tips for staying on top of the mess.

Posted on: Thursday, April 13, 2017

Tips for Keeping a Clean House With Little Ones | Ann-Marie Loves x Lemi Shine

It’s not the dirty diapers. It’s not the crying jags. It’s not the lack of sleep (okay, it’s kind of the lack of sleep). My biggest hang up about being a mom of two little ones is the messes! Oh em gee, you guys, everyday is a struggle to stay on top of the toddler tornado. We live in a small space so if we don’t rein in the clutter and clean up after ourselves, this tiny little house can look like a disaster in 0.2 seconds.

Thankfully, Lemi Shine reached out to me again (read my first post here!) and totally inspired me to streamline my routine and give this this house a serious spring cleaning! While I am certainly no expert and could use allllll the help I can get, I have learned a thing or two about what works for me when it comes to keeping a clean house. In partnership with Lemi Shine, I’m here to share some of my top tips for staying on top of the daily mess:

Tips for Keeping a Clean House With Little Ones | Ann-Marie Loves x Lemi Shine

Prioritize. My mom instilled in me one very helpful life lesson: there can be dishes in the sink, there can be a mountain of laundry on the bed, but COME HELL OR HIGH WATER, the bathroom will be spotless. There are no two ways about it. Because of this hard fast truth, I always begin my cleaning routine by grabbing Lemi Shine’s Glass + Surface Cleaner and wiping down the bathroom counters, making sure the mirrors are free of water spots, and scrubbing the toilet. I’ll also swap out the towels and make sure they are hanging evenly on the towel rack (OCD at it’s finest!). From there, I’ll work outwards and clean up other high traffic areas, including the kitchen, the living room, and the dining room.

Tips for Keeping a Clean House With Little Ones | Ann-Marie Loves x Lemi Shine

Tips for Keeping a Clean House With Little Ones | Ann-Marie Loves x Lemi Shine

Recruit help. 2.5 has been an interesting age, to say the least. One day my toddler is sweet as can be and other days she’s…not. I’m trying my hardest to channel my inner Janet Lansbury and allow Briar to have both the space and the boundaries that she craves, but man! Easier said than done. However, when we are in the midst of a difficult moment, I’ve learned that I can turn it around on a dime if I ask Briar to help me with a task — any task. In fact, she loves being a helper, whether it’s something as small as grabbing a diaper for Landon or something as big as helping me cook dinner. This usually means a task will take twice as long to get completed than if I were to just do it myself but it’s so worth it when I can see it building Briar’s self esteem and empowering her to make her own decisions. Plus, it’s nice to have extra help!

Tips for Keeping a Clean House With Little Ones | Ann-Marie Loves x Lemi Shine

Thankfully I feel great about letting Briar help me clean up with Lemi Shine products since they are made of 100% natural citric acids and are free of any harsh chemicals or toxins. I’ll squirt a little bit of Everyday Cleaner on a rag and have her wipe down tables and dressers and even the floor! She takes her job very seriously.

Tips for Keeping a Clean House With Little Ones | Ann-Marie Loves x Lemi Shine

This stuff works like a dream.

Tips for Keeping a Clean House With Little Ones | Ann-Marie Loves x Lemi Shine

Tips for Keeping a Clean House With Little Ones | Ann-Marie Loves x Lemi Shine

Do what you can. I often hear this Teddy Roosevelt quote echoing in my head: “do what you can with what you have where you are.” It’s a simple adage, but man, it rings so true as a working mom who also would like to have an occasional moment to myself. I feel like I’m always ten steps behind of schedule but I’m slowly learning that I CAN make things happen if I just use small pockets of time to tackle tasks. If I have fifteen minutes, I’ll throw Landon on my back like a baby sloth (thank goodness for Ergos!) and clean up a single room instead of feeling like I have to clean the WHOLE house or nothing at all.

Tips for Keeping a Clean House With Little Ones | Ann-Marie Loves x Lemi Shine

Tips for Keeping a Clean House With Little Ones | Ann-Marie Loves x Lemi Shine

I also try to multitask whenever possible, so I’ll unload the dishwasher while I wait for the oven to heat up, or I’ll wipe down the bathroom counter while I supervise bathtime. Everyone has fifteen minutes to spare so use those time slots to your advantage!

Tips for Keeping a Clean House With Little Ones | Ann-Marie Loves x Lemi Shine

Create a routine. One of my favorite tips for keeping the house clean is to build non-negotiables into my everyday routine. For me, this means doing laundry and running the dishwasher every single day. I know this sounds like a lot, but I promise it’s not that hard when it becomes a habit! One of my proudest clean freak strategies is my laundry maintenance. Every night I throw a load of laundry into the washing machine and fold the load as soon as it comes out of the dryer. This way I never have a mountain of laundry to deal with AND our clothes don’t get wrinkled. Truth be told, I don’t mind folding clothes and hanging them up. There’s something about the act of making neat piles and having an organized closet that makes me feel like I have a tiny bit of control over my life. At the end of every week, I’ll run a regular cleaning cycle with Lemi Shine’s Washing Machine Cleaner to remove hard water build up and any funky odors.

Tips for Keeping a Clean House With Little Ones | Ann-Marie Loves x Lemi Shine

I also have a rock solid dishwasher routine that helps to keep our tiny kitchen clean and ready for the next meal. Every night before bed, I load the dishwasher and let it run while we are sleeping. Then in the morning (or early afternoon, depending upon how insane our morning is), I’ll unload it. I also like to encourage everyone to put their dirty dishes and silverware directly into the dishwasher instead of letting them sit in the sink (unless they need to be soaked, of course). Much like my laundry routine, I also use Lemi Shine’s Dishwasher Cleaner every 1-2 weeks to keep our dishwasher in tip top shape and ensure that our dishes get squeaky clean.

Tips for Keeping a Clean House With Little Ones | Ann-Marie Loves x Lemi Shine

High five to clean living!

Be sure to check out Lemi Shine’s website to learn more about their products, find stores near you that carry their products, and best of all, redeem discounts to try the products for yourself! Happy Spring Cleaning!

This post was sponsored by Lemi Shine, but all opinions, ideas, and photos are my own.

as of late | april edition.

Posted on: Thursday, April 6, 2017

As of Late | April Edition | Ann-Marie Loves

Listening to this song NONSTOP. I even purchased it on iTunes which is something I haven’t done in a million years because Spotify, obvs. Also, this video is so fun!

Feeling so pumped for Briar to start preschool this Fall! I signed her up this week and I’ve been buzzing with excitement ever since.

Going to the gym again (first time in a year!) and feeling super out of shape but so happy to be taking my favorite classes. I forgot how much I NEED a physical outlet to keep me sane.

Rewatching The Office with John and loving it all over again.

Wearing lots of bralettes these days. Underwire is overrated!

Making a mental note to write an updated list of my favorite podcasts. There are so many new ones to add to the mix, including The Cookbook Deal and Missing Richard Simmons!

Recording little videos for my upcoming YouTube channel! Ahhh, I can’t wait to share!

Editing hundreds of photos this week and loving, loving, loving it. The local hills are alive right now and make all of my recent photo shoots look INCREDIBLE.

Gathering little things to put in my little ones’ Easter baskets. That Target dollar spot gets me every time.

Looking for a new foundation to wear and have heard really good things about this one. Has anyone tried it? Is it worth the money?

Painting my nails (in Sonic Bloom — my wedding color!) as I type this post.

Realizing that I use the word “so” SO OFTEN. Ha!

diy no-sew nursing cover.

Posted on: Tuesday, April 4, 2017

DIY No-Sew Nursing Cover | Ann-Marie Loves

Let the record show that six months is my favorite infant age. It’s the BEST. I remember loving this age with Briar and I am enjoying it all over again with Landon. They’re just so squishy and interactive but not too mobile yet. I am trying my hardest to savor this sweet spot (and every spot!) of infanthood since I am all too aware of how fast it’s going to fly.

Read More >

landon’s birth announcements.

Posted on: Friday, March 24, 2017

Landon's Birth Announcements | Ann-Marie Loves x Minted

When I was little and imagined being an adult with my own family, I had a very clear vision of what it would look like.

First of all, I would live in a two story house (stairs were a MUST). Secondly, I would definitely have a swimming pool WITH a twisty slide, because, obviously. I also envisioned bunk beds in my kids’ rooms, a big SUV with a dog hanging out the window, and a cool street address that ended in “Road” or “Court” (specific AF, I know!). There would be colorful family photos all over the house, the fridge would always be stocked with good snacks, oh, and we would DEFINITELY have a trampoline in our backyard! (I asked for a trampoline every holiday of my life and never got one…some dreams die hard.) Finally, I always imagined putting together cards for various occasions: Christmas cards, birthday invitations, and my favorite, baby announcements!

Landon's Birth Announcements | Ann-Marie Loves x Minted

So now that I’m a grown adult, I’ve gotten to live out part of my childhood fantasy by designing birth announcements for two babes! When it came time to order Landon’s announcements, I chose this simple hand-lettered style from Minted. It was kind of a no-brainer; I wanted the photo of him in his now-too-small bear suit to be the focal point and the type to play a supporting role.

Landon's Birth Announcements | Ann-Marie Loves x Minted

Addressing the envelopes is one of my favorite parts of the paper correspondence process. The tricky part is finding the right pen. For these shimmery taupe cards, I used a good old fashioned Sharpie to get the job done without any smearing or smudging. Mission accomplished!

Landon's Birth Announcements | Ann-Marie Loves x Minted

Here’s one of my favorite things that Minted offers: customizable postage stamps! I know I’m 1000% biased and think Landon is the cutest thing ever but I have never seen such adorable stamps in my life! His tiny little face on these tiny little stickers is just too good.

Landon's Birth Announcements | Ann-Marie Loves x Minted

Each child gets all of our milestone cards in their baby albums, including birth announcements of their siblings. Hopefully Briar takes after me and saves all the cute cards!

Landon's Birth Announcements | Ann-Marie Loves x Minted

It’s almost like my 9 year old self could see into the future. Even though I still don’t have a two story house and a swimming pool WITH a twisty slide, my obsession with paper goods + photos lives on!

If you’re in the market for well-designed cards for any occasion, I highly recommend Minted!

my favorite youtube channels.

Posted on: Thursday, March 23, 2017

Favorite YouTube Channels | Ann-Marie Loves

I’ve become quite the YouTube watcher over the past several months. It’s perfect for my short attention span AND the small chunks of “free time” I get while nursing Landon on the couch. I’ll admit that most of the videos I’ve seen lately are about politics (ughhhhh), but when I’m searching for a little inspiration, here’s where I go:

HOMEWORKS. Brace yourself for a little fangirl-ing. I’ve been obsessed with Claire Zinnecker’s Instagram feed for years so when I discovered that she had a series of interior styling / DIY videos? Well, I nearly lost my mind aaaaaaand then proceeded to watch each video 4,000 times. I feel like she is my style soul sister…she just gets it. Oh, and another random sidenote: we share the same birthday right down to the same year…how crazy is that?!

HEYCLAIRE. Amy (who has an amazing channel of her own!) turned me on to Claire and I was an instant fan. Her videos are gorgeous. TBH, I don’t really watch for the makeup or hair products as much as I watch for the impeccable design of her videos. If you really want to see the heart she puts into her work, watch this one.

HOT FOR FOOD. I’m not much for eating meat these days so I love watching vegetarian + vegan shows so I can come up with all kinds of meal ideas. I really enjoy Lauren’s videos because they’re so well done and her dialogue feels very natural and conversational (something I gravitate towards!).

LAURA MILLER. I found Laura through her show, Raw Vegan, Not Gross, on the Tastemade app on our AppleTV and never looked back. I loooove Laura Miller. She is quirky and beautiful and talented and I adore everything she does. She recently put out a series called Talking In Circles about real life issues that introverts face and it is SO GOOD.

SABRINA SOTO. Technically this isn’t a YouTube channel, but Sabrina Soto hosts a weekly Facebook Live and I adore it! Not only is she a great designer but she’s super relatable and charmingly candid. I randomly caught one of her live feeds while Briar was napping and Landon was nursing and all of a sudden I find myself tuning in each week!

What channels do you love?

2017 album.

Posted on: Friday, March 17, 2017

2017 Album | Ann-Marie Loves

Happy Friday! Today I’m back with another installment of my 2017 album. In case you missed it, I’m using Jamaica’s Narrow acrylic album this year to house 3 x 8″ page protectors. It has been SO MUCH FUN to put together. The pages come together super fast and the unconventional sizing is always an exciting design challenge. Here are my latest pages:

2017 Album | Ann-Marie Loves

For the bottom right pocket, I used the “Sweet Things” die cut heart and adhered patterned paper to the back so it would work on the opposite side as well.

2017 Album | Ann-Marie Loves

For the other side of the heart die cut, I used clear stickers and a little yellow distress ink, because DUH. I should also mention that most of these little pages were assembled using the help of my mini stapler. Sometimes it’s easier to just staple things down than to use adhesive, plus the gold staples make me happy.

2017 Album | Ann-Marie Loves

Since I was short on time to throw these pages together, I just used iPhone images to keep things simple. I chose my favorites, edited them in the VSCO app, e-mailed them to myself, and then dropped them into Photoshop on my computer to resize and add journaling where I deemed fit. (After typing that out, I’m not sure if my process sounds easy or hard (ha!), but it really speeds things up for me!)

2017 Album | Ann-Marie Loves

Lots of color, as always! You can see my first few 2017 pages here.

SUPPLIES


weekend hikes.

Posted on: Thursday, March 16, 2017

weekend hikes in southern california | ann-marie loves

These past few months have brought A TON of rain to Southern California which has been so wonderful. Not only is great for the endless drought but it has really made the natural landscape incredibly lush and green! It’s a feast for the eyes. Recently, John and I have been taking advantage of the cool weather and going on long hikes every weekend with our little ones. We load them up in the double BOB stroller and hit the trails for a little fresh air and a solid workout.

weekend hikes in southern california | ann-marie loves

Briar has really taken a liking to hiking as well! She is more than happy to walk for long stretches and collect rocks along the way.

weekend hikes in southern california | ann-marie loves

weekend hikes in southern california | ann-marie loves

Landon loves hiking, too. It’s the perfect opportunity for him to catch up on his sleep.

weekend hikes in southern california | ann-marie loves

So much water! It may not look like much but when you’re used to seeing everything dried up, this is such a treat!

weekend hikes in southern california | ann-marie loves

weekend hikes in southern california | ann-marie loves

weekend hikes in southern california | ann-marie loves

What’s the point of hiking all those hills if you can’t treat yourself afterwards? Thin Mints really took this hiking adventure to the next level.

weekend hikes in southern california | ann-marie loves

We’re the most annoying parents ever.

weekend hikes in southern california | ann-marie loves

Thank goodness for that stroller. It may be a beast to push uphill (feel the burn!) but it can handle any terrain like a champ!

weekend hikes in southern california | ann-marie loves

weekend hikes in southern california | ann-marie loves

I love our new weekend tradition!

diy inflatable charm necklace.

Posted on: Wednesday, March 15, 2017

DIY Inflatable Charm Necklace | Ann-Marie Loves

As I sit here typing this, my two and half year old is singing at the top of her lungs while playing in her playhouse on the patio. Normally it’s the type of thing that would drive me b-o-n-k-e-r-s but today it means I can sit uninterrupted at the computer for five minutes and I WILL TAKE IT.

This age has been tricky to say the least; some days Briar is sweet as pie and other days she is…not. But when she is sweet, oh man, I could just eat her up. She is obsessed with necklaces and bows and dresses and all the things you imagine when you find out you are expecting a girl. It’s kind of my dream come true. So when she excitedly discovered these inflatable shapes in my craft stash, I knew I had to make her something special with them. Enter: the inflatable charm necklace!

DIY Inflatable Charm Necklace | Ann-Marie Loves

To make the necklace, I used supplies that I already had on hand: wooden beads, pony beadspink cording, and cool tassels that I found for a buck in the Target Dollar Spot.

DIY Inflatable Charm Necklace | Ann-Marie Loves

Since some of the charms didn’t have pre-punched holes, I added holes where needed using my Crop-A-Dile. I’ve had that tool for-e-ver and I still use it regularly!

DIY Inflatable Charm Necklace | Ann-Marie Loves

Next, Briar and I picked out our favorite beads and started threading them onto the pink cording.

DIY Inflatable Charm Necklace | Ann-Marie Loves

Once the necklace was juuuust heavy enough for a two year old neck, I tied it off and handed it over to Briar.

DIY Inflatable Charm Necklace | Ann-Marie Loves

And she loved it!

DIY Inflatable Charm Necklace | Ann-Marie Loves

We immediately had to head to the park so she could wear her new necklace and I could get some cute photos. I’m sure you think that I styled her outfit for the sake of the photo, but I am here to tell you that she chose EVERY LAST PIECE. Girl knows what she likes.

DIY Inflatable Charm Necklace | Ann-Marie Loves

She drives me insane but I can’t get enough of her.

SUPPLIES


30th birthday card.

Posted on: Tuesday, March 7, 2017

30th Birthday Card featuring Amy Tangerine's "On A Whim" Collection | Ann-Marie Loves

Today is my husband’s THIRTIETH birthday so that can only mean one thing: a handmade card is in order!

30th Birthday Card featuring Amy Tangerine's "On A Whim" Collection | Ann-Marie Loves

While my two kiddos spent the day with their grandparents yesterday, I got busy working on a card for the L of my L using products from Amy Tangerine’s new line, On A Whim. Normally I grab from a bunch of different manufacturers when I make anything, but when I’m short on free time, sticking to one collection really speeds up the process. Plus, this line is so fun and colorful and totally fit the funky design I was aiming for!

30th Birthday Card featuring Amy Tangerine's "On A Whim" Collection | Ann-Marie Loves

To begin, I found two photos of Briar and Landon with their mouths open so it would look they were talking (ha), converted them to black and white in Photoshop, and printed them out. Then I carefully cut around their heads + bodies and laughed at the ridiculous pairing of photos I just pulled together.

30th Birthday Card featuring Amy Tangerine's "On A Whim" Collection | Ann-Marie Loves

From there, I folded a sheet of Tropical Paradise paper in half to use as my card base. I also freehand cut word bubbles using the multi-colored Patchwork paper and chose a few die cuts to fill in the blanks.

30th Birthday Card featuring Amy Tangerine's "On A Whim" Collection | Ann-Marie Loves

Once I was happy with the way things were laid out, I glued everything down, trimmed off the top of the card, and finished it off with the “Awesome” phrase Thicker in the center.

I left it out on the counter this morning so John would see it before he left for work and he texted me later saying it was the best card I’ve ever made him. WHAT! That’s a huge compliment considering we’ve been together for a million years! I’m feeling extra proud of myself and super grateful that we have cute kids to exploit in the name of design. HBD, babe!

SUPPLIES


december daily 2016.

Posted on: Friday, February 24, 2017

December Daily 2016 | Ann-Marie Loves

We may be in the thick of 2017 but my 2016 album is still going strong! The other day I printed out a bunch of photos from December (might as well work my way backwards, no?) and popped them into page protectors.

December Daily 2016 | Ann-Marie Loves

This spread was all about the random moments throughout the month. Some were iPhone photos, some were DSLR photos, but when paired together, they make December look gooooood.

December Daily 2016 | Ann-Marie Loves

Our Solvang trip! I had so many photos from that day and most of them were dark and busy, so I made sure to break that up with a solid block of yellow and a full size photo page.

December Daily 2016 | Ann-Marie Loves

For the last spread, I kept things as simple as possible and just printed two full size photos of my two bubs from Christmas. I added a little journaling in Photoshop and then placed a few embellishments on the printed photo and called it good. I love the way it turned out!

SUPPLIES


Follow on Feedly

Theme by Blogmilk   Coded by Brandi Bernoskie