Frozen II Event with Mystical Dream Travel

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Hi, everyone!

This morning I had the pleasure of attending the Frozen II Event hosted by Mystical Dream Travel. Originally, the plan was to attend with my little family of three but when Henry came down with a nasty virus, his big cousins (and my brother!) were MORE than happy to take his place for the morning.

Mystical Dream Travel is a local travel agency that has ten independent contractors who are ready to help you plan your next vacation or to their specialty, Disney! I had a chance to chat with Tina McHugh, the owner, and it is so clear that she has a passion for traveling and helping families create special memories that will last a lifetime.

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This team of agents cares so much about their clients that they host customer appreciation events like the one we were invited to today! We were given complimentary tickets to talk about our experience and I have nothing but positive things to say about this team. We were given fun swag bags full of trip planning info and Frozen goodies for the kids. When Tina found out I had a change of plans with Henry being sick, she was quick to roll with the changes and thoughtfully gave me a swag bag to take home for him and another one for my nephews! The agents also truly value making a difference in the community and asked everyone in attendance to bring an unwrapped toy for Beverly’s Birthdays. On top of that, there was a gift basket raffle with six different baskets to potentially win! All the money raised for the raffle also went to Beverly’s Birthdays which is a local charity that’s mission is that no child is forgotten on his/her special day. They have created thousands of birthday experiences for children in need. Definitely an organization worth looking into!

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Before we knew it, it was time to head to our seats! We got seated and Tina gave a heartful thank you to all the attendees and a little shout out to me for covering the event (thanks, Tina!). Then we were anxious to hear who were the lucky winners to the basket raffle so you can only imagine the excitement when I won! There were a lot of really cute themed baskets like Disney Princess, Stars Wars and Disney Game Night. I won the “Very Mickey Christmas!” basket which was full of fun Christmas themed Mickey Mouse items. Henry, who is currently Mickey obsessed, was so excited when I came home with this win! After the raffle excitement settled, it was time to watch the highly anticipated Frozen II.

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To no surprise, Disney nailed it… AGAIN. The rich storyline and Olaf’s little zinger’s made it just as compelling to adults as the kiddos. I’m seriously contemplating buying the soundtrack because I think the music is even better than the first!

All in all, it was such a fun morning with Mystical Dream Travel. I have no doubt that their trip planning services will be just as well organized and executed as this morning’s event was. I cannot wait to book a trip to Disney with them in the future!

Thanks to Mystical Dream Travel for having us!

Xo, Anna

Happy Blog-iversary to Me!

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Woohoo! Another year in the books. I know there are a lot of people who wonder why I chose this little hobby of mine and I realized never really shared my blogging story. So what better time than now?!

In November 2016, the company I was working for laid off our entire team. I was pretty devastated at the time, but it was actually the best thing for me. I wasn’t even happy working there and it was beginning to be too much because I was also working for Stitch Fix part-time. With my full-time job off the table, I wanted to market myself for a job in the actual field I wanted to be in and also get back to writing/creating.

I’ve been actually blogging off and on since 2012. I recently found my old blog after some heavy googling. It’s still out there and it’s pretty crazy how things have changed! Hah! Any guesses on it’s name? Anyway, I was ready for a fresh start and I opted for dropping the blog name to rebranded as just me, Anna Hinkle. I built a website that I love and shortly after Stitch Fix promoted me to be a full-time stylist. So my energy went back into my new job and still not 100% blogging.

As life went on, my son was born and I stepped down from my full-time position into part-time so I can spend most days with him. I underestimated how time-consuming and exhausting it can be to work and raise a tiny human in the same space. To this day, I know I can be better as I’m not always consistent in posting but this whole thing is genuinely fun for me! I enjoy the connections, flexing my creativity and writing. My blog content ebbs and flows with life, but I promised myself I will always get back to it because my little space on the internet makes me happy.

Lately, my blog has given me some fun opportunities to work with companies I love which has been such an exciting milestone for me. I also got accepted the Rewards Style program (aka LIKEtoKNOW.it) which allows me to make a small commission when you purchase off the links I share. For the people who are using my links, I seriously appreciate your support!

I truly find so much joy in sharing my life with you all and the connections we have made. Thank you, thank you thank you for your ongoing support! I can’t wait to see what the next year brings!

Cheers!

Xo, Anna

P.S. If you think we’d be a good match in working together, my inbox is always open at annahinkleblog@gmail.com!

Finding Confidence in Motherhood

Finding Confidence in Motherhood

Hey mama,

Have a seat, let’s chat… Becoming a mom rocked my confidence, which is actually super ironic considering I look pretty damn put together in this photo and I truly believe all moms are superwomen. That is literally one of the only things I remember saying immediately after my son was born… that I felt like a superwoman (ask my husband!) So if anything I should feel more confident than ever right? Well, I don’t.

Before becoming a mom, I was in a few successful sales roles speaking on behalf of companies to new strangers on a daily basis, which isn’t really a job you can have without confidence. I also knocked on everyone’s dorm door during my first week of college to introduce myself and make some new friends. Two things that actually make me squirm now. Where did THAT confidence go?!

This happens to so many of us, whether it be hormones, deciding to stay home majority of the day, the changes in our bodies or the enormous weight upon our shoulders to raise this tiny human right all while gripping on to our last bit of identity before we were born into our new role as a mother.

Read that again. Because that’s A LOT. A lot of newsness and just a lot of quick change of things that are really, really important to many of us.

But I’m here to remind you that you are superwoman and we are ALL a work in progress, mama. Whether you bounce back “quickly” or not, it’s OKAY. It’s taken me closer to two years to really feel a build on my confidence again. I wish I could wave a magic wand over all of us and poof it would be there… but I don’t. What I can give you lots of support, encouragement and like many have done for me in this process.

So keep your chin up, pour some more coffee, and keep going. I’m rooting for us because we deserve it.

Xo, Anna

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How to Find Your Enneagram Number

How to Find Your Enneagram Number

Hey guys! If you know me personally, you know I’ve probably brought up the enneagram around you. You may have heard of it, but don’t know where to begin! Yes, it’s another personality test… but this one really digs deeps into your motives and fears. I really gravitated to this test because I felt so seen after reading about my type! I didn’t know there were other people that have the same internal struggles as I do! I felt a weight lifted off my shoulders as I felt a little more understood. It has really helped me grow as a person and work through some of my internal conflicts. I always encourage others to look into the enneagram for themselves because of this. If we all understand one another’s motivations it would go along!

Not sure where to begin? You’re in luck! I’ve taken a lot of free tests, but this one at Eclectic Energies Enneagram is most accurate in my opinion. And don’t worry, it’s free!

Be sure to explore your results and see what really resonates with you. It may be easy to figure out, but it can also make you confused! I get it. I had a hard time figuring out my number at first because I was letting the influence of others and how they perceive me influence it. You need to dig a little deep for yourself and figure out what really motivates you and your actions. I kind of realized it when I was recently going through an internal conflict with someone and it clicked why I was acting the way I was. For me, it is that I want to be loved, to be needed and appreciated, I act to get others to respond to me, and to vindicate my claims about myself… also know as a 2, the helper.

Let’s say you read the description of your results on the previous website and weren’t completely sold. I’ve found that The Enneagram Institute is also full of helpful information and a little easier on the eyes.

If you are more into actual books, this one called The Enneagram Made Easy, it a great place to start.

At the end of the day, you are the only one who will be able to figure out your enneagram number because you know what internally motivates you to act the way you do. If you don’t know right now, it’s okay! It can take some time!

I look forward to learning more about this subject and am by no means an expert. I do enjoy sharing the tools I’ve used to learn about it though! I’d love to know your enneagram number, so leave me a comment below. Also, I’m always here to help because well, it’s just the way I am.

Good luck!

Xo, Anna

Why Visiting the Library is a Secret Ingredient to Toddlerhood

 

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When is the last time you visited the library? It may be a little intimidating to walk back into a place where an older generation frequents and is staring at you as a clueless millennial… especially with a moody toddler in hand. But trust me, it’s worth taking the plunge! Before Henry, it had been a loonng time for me.

Henry has been in love with books since he was born. It still is so fun to watch him flip and inspect the pages! I could spend a small fortune on buying him books. Luckily, we live near a really nice library and who knows, you may live near one too! Here is why visiting the library is a secret ingredient to toddlerhood.

  1. All the books (obviously).
    • With a toddler’s ever-changing interests it can feel impossible to keep up with! So having all of these books on all subjets at your disposal is huge!
    • Pro tip: Use the online catalog ahead of time- I always search things Henry is into (filter into the kid’s section) and it will bring up all the book titles in that theme. Browse through and see what sparks your interest. Sometimes, I even go onto Amazon and read the reviews/get a peek into the book. This makes it easy to get books you know your kid will like rather than aimlessly trying to look at titles while also watching your wandering kiddo. You can then request them and pick them up, right at the front desk!
  2. Different toys.
    • There are toys that may be the same as the ones you have at home but are in a different place making them extra fun again!
  3. Social Interaction
    • Not always, but a lot of times there is usually someone else there for you and your kid to interact with! Some little boy read Henry a book today and it was the sweetest thing ever while I chatted with the boy’s mom. Big win for the both of us!
  4. Storytime and other events.
    • Storytime is a good activity to just get you and little on out of the house especially during the cold weather months. Lego classes, music classes, all of the things to give you something to do!
  5. DVDs.
    • Not only does our library have all the books, but there is also a huge DVD collection! Since video rental stores are no longer in existance (boo hoo) it’s a fun alternative to try new movies.
  6. It’s free.
    • Sign up for that library card, stat.

Disclaimer: If your kiddo is anything like mine, know that pages will accidentally get ripped. Our library is very understanding about it, so invest in some clear tape next time you are at Target.

Now, are you convinced to go try out your local library? You can follow along on my Instagram page to see what books we check out each week at @Anna__Hinkle! Happy reading!

Xo, Anna

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31 Fun Facts About Me

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It’s my birthday weekend!!! Woo hoo! Happy 31st Birthday to me! Last year, I wanted to do a big post about turning 30 and yadda yadda, well that never happened because that was also my first year of overwhelming motherhood. Birthdays after 30 get way less exciting in my opinion, so I thought it’d be fun to do a 31st birthday post! I always end up feeling really nostalgic around my birthday and find myself reflecting so today I’m sharing 31 facts you may not know about me! Here we go…

  1.  I wanted to be a teacher most of my life, until I took a marketing class in high school (Shout out to Mrs. Stumpf!) and now I have my bachelors in business with a concentration in marketing.
  2.  I’m the youngest and only girl! I have two older brothers, so watch yourself.
  3. I love a good greeting card. I put a lot of thought into picking them out!
  4. I had a bucket list blog at one point and it evolved to a more personal/lifestyle blog when I was laid off from a job.
  5. I’ve been doing #ootd pics my whole life.
  6. My dream job is being a mom and it’s pretty cool to be living it (Thanks Nick and Henry!)
  7. My favorite color is turquoise.
  8. I get the most compliments on my smile, but have had a lot of orthodontic work, pain, and money to get here!
  9. I played basketball until middle school when everyone kept growing and I stayed a shorty. IMG_1395
  10. I took piano lessons for years but hated practicing so it didn’t stick very well!
  11. Speaking of musical things, I also played percussion in the band for a hot minute!
  12. On that note, I also did chorus so I guess you could say I’ve a gota musical bone or two in me. Still, love a good karaoke night!
  13. I was not the best student in school even after many serious talks from my parents about applying myself. I think I ended up okay!
  14. Nick (my hubby) and I met online!
  15.  I lived in West Virginia for about 1.5 years.
  16. My dad is still disappointed I quit dance class. IMG_1398
  17. I went thru an “emo” phase and wore studded belts and lots of eyeliner.
  18. I jumped off a swing and broke my collar bone… haven’t tried again since!
  19. I’ve always had an interest in clothing/ fashion from a young age! IMG_1396
  20. I was on the high school tennis team and did not get along with my couch because ::see below::
  21. I’m not really all that competitive especially for someone who grew up playing sports.IMG_1404
  22. I can touch my tongue to my nose.
  23. I really enjoy taking photos and have almost 14k photos on my current phone which is why I enjoy Instagram!
  24. I used to have my nose pierced and often think about getting it redone.
  25. I was an officer in the marketing club and competed at a national conference two years in a row… and placed!
  26. My favorite song is “‘Many the Miles” by Sara Bareilles
  27. I’ve always loved a good hat.IMG_1399
  28. I have a resting nice face, no like it’s seriously hard for me to have a serious face.
  29. I’ve always been ready for bed by 8 pm, I would ask to go to bed when I was little and still do!
  30. I have a crush on JT for at 20 years now, that’s like a really long time!! Haha!
  31. I worked for a party store for many years and can still handle a helium tank and balloons like champ.

 

If you read all of those, you deserve a big ole hug from me! Was there anything you were surprised to learn? If you know me, what is something I should’ve included?

Now off to blow out some candles…

Xo, Anna

Our Essential Baby Items (0-6 months)

Our Essential Baby Items (0-6 months)

Hey, mama (or dada)!

Congrats on your bundle of joy and entering this crazy fun yet, exhausting world of parenthood. So you’re probably trying to prepare for the baby and it’s getting overwhelming trying to pick what gear to get. I’ve been there! Ultimately you will find out what works for you and your little one cause they truly are all so different. I’m sorry to share that, unfortunately, I don’t have all the answers for you. The great news is that you’ll know your baby the best before you know it, which is an amazing feeling.

I decided to go ahead and share my favorites items for the first six months when you’re pretty deep in the trenches and probably a little delirious. I’m here to tell you that there is nothing wrong with a little bit of 2 am Amazon Prime shopping after googling “how to make my baby sleep without me holding him”.

Disclaimer:  I’m not including, diapers/wipes/bottles/stroller/car seat because like, of course, you need those things and just do your research! Do take my advice and get your belly to the store to test out strollers for your height and try lifting/putting back together. That’ll make your decision real quick!

Anyway, here were our essential baby item lifesavers…

  1. Gerber Soothe Probiotics… We swore on these drops when Henry began becoming super fussy and colicky. They helped him go #2 regularly which quickly becomes an exciting event as a parent I’ve learned, ha! Gas drops are what everyone tells you about, but our doc urged us to give these a try. She was right… worth their weight in gold for our family!
  2. The Shusher… This thing is actually kind of ridiculous but it works! Our photographer had it for Henry’s newborn photos and he was so chill during so we decided to get it for our fussy babe. It really helped him calmed down and saved us from having to say “shhh” a zillion times as he responded really well to that sound for calming. Save yourself the energy when you need it most and grab it here.
  3. Swaddle Me Swaddles… These were the best for our swaddle escape artist! I loved how easy they were to use for my hubby and I. Plus, Henry would sleep like a dream in them! Find them here.
  4. Fisher Price Kick piano… This little toy was so fun for our little guy. After we had him I saw that they now make these pianos attached to a play gym which I’d totally get if I had known they were available!
  5. The Sleepeasy Solution Book… I really enjoyed this book for sleeping tips and tricks because they truly helped and worked. Lucky for us, Henry has always been a good night time sleeper. Naps on the other hand… we have had our trying moments! He was very sensitive to getting overtired and would have some epic meltdowns. This book got us on back on track with watching his wake times to avoid those dreaded, loud meltdowns, ha!
  6. Cloud Island sleepers… These are the best little things to keep your babe in. The zipper on this brand is the best because they are inverted, plus they have built in mittens! There are so many adorable outfits out there but at the end of the day they aren’t comfy for your kiddo, they are a PIA to constantly take on and off for diaper changes… aaaaand there’s a good chance they will be covered in spit up by noon. So just buy the sleepers, all the sleepers, but especially these ones. Here ya go.
  7. Bouncer seat… Or I’m sure a swing would work too! Our pack n play came with a super simple bouncer vibrating seat that Henry would nap in a lot and give my arms a break! This pack n play was my favorite because of the changing station too. This whole set up was in our living room pretty much for a solid 6 or more months.
  8. Infant Optics Monitor… Henry straight up hated his bassinet. He would not sleep in it. Out of frustration one night we set him in his crib and he was so happily falling asleep. But wait, they recommend your babe sleep in the same room for the first 6 months ::gasp:: Oh well, we’re tired.. just invest in a nice monitor and you’ll all be sleeping better in no time.

Let me know if you have any questions about the products listed above. These ideas are truly my own and not sponsored in any way (though I wish). Of course, if you have questions about the standard gear, I’m happy to share our experience. Just let me know! Good luck and enjoy those baby snuggles!

Xo, Anna