LAFF: Things I’m Loving in 2019….

I love reading “favorite things” lists on the internet because I love to discover new products, music, and food. So today I’m writing my own. Enjoy! 

  1. Internet Things-Pets with captions. Specifically Tucker Budzyn-a 1 year old Golden Retriever.
    I’ve never met this dog, I don’t know him personally, but let me just tell you–this dog makes me smile every day. Follow him on Instagram and Facebook @TuckerBudzyn. Also, I recommend this video of his: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sjFAx5jPFN0
  2. Internet Things #2-Philip Defranco-I’ve been watching this channel on Youtube for about 3 years and I really enjoy it. It’s a news channel that gives you a 15-20 minute show every day on news topics from the US and globally. The main reason I enjoy this show is that it’s heavily researched and it’s independent and not beholding to anything. There are times I agree with what he says, and times I disagree.
  3. Internet Things #3-Lavender and Lemons Shoppe-Full disclosure? This Facebook page and blog is run by a friend of mine since college and focuses on disability, advocacy and health related content. And unlike other much larger platforms who don’t pay their writers, L&L seeks submissions and pays a small amount when they are able to. If you’d like to contribute to help fund writers, go to this link: https://lavenderlemonsshoppe.wordpress.com/?fbclid=IwAR0I6rWyHgPKZy5QW6_04VH99m_PCEw8M39XN5zeApPzRu0Mtr0cR81L9WA
  4. Tillamook Mint Chocolate Chip Ice CreamI’m a lover of anything mint chocolate chip. The reasons I love this particular brand of ice cream is that first of all, there is no artificial dye in the ice cream itself. Unlike most other brands of MCC, this brands ice cream is white, not green. It still packs a delicious minty flavor without the dye. Also, the container comes pre-sealed so you can be assured that your ice cream does not come pre-licked by anyone trying to gain clout on the internet. (Dear Jesus, what have we become?? 😛 )
  5. My Favorite Human-My husband. (To be fair, he’s been my favorite human since 2008)
    This summer my husband and I celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary. We’ve technically been together for over 11 years. We have seen each other through job losses, property moves, grandparent deaths, many many miles spend on the road and we still like each other. He’s super great and I believe that everyone needs a Chad in their life.

    me-laura-valentine

  6. Favorite Politician-………………………………………(Yep. I’m sick of all of them and wish we could scrap them all and start over. Blech)
  7. Favorite Morning Devotional AppOur Daily Bread. I read these in booklet form starting in college and they were just long enough to keep my ADD attention span. In the era of smartphones, you can download their app in the Google Play Store (or whatever the iphone equivalent is) so you have a daily devotional delivered to your phone every morning.
  8. Favorite Ringtone-On a related note, when I procured this phone, I went in and looked at my ringtone options on ZEDGE. One of the artists that I plugged into ZEDGE’S search bar was Rich Mullins-the late contemporary christian artist. And I found a song by him-The Love of God. Then I put this as my ringtone. Now every time I hear my phone ring, I hear this song and it reminds me of how much Jesus loves me. I’ve also noticed I’m calmer in my everyday life since I’ve made this change.
  9. Favorite Music-Anything by Taylor Swift (Yes, I’m almost 40. Just let me have this, Ok, Linda? 😛 ) I am currently obsessed with Taylor Swift’s Lover Album (which dropped yesterday) and I’m listening to it as I write this. This album is not only Swift’s latest project, but marks the 1st album where she actually owns all the songs. #GirlPower
  10. Blueberry cobbler-Chad and I are at the age where having normal blood pressure levels is a good thing. We discovered that berries help to lower high blood pressure and have gotten into eating frozen blueberries. Tonight I put them into a cobbler. If you need the recipe, you can refer to it here, swap out the peaches for blueberries and omit the cinnamon. 

LAFF: Lulabelle’s Guide to Surviving Your First Mammogram…….

**Please note that most of these tips are written for humorous purposes and shouldn’t be taken seriously. To be honest, I’m being overly dramatic and having a mammogram is not all that bad.

One legit tip I can give you is if you are worried about pain, take some tylenol before your appointment.

Also, for some reason they want you to avoid using deodorant or any powder products under your arms on the day of your appointment.

My 3rd tip is to try and schedule your appt for a time where you know your breasts will not be tender due to your cycle. This will most likely cut down on your uncomfortableness with the mammogram process.

My last legit time would be to not wear a bra or wear a soft sports bra to your appt. Your breasts will be a little sore afterwards and an underwire bra could make things a bit more uncomfortable. 

Ok, on to my ridiculous tips. 😛


Guys, I’m getting old.

Specifically I’m around the age that a yearly mammogram is recommended. After thinking I felt something a few weeks ago (doctor didn’t feel anything on the follow up exam) I decided to schedule a mammogram just in case because I’m about to be 40 in a few months and at least once in my life I want to be on time or early for something.

My mammogram was today and I lived through it. As nervous as I was about it, I decided to make a guide to getting through it.

1. Don’t worry about the pain and discomfort. Honestly on a scale of 1 to getting hit in the face with a brick, it’s really not that bad. You’ll be fine.

2. You’ll be shocked and amazed at the way your breast can contort into about 50 different shapes during your mammogram. Those cirque du origami boobs are yours and you should be quite proud of their feats of stretch and foldiness.

3. It’s a good idea to take with you a small spatula because inevitably one of your boobs will become adhered to the imaging surface (especially if you have it done on one of the hottest days of the year like I did, where even in the air conditioning you can feel the heat). And no matter how hard you try, you will not be able to get it elegantly lifted off the tiny table with just your hands. 

The imaging tech tugged so hard, my left boob almost flew up off the imaging surface and hit me in the face. Next time I’m putting a small spatula in my purse. Just in case.

4. Have an uncomfortable anecdote ready to share with the imaging tech as payback for squishing your boobs flat as pancakes. I decided to go with the story of how Chad’s great grandma was treated for breast cancer in the 1920’s with acid.

It definitely got the desired result and made me feel like we were now even. 

I hope these tips helps you prepare for your first or next mammogram. 

Happy weekend, y’all! 😀

 

 

LAFF: The One Where Lulabelle DIY’s a Crazy Product She Found on the Internet……

***Trigger Warning: Today’s blog contains talk of babies and a baby related product. If this subject is a trigger for you, click off this blog and enjoy one of my other non baby related posts. 🙂

I found it yesterday. And thought initially it was a joke.

But after finding a link to the website where it can be purchased, I realized it was very much a new thing.

Ladies and gentlemen, FridaBaby has outdone themselves this time with a product dads of toddlers have needed for years. And for $27.99, you can have it.

May I present to you, FridaBalls, the kid proof underwear for dads!!

Honestly I’m still clicking around the website making sure this isn’t an April Fools joke, bu so far it seems legit.

But that price? For ONE pair?? I mean, I guess you could justify that, especially if you have an overly kicky child, but I wondered……Could this be DIY’d?

Well folks, I would say YES!! And as it turns out, this product came out just in time, especially if you have leftover Easter eggs.

What you’ll need to DIY yourself a pair of kid proof underwear:

1. One pair or boxers or briefs

2. One half of a plastic Easter egg (and size does matter here. Makes sure it fits your um,  stuff)

3. Needle and thread or fabric glue or hot glue (*If using hot glue DO NOT wear the garment during this step).

Take the pair of boxers or briefs and find the pockety hole thing reserved for your “delicate package”. Take half of the Easter egg and place it inside the pockety thing, open side towards you. Then secure it to the boxer or briefs by the method of your choice (**do NOT wear the garment while securing the egg). 

And ba-bam! Instant kid proof anti ball bustin’ underwear!

You’re welcome! 🙂  

*Lulabelle.net is not responsible for injuries acquired if instructions were not followed or if it was decided to drink and DIY

**See first warning.

***It was also brought to my attention during a rough draft reading of this post that I neglected to specify that if you use hot glue or fabric glue, it should go between the outside of the egg and the fabric of the underwear.  While I thought this to be an understood step, I did just point out to not wear the underwear while attaching the egg, so there you go. 😛 

 

 

39 is the New 80: Part Deux……

Several weeks ago I wrote about my latest health issue and the subsequent doctor recommended course of treatment-more protein every day. I started taking BOOST nutritional drink, but was concerned about the sugar content. So I began searching for an alternative.

Last night Chad brought home a box of protein bars. The Pure Protein brand in chocolate deluxe. Which looked deceptively delicious like a normal candy bar.

It was a bar covered in chocolate. What else was I supposed to think?

As soon as I took a bite, a sense of hollow sadness came over me to the point where for a moment I questioned if Jesus really loved me (which is awkward because I’ve already begun decorating the house in anticipation of celebrating His birth. In November. Don’t come for me 😛 ).

It was so bad that after I swallowed the last bite, I had to go into the refrigerator and squirt the rest of the can of whipped cream in my mouth to get rid of the after taste. (To be fair I would have done this anyway. First off its whipped cream and delicious. Secondly, it had been in the fridge for a week and had to be eaten or it would have gone sour and that’s just a tragedy waiting to happen. So in a way I was being responsible.) 

Texture wise it was like eating sawdust with a tiny bit of bitter chocolate flavoring mixed in. 

So my search for a yummy protein bar that’s low in sugar continues. 

Stay tuned! 

PS: Jesus will love you no matter how bad your protein bar tastes. 😉 

LAFF: Lulabelle’s DIY Edible Room Deodorizer………(When You Burn Dinner But Are Too Short to Open the Windows)

There are a few things in life that are inevitable: death, taxes, having that dream where you arrive at school in your underwear or naked, and burning dinner at least once. 

Last night I burnt dinner. 

We are trying to eat healthier and save money, so last night I grabbed a pre-packaged chicken from the freezer and ran it under hot water before opening the package and reading the directions.

The directions never said anything about putting a small amount of water in the pan, so initially, I didn’t. Especially since I was using a nonstick pan.

That was dumb.

It began to stick, so I threw in a tiny bit of water.  I think that made it angrier as smoke started to pour from the skillet and I smelled burnt meat. 

Panic also set in as I realized I’m too short to open the windows and air the kitchen out. 

Praying I wouldn’t set off the smoke detector, I turned the burner off and pronounced dinner done. 

We ate what we could, but I have to be honest, it was chicken that looked like roast beef. In my defense, it wasn’t all my fault. Turns out that when you overcook chicken that has been dredged in Jamaican Jerk seasonings, it’ll definitely have a beefy quality when you plate it. 

After dinner, I had to face the burning meat smell in the kitchen and figure out a way to make it go away. Long story short, I’m a genius. 

First I took two mandarin oranges and peeled them. I put the slices and peel in a saucepan. Next, I added just a small bit of water, half an inch, to the pan. Finally, I covered the top with cinnamon and cloves and put it on the stove on medium high heat till it boiled. After it came to a boil, I turned it down to low to simmer for 10 minutes.  

 This filled the kitchen with such a yummy, warm smell of citrus and cinnamon. I was in heaven! After the mixture simmered for 10 minutes, I took it off the stove, fished out the orange slices and ate them. Finally, I strained out the peels poured the liquid into a glass and DRANK THE REMAINING JUICE! 

I will definitely be doing this again (adding a little bit of sugar) but I’ll be making a bigger batch and turn it into iced tea. 

Stay tuned! 

LAFF: Lulabelle’s Practical Guide to Staying Cool on Road Trips When the AC Gives Out and it’s as Hot as Satan’s Bum Crack……….

Yesterday Chad posted on Facebook to say that our car’s air conditioner had finally been fixed. I replied by posting the following video:

Mennonite Sing 606

Now I realize the above video might be a bit intense to celebrate a simple AC fix. But when the AC has been broken for 3 weeks and in that time you had to travel 8 hours both ways for vacation, the video above is the only appropriate response.

So today I decided to do my subscribers a solid and give you all a list of *hacks to make a long car trip more comfortable if your AC blows (or doesn’t), and no one can fix it because the problem is super complicated which ultimately makes sense because if it was an easy fix, it would not be your car. 😛

1. Drive at night and arrive at your destination early in the morning. This way you can drive with all the windows down and things are a bit cooler. Yes, the downside is that you may get bugs and dirt in your teeth, hair, and ears, but at least you’ll ingest more protein, right?

2. Pack plenty of water and Gatorade so you’ll stay hydrated.

3. Wear as few clothes as is legally necessary. If you are really desperate, strip down completely but make sure to only take country roads and drive through areas that are not well-lit (combining this tip with the one above would help even more). In this scenario, you won’t be able to take pits stops and pee or drive through for food, so plan accordingly.

4. If you have long hair, put it up in a bun or alternatively, cut your hair before you begin your road trip. Or better yet, shave your head. This will help keep your head cool and will fulfill your mother’s lifelong dream of you getting a haircut.

When Chad and I arrived at our cabin after driving for 8 hours, the heat had gotten to us. Adding insult to injury, our cabin was without AC, so we sat in our room under two strong, blowing fans while we aired out our various creases.

Honestly, if you want to make great time, driving a car with no AC is the way to go because you will want to stop the car as little as you possibly can. And pray there are no accidents along the way. When Chad and I were 2 miles away from our cabin, we got stuck in pre-parade traffic and had to slow down to 1 mile an hour and I’m not gonna lie, I really thought we’d die. Which really sucked because we had been needing this vacation for the last 3 summers.

5. Fill a small wading pool with water and set it in a meat locker or industrial freezer to freeze. Then place it into the back seat of the car for the passenger to sit in and cool off while you drive down the road. Don’t worry, I didn’t forget the driver. As the ice melts, the passenger in the back will pelt the driver with ice in a refreshing display of sharing.  

*Some of these hacks are embellished or completely ridiculous and Lulabelle.net is not responsible for injury, damages or legal fees if any of these hacks are tried as written. 😉

LAFF: Mowed Over…….

It’s been a rough week. I want to address what’s in the news lately, but today, I thought we should have a little diversion with a funny story about one of our first world problems. I hope this makes you smile. 


It’s that time again. With the warmer weather, it’s time to make sure your yard is mowed regularly and well-groomed.

Y’all, Chad and I have had the worst time getting someone to mow our grass and clip the hedges. We hired someone two years ago, but they quit last year. Because Chad has allergies and our yard is too small for a riding lawn mower (so I can’t do it), we realized quickly that our only option was to use a lawn service. So I started asking around and someone (who shall remain nameless because I don’t blame them one bit) contacted me with the name of a local, family-owned lawn care business.

Sound promising? Read on……

Now, in the beginning, I was pretty impressed. They answered my inquiry quickly and were able to accommodate our hectic schedule by agreeing to do the work on a day where other businesses were normally closed. On the first day they mowed, I told them that of course the grass needed to be mowed and the large weeds in the front and side of the house needed to be removed. Including that weed on the side of our house by our porch. I specifically remember telling them to remove the porch weed.

Remember that one? Yeah, the one that was so large we used it as a Christmas tree (from December to April as it turns out, but that’s neither here nor there). Honestly, it’s gotten SO much bigger since December that you hardly have to open the door the entire way to see it in its full glory. And yes I have tried plucking it out with my dainty hands and Goliath strength, but it’s passed the point at which tools wouldn’t be necessary.

We agree on a reasonable payment and the guy shows up to do the work. Now, this is where I made the mistake. After the first mowing session ended, I noticed the porch weed was still firmly cemented in the side yard. The guy told me that he’d get to it next time, he just didn’t have his lopper with him (I don’t know why this word sounds like a euphemism for something else. But there it is).

This was my mistake. I should have told him we couldn’t pay him till the job was done, but as this was our first go around, I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt.

I should have reread that first sentence in the above paragraph. Even when he was mowing the grass last week, I could have sworn I heard a weed eater whirring in the background.

So it was to my great surprise and annoyance that I saw the porch weed sitting, untouched, hugging the cool concrete when I opened the door after he had finished. He had knocked on the door so he could say he was finished and I could pay him. But the instant I saw the weed, I looked at him, nodded and gazed toward the weed and pointed. He said, “What?” as I kept eye contact and kept my finger pointed firmly toward the weed.

His eye follows my finger to the weed, he gasped, throws up his hands and says, “$#@%&#!, I forgot my lopper again! Text me and remind me for next time!”

“WHAAATT??!!”

So, um, I guess it’s on me that I thought just verbally telling you what needed to be done would be enough to actually DO what I’m paying you to do.

My bad.

So because you forgot to bring your loppers (Ok, is this a real thing or a tool from Who-ville?), I forgot how to do the math and am only paying you for mowing.

Also, here is a handy-dandy little reminder for next time:

 

 

 

Good luck!! 

PS: Since this writing, the yard guy has been fired and our palatial acreage is on the hunt-for the 1,268th time-for an expert yard guy/girl/person. 

It may be about time to invest in a goat. 😛