Lovely Details

Lovely Details, Parties, Uncategorized

Little Flower Studios

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Little Flower Studios

When I was little I wanted to be two things.

A waitress.

And the first female president.

Now, unfortunately I can only cross one of those things off my list as of now. And unless I make some drastic changes to my life, I don't think I'll be occupying the White House any time soon.

But I do love looking back and thinking about the things I wanted to be when I "grew up". Like so many of us, my career path changed a lot. In college I studied what I loved, not necessarily what was going to make me the most money. I am very grateful for that decision because it's allowed me to be open to so many new ideas and adventures....Including new dreams.

After college, a friend and I were enjoying some talk at a coffee shop. Suddenly we found ourselves discussing the possibility of starting an event business together. The idea was born from her love of baking and decorating and from my love of pretty things and organizing. We struggled on finding a name and figuring out how to get started. After about a month the idea was set on the back burner. Life pulled us in different directions and we decided to put the dream on hold for a little while. Fast forward to a few years later...

My dream for this little business never really went away. I would think about it often and entertain day dreams of what it would be like to be my own boss and do what I love every single day. Remember how my friend and I never thought of a name? Well one night I was dreaming and the name "Little Flower Studios" woke me from my sleep. I knew in my heart that if I ever started a business, that would be the name. Inspired by the little flower herself,  St. Therese of Lisieux (one of my patron saints). However, I was scared to take the plunge. What if I failed? What if no one liked my work? I held myself back and allowed doubt to dictate my choices. The idea was put on hold once again. Fast forward a little more...

In January of 2015 I read Lara Casey's book "Make It Happen". I then began to attend monthly meet ups inspired by this book, at a local coffee shop. I was introduced to an amazing group of women who were all there to support one another in pursuit of our goals. Suddenly Little Flower Studios seemed like maybe it could be a reality. I continued to see sign after sign that this was what I was supposed to be doing. It seemed that it was finally time to take the leap and make my dream a reality. I've always tried to live my life "in the moment". I think that I kinda got stuck there though. I thought that living in the moment meant being content where I was and not thinking too much about the future. And while I strongly believe that's a huge part of it, I've also realized that living in the moment means taking chances too. Living in the moment means that sometimes you have to take hold of the moment in front of you, take the leap, and trust.

Little Flower Studios

My original idea was an event planning business but that gradually changed over the years as well. I soon began to see that it was styling and decorating that I loved. Making sure that all the details are attended to and playing around with color palettes was something that excited me. I love seeing a styled photo come together like the pieces of a puzzle.

So with that said... I give you Little Flower Studios. A business inspired by the little way of St. Therese and her ability to find beauty in the smallest things. So head over to my brand new site and check it out! Tell your friends and follow the Little Flower Studios Instagram account for updates!

Little Flower Studios

Now before I go off and start my celebration of the American dream this 4th of July weekend, I need to thank some people... Thank you to all the wonderful ladies in my Make It Happen group. You are huge reason this dream is now "real life". Thank you to Theresa Delany (from that group) who helped me map out these last few months and is right there with me styling and taking pictures of our food. Thank you Patty (A Modern Grace) for being so encouraging and letting me bounce ideas off of you. A big thank you to Jenna Guizar for being so incredibly supportive and for coming to my rescue when I needed website help. And of course, the biggest thank you to my husband Andrew. Andrew designed my logo and has been cheering me on every step of the way.

Little Flower Studios

Finally, thank YOU for all your support. The fact that anyone takes time to read this little blog fills my heart with such gratitude. Cheers to the weekend friends!

~BM

Crafts, Lovely Details, Mom Life, Uncategorized

7 Tips For Better IPhone Pics & A Pretty Instagram Feed

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Ok so discloser first. I do not consider myself a professional photographer by any means. I enjoy taking pictures, especially nice ones. Over the past few years I've really discovered that not only is it something that I enjoy doing but I actually kinda love it. But more on that later.

Pictures taken with an actual camera are without a doubt much better than anything you'll take on your phone. However, at times it's so much easier to just whip out your phone to capture a moment (because lets be real, it's pretty much glued to the hand anyway) rather than hunt around frantically for your camera. Even here on the blog, you'll find that these days, most of my photos are from my phone. It's easier to edit photos while I'm nursing plain and simple. With that said... I am looking to invest in a DSLR for something pretty awesome I'm working on (yay for being vague!). So if you have any camera suggestions send them my way!

I've also realized that I have a pretty unhealthy obsession with Instagram. Like if you call me while I'm scrolling, I won't answer because I don't want to loose my spot. Yeah it's that bad. I know some people get a little down looking at Instagram because it's filled with so many pretty and seemingly perfect pictures and then your life suddenly feels messy and not Pinterest-y enough. I don't have that problem. I LOVE looking at all the "perfect" pictures. Maybe it's just because I'm a realist and I know that surrounding every pretty picture is some sort of mess. Messy house, messy room, messy desk, messy emotions etc. Whatever. I don't mind one bit that people use Instagram as a "highlight reel" because I know it's exactly that, just the highlights. And for whatever reason if you're super clean, and organized, and amazing, without a care in the world AND you post perfect pictures. Well more power to you. I'm fairly certain you aren't a real human but like I said,  all the more power to you. So when I post on Instagram I like putting my best foot forward. I like posting pictures I'm proud of in those little squares. I like to have a nice feed to look at. That's it. Nothing more.

So, for those of you who want to up your iPhoto/Instagram game, here are my 7 tips for better pictures with your iPhone...

1) Post whatever and whenever you want.

I know this seems like a no brainer but you'd be surprised at the mind set people have with Instagram. Afraid to over post or that their picture isn't good enough. WHO CARES PEOPLE. It's a simple social media site and that's it. Post pictures of what you love! If that's food, go for it. If that's of your cross-fit equipment, do it. Whatever! Don't post what you think people want to see. If they don't like what they see, all they have to do is simply "unfollow". Don't change who you are just to get "likes" on social media. That is literally the worst. Same thing goes if someone doesn't like you "spamming" their feed. Ok fine then stop following. It's just that simple. And please please don't delete a photo because it doesn't have enough "likes". That's taking away a little part of who you are because you think it's not good enough. Just be yourself. Whether that's posting every now and then or a few times a day... Just be authentic.

2) Natural Light

Ok. For reals tips... Here we go. Natural light is always best. If you're taking a picture of something inside your home, do it near a window. If you're outside, move into the shade so that you don't have the super harsh light making weird contrasts and shadows. Soft natural light is the first step to a good photo. This is a picture taken on the patio of a restaurant during the "golden hour" (5:00-6:00ish depending on where you live).

Tips for better iPhone photos

Soft clean light. This picture barely needed any editing. Same with these balloons.

Tips for better iPhone photos

See? Love that natural light.

3) My Favorite Apps

While filters are fun, you have to make sure you don't over do it. I look back at some of my early Instagram pics and LAUGH. I was filter crazy. So I really like apps that allow you to control how much filter you add to the pictures. I very rarely leave a picture with the filter turned all the way up. I use Snapseed, Afterlight, VSCOcam, and PicTapGo. For making collages or adding text I like Diptic and A Beautiful Mess.

4) Basic Adjustments

Before adding filters I like to play around with the basic adjustments first. Mess with the contrast, shadows, highlights and light. You'll be surprised at what a difference that can make. Sometimes after that you don't even need a filter. Also, be careful of making adjustments after you've added the filter. Sometimes that can make things look a little off. Or if you add a border make sure you add it after all the adjustments have been made, otherwise it discolors the outside.

5) Dealing with Indoor Lighting 

When you do end up taking a picture with indoor lighting it can come out a little yellow and/or dark. Playing with the highlighting can help that. In Afterlight you can change the highlight color to blue which cools the picture down and counters the yellow light. Like this!

Iphone photo tips

Then brighten it up!

iphone photo tips

That's what I did with this picture as well.

Before:

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After:

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See? A little better!

6) Pretty Feeds

Like I mentioned earlier I like having a nice Instagram feed and I love following other nice feeds too. My favorite accounts all have a "look". They either have a theme, a similar editing style to all their photos, or a focused content. Let me show you what I mean... When you glance at a feed you can just tell that the pictures are connected in some way.

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This feed is filled with bright colors and gold accents! All the pictures are different but they have a few things in common to weave them all together.

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This feed has lots of flat lays, florals, and views from above.

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Happily Grey incorporates lots of marble back drops and earthy tones. The saturation is also turned down just a hint in every picture. Giving everything a...well... "gray" vibe.

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Corynne Hogan's feed is all about that natural light, clouds, and open spaces.

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In Jenna Guizar's feed she puts a pretty hand lettered quote as every third picture as well as using borders to put her pictures in landscape format.

Back in February I started alternating between portraits and landscapes.

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It was fun while it lasted but then I just got bored with it and moved back to squares.

FullSizeRende//

Having a theme for your Instagram photos is fun and purely that. You don't need a theme by any means. It's just another way to try and stretch yourself creatively. Ya know, if you're into that sort of thing.

7) The Flat Lay

About a year ago I discovered the "flat lay" I actually didn't know what it was called until a few months ago but I knew it was taking pictures of things "laying flat" against a background (most commonly a white one). So I started using the white foam boards we have around the house (left over church posters) as backgrounds. It's been a learning curve for sure but it's one of my favorite ways to take pictures. Making the ordinary beautiful things of every day stand out just a little bit more.

Flat Lay

You can do a flat lay with just about anything. There are really no rules but having a theme or common color scheme in your flat lay can help. Like in the picture above ^^ I've got lot's of green going on with just a little bit of pink. The leaves and hemp help give it an earthy look. The teacup and candle are there to help you picture yourself in the woods, writing in your journal, with just this little light to guide your hand across the pages. Make sense? Each flat lay should tell a story or make you see everything as pieces of a puzzle coming together.

Well I hope these tips are helpful! The first one is really the most important. Just be authentic when taking photos. These are moments in time that you want to capture. If you want to share them that's great! But the vital thing is that it's a picture of something special to you.

~BM

Lovely Details

Thanksgiving Table Decor//On A Budget

Andrew and I are very blessed to have both sets of family here in town. We are never short on baby sitters or on delicious meals. However, that also means we always have somewhere to be on the holidays! I've come to terms with the fact that cooking a Thanksgiving dinner for just our little family may be a rare occurrence (which I'm totally fine with!)

I decided that I still wanted to play around with a "fall-ish" themed table setting just for fun. Then I thought it would be even more fun if I did it using (a majority) of things I already had. So I pulled together a bunch of random stuff from around the house (because I'm not super organized and it would just be too convenient to have all my fall stuff in one place) and set my  Thanksgiving Table!

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Ok so here is what I used, where I originally got it from, and the price (approximately)

Random Vases, Glasses and Jars//Goodwill-$6 total (I love hunting for treasure at Goodwill!)

Mason Jars//Walmart-$16 for 12 (I didn't buy them, we just have a few random ones from a church event.)

Cooper Mug//Target-$10.oo (A splurge from a few weeks back. You can find them for less at Home Goods.)

Florals//Hobby Lobby-on sale for $3 per bunch (I had about 4 bunches total that I cut and rearranged myself.)

Creme Brûlée Bowls//Target-$1 each (Love that dollar section!)

Plates//Target-$3 per plate (Same type that I used for my DIY jewelry tray!)

Napkins and Silverware//Party City-$10 for all of it. (These I technically bought for a get-together we had a few days prior.)

Cranberries// Trader Joes-$2 per bag (I only used a handful or so for the table. Not sure what to do with the rest.....Ideas?)

So that's that! Take a look around your house and I'm sure you'd be surprised at what you already have. That whole "nothing matches so it is therefore beautiful and rustic" is really popular on Pinterest right now. Which makes me happy because I can totally pull that together. Queen of random crap right here. If you decide to dress up your Thanksgiving table take a pic and tag me on the Instagramssss so I can see!

~BM