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!

toddler art table.

Posted on: Thursday, January 12, 2017

Toddler Art Table | Ann-Marie Loves

(Bed head in full effect ;)

Admittedly I’m an impulsive person. Once I get an idea in my head, there’s no stopping me until I can scratch that itch (just ask my husband). In this case, I had been on the hunt for a little table for Briar to use with the mini chairs that I thrifted a few years ago. Then I remembered the simple eight dollar side tables that I had used in former apartments and knew they would be the perfect size and color for the art station I envisioned. So on the day before Thanksgiving, I packed up the kiddos in their car seats and braved the holiday traffic, all in the name of IKEA!

Toddler Art Table | Ann-Marie Loves

I always get a little tooooo ambitious at IKEA and think that I can fit more in my arms (and my car!) than I physically can, but since I had two babies in a giant stroller with me, I was forced to keep my priorities straight. This impromptu adventure was well worth the effort because that eight dollar side table has not only been great for meal and snack times, but it has allowed me to live out one of my wildest dreams: watching my own child color and create.

Toddler Art Table | Ann-Marie Loves

You know the saying “out of sight, out of mind?” Well, that’s definitely the case with toys and art supplies. I have a basket filled with art supplies in Briar’s closet that I often forget about so I am making a much more concerted effort to bring it out and set up an art station everyday. If Briar can see it then she’s much more likely to pull up her chair and start coloring instead of begging me to turn on Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. (Although, God bless that Mickey Mouse and the wonderful babysitter that he is ;)

Toddler Art Table | Ann-Marie Loves

Typically Briar likes to rope others into coloring with her (“draw a mommy triangle! draw a baby triangle! draw a Nana triangle!”), and even though I don’t always want to join in, I inevitably feel better if I do. It’s like when we go to the park and she wants me to play in the sand with her. I mean, I don’t really want to be a sand monster by the time we leave, but there is something incredibly therapeutic about these simple childhood pleasures. When it comes to coloring, I love to use the multicolored heart-shaped crayons that I made for Briar this past summer. They’re so satisfying!

Toddler Art Table | Ann-Marie Loves

I’m always looking for toddler-friendly crafts I can do with Briar, especially anything that requires minimal set-up and clean-up. Any suggestions?

family session | the militellos.

Posted on: Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Militello Family Shoot | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

If you remember back almost a year ago, I shot photos of Kim and Gabriel when it was just the two of them. Shortly after, they added Baby Ellie to the mix and now they’re a beautiful family of three! This past summer I had the pleasure of taking pictures of them again and Ellie could not have been more of a dream model if she tried…it was effortless to get all these shots! Here are some of my favorites from the Militello family shoot:

Militello Family Shoot | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography
Militello Family Shoot | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography
Militello Family Shoot | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography
Militello Family Shoot | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography
Militello Family Shoot | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography
Militello Family Shoot | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography
Militello Family Shoot | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography
Militello Family Shoot | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography
Militello Family Shoot | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography
Militello Family Shoot | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography
Militello Family Shoot | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography
Militello Family Shoot | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography
Militello Family Shoot | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography
Militello Family Shoot | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography
Militello Family Shoot | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography
Militello Family Shoot | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

holidays 2016.

Posted on: Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Holidaze 2016 | Ann-Marie Loves

Happy 2017! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season…I know I did! We celebrated three separate Christmases with all of our families and each one was special in it’s own way. One of those celebrations was our very own “Christmas morning” on Christmas Eve and it was everything I hoped it would be. We made a big breakfast and sat around and opened presents in our jammies all day. Briar is at the perfect age where she finally “gets” the magic of the holidays so everything was very exciting to her (and subsequently, exciting to John and me). Here are some of my favorite photos:

Holidaze 2016 | Ann-Marie Loves

Holidaze 2016 | Ann-Marie Loves

Landon is just a little dream baby. Seriously. John and I keep looking at each other like, how did we get so lucky?? He’s definitely my favorite gift from 2016.

Holidaze 2016 | Ann-Marie Loves

Holidaze 2016 | Ann-Marie Loves

It’s a toss-up between which gift Briar loved the most…her new kitchen or my new cordless vacuum! (For real!) Both have been in heavy rotation around here.

Holidaze 2016 | Ann-Marie Loves

Holidaze 2016 | Ann-Marie Loves

Sigh. I miss the holidays already!

quinoa with mushrooms + veggies.

Posted on: Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Five Minute Meal | Quinoa With Mushrooms + Veggies | Ann-Marie Loves

What does a quinoa recipe have to do with the week before Christmas, you ask? Good question. I have no idea. All I know is that I’ve been running myself ragged the past several weeks and all the germs that my family has been passing back and forth have finally caught up to me. I also know that moms aren’t allotted sick days (especially during the crazy holiday season!) so I’ve been trying to take extra good care of myself whenever possible. As a result, this recipe has become my go-to lunch option since it’s packed full of healthy ingredients AND it only takes five minutes to make AND it leaves minimal dishes for me to wash afterwards. BOOM.

Five Minute Meal | Quinoa With Mushrooms + Veggies | Ann-Marie Loves

Everything that goes into this meal can be purchased at Trader Joe’s (or any grocery store of your choice) and used for a variety of meals. Here’s what’s included:

+ Cooked quinoa (I cooked this batch with vegetable broth)

+ Handfuls of spinach

+ Cherry tomatoes

+ Frozen mushrooms (or you can do fresh if you’re feeling fancy!) (I’m never that fancy.)

+ A little bit of feta cheese (or A LOT of feta, if you’re me)

+ Olive oil

+ Pepper to taste

Five Minute Meal | Quinoa With Mushrooms + Veggies | Ann-Marie Loves

The process is pretty simple: Cook over low to medium heat on the stove with a little bit of olive oil for few minutes and then top with feta cheese and pepper. It really is that easy!

holiday packaging.

Posted on: Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Holiday Packaging | Ann-Marie Loves

When it comes to holiday packaging, I take my job verrrrry seriously. I love wrapping presents and as a result, I am a firm believer that the packaging is just as (if not more!) important the gift itself. While ordering holiday cards through Minted, I added a few rolls of this XO gift wrap paper to my cart because, well, it’s PERFECTION. Not only is this particular pattern great for Christmas, but it’s also perfect for showers or birthdays throughout the rest of the year.

Holiday Packaging | Ann-Marie Loves

Each gift is topped with a plethora of colorful pom poms (never enough poms!) and simple tags that I quickly whipped up in Illustrator.

Holiday Packaging | Ann-Marie Loves

I also picked up gold foil polka dot paper from Target and am making a mental note to stock up on this pattern during the after-Christmas sale! It’s so good.

Holiday Packaging | Ann-Marie Loves

I’d like to think my packaging obsession is rubbing off on Briar. She grabbed the hot pink washi tape when I wasn’t looking and helped to herself to a rather generous strip of it, which she promptly added to her own gift – ha!

Holiday Packaging | Ann-Marie Loves

Clearly I wasn’t doing it right. She kindly fixed it for me ;)

pom pom maker.

Posted on: Monday, December 19, 2016

My Favorite Pom Pom Maker | Ann-Marie Loves

I have an abundance of crafting tools that admittedly collect dust most of the year. Sometimes they involve too much set up or maybe they’re on a high shelf that I don’t feel like rearranging to get to or maybe I just plain forgot about them. Regardless, there are only a handful of tools that I use on a constant basis (hello, heavy duty paper trimmer!). But since I’ve been obsessed with pom poms for a few years, I figured there had to be a tool out there that would help me improve on my creations. Enter: this handy dandy pom pom maker. For only $8 on Amazon, I received two different sized pom pom makers in one pack and they produce perfect little poms in a snap!

So in the spirit of adding toppers to holiday gifts, I thought I would share how awesome this little gadget is:

My Favorite Pom Pom Maker | Ann-Marie Loves

Wind one side of the pom pom maker with your yarn color(s) of choice.

My Favorite Pom Pom Maker | Ann-Marie Loves

Repeat the winding on the opposite arm.

My Favorite Pom Pom Maker | Ann-Marie Loves

Move both of the arms towards the center of the maker.

My Favorite Pom Pom Maker | Ann-Marie Loves

This is what it looks like once it’s closed.

My Favorite Pom Pom Maker | Ann-Marie Loves

Grab a pair of sharp scissors and trim down the center of each side of yarn.

My Favorite Pom Pom Maker | Ann-Marie Loves

Once you’ve cut all the way through both sides, it will look like a yarn sandwich.
My Favorite Pom Pom Maker | Ann-Marie Loves

Cut a short string of yarn and wind it around the center of the pom pom maker and secure it with a double knot (this is what binds the two arms’ yarn together.

My Favorite Pom Pom Maker | Ann-Marie Loves

Pull the pom pom maker apart.

My Favorite Pom Pom Maker | Ann-Marie Loves

Here’s what the pom pom looks like! Pretty cool, huh?

My Favorite Pom Pom Maker | Ann-Marie Loves

Finally, give your pom pom a little hair cut.

My Favorite Pom Pom Maker | Ann-Marie Loves

With a toddler who is constantly redecorating the tree, I love using these pom poms as ornaments AND as gift toppers! I never have to worry about them breaking or being so valuable that I would be sad if they went MIA. I’m just now thinking that I might thread them on a string and hang them as a garland in Briar’s room when the holidays are over…hmmmm. So many possibilities!

morris family holiday cards with minted.

Posted on: Friday, December 16, 2016

Family Holiday Cards 2016 | Ann-Marie Loves x Minted

Do you know what moms really love? FAMILY PHOTOS. Do you know what two year olds really hate? FAMILY PHOTOS.

Family Holiday Cards 2016 | Ann-Marie Loves x Minted

This year I was determined to get a few solid Morris family photo gems for my mom (and me!) to frame and treasure forever, but Briar clearly had other ideas. There were tantrums, there were tears, there were staunch refusals to even look in the vicinity of the camera — ha! It ended up taking two separate photo shoots on two separate weekends when all of us could get together in one place, but thanks to the powers-that-be, we managed to score a handful of cute shots (Briar included!) that were totally Christmas-card worthy.

Family Holiday Cards 2016 | Ann-Marie Loves x Minted

Once I got over the hurdle of getting a few decent photos, I then had to decide which option use on my parents’ holiday cards. And since my kids were in most of them and I am 150% biased on how adorable they are, it became a real challenge to choose a single image! Thankfully, Minted had this perfect collage design (in gold, no less!) which allotted me FIVE separate spots to include my favorite captures of everyone. It was perfect.

Family Holiday Cards 2016 | Ann-Marie Loves x Minted

Once I finally decided on a design (there are so many good ones to choose from!), it was super easy to fill the photos in and order the cards ASAP. My parents have been a tremendous help to me and my little family over the past year (and forever, for that matter) that the very least I could do was help them put together their Christmas cards to send to loved ones near and far.

Family Holiday Cards 2016 | Ann-Marie Loves x Minted

When the cards finally arrived, I was thrilled with how they turned out! But if we’re being honest, no one was more excited than Briar. For someone that put up such a fight against getting in front of the camera, she sure loves looking at the different photos of herself on the card — ha! Two years olds, y’all…

Family Holiday Cards 2016 | Ann-Marie Loves x Minted

If you like to the wait until the last minute (UHH, THAT WOULD BE ME), there’s still time to order your Christmas — or even better, New Years! — cards! Use the code GIFTEVENT to save 15% and be upgraded to priority shipping from now until December 20th. If I can get my two year old to cooperate, you can get your cards ordered! ;)

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

solvang.

Posted on: Thursday, December 15, 2016

Day Trip to Solvang | Ann-Marie Loves

This past weekend we joined John’s family up in Solvang for a little day trip and we had so much fun! The weather was total perfection: cloudy, cool, and feeling like Fall. I’ve been to Solvang a handful of times but this was the first trip for Briar and Landon. It’s always a treat to experience familiar things through brand new eyes…it’s easily one of the best parts about being a parent! Briar had a great time running around, marveling at the Christmas lights, and sharing an ice cream cone with her cousin Luna. Landon spent most of his time sleeping in his bear suit (which instantly puts him to sleep??) in the stroller. And Mama Bear had a great time drinking wine and taking tons of photos ;)

Day Trip to Solvang | Ann-Marie Loves

Day Trip to Solvang | Ann-Marie Loves

Day Trip to Solvang | Ann-Marie Loves

Day Trip to Solvang | Ann-Marie Loves

Day Trip to Solvang | Ann-Marie Loves

Day Trip to Solvang | Ann-Marie Loves

Day Trip to Solvang | Ann-Marie Loves

Day Trip to Solvang | Ann-Marie Loves

Day Trip to Solvang | Ann-Marie Loves

Day Trip to Solvang | Ann-Marie Loves

That night, my heart felt very full as I sat in the passenger seat next to my husband as we drove along the cloudy coast back home with our two sleeping babies in the back seat. It’s rare when I feel like I can just sit still and quiet my inner to-do list but something about that moment put me at ease and made me so grateful.

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