Meet Jack!

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Hi friends!

Long time no talk! Sorry that I have been MIA on here, but also…not really sorry because I have been on a “maternity leave” of sorts! :)

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Everyone, meet baby Jack!

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Jack Benjamin Cohen was born on September 18th and he is perfect! We are so very in love with him…especially James! Seriously, watching James with his baby brother is about the cutest thing I have ever witnessed. James’ transition into the role of Big Brother has gone so much more smoothly than I was expecting and I’m so so very proud of him. He loves kissing Jack, doing tummy time with him, and he always includes him when we’re going to do things. For example, I’ll say, “Come on James, time to go to music class!” and he’ll shout, “And JACK JACK TOO!” haha He’s so sweet. I am so happy that my boys will have each other as they grow up.

So, back to Jack! He was 7lbs 15oz and 20inches when he was born - smaller than James. James was 8lbs 11oz and 21 inches. But, Jack was also born earlier than James was, at 38 weeks 3 days. Jack looks so much like James, but also very different. Jack’s nose is much pointier than James’, and Jack has a pointier chin as well. James has Ben’s strong chin (and under bite, which is the cutest), whereas it looks like Jack might have more of my jaw line. We’ll see! But Jack is blonde with big blue eyes, just like his brother. :)

Life with two kids is hard, but wonderful. But hard…haha I’ll do a whole blog post on this soon. Currently, we’re just figuring things out and settling into our new normal as a family of four (five!! Sorry Gunner!)

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I’ll be posting Jack’s birth story in the next few days so check back for that! If you’d like to read James’ birth story in the meantime, you can click here.

Thank you all for following along during my pregnancy, and for all of the continued prayers, words of encouragement, and love! I’m so thankful for you all and for the opportunity to have a “normal”, uneventful, scare-free pregnancy!

So thankful for my beautiful boys! And for all of YOU.

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2018 Fall Decor Ideas!

 Found all of these cute pumpkins in the Target dollar section!!

Found all of these cute pumpkins in the Target dollar section!!

Happy Fall, Ya'll!

I wanted to get this post up now so that you guys can take advantage of the Labor Day sales that are going on! A lot of the items below are on sale.

I'm sharing some Fall Decor items below to give you a little inspiration. Anyone already decorating for Fall?? I am SO ready! I have most of my decorations up, but I still have a few things I need to snag in order to put the finishing touches on everything.

My theme this year is PUMPKINS - mint, white, grey are my main colors, with the occasionally pop of orange. I'm accenting with black and white plaid. I really love how everything is looking! I'm doing a more sophisticated look this year, versus the bright orange and red and loud colors and patterns that I normally do. It's fun to do something different this year!

Ok, here are some Fall Decor pieces that I'm loving and that I'm using for inspo. myself.

Click on each photo below to shop the item!

What type of theme/colors are you going for this year??

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Currently Loving...

Sharing a quick round up of some items I'm currently loving! Best part? Many of these pieces are on sale this weekend!!

Click on a picture to shop the item!

Hope you all are having a lovely long weekend!

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Clean With Me: Cleaning Schedule

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I've finally figured out a great schedule for cleaning my house...I feel so grown up! haha I used to struggle so much with keeping things clean and with knowing what exactly TO clean. I mean, there were so many things that I didn't even think about ... like for some reason, cleaning toilets and stoves and washing windows and wiping down the microwave and oven...these things didn't even occur to me.

So, coming up with an organized method for cleaning certain things around the house has made a huge difference and has really helped to keep me on track. I've watched a lot of cleaning YouTube videos (yes they are a thing and they are strangely addicting and fun to watch!) and I've learned HOW to clean as well as WHAT to clean.

A lot of you requested this post, and I'm finally getting it all put together for you! Below is a sample of what my cleaning schedule looks like:

Daily

  • Sweep
  • Take out trash
  • Spray down shower with this cleaner (click here for cleaner)
  • Wipe down the counters and kitchen table
  • Unload/load the dishwasher
  • Clean up toys several times throughout the day to keep a handle on it
  • Make bed
  • Organize papers/mail/etc...

Weekly

Monthly

  • Wipe down light switches, door knobs, walls, etc...
  • Wipe down kitchen cabinets
  • Clean the inside of the microwave
  • Wipe down inside of cabinets
  • Sort through clothes, toys, books and set aside for goodwill
  • Clean inside of fridge and freezer
  • Organize the pantry
  • Clean coffee maker

What are your tips and tricks for keeping on top of cleaning? Please share! Also, what are you favorite cleaning products? I've linked some of mine below!

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Help Me Pick Our Birth Announcements!

This post is sponsored by Basic Invite. Thank you for supporting the brands that I love!

Tomorrow, I'm 33 weeks pregnant - which means only SEVEN WEEKS until baby boy's due date! That seriously blows my mind, it's coming up so quickly! If you've been following my Mommy Monday blog posts, you'll know that there is actually a good chance that he'll come even SOONER than that!

We didn't do Birth Announcements with James...but this time around I really want to get some to send out to family! I think getting some cute pictures of James and his new baby brother would be really special to include on the announcement.

Basic Invite (basicinvite.com) reached out to me recently, and I am SO happy that they did, because they have SUCH amazing products! I'm really excited to have learned about them because I'll be using them for everything now! They have Christmas cards, unique business cards, and, of course, creative birth announcements! They have basically unlimited color options, including over 40 different envelope colors to choose from. They also offer address capturing services, meaning they allow customers to simply share a link on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any other form of social media to request their friends and family’s addresses which will be stored in the customer’s account and can then be selected during the design process. They also let you order printed samples BEFORE you place your final order to make sure you love the product! Anyways, just love everything about this company because I'm very in to cute cards and stationary and everything like that! I've been wanting to get some business cards to be able to hand out to clients too, and I'll for sure be using Basic Invite for when I do!

SO, we will be using them for our birth announcements and they have so many cute options that I need YOUR help choosing which one to use!!

Here are the three that we are deciding between: (Obviously the pictures and the names/info on these cards are just the default ones and we will customize our cards once the baby is born!)

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Option 1

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Option 2

click here

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Option 3

There are so many cute, creative birth announcements on basicinvite.com that it was nearly impossible for me to narrow it down to just three favorites! Now, I really need your help picking between the three options above!! So, go vote in the comments below: option 1, option 2, or option 3??

I'll share the one we pick and the final product once baby boy is here! And I might just be asking for your help in picking our holiday cards in a couple of months too!!

Thanks friends!!

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My Top Piece Of Advice After 10 Years Of Marriage

Today, Ben and I have been married for 10 years!

It simultaneously feels like forever AND just yesterday...it truly truly has just gotten better and better and I feel so blessed. I say it all the time - I'm like a broken record - but I feel so lucky to have met the love of my life at such a young age. You can read our love story here!

I thought in honor of hitting the 10 year mark, I'd share my number one piece of marriage advice. Now, I in no way think I'm an expert - but I do feel very proud of my marriage and I do have a big piece of advice that I think is worth sharing. When I've told people what I'm about to share, they often brush it off or don't quite understand what I mean. So I'll explain.

Because in my opinion, it's the most important thing you can do to cultivate a healthy, happy marriage full of unity and respect. Here it is:

Look for the GOOD in each other.

Ok. So, this sounds simple. This sounds like...no big deal. But it's actually very hard. Let me explain.

I feel like a very common thing is to see spouses LOOKING for things to be annoyed about, or upset by, or to be angry about. They are LOOKING to be let down. They are ASSUMING that their spouse is acting from a selfish place, or a careless place. They INTERPRET actions or words as something negative or bad or careless or insignificant. It can be an easy trap to fall into.

For example:  let's say your husband leaves a mess in the kitchen after fixing himself a snack.

It could be easy to see it this way: he is careless, he's messy, he doesn't even consider the fact that I'm going to end up cleaning this up, he ASSUMES I'll clean up after him, he doesn't appreciate me, he is lazy, etc... etc... etc...

BUT, if you are looking for the GOOD in your husband, you will see the situation from a place of love. Your husband's strength may not be in tidying up - he may not care about it as much as you do...and that's ok! If YOU care, you can clean it up. Or you could ask him if he wouldn't mind helping you out by cleaning up after himself when he gets a chance. You can choose to see the situation in a positive light - maybe it's endearing that your husband is messy. Maybe that's a part of who he is - and you love him! So you accept that!

Or, another example: Your baby has a poopy diaper. You are tired and you feel like you always change the diapers. You wait for your husband to take the initiative and change the diaper. But he doesn't.

It could be easy to see it this way: Your husband is purposefully ignoring a necessary task, he's expecting you to change the diaper, he's not taking responsibility, he's not helping, etc...

BUT, looking for the good in your husband, you could understand that since you DO change most of the diapers, your husband has every right to assume that you are just going to change this one. If you want some help, simply ask - in a nice and respectful way.

These are just two examples where I feel like I've seen spouses react in a way that seems as if they ASSUME THE WORST from their spouse. Doing this breaks down respect on BOTH sides.

You will see what you look for. So look for the GOOD!

The way I look at it is this: Ben is my husband. He is the GREATEST man and husband in the world. He is sweet, loving, smart, brave, hard-working, funny, honorable, humble, devoted...the head of our house, my best friend, my life-long team mate, the father of my children.

It's easy for me to see the good in him! BUT, even in situations where we may disagree, or where we may have a mis-communication, I always stop and LOOK FOR THE GOOD. I try to see where he is coming from in the best possible light. I will stand up for him, have his back, show him respect, fight FOR and ALONGSIDE him, until the end. Because he's mine. My other half. My perfect match. Every situation, I approach from this perspective. Ben and our marriage come first. They are the cornerstone, the foundation, and the base camp. He is my person. I see the good in him. Always.

It's about loyalty. It's about seeking out the BEST in YOUR better half. It's about making your team the BEST it can be by viewing and treating your significant other with respect and with trust and with KINDNESS.

I NEVER speak badly about Ben to ANYONE. Not that I would ever have a reason to. But in general, I don't buy into women (or men, for that matter) bashing their spouse to their friends or family. As a married couple, YOU are one. YOU are a team. YOU deal with your issues or concerns amongst YOURSELVES. YOU show your spouse the respect of not speaking about them behind their backs. By focusing on the negative and discussing annoyances and problems with others, you are weakening the strong front of your relationship with your spouse. It's YOU TWO against the world.

Or, at least, that's how Ben and I see it. :)

Anyways, I'll stop there. I feel so strongly that there is a huge lack of respect and the seeking out of GOOD within marriages. I hope this post makes sense and that it is helpful in some way to at least ONE person.

In my opinion, a marriage is the most important relationship of a person's life. Everything else revolves around that union. Love, look for the good, respect, work together, trust, encourage, compliment, listen, forgive... cliche, but so so important.

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What I've Purchased From The #NSALE So Far

Hi friends!

Who has been shopping the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale?? Are you surviving?? haha I am, barely! It's been a whirlwind, but SOSO much fun. I love covering and shopping the sale and creating content for you guys! And I REALLY appreciate your support - thank you to everyone who has made (or is making) purchases through my links! It means the world to me!

I thought I'd share what I have personally purchased so far from the sale! I'll be making additional purchases, so I'll of course share those with you all. I will also be doing a try on next week of the things I've purchased! I'll post pictures in a blog post, as well as on my Instagram stories.

Here are my purchases thus far from the sale:

What have you purchased so far? What do you have your eye on? Be sure to check out the 'Shop My Nordstrom Sale Picks!' tab at the top of my website (you can also click here) for all of my picks from the sale! I'm constantly updating it, so check back often!

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Mommy Monday: 28 Weeks Pregnant With Number Two!

 Giving his baby brother hugs and kisses!

Giving his baby brother hugs and kisses!

28 weeks! Another milestone reached, and still feeling so well!

A new symptom I've been dealing with has been really intense leg cramps at night. These cramps are no joke and they hurt so badly! They are in my calves and ankles primarily, and I've read that this is a common symptom...any of you experience this?? I didn't have it with James!

I'm officially in the third trimester now, which I can hardly even believe! I was looking at my calendar and realizing that we are seriously so booked and busy for the next couple of months and then...the baby is due! Aaahh!! Where is the time?! I can't believe how soon he'll be here!

The craziest thought is that I get my cerclage removed at around 36 weeks, and POTENTIALLY the baby could come at that time...so only 8 weeks away! That's nothing!!

I keep thinking of everything I need to do before the baby comes, meaning over the next two months...the next 8 weeks!!

Here is my to-do list:

  • Wash all of the baby clothes
  • Pack hospital bag (I'll be doing a blog post on this so stay tuned!)
  • Set up the Snoo in our bedroom
  • Set up all of the old baby toys like the swing, the play mat, etc...
  • Prepare freezer meals
  • Deep clean the house
  • Get my hair highlighted and trimmed
  • Get a manicure and a pedicure

What else am I forgetting??? Let me know in the comments below!

Ok, onto this week's survey!

How far along: 28 weeks 2 days - Third Trimester!!

Total weight gain/loss: Up 19.4 lbs as of last appointment.

Maternity clothes? Yes! Basically all...except for a few cute non-maternity pieces I've found like THIS DRESS

Stretch marks? All around/above my belly button.

Sleep: Horrible, haha I've been getting up to pee at LEAST once per hour the past few nights. This baby is hanging out right on my bladder, haha

Best moment this week: Taking James on a mommy-son date to the theater to see a play of Goldilocks and then running into friends from music class!

Have you told family and friends: Yes!

Movement: So much! I don't remember James being this active, but he probably was! Just feels like this kid is ALWAYS MOVING! So fun! :)

Food cravings: Doughnuts, ice cream, berries, peaches

Anything making you queasy or sick: No.

Have you started to show yet: Yes feeling whale-ish! haha

Gender: Boy!

Labor Signs: Lots of Braxton Hicks. I had so many with James, I think I have irritable uterus.

Belly Button in or out? The top part is out, the bottom part is in. Still.

Wedding rings on or off? Off! Wearing a place holder ring.

Happy or Moody most of the time: Moody and happy. haha

Symptoms: Leg cramps, heart burn, light-headed, out of breath, THIRSTY, hungry all the time stretch marks, spider veins, EMOTIONAL, hormonal, feet starting to hurt if I stand on them too long.

Next weekend we're taking James to this fun event that I can't wait to share with you guys! Ben and I got tickets to it for James'  birthday present and I am SO EXCITED to see James' reaction and face when he sees where we are going!!

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The above are pictures from our mommy/son date to the theater yesterday! We saw Goldilocks and it was so much fun! We also ran into a little girl and her mommy from music class there and so we got to sit with them and get coffee after and it was SUCH a fun day! I love my little man so much!

Have a great week friends!

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10 Things + Life Lately

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Hi friends!

I thought I'd just share a little life update in the form of 10 random things!

  1. James has started becoming really attached to certain toys and it is the cutest. In particular, he loves his stuffed animal raccoon. He'll bring it to the kitchen table and use his little kitchen set to make meals for the raccoon, complete with plate, cup, silverware, etc... It's the sweetest thing!
  2. Ben started an MBA program this past spring and I am so proud of him! He is working full-time at Amazon still (more than full-time, actually) as well as doing full time graduate school. Plus we're having a new baby soon... I keep joking that this will be the year Ben has a breakdown. haha But really, he is amazing. We are so blessed to have him as the head of our family.
  3. I started a garden! I know I mentioned it before, but it has truly become a hobby that I love. I plan on doing a whole blog post about starting a garden soon, so let me know if you have any questions. I'm CERTAINLY no expert, haha. But I can share MY experience with getting started and why I love it so much.
  4. Ben and I both turn 30 years old soon!! Ben's birthday is next week and mine is end of September. It feels so weird, but I am also really excited. There is just something about the idea of being in my thirties that is appealing! Just seems so grown up and settled and like no pressure or...I don't know how to describe it. Do you know what I mean? We'll also be celebrating our 10 year wedding anniversary next week!!
  5. James started doing the cutest thing. He goes "WOOOOOOOOWWWW!" haha Today I was watering the plants and when the water would spray funny or blow in the wind James would smile big and go "wwoooooowwwwwww1" and just get this big wide-eyed look on his face. He is the very best.
  6. Ben and I feel bad for Gunner (our dog) because before we had James, Gunner was our baby. We did EVERYTHING with Gunner. We took him on hikes and backpacking trips. We snuggled all the time. I took Gunner on two long walks a day. Now, he definitely does not get as much attention. It makes me so sad to think about, but it's really hard to give the same kind of attention to a pet once a child comes around. Ben and I are planning a "Gunner Day" for Gunner's 10th birthday in August. We're going to have my mom watch James for the day and take Gunner for a hike and buy him a cheeseburger and spoil him rotten with attention. :) Because soon, there will be ANOTHER baby...sorry Gunner! haha
  7. I was in need of a new water bottle, and Ben got me THIS ONE (click here) and I am OBSESSED! It keeps my water cold for hours...like, even keeps icecubes in it for a really really long time. I drink so much more water now that I have it! Plus it is the PRETTIEST seafoam color. I highly recommend it. I want the bigger version now, in pink!
  8. We've almost lived in our new house for a year! I can't believe it! I love this house so much!
  9. James' second birthday party is in less than two weeks (as is his second birthday). It's going to be a construction zone themed party and he is already getting so excited for it! He carries around one of his invitations and asks me to read it to him and walks around wearing one of the construction hats that we have for party favors. haha I can't wait for him to have a special day celebrating what a wonderful boy he is! I'll do a blog post about the party and all the decorations!
  10. Ben and I have been binge watching The Sapranos. Neither of us had seen it yet, and we are hooked!! It's so good. Have you seen it? What are some other good shows that we should watch next?

Have a great night, friends!

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Perfect Little White Dress For Under $50!

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Hi friends!

I wanted to share this beautiful little white dress from Shop Hello Fashion with you! It's NOT a maternity dress, but look how great it works with a bump!! I'm wearing my regular size Small, so I'd say it runs big. But it definitely is supposed to have that drape-y oversized look. I'm excited to be able to wear this next Spring and Summer when I'm NOT pregnant, as well!

I love finding cute non-maternity pieces that work while pregnant, and this dress is just perfection. It's lined, so not see through, and it's very very comfortable and light-weight.

Best part is, that Shop Hello Fashion gave me a code for you all to use so that you can get 15% off any purchase from their site!! Just use the code FAMILY15 at checkout! With my code, this dress is LESS THAN $50 ... isn't that crazy?? Such a good deal for such a beautiful dress, I can hardly believe it! Click here for the dress

This dress also comes in a beautiful pink color ... I might have to grab it! I love it so much.

These fun sunglasses are also from Shop Hello Fashion (click here for the sunglasses). With my code FAMILY15 they are UNDER $14! I love how different and cool they are!

Shop Hello Fashion is one of my favorite shops - they have such cute stuff. I have this 'Mom Life Is the Best Life' sweatshirt (click here for the sweatshirt) and it is seriously my favorite - so cozy! I also especially love this, this, and this. Also really want this and this for me and James!

Don't forget to use the code FAMILY15 at checkout for 15% off your purchase!

I hope you all have a great weekend!

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Our Daily Routine With A Two Year Old

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I got a request for an updated daily routine now that James is a toddler. The last time I did one of these, James was only 4 months old!! (Read our 4 month old daily routine HERE) Needless to say, A LOT has changed since then!

This is going to just be a generalized schedule/glimpse at what a typical (good) day looks like. Obviously, every day is a little different - I mean, what is motherhood if not a great test of flexibility and "go-with-the-flow-ness" haha. Right??

For reference, James will be two years old in about 2 1/2 weeks.

But, generally speaking, I have a pretty strict stance on meal times, nap time, and bed time. Everything else in our day revolves around those things - ESPECIALLY nap time and bed time. When James gets enough sleep, he is a completely different child: happier and calmer. This therefore makes ME a happier and calmer mama. So, naps and bedtime are EVERYTHING.

Ok, here we go:

Between 5:00-6:00am - James wakes up. Yes, he is a very early riser. But, he also goes to bed between 6:30-7:00pm every night, so it is well worth it to me to have that extra time in the evenings with Ben and to be able to decompress from the day. So, anyways, we get up early. If James wakes up before 6am, we bring him into our bed and let him watch a show while we try to catch a bit more sleep. At 6am, Ben gets up to get ready for work and James and I head downstairs to make breakfast.

Around 6:30am - Ben, James, and I eat breakfast together. Ben heads to work and James plays with his toys while I clean up.

Around 7:00am - We either head upstairs to play in the playroom, or we head outside. In the playroom, I sit on the couch with my coffee and read my daily devotional while James plays with his trains and trucks and planes. Then we'll read books together and I'll play with him. Outside, James plays with his water table, trucks in the rocks, slide, and big legos while I sit and drink my coffee. Then we'll often pick weeds together - James is very into weeding right now! :)

Around 8:00am - I let James watch a show on the iPad while I get dressed and do my makeup. Then I get him dressed. We turn off his show and he brushes his teeth.

8:30ish-11:00am - We head downstairs and get James (and me) a snack. If I need to run errands, we usually head out around 9am. Otherwise, we often times will sweep and/or vacuum together, play outside some more, read some more, etc... until nap time.

11:00am-anywhere between 12:30 and 1:30pm - James naps, and I eat a snack and try to get stuff done! I will do chores, work on blog posts/articles, respond to e-mails, garden...but more often than not, I end up lying on the couch watching YouTube videos. haha I am always just SO exhausted by this point in the day! I can never nap though...I'm just not a napper, unfortunately! I wish I were!

Anywhere from 12:30 and 1:30pm - Whenever James wakes up from his nap, we'll snuggle for a bit and then we'll have lunch.

Anywhere between 1:00-2:00pm - James finishes his lunch and then we play some more! Either outside or in the playroom. I'll often do laundry and more cleaning at this point while he plays.

Anywhere between 2:00-4:00pm - We do craft time and/or baking and educational games. Then we go on a walk and get the mail. James loves getting in his stroller and I'm able to get around 3 miles in, pushing him. Sometimes we'll end up at the park by our house for him to play, or in some of the open lots/land around our house where he plays with rocks and sticks and flowers. He could seriously do that ALL day. :)

Anywhere between 4:00-5:00pm - We head home and either play in the yard a bit more, depending on what time it is, OR if it is 5:00pm already by the time we get home, I'll go ahead and turn a show on for James while I cook dinner.

5:30pm - Dinner time! Ben is often home in time to eat dinner with us, which is SO nice!

6:00pm - We usually have a dance party in the kitchen and run around and/or read books.

6:30pm - Bath time!

Anywhere from 6:45-7:00pm - Jammies and in bed. James is asleep by at the very latest 7pm.

7:00-10:00pm - I clean, work on blog posts, etc... shower, and spend quality time with Ben.

10:00-11:00pm - Ben and I usually go to bed around 10pm. We read for about a half hour to an hour and then go to sleep.

That's what a typical day looks like for us! Obviously we have to change things around a bit. James has music class one day a week, and playdates with friends, and story time at the library, etc... But, generally speaking, that is what our days look like.

I know AAAALLLL of this is probably going to change drastically once the new baby arrives! So, I'll definitely update you all on our NEW routine once we get into a groove with the new little guy!

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Podcasts I'm Currently Loving

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Hi friends!

I have found some really great podcasts lately and I wanted to share them with you! If you have any that you love, please share with me in the comments because I'm very into podcasts at the moment and would love new recommendations!

In no particular order:

  1. 3 in 30 Takeaways For Moms: This is such a great one for moms! It offers 3 tips each episode that are so applicable and thought provoking and helpful and encouraging and INFORMATIVE! My very favorite episode that I think every single mama should listen to is Episode 023: How To Stop Looking At Your Phone So Much-And Why It Matters
  2. The Skinny Confidential Him and Her: This podcast is pretty entertaining and also has a lot of great business and wellness tips!
  3. Wild + Free: A great one for anyone considering (or currently) homeschooling their children. Ben and I plan on at least trying out homeschooling our boys, and I have found this podcast so informational, encouraging, and inspiring.
  4. The Core Connections Podcast: I love this podcast so very much! The host is Erica Ziel, the creator of the Core Rehab Program (click here for more information) and Knocked Up Fitness (click here for more information) - two fitness programs that I seriously can't rave about enough. The Core Rehab Program helped me to heal my body postpartum, including helping me to close up my diastasis recti (abdominal separation). Knocked Up Fitness is what I'm currently doing - it's a prenatal fitness program and I love it so much!
  5. Babes and Babies: This is just a fun one! If you're a Bachelor fan, then you probably know Jade Roper and Carly Waddell. This is their podcast and they talk about all sorts of topics from motherhood, babies, beauty, health, etc...
  6. How I Built This: This podcast is a popular one! Each episode is an interview with a successful person who has started a well-known company. Some of the episodes include interviews with the founders of Lyft, Lululemon, Minted, Bob's Red Mill, Dermalogica, Wayfair, Stitch Fix, The Knot, Wikipedia....etc... Very very interesting and inspiring!
  7. Super Soul: There's just something about Oprah! I mean, who doesn't love her! This is her podcast and she chats with tons of different inspirational people.
  8. Skimm'd From The Couch: If you've followed me for the past few years, then you know I LOVE The Skimm (click here for more information). I look forward to reading it every morning. It's honestly the only source of news that I consume. The founders of The Skimm created this podcast and they interview successful women. Very inspiring!
  9. The Tim Ferriss Show: Tim Ferriss is one interesting guy. Not to mention, he is a VERY successful business man and his podcast is packed with cool facts, motivation, health and wellness hacks, business strategies, etc... It is such a good one!

Definitely check some of these podcasts out if you're on the hunt! And please share any other recommendations!

Have a wonderful Independence Day tomorrow!!

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Mommy Monday: 27 Weeks Pregnant With Number Two!

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27 weeks pregnant, and feeling great! Although, some new symptoms: bloody noses (I had these  A TON when I was pregnant with James!), and heartburn!

So, last Monday, I had my one hour test to check for gestational diabetes. I found out the next day that I had failed that one hour test and therefore had to go in and do the three hour test. The same thing happened when I was pregnant with James, so I wasn't too worried about it. It was more of just a pain, because for the three hour test I had to fast (no coffee even!!), and it takes ...THREE HOURS. So, just kind of miserable and inconvenient.

But I did it last Wednesday, and I found out on Friday that I PASSED! Woohoo, so NO gestational diabetes for me! Hooray! Bring on the doughnuts! ;)

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Today I got my hair cut - three inches off and it feels SO much healthier!! The last time I got it cut was...November?? haha So it was WAAAYY over due. Here are some before and afters - nothing drastic, but just way healthier!!

I think that's all for now! This is my last week in the second trimester - so next Mommy Monday post will be the start of my THIRD TRIMESTER! Seriously, where is the time going? I've started sorting through James' baby clothes and getting them all moved into the dresser for baby boy number two. It's making me so emotional but also so excited. James has been helping me go through his old clothes and it is just so so cute! He has so much fun looking at them all, haha.

I'm really feeling emotional about the fact that there are less than 13 weeks left in this pregnancy, meaning only 13ish weeks left of it JUST being James. I know it will be so great and fun and happy (and hard, haha). But I can't help but think about how precious this time is with just James - just me and him, one on one every day. I will miss this era. It's such a special time in life that we wont get back and I'm so thankful for it. I love that little boy so incredibly much! How is he going to be TWO YEARS OLD in a few weeks?!?!?!

Alright, onto this week's survey:

How far along: 27 weeks 2 days - almost to the THIRD trimester!!

Total weight gain/loss: Up 19.4 lbs as of last week's appointment.

Maternity clothes? Yep! All maternity at this point! I'm big, guys. Real big. haha

Stretch marks? A ton around and above my belly button! Aaaahhh, motherhood. :)

Sleep: Fine!

Best moment this week: Finding out I passed the glucose test!

Have you told family and friends: Yes!

Movement: All the time! He is an active little boy! So much fun! I will miss feeling him move once he is born, since we aren't planning on having any more kids. It's such a special experience!

Food cravings: Pasta, doughnuts, fruit, ice cream... HA

Anything making you queasy or sick: No.

Have you started to show yet: Yep! Big time!

Gender: Boy!

Labor Signs: Some (very few) Braxton Hicks.

Belly Button in or out? The top part is out, the bottom part is in.

Wedding rings on or off? Off! Wearing a place holder ring.

Happy or Moody most of the time: MOODY/emotional

Symptoms: Bloody noses, heart burn, light-headed, out of breath, THIRSTY, hungry all the time stretch marks, spider veins, EMOTIONAL, hormonal, tired, crying at nothing... It's great! hahaha

Thank you for your continued prayers and good vibes! It is SO incredibly wonderful to be able to experience a "normal" pregnancy!! Only 9ish weeks until I get my cerclage out! Woohoo!

 

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Small Shop Feature: Little Pine Artistry

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I'm starting a new series called "Small Shop Feature", in which I'll be sharing some of my FAVORITE small shops. If you have your own shop, feel free to reach out! I'd love to try out your products and feature them here if they are a good fit!

To kick off this series, I want to start with a shop that I am absolutely in LOVE with: Little Pine Artistry

As you can tell from the pictures above, I have been meaning to post a feature on this shop for a LOOOOOOONGGG time... I mean...see James' crib?? haha He's been in a toddler bed for a couple of months now. Regardless, my love for this shop has not wavered one bit.

Megan Nielsen is the artist behind Little Pine Artistry, and to say she is talented would be an enormous understatement. There is just something about her art that I adore so so very much. She does watercolors of nature and whimsical animals. They are BEAUTIFUL pieces...PERFECT for a nursery or play room or child's bedroom. James loves his custom bear piece that Megan created especially for his room! He points at it and smiles so big whenever he sees it!

This isn't a sponsored post or anything. I just genuinely want to bring awareness to this incredibly talented artist. I think you guys would really love her work, so be sure to check out her shop by clicking HERE.

I'm definitely going to be ordering another piece from her for when baby boy number two arrives!

What are some of your favorite small shops? Please share in the comments so that I can check them out!

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Fourth of July Outfits!

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Fourth of July is right around the corner! It crept up on me - I can’t believe it is next week!

I scooped up this really cute, really comfortable NON-MATERNITY dress from Target to wear. We have absolutely zero plans for the 4th, so I’ll be wearing this around the house. BUT, at least I’ll feel festive! Click here for my dress

I got James an adorable star t-shirt to wear! He LOVES stars so much - Twinkle Twinkle Little Star is his favorite song. We sing it every night before he goes to bed, and he wanders around singing it throughout the day. So, when I saw this star shirt I knew he would be SO excited about it…and he was! I am thinking about getting this shirt so that I can match him - click here for the adult star shirt, and use the code FAMILY15 to get 15% off! Unfortunately, James' shirt is no longer in stock, but click here for a bunch of other cute toddler 4th of July options!

In case you are still looking for outfit ideas for the 4th, I’ve rounded up a few different pieces that I think would be perfect for the holiday!

Click each picture below for details/pricing.

What are YOUR plans for the Fourth of July? How will you be celebrating? When James is older, it will be fun to take him to a fireworks show. But, for now, we’ll all be in bed by 7pm! haha

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Everything You Need To Know About The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale!

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The above pictures feature just a FEW of my favorite pieces from last year's sale!

I can’t even explain how ridiculously excited I am for the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. I mean…it’s kind of embarrassing really! haha I LOVE this sale! Last year, I had an absolute blast putting together content and shopping the sales to share the BEST pieces with you all! I am definitely looking forward to doing it again this year!

I thought I’d put together this post to tell you guys all the info. that you need to know about the upcoming sale. The catalog was just released and I am having so much fun browsing through and picking out what I’m going to buy and what I want to share with you all!

First things first: When is the sale?

The sale is open 8 days early for Nordstrom cardholders. For cardholders, the sale starts on July 12th and is open exclusively to you until July 19th. Then, on July 20th, the sale opens up to the public and goes until August 5th.

On August 6th, all prices go back up!

It REALLY behooves you to be a cardholder if you are at all interested in shopping the sale. Things sell out FAST…and I mean FAAAASSSSTTT during this sale! After a day or two, it’s likely a lot of the best things will be sold out. So it’s really important to jump when you see something you want, and by being a Nordstrom cardholder, you get first dibs.

You can get information and sign up to be a cardholder by clicking here.

What exactly is included in the sale?

This sale is seriously unlike any other - no really! Usually sales include pieces that have already been out that are now discounted before they are taken off the shelves.

The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is made up of NEW PIECES that are being discounted FIRST, before they go up to their real prices. So, this sale is all of the incredible NEW pieces for Fall that are about to hit Nordstrom, from all of the best brands, and they are being released FIRST during the sale for heavily discounted prices!

This sale is the PERFECT opportunity to stock up on basics like jeans, tees, handbags, sweaters, and shoes, as well as all the new trends for Fall and Winter!

I seriously just can't wait! I'm like a kid around Christmas time ... I will definitely be pulling all-nighters again to share the very best of the best with you guys! I'll be doing try-ons of my purchases as well, so be sure you're following me on Instagram: @annamcohenblog

Here are some of my posts from last year's sale:

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Early Access Picks!

What To Buy From The Nordstrom Sale!

Keep checking back for all of the latest on the #NordstromSale!

What types of pieces are you looking for during this year's sale? Let me know and I'll be sure to search them out for you!

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My Go-To Smoothie Recipe

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No pretty pictures here because I just decided to throw this recipe up real quick! James is playing SO independently this morning, so I'm taking advantage! I whipped up my favorite smoothie, snapped a quick picture, and here you go!

I love this smoothie because it is full of healthy fats and protein, which keeps you full for a LOOOONG time. It helps to regulate your blood sugar so you don't crash and get starving again in an hour. It's the best! I also love it's thick, creamy texture.

Ingredients:

  • half of a sliced up frozen banana
  • around 3/4 cups of almond milk
  • one spoonful of peanut butter (you could also use almond butter)
  • one spoonful of coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup of oats
  • a pinch of flax seed
  • a pinch of chia seeds
  • a scoop of vanilla protein powder (could also use chocolate! I use this protein powder: click here)

Blend all of the ingredients together in a blender. I use the Nutribullet (click here for the blender I use)

I don't honestly measure any of the ingredients precisely. I just eyeball it, so don't stress too much. Just do what looks/sounds good to you. But it's seriously so yummy and really keeps you feeling full a long time. Plus, it's super healthy and good for you! Win!

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How To Cultivate A Peaceful Morning With A Toddler

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My robe is from Pinkblush: Click here to shop

Hi friends!

As a mama, there can be a big adjustment when it comes to mornings. What used to be a quiet, slow, calm time of day, with young kids morning time has the tendency to be hectic, loud, and wild. I used to savor the quiet of the mornings. I used to ease into my day with a cup of coffee and the news and meditation...it was a time of quiet reflection, planning out the day ahead, and setting the tone for a positive, collected, productive day.

But when you have a little one, you are often times jarred awake by a cry or a "MAAAMAAAAA" and with that you are thrust into the day, full-speed ahead. Screaming, yelling, running, throwing, playing, clanking, scrambling to get a breakfast together...it's definitely a far-cry from the days of quietly easing into your day! Don't get me wrong - it's great and fun, and I love it! But...just saying! haha Some mornings you just want to have a quiet, peaceful, calm start to your day.

Here are a few things I have been doing that have helped James and I to have a calmer, more peaceful, slow morning together:

  • Light a candle: James loves watching the flame flicker while he eats his breakfast. He asks me every morning to light our candle. It helps to create such a peaceful scene and it mesmerizes him!
  • Play calm music: I have started playing either worship music or Jack Johnson in the mornings. Music sets the mood, and I've noticed that the whole atmosphere is so much calmer and more peaceful when we have our "morning music" playing softly in the background.
  • Plan out breakfast ahead of time: Toddlers can wake up ravenous, and the key is getting a quick meal to them ... STAT. It can be so stressful to try to come up with something quick to make while a toddler is screaming or whining. I like to plan out breakfasts for the week. For example, Monday, Wednesday, Friday we'll have scrambled eggs, toast, and fruit. Tuesday and Sunday, we'll have oatmeal and fruit. Thursday and Saturday we'll have waffles and fruit and yogurt. Just an example. I don't do that exact schedule every week, but knowing what I'll be making in the morning makes it a bit easier and calmer. I usually will give James a bowl of berries to tie him over while I cook his breakfast.
  • Go outside: Now that the weather is warm, we have been heading out into the back yard right after breakfast. I bring my coffee, James plays with his water table and trucks, and we watch bugs and birds fly around. It's so nice to get fresh air in the morning, and James is able to run around and play independently and explore while I get to have a quiet time to enjoy my coffee. :)

What are some of your tips for cultivating a peaceful morning with little ones? I'd love to hear any of your tips/tricks!

Have a beautiful Sunday!

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Read Along With Me: Book Roundup

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Here's a list of some of the books I've read over the past year or so! There are quite a few, so grab a cup of coffee and get ready to beef up your reading list!

I'll put all of the books into two categories:  Books I Recommend and Books I Do NOT Recommend. You can click on the arrows on either end of each strip of photos to scroll through all of the books. I'll link to each book as well, so all you have to do is click on the picture of the book and you will be taken to the Amazon page where you can read what it's about and purchase it. Here we go!

Books I Recommend

Books I Do NOT Recommend

What are some books that you recommend?? Please share - I'm always looking for new books! As you can see, I am super into the thriller genre at the moment!

I'll do another one of these book roundups in a few months. I have a huge stack of books that I am getting to that all sound sooo good and I can't wait to share them all with you!

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My Current Makeup Lineup

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Hi beautiful people!

I did a poll on Instagram asking if you guys wanted to see a post on books I've read recently, or on my current makeup lineup, and the makeup post won! I'll get my book review post up next week (hopefully!). But let's dive right into the makeup products I have been using recently!

I am really liking my current makeup situation. I've got it down so that it is super quick (I can get my full, daily makeup look done in under 10 minutes), and really easy to do. As a mom, I don't have time for fancy brushes, sponges, contour, etc... I keep it straight forward and easy peasy! I also use my fingers to apply my foundation, concealer, and blush. The only thing I use a brush for is my highlighter and my eyeshadow. Easy!

Before I apply my makeup, I wash my face every morning and then apply this facial tanning lotion: click here

While that is drying, I brush my teeth and put lip balm on. I like this lip balm. Then I'll pat in a tiny bit of moisturizer. I have been using this moisturizer lately, and I know it's full of bad ingredients, but honestly I've had so much trouble with my skin lately and since using this my face has been the most clear that it's been in awhile. So, I'm sticking to it for now!

Next up I use my fingers to apply a couple of pumps of this CC + illuminating cream. I use the shade 'Light'. I love the subtle glow it gives, and it does wonders when it comes to evening out my skin tone. Plus, it has SPF 50+, which is a great bonus! I blend the cc cream in to my hair line and also down onto my neck, using my fingers. I sometimes will use a beauty blender, but I have found that I like the outcome best when I just use my fingers.

After I apply my cc cream, I go in with this concealer. It's full coverage, anti-aging, and water proof, and it is my FAVORITE concealer. I wear the shade 'Light'. I like this concealer so much! It doesn't settle in the creases  under my eyes and it provides a really full coverage which I am AAAALLL about. I do use Shape Tape occasionally, but Bye Bye Under Eye is definitely my go-to.

Next, I apply a tiny little bit of this blush with my finger tips. When I say a "tiny little bit", I mean it. A little of this goes a LOOONG way. Start off with less than you think you need and you can always add more. I love how dewey and light this blush is. It gives the perfect hint of pink. I wear the shade 'Puff'.

To finish off my face, I use this palette from Tarte. I recieved this palette in the FabFitFun Summer Box, which was sent to me, and I am SO happy to have been able to try it! Side note: you can get $10 off of your first FabFitFun box HERE with the code AMC10. Anyways, this palette is a GAME CHANGER. I am seriously in love. It is so good. I use the shade 'Strobe' on my cheek bones, nose, brow bones, upper forehead, and all over my eyes. It acts to set my face, as well as acting as a highlighter. Then I'll dust a bit of the shade 'Lit' all over to add a nice warm glow. I then will use the shade 'Stunner' as my eye shadow, sweeping it all over my lids. I really can't say enough good things about this palette. I've gotten so many compliments on my skin since I started using it! I use a Sigma brush.

I finish off my makeup with my eyes. I curl my eyelashes, apply eyeliner (I love how easy this is to use and how it effortlessly gives that cateye look), and this mascara. I was using this IT Cosmetics mascara for awhile, which I love. But honestly, nothing beats this one, and it is so affordable! I honestly just don't love any other mascara as much as this one. It makes my eyelashes look so full and long, without looking clumpy at all.

It seriously takes me less than 10 minutes to do my makeup each morning. I also shower at night before bed, so I don't have to shower in the morning, and I wash my hair every 2-3 days, so usually I just spray some dry shampoo and I'm good to go! My routine is fast and easy - what every mama strives for, haha.

How long does it take you to do your makeup? What are your favorite products? Please share!

 

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