Entries Tagged as 'California'

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.

summer in the pool.

Posted on: Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Summer in the Pool | Ann-Marie Loves

With summer in full-swing here in Southern California, we are spending our days underwater. If you’re a long-time reader, then you already know that summer is, well…not exactly my favorite season. It’s especially tricky to get through those endless heatwaves while pregnant and constantly sweating. Speaking of sweating, I have a theory (and please chime in and let me know your thoughts!): people that DON’T sweat tend to love summer while people that DO sweat tend to despise the summer. I mean, it makes sense right?

Summer in the Pool | Ann-Marie Loves

Summer in the Pool | Ann-Marie Loves

But I digress!

Summer in the Pool | Ann-Marie Loves

Summer in the Pool | Ann-Marie Loves

All of this is to say, Briar and I are living in the pool. We wake up, have breakfast, and then immediately throw on our swimsuits and sunscreen and head outside for a dip. I am not usually a huge fan of hanging out in the pool all day (I always feel like I could be doing something more productive), but Briar’s infectious love of swimming and my need to cool down + let my pregnant body feel weightless for a bit is really turning me into a regular pool-goer! We did mommy + me swim lessons in May and while I wouldn’t say she is a proficient swimmer just yet, her skills continue to grow and impress me everyday! It’s so awesome to watch these tiny little people morph into capable humans.

Summer in the Pool | Ann-Marie Loves

Summer in the Pool | Ann-Marie Loves

Plus, the very best part of all is that the time spent in the sun + the water almost always leads to Briar taking a looooong nap in the afternoon (sometimes she will sleep as long as 3.5 hours…!). And that, my friends, is the REAL gift that keeps on giving.

Briar’s Swimsuit // Briar’s Sunglasses // My Sunglasses

travel town.

Posted on: Monday, July 4, 2016

Travel Town | Ann-Marie Loves

After talking about taking a trip to Travel Town for months, John and I finally took Briar yesterday and had so much fun! It’s a free open air museum situated in Griffith Park with lots of old trains and plenty of land to explore. Briar was beyond thrilled to be out of the stroller and able to run herself silly and I was more than happy to capture every moment with my camera!

Like I mentioned before, John and I are trying to squeeze in as many adventures with Briar as our only babe before the next one arrives in a few short months. She has thankfully turned out to be an amazing little travel companion (knock on wood that the second one is just as laidback!) who is at the perfect age for really appreciating new experiences. Of course we will continue to go on fun day trips when the little guy makes his appearance (mama bear needs to get out of the house!) but we know it will never be the same as it is right now.

We had the best time at Travel Town and can’t wait to go back when the weather cools down a bit! Here are some of my favorite photos from the trip:

Travel Town | Ann-Marie Loves

Travel Town | Ann-Marie Loves

Travel Town | Ann-Marie Loves

Travel Town | Ann-Marie Loves

Travel Town | Ann-Marie Loves

Travel Town | Ann-Marie Loves

Travel Town | Ann-Marie Loves

Travel Town | Ann-Marie Loves

Travel Town | Ann-Marie Loves

Travel Town | Ann-Marie Loves

Travel Town | Ann-Marie Loves

Travel Town | Ann-Marie Loves

Travel Town | Ann-Marie Loves

Travel Town | Ann-Marie Loves

Travel Town | Ann-Marie Loves

Travel Town | Ann-Marie Loves

Travel Town | Ann-Marie Loves

Travel Town | Ann-Marie Loves

Travel Town | Ann-Marie Loves

Travel Town | Ann-Marie Loves

Travel Town | Ann-Marie Loves

Travel Town | Ann-Marie Loves

how to do disneyland with a toddler.

Posted on: Thursday, June 9, 2016

How to Do Disneyland with a Toddler | Ann-Marie Loves

Last year I wrote a couple posts about taking an infant to Disneyland (part one and part two) and loved being able to share what I had learned. Now that Briar is almost two, it’s a completely different experience that just seems to get better and better with each visit, so I figured it was time for a refresher post!

First up! My toddler packing list for our frequent trips to Disneyland and California Adventure:

How to Do Disneyland with a Toddler | Ann-Marie Loves

Stroller. We use a Nuna Tavo and absolutely love it, but are already eyeing a double BOB for when the second baby arrives!

Toddler backpack leash. I swore I would never do it and look at me now…eating my words! We tried this one out for the first time last weekend and were very happy with it.

Snacks. Squeeze pouches, goldfish crackers, a few bottles of milk, and a water cup are easy to pack and keep her satiated until mealtime.

Blanket. Whether it’s hot or cold out, it’s always nice to have a blanket on hand for naps.

Diapers. I bring somewhere between 5-10, depending on how long we will be there.

Wipes. Not only are wipes useful for bathroom breaks, but they’re perfect for cleaning tiny hands after rides or before eating. I try to bring a smaller or almost-empty pack to reduce bulk in my backpack.

Change of clothes. Shirt, leggings, socks, a sweater or a jacket is all we really need these days. When she was an infant and spit up several times a day, I packed a much bigger haul to ensure that she always had clean clothes.

Pacifiers. We’re still living and dying by pacis, so we always keep a few on hand.

Sunscreen. Oh so necessary for long days in the sunshine.

Hat. A few months ago I found an oversized hat at Target (similar to this) that I knew would be perfect for shielding Briar’s tiny toddler face. It ended up being a little big on her so I hot glued two neon pink ribbons to either side of the interior of the hat to create a makeshift chin strap! She loves it and I love that I am protecting her from the sun in a stylish way.

How to Do Disneyland with a Toddler | Ann-Marie Loves

Now here are my top tips for taking toddlers to Disneyland and California Adventure:

Getting There. Mileage-wise, we live about an hour away from Disneyland, but since this is Southern California and there is always traffic, it can take up to three hours (ridic, I know) to get to the parks. Since we always expect to sit in at least a little bit of traffic, we try to leave during Briar’s naptime so that she can sleep during the whole drive and then wake up refreshed by the time we pull into the parking structure. This usually means we don’t arrive until late afternoon, but that works out perfectly for our schedules and the amount of time we like to spend at Disneyland. Of course, we know how lucky we are to have a child that will easily sleep in her carseat…here’s hoping baby number two will follow suit!

Snacks! Oh yes. Bring alllll the snacks. I find that almost any toddler meltdown can be cured — or more importantly, prevented — with a full tummy. We offer her snacks constantly throughout the day and then at meal time, we will order Briar a kid’s meal (almost every restaurant in both parks offers kid’s meals). We also bring a small neoprene cooler with bottles filled with milk because girl can’t live without her milk.

Bathroom breaks. Briar is no longer nursing (she randomly stopped a few months ago which worked out great for the both of us) so we don’t use the Baby Care Centers as often as we once did, but they’re still the best place to change diapers and they even have toddler-size toilets for potty trained kids. However, if you aren’t near a Baby Care Center, the regular restrooms work just as well in a pinch. I lay Briar down on a few sheets of paper towels and quickly get her cleaned up and out the door. No big deal.

How to Do Disneyland with a Toddler | Ann-Marie Loves

Transportation. Briar may be able to run everywhere now but we still need to contain her from time to time, be it for naps or getting through dense crowds. Luckily she loves her stroller and is more than happy to ride in it. We also still skip the tram ride from the parking lot to the park entrance out of convenience (the idea of packing up and folding a stroller for a two minute tram ride always sounds like too much work) and walk instead (you can see the route in this video!). However, when she does walk, we use a toddler backpack and hold her hand to keep her close yet still give her a little freedom. Say what you will about using a leash on a toddler, but Disneyland would be a very scary place to lose a child…that place is always packed. John and I would much rather be safe than sorry.

Stroller Parking. It should be noted that when you bring a stroller to Disneyland, you will have to park it anytime you get in line for a ride. There are usually designated areas to leave your stroller but be aware that it may be moved by cast members (Disney’s term for employees) for the sake of crowds or parades. Don’t panic if your wheels aren’t where you left them; usually there’s a cast member nearby who can happily direct you to the new location. I should also mention that if you’re concerned about your stroller getting stolen, you can bring a stroller lock to deter potential thieves, but whatever you do, don’t lock your stroller to any Disney property (i.e. a rail or pole) because they WILL cut the lock. Finally, remember to grab any important personal belongings before leaving your stroller behind…this is where backpacks really come in handy! I know this all sounds super intimidating and might make you want to leave your stroller at home but I promise it’s really not an issue if you are aware of the rules and can go with the flow.

Rides + Attractions. As Briar has gotten older and more aware of her surroundings, she’s definitely grown a bit more leery of various attractions. For example, we recently learned that she does not like fireworks so we have to duck into a store or find a ride to get on during the nightly show. It’s not a huge deal but it takes a little planning beforehand to keep meltdowns at bay. In terms of things she enjoys at Disneyland, Briar likes It’s a Small World, Winnie the Pooh, most of the outdoor Fantasyland rides (the indoor ones are surprisingly scary!), the train, and the Jungle Cruise. We rarely stop for parades but when we pass by them, I’ve noticed that the visuals and the music mesmerize her (note to self: stop for the parades more often). At California Adventure she enjoys The Little Mermaid, Heimlich Chew Chew Train, the carousel, the Red Car trolley, the Disney Animation building (a room surrounded by huge screens that play clips and music from various films…this is our favorite uncrowded place to sit down for a little bit and take advantage of the A/C!), and Redwood Creek Challenge Trail (the very best place to let little ones run around freely and burn up their energy!). On a related note, this list of rides and attractions is very much applicable to pregnant mamas as well! Even though I can’t ride Big Thunder Mountain these days, I still love going to the parks just as much as when I’m not pregnant. There’s still plenty to do and see and — most importantly — eat!

How to Do Disneyland with a Toddler | Ann-Marie Loves

Like I mentioned in my last posts, taking little ones to Disneyland is admittedly a lot of work but SO MUCH FUN. I’m not exaggerating when I say that each trip gets better and better. This past visit was easily my favorite one yet because Briar has become obsessed with the characters in Mickey Mouse Clubhouse so she’s finally starting to “get” what the magic is all about. She was so excited to meet Minnie Mouse and take a photo with her (and with her beloved Minnie doll, of course). I mean, just look at her proud little face! I could stare at this picture forever and die over it every time. These Disney adventures may take extra planning but they are oh so worth it.

weekend trip to san luis obispo.

Posted on: Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Weekend Getaway to San Luis Obispo | Ann-Marie Loves

There’s nothing quite like a physical change of scenery to boost my mood and give me a fresh perspective. This past weekend, John and I spent a night up in San Luis Obispo and we had the best time. We’re both big fans of the central coast and SLO is the perfect mix of relaxing and stimulating.

Weekend Getaway to San Luis Obispo | Ann-Marie Loves

On the way up the coast, we stopped off in Santa Barbara for a quick coffee break at The French Press. I love having a running list of coffee shops to visit everywhere I travel! (What’s your favorite coffee shop? I want to add it to my list!)

Weekend Getaway to San Luis Obispo | Ann-Marie Loves

Weekend Getaway to San Luis Obispo | Ann-Marie Loves

Scout Coffee is a must if you’re anywhere near San Luis Obispo. It’s nestled in the perfect spot downtown and has the cutest decor and some of the best lattes I’ve tasted! I kind of want to move in.

Weekend Getaway to San Luis Obispo | Ann-Marie Loves

Weekend Getaway to San Luis Obispo | Ann-Marie Loves

Weekend Getaway to San Luis Obispo | Ann-Marie Loves

Apple cider at the Apple Farm…it tasted just as good as it smelled! It was a pretty chilly weekend up in SLO so a warm drink hit the spot.

Weekend Getaway to San Luis Obispo | Ann-Marie Loves

John and I have been on a major pot pie kick lately so it was a no-brainer that I would order one at the Apple Farm. Oh man, it was good. 

Weekend Getaway to San Luis Obispo | Ann-Marie Loves

Weekend Getaway to San Luis Obispo | Ann-Marie Loves

Weekend Getaway to San Luis Obispo | Ann-Marie Loves

Coffee, coffee, coffee.

Weekend Getaway to San Luis Obispo | Ann-Marie Loves

So happy to travel through life with this guy. We were reminiscing about different memories throughout our relationship and we came to the (startling!) realization that this year will mark twelve years together. TWELVE! I have no idea where the time has gone but it’s been an amazing adventure.

Weekend Getaway to San Luis Obispo | Ann-Marie Loves

Weekend Getaway to San Luis Obispo | Ann-Marie Loves

Spring in SLO is gorgeous. Everything is in bloom and it’s not too hot yet and it makes me want to move up there ASAP! We saw a young family of four going for a bike ride around town (mom was towing the baby and the dad was sharing a cool tandem bike with the little girl) and I couldn’t take my eyes off of them. I suddenly had serious aspirations to BE them one day soon! Now I just have to convince John to move with me to a cute small town where we can live out my bike riding dreams…

Weekend Getaway to San Luis Obispo | Ann-Marie Loves

We stumbled upon Avila Valley Barn while driving around and it was such a good find! I stocked up on fresh peaches, John picked up a chipotle ketchup, and we ordered an olallieberry-flavored lemonade to share (so good!). I always feel like spontaneous detours make for the best memories.

Weekend Getaway to San Luis Obispo | Ann-Marie Loves

slo-Weekend Getaway to San Luis Obispo | Ann-Marie Loves

Feeling large and in charge these days. This striped maternity dress from Target is getting lots of mileage! And of course, I can’t seem to take off my denim jacket either. Basically, I wear some version of this outfit every single day.

Weekend Getaway to San Luis Obispo | Ann-Marie Loves

Weekend Getaway to San Luis Obispo | Ann-Marie Loves

One night away from Briar is the perfect amount of time to reconnect with my husband and make us miss that little bub! Thank goodness for willing babysitters (aka Nana + Papa) who take such good care of Briar so we can enjoy our trip worry-free :)

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