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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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!

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?

Tips For Managing Time During The Holidays

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

Ok, look at the carvings on the railing...'B+A'...BEN AND I did not do that, just a coincidence, but HOW PERFECT?!?!? <3

 Watch: The 5TH // Use code 'Anna' for 10% off

I don't know about you, but there is something about the month of December that makes me VERRRRYY aware of time and just how quickly it's going. Maybe it is because the year is quickly coming to a close, or maybe it's because of how busy and exciting everything gets with the holidays. Whatever the reason, this time of year I always find myself scrambling to get things done and wishing that I had just a bit more time in each day. And this year, as a new mama, time seems even more scarce! I mean, James will be 5 MONTHS OLD this month... what!? Seriously, where has the time GONE?

I'm sure that I am not the only person who feels pressed for time come the end of the year. There are so many things to finish up, goals to try desperately to achieve, gifts to buy, parties to plan, events to go to...

So I've put together a few tips to help you manage your time this holiday season:

  1. Make A List. Wait no...make several lists! I know this is the simplest tip ever and you're probably like, oh great, thanks a lot. BUT, really, do it. Make lists. Make a gift list so that you can see all of the gifts for each person written out on paper. Make a list for events and parties that you need to RSVP to. Make a grocery list. Make a list of chores. Make a list of outfits that you plan on wearing this season. Make a list of goals that you wish to accomplish by the end of the year. Bottom line: write. things. down. Get them out of your head, and visually look at what you need to get done. Then you can start to prioritize.
  2. Prioritize. Now that you have your various lists written out, go ahead and make another list. This one is your list of TOP PRIORITIES. The things that are crucial to get done ASAP. The non-negotiable, must-dos. This list is where you start. This list is what you knock out first. These are the most important activities, events, things to do in your life right now.
  3. Time Block. I've read a lot about time blocking lately, and I am excited to try it out. It is supposedly an excellent method of keeping on task. It helps you to focus on just one task for a set amount of time. When the time is up, you move on to the next task. No ifs, ands, or buts. I'm going to be picking up one of these bad boys. I might even get it for a few people I know as a stocking stuffer!
  4. Get A Watch. Seriously, I know that you can tell the time on your phone, but a watch is a life saver when it comes to staying on task and getting stuff done! Being able to glance down at your watch is much easier, (and more polite) than constantly checking your phone. Not to mention that using your phone to check the time is a great gateway to hours of mindless Instagram scrolling...aka, WASTED TIME. Try putting your phone on silent and sticking it in the other room. Eliminate the temptation to hop on social media or check your messages, and instead, use your watch to keep track of the time. You can get a beautiful watch from The 5TH for 10% off right now - just use my code 'ANNA'! These make great gifts too, so you can go ahead and check that off of your list! ;)

What are some of your tips for managing time and keeping on top of things during the holidays??

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!

A New Christmas Tradition: A Handsaw, The Mountains, And A Box Of Raisins

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IMG_1743 Finding the perfect Christmas tree in the wild is surprisingly difficult. I assumed my husband and I would hike into the mountains, find a picture perfect tree, cut it down, and be on our way. We decided that, being avid outdoors people like we are, we would start a new tradition of cutting down our own Christmas tree each year in the wild. We headed to the mountains, parked our truck, and took off up into the wild, our little dog leading the way.

The air was crisp, the sun was bright, the mountains were idyllic. We enjoyed the scenery as we trekked farther into the wilderness. We didn't worry too much about avidly looking for a tree. We figured we would focus on that on the way back down. We snapped pictures, had a brief *almost* run in with a wild animal, and sat in silence listening to the sound of the wind blowing through the mountains [my favorite sound in the whole world].IMG_1705

"We'll grab one on our way back to the truck," we said. Well, let me tell you...it was not that simple!

We ended up making it all the way back down to the truck without seeing anything even close to being Christmas tree material. By this time we were starving and tired from our long hike. I grabbed a box of raisins from the truck and we set out again, back up into the woods. As we munched on raisins, our search became desperate. We scoured the mountainsides. When we did find a tree that looked as though it may good from a distance, as we got up closer to it, we would see that it was dying or had a weird growth coming out of it, or was too tall.

Finally, as the sun began to sink low on the horizon and as our box of raisins got emptier and emptier, we spotted it... the perfect Christmas tree. A bit Charlie-Brownish, a bit tall...but perfect nonetheless. We were elated. We sawed it down by the light of the setting sun and high-tailed it to the truck.

We topped our adventure off with a nice dinner in town, glowing at the already fond memory of our first tree-cutting experience. This is definitely our new Cohen Family tradition.

...And we'll always make sure to have a box of raisins on hand for all of our future Christmas tree hunts!

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