How to Take Your Own Holiday Photos

How to Take Your Own Holiday Photos

I think I’ve been sending Christmas cards to family and friends since I was in college. It’s a tradition I just love and I look forward to it all year….

How to Take Your Own Holiday Photos

How to Take Your Own Holiday Photos

How to Take Your Own Holiday Photos

I think I’ve been sending Christmas cards to family and friends since I was in college. It’s a tradition I just love and I look forward to it all year. For the last couple of years we’ve put together our own photo cards, from start to finish, and I thought it would be awesome to show you how! This year we did it all — created a DIY backdrop, took our own photos, edited them, and ordered through Minted, which has been my very favorite way to get snail mail greetings printed for years now. (When they added the recipient and return address printing feature it changed my world!) Read on for a full how-to on getting your own holiday photos, and be sure to enter to win $250 worth of holiday cards from Minted down at the bottom of the post!

Materials

  • black posterboard
  • scissors or paper cutter
  • glue dots
  • black washi tape
  • smartphone level
  • camera with tripod
  • remote shutter

Make Time: 4 Hours (to complete backdrop, take photos, and order online)

How to Take Your Own Holiday Photos

Step 1: Cut your black posterboard into 2-inch strips. Start placing the strips in lines on the wall, about 7 feet tall (unless you have some really tall people in your photo!). Use glue dots to affix the strips to the wall, and the level on your smartphone to make sure they’re straight.

Step 2: Add horizontal stripes in the same way; make your stripes about 6 feet wide.

Step 3: Add thin stripes of washi tape over your wide stripes, on every other row to create a plaid pattern.

Step 4: Set up your camera. If you’re using manual settings be sure to test the light and set your camera on manual focus. Have someone stand in, set the focus on them, and be sure to stand in the same spot for your photos. We use a Canon and a Canon remote shutter; if you’re doing the same you can follow our steps to set up the remote. If not, do a little web search for how to set up your own!

Step 5: If you’re using a Canon, set your camera to 2-second timer mode. Set your remote to no delay. Stand in front of the camera and click the remote shutter to ensure it’s all set up right. That’s it!

Get your holiday duds on and snap away! If you’re taking your own photos like this, you just kind of have to go for it. Be silly, try different poses, and just try to act natural while someone holds the remote shutter and snaps away. You’re bound to have a whole bunch of crazy photos (like the one below where Henry started crawling away), but you’re also going to get lots of fun candid stuff.

How to Take Your Own Holiday Photos

Now for the good stuff! The awesome team at Minted is giving away $250 credit toward your own holiday cards! The ordering process there is so fun and simple — just upload your photos, choose from their incredible selection of cards, customize it, and you’re all set. We chose the Cherry Merry holiday photo card and I love love love the simple, fun design. You have to try the printed address option, too (it’s saved my poor hands from addressing hundreds of envelopes over the years). Enter to win right here! Big thanks to Minted for helping our holidays be a bit brighter! xoxo

ENTER TO WIN $250 TO MINTED FOR YOUR HOLIDAY CARDS

How to Take Your Own Holiday Photos

How to Take Your Own Holiday Photos

This post is sponsored by Minted. All opinions and concepts are my own. Thank you for being supportive of the sponsors who help keep Lovely Indeed rocking! 

Brands Who Give Back Gift Guide

Brands Who Give Back // Gift Guide + GIVEAWAY!

Here come the holidays, and lucky for me I love giving gifts! I love choosing gifts for the people I love, especially when you know the gift is just right. This year…

Brands Who Give Back Gift Guide

Here come the holidays, and lucky for me I love giving gifts! I love choosing gifts for the people I love, especially when you know the gift is just right. This year I’ve had the pleasure to get to know a few brands who not only have some gorgeous things in their shops but also have incredible missions of helping to give back in some way to communities in need. Each of these awesome brands is created by awesome people who care greatly about the products they make and the people (and animals!) that they benefit. And I think that’s super inspiring. Read on to find some perfect gifts for the holidays, and to enter to win a prize pack with a little something from each of these awesome shops!

Brands Who Give Back Gift Guide

Brands Who Give Back Gift Guide

Tribe Alive

I have a feeling you’re going to love Tribe Alive. A quick peek through their online shop is enough to make you swoon. We’re giving away their ikat weekender, which would be a perfect holiday gift to your sister or girlfriend. The gang at Tribe Alive builds sustainable partnerships with marginalized women in developing countries by connecting them to the global marketplace. They work to break the cycle of poverty by providing female artisans with the tools, training and support needed to reclaim their futures and thrive as independent business women. Beyond that, their products are handmade and fair-trade, and each purchase has a positive impact on an individual’s life.

Brands Who Give Back Gift Guide

Brands Who Give Back Gift Guide

Houndstooth Leash Co.

The folks at Houndstooth Leash Co. believe that our pets are extensions of who we are. Isn’t that lovely? Kindness to animals is pretty high on my list of what makes a great person. They make these crazy cool and highly functional leashes for your pups (this one is in our giveaway!). Houndstooth Leash Co. also donates a portion of all sales to Wolf Connection, who rescue and train abandoned wolves and wolfdogs to become program animals for rehabilitating at-risk human populations.

Brands Who Give Back Gift Guide

Brands Who Give Back Gift Guide

Las Bayadas

Las Bayadas makes the most fun, fresh beach towels I’ve come across. They’re lightweight but compact and come in the most gorgeous array of colors (we’re giving away two of them!). The towels are made from recycled cotton in Mexico, and 10% of the profits of each towel sold is donated to support a scholarship program for the local Mexican students going to the Costa Verde International School.

Brands Who Give Back Gift Guide

Brands Who Give Back Gift Guide

Seattle Chocolates

I stumbled across Seattle Chocolates last year and it’s my go-to for fun chocolate bars in crazy flavors (birthday cake? hello?). They’ve got every flavor you can imagine, and I always love checking back around the holidays because they’ve got special edition bars that come and go. You can sample a whole stack of flavors if you with the giveaway! This holiday season, Seattle Chocolate Company will donate a serving of fresh food to local food banks for every chocolate purchase made online, or in stores. In addition to each purchase, a serving of food will also be donated for each time you use the hashtag #chocolategives.

Hope these help you do a little holiday shopping! And if you want to enter to win our giveaway prize pack with a little something from each of these awesome brands, check out the Rafflecopter below for all the ways you can enter. Happy holidays! xoxo

a Rafflecopter giveaway

MiniMakers Event with The Land of Nod and Social Print Studio

MiniMakers Workshop Recap + GIVEAWAY!

I wish from the bottom of my heart that everybody I know could have been at our MiniMakers event with The Land of Nod! It was maybe the most fun…

MiniMakers Event with The Land of Nod and Social Print Studio

MiniMakers Event with The Land of Nod and Social Print Studio

MiniMakers Event with The Land of Nod and Social Print Studio

MiniMakers Event with The Land of Nod and Social Print Studio

I wish from the bottom of my heart that everybody I know could have been at our MiniMakers event with The Land of Nod! It was maybe the most fun workshop I’ve ever hosted — when the first kid walks into the room and bolts for the giant mushroom tent you know it’s gonna be a good time. Read on for a mess of fun photos and a really cool GIVEAWAY!

Fall Style

Fall Style // Shoe Giveaway with Johnston & Murphy!

Every time a new season hits, I proclaim it to be my favorite. I admit it, I’m fickle in the weather department. But fall OH FALL is so wonderful, isn’t it?! Mostly…

Fall Style

Fall Style

Every time a new season hits, I proclaim it to be my favorite. I admit it, I’m fickle in the weather department. But fall OH FALL is so wonderful, isn’t it?! Mostly because you get to haul out your scarves and boots and start to build a little cocoon that will keep you cozy through the winter. I’ve never been much of a pumpkin spice latte girl, but a good fall shoe? Gets me every time.

I always have to hunt for the perfect boot — a little heel, super comfy, not too tight on the leg, and a warm brown color. Sometimes it’s impossible to find but this pair from Johnston & Murphy showed up on my doorstep (literally) and woah my search is over. If you’re looking for your go-to boot this year, this is it. I kid you not, when I took them out of the box I spent a minute or two petting the leather because it’s so soft.

Fall Style

Fall Style

Fall Shoes

And how about a little pop of fall color? The blue on those driving moccasins is kind of to die for, right? They’re so comfy and perfect with a fall dress or a good pair of jeans, too. Between these two pairs I’ve got my fall shoe game on lock! Otherwise, you’ll see me in a whole mess of chambray during autumn. Toss on a scarf for good measure and a couple of simple accessories and you’ve got my fall uniform. It’s also got the mom seal of approval — comfy enough to get down on the floor and play and easy enough to run after Henry when he’s trying to open the refrigerator for the 7th time that day. (And if you’re a nursing mom, a chambray button up shirt is a super cool nursing-friendly option!)

fallshoes3

Need some fall shoes this year? Good news, gang — you can win one of these same pairs! It’s super simple. Just use the Rafflecopter below for three ways to enter! I’m so pumped to give one of you lucky lovelies a pair of shoes to stomp around in so we can be matchy-matchy. Happy entering, and happy fall! xoxo

P.S. To see more, follow Johnston & Murphy on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube.

fall-shoes1

Fall Style

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Johnston & Murphy. The opinions and text are all mine.

Pink Pineapple

Get in on This Action

Hey gang! Hope you all had a gorgeous week and that you’ve got some killer plans for the weekend. (We’re seeing Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett at the Hollywood Bowl…

Pink Pineapple

Hey gang! Hope you all had a gorgeous week and that you’ve got some killer plans for the weekend. (We’re seeing Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett at the Hollywood Bowl and I am puuuuumped!) I’ll leave you with a little insider scoop — we’re going to be having an exclusive giveaway in Lovely Indeed’s June newsletter, so if you want in, sign up for our mailing list below! If you’ve already signed up, you’re all set — just keep an eye on your inbox.

As always, we promise not to flood your email with a bunch of nonsense! Just the best stuff coming to the best inboxes in all the land. And I promise you’re gonna love this giveaway. Hope you all have a long and gorgeous weekend! xoxo


BabyLit Books

Henry’s Favorite Books + A BabyLit Giveaway!

I started reading to Henry the week we brought him home from the hospital. It was kind of my default. When I was so tired I couldn’t think of anything…

BabyLit Books

BabyLit Books

I started reading to Henry the week we brought him home from the hospital. It was kind of my default. When I was so tired I couldn’t think of anything to do with him or say to him, I would sit him in his little baby chair and we would look at books. And I swear, even though he was just a handful of days old, he liked it. And he still does! That kid has always loved to look at books. These days he helps us turn pages.

Back then and still now, months later, some of his very favorites are the BabyLit books. Ryan and I stumbled across them while we were making our baby registry and went nuts. They’re brilliant! They’re board books, with modern takes on the classics, and they teach basic concepts like numbers, colors, opposites, animals, and more. But what I love most are the illustrations. They’re just gorgeous. And it makes it so fun to read as a parent — I always find myself flipping through them because they’re so lovely to look at.

Back in the day when he was teeny tiny, Henry’s favorite was Huck Finn. Maybe because I read it with an accent? Or maybe because he liked the pictures of the outdoors — he’s a nature-loving kid. These days, he loves Moby Dick. Which, come to think of it, I also read with an accent. (A salty ship captain accent, obviously.)

BabyLit Books

BabyLit Books

babylit5

I just treasure these books and I love imagining Hank as an older kid reading the original versions of these abbreviated classics. Can you imagine?! One day my tiny person will be old enough to read all of The Jungle Book. I can’t even handle that.

And gang, in the hopes that you’ll love these books as much as we do, I’ve got not one but TWO giveaways for you! Here on the blog, we’re giving away a super cool Moby Dick set! You have the chance to win the Moby Dick book, play set, puzzle, and tote. See the Rafflecopter below for all the ways to enter.

And if you can’t get enough, head over to my Instagram where we are giving away an Alice in Wonderland set! Big thanks to BabyLit for inspiring our tiny people to love to read. xoxo

BabyLit Books

Product for this post and giveaway graciously provided by BabyLit. All opinions are my very own.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Lovely Indeed 2015 Reader Survey + Giveaway!

UPDATE 1/12/14: Survey is now closed. Thanks so much to all who responded — can’t wait to put all of your feedback to good use! Giveaway winner has been contacted….

readersurvey

UPDATE 1/12/14: Survey is now closed. Thanks so much to all who responded — can’t wait to put all of your feedback to good use! Giveaway winner has been contacted. Keep an eye out for more fab giveaways in 2015, kittens!

Guess what, lovelies — I’m looking for your input! I have big plans for Lovely Indeed in 2015 and I want to be sure that they include all of the things that you want to see. It’s a simple little survey and should just take you a few minutes, but your response would be invaluable in helping me steer this lovely little ship. And as a tiny thank you, there’s a pretty sweet prize up for grabs for the folks who take a moment to get their survey on. After you finish the survey, you can enter to win a $50 gift card to J.Crew! To enter, click the link below to take the survey. Once it’s completed, come back here and leave a comment (be sure to include your email address) confirming that you took the survey. Thanks gang! xoxo

CLICK HERE TO TAKE SURVEY

Land of Nod $250 Giveaway // 24 Merry Days

We should probably just hashtag today the #bestdayever, because not only is it Christmas Eve, but it’s finally my day for a 24 Merry Days giveaway! You’ve been following along,…

24merry

We should probably just hashtag today the #bestdayever, because not only is it Christmas Eve, but it’s finally my day for a 24 Merry Days giveaway! You’ve been following along, right? During all of December, a group of us bloggers have been giving away one fab prize a day, on a different blog each time. And now it’s Lovely Indeeed’s turn! That’s right, pals — and we saved a pretty incredible one for last. You can enter to win $250 to The Land of Nod!

You know how I feel about Nod, right? I just think it’s maybe the coolest place on the planet to look for pieces for little ones, from toys to furniture to art and more. And if I’m being totally honest, we have more than a few pieces from Nod scattered around in the grownup rooms in our house too, so it’s way more than just for kids. You saw our nursery a few weeks back, with lots of goodies from Nod, but here are a few of my latest picks if I were on a little shopping spree for myself and little Henry.

landofnod

Rug. Lamp. Hello pillow. Deer print. Teepee. Mirror. Sailboat blocks. Dino pillow. Stripes pillow.

So if you’re in the market for a few new touches for your home, whether it’s for you or your kiddos, here’s how you can enter to win! See the Rafflecopter below and enter as many times as you like (you can score up to 20 entries!). The giveaway will be open for 7 days, after which the winner will be contacted. Open to U.S. residents 18 years and over only.

I’m wishing you all the merriest of Christmases, and hope that the next few days are filled with as much joy as they can possibly hold. Now happy entering! xoxo

2014_24-merry-days-white

P.S. Head to the 24 Merry Days website or Facebook page to see the other giveaways that are still open for entry!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Birthday Giveaway

A Blog Birthday Giveaway!

UPDATE 9/30/14: A winner has been chosen and notified and the giveaway is now closed! So many thanks to all who entered and the shops who donated their time and…

Blog Birthday Giveaway

UPDATE 9/30/14: A winner has been chosen and notified and the giveaway is now closed! So many thanks to all who entered and the shops who donated their time and talent. Keep your eyes peeled for more giveaways during the holiday season!

Hey hey it’s our birthday! Sort of. It’s our blog birthday. Welllll, it’s our blog birth month. Lovely Indeed has officially been lovely-ing for four years, and I can hardly believe it. Time flies when you are buried in glitter and gold leaf all the time, right? Truly, though, I can’t believe it’s been four years, and I find myself grateful every day for the opportunity to come here and hang out with you all. And even more grateful that you come here and hang out with me.

So to celebrate, I rounded up a gang of some of the coolest creative brands around and each of them is providing something gorgeous for this righteous celebration of a giveaway! It’s a total package that’s worth $500, filled to the brim with fun pieces for you and your home. Read on to see what one of you lucky lovelies will win.

Blog Birthday Giveaway

Blog Birthday Giveaway

This geometric felt pillow from White Nest is so, so gorgeous — and even better in person.

Idieh Design‘s personalizable notebooks are perfect for planning and keeping your notes straight!

I can personally attest that this knotted headband from Wuthering Iris ups the cute factor of any outfit (and they make tiny sizes for little ones!).

When I saw this tote from August Ink, I knew one of you had to have it. Treat yo’ self!

Blog Birthday Giveaway

Centime has the most killer selection of personalizable jewelry, and they’re offering a $100 gift card so you can select whatever you like!

Blog Birthday Giveaway

I know you are all always on your hustle, and so does the gang at Between The Lines.

Blog Birthday GiveawayLove the bold stripe on these networking business cards from Jillianastasia! The winner will get a set personalized with their info.

Blog Birthday Giveaway

Start your day with some inspiration on your coffee cup! Between The Lines wants you to make it happen.

Loving Lindsey Crafter‘s color theory pompom bracelets  — the mix of colors and textures is so fun.

These gold moon phase cocktail glasses from Sarah Jane Design would look so perfect on your bar cart!

Vintage Marquee Lights‘ 12″ ampersand light is totally killer! Light it up and put it somewhere special.

So gang, that’s the booty that’s up for grabs! Each of these creatives has been so generous and so cool to work with — be sure to take some time to check out their sites and see what else they do. And in the meantime, I know you’re wondering how you can win this crazy prize package! Check out the Rafflecopter below for a whole bunch of ways to enter, and do ’em all if you like! The more you enter, the better your chances of winning. This giveaway is open to U.S. Residents only; giveaway will be open for one week and we’ll notify the winner personally.

Thank you again to you all for a fab four years! Happy entering! xoxo

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Camera Giveaway

#30SummerDays Camera Giveaway!

UPDATE 7/13: Giveaway is now closed and we’ve contacted the winner! Thanks to all who entered. Keep an eye out for more fun giveaways coming up! How is your summer…

Camera Giveaway

Camera Giveaway

UPDATE 7/13: Giveaway is now closed and we’ve contacted the winner! Thanks to all who entered. Keep an eye out for more fun giveaways coming up!

How is your summer so far? Hope you’re having lots of sunny, happy adventures — and today we’ve got a giveaway to help you document them all! You might have noticed during the month of June on Twitter and Instagram that I was sharing photos using the hashtag #30summerdays. The fine folks at Staples sent a few bloggers the Samsung NX300 camera to tote around during their summer days, and I was lucky enough to get to try it out! We used the Samsung to document our comings and goings, and all of the summery things we did. And you can win the exact same camera!

Camera Giveaway

The Samsung is pretty rad — my number one, favorite thing about it is how light and small it is compared to my usual Canon that I haul around. It’s also totally user-friendly. I was able to figure out the functions by just experimenting and using the touch-screen to alter settings. On top of all that, it’s got WiFi capability (you can email photos right from the camera!) and if you download the iPhone app, photos from the Samsung sync directly to your phone. It’s awesome. The photo quality is great, and it’s totally cute to boot. Perfect for traveling and snapping photos of your adventures!

Camera Giveaway

Camera Giveaway

So let’s get down to it! One of you lucky dolls will win your very own Samsung NX300. See the Rafflecopter below for entry and giveaway rules; there are lots of ways to enter, and the more you enter the better your chances of winning this bad boy! Giveaway open to U.S. Residents only. Big thanks to Staples for helping us document our summer days!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Upper Metal Class Earrings

Birthday Giveaway

You guys, it’s my birthday! Woah, I’m old. Like, when I was little I considered my age to be a full-blown grownup. Ha! Riiiiight. Definitely all grown up over here….

Birthday Giveaway

You guys, it’s my birthday! Woah, I’m old. Like, when I was little I considered my age to be a full-blown grownup. Ha! Riiiiight. Definitely all grown up over here. Or something like that.

But let’s talk about the good stuff. I love to give presents on my birthday, and because you all are just so lovely, we’re wrapping up this giveaway month with one final giveaway bonanza. I compiled a giveaway package with a few pieces from some of my very favorite brands and makers, and I’m wrapping it up with a pretty bow for one of you! Read on for what’s inside.

First up, there’s a pair of these killer Positive Negative Balance Earrings from Upper Metal Class. UMC has long been one of my favorite jewelry brands — it’s so cool and minimal but still feels feminine and delicate. I have been wearing my Bar Necklace for years now, and I still love it.

Upper Metal Class Earrings

Next, from one of my favorite creatives (no kidding, I stalk this girl), we have an Ampersand Stamp from Ann-Marie Loves! I don’t know how she does it, but everything that comes out of her brain is so beautiful. Definitely check out her blog, and take some time looking through her shop too — I could spend an entire month’s paycheck there.

Ann-Marie Loves Ampersand Stamp

Then we’ve got an adorable polka dot mousepad and chevron iPhone 5 case from Field Trip! I’m loving this shop. I mean, looooving it. There are mousepads in every color of the rainbow, endless beautiful phone cases, pretty prints, and more. Not to mention the fact that I’m rocking this very mousepad and iPhone case on my own tech right now. They’re perfect.

Field Trip Mousepad and iPhone 5 Case

And finally, we’ll have a few extra Lovely Indeed surprises thrown in for good measure — you may find yourself the lucky recipient of one or two DIY pieces from yours truly. All said and done, it’s a prize pack valued at over $120.

Lovely Indeed Leather Heart

So! Without further ado, I’ll let you enter to your heart’s content! Follow instructions for entry in the Rafflecopter below. Giveaway open to U.S. residents only, and will end on Monday, March 3 at 5 pm PST.

A big birthday hug to all of these wonderful vendors who are helping us celebrate! xoxo
a Rafflecopter giveaway