Hudson · Lifestyle · Paleo · Texas · Travel

Prepping – Texas Road Trip (With Toddler)

Hey y’all! It’s only 2 days away from our Texas road trip! So very excited! Get to spend time with family, friends AND I get to have some alone time with my Husband (Make time for Y’ALL time).

My Husband thinks I am CRAZY for packing 5 days early (Which is LATE for me..) but I’ve told him time and time again how useful I find it! SO I’ve put together some how and why’s I believe getting ready for a trip early IS useful!

  1. When you’ve already got you and your toddler’s bags packed and left on the couch it makes it very easy to throw additional items in as the days get closer (To ensure you don’t forget anything!)Screen Shot 2017-10-16 at 2.31.21 PM.png
  2. Begin packing non-perishable food in bins! One for your little and one for y’all up front! *We don’t usually let Hudson have many sweets so we brought new treats he hasn’t really had much of so it’s new, exciting and a special treat!**

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  3. Pack a bin of BRAND new toys your child has never seen or played with *I just went to the Dollar Store and got a few awesome things I believe he’d enjoy!22547930_1386721598092111_1371867882_n
  4. Get a list together of what you still need to do/pack/make! *We’re still wanting to eat relatively paleo while our there so we’re going to be making snacks and meals for on the road!*

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    Don’t mind Hudson’s beautiful scribbles 😉
  5. Packing early gives you the time to CLEAN your house which is so important before a trip because it’s so much less stressful to come home to a welcoming, clean and fresh house!
  6. Plan some stuff ahead of time! You don’t want to find yourself really wanting to try something in town only to find it’s all booked or you missed on the chance for a coupon to get it at a better price!

So yes, I DO believe getting ready early is smart! Especially when you have a toddler riding along with you!

Family · Hudson · Lifestyle · Reviews

Astri The Brave L’il Oyster

Hudson has a new favorite book and when I get hooked on one with him it’s really special because we really enjoy reading them together! His new favorite is Astri The Brave L’il Oyster by Jessica Delagardelle and we LOVE it. It’s so adorable – The art is so unique. Hudson loves how realistic it is (Because a lot of materials went into the making all of the pieces)! He loves his cartoon character books but it seems like he’s able to really relate to the realness of brave little Astri!

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Astri teaches all of us (big and small) how important it is to overcome fear and challenges to allow ourselves to accomplish and grow.

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She is a tiny, super cute little oyster who encounters some misfortune and although was initially very afraid she musters up the strength to be brave!

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Once braver she finds it easier and easier to gain the strength to handle her struggle and in the end brings forth a beautiful pearl.

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This story not only teaches our children (and again, ourselves) how powerful it is to be brave and strong but also teaches children where pearls come from (AND how much work it takes to do so – As it is with other things that may require bravery!)

I love this book because it’s teaching such a wonderful message (In so many different ways!) and the art is so unique and beautiful. Hudson constantly grabs it to read at night (And multiple times throughout the day!)

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I highly recommend it to any family, no matter the children’s age! You can buy it on Amazon or on L’il Astri’s Website!

(I was given a book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own and are genuine. We LOVE this book!)

 

Family · Hudson · Local · Paleo · Reviews

Mmm… Coffee! Paleo Bistro

There are some amazing paleo restaurants in nearly every state and I love discovering the hidden healthy gems near us, so was very eager to try Mmm… Coffee! after reading some very promising reviews.

Their menu had many delicious paleo options so my Husband and I decided to make a trip downtown to try it out! It was in a very trendy and artistic side of town in the Lincoln Park area off of 9th and Santa Fe. Their bistro was hidden in a gorgeous and secluded courtyard shown only by their adorable sign out front.

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We were immediately greeted by some of the friendliest people we’ve met in a long, long time. The owners Jami and Derek were so very sweet and inviting which made the already lovely ambiance even more comforting. We asked what they were best known for and wanted to try it all! (They were one of the first 100% grain free restaurants to open in the nation!)

 

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We started with their amazing soup that changes daily (They’re REALLY popular for them!) And my Husband LOVED it. Said it was the best soup he’d ever had and it was accompanied by some delicious plantain chips (My obsession) ! 

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I had their Paleo Power salad which was amazing and we split their tuna wrap (SO GOOD) and INCREDIBLE bacon wrapped stuffed dates which was chicken breast roasted in enchilada sauce, stuffed into dates and wrapped in turkey bacon! *drooldrooldrool*

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We couldn’t stop there. Jami was so passionate about the food she made we had to keep trying more as they were so creative, delicious and unique! Their mocha latte was delicious and they make their own chocolate IN HOUSE, so I had to try some of their delicious concoctions!

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Hudson enjoyed the chocolate too 😉 Yummm!

We finished our lunch with two delicious chicken legs which were simplistic yet delicious!

 

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We asked what the best desserts were and decided to try one of each (of a few!)

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Again, Jami is INCREDIBLE. Her food was amazing but her desserts were out of this world! She’s been eating paleo for a long time so has been able to master so many different techniques. We tried their muffins, cookies, cake, granola, macaroons, and punkin’ bar. It was all SO GOOD. Did NOT taste paleo or healthy but it WAS.

Her cake was AMAZING. It was a made from BEETS. It was an adorable dark purple color with delicious looking frosting on top and tasted JUST like a red velvet unhealthy cake would taste. We decided we’re coming to her for any cakes we ever need (She had sold a wedding cake she had made while we were there!)

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The inside of their shop was adorable and warm – They have wonderful options for comfortable indoor seating and gorgeous outdoor courtyard relaxing. One thing I love is when a local business supports other local businesses. They have many items available inside from other Colorado companies such as kombucha, kale chips, beef jerky, etc.

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After we were done I wanted to thank them so much for all of their kindnesses, wonderful food and inspiring creativity. I had the pleasure of getting to speak with them about their journey and got to take a fun photo with them in front of their paleo sign!

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And it was Derek’s idea to grab their sign from in front with the mini bike attached to take a photo with Hudson on it.. HOW CUTE?!

This is by far our favorite new paleo stop. The people were amazing, the food was outstanding and the location was comfortable and upbeet (Like my food pun? 😉 )

We’ll absolutely be back and recommend anyone in the area (or visiting the area) to try it out – You’ll never want to leave.. I’m already missing it!!

Family · Hudson · Lifestyle · Texas · Travel

Louisiana Trip – Traveling with Toddler

Y’all – I know, it’s been QUITE awhile since I last posted. I apologize! But we’ve been having an amazing time in Louisiana with some family and friends! Sooo happy to be home but also a little sad because there’s nothing quite like the South.. Southern hospitality, tons of history, antiques shops everywhere and sometimes the sweetest people!

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It can be pretty nerve-wracking taking a 1 year old toddler on vacation whether you’re flying, driving or BOTH. It’s pretty scary imagining how your little one will deal with not being able to be independent and active so I tried my hardest to ensure I had everything planned and covered!

I started with cleaning the entire house. SPOTLESS. So when we came home there was absolutely nothing left to stress about but getting into bed and passing out after a long 17 hour drive! Then began a ton of packing, Hudson and I were flying but my Husband was driving so we were able to leave all of the bags with him except Hudson’s diaper bag. We got the CUTEST little bag from our neighbor that I used for a diaper bag and it fit all of the goodies he would need and could fit my tablet, phone and wallet as well. It made it SO much easier only carrying a backpack so my hands were completely free for my busy bee!

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We were flying into Dallas since it was cheaper than flying all the way to Louisiana so we planned for us to fly in right as Brent would be driving by so he could swing by and grab us! It worked out perfect and Hudson was so great on the plane ride there – I kept him busy with tons of treats he usually wouldn’t get, toys he hasn’t played with before, movies on my tablet for him to watch and tons more! (We flew Spirit and although it went smoothly, I’ve NEVER met a ruder flight crew in my life.. Not to me specifically but you could very clearly tell they did NOT want to be there)

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After we made it and got in the car we started our 5 hour trip East towards Louisiana. Hudson was exhausted so he very quickly passed out! (It can be so incredibly difficult to eat healthy while traveling AND why would you when in cajun country?!) We stopped and got some Whataburger since we didn’t have any in Colorado (Wasn’t impressed, unfortunately) then made our way to our friend’s house who was holding us up for a week! (Bless their hearts 😉 ) 

We were EXHAUSTED but quickly passed out and were ready for the next day. My Husband was going to be working at this Dad’s house all week helping him renovate so I had a week full of fun stuff for Hudson and I to do!

We started with a trip to our good friend’s adorable little store found in Ruston that has a ton of vendors that sell awesome rustic/unique goodies for the home, for the kids, for yourself (Got myself a pair of shoes for $20 that look EXACTLY like Yeezy Boosts Which are $3,000!!) It’s the cutest little shop and I could spend WAY too much money in here, everyday..

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After our stop here we made the trip down to see Hudson’s half-brother (His Father’s oldest) and his family. They’re such great people and we had a full day of fun down in New Orleans planned for the next day! But first.. Food! Hudson had his FIRST alligator and LOVED it at Walk Ons. Tasted just like chicken except a little chewier and he digged that 😉

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The next day we made the short drive down to New Orleans and it was absolutely gorgeous. It was a whole new world it seemed. It was full of culture, music, performers, amazing food smells I couldn’t even identify and more! There was also a lot people watching ;).

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I was so wrapped up in the beauty of the old French architecture and the Hurricane Drinks 😉 I didn’t get a chance to take many photos but made sure to get some shots of the gorgeous Jackson Square!

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We headed back after a VERY long day in New Orleans to Baton Rouge to see Louisiana State University (Geaux Tigers!) and get some beignets. The campus was sooo gorgeous but unfortunately there was a torrential downpour the entire time we were there so I couldn’t get out to check it all out but it was amazing to see regardless and the beignets were DELICIOUS.

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After heading back we said our goodbyes and left back to our friend’s house and took it easy and Hudson had a blast hanging out with their little ones! They were all best buds.. 😉 Their land was gorgeous and made me SO wanna be out there for good.

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We made sure not to eat completely healthy on this trip because we couldn’t miss out on all the unique and authentic food! Hudson enjoyed it too.. We found an ADORABLE little diner RIGHT on D’Arbonne Lake.. He had shrimp bites, his new favorite thanks to Louisiana!

He also LOVE my Zyloware sunglasses! I LOVE these too. They’re my first high end pair of sunglasses and they’re so worth it, they’re durable and classy! ❥

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Before heading back to our friend’s house for some more relaxing we headed to his Papaw’s house for some lovings and to get some sillies out before naptime. He LOVED the big open space.. AGAIN.. I wanna move to the country as I believe he’s a country boy at heart 😉

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Of course we had to leave and stop for some BBQ before nap time.. We went to Podnuhs and Hudson LOVED it and their sweet tea.. We had a lot of that there..

Some of the meat was a little large for Hudson so I had to use his awesome new Tiny Bites shears to cut some up for him, they worked great! ❥

 

We headed back to their house for the rest of the day to rest up for our very busy day the next day. We were going to Shreveport to see my Dad who lives in Texas! We don’t get to see him very often so it’s SUCH a treat to get to see him!

We woke up bright and early the next morning for our hour and a half drive West to Shreveport and once we got there were welcomed by the GORGEOUS Boardwalk on the Red River. Then by DAD! It was so so nice to see him. Hudson loves him so much and remembers him every time he seems him.. Even if it’s been awhile.

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We started by walking around the Boardwalk, getting a HUGE sucker (Lucky little man), doing some shopping and riding some kiddie rides! He had a blast (Despite the stickiest of sticky humidity and heat :p)

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We HAD to get out of the heat so stopped at a delicious little cajun restaurant called the Blind Tiger and it was delicious. Of COURSE Hudson had some shrimp bites ;). I swear, they make the BEST drinks down there. Everything was so sweet with a side of rum or whisky. YUM.

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After lunch we wanted to continue being INDOORS. It was just too muggy.. So we found an awesome little kids museum that had the most AWESOME area for toddlers his age. There were water parks, (He splashed all the little girls and old ladies.. What a flirt.. Hahaha!) a fire-station, a construction zone, a store, and so much more! We spent FOREVER in there. It was SO awesome. I really wish we had a place that cool here.. (Maybe we do?! I should look that up! You should too!)

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Hudson very quickly got grumpy (I’m sure the heat wore him out) so we just started driving around Shreveport and looked at all of the history. The gorgeous mansions and very, VERY old cemeteries.. We went through the cemetery twice, we loved it so much.

As sad as it was it was getting late and I had to get back home to get Hudson to bed as we had a long drive back to Colorado the next day. So we said our sad goodbyes (Even though we were gonna swing by and have lunch with him on our way out of state!) and headed back East to the house.

It was so, so sad to leave Louisiana as it’s a completely different feel out there than anywhere else I’ve ever been. But we had to get back home. So the next morning we headed out on our long 17 hour drive back to Colorado. I was not exactly excited to start the long journey as I wasn’t sure how Hudson would do but he was fantastic on our way to lunch with GrandDad. He had a ton of snacks and lots of toys (Again, I brought a ton of toys he hadn’t played with before to entice him)

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We stopped in Denton, TX for lunch at Chilis with my Dad and he was so happy to see him again. We had great food, great conversation and Hudson flirted with our blonde waitress the whole time.. hahaha! But all of his flirting sure did tire him out because after lunch we started our drive again and he was OUT for hours! Thanks blondie 😉

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Although it was sad to leave my Dad, again, we were so ready to be home so we kept trucking along and Hudson was good the WHOLE time. We played games, sang songs and just enjoyed the agonizing butt pain that came from sitting for SO long.

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We finally made it home around 1:30am and couldn’t have been happier. I put Hudson down and PASSED out. It was such an absolutely amazing trip and now I’m officially obsessed with Louisiana. It’s a whole other world down there ❥

It IS doable to both fly AND drive with a 1 year old toddler – As long as you’re prepared!

xoxox

Family · Health Tips · Hudson · Lifestyle · Words of Wisdom Wednesday

Words of Wisdom Wednesday

Hey y’all. Sorry I’ve been so quiet lately! Been busy with getting ready for our trip to Louisiana! Hudson and I fly out Friday and I’ve been scrambling to get everything ready!

This last weekend I ate a little gluten because of a party I went to and Mother’s Day! I definitely paid for it, I’m JUST feeling better.. It’s so important, even if you’re stressed, to take care of yourself. It’s keeps your energy levels high and improves your overall mood!! I don’t feel yucky now because I’ve been eating whole foods, drinking tons of water and exercising! It makes a huge difference.. Not only do I feel confident because I like how I look but I also feel GREAT. So eat your whole foods, folks! Drink tons of water and GET UP! Be active! Even if it’s chores around the house or just a little walk! ❤

Family · Hudson · Lifestyle

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter, y’all! Hope you had an amazing time with family and friends – I know we did! Have you ever had one of those days that were just MEANT to be – Like a day that fate meant for you to have? That was our day on Saturday! It began with me looking around for a free photo with the Easter bunny – I didn’t wanna go anywhere super hectic so I looked EVERYWHERE I could think of to see if a mini-session was going on somewhere and was lucky enough to find a nearby bank that was doing one from 9-11:30. So Hudson and I rushed over there at 9 thinking there may be a line and it was EMPTY. We were the only ones there and ran around and played until they opened where we were pleasantly greeted and took a few adorable photos. That set the mood for the rest of the day – Luckily I had off work so I insisted we did something Easter-y since we had Marret!

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I looked EVERYWHERE, because I knew so many places had large events going on and I really don’t enjoy being in large groups (Especially with a grumpy toddler) So I went onto a Facebook group for local Moms and found a really small event posted by the Kennedy Home Group benefitting Child Cleft Lip/Cleft Palate awareness by Uplift Internationale and Face to Face Colorado. It said there were only 14 people who confirmed to going so I thought it would be perfect for our family (Fairly nearby and small!) This was their first Easter event!

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When we got there it was super small and intimate and everyone was SO friendly! The craziest thing.. We ran into someone my Husband knew from an old job 3 years ago and she was a part of the Face to Face organization! Such a small world!!

We enjoyed drinks, food, an Easter egg hunt, a really cool juggler and SO much more! This place had it all and they ONLY asked for donations.. Which we obviously did, because it’s SUCH a good cause! AND… We won a $50 gift card to Boulder Chophouse – So we enjoyed some amazing dinner that night as well.. ALL of this because of one decision to come to this specific event! Life works in mysterious ways!

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At the end of this event I was approached by the woman my Husband knew and another Face to Face volunteer and they asked me to be a part of their Board of Directors to help this amazing organization. What they do is so inspiring and I felt SO touched that I made an impression that made them feel I’d be a good addition to the cause! I, of course, accepted and will be applying this week!

We were all EXHAUSTED when the day was done. I felt so accomplished and my kids were worn out (Another accomplishment ;)) We already had so much and we had another HUGE day planned for Easter with my Mother for our yearly tradition of Grandma B spoils!


I woke up to eager little ones hunting for their baskets.. “He” left little hints with candy that lead to their baskets and it was still tricky for them to find them! After rummaging through their baskets they relaxed until Grandma B came – When she got here we made all the littles play outside and decorate the clubhouse til we had all of the Mickey Mouse themed goodies set up!

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The clubhouse looked amazing and the table looked even BETTER! (Hudson LOVES Mickey Mouse) They had macaroons, pizza, fruit in the shape of Mickey pants, drinks, cupcakes with Oreo Mickey ears and so much more!

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After food and treats we had a HUGE Easter egg hunt! The kids had a blast and it was Hudson’s first time hunting! He loved it and found all of his! (We laid them out for easy finding ;)) It was also exhausting.. Getting sun blasted alllll day. (It was a really long Easter egg hunt :p)

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We ended the day with crafts (More goodies) and photos!

Love this tradition with our family and we’ll now make the day before at the Cleft Palate event a tradition as well. It makes for such an accomplished and heart-warming weekend when you do things for others in need and spend time with the ones you love most. Hope you all had an amazing Easter – I know we did!

xoxox

Family · Hudson · Lifestyle

Silver Dollar Candle Co.

My wonderful Husband and little Prince surprised me with an amazing early Mother’s Day gift that I’ve been wanting for a LONG time. I used to LOVE incense and candles – But my Husband wasn’t too big a fan so I haven’t had OR used once since we met.

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I’d been telling him about this adorable little shop that I had come across called Silver Dollar Candle Co. – They make hand-poured soy candles with incredible scents and super cute labels that can be customized! Not thinking he was actually taking in what I was saying, I was SUPER excited when they randomly surprised me with an early Mother’s Day gift of my FAVORITE smell Campfire Marshmallow and it has the COOLEST saying on the front! A quote from Mean Girls “You’re not like a regular Mom. You’re like a cool Mom!” 😉 I like to think so!

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This candle smells AMAZING! I will absolutely have to buy more from their shop once this one is finished – It’s got a lasting smell that fills the whole room. My Husband even commented on how great it smells! 

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I highly recommend checking their amazing store out. They have wonderful candles and wax melts available at great prices for any Mother in your life for Mother’s Day! It made me feel so special to receive such a thoughtful and lovely gift from my men.

www.silverdollarcandle.com

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