Creating Your Dream Home for You and Your Partner

Today's guest post is all about taking the steps to create a home you will love. Check out the steps the author suggests and then tell me below in the comment what else you did to create a home you adore! 

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As you begin to settle into a loving and stable relationship that will go the full distance, it’s time to start planning where and how to settle. You and your partner might be planning on having children, or you may be choosing to focus on your careers for the next period of time, but, either way, you’re going to want a delightful home to return to nightly. This article exposes the most important aspects of creating a home for you and your partner through all stages of your beautiful relationship.

The Home
Of course, a dream home isn’t just created – it’s also bought or rented. You can’t build a house on the sand, and you’re unable to build your dream home interior inside a home that you feel isn’t really for you.
As such, you need to make sure that you’ve found a home that you’re genuinely excited to move into, that you know you can alter and adapt to your needs, and that you cannot wait to spend months and years in with your partner.
Walls and Floors
Let’s now start looking at the basic structural elements to your home. You’ve got large surface areas to play with in the form of the floors and the walls, including windows and doors. Here is your first opportunity to make some changes, which is especially significant if you’re just moving into a home and you’re able to make these changes soon.
Consider hard floors and rugs, instead of the higher-maintenance carpets that are usually in homes you’ll inherit. For walls, you might wish to consider taking down wallpaper and painting instead. Children are notoriously messy, which means hard floors and easy-to-repaint walls are your go-to.
Exciting Furniture
Your dream home isn’t an IKEA haven – it’s somewhere into which you’ve injected more than a little of your awesome personalities. As such, this is where you should get creative and excited. How can you help create a sense of togetherness and an investment in your relationship, through your home?
The answer, of course, is that you should shop for a wider range of products that suit your personal tastes and needs. Check out cabinetdoorsnmore.com to see the range of woods and cabinets you can have installed in your home, or head to an antiques fair or auction to buy in characterful items that you wouldn’t be able to find anywhere else.
Personal Touches
Now come the personal touches. Here, you’re focusing mainly on your ability to decorate your home with the small and meaningful items that bring you together. So, you should be thinking about things like framed photographs, kept souvenirs, fridge magnets, cooking stuff, and even a duvet cover that you both love.
All of these personal touches are what tell you – and your guests – that this is your home and one in which you’ve really injected your characters and your hope and love for the future. What better place than this to live in?
Create your dream home with your partner by following and taking inspiration from these easy steps.

Meal Planning Monday

I just realized a massive glitch in the MPM posts from the past few weeks, it seems a Pinterest widget has been hanging on for dear life... forgive me lol.


Monday | Best Keto Chili

Tuesday | Cube Steak with Purple Cabbage and Roasted Baby Potatoes

Wednesday | leftovers from Monday

Thursday | Mississippi Roast, Rice, & Roasted Broccoli

Friday | Pork Chops with Pea and Potato Salad

Saturday | Eating Out

Sunday | Leftovers

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Breastfast | Macro Bar

Lunch | Turkey Hash

Harrison's First Day of Pre-K 4!

Full disclosure: I took these after church. Mama is up and long gone before the kids are ready to leave. I honestly wonder how some families do breakfast and photos. These people like to sleep in too much for all of that. 


This year comes with a lot of changes all at once for this little boy and he's doing pretty okay considering. 


Going to a new church has been rough, he's like his Mama. I can come off as an extrovert but I don't like attention. Same for him, he needs to fly under the radar in a new situation and that's when he becomes really friendly. 


:::Yearly Questions:::
What's your name? Harrison I'm 4 years old
How old are you? ** no answer**
Favorite color? blue
Favorite toy? ninja turtles
Favorite food? chicken nuggets
Favorite tv show? ninja turtles
Favorite animal? duckies
Favorite song? Jesus (Jesus Loves Me)
Favorite book? Jesus book (who knows because this could be that nativity book we have or anything)
Who's your best friend? Joshua (his cousin)
What do you want to be when you grow up? Jesus (well this surely won't work out, can you tell I asked these after Sunday School today lol)

Meal Planning Monday

This is where I feel like I'm normal... in the kitchen. After a week of delivered meals, not being able to find the saltines for that beach pie, and just unpacking in general - I'm back in the kitchen all the way.


Monday | Sausage, Peppers & Onions, Zucchini, and Goat Cheese

Tuesday | Low Carb Philly Cheesesteak with Sauteed Spinach

Wednesday | Cube Steak, Fried Purple Cabbage, and Roasted Mini Potatoes

Thursday | Eggs, Biscuits, Breakfast Potatoes, and Fruit

Friday | Pork Tenderloin and Pea & Potato Salad

Saturday | eating out

Sunday | Burger & Fries (preseasoned from Sam's Club)

Breakfast | Macro Bar

Lunch | Meatballs with Marinara, Roasted Green Beans, & Wild Rice

I'm also going to make Atlantic Beach Pie at some point in the week - I saw this super easy recipe and am dying to test it out. (So I say...)

Ch-Ch-Changes

Big changes have been happening at our house and I haven't been able to be completely open about it until recently. It's weird to change jobs and move. Especially when you've been a blogger that shares it all and has for a decade. Keeping something to yourself can be odd. 

So after many a back and forth trip to Alabama, Jeremy took a position as the youth pastor at a church right outside of Birmingham. 

Can I go ahead and say that just on the job front it is weird to me. We met in psychology, he's worked as a psychologist for 6 years. Basically the whole 11 years of us being together has been interlaced with psychology conversations that it'll be strange to see that go. 

Our last time over the "big water" as H calls it as Louisiana residents. (Lake Pontchartrain)
On the flip side when we were last involved in a youth group together I was much more wild and fancy free since we didn't have the boys yet. Now this mama will be on lockdown and not going and doing trips like she once did.


In other moving news, here are my curious boys at Lowes. Right before the check out clerk thought Elliot was so chubby it warranted other clerks to come see. Don't worry that doesn't offend me, I was cracking up. 


At this point I thought the mountain of boxes couldn't get bigger... they did in fact get much much bigger. 


I had to hit up Pop's Poboys before we left. Get the Burger Poboy Southern Style if you go. It's legit, and also topped with pimento cheese and fried pickles. Their pimento cheese is amazing.


An awful picture of Elliot but he was loving Brandon letting him eat all of the fries. 


We also had dinner with Sherri, David and Alice before we left. I snagged some sour dough starter that makes the absolute most amazing bread. We shall see how it faired in the move, I fed it today for the first time since the little starter's big car adventure.

Elliot couldn't hang. After being covered from head to toe in bread and banana pudding he passed slap out.


Kali realized we had never taken a single photo together in two years. Blame it on the fact that we are generally looking worn down (as seen above on moving day) or eating dessert late at night. When the 4 of us hang out it generally isn't photo worthy. It is just chatting and eating. This was our photoshopped attempt as a photo together.

Now when baby girl gets here you can bet I'll make sure we all have a photo together.


At this point the house is basically settled in. I'm still looking for a few items that I packed away when we sold our house, but other than that I can cook and that's all that matters. I consider something livable when the kitchen and bathrooms are done. Mainly the kitchen though. Cooking makes me feel a sense of normal.

Bt the way, how are these kids big enough to bathe together? We finally got the hot water fixed yesterday and they were beyond happy about a nice hot bath. We all were.

Don't get me wrong, we had offers from church friends to let us use their showers, but after all of the moving I couldn't stomach the idea of packing a bag to shower elsewhere. So I bathed the kids by boiled water on the stove and mixing it into the tepid water from the tub for a few nights.

But hey, we are tent campers. We can survive anything right?


Last but not least, this is fitting since we just exited World Breastfeeding Week... moving + letting myself dehydrate + aunt flo coming earlier with Elliot than it did with H is a recipe from low supply. Hopefully that evens out soon, because this mixed with a baby cutting two eye teeth at once means my sleep can't be compared to that of Rip Van Winkle.

So other nursing mamas... don't be discouraged. External factors effect this often. Just adjust your macros (I've found count macros has helped my supply this time around), drink all the Mother's Milk tea you can, and use your LaVie when you pump. It'll get back to normal soon.

And I think that rounds out what's been going on lately.

Once the house is totally fixed up I'll do a photo tour of where we are. We are currently renting a modular home way our in the woods. Like way out folks... I've never lived without near by neighbors so this is essentially camps for me lol!

Things I Bought & Liked | July

Another month. Anther round of things I bought and liked... and one I'll share later that I did not like at all.

Wet & Wild Photofocus Setting Spray | This is a repeat purchase that I will continue to repeat until a better dupe is pointed out to me. I use powder blush and contour so a setting spray is a must, and this particular one is a nice dupe for Urban Decay.

The Original Jade Roller | I've been tempted to get one of these for ages and finally sprung for it. Granted I can't tell if I'll look like Cindy Crawford when I'm 80 just yet, but it's relaxing, cooling, and de-puffs with all its facial massage like goodness.

Phone Tripod | I've got a big heavy duty tripod of my heavy duty camera. I wanted something lighter so family photos. This particular one comes with a bluetooth connection to snap the photo from a distance, I need to figure it out because I plan to get our photo in front of the mural on St. Peter St before we move. It also wraps around whatever and holds pretty well. I'm impressed.

Maledan Compatible with Fitbit Alta Band | I bought a blush color back in the winter and loved it, however my desire to wear a lot of black rubbed all over the band and made it lack luster. I got a plum color this time, and if you've worn a Fitbit for any length of time you know the importance to have a good band. A watch style band is what has saved me after wandering around the church trying to sync up to figure out when I was within 15 feet of it.

OtterBox Symmetry Clear Series | We got new phones... new cases were needed. I always go with Otterbox, I've managed to keep phones for years without damage and I drop mine a lot!

Physician's Choice Collagen Peptides | It my most ridiculous voice "YAASS QUEEN!" I adore Vital Proteins but I can't fork over that much money to it all the time. I used another brand that was this asme price but it made my tea taste more like beef ramen. This my friends is tasteless. TASTELESS! Finally the holy grail of Collagen Peptides.

Vega Protein & Greens | Another re-purchase. Vanilla is a first for me though, it had a big discount so I was willing to take the risk on a not-chocolate-flavor. It's worked out well. While I prefer a Paleo beef protein for my digestive system, this one is ideal for making my favorite macro bars. I need an easy on the go protein for when I can't make a shake and don't want to spend 2 bucks a pop on a macro bar.

Narwey Large Hanging Toiletry Bag | As someone who has lived hours from family for years and packed SO. MUCH. STUFF.  I finally said enough of not having it organized well (hello Enneagram 1 self) and bought some travel bags. I also grabbed a better laundry bag from the Target dollar section that stand up and is sturdy in the event you see it. I wasn't disappointed in this bag though, it was used this weekend with love from me. I'm making myself carry travel size of a few items, I can't very well wander around with a ginormous hairspray everywhere we go.

MKPCW Portable Travel Cosmetic Bag | This bag is the exact same print as the one above, just sold by a different Amazon company. Also, in love. I typically carry my makeup packed tight in one bag, brushes in another, and a wet sponge to boot. Seriously, get yourself one of these and its magical compartments if you travel often. No need to splurge on a travel bag.

Welada Skin Food | Another item that has been sitting in my "save for later" cart. It's super thick and perfect for nighttime. Especially while traveling. Just don't do like me and say you'll use it for day as well. This is too heavy for a day cream. I repeat.  TOO. HEAVY. FOR. DAY. USE. Otherwise, heaven. I like to slather things on at night in hopes of again... looking like Cindy Crawford when I'm 80.

Now I do have one product I was heavily disappointed in, but I'm going to make a whole post out of it.

How to Get Rid of the Hand Foot and Mouth After Effects Quick

It’s that ultra not glorious time of year when Hand Foot and Mouth Disease is floating around with vigor. 
There couldn’t be a more “hide yo kids” sickness out there in my opinion. Here’s the kicker though, whatever you thought was bad about when your child had it … it’s worse when adults have it. Way worse. 
So much worse, that what I initially thought were a few ant bites on my own child, turned into my doctor threatening to send me to the hospital.


I recently shared how I got rid of the awful peeling that was left after having HFM, over on the Lafayette Mom’s Blog. I’d so love for you to head over there and read all about my tips and tricks to help your skin recover in half the time (and I'd love it if you left a comment) .

A Guide to Helping Your Struggling Teen

Today's guest post is all about helping your teenager, which we all know is though. Whether you have one or won't for a few more years. Even as a mom to younger kids I know to pay attention to what my veteran mama friends are doing to help my kids in the future. 

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Learning your teenager is struggling with addiction can be one of the worst things to hear as a parent. With the rise of opioid use and addiction, stories like this are unfortunately becoming more common. It’s critical to understand what lies ahead for your teen, for you, and for your family, in terms of recovery and rebuilding their life. Here’s a guide on how to help your teen overcome this major hurdle. 



Stay calm and in control

When you learn of your son or daughter’s addiction, you will most likely feel a lot of different emotions, but the most important thing to remember is to stay calm. If you let your emotions get the best of you, you could take them out on your teenager, worsening the situation, or lose your ability to think clearly and focus on their needs and road to recovery. A calm mind is key so you can take control of the situation, make decisions, seek help, and be their rock. 

Love them unconditionally

As a parent who only wants what’s best for their child, it can be difficult to see them make poor decisions and struggle with the consequences, and it can be tough to show them love in times of distrust, anger, or disappointment. However, it’s important that you do anyway, regardless of how upset you may be with them. 

Listen to them and ask questions

The most important thing you can do for your child (aside from supporting and loving them unconditionally) is to listen to what they’re telling you. Make them feel as though they’re being heard, and their concerns or feelings are valid and important. Ask open-ended questions to gauge how they feel, what they want, and what they’re thinking.

Get them proper treatment

In order to help your teen get on the right path to recovery, they will most likely require professional help and treatment. It’s not a fault of yours to ask for professional help, it’s a strength. The resources are available, and it’s in everyone’s best interest to use them as much as you can. 

Ignite Teen Treatment is an example of a treatment center for teenagers battling addiction. Your child will be monitored and their needs will be met by a team of dedicated specialists. The road to recovery will be mapped out, with the help and supervision they need every step of the way. 

Reaching out and speaking to a therapist, psychiatrist, or addiction specialist after treatment can also be beneficial to help your teenager unpack and process the hardship they just overcame, and to help them stay focused on the recovery journey.

Help them realize their self-worth

Everyone is worth more than their mistakes. Suffering through addiction can easily be the lowest point of their lives, so helping them build up their self-worth again is vital to showing them it’s okay to fall as long as you pick yourself back up again and always work to be better than yesterday. 

Teach your teen about positive self-talk and help them
practice self-care regularly. Tell them it’s perfectly fine to put their needs before others, especially when it comes to their mental and physical health and well-being. Praise their hard work and commitment to getting healthy, and motivate them to keep going. Positive reminders and reinforcement will no doubt resonate with them and help them stay on their path.