La Cantera Resort: Heaven in San Antonio, Texas

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Just because I grew up in San Antonio, doesn't mean I don't still love exploring it. We traveled back to San Antonio for my mom's wedding right before Christmas and enjoyed the pre-wedding prep at La Cantera Resort. Listen, I'm not going to lie to you, the breakfast was my favorite part but I was too pregnant hungry to actually get any photos of it. Like, my eyes went wide and all I saw was the food. I have no shame. 

But luckily, I took time before breakfast to go and snap some photos of the property while everyone else was still asleep. It's such a lovely property. I stayed here the night before my wedding as well, but we stayed on the main property and I still had about a million things to do so I didn't end up getting to explore it.

This time since there were several of us staying for pre-wedding activities we opted for staying in the Villas, which are basically the suites of the property. I've stayed in suites before, but this was something special. I've honest to god never experienced better customer service or better amenities.  We were greeted so kindly, immediately, and offered cocktails on the house. I opted for coffee, of course, given my swollen belly and affinity to the caffeinated beverage. 

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After checking us in, they had the audacity to ask me if we wanted complimentary smores kits to enjoy by the fire pit. *stares blankly* Is that a real question? So obviously we made smores by the fire pit once it got dark. It was honestly the best time, sitting around with my siblings, my husband, my mom, and all the kiddos, enjoying funny stories and listening as my mom suggested "Thor" as baby boy Balbontins name for the 54th time since finding out we were having a boy. 

The staff catered to our every need and even brought my mom a handwritten card and warm cookies once they found out we were there celebrating her upcoming wedding. I'm telling you, the customer service was stellar and so genuine. 

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The Best Amenities

 

of the Villas at La Cantera Resort

Complimentary valet parking, Complimentary personal resort cart, high-quality baby gear for families who are traveling, Bvlgari Personal care products, a heated pool and hot tub, Harman Kardon bluetooth speakers, Rivolta Carmignani luxury bedding, Nespresso VertuoLine coffee, private patios, insane televisions and way too comfortable lounging areas. 

I mean, you guys, this place seriously was what dreams are made of. I wish I could fully express the phenomenal experience I had here. Not one single complaint. In fact, I hadn't planned on documenting this trip for my blog originally. I was just planning on enjoying each moment and being fully emerged in the experience until I was just so fricken impressed I knew I had to start documenting it and share it with you guys.  

So basically, you're welcome, because I just introduced you to your next best vacation ever. I'm already planning my next trip here post-baby, kid-free, just with Daniel. Anniversary trip here we come. 

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But back to this trip. My only regret is that we didn't understand the full level of how amazing it was going to be, and book an extra night to fully experience it. 

One thing we did get to experience before we left though, was Loma de Via Spa, which made my mom feel like a queen on her wedding day. Between hair and makeup, golf cart rides around the property, a delicious breakfast buffet, and ummm, the best coffee shop ever, we ended our stay at La Cantera Resort with all of the heart eyes and plans to come back as soon as possible.

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Stepping into 2018

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No offense to 2017, but you sucked. On a scale of 1 to 10, 2017 you were a -45. And no, it's not me, it was you. 

I walked into 2018 with my head held high, sparkling apple cider in hand, and dressed like a giant disco ball because GTFO, 2017. I was so done with you. 

I went into 2017 thinking it was my year.  I started my blog and my business; two goals I had been daydreaming about for way too long. And you know, I can't really complain about those two things. They have been going well. And thank the good lord for that, because everything else was a giant crap hole. And while those not so great things did impact the amount of progress I was able to make this year, I didn't let it hinder me completely, and for that, I'm incredibly proud.

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In 2017, I started Leslie Lately and then co-founded Majoring in Motherhood.

In 2017, I began learning to deal with my new diagnosis of Lupus, and how to adjust my life to both accepting that and not letting it define who I am. 

In 2017,  we spent most of the year trying to have a baby and had a few let downs along the way. 

In 2017, Daniel had to work away from our family every week until we were moved to Beaumont in August. 

In 2017, 13 days after we bought our first home, we lost it and everything we owned in Hurricane Harvey. 

In 2017, we fought FEMA and got a congressional inquiry into our case, and after 97 days we were given a little bit of help to start our rebuild. 

In 2017, we learned that through heartbreak, we can survive if we hold on to each other. 

In 2017, we learned that after a year of trying, we were finally going to welcome our third and last child. Our son.

In 2017, we were tested and tested and tested again. 

In 2017, we learned what we were made of, and I'm pretty proud of it. 

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2018, I don't know what you have in store for us. 

What I do know is that I can handle anything you throw at me, so come at me 2018. Let's see what you got. 

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Shop this post: 

This amazing special occasion dress is from Pink Blush Maternity, my go-to for cute mama to be things. I was a little concerned about it being uncomfortable, or how the material would feel, but this dress was like butter. And it's on sale right now!

Get yours here.

A letter to my daughters

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"As for my daughters, I'll raise them to believe they breathe fire." 

To my darling daughters, 

You are growing up in an amazing time. It's a time of growth for women when so many women have come before you and sacrificed their time and energy and fought for what they wanted you to have. Things that they were not given but deserved. 

But you aren't coming into the world when the fight is over. You will put your mark on our history just as those before you have. With each decision you make, and each goal you set for yourself. You will rise above expectations, because you, my darling girls, will learn to breathe fire. 

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When the world challenges you, I want you to challenge the world back. I don't want you to take anything for granted; instead, I want you to know how lucky you are to have it. I don't want you to take anything for surface value; instead, I want you to educate yourself and form your own opinions. Challenge your own ideas and the ideas of others. Grow and learn from those around you. Never be too proud to be wrong.   Never be too humble to fight for what you know in your heart is right. Learn who you are and stand by your convictions, and when you make a mistake, you own up to it. 

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My darling daughters, please know, that even when you challenge me and I seem frustrated, in my heart I'm beaming with pride. It's that fire that will set this world alight. 

And one day, when you are grown, and you are setting the tone for the next generation of women to come after you, just as those who have come before you have, know that I will be the one cheering loudest for you. 

Because above all else, I see you. 

Forever, your mama. 

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Shop our closet:

Leslie || Does anything say winter more than a good thermal? I don't think so. I'm in love with this hunter/olive green color and have been snatching it up in everything lately. It's the color of the season as far as I'm concerned. If you're an expecting mama, snatch yours up at Pink Blush Maternity here

Amelia || Amelia's shoes and dress both came from one of my favorite kid's shops, AlexandAlexa. They are an amazing shop that carries all my favorite brands from big names to smaller shops. The dress is Bobo Choses, which is an all-time favorite of mine, and the shoes are adidas. 

Ava || Ava's awesome shoes are also from AlexandAlexa

Five Ways to Organize Your Kitchen

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Who here watches HGTV and dreams of those perfectly organized kitchens? *raises hand*

But realistically most of us can not afford to have a professional organizer come in and help us redo our whole kitchen to make it swoon-worthy. So in lieu of Chip and Jojo slipping into our kitchens, we will just have to do it ourselves.

Lucky for you, I'm the nonfamous girl to help you get it done. I can't wait for my kitchen to be finished so I can label all the things. In the meantime, I'm labeling my moms kitchen with the help of Ava and sharing these tips with you! 

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 One: Empty it

Don't give me that look. I know that sounds like a lot of work. It is, but it's worth it. Do you see the baddies on HGTV sitting around? No, so neither will you, my friends. 

The best thing to do when you're about to reorganize is to go through everything in your kitchen, one space at a time. Start with your pantry. Throw away any expired food and then organize your other food into categories. 

Next, go through your cabinets and get rid of the things you aren't actually using. Like those 50 plastic water bottles, you've picked up at every event, career fair, school function over the last 5 years. If you haven't used an appliance in the last year, it goes. 

 Two: Plan

Decide which layout is going to work best for your kitchen. How do you flow through your kitchen, and what do you need where for the most convenience? Figure this out before putting things back. 

 Three: Buy Containers 

I personally like clear containers because even though I label, I like to see how much I have left of whatever I'm storing. Use these for everything from flour and sugar, to random packets of gravy and hot cocoa. 

Pro tip: For the items, you don't put in containers, like canned food, make sure all the labels are facing forward. Such a small thing makes a huge difference. 

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Four: Label all the Things

Labeling is key for any organizer. I even have things in my closet labeled, but that's a blog post for another day. I use these labels from Name Bubbles because they are easy to use, and they are editable. I like to change things around so it's important for me to be able to have labels that I'm stuck with forever. That being said, these are gold because the words will not wipe off until I want them to. Trust me, I've gone through other labels, and these are the bee's knees. 

Pro Tip: If you want to edit your labels daily for things like dating your leftovers, use their label pencil. For semi-permanent things like labels in your pantry that you may want to change out later, use the label pen and remove later with rubbing alcohol. For permanent labels, just use the same label pen, but add heat and it will seal it.  

Five: Display

My favorite part of organizing my kitchen and making it aesthetically pleasing is that I no longer feel like I have to hide everything. If you're guests come over, you don't have to run to quickly throw the pantry shut, instead leave it open and then share your tips (if they ask, otherwise don't be that person) when they come over! 

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This blog post is sponsored by Name Bubbles, but the ideas and opinions are all my own. 

Leslie Lately's Must Have Christmas List: For Her

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Admittedly this list won't be for every "her." This is a list of my favorites and gifts that I think a lot of women could love. Especially if your girl is a go-to gal, always on the move and looking to improve her hustle. 

Women are powerful, but it doesn't hurt to have a little help along the way. These are my holiday faves for just that. 

Fox Natural Skin

Stay ready so you don't have to get ready. There is nothing worse than having to worry about something as simple as skincare when your mind needs to be on other things. I've been using this amazing face care set by Fox Naturals and I'm in love for several reasons. First and foremost, it's starting to tame my acne (praise the Lord) and second because, just like its name implies, it's all natural. I read the ingredients before reaching out to the owner of this small business to ask about what set would be best for my needs. The customer service was amazing, and the ingredients won't make my autoimmune condition flare up. Wins all around! 

Get yours here

Alarm Clock

A girl on the go needs to be on time. And she should do so in style. 

Get yours here

Nikes

Whoever told you you had to wear heels to be bad ass boss, lied to you, honey. I'm always on the go, and I'm not subscribing the heels only life. You can catch me outside in these bad boys.

Get yours here.  

Sony a6000

Whether she's snapping up photos of her family, her friends, or her business, this camera is a great choice. It's provides great quality, for an affordable price. 

Get yours here

Passion Planner

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This right here. This planner is the be all, end all, of planners. Once she came into my life, I was ruined for all other planners. Sure, there are a lot of pretty ones out there, but the functionality of this one - it gets me every time. I use the undated version and it's everything. Get this for everyone you know. 

Get yours here

Beats by Dre Headphones

Your girl is always on the go. She needs to stay in her focus, no matter the environment. Help her drown out the outside noise and stay in her zone. 

Get yours here

Laptop Case

Just because she's hustling, doesn't mean she shouldn't able to do it in style. The best gifts are the ones she will use daily but are still awesome enough for her to get super excited about. 

Get yours here

Good Luggage

This luggage is amazing because not only is it affordable and crazy easy to maneuver, but it has an USB port for her to charge her electronics on. FUNCTIONALITY so she can keep her goals going even when she's on the move. Bag goals. 

Get yours here

Hanging Calendar

I swear by my Passion Planner for my planning - but I like to have a calendar on the wall of my office as well for quick references to dates. I love this one because it's also art, which makes it not an eyesore. 

Get yours here

Books for Bosses

One of the best ways to continue being a boss is to continue learning from other bosses. Give me all of the good reads from badass women who are conquering the worlds around them. 

Get yours here and here

Coffee Mug + French Press

I mean, this is a given. Get the coffee, do the things. And make no apologies along the way.

Get yours here and here

Personalized Items

Okay at this point, I'm sure your like, "Really, Leslie? ANOTHER calendar?!" Stay with me. I love personalized items. Artifact Uprising makes so many to choose from, and while this is one of my favorites, your choice doesn't have to be a calendar. It's the reminder of why she does this. Why she works so hard. Personalize it with the things and people she loves. 

Get yours here

Sip Water Bottle

Stay hydrated, save money, save the planet. So many wins. 

Get yours here

 

Merry Christmas, my friends!