|Posted by Live Love Mom on January 21, 2021 at 8:05 AM||comments (0)|
by: Rev Dr. Stéphanie McEndree
Start planning at least 1 year before your wedding date. This gives you plenty of time to book your venues ahead of time. If you live in a high population city however, you should start planning at least 15 months before the big day since wedding venues will get pre-booked fast.
Start by looking at things on pinterest. Themes, colors, dresses, suits, flowers, makeup, nails, etc. Get a good idea of what you want. You can make a board on there to save all of your wedding ideas. You can also show them to your future spouse and get their idea of what they would like in their wedding.
Make a guest list of who you couldn’t imagine the day without, then made a “maybe” guest list of other people you’d like there. Once you choose your caterer, decide how many guests you can afford and put together a final guest list. You can comfortably ask your caterer to feed about 75% of your guests. An estimated 25% will not attend or will be no-shows.
Do your research. Look up venues, officiants, caterers, DJs, Bakers, photographer, florist etc. Compare prices and what is included in those prices and make a decision, and make a deposit to each to reserve them for your day. If your budget is super tight, you can go with who is cheapest. If you strongly prefer one over the other, you of course choose the one you prefer.
Make it your own. You can personalize the officiant’s ceremony a little into your own, and make a wedding website for RSVPs and all that. You can get free online wedding invitation templates and printed them out on 65 lbs paper at Staples with an RSVP card. Be sure to buy supplies such as envelopes, some ribbon, doilies and stick-on crystals and voila! Sent out the invitations. You can also come up with themes, and anything else unique to make it even more personal for you and your fiance.
Buying. You should then start buying stuff for the wedding (flowers since we’re going silk, wedding dress, wedding shoes, etc). You should call places such as linen stores where you want to rent linens and other things and ask if they are available on the date you want to have your wedding. If so, start booking. You also want to do the same with other services such as music, officiant, venue, florist, caterer, and anything else you would want at your wedding.
Pro tip: Made a facebook group to keep the wedding party updated on how things progressed and new ideas you have.
|Posted by Live Love Mom on January 14, 2021 at 8:05 AM||comments (0)|
by: Rev Dr. Stéphanie McEndree
You've read one of our previos posts which lists what a doula is, and frequently asked questions. But, do you know exactly what the benefits of having a birth doula are? Well, you're about to! Adding a doula to your birth team is a decision you will never regret, and will keep reaping the benefits for the rest of your life. Here's why!
The statistics don't lie. According to evidence-based research, people who hire doulas have:
- A 28% less chance of having a c-section
- Are 40% less likely to need pitocin to speed labor
- Are 60% less likely to use an epidural
- Reduced amount of anesthesia and for how long it's used
- Reduction of the use of any type of pain medication
- Higher APGAR scores in newborns
- Woman report being more calm and relaxed during the birth
- Women report a more positive birthing experience
- Fewer births need forceps or vacuum extraction
- Fewer cases of fetal distress
How exactly are all of these benefits possible? Here's how a doula does it.
Doulas offer informational, physical and emotional support. They offer prenatal classes while you're pregnant for you and your partner and teach you exactly how your body, pregnancy and birth works. Doulas also physically support you by providing acupressure, massage, and more for pain relief. They also offer emotional support as they encourage you and empower you to make your own decisions and cheer you on through your labor and birth.
They can help you make your birth plan and choose what's right for you. They explain every procedure possible and what to plan for if things go unexpected. They will help you write your birth plan and support you in whatever choices you make and they will never judge you. If you're giving birth at a birth center or hospital, they also help you make a list of things you will need to pack for the big day.
They can help your partner figure out what to do during the birth. Some partners are like deer in headlights and have no idea what to do when they see their partner in labor. Your doula will offer various options for your partner to help you during the birth. You will also be able to express what you would like your partner to do, such as show you affection, catch the baby, or cut the umbillical cord, and everything in between. Your doula also works with your partner to meet your needs. They can take turns feeding you ice chips and putting a cold compress on your head or changing the bath water, massage you, and anything else.
They are also called birth coaches and are great for encouragement. They are your own personal cheerleaders. They will remind you that you can do this, and empower you to assert your rights and preferences. They will give you strength when you need it and be someone to lean on when neccessary. They will also usher people out of the room that you have not agreed to be in there, so you can rest assured your nosy neighbors won't be allowed to enter your sacred space if you don't want them to! They're like a night light, they watch over you and ensure that you're well taken care of.
They help the entire family adjust to their new roles. You only have nine months to wrap your head around the fact that you will become parents. A doula helps you prepare for everything, even if it's just making a list of baby items you will need. They can also offer advice to your loved ones on how they can best support you during and after your pregnancy. They can encourage you to maintain a routine once the baby is born and teach you how to breastfeed or bottle-feed, whichever you choose.
Doulas are certified and undergo training so they know what they're doing. They have experience and know how this works, and most of them are parents themselves. Whether they are fresh out of school or have decades of work behind them, each doula is full of knowledge and is excited to help you and your family. They want to give you the best experience of your life and give you space after the birth to bond with your baby and to be a family.
So what are you waiting for? Hire one today!
|Posted by Live Love Mom on January 7, 2021 at 8:00 AM||comments (0)|
|Posted by Live Love Mom on December 31, 2020 at 7:15 AM||comments (0)|
by: Rev Dr. Stéphanie McEndree
Did you know that your skin is your largest organ on your entire body? It's the barrier that protects everything your body is made of to keep out infection and hazards from hurting you. It's your first line of defense, so why shouldn't you take care of it? Skin is 90% of your selfie, save money on makeup and just take care of your skin.
Have you been having more bad skin days than good skin days? Are you looking to improve your skin's appearance? Do you want to live a life with healthier skin? Have you realized that you and your skin are worth it? Here are some tips for healthier skin from a professional esthetician.
Exfoliate your face. Ever wondered why there is dust that accumulates around your home no matter what you do? It's your skin, darling. You constantly shed dead skin cells every day, in fact you shed four pounds of skin every year! However, the process of shedding old skin takes a while. Your skin cells need to become dehydrated, brittle and fragile, die off, then peel off loosely enough to finally break free from your body. Why wait all that time? Get a professional medical-quality exfoliation from your local esthetician, or buy one from a dermatologist or medspa. With this you can slough off dead skin cells and make your face feel silky smooth and look radiant. You will glow and allow your skin to breathe! You are also removing thin layers of skin, which also sands down any pimples or blemishes that you may have. For deep exfoliation that can even get rid of your wrinkles, sun spots and more, ask your esthetician for microdermabrasion or a chemical peel.
Exfoliate your body. For all the reasons listed above, you also want to exfoliate your body. Who doesn't love touching baby-soft skin? That can be yours easily when you exfoliate. Exfoliating also loosens up any ingrown hairs that were starting to form and removes any dirt and grime that was on your skin. Any peeling and dry skin you had will disappear to reveal shiny new skin underneath. You won't want to stop running your hands along your arms and legs as you marvel at how soft you feel! You can exfoliate longer on rougher areas on your body like any callouses to really give you that smooth feel all over.
Moisturize. No matter your skin type, all skin needs moisture. Dry skin flakes, is irritating and itchy. Scratching causes tiny tears in the skin which invites bacteria and creates pimples. You don't want that! Whenever you have dry skin, you always want to moisturize. You can get a good moisturizer from your local esthetician with professional salon-quality. Always look to estheticians first, as pharmaceutical brands just do the bare minimum. You want a deep hydration that will last. You want your skin to be nourished, healed and quenched with the best there is. Don't skimp out on a moisturizer!
Don't tan. The sun and tanning is an assault on your skin. UV rays actually cause wrinkles that sag the skin and age you very quickly. You may look good for a couple of years, but after that you will look many years older. It's a heavy price to pay just for two years of looking like a beach babe. Stay out of the tanning salon and slather up that sunscreen when you go out of the house. Don't like being pale? Get a spray-tan or use self-tanning lotion. Anything is better than roasting in the sun or in artificial beds that damage your skin. Not to mention tanning can cause skin cancer, it's really not worth the risk. Pale is in, and you will look younger longer.
Minimize touching your face. This can be a given due to the pandemic, but in reality it's an everyday type of tip. We touch hundreds of surfaces every day, and each of those surfaces have bacteria, viruses, fungus, dirt and impurities. Whenever we touch our faces after this, we introduce harmful irritants to our face. Our skin becomes inflammed as it defends itself against this assault, and forms pimples, blackheads and whiteheads trying to remove these things from our pores and skin surface. Save yourself the breakouts and blemishes and don't touch your face unless you absolutely have to.
Wash your hands. As mentionned above, if you must touch your face, it's best to do it with clean hands. Wash your hands often, not just after you use the bathroom. Wash your hands before you touch your face, every time. Be sure you use a gentle soap as you don't want to damage the skin of your hands either. You also need to wash your hands when you return from going outside, even if it was just in your backyard. You absolutely need to do this anyways during the pandemic, but also when it's over. You don't want to get sick touching something someone who was ill touched, or get any of your housemates sick. Practice good hygeine and keep yourself and your skin happy!
|Posted by Live Love Mom on December 25, 2020 at 7:10 AM||comments (0)|
by: Rev Dr. Stéphanie McEndree
Save money and enjoy crafting as you make your own wedding favors. From edible goods to useful household items, create your own little masterpiece filled with love that your guests will enjoy.
Dry rub. Gather all of your spices and either make your own, or follow an online recipe. This is great because dry spices last years, so you can make them way ahead of time. You can always buy spices at the grocery store.
Ornaments. Most people have a holiday tree they put up during the holidays. You can make an ornament for them to decorate their tree with. This is especially appropriate for weddings in December. Your favors can be as simple as picking pine cones, painting them and tying a ribbon so people can hang it on their trees. You can even add a tag with your wedding date on it, or simply write happy holidays on it.
Sugar scrub. This is great to use as a deep exfoliation for your body. Make them for your guests in small jars or even plastic bags tied with a ribbon.
Salt scrub. Similar to the sugar scrub, salt scrubs can last a while and can be made far ahead of time. With coconut oil and a drop of essential oils, it will keep for a while so your guests can wait for a special moment to use it.
Wine Glasses. If you have too many of these in your own home or shot glasses, you can give them as favors. Use a hot glue-gun to write something personal to you and your future spouse, or even a symbol that means a lot to you two. You can sprinkle some glitter on top of the hot glue before it dries or paint over it.
Coffee Mugs. Plenty of people have plenty of coffee mugs, some that they never use. However, not everyone has enough at home for themselves or for visitors and family memers. If you have too many or you do not mind a trip to the dollar store, you can always buy some. You can also get some plain ones and paint over them in a ceramic shop and make them unique.
Soap. Look up a soap recipe, buy the ingredients and make a nice-smelling gift your guests can use to get clean. Everyone needs soap! Just be sure to ask if anyone has allergies.
Baked goods. Make cookies, brownies, cake pops, rice krispie treats and more. These delicious delights will be consumed in no time!
Keychains. The best keychains are those that include something useful on them, like a tool that can do many things, a bottle-opener, mini flashlight, hand sanitizer, sunscreen, a whistle, or anything useful.
Home-made jam. This is a great idea especially if you have fruit trees or berry plants at home. Make your own easily. Just get some fruit, sugar or stevia, and boil while stirring until it’s the consistancy you want. Put in jars and serve!
Alcohol. You can buy mini bottles of different types of alcohol and offer this as favors. They will definitely get used, and the small bottles may even be kept as a souvenir.
Chocolate-covered pretzels. Follow a recipe. You can always buy pretzels, melt down some chocolate, dip the pretzels inside and freeze them to harden the chocolate.
Tea. Tea bags always come in handy for tea drinkers. If you know your guests are the tea-drinking crowd, you can offer tea bags as favors. You can make these yourself if you have an herbal garden and put dry mint leaves in a sachet.
Seeds. Grab some seeds from the plants in your backyard and put them in a little burlap pouch and offer these to guests. You can also harvest seeds from a tree in your yard so each guest can plant a tree in your honor.
Coffee. One of the most common beverages people drink in the world, you cannot go wrong with coffee. You can buy a coffee can and scoop some beans in individually sized bags. You can also add in some hot chocolate powder so people can make themselves a nice mocha.
Caramel apples. You can make candy or caramel apples for your guests to devour. They can also be a fun alternative to dessert if you do not particularily like cake to serve your guests.
Got more to suggest? Comment below!
|Posted by Live Love Mom on December 18, 2020 at 8:30 AM||comments (0)|
by: Rev Dr. Stéphanie McEndree
What is a doula?
A doula is someone trained in pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum and breastfeeding who is there to provide support (informational, emotional and physical) to the mother throughout the birth process.
A doula is a woman who provides support to the mother and her partner or single mother that is unconditional. She will listen, and not judge, she is there to help empower you to make the right decisions that are best for you and your baby. A doula is a special part of your incredible journey of birth, doulas create a bond of trust, comfort, knowledge and positive encouragement. A doula is someone that is consistently with you throughout your entire labour, the relationship between you is a bond held together by sincere compassion and trust. A doula has experience recognizing cues, sounds, and facial expressions and is able to respond with the appropriate comfort encouragement.
Doulas generally hold consultations in your home or where you are most comfortable. She helps to remind your partner or support person the tools they learned in prenatal classes and doula consultations.
What does the word “doula” mean?
The word “doula” comes from ancient Greek meaning ‘woman caregiver or servant’. Throughout history women have supported other women in their community during the childbirth process, which typically took place at home. Today, professional birth doulas take on this role when mothers are looking for someone to provide the emotional and physical support they need during their birth experience.
Are doulas accepted in hospitals?
Doulas have been working in hospitals for many years and doulas have been cultivating positive relationships with staff at the hospital. Hospitals recognize us as health practitioners. Nurses are often very happy to see a doula since this can mean the client is well educated on birth matters and she has extra support in the delivery and postpartum room.
Do I need a doula if I have a midwife or I am having a home birth?
A midwife has a very different role then a doula. A midwife is your primary care provider she will take care of all your medical needs and has huge responsibilities just as an Obstetrcian does. Her time is spent monitoring the baby, and charting your labour, she is responsible for the health and well being of you and your baby.
Doulas will be there for you often sooner then your midwife to help you through your labour providing labour tools such as massage, breathing techniques, acupressure, doulas will never leave your side unless for a washroom break. A doula is consistent in her care for you and your partner.
If I have a doula, will my husband/partner still be able to participate in the birth?
Absolutely! The doula provides support to both the mother and her partner. She ensures the partner plays a key role in the process, to the extent he/she is comfortable.
What happens if I end up having a cesarean section?
Advocacy is extremely important whether it’s a c-section or vaginal delivery. Doulas sometimes are allowed in the operating room for support. When things are moving quickly we can help you to gain perspective of the situation and help to slow things down and take the “emergency” out of a non-emergency situation. Doulas are there to help remind the partners, doctors and nurses of your birth wishes and help to keep the mother calm and relaxed.
Doulas help to facilitate skin to skin after a c-section. This is very important for breastfeeding, bonding, temperature and blood sugar balancing for the baby.
Does a doula replace my nurse? doctor? midwife?
No. Doulas do not replace any medical personnel. Doulas do not perform any medical tests or procedures such as taking blood pressure, temperature, monitoring fetal heart rate, etc. Their role is to provide comfort and support and to make sure the requests of the mother are being met. She can also help with communication between the family and the medical staff. A doula does not make decisions for you, but can assist with making your needs clear to the medical staff.
What are the benefits of a birth doula?
Research has shown that when a birth doula is present, labour tends to be shorter and with fewer complications. Women who use doulas report having more positive feelings about their childbirth experience. Doula assisted births have a reduced need for pitocin to induce labour or any other delivery assistance, such as forceps or vacuum. There is also a reduction in the request for pain medications, epidurals and cesareans when a birth doula is used.
Are doulas licensed?
Most doulas are trained and certified by recognized organizations and attend a program. Be sure you are hiring a certified birth doula by asking for their certification. Some organizations that provide certification in Canada are: CAPPA, CBI, DONA, ICEA, and Birth Arts International.
How do I find a doula?
Any of the above organizations have a search page to locate a doula in your area. When you find some prospects (they are available around your due date), you should meet with each of them and bring along a list of questions. It is important to meet a prospective birth doula in person to make sure you are compatible. Here are some sample questions which should assist you in making your final decision.
|Posted by Live Love Mom on December 11, 2020 at 9:15 AM||comments (0)|
Can’t afford a fancy trip overseas for your honeymoon? Do you only have the budget for your dream wedding or dream honeymoon? Would you rather have a small honeymoon now and a big one later? Look no further! Here is how you can have a honeymoon for as low as $100 per night.
Look on AirBnB. Some people have their entire houses for rent by the day, week or month. Rates can be as low as $15 a day. Check out the owner’s pictures and see what they’re offering.
Hotel room. Some hotels offer rooms as low as $99 a night. Look up the town you want to go to, and then look at different hotels. Make the hotel in another state or province if you’d like some alone time on the road.
Rent a cottage. Google websites where people offer their cottages or summer homes for rent. Many are luxurious with a view on the water, spas, and more. You can even pick your criteria.
Rent a cabin. Similar to renting a cottage, renting a cabin in a remote part of town is wonderful. They are often in mountains or in forests where you can meet plenty of wildlife. This getaway is perfect for someone who loves photography as you can go on hikes and photograph deer, rivers, and views below.
Go camping. Whether you go glamping with an TV or trailer or you use a good old-fashioned tent, you are sure to get the best views of the sky. Lay on a blanket and stargaze with your spouse, cook on the fire, and bond with nature. There are often parks nearby and beaches, and you can even go fishing.
Road Trip. Fill up your gas tank and drive around. You can visit nearby cities and the sights that you've never seen before. Take historic tours, look at the museums, see an art gallery. Go watch a play or the opera. You can see a sports game, go to a cultural festival, a concert, or even a circus. The sky is the limit!
Visit the beach. Go to the nearest beach where you live and make it a day trip. Bring some folding chairs, towels, sunscreen and your bathing suits and you're all set.
Don’t want to make your own meals while you’re there? Go out to a new restaurant every time and get your food cooked for you. It gives you a chance to explore different types of cuisine and culture while you’re on your post-nuptial vacation.
Got more ideas? Share below!
|Posted by Live Love Mom on December 4, 2020 at 8:00 AM||comments (0)|
by: Rev Dr. Stéphanie McEndree
Whether your child recently got diagnosed, your healthcare provider gave you a hypothesis or you've been at it for years, it's impossible to know everything. For neurotypical parents, it's important to educate yourself on as much as you can in order to best meet the needs of your child or children. Here are some tips to help you do that.
*DISCLAIMER* I am not a licenced professional in specialized education, neurological studies or anything like that. These are just tips based on my experience. Please consult your child's doctor before making any decisions.
Stimming. Stimming is the repitition of physical movements, vocal sounds and words, moving objects, and eating certain foods. Not every neurodiverse child does this, but it is very common. It can be anything at all. You will begin to recognize a certain action is how your child stims by noticing the repitition of it. This is how neurodiverse people self-stimulate. It's perfectly normal.
Sensory overload. For people who have sensory processing disorders, they can become overwhelmed very quickly depending on what sense they are most sensitive with. This could be all senses, a few, or one. They can have a hard time focusing with so many different types of sounds around them, even what neurotypicals would consider small sounds such as a ticking clock or dripping faucet. Some people also are sensitive to touch, or with certain textures. They don't like to be held, touched or to wear clothes. Neurodivergents can also get too hot or too cold and it will be very uncomfortable, especially in an office or a classroom where they aren't permitted to leave their seat often. They can also be sensitive to bright lights, and even get migraines as a result of it.
Often what can help is, when they are overwhelmed, to offer a dark and quiet place for them to take a sensory break. If they aren't sensitive to touch and they ask for it, you can give them a tight hug which will help their bodies regulate. If they are sensitive to touch, a weighted blanket can help.
Introverted. Neurodiverse children and even adults will often be introverts. They prefer to be alone and to their own thing. This is often because when they are alone, they can control their environment and know not to do things that will overwhelm them. They can always adjust the thermostat to how they like, put on a tv show on mute with captions, install black-out curtains, and not be afraid of being over-stimulated. Some of them have trouble understanding social cues, expressions and phrases, so limiting human contact saves them from that frustration.
Healthcare professionals and teachers will strongly insist on developing your child's social abilities and knowledge. You will need to be your child's voice in these situations. Yes, it is very important tnat everyone learns how to properly communicate, but be sure that the teachers, doctors, and everyone else gives your child space when they are overwhelmed. These interactions should also never be forced. You want your child to want to socialize, not see it as a negative thing.
ABA. ABA stands for Applied Behavior Analysis.This is a form of ''therapy'' that has been found to be abusive to neurodiverse children. You can look it up, but there have been many instances where ABA ''therapists'' have allegedly forcibly made a child smile, physically holding their cheeks up, Even when that child is sad or angry and they don't feel like smiling. They will offer toys to the child if they do what is asked of them, and take it away when it's not. Therapists are trained to physically move your child into positions they want your child to do, or things they want your child to do. They also ignore the child's needs and wants. If your child is getting tired, upset or over-stimulated, the therapist will never address this. They will most likely ignore it and continue the exercise. You can google ''aba abuse'' to read more about the multiple issues surrounding ABA. If you are thinking of signing up your child for this, please don't.
Autism Speaks. Often portraying themselves as the place to donate for autism research, Autism Speaks treats people with autism as if they have a missing piece, like they are not whole as people. They see an autism diagnosis as a sad one, and search for a cure. This is incredibly damaging to people who live with autism or any kind of neurodiversity. Autism should be celebrated, not pitied, and people should be accepted how they are. Embrace your child's differences and teach them not to dislike the things that make them unique. It's incredibly important to place kids on the path of self-love. They cannot think something is wrong with them, because that is simply not true. If you choose to go with an organization or make a donation, please don't go with Autism Speaks. Listen to neurodiverse people and they will tell you. You can also easily look it up and see which places are inclusive and positive.
Flapping. This has often been discussed being one of the main symptoms of autism. In fact, not every autistic person flaps their arms or hands. In fact, lots of neurodiverse children never will flap their hands or arms. For those who do however, it's often because the child is excited or happy. Some parents call this happy-flapping. It's equivilent of a child jumping up and down for joy. In fact, some children may do both at the same time. It's an incredibly adorable display of joy that melts any parent's hearts.
High-Functioning. This is a term thrown around a lot by parents of children with autism, as well as the words low-functioning and severe. For some reason, in parenting circles it has been seen as some type of competition as to which child is most different. Parents seem to feel the need to extract pity from people because their child has autism. It needs to stop. High-functioning autism doesn't exist, it's just autism. These are terms made up by parents and other people to make their child's autism seem ''less severe'' and puts a lot of pressure and expectations on the child to be ''more normal''. It also invalidates the child's needs and makes them feel like they should be put on the back-burner for therapy such as speech therapy or physical therapy should they need it. Parents with children who talk or are potty-trained will be bashed by other parents who say ''you have no idea how hard it is'' in order for the bashing parent to seem like a super-hero for raising the child they wanted and chose to have. It needs to stop and to change direction completely. Parents need to uplift and support each other whether their kids have autism or not. Enough with the labels, which only enhances the ableism.
Every Spectrum Is Different. There are no two people who have all of the exact same symptoms and who's neurodiversity presents exactly alike. In fact, the criteria used to diagnose people with autism is meant for autistic boys, not girls. Girls meet an entirely different criteria. With that in mind, some girls do get diagnosed despite this. Don't compare your child to others; just because they don't have the same symptoms doesn't mean that the doctors are wrong. If you have two children with autism it's important you meet their different needs. Both kids will be very different and need different things.
Have any other tips? Comment below!
|Posted by Live Love Mom on November 27, 2020 at 8:30 AM||comments (0)|
by: Rev Dr. Stéphanie McEndree
Here is what’s worth shelling out a few extra bucks on.
Date, Time and Location. Be sure to ask around about your loved ones’ work schedules before you choose a date, since you will be able to know ahead of time what you need to book. Choose a date where most of your guests would be available. Holidays are an inconvenient time for guests as they often go on vacations. You also want to give enough time for people to get ready. Pick a location that is easily accessible to everyone. It’s also best to have your wedding on a weekend, since many people don’t work on weekends. However, if most of your friends and family work weekends, try having it on a weekday. Give crystal clear instructions and an address so guests can locate the area and not end up late to the wedding.
Labels. Clearly labelled areas such as the gift table for wedding gifts are essential, especially if your venue is having more than one wedding going on. You don't want your gift ending up with another couple. You should also provide clear indications of where to go. Venues who are used to hosting weddings and large gatherings already have this set up. However, especially if you have guests who speak and read a different language, it's important to lable important places such as the restroom area, the reception area and the ceremony space.
Weather. Too hot or too cold causes miserable guests. If you insist on having an outdoor summer wedding or a wedding in hot climates, provide lots of water and an indoor air-conditioned space. If you are having an outdoor winter ceremony, be sure to make the ceremony short and offer an indoor heated space for the reception. You don’t want uncomfortable guests.
Parking. Parking should be near the ceremony and reception and be free. No one wants to pay for parking, ever. Don’t make your guests walk for miles in their formal wear either.
Timeliness. Do everything on time. It will stress guests out and they are getting bored. Guests will notice if cocktail hour lasts 3 hours, and if it takes 3 hours to have the meal served. You also need to have some time to let guests be and mingle, socialize, and take bathroom breaks. This is especially important if your venue only has 1 bathroom for 100 guests. The ideal venue will have more bathrooms, so guests needing to go to the bathroom at same time because they will end up drinking and eating at the same time. An example of a good place to host your wedding are country clubs which have many bathrooms with stalls, so everyone can relieve themselves without having to wait in long lines and miss parts of the wedding. Keep in mind guests with children or elderly guests that may not be able to sit still for a 2 hour ceremony and will probably only be able to stay until their children's bedtime. Front-load all of the important things within the first 5 or so hours so everyone gets to participate in the important stuff. Keep the games, drinking contests or anything younger-crowd oriented towards the end.
Entertainement. A deejay is priceless. They can read the room and play songs and games accordingly. They set the tone of your entire day and shouldn’t be taken for granted. They often ask ahead of time if your guests area a younger or older crowd and choose songs, themes, and even make jokes accordingly. Be sure you don't shine light in anyone's eyes!
Music. Guests want to dance to songs they know, and songs that have a good tempo. Be sure to have slow as well as fast-paced songs. Classics never go underappreciated. Provide a song list to your deejay so they can play the songs during the best moments, and you have your chance to get your favorite tunes play at your reception. Be sure the sound system isn't too loud or hard to hear. Ideally, people who make speeches will practice at home or even at the rehearsal so the microphone isn't screeching, staticky or dropped during the reception.
Food. Be sure to serve some good food at your reception. People will be getting hungry, and you don’t want them leaving early because they are starving and can’t stand your food. Also, serve appetizers so guests will be full, especially if your meal is a long time after your ceremony. Many guests skip lunch so they can eat lots on your wedding feast. Warn them ahead of time to have a lunch if you don’t want guests to be too hungry.
Drinks. Guests like having something to drink, even if it’s wine or beer. If you’re not having alcohol, have interesting drinks such as mocktails. Cash bars are also a downer; if you can’t afford an open bar, serve wine and beer. You also want non-alcoholic drinks even if you are serving alcohol. With guests that are younger, be sure to have water and juice available as well, and maybe even milk if you are having really young guests. Sodas can also be used as mixers with alcohol so they are always useful to have.
Acknowledgement. Guests want some time with you, even if it’s just a few minutes. Be sure to chat with them, maybe take a few photos. Make the rounds at each table, the guests will love that they got to have a moment with you on your special day.
Have anything else to add? Comment below!
|Posted by Live Love Mom on November 20, 2020 at 7:30 AM||comments (1)|
|Posted by Live Love Mom on November 13, 2020 at 7:00 AM||comments (1)|
by: Rev Dr. Stéphanie McEndree
Why spend hundreds of dollars on them when they just get thrown out? Do an e-vite instead, or have people RSVP through a wedding website. This option is also greener and more environmentally friendly. Send a letter to grandparents who aren’t very tech-savvy, or those who don’t use the internet.
Programs. These also end up in the trash. No one needs meticulous details about what happens when, and weddings rarely happen on so strict a timeline anyhow. Save your money and forgo these altogether.
Escort cards. These as well as their place holders will never leave a lasting impression, and guests will forget all about them, especially after the wedding. Make a large seating chart instead.
Slideshows. After sitting through toasts and speeches, why make things extra long by sitting through a slideshow? Opt instead for a slideshow area where people can look at it if they so choose. Otherwise, they will be pretty bored.
Guest book. You will get your guest book about half filled if you’re lucky. Guests don’t sign the guest book. Also, what will you do with it after the wedding? Are you going to look through it? Probably not. How often do you look at your yearbook signatures? Probably never, or once every five years. It’s just not worth it.
Favors. At the end of the day, very little people actually go home with favors. They either forget about them, or they don’t care about them. Instead, donate to a charity or just don’t do it at all. No one will be angry that you don’t have any favors at your wedding.
Multiple locations. It’s actually a pain for your guests to arrive to one location, find parking, only to do it all over again multiple times during the day. Your bridal party will already be at the designated place to get ready–a hotel or your place–and have to worry about getting to the venue. It’s a lot to ask, and adds to the cost of your special day. Stick to one location.
Linens. Use traditional linens instead of those with fancy colors. No one will rae about how unique your linens were. What people often remember are the food and music. Stick with white linens and you will be fine.
Elaborate decor. However fabulous the photos will look, it’s good to have shorter centerpieces so guests can actually see the people across from them to carry on a conversation. Many weddings have minimal decorations and the simplicity is what gives it it’s elegance. Guests will take note about how pretty the venue is, sure; for about a few seconds. They will be more anxious to eat, then party with you!
First dance. The guests don’t care about a choreorgraphed dance, if you sway back and forth, dance during the full song or not. What they care about is sharing that moment with you, the first dance between the two newlyweds. It doesn’t matter how you do it, so don’t shell out hundreds of dollars for private ballroom lessons.
Open seating. Especially with different languages in the family, it’s important to have assigned seats, or at least an assigned table. It will also avoid confusion as to where to sit. No one wants that feeling of wondering where they sit as if they are freshmen in high school. Be sure to sit everyone with anyone else who can speak their language, and keep your divorced parents (or other relatives) away from each other.
Cake. Why go overboard? Don’t get a 7-tier cake with fondant. Fondant doesn’t taste good, and 7 tiers is way overboard. Order your cake with the size of your guest list in mind, and opt for buttercream. Keep in mind, not everyone eats cake. Go with a dessert cake.
Bouquet and garter toss. It can be embarrassing for the single ladies and gentlemen to be on display for their marital status to be shown in front of many people. Guests won’t appreciate being told to halt the festivities either, they want to keep dancing! Let them do it!
Grand exit. It would just stress guests out to be shouted at by the photographer to smile, don’t blink, positioned a certain way, etc. It all feels pretty staged and doesn’t feel very authentic. Don’t worry about sparklers and those perfect photos, just have the deejay announce your departure and make a break for it!
Got more suggestions? Comment below!
|Posted by Live Love Mom on November 6, 2020 at 8:30 AM||comments (2)|
by: Rev Dr. Stéphanie McEndree
Lots of people have no idea what to do with their wedding dress after the wedding, or how to use their mother’s wedding dress when they don’t want to wear it themselves. Whether you want to reuse, recycle, or donate your dress, here are 60 ideas for you (with pictures) to inspire your imagination!
- Have it cleaned and preserved to keep for your future daughter.
- DIY wedding dress preservation - $8 Ziplock suit size space saver bag. Put dress in, seal, suck air out. This dress is a full ball-gown style dress that normally takes up over 5 ft of floor space reduced to about an inch in thickness. Easily hung and stored away and can take it out and re-seal anytime!
- Sell it on ebay, or to a used dress shop and make some of your money back.
- Have a “trash the dress” photoshoot.
- Have it made into a wedding memory bear.
- Frame it in a shadow box to display in your home.
- Have it sewn into throw pillows for your bed.
- Have it made into hankerchiefs you can keep or give as gifts.
- Donate it to where people can use it, such as brides across america. If you wore a wedding dress that’s a non-traditional color, donate it to an organization that gives away free prom dresses.
- Donate to an organization that turns them into angel gowns for stillborn babies.
- Keep a piece of fabric to sew into your daughter's wedding dress. You can do the same for your granddaughters, goddaughters, and more!
- Shorten it and wear it as a cocktail or evening dress.
- Have it altered into a nightgown.
- Have a seamstress sew them into christening or baptism gowns for your future children and grandchildren.
- Throw a wedding dress party or wear to the wedding dress charity ball.
- Have the material made into a quilt.
- Hire a seamstress to make the material into a comforter for your bed.
- Scarves can be made from wedding dress material.
- Turn your wedding dress into a gorgeous tree skirt for your holiday tree.
- Use the fabric of the dress to make a clutch purse.
- Use some material for some Christmas ornaments. You can use them for keepsake ornaments where you can stick your wedding garter inside, use the lace to embellish an ornament, or make an angel ornament out of the material.
- Save it for a photoshoot with your future little one.
- Sew it into a fancy tablecloth.
- Make a gorgeous table runner to use for your dining room table.
- Make it into a frame.
- Use some material to make a garter for a family member’s wedding, including your daughter or granddaughter.
- You can sew wedding dress fabric into a little money pouch.
- Use the material to make it into a Christmas stocking.
- Use the material to make jewelry such as a lace choker, lockets, bracelets, earrings and more.
- Make a miniature replica of your wedding dress with the material. You can make it small enough for dolls, or big enough for a child to wear.
- Turn it into a tote or beach bag.
- Save some material to turn into hair pieces, such as a delicate lace headband.
- Turn it into a white ruffled wreath.
- Turn the bottom into a fancy skirt to wear.
- Use the top part to repurpose into a blouse or a lace or embellished top.
- Use it to make beautiful bassinette skirt, especially if you plan on having children.
- Make a bouquet wrap.
- Use pieces of fabric to embellish your wedding photo album.
- Turn it into a princess dress for family members, or a formal dress for a younger girl.
- Dye it a different color to wear to different occasions.
- Wear it on your wedding anniversary to surprise your spouse.
- Renew your vows and wear the same dress.
- Make a jewelry display out of the lace so you can hang earrings off of it.
- Turn them into ring pillows for your children’s weddings for the ring bearer.
- Sew it into a baby blanket for your future child.
- Use the lace to use as decorations with candle holders or mason jars.
- Make shoes for baby baptisms or christenings.
- Make it into a tutu for you or a young girl to wear.
- Use the dress to make padded clothes hangers for your future daughter or granddaughter’s wedding dress.
- Use as a lampshade in your home. To repurpose/reuse a wedding veil: I cut off the lace trim because it clashed with my wedding dress. I draped it over boring lampshades to give them a feminine touch.
- Turn it into a throw for your living room furniture.
- Have part of the dress made into a belly sash for your future pregnancy.
- Use your wedding dress to make a belt for your daughter or granddaughter’s wedding dress.
- Use tulle or details from your wedding dress to add to your daughter or granddaughter’s wedding bouquet.
- Use pieces of the dress or a silk flower from your wedding into a corsage for your daughter’s prom and wedding day.
- Recreate your wedding photos on your anniversary or during special occasions such as a pregnancy or birth.
- Use details from your dress to make a unique hair piece for yourself or your daughter, such as lace barettes, hair ribbons, or scrunchies.
- Use pieces as keepsakes.
- Turn the fabric into wedding decorations for your daughter’s wedding or your own anniversary party down the line.
- Turn fabric into works of art for you to hang in your home.
- Repurpose your dress into curtains for your new home.
- Use the fabric to make a Christmas angel for the top of your Christmas tree.
- Make some gorgeous lingerie to wear on your anniversary nights.
- Make a gorgous sash! You can use it for your daughter's bachelorette party, or even just a chic accessory with an evening gown.
- Make it into a shawl to wear on those cold nights with your favorite nightgown, or at a fancy affair to go with your floor-length dress.
- Make a tie for your husband, your son, or another special person in your life. This works best with silk gowns, but you can also make a lace tie for your daughter, aunt, mother, or anyone else to wear as well!
- Make flower girl dresses from your wedding dress by sewing parts of your dress into miniature versions!
- Turn your dress into a magnificent hijab. Whether you have a family member who is getting married, you know someone or you just want a woman to look amazing on her wedding day while respecting her religious traditions, this is a perfect way to surprise a bride-to-be!
- Turn a piece of your wedding dress into a beautiful headdress for your daughter. You could even bunch it together to make fabric flowers to add to it!
- Make fabric flowers out of it to display as decorations in your home, use as a bouquet for your children, or to embellish clothing or curtains you own.
- Make a boutonnier out of pieces of your wedding dress so your son and his groomsmen can wear on their wedding day. Your son could also wear it on his prom night!
- Make a cape a family member can wear on their cold winter wedding day.
- Make it into a fancy coat to wear over a fancy dress.
- Sew it into a kimono. If you are Japanese or someone you know is, it would be a great way to repurpose your wedding dress. It could be made into either a wedding kimono or to wear during holidays.
- Have you ever seen those cute little white bags that carry candy, nuts, or other wedding favor goodies? Make little pouches so your daughter can use for her favor bags on her wedding day.
Do you have more suggestions or ideas? Comment below!
|Posted by Live Love Mom on October 30, 2020 at 6:55 PM||comments (0)|
by: Sheree Saumier
If I could pick any thing to do.. it would be event planning. Themed parties, in particular. I enjoy it SO much.
I really struggles with deciding to take the kids or not.... I didn't want them to miss out on the Halloween feeling.... but I really don't want to drag them all over the place during a pandemic, either... I know they'll be fine, but it's more the idea that need to take things like this seriously, you know?
I decided not to take mine trick or treating so, I have a scavenger hunt planned with lots of candy surprises, some games and Spooky Trivia!
4. Tootsie Rolls
5. Black cats
8. North and South America
15. Full Moon
Those are the answers.
If you use pinterest, I also have a board called "Halloweenie Quarantinie" with all the ideas for our Halloween Scavenger Hunt Party. I can also send you my Scavenger Hunt List, if you'd like. It's simple. Here is the pinterest board link: https://pin.it/3bbhoBL
Here is a scavenger hunt. So, basically, I took the activities we're going to do, and based the scavenger hunt around that, so It all kinda works together.
I bought most of the stuff at the dollar store. So it wasn't TOO expensive.
The ghosts are going to be dum dum lollipops with tissue paper. The pumpkins will but filled with candy and tied up with green pipe cleaners.... I got cheese balls to make little pumpkins with in small party favor bags.... the witch's brooms are just pretzel sticks with string cheese in the bottom. Stuff like that.
The dollar tree had candy buckets, so I got some of those and 3 little bean bag gnomes for a toss game.
I'm also going to draw jack o lantern faces on clear cups for a ball throw game, there's one similar pinned in the board.
Something I found that I thought was REALLY cool is he "Spider Web Fly Toss".... I bought a bunch of black craft pom poms, and masking tape, I'm going to make a couple hula hoops into a big spider web and the kids have to throw the "flies" onto the "web" and whoever gets the most wins.
|Posted by Live Love Mom on October 30, 2020 at 8:50 AM||comments (0)|
by: Rev Dr. Stéphanie McEndree
Buy silk pillowcases. Not only are they good for your hair and prevent breakage, they are also good for your eyelashes. If you get your eyelashes done, you need silk pillow cases. Your eyelash extensions will last much longer and will cost you less money as you will need to go back to the salon for refills less often. Your wallet will thank you!
Shampoo your lashes. Clean lashes last longer and look better. Unwashed lashes can clump and stick together, and even cause infections. Most eyelash technicians now won't even accept new clients without proof that they already own lash shampoo. If they don't, they are required to buy it with their appointment. That's how important cleaning your lashes are!
Comb your extensions. To keep them unclumped and looking neat and tidy, be sure to brush your lashes daily. Be gentle so you don't accidentally pull some off. Keeping your lashes combed will make them look more natural and make them last longer, which means fewer trips to get refills. This will also make it easier for your lash tech to access the lashes that need refilling when there are no clumps.
Avoid high winds. Stay off the beach and boats. These will blow off your lashes and make them last for a small amount of time. You don't want to do anything that will ruin your gorgeous lashes you paid a pretty penny for. Anything that involves strong winds such as beaches, boating, and storms needs to be avoided as much as possible.
Avoid the showerhead. Don't put your lashes directly in the showerhead's stream as it will knock off many extensions off of your eyelashes. This applies for lash lifts too; it will make it last less long. You want the most out of your money.
Never apply mascara. You cannot apply mascara to eyelash extensions, you will ruin them permanently. Eyelash extensions are to be worn instead of mascara. You don't want your eyelashes to get caked in makeup where they are impossible to detangle and fix without removing them.
Go to a certified professional. Your lashes deserve the best, so make sure you go to a professional who has a verified diploma and raving reviews. Going to someone with no certification, likely the person will not know what they're doing and may damage your eyelashes and even your eyes. Don't risk it and go to a pro!
Have any other words of advice? Comment below!
|Posted by Live Love Mom on October 30, 2020 at 8:20 AM||comments (0)|
by: Rev Dr Stéphanie McEndree
I see this question come up a lot in wedding forums; what to do with wedding flowers after the big day is over? Often couples have too many flowers to showcase in their homes, and often only the bridal bouquet is kept or preserved. However, what do you do with the rest? Also, what if they are silk flowers? Here are some ideas for you to recycle your wedding flowers, silk or fresh!
Lay them on loved ones’ graves. You can lay your own bouquet at a grave, or arrange leftover wedding flowers into bouquets to lay at headstones. Even vines can be draped on top of headstones and look very elegant.
Give them away to guests. Bridesmaids, maids of honor, flower girls, groomsmen and the best man should get to keep their own flowers.
Give them to grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and siblings. Mothers of the bride/groom and fathers often go home with a corsage and boutonniere, but the rest of the family is left empty-handed. Make sure everyone gets a souvenir by giving them some flowers as well.
Offer them as prizes, such as the couple who’s been married the longest, the newest couple, etc. This can be figured out by the DJ or band asking every married couple to dance, and then say “keep dancing if you’ve been married more than 5 years,” then 10 years, etc until the last couple is left.
Compost them. Some cities collect compost, or you can lay them in your garden to compost for your own benefit.
Donate to a senior resident’s home. Having a fresh, nice-smelling bouquet delivered into their rooms will be sure to brighten up their day. It doesn’t have to be in their room either; the senior home can put them in common areas as well as centerpieces.
Donate to a veteran’s home. Honor those who have fought and defended the country by donating to these homes, shelters and centers to bring some life.
Donate to a funeral home. They will probably be used in the next funeral and the family will appreciate having fresh flowers for their loved ones.
Create flower arrangements throughout your home to stop and smell the roses as you pass different rooms in your house.
Dry them and display them in frames or shadow boxes.
Dry them and make them into potpurri.
Have guests win centerpieces with fun little contests at your wedding. It will also mean less cleanup for the venue and you won’t have to worry about assigning someone to gather them up as you make a run for your honeymoon.
Donate to a church; especially if you get married on a Saturday, offer for them to use the flowers for their Sunday mass.
If they are safe for pets, donate them to a petting zoo where the rabbits can munch on them.
Donate them to a hospital for patient’s rooms. Especially those in palliative care, the flowers will be a warm and welcoming gesture. Want a more personal touch? You can always contact an oncology center and drop them off in person in different patient’s rooms.
Turn them into paperweights. Some companies preserve the flowers by turning them into gorgeous paper weights.
Stick them in a vase in your home to liven up your decor.
Bring a smile to senior’s faces and donate them to a senior home. Loose flowers can be used for crafting activities so they can make their own bouquets which promote physical and mental stimulation, and they can feel good making something ncie for themselves or a nice gift for their children or grandkids.
Donate them to craft workshops or art centers.
If they’re still in great shape, sell them so other brides can use them. They can use them as boutonniers, bouquets, or corsages.
Donate them to second-hand stores such as Goodwill, Value Village, Salvation Army and other stores. They give items a second chance and a second life and sell goods for low cost so low-income families can afford them.
Add to your hair accessories by gluing them to some plain hair clips.
Donate to a school or daycare where children can make arts and crafts with them.
Use them to decorate your office or desk at work so you can remember your special day and reminisce on your breaks.
Create homemade gifts with them. You can add individual blooms to headbands, barettes, hats, and more.
Hang them in your car. Often if you have a round ball made of flowers, you can stick a ribbon in it and loop it around your rearview mirror.
Arrange them into new bouquets and donate them by visiting the elderly, hospital patients, veterans, women’s shelters and more.
Donate to a center that donates and repurposes flowers, such as Bouquet of Kindness.
You can donate them to centers that offer free prom dresses so girls can also take home flowers to make a corsage or put in her hair, or use a button hole or boutonniere. Bonus points if you can make them into corsages yourself before donating; it’s a great way to also recycle all that tulle and ribbon!
Donate to Brides Across America or a similar organization who give free wedding dresses to military wives and first responder wives. Let them have their bridal bouquet as well from your flowers.
Donate or sell to a decorator. Lots of places rent out decorations for weddings, so they’ll be happy to have even more to offer for their clients.
Donate the flowers to a local funeral home so they can decorate for people’s funerals. Funeral costs are through the roof, and grieving families will appreciate that there could still be flowers by their loved one’s remains even though they couldn’t afford it.
Donate them to hospitals where they can pretty up rooms, reception areas, common areas or even go donate them to patients in the rooms.
Support your local businesses by contacting them and asking if they could use some free flowers for their decor. Spas, beauty salons, candle stores, even bridal shops could use the flowers for decoration, promotion, or even as giveaways.
Donate or sell them to photography studios. Photographers appreciate having as many accessories they can to please a vast variety of clientele. They can use the flowers to decorate in newborn photoshoots, pregnancy photography, portraits, engagement photos and more. Bonus points if you can make a belly sash or headbands before donating them.
Many of these ideas work for both artificial and real flowers. Be sure to comment if you have any other ideas. Let us know what you did with your extra wedding flowers in the comment section below!
|Posted by Live Love Mom on October 23, 2020 at 8:15 AM||comments (0)|
by: Rev Dr Stéphanie McEndree
Unsure of what to do for your bachelorette party? Here are some cost-effective ideas for every kind of bride.
Rent a house. AirBnB offers whole houses to yourself, and for just a few hundred dollars you can have a luxury spot to celebrate your bachelorette party! Look for places that have all the ammenities you’re looking for; pool, fireplace, air conditioning, or whatever else you have in mind.
Book a hotel room. Not only is this practical for out-of-town guests or a party the night before the wedding (since you’ll already know where you’re staying), but you’re sure the venue will make some great pictures, and you won’t need to worry about cleaning up. Whether you’re looking for a motel room or a lavish 5-star hotel with a view, choose your hotel room accordingly. Lots of hotels also have indoor pools, gyms, restaurants and even spas.
Sleepover. Gather the girls for an old-fashioned sleepover with snacks, movies, even face masks, hair braiding and nail painting. Talk about boys, read gossip magazines, and play some old-fashioned board games.
Bed & Breakfast. Stay at a local bed and breakfast and wake up to brunch with your lady friends. Relax and enjoy the peaceful surroundings, a fresh and new location, and taking some time for yourselves. Reconnect with old friends!
Spa getaway. Lots of spas have packages at low costs. Reserve one for your girls and enjoy their facilities and unwind. Relax and have fun! Spa packages can start as low as $50 or less per person and includes access to all of the facilities.
Wine-tasting. Go to a local vineyard or brewery and sample the local wine or beer. You can bring a picnic of grapes, crackers, cheese and baguette bread for a fancy snack. Perfect for the bride and bridesmaids if they are wine-os.
Visit a new place. Whether it’s a small town or a big city, book a tour and enjoy exploring and discovering the history, culture and beauty of a new spot. Book a tour in an old city and look at the ruins. Immerse yourself in the culture of musical and artsy places such as New Orleans. Tour downtown of a big city and see all the sights. The possibilities are endless.
Road trip. Book a limo, a bus or whatever else you fancy and party inside. Often they come with drinks, sometimes a few snacks. It’s even a good idea to use just to take to your destination, especially if it’s out of town.
Tea party. Break out your vintage dresses, tea sets, pretty hats and meet in a local garden or even your backyard for a fancy tea party. You can also have cupcakes and lots of other pasteries to nibble on.
Got any more fun ideas? Comment below!
|Posted by Live Love Mom on October 16, 2020 at 8:45 AM||comments (0)|
by: Rev Dr. Stéphanie McEndree
With some towns banning the distribution of candy to prevent the spread of the virus, it can be difficult for families to figure out how to celebrate halloween with their kids and still make it a magical time for everyone. Here are some ideas for fun for the whole family!
Carve Pumpkins. Get some pumpkins from the grocery store and carve them into silly faces or inspiring shapes. Hollow them out and put an LED powered fake candle inside for a spooky glow. For younger kids, you can also paint the pumpkins or draw on them with markers.
Free Printables. Lots of places offer free printables with pages of halloween-themed drawings your kids can color in, and sometimes even some arts and crafts that are spooky. You can also look up some ideas on Pinterest on how to make some ghosts, cats, and other things with construction paper, tissues, tape, markers and more!
Scavenger hunt. Buy some candy in bulk at your local dollar stores or grocery stores and hide them around the house! Have your kids run around and find the candy around your house or in your backyard, weather-permitting. It will be like a cross between Halloween and Easter, hunting for easter eggs. Be sure to write down a list of where you hid the candy so you don't end up discovering them a year later.
Deliveries. In order to keep everyone safe on Halloween, some towns are doing free candy deliveries for families with children. Be sure to sign up ahead of time, and to answer the door wearing a face mask and a face shield if you have one. Your kids will still get to eat candy on Halloween and this will bring smiles to their little faces!
Haunted House. Make your own haunted house for your family. Dim the lights, hang some scary decorations and make a blind haunted house too. Put some cold spaghetti in some jello while blindfolding your kids and tell them it's guts! Put some cold sausages in a bowl and tell them it's intestines! Put some raw ground beef and tell them it's brains! Of course, afterwards turn on the lights and show them the bowls so they know it's just a scary trick.
Movie Marathon. Break out the popcorn and watch a scary movie marathon cuddled up on the couch with your kiddos! Stay up late together since Halloween is on a Saturday this year. They can hide under blankets during the scary parts if the kiddos are too scared!
Costume Contest. Dress up in your best costume that you can find from previous years, and have your kids do the same. Whoever comes out with the best costume wins! You can even make one out of household objects if you want; tie a towel around your neck for a cape, use a pot and spoon as a shield and sword, make a tinfoil hat, wrap a blanket around you for a dress! Use your imagination!
White sheets. Have a friendly competition with each other and wrap each other in white sheets or big towels to make a mummy disguise. The best one wins! You can also see who makes the best ghost by adding googly eyes to the sheets and taping a black circular piece of construction paper to make it look more realistic.
Bathtime. Get a funky colored bath bomb and have your kids pretend it's something magical. With purple, have it be a witch's magic spell to get clean. With green, it can be a witch's stew. Red can be blood, and black can be the dark of the night. White can be on the moon! Be creative!
Have any more Halloween ideas for home? Comment below!
|Posted by Live Love Mom on October 9, 2020 at 9:00 AM||comments (0)|
by: Rev Dr. Stéphanie McEndree
With more and more eco-friendly options available to help us save the planet, it’s only fair we do our part. Weddings can be incredibly wasteful with single-use plastics and a “littering” custom such as plastic or paper confetti. Here are some cheap, easy and even free ideas to buy or make your own biodegradable confetti!
This can often be free; simply gather fallen leaves or pick some from your backyard or local park and use your hole-puncher to create a natural, colorful confetti. You can prepare them a few weeks before the wedding and dry the leaves, but store in a dark, dry place to avoid mold growth. You can also do this the day before the wedding so it’s fresh and ready to go. You can even use shaped hole punchers to give you more variety in appearance. You can even mix in herb leaves for a naturally healing scent.
Dried flower confetti.
These are easy to DIY or even buy pre-dried. You can buy flowers from the grocery store, pick them from your yard or even pick wildflowers. Dry them and press them, then put them in reusable cloth bags and distribute to guests! You can buy pre-made by the litre. Get at least one handful per guest so they can enjoy throwing it at the newlyweds. Dried flowers are used in pot-purri and always smell amazing. The natural scent of roses or lilacs will be preserved and everyone will smell amazing!
Fresh rose petals.
These are often provided by florists, this is the priciest option. If it’s a year before your wedding, consider planting or buying rose bushes to pick your own. They smell great, look great and make for a very classic and romantic exit for the guests. You can choose whichever color you want; baby pink, hot pink, red, white, yellow, and even black or blue. You can also go to the grocery store and get a bunch of flowers a day or two before the wedding and use the petals from them. They are often cheaper than the florist's.
These can be gathered from plants or trees with small leaves. There is no need for a hole puncher and you can gather these stress-free the day before your wedding. If you don’t recognize poisonous plants such as poison ivy, stick to getting leaves from trees to avoid getting a horrible rash the day before.
You can plant them in the spring and harvest them in the summer! Whether it's basil, rosemary, mint, or sage, the leaves are sure to smell amazing. You can dry them or pluck them fresh a few days before the wedding and have guests throw them. They can even be an alternative to flower petals for the flower girl to sprinkle. These herbs are also calming so everyone will feel zen and serene.
Leave a feast for the birds and let guests celebrate with you at the same time! You can buy large amounts at your local dollar store. Since rice has been outlawed due to it being harmful for the birds, this will be our feathered friends' favorite option. Be sure to have this thrown in an area where you will not visit again that day, such as the ceremony location as the newlyweds walk back down the aisle as they are newly married. This will avoid birds flocking and bothering any guests or the wedding party. It can also be thrown at the end of the reception as the newlyweds make their getaway to their wedding night.
A calming flower, lavender confetti will smell amazing and help save the planet. Make sure no guest is allergic before ordering or gathering. Make paper cones to hold them with some old sheet music, book pages or newspaper. Lavender does have an effect that can make people drowsy, so be sure to use this at the end of the reception. You don't want your guests retreating home for a nap right after the ceremony!
Don't have roses or don't want any? You can go flower-picking in a field and use those petals! Simply go pick the flowers one or two days before the wedding and pull the petals apart from the flowers into little cloth bags so your guests can grab a handful and throw them. You can also do this a few weeks before the wedding and dry the flowers out in the sun for a day and then store the petals in the bags. You can also grow your own flower garden if you have at least a year before your wedding, or if you got engaged in let's say the winter, you plant the flowers in the spring and you marry in the summer. You can have whatever flowers you want for just the price of the seeds and some water to take care of them. If you don't have a yard or a garden, simply pot the flowers and put them on your balcony for some sun or even by the window.
Have any more ideas you'd like to share? Comment below!
|Posted by Live Love Mom on October 2, 2020 at 9:00 AM||comments (0)|
by: Rev Dr. Stéphanie McEndree
Recently, my 4-year-old daughter told me that she wanted short hair. I wasn't sure if she was serious, but she kept insisting. I showed her different short hairstyles and she chose one. ''Mom this one! This one! Please, cut my hair up to here, please please please!''
Other than a trim and her dad giving her bangs, she's never had a haircut. I looked at her long and beautiful, golden curls and felt some sadness. I didn't want to let them go. I had been told before, once they are cut they may never grow back again. The moment was fleeting, and I realized that this is her hair on her head, and she should be able to make decisions about her own body (that aren't life and death). So you know what? I told her yes.
We headed upstairs and I have a professional hair-cutting kit and I put the smock around her and sat her on a dining room chair in the bathroom where there is a full-length mirror. She grinned ear-to-ear and giggled, she said ''I'm so excited!'' I kept asking her if she was sure, and she kept saying yes. So I combed her hair, pinned up different sections, and cut the back layer to the length she wanted. She saw her hair fall on the floor and squealed in delight. ''I can stop if you want. Are you sure? Do you still want me to do this?'' I asked. ''Yes mom stop saying that and cut my hair!'' So section by section I cut it until it was the length she wanted.
She looked at herself in the mirror and grinned so much her cheeks started to hurt. She said, ''Mom I am so beautiful, I look like a princess!'' I told her yes you are. She absolutely loved her haircut and still does. I'll never forget how happy a simple haircut made her.
I didn't expect it to look so gorgeous on her, but it does! Her face shape is perfect for it, and her thick hair frames her face well and there is even a part that curls still by her ear. She says she loves braids so I've braided the hair out of her face in a short one and she is just as happy as when I braided her long hair.
1. Mistaken for a boy
''His hair is getting a little long, it's time for a haircut,'' I heard a stranger say. That day she was wearing an orange shirt and tan shorts (gender-neutral). I'm glad she didn't hear it, or she must have thought it wasn't about her.
''Why is he in a dress?'' Well first off there is nothing wrong with a boy in a dress, secondly why do you care what a stranger is wearing, and thirdly short hair doesn't mean boy.
I was surprised I was getting these remarks because her hair really isn't that short.
2. Hoping she doesn't hear the comments
The last thing I want is my little girl to be hurt or confused. I am thankful she has a happy-go-lucky attitude and if she does hear, she corrects the person. ''I'm not a little boy, I'm a big girl!''
Another mom asked me if I cut her hair because my daughter had lice. I informed her that you don't need to cut hair to help with lice anymore, and no, my child has never had lice.
3. Having the other parent freak out
If you're a single parent, the other parent might freak out. Girl's hair is seen as a precious sign of femininity and I have no idea why, but parents often never cut their kid's hair other than a little trim, even if their daughters beg them to. Some girls have to wait until they are 18 years old before they cut their hair, or they get it cut by a friend, or they do it themselves.
I remember the first time I cut a bit of my own hair off, my mother started crying when I showed her the hair I had cut off. My 6 year old had cut a little bit of her hair off and she expected me to freak out but I didn't. I told her it was her hair and it was fine. Her father however...he told her and my 4 year old that they need his permission to cut their hair. I told them privately that this isn't true, it's their hair and they can decide whether they want to cut it or not.
Even my husband looked at my daughter before she cut her hair and said ''please don't cut your hair, I like long hair.'' To which I looked at him and replied ''Then grow your hair long, your preference doesn't matter on someone else's hair.'' Men are taught to value feminine aspects at a young age such as dresses, skirts, pastel colors, long hair, lipstick, everything that people would call ''girly girl'' stuff. It can take years to unlearn these things. So with a little help I taught some people that they should never pressure my kids to keep their appearance a certain way to please someone else. No one ever asks this of boys and I won't have it.
4. Adults may not be so nice
''Why would you cut your hair?'' and I've heard ''Did you cut her hair as a form of punishment?'' and also ''Did you force her to cut her hair?'' Of course the answer is no on the last two counts and the first, well it's nobody's business but my daughter's.
5. Grandparents will react
''Her hair is always in her face! Why did you cut it so short that she can't wear a ponytail?' How are you supposed to do her hair? Now I can't braid her hair anymore or make cute pigtails!'' Well her hair isn't anyone's plaything or possession. I stand by my daughter's decision to have her hair cut in the length she desired.
6. People you don't know will think you're crazy
Strangers will comment things saying I am trying to force masculinity onto her, or that I wanted a boy so I cut her hair and make her wear boy's clothes. Some have said I am blind and can't tell my kids apart so I had to cut the hair of one of them. Others will cite articles where parents or teachers abusively cut a girl's hair as a punishment and accuse me of doing the same. They will say I want to make her appear younger because I can't accept the fact that she's no longer a baby. It's really horrible how seriously people take a haircut.
7. Her hair will be talked about everywhere
There are positive comments out there of course. ''What gorgeous thick hair she has!'' ''What a beautiful bob!'' and she has been compared to Ruby Rose on the set of OITNB. She will also put on a crown and a princess dress and say that she is a beautiful princess and no one dares say otherwise.
8. Her hair has been a teacher
I feel like this was a very important step in teaching her about consent. I always tell my girls that their bodies are theirs, and they get to decide for their bodies. She had decided to cut her hair, and I did it. When she was younger she wanted her ears pierced (later changed her mind so we took them out), so we did it. I won't change anything about her appearance unless she asks. I remember people giving me and my friends a real hard time about them getting their hair cut, and quite frankly it's ridiculous. It's dead protein strands attached to a scalp, and it always grows back.
I also think that this helps teach her about gender roles and how they are fluid. Girls aren't required to have long hair, and boys aren't required to have short hair. We are fortunate to have members in my family where the ladies have short hair and my brother has longer hair, I want her to know that it's okay to be herself and not worry about the little box of femininity society try to trap her in.
9. Kids may say mean things
She hasn't been to school yet at her age, but it's bound to happen. There is a child in her daycare who has hair on the longer side and she was told that she looks like him. But not once did she tell me she wants to grow it back. She did come home crying from daycare once when she told me that a kid told her she wasn't pretty. I gave her a big hug and I told her that this kid is wrong. She said her daycare teacher heard what the boy said and he was reprimanded. Parents, teach your kids to be nice and not to be bullies, especially at such a young age. Thankfully I am always able to console her, and her teacher and friends and family boosted her confidence again by telling her how beautiful she is.
10. You need to be creative with hairstyles
Longer hair is easier: wash it, brush it, put it in pigtails, a bun, a ponytail or a braid and you're done for the day. Not with short hair! You need to pull back the hair from her face and secure it with a hairband. You can braid this as well so your daughter can have some braids. You can also do small pigtails. If some hair still falls in her face or her hair is too short to be kept back in ponytails, you can always add barettes to keep her hair away, or hair clips or bobby pins. You can also put on a headband or a bandana. There are still lots of possibilities and let your child choose as well.
11. You may need to brush her hair more often
The first time I cut my hair as a child, my mother told me that I would need to brush it more often. I'm not sure if this is true or not, but just in case it is I've listed it here. Since the hair can't be tied back in one long braid, it will move around a lot more as your daughter runs around, so it will get messy faster. You may have to comb or brush her hair accordingly. However, I have found that personally with my daughter, brushing once a day is fine and she hardly gets any knots. It depends on the length.
All in all, hair is just hair! Let your child choose which hairstyle they want. If they ever don't like it, their hair will always grow back!
|Posted by Live Love Mom on September 25, 2020 at 9:00 AM||comments (0)|
by: Dr. Stéphanie McEndree
Not sure how you can keep guests hydrated and happy without paying $2 a glass from a caterer? Whip up some punch! Here are some tips on how to make it happen.
Non-alcoholic punch. Having a dry wedding? It’s important to have some tasty drinks to keep things tasty, so mix up a mocktail for your guests. You can find plenty of recipes and ideas here.
Spiked punch. There are some wonderful recipes out there that mix many different types of alcohol, even beer! My favorite is a list of 14 big batches of recipes, all for under $30 here. You can also find many more recipes here.
Keep it cool. Make a punch ice ring that will slowly melt to keep your punch nice and cold for hours. It’ll infuse the concoction with flavor instead of watering it down. Not sure how to make one? Here is a recipe, and you can find many more online and on Pinterest.
Make big batches. Whether you are serving slush-like cocktails, spiked punch, cocktails or mocktails, you will need big batches for weddings, even if you only have 25 guests it’s better to have too much than not enough.
Glassware. Be sure your venue or caterer provides enough glasses for everyone, even if it’s just one per guest. If you are providing your own, be sure you have enough and that there is a sink available at the venue for guests to rinse out their glasses if they want to try many different cocktails.
Keep guests hydrated. No one wants a hangover in the morning, or guests getting sick due to dehydration. Keep plenty of bottled water on hand, or bring a water dispenser if you have one, or make sure there is a water fountain at the venue. This is especially true if your venue is outdoors and during the hot summer months. You want to keep your guests happy, healthy and comfortable.