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!

diy woven bag.

Posted on: Tuesday, February 2, 2016

DIY Woven Bag | Ann-Marie Loves

Lately I’ve been in this wonderful creative phase of life where all I want to do is MAKE STUFF. I want to play with paper. I want to play with yarn. I want to play with photography. I want to play with design. I just want to make anything and everything! Two nights ago I woke up in the middle of the night and knew that I had to make Briar a colorful woven bag to house her treasures. I wasn’t sure exactly how it would turn out, but I knew it would be super fun to try it. Here’s how the bag came together:

DIY Woven Bag | Ann-Marie Loves

If there’s one tool I can’t get enough of, it’s my Martha Stewart loom. I’ve used it countless times in countless ways and I’m still turning to it over and over again! Highly recommend. Aside from the loom, the rest of the supplies are pretty basic: yarn, scissors, and a needle (or a paperclip if you can’t find your needle right away – ha!).

DIY Woven Bag | Ann-Marie Loves

For this particular project, I set up the loom with seventeen pegs across and wove about seven inches down using my favorite yarn colors. Each weaving took approximately 45 minutes each.

DIY Woven Bag | Ann-Marie Loves

And this is how someone who hates measuring “measures” where I ended the first weaving so I would know where to stop with the second weaving. I eyeball everything and somehow it works out.

DIY Woven Bag | Ann-Marie Loves

Here are the both of the weavings after they came off of the loom. To attach them together, I first tied the fringe on the bottom of each weaving to each other in double knots. Once that was finished, I took my scissors and cut straight across the bottom of the fringe to make it look uniform. From there, I grabbed my needle and yarn and sewed up the sides of the bag. The pom pom handle (a dollar spot find from Target over the holidays) was added in a similar fashion by simply sewing each side onto the inner part of the bag using a needle and two small strands of thread. The entire process took about three hours from start to finish…just enough time for Briar to squeeze in a nap and then wake up in time to take photos! It was the perfect afternoon project.

DIY Woven Bag | Ann-Marie Loves

DIY Woven Bag | Ann-Marie Loves

DIY Woven Bag | Ann-Marie Loves

DIY Woven Bag | Ann-Marie Loves

DIY Woven Bag | Ann-Marie Loves

DIY Woven Bag | Ann-Marie Loves

She has her baby, her rain boots, and her cross body bag. Girl is set!

2016 album + journaling card printable.

Posted on: Friday, January 29, 2016

Ann-Marie Loves | 2016 Album x Free Journaling Card Printable

My list of current obsessions is pretty all-encompassing except I forgot one crucial item: my new Minc foil applicator machine. You guys, I am in love with that thing. I made a calendar and then I decided that I wanted to make journaling cards for my 2016 album using the rose gold foil. I always love when I look back on lists of past obsessions, so this time I made a page featuring not only my own things, but John’s and Briar’s as well.

Ann-Marie Loves | 2016 Album x Free Journaling Card Printable

I used the six pocket page protector from BasicGrey to house photos of each of us and our corresponding journaling cards and then embellished with a few strips of washi tape and enamel dots from Pebbles. It was such a quick and easy page (ten minutes tops), but I have a feeling it will be fun to look back on it in the future!

Ann-Marie Loves | 2016 Album x Free Journaling Card Printable

Also, I’m just now realizing that we are all wearing glasses in our photos…ha!

Ann-Marie Loves | 2016 Album x Free Journaling Card Printable

The list for Briar could go on and on! It could include but should not be limited to: “passing out unlimited dog treats to Grandma’s and Grandpa’s dogs, climbing (and then standing) on every high surface possible, waving and saying “bye bye!” to any and all moving vehicles, and carrying around items that are way bigger than my tiny body should be able to hold.” I love that crazy-haired seventeen month old…

P.S. I made a PDF of three 3 x 3″ cards and three 3 x 4″ cards that can be printed out many times and most importantly, run through a Minc! You can download the PDF here!

parkinson family shoot.

Posted on: Thursday, January 28, 2016

Parkinson Family Photo Shoot | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

A few months ago I had the pleasure (seriously, it was such a joy!) of taking photos of my friend Heather’s parents and all six of their beautiful, energetic grandkids. It was a dream job because they just wanted me to shoot fly-on-the-wall-style and capture the special relationships that Grandma and Papa have with each of their little ones. As much as I enjoy a good posed photo, there’s nothing quite like catching those priceless moments in between…and with six kids under six, there were priceless moments galore!

Here are some of my favorite images from the day:

Parkinson Family Photo Shoot | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

Parkinson Family Photo Shoot | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

Parkinson Family Photo Shoot | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

Parkinson Family Photo Shoot | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

Parkinson Family Photo Shoot | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

Parkinson Family Photo Shoot | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

Parkinson Family Photo Shoot | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

Parkinson Family Photo Shoot | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

Parkinson Family Photo Shoot | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

p16Parkinson Family Photo Shoot | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

Parkinson Family Photo Shoot | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

Parkinson Family Photo Shoot | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

Parkinson Family Photo Shoot | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

Parkinson Family Photo Shoot | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

Parkinson Family Photo Shoot | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

Parkinson Family Photo Shoot | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

Parkinson Family Photo Shoot | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

Parkinson Family Photo Shoot | Ann-Marie Espinoza PhotographyParkinson Family Photo Shoot | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

Parkinson Family Photo Shoot | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

Parkinson Family Photo Shoot | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

2016 album.

Posted on: Thursday, January 21, 2016

2016 Album | Ann-Marie Loves

Last year I felt all over the place, like I didn’t have strong roots or a clear sense of where I was going. It was not one of my finer years on record so I am determined to make 2016 much better. On a similar note, I’ve been feeling the pull back into scrapbooking again, especially in a Project Life-style sense. Even though I don’t scrapbook every single standout moment of every single week, I find that any memory that I do record brings me tremendous satisfaction and helps me to gain a better sense of where I’m at in life. There really is something to be said about art therapy!

I’ve also really been loving two apps that help me to capture different moments in 2016: Snapchat and One Second Everyday. Oddly, these new-to-me ways of documenting my life only fuel my desire to scrapbook even more! I’ll take what I can get ;)

2016 Album | Ann-Marie Loves

For the intro page, I used some of my favorite paper and embellishments from Amy Tangerine’s new line, Better Together, as well as puffy stickers from Seven Paper (obsessed with these!) and my favorite black felt tip pen. I’m using a BasicGrey Capture album and the corresponding page protectors to house my memories this year.
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2016 Album | Ann-Marie Loves

Undoubtedly this album is going to be heavily focused on Briar, because she’s the center of my universe these days and I am more than okay with that. But I definitely want this album to be about my perspective on life, so I’m sure there will be many a selfie and the occasional photo of the hubs as well ;)

2016 Album | Ann-Marie Loves

For this page, I printed out a 6.5 x 9.5″ photo at home and used a little yellow distress ink (my fave!) in the upper left corner to bump up the visual interest. When paired with the pink gradient in the photo, the end result was a bit more orange than I expected but I still really like it. From there I added a rub-on + Thickers from Amy’s Better Together line and then journaled using a magenta felt tip pen.
2016 Album | Ann-Marie Loves

On this page, I used a divided page protector to house two of my favorite recent photos and embellished them with paper designed by Tina (amazing free download!), puffy stickers, and Better Together components. Once I had my photos printed (the longest part of the process), it took me about 45 minutes to put these pages together! I’m definitely more inspired by the minimalist approach to scrapbooking right now, so I’m sure that will be apparent as I build this album, but I am excited to see how my tastes evolve as the weeks roll on!

SUPPLIES: BasicGrey Capture Page Protectors // Life Love Paper FriYay Freebie // Mini Yellow Washi Tape // Yellow Distress Ink // Mini Ink Blending Tool // Seven Paper Baxter Puffy Stickers // Paper Mate Flair Felt Tip Pens // Glue Stick // Target Dollar Spot Scissors

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