Summer is a State of Mind

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Hey fashion people, I have a bone to pick with you. Stop trying to make me rush into FALL, when we have a few more weeks of perfectly good SUMMER. And you know what? I didn’t get enough beach time. So I’ll just wear summer. On. My. Shirt. AnaB-July-54 AnaB-July-63 AnaB-July-65 AnaB-July-66AnaB-July-68

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Photo: Alumbra Photography // Styling: Adriana Castanon

Summer is a state of mind. Summer is relaxation, cold drinks, family time, get-togethers, relishing the great outdoors, bike rides, bug bites and SPF. I plan to take it all well into FALL, maybe less bug bites. So keep your booties and your chunky knit sweaters. I’ll be wearing those soon enough. But not quite yet.

Love,

Ana B

Outfit Details:

Shirt: Nordstrom Rack (Springfield Mall); Rings: She’s Unique, White Jeans: Target, Shoes: Nordstrom Rack (Springfield Mall); Gold Bag (It’s a secret) // GET: OPTION 1 // WANT: OPTION 2

P.S. Currently up to shenanigans on my new obsession “Snapchat”. Find me there under “AnaMetLeno”.

Mother of Boys

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My dear friend Susannah of Alumbra Photography recently came over my home and captured Diego, Levi and Mateo in all their boyish glory. If these photos had a volume button, you’d hear lots of giggles, yelling, excitement and general silliness. 58-BuitragoBoys201565-BuitragoBoys2015b60-BuitragoBoys201549-BuitragoBoys201555-BuitragoBoys201556-BuitragoBoys201505-BuitragoBoys201507-BuitragoBoys201510-BuitragoBoys201524-BuitragoBoys2015b03-BuitragoBoys2015

Being a mother to these boys is by far the most challenging job I’ve ever known. I have learned to embrace the noise and the mess of it all. I can eat a full meal in like two minutes and I’ve developed cat like reflexes to dodge a toy car to the head. Survival folks! I have cried many tears of frustration, but also have cried out of sheer joy and pride over my little ones. I am growing along with them, and I don’t always get it right. I have learned to give myself room for mistakes, and ask for forgiveness from them when I need to. The beautiful thing about kids is their amazing capacity to love so generously. Levi and Mateo greet me with a huge smile and yell “MAMAAAAAAAA” every time they see me. Even if I just went to the bathroom. Yes, its freakin’ cute.

I know they won’t be this little always. I get excited about them becoming more independent. But I also just want to cherish this moment…when I’m still their world. God knows they’re mine.

Thank you again Susannah <3.

Love,

Ana B

All Photos by: Alumbra Photography

Summer Day to Night Look and Amazing Things

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A couple amazing things have happened to me lately. No. 1.  Nordstrom Rack moved into my neighborhood! I mean, I could just stop here. Cause yep, that’s pretty amazing. Anyone else a huge Nordies Rack fan?!  No. 2. I have fallen in love with my friend Katya’s jewelry boutique “She’s Unique” in Old Town Alexandria! “She’s Unique” has the best dainty jewelry around, including tons of midi rings which makes my vainy hands so much more feminine (I hope!) . I also scored a cute metallic leather clutch there, and I’m about to wear it EVERYWHERE! Please someone, invite me out so I can wear my new clutch. Chuck “E” Cheese doesn’t count.

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All Photos by: Alumbra Photography

Not sure if my outfits are boring for the summer, or just realistic, but a pair of jeans and a tank are my current go to. Ofcourse, you can switch out the jeans for some shorts. My legs are still hiding from a recent bout of excema (insert TMI here). But otherwise, it’s so easy to dress this everyday look with a white blazer and some rockin’ heels.

Hope you’re enjoying your summer! I am panicking at the moment trying to think of how to keep 3 boys from killing each other or me while school’s out, but that’s another blog post.

Love,

Ana B

Outfit Details:

Outfit 1: Tank: Target, Jeans: Joe’s Jeans/Nordstrom Rack, Sandals: Eric Michael, Jewelry: She’s Unique, Metallic Clutch: She’s Unique

Outfit 2: White Blazer (Nasty Gal Old/Cute Option/Cute Option, Black Bag: Bishop Boutique, Heels: Zara (old), Sunnies: Betsey Johnson/Nordstrom Rack

She’s Unique: 205 King Street, Alexandria, VA – 703.836.8863

 

 

Fitness and Meal Ideas for May

Hey there! Sadly, my last post was about two months ago! This is all due to Makeup by Ana B’s crazy wedding season! All my time and focus has been taken over by the business, so my little blog has been a bit abandoned. Bare with me though, because I don’t plan to stop blogging! And I appreciate you reading along when I do post :).

20150506_115645 (1)Nothing like some new fitness gear! I recently purchased the New Balance 711 Cross Training Shoe for about $54 and so far I love them!  I wore them to Zumba, and I felt better support and comfort than when I wear my Nike Frees. I also purchased a ton of these long and lean tank tops from Target in different colors, and they’re still having a sale on them if you buy online :). I wear them both for working out or for layering with every day outfits. 
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I’ve been pretty consistent with my eating and work out routine lately and I try to drink a green shake daily. I usually mix two servings of spinach, one serving of fruit, 1 cup of milk and a scoop of protein, or 1 cup of greek yogurt and chia/flax seeds with crushed ice. I try to keep fresh berries, pears and bananas on hand all the time for my shakes.20150420_183901

This is a typical meal my husband likes to cook for us! Grilled chicken seasoned with garlic and low sodium seasonings, grilled veggies, cottage cheese, and avocado. Quick and healthy!

20150422_19144320150425_18304220150429_194415I’m still cooking my way through my Skinnytaste Cookbook! Sometimes I need more than just a quick and plain dinner. Recently, I made these Quinoa Stuffed Peppers, which is a great vegetarian option and so delicious! I also made the Grilled Rosemary Lamb chops and Chicken Rollatini Stuffed with Mozzarella and Zuchinni with a side of quinoa. All of these are great options, but take a little extra work, which I know is hard with littles running around. So make sure to get some music going and get started early! 
20150429_145613I found this to be a satisfying snack or light lunch option: two boiled eggs, 1/2 avocado and toasted Ezekiel bread with a bit of pepper on top. I still try to eat three meals a day with two snacks in between. I am definitely not perfect and I like to indulge in summer treats (insert ice cream here!), but overall consistency with eating healthy foods most of time, cutting back on sugary drinks/snacks and working out 3 times a week definitely pays off!

I am not currently updating MyFitnessPal, but I do update my Instagram, Love_AnaB with more food ideas…and adorable pictures of my kiddos and some outfit posts, so please feel free to like, follow and say hello!  :)

Love,

Ana B

 

Winter Romper and Perfect Hair Length

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I bought this cute romper from TopShop and wanted to make it work for winter, so I added some leggings and boots. Freezing cold temps are sooo not fun!!! I saw a picture of Kim Kardashian wearing open toed strappy heels in the snow. How does she do it?!

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ALL PHOTOGRAPHY BY: ALUMBRA PHOTOGRAPHY

In other news, I think I’ve found my perfect hair length and I’ll tell you why! It’s long enough for top knots, braids and waves, but short enough to blow dry in 20 minutes. I don’t regret at all going short after having Mateo, and I can’t say that I won’t chop it off one day again. But I definitely feel like longer hair feels suits my face better.

Here’s hoping this winter won’t last forever!

Love,

Ana B

Outfit Details:

Romper: TopShop at Springfield Town Center (cute option/love this!)

Boots: Old (Cute Option/on sale/cute and on sale!)

Lipstick: MAC Red

Five Fun Things to Get you Through An “East Coast” Winter

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It’s probably no secret that I love social media. Instagram is my drug of choice and I make no apologies. One of the few negative things about it though is seeing the sunny pictures of an “LA” Winter. People in LA are carrying on with their perfectly warm weather in their bathing suits and outside brunches. It’s just NOT FAIR! Since moving is out of the question, I’ve come up with a list of FIVE things you and I can do to get through an “East Coast” Winter.

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ALL PHOTOGRAPHY BY: ALUMBRA PHOTOGRAPHY

1. PLAN A GIRLS WEEKEND GETAWAY. This is basically my answer to everything in life. Haha. There are few things that compare to having a weekend away with your besties. It doesn’t have to be expensive or grand. This year we are taking a trip to Pennsylvania for some much needed R&R. Hopefully, there’s a spa and a massage involved.

2. FRIDAY NIGHT MOVIES. I love the idea of planned movie nights with your honey or your family. Popcorn, hot chocolate and a great flick are a must!

3. ICE SKATING AND HOT COCOA. There are a lot of great skating rinks open this time of year (Reston and Tysons). Double up on those pants and socks, and you could have an awesome time outdoors. A little exercise is a bonus! And don’t forget the hot cocoa. After ice skating for a few hours, a warm drink is the BEST!

4. PLAN A PARTY. Sometimes we go through long periods without seeing our favorite people. This happens a lot when you have kids because, well, kids are all consuming, and we forget about our adult friends. But it’s also important to make the effort to reach out to people we like to be around. I’m having a little shindig for Mateo’s 2nd birthday this weekend. My house still doesn’t look like the Pinterest boards I’ve been pinning away at, but I just can’t let my self-consciousness get in the way of a perfectly good party. Aside from the ooohs and aahhhhs, no one really cares what your walls look like. People just want to hang out and eat good food!

5. PLAN A COFFEE DATE ONCE A WEEK. Outside brunches and picnics are out of the question, but coffee is delicious and even more so when you get to have a coffee date with a pal. Knowing you’re gonna meet up with someone mid-week is a perfect way to break up the routine of going to work everyday and then going straight home. If you’re a momma, have the hubs put the kids to bed while you meet up with a friend. You deserve a coffee date!

I’d LOVE to hear how you plan to get through the next six weeks of winter with a little fun! Leave your suggestions in the comments section :).

Love,

Ana B

OUTFIT DETAILS:

1. Dress: Forever 21 at Springfield Town Center (Option/Option)

2. Cardigan: Forever 21 at Springfield Town Center (similar)

3. Shoes (Old)/ beautiful option//wedge option

4. Hat (Old)/Option/Cute Option

5. Necklace (Gifted)

If It Makes You Happy!

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My dear husband recently bought me the book “Chicken Soup for the Woman’s Soul” and reading it really brings me back to my childhood. I loved these books as a teenager. They inspired me to appreciate the little things in life, but also to dream bigger and farther than my little world at the time. I always wanted to move away somewhere and experience a different life. I did get that chance when I moved to California in 2002 as a newlywed. AnaB-Jan-31 AnaB-Jan-35 AnaB-Jan-36 AnaB-Jan-28 AnaB-Jan-44 AnaB-Jan-40 AnaB-Jan-33

ALL PHOTOGRAPHY BY: ALUMBRA PHOTOGRAPHY

It’s funny that the adventure I was looking for didn’t end up being in California. It’s happening right here in good old Virginia. And in my 30s. Not my 20s. Ha! But life is kinda funny that way. I’m always in awe of how things end up turning out. I do think that part of getting to where you need to go happens when you’re in tune with yourself. When you say no to the things that stifle you or make you unhappy. And say yes to the things to excite and inspire you! Even if people don’t agree or even if it doesn’t make you money at first. Believe in yourself, believe in your purpose, work really hard for what you want and find a way!

Love,

Ana B

Dress: TopShop at Springfield Town Center (Cute Options!)

Jacket: TopShop at Springfield Town Center

Debt is a Fashion Don’t.

AnaB-Jan-45With a new year comes a new set of resolutions and goals. My mind has been on overdrive thinking about the things I want to accomplish this year! As a responsible thirty-something mom of three, I have been pondering the irony of two of my top goals: (1) Provide new and better content with my fashion/beauty posts on Love, Ana B and (2) Become debt free/save for our emergency fund. That got me thinking…how can I responsibly shop for new clothing/beauty items to share on my blog without breaking the bank and have some money to save for a rainy day. And secondly, is there a percentage of monthly income that financial advisers recommend for clothing purchases? The answer is YES!  A few articles later, including this one from WHO WHAT WEAR and this one from Pete the Planner, I found that 5% of your monthly net income should be allocated to your wardrobe. For example, if you take home 3,500 a month, you could be spending $175 on new fashion.

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PHOTOGRAPHY BY: SUSANNAH OF ALUMBRA PHOTOGRAPHY

The percentage could vary depending on other factors, like your monthly living expenses, how many children you have and what city you live in (more on that here). Now, do I think that this 5% rule is realistic, especially as a self-proclaimed fashionista? I’m not sure yet, but it’s worth a try! One thing I do know, debt is a fashion DON’T!

Love,

Ana B

Outfit Details:

Bow Blouse (also worn here):  LC Lauren Conrad by Kohls (old) (Options 1/2/3)

Skirt: Forever 21

Clutch: South Moon Under (currently on SALE for $22.49)

Shoes: Steve Madden (old) (Options 1/ 2/ 3)

 

 

Plaid Thingamajig and Thoughts on Gift Buying

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You know, it was pretty fun walking around Old Town Alexandria with this over-sized plaid thingamajig. I mean, what do you even call it? I thought it was a scarf when I picked it up at H&M, and then it kept going and going. In all honesty, it’s a blanket. And I got to walk around Old Town with a warm fuzzy blanket thrown on top of me…and nobody flinched. A cup of joe and I was set!

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ALL PHOTOGRAPHY BY: Alumbra Photography

How’s your Christmas shopping going? I’m half way done, but honestly, it’s kind of hard to shop for others. I feel like there’s a lot of pressure to get THE MOST AMAZING, SPECIAL, THOUGHTFUL thing you could ever find that’s JUST RIGHT and PREFERABLY engraved and/or SPECIALLY made (by hand!) for that someone. But then I’m like, nah! It really is the thought that counts, right? We all truly got what we NEED and then some. So yes, it’s the thought that matters. Don’t let gift buying stress you out. The gift for that special someone doesn’t need to be life changing. Just thoughtful. And if he/she likes walking around in blankets….well then.

Love,

Ana B

Outfit Details:

Plaid Thingamajig: H&M (Can’t link to it cause I don’t know what its called.) (Cute Plaid Cape)

Necklace: Daily Chic (It’s super heavy, good for building neck muscles!)

Boots: Old (But these are cute!)

Clutch: Old (Fun Option)\

Nail Polish: OPI Lincoln Park After Dark

 

Hello December <3

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I always love the start of a new month, especially when it falls on a Monday. Mondays are generally tough, but the first of the month signifies a fresh start, new possibilities and new challenges.  I also love how my monthly budget resets…helloooooo Christmas shopping! :)037-Ana -websize026-Ana -websize031-Ana -websize040-Ana -websize

 Photography by: Alumbra Photography 

I’ve decided that I love to wear white after labor day. It’s appropriate always. Except for a funeral, unless there’s a theme, but that’s going off topic. So what are your goals for December?  One of mine is to work off the seven pounds I’ve gained over the last several months. I couldn’t find my scale since I moved to the new house and I FINALLY found it, and stepped on it. So yea….that. I’ll be sharing some tips soon on how to kick start your work out routine. Till then, happy December first!

Love,

Ana B

Outfit Details:

Sweater: Target (Option)

Pants: Target (pants worn here too!)

Booties: Nordstrom Rack

Necklace: Franscesca’s

Bag: Aldo’s (Old)