This Summer Lately - It's Been a Mintue

July 27, 2021

 A lot has happened over the past few weeks. 

Elliot had his last day of daycare in Alabama and it happened to be on a day where they made sand out of flour and baby oil. The kids got quite the kick out of playing with it in the yard... because it wasn't coming into the house. 

This picture of Elliot made me laugh so hard! He was posing with his hand on his leg and saying "cheese," which is you've paid attention in recent months - he's allergic to the camera. Suddenly he wants to see himself. 

About the time we were packing up and running out of meals to cook at home we headed for our last round of Saw's BBQ and played on the playground well past bedtime in Homewood. Elliot was beside himself, on the way to eat he had seen the park and yelled "playground" for five minutes. 

He was hot and wanted some of "Daddy's water" which was Coke. 

The weekend we ventured into New Iberia for our in-view-of-a-call time I made the family detour (and that detour went way south thanks to the world's dumbest bridge) just to get Jeremiah Ice. It was worth the extra two hours in the car. 

We came home and continued packing. These two really play well together, out of forced necessity surely. 

We attempted to see a Barons game with our favorite Springer clan, but he rain got us. Never the less, our little crew is always down for an adventure. Failed or not. 

We left the house one morning so the inspector could check it out of the buyers - this lasted 10 minutes before we had melted and found ourselves back in the sanctuary that is car air conditioning in July.

There aren't photos between this week and the next. I can get into a packing blur, and then it didn't help that loading and unloading the truck fell on downpour days and I was stressed the heck out. By the end of that day I was in tears and being talked off a cliff by good friends. 

My plan was to get here and then visit my parents, while also picking up a puppy. That was foiled, our closing kept moving (crazy buying times peeps). I managed to also find myself plagued with food poisoning from chicken salad and laid up on the couch all weekend. 

All of the puppy supplies I bought showed up, and this child spent the rest of that afternoon pretending to be the family dog. 

Speaking of dogs, we are picking this little boy up this weekend. I'll get a chance to visit Mom and Dad before school starts and we will see what having a puppy around the house again is like. 

This is a cockapoo by the way, when Jeremy started listening to the kids requests for having a dog again I jumped at the chance to get a breed I am familiar with, loved, and know we could easily train. My grandparents had a black cockapoo when I was a kid and he was honestly the best dog ever. We've rescued so many dogs since then, and he's still a very talked about pup. 

The question about why I didn't just find myself down at the humane society could come up, and I'll explain why I'm not this time. Elliot and I both have allergies, if I come into a home that has a short haired shedding breed I am sneezing in no time at all. I also like smaller dogs, this breed can be a good medium sized pup. They're smart and easy to train and very low shed. With young kids I didn't want to risk it with just any old breed, I had a size and temperament in mind. Plus, as a mother I've become increasingly breed picky. 

Hate me if you must, but it is this phase of life. We've rescued dogs off the road, abandoned by owners due to health issues, and even a dog bred for show that was going to be put down due to not being good breeding stock and deaf. I just want a dog at this time that I can personally train, and be able to trust as much as you can trust a dog, for the safety of the kids. Extreme? Yup. But getting a dog as a puppy gives me the chance to work on temperament from the start. 

Enough dog rambling. 

It quit raining for 35 seconds and our friend came by with the lawn mower to attack the jungle. 

Elliot stood in the door and then the window waving and saying "Hey Brandon" the entire time. He'd pay high dollar to get a chance to mow the grass himself. 

We went by Academy this week to finish up school uniform shopping. Shoes were needed. Harrison was most impressed with the black try-on socks. He wore them the rest of the day, swore he could dance better in them, and made me text a photo to Jeremy. 

This last bit is Elliot, mid ear infection, drinking a juice box and sitting at the door wishing Cox would calm down and quit messing with the internet. He was real irritated with them. 
Read More

5 Ways to Keep Guests Entertained at Your Wedding Reception

July 26, 2021

 Everyone knows the wedding is all about the bride. However, it's important to remember that the guests who are attending your wedding love you and (most likely) spent decent money buying you wedding gifts. 

As such, it's a good idea to go above and beyond to make sure they have a good time at your wedding reception. You need to keep them entertained, as you'll probably be too busy to spend a lot of time with each and every person. 

We're here to give you some good advice on how to keep the party going smoothly. Keep reading for five wedding entertainment ideas. 

1. Provide Good Food

First, a wedding reception without good food is a disappointment. If people are going out of their way to celebrate a major event in your life, the least you can do is feed them

It's important to account for common food requirements and diets. For example, we recommend offering at least a few options for people who don't eat meat, are gluten-intolerant, or are allergic to dairy. 

2. Hire a DJ

Next, people love to dance at wedding receptions. Actually, they love to dance in general. 

Make hiring a great DJ part of your wedding planning. You can keep the majority of your guests entertained for hours. Just make sure the wedding venue you book has plenty of room for a dance floor.

3. Rent a Photo Booth

One of the best wedding ideas is to rent a photo booth in which you and all of your guests can capture memorable moments of the evening. This should be included in every bride and groom's guide to planning the perfect wedding. 

A photo booth is both nostalgic and entertaining for people of all ages. What better way to document fun memories of the people who are attending your wedding? Check out this guide on how to rent a great photo booth for your wedding. 

4. Offer an Open Bar

While we would never recommend trying to get people intoxicated, some of the best wedding receptions offer open bars to the wedding guests. By offering people delicious alcoholic beverages, you can help them enjoy their time better. 

Just as importantly, kicking back a few drinks generally helps people loosen up. You'll find a lot more people on the dance floor if you have an open bar at your wedding reception. 

5. Provide Games

Finally, depending on the theme of your wedding, it might be fitting to add outdoor games to your bride guide. Outdoor games like horseshoes, corn hole, and volleyball can really liven up a wedding reception. 

Additionally, it will keep all of your guests entertained while encouraging them to interact with one another. Outdoor games make for an exceptionally good time. 


Want to Keep Guests Entertained at Your Wedding Reception?

We hope you enjoyed our short wedding guide for keeping your guests entertained. But if you're looking for more tips for your wedding reception or design them, we can help. 

For more wedding advice and tips for life after the ceremony, stick around and browse through some of our other articles. Our website was created to help people like you plan weddings and thrive long after you say your vows. 

Read More

Top Tips For Your Child’s First Haircut

July 23, 2021

Your child’s first haircut is an exciting milestone in their life and can be a fun activity for you both to do together. 

Although it can be exciting and fun, you might also find that your child does not completely enjoy their first haircut. In fact, for some children, this can be a very overwhelming experience. If this is the case, then it means you are going to have a tough time also.

To help you both get through this milestone as pleasantly as possible, you might want to embrace the following advice. 

Time the Appointment Well

If you know that your child’s mood fluctuates throughout the day, then make sure you book the appointment for a sensible time to correlate with this. If you find that your child is seriously not in the mood for a new experience when the time comes, then this could easily be a disaster. Avoid this by making a sensible decision with the timing.

The mid-morning is generally a good option to pick as your child will still be awake and alert. This can encourage them to be curious about the process and to enjoy themselves. If you let them know that you will be going to eat their favorite lunch or dessert treat immediately after the appointment, this can also help the haircut go well.

Trust a Professional

The person that you trust with this important task can make all the difference to how much your child enjoys the process. 

Searching online for the best salons in your area will help to ensure you hire a trusted professional. Conducting a quick online search for the salons that are local to you, such as by searching for a hair salon Surrey, will give you a range of different options to choose from. 

Come Equipped with Distractions

If your child is not having a good time getting their hair cut for the first time, then distracting them could be the best idea. 

Make sure your child knows that they can bring a toy with them or allow them to play a game on your phone. When your child is distracted by playing a game, they will not be giving much attention to the haircut. This can make the process go so much faster and without any complaints or protests from your young one. 

Encourage Their Opinion

Asking your child what they would like their new haircut to look like is a great way to get them interested and excited.  This is also a great way to encourage this child to be creative and imaginative and develop their sense of independence. 

As your child grows older, they will hopefully start to enjoy getting a haircut and to develop more of an opinion about it and learn about their own sense of style. Watching your child grow in this way can be very exciting for you as a parent. You can do your best to make helpful style tips and suggestions for them. 

Read More

The 3 Most Important Rooms to Stage Before Listing Your Home

July 21, 2021

Selling a house is a process that always involves a bit of stress. One of the most stressful aspects, however, might just be the task of getting your house ready for potential buyers to see.

The reason that this part of the process can be so difficult is that understanding what buyers want to see in a home is tricky. Design trends come and go making it tough to know what buyers want to see from an aesthetic standpoint, and it can be nearly impossible to predict what a buyer might be looking for in regard to functionality.

Nevertheless, there are a few points that most people agree are tried and true methods of attracting potential buyers. Staging your house, for instance, is a good idea if your goal is to find a buyer quickly.

Even though staging your entire home is an expensive ordeal, you can save yourself quite a bit of money by simply staging those rooms in the house that buyers will be most interested in. There are three rooms that tend to make or break a sale, so as long as you stage those, then you should be in good shape.

With that in mind, here are the three most important rooms in your home to stage before you list the property.

1. The Kitchen

There is a fairly reliable concept in real estate that kitchens and bathrooms sell houses. This is because they are rooms that serve key functions and that buyers will pay the most attention to. If you are only going to stage a few rooms in your home before you list it, you should definitely start with the kitchen.

Take the time to find some inspiration for current kitchen trends. Places like the Knutsford kitchen shop showroom can be great to visit when looking for the best route to take regarding staging your kitchen.

2. The Living Room

As one of the most-used rooms in the home, the living room is the next space that you should look to address when staging your property prior to listing it. Buyers want to see that a living room can accommodate all relevant furniture without becoming overcrowded. They also want to see this space at its best from a design standpoint.

When you stage your living room, make sure to leave out all family photos and personal effects. You want potential buyers to be able to imagine their own family in the space. Removing such things will help them along.

3. The Master Bedroom

Another room that should be addressed when you are staging your property is the master bedroom. Buyers want to see that the space has plenty of storage and enough room for a good-size bed and any additional wardrobes that they might wish to have. Most buyers also want a master bedroom that isn’t overly crowded, so make sure to clear out the clutter and rearrange things to provide as much walking room as possible.

Read More

Effective Heating Solutions for Your Bathroom

July 18, 2021

 It can sometimes be tricky to keep your bathroom warm, especially with lots of tiled surfaces, ceramic features, and windows left open for that all-important ventilation. Yet, it’s such an important room to heat well – after all, no one wants to be left shivering when they step out of the shower or brush their teeth in the morning!

Before getting into some of the heating solutions available, the first action you should take is to address any issues you have with drafts or poor insulation. There’s no point in spending money warming up your bathroom, only to have cold air seep in or all the heat escape. One effective method is to have double glazing installed on your window if you don’t already, and seal up any cracks around your extractor fan. Then you can start to think about the suggestions below!

Underfloor heating

One of the most luxurious heating options open to you is underfloor heating. This can be a bit of an investment, but it’s easy to see why it’s become so popular in recent years. It heats up your entire bathroom evenly and efficiently – so, no more cold spots! – without taking up any space on the floor or walls. It’s particularly effective with bathroom flooring, plus feels lovely on your bare feet on those chilly winter mornings! Just be sure to get it professionally installed.

Heated towel rails

These serve the convenient double purpose of heating up both your bathroom and your towels, ensuring you’re extra cozy and warm when you get out of the shower or bath. Nowadays, you have lots of different options too, in terms of style as well as size. That means you’re sure to find one that suits the look and shape of your bathroom. Both freestanding heated towel rails and those that are mounted on the wall are available. Of course, just like the rest of your house, you can also use traditional radiators to heat up your bathroom. These can often be an ideal solution if you don’t have much space, because you can find small bathroom radiators to fit even the tiniest cloakrooms.

Decorative changes

In addition to heating options, there are a number of smaller design alterations you can make to ensure a cozier, warmer bathroom. For example, putting down bath mats on the floor not only helps to prevent slipping, but also adds some softness and warmth to a tile floor. Likewise, an enclosed shower cubicle is an effective way to keep all the heat in with you while you wash. Even changing the lighting of the room to a softer golden hue rather than clinical white light can make the space feel warmer. Plus you can always use candles to generate a little extra heat as you bathe – as well as a feeling of relaxation. The color scheme of the room will also make a difference to how warm and cozy it feels, so try adding a splash of red or orange rather than having every-thing in white. 

Finally, be sure to always keep a stack of super-fluffy towels on hand!

Read More

Small Wedding Day Touches That Can Make a Big Difference

July 8, 2021

Your wedding day will be the happiest day of your life, so you will want to do all that you can to make it as memorable as possible. When planning the wedding, there are obviously several big aspects that will take up a lot of your attention in the build-up to the wedding. Typically, this in-cludes things like the location, guest list and wedding party, food, decoration, table arrange-ment, and entertainment. You certainly should be focusing on these areas, but there are also a few small touches worth considering that could make all the difference and make your day a lit-tle more special. Here are a few ideas for inspiration. 

Photo by Alasdair Elmes on Unsplash

Disposable Cameras/Hashtags

Hiring a professional photographer is certainly important and will provide you with photos that you will cherish for life, but you will also find that placing disposable cameras on the tables will help to catch a side of the wedding that the photographer might miss. In addition, disposable cameras will allow for much more laidback, candid shots and plenty of humor. Alternatively, you could start a hashtag for people to use with their photos that they put up online for a similar effect.

Show Your Guests Love

Your wedding day is obviously about you and your partner, but it is also a special day for your guests. This is why you should show them some love too, such as including a handwritten note on the back of their place card containing something like your favorite memory or what they mean to you and your partner.

Include The Dog

Do you have a dog that is an important part of your family? Many couples like to involve their dog in their special day, making the day more memorable and special. You can even search for pet grooming in your area, such as Phoenix dog grooming, so that they are pampered and look-ing their best for your special day!

Decorate With Photos

A small touch that can become a big talking point is to decorate the venue with personal photo-graphs. In addition to photographs of you and your partner, this should include photographs of the guests and other important people in your life. You could even get photos from other wed-dings in your family, such as your parents, which will certainly add a lot to the day and make it special for everyone.


Your wedding day will fly by, and it will seem like there is always something to do or someone to talk to, but this is not everyone’s experience. Providing a few fun games that people can play between the main events of the day can help to keep people entertained, plus it can also be a great ice breaker if you have a lot of guests that do not know one another.

Hopefully, this post will give you a few ideas for ways that you can make your wedding day that little bit extra special with a few small touches that can make a big difference.

Read More

Simply Earth Recipe Box July || Family Friendly

July 1, 2021

 This month's Simply Earth Subscription Box is all things kids and pet safe. 

What I'm loving the most about this month's box is the variety. I am continually introduced to oils that I might not buy individually in this subscription box. I also step out of my box of just diffusing and cleaning with essential oils to making soap, room sprays, perfume, inhalers, and blends I can pass out to friends. 

The July box has several products I wouldn't have stepped out to try on my own, but love the idea of using them now that they are in my hands. It's all about opening your eyes to something you might not have tried. 

This Month's Oils 

In the July box you will receive Grapefruit, Spearmint, Cedarwood, and and new blend called Homebody. 

All but the spearmint are kid and pet safe. All four essential oils are even pregnancy safe. 

That's definitely another aspect about Simply Earth that I love, they clearly label their oils so that you know where each oil is safe to use (kids, pet, pregnancy). 

Now the purpose of the oils: 
Spearmint - uplifts, aids digestion, stimulates
Cedarwood - calms, supports respiration
Grapefruit - energizes, cleans (my favorite during pregnancy) 
Homebody blend - family friendly, calming

Would I even surprise y'all if I said I popped Homebody in the diffuser as soon as I got it?

This month's extras include a lotion base, lavender hydrosol, and an aluminum inhaler. 

You get a recipe card for each of these! And let's dig into those...

Self Care Lotion (lotion base)
Mama Inhaler (using those uplifting oils and the inhaler) 
Homebody Carpet Powder
Hospitality Diffuser Blend
Lavender Hydrosol Everything Spray (so versatile they gave several uses) 
Road Trip Roll On

I've never used Lavender Hydrosol before, but after being at the zoo all day today I plan to spray this all over myself after I get out of the shower. 

Here's a peek at next month's box - you'll be getting a Peace & Quiet Blend, Peppermint, Sage, and Lavender 40/42 - can you get the theme? 

As always, Simply Earth donates 13% to end Human Trafficking. This month 13% of profits are going to the organization Freedom Cry who offers help to trafficking survivors. 

Head over to Simply Earth to order your JULY box and use the code LABRIDEFREE to get a $40 giftcard towards your next order when you get your Bonus Box! 

Last but not least - you can get 50% off your next box - after ordering head over to your account at to find your unique code to share with family and friends. 
Read More