mama + baby session | jamie + luna.

Posted on: Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Jamie + Luna | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

My mind currently resides in Babyland Central.

If I’m not feeding, changing, bathing, playing with, dressing, rocking, or carrying Briar around, then I am most certainly thinking about any one of those activities. I’ve been warned many times that the baby stage flies, and my goodness, truer words have never been spoken. Briar will be six months (!!) in a week and half and I feel so fortunate to have had her early newborn days (which I can barely remember at this point!) captured forever, thanks to La Rousse Photo.

That’s why I was so thrilled to be able to take these photos of my sister-in-law and my niece. Baby Luna has already changed so much since then, but I can attest that the bond she shares with her mama grows stronger and stronger everyday.

Jamie + Luna | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography
Jamie + Luna | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography
Jamie + Luna | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography
Jamie + Luna | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography
Jamie + Luna | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography
Jamie + Luna | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography
Jamie + Luna | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography
Jamie + Luna | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography
Jamie + Luna | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography
Jamie + Luna | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography
Jamie + Luna | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography
Jamie + Luna | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography
Jamie + Luna | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

pasadena.

Posted on: Monday, January 26, 2015

Moving On | Ann-Marie Loves

A few weeks ago, I posted about my dilemma over staying put in Pasadena or moving closer to family.

Even though we’ve only lived in Pas for a little over a year, I feel like so much of my identity is tied up in being a resident. Not only have I wanted to live here for years, but this is the first place that John and I lived together as a married couple. This is the town in which I was pregnant and had a baby. This is the only home Briar has ever known. Needless to say, the sentimental value of this city had me in a freaking headlock.

But. The thing about Pasadena is that it’s juuuust far enough away from family + friends that I can’t utilize their help with Briar. And man oh man, do I need help. Don’t get me wrong…Briar is an easy baby (relatively speaking). She loves people, she can take formula just as well as breast milk, she’s an excellent traveler, and most importantly, she’s a happy + healthy little girl. But at this stage in the game (oh, hi hospital bills), John and I both need to be working. And that means I need to pass the baby off for awhile each week so I can do my part to contribute.

So, we have moved.

And as sad as I was (am!) about leaving, I’ve already had a taste of what the next few months have in store: me time. I’ve been treating myself to solo coffee dates. I’ve listened to several podcasts back to back without having to stop. I’ve been catching up on work + e-mails. I had my neglected hair trimmed and styled. And best of all, I’ve been able to hear my own thoughts and and get some mental clarity! For the first time since Briar was born, I’ve been able to breathe easier knowing that it’s not all on me to keep things going. And it feels good.

Whenever I feel down about that chapter closing, John reminds me that we can always move back one day. Preferably to a house on El Molino ;)

last day for stamps!

Posted on: Friday, January 9, 2015

annmarielovespaper.bigcartel.com

Happy Friday! I’m dropping in to let you know that tomorrow (Saturday) is the last day for rubber stamps, my friends. I’ll still be making custom + address stamps, but as for monthly designs, I am officially hanging up my hat. Be sure to grab them while you can! Thank you so much for all your purchases these past few years! Your support has meant the WORLD to me :)

On to the next!

as of late | january edition.

Posted on: Wednesday, January 7, 2015

As of Late | January Edition | Ann-Marie Loves

Beyond psyched to see my wedding rank number two on this list and my bouquet rank number eleven on this list…! That crazy labor of love has officially paid off :)

Rewarding myself with a well-deserved Blue Moon after purging the fridge of expired food. #worstchoreever

Deciding that the best shoes are the ones I don’t even notice I am wearing all day long. I found these booties at Target (after coming to terms with the fact that my post-pregnancy feet are too wide for Sam Edelman beauties) and they are incredibly comfy. Maybe even comfy enough for a Disneyland trip!

Needing a new haircut, like, yesterday. My hair has gotten super long and I’ve lost a good chunk of it thanks to postpartum hormones (ay papi), so needless to say, Mama needs a new look. Any suggestions?

Mapping out weekend getaways with my little family. San Diego, Portland, Santa Barbara…

Stocking up on adorable plush ornaments from Anthro’s post-holiday sale. I have a feeling that our 2015 Christmas tree won’t have any breakables on it, thanks to a certain future sixteen month old ;)

Looking forward to trying out some new-to-me podcasts as recommended by Clementine Daily.

Thinking that a half birthday party for my soon-to-be six month old (!!!) would be so much fun. Now if I could just figure out how to make one of those colorful layered cakes…

Dreaming (literally) of the day that Briar sleeps through the night. It’s got to be one of these days, right?

Loving Sollybaby’s Instagram feed. Elle’s tips for everyday babywearing are so inspiring, plus, her photos are just gorg.

Marveling at all the beautiful sunsets I’ve seen lately! What is it about winter that makes sundown so dramatic?

Laughing my head off over this Jimmy Fallon / Nicole Kidman interview! O M G.

Realizing that I need to back up all the photos on my phone as I have sadly run out of space. Five months with a 32gb iPhone and a baby and I am MAXED OUT. #dontknowifishouldbeproudorembarassed

Anxiously awaiting the return of Parenthood! I swear, if they kill off Zeek…

Feeling SO PROUD that I got my best friends hooked on the Joy the Baker podcast. I’ve been an avid listener for years and I am so pumped to finally have real life friends to share it with!

Retiring from the rubber stamp game and moving in a new direction. Yep. It’s time. (P.S. if you’ve been eyeing my holiday stamps, you have until Thursday to stock up!)

hello 2015.

Posted on: Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Hello 2015 | Ann-Marie Loves

The more years I see, the more I realize that I can’t put a blanket statement on any particular year. Or anything, really. (Except cookie dough. I am ALWAYS down for cookie dough.) Each year is filled with it’s own share of victories and losses that help to mold you into your future self. But if I’m being honest, 2014 was a DOOZY. It was more powerful and life changing and terrifying than I ever could have predicted. I don’t think I’ve ever been more stressed out in my life. Needless to say, I’m happy to put it in the past (insert peace sign emoji here).

My families rang in the new year in a beautiful home in Cambria overlooking the Pacific Ocean…all while the majority of the group battled various flu symptoms (I’m sure there’s a metaphor in there somewhere). Despite our rocky entrance into 2015, I’m already feeling a sense of lightness and peace for the new year. There are big life changes on the horizon, but my main focus for 2015 is to stop and  savor the little things that make life so wonderful. I spent way too much of last year in a state of panic over the unknown that I often lost sight of all the amazing things that were actually happening. This year, I have grand plans of enjoying craft coffee everyday, taking tons of Zumba classes, finding any and every excuse to meet up with friends, allowing others to help me, taking more photos, sleeping in if it feels good, working on more “just for fun” projects, and getting down on the floor and playing with my baby as often as possible. Ever since Christmas, Briar has been hitting milestones left and right (rolling all over, grabbing at everything, sitting up) and it’s been a huge wakeup call for me to enjoy each and every moment, not just of her life, but of mine as well.

It’s gonna be a good one. I can feel it.

gift guide for the crafty.

Posted on: Monday, December 22, 2014

Crafter's Holiday Gift Guide | Ann-Marie Loves

01. Gold Stapler // Staplers may not seem like a crafting essential, but I assure you…mine gets quite a workout on the regular. I’m in love with this gold stapler by Nate Berkus.

02. PaperMate Flair Felt Tip Pens // When it comes to writing utensils, there is nothing that beats these felt tips. I use them for everything from list-making to scrapbooking to writing letters. They’re my absolute favorite and they come in a ton of fun colors!

03. Gold Scissors // I can’t think of too many crafts that don’t require a good pair of scissors. This gold version is not only perfect for getting the job done but it’s just begging to be Instagrammed!

04. Solid Adhesive Runner // When I used to teach classes and host craft demos, it didn’t matter how awesome the project was…the tape runners would inevitably become the star of the show! Ha! People love the ease and simplicity of a good tape runner (myself included!).

05. Fiskars 12 Inch ProCision Rotary Bypass Trimmer // If paper is your idea of a good time then I highly recommend investing in a solid trimmer. This version is a total workhorse (I used it for all of my wedding projects!) and a steal of a deal compared to other heavy duty models.

06. Knitting by Design // I am a HUGE fan of craft books that not only feature projects I want to make but have inspiring styling and well-designed layouts. Similar books worth mentioning: Playful and Lena Corwin’s Made by Hand.

07. Jet Black Ink Pad // As someone who digs rubber stamps, I’ve experimented with many an ink pad in my time. This version by Ranger is juicy, vibrant, and qucik-drying (aka PERFECT).

08. Martha Stewart Knit and Weave Loom Kit // If there’s one product I’ve gotten way more than my money’s worth out of, it’s this loom. 2014 was the year I became obsessed with weaving (as you may have noticed) and it’s due in a large part to this incredibly easy-to-use kit.

09. Lion Brand Yarn // I’ve become a major yarn hoarder these past several months. I am now forever on the lookout for beautiful yarn in all different colors, textures, and gauges. This hot pink number by Lion Brand is perfect for whipping up a quick tassel, pom pom, blanket, or — you guessed it — woven wall hanging.

In case you missed my other gift guides, here’s one for infants and one for guys! Happy last minute shopping!

briar’s infant gift guide.

Posted on: Friday, December 19, 2014

If Briar could talk, here’s what she would ask for for Christmas:

Infant Holiday Gift Guide | Ann-Marie Loves

01. Plan Toys Happy Puppy // Until we get Briar a real pet, this puppy will hopefully be a good substitute.

02. Munchkin Fun Ice Ring Teether // Since everything goes in Briar’s mouth these days, she might as well get a little teething relief.

03. Minnetonka Fringe Bootie // Sure, Briar can’t walk yet, but in a few months, we’ll need cute shoes for her little feet! Plus, these match the mama-sized pair that I have on my own holiday wish list ;)

04. Infantino Carrier Cover // As Briar’s gotten bigger, I’ve been favoring the Ergo more than the wrap, so this carrier cover would be perfect for keeping my little babe nice + toasty during these frigid (ha!) California months.

05. Graco Bumper Jumper // It’s hard to believe Briar is already able to (mostly) control her movements…I mean, wasn’t she just a spastic newborn yesterday? I’m hoping she will gets lots and lots of joy (and good exercise!) out of this doorway jumper.

06. Pink Piano // Am I asking for incessant loud noise with this piano? Quite possibly! But have you ever seen anything cuter?! Briar so needs this.

07. California Baby Lotion // I’ve been a California Baby fan since the day Briar took her first bath, so as the air gets colder and drier, I’ll be turning to this lotion more and more!

08. Boon Dive Bath Tub Appliques // Briar loves her baths almost as much as she loves her bath toys. These will be so fun when she moves to the big tub.

09. Crewcuts Long-Sleeved Skirted Onesie // Briar has the sleeveless version of this super chic striped onesie, but as babies do, she’s already outgrowing it. This long sleeved option in a size she can fit into months from now would be perfect!

easiest christmas card ever.

Posted on: Thursday, December 18, 2014

Holiday Cards Made with Digital Brushes | Ann-Marie Loves

Given the fact that I just had Briar’s birth announcements made a few weeks ago (did you know I had a baby?), the idea of designing, printing, addressing, and shipping Christmas cards felt like an insurmountable task. But! As I was experimenting with gift tag ideas using my new digital brushes, I realized that it would be SO SIMPLE for me to bust out a quick holiday card design. Beyond simple, actually.

Holiday Cards Made with Digital Brushes | Ann-Marie Loves

I started by dragging one of my favorite Instagram photos into Photoshop. Since it was already cropped nicely into a square, I left it as is.

Holiday Cards Made with Digital Brushes | Ann-Marie Loves

Then I chose the “happy holidays” brush and stamped it on the center of the photo. Next, I added a text layer with the words “Love, The Espinozas” to finish it off. Three steps and I was done.

I decided that I would make just enough copies for our immediate families (knowing that they would appreciate a Briar pic more than anyone else), so I grabbed some photo paper and printed them out at home. So easy. So fast.

(If you have any questions about how to use my digital brushes, let me know!)

diaper bag organizer.

Posted on: Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Life in Play Diaper Bag Organizer | Ann-Marie Loves

As Briar gets older and we spend more + more time away from home, the amount of baby gear that I pack continues to grow + grow. There are the basics that I always have on hand (Target diapers, Honest wipes, Nuk pacifiers, burp rags, and a change of clothes), but there are also a bunch of new things that she requires as well (Sophie the Giraffe, bottles, and bibs, just to name a few). Needless to say, as much as I’d like to think I’m the “cool mom” (ha!) with a cool untraditional diaper bag, I’m nothing but a hot mess when it takes me fifteen minutes of rifling through my bag to find the one item Briar needs.

Life in Play Diaper Bag Organizer | Ann-Marie Loves

So! When Life in Play e-mailed me about their amazing new organizer which turns any bag into a diaper bag, I was intrigued. It was exactly what I needed to get my sanity back and keep potential baby meltdowns at bay. (Did I tell you about Briar’s recent meltdown in the wine aisle at Trader Joe’s? It. Was. Epic.)

Life in Play Diaper Bag Organizer | Ann-Marie Loves

Life in Play Diaper Bag Organizer | Ann-Marie Loves

The diaper bag organizer features several different-sized pockets that are perfect for all kinds of baby (and mama!) gear. Plus, there’s even a roll-up changing mat nestled in the center! Whenever I need to pack Briar’s things, I take the organizer out, put each item in it’s appropriate spot, and then pop it back into my bag. So simple and so worth the extra couple of minutes of planning and organizing.

Life in Play Diaper Bag Organizer | Ann-Marie Loves

The best part about the organizer is that it doesn’t scream “baby.” Much like the way I wanted a bag that I could keep in rotation long after the baby phase of life, this organizer will be perfect for all kinds of packing endeavors for years to come.

From now until the end of the year, you can take $30 off your purchase of a diaper bag organizer using the code “LOVES.” Happy organizing!

briar at four months.

Posted on: Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Briar at Four Months | Ann-Marie Loves

As it turns out, everything I’ve heard about parenting is true.

It’s messy. It’s blissful. It’s exhausting. It’s rewarding. It’s frustrating. It’s thrilling. It’s overwhelming. It’s love beyond measure.

But mostly, it’s the best thing that ever happened.

Briar at Four Months | Ann-Marie Loves

Briar at four months is officially my favorite version of Briar. She’s blossomed into a tiny human with very distinct opinions about everything.  There’s so much about her that catches John and me by surprise. As two painfully shy kids-turned-sometimes-still-shy adults, we were positive that Briar would be just like us. Ha! Not quite. She’s a social butterfly who will smile and laugh and cuddle with almost everyone. We also assumed that she would be a bit more on the, well, chubby? side of the baby spectrum. Again, not even close. She’s a peanut of a gal, weighing in at just under 13 pounds despite her voracious appetite. And then there’s the debate over who she resembles more. I see so much of John and he sees so much of me. But really, Briar is her own person with her own beautiful look and we could spend all of our days just marveling at her.

Briar at Four Months | Ann-Marie Loves

Briar is in perpetual motion. She’s a rolling, kicking, grabbing, gnawing machine who shows off her insane baby abs of steel in an attempt to sit herself up (seriously, how are babies so strong?!). She loves toys and books and pacifiers (which thankfully, she’s learned how to pop back into her mouth!). She is almost always smiling and babbling and John and I will do just about ANYTHING to get her to let out a belly laugh. Oh, how we live for those belly laughs.

Briar at Four Months | Ann-Marie Loves

Sleep continues to be a tricky subject. This past week, she began taking long mid-afternoon naps, so that’s been HUGE, but getting her to sleep through the night still feels like a distant dream (cheesy pun intended). Even though she fits in her bassinet, it’s becoming clear that she’s ready for her crib. The only problem is, I’m not ready for her to be in her crib. I love having her in our room and pulling her into bed when she wakes up in the middle of the night. But, I guess this is my first of many lessons in relinquishing control and letting Briar lead the way. Sigh.

Briar at Four Months | Ann-Marie Loves

These past four months have been the fastest, craziest, most fulfilling four months of my life. Briar is growing up so quickly, yet each stage is more fun than the last. And if I think four months is fun, I can only imagine how exciting five months and beyond will be!

That Briar. She’s my favorite.

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