Entries Tagged as 'life happens'

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 ;)

as of late | january edition.

Posted on: Wednesday, January 13, 2016

As of Late | January Edition | Ann-Marie Loves

Feeling so grateful for a new year to start fresh and make things happen! My word for 2016 is ACTION.

Loving loving loving the One Second Everyday app! I’ve been wanting to do something like this for a long time, so to find an app that pieces it all together for me? Perfect! Here’s the first eleven days worth of memories.

Laughing so hard at the Bitch Sesh podcast, hosted by my favorite, Casey Wilson. If you are an unabashed Real Housewives fan, you need to listen to this podcast stat. You will die!

Watching Superstore with John and really enjoying it!

Taking lots of bright sunlight pics with my 50mm lens, thanks to my new (and super affordable!) neutral density filters. Before these, I couldn’t use my 50 without all of the images overexposing.

Eating more than my fair share of edamame nuggets from Trader Joe’s. I mean, I feel like if you have to have a nugget, it might as well be of the edamame variety instead of mystery meat, right? You can find them in the frozen section ;)

Trying to get over a bad cold that has rendered me voiceless, which means going through the Starbucks drive-thru before naptime is a no-go! Gah!

Using my new Minc Foil Applicator to add gold foil to EVERYTHING IN SIGHT! My first project was a calendar, but I’ve quickly moved on to making journaling cards for my (loose) Project Life-style scrapbook that I’m putting together this year.

Wearing my new colorful coat from Anthro that I scored on super clearance with an additional 25% off. I mean, these kinds of deals do not happen nearly enough! (P.S. you can still take advantage of the super sale with the code TAGTIME)

Going through stick after stick of Burt’s Bee’s lip crayons! They’re moisturizing and they add just the right amount of color.

Wanting to book another trip to the PNW rightthissecond after seeing our honeymoon in the Spring issue of The Knot. Or maybe we should just move there?

Reconnecting with my favorite fellow crafters at CHA this past weekend…so much fun!

Reading Mindy Kaling’s newest book and really enjoying it! Next up: Drew Barrymore’s book!

Finding it nearly impossible to resist Baby Gap sales. I just picked up a cream colored pompom beanie, holiday jammies, multi-colored mittens, and my most favorite, gold heart leggings! Briar’s wardrobe is a million times more stylish than mine, that’s for sure.

Listening to this song on repeat.

diy baby pilgrim hats.

Posted on: Wednesday, December 2, 2015

DIY Pilgrim Hats | Thanksgiving | Ann-Marie Loves

A good friend (and mama of three!) once told me that when it came to deciding on how many kids to have, you should imagine how you want your Thanksgivings to look when your children are grown. Do you want a full + lively table or a small + quiet dinner? I think about this all the time as I handle the daily minutia of raising an energetic little one. As difficult as bringing up kids can be, I love the idea of a Parenthood-style family seated around my table during the holidays. I mean, is it too late for the Bravermans to adopt me?

DIY Pilgrim Hats | Thanksgiving | Ann-Marie Loves

Even though I only have one baby at the moment, I still want to make each Thanksgiving as special as possible. This year, I decided to make super simple baby pilgrim hats for Briar and her cousin Luna. I saw the DIY tutorial on Say Yes a few days before the holiday and knew it was exactly what I had the time and the creative energy for. The night before Thanksgiving I ran to the craft store to pick up a few sheets of cream-colored felt, hot glue, and a spool of hot pink ribbon. When I got home, I took a rough measurement of Briar’s head (meaning I didn’t measure at all) and then used the tutorial to quickly whip up two pilgrim hats just in time for the big day! It took a little convincing to keep the hats on the babes’ heads, but it sure made for a fun photo shoot!

Now I just need a couple more baby pilgrims in my life and my future Thanksgivings will be set.

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.

as of late | november edition.

Posted on: Monday, November 30, 2015

As of Late | November Edition | Ann-Marie Loves

Eating leftovers for every meal. No complaints.

Rocking these black Nike shoes with my leggings. I always feel like I either sacrifice comfort for style or vice versa when it comes to footwear + leggings, but these do both! I’m excited to wear them out while Christmas shopping or visiting Disneyland!

Wanting to make an advent calendar for my little family but thinking that this colorful version from Target might be better than anything I could DIY.

Wearing this lovely pale pink lipstick daily. Not only is it the perfect shade for everyday wear but the packaging is top notch!

Feeling so thankful for my friends.

Enjoying my new short hair! I may not be able to wear my signature top knot anymore but it feels AMAZING to have a new style.

Digging this song still (SO OVERPLAYED, I KNOW), especially the Sam Smith cover! It reminds me of Drake’s other song from two years ago when John and I heard it everywhere we went on our honeymoon. Happy memories :)

Editing photos from the cutest grandparents + grandkids shoot! Can’t wait to share more!

Thinking that this faux-fur collared dress would be the perfect Christmas outfit for Briar!

Offering 25% off everything in my shop now through Wednesday. Use code CYBERMONDAY.

Loving Snapchat. Really, really loving it.

Listening to Gretchen Rubin’s podcast episode about rebels (my tendency in her Four Tendencies framework) and nodding my head repeatedly! Have you guys taken the quiz? Which tendency are you?

Hoping that these books might show up under my tree: Wildflower, Rising Strong, and Yes Please.

Announcing the Kohl’s gift card winner in the post below!

Looking forward to taking Briar to Kidspace again in the near future! We had a great time exploring the museum on Saturday.

Agreeing with every bit of this quote from Hannah Brencher: “You don’t read the last page and then decide if it is worth the meat in the middle. You draw breaths in and out. You crawl away from the sheets too early in the morning. You send emails. You fall in love. You put gas in your car. You learn names. You do plenty of things you don’t want to do. You dance. You sometimes overstay your welcome and drink too much wine. You eat tacos. Too much queso. You wonder if you can subsist on chips and salsa alone for the rest of your life. You call home. You slam doors. You let people in.”


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…

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.


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.

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
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
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!

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.

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