Entries Tagged as 'adventures'

honeymoon feature in the knot.

Posted on: Thursday, February 4, 2016

Pacific Northwest Honeymoon in The Knot | Ann-Marie Loves

Sometimes I feel a little self-conscious about how much I love color. The trend in recent years has been to be as monochromatic as possible. All the cool kids have super minimalist, black and white Instagram and Pinterest feeds, while I’m over here like GIVE ME ALL THE COLOR! I think this is part of why I’m still so surprised by how much people resonated with my wedding. There were many times during the planning process when I would pore over wedding blogs and think, “am I doing this right?” Is this going be a total disaster or a total success?” Luckily the latter turned out to be true, but trusting my own design and color inclinations above the noise of what was trendy or popular during the process was a big hurdle that I had to get over.

Pacific Northwest Honeymoon in The Knot | Ann-Marie Loves

The same anxiety crossed over into the honeymoon planning phase. It seemed like everyone went on a European adventure or lounged on a remote beach in a tropical location. As amazing as those trips sounded, they just weren’t jiving with the visions that John and I had for our own honeymoon. We spent months mulling over what we should do and we finally came to a conclusion when we got clear about what kind of experience was most in line with our values. Given the fact that we got married in the fall, we wanted an authentic autumn experience where we could wear cold weather clothes, drink really good coffee, see colorful leaves, and explore new-to-us towns together. We also didn’t want to spend a fortune or lose too many days in transit to and from our destination. So the Pacific Northwest it was! And hands down, it was the best week of our lives.

Pacific Northwest Honeymoon in The Knot | Ann-Marie Loves

I just want people to know that weddings and honeymoons don’t have to be a serious, over-the-top production. You don’t have to spend your life savings on a single day of your life (actually, I highly recommend that you DO NOT). You don’t have to follow traditions or do what everyone else is doing. If I can only offer one piece of advice, it’s this: do what feels right to you and your significant other. Everyone (and I mean EVERYONE) is going to have an opinion about what you should do and where you should go, but honestly, it’s your wedding and your honeymoon. Do what you want!

P.S. Our honeymoon was featured in the Spring issue of The Knot! You can read more about each of our honeymoon destinations here!

it never rains in california.

Posted on: Thursday, January 14, 2016

Briar in the Rain | Ann-Marie Loves

Last week we were lucky enough to enjoy a handful of storms that brought some much-needed water to our dry state of California. Given the fact that we rarely see rain in LA, I knew I had to seize the moment and let Briar experience a little weather in her life! So after breakfast, I put her coat and her shoes on over her PJs (no time to waste!) and we headed out back to find some puddles. And find puddles she did! Girl ran straight into the heart of the downpour, giggling and tilting her head back to catch rain drops in her mouth (I swear I didn’t teach her this!). Then she found some lemons and watched as the rain quickly washed the dirt off of them.

Briar in the Rain | Ann-Marie Loves
Briar in the Rain | Ann-Marie Loves
Briar in the Rain | Ann-Marie Loves

I’m so proud of her curious, adventure-loving nature. Her fearlessness may make me nervous from time to time, but it really is such a treat to watch her explore her world with such abandon. I wish I was as bold as Briar!
Briar in the Rain | Ann-Marie Loves
Briar in the Rain | Ann-Marie Loves
Briar in the Rain | Ann-Marie Loves
Briar in the Rain | Ann-Marie Loves

We played outside for about ten minutes before I brought her in and gave her a nice warm bath. I’ve always thought that rainy days were special, but now that I have a water-loving daughter, they’re downright magical. Bring it on, El Niño!

P.S. We ordered rain boots for the next downpour, should we ever see rain again ;)

birthday weekend in santa barbara.

Posted on: Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Birthday Weekend In Santa Barbara | Ann-Marie Loves

For my birthday, I only wanted one thing: a trip away with my husband sans baby. As much as I love Briar, I hadn’t spent a night apart from her since she was born so the thought of being baby-free was, well, all too appealing. And guess what? It was wonderful! Actually, it was one of the best birthdays I’ve ever had. Just me, my husband, and one of the prettiest cities in  the world. Briar spent the weekend with my parents and while John and I missed her terribly, it was exactly what we needed to reconnect as a couple.

Birthday Weekend In Santa Barbara | Ann-Marie LovesBirthday Weekend In Santa Barbara | Ann-Marie LovesBLOG3Birthday Weekend In Santa Barbara | Ann-Marie LovesBirthday Weekend In Santa Barbara | Ann-Marie LovesBirthday Weekend In Santa Barbara | Ann-Marie LovesBirthday Weekend In Santa Barbara | Ann-Marie LovesBirthday Weekend In Santa Barbara | Ann-Marie LovesBirthday Weekend In Santa Barbara | Ann-Marie LovesBirthday Weekend In Santa Barbara | Ann-Marie LovesBirthday Weekend In Santa Barbara | Ann-Marie LovesBirthday Weekend In Santa Barbara | Ann-Marie LovesBirthday Weekend In Santa Barbara | Ann-Marie LovesBirthday Weekend In Santa Barbara | Ann-Marie Loves

Some of the highlights include: coffee at The French Press, hot chocolate at Handlebar Coffee Roasters, seafood enchiladas and margaritas at Cava, shopping on State Street, brunch at Scarlett Begonia, and sunsets over the Pacific. If this weekend was any indication of what 29 will be like, then I am READY.

29.

Posted on: Tuesday, November 17, 2015

29 | Ann-Marie Loves

This past Sunday I turned twenty nine. TWENTY NINE. The final year of my twenties. In all honesty, I feel amazing…spectacular, even! Twenty eight was not my best year by a loooooong shot and I am more than happy to put it in the past and begin anew. But that’s not to say twenty eight was a complete bust; there were many beautiful moments, both big and small.

Here are 29 of my favorite moments from 28:

1. Briar sleeping through the night!
2. Enjoying the pumpkin patch at Underwood Farms.
3. Working twice a week with Amy.
4. Many Disneyland adventures.
5. Honey bee lattes on the regular.
6. Discovering so many amazing podcasts! My favorites from the past year are The Girl Next Door, Totally Mommy, and Call Your Girlfriend.
7. Friday night dates with my husband.
8. Having family nearby again.
9. Deciding to pursue what I’ve been wanting to do all along…photography!
10. Learning how to forgive myself. (Still working on that one.)
11. Being a part of my dear friend’s gorgeous wedding at Hummingbird Nest Ranch.
12. Taking all the Zumba classes again! I’m just as in love with it now as I was three years ago.
13. Feeling my heart burst as I watch Briar reach so many milestones with aplomb. She’s such an amazing little girl, I can’t believe she’s mine!
14. Reading this book.
15. Taking a weekend trip to San Diego.
16. Spending New Years in Cambria with family (Briar’s first vacation!).
17. Going for lots of walks with Briar in her stroller and headphones in my ears.
18. Seeing myself and my beautiful bridesmaids on Buzzfeed (#23)!
19. Leggings, poncho, and booties. Oh, and a top knot always. #momstyle
20. LOL’ing over John dressed up as me for Halloween. I haven’t laughed so hard in a long time!
21. My baby turned one!
22. Social media. I’m just as obsessed as ever!
23. Working on Briar’s scrapbook.
24. Feeling so motivated to move and hit 10k steps daily thanks to my Fitbit!
25. Celebrating Briar’s first holiday season (oh em gee, I’m even more pumped for this year!).
26. Loving Parenthood right up to the very end! Favorite show ever.
27. My ten year high school reunion! It was so good to see old friends after all this time!
28. Dancing like a maniac at such a beautiful Espinoza family wedding.
29. Spending my last night as a twenty eight year old in Santa Barbara with my favorite guy. It was exactly what I needed to close one chapter and start another…

halloween 2015.

Posted on: Monday, November 2, 2015

Halloween 2015 | Baby Robot Costume | Ann-Marie Loves

Truth be told, I’ve never been much for Halloween (truth also be told, I am very much for Kit Kats). But now that I have a little one to dress up and celebrate this holiday with, it’s such a fun experience! John has always been a big fan of Halloween, so I relinquish all traditions + costuming responsibilities to him. This year, he decided that Briar would be a robot! Admittedly I was a little perplexed as to how this was going to work since I tend to think of robots as an older kid costume, but John totally nailed it (as usual). He took a long sleeve gray top and leggings from Target and transformed them into robot attire with pompoms, puffy paints, duct tape, twine, enamel dots, buttons, and a little help from my Cameo.

Halloween 2015 | Baby Robot Costume | Ann-Marie Loves
Halloween 2015 | Baby Robot Costume | Ann-Marie Loves
Halloween 2015 | Baby Robot Costume | Ann-Marie LovesSo cute, right? UGH, this girl kills me! The back of her shirt says “Briar Bot” and was cut out of a sheet of duct tape using my trusty old Cameo (forever getting my money’s worth out of that machine!). Since Briar simply refused to nap all day long, she was pretty tired by the time it got dark, so we only went trick or treating to both sets of grandparents’ respective houses. It was just enough for her to fill her pumpkin with treats and get lots of love and attention from her favorite people.

Halloween 2015 | Baby Robot Costume | Ann-Marie Loves

As for me and John, we decided to be each other! Oh em gee, I laughed so hard over some of my mannerisms and sayings that John picked up on and happily acted out for me while in his “Ann-Marie” costume (“So I was listening to this podcast…”). Plus, seeing him in a blonde wig and a poncho cracked me up! To get into my “John” costume, I just painted on some facial hair using black eyeliner and dark brown eyeshadow, tucked my hair under his hat, put on his clothes, and acted super annoyed anytime someone suggested that we take a photo (ha!). All in all, it was the perfect Halloween. Hope yours was wonderful, too!

pumpkin patch at underwood farms.

Posted on: Monday, October 19, 2015

Pumpkin Patch at Underwood Farms | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

This past weekend we ventured out to Moorpark and visited the amazing pumpkin patch at Underwood Farms. I had a feeling that Briar would enjoy it a lot more this year at the age of fourteen months than she did last year at two months (obvious statement?), but I had no idea how much more I would enjoy it, too! Since the farm is humongous, there were plenty of things to do and it was a blast seeing it all through Briar’s eyes! She and her cousin Luna were especially fond of grabbing fistfuls of hay, which they passed back and forth to each other (ha!). My favorite part was definitely the tractor ride around the farm at dusk. Not only was the sunset lighting PERFECT, but the sweater-worthy weather and the cool breeze made it feel like our first real taste of fall this season…exactly how I like my pumpkin patch experiences.

Pumpkin Patch at Underwood Farms | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography
Pumpkin Patch at Underwood Farms | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

Her little baby chambray shoes paired with those chubby legs. I can’t even.

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Pumpkin Patch at Underwood Farms | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography
Pumpkin Patch at Underwood Farms | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography
Pumpkin Patch at Underwood Farms | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography
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Pumpkin Patch at Underwood Farms | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography
Pumpkin Patch at Underwood Farms | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography
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Pumpkin Patch at Underwood Farms | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography
Pumpkin Patch at Underwood Farms | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography
Pumpkin Patch at Underwood Farms | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography
Pumpkin Patch at Underwood Farms | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography
Pumpkin Patch at Underwood Farms | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography
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Pumpkin Patch at Underwood Farms | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography
Pumpkin Patch at Underwood Farms | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography
Pumpkin Patch at Underwood Farms | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

Here’s a little pumpkin patch #tbt for you: Briar and Luna at fourteen and thirteen months, respectively (above), and Briar and Luna at two months and one month, respectively (below). HOLY MOLY, TIME IS FLYING.

Pumpkin Patch at Underwood Farms | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

P.S. Our visit to Underwood this past summer!

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?

staying present in motherhood.

Posted on: Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Creative Options + Thoughts on Staying Present in Motherhood | Ann-Marie Loves

From the moment you find out a baby will soon be joining your life, it’s hard to keep yourself from constantly fantasizing about the future. What will my baby look like? What costume will she wear for Halloween? How are we going to pay for college?! In fact, most of last year, I made all of my decisions based off of the timeline of “Pre-Briar” and ‘Post-Briar.” Pre-Briar life meant attending loud concerts on a whim, spending a whole day of working without interruptions, and sleeping in on any given Saturday BECAUSE I COULD. Post-Briar life means lining up babysitters when I want to go out, squeezing in work during naptimes, and not sleeping in on any given Saturday BECAUSE I HAVE A BABY. I think it’s only natural for moms to be preoccupied with the future; after all, we’re the ones steering the ship!

Creative Options + Thoughts on Staying Present in Motherhood | Ann-Marie Loves

However, I am now on a mission to stay in the present moment as often as possible and enjoy each fleeting second exactly as it is. Sure, it’s not always how I envisioned it would look or feel, but that’s all part of the fun, especially as a mom of a young toddler. Briar is growing up SO FAST (so fast, you guys!) and I want to live every minute with her, instead of wishing for a more “perfect” scenario or mentally plotting out the distant future. This is why I am now bucking my to-do list for a short time everyday and really allowing the both of us to enjoy time together.

Creative Options + Thoughts on Staying Present in Motherhood | Ann-Marie Loves

This past weekend, we spent some time outside so I could work on her scrapbook and she could play with her toys. Even though we were only going out in the backyard, I found it was so handy to pack up my craft supplies in a Creative Options’ Two Tray Box and Briar’s toys + books in a fabric Craft Caddy.

Creative Options + Thoughts on Staying Present in Motherhood | Ann-Marie Loves

Briar’s caddy was filled with all of the essentials for briefly occupying a girl on the move: her favorite books, her BlaBla doll (whom we named Olivia), her gold Saltwater sandals (should she decide to venture off the mat) (which she immediately did), and plenty of Cheerios!

Creative Options + Thoughts on Staying Present in Motherhood | Ann-Marie Loves

My box was stocked with all the essentials for a crafty gal: neon pink ink, sharp scissors, wooden alpha stamps, colorful pens, and lots of washi!

Creative Options + Thoughts on Staying Present in Motherhood | Ann-Marie Loves

Our joint playtime was certainly not perfect (as it turns out, mom’s “toys” are way more fun than Briar’s toys!), but it was a great way for the two of us to spend some structured quality time together. Plus, when it was time to go back inside, all I had to do was pick up our caddies and our mat…no extra clean-up necessary! Life is good, you guys. Let’s embrace it just as it is!

P.S. For more ideas on how to incorporate Creative Options’ products into your life, be sure to check out their Facebook page, Amy Tangerine’s blog, and this fun video!

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?

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