Entries Tagged as 'baby'

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:

Read More >

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.

birthday paper chain.

Posted on: Thursday, August 3, 2017

Birthday Chain for An Almost-Three Year Old | Ann-Marie Loves

A certain almost-three year is excited about her upcoming birthday. VERY EXCITED. We’ve been talking about her birthday party for months and she has made it crystal clear that it needs to be based around two things: rhinos and rainbows. (Yep, you read that correctly).

Read More >

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!

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.


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


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 :)

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!

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?

want, need, wear, read | baby + toddler gift guides.

Posted on: Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Celebrating the holidays with little ones is a million times more fun that I could have ever predicted. I’m pretty sure that I will be the one who can’t sleep on Christmas Eve because I’ll be too excited to see Briar’s reaction to everything in the morning! But since my kids are still little and don’t have any concept of what to expect, I feel like it’s the perfect time to institute the notion of buying items that fit the categories of “want, need, wear, and read.” Here are some of my favorite things that I’m considering for Briar and Landon this Christmas:

Want / Need / Wear Read | Infant + Toddler Gift Guides | Ann-Marie Loves

01. Toaster. One of Briar’s longstanding favorite toys is her play kitchen (or “chicken,” as she calls it) so this wooden toaster would be a welcome addition.

02. A-Frame Dollhouse. An A-frame dollhouse! I mean, come on…this is beyond.

03. Rainbow Puzzle. Briar’s puzzle skills are growing by the day and this rainbow one would be challenging enough for her to for the next few months.

04. 360 Degree Toothbrush. You can never have too many toothbrushes…especially ones that my toddler will actually use!

05. Snack Catcher Bowls. We have a few of these already and they are so handy for car trips, stroller rides, or even while watching one of her favorite shows.

06. Unicorn Backpack. This little backpack would be perfect for the days she spends with her grandparents.

07. Denim Jacket. Denim jackets are such a classic piece and this faded color matches the one that I have in my size.

08. Printed Leggings. Leggings are such a toddler wardrobe staple and I adore this floral print.

09. Tutu Dress. This tutu dress is so sweet and easily lends itself to playing dress-up!

10. My Dad Used to Be So Cool. I saw a flip through of this book on Instagram and thought it was so clever and so apropos for John’s number one fan.

11. Dragons Love Tacos. I’ve heard nothing but great things about this story!

12. My Quotable Kid. Briar is now speaking in full sentences and has so many cute / funny things to say on a daily basis…I don’t want to miss a thing!

Want / Need / Wear Read | Infant + Toddler Gift Guides | Ann-Marie Loves

01. Triangle Clutching Toy. As the second child, Landon doesn’t need too many toys or books since we already have so much, but it’s always nice to get a few new things that are just for him.

02. Wubbanub Fox. The jury is still out as to what Landon really think about pacifiers but I’m thinking this cute fox will sweeten the deal.

03. Rainbow Stacker. Stacking rings are always a hit and this wooden version is just so beautiful.

04. California Baby. California Baby is the mainstay in both kids’ bathing routines. It’s especially gentle on Landon’s super dry skin.

05. Black and White Swaddle Blankets. Swaddle blankets are my number one suggestion for new moms because they are not only great for swaddling but they’re light and soft enough to use as a nursing cover, as a burp cloth, or as shield from the sun.

06. Water Wipes. Maybe wipes aren’t the most exciting gift but Landon’s at the perfect age where he doesn’t know the difference ;)

07. Plaid Shirt + Pants. I adore this two piece set because it reminds me so much of John!

08. Black and White Striped One-Piece. One can never go wrong with black and white stripes.

09. Blue Jacket. I love the fleece lining on this jacket.

10. Firefighter Fred. Soft books are always a safe bet for introducing babies to reading.

11. Baby’s First Year. I haven’t purchased a traditional baby book for Landon yet but I am eager to get one going! This particular book has darling illustrations!

12. Farm Tails. The interactive flaps and textures are sure to be a crowd-pleaser among the infant set!

Follow on Feedly

Theme by Blogmilk   Coded by Brandi Bernoskie