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Footwear essentials

Posted by Live Love Mom on June 7, 2022 at 11:10 AM Comments comments (264)

By: Rev. Dr. Stephanie Noircent




There are billions of shoes available for purchase in stores. It's easy to get overwhelmed when you're confronted with rows upon rows of footwear. Where do you start? When you have a budget to stick to or you just don't want to clutter your closet, you need to know what you need and stick to it. Here are footwear essentials you will need throughout the year.


Cute boots. Are you going out to a fun party, or just want to look fashionable during the fall? Boots are perfect for this occasion! Whether you prefer ankle boots, thigh-highs or just below the knees, leather or suede boots are a must-have. You can choose the heel you're most comfortable with and try on different styles. You're sure to find one you love, and then you'll have them to wear with a flirty dress, a long sweater, or leggings and a cute top! I would suggest a deep brown or black for the color, since these colors go with everything!


Comfy sneakers. For the sake of your feet, you need at least one pair of comfortable shoes. Whether you're an avid jogger or you have plenty of kids to keep up with, running shoes are probably your best bet. Grab some tennis shoes if you prefer, and get them in a color where they will match almost anything. Often people get grey, black or white in color. If you do get them in white, be sure to keep them clean so they still look new.


Dress shoes. For work is most often when you need dress shoes, but also to wear to a loved one's wedding. Sensible shoes are a must and really show off an elegant yet professional style perfect for a corporate job interview, being a boss babe at work, or having nice footwear at that office party. Preferrably in black or silver, make sure these shoes can match any formal outfit to finish off your look.


Winter boots. Especially if you live where it snows, winter boots are a no-brainer. Depending on how deep the snow gets, you need to get boots made with according height. If you go in deeper snow, get boots that go up to your mid-calf or higher. Make sure they can withstand low temperatures so they keep your feet nice and toasty. A comfort fit is best; you don't want blisters while you're trudging around in the freezing cold. Black would be a good color to go with so it matches everything. It's even better if you have a black winter coat to go with it! If not, you can always get boots that match your coat.


Sandals. During the warmer months where even socks make your feet sweat, sandals are the way to go. If you're on a super tight budget, crocs and flip-flops are sold at the dollar store. If you can go a little higher, Payless Shoe Source has many selections at a great price. If you think ahead, you may even get a discount if you shop for them during the colder months. Get a color that matches the sundresses, shorts or tops you wear during the summer and late spring. 


With all of these choices, you are sure to keep your feet healthy and happy. You won't be scratching your head wondering what shoes to wear, and you'll be covered for at least the rest of the year. Enjoy!

Why People Renew Their Vows

Posted by Live Love Mom on May 30, 2022 at 8:15 AM Comments comments (22)

By: Rev. Dr. Stephanie Noircent



 

Renewing vows can be a choice for couples for many different reasons. Being married is a consious choice to stay with the person you love, every single day. Some want to celebrate that choice after a certain amount of time to show that their marriage is still going strong. Lots of couples decide to renew their vows and here are some reasons why:

The first reason is that, after a couple has children, they want their children to be included in the marriage. Especially in small families, some children never get to attend a wedding until their very own. Not only is this a good teaching oppurtunity for them, but they also get to participate in anything the couple wants: the vows, a sand ceremony, candle lighting ceremony, photos, and more. 

The second reason is financial stability. A lot of times, especially when the couple married young, they were unable to afford the wedding of their dreams. Sometimes they even had family that didn't agree to the union so they had to elope. Some had to get married in a rush, for example if a relative was dying and the couple wanted them to be a part of the big day. Some even have their wedding at the grave of a loved one to include them. Whichever the reason why they didn't get their dream wedding, financial stability affords the couple permission to have everything just the way they want it.

The third reason is that you want to re-live the big day. For most marriages, the sparks dull and there are no more butterflies after so many years. Being in the moment again, feeling giddy about to express your love to your spouse can light up that fire. You will remember why you got married in the first place, and probably get pretty emotional. You even get to ride that wedding bliss high after your ceremony.

The fourth reason is for a second honeymoon. They come after weddings, do they not? So it ties in well to have a vow renewal ceremony before you are whisked away on a romantic vacation. You also get to feel special again, the apple of your spouse's eye and have some amazing wedding night sex all over again.

The fifth reason is that you've hit a milestone. Whether you've been married 5, 10, 20, 25 or 50 years, it's a good reason to renew your vows. Gather your loved ones and have a small ceremony together to celebrate how long you've been together and how much you still love each other. You can have it on your anniversary and it's a perfect way to have an anniversary party at the same time. You can even make it a surprise for your guests.

The sixth reason is that it’s way more fun. There are no expectations and you can make it as untraditional as you want to. You can renew your vows while sky-diving, just the two of you over dinner at a restaurant, a few close friends and family in your backyard. You have complete freedom. This is something the couple usually craves when a parent, relative or friend held the purse strings of their wedding. When someone else is paying or they make you have someone else's dream wedding instead, couples tend to want to take the reins on their special day. This way, they get to take control and have a blast doing it.

The seventh reason is it’s stress-free. There is no stress when things don't go exactly as planned. Wine spilled on your dress? You can laugh it off. Your husband shoving cake in your face? No problem, you didn't just spend hundreds of dollars on makeup. Arrived late? It's more laid-back so the guests will just chuckle about it. It's much more relaxing and you don't have a mile-long to-do list or nearly as much planning to do for over a year in advance.

The eighth reason is that it has more meaning. Your original vows sound much more amazing hearing them the second time around. You can really see how well you stuck to them and how true they are. You can also make your own and add some oddly specific ones, like: thank you for being there when my parent died, do you remember that time our kids ruined your wedding suit 10 years later, etc. 

The nineth reason is simply the love of weddings. Women love weddings, and it will definitely make her day to be able to re-live her wedding day and the excitement of being a bride. Men love weddings too, the husband will also love looking his best in his crisp, fancy suit and watch his beaming wife walk towards him full of love.

The tenth reason is for when the kids have left the nest. Now that the two people are empty-nesters, they can make new vows for each other. Oftentimes, when people get married they have children afterwards. Having children is even mentionned in the vows sometimes, how they can't wait to start a family and hear the pitter-patter of tiny feet. But once those kids have grown up and left to start their own adventures, it's time to remember what life has in store ahead of you. It will just be the two of you living together for the rest of your lives. You can promise to use this time to spend more time together, connect deeply like before you had kids, and go on post-retirement adventures. 

The eleventh reason is to highlight forgiveness. Sometimes, marriages can have some truly trying times. Whether it's infidelity, lying, or general betrayal sometimes the couple chooses to forgive each other and stay together. In these instances, they often want to show their commitment to each other and have a fresh start with renewing vows. You can present a united front and show everyone that nothing will break you apart.

The twelfth reason is that it's a reason to party. Why let all of those wedding items go to waste? Bust out that wedding gown, the wedding suit, the silk floral arrangements you kept, your wedding shoes, and everything you have leftover from your wedding. It's great to up-cycle what you used, but also the perfect excuse to have a party with friends and family.

The thirteenth reason is to show strength and committment after a major event. Whether it was a serious illness, a natural disaster, the loss of a job, a relocation abroad or a child's illness, it can definitely shift the focus of the marriage. A vow renewal ceremony can be a way to reward yourselves for getting through it, and getting through it together. It can also shift your focus back onto your marriage and love life now that the hurdle has passed.

The fourteenth reason is to make sure people who didn't make it to your wedding can attend this one. Whether your close relatives or friends were at the hospital or couldn't afford the tickets to your destination wedding, it's a good reason to have a vow renewal ceremony. They will surely appreciate it and you will have lots of gorgeous photos together and have a wonderful time making memories that will last a lifetime. 

A fifteenth reason is for renewing your vows is to have a formal ceremony. This ties in with the first reason, but after having a casual ceremony with people wearing jeans and a t-shirt, the couple may later either regret that, or still want a formal wedding. The opposite can be true too: maybe instead of a formal wedding they had they would like to have a barefoot beach wedding. 

Either way there are plenty of reasons to renew your vows. If that's what you both want to do, go for it.


How To Make Chocolates At Home With Kids

Posted by Live Love Mom on April 7, 2022 at 3:40 PM Comments comments (230)

Today is a rainy day where I live. My children were bored and I wasn't sure what I could do to entertain them. Then, I was struck with an amazing idea! With Easter coming up, I though it would be great to make chocolates with them!

Here is what you need:

  • 1 large bag of chocolate chips
  • 1 silicone or plastic mold per family member
  • 1 microwave-safe bowl
  • 1 spoon to stir and pour
  • Popsicle sticks (optional)
Directions:

  1. Place everything on a clean surface, like a kitchen counter or a dining room table with enough room for you and your family.
  2. Open the bag of chocolate chips and pour the contents into the microwave-safe bowl.
  3. Heat the chocolate chips in a microwave for 1 minute increments, stirring with the spoon until the chocolate is melted.
  4. Pour the chocolate into each mold.
  5. Have your children stick the popsicle sticks in the center of the molds.
  6. Place the molds in the fridge and refrigerate until solid.
  7. Serve!
I hope you enjoy making this as much as my child and I did!

Have more food craft ideas for rainy days? Comment below!

Cheap Afternoon Wedding Ideas

Posted by Live Love Mom on March 14, 2022 at 9:20 AM Comments comments (55)

By: Rev Dr. Stéphanie Noircent




Not a morning person? Don’t want to spend an extra thousand just to have a sit-down dinner reception? A lunch wedding is right for you!

 

 

Main Menu. Lunch menu will always cost less than a dinner menu. You can have so many different options for your wedding reception when it comes to food. Here are a few ideas:

 

Cocktail hour wedding

Barbecue wedding

Picnic wedding

Cookout wedding

Hors d’oeuvres wedding

Cake and punch wedding

Potluck wedding

 

Guest list. Limit your guest list to your very closest friends and family. This will significantly lower the amount of money you will have to spend for seating, food and drinks, even the size of your wedding cake! Who wants to invite a 4th cousin twice removed that you’ve never met, anyways?

 

 

Cake. You can have the cutest little 1 to 2 tier cake for your wedding. You can have it decorated with fondant, flowers, fresh fruit, or whatever else you want! This allows you to have the wedding cake of your dreams without skimping on the details.

 

 

Decor. When in doubt, go to the dollar store. They even have a party section that includes weddings! You’d be amazed at what you can find for such a cheap price for your wedding. Did someone you know have a wedding recently, and have no idea what to do with her leftover decor? Offer to rid her of it and recycle at your own wedding.

 

 

Flowers. This is also a great idea for the dollar store for silk flowers. Need to have real blooms? If you are a year or more before your wedding, plant your favorite blooms in your own garden. You can pluck your beautiful home-grown blossoms on the day of your wedding and arrange your very own beautiful bouquet! Got just a few months left? Go to a floral shop and never mention the word wedding to avoid inflation.

 

 

Recycle. Use the maid of honor’s bouquets as centerpieces for the reception. Use the aisle runners as chair back decorations at the reception. Use the chairs at the reception for chairs around the tables at the reception. Save time, resources and money with a little recycling. Have a bird cage lying around from a bird you used to have? Use it as a decoration. Have some empty wine bottles you keep forgetting to recycle? Spray-paint them and put a flower in there, and voila; beautiful centerpiece!

 

 

Got any more wedding ideas to share for a gorgeous afternoon wedding? Comment below!

My Nighttime Routine

Posted by Live Love Mom on March 7, 2022 at 8:20 AM Comments comments (4)

By: Rev Dr. Stéphanie Noircent




You saw a few weeks ago a post about my morning routine. I've been asked about my evening and night routine as well. Here it is!


Do laundry. Laundry never ends in this house, with my husband changing three times a day and the kids at least twice a day with their day outfits and pyjamas. Just to stay afloat I have to do one or two loads a day. If I skip a day, then I have to do at least three loads. I'll also do some light cleaning as needed during weekdays and do deeper cleans on weekends. Simple things such as wiping counters, sweeping, and dusting.


Pick kids up from school. I leave about 40 to 30 minutes in advance to make sure I get a parking spot by my childrens' school. I either knit or scroll on my phone while I wait while listening to the radio. When the bell rings, I'll go to the fence and wait for my children to come out of school. I help them in the car, buckle them in, and head home.


Help with homework. I check the kids' agendas which indicates any homework they have. I sign permission slips, read notices for me, and get out the kid's materials for homework. I'm also able to check their lunchboxes to make sure they ate well, and dispose of any trash and put away leftovers.


Make dinner. My husband loves to cook so most of the time he is the one that makes dinner. However, I will also cook when I can. The easiest for me is to have a crock-pot going during the day. I would also grill some chicken and boil some veggies, make a pasta dish, whatever my family needs.


Check email. I see if I got emailed for appointments, or statistics for my blog, or anything else that might be pertinent or important. My grandparents still communicate by email as well so I want to make sure I am able to reply messages as soon as I get them.


Say goodnight to friends and family online. I do some online gaming, so I let those people know when I am leaving to go to bed. I let my friends and family know as well and I tell them goodnight. 


Spend time with kids. The kids often ask me to play with them with either barbies or stuffed animals. They also like running around, dancing together, anything we can do together as a family. We take the time to connect.


Close blinds and curtains. Especially in winter, it gets dark very fast. I close blinds and curtains to maintain our privacy. If it's December, I'll switch on the Christmas lights and the Christmas tree lights as well. 


Lock doors & windows. This is not only for our safety, but for our comfort as well. A strong gust of wind has blown out door open before, and we don't want bugs getting in and our dog running out into the street.


Give kids a bath. It can be a shower too, depending on what they prefer. Sometimes they can spend an hour in the bathtub playing with their toys, the kids can be real mermaids. They love the water so much!


Put kids in Pyjamas. After they're all clean and dried off, it's time for pyjamas. They like to pick their favorites and then we put them on. 


Take a shower. It's my turn to get clean! I'll take a shower and wash my face in there at the same time. I'll make sure to condition my hair after washing it so it looks good and feels silky smooth once it dries.


Skin care. Since my face is washed, it's bare and anything can get in there. I usually will then remove blackheads and pop pimples and whiteheads from my face if there are any. Then I'll use an oil cleanser to remove any leftover makeup. I'll use a serum and some eye cream before putting on my night cream. If needed, I'll pluck some stray eyebrow hairs. I'll dry off and put on my pyjamas after this.


Brush teeth. This is a family affair, we all get into the bathroom and brush our teeth.The kids have a stool so they can see themselves into the mirror. We brush, floss, and use mouthwash. I make sure my kids brush properly so their teeth are nice and clean.


Have kids use the bathroom. In case they forget, I remind them they need to use the bathroom before they go to bed. Even when adults don't pee before bed, they can wake up soaked in their own urine. So once this is done, I know it prevents accidents and many loads of laundry.


Cuddle in bed with kiddos. The kids have been co-sleeping for a while now, and I honestly don't mind it. We'll get in my big queen-sized bed and cuddle together and give each other kisses and hugs. Most of the time they just want to play and jump around so my husband does what we call the baby-wrangling. Once they're in bed, I tell my kids how proud I am of them and how they are amazing people. I find it's very important for their sense of self-esteem and self-worth. 


Tell the kids a story or sing them a song. Depending on what they prefer, they will ask me either to sing a song for them or they'll give me a topic for me to tell a story about. I could write thousands of children's books with how often I have made up stories out of thin air for these kids. 


Wait til kids are asleep, put them in their beds. Once the kids are asleep, I let my husband know and he picks them up and moves them to their beds. They often stay asleep so this isn't an issue at all. He closes their doors so the dog doesn't wake them up in case she barks during the night. 


Alone time with husband before he falls asleep. Often we use this time to watch an episode of our favorite television show we can't watch with the kids around, or we'll sit around and talk and cuddle. If we're too exhausted, we'll just cuddle and kiss before bed.


Set my alarm. This is on a school night so I can wake up on time to do it all again and be awake on time to get myself and the kids ready for school and off to school on time.


Check blog. I check on my blog and sometimes write posts before I go to bed, or work on graphics. 


Watch TV episode or movie while cuddling with dog. My dog is very social and loves to be around people. She will jump up next to me and cuddle with me under the blanket I have set on my lap. Often I will do something with my hands while I watch TV, such as knitting or making cards for family.


Bedtime. I tell my dog to go to bed, take my multivitamin, and head to bed. I closed all my internet tabs by now and often put my devices on chargers so they're ready for use during the day. I post on my instagram or schedule a post and then I'm ready to drift off into dreamland.


What does your nightly routine look like? Comment below!

Have A Frugal Morning Wedding

Posted by Live Love Mom on February 28, 2022 at 8:20 AM Comments comments (7)

By: Rev. Dr. Stéphanie Noircent




It’s always been cheaper to have a wedding in the morning. Lots of weddings are booked for the afternoon and evenings, so morning spots are wide open. You don’t have to have a sit-down dinner, you can serve wonderful fresh baked goods, sweets and ripe fruit. Not sure how to get started? Here are some tips and ideas on how to throw a frugal morning wedding reception.

 

 

Meals. You can serve breakfast or brunch. You can make pancakes in bulk, french toast galore, pile on the sweets with doughnuts and danishes, waffles with all of your favorite fruits, potato skins, sausage, bacon, eggs, omelettes, and more! Let your imagination run wild.

 

 

Cake. You can get creative with your wedding cake. You can have a pancake cake, waffle cake, french toast cake, muffin cake, donut cake, and whatever else you can think of!

 

 

Drinks. So many drink ideas! Serve mimosas, sparkling juice, even smoothies! You can even have tea, coffee, lemonade, fruit juices, milk, and whatever else your heart fancies.

 

 

Decor. With the bright light of the outdoors, you won’t need any artificial lighting. It’s common to decorate with pastel colors like you would if you were going to a tea party. Add lots of flowers and you can’t go wrong. To save money on blooms, buy in-season, or silk at the dollar store.

 

 

Do you have any advice to offer? Comment below!

Get ready with me! My Morning Routine

Posted by Live Love Mom on February 21, 2022 at 8:20 AM Comments comments (3)

By: Rev Dr. Stéphanie Noircent




Get ready with me! Here is my morning routine that I try to stick to as much as possible, whenever possible. Of course, sometimes there are appointments thrown in there or it's the summer so the kids have no school. Here is what my morning routine looks like most of the time.


Get dressed. I often just grab what's available and matches with the season. Pants and a long shirt for the winter, shorts and a tank top or T-shirt for spring, a dress for summer. Sometimes I put some thought into it and grab something pretty, especially on a special occasion or if I just want to look good.


Wake kids. Often times my oldest child is already awake, so I will have to wake up my youngest. I try to gently wake her by opening the door and going about my business, but sometimes I also go into her room. I rub her back gently and talk to her softly, and sometimes I crawl into bed with her and give her cuddles and kisses. She is always happy to see me and very affectionate and I love it. My oldest often crawls into bed with me very early in the morning, so I get to cuddle and kiss her and keep her warm before it's time to wake up. Once they are up, I make sure they remember to go to the bathroom and I give them their daily multivitamins.


Skin care. I start by washing my face to get rid of the dirt, grime and oil from my face. I do this by double-cleansing, using a water-based face wash and then an oil-based to make sure all makeup is removed, even waterproof. I put on some serum, and then I put on my day cream for the day. I also use sunscreen, but usually later on in the day. 


Makeup. I have a fairly rapid makeup routine since I am in a rush to get the kids out the door. I use a fiber lash mascara to lengthen my lashes, and sometimes a thickening mascara to make my lashes appear thicker. I then put some eyeliner on the outer upper corners of my eyes to give the illusion of a thicker lashline. I then put some chapstick on and some lip gloss, and I'm done. 


Hair. I brush through it thoroughly and then put it into a simple do. Most of the time I pull it back in either a low or a high ponytail. Sometimes I'll use a half-up half-down style, pulling the top half and tying it back to keep it off of my face. 


Breakfast & Feed kids. My husband often takes care of breakfast, but I do also prepare cereal, french toast, eggs, or a fruit salad for my kids. It depends on what they feel like eating, and also what's available in the fridge at that time. I know my youngest loves strawberries and raspberries, and my oldest loves grapes and apples. My husband and I set the food on plates for them and we all eat breakfast together.



Brush Teeth. Once breakfast has been eaten, it's time to brush our teeth! My husband, my kids and I brush our teeth thoroughly, then floss, then use mouthwash. Sometimes the kids put up a fight and say they don't want to brush their teeth, but this is usually because they have decided they want to drink milk or juice. They would know that it would taste weird after brushing thier teeth.


Dress kids. The kids often pick their own clothes, but most of the time at least one of them is evasive and doesn't want to get dressed. I bring them the clothes if they haven't picked it out already and help them put it on if they haven't done it already. It helps on cold winter mornings if my husband runs the clothes through the drier for a few minutes.


Prepare kid's lunch. My husband has been kind enough to make my kids sandwiches at the same time he makes his. So what I do is that I take my oldest's lunch box and fill it with a portion of fruit, a portion of vegetables, some cheese and a drink. It's often either milk, juice, or drinkable yogurt. I put in a cold pack, zip up the lunchbox, and put it in her backpack. I do the same for my youngest.


Kiss husband. I don't ever want my husband to feel left out and I want to give him a healthy dose of love before he heads out for work. I always kiss him before he heads out. We make a point to kiss every morning. If it's a weekend and he happens to be working and the kids are asleep, he will sneak back into the bedroom to kiss me before he leaves. So cute!


Put outerwear on kids. Whether it's a hat and sunglasses for summer or the full snow gear kit, it's the time when I start bringing the outerwear to my kids and help them put it on if needed. I help them find their favorites if we have time if that's what they request. 


Drive them to school. I get the kids in my van, secure them, and I get in myself, put my seatbelt on, and drive them to school. They often like music to be played so I turn on the radio. If it's snowing out, the kids love to help me clear the van's windshield and windows and mirrors from snow. 


Check emails. When I get home I check my emails to see if there are any messages from my kid's school. Sometimes I do this before headed to school in case there is a snow day, depending on what the weather is like outside. I have started checking my email many times a day since it,s the main way my husband communicates with me during his lunch break.


Work on blog. Either now or later is when I start working on my blog. I write and schedule posts, make graphics, check traffic and moderate comments. 


Eat lunch. I make myself some lunch, often something small and simple. My dog loves following me around everywhere and I'll give her some meat scraps. I also check her water dish and food bowl and change her pee pads as needed.


Run errands. If there are groceries to be done, perscriptions to pick up, or call-backs to be made, then this is when I do it. Sometimes it's also early in the morning, it really depends. But I try to do it before I go pick up the kids from school.


There you have it! That's my morning routine. What's yours?

Wives Offer Advice For A Cheap Wedding

Posted by Live Love Mom on February 14, 2022 at 8:20 AM Comments comments (10)

By: Rev Dr. Stéphanie Noircent




Are you unsure on where you can cut the costs of a wedding? Are you confused as to how you can have an affordable wedding? Are you looking for advice on how to keep your low-budget happy? Real wives offer real advice about how they kept their wedding cost low.

 

 

silverchick_8 says:

 

We are making our own invitations.. We need over 100 so we went to Wal-Mart (they have really cute ones, mine has daisies on them!) and we are printing them out ourselves. That will save you SOOO much money.. I want just a real simple bouquet with daisies so I’m getting them from a grocery store instead of a florist… Also, get creative w/ your centerpieces and favors.. All of that adds up!!

We aren’t doing this, but I know of people that ask their guest to bring a covered dish instead of a gift! So that would cover your food cost. Good luck!

 

 

Leah says:

 

If you want a small intimate wedding you can definitely do it without paying a ton of money. Here are some ideas:

 

Consider having a backyard bbq after the wedding instead of renting a huge hall.

Ask family members or friends to help you out on things like decorations and photos – that can save a lot of money.

Visit Hobby Lobby or a similar store in your area. They have tons of wedding and bridal stuff at a fraction of the cost.

Get original. You know you don’t need a chocolate fountain. Maybe you know someone who makes fabulous chocolate cupcakes. This would give a more intimate and personal touch than the $700 fountain.

 

 

iloveweddings says:

 

Hi and congratulations on your upcoming wedding! I love small, intimate weddings. They are my absolute favorite. Yes, I have LOTS of ideas for you….

 You are already on the way to a “budget” wedding…(I prefer the word “budget” not “cheap”!) by knowing you don’t want anything elaborate.

 ~ You won’t have bridesmaids or groomsmen….so you will save lots right there (stress, and money!)

 Church:

~ I would “decorate” the church with some flowers on the altar. Go to a dollar store, Walmart or a second hand store like Goodwill and buy 2 large vases . Go to Walmart or Costco and get 2 dozen roses – $10/dozen. Arrange the roses in the vases and place them on each side of the altar. Or…depending on where you live and when your wedding is, maybe get a couple of flowering plants. That would look nice also. I definitely would “decorate” the church a little with some flowers on the altar.

 ~ Involve your family and friends in your wedding if you want….have them do a reading or read a poem.

 ~ Ask each of the guests to say a few words about the couple, or ask them to write a few things down ahead of time, and assemble them into a document for one person to read aloud.

 ~ Make your wedding program more substantial, more of a booklet and keepsake. Include messages to each of the guests and explanations of why you chose your flowers, readings, colors, music, etc. You can name every person who will attend the wedding individually in the program, commenting about them something that is special to you. For example:

“To Uncle Joe and Aunt Thelma, we thank you so much for the enthusiasm you brought to this day. We hope to capture the passion for life that you have shared in your 35 years together.”

 ~ Music for ceremony: I would definitely want music, no matter how small it is! What about a guitar player? Violin soloist?

 ~ Get a small bouquet for your and a boutonniere for your groom.

 What I would suggest would be to have your church ceremony and then you have a couple of options for the reception:

1. Have something in the church fellowship hall if one is available.

2. Have a dinner at someone’s home or backyard.

3. Reserve a private room at a nice restaurant.

 ~ I like the idea of the private room at a restaurant the best!

~ Talk with the restaurant manager to see what you can set up.

~ Have nice table linens (most nice restaurants have these anyway).

~ Perhaps choose 4 or 5 items from the menu…and then make up your own menus (without prices), print them off on nice paper (Walmart or Dollar Store) and place them at everyone’s spot.

~ I don’t know how many people you are having or how many tables you will be having, but I would definitely do a nice flower arrangement on each table. It doesn’t have to be elaborate….a few roses (or another flower that you like…tulips? gerbera daisies?) in a small vase. Place it on a mirror tile and put a few votives next to it. This looks very elegant and doesn’t cost much. If you are having roses, you can always sprinkle a few extra rose petals around.

 ~ I would definitely try to have some music ….an ipod? Check with the restaurant…but it would be nice to have some soft music playing.

 ~ I am not one usually for “favors”, but just to make your tables look even more elegant, you can always buy the little frame/place card holder. These are available at Dollar Tree and Walmart. It would be nice to set up place cards for your guests. And then this also serves as a “favor.” Just an idea.

Don’t forget the cake! Go to a bakery in a grocery store…much cheaper than a regular bakery. Or, maybe the restaurant can supply one.

Remember a “budget” wedding is not a “cheap” wedding. There is a difference! You can have a beautiful, elegant wedding on a budget.

 Good luck and I hope you have a beautiful day and a happy marriage!

 

 

LOVE BEING A MOMMY says:

 

Well, without bridesmaids you cut down a lot and without a lot of people you cut down even more. I have to honestly say that the biggest expense is food for all the people…even 10-15/ person is costly if you have 150 people. That’ll also save you on flowers (if you have one or two or no bridesmaids). you have to also consider if you’ll have a dj or band, where your reception will be and things like that. A park venue is pretty inexpensive. Actually the most expensive thing is your reception. If you’re having it in a church try to have in close to a holiday…the church may already be decorated. So yea…that’s just some. I have an awesome book that I got for $1 on amazon.com. Its old but it has big money savers!

 

 

Mac says:

 

Make your own invites

Find a cute cheap dress – David’s Bridal has those $99 gown sales

No alcohol or bring your own

Just have a little light dinner for the reception

Our church didn’t charge us a dime, b/c we were attending there on Sunday’s and for counseling – then we rented out the Community Center for $50 for the reception. It was a nice, small wedding, maybe 75 people or so.

Have a family member or friend take pictures

 

 

emmiegsmom says:

 

Their are many ways to keep a wedding inexpensive but usually the most expensive thing is the reception or the “food”. Have you decided what you want to do as far as that goes? You said you dont really want any bridesmaids but that doesnt really cost any money. You have to decide about flowers, the cake, photography, videography, the transportation or limo, the site of the reception, the food, the dj or band. I got married in a catholic church and we had to make a “donation”of $500 to the church and $250 to the organist. A gown you can get pretty inexpensively. I know that David’s Bridal are always having $99 gown sales going on. But then you have to consider your veil and your shoes? What about your hair and your makeup? You can definately do that yourself or a friend can do it to save money. You have to break down all the aspects of the wedding and decide exactly what is important to you and what isnt. The things that are important to have, then just work them out in a way that will be affordable for you. For example: you could have the reception in your familys backyard and keep the guests at a minimum, you could ask a relative or a friend to take pictures instead of hiring a photographer, the same as with a videographer. I also made out own invitations for the wedding. I got the plain invitations and worded them as Iiked, printed them out and decorated them and addressed them myself. That definately saved me about $300 doing it myself. I also made my own favors, almond joy bundles and candles wrapped in lace with ribbons in the bridesmaids dress colors. You can definately do it if you put your mind to it. Good luck!

 

 

#2 in the oven says:

 

dresses- David’s bridal has lots inexpensive. even better Target sells some online. seriously.

Invite the people you want there really. Do invitations yourself. You can get a kit at Michael’s or AC Moore and use a coupon from Sunday paper for like 40% off. You just print them using your computer. I did and it looks great. I bought a stamp and wax that I sealed the envelopes with, and made them look a little unique.

Why not go to a really nice restaurant instead of reception. Find a local non wedding baker. most likely they can do a simple two or three tier cake. know anyone that always seem to have good pictures? ask them to take the wedding pictures. be inventive and positive. I had a wedding with 150 guests for under $3K. It is possible. We catered it ourselves with food from Sams club. Hired a friend to be the buffet attendant. simple flowers or do the flowers yourself.

 

 

Lily says:

 

Im not married yet, but im planning a wedding and yes they are so expensive. But you have already eliminated so much of your costs by not having a bridal party and having a small intimate ceremony. The one thing im not really worried about is my dress. I didnt get one yet, but my friend just got hers for $99 at Davids Bridal. Its plain and simple, but she loves it. I have found dresses I liked for between 200-400 which i dont think is bad for a wedding dress. I am getting married in my fiancee church and the only thing we have to pay is 100 for the preacher and 100 for the organist. Good Luck!

 

 

laseter says:

 

as quickly as we’ve been given married we had not something! heavily! We had our wedding ceremony exterior in a beneficial little corner surrounded by using timber and flours out in the midst of the woods. It become an previous living house that had fallen down years earlier and the flowers have been nevertheless there. It become purely close kin and decide acquaintances. Afterwards we had a huge cookout at our abode and invited each and all the acquaintances and kin that we knew to cookout burgers and canines on the grill. so some distance as a photographer is going, it form of feels there is one in each and every kin. i’m beneficial you ought to locate one close that could supply you a coupon or possibly even barter with you for his or her centers. you’re arranged to get the cake this way as nicely. The preacher would or won’t cost based. there are a number of value reducing measures you could take with somewhat simple experience and a thrifty strategies-set. Congratulations and robust success!

 

 

Angie says:

 

Four months ago, I was the same as you. I wanted cheap and simple. The more you look at stuff though the more you realize, no matter what you are going to spend some good cash. Depending on how many guests. We are having the most simple wedding possible and we are up to 4000 with 150 guests. I heard that now is the time to shop for dresses, since it’s their off season they are at the lowest prices. As for everything else, try online stores for things as well as in your town, sometimes they have good bargins.

Good luck.

 

 

Vanessa says:

 

Why don’t you buy a second hand dress, or order one from target…

The fees will be minimal to get the preacher at your church to marry you in the sanctuary… maybe a couple hundred dollars.

Follow-up the ceremony with a simple cake and punch reception. If you do not want to pay for a designer cake, you can serve cupcakes, or get a local bakery at your grocery store (Sams club or costco are good too) to bake a cake for you. At the reception you can have punch, coffee, cake, and possibly some nuts, mints, and a veggie tray/cold cuts, fruit, etc. These are all things that a local grocery store could cater for you.

 

Best wishes!

 

 

DJtraper29 says:

 

For the dress you should go to bridal shops in your area and look for an off the rack dress. You can get them really cheap. I was going to get married in December and I bought a beautiful dress off the rack for $200.00 it has a long train and lots of detail, the only problem is that I am no longer getting married in December I am getting married in June and having an outdoor wedding so a dress with a long train is out of the picture. I am actually looking to sell the dress that I bought if you are interested email me and we can work something out. My other suggestion is to look at bridesmaid dresses and see if one will work for you, a lot of them come in white or ivory. I found a Jordan Fashion dress that I will be wearing for my wedding, it is a bridesmaid dress but there is no reason it cant be a wedding dress for me.

 

 

nova_queen_28 says:

 

The most expensive part is going to be the food. Right off the bat, fewer guests to feed means less expense.

Do a brunch of afternoon reception with snacks only and you’re saving even more money.

Avoid alcohol and you’ll save more.

 

 

Jo-Jo says:

 

A good tip I can offer from my own wedding is try to find a place where you can have both ceremony and reception at the same location. [I had mine in the same room] This way you won’t have to pay for two separate locations and you can get right down to eating after the ceremony.

 

 

*~*Jon-Jon’s Mommy!!*~* says:

 

i’m the opposite of that but what i am finding is that my budget keeps getting bigger by the day with unexpected expenses. one way to cut cost would be to get married after the typical wedding season- which lasts from june til october. i’m getting married in november so i’ve been able to negoiate some deals that way. also you can have someone you trust and who’s food you love cater the event. you can not have any bridesmaids or flower girls.



Missy Me says:


MANY WAYS TO SAVE!!!

www.orientaltrading.com – favors, bridal party gifts & needs, as well as wedding & reception needs

Reception – Afternoon reception is cheaper than a dinner gathering; cash bar (with a wine or champaign toast ) is cheaper than open bar; family member to dj; find a good family member to be your photographer.

 


Utopia says:


Vegas!



Tater says:


Well there’s always David’s Bridal



Do you have any wedding advice to give to future brides and grooms about cost-cutting wedding tips? Comment below!

I Had A Phantom Pregnancy And This Is What Happened

Posted by Live Love Mom on February 8, 2022 at 8:20 AM Comments comments (19)

By: Rev Dr. Stéphanie Noircent




I've had a hysterical pregnancy before. When I was 14 years old I was raped. I was told repeatedly by hospital staff after the rape kit, and my parents that I could be pregnant even though I insisted I wasn't­. Their constant repitition made me believe it, even though the pregnancy test came back negative and my period came.


My body began changing. My belly became bigger, I didn't have my period for a while, my breasts grew, and I even started producing breastmilk. I picked out a name and I dreamt about a baby boy. It wasn't until I had an x-ray done and I asked the person if they could see a baby, that I realized I was never pregnant. She said my uterus was very small so there was no way I could be pregnant, or had been pregnant recently. What else was weird?


About 10 months after my rape, I woke up from a deep sleep to painful cramps and contractions. I knew I wasn't pregnant and couldn't be pregnant, but my body still went through false labor. Luckily it lasted only an hour or so, and not the several hours or days that labor usually lasts. It was pretty scary to wake up in that much pain and not being sure what was going on. Hysterical pregnancies can often be caused due to trauma, and mine was probably my body's traumatic response to the rape. It did feel like a loss, because I did believe I was pregnant because of how drastically my body changed just like pregnancy.


For many years it was hard for me to admit that my pregnancy was hysterical, because I felt shame. I felt as if I was stupid to believe I was pregnant even though I had a negative pregnancy test and my period came. I didn't want people to think I was stupid or crazy. I'm at a place in my life now where I feel comfortable enough to talk about it, because it does happen and it isn't often talked about.

Frugal Makeup For Brides

Posted by Live Love Mom on February 1, 2022 at 8:25 AM Comments comments (3)

By: Rev Dr. Stéphanie Noircent




Why waste time worrying about how you will afford a full-priced makeup artist? These looks can be done by any makeup professional, even students!


 

Steps to achieve the look of your dreams:

 

-Look up the makeup style that you want on a search engine images. Browse Pinterest and makeup pages until you find the one that is perfect for you!

-Print out your look.

-Look up makeup artist schools and beauty schools. Select one closest to you.

-Make an appointment with a teacher and ask if any of the students would be interested in their first gig. This would allow them to have clients on their portfolio and when they graduate, they will already have some experience!

-Find a student that is willing, and negotiate a price with them. It should be substantially lower than a full-priced graduate!

-Show the student the photos.

-Relax and count down til your wedding is here!



Here are examples of beautiful yet simple looks for your gorgeous wedding:

 

Natural look features makeup done to compliment and mimic your skin tone. You would use a lipstick shade similar to yours with a clear gloss, some eyeshadow slightly darker than your complexion, some contouring and highlighting and some blush.

 

Cat eyes includes winged eyeliner and strip lashes to really give you eyes that pop. 

 

Eyeshadow in different colors can make the colors of your bouquet pop, and bring out the natural color of your eyes. 


Smokey eye is a more seductive look that makes your eyes appear bigger and it's a more dramatic look.


 

If you are good at doing your own makeup, you can always search for makeup tutorials. There are thousands on Youtube alone. Type in what you’re looking for, whether it’s with blue eyeshadow or fake lashes, and you are sure to find your perfect look!

 

Do you have any ideas for frugal makeup for brides? Share below!

10 things you probably do not know about me

Posted by Live Love Mom on January 25, 2022 at 8:00 AM Comments comments (10)

 By: Rev Dr Stéphanie Noircent




I share a lot about myself on this blog. I feel comfortable being myself and coming out of my shell through writing. There are still a lot of things to know about me. Here are 10 facts about me that you probably don't know unless you're in my immediate family.

 

Never broke a bone. The closest I came was a chipped tooth and bruised ribs. I'm not sure if it's because my parents encouraged both my brother and I to drink at least one glass of milk a day, but he and I both have never broken a bone in our bodies. It's pretty incredible since I fell off a horse, fell off my bike at a high speed and jumped off from a high tree, as well as flew straight into the air after jumping off a swing while swinging the highest possible. I easily could have broken a bone if my bones were less strong, but miraculously I never broke a bone.

 

Weight struggle. I struggled with my weight starting when I was about 12 years old. I was told by my pediatrician that I was about 25 lbs overweight and needed to lose some weight. It wasn't until he said this and I went back to school, that I started noticing that the girls in my school were skinnier than I was. I was 165 lbs and my doctor wanted me to be at 145 lbs max. The first time I was able to lose weight, I did some simple changes. I stopped taking seconds during meals, and I didn't finish my plate if I wasn't hungry anymore. I would serve myself smaller portions, and I started walking the dog twice a day and I went on a 20-minute run with him. While watching TV after finishing my homework, I worked out. I did lunges, sit-ups, push-ups, and squats. I became so good at it that I beat the boys in both track in gym class and push-ups and sit-ups. I did reach 140 lbs but only for a day. I fluctuated between 141 lbs and 150 lbs throughout the rest of my adolescence, but once my doctor saw me he knew I was at a healthy weight and he didn't bother me with losing weight again. I stayed around the 150-155 lbs range until my first pregnancy. 


I prefer horror movies. This started in my teens. My parents liked watching scary movies, and my brother would jump-scare my mother and I by hiding in places and jumping out and yelling. After years of this, I eventually became immune to jump-scares, I just looked at him like ''really, again?'' so he stopped because it was less fun for him, but he kept going with my mom. Watching scary movies I watched my mom jump, or even a boyfriend or friends jump while I stayed calm the whole time. I watched a bunch of scary movies to see if any could scare me, and I have yet to find one. I like them because they don't give me jump-scares and I am one of those people who can watch it without having nightmares or being afraid. If anything, it's the gorey movies I don't like because I am empathetic and it just makes me cringe.


My favorite holiday is Halloween. When I was a teen I got into wearing black clothes, eyeliner, the typical goth attire. My parents vehemently disapproves when I would do makeup on my face that wandered from my eyes. My mother even forbid me to wear eyeliner under my eyes because she didn't like the way it looked. I noticed people who dressed like me and liked the same music also enjoyed halloween, but I started enjoying it more because it was the one day my mom let me go crazy with my makeup. I could paint my entire face if I wanted to. So, I began to see it as the only day of the year I was allowed to fully express myself. To this day, I still dress in costume every Halloween, and I probably will even when my kids reach adulthood. You can be whoever you want and you get to play dress up! What isn't fun about that!?


I'm a dog person. I grew up around cats and dogs my entire life, but ultimately I am a dog person. The main reason is because I hate cleaning cat litter, it stinks and becomes expensive to have to change out the entire litterbox weekly. At least with dogs, they do their business outside and I never have to clean up their pee (at least with big dogs). I prefer big dogs too, because I found out that smaller dogs often need pee pads and that is something I wasn't expecting. I would rather go outside with a plastic bag and pick up dog poop twice a day than to change the litter daily for poops and pees every day. Plus it's all outside, so it doesn't stink up the house. If someone else were to change the litter every day and replace it, I would probably perfer cats. I do like that they aren't always all over you and it makes the time they want to be with you that much more precious. I like their independence.


My dream was to be a doctor. I wanted to be an artist at first, but my father shot that idea down saying that artists don't make enough money to make a living. It was a real soul-crusher, but I knew in my heart that I wanted to do something that would help people. I thought maybe art therapy, but I did some research and I found that the medical field had a high demand. I wanted to be many things in the medical field, but the main thing I wanted to be was a doctor. If I dared to dream further, I wanted to be an OB-GYN. I wanted to deliver babies amd care for pregnant people. However, the hours and hours of work with little pay didn't mesh with my desire to start a family in my 20s. So, I never became a medical doctor, and I never will be. I thought about possibly being a physical therapist or an ultrasound technician, and I even went to nursing school for a bit. I did complete a doula course, so the pregnancy and birth aspect was still there and fulfilled. In a sense I did become a doctor, a reverend doctor. In small ways I accomplished my dream; I am a reverend doctor, I am a doula, and I have nursing experience.


I used to hate documentaries. They were the most boring types of movies ever, when I was younger. I was, and still am, very much into action movies. It's all I would watch for a long time, I liked the thrilling aspect of fast-paced movies and television series. Recently however, I actually choose to watch most documentaries that show up on Netflix. The ones that pop up in my feed are almost always something I would be interested in watching. Whether it's crime, historical or political, I seem to enjoy learning about these things. I have always had a love of learning, and just being able to sit back and cuddle on the couch while learning something new is the perfect way to do it.

 

I avoided comedy. I had tried watching comedies or comedians for a while growing up, but I was never really into it. It was hard to make me laugh out loud, I would maybe giggle inwardly a few times but that was it. This became an issue in later relationships because as it turns out, two of my most serious relationships, the man ended up loving comedy. Each of them would ask me to watch a comedian with them and I was bored out of my mind. I didn't find anything funny and I would refuse to watch more. The first time I started liking comedy is when I watched Adam Sandler movies. My brother also introduced me to Family Guy, and at first I found that humor stupid and offensive. After watching it over and over again, I started to see some of the humor in the tv show. I watched a few American Pie movies and as I reached adulthood and understood the sexual jokes, I started to understand movies more. My high school friend introduced me to FlufeeTalks and I found him hilarious. These were the only times comedy were part of my life in most of my 20s. It wasn't until a few years ago that it became part of my life daily, if not weekly. I got into Laura Clery with her viral flirting videos, and I ran into some prank videos by Charles And Alyssa and the ridiculous videos by Ginger Billy. I am subscribed to them all and I enjoy watching their videos. I watch comedy movies too, and I also enjoy Kevin Hart. Who knew?


I considered being a volcanologist. In seventh grade, science class was one of my favorites. We learned all kinds of things like earthquakes, cells, and volcanoes. I became so mesmerized with volcanoes and I told my mom that I wanted to be a volcanologist. I would look in my textbooks and see people in protective gear taking samples near an erupting volcano and I said, I want to work there. I learned all about the magma and the rock formations, sulfur, all of it. To this day, earth science still facinates me. Why didn't I become a volcanologist? They aren't exactly colleges teaching this around where I lived and live now, and it turns out extreme heat flares up my eczema.


I used to hate pizza. Oh, how I used to dread seeing pizza boxes coming my way! I hated tomatoes with a passion and tasting that tomato sauce and sometimes tomato slices in there was too much to bear. I hated olives, the onions they used, the peppers, pretty much everything on a pizza. It was hard to get invited to parties after I avoided several pizza parties because of the pizza part. There was nothing about it that I liked when I was a kid. When I would tell people, they were always so shocked. They couldn't believe that out of all the things in the world to dislike, I disliked pizza. To this day I never met another person who dislikes pizza. Thankfully I grew to love it, but to this day my favorite type of pizza is cheese.


There you have it, 10 things you didn't know about me! What about you? What would people be surprised to know about you? Comment below!


Cheap Wedding Hairstyles For Any Budget

Posted by Live Love Mom on January 18, 2022 at 8:25 AM Comments comments (8)

By: Rev Dr. Stéphanie Noircent




Who doesn’t want their hair to look gorgeous on their wedding day? However, not everyone has the budget to pay a fancy hairstylist hundreds of dollars just to place their hair pretty. Here is how you can get the hairstyle of your dreams without losing a large chunk of your wedding fund.

 

Updos

 

Here are some of the best updos for weddings that are simple to do.


  1. French twist. It's a fancy twist on the regular bun. Look it up in google images and show it to your hairdresser. You can also pin a gorgeous hair piece.
  2. Braided bun. Divide your hair into two sections down the middle of your scalp. French braid each side until you run out of hair, and tie it off. Twist the braid into a bun and pin it up.
  3. Drape. Do a backwards french braid on your hair and tie it off. Then, tuck the braid underneath itself and pin it in place.
  4. Braid. You can braid your hair in corn rows, have a regular loose braid, or have pigtailed braids. Add some flowers or barettes to complete the look.
  5. French braid. French braid your hair either in one or two sections and add some flowers in your braids for a gorgeous look.
  6. Fishtail braid. Look up youtube tutorials on how to do a fishtail braid. Keep practicing until you get it right and you can wear it on your wedding day.



Down dos

 

Rather have your hair loose on your wedding day? Here are some examples of beautiful down dos for your wedding day.

 

  1. Half up half down. Take the top half of your hair and tie it back, and there you have a half-up and half-down hairdo. You can also braid the top section or twist it into a bun.
  2. Braided crown. Section off the top half of your hair, then divide it into halves. French braid each half and tie them together in the middle in the back of your head and you have a braided crown.
  3. Curled. You can get a perm for your hair or you can curl it with a curling iron for your day. Use some hairspray to keep it fixed.
  4. Crimped. You can crimp your hair or get the loosest perm you can get. You can add a flower in your hair or a nice headdress.
  5. Straight. You can relax your hair or straighten it to look sleek and elegant on your wedding day.
  6. Sideswept. Pin your hair up with either hair pins or a nice hair piece on one side of your head. You can pin it up above the ear to show off some earrings you're wearing on your special day.

 

Once you have your wedding hairstyle picked out, print out a photo and head to a hairstylist school. See if any students are willing to do your hair for your wedding. They will charge a fraction of the prize that others would.

 

See if you know someone who is good at doing hair. Show them the photo of your hairstyle and see if they can give it a whirl. If they aren’t sure, go see them before hand so they can do a practice run.

 

Ways To Honor Your Baby After A Miscarriage

Posted by Live Love Mom on January 11, 2022 at 8:50 AM Comments comments (6)

By: Rev Dr. Stéphanie Noircent




Losing a child, whether your embryo didn't implant at the IVF clinic or they're 70 years old, is the worst thing that can ever happen to anyone and is the worst pain anyone could ever imagine. It goes against the natural order of things. No one should ever have to bury their child. 


Even in 2022, it's still a taboo subject to talk about sometimes. Most people don't know anyone who has said they had a miscarriage, even though 25% of women have had one. It can be hard to know how to grieve or honor your baby's memory. Here are some ideas that should help you mourn. You can choose whichever one you want, no matter how simple it is. 


Light a candle. You can buy a candle and light it with a lighter and send your thoughts to your baby. You can also light one at your local church if you are religious. On National Pregnancy Loss Awareness Day, mothers from all over the world light a candle at 8 pm. You can be one of them too.


Have a memorial. Funeral homes often offer memorial services for a low cost or free of charge for babies lost during pregnancy. You can also host a private one at a park or just with you and your partner. Share in memories of the pregnancy that make you smile, the moment you found out you concieved, and anything else that was a happy time for you. 


Raise money in their honor. You can run a fundraiser or donate to charity in your baby's name. An appropriate charity would also be for survivors of loss, grief counselling, or other children's charities. It's a way to keep your baby's memory alive.


Get a tattoo. You can always get a memorial tattoo for your baby. You can get a miscarriage ribbon, foot prints, their name, their date of birth, a quote, or anything you want. Some mothers want the same tattoo for all of their children, living and passed on, so they get a tattoo of birds sitting on a branch and a baby bird flying away. The baby bird would represent the baby that was miscarried.


Make a memory bear. Whatever clothes you bought for your baby you can have sewn into a memory bear. You can also custom order a bear online and have your baby's name embroidered in it. It's something physical you can hold, kiss and hug. This often helps grieving couples.


Make a time capsule. Put a lock of hair, an ourfit, a rattle, a pair of baby shoes, or anything else you want and place it in a time capsule. You can bury it in your backyard, display it on a shelf or simply keep it nearby.


Get a plaque. You can order a custom memorial plaque for your garden. You can also order a tombstone or urn if your baby was stillborn or died young. This way you can bury your baby or keep their remains close if they were cremated.


Name your baby. It can help to have something to call your baby by. If you don't know the sex, you can always choose a gender-neutral name such as Riley, Dakota, Jordan, Leslie, Angel, Ashley or Rene. 


Lay them to rest. There is an organization called Memorial for the Unborn you can look up. They offer certificates of life, name plates, and more. You can have a place to lay flowers and remember your baby. There are about 18 locations throughout the states. Keep in mind that these places are pro-life, however. If you're outside of the states, you can always start one of your own if that's possible. 


Start a charity. If you want to volunteer your time, you can always start your own non-profit organization. A friend of mine crocheted baby headbands and with every sale, she would donate one to a children's cancer ward in a hospital. Another example is Angel Whispers, who creates angel baby birth certificate keepsakes for grieving parents. You can also just donate the baby items you had gathered for your baby to the needy so less fortunate parents could use the items.


Name something after them. Whether it's your boat, a street, a building or your first living child, you can always name something or someone after them. You'll have a touching story to tell if people ask where the name came from.


Talk about them. It's the best way to keep their memory alive. When parents are asked if they would get rid of the pain they feel from the loss, most of the time they say no. Why? It's all they have left of their child. Most mothers love talking about their babies, it brings them a sense of peace. So talk about your baby.


Plant a tree. A tree planted in their honor is a great idea, it's something you can watch grow like your child would have grown. It can give you something to nurture and take care of like you would have with your baby.


Got any more ideas? Comment below.

Save on a Summer Wedding

Posted by Live Love Mom on January 4, 2022 at 8:55 AM Comments comments (2)
By: Rev Dr. Stéphanie Noircent




Has your dream wedding always been during the summer? Is summer your favorite season? Do you enjoy long, hot days? Then a summer wedding sounds right for you. But how can you get more bang for your buck? Despite being a peak wedding month, you can still save lots of money on your wedding day.

 

 

Avoid a long pause between the ceremony and reception. Photographers and musicians charge for the wait time. Instead, opt for an adorable photoshoot of the bridegroom before the ceremony seeing eachother in their wedding outfits and the looks of surprise and awe. Then do poses with others so that it’s all out of the way in time for the ceremony and the reception. Speaking of the reception, have the ceremony and the reception in the same place. This will save travel costs and guests will appreciate the lack of traveling.

 

 

Avoid food you don’t need such as chips, bread, and other things that may be served before your meal that you don’t want. This will slash quite a few bucks off your bill.

 

 

Save on rentals with a standing ceremony. In pagan tradition, guests participate in the wedding as well by vowing to support the couple, and even joining hands and making a circle around them. Keep a few chairs on hand for the elderly or for those who cannot stand, like your 8 months pregnant cousin.

 

 

Instead of wasting paper and hundreds of dollars, email or text your guests seating plan ahead of time. Tell them which table they are to sit and let them take it from there. You can even forgo a seating plan altogether since everyone is family now. To save on wedding programs, just use a large sign that everyone can see, like a chalkboard. Don’t bother with invitations or save the dates. Go virtual and invite guests via email, a wedding website, wedding app or even a Facebook event.

 

 

Save on favors by skipping them altogether, or offering one per family. Make sure it’s something they can share.

 

 

Skip the three course meals and opt for simple and sweet. Gourmet pasta bar, taco bar, potato bar, and even a buffet style dinner will save you on caterers as well as food costs.

 

 

Flowers can be made DIY, bought in silk, or using cheaper blooms. Carnations, daises and baby’s breath are cheap options in a bouquet and look just as gorgeous as others.

 

 

Have your cake and eat it too? Not if you don’t even like cakes. Have a dessert bar that can offer pies, doughnuts, even just a candy bar. The variety will make your taste buds dance! Insist on having a cake? Have a single tier for cutting, and place it atop a tower of cupcakes. You can even serve cake pops which are a fraction of the price!

 

 

Hire teachers instead of professionals to do your makeup, hair, music and more! Scour beauty schools and music schools for the ones with raw talent that you can buy.

 

 

BYOB will save you plenty of cash and allows guests to bring what they like, and turns it into a wine tasting receptions for the others. Offer wine and beer, which saves than if you served the harder stuff. Use a signature cocktail if your guests prefer spirits. Ask if you can pay for just the alcohol guests consume rather than prepaying for more alcohol than anyone could drink.

 

 

Candles cost less than flowers so buy them in bulk for your centerpieces. They can also save you on lighting since it illuminates the room naturally.

 

 

Venues are more likely to lower the cost per person if you invite lots of guests, even exceed the maximum guest limit. Compare prices with venues of the minimum number of guests and the maximum. Play around and find out which numbers suits your budget the best.

 

 

Caterers will often halve the prices of kids meals, so be sure to mention how many children will attend your wedding reception. Meal options rich in carbs and starches such as pasta, potatoes, carrots and rice costs less.

 

 

Got a summer wedding story you would like to share? Do you have advice for bridegroom’s planning a summer wedding? Comment below!


How I Taught Myself How To Play The Piano

Posted by Live Love Mom on December 28, 2021 at 8:35 AM

By: Rev Dr. Stéphanie Noircent



I saw my mother playing the piano and learning different songs that she heard from her favorite movies. We had a piano in our house growing up, and I always loved it. I enjoyed the sound it played and my mom was very passionate about it. She would play for what seemed like hours and kept practicing, and she got better and better. I still remember the melody of the main song she played, and I even recorded it on my tape recorder. When I played it back, she heard some of her mistakes and she pointed them out, but I didn't care. I heard my mother playing beautiful music and doing something she loved, so I didn't notice the mistakes. I saw my mom being happy and reproducing something beautiful.


I wanted to play a musical instrument since I was in elementary school. I could play the recorder well, I tried the flute but it didn't quite work out. The guitar required longer fingers, so contorting my hands to reach the necessary notes would cause me pain. The piano seemed to be peftect. One day, I sat down and I started playing the keys. I could listen to sounds that clashed and knew not to play those keys together. 


I was in the school chorus, so I knew my scales and what they sounded like, and I had some knowledge on how to read sheet music. But I never really tried following sheet music because it would take me a while to figure out what it even means. So, I would play each note until I could hear the proper sound that played ''Do''. Then I would press the other keys to find Re as well as Mi and the other notes. Once I figured that out, I was able to play my scales and I practiced doing those in different tones. I would play them on the highest notes they could go, to the left end of the piano keys where it played very low. When I had mastered that, I started to teach myself how to play some songs.


I knew some nursery rhymes like Mary Had A Little Lamb, and I would play those keys until I got it right. I learned different variations of that song and added my own little twist to it. Now this was the first song I could properly play so I would show everyone who cared to watch and listen. I was very proud that I could finally play a song. 


In the school chorus, we had to learn a few songs to play at the end-of-school concert. I would always be learning classic new songs, so I would use the lyrics and the notes I learned and try to reproduce it on the piano. I didn't try to learn anything complicated like the background music, just the notes that I would be singing. I would play the keys until one sounded right, then keep that going until I had the entire song done. I would learn by ear. No one could ever accuse me of being tone-deaf because I could hear the differences between the notes very well. 


Eventually, I started playing around with playing more than one note at the same time. I came up with some notes to play together that I could use as some background music for something else. I remember one time, I was playing that song and my mother was in the kitchen doing the dishes. She listened to me play this song many times before, but this time she came out of the kitchen and came to join me. She told me that every time I play that song, there is a little tune that plays in her head. So she asked me to scoot over on the bench and I did, and she experimented with the keys until she found the right notes. She then started to play the tune. I loved it! I started to play the notes I was always playing, and she added in her little tune. Both sounded so perfect together. We looked at each other with grins on our faces. We had just created a song together!


I would eventually practice both tunes at the same time, which was challenging, but taught me some dexterity and flexibility in my hands and fingers. It also takes tremendous concentration to be able to do two things at once at the same exact time. I learned other tunes here and there, but to this day the first thing I play if I have access to a piano is the song that my mother and I made together. 


I may not be as knowledgeable as professional piano players or those who took lessons, but I am proud that I was able to teach myself the basics without any help, and even create a song with my mother. Those are some of the best childhood memories that I have, is doing those little things with my mom. Art is something we shared a passion for, and we even drew together. It's something I'll never forget and I'll always be thankful for.


Did you teach yourself how to play an instrument? Comment below!

Money-saving tips for a Winter Wedding

Posted by Live Love Mom on December 21, 2021 at 8:00 AM Comments comments (99)

By: Rev Dr. Stéphanie Noircent




Winter weddings are beautiful. The holidays are coming up. everywhere is covered in a blanket of white snow, temperatures drop and lace every rooftop with icicles. Who isn’t in the mood to celebrate in winter? Here are some ways you can save on your winter wedding.

 

 

Have an outdoor wedding. However crazy this sounds, it will save you thousands. If you’re in an area who is known for its warmer winters, that the coldest months don’t drop far below freezing during the day, it’s the right place! Also, venues will be much cheaper since they never expect couples to wed outside.

 

 

Buy lots of paper. You can easily make paper decorations for your wedding. Do a little DIY crafts. Make paper snowflakes, snowmen, and any other shapes you want. It’s cheap, and it’s white, which goes with the theme!

 

 

Use your local stores. Winter items and decorations often come out after halloween. Wreaths and more show up even in dollar stores. Buy what you need in bulk.

 

Do you have any money-saving tips for winter weddings? Comment below!

Top Birth Myths Debunked By A Doula

Posted by Live Love Mom on December 14, 2021 at 8:15 AM Comments comments (98)

By: Rev Dr. Stéphanie Noircent




Here are common birth myths dispelled by a birth doula. 


 

 

If you are pregnant, you’ll probably be told a lot of stories about labour and birth. While some of them might be useful, it’s important to remember that your experience will be unique to you. You should always discuss anything you are unsure about with your doctor or midwife. This article looks at some of the common myths you might hear.

 

 

Myth: There are natural tricks that will bring on labour

Truth: Although there are many suggestions for ways to bring on labour naturally, there are no proven methods that are guaranteed to work. Some of these methods include:

 

nipple stimulation

drinking castor oil — although this can also bring on nausea, diarrhoea and vomiting, which can result in dehydration

walking

hypnosis and acupuncture (although both can help with relaxation and pain management during childbirth)

having sex

eating spicy food

You should always consult your doctor or midwife before trying any of these methods.

 

Myth: Babies stop moving just before you go into labour

Truth: Babies’ movements do not increase or decrease just before labour. If at any time you feel your baby is not as active as usual, contact your doctor or midwife who will check that everything is OK.

 

Myth: Once you have a caesarean, you can’t give birth vaginally

Truth: Many women will have the option of having a vaginal birth after a previous caesarean is an option for many women. It can depend on the reasons for your caesarean, and your health during this pregnancy.

 

Myth: Having an epidural increases your chances of a caesarean

Truth: There are risks and side effects associated with having an epidural for the pain of labour. Epidurals may increase your chances of needing a vacuum or forceps birth, but epidurals don’t appear to make a caesarean more likely.

 

Myth: Mums instantly bond with their baby

Truth: Skin to skin contact between mum and baby soon after birth can help the bonding process, but not all women feel bonded to their baby straight away. It can take time and you shouldn’t try to rush or feel like you are doing anything wrong.

 

Myth: Childbirth is like what you see on TV

Truth: Childbirth on TV and in movies is often very dramatic, suggesting that birth is risky and very painful. It’s important to get accurate information about labour and birth from your caregivers. You can also call Pregnancy, Birth and Baby on 1800 882 436 to speak to a maternal child health nurse about what you can expect.

 

Myth: You must give birth on your back

Truth: You should choose the most comfortable position to give birth. You don’t need to be on your back — in fact, it can be helpful to be upright when giving birth. Find out what happens during the second stage of labour.

 

Myth: You will know when you are in labour

Truth: If you haven’t already had a baby, it can be difficult to know when your labour has started. For most healthy women, there is no need to go straight to hospital when labour starts. Ask your midwife or doctor for a number to call for advice if you think you might be in labour.

 

Myth: You must go to a hospital labour ward to give birth

Truth: Birth centres, which are usually attached to a hospital, and planned home births with registered midwives in attendance are good options for healthy, full-term mothers and babies. Hospital labour wards are the best option for women and babies with certain medical conditions, or those at a higher risk of experiencing problems during birth.

 

Whichever you choose, make sure you trust your care provider, and be aware that the birth might happen somewhere other than where you planned. Some women plan to give birth in hospital but give birth at home. Some women plan to give birth at home or in a birth centre and need to go to a labour ward.

 

Myth: Good hips or small babies make for an easier birth

Truth: You may have heard the expression ‘good childbearing hips’. In fact, the size of your hips won’t tell you much about how easy or hard your birth is likely to be.

 

A woman’s pelvis is not a solid bone. It is made up of ligaments and several bones that are designed to move and loosen as you give birth. Your baby’s skull bones are also not fused together yet, which allows for them to fit into and move through the birth canal. There is a condition, however, known as cephalopelvic disproportion, in which a baby’s head does not fit through the mother’s internal pelvis. Your antenatal care provider will screen for this condition.

 

Truth: It’s also not true that the size of your baby will make birth more or less painful, but the position you are in can make a big difference. Some women find that squatting or being on all fours can be more comfortable than lying down. The position of your baby as they move through the birth canal can also affect how the labour will progress.

 

If you are concerned about giving birth, speak to your midwife or doctor or call Pregnancy, Birth and Baby on 1800 882 436


Frugal Autumn Wedding Ideas

Posted by Live Love Mom on December 7, 2021 at 8:00 AM Comments comments (4)

by: Rev Dr. Stéphanie Noircent




Autumn is one of the most popular seasons to get married. Enchanting colors, the weather cooling down, and cuddle-weather just makes you want to get married. How can you penny-pinch on your autumn wedding? Here are some tips and tricks to help you through it.

 

 

If it’s early autumn, you can easily have an outdoor wedding. To save thousands on a venue, book a public park. The most it will cost you is $200 for a license to hold an event there. You can also have a wedding in someone’s backyard.

 

 

Natural decorations can be autumn leaves, pumpkins, orange blossoms, anything that comes in fall colors. Line them up along the aisle for a cost-effective but eye-catching decoration!

 

 

Mix autumn props with your dream items. Throw in some lace, lanterns, bird cages, anything to make the scenery. Apple-picking is also popular during the autumn. Why not have your wedding in a mesmerizing orchard?

 

 

Pose your wedding rings with beautiful fall props. This can include leaves, pumpkins, acorns and more! You can get some yellow or rose gold rings to really bring out the autumn colors.

 

 

Need a unique idea for lights? Cut out the tops of apples and put small candles on top. Light them, and voila! You have unique and tasty lights. Wedding closer to halloween? Light up Jack-O-Lanterns. You can even carve out the bridegroom’s initials.

 

 

Have a charming wedding invitation theme by having the colors in fall colors. Have colored envelopes, and tie a little autumn leaf to put the package together. If you’re having a barn wedding, tie a leaf with rope.

 

 

Have your bouquet in lots of different autumn-colored blossoms. Don’t like flowers? Have a gorgeous bouquet of the most beautiful leaves you can find. Keep it unique, yet simple!

 

 

Dress up your wedding cake for an autumn wedding by adding leaves as decorations. Anything orange, red, yellow or brown is perfect for this amazing season. Don’t want real leaves? Get some plastic ones at your local dollar store.

 


Got any more wedding tips for an autumn wedding? Comment below!

Body-Positive Songs To Add To Your Playlist

Posted by Live Love Mom on November 30, 2021 at 8:10 AM Comments comments (97)

By: Rev Dr. Stéphanie Noircent




There are bullies out there that want to make women feel bad for their weight. BBWs, which stands for Big Beautiful Women, are beautiful and whole just the way they are. Sometimes they need to be reminded just how magical their curves are. To help lift yourself up and remind you of how gorgeous you are, here are a list of songs that are fat-positive and body-positive. 


 

  1. Just A Lil Thick by Trinidad James
  2. BBW by J-Roc
  3. Shape of You by Ed Sheeran
  4. Fat Hungry Chick by Tyga
  5. Look But Don't Touch by Empire Cast
  6. Thick by Trisha Paytas
  7. All About That Bass by Meghan Trainor
  8. Fat Girls by Briki Fa President
  9. In Love With A Fat Girl by Prissy P
  10. Big Girl Workout by Prissy P
  11. Big Girl Movement by Prissy P
  12. Thunder Thighs by Missy Eaves
  13. Thicky Thighday by Lardi B
  14. Bodak Jello by Lardi B
  15. BBW by Fresh x Okey x Feezy Houdini
  16. Go Big Girl by Jadablaze
  17. Fluffy Girl Anthem by Lady Essence
  18. Big Girl by MIKA
  19. They Like That I'm Fat by Lardi B
  20. Lardi Pop by Lardi B
  21. Cinderella by Trisha Paytas
  22. Playground by Trisha Paytas
  23. I'm Fluffy by Lardi B
  24. Fat Chicks by Trisha Paytas

 

 Got any other songs you'd like to suggest? Comment below!

Spring Wedding Savings

Posted by Live Love Mom on November 23, 2021 at 8:55 AM Comments comments (14)

by: Rev Dr. Stéphanie Noircent




The days are longer, the nights are shortened. The snow melts, and the promise of rebirth and new life bears fruit. The buds appear in the trees, the flowers grow under the trees, the air is warm and welcoming. It’s a good time to tie the knot with your soul mate.

 

 

With melted snow, it can be a possibility to have a wedding and a reception outside. Discover your options for sites, whether exterior or interior. This season is scheduled out of season for weddings, so the discounts will be abundant for anything related to the wedding, or at least the prices will not be inflated.

 

 

Do you have really helpful parents? Ask them to present instead of a gift. They can help set up tables and chairs, place decorations, even distribute wedding programs. This will save you hundreds on hiring others for work, and you will save time in doing it yourself.

 

 

Do you have talented friends? Ask them to help you with everything you need instead of getting a gift. Ask your makeup artist to make up your cosmetic hairdresser your hair and your neighbor decorator to make your wedding cake. Even better if you know someone who can make your nails, even pluck your eyebrows or wax your upper lip for the occasion.

 

 

Know the people that recently has tied the knot? Ask them if they have any marriage remnants they offer. All of the decoration, chairs and extra tables, even silk flowers or centerpieces. Get their second hand of dollars worth. Plus, your friends will be grateful for the space, and happy with their items will help you end up in the trash.

 

 

Why get a wedding cake at 7 levels when 4 levels will end up in your fridge anyway. Get a detailed cupcake to cut in front of the guests, then take it to the back in the kitchen to be sliced. Have a leaf cake waiting in the back to cut extra slices if your cupcake can not serve all your guests. You can even get a false-layered cake that has a real coat, cut this diaper, then take it back and serve as slices of grocery leaf cake. Nobody needs to know!

 

 

Why waste hundreds of fancy invitations that always ends up in garbage anyway? You can invite guests by email instead. For informal for you? Create a facebook event or wedding site. You still save on paper, but still get that personal touch, and you can design your own event or website for free!

 

 

Pluck fresh flowers in a meadow for free. You will have fresh wildflowers for the bouquets, and also spare you a trip to the florist. You can even plant and grow yours, then re-plant the bulbs for a long reminder of your special day!

 

 

Do you have other tips and tricks to save a lot of money for a spring wedding? Comments below!


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