Wednesday, April 17, 2019

LIVING A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE + HOW YOU CAN DONATE TO THE AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION...









When our family is together we try to find activities to do that don't involve screen time. I'm very cautious of the number of hours that Liam gets every week. When he was around 2 years old, I was in a habit of giving him the iPad just so he would sit still or be quiet. I noticed that he was spending too many hours watching movies. I decided to cut his screen time from 5/6 hours to 1 hour a day (most days). I immediately noticed that he was interacting more, learning in the moment, and playing with others. We try to find activities for our family and lately it has been playing soccer or riding bikes. He's also passing out at night from releasing all of his energy so it's a win win for me.

I haven't had a full family post in over a year. I'm humber and excited that our family has teamed up with Stage and the American Heart Association to share 7 fun and easy active activities you and your family can do daily to prevent heart disease and to live a healthier lifestyle. Stage has partnered with the American Heart Association to raise awareness about heart disease, raise funds, and share how we can make a difference for other families out there. Now through April 30th, Stage will be donating $1 for every Instagram or Facebook post using #BringHeartHome. We can share how we #BringHeartHome by staying active, taking care of yourself, cooking healthier dishes, helping others, or creating memories with the people around you. 

Staying active is extremely important and studies have shown that 30-60 minutes of exercise can decrease your blood sugar and blood pressure. It's never too early to start showing your children and other family members that they canker their heart healthy by doing daily exercises. When I moved to Colorado, one thing I noticed immediately was that 90% of the people I saw looked healthy and that they weren't overweight. Houston has a higher percentage of obesity and sadly, nearly 1 in 3 kids or teens are overweight in the United Stages. We can help educated and provide assistances to families out there going through these struggles by sharing our #BringHeartHome stories.

Our family tries our best to stay active daily. With Tommy's career, exercising in an important factor. He pushes us do more active activities and want it to be a pat of our daily routine. When the word "exercise" comes up, treadmills, running, lifting weights, and the gym immediately comes to mind. Not everyone has the time to go to the gym. There are numerous activities and games that you can do right in your driveway or back yard. Our family is sharing 6 easy activities that we enjoy doing and we know your family will too. 

Thank you so much for reading! 

xo, 
Annie




*Thank you Stage for sponsoring this post. As always, all opinions are my own



Monday, April 15, 2019

BUDGET FRIENDLY FLIGHTS WITH FRONTIER + #GETTOGODANCE + #KIDSFLYFREE SWEEPSTAKES...





We’re going to LEGOLAND! Our family has traveled to every amusement park in Orlando,
except LEGOLAND. We’re planning a trip to Orlando this June and have decided that this is the year that we’re finally going to go. Liam started getting into LEGOs right around Christmas, so we know he’s going to be in heaven while we’re there. It’s incredible how creative children canbe. Their imagination is endless. Liam can take a 20-piece LEGO set and build 10 different things with them. 

Today, I’m EXTREMELY excited to be partnering with Frontier Airlines today to share their #GetToGoDance + #KidsFlyFree sweepstakes. Our family has flown with Frontier 20+ times in the past 3 years and have had a great experience with them. We’ve also already had plans to go to LEGOLAND, so the timing was perfect. Frontier has partnered up with LEGOLAND and Budget to gift one family round trip flights to Orlando, 4-night stay in LEGOLAND, 5 day car rental, and one Discount Den membership. If you’re not familiar with the Discount Den Membership, it’s a yearly membership that gives you lower fares and access to their new #KidsFlyFree saving (restrictions apply). If you’ve flown with children in the past, you know that children under 2 years old fly for free. Frontier has select flights where one child under 14years old (YES, 14 YEARS OLD!!) can fly for free with every adult Discount Den farepurchase. Discount Den is only $59.99 which is way cheaper than paying $300+ for your child’sticket. To enter the sweepstakes, all you have to do is share the news that your child can fly forfree on Frontier Airlines and film their fun dance moves.

Liam currently moves his knees in and out while he dances and it’s the funniest thing. He’ll
come out of nowhere and say “MOM! Look at me” and then start dancing. Liam is so free and careless, he dances the way he wants to, regardless if it looks silly or uncoordinated. Dancing isn’t in my expertise but seeing Liam dance freely has made me feel more comfortable with dancing. At the end of the day, if my moves are horrible, I don’t care because it makes my children happy.

Growing up, my family rarely traveled outside of Texas. I went 15 years without getting on an airplane. My mom was constantly working to provide for her children, so I completely understand why we weren't able to. Now that I'm a Mother, one of my goals is to travel with my children and to show them the world. I firmly believe that children learn while they're traveling because they're seeing new places, experiencing new things, learning about other cultures and their history, and they're enjoying every second of it. Letting them experience things in real life is one of the best gifts I can give them. Liam has been to 6 states, 8 cities, and 2 countries in the past 3 years. Chloe has been to 2 states and 3 cities in the past 7 months. Traveling doesn't need to cost an arm and a leg. I've purchased several round-trip flights on Frontier for under $100. Traveling cost can add up when you factor everything you're spending money on, but Frontier makes traveling easier by offering flights that are budget friendly. 

I can’t express how thankful I am that Frontier has budget friendly flights. When Liam was born, our family moved out to Colorado. I didn’t have a single friend or extended family member there. Tommy would also go weeks without coming home because of work. I was a new mom with a new baby. It got pretty lonely from time to time. I was homesick the entire year that I was living in Colorado, so I traveled back to Houston almost every single month. Liam had probablybeen on 10+ flights before he turned one. I would be able to fly both Liam and I from Denver to Houston and back for under $100 multiple times. Frontier is also a military friendly airline so when Tommy flew with us, we had a few perks. Frontier Airlines has helped our family spending holidays and birthdays together. It has also shown us cities that I’ve been wanting to visit for years. We have several trips planned this year and I’m so thankful that I’m able to travel andbring my family along. When my children can fly for free it’s a lot easier to make the decision togo versus stay at home.

Thank you so much for reading!

Xo,
Annie

*Thank you Frontie Airlines  for sponsoring this post. As always, all opinions are my own.

 *Photos by Arzu Photography 

Monday, April 8, 2019

MOM AND SON TRIP TO DISNEYLAND...









Liam and I have been on 3 Disney trips together and I've loved every single one of them. This trip in particular was harder than most since I didn't really have any help with me. Who knew dealing with a toddler at Disneyland was difficult. Between Liam wanting every toy out there and trying to stand patiently in lines for over 45 minutes it was a little hard. We had a few cries and whines during our time at Disneyland but we still had a magical time. Disneyland/Disneyworld is by far one of my favorite places in the world. As soon as I walk through the gates, it's pure happiness. 

I decided at the beginning of this year that Liam and I were going to take a trip by ourselves. If you have 2+ children, you can probably understand how hard it is to share your time and attention. He has been such a caring and helpful big brother towards Chloe. He's patient and understanding most of the time when I have to take care of Chloe versus playing with him. I've missed our alone time so much and knew that I wouldn't full get his attention unless we were away together. The first month that Chloe was born, I would hold Liam tight at night and just bawl my eyes out because I missed him so much. We were all at home, but giving him undivided attention wasn't possibly with a baby. No, we didn't have to go to Disneyland, we could have gone somewhere near by but this place has a special place in our hearts so why not?! 

This boy was in pure heaven at Disneyland. As soon as we got there, there was a parade and Liam was waving at every single character. He loved riding all the rides and eating all the sugary sweets. When you're at Disney, that "healthy" diet goes out the door, lol. We both visited Minnie, Mickey, and Goofy's house for the first time and Liam to this day won't stop talking about it. We're going back next month (with Chloe) and I know Liam's going to be just as happy. 

 I sent Tommy the picture of Liam holding cotton candy and he said that Liam has the world in his pockets. Tommy and I both work incredibly hard to give our children the world. I didn't grow up traveling and I felt that I missed out on a lot. With my children, all I want to do is travel and show them the world. We may be going to same places over and over but it's a new experience each time. 

I started taking Liam to Disney at 1 but to be completely honest, I don't think he got it until he was about 2 1/2. Liam still talks about his trip to Disneyworld when he was two and it amazes me how much he can remember. 


Thank you so much for reading! 

xo, 
Annie

Monday, April 1, 2019

TURNING 26 + THINGS YOU DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT ME...



DRESS: VICI // SHOES: VICI // BAG: VICI 

I know this post is a few day late but I was on vacation during my birthday and wanted to try my best to be in vacation mode. With blogging, I'm working every single day, even on vacations. Every year that passes, I dread turning a year older. I'm not sure why because I know I'm still young. Turning 26 officially made me in the "high 20's". Even though I wasn't excited about turning 26, I do have a lot to look forward to this year with my work and personal life. I learn more every year and try to grow from my mistakes. Anyways, I haven't done this in awhile so I thought it would be fun to share some random things you may not know about me. 

1) Don't hate me for this.... I don't do animals. I grew up with my mom telling me to not touch animals because they're dirty and they'll bite you and that will forever stick. I won't take Liam to the petting zoo nor will I get a dog/cat. 

2) We're done having children. Our plan with children was to always have at least one of each, lol. Luckily, we got one of each in two tries. 

3) I'm going to be living in Kileen half of the summer. Tommy is stationed at Fort Hood so we'll be traveling back and forth. Houston is where I want our children to go to school and because Liam is starting Pre-K in the fall, I want to try my best to stick to that plan. 

4) I hate cheese. 

5) I'm a horrible Starbucks addict. I don't drink coffee from anywhere else. I'll wake up and drive to starbucks to get my drink and then lay back on my bed.

6) I've only left the country once, to Vietnam. 

7) I always knew I wanted to have children early on but want my children to wait until they're at least 26/27. 

8) I live for horror movies. 

9) I have a very very short fuse. 

10) I'm awkward when meeting new people. 

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

MAKING OUR HOME FEEL LIKE HOME WITH STAGE...








What makes your home feel like home? Is the smell of your favorite candle, children running around, food being cooked, pictures and decorations, or flowers? For me, it’s all of those things. If you didn’t already know, our family is a military family. My husband has been serving in the army for almost 5 years now. That means that we’ve been constantly moving. We actually haven’t lived in the same place for over a year. We’ve moved 5 times in the past 5 years, renting homes or returning back to Houston (while my husband is deployed). Making our current living space feel like home is extremely important to me. I want our children to come home from school and be comfortable. I want them to spend time in our living room, not in their rooms and invite their friends over because they would much rather be here than somewhere else.

Decorations can make the difference between a “home” and another house that’s filled with your things. A few things to decide on when decorating your home is to decide on what theme you want. I redecorated a couple of rooms in our home last week with a lot of affordable pieces that I found at our local Palais Royal. Stage has a huge selection of new home décor in stores and online. Do you remember everything I got for my Christmas dining table décor (blog post here)? I feel that they’ve tripled the home selection since then. I’ve decorated our entry way, living room, dining room, and laundry room with pieces that’s I’ve bought from Stage. Everything I bought was around $200 in total!  They carry decorations for Farmhouse Living, Garden, Coastal View (beach theme), and Tropical Glam themes. Growing up in Texas, I’ve always wanted my home to feel like a country house. A country house with more modern ties to it. I love plaid, mason jars, wall art, and the fresh smells of flowers. Most of my inspirations came from Pinterest. I save images that I like and then I look at them while I shop. 

In our house, all of our rooms are on the second floor. Our family spends 80% of the day downstairs in the living room, dining room, kitchen, and unfortunately, the laundry room. Washing clothes is a never-ending cycle for me because Liam and Chloe go through at least two outfits a day. I’ve learned a few things over the years to help make a home feel like home and I want to share those tips with everyone. I hope they help! 

TIPS ON MAKING YOUR HOME FEEL LIKE HOME

Open and Clean Spaces:No one can argue that a clean home makes the world of a difference. We clean up our house every week and clean daily. Windows, mirrors, and white items can help make a room feel more open and clean. White pieces like the home sweet home jar and the stacking pigs brighten up a space. Flowers and greens also help bring a room to life. Eucalyptus are pretty cheap here so we try to buy a fresh batch every week.  

Cozy Touches with Pillows and Throws:If you were to take away all of our sofa pillows, it would look plain and uninviting. Make your home feel warm and cozy with soft decorative pillows and a soft throw. We got a few pillows from Palais Royal and they were all under $15. Decorative Pillows can be ridiculously expensive so I was thankful to find a handful of them reasonably priced. 

Candles and Oils: As soon as you walk through the front door the smell of your favorite scent should make you feel at home. We light a candle every morning for a few hours. My favorite scent is Marshmallow Fireside. 

Put up Pictures and Art:Time passes by so fast and I don’t ever want to forget the special moments that I’ve shared with my family. We picked up this home sweet home sign and a few picture frames to put around the house.

Thank you so much for reading! I hope these tips help create a warm and welcome home for everyone. 

xo, 
Annie

*Thank you Stage for sponsoring this post. As always, all opinions are my own

 

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