.




Danielle's Recommendations:
Book: Where the Crawdads Sing

Beauty Products: Beauty Counter and Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum
Personality Tests: Enneagram Institute 
Instagram: @haydanib or @twoarrowsphoto

If you loved this episode, don't forget to subscribe on iTunes or Spotify, share a screenshot on social or send me a message. Join our community on Instagram by using the hashtag #thesquadlife and tag @crystalcattle.

You can also receive an email reminder in your inbox each week by signing up here.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Squad Life: Lisa Sarmento Tiramisu Paperie "Martha Stewart of Greeting Cards"

I am a paper product junkie. So it only made sense to have Lisa Sarmento the "next Martha Stewart of greeting cards" on the podcast. What started a little side business has turned into a passion and a business that is going to be a legacy for her son Michael that is on the Autism spectrum. Tiramisu Paperie are paper good that give you a little pick me up. Her sassy and sarcastic sayings will make you laugh out loud.

If you are looking for inspiration on how to take your business big, protect yourself from the naysayers or have been thinking about how in the world are you going to keep all the balls in the air then this is the episode for you. And spoiler alert... Lisa loves vision boards as much as I do.

Lisa's Recommendations:
Tiramisu Paperie
Book: You Are a Badass
Make-Up: Benefit Bo-ing Concealer
Four Point Trading Co. - handcrafted, uniquely scented memory candles
Cork Pops - wine accessories


If you loved this episode, don't forget to subscribe on iTunes or Spotify, share a screenshot on social or send Crystal a message. Join our community on Instagram by using the hashtag #thesquadlife and tag @crystalcattle.

You can also receive an email reminder in your inbox each week by signing up here.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Squad Life: Conquering Your Goal in Three Steps

I LOVE goals, I HATE failure. You are have probably heard of the acronym SMART when setting goals. It stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely. This episode focuses on the timely aspect of goals. What happens when you set the deadline for your goal and then you haven't accomplished it by that date? It can be hard to get past that, but if your goal matters have to keep moving forward.

In two weeks I'll find myself in Denver at our annual Keep Collective women's empowerment conference. Here we will celebrate huge milestones that many business owners hit over the past year. However, there will also be people that said last summer that I will hit xyz by next conference that have come up short of their goals. As I have mentored the women on our team over the past four years (we call ourselves the Arm Party Squad - are you sensing a theme?) I am constantly reminding them to focus as much on the final destination as the steps in between.


Then add in the layer of comparison. The goals that your friends, business partners or the girls you follow on social media might all be the same or similar. Yet, the path is going to be incredibly different. We need to stop measuring our success against others, but rather learn from others success and failures. That also means we have to be vulnerable enough to share our failures. I told myself this podcast would be up by the end of May. That didn't happen. Did I quit? Nope! I buckled down and made it happen in June.

I can't wait for you to listen in and learn how I pause, reflect and move forward each time I am trying to conquer a goal.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Squad Life: Kindness is Courageous

Ever come across a person on social media and you are immediately drawn into their story? That is exactly how I felt when I stumbled across Nicole Phillips. Anyone that knows me knows that I value positivity and kindness. I believe by embodying these to actions we can change our lives, and Nicole is proof of exactly that.

An author, Breast Cancer survivor, flower girl in her mother's prison chapel wedding and former beauty queen, Nicole Phillips used kindness to change her perspective and life. Nicole shares how even though she had everything she wanted she was depressed, on the edge of being an alcoholic, unhealthy and felt like life was mundane. It was a single encounter that flipped her life around and set her on the path of spreading kindness and teaching others how to find more joy in their everyday lives.




Nicole's Book: Kindness is Courageous
Nicole's Book Recommendation: The Kindness Challenge
Instagram: http://instagram.com/nicolejphillips
Favorite Beauty Product: Buxom Lip Gloss

If you loved this episode, don't forget to subscribe on iTunes or Spotify, share a screenshot on social or send Crystal a message. Join our community on Instagram by using the hashtag #thesquadlife and tag @crystalcattle.

You can also receive an email reminder in your inbox each week by signing up here.

This post may contain affiliate links. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

I Launched a Podcast

For the past couple months I have been working on "Crystal's Big Secret Project." If you follow me on Instagram you know that there isn't much that I don't share with the world. However, this is one goal that I held close to my heart as I figured out how to tackle creating my own podcast.

For a couple years now I have wanted a bigger platform to share my story and the story of other incredible women. I talked a lot about creating a podcast last year, but decided if it was was truly going to happen in 2019 I needed to put it on my vision board. It is also now one of my 10 Goals that I write down daily in my Start Today Journal.




The podcast will share how small town girls like me are fearlessly going after our dreams. Each week you'll hear from someone in my squad or myself in a solo episode as we share how to pursue your big idea, live a life of joy and step outside of your comfort zone.

You can subscribe and listen to Squad Life on Spotify or iTunes If you like to receive an email notification each time there is a new episode subscribe to my newsletter here. I can't wait for you to listen to the interviews I already have recorded. I have to say I have a pretty badass squad. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Easy Heart Shaped Cupcakes

Last week in my Facebook scrolling I came across the most adorable heart shaped cupcakes posted by my friend and Pampered Chef consultant Anne McMillan. She was highlighted the Pampered Chef brownie pan, which of course I have because due to hosting a Pampered Chef bridal shower almost seven years ago I have EVERYTHING Pampered Chef and I ain't complaining.

Instead of running out and purchasing a heart-shaped cupcake pan, a small ball of tinfoil transforms ordinary cupcakes or brownies into the perfect heart shape.

Anne's preference for boxed brownies is the Philsbury brand, but if you are looking for something lighter than brownies she recommends this Chocolate Sheet Cake recipe.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup margarine
1 cup water
1/2 cup oil
2 cups sugar
2 1/3 cup flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 eggs beaten
1 1/2 baking soda
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla

Instructions:
Combine flour, sugar, cocoa powder and baking soda. Mix in oil, beaten eggs, buttermilk and vanilla. Bring water and margarine to a boil and then combine with mixture.


Use the Pampered Chef Small Scoop (1 teaspoon scoop) to fill cupcake liners. The key to make sure you don't fill the liners up too much so that batter doesn't rise above the liner once baked. Once the batter is in the liner place a small ball of tinfoil in one of the corners. Bake for 16 minutes at 350 degrees.

You should easily dress these up with icing, but I choose to go the sprinkle route. One of my favorite things to do is to mix sprinkles to make my own custom blend. These cow sprinkles are one some of my favorites and I have loved using them on chocolate dipped pretzel sticks.

I can't wait to hear how you use this idea. Whether you need a sweet treat for Valentine's Day, bridal shower or just because I know these will be a hit.

This post was not sponsored my Pampered Chef. I just really like all of their kitchen gadgets. 

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

A Fresh Look on GMOs

In the last month, I have been in San Francisco (Keep Collective leadership conference), and Denver (National Western Stock Show and Des Moines. When you are traveling that much, you meet a lot of different people. I’ve been in more Ubers than I can count. I am the kind of Uber rider that wants to know the driver’s life story. And at some point that means they want to know mine, so I share that I’m from Iowa and our family raises cows. Yup, this girl who is running around in black pleather pants, lipstick and has more bracelets on that you can count knows a thing about farming. 

On our farm we plant GMO corn and soybeans. It helps us less water and less energy. GMO farming methods have reduced the equivalent of nearly 500 billions pounds of carbon dioxide from the air. Both our farm and organic farms use pesticides to ensure that our plants stay healthy, however using GMOs lets us cut back dramatically on the amount needed. We can spray less often, with more targeted precision. On average, GMO farming has reduced chemical pesticide use by 37%, while increasing cop yields by 22%. Land is expensive so the more we can grow on least amount of land possible the better. 


Whether it be the Uber driver, my city-living conference roommates, the server at the restaurant or the CEO of Keep Collective they are all concerned about one thing: the safety of the food they are feeding their families. Thanks to the media and fancy marketing labels everyone is so darn confused about what is right and wrong, healthy or safe. GMOs are on the top of everyone’s list as “I’m not so sure about those things.”


Now let's start with some basics. GMOs aren’t a thing, but a breeding method. Nearly every crop grown today could be considered a GMO: People have been selecting and cross-breeding crops to make them more useful for thousands of years. What was once the result of trial and error is now efficient, predictable and precise — a finely tuned way to pass beneficial, naturally occurring traits into the seeds farmers, like Jon and I, need to grow our food. At the end of the day, they’re no different than any other seeds, except they grow into crops that need less water, or naturally fend off invasive insects or disease. 

On our farm we plant GMO corn and soybeans. It helps us less water and less energy. GMO farming methods have reduced the equivalent of nearly 500 billions pounds of carbon dioxide from the air. Both our farm and organic farms use pesticides to ensure that our plants stay healthy, however using GMOs lets us cut back dramatically on the amount needed. We can spray less often, with more targeted precision. On average, GMO farming has reduced chemical pesticide use by 37%, while increasing cop yields by 22%. Land is expensive so the more we can grow on least amount of land possible the better. 


Recently, I came across a brand created by farmers like me called Ethos Chocolate and they care as much about GMOs as I do. Why? Instead of being focused on GMO corn and soybeans like we are, they created a line of chocolate flavors that represent other GMO crop stories: The Optimist (cacao), The Survivor (papaya), The Hero (orange) and The Trendsetter (apple). The cacao bean and each of these fruits are currently faced with environmental pressures, but through GMO technology farmers are working to make these crops more sustainable. I would cry if chocolate ever went away. I am addicted. 

The flavor of The Optimist (straight up chocolate) is my favorite, but I love the story of the The Hero the most. In the past decade, Florida orange production has dropped to its lowest level in 50 years due to the crippling citrus greening disease - which has infected 90% of Florida’s citrus groves and has no cure. This has caused revenue and jobs in the citrus sector to drop and orange juice prices to skyrocket. While a GMO tree variety is a long way off, researchers have identified a solution that can be applied to existing trees, using a virus as the vector to deliver antibacterial proteins called defensins found in spinach plants (defensins are also found in your saliva, fighting off microbes). This means that oranges will be sticking around for a lot longer, which is amazing!

With Valentine’s Day arriving soon and we all should feel good about indulging in a sweet treat. Ethos chocolate wants to send you, or your favorite person or gal pal a package of their limited-edition chocolates for free. All you have to do is submit your request here. Yes, Target will have a delicious selection of chocolates but this is a fun and easy way to directly support farmers and learn a little more about the food choices available to you and your family. 



This post was sponsored but A Fresh Look, all opinions are my own. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Winter Skincare and Make Up Routine

Dry winters and travel usually wreck havoc on my skin. However, knock on wood I think I made it through four days in San Fransisco for our Keep Leadership Retreat and five days in Denver for the National Western Stock Show without my skin coming back a complete wreck. I am normally really bad about being consistent with my skincare routine but I promised myself that I had to make it a priority and I came homing winning!

Beauty Counter Cleansing Balm: I started to use this product right before Christmas. If you have followed me for any amount of time you know that I hate washing my face and I normally just use make up removing wipes. However, I had heard such good things about this and my esthetician Anna Drees (she is amazing if you live in Northeast Iowa) is also a Beauty Counter rep and recommended this product. Removing my make up has never been so luxurious. You only need a little bit of the balm and it melts your make up off. Then I don't use water to remove, but rather wipe it off with a clean dry cloth.

Beauty Counter Countermatch Adaptive Moisturizer: I have been using this moisturize for almost a year now and love it. You only need one pump, and it provide hydration for 24 hours. Technically you only need to use it once a day but often I'll use it morning and night. I love that it adjusts the amount of hydration you need based on your skin.

Ever Beauty Water: This stuff is amazing and I think is a big reason why my skin has been in so much better shape this fall and winter. You can use it has a make up remover but I have been using it as a toner in the morning. It helps remove any dried on skin or make up that I missed the night before.  I also love that it isn't drying like a lot of toners are. If you use this link you can also get $20 off your first order.

Laura Mercier Foundation Primer: I always get asked questions about my foundation. I don't think it matter as much which foundation you are using if you aren't using a printer. I received this one as a complimentary sample through Influencer. I have to say I am loving it. You don't need very much and it smooths out my skin, makes my pores look smaller and my foundation lasts so much longer during the day.

What are some of your favorite winter beauty products?

This post may include affiliate links. 

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