in my bag | hospital edition.

Posted on: Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Now that I’m convinced this baby is going to happily inhabit my body from now until the end of time, I thought it would be a good opportunity to showcase what’s in my hospital bag. You know, just in case it ever gets put to use.

What's in My Hospital Bag | Ann-Marie Loves

  • Faux Leather Bag. I found this bag months ago at Forever 21 knowing that it would make for a stylish diaper bag. Turns out, it’s also been a great bag for weekend getaways, overnight stays at my parents’ house, and now, a place to house all of the items I think I will need during my (hopefully!) short stay at the hospital. This is just my personal bag; John has his own and the baby has her own. Clearly we don’t mess around when it comes to spending a few nights three miles away from home ;)
  • Electronics. Camera, iPhone, chargers. All the important things we will need to document this exciting time!
  • Nursing bras. I picked up a few soft nursing bras at Target that were relatively cheap and can translate from daytime wear to sleepwear easily.
  • Nursing-friendly tops and nightgowns. Apparently, easy access is what this whole postpartum fashion situation is all about! Luckily, I found some pieces that are super comfy AND cute, whether or not the rest of me looks like a hot mess.
  • Granny Panties. I’ll admit that I resisted spending money on giant undies for quite some time, but once I got home and gave them a whirl, I was kind of in love. They’re so comfortable!
  • Bathrobe. This item was a tip from my good friend Elise and I imagine it will come in handy long after we leave the hospital. I found mine at Target for a great deal, so I won’t feel bad about getting it dirty and throwing it in the wash on a regular basis.
  • Gap Supersoft LeggingsI know I keep mentioning these leggings over and over again, but seriously, they’re the best. This particular style is perfect since the waistband is low rise and won’t get in the way of lingering baby bumps.
  • Toiletries. Deodorant, makeup, toilet paper, lotion, several tubes of Carmex, shampoo, face cleanser, body wash, razor, toothbrush + toothpaste, etc. All the key ingredients to making a sterile hospital room feel more like home.
  • Snacks. I really love the team of doctors that have been taking care of me these past nine (or in my case, nine hundred) months for countless reasons, but one of the biggest factors is their forward-thinking approach to labor and delivery. They buck tradition and encourage moms to stay hydrated and energized during the whole process through easy-to-digest food and drinks. I eagerly took their advice and stocked up on lollipops, granola bars, mints, and gum for John and I to snack on as the hours roll by.
  • Domino Magazine. To be honest, I have no idea if I will have the time (or the energy!) to read a magazine during my hospital stay, but I thought I would bring it in case Instagram can no longer hold my attention (as if!).
  • BoppyEveryone needs a Boppy, right? Mine is currently sitting in the backseat of the car, decked out in the cream + gold cover I purchased off Etsy.
  • Etc. Hospital registration forms, insurance card, birth plan, pillows, car seat…all the fun stuff.

Now if we could just get this party started…

i heart anthology magazine.

Posted on: Thursday, July 31, 2014

Anthology Magazine | via Ann-Marie Loves

Earlier this year, I treated myself to a subscription to my favorite print magazine, Anthology. Previously, I had always purchased the publication at Anthro, but I finally decided that receiving a copy in the mail would make reading it extra special. Turns out, I was right. My first copy arrived on Monday and I am in love.

Anthology Magazine | via Ann-Marie Loves

Like I mentioned in this episode of Elise Gets Crafty, freelancing has definite benefits, including being able to write off inspiring reads as research materials when tax season rolls around. And let me tell you, I definitely turn to this publication time and time again for creative and business inspiration!

Anthology Magazine | via Ann-Marie Loves

It’s magazines like this one that make me grateful for print, especially since my growing collection of back issues makes for a fun visual display on my living room bench. Paper, you guys. My love knows no end.

Last Day for July 2014 Stamps! | annmarielovespaper.bigcartel.com

P.S. A friendly reminder that today is the LAST DAY to purchase any of my July 2014 rubber stamps! They will be gone by midnight :)

photoshop actions!

Posted on: Wednesday, July 30, 2014

As a longtime user of Photoshop actions, I’ve been wanting to create my own set for, like ever? And really, there’s nothing quite like the impending arrival of a tiny human being to light a fire under my butt to get such things done! I decided to start with a group of “basics,” if you will. These are the kinds of editing treatments that I apply to all of my photos, whether they’re for my blog, my shop, or personal projects.

Ann-Marie Loves | Photoshop Actions | Basics Vol. 01

Here’s what my sample image looked like straight out of the camera:

Ann-Marie Loves | Photoshop Actions | Basics Vol. 01

Ann-Marie Loves | Photoshop Actions | Basics Vol. 01

…and here it is when the six unique actions included in the set are applied:

Ann-Marie Loves | Photoshop Actions | Basics Vol. 01

Ann-Marie Loves | Photoshop Actions | Basics Vol. 01

This set includes:

No. 01: The Basics  | No. 02: Warm It Up | No. 03: Cool It Down | No. 04: B+W | No. 05: Fade Away | No. 06: Color Pop

Here’s why I love actions:

- With a single click of a mouse, you can elevate a dull, lifeless image into a refined, polished photo that you will be proud to share with others.

- You can always dial back an action by clicking on the various steps (in the History palette) to achieve your desired look.

- Mixing + matching actions is a fantastic way to create your own look.

- Even with the same action, every photo will look completely different, so the possibilities are truly endless!

Ann-Marie Loves | Photoshop Actions | Basics Vol. 01

P.S. From now until next Wednesday (8/6), you can save 30% off your purchase of this set of actions using the code: ACTIONS30. Enjoy!

P.P.S. Don’t forget that this Thursday, July 31st is the last day to purchase any of the July 2014 stamps before I retire them forever! ;)

ready as we’ll ever be.

Posted on: Monday, July 28, 2014

Thoughts on Being Ready for Baby | Ann-Marie Loves

Getting way more than my money’s worth out of that Anthro tank top!

Aside from “when are you due?” and “you’re taking the drugs, right?”, the most common question I get asked these days is “are you ready?” AM I READY? Is anyone ever ready? Sure, we have all of the necessary baby gear. The car seat base is secured in the backseat. My hospital bag is packed. We have attended all of the birth / baby classes and taken copious notes. We have mapped out the fastest route to the hospital. But are we READY? Oh gosh. I don’t think we will ever be fully “ready.”

John and I are both going into parenthood with a healthy sense of fear. We have no idea what to expect and we’re not even trying to pretend like we do. But ironically, I feel confident in our lack of total self-assuredness. I know that it will keep us on our toes. It will push us to expand beyond our comfort zones on a daily basis. It will require us to grow not only as parents but also as a couple and as individuals. It will reshape our lives, but in the very best way possible.

Here’s how I know we can do this (whether or not we feel 100% ready): we already love the heck out of this little girl. We haven’t even met her yet, but we are already determined to do everything in our power (and then some) to give her the best life possible. I always thought it would be difficult to give myself entirely to another person, but after being pregnant, I have no problem putting this tiny gal’s needs before my own. It’s not even a question. It’s just a way of life.

We’re ready when you are, little one.

diy custom frame mats.

Posted on: Friday, July 25, 2014

DIY Custom Frame Mats | Ann-Marie Loves

You guys, I won’t even begin to tell you how ridiculously expensive it is to have an annual pass to Disneyland. It’s beyond the point of ridiculous. But in spite of the steep price point, John and I continue to renew our passes year after year, because, well, we love it! And soon we will have another person to take along with us (for free!), so of course, we’re in too deep to quit now ;)

DIY Custom Frame Mats | Ann-Marie Loves

Last year all annual pass holders were sent a calendar booklet complete with vintage prints from all of the big attractions and something told me that I should hang on to it for future use. Well, high five to me, because when I rediscovered the booklet while cleaning out my office the other day, I knew that three of the pages would be perfect for nursery decor! The only problem was that the dimensions of the pages didn’t exactly lend themselves well to traditional frame sizes.

DIY Custom Frame Mats | Ann-Marie Loves

So, I had to get a little creative. I went through the frames that I already had on hand and realized that if I used this simple white IKEA frame and made a custom mat with my Cameo die cutting machine, I could easily accommodate the prints! Boom. That was all it took to get my wheels turning…

DIY Custom Frame Mats | Ann-Marie Loves

To make the custom mat, I measured the prints and then created a slightly smaller-sized rectangle in the Silhouette Studio software and centered it within the 8.5 x 11″ paper allotment.

DIY Custom Frame Mats | Ann-Marie Loves
DIY Custom Frame Mats | Ann-Marie Loves

Once the mats were cut out, I turned the prints over and adhered them to the backs of each mat using scotch tape (washi tape would probably work well too!). Then I popped each print into the frame and mapped out where I wanted to hang them on the wall.

DIY Custom Frame Mats | Ann-Marie Loves

Initially, I was reluctant to hang anything above the crib given the high likelihood of earthquakes, but I managed to find a few workarounds. First of all, these frames are super light and the covers are made of plastic, not glass. Secondly, I pulled the crib away from the wall so that should the prints fall, they won’t come in contact with the baby. And thirdly, I wreak more havoc simply by running my clumsy body into things than any earthquake could ever cause, so maybe I’m the one who needs to be baby-proofed? HA!

diy wedding guestbook box.

Posted on: Thursday, July 24, 2014

DIY Wedding Guestbook Box | Ann-Marie Loves

When I designed the guestbook cards for our wedding, I knew I wanted to do something untraditional with them, but honestly, I didn’t have a clear vision of what that would be. Flash forward several months later to when I stumbled upon an old recipe box at the thrift store and instantly knew what to do with those cards!

DIY Wedding Guestbook Box | Ann-Marie Loves

Photo by Katie Pritchard Photography

During our wedding, we used a thrifted wooden cassette tape holder to house the cards that our guests so sweetly filled out during the reception. When we got back from our honeymoon, we had the BEST time reading them, so I am thrilled to finally have an easily accessible landing place where we can revisit those happy memories whenever we like! Here’s how I customized the box:

DIY Wedding Guestbook Box | Ann-Marie Loves

Using my Cameo die cutting machine (bet you didn’t see that one coming! ;)), I cut out two liners for the insides of the box and the word “Guestbook” for the lid from printable gold foil. Sticking each of the liners down took a little finagling (and reapplying), but I love the way it adds an extra layer of visual interest every time the box is opened.

DIY Wedding Guestbook Box | Ann-Marie Loves

I then lightly applied the word “Guestbook” to the lid, making sure it was on straight before I pressed down to secure it into place. The good thing about this gold paper is that it’s sticky enough to hold up once enough pressure is applied to it, but not so sticky that you only have one shot to get it right.

DIY Wedding Guestbook Box | Ann-Marie Loves

From there, I gathered all of our cards together and placed them in the box. (Love the designer humor from Sarah!)

DIY Wedding Guestbook Box | Ann-Marie Loves

Many of our guests not-so-subtly encouraged us to jump onboard the baby train ASAP. We took the hint ;)

DIY Wedding Guestbook Box | Ann-Marie Loves

And now our guestbook cards live happily on the bench in our living room!

DIY Wedding Guestbook Box | Ann-Marie Loves

If you’re currently in wedding planning mode, I encourage you to think outside of the box when it comes to components such as guestbooks! Don’t worry about what everyone on Pinterest is doing (easier said than done, I know!) or how your ideas will come across to your traditionally-inclined guests. The more you can tailor the details of your event to your own personal tastes, the more your wedding will feel like you and your fiance. And isn’t that the whole point? :)

 

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 ;)

maternity shoot | style me pretty.

Posted on: Friday, July 18, 2014

John + Ann-Marie Espinoza | Maternity Shoot | Sorella Muse Photography

It’s always a surreal experience to see your own face on a well-known blog and yesterday was no exception, thanks to this little feature on Style Me Pretty.

John + Ann-Marie Espinoza | Maternity Shoot | Sorella Muse Photography
John + Ann-Marie Espinoza | Maternity Shoot | Sorella Muse Photography
John + Ann-Marie Espinoza | Maternity Shoot | Sorella Muse Photography

Last month, John and I had the pleasure of being photographed by Nicole of Sorella Muse Photography for a maternity shoot and it’s so much fun to finally go through the pictures and marvel at this fleeting stage of life. I remember thinking that I looked huge a month ago. Ha! Try 39 weeks, Ann-Marie ;)

John + Ann-Marie Espinoza | Maternity Shoot | Sorella Muse Photography
John + Ann-Marie Espinoza | Maternity Shoot | Sorella Muse Photography
John + Ann-Marie Espinoza | Maternity Shoot | Sorella Muse Photography

We started the shoot by letting Nicole work her magic in the nursery and our bedroom (who knew our early evening light could be so magical?) and then strolled along picturesque Green Street, followed by a trip to City Hall (of Parks and Rec fame) for the ultimate Pasadena photo. I have no idea where we will live when future little ones come along, but I’d love to get an iconic shot of each city that we have babies in.

John + Ann-Marie Espinoza | Maternity Shoot | Sorella Muse Photography
John + Ann-Marie Espinoza | Maternity Shoot | Sorella Muse Photography
John + Ann-Marie Espinoza | Maternity Shoot | Sorella Muse Photography

It’s a crazy thing to watch your body grow and change as each week goes by. I will readily admit that I don’t always love the way I look while pregnant, but I am so grateful that my body is doing what it’s doing, even without my consent. There are much bigger things to worry about than puffy cheeks and swollen feet. Like, for real…when is this kid coming? ;)

stamped canvas pouch.

Posted on: Thursday, July 17, 2014

DIY Stamped Canvas Pouch | Designed by Ann-Marie Espinoza | via Dear Lizzy DIY Stamped Canvas Pouch | Designed by Ann-Marie Espinoza | via Dear Lizzy

Yesterday my stamped canvas pouch tutorial was shared on the always-inspiring Dear Lizzy’s blog! Hop on over to check it out :)

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