Boltfarm Tree House

If you need a place to completely disconnect from everything and re-center yourself, reconnect with your spouse and get some rest..this read will be such a treat for you! My husband and I visited Boltfarm Tree Houses near Charleston, South Carolina. It’s tucked about 30 minutes away from the city in a secluded area just off of the water. There are so many beautiful oak trees towering over the grounds that you lose count. You truly get lost in how serene it is, which is exactly what my husband and I needed.

Nick and I did the math while sitting on the deck at the treehouse..so between my husband being a Lafayette Firefighter and owning and operating his own Dirt Contracting business, he works roughly 102 hours per week. Guys..there’s 168 hours in a full week! That’s insane right? And as for me..well, I’m a full time mama, blogger, influencer and beauty guide. So if there’s only 168 hours in a week, that basically means I work at least 1,714 hours a week. However, I have the ability to juggle all of my responsibilities but I can always count on there being zero breaks when it comes to the girls. Even when they should be sleeping, they don’t. Long story short, my oldest barely believes in naps anymore and my youngest is the most nocturnal little being I’ve ever known. Not the good kind of non-sleeper either. Moms, you know what I’m talking about. It gets rough sometimes but I manage to find the beauty in between. I like to think she’s the one who will teach me patience. I guess we can call this a “blesson.”

The ability to view a lesson as a blessing..

Needless to say, my husband and I desperately needed a break. We didn’t want the kind of vacation where we were on the go constantly with an itinerary. We wanted to be able to sleep in, relax and essentially do nothing since we are always doing something! I don’t know how the treehouse could have been anymore perfect. Tori and Seth Bolt poured their heart and souls into these treehouses. Every detail was so well thought out and didn’t go unnoticed on our part.

As soon as we arrived, we drove up on the most beautiful iron gate in the shape of all of the oak trees you see covering the entire treehouse farm. We drove up to The Honeymoon Treehouse and were greeted by Jared who is the General Manager of Boltfarm Treehouses. He gave us a quick tour of the treehouse we were staying in, explained all there was to do and encouraged us to unplug and enjoy each other and our time there. Afterwards, we swung on the hanging chairs on the balcony of our treehouse and just marveled the beautiful grounds and all that the treehouse had to offer.

The Honeymoon Treehouse featured a copper bathtub on a platform in the main room. The back wall in front of the bed was covered top to bottom with charming antique mirrors. The bed was probably one of the most comfortable beds we have ever slept on. When it comes time for us to replace our own mattress, we will probably be ordering the same Sleepy mattress with a pillow top like they used. On the side was the kitchen area. It was finished with an above counter copper sink, a miniature retro style refrigerator hidden behind the stained wood cabinetry and a dining area for two complete with an antique China set. Let’s not forget the old style record player complete with a basket full of old records to play, adult coloring books, pillows to sit for meditation and prayer, a legit picnic basket filled with everything an outside picnic would ever need and a little fireplace. Sounds like a dream right? That’s just inside the treehouse, that’s not counting the amenities outdoors!

Outside there was a gorgeous view of the water with oak trees giving the perfect amount of shade. Double bicycles, outside grill, pizza oven, jacuzzi, fire pit fit for snuggles and s’mores, outdoor shower and screened in room with a swinging bed complete with a screen and projector to play movies. Don’t all of these things just sound like heaven?

Every single thing I named made the Treehouse every bit of the experience we were promised. But every ounce of alone time, relaxation, peace and quiet with my husband was the best part of all. It was exactly what we needed in our 10th season of marriage. The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 4:18,

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen but what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary but what is unseen is eternal.

I felt this verse fit perfectly for everything I wanted to end with. Everything was serene and absolutely perfect at the tree house and we are literally chomping at the bit to plan our next stay. But it wasn’t just beautiful scenery that we enjoyed, it wasn’t just the quiet time we needed and it wasn’t just the opportunity to be the big kids we know we are at heart; it was the unseen that sparked magic because of the seen. Does that resonate? I think we can all agree that life happens every single day and we all fall short in allowing it to get in the way of the things that mean the most to us. Making time for your partner and the things that matter most to you will be one of the greatest investments you can make in your relationship. God and each other. I think the best love story is to be able to fall in love with the same person over and over again.

Being able to be with my husband where he was only my husband for a few days was bliss. I’m sure he would agree the opposite for me. We could just be our true selves for a few days with zero responsibilities except pouring ourselves into each other and reconnecting on a level that we haven’t been able to in years. It’s truly amazing how doing nothing is absolutely everything you could possibly need. We swung outside and enjoyed the views, took naps on the swinging bed outside, we showered outside during the daytime and nighttime under the moon and starts, we listened to Calming Guitar Playlist on Pandora; I highly recommend that soothing playlist by the way. I have listened to it every day since we have returned. It almost as if I was able to bring the tree house experience home with me. Not to mention, growing up as a musicians daughter, my father was always playing his acoustic guitar at random times throughout the day. It was an enjoyable part of my childhood. This kind of music is medicine for the soul. We also made our own pizza, we roasted s’mores, rode the double bicycles, drank wine, walked down the lane full of oak trees and got to see lightening bugs for the first time since each of us were children. That may seem like nothing but it was truly a magical moment for me, at least. We took the time to visit Charleston one afternoon and had lunch at a tavern that was downtown. Which was incredible by the way.

Writing all of these things and telling you how insanely mind blowing it all was just brings me back. Even though it was just a few short weeks ago, the thought of being there and what it did for my heart and soul has stuck with me. Like the unseen I mentioned before, it wasn’t just an experience, it was purifying and healing. I will never forget what that trip did for me and I cannot wait till we go back. Matter of fact, if you’d like to mention that I recommended BoltFarm Treehouses to you when you book your stay, you will be upgraded to a complimentary VIP experience..and We will be too upon our next stay!

www.boltfarmtreehouse.com

This content is not sponsored by BoltFarm Treehouse or by Seth & Tori Bolt.

The Barn.

My husband and I just celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary. Holy macaroni, you read right, TEN WHOLE YEARS. How time passed so quickly, I don’t think I will ever know but as our anniversary date approached we started planning and trying to figure out what the best trip would be. We knew we didn’t want anything in a big city..or city at all really. We knew we didn’t want to be busy the whole time. We knew we didn’t want there to be a lot of people or really any people for that matter. We wanted simple, we wanted to be secluded, we wanted total peace and quiet. Which is what led us to our first stop on our vacation. The Barn.

The Barn was a lucky find on Airbnb. I say lucky because I searched for what felt like weeks for a good hideaway and it was hard finding a place that could accommodate us on such short notice. I wanted something that wouldn’t be too far off of our main route to the Boltfarm Treehouse, which I will be blogging about next. My first few searches were in some small towns in Alabama. There was a really cute Caboose…yes, a train car, an actual caboose that was completely converted into an adorable tiny living space. Then there was this house thirty plus miles from the nearest anything but the views were gorgeous. Lastly, there was a Yurt we found on a campground overlooking a lake. All of them were beautiful and different, just like we wanted but none of them seemed like the perfect fit so, I continued to look. I found myself looking just south of Atlanta along our route, which led me to The Barn.

As soon as I saw it, I knew this was it. I immediately showed pictures to Nick and he was like YES!! It’s basically everything that Pinterest, Rae Dunn and Farmhouse dreams are made of. The owners put every little detail into thought when they created this space. From the beautifully landscaped grounds, the outdoor grill area, to the screened in game room, the pool and hot tub to all the homey details of the inside of the barn. I was definitely taking notes for our new home in Breaux Bridge! As we told friends one of our stays was at a Barn, the looks we got were hilarious. They were like,” …..you’re staying in a what?” It made me laugh, they just didn’t know how good this was going to be.

The whole space is incredibly dreamy. The Barn is actually situated in the owners backyard but it’s off set and there’s a lot of privacy. It’s not in a big town but it is about 40 minutes south of Atlanta. I say it’s not a big town, it’s much bigger than what I’m used to over here. The Chick-Fila and Burger King look like five star restaurants (seriously) compared to how they’re constructed down here in Louisiana! The town has a lot of places to shop, restaurants and antique stores. To be honest, even though the town has all of those amenities, it has a lot of country to it too which is what we were mostly interested in. With a short drive, you can easily get to a lot of beautiful hiking trails that have lovely sights and waterfalls. We went to Chochran Mill Park which was about 20 minutes away from The Barn and it was amazing! We only hiked one of the trails but one of the first sights was a gorgeous waterfall.

Back to barn though, when we arrived, we were greeted by a deer in the driveway. Which totally reminds me of going home. Back where I grew up, it was nothing to drive up and see them in the driveway or in the yard somewhere. Sounds cliché but this was definitely a home away from home experience. What made the experience even more personal was a little letter board in the hall welcoming us to their Barn and the owners wishing us a happy anniversary. This is the part where you say ” aweee!”

Even though we did go hiking and out to dinner one night at a local Sushi restaurant, we spent all of our time soaking up the barn and each other. My husband and I are both entrepreneurs and are both always incredibly busy. He is also a Firefighter meaning, even when he is sleeping, he is working. I am a stay at home mom, raising our two sweet girls ages 4 and 2. While that is a lot in general, I am also a Director and Certified Mentor for LimeLife by Alcone and I blog. All of it makes us super happy but just like anything else, sometimes you need a break. The Barn was perfect for this. I like to think we are simple people and simple things make us very happy and that’s what The Barn delivered for us. An opportunity to slow down, get some rest, reconnect with each other and enjoy each other which is something I think every modern day couple can definitely appreciate these days.

We sat in the hot tub, we played pool, we laughed, we played the large sized Jenga, we napped on the outdoor swing, we laughed some more, we caught up on some of our favorite Netflix shows, we hiked and it was the most fun My husband and I been able to have in a while together. I think my husband would agree. We basically got to be the big kids we are and have fun! Having kids and hustling to have thriving businesses are definitely some of the best blessings life can offer but it was so nice to disconnect for a minute and just be. Just enjoy time and each other. Jesus says in the book of Mark 6:31,

Come away with me to a quiet place and rest awhile.

And that’s exactly what we did. We both loved our stay and highly recommend The Barn in Newnan, GA. It’s such a fantastic getaway! I’m just glad I gave AirBNB a try before booking a hotel room somewhere along the way because there is absolutely no way any hotel, five star or not, could ever top our experience here. I don’t know when our next trip would be but if I can help it, The Barn will definitely be a part of our stay any time we travel on that side of the country. This AirBNB is perfect for a one night stay, a weekend stay or even a week long stay for any occasion. Thanks again to Mona and Brent for allowing us to come and experience your little piece of heaven!! We will be back!

Check out the link to The Barn here: https://abnb.me/6WHs3w3T5W

 

15 Non-Candy Easter Basket Ideas For Kids

I remember being little and being so flipping excited when Easter would come. I would wake up to that HUGE Easter Basket completely wrapped in cellophane from top to bottom and completely filled with every jelly belly, chocolate rabbit and peep that God ever created. Weren’t those the days y’all? My living room floor was the equivalent to Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory.

Now that I’m a mom, I find myself being a little more reserved with the whole candy thing. Don’t get me wrong, my kids LOVE candy just like any other kid but my Easter baskets are probably a little different from others. I’d like to share some non-candy ideas but still equally as exciting for kids! (or at least mine love it!) I will also be sharing what candy we do get for our baskets!

1. Kickee Pants

Or any set of pajamas, really. My kids are obsessed with pajamas and it’s probably my fault that I started getting them Kickee Pants or some kind of bamboo fabric pajamas since they were born. A new pair of pajamas have pretty much always been a staple in our baskets and the girls love them! One of the places I love to shop for their pajama’s and clothes is Melodi’s Belles & Beaus in Lafayette, Louisiana. The owner is super sweet and always helps find the perfect outfits for all of her customers!

www.shopmelodis.com

 

2. Bubbles

Because…bubbles. What child doesn’t love bubbles? Mine are pretty much obsessed and this is a super cost efficient filler for your little ones basket. There are so many options that range from the Dollar Store, Walmart, Walgreens and the dollar bins at Target. You can even find them with really cute Easter looking graphics on them to really seal the deal.

3. Stuffed Animal

This year I got those little wind up bunnies out of the dollar bins at Walgreens. They hop around when their wound up. I didn’t go all out on stuffed animals this year because my kids have enough already but I know those little nuggets will make my toddlers happy.

4. Stickers

What little person isn’t obsessed with stickers? This is a super cheap and effective way to keep your child entertained for hours, no doubt. Supply some construction paper or a clean arm..or leg and you’re totally set.

5. Hair Bows

Bows are life when you’re a little girl. I love to get my bows from a couple of Etsy Shops. Bows by JoJo and ArdenShaw Handmade. They’re both crafted by hand by some really sweet and beautiful mama’s. I will link their profiles below so you can get your orders in before the Easter Bunny comes!

https://www.etsy.com/shop/BOWSBYJOJOW

https://www.etsy.com/shop/ArdenShaw

6. Cup Labels

This may be more exciting for us parents. I’ve always struggled with keeping up with which cup belong to which kid and also always having to rewrite their names on the bottom of their cups. Until Personalized Labels happened. This is definitely an Easter Egg I found on Etsy also and I will link their shop down below. This has helped SO MUCH with sending the girls to school. Not to mention, the girls can keep up with which cup is theirs because of the color and little custom shape I had put on their labels. I LOVE these!

https://www.etsy.com/shop/3DKoalaLabels

7. Crayons/Markers/Sidewalk Chalk

Let those babies color! Throw in a new coloring book if you’re feeling extra fancy!

8. Bath Bombs/Bubble Bath

My girls are obsessed with all things bath related. Bonus points if the bath bombs have a little toy inside. We get the little bath bombs and bubbles from Target often, but the girls swoon over Prim Bath and Body products. Those are the most colorful, beautifully scented and well constructed bath bombs in Acadiana and I love to support local and my friends. Plus, they don’t stain my bath tub and my skin feels softer than a newborn after I get out of the tub. Yes, I enjoy them just as much as the girls do, maybe even more! Prim is located in Grand Coteau, Louisiana.

www.primbathandbodyco.com

9. Tooth Brush

Might not be as exciting for some children but my kids freak out every time they get a new tooth brush. You have to change them out regularly anyway, why not make it a gift from E.B?

10. Sun Glasses

If your children are anything like mine, they practically live outside when the weather is nice. Aubree is always blocking out the haters with her shades. You can find sunglasses relatively cheap anywhere. Walmart, Target, Dollar Store, Home Goods/Marshalls, Nordstrom Rack or even Amazon. Prime Dat!

11. Summer Gear

I actually got this idea from a friend who does this every year. She always gets her kids their full line up of swim wear every year. The goggles, swimsuit, towel(monogrammed if you want to be extra), sunblock, pool toys..all the things you might need for Spring Break or the upcoming Summer season. You’re going to buy it all anyway!

12. Play-Doh

This is perfect for those days you’re stuck inside, whether it’s a rainy day or a sick day. It’ll undoubtedly keep your kids happy and busy for hours.

13. Slime

It’s all the rage these days. My kids don’t even know what it is yet and I would like to keep it that way for as long as I possibly can. No shame for the kiddos that love it, my kids are just accident prone and I don’t want to have to cut it out of their sweet little curls just yet. But none the less, it’s a great basket idea! You can find slime in decorative eggs at Walgreens!

14. Confetti Eggs

My grandparents are probably going to hate me after this holiday is over. I found some breakable confetti eggs at Walgreens a few days ago and I snagged them up for my kids and my niece and nephews. They come in an egg crate of 12 and supposedly you throw them down and they break and confetti comes out. Sounds a lot like those little poppers from the Fourth of July but Easter Edition..and a lot less racket..maybe a little messier-ish..heavy on in the ish.

15. Rain boots

Every toddler in America is obsessed with rain boots or at least every toddler I know has some kind of deep obsession. Maybe it’s because we live in the south and it doesn’t matter what season it is, rain boots are always a staple in someone’s daily attire. Maybe it’s because we are all raising some country kids, who knows. But rain boots are a great additive and if your little isn’t into those, go for the next size up in their favorite kind of shoe or flip flop!

What about the Easter Candy?

So where is the candy option, lady? My kids need some kind of sweets in their baskets!!Don’t worry, I didn’t forget. We always get our chocolates from a local place in Lafayette called Lolly’s Chocolates. Their chocolate is fresh and downright delicious. All of it, whether its a chocolate dipped strawberry, chocolate covered oreos, pecans, marshmallows or just plain molds…they’re amazing! I think my favorite will always and forever been the almond clusters. I discovered this place the day after I had Ally. I was in the hospital and they came to the Mother’s Suites and they were passing out chocolate covered pretzels and strawberries. They’re truly an amazing local company! They also have locations in New Orleans and Mandeville, Louisiana.

Happy Easter!!!