Entries Tagged as 'life happens'

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 :)

letters to baby.

Posted on: Thursday, June 5, 2014

Letters to Baby | Ann-Marie Loves

I’ve been given a lot of advice from seasoned moms over the past several months in regards to caring for a newborn and I genuinely appreciate it (even if I know I will do the exact opposite).

I’ve received advice on how to get through labor and delivery. I’ve heard success stories about sleep training and getting babies on a reliable schedule. I’ve listened to moms wax poetic about savoring each and every moment because it all goes by so fast. But the one piece of advice that seems to ring true across the board is that I should not expect to do anything other than focus all my time and attention on my tiny little human for the first several weeks. And you know what? I’m okay with that.

Letters to Baby | Ann-Marie Loves

So in an effort to make documenting my daughter’s life as seamless and easy as possible, I decided to forgo the traditional baby book and invest in a blank journal instead. To avoid worrying about ruining a beautiful baby book with sloppy handwriting or forgetting to fill in all the pages, I have designated this book as an informal landing spot for all of John’s and my thoughts, feelings, and memories as we enter parenthood and get to know our daughter.

Letters to Baby | Ann-Marie Loves

We made our first entries on Monday after my 32 week ultrasound + appointment and it makes me so happy to see the pages slowly filling. When I read John’s first entry, I couldn’t decide if I wanted to crack up or cry tears of joy (this is not an unusual predicament these days). His writing style is equal parts humor and heart, and I am thrilled that he wants to contribute his thoughts to this book just as much as I do.

We’ve tossed around the idea of keeping this journal going up until she is 18 and then giving it to her as a high school graduation gift, but I’m not sure I can hold out that long! (I mean, I could barely wait a few weeks to spill these beans.) Only time will tell…

as of late | june edition.

Posted on: Monday, June 2, 2014

As of Late | June Edition | Ann-Marie Loves

And the great changing table mobile prototyping of 2014 continues…

Coming: to terms with the fact that most of my shoes no longer fit my feet. The first time I noticed this was two weekends ago when I put on my (normally) loose-fitting tennis shoes and noticed that they were super snug. Then! The next day when I went to put on my favorite pair of booties, I couldn’t even get the zipper up! So it seems as though the fashion forecast is calling for flip flops and running shoes from here on out.

Sleeping: in and not feeling the tiniest bit of guilt about it. Late nights and early mornings are in my very near future. But for now? Blissful, uninterrupted stretches of my favorite pastime.

Reading: Great with Child, after several people recommended it to me. OMG. So good.

Reveling: in the small things these days. Natural light in the kitchen and bathroom. Beautiful baby shower invitations. Never-ending group text messages with good friends. Iced coffee with milk. Wedding photos (finally) on display in our home. Watching the baby roll around. The season finales of Modern Family and Parks + Rec.

Limiting: my thrifting trips to one day a week. Sometimes I just have to be honest with myself and reign it in.

Listening: to this song over and over (and over) again.

Taking: on projects that are slightly out of my wheelhouse, but as a result, are pushing me to grow my skills and build my repertoire (insert thumbs up emoji here).

Feeling: incredibly grateful to everyone who has purchased my latest e-course! (And all of the previous ones as well!) I have two more in the works that I am hoping to launch before the baby arrives, but I would love to hear your ideas about anything you want to see :)

Designing: new printables.

Crying: over everything and I MEAN EVERYTHING. Even the most mundane of circumstances will elicit crocodile tears. (I’m tearing up as I write this post.) (Not really.) (But kind of.)

Struggling: with super uncomfortable knots in my upper back when I lay down at night. Luckily, I’ve found that heating up one of those heavyweight eye masks in the microwave and plopping it on my back will usually loosen things riiiight up.

Tackling: my extensive list of things to do before a certain child arrives. Slowly but surely, I’m getting there.

Wishing: my fridge was perpetually stocked with watermelon slices. Please?

Finding: cool moms with stylish children and beautifully-designed nurseries on Instagram is one of my greatest sources of joy. (I’ll share my favorites soon!)

Nesting: mode is full-steam ahead and I love every minute of it.

Realizing: I have plans every single weekend from now until July. And then in July…baby time. WHOA.


Posted on: Friday, May 30, 2014

Art by Lisa Congdon | via Ann-Marie Loves

lllustration by Lisa Congdon

Even though I work from home and Mondays and Fridays are virtually the same thing, Friday is definitely my favorite day of the week. I love the last minute rush to get projects completed before John picks me up from my walk on his way home and we discuss our weekend plans (or even better, our lack thereof). With just a few short weeks to go before a certain someone makes her debut, I’m savoring every last moment that I have with my husband all to myself ;)

Here are links to fun things that caught my attention this past week:

- My friend Eva’s gorgeous family + nursery on 100 Layer Cakelet.

- Jess Lively’s interview with Victoria Smith on the latest episode of The Lively Show.

- This Ron Swanson quote which perfectly sums up the way I feel 99% of the time.

- An impossibly cute dream catcher tutorial.

- A Paper Party! Can this be the theme of all of my birthdays from here on out?

- The adorable video promo for what I imagine to be an adorable book! (So many kids’ crafts books that I want!)

- This round-up of bunny love. (P.S. Have you seen this site before? Incredible!)

- Oh Joy’s beautifully colorful recount of her trip to London.

- These pastel wedding bouquets! They couldn’t be more opposite than the arrangements I chose, but SO STUNNING.

Happy Friday! Have a wonderful weekend!

workspace wednesday | just dive in.

Posted on: Wednesday, May 28, 2014

photo 2

Peace out, VW. I don’t miss you one bit.

This past weekend, John and I bought a new baby-friendly car! With four doors! And a deep trunk for toting a stroller and groceries! And excellent gas mileage! It’s only the second car I’ve ever owned, with the the first being a VW Beetle that got me through high school, college, post-college, and the beginning of married life. To be honest, I was completely and utterly intimidated by the concept of buying a vehicle. I’ve been dreading it for weeks. But as soon as we chose our car, signed our lives away, and drove off the lot, it felt like a huge weight was lifted from my shoulders. I can’t tell you how good it feels to know that if I need to get somewhere, I can get there without worrying about my car breaking down and costing a small fortune to repair (AGAIN).

The dread I experienced in the weeks leading up to the car buying process felt very similar to the dread I often feel when I have an assignment or a task I’d rather not do. The longer I procrastinate, the more the dread builds, and the more anxiety I feel about the looming deadline. It’s a vicious cycle, yet I do it to myself all the time. But the thing is, the task is almost never as bad as I imagine it will be. I rarely suffer through it the way that I anticipate. And by the time it’s finished? I feel like a million bucks! I know this is a lesson I will have to learn over and over again, but I’m writing this post to serve as a reminder to myself that it feels good to JUST DIVE IN. By leaning into an undesirable project, task, or item on a to-do list instead of avoiding it, half of the battle is already won.

So just do it already.

miniature wardrobe | thrifted edition.

Posted on: Thursday, May 22, 2014

Baby Thrift Finds | Ann-Marie Loves

These past few weeks, I’ve been feeling this strange mix of loneliness and restlessness as I work from home by myself each and every weekday. I can honestly say this is a brand new emotional state. As a major introvert, I absolutely NEED extended periods of alone time in order to center myself mentally, creatively, emotionally, etc, so this is all new territory for me. But then again, I’ve never cried over dumb commercials or researched strollers extensively or turned on the oven in a 100 degree heatwave because I wanted biscuits rightthissecond before. So really, nothing should surprise me at this point.

Whenever I’m feeling particularly “blah,” all I have to do is walk over to my favorite local thrift store and spend several minutes browsing through their ever-changing selection of baby clothes. Boom! Instant happiness. Some days I walk out empty-handed and other days (like last Friday!), I can barely contain my excitement as I fill my shopping basket to the brim with amazing finds. I never feel guilty about thrifting for baby clothes because:

a.) even if my daughter only gets a few wears out of each outfit (I’ve been warned that babies grow FAST), I will feel like I’ve gotten way more than my money’s worth;

b.) I only buy things that I would have been willing to pay full price for, so I’m not amassing clothes strictly based on killer deals;

c.) and most importantly, it makes me RIDICULOUSLY HAPPY. Take that, weird pregnancy mood swings!

P.S. My first mini wardrobe installment!

my favorite breakfast | oatmeal with fruit.

Posted on: Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Oatmeal with Peaches, Strawberries + Almonds | Ann-Marie Loves

With the exception of a few days here there (oh, and maybe the whole first trimester when all I could handle was bagels), I’ve eaten oatmeal and fruit for breakfast every single day for the past several years. It’s the easiest thing in the world to make and definitely what gets me out of my nice, cozy bed in the morning. Plus, it’s super healthy!

Here’s what my daily breakfast routine looks like (bathrobe included):

Oatmeal with Peaches, Strawberries + Almonds | Ann-Marie Loves


- 1/3 c. old fashioned oats

- strawberries

- 1 small peach (or apple, depending upon what you have on hand)

- handful of unsalted almonds

Oatmeal with Peaches, Strawberries + Almonds | Ann-Marie Loves

Pour 1/3 cup of old fashioned oats and 2/3 cup of water into a saucepan and heat on the stove at a low temperature.

Oatmeal with Peaches, Strawberries + Almonds | Ann-Marie Loves

Oatmeal with Peaches, Strawberries + Almonds | Ann-Marie Loves

Chop up your fruit and add into a bowl. I like to fill my bowl as high as possible with fruit, but you can add as much or as little as you prefer.

Oatmeal with Peaches, Strawberries + Almonds | Ann-Marie Loves

Be sure to stir the oatmeal occasionally and remove from heat when most of the water has been absorbed and the consistency is thick but moist.

Oatmeal with Peaches, Strawberries + Almonds | Ann-Marie Loves

Pour the oatmeal into the same bowl as the fruit and mix around with a spoon. Finally, top with almonds.

Oatmeal with Peaches, Strawberries + Almonds | Ann-Marie Loves

Pour yourself a cup of coffee, grab a good magazine, and enjoy!

workspace wednesday | rethinking goals.

Posted on: Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Ann-Marie Loves

With the third trimester well underway (WHAT?!), I am definitely starting to notice my pace slowing down.

At the beginning of the year, I set a goal to release a new e-course every single month. Well…let’s just say I am starting to rethink that (super) lofty plan. If I can eke out two more e-courses before the baby arrives and then maybe two or three more after she is here, I will consider 2014 to be a successful year. I’ve been spending the majority of my recent afternoons laying on the couch, either taking short naps or simply allowing my body to rest while I catch up on Instagram or the latest issue of Domino. I’m no stranger to dealing with a lack of motivation from a mental standpoint, but from a physical standpoint? Whoa there. Totally different ballgame.

So in the meantime, I’m trying to go where my interests and my energy levels are best suited. There are a few different short-term projects that I have been thinking about pursuing and those actually feel much more inspiring (read: more likely to get accomplished) than e-courses. If this pregnancy has taught me anything, it’s that I just need to roll with the punches, even if it means rethinking my well-intentioned plans. (It has also taught me that I am BEYOND grateful to be a freelancer who can set her own schedule, complete with midday naps and a nonexistent dress code…hallelujah!)

There will be plenty of time to get things done. But for now…the couch is calling.

nursery progress.

Posted on: Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Nursery Progress | Ann-Marie Loves

This past weekend included a Friday night run to IKEA, an all-day cleaning / organizing / furniture building / decorating session, and several cool down breaks to sit in front of the A/C and wonder whose idea it was to have a summer baby? ;) We made some serious progress on the office / nursery and IT FEELS AWESOME. Here’s how the nursery side of the room is shaping up:

Nursery Progress | Ann-Marie Loves

I picked up this Nate Berkus pillow at Target on a whim and I love how it sets a Southwestern vibe for the rest of the room. The crib (as I mentioned before) was the same one my brother and I slept in as babies. Keeping it in the family ;)

Nursery Progress | Ann-Marie Loves

I picked up this dog hook from Anthro back in November and now I am so excited to finally have found a home for it.

Nursery Progress | Ann-Marie Loves

My thrifted rocker! Maybe one of best finds to date. As for what the animal is, well…that’s a bit of a mystery. Is it a horse? A goat? Maybe a llama? We may never know, but I love it in all of it’s ambiguous wicker glory.

Nursery Progress | Ann-Marie Loves

This is the little corner by the window where the glider, the dresser, and the internet modem currently reside – ha! Like I said, we still have ways to go before everything will be ready for baby.

Nursery Progress | Ann-Marie Loves

This little pup is one of my favorite toys that my parents saved from my childhood. Plus, I think he looks pretty cool when paired with Elise’s awesome print.

Nursery Progress | Ann-Marie Loves

Well, there’s no shortage of leggings for this girl. That’s for sure.

Nursery Progress | Ann-Marie Loves

I moved this gold table from the living room to the nursery and I am loving the way it brings in my favorite metal to the space! P.S. how cute is that wooden canoe from Kid Firefly? I’m going to make a mini canvas teepee to pair with it :)

Even though there’s still plenty left on my decorating to-do list, this room has instantly become my favorite part of the whole house.

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