Where to Find Cute Bathing Suits Now that Victoria’s Secret is No Longer Selling Them

Where-to-Find-Cute-Bathing-Suits-Now-that-Victorias-Secret-is-No-Longer-Selling-Them

Last year when Victoria’s Secret announced that they would no longer be carrying swimwear, was everyone else as devastated as I was? I mean… I sat and thought about it, and I couldn’t remember the last time that I didn’t buy a swimsuit from Vicky’s Secret during the summer. I think I was in denial since I chose to basically not believe it until I went to look for some new bikinis for my anniversary trip coming up, only to find their PINK line suits were the only ones available, which just aren’t what I need in my life.

In case you are just as devastated as me and are looking for some cute bathing suits for this summer, here’s a compilation of lots of places you can find cute suits. Nothing will be as cute, make you feel as sexy and as affordable as our favorite Victoria’s Secret swimwear, BUT we can get pretty close.

The Affordable

Forever 21

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Target

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Aerie

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Sophie & Trey

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Hazel & Olive

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Rue 21

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The Super Cute

ASOS

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Free People

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Pacsun

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Buckle

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Everything But Water

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Revolve

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Lulu’s

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The Very Sexy

Beach Bunny

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San Lorenzo

http://www.sanlorenzohawaii.com/swimwear/shop-by-collection/summer-passport/

Lolli

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The Basic

Urban Outfitters

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Gap

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Nordstrom

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Old Navy

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Macy’s

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I’m always looking for new places to find bathing suits – what are your favorites?

C’est la vie,

Anna

 

 

 

Planning a Honeymoon or Vacation? Travel Review of Montego Bay, Jamaica

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Back in April of last year when I got married, I wasn’t really blogging much. I’m so sad about this because blogging about wedding planning and the like would have been so much fun, but nonetheless, I didn’t get to tell you guys all about our travels to Montego Bay, Jamaica and all of the fun we had honeymooning. Our anniversary is coming up in just a few months and as we are planning our anniversary trip, I find myself reminiscing on that beautiful week in Montego Bay full of sunny days, sites to see, the yummiest local rum and love overload.

A ton of my friends are getting married this year, while others are just looking for their next vacation destination… so I thought it’d be the perfect time to tell you guys about all of the fun there is to be had in Jamaica.

Traveling To & From

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As much as I enjoy flying, and riding the bus to your resort can be a good chance to sight see, you don’t want to spend all of your time traveling, when you can be enjoying. A few of my friends went on honeymoons where the flight was a little long, and then they had to ride a bus for an hour or so before they made it to their resort. :/ Flying into Montego Bay was a breeze. The flight itself was about 2 1/2 hours and we landed so close to the resort that you could see the people on the beach as we were making our descent. We then hopped on our transfer bus and were at our resort within 10 – 15 minutes. Not to mention, the drive was through town, rather than back roads, so we got to see some of the local culture on our way in.

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Where to Stay

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Once you go all-inclusive, you can’t go back (or you wish you didn’t have to). There’s nothing better than arriving at your resort and not having to pay another penny the entire time you’re there. There are tons of beautiful, all-inclusive resorts (I highly suggest adult-only resorts) in Montego Bay such as multiple Sandals locations, the Iberostar, etc., but we stayed at Secrets Wild Orchid and absolutely adored it.

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The cuisine was amazing… like so amazing that I gained 8 pounds during our trip. The breakfast buffet is to die for. There are 8 delicious restaurants for dinner ranging from Jamaican to Japanese to French and you can eat ice cream pretty much 24/7. Although we chose to also add in some excursions, the resort had tons of water sports for us to do and we had the best time snorkeling and kayaking.

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The nightlife and entertainment were some of my favorite parts. I never knew I could be so in love with Bob Marley, but once you listen to his songs for a week, you go back to the good ole USA feeling pretty mellowed out and happy. We saw tons of local bands, acrobats, musicians, etc. Not to mention, the club is also lots of fun. I’ve never seen so many pretty shots and bartending performances in my life. We only made it to the club one night though because well.. all-inclusive means all-inclusive and your girl can’t hang.

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Our room was beautiful and so was the view. I think I could have stayed there for like three more weeks at least.

*One note – (& I think it’s this way in lots of honeymoon suites) The bathroom is completely open to the bedroom, so you’re like hello… happy 1st day of marriage, now I have to go #2… like right here, with you in the room, sorry.

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Things to Do

My husband and I left the resort two days out of our trip. The resort had lots to do, but we’re just not lie-around-all-day-at-the-resort kind of people, at some point we get stir crazy, plus we like to see the sites. Our first day out on the town, we went shopping, which I have to say, I don’t suggest. I, myself, love shopping and I loved getting to see the city and the locals, BUT it was so overwhelming. Getting pulled into dark back rooms by myself and having jewelry put all over me that of course I couldn’t say “no” to just isn’t my favorite thing to do. However, we did get some neat items to bring home like rum cake, rum, a painting by a local artist, some little Jamaican carvings and lots of t-shirts (my favorite).

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The second excursion we went on is a must-do if you go anywhere near Montego Bay. I had just finished watching a season of The Bachelor not long before we planned our trip and was so jealous of their rafting date in Jamaica that Bryan and I had to go on a rafting trip of our own.

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Ben & Caila river rafting on ABC’s The Bachelor

We rafted down the Martha Brae and I ate up every second. You have a guide who paddles you down the river and tells you all about the history of the area. It’s so beautiful and we got to stop by a river side shack to grab me a coconut full of rum. Even the ride to and from the location was fun because we got to see the homes in the hillsides and pet goats grazing in the yards.

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I have a long list of places I want to visit, so we won’t be making it back to Jamaica this year, but I highly suggest it! Bryan and I had the best time, ate the best food and honestly, didn’t want to leave.

Have any questions about Montego Bay? Ask me – I’d love to help you plan your trip!

 

Safe travels mon!

C’est la vie,

Anna

 

Life & Lattes’ Top 5 Blog Posts of 2016

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Life and Lattes is seriously one of my favorite parts of the day. I love writing for you guys and hearing from readers all around the world. As I finally kickstart 2017, I’m working on figuring out what direction I want to take the blog in. A new logo, web design and more goodies are probably in the works over the next few months – yay! But mostly, I want to look back at which blog posts were your favorites in 2016. I love seeing what you guys enjoy reading the most and I have to say, I was surprised to see just which posts made the list. Check it out!

 

#1: The Struggles of Being a Girl with a Big Nose

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I’m not going to lie, I was so surprised that this post was #1! I actually wrote all about my big nose blues back in either late 2014 or early 2015, but year after year, it is my most read post. Other girls out there with big noses, just know, I feel your pain and I’m here for you!

 

#2: The World Lost the Most Beautiful Soul Today

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I wrote this post back in July when my aunt passed. I was really worried about writing it because it was very real and sad and unlike all of my other light and airy content on the site, but I felt compelled to do it. Anyone who has experienced death knows the toll it takes on you and I was happy to see how touched my readers were with this piece and really taken back by how well so many of you knew the same grief I was feeling from your own experiences.

 

#3: An Open Letter to My Older Sister

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Older sisters are the best… especially mine, so I’ll say she definitely deserves a spot in the top 5 posts for the year!

 

#4: 5 Things Your Husband Hates to Hear

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I think all wives and girlfriends alike got a good laugh out of this one. 🙂

 

#5: What Happened When My Husband Went on a Bachelor Trip

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I think y’all all got a little worried when you read the title here, that my husband did some terrible things on this bachelor trip and that I was having to re-evaluate the state of my marriage after just a few short months, haha, but luckily… that wasn’t the case! I loved hearing from SO many women though who feel the same as I do… glad to know I’m not the only one!

So there you have it – the top posts of 2016. Lots of fun and yummy stories are brewing for this year though, so be on the lookout!

C’est la vie,

Anna

10 Things to Do When You’re Feeling Overwhelmed

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*This post contains affiliate links

Hi loves – so, it’s safe to say I’ve been a little MIA, so sorry for it! Does anyone else feel like Christmas and the New Year were such a whirlwind? I’m sitting here looking at my calendar like, how the heck is it January 16th? I mean… we are halfway through the month of January. Mind blown.

Part of the reason you haven’t heard from me since before Christmas though is because to put it simply, I have just been so overwhelmed. When lots of businesses are winding down for the holidays, advertising is in overdrive. You might as well call us Santa’s elves because we are running around making sure our clients’ holiday campaigns are running, wrapping up the year in a neat little bow, getting everything set for January campaigns, etc.

I’ve also been fortunate that recently my job has become more challenging, more interesting and definitely busier. You’re probably thinking that doesn’t sound so great, but when you are 100% commission, it’s a HUGE blessing. I say all of this to say though, that work has taken the top priority in my life. Working out… on the backburner, blogging… on the backburner… eating well, spending time with people, keeping my house clean, etc. have all fallen to the wayside. Basically, I need to find a happy medium and better work-life balance.

I’ve been doing a little research on what to do when you’re overwhelmed and how to find balance, and in hoping I’m not the only one struggling to keep things together so far in 2017, I figured I would share what I’ve found and tried out with you. So here you go friends! Find some peace and balance with me.

1. Stop running in overdrive all day & ask for help

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Basically, that’s what I’ve been doing. Getting to work a little earlier, leaving a little later, missing lunch breaks and working at 110% all day. I can already tell this is the path to burnout, which I definitely don’t want to happen. About a week or so ago, I started utilizing my fellow Account Manager, Sales Assistant and new Intern and I’ve found that delegating tasks to them and collaborating as a team makes my job a lot more manageable and makes me a lot less tired and overwhelmed.

2. Exercise

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I feel a little guilty like I’m not practicing what I preach here. I worked out for the first time since Christmas last week, and if you’re someone like me, not working out for that long, combined with bad holiday eating means weight gained and lots of guilt. However, between a run with my husband last week and a boot camp workout with my cousin, I already feel better. Because I was working so much, I felt like I didn’t have time. Truthfully, I don’t have a ton of time, between cooking some nights or just wanting to eat dinner with my husband, straightening the house, showering and getting things ready for the next day. When I can convince myself to take the time to go workout though, it releases so much stress and anxiety, and makes me feel better about my body which means one less thing to stress about.

3. Rest your mind

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When I’m multi-tasking and going full force all day at work, by the end of the day, my brain is so tired that I can barely make conversation with my husband when I get home. There’s so much to do that I feel like I shouldn’t take any breaks, but I have found that when I take a couple of minutes between projects or clients to do something mindless, I feel so much more productive and less stressed. Maybe a couple minutes to eat a snack and scroll through Instagram or a couple laps around the office. No matter what it is, taking those few minutes helps me to avoid headaches and make the time that I am working really count.

4. Allow those around you to support you

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There really is nothing that can make you feel better than family. I’ve found that these people really are here to uplift and support you, so sometimes you have to allow them to. For me, that often means calling my mom and venting about work or asking my husband to pick up the groceries and take care of dinner, so I can work out and chill when I get home. Life is so much easier when you have people to help you out and they’re usually pretty happy to, so you might as well let them!

5. Narrow your focus

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Sometimes I find that I put too much on my plate. For instance, right now, I’m planning three baby showers, one couple’s shower, trying to get bikini ready before my anniversary trip at the end of April, trying to create healthier eating habits in our home, blogging again and developing a lot of new business at work. I have to realize that’s all I can handle for now. So, our Etsy shop has gone on hold, house hunting is on hold, etc. And… that’s okay. In time, your responsibilities change and you have more time for other things.

6. Be lazy

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The weekends should be time just for you. Sure, some weekends you’ll have obligations that can take up this time, but when you do get those weekends when you have nothing planned, take full advantage of them. Get your house in order at a leisurely pace, eat something delicious and spend lots of time being lazy. Your brain needs a rest, so don’t spend your entire weekend working to lighten your load during the week or doing everything you didn’t have time for during the week before. No rest on the weekend means starting the week off tired and that’s never a good thing to do.

7. Let it go and take moments in

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I added #7 because the majority of these tips are for when you are overwhelmed with work, because currently that’s where I’m at in life, but I can think back to one year ago today when I was feeling just as overwhelmed with wedding planning. I have lots of friends right now who are overwhelmed preparing for babies that are due this spring – so this tip is an important one. There are lots of little details that we worry over and allow to stress us out. Sometimes we just need to let it go and understand that those little things really aren’t that big of a deal. Often, we need to sit back and realize that these moments are really great memories that we should take in and enjoy.

8. Make lists

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If you follow the blog, you know how much I LOVE/am obsessed with making lists. I love them so much, I literally wrote about how thankful I am for them. They are a life saver though. When I started my first job, I had trouble sleeping at night because my mind would be so busy thinking about all of the things I needed to do at work the next day. I still have this problem honestly, but a wise woman I worked with suggested keeping a pen and notepad on my nightstand. At first, I thought this was a silly idea. I would just stay up all night writing I thought, but what I found is that when I woke up thinking of something I needed to do, I could write it down and be done with it. I didn’t have to worry about forgetting that it needed to be done. Making lists allows us to get a bigger picture of what’s stressing us out. It allows us to break things down and prioritize, which makes us more productive, more efficient, helps us not to forget things we need to do and most of all, a lot of times, makes me realize it’s nothing I can’t handle one line at a time.

9. Cry (& sometimes have a glass of wine)

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I know, this seems dramatic and crazy, but nothing is a better catharsis than a good cry. Of course, you don’t want to go around crying at work all day, but I am a crier and I am not ashamed. Anyone who knows me well will tell you I wear waterproof mascara everyday, because you just never know when a good cry is coming, haha! Many people see crying as a sign of weakness, but that’s just not the case. Your body reacts negatively to stress and everyone has their own ways of releasing that stress… rather than turning to anger or smoking or getting physically ill, I just cry it out and I’m done with it. But… when all else fails, adding a glass of wine every once in a while can’t hurt either. 🙂

10. Breathe

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This one sounds silly and like common sense I know, but it’s so important. A lot of times when I’m getting overwhelmed or stressed about everything I have to do, my heart starts beating really fast and my body goes into stress-mode… I’m sure as you’re reading this, you probably know exactly what awful feeling I’m talking about. If I sit and consciously take deep breaths though, that feeling goes away pretty quickly. Embarrassingly enough, in these moments,  I sometimes have to give myself a little pep talk just to remind myself that I can do it and being challenged is what I thrive on, but those few seconds of silence and deep breathing make all the difference!

So there you have it. I hope next time you’re feeling overwhelmed, this list will help you make it through. There is so much to look forward to in 2017 and there’s just no sense in spending all of our time stressed and missing out on the joys of life!

C’est la vie,

Anna

For more great tips, visit these sites:

Inc.com

Forbes.com

ThinkSimpleNow.com

 

 

5 Things That Might Be Hindering Your Performance at Work

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*This post includes affiliate links

Do you have days at work where you feel super productive, energized and overall happy about where you are and how you’re performing? Those are the best… but at the same time, I’m sure you have days where you feel tired, disinterested or just unable to do your best. Am I right? Don’t worry! I have those days too. If you can try to push yourself to really drill down the problem though and figure out why you feel that way, a lot of times you can fix it. Here’s 5 things that might be hindering your performance at work.

1. Fatigue

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I know from experience that not getting enough sleep can severely affect my performance at work, but if you don’t believe me, just ask Harvard University. Their study shows that “in the workplace [lack of sleep’s] effects can be seen in reduced efficiency and productivity, errors, and accidents”. I know I’ve talked about this before in my post, Non-Morning People Wake Up Earlier, but getting enough sleep, waking up a little earlier and having a positive morning routine can make a huge difference! If you’re tired, you can’t do your job well and you’ll be less happy overall.

2. Eating habits

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Food is literally fuel for your body. I know we often think of it as an emotional comfort or something yummy to taste, but if you think of it as being similar to gasoline that a car needs to run, it really changes your perspective. Eating too much food or unhealthy foods can be disastrous to your productivity at work. It can make you feel sluggish, tired and maybe even discouraged about your weight when you need to be focusing on emails and clients. Not eating enough can be just as detrimental. Have you ever tried to do an insane diet and do… well anything else? All you can think about is the food you’re craving, how hungry you feel and overall it makes you distracted and irritable. Making a point to eat a balanced diet full of a variety of wholesome food will not only make you more alert, but you’ll feel better, your mood will improve and you’ll kick ass at work.

3. Not being organized

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When you start the day off coming into a messy office with a desk full of papers, it can overwhelm you and slow you down. Why start the day on a negative note, feeling frantic and like you don’t know where to start? A really good practice to put in place is to organize and straighten your desk every day before you leave work, so that you come in to a clean slate. Also, making sure to stay organized and having structure for your day can make a huge difference. Being unorganized = being less productive, so just try it out!

4. Appearance

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Your appearance inadvertently affects your work performance. If you don’t look your best, you don’t feel your best and that can affect your confidence and success. When you’re not getting enough sleep and throwing yourself together, it shows.  Having clothes that are ill fitting, uncomfortable or not quite appropriate for the workplace can also significantly have a negative impact on you. The same goes for your hair if you go too many days without washing or feel too lazy that morning to fix it. Feeling good about yourself leads to better work performance, plus your co-workers and peers will perceive you as happier, stronger and a better team player.

5. Group negativity

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It’s okay to vent sometimes to co-workers, often you need to… but if someone is constantly negative and not happy about their job, spending a lot of time with them can bring you down and hinder your performance. Regularly hanging out with these people can launch you into a vicious cycle where you get together to complain about your other co-workers, about your boss, even about the work you have to do, but really all this does is waste time, distract you from your work and make you less satisfied with your place of employment. Be nice and courteous to everyone, but don’t be naive in thinking you can bring them up when likely they will bring you down.

Whether you’re trying to climb the ladder, make your own success or just be an overall girl boss, being on your toes and performing at your best is a must! Fix these 5 things in your life and I swear you’ll see a difference. If you have any practices you put in place to be more successful as work, I’d love to hear them, so be sure to comment below! 🙂

C’est la vie,

Anna

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Our 1st Married Christmas: Sponsoring a Christmas Tree Angel

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Since my husband and I got married back in April, this is our first Christmas together as a married couple. We really want to create our own traditions as our own new family. If you’ve kept up with the blog, you know that a little while ago we went and picked out my first real Christmas tree. This season, we also decided to sponsor our first Christmas angel through Salvation Army. In years past, I’ve always wanted to do it, but never had the money around the holidays. Since we were lucky enough to be in a comfortable position this year, we finally did.

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Our angel was a 9 year old girl named Neveah. She loves Frozen and Barbies and wanted a scooter or bike for Christmas. The hard part I realized is the budget they ask you to stay within. They ask that everyone only spends $40. if you’ve ever tried to buy Christmas presents for a child under $40 it feels near impossible. I didn’t want to just blow out the budget in case she had siblings who might only get $40 worth of gifts, but we may have gone just a little over.

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We were lucky to find a great Black Friday deal at Target on a scooter for only $18. They also had some cute, warm clothes on sale that we were able to buy. Plus, we got a Frozen Elsa Barbie for her… perfect, right? My mom also picked up the cutest, softest stuffed reindeer that says “Jesus loves you” on the foot. Finally, we found a Frozen tiara and jewelry set. We were so tickled.

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Bryan and I dropped her gifts off at church on Sunday and felt really happy knowing she’ll have presents under the tree come Christmas morning. The only thing we wished were different, would be if we could have known if she had siblings, so then we could have taken on the entire family. That way we could have spent a little more money and made sure no child went without. Either way, it was such a rewarding experience and if you’ve never tried it, I challenge you to next Christmas.

If you are looking for ways to give back this holiday season, here are a few ways you can!

Donate toys to Toys for Tots

Bell Ringing with the Salvation Army

Visit a local nursing home

Donate a warm coat to someone who needs one with One Warm Coat

Volunteer at a soup kitchen

Donate food for the hungry through Golden Harvest

Send Christmas cards to troops overseas with Operation We Are Here

 

How do you give back during the holidays?

C’est la vie,

Anna

 

Things to Do During a Weekend Getaway in Chattanooga, Tennessee

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This past weekend, some friends of ours got married in Chattanooga, Tennessee. My husband and I have been really excited for the weekend to come up because they are such a sweet couple and we couldn’t wait to celebrate their marriage. Selfishly, we were also excited to get out of town for the weekend for some very much needed fun and relaxation. We overestimated how much time we would have and planned a bunch of activities, but we were able to fit in a lot of fun while we were there. If you are looking for a fun weekend trip or planning to visit Chattanooga, TN, here’s some things you need to be sure to do!

 

Stay at a Fun Hotel

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We stayed with the rest of the wedding guests at The Chattanoogan and it was so gorgeous! The rooms were really nice, clean and spacious. The lobby had the most beautiful Christmas tree and fireplace that made you want to cozy right up to it. The rehearsal dinner was held at the hotel, so we got the chance to sample some of their catering and it was SO good! Plus, they had a hotel bar that not only served the most delicious sangria, but also had a live band both nights that we had to be sure to drop in and listen to. Not to mention, the hotel is pretty centrally located, so we were able to walk just about everywhere… to eat, to go out, even to get our nails done. Overall, we had a really great experience there and it made our trip so much more comfortable and enjoyable.

 

Get Brunch… more than once.

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In case you guys didn’t already know from my post all about brunch, I love it. Luckily, in Chattanooga, there’s tons of cute places that serve all of my brunch favorites. I’m so serious when I say you have to go to brunch both days that you’re there… there’s too much goodness that you don’t want to miss out on. While we were there, the girls and I ate at Tupelo Honey. We were all feeling a little rough from the night before, so my ham, scrambled eggs and goat cheese grits did just the trick. On Sunday, my husband and I ate at Milk & Honey. He said it wasn’t his favorite, but I adored the place. It’s over in North Shore across the bridge and everything is made from scratch, right there. I had some of their delicious, homemade orange juice along with french toast and fresh fruit. It was a quaint joint, but I loved the vibe and the food!

 

Take a Walk Downtown

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This is one of my favorite downtown areas I have visited so far. Everything feels so clean and happy and pretty. While you’re walking around you’ll see lots of cool architecture, neat statues and cute shops. The girls and I got to spend the day exploring (since our guys were groomsmen and had to take pictures for the wedding) and we had a really good time. We got to see a little tea shop, a hot chocolatier, a distillery and got our nails done at one of the coolest nail salons I’ve ever been to. There’s so much to see, so make sure to get a little exercise in and take on the town.

 

Experience the Nightlife

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So, I’m sure the nightlife isn’t what Chattanooga is known for… it’s not an Atlanta or Athens, but it’s a pretty cool scene. We were able to walk to the bars from our hotel and we loved one so much we stayed almost all night. We really didn’t see anyone walking out and about, so we were worried it was going to be dead, but it seemed like everyone was at Clyde’s on Main. It was a really cute bar that was quiet enough that you could talk, but also had a really good live band playing (they were from Aiken, SC… so close to home, how crazy is that?). It also had some cool tables and sofas so you could chill or you could dance on the dance floor. Not to mention, the drinks were cheap. It doesn’t get much better than that!

 

Visit Lookout Mountain

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So, we were lucky that the wedding reception was held at Lookout Mountain (it was soooo beautiful by the way) because this was something we wanted to see. My parents took me once when I was really little, but I don’t remember much of the trip. It’s really cool because you can view so much of the city below and actually see more than one state at a time. I’d love to go back and spend a little more time outdoors here!

There were also some other things we really wanted to do while we were in town, but didn’t quite have time for. 😦 I’ll share them here for you in case you plan to make the trip. These are a couple of attractions I’ve heard you don’t want to miss out on.

Enchanted Garden of Lights at Rock City (this is seasonal of course)

Tennessee Aquarium

Ruby Falls

So, there you have it – I hope you have so much fun!

C’est la vie,

Anna

 

Christmas Gift Ideas for the Man in Your Life – Featuring JORD Wood Watches

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Thank you to Wood Watches by Jord for sponsoring this post!
Figuring out what to get the men in your life (whether that be your husband, boyfriend, dad, brother, etc.) for Christmas can be so difficult. For me, growing up in a household of 5 women and one man, it’s something I’ve always struggled with. I’ll never forget the year I bought Bryan a camo mosquito repellent blower thing because the guy at the hunting store recommended it only to realize it was a pretty dumb gift, haha!
So each year I try to plan ahead, think of creative ideas (which can be hard after you’ve been with someone for a long time) and when all else fails, I usually end up Googling “Christmas gift ideas for your husband” or “Christmas gift ideas for your dad”. Most times, these searches don’t end up helping AT ALL, but hey, you never know where you’ll find inspiration.
Nonetheless, since I’ve started blogging, I’ve come across some really cool brands that make holiday gifts that the man in your life will ACTUALLY want. Thank God! So, here’s a list to make your life 10x easier… get shopping & enjoy! 🙂

JORD Wood Watches

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Recently, I’ve been seeing these wood watches around and knew I HAD to get one. When JORD reached out to me to partner up, I was so excited! These aren’t just a cool watch to have, they’re made from really unique woods from all across the globe. Plus, they give you that upscale, modern and sophisticated look while also keeping that chill and down to earth vibe.
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Initially, I was interested in a women’s watch for me (yes, I know it’s crazy, but I may be making the switch from my usual Michael Kors to a JORD Wood Watch!). Then, when I saw the selection of men’s watches, I realized just how perfect this would be to add to my Christmas shopping list for a certain man in my life (I won’t say who, so it’s still a surprise). Check out the one I got (the Zebrawood & Dark Sandalwood Men’s Watch)… I’m so in love!
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They have tons of options with different woods, shapes, colors, faces, etc. and you can even engrave a message directly on the back of the watch or on the box to create a really unforgettable gift. So basically, if you’re looking for a unique watch for your man/dad/brother, you should definitely check these guys out! PLUS, they’ve got some holiday treats for you. 🙂 Just click here and you’ll instantly be emailed a $25 e-gift code to use on the site – yay! *This giveaway closes on 12/18/16 at 11:59 pm, so make sure to grab it now!
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King’s Creek Apparel

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 Everywhere I go I see guys (and girls) wearing these hats and t-shirts. This is in part due to the fact that they are based out of my hometown, but also because this brand has just blown up in the past couple of years. They’re one of my favorite stores to shop online and I’m not even kidding when I say I haven’t met one guy who isn’t obsessed with them. Their men’s hats come in a bunch of color combinations whether you’re a bulldawg fan (they have tons of other schools I won’t name here) :), you’re feeling a little patriotic, you’re a little on the Southern side or if you’re just looking for something different. They also have some really cute short sleeve and long sleeve t-shirts if you want to treat yourself. Not to mention, I have another little Christmas gift for you!  Get 15% off your purchase at King’s Creek with the promo code “ANNA15”!

 

Harry’s

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This ladies, is a win-win! Don’t know what Harry’s is? It’s a shave club that sends your man good quality razor blades, shaving kits and really all things needed for men’s shaving online and delivered to your doorstep. It’s super affordable and not only will your husband be soooo happy because he’ll have replacements on a regular basis after you dull up his razors shaving your legs :), but also you’ll have a clean-shaven, good-looking man! Just visit this link to get him months worth of shaving goodness. They have SO many goodies too like a traveling case, shave gel, post shave balm and more. Plus, it comes all wrapped up in a pretty box! What’s not to love?

 

Boudoir Photos

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ALERT: These are obviously not for dads and brothers, haha, but they do make fun gifts for husbands!

Before my wedding, I did a boudoir shoot with Amber Phinisee Photography and I was SO nervous. Not only am I just super awkward… I’ve tried to make some Vicky’s Secret type faces before in selfies… and it’s NOT pretty! lol Nonetheless, I figured it would be a really cool gift to give him and I might not ever look that good again, so I did it. Amber made it so much less awkward than I thought it would be. She had on music, she laughed a lot, was super sweet and helped tell me how to pose. It’s a really thoughtful gift and a neat thing for him to have for the rest of time.  You can pretty much schedule with her any time (and she travels!), especially if you’re wanting to get it done before Christmas, but she also has her Je T’aime Sessions coming up January 27th & 29th for anyone more local who wants a little more time to workout and in that case, it can make a great Valentine’s Day gift!

A Dog

Yes, I’m literally saying buy him a puppy. I mean obviously not if he’s allergic to dogs or not a dog guy (which in that case, does he have a heart?!) , but if he even in the slightest likes dogs, I swear this will be a gift he’ll never forget. I guess it’s been about 7 years ago now, but one Christmas I gave my husband a black lab named Champ. From the second he saw him, he was in love. It was so great because he said it was literally the best Christmas present he had ever gotten and at the same time it sucked, not only because I can never out-do that gift, but also because sometimes I seriously wonder who he loves more.. me or the dog! Nonetheless, Champ is his best friend and I’ll forever be glad that I added him to Bryan’s life.

There are SO many options for gifts for your favorite guy, but if you want to dress him up in a new King’s Creek hat and tee, bling up his wrist with a beautiful, new JORD wood watch, get him clean-shaven and happy… this list should work just fine. 😉

Happy Shopping y’all!

C’est la vie,

Anna

 

Don’t forget to grab your $25 e-gift code from JORD Wood Watches before time runs out! The giveaway ends on 12/18/16 at 11:59 pm!

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Our 1st Married Christmas: Picking Out a Real Christmas Tree

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Although my husband and I dated for 10+ years before getting married, meaning we’ve celebrated lots of Christmases together, this will be our first ever Christmas as husband and wife. Recently after watching the Thanksgiving episode of This is Us where Mandy Moore and Jess (from Gilmore Girls – sad I know him as that instead of his character’s name on the show, haha!) made their own Thanksgiving traditions, I felt inspired for Bryan and I to make our own as well.

Years ago… like before I was born, my parents had a real Christmas tree and it was just their luck that it had some kind of bugs nesting in it which lead to their house being swarmed with them. Ever since, my parents have sworn off real Christmas trees. We’ve had an artificial tree my entire life and that’s all I’ve known.

Our First Married Christmas Real vs Fake Christmas Tree

With this being our first Christmas together as husband and wife, I really wanted to try out some things for the first time, SO we got a real Christmas tree y’all!! On Thanksgiving night, after we finished dinner with my family, Bryan surprised me and drove us to Snowy Mountain tree lot. You would have thought I was a child at Disney World the way I was acting. The whole lot felt like Christmas and I didn’t want to leave. I looked at each and every tree to see how tall they were (I used my husband as a measuring stick) :), what shape they were, if they seemed full, etc. Finally, we picked one, had them pack up our car for us and we were on our way.

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I know a lot of people debate on whether you should have a real or fake Christmas tree and I’m not for one side or the other, but if you’re trying to decide, here are a few pros & cons of both.

Real Christmas Tree Pros:

  • Going to pick out the tree feels like a Christmas adventure in itself
  • It’s easier than pulling a heavy artificial tree out of the attic, getting out all of the pieces, fluffing them (my arms are getting itchy just thinking about it) and putting it all together (I say this, but I also didn’t have to carry it in from the car and put it in the stand, haha!)
  • Buying a real tree helps support local farmers and businesses
  • It’s more eco-friendly
  • They smell good…says everyone, but y’all I must be crazy, because my tree has NO smell… anyone know why? I want to enjoy this pine & balsam-smelling goodness that everyone talks about.

Real Christmas Tree Cons:

  • They shed needles on the floor, which means more vacuuming
  • They cost more money since you have to pay for them annually
  • You have to water them on a regular basis
  • They aren’t reusable

Fake Christmas Tree Pros:

  • Ours have always been pre-lit, so no needing to untangle and string the lights on the tree
  • They’re cost-efficient and reusable, since a one time investment of a couple hundred dollars can last pretty much a lifetime.
  • No watering & no fire hazard
  • No needles to clean up
  • Fake trees are usually pretty symmetrical and well… almost perfect

Fake Christmas Tree Cons:

  • You have to put them up, clean them up and have space to store them
  • As mentioned earlier, you have to fluff them, which takes a lot of time and always seems to make me really itchy
  • They’re not very eco-friendly
  • Most of the time, you can tell they’re fake

So far, I’ve really loved having my real tree. Something feels so special and festive about it, especially since we went together and picked it out ourselves. In my future home, I plan to have several trees, so I’ll probably have a mix of real, large ones and fake, smaller ones to fill my home. There’s perks to both!

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What do y’all think? Are y’all real tree or fake tree lovers?

C’est la vie,

Anna

‘Tis the Season for Holiday Coffees You Need in Your Life

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It’s November 27th… Thanksgiving leftovers are cluttering up the fridge, Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life is tearing my heart out,  Jingle Bells is on full blast on the radio… It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, y’all!

One of the Christmas traditions nearest and dearest to my heart is holiday flavored coffees! There’s nothing better than picking up a warm red cup full of wintery, Christmas flavored goodness. In case you don’t know where to get this yummy goodness or what types of flavors there are to enjoy, here’s a quick list of Christmas coffees for you to indulge yourself with this season.

Starbucks

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Caramel Brulée Latte

Chestnut Praline Latte

Eggnog Latte

Peppermint Mocha

Holiday Spice Flat White

Spiced Sweet Cream Cold Brew

 

Dunkin’ Donuts

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Peppermint Mocha

Salted Caramel Coffee

Crème Brulée Macchiato

 

Caribou Coffee

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Cinnamon Wild

Ho Ho Mint Mocha

Fa La Latte

 

McDonalds

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Peppermint Mocha

 

Now these are just coffee chains that are somewhat near to my location. If I’ve left out your holiday favorites, I’m sincerely sorry and I hope that you’ll comment below so I can add them to the list. Nonetheless, we have less than a month, people, to enjoy the holidays, so make sure to try out all of these goodies and savor every moment before it’s passed us by and we’re ringing in the new year.

C’est la vie,

Anna