Meal Planning Monday

September 20, 2020

Lookie here, Emily is getting her blog life in order before the middle of the week. 

Don't get too excited though, until we move into the house I don't think I'll muster up the excitement for cooking that I once had. Hence the sheer lack of recipes over the past two years. Honestly I just need a good kitchen for inspiration and half of buying a house for me is the kitchen. 

Now... new house doesn't have a gas stove like I like but it'll work until it dies and I can replace it. 

Monday | Eggs, Sausage, Strawberries 

Tuesday | Taco Salad

Wednesday | Sam's Club Knock off Chick-Fil-A Nuggets & fries

Thursday | Chili

Friday | Leftovers

Saturday | Eating Out

Sunday | Trader Joe's Meal

Meal options outside of dinner for myself...

Orgain Protein Shake
Atkins Granola Protein Bar
Salad for Low Carb Days & Sandwich on Dave's Killer Bread with carrots and an apple for regular macro days
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Ice Cream Friday, Egg Substitutes, & the Terrifying Life of a Cricket

September 18, 2020

 When school started I decided it was high time to start a tradition with just Mom. Every Friday we stop somewhere and get ice cream on the way home, and eventually when Elliot is riding with us we will let him participate too lol. 

Daddy doesn't get to be apart of this. 

It's an exclusive club. 

Today I laughed harder in that classroom than I think I ever have, you see we are in the process of studying ecosystems and putting our terrariums together. 

You'd think "no big" but I'm here to inform you that crickets and pill bugs are a big. 

I got my too boys from today's class and thought they would do the dirty work and I could avoid the crickets. I'm not a fan of touching crickets. Well, they were spastic while I picked out pill bugs for the terrarium. So I had a feeling crickets were going to go south. 

Was I ever right. 

Screaming ensued. The girls came running... I have no idea why because they also screamed and jumped around. 

Then... one brave girl accidentally got one cricket into the box without touching it. 

It was so bad one of my students was crying out of fear... she was afraid they would get her. 

Lucky for them it was then recess and we took a cricket break, lucky for me I knew who I would enlist from the other class to save the day. 

My next student came in and scooped out the crickets for our tubs, kid #1 showed back up to conquer his fear... in the most hilarious manner. He was still yelping and jumping, but constantly telling himself the crickets wouldn't bite. 

Who knew a bunch of big tough boys would lose it over a jar of crickets 😂. 

I've been sore as heck lately and it caused me to drag out my beloved yoga mat and bust out the Travis Elliot workout. I made it 22 minutes into Flexibility before I was needed elsewhere... and after that I might take out the entire 108 Days DVD set and start doing it again after we move. I needed it, and after not doing yoga for two years since we have been renting and in smaller spaces I have missed it. 

I've never been one to plan elaborate parties for the kids, but closing on a house next month is getting me excited to do something fun. So I think I'll pull from my favorite movie and have a tiny family party for Elliot. How cute is all of this!? Plus, I think I'll make that cake with the Pioneer Woman Chocolate Sheet Cake that is so divine... just make sure you accidentally use half salted butter because it actually made it so super good. 

Friends, it was 78 outside this afternoon when we got home and I spy leaves. I think my favorite time of year is finally here!! 

Harrison has been asking me every morning if we were going to listen to the bible, Morning Word recently started a podcast that is about 5 minutes long each day. It reads through the email they send... which is great because I honestly find myself searching for free time to read through it daily. 

After a few days he started asking about different bible stories and I came across this By Kids For Kids Bible Stories and he loves it. They tell bible stories in a way that reminds me of the old radio stories. 

I've made some further updates to my beloved chocolate chip cookie recipe and I finally got it perfectly chewy and yet crunchy on the sides and bottom. 

But this week I ran into an snag when we were out of eggs. Pinterest to the rescue. Turns out 2 tbsp water + 2 tsp baking powder + 1 tsp vegetable oil is equal to 1 large egg and you'd never know you were missing that egg one bit. 

A house full of college kids can attest to this. 

What do y'all have planned for this weekend? 

I think it's high time I make another Trader Joe's run, there's only one freezer meal left. 

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Meal Planning... Wednesday?

September 16, 2020

Hi, my name's Emily and I can't get it together around here. 

Things here, there, and everywhere messed up my meal plan this week... so I pushed it back... and then the food pushed back because I ran out of eggs and some zucchini went south. Eek! 

Monday | Breakfast Tacos (eggs, seasoning blend, leftover hash brown potatoes, sausage, bacon, cheese in a low carb wrap) 

Tuesday | Cheesy Kielbasa, Rice, and Broccoli Skillet (I shortened the time by using leftover rice) 

Wednesday | School Chick-Fil-A Fundraiser night! 

Thursday | Chicken, Roasted Potatoes, with Lima Beans & Bacon

Friday | Grilled Chicken, Mac & Cheese (I'll throw something together) and who knows what because I used the broccoli on Tuesday. 

Saturday | Eating Out

Sunday | Trader Joe's Meal

Meal options outside of dinner for myself...

Orgain Protein Shake
Atkins Granola Protein Bar
Chicken Salad, Crackers, Fruit
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The Amazon Sweater, Dinner, and a Failed Juice Cleanse

September 10, 2020

I joined together with a few blog friends on Instagram to do a little fashion carosal - go check out @blessedhautemess @organized_chaosblog @bringingupbeary and @rebeccaautin on IG to see what colors they got and how they styled it. 

Above is THE sweater with my favorite high waisted white jeans from J. Crew Mercantile, Leopard Rothy's, and the ever present jewelry from Mimosa Handcrafted (Mama bar necklace and Acadian Flag Cuff) 

 For this look I went with my favorite black Super Skinny Black Jeans from Old Navy, last years shoes from Target, and a vest from absolutely ages ago. 

"Hashtag" worst fashion blogger ever with that second look! 

I'm fairly excited about dinner tonight. 

I have a ton of veggies leftover from the failed juice cleanse and that lead to this French Cucumber Salad recipe. 

Then there's the short ribs from Meal Planning Monday. Yum! 

So funny story...

Elliot was sitting at the book shelf reading the other night, nothing unusual. Suddenly I noticed he was throwing away paper. 

Again, nothing unusual. He likes to clean and he tends to pick up behind Harrison. 

So I checked to see what he tossed. 

The boy threw away a page HE ripped out of the children's bible and then ACTUALLY put the bible back on the bookshelf. Which he never does. 

I don't know if I should be irritated or impressed that a nearly two year old thought this out so far. 

About that failed juice cleanse...

The long time readers around here will know I use to ride or die on juicing. Loved it. My most viewed and pinned post for years was a green juice. 

I'm not that person anymore. 

Let me break down the juice cleanse for you. 

1. Jeremy wanted to do 5 days. I talked him off that cliff and got him to three. 

2. Juice cleanse begins. 

8am - first juice - tolerable but not my favorite thing on this planet. (we were copying a local juice place to save money) 

10 am - better but still, it wasn't coffee and I had given up coffee if it had to be black. 


12:15 - I'm just looking at this green juice. It's mocking me. It looks like it's gonna taste like something you have to choke down. 

12:30 - still looking at it. 

1:30 - Jeremy shows up and takes a sip of his, half gags. 

1:31 - everyone agrees we are stupid and this is ending now. We got BBQ for dinner. 

Clearly I could juice through my 20's, but mid 30's Emily has more to live for than a missed meal. 

And that friends is why I now own a nice juicer that will never be used again. 
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Meal Planning Monday

September 7, 2020

It's been a minute, don't judge me. 

I've been meal planning, but something about quarantine just got me in a funk with any sort of schedule on this website. 

Monday | Who on earth knows because we were supposed to be on a juice cleanse that we both abandoned. 

Tuesday | Sausage, Zucchini, Peppers, Onions, and Goat Cheese Skillet with a Salad

Wednesday | Breakfast Tacos

Thursday | Chicken, Roasted Potatoes, with Lima Beans & Bacon

Friday | French Style Braised Short Ribs with Mashed Potatoes

Saturday | Eating Out

Sunday | Trader Joe's Meal

Meal options outside of dinner for myself...

Orgain Protein Shake
Atkins Granola Protein Bar
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Life Lately

September 2, 2020

 There's light at the end of the hybrid school year tunnel, supposedly we might just maybe kinda sorta go 5 days at the end of this month. 


Turns out that not being in the path of Hurricane Laura is just as stressful as deciding each and every hurricane if one should evacuate. 

Most of our friends hunkered down. I'm hearing my MIL in Monroe just got power back today, and my sister in Alexandria is still without power and water. My cousins in Natchitoches seem to have power here and there but are dealing with damage. 

Y'all this was a super storm. 

Katrina was just a bad thunderstorm in Monroe when it finally got there. We still had classes and I still went to work. 

So to soothe myself... I made Working Girl Red Beans and Rice. 

A former LAFMB writer friend runs that site and she is legit on the Cajun recipes friends. 

Outside of my class theme being pencils... it's all about the color. I need that room to be as bright and cheerful as possible and if you need an Advil when you leave I can hand you one. 

We had a slight run-in with the electricity again. Friday morning I got up at exactly 3:58AM to head to the ladies room and at the moment I sat my booty back in bed the power shut down. I didn't go back to sleep (makes for a terrible Emily) and then I got ready for work at 5:20 in absolute darkness with intensifying anger. 

I'm not exaggerating when I tell you I think we've lost power more this year than I can recall being without power in all 34 years of living in Louisiana. 

So I went to Starbucks because again... no power. I ordered online, got there and the line was insane so I tried to walk in to grab my already completed drink. Doors are locked and they're ignoring me. 

I basically donated 5 bucks to them, we had to get to work and I couldn't sit in that line any longer (I'd already been there 20 minutes). 

So a touch later, when Jeremy and Elliot are finally moving he notices I left Harrison's lunch box on the table. 

Of course I did. I couldn't see it in the dark. 

And he saved the students day as well by bringing me coffee. 

No lie, before the coffee and after a lack of sleep they said I wasn't as peppy as usual. 

And because I love a good Cajun meme. 

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Simply Earth September Essential Oil Recipe Box || You Stinker

August 30, 2020

Guess what came in the mail y'all? Another essential oil box from Simply Earth. 

I find myself saying this every month, but I've not convinced myself this is because the boxes are curated for that particular month/season. When I opened this box to discover a few favorite oils and find the theme to be "You Stinker" I was pumped... because what else describes September. 

Hot. Muggy. Yuck.  

As always with each box you get recipe cards and goodies to help you make the recipes. There are also 4 full size oils included in each month's box. 

This month's oils were:

Blood Orange - uplifting, cleans, soothes pain (Kid Safe 2+)
Lemon Eucalyptus - repels insects, deodorizes (Kid Safe 2+)
Clove - supports focus and immune system (Kid Safe 10+)
Defender Blend - boosts immunity, kills germs (Kid Safe 10+)

You box will also come with wool balls & cotton bag for a diffuser recipe and a spray bottle for a body spray. 

On the back of the Drawer Deodorizer recipe card this month is all of the info about the oils. Even down to cat or dog safe, how to dilute it, pregnancy safe, and kid safety ages like I mentioned above. I think it's great that Simply Earth isn't about just convincing your to buy their product and not thinking of your safety, they include info in each month's box to help to decide where and when to use these oils. 

These big ole 15 ml bottles just make me so happy, and last so long! 

The first thing I dug into was the Defeat the Reek Diffuser Blend, a house full of boys needed this. 

I'll definitely be making a roller bottle blend with the Lemon Eucalyptus to ward off all the bugs out here in the country. 

This body spray has my absolute favorite oil blend ever in it... Defender. This blend goes by many names, Thieves, Fighting Five, but it's a great blend for warding off the sickies. Plus it smells great. 

This month's box is also supporting Exodus Cry, and 13% of profits go to this organization. Exodus Cry is shifting culture, changing laws, reaching out, and creating films that are changing the way people think about human trafficking in society. 

Overall, this month was another great box. After you get the September box, be on the lookout for October and its DIY Spa Day theme! 

Head >> HERE << to get you box for June and as always don't forget to use code LABRIDEFREE to get a $40 giftcard with your first subscription box and bonus box.

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Harrison's First Day of Kindergarten

August 24, 2020

Harrison officially went to kindergarten this past week. 

Here's a secret for you, I always take first day photos in church clothing before the actual first day. I just can't 1) carve out time that morning and 2) the attitudes are ripe at 7am and I want a good photo. 

His first day went great, aside from falling off and dangling from a play structure by one arm. This kid. His attitude both days was honestly way sunnier than I anticipated. 

I was also snapping pics of Harry with his front yard sign and Elliot kept posing like this. Cute little blue-eyed cheeseball. 

Then it all went south, because at the same time Jeremy was doing yard work and told Harrison he could play with the blower. 

So they all went. 

And Elliot was accosted with the blower and not happy about it. 

He came back just to rat out Harrison. 

Harrison was unfazed. Then it took me 15 minutes just to get him to put it back in the garage and come inside. 

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It's Been a Year

August 23, 2020

It's officially been a year since we left our beloved south Louisiana. 

For 8 years we absorbed all that Cajun Country had to offer. Festivals, year 'round snowballs, boiled seafood as far as the eye could see, hot cracklins, the people. 

Y'all I had found my place in life with all those loud Cajun women. I'm far from demure, and standing in the hall before work talking about everything under the sun was good for my soul. 

For a year I haven't regularly sat, with our best friends, on the couch eating ice cream... every Friday night. That's been hard. 

Who would have known how much you could miss a hot as heck humid place where you are constantly fighting the mice in the cane field behind your house and predicting how terrible hurricane season will be based on the love bugs. 

Speaking of which, I haven't seen a single love bug in Alabama. 

Brandon don't hate me, this was one of three pics I took that weekend we were eating out and packing up. 

On the flip side, it's been a bitter sweet year. 

It's been quite the adjustment for me, getting use to Jeremy not being on the same work schedule that I'm on. After 10 years of the same schedule I expected that it would take some time to adjust. Yeah, he was gone for deacon stuff, taught, filled-in in the youth group, and played music... but full time ministry is on another level. 

He's gone a lot, and that's with him being very much focused on being here as much as he can. 


Jeremy is finally doing what he sat on my couch telling me he felt called to do in 2008. 

In my biased opinion, he's done a great job this year. Especially in a pandemic. Y'all we drove here, there, and everywhere delivering care packages at the beginning of this. 

All that to say, I lost my Louisiana license plate a year ago as I drove over the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway for the last time as a resident. I can't just zip to Rouse's (for the first time in my adult life) when I've run out of some random Cajun item. AND I've got to speciality order Blue Runner beans now. 

But at least Alabama as Community Coffee. 

And a really great church family. 

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How to Make Your Anniversary Special

August 18, 2020

Whether it’s your first anniversary or your fiftieth, it’s always good to do something as a couple to remind yourself of just how much you mean to one another, and to remember the reasons you were married in the first place. It can be hard to decide what you should do, especially if you want to surprise your spouse, as there are so many choices these days, and this is why it pays to start planning early. If you want to make your anniversary a special one, here are some ideas to help you plan the perfect day. 

A Gift 

One of the elements that makes most people so stressed when it comes to their anniversary is the gift. This is a pity since the day should be an enjoyable one, celebrating your love, rather than one that causes you pain and upset. Starting early when it comes to thinking of what you can buy as anniversary gifts is a good idea. Listen to what your partner is saying, and if they mention something specific that they would like, this could be the ideal gift. 
Otherwise, something that comes from the heart is perfect. A personalized gift, flowers, jewelry, something handmade, or anything else that you have taken the time to think of and know they will like is ideal. 

Breakfast in Bed 

If you want to have a whole day of anniversary fun, then starting with breakfast in bed is a great idea. Prepare a romantic breakfast and serve it in an attractive way, and the day will start perfectly. Make it even more special by including a glass of champagne, or serving food that you wouldn’t normally eat at home but that you both love. 
You can also make your special breakfast very simple; toast and butter with a cup of tea is going to be just as well received as salmon, eggs, and gourmet coffee if you make an effort to make it look nice and put some thought into the idea. If you can, why not wake up early and enjoy the sunrise together while tucking into your wonderful breakfast? This is a very romantic way to start the day. 

Watch the Sunset 

Depending on the time of year, the sunrise could be an early one, and that might just be too early for you or your spouse. If that’s the case, don’t worry; watch the sunset instead. It’s just as romantic to sit there and enjoy the beauty of nature, and you won’t be feeling quite so tired either. 
Work out a great place to go to watch the sunset if you can’t do it from home (whether you can or not will depend on the location of your property and the direction it’s facing) and perhaps you can even take a picnic with you. After a romantic day, watching the sunset together is a great way to finish. It’s amazing how much closer you will feel to one another after experiencing something so beautiful together.

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The Last Days of Summer

August 16, 2020

Forgive me for the big ole dump of a post, I still haven't gotten a hang on juggling real life, blog life, and working after 5 months off life again. 

We've been soaking up the slow days as much as possible, especially any slow Saturday that Jeremy isn't busy with a youth group something or other. This past Saturday Jeremy needed to run up to Sam's and toted Harrison along as a easy way to get the kiddo his school shoes. 

Shocker. Harry has picked out roughly the same exact shoe every year I've not let him wear real tennis shoes. 

Elliot was left with me. And disgruntled. 

How dare the big boys leave him. He's a big boy too. 

So I put him in the tub with ball pit balls, he was still angry. There's no changing his mind. 

Monday I didn't have meetings so I kept the kids home for one last Mom Day before chaos of real life ensues again. 

We played in the pool and ate popsicles. 

I shaped up the big one's hair, he last cut left a lot to be desired. This should at least buy me another month. He has the same "not wavy but not straight" texture I have and I have tried time and time again to convince stylist to leave the top all one length and keep the dang thinning shears away. Well my usual favorite wasn't around and I had gotten comfortable not having to say much, because she did such a great job. 

I should have said more. It didn't work out. Why are little boy haircuts such a dang pain? 

As you can tell they just hate this kiddie pool.


I finally broke down and ordered the Cafe Collection from NutPods, totally worth it. Although I wish I could order just a box of Toasted Marshmallow. If you're looking for a non-dairy coffee creamer this is really where it is at. My only suggestion is to make sure you measure your serving otherwise the small box lasts no time. But if you follow the Tbsp serving it'll last 21 days. 👏

Y'all know I've tried them all too, back in the day (when we lived in Thibodaux) I even made my own.

This friends is my perfect depiction of not handling seeing 6am very well. 

Coffee without the filter.

Pray for me when I have to start getting up at 5am to get Harry and I to school by 7:15. I'll have to prep my coffee the night before. 

Back in the class means I'm busting out my essential oils more than ever. For parent video calls it was a day of Energy and Peppermint from Simply Earth

Next week I'll be sharing their September box, y'all it's all my all-star oil favorites in one box. So be on the lookout for that. 

After a whole year of not teaching in my own room, decorated my way, I was beyond stoked to get this room together. 

I started gathering my pencil theme when I was set to teach 1st at Delcambre Elem. So when I got into this room I reordered the pencil border and got to work. 

Focus Board for ELA and the calendar. I'm really happy to have a magnetic chalk board. I've also got a spot for a weekly quote as well as my trusty big ole piece of paper showing you where you better put your heading. 

Also, I spy my 3rd grade DES team, I've gotta print out my 5th team too. I loved working with those ladies. 

I'm going to be teaching Science and ELA, but with the pandemic only the teachers are swapping rooms. So I've made spaces for all subjects on the boards so we can both display what we need. For science I'm going the anchor chart route and making pretty charts for whatever we are working on. 

The beloved RACES writing strategy finally made it off of a anchor chart and got its own board this year. 

Back corner and Math Board. 

I've gotta wrangle a better situation with those computers, but it's working for now. 

My fabulous class flag, it says welcome in floral fabric. Plus the birthday corner. 

I'm really excited about the visual voice cue I saw on Pinterest. Kids have the best intentions but not always the best memory (like adults) and can get louder than you'd like. 

That yellowish border you can see is the pencil border from the Target Dollar Spot. 

I've also put one of a skinny Sterilite drawers on my computer cart to act as a moving classroom for myself when I am going back and forth to my second class. 

A close up of RACES. 

And some kinda sorta Quaran-Memes, what do you even consider this weird masked phase of life that better dang well end soon? 

For real, if I like it I'm gonna need y'all to back off that house. 

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