I Wanna Be Loved Bayou

July 8, 2020

This past week I headed off with the kids to visit family in the bayou state! 

If you're reading this and didn't see me just know... I'm on a time crunch every time. While we weren't able to visit my MIL this time, she just had surgery and Covid sucks, we are usually driving all over creation to make sure we spend time with her and my parents. Not to mention we have to work in time with our best friends and our second family. 

I'm awful at photos when we get to see our New Iberia family, We were too busy eating fried crawfish poboys from Bon Creole and then generally not pretty enough for a pic. I've got a shot or two of Kali and Brandon that Harrison took but I can promise you she'd never answer my text again if I posted them 😂. 

So just know, we sat, chatted, drank coffee, and hugged the people we love. Even if I'll die without photo evidence. 


I finally located a CFA with the Frosted Coffee. 

It was amazing. 

I was mistaken in thinking that the coffee level was gonna be low and was wide awake at 2am. 

When will I ever learn 😂, this reminds me of that time my step-MIL was driving us back from Tennessee (after that awful wreck that destroyed my beloved Mustang) and we stopped at this cool gas station that had a great coffee bar right outside of New Orleans. WORST. DECISION. EVER. Someone forgot to alert Emily to the fact that past noon all coffee is off. I was 4 pm. At 2am a. Tylenol PM couldn't even take me down. 


We finally got to my parents house and I lived my best Vi-Lou life. Or Miss-Lou. Whoever you want to call it. 

For those of you not familiar, Vidalia is on the Mississippi River and it is what divides us from Natchez. As a kid we had to drive into Natchez for nearly everything. Vidalia is tiny... and they'll write you a speeding ticket if you don't slow down and get a good look. 

Now for the photo above, Elliot spent a good chunk of time in that window sill pushing cars to the end... and subsequently having me send them back. 


Bath time - also known as a time where Big Booty Judy kept bumping the stopper and ending bath time early. 

When my parents remodeled their bathroom the tub has built in stopper you have to push just so, Elliot always pushes it just so. 


As per tradition... Rolling 'N' The Dough had to be visited. I almost need a couple days and a sitter just to get to everything I love in Downtown Natchez. 

This particular day I went to lunch with Mom and her teacher friends at The Camp (which is under the hill if you are visiting). 

To explain Under the Hill - Natchez is all bluffs and Vidalia is all areas that could easily flood and surrounded by levees (Louisiana 😑). To get to Under the Hill you have to go down a bluff and get to the river where there are a few restaurants. I think this area was a port at one time. It has also been the landing spot of a riverboat casino or two. 


Cotton Candy cookie dough this time! I took me a week to finish this. It's not diet cookie dough by any means. 


Dad's two year old ducks finally got their ducks in a row and hatched a baby. She was really fresh, umbilical cord still showing and her little beak still appeared damp. 


Which means Harrison got to finally live his dream of petting a baby duck. 


Sadly the dumb ducks aren't that great at babies yet. The mother tried to sit on more eggs and the baby got under her... no more baby duck. Now Dad wants to get axe the ducks, I personally want to process them and find some recipes. These are some big old meat ducks. 

Give it a year and something else will be in that backyard. We've had ducks, chickens, quail, Egyptian pheasants, doves, rabbits, and surely something I've forgotten about. The dumbest of all the critters being Bob White Quail... they don't seem to have a will or instinct to live. 

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Let the World Know: How to Share Your Wedding Photos

July 6, 2020

Getting married to the person you love is a once in a lifetime moment and one of the happiest you'll experience. Months go into planning your special day, and it's only natural that you'll want to remember it forever.

Wedding photos are the best way to reminisce on the day you and your partner united as one. Your closest friends and family members are going to want to remember the occasion as well.  

Read on to learn all of the best ways to share your wedding photos. 


Create an Online Photo Gallery

Online galleries are often used by photographers to share their wedding photography with the bride and groom so that they can choose their favorite pictures. You can also create your own gallery or use the one the photographer put together to share your wedding photographs with your loved ones. 

If you decide to create your own wedding website, there are plenty of website builders that make it easy.

Here are just a few of the options:

  • Extra
  • WeddingWire
  • Wedding Jojo
  • The Knot
  • Luvbirds

Use Social Media Platforms

Most people have a social media account that they use every day. The great news about sharing your wedding photos on a social media platform is that it's expected, so no one will be put off by seeing your photos. 

On most social media platforms, you can choose whether your photos are shared with the whole world or just your group of friends. 

One of the best aspects of sharing through social media is the option for people to tag others, like, comment, and share your photos.  

Facebook and Instagram

Facebook and Instagram are two of the most popular social networks out there, so chances are that anyone you want to share with will be able to see your posts.

Both platforms also provide a story option, so you can post a large amount without filling up people's feed. 

Part of what makes Facebook unique is the option to create a photo album, so you can put all of your family wedding photos in one place. 

Facebook has also broken into the video market with live video and the option to post videos. If you or a family member shares a wedding video that someone wants to download, they have that option as long as they know how to download videos from Facebook

Instagram, on the other hand, is a great choice because you can create your own wedding hashtag. Other people who attend your wedding can use this tag too. This makes it so anyone who looks up the hashtag can see your whole collection of wedding photography. 

Flickr

Flickr is a less popular platform but made specifically for photo-sharing with groups. In fact, billions of photos have been uploaded to Flickr since it was created. 

Simply form a group, and everyone can share their images with that group. 

You can also download the Flickr app and use other people's photos for wedding inspiration. 

Pinterest

Pinterest is another great platform for finding wedding inspiration.

After your wedding, you can upload your own wedding decor, planning tips, and ideas to share your photos with the world. You might just help someone else out along the way. 

Photo-sharing Apps

While all social media platforms have apps, there are separate apps you can use that are made specifically for sharing wedding photos. These apps make sending your high-quality wedding photos easier.

When choosing a photo-sharing app, look at the features they offer to find the one right for you. Some allow commenting on photos, while others feature the option to order prints directly from the app.

Apps will also differ in price, varying from free to premium plans. 

Some examples of highly reviewed photo-sharing apps include:

  • Veri
  • Eversnap
  • Wedding Photo Swap
  • Google and Apple Photos

Make a Physical Wedding Album

Not all methods of sharing wedding photographs require the internet. Rather, you can create a physical wedding album to place in your house on a shelf or table. 

Not only is this a fun way for you and your house guests to remember the event, but creating a wedding scrapbook can be fun. There are plenty of gorgeous wedding photo album ideas to inspire you. 

You can also frame some of the best photos and hang them around your house. 

Sharing Down the Road

Months or years past the wedding date, you may get the urge to share your wedding photos on social media again. 

But how do you do this while staying relevant and without annoying your followers? 

There are a couple of opportunities that are perfect for sharing, no matter how much time has gone by. 

You Have Something to Celebrate

Certain celebrations are perfect for sharing an old wedding picture. These include anniversaries, birthdays, and promotions. 

Anniversaries are a time to cherish your time together, and it's only natural to share a moment from when your lives officially came together. 

You or a loved one getting a promotion is also a good time if the post goes into how supporting each other got you there. 

You can even share wedding photos on a friend's birthday if the photo is of the two of you together.  

Throwback Thursday 

Throwback Thursday or #TBT is the perfect opportunity to share a wedding picture. The whole point of #TBT is to look back at a time in your life, and your wedding is a pretty important time!

Just make sure that you don't post one every Thursday, or it might get old. 

Put Your Wedding Photos Out There  

Now that you know how to, it's time to get your wedding photos out there for the world to see. Or at least share them with your friends and family. 

Your wedding will be one of the most important and special days in your life and signifies a great turning point. What better way to remember and cherish the occasion than with beautiful photos?

If you enjoyed this article, be sure to visit my wedding blog for more wedding-related advice. 

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How to Find the Perfect Wedding Band to Compliment Your Engagement Ring

July 3, 2020

Your engagement is an exciting time that is filled with anticipation for the next significant chapter in your life as well as the love and support of those around you. It is also, however, a time of planning and preparing for your wedding day. Everything that has to be organized for the big day, even if you are planning a smaller wedding, can accumulate into one majorly overwhelming list.

 

While many of the things you will need to organize will prove to be tedious and time-consuming, several items are incredibly fun to manage. For instance, trying on wedding dresses and selecting your hairstyle are both things that can make you feel glamorous and elegant. Then there is the process of finding the perfect wedding bands for you and your husband-to-be.

 

Jewelry shopping is one of the more fun outings that you get to embark on before your big day. Finding the right wedding band to compliment your beautiful engagement ring can be a bit of a task, though. Here are some suggestions that can help you to find the perfect ring to symbolize your official union as a married couple.



 

Start with the Metal

 

Firstly, you will need to select the metal that you want to be the primary focus of the wedding band. Some brides want to mix and match metals to provide a bit of contrast, but most typically opt for consistency. When you go with a silver band to accompany your silver engagement ring, for instance, the final pairing will almost look like one cohesive ring as opposed to two separate pieces sitting side by side.

 

If you are sporting a gorgeous silver engagement ring and want to find a complimentary silver wedding band that pairs with it flawlessly, have a look at the silver jewelry at Fjewellery.co.uk for inspiration and options. You might be able to find some other silver pieces to wear on your wedding day that will help tie your whole bridal look together.

 

Stones or No Stones?

 

Traditional wedding bands are known to be simple rings of metal with no stones or embellishment. These can make for a classic look that easily compliments either simple or extravagant engagement rings. The overall look will be clean and simple to not overshadow the engagement ring that you already have.

 

If your current ring is on the simpler side, though, with perhaps a larger stone surrounded by a halo of smaller ones, you can create a complimentary look by going for a wedding band with similarly shaped smaller stones. Such an eternity band can add some extra sparkle to your ring finger without overpowering your engagement ring.

 

Some brides decide to go all out by fitting an eternity band that has larger stones with their already impressively ornamented engagement ring. Consider adding a pop of color, too, by selecting a band that has diamonds that alternate with other stones such as rubies or sapphires.

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Changing Bins, Unwelcome Bed Guests... & some Quaran-memes

June 29, 2020

Last week I finally got around to changing Elliot's clothing sizes out. I'm not a fan of the 2T bin primarily due to the lack of baby one piece rompers. 

Once you add shorts and a shirt these kids suddenly look like they're applying for college. 


In the swap I did find one of my favorite outfits from baby Harry. 

So I pulled out the camera. 

Click one - all serious baby. 

Nods, smiles, Click two. 


Here's a side by side. Same age. Same outfit. 

Harrison the cheery baby. 
Elliot the Cajun definition of cannillie. (mischievous) 


It's summer, but I think we can all agree it doesn't feel like normal summer. 

I'll still take in the slow mornings before real like starts back in the fall. Granted if I've learned anything from trying to get to church, I'm out of shape when it comes to get ready speed. 


Everyone has been boycotting yogurt. 

Mama got a good one on them though, insert yogurt popsicles. 

Guess who all was begging to make more...


In case you've wondered what socially distanced church has looked like, it's lots of quiet activities with Mom and Dad on opposite ends of a pew 


Elliot + Nutella = please someone else come clean this up. 


Birmingham Moms Collective had virtual Bloom this past week and it went really well. Even more exciting, from the trapped at home mom, was passing out swag the next day to all our local mamas! 


When I tell y'all that Elliot is beyond busy, here's exhibit A:

Found a stool and somehow tip toed himself to get the water on and play. 


Are y'all still here? 

I know I should have posted last week and this wouldn't be the case. 

My mother's school has been prepping for any potential online learning so we did a mock Zoom lesson before she presented it. 

2 things: 1 - there's a reason 5 year olds don't go to night school (attention is far gone) and 2 - God bless lower grade teachers during this mess. 


I stopped for lunch in Mississippi on my to Louisiana and got my hands on the frosted coffee everyone is talking about. 

Y'all. It's good. But it isn't a nightcap type of drink. I didn't realize the caffeine was bugging me until I was still wide awake at 2am and sleeping with my oldest octo-child. 

I honestly forgot home much noise Harrison made in his sleep, every so often I'd wake up again to either being touched or hearing him mumble. This is what initially got him kicked out of our room and into a crib. He just grunts and carries on all night. 


Now for the Quaran-Memes


Let's be honest, at this point our roads should be as pretty as Texas roads. But nope. 



It took me years to start reading last names in South LA the right way, I'm still not a pro. Now I'm in Alabama reading names wrong again. 



Don't email me, y'all know this is true. 

If you call and I don't answer, just know it's just because I can't stand the sound of a ringer... or an alarm. 

And that friends wraps up what's recently been in my brain and phone. Who knows, maybe I'll doing enough to do a river rat update this week while I'm over here in the bayou state. 

Also, expect spelling errors, this keypad is not my friend. 


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Meal Planning Monday

June 22, 2020

If quarantine taught me anything it's this... getting 3 meals a day together for these people is not my idea of fun. 

It's so little fun I didn't even blog about meal prep. 

This from the lady who lived for meal prep. 

I nearly murdered my sour dough starter and have all but told the family to eat Cheerios for dinner. More time is cute and all if you aren't the house elf to a hoard of short humans with high demands. 

Don't get me wrong, I've adored the extra time with the kids. I just don't want to feed anyone anymore. 



Monday | Grilled Burger Patty with a side salad (if there isn't a large snake in the grill)

Tuesday | Instant Pot Smothered Pork Chops with Green Beans

Wednesday | Bacon Cheeseburger Cauliflower Casserole with salad

Thursday | leftovers

Friday | Mama Ain't Cooking! 

Saturday | Headed to visit my parents for a hot second...

Sunday | ... Jeremy can fend for himself lol

Meal options outside of dinner for myself...

Protein Shake
Kodiak Cake Mug Cake (1/3c Kodiak Pancake Mix, 1 tbsp PB2 Peanut Butter, 1T mini semi sweet chocolate chips, egg, water) 
Sandwich with a salad (Aldi has a low carb bread w turkey, honey mustard, swiss) 
Dessert if I need it - cottage cheese with sugar free cheesecake pudding mix topped with blueberries
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Planning a Vegetable and Cut Flower Garden in Zone 8

June 17, 2020

It's finally close enough to time again to start planning a garden. 

Have I got a realtor? Not quite yet. 

But as soon as I land a teaching position for next year I will be working towards the house hunt. 

Let me tell y'all this though, the number 1 things I've missed the last two years has been gardening. 

Winter gardening in Zone 9 with my easy to assemble landscape timber raised bed.


In the past I planted a kitchen garden that was a long rectangle, to one end was a variety of herbs, then lettuce or cabbage, root veggies during the winter or squash in summer, whatever suited my fancy, and then my perennial strawberries. 

I loved how these strawberries just took over the far side of my garden over the years! 

One of the big items I'm looking for in a house is space to have a kitchen garden yet again, raised bed of course (again). As well as adding a cut flower space. I honestly love flowers but am not the type to splurge on buying them. What honestly seems more appealing to me is being able to water and cut them myself. 

As far as going the (and excuse the fact that I'm not well versed in lingo -  I have other gifts) landscape timber route again or more towards that 5x7 look, or whatever that cut of wood is. I do not know. It'll depend on ease of assembly, if my Dad is helping, and cost. 

The first tiny strawberry! Not long after that we started trying to keep the birds out.

What I'm most happy about is to be in Zone 8, or 7 depending on which site you ask. Either way it allows me to plant more of what I like to plant without the pain of the heat in Zone 9. Summer gardening in 9 was a beast due to the sun just burning everything, it's had to keep a garden going when the grass is scorched. Plus I will admit I'm awful at watering and that is why I tend towards a winter garden. 

Carrots just make me happy. And lemon thyme. Oh I can't wait to plant lemon thyme again! 

So, cut flower! In the past I've had your typical landscape flower beds, but I want to take it up a notch and grow a few bushes that are simply meant to be cut and brought inside. I've got some ideas, but luckily I've got time to further research 1) what I want to plant in Zone 8 and 2) what will grow best in Zone 8. 

No sense in planting anther bush just because I love it only to watch it never grow due to the zone. 


Click the photos below for a link to their websites! 


Low maintenance being the keep word here, this seems like a great list of shrubs to use and be able to cut for indoor use! 


If you like more of a wild flower look, which I do appreciate, this has some good options. I really like the style of many English gardens and how some of the flower placement feels more natural. I'm not one for a sculpted garden. This site also give a nice list of perennials and shrubs, because easy to tend is always my kind of garden! 


Here's a zone's list in case you need it. Most of the South is in Zone 8 with much of Florida and the lower areas of Louisiana being a touch more tropical. It definitely made it harder to grow coming from 8 down to 9/10 and initially thinking about gardening like my Dad does. What finally thrived was planting what I purchased at the local nursery and not a big box store. 

There are even more complicated hardiness zones if you want to get super specific. 


I love these infographics from Family, Food, & Garden about spacing and how to plant. I'll admit in the past I just planted, but there are plant species that bode well next to others. Some thought does need to go into it. 

Either way they had two great graphics on spacing and ideas for what to plant! Both images link back to their post. 


So, that's an idea of where I am mentally going with a new garden. I might even throw in a 3rd and have just herbs! It all depends on yard space. I want a garden to serve a few purposes 1) pretty 2) provide some veg and flowers, but not the sole source and 3) be a relaxing way to piddle outside after work. Watering and messing around in a garden is such a great way to not think and unwind at the end of the day. 

Two more posts I didn't link but are useful:


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