DIY Care Package | Ann-Marie Loves Paper

As someone who has lived far away from family + friends, I can attest to how wonderful it is to receive a care package in the mail. My mom used to send me the best care packages filled with magazines, my favorite candy, and the occasional Starbucks gift card (thanks Mom!) to make the distance between California + Utah feel a little bit shorter. And even though I am now back in California, I still have several friends that live out of state, so I am always looking for opportunities to send a little happy mail their way.

DIY Care Package | Ann-Marie Loves Paper

The key to care packages is that they don’t have to cost a lot; it truly is the thought behind the gesture that counts! In fact, one of my favorite things to do is to “shop” my own supplies. I have waaaay more stamps, pencils, twine, washi tape, and envelopes than I’ll ever know what to do with, so I pass them along to someone who can put them to good use! And of course, with all these fun supplies comes the opportunity to create fun packaging. I especially love adding descriptions to my items (i.e. “15 yards”) with Martha Stewart’s Crafts Your Own Stamp Set..

DIY Care Package | Ann-Marie Loves Paper

There are no rules and you don’t even need to send the package to a distant location. It might be fun just to drop a box off on a good friend’s doorstep to make their homecoming a little bit sweeter. Happy mail for the win!

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I’ve been lucky enough to photograph not one, but TWO amazing houses lately. Neither of which are mine (I wish!), but they both belong to the loveliest of lovely homeowners, so I’m more than happy to visit.

HOUSE No. ONE | ELISE

The first house I got to crash for a night was Elise’s. Oh man, this girl is a force to be reckoned with. I’ve never met anyone who is quite as efficient as she is (much less, at nine months pregnant!), and her beautiful home is an excellent example of that. Plus, her style! Girl’s got style for days. Here’s her daughter’s adorable nursery that I had the pleasure of shooting:

Elise Blaha Cripe's Nursery | Photo by Ann-Marie Morris
Elise Blaha Cripe's Nursery | Photo by Ann-Marie Morris
Elise Blaha Cripe's Nursery | Photo by Ann-Marie Morris

Elise Blaha Cripe's Nursery | Photo by Ann-Marie Morris
Elise Blaha Cripe's Nursery | Photo by Ann-Marie Morris
Elise Blaha Cripe's Nursery | Photo by Ann-Marie Morris

Elise Blaha Cripe's Nursery | Photo by Ann-Marie Morris

Elise Blaha Cripe's Nursery | Photo by Ann-Marie Morris
Elise + Ann-Marie

HOUSE No. TWO | SARAH

The next amazing house belongs to my good friend Sarah. I had been hearing all about and seeing tons of amazing sneak peeks of her gorgeous new home for months, so to actually visit it in person (and spend the night in her luxurious basement!) was an absolute treat. Her home is UNREAL (although I simply refuse to give up my campaign for her to move to California!).

Sarah Champion's House | Photo by Ann-Marie Morris

Sarah Champion's House | Photo by Ann-Marie Morris
Sarah Champion's House | Photo by Ann-Marie Morris
Sarah Champion's House | Photo by Ann-Marie Morris
Sarah Champion's House | Photo by Ann-Marie Morris
Sarah Champion's House | Photo by Ann-Marie Morris
Sarah Champion's House | Photo by Ann-Marie Morris

See more photos of Elise’s nursery here and Sarah’s house here!

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Remember when I talked about how productive I can be when I just leave the house? Well, I think I may have found my most productive workplace yet: THE AIRPORT!

Let's Fly Away | Ann-Marie Loves Paper

As someone who is perpetually fifteen (twenty, twenty-five…) minutes behind schedule, I rarely have the opportunity to really take full advantage of the airport setting. I’m usually trying to race through security, grab a bottle of water, and get onboard before my plane leaves the runway. Okay, so maybe it’s not that bad (most of the time), but it’s not often that I get to wander through an airport and take a moment to breathe before takeoff.

On Friday morning, I had an early flight to Salt Lake and was pleasantly surprised when the usual weekend rush at LAX was nonexistent. In fact, I was able to get through security in less than three minutes – victory! So I went over to Coffee Bean and picked up coffee + oatmeal (that came with steamed milk – heaven!) and sat down to enjoy my meal. I can’t even tell you how nice that was for a change. Especially since it meant I could avoid the always-futile juggling act of lugging my carry-on suitcase, my laptop, and a large cup of hot coffee down that narrow aisle to my seat (lord beer me strength). Once it was time to take to the skies, I opened up my laptop and got to work! I edited photos, I composed a blog post, and I reveled in the fact that I could be so productive at such an early (read: 7am) hour! There’s something to be said about having to remain stationary for an extended period of time that really allows me to focus and get things done.

On Sunday when I was flying out of SLC, I had to get to the airport extra early to turn in my rental car and on top of that, my flight was delayed. But you know what? I didn’t mind it one bit. Salt Lake has a fantastic airport with plenty of tables, comfy chairs, and outlets coupled with a wide selection of dining options (including coffee! and alcohol! go utah!). I was more than happy to get my standard coffee + oatmeal and find a table where I could take advantage of the several unscheduled hours I had before me. It was kind of the best thing ever.

If I could hang out in that airport at one of the tables overlooking the runway, I would do it every single day. Ahhh, I love flying.

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One of my new favorite shows from this past year is The Mindy Project. I have long been a Mindy Kaling fan, so it was a no-brainer that I would fall for her show. Aside from The Mindy Project’s obvious comedic genius, the set design is KILLER. I always pay greater attention to sets than I do to dialogue, and Mindy’s character’s apartment always has me pausing + rewinding so I can really study her space. (It’s not annoying at all to anyone else watching with me, I promise.)

So being the obsessive person that I am, I did a little interneting and found these photos and interesting set design tidbits from EW:

The Mindy Project Set Design | via Ann-Marie Loves Paper

This walk-in closet is just an extension of Mindy’s amazing bedroom (seriously, you’ll have to watch the show just to see her headboard!). I love her colorful wardrobe + the line of boots below the window sill.

The Mindy Project Set Design | via Ann-Marie Loves Paper

Obviously I’m obsessed with the craft space. According to the set designer, this little nook was constructed to feature ribbons + other embellishments that Mindy’s character would pull from to create a card or decorate a box or pot. And I’m really digging the sofa + pillows at the end of the bed…! LOVE.

The Mindy Project Set Design | via Ann-Marie Loves Paper

Since Mindy’s character is more of a restaurant-goer than an actual cook, the production designer gathered real menus from various NYC eateries and clipped them to the refrigerator. I love how colorful and real this space looks!

P.S. If you haven’t already, you MUST read her ridiculously hilarious book!

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Happy Place No. 002 | Sundance, Utah | Ann-Marie Morris

Happy Place No. 002 | Sundance, Utah | Ann-Marie Morris

Sundance was one of the first places John and I discovered upon our move to Utah in 2010 and it completely bowled us over. In fact, it STILL bowls me over every time I visit. I spent this past weekend in Utah and on Sunday, my good friend Sarah + her husband Mike took me up to Sundance for an amazing brunch at The Foudry Grill.

Happy Place No. 002 | Sundance, Utah | Ann-Marie Morris
Happy Place No. 002 | Sundance, Utah | Ann-Marie Morris

After breakfast, we spent a little time shopping (I’ll take one of everything, please!) and wandering around the resort. Just being amidst the trees + the mountains felt so refreshing. One of these days, I want to rent out one of the cabins (or yurts!) and wake up and breathe in that crisp alpine air with a hot cup of coffee in hand. Heaven.

Happy Place No. 002 | Sundance, Utah | Ann-Marie Morris

Happy Place No. 002 | Sundance, Utah | Ann-Marie Morris

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Happy Place No. 002 | Sundance, Utah | Ann-Marie Morris

From there, we jumped back in the car and went for a scenic drive through the Alpine Loop, stopping along the way for photos. This time of year is an absolute dream in Utah. The temperature is no longer too cold and not yet too hot and it feels amazing. I’m so glad my trip happened to coincide with the perfect weather!

Happy Place No. 002 | Sundance, Utah | Ann-Marie Morris

Happy Place No. 002 | Sundance, Utah | Ann-Marie Morris

If ever you get the opportunity to visit Utah, I highly recommend stopping by Sundance. Not only does the resort have so much to offer (including Full Moon lift rides!), but the idyllic drive through Provo Canyon to get there is worth the trip all on it’s own!

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Rustic Fiesta Wedding | Ann-Marie Morris

For as long as I’ve known that I wanted to marry John, I’ve known that our wedding would be a fiesta. I mean, I live for color! I live for dancing! And I really live for Mexican food and margaritas! So clearly, there was no wavering on the fiesta idea. On the other hand, John and I both love anything rustic. We love the great outdoors. We would kill for a Craftsman-style home one day. And of course, we did get engaged in Yosemite, after all. So together we came up with the concept of “Rustic Fiesta!” It blends the colors + vibrancy of a traditional fiesta with the earthy + organic textures of rusticism. !Ole!

These photos + colors really represent the vibe I am hoping to achieve this coming Fall. I am obsessed with wild + overflowing floral arrangements, lots of warm mood lighting, and plenty (and I mean PLENTY) of paper decor items. I love the idea of exposed wood tables + an eclectic mix of dishware, dancing alllll night long to my favorite songs (I have gold flats for this very purpose!), and a fantastic spread of tamales for dinner and churros for dessert. I am so excited to be collaborating with John on our unique + collective visions for the big day. It’s so much fun to bounce ideas off of each other (or more like me sending him 15 texts in a row with ideas…he loves when I do that! HA!), even when we don’t see eye-to-eye on how things should go. We’re working as a team and that’s all that matters.

Rustic fiesta forever!

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Fleetwood Mac at the Hollywood Bowl | Ann-Marie Morris

Last weekend my mom and I saw Fleetwood Mac live at the Hollywood Bowl. It was AMAZING. Our seats were pretty far back but the great thing about the Bowl is that there really are no bad seats. Even if you’re half a mile away from the stage, you’re still nestled in a canyon overlooking the Hollywood sign and enjoying great music under the stars. So really, no complaints. The concert was spectacular (as expected) and it definitely brought all the hipsters out of the woodwork – ha! You can see my Vines from the show here + here!

BasicGrey Capture | Ann-Marie Morris

I’ve been using a BG Capture album to record all the fun things that have been happening in 2013, and of course, Fleetwood Mac totally earned their spot in my book.

BasicGrey Capture | Ann-Marie Morris

BasicGrey Capture | Ann-Marie Morris

I decided to keep things pretty simple and let the ticket (tucked into the center page protector pocket) do the talking for me. Easy peasy.

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Editorial Calendar | Ann-Marie Loves Paper

After running BasicGrey’s blog for nearly two months, I’ve come to learn just how invaluable editorial calendars really are. BG’s marketing director and I use an ongoing Google spreadsheet to track + plan posts months in advance, so I rarely have to worry about generating content at the last minute. SO HANDY, YOU GUYS. It’s been a welcome change of pace for this non-planner to see firsthand just how effective scheduling posts ahead of time really is.

Between running the BG blog and spending a few days with the blogging master Elise last week, I feel newly inspired to really crank out (give or take) five posts a week, every single week here on my personal blog. (Content ideas welcome! Ha!)

So as a way to kickstart my latest goal, I created an editorial calendar printable to keep track of weekly + upcoming posts. If you would like to get onboard the frequent blogging train too, you can download it HERE. Happy planning!

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I’ve recently come to the rather startling realization that this wedding is going to happen in a few months, whether I like it or not (for the record, I love it). Needless to say, no matter how busy I am, I really need to get cracking on all of the DIY projects I have in mind. So! I’ve decided to tackle the smaller projects first, if for no other reason than the fact it makes me feel like I’m getting a lot done. Baby steps, ya’ll.

fringe flag diy | ann-marie loves paper

This past weekend I whipped out a bunch of fringe flags for all of our guests to wave around as John and I walk back down the aisle. It’s about as low-tech as crafts go, but will (hopefully) pack a big punch in photos! Here’s how I made them:

fringe flag diy | ann-marie loves paper

S U P P L I E S

fringe flag diy | ann-marie loves paper

Decide how long you want your fringe flags to be and cut a sheet of tissue paper accordingly. I folded my sheet in thirds and kept it folded while I fringed the ends.

fringe flag diy | ann-marie loves paper

Fold each sheet of fringed tissue paper in half lengthwise a few times until it is in a tight bundle.

fringe flag diy | ann-marie loves paper

Roll the tip of the dowel in a large Glue Dot.

fringe flag diy | ann-marie loves paper

Wrap the base of the fringe tissue paper around the adhesive until is completely wound (I went with Glue Dots, but hot glue would work just as well.)

fringe flag diy | ann-marie loves paper

While holding the fringe tissue paper to the dowel, wrap a strip of washi tape around the base of the tissue paper until it is completely secure. If the fringe is too tight, tousle it with your fingers a bit to loosen it up. Finally, wave your fringe flag around like you just don’t care!

One wedding craft down, five hundred more to go!

To see this DIY in action, check out my Vine video here!

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Arrested Development Print | Ann-Marie Morris

Print by Rose Feduk

Happy Memorial Day! Today I will be working, working, working SLASH bingeing on Arrested Development. Last night my brother and I powered through nearly eight episodes of the new season until my eyeballs absolutely positively needed to be shut (ah yes, the 3am magic hour). But now I am rested and ready to MARATHON. Bring it on, Bluths.

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