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 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.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Flick Friday-The Jungle Book

When you were little, did you ever read The Jungle Book?  A timeless tale of a boy, the jungle, and some unusual friendships made. 

I was invited to attend an advance movie screening of this all-new-live-action movie for review.  All opinions stated are my own based on my personal experience.
Everybody knows the song lyrics to The Bear Necessities. 

Look for the bare necessities
The simple bare necessities
Forget about your worries and your strife
I mean the bare necessities
That's why a bear can rest at ease
With just the bare necessities of life

You know you just sang that and you know that crazy bear Baloo too. 

Directed by Jon Favreau, based on Rudyard Kipling’s timeless stories and inspired by Disney’s classic animated film, “The Jungle Book” is an epic adventure that comes to life before your eyes.

Mowgli is played by a newcomer, Neel Sethi.  He gives that little man-cub life.  

“The Jungle Book” seamlessly blends live-action with photorealistic CGI animals and environments, using up-to-the-minute technology and storytelling techniques to immerse audiences in an enchanting and lush world.
The movie is in 3D and they are some scenes that may seem to be all too real for little ones.  My 17yr old and I really enjoyed the movie.  It is the storyline you know but brought to life in 3D.  There were many funny scenes that gave us a chuckle or two.
This wild adventure swings into theaters on today.  Now you have an excuse to make today a movie night.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Weekend Snapshots | 7

Welcome back.  How is your week going?  I am trying to play catch up.  Have you ever had one of those weeks were you are so behind you don't know where to start?  I have, this week.  I am taking one task at a time.  Thanks for being here today.  The reason I am playing catch up is because I had a full weekend.  This is my seventh installment of Weekend Snapshots in collaboration with Arianna from 3twentysix and Jessica from The Reinvention of Jessica.

On Saturday, we started our day bright and early in Katy for our first race of the year.  I will be telling you all about the race in a full post but for now I will share with you a picture of one of my favorite moments.
My daughter got to meet and take pictures with many mascots.  When the Texans Toro came out my daughter was very bashful.  We waited our turn in line.  When she got up there, she stood far away.  He was really good and actually got her laughing.  She then posed with him for a picture. 

Our next adventure was my friend's wedding.  We got ready and then were pitched a curve ball.  Our babysitter was unavailable.  What to do?  We ended up getting her ready and taking her with us.  Our GPS got us lost and we ended up in the back of the venue on a gravel road.  We were running late already.  Things were getting a little frustrating there for a minute.  I had to call the venue and get some assistance.  We finally made it to the venue and come to realize, the wedding was running late.  Phew.  We found our seats in the back and waited for the ceremony to start.  I blinked and it was over or at least that is how it felt.  Turns out in Vietnamese culture there is an intimate traditional tea ceremony .  It was explained to me that only close relatives and the bridal party partake in this.  I was bummed but I understood.  My husband wondered why their ceremony was so short compared to ours.  It took a little explaining but he got it.  We had a small break in between the ceremony and the reception.  We went home and took a much needed nap.  Remember when you were little and you got to take a nap.  We need to add naps back to our day.  Babysitter was still unavailable so we ended up taking our daughter to the wedding reception.  I had already been told to bring her with me.  I had misunderstood and thought it was a no kids wedding.  All things worked out and she had a blast with the kids that were there.  The reception was at Kim Som.  We like Kim Som.  I had been warned that there would be a lot of food served.  Boy was there a lot of food.  Check out the menu:

They also had appetizers in the cocktail hour and a dessert bar with many treats.
My hubs had to leave before the food even came out.  He got called in to work that night.  I was left to enjoy the night with my Lil Bit.  She had a blast dancing the night away. 
We were given to go boxes to take the left overs home and we were able to enjoy this yummy food the next day too. 

I love weddings.  I got to catch up with our friends that we do not get to see anymore.  We danced some.  We ate a lot.  I was so thankful for being invited to share this moment with my friend.  It is crazy, when we are younger we are not looking to make life long friends.  You make friends and you lose friends.  I am so glad I have made some keepers and that they have chosen to keep me as a life long friend too. 

Are you a keeper?  What makes your friends keepers?


Friday, April 8, 2016

Flick Friday-Noble

Have you ever felt like you have a calling?  You are suppose to be doing something else.  I know that there is a plan for me.  I am not sure what that plan is but there is one.  My mom once told me that my grandmother said that I had a light about me.  She saw a vision of me.  Of course, I never thought much of it and I just brushed it off as an old tale.
I received the movie, Noble to review.  Any opinions expressed are my own based on my personal experience. 

Synopsis-They broke everything but her spirit.  They took everything but her dream.  NOBLE, the award-winning feature film, is the incredible true story of a fearless Irish heroine driven by her daring vision to escape the slums of Ireland and risk everything on the streets of Vietnam. 

Christina Noble is not a name that we all have heard.  But we should.  This movie moved me.  I thought I was going to have a regular movie night where I pop in a movie, and enjoy my popcorn and pickles.  I did enjoy my snacks.  It happened to be a me, flying solo, night.  Like I said I was moved by this movie and Mama Tina.  The movie shows you a snapshot of her life lived, struggled, and betrayed.  She had all the odds against her.  She proved to be a selfless person with a purpose.  One dream change it all for her.     

In life, we may not know what our purpose is and we may doubt several things.  Do we have all the answers?  Whatever our calling is, are we fighting it?  Have you had your dream?  Are you ignoring it?

Watch this movie because it may help you seek your dream. 

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Spring Cleaning-Shoe Organization

It is purge time at our house as it probably is in many houses.  I love Spring Cleaning time.  It is out with the old and bring on the new.  Well not exactly but something like that.  My husband does not agree with me about bringing in the new.

How is your shoe game?  I have so many pairs of shoes.  Let me show you how many pairs of heels
I have on my floor.  Yes, my floor.  Like the songs says, kick off your shoes and relax your feet...

Organizing my shoes is on my list for this Spring cleaning.  Here are some tips that helped me:

1)  Check your shoes.  I had not realize how many shoes I had that were in such bad condition.  I remember having a pair of shoes I said I was going to get repaired and guess what?  They stayed in the same bag for ever. 

2)  Out with the old.  If they are not in good condition, let them go.  If they are repairable, do it within the same week.  If not toss them.  Donate.  There are several organizations that will take your donations.  Donations are tax-deductible.

3)  Organize.  After you have checked your inventory, gotten rid of the old, now it is time to organize.  I have a cool rack in my closet.  I like to stack my shoes but I have to keep them in their original boxes.  When the shoes are kept in the box, it is harder to know exactly what shoe is in there sometimes.  If you take them out of the box, not all of my shoes fit. 
Find a solution that works with your space. 

Thanks to Shoe Slotz for sending me a sample of their product for review. 
Shoe Slotz storage units will help double your space.  You can see the shoes you are looking for.  They fit any size and type of shoe (even my husband's).  They also work in different spaces.  This is our other shoe rack.  I told you, I have a lot of shoes.
I like that I do not have to keep the boxes anymore.  I like that each pair of shoes is visible.  Now I can find the shoes I want to wear easily.  I will be picking up more of the Shoe Slotz. 

Shoe Slotz are available in a 6-piece set for a suggested retail price of $14.99.

For more information, go to