Three Important Considerations For Your Big Day

June 17, 2021


Your wedding day can truly be the happiest day of your life. It is a momentous occasion that you will think about forever and it will surely be one of your favorite memories.


Amid all the excitement, it can be hard to keep track of all of the important considerations for your big day. If you forget to complete a task or organize an essential part of the day, then you may be left feeling very frustrated and disappointed.



The following three points will help to remind you of the aspects of your wedding that deserve your full attention!


1. Wedding Photography


Your wedding photos are one of the key components of your special day. You will want to make sure that your photographer is going to do a perfect job and that you will have amazing photos to keep for the rest of your life.


You can achieve this by hiring a professional who you can trust to create the wedding photo album of your dreams. 


When you are thinking about your wedding photography, you might also want to consider hiring a boudoir photographer.


Boudoir photography is a more intimate way to create memories from the very beginning of your marriage. These photos will feature you in bedroom attire and can be as revealing as you want; it will be a unique and tasteful way to express yourself and celebrate your body.


You may wish to do a boudoir photo session by yourself as a fantastic surprise gift for your future spouse.


2. The Venue


The location of your wedding can make all the difference to how much you enjoy the day itself. 


Choosing a location that will not be difficult for your guests to get to is a must if you want everyone to attend. Getting married in a foreign country sounds exciting but doing so may exclude some of your friends and family from being able to come along. You might find it more enjoyable to do the wedding closer to home and then embark upon an exotic honeymoon afterwards.   


Additionally, you will want to choose a venue that is both beautiful and functional. Make sure there is enough space for all of your guests to enjoy the day comfortably and that the facilities are of the highest standard.


You will also want to confirm what is and is not included when you host your wedding at the venue of your choice. Explore different price packages to find the best fit for your requirements.


3. The Weather


It is obviously not the most exciting aspect of your wedding day, but it is unfortunately important. If you do not plan ahead by checking what the weather is going to be like, then you are risking a possible disaster.


If you have planned an outdoor wedding ceremony on a rainy day, then you are not going to have a good time!


Similarly, if you are going to be inside all day and it is going to be a very hot day, then you may find that you and your guests become uncomfortable. 


Hopefully you will be able to follow all of this advice and have the wedding of your dreams!


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I Do (Want to Travel): Pros and Cons of a Destination Wedding

June 15, 2021

The Covid-19 pandemic is starting to ease and travel weddings are back on the table. The travel wedding industry is larger than many people realize. In a single year, travel weddings are a $16 billion industry.
This should come as no surprise given the many benefits of a travel wedding. Who doesn’t want to get married on a beach in the Caribbean?

At the same time, there are some negatives to a wedding so far from home. Read on to learn the pros and cons of a destination wedding. Explore topics such as destination wedding ideas and locations.



What Are the Positives?


Perhaps the most significant advantage of a travel wedding is the flexibility. You are no longer confined to wedding sites that are within driving distance. You can go anywhere in the world for your special day.

The number of destination wedding locations is endless. Many people choose to go to the Caribbean for a beach wedding. Others fly to Hawaii for a tropical wedding in the Pacific.

Winter or mountainous locations are also trendy. Here, you can enjoy the beautiful scenery of snow-capped mountains. Your guests can ski or snowboard after the festivities.

Another benefit of a travel wedding is the party size. Naturally, fewer people attend the wedding. Many people cannot get off of work or find child care arrangements.

The end result for the married couple is a small wedding. This is intimate and special as the bride and groom are surrounded by only the closest family and friends.

Lastly, a travel wedding combines the ceremony and the honeymoon into one event. Now, you do not have to travel after the wedding.

Instead, you can start enjoying your location immediately after the wedding. Many people enjoy this part of a travel wedding as it eliminates airport stress.

What Are the Negatives?


There are a few negatives to hosting a travel wedding. Perhaps the most impactful is the guest list. Your best friend or favorite relative may not be able to make it.

Another disadvantage is the unpredictability of a travel wedding. It is difficult to plan when you are thousands of miles away. You cannot control factors like weather and issues with customs.

Unlike a local wedding, you cannot stop by for a food sampling or inspect the centerpieces. The good news is that travel wedding resorts are professionals and typically do a great job.

Depending on where you go, there may be a language barrier. You may experience difficulty explaining what you want to the staff.

Lastly, travel weddings pass a significant cost burden onto guests. Instead of a wedding gift, they are now paying thousands for flights and resort accommodations.

Pros and Cons of a Destination Wedding


A travel wedding is great for couples who are laid back. They do not care about every little detail and want to share their honeymoon location with family and friends.

There are some downsides related to planning and weather. However, these cons are not too much to overcome.

If you enjoyed this article about pros and cons of a destination wedding, check out our blog for more great content.  

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A Guide to Aging Gracefully

June 14, 2021

The realization that you are not as young as you once were can be a devastating one. You might have recently discovered your first few grey hairs, for instance, or lines around your eyes that won’t go away no matter how much sleep you have got the night before. Perhaps you find yourself aching more than usual. This horror may send you into a panic and booking Botox treatments and a facelift consultation. However, there are ways in which you can age gracefully and naturally and still look great. 



Haircut and color

Grey hair no longer holds the same stigma of being for elderly people who are ‘past it’. There are now many stunning older women who have embraced their silvery locks; indeed, many younger people are choosing to dye their hair grey as well. Furthermore, switching up your hairstyle to suit your face can dramatically upgrade your appearance, especially if you are still wearing the same hairstyle you had in your twenties. Whether you decide to let your hair go grey naturally or feel more confident in dying your hair, a good hairdresser will work with you to create a cut and color that will make you look and feel at your very best. 

Dental care

Taking good care of your teeth is important at any age, but as your teeth sustain more wear and tear over time, it is important that you take extra special care as you grow older. Brush using fluoride toothpaste to strengthen your enamel and take care not to overbrush, as this can lead to receding gums. Visit your dentist and hygienist on a regular basis for a check-up and deep clean. You may even decide to have cosmetic dental treatment to improve your smile, such as tooth whitening treatments or veneers. Visit bafdentistry.com for more information on dental treatments.

Makeup

As you age, changes in the texture of your skin and your overall coloring can mean that the makeup looks that made you look and feel beautiful in your twenties and thirties are now too harsh on you in your forties, fifties, and beyond. Glitter eyeshadow, for instance, can settle in wrinkles and therefore emphasize that which you would rather avoid. Book a makeup masterclass, or visit a makeup counter in your favorite department store to learn the products and techniques that will best show off your features and make you feel beautiful and confident, whatever your age. 

Exercise

Regular exercise is important at any age to ensure that you maintain a high level of fitness.
However, as you grow older, you might like to rethink your workout routine to incorporate low-intensity exercises that are gentler on aging joints. Swimming is one of the best forms of exercise you can get as although it provides you with a full-body workout, the water cushions your joints, reducing the risk of injuries. Likewise, low-intensity workouts like Pilates and yoga help to increase your balance and flexibility while improving your strength and muscle tone. 

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Camping at Unicoi State Park || Helen, GA

June 9, 2021

This year we headed over to Georgia for our camping week! 

We stayed right outside of Helen at the Unicoi State Park - this is a wonderful park and I'll show you the campsite later on. 


How ya like that camping nap? Don't even ask me how long it took me to get him to lay down and quit fussing. 


We headed into Helen on one of our days, and I'll go ahead and warn y'all... post Covid has his this city. Many businesses aren't open or are closing earlier than they are supposed to due to staffing. One particular restaurant had a 40 minute wait just because they were understaffed. 

Fine and dandy on your own, but with kids I am not doing a long wait. 


The next day we hit up the Cattahoochee National Forest for an easy breezy hike to Anna Ruby Falls. 

This trail is completely paved and people of all ages were there, just be warned that it's kind of on the side of a mountain and the drop from the trail is steep... too steep for a stubborn toddler who wanted to jump to his death. 

Beautiful but nerve-wracking.






There aren't any photos to prove it, but after hiking we ate lunch and headed over to go tubbing down the Chattahoochee River with the kids. Harrison thought it was great - Elliot (as seen below) hated us for this one! 

It was fun, but as a warning for small kids - it was a lot more rough and had several rapids than we expected. I saw a man get tipped out of his tube and struggle to get on his feet and find his tube again. The water was 58 degree and it was 70 degrees outside. The temps weren't painful (the kids tubes had bottoms) but you don't want to be fully submerged in this... and it was moving quite fast in areas. 


On our last full day there we rode out to Cleveland to see Babyland - the Cabbage Patch Kids headquarters. It was interesting to say the least! One cool thing though was that they had several original hand-sewn dolls as well as Andy Warhol painting of the dolls. 



You haven't lived until you've watched a "live birth" from this baby tree. 


After Babyland we drove out to Dahlonega and took the kids to a real gold mine. While there we got to tour the abandoned mine and try out panning for gold ourselves. The name of the gold mine is Consolidated Gold Mine if you are ever wanting to go. 


Theme of this trip - Elliot is not amused with out antics. He really just wants to piddle around the campsite and not see someone operate a 130 year old gold mining jackhammer at 200 feet below ground. 



Now for our the campsite was laid out... 


I brought back out my kitchen tent area. The picnic table was originally off in a strange area so we moved it to where you can see it here. On a tent only site you'd see the table placed better, but this was an RV spot and the tables can be anywhere to accommodate the side of the RV that extends out. 

Now the ice chest is out now, but due to being in a heavy black bear area... this all lived in the trunk while we were sleeping. Like we saw several and one was spotted near us. 


Here's a camping hack for you - I only take a griddle and coffee pot, but we needed to heat up some bbq pork on this trip. Three layers of tin foil shaped into a boil and I had an easy way to heat up the meat without a big bbq mess on my griddle! 



It was a little odd that the RV site didn't have a tent pad. They had a tent specific area, but I wasn't going with it as it was "pack in" area and the bathrooms were a touch of a walk - no bueno. I really wish parks would realize that the tent need the accommodations and the RVs can be more remote. I mean heck most have bathrooms in them, it's all of us tent sleepers that are walking past critters at 2am to potty. 

All that to say, we tossed the tent on a spot that was slightly smaller than our tent but allowed us to stake down on three sides. We probably only lost a few inches all around doing this. On the upside - all the concrete meant that the tent wasn't as dirty when we packed up. 


Last up - the peanut stand close to the camp sells firewood at a good price. There are several different fire ring options, but all of them have the grill rack. If you get a site and have small kids shoot to get on the Big Loop (it's big bend or big creek, I can't remember) it's closest to the creek and playground. 

Well that's a wrap on another week long camping trip! Man I wish we could get out more often, I swear I sleep better in the tent! 

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June Simply Earth Essential Oil Recipe Box || Garden

June 1, 2021

 Another month, another Simply Earth Subscription Box in my mailbox! (and it can be in yours as well if you snatch it up quick!) 


This month's theme is Garden! The box is said to be inspired by the idea of a summer evening spent in the garden. (the theme was chosen by fellow subscribers) 



Let's talk about my favorite part, as always - the oils. 

This month you're getting:: 

Good Vibes (blend) - supports natural hormone production
Lemongrass (single) - calms, warms, cleans
Citronella (single) - calms, repels insects
Mandarin (single) - uplifts, calms, soothes


The extras are a 2 oz spray bottle, floating candle wicks, dried peppermint leaves, and paper board lip balm tubes. 



The recipes this month include a peppermint infused oil, a Bug Off Roll-On, a recipe to make a citronella candle with those floating wicks, lip balm, garden spray, and a diffuser blend. 



Let's walk through what I've made so far this month. 

First up is the lip balm, I wanted to rush it so I haven't made the peppermint oil yet. Instead I used peppermint essential oil from a previous month's box. 




I was curious about the paper tube for lip balm, but I'm actually loving it. This balm is light and refreshing and feels great on your lips. 


Let's not even act like the diffuser blend wasn't next on my list to make - I love a diffuser blend. 

Mainly because I love candles but my allergies don't allow for much. Essential oils though, send them all on because I haven't met one that I can't diffuse. 

This blend combines your Good Vibes blend with Mandarin and Lemongrass. It smells likes summer, that's all I can say. In the most not coconut or sunscreen at all kind of way. Just clean, outdoors but not entirely, and light. 



Last but not least on what I've made so far, Garden Spray. Let's fight the good fight and repel the buggies! I mixed this up and sprayed it all over my lavender, mint, thyme, and basil. 

Unlike what I have treated my garden with in the past, this smells good and you don't feel like you're going to die if you smell it or even get it on your skin! I would love to test it out on a veggie garden (I'm just sticking to herbs this season) to see how well it really repels. 


As always, Simply Earth donates 13% to end Human Trafficking. This month 13% of profits are going to the organization Win This Fight who raises money for organizations that are on the frontlines. 


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

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The End of a School Year

May 29, 2021

 We made it to the end of another school year (for me) and the first for Harrison. 


The two of us celebrated with a pool day! 


Just in the nick of time too, shortly after this the bottom fell out of the sky and the temps dropped in the 70's here! 




The older this kids gets the more I have to work for a real smile. Forced kid smiles are terrifying. 


Seriously, the hoops I jumped through for this. 




That first year of school is in the books! For someone who hated waking up early everyday, he was so sad when we left school on Friday. In fact, on the two half days he kept disappearing and sneaking off to his teacher's class. 


Isn't that what you want though, for them to love their teacher so much that they want to spend time with them. It just shows how much he felt cared for, and he surely was. His teacher has a gift for lower elementary! 

He isn't going to be the happiest with me when he finds out he isn't going to first, but we decided to hold him back. He passed Kindergarten, but with his speech delay impeding his language development and has him a little behind in Reading. I've spoken to so many people who say the same thing, for their son they didn't regret holding them back in K, but many regret not doing so. The fear is that pushing him ahead to 1st before he is really ready (maturity) will do more harm than good. Boys just tend to need more time, especially boys who are "all boy" and need time to work on self control and growing up a bit more.  



Most afternoons I workout downstairs in the kitchen nook while the kids play. On this particular day Elliot ate his snack and watched the Faster Way workout. Sometimes he tries to do the moves, it's hilarious to see. 



And since ole Ellie was the queen of spitting out a dry pill, I leave you with a meme. 


I seriously tried it all with that dog and by the time she hit 10 she wasn't falling for anything. At least she was smarter than my grandparents pug, Puggy, who would hide under the table in plain sight. 

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The Chocolate Chip Cookies - Update 3

May 18, 2021

 I've been making these chocolate chip cookies for several years now. All from a friend telling me she used Toll House with double vanilla. 


The change of vanilla took me down a rabbit hole that I haven't quite escaped. So the cookies have evolved and changed over time and with what new techniques I have learned as I go. 



I think we are at blog published update number 3. 

Chocolate Chip Cookies 

makes roughly 24 small cookies
Ingredients::
1 stick of browned butter
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp white sugar
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp dark brown sugar
1 tsp Mexican vanilla
1 large egg
1 tbsp heavy whipping cream
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 cup + 2 tbsp all purpose flour
1/2 cup mini semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped milk chocolate or milk chocolate chips

Directions::
In small sauce pan, brown the butter on medium heat. You will need to watch it carefully. The butter will froth twice before it is browned and the milk solids start appearing on the bottom. It will smell nutty and change in color to a golden brown. 


If you have time, let the butter come to room temp and solidify. If you are pressed for time, pour the melted butter into a medium sized mixing bowl with the white and dark brown sugar. If you have a hand mixer, use it. If not, a spatula works great with this recipe. Stir the butter and sugar until they are homogenous, you don't want it whipped. 


From here add in the egg, 1 tbsp of whipping cream, and Mexican vanilla. Stir again until it is a homogenous mixture. Don't over mix. 


Next add the apple cider vinegar and stir to combine. Follow this with both the baking soda and baking powder and stir to mix them in as well. 


Begin adding in the flour 1/4 of a cup at a time, I add the 2 tbsp of flour to the first mix - it goes like this (1/4 cup + 2 tbsp, mix. 1/4 cup, mix. 1/4 cup, mix. 1/4 cup, mix) You want the flour combined with the other ingredients before moving onto the next 1/4 cup of flour, but you do not want to over mix this. 


Finally add in your chopped milk chocolate and mini semi sweet chips. Scoop out using a small cookie scoop onto a parchment lined baking sheet and chill for 24 hours minimum. This allows the cookies to meld all their flavors together and taste even better. 


When you're ready to bake preheat the oven to 375F. Bake for 9 minutes, but watch the cookies as they may need an extra minute or two. I let them stay in until the very edge is browning and the centers are still soft. I then take them out of the oven and let them sit on the hot baking sheet for about 3 minutes before transferring them over to a cooling rack. This changes depending on the oven I have used to bake the cookies, so be on the lookout to find your perfect cooking time. 


In this week's batch I even added in a good handful of toffee bits I had left over from something else. (While typing this out I've realized I forgot my HWC last night and today's cookies stand the chance of being brittle due to a lack of liquid in regards to the fat content. We all make mistakes 🤷‍♀️.) The heavy whipping cream is added to this recipe to offset the liquid lost in browning the butter, when you brown butter you cook off most of the water. Hence needing added liquid. If you find any cookies you make aren't chewy and are actually brittle try adding more liquid to the recipe. 


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Meal Planning Monday

May 17, 2021

Summer break is around the corner and that means that eating food off of a plate and not out of Tupperware is on the horizon.  


I can taste the fresh food now! 



Thursday | Chicken Burrito Bowl (I'm going to try and copycat Chipotle) 


Friday | Shrimp & Green Beans Stirfry (no exact clue about seasoning yet) 


Saturday | Eating Out 


Sunday | Trader Joe's freezer meal


Monday | Burger Bowl (lettuce, angus burger, red onion, pickles, whatever toppings anyone wants) 


Tuesday | leftovers 


Wednesday | Sam's Chick-fil-a knock off nuggets and fries (the kids fav and my fav on single mom night) 

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How to Find the Right Wedding Photographer

May 12, 2021

 Someone has popped the question, and the engagement is here. You are well on your way to planning out your dream wedding, on a quest to leave no stone unturned – after all, they say this is the best day of your life, which means naturally you must have the best of everything - the best cake, the best dress or suit, and of course, the best photographer.



 

Otherwise, how will you put up some of the best wedding photos of your big day on Instagram the moment you are back from your honeymoon? As with many wedding services, though, it can be difficult to wade through the sheer volume of options, and for those running on a strict schedule, you want to know what to be looking for right off the bat.
So, with that in mind, this piece takes a look at how you can find the right wedding photographer for you.

 

Ask Friends and Family for Recommendations

 

There is a good chance that your friends or family will have a photographer in mind when you broach the subject of searching for one for the perfect fit for your wedding. It might be that they had wonderful wedding photos and could not recommend their photographer enough, or maybe your friends might have an idea of someone who is a fantastic photographer but only does non-traditional weddings. Ask to look at their photos and their videos if you haven’t seen them already, so you can decide if that photographer’s style is for you, and then you can ask for a casual chat. If you are lucky enough to have a plethora of friends and family, you will probably get a lot of different recommendations, especially if you ask on social media; So, don’t overwhelm yourself and do not choose someone just to keep someone else happy! While your nephew means well wanting your wedding to be his first gig, maybe don’t take that risk.


Choose A Photographer That Knows the Area

 

You will not want a photographer that is out of their depth as much as you are on your special day. Ideally, photographers will know many of the staple wedding locations and the surrounding areas like the back of their hand, which is also great for when it comes to showing you unique and hidden spots to get that special shot! For example, if you are based in Chicago, choosing a Chicago Wedding Photographer should certainly mean they know the area very well and will have past happy couples and clients to prove it!

 

 

Get a Test Engagement Shoot

 

After you have had a one-to-one chat with the photographers and chosen which work and style you like the most, another good idea to confirm they are the right person for your day is to invest in an engagement shoot. This will help give you the impression of what it will be like on the day and what the photos will turn out like. If you do not like the photos, no harm done – after all, there is no limit to how many engagement photoshoots you can have!
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Slow Coffee

May 7, 2021

 I've been constantly trying to figure something out for about two years now, well minus that glorious country wide quarantine time, am I really this busy or am I just not handling it well. 


Am I busier than before, Jeremy has changed careers and where we live has us at a 15-20 minute drive for just about everything. (Don't think I'm crazy, I grew up in a town with three red lights and could walk to school if I wanted.) 




Is it the stage of kids we are in? One is easy to buckle up and drag around town, but the second one adds another five minutes to the buckle up, take out, and all around herding of children that takes place. Is bedtime taking longer or am I just moving slower? 


Why do I have less time? Or better yet, why do I feel like I have less time? 


I know at some point the rush will slow down, as the kids need me less and less my time will once again be freed up. I will cook dinner without standing over a child who is having a fit about the fact that I won't give out popsicles. I won't spend half of bath time mopping water off the walls. People will eventually brush their own teeth, and do it well. 


On thing isn't changing any time soon though, the morning rush. 


Monday to Friday we are in a mad dash. I've got kids that need some sleep, and I do too, so we don't wake up super early for the sake of it. I've got us down to the minute to escape the house. Interstate traffic could actually derail the entire process. So on these days, my beloved coffee is Community Dark Special with stevia and Nutpods creamer. 


It's quick, tastes the same when I am finally able to sit down and drink it at 8:00am as I am taking roll, and it gets the job done. Caffeine ☑️


But those other two days of the week, I don't want that coffee. I want my slow coffee. Nespresso espresso with my foamed oat milk. I want to sit in my cute little chairs in the kitchen nook and drink it slowly in silence without any small people discussing monitor lizards with me. I even wait until I have picked up whatever I am cleaning on Saturday morning before I make it, I have no desire on earth to reheat this coffee and need it at its peak foaminess. 


This slow coffee is what has made me wake up earlier on Sunday mornings. I'll drink my Community Special Dark, but I much prefer to not rush. 


And Sunday friends, it's a RUSH.  This is single mother day 2 of the week and both of those see me driving around on two wheels with the children holding on for dear life. I actually got to church early this Wednesday because I forgot what time services started. Big accidental win! The fact that single mothers leave their house at all is a mystery to me. I just about want to go on lockdown mode when I have to manage everyone alone and be somewhere on time, hence the third child that will never be for us. I can't juggle it. 


But slow coffee, I digress. For my sanity I need these slow coffee days. I need to not rush. I need to capture the essence of the start of this pandemic and go into full shut down mode. Any glimpse of a slow summer morning is a perfect morning in my book. 


Anybody else? What is your version of slow coffee? 

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Meal Planning Monday

May 3, 2021

 This might need to be changed to Meal Planning Thursday - since that's when it actually happens. 



Thursday | Confit Chicken (Issac Toups Cookbook) with Roasted Sweet Potatoes


Friday |  Pioneer Woman Spicy Pulled Pork (first cookbook) with traditional colesalw

Saturday | Eating Out

Sunday | Trader Joe's Freezer Meal

Monday | Grilled Chicken Thighs with Cauliflower Mac

Tuesday | leftovers

Wednesday | Sam's Chick-Fil-A Nuggets with Fries

Lunch -Low Carb - Big Mac Salad
Reg Macro - BBQ Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potato 
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Simply Earth May Essential Oil Recipe Box || Natural Cleaning

May 1, 2021

 This month's Simply Earth Essential Oil Recipe Box is all things soap making and natural cleaning. 

More natural cleaning products is what initially got me into essential oils. The regular sprays you buy at the store had me in a full blown allergy attack by the end of cleaning on Saturday mornings. I started off with Tea Tree Oil about 10 years ago and haven't looked back on how I now clean. 




If you're new to Simply Earth and are just finding my blog, let me fill you in. Simply Earth believes that essential oils shouldn't be confusing, hence the ability to purchase kits from them to help educate you on how to use certain oils. They also offer the option to purchase single oils on their site on their own, or you can add them to your monthly box order and save on shipping. Subscribers get free access to the Essential Oil Hero Course to help you gain confidence and clarity on using essential oils. What I love the most about them though, they sell at honest prices. No MLMs, no mark up for no reason. Just great oils at a price you can stomach paying for. 


Another aspect about Simply Earth that keeps me coming back, they believe in empowering people to make a difference. With their 13% to end human trafficking campaign, Simply Earth donates 13% of their profits to different charities that are working to end human trafficking. In your box each month you'll see a blip about what charity they are focusing on. 



Let's get into this month's box. 


First off the oils included:: 

Tranquility (a favorite of mine from a previous box!) 

Frankincense

Oregano (amazing for kicking sickness) 

Orange



There are 6 recipes included in this month's box as well. You'll be making a Rose Quartz Soap, Sugar Scrub Soap, Herbal Surface Cleaner, Depuff Ice Facial, Let's Be Frank Roll On, and an Unwind Diffuser Blend. 



I love that his month has a mix of cleaning products that range from skincare to home cleaning. My absolute favorite this month is the Sugar Scrub Soap, I love a good scrub and my favorite soap I purchase is exfoliating - so this hits all the marks. 


Follow along with me this week on Instagram (@labride) and I'll be making each recipe in Stories. I'll be sure to save it to a highlight as well! 


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


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Being Proud of My Little Wiggle Worm

April 29, 2021

After the much failed attempt at baseball, we went after karate. 

I'll have y'all know it's going much smoother. He loves it, it's encouraging, his teacher is incredible. The focus is not on how great you kick at for the Little Dragons, but instead they learn self defense techniques while practicing self control, answering up (yes sir), sportsmanship, and confidence. 

This week Harry earned his 5th stripe (The parents have to fill out a form updating the teacher on behavior) and got his first patch for his uniform. 

He was beside himself. 




In the pic below you can see him fiddling with his belt. He was sitting and waiting on his turn to be called up and encouraged by his teacher for his helpfulness. Harrison didn't realize it was a patch week, but has been oh so happy to earn his little electrical tape stripes weekly. 

Then Sensei gave him his fist patch for having five stripes. Y'all he was beaming. Beaming! 


He isn't a child that everything comes easily to. Language acquisition was a struggle. He has some motor skill trouble he is working on with PT and OT at school. He is in speech (and making great growth). But some of the things that are easy breezy (as Harry says it) for others just don't fall that easy for him. But gosh he has such a heart. 

He is kind and loving. He genuinely cares about others and is so happy to celebrate everything for everyone! 

But he is all boy, 100% all boy on top of these things. Sitting still isn't on the menu. He has a thought and must say it now. He is active until he goes back to sleep. 

So with all of that, karate is more and more making me feel like it's the way to go for him. And not just because it is something he wanted to do. 

Throughout class I tried to catch his eye here and there to tap my hands on my lap to remind him to use self control. He needs those gentle reminders during class. Harrison wants to do exactly what he should, but the wiggles get the best of him. Considering he'd be heartbroken if he ever had more than one warning and would have to sit out, I try to silently remind him to reel it in. He's just so excited that sitting during class is tough work. 

But after a class of sitting still as best he could, listening oh so very well, and then getting his first patch... I told him how proud his Daddy would be when we got home and showed him the patch. 

He was beside himself with excitement. Daddy is the ultimate in people who he wants to please. We talked back and forth for five minutes about Daddy and it suddenly hit me. 

I never said I was proud of him. 


I clapped in class and told him he was doing great. I tried to talk up Jeremy since he isn't there with us. 

But I never said I was proud. 

So I said it. 

Harrison's response, "Really Mama?" In his sweet little voice. 


It was a bit of a knock on the side of my head. I encourage him and cheer him on, but he needs the words of affirmation from me as well. I am always trying to tell him how proud other people are and how great he does that I sometimes forget to include myself. He needs to hear that I am also proud of him. 

Heck, my late talker has grown by leaps and bounds and his one big personality quality that is always talked about by his teachers is his kindness. I couldn't have asked God for more than kindness. Inherently kind people are hard to come by and I want so desperately to nurture that so that he holds onto it. 


All that to say, tell your people that you're proud of them. I often forget to say it outright and was reminded of it this week. They need the words of affirmation. 

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A Guide to Keeping Kids Entertained During Weddings

April 26, 2021

Weddings are special, one-off events during which the bride and groom celebrate their love for each other surrounded by all their family and friends – but tell that to kids. At their age, they probably will not appreciate the meaning of marriage and true love, and instead the wedding day can seem a very long day – leading to boredom or overstimulation and the resulting tears or accidents. To ensure that everyone can relax and enjoy this special day, here is a guide to keeping kids entertained during weddings.

 


Hire an entertainer

Weddings often involve a lot of time during which kids are expected to remain quiet and well-behaved. Official wedding photographs, for instance, can take a while to organize and while the best man’s speech might be a particular highlight for you, kids can soon become crotchety. You could hire an entertainer for the reception to keep kids entertained during often lengthy wedding speeches. A magician, for instance, will keep your little ones enthralled with mind-boggling magic tricks. This is a particularly good idea if you are not sure whether the best man’s speech will be suitable for little ears!

 

Gifts

Surprise your young guests with gifts at their table setting at the wedding venue to keep them entertained throughout the duration of the wedding meal. There is a great selection of fun gifts for kids you could consider that will not blow your budget. A coloring book and crayons is always a fun and absorbing option; or a book will keep them quiet for a bit. You might have some young guests who are playing a larger part in your wedding ceremony, such as flower girls and page boys, in which case you might like to surprise them with a larger gift, like a scooter, to thank them for their contribution.

 

Organize a quiet room  

With loud music, sugary drinks, and a general air of high spirits, it can be easy for children to become overstimulated at some point during the lengthy wedding day. This might manifest in different ways depending on the child’s individual temperament. They might, for instance, become hyperactive and potentially cause accidents by running around the room; or they could become grumpy and tearful, and potentially have a tantrum. Either way, organizing a quiet room allows them to take a time out and calm down away from the noise and bright lights of the main reception. For instance, a cloakroom kitted out with soft lights and blankets provides a welcome haven away from the sensory overload.

 

Kids’ table

If you have a number of young guests attending your wedding, you could seat them at a separate kids’ table during the wedding meal. This will give them an opportunity to socialize and have fun with others of a similar age, while also allowing their parents to let their hair down and enjoy the reception. You could even hire a babysitter to supervise them and ensure that they do not become too noisy whilst sat on their own.

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