|Posted by Live Love Mom on July 27, 2021 at 9:05 AM||comments ()|
by: Rev Dr. Stéphanie McEndree
Even in this day and age, people are still getting the two terms confused. Some people believe they are one and the same, and will hire a doula thinking she is a midwife, but at a lower price. This couldn't be further from the truth. Here is how to tell the difference between a doula and a midwife, their jobs, and more.
A midwife is a medical practitioner who has medical training on many things. She knows infant CPR, how to measure the uterus and determine baby's position, monitor the fetal heart rate, preform ultrasounds, and more. She can do cervical checks, prescribe medications and medical procedures, and adds this information into your medical records. She knows how to spot and prevent medical complications in both babies and mothers. She is recognized in the medical community and is just as informed as doctors. She can work in a birth center, a hospital, and even go to your home for you to give birth there. She takes your blood pressure, weighs you, administers urine and blood tests. They are experts in the care of low-risk and healthy pregnancies and mothers. They can also do health checks, such as if you got an episiotomy or c-section, they can tell if the scars are healing properly. They also offer newborn checks and visits up to 6 weeks postpartum. She can also refer you to a nutritionist or OB-GYN if you need it.
A doula is a support person and is not a medical professional. They are trained for up to a year about pregnancy, birth, postpartum and breastfeeding. A doula will focus on the health of the mother, even after the baby is born. She will ask you questions about your mood and thoughts, and make sure you are healthy. She can inform you on everything you want to know about pregnancy, birth and the postpartum period. She will teach your partner how he can help you and teach pressure points he can use to help your pain during labor. She will encourage you and empower you as a person and as a mother. A doula will give you massage, acupressure, and physical support during labor. She can use many different methods to make you as comfortable as possible during labor. She can even use a TENS machine if you want, and she holds space for you. They don't judge and are your own personal cheerleader. After the birth, they can help you establish a routine as a family and check in with you to see how you are. She sticks around as long as you need her and can prepare meals and do some light housework to lighten your load. She can also watch your newborn so you can shower or get some sleep, or watch your older children so you can get some one-on-one time with your newborn.
What they have in common.
They both get to know you, your family and your birth preferences. They also both offer prenatal courses and postpartum visits. They can both ask you questions and help you make your birth plan. They are both very well informed on birth, pregnancy, postpartum period and breastfeeding. They can both work in birth centers and have connections and resources in the community.
Got more to add or any experiences with a midwife or a doula? Comment below!
|Posted by Live Love Mom on July 20, 2021 at 9:40 AM||comments ()|
by: Rev Dr. Stéphanie McEndree
Table numbers make it easier for guests to know where they are seated. They will know which table to look for once they view the seating chart, or you let them know some other way that they will be sitting at a certain table. It will make things much less hectic for you and for your guests on your special day.
One of the best part about table numbers is that they are easily recyclable. You can either put them in the recycling bin after your wedding, or you can simply reuse them for a different event. You could also give them to a friend or family member for their wedding day.
Before you use table numbers, be sure to have a seating chart and let your venue know how many people and tables you will need. You will also need to know the number of chairs you will need as well. Once that is all settled, be sure to seat strategically so divorced people don't have to sit next to each other or across from each other. You want your reception to be peaceful and fun, not turn into a brawl or a shouting match.
Don’t break the bank getting custom-made numbers designed by a graphic artist or spending hundreds on premade ones. Choose a design and print them off for free at your home printer, or for less than $20 for 12 at Staples!
Here is one place to get some gorgeous, free table numbers:
Check out this site for different free designs:
Got any other ideas? Comment below!
|Posted by Live Love Mom on July 13, 2021 at 9:20 AM||comments ()|
by: Rev Dr. Stéphanie McEndree
We've all faced negativity at least once in our lives. We've also all bad at least one bad day. The two are often related. One way to have less bad days and reduce or even eliminate negativity is to be more positive. To maintain this, you need to learn to stay positive. Here are some tips to help you do just that. You don't have to do all of them, but doing at least one will put you on the path to a better, happier life.
Meditate. Even if it's just as simple as finding your center, allow yourself time to relax and meditate. You can listen to a guided imagery meditation. You can also close your eyes, think of your happy place, and put on some soothing nature sounds or soft music. What is a happy place? Think of a place where you are the happiest; a place that relaxes you instantly. Picture it clearly in your mind, and close your eyes and take deep breaths. That place, wherever you are, is your happy place. Stress should roll off of you like waves and you should feel relaxed.
Affirmations. Positive daily affirmations are very important. Choose your favorites after looking some up. Focus on ones that are uplifting, such as those that encourage self-love, self-acceptance, and that motivate you. Here are some of my favorites: You are loved. You are worthy. You are enough. You are capable. You are strong. You are beautiful just the way you are. You are intelligent. You are kind. You matter.
Gratitude. Make a mental list or write one down, of things that you are grateful for. Most common things are: your health, your family, your friends, your home, your job, your car, your pets, and more. It can even be simple things like food on the table, clothes on your back, and a warm place to sleep. No matter your situation, there is always something to be grateful for.
Be optimistic. Change your pessimistic language into an optimistic one. Don't say the glass is half empty, say it's half full. See the silver lining in each situation, and the upside to everything. It can be simple enough to remind yourself that you are alive, and you are safe. Did your favorite vase break? You now have an excuse to go on a shopping trip and buy a new one. Did you lose a friend? The loss taught you a valuable lesson. Did you burn the food you were cooking? Now you can order that pizza you've been dreaming about.
Live positive. Surround yourself with a positive environment. Cut out toxic friends and family members and if you can't, minimize contact with them to only when you absolutely have to. Decorate your place in bright or pastel colors, hang positive messages in frames on the wall. Make your bed super comfortable so you look forward to retreating to it every night. Clean that mold off your bathtub so you don't have to worry about it anymore. Making things more positive comes in all forms.
Be mindful. Listen to your body and what cues it's giving you. Recognize the warning signs you experience before you lash out in anger. Remember what your body feels like before you get too stressed out. Keep an eye out for any cold sweat, clenched fists, or anything else that are pre-cursors to a panic attack. Learn to know yourself and when you've had enough, and walk away from what's upsetting you or take a break. No one wants to snap. You also want to find ways to calm yourself in a good way, such as self-soothing. Put on your favorite lotion. Sing your favorite song. Dance like nobody's watching. Read a chapter from your book. Pick up that unfinished knitting project. Watch a romantic comedy and have a good laugh. Whatever works for you, do it.
Eat, sleep and move. It's very important to get at least 8 hours of sleep per night, uninterrupted and restful. You will be able to function better once you have some sleep. You also want to stay as healthy as possible and eat healthy. Healthy foods boost your energy and mental activity and focus. You will be able to perform better in everything you do. You should also exercise at least 20 minutes 5 times a week. Get your blood flowing and oxygenate your organs and body. Even if you have pent-up anger and frustration you need to let out, go for a run, work out, or go at it on a punching bag. Exercise can be a good release, and the natural high of endorphins makes you feel amazing afterwards.
Self-care. It's crucial that you take care of yourself. You can't help anyone else or do anything unless you have been replenished, and your batteries have been recharged. Take care of your soul and your spirit as well. No matter your spirituality or religion, you should do what makes you feel good and makes you feel peace. Pray, go to church, read the bible, or paint angels. Whatever it is that helps you feel fulfilled, do it. Be sure to do simple things as well like hygeine, getting dressed, and doing things that make you feel better. This can be as easy as brushing your hair, putting some makeup on, or dressing nice. You're worth it.
Got any more tips on how to stay positive? Comment below!
|Posted by Live Love Mom on July 6, 2021 at 9:20 AM||comments ()|
by: Rev Dr. Stéphanie McEndree
My dearest life partner,
Today marks two wonderful, joy-filled years that we've been married. I have to say I am not surprised, since I knew we would be happy together years before we married. We have so much in common, I knew that we were very compatible. Our shared morals and values really brought us together, and I knew we would make a life together. Here we are, having accomplished so much already. I am very proud of us.
Together, we made some of our most important dreams come true. Your dream was always to have a family of your own, and now you do. I wanted a house, and now we live in one. We both wanted a practical vehicle, and now we do. I've always wanted a dog, and now we have one. But most importantly, you have someone to come home to now, and so do I.
The pandemic has seen a rise in breakups. Most marriages are just a couple of hours a night. However you and I got to live together full time when the first wave hit. I am so lucky I found someone I actually like, because now we miss that time together. I love when you have vacation time so we can spend more time together. It brought us closer together and we were able to do the small things like cuddle while watching a movie with the kids. We didn't have to worry about getting up early in the morning for school for them or work. Whatever hardships we faced, we faced together. Small bumps in the road could never stop our journey.
I can never truly express how incredibly grateful I am to you. You changed my life for the better, and the life of my children. You turned everything around for the positive. I am excited when I wake up in the morning, and I look forward to sleeping beside you every night. I love that you give me what I need and express what you need. We've both learned to put ourselves first and advocate for what we want and need, and I am so glad we did. We know to treat each other well and have known since before we got together. We've grown together and become a team, working together for a common goal.
After all of these years being together, and for these last two years as well, thank you for choosing me. Thank you for waking up every day and choosing to still stand by my side and be my husband. Thank you for choosing yourself, your happiness, me, my children, our happiness, our love, and our life together. I love you beyond the stars, my love.
Your adoring wife.
|Posted by Live Love Mom on June 29, 2021 at 8:40 AM||comments ()|
by: Rev Dr. Stéphanie McEndree
Are you good cooks, or at least good at following recipes? Are you having a last-minute wedding and you don’t have time to book a caterer? Is your budget not allowing you to hire a cook? No worries! Here are lists of foods you can make at home and either serve buffet-style, or serve on plates for your guests.
Bite-sized. Are you having your reception between meal times? This is a great time to serve tasty snacks and hors d’oeuvres. Cut up and lay out cheese cubes, celery stalks, baby carrots, biscuits, dinner rolls, grapes, rolled meats, chips with dip, crackers, fresh fruit, meatballs, sandwich trays, and more.
Tacos. The great thing with tacos, burritos and fajitas is that you can customize them yourself; so why not let the guests do the rest? Lay out the pita bread, the meats, the veggies, guacamole, sour cream, salsa, and everything else your guests could possibly want in their tacos. Be sure to include utensils.
Bars. Lay out delicious ingredients for “bars”, such as taco bars, omelette bars, potato bars, salad bars, and more! The cheapest options are potato bars or potato salad bars, since they are easily the cheapest food to come by.
Chips and dip. Tried and true, chips and dip are the musts for any party. More of a formal affair? Get fancy chips, veggie chips, and more. Make your own fancy dips for them; homemade salsa, your own guacamole, ground beef sauces, cheese fondue, and more.
Bread. Have bite-sized baguette bread slices topped with the homemade salsa of your choice. Be sure to offer many different options to appeal to everybody. Add pate, slices of deli meats, chopped up veggies and tasty sauces.
Quick fixes. Roll up some meats, serve up some slices of veggies such as cucumbers, olives, pickles, carrots, celery, cauliflower, broccoli, and more. Offer up bite-sized sandwiches, tater tots, baked potatoes, baby potatoes, mushrooms, chicken wings, and more finger foods.
Crockpot. Use your slow-cooker for delicious wedding meals. Look up tasty wedding recipes for casual lunch or a gourmet meal. This way, you can run the cooker all day during the ceremony and wedding, only to have a hot meal ready by supper time! Make mouth-watering classics such as a roast with potatoes and carrots, a cheesy casserole, stuffed peppers, turkey and veggies, and more! You can even make crockpot meals for just $5. Serve on paper plates, plastic plates, or fine china; whatever floats your boat!
BBQ. Are you skilled on the grill? Whether you want a casual barbecue or a fancy home-grilled feast, a BBQ is the way to go. Go all out; smoked meats, grilled chicken, brochettes, or just some casual wieners and patties. Serve with traditional sides, which are also cheap to buy; corn, carrots, rice, potatoes and salad. If you’re more casual, serve them up on paper plates.
Freezer meals. You can prepare food weeks or even months ahead of time and freeze them. You can just thaw them the day before or the day of the wedding for minimal effort for wonderful meals. Just mark on your Ziploc bags or Tupperware the name of the recipe, how to thaw and for how long, and you’re all set.
Got more fast and cheap food DIY ideas for your wedding that you’d like to share? Comment below!
|Posted by Live Love Mom on June 22, 2021 at 9:10 AM||comments ()|
by: Rev Dr. Stéphanie McEndree
It's not always possible to learn life lessons on time for your thirties. I thought I would share what I have learned in my three decades of life. These lessons have never failed me so far, and I swear by them.
Life is not a race. Don't rush those milestones. Everyone comes to them in their own time. Worldwide, the average life expectancy for women is about 70 years, so you have plenty of time. In fact, people who marry in their late 20s or later are more likely to stay married. More and more people are having children in their 30s and 40s, and people even older are going back to school. It's never too late, as long as you're alive.
Beauty standards are not realistic. Models in magazines are photoshopped, made up, and have lots of cosmetic procedures done. Be body-positive and love yourself just the way you are. Do not let anyone or anything pressure you into doing anything to your body that you don't want to do. If you do decide to make changes, make sure it's for yourself and not for others, not even your significant other. Relationships come and go but your body is forever, and you're the one that has to look at it every day. Love yourself and your body, flaws and all. There is no need to be ashamed of your weight, scars, stretch marks or cellulite.
Don't be a bigot. Hate is not something you should harbor in your heart. Don't be homophobic, racist, islamophobic, transphobic, sexist, etc.Your legacy should not be to be known as someone who is prejudice against people. There is nothing like a legacy of love to leave behind.
Make yourself a priority. You need to figure out what you want, and make sure you get it. Don't settle for second-best, and if someone doesn't treat you right then it's time to move on. Stand up for yourself when you are bullied, and walk away when you feel uncomfortable.
Take chances. Chase your dreams, so you have no regrets. You need to at least try to reach your goals, no matter how outrageous they may seem. AS the saying goes, shoot for the moon because if you miss, you will at least land among the stars.
Be kind. All people have their own battles they are dealing with. You should try to judge others as little as possible. A small act or gesture of kindness like a smile, can literally save lives. It can also brighten someone's day. When you yourself are healthy and capable, help others when you can and give back to your community, but don't let yourself be taken advantage of.
Trust your gut. When something doesn't feel right, walk away. It's a survival instinct and it is never wrong. You need to be able to feel at ease in life and never put yourself in a situation where you're uncomfortable.
Be yourself. Other people's opinions of you don't matter. Don't waste your time trying to be someone else or acting like someone else. Just be you. You don't need to be ashamed of you who are, and who you became as a person. People will like you, and people won't. Stick with people like yourself and distance yourself from people who you butt heads with. You and the people you choose will be happier in the end.
Family is everything. Whether it's your genetic family or a family of friends you've chosen for yourself, or your spouse and/or children, family is everything. Friends come and go and fall off when you get busy, but family sticks around and will always be your family. If you don't have a supportive or loving family, make sure one comes from you. This applies either to your spouse and children, or closest friends you adopt as your family. There is nothing better than having an emotional safety net to fall back on and know that people will love you no matter what.
|Posted by Live Love Mom on June 15, 2021 at 9:45 AM||comments ()|
by: Rev Dr. Stéphanie McEndree
Wedding backdrops can be hard to come by when you’re on a budget. Just like photo shoot backdrops, they can range for several hundred dollars. Even store that sell pre-made wedding backdrops often charge a ridiculous price. So, how can you find or make a wedding backdrop the frugal way? Here’s how!
Fabric. Go to your local fabric store or a second-hand store and buy the fabric of your choice, ideally in your wedding colors. You can chose a single color, or many colors. Cut them into straight strips. Then, tie them to a curtain pole for the indoors, and a clothesline for the outdoors. Bunch the strips as close together as you want them so they look good, and put them in a pattern if you want. Then, hang the pole on hooks in the wall, or tie the clothesline to poles or trees outside. Voila!
Ribbon. It’s fantastic in that it’s widely available, has many different textures, designs and colors, and that it’s cheap. Visit your local dollar store, craft store, even your Walmart and choose the colors and designs you wish to use for your backdrop. Make them as long as you want them and hold them side by side to make sure they’re the same length, if that’s what you’re going for. Once you have all the ribbon you’ll need, tie each end to curtain poles, plastic tubing, or a clothesline. Hang wherever you wish, and enjoy!
Streamers. Go for the tried and true and go to your local party store or dollar store. Grab all the streamers you want for your backdrop. Ombre is popular, so grab a few shades of the same color. Streamers often come in packs of several yards per roll, so you will have plenty for whichever project you come up with. Depending on what you’re going for, you can braid the streamers, or just let them hang. Cut them to the desired length, sort them into a pattern of color, and tie them to poles, rods, rope or string. Admire your work!
Tulle. A great choice for weddings and for ballet lovers, tulle makes for a gorgeous wedding backdrop. Simply find a large sheet for you to use, drape it over a rod, pole or clothesline, and fix with pins. Can’t find tulle? Use sheer curtains on a curtain pole.
Curtains. White fabric curtains are the most popular for this sort of simple, yet elegant backdrop. If you’re having an indoor wedding, simply stand in front of a curtained window. Be sure the curtains are opaque to avoid a silhouette effect, or transparent if that’s what you’re looking for. Want a larger backdrop? Put curtains on extra long curtain poles, or clothesline. Support them accordingly, and you’re done! Remember to keep in mind that white stains the easiest, so if you have lots of children attending your wedding, white may not be the best color choice.
Crystal curtains. Go to your local dollar store and get strings of beads and pearls. You can even buy craft bracelet kits and make your own custom designs. Hang them off poles fixed to the wall for a gorgeous backdrop!
Fairy lights. Re-use your white holiday lights and combine them with curtains or tulle for a magical backdrop.
Paper butterflies. Buy construction paper and print out an outline of a butterfly on thick paper. Cut it out, then trace the outline on the construction paper. Afterwards, cut out all the shapes. Then, take a white thread and needle and sew the thread through each butterfly until you’ve reached your desired length. Hang overhead on a chandelier, poles, or clothesline.
Paper flowers. Either with tissue paper or coffee filters, make gorgeous paper flowers and glue them to a wooden plank you can stand up to make a unique backdrop.
Wax paper. Got lots of wax paper cone-shaped cups you’re not doing anything with? Take a needle and thread and make strings worth of hanging garlands for your backdrop.
Coffee filters. Dip-dye coffee filters in food coloring and let dry. Then, thread a thread through each filter with a needle and create your very own wedding backdrop.
Paper hearts. You can cut out paper hearts from either white paper or come construction paper for color. You can glue or tape them with some string and hang them up on the cieling. They will look very cute as a backdrop.
Paper snowflakes. Cut out snowflakes out of white sheet paper and tape them in the windows. You can also hang them from the cieling as a sort of winter wonderland. These are great as decorations during winter holidays and themes birthday parties so you can easily reuse them.
Greenery. Hang greenery from a large flower put from the ceiling. It can be vines or long branches of willows. Get creative!
Christmas Garlands. Everyone uses garlands to wrap around their tree. They may even make their own wreath by wrapping faux pine tree branches around in a circle. Recycle these items by placing them in an upside down U shape for an eye-catching backdrop.
Got more ideas? Comment below!
|Posted by Live Love Mom on June 8, 2021 at 9:25 AM||comments ()|
by: Rev Dr. Stéphanie McEndree
Did your alarm go off late? Are you a busy woman and you need to speed up your makeup routine? Are you wanting to simplify your makeup routine? Then this is the post for you!
Concealer. Start by concealing any blemishes you may have such as pimples, scars, sun spots or anything else you want to cover up. You can even swipe it under your eyes to lessen the appearance of dark circles.
Eyeliner. Line your eyes with your favorite eyeliner. Go over the top lid by the lashline to nmake your lashes appear thicker. If you want, you can also add some to the inner bottom eyelid so your eyes are completely framed with eyeliner.
Mascara. Choose your regular mascara and do your bottom and top lashes. This dyes your eyelashes black and makes them more noticable. For the best look, use a brush that isn't too clumping and lengthens.
LIp gloss. For a more natural look, swipe some lip gloss on your lips. If you want to plump your lips up a bit, you can use lip gloss that has some jalapeno in it or another swelling agent. You can also choose a tinted lip gloss to give your lips some color.
Got some more tips to get your makeup done in 15 minutes or less? Comment below!
|Posted by Live Love Mom on June 1, 2021 at 8:40 AM||comments ()|
by: Rev. Dr. Stéphanie McEndree
Wedding arches are popular to get married under. Originally from the Jewish “chuppah”, meaning “blanket”, it symbolizes the home the couple will later live in and have children in. Whether as decorations or for religious significance, wedding arches are popular for ceremonies, especially civil ceremonies or outdoor weddings. They are easily transported from one location to another and are often made of metal, plastic or wood.
Do you want to have a wedding arch at your wedding? Are you on a budget and looking to have an arch to get married under? This article is for you!
Tree arches. This is the easiest to DIY. Simply grab a long cloth, curtains, streamers, or strips of fabric and lay them across tree branches to make the form of an arch. You can attach banners, balloons, flowers and more!
Simple arch. These are easily made with metal, or bought at gardening stores. Just attach tulle and flowers for decorations, and you have a simple wedding arch.
DIY branch arch. Simply find large branches, peel the bark off, sand them, then nail them together. Plant them firmly into the ground so they don’t sway in the wind or tip over. Then, decorate to your heart’s desire.
Plastic arch. Often sold in wedding stores or cheaper gardening stores, these can easily be decorated with lights, tulle, fabric, greenery and more. Simply plant wherever you want to get married, decorate, and voila!
Garden arch. These are great for vineyards in your garden and can stand at your home for many years to come in memory of the wonderful day of your wedding. Bought at garden stores, this arch is often made of plastic and can have someone install it for you. Weave vines through it and wait a few years for a lush tumbling of leaves from the top. The foliage makes it very gorgeous in the summer.
Chuppah. Often used in Jewish weddings, chuppahs are sort of like a canopy arch or a tent-like arch. It has four poles and there is a blanket or sheet on top. You can make one of your own using plastic tubes or wooden poles. Attach a sheet on top, tie it down, and decorate with flowers, ribbons, and more.
Flower pot arch. Where planting the poles in the ground isn’t possible, stick them in flower pots filled with earth, or rocks if the wind is heavy. You can use poles, tubes, or branches to make your own arch, or you can buy pre-made ones on etsy. Decorate accordingly if you so wish.
Got any more tips and tricks on making or obtaining a cheap wedding arch? Comment below!
|Posted by Live Love Mom on May 25, 2021 at 9:30 AM||comments ()|
|Posted by Live Love Mom on May 18, 2021 at 9:10 AM||comments ()|
by: Rev Dr. Stéphanie McEndree
Proposing to your boyfriend can be exciting for anyone! Whether in a heterosexual or homosexual relationship, engagements are a big step in any couple. Often, it’s men who propose to women, so there isn’t a lot out there that tells you how you can propose to a man. However, there is a tradition in the UK and Ireland where women propose to their man on February 29th. It started in Ireland in 5th century when St. Patrick heard St. Brigid complain about having to wait 7 years before getting engaged. It has been tradition every since. However, for all other countries, we don’t have any such dates. If you want to propose to your boyfriend, here are some ideas.
Get a mengagement ring. Does your man like jewelry? Does he like rings? Then get an engagement ring for him! There are plenty of styles out there for men, or feminine styles for the metrosexual. Not sure what styles he likes, or would like? Ask his friends to ask his opinion on rings. Or, you could always propose at a jewelry shop and have him pick the ring he wants.
Location, location, location. Pick a location you know he’ll like. Some great ideas are; the place you first met, his favorite restaurant, his favorite park, where you had your first kiss, by a meaningful location for him (the neighborhood where he grew up, where he graduated, his childhood home, etc), at a family gathering, at a family event, during a party for him, and more. Are you planning a special trip or vacation together? Propose then!
Tokens of affection. If your man isn’t someone who likes rings, consider offering him something else as a token of your affection. Give him a puppy, a collectible item he’s been vying for, a new video game system, his favorite athlete’s signed poster, tickets to his favorite team’s game, front-row seats to his favorite band’s concert, plane tickets to a vacation location, and more.
Do it at the right time. If you’ve been fighting a lot recently, or you have been together for less than a year under normal circumstances, it’s not the right time to propose. It’s better to wait until you both are sure that you want to spend the rest of your life together. Also, it’s important that you’ve already lived together for a decent amount of time. Just like your friends, just because you get along doesn’t mean you’re meant to live together. Be sure you really are a good fit in the long-run before taking such a leap. Take your time to really plan everything out to make it special.
Wear something special. Don that dress he loves on you, or that snazzy suit that makes him grin. If it’s a quiet evening at home, his favorite T-shirt with nothing underneath is sure to get his attention if you want some fantastic love-making afterwards to celebrate. You can also wear something thematic; a jersey of his favorite football team if you’re at a game or proposing at the superbowl,
Ambiance. If you aren’t proposing at a romantic restaurant or somewhere with a nice feel to it, feel free to make it your own. Set up a romantic picnic at his favorite park. Spell his name out with candles. Play his favorite songs by his favorite bands. Throw rose petals on your bed. Get creative and set the mood.
You can also take another turn and plan out something completely different. Some couples have had the proposing person carry signs outside on top of buses saying romantic things before proposing. Some have involved the children by having them give the partner the engagement ring. Some have planned out an elaborate choreographed dance for their loved one. Some people even propose on stage, by lettering on a sea plane, a billboard on the busiest highway, or their partner’s first grade class carrying each a letter that spells out “Will you marry me?” Nearly all ideas are good ones, go with what feels right and what you know your loved one will love.
Be sure he’s open to being proposed to. Some guys prefer to do the proposing, usually these are men that are fairly traditional, and may have always dreamed of their proposing to their soulmate. Have one of his friends ask him what he thinks about women proposing to men? If he’s open to it, you probably have the green light to go ahead with your plans. Not comfortable soliciting the help of his friends? Watch “The Proposal” with your significant other, and ask if that’s something he would be into.
Be sure he’ll say yes. If you’ve been talking about your hypothetical wedding plans and have agreed you both want to get married someday to each other, and you’ve been in a solid, meaningful relationship for years, then by all means propose! If your significant other has had a bad divorce and has sworn off all weddings and marriages, or if he simply doesn’t believe in marriage, then proposing may not be the best idea.
Got anything more to add, or any tips, tricks and advice? Comment below!
|Posted by Live Love Mom on May 11, 2021 at 9:00 AM||comments ()|
by: Rev Dr. Stéphanie McEndree
What is this skin-to-skin everyone is talking about? Skin-to-skin, also known as kangaroo care, is when a newborn baby gets placed (in this case) directly on the mother's bare skin. This can be her belly, her chest, or her breasts. Kangaroo care can also be performed by fathers and siblings and even grandparents, however in this case we will focus on mother-and-baby skin-to-skin contact. It's standard practice that newborn babies get put skin-to-skin against their mother immediately after birth. So, what are the benefits? Why are doctors and midwives doing this?
Immediate skin to skin after birth:
- Facilitates mother and baby bonding. The mother is able to connect with her baby right away and vice versa. They spend their first few minutes together and can get used to each other since they are seeing each other for the first time and will be in each other's lives forever.
- Facilitates communication between mother and baby. Mothers and babies can lock eyes and talk to each other. Even the baby will be crying or cooing to communicate with it's mother.
- Comforts and soothes the baby. The baby just recieved the shock of it's lifetime. After nine months of being suspended naked in fluid, she is born in a colder room, with voices she's never heard before and lights she's not used to. However, she knows her mother's scent, voice, and the sounds her body makes. Laying on her mom allowes her to hear her mother's bodily functions like she did in the womb, to be held and warm like she was moments ago, and to take in her mother's voice that she is so familiar with while engulfed in her scent.
- Relieves pain. The mother is fully focused on her baby, so she is not paying attention to any pain she may have following the delivery.
- Transfers good bacteria to the baby. The mother's good bacteria will transfer onto the newborn baby's skin and instantly begin protecting her. This also boosts her immune system to help her fight off any bad bacteria that would touch her skin.
- Stablizes the baby's temperature. With the mother's temperature the same as the baby was used to, skin-to-skin warms the baby right back up. It keeps her skin warm, especially since babies don't have the ability to control their own temperatures.
- Eases the baby's transition from the womb into the world. This is as close as she will get to being in the womb again; she is warm, held tight, can hear her mother's breathing and heartbeat, can smell and hear her mother.
- Encourages breastfeeding success. Kangaroo care gives the baby access to the breasts so she can begin her breast crawl when she's ready. The first hour should always be the parents and the baby alone for maximum breastfeeding success, interventions can wait.
- Optimizes pulminary function. The baby uses her mother's breathing and immitates her, which regulates the baby's breathing. Providers are also able to listen to the baby's lungs to make sure the lungs are functioning properly and there's no fluid.
- Optimizes cardiac function. Lungs and the heart always work together. With the baby copying the mother's breathing, this stablizes the heart as well.
- Calms the mother. An anxious mother waiting to meet her baby for months and months, will finally get to greet her baby. If the was anxious during the labor, finally holding her little one will calm her right down.
- Encourages milk production. Smelling your baby and having her on or near your breasts signals your brain that milk production can begin. When the placenta is expelled is when all of your hormones focus on making milk for your little one the most, but it begins with skin-to-skin.
- Lowers the mother's blood pressure. With the mother being relaxed and holding her baby for the first time, her blood pressure lowers, which causes her to bleed less after the birth.
- Stablizes the mother's heart rate. The mother is relaxed and united with her baby, so her heart rate slows to a normal rate, which also minimizes blood loss.
- Can decrease the chances of postpartum hemmhorage. Being away from her baby makes a mother anxious, which causes her heart to race and raises her blood pressure. Both of those things make blood loss more rapid, so it's important to have the baby and the mother have skin-to-skin immediately after the birth.
|Posted by Live Love Mom on May 4, 2021 at 9:20 AM||comments ()|
by: Rev Dr. Stephanie McEndree
Weddings are often times where guests, the bride and the groom sip a glass of champagne. However, not every couple likes alcohol, and not every guest drinks already-bought booze. Here are some great tips to throw a dry wedding!
Cut out all the booze. Whether you have alcoholics in the family, party-people that go crazy when drunk, or you just want to avoid drunken driving, drunk dialing or any sort of mishap associated with drinking; don’t have alcohol at your wedding. When venues ask if you want alcohol or non-alcoholic drinks, stick to virgins. You can even have virgin cocktails available that are delicious even without alcohol. Have a Shirley Temple, Virgin Mary, and Virgin Daiquiri. They are delicious, refreshing and perfect for hot climates and months.
Have your summer wedding during the hot months. Alcohol is a dehydrating agent, so it’s especially dangerous in the warmer months. Have the wedding in the season of your dreams without having to worry about the health of your guests. Serve up alcohol-free punch, mixes, juice and more! Be sure there is plenty to drink on hand, since your guests are sure to work up a sweat dancing it up!
Have a designated drink. Pull out something fancy for the big wedding toast. Go for sparkling cider, sparkling juice, or even alcohol-free beer. Say cheers to all of your guests and listen to heartfelt speeches from loved ones while sipping on something tasty. Plan ahead if you’re having your wedding in a park or in a backyard; you may need to make the drinks yourself, or have someone make them.
Have a theme. Choose your drinks according to your theme. Are you having a tea-party or garden wedding? Lemonade and tea are perfect! Are you having a green, vegan wedding? Water infused with herbs, citrus and berries are perfect! Having your wedding in the colder months? Stick with coffee, tea and hot chocolate. Having a black-tie event? Have sparkling cider, sparkling juice and cocktails handy. Is your affair more casual? Lug out your cooler and drink some non-alcoholic beer, or even some soda in vintage bottles. Semi-formal wedding? Break out the punch!
Recipes. Once you have your theme picked out, do some research on the types of recipes you want to use. It’s cheaper to make the drinks yourself, or have a friend make them. Once you found the recipes you want to use, print them out to have them on hand when it’s time to make them. Keep your fridge clear for when you’re ready to refrigerate them.
Shopping. Go to your local market or grocery store to buy the ingredients needed for each drink recipe. If you’ve chosen sparkling cider or alcohol-free beer, you can buy them in the drink aisle of your grocery store. If you want virgin drinks like virgin margaritas virgin pina coladas and virgin daiquiris, you can get the syrup for the drinks at your local dollar store. Mix them with soda and you’re all set! Be sure to get ice, or crushed ice for your cocktails, and have a blender handy. For other recipes, buy the fruit, sugar, and herbs accordingly. Have the number of guests attending on hand, so you know how much you really need.
Storage. Stop by your local dollar store and pick up pitchers with taps to serve your drinks. Make iced tea, lemonade, and more. Fill up the pitchers and let them chill overnight. Soon, you’ll be ready to lug them out to the reception area where they can be served ice cold. Put some sliced fruit in the drinks to make them look and taste even better.
Have a blast at your wedding and your reception, and enjoy your tasty drinks throughout your party!
Got anything more to add? Have you had a dry wedding and you want to share your tips? Comment below!
|Posted by Live Love Mom on April 27, 2021 at 9:50 AM||comments ()|
|Posted by Live Love Mom on April 22, 2021 at 10:15 AM||comments ()|
by: Rev Dr. Stephanie McEndree
Do you want a destination wedding, but can’t afford the several thousands of dollars it takes for a tropical paradise? Look no further! Here are some all-inclusive honeymoon packages under $2000 per couple.
Azul Fives Hotel by Karisma – Riviera Maya, Mexico
13-night cost per couple: $1,885
Breezes Bahamas Resort and Spa – Cable Beach, Bahamas
Cost per couple: $1,930
Grande Oasis Tulum – Riviera Maya, Mexico
Cost per couple: $1,875
Sandals Grande Riviera – Ocho Rios, Jamaica
Cost per couple: Starting at $1,809
Barcelo Bávaro Beach – Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Cost per couple: Starting at $1,104
Paradisus Cancun – Mexico
Cost per couple: $1,600 per couple
Hilton Rose Hall Resort & Spa – Montego Bay, Jamaica
Cost per couple: $1,145 (includes all hotel taxes, service charges)
Melia Caribe Tropical – Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
11-night cost per couple: $1,936
Sandos Finisterra Los Cabos Resort – Los Cabos, Mexico
Cost per couple: $1,028
Paradisus Punta Cana – Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Cost per couple: $1,460
Sandos Caracol Eco Resort & Spa – Riviera Maya, Mexico
Cost per couple: $1,004
Occidental Grand Aruba – Palm Beach, Aruba
Cost per couple: $1,992
Grande Oasis Viva – Cancun, Mexico
Cost per couple: $1,750
|Posted by Live Love Mom on April 15, 2021 at 9:30 AM||comments ()|
- Turkey Sandwich. Add some mayonnaise, some lettuce or some sliced tomatoes. You can customize it any way you want and any way your kids prefer it.
- Ham sandwich. You can mix it up with some ranch dressing to keep it moist and add some onion and lettuce.
- Baloney sandwich. Combined with some mustard and you have a timeless classic.
- Peanut butter and jelly sandwich. With the protein in peanut butter and a fruit serving in the jelly, it's packed full of flavor and is even healthier with whole-wheat bread.
- Tuna sandwich. Mix it up with some mayonnaise and put it on some toasted bread.
- Wraps. You can offer your child wraps that are made of chicken, hummus, even beef or steak. They are fun to eat, and you can sneak some veggies in there such as cabbage, kale or lettuce.
- Burritos. They're like wraps, but have lots of flavor packed in them. Put in some rice, beans, and your child's favorite meats and you're good to go!
- TV dinners. It comes in a box already, and your child can just heat it up in the microwave and have a fancy dinner all to themselves! They can have anything from pasta to meats and side dishes.
- Quesadillas. You can cook them the night before school and put them in some tupperware. Put some chicken or beef with some cheese and sliced peppers and onions and you're good to go!
- Salads. I'm talking about pasta salads, potatoes salads, tuna salads, anything that doesn't have to do with lettuce. You can put anything in there and the kids will love it!
- Veggies. You can make a bag of sliced carrots and celery with some dip. Try out different sauces so you can figure out which ones your kids prefer.
- Fruit. Put in an apple, an orange, a pear, a banana, or any fruit you think your kid would enjoy. If they're younger, it's best to go with fruit you don't have to peel or cut. A bag of grapes, blueberries or raspberries works too.
- Nuts. Include your kid's favorite nuts such as peanuts, almonds, cashews, walnuts or sunflower seeds. This of course is if your child and the school has no allergies.
- Crackers. Whole-grain are the healthiest, but you can also go for more popular brands like Ritz if you know that's what your child will eat. They can spread some cream cheese, sliced cheese, hummus, or anything.
- Meat jerky. Kids hate meat sandwiches? Throw in some jerky for a chewy, protein-packed snack.
- Cheese. Whether it's cubed or sliced, kids love cheese. You can pair it up with some crackers or baguette bread if it's a spread.
- Granola bar. There are granola bars, breakfast bars, protein bars and more that you can offer to your child for snack time at school.
- Applesauce. They come in so many flavors like strawberry, blueberry, even carrot and of course apple. Get a variety pack and have your kid taste them and pick out their favorites.
- Fruit Juice. Get them a dose of fruit with the most common drinks given to kids; there are so many different flavors to choose from and they're relatively cheap!
- Milk. You can find cartons of milk, or even small milk bottles you can give to your kids. Some come in chocolate or strawberry flavor, so even the pickiest of children get their daily dose of calcium.
- Yogurt. Drinkable yogurts guarentee your child gets their probiotics and calcium all on one flavorful beverage. Once again plenty of flavors to choose from.
- Smoothie. You can make these at home, or you can buy some that are sold in small bottles or big jugs to pour from. You can sneak some veggies like carrots in there along with some fruit to guarentee your child gets their fill of the most important food groups.
- Vegetable juice. They come in cans and can be opened with tabs just like a soda. Often in tomato juice flavors, you get at least one serving of fruit per can.
|Posted by Live Love Mom on April 8, 2021 at 9:55 AM||comments ()|
by: Rev Dr. Stephanie McEndree
Are all your dream venues booked up? Unable to afford a big, fancy venue? Would you like to have a backyard wedding, but your yard is ugly, or you’d see too many commercial buildings in the background of your wedding photos? Here is how you can have a great wedding with beautiful photos either way.
Rent a tent with chairs and tables. It will hide any eye-sores your backyard may have, especially if your tent has walls. Some places even allow you to rent wood floors from them so it looks like you’ve got a venue! Get one as large as your backyard can handle to be sure you can fit all of your guests. Tents are great because no matter if it rains or snows, your tent will protect you and your guests from the elements outside. It is better to have a wedding with a tent in late spring or early autumn so it is not too hot or cold inside the tent. However you can always bring a battery-operated heater or air conditioning unit.
Photograph strategically. Have your photographer avoid including unfortunate objects in the pictures. Position yourself away from the offenders. Big group photos can also help hide anything ugly. Fill up the picture so each end of the photo has people. As your parents, siblings, and in laws all in the photo together. This way you get to have good wedding photos
Clothes lines. Attach clothes lines and drape a sheet with lights to hide any buildings or other eye sores from your backyard.You can also string lights behind the sheet so it looks like twinkling lights and a magical backdrop. If you do not have a clothes line you can set one up. You can also just set up backdrops along the border of your yard like tall balloons or screens that show slideshows.
Decorate. Bring in some flower pots, rugs or even antique furniture to beautify your yard. This will give a rustic feel to your wedding photos. Be sure it will not rain on the day so you do not damage any of your belongings. You can even rent stands and furniture just to showcase for your wedding. You can set up a photo booth, long mirror, even set up a gazebo or two. It all depends on what you can find and rent. There are even giant-sized letters that spell out LOVE or MR & MRS that you can border your land or put in front of any unpleasant things. If you can, remove any eye sores from your yard.
Do you have at least a year before your wedding and you want your backyard to look good permanently? If you plan to move one day, another perk is that it could add to the resale value.
Plant grass. Wherever there is just a patch of dirt or mud, sprinkle some grass seeds and bury them so grass will grow. Keep watering it and mow it when it gets too long. A grassy yard looks better than one that is just made up of dirt.
Plant flowers. Plant a few trees, shrubs and flowers around your house to make it look amazing. You can get inspiration off of photo sites such as pinterest or instagram. You can then look up in your local warehouse stores or florist shops where you can buy the seeds or flower pots where you can take out the flowers and plant them. This way you already know what they will look like so you can choose what you would prefer right away. You can also plant or order privacy hedges to border your land. It looks good and is a natural way to decorate your yard.
Do some landscaping. Lay cement paths, a bird bath, fountains, a gazebo, patio furniture, or anything else you think will look good in your backyard. You can also lay tiles to use as a path to your garden or to the garage. You can also put any stray tools or items in a tool shed you can build or buy. Simple organization can make your yard look much better.
Got any more ideas? Comment below!
|Posted by Live Love Mom on April 1, 2021 at 9:05 AM||comments ()|
by: Rev Dr. Stéphanie McEndree
walking. There’s a great reason to get vertical: It helps you work with gravity, allowing your pelvis to open and your baby to move down into your birth canal. Walking is something you'll be more likely to do early rather than later in labor since it'll be harder to head for the corridors for a few laps once the contractions are coming one right after the other. Standing, however, is something you can do at any point during labor. Leaning against a wall or your partner for support during contractions is best, since it's not that easy to stand up straight when you're getting squeezed down below. Can you stand up and deliver? Gravity aside, that would be tricky — but you can squat (see below).
Rocking. Rocking, either on a chair or swaying back and forth, allows your pelvis to move and encourages the baby to descend (down, baby, down!). And the more upright you are, the more gravity is able to help you out.
Squatting. You’ll probably use this position only late in labor or during delivery itself. Like standing, squatting also employs Newton's finest while opening up the pelvis to give your baby more room to move on down. You can use your partner for squatting support (you'll probably be a little wobbly, so you'll need all the support you can get), or you can use a squatting, or birthing, bar, which is often attached to the birthing bed (leaning on the bar will keep your legs from tiring out as you squat).
Sitting. Sitting — in bed, in your partner's arms or on a birthing ball — can ease the pain of contractions and allow gravity to assist in bringing your baby down into the birth canal. Sitting also helps to open up your pelvis, and it's a lot easier than squatting for long periods.
Leaning over or
kneeling. Leaning forward — over a stack of pillows on a bed, for instance — or kneeling over a chair or birthing ball can be super helpful when you have back labor (when the back of the baby's head is pushing against your spine) because it encourages the baby to move forward, taking the pressure off your back. Alternatively, you can lean over your partner's shoulder to relieve some of that pressure.
Hands and knees. Going on all fours is another way to cope more comfortably if you're experiencing back labor. This position allows you to do pelvic tilts for comfort, while giving your partner great access to your back for massage and counterpressure (you'll want it, big time). Many moms like to deliver in this position no matter what kind of labor they're having, since it opens up the pelvis and uses gravity to coax baby down.
Side-lying. Better than lying on your back because it doesn't compress the major veins in your body (which could compromise blood flow to your baby), side lying is a good option if you’re too tired for squatting or sitting. Lying on your side also puts your partner in a good position — he'll be better able to put his best massage techniques to use. Side-lying can also be a good delivery position — it can help slow a too-fast birth (yes, there is such a thing), as well as ease the pain of some contractions.
Do any labor positions make childbirth easier? An analysis of medical studies shows that upright positions — standing, walking, squatting and sitting— may shorten the first stage of labor by approximately one hour and 22 minutes. Studies also show that women who spend part of labor in an upright position are less likely to end up with a cesarean delivery.
Don't feel compelled to squat when semi-sitting's doing the trick (and making you less inhibited about pushing). Read up on the different positions ahead of time and even give them a trial run, but remember that until you're actually in labor, you won't know what'll best bring you the relief — or the results — you're looking for.
If you have back labor: Leaning over, kneeling, or getting onto your hands and knees can help relieve the pain that comes from back labor.
|Posted by Live Love Mom on March 26, 2021 at 8:55 AM||comments ()|
By: Rev Dr. Stéphanie Noircent
Chocolate egg hunt is one of the most popular activities parents set up for their kids. It's a scavenger hunt either conducted outdoors or indoors depending on the weather. Kids hunt by looking in hiding spaces for easter eggs and gather them in their baskets.
Painting Eggs is often done with families together. Grab some eggs bought for this purpose. You can poke a small hole on both ends of the egg and blow out the yolks so it doesn't go to waste. Then, simply use some watercolors and paint the shells with your kids. It makes for a cute centerpiece for the dining room table.
Egg Relay Race is so much fun! You take some boiled eggs and put them on spoons. Put the handle of the spoon in your mouth and the first person to get across the finish line without dropping the egg wins! Kids can hold the spoons in their hands if they want to. I say use boiled eggs because even if they fall, the shell protects it and you can still eat it afterwards. No food waste!
Seeing the easter bunny is another thing kids enjoy doing. Go visit the mall and you're sure to get a photo-op with the easter bunny. The kids will love it and it will be a magical moment for them.
Easter baskets are a way to sneak in a few gifts for your kids. You can fill them up with goodies like treats, toys, and more. People often take photos of kids with their easter baskets as well.
See an Easter Parade together with your family. Take folding chairs if you have them so your kids and yourself can have a place to sit. Enjoy watching the floats, music and dancing together as a family and enjoy a good time together!
What are your family traditions for Easter? Comment below!
|Posted by Live Love Mom on March 25, 2021 at 9:15 AM||comments ()|
by: Rev Dr. Stéphanie McEndree
Weddings are often quiet expensive, and it forces us to have to tighten the purse strings and re-think our budgets. You probably thought to save the big token items for the actual wedding instead of paper items, and you're right! Why spend hundreds of dollars on invitations and designs when you can just download them for free? There are plenty of ways you can choose different wedding invitation templates free of charge.
Often, wedding invitation templates often come with free editing so you can type in your names, the venue address and your wedding date. There are even RSVP cards, free and customize-able that are included. You can also do save-the-date cards, and even thank you cards all in the same template. RSVP cards not your thing? You can go without. Or, you can change the wording so they are either thank you cards, save the dates, and more.
Once you have chosen the type of invitation you want, you can even change the color of the invitation. The templates are often offered in various colors. Pick them so they match your wedding colors, and you’re all set!
My personal favorite website for free wedding invitation template downloads is this one: www.greetingsisland.com/invitations/wedding/1
Once you are on the page to download, you can either download the invitation in photo format or as a PDF. For a PDF, you can even choose the size of your invitations. How much more practical can you get? Once you’ve downloaded the file, all you need to do is print them out in the exact number you want and on the paper you want. If you don’t have a printer at home, simply put the file on a USB key and take it to your local Staples. There you can select the type of paper you’d like the invitations printed off of, and order them accordingly.
So far I haven’t been able to find another site that is actually free, and that actually lets you download the templates. So if you find another, please comment below!