Entries Tagged as 'tutorials'

diy watermelon banner + free cut files.

Posted on: Tuesday, August 11, 2015

DIY Watermelon Banner | Ann-Marie Loves

When I was in my second and third trimesters of pregnancy with Briar, I could not get enough watermelon. There was not enough watermelon in the world that could satisfy my cravings! It was like clockwork: every afternoon I would get a serious hankering for watermelon, so I would chop one up and scarf it down before heading out on my daily walk. INSANE. I’m pretty certain that Briar is made up of 75% watermelon (the other 25% being the bagels I lived on during my first trimester), so it’s no surprise that she loves watermelon as much as I did. In honor of Briar’s favorite fruit, I decided to make a watermelon banner for her birthday party.

DIY Watermelon Banner | Ann-Marie Loves

The supplies are basic: neon cardstock, my Cameo die-cutting machine, adhesive, and a black Sharpie pen. I designed and cut out the shapes using the Cameo, adhered them together, and then added seeds with the pen…super simple!

DIY Watermelon Banner | Ann-Marie Loves

I hung the banner behind the teepee and I love the way it added an extra pop of neon to an already colorful scene! It now lives above her changing table where she can admire it (read: try to rip it off the wall) as I change her diapers.

Briar's First Birthday | Ann-Marie Loves

I created a free download of the watermelon cut files (for use in Silhouette software) that you can find HERE. If you use them and take a photo, tag me on Instagram! Enjoy!

diy cheerios necklace for baby.

Posted on: Friday, July 24, 2015

DIY Cheerios Necklace for Babies | Ann-Marie Loves

If your baby is anything like my baby, she likes to snack. A LOT. From the time we introduced Briar to solid foods, she was pretty adamant about taking matters into her own hands (literally) and feeding herself. While this was frustrating at first, I’ve learned to view it as a huge help (I can eat my food while she eats hers!) and an amazing way to foster self-sufficiency.

Most of the time, I can plop Briar in her high chair, place her meal in bite-size pieces on her tray, and let her happily munch away. But when we are out and about or when she’s stuck in her car seat for an extended period of time, it’s not so easy to let her feed herself. The solution: Cheerios necklaces!

DIY Cheerios Necklace for Babies | Ann-Marie Loves

The supplies are pretty self-explanatory: Cheerios, twine, and scissors. Just string the Cheerios onto the twine until you feel like you have provided your baby with a decent sized snack and then tie a knot and place it over your baby’s head. If I know we are going to be out for awhile, I like to make a couple of necklaces so I can swap them out as need be.

DIY Cheerios Necklace for Babies | Ann-Marie Loves

It didn’t take much convincing to get Briar on this bandwagon — she’s a believer!

homemade iced coffee.

Posted on: Thursday, June 25, 2015

Homemade Iced Coffee | Ann-Marie Loves

As the temperature continues to rise and Briar continues to wake up in the middle of the night, one thing has become crystal clear: I NEED ICED COFFEE. As much as I love hot coffee, I’m more than happy to switch over to the iced version during the warm summer months. I love it in the morning with my breakfast but I really love in the afternoon when my energy begins to slump…it’s the perfect pick-me-up! Recently I had been going through the Starbucks drive-thru (God’s gift to moms of babies) on an almost daily basis, but I realized I could save a lot of money by making it at home. So! I did a little research and experimentation and found my favorite new way to get my caffeine fix.

Homemade Iced Coffee | Ann-Marie Loves

What you’ll need:

– 1/3 cup of coffee grounds (anything but instant coffee)

– 4 cups of water

Cheesecloth

– Two pitchers or carafes

– Saran wrap

Homemade Iced Coffee | Ann-Marie Loves

Directions:

Pour 1/3 cups of coffee grounds into a pitcher or carafe. Then, heat up 4 cups of water on the stove for about a minute (no need to boil) and pour it on top of the coffee. Once both the coffee and water are in the carafe, cover the top with saran wrap and leave it on your counter for at least eight hours.

Homemade Iced Coffee | Ann-Marie Loves

After eight hours, remove the saran wrap and cover the mouth of a different pitcher or carafe with a few layers of cheesecloth. Slowly pour the coffee over the cheesecloth and let it filter into the second pitcher.

Homemade Iced Coffee | Ann-Marie Loves

Finally, fill a glass with ice and then pour in the coffee and any other flavorings (I like a splash of milk and the tiniest bit of homemade simple syrup) and enjoy! I store my pitcher of coffee in the fridge and cover it with saran wrap to preserve the taste. It usually only lasts a day or two before I find myself drinking it all up and starting the brewing process all over again! So good and so easy.

P.S. My daily coffee routine and coffee stories from my Utah days!

diy painted bags.

Posted on: Monday, May 18, 2015

DIY Painted Bags | Ann-Marie Loves

Recently, I’ve been enjoying a resurgence of creative energy and I can’t even tell you how happy it makes me. Being crafty and using my hands is how I make sense of my world, so I am beyond excited to be back at it again. Yesterday as I was roaming the aisles of Target picking up the essentials (faux-Birks and loose tanks, as one does), I decided to try out a few new paints from Handmade Modern. I had a few crafty projects in mind and I couldn’t wait to get started!

DIY Painted Bags | Ann-Marie Loves

A few years ago, I purchased a handful of these small zippered bags from the dollar section at Target with the intention of using them to hold bridesmaid gifts. But as it turned out, I was never able to collect all six, so those plans were thwarted (sorry b-maids) and they’ve been sitting in my craft stash ever since. However, when armed with new paint and a need to corral Briar’s stuff in my backpack, I was able to turn those bags into something usable!

DIY Painted Bags | Ann-Marie Loves

To paint the bags, I used a mix of small brushes and different patterns. I allowed each side plenty of time to dry before I flipped them over and painted a similar pattern on the back of each respective bag. Super simple.

DIY Painted Bags | Ann-Marie Loves

Let me just say, I’m kind of thrilled that loose + free-form is where the current style trends are pointing to because I have never been one for straight lines. (There’s nothing that kills my creative mojo more than having to use a ruler!) I’ve also been making a concerted effort to just experiment strictly for the sake of experimentation. The more I can play around without any preconceived notions, the more fun it is to craft!

DIY Painted Bags | Ann-Marie Loves

Even Briar wanted to get in on the action, by slyly dipping her hands in my black paint when I looked down for half a second…!  Ay yi yi. But I guess it just goes to show that she’s a girl after my own heart ;)

 

upcycled ribbon spool turned wall hanging.

Posted on: Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Upcycled Ribbon Spool-Turned-Wall Hanging | Ann-Marie Loves

The other day, John was recounting just how upset I was when I first discovered that our Utah apartment did not have a recycling bin on the premises. I had totally forgotten about that! To combat the issue, I kept a huge box of recyclables in our place and then when it was full, I would force John to help me take them to a recycling center a few miles away. It was a major hassle, but it pained me more to throw away anything that I know can be recycled, or even better, upcycled. You can take the girl out of California…

So recently, as I neared the end of a spool of Dear Lizzy baker’s twine, I knew just how to give it new life.

Upcycled Ribbon Spool-Turned-Wall Hanging | Ann-Marie Loves

To begin, I pulled the labels off of the baker’s twine spool using an xacto knife.

Upcycled Ribbon Spool-Turned-Wall Hanging | Ann-Marie Loves

Next, I took baker’s twine from a different spool and wrapped it all the way around the spool until it was completely covered.

Upcycled Ribbon Spool-Turned-Wall Hanging | Ann-Marie Loves

From there, I busted out my Cuttlebug and cut out feathers using a nesting die and a few sheets of Daydreamer paper.

Upcycled Ribbon Spool-Turned-Wall Hanging | Ann-Marie Loves

Once I had the feathers cut out, I tied long strands of baker’s twine to each shape.

Upcycled Ribbon Spool-Turned-Wall Hanging | Ann-Marie Loves

Finally, I tied each strand to the upcycled ribbon spool and hung it in Briar’s room! Easy to make and easy on the environment.

infant crafting | ziploc bag painting.

Posted on: Thursday, May 7, 2015

Infant Crafting | Ziploc Bag Painting | Ann-Marie Loves

You guys. The day I have been dreaming of since I first saw two faint lines on a pregnancy test has finally come! (Well, kind of.) Yesterday I introduced Briar to the wonderful world of crafting! Truth be told, she wasn’t as excited about it as I was (CLEARLY), but I intend to slowly wear her down until she becomes my little crafting sidekick. #persistence

Infant Crafting | Ziploc Bag Painting | Ann-Marie Loves

A few weeks ago, my good friend Angie posted a photo of her infant daughter “painting” through a Ziploc bag and I knew I wanted to try it out with Briar as well! The supplies are about as basic as they come: cardstock, various craft paints, Ziploc bags, and scissors.

Infant Crafting | Ziploc Bag Painting | Ann-Marie Loves

Place a sheet of cardstock in the bag (I folded a sheet in half, like a greeting card) and squeeze in a few drops of paint. Make sure the bag is completely sealed and then let your little one mash it up as much as they want! I used two different shades of yellow and two different shades of pink to build on the visual interest, but I’m pretty sure I was the only one that cared about that (ha!). Briar was far more concerned about trying to pull the red fasteners off of the bags ;)

Infant Crafting | Ziploc Bag Painting | Ann-Marie Loves

Once the masterpieces are complete, carefully take them out of the bags and let them dry.

Infant Crafting | Ziploc Bag Painting | Ann-Marie Loves

After Briar’s artwork was dry, I cut them in half and taped them up to the wall above her crib for her to admire.

Infant Crafting | Ziploc Bag Painting | Ann-Marie Loves

As you can see, she was very proud of herself ;)

how to do disneyland with an infant | part two.

Posted on: Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Yesterday I shared my best tips for bringing an infant to Disneyland and today I’m sharing the details of what I pack for my seven month old.

How to Do Disneyland with an Infant | What to Pack | Ann-Marie Loves

Food + Supplies. Like I mentioned before, Briar is now at the age where we can alternate nursing with feeding her solid foods. The combination of the two makes for a pretty smooth Disneyland day. For a seven month old, I pack a sandwich-sized Ziploc bag of Cheerios, a banana, and a small bowl and spoon. The Cheerios are great for keeping her entertained while the adults eat or we wait in line. The banana is great for multiple meals throughout the day (I only cut off a small portion each time, mix it up in her bowl with a little water, and feed it to her with a spoon). I chose a banana over other fruits and vegetables because it comes in it’s own container, doesn’t need to be refrigerated, and can be easily mashed up. I also pack a small sippy cup that I fill with a little bit of water so she has something to drink when eating solids. And then of course, I bring two bibs, because it’s easier than changing her outfit fourteen times a day.

How to Do Disneyland with an Infant | What to Pack | Ann-Marie Loves

Toiletries + “Just In Case” Supplies. The thing about babies is, you never really know what they’re going to do while at Disneyland. Will they have gas? Will they soil their clothes within the first five minutes? Will they (god forbid) get sick? Since I’m never sure what’s coming down the pike, I like to come prepared. For a full day at Disneyland, I bring a minimum of ten diapers and a travel-size pack of wipes. I keep these necessities (as well as a waterproof changing matsunscreen, and a million pacifiers) in a small zip bag that I throw in my backpack since I’m usually the one that takes Briar to the restroom.

How to Do Disneyland with an Infant | What to Pack | Ann-Marie Loves

In addition to the immediate necessities, I pack a nose bulb, Boogie Wipes, gas drops, and Tylenol. Since I hope not to use these things but still like to have them on hand, I put them in a Ziploc bag and keep it in John’s backpack (where all of our non-immediate items hang out). I should also mention that I always have a bottle of Babyganics hand sanitizer in the pocket of our stroller caddy, because, well, GERMS.

P.S. In case you forget any of these items of simply don’t want to bring them, you can always purchase them through the Baby Care Center on Main Street.

How to Do Disneyland with an Infant | What to Pack | Ann-Marie Loves

Clothes. So here’s the part of the packing where I inevitably lose track of time…baby clothes are just too cute! For a warm day at Disneyland, I bring two extra onesies, two pairs of leggings, a sweater or sweatshirt, extra socks, pajamas, a floppy hat, and sunglasses. I like to keep Briar’s outfits as fuss-free as possible, so I avoid anything with too many snaps or buttons. If I’m really on my game, I’ll change Briar into her pajamas before we head home so the transition from car seat to crib is as seamless as possible. I should also mention that I always pack at least two plastic bags (shopping or Ziploc) in case any items of clothing get wet…or worse (EEK).

How to Do Disneyland with an Infant | What to Pack | Ann-Marie Loves

Carrier. I have a Boba wrap (shown above) and an Ergo and I honestly love them both equally. The Boba would be great if you want to pack light and plan on wearing your baby most of the day, so you don’t have to tie / untie the several yards of fabric over and over again. That’s what I used when Briar was two months old and just a tiny little thing. On the other hand, the Ergo is perfect if you plan on keeping your baby in the stroller during the majority of your trip since it can be easily taken on / off and stashed in the stroller storage compartment when not in use. I also find that it’s much easier to nurse in an Ergo than a wrap because I can loosen the straps quickly and snap the hood in place for extra privacy. No matter which carrier you prefer, this is one of the most important items you can bring to ensure a successful day at Disneyland.

How to Do Disneyland with an Infant | What to Pack | Ann-Marie Loves

Toys. Disneyland is bright! And colorful! And stimulating! But sometimes it’s nice to have some familiarity on hand to keep your baby from completely losing her mind. I always bring Briar a handful of her favorite toys, but the clincher is, they have to be able to hook on to her stroller by way of this wonderful teething necklace. Not only do the toys remain in her stroller (and not on the ground), but she can also chew on the beads and soothe those poor little gums.

With a little planning and prep work, taking an infant to Disneyland is completely doable! I cannot recommend it enough!

how to do disneyland with an infant | part one.

Posted on: Monday, March 30, 2015

How to Do Disneyland with an Infant | Ann-Marie Loves

I know, I know. The thought of taking an infant to an overpriced, overcrowded, overstimulating environment makes some people break out in hives. I totally get it. But I can also confirm that despite all of those things, it is 100% WORTH it. I’m a big believer in taking Briar (almost) everywhere I go, and as a result, she’s become my laid back, highly adaptable co-pilot.

Here are a few things I’ve learned about taking an infant to Disneyland:

How to Do Disneyland with an Infant | Ann-Marie Loves

Plan meals ahead of time. Briar is now at a perfect stage where I can alternate nursing with solid foods, which makes the whole day so much easier than when I had to stop and nurse her every two hours. For a half day with a seven month old, I packed one banana (along with a small bowl and a baby spoon) and a Ziploc bag of Cheerios. Both of those foods lasted quite some time and kept Briar thoroughly entertained and satiated. I also packed a sippy cup that I would fill with water so she could take a few sips (slash pour the rest all over the place) whenever she had a solid food meal or snack.

How to Do Disneyland with an Infant | Ann-Marie Loves

Bring the stroller AND the carrier (and grandma). When it comes to getting around and keeping your baby happy, you need options. Now that Briar is old enough to sit up and face forward in her stroller, it’s like a whole new world for her (and me!). We have a Britax B-Agile which I absolutely love because it’s lightweight, folds up easily, the seat can be adjusted upright or laid down with a simple pull, and the shade is huge (meaning my pale baby is safe from the sun / given privacy during naps). The stroller does the bulk of the work throughout the day, but when it comes to taking Briar on rides, nursing her on the go (it can be done!), or calming her when she’s fussy, that’s when the carrier comes in handy. I usually bring the Ergo, but I also love the Boba wrap as well. However, if I’m being honest, the best transportation of all is in the arms of Nana…always bring Nana ;)

How to Do Disneyland with an Infant | Ann-Marie Loves

Skip the tram and walk. If ever given the choice to walk or ride, I always walk, because, well, I just like walking. However, this is particularly handy when you have a stroller in tow. The walk from the parking structure to the park gates is approximately 10-15 minutes and is much easier (in my opinion) than waiting in line for the front seats of the tram and having to fold / unfold your stroller. Consider it your warm-up for the walking marathon you are about to embark upon.

How to Do Disneyland with an Infant | Ann-Marie Loves

Take advantage of the Baby Care Center. This place is amazing. There’s a private nursing area with comfy chairs, there’s a diaper changing station, there are high chairs, there’s a place to store your pump…Disney has thoroughly thought out the baby situation. I think my favorite part about it is being able to sit in a quiet, air-conditioned space with my little one, free from any distractions. Other great (semi-private) places to nurse: Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, the train, the back corner of Hungry Bear Restaurant, the Haunted Mansion, or any ride that you can wear your baby in a carrier.

How to Do Disneyland with an Infant | Ann-Marie Loves

Bring comfort items. Since Disneyland can be incredibly stimulating, it’s nice to have comfort items at the ready for when your little one needs a reprieve. I always make sure that we have several pacifiers on hand (at least half of them end up on the ground), small toys that can be attached to the stroller, and a few lightweight blankets for nap time. Whenever Briar has had enough, I’ll take her to the Baby Care Center for a little peace and quiet or I’ll lay her in her stroller and pull the shades down so some of the noise and lights are blocked.

How to Do Disneyland with an Infant | Ann-Marie Loves

Ride those rides! There are SO many rides you can actually take babies on. I have had an annual pass for years and I had no idea how many rides babies could board! I’m not just talking about Fantasyland rides, I’m talking about the Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean, and any others that do not have a height restriction. The other great feature Disneyland offers for parents of babies is a Rider Switch Pass. Let’s say you and your significant other want to ride Space Mountain: you simply request a Rider Switch Pass when you get in line and then both of you can alternate riding with watching the baby. Win win, right?

How to Do Disneyland with an Infant | Ann-Marie Loves

Pack lightly. Babies require a lot of stuff; the packing list alone can be intimidating! But it’s important to keep in mind that if you bring too much into the park, you’ll spend the whole day schlepping big bags in and out of crowds and lines and tight spaces, and really, that’s a huge buzz kill. After a handful of trips to Disneyland with Briar, I think I’ve finally figured out what works best for John and me: I bring my everyday bag (similar to this) to carry all the immediate essentials (diapers, wipes, pacifiers) and John brings a bigger backpack to carry the less immediate essentials (spare clothes, the camera, a bowl + spoon for Briar). We also utilize the storage underneath the stroller for bulky items, like the Ergo or our sweatshirts. Whenever we need to park the stroller to get in a ride line, we don’t worry about leaving anything behind because we keep almost everything on our person already. If you want to carry even less, you can always rent a locker or store extras in your car for later. (Tomorrow I’ll share all the details of what I pack!)

How to Do Disneyland with an Infant | Ann-Marie Loves

Roll with it. I’ve decided that you can look at bringing babies along to Disneyland in one of two ways: you can either look at it as a major hassle OR you can choose see it as a wonderful adventure for the whole family! I choose to view it through the latter perspective. There’s a lot of prep work that goes on, but it’s always worth it in the end! (Plus, babies are free until they’re three!)

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!

valentine’s cards using digital brushes.

Posted on: Friday, February 13, 2015

Simple Valentines Cards Using Digital Brushes + Free Download! | Ann-Marie Loves

Valentine’s Day has always been a favorite of mine, significant other or not. I love the candy (heart-shaped Sweet Tarts, what what!), I love that everything is pink + red, and I love love love the paper goods. Since I am big on ideas but short on free time these days, I decided to go as simple as possible with my V-Day cards. Less is most definitely more.

Simple Valentines Cards Using Digital Brushes + Free Download! | Ann-Marie Loves

Thanks to Photoshop, I was able to take a recent photo of Briar, make it pink, and add a few phrases (that I turned into digital brushes!) to pull it all together. Then I printed them out, sliced them up, and glued the fronts to the backs…all before Briar woke up from her nap. Bingo bango bongo.

Simple Valentines Cards Using Digital Brushes + Free Download! | Ann-Marie Loves

Simple Valentines Cards Using Digital Brushes + Free Download! | Ann-Marie Loves

If you enjoy a good eleventh hour holiday crafting sesh like myself, feel free to download these digital brushes for yourself! Happy love day, everyone!

P.S. Other holiday digital brushes found here!

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