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!

first time for everything.

Posted on: Monday, March 16, 2015

First Time for Everything | Ann-Marie Loves
First Time for Everything | Ann-Marie Loves
First Time for Everything | Ann-Marie Loves
First Time for Everything | Ann-Marie Loves

There are the big milestones in every baby’s life…first time rolling over, first tooth, first word…and then there are the smaller but equally as exciting milestones. This past weekend Briar was able to experience the latter: she encountered sand at the beach for the first time! And in true carefree Briar fashion, she totally loved it (the loud crashing waves, however? not so much ;)). Seeing the world through her eyes is so rewarding! Everyday is a cause for celebration around here.

why i love babywearing.

Posted on: Thursday, March 12, 2015

Why I Love Babywearing | Ann-Marie Loves

Babywearing has been a total joy for me and Briar. I think I always knew it would be a handy, but I didn’t realize just how much I would love it.

When Briar was a tiny thing, I used my Boba wrap to keep her securely snuggled next to me. Not only did the wrap make it easy for me to get things done while holding her, it also facilitated plenty of skin-to-skin time…so amazing! Then, as she got a little bigger and gained better head and neck control (around 3 months), I found the Ergo to be the appropriate carrier since I could put it on and take it off much faster than the wrap.

Why I Love Babywearing | Ann-Marie Loves

There are so many perks to wearing Briar versus buckling her into the stroller or carrying her in my arms. For one, it’s a million times easier to get through a crowded place (Trader Joe’s, I’m looking at you) sans bulky stroller. Then there’s the whole germ aspect. When she’s snuggled against me, I can limit her exposure to other people and their germs (this was especially helpful during the recent measles outbreak!). And then, of course, there are many times when she’s fussy or I just want her near me, so I’ll put her in the Ergo and we’re both happy. It’s amazing how mutually beneficial the experience is!

Why I Love Babywearing | Ann-Marie Loves

Lately, as we near Briar’s bedtime and she needs that extra bit of help to fall asleep, I’ll buckle her into the Ergo as I clean up the house, brush my teeth, and get us both ready for bed. Usually that’s all it takes to put her fast asleep. Those ten to fifteen minutes of quiet time are some of the best moments of my day.

There are so many simple pleasures that I’ve discovered since becoming a mom and babywearing is certainly at the top of the list!

as of late | march edition.

Posted on: Wednesday, March 11, 2015

As of Late | March Edition | Ann-Marie Loves

Living vicariously through Briar as she lays under the disco ball in her cozy new teepee. I want one of my own!

Working on taxes. Which really means, finding any and every excuse under the sun to put them off for another five minutes…

Smiling as I listen to Briar hum herself to sleep. So precious.

Listening to a few new-to-me podcasts, including Hope*ologie, Sarah R Bagley, and Raise Your Hand Say Yes. (What are you listening to?)

Craving a latte from Lavender + Honey. If you’re ever in Pasadena, you HAVE to go there!

Applauding Emily Henderson’s new advice column on lessons she has learned the hard way. I looooove people that can keep it real and talk about their mistakes. Let’s learn from each other!

Thinking Briar needs this shirt. Heart and Soleil!

Agreeing with this post. Wholeheartedly.

Missing Pasadena, but loving being close to family. Briar and I ran into my mom at Target the other day and it reassured me that I made the right choice.

Loving Oh Joy’s final video in her “Dress the Bump” series. Clothing a post-baby bod is no joke…! (Also, I am so pumped about her forthcoming book!)

Finding so many great Instagram accounts to follow these days! (Who are your favorite ‘grammers?)

Looking forward to introducing Briar to swimming! Partly because I know she will love it, but mainly because I can’t wait to see her cute little self in tiny swimsuits!

Needing a massage. Dead lifting babies all day isn’t doing my back any favors.

Compiling a list of blog post topics! I’ve been a little MIA lately, but now that my schedule is clearing a bit, I’m looking forward to diving back into it! xo

bedside basket for baby.

Posted on: Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Bedside Basket for Baby | Ann-Marie Loves

Before I had Briar, I made a huge checklist of all things I needed to purchase and pull together prior to her arrival. There was a crib to assemble. A closet to organize. A car seat to install. A diaper bag to pack. These were all necessities, of course, but the most useful things came as a result of living with a nocturnal, ever-hungry, spit-up baby.

Case in point: the bedside basket.

Bedside Basket for Baby | Ann-Marie Loves

When Briar was a newborn and I had to wake her every 2-3 hours for a feeding, I was a bit of a zombie. I savored any amount of sleep I could get, which often meant we kept weird hours in bed (think late nights and early afternoons…!). As a result, the only way I was able to get up for 3 am feedings was knowing that I had a tasty snack waiting for me…Lara bars and apples were a mainstay. I quickly realized that not only was it handy to have these nearby for late night energy, but they were great to have by my bed for a breakfast snack in the morning (er, early afternoon). I also stashed a handful of burp rags, a few diapers, an extra swaddle blanket, and 5 million pacifiers in the basket as well.

Bedside Basket for Baby | Ann-Marie Loves

Now that she’s six months old and sleeps in her own room (but comes in our room for feedings), the basket contents have slightly changed. These days I keep a video monitor, a couple of quiet(ish) books and toys for entertaining her while I try to sneak in a little extra sleep in the morning, a burp rag or two, a few diapers, a nose bulb, and of course, a small stash of pacifiers. It’s so great having all the essentials corralled nicely within arm’s reach.

Bedside Basket for Baby | Ann-Marie Loves

Getting out of bed is overrated.

clearly kelly projects.

Posted on: Monday, March 2, 2015

A few months ago, Kelly Purkey asked me if I would be interested in creating a few projects with her impeccably designed line with Hero Arts. Uhh, heck yeah. No need to ask me twice!

Ann-Marie Espinoza | Layouts Using Clearly Kelly

For this 8 x 8″ page (fun size, btw!), I used the Daily Life stamp set, the best black ink pad ever, and a photo from my wedding (the gift that keeps on giving!).

Ann-Marie Espinoza | Layouts Using Clearly Kelly

I also added a little extra texture by lightly spraying the background with pink mist. Oh, and then I totally dropped the black ink pad onto the layout (insert expletives here), but alas, I’ll survive ;)

Ann-Marie Espinoza | Layouts Using Clearly Kelly

For the second project, I created a two page spread using the Take Note stamp set, Capture page protectors, and some of my favorite papers from the Spice Market and Second City collections.

Ann-Marie Espinoza | Layouts Using Clearly Kelly

Yay for crafting! I need more of that in my life.

workspace wednesday | sharing + boundaries.

Posted on: Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Ann-Marie Loves

Last week Elise and I discussed establishing boundaries. Boundaries between work life + personal life. Boundaries between what to share publicly vs. what to keep to ourselves. Boundaries between listening to outside opinions vs. going with our gut. It’s the kind of topic that we could easily have discussed for hours on end! As I re-listened to the episode (and p.s., is there anything more cringeworthy than hearing your own voice?!), all I could think was, no matter how much or how little each person on this planet wants to share, I love that we have the ability to share our stories. I love that we have the ability to determine our own personal boundaries. And I love that as we evolve and grow, we can always change where the boundary line is drawn.

The past year or so has made my head spin and I’ve had one heck of a time getting focused. There have been countless days where I’ve felt completely lost and overwhelmed by all that I’ve taken on and all that I still have ahead of me. It’s exhausting being your own worst enemy, isn’t it? Luckily, just when I think I’m the last person in the world who doesn’t have her shit together, I am reminded that I am not the only one. Far from it, actually. Thanks to people who are willing to share their stories, be it through podcasts, blogs, or books, I find comfort and camaraderie amongst strangers. There is tremendous peace to be found in others’ perspectives.

Right now I’m reading an amazing book called Breathing Room and I find myself taking a screenshot of nearly every single page (Kindle app on my iPhone for the win!). There are so many passages from the book that are like permission slips for me to feel the way that I feel. Here’s one of my favorite quotes:

“Letting others in is a better way to live, even though it requires bringing down our defenses and allowing for the possibility that being seen and being known might be more meaningful than being in control.” – Leeana Tankersley

Sharing is caring, y’all. Thank you for letting me share slivers of my story with you. xo

 

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.

coveting for baby | etsy edition.

Posted on: Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Every now and then, I’ll fall down the Etsy rabbit hole and lose myself in shop after shop of handmade goodness. Unsurprisingly, I gravitate towards anything baby-related. What can I say? Briar is forever my favorite subject. Here are some of my recent favorite finds:

Coveting for Baby | Etsy Edition | Ann-Marie Loves

From left to right, top to bottom:

1. Woodland Animal Mobile. How amazing would this be over a crib or changing table? I know Briar would completely enthralled!

2. Bears Pattern Overnight Bag. This adorable bag would be perfect for stashing diapers on the go OR for a sturdy carrier for a night with Nana + Papa.

3. Bandana Bib. With Briar eating solid foods, it seems like we never have enough bibs to protect her clothes from the inevitable onslaught of avocado. This bib is such a great color and the bandana shape is just adorable.

4. The Slide. Such a sweet print that would fit any nursery.

5. Elephant Tissue Holder. Cold + flu season has never looked better.

6. Wonky Tree Wall Decal. I love a trend that a. ) doesn’t take itself too seriously, and b.) doesn’t require too much commitment . This fun + modern tree decal fits the bill perfectly

7. Wooden Doll Stroller. I can only hope that Briar will love her dolls the same way that I did as a child, and this mini stroller would be perfect for carting my old Molly + Samantha around the house.

8. Organic Baby Blanket. It’s official: one can never have too many lightweight swaddle blankets. Especially when they’re this stylish.

9. Personalized Family. Okay, forget about Briar…I want a set of handmade dolls that look like my little family! What an awesome concept.

 

P.S. Speaking of babies, I can’t stop watching this video from the weekend. Six month olds are the FUNNIEST.

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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