Friday Five

We had our first "run for cover" Alabama storm last weekend. Luckily the stars aligned and it hit the perfect time of the day - after lunch and before naps. The kids did great for being stuck in a dark box for an hour. 

This mama ain't about no night time waking. If it's your time, it's your time. 

Now before anyone tells me how we are "now in tornado alley," we also lived there in Central/North Louisiana. The difference is that if you dig a hole you get a pool so we just sat in the hall and hoped for the best. 

I don't know if y'all heard... but LSU won the National Championship. I had a lot of fun watching it with Jeremy, this will have to become a regular thing since he doesn't have his game watching buddies around anymore. 

On the other hand, the more the week has moved on the more irritated Joe Burrow has made me. I listened to the Pardon My Take podcast where Burrow and Coach O were interviewed the morning after the game. O is a great guy and you won't really change my mind on that. But Burrow.... how many eye-roll emojis can I put here? He was arrogant, cocky, and drunk. He carried on about OBJ handing out money and didn't seem to care because he was officially out of the team after the game ended. 

It just overall seemed like a lack of respect for the school. All the accolades have gone to his head and he is ready to be pro. It shows, and not in a good way. 

In case you haven't seen our guest room... and it's safe to say I haven't posted a photo of or in it since before Harrison was born... it needed updating. 

Now, the room isn't getting a total redo, I'll wait until we buy a house and are more settled. But the bedding was driving me nuts. I get zero joy looking at sheets I bought in 2006. White eyelet bed has had a good life and it is going to now live in the hall closet in case we ever need that comforter for an extra guest or such. 

The rest of my bedding should be in today and I am beyond excited to make that bed! Funny enough,  I don't think I possess the ability to purchase fun colors for items I want to see last several years. Instead the guest bed has become the extension of my other bedrooms. 

Our room: Black, grey, and blue floral
Kids room, grey, white, and blue
Guest bed: grey, white, and who knows because it's just the bed. 

Living room and kitchen: wood, brown, burlap, and colors sprinkled in. 

How's bath time been going you ask? 

These two want to be on top of each other and yet as far away as possible. Even when we have a full blown house with enough rooms I think they'll still share a room. At least until it is expressed otherwise. 

This particular fight, Harrison was turning everyone into bubble man and no involved parties were appreciative. 

Life most nights: 

Maybe it's just because a big youth event is on the horizon (see also: tonight), but I feel like I've been solo parenting many a night here lately. 

I also realized that my Sunday Bathroom Selfie that I also took with Harrison has yet to happy with whom I've been lovingly calling T-Baby based on his affinity for Cajun food and grits. 

So we had to remedy that. 

WHICH ALSO MADE ME NOTICE that those pajamas have seen better days. Two fat babies are no match for Old Navy footie pjs. As seen by the knees and feet. Mama might need to dig in the clothing boxes this weekend or make a stop by the store for more. 

Meal Planning Monday

It took one week of meal prep to find out I am not here for it. So sandwiches for lunch it has become! 

Monday | Chick-Fil-A to use up that receipt day offer.

Tuesday | Sausage, Peppers & Onions, Zucchini, & Goat Cheese Skillet (that's literally all that is in it)

Wednesday | Hamburger Supreme Casserole

Thursday | leftovers

Friday | Pizza Night!

Saturday | Jeremy is gone to Winter Retreat with the youth group so I honestly have no clue what the kids and I will be up to. Surviving is probably it lol!

Sunday |

Breakfast - macro bar
Lunch - Low carb wrap with turkey, bacon, cheese, lettuce, and mayo with Quest Protein Chips

What is a Destination Wedding?

Today's guest post is all things destination wedding. Tell me in the comments if you had one, are planning one, or have even attended one! My sister-in-law actually had a destination wedding and loved it. It was a great way to have an intimate wedding in a location you love. 
Most girls dream of their wedding day all their lives. They envision the dress, the flowers, the cake, and the location.
Destination weddings are growing in popularity. Who wouldn't want the most important day of their lives to take place with a picturesque backdrop surrounded by friends and family?
Are you wondering what is a destination wedding and if it's the right choice for your big day? 
Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about planning a memorable wedding far from home.

What is a Destination Wedding?
Most people get married in their hometowns surrounding my friends and family. There's something nostalgic about having your wedding close to home.
This is easy for couples who met in school or originate from the same area. But for those couples who don't have roots anywhere or are looking for an adventure, destination weddings are perfect.
These weddings are held far from home, often in exotic locations. Caribbean islands, romantic European weddings, or even quaint towns in the mountains are all popular choices.
Why People Love Destination Weddings
Most destination weddings are held in a resort where every detail is organized and arranged by the staff. Not to mention, couples can have their honeymoon right there. This cuts down on travel time and spending.
Some couples even opt to have guests stay for a few days following the wedding to keep the party going!
Many resorts have wedding venues on-site for such an occasion. From grand ballrooms to outdoor ceremony venues, the food, flowers, and music are all provided by the resort. 
Now you and your future partner can focus on the details like the dress, shapes of diamonds for your ring, and the guest list.
The Guest List
Speaking of the guest list, this is the only part of planning a destination wedding that can get a bit tricky. Traveling to your destination of choice can be quite costly for guests. This is especially true if you choose an exotic or overseas location.
Guests already feel obligated to give a generous wedding gift. Attending a destination wedding means paying for airfare or travel expenses, as well as accommodations at the resort. 
When creating your destination wedding guest list, keep it to close friends and family. Don't be surprised if some people aren't able to attend. 
Destination weddings are rarely large-scale events but, instead, more intimate. If this is the feeling you're going for, a destination wedding is sure to deliver.
Keep Your Destination Wedding Casual
One of the best parts of a destination wedding is the ability to keep things casual. 
Have you always dreamed of getting married on a beach? Ditch the heels and opt for sandals or even go barefoot to compliment your simple, white dress. 
Guys will be delighted to wear shorts, flip-flops, and collared shirts. 
Use the wedding location to inspire the decór and the dress of both the wedding party and guests.
Think outside the box when choosing your location as well. From ski resorts and vineyards to the beach or even a castle, the options are truly endless!
Plan Your Unforgettable Destination Wedding Now
You have the time and creativity. Now you know what is a destination wedding and you can start planning today!
Discuss potential locations with your future spouse. Think of your interests, the time of year, as well as your budget – and don't forget the budget of your guests.
Looking for more ideas and inspiration? Check out our wedding section for tips, tricks, and suggestions.

Friday Five

For the record, that's not my hand. It's a grabby baby. 

I found our first Alabama king cake this week, Elliot being too small to taste last year finally got a bite this year. He's such the child to refuse to try new things, he flat refused king cake. So I forced it on him. Now he yells if you pass it and don't give him a bite. 

Go figure. 

One of our fave neighbors from our old cul-de-sac sent the boys a box of Christmas goodies. You can tell Naomi knows Harry well... cookies, slime, bath toys. Elliot... he got in the box and then stole Cheetos from Harrison. 

Someone has to buy this child his beloved chocolate chip cookies... because Mama sure isn't doing it lol! 

My later than his late walking brother decided to take a few steps on Friday. Since then he's rarely been excited to walk much but stands like he's winning a prize. He's going to get his little self hurt acting just like his bother did, they want to practice all new skills in the tub. 

That's about it for this week. We haven't been up to much, but tomorrow we will be hunkering down with the bad weather that is blowing through. Something about weather is making me much more nervous than it ever did in Louisiana. We had tornadoes, but I wasn't one to panic about them. Maybe it's the storm shelter at our house, but I am a basket case when it gets gross outside.

Calgon take me away where the hurricanes are my worst worry and nothing sneaks up on you.

Getting Married in a Church: Everything You Need to Know

We actually weren't married in my church back home. At the time it was being renovated and the renovations were set to be done just at the time of our wedding. Far too risky. The other two options being plan a wedding in a month or just find another venue... and another venue is what we went with. Today's guest post explores church weddings and things you might need to know. 

Americans aren't anywhere near as religious as they used to be. According to a recent survey, only about 50% of people belong to a church right now, which is down from 69% back at the turn of the century.
But there are still plenty of people who are members of a church. And for these people, getting married in a church is a no-brainer. They want to hold their ceremony inside of a church as opposed to inside of another venue.
Are you interested in tying the knot in a church? Regardless of which religion you practice, there are a series of steps that you're likely going to have to take prior to getting married in a church.
Take a look at some of the things you'll be expected to do before celebrating your wedding day in a church.
Begin by Becoming an Official Member of a Church
Getting married in a church usually isn't as simple as walking into any old church and picking out a date for your wedding. More often than not, you'll need to be a member at a church before you're allowed to get married there.
If you're already a member at a church, great. You won't have to worry about taking steps to become a member there. But if you're not a member at a church—or if your soon-to-be spouse isn't one—start things off by becoming members at the church at which you want to get married.
In some cases, this will be easy enough. You can become a member of a church by filling out a few forms in a church office.
In others, you or your spouse may have to take classes and go through an entire process to become a member of a certain religion and, by extension, a member of a church. It all depends on what religion the church practices and how they handle membership.
Let Your Church Know You Would Like to Schedule a Wedding
Once you and your spouse are official members of a church, the next step you'll want to take as far as getting married in a church is concerned is scheduling your wedding.
Generally speaking, it's best to do this well in advance of your wedding date. Many churches schedule weddings a year or so in advance.
For this reason, you should check with a church to see about their availability for a wedding before you look around for an affordable wedding venue for your reception. The last thing you want to do is plan out an entire reception for a specific day only to discover that your church can't handle a wedding ceremony on that same day.
This could throw off your wedding plans and make it impossible to get married in a church.
Make the Proper Preparations for Getting Married in a Church
Getting married in a church often involves doing more than just showing up on your wedding day and saying "I do!" You and your spouse will also have to go through some type of marriage counseling sessions in the months leading up to your big day.
In the Catholic Church, Pre-Cana preparations are mandatory for all those couples getting married. In other churches, the pre-wedding preparations aren't nearly as extensive.
When you pick out a date for your wedding at your church, check to see what kind of preparations you'll be expected to take care of beforehand. It'll ensure that you don't put off any necessary preparations that could prevent you from getting married in a church as expected.
Put Together the Plans for Your Wedding Ceremony With Your Church
When you plan a wedding ceremony outside of a church, it's pretty much up to you to map out every aspect of it.
You can customize the ceremony in almost any way you want.
Weddings in the church operate a little bit differently. There is a format to them that you'll need to follow when you're married inside a church.
That being said, that are some small plans that you'll need to make for your wedding ceremony in a church. For example, you'll have to pick out songs and readings used during the wedding ceremony.
You'll also be in charge of decorating the church for your wedding ceremony, provided the church allows you to do it. You'll have to bring in flowers and other decorative touches to make the church look more festive on your wedding day.
Pay Your Church for Your Wedding Ceremony or Consider Making a Donation
Getting married in a church is not free. You'll usually be asked to pay a small fee to use the church for your wedding. You'll also have to pay for someone to sing, play the piano, etc.
The good news is that most churches are willing to work with those who are going to struggle to pay for these things. There are even some that will ask for donations to their church as opposed to creating set fees for wedding services. This allows couples to donate what they can instead of being obligated to pay a certain amount of money to a church.
Make sure that you work the church fees associated with a wedding into your overall wedding budget. It'll help you and your spouse stay on track with your wedding spending.
Attend Church With Your Spouse Following Your Wedding Ceremony
Getting married in a church is a great idea for couples. It solidifies their bond in the eyes of God and sets down a solid foundation for their marriage.
It also gives couples a good reason to continue coming back to the church throughout their marriage. They can keep building on their faith together and utilize the church as the backbone of their relationships.
Would you like to get your hands on more tips for getting married?
Browse through all the wedding-related advice in the articles on our blog to make sure that you're able to put together plans for the wedding of your dreams.

Swapping to a Natural Deodorant with Wild Root | & Giveaway!

I'm no stranger to natural deodorants.

I've been on the search for the perfect one for year. Many haven't worked at all (hello living in the deep south!) and others work a little.

Being from a family with cancer spread all around, I've tried to be more aware of what I come in contact with. Be it cleaning products, food, or beauty items. Slowly but surely I've been making the switch as I find products I love that are at an affordable price point.

With parabens being a known hormone disruptor and aluminum deodorant not only preventing toxins from being expelled from the body but being a contributing factor in breast cancer... they became two items I've looked to reduce and eventually eliminate my use of.

My theory on health and genetic predispositions... I might as well not intentionally cause anything. So whatever I can eliminate, why not do it.

Wild Root, being a natural deodorant company, doesn't contain harmful parabens or aluminum. Not only that they tout only using simply ingredients you can read... and it's true. If you take a look at the back label there isn't anything odd.

Now for the important questions...

How long have I been using Wild Root deodorant? 

2 months. I got my first sample in a Simply Earth box in November and continued to use it until my two full size deodorants came in at the beginning of December.

Does it really work? 

It does. I promise. I sweat a ton, it's always gotten on my nerves, so you can trust me. Now, does it stop sweat like a over the counter aluminum containing deodorant? No. But it does stop smells. I've used both their sensitive line as well as performance and both work great at blocking smells. TMI, but during my period I find I need the performance line more. When my hormones are all out of wack it helps to bump it up a notch. 

What makes Wild Root different from competitors? 

I won't list the ingredient here, but you can check it out on the back of their package for yourself. This is 100% Emily's opinion, but Wild Root lists a specific ingredient as odor fighting... and it does just that. I've tried many, many brand of natural deodorant and read the back label of all 5 that are currently hanging out in my cabinet and not one other brand contained the order fighting ingredient that Wild Root contains. 

It makes a big difference. 

Should I get the Sensitive or Performance line? 

That depends. Do you have a baking soda sensitivity? If so, go with sensitive. Otherwise the performance is great. The best part about these is that while Sensitive is lacking the baking soda it is the same texture. Both are that powder-stick type of texture. Not gel deodorant at all. Where baking soda is absent, arrowroot powder is in its place. Same deodorant texture I prefer without feeling like something is missing from the lack of baking soda. 

In case you're curious about he scents, here's the break down. 

Performance Line:
Wildflower (Lavender and Ylang Ylang)
Tall Pine (Cedarwood and Pine)
Citrus Leaf (Lime and Sage)

Sensitive Line (no baking soda):
Wildflower (Lavender and Ylang Ylang)
Meadow (Lemongrass and Mandarin)

What's it like switching to natural deodorant? 

Well, when you first get started there's a touch of a detox period. Your pores have been clogged with aluminum containing doedorant for years and it takes a bit for all of that to get out. At first your new deodorant might not keep up well due to the excess bacteria from detoxing. I've even personally gotten small bumps and irritation during a switch, one way I combat this is by exfoliating my armpits every other day for about two weeks until I've gotten past the detox period. 

Real talk: I was using natural deodorant until I got pregnant with Elliot and couldn't take that it wasn't keeping up so I swapped back to regular... detoxing postpartum was a pain in the butt. I should have stuck with natural deodorant and avoided that. 

During the transition you may sweat more, stink half way through the day, and like I said above have some irritation or sore lymph-nodes. Just power though it and carry along your stick of deodorant to reapply midway through the day. It'll pass. I promise. 

Now for the fun stuff...

Anyone who submits their email address will get 30% off their order during launch week - January 13th - 17th! 

And there's a giveaway! You could win free deodorant for a year from Wild Root! What a better way to kick off a healthier new year than with free natural deodorant. 

The giveaway will run from Jan 6 - Jan 17. 

I'm dropping the widget below, but if you are having trouble with it feel free to use [this link]