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THIS was a total win-win…

I had the pleasure of going on a three night getaway with my oldest son last weekend.

We planned it soon after his ski accident in February, and once the news of “no sports for 3 months” was delivered. I needed to give Nolan something to cheer him up, something to look forward to.

So, with my husband‘s airline miles and hotel points and we were able to pull off a pretty amazing mini vacation. Thank you, Kevin! Nolan and I flew to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and stayed right at the beach.


We left behind wintry weather in Syracuse and arrived in a tropical paradise. Palm trees, turquoise water, pools with waterfalls, sunshine, and lush greenery everywhere. We were so happy in an instant.

I haven’t traveled with just Nolan like this since he was my only child, when I was 7 months pregnant with his brother and we went to visit daddy on a work trip.

That was more than 10 years ago.

I wasn’t sure how much fun he planned on having, being forced to hang out with his mom. But can I tell you something? We both ended up having the absolute BEST time.

Without having the distraction of his little brothers, school, my work, and all of our other commitments, we were able to completely relax, enjoy each other and our beautiful surroundings.


It was actually a dream vacation for me.

We went to bed early, woke up early, talked a lot (about feelings—my favorite topic,) we ate lots of fresh food, walked all over the beach and city, we met up with dear, old friends, we swam, we read, and played games. Perfection.

With all the hormones buzzing through us both right now, this was exactly what the doctor ordered, and what our relationship needed.

We came back home feeling so refreshed, renewed and ready to tackle most anything. This little trip felt so luxurious, and it was, but I hope that I can do it more often, and have more one on one time with each of my sons.

Confidence in parenting my pre-teen— restored!



I wish this for all of you as well, even just a simple outing, near home, with one child at a time. The one on one time is priceless, and is a total win-win.

Much love, and thanks for reading,

Ps- BIG BIG news…

My brand new website will be launching very soon! 

Keep a look out for the launch date, as well as some fun deals for my loyal customers.

Using food to heal my body

The last I checked, the year is 2019 and I am 41 years old. Right?

Ok then, why does my body feel like it’s in the retirement years and breaking down piece by piece? I have tried everything I could get my hands on; chiropractic adjustments, yoga, massage, physical therapy, injections, rest… only to find temporary relief, if anything at all. It’s expensive, time consuming, sometimes painful, and beyond frustrating.

For the last six years I have turned into Humpty Dumpty. One piece breaks, we fix it, only to find another broken part. What is going on?!?!  

All my late night googling, and hounding of all the professionals in my rolodex, has lead me to believe that I need a fresh start.  “You need to take it back to the basics.”

And basically, it all begins with the food I put in my body.  

Now, I claim to have gone “gluten free” for almost five years now to help with this inflammation.  BUT (a big but), I cheat. Often. I have NO will power when we order Friday night pizza from Mario and Salvo’s. I also can’t help but grab the occasional handful of Cheez-it crackers at times.

Oh, and did I mention that my husband is a brewer and makes the yummiest IPAs?  Well of course I have to try them. Gluten is a hard one for me to completely give up.

Recently one of my docs asked me to try an exclusive anti-inflammation diet. He believes it could be super helpful to get my body operating at it’s highest function to promote healing. I immediately replied “No problem”. If someone challenges me like that, especially when it comes to health of my kids, or myself… I go all “game on.” At first anyway 😉

So I went home, hopped on Pinterest and Amazon, and got to work printing recipes, and ordering a new cookbook.

I cleaned out the bad stuff in the fridge and pantry. I made lists of the best foods, herbs and supplements to put in my body. I started meal planning.

Today I am eight days in. Do I feel better? Yes. Are there yummy foods out there that are also super good for me? Yes. Is sticking to it more challenging that I would like? Yes.

I cheated only once. Yep, you guessed it… on pizza Friday. And boy did I pay for that the next day. I was so bloated Saturday night that I looked 7 months pregnant. At a party.

Lesson learned 🙁

The key is making sure I have a plan. Each meal is somewhat thought out, so I have options depending on my mood. One can only have quinoa bowls for lunch so many days in a row before wanting to hurl.

Obviously this Fridge List is not just for me, hence the ice cream and juice boxes (but the red wine is totally mine, and considered anti-inflammatory when consumed in moderation.)

Modern Arrow Meal Planner

A somewhat obvious tip that is helpful to me, is keeping my shopping list right next to the meal planner, and stuck on my fridge.

It helps make decisions about what the meals are going to be, before I head to the grocery store every week. It saves some money too I’m sure. You’re welcome, honey.

Current recipe faves? The Sesame Soba noodles from The Anti-Inflammation Cookbook are SO good. I made extra so I could have it for a few meals this week. Also, the Lemon Garlic Vinaigrette is delish on just about anything, even the exhausted quinoa bowl feels rejuvenated.

I really hope I can stick with this plan, guys. I want to feel good again, and help myself to feel healthier well into my older years.

Are any of you dealing with issues like this? Reach out if so. I would love to get some more anti-inflammatory recipes in the rotation!

With love and avocados,

Follow Annie’s daily posts (and stories) on Instagram!

How to make birthdays special… on a budget

We just celebrated a couple birthdays in our family last week, Sully’s and Daddy’s.

I love celebrating my boys birthdays, but we are also trying to watch our budget. So we got creative, and a little more frugal with the gift giving this year.

For Sully, we skipped the big party, with lots of kids and gifts, etc.

We kept it small and hosted dinner at Granny and Poppy’s house. The birthday boy got to choose the meal, and without hesitation he chose… hotdogs 😉 Poppy was delighted.

We gave him a kids Fitbit and he’s been running circles in the house for the last five days, trying to beat everyone else’s daily step count. Perfect for a seven year boy, with cabin fever, in March, in Syracuse.

As for Kevin, I gave the boys each a five dollar budget and we headed to Target. They got to pick out a couple special things they wanted to give their dad for his birthday. We had so much fun hunting around.

We came home with; a dinosaur coffee mug, one Karate Kid T-shirt, some jellybeans, and a box of retro lucky charms, and a jar of Dad’s favorite honey. All in, we kept the total under $25 bucks! #nailedit

The boys all made Daddy I homemade birthday card to top it off. And seriously, is there anything better than a homemade card from your kids?  No.

So there you have it. There was nothing expensive, just customized, personalized and thoughtful little gifts he got to open like a treasure chest on his birthday.

A throwback to seven years ago, of Kevin holding his best birthday gift ever.  And little Lincoln looking on.

Happy Birthday Sully and Daddy!



A look inside our colorful home

Last fall I was asked by a beautiful local magazine if I would be interested in having my home featured in their January/February issue. Central New York Magazine was doing a story about winter whites and very pale products and decor. Of course I told her I would be honored, but I had to be up front. My house is almost the polar opposite of that color scheme. The only thing white is the color of the walls. After that, it’s pretty much a “riot of color.”

Our home is decorated with bright, saturated colors, some might even say it’s loud (literally and figuratively.) After explaining to Amy, the content editor, and sending her a few iphone photos, she and her editor loved the idea of doing a spring story on color inside my home. Lots and lots of refreshing color 😉

I can’t share all the photos here, you need to pick up the latest edition of Central New York Magazine: The Good Life, if you can! But here is a little look. The feature was so much more than I could have imagined. My husband, our three sons, three dogs and the the stories and influences behind what we love so much about our home were all thoughtfully included. I am honored. Thank you Amy! You are a beautiful writer.

Thanks for reading, friends.

Follow Annie  and CNY Magazine on Instagram!



Motherhood ain’t for sissies…

We planned a low key staycation for February break last week. Some skiing, movie nights, pizza deliveries… all our favorite things. We were off to a great start then suddenly that all changed in an instant.

My oldest son, Nolan, fell skiing and fractured two vertebrae in his spine. It was the scariest day of my life in motherhood. And i pray to never experience another one like it. From waiting an agonizing 25 minutes at the bottom of the hill for ski patrol to bring my baby down on a toboggan, a 30 minute ambulance ride, then the next 10 hours at the pediatric emergency room with X-rays and MRIs… it was a really hard day. I can’t even imagine how scary it was for Nolan.

Not the kind of picture you want to have taken of your son 🙁

Since then it’s been a very hard realization for him that he has to slow down and care for his body so he can heal. And it’s a lesson I wish he didn’t have to learn at such a young age. Three months of no activity, which includes no skiing, basketball and baseball (even no gym or recess!) Plus a “super dorky” neck brace… his words not mine. I actually tried to make it seem like a cool thing but he wasn’t buying it.

So, this week he goes back to school, not exactly a fresh start, but he needs to focus on the positive, and I’ll try anything to help him do that. We are trying to get into more books, and board games too, since we don’t allow video games during the week.  Any ideas out there, send them my way!

Nolan and I are putting our thank you note writing skills to work!

One sport he CAN do still???  Fishing. Um, not my favorite, but I would do anything for this kid.  So, fish on!  That’s what you say, right?

My next post will be all about our special feature in a gorgeous local magazine. I can’t wait to share with all of you.  Until then, here’s a little sneak peek 😉

Stay safe out there!