Failures of a Food Blogger

I don't know what's happening y'all.

Have I lost the touch, the ability to make anything and it turn out well. (generally, Jeremy has a few girl foods he chooses to not like)

When I burned my great-grandmother's chocolate pie to an absolute crisp the other day I thought I was just not paying attention. Clearly I had gotten busy cooking my lunch for the week and ignored what was about to happen to my dear pie.

Which might I add can not be made in a single day without chilling because that sucker NEVER SET.

Then.... I burned an entire set of cracker appetizer to a pulp.

It was as black as night.


So either I've lost my touch or God is trying to make me humble.

Stop thinking you can cook Emily, because toast is clearly an issue these days.

In reality though, it's just the old oven that must be all wonky on its oven temps. These are the first two delicate items I've made and they both died painful deaths. I did over do a set of rolls once, but who knows.

To add more laughter to this cooking injury... these were supposed to be taken to a women's event where everyone brought recipes of their dish. I only had the recipes. At the end I heard a few women asking where this was, they surely didn't see it. (Oops lol)

So guess what Santa is bringing me... an oven thermometer. I can't be letting that oven shame me like this.

Meal Planning Monday

Thanksgiving break was so relaxing... especially since dinner (when I did cook it) was just a charcuterie when it did happen. But now, it's back to work, back to meal planning, and mama needs a nap. 

But only because the baby has a man cold. 


Monday | Chick-Fil-A - they're doing a bring back your receipt thing today.

Tuesday | Poppyseed Chicken

Wednesday | leftovers

Thursday | Marry Me Chicken (that I've yet to make) Roasted Potatoes & Brussel Sprouts

Friday | Family Date Night

Saturday | Making an app for the Sunday School Party. I can't make up my mind.

Sunday | Frozen Trader Joe's Meal

For lunch I did steak bites, spinach, and cauliflower mash (sweet potato mash on reg carb days)

Simply Earth Essential Oil Recipe Box | December!

The December box from Simply Earth came in yesterday and I can tell y'all everything I hoped it would be... it is!


I was crossing my fingers for a Christmas themed box and that is exactly what I got. The "theme" is Gift Giving, and it's all Christmasy. Perfect for a stocking stuffer. The oils this in this essential oil recipe box include" Mandarin, Candy Cane, Pine Scotch, and Peppermint. 

We actually bought our Christmas tree last night and got it mostly decorated, so this morning I had a combo of Pine, Mandarin, Candy Cane, and the Cinnamon from the November box diffusing as soon as we got it. It smelled absolutely heavenly and went well with the smells already coming from our real tree. 


Since it is cold season there is even a recipe card this month to help with that! Plus several more that you could use to make gifts this year. If you have your Bonus Box then you are half way to what you need to make everything this month. The labels mixed with the adorable paper tags that were included would make wonderful gifts from friends or teachers (or just for yourself). 


As always... stickers for each of your essential bottles as well as the recipes you can make.

I hate that we had to leave town today, because as soon as we get home I'm going to make every recipe in this box. I'm especially excited about the Citrus Christmas Room Spray.


Candy Cane is actually a lovely blend of a few very Christmasy oils. But I'll save all of that chat for my video at the end. 

By the way:::

Starter Boxes just launched! This is great for anyone who is interested in the E.O Recipe Box and doesn't want to wait long for their own box. The Starter Box comes with recipe cards as well and a free Bonus Box. 

For instance, when the December box sells out (and the boxes have been going quickly) you can get the Starter Box. 


Last but not least before I get to the Youtube video for this month... there was a surprise sample in the December box. I'll talk more on it soon in another post, but Wild Root is a sister company to Simply Earth and will be offering natural deodorants.

I talk more about it in the video, but I used this sample before packing up to leave and it went on very smooth. I've had it on all day and (even on a very warm Southern fall day) I am ending on zero smelly pits. Wild Root will be launching very soon, so stay tuned for info!


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


Favorite Products of 2019 & a Giveaway with Smile Brilliant!

I'm not much for a gift guide, but what I do love is seeing what other bloggers actually purchase themselves and adore. So this year I've rounded up my favorites from the year and am listing them all here for you. Is this all Emily centered products... yes. All the things I love.

Just make sure you keep reading to the end because I've got a giveaway for one of you with one of my favorite companies! 


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Gellen Soak Off Gel Polish | Of all the gel situations I've tried this is by far my favorite. I doesn't chip bad and my only issue that that an entire nail will just pop on off randomly. Whatever I'll just paint that sucker back on. But it's durable and can withstand all my typing. Plus it looks legit like a salon gel manicure.

Smile Brilliant Whitening Kit | This is an oldie but goodie around here. Closest you will get to professional whitening at your own home.


Smile Brilliant is a direct-to-consumer oral care company that strives to provide products that are truly transparent and professional grade, right in the comfort of your own home! We began with our customized whitening kits, which fit each individual's teeth exactly to be able to whiten evenly in all the nooks and crannies a standard whitening strip can't reach. We have since expanded to offer our cariPro electric toothbrush, with 5 different settings that include sensitive and gum care, and our professional mouth guards, to prevent grinding your teeth while you sleep. We are proud to be vegan, cruelty-free, and Leaping Bunny certified as a company, as well as voluntarily FDA certified to ensure all our dental products are of the highest quality.



Tarte Maneater Mascara | I was surprised I loved this so much. I went back to my drug store mascara after this bottle and am going to repurchase soon because I miss it so. It wasn't my favorite brush ever but now I am actually thinking I loved it. Long lashes, didn't flake off, and washed off easy when you took off your makeup.

IGK First Class Dry Shampoo | This stuff is legit. I don't know if part of my love is the fact that we've moved to a different type of water and a drier climate but I can get many more days out of my hair with this dry shampoo. With zero white cast!

Smile Brilliant cariPro | I just bought more brush heads and actually had to wait a week because one of ours broke and we had to order more... it was a very long unclean feeling week. It's a pricey item but totally worth the money. My teeth have never felt as clean as they do using this toothbruth outside of an actual dental visit. And can I add... my husband doesn't travel with our electric toothbrushes, so that first morning back home is the cleanest feeling ever!

24W LED Nail Lamp | This has cut my at home mani time down by a ton and I couldn't be happier.

Snail Serum Masks | Is your skin looking dry? Look no further. This feels like it plumps my 30ish year old skin and I adore these masks.

Teddie Organics Rosehip Oil | I gave this as gifts two years ago and am still using it daily... that is all. My skin feels incredibly dry now without slathering it with rosehip oil.

Jade Roller | I'm very expressive and it shows by way of the forehead wrinkles I have. I really like using this at night as a means of massaging my face and releasing tension... and pushing all those serums deeper into my skin.

Simply Earth | I didn't expect to fall so in love with a company but I surely have. Their essential oils are priced well, and y'all know I want a good deal. Plus the scent lingers and fills the room in the best possible way. They've actually got a Black Friday Sale coming up so be sure to check in on their site to take advantage of it. I've got a few oils I need to replace that I' holding in my cart for the big sale. I recently reviewed their EO Recipe Box & and you use the code LABRIDEFREE to get a $40 credit/giftcard towards your next purchase when you buy your first E.O Recipe Box!



Biosil | I might actually be on this now and no longer a dedicated collagen user. It helps your body produce it's own. Plus you really pee out most of those collagen peptides. Anything in the name of beauty, better skin and hair... and longer nails. Plus it helps your organs and such but that's secondary to skin lol.

Lange Straightner | Maybe it's because I've been using a cheapo straightner for my entire life and jumped the gun on this when it was on sale recently... but I love it. It makes me hair look much more like what my beloved hair dresser back home did to me. If you check them out now they actually have a big Black Friday Sale, and don't ever pay full price. They will have another big sale, wait for them.

Large Teleties | They're cute and they hold up your ponytail well. Buy them.

Ryan & Rose Hair Tie | Again, a much more adorable option to your standard hair tie. I wear one on my wrist all the time and this looks better.

Yeti Rambler | I just celebrated my one year anniversary with my Yeti and I haven't looked back. It just makes me so darn happy. Legit... I drink out of it every single day.

Amazon Basics Travel Blackout Shade | We used these at a friend's house and I immediately came home and ordered some for the kid's room. Don't get me wrong, I still adore our custom blackout shade company we used for Harrison's room. The issue lies in the fact that we've been renting for over a year and I'm not ordering a custom something for a rental situation. This has been the best option so far and blacks out the best... not as good as the EZ Shade... but as close as I can get.

48 oz Nalgene | Need lots of water? Don't have a cooler at work? Don't want to use bottled? This is your solution.

LaVie | I had trouble pumping with Harrison so when I found out about hand massage I implemented that, it helped a lot. But while I was pregnant with Elliot, LaVie launched and this was a total game changer for my lactation situation while pumping. I pumped more than ever before ladies. Plus you can use this to unclog plugged ducts and it's shower safe! Use code EMILYB10 if you buy one for 10% off.

Hanhoo Blemish Patch | I'm so glad these started being carried in the U.S. and I could quit chopping up hydrocolloid patches for my face. If you get acne that is that drainy oil nonsense... this will soak it right up.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Definer | Best brow pencil in the United States!

Mina Henna Eyebrow Kit | Aside from using a brow pencil when my henna has wore off, I have saved so much money by doing this to my brows myself. Plus full brows make you look so much younger.

Amazon Basics Puffer Jacket | Cheap and really keeps the wind and cold out. I have made it through many a frozen recess at work with this one on.

Tosowoong Enzyme Powder | This is a great second step cleanser after taking off makeup. Plus this puppy is a dupe for a much more expensive enzyme powder. I love it and use it nearly every night. It makes you face feel super clean and is a wonderful mild exfoliator.

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Now for the best part! Y'all know I love my Smile Brilliant Whitening Kit and our cariPro toothbrush, and I've gotten a few of my friends on board as well. They've been so kind as to offer another giveaway (of $149 dollar value) to their site. You can get literally anything from them, replacement heads and gels, or a whole new product you've never tried! 

So here's the deets: 
Use code louisianabride15 for 15% off any order you make! 

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This giveaway is open to all US, UK, Australia, and Canada residents. The giveaway will be open through December 6. And in case you hate some giveaways, this is hosted on the Smile Brilliant site so your email won't be sold and used elsewhere. You just have to enter your email address in the giveaway link to enter. 

That's it! Now go enter to win!  ;)

Busy Baby Strikes Again

Elliot is steadily proving me wrong on every parenting truth I held dear.

He wasn't a baby led weaning fan. Instead he has me ordering pouches off Amazon for his snack. Meanwhile, Harrison was a great eater.

I did convince him to wean early... but only by offering him chocolate milk. (never fear I got him on some DHA Horizon Organic and Hershey's Simply, it's nothing too rich)

His other baby trick... he doesn't sit still.


Harrison loved to go and do, but he did that with his own toys. I never really and truly baby proofed anything. Pictures stayed down. Breakables stayed down. He messed with nothing.

Elliot meanwhile is an absolute nosey baby. He loves to dig in cabinets.

I'm currently struggling with what to get a baby for Christmas who only loves eating small Legos and sucking on essential oil bottles.

(He hasn't swallowed a Lego yet but he sure wants to, and my oils have been moved from the side table because he constantly wants to dig in them and taste test.)

All of this leads me to Saturday.

Jeremy had been out of town at a youth pastor's retreat and I was at home solo parenting. I thought the children were convinced to occupy themselves for a second while I was cleaning the kitchen.

Thought being the key word here.

Elliot isn't Harrison.

He was playing quietly. I was cleaning. All was right in the world.

Until I thought to myself... "Elliot is only quiet when he's into something or pooping."

Sure enough he was into something. He had somehow found the tape dispenser and wrapped himself in tape.

I laughed, took a photo of his silliness to show Jeremy, and carried on cleaning up the tape situation.

Notice the bruise on his head? The look of "What on earth is wrong with having taped my leg up?"

Elliot immediately darted off for the living room and before I knew it he had knocked the lamp (the dear lamp he's been tempting to touch for weeks) onto the ground and broken the base.

Harrison, who had just seen the tape antics, walks over, shakes his head and says, "Mama, I'd be SOOO mad."

And that made me laugh harder than the rest of it.

I couldn't be mad at Busy Baby. But his brother thinking it was a good idea to be mad just made me giggle even more.

How to Take Care of Your Pre and Post Wedding Planning


Today's guest post is all about wedding planning. Tell me in the comments... how long did it take you to plan your wedding? We started in August and got married in May! 

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Your wedding is said by some to be the best day of your life. While this might well be true, it’s also true to say that weddings are notoriously stressful. There is a lot of planning to do in the lead up to the wedding, and also afterwards. While many people focus on the former and give very little attention to the latter, both are important, especially regarding your mental wellbeing.


Read on for some pre and post wedding planning tips.

Pre wedding planning
Post-wedding planning
Look after yourself

12 months prior to the big day, book your wedding venue and your reception location. Also start to research suppliers of important products and services such as florists, photographers, hair and make-up artists and cake makers. Spend a month or so looking into your options and then book your chosen selection of professionals. Start hunting for your wedding outfits.

When you have 8-10 months to go, book your DJ or band for your wedding reception. Also look into accommodation for guests and either book it, or let guests know what they need to do. Now is also a good time to book your honeymoon. Doing it in advance will ensure you get what you really want, and you’ll probably also get a better deal.

6-8 months before the date, order your wedding dress and start planning your bachelor and bachelorette parties, if you’ve chosen to do these. Alternatively, go modern and arrange a pre-wedding party for everyone to be together.

With 4-6 months to go, choose your wedding party outfits, organise the legalities for the marriage, and book wedding transport.

2-3 months before the day, send out invites, buy your wedding rings and gifts for the wedding party. Finalise your catering plans.

At 2 weeks to go, finalise your guest list and seating plan, and confirm all of the previously made arrangements.

Spend the next two weeks treating yourself to spa days and preparing for your big day.

·       Ensure you’ve cleared the venue of your personal possessions
·       Pack for your honeymoon
·       Drop your wedding dress at the dry cleaner
·       Write thank you notes to your guests
·       Make a wedding album

Following the mayhem of a arranging your marriage, and indeed getting married, you may suffer from post wedding blues. It’s normal and understandable to feel lost after the wedding is over, not to mention tired and overwhelmed from the metaphorical rollercoaster of emotions. It’s important that you allow yourself to feel whatever you’re feeling. Talk to those close to you about your emotions.

There are ways to avoid or combat post wedding blues. After all the excitement, you may feel lonely, even though you have your new spouse by your side. To help take care of yourself, arrange to see friends regularly and perhaps take up a new hobby to fill the gap of planning a wedding. Treat yourself to some of the beauty treatments that you booked in before the wedding. If you’re feeling low or anxious, or have concerns about your mental health, seek help from a doctor or specialist center such as edentreatment.com.

Most of all, try to relax and enjoy your new marriage. Remember why you spent all those months planning to marry the person you love. Now it’s all done, you can enjoy your next chapter and all the wonder it will bring.