Slow Coffee

May 7, 2021

 I've been constantly trying to figure something out for about two years now, well minus that glorious country wide quarantine time, am I really this busy or am I just not handling it well. 

Am I busier than before, Jeremy has changed careers and where we live has us at a 15-20 minute drive for just about everything. (Don't think I'm crazy, I grew up in a town with three red lights and could walk to school if I wanted.) 

Is it the stage of kids we are in? One is easy to buckle up and drag around town, but the second one adds another five minutes to the buckle up, take out, and all around herding of children that takes place. Is bedtime taking longer or am I just moving slower? 

Why do I have less time? Or better yet, why do I feel like I have less time? 

I know at some point the rush will slow down, as the kids need me less and less my time will once again be freed up. I will cook dinner without standing over a child who is having a fit about the fact that I won't give out popsicles. I won't spend half of bath time mopping water off the walls. People will eventually brush their own teeth, and do it well. 

On thing isn't changing any time soon though, the morning rush. 

Monday to Friday we are in a mad dash. I've got kids that need some sleep, and I do too, so we don't wake up super early for the sake of it. I've got us down to the minute to escape the house. Interstate traffic could actually derail the entire process. So on these days, my beloved coffee is Community Dark Special with stevia and Nutpods creamer. 

It's quick, tastes the same when I am finally able to sit down and drink it at 8:00am as I am taking roll, and it gets the job done. Caffeine ☑️

But those other two days of the week, I don't want that coffee. I want my slow coffee. Nespresso espresso with my foamed oat milk. I want to sit in my cute little chairs in the kitchen nook and drink it slowly in silence without any small people discussing monitor lizards with me. I even wait until I have picked up whatever I am cleaning on Saturday morning before I make it, I have no desire on earth to reheat this coffee and need it at its peak foaminess. 

This slow coffee is what has made me wake up earlier on Sunday mornings. I'll drink my Community Special Dark, but I much prefer to not rush. 

And Sunday friends, it's a RUSH.  This is single mother day 2 of the week and both of those see me driving around on two wheels with the children holding on for dear life. I actually got to church early this Wednesday because I forgot what time services started. Big accidental win! The fact that single mothers leave their house at all is a mystery to me. I just about want to go on lockdown mode when I have to manage everyone alone and be somewhere on time, hence the third child that will never be for us. I can't juggle it. 

But slow coffee, I digress. For my sanity I need these slow coffee days. I need to not rush. I need to capture the essence of the start of this pandemic and go into full shut down mode. Any glimpse of a slow summer morning is a perfect morning in my book. 

Anybody else? What is your version of slow coffee? 

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Meal Planning Monday

May 3, 2021

 This might need to be changed to Meal Planning Thursday - since that's when it actually happens. 

Thursday | Confit Chicken (Issac Toups Cookbook) with Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Friday |  Pioneer Woman Spicy Pulled Pork (first cookbook) with traditional colesalw

Saturday | Eating Out

Sunday | Trader Joe's Freezer Meal

Monday | Grilled Chicken Thighs with Cauliflower Mac

Tuesday | leftovers

Wednesday | Sam's Chick-Fil-A Nuggets with Fries

Lunch -Low Carb - Big Mac Salad
Reg Macro - BBQ Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potato 
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Simply Earth May Essential Oil Recipe Box || Natural Cleaning

May 1, 2021

 This month's Simply Earth Essential Oil Recipe Box is all things soap making and natural cleaning. 

More natural cleaning products is what initially got me into essential oils. The regular sprays you buy at the store had me in a full blown allergy attack by the end of cleaning on Saturday mornings. I started off with Tea Tree Oil about 10 years ago and haven't looked back on how I now clean. 

If you're new to Simply Earth and are just finding my blog, let me fill you in. Simply Earth believes that essential oils shouldn't be confusing, hence the ability to purchase kits from them to help educate you on how to use certain oils. They also offer the option to purchase single oils on their site on their own, or you can add them to your monthly box order and save on shipping. Subscribers get free access to the Essential Oil Hero Course to help you gain confidence and clarity on using essential oils. What I love the most about them though, they sell at honest prices. No MLMs, no mark up for no reason. Just great oils at a price you can stomach paying for. 

Another aspect about Simply Earth that keeps me coming back, they believe in empowering people to make a difference. With their 13% to end human trafficking campaign, Simply Earth donates 13% of their profits to different charities that are working to end human trafficking. In your box each month you'll see a blip about what charity they are focusing on. 

Let's get into this month's box. 

First off the oils included:: 

Tranquility (a favorite of mine from a previous box!) 


Oregano (amazing for kicking sickness) 


There are 6 recipes included in this month's box as well. You'll be making a Rose Quartz Soap, Sugar Scrub Soap, Herbal Surface Cleaner, Depuff Ice Facial, Let's Be Frank Roll On, and an Unwind Diffuser Blend. 

I love that his month has a mix of cleaning products that range from skincare to home cleaning. My absolute favorite this month is the Sugar Scrub Soap, I love a good scrub and my favorite soap I purchase is exfoliating - so this hits all the marks. 

Follow along with me this week on Instagram (@labride) and I'll be making each recipe in Stories. I'll be sure to save it to a highlight as well! 

As always head over to Simply Earth to order your MAY box and use the code LABRIDEFREE to get a $40 giftcard/credit towards your next order when you get your Bonus Box! 

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Being Proud of My Little Wiggle Worm

April 29, 2021

After the much failed attempt at baseball, we went after karate. 

I'll have y'all know it's going much smoother. He loves it, it's encouraging, his teacher is incredible. The focus is not on how great you kick at for the Little Dragons, but instead they learn self defense techniques while practicing self control, answering up (yes sir), sportsmanship, and confidence. 

This week Harry earned his 5th stripe (The parents have to fill out a form updating the teacher on behavior) and got his first patch for his uniform. 

He was beside himself. 

In the pic below you can see him fiddling with his belt. He was sitting and waiting on his turn to be called up and encouraged by his teacher for his helpfulness. Harrison didn't realize it was a patch week, but has been oh so happy to earn his little electrical tape stripes weekly. 

Then Sensei gave him his fist patch for having five stripes. Y'all he was beaming. Beaming! 

He isn't a child that everything comes easily to. Language acquisition was a struggle. He has some motor skill trouble he is working on with PT and OT at school. He is in speech (and making great growth). But some of the things that are easy breezy (as Harry says it) for others just don't fall that easy for him. But gosh he has such a heart. 

He is kind and loving. He genuinely cares about others and is so happy to celebrate everything for everyone! 

But he is all boy, 100% all boy on top of these things. Sitting still isn't on the menu. He has a thought and must say it now. He is active until he goes back to sleep. 

So with all of that, karate is more and more making me feel like it's the way to go for him. And not just because it is something he wanted to do. 

Throughout class I tried to catch his eye here and there to tap my hands on my lap to remind him to use self control. He needs those gentle reminders during class. Harrison wants to do exactly what he should, but the wiggles get the best of him. Considering he'd be heartbroken if he ever had more than one warning and would have to sit out, I try to silently remind him to reel it in. He's just so excited that sitting during class is tough work. 

But after a class of sitting still as best he could, listening oh so very well, and then getting his first patch... I told him how proud his Daddy would be when we got home and showed him the patch. 

He was beside himself with excitement. Daddy is the ultimate in people who he wants to please. We talked back and forth for five minutes about Daddy and it suddenly hit me. 

I never said I was proud of him. 

I clapped in class and told him he was doing great. I tried to talk up Jeremy since he isn't there with us. 

But I never said I was proud. 

So I said it. 

Harrison's response, "Really Mama?" In his sweet little voice. 

It was a bit of a knock on the side of my head. I encourage him and cheer him on, but he needs the words of affirmation from me as well. I am always trying to tell him how proud other people are and how great he does that I sometimes forget to include myself. He needs to hear that I am also proud of him. 

Heck, my late talker has grown by leaps and bounds and his one big personality quality that is always talked about by his teachers is his kindness. I couldn't have asked God for more than kindness. Inherently kind people are hard to come by and I want so desperately to nurture that so that he holds onto it. 

All that to say, tell your people that you're proud of them. I often forget to say it outright and was reminded of it this week. They need the words of affirmation. 

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A Guide to Keeping Kids Entertained During Weddings

April 26, 2021

Weddings are special, one-off events during which the bride and groom celebrate their love for each other surrounded by all their family and friends – but tell that to kids. At their age, they probably will not appreciate the meaning of marriage and true love, and instead the wedding day can seem a very long day – leading to boredom or overstimulation and the resulting tears or accidents. To ensure that everyone can relax and enjoy this special day, here is a guide to keeping kids entertained during weddings.


Hire an entertainer

Weddings often involve a lot of time during which kids are expected to remain quiet and well-behaved. Official wedding photographs, for instance, can take a while to organize and while the best man’s speech might be a particular highlight for you, kids can soon become crotchety. You could hire an entertainer for the reception to keep kids entertained during often lengthy wedding speeches. A magician, for instance, will keep your little ones enthralled with mind-boggling magic tricks. This is a particularly good idea if you are not sure whether the best man’s speech will be suitable for little ears!



Surprise your young guests with gifts at their table setting at the wedding venue to keep them entertained throughout the duration of the wedding meal. There is a great selection of fun gifts for kids you could consider that will not blow your budget. A coloring book and crayons is always a fun and absorbing option; or a book will keep them quiet for a bit. You might have some young guests who are playing a larger part in your wedding ceremony, such as flower girls and page boys, in which case you might like to surprise them with a larger gift, like a scooter, to thank them for their contribution.


Organize a quiet room  

With loud music, sugary drinks, and a general air of high spirits, it can be easy for children to become overstimulated at some point during the lengthy wedding day. This might manifest in different ways depending on the child’s individual temperament. They might, for instance, become hyperactive and potentially cause accidents by running around the room; or they could become grumpy and tearful, and potentially have a tantrum. Either way, organizing a quiet room allows them to take a time out and calm down away from the noise and bright lights of the main reception. For instance, a cloakroom kitted out with soft lights and blankets provides a welcome haven away from the sensory overload.


Kids’ table

If you have a number of young guests attending your wedding, you could seat them at a separate kids’ table during the wedding meal. This will give them an opportunity to socialize and have fun with others of a similar age, while also allowing their parents to let their hair down and enjoy the reception. You could even hire a babysitter to supervise them and ensure that they do not become too noisy whilst sat on their own.

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I Like My Eggs Shaken and Not Empty

April 9, 2021

 The days of spring in the South when we can play outside without fear of melting, they're simply the best. Granted the trade off is severe allergy issues and the constant handing out of Xyzal. 

I don't have a picture of it, but yesterday I saw Elliot scale the rock wall on the side of the playset. Second children really are something else. Harrison wouldn't have dared half of what Elliot does with ease. 

You might see children playing outside and coloring with chalk, I'm seeing a spearmint plant that is thriving in a land of many-a-dead potted plant. Don't even ask about the lavender, the two of us have never done well together. 

Anyone else have strange kids? I've caught these two all but licking the pan after dinner, but only if it is french fries that were seasoned with Tony's. 

How Louisiana are my children? Well there consumption of Tony's should clarify that. 

Two things here. 1) We've Pavlov Dog-ed the kids by accident. If the beaters turn on they come running, especially hungry baby Elliot. 

2) He started yelling "No cheese, no pictures Mama!" at me when I took out my phone. 

Last but not least, out first half decent family photo since Elliot's new born shoot. The church had an Easter egg hunt last weekend and the kids had so much fun. Little Ole Elliot, in true second child fashion, shook every egg to decide if he wanted it or not. He did in fact put some back. 

That baby ain't picking no empty or low weight egg. 😂

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