Entries Tagged as 'lists'

hospital bag essentials.

Posted on: Friday, September 16, 2016

Before I had Briar, I spent lots of time researching what I should pack in my hospital bag to make sure I covered all my bases. While I did a pretty good job (considering I had no idea what I was doing), it was definitely way too much stuff for a three day stay in a tiny little recovery room. This time around, I’m much more realistic about what I will actually use. I only want to pack the bare essentials and then if I need anything else, I’ll have my mom bring it to me (that’s what moms are for, right?). Here’s what I’m definitely packing for baby number two:

Hospital Bag Essentials for Having a Baby | Ann-Marie Loves

01. Infant Car Seat. This might be a no-brainer, but having a way to transport the baby from hospital to home is key. John and I just got this new car seat so that we can accommodate both babies in both of our cars without having to do any switcheroos.

02. Mints. When you don’t have nurses and doctors all up in your business, you probably will have guests that will want to come see you when, quite honestly, you look like you were just hit by a bus (ha!). Being able to pop mints for all those interactions is a win-win for everyone involved.

03. Dry Shampoo. When you’re in the hospital and you have a baby attached to you almost 24/7, styling your hair is not exactly a top priority. Being able to freshen up your look in just a few minutes with a little bit of dry shampoo is so handy.

04. iPhone Chargers. This is one of those items that might be overlooked, but it’s so crucial to have your chargers on hand! You don’t want to miss a moment of your newborn’s first few days because you ran out of battery!

05. Delivery / Nursing Robe. As soon as I saw this robe from Pinkblush, I knew I had to have it. I wore a plain white robe almost nonstop for the first few months of Briar’s life; this time I’ll have something much more stylish!

06. Nursing Pillow. These kinds of pillows are not only great for those long infant nursing sessions, but they’re also the perfect cushion to sit on after having a baby. Take my word on this ;)

07. Hat, Booties, Outfit. Well, this is definitely the most exciting part of the packing! I love going through tiny clothes and choosing the right look for baby’s first introduction to the outside world.

08. NUK Pacifiers. Before we had Briar and we were in the thick of baby care classes, one of the biggest takeaways we learned was not to introduce a pacifier before nursing was well-established. Well, I’m here to tell you that we broke that rule on night two of Briar’s life when I had my mom smuggle a few pacis into our hospital room. As it turned out, they worked like a charm and we never once experienced any kind of “nipple confusion” during our nineteen months of nursing. You do what’s best for you and your family!

09. Camera. Self-explanatory. Take as many photos as you possibly can! Your baby will grow up so fast and you’ll forget just how teeny tiny he was when he made his debut :)

life with a two year old.

Posted on: Monday, August 22, 2016

Life With a Toddler | Ann-Marie Loves

I realize we are only a few weeks in, but life with a two year old is…so much fun. So much work, so much frustration, so much to learn, but so much fun. I swear Briar woke up on her second birthday and was suddenly a new person. She speaks in full sentences, she says words I had no clue that she knew, she is starting to count and recognize letters, and she can throw one heck of a tantrum ;)

Life With a Toddler | Ann-Marie Loves

How cute is this cape??

Briar and I spend most of our days together and although there are (many) moments that I envy those with full-time jobs away from home, I wouldn’t trade this time with her for ANYTHING. Someone that I love and respect as a mother recently told me that even though I often feel like my life is a mess and I have no idea what I am doing, I’m right where I need to be when it comes to raising Briar. She encouraged me to view all the time I get to spend with Briar as an incredible, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I’ll never get back, so I might as well enjoy it and not wish it away. That simple shift in perspective has really changed my mindset for the better and gotten me through a lot of looooong days. I know Briar better than anyone else and it feels incredible to be the one (along with John) that she turns to when she needs comforting. John and I make plenty of mistakes but when I see Briar’s face light up when she sees us, I know we must be doing something right.

Life With a Toddler | Ann-Marie Loves

The other day as we were walking up stairs, Briar pushed on my legs and said “quicker Mama, quicker!” Quicker? No idea where she learned that.  When she colors with markers and inevitably gets ink on her hands, she demands that I take her to “wash your hands!” as soon as possible. She has definite opinions about her wardrobe (and the wardrobes of others) and often exclaims “cute!” or “pwetty!” when a certain look agrees with her. The best is when she loves something that Dada is wearing (“Cute, Dada!”) – ha! Every morning when she wakes up, she likes to run through the roster of her family members / animals and their whereabouts (“Dada is at work? Uncle is sleeping? Mac is at his house?”). Briar is now a fan of accessories (hats and glasses are her favorites) and will finally let us put her hair in a ponytail. Running errands with her is getting to be a little bit trickier and a little less frequent because she would much rather walk (read: run) than sit in a cart. But most importantly, Briar has been saying “I love you, Mama!” out of the blue, and THAT makes every difficult moment totally worth it :)

Here are a few of our must-have toddler items that we use on a daily basis:

Life With a Two Year Old | Ann-Marie Loves

01. Camelback Kids Water Bottles. We’ve tried a lot of different water bottles over the past two years, but this specific brand and model works perfectly for little hands and never spills! Plus, Briar loves pushing the button and watching the spout pop out!

02. Beaba Multiportion Serving Tray. So I bought this back when Briar was an infant when I had high hopes of making her homemade purées. But as it turned out, Briar was never much for being fed with a spoon by others and instead took to baby led weaning so she could feed herself. However! All was not lost with this tray. In fact, it has become my favorite way to serve Briar meals because the serving sizes are perfect for toddler appetites and it allows me to offer her a wide range of foods in one container.

03. Honest Company Conditioning Detangler. Having a daughter with wildly curly hair has proven to be a bit of a challenge. Not only is it tricky to style but it tangles so easily. Everyday we spritz her hair with Honest Detangler and carefully work out the knots with a soft-bristled brush.

04. GoGo Squeeze Applesauce Packets. Okay, these are not only great for stashing in my backpack and passing to Briar in the backseat to quell any hangriness but I love them too! Even in her pickiest moments, I can almost always get Briar to eat applesauce.

05. Kindle Fire + Kid’s Case. Say what you will about screen time but it has proven to be a very helpful asset to have in our back pocket. Not only is it handy for moments when I need Briar to calm down and stay in one place for a few minutes but I know she has learned so much from the shows we let her watch, especially Sarah + Duck! We bought Briar her own tablet and kid-safe case a few months ago and she can navigate Netflix with the best of them (Sarah + Duck, Clifford the Big Red Dog, The Hive, and anything with Mickey Mouse in it are her faves).

06. 360 Degree Toothbrush. I don’t know about you but it’s hard to brush baby teeth! Briar either flat out refuses to have her teeth brushed or she chews on the brush as we try to work it around her mouth. Luckily, this particular brush has bristles that go all the way around the handle which allows us to reach her top and bottom teeth in one fell swoop. Such a genius concept.

simple activities to keep toddlers busy.

Posted on: Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Simple Activities to Keep Toddlers Busy | Ann-Marie Loves

I’m always on the lookout for simple ways to keep Briar entertained, especially during these insanely hot summer months when the last thing I want to do is go outside. After a little trial and error, I’ve come across three foolproof methods for keeping Briar occupied for short periods of time and thought I would pass them along to you!

01. Crayons. I turned a pack of basic Crayola crayons into hearts recently and they have been in heavy rotation around here. Briar loves to color and often summons those around her to help her draw “apple, nanas (bananas), and duck!” (Always in that order.)

02. Stickers. I’ve been obsessed with stickers as far back as I can remember (Stickopotamus, anyone?), so it comes as no surprise that I’ve passed my love on to Briar. These neon dot stickers from the office supply section are less than two dollars and make Briar just as happy as any Disney or animal-themed sticker. Of course she loves to stick them to walls like any other toddler, but when I’m on top of things, I’ll redirect her sticker-ing to scratch pieces of paper or notebooks.

03. Pompoms. I picked up a pack of pink, orange, and red pompoms from Target and they have been some of the best three dollars and ninety nine cents I’ve ever spent! Briar loves to sort them into small bowls or the multi-portion silicone container that we use for snacks.

these three things: podcast edition.

Posted on: Friday, July 29, 2016

These Three Things: Podcast Edition | Ann-Marie Loves

On Wednesday, John and I took advantage of our upgrade eligibility and bought ourselves new phones. Even though we’ve had iPhones for years, there’s nothing quite like a brand new toy with 64 gigs of free space just waiting to be filled up! In fact, one of the first things I did (aside from download all the apps I had to delete from my last phone for severe lack of space) was take a 40 second video BECAUSE I COULD. Oh man, I feel like I have a whole new lease on life! And of course, having all this free space also means that I can take advantage of the podcast app and subscribe to allllll my favorite podcasts.

Here are three episodes that I listened to my commute yesterday:

Bitch Sesh. I could write a novel about how much I live for this Real Housewives-themed podcast each week…my love for Casey + Danielle knows no bounds! So I was particularly thrilled to find out that I could listen to the recording of their live show in LA from a few days ago, especially since I was SUPER bummed about not scoring tickets to it in time (luckily I snagged one for their next show in August!). Oh man, it did not disappoint. I barely noticed any 405 freeway traffic because I was too busy laughing hysterically.

Young House Love Has a Podcast. I recently discovered this podcast and was psyched when I realized their latest episode was focused on sponsored posts. My mind was BLOWN with how much Emily Henderson commands for a single post…so inspiring! This is a must-listen for any bloggers or social media influencers looking to gain more insight into the mystery of paid posts.

One Part Podcast. I adore this show and really enjoyed the latest episode with Julia Turshen. I find Julia to be so endearing and relatable, plus Jessica is always a gem.

What are you guys listening to these days?

third trimester essentials.

Posted on: Thursday, July 21, 2016

I’m pretty low maintenance when it comes to pregnancy (postpartum is a completely different story), so I don’t require too many things as the months tick by, but there are definitely some items that I’ve found myself turning to as I get deeper into the third trimester:

Third Trimester Essentials | Ann-Marie Loves

01. Tums. Let’s be real: antacids are the REAL star of the show when it comes to pregnancy. I had crazy heartburn with Briar and I have crazy heartburn with this baby. (What can I say, I’m a lucky gal.) I keep these by my bedside so I can pop them in the middle of the night when reflux seems to be the worst.

02. Fan. I am always hot so I’ve turned my bedroom into a mini wind tunnel with an overhead fan and a portable fan running at all times.

03. Mustela Ultimate Hydration Lotion. The jury is out on whether or not stretch marks can be prevented, but I prefer to be proactive and lather on lotion after every shower. So far, so good!

04. Bathing Suit. Like I’ve mentioned before, Briar and I are beating the heat by spending the majority of our summer days in the pool. Normally I feel a bit self-conscious in a bathing suit, but when I’m pregnant? I’ll happily parade around town in one all day, everyday ;)

05. Peaches. I’m in love with peaches all year round, but when I’m pregnant, I can’t get enough. Lately I’ve been loving them in my morning oatmeal with almonds. Mmmm…

06. Liz Lange Maternity Shorts. I don’t even like to wear shorts normally (they’re not my best look) but when it’s hot out and I need to chase Briar around, shorts are ideal. These have a stretchy band that you can pull over your belly or fold over around your waist to keep them in place. I bought the bermuda style and then cut a small slit on the seam of each leg so they could have a bigger cuff.

07. Firm Pillows. I know a lot of people swear by their pregnancy pillows, but with a queen size bed, a giant u-shaped pillow is not exactly doable. That’s okay though, as long as I have one firm pillow behind my head and one under my top leg to offset the weight of my belly as I sleep on my sides.

08. Maxi Dresses. I’m obsessed with PinkBlush maternity dresses because they don’t scream MATERNITY. Instead, they’re super comfy, super stylish clothes that I can wear long after the baby arrives.

09. Birkenstocks. My feet aren’t swollen (yet) but with the rising temps and the amount of energy it takes to bend down these days, Birks are my go-to footwear.

as of late | july edition.

Posted on: Monday, July 11, 2016

As of Late | July Edition.

Missing the Joy the Baker podcast! Come back, Joy and Tracy!

Speaking of podcasts, I’m adding a few new ones to my queue thanks to this list.

Wearing this bracelet on repeat.

Making the most of my Get to Work Book now that it’s finally July. Briar took a highlighter to the cover the other day and I nearly cried. So dramatic but I really love that planner!

Planning a mini family vacation in celebration of Briar’s second birthday. Instead of spending money on a party, we figured we would go on a trip instead. It might be our last hurrah as a family of three before her brother comes along!

Adding this striped maxi dress to my cart. Okay, and maybe this pair of reversible pants for the little guy. Annnnnnd while we’re at it, these popsicle jammies for Briar.

Looking forward to the Olympics!

Setting a goal to blog every weekday this month (and possibly after!) and am feeling really motivated and inspired about it!

Living and dying by my new favorite dry shampoo. I use it waaaaay too often in lieu of actually washing my hair (the worst task ever), but I love the texture and body it gives me!

Feeling overheated and sweaty at all times these days. There’s not enough swimming pools and air conditioners in this world to cool this pregnant lady down!

Agreeing wholeheartedly on this article about what it’s like to be an introvert.

Going to miss Disneyland when our annual passes expire this week but am more than happy to take the hot summer off. (Have I mentioned that I’m always hot?)

summer bucket list + journaling card printables.

Posted on: Thursday, July 7, 2016

Summer Bucket List + Journaling Cards | Ann-Marie Loves | annmarielovespaper.bigcartel.com

Every year I dread the summer and every year I am pleasantly surprised to find that my motivation shoots through the roof during those hot months. I don’t know what it is (maybe the longer days? the desire to spend more time indoors than outdoors?) but I can’t complain too much about the heat when my to-do list is getting crushed. Lately I’ve been feeling more driven and goal-oriented than I have in a long time, so I figured this would be the perfect opportunity to make a summer bucket list!

Summer Bucket List + Journaling Cards | Ann-Marie Loves | annmarielovespaper.bigcartel.com

Yesterday in a flurry of inspiration, I designed a set of 1 bucket list + 1 sheet of journaling cards and added them to the shop!

Summer Bucket List + Journaling Cards | Ann-Marie Loves | annmarielovespaper.bigcartel.com

Summer Bucket List + Journaling Cards | Ann-Marie Loves | annmarielovespaper.bigcartel.com

I absolutely love writing out these kinds of lists. Even if we don’t accomplish everything, it’s still fun to brainstorm and think about all the cool things we can do (my personal favorite: eating watermelon!) this summer. It also helps me to shift my perspective from “WHEN WILL SUMMER END?” to “wow, there’s still so many awesome things left to do!” Simple mind tricks, y’all.

Summer Bucket List + Journaling Cards | Ann-Marie Loves | annmarielovespaper.bigcartel.com

Included in the package is a sheet of four 3 x 4″ journaling cards for documenting all of the items on your bucket list. When I design things like this, I always consider alternate uses for them. For example, I could totally see myself using the heart and the yellow journaling block (okay, and the pink “daily adventures!”) in my baby boy album time and time again.

Summer Bucket List + Journaling Cards | Ann-Marie Loves | annmarielovespaper.bigcartel.com

Summer Bucket List + Journaling Cards | Ann-Marie Loves | annmarielovespaper.bigcartel.com

Summer Bucket List + Journaling Cards | Ann-Marie Loves | annmarielovespaper.bigcartel.com

And of course, I couldn’t design printables and then not try them out! Here’s a spread I made for my 2016 album using photos from our recent trip to Travel Town.

Summer Bucket List + Journaling Cards | Ann-Marie Loves | annmarielovespaper.bigcartel.com

Summer Bucket List + Journaling Cards | Ann-Marie Loves | annmarielovespaper.bigcartel.com

Cheers to making this the best summer ever! Printables available for purchase HERE.

What’s on your summer bucket list?

as of late | june edition.

Posted on: Monday, June 20, 2016

As of Late | June Edition

Loving these videos from Claire Zinnecker. I’ve been following her on Instagram for years, so it was a treat to find her new series!

Spending almost everyday in the pool with my little fish.

Living in dresses these days. I recently went on a bit of a late night shopping spree at Pink Blush Maternity and love everything I bought.

Speaking of shopping, I’ve been hitting the mother-lode with boy clothes + toys! I went thrifting for the first time in a long time last week and found some adorable pieces.

Going back and forth over middle names. Boys are way harder to name than girls are! (P.S. I don’t have a middle name.)

Drinking orange juice like it’s going out of style  (lord help me pass my glucose test in a few weeks…! Yikes.).

Hearing this episode of the Pregnancy Perfect podcast with C. Jane Kendrick and then immediately doing a deep dive into her blog. I love her voice and unconventional perspective on life.

Putting together a scrapbook for my little guy. It started out of guilt (“I made one for Briar, I should probably make one for the baby”) and then quickly turned into a super fun creative outlet for me. Every chance I get, I sit down and work on new pages for it!

Pinning like a crazy person again. Every time I make enough space on my phone to download the app, my pinning output shoots through the roof.

Listening to the Unruffled podcast nonstop these days. I am learning a ton about the mysterious behavior of toddlers!

Feeling so psyched to have snagged this neon heart light from Oh Joy on clearance at Target. Now I’m on the hunt for this pink + gold heart ottoman to complete the look!

Rereading Bloom by Kelle Hampton. You guys, it’s so good.

Writing this whole blog post from the waiting room at my doctor’s office – ha! Gotta make these free moments count.

as of late | may edition.

Posted on: Tuesday, May 10, 2016

As of Late | May Edition | Ann-Marie Loves

Dying over the peonies that I picked up from Trader Joe’s. They bring me so much happiness and only costed $6.99!

Experiencing frequent periods of high energy where I can easily fill a part of my day with activity after activity after activity and then ultimately crashing hard. Hard to the point where I need to be by myself in a quiet place for a good chunk of time so I can recharge. Maybe one day I’ll remember that I’m pregnant and cut myself a break, but then again, maybe not! ;)

Wearing my new denim jacket and straw fedora every single day and not feeling an ounce of guilt about it! It’s especially fun when Briar wears her matching denim jacket at the same time! #mothergirl

Getting so excited about the arrival of my Get To Work Book. I’m stalking the mailbox everyday!

Coming up on the six month mark until I officially leave my twenties behind! I’m pretty excited to start a new decade.

Trying to decide on a double stroller and can’t seem to make up my mind. After using the amazing Nuna Tavo with Briar for the past year, I now see the value in mid to higher end strollers (like an Uppababy or a double BOB). Any recommendations?

Feeling like such a hardcore MOM these days as I shuttle Briar between swim lessons, Gymboree classes, and playdates.

Counting down the minutes until we find out whether Briar will have a sister or a brother. Remember when I said I was much more patient this time around? Ha! I totally lied. I am DYING to know.

Reminding myself how much more I enjoy myself when I listen to music while I work. I usually try to tackle my to-do list with a podcast or silence as the soundtrack, but music really makes everything feel easier and lighter. Sade is my go-to for any type of project or occasion.

Speaking of music, I’m listening to the different playlists I put together for our wedding as I type out this post and am loving the trip down memory lane :)

Making small tweaks to my blog here and there. I love an updated look!


as of late | march edition.

Posted on: Thursday, March 17, 2016

As of Late | March Edition | Ann-Marie Loves

Celebrating my good friend’s upcoming wedding with so many of my favorite people. I love, love, love my group of girlfriends.

Loving the intermittent return of cool weather and sometimes rain! (P.S. I hate small talk but I love talking about the weather?)

Digging Briar’s current stage of life. Every stage is great, but this one is really great. The other morning she was laying in bed with us and when John got up to get something, Briar said “Are you, Dada?” (Translation: where are you, Dada?) I can’t get enough of her.

Deciding that Old Navy is where all the cute toddler clothes are! I just picked up these baby gladiators for Briar and wish they came in my size too!

Needing a new book to read. I’ve been on an autobiography kick recently with Drew Barrymore, Amy Poehler, and Mindy Kaling and I loved them all. What should I pick up next?

Waiting not-so-patiently each week for the latest episode of Bitch Sesh to drop. I know I’ve already talked about my love for that podcast before but I’M OBSESSED.

Tackling my inbox head-on. Why is it so hard to stay on top of e-mail?

Speaking of tackling things, I feel so much more productive when I sit at my desk and work on my big computer instead of laying on the bed and using my laptop (although the latter is way more comfy). I just burned through my to-do list simply by using the desktop comp!

Listening to DNCE on repeat while I burn through my aforementioned to-do list. They’re such a fun band!

Craving another trip to Disneyland. We had the BEST time ever with Briar a few weeks ago. Even though she’s been several times already, each trip gets more and more exciting as she starts to take notice of all the magic around her! Plus, I’m craving this smoothie.

Going on after-dinner walks with my little family.

Feeling inspired to scrapbook after seeing my friend (and former co-worker at American Crafts) Sarah’s album for her daughter’s upcoming birthday!

Sitting on the edge of my seat as I watch The People vs. OJ Simpson each week. I’m going to be very sad when it ends.

Trying to figure out a way to afford this insanely gorgeous rug. It’s so beautiful, I want to design a whole house around it!

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