My baby is two! TWO. All I can say is, the days are long but the years are short.
I think back to individual moments that have made up the entirety of these two years: holding Briar for the first time, never-ending nursing sessions, waking up repeatedly in the middle of the night to comfort her, wearing her around the house as I learned to juggle work and baby, watching her roll / crawl / walk / run for the first times, holding her hand as we cross the street, reading her favorite stories over and over again, and having little conversations throughout the day.
Some days have felt incredibly long and draining but those are almost always followed up by days peppered with unannounced kisses and lots of laughter and long naps. It’s one life lesson after another (including some that I have to learn time and time again). It’s moments of intense joy and pride for the little person I am privileged to raise as well as overwhelming frustration and despair. It’s moments when John and I catch each other’s eyes and wonder how we got so lucky to have Briar as our own.
These past two years have been a wild ride complete with highs and lows, but what an amazing experience! I remember feeling pretty sad when Briar was about to turn one. I questioned whether I had savored her first year enough or if I had squandered it with worry and quiet desperation. This time around, I feel at peace with the passing of time. I truly believe that I was much more present for her second year (which sometimes meant leaving her with a grandparent for the day so I could appreciate the time we had together even more). I feel like this past year was when I found my footing as Briar’s mama and could finally appreciate each moment as it came (most of the time) because it goes by so fast. I can honestly say that I had so much fun this past year!
Two years in the books. What an adventure.
This past weekend was filled with wedding festivities as my best friend Val married her longtime love! It was such an amazing couple of days spent with my dearest friends. I have a group of ten girlfriends and somehow everyone managed to make it out for Val’s special day, which meant people traveling from as far as Denver, Atlanta, and Australia…! Due to some last minute edits, my friend Liz and I volunteered ourselves to read during the ceremony and I can speak for both of us when I say we were so honored. We read Val and Joe’s love story and despite our nerves, we were so thrilled to be a part of such a big moment! Here are some of my favorite photos that I managed to sneak in during the busy celebrations:
Congratulations Mr. and Mrs.!
This past weekend I got to work on a photo backdrop for my sister-in-law’s surprise birthday party and it was so much fun to put together. With no real theme to work off of, I decided to go with something that would be colorful in photos but not be too difficult to execute. So after a run to Joann’s for colored paper, I started on the leaves!
To get these shapes, I did a quick Google search of various leaves and saved a few of my favorites to my desktop so I could cut them out with my Cameo using this insanely awesome trick. It’s a little tedious to work in the Silhouette software but totally worth it when you can take an image from the interwebs and turn them into a tangible object! To save on time, I ended up only cutting about a third of the total leaves with the Cameo and then hand-cutting the rest with a sharp pair of scissors. Once all the leaves were cut out, I taped two huge sheets of kraft butcher paper together and started arranging the shapes and then gluing them down.
I was very happy with the way it turned out! (Briar was thrilled about it too, as you can tell.) I haven’t worked on a project of this scale in quite some time, so it was a great creative challenge!
P.S. Happy happy birthday, Jen!
My best friend is getting married in a few months so I was more than happy to put together her shower invites! Using the shower color palette as well as a photo I took from her engagement session last year as my inspiration, I set out to create a modern and feminine invitation that would do her proud. Also, a harbor side mimosa brunch? I can’t wait!
Do you ever sit on making a purchase for so long and then finally have an excuse to make it? That’s exactly what I did with the giant circle punch that I used to cut out these registry cards. I’ve been wanting a three inch circle punch for years but couldn’t justify the cost until this very occasion. So thank you, Val! My circle punch and I are going to have a long happy life together, I just know it.
Using a gorgeous floral washi tape that I found at Paper Source, I attached the registries card to the back of the invitation. Super simple and fun! Once both pieces were attached, I tucked them into kraft envelopes and sent them on their merry way. I love a good design project…especially for someone I love so much!
With Christmas fast approaching, I knew I wanted to get holiday cards but I also knew that we needed an updated family photo. As much as I would have LOVED to have had one of my favorite photographers capture us in the finest light, there was simply no more time left to get it done. Enter: the camera self timer.
John was fighting off a bad cold, Briar was desperate to jump out of my arms and roll in the dirt, and I had to change my shirt twice, BUT WE MADE IT HAPPEN. I got a great family photo (plus a few more gems!) and my dream of sending out holiday cards in 2015 was actually made feasible. Small victories, people.
This year I partnered with Pear Tree Greetings and chose a brushed gold style holiday card from Genevieve Gorder’s collection (P.S. I love her). My love affair with a gold is showing no signs of stopping plus I love the simple design.
These cards are so thick! I’m obsessed with sturdy paper goods and these totally fit the bill.
On the back, I took a single photo slot and turned it into two images with a little Photoshop magic. I like to bend the rules, what can I say? ;) I hope you are having a wonderful holiday season and receiving lots of happy mail!
For my birthday, I only wanted one thing: a trip away with my husband sans baby. As much as I love Briar, I hadn’t spent a night apart from her since she was born so the thought of being baby-free was, well, all too appealing. And guess what? It was wonderful! Actually, it was one of the best birthdays I’ve ever had. Just me, my husband, and one of the prettiest cities in the world. Briar spent the weekend with my parents and while John and I missed her terribly, it was exactly what we needed to reconnect as a couple.
Some of the highlights include: coffee at The French Press, hot chocolate at Handlebar Coffee Roasters, seafood enchiladas and margaritas at Cava, shopping on State Street, brunch at Scarlett Begonia, and sunsets over the Pacific. If this weekend was any indication of what 29 will be like, then I am READY.
Hi you guys! I have been quite a busy bee lately and am so excited to finally be sharing a few new products that I designed. First up: hand-lettered digital brushes!
I happily spent an afternoon with sheet after sheet of watercolor paper, my new Sakura water brush, watercolor paint, and my favorite holiday playlist on repeat.
I definitely plan on using these brushes on all of my holiday crafting + packaging projects! They’re so easy to use (way easier than traditional rubber stamps, in my opinion) and they can be scaled up or down depending on the project at hand.
Next up: printable custom holiday photo cards! I’ve been wanting to make these for months and now I finally check them off my list! Sometimes I sit on projects for so long for no real reason (whyyyyy), so it always feels good to get them out into the world.
You can find these products and more in my shop!
This past Sunday I turned twenty nine. TWENTY NINE. The final year of my twenties. In all honesty, I feel amazing…spectacular, even! Twenty eight was not my best year by a loooooong shot and I am more than happy to put it in the past and begin anew. But that’s not to say twenty eight was a complete bust; there were many beautiful moments, both big and small.
Here are 29 of my favorite moments from 28:
1. Briar sleeping through the night!
2. Enjoying the pumpkin patch at Underwood Farms.
3. Working twice a week with Amy.
4. Many Disneyland adventures.
5. Honey bee lattes on the regular.
6. Discovering so many amazing podcasts! My favorites from the past year are The Girl Next Door, Totally Mommy, and Call Your Girlfriend.
7. Friday night dates with my husband.
8. Having family nearby again.
9. Deciding to pursue what I’ve been wanting to do all along…photography!
10. Learning how to forgive myself. (Still working on that one.)
11. Being a part of my dear friend’s gorgeous wedding at Hummingbird Nest Ranch.
12. Taking all the Zumba classes again! I’m just as in love with it now as I was three years ago.
13. Feeling my heart burst as I watch Briar reach so many milestones with aplomb. She’s such an amazing little girl, I can’t believe she’s mine!
14. Reading this book.
15. Taking a weekend trip to San Diego.
16. Spending New Years in Cambria with family (Briar’s first vacation!).
17. Going for lots of walks with Briar in her stroller and headphones in my ears.
18. Seeing myself and my beautiful bridesmaids on Buzzfeed (#23)!
19. Leggings, poncho, and booties. Oh, and a top knot always. #momstyle
20. LOL’ing over John dressed up as me for Halloween. I haven’t laughed so hard in a long time!
21. My baby turned one!
22. Social media. I’m just as obsessed as ever!
23. Working on Briar’s scrapbook.
24. Feeling so motivated to move and hit 10k steps daily thanks to my Fitbit!
25. Celebrating Briar’s first holiday season (oh em gee, I’m even more pumped for this year!).
26. Loving Parenthood right up to the very end! Favorite show ever.
27. My ten year high school reunion! It was so good to see old friends after all this time!
28. Dancing like a maniac at such a beautiful Espinoza family wedding.
29. Spending my last night as a twenty eight year old in Santa Barbara with my favorite guy. It was exactly what I needed to close one chapter and start another…
Truth be told, I’ve never been much for Halloween (truth also be told, I am very much for Kit Kats). But now that I have a little one to dress up and celebrate this holiday with, it’s such a fun experience! John has always been a big fan of Halloween, so I relinquish all traditions + costuming responsibilities to him. This year, he decided that Briar would be a robot! Admittedly I was a little perplexed as to how this was going to work since I tend to think of robots as an older kid costume, but John totally nailed it (as usual). He took a long sleeve gray top and leggings from Target and transformed them into robot attire with pompoms, puffy paints, duct tape, twine, enamel dots, buttons, and a little help from my Cameo.
So cute, right? UGH, this girl kills me! The back of her shirt says “Briar Bot” and was cut out of a sheet of duct tape using my trusty old Cameo (forever getting my money’s worth out of that machine!). Since Briar simply refused to nap all day long, she was pretty tired by the time it got dark, so we only went trick or treating to both sets of grandparents’ respective houses. It was just enough for her to fill her pumpkin with treats and get lots of love and attention from her favorite people.
As for me and John, we decided to be each other! Oh em gee, I laughed so hard over some of my mannerisms and sayings that John picked up on and happily acted out for me while in his “Ann-Marie” costume (“So I was listening to this podcast…”). Plus, seeing him in a blonde wig and a poncho cracked me up! To get into my “John” costume, I just painted on some facial hair using black eyeliner and dark brown eyeshadow, tucked my hair under his hat, put on his clothes, and acted super annoyed anytime someone suggested that we take a photo (ha!). All in all, it was the perfect Halloween. Hope yours was wonderful, too!