cold brew date shake.

Posted on: Friday, August 4, 2017

Iced Coffee Date Shake | Ann-Marie Loves

I used to be able to get by on one cup of coffee a day. Then I had Briar and it got bumped up to at least two cups a day. Then I had Landon and it turned into a freaking free-for-all. Most days, I’ll drink two cups of hot coffee in the morning and then a cup of cold brew in the afternoon and I love it so much. I do have to say that there is nothing quite as good as that first cup in AM, especially when it doesn’t need to be reheated several times. All subsequent cups are good but not as amazing as that first hit of caffeine after five hours of interrupted sleep.

Needless to say, I’m always on the hunt for new ways to make my coffee habit even better. Now that we’re in the thick of summer, I like experimenting with different cold brew recipes and was so excited when I had dates on hand and could finally try “The Speed Dater” recipe from this video.

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birthday paper chain.

Posted on: Thursday, August 3, 2017

Birthday Chain for An Almost-Three Year Old | Ann-Marie Loves

A certain almost-three year is excited about her upcoming birthday. VERY EXCITED. We’ve been talking about her birthday party for months and she has made it crystal clear that it needs to be based around two things: rhinos and rainbows. (Yep, you read that correctly).

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as of late | july edition.

Posted on: Friday, July 21, 2017

As of Late | July Edition | Ann-Marie Loves

Going on weekly walks with my BFF. It’s so nice to have time with her each week while we try to beat our 10k step goal on our Fitbits!

Speaking of Fitbits, I recently got back into the habit of using mine (after being dormant for monthsssssss) and I LOVE IT. (More about that in a future post!)

Requiring two cups of coffee every morning to get going these days. My kids are my alarm clock and I need that double caffeine hit to think straight!

Wearing Landon on my back for a good chunk of everyday…all 24 pounds of him! Thank goodness for sturdy baby carriers! (This one is my personal fave.)

Attempting to keep a good attitude about these long, sweaty summer months. I hate being overheated but at least I’m not massively pregnant like I was at this time last year!

Listening to this album on repeat, especially this song and this song. Here’s another album in constant rotation.

Trying rosé in a can…and liking it!

Loving my gig as blogger / photographer for Pacific Play Tents.

Bingeing on Pete Holmes,’ You Made It Weird, for several weeks now. I love conversational podcasts and I think Pete is so relatable. I also LOVE anything from The Alison Show.

Going on lots of fun photo shoots, including this one with The Girls With Glasses!

Enjoying our second lap around The Office series on Netflix every night. I know there are so many new shows we should be watching but this one just feels right.

Washing my hair daily. Ha! Just kidding! Dry shampoo is LIFE. I just bought this brand at Target and I really like it!

Challenging myself to go a whole day without worrying. It’s my default mental state and I’m trying to create new grooves in my brain to overrule my natural tendencies.

diy paint splatter iphone case.

Posted on: Thursday, June 22, 2017

DIY Paint Splatter iPhone Case | Ann-Marie Loves

Buckle up, you guys. This just might be my easiest, most self-explanatory DIY ever, yet I persist!

So a little back story: I was browsing Moglea’s website and trying my hardest not to buy one of everything, especially this gorgeous iPhone case! It was love at first sight and I had to have it! Sadly, I have a vintage iPhone SE (it’s not that dilapidated! come on!) so when I went to make the purchase, I was SOL. Womp, womp. Needless to say, I found a little workaround. It’s not as cool as Moglea’s version but it gets the job done for those of us whose cells are so uncool that we might as well be using flip phones (Razr, anyone?).

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cambria with two kids.

Posted on: Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Cambria with Two Kids | Ann-Marie Loves

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

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oh, hi!

Posted on: Monday, May 8, 2017

Ann-Marie Loves

Oh, hi! It’s been a minute.

I promise I haven’t abandoned this place altogether! I’ve penned several posts in my head, but actually finding the time to sit down and write them out…well, life keeps getting in the way. I recently picked up a new gig as the photographer / blogger for Pacific Play Tents and it has been such a fun change of pace! I am so excited to be part of an amazing company and I am enjoying every minute of this new experience. That being said, I’m still learning how to juggle my growing workload with my growing family. There’s certainly no such thing as balance. I get most of my work done after the kids go to bed, catch up on e-mails well past midnight, and squeeze in a few workouts somewhere in there, but I feel happy. I’m doing something that I love and it’s paying the bills.

So life is good. I’ve got lots to tell you! xo

tips for staying on top of the mess.

Posted on: Thursday, April 13, 2017

Tips for Keeping a Clean House With Little Ones | Ann-Marie Loves x Lemi Shine

It’s not the dirty diapers. It’s not the crying jags. It’s not the lack of sleep (okay, it’s kind of the lack of sleep). My biggest hang up about being a mom of two little ones is the messes! Oh em gee, you guys, everyday is a struggle to stay on top of the toddler tornado. We live in a small space so if we don’t rein in the clutter and clean up after ourselves, this tiny little house can look like a disaster in 0.2 seconds.

Thankfully, Lemi Shine reached out to me again (read my first post here!) and totally inspired me to streamline my routine and give this this house a serious spring cleaning! While I am certainly no expert and could use allllll the help I can get, I have learned a thing or two about what works for me when it comes to keeping a clean house. In partnership with Lemi Shine, I’m here to share some of my top tips for staying on top of the daily mess:

Tips for Keeping a Clean House With Little Ones | Ann-Marie Loves x Lemi Shine

Prioritize. My mom instilled in me one very helpful life lesson: there can be dishes in the sink, there can be a mountain of laundry on the bed, but COME HELL OR HIGH WATER, the bathroom will be spotless. There are no two ways about it. Because of this hard fast truth, I always begin my cleaning routine by grabbing Lemi Shine’s Glass + Surface Cleaner and wiping down the bathroom counters, making sure the mirrors are free of water spots, and scrubbing the toilet. I’ll also swap out the towels and make sure they are hanging evenly on the towel rack (OCD at it’s finest!). From there, I’ll work outwards and clean up other high traffic areas, including the kitchen, the living room, and the dining room.

Tips for Keeping a Clean House With Little Ones | Ann-Marie Loves x Lemi Shine

Tips for Keeping a Clean House With Little Ones | Ann-Marie Loves x Lemi Shine

Recruit help. 2.5 has been an interesting age, to say the least. One day my toddler is sweet as can be and other days she’s…not. I’m trying my hardest to channel my inner Janet Lansbury and allow Briar to have both the space and the boundaries that she craves, but man! Easier said than done. However, when we are in the midst of a difficult moment, I’ve learned that I can turn it around on a dime if I ask Briar to help me with a task — any task. In fact, she loves being a helper, whether it’s something as small as grabbing a diaper for Landon or something as big as helping me cook dinner. This usually means a task will take twice as long to get completed than if I were to just do it myself but it’s so worth it when I can see it building Briar’s self esteem and empowering her to make her own decisions. Plus, it’s nice to have extra help!

Tips for Keeping a Clean House With Little Ones | Ann-Marie Loves x Lemi Shine

Thankfully I feel great about letting Briar help me clean up with Lemi Shine products since they are made of 100% natural citric acids and are free of any harsh chemicals or toxins. I’ll squirt a little bit of Everyday Cleaner on a rag and have her wipe down tables and dressers and even the floor! She takes her job very seriously.

Tips for Keeping a Clean House With Little Ones | Ann-Marie Loves x Lemi Shine

This stuff works like a dream.

Tips for Keeping a Clean House With Little Ones | Ann-Marie Loves x Lemi Shine

Tips for Keeping a Clean House With Little Ones | Ann-Marie Loves x Lemi Shine

Do what you can. I often hear this Teddy Roosevelt quote echoing in my head: “do what you can with what you have where you are.” It’s a simple adage, but man, it rings so true as a working mom who also would like to have an occasional moment to myself. I feel like I’m always ten steps behind of schedule but I’m slowly learning that I CAN make things happen if I just use small pockets of time to tackle tasks. If I have fifteen minutes, I’ll throw Landon on my back like a baby sloth (thank goodness for Ergos!) and clean up a single room instead of feeling like I have to clean the WHOLE house or nothing at all.

Tips for Keeping a Clean House With Little Ones | Ann-Marie Loves x Lemi Shine

Tips for Keeping a Clean House With Little Ones | Ann-Marie Loves x Lemi Shine

I also try to multitask whenever possible, so I’ll unload the dishwasher while I wait for the oven to heat up, or I’ll wipe down the bathroom counter while I supervise bathtime. Everyone has fifteen minutes to spare so use those time slots to your advantage!

Tips for Keeping a Clean House With Little Ones | Ann-Marie Loves x Lemi Shine

Create a routine. One of my favorite tips for keeping the house clean is to build non-negotiables into my everyday routine. For me, this means doing laundry and running the dishwasher every single day. I know this sounds like a lot, but I promise it’s not that hard when it becomes a habit! One of my proudest clean freak strategies is my laundry maintenance. Every night I throw a load of laundry into the washing machine and fold the load as soon as it comes out of the dryer. This way I never have a mountain of laundry to deal with AND our clothes don’t get wrinkled. Truth be told, I don’t mind folding clothes and hanging them up. There’s something about the act of making neat piles and having an organized closet that makes me feel like I have a tiny bit of control over my life. At the end of every week, I’ll run a regular cleaning cycle with Lemi Shine’s Washing Machine Cleaner to remove hard water build up and any funky odors.

Tips for Keeping a Clean House With Little Ones | Ann-Marie Loves x Lemi Shine

I also have a rock solid dishwasher routine that helps to keep our tiny kitchen clean and ready for the next meal. Every night before bed, I load the dishwasher and let it run while we are sleeping. Then in the morning (or early afternoon, depending upon how insane our morning is), I’ll unload it. I also like to encourage everyone to put their dirty dishes and silverware directly into the dishwasher instead of letting them sit in the sink (unless they need to be soaked, of course). Much like my laundry routine, I also use Lemi Shine’s Dishwasher Cleaner every 1-2 weeks to keep our dishwasher in tip top shape and ensure that our dishes get squeaky clean.

Tips for Keeping a Clean House With Little Ones | Ann-Marie Loves x Lemi Shine

High five to clean living!

Be sure to check out Lemi Shine’s website to learn more about their products, find stores near you that carry their products, and best of all, redeem discounts to try the products for yourself! Happy Spring Cleaning!

This post was sponsored by Lemi Shine, but all opinions, ideas, and photos are my own.

as of late | april edition.

Posted on: Thursday, April 6, 2017

As of Late | April Edition | Ann-Marie Loves

Listening to this song NONSTOP. I even purchased it on iTunes which is something I haven’t done in a million years because Spotify, obvs. Also, this video is so fun!

Feeling so pumped for Briar to start preschool this Fall! I signed her up this week and I’ve been buzzing with excitement ever since.

Going to the gym again (first time in a year!) and feeling super out of shape but so happy to be taking my favorite classes. I forgot how much I NEED a physical outlet to keep me sane.

Rewatching The Office with John and loving it all over again.

Wearing lots of bralettes these days. Underwire is overrated!

Making a mental note to write an updated list of my favorite podcasts. There are so many new ones to add to the mix, including The Cookbook Deal and Missing Richard Simmons!

Recording little videos for my upcoming YouTube channel! Ahhh, I can’t wait to share!

Editing hundreds of photos this week and loving, loving, loving it. The local hills are alive right now and make all of my recent photo shoots look INCREDIBLE.

Gathering little things to put in my little ones’ Easter baskets. That Target dollar spot gets me every time.

Looking for a new foundation to wear and have heard really good things about this one. Has anyone tried it? Is it worth the money?

Painting my nails (in Sonic Bloom — my wedding color!) as I type this post.

Realizing that I use the word “so” SO OFTEN. Ha!

diy no-sew nursing cover.

Posted on: Tuesday, April 4, 2017

DIY No-Sew Nursing Cover | Ann-Marie Loves

Let the record show that six months is my favorite infant age. It’s the BEST. I remember loving this age with Briar and I am enjoying it all over again with Landon. They’re just so squishy and interactive but not too mobile yet. I am trying my hardest to savor this sweet spot (and every spot!) of infanthood since I am all too aware of how fast it’s going to fly.

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landon’s birth announcements.

Posted on: Friday, March 24, 2017

Landon's Birth Announcements | Ann-Marie Loves x Minted

When I was little and imagined being an adult with my own family, I had a very clear vision of what it would look like.

First of all, I would live in a two story house (stairs were a MUST). Secondly, I would definitely have a swimming pool WITH a twisty slide, because, obviously. I also envisioned bunk beds in my kids’ rooms, a big SUV with a dog hanging out the window, and a cool street address that ended in “Road” or “Court” (specific AF, I know!). There would be colorful family photos all over the house, the fridge would always be stocked with good snacks, oh, and we would DEFINITELY have a trampoline in our backyard! (I asked for a trampoline every holiday of my life and never got one…some dreams die hard.) Finally, I always imagined putting together cards for various occasions: Christmas cards, birthday invitations, and my favorite, baby announcements!

Landon's Birth Announcements | Ann-Marie Loves x Minted

So now that I’m a grown adult, I’ve gotten to live out part of my childhood fantasy by designing birth announcements for two babes! When it came time to order Landon’s announcements, I chose this simple hand-lettered style from Minted. It was kind of a no-brainer; I wanted the photo of him in his now-too-small bear suit to be the focal point and the type to play a supporting role.

Landon's Birth Announcements | Ann-Marie Loves x Minted

Addressing the envelopes is one of my favorite parts of the paper correspondence process. The tricky part is finding the right pen. For these shimmery taupe cards, I used a good old fashioned Sharpie to get the job done without any smearing or smudging. Mission accomplished!

Landon's Birth Announcements | Ann-Marie Loves x Minted

Here’s one of my favorite things that Minted offers: customizable postage stamps! I know I’m 1000% biased and think Landon is the cutest thing ever but I have never seen such adorable stamps in my life! His tiny little face on these tiny little stickers is just too good.

Landon's Birth Announcements | Ann-Marie Loves x Minted

Each child gets all of our milestone cards in their baby albums, including birth announcements of their siblings. Hopefully Briar takes after me and saves all the cute cards!

Landon's Birth Announcements | Ann-Marie Loves x Minted

It’s almost like my 9 year old self could see into the future. Even though I still don’t have a two story house and a swimming pool WITH a twisty slide, my obsession with paper goods + photos lives on!

If you’re in the market for well-designed cards for any occasion, I highly recommend Minted!

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