Entries Tagged as 'everyday'

workspace wednesday | unstuck app

Posted on: Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Workspace Wednesday | Unstuck App | Ann-Marie Loves

Two things:

1. I just rediscovered my iPad after letting the battery be dead for several months. Why? Because my post-baby brain is mush.

2. I’M OBSESSED WITH MY iPAD.

So truth be told, it’s not a necessity, but it sure is handy for things like browsing Pinterest in bed (v. important!), watching movies / videos / Vine mashups while I work, and my most favorite use, for playing with the Unstuck app.

Workspace Wednesday | Unstuck App | Ann-Marie Loves

I don’t even remember how I stumbled upon Unstuck, but my goodness, it is a workhorse for the mental warfare I wage daily upon myself. It leads you through a series of questions and exercises regarding how you’re feeling and what is holding you back. The exercise shown above is my favorite part. You quickly go through a deck of several cards and place them in the “So Me” or “Not Me” pile to help get to the root of what is bothering you. Genius.

Workspace Wednesday | Unstuck App | Ann-Marie Loves

I feel like there’s always something holding me back, whether it’s a personal, professional, or relational situation, and Unstuck helps me work through every single problem…sometimes the same problem many times over! It’s kind of amazing how breaking down an issue into small, manageable pieces brings so much clarity.

Workspace Wednesday | Unstuck App | Ann-Marie Loves

Once you’re finished with the exercises, you’re “diagnosed” with a certain behavior style and offered lots of suggestions as to how to get past your mental roadblock. It’s pretty incredible how glaringly spot-on the results are; I always feel like they were written just for me! I highly recommend this app, even if you feel like you are never stuck (and if you’re not, HOW?). Five stars, people.

finding clarity.

Posted on: Friday, May 1, 2015

Clarity about Being a Work at Home Mama | Ann-Marie Loves

Lavender + Honey // one of my favorite places to escape to.

The other day, as I was talking to my doctor about all sorts of things, namely postpartum anxiety (I’m struggling with this), how we’re balancing work with our respective new-ish babies (there’s absolutely no balance), where we really want to live (I’ll give you one guess what my answer is…), and whether or not he reads his stellar Yelp reviews (he does), I came to two conclusions: 1. I love my doctor, and 2. I need to get out of the house more…by myself.

These past several months of being a new mom have been some of the best but also some of the hardest. I love having a baby, and at the risk of sounding overconfident, I know that I’m pretty darn good at it. I can roll with the punches, be it the constant onslaught of bodily fluids, or the crying jags, or the fact that I haven’t had a full night’s sleep since last summer. I can totally handle all the standard baby hurdles with no (okay, minimal) complaints. But there is more to Ann-Marie than just being Mom to Briar, 24/7. And that’s where I’ve fallen seriously short.

I’ve neglected my inbox. I’ve neglected my mailbox. I’ve neglected my work. I’ve neglected my blog. I’ve neglected my goals. I’ve been so consumed with anxiety over the unknown that I have gotten to a place where some days, I don’t even recognize myself. Anxiety is something I’ve never really dealt with before, so navigating my way through the wreckage has been a learning curve, for sure.

However, I’m beginning to realize that if I want to continue to be a good mom to my daughter, I need to be good to myself. And that means, spending time by myself. As a major introvert, alone time (or at least time that I’m not caring for an active eight month old) is PARAMOUNT to my happiness. It always has been, it always will be. I need that time to hear my own thoughts, to decompress, and to refuel my energy. I need that time to figure out where I’m going and how I’m going to get there.

So, I’ve been looking for more ways to leave the baby with John or a family member for a few hours. I’ve been hopping in the car, putting on a good podcast, and treating myself to coffee at my favorite coffee shop. I’ve been getting to the gym and losing myself in the music and the movement for an hour. I’ve been working outside the home at least one day a week (and am even considering picking up a part-time job!). These little pockets of solo time are slowly but surely helping to chip away at the emotional walls I’ve been building around myself for the past several months (or maybe even years!).

I am forever a work in progress, but I’m learning to be okay with that. Like Maya Angelou said, “when you know better, you do better.” AMEN.

happy place | pasadena.

Posted on: Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Spontaneous Adventures | Pasadena | Ann-Marie Loves

Spontaneous Adventures | Pasadena | Ann-Marie Loves

I’m pretty sure the secret to happiness is this: waking up and deciding on a whim that your day must include a spontaneous adventure. Then, pursuing such spontaneous adventures. That’s exactly what Briar and I did yesterday, after realizing that it had been far too long since we last visited Pasadena. So I buckled her into her car seat and off we went!

Spontaneous Adventures | Pasadena | Ann-Marie Loves

Spontaneous Adventures | Pasadena | Ann-Marie Loves

Spontaneous Adventures | Pasadena | Ann-Marie Loves

Spontaneous Adventures | Pasadena | Ann-Marie Loves

Spontaneous Adventures | Pasadena | Ann-Marie Loves

Spontaneous Adventures | Pasadena | Ann-Marie Loves

We hit up some of our favorite spots: a latte and toast at Lavender + Honey, a little shopping at Tiny Universe, and a walk through some of the most charming neighborhoods in town. There’s something about getting out of the house and being in a beautiful place that energizes me and puts me in a fresh frame of mind. I need to do this more often…

chia seed bowl.

Posted on: Thursday, March 19, 2015

Chia Seed Bowl | Ann-Marie Loves

As a major breakfast food aficionado, I am always on the hunt for new and exciting ways to start my day. Thanks to this video via Instyle, I recently discovered the magic of chia seed bowls! Not only are they insanely nutritious, but they take less than five minutes to put together…win-win! I also love that I can prepare a bowl the night before so my hectic mornings are simplified. Here’s how I make mine:

Chia Seed Bowl | Ann-Marie Loves

Gather chia seeds (I get mine at Trader Joe’s), milk (any kind), pomegranate seeds, almonds, raisins, hemp seeds, and banana slices.

Chia Seed Bowl | Ann-Marie Loves

Combine one part chia seeds (I usually do 1/3 cup) with two parts milk and stir until evenly mixed.

Chia Seed Bowl | Ann-Marie Loves

Leave the bowl in the fridge for at least 2-3 hours until the milk has been absorbed and the consistency is thick. (The seeds will end up looking gray if you use cow’s milk.)

Chia Seed Bowl | Ann-Marie Loves

Once the chia seeds + milk are ready to pull out of the fridge, add in the toppings and enjoy!

P.S. My oatmeal routine and my daily coffee!

doing just fine.

Posted on: Friday, February 20, 2015

Ann-Marie Loves
Ann-Marie Loves
Ann-Marie Loves

As I uploaded a bunch of recent images onto my computer last night, I was overcome with joy. I am so grateful to have these simple moments — the ones that are so fleeting yet so powerful — captured forever.

I often wonder if John and I are doing enough as Briar’s parents. Are we setting a good example? Are we showing her enough love? Are we giving her all the tools she needs to flourish and thrive? And worst of all, are we looking at our phones too much?! I’m constantly evaluating and reevaluating all the ways the two of us can better our parenting skills.

But then I see these images and I know we’re doing just fine. I see the joy and wonder on Briar’s face. I see the unconditional love in my eyes. I see how John would move heaven and earth for the sake of his daughter. These photos reaffirm everything for me. We are doing just fine.

daily coffee routine.

Posted on: Thursday, January 29, 2015

Daily Coffee Routine | Ann-Marie Loves

Aside from wanting to pay off bills, get back in shape, and be the best mom that I can possibly be, my big resolution for 2015 is to drink good coffee. Like, really good coffee. And given the fact that I haven’t had a full night’s sleep since August, I feel like my hipster coffee habit is more than justified…it’s essential.

When I told John about my resolution, he listened and signed me up with a craft coffee subscription. (What a guy, that John.) I’m still on my first installment and it is exactly what I was hoping for! Ingredient wise, I like my coffee to be pretty simple: just coffee + 2% milk. But thanks to a few awesome tools and tricks, I’ve learned how to take a regular cup of joe to the next level. Here’s what my morning coffee routine looks like:

Daily Coffee Routine | Ann-Marie Loves

I start by filling the bottom of my stovetop coffee maker with fresh water. Then, I place the hole-y filter (proper term, I’m sure ;)) on top and fill that with coffee grounds. Finally, I screw the lid onto the base and place it on the stove over high heat to boil.

Daily Coffee Routine | Ann-Marie Loves

Once the coffee begins to boil, it’s ready to be taken off the burner.

Daily Coffee Routine | Ann-Marie Loves

Next, I pour approximately one quarter cup of milk into my mug and foam it up using a handheld milk frother. I’ve learned that the secret to making it work is to hold the frother at an angle just below the surface of the milk and only use it for a very short amount of time (maybe ten seconds?). The longer it froths, the more bubbly and flat it becomes, which defeats the whole point of using this tool in the first place. Truth be told, I’m still learning how to finesse it to perfection.

Daily Coffee Routine | Ann-Marie Loves

Once the milk has been frothed, I pour my hot coffee over the center, grab my breakfast, and begin my day.

(P.S. If you use the code l9b-ye8 at checkout, you can save 15% off your first craft coffee subscription purchase!)

How do you like your coffee?

pasadena.

Posted on: Monday, January 26, 2015

Moving On | Ann-Marie Loves

A few weeks ago, I posted about my dilemma over staying put in Pasadena or moving closer to family.

Even though we’ve only lived in Pas for a little over a year, I feel like so much of my identity is tied up in being a resident. Not only have I wanted to live here for years, but this is the first place that John and I lived together as a married couple. This is the town in which I was pregnant and had a baby. This is the only home Briar has ever known. Needless to say, the sentimental value of this city had me in a freaking headlock.

But. The thing about Pasadena is that it’s juuuust far enough away from family + friends that I can’t utilize their help with Briar. And man oh man, do I need help. Don’t get me wrong…Briar is an easy baby (relatively speaking). She loves people, she can take formula just as well as breast milk, she’s an excellent traveler, and most importantly, she’s a happy + healthy little girl. But at this stage in the game (oh, hi hospital bills), John and I both need to be working. And that means I need to pass the baby off for awhile each week so I can do my part to contribute.

So, we have moved.

And as sad as I was (am!) about leaving, I’ve already had a taste of what the next few months have in store: me time. I’ve been treating myself to solo coffee dates. I’ve listened to several podcasts back to back without having to stop. I’ve been catching up on work + e-mails. I had my neglected hair trimmed and styled. And best of all, I’ve been able to hear my own thoughts and and get some mental clarity! For the first time since Briar was born, I’ve been able to breathe easier knowing that it’s not all on me to keep things going. And it feels good.

Whenever I feel down about that chapter closing, John reminds me that we can always move back one day. Preferably to a house on El Molino ;)

last day for stamps!

Posted on: Friday, January 9, 2015

annmarielovespaper.bigcartel.com

Happy Friday! I’m dropping in to let you know that tomorrow (Saturday) is the last day for rubber stamps, my friends. I’ll still be making custom + address stamps, but as for monthly designs, I am officially hanging up my hat. Be sure to grab them while you can! Thank you so much for all your purchases these past few years! Your support has meant the WORLD to me :)

On to the next!

as of late | january edition.

Posted on: Wednesday, January 7, 2015

As of Late | January Edition | Ann-Marie Loves

Beyond psyched to see my wedding rank number two on this list and my bouquet rank number eleven on this list…! That crazy labor of love has officially paid off :)

Rewarding myself with a well-deserved Blue Moon after purging the fridge of expired food. #worstchoreever

Deciding that the best shoes are the ones I don’t even notice I am wearing all day long. I found these booties at Target (after coming to terms with the fact that my post-pregnancy feet are too wide for Sam Edelman beauties) and they are incredibly comfy. Maybe even comfy enough for a Disneyland trip!

Needing a new haircut, like, yesterday. My hair has gotten super long and I’ve lost a good chunk of it thanks to postpartum hormones (ay papi), so needless to say, Mama needs a new look. Any suggestions?

Mapping out weekend getaways with my little family. San Diego, Portland, Santa Barbara…

Stocking up on adorable plush ornaments from Anthro’s post-holiday sale. I have a feeling that our 2015 Christmas tree won’t have any breakables on it, thanks to a certain future sixteen month old ;)

Looking forward to trying out some new-to-me podcasts as recommended by Clementine Daily.

Thinking that a half birthday party for my soon-to-be six month old (!!!) would be so much fun. Now if I could just figure out how to make one of those colorful layered cakes…

Dreaming (literally) of the day that Briar sleeps through the night. It’s got to be one of these days, right?

Loving Sollybaby’s Instagram feed. Elle’s tips for everyday babywearing are so inspiring, plus, her photos are just gorg.

Marveling at all the beautiful sunsets I’ve seen lately! What is it about winter that makes sundown so dramatic?

Laughing my head off over this Jimmy Fallon / Nicole Kidman interview! O M G.

Realizing that I need to back up all the photos on my phone as I have sadly run out of space. Five months with a 32gb iPhone and a baby and I am MAXED OUT. #dontknowifishouldbeproudorembarassed

Anxiously awaiting the return of Parenthood! I swear, if they kill off Zeek…

Feeling SO PROUD that I got my best friends hooked on the Joy the Baker podcast. I’ve been an avid listener for years and I am so pumped to finally have real life friends to share it with!

Retiring from the rubber stamp game and moving in a new direction. Yep. It’s time. (P.S. if you’ve been eyeing my holiday stamps, you have until Thursday to stock up!)

hello 2015.

Posted on: Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Hello 2015 | Ann-Marie Loves

The more years I see, the more I realize that I can’t put a blanket statement on any particular year. Or anything, really. (Except cookie dough. I am ALWAYS down for cookie dough.) Each year is filled with it’s own share of victories and losses that help to mold you into your future self. But if I’m being honest, 2014 was a DOOZY. It was more powerful and life changing and terrifying than I ever could have predicted. I don’t think I’ve ever been more stressed out in my life. Needless to say, I’m happy to put it in the past (insert peace sign emoji here).

My families rang in the new year in a beautiful home in Cambria overlooking the Pacific Ocean…all while the majority of the group battled various flu symptoms (I’m sure there’s a metaphor in there somewhere). Despite our rocky entrance into 2015, I’m already feeling a sense of lightness and peace for the new year. There are big life changes on the horizon, but my main focus for 2015 is to stop and  savor the little things that make life so wonderful. I spent way too much of last year in a state of panic over the unknown that I often lost sight of all the amazing things that were actually happening. This year, I have grand plans of enjoying craft coffee everyday, taking tons of Zumba classes, finding any and every excuse to meet up with friends, allowing others to help me, taking more photos, sleeping in if it feels good, working on more “just for fun” projects, and getting down on the floor and playing with my baby as often as possible. Ever since Christmas, Briar has been hitting milestones left and right (rolling all over, grabbing at everything, sitting up) and it’s been a huge wakeup call for me to enjoy each and every moment, not just of her life, but of mine as well.

It’s gonna be a good one. I can feel it.

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