baby album | part ten.

Posted on: Friday, June 20, 2014

Baby Album | Ann-Marie Loves

Yesterday as I was adding the latest pages to my baby album, I was marveling at how thick the book has gotten in just a few short months (I love a fat album!). Okay, so maybe 8 months isn’t that short, but man…it feels like time has just FLOWN BY. I have no idea where November through May went, but I’m so happy I took the time to write down my memories and use up more of my scrapbooking supplies (diapers are quickly starting to take over my craft space!).

Here are my two most recent pages:

Baby Album | Ann-Marie Loves
Baby Album | Ann-Marie Espinoza

For the first page, I finally used some of my all-time favorite papers from Crate Paper + Sassafras. I figure, if I don’t use them now, then when in the WORLD will I? There’s always going to be something new + exciting out on the market…no need to hoard!

Lately I’ve been trying to document the everyday moments that John and I share together, including this scene from a weekend morning on the couch in our PJ’s. In just a few weeks, there will be another person in the mix, so I’m making the most of the time we currently have by ourselves :)

Baby Album | Ann-Marie Espinoza

I cut out the triangles using this punch and I added a little fringe to the underside of my photo thanks to these awesome scissors.

Baby Album | Ann-Marie Espinoza

For the second page, I took the heavyweight cardstock insert that came in a pack of Capture page protectors and loosely covered it with white paint for a little bit of texture. I also used random bits of paper + embellishments that were sitting on my desk, including tag punch outs, the backing to a set of jeweled bobby pins that I received at my baby shower, a KP letterpress card, and the “This is My Fave” stamp from my shop (quick PSA: don’t forget to stock up before it’s too late!).

Baby Album | Ann-Marie Espinoza

I’m trying to determine how and when I should finish this album off and I can’t quite decide. To be continued! ;)

In case you missed it: Part One | Part Two | Part Three | Part Four | Part Five | Part Six | Part Seven | Part Eight | Part Nine

retiring my stamps + starting fresh!

Posted on: Thursday, June 19, 2014

Ann-Marie Loves Paper | Rubber Stamps are Retiring on June 27th |

Lately I’ve been feeling a nagging pull to change things up with my career. I will admit that there has been many a day in which I just want to hang up my self-employment hat and find a steady 9-5 with a steady paycheck. I’ve always accepted fluctuating income as par for the freelance course, but now with a baby due in a month and an insurance deductible so outrageously high that I could just cry (AGAIN), I’m on a mission to shake things up and breathe new life into my career.

Ann-Marie Loves Paper | Rubber Stamps are Retiring on June 27th |

The first thing on my list: retire my stamps.

I’ve been at the stamp game for over two years now and it has taught me SO much about the ins and outs of running a small business. I’ve learned about everything from dealing with shipping, pricing, packaging, and marketing to customer service, designing, time management, taxes, competition…the list goes on. As of right now, I currently have over 70 stamp designs for sale and it feels like quite an overwhelming inventory for this one-woman operation to manage! So in an effort to streamline my shop (and my life) and try something new, I’m retiring all of my current stamps by Friday June 27th.

Ann-Marie Loves Paper | Rubber Stamps are Retiring on June 27th |

But! I’m not bowing out of the stamp game just yet. Instead, I’ve decided to release 4-5 limited edition stamp designs each month, which will only be available for a single month; no less, no more. July 1st marks the first installment of the brand new stamp designs and if you purchase $30 or more of my soon-to-be retired stamps, you’ll receive a 20% off coupon code for any limited edition stamp design starting 7/1/14!

Thank you SO MUCH to everyone who has supported my little business over the years! I am beyond grateful to you and can’t wait to show you what else I have up my sleeve! xo

workspace wednesday | #GIRLBOSS

Posted on: Wednesday, June 18, 2014

#GIRLBOSS | via Ann-Marie Loves

The other night before I climbed into bed, I decided that I didn’t want to read another book on babies. I didn’t want to read another chapter on sleep training. I didn’t want to read about French parenting styles vs. American parenting styles. (At least for one night.) Instead, I wanted something completely different.

Thus, I bought #GIRLBOSS on my Kindle and devoured as much of it as possible before my eyes couldn’t stay open any longer. It’s so fascinating! I’ve seen a bunch of ‘grams with people raving about the book recently, I figured I might as well jump on the bandwagon too. There are so many nuggets of wisdom sprinkled throughout, but one of my most favorite quotes is:

#GIRLBOSS | via Ann-Marie Loves

BOOM. Love that.

my pre-mom style.

Posted on: Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Mom Style | Ann-Marie Loves

As I get closer and closer to becoming a real live mom, I’ve noticed my style morphing ever so slightly. While I’m certainly not at the point of mom jeans just yet, I have been favoring comfort and practicality over anything too fussy or time-consuming these days. But at the same time, I’m not quite ready to forgo my pre-baby style entirely! Last week I had bangs chopped for the first time in a few years and it makes me feel like a brand new person. The rest of my hair is still long enough to throw in a top knot because really, who wants to spend extra time blow-drying their hair? Not this gal.

Mom Style | Ann-Marie Loves

I’ve also been giving into maternity clothes more and more, because frankly, I am running out of wardrobe options and I do need to leave the house and interact with society every once in awhile. Plus, maternity clothes are the comfiest things EVER. We’re talking stretch, stretch, and more stretch…what’s not to love about that? I’ve been wearing this pink + white super soft nightgown to bed and thanks to it’s nursing-friendly straps, it will continue to get plenty of mileage long after the baby arrives. I’m also loving my black + white striped dress that I plan to wear to my second shower. But! I still like to spice things up with regular clothes too! For example, this white denim vest from Target is in heavy rotation since it doesn’t require any buttoning or zipping and hides…umm…”pregnancy softness?” (read: BACK FAT), like a champ.

Mom Style | Ann-Marie Loves

And as for footwear, I am ALL about the Birks these days. They are quite possibly the ugliest shoes I have ever owned and definitely the biggest size I have ever worn (thanks to my perma-swollen feet), but my goodness, they are so comfortable and require no bending down to put them on. Now that’s a win if ever I’ve heard of one!

baby showers are the best.

Posted on: Monday, June 16, 2014

Baby Shower No. One | Ann-Marie Espinoza

How gorgeous is the Espinoza gene pool?? Holy moly, I chose well! ;)

Bridal showers are fantastic. They are the perfect excuse to wear a tight white dress, indulge in cocktails with your best friends, and squeal over latte bowls, lingerie, and linens that help to get married life off on the right foot.

But then there are baby showers.

I never realized just how truly special these kinds of get-togethers are until I had my first one this past Saturday. Since my sister-in-law and I are both expecting girls this year, our amazing family threw us a beautiful backyard double shower to celebrate the forthcoming members to the Espinoza clan. I love that baby showers are not just about the moms-to-be, but more importantly, they’re about the new lives that will be here before we know it.

As John and I unpacked our car full of baby gifts last night, we couldn’t help but revel in just how lucky our daughter is to have such an incredible group of people who already love her so much. I often look back on our engagement and our wedding and think about how I thought things couldn’t possibly get anymore fulfilling than they were in that moment. Ha! I was so naive. I am here to report that having a baby takes the concept of fulfillment to a whole new level.

So what if my body’s nowhere near as fit as it once was or I can’t enjoy a glass (or three) of wine just yet? Everyday of pregnancy is a welcome reminder that there are much more important things in life to celebrate :)

diy baby wardrobe organizers.

Posted on: Friday, June 13, 2014

DIY Baby Wardrobe Organizers | Ann-Marie Loves

Shopping for baby clothes is CLEARLY something I have no problem doing. The only tricky part is trying to figure out which sizes to buy based on how big I estimate my daughter will be at any given month. Will she be tiny and wear a 0-3 well into the cooler Fall months? Or will she be a jumbo baby (PLEASE GOD NO) who wears a size 3-6 months on her way home from the hospital? We won’t know for sure until she’s actually here, so in the meantime, I’m stocking up on all different sizes to ensure this kid is well-clothed. (Such a sacrifice, I know ;))

As a way to organize the different months within the same closet, I created wardrobe dividers using my Cameo die-cutting machine, white cardstock, and adhesive-backed gold foil paper.

DIY Baby Wardrobe Organizers | Ann-Marie Loves

To begin, I measured the diameter of the clothing rod and designed a double circle in the Cameo software to create the shape of the organizer. Using 8.5 x 11″ cardstock, I was able to cut out two circles per sheet.

DIY Baby Wardrobe Organizers | Ann-Marie Loves

Next, I thickened up the organizers by gluing two sheets of die cut cardstock back-to-back with a basic tape runner. Once I had adhesive on a single die cut, I lined it up with another die cut and secured the two pieces together.

DIY Baby Wardrobe Organizers | Ann-Marie Loves

From there, I cut a slit from the edge of the big circle to the center of the small circle so that I could easily pop the organizer onto the clothing rod.

DIY Baby Wardrobe Organizers | Ann-Marie Loves

DIY Baby Wardrobe Organizers | Ann-Marie Loves

To distinguish between the different sizes, I used my tried-and-true adhesive-backed gold foil paper to create the numbers for both sides of the circles.

DIY Baby Wardrobe Organizers | Ann-Marie Loves DIY Baby Wardrobe Organizers | Ann-Marie Loves

And finally, I popped the circles onto the clothing rod and started organizing! Slowly but surely, everything is coming together :)

diy neon tassel keychain.

Posted on: Thursday, June 12, 2014

DIY Neon Tassel Keychain | Ann-Marie Loves

First of all, can we take a moment to talk about how difficult it is to edit photos with neon colors in them? Ummm…virtually impossible. One of these days I’ll figure out the secret to getting the colors juuuust right, but even if that takes forever, I’ll still continue to sneak neon pink into every single project. I’m in too deep to quit now ;)

DIY Neon Tassel Keychain | Ann-Marie Loves

Since getting a new car last month, I’ve been taking extra precautions to make sure it stays in great shape. I take everything out when I am done for the day. I make sure that no food gets on the seats. I click my heels together to remove excess dirt before getting behind the wheel (okay, I lied about that one). The bottom line: the car is getting the royal treatment.

So, I figured it was only fair that my keys receive the same care and attention! Using two different shades of pink twine, I created a quick and easy neon tassel keychain that not only makes my keys look good, but more importantly, it makes finding them a snap!

DIY Neon Tassel Keychain | Ann-Marie Loves

To create the tassel, I followed these same instructions, but modified them slightly to accommodate a keyring.

DIY Neon Tassel Keychain | Ann-Marie Loves

Once I had the strands tied together, I slipped the keyring in the center of the knot.

DIY Neon Tassel Keychain | Ann-Marie Loves

Next, I took single strand (about twice as long as the original strands) and wrapped it around the grouping several times and then secured it with a double knot. Once everything was secured, I trimmed a little off the bottoms of the strands to make the tassel even.

DIY Neon Tassel Keychain | Ann-Marie Loves

Finally, I added my keys back on to the keyring and called it good! Now my car AND my keys are rolling in style.

workspace wednesday | how to write a blog post in a pinch.

Posted on: Wednesday, June 11, 2014

How to Write a Blog Post in a Pinch | Ann-Marie Loves

Whenever I find myself fishing for blog post ideas (or in my case, at 11pm on a Tuesday night after returning from a three-hour childbirth prep class to an overheated home and wondering what in the world I could possibly write about in the shortest amount of time possible because I am dying to take a cold shower and hop into bed and catch up on Instagram until my eyes close), the solution is almost always a list of journaling prompts. Not only are these kinds of posts quick and easy to put together, but they’re so much fun to write! (Seriously, if I could structure my whole blog around this format of writing, I would be one happy camper.) I found this particular set of prompts by way of Designlovefest and Bleubird and couldn’t resist putting my own spin on them:

Eating: watermelon, peaches, and strawberries. Oh, and graham crackers with chocolate frosting.

Drinking: water, water, and more water (but wishing it was wine, wine, and more wine).

Practicing: calligraphy! It’s kind of tedious, but I kind of love it. (I’ll share photos soon!)

Mastering: the art of sleeping while someone does nonstop somersaults in my stomach all night long. It’s the very best kind of sleep disturbance.

Learning: how to pop out a baby and subsequently take care of it. Thank goodness for baby classes! We’re finding out just how little we actually know about tiny humans.

Trying: to walk or do a Tracy Anderson workout video most days of the week. Keyword: trying.

Playing: The JV Club (if I want to laugh) or Tara Brach (if I want to relax) on my iPhone while I clean the house.

Finishing: up insurance-related tasks that I’ve been putting off for quite sometime. Gosh, being an adult is so not fun sometimes. Nor is it cheap.

Reading: Great with Child, Bringing Up Bébé, and all the People magazine issues that my mom sends home with me.

Remembering: that I have a hair appointment this week! Woohoo! I’m thinking of going Kerri Strug circa 1996 now that I’m about to become a mom. Not really. But maybe?

Wearing: Gap leggings and a sports bra. Occasionally a shirt.

Cooking: little to nothing, with the exception of oatmeal in the morning.

Working: hard now so I can work less hard later.

Traveling: around town in my new car! Feels good to have a safe set of wheels.

Wanting: a more reliable internet connection (ours is less than stellar). To know the secret to affording a child (let alone multiple children…?!). To give back to all those who have given so much to me (I’m looking at YOU, Mom and Dad). And most pressingly, to climb into bed next to my sleeping husband, surround myself with pillows and two fans, and revel in the fact that I am SO LUCKY. In spite of crappy internet service and exorbitant health insurance costs and the fact that I am sweating well into the midnight hour, my life is overflowing with joy and love. So really, no complaints here.

instagram faves | mama bear edition.

Posted on: Tuesday, June 10, 2014

If I’m not catching up on what fruit my baby is this week (she’s a pineapple) or reading Great with Child, then I am MOST CERTAINLY spending my last few minutes of each evening feverishly scrolling through Instagram in search of inspiring moms to follow. Clearly I have a one-track mind these days ;)

Here are some of my favorite feeds that make me so excited to have a little person of my own:

My Favorite Moms on Instagram | Ann-Marie Loves

From left to right, top to bottom:

1. @bebeandprince | 2. @angelahardison | 3. @evablack_ | 4. @melissabomba | 5. @houseinhabit | 6. @tori__hendrix | 7. @joanneschuck | 8. @whitneyjohnson | 9. @karlaquiz


three design tips + guest interview.

Posted on: Monday, June 9, 2014

Ann-Marie Loves

Happy Monday! Today I thought I would share three of my best tips for home design from my guest interview on the Pepper Design Blog:

1. Try thrifting. I realize that not everyone is keen on secondhand goods, but there are so many treasures to be had if you’re willing to roll up your sleeves and dig in! I frequent my favorite local thrift stores a few times a week and sometimes I walk out empty-handed while other times I can barely fit all my finds through the door. I never know what to expect and that’s half of the fun! (P.S. more thrifting tips found here!)

2. Stay inspired. I think the key to producing good work and broadening your creative horizons is to know what inspires you and return to that source time and time again.

3. Don’t be afraid to experiment. With the exception of a few home design projects (major renovations, knocking down walls, etc), decorating should always be approached with a sense of experimentation and playfulness. Since our personal styles are constantly evolving with the changing seasons, why not let our homes be a reflection of that growth? If you find that a room or a design is no longer working for you, mix it up! A change of scenery can do WONDERS.

You can read the rest of the interview right here!

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