If this table could talk, by Ali Edwards {life, etc}

We’re so excited to feature guest blogger Ali Edwards today, as she shares her article If This Table Could Talk. We love the premise behind it, and can say with full certainty that our own furniture would tell some great stories, too!

We hope you enjoy this post as much as we did.

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"The things we own are pieces of our stories." - Ali Edwards

Today I want to celebrate this spot: our dining table.

This round black table hasn’t been around forever. In fact it was purchased in January 2012, a few months after Chris had moved out. The previous long rectangle table we owned together fit better in his house and I was open to getting a new one.

A fresh start for new stories.

Along the way I purchased some chairs from Ikea and the grey couch from Overstock.com (originally purchased for another room until I wondered if it would fit in this spot) which is definitely the favorite feature of the kids and the cat.

I love this space.

It gets used every day for meals, for conversation, for homework, for coloring, for reading. I love the windows that wrap around and the different light that comes in over the course of the day. I love opening the windows when it’s pouring rain just to hear the sound as it comes down through the trees and onto the patio or on those early days of spring and summer to bring in fresh air.

This table has seen and heard many things. Harsh words and kind words. Tears and laughter. Giggles and jokes between siblings. It’s been piled on and spilled on more times than I can count in it’s life with us. It’s been a resting place for adults and kids alike.

I take at least a couple photos there every month because it’s such an anchor in our lives.

Sometimes a kid or two is sitting there doing whatever it is they are into at the moment. Sometimes there’s simply evidence of our existence: books, computers, the newspaper, or a set table waiting for companionship. Sometimes I’ll place my camera on the kitchen counter and use the timer to make sure I’m captured in the mix.

The things we own are pieces of our stories.

If this table could talk it would tell stories of breakfasts, lunches, snacks, dinners, drinks consumed, old and new friends, lives shared, computers, newspapers, coffee, hot cocoa with marshmallows, coloring books, homework, Santa letters, cut flowers, plans made, books read aloud, laughter, tears, laughter that turns to tears, birthdays, wishes, legos built, taxes, best part of the day/worst part of the day sharing, strategies for getting Simon to try more foods, secrets whispered, frustrations expressed, forgiveness granted, Anna jumping up and down on the couch and me telling her to sit on her bottom (over and over again), holidays celebrated, songs sung, manners taught and re-taught, one too many bean & cheese tostadas to ever count and so much more.

 

"The things we own are pieces of our stories." - Ali Edwards

"The things we own are pieces of our stories." - Ali Edwards

"The things we own are pieces of our stories" -  Ali Edwards "The things we own are pieces of our stories" -  Ali Edwards

"The things we own are pieces of our stories" -  Ali Edwards

"The things we own are pieces of our stories" -  Ali Edwards

"The things we own are pieces of our stories." - Ali Edwards

"The things we own are pieces of our stories." - Ali Edwards

"The things we own are pieces of our stories." - Ali Edwards

"The things we own are pieces of our stories." - Ali Edwards

Is there a story you can tell about a piece of furniture or an area in your house? What stories would that piece/space tell if it could talk?

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Thanks for sharing, Ali!

This article originally ran on Ali Edwards’ blog. See the original post with more photos here.

Fun & bright Halloween colors {color mixer}

A few weeks ago, Emily posted an awesome Halloween party color palette that unexpectedly used pink instead of purple—such a fun departure from the normal, traditional Halloween colors.

It inspired me to see what other unexpected color palettes were out there for Halloween, and I came across this one that uses primary colors. I love the extra zest that the gold adds to the palette, but you could easily leave it out, and it would be perfect for a kids’ party!

A fun and bright Halloween color palette #halloween #color #inspiration #gold

Photo courtesy of Studio DIY

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Looking for more inspiration? Take a look at all our color palettes, or see more Halloween posts!

Easy photo editing: How to color correct using free software

Learn how to color correct your indoor and outdoor photos in 3 quick steps using free photo editing software!

Last week, I shared a quick tutorial on how to save a dark photo, and today I wanted to show you easy photo editing tips to correct color problems.

As I mentioned in the dark photo tutorial, two of the most common problems are that outdoor photos look too c0ol (have a blue-ish tint) and indoor photos look too warm (yellow tint). With 3 easy steps, I was able to correct the color in my photos and have them looking great in no time!

I made all my edits using iPiccy, but there are also a handful of other free programs available with similar features, and they’re listed at the bottom of this post. Read More »

Halloween Ideas {friday finds}

Halloween is so close I can almost taste the candy! If only it were still acceptable for me to go trick or treating ;)

After having our first baby just three months ago, I’ve been pretty short on time, so I’ve been searching for quick and easy Halloween ideas.

If you’re looking for a costume, a no carve pumpkin idea, or a fun and festive treat, check out the super-cute ideas below. (P.S. How adorable are those ghost marshmallows?!)

Clever Where's Waldo Halloween costume for the whole family     Easy Halloween costume for kids! Duct Tape skeleton costume DIY

Adorable Halloween DIY - Donut Pumpkins!     DIY no-carve pumpkins | Ombre Spiderwebs

Candy corn pudding pops - perfect for a kids Halloween party snack!     Halloween hot cocoa DIY using food color marker & marshmallows

From top left:

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How to save a dark photo with free software

Learn how to save your underexposed photos with this step-by-step tutorial!

Over the years, I’ve had plenty of family and friends ask me for help fixing their photos—saving a great shot that came out too dark, cropping, resizing, removing a blemish—you name it and I’ve been asked to do it. As much as I love helping them out, I wanted to see if resources existed for them to do it on their own, without needing Photoshop or other expensive editing software.

This past week, I did some research and tested out several free photo-editing programs to see if I could create great looking photos without Photoshop. You can see from above that it’s totally doable!

First up, I want to share how to save a dark photo, since this seems to happen a lot. I’ll also be sharing some quick, simple editing tips later this month, so stay tuned for more!

I’ll be making all my edits using the free online photo editing program iPiccy, but there are a handful of other free programs available with similar features, and they’re listed at the bottom of this post.

Read More »

The ultimate guide to a successful family photo shoot

The ultimate guide to a successful family photo shoot! 22 resources to help with everything from finding a photographer to printing your photos

The experience of getting family photos taken be really fun, but it can also be a little stressful. After all, there’s a lot of stuff to think about! How do you find a good photographer? What do you wear? How do you make sure your kids will behave?

The best way to cut down on the stress and have a successful session is to be informed and prepared. And, because I don’t want you to have to scour the internet searching for articles on everything from choosing a photographer to prepping your family to ordering prints, I’ve compiled this handy list for you!

So, read, enjoy, and have a fun and stress-free family photo shoot!

The basics

Choosing a photographer

Preparing for your session

Looking your best

After your session

If there’s any other information that you think I should add, let me know in the comments!

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How to choose a photographer for your family pictures

6 tips on how to choose a photographer for your family pictures

So, you’ve decided that you want to get professional family photos taken. Hooray! There’s nothing like being able to decorate your house (and your holiday card) with new, shiny pictures—not to mention the joy they’ll bring your future-self when you look at them years from now.

If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably been busy pinning inspiring photos of beautiful families, in beautiful clothes, in front of beautiful sunsets. Maybe you can even imagine your own family, laughing effortlessly and looking all stock photo-y, like one of those families that come with the frame. I’m right there with you.

So, how do you make sure you pick the right photographer—the one that can deliver exactly what you have in mind?

Have no fear. Here are a few tips to help you get started on your search, narrow down the list, and find the best match for your family photos.

Ok, let’s dive in!

Read More »

A trendy Halloween color palette {color mixer}

Every year, I host a Halloween party, and I’m always in search of an updated color palette to use as inspiration. This one definitely caught my eye, mostly because it uses pink instead of purple. It’s a refreshing change to traditional Halloween colors, and still festive enough to make your party feel Halloween-y.

I especially love this bright and fun palette if you’re planning a “not too scary” party, like me. I’ve never been big on the scary aspect of Halloween, so I always try to keep things as light and fun as possible ;)

A trendy color palette for Halloween #halloween #color

Photo courtesy of Ruth Eileen via Style Me Pretty

I hope this Halloween color palette gets you in the mood for party-planning!

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Looking for more inspiration? Take a look at all our color palettes, or see more Halloween posts!

No-carve, low-mess pumpkin painting!

No knife, no mess. Check out this super-easy pumpkin painting project!

Jack-o’-lanterns have certainly earned their place as a seasonal staple, but if your past experiences have been anything like mine, the process typically turns into quite the event. Goo winds up everywhere, rogue seeds are found months later, and most importantly, assistance and serious supervision is required when working with little ones. So, if you’re looking for an easy trade-off with less of the mess and no sharp tools, here’s my colorful, pumpkin painting solution!

No knife, no mess. Check out this super-easy pumpkin painting project!

Supplies:

  • Small Pumpkins or Squash
  • White, Black and Neon Acrylic Paint
  • Paper Plates
  • Electrical Tape
  • Large Paint Brushes

Read More »

Hello, October 2014 {a free desktop calendar download}

Celebrate October with this free desktop and phone wallpaper!

Today, we’re happy to share the second installment of our Desktop Beautification Project.

October means fall is officially here, and it also brings a staff favorite holiday: Halloween! I hope this desktop and phone wallpaper help to get you in the fall and Halloween spirit. But if you’re not quite ready for Halloween season, you can still download our fall flowers phone wallpaper here.

Enjoy!

Celebrate October with this free desktop and phone wallpaper!

October 2014 Calendar

2560 x 1440 // 1680 x 1050 // 1440 x 900 // 1280 x 800 // phone

For help on how to install, click here.

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