Entries Tagged as 'decor'

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?

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 :)

faux letterpress tray for toddler room.

Posted on: Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Faux Letterpress Tray for Displaying Miniatures | Ann-Marie Loves

John and I are moving this week and possibly having a baby next week, so I figured, what better time to ignore all my responsibilities and work on a project I pinned? Ha! All I have to say is, when you feel the need to make something, MAKE SOMETHING. You’ll feel so much better once you give in to your creative urges. Even if it means ditching your to-do list for a few hours ;)

Faux Letterpress Tray for Displaying Miniatures | Ann-Marie Loves

I have been obsessed with the idea of filling a letterpress tray with miniature animal figurines basically from the moment I knew I was having Briar, but I haven’t been able to track down a cool letterpress tray for a decent price. So! I decided to do the next best thing: buy a $6 divided wooden tray from Michaels and paint it myself!

Faux Letterpress Tray for Displaying Miniatures | Ann-Marie Loves

This tray is pretty shallow so it didn’t take too long to cover it with white paint. I think applied maybe three coats? As usual, it’s not a perfect paint job but that’s more than fine with me.

Faux Letterpress Tray for Displaying Miniatures | Ann-Marie Loves

While the tray was drying, I painted each of the animals’ ears pink and added a little heart to the donkey. Because why not?

Faux Letterpress Tray for Displaying Miniatures | Ann-Marie Loves

And once everything was ready, I styled it up! The animals fit into the slots perfectly, plus a few of the recent Instax photos of Briar make for a fun addition to the overall look.Faux Letterpress Tray for Displaying Miniatures | Ann-Marie Loves

I’m so happy with the way it turned out and I’m already excited to swap out the animals for bottle brush trees in a few months! Yay for procrastination crafting!

diy wooden cacti.

Posted on: Thursday, August 13, 2015

DIY Wooden Cacti | Ann-Marie Loves

While brainstorming ideas for Briar’s birthday party a few months ago, I kept mulling over different ideas but always came back to the theme of “summer fun.” Truth be told, I never wanted to have a baby in the summer. When I was growing up, I always felt bad for the kids in my classes who couldn’t celebrate their birthdays during the school year. I also worried that my child would be super old or super young in comparison to her fellow classmates.  Plus, it’s HOT…way too hot. Needless to say, it was a road I didn’t want to go down. But as we all know, things don’t always go according to plan (whoops!) and as a result, I am now the proud mom of an August baby. So in the spirit of embracing Briar’s summer birthday, I wanted to throw a party for her that would embody all things related to summer and warm weather. My sister-in-law actually came up with the idea of incorporating cacti into the decor and I instantly jumped on the bandwagon!

DIY Wooden Cacti | Ann-Marie Loves

With the help of my dad and his carpentry skills, we took a rough sketch of three cacti and cut a huge sheet of wood into party decor.

DIY Wooden Cacti | Ann-Marie Loves

In true Ann-Marie fashion, I waited until the day before the party to paint each cactus (the pink flowers shown above didn’t dry in time for the big day), but I’m so happy I followed through with the plan! I painted the cacti using a mix of Handmade Modern craft paints from Target and love the way they turned out. For the polka dots and prickly spine details, I didn’t have a small paintbrush handy, so I just used a bunch of q-tips dipped into the lid of the paints.

DIY Wooden Cacti | Ann-Marie Loves

I love the way they helped to accentuate the tribal-print rug and the large teepee! I’m pretty sure Briar could not have cared less about the cacti (she was too busy living that water table life!), but I received a ton of compliments of them from other partygoers, which helped to make the whole creative process worth it.

DIY Wooden Cacti | Ann-Marie Loves

Eventually when we have a house with a backyard, I plan on putting the cacti near the cute playhouse (a la Lay Baby Lay!) that I’m going to build for my little ones. But until then, we might just bust them out for every summer birthday party ;)

diy watermelon banner + free cut files.

Posted on: Tuesday, August 11, 2015

DIY Watermelon Banner | Ann-Marie Loves

When I was in my second and third trimesters of pregnancy with Briar, I could not get enough watermelon. There was not enough watermelon in the world that could satisfy my cravings! It was like clockwork: every afternoon I would get a serious hankering for watermelon, so I would chop one up and scarf it down before heading out on my daily walk. INSANE. I’m pretty certain that Briar is made up of 75% watermelon (the other 25% being the bagels I lived on during my first trimester), so it’s no surprise that she loves watermelon as much as I did. In honor of Briar’s favorite fruit, I decided to make a watermelon banner for her birthday party.

DIY Watermelon Banner | Ann-Marie Loves

The supplies are basic: neon cardstock, my Cameo die-cutting machine, adhesive, and a black Sharpie pen. I designed and cut out the shapes using the Cameo, adhered them together, and then added seeds with the pen…super simple!

DIY Watermelon Banner | Ann-Marie Loves

I hung the banner behind the teepee and I love the way it added an extra pop of neon to an already colorful scene! It now lives above her changing table where she can admire it (read: try to rip it off the wall) as I change her diapers.

Briar's First Birthday | Ann-Marie Loves

I created a free download of the watermelon cut files (for use in Silhouette software) that you can find HERE. If you use them and take a photo, tag me on Instagram! Enjoy!

briar’s scrapbook | part two.

Posted on: Tuesday, May 26, 2015

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

I have been on a serious scrapbooking kick lately and I must admit…I’m super excited about it! I started an album for Briar two weeks ago and am happily filling it up whenever I can find a few hours to sit down and play with paper. These pages were made thanks in part to a long naptime, coffee, and the Kardashians on repeat via Hulu. #essentials

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

To fill up the backside of the previous layout, I made another page using my favorite colorful sheet from the first Messy Box kit and the photo I carefully selected to announce Briar’s arrival on social media (such a big decision!). For the embellishing, I was so excited when I remembered that I had some of my favorite stamps on hand: Martha Stewart alphas and Kelly Purkey wooden alphas. What is it about stamping a title that feels so satisfying? I also used a handful of Amy Tangerine stickers, gold Thickers, and lots of enamel dots!

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

As it turns out, I’m really loving the whole “cut photos up and stick them in separate pockets” thing. It’s such a fun way to work a divided page protector! For this page, I kept things simple and used three photos, white watercolor paper, and gold heart Thickers. Holy moly, that middle photo of one day old baby Briar kills me.

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

These photos of Briar in the hospital tug at my heart…how was she ever so tiny? I’m so grateful that we brought the big camera and our iPhones to document those crazy first few days! For this spread, I chose some of my favorite pictures and cropped them to 3 x 3″ to fill out the center pockets of both pages. I also cut up a sheet of watercolor paper that I had loosely painted with black craft paint and used that to tie the spread together. Super easy!

P.S. The first installment of Briar’s scrapbook!

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.

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!

our pasadena home.

Posted on: Friday, March 27, 2015

Pasadena Living | Ann-Marie Loves
Pasadena Living | Ann-Marie Loves
Pasadena Living | Ann-Marie Loves
Pasadena Living | Ann-Marie Loves
Pasadena Living | Ann-Marie Loves
Pasadena Living | Ann-Marie Loves
Pasadena Living | Ann-Marie Loves
Pasadena Living | Ann-Marie Loves
Pasadena Living | Ann-Marie Loves
Pasadena Living | Ann-Marie Loves
Pasadena Living | Ann-Marie Loves
Pasadena Living | Ann-Marie Loves
Pasadena Living | Ann-Marie Loves
Pasadena Living | Ann-Marie Loves
Pasadena Living | Ann-Marie Loves
Pasadena Living | Ann-Marie LovesPasadena Living | Ann-Marie Loves

From the moment I first toured this apartment, I was sold. The dark wood floors, the huge picture windows, the large room sizes, and the unmistakeable Pasadena charm that I had been searching for. I loved scouring the local thrift store or the Rose Bowl for unique decor pieces. I loved creating weavings and wreaths and statement walls. I love arranging and rearranging whenever the mood would strike. When we first moved in, we had no idea we would soon be adding a third person to the mix, but planning and decorating a space for Briar turned out to be my favorite decorating task of all.

We had a good run here. I can’t wait for the next place!

glassware hutch makeover.

Posted on: Monday, October 13, 2014

Glassware Hutch Makeover | Ann-Marie Loves

Good news, guys: the nesting instinct is still live and kicking! (Insert a million “thumbs up” emojis here). My free time may be more limited these days, but I am still very much obsessed with making this house a home for my little family.

The other day, I decided to take advantage of one of Briar’s midday naps and paint the back wall of our dining room hutch. It was a simple project that took maybe an hour and only required a single bottle of Martha Stewart craft paint + a paintbrush. As a new mom, I’ve learned that any kind of task that can be started + finished in a single stretch is a major victory!

Glassware Hutch Makeover | Ann-Marie Loves

How it looked before painting the back wall.

The back story behind this hutch: 

A few weeks after moving to Pasadena, I spotted it abandoned on the curb and instantly knew it had to be mine. I had SO MANY pieces of glassware from our wedding just sitting in boxes…needless to say, the timing could not have been better! Sure, the hutch wasn’t perfect and the brown paint job was, well, not exactly my favorite. But the price point! (Or lack thereof.) It was truly meant to be. So I convinced John to help me lug it in the house and it’s been sitting in our dining space ever since.

Glassware Hutch Makeover | Ann-Marie Loves

I still have grand plans of painting the whole thing white + then wallpapering the back wall, but in the meantime, the bright pop of aqua is totally filling that void. I love the color that it brings to our dining room and I am so thrilled with the way it showcases my glassware!

Glassware Hutch Makeover | Ann-Marie Loves

Nesting instinct, feel free to stay forever.

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