Maternity Session

maternity photos, maternity session, maternity photography, family photos, family session, sibling photos, poses, outfits, with siblings, outdoor, ideas, family

For Mother’s Day, my sweet and awesome husband surprised me with a Maternity photo session. I’m so glad he did, because I probably wouldn’t have scheduled a session myself and would have probably dragged us all somewhere with a tripod and self-timer haha!

They came out lovely and glad we got to capture these beautiful pictures. Here are a few from our session.

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Worship Like Jesus

Worship devotional, daily encouragement, devotions for women, devotionals, spiritual growth, what is worship, scripture, positive affirmations, prayer, prayer journal, inspirational

I started reading this book, Adamant by Lisa Bevere and let me tell you, if you haven’t already read it… go get it now. It is so so good!

Today, I want to share with you a part that has stuck out to me.

“We were created in the image of God, and God is spirit. Though it is invisible, the spirit is as real and as near as the very breath we draw. And yet it is something deeper than the passage of air through our lungs. It is the quickening of God dwelling within us. The God of fire and love consumes all that hinders the expression and reception of his love.” Pg.36

“God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” 

John 4:24

First, I want to start off by saying, that worship is more… way more than the “pre game” to the sermon at a church service; It is just one avenue of entering into God’s presence and it’s one of my favorites, 😊 but isn’t the only way in which we are called to worship.

We experience true worship in our daily lives, not just once a week. In our devotions, in our marriage/ relationships, in ministry, in our parenting and the way in which we reach out to others… in our prayer.

If we truly have Jesus dwelling, moving, living and breathing in us, then our worship should reflect  just that. Our worship should be unhindered, immovable and undivided, regardless of where we are or who we are around.

We are called to be like Jesus, right?

Through out the New Testament, he tells us that we are to be a light, that we were made in his image, that we are to love one another, that we should share his word and teachings to others, etc. And one thing that amazes me about Jesus, is that he DID NOT CARE where or who he found himself around. He was always going to worship, preach, heal, pray for, raise back to life… regardless of Him being in the midst of  his disciples, pharisees, Jews or gentiles, unbelievers… HE WAS ALWAYS GOING TO WORSHIP!

He was unchanging and because of his devotion, his worship was pure, true and full of the spirit of God.

We aren’t called to be perfect. Our days are not always going to be great. We will go through hardships. We will have “haters” and doubters.  We will be in uncomfortable situations, but  how we respond to each situation is where we truly see if God is really dwelling within us the way we think.

Many times, we like to keep him and his spirit in a box. We don’t want to be labeled the “weird christian.” We don’t want to lift our hands during a worship service. We wake up not really feeling like being nice to people. We don’t feel like spending time in the word or prayer. We don’t feel like volunteering at the church event…

but if we constantly live our lives this way, what will our worship look like?

Empty? Vain? Calloused? Angry? Mediocre?

How can God speak to us? Move through us? How can his presence dwell in us? If we aren’t worshipping him daily in every aspect of our lives, regardless of what we are going through or who’s watching?

Let us not allow our worship to be defined by and dictated by our circumstances. Rather, lets allow our worship to speak volumes despite what our day looks like, who we are around and regardless of those throwing stones.

“Don’t settle for religion void of God’s presence or for turning the pages of the Bible without the wind of his Spirit. His voice speaks life.” pg 37

Let us allow God to “consume all that hinders the expression and reception of his love.” So that our worship (daily life) can reflect his love, joy and peace that surpasses all understanding!

Choose to live a life of worship in a world that wants you to be distracted by the mundane.

Hope this has encouraged you today.

Xo,

Lo

 

God First

Lorena J Ford

bible, bible verse, scripture, scripture of the day, verse of the day, seek God first, God first, put God first

We live in a social media driven world. It’s so easy to get distracted by Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, the News app etc. We fall victim to their rabbit holes and before we know it, we’ve been scrolling through our phones for an hour!

I’m talking to myself here too. This verse says, “Seek FIRST…” not second, not when you have time, not when it’s convenient for you, but FIRST.

Lately, I find myself first thing, as soon as I open my eyes, reaching for my phone and opening Instagram or whatever app to see what I missed while I was asleep.

It became second nature, an addiction of sorts.

Man oh man did conviction hit me like a ton of bricks! I felt God asking me where He stood in line in my life. Talk about a wake up call!

The funny thing about it all, is that most of…

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Homemade Pizza

One of my resolutions for this year, was to cook more at home and to involve the girls in making dinner… ideally, more homemade, from scratch type foods. Well, if you follow along with me, you know that I’m pregnant and the first few months of this pregnancy were very difficult!

My morning  all day sickness, was awful and well, I didn’t get the chance to cook much, until more recently. Though I’ve been making dinner a few nights a week again, I hadn’t done much to involve the girls.

I don’t know if it’s because I’m in the “nesting” phase now, but lately, I’ve been in the mood to bake/make things from scratch.

The other day, I made crepes and flour tortilla’s from scratch and I just wanna say, THANK YOU PINTEREST!

I’ve probably pinned hundreds of recipes, but they’ve just been sitting there in my “FOOD” board and haven’t gotten love from me till now.

ANYWAY… that was just a preface to why you’re really here… the part I mentioned about PIZZA! My girls are somewhat picky eaters, so part of my wanting to involve them in cooking with me, is to get them excited about eating the food they helped make!

I figured that starting with pizza, was a no brainer. So, the only truly from “scratch” part is the dough. I found this truly AWESOME recipe on Pinterest, here. If you don’t feel like clicking the link, I’ll post the recipe at the bottom of the page!

The girls were so excited to be helping out… from watching the yeast proof, to helping pour in the ingredients to form the dough.

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No Fancy pants productions over here and not in any way sponsored by Gold Medal flour HAHA Just us… as raw as it gets!
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The girls just being their normal selves… silly billy goats! They did “help” me roll out the dough after posing for the camera.

I wish the pictures I took of them putting the pizza toppings on, came out well. They were all blurry 😒 So, just pretend that it’s here.

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I don’t have a pizza pan, so I put it in a regular baking pan. I do suggest you cut the excess dough off a little more than I did, because it was a lot of crust. Although, we LOVE crust, so it didn’t bother us.

For the toppings, I used Whole Foods 365 brand Marinara sauce, 365 Mozzarella, 365 Italian mix and their pepperoni sliced from the deli.

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Yes, as amazing as it looks, is as amazing as it tasted! Let me just say, that deli pepperoni was life!

After following the baking time instructions, in order to get that slight burn, I broiled it for about 5 minutes… it depends on how your oven’s broiler works, so make sure you keep an eye on it so it doesn’t char and burn down your kitchen!!

The dough yields a lot! This was only half of the dough, so there’s plenty to go around if you’re a bigger family, especially if you make a smaller crust!

Overall, the girls and I really enjoyed making this deliciousness! They always want to help me out in the kitchen and were excited when they were finally able to actually get their hands on this! I can’t wait to keep finding more recipes where I can include them and create beautiful memories with my girls in the kitchen!

*Here’s the dough recipe:

PREP TIME 
COOK TIME 18 MINS
TOTAL TIME 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1 Tablespoon yeast
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • 5 cups flour, divided
  • 4 Tablespoons olive oil (2 Tablespoons per pan)
Instructions
  1. Mix warm water and yeast and let sit 5 minutes until yeast proofs.
  2. Add 2 ½ cups flour with proofed yeast and mix well in Kitchen Aid or with a dough hook.
  3. Add additional 2 ½ cups flour and salt, knead until smooth. Cover bowl with saran wrap. Let dough rest in a ball for 10 to 20 minutes.
  4. Pour 2 tablespoons of olive oil onto baking sheet or pizza pan and evenly coat bottom of baking sheet or pizza pan.
  5. Remove dough from bowl and add more flour as needed (a little at a time) to alleviate the stickiness of the dough if needed. I add a few Tablespoons usually.
  6. Split dough in half and roll each ball of dough very thin and place on greased pan.
  7. Preheat oven to 400 F
  8. Now comes the fun part! Top your pizza dough however you would like. If you have a favorite pizza recipe or breadstick recipe, have at it! Be sure and leave a ¾-inch space on the edge for crust.
  9. Bake each pizza separately at 400 degrees F for 18-20 minutes for pizza and 15 minutes for bread sticks or cinnamon sticks.

 

*Again, this is not my own recipe, I linked it at the top from it’s original source.

ENJOY!

XO,

LO

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Disney World Planning

Disney World, Planning tips, Disney world with toddlers, Disney family photos, Disney photography, Disney tips and tricks, where to stay in Disney World

PART 1

Hello all you Disney lovers! 😁

This post is all about, you guessed it…

Disney World!

The first time I ever went to Disney world, was for my 15th birthday. My parents gave me a choice of either having a quinceanera or going on a trip somewhere… well I chose an experience! I’ve always been fascinated with travel and while we have barely begun to experience the world, Disney is one world we are well acquainted with! (did you see what I did there)? 😎 ok, I’ll stop.

***Before I begin, I want to add a disclaimer. I am not a travel agent, Disney travel agent, or being paid/sponsored etc by anyone. This is all just my personal opinion and experience through traveling here with friends (some of whom have actually worked for Disney) and lots of my own personal research, planning and experience.

Anyway, there is a whole lot to talk about when it comes to Disney World, so lets begin!

RESORTS

Obviously, the first thing you’ll want to look into before booking, are the various resorts all around Disney; specifically on-site resorts. We’ve only stayed at an off-site resort once, so this post, won’t be much help in that department if you’re looking for off-site suggestions.

If you really don’t know anything about Disney resorts, there are three categories: Value, Moderate and Deluxe.

The Value resort we’ve stayed at is, Pop Century. The resorts in this category will be the most affordable, and in one room, can accommodate your family of four. If you have more members in your group, you’re now looking at having to reserve two rooms. (This is typical for all of the resort rooms in every category, except for family villas which can accommodate bigger families).

While staying at these resorts, keep in mind that the main reason you’re there, is for the parks. The rooms will be just to get some sleep and recharge to hit the parks the next day. They won’t be “luxurious” and are plain rooms, just Disney themed. They also aren’t single-building, hotel style resorts.

In the Moderate category, we’ve stayed at Port Orleans-Riverside and Coronado Springs, which ironically (because we’re from NOLA), our favorite of the two was Port Orleans. Maybe it was due to the fact that Port Orleans was already refurbished when we stayed there versus the room at Coronado Springs, which was not… lets just say I’m glad Coronado springs is actually still being refurbished, because WOW, our room was struggling! Sorry!😬

Anyway, as you’ll gather, these moderate resorts will be about $100 more per night than the values. They are a little nicer, but not drastically, to be honest. The moderates are also spread out into different buildings.

Keep in mind, that if you’re not driving, you’ll want to request to stay closest to a bus stop, or you’re looking at more walking. I honestly didn’t mind it too much, except on the late nights because of EMH or hanging out at Disney Springs. It was dreadful having to walk back when all we wanted to do was fall onto the bed…😴

Lastly, you have the Deluxe resorts and villas. We have not yet stayed in any. We are staying at the Copper Creek Villas this December and we booked it through DVC-rental. So, you’ll have to keep up with me later on in the year to read all about it!

If you stay at the Deluxe resorts, transportation is easier. The perks of some of them, are that you can walk right from your resort to Magic Kingdom! This is awesome, especially if you have babies/toddlers. It’s so much more convenient! They also have more modes of transportation available such as the Monorail, boat and even “Minnie Vans.” (Actually the Minnie Vans might be available at all resorts now). The transportation here, is less crowded, and also less crowded than the value and moderate, which brings me to the next topic.

TRANSPORTATION

I will say this, we flew to Orlando for our trip back in September, and while having the courtesy shuttle, Disney’s Magical Express* (picks you up at the airport and drops you off at your resort and vice-versa), was great, having to wait for and plan for the bus schedules to get to reservations, parks and other resorts, was miserable for us. I’ll say it again… IT WAS MISERABLE!

If you have older kids, disregard this part.

In my family, our girls are still young and having a stroller was a must. That was also the case for our friends. The miserable part was having to wait for the bus (who very frequently, was late), having to break down our stroller before getting onto the bus and finding a spot to sit or stand, because these buses get PACKED; especially at night after the parks close.

That was a huge downside for us, because it made it very difficult when the kids would be asleep at night, one of us having to hold both girls, along with the bags, while the other had to break down the stroller, all while others are packing in the bus, and then lugging it inside with no where to put it.

However, here’s the game changer y’all: LYFT AND UBER! The whole time, I kept suggesting for us to just uber everywhere and the rest of the group was like “nah, it’s fine.” (it wasn’t 😒).

It’s getting even better to use those services around Disney World, because, if you have young ones, you can suggest a car with carseats!

This year, we are choosing to drive and this won’t be a problem for us. It’s about a 10-12hr drive from New Orleans, but I love being able to hop in our car without having to wait and then pack into a bus.

Recently, Disney announced (if you do choose to have a car), that they will now be charging daily fees for parking, so that’s kind of a bummer… but inflation I guess? 🤷🏽‍♀️ HA! (any time prices go up for anything, I always say “inflation”). 😂 So, just be aware of that and factor that into your budget.

Also, I forgot to mention that the Lyft and Uber rides, weren’t expensive! I’m talking $8-$10 to get from resort to park. Everything in Disney is close by, so the fare isn’t going to be much compared to outside of Disney. Well, this was also back in September, so make sure you find out for yourself… I wouldn’t doubt if it’s more now, but it’s definitely worth finding out.

*Disney’s Magical Express: When you book your trip and choose to fly, you do not automatically get this courtesy. You must make sure you add it to your booking by signing into your MyDisneyExperience account. They also mail you where to go once you arrive and provide you with luggage tags as well.

On Site Perks

Once you’ve decided how many days you’re going for, which resort you’ll be staying at and how you’re traveling, then comes the real planning! I will save that for the next part of this blog, but I’ll leave you with this:

The biggest perks, in my opinion, of staying on Disney property, is the reservation window you get for restaurants and fast passes. For restaurant reservations, it’s 180 days in advance and for Fastpasses, it’s 60 days in advance! This is a big deal y’all! Especially with all the new exciting rides that recently opened up, like Pandora’s Flight of Passage in Animal Kingdom and now with Toy Story Land opening in June at Hollywood Studios!

The fast passes get booked up quickly, even if you’re up at 6AM and click refresh to start booking! The 180 day mark is crucial for those good times too, if you’re looking at getting into Cinderella’s Royal Table or Be Our Guest.

You also get to enjoy extra magic hours (EMH), which you also need to keep in mind when deciding which parks you’ll go to each day. Disney will post the schedule for the EMH and any other special events going on. So make sure you refer to it to make sure you take advantage and have a well put together plan for your restaurant reservation times/places and your fast passes.

Having all of this information, to me, is crucial to having a well put together plan of what your days will look like. Each time we’ve gone, it’s been for 7 days and each day counts. It’s not a strict, no time for potty break, kind of schedule… we’ve even had down times where we’re just sitting around enjoying a snack! However, planning every detail out has helped keep our sanity all while still making the most out of our time and being able to see and do everything that everyone wants!

So, stay tuned for the next post which will have more details about how I personally schedule our days, what to bring and our favorite restaurants and fast pass worthy rides!

XO,

Lo