Entries Tagged as 'everyday'

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

my pre-mom style.

Posted on: Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Mom Style | Ann-Marie Loves

As I get closer and closer to becoming a real live mom, I’ve noticed my style morphing ever so slightly. While I’m certainly not at the point of mom jeans just yet, I have been favoring comfort and practicality over anything too fussy or time-consuming these days. But at the same time, I’m not quite ready to forgo my pre-baby style entirely! Last week I had bangs chopped for the first time in a few years and it makes me feel like a brand new person. The rest of my hair is still long enough to throw in a top knot because really, who wants to spend extra time blow-drying their hair? Not this gal.

Mom Style | Ann-Marie Loves

I’ve also been giving into maternity clothes more and more, because frankly, I am running out of wardrobe options and I do need to leave the house and interact with society every once in awhile. Plus, maternity clothes are the comfiest things EVER. We’re talking stretch, stretch, and more stretch…what’s not to love about that? I’ve been wearing this pink + white super soft nightgown to bed and thanks to it’s nursing-friendly straps, it will continue to get plenty of mileage long after the baby arrives. I’m also loving my black + white striped dress that I plan to wear to my second shower. But! I still like to spice things up with regular clothes too! For example, this white denim vest from Target is in heavy rotation since it doesn’t require any buttoning or zipping and hides…umm…”pregnancy softness?” (read: BACK FAT), like a champ.

Mom Style | Ann-Marie Loves

And as for footwear, I am ALL about the Birks these days. They are quite possibly the ugliest shoes I have ever owned and definitely the biggest size I have ever worn (thanks to my perma-swollen feet), but my goodness, they are so comfortable and require no bending down to put them on. Now that’s a win if ever I’ve heard of one!

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 :)

workspace wednesday | how to write a blog post in a pinch.

Posted on: Wednesday, June 11, 2014

How to Write a Blog Post in a Pinch | Ann-Marie Loves

Whenever I find myself fishing for blog post ideas (or in my case, at 11pm on a Tuesday night after returning from a three-hour childbirth prep class to an overheated home and wondering what in the world I could possibly write about in the shortest amount of time possible because I am dying to take a cold shower and hop into bed and catch up on Instagram until my eyes close), the solution is almost always a list of journaling prompts. Not only are these kinds of posts quick and easy to put together, but they’re so much fun to write! (Seriously, if I could structure my whole blog around this format of writing, I would be one happy camper.) I found this particular set of prompts by way of Designlovefest and Bleubird and couldn’t resist putting my own spin on them:

Eating: watermelon, peaches, and strawberries. Oh, and graham crackers with chocolate frosting.

Drinking: water, water, and more water (but wishing it was wine, wine, and more wine).

Practicing: calligraphy! It’s kind of tedious, but I kind of love it. (I’ll share photos soon!)

Mastering: the art of sleeping while someone does nonstop somersaults in my stomach all night long. It’s the very best kind of sleep disturbance.

Learning: how to pop out a baby and subsequently take care of it. Thank goodness for baby classes! We’re finding out just how little we actually know about tiny humans.

Trying: to walk or do a Tracy Anderson workout video most days of the week. Keyword: trying.

Playing: The JV Club (if I want to laugh) or Tara Brach (if I want to relax) on my iPhone while I clean the house.

Finishing: up insurance-related tasks that I’ve been putting off for quite sometime. Gosh, being an adult is so not fun sometimes. Nor is it cheap.

Reading: Great with Child, Bringing Up Bébé, and all the People magazine issues that my mom sends home with me.

Remembering: that I have a hair appointment this week! Woohoo! I’m thinking of going Kerri Strug circa 1996 now that I’m about to become a mom. Not really. But maybe?

Wearing: Gap leggings and a sports bra. Occasionally a shirt.

Cooking: little to nothing, with the exception of oatmeal in the morning.

Working: hard now so I can work less hard later.

Traveling: around town in my new car! Feels good to have a safe set of wheels.

Wanting: a more reliable internet connection (ours is less than stellar). To know the secret to affording a child (let alone multiple children…?!). To give back to all those who have given so much to me (I’m looking at YOU, Mom and Dad). And most pressingly, to climb into bed next to my sleeping husband, surround myself with pillows and two fans, and revel in the fact that I am SO LUCKY. In spite of crappy internet service and exorbitant health insurance costs and the fact that I am sweating well into the midnight hour, my life is overflowing with joy and love. So really, no complaints here.

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