Lauren Rhodes Braden is a native of Ocean Springs, Mississippi, where she resides with her husband, Eric and her son, Quinn. She has perfected the art of balancing better than most trained circus acts. She is a mother of one, and recently completed her J.D. at Mitchell Hamline School of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota, and is co-owner of Braden Valladares, LLC, a mediation and arbitration firm. An alum of Ocean Springs High School (2001), Ole Miss (B.S. in Criminal Justice 2006), Delta State University (M.S. in Criminal Justice 2008), and Mitchell Hamline School of Law (J.D. 2018), Lauren plans to take the Mississippi bar exam as well as the Louisiana Bar Exam to move Braden Valladares, LLC into an all-inclusive legal services practice in Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi, specializing in areas of litigation such as family law, juvenile law, elder law, adoptions, guardianships, conservatorships, and dispute resolution such as mediation and arbitration. She is one of the first incoming classes of the new hybrid J.D. program at Mitchell Hamline School of Law, allowing her to meet her Docket Divas and future law partners, and blog about their journey through raising families, attending law school, continuing to work full-time, and still maintaining shreds of sanity. Lauren has written for all court levels in Mississippi, the U.S. Federal District Court, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, and most recently the United States Supreme Court. As a non-traditional mom, Lauren brings a fresh perspective of being a career focused mom, encouraging moms to go back to school or focus on their careers while still being an attentive, fun, and loving mom. Additionally, Lauren was raised in a multi-generational home and has chosen the same path, as her mom plays a very important role in their small nuclear family, making sure that Quinn makes it to hip hop class on time and ensuring that there is a hot meal on the table- cooking was never Lauren’s strong suit (along with cleaning… laundry…. outdoor projects….etc.) When not having dance parties around the house or attending concerts, Lauren and the family can be found in their second home, New Orleans. They enjoy shopping the local markets and stores, attending festivals, eating all of the amazing food the city has to offer, and parading like fools! Her philosophy as a mom is to live and enjoy the moments- both big and small, and to not take life or parenting too seriously. She has been known to blast Taylor Swift and sing to the top of her lungs as a solution to having to listen to a whiny kid, and rescue a giant hundred-pound dog on a random Monday after a tough day at work. It’s a good thing she is a juggler, because at the Braden house, it’s always a circus!

Tips for Schooling from Home: What You Need

Ahhh.... another school year has started. This year looks mighty different to many of us. If your child is attending traditional school, that's awesome! Many kids (and parents) are working from home these days, so...
Mardi Gras mom

Mardi Gras Tips from a Parade Pro

I’m a born and raised Gulf Coast mom but my heart lives in New Orleans, especially during Mardi Gras.  My family and I have been in love with New Orleans since as long as I...

Big Shrimpin’

This may not seem like the typical Gulf Coast Moms Blog post, but I can guarantee it will make you have all the feels! When I found out about this story, I knew I...

Polaroid Cameras, a Dash of Humility, and a Sense of Humor

In a world of Pinterest and over-the-top themed birthday parties with hand painted cookies and petting zoos, we are truly robbing our children of the reality of life, which is why I strive to capture...

How to Plan a Christmas of Experiences

What's a Christmas of Experiences? See my previous post Christmas of Experiences :: We Aren’t Giving Our Son “Things” This Year. Our family is planning to have our second Christmas of Experiences this year, and you...

Christmas of Experiences :: We Aren’t Giving Our Son “Things” This Year

It’s less than 3 months before Christmas, and I’m DONE. Nope, I am not one of those who hits sales all year or stock piles a locked closet with goodies that I bought in January,...
Mom holding a baby

It’s a … BOY? How Do I Raise a BOY?

It was February 2011, when the ultrasound tech announced that my husband and I would be having a boy. As my husband high-fived the tech, I stared at the screen not knowing what I was...

The Multi-Generational Household

For the last three years, I have been working full-time and going to law school full-time. This May, I walked across that stage and obtained my J.D. I may have been the one who walked across...

Ways to be Your Best Self :: 5 Tips from a Working Mom

Always strive to be your best self. What does that mean? My best self is when I'm emotionally level. Blatantly honest. When I practice essential self-care. I’m a working mom of an almost-seven-year-old. I...