I Like My Eggs Shaken and Not Empty

April 9, 2021

 The days of spring in the South when we can play outside without fear of melting, they're simply the best. Granted the trade off is severe allergy issues and the constant handing out of Xyzal. 




I don't have a picture of it, but yesterday I saw Elliot scale the rock wall on the side of the playset. Second children really are something else. Harrison wouldn't have dared half of what Elliot does with ease. 



You might see children playing outside and coloring with chalk, I'm seeing a spearmint plant that is thriving in a land of many-a-dead potted plant. Don't even ask about the lavender, the two of us have never done well together. 


Anyone else have strange kids? I've caught these two all but licking the pan after dinner, but only if it is french fries that were seasoned with Tony's. 

How Louisiana are my children? Well there consumption of Tony's should clarify that. 


Two things here. 1) We've Pavlov Dog-ed the kids by accident. If the beaters turn on they come running, especially hungry baby Elliot. 

2) He started yelling "No cheese, no pictures Mama!" at me when I took out my phone. 


Last but not least, out first half decent family photo since Elliot's new born shoot. The church had an Easter egg hunt last weekend and the kids had so much fun. Little Ole Elliot, in true second child fashion, shook every egg to decide if he wanted it or not. He did in fact put some back. 

That baby ain't picking no empty or low weight egg. 😂

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Guide to Caring for Elderly Parents

April 6, 2021

Aging is a natural part of life and most people need some extra support as they get older. Supporting an elderly parent can be challenging and they may reject your help in the beginning. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to show your love and support, without taking away their independence. With that in mind, here is a guide to caring for elderly parents:



Assess your parent’s care needs


Your first step should be to assess your parent’s limitations and care needs. Make sure that you approach the subject with sensitivity and be prepared for your parents to resist your support. Many elderly people find it difficult to admit that they need help, especially if they are used to being very independent. Sit down together as a family and encourage your parents to speak openly and honestly about their needs. According to Pasadena Health Center, some common healthcare needs of seniors include arthritis, heart disease, osteoporosis, and Alzheimers Disease. These conditions can cause a variety of physical and mental symptoms that make daily activities more challenging. For instance, you may notice that an elderly parent finds it difficult to walk without aids or can no longer drive safely. Assess the level of care your elderly parent needs and then create a plan to provide the support they require.


Discuss the benefits of assisted living


The care needs of elderly people tend to increase as they get older. Your parents may develop health conditions that make it difficult to live independently and you might become concerned for their safety and wellbeing. In this situation, it might be a good idea to discuss the benefits of assisted living. For instance, assisted living communities offer extra security and plenty of fun senior-friendly activities. According to residents at Brightview senior assisted living in Rockville, MD, one of the biggest factors in choosing an assisted living community is the overall community feel and connection to other residents.


Be honest about the support you can provide


It is natural to want to help your parents as they get older, but you must be honest about the support you can provide. Caring for someone is hard work and it can take a toll on your physical and emotional health. Consider your other commitments and think realistically about how much help you can provide.

 

If your parents live close, then you might be able to offer assistance a couple of times a week. However, this will not be possible if you live far away or have a demanding work and family schedule. If your parents need more support than you can provide, then consider other care options. For example, you could arrange for a professional carer to visit your elderly parents at home and assist with their daily activities and routines. You could also hire a cleaner to help with household chores. This extra support will allow your elderly parents to maintain their independence and freedom. You can have peace of mind knowing that your parents are receiving the care they need to maintain a good quality of life as they get older.

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Meal Planning Monday

April 5, 2021

This might need to be changed to Meal Planning Thursday - since that's when it actually happens. 



Thursday | Grilled Chicken with Baked Sweet Potatoes and Roasted Brussel Sprouts


Friday |  Pioneer Woman French Dip Sandwiches with Fries

Saturday | Easter Dinner - Regina Charboneau Biscuits - Strawberry Pie - Black Ham - Hashbrown Casserole - Carrot Soufflé - Deviled Eggs 

Sunday | Leftovers

Monday | Breakfast Tacos (this is easy peasy low carb, so it repeats) 

Tuesday | leftovers

Wednesday | Sam's Chick-Fil-A Nuggets with Fries

Breakfast - Orgain Shake or Atkins Bar
Lunch -Low Carb - Taco Salad
Reg Macro - Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potato 
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A Lotta Bit of Life Lately

 It's been a minute. 


Granted after 12 years of blogging I feel like I should start staying "It's been a decade," let's face it I go through highs and lows of posting regularly. 


Regardless, here's what we've been up to. 



If you haven't been to a Jeni's Ice Cream or purchased some of that expensive stuff out of your local freezer section... do it now. It's worth every macro lost and every pound gained. Just do it on your leg day and call it a win. Their ice cream out does any custard I have ever had at the drive through in Monroe that was the bane of my prewedding "getting in shape" need. 


Monkey see, Monkey Second Child over here constantly has us rolling. His biggest thing lately is that he wants to drink what Daddy is drinking. (Harry and I are boring with plain water so he doesn't try to snag our drinks.) Jeremy, looking for a break from the toddler slobber, ordered the kid his own lemonade and he was in hog heaven having a "real drink" and not that healthy mess that Mama doles out. 


We recently had Book Character Day at school. I went above and beyond my non-crafty-mama-self and made him the shirt of his dreams. Sadly his dreams don't start at the early hours of 6:50AM and his face doesn't do his true after breakfast feelings justice. 

I kid you not, they read a book about emotions in his class and wrote a word that is "in their heart" on a heart for the board... this was clearly done in the morning. His word was sad. Had they done this after lunch they might have had a different word. But Harry is always sad to leave bed. Ask him  his feelings at PE or recess and you'd get a different answer. 



With decent weather lately, we've spent a ton of time outside. These two get kicked out of the house daily and piddle in backyard. On this particular day Elliot has dropped his popcorn and was eating it off the grass. C'est la vie. 


In other Elliot news, ignore the dirty microwave, he has been watching us microwave now for two years of his life and decided that his time had come. I was out in the yard speaking to our neighbor and he ran into the house... I caught him just in time to see he had taken the step stool to the microwave and was about to push +30 on an apple and a car. 

Before you think anything let me say this... HE IS FAST. This child plots and plans before he gets into something. For instance, I changed the door knob on the pantry to keep him out, so he's been practicing round handles on the sly and I saw him try and open the back door yesterday... he can also now open the pantry door. 


If  you haven't make homemade cooked playdough, do it now. I scented ours with peppermint essential oil and every time they play at the table the house smells clean. 

Major plus for the fact that they play with this for hours. 


We had a pajama day after church Sunday. We just needed it. I don't deal well with busy busy. 

Elliot wanted to go outside so I told him he needed shoes... this was his solution. Mama's outside sandals. 


If you haven't ordered your Brain Quest books for the summer you need to now! We love them and spent some time daily (during Spring Break) working in it. I also saw, first hand, a big improvement in Harrison's speech. The P sound has been killer - it says it as a K. 


Spring Break brought us a tornado that we actually had to hunker down for in the new house. Turns out that Peppa Pig and some Carrot Cake will keep the kids still... as soon as that was gone Elliot was trying to leave. 

There was a ton of damage in our area but we were quite fortunate to not have to pass too close to our neighborhood, 



This is just your reminder - if you haven't checked out the April Box from Simply Earth.. that blog post is live! 

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Simply Earth Rest & Relaxation || April Box

April 1, 2021

 It's that time of year when everything is go, go, go with sports and activities for families. Finding any moment to slow down is key to sanity - at least it is for me. 


This month Simply Earth's Essential Oil Recipe Box is showing up on your doorstep with the theme Rest & Relaxation. The goal with these oils is to support your body's natural rest cycles to feel more refreshed every morning. 


A great winding down routine in the evening is what helps me get my best sleep. Lately I've been diffusing Palmarosa and Amyris from the March box to help me relax in the evenings, and now I will be adding in this lovely foursome to my routine. 





First and foremost for this month's box - the oils. 


Sleepy (blend) - calming, kid safe for 2+ and pregnancy safe. 
Juniper Berry (single) -  uplifting, deodorizing , soothing, and stimulates energy
Copaiba (single) - uplifts, calms, and soothes
Balsam Fir (single) - uplifts, refreshes, supports respiration, soothing

Notice the theme? Relax, relax, relax. 



I always love their simple labels. Everything has a clean look and the colors are always beautiful and fit that season. 


This month's extras as a Natural Solubilzer, diffuser reeds, and a spray bottle. 

Natural Solubilzer is brand new to me, it helps oils and water mix together better. 


Now for the recipe cards! 

This month sends you two diffuser blends, a roll-on, reed diffuser, micellar water, pillow spray, and balm. 

Y'all know at this point my affinity for diffuser blends. I put something for sleep in the kids room every night, and I try to do it in our rooms most nights.

(PS. If you have Lavender and Lemon from previous month's put them together for an amazing diffuser blend. I like to fill up the diffusers with it when I'm walking around making beds in the morning.) 

I'm near running out of the current linen spray in our room, so the Sleepy Pillow Spray is about to be our replacement! This is the recipe that contains the solubilzer, so I'm really interested to see how the oil blends in better than when I've made sprays in the past. 

I don't use a night time roll-on every day with the kids, but I find it especially helpful when we are camping or traveling. I don't always bring a diffuser on our trips, so when I can't I toss a sleep roll-on in my bag to help the kids relax a bit more when we aren't in our usual surroundings. (super helpful camping when we don't have our beloved blackout curtains) 

Just like the roll-on this month, the balm will also be your travel best friend. I think it really just depends on your preference. Sometimes I do prefer a balm to a roll-on, especially when the kids are in a lotion mood. 

After last month's beauty box I am intrigued to try this Micellar Water - which friends, you could also make a batch using the beauty blend from March. 


A few things before I wrap this up - 


Next month's box will contain the Tranquility blend, Frankincense, Oregano, and Orange. Can y'all guess the theme? 

I'll give you some more hints, at home you'll  need sugar, coconut milk, corn starch, and an ice cube tray... 

*This month's 13% to end human trafficking is going to the organization Disrupting Traffick in Lincoln, Nebraska that trains and enables community members to mentor and provide safe housing for trafficking victims. 

Also - - here are a few tips for what you can do with your box every month! 

1. Add items to your box to get free shipping. 
2. Exchange oils. 
3. Gift a month to a friend. 


As always head over to Simply Earth to order your APRIL box and use the code LABRIDEFREE to get a $40 giftcard/credit towards your next order when you get your Bonus Box! 

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Should I Hire a Live Band for My Wedding?

March 30, 2021

Getting married and planning a wedding reception is an exciting journey for any couple. In between selecting a venue, caterer, and finding the perfect dress and tux, you may wonder whether or not to hire a live band. 

While DJs can play a list of selected songs, there's nothing like the sound of live music. You can have the same music played as if you were to hire a DJ, but with an elevated level of entertainment on your special day. 


If you're interested in live wedding bands and want to know all the benefits of hiring a band, then stay tuned. You'll learn all about hiring a band for your wedding and how they'll provide hours of enjoyment at your wedding reception. 

Deciding to Hire a Live Band

When contemplating your wedding entertainment options, a live band is an excellent choice. For starters, they can play the same songs as a DJ, but with added entertainment. Your guests will be able to hear all the classics while watching a live show. 

Band members can come onto your dance floor to interact with guests and encourage audience participation. This will amplify the experience of everyone attending your wedding reception, giving them memories to last a lifetime. 

Live bands are also able to accommodate your schedule throughout the day. Things often come up on your wedding day, and you may experience delays. A live band can work with you, playing music when and where you need it. 

They can also play the music you choose to walk down the aisle to, elevating your ceremony. DJs are only able to play pre-recorded music on your special day, while a live band can ebb and flow with the demands of your wedding, accommodating your every need.

Another benefit of hiring a live band is their PA system. Discuss with them if you can use their PA system for toasts and announcements throughout your wedding reception. Live wedding bands also host activities during your wedding reception, such as tossing the bouquet and garter, as well as the cake cutting. 

Choosing the Right Band

When selecting your wedding vendors, it's important to hear the live band you choose ahead of time. See if you can watch them in action at a wedding or similar event, so you know their style. Make sure to discuss with them the style of music you want to hear, and whether or not they're familiar and comfortable with your music choice. 

Talk to the band of your liking about prices and availability. When you find a band you wish to hire, let them know as soon as possible, as many live wedding bands book up months in advance. This is true for all wedding vendors, so be sure to hire them with as much notice as possible. 

Planning a Wedding

If you're looking for live entertainment that will keep your guests dancing all night long, then look no further than live wedding bands. These entertainment professionals can play any song you choose, accommodate your wedding day schedule, and provide a show for your guests. Be sure to hire a live band to have the wedding of your dreams. 

For more articles about marriage and family life, be sure to check out the rest of our blogs. We've got the best information for all your wedding day needs. 

 

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Meal Planning... Wednesday

March 24, 2021

It's Spring Break - halfway through it actually. 


Which explains the lack of blogging. I intended to get this out on Monday, but the computer was shut down and this old dinosaur of an Apple desktop lost is marbles and took ages to reload. (sigh) 



Thursday | Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potatoes (FW Recipe) 


Friday |  Issac Toup's Cornbread & Drunken Shrimp (best meal ever, I have the cookbook but found links online) 

Saturday | Eating Out 

Sunday | Trader Joe's Freezer Meal 

Monday | Sunday Sauce (this was a bust, I've made it a ton of times but it wasn't my fave today) 

Tuesday | Breakfast Tacos - sausage, eggs, Ole Low Carb Tortillas, salsa

Wednesday | Sam's Chick-Fil-A Nuggets with Fries

Breakfast - Orgain Shake or Atkins Bar
Lunch -Low Carb - Cobb Salad (FWTFL Recipe Portal) 
Reg Macro - Cobb Salad with less fats and a homemade granola bar (egg, bacon, green onion, romaine, grilled chicken thighs, a little blue cheese, and the Aldi Three Cheese Vinaigrette) 
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Meal Planning Tuesday

March 16, 2021

I've finally let Jeremy convince me to redo our meal planning days. He shops on Thursday. (That's his off day so he shops to save us a wasted Saturday morning - grocery pickup here is awful) 


Originally I was planning Monday-Sunday but food was going bad. So I gave in and now plan Thursday-Wednesday. It's actually working out better, changing my meal planning mentality, and we are having less food waste. 



Thursday | Grilled Lemon Pepper Pork Chops, Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Broccoli Salad


Friday |  Crawfish Etouffee

Saturday | Eating Out (we went to Mugshots and it was a bust, the bun was awful) 

Sunday | Trader Joe's Freezer Meal 

Monday | Low Carb Taco Salad

Tuesday | leftovers

Wednesday | Sam's Chick-Fil-A Nuggets with Fries

Breakfast - Orgain Shake or Atkins Bar
Lunch -Low Carb - Italian Sub Salad (FWTFL Recipe Portal) 
Reg Macro - Grilled Chicken with Jazmine Rice & Roasted Broccoli
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How to Get Married in Chicago: 3 Tips for a Flawless Wedding

March 15, 2021

As you walk down the aisle, your husband-to-be sheds a tear, your audience gasps, and you feel beautiful - that's what you've always wished for, right? 

Well, if you've met the person of your dreams and want a wedding to match, it takes some serious planning. If you're wondering how to get married in Chicago, make sure you've got all the insider info before going ahead. 

A poorly planned wedding is no way to start your marriage, but a beautiful wedding will set you both up for the rest of your life.

Read on to learn 3 vital tips to pulling off the perfect Chicago wedding. 



1. Choose a Venue 

Some prefer Chicago courthouse weddings; others love a City Hall Chicago marriage. You have a big choice to make if you haven't had your venue picked out since you first set eyes on the love of your life, and you're still wondering where to get married in Chicago.

Of course, it comes down to personal preference - but the most important thing? View the venue, plan a little, and then view it again. No matter how much you love it the first time, once plans unfold, it may be clear that it doesn't fit the theme of your wedding. 

2. Set the Guestlist  

This might seem obvious, but you need to think about your guest list early. No matter how organized you are, guests are notoriously difficult

  • How many guests can the venue seat?
  • Do you and your fiance have equal amounts of friends?
  • Are there any family feuds that need sorting out before the day? 
  • How long will your family and friends need to RSVP? 
  • Who will want a plus one? 

You want your marriage in Chicago to go off without a hitch (other than getting hitched yourself, of course). So, before planning the dream day, you need to make sure your guests are sorted. 

3. Plan the Big Day

Planning a wedding can be as stressful as moving house. The lists of jobs go on and on. Arranging food; flowers; music; officiators; marriage license; decorations; budget; timings; cake; hair; makeup; dress... need we go on? 

But when you're getting married in Chicago, it doesn't need to be a stressful day. Consider wedding planners and all inclusive wedding packages to take the load and leave you free to enjoy your day. 

Most importantly, avoid a pre-marital fight about who was meant to pick up the cake - that's no way to start your marriage. 

How to Get Married in Chicago: Are You Ready?

Now you know how to get married in Chicago, it's time to start planning your dream wedding. 

Sit down with your fiance and talk about how you both picture the day. Once you've ironed out the basics, look at all inclusive Chicago wedding packages to do the hard work for you. 

Did you find this article helpful? Check out our other posts for more wedding planning tips! 

 

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How to Stay Fulfilled by Giving Back to Your Community

March 11, 2021

Plato asserted that if you love your friends and love your partner, you love your community – the people who helped make you who you are. Humans have come a long way since Ancient Greece, but one of the most staggering differences, according to the 20th Century thinker Hanna Arendt, is the fact that humans now have less of a public community. People are far more individualist, which can make people feel discontented – when you spend your life connected with other people, relying on each other for different things, you tend to feel more fulfilled. If you want that satisfied feeling, a great way to get it is to give back to your community. Luckily, doing just that isn’t too hard – here are some ideas:

 


Do Some Volunteering at a Shelter

Your community probably has a shelter of some kind, whether it’s a shelter for the homeless or an animal shelter for unwanted dogs and cats. Helping out at a shelter whenever you have some free time is greatly appreciated by everybody there and can make you feel a sense of belonging as you help those who need your help and interact with people that you might not normally get a chance to speak to. You’ll find you’re spending quality time helping others.

 

Organize a Sale for Charity

Whether it’s a garage sale or whether you want to try your hand at designing some t-shirts, organizing a sale for a local charity or organization that really needs it is both fun, fulfilling and can help you connect with your community more. You can both donate the proceeds and any items that didn’t sell, making it a great idea regardless of your skills as a salesperson.

 

Start a Peer-to-Peer Fundraiser

There are so many good charities that need your help, and one of the ways the big charities recommend you get helping is through a peer-to-peer fundraiser. This can include creating your own fundraiser for doing something special like a tough run or even just for your birthday. The Red Cross recommends many different peer-to-peer methods, including raising money through playing your favorite games!

 

Join the Community Garden

Many communities have a garden – if yours has one too, you can consider getting involved. Whether that’s having your own plot or volunteering to make sure that the garden stays in good shape, it’s a good way to feel connected to your environment and community. You can even donate any vegetables that you produce – locally grown veg tastes better and is far better for the environment.

 

Get Your Pet Involved

Do you have a pet? Do they love attention and making people happy? If they make you happy, they probably can help other people too. If your pet is up to it, you can take them to community centers where people might not have a pet but might be grateful for the chance to interact with yours! Good ideas are senior centers or veteran’s clubs, even hospitals or hospices if they allow you in!

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My Thoughts on the Oprah Interview

March 8, 2021

 My lack of sleep is killing me right now! I stayed up too late, and then was up too early watching Australian and British morning show coverage. 


Honestly I'm finding that, as usual, the standard American doesn't get it at all. They're barking about American things and you have to look at this through the British lens. 

from the Associated Press


I honestly wanted to be excited about her, but totally saw the Duchess of Windsor writing on the wall. It wasn't going to work. Love can not overcome duty. No matter what, duty and service have to come first in that family. If you marry in you know what you signed up for. 


Take Harry's last two girlfriends, they dated for ages and ultimately decided they didn't want what came with these level of scrutiny. 


I love that he had a whirlwind romance with Meghan, I can relate on that level. But the difference is a regular Sally isn't on television during a Commonwealth service after their quick romance. 


She says she wasn't trained. Okay, many others haven't been either. William famously kept Catherine at a distance for 10 years of dating before they finally married. He was determined that she could withstand it better than his mother did. 


Harry - well he quick wed (and now we are finding out LIED about everything and married her 3 days earlier, making all that taxpayer money a sham) and her lack of preparedness blew up in their faces. 


They're saying they don't want to slander the Queen's name, but in dropping this baby skin color bombshell that they won't dive further into and talking about how his father cut off his money... is not helping anyone. 


More background - titles aren't usually given to great-grandchildren. William's children only got them because he WILL be king. Harry is the spare, a role that Andrew has suffered from. The slew of bad decisions that comes from these spares is shocking. 


They also can't very well make it sound like the Crown took away security, the MET police are in charge of security. If we can all recall from a year ago - they were getting pushback for the cost of keeping Met officers in Canada for that long. So it was tossed to Canada to cover it, and they said no. Trump even famously said they the US wouldn't pay for it either. 


People, people, the York sisters have private security. Why didn't they think that they would need private security if they "stepped back." It was coming at them full force. Harry's own father is who has pushed back at Andrew for trying to stay so senior royal and make his children who will never be on the throne senior royals. They know that to make the monarchy last they have to keep the British people happy. 


Where else do I want to go with this? 


The money. 


While I'm glad that his mother's money (and didn't the Queen Mother also leave them money?) helped in this time... he needs to not act like 20 million is chump change. Charles probably saw that they could stand on their own financially and set them free. The people of Wales already complain about Charles's Duchy of Cornwall, why on Earth would they want to foot the bill for two defunct royals as well. If the York girls were taking taxpayer money I assure you their would be anarchy. 


But, they're again they are saying this all on American news media and your standard American doesn't know a thing about any of this. They don't even know that Wales has been murmuring about independence again. 

If the allegations she's making a

bout racial things are true, then that is heartbreaking. Especially for a royal family that has worked so hard, or a Queen for that matter, to show that race and gender do not matter. She has famously danced with an African leader (the name leaves me now) when racial tensions were high. She drove the Saudi leader around, when he was still against letting women in that county drive. This woman has WORKED. FOR. EQUALITY. across the Commonwealth. They have high standards for countries that are involved in the Commonwealth. How does Meghan not know this? Why has Harry not informed her on this matters. 


Like honestly, one weekend on old BBC documentaries on Youtube could have solved a lot of problems for the woman. 


My mind is shot. 


For a royal interview - it was incredible. They talked about things we always wanted to hear. 


As an anglophile who was born in the wrong country -  this is devastating. Like send letter to the Queen sad. Phillip is in the hospital going on week 4, at age 99, and this can not be helping. Surely this is why our dear Queen got two new Corgi puppies this week. I'd need a new puppy to make it through this too.

 

Share your thoughts with me friends, I'd love to hear your take. 

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Simply Earth Essential Oil Recipe Box || March

March 1, 2021

 This month's box is themed BEAUTY! 


Check out the video where I run through this month's box, as well as discuss why I use Simply Earth




Now, here's the quick run down. 



This month's box comes with 6 recipes that are personal care products. You'll get a hair mask, serum, lip balm, facial essence, a beautiful skin roll-on, and a diffuser blend. 


The Oils::


Beauty Within - This is your blend, it smells incredible. This is used for improving skin appearance. 

Tea Tree - Uplifting, cleans, and general skin care (TT is the OG of our household oils) (Medicinal and woody) 

Palmarosa - (this is a new to me oil) Calms, soothes pain, and skin care. (sharp and floral) 

Amyris - Calms, cleans, skin care (smells woody with a vanilla note) 


And incase you didn't know, Simply Earth devotes 13% of their profits to end human trafficking. I love a company that supports worthy causes. 


As always head over to Simply Earth to order your MARCH box and use the code LABRIDEFREE to get a $40 giftcard/credit towards your next order when you get your Bonus Box! 

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Simple Ways to Improve Your Family's Finances

February 23, 2021

 Poor financial management can lead to debt and cause stress and arguments in your household. Fortunately, more and more families are taking steps to pay off debt and practice responsible spending. If you’d like to feel more in control of your money, then here are some simple ways to improve your family’s finances.



Establish a household budget


Establishing a household budget is essential if you want to feel in control of your finances. You must monitor what money is coming in and out each month and create a budget to guide your spending decisions. You can use an online budget calculator or download a template to help you calculate a budget for your household. According to thebalance.com, you should follow these steps to create an effective household budget:

 

1.     List your reliable income, e.g., your monthly salary.

2.     Calculate your monthly outgoings by combining all of your expenses.

3.     Work out your net income by subtracting your expenses from your income.

4.     If your net income is negative, then identify ways to reduce your expenses.

5.     If your net income is positive, then aim to save this money each month or use it to pay off debts.


Save 20% of your incomings


Experts recommend that you should save 20% of your income. If your monthly income is $3,000 after-tax, you should aim to put $600 of this towards savings. This money can be used to build an emergency fund, pay off debts, or put towards large purchases like a new car or a family vacation. If you are struggling to save 20% of your salary each month, then you should look for ways to reduce your expenses. Saving can be difficult, but there are likely to be plenty of ways to slash your costs. Start by tracking your spending and evaluating your purchases. Make a note of anything you spent money on that was not essential, e.g., your morning Starbucks. Make a plan to reduce your spending and increase your net income. This may involve being more frugal with your purchasing habits or switching to cheaper alternatives. For instance, you can save money by shopping on an e-commerce platform like DHgate that allows you to buy various items at wholesale prices. You can save even more money on your purchase by using a dhgate coupon.


Evaluate your debts


Talking about debts can cause anxiety, but it’s an important conversation to have. Discussing your debts and coming up with a financial plan will help you take control of your finances. It will also motivate you to deal with the issue of outstanding debt. Make sure that you track any debts and have an action plan in place to repay the debt as quickly as possible.


Final thoughts


Becoming more responsible with your spending will help you feel in control of your finances and avoid money worries. Taking steps to improve your financial position will mean that your family has more freedom and can enjoy a higher quality of life. Follow the above suggestions to boost your family’s finances, get out of debt faster, and increase your savings fund.

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Meal Planning Monday

February 22, 2021

Another week, another meal plan. 


Admittedly, after going to Atlanta I could not find it in me to meal prep yesterday... so hopefully today I will. Or I'll starve. 




Monday | Meatball Parmesan with a salad (just meatballs, marinara sauce, and shredded mozarella baked until it's bubbly) 


Tuesday | Leftovers

Wednesday | Sam's Chick-Fil-A Nuggets with Fries

Thursday | One Pot Spicy Alla Vodka Pizza Pasta

Friday | Leftovers

Saturday | Eating Out 

Sunday | Trader Joe's Meal

Breakfast - Orgain Shake or Atkins Bar
Lunch -Chicken Salad with Green Cabbage Cucumber Salad 
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Laissez le Snow Day Rouler

February 17, 2021

Yesterday we had the most fluffy powdery snow, and the kids loved it! The best part, this got us a two day Mardi Gras break! 


Here's a few pics from our morning.  



They were so proud of their snowballs! 

Elliot did great for his first time to see snow, he played for a long time and was super excited about it... until he wasn't. 













How do y'll like those homemade mittens, socks. They both had on pajamas and then real clothing. Two socks and then some of my fluffy socks. Two jackets and a hat. 

The upside of it all, it kept everything but their hands really dry. 







Snow angels and more snow tasting. 





Finally a family picture, by this point Elliot took off down the road as I was setting up my tripod. Long gone. Jeremy grabbed him and you can see his feelings about being stopped. 


You can also see his belly for that 10 second continuous capture because holding him down when he doesn't agree with you is like holding an angry alligator down. 

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