Entries Tagged as 'everyday'

as of late | october edition.

Posted on: Friday, October 30, 2015

As of Late | October Edition | Ann-Marie Loves

Discovering that Gabby Bernstein has a podcast and downloading every single episode as fast as possible! Oh em gee, I’m obsessed. Other podcasts I’m enjoying: The Party Podcast and Matrimoney.

Working on Briar’s Halloween costume with John (there’s nothing quite like the last minute!).

Loving Snapchat! I was such a grandma about it for longest time (“how does this contraption work?”), but once I figured it out, I was hooked! You can follow me at @annmarieloves!

Speaking of Halloween, I seriously LOL’d over this Buzzfeed article. I hope that my kids have quirky taste in costumes!

Feeling extra competitive when it comes to workweek challenges with friends on Fitbit! I love the extra boost of motivation that comes from wanting to have the highest step count for the week.

Sneaking in episodes of The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt in between endless replays of The Aristocats (a certain fourteen month old is obsessed) and liking it!

Starting to do a little Christmas shopping for my favorite tiny person. I’m mainly focusing on clothes (these jammies and these kitty ballet slippers!), big toys that will help her burn off some of that boundless energy (this activity gym or this play kitchen), and I’m hoping that my dad just might build her a toddler bed! ;)

Feeling like I could have written this post, right down to the title. It’s been a weird and rocky year for me but I’m working on it.

Realizing that this may be a little TMI, but you guys…I just bought new bras for myself (FINALLY) and they are life-changing. My body is not what it was pre-baby and it’s time that I start embracing that!

Taking Briar to Gymboree several times a week and really enjoying it! I love watching her run and climb and interact with other babies her own age. Plus she’s learning how to put toys away, so there’s that.

Checking off two years of marriage this past Monday.

Wanting to make homemade crayons in the shape of letters using these silicone trays I especially love the blended look of this DIY!

Going to therapy for the first time in my life and really digging it. I secretly have a desire to become a therapist in my next life.

Working out as often as possible, whether it be in the form of a Zumba class or a long walk. Exercise is everything.

Feeling grateful that cooler weather is kind of, sort of (?) happening here in Southern California. I am so ready to eat some soup and wear some socks.


life with a one year old.

Posted on: Monday, October 5, 2015

Life With a One Year Old | Ann-Marie Loves

Life with a one year old is crazy, busy, challenging, and SO MUCH FUN. Like I’ve said every time before, each new age is more fun than the last. When Briar turned one, I thought the baby stage was officially over, but as it turns out, she is still my little one.

Life With a One Year Old | Ann-Marie Loves

I feel incredibly lucky that Briar has an amazing palette and a huge appetite for food. It’s so nice to only have to make a single meal and be able to share it with her. The only food she is mildly hesitant about eating is hummus, but I have faith that in due time, she will see the light ;) She’s also still nursing a few times a day, which, to be honest, I have mixed feelings about. From the beginning, my goal was to nurse her for a full year, but that twelve months came and went and she has shown zero interest in stopping! Selfishly, I would love to put an end to breastfeeding so I can have my body all to myself before the next baby comes along. However, nursing is still her ultimate source of comfort and I would hate to take that away from her. We will see how it goes…

Life With a One Year Old | Ann-Marie Loves

A few weeks ago, we decided to ditch the crib and put her mattress on the floor in hopes that it would lessen our sleeping woes. I’m happy to report that she LOVES having her bed on the ground and all the independence that it entails, but it still hasn’t stopped her from waking up at least once (sometimes twice) a night. SIGH. Getting Briar to sleep consistently has been our biggest battle since the beginning, but I’m hoping she will come around one of these days. In the meantime, we will continue to keep her routine as structured as possible and most importantly, try to keep our patience. Two steps forward, one step back, right?

Life With a One Year Old | Ann-Marie Loves

One of the most exciting developments over the past couple of months has been her blossoming sense of humor! She giggles all the time and it never fails to make me giggle right along with her! I remember the first time I heard her laugh (I think she was around three months?) and it stopped me dead in my tracks. It was one of those life-changing moments where I was overcome with love for the tiny little person I created. Now she giggles over everything — slurping sounds, dogs licking her face, being spun around — and it continues to be music to my ears.

The other amazing development that has started to take shape is her greater understanding and application of the world around her. For example, she gives kisses on command, she loves to clean her high chair tray when I hand her a paper towel and say “wipe your tray,” she can find and retrieve items when I ask her to get them (“where’s your water cup?”), and she knows people by name. It’s incredible to watch things start to click in her mind! Briar is also a huge fan of books (Brown Bear is her favorite), walking / running everywhere, and playing with anything that isn’t a toy (Tupperware, measuring cups, shoes, etc). Basically, she is pure sunshine in a twenty-two pound body.

Life With a One Year Old | Ann-Marie Loves

Being Briar’s mom is so hard yet so wonderful…I can’t stress that contradiction enough! She works me like a dog, but I’m just so in love with her that it makes even the hardest of days feel completely worthwhile. I often think back to that moment when I opened the envelope and found out I would be having a girl. I had all these visions of what my daughter would look like and be like and I’m happy to report that she has exceeded every single one of my wildest expectations.

Ugh, this girl kills me in the best way possible. I’m putty in her hands.

Purple bow dress from Target.

labor day weekend + things i’m loving.

Posted on: Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Things I'm Loving | Ann-Marie Loves

Happy Tuesday! I hope everyone in the U.S. enjoyed a wonderful Labor Day weekend. I know that Briar and I certainly love it when we get John to ourselves for three whole days! (Especially since he gets up with our little one on weekend mornings so I can sleep in – boom!) We spent our three days sweating it out (HOLY HEATWAVE), barbecuing with family + friends, celebrating our niece’s first birthday, working on my new website, and of course, lazing around. Now it’s back to the grind!

In the spirit of easing back into the work week, here are a few things I am loving these days:

+ You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero. I first heard about this book from Alison on Raise Your Hand Say Yes and I had a feeling I would like it. As it turns out, I LOVE IT. I’m reading it with a highlighter in hand so I can mark up all my favorite quotes (basically the whole entire book). I can’t recommend this book enough!

+ 805 Beer. I used a to be a wine girl, but ever since I got sick last month, the taste of it just doesn’t jive with my taste buds anymore (SADNESS)(And no, I’m not pregnant). So now I’m revisiting beer and really, really enjoying it. 805 is my new fave.

+ Working Out. Okay, this is nothing new or revolutionary, but getting to the gym or going on walks everyday makes everything in my life easier. It really does. Plus, now that I have a Fitbit, there’s extra incentive to stay in motion!

+ Lavender + Honey. This adorable coffee shop is my favorite place to get work done or stop in for a quick honeybee latte + chocolate croissant to share with my little partner in crime. I can’t wait until we move back to Pasadena one day and I can be there all the time!

+ Briar + Luna. Now that these two cousins are both one and walking, they’re so much fun to watch! They love playing together and giving each other hugs and kisses. We are now at the stage where it’s actually easier to watch both of them at the same time vs. one at a time because they keep each other entertained! I couldn’t love these two anymore!

+ Target Lounge Shorts. I’m not much for shorts, but sometimes I need to let my legs breathe when it’s a million degrees outside. So when I found these super comfy shorts at Target, I knew they had to come home with me. I wear them around the house, I wear them out in public, I wear them to bed. They’re the perfect solution for staying comfortable during these dog days of summer.

+ Trader Joe’s Melodious Blend. I recently threw these in my cart on a whim and I am SO glad I did! I can’t get enough of it! The mix of lentils, garbanzo beans, and tomatoes is seriously my lunchtime jam. You can find them in the freezer section at your local TJ’s!

+ New podcasts. I’m pretty sure I could start a blog just on podcasts alone! I’m constantly stumbling upon new shows and happily adding them to my rotation. Lately I’ve been loving Edit Your Life, Call Your Girlfriend, Totally Married, and The Simple Show.

What are you loving these days?

santa barbara zoo.

Posted on: Monday, August 17, 2015

Santa Barbara Zoo | Ann-Marie Loves

Last week marked Briar’s third trip to the Santa Barbara Zoo, and this particular time was easily the best one yet. Twelve months is a really fun age for taking her places. She’s generally agreeable (assuming there’s an endless supply of snacks on hand), she’s super easy to entertain (hello, car keys!), and allowing her to explore her world on foot (she’s a walking gal!) is such a treat to watch. There’s also the whole not-having-to-nurse-her-every-other-hour thing that makes the whole trip so much more enjoyable than it was during her first trip at three months old.

Santa Barbara Zoo | Ann-Marie Loves

Santa Barbara Zoo | Ann-Marie Loves

While I always feel a tinge of guilt to see caged animals, there’s nothing quite like being face to face with a wild creature whom I otherwise would never see. This gorilla was AMAZING.

Santa Barbara Zoo | Ann-Marie Loves

My mom and I packed a lunch at home so that we could enjoy a picnic on the huge grassy hill overlooking the ocean. (I mean, life is really hard.) It was the ideal place to let Briar roam free and test out her sweet new walking skills. She was also really into eating all of my food, opening and closing the cooler, and climbing her stroller. Toddlerhood is a contact sport!

Santa Barbara Zoo | Ann-Marie Loves
Santa Barbara Zoo | Ann-Marie Loves

Did you know that flamingoes get their pinkish hue from the brine shrimp that they eat? I thought that was a fascinating tidbit! Also, they’re from South America, which I was also (embarrassingly) unaware of until last week. Everyday is a new lesson!

Santa Barbara Zoo | Ann-Marie Loves

Since the zoo is not only a great place to see animals, but a GORGEOUS place to hang out, my camera gets plenty of action while we’re here.

Santa Barbara Zoo | Ann-Marie Loves

For Briar’s first birthday, my parents gifted us with a year-long membership to the zoo, so I have no doubt that there will be plenty of fun adventures in our near future! (P.S. Thanks Nana + Papa!)

Santa Barbara Zoo | Ann-Marie Loves

And just for the heck of it, here’s a photo of Briar and me from her first trip to the zoo, way back in November. Can you say TINY BABY? Oh. Em. Gee.

camera love.

Posted on: Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Camera Love | Ann-Marie Loves

This past weekend I got to play with this amazing workhorse of a camera and this fantastic zoom lens and I. WAS. OBSESSED. I took as many photos as I could (mostly of my favorite moving target) and decided that I need this camera in my life permanently.

Camera Love | Ann-Marie LovesCamera Love | Ann-Marie LovesCamera Love | Ann-Marie LovesCamera Love | Ann-Marie LovesCamera Love | Ann-Marie LovesCamera Love | Ann-Marie Loves

And speaking of my favorite moving target, she will be one on Saturday. ONE. I don’t know if I should laugh or cry?

want what you want.

Posted on: Thursday, July 30, 2015

Want What You Want | Ann-Marie Loves

Yesterday I took myself on a solo date to my favorite coffee shop in my favorite city (I’ll give you one guess where that is!), listened to inspiring podcast episodes (this one, this one, and this one), and really allowed myself to dig deep. In doing so, I came to the startling realization that IT IS OKAY to want what we want. In fact, if we don’t acknowledge our deepest desires, how in the world will they ever come true?! When I think back on my life, there have been a few key moments where I am positive that I manifested my dreams. For example!

– After I graduated college at the onset of the recession (when I couldn’t even get a seasonal part-time job at the mall!), I was hell-bent on working in the scrapbooking industry. I had absolutely no idea how it would happen or what I would even do or how I could possibly find work in a Utah-based industry when I was a California resident. But everyday I would go on walks while listening to The Secret on my iPod (2009, y’all) and imagine being paid to play with paper until I could literally feel it in my bones. Fast forward to July 2010 and I was living in Orem, Utah and working as an in-house scrapbooker / product designer at American Crafts.

– I have always dreamed and journaled and talked about living in two of my favorite cities: San Diego and Pasadena. Both of those dreams have come to fruition.

– And finally, at the beginning of my senior year in high school, I kept a post-it note on my shelf (where I would see it as I put on my makeup everyday) with the Christina Aguilera lyric: “day by day, I’m going to get my way.” Within a matter of weeks, I started dating John (now my husband!) and a few months later, I was accepted into my college of choice.

I know this all sounds hokey and woo-woo and quite possibly, huge coincidences, but I truly believe that our thoughts create our reality. I’ve spent way too many days over the past year caught up in a fog of fearfulness and uncertainty. There have been some particularly dark moments where I could barely get out of bed, I was so terrified of what was around the corner. Having a baby in my life has filled my heart with more joy and pride than I could have ever dreamed (seriously, I could burst at any moment), but it has also brought a lot of my inner demons to the surface. I’ve gotten lost in the mindset of “this is not how it’s supposed to be” or “I should be at x-place by now and I’m only at y-place.” While I still have lots of work to do, my focus is much clearer now. I’m finally allowing myself to want what I want and to be completely at peace with those desires, no matter what others may think of them.


This our life, you guys! We have to open ourselves up to the possibility that AMAZING THINGS WILL HAPPEN if we work hard and trust that the universe has our back.

Have you ever manifested any of your dreams? I’d love to hear about it!

adventures at underwood farms.

Posted on: Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Adventures at Underwood Farms | Ann-Marie Loves

Having grown up in Ventura County, I’ve been on many a trip to Underwood Farms in Moorpark. However, it had been years since my last visit and Briar had never been before, so John and I (along with Jamie, Kareem, and Luna!) decided it was high time to revisit the farm. We had an awesome time (despite the heat) exploring the grounds, visiting the animals (how amazing is that horse!), and digging in the fields for ripe strawberries and olallieberries. Sadly, Briar was developing a double ear infection that day (unbeknownst to us at the time), so she wasn’t her normal cheery self. But that’s okay…we’ll be back for Halloween festivities come October!

Adventures at Underwood Farms | Ann-Marie Loves

Adventures at Underwood Farms | Ann-Marie Loves

Adventures at Underwood Farms | Ann-Marie Loves

Adventures at Underwood Farms | Ann-Marie Loves

Adventures at Underwood Farms | Ann-Marie Loves

Adventures at Underwood Farms | Ann-Marie Loves

Adventures at Underwood Farms | Ann-Marie Loves

thoughts on baby weight.

Posted on: Friday, June 12, 2015

Thoughts on Slowly Losing Baby Weight | Ann-Marie Loves

I’ll be honest: the baby weight has not exactly fallen off.

Half of it disappeared without any effort on my part (thank you, nursing), but the other half? Well, that’s on me. The surprising thing is, I don’t mind as much as I thought I would. Sure, there are many days when I wish I could be back to my pre-baby size, but the majority of the time, I’m just in awe. Not only did I create and sustain another life, but I’m continuing to feed that life. WITH MY BODY. I’ve come to realize that this is an incredible gift that should never be taken for granted.

Even though I’m still hanging on to a little extra weight, I feel great. I love taking Briar for walks, throwing her up in the air, and getting on the ground and playing on her level. I love that I’m back at my favorite gym, taking my favorite classes several times a week, and keeping up with the rigorous routines like I did pre-baby. I’ve been working out consistently since I was fourteen, so exercise is a huge part of my life. I went on daily walks all throughout my pregnancy and even picked them back up about a week after I had Briar (although the first time I stood up and tried to walk after giving birth and being stitched up, I thought my workout days were officially over! HA! #thingstheydonttellyoubeforehand). I’m also enjoying lots of leafy greens, whole grains, and of course, red wine (and Friday night margs!) shared with my favorite company. Of course, there is plenty of room for improvement, but I honestly do not have the mental bandwidth these days to be as disciplined as I once was. I know that this is a very short season of life and I would rather focus on how amazing it is be Briar’s mom instead of how amazing it would be to have a flat stomach again.

I am very aware that the things I say about my body will be the filter through which Briar sees her own body, so it’s extra important to me to set a good example for her. Life is meant to be enjoyed, thigh gap or not.

just the two of us.

Posted on: Thursday, June 11, 2015

Our Pre-Baby Lives | Ann-Marie Loves

The other day I was looking through photos on my hard drive and stumbled upon a forgotten folder I (cheesily) called “Just the Two of Us.” When I was pregnant, I had made a conscious effort to document our lives as they were. John and I both knew our days as a twosome were numbered, so I wanted to capture those leisurely days for us to look back on in the distant future.

Our Pre-Baby Lives | Ann-Marie Loves

Well, that distant future is now. I sent John a few of these images and quickly texted him, “Remember this??”

Our Pre-Baby Lives | Ann-Marie Loves

His response: “Oh, how we were missing something in our lives and we didn’t even know it.”

Touché, husband. Touché.

mom style | moms of infants edition.

Posted on: Thursday, May 28, 2015

Mom Style | Mom of Infants Edition | Ann-Marie Loves

I’ve decided that the next best thing to having my own sister is having a sister-in-law who also doubles as one of my best friends. Over the years, Jamie and I have grown super close. So close, in fact, that aside from our husbands, we were the first people each other told about our respective pregnancies! Jamie and I are opposites in many ways, but we also have a ton in common, including being new-ish moms to baby cousins (born three weeks apart!).

Having infant daughters has naturally changed our personal styles a little bit, so I thought it would be fun to share the products that each of us uses on a daily basis.

Mom Style | Mom of Infants Edition | Ann-Marie Loves

Ann-Marie’s Picks:

+ Fedora Hat // I am such a hat girl and I wear this Cotton On fedora entirely too much! Similar hat here.
+ MAC Mineralize Rich Lipstick // I bought this lipstick in Elegant Accent for my wedding and still wear it as often as possible. It’s just the right shade for enhancing my pale skin without being too overwhelming.
+ Top Knot // Styling my hair is easily my least favorite beauty task (I’d rather shave my legs!), so more often than not, you’ll find a giant bun atop my head. This also means I have a million and one ponytails floating around the house!
+ Rings // The only jewelry pieces that I wear every single day are my wedding ring and a handful of super thin silver bands that John picked out for me on our honeymoon. I feel naked without them! Similar rings here.
+ Poncho // Wearing this poncho instantly makes me feel pulled together AND it is the ultimate cover up for nursing! Similar poncho here.
+ Backpack // A few years ago, I switched from using a standard purse to using a small backpack. This bag carries everything that I need for myself and Briar, plus it keeps my hands free.
+ Dry Shampoo // My hair errs on the oily side of the spectrum (GAH), so I live and die by my Suave dry shampoo.
+ Sunglasses // Okay, if I could only have ONE accessory, it would be sunglasses. Whenever I find a style that I love, I stock up on them knowing that they WILL be dropped or sat on or left behind somewhere. This tortoiseshell pair is my current favorite.
+ Red nail polish // Whenever my nails are painted, I feel more motivated. Strange but true. Tigerlilly is my go-to shade.

Mom Style | Mom of Infants Edition | Ann-Marie Loves

Briar and Luna are finally at the stage where they interact with each other…so much fun to watch!

Mom Style | Mom of Infants Edition | Ann-Marie Loves

Jamie’s Picks:

+ Humble Hilo Bag // This bag is so versatile. I mostly use it for my diaper / day bag, but it’s big enough to be used as an overnight bag, too. I switch between the shoulder strap and handles.
+ Striped Shift Dress // I love the length of this dress and it’s non-formfitting cut. The stretchy material makes it nursing-friendly plus you can never go wrong with a black and white stripe. I’d choose a dress over any other type of clothing any day of the week. Similar dress here.
+ Royal Jelly Body Butter // This body butter does wonders for my dry hands and my under eye area. It’s thick and creamy, relieving dry and itchy skin. I’ll use this alone or mixed with coconut oil.
+ Nail Polish // I’ve worn OPI’s Mod About You off and on for the last ten years. I feel that it complements my skin tone. It’s my go-to color.
+ Coconut Oil // I have found that coconut oil works best with my skin type. I like how light it feels on the skin. It’s gentle and doesn’t make me break out. I use it all over my body, not just on my face.
+ Lace Bralette // I found my current favorite lace bralette at a small clothing boutique near my house for $4.99! It’s soft and stretchy making it nursing-friendly. I also like pairing it with a loose fitting tank. It’s looks much prettier peeking out of a tank than a regular bra does. Similar bralette here.
+ Curling Iron // A large barrel curling iron is my must-have for my hair. It’s not every day that I can wash and blow dry with a little one yelling for Mama every two seconds. When my hair is oily and I don’t feel like putting it up in a bun, I turn my curling iron on and do a few loose textured curls. Spray it with some Big and Sexy hair spray and I am ready to go.
+ Sandals // These Target sandals are comfortable and light, plus they pair well with a maxi dress or jeans and a tank. I live in sandals.
+ Black Mascara // Any black Revlon mascara that makes it into my cart these days is my favorite. I love the look of long lashes. Instant glam!

Mom Style | Mom of Infants Edition | Ann-Marie Loves

Moms, what are your must-have items?

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