Entries Tagged as 'life happens'

take more photos!

Posted on: Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Take Lots of Photos! | Ann-Marie Loves

This girl loves her Minnie Mouse stuffed animal that she handpicked from Disneyland and makes sure to grab her before jumping out of bed. She waits for me open my eyes in the morning and then says “hi mama!” and gives me a big kiss.  She wears any outfit that I put on her but refuses to have ponytails / clips / headbands in her hair. She often turns to me and says “ug” which means “hug” which means I’m in heaven. She calls for her pacifier like it’s a lost puppy dog: “paaathi?paaathi? paaathi?”She is constantly running into things, tripping over toys, and head-butting everything in sight, but for the most part, she doesn’t seem to notice. When asked how old she is, she exclaims, “two!” (she’s one). When I get the camera out, she heads straight for the lens and says, “cheeeeeese!”

I took these photos a few weekends back as the three of us were playing outside. I almost always have my phone at the ready to take a picture or video of whatever cute thing she is doing, but busting out the big camera is a less frequent event. I’ve decided that this needs to change. I love having a fresh batch of RAW files to edit and then go through a million times over with John. Briar is changing at warp speed and I want to make sure to pause time every now and then so I can look back and remember how much she loved blowing bubbles and being thrown in the air by her daddy and wearing her oversized hat. She is pure sunshine at twenty months old and I never want to forget it.

Take Lots of Photos! | Ann-Marie Loves

Take Lots of Photos! | Ann-Marie Loves

Take Lots of Photos! | Ann-Marie Loves

Take Lots of Photos! | Ann-Marie Loves

Take Lots of Photos! | Ann-Marie Loves

Take Lots of Photos! | Ann-Marie Loves

Take Lots of Photos! | Ann-Marie Loves

Take Lots of Photos! | Ann-Marie Loves

Briar’s Outfit: Sweater // Floral Romper // Rain boots

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

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

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.

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!

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