|Posted by Live Love Mom on March 6, 2021 at 8:20 AM||comments (0)|
By: Rev Dr. Stéphanie Noircent
Wedding receptions often stretch out into the night. However, to get married at night and have the reception even later, now that’s not too often. Perfect for night owls, saying your vows under the stars can be incredibly romantic. How can you get your fantasy twilight wedding without breaking the bank? Here are a few ideas.
Get some tents. Have tents outside, thin enough to see the stars. See if you can buy used, or rent used tents. Those will come around cheaper than brand-new. Ideal for summer, thick tents usually make the interior stuffy. You can feel the night breeze to keep you cool.
Watch the shooting stars. Have blankets laid out in august on a clear night and have guests lay down and watch the meteor shower. If you live up north, enjoy the northern lights at the reception. This is a peaceful, relaxing activity for guests and the couple to enjoy all together.
Look for discounts. Many venues offer discounts for off-peak seasons, months, and days of the weeks, maybe even times of day that are not often used. Who doesn’t want to save more money on their special day?
Sparklers. They don’t stand out nearly as well in the daylight, and they’ve been increasing in popularity. There are even signs sold for weddings specifying the time for a sparkler sendoff.
Use your resources. Surround yourself with professionals, students, and talented individuals. Knowing you personally, they may offer you their services in lieu of a gift. Especially students, who haven’t gained enough experience yet and can’t charge you full price, but need the work on their portfolio.
Lights. Light up the room, venue or outdoor area with lights. Yellow lights add a soft glow and a romantic feel to the ceremony and reception. They also make the wedding photos look gorgeous. Recycle your white holiday lights and decorate your backyard with them. Light candles in an indoor venue, or electric candles to avoid fire hazards.
Hire people you already know. Have your hairdresser do your hair. Have your dentist bleach your teeth. Use your local beautician to do your nails and pre-wedding care. Call up the deejay you used at your niece’s baptism and ask if they do weddings.
Lanterns. Light lanterns and light up the sky at your reception. Paper lanterns can be bought for a low price. Have guests light them up and let them float away. Having a wedding by the ocean or a large body of water? Light floating lanterns and watch them drift away.
Use your own music. Hook an iPod to speakers, pick a playlist and set it on shuffle. There! You’ve saved hundreds on hiring a band or a DJ for your musical needs.
Wear long sleeves. Nights are cold, and you can finally have an excuse to wear the long-sleeved dress that you’ve been eyeing. You can purchase that adorable shawl to adorn your shoulders as you stand and declare your love.
Keep your guest list short. If you’re a regular reader of my articles, you will see that I write this tip a lot. That’s because, it’s one of the top ways to save money on your wedding reception. Nowadays, receptions are paid by the plate for guests. If you’re paying $25 a plate and you have 100 guests versus 25 guests, you will pay four times more than if you just invited close friends and family. Convinced yet?
Browse discount stores. You ca save hundreds by getting lightly used items instead of brand new. Go to the cheaper stores first before you visit high-end stores. That way, if you find an over-priced arch at a fancy store, you will know that there is one half the price waiting at your local second-hand store.
Got more ideas? Comment below!
|Posted by Live Love Mom on February 25, 2021 at 8:15 AM||comments (1)|
by: Rev Dr. Stéphanie McEndree
Maybe you've heard mothers rave about how easy their labor was, or how fast their baby's birth was. Maybe some mothers told you how they loved their upright birthing position, or how different their birth was from the last. Maybe you want to fact-check your midwife, doula or medical provider who told you that upright positions are best for labor and delivery.
After going to school as a doula, we learn many things about pregnancy, birth and the postpartum period. This was one of those things that we learned, and we know to encourage pregnant, laboring and birthing women to do. Here are some facts showing benefits to laboring and giving birth in an upright position, whether it's standing, crouching, sitting, or leaning.
- In 2017, research revealed that mothers who gave birth in an upright position have a 25% less chance of getting an episiotomy and a 25% decreased chance of needing forceps or a vacuum and a 54% decreased risk of tearing.
- The baby has a 54% less chance of being in distress if it's born while the mother is in an upright position.
- Your contractions are the most effective. Certain preliminary studies have shown that an upright position during labor is just as effective as using pitocin to stimulate contractions.
- The duration of the first stage of labor, where the mother is dilated 3 to 10 centimeters, can be considerably reduced if the mother remains upright, active and mobile.
- It's been proven that an upright birth reduced medical birth assistance by 23% and 21% of episiotomies.
- It's been proven that staying in an upright position reduces the amount of time women are in the second stage of labor, also known as pushing.
- If a woman stays upright during her labor and birth, her chances of getting a cesarian is reduced by 29%.
- Being upright during labor and birth can free up 28% to 30% of room in your pelvis, which leaves room for your baby to be born.
|Posted by Live Love Mom on February 18, 2021 at 8:45 AM||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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
|Posted by Live Love Mom on February 11, 2021 at 8:45 AM||comments (1)|
by: Rev Dr. Stéphanie McEndree
Emotional and physical support needs are at their peak. The mother just had a whole human being exit her body, she will be exhausted, and her body will already be in overdrive to heal her from the birth as well as make milk for the newborn. Dads may feel helpless and have no idea what they can do to help. A postpartum doula will help both of you fit into your new roles as parents and answer any questions or concerns you may have. They even know tricks on how to relieve postpartum pain.
Doulas have you reflect on your birth experience and never impost any judgement or any opinions on you. Whether you had a traumatic birth or the birth of your dreams, a postpartum doula helps you navigate the memories of the birth in a way that's healthy for you. Your doula will be a shoulder for you to cry on or an ear to talk into. She is your village, which is especially useful when you don't have one. Many mothers report having more positive birth outlooks with a postpartum doula.
Having a doula has proven health benefits. Did you know that hiring a postpartum doula actually lowers the chances of parents getting postpartum depression, anxiety and psychosis? Who would have thought! They take care of the whole family; mother, baby, and father too. Not only can doulas allow you to get some much-needed sleep while they care for your child, but they will also make sure that you take good care of yourself. She also knows what to look for in situations where you would need to see your doctor again, such as passing large clots, failure to bond with baby, or constant sadness.
Doulas are all about supporting your choices. All prenatal courses refuse to teach new parents how to bottle-feed their child, even if you have already chosen to do so or have a medical reason for doing so. A doula will have no problem in teaching you how to bottle-feed, which formula may best suit your baby, and how to follow the instructions on the packaging. Doulas are taught and trained using evidence-based research and scientific findings so you can always ask them to help you process decisions you'll have to make so you feel more secure once you make a decision.
Your doula can help you in many different ways, depending on your own personal needs and wants. She can offer you breastfeeding support and information, do some light housework, help you cook and meal-plan, and more. She can even be there during the night while you and your partner get some much-needed sleep. She can also take care of your older children to allow you to have some bonding time with your baby. She can also assist you with newborn care and show you how to bathe your baby and how to change their diapers. She can even do some menu planning, go with you to go grocery shopping, and run errands. She can also do referrals in the community if you want any other services. They are well worth it.
The statitstics prove that it's the way to go. If you have a doula for both the birthing and postpartum period, the benefits are even more numerous. Did you know that you will have a 12% increased chance of having a spontaneous vaginal birth? The breastfeeding success rate also increases, and your labor time gets decreased an average of 40 minutes. Your baby also has a 14% decreased chance of needing to go to the NICU. There are also 34% fewer negative birth experiences with a doula. Mothers will feel more positive about their births, labors, and their postpartum periods. It's easier for parents to bond with their babies and get into a routine.
Got any more benefits to add to this list? Comment below!
|Posted by Live Love Mom on February 4, 2021 at 9:15 AM||comments (0)|
by: Rev. Dr. Stephanie McEndree
Have you made a list of everyone you want to invite, but the catering surpasses your budget? Is your guest list too long for your venue of choice? Are you not sure who to weed out of your guest list, or unsure of who to add to it? Then this is the right post for you.
Family. Unless you are no longer in contact or you don’t get along, inviting your immediate family is common. The bride and groom’s parents and grandparents, and their brothers and sisters with the spouses are where to start.
Close Friends. Invite your closest of friends, who you talk to and see often. Someone you can’t imagine having your big day without.
Extended Family. If you’re close to your aunts and uncles and cousins, you can go ahead and invite them. However, if you barely see or talk to them or if you’ve never met, it’s safe to leave them off of the guest list.
Friends. If you haven’t seen or talked to the person within the last year, it’s safe to say you shouldn’t invite them to your wedding. If you’ve had friends get married and they didn’t invite you, definitely don’t invite them. If you close your eyes and imagine that friend’s wedding, do you picture them inviting you? If not, cross them off the list.
Coworkers and Classmates. Sure, invite them if you spend time together outside of work and are good friends. Otherwise, if you only see each other at work, you can safely cross them off the list. If you don’t see your classmates outside of class, it’s safe to exclude them as well.
Acquaintances. All of these can easily be crossed off of your list, or excluded altogether. These are often just people you know through friends or family. This also includes friend’s plus ones; you don’t have to feed a total stranger. On the invitation, you can write just their name or just the friend’s name on the envelope.
Make a rule about children. It’s becoming more and more normalized for restaurants and salons to ban children from attending. You can confidently say whether or not children are allowed at your wedding, and stick to it. Your friends can get a babysitter, and if they refuse, they can always skip the wedding. It’s your day, it’s perfectly understandable that you don’t want babies crying or screaming during your big day. Love kids? You can always let children be a part of the reception, since it’s a party anyhow, but exclude them from the ceremony. If you’re fine with children being at both, you can always let the officiant know and let them know how you’d like them to handle the situation; ignore it, or make a joke about it.
|Posted by Live Love Mom on January 28, 2021 at 7:05 AM||comments (0)|
by: Rev Dr. Stéphanie McEndree
Depending on their age group, children can be extremely attached to their parents; sometimes, too much. There are years where they have great seperation anxiety, and that's okay. They want to be near you because they know that's where they will be safe and loved. Once they start outgrowing this phase however, it's time to start thinking about teaching and encouraging your child to engage in independent playtime.
Whether you work from home or just need a break, it's important to encourage your child engages in independent play. This allows them to focus on the task at hand and accomplish it with better results. There are many more benefits to independent play, including:
Self-reliance. Your child learns that they are able to trust themselves to do certain tasks that they need or want to do. They learn that they are capable of playing alone and spending time by themselves.
Emotion regulation. Children get to take sensory breaks from the loud voices of people, the blinding bright lights in buildings or the bright sun in their eyes, many people touching them and handling them, and unfamiliar smells. They are able to self-soothe and keep calm, lowering their blood-pressure.
Cooperation. Kids learn how to cooperate with themselves. They learn that they can control their body and it develops their hand-eye coordination. They also learn about cooperation through building towers with blocks, and how objects have to work together to maintain balance and support one another.
Better learners. Children are better able to notice things like cause and effect, patterns, shapes and colors when they are alone. Focus and concentration are key, and they are able to develop these things when they are able to have time to themselves.
Self-confidence. Kids can build their confidence as they get to be whoever they want while they play. They can run around pretending to be a super-hero and saving the world. They get to perfect their fine motor skills and gross motor skills and become more confident in their abilities.
Creativity. School-aged kids can use this time to develop their imaginations and express themselves. They can act out scenarios in pretend play, or with dolls or action figures. Kids often treat their dolls the same way they are treated, so it's also fun to watch your kids tuck in their toys the same way you do.
Patience. When you are unavailable and it's time for independent play, children learn that they need to wait until playtime is over to have access to you. They also learn patience when stacking objects and trying not to make them topple over.
Social independence. Children have the ability to learn to be socially independent, and having some independent playtime really helps to fine-tune these skills. They will be comfortable being in social situations where they would rather keep to themselves. They won't feel pressure to interact with others when they don't have to. They also develop a sense of belonging and importance which is crucial for asserting themselves and forming bonds with people around them.
Self-awareness. Babies aged six months and up start to learn how to coordinate their bodies, and at a certain age they discover that their hands belong to them, and that they to what is asked of them. With solo playtime, they are able to explore and experiment with how their bodies can move according to the brain commands they execute.
Self-help. Kids are able to develop problem-solving skills and will be more self-sufficient and independent. They will learn that they can get up and get the toy they want, and not rely on a parent to hand everything to them. They will also learn to experiment with a toy they're not sure how to operate until they are able to work it the way they want to.
Freedom. Children get to be themselves! They get to call all the shots. They don't have to share or adhere to anyone else's wishes or requests. They can do what they want and play what they want, when they want, where they want. This helps the children to relax and reduces stress.
Decision-making. The most basic of decision-making skills are acquired through independent play. Kids don't have adults telling them what to do right now, so they have to pick their own game they'd like to play and which toy to use. They also get to weigh different options and choose which is best for them.
Self-motivation. For babies who can't crawl yet, having a toy roll out of reach will motivate them to start moving towards that toy. Your babies may learn to crawl or walk this way! It also helps them feel safe and secure so they feel like they have control over their own life.
Concentration. Free of distractions, this allows for the child to focus 100% on their playtime. With this level of concentration, they are able to do things better and even learn how to execute new movements.
Self-discipline. They get to feel a sense of achievement and success, knowing they did this all by themselves with no help. They also get to learn how to be self-disciplined.
With all of that in mind, how can you encourage independent play in your child? Here are some tips you might find interesting. Feel free to pick and choose which ones would work the best for your child and your familial situation.
- Bring them to a new place. They will be taking in everything around them and are bound to take off and explore their surroundings. Babies, kids and children always want to experience the world around them.
- Make sensory bins. You can offer sensory bins to your child that they will really enjoy. You can even choose those that work on fine motor skills such as making red tape, pompoms at the bottom of the bin and have the child fetch the pompoms with tweezers.
- Give them a water table. If your child loves water, they will love a water table. They often come with wheels, toys and cups so the children can learn how to manipulate water all while having a blast.
- Offer them substitutes. If they can't get enough of your car keys, get them a plastic set they can play with, or a spare set you don't need anymore. Same with light switches, doorknobs, a phone that doesn't work, or anything else they seem to be fascinated with.
- Start playing with them. This works with an especially clingy child who can understand what you are saying. You can start playing with them, then let them know that you are going to the bathroom. Wait until the child is well immersed into their activity so they are less likely to follow you.
- Get craft supplies. Offer your kids pipe-cleaners, construction paper, scissors, glue, tape, pompoms, glitter, markers, tissues, string, anything you think they can make fun crafts with. You can even give them specific supplies for a specific project and play a video showing them on how to make that craft.
What are you waiting for? It's playtime!
|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!