Shannon Kelley Atwater, best known for her captivating children’s books like Goodnight Pothole and Rainbow Rodney, is a talented, New Orleans-based author and illustrator. Originally from South Florida, Atwater’s journey into the world of children’s literature began with her first book, Alligators Don’t Like Flowers. Atwater’s creative process involves drawing inspiration from everyday, Louisiana life, with ideas often flowing spontaneously. As a dedicated mother to Wayland, Faye, and Roy, she gracefully balances the demands of her flourishing career, the responsibilities of family life, and the importance of personal time.
5 Things I’m Currently Loving:
One-Stop Shopping: The Rink
The Rink is such a cool spot! It was built in 1884 as an ice skating rink for the World Cotton Centennial Exposition. There’s been a lot of updating and renovations happening there lately and it’s really breathed new life into a historic space. My kids and I love the food at The Chicory House; saying hey to our friends at The Garden District Bookshop; and checking out the unique and fun finds at Judy at the Rink, which are just some of the many wonderful businesses located there. Bonus–it has covered parking which makes it a great place to go explore on rainy and hot days as well.
We don’t get out nearly as often as we should, but of course, [my husband] Nate and I always love a date night. Some recent favorites have been Pigeon and Whale and the concert series at Paradigm Gardens. I can and do wholeheartedly recommend both!
Kids Night Out: Nature at Night
Something my kids and I have both been loving is the Nature at Night program at Audubon Zoo. They have different themes each weekend it happens. You drop your kids off from 6-9 p.m., where they’re fed pizza; they play fun, facilitated games and crafts; and they get to go on a flashlight tour exploring the zoo. They feel incredibly cool and independent, have a fun night out with their friends, and they’re so tired when they get home that they pass right out. Everyone wins!
A Quick Getaway: Acadiana
My husband and I recently celebrated our twelfth wedding anniversary and headed to Breaux Bridge for a quick weekend getaway. We rented a cute swampy cabin where we could revel in the peace and quiet. It also served as a jumping-off point for us to explore the surrounding areas. We spent some time in quaint downtown Breaux Bridge, headed to Lafayette for the Festivals Acadiens et Creoles, and spent a half day in Arnaudville. Highlights included Cafe Sydney Mae in Breaux Bridge, Bayou Teche Brewery, and The Little Big Cup (both in Arnaudville). We can’t wait to take the kids back to explore with us sometime soon!
Who doesn’t love hanging out with their friends? I’m a firm believer that as a woman, you should surround yourself with other strong women: women you can confide in, friends who hype you up, people to support you and hold you up when you need it; they’re all so important. From dinners and coffee dates to costumed frivolous brunches, I prioritize my girl time as much as I do time with my family.
Bonus: Renting Clothes
I have been renting clothes with Nuuly for the past six months and I love it. My sister got me started on it. I love that it has helped to curb my impulse spending, the clothes they offer are quality pieces and I like that I’m being more environmentally conscious as opposed to taking advantage of fast fashion. I do a lot of different book events and I always have something new to wear.