Making Memories

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These pictures are from when we got our Christmas tree on Saturday! It was a drizzly, cold day, but even so we had SO MUCH fun exploring together in the Olympic National Forest. Unfortunately, we didn't *actually* get any pictures of us cutting down the tree, haha. By the time we found the perfect tree, we were crunched for time because it was starting to get dark so we had to hurry.

I love making memories with my family. Cutting down our Christmas tree in the mountains is such a fun tradition that Ben and I started when we got married, and I'm glad that James will grow up with this being something that we do each year. It's so fun creating traditions for the holidays now that we have a little kid!! Christmas is just so much more magical now that we have a child.

Vanguard has recently come out with new statistics from market research firm Kelton Globalin regards to it's investors, which I find so interesting and inspiring. Vanguard is a community of like-minded investors who invest to live - not the other way around. They have a long-term plan, versus chasing short-term fads. Additionally, Vanguard clients spend 6 more hours per week, on average, with their kids compared with clients of other investment firms - a statistic that I LOVE. Vanguard clients aren't your typical investors. Research shows that they share similar investing philosophies, with priorities BEYOND their finances, such as spending quality time with loved ones, investing in relationships, and achieving long-term goals.  Click here for more information about joining the community of investors at Vanguard.

There really is nothing like feeling secure about your future to help you be able to relax and truly enjoy the present! Being in the moment and cherishing special experiences with my son and husband (and dog!) are what life is all about. I'm so thankful for this family of mine and for the fun that we have together, and I look forward to all the adventures that await us in the years to come!

Cozy and Christmas-y! The only picture of our tree, haha

Cozy and Christmas-y! The only picture of our tree, haha

What are your favorite holiday traditions? I love hearing new ideas because I am still trying to incorporate more traditions into our home for James to grow up with!

 

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"The Where Investors Belong survey was conducted by market research firm Kelton Global in 2016. It polled 1,000 Vanguard clients and compared them with 1,000 clients of other investment firms. All differences between Vanguard clients and clients of other investment firms are statistically significant at the 95% confidence level. The parental stat refers to clients with children of any age who provided the number of hours per week they typically spend with their children or who, compared to other people they may know, believe to be more involved in their child’s life. . The experiences of these Vanguard clients may not be representative of the experience of other Vanguard clients and aren’t a guarantee of future investment performance or success."

Favorite Holiday Decor Picks

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Now that Thanksgiving is over, you know what that means: CHRISTMAS TIME! I'm going to start decorating tomorrow, and I am beyond excited to get the house all decked out! We are hopefully getting our tree tomorrow as well, weather permitting. We always cut down our own tree in the mountains each year (except for that one year that we snagged a tree from a stand in Stockton, but that's a story for another time. haha).

Anyways, I thought I'd round up some of my favorite holiday holiday decor that I've found while browsing the web, and share it with you guys! There are some really cute pieces out this year, and I'm definitely looking to upgrade my decoration game so I will be picking up some of these items as well.

You can click on each picture below to shop the piece or just get more information about it. Each picture is a link.

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2017 Gift Guide For Self-Care + Wellness

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Happy day-before-Thanksgiving!! Not gonna lie - I'm stressing out a teeny tiny bit! We are hosting two Thanksgiving dinners at our house this year, one tomorrow and one on Saturday. I keep thinking of new things that need to be done, and I'm not sure when exactly I'm going to do it all, haha. Oh well, I'm just trying to relax and not get too intense about it. What are your plans for this Thanksgiving?

What with all the stresses that inevitably come along with the holiday season, I thought it would be nice to share a few ideas of gifts that you can get for others (or yourself ;)) that help to encourage self-care and wellness. If you haven't seen my Gift Guide For Her and my Gift Guide For Him yet, you can view them here: Click here for the Gift Guide For Her and Click here for the Gift Guide For Him.

First let me say that I have been really enjoying using my essential oils and my diffuser lately to help me stay calm and centered. I love anything from Young Living. My friend Kristen introduced me to it and she is a wealth of knowledge about oils and how to use them (remember her guest blog post about Essential Oils and How To Use Them? Read it here!) If you have any questions about Young Living, or if you want to place an order, you can contact Kristen at kristensuppa@gmail.com. Anything from the Young Living Holiday catalog would make a GREAT gift for anyone on your list!! Shop the Young Living Holiday Catalog here.

I also think that gifting someone a subscription to Bulldog Yoga would be a great idea. I love taking online classes from Bulldog Yoga - it is seriously INTENSE and such a good workout! For anyone looking to kickstart their health and fitness game, Bulldog Yoga would be an amazing gift!! Click here for more information about Bulldog Yoga!

Below some more self-care and wellness gift ideas! You can click on each picture below to shop the item and get additional information on it. Each picture is a link to the item page.

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2017 Gift Guide For Him

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Hi friends! Today I'm sharing my Holiday Gift Guide for all of the guys in your life! If you haven't checked out my Gift Guide For Her yet, you can do so here. I came up with tons of goodies from all different categories and price points for every girl on your Christmas list! (Read the post here)

I always find guys to be pretty difficult to buy gifts for. Most men just buy what they need when they need it, so it can be tricky to get good ideas out of them! Hopefully this guide will give you some inspiration and will be helpful!

Click on each picture below for more product information and/or to purchase. Every picture is a link to the product page. Happy shopping!

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2017 Gift Guide For Her

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Christmas is right around the corner and I for one am SO FREAKING EXCITED!! I'm going to start blasting the Christmas music and throw up the decorations the day after Thanksgiving! Anyone else?? We always go cut down our Christmas tree in the mountains the weekend after Thanksgiving, and I'm really looking forward to doing it this year. James loves being outside and exploring so I think he is going to have so much fun finding a tree in the woods!

I'm determined to eliminate as much stress from the holiday season this year as possible. This means ordering our Christmas cards NOW so that I have plenty of time to mail them out before Christmas. (I always get our cards through Shutterfly - I love the quality of the cards and all of the pretty options that they have!) I'm also going to be doing all of my Christmas shopping early so that I make sure to get everything that I want to get for my loved ones! There is nothing worse than being stumped on what to get someone a few days before Christmas!! :(

I'm putting together a couple of Gift Guides this year to share some of my gift ideas with you all! This first one is for the ladies in your life. I've picked some items from all different price points and categories, so you're sure to find something that is PERFECT for your mom, best friend, sister, etc... You can even send a link to this post to your family and friends who are asking what YOU want for Christmas!

You can shop each item below (or just get more information on it) by clicking on the picture. Each picture is a link to the item. I hope this guide helps you find something wonderful for all the women on your Christmas list this year! Let me know what your FAVORITE items from the guide are in the comments below!

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2016 Highlight Reel

2016 was a year to remember! Am I right?? So many HUGE things happened this year - some scary, some stressful. But mostly this year was full of AMAZING new adventures and beautiful moments!

As I reflect back on 2016, I feel myself filled with warm fuzzies and a sense of awe. Life is so freaking incredible. I have been blessed with so much love and with countless opportunities and I just feel unbelievably fortunate.

So, without further ado, here is my 2016 highlight reel! My favorite moments from this year, in no particular order...

1.  The birth of James. (Read our Birth Story here.)

2. Celebrating nine years together (eight years of marriage) with Ben. (Read our Love Story here.)

3. Our babymoon to Paris. (Read about our Babymoon here.)

4. Our roadtrip to Montana with James when he was one month old.

5. Fly fishing with James for the first time.

6. Ben's and my first date post baby.

7. Our first Christmas with James. (Read more about our Christmas here.)

8. Taking James to the pumpkin patch. (Read more about our day at the Pumpkin Patch here.)

10. Cutting down our Christmas tree.

Happy New Year! 2017 has a lot to live up to, but it's already looking like it's going to be pretty amazing!

Merry Christmas!

Can you believe that Christmas is tomorrow? Wow, this month...no, this YEAR has just flown by!

Last Christmas, Ben and I were living down in California. We had our own Christmas, just the two of us (well, four of us actually...Gunner was there, and little James was there too, although he was about the size of a raspberry!). It was such a special Christmas, getting to have it all to ourselves. We missed our families, of course. But, I sure am glad that we got to have one Christmas where it was just us.

We had a framed ultrasound picture under our tree, and we were so so excited because we had only known I was pregnant for about a month, and we had just had our first ultrasound a week or so earlier. We had so much to celebrate and it made having Christmas to ourselves even more beautiful since it would be our last before having a kid.

This Christmas is going to be even better than last year's! James is here with us and I am SO looking forward to sharing the magic of Christmas with him. He turned five months old yesterday, can sit up all on his own, loves banana and avocado, loves chatting, reading, and blowing bubbles, is still sleeping through the night, and he is just the most fun, sweetest, smiley-est little guy! I can't wait for him to open his presents tomorrow morning, even though he'll probably enjoy the wrapping paper more than the gifts themselves at this point!

We're spending today (Christmas Eve) at home, just the four of us, all cozy. I'm making a batch of my cinnamon rolls (you can find the recipe here) so that they will be ready to pop in the oven tomorrow morning. Tomorrow afternoon we're heading to a big family dinner at my parents' house.

Isn't Christmas just the BEST?? What are your Christmas plans? Whatever you do, I hope you enjoy yourself and that your day is filled with love and happiness!

Lash Like A Boss

I am AAAALLL about dark, thick, long eyelashes and dramatic eyeliner, paired with pale pink lips and rosy cheeks. That is my go-to every day look, and I don't typically stray from that. In fact, I've been doing a similar look ever since I started wearing makeup in middle school! I guess you could say I'm not very adventurous when it comes to trying out different makeup looks, but I prefer to think of it as ...I know what I like!

I am always on the hunt for new mascaras and eyeliners that help me to achieve my much desired dramatic eye look. It's HARD to find a good mascara that gives you volume, length, dark color, AND doesn't leave you with clumps or a big mess. That's why I am SO excited to have found the new Big Shot Mascara by Maybelline! You guys, it is seriously so so amazing!

I was sent this mascara complimentary from Influenster and Maybelline to test out and review. I ALWAYS give honest reviews, and I am a harsh critic of mascara, so I was ready to tear this mascara apart and find any problems with it that I could. When I first saw the brush, I was skeptical. It looks like a mess. BUT, as soon as I started to apply the mascara, I was sold. It goes on SOO smoothly and evenly. After just one coat, my eye lashes were perfectly dark, long, and full of volume. And the best part was, NO CLUMPS. *cheers* Because clumps are the WORST.

So, I'm now in love with this mascara, and I just had to tell you all about it. Plus, it can be bought at the drugstore and is very very affordable, which is always nice! Especially for a mascara that is SO AMAZING!

I was also sent the new Master Precise Curvy Liquid Liner from Maybelline. I could go on and on about this product, but I will just say that my eyeliner woes and worries are NO MORE. This eyeliner lets you achieve the PERFECT cat eye like it's nothing. So simple, so easy, and no mess. Perfect cat eye every time. Just what I like. It's the best eyeliner that I've used in a loooong time, and my eyeliner looks better than it EVER has (at least with me doing it!). So, again, highly highly recommend! And remember, this is a drugstore brand, so it is so affordable, and the quality that you get it UNBELIEVABLE for the price.

There you have it! Just had to tell you all about these great new beauty finds! Yes, I was sent these products for free to try out, but all of my opinions are entirely my own. This is my honest review and I truly LOVE these new products and will be using them in my daily makeup routine from now on!! I'm going to be doing a dramatic cat eye for Christmas dinner, and I will definitely be using this new mascara and eyeliner to achieve it!

What is YOUR go-to makeup look?? Let me know in the comments below!

Have a great day!

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DIY Holiday Stove Top Scent

Ready for an easy, simple DIY holiday trick?? Make your home smell AMAZING and create this fun stove top scent! I whipped this up the other day when James and I were having a cozy day at home, and I kept saying, "James, it smells SO GOOD in here!" and he just kept smiling at me with his cute little toothless grin. He probably thinks I'm crazy, because I yap away at him AAAALLL day long. But he chats back, so he must enjoy it!

Anyways, whether you are having guests over, or you're just hanging out around the house, this is such a yummy smelling trick that you should definitely give a try.

Here's What You Need:

  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 orange
  • 3-4 bay leaves
  • a big pot
  • water

Here's What You Do:

Fill a pot with water and place it on the stove. Bring the water to a boil. Slice up an orange and add the slices, the cinnamon, and the bay leaves into the boiling water. Stir well and reduce to a simmer. Let simmer and enjoy the aroma!

If you try this, let me know how you like it!

 

 

Five Favorites

Ready for another round of Five Favorites? I realized that it has been awhile since I've done one of these, and they are so fun to do! So, here are five things that I'm loving right now!

5. Owlet Infant Heart Rate and Oxygen Monitor

What are some of your favorite things right now?

Holiday Gift Guide

*This post is brought to you in collaboration with The 5TH. However, all opinions are my own.*

Photography: Ben Cohen

Dress: Closet Candy Boutique // My Watch: here // Ben's Watch: here

The holidays are right around the corner!! I am SO excited for Christmas, I can't even control myself. I've already gotten a good start on shopping for gifts and I'm feeling very on top of things! Nothing is worse that waiting until the last minute to start buying presents for people. This year I made it a goal to plan ahead and get my shopping done early!

It can be hard to know what to buy people, so I've put together a couple of gift guides with some great gift ideas for the guys and gals in your life!

You BETTER believe that these watches from THE 5TH are on my gift guide because they. are. amazing. Seriously, how beautiful are they?? They make the PERFECT present for anyone. There are so many different styles and pretty colors. Ben and I are just obsessed. They are classy and cool.

THE 5TH gave me a special discount code exclusively for my readers/followers, which is SO AMAZING of them! You can get 10% off anything from THE 5TH with the code 'ANNA'.

Yay! Enjoy! And be sure to tag me and THE 5TH in any pictures you take of your loved ones unwrapping their new watches! @tiugirlanna + @thefifthwatches

Anyways, read on for my Holiday Gift Guide! Happy shopping!

Thankful

This is the BEST time of the year...amIright?!? Thanksgiving is less than two weeks away and then it's CHRISTMAS SEASON!! haha I can't wait for the holidays this year. It is going to be so much fun because it will be James' first time experiencing Thanksgiving dinner and then all of the beauty of Christmas! I realize he's still very little, but he is very aware of what's going on and he is just going to have so much fun - especially when all of the Christmas lights start popping up. He LOVES lights!

Anyways, as Thanksgiving approaches, I find myself in awe of how blessed my life is. I have SO much to be thankful for this year. I thought I'd go ahead and make a list of just a few of the things that I'm feeling really really thankful for at the moment:

  • my family
  • our home
  • ben's and my jobs
  • baby james
  • that i get to do parenthood with ben
  • my marriage
  • gunner (our dog) and rainy (my parents' dog) and the joy and companionship they bring to my life
  • my health and the health of my loved ones
  • that james and i both made it safely through that pregnancy and delivery
  • that i got to experience pregnancy and carrying a baby to full term and delivering him safely
  • that i live in a beautiful country where i'm free
  • that i get to stay home with my baby
  • that i have a strong, capable body
  • travel and all of the other exciting things in store for next year

As I said, just a few things. I could go on and on, because truly, I am so so fortunate. What are YOU feeling thankful for right now? I think it is such a great practice to write down what you are grateful for. Then, you can look at your list and visually see just how very very blessed you are! :)