Entries Tagged as 'create'

craft a life you love.

Posted on: Friday, January 13, 2017

Craft a Life You Love by Amy Tangerine | Ann-Marie Loves

This past summer, Amy casually mentioned to me that she was writing the book she had been wanting to pen for years. I was thrilled for her, of course. She has so much inspiration and wisdom to share, it would be a shame if she didn’t write a book ASAP! Then this past November, she told me that her book was finished and she was ready to publish it. I was blown away at how fast she was able to bring her dream to life! But then again, I wasn’t surprised at all. When Amy sets out to do something, she does it, and she does it BIG.

Enter: Craft A Life You Love.

Craft a Life You Love by Amy Tangerine | Ann-Marie Loves

Amy Tangerine is not only an amazing artist whom I’ve admired for years, but she has also been an incredible mentor to me. After I moved back from Utah, I began working for Amy a few days a week and never once has it actually felt like “work.” Instead, she’s given me an invaluable opportunity to hone all of my creative skills, including everything from scrapbooking and graphic design to photography and writing. Each time I show up for work, I never know what the day has in store, but I can always count on walking away having learned something new.

Craft a Life You Love by Amy Tangerine | Ann-Marie Loves

One of my favorite things about Amy is that she actually practices what she preaches. Girl walks the walk and talks the talk. I mean, she keeps a set of watercolors in her purse for those pockets of free time in her day where creativity can be squeezed in…if that isn’t dedication to her craft, then I don’t know what is! I can’t think of anyone more qualified to dispense advice on creative living than Amy.

Craft a Life You Love by Amy Tangerine | Ann-Marie Loves

One of my favorite things about this book is that it meets you right where you are. You don’t need to be a professional creative with a huge following to relate to the stories and advice that Amy shares. Craft A Life You Love is simply a guidebook for infusing your life with more joy and fulfillment through the process of creativity.

Craft a Life You Love by Amy Tangerine | Ann-Marie Loves

Before Craft A Life You Love went to print, Amy had me read the entire book from cover to cover to look for any grammatical errors and inconsistencies. Needless to say, I was thrilled to take on that job! With Landon sleeping in my arms, I was able to dive deep into an inspiring book without interruption…I can’t remember the last time I was afforded such a luxury! Now that I have my own copy of the book, I turn to it when I need a little boost. It’s like always having Amy’s kind and encouraging self at the ready!

Craft a Life You Love by Amy Tangerine | Ann-Marie Loves

Craft a Life You Love by Amy Tangerine | Ann-Marie Loves

I honestly cannot recommend this book enough. Go get your copy today!

toddler art table.

Posted on: Thursday, January 12, 2017

Toddler Art Table | Ann-Marie Loves

(Bed head in full effect ;)

Admittedly I’m an impulsive person. Once I get an idea in my head, there’s no stopping me until I can scratch that itch (just ask my husband). In this case, I had been on the hunt for a little table for Briar to use with the mini chairs that I thrifted a few years ago. Then I remembered the simple eight dollar side tables that I had used in former apartments and knew they would be the perfect size and color for the art station I envisioned. So on the day before Thanksgiving, I packed up the kiddos in their car seats and braved the holiday traffic, all in the name of IKEA!

Toddler Art Table | Ann-Marie Loves

I always get a little tooooo ambitious at IKEA and think that I can fit more in my arms (and my car!) than I physically can, but since I had two babies in a giant stroller with me, I was forced to keep my priorities straight. This impromptu adventure was well worth the effort because that eight dollar side table has not only been great for meal and snack times, but it has allowed me to live out one of my wildest dreams: watching my own child color and create.

Toddler Art Table | Ann-Marie Loves

You know the saying “out of sight, out of mind?” Well, that’s definitely the case with toys and art supplies. I have a basket filled with art supplies in Briar’s closet that I often forget about so I am making a much more concerted effort to bring it out and set up an art station everyday. If Briar can see it then she’s much more likely to pull up her chair and start coloring instead of begging me to turn on Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. (Although, God bless that Mickey Mouse and the wonderful babysitter that he is ;)

Toddler Art Table | Ann-Marie Loves

Typically Briar likes to rope others into coloring with her (“draw a mommy triangle! draw a baby triangle! draw a Nana triangle!”), and even though I don’t always want to join in, I inevitably feel better if I do. It’s like when we go to the park and she wants me to play in the sand with her. I mean, I don’t really want to be a sand monster by the time we leave, but there is something incredibly therapeutic about these simple childhood pleasures. When it comes to coloring, I love to use the multicolored heart-shaped crayons that I made for Briar this past summer. They’re so satisfying!

Toddler Art Table | Ann-Marie Loves

I’m always looking for toddler-friendly crafts I can do with Briar, especially anything that requires minimal set-up and clean-up. Any suggestions?

quinoa with mushrooms + veggies.

Posted on: Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Five Minute Meal | Quinoa With Mushrooms + Veggies | Ann-Marie Loves

What does a quinoa recipe have to do with the week before Christmas, you ask? Good question. I have no idea. All I know is that I’ve been running myself ragged the past several weeks and all the germs that my family has been passing back and forth have finally caught up to me. I also know that moms aren’t allotted sick days (especially during the crazy holiday season!) so I’ve been trying to take extra good care of myself whenever possible. As a result, this recipe has become my go-to lunch option since it’s packed full of healthy ingredients AND it only takes five minutes to make AND it leaves minimal dishes for me to wash afterwards. BOOM.

Five Minute Meal | Quinoa With Mushrooms + Veggies | Ann-Marie Loves

Everything that goes into this meal can be purchased at Trader Joe’s (or any grocery store of your choice) and used for a variety of meals. Here’s what’s included:

+ Cooked quinoa (I cooked this batch with vegetable broth)

+ Handfuls of spinach

+ Cherry tomatoes

+ Frozen mushrooms (or you can do fresh if you’re feeling fancy!) (I’m never that fancy.)

+ A little bit of feta cheese (or A LOT of feta, if you’re me)

+ Olive oil

+ Pepper to taste

Five Minute Meal | Quinoa With Mushrooms + Veggies | Ann-Marie Loves

The process is pretty simple: Cook over low to medium heat on the stove with a little bit of olive oil for few minutes and then top with feta cheese and pepper. It really is that easy!

holiday packaging.

Posted on: Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Holiday Packaging | Ann-Marie Loves

When it comes to holiday packaging, I take my job verrrrry seriously. I love wrapping presents and as a result, I am a firm believer that the packaging is just as (if not more!) important the gift itself. While ordering holiday cards through Minted, I added a few rolls of this XO gift wrap paper to my cart because, well, it’s PERFECTION. Not only is this particular pattern great for Christmas, but it’s also perfect for showers or birthdays throughout the rest of the year.

Holiday Packaging | Ann-Marie Loves

Each gift is topped with a plethora of colorful pom poms (never enough poms!) and simple tags that I quickly whipped up in Illustrator.

Holiday Packaging | Ann-Marie Loves

I also picked up gold foil polka dot paper from Target and am making a mental note to stock up on this pattern during the after-Christmas sale! It’s so good.

Holiday Packaging | Ann-Marie Loves

I’d like to think my packaging obsession is rubbing off on Briar. She grabbed the hot pink washi tape when I wasn’t looking and helped to herself to a rather generous strip of it, which she promptly added to her own gift – ha!

Holiday Packaging | Ann-Marie Loves

Clearly I wasn’t doing it right. She kindly fixed it for me ;)

pom pom maker.

Posted on: Monday, December 19, 2016

My Favorite Pom Pom Maker | Ann-Marie Loves

I have an abundance of crafting tools that admittedly collect dust most of the year. Sometimes they involve too much set up or maybe they’re on a high shelf that I don’t feel like rearranging to get to or maybe I just plain forgot about them. Regardless, there are only a handful of tools that I use on a constant basis (hello, heavy duty paper trimmer!). But since I’ve been obsessed with pom poms for a few years, I figured there had to be a tool out there that would help me improve on my creations. Enter: this handy dandy pom pom maker. For only $8 on Amazon, I received two different sized pom pom makers in one pack and they produce perfect little poms in a snap!

So in the spirit of adding toppers to holiday gifts, I thought I would share how awesome this little gadget is:

My Favorite Pom Pom Maker | Ann-Marie Loves

Wind one side of the pom pom maker with your yarn color(s) of choice.

My Favorite Pom Pom Maker | Ann-Marie Loves

Repeat the winding on the opposite arm.

My Favorite Pom Pom Maker | Ann-Marie Loves

Move both of the arms towards the center of the maker.

My Favorite Pom Pom Maker | Ann-Marie Loves

This is what it looks like once it’s closed.

My Favorite Pom Pom Maker | Ann-Marie Loves

Grab a pair of sharp scissors and trim down the center of each side of yarn.

My Favorite Pom Pom Maker | Ann-Marie Loves

Once you’ve cut all the way through both sides, it will look like a yarn sandwich.
My Favorite Pom Pom Maker | Ann-Marie Loves

Cut a short string of yarn and wind it around the center of the pom pom maker and secure it with a double knot (this is what binds the two arms’ yarn together.

My Favorite Pom Pom Maker | Ann-Marie Loves

Pull the pom pom maker apart.

My Favorite Pom Pom Maker | Ann-Marie Loves

Here’s what the pom pom looks like! Pretty cool, huh?

My Favorite Pom Pom Maker | Ann-Marie Loves

Finally, give your pom pom a little hair cut.

My Favorite Pom Pom Maker | Ann-Marie Loves

With a toddler who is constantly redecorating the tree, I love using these pom poms as ornaments AND as gift toppers! I never have to worry about them breaking or being so valuable that I would be sad if they went MIA. I’m just now thinking that I might thread them on a string and hang them as a garland in Briar’s room when the holidays are over…hmmmm. So many possibilities!

morris family holiday cards with minted.

Posted on: Friday, December 16, 2016

Family Holiday Cards 2016 | Ann-Marie Loves x Minted

Do you know what moms really love? FAMILY PHOTOS. Do you know what two year olds really hate? FAMILY PHOTOS.

Family Holiday Cards 2016 | Ann-Marie Loves x Minted

This year I was determined to get a few solid Morris family photo gems for my mom (and me!) to frame and treasure forever, but Briar clearly had other ideas. There were tantrums, there were tears, there were staunch refusals to even look in the vicinity of the camera — ha! It ended up taking two separate photo shoots on two separate weekends when all of us could get together in one place, but thanks to the powers-that-be, we managed to score a handful of cute shots (Briar included!) that were totally Christmas-card worthy.

Family Holiday Cards 2016 | Ann-Marie Loves x Minted

Once I got over the hurdle of getting a few decent photos, I then had to decide which option use on my parents’ holiday cards. And since my kids were in most of them and I am 150% biased on how adorable they are, it became a real challenge to choose a single image! Thankfully, Minted had this perfect collage design (in gold, no less!) which allotted me FIVE separate spots to include my favorite captures of everyone. It was perfect.

Family Holiday Cards 2016 | Ann-Marie Loves x Minted

Once I finally decided on a design (there are so many good ones to choose from!), it was super easy to fill the photos in and order the cards ASAP. My parents have been a tremendous help to me and my little family over the past year (and forever, for that matter) that the very least I could do was help them put together their Christmas cards to send to loved ones near and far.

Family Holiday Cards 2016 | Ann-Marie Loves x Minted

When the cards finally arrived, I was thrilled with how they turned out! But if we’re being honest, no one was more excited than Briar. For someone that put up such a fight against getting in front of the camera, she sure loves looking at the different photos of herself on the card — ha! Two years olds, y’all…

Family Holiday Cards 2016 | Ann-Marie Loves x Minted

If you like to the wait until the last minute (UHH, THAT WOULD BE ME), there’s still time to order your Christmas — or even better, New Years! — cards! Use the code GIFTEVENT to save 15% and be upgraded to priority shipping from now until December 20th. If I can get my two year old to cooperate, you can get your cards ordered! ;)

This post was sponsored by Minted, but all opinions, ideas, and photos are my own.

december daily 2016.

Posted on: Friday, December 9, 2016

December Daily 2016 | Ann-Marie Loves

Every time we move, I curse myself for having so many scrapbooks and craft supplies. They’re so much fun to play with but good lord, they are such a pain to move and find room for. That being said, I decided to take a more practical approach with my December Daily this year. Instead of starting a new album, I am just adding a December Daily portion to my ongoing 2016 album. I figure that this will be the easiest way for me to stick with it AND save some space in the closet. Additionally, Briar loves paging this particular album so I know this will get a lot of attention long after December passes.

Here’s the first spread:

December Daily 2016 | Ann-Marie Loves

It wouldn’t be complete unless there was a ton of color!

December Daily 2016 | Ann-Marie Loves

For the introductory page, I am using one of my all-time favorite papers from Amy Tangerine’s Oh Happy Life collection. As soon as I saw it, I put it aside for this particular project knowing that it would be the perfect palette for my version of Christmas. I also used a die cut tag, a Crate Paper pinwheel sticker that I’ve been hoarding for years, and Amy’s holiday stamps.

December Daily 2016 | Ann-Marie Loves

December Daily 2016 | Ann-Marie Loves

Instead of doing a strict daily format, I’m doing an “almost daily” format. Basically, I’m too scatterbrained at the moment to be that disciplined with documenting everyday so I’m just going to wing it and call it good ;) For this page, I used three different photos and added the “love,” “merry,” and yellow paint swipe using my Hand-Lettered Holiday Digital Brushes. I only had about an hour to pull all this together so using the brushes on my before I printed helped to bring in fun design elements without having to dig through my stash.

December Daily 2016 | Ann-Marie Loves

I woke up this morning excited to look at what I made last night. I’m eager to add more to this album! Stay tuned.

 

 

diy rosemary wreath.

Posted on: Monday, December 5, 2016

DIY Rosemary Wreath | Ann-Marie Loves

Two months into parenting two kids and I finally feel like I am hitting my stride. Sure, there’s plenty of room for improvement but the initial overwhelm has faded. I can now have everyone dressed, fed, packed, and buckled in the car and only be running about half an hour late! (ha!) I have days where I feel like I am killing it in the mom / wife / work-from-home department and I have days where all I can do is count down the minutes until John gets home and I can lock myself in the bathroom with a glass of wine. Life, right?

But for the most part, I’m feeling pretty darn good and when I feel good, I want to make stuff! Yesterday we spent the day at my parents’ house and while both babies napped, I sat outside in their backyard and whipped up a quick rosemary wreath. Here’s how I made it:

DIY Rosemary Wreath | Ann-Marie Loves

The supplies are pretty basic: lots of fresh rosemary branches, sharp scissors (or pruning shears, if you prefer), gold wire, and neon pink cording.

DIY Rosemary Wreath | Ann-Marie Loves

Gather a thick stack of rosemary branches, approximately 10 – 12 inches each.

DIY Rosemary Wreath | Ann-Marie Loves

Piece the ends of the rosemary branches together and secure the center with gold wire. (I also wrapped a long strand of gold string around the wire because I had it on hand and wanted to use it all up.)

DIY Rosemary Wreath | Ann-Marie Loves

Cut a long strand of the hot pink cording and tie it to two of the upper branches to act as the hanger. Pro tip: Make sure you choose sturdy branches near the front so that your wreath doesn’t tip too far forward or backward when it’s hung.

DIY Rosemary Wreath | Ann-Marie Loves

And now…enjoy!

customizable holiday cards.

Posted on: Friday, November 25, 2016

Creating Holiday Cards with Mixbook x Amy Tangerine | Ann-Marie Loves

There are maaaaaany areas of my current life where I feel that I am falling behind. I can never seem to stay on top of the toddler toy tornado. I wash my hair maybe (?) once a week. I basically wear the same nursing-friendly outfit every single day. My daily to-do list seldom gets finished. But every once in awhile, I pull off a solid victory. Case in point: our 2016 holiday cards!

Creating Holiday Cards with Mixbook x Amy Tangerine | Ann-Marie Loves

A few weeks ago I managed to get several photos of my little family. It was quite the effort trying to convince everyone to cooperate (I’m looking at you, John) but we pulled it off and now I have a little time capsule of this crazy time in our lives. So in a rare moment of peace and quiet, I sat down at the computer with a glass of wine and whipped out our holiday cards using Amy Tangerine’s holiday collaboration with Mixbook. My favorite thing about Mixbook is how customizable their designs are. Being able to manipulate each design element to my exact liking to fit each photo makes the graphic designer in me very happy.

Creating Holiday Cards with Mixbook x Amy Tangerine | Ann-Marie Loves

Here’s what the original layout of the “Merry Christmas” card design by Amy Tangerine looked like. I really love this look but with the centered family photo that I was going to use, the diagonally-oriented layout wasn’t going to work.

Creating Holiday Cards with Mixbook x Amy Tangerine | Ann-Marie Loves

Luckily Mixbook makes it a piece of cake to rearrange and resize every single element. So I started the process by deleting all of the phrases and floral element and then reintroduced the ones I wanted to incorporate by using the Stickers panel on the left hand side of the screen.

Creating Holiday Cards with Mixbook x Amy Tangerine | Ann-Marie Loves

I placed “Merry Christmas” in the upper center and then flanked the phrase using mirrored versions of the floral patterns. So simple to do!

Creating Holiday Cards with Mixbook x Amy Tangerine | Ann-Marie Loves

Once I was done with that, I worked on the back of the card which was equally as easy to put together. I can’t emphasize enough how much I love being able to customize!

Creating Holiday Cards with Mixbook x Amy Tangerine | Ann-Marie Loves

Now that it’s the day after Thanksgiving, we can OFFICIALLY send these cards out the door! Let the holiday madness begin!

P.S. You can save 45-55% off everything at Mixbook from now until November 27th using the code BFRY16! Happy card making!

diy polka dot wallpaper.

Posted on: Tuesday, September 27, 2016

DIY Polka Dot Wallpaper | Ann-Marie Loves

There’s nothing quite like the threat of a new baby arriving at any time to light a fire under your butt and compel you to NEST SO HARD. Two week ago I had one of those days when I woke up feeling so invincible that I loaded Briar up in the car and headed to IKEA where I proceeded to wrangle her and a huge bag of unwieldy items for two hours. In the back of my head I knew I was pushing my luck but when the desire to take on IKEA appears (even at 38 weeks pregnant), you don’t ignore it! It was definitely an adventure complete with sweat, tears, and a $2 plate of macaroni and cheese. So overall, a success!

DIY Polka Dot Wallpaper | Ann-Marie Loves

Well, once I got a taste of the nesting bug, I decided to tackle another semi-big project that I have been thinking about forever: DIY polka dot wallpaper! I’ve had my eye on removable wallpaper for months but decided to do the next best thing and make it myself. I was really inspired by these loose, freeform dots and was determined to try it a different way! I figured, if it’s a total bust, I can easily remove it. But if it’s a success, I could revel in my crafting glory until the end of freaking time.

DIY Polka Dot Wallpaper | Ann-Marie Loves

To cover this long wall, I picked up three rolls of black vinyl and freehand cut out circles. I had thought about using my Cameo to expedite the process, but I kind of love the look of the imperfect circles. So scissors it was! Sometimes low tech is the best way to go.

DIY Polka Dot Wallpaper | Ann-Marie Loves

The whole wall took about 4-5 hours from cutting the vinyl to applying the last dot. Not too bad! I had many podcasts to keep me company and a wonderful father in law to entertain the toddler while I got to work.

DIY Polka Dot Wallpaper | Ann-Marie Loves

Briar’s room (that she will eventually share with her brother) was the very first room I tackled when we moved in. I wanted to make sure she had a fun and welcoming place to play and read and get acclimated to her new surroundings. Somehow it has ended up being the room that all three of us love to hang out in! It sadly doesn’t get great natural light so we have filled it with warm lamps (including this heart-shaped beauty!) and lots of bright, happy colors to make up for the void. I’d say she’s pretty happy with the results :)

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