Entries Tagged as 'create'

peach + strawberry mini pies.

Posted on: Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Strawberry + Peach Mini Pies | Ann-Marie Loves

The other day I was scrolling through my Instagram Stories feed and found myself mesmerized by Leah of Freutcake’s making of mini pies. I must have rewatched her short videos at least five times because not only did her cute little mini pies look delicious, but they looked DOABLE to someone like me who usually lacks the patience for baking. So yesterday I picked up the supplies to make mini pies and tried it out for myself!

Strawberry + Peach Mini Pies | Ann-Marie Loves

Using Leah’s recipe as my guide, I stuck as closely to her instructions as possible but instead of rhubarb, I used peaches to go with the strawberries. P.S. How pretty do these fruits look together?

Strawberry + Peach Mini Pies | Ann-Marie Loves

Creating the pie filling was my favorite part. It’s a mix of strawberries, peaches, lemon zest, cornstarch, and sugar cooked over medium heat in a saucepan for about six minutes and it smells divine! Of course I had to sample it after turning the heat off and I then realized it would make for a super easy, super tasty jam for rolls or biscuits. I’m adding that to my repertoire for future reference…

Strawberry + Peach Mini Pies | Ann-Marie Loves

Next, I applied a large spoonful of the pie filling onto the dough. I should mention that I used a Pillsbury pre-made dough that simply had to be rolled out and cut into circles (I used a mug since I didn’t have a circular cookie cutter on hand). Maybe one day I’ll be adventurous enough to make my own dough, but for this time, the pre-made stuff was perfect.

Strawberry + Peach Mini Pies | Ann-Marie Loves
Strawberry + Peach Mini Pies | Ann-Marie Loves

After the filling was added, I placed a same-sized dough circle on top of each bottom and used a fork around the edges to secure the two layers together. Then I brushed an egg mix over the top of each pie and placed a tiny bit more of the filling along with chocolate chips over that for a bit of embellishment.

Strawberry + Peach Mini Pies | Ann-Marie Loves

After baking in the oven for twenty minutes at 375 degrees, I was thrilled to see the final product! These mini pies turned out SO well and totally boosted my confidence as a novice baker! I don’t know why I’ve always viewed pie-making as a difficult baking endeavor but I am now happy to report that although it’s time-consuming, it’s very easy to do!

What should I make next?

Save

Save

Save

baby boy album.

Posted on: Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Baby Boy Scrapbook | Ann-Marie Loves

Happy Tuesday! Today I’m back with another installment in my ongoing baby boy album. I kept things pretty simple (as usual) so I could get more done in the short bursts of time that I have to create.

Baby Boy Scrapbook | Ann-Marie Loves

Baby Boy Scrapbook | Ann-Marie Loves

Baby Boy Scrapbook | Ann-Marie Loves

Baby Boy Scrapbook | Ann-Marie Loves

Baby Boy Scrapbook | Ann-Marie Loves

Supplies: Baby On Board Digital Stamps // BasicGrey Spice Market Waterfall Pack // Project Life Page Protectors // Photo Paper

Baby Boy Scrapbook | Ann-Marie Loves

This book is getting bigger and bigger all the time and that thrills me to no end!

2016 album.

Posted on: Tuesday, August 16, 2016

2016 Album | Ann-Marie Loves

Happy Tuesday! I’m writing this blog post as one baby kicks me in the ribs, the other baby tries her hardest to hit the power button on my laptop when she thinks I’m not looking, and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse plays in the background. Real life, y’all.

I’ve received a few questions regarding the printer I use for my photos, and honestly you guys, it’s a cheapo HP Deskjet 2130 that I bought on Amazon for $40 last year. Seriously. I’m a firm believer in maximizing the printer you have (no matter how basic or how fancy) by choosing the right settings for photo printing and using quality photo paper. I find that printing my photos and printables at home is a million times easier than ordering prints from a store because I can customize the size of each picture exactly to my liking AND squeeze in more creative time, as a result.

Here’s my latest pages that I made for my 2016 album:

2016 Album | Ann-Marie Loves

I have so many BasicGrey supplies that I’ve completely forgotten about and am now realizing are perfect for Briar pages. I’m guilty of only wanting to use the latest + greatest products on my projects, but this industry moves too fast to keep up! I love the colors in this line and am so happy to have rediscovered the Spice Market line from a few years back.

2016 Album | Ann-Marie Loves

Supplies: Studio Calico Page Protector / Patterned Paper / Die Cuts / Gold StaplesBlack Pen

2016 Album | Ann-Marie Loves

This particular page was completely inspired by the “Wish This Could Last Forever” card from Push Print Studio. I adore the colors and I knew I had the perfect photos to fit the sentiment. I made the little four-photo collage of Briar’s many cheesy faces in Photoshop and then threw in the photo of John wearing Briar’s sunglasses (much to her delight). Those two crack me up.

Supplies: BasicGrey Divided Page Protector / Journaling Card / Floral Patterned Paper

2016 Album | Ann-Marie Loves

And as always, my little photo assistant needed to sign off on the project before I posted. She approved ;)

diy play dough for toddlers.

Posted on: Wednesday, August 10, 2016

DIY Play Dough for Toddlers | Ann-Marie Loves

I have loved many stages of Briar’s baby and toddlerhood (6 months and 18 months were particularly sweet) but this current stage at two years is a whole new version of fun! Not only is she able to tell me (in full sentences, no less) what’s on her mind, but her attention span has lengthened considerably! Now I can sit her down at the table with an interactive activity in front of her (i.e. coloring, sorting pompoms, etc) and let her play for extended periods of time while I get work done on the computer. It’s kind of unreal just how self sufficient she is! So naturally, I decided that play dough would be an excellent activity to have at the ready.

My mom made homemade play dough for my brother and myself when we were younger so I was excited to give her recipe a try for my own little one. There are so many cool play dough recipes on Pinterest but the reason I prefer this recipe is that it is completely edible. When Briar gets a little bigger and less inclined to put everything in her mouth, I definitely want to try the recipes with hair conditioner and glitter!

DIY Play Dough for Toddlers | Ann-Marie Loves

Here’s what you need to make toddler-friendly play dough:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons cream of tartar
  • Food coloring

Begin by stirring all of the ingredients together in a large bowl.

DIY Play Dough for Toddlers | Ann-Marie Loves

Once you have thoroughly mixed the ingredients, add in drops of food coloring until you reach your desired hue.

DIY Play Dough for Toddlers | Ann-Marie Loves

From there, add the mix to a non-stick pot and stir it over medium heat on the stove until you reach a play dough consistency. (This took about three minutes for me.)

DIY Play Dough for Toddlers | Ann-Marie Loves

Finally, remove the play dough from the heat and let it cool. Once it’s no longer too hot to touch, knead it with your hands and introduce it to your toddler!

DIY Play Dough for Toddlers | Ann-Marie Loves

It took Briar a few minutes to get accustomed to the feeling of play dough in her hands, but once she was acclimated, she loved it!

DIY Play Dough for Toddlers | Ann-Marie Loves

We showed her how to roll the dough into balls and attach pieces together and poke holes in it with our fingers.

DIY Play Dough for Toddlers | Ann-Marie Loves

She was a quick study ;)

DIY Play Dough for Toddlers | Ann-Marie Loves

Once you are finished playing with your play dough, store it in an airtight container for future use!

diy heart crayons.

Posted on: Tuesday, August 2, 2016

DIY Heart Crayons | Ann-Marie Loves

Briar is at the age where she is constantly requesting to draw. “Colors? Colors” is what I hear on repeat until I break out her box of crayons and colored pencils and let her draw to her heart’s content. It’s a super exciting phase of life (my little crafter!) so I’ve been dying to make heart-shaped crayons after spotting a few tutorials on Pinterest.

DIY Heart Crayons | Ann-Marie Loves

The process is pretty simple: you take existing crayons and melt them down into multi-colored crayons using nothing more than a mold and an oven. Easy, right?

DIY Heart Crayons | Ann-Marie Loves

So I stocked up on two boxes of Crayola crayons at Target and took advantage of Briar’s nap time and the new season of Real Housewives of New Jersey to peel off the labels. This was definitely the longest part of the process but I barely noticed because, hello, Teresa just got out of prison and was reuniting with her family! I was riveted.

DIY Heart Crayons | Ann-Marie Loves

Once I had all the labels peeled off, I broke up the crayons into small pieces and laid them in an old IKEA heart-shaped silicone mold (similar one here!) that I had on hand. I tried to keep the color palette for each crayon pretty analogous, mostly for my own visual benefit ;)

DIY Heart Crayons | Ann-Marie Loves

From there, I baked the crayons in the oven for 20 minutes at 235 degrees and then took them out and let them cool down for a bit. After awhile they were still kind of runny, so I popped the mold into the fridge for about 10 minutes and that seemed to do the trick. (Next time I’ll probably leave them in the fridge for even longer just to make sure they completely harden because they were still a little pliable when I popped them out of the mold.)

DIY Heart Crayons | Ann-Marie Loves

Briar immediately took a liking to her new “colors.”

DIY Heart Crayons | Ann-Marie Loves

DIY Heart Crayons | Ann-Marie Loves

DIY Heart Crayons | Ann-Marie Loves

DIY Heart Crayons | Ann-Marie Loves

DIY Heart Crayons | Ann-Marie Loves

Clearly there was lots to talk about!

DIY Heart Crayons | Ann-Marie Loves

I’m fairly certain that I enjoyed this project just as much as she did! It was an easy, mindless task that yielded the cutest crayons! I can totally see myself replicating this DIY with different molds for different occasions.

Next on our crafty to-do list: make homemade play dough!

Save

baby boy album.

Posted on: Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Baby Boy Scrapbook | Ann-Marie Loves

Remember when I said that Briar has become my biggest motivator for keeping up with my ongoing scrapbooks? I totally wasn’t kidding!

Baby Boy Scrapbook | Ann-Marie Loves

She pulls the albums off the shelf and drops them in my lap every chance she gets so that we can go through them together. I not so secretly love it :)

Baby Boy Scrapbook | Ann-Marie Loves

So in an effort to keep her happy (ha), I realized it was high time that I added another page to our ongoing baby boy album.
Baby Boy Scrapbook | Ann-Marie Loves

This spread is all about shopping for baby boy gear. What I once thought to be a hopeless endeavor (so dramatic) has quickly become my new favorite challenge! (Related: I may or may not have done some damage on clearance items at Zara for our little guy yesterday…)
Baby Boy Scrapbook | Ann-Marie Loves

Initially I wasn’t going to use this family photo in the spread, but after playing around with it for a bit, I decided that the overall design needed something substantial in the bottom left corner.
Baby Boy Scrapbook | Ann-Marie Loves

For the right page, I used one of my favorite design tricks: adding a title over an image. Also, I ran out of “O” letter stickers for that particular green font, so I had to get creative with the wooden embellishment. I think I actually like it more this way than if I had had the full alphabet!

Supplies: Project Life Page Protectors // Amy Tangerine Project Life Journaling Cards // BasicGrey Flair Badge // Green Chipboard Thickers // White Letter Stickers

You can see more of this album here!

getting back into regular blogging.

Posted on: Monday, July 25, 2016

Getting Back Into Regular Blogging | Ann-Marie Loves

I’m in a good season of life right now as a mom and as a creative. Like I’ve mentioned before, as soon as Briar began sleeping through the night and her daily nap subsequently became a consistent thing, I felt like myself again. Sleep is hugely important in my world and even though I had grown accustomed to interrupted sleep with a baby, I hadn’t fully realized the toll it took on my whole life. I was basically running at half speed! Now it’s no wonder my creativity took a serious nosedive and my general outlook on life was, well…dim. I say all this knowing that I’m about to reenter another sleepless season, but this time I have the foresight to know that this too shall pass. That one day I will put both of my kids down for bed, turn off the light, and know that I have a good ten to twelve hours before they will wake up again. My baby is almost TWO and I swear to you, I feel like John and I just brought her home from the hospital. Time flies.

Getting Back Into Regular Blogging | Ann-Marie Loves

So anyways, back to blogging.

A few months back, I had a super productive weekend in which I took photos for blog posts and sponsored Instagram posts way ahead of time (with lots of help from my husband) and I felt SO GOOD about myself for the whole week after. I knew then and there that I needed to take advantage of having John around on weekends, not only for watching Briar but for taking photos of me that I could use for upcoming projects and posts. Now it’s become a regular occurrence. I keep a running list of blog posts I want to write and photos I want to take. Then on Fridays, I’ll write out the blog posts that I want to shoot over the weekend in my planner and prepare ahead so that my time and John’s time is used wisely and we can focus on more important things…like taking Briar swimming! I love sitting down at the computer on Sunday night and editing all the photos from the weekend and dropping them into blog post drafts (with the words to be added later). It has become one of my favorite weekly rituals as it not only helps me feel like I’m staying one step ahead but it also keeps my creativity humming consistently.

Getting Back Into Regular Blogging | Ann-Marie Loves

I’ve also really been enjoying the challenge of partnering with various brands to create occasional sponsored content. Of course I love being compensated for my time and ideas but I also really love having to push myself to create posts that feel in line with my own style and voice while showcasing another brand. It’s an exciting creative challenge, for sure! I get pitched potential collaborations on a regular basis but I’ve finally come to the point where I refuse to work for free, UNLESS it’s for a product that I would already be buying or for a really good friend / cause that I believe in. Like everyone else in this world, I have bills to pay, and sadly I can’t pay for them with free shoes. I don’t say this to sound pompous or self-serving; I say this to empower anyone who is in a similar boat as me. It’s taken years and a lot of encouragement from others, but I’ve finally realized that I deserve to be paid for my time and effort, just like every other non-blogging professional. I want the same for you!

Getting Back Into Regular Blogging | Ann-Marie Loves

But most importantly, blogging on a regular basis has been FUN. I’ve been writing about the things that interest me instead of worrying about whether my content is on trend or what I may have written about in the past, and it has definitely helped to keep the momentum going. I’m sure my pace will slow down over the next couple of months, but for now, I am enjoying this creative challenge all over again!

P.S. What kinds of posts would you like to see here?

how to make journaling cards with digital brushes.

Posted on: Wednesday, July 20, 2016

How to Make Journaling Cards Using Digital Brushes | Ann-Marie Loves

Yesterday after I dropped Briar off with her grandpa for the afternoon, I decided to take my oft-neglected car to the carwash and give it the proper treatment it deserves. I absolutely love the carwash; there’s something so satisfying about sitting inside with the windows up, cranking the radio, and watching those high-powered wipers blast your car into oblivion…all for only a few bucks! It’s the stuff of nightmares for my poor Briar, but for me? Dreamy. Anyways, once I was finished with the washing part (have I lost you yet?), I pulled over to the free vacuums and gave my car a SERIOUS interior cleaning and it felt SO GOOD. I haven’t vacuumed that puppy in maybe a year (?!), so once I drove off with a super-clean car, I felt like I could conquer the world! Or, at least come up with a fun tutorial for a blog post.

So I decided that today I would share how to use digital brushes to create journaling cards. Coming from a graphic design background and using Photoshop on the daily, I often forget how I take my basic knowledge for granted, so I am breaking it down into bite-size pieces today for anyone who is just getting started. I totally understand how digital brushes may sound super intimidating, but I promise they are a lifesaver once you get the hang of them!

Here’s how to create journaling cards in Photoshop using my Summer Fun digital brushes:

CARD NO. ONE:

How to Make Journaling Cards Using Digital Brushes | Ann-Marie Loves

How to Make Journaling Cards Using Digital Brushes | Ann-Marie Loves

1. Open a new document with your desired size. For this first card, I sized it at 3 x 4.” Next I grabbed the Paint Bucket Tool and applied yellow to the whole card.

How to Make Journaling Cards Using Digital Brushes | Ann-Marie Loves

2.  Pick another color to create a gradient effect (I went with a complementary aqua shade).

How to Make Journaling Cards Using Digital Brushes | Ann-Marie Loves

3. Click on the half-circle in the bottom of your Layers palette and choose “Gradient.” Cool, huh?

How to Make Journaling Cards Using Digital Brushes | Ann-Marie Loves

4. Once the gradient is applied, be sure to Flatten Image to merge everything back on to a single layer.

How to Make Journaling Cards Using Digital Brushes | Ann-Marie Loves

5. Next, choose a few brushes to add to your card. For this particular one, I chose the heart and the “pool party.” Then I added a new layer of text below. Once this was completed to my liking, I went back up to Layer and chose Flatten Image again.

CARD NO. TWO:

How to Make Journaling Cards Using Digital Brushes | Ann-Marie Loves

How to Make Journaling Cards Using Digital Brushes | Ann-Marie Loves

1. Open a new document and choose a size for your card. This time I went with 4 x 6.” Next, I used the Paint Bucket Tool again to add a pink background to the card.

How to Make Journaling Cards Using Digital Brushes | Ann-Marie Loves

2. Repeating the same steps as I did with the first card, I created a pink + yellow gradient.

How to Make Journaling Cards Using Digital Brushes | Ann-Marie Loves

3.  Once the image was flattened, I grabbed the swan icon from the set of brushes and created a loose pattern on the left side of the card.

How to Make Journaling Cards Using Digital Brushes | Ann-Marie Loves

4. Once I had both cards designed in separate files, I brought them onto the same document (8.5 x 11″) and combined them with photos so I could print everything on a single page. After I aligned all the cards and images to my liking, I clicked Flatten Image again and sent them to my printer.

How to Make Journaling Cards Using Digital Brushes | Ann-Marie Loves

Here’s what the sheet looked like after it was printed and before I cut it up.

How to Make Journaling Cards Using Digital Brushes | Ann-Marie Loves

And here’s how I incorporated my card designs into a page in my 2016 album! I hope this inspires you to try something new with digital brushes!

P.S. Summer Fun digital brushes can be found here!

new summer fun digital brushes + photoshop layering tutorial.

Posted on: Friday, July 15, 2016

Summer Fun Digital Brushes | Ann-Marie Loves | annmarielovespaper.bigcartel.com

When it comes to getting things done, I’ve decided that it’s the little pockets of free time that really yield the biggest accomplishments for me. For example, on Wednesday I brought my laptop to my one hour glucose test at the doctor’s office knowing that I could probably eke out a little bit of work while I waited to have my blood drawn. Little did I know, I was able to crank out a whole new set of summer-inspired digital brushes to use in my ongoing 2016 album! Being a mom has taught me nothing if not how to be more efficient with my time. Plus, I secretly love watching all the other pregnant ladies (and sometimes their nervous husbands or their newborn babies) in the waiting room, and hiding behind a laptop makes this much easier to do on the down low! I might need to bring my computer more often ;)

Summer Fun Digital Brushes | Ann-Marie Loves | annmarielovespaper.bigcartel.com

Here are the latest designs, now available for purchase in my shop!

Summer Fun Digital Brushes | Ann-Marie Loves | annmarielovespaper.bigcartel.com

And here’s a spread I made using a few different brushes. I could sing the praises of digital brushes all day, everyday simply because they make creating so easy and so fast!

Summer Fun Digital Brushes | Ann-Marie Loves | annmarielovespaper.bigcartel.com

One of my favorite design tricks is to layer a solid block of text with an outlined version of the same text. It’s such an easy way to add depth to type without any cheesy drop shadows or glows. So for this group of digital brushes, I made sure to include both a solid and an outlined form of the word “SUMMER” (shown above) as well as the cacti graphics.

Here’s a little tutorial on how to layer the two different brushes in Photoshop:

Summer Fun Digital Brushes | Ann-Marie Loves | annmarielovespaper.bigcartel.com

First I dragged my photo into Photoshop and resized it to fit a full page protector.

Summer Fun Digital Brushes | Ann-Marie Loves | annmarielovespaper.bigcartel.com

Next, I went over to my color palette and chose a bright yellow to act as the solid layer of the “SUMMER” title.

Summer Fun Digital Brushes | Ann-Marie Loves | annmarielovespaper.bigcartel.com

Using the fill version of the two “SUMMER” brushes, I found a good spot on my photo and clicked to set it in place.

Summer Fun Digital Brushes | Ann-Marie Loves | annmarielovespaper.bigcartel.com

Finally, I changed the color in the color palette (shown at left) to black and used the outline version of the “SUMMER” brushes and carefully layered it over the solid layer, slightly off-center to create a faux shadow effect.

Summer Fun Digital Brushes | Ann-Marie Loves | annmarielovespaper.bigcartel.com

Once my title was in place, I added in my own journaling and two solid lines (using a 9pt solid dot brush). Then I flattened the image and printed it out to tuck into my album. Super simple!

Summer Fun digital brushes can be found here!

baked spinach + avocado salad.

Posted on: Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Spinach Salad With Quinoa, Feta, Tomatoes, and Avocado | Ann-Marie Loves

Cooking is certainly something I aspire to be better at, but you know, I can always find a good excuse to put it off for another day. It’s not so much the cooking part that turns me away, it’s the freaking cleanup. Pots, pans, plates, measuring cups…ugh.

However, despite my hesitation to dive into cooking full-force, I have found a few simple, healthy recipes that I turn to time and time again. My favorite one is a baked spinach salad with some of very favorite flavors: quinoa, tomatoes, feta cheese, and avocado. I swear it is the easiest thing in the world to make and best of all, cleanup is a breeze!

Here’s how to make it:

Spinach Salad With Quinoa, Feta, Tomatoes, and Avocado | Ann-Marie Loves

Ingredients:

  • 1 Baking sheet
  • Aluminum foil
  • Spinach
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Cooked quinoa
  • Feta Cheese
  • Black Pepper
  • Olive Oil
  • Avocado

Spinach Salad With Quinoa, Feta, Tomatoes, and Avocado | Ann-Marie Loves

Cover the baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Create a bed of spinach leaves. The bigger the handfuls, the better!

Spinach Salad With Quinoa, Feta, Tomatoes, and Avocado | Ann-Marie Loves

Cover the top of the spinach with cooked quinoa, tomatoes, and feta cheese.

Then apply a generous amount of olive oil over the whole pan and sprinkle pepper on top.

Bake at 350 degrees for 7-8 minutes.

Spinach Salad With Quinoa, Feta, Tomatoes, and Avocado | Ann-Marie Loves

Once the salad has baked, scoop everything into a bowl and top with avocados.

Spinach Salad With Quinoa, Feta, Tomatoes, and Avocado | Ann-Marie Loves

Yum! I could eat this meal every single day and never get tired of it.

Follow on Feedly

Theme by Blogmilk   Coded by Brandi Bernoskie