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

Recipes · Travel

Home Chef

Hey y’all! Sorry I’ve been gone for so long, was in Louisiana for over a week and just got back (I’ll be doing my post about our adventures tomorrow!) But I’ve GOT to say, we were so smart to think ahead and #1 have our house completely clean so we had nothing to stress about AND #2 having Home Chef already ordered for us for the next few days so we don’t have to worry about going grocery shopping or eating unhealthy food sitting in the pantry!

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Home Chef delivers perfectly portioned ingredients and easy-to-follow recipes directly to your door, so whether you’re an amateur cook, or more seasoned in the kitchen, cooking with Home Chef is easy and enjoyable.
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Each week, you can use the personalized recipe recommendations they provide you. Or, you can pick from 11 fresh, chef-designed dinners, priced at $9.95 per serving. They change their menu weekly to give you countless new dinner options.

In about 30 minutes, using Home Chef’s simple, step-by-step recipe cards, you’ll confidently prepare meals from scratch that impress everyone at your table…including yourself! Use the promo code “FAMILY” to try out Home Chef for $30 off!

They’ve got such amazing food and again it was SO convenient for the after travel lag -_- Enjoy y’all! ❤

Family · Lifestyle · Paleo · Reviews · Travel

Pueblo, The Hidden Gem

My Husband and I had only driven through Pueblo, CO to get to Texas and maybe for a pee stop.. But never had I actually ventured into this city. I am so regretting I hadn’t yet. This little town is AMAZING.

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My Husband, Hudson and I decided to stay the night over in Pueblo because I had an eco-friendly Earth Day segment on KOAA News 5 EARLY in the morning the next day! Our drive down was LONG but we made it – And JUST in time to have some amazing Bingo Burger! This place is SO good. It’s like Five Guys, but better.. YES, I said it! They had SO many amazing and healthy options!

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We were able to enjoy some of their signature burgers WITH the option of making it a lettuce bun to keep it paleo and we had some of their DELICIOUS sweet potato fries with their unique lemon-rosemary aioli and thai chili ketchup dipping sauces! SO good and SO much food! (We JUST finished their sweet potato fries we had brought home!) The manager Steena was so very sweet and welcoming. We’ll definitely be by again next time we’re down that way!

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After our much needed and delicious dinner we headed to our hotel. (Best Western Plus – Was so incredibly displeased with their service unfortunately. We will not be staying with them again in the future) Despite the frustrations with the hotel, our next day was SO much fun. I was super nervous about being on live TV for the first time but the staff at the station was SO friendly, understanding and helpful!

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I breezed through each eco-friendly item thanks to their support and then I felt sad after it was all over – I wanted to keep going! You can watch my segments here!

Although I wanted to keep going, I had a full day of fun planned with my guys – I LOVE Riverwalks (If you’ve seen my San Antonio post you’ll know I can never go back now that I’ve experienced them, I have to see them ALL!) so I wanted to visit the Arkansas River Pueblo Riverwalk. It was breathtaking! There were historic buildings surrounding an amazingly, beautifully planned walkway with mini waterfalls, artistic touches and sculptures everywhere. I felt as if I was in an art district – Something that was so unexpected but I cherished and loved every moment of it!

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We built up quite an appetite walking around in the warm weather so we headed to a highly recommended local restaurant called DC’s On B Street. I had seen their reviews and food photos online and was INSTANTLY intrigued. We walked in and were pleasantly greeted by gorgeous vintage feels and the sweetest woman, Sara. We were also greeted by the fun and talented owner DC!

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Their restaurant was beautiful but their food was EVEN better. They had GORGEOUS presentation with AMAZING flavor. DC is a MASTER cook and Sara has the best recommendations! Brent decided to get some fresh Halibut (From Alaska!) and I got an amazing strawberry and walnut salad. The Halibut was cooked to buttery perfection and the salad was DIVINE.

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After dinner, Sara told us their pies are homemade by her talented sister! We could NOT say No!! So we got a pecan pie with a side of ice cream.. Just couldn’t resist and I am glad we didn’t it was PERFECT. And we know our Pecan Pies – Two southern folks 😉

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We decided we’ll be back here EVERY TIME we’re in town – Not just because of their amazing food but because of how amazing Sara and DC are.

This ended our Pueblo trip and it was bittersweet. There’s no place like home, but we really enjoyed being here, even if just for a day! Like my title suggests, it’s a hidden gem that we’ll be HAPPY to come back to 🙂

Family · Lifestyle · Texas · Travel

Texas Vacation

It’s been a long time coming – I went to Texas to spend some much needed time with my Dad and I was SUPPOSED to write about it much sooner than this but it’s been a crazy week 😉 Oh well.. Here is it!

My Dad is from Fort Worth but had a conference in Austin so I flew down there to spend the weekend with him! Once I got there I of COURSE had to partake in some In N Out Burger 😉 20170211_115539.jpg

I love all things History (My Dad used to be a History teacher) so we hit a few Texas antique barns but came up empty handed.. HOW?! When I could’ve literally spent HOURS there!! Oh well.. But shopping made us incredibly hungry so we hit up a very popular barbeque joint called Salt Lick in Round Rock and it was delicious! SO amazing. They had people right lined up out the door – And once you walked in there were guys cooking and cutting up the meat right in front of you! It was TOO cool.. Sucks there aren’t very many places in Colorado like that.

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We were so stuffed we could barely move after, so we headed back to our beautiful hotel called the Habitat Suites (That was actually an old apartment complex converted into luxurious 2 bedroom suites!)

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The next day was supposed to be really nice so we decided to make it an outdoor day! We started our day with a trip to the Natural Bridge Caverns (I LOVE wet caverns, they’re so fascinating and beautiful!) and it did not disappoint, the pictures will prove that!

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After such a beautiful trip down this amazing cavern we headed down to San Antonio to see the Alamo and visit the Spanish missions (Again, we’re pretty big into history!) Out of our entire trip THIS was my favorite place to be. San Antonio is GORGEOUS. It has a Texas / Louisiana French Quarter feel to it.

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The Alamo was beautiful, it’s grounds were gorgeous (Didn’t expect it to be in the middle of downtown, though! haha) We got a lot of lovely photos and a cute Texas ABC’s for Hudson here.

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We got really hungry (Especially with the extreme heat) so headed down to the riverwalk.. I wasn’t sure what to expect but I STILL cannot get this place out of my head. It was absolutely gorgeous. STUNNING. Just a very, very unique place. Nothing I’ve ever seen before.

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We ate at a wonderful Mexican restaurant right on the river and enjoyed our time together! We even saw a hilarious Power Ranger hahaha XD

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Next we went to see all of the Spanish Missions. I feel terrible that I have NEVER heard of these and didn’t know what they were when my Dad mentioned them but once I saw them I knew it was something I would never forget.

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The history was fascinating and the buildings were GORGEOUS. I HIGHLY recommend you checking out ALL of them if you’re ever in San Antonio.

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We ended our day after an exhausting but amazing time sight seeing and headed back to Austin to relax at our Habitat Suite and dine on some leftover Salt Lick! I flew out the next day so we wanted to make the most of our morning. We started with the one thing that has terrified me for many years, ACTUAL shooting.. And I shouldn’t be because apparently I am an AMAZING shot lol 😛

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We planned to only stay for 30 minutes but ended up staying for over an hour because I very quickly became addicted! (I know, the way I hold the gun is weird.. I refused to hold it any differently because it felt too loose 😛 )

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After going through almost 150 bullets we stopped and headed out to lunch. Dad said he had a really unique Cuban place in mind which peaked my interest because I had NEVER had Cuban food (Man was that a mistake missing out on so many years!) We ended up going to an amazing place called Habana, they had adorable cabanas, amazing service, unique food and it was hidden in a ton of palm trees! ❥

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I ordered a frozen mojito with a Cuban Sandwich on a Plantain bun and Yuca Fries.. Seriously one of the most unique and delicious meals I’ve ever had.

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I miss Texas so much. Missing my Dad, the Southern feel, the palm trees, the unique food and just the atmosphere. I love living in Colorado but there’s nothing quite like Texas.

Travel as often as you can. Even seeing little things can change the way you look at the world.