baby number two!

Posted on: Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Baby Number Two! | Ann-Marie Loves

Yep! It’s true! Baby Number Two is due in October (our favorite month!) and we are so thrilled to be adding to our family.

Baby Number Two! | Ann-Marie Loves

The funny thing about this time around was that I was instantly the excited one (overjoyed, really!) and John was a little more anxious about the prospect of another baby. With Briar, I was terrified and he was thrilled, so it’s been an interesting role reversal. However, I think I’m most excited to see Briar as a big sister. She’s obsessed with babies (even “babies” that are her age or older!) and she instinctively knows how to be gentle and quiet around them. Let’s hope she’s still as obsessed when her new sibling arrives!

Baby Number Two! | Ann-Marie Loves

I’m also excited about reliving the newborn / infant phase and (hopefully) appreciating it much more than I did with Briar. With the first baby, there are so many unknowns…is she eating enough? Am I giving her enough attention? Is she taking enough naps? Will she ever sleep through the night? John and I are fairly relaxed parents, but we definitely spent a lot of Briar’s first year wondering if we were doing it right.

Baby Number Two! | Ann-Marie Loves

I’m not afraid of labor and delivery at all this go around. With Briar, I was very nervous about what lied ahead of me, but despite a few hours of intense pain, the bulk of my seventeen hour induced labor was a piece of cake…in fact I slept through most of it! I am dreading the recovery a little bit but this time I have the foresight to know that the human body heals fast! With Briar, I felt like myself again within a week of giving birth. The key is to trust that your body knows what it’s supposed to do and to get out of its way long enough to let nature take its course. (Easier said than done, obvs!)

Baby Number Two! | Ann-Marie Loves

This time around, we only told our parents and a handful of my closest friends before announcing it to the public. I feel like those early weeks are fragile and not to be taken lightly, so I kept my cards close to my chest as long as possible. Of course, this was not easy since I developed a sizable bump at only 9 weeks! I knew that second pregnancies tend to show faster than the first but I had nooooo idea just how fast. All I can say is thank goodness for the oversized sweater trend…may it last well into those first few (I mean several!) postpartum months!

Baby Number Two! | Ann-Marie Loves

Baby Number Two! | Ann-Marie Loves

The other thing about the second pregnancy is I’m not as fixated on what my body is doing at every single moment; instead I’m too busy chasing around a toddler and wondering if I can lay down next to her during naptime! The exhaustion is real but it’s certainly a worthwhile exhaustion.

Baby Number Two! | Ann-Marie Loves

John’s excited about the baby but he says he’s also really looking forward to spending extra one-on-one time with Briar once her sibling arrives. Those two have such an amazing bond; I feel very lucky to share parenting duties with someone so hands-on and loving. When we were in the hospital with Briar and I managed to get a little sleep here and there, I would wake up to the sweetest sight of John snuggling her through the night. She barely laid in her little bassinet…John wanted to hold her the whole time! It’s been nineteen months since that hospital stay and he still holds her every chance he gets.

Baby Number Two! | Ann-Marie Loves

We’ve seen the baby via ultrasound three times now and it never fails to blow my mind that another human being is living in my body! Even though this my second baby and I’ve already been down this road, it really is just as exciting (if not more so!) than the first time around.

Here we go!

My outfit: dress // hat (similar) // sandals | Briar’s outfit: dress // denim jacket

diy leafy photo backdrop.

Posted on: Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Leafy Photo Backdrop | Ann-Marie Loves

This past weekend I got to work on a photo backdrop for my sister-in-law’s surprise birthday party and it was so much fun to put together. With no real theme to work off of, I decided to go with something that would be colorful in photos but not be too difficult to execute. So after a run to Joann’s for colored paper, I started on the leaves!

DIY Leafy Photo Backdrop | Ann-Marie Loves

To get these shapes, I did a quick Google search of various leaves and saved a few of my favorites to my desktop so I could cut them out with my Cameo using this insanely awesome trick. It’s a little tedious to work in the Silhouette software but totally worth it when you can take an image from the interwebs and turn them into a tangible object! To save on time, I ended up only cutting about a third of the total leaves with the Cameo and then hand-cutting the rest with a sharp pair of scissors. Once all the leaves were cut out, I taped two huge sheets of kraft butcher paper together and started arranging the shapes and then gluing them down.

DIY Leafy Photo Backdrop | Ann-Marie Loves

I was very happy with the way it turned out! (Briar was thrilled about it too, as you can tell.) I haven’t worked on a project of this scale in quite some time, so it was a great creative challenge!

P.S. Happy happy birthday, Jen!

2016 album.

Posted on: Friday, March 18, 2016

2016 Scrapbook | Ann-Marie Loves

The other day as I was in the thick of answering e-mails and working on a mundane work task, I decided to allot myself a one hour break to play with paper + photos. It was so much fun to step away from the computer for a moment and just use my hands to get my memories down.2016 Scrapbook | Ann-Marie Loves

In an hour I managed to eke out a single spread about our most recent trip to Disneyland, using a mix of Instagram photos and some of my favorite coordinating supplies.

2016 Scrapbook | Ann-Marie Loves

For the left page, I resized my Instagram photo to 6.5 x 9.5″ and added a line of journaling in Photoshop. Then I printed the image on my home computer (how I print most of my photos) and embellished the page with Studio Calico alpha stickers (had to fake some of the letters using other letters, as you can probably tell – ha!), Sugar Paper ribbon that I bought on clearance at Target this past holiday season, and puffy Seven Paper stickers (I need a lifetime supply of these).

2016 Scrapbook | Ann-Marie Loves

2016 Scrapbook | Ann-Marie Loves

For the right page, I used a divided BasicGrey page protector to split up my photos and paper elements. Like the left page, I added a little bit of journaling to my photos in Photoshop and then embellished the spread with paper from a Kelly Purkey kit, Amy Tangerine paper, chipboard Thickers, and handwritten journaling using my all-time fave pen, the Paper Mate felt tip Flair.

2016 Scrapbook | Ann-Marie Loves

Now that the pages in my book are starting to fill up, it’s inspiring me to keep going! I love a fat scrapbook.

SUPPLIES: BasicGrey Capture Page Protectors // Seven Paper Puffy Baxter Heart Stickers // Matte Photo Paper // Dear Lizzy Thickers // Yoobi Glue Stick // Paper Mate Flair Felt Tip Pens // Gold Scissors // Sugar Paper for Target Hot Pink Ribbon

as of late | march edition.

Posted on: Thursday, March 17, 2016

As of Late | March Edition | Ann-Marie Loves

Celebrating my good friend’s upcoming wedding with so many of my favorite people. I love, love, love my group of girlfriends.

Loving the intermittent return of cool weather and sometimes rain! (P.S. I hate small talk but I love talking about the weather?)

Digging Briar’s current stage of life. Every stage is great, but this one is really great. The other morning she was laying in bed with us and when John got up to get something, Briar said “Are you, Dada?” (Translation: where are you, Dada?) I can’t get enough of her.

Deciding that Old Navy is where all the cute toddler clothes are! I just picked up these baby gladiators for Briar and wish they came in my size too!

Needing a new book to read. I’ve been on an autobiography kick recently with Drew Barrymore, Amy Poehler, and Mindy Kaling and I loved them all. What should I pick up next?

Waiting not-so-patiently each week for the latest episode of Bitch Sesh to drop. I know I’ve already talked about my love for that podcast before but I’M OBSESSED.

Tackling my inbox head-on. Why is it so hard to stay on top of e-mail?

Speaking of tackling things, I feel so much more productive when I sit at my desk and work on my big computer instead of laying on the bed and using my laptop (although the latter is way more comfy). I just burned through my to-do list simply by using the desktop comp!

Listening to DNCE on repeat while I burn through my aforementioned to-do list. They’re such a fun band!

Craving another trip to Disneyland. We had the BEST time ever with Briar a few weeks ago. Even though she’s been several times already, each trip gets more and more exciting as she starts to take notice of all the magic around her! Plus, I’m craving this smoothie.

Going on after-dinner walks with my little family.

Feeling inspired to scrapbook after seeing my friend (and former co-worker at American Crafts) Sarah’s album for her daughter’s upcoming birthday!

Sitting on the edge of my seat as I watch The People vs. OJ Simpson each week. I’m going to be very sad when it ends.

Trying to figure out a way to afford this insanely gorgeous rug. It’s so beautiful, I want to design a whole house around it!

briar at 18 months.

Posted on: Monday, March 7, 2016

Briar Soleil at 18 Months | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

As of February 8th, this girl is officially a year and a half! It’s hard to believe it’s been six months since her birthday and a whole year since these photos were taken, but alas, here we are and we are loving every minute.

Briar Soleil at 18 Months | Ann-Marie Espinoza PhotographyBriar Soleil at 18 Months | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

She’s also still active and fearless as ever. In fact, on the day I took these photos, we spent awhile at a local park and she was ALL OVER the jungle gym. I’m normally a pretty relaxed parent, but something about having my one year climbing up open structures that were taller than my head made me so nervous! We had to leave after a short time because I thought I was going to have a mini panic attack every time she would go down the giant twisty slide. Briar, of course, loved every minute.

Briar Soleil at 18 Months | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

Briar Soleil at 18 Months | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

At eighteen months, this girl eats just about EVERYTHING. There are times she eats just as much as an adult! She is also still nursing a few times a day, which was certainly not my original plan, but we’re rolling with it. When I hear other moms talk about how their babies just decided to wean themselves out of the blue, I feel the slightest tinge of envy…I can’t even begin to fathom what that would be like! I’m hoping to slowly wean her over the next couple of weeks, but we will see how that goes (let me know if you have any tips for weaning a toddler!)

Briar Soleil at 18 Months | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

Briar Soleil at 18 Months | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

The biggest development that has taken place over the past couple weeks has been her sudden vocabulary explosion. Up until January, she only had a few phrases in her repertoire (mama, dada, nana, papa, etc), but all of a sudden, she can say over forty different words and counting! It’s been so exciting to watch her put names to objects / people / actions in her daily life.

Briar Soleil at 18 Months | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

In terms of favorites, Briar loves reading books (this one is her jam); playing with her water table and watering plants; taking classes at Gymboree; and thanks to her new favorite show Sarah + Duck, Briar is especially obsessed with ducks! She also has become much more consistent with her daily afternoon nap and she now sleeps through the night (most of the time)! Thank goodness.

Briar Soleil at 18 Months | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

There have been so many wonderful phases over the past eighteen months, but I’m pretty sure this phase takes the cake. We are so in love with our one and a half year old!

Cream Eyelet Top // Gold Heart Leggings // Shoes

squeezing it all in.

Posted on: Thursday, February 18, 2016

Ann-Marie Loves | Thoughts on Squeezing It All In | Vaseline Lip Tins

My new favorite phrase that I apply to just about any scenario is “LIFE.” Because really, life! It happens for the best and it happens for the worst but it just keeps happening whether we are ready or not. Most days I feel like I hit the ground running and don’t stop until my head hits the pillow again. Caring for a toddler while trying to fit in work and blogging and friends and family and occasionally trying to squeeze in a little “me time” is an ongoing juggling act that I have yet to master. So I’ve made it my mission this year to simplify, simplify, simplify wherever possible!

Ann-Marie Loves | Thoughts on Squeezing It All In | Vaseline Lip Tins

Getting out of the house in the morning is always huge production with a toddler in tow, but one thing that has made it a little bit easier are Vaseline Lip Therapy Tins. I’ve been using Vaseline products for years, for everything from removing my eye makeup to hydrating my dry skin to softening my feet with socks overnight, so to now have the product in a lip care format (in a cute tin to boot!) is exactly what I needed. Even if I don’t have time to do my hair and makeup, I always make sure to slather Vaseline on my lips before I run out the door.

Ann-Marie Loves | Thoughts on Squeezing It All In | Vaseline Lip Tins

I recently picked up a bunch of different lip tins from Target (yessss!) and have them stashed just about everywhere: my makeup bag, my purse, my coat pocket, my car, my bedside table…all over the place!

Ann-Marie Loves | Thoughts on Squeezing It All In | Vaseline Lip Tins

Even Briar loves to get in on the action by repeatedly opening and closing the lids (and occasionally dipping her finger in them!). We live in Southern California where super dry Santa Ana winds wreak havoc on our skin and lips, so I figure it’s never too early to teach her survival skills!

Ann-Marie Loves | Thoughts on Squeezing It All In | Vaseline Lip Tins

Thanks to Vaseline Lip Therapy Tins, I’ve been able to simplify my beauty routine and spend those saved minutes on things I actually want to do, like play with traveler’s notebooks! I made this one out of scratch paper and I love keeping it in my bag (along with my tins!) and pulling it out to document little moments from my crazy but very happy life.

Traveler’s notebook supplies: handmade notebook // Heidi Swapp polka dot mask // Yellow Distress Ink // Blending Tool // Black Ink Pad // Push Print Studio printables // Stamps // Gold Paper Clips

This post was sponsored by Vaseline but all opinions and ideas are my own.

bridal shower invitations.

Posted on: Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Bridal Shower Invitations | Designed by Ann-Marie Espinoza

My best friend is getting married in a few months so I was more than happy to put together her shower invites! Using the shower color palette as well as a photo I took from her engagement session last year as my inspiration, I set out to create a modern and feminine invitation that would do her proud. Also, a harbor side mimosa brunch? I can’t wait!

Bridal Shower Invitations | Designed by Ann-Marie Espinoza

Bridal Shower Invitations | Designed by Ann-Marie Espinoza

Bridal Shower Invitations | Designed by Ann-Marie Espinoza

Do you ever sit on making a purchase for so long and then finally have an excuse to make it? That’s exactly what I did with the giant circle punch that I used to cut out these registry cards. I’ve been wanting a three inch circle punch for years but couldn’t justify the cost until this very occasion. So thank you, Val! My circle punch and I are going to have a long happy life together, I just know it.

Bridal Shower Invitations | Designed by Ann-Marie Espinoza

Using a gorgeous floral washi tape that I found at Paper Source, I attached the registries card to the back of the invitation. Super simple and fun! Once both pieces were attached, I tucked them into kraft envelopes and sent them on their merry way. I love a good design project…especially for someone I love so much!

as of late | february edition.

Posted on: Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Ann-Marie Loves

Trying this clay mask once a week on my face and loving the way it feels!

Wondering how in the world Briar is already 18 months old??

Going to bed earlier these days and reading books instead of scrolling through my phone to go to sleep. I’m finding that I fall into a deeper sleep much faster and stay that way for much longer than I have in years!

Speaking of reading, I’ve been on a major autobiography kick. I wrapped up Mindy Kaling’s latest book on Friday night and am almost done with Drew Barrymore’s book as of last night. They are both fun and fascinating reads that I highly recommend! What should I read next?

Googling “WHERE IS EL NIÑO” because seriously, 90 degree weather in February is my own personal hell.

Wanting to add so many Baby Gap pieces to Briar’s ever-growing toddler wardrobe: this tutu dress, these polka dot denim shorts, and of course, this watermelon swimsuit!

Ordering green tea lemonades these days (thank you, Starbucks drive-thru) and really loving them. What’s your favorite cold beverage that you order from coffee shops?

Feeling pretty jazzed about the number one spot on this list (what??)!

Wondering about which milk is best / safest for you and your family? Read my friend (and registered dietitian) Heather’s posts on the topic (part one and part two). So informative!

Wanting to make rope coil baskets for my little family to use for Easter, but I may just break down and buy these super cute baskets instead. To DIY or not to DIY…

Digging all of the one dollar journaling card printables from Push Print Studio! Such an awesome concept.

Marveling at the fact that it’s 9:30 am and Briar is still sleeping! This is my dream come true.

Hoping to find a little time to play with paper today! I’ve got the itch again.

Working on the occasional design project and really enjoying myself. It’s fun to step away for awhile and revisit graphic design with new eyes.

kim + gabriel | maternity session.

Posted on: Friday, February 5, 2016

Militello Maternity Shoot | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

My philosophy on maternity photography is that it should capture the short-lived, incredibly special phase of pregnancy in a modern, timeless, and never cheesy way. I mean, I’m sure we’ve all seen that Buzzfeed article about maternity sessions gone AWRY…yikes! So when Kim (a blogger here and here) reached out to me to take photos, I was thrilled! Not only is Kim an old friend from junior high, but she and I share the same doctor! That may not sound too crazy, but of all the thousands of doctors in LA, what are the odds of us choosing the same one? I love it.

Since Kim and her husband currently live in the Pasadena area, I jumped at the chance to use some of my favorite locations for our shoot. We started at Float (which happened to be closed that day…perfect for photos!), then wandered down Lake Avenue, and finally ended up at Pasadena City Hall. It was such a fun afternoon and I am so honored to have captured these two before their world changes in the best way possible :)

Here are some of my favorite images from the shoot:

Militello Maternity Shoot | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

Militello Maternity Shoot | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

Militello Maternity Shoot | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

Militello Maternity Shoot | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

Militello Maternity Shoot | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

Militello Maternity Shoot | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

Militello Maternity Shoot | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

Militello Maternity Shoot | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

Militello Maternity Shoot | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

Militello Maternity Shoot | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

Militello Maternity Shoot | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

Militello Maternity Shoot | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

Militello Maternity Shoot | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

Militello Maternity Shoot | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

Militello Maternity Shoot | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

I can’t wait to meet (and photograph!) your little one, Kim and Gabriel! xo

honeymoon feature in the knot.

Posted on: Thursday, February 4, 2016

Pacific Northwest Honeymoon in The Knot | Ann-Marie Loves

Sometimes I feel a little self-conscious about how much I love color. The trend in recent years has been to be as monochromatic as possible. All the cool kids have super minimalist, black and white Instagram and Pinterest feeds, while I’m over here like GIVE ME ALL THE COLOR! I think this is part of why I’m still so surprised by how much people resonated with my wedding. There were many times during the planning process when I would pore over wedding blogs and think, “am I doing this right?” Is this going be a total disaster or a total success?” Luckily the latter turned out to be true, but trusting my own design and color inclinations above the noise of what was trendy or popular during the process was a big hurdle that I had to get over.

Pacific Northwest Honeymoon in The Knot | Ann-Marie Loves

The same anxiety crossed over into the honeymoon planning phase. It seemed like everyone went on a European adventure or lounged on a remote beach in a tropical location. As amazing as those trips sounded, they just weren’t jiving with the visions that John and I had for our own honeymoon. We spent months mulling over what we should do and we finally came to a conclusion when we got clear about what kind of experience was most in line with our values. Given the fact that we got married in the fall, we wanted an authentic autumn experience where we could wear cold weather clothes, drink really good coffee, see colorful leaves, and explore new-to-us towns together. We also didn’t want to spend a fortune or lose too many days in transit to and from our destination. So the Pacific Northwest it was! And hands down, it was the best week of our lives.

Pacific Northwest Honeymoon in The Knot | Ann-Marie Loves

I just want people to know that weddings and honeymoons don’t have to be a serious, over-the-top production. You don’t have to spend your life savings on a single day of your life (actually, I highly recommend that you DO NOT). You don’t have to follow traditions or do what everyone else is doing. If I can only offer one piece of advice, it’s this: do what feels right to you and your significant other. Everyone (and I mean EVERYONE) is going to have an opinion about what you should do and where you should go, but honestly, it’s your wedding and your honeymoon. Do what you want!

P.S. Our honeymoon was featured in the Spring issue of The Knot! You can read more about each of our honeymoon destinations here!

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