Laura Smiles Food

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When your friend texts you on Saturday evening if you want to go and explore a new city the next day, there is only one way you should respond. YES! We made a day trip to Charlotte, North Carolina with 3 au pairs and we had such a fun time!

The trip was very spontaneous so we didn’t plan out the whole day but we walked around a bit and found some really cute spots. One of us had been there before and she knew where to go… ish.

From Raleigh it takes about 2 / 2 and a half hours to get there. Which is relatively close for American standards. It was a nice drive, but I might be a bit bias as I love driving anywhere and everywhere.


We spent a lot of our time outside which was really nice. It was perfect weather, not too hot and not too cold, and just enough sun for beautiful pictures. First, we went to a small park that google maps calls ‘The Green’, it is just outside of the Mint museum and the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art. If you want to take instagrammable pictures this is where you need to be. There are beautiful signs that make authors names, such as Lewis + Carroll, and a big collage of Charlotte signs.

After, we went on a little stroll around the neighborhood, because we still had 45 mins to wait before we could enter the museum. We stumbled across a really cute park called: Romare Bearden Park. Some people were exercising, some meditating, there was a little photo shoot going on. It was nice and quaint, with some fountains and arches. If you are a people watcher this is definitely a spot for you. To add, there was a lot going on but everyone was very respectful of eachother space and there was enough of it that everyone could do their thing comfortably.

Across from this was a small Europeanish street with an Irish pub and some small local stores. There was an inside mall called Latta Arcade that was closed, which just means I need to go back at some point. We walked past the Black Lives Matter boulevard which was amazing to see! There was a sign explaining who had created which letter and what inspired them to design it that way. While making our way round Charlotte we also saw, and stopped to take pictures of, huge wall paintings. When we finished exploring we made our way to the museums to check them out.


The museum of modern art

This one was interesting and I think we spent most of the time commenting on the art work, but not in an intellectual arty way. I’m sure that the artists put their heart and soul into these pieces, but I’m pretty sure my host kids could have made some of those 😅.

We left with 2 thoughts…. firstly that maybe we just don’t understand abstract art and second that although we didn’t like the art, we really liked the paint color on the walls.

The MINT museum

This one was a lot better. It was more about connecting current events and art. The first exhibition we saw was about woman’s rights and feminism. Most of it was text written on items of clothing or other materials. We spent a lot of time there reading the different stories. We found some graffiti signs/ paintings in the back which all had a positive message on them.

On the lower floors there were sculptures and other pieces of art – they made more sense than in the other museum. If I had to go to one of them again, I would choose this one. I also think they change their collections more often than the other museum.

All in all, it was a really fun day and I’m really glad that I tagged along. It is definitely a city that I will have to explore more, I only saw a tiny bit, and on a Sunday, in a pandemic (probably not the best timing) but I loved what I did get to see.

Belgian Waffle Recipe

I love baking and cooking and 90% of the time you can find me in the kitchen. This means that most of the time while I was an au pair I was making nice breakfasts for the kids. Let’s be honest, they also did get cereal or oatmeal some mornings. Waffles Being from Belgium (kind…

Healthy Tomato Soup

You might be thinking, isn’t all tomato soup healthy? Well, probably, but this particular recipe is packed with hidden vegetables to make it even more nutritious. I grew up eating this soup, it has been a staple in my parents household for a long time, especially in the winter. It was one of the few…

Time for something new!

If you’ve been following the blog or know me, you know I was an au pair in North Carolina. My term ended in August and my stress level was through the roof of what to do next. This is still my most asked question ever! And I’m guilty of asking other au pairs to 😅.…

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