Who Am I?
I’m Anna Anderson. I’m a Canadian mom to three girls (Cat-1996, Monkey-2014, and Fang-2017).
Though I was born in metropolitan Toronto, I grew up in the suburbs of a diverse, mid-sized South Western Ontario city, and went to university in Waterloo, Ontario.
I now live in a rural, tourist village in Eastern Ontario with Monkey, Fang, and my partner of many years, Mr. A, and our four kitties. Cat is a world traveller, multilingual explorer, and currently attending university in Alberta.
In the past, when I was a single parent, I had a love-hate relationship with money. I loved having it, but I hated never having “enough”. I hated that my child was going to “miss out” on so many opportunities because I didn’t have the money to pay for everything she wanted to have and all the extra curricular activities she wanted to try.
After a lot of reading and reflection, I taught myself to be more intentional about what we had, what we needed, and what we wanted, and decided to make a change in how we were living.
Instead of lamenting all the things we couldn’t do or couldn’t have, I decided to focus on what we did have and what we could do.
We started attending free concerts, festivals, and community activities and clubs. Crafts were made with found objects rather than expensive “stuff” from the craft store. We made challenges for ourselves, like spend-nothing months… those were hard. But it emptied our cupboards of all the non-perishables I’d bought “on sale” at some point, because they were “great deals”. (Hint, they weren’t great deals, because they were things we didn’t usually eat.)
Sometimes it’s hard to balance our responsibilities with our desires. But once we do (or at least once we’re feeling mostly balanced – let’s face it, true balance is one of those impossible goals for pretty much everyone) life seems less hectic and more rewarding. Part of finding that balance is a change in mindset.
Cat and I ended up much happier. Instead of wishing we could do x, y, or z, we were living life and doing fun things together and with our friends. And it wasn’t costing us a fortune. We were living well, and within our means.
Now that I am part of a long-term, committed relationship, have an independent adult child, and two young kids, I get a chance to relive all my parenting adventures. But I have the advantage of not being a single parent this time around.
My goal in life is to be intentional with my choices, making decisions that hopefully result in my family living our best life.
My goal for this blog is to empower families like yours to live your best life, by providing practical solutions to everyday problems, covering topics ranging from love, and kids, to money, and life.
Not A Super-Mom
A lot of times when I interact with different mom groups online, it feels like they’re all Super-Moms. You know the moms I’m talking about. They have wonderfully clean and tidy homes with perfect decor. Their kids are dressed in clothes that always look brand new, with nary a hair out of place, nor a smudge of (soy) nut butter on their smiling, happy faces.
They post photos of the deluxe and involved crafts they do with their well-behaved offspring, who then happily and quietly have a break in their serene looking reading nook or play outside without any scuffles between siblings.
I’m not that mom.
I’m an oridinary, laid-back mama. I have the requisite mountain of laundry (either dirty waiting to be washed and dried, or clean waiting to be folded and put away). My littles get messy. They squabble with each other. Sometimes (gasp) they don’t even wear clothes. Shocking, I know.
But, I know I’m not the only laid-back parent out there. If I was at all the gambling type (I’m not – I don’t even buy lottery tickets, unless it’s a fundraiser), I’d bet you’re also a laid-back parent, even if your social media accounts suggest otherwise.
This website is for you.
(Super-Moms and Super-Dads are also welcome, but just be aware my family isn’t like yours in that regard. I’m okay with that. Differences are good. I’m fond of the saying, “You do you, and I’ll do me.”)
Who Are You?
You are a parent, trying to find that elusive balance between responsibilities and desires. You’re wanting to live your life intentionally, and to feel like life is less hectic. You want to feel the satisfaction of living your best life as a laid back family.
You want to stop lamenting all the things you can’t do or have, and be satisfied with what you do.
Most especially, you want your family to be happy and content.
Sometimes it isn’t easy to change your perspective and it takes practice to be intentional with your choices. Heck, I’m still practising. (Seriously… if I had it figured out I might have scaled Laundry Mountain by now.)
But when you’re facing some mundane or extraordinary challenge – whether it’s finding a way to communicate more effectively with your partner or children, or simply deciding what to have for dinner – it’s beneficial to have a place to go look for a solution.
Abrazo and Coze is just that – a place to go look for solutions for your family’s challenges.
How Can I Help?
I’m going to do my best to give you the tools and knowledge you need to solve your problems. I’ll share tips, tricks, and tutorials on a variety of family-related topics to help make your family life more rewarding and less stressful. (Think crafts and activities, budgeting, parenting, skill building, etc.)
Hopefully along the way, you’ll be able to skip some of the hardships I had to endure as I figured these things out for myself.
It’s time for change… for satisfaction… for fun.
Most of all, it’s time for living life as a mostly happy, content, and balanced laid back family.
Decide now to be intentional with your choices, to change your perspective so you’re loving life rather than wishing it was something it isn’t, to give your family the best you can with what you have, without regret.
If you haven’t already, subscribe to the Abrazo and Coze newsletter (scroll down a bit for the sign up form) for ongoing motivation and inspiration, and to be notified of new posts.
You got this.
P.S. What Does Abrazo and Coze Mean?
To answer this, we look to the dictionary…
Dictionary.com defines Abrazo as:
a hug or embrace upon greeting or parting
and defines Coze as:
verb (used without object) cozed, cozing.
1. to converse in a friendly way; chat.
2. a friendly talk; a chat.
I want you to feel welcome here. I want you to feel like you’re having a friendly chat with your best pal.
It might be a little corny, but I’d love to be that friend… you know… the one you turn to for advice and a listening ear.
Comment on posts, send me a message from the Contact page, or .
I want to hear what you have to say.
If you’ve got a problem that needs a solution, let me know and I’ll do my best to write a post to help.