Tuesday, July 30, 2019

HOSTING A STRESS-FREE BACK TO SCHOOL PARTY...

This post has been sponsored by Randalls. All thoughts and opinions are my own.





RANDALLS

The first half of this summer has flown by! I can’t believe we’re already talking about our children going back to school. Liam starts Pre-k this year and I’m so excited for him to create new friendships and learn from his teachers. 

Before everyone starts getting ready for school and the fall season, we thought it would be fun to throw a back-to-school party and invite all of our family and friends. Randalls is having their Anniversary Sale from July 31st– August 13th and there is a huge selection of snacks, drinks, dessert, and food on sale. Our family has been shopping for groceries for Randalls for years. They have amazing prices and we love using the mobile app for deals. I purchased these products and more at my local Randalls, but you can also shop Anniversary Sale and save at any of the Albertsons Companies retailers. Visit the Randalls website to find a store near you and discover some fun meal prep tips and recipe ideas! 

Hosting a party can be stressful but I try to keep it simple. All I really have to worry about is entertaining children and feeding everyone. Besides that, everyone just typically enjoys being around each other. I’ve found that children love doing simple things. For our back-to-school-party, the children were jumping on the trampoline, swimming in the inflatable pool, painting, and grubbing on snacks and inhaling in the juice. With children, they typically gravitate towards yummy simple snacks because they’re basically here to play with the other children. I can’t tell you how many times I have to call Liam in to take a water/juice break. He’s on the run with all of his friends! We picked up Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, Capri Sun Fruit Punch, Lays Classic Family Size Chips, and Haagen Dazs Ice Cream Vanilla Bean flavor for the children. That’s probably every child’s dream lunch. For the adults we decided to cook easy and simple foods like BBQ and finger foods. During the Anniversary Sale, I try to stock up on items that I know I’ll use when regularly at the house and for school lunches; Coffee Mat French Vanilla Creamer, Starbucks Coffee Breakfast Blend Ground, Tide Pods, Kelloggs Cereal, and Yoplait Yogurt Strawberry. 

Even though Liam has been asking to go back to school, I know he isn’t ready to give up days at the pool, sleeping late, and going on multiple play dates during the day. I mean, I’m not either! What has your family been doing this summer? We still have a month left and I’m itching to do something new before this season ends. 

xo,
Annie


*The products mentioned in this post are on sale at the Albertsons Family of stores from July 31st -

August 13th. Products on sale at Randalls retailers may differ. *The

Sunday, July 28, 2019

DONATE TO NO KID HUNGRY WHEN YOU SHOP AT STAGE FOR BACK TO SCHOOL + 4 QUICK AND EASY LUNCHES...







LUNCH TOTE // WATER BOTTLE // ROMPER // LIAM'S SHIRT & PANTS // CHLOE'S DRESS 

Is everyone ready for school to start back up again? Liam has been asking to go back to school for weeks now, but I told him that we still have about a month of summer left to enjoy. I’m humble to share that our family has teamed up with Stage to share how we can all help donate to No Kid Hungry and make a difference in a child’s life. If you’re not familiar with No Kid Hungry, No Kid Hungry is a national organization that is focused on ending childhood hunger. 1 in 6 children in the United States suffer with hunger and over 12 million families live in homes where they don’t have enough food for the entire family. As a mother, I wouldn’t want any child to be hungry or not have their daily meals.
 
My siblings are I are first generation children. My grandparents, mom, uncles, and aunt moved to the United States about 3 years before I was born from Vietnam. My family started with nothing and worked hard and long to build a strong foundation and financial comfort. During the first few years of elementary, my brother, sister, and I depended on our school to feed us breakfast and lunch. Even though that was over 18+ years ago, I still remember that the meals our school provided weren’t fulfilling or as nutritious as our meals at home. I remember some nights where we weren’t able to eat actual meals. Rice and eggs is EXTREMELY affordable to make and that’s what we ate when my family didn’t have the resources for an actual dinner meal. There are 22 million children today that rely on school meals to feed them. We were once a family in need of help and I’m thankful that I’m able to help give back today. 
 
Now through the end of summer, Stage is focusing on giving back by donating 50% of retail sales from select back to school items in stores and online with a minimum of $100,000 in donation. I got this fun avocado lunch tote and water bottle for Liam and 50% of retail sales of these items are donate to No Kid Hungry . There are also 2 other ways you can contribute; post a photo of a meal that gives you strength through the day and add #FUELKIDSFUTURES or make a direct donation here. $5 can provide up to 50 meals to children that are facing hunger! You can also team up with Stage and help end childhood hunger. 

As yall may already know, our family has been shopping at Stage stores for over a decade. I’m a huge advocate of business that continuously give back and that’s just one of many reasons why we always shop at Stage stores. Liam starts school soon! I knew I wanted to get his back to school shopping done early so I could avoid huge crowds. Whether your child’s school has a uniform dress code or not, Stage carries options for both. I picked up two tops to share with yall. This button up top is adorable and comfortable for boys to wear to school. I paired it with these pants which matches majority of Liam’s tops. Liam’s red polo comes in 10+ colors and is available for toddlers and older boys and girls. Stage also carries dresses, skirts, and accessories.
  
Xo, 
Annie 
 
 
QUICK AND EASY SCHOOL LUNCHES
 
When Liam started school last year, I was nervous about making his lunches because at home, we eat a lot of soups and foods that aren’t the best for school (because they get soggy or bad when they sit in the backpack for 3-5 hours). I’ve learned several delicious, nutritious, easy, and affordable meals that I want to share with everyone. I usually add sides to these dishes as well. (like cheese, multi grain crackers, or fruit). 
 
 Zucchini Noodles 
 Zucchini noodles taste delicious and are healthy for you! I added olive oil, mushrooms, and chicken to a pan for about 5 minutes, stirred in the zucchini, and then added salt, pepper, and garlic powder. I cooked everything until the zucchini was about a medium soft. 
 
 Chicken and Rice 
 I cooked rice, broccoli, and chicken (all separately). I combined everything into a pan and added shredded cheese, salt, and pepper. It’s super easy to make (especially since a lot of these ingredients are things you typically have from leftover meals). 
 
 Broccoli Cheese Quesadillas 
 I love making quesadillas for Liam because it’s one of his favorites. Instead of your basic cheese quesadilla, I added leftover chicken and broccoli. 
 
 Chicken Wraps
 I took a tortilla and added chicken and cheese to it. I rolled it up and cut them into little pieces. I added fruit, cheese, and multigrain crackers as sides. 

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

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN DISNEYLAND AND DISNEYWORLD...

Our family has been to the Disney parks a handful of times this year and I feel that I have enough experience to share my advice and thoughts on the two parks. Our family has been to Disneyland with children 3 times and Disneyworld 2 times in the past 4 years. When you and your family are planning a Disney trip, one question I get asked often is which park should I go to? Disneyland or Disneyworld? For me, the answer is pretty simple. If you have children under 6/7, I highly recommend Disneyland, Ca. If you have older children, Disneyworld is for yall!  





DISNEYLAND CALIFORNIA

I’m not going to lie, when I went to Disneyland for the first time for Liam’s 1stbirthday, I was a little disappointed. I had only been to Disneyworld prior and seeing how small Disneyland compared to Disneyworld shocked me. Fast forward 3 years and I wouldn’t think twice about choosing Disneyland over Disneyworld when I’m with my children. Because the park is smaller (you can finish both parks in one day) it’s a lot calmer, easier to navigate, and relaxing. The size is perfect for families with younger children. Disneyland has most of the major rides that Disneyworld has. When you’re at Disneyland you can easily go back to your hotel and take a break. It takes maybe 10 minutes to walk to your car and drive. With Disneyworld, there are trains, ferries, and massive parking lots. Getting in and out of Disneyworld takes an hour itself. We went to Disneyland one night at 6pm and it was so calm. We rode 2/3 rides, grabbed dinner, and went home. It was honestly the most relaxing and enjoyable time. My children are younger so if they don’t take their naps or break, all hell breaks loose. 

Disneyland is split into two parks; Disneyland and California adventures. Disneyland is the main attraction, it has the castle, Disney princess, and OG rides you saw on TV growing up. California Adventure is more of the movie side of Disney. They have more shows and newer movie characters. California Adventures now has Star Wars and Avengers area’s so that was really fun for Liam to see. Disneyland also has “fast passes” available to everyone for free. How it works is that you go up to a “Fast Pass” machine, scan your wristband or ticket, and then it’ll let you know a time frame to come back to get in the fast pass line. So, if you go up to the machine at 1pm, your fass pass might tell you to come back from 3:30pm-4:30pm. You’re limited to how many fast passes you can get per day but not having to wait in long lines for 1 ride makes your day so much easier. You’re able to bring snacks into both parks but the food at Disneyland is pretty good! 

Overall, if you’re looking for a calmer more relaxing Disney trip, Disneyland is for you. We probably won’t take the kids back to Disneyworld for several years because it’s overwhelming with them. Plus, the weather is California most months is AMAZING! Be sure to check the weather forecast when you go because it does get really chilly some nights. 







DISNEYWORLD, ORLANDO

I don’t even know where to start when talking about to Disneyworld. Call me cheesy but I tear up every time I go to Disneyworld. I immediately get that magical feeling that wishes comes true, pure bliss, and all those Disney feelings, lol. Disneyworld is split into 4 parks; Magic Kingdom (main park), Epcot (has more adult rides and cultures), Animal Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios (has the movie side of Disney). I’ve been to all four and Magic Kingdom is a MUST. It will take you most of the day to finish each park because there massive. Plus, the lines are really long. If you have older children, they would love Disneyworld because there are more “adult” rides/roller coasters. If you have younger children, there are plenty of rides but because it’s overcrowded, huge, and really hot, it gets tiring and overwhelming really fast. Disneyworld is in Orlando so it’s humid as well. 

When we went to Disneyworld, we went from 9am-3pm. We rode 3-5 rides per day and was done. We still enjoyed our time but it’s hard to spend the entire day there with little ones. If you’re going with most adults, Disneyworld is the place to be. I’m going next month again for my best friends’ bachelorette party and I’m so excited to be able to experience it without children. I know it sounds bad but when you’re with little ones, you can’t ride all of those big rides. I also don’t have to worry about changing their diaper, making sure they’re cooled down, ect. 

I hope this has helped! If yall have any questions, please feel free to emails or DM me! 

Thank you so much for reading! 

Xo, 
Annie

Monday, July 22, 2019

LIAM TURNS 4...




It’s surreal to think that I now have a 4-year-old. Liam is an actual “kid” now. He’s out of that toddler stage. He corrects me all the time when I call him my baby. Liam is at that stage where he’s independent and eager to explore new things. Liam is super energetic, friendly, and wild. He has so much energy and I have no idea where he gets it from. One thing I love about Liam is that he’s loving. He loves on me, his sister, his friends, and anyone that he meets. I know he’s only 4 but I already have a good idea of how his personality is going to be when he’s older. 

This year, Liam asked for a Spider-Man birthday party again. We knew we wanted to keep it low-key and not go all crazy for his party because at the end of the day, all we wanted was for him to enjoy the day with his friends and family. My life was so busy that everything was planned last minute. I ran into HEB 30 minutes before the party to pick up a birthday cake, that’s how last minute it was! There were so many things that went wrong that morning on top of not having a cake. I placed my food order at the wrong Chick Fil A, his water moonwalk wasn’t blowing up, and the party wasn’t ready at the correct time. Despite all the things that went wrong, everything turned out so well. Everyone enjoyed their time and it was exactly what Liam wanted. My friend Tiffany from Glamfetti Co made Liam his Spider-Man color balloon garland and it was what made his Spider-Man party come to life! Liam was all over the balloons and it’s currently hanging in our living room. My friend Dawn also helped tremendously, not only did she let us use her new beautiful home, she helped put up majority of the baby pools, decorations, and food trays. I can’t thank her enough for all that she did for us. We spend the entire party watching Liam interact with his friends and just seeing him laugh throughout the day was worth all the stress and craziness. After planning so many birthday parties, one thing that I’ve learned is to not overdo it (except maybe for your baby’s 1stbirthday party). If you have family and friends over, set out a few activities, and have food, you’re set. 

We’re looking forward to this year with Liam and I’m ready to continue to be by his side through all of his accomplishments, hopes, dreams, fails, and to create more memories together. 

Thank you so much for reading! 

Xo, 
Annie 

Friday, July 12, 2019

WHAT I BOUGHT AT THE NORDSTROM ANNIVERSARY SALE 2019...


The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is finally here and to be honest I wasn't going to shop or share much of it but after going into the store and seeing everything that was apart of the sale, I was hooked. This is probably the one time of the year that I buy tons of shoes because there such a great deal. I've been shopping this sale for 4 years and ALWAYS buy all my fall and winter booties during this time. I'll maybe buy one other pair from here to February but most of it comes from this sale. When it comes to buying clothes, I stick to buying only staple pieces. There will be more fall sales so buy items that you know you'll get a lot of wear out of. There was maybe one item that I bought that wasn't a staple item, but most of these pieces are versatile. This sale is only for cardholders (credit or debit) but it's so easy to go shopping with a friend. I did that for a few years and it makes shopping so much easier. I bought of of these pieces that I'm sharing with yall today so expect to see them a lot these next couple of months. 

CAMI: I own this cami in white from last year and wear it all the time! I know I'll get a lot of wear out of this leopard one. Wearing a size small! 

SKIRT: I've been holding back on buying this skirt for years and finally decided to get it this year. I love it and know that it'll pair well with a black turtle neck and black over the knee boots, a white cami and booties, and even a cute beige color sweater and over the knee boots. 

SHOES: The "it" shoe of the sale! It's a great basic bootie to have throughout fall and winter because the heel is short so it's comfortable and the color matches everything. Runs TTS

CARDIGAN: This BP cardigan is a great staple and comes in tons of colors! $31! 


SWEATER: Love the colors of this sweater. It's super soft and runs a little big (wearing a small but should of gotten an XS) 




CARDIGAN: Obsessed with the colors of this cardigan! It runs TTS and the quality is amazing 

SHOES: Another great staple bootie that's around $70! It runs TTS and comes in 4 colors 




TUNIC: This is a Free People tunic and it's such a great deal. I sized up to a small so I could wear it as a dress.

HAT: Felt hats are the simplest fall accessary but it really takes your outfit to another level



DRESS: I was a little hesitant about this dress but after seeing how everyone styled it, I feel in love. I feel like it's super versatile and fun. 


TUNIC: I own two of these from a few years ago and LOVE it with over the knee boots! 


DRESS: Another great staple dress that can be styled numerous ways. Wearing my true size (small)

CARDIGAN: If you had to buy one cardigan. It's a little bit more but worth the extra dollars because of the high quality and softness. Size down one size ($45)


KNEE HIGH BOOTS: These boots are the ones that I was hesitant on keeping but after styling them with several outfits, I deduced to keep them. They're more of a relax fit but aren't too big at the top. TTS

BROWN BOOTIES: These are the BP booties and are really great quality. It's a great affordable staple shoe for fall and winter

BEIGE BOOTIE: Another great staple bootie. I love the pointed toe and cut out

SNEAKERS: I've been trying to incorporate more casual outfits and know that these sneakers will be a cute and stylish way to wear with leggings and an oversize sweater. 


Tuesday, July 9, 2019

MATCHING WITH MY LITTLE GIRL...





DRESS: Red Dress // SHOES: DSW // HEADBAND: Amazon // Chloe- DRESS: Zara (similar here) // SHOES: Freshly Picked

These are some of my favorite pictures of Chloe because she is so giddy and happy. Plus, she coordinating with her mama. Yall, finding matching/coordinating outfits with your children is not easy. I have a new found respect for all of those Mom bloggers out there that are constantly sharing mommy and me outfits. It's a lot harder than you think. 

Chloe is finally at that age where I can style her in cute fashionable outfits so there have been tons of orders placed at Zara. I love naturals and muslin fabric on Chloe and Zara has them reseasonably priced. Even though we aren't exactly matching, I think we're coordinating well enough. I think if she had black shoes and the same headband it would be spot on! I've been looking for more places to shop that carries reasonably priced Mommy and me outfits. Please send any recommendations! 

Thank you so much for stopping by!

xo,
Annie


 

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