my best friend’s wedding.

Posted on: Tuesday, May 3, 2016

My Best Friend's Wedding | Ann-Marie Loves

This past weekend was filled with wedding festivities as my best friend Val married her longtime love! It was such an amazing couple of days spent with my dearest friends. I have a group of ten girlfriends and somehow everyone managed to make it out for Val’s special day, which meant people traveling from as far as Denver, Atlanta, and Australia…! Due to some last minute edits, my friend Liz and I volunteered ourselves to read during the ceremony and I can speak for both of us when I say we were so honored. We read Val and Joe’s love story and despite our nerves, we were so thrilled to be a part of such a big moment! Here are some of my favorite photos that I managed to sneak in during the busy celebrations:

My Best Friend's Wedding | Ann-Marie Loves

My Best Friend's Wedding | Ann-Marie Loves

My Best Friend's Wedding | Ann-Marie Loves

My Best Friend's Wedding | Ann-Marie Loves

My Best Friend's Wedding | Ann-Marie Loves

My Best Friend's Wedding | Ann-Marie Loves

My Best Friend's Wedding | Ann-Marie Loves

My Best Friend's Wedding | Ann-Marie Loves

Congratulations Mr. and Mrs.!

neutral baby faves.

Posted on: Thursday, April 28, 2016

When I was pregnant with Briar, we broke down and opted pay extra to find out at 17 weeks whether we were having a boy or a girl. I remember the suspense was so killer that I could barely contain myself another second longer! This time around, I’m much more patient. Since we won’t find out the sex of our next baby for a few more weeks, I’ve been scouting out lots of cute neutral clothes that I would be equally as happy to dress a boy or a girl in. Here are some of my faves:

Neutral Baby Faves | Ann-Marie Loves

01. Sleeveless Rompers | Our baby is due to arrive at the beginning of October when summer is still in full-swing here in Southern California. This sleeveless romper set would make the perfect transition from hot days to cool nights.

02. Leather Moccasins | Moccasins are a classic and the elastic band makes it easy to keep on tiny baby feet. This soft brown shade could easily work for boys and girls.

03. Long Sleeve Onesies | One can never have enough onesies! Since Briar was a spit-up baby, we could easily burn through 4-5 shirts in a single day. This three pack is a great value considering the usage that onesies get.

04. Overalls | Oh, baby overalls. I’m pretty sure there’s nothing cuter than a tiny person wearing overalls. I’m especially fond of this faded denim color.

05. Bear Hoodie | As far as I’m considered, aqua is the perfect color for both boys and girls. We have a few sweaters from Baby Gap that are still in excellent condition, so I know this adorable bear hoodie would be a great addition to our collection.

06. Alphabet Pajamas | There are so many great items in Oh Joy’s baby line at Target, but I keep coming back to this adorable alphabet pattern.

07. Striped Sleep Sack | Once infants outgrow the swaddle, putting them in sleep sacks while they rest is a great way to keep them warm without the hazard of a baby blanket in their bed. I am obsessed with this simple stripe design.

08. Chambray Sun Hat | My number one tip for new moms is to leave the house as much as possible! The fresh air and the change of scenery can do wonders. For me, this means loading the baby in the stroller and going for long walks with a good podcast. This sun hat is ideal for shading sensitive baby skin and keeping their little faces safe from the elements.

09. Hooded One Pieces | I have had a very strong feeling from the moment that I found out I was pregnant that I will be having a boy. So of course, this meant that my eyes were immediately on a high alert for cute baby boy clothes (which, as it turns out, are not easy to find!). Spotting stylish boy clothes is a definitely a hit-or-miss situation, so I decided that I would be more than happy if I could build his whole wardrobe around black and white stripes and the color grey. When I spotted these hooded one-pieces at Old Navy, I knew they had to come home with me. (However, if it’s a girl, I will be just as thrilled to see her dressed in these neutrals, too!)

happy place | lavender + honey in pasadena.

Posted on: Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Lavender & Honey | Pasadena, California | Photos by Ann-Marie Espinoza

Whenever I’m in the vicinity of Pasadena (which, between doctor appointments and looking for a new place, means quite often!), it’s pretty much a guarantee that I will make a stop at Lavender + Honey. There are so many great places to get an excellent cup of coffee in Pasadena but this one takes the cake. It opened in August 2014 — the same month Briar was born! — but I didn’t actually stop in until a few months later. With this next baby, I won’t be making the same mistake. I’ll definitely be stopping in on the regular to take advantage of their delicious caffeinated beverages!

Lavender & Honey | Pasadena, California | Photos by Ann-Marie Espinoza

My standard order is an iced honeybee latte and L+H toast (goat cheese, lavender, and honey on bread). You guys, I’m not joking when I say that I dream about this meal. Briar had her first taste of the toast the other day (in between sneaking sips of my coffee) and she was just as hooked. I guess that means I have to share with her now?

Lavender & Honey | Pasadena, California | Photos by Ann-Marie Espinoza

The decor and the lighting are a photographer’s dream come true.

Lavender & Honey | Pasadena, California | Photos by Ann-Marie Espinoza
Lavender & Honey | Pasadena, California | Photos by Ann-Marie Espinoza

When I’m in the mood for something more savory, I’ll order the Pasadena toast (avocado, lemon juice, and red jalapeño on bread). So good.

Lavender & Honey | Pasadena, California | Photos by Ann-Marie Espinoza
Lavender & Honey | Pasadena, California | Photos by Ann-Marie Espinoza
Lavender & Honey | Pasadena, California | Photos by Ann-Marie Espinoza

I happened to catch the cafe at the end of the day when there weren’t too many people…definitely a rarity! Whenever there’s a seat available, I love to take advantage of the upbeat, inspiring energy of L+H and get a little work done. You know how there are some coffee shops that make you feel somewhat inferior? Like you’re not cool enough to buy an overpriced cup of coffee? This is not that place. In fact, Lavender + Honey is the exact opposite! Everyone I’ve come in contact with — from the patrons to the baristas — is so friendly and inclusive.

Lavender & Honey | Pasadena, California | Photos by Ann-Marie Espinoza
Lavender & Honey | Pasadena, California | Photos by Ann-Marie Espinoza

And THIS is why I’m obsessed with Pasadena: preserved old buildings given new life by modern establishments. Plus, L+H is a bit of anomaly in LA in that it has it’s own free public parking lot with plenty of spaces!
Lavender & Honey | Pasadena, California | Photos by Ann-Marie Espinoza

If you’re ever in the neighborhood, I highly recommend stopping in!

Lavender & Honey | 1383 E. Washington Blvd, Pasadena, California 91104

take more photos!

Posted on: Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Take Lots of Photos! | Ann-Marie Loves

This girl loves her Minnie Mouse stuffed animal that she handpicked from Disneyland and makes sure to grab her before jumping out of bed. She waits for me open my eyes in the morning and then says “hi mama!” and gives me a big kiss.  She wears any outfit that I put on her but refuses to have ponytails / clips / headbands in her hair. She often turns to me and says “ug” which means “hug” which means I’m in heaven. She calls for her pacifier like it’s a lost puppy dog: “paaathi?paaathi? paaathi?”She is constantly running into things, tripping over toys, and head-butting everything in sight, but for the most part, she doesn’t seem to notice. When asked how old she is, she exclaims, “two!” (she’s one). When I get the camera out, she heads straight for the lens and says, “cheeeeeese!”

I took these photos a few weekends back as the three of us were playing outside. I almost always have my phone at the ready to take a picture or video of whatever cute thing she is doing, but busting out the big camera is a less frequent event. I’ve decided that this needs to change. I love having a fresh batch of RAW files to edit and then go through a million times over with John. Briar is changing at warp speed and I want to make sure to pause time every now and then so I can look back and remember how much she loved blowing bubbles and being thrown in the air by her daddy and wearing her oversized hat. She is pure sunshine at twenty months old and I never want to forget it.

Take Lots of Photos! | Ann-Marie Loves

Take Lots of Photos! | Ann-Marie Loves

Take Lots of Photos! | Ann-Marie Loves

Take Lots of Photos! | Ann-Marie Loves

Take Lots of Photos! | Ann-Marie Loves

Take Lots of Photos! | Ann-Marie Loves

Take Lots of Photos! | Ann-Marie Loves

Take Lots of Photos! | Ann-Marie Loves

Briar’s Outfit: Sweater // Floral Romper // Rain boots

my mom’s a gem + diamond earrings giveaway!

Posted on: Friday, April 15, 2016

UPDATED: The winner of the diamond earrings is Jamie (#2)! Congrats!

Ann-Marie Loves x JTV | Diamond Earrings Giveaway!

My mom and I are definitely different people, but there are a few key things that make us two birds of a feather:

  • We love a good mall. We will travel far and wide for a good mall.
  • Our favorite place to eat is at Cava in Montecito. It’s a long way to go, but it’s worth the trek for seafood enchiladas!
  • We’re both night owls who love nothing more than sleeping in.
  • We can’t decide if “You’ve Got Mail” or “It’s Complicated” is our favorite movie. So we watch both. A lot.
  • We are forever running at least fifteen minutes late. It’s the worst habit in the world yet neither of us can seem to break it.

Ann-Marie Loves x JTV | Diamond Earrings Giveaway!

And finally, we both have come to appreciate the value of understated jewelry. Okay, let me clarify: my mom has always appreciated the value of understated jewelry. Me? Not so much. I had to go through many an oversized J. Lo hoop earrings / blinged-out costume jewelry phase throughout my high school + college days to get to where I am now. But hey! Here we are, together.

Ann-Marie Loves x JTV | Diamond Earrings Giveaway!

The bottom line is that my mom is my best friend and the first person I thought of when it came to gifting a pair of these beautiful white diamond stud earrings from JTV’s collection of insanely gorg diamond jewelry. After all, she’s the one who taught me everything I know: how to be a friend, how to be a mother, how to be a wife, and how to see the bright side of any situation. She’s a gem.

Ann-Marie Loves x JTV | Diamond Earrings Giveaway!

Now it’s your turn to win a pair of these earrings! To enter, follow JTV on Instagram and then leave a comment below letting me know what your ideal morning looks like. I’ll announce the winner at the top of this post on Friday April 22nd! Good luck!

This post was sponsored by JTV, but as always, all opinions, ideas, and photos are my own.

2016 album.

Posted on: Thursday, April 14, 2016

2016 Scrapbook | Ann-Marie Loves

Yesterday as I was at Target, I passed by these wooden letters for the umpteenth time and finally threw them in my cart. I’ve been debating whether or not I should get them forever but never actually committing, because really, how many alphas and letter stickers does a girl need? But yesterday I gave in. And I’m so glad I did! I mean, how awesome do they look?

2016 Scrapbook | Ann-Marie Loves

I’ve taken a lot of photos recently so putting this spread together was super fun. It’s always nice to have too many options than not enough when it comes to photos and topics.

2016 Scrapbook | Ann-Marie Loves

As usual, I added some text to my photos in Photoshop before printing. I love the combination of typed words + physical letters, plus it makes planning out my pages that much easier.

2016 Scrapbook | Ann-Marie Loves

Remember this printable that I designed a million years ago? I decided to print it out again and give it new life! My everyday thoughts are certainly different than they were two years ago when I was at home all day by myself and not chasing a toddler around – ha! For the left hand side of the page, I cut a strip of BasicGrey Highline paper and added a little visual texture to it with a Heidi Swapp polka dot stencil, a blending tool, and yellow distress ink. Those three items are easily my most used supplies at the moment…I use them on everything.

Supplies: Solid Page Protector // Divided Page Protector // Wooden Letters // Gradient paper // Distress Ink in Yellow // Ink Blending tool // Polka Dot Stencil // Yoobi glue stick

as of late | april edition.

Posted on: Tuesday, April 12, 2016

As of Late | April Edition.

The story of Briar’s life.

Seriously loving this DIY from Almost Makes Perfect. I love every DIY that Molly makes, but this one is really inspiring me to buy some wood and paint!

Laughing at all the funny things that Briar says these days. She used to call my brother by his first name but has since switched to calling him “Uncle.” She also adds the word “yay!” to things she’s excited about and repeats the phrase over and over again in a sing-songy manner, such as “bubbles! yay! bubbles! yay!” And last night as I was reading her a few stories in bed, I would ask her if she was ready for the next book and she would repeat “weddy?” Ahh, she kills me.

Enjoying my shorter hairstyle! I have a serious aversion to styling my hair everyday (god forbid I have to break out the blow dryer), so to be able to air dry, spritz with a little styling cream and a generous amount of dry shampoo (this one is my new fave!), and then quickly add loose waves with a large curling iron…well, it’s kind of a dream come true.

Feeling so sad for Tori Hendrix and her family. I have been closely following Tori for years and have looked up to her not only as an amazing stylist and creative but also as a mother. In fact, I talk about her so much that John knows exactly whom I’m referring to when I mention “Tori” casually in conversation. I’m really, really, really hoping for a miracle!

Editing most of my DSLR photos in Lightroom now with VSCO actions and feeling like it’s such a game changer to my workflow! I can only use Lightroom on our desktop (my poor laptop can barely accommodate one more megabyte!) so I don’t edit as much as I would like to, but when I do? I’m in heaven.

Barely into my second trimester and I’m already picking out pieces here and there for baby number two. We won’t find out the sex for another month so I’m stocking up on cute neutrals, including this black + white striped hooded one-piece and these cactus-patterned clothes! Oh em gee, I forgot how tiny newborn clothes are!

Trying to remember to take weekly bump photos but I’m def not as consistent about it as I was with Briar. Whoops!

Hanging out with some of my favorite Pasadena people, including brunch with my former landlord and her adorable little ones (sounds crazy, right?). Here’s the backstory: She and her husband had just taken over the management of our complex before John and I put in our notice to leave, but I always had a feeling that she and I would have hit it off. Fast forward a few months and as I’m browsing through Pinterest, I see photos of her and and her daughter modeling for Solly Baby wraps. That’s when I knew: she is my kind of people! So I e-mailed her and basically asked her to be my friend and she told me she felt the same way and now we go on lunch dates with our kiddos! How’s that for a friendship meet-cute?

Delighting in the sight of Briar wearing her pink duck pajamas. The girl is obsessed with anything duck-related these days, so when I spotted the jammies at Baby Gap, I knew I had no choice but to buy them.

Beginning to feel subtle baby kicks! So exciting! Also, I’m 99% positive that there’s a boy in there and I’m 99% terrified about it.

Rocking maternity clothes already and feeling no shame whatsoever! This striped dress from Target is getting plenty of mileage.

Pinning all the time again! I go through phases with Pinterest where my interest in it ebbs and flows and right now it is definitely flowing!

first trimester | the second time around.

Posted on: Wednesday, April 6, 2016

First Trimester | Round Two | Ann-Marie Loves

As excited as I was to find out I was pregnant, I braced myself for the inevitable onslaught of first trimester nausea and exhaustion. And right on cue, it reared it’s ugly head on the day I reached six weeks. It’s funny, though. I always imagined that having to care for a toddler while trying to get through those first trimester symptoms would be impossibly difficult. In reality, the opposite turned out to be true! I don’t know if it’s because my tolerance for discomfort has gone way up since having Briar or if it’s the fact that I simply didn’t have the time to focus on how terrible I felt, but it seemed much more manageable this go around (thank goodness!). I think I also have a much better perspective on the fact that this too shall pass and all the fun parts of pregnancy (baby kicks! not having to suck it in! ultrasounds!) were right around the corner.

First Trimester | Round Two | Ann-Marie Loves

But while I waited for the fun parts to arrive, I turned to my trusty old friend: CARBS. And when I say carbs, I means carbs. Bagels, pasta, bread, saltines, sandwiches…whatever it took to settle my stomach. I’m definitely not proud of my food choices at that stage in the game, but I swear to you, they are the only things that actually work. That, and avoiding the horror that is coffee (thank goodness that phase has finally passed!). I also tried out Sea-Bands (bracelets with plastic beads that push into the pressure points on your wrists) and found them to be helpful. Additionally, I reminded myself that the first trimester is not the time to make things happen, so I cut myself some slack and rested whenever I felt my energy flagging. There was many a nap and many an early bedtime during those first thirteen weeks and I didn’t feel an ounce of guilt about it! I felt nauseas for two weeks straight (morning, noon, and night) but in the grand scheme of pregnancy-related torture, it was a walk in the park. Speaking of walks in the park, I am constantly out of breath this time around…you would think I haven’t exercised in years! I’ve also sadly become allergic to my white gold wedding ring much earlier in the game with this baby than with Briar. I feel naked without it but I know it will go away the very second that the baby is born (pregnancy is the weirdest).

With all that said, the first trimester was totally manageable and I am SO GRATEFUL for that. My minor complaints are just that: minor. I am thrilled to be into the second trimester and can’t wait to find out if this baby is a boy or a girl in a few short weeks…! OH EM GEE.

2016 album | day in the life.

Posted on: Monday, April 4, 2016

Day in the Life | Ann-Marie Loves

A few weeks ago when I saw Ali Edwards say on Instagram that she would be hosting her Day in the Life series the next day, I was sold! I haven’t done a Day in the Life project in years and I figured it would be the perfect addition to my ongoing 2016 album. Luckily, it turned out to be a work day for me so there was plenty of activity to photograph and include in my book.

Day in the Life | Ann-Marie Loves

Since I am running low on BasicGrey Capture page protectors (RIP), I decided to tap into my stash and try out some Studio Calico Handbook pages. The holes don’t exactly match up with that of my album, but it’s nothing my Crop-a-Dile can’t fix! Easy peasy. I knew I wanted to include as many photos as possible without using too many pages, so I chose my favorites, resized them in Photoshop, and added a little journaling before printing. It definitely takes a lot of prep (and a lot of math!) to plan out the pages ahead of time but I love how it streamlines the actual crafting process and makes the spread look much more pulled together.

Day in the Life | Ann-Marie Loves

Day in the Life | Ann-Marie Loves

For the “AM” side of the spread, I featured snippets of our morning, including: breakfast, Briar watching her favorite show, my beauty essentials (living and dying by that dry shampoo, y’all), and finally getting out the door to head to Culver City. In addition to the journaling that I added to the photos via Photoshop, I also used a sheet of BasicGrey multicolored Highline letter stickers to create time stamps for the 3 x 4″ images.

Day in the Life | Ann-Marie Loves

For the “PM” side of the page, I included photos of: the 405 freeway, different shots from working in Amy’s studio, a quick run to Trader Joe’s to pick up essentials (Puffins, spicy hummus, and black bean rotini. You know how it is.), the sunset upon arriving home, and snuggling up in bed with Briar to read her a few books before bed (and yes, I realize her bedtime that night was super late!).

I’m so glad I successfully captured and documented my day. It’ll be so much fun to look back on next year when life looks very different than it did in March of 2016!

Supplies: Studio Calico Handbook Page Protectors // Gradient Paper // Hot Pink Polka Dot Paper (from Target) // BasicGrey Alpha Stickers // Seven Paper Puffy Stickers // Amy Tangerine Shaped Paperclips // Semi-Glossy Photo Paper

thank you!

Posted on: Friday, April 1, 2016

blog2

Happy Friday! Thank you so much for your sweet comments on my last post…I loved reading each and every one of them. I’m now in the second trimester and feeling pretty darn good. My energy is returning, my creativity is making a comeback, and exciting things are on the horizon. Today Briar and I are headed to Disneyland and are looking forward to a fun day at our favorite place! Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

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