Wednesday, November 20, 2019

GETTING OUR YEARLY FLU SHOTS AT TEXAS CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL...





Today, I’m going to be discussing a topic that I haven’t shared before on my blog. A topic that I’m passionate about, studied for years in college, and stand behind -- vaccinations and flu shots. I’m extremely thankful to have the opportunity to partner with Texas Children’s Hospital to share more information about the flu vaccine and my experience with Texas Children’s Pediatrics. My children have been going to a Texas Children’s Pediatrics practice for over 4 years. We trust the staff, our doctor and the hospital to take care of us. The nurses and front desk staff are always very patient and understanding. With motherhood and life being crazy, I appreciate that Texas Children’s helps remind me about upcoming appointments and truly makes it so easy with their MyChart online patient portal.

One important thing that helps with smooth visits to our pediatrician is making our children feel like they AREN’T at the doctor’s office. My children pick up scents and recognize them quickly. Once my children get that first shot, it's difficult for them to go back because their last memory is getting a “boo boo.” The nurses and our doctor help my children feel comfortable by asking them about their day, talking about the cool stickers they’re going to get and being upbeat.


When it comes to vaccinations, I’d say that I’m fairly educated about them. I minored in biology in college so there were tons of classes on vaccinations. One class that I took that helped me understand more about vaccines was microbiology. It helped explain how vaccinations are preventative and how the myths we hear are incorrect. When it comes to getting vaccinations and well-child checks, those appointments are my top priority. It’s important for me to know the health and developmental stages that my children are at. 


My children get all of their vaccinations when they are at the appropriate age and get their flu shot every year. It’s recommended that everyone 6 months of age and older get the flu shot every year. October through May is peak flu season and the flu shot can prevent us from getting Influenza; it can also lessen the severity of flu symptoms. The flu is a contagious illness caused by viruses that infect the throat, lungs, and nose. I choose to vaccinate my children because it can help prevent them from getting the flu. 


The flu vaccine prevents millions of illnesses every year, but unfortunately, thousands of people still die each year from the flu or its complications. The flu can affect anyone, but it’s more dangerous for babies under 6 months and people over the age of 65. There are many myths about vaccinations, but it’s important to be properly educated on vaccines and the pros of keeping up-to-date with all of them (more information here). Getting vaccinations, particularly the flu shot, is a choice, but my choice is supported by facts, history and education. When my children are under the weather, it’s the worst feeling in the world and I want to do everything I can to prevent them from getting ill. 


When we got our flu shots, Easton did so well. He was scared at first, but then acted as if nothing happened. I told them all that I would also get one to show them how brave I was and to help make them feel more comfortable. That didn’t help Liam or Chloe because, like most children, they freaked out when they heard the word “shot.” The reality of getting our children’s vaccinations isn’t always so cheerful, but it’s important. You can learn more about vaccine facts and myths here.


Thank you so much for reading! I’m very open about discussing these topics and happy to talk to y’all about it more. xo,


Annie  








Tuesday, November 19, 2019

MATCHING LOUNGEWEAR....




TOP: Z Supply // BOTTOM: Z Supply // CHLOE- BODYSUIT: Z Supply

Sharing my first official #TwinningWithChloe blog post today and it had to be outfits that we always wear. Matching with Chloe is so much fun but a lot harder than it seems. I give huge props to the moms that have amazing Mommy and me outfits all the time because it's not easy. Chloe and I received these pieces from Z Supply about 2 months ago and we wear them at least once a week, every week. The pieces are extremely comfortable and Chloe's bodysuit has held up really well. 

Chloe is coming down with some sort of cold/sinus problems. Both, her and Liam have been coughing like crazy. We've been taking it slow and hope that she better soon! In the meantime, there will be reruns of baby shark and soup.

xo,
Annie

*Photos by Banavenue

Sunday, November 17, 2019

HOSTING A FRIENDSGIVING STAYCATION WITH PAPER SOURCE...







It seems that when October ends, Christmas season begins. What about November? Thanksgiving? Friendsgiving? Celebrating the last leaves that fall off our trees? The last 3 months of the year are ones that I cherish the most because it’s the time of the year that I find every reason in the book to be with my family and friends. Sometimes, I catch myself trying to squeeze my girlfriends in for a quick lunch because I’m so busy prepping for Thanksgiving dinner, making plans for family trips, or celebrating Tommy’s birthday, which happens to fall around Thanksgiving Day. Family will forever be important but I love the time I spend with my girlfriends. We get to have a break from reality, talk about motherhood, and sit back and enjoy a glass of wine or tea. This year, I’ve teamed up with Paper Source to host a Friendsgiving staycation. I wanted to all gather up, get cozy in our pjs, and give back to them because they’ve done so much for me this year. 

My closest girlfriends are all moms and I know how important it is to get some “me” time. I invited everyone to spend the night in our downtown hotel to truly relax for the entire day. Paper Source had so many decorations, gifts, and party items that I needed to make this all come to life. Being creative is sometimes difficult for me but when I walked into our Paper Source store here in Houston, everything just clicked. Planning events takes a fair amount of time so I knew I had to focus on 4 main key points; thoughtful gifts, food & drinks, entertainment, and decorations. 

THOUGHTFUL GIFTS TO GIVE: 
I saw these Blush Satin Sleep Sets and thought it would be the perfect cozy gift to give my friends; super functional and soft. We’ve all been hearing about how silk pillows are better for your hair and skin so I knew that they would appreciate trying it out. I also picked up this Coral Mug for everyone because I felt that it would be the perfect addition to this cozy gift. Personally, I don’t ever feel like I can have too many coffee mugs. 

FOOD & DRINKS: 
When hosting Friendsgiving, food and drinks are essential! Food truly does bring people together. To stick to my plan of keeping it easy and simple, I knew that cooking a 10 course Thanksgiving meal at our hotel wasn’t ideal. This Platters and Board Cookbook shares so many quick and easy recipes for dips, brunch, cheese boards, and more. The cheeseboard lasted us hours and tasted delicious. For drinks, I think it’s good to have options. This
is the perfect fall blend and if we wanted a little bubbly, these plastic flutes were perfect. Cheese, fruit, tea, and bubbles, it’s all we needed. 

ENTERTAINMENT:
My girlfriends are all working stay at home moms. We’re glued to our laptops and phone 8+ hours of the day. I wanted us to disconnect and be in each other’s presence. The “Who In the Room Game” is a card game that you can play with tons of people. It’s humorous while learning more about each other. One of the questions was “Who in the room would quit their job to pursue a rickey business idea”. It’s funny to see what we thought of each other and of course, it’s all playful. 

DECORATIONS: 
Last but not least, decorations. If I could take the entire Paper Source store home, I’d be ready for every holiday, birthday, anniversary, and special occasion. I may have gone a little crazy but I feel that the little details make it whole. I had asked Picnics In The City to help set up a beautiful setting for us to eat and play. I help personalized the picnic with these adorable Turkey Feather Name Cards, Metallic Leaves, Fall Wreath, and these Leaf Napkin Ties

Hosting this Friendsgiving staycation was my way to celebrate our friendships and to continue creating those lifelong memories. This year has been crazy for me and I know I couldn’t have gotten through these times without them. My girlfriends bring joy and happiness into our families’ lives and I’m thankful that Paper Source helped me show them my appreciation and love. 

Thank you so much for reading! 

Xo,
Annie

*This post was sponsored by Paper Source. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Photos by: Arzu Photography
Picnic by: Picnic In The City
Hotel: Hotel Derek

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

VERSATILE FALL PIECES...




SWEATER: Lulus // JEANS: AGOLDE // JACKET: BlankNYC // SHOES: Vince Camuto // BAG: Gucci

Now that fall has hit Houston, it was time to pull out the pants, sweaters, and coat and put up some dresses. Today, I want to share some staple pieces that aren't your average basic closest staples; white t shirt, brown coat, and skinny jeans. 

First off, jeans! We all needs jeans during the colder months and I've been finding that Agolde jeans are incredibly comfortable, different, and relaxed. These jeans have a slit at the bottom so it's perfect if you want to wear heels with them. Mom jeans are in and these are a great in-between pair if you're not looking for something too loose. 

White, grey, and black sweaters are great to have but it's boring from time to time. I love this cranberry color because it's great for Thanksgiving, Holiday events, or everyday. I can easily throw on a holiday scarf or a neutral colored one over it. You can pair it with white or blue jeans, a suede skirt, or a midi skirt. The length is also great if you want to tuck it in or wear it full length. 

I've had my eye on this jacket for years! I actually bought the darker brown color but never wore it because it was hard to coordinate with. I absolutely love the natural color one of this because it pairs well with darker colors, naturals, and prints. It runs TTS (I'm wearing a small). 

Thank you so much for reading! 

xo,
Annie 

*Photos by Banavenue 

Monday, November 4, 2019

PARENT'S TRIP TO SEATTLE...












Mine and Tommy's trip to Seattle was definitely one for the books. We haven't traveled alone or really had much alone time together in over 4 years. Isn't that crazy to think about? Not having any alone time with your partner in years? I knew I had to get a trip scheduled for us and knew that Seattle would have everything we would be looking for; good food, outdoor activities, cool weather, adult activities, and easy to drive around. I went to Seattle last year with Liam and Chloe so I was already familiar with the area. When I went with the kids, I had the best time but there were things that I wanted to do that I couldn't take my children to. Seattle has a lot of offer for adults. We started our day with brunch at a new spot every day. The pleasures of drinking a mimosa and having real conversations was incredible surreal. Being able to walk to Pikes Place and truly enjoy the fresh flowers, fresh fruit, antique stores, and scenery was very much things that Tommy and I use to do. Our agenda was very open. If we felt like doing 10 things in one day, we'd plan for it. If we wanted to do a chill night, that would be great too. My Seattle guide today is similar to my last one but more for a parents getaway. 

WHERE TO STAY:

Of course, we stayed at Hotel Ändra. I stayed here with the kids last year and we wouldn't chose to stay anywhere else. It's located in the middle of downtown and walking distance to Pikes Place, tons of restaurants, and shopping. On our first night, we went to go see Joker and there was this unique old theatre one block away.

Tommy and I stayed in the suite for this trip and the room was massive. There was a living room area, work desk, vanity area, full length mirror, and a spacious bedroom. The work desk and full length mirrors are things that make working and traveling possible. I'm working every single day so that means during vacation. The desk area helped remind me to put those work hours in and the full length mirror, well, let's say Tommy loved checking out his outfits more than I did. Tommy and I stayed in two of the nights (which we didn't expect to happen) to watch movies and drink. It's honestly one of our favorite things to do. We enjoy going out here and there but a calm night together is what we love most. The huge living room was the perfect spot for us to spend those nights. 

We discovered a new area in the hotel this trip. The upstairs lobby has this little hideaway bar, mini library, fire place, and lounge. Its a great place to have those chill nights, play board games with your children, or order dinner to go and eat there. 

The staff and valet service workers were always extremely nice and accommodating to us. They were happy to help us with questions, request, and a pleasure to talk to. Customer Service is very important to me and I received that during my stay. 

I spoke to a manager and he told me that the hotel will be undergoing a remodeling soon. It's expected to be done sometime next year. Our family just might have to plan another trip because I'm definitely excited to see what it's going to look like! 

HOW TO GET AROUND:

We drove the Mazda Mazda3 Sedan while we were there and this car is unbelievable! The drive was insanely smooth, the inside and outside interior was sleek, and it had every possible feature I could think of. Tommy and I were impressed the entire time. We discovered something new about the vehicle everyday. Our car had Bose speakers, navigation, tons of safety features, cameras, and is listed as the 10 coolest cars under $20,000 on Kelly Blue Book. Driving up the mountains is typically pretty scary for both of us but when we did it in our Mazda, everything went smoothly. We rented our car through DriveShop and this was my second time working with them. The pick up and drop off is so so easy and convenient. It was the perfect car for our parents weekend. 

WHAT TO DO: 

Pikes Place Market: The top tourist place of Seattle is really a must because it's so unique. We actually discovered that there was a downstairs that is filled with stories. Our friends showed up this hidden gem and we ended up finding a really cool book store. 

Drink and Eat at Pikes Place: Right past Pikes Place down the mountain a bit, there's a huge boardwalk area that is filled with restaurants and shops. We grabbed some seafood and took in all the views (mostly cold weather).

Museum of Pop Culture: Tommy insisted that we went here instead of the Space Needle or Glass Museum. This was the one museum I didn't go to with my children last year. Seeing the Scared to Death and Minecraft exhibits was pretty cool! 

Leavensworth: This beautiful little German town is about 2 hours from Seattle. If you have the day to drive and see a city outside of Seattle, I highly recommend Leavensworth. Leavensworth is a small German inspired town and it truly feels that you're in Germany. We went their for Octoberfest but the town had much more to offer than the festival did. I'm actually gong back in January with some girlfriends to explore more. 

Downtown Shopping: Seattle has one of the best shopping areas that I've been too. The Nordstrom there is my favorite but I also feel that the stores downtown are huge. Part of visiting a new place is walking around downtown and seeing everything. 

Green Lake Park: I took Liam here last year to go to the park but this year, Tommy and I wanted an keep our workout routine so we went here to run. The park is beyond beautiful in the fall. The weather is cool, the scenery is beautiful, and it's peaceful.

Hiking: We didn't get the chance to go hiking but we've heard Mt. Rainer and Snoqualime are the ones to go to. 

FOOD: 

Lola: It's located right downstairs of Hotel Ändra and the brunch there is BY FAR one of the best! Tommy had their octopus dish and it was soo good. He isn't a seafood person and loved it. The brunch menu is only on the weekends and only serves adults. It was the perfect spot to grab some bloody marys and breakfast. 

Din Tai Fung: We ate here twice and the food is so so good! They're known for their soup dumplings but I personally loved the Ramon dishes. It's an extremely popular place so I recommend going early. They don't take reservations. 

Hot Cakes: Hot Cakes is a delicious desert place is you're craving something sweet! 

Portage Bay: I went here last year and had to go back. They serve American brunch entrees and it was delicious as always. Their egg benefit sampler is great for sharing. 

 Crawfish King: I was craving crawfish one night so we went here. The place itself isn't in the best area but the food was good. 

If you're looking for the kid friendly travel guide, here is the post. Please feel free to send me a message or email if y'all have any more questions! I hope this helps your trip to Seattle! We love going in October for the fall and the weather has always been amazing. 

xo, 
Annie



 

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