Holiday Gift Guide For Pretty Much Every Girl

Holiday season is among us and that means it is the season of giving!! Gift giving is one of my absolute favorite things to do, and I think I have quite the knack for it. So this collage I made is a compilation of things I know I would love to receive as well as many of my friends. I don’t think you can go wrong with anything on this list or some variation of these items.

  1. The matching PJ set is the key to showing everyone you have your life together (or at least pretending you do).
  2. The candle is not only aesthetically pleasing but smells so so good and makes your space so cozy.
  3. These gold headphones are crucial for all of the flying I do over the holiday months, completely noise canceling and super comfy.
  4. Who doesn’t love a good phone case? This one is cheap and cute!
  5. This perfume set is a perfect stocking stuffer and the best news!!! They are under the TSA limit so travel approved!
  6. This shimmer brick by Bobbi Brown is GORG and is totally going on my list this year! Who doesn’t want to be a little extra glowy?!
  7. These classic Ray Bans are an essential for any month of the year and the all black are a personal favorite of mine.
  8. This fuzzy fleece pullover looks like you are just wrapped up in a cloud and come on who doesn’t want that!!?
  9. A good throw blanket never hurt nobody, especially one with cute pom poms on the ends.
  10. The Comfort & Joy mug is PERFECT for this holiday season for all the hot cocoa, coffee, and tea your heart desires!
  11. How pretty is this rose gold initial necklace from Kate Spade? YES PLEASE!!
  12. These UGG Moccasins are just what your tired footsies need! Warm, fuzzy, and comfy? Sign me up.
  13. And lastly, these Calpak packing cubes. Flying to and from this holiday season you will be ultra organized with these super practical and cute packing cubes!! The adult in me in showing…oops.

Check out the links below! Happy holidays & happy hunting!!

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1. Pajama Set 2. Candle 3. Headphones 4. Phone Case 5. Perfume 6. Shimmer Brick  7. Sunglasses 8. Fleece Pullover 9. Pom Pom Blanket 10. Mug 11. Initial Necklace 12. Moccasin Slipper 13. Packing Cubes

XOXO Anna

 

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20 things I am thankful for

This time of year is always so humbling to me. Being around all of your family and friends, good food, and making good memories. Since Thanksgiving week is upon us I thought I would share a list (big and small) of things that I am thankful for this holiday season. I love making gratitude lists like this because it reminds me of how much I do have to be thankful for and how lucky I am. I encourage you whether actually on paper or just in your head to do the same.

  1. the amazing city of Chicago that I am oh so lucky to be living in
  2. my incredible friends back home as well as all the new friends I have made since coming to college
  3. my sorority sisters (the real strong women of Alpha Chi Omega)
  4. my loving and loyal family who would move mountains for me
  5. my fabulous job with Mama Said Tees where I get to spread kindness and love on a daily basis
  6. Disney World (just because it’s my fav place in the world duh)
  7. my pup back home whom I miss so so so much
  8. all of the yum food I know I will be eating this week
  9. my warm and cozy bed & mornings I can sleep in
  10. good conversation
  11. uncontrollable laughter with those you cherish the most
  12. good health & the ability to live another day
  13. the teachers I will never forget
  14. kind people who do things simply out of the goodness of their hearts
  15. happy tears
  16. long hugs from someone you haven’t seen in a long time
  17. good hair days
  18. the lessons learned this year, good & bad
  19. the fact that I have multiple people I consider to be a best friend
  20. rainy days inside but also sunshiny ones outside

Have the best Thanksgiving!!
XOXO Anna

 

When Life Gives You Lemons…

These last fews weeks have been crazy busy and overall a little overwhelming. Leading up to Thanksgiving break all of my professors have been packing on the homework, exams, and essays, and readings. AND on top of it all I had to register for next semester’s classes, which I sometimes think is worse than finals. SO with the next few weeks being a little hectic for us college kids I thought I would share some ways to focus on the positives, deal with stressful situations, and stay out of the inevitable rut before the holidays when life gives you a few lemons.

Gratitude

If there is one thing that will help you see past the days that are a little bit harder, it’s gratitude. Honestly, for most people, gratitude is probably the last thing they think of when facing a small (or a major) life detour or find themselves in a stressful situation. But it can make all the difference.

Gratitude can also help you put things into perspective. I’m sitting here with a mind going in so many different directions thinking about so many different things even as I am writing this post. I’m thinking about the essays I should be writing and the laundry I still have yet to do. But I’m sitting here, feeling grateful.

Why?

No matter what situation or circumstances you find yourself in, even when feeling hopeless, remember that there are many amazing things and people in your life to be grateful for.

Make Time for Yourself

I’ve talked about this a few times before. Make self-care a priority. Give yourself some time. I know that it’s not always easy when you deal with things and going through stressful times. Sometimes during a small setback all you can think about, is how much work or productivity you will have to make up for. It’s okay to be tired, it’s okay to take a little break, to turn off your phone and take some time out, just for yourself.

Let Go of the Guilt & Blame

This is a big one. Blame is one of those things that we love to throw around. We blame others or, we blame ourselves for making a decision that we think has led us to be in a particular situation. Like “Why did I wait so long to start this essay?” or “Why did I procrastinate so long in writing this blog post?” Nothing comes from this and only makes us feel worse.

The same thing goes for blaming others- nothing positive comes from blaming others for your problems. It won’t make you feel better and it won’t make a difficult situation any easier. Even when you know that someone else’s actions resulted in your current circumstance- try your best to let go of that blame. Try to think about the fact that there is a solution for every problem and that is a great mindset to have when you’re going through a difficult time. It doesn’t matter whose fault it is or how it could have been prevented, there is a solution for every problem.

Yesterday is gone. Your future starts now. Some things can be hard to let go of, but there comes a point when you have to ask yourself: “am I going to let this stop me?

Every “bad” or difficult situation you might find yourself in, every single challenge, carries a lesson. Of course, there are times when you wish you could avoid learning the lesson and not go through a certain challenge or struggle- but that’s just a part of life.

Difficult times come and go, but the valuable lessons they teach you will stay with you forever.

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Happy Sunday,

XOXO Anna

Weekly Gratitude: Grandparents

Happy Sunday yet again, friends! Time is flying by and it is somehow already November and the holiday season is approaching rapidly and I could not be more excited. This last week my lovely and amazing grandparents came to visit me in Chicago! I made sure to plan everything out to a tee so we could utilize the two days we had together to squeeze in everything we could. They were here for Wednesday and Thursday, which also meant I had classes. But lucky for me, I have pretty early classes and get out earlier in the day. So we ended up having a decent amount of time to spend together. I really enjoyed this time with them, just me, especially since I really only see them on holidays now a days. I am so thankful I have the grandparents that I do who take time out of their days to come visit me!

Wednesday November 1, 2017

We started off our day with a tour of my campus! They loved seeing all of the buildings, the beautiful church, and the breathtaking lake. We stopped by my apartment and they met my roommate Julia and talked with her for a little bit.

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After a few hours back at their hotel for resting (and me homework time) we met back up for dinner at a fun local place in Wrigleyville. I took them on the L and they were oh so impressed with and I quote “my ability to navigate through the city.” 💁🏽

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Finally we got to dinner and went to Al’s Italian Beef off the Addison stop on the redline. The italian beef was so good and the fries may have been my favorite part. I think it’s safe to say we enjoyed our quick and fun meal.

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After dinner I headed back to their hotel with them to hang out and chat for a while. It was nice having them so close.

Thursday November 2, 2017

This was my favorite day of the two! I got out of classes a little later this day so we went for a late lunch downtown at Pizzeria Uno. Grandpa wanted to have some Chicago deep dish so I said this was a great place to try and one of my personal favorites.

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After lunch we headed to the Chicago river for an architecture boat tour! Although the weather wasn’t the best the tour was amazing and so beautiful to see all of the buildings and parts of Chicago I hadn’t seen before.

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After about an hour and a half on the boat tour we walked to our dinner location for the evening, Shaw’s Crab House. This is one of my favorite places for the atmosphere and memories of my family and I going a few years back. I had to take them here and was so excited. When we were on the boat a few hour prior I got a call from the restaurant confirming our reservation….for 4…? I apologized to the woman saying I must have messed up the reservation because there were only supposed to be 3 of us. We get to the restaurant and let them know we are there and wait to be seated. Around this time my grandparents both are getting very sneaky and I’m confused but not thinking much of it. I’m thinking at the very most, Grandpa said it was “my birthday” or something silly so we get free dessert. BUT little did I know!!!!!!

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SURPRISE!!! My dad showed up and I literally was sobbing I was so shocked to see him. He had been in Wisconsin for business that day and stopped to spend the night with us before heading back to Indy. This was such a wonderful surprise and it just makes me feel even more lucky to have the family I do.

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After dinner, Grandpa wanted to stop for dessert at Ghirardelli for some ice cream and chocolate. It ended up perfectly because it is right next to my downtown campus so I was able to show them around one of my favorite areas in all of Chicago. Also, a perk Grandpa was way too excited to learn about was that we got 10% off at Ghirardelli with my student discount. MORE chocolate and ice cream please!!

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These last few days were so so so much fun to say the least and I am so excited to see them all in another two weeks for Thanksgiving break in the happiest place on Earth, and definitely our favorite place on Earth, Disney World. Thank you Grammy and Grandpa for making the trip to see me. Please come back soon!! But for your sake probably when it’s warmer. Love you guys so so much!

XOXO Anna