August Simply Earth || Candle Artisan

August 1, 2022

August first means the first day of Fall right? I realize it will still be summer for another two months, and continuously hot for at least one more after that. 


But let's break out all the scents and pretend. 


This month's Simply Earth theme, Candle Artisan, and the beeswax candle materials in the box just feel like cooler months. 


 

Y'all know I love a new blend, and they've delivered yet again with Liquid Luck. It just smells warm. 


This blend is used in one of the candles as well as the Reading Nook Diffuser Blend, and that blend makes the entire house smell like you're hidden away in a library. 


I'll be working on the candles this afternoon, so be sure to check out Instagram for the story. 



For reference, here's a bit more about each oil that is included in the box for August. 


Liquid Luck | blend | calming, uplifting (kid safe 10+) 

Peppermint | single | energizes, soothes (kid 10+ and pregnancy safe) 

Blood Orange | single | uplifts, stimulates, cleans (kids 2+, pregnancy, & dog safe) 

Fir Needle | single | supports respiration, calms, soothes (kids 2+, pregnancy safe) 




This month's extras include 3 beeswax sheets, cotton candle wick, and 3 leaf molds.

It took me a second to realize that the molds for the wax melt warmer recipe were in the shape of leaves. This is super cute, and would make a great back to school gift for any teacher. Especially sine many have wax warmers... but the artificial scents aren't so helpful for kids with allergies. 



The first thing I did on this rainy day was fill all of our diffusers with this lovely blend. 


I'm always suspicious of how Fir Needle with turn out in a diffuser recipe, I never want to to be too Christmas smelling. Or on the other side of that - too many tree oils and I'm a snotty mess. This one though has just enough to add to the warm scent but not enough to scream Fir Needle at you. 




A few things before I wrap this up - 


Every month Simply Earth donates 13% of their profits to end human trafficking. With an estimated 4 million victims globally, human trafficking is among one of the worst atrocities. No one deserves to be exploited, which is why Simply Earth donates to organization on the front lines. This month Simply Earth is donating to Call to Freedom. They provide safe housing, mental health counseling, medical assistance, transportation, and many other supportive services to those who have survived slavery and sexual exploitation. 


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



Also -- here are a few things 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. 
4. Get 50% off your next box by sharing your unique voucher code with friends, they'll also get $10 off their first 5 months -  you'll get 50% off for every friend that subscribes! 




One last shot of those cute little leaf shaped wax melt silicone forms. 
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Brazil | Sorocaba & Boituva

July 25, 2022

 If you think I've been blog absent this month, I have. 


Shortly after putting up this month's Simply Earth post I ran off to New Orleans to beg for a passport and then board a plane after dropping the kids off and packing. 


Traveling to Sao Paulo was equally as interesting, our flight leaving Lafayette was delayed. We half made it to Dallas in time only to be stuck on the plane because the jet bridge wouldn't attach. We were just making it (part of our team had said they were waiting on our group) only to get to the gate just as it had been closed. 


24 hours in Dallas later - we finally boarded our flight and made it to Sorocaba a day late. 



Here's the view directly from our hotel window. We had time to drop off our bags before heading to our base church for lunch. 


I wish I had photos of the lunch we had a Boas Novas, but I seem to fluctuate between taking too many photos and being so present in the moment that no photos are taken at all. They served Feijoada, and it was probably my favorite meal of the week. 


We went back to the hotel with roughly an hour of nap available before Jeremy and I were being picked up by Sabrina and Gustavo so that Jeremy could preach in Boituva. That night, while I was running on one hour of sleep, was a great kick off to the week. Turns out Sabrina and Gustavo are both in youth ministry (like us) and dinner with Pastor Geraldinho and his family was like spending time with long time friends.



I've developed a whole new respect for the interpreters and pastors. By the end of the week I realized I turn into an ADHD child when trying to speak and have someone translate what I'm saying. (note to self: learn Portuguese) At times I would accidently listen to the wrong language by accident. 




The Farias had us all over for esfihas after church - where I ate way too much, decided I also needed a box of the chocolate they had, and had such a great time. 




I thought about adding another day to this post, but I'll wait until tomorrow. There is a lot, and it just becomes more and more. And if at any point you think "Dang Emily you look rough." Just keep in mind that 1) very little sleep and I like my sleep plus 2) the one day I wore makeup Deanne had me laughing so hard at the mall that I cried it off my face. So no more makeup.

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July Simply Earth Essential Oil Recipe Box || Energy

July 1, 2022

This month's Simply Earth Recipe Box theme is Energy, and after a sprint through June I think we could all use some. 


At least at our house where we are on week two of unexplained sickness.  



The Energy box comes with Cinnamon, Sage, Lemongrass, and the Energy blend. 


You may have seen this blend in a previous box, it's on the top five list of my favorites. When I run out you'll often find me diffusing Spearmint and Eucalyptus together. mint just goes so well with eucalyptus and creates such a fresh scent in the home (especially helpful if you've recently cooked something like bacon). 



I always share this, so for reference I'll give a bit more info about each oil. 


Energy (blend) | boots energy, kids safe 10+ & pregnancy safe

Sage (single) | energizes, calms, centers, kid safe 10+

Lemongrass (single) | cleans, deodorizes, detoxifies, kid safe 10+ & dog safe

Cinnamon (single) | promotes circulation, comforts, respiration, cleanses skin, kid safe 10+




The extras included in the June Essential Oil Recipe Box are an aromatherapy inhaler, massage stone, and floating wicks. 



In this box you will also get to learn how to make your own massage oil, bath melts, aromatherapy inhaler, floating candle, roll-on, and diffuser blend. 

All of the recipes are a mix of energizing and calming to create a spa-like experience in your own home. 


I always jump into the diffuser blend first, but this month I also got the floating candle going. It has the same oil combo in the recipe. 

For the candle, you can use any container, but I pulled down a piece of my grandmother's blue carnival glass. I really thought making a floating candle would take a bit, but it came together extremely fast. I was also shocked how well the scent carries with a floating candle. 


A few things before I wrap this up - 


Every month Simply Earth donates 13% of their profits to end human trafficking. With an estimated 4 million victims globally, human trafficking is among one of the worst atrocities. No one deserves to be exploited, which is why Simply Earth donates to organization on the front lines. This month Simply Earth is donating to Call to Freedom. They provide safe housing, mental health counseling, medical assistance, transportation, and many other supportive services to those who have survived slavery and sexual exploitation. 


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



Also -- here are a few things 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. 
4. Get 50% off your next box by sharing your unique voucher code with friends, they'll also get $10 off their first 5 months -  you'll get 50% off for every friend that subscribes! 


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How Do I Choose the Best Solar Panel Company in My Local Area?

June 29, 2022

Renewable energy is the future, and solar energy is at the forefront. Right now, solar energy represents 2.8% of the total electricity production in the US.

As solar panel company technology improves and people become more conscious of their carbon footprint, this number will only grow.

Considering installing a solar panel system for your home or business? Want to know how to choose the best solar panel company in your town?

Then you've come to the right place. Here's everything you need to know to get the best solar panel company.




Get Referrals

Get referrals from people you trust who have recently gone solar. Ask them about their experience with the company, if they were satisfied with the work, and if they would recommend them. Once you have a few companies in mind, call each one and ask about their experience, pricing, and any other questions you may have.

Compare Costs

Start by doing an online search for solar panel companies in your area. Be sure to ask about the installation cost, the type of panels they use, and the warranty. Narrow your search to three or four companies, and then call each one to get a quote.

If you are a smart homeowner interested in energy savings, look for the best solar installers. Once you have your quotes, compare the prices and choose the company that offers the best value. For more information, you can visit this website.

Consider Installers' Experiences

You should consider installers' experiences when finding the best solar panel company in your local area. The best way to determine if an installer is experienced is to ask for references and check online reviews.

A company with a lot of experience will likely be more efficient and better understand the solar panel installation process. Furthermore, an experienced company is more likely to offer a warranty on their work.

Inspect the Equipment

When looking for a solar panel company, inspecting the equipment, they will be using is essential. Make sure that the panels are made of high-quality materials and that the company has a good reputation. Also, be sure to ask about the warranty and service agreement.

Check the Company's Reputation

When looking for a reputable solar panel company, research is critical. Checking online reviews, reading the company website, and talking to past customers are great ways to gain insight into a company. Once you have a shortlist of companies, you can compare prices and services to find the best fit for your needs.

Always get multiple quotes and ask lots of questions to ensure you get the best possible service. A reputable solar panel company will be transparent, honest, and helpful, providing you with the information you need to make an informed decision.

Choosing the Best Solar Panel Company

If you're interested in going solar, the best thing to do is research local solar panel companies to see who has the best reviews and offers the best incentives. Once you've narrowed your options, schedule a consultation to get more specific details about what each company can provide you with. From there, you can make an informed decision about which best solar panel company is fit for you.

If you are interested in more solar panels, keep browsing our blog posts today.


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Tent Camping Updates || Changes to Our Setup

June 22, 2022

 If you were to like what you see and go in search of all of it - you won't find it. On the last day of our trip the newest Magellan Ponderosa set up next to us and it sent me to Academy to see what was up in tent land. 


Y'all the new tents are NICE. 


There's a Grand Ponderosa now, it seems to take up the same amount of tent pad space as ours, but is a touch taller. 



The tent pads at Greenbriar are fairly large, there have been many times that our tent was staked off the tent pad. Also for reference, I think this is site 101 at Greenbriar. If you are camping there definitely hit up 100 or 101 if you want to camp in the middle of the RV area. 


I personally prefer it because there is less brush and the kids are less likely to encounter poison ivy or snakes. They also have tent sites on the other side of the river that feel much more removed from everyone else and have a ton more shade. 


But like I said, 100-101 are the best as far as shade and trees go. If you're new to tent camping the trees come in handy for all manner of things. 


So first up in camping additions - I bought a 5x7 outdoor rug for in front of the tent. This (as I suspected) helped a ton with keeping the kids from dragging in so much dirt. I don't think I even swept the tent out before we rolled it up this year. I swept mid week, but it was nothing compared to camping in the past. 




This was all taken after we had a very long thunderstorm. You can see what the ladies in the 100 spot did to cover their tent. Jeremy always stakes a tarp to the top to help with the heat as well as any rain. 

While the ground at Greenbriar doesn't let the water sit and leave puddles everywhere... the inside of the tent told a different story. You can take several hours of rain in a tent and stay dry, but after well over 12 hours of thunderstorms we were finding that anything touching an exterior wall was problematic. 

The air mattresses had been pushed to each wall and two pockets in the tent were full of stuff - each of those pressure points caused leaks. Luckily that was nothing the box fan couldn't dry up the next day. It would take a ton of standing water, basically a flood, before water came in the bottom of the tent. It's just that windbreaker material sides that doesn't like storms. 

Also - that's the AC setup again from the outside. 




During the first storm my paper towels didn't even get wet - the over night storm was another story! 

I always place out popup over the table and leave out coffee maker out. The paper towels were secured to the bars of pop-up with a small bungee cord. This was the first time I tried that trick and I will be sticking with it in the future. 

We also added outdoor lights this year around the eating area and where we generally have our camping chairs. 




Granted - I didn't remember to take photos until after the storm. But you can see that I keep the ice chest on one side of the table and my kitchen bucket on the other. Towels will hang from the pop-up tent or (if we have more trees) we will hang a line and put the trees there. 

You can see at the back of the photo that we replaced our long gone hammock




Just another angle of the campsite set up.  At Greenbriar you can park you car in front of the site long enough to unpack, but parking is behind the tent sites. 

Elliot is currently looking at this blog post and telling me that he wants to go sleep in the tent again. The kids really adore camping trips. 

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Smokey Mountain Camping 2022

June 18, 2022

 It appears I've accidentally taken a bit of a blog break. 


As usual, summers are crazy here. We got out of school, went camping, came back in time for VBS, and then Jeremy left for Centrifuge with the youth group. 


Our first full day in Gatlinburg the guys all went golfing, the kids and I lounged around the campsite a long time before heading over to our friend's RV to hang out. 

Elliot, in his typical nature, couldn't just chill and found himself stung twice and very moody. Somehow later in the week waking up from a nap caused him to be even moodier than whatever creature stung him that morning. 


Go ahead and accept that this is in no particular order - and that we did something we rarely do on a camping trip... we went full tourist and weren't just playing and hiking for a week. 

The entire crew (us and our friends from Alabama) went to Wonderworks. I'm saying this as a mother of young kids and one is very much a sensory sensitive child - this is geared for the older children. I had fun at what I was able to do, however much of out time was trying to acclimate the kids to this. It was loud, big, and terrifying. We enjoyed it after the kids got use to being there, but I'll never travel without noise cancelling headphones ever again. 



Just some scenes from Greenbriar Campground below. 



A cousin of mine commented on Facebook about my AC - if you haven't read through my camping posts, you need to. We don't rough it for a week. It's as close to an RV set up as you can get a tent and I often feel super bougie next to the other campers. Granted I camped with a family who did all of this when I was in high school... I don't know why more people don't jump on this. 


Get a good air mattress. Rig up an AC - heck, buy a tent that accommodates an AC. I'm here to sleep great and enjoy playing outside in the mountains all week. (hence you don't see us summer camping in late summer or super far south) 



I couldn't for the life of me figure out what noise I was hearing early one morning. Eventually I discovered Elliot had stolen the lamp (the one in his hands) from outside the tent door and was opening it up and closing it back just to hear the plastic accordion material crunching. 




This series of photos are from Cade's Cove, and I've got a few suggestions for you when you visit. 


1. Ride in the back of a truck with a ton of people, rent one of the off road golf cart looking things they have all over town, ride in a convertible, or just ride a bike. 


Okay, that's just one long tip. 


But the point is, you'll be in stand still traffic for a long time seeing absolutely nothing. This will make it more interesting. Dylan (our friend's grandson and former youth kiddo) suggested we ride in the back of one truck (we were in two) and I'm so glad he did. 


It made that dull drive far more fun being piled up. Jeremy rolled down the back window of the truck and the kids just hopped in and out, we stood up and goofed off, and at times were reprimanded by the park rangers... but it was way better than sitting in the car for that long. 


I also suggest a massive purchase of donuts. Mad Dog on the way there (from Greenbriar) offers a ton of fun flavors to make the seat gripping ride up the mountain bearable for everyone that needed anxiety meds. 






We also ate dinner at the Paula Dean restaurant one night, and while it was expensive, everything tasted incredible. 

After dinner the kids got to see a water fountain show and they were in heaven. 




More scenes from the tent...

I was being told a scary story. 




The situations I've witnessed Jeremy nap in over the years make me question if he even has a pulse. 




If you go out of town, pick us up some travel brochures. They bought us hours of distraction. 




Bubba Gumps! 




Finally - which was actually the second night - we went to Dolly Parton Stampede. I wish I had more photos, but it was a cross between the anxiety that trick riders cause me mixed with kids who were having full panic spells. 


Angela had the idea to stuff Harrison's ears with a napkin and he was enthralled once the noise was taken down. 


Elliot on the other hand was so terrified of inside horses that he fell asleep on my lap. 



All the kids! 


The whole crew! We really had the best time camping this year. Not that I want to compete with y'all for campsites, but you're missing out on life by staying in hotels and condos. 


I also use camping as an excuse to not fix my hair or wear makeup for an entire trip - too much fuss. 

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