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Why Self Care Is So Important

Posted by Live Love Mom on September 7, 2021 at 8:50 AM Comments comments (4)

by: Rev Dr. Stéphanie Noircent



More and more articles and shows are talking about self-care. But what exactly makes it so important? And just what is self-care? 


Self-care is the act of caring for yourself. You can practice self-care in many different ways, which I've listed in a previous blog post. There are many different benefits to self-care, including lowered stress levels, better mood, and higher relaxation.


Mental health. You need to be able to feel that your batteries are charged in order to function. Mental health is so often overlooked, as people usually treat what they can see. However, your brain is what controls the rest of your body. If your mind is unwell, the rest of your body can't be well either. Self-care promotes better moods, relaxation, and higher confidence and self-esteem. It also eliminates stress, which stablizes blood pressure and heart rates. When you feel mentally well, you can do anything. When you are emotionally exhausted or depleted, your body can't follow what you want to do. Take care of your mind, your psyche, and your brain. You've only got one.


Physical health. Caring for yourself is also nurturing your body. Feeding yourself the neccessary nutrients to survive is the bare minimum. Your body also needs to be healthy, to move, and to be functioning properly. It's important to cut out bad habits such as smoking, alcohol abuse or drug abuse to keep your body as healthy as possible. You want to get all of the vitamins and minerals that you need to function, even if that means taking a multi-vitamin. If you have any health problems or ailments, it's important to treat those as well. When all that is done, it's always a good idea to keep your physical health at it's peak by letting yourself feel good. Get a massage, soak in a hot tub, smell your favorite scents. You can give yourself a rush of endorphins as you exercise, and produce seratonin doing things that you enjoy doing. Indulge in your hobbies and keep yourself entertained and happy. Don't injure yourself, and stretch before exercise. Look out for yourself. Your body is your temple, it's only right you treat it right.


Spiritual health. Whether you believe in a soul or a spirit or not, we all have spiritual health that we need to address. Once all our basic needs are met, we become aware of other needs we didn't even know existed. One of them is spiritual health. We are all spiritual beings on one level or another, even if your spirituality is aetheism or the absense of one. It's important to listen to yoruself and to respect yourself and your beliefs. Don't let others pressure you into conversion or doing things you don't agree with. You have control over yourself and what you do, and you do have a choice. For some people, spirituality is as simple as going outside every day. Others prefer to visit their religious institutions and pray together. Spiritual practices often come with a community of like-minded people, which also fulfill our basic human need for connection and social interaction. Togetherness and support are important and both are often interconnected. Light some candles, burn some incense, garden; whatever makes you feel at peace. 


Got more to add? Comment below!




8 Tips for staying positive

Posted by Live Love Mom on July 13, 2021 at 9:20 AM Comments comments (0)

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!

Life Lessons To Learn Before Your Thirties

Posted by Live Love Mom on June 22, 2021 at 9:10 AM Comments comments (2)

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.





Maggie's Story: How An Elder Dog Joined My Family

Posted by Live Love Mom on April 27, 2021 at 9:50 AM Comments comments (0)
by: Rev Dr. Stéphanie McEndree





It's been almost 2 years since our fur-baby arrived in our family. Some have wondered how we happened upon such an adorable pooch. Here is her story.


I was looking to add to our family. I had grown up with dogs and cats my entire life, and at that point I had been a good three years with no pets other than betta or goldfish. I wanted an animal that I could hold, pet, and cuddle. I wanted my children to have the same experiences I did growing up with pets. However, my youngest daughter has asthma, so it had to be a pet who didn't produce a large amount of dander. 

This ruled out furry dogs or long-haired cats, and I didn't want anything that would live most of it's life in a cage such as a rabbit, hamster, rat, gerbil or mouse. We thought about a hedgehog but since we had no experience caring for one, decided against it. We decided against snakes and bugs, but I did consider a bearded dragon for a while. Buying and feeding it crickets each week didn't seem too appealing however. My kids had learned to love all living beings and that lives were precious, so I didn't want them freaking out at a bearded dragon chowing down on some unsuspecting crickets. 

I reached out to our local SPCA to foster a cat to see if that would be a right fit for our family. I had signed myself up to foster a cat three years prior, and I had still never gotten a single phone call or email back. So, I called and emailed them to schedule a visit to adopt a cat or a dog. Again, no answer from the phone, no calls back, and no emails. I was very disappointed because I know people say to adopt and not to shop, but this place was making this incredibly difficult. I had no choice but to turn elsewhere. 

I had decided that I would prefer a dog. I never cared for cleaning cat litter, and I knew no one else in the house was about to do it. I knew I would have to buy litter often to change the entire box and it's not something I wanted to do anytime soon. I would much rather pick up some poop once a day out on a walk outside. So, I started looking up dogs for sale. I wanted to adopt a dog that was already trained so we didn't end up with a damaged, chewed-up house. I was looking for an adult, but all I saw was mostly puppies and young adults. 

Then, I saw it. There was a post from a woman in a town twenty minutes away, who was giving away her senior dog. She said that her dog was a spaid and vaccinnated female, half maltese and half chihuahua. I knew that my husband preferred small dogs, so I reached out to the woman. She got back to me quickly, and to my surprise I saw that she also spoke english despite us living in french-speaking towns. She informed me that her dog, Maggie, was potty-trained and well-behaved and listened to commands. I wondered why she wouldn't keep her five-year-old dog, and that's when she told me Maggie's backstory.

Maggie was adopted from the SPCA as a puppy, she was spaid, vaccinnated and dewormed. She had never been sick and was a very healthy dog, and only went to the vet as needed for her shots. However, the woman lived in a small apartment on a busy street in a big city. Every person that walked by the house would send Maggie into a barking spree, as she was very protective and territorial. Having lived in a cage most of her puppy life, she was used to a small space being hers, but also knew she had to defend it. The woman had some cruel neighbors who would ding-dong-dash just to cause Maggie to bark and upset the landlord and the dog. People would knock on the windows and doors just to aggravate Maggie. The neighbors resented her, and Maggie became very stressed every day and very anxious. Every day when the woman went to work, the neighbors would tease and pester Maggie to get her to bark. They would only stop when the woman would be home with her husband. The woman also noticed that Maggie loved children but hated other animals, and that she would always tug at her leash so hard she couldn't breathe. Maggie wanted so badly to be able to run around and be herself like a normal dog, but she couldn't in that cramped apartment in that bustling city. After five years of living like this, the woman finally decided that she wanted to give Maggie a better life. The woman was also going to move out of her apartment, and very little places allow dogs, even small ones. 


I set up a date and time to meet the lady and Maggie. The first visit went great. The kids loved her, and she was very nice and polite to me and my children. She went to the backyard and she had a blast. My husband played fetch with her and she could run around as much as she wanted. We live in the suburbs where it's nice and quiet, and she can just be a dog and play. The only other pets we had were goldfish, so she got all of our attention that day. The whole family doted on her. 

The woman said she would be back the next day. She took Maggie with her so she could say goodbye and to gather Maggie's things so Maggie knew that she was leaving. The kids were so excited for Maggie to come back. When that day came, the woman gave me Maggie's toys, clothes, bowls, treats, food, pee pads, cage, blankets, collar, harnesses and leashes for her. I was impressed at how much stuff Maggie owned, and the woman said that Maggie was a real princess and was spoiled rotten. She took a video of Maggie running around outside and playing so she could remind herself that Maggie was in a better home now. She slowly left our home.

Maggie was confused for a few hours, afterall she had only known our family for one day and the person who took care of her for five years was suddenly gone. However, she warmed up to us quickly. She wasn't allowed on couches and beds previously, and she loved that my husband allowed her to get up on the couch with him. She loves to be wherever we are, and she follows me everywhere.

These past few years with her have taught me a lot. I've never owned a small dog before like my husband has, so the pee pad concept for adult dogs was new for me. However, it's easy to see that she is very happy here. She gets to relax and nap all day and gets plenty of treats. She goes on walks every day and gets pets, cuddles, and playtime. She loves that she has four humans all to herself she can get all the attention from. It's amazing how good it feels as well to open your home up to a senior animal. The kids love her and every Halloween she dresses up with them and accompanies them on trick-or-treating. 

Here's to many more years with our furry family member. We love you, Maggie!

8 Must-Have Exercise Equipment For A Home Gym

Posted by Live Love Mom on March 12, 2021 at 8:40 AM Comments comments (0)

By: Rev Dr. Stéphanie Noircent




Save hundreds of dollars a year by getting your own equipment to use at home! Plenty of classified ads websites sell used equipment in excellent condition for cheap. You can even buy some at second-hand stores where it has been tested and is sure to work. 


Treadmill. A treadmill is a great addition to a home gym. Whether you have rainy days or a snowstorm, you can still get your morning run in. Even beginners can benefit from a brisk walk on the treadmill. You can up the incline at will as well!


Stationary bike. I love these because they are so great to use because you're sitting down. You can have a television in your home gym and use it while you binge-watch your favorite series or watch a movie marathon. You can also follow stationary workout videos.


Stair stepper. This pairs great with a standing desk if you have one. A stair stepper or a stair climber really strengthens your legs and works your glutes as well. You're sure to burn fat in those areas as well if that's what you're looking to do.


Eliptical. An elitpical machine is great addition to any home gym. It's an amazing workout for your legs and works great for balance as well. You can work your core as you stablize while you work out. 


Pull-up Bar. This is excellent for strength training in the arms. You can attatch it to a door frame and do pull-ups. My husband uses it all the time and it really helps him keep up his arm strength and he loves it. 


Yoga Mat. Not only can you do yoga on the mat, but you can also do any types of exercises. You can do lunges, squats, push-ups, sit-ups and more. You can follow instructional workout videos and tone all areas of your body.


Exercise Ball. This engages your core as you do exercises on it and always comes with an instructional video. You can have amazing results and you can strength-train your core, arms, legs and back.


Weights. Pick up some weights you know you wouldn't hurt yourself lifting. You can use it to strengthen your arms and build some muscle. You can also look up some videos for your level of experience and build up your routine.


Have you tried out this equipment? How did it work out for you? What else do you have in your home gym? Comment below!

Why The Divorce Rate Has Skyrocketed In Recent Years

Posted by Live Love Mom on February 18, 2021 at 8:45 AM Comments comments (0)

by: Rev Dr. Stéphanie McEndree




Plenty of people have alleged that the divorce rate is much higher than in past decades. I decided to look at the science behind this and see if it's true. From articles that I read, it turns out that the divorce rate had the sharpest incline around the 1970s. So however true this may be, it's important to ask ourselves; why?


Why are more and more marriages failing? The divorce rate currently sits at 50% to 51%, which is extremely high. If we want marriages to succeed, it's good to know exactly why people are getting divorced. Here are the top 13 reasons why people are getting divorced.



Money


The most common reason for divorce is money. There are many different reasons why money may become an issue in a marriage. If only one person works in the couple, the working person may resent the other spouse for not working and contributing financially to their household. In a twist, the unemployed spouse may resent their working spouse for not providing the unemployed spouse with some money for them to get themselves things they need for themselves such as clothing, shoes, and hygeine products. There may also be issues with trust when it comes to money. A spouse may spend money in a joint bank account meant for something else, or shop with the other spouse's credit card without permission. Even when both spouses cannot budget, they will blame each other for their reckless spending and inability to pay bills.


Lack of intimacy


This is definitely a romance-killer. Whether one spouse is being ableist because the other spouse has a medical condition that prevents sex, or one person has a higher libido than the other, this can be an issue. People with high sex drives need plenty of intimacy. However, some people are romantic but identify as asexual. Some spouses just have a lower libido or they don't enjoy sex as much. This can be due to past trauma, their spouse not being a talented lover, or a medical issue. It's important to talk to your spouse about any issues you may have with intimacy. Some have nothing to do with sex, and spouses just want to be cuddled, talked with, kissed, hugged, and generally appreciated. Don't forget to show your spouse you love and appreciate them!


Lack of commitment


Some people get married because society was pressured into it, but they weren't ready to commit. Some spouses even live in seperate houses, even seperate towns or countries. Perhaps one of the spouses believed they would move in together once they were married. When that doesn't happen and the other person doesn't want that to change, they will seek a divorce. It can also be because a spouse doesn't put effort into the marriage anymore. They can come home from work, spend time alone without their spouse, go to bed, then repeat. Like lack of intimacy, this is something that can be fixed with communication and perhaps couples therapy.


Conflict and arguing


Some say if you don't argue, then you don't care. This can be true to a point. If couples find out they have conflicting views and morals, it can very quickly destroy a marriage. Part of the reason people get married in the first place is that they have a lot in common, and agree on how they would raise children if they choose to have any. However, if someone changes core values and beliefs, it causes a rupture in the marriage. Even just constant bickering and nagging can wear the spouses down. 


Infidelity


This is one for the history books, as it was one of the first reasons for divorce that was allowed. When your spouse has another relationship or sexual encounter with someone else behind your back, it's a true betrayal. They do it while sneaking around, so you wonder how long it's been going on. You lose all trust in your partner. The infidelity can cause life-altering concequences such as STIs or even a child outside of the marriage. Some people even have double lives and two families. Marriages rarely recover from this, especially when the cheating spouse refuses to change, or they leave their spouse for their lover.


Abuse


Not too long ago, women weren't able to work and men were the spouses who had full control of finances. Women couldn't escape abusive marriages because they had no access to money to travel and get away. The law was never on their side either, as beating your wife was seen as socially acceptable. With the rise of domestic violence awareness and laws being passed to penalize it, women are finally able to leave abusive marriages. Men can also get away from abusive wives and go to shelters. Now that women can work, they can have their own money and be able to flee a marriage that is toxic. 


Lack of compatibility


Arranged marriages often end up in divorce (where society permits it) because the people are just not compatible. People change as they grow and mature. The two people who married 20 years ago are not the same people as now, and they may just not fit together anymore. Sometimes, people just fall out of love with their spouses. If you don't love each other anymore, there is no reason to stay together. Love, trust and communication is what builds a solid marriage, and if you don't have that then there is no reason to stay married.


Physical appearance


We all look amazing when we get married as young men and women. As we age, wrinkles and saggy skin happens, and some weight gets gained, some of us lose their hair. There are some people that divorce their spouse because the spouse's appearance has changed to the petitioner's dislike. Maybe you didn't think your husband would be fat and bald as he grew older. However shallow this reason may be, loss of attraction is a real thing. There are also people who will transform themselves and think they deserve better than the person they are with. If someone goes through a makeover or loses a lot of weight, they may not want to be with the person who accepted them for who they were before.


Addictions


When a spouse develops an addiction to drugs or alcohol, this is often a deal-breaker. Substance abuse not only consumes the addict, but it also drains family funds, ruins relationships, creates debt, and sometimes even puts the couple in physical danger. There are other addictions like sex addiction that goes hand-in-hand with infidelity, or food addiction that fits in with money problems and physical appearance. 


Getting married at an early age


Getting married too early has an extremely high rate of divorce. Whether teens married because a pregnancy was involved or they wanted to escape their parents or get emanstipated, it's often not the right person for you. People who get married in their teens or soon after rarely stay married. As you grow, you want different things for yourself and your life. Maybe you believed you would be a famous musician at age 16, but now at age 30 you know that isn't going to happen and how rare that would be to happen. Maybe your spouse grew up to be a completely different person than the one you got to know before you got married. 


Getting married for the wrong reasons


If you didn't marry for love, then you didn't marry for the right reasons. Some people get married to allow their spouse to get medical insurance, citizenship, or even just as a business deal. If you don't marry for love, then your marriage will probably not last. A marriage of convenience is not something that is meant to happen, but it still does to this day. 


Lack of communication


When you don't talk about any issues or hurdles you may have, there is no way you will know what the problem is or how to fix it. It's always extremely important to talk to each other and not assume the other person will know, no matter how many hints you drop. No one can read minds, so you need to say it with words. Communication is one of the reasons that so many marriages have lasted as long as they have. 


Lack of equality and loss of identity


If your spouse starts treating you like you are lesser-than and doesn't want to change, it's time to go. Remember, you are no one's servant. Loss of identity happens when children move out of the home and the parents no longer see themselves as parents, or at least not full-time ones. Even when both people retire, their marriages are no longer a couple of hours per night while they work. They may realize that they can't stand the way the other person chews, or puts their feet up on the table at lunch time. They may get sick of each other and want to divorce, or they may begin to argue while they become stir-crazy. It's important to get out of the house and engage in hobbies and things that you enjoy, whether together or not. 


Can you think of any other reasons the divorce rate has increased? Comment below!



Signs You Are In An Abusive Relationship

Posted by Live Love Mom on January 7, 2021 at 8:00 AM Comments comments (0)
by: Rev Dr. Stéphanie McEndree




Whether you are reading this because you want to know whether you are in an abusive relationship or not, it's always good to be informed and aware. Feel free to link this to your loved one if you've noticed some disturbing behavior from their partner. Remember, your health and wellbeing comes before anyone else's. If you are being harmed or are unhappy in any way, you have every right to leave that situation no matter what. You are a free person and no one can force you to do things you don't want to do. 

Here are the different types of abuse listed by category.




Financial abuse can rear it's ugly head in many different forms. If you have an income, whether it's welfare or from working, there are ways your partner can use this to abuse you. The partner may demand to know your bank card number and pin, and change it without your consent. They may demand your online banking password and change that as well. Spending your money without your consent is also financial abuse, and so is stealing your money. What some partners will do is keep their victim's money for themselves. Sometimes, the abuser will give their victims an ''allowance'' off of the victim's own salary. More often than not, this amount is barely enough, or not enough, to cover the very basic expenses of life. Abusers use money to control their victims and to keep them from leaving. 

If you don't have an income, your abuser will withhold money from you. They will refuse to spend money on food for you, or to share what they bought with you, such as hygeine products, clothes or food. When you are married, you are considered under your spouses's charge and care, and it is expected that they provide for your needs. They accepted that fact when they married you, there is no excuse to cause such gross neglect. Abusers even do this to their children, confiscating their earnings, stealing their money or withholding them from the basic neccessities of life. It's cruel and is absolutely abuse.



Physical Abuse is the most commonly recognized form of abuse. Abusers will strike, punch, hit, kick, shove, push, or throw their victims. They can go even further and stab, strangle, or break limbs. They can attack and beat their victims, their children, or their pets, even their family members or friends. This is the abuser wanting to exert control over their victims. They want to scare their victims so they are too afraid to leave. The abusers want their victims to do exactly what they tell them to, and use threats and violence to get their way. 

Physical abusers are getting smarter. They assault their victims in places that is usually hidden with clothing. If their victims often wear bikinis, they will strike their victim's buttocks and demand that their victim wear a full buttocks-covering for a bikini bottom. They can stab or punch in the head which is hidden under the hair. They can bite, scratch, twist, pinch, poke, or do anything that is harmful to their victim. To keep their victim with them, they will apologize and offer gifts and say they will change and go to anger management or therapy. This is all lies and when their partner takes them back, they begin the assault again. The cycle continues. Abusers go so far as to kill their victims, and beatings get worse one after another. It causes lifelong damage and even paralysis.



Mental Abuse often consists of gas-lighting, accusations, lying, deflective, defensive behavior. People nowadays call this ''mind games''. Abusers will often put their victims through a series of ''tests'' to prove their love, devotion or loyalty to their abuser. Abusers do this to make themselves feel superior to their victims. They can also invent scenarios they say happened, or will happen, when it never did. They can put you in a false sense of danger, such as lying about being in a gang and that a rival gang has a price on the abuser's head. The abuser can threaten that their friends or family would harm their victim. They yell at their victim in front of everyone, wanting to create a reputation that their victim is not a good partner. They threaten to ruin their victim's reputation and spread rumors about them. They get a thrill out of watching the mental anguish this causes their victim. They want their victim to seem like the ''bad guy'', and the abuser wants pity and sympathy from others. This may be a way to destroy their victim's confidence so that it makes the victim believe that police would never believe that the abuser is abusive or did anything bad. 



Psychological Abuse is one of the unseen forms of abuse. It often consists of threats or any attempts to frighten, isolate or control the victim. It's also called emotional abuse or verbal abuse. This includes verbal aggression, intimidation, manipulation, and humiliation. Most of the time, this form of abuse unfolds as a pattern of behavior over time who's aim is to destroy another person's sense of dignity, identity, self esteem and self worth. Victims often end up with anxiety disorders as they are subjected to this trauma.

Often the abuser belittles and insults their victim. They say these insults often so that the victim will start believing them. They say that no one else will ever love the victim, or that they are not worthy or deserving of love, or anything else that they need or want. It's truly soul-crushing.



Spiritual Abuse, also known as religious abuse, is when an abuser prevents his victim from practicing their religion. The abuser stops the victim from going to their place of worship or speak with any members of their clergy. They will mock the religion and it's customs and practices to make their victim feel ashamed to do anything spiritual or religious in front of the abuser, or at all. The abuser will impose their beliefs on the victim and may force the victim to participate in the abuser's own religion or spirituality, knowing full well the victim doesn't believe in it. They can prevent their victim from speaking about their religion or spirituality, performing prayers or rituals, and even force-feed their victims when they are practicing religious fasting. They can sabotage their victim's plans to go on a pilgrimmage, visit a holy place or even attend their confirmation, baptism or ba(r) mitzvah. Abusers know that worshippers can claim sanctuary or go to a faith-run shelter if they want to flee the relationship. This is their way of cutting off their victims' ties to further trap them into a relationship with the abuser.


Freedom of religion is a basic human right. To be deprived of one of the basic ways one can express themselves and devotion to their dieties or ancestors is horrible. If you recognize anything in this text, you are being abused.


Cultural Abuse is when an abuser prevents their victim from participating in their own culture. For example, Native American children were forced to wear colonist's clothing and not permitted to paint their faces, speak their native language and their hair was cut short despite the cultural significance of their long hair. Even to this day, people demand that immigrants speak the nation's official language in public, and not their own native tongue. Abusers will also prevent victims from celebrating cultural holidays such as Cinco de Mayo, Dio de los Muertos, Mardi Gras, St. Patrick's Day, or anything else that is important to the victim. Abusers will do everything to prevent their victims from getting tribal tattoos as pacific islanders do, to get piercings like certain tribes do, or even very modern and basic things like breastfeeding and baby-wearing the victim's own child. 

Often cultural abusers will force people who are not of their own culture to assimilate. They will try to wipe out their victim's culture and heritage and prevent the victims from repeating this. If they have children together, the abuser may even lie to children saying their victim parent does not come from that place, and prevent that parent from reciting cultural tales, songs or rites. 



Sexual Abuse can come in many forms. The abuser sexually abuses their victim when they sexually harrass their victim, molest, rape, or traffick them. This includes genital mutilation such as amputating the clitoris, sewing the vagina shut, castrating or amputation of the penis and forced sterilization or pregnancy and birth. This is one of the most sadistic forms of abuse. Centuries ago when people were forced into slavery, the abusers would force their victims to have sex with each other, even their own family members in order to cause pregnancies to make more victims of slavery. It's where the term ''mother-fucker'' comes from.


The abuser can also purposefully withhold sex from their partner as a form of punishment, reprimand, discipline, or a way to control their victim. This is often a form of manipulation to get their victim to do what the abuser wants. The abuser may also spread false information and rumors about the victim's sexual talents or body to ensure no one else will desire their victim. Abusers can also infect victims with STIs on purpose to trap that person. They can also lie about their own sexual health in order to more easily infect their victim. Abusers can also wear a condom during sex, but then secretly remove it without the other person's knowledge or consent. All of these and more are forms of sexual abuse.



Do any of these behaviors or actions sound familiar? Then, unfortulately you are in an abusive relationship. Pack a few things and get out of there as soon as you can. You deserve better, and you are worth more, and you are loved.


Useful Tips For Parents Of Neurodiverse Children

Posted by Live Love Mom on December 4, 2020 at 8:00 AM Comments 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!

Daily Rituals To Adopt For Better Skin

Posted by Live Love Mom on November 20, 2020 at 7:30 AM Comments comments (1)
by: Rev Dr. Stéphanie McEndree



Even early on, it's important to adopt great habits for your skin. Nature gives you your face at twenty, but you need to earn the skin you get at 30 and above. Skin care is all about prevention of ailments, treating what's there, and improving. Not only will your skin look better with these tips, but it will feel and be better. Here are six tips to help you achieve your skin goals!






Wash your face daily. Every day your skin will encounter aggressions from the wind and sun. You will have touched your face, eaten food, maybe given or recieved kisses. This and more makes dirt, oil and bacteria accumulate on your face. The sebum you produce naturally will also be present on your skin if you have normal or oily skin. You will want to remove that to prevent buildups that create imperfections such as milia, pimples or blackheads. It also preps your skin for whatever treatments you will put on it later.



Change your pillowcase daily. What's the point of washing your face and removing dirt and oil and old makeup from your skin if you're just going to sleep in the same sweat and oil-soaked pillow case every night? Your pillow case collects dirt, bacteria and sweat and needs to be changed and washed daily to prevent breakouts. Be sure you have at least 7 pillow cases so you can change them each day and wash them in the laundry once a week. Same goes for hats and night caps: change them daily and wash them often. Your skin will thank you.




Double-cleanse. You need to use an oil-based cleanser as well as a water-based cleanser when you wash your face. This ensures that every impurity on your face gets removed so your visage is fresh and clean. Oil-based cleansers are great for removing makeup, especially water-proof and professional makeup that really stays on your skin. Water-based cleansers help remove dirt and oil from your skin that would otherwise clog your pores. 




Never sleep with makeup on. It's been proven that you age your skin at least twice as fast when you sleep with your makeup on. The residue from makeup can smudge under your eyes, causing you to rub them more which causes wrinkles to form faster. It also seeps into your pores, causing breakouts, whiteheads, blackheads and even cysts. Mascara is also eyelash mites' favorite food, and giving them a feast may cause eye irritation. You can also get some mascara, eyeliner or eyeshadow in your eyes and cause them to become red and inflammed. Foundation and lipstick can stain your pillow and clog your pores as well. Prevent all sorts of disasters and remove your makeup before bed, always.




Wear sunscreen daily. Whether you stay at home, go out daily or are outside for hours every day; you need to wear sunscreen daily, even in winter. Even on cloudy days, the sun's harmful UV rays go through the clouds, through windows and onto your skin. Not only does sunscreen prevent sunburns, but it prevents damage done by harmful rays to your skin. Did you know that if you wear sunscreen daily, you will never have sun-caused wrinkles? You also dramatically decrease your chances of contracting skin cancer, and prevent yourself from getting rosacea. So, wear sunscreen on your face, neck and chest. Your skin will thank you for the rest of your life.




Use professional products. What pharmaceutical products do is simply strip your skin of it's natural oils with it's cleansers, and remove some of your makeup with its makeup removers. They are sub-par products that do the bare minimum. It's very important to go to an esthetician and order professional products for your skin. Your local esthetician will diagnose any skin problems and your skin type and will give you what's right for you. If you have any medical conditions she will refer you to a dermatologist who can prescribe medical intervention at that point. Professional products don't use harsh ingredients that damage your skin, they use natural ingredients which help nourish, repair and replenish your skin. Aren't you worth it?



Got more tips to share? Comment below!


To My Dearly Loved Grandfather

Posted by Live Love Mom on September 18, 2020 at 9:00 AM Comments comments (0)

by: Dr. Stéphanie McEndree




Dear Grandpa,


I can't believe you're gone. I was sure we would have at least a few more years together. I wasn't told that you were in pain, or that your health was declining. I wish I had been informed sooner, before it became too late. I was told before you went, you had no more pain. I am glad that you were able to pass away with your dignity intact, and that you are no longer suffering. You never wanted to be in a nursing home, so I am relieved you never had to go in one. You were able to stay home with your wife and close to your loved ones. 


I am very thankful that you came to my wedding. My brother and myself, and my girls were able to see you one last time before you passed away. My brother hadn't seen you in three years before then so it was especially important. You got to meet his girlfriend of now seven years. I am glad that I went to visit you April of last year. We got to spend a week in your home where my girls brought you great joy. My oldest particularly enjoyed your company, and would cuddle and hug you a lot. We all sat together during mealtimes and ate well. 


Not many men live to meet their great-grandchildren, and I am so happy you met yours. I never had the pleasure of meeting any of my great-grandfathers, and here both my kids met both of theirs through me. It truly is a blessing. You were there for the most important milestones of my life; my children's blessings, and of course my wedding. You got to meet my kids when they were babies, and got to watch them grow up to school age. That certainly is something.


I remember you fondly. My brother and I would play in your basement when we were just kids. As we grew up, we got to spend more time with you. I would cook with Grandma and my brother would accompany you in your wood-working. I'd knit with my grandma and you'd play outside with my brother. We were always well fed, loved and pampered when we went to your home. We got to spend time with my aunt Trina and all her dogs. You even came to visit us during different holidays. It was very special having grandparents who not only spoke english, but who were so active in our lives. There wasn't a birthday or Christmas that went by without us getting a card from you and Grandma, even as adults. 


When I visited you in PEI, you told me your life story. I wanted to share that with the family now, and I can tell you that I won't ever forget it. You were a strong and brave man, and you loved your family the best you knew how. We will always remember you and keep you close in our hearts. We love you, Grandpa. We attended your funeral and there was no dry eye, not even my kids. They understand now that you're gone and you aren't coming back. They also know that you are watching over them now. Rest well, Grandpa. Rest in peace.



You were born the day after Christmas in 1939 to Alexandre Hallis and Marie Marguerite Baker, in Montreal. You were their first child, and you would later have six brothers and sisters. The youngest of your siblings was born when you were 9 years old. Your family lived in Longueuil, and you were particularly close to your Aunt Rosie. When you were about 15 years old, you were given to an all-boys orphanage. Your mother was deemed mentally unfit to care for her children, and your dad was working. Your siblings were also put in orphanages. You spent your teenage years in that orphanage, and you were able to visit your family for Christmas. They always gifted you clothes, since toys were not allowed to be brought back with you to the orphanage. You got to spend holidays with them. The orphanage wasn't easy, as the boys would cause fights and there were bullies there as well. At 16 years old, you finally got out of the orphanage. Orphanages were being abolished and a foster care system was set up, and you had nowhere to go. You told me that your younger brother Georges was taken from your parents and placed with a foster home at that time. You said he was the only one never to have been put in an orphanage, and you suspect he was abused. You signed up after new year's in January, in the military by telling them you were 18 years old. You chose the Air Force, and started out as a Private. Finally you could start your career, and you had a place to go. In your 20s, you were stationed in Prince Edward Island, where you met my grandmother. You were married in August when you were 23 years old and settled on the island with your wife. The next year, you had my dad. My grandma got pregnant twice more but unfortunately miscarried. She was told by the doctors that she would never have any more children. You moved to Bagotville since you were assigned to the base there, and Grandma was pregnant again. Thankfully, 6 years after my dad was born you had a healthy baby girl, my aunt Trina. You stayed there for a few years and that's how my dad and aunt learned french. You knew french already since you were born and grew up in a french province, but it was new to my dad and his sister. Grandma of course refused to learn the language so it must have been lonely for her. As live went on, you were stationed in Nova Scotia, and even Germany as my dad recalls. My dad told me that at one point you were in boarding houses for military families, and there were rats that came in the house out of the toilet. I was told that you killed the rat, flushed it down the toilet, so that ''those other rats know not to come up this toilet''. That actually worked. You found your calling in the air force as a firefighter and put out fires in military airplanes. You had accululated so much vacation time that you ''went on vacation'' when you were 52 years old. By the time you were 55, you had retired at the highest rank, Chief Warrant Officer. You settled in PEI with your wife and daughter. You wisened into old age and watched your kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids grow up. You did wood-working as a hobby and didn't do it for a profit. You could figure out measurements just by looking at a photo of something. You were really talented. Your father's family came from the Ukraine and Poland, and your mother's family was french. You were buried in Pleasant Valley, PEI. 


Rest In Peace

Jean Hallis

1939-2020

Edible Weeds To Forage From Your Backyard

Posted by Live Love Mom on August 13, 2020 at 9:00 AM Comments comments (7)

by: Dr. Stephanie McEndree





Edible greens can come from surprising places. Some are so hardy that they grow through cracks in the sidewalk! A lot of people simply remove weeds and throw them away. You can simply harvest them, wash them, and eat them. In fact, here are the most common weeds in almost every backyard that are not only edible, but bring a lot of nutritional value to your daily meals.



Clover has many different uses. You can pick it directly from the ground and wash it, and stick it in a salad. You can also leave it out in the sun to dry, and use it to make tea with the flowers. They are also edible raw and can be sauteed in different meals for a splash of color.



Plantain has both medicinal and edible purposes and is very popular for the forager. They can be added topically to soothe burns, rashes, stings and wounds. The leaves, whether old or young, can be sauteed, steamed, boiled or eaten raw after being washed. The seeds can be ground into a flour or cooked like a grain. These can also be used as fiber supplements or laxatives.



Dandelion is probably the most common weed listed here, and it can be very invasive with how fast it grows, spreads, and comes back even after removal. The roots go in very deep into the soil that they are nearly impossible to remove for good. The plant can regenerate and grow from a broken off root. The young leaves are considered less bitter, but the older ones are also very much edible. They can be eaten raw or cooked, and every part is edible. You can add the leaves in a salad, steamed or sauteed, even added to soups. The flowers can be eaten raw, breaded, fried, or used to make wine or syrup, or even salves. Roots are often dried to make tea, or roasted, or added to root vegetable recipes. Dandelions are way too useful to simply be pulled out and thrown away. In the past, people used to remove grass to plant dandelions.



Wood sorrel can be used as a thirst quencher and is said to be very refreshing to eat, so it's also popular for foragers during the hot summer months. The flowers, leaves and immature seed pods are edible but are said to taste sour like lemons. They can be a wonderful addition to salads, soups, seasoning and sauces. They look like clovers, but can be differenciated by the heart-shaped appearance of the leaves. They also have yellow floweds, when clover has purple or white flowers.



Curly Dock also known as yellow dock, is recommended to be eaten in moderation. The leaves can be eaten raw when they are young, and the older leaves need to be cooked and can be added to salads or soups. Stems can be peeled and eaten raw or cooked, while the mature seeds can also be eaten raw or boiled, and can also be roasted to make a drink similar to coffee. Change the water several times when you cook them because they are high in oxalic acid.



Purslane is most often found in damp areas where there is ample shade, so it is often never far from a body of water, a valley, or anywhere that regularly gets hosed or collects a lot of rainwater. You'd never think to look twice at this weed, but it's actually in the succulent family that can be eaten raw, cooked, or added to recipes for a natural pepepr flavor. Both the leaves and stemps are extremely rich in omega-3 and antioxidants. Add them to a stir-fry, salad, or to stews or soups. 



Lamb's Quarters are in the spinach family and are also known as goosefoot. The seeds are similar in appearance to quinoa and can be eaten as a side or main dish. Goosefoot can be eaten raw, steamed, sauteed or used as a replacement for spinach.



Chickweed can be made into a tea and used as a slight diuretic. With both edible and medicinal properties, this weed is always a joy to have in your backyard. The leaves, stemps and flowers can be consumed cooked or raw. It tastes like spinach and can also be used topically for small cuts, rashes and burns.



Wild Amarath also known as pigweedare popular with vegan foragers as the seeds are a great source of protein. They can be gathered and cooked whole grain or as a ground meal. Older leaves can be cooked similar to spinach, and younger leaves can be used in any recipe that requires leafy green vegetables such as salads or garnishes.



Mallow also known as malva or cheeseweed is mainly found in the United States in lawns or gardens. The leaves and seeds are edible either raw or cooked, especially when they are young. More mature leaves are best cooked, steamed, boiled or sauteed. Like the name might suggest, it doesn't taste like cheese and is not a cheese replacement.



Celebrate Your Birthday During Coronavirus

Posted by Live Love Mom on June 12, 2020 at 9:15 AM Comments comments (1)

by: Stephanie McEndree


Wondering how you can celebrate your birthday during a lockdown complete with social distancing? Are these times with the coronavirus making you wonder how you can still have a nice birthday? Are you wanting to celebrate your birthday without putting your health or anyone else's health at risk? You've come to the right place! Here we explore different ways you can still have a great time while also keeping everyone healthy and safe. If you are someone planning a birthday for your loved one during the pandemic, here are some good ideas for you as well.


Have a video call conference. Call all your friends and family into one place, or one at a time. They are sure to sing you happy birthday, wish you happy birthday and want to celebrate. Reminisce over the old times and walk down memory lane. Talk about your favorite moments together.


Get some balloons. If you want, have some balloons you can blow up or get some already filled up. It will give your place some ambiance and help you get into the headspace that this is a celebration. Turn on your favorite music if you like.


Bake a cake. Get some ingredients together or even just a cake mix, and bake a birthday cake of your choice. Don't feel like baking? Get one at the grocery store that's already pre-made. Get your favorite flavor, and make it festive with sprinkles and candles. Blow them out and make a wish!


Spend time with your housemates. Whether you live with family or friends, now is the time to take advantage of their presence. Cuddle with your significant other, play with your kids, enjoy time with your friends. Play board games, watch tv, go for a walk. 


Go to a drive-through. Get some takeout or go to a drive-through so you can get some hot food. Eat your favorites! Some places even offer free dessert if it's your birthday. Just show them your ID! Be sure to wear gloves and a mask when you go out just to be safe.


Go to a drive-in movie. You can go to a drive-in movie if they are open where you live. Stay cozy in your vehicle and watch a good movie outside. You can also put camping chairs outside and bring some popcorn and soda and some blankets.


Have a picnic. Go in your front or backyard or even in the living room. Place a blanket on the ground and have a nice picnic. You can have some grapes, cheese and crackers with some deli meats or have some sandwiches, salad, whatever you like.


Look at the stars. Lay on a blanket or in a sleeping bag and watch the stars. In August, there are even shooting stars and if you live up north you can admire the northern lights. You can look up constellations first, then try to find them in the sky. There are even some apps that help you identify and locate them. 


Got any more ideas? Comment below!

I Stand With You

Posted by Live Love Mom on June 1, 2020 at 8:05 AM Comments comments (4)

by: Stephanie McEndree




I can't imagine what mothers of children of color are feeling right now. Can you imagine being afraid every day for your child to die? Can you fathom a world where unarmed people of color are shot and killed in their own homes? Can you imagine that the very people you call to help you, those who are supposed to serve and protect you from harm, end up killing you, a family member, a friend? Can you imagine hundreds of years of racism, and even during these times where people are realizing they were wrong in different aspects of prejudice, people of color are still facing racism so bad it's deadly? Can you imagine seeing the police as judge, jury and executioner as they gun down innocent black chilldren, men and women? Can you imagine these people being put on paid leave and temporary suspension, if any? This is the world we live in.


The only way I can possibly relate is to try to imagine what mothers of color are going through. But the fact of the matter is, I will never understand. No white person ever will, because we are born with a privilege. It's not right, and it's not fair. However, we need to use this privilege to stand up for and protect for our black brothers and sisters. We need to speak up because their voices aren't being listened to. We need to make sure their voices are heard. We need to do absolutely everything we can to protect them. 


Here is what you can do to help. Please add to this list in the comments if I have forgotten anything.


Join the protests. Peacefully join protests. Carry signs, join chants, walk. Stand in protest. Show you support the black community. Show that you are not okay with the deaths of innocent black children and adults. Show you are against police brutality.


Assist them. Form a human chain around them with others. Protect people of color. Especially during the protests, stand between them and the police. Do not let any harm come to them. The police will not use accessive force against you, especially if you are unarmed. 


Record it. If you see a person of color being mistreated, pull out your phone and start recording. Yell at the police officer or whoever is attacking them, to stop. Call attention to this mistreatment. Don't let them get away with it. File a complaint. Even if the cops tell you to stop recording and are being forceful, keep recording. You can pretend to stop recording and put your camera down, but have it still pointing to the abuse if you can. If not, at least keep it going so sound is still recorded.


Protests have been the peaceful way for centuries to show opposition against unfair policies. One of the most famous ones are the Boston Tea Party, and also Martin Luther King Jr's marches, and Rosa Parks refusing to give up her seat for a white man. 


To every person of color out there, I am with you. I support you. None of you deserve to die. What happened was wrong. I stand with you.

How To Spend Time WIth Family During COVID-19

Posted by Live Love Mom on April 29, 2020 at 11:15 AM Comments comments (4)

by: Stephanie McEndree


It can be hard being apart from your family during this pandemic. Here are some ways you can spend time together despite the coronavirus.


Video calls. Whether you use facebook, skype or even snapchat, you can video call with your family. People are starting to use Zoom so they can video chat with many people at the same time. Have an online family reunion and spend some time together.


Play games. There are apps linked to facebook that you can play together. You can also play games via video chat, such as bingo or battleship. You can play almost any game through video chat if you try hard enough, or are creative.


Activities. Do activities together online. You can go on video chat and watch the same youtube workout video and do the workouts together. You can try Zumba as well and laugh as you try to dance like the instructor. You can also learn a dance from TikTok together.


Phone calls. Pick up the phone and call your family! Especially with the older generation, they love having a phone call from their loved ones. If you're not sure what to talk about, you can always mention the weather and ask how they are doing and what they've been up to lately. A popular topic is how everyone is passing the time being cooped up.


Send them something. You can send a letter, a card, flowers or even a delivery meal to brighten up their day. If it's their birthday soon, mail them a small gift if you can afford it. It will let your family know you are thinking of them even during these hard times.


Got more ideas? Comment below!


How To Socialize During COVID-19

Posted by Live Love Mom on April 19, 2020 at 8:10 AM Comments comments (0)

by: Stephanie McEndree



It's harder now than ever to socialize with people during the coronavirus pandemic. Plenty of people, especially extroverts, are finding these times trying and very difficult. Without further ado, here is how you can keep connected with your friends during COVID-19.


Social media. Scroll facebook, twitter, instagram, youtube, pinterest, and whatever social media accounts you have. You can keep up with your friends and how they're doing by reading their posts. You can also like their posts and comment on them to let them know you're thinking of them. For those who are anti-social or introverts, this can be the best way to reach out to your loved ones without being emotionally overwhelmed.


Online games. There are plenty of games out there where you can socialize with your friends, loved ones and even strangers. There are plenty of games on social media you can play with someone else. You can also get involved with more complexity such as MMORPGs. They are computer role playing games and are very popular. You can also bust out your PS4, or your Xbox or whichever gaming platform you own and start a friendly game. 


Video calls. Zoom, Skype, Facebook or more can be used to video call with your loved ones. You can do it either through your phone or on a computer. For computers, make sure you have a mic and a webcam so you can effectively communicate. Be sure you also have a good internet connection or the video will cut out a lot.


Emails. For the more old-fashioned people and for those who have elderly friends or who aren't used to the whold fuss about social media, emailing can be a familiar platform for communication. Send emails back and fourth and it can be as quick as instant messaging. 


Instant Messaging. Also known as IM, this is found virtually on every social media platform. You can IM on yahoo, google talk, facebook, pinterest, tumblr, instagram, twitter and more. Just make sure the both of you are online and start chatting! 


Phone calls. Scroll your phone and find the phone numbers of people you would like to talk to. Call them and if they don't pick up, leave a nice message. It's especially important during these times to check in on our elderly friends and family. Call your grandparents, your neighbors, your great-aunts and uncles. You can even offer to get them some groceries at the same time as your own to save them the trouble. Not sure what to talk about? Talk about current events, the weather, whatever you can think of!


Letters. For those special friends who live across the ocean, or even someone who enjoys recieving mail, write a hand-written letter. If you don't like your handwriting or it isn't legible, type up a letter and print it. Be sure you know the person's address so you can mail it to the right place. 


Have any other ideas? Comment below!

Precautions To Take When Going Out With Kids During The Pandemic

Posted by Live Love Mom on April 18, 2020 at 8:15 AM Comments comments (0)
by: Stephanie McEndree



Wear a mask. Have the kids wear a face mask as well as yourself. With coughing, sneezing or even talking launches airborne particles of the virus into the air up to ten feet away, it's better to prevent than to treat. Even if you don't have medical-grade surgical masks or N95 masks, a cloth mask or bandana is better than nothing. 


Wear gloves. Put on gloves on the kids hands as well as your own. Be sure not to touch your face while you have these gloves on. Discard them at the trash can by the grocery store's doors after you leave. This way you avoid cross-contamination on your vehicle and other objects you touch every day.


Social distance. Maintain a distance of at least 6 feet between people at all times. The only exception is the people you live with, and health professionals such as a doctor that has to examine you. There have been lines outside grocery stores before being allowed to go in. Maintain a distance of six feet between those people and yourself and your kids. 


Bring wipes. Use clorox wipes or similar to wipe down shopping carts, as well as door handles and light switches. Not only are you protecting yourself and your family, but you are also protecting others and minimizing the spread of the virus. Remember, baby wipes are not anti-bacterial and contain no anti-viral properties.


Disinfect groceries. When you get home, wash the reusable bags and wipe down grocery boxes and bags. As more and more people are infected every day, it's important to keep things clean. A box of cereal can be touched several times a day per person, so can the milk or juice carton. Keep things on the safe side and wipe it down with a disinfecting wipe.


Wash your hands. Wash their and your hands when you get home. Be sure to use warm water and soap and wash for at least 20 seconds. You can sing songs to help you remember, such as singing ''Happy Birthday''. This is also a great time to teach younger kids proper handwashing techniques and hygiene if you haven't already.


Order online. Some grocery stores offer an online cataloge of groceries that you can order in advance and have them delivered the next day. This is especially useful if you are a single parent or if one of your family members are high risk. 


Got any more suggestions? Comment below!

How To Get A Full Body Workout Indoors

Posted by Live Love Mom on April 8, 2020 at 9:00 AM Comments comments (0)

by: Stephanie McEndree



With the coronavirus happening, it's impossible to get to the gym. Here is how you can get a full-body workout from the comfort of your own home. Remember to stretch first!


Jumping jacks. These work out the full body and you don't need any equipment. All you need is the weight of your body. When you start feeling the burn, that's when you know it's working. You move your arms and legs which gives them a workout, you engage your core as you jump to keep your balance, and it engaged your glutes when you slap your legs back together. Your chest also gets flexed as you move your arms apart and together.


Stair runs. Run up and down the stairs and it doubles as cardi an strength. It's equivilent to a stair stepper and a treadmill at the same time. Keeping your balance engages your core, and your legs and glutes get a good workout. Move your arms up and down like you do when you run, and you will work out your shoulders, biceps and forearms as well.


Push-ups. These are great for upper-body strength. If you're a beginner, you can always do wall push-ups or ''girl'' push-ups. If you are more advanced, you can always push yourself up and clap your hands before landing, or also do one-hand push-ups. Depending on where you place your hands on the ground, you can work more your shoulders or your chest as well as your arms.


Crunches. These work your abdomen. They are easier on the back than sit-ups. This is what people do to get a great-looking core. If you want to get abs, you have to do crunches. These mostly work your upper abdominal muscles and make it easier for you to keep your balance and get up from a sitting or laying down position.


Lunges. These are great for your legs and strengthen your glutes. You can do jumping lunges, alternating lunges, or side lunges. They work your calves and thighs and are very useful to keep you limber, strong and fast. It's great that you only need your body weight, however you can add some weights and work your arms at the same time as well.


Squats. These are great for both legs and glutes. They tone your backside and your legs at the same time! Since the hips are the heaviest part of the body, you are giving your legs a great workout by doing squats. You also tighten up the glute muscles, and make it easier to lift yourself up from a sitting position.


Scissors. These will shred your abs. You are sure to feel the burn with scissors. These work your entire core and are a surefire way to get abs. For those who don't know what scissors are, it's when you lay down and point your left knee and your right elbow together, then right knee and left elbow, and back and forth. Bonus points for never putting your feet or legs down, as this will maximize the effectiveness of the exercise.


Leg lifts. These are great for your core as well as your legs. Some find it easier to put fists under their backsides to help stablize them. These work your lower abs so you are sure to get a six pack or even an eight-pack instead of just the four-pack that crunches can offer. If you never let your legs hit the ground, you add more resistance and you get the best effects from your workout.


 

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I Got Pregnant On The First Try With These Tips

Posted by Live Love Mom on April 7, 2020 at 9:00 AM Comments comments (0)

by: Stephanie McEndree


Getting pregnant can take a young, healthy couple up to twleve months. But who wants to wait that long? Here are the tips I used to get pregnant on the first try, not once but twice!


Chart your cycle. There are plenty of free charting websites out there. Personally, I am partial to fertility friend. Record the first day of your period and you will recieve a fertility estimate of the days which you are the most fertile. It will even predict your ovulation day. This way, you know which days you should be having sex to maximize your chances. You should have sex the day before and the day of ovulation.


Use ovulation predictor kits. Never use first morning urine, however, as LH is synthesized in the morning. By peeing on these sticks, the lines will let you know whether you are ovulating or not. If the control line is darker than the test line, then you have not ovulated yet. If the test line is darker than the control line, then you are ovulating and it's time to get busy!


Take prenatal vitamins. You should take these three months before you even start trying to get pregnant. These vitamins prevent neural tube defects, and the folic acid boosts fertility. If you take certain SSRIs, be sure to take 4mg extra of folic acid as well. Be sure to check with your doctor first.


Don't spit. It can be tempting to use lube, water, or even spit as lubricant. Saliva kills sperm, so it's better to avoid using saliva as lube. If you want to have oral sex, wash thoroughly after with soap and water to avoid the sperm dying. If you require lots of foreplay to self-lubricate naturally, I highly suggest lots of kissing and manual stimulation.


Lay still. After the deed is done, put a pillow under your hips and lay still for at least 5 minutes. This gives ample time for the sperm to swim up the cervix and to your waiting egg. Scientifically, it hasn't been proven that more than 5 minutes works, so you can go ahead and get up after 5 minutes.


 

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How To Balance Motherhood And Dating

Posted by Live Love Mom on April 5, 2020 at 8:05 AM Comments comments (0)

by: Melinda Humpherys



It can be tricky to know the rules for motherhood and dating. There is no rulebook for this, and every mom has a different opinion. Here are some tips picked up along the way by single moms everywhere.


Meeting the kids. Don't let your date meet the kids for as long as possible. This is essential to keep the lives of your kids secure and stable. You want to know for sure and be certain that things will work out with your date in the long run before introducing them to your kids, so if you do break up, your kids aren't crushed about it.


Background check. Check to make sure your date doesn't have any recent criminal history, especially anything dangerous such as violent crimes, drug crimes or crimes against children. Trust me, you don't want that around your kids.


Demeanor. Make sure you pick someone who is kind and patient. You want to show your kids what a healthy relationship is all about, and how a woman should be treated.


Tell your kids. Let your kids know that you are back to dating again, so it doesn't come as a surprise when you do introduce someone. Be sure to have them talk about their feelings with this news.


Stability. Learn from my mistakes and be sure you pick someone that has their life together. Make sure they have a job and their own place. The last thing you want is to be supporting a leech as well as your children. No one falls in love faster than a man who needs a place to stay. Be very vigilent. 


Family. Pay close attention how your date treats their mother. This is often indicative of how he will treat you, and will show how he's been raised. 


Friends. A man who treats you the same way whether in front of his friends or not, is a real green flag. This shows he isn't too proud to treat you well and his friends don't find him ''cool'' if he acts like a jerk.


Listen. Does he express differing views from your own? Does he say that it's all his ex's fault for the breakup? Does he seem hung up on his past? These are all things to look out for. When you do visit his place, check to see if it's very messy. You don't want someone you will be picking up after as well as yourself and your kids.


Have fun. When you make time away from your kids to go out, whether with him, friends or family, be sure to have a good time. It's good to be out of the house, so enjoy it!

 

 

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How To Make Time For Your Spouse

Posted by Live Love Mom on April 4, 2020 at 9:10 AM Comments comments (0)

by: Stephanie McEndree


 

Parenting is not for the weak. With mealtimes, cooking, cleaning, working, hygeine, activities and bedtime, it can be almost impossible to find time just for you and your spouse. Kids demand all of your attention, and parenting is wonderful. However, most of the time you were a couple before you were parents, and it's important to find time to maintain your relationship and your marriage. 


Spend time together. When the kids are in bed, whether it's naptime or bedtime, be sure to lay in bed and talk for a bit and cuddle. You will probably be exhausted after bedtime, so it's a good way to connect before drifting off to sleep. During naptime, you can cuddle on the couch and take advantage by watching an episode of your favorite TV show, a movie, or even play a game together. 


Splurge on a sitter. Whether it's a sitter, your parents, or even one of your older kids, have your kids watched so you can go out on a date night together once a month. If this isn't possible, there are some places that have childcare centers included, such as gyms, spas or restaurants with play areas.


Take a trip together. Whether it's a staycation or a getaway, having some time to unwind to yourselves and reconnect can be a real treat. Take some time to get away just the two of you.


Communicate. With the frustrations of parenting, tantrums and messes, things can get tense. It's very important to communicate effectively so you can get your needs met. Remember, you are a team and it's important to act like it. Together, you can accomplish anything. Brainstorm ideas on things to do together and when.


Listen. When your spouse talks to you, you need to pay attention. It's essential to any relationship, but it's especially important during parenthood. It's important to be on the same page now more than ever. You're parenting little humans together. Your spouse also might have ideas on how they'd like to spend time with you.


 

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