Three Important Considerations For Your Big Day

June 17, 2021


Your wedding day can truly be the happiest day of your life. It is a momentous occasion that you will think about forever and it will surely be one of your favorite memories.


Amid all the excitement, it can be hard to keep track of all of the important considerations for your big day. If you forget to complete a task or organize an essential part of the day, then you may be left feeling very frustrated and disappointed.



The following three points will help to remind you of the aspects of your wedding that deserve your full attention!


1. Wedding Photography


Your wedding photos are one of the key components of your special day. You will want to make sure that your photographer is going to do a perfect job and that you will have amazing photos to keep for the rest of your life.


You can achieve this by hiring a professional who you can trust to create the wedding photo album of your dreams. 


When you are thinking about your wedding photography, you might also want to consider hiring a boudoir photographer.


Boudoir photography is a more intimate way to create memories from the very beginning of your marriage. These photos will feature you in bedroom attire and can be as revealing as you want; it will be a unique and tasteful way to express yourself and celebrate your body.


You may wish to do a boudoir photo session by yourself as a fantastic surprise gift for your future spouse.


2. The Venue


The location of your wedding can make all the difference to how much you enjoy the day itself. 


Choosing a location that will not be difficult for your guests to get to is a must if you want everyone to attend. Getting married in a foreign country sounds exciting but doing so may exclude some of your friends and family from being able to come along. You might find it more enjoyable to do the wedding closer to home and then embark upon an exotic honeymoon afterwards.   


Additionally, you will want to choose a venue that is both beautiful and functional. Make sure there is enough space for all of your guests to enjoy the day comfortably and that the facilities are of the highest standard.


You will also want to confirm what is and is not included when you host your wedding at the venue of your choice. Explore different price packages to find the best fit for your requirements.


3. The Weather


It is obviously not the most exciting aspect of your wedding day, but it is unfortunately important. If you do not plan ahead by checking what the weather is going to be like, then you are risking a possible disaster.


If you have planned an outdoor wedding ceremony on a rainy day, then you are not going to have a good time!


Similarly, if you are going to be inside all day and it is going to be a very hot day, then you may find that you and your guests become uncomfortable. 


Hopefully you will be able to follow all of this advice and have the wedding of your dreams!


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I Do (Want to Travel): Pros and Cons of a Destination Wedding

June 15, 2021

The Covid-19 pandemic is starting to ease and travel weddings are back on the table. The travel wedding industry is larger than many people realize. In a single year, travel weddings are a $16 billion industry.
This should come as no surprise given the many benefits of a travel wedding. Who doesn’t want to get married on a beach in the Caribbean?

At the same time, there are some negatives to a wedding so far from home. Read on to learn the pros and cons of a destination wedding. Explore topics such as destination wedding ideas and locations.



What Are the Positives?


Perhaps the most significant advantage of a travel wedding is the flexibility. You are no longer confined to wedding sites that are within driving distance. You can go anywhere in the world for your special day.

The number of destination wedding locations is endless. Many people choose to go to the Caribbean for a beach wedding. Others fly to Hawaii for a tropical wedding in the Pacific.

Winter or mountainous locations are also trendy. Here, you can enjoy the beautiful scenery of snow-capped mountains. Your guests can ski or snowboard after the festivities.

Another benefit of a travel wedding is the party size. Naturally, fewer people attend the wedding. Many people cannot get off of work or find child care arrangements.

The end result for the married couple is a small wedding. This is intimate and special as the bride and groom are surrounded by only the closest family and friends.

Lastly, a travel wedding combines the ceremony and the honeymoon into one event. Now, you do not have to travel after the wedding.

Instead, you can start enjoying your location immediately after the wedding. Many people enjoy this part of a travel wedding as it eliminates airport stress.

What Are the Negatives?


There are a few negatives to hosting a travel wedding. Perhaps the most impactful is the guest list. Your best friend or favorite relative may not be able to make it.

Another disadvantage is the unpredictability of a travel wedding. It is difficult to plan when you are thousands of miles away. You cannot control factors like weather and issues with customs.

Unlike a local wedding, you cannot stop by for a food sampling or inspect the centerpieces. The good news is that travel wedding resorts are professionals and typically do a great job.

Depending on where you go, there may be a language barrier. You may experience difficulty explaining what you want to the staff.

Lastly, travel weddings pass a significant cost burden onto guests. Instead of a wedding gift, they are now paying thousands for flights and resort accommodations.

Pros and Cons of a Destination Wedding


A travel wedding is great for couples who are laid back. They do not care about every little detail and want to share their honeymoon location with family and friends.

There are some downsides related to planning and weather. However, these cons are not too much to overcome.

If you enjoyed this article about pros and cons of a destination wedding, check out our blog for more great content.  

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A Guide to Aging Gracefully

June 14, 2021

The realization that you are not as young as you once were can be a devastating one. You might have recently discovered your first few grey hairs, for instance, or lines around your eyes that won’t go away no matter how much sleep you have got the night before. Perhaps you find yourself aching more than usual. This horror may send you into a panic and booking Botox treatments and a facelift consultation. However, there are ways in which you can age gracefully and naturally and still look great. 



Haircut and color

Grey hair no longer holds the same stigma of being for elderly people who are ‘past it’. There are now many stunning older women who have embraced their silvery locks; indeed, many younger people are choosing to dye their hair grey as well. Furthermore, switching up your hairstyle to suit your face can dramatically upgrade your appearance, especially if you are still wearing the same hairstyle you had in your twenties. Whether you decide to let your hair go grey naturally or feel more confident in dying your hair, a good hairdresser will work with you to create a cut and color that will make you look and feel at your very best. 

Dental care

Taking good care of your teeth is important at any age, but as your teeth sustain more wear and tear over time, it is important that you take extra special care as you grow older. Brush using fluoride toothpaste to strengthen your enamel and take care not to overbrush, as this can lead to receding gums. Visit your dentist and hygienist on a regular basis for a check-up and deep clean. You may even decide to have cosmetic dental treatment to improve your smile, such as tooth whitening treatments or veneers. Visit bafdentistry.com for more information on dental treatments.

Makeup

As you age, changes in the texture of your skin and your overall coloring can mean that the makeup looks that made you look and feel beautiful in your twenties and thirties are now too harsh on you in your forties, fifties, and beyond. Glitter eyeshadow, for instance, can settle in wrinkles and therefore emphasize that which you would rather avoid. Book a makeup masterclass, or visit a makeup counter in your favorite department store to learn the products and techniques that will best show off your features and make you feel beautiful and confident, whatever your age. 

Exercise

Regular exercise is important at any age to ensure that you maintain a high level of fitness.
However, as you grow older, you might like to rethink your workout routine to incorporate low-intensity exercises that are gentler on aging joints. Swimming is one of the best forms of exercise you can get as although it provides you with a full-body workout, the water cushions your joints, reducing the risk of injuries. Likewise, low-intensity workouts like Pilates and yoga help to increase your balance and flexibility while improving your strength and muscle tone. 

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Camping at Unicoi State Park || Helen, GA

June 9, 2021

This year we headed over to Georgia for our camping week! 

We stayed right outside of Helen at the Unicoi State Park - this is a wonderful park and I'll show you the campsite later on. 


How ya like that camping nap? Don't even ask me how long it took me to get him to lay down and quit fussing. 


We headed into Helen on one of our days, and I'll go ahead and warn y'all... post Covid has his this city. Many businesses aren't open or are closing earlier than they are supposed to due to staffing. One particular restaurant had a 40 minute wait just because they were understaffed. 

Fine and dandy on your own, but with kids I am not doing a long wait. 


The next day we hit up the Cattahoochee National Forest for an easy breezy hike to Anna Ruby Falls. 

This trail is completely paved and people of all ages were there, just be warned that it's kind of on the side of a mountain and the drop from the trail is steep... too steep for a stubborn toddler who wanted to jump to his death. 

Beautiful but nerve-wracking.






There aren't any photos to prove it, but after hiking we ate lunch and headed over to go tubbing down the Chattahoochee River with the kids. Harrison thought it was great - Elliot (as seen below) hated us for this one! 

It was fun, but as a warning for small kids - it was a lot more rough and had several rapids than we expected. I saw a man get tipped out of his tube and struggle to get on his feet and find his tube again. The water was 58 degree and it was 70 degrees outside. The temps weren't painful (the kids tubes had bottoms) but you don't want to be fully submerged in this... and it was moving quite fast in areas. 


On our last full day there we rode out to Cleveland to see Babyland - the Cabbage Patch Kids headquarters. It was interesting to say the least! One cool thing though was that they had several original hand-sewn dolls as well as Andy Warhol painting of the dolls. 



You haven't lived until you've watched a "live birth" from this baby tree. 


After Babyland we drove out to Dahlonega and took the kids to a real gold mine. While there we got to tour the abandoned mine and try out panning for gold ourselves. The name of the gold mine is Consolidated Gold Mine if you are ever wanting to go. 


Theme of this trip - Elliot is not amused with out antics. He really just wants to piddle around the campsite and not see someone operate a 130 year old gold mining jackhammer at 200 feet below ground. 



Now for our the campsite was laid out... 


I brought back out my kitchen tent area. The picnic table was originally off in a strange area so we moved it to where you can see it here. On a tent only site you'd see the table placed better, but this was an RV spot and the tables can be anywhere to accommodate the side of the RV that extends out. 

Now the ice chest is out now, but due to being in a heavy black bear area... this all lived in the trunk while we were sleeping. Like we saw several and one was spotted near us. 


Here's a camping hack for you - I only take a griddle and coffee pot, but we needed to heat up some bbq pork on this trip. Three layers of tin foil shaped into a boil and I had an easy way to heat up the meat without a big bbq mess on my griddle! 



It was a little odd that the RV site didn't have a tent pad. They had a tent specific area, but I wasn't going with it as it was "pack in" area and the bathrooms were a touch of a walk - no bueno. I really wish parks would realize that the tent need the accommodations and the RVs can be more remote. I mean heck most have bathrooms in them, it's all of us tent sleepers that are walking past critters at 2am to potty. 

All that to say, we tossed the tent on a spot that was slightly smaller than our tent but allowed us to stake down on three sides. We probably only lost a few inches all around doing this. On the upside - all the concrete meant that the tent wasn't as dirty when we packed up. 


Last up - the peanut stand close to the camp sells firewood at a good price. There are several different fire ring options, but all of them have the grill rack. If you get a site and have small kids shoot to get on the Big Loop (it's big bend or big creek, I can't remember) it's closest to the creek and playground. 

Well that's a wrap on another week long camping trip! Man I wish we could get out more often, I swear I sleep better in the tent! 

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June Simply Earth Essential Oil Recipe Box || Garden

June 1, 2021

 Another month, another Simply Earth Subscription Box in my mailbox! (and it can be in yours as well if you snatch it up quick!) 


This month's theme is Garden! The box is said to be inspired by the idea of a summer evening spent in the garden. (the theme was chosen by fellow subscribers) 



Let's talk about my favorite part, as always - the oils. 

This month you're getting:: 

Good Vibes (blend) - supports natural hormone production
Lemongrass (single) - calms, warms, cleans
Citronella (single) - calms, repels insects
Mandarin (single) - uplifts, calms, soothes


The extras are a 2 oz spray bottle, floating candle wicks, dried peppermint leaves, and paper board lip balm tubes. 



The recipes this month include a peppermint infused oil, a Bug Off Roll-On, a recipe to make a citronella candle with those floating wicks, lip balm, garden spray, and a diffuser blend. 



Let's walk through what I've made so far this month. 

First up is the lip balm, I wanted to rush it so I haven't made the peppermint oil yet. Instead I used peppermint essential oil from a previous month's box. 




I was curious about the paper tube for lip balm, but I'm actually loving it. This balm is light and refreshing and feels great on your lips. 


Let's not even act like the diffuser blend wasn't next on my list to make - I love a diffuser blend. 

Mainly because I love candles but my allergies don't allow for much. Essential oils though, send them all on because I haven't met one that I can't diffuse. 

This blend combines your Good Vibes blend with Mandarin and Lemongrass. It smells likes summer, that's all I can say. In the most not coconut or sunscreen at all kind of way. Just clean, outdoors but not entirely, and light. 



Last but not least on what I've made so far, Garden Spray. Let's fight the good fight and repel the buggies! I mixed this up and sprayed it all over my lavender, mint, thyme, and basil. 

Unlike what I have treated my garden with in the past, this smells good and you don't feel like you're going to die if you smell it or even get it on your skin! I would love to test it out on a veggie garden (I'm just sticking to herbs this season) to see how well it really repels. 


As always, Simply Earth donates 13% to end Human Trafficking. This month 13% of profits are going to the organization Win This Fight who raises money for organizations that are on the frontlines. 


As always head over to Simply Earth to order your JUNE 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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The End of a School Year

May 29, 2021

 We made it to the end of another school year (for me) and the first for Harrison. 


The two of us celebrated with a pool day! 


Just in the nick of time too, shortly after this the bottom fell out of the sky and the temps dropped in the 70's here! 




The older this kids gets the more I have to work for a real smile. Forced kid smiles are terrifying. 


Seriously, the hoops I jumped through for this. 




That first year of school is in the books! For someone who hated waking up early everyday, he was so sad when we left school on Friday. In fact, on the two half days he kept disappearing and sneaking off to his teacher's class. 


Isn't that what you want though, for them to love their teacher so much that they want to spend time with them. It just shows how much he felt cared for, and he surely was. His teacher has a gift for lower elementary! 

He isn't going to be the happiest with me when he finds out he isn't going to first, but we decided to hold him back. He passed Kindergarten, but with his speech delay impeding his language development and has him a little behind in Reading. I've spoken to so many people who say the same thing, for their son they didn't regret holding them back in K, but many regret not doing so. The fear is that pushing him ahead to 1st before he is really ready (maturity) will do more harm than good. Boys just tend to need more time, especially boys who are "all boy" and need time to work on self control and growing up a bit more.  



Most afternoons I workout downstairs in the kitchen nook while the kids play. On this particular day Elliot ate his snack and watched the Faster Way workout. Sometimes he tries to do the moves, it's hilarious to see. 



And since ole Ellie was the queen of spitting out a dry pill, I leave you with a meme. 


I seriously tried it all with that dog and by the time she hit 10 she wasn't falling for anything. At least she was smarter than my grandparents pug, Puggy, who would hide under the table in plain sight. 

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