Fluffy Garden Boutique {Giveaway} – CLOSED

One of my favorite things about being a military spouse is moving to new locations and meeting new people — moving away from those new friends never feels like good-bye since we have Facebook and other ways to keep in touch, but it also never feels like good-bye because the chances of meeting up again in the military are just too good!  Kierston and I met when we were living in the middle of the California desert; our husbands worked together and we have boys who are just months apart in age, so it was a quick match for our entire family.  We moved to North Carolina about three years ago, and we were ecstatic when Kierston’s family moved to North Carolina just about three months ago!Cover Photo

Almost immediately after making a cross-country trip and getting settled in their new location, Kierston opened up her Facebook shop Fluffy Garden Boutique, where she makes custom orders of just about anything that can be crocheted, sewn, or painted!  She is completely invested in her shop and in her products, and her passion is evident on her Facebook updates that usually include some sort of amazing special or giveaway for her fans.

 Here are a couple of my favorites from her shop:

 

Around the House items include this Multipurpose Wash Cloth (shown above), Washable Swiffer Cover, or a cute Tooth Fairy Pillow!

Fluffy Garden Boutique also features great sets for photography props or photo shoots, such as this Mermaid Set with Shell Top and Starfish Headband

The Beanies, Hats, and Diaper Covers also include lots of fun seasonal products, such as this Football Beanie

Photo: OSU inspired headband (can be customized to any team) sizes NB, 0-3m, 3-6m, 6-9m, 12m, toddler, child or adult $5 free shipping

Or hard-core football fans will love to check out the College and NFL Themes Crochet album with items such as this OSU-Inspired Headband (can be customized for any team, any size infant to adults), totes, or throws.

 Since Kierston is a military spouse herself, she knows the difficulty that goes with numerous deployments, long hours/days/weeks, and sacrifice to serve our country.  Fluffy Garden Boutique features a Military Heroes Wall of Fame open to any branch of service — just e-mail your picture and she’ll add it to this album!

And, just in time for the fall season, Fluffy Garden Boutique is offering a $30 Gift Certificate to use in the shop by November 1!  Check out Fluffy Garden Boutique on Facebook, then come back here to enter to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

** This giveaway is open to U.S. entries only.

** The winner of this giveaway will be drawn no later than the evening of September 14th and will be emailed within 24 hours.  If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.

** This posting and giveaway were sponsored by Fluffy Garden Boutique, but all opinions are strictly my own. 

mod. {Giveaway} – CLOSED

Isn’t it crazy how family pictures are almost completely leaving the studio?  I remember heading to Olan Mills as a little girl, probably twice a year, to get our family pictures done.  We so rarely took professional pictures at an outdoor photographic setting, and never had someone outside of a studio to take our own.  Within one generation, things have totally changed (at least in my household), and I doubt we will ever go to a studio for a family photoshoot.  I’m all about finding the next best locale and bringing a friend along with our DSLR to create the one-of-a-kind shoot I dreamed up.

modstraps_logoI take my nice camera everywhere!  I use it nearly every day to document every cute baby stage, our family’s adventures, and of course, these product reviews :)  It seems like everyone these days has a DSLR, but not everyone has one of these classic camera straps from mod.!  I’ve wanted one of these for the longest time!  Something that makes my camera uniquely mine, with a colorful personal flair.  Goodbye boring Canon universal strap, and hello personality!  I couldn’t resist the black and white and canary yellow (my wedding colors).  My husband likes that it isn’t too girly, so he wouldn’t mind being seen with it on.

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This strap embodies some beautiful features.  The decorative part of the strap measures 33” long, but the total length of the strap can be adjusted to 42” -48”.  I chose a Classic Strap (sold for $35.95), which is the same style and durability as the Basic strap, but is lined with the most luxurious black fuzzy fabric.  It really is soft as butter and quite comfortable.  mod. also carries Premium Straps, with all the listed features in addition to a “quick release” feature, which allows you to quickly disconnect your strap.

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Taking this to the soccer fields is going to make me the trendiest mom on the team.

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If I’m dangling something that costs over $500 around my neck, I want to be able to trust in the strength of the straps holding it.  Good thing these are tested to withstand up to 90 lbs. of pull down weight.  After spending a few minutes getting my camera dressed in its new strap, I feel completely confident in this strap taking care of my camera.  The materials are visibly thicker and stronger than my black Canon strap, and based on the effort it took to get the intricate parts through the right pieces, I can’t imagine anything showing wear within my lifetime.

And there are so many matching accessories available!  Drop in bags, accessory bags for extra lenses and such, neck pads, strap wraps, tech sleeves, and photo cases…

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Another thing I find extremely useful are these cap savers.  I’ve spent too many minutes of my life searching for cap lenses I’ve set down and forgotten about.  Checking pockets, retracing steps, searching bags, etc.  The dazzling gem keeps the cap connected to your camera, so after you take it off, it stays tethered and accessible.  Genius.

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Connect with mod.!

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/modstraps

PINTEREST: www.pinterest.com/modstraps

TWITTER: @modstraps

One budding or proffessional photographer is going to receive a $20.00 giftcard to used towards a product of choice at www.modstraps.com!

If you don’t have a DSLR camera, this giveaway is still for you!  Check out mod.’s laptop cases, e-reader sleeves, phone cases, and more!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

*This giveaway is open to US entries only *The winner of this giveaway will be drawn no later than the evening of May 10th and will be emailed.  If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn. *This posting and giveaway were sponsored by mod., but all opinions are strictly my own

Loupey Lalo Photography {Review}

I am fanatical about family pictures!  There are few things I love more than a good family photoshoot!  I love being able to preserve everyone’s smiles, and document our growing family at any stage along the way.  The kids are growing so fast, and any chance I can get to capture memories of our family’s ’young years’ is one that I’ll take!  Last week while we were in Utah, we had some family pictures done by the fabulous Laura from Loupey Lalo Photography!

Laura is fabulous to work with!  I sent her a picture of one of my friend’s family pictures for an idea to go off of, and she took it from there!  She did some searching for the best brick backdrops around Provo.  I appreciated her having a plan, but I also loved how flexible she was if we came across something else we thought might work.  She was GREAT with the kids (which is why we got so many great smiles out of them!), and I would recommend her to anyone in a heartbeat.

The pictures speak for themselves!  I love how these turned out!!AqTIbiyQfxIurUMQLax-PvWw-JVvFW_b8psaOun16kc,KMljtx2aRnJlxQb_pqfkvrJZehbFNUw1s2A1scmbXXg

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zWHPwGsgaypiqworzTB84yXSMGmOqjbBPigjANkf0dc,f0C-ASmYXeD1T6_B9TpI18FEay2m4a7sI5g_8rFnbpg

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Have these convinced you that its been too long since your last family picture?  Laura would do a great job!!  And she travels, so if you’re outside of Utah, no fear, just contact her!   Besides family pictures, she also does weddings, graduation pictures, children, babies, portraits, food, etc.

See her fabulous blog here: http://laughinlalo.blogspot.com/

And her official website HERE where you will be really impressed with Laura’s portfolio.

Thank you Loupey Lalo Photography for our wonderfuly family pictures!!

Artsy Couture {Giveaway} – CLOSED

The wedding is in two weeks!!  I’m so excited for my little brother!  Though I haven’t met my future sister-in-law yet, I’m sure that we’ll soon be the best of friends :).  I’ve been trying to come up with the perfect wedding gift for them–something personal, something that looks expensive, and something that is clearly not re-gifted!  All the lightbulbs went on when I saw all the breathtaking displays of photography and artwork created by Artsy Couture!

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I’m sure that along with me, you have fallen in love with the wrapped canvas look for displaying pictures in your home.  I have never been a fan of chunky mis-matched (and breakable) frames with the glass in front.  They just seem too bulky and heavy, and I can never find enough of a frame I like to make everything in the house match.  For years now, I’ve tried to do away with frames and mod-podge photographs onto foamboard to try and get the wrapped canvas look, but I’m afraid its still a little too homemade.  Sometimes homemade doesn’t cut it, and the only way to go is the real thing, and these wrapped canvases and gallery blocks from Artsy Couture are to die for!

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I ordered a trio of gallery blocks using my brother’s engagement pictures, and they are the PERFECT wedding gift!  I can’t wait to see them on the walls of their future home.

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You almost have to see these in person to really appreciate the quality of these gallery blocks.  They have a high quality wood structure behind and practically seamless joined corners. IMG_2746 copy

If you are a professional photographer, or have a budding photography business, you need to get hooked up with Artsy Couture.  The products you could offer your clients would be breathtaking, and the ordering process is so simple.  Ordering my photo gallery blocks was a breeze–pretty much upload, select, paste, resize, and I was done.  I looked into the process of creating a photo cube, and the layout was not as difficult as you might make it out to be.  The ordering process can be a little intimidating without Photoshop experience, but there are great directions and guidance along the way.

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One stunning way to display your pictures is in this floating gallery block style–a series of smaller gallery blocks floating over a larger gallery block background.  So professional, right?

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Besides these gallery blocks, I also love these photo cubes!  What a fun way to display pictures!  I think these would look adorable in a nursery, and still classy enough to have stacked in a living room entertainment center.

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Artsy Couture carries so many more fashionable options for displaying your art, including pro prints, sweet colorful frames, gallery stands, and don’t forget these picture perfect photo books!

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Go play around with the masterpieces you could create!  And get excited about this incredible prize!

One winner will receive $75 to spend on any items at Artsy Couture!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*This giveaway is open to US entries only
*The winner of this giveaway will be drawn no later than the evening of March 25th and will be emailed.  If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.
*This posting and giveaway were sponsored by Artsy Couture, but all opinions are strictly my own

Melissa Davis Designs {Giveaway} – CLOSED

I am by no means a professional photographer or blogger, but I’ve still spend HOURS and HOURS of my life on Photoshop doctoring pictures and just trying to take something average look nice.  Practically everyone has a blog and a nice camera nowadays, but not everyone has the time to tinker with intricate cropping techniques, or the artistic eye of composing a lovely collage of pictures.  Pre-made templates are such a fantastic way to save time and add a special element of design and color to your pictures!
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I think taking our pictures to the next level of professionalism is on many of our minds, and you’re going to swoon when you see these templates from Melissa Davis Designs!
Melissa let me try out the Rounded Corner Collages/Storyboards set and OHMYGOSH I am the happiest blogger ever!  The files I received contain four different layouts in four different sizes.  These could used for blog posts, or even large-scale posters and projects.  I’m excited to next try out the 10×20 template and create a cute facebook timeline picture.
rounded corners preview
This set is WORTH EVERY PENNY!  I watched Melissa’s 2 min video on how to use them, and instantly was creating these beautiful collages!  I dropped in a few pictures of past giveaways on Dandy–see if you recognize any of them from over the past few months.
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I love tinkering around on Photoshop, but I don’t consider myself an expert, and these templates are so user friendly.  Meaning, you don’t have to be a pro to really see the value in these and understand how to use them.  All you need is any edition of Photoshop and some basic knowledge about layering.  What would have taken me a huge chunk of an afternoon was done in minutes!
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I’ve been searching and experimenting with the best and fastest way to arrange pictures and create those beautifully rounded corners for quite a while.  There are many ways to skin a cat, but these templates save a boat load of time and frustration, and I don’t have to go look up the instructions every time.  Easy peasy, and so professional.  I will use these practically every day!!
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Here are some extremely useful and attractive templates you might also love!
Birthday Invitations:
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Facebook timelines:
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Birth announcements:
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And Christmas cards:

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And so many other beautiful designs!  Take a few minutes and enjoy getting lost in the possibilities of what you could also create with these templates!

And one lucky duck is going to win a $50 coupon code to Melissa Davis Designs!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*The winner of this giveaway will be drawn no later than the evening of Friday, March 15th and will be emailed.  If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.
*This posting and giveaway were sponsored by Melissa Davis Designs, but all opinions are strictly my own

Purple Trail {Giveaway} – CLOSED

Christmas is ridiculous at my house!  We have DOZENS of fun traditions that make Christmas magical, from “Santa-look-a-like” contests with shaving cream, to having a sleepover in the basement on Christmas Eve.  One of the very first Christmas traditions of the year begins months ahead of time, and involves my mom trying to think of this year’s Christmas card.  She does such a great job, and they always turn out so creatively adorable!  In fact, I once ran into a stranger at college who told me she recognized me from our family Christmas cards up on their fridge every year—I guess our mother’s were friends, but we had never met.

Now that I have my own tiny family, I want to keep up the tradition of sending out memorable Christmas cards every year!  Purple Trail has a number of lovely Christmas cards to choose from!

I had a chance to look over some Christmas card samples from Purple Trail, and I was so impressed; the color printing was quite vibrant, the paper was a sturdy cardstock weight, the graphics were clean and creative, and time and attention has been put into tiny details that make these cards stand out above others.  It seems like creating your own custom cards would be a simple and speedy process if you were pressed for time, but you could also customize a number of things to make them look just how you imagined.  I would be happy designing our Christmas cards from practically any of Purple Trail’s 2012 designs.  So many of them are just my style.

  Whether you’re a Christmas card junkie, or this is the first year you’ll be spreading Christmas cheer with family Christmas cards, you’ll love today’s giveaway!

One winner will receive $40 towards any product at Purple Trail!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
*This giveaway is open to US entries only *The winner of this giveaway will be posted no later than the evening of Saturday, November 17th and emailed within 24 hours.  If the winner does not respond within a week, a new winner will be drawn. *This posting and giveaway were sponsored by Purple Trail, but all opinions are strictly my own

{Giveaway} Made By Meegz ***ENDED***

I’m so very far from being a professional photographer, but I do have a nice camera and I do like to take pictures.  I’ve taken a few classes and really enjoyed working in the dark room.  So maybe very, very minimally semi-professional?  If that’s even a category!  When someone likes photography then that makes them kind of artsy, don’t you think?  Then why are do I see so many different levels of photography people out there carrying around cameras on a BORING camera strap?  Shouldn’t it be one that reflects their own style and outfit?  Yes you can accessorize your camera to match your look!  Ready to find out where?  Here you go:  Made By Meegz has camera straps in so many different colors, prints, and styles!

Everyone will be green with envy when they see you with one of these straps:

    

 

Looking for a floral camera strap?  Made By Meegz has them:

How about…

Something funky?  Still got ‘em:

                                                                                                                                            

 

 

There’s even reversible camera straps!

These unique camera straps also make great gifts!  This week one lucky winner is going to receive a camera strap from Made By Meegz and it’s winner’s choice of which one!

*** This giveaway is open to entries worldwide only***

There are 7 chances to win. Be sure and leave separate comments for each entry on this posting to enter. **If you qualify for all 7 chances then leave 7 separate comments**

(1): Leave your name, email address, or whatever you feel most comfortable leaving in a comment. (ex: “Dandy Smith”)

(2): Go to Made By Meegz, have a look around, and then tell us your favorite camera strap! (ex: “Dandy Smith = I think the Damask Dots is my favorite!)

(3): Vote for Dandy Giveaway on Picket Fence Blogs.  You can vote once a day, so each extra day you vote is anextra entry!  :)    (ex: “Dandy Smith= voted”)

(4): Like Made By Meegz on Facebook or if you already do.  (ex: “Dandy Smith= like”)

(5):  Tell people about this giveaway and then tell us how you told!  You get an entry for each one that you do!  (ex: “Dandy Smith= emailed, blogged, texted, called, etc.”)

(6): Follow Dandy Giveaway on Twitter and then tweet about this giveaway. (ex: “Dandy Smith= twitter & tweet”)

(7): Become a follower of Dandy Giveaway through Google Connect (in the right hand sidebar) or if you already follow.  (ex: “Dandy Smith= follow Dandy.”)

***Remember*** Winners are not notified through email, so you have to check back to find out if you won! This giveaway will be open for entries until Sunday, November 20th at 5:00 pm CST.  Be sure and check back on Monday, November 21st to see if you won, so you can claim your prize! ***Remember*** Winners are not notified through email, so you have to check back to find out if you won!

This posting and giveaway was sponsored by Made By Meegz, but all opinions are strictly my own.

Hello Canvas!

My husband gave me the best present for Christmas this last year.  He had this photo put on canvas:

I took this in one of the many gardens at Chatsworth House in Devonshire, England.  Can you say Mr. Darcy???  Yep that’s where the most current Pride and Prejudice was filmed.  Chatworth House has also long been speculated as the location from Austen’s book.  When my husband presented me with the gift I was so surprised!  It was such a beautiful gesture!  I absolutely love it and it makes me so happy every time I see it hanging in our dining room.  So when it came time for Mother’s Day I knew just what to give my mom.  A photo on canvas from Hello Canvas!  They let me order a 26×36 canvas all complimentary like!  :)  The tough part came when I had to decide on which picture to have them put on canvas.  That’s a hard decision and you know that I’m not good with the decision making process.  So…I did the only think I could do and took a picture specifically for it!  And here’s how it turned out:

This is a picture of the church where my parents were married.  Fortunately I now live really close to it, so I was just able to drive over and snap a few pictures of it!  :)   The gift from Hello Canvas was a mega hit!  My mom loves it, but so does my dad.  Yep it was the perfect gift for Mother’s Day!

Hello Canvas has so many size options to choose from to fit any room or any style.  Also editing and effects.  Plus, ordering is made so simple with a quick upload process and shipping was super fast!  It’s the perfect place to get a unique gift that will be treasured for years to come!

{DIY} Photography With Belle Petite Photo

Do you like to take pictures of the kiddos, but could use some helpful tips?  Well then our next guest posting is sure not to disappoint.  Ready for the dandiness?  Here you go! 

Hi!  My name is Sarah and like many of you out there, I LOVE taking pictures! 

Especially of my husband and daughter :0)  People often ask me when I started out with photography and I tell them that I was the girl in junior high and high school that always had a camera!  Thankfully digital cameras came around so that I can now take pictures to my heart’s content without paying a fortune.  After the birth of my daughter I started taking even more pictures and before I knew it I had started a blog, Belle Petite Photo, and was taking pictures for family and friends and clients.  I still have a LONG way to go with my photography, but I’m enjoying the journey.  For those of you who are looking to take your photography up a notch, here are a few simple suggestions:

1) Take lots of pictures.  (Even very experienced photographers take a lot of pictures…it gives them options to work with after the photo shoot is done.)  Especially when you’re taking pictures of your kids in action….the more you take, the better chance you have of getting a great one!  Plus, sometimes it is fun to put a series of pictures together.

2) Try a new perspective.  Too often we document our cute-kid moments the same way every time, from above.  Try getting down on THEIR eye level or even laying on the ground to capture moments. (i.e. your infant learning how to crawl).  More interesting perspective = More interesting picture.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3) Zoom in, zoom out.  Try zooming completely out to get the whole scene then zooming in to focus in on what’s happening.  Then, try capturing the same scene from a different angle or area of the room.  Each picture will paint a different part of the story.

4) Use whatever you have.  My first few photo shoots were done with my Canon 3.2 point and shoot.  (I was a little sheepish to accept $70 for such a photo shoot, but hey…that was all I had at the time and it worked!  Don’t worry folks, I only use my Nikon DSLR for photo shoots these days :0))  If I’ve only brought our camcorder to an event I’ll take still shots with that and call it good.  Really, it doesn’t have to be an expensive piece of equipment to capture great moments :0) 

If you have a second, click here to see my blog!  If you have two more seconds, I’d love to get a comment too!  Most of my time is spent with my sweet little family, but if you do live in the St. Louis area and are interested in booking a photo shoot, I do have some available sessions.  Email me at:  bellepetitephotographie@gmail.com

Ready to be schooled?

Ok, so I’m a huge fan of education.  Achieving it was important to me and I honestly miss being in the classroom.  What did I love about college?  Well, sure I loved taking classes in my field of study, but my most favorite classes were the extra fillers… photography classes!  It was way too fun!  One day when I have a little extra time then I’ll probably venture back into the dark room at the local college.  Until then how ever will I get my photo class fix?  Are you with me on this one? 

Well then let’s go to school… online school!

Right now you can score a deal on online photography classes from Big Picture Classes.  This 31 day workshop is normally priced at $30, but right now through Savvy Savings & Scholarships: National Edition II you can get the entire session for just $15!  Now that’s a way dandy deal!

Hurry and get this offer soon, because it ends on October 1st!

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