Mommy Monday: 12 weeks pregnant with number two!


Dress: Soprano (Exact pattern sold out, same dress in different color here and here) // Shoes: Target

Happy Monday, friends!

Welcome to the first round of Mommy Monday for pregnancy number two!

You guys: I started showing SO QUICKLY this time around!! Seriously, I think the moment I got pregnant my uterus was like, "Ok, this again!" and blew up. haha I was showing when we were in Hawaii and that was only at six weeks...granted I'm sure a lot of it was bloating, but still. I started showing waaaayyyy sooner than I did my first pregnancy. I'm glad I've announced that I'm pregnant because now I can just let it all hang out, haha.

This week I am going in for a pre-op consultation with Maternal Fetal Medicine because...yup, I have to get a cerclage again.

As of my eight week appointment, my cervix was still looking perfect and hadn't started shortening or anything, but my OB told me "once a cerclage, always a cerclage". So I'll be getting one put in at 14 weeks as a precaution. And at least this time around it wont be an emergency or a scary unknown hurried thing. I can plan ahead, prepare for it mentally, go in to the hospital in my pajamas and glasses (last time I was wearing tight jeans, high heels, and contact lenses...NOT COMFY POST-OP, haha). Oh, and this time I can tell the anesthesiologist ahead of time that I puked on the operating table last time, so they can plan ahead and give me medicine for that haha. Anyways, this time should be a much more pleasant and calm experience, God-willing! :)

So, this week is my pre-op consultation for all of that. I'll fill you guys in on all the details of that appointment in next monday's post. I'll be getting an ultrasound so I'm really looking forward to seeing the little one!

As I mentioned in my last post I'm not experiencing any morning sickness any more, so that has been wonderful! So much better in that regard, compared to my last pregnancy!


You guys all know how much I love and adore the Core Rehab Program from Knocked Up Fitness, right? (Read about my posts on it here and here) Core Rehab helped me heal my abdominal separation postpartum and just helped me to get my body back to looking and feeling it's best after having James. Well, I'm so excited to be doing the Knocked Up Fitness Prenatal Program during my pregnancy this time around!!

You can learn more about the Knocked Up Fitness Prenatal Program here. I'd love it if some of you other pregnant mamas did it along with me! Let me know if you're doing it and we can hold each other accountable!

Ok, now to the weekly survey, which I'll be filling out each Monday, just like last time:

How far along: 12 weeks 2 days

Total weight gain/loss: Not sure! I haven't been weighing myself. I was 107lbs before I got pregnant.

Maternity clothes? Some! They are way more comfy, and like I said, I am getting so big so fast with this pregnancy that already some of my non-maternity clothes are getting too tight!

Stretch marks? Just the old ones so far!

Sleep: Not great! Having so many weird dreams and such bad allergies. I keep waking up with an itchy nose, haha.

Best moment this week: Hitting the 12 week mark! It just feels like a milestone, as we're basically out of the first trimester now!

Have you told family and friends: Yes!

Movement: Not yet!

Food cravings: None really! Sour candy has been my jam though!

Anything making you queasy or sick: Vegetables, unfortunately. Just the thought of them makes me gag. :(

Have you started to show yet: Yes, SO quickly this time around!

Gender: Don't know yet!

Labor Signs: No.

Belly Button in or out? In/flat

Wedding rings on or off? On.

Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy but SO emotional!!

Symptoms: Weird dreams, dry skin, acne, tired.

Pregnant Again!!


If you follow me on social media, you saw that last weekend I announced that I'm PREGNANT! Ben and I are expecting our second baby in September and we are SO excited! Sorry it took me a week to get this blog post up... I actually started writing it last Sunday and...well, here we are! I'm pulling the #momlife card. ;) Going forward, I will have a new pregnancy post up every Monday for Mommy Monday, starting this Monday with my 12 week update!

We met with doctors and specialists this past fall to discuss our fears and concerns regarding trying for a second baby (if you aren't familiar with my story, I had a somewhat scary/stressful pregnancy with my first son, James). We felt confident after our talks - and after LOTS of deep thought and prayer - and felt like it was the right time to start trying. We both really want one more child, and our conversations with the doctors really helped to put our minds at ease. Read more about our thought process/concerns/conversations with doctors here in this blog post.

Anyways, once again we got pregnant right away! With James it was *literally* our first try, and with this one it was within a month. We feel so blessed and we were (are) SO excited! When I first took the pregnancy test and got the positive result, Ben wasn't home from work yet and I had just put James to bed. When I saw the two pink lines, I instantly fell on my knees and started sobbing. I prayed so hard and told God that I was SCARED - but so thankful. I know he has a plan for this baby and for our family, and I know that His hand will be on this pregnancy just as it was with James'.

After I spent some time crying and praying, I felt SO overwhelmed with peace and joy and the strongest sense that everything would be ok, no matter what happens, no matter what this crazy journey has in store for us...we'll be ok.

I told Ben when he got home from work and he was shocked but super happy and excited. He instantly wanted to tell everyone and we did tell all of our parents that night. I'm pretty sure he ended up telling all of his coworkers/siblings/etc... within a week or two. haha For some reason this time around was much harder to keep a secret. We just wanted to tell everyone right away. We ended up publicly announcing last Saturday when I was 11 weeks, which is slightly early. But we figured even if something ended up happening, we would want the love and support of our friends and family, and I would probably blog about it and share about it on social media anyways because that is like therapy and such a great outlet for me.

So, here we are! We had our first ultrasound at eight weeks and saw and heard the baby's heartbeat. It was so special. It was like a dream, reminding me so much of when we first saw and heard our little James. But this time feels so incredibly different as well. I nearly had an anxiety attack as Ben and I waited in the room for the ultrasound. It just brought back so many memories of all of those weekly ultrasounds, checking my cervix, holding my breath, praying desperately that they wouldn't see a change in my cervix and that our James would be safe. My last pregnancy and labor and delivery definitely changed me. It changed my entire perception of this process. But, while I am so much more aware of just how much can go wrong during a pregnancy, I feel such an incredible peace that it will all work out and that I will be able to handle anything that comes my way.


First Trimester Symptoms

My main symptoms during the first trimester were fatigue, nausea, and CRRRAAAAAAZZZZYYYYYY dreams, haha. Seriously, the WEIRDEST most in depth, detailed, bizarre dreams. I'm still having them most nights, and I'll often times wake up in the morning thinking what. the. heck. haha

My fatigue hasn't been as bad this pregnancy as it was during my first trimester with James. Maybe it's because I have a toddler now and I just couldn't possibly give in to being exhausted because...well, it's just not possible to nap and lay around all day when you have a one and a half year old.

My morning sickness started around six weeks and lasted until around ten weeks. Which is much shorter than it was with my first pregnancy, and my nausea definitely was not nearly as bad this time. Now I don't have any morning sickness *knock on wood* and I'm hoping it stays away the rest of this pregnancy!

I will give more detailed updates in my 12 week post on monday! This is just a quick little intro to pregnancy number two! I'm not sure what I've gotten myself into by getting pregnant again and by signing up for two kids under three years old, but I'm sure that whatever is in store is going to be beautiful, wonderful, and perfect in it's own way and I am so thankful for this blessing and for getting to experience pregnancy again! I almost can't even believe that we're going to have another little one running around soon... it's too good to be true! James is going to be the BEST big brother! It's going to be so much fun!

Thank you for following along on this new adventure! As always, your thoughts, prayers, well-wishes, and good vibes are MUCH appreciated! And if you have any questions please don't ever hesitate to reach out either in the comments or through e-mail!

See you on Monday!

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Get Motivated With Cute Fitness Wear

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Is there anything more motivating than cute workout wear?? I seriously feel so excited to workout when I have something that is cute, comfortable, and flattering to put on. Feeling confident makes ALL the difference!

I asked you guys on Instagram if you would like to see some of the cute workout clothing that I've found recently, and I think all but ONE person said 'yes', haha. So, below you'll find some adorable workout wear that I am LOVING for the new year!

Click on each picture below to shop each item. Each picture is a link to the product page. Happy shopping! If you end up snagging any of these pieces, be sure to tag me in a photo of you wearing them on Instagram so I can see!! IG: @annamcohenblog

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Baby After Bedrest? My Thoughts On Baby Number Two


Warning: This will be a long one, guys! It's probably the most personal blog post I've ever written.

If you've been following my blog for awhile, you know that my pregnancy with James turned out to be a really challenging and scary one, leading up to an even more frightening birth experience.

To summarize, I was given an emergency cerclage and put on bedrest at 20 weeks due to having a shortened cervix. Being on bedrest for the next 16+ weeks was the most challenging experience of my life, both mentally and physically. It was 16 weeks of being terrified for my baby's safety, my body deteriorating, and being bored and antsy was just a really really emotional and hard time.

I ended up having my cerclage removed at around 36 weeks and I was taken off of bedrest at that time. At 39 weeks 3 days, I went in for my weekly check in with my doctor and he noted that my right leg was waaay more swollen than my left leg. He said he wanted to have me induced and to check for a blood clot. I was sent right over to the hospital where I was admitted and was told I would be given an ultrasound on my leg to check for blood clots. The doctor on call who would deliver James came in and basically told me that there was a good chance I would die suddenly and that she was very very concerned. When I told her I was scared she said "I think that's reasonable, I am too." Um. Without going on and on too much here, what AWFUL bedside manner. It REALLY messed me up, to put it lightly. I burst into tears and was horrified (read more details here). Bottom line, I DID NOT have a blood clot. They went ahead and broke my water and I went into labor and delivered James without any further complications. (Click here to read our birth story)

I haven't opened up too much about the mental aspects of how all of this affected me. I'm not sure I really want to. I have shared with my close family, because I DEFINITELY had (and still do have) a lot to work through. It was a traumatic experience from the moment I was told my cervix didn't look right at the anatomy scan. Then after all of that and being told I would die, I was thrust into the throes of new motherhood which is a huge life-altering experience on its own, let alone after all I had been through. I still struggle with everything that happened. I'm scared. My anxiety is through the roof. I'm more emotional. I'm more aware of how very quickly life can be taken away, and how fleeting and fragile and precious life is. I'm still healing emotionally, and probably will be for a long time. My experience, without trying to be too dramatic, has forever changed me - has forever changed my mind - and it will haunt me for the rest of my life in some form. BUT I ended up with the most beautiful little boy, and I am absolutely so grateful for how everything turned out!!

At first, Ben and I were pretty scared to even think about the possibility of having another baby. We both want more kids, but we are also SO SO SO VERY happy with just James. James is EVERYTHING. He is our perfect blessing - healthy, happy, strong, whole, beautiful, smart... we are so thankful for him and for the fact that we were blessed with a son and that we all came out of that pregnancy and labor and delivery SAFE. We are so thankful to be parents, and we thought "why mess with what we have?" Because what we have is perfect. Why risk having to go through that again? Why risk me dying? Why risk losing a baby if all didn't go well? I was suffering from PTSD and so so unbelievably scared to even consider doing that again.

As time went by, and James turned a year old, I began to feel a pang of baby fever. My little boy was becoming a toddler and babyhood was slipping away so quickly. I pictured having another little one close in age with James for him to play with. Ben and I talked, and decided that I should sit down with my doctor and talk about if it was a good idea for us to get pregnant again, or if it was NOT recommended. We didn't want to be selfish by getting pregnant again just because we wanted another kid, and then put the new baby at risk because of a shortened cervix, or risk me dying, or upset James' perfect, happy, charmed little life.

I met with my doctor and laid out all of my thoughts, concerns, fears, questions... he looked at me, smiled and said "have a baby!" He explained that bottom-line: I DID NOT HAVE A BLOODCLOT. Bottom-line: Nothing happened to the baby. Bottom-line: Everything turned out FINE and I made it nearly to my due date, and maybe would have longer if they hadn't moved things along. Bottom-line: we will NEVER know if I even NEEDED a cerclage and bedrest at all, because my cervix never changed and I maybe would have made it full term even without all of those precautions. Bottom-line: I may not even have any issues with my cervix next time around. My doctor said, "If you were my wife, we'd be having a baby. Hopefully I'll see you back here soon pregnant!"

I was relieved, but still skeptical. My doctor recommended that I meet with Maternal Fetal Medicine, since high risk pregnancies and all of that are their specialty. So I did. I met with ANOTHER doctor from MFM, and he basically told me the EXACT same things that my doctor had. This doctor told me that if I get pregnant again, I wont be put on bedrest because it has been found to do more harm than good in most cases, because of inactivity and how it can increase the risk of blood clots, and also how bad it is for a person mentally. He said I also wouldn't have a cerclage again. He explained that there is no scientific evidence that a cerclage or bedrest do any good or make any difference. He told me to get pregnant.

A number of emotions went through my head after my meetings with the doctors. I was relieved and excited. I felt a bit angry that I had been through a cerclage and bedrest for maybe no reason, but then quickly I felt guilt for feeling angry because God knows I would have done ANYTHING ANYTHING ANYTHING in the entire world to keep my son safe inside of me until he was able to survive in the world. I felt confused. I felt a LOT of skepticism. These doctors were not the doctor that did my cerclage and put me on bedrest and monitored me up until I was around 30 weeks pregnant - did they REALLY know??

Ben and I have discussed everything at length. Most of all, we don't want anything to negatively impact James. But having received such adamant and confident assurance and encouragement from two separate doctors, we feel very encouraged and excited that we have the option of trying for baby number two, if we choose to do so.

A lot of prayer is going on over here. Prayer for guidance and for strength and for the right decision to be made and for God's will to be made known. We will see what happens. We will see what we decide to do. But for now, I am clinging to the words of each of my doctors, telling me that I have to remember that EVERYTHING TURNED OUT TO BE OK. My son was born full-term and healthy, and I did not have a blood clot. I wouldn't be considered high risk going into another pregnancy.

I'm ok. James is ok. I am ok to get pregnant again.

But I'm still scared.

So we'll see. But that is where we are at. We have been given the go-ahead by two different doctors, and Ben and I would both love to have more children. But we'd also be SO SO SO fine with just having our bright, sweet, shining little boy! I am an only child and I loved it.

Whatever we decide to do and whatever happens, I pray that it is God's will.

So that's where we're at!

Have any of you had another child after having a scary or hard pregnancy and/or birth experience? I'd really love to hear your story if you have.


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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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Thanksgiving Tablescape + Thankful For...


Click here to shop the eucalyptus garland

Click here to shop candlesticks

I hope you all had the BEST Thanksgiving yesterday!!

We hosted my parents, my uncle, and his girlfriend and it was such a fun, cozy get together! But I'll be honest - hosting STRESSES ME OUT. haha I just get SO incredibly anxious about whether or not everyone is enjoying themselves and has what they need, and it's just too much social sensory overload and I just was EXHAUSTED by the end of the night haha...and that was a pretty small group of my CLOSEST family!! Geez louise!

Tomorrow we are hosting Ben's dad's side of the family, so this introvert has been resting up today, recharging in preparation of Thanksgiving Round TWO! :p

I asked you guys in a poll on Instagram if you would be interested in seeing my Thanksgiving tablescape and you voted an overwhelming YES, so today I'm sharing pictures of my tablescape. I'm pretty happy with how it all came together!

I made the centerpiece, and I honestly feel so crafty now, haha. I carved a Cinderella pumpkin, put some of the floral foam in it and stuck flowers in it and voila! Autumnal floral centerpiece win! Super easy and a really pretty touch! :)

My heart was set on a eucalyptus garland for the table and my mom searched high and low and found one the day before Thanksgiving!! *Thanks mom!* Click here for a similar one!

The table cloth that we used was my Grammy's, so that was really special! I love the burnt orange color of it - so Fall-ish! I kept the rest simple with white plates and napkins. I added place cards from Papyrus, and two white candlesticks to finish off the look. I love these candlesticks (click here) - they are so elegant and classic AND they are on sale for $8!!

I will wrap up this post with sharing a few things that I am feeling sososo thankful for:

  1. My husband. Ben is the most caring, selfless, patient, loving, hard-working, funniest person and I thank God every single day for blessing me with such an incredible man to spend my life with.
  2. James Henry. There are no words. This little boy has changed me in practically every way. He has completely turned what I *thought* I knew about love upside down and has made my life so brilliantly beautiful it hurts.
  3. My health and the health of my loved ones. Health is something that is so easy to take for granted. I am so thankful for a healthy, whole, fully-functioning body and mind, and that my loved ones have their health as well.
  4. My home. This is our first holiday season in our beautiful new home, and I feel so blessed that we get to live HERE, in this amazing house that Ben has worked so hard for.
  5. Getting to be a stay-at-home-mom. I nearly cry when I think about how blessed I am to be able to stay at home with my baby boy and watch him grow and learn. Our days together are so precious and I am absolutely soaking in and cherishing every single minute.
  6. Ben's job that provides so well for our family. He is such a hard worker and incredible provider for our family.
  7. Gunner...sweet sweet loyal little Gunner. He brings so much joy and gentle companionship to our lives.
  8. My parents. They are the best. That's all there is to it. They get me and love me and support me no matter what, flaws, and quirks and all, through the ups and the downs.
  9. My extended family, for loving me. Being loved is a beautiful, special, precious thing. I don't take for granted those who love me. Family is so dear and special and I am so so thankful for everyone in mine.
  10. Our country. I feel incredibly thankful to live in such a beautiful, safe country where I am free and where I can pursue my dreams and explore and learn and strive for the highest of goals. We are so blessed to live in the United States of America. I'm thankful that my son gets to grow up in this place.

What are you feeling thankful for?

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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 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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Coziest Sleepwear For Fall And Winter!

This cooler weather just makes me want to get COZY! James and I spend a lot of our time snuggling and reading books at home, and I love having cozy, warm clothes to lounge around in. I've rounded up my favorite sleepwear, cozy, lounge-wear pieces and wanted to share them here with you all, because if you're anything like me, you are going to want to LIVE in these aaaalll Fall and Winter long! :)

 Hat:    Topshop    // Sleep Shirt:    Make and Model    // Slippers:    Ugg

Hat: Topshop // Sleep Shirt: Make and Model // Slippers: Ugg

This sleep shirt is the COZIEST. I am seriously in LOVE with it!! It's so cute and soft and comfortable. I love wearing it with thigh high socks or with slippers, like these.

Anyways, here are some sleepwear items that I am obsessed with for Fall and Winter! Click each picture to shop the item!

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Best Toddler Halloween Costumes!


Sorry for being MIA again. I've just really felt conflicted with social media and blogging lately...I mean, life is what is happening right in front of you...right NOW. It's NOT what's happening on your phone or's not about "keeping up" with Instagram, or spending endless hours taking and editing photos and creating content. I love blogging and social media - they're my JOB, and I feel really blessed for that. But I definitely LOVE being a mom, watching my little James grow and learn, and spending quality time in the NOW with my family MORE. SO, I've been stepping back a bit. But, I'm still here! I'll still be cranking out new content when I feel like it. But if I'm quiet, you can just know that it's because I am busy LIVING this beautiful life of mine. :)

Ok, down to the point of today's post:

There is hardly a single thing cuter than a baby in a Halloween costume! Am I right?? This year, James is still too little to go trick-or-treating, so we aren't investing in a full-fledged costume. But I did get him these really cute glow-in-the-dark skeleton jammies for him to wear all day! Unfortunately, his jammies sold out, but they are SOO cute on him!

It's fun because his music class is on Tuesdays and this year, Halloween falls on a Tuesday!! So all of the kids in his class get to dress up (parents too! - I'm going to rock this sweatshirt, or if I'm feeling really bold, I may dress up like Elsa from Frozen!), and J can wear his skeleton jammies to class!

I had a lot of fun looking for costumes for James this year, and even though I ended up going with the skeleton jammies, I found some ADORABLE ones. I wanted to share them with you guys in case you need a last minute idea for your little one. And be sure to order TODAY to make sure it arrives in time for Halloween!

What is your little one being for Halloween this year? How old were your kids when you first took them trick-or-treating?

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Shine Organics: My Favorite Healthy On-the-go Snack!


***Thank you to Shine Organics for sponsoring this post!***

Today, I wanted to share one of my new FAVORITE things: a healthy snack that's EASY to take on-the-go! Shine Organics Pouches (click here for a coupon!) are a convenient blend of real, organic fruits and vegetables, chia seeds, and superfoods.

They are perfect for throwing in your gym bag or purse, or just for when you need a quick snack around the house. Basically, as an active and busy mom of a toddler, these pouches are PERFECT for me! Whether James and I are running errands, heading to music class, or just hanging out at home, I can always have a HEALTHY snack on hand. No fuss, no mess, and no prep time. I just grab a pouch and instantly have a YUMMY snack to enjoy and to satisfy my hunger! These pouches fit into my lifestyle EFFORTLESSLY.


Finding healthy snack food that actually tastes good, as well as being good for you is tricky. That's why I'm really really glad that I've found Shine Organics!

You can find Shine Organics Pouches at Target in the apple sauce section. Click here to get a coupon for $1 off of a four pack!


What are your favorite healthy on-the-go snacks?? Please share! I love getting new ideas!

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Cozy For Fall In My Cuddl Duds


Wrap and Thermal Tee: Cuddl Duds // Boots: Hunter // Jeans: Mother Denim


Wrap and Leggings: Cuddl Duds


Sweater: Topshop // Leggings: Cuddl Duds

**Thank you to Cuddl Duds for sponsoring this post!**

It's FAAAALLLLLLL. I'm so basic when it comes to fall...I love all of the pumpkin spice, the decorations, the colorful leaves, the pumpkin patches, apple cider, hats, boots, sweaters, cuddling up by the fire, and being COZY. Fall is my favorite season and I am really really happy that it's finally here!

I tend to run cold...anyone else?? I'm always FREEZING, and Ben is always laughing at me because he says it's hot but I am shivering and layering up to get warm! haha I love wearing cozy, soft layers and curling up by the fireplace with a good book.

Seriously, layers are the KEY, guys! I have experimented and layering is what keeps me the warmest. It's great because if you do get hot, you can peel off layers to achieve the perfect temperature. This is especially important for me because I start off so cold in the morning and then get really hot throughout the day as I chase James around and we get to playing! I just take off layers as needed, and I'm always the right temp!

I'm so excited to have been introduced to Cuddl Duds! They make the COZIEST, softest, most comfortable clothes that are perfect for layering! They have a bunch of different colors and prints in all of the Fall staples: leggings, hoodies, wraps, turtlenecks, tops, etc... The animal print leggings that I'm wearing in these pictures are my FAVORITE. They fit so well (TTS), are so soft, and the animal print is really cute but not too in your face, you know?? It's understated but really fun! Seriously, I am so excited about all of the different options and possible combinations with Cuddl Duds! haha

I love that Cuddl Duds can be worn around the house while I'm playing and cuddling with James, but also out and about. Their pieces are so easy to dress up and pair with jeans, over-sized sweaters, and cute boots for running errands or going out for coffee. I'm seriously obsessed. So comfy, cute, and warm. 

The whole Fall collection of Cuddl Duds is available at JC Penney, and they are super affordable, which is ALWAYS a big bonus!! You can shop Cuddl Duds at JC Penney online here.

You can shop all of my favorite looks from Cuddl Duds here!

Anyways, are you as excited for Fall as I am?? Let me know what your secret for staying warm is in the comments below!!

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29 Things


Well, today starts the beginning of the LAST year of my twenties! So strange! My twenties have been much has happened, I've achieved so many things, I've learned SO much... and honestly, I'm looking forward to turning 30 next year! I think being in my thirties is going to be really fun!

But, I definitely plan on enjoying this last year of my twenties to the fullest, because each year it becomes more abundantly clear to me that time never slows down and you can't ever go back. Living in the moment and truly cherishing and embracing where you are at right now is so important. Especially since becoming a mom, I have come to know this with the utmost clarity, and it is both a beautiful and sobering realization.

Today, I wanted to share real quick 29 things that I've come to know, think, or question in my 29 years of life!

  1. Family is REALLY all that matters.
  2. Time is so fleeting.
  3. NOTHING is a given in life.
  4. Humility, kindness, and patience are qualities that I think make a person the very most beautiful.
  5. Daily exercise is so important for both physical and mental well-being.
  6. Marriage to your best friend is the best thing in the world...along with being a mom!
  7. People always say that being a parent is the best, but you HONESTLY don't understand this until you have a child of your own. You just can't possibly understand the bond and love and incredible fear and hope that comes along with being a parent. It's breathtaking and magical and incredible.
  8. In the end, NOTHING matters...not things, not money, not social status...JUST love and family.
  9. Traveling outside of the country is one of the best things you can ever do for yourself.
  10. You are NEVER wasting time when you are reading.
  11. Your skin, hair, body...everything starts to change as you get older, when you get pregnant, as you go through different experiences. It serves a person well to embrace these changes rather than wrestle with them. Because wrinkles, stretch marks, scars...they all are signs of a life truly LIVED.
  12. If you want something badly enough, you owe it to yourself to at least give it a try.
  13. I'm an introvert. And I like it.
  14. The more sleep the better...but nothing beats an early morning when the world is quiet and still.
  15. Being in the backcountry away from it all is good for the soul.
  16. I'm getting more and more interested in makeup as I get older, and I'm having so much fun trying out new products and techniques...I always bought drugstore makeup until recently. But the nice stuff really DOES make a difference!
  17. Don't be so hard on yourself. Have high standards for yourself, push yourself, always strive to do better...but don't punish yourself. Be kind and loving. Appreciate all that your body, your mind, your heart do for you every single day.
  18. Laugh more.
  19. Get outside every single possible chance you have.
  20. Eliminate toxic relationships from your life.
  21. Hold on dearly and fight for all of the GOOD and precious relationships in your life.
  22. My number one piece of marriage advice: Always seek out the BEST in your partner. You find what you look for. Look for the good, the beautiful, the pure in your loved one.
  23. Always be true to yourself.
  24. Say 'no' more.
  25. Say 'yes' more.
  26. Create something you're proud of.
  27. Discern truth for yourself. Look beyond what you've always known, what you've always been told...figure out what YOU believe, what YOU agree with, what you DON'T agree with, what is worth fighting for to YOU, what YOU want to change.
  28. Better to be quiet than to talk about things you don't know anything about.
  29. Spend less time staring at your phone or other electronics, and more time being present with loved ones, watching a sunset, reading a book, meditating, drawing, creating, LIVING.

Those are just the top 29 random things that came to mind as I started typing...sorry if they are super random! haha But anyways, I've learned a lot and I know I have a lot MORE to learn too.

Here's to a new year of creating, adventure, love, productivity, and self-improvement! Thank you all for your love and for following along!!

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Momiform 101


Hi there!

As promised a couple of days ago, here is my post on Momiform 101!

I know that personally, as a mom, I am always looking for outfit inspiration and ideas!  Us mamas need to think, not only about looking cute and put together, but also about comfort and functionality, as we are usually chasing around little ones all day long! I've basically figured out a formula for outfits that work well for my lifestyle, and I thought I'd share some outfit inspiration for all of you other active mamas out there. :)

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When getting dressed in the morning, I think about what my day will consist of...usually some or all of the following:

  1. Playing with my son
  2. Working out
  3. Cleaning
  4. Work
  5. Running Errands

So, right there, I know that I need to choose clothing items that I can move in, and that can transition from a workout or chores around the house, to something stylish and polished for running errands or going out into the world. In other words: LEGGINGS. haha

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I have quite a collection of cute leggings, and I'm always getting new ones because they really make the Momiform. You can pair patterned leggings with a basic, plain colored top, or choose solid colored leggings and pair them with a brighter top. I also love wearing a cozy sweater with leggings to dress them up a bit.

I really like finding plain leggings that have an unexpected little detailing on them, like these, these, and these.

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I love pairing my leggings with comfy but cute t-shirts, sweaters, cute sweatshirts like THIS one, and long-sleeved thermals. Unless I'm wearing plain black leggings, I usually keep it pretty tame up top - not many patterns.

These t-shirts are great to stock up on! I also love this, this, and this.

This sweater is also a great staple. I also love this, this, and this.

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Lastly, shoes! I pretty much always wear a good pair of tennis shoes because I need to be able to chase James around, and not worry about walking on grass or dirt. Tennis shoes ensure that I am ready for anything!

Here are a few that I love here, here (on sale for 25% off!!), and here.

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For warm layers, I love cute, sporty jackets and vests. This, this, this, and this are all favorites! Ben just got methe pull-over version of this, which I'm wearing in the first picture of this post, and I LOVE LOVE LOVE it so much. It's so warm and cozy!! The vest would be great. Here is a full-zip version as well!

There you have it! My lesson in achieving the perfect Momiform! ;) Throw on a cute hat like this one to protect your face from the sun (or cover up that un-washed hair) and you're golden!! I hope you enjoyed this and that it was able to give you some ideas!

Being a mom and dressing comfortably and functionally does NOT mean you have to look frumpy!! You can still look sporty, cute, and put together! It's important for us to feel GOOD and to feel like we LOOK good, as women in GENERAL! Don't ever settle for feeling less than your best. You deserve to feel BEAUTIFUL and stylish, mama! 

What's your go-to momiform??

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How I Make Money Blogging


Yesterday on Instagram, I asked you guys to vote on which post you wanted to see up on the blog today: Momiform 101 or How I Make Money Blogging. The majority voted for the latter, so Momiform 101 will be going up later this week, and How I Make Money Blogging will be today's topic!

I get asked about this ALLL the time. People are always a little confused and unclear about what exactly I DO as a blogger. In fact, some people don't even realize that it is a legitimate job that provides me with an income. And those that know a bit about blogging usually are dying to get in on the action, because blogging really is the funnest, most flexible, most creative job. :)

So, people's biggest question is always HOW to make money as a blogger. Well, there are two main ways:

1. Sponsored content. This is when a brand pays to have their product or brand featured in a blog post or in social media posts. As a blogger, I get contacted all the time by different companies and people offering to send me products to try out, or wanting to sponsor posts to have their products featured. For me, it is EXTREMELY important to ONLY partner and work with brands and products that I genuinely LOVE and legitimately would use in my daily life.

As a blogger - especially a NEW blogger - it can be so tempting to just accept every offer that comes your way. But let me tell you, your audience will be able to see right through that and will be able to tell from a mile away if you are featuring or talking about brands that aren't a genuine fit with your style. And that is reeeeaalll unappealing, because it comes across as sales-y and fake and like you are selling out.

So, my advice is to be picky when it comes to accepting collaborations and sponsorships. Choose wisely, and keep it real so that you can be honest when talking about how much you love and endorse a brand.

2. Affiliate Links. If you're on Instagram, you most likely have come across bloggers posting pictures and talking about I do! It's a great way to provide your audience with easy access to items that are featured in your photos and blog posts. Everything linked through uses affiliate links, so when products are purchased through those links, the blogger/influencer who posted them receives commission. This is a really big way that a lot of bloggers make a good portion of their income.

There are a ton of other great programs out there, as well as a lot of other ways of getting set up with affiliate links, and often times brands will reach out and offer me affiliate links and codes to use. Again, I ONLY promote things that I 100% genuinely love and think that my audience will love too!

There you have it...the two main ways that I make money as a blogger! Let me know in the comments below if you have any questions!

I know some people think it's a bad idea to share tips and how I make money as a blogger with other bloggers...but the way I see it is, the industry is SOO saturated already! There are SOOO many bloggers, that helping NEW bloggers get their footing and find their way isn't a's women helping women (or men of course!) and when we help each other out, it's a beautiful thing! :)

We should lift each other up, encourage each other, and support one another, because we EACH have something totally unique and wonderful to offer!

Do you have a blog? I'd love to check it out! Leave your link in the comments below! <3

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One Year Old Update...We Have A Toddler!


Hi friends!

Long time no talk! Life has been so crazy busy/wonderful lately, and I have SO much to fill you all in on (life update blog post coming soon!!)!

But, in today's post, I'll be focusing on one of the biggest things that's happened recently: James turned one year old! Isn't that so crazy?! The past year has gone so fast.

His birthday was July 23rd, so he will be 14 months old here in a week or so. He started walking around 13 months, and now he walks EVERYWHERE! It's so much fun! He seems to love the freedom that walking gives him and he always has the most proud look on his face when he is toddling around. It's so cute!

He has 10 teeth, including two big molars, and his hair is getting longer although it is still blonde and whispy. :) Just like mine was! I didn't have real, substantial hair until I was two. It was so blonde you could hardly see it, and that's how James' is.


James LOVES water. Ben was away in Idaho hunting for elk the first two weeks of September, so James and I stayed at my parents' house on the lake. James had so much fun playing on the beach and wading, and he even stuck his face in the water and splashed around as I held him out in the deeper water. He loves it!

He is fearless and SO curious about everything. It's so different from how I was as a child and am today...I've always been timid and scared of getting hurt or getting in trouble. James has no fear...he charges ahead with enthusiasm and bravery and excitement, and it is so inspiring!


Next Tuesday, James and I are starting a music class at the local children's museum! He really enjoys music and clapping and dancing, so I think he is really going to love this class! It's every Tuesday morning through December and I'm hoping we can make some mommy and baby friends!


A year later and I FIIIINALLLLY feel like I have this mom thing figured out! I've totally fallen into stride and I've got a handle on things and life is just so beautiful and fun and relaxed now! :) I love being a mom so much, and James is just the most fun, wonderful, smart, sweet little boy. I'm so lucky to be his mommy! I love trying new things with him and watching him learn and explore. He is so friendly and bold, and it pushes me out of my comfort zone. Every time we go out in public, he makes friends! He waves and smiles at and chats with EVERYONE we pass, which forces me to come out of my shell a bit, because I'm so shy and like to fly under the radar, normally. It's good for me to be around James. I have a lot to learn from him! :)


Anyways, I'm happy to be back blogging again. It was a much needed and very nice break, and like I said, I'll tell you ALLL about what I've been up to and why I stepped back from blogging/social media for a bit in my next post! Look out for lots of newness in the next few weeks, and LOTS of exciting collaborations and projects which I've been working on!

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What To Buy From The Nordstrom Sale!

Top // Jeans (not on sale)

Sweater (also love this)

Pull Over Sweater // Jeans (not part of the sale) // Sunglasses (smiliar, not part of the sale)

Dress (Fits TTS. Sold out, keep checking - they will restock!) // Heels (not on sale)

The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is now open to the public through August 6th!! Woohoo!! Shop the sale here.

Above are pictures of just a few of the pieces from the sale that I purchased. I'll be sharing more here on the blog and on Instagram over the next week!

You can shop my picks from the sale here in my Nordstrom Sale Early Access blog post!

Sale items sell out FAST, you guys!! If something is sold out, keep checking - they will be restocking things!!

Here are a few more pieces that I LOVE from the sale: