Entries Tagged as 'California'

communal coffee.

Posted on: Monday, November 27, 2017

Communal Coffee | San Diego | Ann-Marie Loves

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

Communal Coffee | San Diego | Ann-Marie Loves

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

summer at underwood.

Posted on: Friday, August 25, 2017

Underwood Family Farms | Ann-Marie Loves

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

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

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

Read More >

cambria with two kids.

Posted on: Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Cambria with Two Kids | Ann-Marie Loves

Two weekends ago we loaded the kids in the car and drove up to Cambria for our first family-of-four vacation!

Read More >

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!

santa barbara wine tasting.

Posted on: Thursday, February 16, 2017

Urban Wine Trail in Santa Barbara | Ann-Marie Loves

There are two things I’ll never turn down: wine and Santa Barbara.

Urban Wine Trail in Santa Barbara | Ann-Marie Loves

Lucky for me, I was invited to spend a day up in SB exploring their Urban Wine Trail in celebration of my sister-in-law, Jamie’s, birthday. After a week of heavy rains, the storm let up for one day and we jumped at the chance to walk up and down the bustling streets, popping into wineries when we were ready for our next glass. It was perfect. And of course, I was more than happy to document the day! Here are some of my favorites:

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Urban Wine Trail in Santa Barbara | Ann-Marie Loves

Urban Wine Trail in Santa Barbara | Ann-Marie Loves

How awesome is that wall?

Urban Wine Trail in Santa Barbara | Ann-Marie Loves

Urban Wine Trail in Santa Barbara | Ann-Marie Loves

Urban Wine Trail in Santa Barbara | Ann-Marie Loves

Urban Wine Trail in Santa Barbara | Ann-Marie Loves

Taste-wise, I had my favorite glass of sauvignon blanc at Pali Wine Co.

Urban Wine Trail in Santa Barbara | Ann-Marie Loves

Urban Wine Trail in Santa Barbara | Ann-Marie Loves

John’s cousin, Veronica (of Design Hunters fame!), and her new husband, Kris, are always such a treat to hang out with! The ceremony at their recent wedding was the most beautiful ceremony I’ve ever witnessed. I’m sure you’ll be seeing photos from their big day all over Pinterest very soon! ;)

Urban Wine Trail in Santa Barbara | Ann-Marie Loves

Urban Wine Trail in Santa Barbara | Ann-Marie Loves

Urban Wine Trail in Santa Barbara | Ann-Marie Loves

It’s a blast to have willing models to photograph! I’m so accustomed to wrangling unwilling children (and husbands) into my photos – ha!

Urban Wine Trail in Santa Barbara | Ann-Marie Loves

Jazz + wine all day, yes please!

Urban Wine Trail in Santa Barbara | Ann-Marie Loves

Urban Wine Trail in Santa Barbara | Ann-Marie Loves

Urban Wine Trail in Santa Barbara | Ann-Marie Loves

Urban Wine Trail in Santa Barbara | Ann-Marie Loves

Our trip coincided with the Women’s March. We were all so bummed to have missed out on taking part in the Los Angeles march ourselves, but felt incredibly heartened to see so many people in Santa Barbara coming together to spread the same message.

Urban Wine Trail in Santa Barbara | Ann-Marie Loves

Lunch was at Cava in Montecito and it was amazing, as always. This time I ordered a chile relleno and it is offically now my go-to item! Yum.

Urban Wine Trail in Santa Barbara | Ann-Marie Loves

Urban Wine Trail in Santa Barbara | Ann-Marie Loves

And finally, our last stop of the day was to McConnell’s for ice cream and coffee.

Urban Wine Trail in Santa Barbara | Ann-Marie Loves

Urban Wine Trail in Santa Barbara | Ann-Marie Loves

Urban Wine Trail in Santa Barbara | Ann-Marie Loves

Urban Wine Trail in Santa Barbara | Ann-Marie Loves

Such a perfect day! I can’t wait to do it again soon!

kidspace.

Posted on: Friday, February 3, 2017

Kidspace Children's Museum | Pasadena, CA | Ann-Marie Loves

Right after Landon was born, John and I tried our best to make sure Briar had a smooth transition into big sisterhood. In between hanging out at home and visiting grandparents, we also peppered Briar’s days with a few family outings, including one to Kidspace Children’s Museum in Pasadena. We’ve been here many times and each visit feels like a new experience as Briar is able to enjoy it in different ways. Truth be told, I just love any excuse to get out to Pas ;)

This particular trip marked our first visit as a family of four and we had a great time! Landon slept through most of it in the wrap while John chased Briar around and I got to take lots of photos. Here are some of my favorite shots from the day:

Kidspace Children's Museum | Pasadena, CA | Ann-Marie Loves

Kidspace Children's Museum | Pasadena, CA | Ann-Marie Loves

It’s an indoor / outdoor museum with so many awesome exhibits and play areas to explore.

Kidspace Children's Museum | Pasadena, CA | Ann-Marie Loves

Kidspace Children's Museum | Pasadena, CA | Ann-Marie Loves

Ahhhhh, I could just eat her up!

Kidspace Children's Museum | Pasadena, CA | Ann-Marie Loves

Kidspace Children's Museum | Pasadena, CA | Ann-Marie Loves

Kidspace Children's Museum | Pasadena, CA | Ann-Marie Loves

Note the soaking wet shirt. Always bring an extra pair (or five!) of clothes when taking little ones to this museum.

Kidspace Children's Museum | Pasadena, CA | Ann-Marie Loves

This display totally gives me future room decor inspiration for Landon.

Kidspace Children's Museum | Pasadena, CA | Ann-Marie Loves

Such a good newborn. Sleep, sleep, sleep.

Kidspace Children's Museum | Pasadena, CA | Ann-Marie Loves

Kidspace Children's Museum | Pasadena, CA | Ann-Marie Loves

Kidspace Children's Museum | Pasadena, CA | Ann-Marie Loves

Kidspace Children's Museum | Pasadena, CA | Ann-Marie Loves

Kidspace Children's Museum | Pasadena, CA | Ann-Marie Loves

Kidspace Children's Museum | Pasadena, CA | Ann-Marie Loves

Kidspace Children's Museum | Pasadena, CA | Ann-Marie Loves

Look how gorgeous the natural landscape is! You guys, Pasadena is my FAVORITE.

Kidspace Children's Museum | Pasadena, CA | Ann-Marie Loves

And of course, what trip to Kidpsace is complete with a roll in the sand (most of which she took home in her shoes)?

When John went back to work, I was feeling extra bold so I took the two year old and the newborn to Kidspace by myself, and you know what? It wasn’t a total disaster! Yes, it was a ton of work and yes, Briar took off running while I was trying to nurse Landon (in the sandpit, of all places), and yes, we were all pooped by the end, but it was fun! I felt like that trip was where I got my sea legs for taking two kids out in public. I mean, if you’re going to learn, you might as well dive head first into the deep end! ;)

 

 

 

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.

family trip to underwood farms.

Posted on: Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Underwood Farms Pumpkin Patch | Ann-Marie Loves

John took three weeks of paternity leave and it was GLORIOUS. I’m not sure who enjoyed his presence more…me or Briar (she has become a major daddy’s girl)! While he was home, we went on a few little day trips as a family of four and even though it was a lot of work, it was SO worth it. That’s pretty much my motto for for life with kids: get out of the house. I go stir crazy if we can’t leave at least once a day so no matter how much chaos might ensue once we are out in public, it’s always worth the fresh air and the change of scenery.

Underwood Farms Pumpkin Patch | Ann-Marie Loves

When Landon turned a week old, we celebrated with a trip to Underwood Farms. (I may or may not have purposely timed our trip around sunset when the lighting was killer). Briar always enjoys the farm experience but she really loved it this year. Landon, of course, slept through the whole thing in his wrap (living and dying by that wrap these days!). And as for John and me? Well, we were (and still are!) in disbelief at how obsessed we are with these two tiny people! They make life so crazy and wonderful.

Here are some of my favorite moments from our adventure:

Underwood Farms Pumpkin Patch | Ann-Marie LovesUnderwood Farms Pumpkin Patch | Ann-Marie LovesUnderwood Farms Pumpkin Patch | Ann-Marie LovesUnderwood Farms Pumpkin Patch | Ann-Marie LovesUnderwood Farms Pumpkin Patch | Ann-Marie LovesUnderwood Farms Pumpkin Patch | Ann-Marie LovesUnderwood Farms Pumpkin Patch | Ann-Marie LovesUnderwood Farms Pumpkin Patch | Ann-Marie LovesUnderwood Farms Pumpkin Patch | Ann-Marie LovesUnderwood Farms Pumpkin Patch | Ann-Marie LovesUnderwood Farms Pumpkin Patch | Ann-Marie LovesUnderwood Farms Pumpkin Patch | Ann-Marie LovesUnderwood Farms Pumpkin Patch | Ann-Marie Loves

 

backyard camping + kohl’s giveaway.

Posted on: Friday, July 22, 2016

Ann-Marie Loves x Kohl's Camping Collaboration

I grew up camping fairly often, both with my family and with Girl Scouts, and I have incredible memories of sitting around campfires, sleeping in tents, and waking up to fresh air. There’s nothing quite like spending time in the great outdoors, yet for some reason I’ve become that person that values warm showers and air conditioning over tasty s’mores and sleeping under the stars. However! I am determined to give camping another go simply because I know Briar will absolutely LOVE it. That girl has never met a pile of dirt that she didn’t love and I owe it to her to give her as many outdoor experiences as possible.

So while I warm up to the idea of spending a few nights in nature, I’ve decided we can tackle the next best thing: backyard camping! In partnership with Kohl’s, we pulled together our camping essentials and “roughed” it in the backyard for a fun-filled adventure.

Ann-Marie Loves x Kohl's Camping Collaboration

First things first: coffee!

Ann-Marie Loves x Kohl's Camping Collaboration

Using the impossibly cool blue enamelware percolator + mugs from Stansport, I was able to enjoy a fresh batch of coffee while Briar enjoyed a cold mug of milk.

Ann-Marie Loves x Kohl's Camping Collaboration

Ann-Marie Loves x Kohl's Camping Collaboration

Things were off to a very good start.

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We put together a little dining area and enjoyed popcorn made with Stanley’s 13-piece prep and cook mess set. Briar was all about the popcorn situation. She loved sneaking in bites and scooping spoonfuls back and forth between the bowls using the big ladle (which she quickly adopted as her own).

Ann-Marie Loves x Kohl's Camping Collaboration

Cheers to dining al fresco!

Ann-Marie Loves x Kohl's Camping Collaboration

Ann-Marie Loves x Kohl's Camping Collaboration

The ciao! baby portable high chair proved to be super helpful when it came to feeding this little gal. The cup holder kept her water bottle close at hand and the easy-to-clean surface was perfect for quick clean-up after polishing off a whole bowl of popcorn!

Ann-Marie Loves x Kohl's Camping Collaboration

Ann-Marie Loves x Kohl's Camping Collaboration

In addition to acting as the perfect makeshift table, the Stanley 30-quart cooler kept our beverages nice and cool during a blazing hot summer day.

Ann-Marie Loves x Kohl's Camping Collaboration

Ann-Marie Loves x Kohl's Camping Collaboration

Okay, how awesome is this tent?! I love the retro feel and was pleasantly surprised with how roomy it was inside! It felt very Moonrise Kingdom. Briar was also a big fan of turning the LED lantern on and off, on and off…

Ann-Marie Loves x Kohl's Camping Collaboration

We quickly made ourselves right at home and read Briar’s favorite stories by the light of the lantern. It was such a relaxing evening and I loved having that cuddle time with my girl outside while a cool breeze blew through our tent.

Ann-Marie Loves x Kohl's Camping Collaboration

Our first camping experience was a success! I’m feeling a little more confident now about taking our adventures on the road to a more remote destination. Three cheers for the great outdoors!

 

Now it’s your turn to stock up on camping goods! Click HERE be entered to win a $50 Kohl’s gift card! NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Ends 8/1/16 at 11:59:59 p.m. PT. Open to legal residents of the US/DC who are 18+ yrs of age. For full details see Official Rules. Good luck! Winners will be contacted on or about August 8th.

Thank you to Kohl’s for collaboration on this post. I was compensated and received products from Kohl’s Camping department for my review, but all opinions and experiences are solely my own.

My blog may contain links to other websites. I am not responsible for the privacy policies of those other websites. When you click on a link, your information may be collected by those other websites, so I encourage you to read their privacy policies.

santa barbara museum of natural history.

Posted on: Monday, July 18, 2016

Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History | Ann-Marie Loves

This past weekend was one for the books! On Friday, my mom and Briar and I took our third trip to Disneyland for the week (had to maximize my annual pass until it expired!). Then on Saturday we went to the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History (more about that below!). And finally, on Sunday my mom and I saw the final showing of Beautiful at the Pantages Theater in Hollywood. Whew!

Now onto the museum. First of all, I have no idea what it is, but the lighting in Santa Barbara is always incredible. Every time we’re there, I can’t help but stage a photo shoot. My mom and brother came with, so it was extra nice to pass the camera to them and sneak in a few family photos. Here are some of my favorite captures from the day:

Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History | Ann-Marie Loves

Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History | Ann-Marie Loves

Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History | Ann-Marie Loves

Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History | Ann-Marie Loves

Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History | Ann-Marie Loves

Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History | Ann-Marie Loves

Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History | Ann-Marie Loves

I was more than happy to let John chase the toddler around while I took photos ;)

Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History | Ann-Marie Loves

Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History | Ann-Marie Loves

Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History | Ann-Marie Loves

Not too shabby for a 29 week bump photo backdrop, eh?

Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History | Ann-Marie Loves

Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History | Ann-Marie Loves

Briar was not so sure about the real-life dioramas – haha!

Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History | Ann-Marie Loves

Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History | Ann-Marie Loves

Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History | Ann-Marie Loves

Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History | Ann-Marie Loves

The highlight of Briar’s day was definitely exploring the “Museum Backyard” where she was able to play with dirt, rocks, and water to her heart’s content. I loved watching her get down and dirty in her dress and I really enjoyed this sentiment that was tied to a tree:

The Backyard is a space for children to learn. Expect trial and error. Give your child a chance to meet challenges and assess risk. This is how kids develop self confidence. Let them figure things out for themselves. Problem solving is good for kids. It’s another way to develop self-confidence. Your choice of words can make a big difference. Instead of “be careful” which expresses your fears, tell your kids to “be smart” or “be aware.” Cuts, bumps, and bruises are a normal part of childhood. If your child has an accident, don’t panic. Children read you! When the child is calm, ask “what did you learn?” They will tell you. Expect children to learn from their mistakes. Don’t pass your fears on to your kids. Nature is amazing and kids are naturally curious. Allow them the experience without your judgment. Relax and let your kids decide what they want to do. Kids that experience non-structured play in natural settings are smarter, happier, and healthier.

YES. YES. YES.

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