Louisiana Bride: April 2014

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

I Heart Pinterest Wednesday!

Something tells me the next few weeks will last a little longer than usual wish school coming to a close for the year. 

Too bad Pinterest doesn't work at work. Dang blockers ruining all the good educational websites! Of course my students need to learn how to make random things and wreathes this month. 

Oh well, let's just talk about what I've been pinning at home. 


First up, my favorite breakfast aside from hard boiled eggs. Now that I'm looking at the picture I really wish I had some keifer on hand. 


I'm always pinning kombucha recipes, this summer I am going to vow to finally make one! 


When I saw this I immediately needed to find a way to make it, it's absolutely perfect! 


I'm going to be making these soon, no matter how much Jeremy doesn't like me making "kid food" for dinner. 


I know you've seen me post about my door, but this is the perfect excuse to salvage yet another door. 


I did a 30 day squat challenge back in February, and I have to say it showed some results. Even though I was forgetting to do them until I was getting ready for bed and forced myself to take off my makeup while doing squats... it still worked. 


While Jeremy isn't as easily entertained, my sister and I love this sort of thing. This particular one I'm sure will make her laugh! 


More makeup contouring! I can't get enough of it, and I seriously need to motivate myself to do some sort of eye makeup everyday to match my now pretty complexion. 


DIY baby moccasins! Now I have to learn to sew. 


Want more of my obsessive pinning? Follow me:)





Tuesday, April 29, 2014

My Graduate Wife Journey [The Finale]

Two years ago I wrote a few posts about how I felt in this whole graduate school season of life. I had graduated from my own program and was able to move to Thibodaux where Jeremy was attending Nicholls.

You can read about that here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, & Part 5.

When I left off we didn't know where Jeremy's internship would be. My hope was to take the position in Alaska and eventually move to Europe, that obviously didn't happen. It was probably for the better too, we had agreed that if he applied there we would not come home for the entire year.

I would have missed a year of birthdays, holidays, and just the in person conversations I so love to have with my family. Even more than that, God knew it would be very hard to me to handle the idea of my father having cancer and not seeing him once.

So something worked out there, what I wanted would not have ended with the same joy I wanted to go there with.

We still moved though, and it wasn't exactly because we wanted to. The parish I was working in had the new tax proposal shot down last May, which only caused more cuts and even a few school closures. There was absolutely no possible way for Jeremy to work there unless he accepted an unpaid internship.

Where we were financially at the end of last summer did not allow for such a thing.

Sadly we have to leave a church we loved serving in, and several very close friends we spent all of our time with. God had us more plugged in at FBC Thib than I could have ever imagined. Seriously, not once in my life did I ever see myself as the wife of a youth minister.



Trust me, having not envisioned that led to a lot of heartache and a big learning curve.

That was still a year ago.

Here we are now, three weeks from Jeremy's graduation. A day that I honestly thought would feel more like 20 years away as we opened the letter from NSU three years ago and Jeremy told me it was my decision if we would take the plunge.

It hasn't made marriage, life, family, or friends easy this three year stint; but I'm insanely proud that my husband who statically shouldn't have ever made it to this point in life is going to have a Specialist degree.

Heck, my pride would nearly force the man to get a doctorate if I weren't ready to go back to school myself.

As we close this chapter of our lives, I in a sense feel like I did when we started it.

We're in a new place, far from our old friends and in the process of making new friends. It's a new church, and I'm trying to find my footing as to how and to what capacity I will serve in. Jobs are new, the home is new, and like our move to Thibodaux... it began with the need for a new car.



Finally though, and I mean the all caps version of finally, we are at the point in our marriage where things are beginning to settle. It's funny we set a 5 year deal on talking about kids while we were engaged, because it has literally taken 5 years to get to a point where there is obvious room for them.

I know I've said a few of these things in other posts, but I like to keep my stories together... and I left this story without an ending two years ago.



It was mostly a story of lamenting and change.

Now it's ending with change and joy.

Jeremy is finally done with his long and arduous program.

Dad has cancer, but we were finally given a primary site and chemo started yesterday. We will find out towards the end of the week how he is reacting to the treatment, but it's finally treatment for a treatable cancer. I've even convinced the old man to go zip-lining with us in Puerto Rico, probably mostly just to please me... but I'll take it none the less.

We are planning to finally buy a house, and speak of babies.

Plus I'm going back to take classes to add on a Special Education certification.

I know God doesn't plan for us to feel settled, but this is the little bit of settled I need to continue to trudge though life. There has to be just enough positive to help ease the negative in life. There also needs to be, within us, just enough optimist to overcome the pessimist.



So what has this whole Graduate Wife Journey taught me that I never saw coming?

It's made me overcome my pessimistic self just enough to see the positive in things.

I know I've had a grumpy school year, but it gave reason for me to be much more grumpy than I ever let out in public. It also gave me reason to be grumpy that I won't ever speak of entirely here.

I may not see the world through rose colored glasses, but I left a huge chunk of my cynical self behind. I've learned to cope being far from family, and have seemingly come to love friends a lot more than I ever did before, because when you're far from family you need friends.

Leaving Monroe was hard, but leaving Thibodaux was a lot harder.

I'm hoping we plant such deep roots here that leaving this place would trump the latter.

So yay for graduation, and whoo hoo for the end of a season I never thought would come to this end! 

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Meal Pinning Monday

The gloriousness that is Spring Break has ended, but on the up side there are only 4 weeks left of school. 

Praise the good Lord! 

It's high time for summer break to make it's appearance, especially since a week of that will be spent somewhere I've always wanted to go. 



[What is Meal Pinning Monday?]
MPM is how I meal plan for our little family. I once spent a lot of time searching the web and my recipe books hunting for new recipes and ideas for what to cook every week. Then, Pinterest came along and made meal planning much easier for me. Every weekend I look over what I have pinned the prior week and decide what I would like to cook and make my grocery list from these recipes. MPM came about as a way to share what I am cooking, and to also see what others are cooking every week to hopefully get even more dinner ideas from other bloggers. If you don't pin your recipes feel free to just share what you are cooking.

Monday  - Gumbo with Mexican Cornbread (recipe to come Thursday)

Tuesday - leftovers

Wednesday - leftovers

Thursday - Grilled Chicken & Roasted Broccoli

Friday - Chipotle Cheddar Turkey Burgers with Sweet Potato Fries

Saturday - Ribs & Potato Salad (another Nanny recipe that you'll get next week)

Sunday - Eating out:)

Meals on my own >>>
Breakfast - Hard Boiled Eggs & Pan Fried Kale
Snack - Grapefruit
Lunch - 2 Grilled Chicken Tenders & Kale in a zippy bag with dressing (my new mess free obsession)

Now it's you're turn to share this week's meal plan!

Friday, April 25, 2014

High Five for Friday

Friday is upon us, which is good in a normal week... but it means Spring Break is coming to a close.

At least we are only 3 weeks to Jeremy's graduation and 4 from school being totally out!

On a side note: if this post is misspelled half to death please forgive me, spell check isn't working out well and I typed it up pretty quick like:)


This has been a running around week for sure. After church Sunday we headed to North Louisiana from Easter Lupper (because 4 is too early for supper but too late for lunch), notice the lovely large hair with my new dress. I seriously wish we were that couple that had pictures with each other from everything. Jeremy gets up at the crack of dawn for Praise Team rehearsals and what not and this girl just don't jive with that.

While we were in West Monroe with my in-laws I snuck away with my sister-in-law Amber to the gym a few times. Luckily we are both Anytime members, not so lucky that the gyms in North LA are a lot more updated than what we have around the Lafayette area. I love Fitness OnDemand, but we don't have the Zumba dances back home. So I dance my heart out and took advantage of the situation.

I've been seeing a ton of people post about a new restaurant in West Monroe called Latin Food. You seriously have to go if you're ever in town, it's right past the Duck Commander store. I didn't notice it until this time, but I've been driving past that Duck Commander store for years now and had no clue where it was. Needless to say since the last time I made it into town they've made it a lot easier to locate the place, as in DC has bought out everything they could that's close to the store. Back to Latin Food though, it's all Honduran with Cuban coffee. I had nearly died and gone to heaven, a good friend of mine growing up is Honduran and I spent quite a bit of time at their house eating, so you can imagine it was nice to get to eat like that again!

We got back to V-town Wednesday afternoon since Dad had another surgery yesterday. This time it was to scope and biopsy down his throat. They took his left tonsil, and biopsied his tongue, and several spots on the nasal pharynx. We are hoping this allows the doctors to locate a primary site for the cancer, the whole point of locating it is to be able to be super precise with the radiation when it starts. As of right now it sounds like they are wanting to start radiation while chemo is still happening. I hadn't seen Dad since Mardi Gras and I can tell you one thing, you can look at him and tell what side the cancer is on. His entire left side of his throat and face are swollen. We were assured yesterday that the swelling will go down when chemo starts and the facial swelling is due to capillaries being compressed from the cancerous lymph nodes.

After setting Dad up with a protein shake and eating dinner, Jeremy and I headed out with Pop to hear a Doo Wop group called the Alley Cats. They were great, and it was hilarious to see the older women getting all excited about a few songs. If you haven't been to a concert that the Concordia Parish Library puts on and you live in the area I highly suggest you go. I went to every one of them while growing up, my grandmother worked at the Library, and always loved it. If anything it's a great way to expose your children to a variety of music.

We are headed back home early tonight, Jeremy had band practice tomorrow morning. Boo! Joshua told Jeremy yesterday that he wanted us to move in with them for 10 years, as you can tell someone loves his uncle. The boy has begged me to sleep in bed with us the whole time we've been here and follows Jeremy everywhere he goes when we're here.

How's y'all's week been? 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Breakfast "Ice Cream"

One of my favorite textures and all around foods to eat is ice cream.

I bought a Yonana Maker last year thinking this could transfer that ice cream love to frozen fruit, but was really disappointed in the recipes I tried. 

I did make a pie, but other than that the texture of banana through a Yonana just wasn't appealing. A blog friend I follow on Instagram was on a Yonana roll and posted her desserts nearly every night. It inspired me and I busted out the Yonana again. 

Breakfast "Ice Cream"  via @labride

After playing around, realizing what textures I like and didn't like, and figuring out just what would fit through he contraption... I came up with my go to recipe. 

It's also just my favorite smoothie, minus the greens, frozen completely and tossed in the Yonana. 

Breakfast "Ice Cream"  via @labride

Breakfast "Ice Cream


Things you need::
Yonana Maker (or good food processor)
Ice Cube Tray

Ingredients::
1/2 banana, frozen
1/2 cup Frozen Tropical Mixed Fruit (frozen foods sections with fruits)
1/2 cup strawberry keifer (I use Lifeway)
1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder
1/2 cup orange Juice
1 tsp chia seeds

Directions::
The night before make sure all fruit in prepped and in the freezer. Combine protein powder with the orange juice and freeze in ice cube trays, pour keifer into ice cube trays as well.

When you are ready to make your Yonana ice cream, take out the fruit, remove protein orange juice and keifer from the ice cube tray and all it to sit on the counter and soften just slightly while you assemble your Yonana Maker. This is usually no more than 2-3 minutes tops for me. Next place a bowl under the opening in your Yonana Maker, turn it on, and being pushing all of the frozen fruit and ice cubes through the machine. When you're done be sure to take the machine apart to scrape out all of the wonderful "ice cream" that is still stuck in there. Sprinkle with chia seeds and enjoy!

Breakfast "Ice Cream"  via @labride

This is by far one of my favorite breakfasts when I want something sweet. 

If I'm just in the mood for a smoothie I don't freeze the juice or keifer and combine all other ingredients the same but add in kale and blend. If it needs more liquid I add in vanilla almond milk or a little more orange juice. 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

I Heart Pinterest Wednesday



We just got back to my parents house, after a whirlwind visit to the farther north of Monroe. With two days nearly wi-fi free, I'm insanely happy to be touching a keyboard again. Plus Jeremy picked movies to watch on his computer at night... The Green Mile was not on my top movies to watch when disconnected from Netflix list.

But alas, life goes on.

In other news, Latin Food (restaurant) in West Monroe is amazing! It's all straight up Honduran food (my favorite variety of Latin with the best Cuban coffee you ever did run into.

Holy caffeine amazingness!

There were also some sneeky things that went down to prep for Jeremy's 5 year anniversary present. It's a surprise that he wouldn't expect at all, and I share a bit more about it next month. Only after he finds out of course.

Now for the pinning, because I did so much of it while the guys watched Thor Monday night!


I love white subway tile and glass jars. 


I'm saving this idea for when we buy, but then again I could totally make a few of these now to outside this summer! 


Cold brewed coffee at home, I'm making this when we get back home. It's definitely gotten too hot for hot coffee. Cold brewed with Jeremy's iceed coffee recipe would be insanely good. 


For some reason I'm in the mood to make a lot of homemade popsicles this year. I've had trouble with my plastic molds, but I'm thinking if I get the paper cups like these it would work out better. I honestly don't care so much about this recipe, just the paper cones for popsicles. 


Yes, yes, yes! Planning to do this on our next bed. Unless Jeremy changes his mind about letting me paint our giant bed antique white. 


This is true, so true that the old man agreed that it perfectly described. If only y'all could hear all the women living in my head talking at the same time lol:)


My hair naturally goes to this color during the summer (I have virgin hair and never plan to dye it until the grey sets in.), but I am really liking the cut and curl!


Speaking of hair and makeup I love, Jessie James Decker is my hair/makeup crush right now. I am in love with how she does it... plus she's from good ole Louisiana! 


She has a few makeup tutorials on her Tumbler, and I happened upon a list of what she uses on Pinterest. 


Here's her hair tutorial I'm loving right now >>>


Y'all! Mom made this PW recipe and said it is amazingly tasty, she did mention that she'd prefer to make it with mashed potatoes and half the recipe. 


I'm loving this verse printable that I found last week. Such a powerful verse. 

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Meal Pinning Monday

It's Spring Break and I'm the grill master for two days this week, other than that Mother dearest is doing the cooking! So for a nice break from me this week, you're getting Meal Pinning Monday via my Mama!



[What is Meal Pinning Monday?]
MPM is how I meal plan for our little family. I once spent a lot of time searching the web and my recipe books hunting for new recipes and ideas for what to cook every week. Then, Pinterest came along and made meal planning much easier for me. Every weekend I look over what I have pinned the prior week and decide what I would like to cook and make my grocery list from these recipes. MPM came about as a way to share what I am cooking, and to also see what others are cooking every week to hopefully get even more dinner ideas from other bloggers. If you don't pin your recipes feel free to just share what you are cooking.

Monday - Sausage & Provoloe Pasta


Tuesday - Honey Soy Pork Chops with Roasted Potatos (originally for chicken, but she's using pork)


Wednesday - Grilled Chiken & Veggie Kabobs


Thursday - Chicken & Rice with Salad
Mom's Recipe (chicken, 2 envelopes dry onion soup mix, 1 onion, long grain rice, salt, pepper, garlic powder, poultry seasoning. Brown chicken & onion, stir everything up with water, add rice & cook until done.)

Friday - Hamburgers & Onion Rings




Traveling home Saturday, and Monday - Wednesday I'm eating my premade bag meal that consist of 2 grilled chicken tenderloins with kale, I'll add my dressing before eating.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

A Weekly Recap & Thoughts

I'm a day late, and life my father says... a dollar short.

So we won't even slightly call this a High Five for Friday - it's more like a Praise the good Lord it's Spring Break Saturday!


1. Coconut water isn't one of my favorite flavors, it kind of tastes like body odor. As in, men playing basketball outdoors in the dead of summer and someone managed to capture and sell their sweat nasty. I do like how hydrating it is though, I probably don't get enough water, or any liquid for that matter, in a day and I like to do what I can to not intentionally dehydrate myself. Insert Zico Chocolate Coconut Water, the stuff is heaven sent. It's better than chocolate milk, but I hate milk, so it's just a really good chocolate drink.

2. Grilling, it's grilling season. Therefore I probably smell like a grill 90% of the time from here until it gets too cold and I start baking everything... which will be for about 1 week in January every year. What's your favorite grilling recipes? I'm probably about to send Jeremy into a grilled chicken rut, if he starts to grow feathers you'll know why.

3. It's starting to show that Ellie is creeping on 8 this year, the sister just doesn't want to walk anymore. My plan is to make another batch of dog treats and carry them with me while we walk. This is technically the opposite of the Biggest Loser program, but if I have to feed you while you workout to get you to workout then that's what we'll do. I was laughing at her this week, it was either Monday or Tuesday and we had yet another awful thunder storm, as soon as I got home she decided she had to be directly on top of me for comfort. We sat like that for at least two episodes of The Real Housewives of somewhere.

Yes, I like that horrible show. Don't judge:)

4. Easter is upon us in a major way, and it has swooped in and single handedly hijacked any sense of motivation I had to not eat junk. It all went downhill Thursday, but today I will do better. By better I mean pre plan every meal I will eat for the next several days and put them in convenient baggies so no one can tempt me with anything. Puerto Rico is too close for comfort, I will weigh what I weighed before we moved here if it kills me. Or if Jeremy develops a hate for chicken before then.

5. I got my Influenster VoxBox in this week from Sargento to try out their new Ultra Thin Slices, if ever there were a lactose intolerant blogger to send cheese to this is it! All I can think about is sandwiches, wraps, and standing in the fridge at midnight snacking on cheese slices. Who doesn't love free cheese?

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

With all the fuss over the American Blogger movie, which I didn't notice until yesterday I started thinking about how I fit in that category. The main backlash I am reading is that the spectrum of bloggers they interviewed wasn't broad enough, and that the bloggers who they chose are slightly "plastic."

After thinking about what category I fit into I realized, Louisiana Bride has become slightly "plastic," or at least more so than it was in the beginning. Then again, blogging has changed over the past 6 years. I once unloaded all my emotions into a post, sometimes I still do, but then it was super raw. I started holding back when I became a teacher for fear of kids and parents tracking me down. There isn't anything here incriminating about me, I just wanted to keep my private life separate. In the beginning my last name was all over the blog, now I've done my best to remove it.

The other day I was filling out a form for PopSugar Select and really was hesitant to put my last name in the last name blank, but I didn't want to be Emily B. either. Jeremy actually encouraged to put my name on it, I'm not doing anything to get myself in trouble, so why hide so much. If students find me, they find me, the problem is only when teachers interact back.

As far as crazy open emotional posts, you probably won't get that on the spectrum I guess people want. I'm not going to air our dirty laundry here, it's isn't fair. Jeremy doesn't have a voice here. Anything said is simply one sided. Plus who would care if we disagreed about something. I've seen a lot of bloggers end up having major marital problems due to the over sharing of private information. Heck, I've even gone so far over the years as to not put our friends on the blog a whole lot. It's not my place to share pictures of them, their kids, or their lives on the Internet.

I'm just here to share mine. My life, my struggles, my stories, and all the stuff I force Jeremy to eat. By being more private than I was in the early days I'm not being plastic, I've just grown up and realized just when it isn't my place. I was very tempted to not share about my Dad's cancer, because it isn't my cancer, but it became something that I had to write about to help me. Writing some of those raw emotional posts are a type of therapy for me. That's why you won't see them often.

What I'm saying here is this, I view myself as an "American Blogger" but it doesn't hurt my feelings that I wasn't included. Let's be real, if you're fussing about it it's because on some level you wish you were included. I have a small group of blog friends, if Jeremy ever took to filming them you'd probably wonder why they were all majority brunette, female, and posting about food all the time.

You gravitate to who you are like.

I didn't start today's post with any intent to talk about it, but here we are. All up in my mind, no Pinterest, no food, no reviews - just Emily's brain.

Then again, maybe I'm not as much of a "put out the pretty" blogger as I was accusing myself of being.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Chimichurri Sauce for One

I have to admit, one of my favorite flavors (aside from chocolate and coffee) is cilantro. 

While I will add it to soup (like I did last night), tacos, salad, and nearly any savory food that will hold still... Jeremy does not share my love for the flavor. 

Yes, I married one of those people who think it tastes like soap. I always feel so sorry for those people and the greatness they are missing out on. 

A few weeks ago though, my cilantro soap tasting husband made me a little surprise. 

Chimichurri Sauce for One via @labride

I happened to be working a school function late and he decided he was going to surprise me with what dinner was. I knew he was grilling steaks, but as far as sides I was a little scared.

The man knows I prefer healthy, he on the other hand is known to order double carb sides at a restaurant with no shame and still fit in his pants the next day.

To my complete shock I came home to not only homemade sweet potato fries, the man had made Chimichurri. My cilantro hating husband had made the best homemade Chimichurri I've had in ages.

Ages actually being that I haven't made any in about six or so years, due solely to his distaste for the stuff.

I immediately demanded the man tell me what he did to make just enough of the goodness for me and promptly wrote it down. This Chimichurri sauce is the perfect blend of cilantro with enough tang from the vinegar and spice from the garlic to make any cilantro loving individual happy.

It made me happy enough to put it on nearly everything I could, and even get a few looks from Jeremy about the fact that I didn't have to eat the entire serving.

It was too good to save for later though.

Chimichurri Sauce for One via @labride

Chimichurri Sauce for One


Ingredients::
1 tbsp of red or white wine vinegar
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp water
1/2 clove of garlic
1/4 cup cilantro
salt & pepper to taste

Directions::
Add all ingredients to a small food processor and pulse until cilantro is chopped up very fine. If you don't have a food processor this can also be done with an immersion (or hand) blender. 

Chimichurri Sauce for One via @labride

My food processor is actually too large for this recipe and Jeremy had trouble getting everything to blend for it. When I made it the second time I used my immersion blender and it worked out a lot better. However, if you have a small chopper that would be even easier. The small quantity is harder to blend in a larger gadget.

Then again if you have a mortar and pestle it would work even better! 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

I Heart Pinterest - Easter Edition

Can you believe it's almost Easter? I honestly couldn't be happier to see a few non work related Spring Break days in my future!

Let's do this week's post with a little Easter theme:)


I love this idea of using a chocolate bunny as part of table decorations >>> genius use! 


I feel like if ever we were fancy at Easter Jeremy could have us covered with this napkin fold. The man was the king of napkin folding when we worked at Sage in Monroe in college. 


Egg dying color chart, always useful! 


My love of spinach dip makes me think this Spinach Dip Bunny would be delicious and darling:)


Natural egg dying chart... in case you're into that sort of thing, or just really like the colors. 


This is a great idea if you have small children dying eggs, we all know they don't have the skill it takes to balance on that odd little wire thing in the egg dying kit. 


Concrete eggs, I'm making these next year!


I know everyone remembers making these as a kid, I love the idea of using them as garland. 


This printable banner is beyond adorable, if I didn't need more printer ink I'd print it right now:)


I feel like this is a necessary skill for any egg related craft, a skill I definitely haven't tested out yet. 


Be sure to follow LABride on Pinterest for more awesome pins all week long.



If you'd like to link up your Pinterest account feel free to do so below. I haven't added a linky here before, but why not give someone else a chance to link up their Pinterest account:)



Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Hippie Products I Swear By

A few years ago I started to notice that what I was using on my skin had started causing breakouts. 

No one wants to see someone in their late 20's with acne, let's just be honest. 

I had tried a product containing mineral oil to remove makeup, later discovering mineral oil clogged pores. Then the next popular drug store makeup remover I bought made my eyes burn like I had splashed vinegar in them. Why on earth would eye makeup remover burn? 

It still baffles me. 


That led to me finding other ways to do the things I wanted, without having quite as many chemicals involved. My thinking was mainly that if I couldn't ingest it I probably shouldn't be using it.

I'm still tempted to start to no-shampoo method and completely take up the oil method of skin care, but those will have to wait until summer when I have more time to let my skin and hair adjust.

Until then, these are the products I currently adore.
(You may remember in past years when I posted here and here about other hippie things I loved.)


First up, chia seeds and coconut oil.

Chia seeds happen to be the only complete vegan protein (at least that's what I've read.) Why do I love them? Well these little Chia Pet seeds have a tendency to swell up any liquid they are near, which make you feel full longer (slows digestion) and they also help prevent blood sugar spikes. Chia is also a great source of fiber and omega-3.

Now, I mainly used plain jane coconut oil until Jeremy sent me out looking for organic unrefined extra virgin coconut oil. He wanted it mainly for oil pulling, which is supposed to be great for your teeth and help remove toxins. I on the other hand use it for a few more things - it's a great moisturizer and the variety Jeremy had me pick up has a much stronger taste of coconut and tastes amazing in recipes. One of my favorite ways to eat coconut oil is in my Paleo Macaroons or on a baked sweet potato with a little salt and pepper.

Another great way to use it is to slather it on your hair (dry), pull your hair up into a bun and heat with a blow dryer for a few minutes to allow the hair cuticle to open up and absorb the oil better. Next let it sit on your hair for at least 30 minutes and then wash your hair as usual. After washing/conditioning as usual I then use my next favorite product (Apple Cider Vinegar) as a rise for my scalp to remove any build up.


Apple Cider Vinager (ACV) is another long time favorite of mine. I drink some every morning and use it in my salad dressing every day for lunch. Not only that I like to use ACV as an astringent for my face by mixing it with equal parts water and slathering it on with a cotton ball. Not only does ACV help to fight acne, if you're using it as a hair rinse it is known to get rid of dandruff by changing the ph of your scalp and making it harder for yeast to grow. I talked a little more about uses for ACV in a post here

I was let on to the wonderfulness of grape seed oil by another blogger about a year ago and haven't looked back. It's high in vitamin E and stands to be the only thing I will use to remove my eye makeup. It's a great moisturizer for your eyes and doesn't burn at all, which is a major plus in my book. Just soak a cotton ball in a little grape seed oil and dab it onto your eye lids and lashes to remove your makeup and moisturize the skin around your eyes at the same time. 


A few times a week I like to take a detox bath using 1/2 cup of epsom salt, 1/2 cup of baking soda, and 3-4 drops of lavender essential oil. Get the water as hot as you can stand and stay in for 20-30 minutes. If I'm feeling sick I will add in 1/2 cup of ACV (it helps your body become more alkaline, eating too much sugar, caffeine, and other junk causes your body to become acidic) and some fresh or ground ginger (up to a tablespoon, the ginger brings up your body temperature and helps you to sweat). The baking soda is very cleansing and has anti-fungal properties, plus it makes your skin soft.

Be sure if your taking a detox bath to keep a big glass or water around to stay hydrated, if I get too hot I will get out sooner than the 20 minute mark.


Of the essential oils I like to use, lavender and tea tree oil are my top two. The lavender is super soothing and when I add it to a detox bath right before bed I always sleep much deeper than usual. (I'm a horrible sleeper.) I will use tea tree oil in a detox bath, or if I have acne breakouts I dab a little on the breakout. It's anti-fungal, anti-viral, and antiseptic - I've used it to fight ring worm (thanks teaching for the exposure to random things), to heal cuts, and to help me breathe better and get over colds faster.

I feel like I've listed everything in my cabinet.

What are some of your favorite home remedies? 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Meal Pinning Monday

Can you believe it's already Easter week? This year has already started to vanish. 

Then again I feel like every day I make it closer to 30 the years begin to get shorter. 

All the more reason to eat seemingly healthy the majority of the time. 



[What is Meal Pinning Monday?]
MPM is how I meal plan for our little family. I once spent a lot of time searching the web and my recipe books hunting for new recipes and ideas for what to cook every week. Then, Pinterest came along and made meal planning much easier for me. Every weekend I look over what I have pinned the prior week and decide what I would like to cook and make my grocery list from these recipes. MPM came about as a way to share what I am cooking, and to also see what others are cooking every week to hopefully get even more dinner ideas from other bloggers. If you don't pin your recipes feel free to just share what you are cooking.

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I've come to realize I cook a lot of chicken, and this time of year I grill nearly everything. It's cheap-ish and easy, so shoot me!

Monday - Grilled Chicken with Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Tuesday - Tenderloin with Baked Sweet Potatoes

Wednesday - A Tone It Up Soup recipe (I've been experimenting with their recipes and am very tempted to buy their program.)

Thursday - Burgers & Chips (mine will be bunless and wrapped in lettuce and sans chips)

Friday - Steak and Baked Potatoes (it's out Friday night ritual)

Saturday - Who on earth knows. I'm mainly going to be meal prepping for the week of Spring Break all day. 

Sunday - pick something up on the way to my parents house! 

I wish I had some awesome Easter recipe to share this year, but with Jeremy on praise team here it makes going home rather difficult. If I were in Vidalia sooner I would be making these two recipes. I've honestly been eyeing them for weeks! I will however be making Pioneer Woman Cinnamon Rolls while I'm there, I can't visit my parents house without cooking something. I promise you, this group of people won't leave a Cinnamon Roll behind. I can just about bet the 4 year old will even love them. 




Now it's your turn!


Like up your favorite meals, recipes, or even your own meal plan!





Friday, April 11, 2014

High Five For Friday

What are we at now? 

25 work days until summer. 

I can totally deal with that. 


1. The older Ellie gets the more walking her is a chore, this week I drug her out only to spend the entire mile pep talking her like I was Jillian Michaels and promising treats when we got home. Old girl is a hot mess for sure!

2. It's been state testing week, and I can say I've survived! The kids are going stir crazy, and spring is in the air, so we can only count down the year from this point on.

3. Somehow I managed to grab a bad package of Chicken at Walmart the other day and have been regretting it since Wednesday night. I knew when I took that bite I should have spit it out, but I didn't want to gross out my students so I begrudgingly swallowed the mess. I think I gave myself some milk salmonella poisoning and have been regretting that decision every minute of the day. Just a little FYI if you've never had food poisoning, I've had it at least twice that I can recall, don't take Pepto or anything like that. It's best to just stay hydrated and let it pass.

4. We've been going to a small group on Thursday nights and they've been reading Mere Christianity, I say 'they' because I had yet to read it. This week I finally decided to catch up and actually really enjoyed the chapters I've read so far. Granted I like the ones I haven't heard anyone already discuss better, some of them seemed a little redundant after having heard everyone talk about it.

5. Chemo is still being put off until they can locate the origin of the cancer. We all wish it would just get going, but my poor ole daddy is having to have another scope. We are very much alike on going to the doctor only when limbs are visibly falling off, so I can promise you he's been to the doctors more since February for this than he's probably ever been in his life. The man's getting irritated from what I gather. Hopefully they'll get the info they need to move along with treatment very soon so he can feel like something is actually being done and all the doctors in town aren't just stabbing at him with needles and charging his insurance half to death.

What has everyone else been up to this week? 
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