Entries Tagged as 'workspace wednesday'

want what you want.

Posted on: Thursday, July 30, 2015

Want What You Want | Ann-Marie Loves

Yesterday I took myself on a solo date to my favorite coffee shop in my favorite city (I’ll give you one guess where that is!), listened to inspiring podcast episodes (this one, this one, and this one), and really allowed myself to dig deep. In doing so, I came to the startling realization that IT IS OKAY to want what we want. In fact, if we don’t acknowledge our deepest desires, how in the world will they ever come true?! When I think back on my life, there have been a few key moments where I am positive that I manifested my dreams. For example!

- After I graduated college at the onset of the recession (when I couldn’t even get a seasonal part-time job at the mall!), I was hell-bent on working in the scrapbooking industry. I had absolutely no idea how it would happen or what I would even do or how I could possibly find work in a Utah-based industry when I was a California resident. But everyday I would go on walks while listening to The Secret on my iPod (2009, y’all) and imagine being paid to play with paper until I could literally feel it in my bones. Fast forward to July 2010 and I was living in Orem, Utah and working as an in-house scrapbooker / product designer at American Crafts.

- I have always dreamed and journaled and talked about living in two of my favorite cities: San Diego and Pasadena. Both of those dreams have come to fruition.

- And finally, at the beginning of my senior year in high school, I kept a post-it note on my shelf (where I would see it as I put on my makeup everyday) with the Christina Aguilera lyric: “day by day, I’m going to get my way.” Within a matter of weeks, I started dating John (now my husband!) and a few months later, I was accepted into my college of choice.

I know this all sounds hokey and woo-woo and quite possibly, huge coincidences, but I truly believe that our thoughts create our reality. I’ve spent way too many days over the past year caught up in a fog of fearfulness and uncertainty. There have been some particularly dark moments where I could barely get out of bed, I was so terrified of what was around the corner. Having a baby in my life has filled my heart with more joy and pride than I could have ever dreamed (seriously, I could burst at any moment), but it has also brought a lot of my inner demons to the surface. I’ve gotten lost in the mindset of “this is not how it’s supposed to be” or “I should be at x-place by now and I’m only at y-place.” While I still have lots of work to do, my focus is much clearer now. I’m finally allowing myself to want what I want and to be completely at peace with those desires, no matter what others may think of them.

 

This our life, you guys! We have to open ourselves up to the possibility that AMAZING THINGS WILL HAPPEN if we work hard and trust that the universe has our back.

Have you ever manifested any of your dreams? I’d love to hear about it!

workspace wednesday | work hard, reward hard.

Posted on: Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Workspace Wednesday | Work Hard, Reward Hard | Ann-Marie Loves

Yesterday at the gym, with the song lyric “work hard, play hard” echoing through the speakers, I started to wonder if there is any truth to the concept of work / life balance.  As much as I love to work hard and then crash into bed at night knowing that I gave a project every last bit of my energy, that type of lifestyle is just not realistic for the long haul. Balancing a freelance career while caring for an eleven month old full-time is downright exhausting on every single level: mentally, physically, creatively, and emotionally. (Oh, how I thought it would be easier!). I’ve spent WAY too much time over the past year beating myself up for not being able to give 100% of myself to every facet of my life. So after much soul-searching, I have come to the conclusion that I need to cut myself some slack and build rewards into my day, whether or not I’ve checked every last item off of my to-do list.

Here are a few ways that I build rewards into my day:

- taking a favorite workout class at the gym

- leaving Briar with her amazing grandparents for a few hours

- reconnecting with my husband on a Friday night date

- crawling into bed (relatively) early so I can watch Keeping Up With the Kardashians on my iPad

- taking impromptu field trips (last Thursday, Briar and I went to Santa Barbara for the day with my mom — so fun!)

- going for walks at sunset while listening to a good podcast and pushing Briar in her stroller

- drinking good coffee in the morning

- drinking good red wine at night

- sleeping in on weekends while John gets up early with Briar

If you’ve been beating yourself up for not being more, doing more, or accomplishing more, consider this your permission slip to RELAX. We are all doing our best and we are all doing just fine :)

workspace wednesday | working with amy.

Posted on: Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Workspace Wednesday | Working With Amy Tangerine | Ann-Marie Loves

At least once a week, I drop Briar off with one of her grandparents and jump in the car (by myself! ahhhhh!) to spend the day working with Amy in her studio. As much as I love being able to work from home and stay with Briar, I NEED this day to get out of the house, have inspiring conversations with one of my favorite creative people, and feel like a productive member of society again. I know I’ve said this before, but seriously: I had no idea how hard it would be to balance work and baby. Not only is it tricky in terms of finding the time to get assignments completed while still giving Briar my undivided attention, but it’s incredibly draining on me mentally and emotionally.

However, I’ve discovered that all of these stresses are relieved and put into perspective by doing one simple thing: working outside the house once a week. It really is as easy as that. Also, as if mental health wasn’t incentive enough to brave traffic on the 405, I work with Amy on Thursdays, which means that two of my favorite podcasts (The Lively Show and One Part Podcast) release their latest episode that morning. Thursday are OFFICIALLY my favorite.

workspace wednesday | quick fixes.

Posted on: Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Workspace Wednesday | Quick Fixes | Ann-Marie Loves

Life goes in cycles. For awhile, I am super organized! I am working out everyday! I am on top of my inbox! I am feeling like a well-oiled machine! But inevitably, I began to let clutter accumulate. I choose sleep over morning workouts. I let my emails pile up. I feel, well, less than stellar. But like Elise says, it’s important to respect the ebbs and flows. In the back of my mind, I know I will always get back on track, but sometimes I just need a little boost to get there.

So yesterday, as I was staring down a mile-long to-do list and wanting nothing more than to lose track of time on Instagram, I emptied out my overstuffed backpack and got reorganized. I went through all the junk that had collected over the past few weeks and pared it down to the bare essentials:

For Briar: Sophie the Giraffe, a clean pacifiier, and a pacifier clip.

For personal hygiene: deodorant (I always keep this on me! you never know!), an eyelash curler, my favorite mascaranail polish for last minute touch-ups, lipstick, and a band-aid.

For traveling: sunglasses, headphones, iPhone, keys, and wallet (with all the dollar bills neatly stacked and facing the same direction…a little trick I learned from one of my favorite books, Money, A Love Story!)

For sustenance: an apple and gum.

For no real reason: washi tape!

The simple act of cleaning out my bag and knowing I have everything I need in it’s proper place made a huge shift in my energy. Suddenly, my to-do list didn’t seem so daunting anymore!

Other quick fixes:

Paint my nails. This often means touching up old paint jobs that I have neglected. It takes maybe two minutes (plus drying time) but it makes me feel a million times better.

Make the bed, do the dishes, clean off my nightstand. Small household chores that often get relegated to the backburner make a BIG difference when they’re tackled immediately.

Clean out the car. I have a tendency to let water bottles roll around the floor, receipts pile up in the cup holder, and sweaters accumulate in the backseat. Taking ten minutes to empty my car and start fresh is almost as nice as realizing I have a full tank of gas (isn’t that the BEST feeling?).

P.S. I share many more productivity tips in my e-course, Make It Happen!

workspace wednesday | sharing + boundaries.

Posted on: Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Ann-Marie Loves

Last week Elise and I discussed establishing boundaries. Boundaries between work life + personal life. Boundaries between what to share publicly vs. what to keep to ourselves. Boundaries between listening to outside opinions vs. going with our gut. It’s the kind of topic that we could easily have discussed for hours on end! As I re-listened to the episode (and p.s., is there anything more cringeworthy than hearing your own voice?!), all I could think was, no matter how much or how little each person on this planet wants to share, I love that we have the ability to share our stories. I love that we have the ability to determine our own personal boundaries. And I love that as we evolve and grow, we can always change where the boundary line is drawn.

The past year or so has made my head spin and I’ve had one heck of a time getting focused. There have been countless days where I’ve felt completely lost and overwhelmed by all that I’ve taken on and all that I still have ahead of me. It’s exhausting being your own worst enemy, isn’t it? Luckily, just when I think I’m the last person in the world who doesn’t have her shit together, I am reminded that I am not the only one. Far from it, actually. Thanks to people who are willing to share their stories, be it through podcasts, blogs, or books, I find comfort and camaraderie amongst strangers. There is tremendous peace to be found in others’ perspectives.

Right now I’m reading an amazing book called Breathing Room and I find myself taking a screenshot of nearly every single page (Kindle app on my iPhone for the win!). There are so many passages from the book that are like permission slips for me to feel the way that I feel. Here’s one of my favorite quotes:

“Letting others in is a better way to live, even though it requires bringing down our defenses and allowing for the possibility that being seen and being known might be more meaningful than being in control.” – Leeana Tankersley

Sharing is caring, y’all. Thank you for letting me share slivers of my story with you. xo

 

workspace wednesday | work at home mama.

Posted on: Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Workspace Wednesday | Work At Home Mama | Ann-Marie Loves

I’m not the first person to admit this and I certainly won’t be the last, but here goes: working from home while caring for a baby is tough.

It’s not so much that caring for a baby is hard, per se. I mean, if you break down all the components that going into parenting an infant, they’re pretty simple, albeit tedious. Trying to do long division in my head is hard. Trying to push a baby out of my body is hard. Trying to get from one side of Los Angeles to the other during rush hour is, well, that’s just impossible. What’s been the most challenging part of  working at home with an infant is that I just can’t seem to see a single task all they way to completion. My life has become one long string of half-finished (sometimes three quarter-finished, if I’m lucky!) tasks. And it drives me b-a-n-a-n-a-s.

Workspace Wednesday | Work At Home Mama | Ann-Marie Loves

Whether you work at home or away from home, you just can’t win. I freelance from home which is an amazing gift in so many ways, but I also feel like I’m never “done.” I’m forever battling with a nagging feeling that there’s always more that I could be doing, more opportunities that I could be pursuing, more money that I could be making, etc. It’s a guilt-inducing feeling that I just can’t seem to shake. On the other hand, I can’t even wrap my brain around how difficult it would be to have to go to an office everyday and leave Briar with someone else. My heart shatters into a million tiny pieces just thinking about it. (Hats off to all you mamas who do this! You’re stronger than I’ll ever be!).

Workspace Wednesday | Work At Home Mama | Ann-Marie Loves

So needless to say, it’s a daily struggle. In the (almost) three months that I’ve been a parent, I’ve learned a TON. Every single day I learn something new about my roles as a mom, wife, daughter, friend, freelancer, blogger, housekeeper, social media user, bill payer, etc, and I’m positive that I still have so much more to learn.

Here are a few things that have helped me balance work + baby:

“Out of Office” response. Right after I had Briar, I put the “out of office” (or in my case, maternity leave) auto reply setting on my Gmail account and it helped to ease my guilt over not responding to e-mails in a timely manner. I contemplated leaving it up until Briar went to kindergarten (or maybe college?), but I caved and turned it off the other day. I’m nowhere near caught up on e-mails yet, but maybe one day…

Make lists. Before Briar was born, I could easily keep dates, appointments, and assignments neatly filed in my memory. These days, I can barely remember if I washed my hair or not while I’m still in the shower. Yeesh. I’ve realized that writing down what needs to get done is the only way anything will actually get done.

Ask for help. We spend most of our weekends back home with our parents these days and I can’t even tell you how wonderful that has been. There’s no shortage of grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, and friends who generously give their time + energy to our sweet girl, which frees me up to get a few things done, catch up on sleep, or better yet, do nothing at all! I’m not usually one that feels comfortable asking for help, but in this case, I will take alllllll the assistance I can get.

Forgive + forget. There are many days as of late that I feel less than stellar about myself. Between the unfinished tasks, the number of e-mails that begin with “my apologies for the late response!,” the fact that I still can’t wear half of my closet, the fear that I’m not paying enough attention to Briar (thereby ruining her life), and the unconventional hours I keep…gah. I just want to wake up and be GOOD at life. I mean, is that even possible? Until that day comes, I’m trying to focus on what I AM doing right and let the guilt fall by the wayside. #easiersaidthandone

Keep your eyes on the prize. Being a mom is the best thing ever. Despite all the stressing and worrying, I derive so much joy from my wild-haired little one that I can’t help but want to work hard so I can give her the best life possible. When she goes to college one day, I won’t remember all the e-mails that went unanswered. I won’t remember the dishes that were left in the sink overnight. I won’t remember all the minutia that momentarily consumed me. So keep your eyes on the prize, Ann-Marie. Eyes on the prize.

Moms, how do balance working with parenting?

 

i heart anthology magazine.

Posted on: Thursday, July 31, 2014

Anthology Magazine | via Ann-Marie Loves

Earlier this year, I treated myself to a subscription to my favorite print magazine, Anthology. Previously, I had always purchased the publication at Anthro, but I finally decided that receiving a copy in the mail would make reading it extra special. Turns out, I was right. My first copy arrived on Monday and I am in love.

Anthology Magazine | via Ann-Marie Loves

Like I mentioned in this episode of Elise Gets Crafty, freelancing has definite benefits, including being able to write off inspiring reads as research materials when tax season rolls around. And let me tell you, I definitely turn to this publication time and time again for creative and business inspiration!

Anthology Magazine | via Ann-Marie Loves

It’s magazines like this one that make me grateful for print, especially since my growing collection of back issues makes for a fun visual display on my living room bench. Paper, you guys. My love knows no end.

Last Day for July 2014 Stamps! | annmarielovespaper.bigcartel.com

P.S. A friendly reminder that today is the LAST DAY to purchase any of my July 2014 rubber stamps! They will be gone by midnight :)

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!

workspace wednesday | makeshift photo studio.

Posted on: Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Creating a Makeshift Photo Studio | Ann-Marie Loves

Aside from the fact that I love clean-lined white furniture, a big part of the reason that I wanted this dresser for the office / nursery was because I knew it would make the perfect makeshift “photo studio.”

Creating a Makeshift Photo Studio | Ann-Marie Loves

Given the dresser’s close proximity to the window and the fact that it’s so easy for me to clear an open space by removing the changing pad, I’m positive that even after the baby arrives and starts napping in her crib, I’ll be able to quickly and easily utilize this space for all kinds of photography purposes. (P.S. How ridiculously cute are those hand-knitted teddy bears? $0.79 each at the thrift store…!)

Creating a Makeshift Photo Studio | Ann-Marie Loves

I’m a big believer in making use of what you have! There’s no need to invest in fancy studio equipment as long as you have access to a clean white surface and plentiful natural light. And even though I hate the look of those terrible vertical blinds that came with our apartment, I love that they allow me to control the amount of light entering the room so I can photograph at all different times of day. #silverlining

Creating a Makeshift Photo Studio | Ann-Marie Loves

Of course, my only problem right now is the giant bump that seems to photobomb all of my overhead shots – ha!

P.S. You can read so much more about my tips for creating eye-catching compositions and taking blog-worthy photographs in my e-course Styling | Shooting | Sharing!

workspace wednesday | another #GIRLBOSS quote.

Posted on: Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Quote from #GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso | Print by Ann-Marie Espinoza

Another #GIRLBOSS nugget of wisdom for you today!

As I lay in bed last night dying from the summer heat (a portable A/C unit in our bedroom can’t come fast enough!), I powered through more of this awesome book and found myself making mental notes of all the little gems that are sprinkled throughout each chapter. SO MANY GEMS. I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want to do, who I want to be, and where I want to take my career post-baby and this particular quote totally struck a chord with me.

P.S. It may seem as though all I do these days is read. Not so! I spend plenty of time on Instagram too ;)

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