Monday, May 2, 2016

Weekend Snapshots | 9

I'm back!  Sorry took a much needed break.  I needed to re-center and collect myself again.  So much has happened.  Don't think I have not wanted to blog about it all just needed to take time off.  Anyways, back to it.

Welcome back to the Weekend Snapshots in collaboration with Arianna from 3twentysix.com and Jessica from The Reinvention of Jessica

This past week was a hard week for us because our schedules were out of what.  This is why it is so important to my husband and I that we share so many happy memories with our kids whenever we get free moments.  Weekends are about having fun.  Especially when one parent works several twelve hour shifts in one week.  Trying to meet in the middle is sometimes truly hard and can take a toll on anyone. 

The weather has not been on our side either.  Saturday morning it thunder storms were already threating our weekend fun.  I told my husband we were going out and were not going to let the rain keep us indoors.  The day turned out to be beautiful.  We first headed to Memorial Park. 
 We then headed for some free fun down the street.  There was chicken wings, roasted corn, chips, snow cones, cotton candy, and of course, lots of fun.



There was so much food.  My daughter ate four roasted corns.  I do not even know how many chicken wings we ate.  They were just so good. 

Saturday night, we headed out to catch up with some friends.  Catching up with your family after a long week can be hard, so catching with friends can even be harder.  It is always good though.  It is good to hear other stories of mothers, their do's and dont's, what is working and what is not.  It is good to get away from the house, the chores, and not to have to cook dinner.
Sunday we cleaned house.  We had been putting it off this entire month of April but we wanted to start May off right.  We team up at times.  We got a lot done.  Spring cleaning was in full effect.  We clean out closets.  And ended the day enjoyed some yumminess.

I hope you had a good weekend.  I know I will be paying for all the yummy food I ate this week.

Have a great week!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Fitness Friday-Texas Children's Hospital Fun Run

This year our first run of the year as a family was the Texas Children's Hospital Fun Run.  It is a 3K.
This race is affordable.  It is not a big race.  The after party is only open to the participants and volunteers.  This is our second year participating and we enjoyed ourselves. 

Check out of pictures and reasons why this is a fun run:

1)  Meet and Greets-
2)  Moonwalks, Slides, Games-
3)  Family Time-
4)  Medals-
 Last year, my daughter was in her stroller.  This year she actually ran most of the race.  She was so happy that she even started doing a victory dance before hitting the finish line.  Her moment was captured by the photographer at the race:

This is what she started chanting to herself, "You can do it" "Oh yeah, I am gonna win" "I got this"!  It was the cutest and funniest thing ever.  What a feeling it is to cross that finish line!
Start them young teaching them healthy habits.  I think we have another runner in the family.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Road Tripping-Toyota Highlander Adventures

Are you planning a road trip any time soon?  We went on a road trip adventure on our vacation last month.  We visited South Padre Island, Corpus Christi, and San Antonio. 
Thanks to Toyota for allowing me to take the 2016 Toyota Highlander on our road trip.  This vehicle was a loaner for a two week long test drive.  All opinions stated are my own based on my personal experience.

Getting ready for a road trip can be hard, especially when you have to plan ahead and make sure you have everything you need.  When you have room, you want to pack everything including the kitchen sink.  We did not do too bad this time around, everyone fit all their clothes and shoes into one bag.
Tip-I let my kids bring a pillow, blanket, and maybe one toy that will help them keep comfortable. 
The Toyota Highlander has three-zone automatic climate control.  This allows the driver and passenger to each control their own temperature.  This is a great feature because I am always cold.  Also the second and third row are on a different control, so the kids don't have to freeze if the hubby decides to turn it to freezing.

Once everything is loaded, I like to make sure we have the address into the navigation.  I like to know exactly where we are going before we get on the road.  My hubby did not realize how far we were
actually going.  He kept saying South Padre Island was only 3 to 4 hours away.  I kept telling him it was further than that.  Our first stop was 6 hours away so I had to get the assistance of cruise control. 
The Toyota Highlander has a button I want on all my vehicles.  It is the vehicle to vehicle distance.  This button keeps you at a safe distance from the cars in front of you.  Should a car jump into your lane, it automatically slows down and puts you back at the safe distance select. (short, medium, long)  This is my favorite feature.  It can be very scary when a car jumps in front of you. 

We did have to make a few stops along the way, either to grab something from the back or to just stretch our legs a little.  This is the most miles we have driven other than that time we went to Disney.  We learned a lot from that trip.

Tip-Schedule stops.  You know your kids.  Do you need to make potty breaks?  We scheduled stops but we did have one unexpected stop.  Trying to find a restroom where there is none.  We eventually did find a restroom and it was a good reason to explore where we stopped.
I like that the Toyota Highlander has this easy to access flip-up rear hatch window.  We would just reach in and grab whatever we needed, no need to open the entire lift gate.

Tip-I filled up a snack bag with our favorites and small cooler for the long drive.  Before we got on the road, I handed each person a water bottle.  They also had their favorite drink available when they requested it.  All the trash got handed back to the front, this way it was easy to throw away when we stopped.  The bag and cooler was kept in between my son and daughter, no need to stop or to have to reach to the back.
We eventually made it to our destination.  This was not our only stop.  We spent a couple of days in South Padre Island and then headed back through Corpus Christi. 
One of my favorite things of leaving the city is that you get to see the sky.  We watched the sun go down, and then were able to see all the stars in the sky. 

The Toyota Highlander has a panoramic moonroof.  Like the song says, "The stars at night are big and bright, deep in the heart of Texas"!  So beautiful.  The kids always enjoy sitting under the stars.

We had a good ole time visiting the different beaches.  It is always good to get away from it all.  At the beach, we were able to just disconnect.  Aside from taking a few pictures of the family, we totally disconnected when we were there.
Tip-Be one with nature.  Dig your feet in the sand.  Let the kids bury you.  We did not let the cold water scare us away.  We walked the beach.  We jumped the waves.  We people watched.

I am so happy we were able to take this road trip.  My husband even mentioned we needed this.  It helps us all reconnect.  We laughed, played, and were able to unwind from it all.  With our ever so busy schedules, this little break is just what our family needed.  I can't wait for our next road trip.

Where do you road trip?  What are your favorite memories? 

Monday, April 18, 2016

Weekend Snapshots | 8

Welcome back to our series in collaboration with Arianna from 3twentysix.com and Jessica from The Reinvention of Jessica

We did not have much planned this weekend.  I only had one thing and I really wasn't sure I wanted to do that.  Saturday turned out to be a movie day and we were ok with just doing that.  Sometimes doing nothing at all is all you need.
Sunday, we headed down this bridge for our next adventure.  Have you ever heard of Bayou Bend Gardens?  Bayou Bend is part of MFAH.  I have always wondered what this place really was.  They host free Family Sunday events throughout the year.  Bayou Bend Family Days include craft, entertainment, tours, etc.  This place is kid friendly.  My favorite parts:

1)  Exploring-You can roam around the beautiful gardens exploring the grounds.



2)  Travel back in time.  I love antique things.  I love learning, listening, and seeing how our ancestors lived.  We got to tour former home of Houston civic leader and philanthropist Ima Hogg.





3)  Family Time. 

It was a beautiful place.  We had a wonderful time.  Lil Bit got hungry so we ended up leaving to grab so food at Jax Grill.
After this short lunch break, our daughter decided she still wanted to continue our adventure.  She wanted to go to the jungle.  The weather did not look good, so we just headed to Memorial Park.  We pretended we were looking for the jungle.  Here are some pictures of this part of our adventure:


It started sprinkling so our pretend jungle trip had to be cut short.  Memorial Park is a wonderful place.  We will be back.  There are patches of blue bonnets and wild flowers in case you are looking for some in Houston.  I will leave you with this...
Earth Day is Friday, April 22.  Do something to make a difference in our planet.  Until next time.