tips for dealing with anxiety.

Posted on: Monday, February 20, 2017

Tips for Dealing With Anxiety | Ann-Marie Loves

Yesterday was one of those days where I felt overwhelmed about everything. There was nothing in particular that made me stressed; rather it was a mix of ongoing anxieties and new stressors paired with postpartum hormones. I’ve always felt things pretty deeply. I don’t cry at the drop of the hat like I used to (puberty was a cruel biotch), but I am acutely aware of energies and emotions around me, and every once in awhile, they knock me down. Thankfully, I’ve picked up a few tricks in my thirty years that help me to regain control of my thoughts. Here are my top five solutions:

1. Exercise. I know, I know. Nobody wants to hear that they have to get their body in motion to get their mind right, but I promise you, IT WORKS. One of my favorite way to exercise is about as simple and inexpensive as it gets: a long walk in the fresh air. Yesterday I loaded Landon up in the stroller and went for an hour long walk to meet up with John and Briar. It wasn’t super scenic and the threat of rain was upon us the whole time, but it felt good to get outside and get my body moving. Walks are even better when you have a favorite podcast or playlist to keep you company.

2. Meditation. I’m finding that meditation is hard to come by with two babies in the house but I need it now more than ever. Sometimes when I take a shower at night, I’ll let the water run for a few minutes while I sit on the floor of the bathroom and close my eyes and breathe. It’s nothing fancy but it resets my looping thought patterns and brings me back to the present moment. I have a few favorite ways to meditate:

a. I close my eyes and focus on the bridge of my nose and breathe slowly in and out.

b. I close my eyes and slowly direct my attention from the top of my head to the bottom of my feet, consciously relaxing each body part as I work my way down (i.e. my head is tingly, my jaw is loose, my hands are limp, etc).

c. I listen to guided meditations (so many free podcasts and YouTube videos out there!) and / or instrumental music or nature sounds and focus on what I am hearing.

My all-time favorite meditations are the ones done after a yoga class when you lay in shavasana. In fact, my dream-of-all-dreams workout class would be 45 minutes of a high-energy Zumba workout followed by 20-30 minutes of restorative yoga followed by a 20 minute guided meditation. I would be a new person by the end each class. (Somebody please invent this.)

3. Clean up. There’s nothing quite like having my living space in disarray to make me feel like my life is completely out of control. I find that the act of getting things organized and put back in their proper homes can shift my mood dramatically. I’ve also noticed that the act of cleaning (especially folding laundry) is meditative in and of itself.

4. Change of scenery. Sometimes all it takes to break a negative thought cycle is to change up my environment, which can be as small as taking the trash out or as big as a day trip to one of my favorite places. A change of scenery almost always equals a change of perspective.

5. Journaling. I’ve been obsessed with journaling for as long as I can remember (which might explain why I love blogging), so when I’m feeling particularly drained, I’ll get all my thoughts out of my head and onto paper. I’ve also started writing letters to my intuition after listening to this podcast and watching this video. It’s such a helpful tool for really getting to the root of my anxiety…I can’t recommend it enough!

On a related note, I recently heard this quote by Glennon Doyle Melton from this book, via this podcast, and had to stop what I was doing to write it down:

“We can choose to be perfect and admired; or real and loved.”

I choose the latter. xo

santa barbara wine tasting.

Posted on: Thursday, February 16, 2017

Urban Wine Trail in Santa Barbara | Ann-Marie Loves

There are two things I’ll never turn down: wine and Santa Barbara.

Urban Wine Trail in Santa Barbara | Ann-Marie Loves

Lucky for me, I was invited to spend a day up in SB exploring their Urban Wine Trail in celebration of my sister-in-law, Jamie’s, birthday. After a week of heavy rains, the storm let up for one day and we jumped at the chance to walk up and down the bustling streets, popping into wineries when we were ready for our next glass. It was perfect. And of course, I was more than happy to document the day! Here are some of my favorites:

05

Urban Wine Trail in Santa Barbara | Ann-Marie Loves

Urban Wine Trail in Santa Barbara | Ann-Marie Loves

How awesome is that wall?

Urban Wine Trail in Santa Barbara | Ann-Marie Loves

Urban Wine Trail in Santa Barbara | Ann-Marie Loves

Urban Wine Trail in Santa Barbara | Ann-Marie Loves

Urban Wine Trail in Santa Barbara | Ann-Marie Loves

Taste-wise, I had my favorite glass of sauvignon blanc at Pali Wine Co.

Urban Wine Trail in Santa Barbara | Ann-Marie Loves

Urban Wine Trail in Santa Barbara | Ann-Marie Loves

John’s cousin, Veronica (of Design Hunters fame!), and her new husband, Kris, are always such a treat to hang out with! The ceremony at their recent wedding was the most beautiful ceremony I’ve ever witnessed. I’m sure you’ll be seeing photos from their big day all over Pinterest very soon! ;)

Urban Wine Trail in Santa Barbara | Ann-Marie Loves

Urban Wine Trail in Santa Barbara | Ann-Marie Loves

Urban Wine Trail in Santa Barbara | Ann-Marie Loves

It’s a blast to have willing models to photograph! I’m so accustomed to wrangling unwilling children (and husbands) into my photos – ha!

Urban Wine Trail in Santa Barbara | Ann-Marie Loves

Jazz + wine all day, yes please!

Urban Wine Trail in Santa Barbara | Ann-Marie Loves

Urban Wine Trail in Santa Barbara | Ann-Marie Loves

Urban Wine Trail in Santa Barbara | Ann-Marie Loves

Urban Wine Trail in Santa Barbara | Ann-Marie Loves

Our trip coincided with the Women’s March. We were all so bummed to have missed out on taking part in the Los Angeles march ourselves, but felt incredibly heartened to see so many people in Santa Barbara coming together to spread the same message.

Urban Wine Trail in Santa Barbara | Ann-Marie Loves

Lunch was at Cava in Montecito and it was amazing, as always. This time I ordered a chile relleno and it is offically now my go-to item! Yum.

Urban Wine Trail in Santa Barbara | Ann-Marie Loves

Urban Wine Trail in Santa Barbara | Ann-Marie Loves

And finally, our last stop of the day was to McConnell’s for ice cream and coffee.

Urban Wine Trail in Santa Barbara | Ann-Marie Loves

Urban Wine Trail in Santa Barbara | Ann-Marie Loves

Urban Wine Trail in Santa Barbara | Ann-Marie Loves

Urban Wine Trail in Santa Barbara | Ann-Marie Loves

Such a perfect day! I can’t wait to do it again soon!

diy geodes + free valentine’s printable.

Posted on: Monday, February 13, 2017

DIY Geodes + Free Valentine's Card Printable | Ann-Marie Loves

A few weeks ago I created a little dress-up area for Briar in the corner of her room. She’s been obsessed with pretty dresses and jewelry and crowns (or “prowns,” as she calls them) for awhile and I wanted to have a dedicated space to house all her fancy things. At the time, I only had two wooden branch wall mounts (purchased from Alder + Co. on our honeymoon!), but two hooks were not enough. So! I thought for a minute about what I wanted to use and decided that geodes would make for awesome wall decor / hangers. Being the cheap person that I am (ha!), I knew there had to be a way to DIY geodes, so I did a little digging on Pinterest and found exactly what I was looking for!

Truth be told, I still have yet to create the hooks BUT in a moment of sudden genius, I realized that DIY geodes would be the perfect Valentine’s card toppers.

DIY Geodes + Free Valentine's Card Printable | Ann-Marie Loves

To create the faux geodes, you will need:

Borax
Metallic Pipe Cleaners
Jar
String or Fishing Wire
Pencil or Wooden Skewer
Boiling Water

DIY Geodes + Free Valentine's Card Printable | Ann-Marie Loves

First, roll your pipe cleaner into a ball. Next, thread a piece of string through a small portion of the pipe cleaner ball and tie it to a pencil or wooden skewer. This will ensure that your geode doesn’t touch the bottom of the glass so it can keep a round shape.

DIY Geodes + Free Valentine's Card Printable | Ann-Marie Loves

Combine one cup of boiling water and 3 tbsp of Borax and stir until it is completely mixed (takes a minute or two). Then, place your pipe cleaners into the jar and loosely cover with a cloth.

DIY Geodes + Free Valentine's Card Printable | Ann-Marie Loves

After a few hours, you will start to see the crystallization. I let my first batch of geodes sit in the jars for a few days and they turned out great!

DIY Geodes + Free Valentine's Card Printable | Ann-Marie Loves

The geode color is a direct result of the color of the pipe cleaners. Based on my own experience as well as the reviews of others, metallic pipe cleaners work best although you could use plain pipe cleaners and add food coloring to the jar for a similar result.

DIY Geodes + Free Valentine's Card Printable | Ann-Marie Loves

Once you take them out, let them sit on a paper towel for a little bit to soak up any excess water.

DIY Geodes + Free Valentine's Card Printable | Ann-Marie Loves

Once your geodes are all set, you can start your V-Day cards! For this particular design, I wanted to attach the geodes with a string instead of glue, so I used a paper piercer to punch out four holes for threading. I also decided to use a little yellow distress ink with my go-to blending tool for extra visual interest.

DIY Geodes + Free Valentine's Card Printable | Ann-Marie Loves

How crazy are those rocks?! I had no idea if they would even work out but they are better than I could have predicted! Not only would these be fun for room decor or Valentine’s card toppers, but they would also be fun to bury in sand and use as “hidden treasures” for little ones to find. (In fact, I might have to try that this week with a certain toddler…)

DIY Geodes + Free Valentine's Card Printable | Ann-Marie Loves

P.S. You can download these V-Day cards here! Happy Love Day, everyone!

diy fairy wands.

Posted on: Friday, February 10, 2017

DIY Fairy Wands for Toddlers | Ann-Marie Loves

This past December I nearly lost my freaking mind when I stepped foot into the new Cotton On Kids at one of my local malls. I walked through the store with my eyes wide open and exclaimed “oh my gosh!” every thirty seconds because I wanted to buy ONE OF EVERYTHING. (I honestly don’t remember the last time I felt that excited? Maybe when I was in my scrapbooking heyday and took a tour of American Crafts’ showroom for the first time…now that was a happy day.) I ended up buying quite a few things for my kiddos, including an adorable fairy wand for my two year old. When it came time for her to open her gifts on Christmas morning, she was just as enthused about her new fairy wand as I was about shopping for it.

Since she loves it so much (despite snapping the stick in half in a moment of intense princess playing – ha!), I decided to try making her a few new wands myself. Here’s how I did it:

DIY Fairy Wands for Toddlers | Ann-Marie Loves

S U P P L I E S

Felt Sheets

Heavy Duty Straws

Sharp Scissors

Pony Beads

E6000 Glue (or other heavy duty adhesive)

Multicolored String or Yarn

DIY Fairy Wands for Toddlers | Ann-Marie Loves

Apply the E6000 glue to a small portion of the straw and begin to wrap it with the string. Continue to add glue and more string as you work your way down and let it dry. This is definitely the most tedious (and least fragrant) part but it goes by pretty fast.

DIY Fairy Wands for Toddlers | Ann-Marie Loves

Next, cut out different shapes from felt and layer them together to the front and back of the straw to create the topper. I freehanded these floral shapes but feel free to measure or map out your design first.

DIY Fairy Wands for Toddlers | Ann-Marie Loves

To create the strands that hang down from the top of the wand, cut a 12″ strand of string and add pony beads to both ends. Knot each side and place a little adhesive inside the bottom beads to secure them into place. Then tie the string to the top of the straw in a double knot. Finally, when the toddler wakes up from her nap and is overjoyed to see what you are working on and eagerly wants to “help,” have her sort the pony beads by color ;)

DIY Fairy Wands for Toddlers | Ann-Marie Loves

The entire project took about thirty minutes and it was so much fun to make!

DIY Fairy Wands for Toddlers | Ann-Marie Loves

DIY Fairy Wands for Toddlers | Ann-Marie Loves

Briar is quite the dichotomy as she is equal parts tomboy and girly girl. She’s fearless and seldom shies away from a physical challenge or a tall play structure (much to my terror). She loves playing catch and splashing in puddles and digging in the dirt. On the other hand, she’s also a sensitive soul who idolizes “Princess Minnie and Princess Daisy” and never leaves the house without her jewelry. She loves wearing pretty dresses and baking cookies (real and pretend) and showering her loved ones with spontaneous hugs and kisses. I adore these opposite aspects of her personality and am making a conscious effort to let her be herself without imposing too much of my own judgement on her. I want Briar to be as authentically Briar as she can possibly be without feeling like she needs to ascribe to any stereotypes placed on girls. I am a big believer in the fact that the future is most definitely female :)

kidspace.

Posted on: Friday, February 3, 2017

Kidspace Children's Museum | Pasadena, CA | Ann-Marie Loves

Right after Landon was born, John and I tried our best to make sure Briar had a smooth transition into big sisterhood. In between hanging out at home and visiting grandparents, we also peppered Briar’s days with a few family outings, including one to Kidspace Children’s Museum in Pasadena. We’ve been here many times and each visit feels like a new experience as Briar is able to enjoy it in different ways. Truth be told, I just love any excuse to get out to Pas ;)

This particular trip marked our first visit as a family of four and we had a great time! Landon slept through most of it in the wrap while John chased Briar around and I got to take lots of photos. Here are some of my favorite shots from the day:

Kidspace Children's Museum | Pasadena, CA | Ann-Marie Loves

Kidspace Children's Museum | Pasadena, CA | Ann-Marie Loves

It’s an indoor / outdoor museum with so many awesome exhibits and play areas to explore.

Kidspace Children's Museum | Pasadena, CA | Ann-Marie Loves

Kidspace Children's Museum | Pasadena, CA | Ann-Marie Loves

Ahhhhh, I could just eat her up!

Kidspace Children's Museum | Pasadena, CA | Ann-Marie Loves

Kidspace Children's Museum | Pasadena, CA | Ann-Marie Loves

Kidspace Children's Museum | Pasadena, CA | Ann-Marie Loves

Note the soaking wet shirt. Always bring an extra pair (or five!) of clothes when taking little ones to this museum.

Kidspace Children's Museum | Pasadena, CA | Ann-Marie Loves

This display totally gives me future room decor inspiration for Landon.

Kidspace Children's Museum | Pasadena, CA | Ann-Marie Loves

Such a good newborn. Sleep, sleep, sleep.

Kidspace Children's Museum | Pasadena, CA | Ann-Marie Loves

Kidspace Children's Museum | Pasadena, CA | Ann-Marie Loves

Kidspace Children's Museum | Pasadena, CA | Ann-Marie Loves

Kidspace Children's Museum | Pasadena, CA | Ann-Marie Loves

Kidspace Children's Museum | Pasadena, CA | Ann-Marie Loves

Kidspace Children's Museum | Pasadena, CA | Ann-Marie Loves

Kidspace Children's Museum | Pasadena, CA | Ann-Marie Loves

Look how gorgeous the natural landscape is! You guys, Pasadena is my FAVORITE.

Kidspace Children's Museum | Pasadena, CA | Ann-Marie Loves

And of course, what trip to Kidpsace is complete with a roll in the sand (most of which she took home in her shoes)?

When John went back to work, I was feeling extra bold so I took the two year old and the newborn to Kidspace by myself, and you know what? It wasn’t a total disaster! Yes, it was a ton of work and yes, Briar took off running while I was trying to nurse Landon (in the sandpit, of all places), and yes, we were all pooped by the end, but it was fun! I felt like that trip was where I got my sea legs for taking two kids out in public. I mean, if you’re going to learn, you might as well dive head first into the deep end! ;)

 

 

 

2017 album.

Posted on: Wednesday, February 1, 2017

2017 Project Life Album | Ann-Marie Loves

Another year, another album!

This year, I am making a 3 x 8″ album that is heavily inspired by Jamaica. She sold 3 x 8″ acrylic albums in her shop and I am kicking myself for not snagging one before they sold out! Ahhh. So instead, I am using a chipboard binder cut down to size to fit these awesome Ali Edwards page protectors. I have to say, this size is REALLY FUN. A simple shift in dimensions changes everything about scrapbooking and it keeps me coming back for more.

Here are the first few spreads I’ve created for 2017:

2017 Project Life Album | Ann-Marie Loves

The opening page is pretty simple and it features some of my favorite things: cocktails, Christmas trees (ha!), and the color yellow. Boom.

2017 Project Life Album | Ann-Marie Loves

This album is basically the Briar + Landon Show and that is a-okay with me. I love looking back at pages I made of Briar for my 2016 album and remembering how little she once was! Also, that puffy cactus sticker was found in the Target dollar spot! (How on trend is that dollar spot these days??)

2017 Project Life Album | Ann-Marie Loves

You guys, I’m telling you: this size is ridiculously fun. The tall 3 x 8″ pockets really force you to edit your photo picks and crop them accordingly, which satisfies the photo-editing obsession I have. I also used the two pockets on the right to document my chunky little monkey and that awesome mural at his pediatrician’s office.

2017 Project Life Album | Ann-Marie Loves

You know all those random die cuts and tiny scraps of paper that you quickly amass and then promptly forget about? Well, I’m determined to use them all up this year. The left page of this spread features a bunch of my favorite BasicGrey die cuts and cute stickers from Amy Tangerine. The right page features my word for the year: CELEBRATE. I’m thinking I might actually choose a different word now that I’ve had a little taste of 2017, but it’s still a good sentiment to pair with my favorite lunch and my favorite teething children.

SUPPLIES

as of late | january edition.

Posted on: Monday, January 30, 2017

As of Late | January Edition | Ann-Marie Loves

Debating whether or not I should put holiday stuff away or just leave it up forever, hence the bottlebrush tree photo above. Ha!

Stealing away pockets of time to read Erin Loechner’s inspiring new book. I am SUCH a fan of her writing style.

Listening to this episode of The Lively Show and having my mind blown.

Speaking of podcasts, I’ve also been enjoying Awesome With Alison and The Other F Word.

Staying up way too late. It’s typically the only time I have to myself so I live it up (and by live it up, I mean wash the dishes and answer e-mails) but then I inevitably regret it in the morning.

Turning into quite the news junkie, what with all that is happening in America right now. Everyday feels like a new crisis.

Drinking cascara lattes from Starbucks as often as possible. They’re so good.

Loving all the rain we’ve been having here in Southern California! After a long hot summer, this steady stream of rain has been a GIFT.

Checking my horoscope everyday.

Aiming to blog at least three times each week. Originally I wanted to blog every weekday this month but, you know, LIFE. Three times feels very manageable.

Deciding if I want to keep my hair short or grow it out so I can wear a giant top knot again. Hmmm…

Enjoying my little four month old a my almost-two-and-a-half year old. Sometimes I’m still a little shocked that I have two kids. I mean, where did they come from??

chickpeas with spinach + yogurt.

Posted on: Thursday, January 19, 2017

Chickpeas With Spinach + Yogurt | Ann-Marie Loves

This blog is fast becoming a food blog, no? Ha! My cooking skills are still basic AT BEST so anytime I learn something new or come up with an easy recipe, I feel the overwhelming need to share my insights ;)

Chickpeas With Spinach + Yogurt | Ann-Marie Loves

Chickpeas with spinach and Greek yogurt is one of my favorite and — most importantly — fastest lunch time staples. In total, it takes about seven minutes to put together which is huge when you’re starving and you have a toddler and an infant clamoring for your attention. Here’s how you make it:

Chickpeas With Spinach + Yogurt | Ann-Marie Loves

Cook chickpeas over low heat for a few minutes until they have been cooked to your liking.

Chickpeas With Spinach + Yogurt | Ann-Marie Loves

Throw in a giant handful of spinach. You can chop it up finely or you can leave it whole and treat it as more of a salad base. Your choice.

Chickpeas With Spinach + Yogurt | Ann-Marie Loves

Next, put a whopping spoonful of Greek yogurt on top. (Good lord, I love Greek yogurt.) If I have it on hand, I’ll often use feta cheese in place of the yogurt. Just depends on my mood that day.

Chickpeas With Spinach + Yogurt | Ann-Marie Loves

Mix it allllllll together now.

Chickpeas With Spinach + Yogurt | Ann-Marie Loves

And finally, add in hot sauce (the spicier, the better!). That’s it!  A healthy meal in a matter of minutes.

mom style | the second time around.

Posted on: Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Mom Style | Second Time Around | Ann-Marie Loves

There have been some new additions to the family since my sister-in-law, Jamie, and I last made a Mom Style post!

Mom Style | Second Time Around | Ann-Marie Loves

I had Landon in September…

Mom Style | Second Time Around | Ann-Marie Loves

Mom Style | Second Time Around | Ann-Marie Loves

And Jamie had Laith in July.

Mom Style | Second Time Around | Ann-Marie Loves

Needless to say, we’ve doubled our group of kiddos! With new kids means new challenges and time constraints for us, so we thought it would be fun to show you all of our favorite products that we turn to these days now that we are moms of two.

Mom Style | Second Time Around | Ann-Marie Loves

Ann-Marie’s Picks:

Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay. I was first turned on to this product by a random beauty product video I watched on YouTube and I instantly added it to my Amazon cart. (Clearly I am a sucker for video tutorials.) I usually wear this mask about once a week and I love the way it makes my skin feels so smooth after I wash it off! I tend to have very problematic skin except in the early postpartum phase when my hormones actually work in my favor. Right now I’m in a good skin season of life, so I’m trying to stay one step ahead of the curve by treating my face to some TLC with gentle cleansers, moisturizers, and this mask.

Oversized Hat. I’m a hat person to the very end. They make me feel sleek. They make me feel pulled together. They make me feel like the designer / photographer / blogger that I am. Sometimes I wonder if I wear hats too often (is that such a thing?), but then I stop caring about what others think and just wear the damn hat for the millionth day in a row. Getting older has it’s perks…

Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray. I’ll be honest: there’s not a lot of hair styling going on over here these days. In fact, I consider it a successful day if I get around to brushing my hair…! But every now and then when I actually want to look slightly put-together, I’ll use this amazing texturizing spray on the ends of my hair and rub it in with my fingers until I achieve the right amount of body and shape. It’s a bit pricey but seriously worth every penny if you want killer results.

Get To Work Book. I could go on and on about how much I love this planner and how much it has revolutionized the way I approach my days. I not only use it for planning out the logistics of daily life, but I also use it as a notepad for creating shopping or packing lists, too. And that pink highlighter art on the cover is courtesy of Briar ;)

Wrinkle Releaser Spray. Okay, this is a recent discovery of mine and I don’t know how I was able to ever leave the house before I had this spray! A few quick spritzes to a wrinkled item of clothing, a little tugging, and your outfit is smooth as can be! Who has time for ironing? Just get this spray and get on with your life!

Suede Ankle Boots. I don’t wear heels very often but when I do, I always feel polished and put-together. These lace-up ankle boots instantly take me out of mom-mode and straight into date night! Plus the thick heel makes for (relatively) comfy walking.

Sculpting Brow Mascara. I’ve mentioned this product in past Mom Style roundups, but it’s worth mentioning again. As long as I have this eyebrow mascara and a little foundation on, I feel like I can greet the day with confidence. I’m telling you (especially my fellow blondes!), defined eyebrows make all the difference on a face.

Gold Sunglasses. These glasses are borderline tacky and I think that’s why I love them so much! I adore a little unexpected kitsch in my life and I feel like such a cool mom while heading into Trader Joe’s with a baby in the Ergo and a toddler holding my hand. You have to find those little things that make you feel like the best version of yourself and these glasses totally do it for me.

Essential Oil Diffuser. Quality time to myself is far and few between these days, so one of my favorite parts of the day is when I can sneak away for a shower. I grab a glass of wine, I turn on my new oil diffuser, and I enjoy the five minutes of peace and relaxation before I take on the real world again.

Mom Style | Second Time Around | Ann-Marie Loves

Jamie’s Picks:

Facial Serum. My morning facial routine goes as follows: Honest Company body wash to clean my face, blot dry with towel, apply a few pumps of this facial serum to my face, spray with rose glycerin water, then depending on how dry my face has been I’ll apply a small amount of coconut oil as well. If I’m going to wear a light tinted moisturizer for a more even look I skip the coconut oil and apply the tinted moisturizer. This serum works well as a primer, too.

Chivas Lip Balm. I’ve been leaning more towards organic, cruelty-free, and locally made products. This lip balm comes from a goat farm in Ventura County here in Southern California. Most of the ingredients are organic. The light scent and smooth texture feels and smells delicious. With our home heater set on high lately my lips should be chapped, but this balm has kept them silky smooth.

Rose Water Spray. My cousin introduced me to this product in November and I’ve used it daily ever since. This comes with or without glycerin. I prefer the glycerin for the moisturizing benefit. I use it every morning and often throughout the day to refresh my face (with or without makeup on). Three sprays gives me just the right amount of moisturizing coverage. Anything more I feel the glycerin weighing down on my skin. I will apply heavily at night when my skin is extra dry.

Candles. If I could cover all the surfaces in my home with candles, I would! But for a certain little two year old’s safety, I cannot. Candlelight has a very calming effect on me. I’m always on the hunt for a good smelling, clean-burning candle. Any candle that will make my house smell like cookies or pies baking will make it’s way home with me.

Robe. I have three of these light cotton robes in rotation. They are scattered through out my house…in the bedroom,  bathroom, laundry room. If I’m not leaving the house, you can bet money I’ll be wearing a robe all day long.

Turkish Coffee. I love my coffee! This year for Christmas my husband bought me this Turkish coffee pot. Up until now, we have only enjoyed Turkish coffee while on vacation or when visiting family so it’s been a treat for us to have it at home whenever we want. My husband makes better Turkish coffee than I do and he will tell everyone the same. Sipping a hot cup of Turkish coffee in my home is a double treat. My love language is Acts of Service, so when my husband brings me a steaming, freshly-boiled cup of Turkish coffee, my heart overflows with love.

Aromatherapy Essential Oils. The kids and I have made it a nightly routine to add lavender or eucalyptus to the bath water. Aromatherapy is good for the soul, good for the whole family. When the oils come out, I know bedtime is near.

Organic Cotton Pads and High-Waisted Underwear. First, let’s talk about the cotton “boobie pads.” I am so happy I found these shortly after my first baby. I have tried disposable nursing pads and have hated them every time. The synthetic materials are not breathable and chafe my skin. The cotton pads are thick, extra absorbent, and are easy to care for. I’ve used the same batch for over two years. I put them in the washer and dryer with the rest of the clothes. If I’m on top of my laundry game, they all make it into a garment bag for washing. Secondly, I’d like to talk about my newfound love for high-waisted panties. My last baby was born via c-section. It was an amazing experience: no post-surgery complications, manageable pain, and a smooth recovery. The only thing I have been struggling with are the nerves that were severed at the c-section incision. It’s the strangest sensation; sometimes painful, sometimes numb, sometimes it doesn’t feel like a part of my body. Needless to say, I’ve been very sensitive to touch in that area. Waistbands are uncomfortable when worn over my incision. I’ve found higher waisted jeans, work scrubs, and underwear to be most comfortable. These underwear are my favorite! They are silky smooth, breathable, and super stretchy. The waistband comes nowhere near my incision!

Dr. Bronner’s Soap. My husband and I both use this for body wash. I prefer the eucalyptus scent but he prefers the lavender scent. Since I love him so much, I always pick up his favorite. Nothing feels better at the end of a long day than a hot, steamy shower with a sea sponge lathered up in fragrant suds.

Mom Style | Second Time Around | Ann-Marie Loves

P.S. More Mom Style posts here!

craft a life you love.

Posted on: Friday, January 13, 2017

Craft a Life You Love by Amy Tangerine | Ann-Marie Loves

This past summer, Amy casually mentioned to me that she was writing the book she had been wanting to pen for years. I was thrilled for her, of course. She has so much inspiration and wisdom to share, it would be a shame if she didn’t write a book ASAP! Then this past November, she told me that her book was finished and she was ready to publish it. I was blown away at how fast she was able to bring her dream to life! But then again, I wasn’t surprised at all. When Amy sets out to do something, she does it, and she does it BIG.

Enter: Craft A Life You Love.

Craft a Life You Love by Amy Tangerine | Ann-Marie Loves

Amy Tangerine is not only an amazing artist whom I’ve admired for years, but she has also been an incredible mentor to me. After I moved back from Utah, I began working for Amy a few days a week and never once has it actually felt like “work.” Instead, she’s given me an invaluable opportunity to hone all of my creative skills, including everything from scrapbooking and graphic design to photography and writing. Each time I show up for work, I never know what the day has in store, but I can always count on walking away having learned something new.

Craft a Life You Love by Amy Tangerine | Ann-Marie Loves

One of my favorite things about Amy is that she actually practices what she preaches. Girl walks the walk and talks the talk. I mean, she keeps a set of watercolors in her purse for those pockets of free time in her day where creativity can be squeezed in…if that isn’t dedication to her craft, then I don’t know what is! I can’t think of anyone more qualified to dispense advice on creative living than Amy.

Craft a Life You Love by Amy Tangerine | Ann-Marie Loves

One of my favorite things about this book is that it meets you right where you are. You don’t need to be a professional creative with a huge following to relate to the stories and advice that Amy shares. Craft A Life You Love is simply a guidebook for infusing your life with more joy and fulfillment through the process of creativity.

Craft a Life You Love by Amy Tangerine | Ann-Marie Loves

Before Craft A Life You Love went to print, Amy had me read the entire book from cover to cover to look for any grammatical errors and inconsistencies. Needless to say, I was thrilled to take on that job! With Landon sleeping in my arms, I was able to dive deep into an inspiring book without interruption…I can’t remember the last time I was afforded such a luxury! Now that I have my own copy of the book, I turn to it when I need a little boost. It’s like always having Amy’s kind and encouraging self at the ready!

Craft a Life You Love by Amy Tangerine | Ann-Marie Loves

Craft a Life You Love by Amy Tangerine | Ann-Marie Loves

I honestly cannot recommend this book enough. Go get your copy today!

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