Thursday, January 24, 2019

WHAT LIFE IS LIKE RAISING TWO CHILDREN ALONE...






TOP: Red Dress // BOTTOMS: AG // Chloe- BODYSUIT: Kate Quinn // BOW: Wunderkin // Liam- SET: Kate Quinn 

First off, I would like to state that I'm not a "single" mom. My husband has been deployed for almost a year and I'm sharing my experiences on taking care of our children physically alone. If you are a single mom, you're super woman! Taking care of children is hard enough and I can't imagine how hard it must be to have to provide everything financial, emotionally, and physically for yourself and your children. 

After 3 years of blogging, I feel that I'm finally becoming more open about my life. My life isn't perfect at all but I know all the struggles and tears will be worth it in the end. These two children are my everything and I'll do this all over again just to see them happy. I'm going to break everything down in a Q&A format. 

How do you do it?
I get this question often. Honestly, when you're put in a position with no other choice, you have to do what you have to do. Yes, it's extremely hard and you have no time to yourself but at the end of the day, my children's happiness and well being is above my own. I'm around my family all the time and that's where I get my support from. They help when they can but it's mostly just the 3 of us 80% of the time. I get less than 6 hours of sleep most nights...that's how I do it. 

Do you have time to yourself? 
Personally, no. I work from home and watch them all day and night. Liam goes to school 2 days a week but I still have Chloe. I have my sister and mom help from time to time but because Chloe is mostly breastfed, so it makes it hard to leave for longer than 3 hours. My alone time is when the children are asleep. We're on a pretty good schedule. They go to sleep at 7:30/8pm and I usually stay up until midnight. I only get about 7 hours of sleep but I do most of my work at night. 

What does your schedule look like? 
7:30am: Wake up and get breakfast
9am-12pm: Play Date/Family time/Photoshoot
12pm-1pm: Lunch 
1pm-3pm: Clean/Play at home/run errands
4pm-5pm: Work/Nap time
5pm-6pm: Bath time/prep for the next day
6pm-7pm: Dinner (my sister cooks 95% of the time so I'm very thankful)
7pm-8pm: Clean up, read books, prep for bed
8pm-12am: Work and relax 

Do you get lonely? 
Yes and no. I'm around my sister, family, and friends almost everyday. I hate being alone. People say that you have your children to keep you company but it's not the same. There are times were I get very lonely, like when I want to take the kids to the carnival and I have no one to go with us, or when I'm out with my friends and I feel like I don't have a partner there. I want Tommy to share the experiences that we have and that's hard. It's uncomfortable for me to be alone, so I try to constantly surround myself around people I love. 

Do you have a social life? 
YES, YES, YES! If I didn't have friends to hang out with, I'd probably crawl up in a ball after the kids were in bed. I do hear that it's hard to have a social life with children and I think that's only true if you're trying to be social with people that don't have children or people that want to do things that don't involve children. Majority of my friends that I hang out with on a daily basis have children that are around Liam's age. My social life may be at a Chuck E Cheese, but we're happy. My friends that don't have children love my babies and we're able to get lunch or hang out together once a month. I understand that they have full time jobs and have other things going on in their lives.  I feel that I have a pretty good social life because I surround myself around other mothers/bloggers. 

How hard is it?
It's very hard but definitely achievable. I'm not afraid to ask for help because I know I need it. I feel that I'm constantly doing something, like a chicken with its head cut off. At this point, it's normal for me to take care of them alone. When it was only Liam and I, it was a breeze. He was so easy to take care of. Taking care of two children is a game changer. I've had multiple nights where I've cried for hours because of how stressful it is. I'm very thankful that Liam is pretty well behaved and helpful. He sees me always taking care of Chloe and ALWAYS helps me get her diapers or entertains her while I do something else. When Chloe was born, I thought she was going to be an easy baby like Liam. NOPE! Girls, are really harder to take care of, lol. 

How is it financially?
When it comes to finances, it's not really my sole responsibility. Tommy sends us money every month for bills, living, ect. He takes care of us financially. I'm so so thankful that I'm able to work from home. My money is put mostly into savings and for leisure. Tommy pays the bills and "grown up" things, my money is for savings and "fun" stuff.  I, personally wouldn't have a 9-5 job because it would mean leaving my children 40+ hours of the week. Its hard for me to be away from them and day care is ridiculously expensive.

Why are you raising your children alone? 
My husband is in the military and deploys A LOT! Tommy has been gone 1/2 of the time he has served which puts me in the position of raising the children alone. 

How often do you and the children see your husband?
We talk everyday and the kids FaceTime him almost every other day for about 15-30 minutes. Liam knows exactly who his dad is and is aware of the communication barrier. 

Do you have any tips? 
1) Don't be afraid to ask for help! It doesn't make you less of a mother by asking for help. Being a mother is the most empowering thing you can do.
2) Have some mom friends! With my mom friends, I feel like we could talk for hours and the best part is that when we're hanging out, our children are playing with each other. 
3) Don't be too hard on yourself. You're an amazing mother. We all make mistakes. Mom guilt is real, especially when you have 2+. For me, I'm horrible at diving my attention between the kids. Liam use to see me as the fun mom but now he sees me as a caretaker. It's hard because he doesn't want to play with me when were out but I'm trying hard to work on it. It's very hard to juggle your attention to two children. 


I'm very open to sharing anything else relating to this! Thank you so much for reading!

xo, 
Annie

*Photos by Arzu Photography 

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

PINK TEDDY COAT...



COAT: Tularosa (tan version here) // TOP: Madewell // BOTTOMS: Spanx // BOOTIES: M Gemi // BAG: Gucci 

At this point my closest is filled with teddy coats and they all happen to be neutral colors. My sister always tells me that I'm posting similar outfits and that I need to try something different. I'm so glad she tells me these things because it gives me insight and it lead me to this amazingly soft pink colored teddy coat. I wasn't sure how to style it at first but I think the best and easiest way to styled colored coats is wearing an all black or white toned pieces. I have a couple of coats from Tularosa and they are ALL great quality and incredibly soft. For me, coats last for years and years. It's something you invest in once or twice and you're set. 

This week has been incredible calm for us. We needed this because ever since Liam was back in school everything has been nonstop. The kids love staying at home so it's nice that they get to be comfortable and interact with each other at home. Tomorrow is another story, we're out of the house from 9am-3pm so I hope it goes well. I'll be sharing what life has been like raising two children by myself the past year so if that's something yall are interested in, be sure to check back tomorrow! 

Thank you so much for stopping by!

xo, 
Annie

*Photos by Banavenue 


Tuesday, January 22, 2019

EVERYDAY WEAR...

TEE: Z Supply // JACKET: Sundry // JEANS: 7 For All Mankind // SHOES: Evereve

Lets be real, I'm a mother of two and one is an infant and the other is 3. Running around in heels isn't ideal for me nor is it comfortable. My outfits use to consist of something really dressy or something that was borderline homeless. I'm not even kidding, if you saw me at the grocery store, my pj pants are touching the ground, I'm in a 5 year old oversized t shirt, and a raggedy jacket. NO SHAME. This year, one of my goals was to find more pieces that were casual for everyday wear. I wanted to look put together and comfortable at the same time. 

Last week, I told myself that I just need to go to the mall and buy a bunch of everyday pieces. I founds SOOO many incredible pieces at Evereve. The first time I went to Evereve was when I lived in Colorado. Since then, the've built more than 85 locations and there happens to be one less than 30 minutes from me. The store I shopped at had everything from trendy pieces to great staples. Baseball tees are a classic. I remember wearing them all the time when I was younger so I'm glad I snagged this camo print one. I've washed it a few times already and it has held up pretty well. Z Supply makes it and I've always heard great things about the brand. I honestly can say that I don't own a zip up jacket until I bought this one. Isn't that crazy?! I can easily throw on this jacket over all my tees and be set. Comfy clothes has been my wardrobe and it might stay that way for awhile. 

Thank you so much for reading!

xo, 
Annie




Thursday, January 17, 2019

A FUN LITTLE BACK DETAIL...




SWEATER: Red Dress // COAT: Red Dress (under $60) // BOTTOMS: Spanx // SHOES: Old (similar here) // BAG: Gucci // EARRINGS: Red Dress 

January has been so busy and it wasn't what I expected at all! I've been running around like crazy, having tons of photoshoots, sending way too many emails, getting Liam ready for school, making food for Chloe, cleaning the house, and a million other things. I missed Liam's at home school project that was due yesterday and I feel like completely sh**. It's so hard to do everything and I feel like I need to slow down on work and life to focus more on Liam. The mom guilt never goes away, does it? We have a very calm day tomorrow so I'm going to let the kids have some fun and relax at home. 

It's currently 1 a.m and I'm writing this blog post because I wanted to share these pieces with yall before they sold out. I did a try on session with Red Dress Boutique and I love everything! I've been looking for a white teddy coat for awhile. This coat is my favorite piece of all. It's extremely soft and warm. Leopard is extremely popular for winter. I have a few leopard sweaters but none like this one. The back detail makes it so different and is a statement itself. 

I know several of yall are already wanting to see spring outfits but because I have NYFW, I'll be sharing mostly winter pieces until I get back from my trip. I, personally am not ready for winter to end. The weather has been fairly nice (for Houston weather). This is my first year since 2015 that I haven't been in Colorado for the winter. I'm in need of a winter snow trip soon. 

Thank you so much for stopping by! 

xo, 
Annie

*Photos by Banavenue


Tuesday, January 15, 2019

20+ PIECES FROM VICI AND MY REVIEW...




TOP // SHOES // BEANIE 






My first boutique review is here and it's one of my favorites! I've order over 30 pieces from VICI in the past few months and have gotten a pretty good idea at the quality, styles, and prices of the products. First off, I'd like to clarify that this post is not sponsored. Yes, I've been gifted many items but I wouldn't share items that I wouldn't personally buy myself. VICI will soon offer free returns as well. I personally find it 10x easier to order pieces that I can possibly return because you never know what's going to fit until you try it on. 

There aren't enough positive words that I can say about the pieces that VICI Collection carries. The quality of the sweaters are amazing! They're just as good or even better than most of my sweaters that I've gotten from Nordstrom. Majority of their pieces are under $50 so it makes shopping a lot more fun. With jeans, I've order styles that I've been wanting to try but didn't feel comfortable spending $100+. I've order multiple distressed boyfriend jeans and the quality is really good. I'd say that their jeans seem to run a little small so I'd size up. The shoes are great quality too! Most of their shoes are under $50 as well. They sell out of sizes quick so be sure to snag them. Out of the 7 pair of shoes I've ordered, only 1 of them has been iffy so I'd say that's pretty good. 

I personally love trying out new trends and sharing them with yall. Trends also come and go so it's difficult to spend a lot of money of a top that might possibly only be "in style" for a few months. Majority of VICI pieces are under $50 so it makes trying out a new trend easier on your wallet. 

As always my code for VICI gets you 20% off your entire purchase: ANNIE20. If yall have questions about anything please feel free to DM me! I know there are tons of boutique out there and you never know what you're going to get. I hope this helps! 

xo, 
Annie



Thursday, January 10, 2019

MY REVIEW ON THE GUCCI DISCO BAG...

BAG: Gucci 

Hi! A handful of yall requested for a review on the Gucci Disco Bag and I'm going to break it down by quality, functionality, and durability. 

First off, I would like to say that I absolutely love this bag. It's my first designer bag that's a crossbody and I've had a lot of use out of it. It's a bag that goes with almost everything and is simple. 

Quality: The quality is what you expect from a designer bag, very well made. The surface isn't completely smooth so it makes stains and scratches easy to hide (no that I have any on mine, yet).  I've spilled water on it, had baby vomit on it, and it has been out in the rain a couple of time (accidently). The leather has held up very well through everything that the bag has been through. One concern I had was the tassels, but it has never frayed or broken off. When it rains, it does leave a temporarily blue color for some reason but comes right off once its dried. Over all I think the quality is really great! 

Functionality: I use this bag A LOT! Even with children, I bring their diaper bag and wear this crossbody. I can throw it over majority of my outfits and be set. It fits my keys, wallet, and other random items. I wouldn't put a full length wallet in it though because it'll probably be a tight squeeze. There are two small pockets on the inside that is big enough for a few cards. This bag is very casual though, it's not a bag that I'd wear to an anniversary dinner or formal event. 

Durability: When I first bought this, my biggest concern were jeans rubbing blue on the back and if it would keep its shape. I've seen a handful of disco bags online and on random people that are extremely flatten and not square shaped. This bag isn't one that you can throw in a huge pile of junk and expect it to keep its shape. You do have to take care of this bag. I know that sounds obvious but with my Louis Vuitton Neverfull, I never had to worry about shape or rubbing on jeans. The LV NF is an everyday bag that will last through EVERYTHING. This bag, is not. I try to avoid wearing blue jeans and over stuffing it. You can see a little bit of blue around the bottom edges of the last picture, but it's not bad at all. 

I perosnally love the nude color but my next choice would be black. This bag comes in a variety of colors but I always stick to neutrals if I'm investing this much money it it. Overall, I would say that the bag is worth it. It has gone up by $200 since I last bought it, so it must be selling well! 

I hope this helps! Thank you so much for reading! 

xo,
Annie

Monday, January 7, 2019

PIECES THAT YOU CAN WEAR IN THE WINTER AND EASILY TRANSITION INTO SPRING...



TOP: VICI (20% off: ANNIE20) // SKIRT: VICI (black version here) // SHOES: Old (similar here) // 

Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend. I'm been in a slump and have been feeling overwhelmed lately so we spent most of our weekend on our sofa. I'm currently having some sort of allergic reaction which is causing my face to swell up. To be honest, when I first noticed that my face looked fuller, I thought I just had one to many cookies, lol. We've been staying at home a lot this past week because I started to train Chloe to take a bottle. I'm leaving for NYFW next month and because she is exclusively breastfed, I had to make sure she would take a bottle without any problems. It was frustrating at first because she would cry and cry but everyday got a little easier. I would say we're 75% there! 

Anyways, I'm sharing this outfit from VICI and it's by far my favorite!! (I'm sharing more details and a try on session on my Instagram today). This skirt is actually a skort which is exactly what I need because I can't be bending over to pick up my children and accidentally flash someone, lol. I paired it with this light weight "hello beautiful" sweater. This sweater can be worn with everything; jeans, joggers, and leggings. It's great for transitioning into the spring as well. It's too early to be talking about spring, but it helps to plan ahead. I personally love winter and want the weather to stay cold for another month or two. Are yall still loving all my winter content or are yall already looking for spring  pieces? 

Yall can always take 20% off your purchase at VICI with my code: ANNIE20

xo, 
Annie 

*Photos by Banavenue 

 

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