Simply Earth September Essential Oil Recipe Box || You Stinker

August 30, 2020

Guess what came in the mail y'all? Another essential oil box from Simply Earth. 

I find myself saying this every month, but I've not convinced myself this is because the boxes are curated for that particular month/season. When I opened this box to discover a few favorite oils and find the theme to be "You Stinker" I was pumped... because what else describes September. 

Hot. Muggy. Yuck.  

As always with each box you get recipe cards and goodies to help you make the recipes. There are also 4 full size oils included in each month's box. 

This month's oils were:

Blood Orange - uplifting, cleans, soothes pain (Kid Safe 2+)
Lemon Eucalyptus - repels insects, deodorizes (Kid Safe 2+)
Clove - supports focus and immune system (Kid Safe 10+)
Defender Blend - boosts immunity, kills germs (Kid Safe 10+)

You box will also come with wool balls & cotton bag for a diffuser recipe and a spray bottle for a body spray. 

On the back of the Drawer Deodorizer recipe card this month is all of the info about the oils. Even down to cat or dog safe, how to dilute it, pregnancy safe, and kid safety ages like I mentioned above. I think it's great that Simply Earth isn't about just convincing your to buy their product and not thinking of your safety, they include info in each month's box to help to decide where and when to use these oils. 

These big ole 15 ml bottles just make me so happy, and last so long! 

The first thing I dug into was the Defeat the Reek Diffuser Blend, a house full of boys needed this. 

I'll definitely be making a roller bottle blend with the Lemon Eucalyptus to ward off all the bugs out here in the country. 

This body spray has my absolute favorite oil blend ever in it... Defender. This blend goes by many names, Thieves, Fighting Five, but it's a great blend for warding off the sickies. Plus it smells great. 

This month's box is also supporting Exodus Cry, and 13% of profits go to this organization. Exodus Cry is shifting culture, changing laws, reaching out, and creating films that are changing the way people think about human trafficking in society. 

Overall, this month was another great box. After you get the September box, be on the lookout for October and its DIY Spa Day theme! 

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.

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Harrison's First Day of Kindergarten

August 24, 2020

Harrison officially went to kindergarten this past week. 

Here's a secret for you, I always take first day photos in church clothing before the actual first day. I just can't 1) carve out time that morning and 2) the attitudes are ripe at 7am and I want a good photo. 

His first day went great, aside from falling off and dangling from a play structure by one arm. This kid. His attitude both days was honestly way sunnier than I anticipated. 

I was also snapping pics of Harry with his front yard sign and Elliot kept posing like this. Cute little blue-eyed cheeseball. 

Then it all went south, because at the same time Jeremy was doing yard work and told Harrison he could play with the blower. 

So they all went. 

And Elliot was accosted with the blower and not happy about it. 

He came back just to rat out Harrison. 

Harrison was unfazed. Then it took me 15 minutes just to get him to put it back in the garage and come inside. 

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It's Been a Year

August 23, 2020

It's officially been a year since we left our beloved south Louisiana. 

For 8 years we absorbed all that Cajun Country had to offer. Festivals, year 'round snowballs, boiled seafood as far as the eye could see, hot cracklins, the people. 

Y'all I had found my place in life with all those loud Cajun women. I'm far from demure, and standing in the hall before work talking about everything under the sun was good for my soul. 

For a year I haven't regularly sat, with our best friends, on the couch eating ice cream... every Friday night. That's been hard. 

Who would have known how much you could miss a hot as heck humid place where you are constantly fighting the mice in the cane field behind your house and predicting how terrible hurricane season will be based on the love bugs. 

Speaking of which, I haven't seen a single love bug in Alabama. 

Brandon don't hate me, this was one of three pics I took that weekend we were eating out and packing up. 

On the flip side, it's been a bitter sweet year. 

It's been quite the adjustment for me, getting use to Jeremy not being on the same work schedule that I'm on. After 10 years of the same schedule I expected that it would take some time to adjust. Yeah, he was gone for deacon stuff, taught, filled-in in the youth group, and played music... but full time ministry is on another level. 

He's gone a lot, and that's with him being very much focused on being here as much as he can. 


Jeremy is finally doing what he sat on my couch telling me he felt called to do in 2008. 

In my biased opinion, he's done a great job this year. Especially in a pandemic. Y'all we drove here, there, and everywhere delivering care packages at the beginning of this. 

All that to say, I lost my Louisiana license plate a year ago as I drove over the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway for the last time as a resident. I can't just zip to Rouse's (for the first time in my adult life) when I've run out of some random Cajun item. AND I've got to speciality order Blue Runner beans now. 

But at least Alabama as Community Coffee. 

And a really great church family. 

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How to Make Your Anniversary Special

August 18, 2020

Whether it’s your first anniversary or your fiftieth, it’s always good to do something as a couple to remind yourself of just how much you mean to one another, and to remember the reasons you were married in the first place. It can be hard to decide what you should do, especially if you want to surprise your spouse, as there are so many choices these days, and this is why it pays to start planning early. If you want to make your anniversary a special one, here are some ideas to help you plan the perfect day. 

A Gift 

One of the elements that makes most people so stressed when it comes to their anniversary is the gift. This is a pity since the day should be an enjoyable one, celebrating your love, rather than one that causes you pain and upset. Starting early when it comes to thinking of what you can buy as anniversary gifts is a good idea. Listen to what your partner is saying, and if they mention something specific that they would like, this could be the ideal gift. 
Otherwise, something that comes from the heart is perfect. A personalized gift, flowers, jewelry, something handmade, or anything else that you have taken the time to think of and know they will like is ideal. 

Breakfast in Bed 

If you want to have a whole day of anniversary fun, then starting with breakfast in bed is a great idea. Prepare a romantic breakfast and serve it in an attractive way, and the day will start perfectly. Make it even more special by including a glass of champagne, or serving food that you wouldn’t normally eat at home but that you both love. 
You can also make your special breakfast very simple; toast and butter with a cup of tea is going to be just as well received as salmon, eggs, and gourmet coffee if you make an effort to make it look nice and put some thought into the idea. If you can, why not wake up early and enjoy the sunrise together while tucking into your wonderful breakfast? This is a very romantic way to start the day. 

Watch the Sunset 

Depending on the time of year, the sunrise could be an early one, and that might just be too early for you or your spouse. If that’s the case, don’t worry; watch the sunset instead. It’s just as romantic to sit there and enjoy the beauty of nature, and you won’t be feeling quite so tired either. 
Work out a great place to go to watch the sunset if you can’t do it from home (whether you can or not will depend on the location of your property and the direction it’s facing) and perhaps you can even take a picnic with you. After a romantic day, watching the sunset together is a great way to finish. It’s amazing how much closer you will feel to one another after experiencing something so beautiful together.

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The Last Days of Summer

August 16, 2020

Forgive me for the big ole dump of a post, I still haven't gotten a hang on juggling real life, blog life, and working after 5 months off life again. 

We've been soaking up the slow days as much as possible, especially any slow Saturday that Jeremy isn't busy with a youth group something or other. This past Saturday Jeremy needed to run up to Sam's and toted Harrison along as a easy way to get the kiddo his school shoes. 

Shocker. Harry has picked out roughly the same exact shoe every year I've not let him wear real tennis shoes. 

Elliot was left with me. And disgruntled. 

How dare the big boys leave him. He's a big boy too. 

So I put him in the tub with ball pit balls, he was still angry. There's no changing his mind. 

Monday I didn't have meetings so I kept the kids home for one last Mom Day before chaos of real life ensues again. 

We played in the pool and ate popsicles. 

I shaped up the big one's hair, he last cut left a lot to be desired. This should at least buy me another month. He has the same "not wavy but not straight" texture I have and I have tried time and time again to convince stylist to leave the top all one length and keep the dang thinning shears away. Well my usual favorite wasn't around and I had gotten comfortable not having to say much, because she did such a great job. 

I should have said more. It didn't work out. Why are little boy haircuts such a dang pain? 

As you can tell they just hate this kiddie pool.


I finally broke down and ordered the Cafe Collection from NutPods, totally worth it. Although I wish I could order just a box of Toasted Marshmallow. If you're looking for a non-dairy coffee creamer this is really where it is at. My only suggestion is to make sure you measure your serving otherwise the small box lasts no time. But if you follow the Tbsp serving it'll last 21 days. 👏

Y'all know I've tried them all too, back in the day (when we lived in Thibodaux) I even made my own.

This friends is my perfect depiction of not handling seeing 6am very well. 

Coffee without the filter.

Pray for me when I have to start getting up at 5am to get Harry and I to school by 7:15. I'll have to prep my coffee the night before. 

Back in the class means I'm busting out my essential oils more than ever. For parent video calls it was a day of Energy and Peppermint from Simply Earth

Next week I'll be sharing their September box, y'all it's all my all-star oil favorites in one box. So be on the lookout for that. 

After a whole year of not teaching in my own room, decorated my way, I was beyond stoked to get this room together. 

I started gathering my pencil theme when I was set to teach 1st at Delcambre Elem. So when I got into this room I reordered the pencil border and got to work. 

Focus Board for ELA and the calendar. I'm really happy to have a magnetic chalk board. I've also got a spot for a weekly quote as well as my trusty big ole piece of paper showing you where you better put your heading. 

Also, I spy my 3rd grade DES team, I've gotta print out my 5th team too. I loved working with those ladies. 

I'm going to be teaching Science and ELA, but with the pandemic only the teachers are swapping rooms. So I've made spaces for all subjects on the boards so we can both display what we need. For science I'm going the anchor chart route and making pretty charts for whatever we are working on. 

The beloved RACES writing strategy finally made it off of a anchor chart and got its own board this year. 

Back corner and Math Board. 

I've gotta wrangle a better situation with those computers, but it's working for now. 

My fabulous class flag, it says welcome in floral fabric. Plus the birthday corner. 

I'm really excited about the visual voice cue I saw on Pinterest. Kids have the best intentions but not always the best memory (like adults) and can get louder than you'd like. 

That yellowish border you can see is the pencil border from the Target Dollar Spot. 

I've also put one of a skinny Sterilite drawers on my computer cart to act as a moving classroom for myself when I am going back and forth to my second class. 

A close up of RACES. 

And some kinda sorta Quaran-Memes, what do you even consider this weird masked phase of life that better dang well end soon? 

For real, if I like it I'm gonna need y'all to back off that house. 

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7 Handy Wedding Guest List Tips for the Perfect Event

August 4, 2020

Ever since that glittering engagement ring made its first appearance, you've been hearing wedding bells in your head. It's easy to daydream about that amazing day on the horizon. Getting through the to-do list that brings you to the big day is another matter.

There are plenty of sources of stress while planning your wedding, and they vary from couple to couple. Making the guest list tends to be one of the top contenders for most people, though.

As you build and refine your list, start with these wedding guest list tips.

1. Start With a Max

First things first: before you jot down a single name, you need to know your maximum. What is the top number of total guests you can have at your wedding?

There are a few ways to do this. Your ceremony venue and reception venue will tell you their maximum numbers but don't take them at face value. That maximum number might come from cramming in guests more closely than you'd like.

Start by creating your ideal layout for each venue. Map out space for the bridal party and all the tables that fit comfortably. This will give you your top number.

Don't forget to take your budget into account, though. Think about how much each guest's food and drinks will cause. You might be able to fit 200 people in your venue but your budget might argue that 150 is better.

2. Divvy Up the Guests

Your wedding is a celebration for those who love you, those who love your fiance, and those who love you both. Before you start making a guest list, you need to know how to divide your numbers.

If you're inviting 200 guests, you might decide that you and your fiance can each have 75 guests, plus 50 guests who are mutual friends.

It doesn't always work to divide it evenly, though. If one of you has a far larger family than the other, you might need to skew the percentages.

Regardless of how it ends up, you need to decide on this from the beginning so it doesn't turn into a fight later.

3. Create Tiered Lists

You might not want to tell your guests this, but it's a good idea to categorize your potential invitees.

Start with a list of must-have guests: close friends and family members who you can't imagine excluding. Next, have a second-tier list of people you'd love to have at your wedding if possible. Finally, have a third-tier list for people you'd like to invite if you have space.

Fill your guest list first with those on your must-have list, then fill the rest with your second-tier list. When guests from your initial list start to RSVP that they can't attend, it frees space for guests from the next tier.

4. Know How to Estimate

There's a difference between the number of people you invite and the number of people who come to your wedding. Estimating your attendees will help you plan more accurately.

There's no singular percentage that is reliable, but there are guidelines. For invitees who live in the same city or area as the wedding, estimate that 85% of them will attend. For out-of-town guests, estimate closer to 40%.

Take those percentages with a grain of salt, though. You know your guests better than anyone, so tweak the percentages based on what you expect.


5. Take a Stance on Kids and Significant Others

As you go through your guest list, you'll probably focus on the adults you want to invite. What about the extra guests that may come along with them, though: kids and "plus ones?"

Make your rules about this early in the process. Some couples love seeing kids at their wedding, while many couples today have kid-free weddings. It may depend on how tight your guest list is.

Consider "plus ones" as well. Do you allow every single person you invite to bring a guest? Or will you limit them to those who are in long-term relationships?

Your rules on these topics could double your guest list, so it's important to decide where you stand from the start.


6. Consider the Atmosphere You Want

Your wedding is your wedding; it's a day for you and your fiance to have the celebration of your lives. You deserve to have the atmosphere that you want on your wedding day.

Take that into account when you're creating your guest list. Do you want a fun, lively atmosphere? If so, consider whether you want to skip guests who tend to be negative or who may add stress to your day.

Perhaps you want your religion to be a cornerstone of the wedding day. If so, you may want to focus the guest list on those who share your faith or, for guests who don't, give them a heads-up about what to expect.

7. Choose Your Seating Chart Wisely

Creating your guest list goes hand-in-hand with developing your seating chart. You want a wedding where guests are seated with people they'll enjoy so everyone is comfortable.

The easiest way to get started is to use a templated wedding seating chart you can customize. This way, it's easy to rearrange and adjust the chart as needed.

Group guests based on who gets along best with who, and who might have the most in common. It's a good idea for you to do the chart for your guests and your fiance to do the chart for their guests. After all, you each know your own guests best.

To avoid creating more work for yourself, though, wait until the RSVPs are in before you create your seating chart. Otherwise, you'll be re-working it every week until you know who's coming and who isn't.


Using the Top Wedding Guest List Tips to Your Advantage

Your guest list can be a stressful part of wedding planning. You're worried about excluding anyone but you also have limits and budgets to maintain.

The wedding guest list tips above can help you create a well-proportioned list with everyone you love, all with as little stress and work as possible. To bring that same effortlessness to your other planning tasks, check out more articles on our blog.

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Meal Planning Monday

August 2, 2020

Meal Planning Monday is taking a different spin this week. I've largely given it up, while still actually meal planning, during this pandemic. 

To be honest, I've grown sick of cooking. I don't want to decide what to eat or cook. 

Slap on top of that the traditional "we moved 10" that I like to gain, and it's time for more than just MPM. I need to get back to being that health nut I was oh so long ago... roughly 21 months ago. 

Pre-pregnancy, although I did great during that last pregnancy. 

Primarily, pre-move. This past year was rough on me, just like when we first moved to New Iberia. The only issue with the New Iberia move was that I got pregnant after gaining my "sad weight" and never got rid of it. Here we are now, two kids, second move, and I got winded going up stairs at work. 

You might be saying to yourself "Emily you're skinny." That I am - ish. 

But 5 months of pandemic and not eating well the past 12 has not been my friend. 

So tomorrow, Monday, we getting back to healthy around here. 

Here's my way too elaborate meal plan: 

It's the brick system from Christmas Abbott, I'm not saying the name of the book because I don't like the name of the book. However I had a friend do this before her wedding (while I was steading gaining baby with Elliot) and she looked incredible. 

So we gonna kick start it with this, then go back into the Faster Way macros I really loved before/during pregnancy. This isn't flexible. It isn't even that exciting. 

I'm having two "cheat" meals a week, dinner out Saturday and then our traditional Trader Joe's Chinese freezer meals. It'll slow things down a bit, but sometimes that "re-feeding" idea from my Keto days works. Jeremy will do better with two meals a week off. I don't really plan to kill the man for his 36th birthday. 

At the moment I'm baking the egg muffins from the book, they're actually a snack, but I'll be adding fruit and calling it a grab and go breakfast. I think I want to grill the turkey burgers, but ole Jeremy needs to do that when he gets home. 

I won't lie to y'all, meal prepping for yourself is one thing... meal prepping for your husband who won't eat all the health nut food happily is another. One of the first arguments we ever had as a married couple was over whole wheat pasta. 

I'm a former gym rat who lived and breathed by that Abs Diet in college. I'll dive into a crunchy health food rabbit hole quick, see also my kombucha habit. (my primary motivation to live healthy is my family's propensity to diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure, and weight gain) 

Jeremy is naturally thin, he comes from thin people. 

Anyway, I'm rambling and the kids are getting up from naps. I'll update if we died or not next week. 

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