Travel Guide: Kid Friendly in Lake Charles, LA

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When Daniel called me and said he had a week long business trip in Lake Charles coming up I internally groaned. Then he said, “since the kids are out of school why don’t you come with me?” Cue inner retracting of previous pettiness and enter happy wife happy life territory. Okay, I kid, I truly actually never get mad at him for going on his business trips but the week long ones suck because we miss him. So, off to Lake Charles we went.

We stayed at the Golden Nugget Lake Charles and it was so much fun. I was a little worried about how we would fare with three kids at a casino all week - especially because Daniel actually was there for work and was gone from 7:00 am - 5:30 pm each day. Surprisingly though, this place had a little something for everybody. The kids were absolutely in love with the different pools on the property. So much so that Amelia has asked if she can have her 5th birthday party there, so there’s that. I liked that it had areas that were safe enough that Amelia could prance around in the pool while I sat with Atticus in the shade.

The room itself was really nice as well so it made those down times when we weren’t exploring really nice a relaxing. It had a nice sectional couch and ottoman, as well as a little dining table. I think all of our favorite part was the massive tub though. Keep scrolling to see some great things to check out if you’re traveling to Lake Charles with kids.

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The Room

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Kid Friendly Activities

One The Golden Nugget Pool: Or should I say pools, as in plural. There really is no beating this escape from ordinary pool land. There is a regular-ish pool, that has a beach like walk in minus the sand. It also has awesome lounge beds along the side of it that the girls loved. There is a lazy river, and another smaller pool that has a build in slide. There is also a big ol hot tub.

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TWO Crabbing on the Creole Nature Trail: If you are traveling to Lake Charles in May-September, the Creole Nature Trail is a must! It’s a great opportunity to get away from technology and learn a fun new skill. Sure, they might not go crabbing in their day-to-day life, but they’ll never forget the experience. PS - There are also a lot of other cool things to do on the CNT, be sure to check out their website before heading out.

THREE Millennium Park: This park is basically a kids dream. It’s a giant wooden pirate ship that also happens to have a rock climbing wall, a tree house, bridges, tunnels, and a lot more. For littler ones, there is a soft toddler area, and for parents it’s a relaxing area to hang out while the kids play thanks to it being situated right on Lake Charles.

FOUR Festivals: If you’re traveling to Lake Charles just for pleasure try to plan out your trip around some of their really cool festivals. They typically have at least one a month, but some months they have up to five or six. Everything from Mardi Gras themed festivals to the Iowa Rabbit Festival to the Mistletoe & Moss Holiday Market - and a whole lot of other great ones in between. Check out the link I shared to see their for yearly calendar.

FIVE Crying Eagle Brewing Company: Okay, okay, okay, stop looking at me like that. Yes, I really did just suggest a brewery as a kid friendly activity. We didn’t go here during this trip with the kids because we hadn’t discovered it yet. Shortly after when we took a couples weekend in Lake Charles, we found this gem and I made a mental note to add it to this blog post. We initially found this place when we were looking to kill about an hour of time waiting for some friends, and instead ended up having so much fun we stayed for for most of the evening. They have a great selection of drinks for adults, but they also have a bistro with truly delicious food (including a kids menu), and a whooollle selection of games. I saw several families on their outdoor patio area playing with their kids and dogs (yes it’s pet friendly as well). It’s really a great time for everyone.

Where to Eat

ONE The Golden Nugget Buffet: Admittedly this isn’t the most affordable option, especially when feeding an entire family, but I think it’s worth it to go at least once during your trip. They have a great selection of all kinds of foods and desserts and my kids went berserk over the cotton candy machine.

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TWO Steamboat Bills: This is one of Daniel and I’s favorite places to go in Lake Charles, and we’ve even been know to drive the hour and a half just to have dinner there on occasion. It’s casual, delicious, and a fun experience thanks to great staff and fun decor. Be warned, it’s best to go early because locals know it’s the place to be and it will have a line out the door at dinner time. That being said, the staff does an amazing job of making sure your wait isn’t outrageous even if you do come late.

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THREE Luna Bar & Grill: Now, you might think that because I’ve listed this gem as third, that it’s my third favorite, but you’d be wrong. One night we were wanting to get out of the hotel a bit and perused Yelp to help us out. We unknowingly found one of my new favorite spots. Luna Bar & Grill has such a cool vibe to it. Don’t be deterred by the ‘bar’ in the title, if you go during lunch or dinner time it’s completely family friendly. I haven’t gone any other time so I can’t vouch for anything past that. The food is amazing, like even the kids meals were so good and not just some frozen chicken nuggets thrown in the fryer. The walls are lined with hundreds of amazing posters highlighting the greats in music and the building itself is super cool. It’s a must for me in Lake Charles.

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Final Opinion

Lake Charles was an unexpected treat for our last trip of the summer. It’s people, Cajun culture, beautiful homes and lake views, food, and fun were all a pleasant surprise and one we won’t soon forget. We definitely recommend adding it to your bucket list.

Xx- Leslie

Three Baby Outfits I'm Loving Lately

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Fun Fact, I’ve been low key blogging since I was about 15 years old back when you could actually keep your blogs semi-private and more like an online diary. Writing has always been something I love. However, this venture in to blogging that started a few years ago, all started when Amelia was a few months old.

I was transitioning from being around people constantly and my own income, to being a stay at home mom. It was a culture shock for lack of a better term. I always knew being a stay at home mom could be challenging, but I honestly underestimated the toll it would take on me mentally. See here’s the thing about stay at home moms - there is never a day off. There is never a break. There is no work/life balance. You’re on call 24/7 and there is always a call. There are no co-workers to spend 15 minutes chatting with, instead your co-workers are 2 feet tall and yell at you for giving them toast without crust even though that’s how they’ve asked for it for the last 237 days in a row.

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That’s not to say that being a mother isn’t a beautiful, beautiful thing. And there are A LOT of amazing moments. And while I’ve always been super grateful to be able to stay home with them, in the beginning, I was going stir crazy. I was introduced to a BST (buy, sell, trade) group on Facebook that consisted of a huge group of women who had similar interests to me. Insert cute baby clothes and friendship. This was the beginning of not only my blog, but my love affair with small children’s boutiques.

That love affair has continued in both respects. While I love a lot of places, I have a few that I always circle back to. One of my favorite boutique’s to nab up the best in children’s wear is Komodo Boston and here’s why: it’s slow fashion. They don’t just go with what is the cheapest to save a buck, they choose what brands they keep in stock not just based on their playfulness (although they are the best at that too) but also on their business and ethics practices. And that’s a shop I can get behind.

I wanted to share a few of my favorite pieces from their winter line. So many of them would be perfect spring transition pieces as well.

Gray Label: This brand has been one of my favorites for several years due to their simple timeless colors and cute cuts. You can literally feel the difference in quality of material - it’s so soft! Atticus is wearing this long sleeved tee.

Bacabuche: I love this brand too and pretty much everything they have in stock. Atticus is wearing these grey overalls that are soft like butter but durable enough for play.

Marmar Copenhagen: Another amazing staple piece brand for your littles. They have amazing gender neutral items, and the quality like all of the clothes at Kodomo, is perfect. Atticus is wearing this off-white rompy.

popupshop: This brand is great for statement piece but they also have some great subtle ones which is more our style. The super cute blue and white striped outfit is what we picked from them. Check out more of the popupshop options here.

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Aren’t these outfits JUST THE CUTEST?! I die. Be sure to check out kodomo boston because they are the bees knees and supporting small business is good for your health.

Leslie x

Non-Cheesy Valentines Day Gifts for HIM

Non Cheesy Valentine's Day Gifts for Him

I feel like Valentine’s Day has this bad rep because so many people feel like it’s just a made up holiday. They think it’s cheesy and over done and in-genuine. Personally, I think things are what you make them and I love any reason to celebrate and find as much joy in life as possible. It’s fun to look forward to things, and I love getting to surprise my loves with things that will bring them joy. And you can totally do it in a non-cheesy way.

Here are a few gift ideas for that “him” in your life:

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SprezzaBox - I don’t think it’s any secret that I love a good subscription box. They are like the adult version of those surprise bags that kids love. It’s like Christmas morning every time you open one! There are a lot of surprise boxes our there targeting women, but I’d never found one targeting men that I was actually interested enough in to buy… that was until SprezzaBox. The reason I like these so much more than other’s is because they have different boxed based on his preferences. I’ve gotten two so far for Daniel and I really loved both of them. The quality and amount of items you receive well exceeds the $28 a month price tag. PS- for you savvy Valentine’s Day shoppers - they have a promotion for 2 boxes for $20 right now for first time buyers. GO!

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MVMT Watch - There are a lot of really cool watch brands out there but I chose to highlight MVMT watches because of all of their choices. Regardless of if your him has an affinity to the fancier things in life or wants casual and cool - there is an option for you here. Another great watch company to check out is Daniel Wellington.

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Classic Nintendo or Sega Genesis - I mean, is there a better gift than nostalgia? These consoles have been re-released so your inner child can go nuts and maybe even share in the fun with your own kids if you’re a parent. I don’t know about you, but I think this is a gift that’s fun for everyone.

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Herschel Supply Co. Duffle Bag - I love the simple yet cool design of the bags at Hershel Supply Co. Whether he needs an upgrade to his gym bag, a travel bag, or any other reasons people tote bags around, this one is a great choice for your guy.

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Tom Ford Cologne - Cologne is a classic gift for a reason. It’s one of those things that makes you feel good but it’s not always a cost we want to spend on ourselves. If you know what his favorite one is, definitely go with that. If not, the Tom Ford Ombre Leather cologne has 5/5 in reviews and a great option! Another alternative with 5/5 rating is the Yves Saint Laurent Y Eau de Parfum For Men.

There you have it! My fave non-cheesy Valentine’s Day gifts for your beau! What gifts have been a success in the past for you? Let me know below!


xo, Leslie

House Update

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Hey guys!

Can you believe it’s been almost a year and a half since Harvey hit us and we STILL aren’t completely done with the renovations. I honestly never knew the how long getting back on your feet takes. However! That being said, we are getting so much closer! I’ve been dying to share more photos with you of how our house is transforming.

Our kitchen is one of my favorite places in the house and it’s almost done. Daniel has been working on the tile back splash and I can’t wait for it to be done. Also, just like, quick shout out to that hunky husband of mine for teaching himself how to build a house while building a house. I can’t wait to show of the home he built for us.

Here a few sneak peaks at my kitchen - although I’ll do a full kitchen reveal soon! All of my appliances, flooring, barn door, and even dry wall came from Lowe’s. I wanted to give them a huge shout out because they were one of the most supportive companies after Harvey hit us. I will never forget their kindness and support, and they will forever have my business. I hope you’ll give them yours too because their team is amazing.

If my full post I’ll link all of the specific products, but in the meantime feel free to ask!

We are SO close, y’all! But here’s to progress!

xo,

Leslie

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Best Food in Texas: Tiny Boxwoods, Houston, Texas

Ahhh, the Best Food in Texas series continues with this tiny little gem in Houston, Texas - arguably one of the best Texas cities for foodies. I first tried Tiny Boxwoods when my longtime best friend (who I always let pick the restaurants because she will NEVER steer you wrong) brought me a couple years back. Beatriz and I met in college when we we broke and bonded over our love of breakfast tacos among other things.

Now we’re adults (I mean, kind of) and we can eat real adult meals (but I mean, still love our breakfast tacos), so we get together for brunch as often as we can while living in other cities and have adult responsibilities. We like to try new places but we also have our tried and true favorites.

Tiny Boxwoods falls firmly into that category for me. I’m not going to say it’s because of the magical, melty baked to perfection chocolate chip cookie served on this little wooden platter of my aesthetically pleasing dreams, but I’m also not not saying it. Their whole place is just a vibe. You know what I’m talking about. It’s one of those places that’s just so damn cute that your experience there is almost as much about the ambiance as it is the food. But they don’t ride on their looks alone - their food holds up and makes you come back for more.

Admittedly, I took these photos a few months before I decided to do this series so they aren’t giving Tiny Boxwoods the justice it deserves - but check our their website or Instagram and then head over if you’re in the Houston area. You won’t be disappointed.

xo,
Leslie