Dalgona Coffee, Earaches, & More Quaran-Memes

Nothing like insomnia to lead you to a Korean coffee craze. 

I've now made this with instant espresso and instant coffee. Go for the espresso. It's 100% better. Milk is also better than a milk sub, but I'm lactose intolerant and can't be hyper and stuck in the bathroom at the same time. 

Not a great combo. 


Dalgona Coffee is super easy to make:


2 tbsp instant espresso
2 tbsp sugar 
2 tbsp boiling water

whisk until it's basically a cloud and pour on top of iced milk. 



@mrs.natalie.h over on Instagram started doing this family drawings during quarantine, so I tossed our name into the bucket to have her draw ours.

Y'all it's this precious! I told her I need to get a print of this. I just love it. 



In less exciting news.

I was doing just fine with quarantine until Elliot managed an ear infection.

He doesn't do sick like Harrison. Harry tends to not even act sick unless he is actually near death. Like so far only Flu has really taken him down.

Meanwhile Elliot needs to be in the ICU over a cold.

Toss an ear infection on that and it has been a week of a feverish tumor attached to me via my Ergo carrier. It was nice having Jeremy home this weekend because I could actually not be attached to the kid at all times.

I'm not good at being the sick parent. Jeremy is better at that skill. He can cuddle in a chair all day and not care. I on the other hand am looking around at the floors, laundry, and whatever is currently on my to do list.

I am not a cuddle-er.

Quaran-Memes



Tiger King is quite possibly the best thing that has ever been put on Netflix in terms of weirdo murder documentaries. 

It's got some language, so don't call me fussing. I warned y'all. 

But it is INSANE. 



Anyone else playing 6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon with Covid? 

Imma need to call that Tele-Doc for some anxiety meds if this keeps up. I personally would like to lock everyone in this house and not leave until April 30. 

I'm almost at the social distance point of putting Jeremy in a tent outside. 


I had to restock kid items yesterday and went to Publix after my Walmart pickup. Y'ALL. I saw a family of 5. Legit everyone they know was in that buggie cruising around like it was just another Sunday. 

Meanwhile I'm shopping with a Clorox wipe in hand and avoiding stores with packed parking lots. I nearly wore that mask I had to put on when I took Elliot to the doctor the other day. 

What is the point in trying to be careful (because I'd rather not be on a vent) and other people are acting like nothing is happening. School is cancelled nationwide. We weren't even shut down in 2009 during H1N1! 

I think the joy-buggie-riders are the ones who need to watch the news. They need to freak out and maybe they'll stay home. 

Okay, end rant. Because I could go on for days about this. 

Picking Wildflowers & Quaran-Memes

Yesterday we went for a walk up and down our little country road. The boys are starting to hit stir crazy, so today I'm going to take them out for a ride in search of teddy bears. 

Hopefully it proves interesting... and we actually find bears. 



One upside to this lock down is we've had more time to cook together. PLUS Harrison has been more willing to try new foods. 

At lunch today he asked to try the leftovers from the other night. (those Pioneer Woman Meatballs I posted Monday) 


Elliot is still being Elliot. 

This photo was on our last shopping trip before all heck broke loose.


What Elliot has recently deemed hilarious is fake sneezing. He tosses his head back and just blows raspberries. 

He will be starting his comedy tour as soon as Corona is over. 

Quaran-Memes


Because what state actually produces better memes than Louisiana? 
But for real though... where did that meat come from? 


Welcome to our house. I just saved you thousands of dollars. 




And I fell off the couch laughing at this one...




Until Friday... stay safe people. 

I'm about to make a iced coffee and see if the kids will hold off burning the house down until Jeremy gets home. 

Pass a Good Quarantine...

Time

Can't exactly pass a good time if you're under stay in orders.

Meal Planning 


No real change here.

Lunch this week is Breakfast Quesadillas (sausage or bacon, eggs, cheese, on a Ole low carb tortilla with fruit)

I added Pioneer Woman Comfort Meatballs to the meal list... we had really only removed one meal from last week's list.

Granted we were out a bit more than I preferred last week due to having guests, but it was all takeout.

Daily Grind 



Yesterday was out first church service online. Surprisingly Harrison was glued in nearly the entire hour.

Elliot is steady digging through everything we own.

I've put a bit of a loose schedule in place for us, Jeremy is at work and it's just me and the kiddos.

7:30 - everyone should be up and eating breakfast/watch a show

- Mama gets a shower, dress the kids.

- Bible Story (Youtube has a ton of great animated options that hold his interest and give me a chance to fix my hair somewhat)

- Letter review (We started doing the Learning Dynamics 4 Weeks to Read recently... I'll talk more on that below) and learning games

9:30 - 10am - Snack

11 - 11:30 am (depending on when they ask) lunch outside on the porch. Play outside until nap time for Elliot.

12:20 - Elliot naps, Harrison does a new Learning Dynamics Lesson and has quiet time after.

2:30 - 3pm - Elliot should be waking up - Mama get's a Pure Barre On Demand workout in during this time before he's up and moving.

3pm - snacks and play outside is the weather is nice

4pm - Jeremy should be getting home - free play for the rest of the day

5pm - dinner get's started

6:30pm - baths and bed routine begins

7:30 pm - bedtime

Home Learning 


Initially I planned to start this over the summer, but we are jumping on it early with the forced break from school.

Harrison, as I've mentioned before, has a language delay. He didn't begin speaking until we started speech when he was 3 and then didn't really become conversational until June of 2019 (just over 4). With that he has struggled to learn and maintain what he has learned with letters at school. Math and logics seem to make more sense to him, fine by me... as long as everything isn't a struggle.

So with this delay and really only recently recognizing certain letters I decided to get the 4 Weeks to Read program. Not so much with the intent to have him reading by August(Kindergarten) but mainly wanting him more familiar with all the letters and their sounds.

We've only made it through 3 lessons (I'm taking weekends off and just practicing those letters on Saturday & Sunday) but I'm seeing an improvement in what he is retaining. To practice the letters after going through the Learning Dynamics lessons I am using Khan Academy Kids and just practicing those particular letters.

Y'all it's actually working.

Hopefully this continues to work for us. I've got a set of letter cards that my K teaching mother made and we flash those, we also practice the letters by running to find whatever I call out on their playroom mat that is the alphabet. Interesting enough, he couldn't look at a card and tell me what it was the other day, but if I called it out he could write the letter in chalk on the sidewalk.

I've got a mover for a learner, so that will have to be taken into consideration in the future.

I think that's all I have time for at the moment... Elliot appears to have gotten quiet and that is never good with this baby. I'll be back Wednesday! 

The Great Covid-19 Lockdown of 2020 || Week 1

Can I be really honest with y'all? 

I've been saying for months that I needed a break. We moved here in August, guns blazing. No time to really get it together. I had three days before I started work. I didn't even have time to get a my car registered. 

So this forced shut in. It's the best thing that could have happened to me. 

I've been stressed with work, unhappy. Just going through the motions. 


It's easy to get past the desire to stay home when you are working somewhere that is fun and offers a real sense of family/community. That isn't the case when things don't pan out that way. Slap on top of that what's basically a long term sub position and you've got a recipe for feeling like a squatter that would rather go home. 

I'm looking forward to next year when I can set up my classroom with my own things. My own organization system. 

So this forced sabbatical... it's just what the doctor ordered. As a family that always lived for the summer months of shared time off, this is perfect. 


During our social distancing time we've eaten lunch outside, a bunch.

I've even convinced Harry to get past his odd food habits that developed during the Terrible Flu B of 2020.


We finally found time to go to the local state park. 

That was a combination of the weather allowing it and time. 


Our friends Brandon & Kali had been planning to come visit this week for awhile now. So we stayed in a good bit and made up for lost Friday nights sitting on the couch. 


We also hiked a new to all of us trail, Moss Rock Preserve in Hoover. It was beautiful and we will definitely be going back to play in the creeks this summer. 


It was Tuesday... so we went all Taco Tuesday at the local Mexican restaurant (across from the hiking trail) and ate dinner on the grass in the park. 


Elliot practiced social distancing. 


He wasn't a fan of the "only two customers allowed inside at a time" rule. 


And then we ate some more porch lunches. 


This afternoon I'm going to organize kid clothing, it's time to swap sizes around. Towards the end of nap time I'll do a Pure Barre On-demand workout. 

But most importantly, I'm not fixing my hair everyday and taking a break from makeup. My skin and hair need it. 


Quarantine Planning Monday

It happened y'all, they shut down school. Church. Life in general. Who would have every thought we'd see such things in our lives.

So to prepare for having to be shut-ins I thought I'd implement a Cat 5 Hurricane plan that happened to include electricity.

Thank the Lord that this doesn't hurt power and water. All my coastal friends know what I'm talking about. Nothing sends me to tears faster than when a driving ban happens at the same time as a power outage.

Instead of a "daily" take on dinner, I'm sharing what all I got to plan to avoid the store for two weeks. I'll go out for milk and such for Elliot, but outings will be hyper minimal. 


Meals:

Meatballs w Otomot Sauce, Wild Rice, & Green Beans
Burgers, Hotdogs, & Fries
Chicken Spaghetti
BBQ Baked Potatoes
Steves Special
Poppyseed Chicken
Lemon Butter Chicken
Gumbo
Jambalaya
Rice & Gravy (with chicken)

And Dirty Rice is I get desperate and don't want to leave.

I aimed to get pretty good shelf stable meals, could they be frozen or maintain a long shelf life. The Gumbo & Jambalaya are both from Jambalaya Girl. She has great shelf stable items, just add chicken and sausage (both stay frozen at our house. ) I bought about 10 lbs of potatoes. Hopefully I have enough rice though.

Some of those items I can make more than once with what I have on hand. I also bought a few veggies that hold up in the fridge for a longer amount of time, like broccoli and carrots. I just avoided the pre-chopped because they sour quicker.

What kind of meals are you making during the Great Lock-in of 2020?

March Mood || Simply Earth Essential Oil Recipe Box

The March Box is here! 

Or has been here for that matter and I can not catch up on life this month. 


This month you're getting:

Cypress - grief, trauma, transition
Orange - uplifting, creativity, comforts
Energy- calms and improves skins appearance
Patchouli - Increases energy, focus, and mental clarity


In addition to the oils this month you are also getting recipes to make a roller, lava beads, diffuser reeds, and an inhaler. 

You'll see in the video that I went ahead and made the roller, inhaler, and reed diffuser and they all smelled amazing. I actually covered myself in the Persevere roller before work today. 


This box and its theme of mood couldn't be better fitting than in a month of time change and weather change. I've been in such a funk with all the rain that anything that is meant to boost my mood and get me into Spring Break is greatly needed. 

I actually made my own diffuser blend yesterday while filming, cypress and orange. The two smells just remind me so much of Louisiana. Cypress balls on the ground and satsumas in a basket in my kitchen, what better smell is there on earth? 

Besides coffee. 


I had a little trouble getting the bottom off the inhaler container to get to the cotton pad, but I think that was mainly due to the fact that my nails are shot from doing gel manicures for a few months. After that the cap came off it was super easy to put together. 


I'm really enjoying the oils this month. If you've ever questioned how high quality their oils are, the reed diffuser is how to really tell. Within minutes of putting this in my guest room the scent filled the entire space. 

As always don't forget about the discount code below when you purchase your own box! 



Head >> HERE << to get you box for February (or give it as a Valentine's gift) and as always don't forget to use code LABRIDEFREE to get a $40 giftcard with your first subscription box and bonus box.

A Big Ole Life Lately Dump of Sorts

I think my Louisiana born and breed brain is struggling having not had Mardi Gras break. 

I tried to fill in the gap by being decked out on my birthday... at work... and it only slightly helped. At the end of the day I still haven't had a vacation and I'm on the struggle bus. 


Secondly, my cat of a second child found another box. It was a shoe box, and he is not a shoe box size cat. It didn't work out. 


It's Read Across America Week and this year I went all Herdman on my door. If you haven't read The Best School Year Ever, you really should. They're the worst children ever and absolutely hilarious. 


Birthday week at my house (in all it's real life glory behind me) is fun simply because I share it with Harrison. He gets so excited about it all and shares my love of Dairy Queen cakes. This particular night he was singing Happy Birthday to both of us. 


I get so excited hearing him sing. A year ago this wasn't the case at all. He wouldn't be singing Happy Birthday and changing the names multiple times. In fact, I had convinced him to say "I Love You" because he really likes Paul McCartney's Silly Love Songs. Which he was actually singing last night.


For the Harry focused portion of the birthday program we went on an adventure to Legoland Discovery Center in Atlanta. 


He loved it, Mom and Dad thought it was a bit packed, Elliot wanted a nap... but Harry thought it was the best idea we ever had. He also got to spend his birthday money from the grandparents at the Lego Store. Which, seeing all those boxes of Legos... he couldn't hardly decide what to get. 


Meal Planning Monday

Well, the lasagna hybrid worked out so well I'm writing out what I did for my recipe box. Go back a post and try it out from last week's menu. 


Monday | Red Beans & Rice (I've been craving this majorly!)

Tuesday | leftovers

Wednesday | Chili with Cornbread (y'all know I cheated and bought a mix, trying the Zatarains Honey Butter)

Thursday | leftovers

Friday | Baked Meatballs with Marinara & Mozzarella with sautéed green beans & wild rice

Saturday | Eating Out

Sunday | Freezer meal from Trader Joe's

Lunch this week is just a big salad w spring mix, chicken, strawberries, blackberries, walnuts, goat cheese, shredded carrots, and cucumbers. My beloved protein shake is also back on the menu - minus the flax and oatmeal.

Meal Planning Monday

Happy Birthday week to all the cool people at our house (i.e. Harry and myself)! Hence a Dairy Queen Ice Cream Cake and Lasagna... just like Garfield. 



Monday | Cheeseburger Skillet with Salad

Tuesday | leftovers

Wednesday | Sam's Club faux Chick-fil-a Nuggest & Fries

Thursday | Lasagna (a hybrid between Joy Behar's & Giada's but only her bechamel sauce. I made Joy's last time and it was amazing but I feel like it needs the white sauce too)

Friday | leftovers

Saturday | Eating Out

Sunday | Freezer meal from Trader Joe's

Lunch this week is just a big salad w spring mix, chicken, strawberries, blackberries, walnuts, goat cheese, shredded carrots, and cucumbers. My beloved protein shake is also back on the menu - minus the flax and oatmeal.

How to Get Married in Hawaii: The Ultimate Guide


Finally! He popped the question, and you seriously can’t contain your excitement. OMG!
You never thought this day would come, but now you’re overrun with emotions, and the thought of having your dream wedding won’t allow you to sit still. Your wish to get married in Hawaii would be a dream come true. 
Hawaii is hands down one of the most amazing destinations with pristine beaches, majestic mountains, fantastic weather, a generous culture, and not to mention all those beautiful islands.
It would easily qualify as the most beautiful place on earth, and this is exactly where you want to have one of the most special days of your life. Besides, you always wanted to experience the Aloha spirit, and what better way than to get married in Hawaii?


Where Do You Start?
With a wide array of resorts and half a dozen islands to choose from, planning your dream wedding is bound to be overwhelming.
Which island do you prefer? How do you get your marriage license? When’s the best time to get married in Hawaii? What’s the ideal budget?
Do Some Research On Hawaii Islands
With seven major islands in Hawaii and even more islets, which one is the best for your destination wedding?
Oahu, Maui, and Kauai are the most popular islands and offer some of the most unique experiences. Known as the gathering place, Oahu is the most vibrant island with an abundance of restaurants, shopping centers, movie theaters, among other activities, and you would undoubtedly love Oahu wedding venues.
You’ve probably heard of Honolulu, Diamond Head, Waikiki, and Pearl Harbor, all of which are in Oahu. This island is home to some of the most pristine beaches in the world and would make incredible wedding memories.
However, if you want a laid back wedding, then Maui and Kauai are more relaxed and quiet. On these islands, you get more of a rural feeling compared to Oahu, and they would be perfect if you want to get away from it all.
What Kind of Wedding Do You Have In Mind?
Can you imagine a simple Hawaiian wedding on the beach with just a few friends and family?
Maybe you’d like a lavish wedding at one of the top-rated resorts in Hawaii. You’d be surprised at how affordable weddings in Hawaii can be if you just want a simple and memorable ceremony.
Still, if you want to pull out all your stops and have a grand ceremony, then you’ll find some of the most lavish venues.
How Much Are You Willing to Spend?
Now that you have an idea of the island you want and the type of wedding you’d like, you need to set a budget and see how much of it you can make a reality. Hawaii weddings can go anywhere from several hundred dollars to thousands of dollars, depending on the simplicity or complexity of a wedding.
To estimate your budget, you may need to estimate your guest count.
Unless you live in Hawaii, or relatively close, you need to factor in travel expenses. How many of your friends and colleagues can make the trip? Can you afford to pay for everyone?
How about your accommodations, welcome dinner for your guests, also known as Luau in Hawaii, post-wedding brunch, rehearsal dinner, and even welcome amnesty? 
Hire a Wedding Planner
Some people choose to plan their own weddings, especially if they’re on a budget. However, in a new destination, it may be hard for you to find the best venue, choose floral arrangements, sample menu items, among other things.
Unless you move to Hawaii in advance, sampling cakes, or checking whether the venue lights are flattering enough would be impossible. You may need expertise, so pick a wedding planner with local connections from the island of choice.
Make Your Priorities Known
Once you hire a wedding planner, you need to be on the same page when it comes to what you want.
Do you want a killer sunset? Maybe a beach wedding? Ensure you make your “must-haves” known.
If you opt for a beach wedding, you need to understand that Hawaii beaches are public, and you may have onlookers gawking. If this is a problem, choose a garden, gazebo, chapel, or terrace wedding.
The Best Time to Get Married In Hawaii
One of the best things about Hawaiian weddings is that the weather in Hawaii is always great. It may be a little hot at times, but temperatures stay between 70-80 degrees, and you should be more concerned about the days and not the months.
If you’re planning a beach or park Hawaiian wedding, non-holiday weekdays may be better because you’ll have more privacy. On weekends, public places tend to be overrun by people. Still, some of the most favorable times include spring break, winter holidays, and the Japanese Golden Week.
What Should You Wear?
Hawaiian weddings are some of the most casual around the world. However, on one of the best days of your life, you should be able to wear whatever you want. One of the most important things to keep in mind when it comes to attire is that heels can be dangerous in the sand.
Stay True to the Locale
Embrace Hawaii and all it has to offer for your wedding. For instance, you can go tropical with the flowers and choose orchids, heliconia, frangipani, hibiscus, among others. You can also incorporate Hawaiian instruments as well as have something unique and memorable.
Of course, you only need to go far as you like without getting carried away to the point of regretting some things. Once you start discovering Hawaii, you’ll learn about the Hawaiian chants, hula dancers, and fire dancers, which is all very exciting. However, don’t feel pressured to be a part of it.
Ready to Get Married In Hawaii?
There you have it! You can start planning your amazing day and get married in Hawaii. The 50th state is one of the most incredibly beautiful places in the world, and if you get everything right, you’ll have an awesome wedding.
Please check out our website for more tips and advice about planning your dream wedding.