Simply Earth June Essential Oil Recipe Box || Oily Aid Kit

This month's Simply Earth Box came in and it's all things Oily Aid! Consider it your crunchy "first aid" kit. 

With a house full of boys and it being the beginning of summer... (I know I say it often) but this one was timed just right! 


This month's box included:


Aloe Vera Gel
Dried Calendula Flowers
Cardamom Essential Oil
Lavender Essential Oil
Timer Blend Essential Oil
Bumps & Booboos Blend Essential Oil


The Timber blend is new to Simply Earth and they yet again hit it out of the park. All my slightly crunchy friends will understand what I'm saying when I say this... it smells like the best smelling crunchy earthy health food store you ever went in. In the best way possible. 

I say that as someone who thinks the smell at Whole Foods should be a candle! 

This new blend is intended to be calming (which it totally is) and supports skin health. 


You probably noticed the other blend that was included -  Bumps & Booboos. 

This blend is a germ killing and skin healing blend (see that EO First Aid theme coming in) This is a kid safe blend for 2+ and has strong notes of Tea Tree. It basically smells like everything my mother slathered on me as a child. 


Now for the recipes! 

With this kit you get a burn salve, skin healing gel, and an infused oil all with the purpose of skin healing. You'll see in the video that I made the burn gel and infused oil. 

There is also a Digest Help Roll On recipe and a No Stress Blend diffuser recipe. 

I diffused the No Stress Blend and let me tell you it is going to also be a roll on, it smells so amazing. 


I'm going to pop the video in at the very bottom, but as always don't forget to use the discount code when you purchase your own box! 

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



High Five for Friday!

Last night I realized I hadn't blogged once this week. Maybe my brain just thinks I should be camping and went off the grid on its own. Who knows? 

I'm currently trying to figure out a better way to organize our days. With a toddler who naps from 12-3 a good chunk of the middle of the day is spent not doing much. I almost feel like we have to compromise school work for a hiking activity. 

To which you might tilt your head and say "school work?" Well friends, we are slowly but surely becoming more confident in letters and their sounds over here. It seems late, but in the hard reality of a speech delay he only became conversational last June - we started PreK in August - and in January he was mid year tested and hadn't absorbed what I would have liked to have seen on his own. 

So Mama Boot Camp it has been since March 16. 

And let me tell you, with the one on one he is doing amazing. 

I know I should have done more during the school year, but some things fall behind in major life changes. Sadly my idea to see what he would pick up without me pushing didn't work. 


Yesterday Jeremy had to run up to work on his day off to mess with a projector or something. He's getting stuff together to do a outdoor movie night for our youth. He also took the kids.

So after I got myself showered I headed up their to retrieve kids and let them have a picnic lunch at church, because after 400 days of quarantine it's fun to eat anywhere that isn't your own house.


I said it on IG last night, but he LaCroix summer flavors this year are amazing! Sam's Club is selling a flat pack of all three flavors if you're out and about. 


There's a reason Elliot always has bumps and bruises. 

Harrison made them a bed in a laundry basket, standard right of child passage. 


Elliot fell out. 

This is minor compared to him falling into a bush the other day. This is going to be my ER bill child. 


The kids got an indoor bath last night as well. 

Indoor bath you say? Well. The past two nights I've just thrown soap at them while they were in the kiddie pool. It's summer. 

Now for a few things I don't want to forget that I can't seamlessly smash into this post:
- Elliot thinks washing his hands is hysterical. 
- Elliot also answers everything you say by shaking his head yes or no. He is pretty accurate but it's hilarious. 

Maybe I need to do a year and a half update on this child. That could help. 

Bird Leaves, Takeout, and Toddler Selfies

We're still home. 

Here's a compilation of things the kids have recently said to me... or done. 


"Mama, I don't like honeybuns anymore."

After eating an entire honeybun and running out of said honeybun. 


"Look Mama, it's a bird leaf!"


The children didn't say anything here. But I've been scrambling to do things in the evenings on Tuesday's and Wednesday. On those nights Jeremy has a Zoom bible study with the youth and Wednesday is the livestream of his weekly lesson. You might think "how involved can that be" but let me assure you keeping two kids off Daddy after he's been at work all day is no easy feat. 

These kids have appeared on camera naked after baths. Screamed bloody murder during prayer. And generally caused havoc during this time. 

If you've been on a women's call at any point and wondered where I was... I was dead to the world after wrangling this mess and cooking dinner. 

So last week I went way out of my norm and ordered catering... it was gloriously easy that Wednesday night. 


I call this photo "If you step in that gumbo mud Mama just said to avoid I'm going to make you walk your muddy feet to the creek so Daddy can wash you off as you complain the entire way." 


This photo series is what I'd like to call "don't leave your phone unattended during nap time." There were about 50 more I deleted. 


I don't know how I've convinced them, but they will play nicely in the floor and let me run on an elliptical for 1 mile. I can't physically think about more than one mile. But thank goodness they allow me one mile. 

See also... how did two kids get me so out of shape? 


And this friends is photo proof I exist outside of a selfie. Harrison took it. It's not frame worthy. But it's me, being mama to the kid that will sit in anyone's lap that sits on the floor. 

Elliot Does Not Approve of Your Music

 I've been trying to get back to drinking bone broth.

[Read that as I drank it once last week.]

I use to make a really good bullet proof bone broth back in the Paleo days. I don't know what happened though. That Keto phase reintroduced cheese into my life and I never looked back. Then I got pregnant and rice was the only thing that tasted good for a long time.

Now.

NOW.

There's no helping me, I've gone too far and lost my will power.


Incase you were curious, Elliot doesn't approve of Jeremy's old Christian bad  playlists that include... who am I kidding I don't remember the name of that band. 

Either way, Elliot wasn't amused.


I've quarantined enough. 

Enough was enough. 

I ran out of Trader Joe's freezer meals in March. Before the quarantine. Legit the weekend I was going to restock was the weekend everything froze. 

So I said screw it and went to Trader Joe's this weekend. 

Give me tasty freezer meals, or give me death! 


Jeremy, coincidentally, was on his death bed with a virus for Mother's Day. 



So we went out for a walk + ice cream that was supposed to end in Poke but alas Ono Poke was closed. 


The daiquiri ice sorbet from Edgewood Creamery was the bomb! I want to swatch this blue and paint everything this color.


No poke means sushi, which coincidentally, cost more. I might come down with something over father's day, ya never know do you. 


Funny enough I have had a few items (a lamp large enough to not make me feel like we live in a cave at night, I can't stand the overhead lights in a living room.) in my Target cart and decided to finally use some blog cash to buy them. Jeremy came out of his death bed to thinking his account had been hacked. 

No sir, that was your wife. 

I promptly sent that money to the bank account lol! 


Anyone else almost use the bug spray instead of the cooking spray while camping? 

Hey Wednesday!

It's Wednesday.

I'm just gonna blog and think about the positives, because that big negative that's looming over my head is a tough one at the moment.


First off we've been trying to get our and go walking more in the afternoons after Elliot is up.


I love that their are so many creeks in our area as well as tons of options for walking paths. 



I had to laugh at Elliot here, he wanted to throw this stick in the water really bad... but didn't want to lose the stick. So he kept going through the throwing motion and not letting go. 


On the hunt for festival food I came across my 1955 edition of Acadian Bi-Centennial. The old Cajun recipes for Turtle and what I am assuming is fish that I've never heard of had my cracking up. 


In my quest to update my Instagram highlights I came across this... a week before delivering Elliot. Why can't we all have pregnancy lips all the time? Holy smokes though at that puffy about to deliver face! 



 Birmingham Moms Blog had a Zoom call this week and when it was about my time to speak I panicked. Y'all I've been talking to myself on Insta for YEARS  but hearing that husband playback is always dreadful.

All the bloggers know, blogger husbands are an indifferent group that pick on you for talking to yourself.

So yes, after 11 years of blogging I quickly hid in the playroom with the door shut so no one could hear me.

Blogging is a strange outlet that allows you to journal but skirts the area of narcissism.


Things That Make Me Say Yay!

It's been too long! 

How have I not done a TTMMSY! in 2 years people? 

So for quarantine, let's work through some YAY topics and not just weekly favorites. I'll try and do this every Friday - and I'd love for you to comment and let me know what you are saying YAY! about this week! 

If you've got topics you'd like to see me cover, drop those below too! 

This week I'm talking all things little learner and what I'm using to help Harry learn his letters and sounds while we are home through the summer. 






Linky Links

Learning Dynamics - the phonics/letter recognition program I'm using to teach Harry his letters and sounds. This is also used to teach just flat out reading. We're working towards that but letter and sounds are my priority right now. 

Peachie Speechie - Youtube speech practice channel! 

Foam Letter Mat - this is the play mat in our play room that I use to identify letters as well. 


The Letter Factory on Netflix by Leap Frog


Aww! I almost forgot my friend Kirsten and her IG page - go follow @bringingupbeary - she has a ton of adorable ideas for kids activities!


the few items I'm using that I forgot about 

ABC Duolingo App

Khan Academy Kids App - I pick the letter we are doing that day and let him work it. He also likes to read books and do any number practice on this app. 


Due to the Quarantine...

Aww quarantine.

A time to continue to be bored, busy, and yet ready to banish the children outside permanently all at the same time.

It was high time I updated chalk and letter boards around this house.

Exhibit A: 


I don't know what has taken me so long, but I finally got to try Poke no pregnant. This isn't something to eat fully cooked folks. 

I got the something or another bowl, who can remember, with Spicy Tuna and it was heaven in a bowl with enough rice to feed half of the country. Amazing! 

Poke car dates for the can't inside an actual restaurant win. But let's all be honest, Elliot is not at my favorite age for taking children out to restaurants. This is working in our favor.


Speaking of Elliot. 

Harrison and I made Pioneer Woman's Chocolate Sheet Cake from her first cookbook. It's to die for people. It's also on her website. 

Elliot appreciated it so much he tried to lick bowls in the sink. 




I've been talking a lot about getting a bike and a pull behind, especially for when we are camping.

I finally did it.

Turns out I need to start lifting weights again because a year out of having this kid and my muscles aren't what they were before.

There has been a lot of huffing and puffing and these Alabama hills aren't helping.


Please note, this isn't Bama red. It's Ragin' Cajun red. It might as well be crawfish red, because I've been going backwards down those hills. 


In the land of workouts. 

I've been a die-hard at Pure Barre Ondemand this year. I managed to snag it at a super low price during Black Friday and couldn't be happier. 

However. 

I think I need more weights on top of the barre workouts that I love. 

So I started following some Whitney Simmons workouts off of Youtube. I've beens sore, she lifts how I did back in my pre-kid gym rat days. The only difference is people just don't wear as much clothing as I feel they should. 

Guess that's why my Instagram model career tanked (just kidding folks). No one wants to see a mama belly in her husband's shirts with leggings instructing your workouts. 


Thought I'd try a new biscuit recipe. 

Don't do that, when you find a holy grail recipe don't ever follow the crowd and make other biscuits people. 

I tried the Joana Gain's biscuits when I made Boudin Biscuits last night and I wasn't disappointed, but they weren't Regina's Biscuits. 

By the way if you want a killer Boudin Biscuit a la Shawn's Meat Market in Delcambre but can't get there >>> get your Mama to keep you stocked up in Cajun Specialty (Vidalia, LA) Boudin, make some homemade biscuits (preferably Regina's), patty up that boudin (you'll have to add egg and flour to get it to patty), toss it on a biscuit and drizzle a healthy amount of Steen's Cane Syrup on top and you'll be happier than you've ever been. 

Except if you've also had Shawn's Poor Man's Cracklin and then I can't recreate that. 

Now!

We can't leave this post without a quaran-meme... so...





Saying "I Do" Without Going Into Debt: How to Have a Cheap Wedding

You love your soon-to-be spouse. And the feeling is mutual.
Another thing that's mutual? Your desire NOT to go into debt while professing your love for each other in front of family and friends.
The good news is that you don't have to enter your marriage in the red just to tie the knot. Here's a rundown on how to have a cheap wedding this year.
Let's jump in!


How to Have a Cheap Wedding? Look for Complimentary Decorations

If you are interested in having a religious wedding at a church, you may want to have the celebration near one of the major holidays on the calendar. For instance, consider scheduling your ceremony near Christmas or Easter.
Why? Because the church you choose will likely already be fully decorated. And this can save you a lot on decorations, like flowers.
For any wedding date that is not near a holiday, consider having a beautiful candlelit ceremony. This type of wedding can be inexpensive yet romantic and gorgeous.

Programs

Yet another way to save during your upcoming wedding ceremony is to make your own free wedding program
Instead of paying a printing firm or a professional graphic designer to create a program for you, you can use a user-friendly program template to effortlessly create a program that reflects your style.

Party Favors and Other Touches

Looking for yet another way to save during wedding planning? You could throw a party where your friends would help you to assemble favors and other inexpensive touches.
For instance, your friends could help you to create homemade centerpieces and even invitations.
During your party, make sure that you play inspiring songs and make delectable snacks available. This will make your helpers feel appreciated and make the experience more enjoyable for all parties involved.

Food

Finally, if you're serious about saving money, explain this to your caterer.
You may want to ask the caterer what their least costly seated-dinner entrees are. Also, find out if having a buffet would be a less expensive option for you.
In addition, if you can have a dry ceremony -- meaning that you serve no alcohol -- this can save you a lot of money. However, if you want to serve alcohol, see if the caterer will allow you to bring your own.
If you can't bring your own, you could save money by serving just beer and wine, rather than an entire bar. And if you do have an open bar, consider keeping it open only during the cocktail hour. You can then serve less expensive wine at dinnertime.

How We Can Help You

In addition to showing you how to have a cheap wedding this year, I offer a wide range of tips and advice for throwing the perfect wedding for you and your significant other.
For instance, you can learn how to create a beautiful hairstyle to match your personality for the big day. You can also learn how to take stunning bridal shoot photos.
Explore my blog to find out more about how to celebrate your marriage in a unique, memorable, and frugal way in the coming months.

Is Your Job Impacting Your Marriage? Here's What You Need to Do

It's funny how work life impacts your other relationships. Today's guest post shares tips for getting out of a job related relationship funk. 
.............................................................
Are you workaholic and take on all the overtime you can get? Or perhaps you're coming home every night miserable and complaining about your boss or colleagues. Whatever the reason, jobs can put our relationships on the line and, in radical cases, can leave a marriage in jeopardy.
It's easy to fall into the trap of a negative mindset because of work; after all, our jobs consume a great deal of our time. However, this anguish can start to seep into your personal life and cause you to constantly pour out your feelings to your spouse, who is unable to fix the situation.
If you fear that your job is starting to impact your marriage, here's what you need to do.
Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash


Prioritize your relationship
First and foremost, you need to prove to your spouse that you're in this marriage for the long-haul. You may have recognized that you have been neglecting them but haven't put any strategies in place to prove you appreciate them. Even if you come home tired after a hard day's work, taking a few minutes when you get home to have a conversation shows you care. Work can be one of the biggest stresses in life, but there's no excuse for putting your spouse at the bottom of the pile. These short conversations will keep positive communication flowing and prevent problems escalating.
Save energy for socializing
If your mind is constantly distant and thinking of other things, your spouse has undoubtedly spotted it. With the hectic demands and stresses of work, you may find that you're left with very little energy to enjoy time with your spouse at the weekend. This is sure to cause issues, as special times should be shared by both of you. Maintaining a work-life balance is crucial, and if you're unable to accomplish this in your current job, it may be time you seek other opportunities.

Change career paths
It may not be the workplace that's causing you misery, but the job role itself. If this is the case, perhaps you could consider switching careers. This isn't always easy when you don't have the necessary qualifications and experience to work in a different industry, so you'll likely need to endure additional training or studying to expand your horizons. You can conduct a college search online to find institutions that are in your local area. By making this break and focusing on a career path that you're interested in, you should feel much happier in yourself and have time to focus on what matters most in life.
Make sacrifices
If you're unable to cut down your hours at work, it may mean that you have to make sacrifices to maintain a healthy marriage. You could get up a little earlier in the mornings or give up one of your hobbies to spend one weeknight with your spouse. While you shouldn't be forfeiting everything you enjoy, it's important to be reasonable so that your spouse feels appreciated.

Looks Are Deceiving, Go Clean Co., & Attempting to Figure out What Day It Is

In an attempt to finally bake some bread, I slowly realized that I murdered my started. 

Not a full on death to the starter situation. 

It foams. 

It just makes really - dense - bread. 


I thought those pretzels turned out okay, they were dense, but they're also pretzels and I've never made them before. 

But then I made a loaf I've made many a time. 

It never rose. 

It baked into what could be described as a slightly airy brick. 

Looks like I'll be actively feeding that sucker until it comes back to life. 


A friend posted about the Go Clean Co account on Instagram. I'm hooked. 

Like I clean. Things look clean. But I didn't know what I didn't know and now I know and everything in my life has completely changed. 

Not really. 

But my cleaning game just got A) easier B) ya don't need all them crazy products and C) holy grail cleaning stuff people. 

I'm tempted (TEMPTED) to get after our washer. But that washer was purchased the year after we were married. 

It's 10. 

It's never been cleaned because I didn't know I needed to do what she told me I need to do. 

It's also a throwback top loader that isn't hip by any means. There is no detergent loading tray. I'm sure there's a hose filter situation... somewhere. Heck if I know where. 

I'm having to ask myself "Am I about to clean a granny washer that might not make it that much longer anyway?" 

Then I answer myself (because we are in a quarantine people) "Yes, clean that nasty granny washer and while you're at it, buy the stuff to strip your laundry, you live in a nasty house of boys." 


I also had a bright idea this week. 

Meant entirely in the actual bright idea sense as well as the ironic sense. 

I shaving creamed the coffee table so Harry could practice his letters. 

This had a few layers. Number 1 - I could workout with minimal complaints. Number 2 - He would practice his letters that he dearly hates. Number 3 - making a mess (that also cleans the counter) is fun and it is motor skill practice. 

What I didn't anticipate halfway through my Pure Barre class was looking back to see someone with one foot on the table smearing it around, covered in shaving cream, the floor and couch covered in shaving cream. 

But he was having the time of his life and I managed to get a workout in. 

We will also check this off the list as "cleaning". 


Let's be honest... am I still here? 

I don't know. What day is it? What time is it? Why are there children here? Oh yeah, that's right, I had children. Does anyone want them? Is it possible to eat cake daily and not gain weight? No? Ice cream? Also no? Whatever. I quit. 

I was begging for a quarantine folks, since at least November, heck August, and had no idea it could actually happen. I just needed a sabbatical. But I needed one that involved infinite cash flow, activities, a nanny, travel, maybe a European vacation. 

This isn't the quarantine I signed up for. 

But dad-gum answered prayers are a funny thing (just kidding, don't come at me with pitch forks). 

I'll be back Monday, if I realize that Monday is actually Monday at some point on Monday.

Easter, More Quaran-memes, & Answering the Important Questions...

Important questions being "Can you sage a baby?"

Possibly. 

I sure as heck am diffusing Clary Sage & the Tranquility blend from Simply Earth, because at this point I'll try anything. Elliot's side hobby seems to be yelling, screaming, pulling on my clothing, and demanding I pick him up. 

I'm here to inform you... you might see him on the corner with a sale sign on his neck if he keeps this up. 


I do in-fact feed this child yogurt every afternoon this way. 

You just wouldn't know that because A) there's no photographic evidence and B) he takes photos like a cop doing mug shots anyway. 

I love him. Really I do. 

But I'd have to hire a professional photog if I ever wanted to be included or look decent in photos. 


Last week out children's pastor came by all the kids houses and had a mini surprise egg hunt since the church's annual Easter event was cancelled.

Here's a few of the kids in the yard. I'm. happy to report that when we hunted eggs Saturday as per the Easter requirements when a big fat storm is on the horizon... Elliot finally figured out how to hunt.




Stealing eggs. 

A series of emotional reactions. 








This Easter I learned an important lessons. 

One can not boil, like legit boil, shrimp in the house. 

Yes, I've done a quick boil to make Shrimp Salad. But a full on boil to get New Iberia Jane's Restaurant quality shrimp... I nearly killed the entire family. 

I nearly tear-gassed the entire family. 

But they tasted great. 


I also made a Chantilly Cake, or Gentilly, whatever you prefer. My main issue was that this oven is trying to ruin my reputation and chose to continue heating on this particular day (it doesn't do it every day but when it does you are going to look like you can't cook) and instead of sitting at 350 chose to jump up to 400. 

I'll be remaking this very soon in an attempt to redeem myself. It tastes fine, but it isn't up to standards. 


I finally got my week on Jeremy's youth ministry video. I think y'all will get a kick out of it if you watch tonight. 


If ever you wonder where some bump or bruise came from on Elliot, just know that he never stops climbing. 

It's all rightfully earned. 


I finally got around to reorganizing the kid clothing bins. This happens about once a year when there is a big shift in sizes.  Which has led me to ask on Instagram... 

Did you save all your kids clothing "just in case" or were you a tosser? 

Personally... as one can clearly see... I'm a saver. Elliot is burning through Harrison's bins and in the event we decide to not have a 3rd or maybe have one that child will get these. If it were to be a girl those bins would be donated to another family. 

Several friends have given us hand-me-downs over the years and I'd love to be able to help someone out by dropping off several years worth of clothing and gear. Eventually. 


Want more honesty than you signed up for today? 

Lord's Supper Service online the other day really highlighted just how much I am not liking church at home with two kids alone. 

Yup I said it, I'm not a fan. 

I need to get out and see people, in person. Talk to adults. 

This whole being at home with the two littles while Daddy is at church is for the birds. I keep seeing families post their pics of everyone on the couch joyfully doing church together. 

For those of us with little kids (and I've spoken to a friend or two) or who don't have families who attend church with them... this mess is less than thrilling. 

It's impossible to focus when everyone is having a meltdown or yelling because they're mad that the tv isn't on the channel they want. 

And most of all, it is lonely being the only person (because toddlers don't count as people) in a home during an online service. 

Now for something funny, because it's a lifeline some days. 

Quaran-memes



Yeah, I'm good without Shreveport. 



Do yourself a favor and search "new iberia haircut" on Youtube. It's the dumbest thing you've ever see. And sadly extremely accurate. 




I missed saying it at the beginning, but I was late to the blog party this week mainly because we were without power from 9:30 pm Sunday to about 5pm Monday. 

Was I panicking about losing food? Yes. 

A friend arranged for another friend to come over with a generator and let me tell y'all... the second we were hooked up and about to power up the lights came on! I've never been so thankful to see electricity outside of a hurricane in my life. 

We will be buying a generator when we buy a house, you can bet your bottom dollar on that. 

Tuesday... I didn't blog... because I went to work. 

We somehow got 7 weeks worth of packets made, stuffed, and set out in a few hours. I nearly lost a finger or two to paper cuts yesterday. 

That was 800 packets made folks. 

Until Friday...