Christmas Card Photo Shoot {And A Contest!}

Christmas card season is upon us! How many of y'all send out physical cards to friends and family? We do, and I love that annual tradition - both sending them and being on the receiving end. Last weekend, my husband and I (and our dog, Jackson!) took advantage of the unseasonably warm weather to take some photos for this year's card. My mom and dad helped us out by snapping the photos so I wouldn't have to rig up the old tripod :). We went to a few locations, all of which included old clapboard buildings (which I love!) and took a bunch of photos. So many turned out great! I thought I'd share a few with you today, along with some outtakes as well - gotta keep it real over here since we all know not every photo is a winner, haha. I'm saving the actual Christmas card photo for the cards I ordered, but I promise I'll share it eventually here on the blog.

Here are a few favorites from each location:

This last one isn't quite in focus, but I couldn't leave it out... :)

Then there are always a few outtakes when you have a photo shoot like this. Everything from awkward poses, to blinking, to being silly...it's all part of the fun in my book. We didn't have any epic awkward family photo moments, but the photos certainly weren't all perfect!

There's the "should you hold the dog, or should I?" moment:

The "what pose are we doing now?/I feel silly" moment:

The "I don't want to be here right now says the dog" moment:

And finally, the "I think we've lost it and we're done posing now so this is what you're going to get" moment:

Have you ever captured moments like these on camera during a Christmas card photo shoot? Or have you caught candid moments that show what's really going on behind the scenes of a shoot like this? How about an epic meltdown with Santa? Dog knocking over your tree? Well if you have, and you'd like to win some stuff off of those priceless moments caught on film, you're in luck, because Cardstore is holding a "Candid Christmas Cards" photo contest!

The grand prize winner will receive a $1,500 Visa gift card to put towards a holiday trip, a Nikon CoolPix camera, and free Cardstore Christmas cards to send out to their loved ones this holiday season! There are also prizes for second and third place. For more details and to enter to win, head on over here. The contest closes on 12/3, so hurry and get your entry in!

*This post was written in collaboration with Cardstore. All opinions, statements and photos are my own.

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2014 {Gold Glitter} Christmas iPhone Wallpapers

I hope y'all are having wonderful Thanksgiving weeks wherever you may be! I'm enjoying some time with my family in Virginia. I'm thankful that my husband has the week off from school and that I work from home so we can spend some extra time here!

Since Thanksgiving is so late this year (Monday is December 1st!), I wanted to share these December iPhone wallpapers before I go into a food coma for the rest of the week. I do have one more fun post to share with you tomorrow, but it'll be a quick one!

In case you didn't notice the trend from my 12 Days of Christmas ornaments, there was a lot of gold glitter going on, and I couldn't resist making that sparkly stuff the theme of this month's iPhone wallpapers. I made three this time - the traditional monthly calendar and two Christmas-specific ones. You can download one or all of them for free at the end of the post.

For some reason, I've had "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" stuck in my head this week (I think I must've heard it on a commercial or something?) and it seemed fitting for one of these wallpapers. I added a little abstract Christmas tree with a gold star on top for fun :).

Gold glittery dots were also a must for one of these - I couldn't resist! A wreath with "merry merry Christmas" below makes for quite a playful wallpaper if I do say so myself.

Then of course there's the monthly calendar. I love all three of these wallpapers, but this is the one that may end up on my phone since it's so handy to have right there on the lock screen.


Which one is your favorite? Vote below!

survey tools

How to set the calendar as your lock screen on an iPhone:

  • Click the link below to the download you'd like to use (from your phone). This will take you to the image in Dropbox, where I've set them up for you to download.
  • In the bottom left corner there is an icon that looks like a box with an upward-facing arrow coming out of it. Click that and choose "save image." It will download to your photos.
  • Go to your home screen and open your photos. 
  • Select the calendar image. 
  • Again click the button in the bottom left corner that looks like a box with an upward-facing arrow. Select the option that says "use as wallpaper."
  • Click set, then choose "lock screen."

You're done! If you have any questions, let me know!

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Simple Red Bead Ornament

We did it! We've reached the end! Today is Day 12 of 12 Days of Handmade Ornaments. Phew! I've had a blast doing this series (even if it has pushed me to my creative limits...), and I hope y'all have enjoyed it and are leaving with lots of inspiration for handmade ornaments. There are 144 in all, which is absolutely nuts.  I'm excited to see your handmade ornaments too. Link party is at the bottom of this post!
You only need a few supplies for today's red bead ornament:

  • Styrofoam ball*
  • Hot glue
  • Red beads
  • Ornament topper (not pictured - you can see it in later photos!)

I picked up these red bead strands at Lowe's (I think?) a few years ago, and they've made appearances in various Christmas decor and projects. They're one of the few RED Christmas items I have, which is kind of hilarious since red is one of the traditional colors. My decor skews toward green, metallics and glass. You'll see that in my Christmas home tour post, which will be up the Monday after Thanksgiving!

Anyway, onto the ornament...it's really very simple to make. Wrap the beads around the styrofoam ball, hot gluing small sections as you move around. I started in the middle and then did one side at a time.

Here's the first half done:

And then the whole thing. I snagged an extra ornament topper I had and stuck it into the styrofoam so I would have a way to hang this little guy. Doesn't it look like it was made for it?

All done! See how easy that was?

Check out the other ornaments from these lovely bloggers and then link up your own at the bottom of the post (link party will open up at 8am EST)!

christmas-ornaments day 12

Simple Red Bead Ornament | May Richer Fuller Be
Star Pine Cone Ornament | Cherished Bliss
Clay State Ornaments | Whats Ur Home Story
Rudolph Ornament | Mom 4 Real
Fabric Heart Ornaments | Remodelando la Casa
Easy Burlap Ornament | Bigger Than The Three of Us
Mini Tinsel Wreath from Canning Lid | It All Started With Paint
Snowy Forest Glitter Ball Ornament | Serendipity Refined
Faux Mercury Glass Ornaments | All Things G&D

*Disclosure: Some of the products used in this post were purchased with a gift card which I received from Michaels. Thank you, Michaels, for supporting my craftiness!

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Felt Flower Ornament

Day 11 of 12 Handmade Ornaments is here, which means it's the penultimate day of this series! It's so rare that I post on the weekends, but since this series is running for 12 days in a row, that necessitates weekend posting. Needless to say, I'm planning on taking it nice and easy next week - probably just one post. It's Thanksgiving week anyway, which is a good one for taking a break!

Also, before I get to the tutorial for today's ornament, I just want to remind y'all that tomorrow (Sunday), a LINK PARTY will be going on when the last ornament posts go up. Now it's your turn to link up your own handmade ornaments! Show off your creative skills :). Since we know not everyone has started their Christmas decorating yet, we're keeping the party open for a couple of weeks to make sure you have a chance to add yours. Many of us will be showing off our favorites in the coming weeks, so don't miss this parTAY!

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Monogrammed Wood Slice Ornaments

For Day 9 of the 12 Days of Handmade Ornaments series I decided to dig deep into my southern roots and make a monogrammed ornament to share with y'all! A gold and white monogrammed wood slice ornament to be precise. I actually made these last year for several friends and family members and they were a big hit. Everyone loves something with their own initials on it.

Here's how I did it:

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