Entries Tagged as 'celebrate'

briar’s first birthday!

Posted on: Monday, August 10, 2015

Briar's First Birthday | Ann-Marie Loves

On Saturday, we celebrated Briar’s first birthday in my parents’ backyard. I have to say, as excited as I was to throw Briar a party, I was dreading the fact that my little baby was officially making the jump from infant to toddler. I may or may not have cried my eyes out the night before as I was putting her to bed, but by Saturday morning, I felt like a new person with a renewed excitement for all the good things still to come. Briar's First Birthday | Ann-Marie Loves

Briar's First Birthday | Ann-Marie Loves

We had a loose “summer fun” theme for the party, so I made wooden cacti, a paper watermelon banner, colorful tissue paper tassels, and a few other handmade details. I also busted out the cotton canvas teepee, my favorite colorful rug (a Rose Bowl find!), a thrifted rattan horse rocker, and various inflatable toys.

Briar's First Birthday | Ann-Marie Loves
Briar's First Birthday | Ann-Marie Loves

Briar has never met a baked good that she didn’t like, so to have a whole cupcake to herself? Best day ever. She dove right in and didn’t stop until she was completely covered in frosting.

Briar's First Birthday | Ann-Marie Loves
Briar's First Birthday | Ann-Marie Loves
Briar's First Birthday | Ann-Marie Loves

My favorite part of the party decor was definitely the wall of Briar photos from her first year of life. I had such a great time going through thousands of photos on my computer, having my favorites printed, and then taping them up on the wall. Being able to see a whole entire year’s worth of memories in one place is pretty incredible. I definitely want to do this every year!

Briar's First Birthday | Ann-Marie Loves

Briar's First Birthday | Ann-Marie Loves
Briar's First Birthday | Ann-Marie Loves

Briar's First Birthday | Ann-Marie Loves

However, the real hit of the party was most certainly the water table! Every time I looked over, there were babies screaming and splashing and living it up over at that table. (I seriously think it’s one of our best investments in baby gear thus far!)

Briar's First Birthday | Ann-Marie Loves

Briar skipped her nap, ate a whole chocolate cupcake, and got to celebrate her birthday with her favorite people…it was a good day, indeed! But I think the best part of all was that she slept through the night (the whole night!) following the party! I don’t want to jinx anything, but I sure hope this habit sticks!

It’s hard to believe that a whole year has come and gone, but I’m so grateful that we made it this far. John and I can’t remember life before we had our sweet girl!

briar’s first birthday | invitation progress.

Posted on: Monday, July 13, 2015

Hand-lettered Birthday Invitations | Ann-Marie Loves

This past weekend was a big one. There was a sprained ankle (Mine! Zumba! Gah!), first steps for Briar (I’M SO PROUD I COULD EXPLODE), and lots of fun working on my almost-one year old’s birthday party invitations! It’s hard to believe that in just a few short weeks, Briar will have made a full trip around the sun. I could swear we just brought her home from the hospital?

Hand-lettered Birthday Invitations | Ann-Marie Loves

But instead of wallowing in the fact that my baby is getting older, I am focusing on all the fun things ahead. Namely, birthday crafting! For the invitations, I’m jumping on the hand-lettering bandwagon and pairing my handwriting with a little watercoloring. (There will also be a photo involved, if only I could just get her to stay in one place for five seconds…)

Hand-lettered Birthday Invitations | Ann-Marie Loves

I’m pretty sure I could write out her name all day, everyday. I used to FILL notebooks with lettering just because I loved playing with my handwriting and trying out different words in different ways (anyone else?). The thing about hand-lettering is that I need a marker with a wide tip to achieve my best look, so I busted out my forgotten Copic markers and went to town. Those markers are expensive but they really do work like a dream.

Hand-lettered Birthday Invitations | Ann-Marie Loves

I also had a great time creating full page watercolor washes to use as a background texture. I am by no means an expert painter, but I do find it to be incredibly relaxing, especially with a fun podcast on in the background.

Hand-lettered Birthday Invitations | Ann-Marie Loves

I’ve already scanned in all of my favorite samples of the lettering and watercoloring (using this method!) and I am so excited to pair them together to create a finished product. Stay tuned for more party updates coming soon!

hello 2015.

Posted on: Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Hello 2015 | Ann-Marie Loves

The more years I see, the more I realize that I can’t put a blanket statement on any particular year. Or anything, really. (Except cookie dough. I am ALWAYS down for cookie dough.) Each year is filled with it’s own share of victories and losses that help to mold you into your future self. But if I’m being honest, 2014 was a DOOZY. It was more powerful and life changing and terrifying than I ever could have predicted. I don’t think I’ve ever been more stressed out in my life. Needless to say, I’m happy to put it in the past (insert peace sign emoji here).

My families rang in the new year in a beautiful home in Cambria overlooking the Pacific Ocean…all while the majority of the group battled various flu symptoms (I’m sure there’s a metaphor in there somewhere). Despite our rocky entrance into 2015, I’m already feeling a sense of lightness and peace for the new year. There are big life changes on the horizon, but my main focus for 2015 is to stop and  savor the little things that make life so wonderful. I spent way too much of last year in a state of panic over the unknown that I often lost sight of all the amazing things that were actually happening. This year, I have grand plans of enjoying craft coffee everyday, taking tons of Zumba classes, finding any and every excuse to meet up with friends, allowing others to help me, taking more photos, sleeping in if it feels good, working on more “just for fun” projects, and getting down on the floor and playing with my baby as often as possible. Ever since Christmas, Briar has been hitting milestones left and right (rolling all over, grabbing at everything, sitting up) and it’s been a huge wakeup call for me to enjoy each and every moment, not just of her life, but of mine as well.

It’s gonna be a good one. I can feel it.

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!)

holiday gift guide for guys + free printable!

Posted on: Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Holiday Shopping Guide for Guys | Collaboration with Kohl's + Free Printable! | Ann-Marie Loves

Despite the inevitable madness that ensues each November / December, I love the holiday season.

I love the decorating. I love the baking. I love the music + movies. But what I really love is dreaming of the perfect gifts to give to all my loved ones. The girls on my list are always a breeze to shop for. The guys, on the other hand? IMPOSSIBLE. I don’t know what it is, but I find myself struggling to come up with ideas for them, year after year! So when Kohl’s approached me about putting together a holiday gift guide for guys, I knew just the person to recruit for help: my husband! (After all, that’s what husbands are for, right?) Thankfully, John was more than up to the task.

Here are twelve of his top picks for guys:

Holiday Shopping Guide for Guys | Collaboration with Kohl's + Free Printable! | Ann-Marie Loves

01. Boat Shoes | 02. Classic Fit Sports Coat | 03. Stainless Steel Chronograph Watch | 04. Solid Twill Cardigan | 05. Mini Jambox Speaker | 06. Tapered Leg Jeans | 07. Hybrid Chino Pants | 08. Aqua Dress Shirt | 09. Plaid Casual Button-Down Shirt | 10. Keurig Coffee Brewer | 11. Nike Toki Low Sneakers | 12. Sherpa Hoodie

Thanks to this list, I won’t be racking my brain at the last minute for the perfect gift for all the wonderful men in my life. (Thanks babe!)

Holiday Shopping Guide for Guys | Collaboration with Kohl's + Free Printable! | Ann-Marie Loves

To help you get a jump on your holiday shopping, I designed a free printable for you to take with you (whether it’s to the mall or your computer!) so you can stay organized in style. Click HERE to download!

This post was sponsored by Kohl’s, but the ideas + opinions are all my (and John’s!) own. For more ideas on what to buy this season, check out Kohl’s holiday gift guide here!

one year.

Posted on: Monday, October 27, 2014

Ann-Marie + John | Photo by Katie Pritchard Photography

Photo by Katie Pritchard.

John’s and my first year of marriage will forever go down as the year we packed as many major life events into 365 days as possible. We got married. We went on an amazing honeymoon. We moved to Pasadena. I got pregnant. We bought a new car. We had a baby. Life was / is C R A Z Y. I’ll admit that packing so many things into a single year was stressful. Draining. Overwhelming. And yet, so incredibly rewarding.

Yesterday marked our first anniversary as a married couple. One year down, one hundred more to go…

desert bunny baby shower | part two.

Posted on: Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Desert Bunny Baby Shower | Ann-Marie Loves

My idea of the perfect party involves breakfast food, a laidback atmosphere, a fun outfit, and great company. Thanks to my good friend Val and my amazing mom, my second baby shower fit all those criteria and then some. Aside from the awesome theme (desert bunny for the win!), I think that my most favorite part of all was that Val made this event a mother / daughter celebration. Even though my friends and I still see each other fairly often, seldom do we get to spend time together with our precious moms in tow. It was such a great way to bring everyone into the mix and celebrate the next generation of moms + daughters!

Desert Bunny Baby Shower | Ann-Marie Loves

desert_bunny_7

Desert Bunny Baby Shower | Ann-Marie Loves

Gorgeous tablescapes and a chance for me to put my wedding glassware to use again!

Desert Bunny Baby Shower | Ann-Marie Loves

black and white striped skirted onesie?! You’re too good to me, Janelle.

Desert Bunny Baby Shower | Ann-Marie Loves

Desert Bunny Baby Shower | Ann-Marie Loves

I was also the lucky recipient of so many incredible handmade gifts that my daughter and I will treasure for years.

Desert Bunny Baby Shower | Ann-Marie Loves

Desert Bunny Baby Shower | Ann-Marie Loves

Bunny garland, hand-dyed cheesecloth, and painted desert plants! DIY elements never go unnoticed by me.

Desert Bunny Baby Shower | Ann-Marie Loves

Trying to stay cool in the shade. (Again, whose idea was it to have a summer baby? ;))

Desert Bunny Baby Shower | Ann-Marie Loves

My wonderful mom, my amazing Espinoza family, and my gigantic 35 week bump. I never realized just how pregnant I look until I went through all my baby shower photos over the past two weekends…WHOA THERE.

Desert Bunny Baby Shower | Ann-Marie Loves

I was so caught up in the moment that I failed to take all of the photos that I wanted to get, but this is one I will always cherish. I’ve grown up with a tight group of nine girls and learned so much about the mother / daughter relationship as a result. I can say that all ten moms (including my own!) are the epitome of unconditional love and selflessness. If I can be HALF as good at motherhood as they are, my daughter will be one lucky gal.

desert bunny baby shower | part one.

Posted on: Monday, June 23, 2014

Desert Bunny Baby Shower | Ann-Marie Loves

Invitation designed by JayAdores

Despite the fact that my heartburn has reached a whole new level of crazy and my feet + ankles (okay, kankles) have grown about four sizes overnight, I feel completely overwhelmed with love and gratitude for all of my closest friends and family members. This past weekend marked my second baby shower and much like the last, it’s hard for me to articulate just how special it is to be surrounded by loved ones who already have such a vested interest in Baby Espinoza without ever having met her…! I received some incredible gifts, but truly (and as cliche as it sounds), the best gift of all was the presence of so many of my favorite people packed into my parents’ backyard on a warm Sunday afternoon. Having a baby really is the best. Heartburn, fat feet, and all.

P.S. More photos to come!

baby showers are the best.

Posted on: Monday, June 16, 2014

Baby Shower No. One | Ann-Marie Espinoza

How gorgeous is the Espinoza gene pool?? Holy moly, I chose well! ;)

Bridal showers are fantastic. They are the perfect excuse to wear a tight white dress, indulge in cocktails with your best friends, and squeal over latte bowls, lingerie, and linens that help to get married life off on the right foot.

But then there are baby showers.

I never realized just how truly special these kinds of get-togethers are until I had my first one this past Saturday. Since my sister-in-law and I are both expecting girls this year, our amazing family threw us a beautiful backyard double shower to celebrate the forthcoming members to the Espinoza clan. I love that baby showers are not just about the moms-to-be, but more importantly, they’re about the new lives that will be here before we know it.

As John and I unpacked our car full of baby gifts last night, we couldn’t help but revel in just how lucky our daughter is to have such an incredible group of people who already love her so much. I often look back on our engagement and our wedding and think about how I thought things couldn’t possibly get anymore fulfilling than they were in that moment. Ha! I was so naive. I am here to report that having a baby takes the concept of fulfillment to a whole new level.

So what if my body’s nowhere near as fit as it once was or I can’t enjoy a glass (or three) of wine just yet? Everyday of pregnancy is a welcome reminder that there are much more important things in life to celebrate :)

we’re having a…

Posted on: Friday, February 21, 2014

Baby Girl Announcement | Ann-Marie Loves

I may or may not have (desperately) hoped for a girl. In fact, John and I had our daughter’s name picked out about five minutes after we found out I was pregnant. It felt right from the very beginning. Regardless, I never had a gut feeling about what the baby was. I didn’t have any vivid dreams until the day of the gender reveal ultrasound. But I did know that I couldn’t let myself get too attached to the idea of a girl, because knowing my luck, it would be a boy. And of course, I would have loved that boy to pieces. But something about having a baby girl seemed undeniably appealing and I couldn’t get the idea out of my head.

I prayed for a healthy and happy baby (occasionally requesting it be of the female variety) every night. I made a wish for a girl every time I drove under a tunnel with my breath held. I hoped on every fallen eyelash, on every full moon, on every superstition I could think of, that this child maybe, just maybe, be a little girl. Admittedly, this makes me sound incredibly selfish and ungrateful. After all, shouldn’t I just be thankful to be able to start a family and not concern myself with the details? YES. I absolutely believe that. But man! Pregnancy has a way of taking your thought process to a whole new level of obsessive.

Baby Girl Announcement | Ann-Marie Loves

At my 12 week appointment, I was able to take home some decent shots of the baby, including one in particular that had us analyzing certain body parts far too closely. Clearly, we had no clue what we were looking at, so we recruited the opinions of just about anyone and everyone with a pair of eyes. And as it turned out, they had no clue what they were looking at either. Needless to say, the suspense was killing us!

So I made an appointment to have an ultrasound at 17 weeks.

Baby Girl Announcement | Ann-Marie Loves

John and I went back and forth over whether we wanted to have a gender reveal party (all the cool kids are doing it these days) or whether we wanted to find out privately. After much thought, we decided on the latter. Even though it would have been fun to have a little party with our closest family + friends, it was so much more “us” to celebrate privately.

During the appointment, I was SO NERVOUS. John, of course, played it cool as usual. Once the tech confirmed the sex of the baby, she wrote it down on a piece of paper and tucked the note into an envelope with plenty of photos for safekeeping. We guarded that thing with our lives. That night, we went out for a late Valentine’s-slash-gender reveal celebratory dinner at an Italian restaurant here Pasadena. After ordering our meals, we finally worked up the nerve to open the envelope. I was incredibly anxious so we agreed to look at it at on the count of three (dramatic, I know). As we opened it up, I was fully expecting to see the word “boy” spelled out. Imagine my surprise (and sheer joy) when I read “girl” instead. Ahhh, I want to remember that moment and that feeling forever!

Baby Girl Announcement | Ann-Marie Loves

The baby girl we had been pining for was no longer just a distant dream; she was real and she was ours.

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