briar’s infant gift guide.

Posted on: Friday, December 19, 2014

If Briar could talk, here’s what she would ask for for Christmas:

Infant Holiday Gift Guide | Ann-Marie Loves

01. Plan Toys Happy Puppy // Until we get Briar a real pet, this puppy will hopefully be a good substitute.

02. Munchkin Fun Ice Ring Teether // Since everything goes in Briar’s mouth these days, she might as well get a little teething relief.

03. Minnetonka Fringe Bootie // Sure, Briar can’t walk yet, but in a few months, we’ll need cute shoes for her little feet! Plus, these match the mama-sized pair that I have on my own holiday wish list ;)

04. Infantino Carrier Cover // As Briar’s gotten bigger, I’ve been favoring the Ergo more than the wrap, so this carrier cover would be perfect for keeping my little babe nice + toasty during these frigid (ha!) California months.

05. Graco Bumper Jumper // It’s hard to believe Briar is already able to (mostly) control her movements…I mean, wasn’t she just a spastic newborn yesterday? I’m hoping she will gets lots and lots of joy (and good exercise!) out of this doorway jumper.

06. Pink Piano // Am I asking for incessant loud noise with this piano? Quite possibly! But have you ever seen anything cuter?! Briar so needs this.

07. California Baby Lotion // I’ve been a California Baby fan since the day Briar took her first bath, so as the air gets colder and drier, I’ll be turning to this lotion more and more!

08. Boon Dive Bath Tub Appliques // Briar loves her baths almost as much as she loves her bath toys. These will be so fun when she moves to the big tub.

09. Crewcuts Long-Sleeved Skirted Onesie // Briar has the sleeveless version of this super chic striped onesie, but as babies do, she’s already outgrowing it. This long sleeved option in a size she can fit into months from now would be perfect!

easiest christmas card ever.

Posted on: Thursday, December 18, 2014

Holiday Cards Made with Digital Brushes | Ann-Marie Loves

Given the fact that I just had Briar’s birth announcements made a few weeks ago (did you know I had a baby?), the idea of designing, printing, addressing, and shipping Christmas cards felt like an insurmountable task. But! As I was experimenting with gift tag ideas using my new digital brushes, I realized that it would be SO SIMPLE for me to bust out a quick holiday card design. Beyond simple, actually.

Holiday Cards Made with Digital Brushes | Ann-Marie Loves

I started by dragging one of my favorite Instagram photos into Photoshop. Since it was already cropped nicely into a square, I left it as is.

Holiday Cards Made with Digital Brushes | Ann-Marie Loves

Then I chose the “happy holidays” brush and stamped it on the center of the photo. Next, I added a text layer with the words “Love, The Espinozas” to finish it off. Three steps and I was done.

I decided that I would make just enough copies for our immediate families (knowing that they would appreciate a Briar pic more than anyone else), so I grabbed some photo paper and printed them out at home. So easy. So fast.

(If you have any questions about how to use my digital brushes, let me know!)

diaper bag organizer.

Posted on: Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Life in Play Diaper Bag Organizer | Ann-Marie Loves

As Briar gets older and we spend more + more time away from home, the amount of baby gear that I pack continues to grow + grow. There are the basics that I always have on hand (Target diapers, Honest wipes, Nuk pacifiers, burp rags, and a change of clothes), but there are also a bunch of new things that she requires as well (Sophie the Giraffe, bottles, and bibs, just to name a few). Needless to say, as much as I’d like to think I’m the “cool mom” (ha!) with a cool untraditional diaper bag, I’m nothing but a hot mess when it takes me fifteen minutes of rifling through my bag to find the one item Briar needs.

Life in Play Diaper Bag Organizer | Ann-Marie Loves

So! When Life in Play e-mailed me about their amazing new organizer which turns any bag into a diaper bag, I was intrigued. It was exactly what I needed to get my sanity back and keep potential baby meltdowns at bay. (Did I tell you about Briar’s recent meltdown in the wine aisle at Trader Joe’s? It. Was. Epic.)

Life in Play Diaper Bag Organizer | Ann-Marie Loves

Life in Play Diaper Bag Organizer | Ann-Marie Loves

The diaper bag organizer features several different-sized pockets that are perfect for all kinds of baby (and mama!) gear. Plus, there’s even a roll-up changing mat nestled in the center! Whenever I need to pack Briar’s things, I take the organizer out, put each item in it’s appropriate spot, and then pop it back into my bag. So simple and so worth the extra couple of minutes of planning and organizing.

Life in Play Diaper Bag Organizer | Ann-Marie Loves

The best part about the organizer is that it doesn’t scream “baby.” Much like the way I wanted a bag that I could keep in rotation long after the baby phase of life, this organizer will be perfect for all kinds of packing endeavors for years to come.

From now until the end of the year, you can take $30 off your purchase of a diaper bag organizer using the code “LOVES.” Happy organizing!

briar at four months.

Posted on: Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Briar at Four Months | Ann-Marie Loves

As it turns out, everything I’ve heard about parenting is true.

It’s messy. It’s blissful. It’s exhausting. It’s rewarding. It’s frustrating. It’s thrilling. It’s overwhelming. It’s love beyond measure.

But mostly, it’s the best thing that ever happened.

Briar at Four Months | Ann-Marie Loves

Briar at four months is officially my favorite version of Briar. She’s blossomed into a tiny human with very distinct opinions about everything.  There’s so much about her that catches John and me by surprise. As two painfully shy kids-turned-sometimes-still-shy adults, we were positive that Briar would be just like us. Ha! Not quite. She’s a social butterfly who will smile and laugh and cuddle with almost everyone. We also assumed that she would be a bit more on the, well, chubby? side of the baby spectrum. Again, not even close. She’s a peanut of a gal, weighing in at just under 13 pounds despite her voracious appetite. And then there’s the debate over who she resembles more. I see so much of John and he sees so much of me. But really, Briar is her own person with her own beautiful look and we could spend all of our days just marveling at her.

Briar at Four Months | Ann-Marie Loves

Briar is in perpetual motion. She’s a rolling, kicking, grabbing, gnawing machine who shows off her insane baby abs of steel in an attempt to sit herself up (seriously, how are babies so strong?!). She loves toys and books and pacifiers (which thankfully, she’s learned how to pop back into her mouth!). She is almost always smiling and babbling and John and I will do just about ANYTHING to get her to let out a belly laugh. Oh, how we live for those belly laughs.

Briar at Four Months | Ann-Marie Loves

Sleep continues to be a tricky subject. This past week, she began taking long mid-afternoon naps, so that’s been HUGE, but getting her to sleep through the night still feels like a distant dream (cheesy pun intended). Even though she fits in her bassinet, it’s becoming clear that she’s ready for her crib. The only problem is, I’m not ready for her to be in her crib. I love having her in our room and pulling her into bed when she wakes up in the middle of the night. But, I guess this is my first of many lessons in relinquishing control and letting Briar lead the way. Sigh.

Briar at Four Months | Ann-Marie Loves

These past four months have been the fastest, craziest, most fulfilling four months of my life. Briar is growing up so quickly, yet each stage is more fun than the last. And if I think four months is fun, I can only imagine how exciting five months and beyond will be!

That Briar. She’s my favorite.

2015 calendar + holiday digital brushes!

Posted on: Monday, December 15, 2014

Happy Monday! Over the weekend I added two new items to my shop. And the best part of all is that there’s no need to wait for shipping…you can download and use them almost immediately!

2015 Printable Calendar | Ann-Marie Loves Paper | annmarielovespaper.bigcartel.com

First up: a 2015 printable calendar! I wanted something sleek and streamlined for my office, while still incorporating a bold pop of color.

2015 Printable Calendar | Ann-Marie Loves Paper | annmarielovespaper.bigcartel.com

Six bucks and you can print and reprint as many times as your heart desires. Plus, a bulldog clip pulls it all together and makes it easy to hang on a wall. BOOM.

Digital Brushes: Holiday Edition | Ann-Marie Loves Paper | annmarielovespaper.bigcartel.com

Secondly, digital brushes for all of my holiday stamp designs from 2012 – 2014. I know the idea of “digital” sounds super intimidating (even to me! a designer!), but I assure you…it’s FAR easier than getting a perfect rubber stamp impression. You can even customize the size of the design to be as big or as small as your project commands! I’ve been using them on my December Daily album (photos to come!), but they are also perfect for holiday cards, gift tags, and DIY wrapping paper.

P.S. Elise recently made an awesome video tutorial on how to use digital brushes! Be sure to check that out as well as her new digital stamps :)

Digital Brushes: Holiday Edition | Ann-Marie Loves Paper | annmarielovespaper.bigcartel.com

I’ll be turning the rest of my stamp designs into digital brushes very soon. You can find these items as well as rubber stamps, e-courses, and many others right here.

I hope your holiday season is going swimmingly! xo

diy woven ornaments.

Posted on: Thursday, December 11, 2014

DIY Woven Ornaments | Ann-Marie Loves

If you’ve stepped foot in an Anthropologie in recent days, then you know. You know that once again, they have NAILED the holidays. It was like they took the best of the blog world + Pinterest and filtered it through their magic machines to churn out the “handmade yet refined” aesthetic like only Anthro can do. Needless to say, I’ve been visiting my local Anthro for holiday inspiration, oh, once every two and a half days? (Or so it seems.) (Just ask Briar.)

I look forward to the day that I become their target demographic and can buy everything in sight, but until that day, I’ll continue to take inspiration from Anthro’s impeccable merchandising and put my own spin on their products. Case in point: woven ornaments.

DIY Woven Ornaments | Ann-Marie Loves

Technically I’ve been on the weaving bandwagon for quite some time, so it wasn’t too much of a stretch for me to break out my loom and get down to business creating mini woven ornaments for the tree. I kept my colors pretty simple: pink, mustard, a few shades of white, and of course, a little bit of my favorite glitter eyelash yarn.

DIY Woven Ornaments | Ann-Marie Loves

I then created a small warp that ran the whole length of the loom. To save on time and yarn, I wove two different weavings on both ends of the loom. Once I was finished, I threaded twigs through both of the weavings and then cut the yarn strands (from the warp) to separate the two designs. So simple!

DIY Woven Ornaments | Ann-Marie Loves

I love how fun and easy these were to create! Plus, if I decide that I am so over the yarn trend on trees next Christmas (WHAT!), then I’ll just pass them along to Briar to use for her dollhouse or add them to the top of a package. No craft goes to waste around here ;)

as of late | december edition.

Posted on: Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

Going on Day 9 with a cold that just won’t quit. There’s only so much I can do to keep Briar safe from my germs (read: there’s pretty much nothing I can do), so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that she walks away unscathed!

Hooked on Marry Me. That Casey Wilson can do no wrong in my book.

Loving that Rachel Bilson named her daughter Briar, too! I feel oddly validated, like “See! It is a real name!”

Getting excited about my family’s upcoming trip to Cambria. I can’t wait to roadtrip and drink Scout Coffee and bundle my babe up in cold weather clothes, like this sherpa bear suit…!

Stamping this stamp on everything in sight this month. ‘Tis the season!

Dying over Lay Baby Lay. It is one incredible blog, jam-packed with baby, craft, and home design inspiration. (What blogs are you loving these days?)

Digging the branding + the styling behind this new sling wrap biz. I’m telling you, good design goes a long way.

Trying hard to come up with a holiday wish list but I’m struggling! There are really only three things I want: stylish yet comfy booties, a new fedora, and a craft coffee subscription. (Wait, am I a hipster?)

Thinking back on 2014 and deciding that it was NOT my favorite year. Not by a looooong shot. However! It was the year that my daughter made her debut, so despite the many uphill battles it held, it will forever hold a tiny soft spot in my heart.

Making pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. I’m the only one that likes pumpkin in this house so I get them all to myself. For better or worse ;)

Feeling a little blue + overwhelmed for no particular reason these days, but I’m finding relief in afternoon walks, listening to music at home, and basking in the glow of the Christmas tree every night (bonus points if it’s with a baby in my lap).

Listening to Serial every Thursday. You were right, guys…it is good! (I found this article to be super interesting.)

Thanking the powers that be for inventing baby play mats. I can plop Briar on her mat for a huge chunk of time and not feel guilty because she is moving and grooving and learning and enjoying herself (all while Mama Bear sneaks in some work ;)).

Speaking of baby products, I spent a good chunk of time in the baby food + supplies aisle of Target yesterday. My four month old is now eating real food (well, if that’s what rice cereal is?) and I had to find some colorful spoons to celebrate the occasion.

Dreaming of what I want 2015 to be like and three goals come to mind: build a photography business, partner with an awesome company to design baby / mama products, and try something new with my shop

diy paper bead necklace.

Posted on: Monday, December 8, 2014

IMG_5849

Remember paper bead necklaces, guys? I totally revisited the idea using Dear Lizzy paper and I have to say…I love how it turned out! Sometimes it’s the simplest of projects with the most humble of supplies that reap the biggest successes. (I need to remember this.) (I tried scrapbooking again yesterday and it was an epic fail.) (More on this later.)

DIY Paper Bead Necklace | Designed by Ann-Marie Espinoza for Dear Lizzy

Supplies: Dear Lizzy paper // Tape Runner // Baker’s Twine // Wooden Skewers // Mod Podge (Optional)

You can read more about it on Liz’s blog!

pantry labels for emma magazine.

Posted on: Thursday, December 4, 2014

Pantry Labels designed by Ann-Marie Espinoza for Emma Magazine

Is it just me or is this week flying right on by? One minute it’s Thanksgiving and the next, we’re knee-deep in Christmas and holiday shopping and cold season (I may or may not have driven to my parents yesterday morning just so I could pass Briar to my mom and sleep off my cold!) (Thanks Mom!). But really, it’s my favorite season (cold or no cold) and I love every minute of the whirlwind!

In other news, I designed a set of pantry label printables for Emma Magazine a few months back and was so excited to see them on their blog yesterday. Download away, my friends! Happy Thursday!

 

photo love.

Posted on: Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography | Photos for The Nutty Nutritionist

I’ve always been reluctant to call myself a “photographer” for a myriad of bogus reasons (“I didn’t major in photography” or “I don’t have this or that lens” or best of all, “I’m not good enough”), but ironically, it’s the one creative medium that makes me incredibly happy, EVERY SINGLE TIME. I love everything about it, from the conceptualizing to the shooting to the editing to the sharing. I’ve been toying with the idea of pursuing photography as my main gig for quite some time, but I haven’t had the confidence to really go for it. That is, until now.

Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography | Photos for The Nutty Nutritionist
Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography | Photos for The Nutty Nutritionist

So when my friend + fellow blogger Heather asked me to shoot food photos for her amazing recipe posts, I gladly agreed. Food is a tricky subject to capture; not only do you have to get the lighting and the composition just right, but you have to make it look appetizing…no easy feat! Needless to say, it’s been an exciting creative challenge for the both of us, as Heather works her magic in the kitchen and I work mine near the window with the best natural light.

Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography | Photos for The Nutty Nutritionist
Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography | Photos for The Nutty Nutritionist
Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography | Photos for The Nutty Nutritionist

(I can attest that these recipes are incredible. In fact, I even made Heather’s green chile corn casserole (shown above) for Thanksgiving!)

Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography | Photos for The Nutty Nutritionist
Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography | Photos for The Nutty Nutritionist

There’s something about having a baby that has forced me to truly reevaluate everything in my life, from the to the way I drive to the words that I say to the way I can support my little family while still being a stay-at-home-mom. I’ve been in need of a change of pace for quite some time and Briar has been the perfect catalyst for pushing me to make things happen. Plus, I figure, if I can capture babies and food (two tricky subjects) with a moderate level of success, I can capture anything, right? (Ha!) ;)

Stay tuned…

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