Entries Tagged as 'life happens'

she’s here.

Posted on: Friday, August 15, 2014

Baby Announcement | Ann-Marie Loves

A week ago today, this little one was placed on my chest and our lives changed forever. John and I are overwhelmed with love — serious love — for our Briar and are enjoying every beautiful, magical, exhausting moment as a family of three.

august limited edition rubber stamps.

Posted on: Wednesday, August 6, 2014

August 2014 Limited Edition Rubber Stamps | annmarielovespaper.bigcartel.com

So much of these past few weeks have not gone as I had anticipated, but I’m making the best of it! My house is cleaner than it’s ever been, I’m getting as much rest as possible, and I’m still burning through my to-do lists on a daily basis. So really, win-win ;) Thanks to the extra time I was given, I was able to put together five new limited edition stamp designs for the month of August:

August 2014 Limited Edition Rubber Stamps | annmarielovespaper.bigcartel.com

01. Hip Hip Hooray | 02. August | 03. This Is the Best Ever | 04. Hello Sunshine | 05. I’ll Drink to That

You can find these stamps + more over at my shop! xo

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…

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.

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? ;)

full term!

Posted on: Monday, July 14, 2014

Full Term! | Ann-Marie Loves

Being full-term means:

My wedding ring no longer fits my finger (which is good for my skin since I’ve recently developed an allergy to it! GAH.)

Trying to finish up last minute projects as fast as possible.

I’m never too far from my bottle of Tums. Heartburn continues to be the one constant throughout my whole pregnancy. (Maybe it’s because she has a full head of hair?)

Getting up in the middle of the night for the umpteenth bathroom trip and realizing “OMG, I’m going to be awake at this hour every night!

Savoring these last few weeks of being pregnant. Despite minor discomforts along the way, I have LOVED this experience.

Riding waves of being super tired and waves of being super energized. I never know what each day (or rather, each hour!) will bring.

I am much smaller and more able-bodied than I thought I would be at this point (which is not to say that I’m by ANY MEANS small or super able-bodied in comparison to others; just different than I imagined).

Visiting the doctor on a weekly basis.

My belly button is officially inside out.

Being on high alert for any signs of impending labor (“Is that a contraction? Is THAT a contraction?”). So far, no real signs.

Writing the shortest birth plan of all time:

  1. Walk into hospital pregnant.
  2. Walk out of hospital with a healthy baby. All the rest will be figured out when I get there!

The shape of my bump sadly does not allow me to use it as a table for food and drinks. The drop-off is far too steep.

Drinking lots and lots of water, from the time I get up to the time I go to bed.

Trying not to dwell on the logistics of actually popping this kid out. Oh lordy.

Wondering when (if?) the waddling stage will begin.

My hands fall asleep ALL. THE. TIME. I get that weird prickling sensation not just when I’m sleeping (although that’s the most common time), but also when I’m in the middle of a hand-intensive task. Um, hi, I was still using you?

Getting more and more excited everyday! All these months of planning, dreaming, shopping, decorating, worrying, and reveling are about to pay off in a BIG way.

Hoping for a happy, healthy baby above all else.

I have no idea what I’m doing. But I’m doing it.

that nesting instinct, though.

Posted on: Thursday, July 10, 2014

Nesting | Ann-Marie Loves

These last few weeks definitely feel like crunch time as I try to wrap up work projects, make sure we have everything for the baby’s arrival, and most excitingly, deep clean this whole house into oblivion. The nesting instinct is NO JOKE, you guys. I wish I could bottle it up and save it for a rainy day…it’s the stuff of dreams.

Yesterday I dedicated most of the day to reorganizing the linen closet (finally found a place to store extra diapers!), the bathroom cupboards, and a few drawers in the office. I like my days to feel busy and productive, because like I mentioned before, our bedroom gets insanely hot at night and when it’s insanely hot, I turn into a bit of an insomniac. Ay papi. But don’t worry…I’m really not working THAT hard. I stop every so often to chug a glass of water, rest my super-puffy feet, and revel in baby hiccups (because my goodness if that isn’t the cutest experience of my life).

As I check off more and more items from our giant to-do list each day, the realization that a tiny little gal will be coming to live with us in a matter of weeks is blowing my mind.

P.S. Tomorrow is the last day to take advantage of my 37% off sale on e-courses and printables using the discount code: THIRTYSEVEN :)

what i’m reading | baby edition.

Posted on: Tuesday, July 8, 2014

What I'm Reading | Baby Edition | Ann-Marie Loves

Since finding out I was pregnant, I’ve amassed quite the collection of baby-related books. I will be completely honest and tell you that I jump around from book to book, never really completing any of them (where did this ADD come from??), but all of them have been super useful and inspiring in one way or another. Here’s the stack that I keep on my nightstand:

Great with Child. After seeing a few recommendations for this book around the interwebs, I figured I would check it out for myself. Good move on my part. It is SUCH a great book, written in the style of letters from a seasoned mom to a new mom.

Mom, Inc. I actually bought this book about a year ago, long before I knew that I would be having a baby anytime soon. I love anything pertaining to small business and working from home, so I figured it would be a useful read. It was then and it is now!

On Becoming Baby Wise. This book was recommended to me by a few different people and despite it’s controversial nature, I like having these tips and tools in my back pocket should I decide that sleep-training is something I want to pursue.

What to Expect When You’re Expecting. I mean, what pregnant woman hasn’t paged through this book? To be honest, I only refer to it on occasion when I remember that I own it (the internet is just so much faster), but it’s definitely a great resource to have on hand.

The Honest Life. Okay, so maybe this book isn’t 100% baby-specific, but Jessica Alba touches on several different child-rearing topics that are so fascinating, plus the photos are beautiful. I love books that I can pick up and jump in anywhere.

A Child Is Born. My mom bought this book for me and it’s chock-full of amazing photos of fetuses at various stages of development. Some of the birth photos are a tad bit graphic (okay, a LOT graphic), but the good news is, you can always turn to the next page!

Bloom. My friend lent me this book quite some time ago, but I didn’t actually begin reading it until I knew I was pregnant. The story is incredibly sweet and touching. I highly recommend it. (And no, it didn’t make me worry any more than I already would have about Down’s Syndrome.)

The Glow. Because decorating a nursery is THE MOST FUN EVER and because I frequent the blog version of this book on a regular basis, it was a no-brainer that it would eventually end up in my cart. I love going through the pages when I need a burst of decorating inspiration. Plus, the pink spine looks pretty killer on a shelf. Just saying ;)

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