as of late | april edition.

Posted on: Tuesday, April 12, 2016

As of Late | April Edition.

The story of Briar’s life.

Seriously loving this DIY from Almost Makes Perfect. I love every DIY that Molly makes, but this one is really inspiring me to buy some wood and paint!

Laughing at all the funny things that Briar says these days. She used to call my brother by his first name but has since switched to calling him “Uncle.” She also adds the word “yay!” to things she’s excited about and repeats the phrase over and over again in a sing-songy manner, such as “bubbles! yay! bubbles! yay!” And last night as I was reading her a few stories in bed, I would ask her if she was ready for the next book and she would repeat “weddy?” Ahh, she kills me.

Enjoying my shorter hairstyle! I have a serious aversion to styling my hair everyday (god forbid I have to break out the blow dryer), so to be able to air dry, spritz with a little styling cream and a generous amount of dry shampoo (this one is my new fave!), and then quickly add loose waves with a large curling iron…well, it’s kind of a dream come true.

Feeling so sad for Tori Hendrix and her family. I have been closely following Tori for years and have looked up to her not only as an amazing stylist and creative but also as a mother. In fact, I talk about her so much that John knows exactly whom I’m referring to when I mention “Tori” casually in conversation. I’m really, really, really hoping for a miracle!

Editing most of my DSLR photos in Lightroom now with VSCO actions and feeling like it’s such a game changer to my workflow! I can only use Lightroom on our desktop (my poor laptop can barely accommodate one more megabyte!) so I don’t edit as much as I would like to, but when I do? I’m in heaven.

Barely into my second trimester and I’m already picking out pieces here and there for baby number two. We won’t find out the sex for another month so I’m stocking up on cute neutrals, including this black + white striped hooded one-piece and these cactus-patterned clothes! Oh em gee, I forgot how tiny newborn clothes are!

Trying to remember to take weekly bump photos but I’m def not as consistent about it as I was with Briar. Whoops!

Hanging out with some of my favorite Pasadena people, including brunch with my former landlord and her adorable little ones (sounds crazy, right?). Here’s the backstory: She and her husband had just taken over the management of our complex before John and I put in our notice to leave, but I always had a feeling that she and I would have hit it off. Fast forward a few months and as I’m browsing through Pinterest, I see photos of her and and her daughter modeling for Solly Baby wraps. That’s when I knew: she is my kind of people! So I e-mailed her and basically asked her to be my friend and she told me she felt the same way and now we go on lunch dates with our kiddos! How’s that for a friendship meet-cute?

Delighting in the sight of Briar wearing her pink duck pajamas. The girl is obsessed with anything duck-related these days, so when I spotted the jammies at Baby Gap, I knew I had no choice but to buy them.

Beginning to feel subtle baby kicks! So exciting! Also, I’m 99% positive that there’s a boy in there and I’m 99% terrified about it.

Rocking maternity clothes already and feeling no shame whatsoever! This striped dress from Target is getting plenty of mileage.

Pinning all the time again! I go through phases with Pinterest where my interest in it ebbs and flows and right now it is definitely flowing!

first trimester | the second time around.

Posted on: Wednesday, April 6, 2016

First Trimester | Round Two | Ann-Marie Loves

As excited as I was to find out I was pregnant, I braced myself for the inevitable onslaught of first trimester nausea and exhaustion. And right on cue, it reared it’s ugly head on the day I reached six weeks. It’s funny, though. I always imagined that having to care for a toddler while trying to get through those first trimester symptoms would be impossibly difficult. In reality, the opposite turned out to be true! I don’t know if it’s because my tolerance for discomfort has gone way up since having Briar or if it’s the fact that I simply didn’t have the time to focus on how terrible I felt, but it seemed much more manageable this go around (thank goodness!). I think I also have a much better perspective on the fact that this too shall pass and all the fun parts of pregnancy (baby kicks! not having to suck it in! ultrasounds!) were right around the corner.

First Trimester | Round Two | Ann-Marie Loves

But while I waited for the fun parts to arrive, I turned to my trusty old friend: CARBS. And when I say carbs, I means carbs. Bagels, pasta, bread, saltines, sandwiches…whatever it took to settle my stomach. I’m definitely not proud of my food choices at that stage in the game, but I swear to you, they are the only things that actually work. That, and avoiding the horror that is coffee (thank goodness that phase has finally passed!). I also tried out Sea-Bands (bracelets with plastic beads that push into the pressure points on your wrists) and found them to be helpful. Additionally, I reminded myself that the first trimester is not the time to make things happen, so I cut myself some slack and rested whenever I felt my energy flagging. There was many a nap and many an early bedtime during those first thirteen weeks and I didn’t feel an ounce of guilt about it! I felt nauseas for two weeks straight (morning, noon, and night) but in the grand scheme of pregnancy-related torture, it was a walk in the park. Speaking of walks in the park, I am constantly out of breath this time around…you would think I haven’t exercised in years! I’ve also sadly become allergic to my white gold wedding ring much earlier in the game with this baby than with Briar. I feel naked without it but I know it will go away the very second that the baby is born (pregnancy is the weirdest).

With all that said, the first trimester was totally manageable and I am SO GRATEFUL for that. My minor complaints are just that: minor. I am thrilled to be into the second trimester and can’t wait to find out if this baby is a boy or a girl in a few short weeks…! OH EM GEE.

2016 album | day in the life.

Posted on: Monday, April 4, 2016

Day in the Life | Ann-Marie Loves

A few weeks ago when I saw Ali Edwards say on Instagram that she would be hosting her Day in the Life series the next day, I was sold! I haven’t done a Day in the Life project in years and I figured it would be the perfect addition to my ongoing 2016 album. Luckily, it turned out to be a work day for me so there was plenty of activity to photograph and include in my book.

Day in the Life | Ann-Marie Loves

Since I am running low on BasicGrey Capture page protectors (RIP), I decided to tap into my stash and try out some Studio Calico Handbook pages. The holes don’t exactly match up with that of my album, but it’s nothing my Crop-a-Dile can’t fix! Easy peasy. I knew I wanted to include as many photos as possible without using too many pages, so I chose my favorites, resized them in Photoshop, and added a little journaling before printing. It definitely takes a lot of prep (and a lot of math!) to plan out the pages ahead of time but I love how it streamlines the actual crafting process and makes the spread look much more pulled together.

Day in the Life | Ann-Marie Loves

Day in the Life | Ann-Marie Loves

For the “AM” side of the spread, I featured snippets of our morning, including: breakfast, Briar watching her favorite show, my beauty essentials (living and dying by that dry shampoo, y’all), and finally getting out the door to head to Culver City. In addition to the journaling that I added to the photos via Photoshop, I also used a sheet of BasicGrey multicolored Highline letter stickers to create time stamps for the 3 x 4″ images.

Day in the Life | Ann-Marie Loves

For the “PM” side of the page, I included photos of: the 405 freeway, different shots from working in Amy’s studio, a quick run to Trader Joe’s to pick up essentials (Puffins, spicy hummus, and black bean rotini. You know how it is.), the sunset upon arriving home, and snuggling up in bed with Briar to read her a few books before bed (and yes, I realize her bedtime that night was super late!).

I’m so glad I successfully captured and documented my day. It’ll be so much fun to look back on next year when life looks very different than it did in March of 2016!

Supplies: Studio Calico Handbook Page Protectors // Gradient Paper // Hot Pink Polka Dot Paper (from Target) // BasicGrey Alpha Stickers // Seven Paper Puffy Stickers // Amy Tangerine Shaped Paperclips // Semi-Glossy Photo Paper

thank you!

Posted on: Friday, April 1, 2016


Happy Friday! Thank you so much for your sweet comments on my last post…I loved reading each and every one of them. I’m now in the second trimester and feeling pretty darn good. My energy is returning, my creativity is making a comeback, and exciting things are on the horizon. Today Briar and I are headed to Disneyland and are looking forward to a fun day at our favorite place! Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

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.

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