Entries Tagged as 'everyday'

how i imagined it to be.

Posted on: Tuesday, August 19, 2014

So much about these last few weeks did not go as I had envisioned.

Thoughts on Having a Baby | Ann-Marie Loves

I always imagined that my baby would come early. At 41 weeks and 6 days, she certainly had other plans.

Thoughts on Having a Baby | Ann-Marie Loves

I always imagined that the doctor I had seen my entire pregnancy would be the one to deliver my baby. She was not (even doctors need to take family vacations). Instead it was the most amazing, encouraging doctor who totally went above and beyond to make sure I was taken care of. He’s truly the best (and definitely the person I want to deliver all my future babies!).

Thoughts on Having a Baby | Ann-Marie Loves

I always imagined that I would go into labor naturally and John would have to rush me to the hospital in the middle of the night. Instead, I was induced in the middle of the afternoon on a random Thursday. I had a doctor’s appointment at 11 am and by 2:45 pm, I was hooked up to pitocin and starting my 17 hour labor.

Thoughts on Having a Baby | Ann-Marie Loves

I always imagined that labor would be blindingly painful from start to finish. While it was painful at times, the rest of it was amazingly peaceful and relaxing thanks to the dream drug known as the EPIDURAL. I was able to sleep and allow my body to do what it needed to do without my interfering. The craziest thing is, while I remember certain parts being excruciating, within hours of giving birth, I couldn’t even tell you what the pain felt like. The amnesia is REAL.

Thoughts on Having a Baby | Ann-Marie Loves

I always imagined I would burst into tears of joy upon meeting my baby for the first time. While there was certainly intense joy, I was primarily overcome with a different emotion: RELIEF. I remember seeing Briar as they placed her on my chest and saying “OMG! It’s a baby!” and feeling so relieved that she was finally out. It was a magical moment, tears or no tears.

Thoughts on Having a Baby | Ann-Marie Loves

I always imagined that staying in a hospital would be scary. Instead it was completely mundane, if not boring. All of my nurses and doctors were incredible, but being stuck in a cramped little room for two days was enough to make John and me go stir crazy.

Thoughts on Having a Baby | Ann-Marie Loves

I always imagined that John and I would have a black-haired baby. Ha! Not quite. Briar was born with light brown hair and a full head of blonde highlights. With each new day, her hair gets blonder and blonder. Look at my pale genes go!

Thoughts on Having a Baby | Ann-Marie Loves

I always imagined that the recovery process would be brutal. Periodically it’s super uncomfortable and inconvenient, but for the most part, it’s completely manageable. P.S. I discovered that Boppy pillows aren’t just useful for nursing, they’re also the perfect shape and size for new mamas to sit on ;)

Thoughts on Having a Baby | Ann-Marie Loves

I always imagined that the exhaustion of caring for a newborn would render me useless in all other areas of life. Thanks in a VERY LARGE part to my doting husband, I’m tired but not entirely beat. By alternating nursing with pumping, I’m able to split the workload with John and get in 3-4 hour stretches of sleep at night. Whenever I find it particularly hard to get out of bed for another feeding, I remind myself that this phase is short-lived and eventually I will sleep again.

Thoughts on Having a Baby | Ann-Marie Loves

I always imagined that breast feeding would be painful. I was totally right…and wrong. The first few days were rough. I started to dread feeding time as I braced myself for the pain of the baby latching on. But after strictly pumping for a day or two and giving my poor chest a much-needed reprieve, I was ready to try traditional feeding again. And what do you know…it wasn’t painful anymore!

Thoughts on Having a Baby | Ann-Marie Loves

I always imagined that I wouldn’t enjoy the newborn phase very much. Instead, I love love love it. I want to keep my little one a tiny seven pound human as long as possible! ;)

P.S. Thank you so much for all of your well-wishes! John and I are having the best time being parents to our sweet little Briar!

workspace wednesday | tying up loose ends.

Posted on: Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Workspace Wednesday | Ann-Marie Loves

So as it turns out…I’m still pregnant! Ha! The salad didn’t work, but that’s okay. I’m more than happy to take advantage of a few extra days of sleeping in, cleaning this house from top to bottom, and tying up loose ends on the project front. It definitely feels counterintuitive to be cutting back on my workload and allowing myself to take a little bit of a break. I can’t remember the last time I did that since graduating college in 2009…!

While I wait for this baby to make an appearance, I’m magic eraser-ing the heck out of every surface (what is in those things, anyway?), trying to figure out where I want to hang these prints, learning awesome ideas for kids’ crafts (I can’t wait for her book!), writing the last handful of thank you notes, going on short power walks, squealing over these adorable mini TOMS that my friend Sarah gifted the babe, and trying to wrap my brain around what’s to come. It’s a good week, baby or no baby. Hope yours is going swimmingly as well!

the week of my due date.

Posted on: Monday, July 21, 2014

Caioti Pizza The "The" Salad | Ann-Marie Loves

Signing the book at Caioti Pizza.

Well, I’ve finally made it to the week of my due date. And by finally, I mean ALREADY?! I swear this has been the fastest pregnancy of all time. It feels bizarrely surreal, but at at the same time, incredibly exciting! John and I keep looking at each other and saying “yeah, so we could totally have a baby this week.” W H A T.

In an effort to move things along, I tried the famous “labor-inducing” salad at Caioti Pizza in Studio City last night. It was awesome and even if it doesn’t do the trick for me, it was wonderful to squeeze in last minute one-on-one time with my husband. There are moments that I temporarily mourn the loss of our lives as a twosome, but after almost ten years together, I am SO READY for the next chapter in our ongoing adventure. John is SO READY. And hopefully, sometime this very week, the baby will be SO READY.

P.S. As I head into full-on baby mode, my posts here may get a little infrequent. Once the baby arrives, I plan on popping in sporadically, but not on a regular basis for at least a few weeks OR until I figure out what in the world I am doing. (Whichever comes first.) Stick with me. I promise it will be worth the wait ;)

that nesting instinct, though.

Posted on: Thursday, July 10, 2014

Nesting | Ann-Marie Loves

These last few weeks definitely feel like crunch time as I try to wrap up work projects, make sure we have everything for the baby’s arrival, and most excitingly, deep clean this whole house into oblivion. The nesting instinct is NO JOKE, you guys. I wish I could bottle it up and save it for a rainy day…it’s the stuff of dreams.

Yesterday I dedicated most of the day to reorganizing the linen closet (finally found a place to store extra diapers!), the bathroom cupboards, and a few drawers in the office. I like my days to feel busy and productive, because like I mentioned before, our bedroom gets insanely hot at night and when it’s insanely hot, I turn into a bit of an insomniac. Ay papi. But don’t worry…I’m really not working THAT hard. I stop every so often to chug a glass of water, rest my super-puffy feet, and revel in baby hiccups (because my goodness if that isn’t the cutest experience of my life).

As I check off more and more items from our giant to-do list each day, the realization that a tiny little gal will be coming to live with us in a matter of weeks is blowing my mind.

P.S. Tomorrow is the last day to take advantage of my 37% off sale on e-courses and printables using the discount code: THIRTYSEVEN :)

what i’m reading | baby edition.

Posted on: Tuesday, July 8, 2014

What I'm Reading | Baby Edition | Ann-Marie Loves

Since finding out I was pregnant, I’ve amassed quite the collection of baby-related books. I will be completely honest and tell you that I jump around from book to book, never really completing any of them (where did this ADD come from??), but all of them have been super useful and inspiring in one way or another. Here’s the stack that I keep on my nightstand:

Great with Child. After seeing a few recommendations for this book around the interwebs, I figured I would check it out for myself. Good move on my part. It is SUCH a great book, written in the style of letters from a seasoned mom to a new mom.

Mom, Inc. I actually bought this book about a year ago, long before I knew that I would be having a baby anytime soon. I love anything pertaining to small business and working from home, so I figured it would be a useful read. It was then and it is now!

On Becoming Baby Wise. This book was recommended to me by a few different people and despite it’s controversial nature, I like having these tips and tools in my back pocket should I decide that sleep-training is something I want to pursue.

What to Expect When You’re Expecting. I mean, what pregnant woman hasn’t paged through this book? To be honest, I only refer to it on occasion when I remember that I own it (the internet is just so much faster), but it’s definitely a great resource to have on hand.

The Honest Life. Okay, so maybe this book isn’t 100% baby-specific, but Jessica Alba touches on several different child-rearing topics that are so fascinating, plus the photos are beautiful. I love books that I can pick up and jump in anywhere.

A Child Is Born. My mom bought this book for me and it’s chock-full of amazing photos of fetuses at various stages of development. Some of the birth photos are a tad bit graphic (okay, a LOT graphic), but the good news is, you can always turn to the next page!

Bloom. My friend lent me this book quite some time ago, but I didn’t actually begin reading it until I knew I was pregnant. The story is incredibly sweet and touching. I highly recommend it. (And no, it didn’t make me worry any more than I already would have about Down’s Syndrome.)

The Glow. Because decorating a nursery is THE MOST FUN EVER and because I frequent the blog version of this book on a regular basis, it was a no-brainer that it would eventually end up in my cart. I love going through the pages when I need a burst of decorating inspiration. Plus, the pink spine looks pretty killer on a shelf. Just saying ;)

as of late | july edition.

Posted on: Monday, July 7, 2014

As of Late | July Edition | Ann-Marie Loves

Essentials for this past weekend.

Getting: overly excited about the holiday season! I’m already dreaming of all the crafts I want to make, all the photos I want to take, and all the new traditions I want to start with my little family! I feel a holiday e-course coming on…

Realizing: that my “As of Late” post for August will probably be VERY different.

Spending: way too much time on the phone with my health insurance company. A word of advice: understand your out-of-pocket costs BEFORE you get pregnant. #holystickershock

Selling: a pair of unworn clogs that are sadly too small for my jumbo preggo feet over here.

Reading: The Honest Life by Jessica Alba. My friend Jaymee gave it to me as a baby shower gift and I am loving every minute of it! (P.S. I totally need to write a post about unexpected baby shower gifts that turned out to be my faves.)

Reorganizing: every closet, every cabinet, every drawer in this house. So dang inspired by Joy’s and Emily’s recent closet makeovers!

Despising: how dirty my feet get after a day of wearing sandals. I don’t know why it bothers me so much, but ugh. CAN’T HANDLE.

Loving: Ritz crackers with banana slices + a (generous) handful of chocolate chips, microwaved for 22 seconds (I always choose random numbers when miking). Maybe I love it a little too much.

Jumping: for joy over the crazy discount I just got on an Ergo baby carrier! After my sister-in-law told me about the deal, I had that thing in my cart and en route to my house in no time at all! (And dare I say, we’re now officially ready for the baby to arrive…?)

Staying: very busy with work and preparing for baby and keeping this house as clean + organized as possible. I love how good it feels to climb into bed after having a productive day!

Using: not one, not two, but THREE fans in our bedroom when we go to sleep at night. It’s like white noise / wind tunnel heaven in there.

Taking: more hot weather-induced naps than usual, in the aforementioned white noise / wind tunnel heaven ;)

Deciding: that being 37 weeks pregnant (full-term!) calls for a discount code celebration! Save 37% off all printables and e-courses in my shop from now until Friday 7/11 using the code THIRTYSEVEN.

workspace wednesday | free project list printable.

Posted on: Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Free Project List Printable | Designed by Ann-Marie Loves

At any given point in time, I have an ongoing list of a million and one projects that I want to accomplish, like, yesterday. While some of them can be achieved in a single step, others take several steps to finish. So instead of writing “decorate the nursery” on my to-do list day after day, knowing full-well that it will never to be crossed off, I’ve created a free printable that turns big projects into bite-size tasks.

 Free Project List Printable | Designed by Ann-Marie Loves

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD

Free Project List Printable | Designed by Ann-Marie Loves

P.S. I talk at greater length about the idea of breaking down projects into manageable chunks and include a more comprehensive list printable in my e-course “Make It Happen!”

settling in + staying put.

Posted on: Monday, June 30, 2014

Ann-Marie + John Espinoza | Photo by Sorella Muse

Photo by Sorella Muse

After a crazy month of being gone every single weekend, John and I have created a self-imposed rule that we are going to stay as local as possible until this baby of ours decides to make an appearance. We have grand plans of:

- Sleeping!

- Learning how to install the car seat properly.

- Marathoning Veep.

- Cleaning out the garage. And the closets. And the cabinets. And everywhere else in our house.

- Picking up the remaining items on our list (namely the Ergo!).

- Marveling at how ridiculously dark my hair is and how unbelievably swollen my feet have become! (What is happening?!)

- Feeling the baby kick (I know I’m going to miss this so much!).

- Rereading all of our notes from the baby classes we recently took.

- Sleeping some more.

- Trying to convince ourselves that we are ready to take care of a tiny human.

- Decorating + redecorating the nursery AT LEAST five more times.

- Packing our hospital bag (any essentials I need to bring, moms?).

- Taking the last few weekly bump shots.

- Writing more letters to our daughter.

- Enjoying every minute of time as a twosome. After ten years together, we are so ready to bring another person into the mix!

- Did I mention we will be sleeping?

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!

retiring my stamps + starting fresh!

Posted on: Thursday, June 19, 2014

Ann-Marie Loves Paper | Rubber Stamps are Retiring on June 27th | annmarielovespaper.bigcartel.com

Lately I’ve been feeling a nagging pull to change things up with my career. I will admit that there has been many a day in which I just want to hang up my self-employment hat and find a steady 9-5 with a steady paycheck. I’ve always accepted fluctuating income as par for the freelance course, but now with a baby due in a month and an insurance deductible so outrageously high that I could just cry (AGAIN), I’m on a mission to shake things up and breathe new life into my career.

Ann-Marie Loves Paper | Rubber Stamps are Retiring on June 27th | annmarielovespaper.bigcartel.com

The first thing on my list: retire my stamps.

I’ve been at the stamp game for over two years now and it has taught me SO much about the ins and outs of running a small business. I’ve learned about everything from dealing with shipping, pricing, packaging, and marketing to customer service, designing, time management, taxes, competition…the list goes on. As of right now, I currently have over 70 stamp designs for sale and it feels like quite an overwhelming inventory for this one-woman operation to manage! So in an effort to streamline my shop (and my life) and try something new, I’m retiring all of my current stamps by Friday June 27th.

Ann-Marie Loves Paper | Rubber Stamps are Retiring on June 27th | annmarielovespaper.bigcartel.com

But! I’m not bowing out of the stamp game just yet. Instead, I’ve decided to release 4-5 limited edition stamp designs each month, which will only be available for a single month; no less, no more. July 1st marks the first installment of the brand new stamp designs and if you purchase $30 or more of my soon-to-be retired stamps, you’ll receive a 20% off coupon code for any limited edition stamp design starting 7/1/14!

Thank you SO MUCH to everyone who has supported my little business over the years! I am beyond grateful to you and can’t wait to show you what else I have up my sleeve! xo

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