Monday, August 31, 2020

CLEANING HABITS WITH ART OF GREEN

This post has been sponsored by Art of Green. All thoughts and opinions are my own.






Ever since we had our kitchen and floors remodeled, I’ve been trying to keep our house as clean as possible. With our family being home all the time during this unprecedented time, I’ve learned that it tends to get a bit more messy around here. Our family spends the most amount of time in our living room, kitchen, and dining room; so there’s definitely a lot of cleaning to do throughout the day. Good news—Art of Green® makes it easy to keep my house fresh, and you can save $1 on Art of Green® at H-E-B!
 
With it being three versus one, it can be tough to clean everything on my own. I divided out chores between myself and the boys, and it has been working out so well. The boys’ jobs are to put up their toys, organize all the bins and cabinets, sweep the floors, put away the dishes, and put everything up before bedtime. My job is to keep our countertops, dining table, and floors clean. It’s easy with Art of Green® products like their Lavender Eucalyptus Wipes and Multi-surface Spray Cleaner. Right now, you can get $1 off Art of Green® products at H-E-B using this offer at H-E-B using this offer here!
 
We’ve been using Art of Green® products in our home for over a year, because their products are non-toxic, safe, made with naturally derived ingredients, and work well on those food and drink spills that Chloe loves to make every other hour. As soon as I became a mother, it was extremely important to me to have safe and natural products in our home. Especially when the kids are eating off of the tables, opening drawers, and working on hands-on crafts.
 
We go through the Art of Green® wipes about every other month, but now we’ve been going through it faster since being home is pretty much our only option currently. We pick up refills when our family shops at H-E-B. Art of Green® products are located in the cleaning aisle, and it makes it easy on us, because we pick it up when we do our grocery shopping while also minding the national social distance regulations It’s easy to use for a quick wipe down, messy spill, or oven-top cleaning after cooking. Art of Green product are the perfect way to clean. The wipe's formula is 98% naturally derived and hypoallergenic, so they are safe for my skin. This multi-surface product is great, because you can use it on so many things: foam mats, kitchen counters, the bathroom, and windows. The wipe's formula is 98% naturally derived and hypoallergenic, so they are safe for my skin. This multi-surface product is great, because you can use it on so many things: foam mats, kitchen counters, the bathroom, and windows. 
 
The boys started their chores a while ago, and it has been so much easier on me. It teaches them to keep up with their responsibilities and to be clean. At first, they weren’t all too excited about it, but when I showed up and helped out, it soon became a normal routine. I feel that if they see me cleaning and tidying up, they’ll do the same. Chloe, on the other hand, is our little messy one. She's so young, but man, can she make a mess! She started putting up a few toys, but I’m hoping that when she sees her big brothers clean, she’ll do the same! 

Thank you so much for reading! 

xo,
Annie 
 


Xo,

Annie 



Monday, August 24, 2020

EASY HOME SCHOOL GUIDE FOR 1ST GRADE AND KINDERGARTEN + PLAYROOM REVEAL...


Home school starts for us today and man, it sure did take days of planning. To all the teachers out there, y'all are superheroes because it's definitely a lot of hard work and you all deserve to be praised more often.

Easton's virtual school doesn't start until September and Liam's doesn't start until October. Easton will be going into 1st grade and Liam will be going into Kindergarten. We plan on participating in the virtual learning but I will still do about 25% virtual and 75% at home. 

We've decided that our children won't be going back to school physically until next year, at least. It's what we decided was best for our family but if your child is going back to school, that's great too. We all do what's best for our children and family. Liam has been super emotional about not going back to his school and it is super hard for the boys to not have those classes and interactions that I can't give them. I hope that this doesn't last for too long because I know we all are dying for the boys to return back to normal school life. 

Homeschool takes a lot of planning and organizing and of course, I did everything last minute. After 3 hours of searching the internet, I found curriculums and worksheets that work great for us. Some are free, some require a subscription, and some are individually sold. Here is what I'm loving: 

EDUCATION.COM: This site is $8 a month and worth every single penny. It's a bit unorganized but I love that I can easily download 90% of the sheets that I'm looking for. It's really great for Pre-K-1st grade in my opinion. 

HOMER: The boys have been using HOMER for 6 months and we love it! It's tablet learning and it's super interactive and fun for the boys. It's easy when we need a break from books and paper and the lessons are right on track. 

TEACHERS PAY TEACHERS: Is a site where essentially past teachers or others upload worksheets. There are a HUGE variety of sheets and lesson plans (free & cost). I've personally bought over $200 worth and would say that 75% of them worked really well. I'll link the ones that I've thought were worth it. 

ONLINE STORY READING: I want to incorporate at least 30 minutes of fun reading and love that these reading videos also let me have a break. 

LESSONS I'VE DOWNLOADED/BOUGHT: 

FIRST GRADE

1st Grade Curriculum: I've looked everywhere for a good 1st grade yearly lesson plan and really liked this one. I'll use education.com to look off worksheets based on the curriculum on this one. 

Morning Exercise (1st and Kindergarten): These morning actives are really great and you get to try a bunch of them out for free. Pre-K-Third Grade sheets are available for free. 

Reading Stories: For short readings and comprehension, I bought this set and like how the stories are super simple for Easton to understand and learn. 

KINDERGARTEN: 

Lesson Plans: I like this one but a fair amount of the plans are linked back to worksheets that you buy. I personally use it as a guide and feel that looking up "KINDERGARTEN GOALS WORKSHEET" has a easy reference too. Like this one

YEARLY LESSONS FOR MATH AND READING: I personally feel that this bundle is the holy grail of kindergarten worksheets. I purchased $60 worth prior and wish I would have came across to this one first. It's planned out well and the worksheets are great for Liam. 

I really hope this helps yall for at least the first 2 months of learning. I'll be updating links and lessons that I find that are working for us :) 

xx, 

CHLOE'S 2ND BIRTHDAY FLORAL BRUNCH PARTY...

 


Gosh, I can't believe Chloe is officially two years old. At the same time, I feel like this girl has been 1 year old for forever. This stage of her life is one of my favorites and since Chloe is our last little babe, I want to cherish these baby years more than ever. 

We wanted to celebrate Chloe's birthday with family and really make it enjoyable for her. At this age, I feel that we focus on making birthdays extravagant for the adults and guest (and I'm 100% guilty of doing it) so I wanted to have a day just for Chloe and the little ones. Chloe doesn't eat much but she sure does love breakfast food. 

DECOR
We had our little table set up by Picnic In The City and Houston Event Floral and it sure did make everything come to life. What is a birthday without balloons? Balloons by Isabella did Liam's space balloon and I'm always amazed by their work. I love the light pink colors and greenery because it helps tie in the floral birthday party theme I had in mind. It also is an easy and pretty photo space and Chloe sure did love playing with it too. 

FOOD
We wanted to save money and make everything on our own (plus, breakfast food is easy to cook). I went on Pinterest and found tons of really delicious and pretty breakfast boards. I feel that food boards are really popular right now and when it came to a breakfast board, I felt that it was attainable. If you're looking for a cheese board (which is much harder to create), we really loved our board from Le Modern Box. We did two boards, donuts and a pancake/fruit board. The kids devoured it within 5 minutes, I was so surprised! I'll be posting another detailed post on how we put it together soon. 

I saw our Boba Cake sometime earlier this year and instantly fell in love. It's available to order now and it tasted amazing! We got the brown sugar milk tea flavor and it's now my favorite cake flavor. 

PLAY
Entertaining children is no joke! I came across Wonderland Soft Play earlier this year and thought it was genius. I knew as soon as I saw their play areas that I would want one for Chloe's birthday. The age recommendation is 0-5 and you can customize colors and choose which soft play rental works best for you. 

Now that Chloe is officially two, y'all know I always share an update on her activities and growth! 

10 random things that Chloe enjoys at 2 years old

1) You can always catch Chloe singing. She's loving all the children's nursery songs; Old McDonalds, Twinkle Twinkle, etc. 

2) She loves playing with her Ice Cream toys, she's big on scooping ice cream but will only play with adults. 

3) Chloe's favorite person is my mom. These two have bonded so much these past 4 months and Chloe will choose my mom over Tommy and I any day. 

4) When you tell Chloe she's "pretty", she has the biggest smile on her face. It's so important for her to feel special and loved and I know it will build her confidence as she gets older. 

5) Chloe loves small puppies! I know she knows that puppies are dog, but she looks at them as if they're little live babies. 

6) When it comes to toys, Chloe mostly loves her little babies. It's funny because Tommy got her this cheap little doll last Christmas and it's one of the only dolls she'll choose. When we go to Target, I ask her to choose a new baby and she gives me a big "No, thank you". 

7) Her favorite foods are rice and eggs, bananas, and apple sauce. It's funny because she'll go into the pantry and grab the applesauce packets and go through 3 in 5 minutes. If I say no to opening the applesauce, she'll immediately go to the next person and ask them to open it. 

8) Since day 1, Chloe has been a homebody. She really enjoys staying at home with family. She's super chill when it comes to entertainment. 

9) Chloe's favorite book is "DADA" by Jimmy Fallon. She loves seeing animals and the funny noises Tommy makes when mimicking the sounds of the animals in the book. 

10) Chloe loves to swim. This summer, this girl swam 75% of the time. She enjoys swimming in her pool and takes a bubble bath almost every night. 

This next year of her life will come with a lot of change but we're ready to watch every second of it and to help her continue to grow. 

xx, 
Annie 

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

TEXAS ROAD TRIP TO GAYLORD TEXAN...


Our trip to Gaylord Texan earlier this month was our first family trip since Tommy has returned home. One thing that I really love about living in Texas is that there are endless number of places to visit. This was our first-time visiting Gaylord Texan, which is located in Grapevine, about 30 minutes away from Dallas. Traveling these days are a bit different. When our family travels, we prefer to stay on site. It’s easier with children and we feel more comfortable. Mask were required just about everywhere and they strictly enforce social distancing on site. Everyone was super respectful about space and we only took our mask off to eat or while we were at the waterpark. 

 

Our first impression when we arrived at Gaylord Texan was that it was huge and breathtaking. We felt as if we were in our own little city. In Texas, it gets a bit hot in the summer so the fact that the restaurants, coffee shops, gift shop, and activities were all indoors made it more enjoyable to walk around. We spent half of our time enjoying the onsite amenities; Riverwalk, train model, gym, shops, and more. During our stay, there were tons of SummerFest activities that we utilized; Yoga, scavenger hunts, and a Toy Story 4 movie night.

 

Our room was spacious, and the atrium view was so beautiful to see. At night, there are tons of lights and the boys really enjoyed that. Liam would sit on the balcony with us in the evening just staring. Marriott is committed to keeping their resorts and hotels clean and we saw that throughout the entire resort. There are sanitation spots around the entire resort as well.

 

I’d say that our favorite part was being able to cool down at Paradise Spring. Paradise Spring has a great waterpark area for children, a lazy river, food, and drinks. We had a cabana at Paradise Springs the second day and really loved the space and privacy we had. It truly makes it easier to eat, relax, and to store our swim gear. There is a shuttle that goes back and forth from the resort to the waterpark too! 

 

We never had to leave to get food which was extremely convenient too. For breakfast, we would head down to Mission Plaza Marketplace (coffee house) to grab some Starbucks coffee and breakfast. They serve pastries, burritos, breakfast croissants, and more. 

 

We ate dinner at two restaurants while we were there; Zeppole and Texans Station Bar. 

 

Texans Station Bar is more casual, and they serve items like burgers and BBQ. There is a full bar there as well. I personally got the wedge salad with bacon and shrimp and it was DELICIOUS! Tommy and the boys orders burgers and it was really good too! 

 

Zeppole was highly recommend by a lot of yall and I can see why. The restaurant itself is beautiful. The stringing lights, open space, and modern d├ęcor of it really attracted my attention. We were able to order a fair amount of meals that evening and the “Antipasto Board” is yummy appetizer option for the entire table. I’d have to say that the Lasagna and New York Strip were our favorite dishes. 

 

Our family enjoyed our weekend here and are really looking forward to coming back during the holiday season because yall were all telling me how beautiful it is with all the Christmas lights. 

 

Thank you so much for reading! 

 

Xo, 

 

 

Friday, August 7, 2020

10 FUN ACTIVE ACTIVIES TO DO WITH YOUR FAMILY...

 Our family has been staying super active during quarantine and it is easily our lifestyle now. I’m not going to lie, before quarantine, going to public parks was as active as we got. All of our time at home has allowed us to focus more on keeping active without visiting zoos, museums, playgrounds, ect. We’ve found so much joy in spending our time outside in the yard or neighborhood lawn space so I wanted to share a couple of fun and easy active activities that your family can do too! 

 

1) RIDE BIKES

 

2) NEIGHBORHOOD OR NATURE WALKS

 

3) HOST A RELAY RACE

 

4) BUILD YOUR OWN MINI GOLF COURSE 

 

5) TWISTER

 

6) SCAVENGER HUNT AROUND THE HOUSE OR NEIGHBORHOOD

 

7) DRAW HOP SKOTCH

 

8) LEARN A NEW SPORT (VOLLEYBALL, TENNIS, SOCCER, ETC)

 

9) BUILD A FORT OUT OF BOXES OR SHEETS

 

10) CREATE AN OUTDOOR OBSTACLE COURSE 


xo,

Annie

Thursday, August 6, 2020

EASY SCIENCE PROJECTS TO DO AT HOME...

Easton: TOP // PANTS // SHOES // BACKPACK // Liam: TOP // SHORTS // SHOES // BACKPACK // Chloe: DRESS // Me: Dress


School starts for us in just 3 short weeks! The fall school year is really approaching fast and as everyone may know, we’ve decided to spend the first couple of months homeschooling. When it comes to figuring out what the lessons look like this fall for Liam and Easton, math, writing, and reading immediately come to mind. Our focus is heavily on those subjects, but I know that my boys enjoy the creative side of school. 

 

The boys’ favorite subject is science and that means adding in tons of hands on children friendly science experiments. A lot of times, I forget that children need to explore that creative side. Working together on hands on experiments are exactly what they ask for and need. I’m putting together 4 easy experiments that you can also do at home with your children! 

 

The boys have been wanting to do the “walking water” science experiment so I went to Walmart to get all of the supplies. We’ve been shopping at Walmart for tons of our back to school essentials; clothes, shoes, supplies, etc. With the items I picked up for our experiment, I was able to grab fresh tops, shorts, shoes, and backpack for Liam and Easton. Walmart offers a huge variety of clothes for children and what’s amazing is that it’s affordable. Every single item I bought was under $18! When you’re shopping for 3, great quality and affordability is a must. 

 

The “walking water” experiment is super easy to do. Our supplies included clear cups, paper towels, and food coloring. We add a different dye to each cup and put half of the napkin on the cups. You’ll see quickly how the color travels up to the napkin and creates a fun rainbow effect. This is really fun with a bigger variety of colors. Here are 3 experiments that I grabbed from Pinterest that we’re going to be working on! 


     WALKING WATER EXPERIMENT                                          BLOWING UP BALLOONS 

                             PEPPER & SOAP                                                      SOLID TO LIQUIDS

SHOP THE POST:


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

design + development by kelly christine studio