Currently November

Current book: I've been reading Growing Up Duggar, which has now led me into a tail spin of "research" into my husbands past in the fundie culture. The missionary he wandered around with for ages is even mentioned on the Free Jinger site. I even got Jeremy talking about how you had to dress and cut your hair... turns out he still knows how to find diagrams! I couldn't quit laughing. 
Current music: Christmas playlists on YouTube while I'm teaching. 
Current [non]-guilty pleasure: Tretonin. The Retin-A obsession is for real, but my acne has also cleared up for real. 
Current drink: Iced Decaf with Stevia and Almond Milk... again the Duggar obsession led me to Jessa's Instagram. Let me go ahead and say I've always been a big fan, but reading into the courtship rules they have are a little funny. Which sparked this weird research into Bill Gothard. 
Current food: It's that time again, so chocolate anything. 
Current obsession: If you read the last few of these... looking into the fundie ways and asking Jeremy a thousand questions about growing up that way. 
Current craving: Staying home indefinitely. Gosh I wish we could afford for me to stay home. 
Current need: Probably more water, I haven't been drinking as much since I changed the type of bottle I carry. 
Current indulgence: Persimmon Pudding. I have a few more ripening in the window and it's about to go down. This time with more whip cream. 
Current bane of my existence: The burning Sugar Cane fields. If you thought the entire spring season was bad you haven't lived in Cajun land during Cane Season. 
Current procrastination: Working out. It's been a hot minute. These 3rd graders leave me with zero energy every day... and other than that there just isn't time. (and no I'm not losing sleep to workout early, that's insane)
Current confession: I've taken to ignoring the toddler when he's freaking out. For instance, I was alone with him during a meltdown today... and I paid no mind to him. What do you know... it worked. One snack, actually eating dinner and not 30 snacks, and now playing quietly later... ignoring for the win. 
Current quote: A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:1 ESV - see also I'm trying to make it a goal to not raise my voice but lower it when this kid is nutty. 
Current excitement: Christmas with a little person who can get more excited this year. The walking/trying to do more talking stage can be so fun. 
Current mood: Happy, watching Harrison put stacking rings up his arms and dance funny. He also keeps answering one of them... his hello always sounds like you just called a Chinese take out place. 

Meal Pinning Monday

It's nice to be back after a week hiatus. Thank the virus for that one. 

We weren't just confined to the house, we missed Thanksgiving with my family for the first time ever. So there wasn't a whole lot of cooking here, or much else going on. 

[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.

Sunday (tonight) - Orange Chicken with Cauliflower Rice & Butternut Squash

Monday - Paleo Meatballs & Gravy with Zoodles

Tuesday - Puerto Rican Chicken with Cuban Mojo Sauce & Avocado Salad (that's 3 pins combined lol)
Puerto Rican Pork Recipe >>> here 

Wednesday - Oxtail Stew

Thursday - leftovers

Friday - Tuscan Pork Chops with Zoodles

Saturday - Beefy Ratatouille

Sunday  - leftovers

Friendships as a Transplant

Something that's changed about this blog over the past 4 years has been my level of transparency.

If you're a long time reader you probably noticed, I don't post really personal things anymore. There's good reason for it too, in real life people started thinking I was writing about or at them. I wasn't, but having a real person walk up to you and start talking as though you left off in a conversation... when you didn't is a bit uncomfortable.

I specifically writing out my New Year's Resolutions one year and having someone comment that if that was something I needed to change then they must really need to change it. It wasn't. The fact that I said it about myself, for myself, bothered someone.

So to resist conflict I quit writing about anything personal.

That has caused a bit of an issue for me over the past few years though, you see, I started writing online ages ago as if it were a journal. Not for everyone else, just for me. Which leads to me the present day when I wander around with blog posts in my head that never leave... which leave me stewing over them for weeks. Blogging was a type of therapy.

So with that said, what I'm writing today and the direction I want to turn back towards is just for me. Because I like journaling on here, and it keeps my mind clear.

What topic has been bugging me you ask? Friendships.

I know this is a touchy subject for many, so don't take offense. I mean none.

I've just been struggling with this season of friendships. They aren't as close, there isn't as much time for them, and it makes me feel disconnected.

I've often wondered if my friendship struggles are because of where we live, is it just harder to make really close friends here or is it this stage of life? The thing about where we live is that many people have always lived here, their families are close. It's just how Cajuns work, they stick together. Once your in with a group of Cajuns though, you're always in. They're a very loyal people.

So I can't decide if my lack of people sitting on my couch is because of me, this stage of life, or where I live. Let's start with the latter.

People here have their own extended families, they aren't necessarily looking for "friend families." They don't need friends to do every single thing with like the transplants do. Those of us with zero family around tend to eat dinner alone, go to the zoo alone, and do just about every activity as a family alone.

Or is it the stage of life and not the friend family situation, because before having babies we did a lot more. Are babies and schedules keeping us from sitting on the couch into the wee hours of the night laughing at ridiculous YouTube videos? How do you remedy that? Or have you older mom's just waited until life got easier.

I know a lot of people would suggest a baby sitter, but those cost money and I'm not one for using up my free sitters on what isn't a legit date night.

Now for the last one, could it just be me. Am I too abrasive and out there? Or is this all in my head and I really have more people I could really chat with and text than I think? Is it just normal to hit an age and have maybe one really good friend and then you've just got your mother and sister?

The toughest part of the friend game is this, we had really great friends where we lived before. The kind that called you out on your crap and encouraged each other to grow spiritually. I'll be honest I thought John Piper was some pastor from the Reformation before I sat through a dozen conversations about him. But at the same time, none of us had children yet.

So say in a hypothetical world we moved back... would it be the same?

I'm really only writing this because I know other people have felt and feel this way. It's got to just be a stage, at least I keep telling myself that.

Or maybe it's just that while parenthood is amazing and fulfilling it causes other life areas to suffer. Or just neglected.

Possibly I just need to live closer to my sister. 

Meal Pinning Monday

One week until Thanksgiving, and to be totally honest I'm afraid it's going to feel more like a month! 

[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 - Chicken with Cauliflower Poppers

Tuesday - Balsamic Chuck Roast with root veggies

Wednesday - leftovers

Thursday - Pancake Dinner with Harvey the Rabbit... are the praise hand emojis because a friend gave us tickets. I think Harrison will love it! 

Friday - Mexican Lime Soup (I've got to remember to get a rotisserie chicken for this, it makes it taste so much better)

Saturday - Grilled Chicken with Broccoli Salad

Sunday - Spahetti with Whole 30 Red Sauce & Zucchini Noodles for me

As a bonus recipe, I made this Persimmon Pudding to use up some persimmons a neighbor gave us last week and it was amazing. It's the best British texture pudding I think I've ever made. 



Christmas Decor Inspiration

Blame it on the video of dinosaurs destroying really early Christmas decor... but it's put me in the decor dreaming mood.

Now it's going to be a few years before I've collectd my heart out and am ready to do a home tour, but I thought today I'd just share the direction I'm moving.

Basically rustic tartan and burlap.

[source - 1, 3, 4, 5]

[source - 1, 2, 3, 5]

Now to keep Harrison off of my actual tree I'd like to make a felt one for the wall.


I'd also like to make more garland for above cabinets, my last batch was lost in the last 3 moves. 


And felt trees for the mantle. 


I'd also like to make another pinecone Christmas tree, since the one in this photo melted in the hot Louisiana attic heat. Major sad face people, big time. 


Now for the red glass balls you see on the tree above... I'd like to get some and do this to them. 


I also plan on making a ton of these. 


I think that about covers everything I've pinned on Pinterest in the last 5 years. The other item on my Christmas list is to have a small Christmas dinner just the three of us before Christmas, well before the week before Christmas. Jeremy is having his second ear surgery right before Christmas while his seminary classes are out for the holiday and he is going to be miserable on the actual day... so a English Christmas before hand is in order. 

My plan is to make a few traditional English dishes and celebrate early while he is feeling good and while he doesn't have that big dome attached to the side of his head. Poor hubby. 

Meal Pinning Monday

After a two month MPM break I'm back, and we've even got a new banner! 

This week is mostly Paleo, but higher carb. In case you watched my video where I discussed starting to carb cycle, I've seen a little luck with it. After looking into Paleo Carb Cycling some more I've read an article or two that said that for women it's best to do high carb the first two weeks of your cycle and then low carb the last two weeks. 

So we shall see how that goes... and as always you know I'll share how it's going on here. 

[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 - Sweet Plantain Apple Bacon Hash

Tuesday - Salsa Chicken

Wednesday - @ Church

Thursday - Sausage with Roasted Grapes

Friday - Chicken & Sprouts with Mustard Sauce

Saturday - Lasanga Rolls

Sunday - Leftovers

8 Year Blog-versary

To end the 31 Days series, and since it ended on my blogging anniversary, I thought I'd do a little chat about the past 8 year of Louisiana Bride. Also, I just realized that dumb thing says "8 Year of Blogging" instead of Years. Too late to change it.