Entries Tagged as 'everyday'

as of late | october edition.

Posted on: Wednesday, October 8, 2014

As of Late | October Edition | Ann-Marie Loves

Dying: to make my own pompom rug. P.S. I totally love Liz’s blog!

Adding: more craft supply grab bags to the shop. I have waaaaay too much stuff! More stuff than I will ever use. Take it off my hands and put it to good use, would ya? :)

Putting: Briar in this ridiculously cute onesie from Baby Gap (shown above), even though it’ll be months before she really fits into it.

Watching: Jimmy Fallon every night.

Feeling: more scatterbrained than ever before. Note to self: write things down.

Spending: weekends with family, where there’s no shortage of people who want to hold the baby. Thank goodness for them!

Loving: every single page of this book. The styling, the crafts, the colors…spot on.

Seeing: more of my friends now than I ever did while pregnant! So much fun. Getting out of the house takes forever and a day with a baby in tow, but it’s totally doable (and totally necessary).

Thinking: that Emily Henderson + Target = the best collaboration EVER. I love the first video in her styling series!

Using: my Boba Wrap nonstop so the dishes can be cleaned while the baby can be snuggled and the mama can feel good about her life.

Rejoicing: in the return of daily walks. Even though it’s still way too hot here, walks are the answer to early evening fussiness for Briar and stir craziness for me. Plus, having a stroller to haul all my stuff (water, keys, iPhone, baby) has taken my walking game to a whole new level.

Pulling: the trigger on this lens as soon as I finish this post! It’s been in my cart for weeks, but something about this moment feels like the right time to go for it. Just in time for Briar’s first trip to the pumpkin patch!

Becoming: adept at nursing while walking around the house, while making breakfast, while answering e-mails, while packing orders, while eating meals, while cleaning up, while doing just about everything. It’s crazy for me to think back to the first few days when breastfeeding was SO HARD and involved approximately 36 pillows to get just the right position. I’m beyond grateful for how it all worked out.

Trying: to wrap my brain around the fact that in just a few weeks, John and I will have been married for a whole year. W H A T ?! Excuse me while I replay our wedding video four million times…

Watching: Jimmy Fallon every night.

Taking: steps towards a new career path. It’s been a dream of mine for years, but something I haven’t had the guts to really go for…until now. Eeek!

Collecting: recipes for my new crock pot! Any suggestions?

Trying: to decide what Briar should be for Halloween! Gah! The pressure is on!

Moving: in slow motion (or so it feels), but enjoying the change of pace. October, I love you.

artful blogging.

Posted on: Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Ann-Marie Espinoza in Artful Blogging Magazine

Whenever I’m asked to package my blog into a neat little description, I always struggle a bit. I mean, really, what is this blog about? I talk about everything from wedding planning to productivity to crafting to having babies. There’s no single topic that drives my blog; it evolves as my life evolves.

 

Ann-Marie Espinoza in Artful Blogging Magazine

Blogging is like exercising: the more you do it, the easier it gets.

Coming up with things to blog about is definitely the hardest part of the process, but also the most rewarding. I can’t tell you how good it feels to finish a post that I am proud of and then wake up excited to go look at it again the next morning. 2014 has been a good year for me, blogging-wise. With the exception of an informal “maternity leave,” 2014 has been the year that I committed to posting on a daily basis. It has been the year that I’ve found my blogging stride + style. It’s the year that I’ve pushed myself as a creative, both through photography + writing.

Even though I have been blogging in various capacities since I was in college, I feel like I am just now getting started.

Ann-Marie Espinoza in Artful Blogging Magazine

You can read more about my thoughts on blogging in the Autumn issue of Artful Blogging magazine :)

August 2014 Stamps | annmarielovespaper.bigcartel.com

P.S. Today is OFFICIALLY the last day to stock up on my August limited edition stamps. Yes, I realize I totally skipped over the month of September (whoops!), but a certain little someone was stealing my attention away. Plus, I wanted to give you extra time to snag my most favorite stamp I’ve ever designed ;)

 

pumping for the win.

Posted on: Friday, September 26, 2014

Breastfeeding is a Learning Curve | Ann-Marie Loves + Ameda Purely Yours Pump

The first few days after Briar was born, the two of us struggled with nursing. Oh man, we struggled.

My tiny little peanut of a daughter turned into a ravenous piranha anytime she sensed food was close at hand, leaving my chest a little (read: A LOT) sore. Then we began having latching issues. Then John and I found out that Briar had lost nearly 10% of her birth weight and we were instructed to chunk that baby back up…STAT.

Enter: my Ameda pump.

Breastfeeding is a Learning Curve | Ann-Marie Loves + Ameda Purely Yours Pump

Talk about total game changer.

Suddenly I was able to feed my child on a regular schedule. I was able to measure just how much milk she was consuming. John and I were able to alternate middle of the night feedings since he could give her a bottle of pumped milk. And selfishly, I was able to take a break from painful feedings for a moment while still keeping my milk supply up.

Within two days of every-two-hour feedings, we plumped our Briar girl up another six ounces. S I X. I’ve had many proud moments in my life, but hearing that number as the pediatrician laid her on the scale is a top contender for proudest moment. When the doctor left the room, John and I high-fived. Teamwork! Thanks to the pump, we were no longer in the scary red zone of infant weight loss. I now had a little more wiggle room to regroup and give nursing another shot…

Breastfeeding is a Learning Curve | Ann-Marie Loves + Ameda Purely Yours Pump

Fast forward six weeks and we’ve got a pretty solid rhythm down. Nursing now feels like second nature, but I still pump a bottle every single day for John to give to Briar before he heads off to work. This not only allows for some important father / daughter bonding time, but it also lets me get in a 6-7 hour stretch of sleep! (Unheard of, I know!) I’m not exaggerating when I say that pumping has truly been the key to surviving the newborn stage.

This post was sponsored by Ameda, but the ideas + opinions are all my own. Ameda + United Healthcare have recently teamed up with Target to offer moms the ability to pick up their breast pump at their local Target pharmacy! You can find out more about this collaboration here!

as of late | september edition.

Posted on: Wednesday, September 3, 2014

As of Late | September Edition | Ann-Marie Loves

Hi! Hi! Hi!

Missing: blogging! I feel like I have so much to say and share and I’m eager to jump back in on a regular basis. Bear with me if things get a little baby-centric over the next few weeks / months / years ;)

Feeling: so inspired for Autumn after seeing Anthro’s Fall merchandising this past weekend. It makes me want to bake blueberry muffins, knit a blanket (maybe finish this one?), and wear oversized sweaters. If only California Summers would get the memo…

Loving: being a mom. I love it, I love it, I love it. I worried that these first few weeks would do me in, but I’m happy to report that in spite of the exhaustion (oh, it is REAL), they have been downright amazing.

Taking: daily walks, tidying up the house everyday, keeping Larabars at the ready, basking in air conditioning, and letting John take the 6am feeding so I can sleep a longer stretch = the keys to my sanity.

Enjoying: my new lamp from Target. I had my eye on it for awhile, so when the perfect storm of store credit + a 20% discount arose, I jumped on it! It’s always the little things that make the biggest difference, no?

Doing: more laundry than I’ve ever done in my life. Who knew a seven pound baby could fill an entire laundry basket in less than a day?!

Listening: to lots of podcasts, as always. (Are there any good mom or baby related shows I should check out?)

Trying: to decide what’s next for me, career-wise. I definitely feel like I’m at a crossroads and I’m ready for a BIG change.

Itching: to learn how to sew baby clothes! Dresses, rompers, vests…I want to make everything! See Kate Sew’s tutorials have been fueling this desire like nobody’s business.

Dreaming: of the holiday season. So many crafts I want to make! So many photos I want to take! So many places I want to go! Having a little one makes everything more exciting.

Strangely: fascinated by all the surfing videos from the giant waves that hit the California coast last week, especially this one!

Getting: my money’s worth out of my 50mm f/1.8 lens and my new iPhone 5s (first upgrade in three years!) as I photograph Briar’s every move. The kid’s less than a month old and we already have hundreds of photos of her…!

Designing: new stamps for September. I’ll be taking the August edition stamps down on Friday, so get them while you still can!

Wondering: what kind of posts you would like to see on this blog? Any specific topics or tutorials in mind? I would love it if you could help me build my editorial calendar (my brain is just a wee bit fried these days ;))!

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.

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