workspace wednesday | unstuck app

Posted on: Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Workspace Wednesday | Unstuck App | Ann-Marie Loves

Two things:

1. I just rediscovered my iPad after letting the battery be dead for several months. Why? Because my post-baby brain is mush.


So truth be told, it’s not a necessity, but it sure is handy for things like browsing Pinterest in bed (v. important!), watching movies / videos / Vine mashups while I work, and my most favorite use, for playing with the Unstuck app.

Workspace Wednesday | Unstuck App | Ann-Marie Loves

I don’t even remember how I stumbled upon Unstuck, but my goodness, it is a workhorse for the mental warfare I wage daily upon myself. It leads you through a series of questions and exercises regarding how you’re feeling and what is holding you back. The exercise shown above is my favorite part. You quickly go through a deck of several cards and place them in the “So Me” or “Not Me” pile to help get to the root of what is bothering you. Genius.

Workspace Wednesday | Unstuck App | Ann-Marie Loves

I feel like there’s always something holding me back, whether it’s a personal, professional, or relational situation, and Unstuck helps me work through every single problem…sometimes the same problem many times over! It’s kind of amazing how breaking down an issue into small, manageable pieces brings so much clarity.

Workspace Wednesday | Unstuck App | Ann-Marie Loves

Once you’re finished with the exercises, you’re “diagnosed” with a certain behavior style and offered lots of suggestions as to how to get past your mental roadblock. It’s pretty incredible how glaringly spot-on the results are; I always feel like they were written just for me! I highly recommend this app, even if you feel like you are never stuck (and if you’re not, HOW?). Five stars, people.

diy painted bags.

Posted on: Monday, May 18, 2015

DIY Painted Bags | Ann-Marie Loves

Recently, I’ve been enjoying a resurgence of creative energy and I can’t even tell you how happy it makes me. Being crafty and using my hands is how I make sense of my world, so I am beyond excited to be back at it again. Yesterday as I was roaming the aisles of Target picking up the essentials (faux-Birks and loose tanks, as one does), I decided to try out a few new paints from Handmade Modern. I had a few crafty projects in mind and I couldn’t wait to get started!

DIY Painted Bags | Ann-Marie Loves

A few years ago, I purchased a handful of these small zippered bags from the dollar section at Target with the intention of using them to hold bridesmaid gifts. But as it turned out, I was never able to collect all six, so those plans were thwarted (sorry b-maids) and they’ve been sitting in my craft stash ever since. However, when armed with new paint and a need to corral Briar’s stuff in my backpack, I was able to turn those bags into something usable!

DIY Painted Bags | Ann-Marie Loves

To paint the bags, I used a mix of small brushes and different patterns. I allowed each side plenty of time to dry before I flipped them over and painted a similar pattern on the back of each respective bag. Super simple.

DIY Painted Bags | Ann-Marie Loves

Let me just say, I’m kind of thrilled that loose + free-form is where the current style trends are pointing to because I have never been one for straight lines. (There’s nothing that kills my creative mojo more than having to use a ruler!) I’ve also been making a concerted effort to just experiment strictly for the sake of experimentation. The more I can play around without any preconceived notions, the more fun it is to craft!

DIY Painted Bags | Ann-Marie Loves

Even Briar wanted to get in on the action, by slyly dipping her hands in my black paint when I looked down for half a second…!  Ay yi yi. But I guess it just goes to show that she’s a girl after my own heart ;)


briar’s scrapbook | part one.

Posted on: Friday, May 15, 2015

Baby Scrapbook | A Beautiful Mess Messy Book | Ann-Marie Espinoza

It’s been nine months since Briar was born, which means I only have about four million photos of her sitting on my hard drive. I cringe at the idea of those images living there forever, never to be seen by anyone other than me, so I finally had a bunch of photos printed. It felt so good to hold those pictures in my hands and reflect back on all the precious memories that they hold. It was right then and there that I realized that my Briar Bear deserves her own scrapbook. After all, I documented my pregnancy in scrapbook form…it was only a matter of time until I continued the story! So here’s the first installment of Briar’s scrapbook:

Baby Scrapbook | A Beautiful Mess Messy Book | Ann-Marie Espinoza
Baby Scrapbook | A Beautiful Mess Messy Book | Ann-Marie Espinoza

I can’t think of a more perfect overlay for Briar’s scrapbook than the one that came in A Beautiful Mess’ Messy Box kit…I’m obsessed! To add it to my album, I simply punched four holes with a Crop-A-Dile and popped it into place.

Baby Scrapbook | A Beautiful Mess Messy Book | Ann-Marie EspinozaBaby Scrapbook | A Beautiful Mess Messy Book | Ann-Marie Espinoza

For the first page, I kept things pretty simple since I wanted the photos to do most of the talking. I also added in a journaling card with Briar’s stats and a few of my favorite gold papers + embellishments.

Supplies: Dear Lizzy Serendipity Papers // Dear Lizzy Heart Thickers // Amy Tangerine Fabric Stickers // Precision Pen

Baby Scrapbook | A Beautiful Mess Messy Book | Ann-Marie Espinoza

Baby Scrapbook | A Beautiful Mess Messy Book | Ann-Marie Espinoza

Baby Scrapbook | A Beautiful Mess Messy Book | Ann-Marie Espinoza

For this page, I used the backside of the first page protector and broke up the grid by placing a 4 x 6″ photo over four pockets filled with the same sheet of Dear Lizzy ombre paper. I also added a subtle title using Kelly Purkey white letter stickers.

Supplies: Dear Lizzy Serendipity Papers // Dear Lizzy Daydreamer Map Paper // Dear Lizzy Serendipity Sticker Roll // Dear Lizzy Serendipity Puffy Stickers // BasicGrey Flair Badges

Baby Scrapbook | A Beautiful Mess Messy Book | Ann-Marie Espinoza

Baby Scrapbook | A Beautiful Mess Messy Book | Ann-Marie Espinoza

For the third page, I decided to make a traditional layout…such a fun change of pace! This photo of John and Briar is one of my very favorites from her first day. She had just been cleaned up in the nursery and brought into our room and John couldn’t take his eyes off of her. Such a magical moment. (P.S. Since the 9 x 12″ page protectors are currently out of stock, I improvised and punched extra holes in an American Crafts 12 x 12″ sleeve and plan on cutting off the extra bit and sewing up the side.)

Supplies: Woodgrain Paper // Messy Box Kit // Dear Lizzy Serendipity Papers // Amy Tangerine Foam Thickers // Precision Pen

Baby Scrapbook | A Beautiful Mess Messy Book | Ann-Marie Espinoza


I’m excited to continue to work on Briar’s scrapbook each week! I plan on keeping the album as loose and rule-free as possible; if I miss a few things or go out of chronological order, that’s totally fine. I figure, as long as I’m capturing the big picture of her babyhood, then I’m doing my job.

upcycled ribbon spool turned wall hanging.

Posted on: Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Upcycled Ribbon Spool-Turned-Wall Hanging | Ann-Marie Loves

The other day, John was recounting just how upset I was when I first discovered that our Utah apartment did not have a recycling bin on the premises. I had totally forgotten about that! To combat the issue, I kept a huge box of recyclables in our place and then when it was full, I would force John to help me take them to a recycling center a few miles away. It was a major hassle, but it pained me more to throw away anything that I know can be recycled, or even better, upcycled. You can take the girl out of California…

So recently, as I neared the end of a spool of Dear Lizzy baker’s twine, I knew just how to give it new life.

Upcycled Ribbon Spool-Turned-Wall Hanging | Ann-Marie Loves

To begin, I pulled the labels off of the baker’s twine spool using an xacto knife.

Upcycled Ribbon Spool-Turned-Wall Hanging | Ann-Marie Loves

Next, I took baker’s twine from a different spool and wrapped it all the way around the spool until it was completely covered.

Upcycled Ribbon Spool-Turned-Wall Hanging | Ann-Marie Loves

From there, I busted out my Cuttlebug and cut out feathers using a nesting die and a few sheets of Daydreamer paper.

Upcycled Ribbon Spool-Turned-Wall Hanging | Ann-Marie Loves

Once I had the feathers cut out, I tied long strands of baker’s twine to each shape.

Upcycled Ribbon Spool-Turned-Wall Hanging | Ann-Marie Loves

Finally, I tied each strand to the upcycled ribbon spool and hung it in Briar’s room! Easy to make and easy on the environment.

infant crafting | ziploc bag painting.

Posted on: Thursday, May 7, 2015

Infant Crafting | Ziploc Bag Painting | Ann-Marie Loves

You guys. The day I have been dreaming of since I first saw two faint lines on a pregnancy test has finally come! (Well, kind of.) Yesterday I introduced Briar to the wonderful world of crafting! Truth be told, she wasn’t as excited about it as I was (CLEARLY), but I intend to slowly wear her down until she becomes my little crafting sidekick. #persistence

Infant Crafting | Ziploc Bag Painting | Ann-Marie Loves

A few weeks ago, my good friend Angie posted a photo of her infant daughter “painting” through a Ziploc bag and I knew I wanted to try it out with Briar as well! The supplies are about as basic as they come: cardstock, various craft paints, Ziploc bags, and scissors.

Infant Crafting | Ziploc Bag Painting | Ann-Marie Loves

Place a sheet of cardstock in the bag (I folded a sheet in half, like a greeting card) and squeeze in a few drops of paint. Make sure the bag is completely sealed and then let your little one mash it up as much as they want! I used two different shades of yellow and two different shades of pink to build on the visual interest, but I’m pretty sure I was the only one that cared about that (ha!). Briar was far more concerned about trying to pull the red fasteners off of the bags ;)

Infant Crafting | Ziploc Bag Painting | Ann-Marie Loves

Once the masterpieces are complete, carefully take them out of the bags and let them dry.

Infant Crafting | Ziploc Bag Painting | Ann-Marie Loves

After Briar’s artwork was dry, I cut them in half and taped them up to the wall above her crib for her to admire.

Infant Crafting | Ziploc Bag Painting | Ann-Marie Loves

As you can see, she was very proud of herself ;)

kelly purkey kit giveaway.

Posted on: Monday, May 4, 2015

UPDATED: The winner is Ashley Michelson! Congrats Ashley! E-mail me with your shipping information when you get a chance! xo

Kelly Purkey Kit Designed by Ann-Marie Espinoza | Kit Giveaway! | Ann-Marie Loves

Designing the “Oh Happy Day” kit for Kelly Purkey was such a blast. She gave me total creative freedom, so I decided to design products that I would actually want to use…and I did! My scrapbooking skills are, well, a wee bit out of shape these days, but I’m determined to create the occasional layout or spread for the sake of remembering Briar’s babyhood. Plus, once I get into the groove of scrapbooking, I remember how fun it can be! Note to self: get your groove back.

IMG_Kelly Purkey Kit Designed by Ann-Marie Espinoza | Kit Giveaway! | Ann-Marie Loves
IMG_Kelly Purkey Kit Designed by Ann-Marie Espinoza | Kit Giveaway! | Ann-Marie Loves

The kit is now sold out, but Kelly has kindly held one aside so that I can give it away to one of my wonderful readers!

IMG_Kelly Purkey Kit Designed by Ann-Marie Espinoza | Kit Giveaway! | Ann-Marie Loves
IMG_Kelly Purkey Kit Designed by Ann-Marie Espinoza | Kit Giveaway! | Ann-Marie Loves

Supplies: Kelly Purkey kit | Messy Book + Page Protectors | Gold Thickers | Photos by La Rousse Photo

Leave a comment below linking me to something awesome you’ve seen around the internet lately (a blog post, an article, a pin) by Thursday May 7th and I will choose a winner at random! Good luck!

finding clarity.

Posted on: Friday, May 1, 2015

Clarity about Being a Work at Home Mama | Ann-Marie Loves

Lavender + Honey // one of my favorite places to escape to.

The other day, as I was talking to my doctor about all sorts of things, namely postpartum anxiety (I’m struggling with this), how we’re balancing work with our respective new-ish babies (there’s absolutely no balance), where we really want to live (I’ll give you one guess what my answer is…), and whether or not he reads his stellar Yelp reviews (he does), I came to two conclusions: 1. I love my doctor, and 2. I need to get out of the house more…by myself.

These past several months of being a new mom have been some of the best but also some of the hardest. I love having a baby, and at the risk of sounding overconfident, I know that I’m pretty darn good at it. I can roll with the punches, be it the constant onslaught of bodily fluids, or the crying jags, or the fact that I haven’t had a full night’s sleep since last summer. I can totally handle all the standard baby hurdles with no (okay, minimal) complaints. But there is more to Ann-Marie than just being Mom to Briar, 24/7. And that’s where I’ve fallen seriously short.

I’ve neglected my inbox. I’ve neglected my mailbox. I’ve neglected my work. I’ve neglected my blog. I’ve neglected my goals. I’ve been so consumed with anxiety over the unknown that I have gotten to a place where some days, I don’t even recognize myself. Anxiety is something I’ve never really dealt with before, so navigating my way through the wreckage has been a learning curve, for sure.

However, I’m beginning to realize that if I want to continue to be a good mom to my daughter, I need to be good to myself. And that means, spending time by myself. As a major introvert, alone time (or at least time that I’m not caring for an active eight month old) is PARAMOUNT to my happiness. It always has been, it always will be. I need that time to hear my own thoughts, to decompress, and to refuel my energy. I need that time to figure out where I’m going and how I’m going to get there.

So, I’ve been looking for more ways to leave the baby with John or a family member for a few hours. I’ve been hopping in the car, putting on a good podcast, and treating myself to coffee at my favorite coffee shop. I’ve been getting to the gym and losing myself in the music and the movement for an hour. I’ve been working outside the home at least one day a week (and am even considering picking up a part-time job!). These little pockets of solo time are slowly but surely helping to chip away at the emotional walls I’ve been building around myself for the past several months (or maybe even years!).

I am forever a work in progress, but I’m learning to be okay with that. Like Maya Angelou said, “when you know better, you do better.” AMEN.

baby-safe corner.

Posted on: Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Baby-Safe Corner | Ann-Marie Loves

You want to know what Briar loves more than anything? Wires. Doggie doors. Hanging off the edge of the bed. Putting shoes in her mouth. You name a dangerous situation and I can guarantee Briar is a fan. In fact, I feel like I spend most of my days hiding things from her (“let’s not eat the baby monitor”) or picking her up and moving her to a safer spot (which buys me, oh, five seconds of free time before the cycle repeats). Needless to say, the girl is fearless and I am…exhausted. Ha!

Baby-Safe Corner | Ann-Marie Loves

So the other day, as we were strolling the aisles of Target, I spotted this white shag rug and realized it would be perfect for creating a safe spot in my bedroom for Briar to play on. Since we spend a good chunk of time in there everyday, between feedings, snuggling, reading books, and hanging out while I get ready, it was about time that I made it more baby-friendly. I laid out the rug by my side of the bed and gathered together a basket of books and toys as well as a tall canvas bag filled with blankets and a few stuffed animals. I already had a bedside basket of immediate essentials, so the combination of the three containers plus the super plush rug made the space extra inviting for an inquisitive eight month old.

Baby-Safe Corner | Ann-Marie Loves

While she’s still on the prowl for the electrical outlets or the sharp corners in the room (#lordhelpme), this new Briar-safe space is definitely helping to keep her distracted!

as of late | april edition.

Posted on: Wednesday, April 15, 2015

As of Late | Ann-Marie Loves

Gorgeous florals by The Design Hunters.

Reflecting back on such a fun Saturday night spent dancing myself silly at a family wedding. I have absolutely no shame. NONE.

Marveling with amazement (and terror) at my baby who army crawls all over the place. Baby proofing is now in full-effect!

Watching the season premieres of Veep and Silicon Valley on HBO GO. Cable, what’s that?

Listening to episode after episode of The Girl Next Door podcast. I think “shoot the breeze-style” pods (new abbrev) are my favorite style of pod. P.S. A list of my favorite shows!

Learning so much (and laughing so much) from Laura Miller! I discovered her show Raw. Vegan. Not Gross. on Tastemade and can’t get enough of her quirky yet approachable take on healthy eating.

Raising my glass to this Truthbomb.

Pulling the trigger on a brand new camera…! A big mama one…! No turning back now.

Enjoying the longer stretches of sleep I’m getting at night! I’m sure that I’m jinxing this, but Briar seems to have turned a corner with all the new solid foods in her diet. Girl can suddenly put away 9-10 hours a night! (insert all the prayer hand emojis!)

Loving three recent purchases from Target: reusable silicone squeeze pouches for Miss Briar “don’t even try to feed me with a spoon” Espinoza, Happy Yogis yogurt + fruit snacks (Briar and I share them!), and this banana print baby romper that just about made my life.

Ordering a bunch of prints and revisiting an old friend: scrapbooking.

Feeling pleased as punch with my new favorite nail polish color (currently adorning my fingernails).

Wanting to try this strawberry basil farro salad. (And then follow it up with key lime bars!)

Wearing this black jumpsuit every other day (or is it everyday?). It’s so comfy AND it’s nursing friendly. All the things that I care about in my life.

Looking forward to a trip down to San Diego this weekend! It’s been way too long and I’m way too excited.

Working on my photography website as well as dreaming up a baby / kids-related shop (think prints, invitations, decor, and more!) that will debut shortly. Yay for new adventures!

list of favorite podcasts.

Posted on: Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Favorite Podcasts | Ann-Marie Loves

It seems as though there’s been a sudden wave of new podcasts to hit the scene (or maybe I’ve just gotten better at finding them?) and I LOVE it. Podcasts are my jam. They keep me company while I’m driving, walking, washing dishes, or doing any other activity that allows me to zone out for a bit.

Here are my favorite podcasts that I turn to time and time again:

Business / Creative

The Lively Show
Elise Gets Crafty
One Part Podcast
Raise Your Hand, Say Yes
After the Jump
Being Boss
Smart Passive Income
With Purpose
Accidental Creative
Our Style Stories


Joy the Baker
Girl Next Door
The Art of Simple
The JV Club
Here’s the Thing

Spiritual / Personal Growth

Tara Brach
Sarah R. Bagley
Tranquility Du Jour
The Wellness Wonderland

Narrative / Human Interest

This American Life


The Longest Shortest Time


How Did This Get Made?

I’ve been kicking around the idea of starting my own podcast for quite some time and I’m thinking 2015 is the perfect year to set that plan in motion. We’ll see how it goes!

P.S. Any good shows that I’m missing? Do tell!

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