gift guide for toddlers + preschoolers.

Posted on: Thursday, December 7, 2017

Gift Guide for Toddlers + Preschoolers | Ann-Marie Loves

If you read my previous post, you know that I am over the toy-nado. OVER. IT. I can only handle so many messes before I turn into the CRAZY MOM by 11 am. That being said, I’m putting my Grinch-y ways aside for the holidays because 1. I love Christmas, and 2. I love my children, and am vowing to only invest in things that I know Briar and Landon will love for years to come. After scouring the internet for weeks, here is my list of the top quality holiday gifts for both toddlers and preschoolers alike:

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tips for taking cute photos of cute kids.

Posted on: Tuesday, December 5, 2017

How To Take Cute Photos of Cute Kids | Ann-Marie Loves

I’ve always been obsessed with photography but I must admit that I didn’t fully refine my skill set until I had kids. Oh man, there’s no greater creative challenge than trying to capture an unpredictable moving target! Between documenting my own kids’ lives, taking client photos, and shooting lifestyle images for Pacific Play Tents, I’ve picked up a few tips and tricks for getting the shot. Whether you have a fancy DSLR or you’re just looking to improve your iPhone game, here are a few of my favorite tips and tricks for nailing it every time:

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quality over quantity.

Posted on: Thursday, November 30, 2017

Ann-Marie Loves x WowWee Magnaflex

When I was pregnant with Briar, I was certain (OMG, so certain) that my home would never be overrun with toys, much less with — gasp — cheap plastic toys! I thought she would only have overpriced wooden toys that would be perfectly styled in cute baskets and bins at all times. Fast forward three years and two kids later and I am here to tell you that the invasion of unsightly toys SNEAKS UP ON YOU. One minute you have a newborn with just a handful of toys in her possession and the next minute you have a 1 year old and a 3 year old with an impressive combined assortment of Target dollar spot toys and other random things spread out across every corner of your home (insert upside down face emoji).

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communal coffee.

Posted on: Monday, November 27, 2017

Communal Coffee | San Diego | Ann-Marie Loves

Whenever I’m traveling, one of my favorite things to do is to check out the cool coffee shops in the area. I went to college in San Diego and have been back many times since but had yet to make it to the uber-cute, uber-Instagrammable Communal Coffee until my last visit in October. While my mom took Briar to the zoo to see her cousins (thanks Mom!), I strapped Landon onto my back and we explored this gem in North Park.

Communal Coffee | San Diego | Ann-Marie Loves

From the moment I walked in, I was in love. It was like a Pinterest dream come to life! Read More >

thirty one.

Posted on: Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Ann-Marie Loves | Thirty One

I’m thirty one today! I guess that means I am solidly in my thirties now, huh? The past year has felt like a total blur but filled with so many highlights that I never want to forget! Here are 31 of my favorite memories from the past year:

  1. Chopping off and lightening my hair.
  2. Discovering (and bingeing on) The Life Coach School Podcast.
  3. Marathoning three back-to-back laps around The Office series over the past few months. Pam + Jim forever.
  4. Having the best time in Atlanta with my BFFs (and no kids!). Can’t wait for more travel with friends!
  5. Signing Briar up for preschool and watching her flourish. So proud of that bub.
  6. Spending the night at Kimpton Goodland in Santa Barbara for our annual birthday / anniversary getaway.
  7. Being able to hold both of my kids’ hands while we all walk together. Total transportation game changer!
  8. Taking two trips to San Diego.
  9. Surviving (and enjoying!) our first family of four vacation to Cambria.
  10. Reading Erin Loechner’s book twice.
  11. Getting back to the gym! I love a good Zumba class.
  12. Taking on a new job that I LOVE and making some amazing friends in the process!
  13. Attending some beautiful (and boozy! haha) weddings.
  14. Reading this amazing Scorpio horoscope! WHOA.
  15. Treating myself to fancy bags of coffee to power me through this hectic life.
  16. Surprising myself with how little sleep I can get by on (although I would kill for a solid 10 hours!).
  17. Taking the kids on little adventures.
  18. Enjoying Instastories more than my Insta feed.
  19. Celebrating Landon turning one and Briar turning three! Time is f-l-y-i-n-g.
  20. Wearing the comfiest high-waisted mom jeans on a daily basis.
  21. Relishing cool weather and cursing the heat. Some things never change.
  22. Feeling good about only having two kids.
  23. Taking thousands of photos and getting paid to do it! #dreamofalldreams!
  24. Learning how to do Disneyland with multiple kids.
  25. Practicing authentic living everyday. I’m getting really adept at tuning out what doesn’t serve me and focusing on cultivating authentic relationships, experiences, and feelings everyday.
  26. Discovering the best dry shampoo and never washing my hair again (ha!).
  27. Eating Trader Joe’s Peruvian chimichurri rice for lunch nearly every single day.
  28. Going on weekly walks with friends.
  29. Watching my kids become little buddies.
  30. Feeling inspired by new things and finding myself entering a new season of life.
  31. Enjoying a massage and a solo coffee date to celebrate 31!

diy faux marble necklace.

Posted on: Thursday, September 14, 2017

DIY Clay Faux Marble Beaded Necklace | Ann-Marie Loves

Age three has been a really fun and hilarious age to witness. Briar’s favorite game as of late is called “Target Man” and it involves repeated checkout encounters at — where else? — Target. (I don’t know what this says about my shopping habits??) I am usually assigned the role of the Target employee while Briar gets into character as the Target shopper. She brings me several items to scan (don’t forget the sound effect!) and then waits for me to ask her to swipe her red card (5% savings, baby) and sign for her purchase. She could play this game for hours. I’m good for about three rounds before I convince her that Daddy is a MUCH better Target man.

Something else that she’s been super into is crafting. YOU GUYS. I can’t even tell you what this means to me. As someone whom has asked for art supplies for every single Christmas of her life, I am so pumped that my daughter shares in my love of making things by hand.

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label all the things.

Posted on: Thursday, August 31, 2017

label all the things | ann-marie loves

Okay, a few things.

I have NO IDEA how people with kids keep their house neat and organized all the time. My brain literally cannot process how this works. We live in a tiny place and only have two kids but good lord the mess. Each day I declare that THIS IS THE DAY that I will stay on top of the madness and then fifteen minutes after both kids are awake, there’s toys and books, and — my personal favorite — crumbs everywhere. Then the dishes start to accumulate in the sink and the laundry starts to overflow and the beds need to be made and I am at a loss for where to start. How do you moms do it?!

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summer at underwood.

Posted on: Friday, August 25, 2017

Underwood Family Farms | Ann-Marie Loves

I’ll be honest: I don’t love where we live.

As hard as I try to get on board with this city, it’s just not my jam and it probably never will be. I could be a Debby Downer and rattle off a ton of reasons why I’m not a huge fan but INSTEAD, I’ll focus on the redeeming qualities. For one — and this is a big one –we get free babysitting from our wonderful families. That alone make it worth it to stay close for a little while longer. Aside from having both sets of grandparents just a few minutes away, I love my gym (so many great classes!). I love my Trader Joe’s (super nice people!). I love Briar’s new school (she loves it, too!). I love all the drive-thru Starbucks (ha!). These are small things but they definitely make a big difference in the way I go about my days.

Something else I love? How close we are to Underwood Farms! I’ve talked about this place once or twice, but it really is an amazing gem. I mean, Kim and Kanye take their kids here so maybe this neck of woods isn’t thaaaat terrible ;)

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diy rear view mirror ornament.

Posted on: Thursday, August 24, 2017

DIY Rear View Mirror Ornament | Ann-Marie Loves

This has been a BIG week around here! Briar started preschool, Landon started walking, and I went grocery shopping before 9:30 am for the first time in forever (huge feat for a non-morning person)! Needless to say, we’re feeling pretttttty good.

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briar is three.

Posted on: Monday, August 14, 2017

Last week, my firstborn turned THREE! As I was putting this video together over the past couple of weeks, I couldn’t get over how much she has grown up! Time is flying but I am so happy that I get to spend my days with my sweet Briar Bear.

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