Posts tagged ‘life happens’

This past week has been nothing short of crazy, nonstop, and life-affirming.

Dad is Fat via Ann-Marie Loves Paper

Last Tuesday, my dad had open heart surgery. Even though it was a preventative measure to repair a faulty valve, it was terrifying for my whole family and rocked our world pretty hard. (There’s nothing that makes you want to take care of yourself more than spending countless hours in a cold + scary hospital.) THANKFULLY everything went well and he is now resting at home. Huge shout out to my amazing mom who is not only the heart + soul of our family, but a natural caretaker who will nurse my dad back to health in no time at all. Also! Major props to Jim Gaffigan for being a welcome distraction as he had me laughing until I was crying every night with his insanely funny book, Dad is Fat.

Ann-Marie Morris

On Friday, I spent all day + night helping to photograph a beautiful wedding in Camarillo. Not only did it remind me how much I LOVE to take photos, but it was a great practice run for my own wedding! Thank you Jeff + Jess for letting me be a part of your special day!

Ann-Marie Loves Paper

And of course, throughout the whole week, I’ve been working like a mad woman trying to finish up a myriad of CHA projects. Yesterday was a DOOZY of a work day (sprinkled with a healthy dose of expletives) that started at 10am and didn’t end until 4am! I still have a long way to go before I can cross everything off my list, but I am finally starting to see the light at the end of the (effing) tunnel (;

All I can say is that I am SO looking forward to this upcoming holiday weekend. John has four days off and I am already dreaming of big things for us to do. And by big things, I mean a trip to Lemonade and a long visit to B+N for wedding and crafting inspiration. Living the dream!

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andy's graduation | ann-marie morris

This past weekend my brother graduated from college with a Bachelors Degree in Mechanical Engineering, so we spent the better part of Saturday exploring the Cal Poly Pomona campus (beautiful!), taking tons of photos (740 to be exact…lord help my hard drive!), and celebrating Andy’s hard-earned accomplishment (heyyyy, brother). It was a reminder of the good things in my life: lots of walking under the California sunshine, big camera + empty SD card in hand, quality family time, an opportunity to wear a new dress + a giant hat, lots of laughter, exploring a new-to-me place, and a chocolate chip Pizookie for good measure.

andy's graduation | ann-marie morris
andy's graduation | ann-marie morris
andy's graduation | ann-marie morris
andy's graduation | ann-marie morris
andy's graduation | ann-marie morris
andy's graduation | ann-marie morris
andy's graduation | ann-marie morris
andy's graduation | ann-marie morris

Not only is my brother a whip smart, hilarious, human calculator, but he is also one of my best friends. Cheers to all your successes, Andy!


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.


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…


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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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! (;


Workspace Wednesday | Ann-Marie Loves Paper
Last week I felt completely overwhelmed trying to get past the learning curve of my new gig while tending to a bunch of other projects with fast-approaching deadlines. After a fourteen hour workday on Sunday, I was positive I would never get on top anything ever again.

Well, I was wrong.

Come Tuesday, I felt a shift in perspective. Maybe it was the perfect Spring weather or the brainstorming session about a fun new business venture. Maybe it was the combination of a good workout and enough sleep. Or maybe the stars finally aligned? Whatever it was, it led me to the realization that although my workload will always be heavy, it’s work that I love. It’s the kind of work that allows me to be creative and stay at home and listen to reality TV in the background. So yeah. Life is good. Busy, but good.

A few other things making me happy these days:

– A new stack of library books, including one of my all-time faves: Poser: My Life in Twenty-three Yoga Poses.
– Hilarious marathon group texts with Jaymee and Janelle that LITERALLY make me laugh out loud. None of that “LOL” business.
– Daffodils from Trader Joe’s (or anything from TJ’s, really).
– Justina Blakeney’s course on Interior Styling.
– Planning a fun + much-needed weekend getaway up the coast with John.
– Thrifting, thrifting, and more thrifting. Seriously, you guys. I’m in deep.


Despite being in five different states, three different time zones and unpredictable levels of Internet cooperation (Jamie – we’re coming for you!), my friends and I were able to hang out on Wednesday night + it was the greatest thing ever.

Google Chat | Ann-Marie Loves Paper

Okay, so maybe not “hang out” in the same way we do when we take over Starbucks or stand in Jaymee’s parents’ kitchen until 2am or gather together for our annual holiday parties, but still, so good. Amazing actually. I mean, can you believe that with a few clicks, you can SEE + HEAR + TALK TO someone thousands of miles away? Or better yet, six different people all at the same time?! I can’t even…

Nothing better than good friends, good conversations + ridiculously amazing technology.


It’s been a whole entire year since my freelancing days began and I LOVE IT. I love it, I love it, I love it.

thoughts on freelancing | ann-marie loves paper

That said, there are things I sure do miss about the traditional 8-5 lifestyle: Receiving tax refunds instead of paying an arm and a leg to Uncle Sam every three months. Consistent income on a consistent basis. Interacting face to face with co-workers. Leaving the house every single day. Having a reason to put a little effort into my look (as stylish as workout clothes are…). But really, being able to create my own schedule and take on assignments that appeal to me is the greatest thing ever. I’ve learned a ton over the past twelve months and there are many ways that I’ve become a better, more efficient worker and in many ways, I still struggle. Oh boy, do I still struggle.

For example, getting organized and staying organized seems to pose the biggest issue. I made it my goal this year to focus on getting my act together and staying on top of my to-do list, even if it kills me (which it just might). There’s also a constant feeling of work intruding upon my personal life when I spend all day at home. The dogs need to be let out, the dishes need to washed, there’s a giant stack of of magazines in the corner calling my name…but there’s work to be done! Separating work from play when they coexist in the same space is a definite challenge that I have yet to master. And finally, the e-mails. Oh, the e-mails! Will I ever get to all of them? Probably not, but I’ll keep chugging along until then!

I’ve recently gotten hooked on The West Wing (thank god for Netflix!) and always end up feeling equal parts amazement and pity for the White House staffers who dedicate a minimum of four years of their lives to the needs of the president and their country. Of course, this is the case for many fields (medical, military, and journalism, just to name a few), but I must say: that lifestyle is so not for me. Oh man, I NEED my freedom. I NEED time alone. I NEED that white space to disconnect and recharge and scroll through Pinterest for a solid uninterrupted hour. But I think that’s okay. Because really, if I could only offer one piece of advice from my twenty-six years, it would be to KNOW THYSELF. Identify what fills you up and what zaps your energy. Figure out what time of day you are most productive and what time of day you are not as motivated. Find out if you work better amongst others or if you get more work done independently. Then act accordingly.

Clearly, I am no expert on freelancing. In fact, sometimes (okay, most of the time) I just make it up as I go and hope for the best! Here are a few links worth checking out from people who actually know what they are doing (and inspire me tremendously!):

What are your thoughts on this? Freelancers + non-freelancers alike, share your tips!


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