Lemon and Wild for Eco-Friendly Lunches

June 29, 2018

I was not compensated monetarily for this review but was sent Lemon and Wild's products to test out! 

It almost feels like a resurgence of the 60's right now with the current food and lifestyle movement. More and more people are aware of what they are eating and the products they are using in their homes. 

So when Lemon and Wild contacted me about sharing their products with my readers I knew y'all would enjoy it! 

Lemon and Wild is a newer company that sells eco-friendly kitchen papers out of Minnesota. Right now they are offering a sandwich kit product in two different designs. The kits include 20 sandwich wrappers with 20 coordinating resealable stickers.

I think that resealable would be great especially for school age kids, they almost never finish a lunch. This way they could wrap their sandwich back up and eat it later. Trust me mom's many of them save half of their lunch for a snack later... I see my students do it all the time.

These adorable sandwich wraps are a chic way to ditch the plastic baggies and dull kitchen paper. Plus... stickers. If I use the parchment I have on hand I'm having to use tape from the office to hold everything in place. This solves that problem.

Also, call me a crazy old lady but their entire site has free shipping right now... and I'm the type that will go to great lengths to get free shipping.

Okay, enough of the shipping.

How cute are those patterns? Lemon and Wild is working on a back to school theme for the end of summer and I can't imagine how cute those are going to turn out!

My glorious sandwich all wrapped up tight! 

I really loved how these aren't just cute but are actually functional. My favorite sandwich is banana, honey, and almond butter... their paper actually kept the honey from leaking out or dampening the paper and causing a big mess. 

Alright ladies... and potentially the two guys that read, Lemon and Wild was nice enough to provide a discount code for my readers. You can use LABRIDE at checkout for $5 off your purchase or follow this link < here > to have it added to your cart automatically!
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Why Spring Cleaning Boosts Your Well-Being and How to Make it Fun

June 27, 2018

Today's guest post was submitted by Jennifer Dawson! 

Why Spring Cleaning Boosts Your Well-Being and How to Make it Fun

“We are used to cleaning the outside house, but the most important house to clean is yourself your own house which we never do”. An analogy by Marina Abramovic, suggesting that we focus on our outer appearance as opposed to within. When we work on our inner self/well-being we become balanced; the problem is when do we find the time to do this? A Spring clean can contribute positively to states that make up our overall well-being, e.g. happiness, vitality and calmness. Here we understand why deep cleaning boosts your well-being and how to make your next one entertaining.

It’s a Form of Exercise

The feel-good chemical endorphins are released when you exercise which boosts your mind and self-esteem. A study found that an average of 600 calories are burnt during a two-hour cleaning spree. When combined, intensive activities such as window cleaning, floor mopping or giving the driveway a good scrub, are just as effective as a 5km run. For added benefits incorporate lunges and keep your abs tight whilst cleaning.

It Uplifts Your Mood

Getting your home organized and clutter free has the ability to release negative emotions, lower stress and make you feel more productive. Decluttering gives a sense of control and frees up mind space allowing other thoughts to enter. It eases some allergy symptoms and prevents the spread of illness, making your household feel healthier. 
Using great smelling cleaning products helps to boost your mood, as pleasant smells can instantly remind us of happy times. Lavender-scented cleaning products are great for relaxing you, Pine helps to reduce anxiety and Peppermint promotes motivation. 

Spring Cleaning Fun

There are essential chores, and chores that can wait; to prevent that overwhelming feeling try keeping on top of the essential ones. You could also get your family involved to help out and use as an opportunity for quality catching up time. Listening to your favourite music during a session will really help you get into the flow. Singing and dancing also release endorphins; what could be more fun than pretending to be in the music video of your favourite artist.  
Spring cleaning can be an uplifting, stress relieving and happy occasion, that gets your mind clear and contributes to well-being. Its intensity burns calories saving you a trip to the gym, you get to dance around the house singing your heart out to your favorite songs, and you might find something precious you once thought was lost. 

How to burn 600 calories cleaning your house, Research reveals the most demanding chores (and why two hours of cleaning is better than a 5km run), Mail Online,  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-4872006/Good-Housekeeping-research-calories-burned-doing-chores.html

Spring Cleaning: Here’s How Many Calories You Burn During 15 Common ChoresReaders Digest, https://www.rd.com/health/wellness/calories-burned-spring-cleaning/
Best Pressure Washer Reviews, YardCare Gurus, https://www.yardcaregurus.com/best-pressure-washer-reviews/

Spring Cleaning is Good For Your Health, Wilx (NBC News) http://www.wilx.com/content/news/Spring-cleaning-is-good-for-your-health-480742891.html

Spring Cleaning Sayings and Quotes, Wise Old Sayings, http://www.wiseoldsayings.com/spring-cleaning-quotes/
The Secret to Spring Cleaning: Don’t Just Organise Your Stuff, Get Rid of It, The Guardian,  https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/mar/15/secret-to-spring-cleaning-better-mental-health,
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Meal Pinning Monday

June 25, 2018

It's the last week of June and y'all this summer is flying by!

[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 - Making the Beef Plantain Pie I didn't make last week

Tuesday - Lemon Garlic Steak with Spinach & Parmesan Mushrooms

Wednesday - Spaghetti & Meatballs

Thursday - leftovers

Friday - Breakfast Burritos

Saturday - cleaning out the fridge meals
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Family Camping Organization

June 21, 2018

Today's post comes with a warning for the photo allergic... this post has a ton of photos, but with the intent to share the tips for camping organization I've acquired. Also, I wanted to lug my big girl camera to shoot this but with sketchy weather I didn't want to risk it getting wet or having to leave it in a hot car all week. So phone photos it was. 

So if you're interested... continue. 

If not... don't hate me. 

But without further chatting here's how we organize our campsite. 

As a family this is our 2nd year of week long camping. Before this I've camped with friends and Jeremy has as well. We just never camped together. So while we are new to camping together we aren't new to camping in general. I'm pretty certain the two of us logged more ours in the woods as children than on pavement.

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The "It's Been a Hot Minute" Baby Update

June 19, 2018

Major pregnancy brain, I looked at this photo for a good bit and suddenly realized the first one was week 18, not 19. Oops!  

But whoa at how rounded out I got in just two weeks, hopefully it's just camp food and gets in check lol! 

18/20 Week Pregnancy Update

Size: Baby B is the size of a roast chicken and weighs 12.699 oz according to the Ava app. 

Due Date: November 2 (measured for Nov 6 at the ultrasound, but they aren't changing it). I'm betting I have the baby in October. 

Heartbeat: At my appointment last week it was 147. 

Symptoms: Indigestion is a beast. If I get hot, hungry, or worn out I tend to just shut down. Walking to the showers during our camping trip after helping take down the tent had me showering in the handicap stall and sitting... then coming back and sitting in the car. It took a few snacks and a lot of cold air before I felt like myself again. Funny though because setting up didn't phase me. Hence I'm blaming the heat. 

Currently Missing: Sweets. I'd love some cake but if I delve too deep into sugar I feel really bad. It gets my indigestion going and I immediately feel like puking.

Cravings and Favorite Foods: Raw veggies dipped in my girlfriends dill dip is heavenly. The Walmart brand sweet potato and beet chips are even great in it.

Sleep: Good, I just get up 2-3 times to pee. This was only an issue when camping because 1) I wasn't driving to the bathhouse and 2) raccoons were running a muck. I peed at a tree several times.

Food Aversions: 
Mainly just sweets, but that isn't an aversion it just doesn't sit well with me. Chicken isn't my favorite but I can tolerate it grilled now. The Tyson Chicken Nugges my child eats makes me want to fall over and croak at this point though. They just stank. Stink isn't a strong enough term for how they smell.

Exercise: Granted last week it was all mild hiking and swimming because we were camping, but I'm back at it in the gym. Right now I can do slow cardio on the Faster Way cardio days, but I love the weight lifting. I just have to make sure I wear my maternity support belt and get on the massage bed at Planet Fitness after the fact. I'm about to throw in a ton of squats every day though because Ina May suggests 300 a day. I doubt I'll hit that number today, but it's worth doing a ton of them to prep for childbirth.

Reading/Baby Related Classes and Prep:
Mama Natural Week by Week Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth
Ina May Gaskin's Guide to Childbirth

I'm now flipping through two Bradly Method books, Husband Coached Childbirth and Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way. Any extra comfort and position tips for labor are more than welcome. I'm constantly ear marking pages to prep for what's coming up. I'm about to start reading the Mom's On Call 0-6 Month book to try and find myself a more relaxed way to get on a schedule and sleep train. Baby Wise basically got the job done but I was so entirely stressed out because I felt the need to be so ridged that I want to take a different approach. My girlfriend suggested this, we were both big BW with our first, and she said she felt more relaxed following this schedule and method.

Weight: At the last appointment I'd only gained about 6 lbs and I am shocked. Shocked that it's only been 6, I was a baby beluga on the last go around.

Movement: Anytime I sit still I get kicked half to death. Jeremy hasn't felt it yet, but I can't have anything in my bladder or this child kicks me and I just about wet my pants.

Maternity Clothing: All day every day. I mix in some non maternity but I don't like the restriction of regular pants.

Gender Guess: I honestly have nothing. Not a clue. Heart rate says girl, but it's the same range Harrison was in so that means absolutely nothing. My OB suggested the Chinese Gender Calendar to guess and it's also a mixed bag. Here's why... I got pregnant technically Jan 26 at the age of 31. But I wouldn't have technically conceived until Feb on the verge of turning 32 at the end of the month. One says girl the other says boy. Basically the child will have to get out to see what we landed.
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Meal Pinning Monday

June 18, 2018

After VBS and the week of camping... here are a few actual meals I am actually cooking!

[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.

Saturday - Grilled Chicken with Asian Chopped Salad (easy peasy premade salad kit)

Sunday - Jeremy's choice for Father's Day

Monday - The White Chicken Chili I have yet to make

Tuesday - leftovers

Wednesday - Grilled Chicken with Green Beans and Roasted Potatoes

Thursday - Chicken and Sausage Creole - an old blog recipe that needs an update

Friday - leftovers

Saturday - Chili Lime Chicken with Salad, Rice, Avocado, and Tomatoes

Sunday - Paleo Plantain Beef Pie

Breakfast - Avocado Pudding

Lunch - Burger Bowls

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6 Beauty Tips to Do in Advance That Will Have You Looking Stunning

June 16, 2018

Today's guest post was submitted by Kelly Halls. It's all about beauty tips for wedding day prep, but let's be honest with it being wedding season we can all benefit from a little beauty prep for these big events!

6 Beauty Tips to Do in Advance That Will Have You Looking Stunning on Your Wedding Day

The engagement might have only just happened and the wedding is still a year away, but it is never
too early to start thinking about that wedding health and beauty regime that can leave you glowing
on your big day.
We all know it can often take a while to see results from new diets and skin treatments, so there is no
time like the present to start making those little lifestyle tweaks to prepare you for walking down the
From growing out your hair to incorporating a lot more drinking of water into your daily routine,
here are six beauty tips to do in advance that will have you looking stunning on your wedding day.

Start growing out your hair now

If you are looking to have long, healthy, luscious hair like Rapunzel, then the longer you can grow it
out for, the better. Start the process immediately and remember that to keep it healthy, you’ll still need
to have a few trims throughout the growing process in the run up to the big day.

Whiten your teeth

The average number of photographs taken at a wedding is a staggering 3,000. That is a lot of smiling
which means your teeth are going to be on show for a lot of the time. Teeth whitening can help them
to look their best and there are many products that allow you to whiten your teeth at home, rather
than seeking the help of a costly professional. Whichever option you decide to take, make sure you
leave yourself up to two months to achieve the perfect smile and avoid any tooth-sensitivity close to
the ceremony.

Have your eyebrows shaped

Just like teeth and hair, your eyebrows are an area that you need to start working on well in advance.
Seek the opinion of a professional who will be able to tell you the shape of eyebrows best suited to
your face. After a few months, they’ll have your eyebrows clean and beautiful which will help in the
framing of your wedding makeup.

Use Epsom Salts on your skin

You are probably wondering What Is Epsom Salt? Epsom Salt is made up of magnesium and sulfate
and can do wonders for your skin. It works as a powerful face cleaner when a half a teaspoon is mixed
into your regular nightly cleansing cream, it can be used to improve the potency of a regular face
mask, it can help you exfoliate when massaged over wet skin and it can help soak up excess oil from
your hair when added to oily hair shampoo.

Drink a lot more water

By drinking a lot of water every day, you’ll be helping your body wash out unwanted toxins which will
leave your skin with a healthy glow. Staying hydrated is one of the best ways we can look after

Adopt a healthy diet

You’ll probably be hitting the gym hard in the run up to the wedding, but if you really want to
achieve that dream body before your wedding, then adopting a healthy diet is a must. You don’t need
to live off salad for the next six months, just avoid sugar, salt and processed foods which aren’t good
for weight loss or clean living.
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Pepper Jelly Cheese Dip

June 5, 2018

I originally posted this recipe 100 years ago with no photo, so today I'm bringing it back new and renewed... with a photo.

The original recipe was scalped off of my Sunday School teacher in West Monroe at one of our monthly get-togethers. I hope you enjoy it as much as my people love cheese and Ritz.

In case you aren't of the Louisiana breed, here's the pepper jelly I use. You can use any brand, just jalapeno pepper jelly. I had some pineapple jalapeno jelly in the fridge that I was tempted to use. That on some cream cheese... amazing.

To make the dip just combine two softened blocks of cream cheese with 2 cups of shredded cheddar and 2 sliced green onions. Top it with crushed Ritz crackers and chopped bacon.

After baking top it with melted pepper jelly and serve with more Ritz crackers. This is an easy appetizer and is whipped up in 20 minutes with only about 5 of those being active cooking minutes. 

Pepper Jelly Cheese Dip

2 8oz blocks of cream cheese, softened
2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
2 green onions, sliced
8 Ritz crackers, crushed
8 slices of bacon, chopped up
1/2 cup of pepper jelly

Preheat over to 350 degrees. In a pie plate combine the first 3 ingredients and smooth it out across the dish. Top with crushed Ritz and chopped bacon. (If you're making this ahead just stop here until you're closer to serving)  Bake for 15 minutes. Towards the end of baking put 1/2 cup of pepper jelly into a microwave safe container, microwave for 30 seconds at a time, stirring, until melted.  As soon as the dip comes out of the oven evenly spread the melted pepper jelly over the top. Serve with Ritz or your favorite crackers.

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