Meal Planning Monday || Favorite Thanksgiving Recipes

November 22, 2021

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The Old House On Oak || Recent Updates

November 12, 2021

The interesting thing about buying an older home, after owning newer homes, is that your desire to makes changes in greater. 

You want paint to be updated colors. 

Amenities are necessary to your way of life.  

And every time you stick your hands into something else you're quickly reminded that 80 years ago people didn't have the same wants and needs that we do now. 

So far we've painted the exterior and the guest room. Sherman Williams Morning Fog as the exterior, and the interior room we painted is in Sea Salt. The lighter shade of green on the dresser is Privilege Green, while the front door is Fresh Balsam, all SW. 

This past week we updated the fridge (we drink too much water to not have water and ice in the door) and found our there was no water line... so a line was run. 

In true "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" fashion, it didn't end there. 

Hot water has been an issue from day one. After the plumber looked at it yesterday he said what we've got is a 30 gallon tank from 1999 that was not even new at this house, it was previously in a motor home and was made for a motor home... not something on the cusp of 2,000 square feet. Add on top of that the galvanized pipes of old City Park and it's likely 1/3 full of sediment. 

Hence, we never have enough water. 

So, and this is a big so that is half exciting and half terrifying... after much more discussion the entire water system is being replaced. All new pipes and we are going tankless. 

But we won't be able to live in the house for an entire week. 

The projects don't end there, but at the moment everything is else is on the "when we have a free weekend" timer and those are few and far between at the moment. So the next free weekend will include: 

1. German Smear to the front steps (to white it out)

2. Building shutters, and painting them black

3. Wrapping the iron supports in the front of the house to make them look like wood. 

4. Saving up for new living room furniture and eventually getting on the decorating train. 

5. Way down the line... painting our bed and bath. 

And probably painting all the spots around the house were any damage to the new paint is done while the pipes are being changed out. 

Anyone else having heart palpitations? Just me. 

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Meal Planning... Tuesday

November 9, 2021

 Am I organized lately... nope. 

I'm crossing my fingers that now that we've closed on our house my brain will free up space to function properly. 

Thursday | Breaking my one a week rule - eating out

Friday |   Blackened Fish with Rice and Salad (again, memory problems, I don't know what fish I bought) 

Saturday | Eat Out 

Sunday | Mongolian Beef and Sesame Noodles  (with gluten free pasta) 

Monday | Spiced Pork Butt in the Instant Pot with Coleslaw

Tuesday | leftover 

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

Lunch - Taco Salad with shredded chicken (It's day two and I'm already sick of eating it this week) 

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Elliot Turned 3!

November 7, 2021

Our little blonde wild toddler turned 3 last week!

He was on my case for an entire month about having a Halloween Sprinkle Cake, so I delivered (except that I let the ganache cool too much before pouring it over so it didn't drip well) 

Would y'all believe me if I told you he never ate a bite of this cake? He was really just here to have people sing to him. 

I'll post more about the cake in a later post and share what ganache recipe I used, but I might be retiring this for our official birthday cake. Having baked in three different ovens since I originally made this, I just can't get same cake texture I did the first several times. Maybe I need to make it again and work on the oven time. 


For his birthday we replaced their little Power Wheels that had died with one that was made well for driving on grass. He was a tad beside himself with the crazy. His partner in crime was down for the adventure. He cracks me up with how he interacts with our friend's daughter. They don't play at all together and then when we are leaving they are madly in love and talk about each other when we've left. 

Just last night he hugged her and said "Come here Mia! I love you!" 

After cake we headed out to the worst Halloween parade in human history. Walking there with all the kids was fun, but it started an house late, moved insanely slow, and was majority dance lines. 

I heard that there was a medical emergency, so I get that, but it was rough with small people who were sick of the police sirens and lack of candy. 

To show you just how wore out they were, and we left the parade early... this is how they rode home. 

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A Ghost, a Cockapoo, and Spiderman Go Trick-R-Treating

November 6, 2021

Notice the photo bomber in the door? 

Dill fully believes he has to be with the boys at all times. 


Harrison changed masks, I can't exactly blame him. The Spiderman costume had one of those that were tight around your head instead of a mask. 

Also, if this shows you have not together I am since the move (things are slowly coming together)... my pumpkin buckets seem to have vanished. So next best thing, Easter buckets. 

And that wraps another year of Halloween. Which, by the way, I'm considering a huge success because Elliot wore a costume. 
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How to Start Your Family Life Off Well

November 2, 2021

Family life can be difficult, and the transition between your life as a couple and your life with children is often overwhelming. However, there are many steps that you can take to ensure that your family life can start off well and that you have ample time to spend with your family and watch it grow without feeling like you’re missing out. So then, here are some of the best ways that you can make sure that your family life runs smoothly within its first couple of years. 

Photo by Jimmy Dean on Unsplash

Go Self-Employed

One of the reasons that many parents struggle to maintain jobs that have a lot of responsibility attached to them because they need to juggle both their work and their kids. Then, you should consider going self-employed once you decide to go back to work. Self-employment will give you the flexibility you want and deserve and ensure that you only need to take on the jobs you believe you have time for. For instance, the delivery driver jobs that can be found on load boards like Shiply allow you to bid for certain tasks, and, by doing this, you will be able to opt only for the jobs that you want to do, around other commitments like your children. 

Find Childcare 

Whatever you do, it is impossible to be with your children 24/7, and this is not always the best option for them, anyway. So then, you should try to find an excellent childminder as soon as you possibly can. This will allow you to relax in the knowledge that your child will be cared for and looked after if you want to go on a night out or simply enjoy a little bit of time away from your child. To find excellent childcare options, you should ask for recommendations from other parents or ask your family and friends whether they would be up for looking after your baby for you. 

Move to a Great Area

However, to start off your family life well, you need to make sure that you will be bringing your child up in a safe and happy environment. This might mean that you wish to move to an area with a low crime rate with many great schools and nurseries in the area when your child needs them. By moving, you will be able to ensure that you are setting your kids up for life and that they can feel comfortable when they are at home and at school. 


It can be difficult to avoid the inevitable stress that parenting brings. However, it is possible to enjoy the first few months of parenthood calmly. Then, you should try to de-stress by taking the time to care for yourself, even if this is simply running yourself a bubble bath or moisturizing your face. You should also make sure that you seek the support that you need, whether this is in the form of a doctor or just a friend.

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Simply Earth Essential Oil Recipe Box || November 2021

November 1, 2021

 The theme of this month's Simply Earth Essential Oil Recipe Box is right in line with what we are all preparing for - Gift Giving. 

In the box you'll find some oldie but goodie blends along with the items you need to make adorable natural gifts for your family and friends. 

Let's dig into the box. 

This month's oils: 

Winter Spice (blend) - soothes, seasonal aroma - Pregnancy and Kid Safe for 2+

Cassia (single) - supports immunity, calms - Kid Safe 10+

Candy Cane (blend) - holiday aroma - Kid Safe 2+ and Pregnancy Safe

Lime (single) - energizes, cleans - Kid Safe 2+ and Pregnancy Safe

I loved using Winter Spice last year, and have continued to use Candy Cane throughout the entire year just because it has such a clean peppermint scent. 

Cassia is the oil I am most intrigued by this month. I've never use it before now, and it has the best buttery cinnamon roll smell. If you want the smell of cooking an amazing batch of cinnamon rolls without the work, then diffuse cassia. 


Paperboard Lip Balm Tubes

Lavender Buds 

Test Tubes

The recipes are all really great gift ideas this year. 

You'll get a Candy Lip Balm, Forever Thankful Roll-on, Oatmeal Cookie Sugar Scrub, Winter Joy Bath Salts, Air Dry Clay Diffuser Ornament, and Diffuser Blend that comes with directions for one diffuser how to make a master blend to give away. 

I think my favorite for giving away ware definitely the roll-on, sugar scrub, and bath salts. 

The test tubes would make great teacher gifts, and the sugar scrub and bath salts could easily be doubled and put in cute jars. 

Don't forget that recipe box subscribers get access to the Essential Oil Hero Course where you can learn how to use essential oils with confidence and clarity. I know that for myself I didn't put much thought into what was kid or dog safe before subscribing to Simply Earth. It's change how, what, and why I use essential oils in our home. 

As always, Simply Earth donates 13% to end Human Trafficking. This month 13% of profits are going to the organization Jericho Ministries in Honduras. This ministry has a children's school, children's home, and women's workshop. Their focus is to serve those who have been exploited through prostitution and sex trafficking as well as the children of those individuals. 

Head over to Simply Earth to order your JULY box and use the code LABRIDEFREE to get a $40 giftcard towards your next order when you get your Bonus Box! 

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