Posts by annmarielovespaper

It’s really no secret by now that San Diego has a hold on me. It truly is my ultimate happy place and I can’t quite shake the feeling that it’s where I want to settle down. Eventually I’ll convince John that we need to move back down there, but until then, I’ll just keep visiting. A LOT.

Balboa Park, San Diego | Ann-Marie Morris

One of my favorite spots in San Diego is Balboa Park. I’m absolutely in love with this place. Not only is the location (perched above the bay + downtown) ideal, but the sheer size of it is incredible! It’s home to a wide variety of museums, restaurants, and even the world famous zoo (all of which I highly recommend).

Balboa Park, San Diego | Ann-Marie Morris

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On Wednesday afternoon, I had time to kill between visiting Elise and trying to avoid rush hour traffic, so I spent a few hours wandering around the park and pausing to snap a photo every five feet. Even though I’ve been to Balboa Park countless times, I discover something new with each + every visit…the park is THAT big.

Balboa Park, San Diego | Ann-Marie Morris

Balboa Park, San Diego | Ann-Marie Morris

This trip, I finally found the walkway that crosses the insanely beautiful Cabrillo Bridge. It stands high above the 163 freeway and offers the most amazing bird’s eye views of the lush San Diego landscape (I may or may not have let out an embarrassingly audible gasp upon first glimpse).

Balboa Park, San Diego | Ann-Marie Morris

I don’t know if it was the thrill of a new discovery or the cozy marine layer creeping in from the bay or just the fact that I took the late afternoon to myself, but I felt so happy standing there in Balboa Park. San Diego, you are my fave.

P.S. If you’re wondering if I ever wear anything other than that black + white dress, the answer is a resounding…NO. (ha!)

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When I found out that the infamous stair car from Arrested Development rolled into town, there was no way I could skip out on it. So on Sunday, John, my brother Andy, and I headed down to Santa Monica for a Bluth mobile sighting and a walk around town. The beach, the buildings, the Bluths…what more could you ask for on the day of rest? (Ummm…how about more parking?)

Santa Monica | Ann-Marie Morris
Santa Monica | Ann-Marie Morris
Arrested Development World Tour | Ann-Marie Morris
Santa Monica | Ann-Marie Morris
Santa Monica | Ann-Marie Morris
Santa Monica | Ann-Marie Morris
Arrested Development World Tour | Ann-Marie Morris
Santa Monica | Ann-Marie Morris
Santa Monica | Ann-Marie Morris
Santa Monica | Ann-Marie Morris

The countdown to the BIG PREMIERE is on! George Michael, I’ve missed you so…

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This week, you guys. HOLY COW. It nearly sent me back to the 8-5 world with paid health insurance + guaranteed weekends. It was a doozy.

Ann-Marie Morris

But as I sit here in my sweats + no makeup on a beautiful Friday afternoon, I am just so happy to be self-employed. My to-do list is still four miles long, but for the time being, I am pinning + catching up on blogs + gathering ideas for our Save the Dates that should go out two months ago. My head is spinning with DIY ideas that are, surprisingly enough, based around fabric (Ann-Marie Loves Fabric??). I am dreaming of revamping this blog in every way imaginable + creating a solid editorial calendar week after week. And of course, I am still reeling from The Office finale last night (it was perfection). So all in all, a good day to stick out this self-employment thing a little bit longer (or forever).

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

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Over the years as I’ve gotten to know myself a little better, I’ve found many ways to stay get inspired and stay inspired. Recently, I’ve become obsessed with making mini “mood boards” on my iPhone. It’s very simple and it brings me an unparalleled level of joy (SO NERDY, I KNOW).

iPhone Mood Boards | Ann-Marie Loves Paper

Here’s how I do it: whenever I am looking for a certain type of inspiration (the image above was for wedding planning), I’ll browse Pinterest + Instagram for photos that are speaking to me and then take screenshots. Next, I will use a free photo collage app and play around with various arrangements of the screenshots until I am loving the “mood” I created. Finally, I save the collage as my wallpaper so every time I look at my phone, I get that wonderful burst of inspiration all over again! 

Mood boarding, ya’ll. #cantstop #wontstop

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DIY Muffin Tin Planter | Ann-Marie Loves Paper

The other day as I was browsing the shelves of the Goodwill, I spotted this muffin tin + knew instantly that I wanted to turn it into a planter. Once I picked up the muffin tin for $1.50 (50% day – look out!), I swung by Lowes and had a wonderful time picking + choosing my succulents.

Click here to see my Vine video of the planting process!

DIY Muffin Tin Planter | Ann-Marie Loves Paper

To create this planter, you will need:

  • Six succulent plants (I purchased all of mine for less than eight dollars at Lowes)
  • 1 muffin tin (the deeper the cups, the better)
  • Vinyl Bumpers
  • An awl or drill (and drill bit)

DIY Muffin Tin Planter | Ann-Marie Loves Paper

After cleaning the muffin tin as best I could (a good rule of thumb for all thrift finds), I flipped it over and punched drainage holes in all six of the cups using a bookbinding awl. Luckily the tin was super easy to punch through, but if yours is thick, I recommend using a drill with a small bit.

DIY Muffin Tin Planter | Ann-Marie Loves Paper

From there, I added a vinyl bumper to each of the four corners of the tin to allow for proper drainage. This is key if you prefer living plants.

DIY Muffin Tin Planter | Ann-Marie Loves Paper

I then played around with the arrangement of the succulents and placed them in the muffin tin.

DIY Muffin Tin Planter | Ann-Marie Loves Paper

Then I began moving the soil around, adding in a handful of small rocks, and finessing each of the plants to my liking. After that I lightly watered the individual plants and called it good. The thing to remember about succulents is that they require minimal watering. In fact, it’s best if you leave them alone until their soil is completely dry. (You can read even more care + keeping tips here!)

DIY Muffin Tin Planter | Ann-Marie Loves Paper

So there you have it! A quick + easy Springtime DIY that has yet again fueled my thrift shopping habit! I have plans to make a bunch of these for my wedding and display them amidst other floral centerpieces on our tables. Good times ahead!

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workspace wednesday | ann-marie loves paper

p h o t o   c r e d i t

If there’s one bit of wisdom I can impart on all you work-from-homers, it’s this: leave the house.

I don’t know why it’s taken me this long to figure out the beauty of a change of workspace scenery, but boy, does it ever make a difference. By going to a coffee shop for a few hours, I get so much work done, I get my caffeine fix, and did I mention that I leave the freaking house? Yes. It’s amazing. Coffee shops are amazing. Checking things off my list in an awesome atmosphere is – you guessed it – amazing. Better late than never, right?

Which coffee shop is your favorite? I need something other than the old standby! (;

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topanga vintage market | ann-marie morris

There’s really nothing in this world that I love more than a good treasure hunting excursion (obviously). I mean, what could possibly be more fun than digging through others’ discarded junk and giving it new life?! (Uh, just about EVERYTHING is more fun than that, my mom would say – ha!) Thrift stores, flea markets, garage sales – bring it on! So on the fourth Sunday of every month, I love to attend the Topanga Vintage Market in the San Fernando Valley. This market hosts a wide variety of vendors + vintage products in all different price ranges. Of course I’m always on the lookout for unique glass + tableware, but even if I don’t buy anything, it’s worth it for the visual inspiration alone! Here are a few of the awesome items I spotted the last time I attended:

topanga vintage market | ann-marie morris

One of these days, I want to purchase a giant sign like this and work it into a lush outdoor landscape. I love when urban + natural aesthetics collide, a la my beloved Grow.

topanga vintage market | ann-marie morris

The wooden crate! The orange tackle box! The yellow lawn chair! Everything about this photo makes me want to dig in.

topanga vintage market | ann-marie morris

If I had a few kids + a few hundred spare dollars, I would definitely snatch these chairs up and put them in a playroom or on a patio for outdoor dining. You could even use one as a place to stack books or blankets! Aren’t the colors just perfection?

topanga vintage market | ann-marie morris

These handcrafted glass beaded necklaces are amazing. Not only would they be great for wearing, but they would also look fantastic if they were tied into a loose knot and displayed on a dresser or coffee table. So many possibilities in so many beautiful colors!

P.S. If you make it to the market, be sure to stop by booth F-20 and say hello to my lovely future in-laws! (:

What are your favorite things to look for when you go treasure hunting?

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good reads | ann-marie loves paper

It pains me to think that bookstores are a dying breed, so whenever I’m near a B+N (RIP Borders), I absolutely have to visit.

It goes a little something like this…First stop: Magazines! Second stop: Coffee! Third stop: Design / Crafts / Home Decor section where I grab a fat stack of inspiring books! Fourth stop: Find one of those step-stools and park it for an hour or more! HEAVEN, I tell you.

Here are two of my recent finds that I am in love with:

good reads | ann-marie loves paper

STYLE ME PRETTY WEDDINGS | Obvious choice, much? YES. But I don’t care. This book will stay with me long after I say “I do” since it’s chock-full of beautiful photos, plenty of party inspiration, and a ton of DIY’s that can apply to so many things other than weddings! It’s funny because I always associate the Style Me Pretty blog with high-end, super extravagant weddings that quite honestly, never really appeal to me. So to pick this book up and be genuinely inspired by all the real-life (read: potentially low budget) ideas was such a wonderful surprise! I can’t recommend it enough!

good reads | ann-marie loves paper

(Both books pass the very important well-designed spine test.)

good reads | ann-marie loves paper

100 WAYS TO HAPPY CHIC YOUR LIFE | This book is part design inspiration / part self-help and I LOVE IT. My favorite little nugget of wisdom from the book is the one you see above, but really, all of Jonathan Adler’s ideas are sheer genius (obviously). However, the best part of all is the little fold-out pages that feature DIY projects to make for your home. Crafts? Home Design? Life tips? Yeah, I’m in.

What books are you loving these days?

P.S. Remember how I was telling you about being a contributor to Everyday Storyteller Vol. 2? It’s now available for purchase! Get your copy here! (:

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Ojai, Ca | Ann-Marie Morris
Ojai, Ca | Ann-Marie Morris
Ojai, Ca | Ann-Marie Morris
Ojai, Ca | Ann-Marie Morris
Ojai, Ca | Ann-Marie Morris
Ojai, Ca | Ann-Marie Morris
Ojai, Ca | Ann-Marie Morris
Ojai, Ca | Ann-Marie Morris
Ojai, Ca | Ann-Marie Morris
Ojai, Ca | Ann-Marie Morris

A few weekends ago, John and I decided to venture up north and take a little day trip to Ojai. Can you believe that in the twenty-plus years I’ve lived in Southern California, I had never visited this amazing town before? That’s just crazy to me now that I’ve experienced the wonder that it truly is. Everything about Ojai (well, except maybe the overuse of Papyrus…I’ll try to look past that – ha!), is perfection. We spent the first part of the day exploring the main street, dining at an awesome Mexican food joint, and strolling through the park. As the sun began to set, I knew we had to head up to Meditation Mount (after reading this post!) and take in all the soft colors and citrusy smells from the top of the city. My instincts proved correct…it was spectacular.

Ojai, you’ve won us over. Well done.

P.S. Hey locals! Any ideas for adorable SoCal towns that I need to visit? I would love to hear your suggestions! xo

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Ann-Marie Loves Paper

You guys, I think I may have found the secret to getting things done: a timer! Yesterday as my to-do list continued to grow and my productivity began to plummet, I decided to break down each task into 15 minute increments and focus, focus, focus. Before I knew it, I was checking items off my list and wondering why the heck I hadn’t tried this sooner! There’s something about a ticking timer that makes any task feel more like an exciting game than a monotonous job. And I like it.

What do you do to trick yourself into getting things done?

P.S. Today on the BG blog, you can see my super (not) glamorous styling + photography set-up!

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