31 Days - Dream Job

If I could honestly do anything in this world, I'd just stay at home.

Being a stay-at-home-mom would be absolutely the ideal.

Bad night at home? No problem, we could have a easy going day. Groceries, laundry, dishes, cleaning, absolutely everything could be done while Jeremy was at work and his off work time could be devoted to just hanging out as a family.

I could actually attend the child's doctor well-baby visits. That would be a dream. Up to this day I think I've been to 3. I've also only taken off work one time for sickness. Jeremy has more sick days so he is usually the parent in charge.

If I stayed home I'd more time to devote to blogging, I could actually take Louisiana Bride in the direction I was going before having Harrison.

Heck I might even mow the grass during nap time.

If I stayed home Harrison and I could participate in all the mother/child activities that occur only during work hours around town. He could go to story time, music, we could do arts and crafts.

Dinner could be prepped ahead of time, I wouldn't spend an hour cooking every night.

Heck I could even workout during the day when he's home, and not have to plop him in front of the TV or pawn him off to his Daddy right after work so I can squeeze in some 30 minute workout DVD.

My house would be clean.

My child would be more enriched.

Life would be less rushed.

How do I know this would be the reality? It's the life I get to live for 2 months out of the year every single summer.

For two months every year I get to pretend this is my life.

That's why I want to live that life 12 months of the year so badly.

31 Days - 5 Positive Changes I Could Make Right Now

This might be the easiest topic to write on all month, I'm all about changes... especially positive ones. I'm that nut case that will make some major change on the spur of the moment.

[ONE] Diet - I'm trying to get better at having one off handed meal a week. I don't like the term cheat meal, you can't cheat on food. Last night I did have some fun at Chick-fil-a after our annual Pumpkin Patch outing, but I'll be breaking my one meal a week deal to have a fun fall something this weekend. I'm making the Caramel Apple Sweet Rolls, Cafe au Lait, and we are painting pumpkins Saturday morning... then it's back to the grind.

[TWO] Attitude - I can come off as a negative person, when in reality the majority of my thought process isn't negative at all. I just have a habit of venting more than I probably should.

[THREE] Get outside more - Nothing makes me a happier person than gardening in the cool fall air or rollerblading around the park for an hour. Happier Emily = better wife and mother. Granted fall/winter in South Louisiana is probably the worst time to be outside with all of the cane field burning. Talk about pollution central. The air is thick with what is essentially smog and I've had the beginnings of a sinus infection for over a week.

[FOUR] Be more committed to bible study - Oh shoot I am awful at keeping something up, especially something so easily brushed off. I was doing pretty well at studying the bible daily until this fall semester when I signed up for the Women in Missions course through NOBTS, then I kind of sorts just did that in what would have been bible study time.

[FIVE] Don't feel so guilty about doing things for myself - I'm not that mom that only does for others. I blame that on the fact that I get a tiny check from blogging every month. That check has been my fun money now for 6 years. I spend it on me and me alone. Whatever my heart desires. It's been great because with a tight budget there isn't extra money to spend on unnecessary items. For instance, I bought new chairs for our table last year. Even though what I'm doing isn't actually selfish, sometimes I still feel that way. At the onset of having Harrison I was so lost as to who I was. Marriage even sucks it out of you. So I've tried to focus on me to an extent, and I shouldn't feel so bad about it.

31 Days - Making the World a Better Place

Realistically I'm not some big advocate for Green Peace and promoting saving the world at every turn, but I do try and do a few things to make the world better. Try as I might.

These are a few things that are just apart of my life, nothing crazy.

[ONE] Smiling and saying hello to people. 

Blame it on the Southern upbringing, and when I say Southern I don't mean where we are now... nope, the actual South. Not Cajun land. If you've lived farther into what is stereotypically Southern, then you are well aware of the fact that driving from work to home means your arms hurts from having to wave at everyone you know. Growing up in Vidalia was a great lesson on how to treat people. If you have an awful day and you arm was sawed off you still find it in you to be kind to others and make them feel noticed or acknowledged.

I've come to realize that people aren't like that other places we've been or lived. That first week of college in Monroe was puzzling, I said hello to everyone I passed and was constantly ignored. Even with that I still feel that you should acknowledge the people you are walking past by at the very least making eye contact and smiling.

[TWO]  Sharing the Gospel. 

It's hard to do, and I'll admit the opportunity to do it isn't all that common. However, if I (or we) fully believe that Jesus is the answer to a fallen world, then we must share it with others. So take the opportunity, weave it into conversations, and pray that opportunities arise. (and you realize that the opportunity is there)

[THREE] Do for others. 

Take someone a meal after they've had a baby or lost a loved one. If you live in the South that meal is typically Popeye's Chicken. Nothing says "sorry your granny died" like a bucket of chicken. (kidding, but really it's true.) Send you hubby at to mow someone's grass. Find a widow to love on. Send cards, everyone loves snail mail. Bake some bread and take it to a neighbor.

How do you try and make the world a better place?

31 Days - 10 Things You Like About Yourself


What's more narcissistic than a blog... a blog about what you like about yourself.

Here's goes though...

[ONE] I like that things my child does doesn't set me off into anger as easily as I would have thought. In fact I tend to laugh things off more than get irritated.

[TWO] I like my legs, I've always been able to tone my legs easily.

[THREE] I have a sense of humor, I don't take things very serious, and I don't advise taking what I say seriously either.

[FOUR] Good hair, while I'm no "Becky with the good hair" this mop is not in bad shape and I've got a naturally good color.

[FIVE] I've always loved that I have a Puerto Rican background. No plain white chick here! While it does afford me the nose I'm not too fond of, I love having an different background from most people I know.

[SIX] I actually like that I'm Type A, someone has to keep everything neurotically planned out in our family.

[SEVEN] (getting harder over here) But I like that I'm an open book about things, I'm basically a walking talk show, you see what you get. There are no secrets, and I'll talk to anyone about anything.

[EIGHT] Fairly independent, I like to do what I want to do on the time frame I want to do it. I don't like a lot of outside interference. I like that because... I don't need someone else to do anything.

[NINE]  I like that I enjoy cooking, it's a needed skill.

[TEN] (really pulling out of the bag here) I like that I can adventurous about where we live, what I'll eat, and traveling. I didn't realize for a long time that other people weren't as adventurous about life. I'm not skydiving though.

31 Days - Fear

On today's episode of "Emily isn't actually blogging everyday for 31 days" the topic is a fear you'd overcome if given the opportunity...


I wouldn't have the fear if that was the deal.

I don't harp on things like death, losing jobs, house fires, none of that mumbo jumbo. It just doesn't come to mind. I can't control them.

What I do fear though are lizards, snakes, frogs, any amphibian basically. I also don't like chicken feet or animals with hooves.

I can control those.

Birds freak me out.

Not to the extent of running screaming, but I'm not touching your weird footed chicken.

I'd rather die than touch a lizard. Won't be overcoming that fear anytime soon, ever. That's my running and screaming fear... see also: snakes.

I can tolerate looking at a frog, but I'm not touching the frog.

Pigs and cows have weird feet. I'll touch your head but not your feet.

I MIGHT overcome my chicken feet and split hoof issue in the effort to have chickens and a pig one day.

I will not ever on my life overcome the lizard/snake problem and allow my child to own one. He's more than welcome to remove them from my house or out of my sight... but they won't take up residence in my home.


So, yeah, that fear over coming thing was a bust.

31 Days - A Hard to Forgive Person

Oh gosh, today's topic is yet again something I don't talk about. Especially not on the blog.

In my life I have a hard to forgive person, we all do.

The how it's shaped you part is what has changed over the years.

I'm not even going to touch on who or what because I don't want anyone reading this and figuring out who they think it is.

I'll just say this...

I use to harbor a massive grudge about it.

I'd dread this person, panic attack like freak outs when I had to deal with the situation of any length of time.

For years it was a nightmare, and my own attitude about it was less than great.

I felt justified in my anger. No one should have to deal with that nonsense, right?

Looking back I think what caused me the most problems was my expectations. My expectations weren't met. They honestly weren't even high expectations, but they weren't met.

They haven't been met, and they will probably never be met.

So you could say the situation hasn't changed, just my outlook on it has. A lot of my attitude changing was based upon the fact that I finally felt supported.

Someone else say my misery and agreed that it was wrong. I finally had a partner in crime, so to speak, to get what upset me and understand my perficiment.

Best of all I was freed in the situation.

You see, for a long time I had to stay quiet. I had to just bottle the issue and move along, no matter how mad it made me. If you know me in real life then you'd know that's not how I roll. I have to say how I feel.

I'm from a family of saying how you feel about things.

When I could finally defend myself, it was okay to say something, I didn't have to feel bottled up... the need to actually act on the need to defend myself or call out injustice faded away.

So don't think my hard to forgive person has changed, or the situation has changed... it hasn't.

The only change was me, and something about the simple idea that I could defend myself resolved my anger and caused me to not even need to defend myself.

Church of the Small Things

I received a copy this book to as part of the Church of the Small Things launch team, I was not compensated monetarily to participate. All opinions are my own. 

Y'all this book was probably one of my favorites by Melanie Shankle, and I'd even go so far as to say my favorite out of this genre.

At a time of my life when I feel like I'm less than, not doing as good as others, waiting for something big... this was a great reminder of what really matters.

A reminder of what kids will actually remember and cherish.

The small things in life.

The parts of life that I often think don't matter, the moments my parents and grandparents probably felt the same way about.

I didn't care much about my mother graduating from college when I was in junior high, it was a big achievement, a big moment. It wasn't important though.

Instead I remember the year she got a big CD player in the kitchen, she would spend most nights cooking dinner and listening to Elton John or Rod Stewart. At the time I could have lived without hearing Wonderful Tonight yet again, but it's a memory I vividly have of her now.

My grandmother and I use to go window shopping on Saturday, we'd wander around and look at every outfit on the rack. We'd comment about how ugly they were. Laugh about everything that was around.

Although a favorite small thing moment was that my grandparents use to buy me a Dreamsicle snow cone with extra cream, and it's only special because my mother never would.

In Church of the Small Things, Melanie reminded me that the tiny moments that seemingly mean nothing are what my child will remember. He won't care that I wasn't some big shot, but he will lovingly remember gardening, singing, and random moments we will have over the years.

The biggest take away from the book, God is also in the small moments. He isn't waiting on Jeremy to finish seminary before he does anything in our lives, or uses us in someone else. I don't need to be a writer to effect someone. God is in the small things, the small moments. It's all about us being faithful to him.

"We are all climbing our own versions of Mount Everest and have no idea if our oxygen will last or if an avalanche will come, but God does. We can never underestimate the grace and the strength he will give us for whatever he is calling us to do and whatever challenges we'll face. What he has planned for us is higher and deeper than anything we could ever hope to achieve on our own. 

It's too much. It's too much for us to do in our own strength because we will mess it up, be he knows that and uses us anyway. It's never about creating or doing or being something that's perfect. It's not about having all the right answers. It's about being his. It's knowing that he who has called us if faithful."

If you didn't pre-order Church of the Small Things, head on over to the bookstore and grab a copy. Or even order it online. It has also been turned into a group bible study, and the promo video will basically make you sob while as you're thinking back on your own life. I honestly couldn't recommend this book enough, you'll laugh, you'll cry, and you'll get a great reminder that the small things in life matter.

Just as much a the big moments.

31 Days - That Awkward Topic This Month

Today's topic is a past love who had a significant impact on who you are today. Um, weird to talk about such thing, right?

But it happened, and it's true.

Old boyfriends can shape who you are.

I happened to have my first old boyfriend in high school and it lasted about six years. Yes, I dated someone for a long dang time and never married them. We talked about it, but we were kids, and in the end it didn't work out. We wanted different things.

It taught me a lot though, what I wanted in relationships, what I didn't.

It made me value myself.

It gave me a best friend who had the same likes and dislikes.

We worked out at the local gym like obsessed gym rats. I learned how to cook and had someone around who loved to eat it, we grilled all the time. I had a movie watching buddy. Someone to go to youth group with. Someone to vent to when girls where mean to me in high school.

A boyfriend at that age, at least a long term one, it was basically a partner in crime to help you survive the awful high school years. When everyone else hated you, you had your boyfriend to agree that the world sucked too.

In the end, I don't think I had some big love where I learned so much about myself. Instead I had a partner in crime as a teenager that allowed me to not feel alone in a block of years that many kids feel awfully alone.

31 Days - Friend Memory Small Town Antics

Yes, I know I skipped a few days. Luckily, the blog police aren't coming to get me and I can do that sort of thing.

Today's memory and pics don't go together, but they are the pics of my friends from that memory. Just not pics of that particular memory. Recently my friend Ryan sent a ton of photos and we spent hours reminiscing about old times.

Good stuff

Also, this is Monday's post and it's just going up early, again don't send the police after me.


You know for certain you are from a small town when a fun filled Friday night when everyone is home from college involves telling your parents you're headed to "The Walmart."

Meaning the only one in town.

But it wasn't even in our town. We had to cross the bridge and go to Mississippi to go to Walmart.

Gabby and I did this quite often.

One particularly fun Friday night we wandered The Walmart like weirdos, purchased the flavored Cool Whip and then rode on over the the... again "The Dirt Cheap" and got into more trouble.

The fact that we were never stopped by cops sometimes baffles me.

Then again two 18 year old white girls carrying Cool Whip containers isn't something to be alarmed over.

Point being, we took Gabby's ultra cool car (we thought anything with a slight sports car look was amazing) blaring our gangsta rap, Cool Whip in hand, and took our party to the parking lot at Dirt Cheap. From there we located a lost buggie and took turns pushing each other up and down the slopes on the sidewalk and in the lot.

We squealed and laughed like idiots while eating Cool Whip. Had it not been for the Cool Whip someone would have thought we were drunk or worse yet, on drugs. Who has that much fun being pushed in a buggie?

Where the rest of our nutty crew were is something to be wondered about. But Gabby & I got into enough non-trouble-trouble to amuse any actual drunk or pot head. Because those are the only other people who would think being shoved around in a death buggie down a hill is fun.

31 Days - A Life Changing Event

I honestly don't know where to go with today's topic.

Having a baby was pretty life changing.

More so over the fact that I'm a hardcore needs-8-hours-to-function sleeper. That first year and a half was rough, super rough. So rough in fact that my dentist even commented on the coffee stains... and I use to not be a huge coffee drinker.

I was dying.

But I love the little thing.

He's made life around here much more fun, more loving, and shown both of us how hard headed our genes apparently are.

This 1n1/2 to 2 1/2 has been a blast, other than sleep being great, watching him learn new things is always exciting.

So biggest life change, more thank likely having that first baby of ours.

31 Days - Earliest Memory

I love today's topic just because this is basically the first time I recall thinking my mother was insane.

I was sitting in a chair in the kitchen, right at the end of the dining table facing towards the living room.

She was pregnancy with my sister Laura, not hugely pregnant, but far enough along that you'd chat with your 5 year old about the baby.

I could have been four though, it was either the end of '90 or early '91.

I very clearly remember Mom standing in from of me and asking me, "What do you think the baby is Emily? Is is a boy? A girl? A puppy?"

This is where I can't remember my answer, but I very clearly remember thinking, "No Mom, it's not a puppy, who on earth is pregnant with puppies."

But imagine this more along the lines of an attitude that would say, "No woman!"

That's the feeling behind the thought I was having.

She didn't have a puppy by the way.

I did get a puppy that year though, and a massively overgrown "newborn" with what appeared to be a black toupee.

** I do a few earlier memories than this, but none were quite as well developed. Mostly pieces of events and people before the "Mama's having a puppy" question. 

31 Days - Traditions

Family traditions, everyone has them. Or almost everyone has them. Some more than others, I'm sure we'd have more if we lived closer together. 

Today I'm sharing my favorite Cater family tradition. 

Christmas is really the pinacle of holidays for me, and it has nothing to do with presents. I could actually do away with presents and be just fine.

Christmas Eve is basically where the party is at for me. We spend that day making every appetizer you can think of, way more than we need for our small group.

Some years we also roll tamales and make salsa.

Then after stuffing our faces everyone piles into the car and we drive around looking at Christmas lights. There's usually a stop somewhere for hot chocolate. Although, I think we made our own last year.

But that's basically it! I'd like to add in some festive pajamas, but the guys aren't easily talked into those things. Christmas movies would be okay, except we aren't staying up that late.

So share with me, what is you favorite family tradition? 

31 Days - Kid Emily

Today's topic - what were you like as a child?

A stubborn nightmare. Is that blog enough?

From what I understand, the nonsense I deal with at home isn't something new. Much like my own child, I was stubborn and had my own opinion pretty quickly.

Around two my mother had to lower my closet rack so that I could just dress myself.

There were rules, no leopard print leggings on special occasions. It was the 80's and early 90's no less.

I liked to eat raw veggies and dip them in ranch dressing.

I played outside a lot.

I also recall building a fort in front of our TV using the cushions pretty regular.

There was a thing about how I wouldn't wear pants or socks, I was serious about it. Girls didn't wear pants, Emily just wasn't wearing socks. Who cares what the temp was, I was set in my ways.

I also recall getting in trouble with the kindergarten teacher for coloring my strawberry purple. She said they were red. I supposedly informed her that mine was purple. I went to Montessori school before if that explains anything.

Well, that's as far as I'm getting today. My stubborn mini me is requesting attention before he starves to death, 

31 Days - England... and then nothing went right.

It's October, and that can only mean one thing... 31 Days as begun.

I came up with a wonderful topic for this year, storytelling, but alas I couldn't think of very many stories. I'm living with a touch of the brain fry.

So instead I'll be writing all this month on the topics 31 Days organizer Crystal emailed out a few days ago. Today's topic is...  my most memorable moment.


I went to England when I was 14. That might seem young, but at the time it felt like I had spent more than 14 years praying to God every night that somehow, someway, I'd be able to go to England.

Blame it on the Anglophile issue, my Beatles obsession, and it was the late 90's and the Spice Girls were all the rage. I might have even jacked my knee up wearing platform shoes around this time, but that's another story.

August 2000 came and we hoped on a plane headed for London, roughly the week before the Queen Mother's 100th Birthday. I bought a tea dish to commemorate the occasion. It's actually hanging on my kitchen wall as we speak.

I couldn't have been more jazzed up about this trip.

However, I should have known things would come crashing down when I ordered my actual size in our mandatory "wear on the way there" shirt. Me, currently being a size 14 slim and wearing shrits from the kids section, was somehow shorted and ended up with a size adult extra large t-shirt.

I remember my mother begging adults to change shirts with me, no one would. There weren't enough scrunchies in the Southern United States to keep this shirt above my knees. It wore like some sad hybrid of a cocoon dress and an off the shoulder get-up. It was wretched.

But that is neither hide nor hair to the story. Actually, it is. It plays a sad role later on.

Between that an a panicked desire that demanded my mother to get me Sea Bands, I should have seen this coming.

The flight went well. As well as a 14 year old who was given an adult extra large shirt, and then sat far from her group and next to a man drinking whisky out of tiny bottles could go.

It was awkward. Clearly adults on this trip had their priorities in order... abandon children on an international flight... she's never even been to Florida.

Did I mention I went on this without a chaperone I was related to. I was at the mercy of other peoples parents.

Eleven hours from hell finally ended in my extremely large shirt and we were off to quickly run across London at a speed no other tourist has ever seen the likes of. It was a "take a quick look kids, you've got 10 days of work to do" kind of run through.

I was in heaven, a quick paced heaven where I was taking photos of monuments in a blur because I couldn't even stand still long enough to get my disposable camera to focus.

Then it happened.

We made it into Trafalgar Square.

I don't know if you're aware, but there's a McDonald's there. Some people from our group wanted to eat, so we went in. I recall remembering that I had to ask for ice if I wanted it, and then suddenly being hit with the feeling no teenage girl ever wants to feel in a large group of people you aren't that close to.

I had to puke.

Air sickness had kicked in and I was about to die 1000 deaths before this trip ended.

Sadly the bathroom at this particular McDonald's isn't on the first floor. I had to run downstairs holding in every ounce of embarrassment my body was about to reject.

As I made my way down the never end set of stairs to hell I noticed that the line for the women's bathroom was so long that it wrapped around the room. The men's, as I later found out, had one person in it.

One person too many.

My loving friend Rachel who had followed me down pushed me ahead of the women's line into the bathroom only to tell the attendant I was about to lose it and get shoved into the men's room.

I don't know if you've ever thrown up in a public restroom, let alone a mens. It isn't something I would wish upon anyone, or ever want to recreate for that matter.

Now this is where that one man comes into play.

There was one stall. 3 urinals. Or Ur-rain-ials as the Brits seems to say. There was a man in the stall. I had no choice, and in a state of total freakout Rachel shoved me to the urinal.

I puked.

I puked some more.

As soon as I thought my insides were on the outside and I was going to die in England, I opened my eyes to get a clear shot of the urinal full of my most feared sickness to see... the nasty beast was covered in pubic hairs.

Suddenly the feeling of hair in my mouth (not that I had somehow gotten pubic hair into my mouth) sent me into another puking spell.

When it all finally ended, there I stood covered in back splashed urinal puke in my extra large yellow as could be shirt with no dignity left to my name.

As we exited the McDonald's, or shamefully crawled out of there, I don't recall seeing the group. Somehow we didn't catch up with anyone until we were by the statues. I could still point out the statue.

As we walked up with my disgusting urinal puking self I begged the leaders to let me take the shirt off.

You didn't think I was wearing this off the shoulder adult extra large on my 14 slim frame without alternate clothing underneath did you?

All I wanted was to toss the shirt into the trash or let it be carried away by the creepy amount of pigeons near that monument, but no. No one would let me take off the puke covered shirt. I spent the remaining bits of that 1000 hour day covered in a far too large puke shirt.

It wasn't how I envisioned things going, that's for sure.

Meal Pinning Monday

Fall is the calendar, I'd say air but it's high 90's in our part of the world. 

Souther Louisiana and fall are a joke. Just saying, but I'm still tossing in fall recipes here and there. 

[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.

Friday Five

This isn't going to be the most picture filled post you've ever seen. Somehow in the chaos of the week I never took a single picture worth sharing.

So I'll start with a few funny things and then give y'all the important stuff.

1. True story, I went to work Tuesday with all of Jeremy's car keys. Both set. When he called to ask me to bring them to him I almost said "You're going to have to walk before I ever ask my principal if I can leave here." But I asked and left, and took the keys, and only missed half of center time.

We all survived. But my brain is in a fog.

2. To add to the fun, Wednesday we had a parent night at school. For reference it takes me almost 30 minutes to get there depending on the time of day. Jeremy asked if I would come home before the parent night, no problem I wanted to work out anyway. However, come 4PM he wasn't answering the phone. AT ALL.

Turns out someone there was some evaluation he had to be apart of that was happening... in the town I teach in. 4:40PM starts edging near and I began texting him to see what was going on. Nothing. When he finally called I was packing food for Harrison and planning to take him with me to work (again you could insert another gritting your teeth emoji here). We managed to finally cross paths on the way there which resulted in us looking like a divorced couple trading off kids. It was weird.

Then to make matters more fun I had to turn back around and be home by 7PM because he had to be somewhere.

Why things are scheduled for Wednesday I'll never know. It's the worst night of the week for us, and every year some sort of chaos comes from this parent night.

Meal Pinning Monday

Is it fall yet? It's almost fall right. 

I'm starting to get the soup/stew itch. 

[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.

Hand Pies, Popsicles, Failed Coffee, & Life

Five on Friday just turned into Everything on Saturday. 

Or maybe I should start titling this Emily's Week, much like my beloved children's book called Cookie's Week where a mischievous kitten (clearly ruled by a toddler mindset) destroys a different area of the house every day of the week. Except Sunday. Instead of destroying the house I have to clean, it would just be a series of events that never go quite right. 

Or I could just call it Monday. 

I live by Murphy's Law, surprisingly it isn't tattooed to my arm. 

This particular photo served no actual purpose in life other than the fact that I liked the way the light from the kitchen window was catching the leaves.

Maple Holistics Tea Tree Oil Shampoo Review

Today's post is a video, and it's short. So enjoy! 

There's also an toddler turtle that appears, he's nuts. That should be your motivation for watching. 

I was sent a bottle of Tea Tree Oil Shampoo from Maple Holistics to try out a few weeks ago, I have to say I love the stuff... but I say all that in the video.

They have a ton of products, and I have to say I will be repurchasing this shampoo again and again.

Mid Week Rambling

It's only Wednesday, mind you, and it feel likes I've lived roughly 4 Mondays... except this week's Monday was a Saturday.

In other news, I have a 11 year old dog that refuses to go outside and a 2 year old that refuses to come inside. He had an epic sad attack after being forced indoors and covered in water and soap in an attempt to change his skin color back to it's original shade.

This is mainly caused by the fact that I'm digging up the garden the rest of the way in preparation to plant my winter garden.

Meal Pinning Monday

After 3 weeks of short school weeks due to weather and holidays I'm not entirely sure I'll survive working 5 days in a row. 

This is week 3 by the way. 

In other news, my ridiculously planned out self found a freezer meal list to end all meal prep lists. I did a ton of freezer meals before I had Harrison and they helped a lot, however the type of meals I made equaled lots of kitchen hours. 

We aren't even pregnant yet and I'm saying all this... but next kid I've got a binder of roughly 110 meals that are easy peasy toss in a freezer bag and then pop in the crock pot. I won't actually cook for months! Three of the meals this week come from there, check it out, it's a great list. 

[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.

Chocolate Chip Cookies - Updated

I can't help myself, I think I learned it from following Ree Drummond's blog for 100 years. If I have the chance to reshoot a recipe, or improve it I like to do so. This recipe included.

Even though the cookies came on the blog after I got my big girl camera I still had some practice to do to get a shot I liked. I'm still not an overly staged blogger. I actually feel wasteful to toss chocolate chips across the counter. What I want to share with my readers/friends is what the food looks like before we dig into it. Real life. No fake lighting, not magazine worthy, just good food.

Chocolate Chip Cookies via @labride

There's just nothing quite like a nice chewy chocolate chip cookie. Sometimes I want to venture into the crazy flavors, but taste and texture wise, I always want the comfort of chocolate and chewy texture of a chocolate chip cookie. 

No cake like fluffy cookies for me. 

Meal Pinning Monday

Thanks to Harvey this now makes week 2 of not working on a Monday. I'm starting to suspect that after Labor Day week I won't be sure how to handle myself with an entire week of school. 

In other news, we have a gas stove and all the meals this week are "no electricity" friendly. Especially after yesterday and the 4 hours stint of no power due to a fallen tree combined with constant tornado warnings. I'd like to also point out here that I clearly lived in North Louisiana far too many year, you won't catch me hunkered down in a tub until I can see or hear the dang tornado. Any one else? 

[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.

A Weekly Recap Turned Food Post

Please tell them there is someone out there who suffers from the same thing I do. That suffering thing being food. I started this post with the intent to share the week and quickly realized this is a food post. Food I've purchased, all food I've eaten, food I've already posted about on Meal Pinning Monday. 

My drive in life is quite clear. 


In the name of food, I finally got my hands on the French Style Oui Yogurt. It's heavenly. I love the texture. 

They could have also of repackaged the regular stuff and placed it in a glass jar and I can't tell the difference because I'm blinded by the jar. 

My husbands response, "Did that cost 3 times as much because of the jar?" My response, "No. It was very reasonable." 

Truth... Um kinda? But it tastes amazing and I feel European, so leave me alone. 

Snowballs, because I haven't taken a ton of non-food-related-photos recently and everyone needs a splurge day. This was stuffed with ice cream. I later had fried chicken and enough banana pudding to make Jenny Craig cry later at the church potluck. 

Again, food. 

I have a cheese issue. Keto supports that lifestyle. All in the name of low carb right? I'd eat that potato, but cheese. I also prefer varieties of English Cheddar. My adventure lies solely in my unrealistic dream to live on a farm in the Cotswolds. Dang you Ruth Goodman and all those "insert British period here" farm series. I can't realistically live my life wanting to live without electricity and make cheese and have a sheep or two. 

Don't be surprised... food. 

Run to the Meal Pinning Monday post from, well, Monday and get yo' self that recipe for Keto biscuits. It's just Fat Head dough, but it's good. 

Not to be confused by thinking I had thoughts that centered around something else, I bring you Wednesday's recipe to remind you that Avocado is amazing and can be breakfast. It's also high in folate and would make your OBGYN a happy lady. 

Avocado Breakfast Pudding

Today's recipe has been a favorite breakfast for about a month for 2 main reasons. 

1. Avocados are high in folate... and prenatal vitamins have folic acid. Folate being better absorbed and used by the body. No I'm not pregnant, but Harry is nearly 3. 

2. It fits the Keto diet well, it's also Paleo or Primal. Technically it's Vegetarian if you're into that sort of thing. 

The green and fact that this is avocado can be off putting at first. In my search for other ways to eat avocado I got desperate. 

However the finished product is a cool creamy slightly sweet pudding textured something that fits my beloved Keto/Low Carb High Fat macros just dandy. 

<h2>Avocado Breakfast Pudding</h2>
Serves 1
1 whole avocado, peeled
1/4 of unsweetened vanilla cashew milk (or other milk preference)
2 tbsp coconut milk (I use So Delicious Culinary Coconut Milk)
1 tsp creamy honey (or regular honey or whatever sweetener you want)

Place all ingredients in a bowl or large cup and puree with an immersion blender until fluffy. You could also use a blender or food processor. 

Meal Pinning Monday

This week is starting off with the most Friday of Monday's you could imagine.

The school's transformer blew up, like on fire, killed power to the school.... and hence we are cancelled today. It'll be up and running tomorrow.

Pro: unexpected personal day sans child.

Con: having to makeup an entire day of teaching and rework this week's already crazy classroom schedule.

Pro: I still get to eat meals.

[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.

Updated Night Time Routine

Back in October I shared my nighttime beauty routine, but a lot has changed since then.

So update time it is.

Below the video is a list of the products I use & the link to them on Amazon. Just FYI, I don't have affiliate links and this isn't sponsored. I just love these brands that much.

I realized at the end I said "ask on Amazon" clearly I meant "ask on YouTube." My brain is running on low.

Products mentioned:

CeraVe Moisturizing Cream
CeraVe Eye Repair Cream
Teddie Organics Rosehip Oil
Asterwood Naturals Matrixyl 3000 (or look on The Ordinary, they have a great one)
Vitamin E Oil
Castor Oil
Hell-Pore Clean Up Mask (like it says... black head & dead skin removing)
Kangsipack (Anti-aging)
Collagen Jella Pack (Sleep Mask)

Food Network Star S13 Ep 11 Recap - The Finale

I wish I could say I was surprised last night.

The only thing that surprised me was the lame finale that Food Network put together.

Meal Pinning Monday

You could call the theme of this weekend's eating as "well that's not what I intended."

It started out with the Cordon Blue Chicken Casserole. I was thinking it had a good taste (keep in mind texture doesn't bother me), when all of the sudden Jeremy said "I can't take the texture of this I'm about to throw up."

That went well.

Then I attempted to make a keto version of English Cream & Berries... forgetting that Jeremy has Jello texture issues... guess who didn't eat it all.

I really should start making a list of what he doesn't like.

We have very different tastes and I often neglect to retain information. It doesn't work well.

[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.


Happy New Year... oh wait it's just the teacher new year.

It's like Chinese New Year but for educators this month.

So first up...


Im back on another episode at The Mommy Project, talking my usual nonsense mixed into the actual topic. You might hear a touch of me jabbering about how I read somewhere that high fat diets & being over 30 produces twins and how I'm making attempts at getting a 3rd kid through butter.

I'm weird. I know.

Check out Episode 54 over at The Mommy Project and see what else I managed to talk nonsense about sprinkled into the actual topic of Back to School... because I never stay on topic.


 Some silly person likes to copy me. He also likes to pretend to tell me what to do. I say pretend because we all know I'm not doing anything he says... mainly because it isn't in English. 


I laughed at this like a crazy woman through an entire lunch period. Then I randomly laughed at it in my head the rest of the day. 


Jeremy hunted down a frog yesterday so that Harrison could see it. He wouldn't actually touch it. 


To show you the extent to which I have not taken pictures lately, Jeremy came into the house yesterday with this on his back. 

Ladybugs doing inappropriate things. 

That's how dull life has been. 

Let's just call that a plus. Dull is always welcome. 

It's not like you want photos of me working out, or of the garden I pulled everything living thing out of because I hate summer. 

I did order some new jeans and the Teddie Rosehip oil though, I'll share about that when in ships in 4-400 weeks. 

Food Network Star S13 Ep 10 Recap - Final 3

Last night the Food Network Star gods smiled down upon the Twitter dreams and prayers and Matthew was finally sent home. 

Yes I know people liked him, but there were also people who didn't. 

I fall in the didn't category.

Don't get me wrong, he was passionate and could cook. He just wasn't someone I would want to watch. No harm, no foul. Just my personal taste.

Cory, however, as I totally suspected, came back to the show from Star Salvation.

Unless the final deal was totally botched he could out cook Amy & David easily. Not that they aren't good. He is just has the experience of cooking in a restaurant and playing with food all day long. He's creative with food on a level that most people who didn't go to culinary food aren't at.

So anyway, Matthew out, Cory in.

The final 3 were all given pilots with Guy. I hate that this is the direction it's gone. I'd much prefer to see them get their own show and do a demo down that route.

They were all super nervous by this point, but Guy did a great job helping calm them into a state of Pilot that wouldn't eliminate all three.

Rusty was at MaGee's pretending to be Guy. He did exactly what I would do and called it Maggie's. Familiarity breeds mispronunciation. He's been there a bunch and supposedly never said it right.

There's a place here I continually call the wrong name... Pouparts. I can't say it the way I should... Pooparts. I just can't say Poo in a restaurant name.

Cory was at a Mexican place. He too was nervous and then calmed by a call to his bestie by Guy.

Come to think of it I don't recall Jason getting to phone a friend.

Jason did his faux pilot at a French restaurant. He was told to not say honey so much.

I would have been more excited about this episode had they filmed a cooking show pilot. The new hosting pilot deal isn't my jam.

Anyone else suffer from sick of seeing people eat at restaurants? 

Meal Pinning Monday

First full week of school.

That means only two months until full blown winter and fall.

And yes, I'm looking ahead.

[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 - Bacon & Eggs

Tuesday - Layered Taco Salad (made Keto)

Wednesday - Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole with Roasted Broccoli

Thursday - leftovers

Friday - Chicken Nuggets & Fries

Saturday - Pork Carnitas

Sunday - leftovers

Breakfast - Berries & Cottage Cheese 

Lunch - Burger Bowl

Fat Bomb - 

Food Network Star S13 Ep 9 Recap - Food Trucks

I'm scratching my head after last night.

Amy was sent home. 

How you ask? I do not know. She flubbed the ending of a segment and kind of sort of didn't use tortilla chips when B. Flay was clearly craving the salty experience of a Tostito. 

Five on Friday

This has been yet another week of barely taking photos.

So did we actually live? Does life count if you don't Instagram it these days.

Clearly it does... but jeez at having to document everything.

This must be some post Paul McCartney high issue. I've taken maybe 6 photos in the past two weeks. What's left in life? Nothing. Nothing can top McCartney.

Just kidding... but seriously.


If anyone would like Ellie they can have her. I'm over this old dog and her nonsense. I literally mopped every single day for a week due to her need to pee in my kitchen. Guess who is kenneled at night now. Not me. I pee in the appropriate places.

This photo perfectly shows her feelings towards me and my need for her to behave and be clean.