30 March 2012

happy birthday!

Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy biiiiiirthdaaayyyy ANNA DELORES, happy birthday to you! Anna Delores Photography turns ONE today. :)

nailed it!

I have stumbled upon so much crazy-awesome nail art on Pinterest that it astounds me.  I've added many a nail tutorial to my "Try This Out" board on Pinterest and I FINALLY picked one to execute. 

This time around, partially because it was my "virgin" attempt at creative nail art and partially because I simply don't have the most beautiful digits, you don't get pictures of MY hands.  But honestly, they look pretty darn close to the image below from The Dainty Squid.  I used the same color Kaylah did: Essie's "Sew Psyched."  For the nude-ish base, I used Essie's "Sand Tropez."

"Sew Psyched"
I will confess that I had to try this twice -- I am quite impatient and I didn't wait long enough for my "Sand Tropez" coat to dry before I put the reinforcement ring stickers on and painted my half-moon "Sew Psyched."  I ended up with a bit of the nail polish peeled off and a LOT of bubbles after I applied the top coat (though I can't quite explain the mechanics of that).  So, I started over with some nail polish remover, applied two coats of "Sand Tropez" and a couple drops of Nicole drying drops to each nail, and wait a full 24 hours before adding the "Sew Psyched."

Despite the hiccup in my first semi-failed attempt, the second time around worked pretty well!  Like I said, they look just like Kaylah's (photo below).

Here's the original tutorial post; in Kaylah of The Dainty Squid's words, "I'm a little tardy to the party with this whole using paper reinforcement sticker to make perfect little half moons thing."  Better late than never, right?

source: The Dainty Squid

Some other random yet critical (relatively speaking) pieces of advice I've gleaned in my new-found love of creative nail art:
  • Scotch tape works better than other brands of tape (less residue and tacky-ness left over)
  • Reinforcement ring stickers should be staged stuck to your skin before going on the nails to lessen the above-mentioned residue left behind on nails
  • Drying drops are a well-manicured girl's best friend (though from personal experience they're not 100% fool-proof, i.e. they don't make it safe to pull on your jeans right away--you still gotta wait it out!)
  • Confetti nails can be achieved with a nail dotter, which is also helpful for marbled nails -- using the nail dot tool seems easier to me than the whole polish-in-water marbling technique!

Here are a TON of other lovely ideas for you to run with.  Let me know (and share results) if you try any of these!

source: The Cherry Blossom Girl

gold leaf manicure tutorial from The Beauty Department

Essie Marshmallow + Essie Aperitif {A Vain Woman}

nautical nails tutorial, again from The Beauty Department

Accent nail -- from Goose's Glitter

I love this, but pretty sure THIS do-it-yourself is outta my league.

28 March 2012

word wednesdays.

There are a few quotes that I treasure in particular, and I've come across some Etsy artisans who've chosen to immortalize these lovely words with their craft.  Just wanted to share a few of my favorites. 

Last but not least, this one is my all-time favorite quote. EVER.

27 March 2012

nook & sea :: Giveaway winner!

Many thanks to everyone who entered the nook & sea giveaway last week!  Congrats to Ms. Chris Vaughn, winner of Kristina's custom chalkboard wine bottle. :)

24 March 2012

Kony 2012

I don't usually get particularly political around these parts, but I do think this video (albeit long) is a worthwhile message to share. I hope you'll check it out.

23 March 2012

old post revisit: Doing it myself.

So I posted back in October of my DIY incompetence, and I just laughed out loud at this Pinterest pin from my friend Jen, as this sums it up perfectly:

That's all for now.  Just thought you might enjoy a giggle with me.  :)  Courtesy of Craft Fail.


21 March 2012

giveaways galore!

There are lots of rad giveaways happening in lots of equally rad places this week!  Here's a peek:

Sponsor giveaways at The Wonder Forest (featuring yours truly and TONS of other lovely shops!)

Remember the nook and sea giveaway, too!  Helllloooooo, new home decor (plus DIY tips to make your own)!

Julie Ann Art is also sponsoring a fab giveaway for a FULL MONTH in celebration of her blog's first anniversary: $50 to ModCloth!  What are you waiting for?!

Last but certainly not least, Lesli over at "A Little Umbrella" is hosting a giveaway for a $35 shop credit to mod. which has the BEST. camera. straps. EVER!  I have the black, white, and red houndstooth strap and I'm totally obsessed with it!  Whatever your camera, you need one of these, trust me.

Have fun, friends!

20 March 2012

princess parties.

Last week I wrote a guest post about cocodot, the (unfortunately now defunct) online invitations and entertaining in style website, on Kristina's blog, nook & sea.  THIS week, I bring you more cocodot magic, this time in the form of perhaps the best party theme ever, kids and adults alike: princesses.

Part of my obsession with cocodot's "Princess Party" inspiration post is that my sweet baby cousin Rowan was part of the photo shoot!  Is she the cutest two-year-old kiddo you've ever seen, or what?!  Yeah, we're related.

The polka dot rain boots might be my favorite part of the outfit. 

cocodot offers plenty of inspiration for throwing your own princess party -- a birthday celebration fit for the little royalty in your family (and I haven't ruled out the princess theme as a contender for the bridal shower I'm responsible for this September!).  

Before we wrap up, more photos of my darling cousin.  Enjoy!

19 March 2012

nook & sea :: Giveaway

I am SUPER excited to host Kristina of nook & sea and her very cool chalkboard wine bottles!  And guess what?  She's giving one away to a lucky Anna Delores reader!

Kristina offers a great DIY tutorial for making these bottles yourself at home on her blog, nook & sea, {here} -- amazing!  But if you're like me (the LAZY type) and you'd rather WIN your way to chic crafty decor, use the Rafflecopter form below to enter!

The winner can select whether they want a chalkboard bottle that is finished for display (written on with white paint marker and sealed with a clear varnish to avoid smear/fade/chip wear-and-tear), or have the bottle ready to customize with regular chalk (spray painted with chalkboard paint, but without clear varnish so you may write on it. This one will come with chalk).

Fine print: Domestic (U.S.) entries only, please -- international shipping is not available for this giveaway.  :)

For more great DIY ideas and tutorials, stalk Kristina on Pinterest (and elsewhere):

          Twitter: @KristinaMGulino

a Rafflecopter giveaway

18 March 2012


I think I'm going to get me some bangs.  What do you think?  I'm aiming for the heavy, eye-lash grazing, half-moon bangs.  I considered cutting them myself except I have zero hair-cutting skill, no patience, and I need an all-over trim anyway, so might as well head to the salon, right?


16 March 2012

photography // in good company.

My super-rad Los Angeles-based Etsy photographer friend Myan Soffia was recently featured on Dianna Agron's blog, You, Me & Charlie (I am patiently awaiting my own feature there, too!).  Anyway, Myan shared an image of her workspace and was lovely enough to give a shout out to the photographers whose prints decorate her office wall!  I'm proud to have "The Cellist" on display in Myan's home, and with other notables like Irene Suchocki, Lola's Room, and Susannah Tucker nearby, I'd say I'm in pretty good company.

14 March 2012

wedding wonders with Kristina + Eric: guest post!

Hello, Anna Delores readers! I'm Kristina, writer behind the Southern California decor and lifestyle blog, Nook & Sea. I'm so grateful to Emily for inviting me to share my wedding experience with you. My biggest hope is that it will provide a little direction, inspiration and helpful insight for any of you brides-to-be (or just be a fun story to read) :]

My husband and I were married October 24, 2010, overlooking the glittering harbor in Dana Point, CA. It had rained almost the entire week; yet on the day of the wedding, there was a window of sunshine and warmth that lasted just until we were on our way to the airport for our honeymoon. It couldn't have been more perfect!

So where does one get married in Orange County with a million-dollar view (without the million-dollar price tag)? At the start of our planning, I admit to being a little unsure about the venue. The word "restaurant" doesn't usually come off as wedding-appropriate; but I'm living proof (well, I guess the photos are) that everything at the Chart House Restaurant was truly FANTASTIC.  Its management and was so familiar with hosting weddings every weekend (literally - we saw the calendar), and it showed as the day went on seamlessly, professionally, and elegantly (not to mention the food was bomb).

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My favorite aspect of this venue were the numerous locations our guests could enjoy themselves. People could venture out the grass and look at the ocean, grab a drink in the bar, wander into the entertaining area with the band, or mingle with guests in the main dining room. For us, having this freedom (compared to a more formal ballroom-like venue) was such a huge appeal.

My husband, Eric, and I had been together for 9 years prior to our engagement (and had been to a LOT of weddings), so by the time we began planning for our own wedding, we knew what aspects we wanted and which ones we would rather go without.

Some non-traditional choices, for example: we had no flower girl or ring bearer (kids? too much work); preferred live Jack Johnson-esque music by Kai Kalama and his brother over a DJ (which we were sure would probably coordinate our grand entrance to the Space Jam theme song - I've seen it happen before), had cupcakes (made by a friend!) and Italian gelato instead of wedding cake (Ok, so we did use a cake-top for the cutting at our parents request) and didn't share any first dances - yup, that's right - not one!

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And while that last bit may seem a little unconventional, there's one thing we really wanted to stick to - being ourselves. For two goofy best friends to take a serious star-gazed dance surrounded by a million people ... it was too far from our natural character, so we decided to nix it (luckily, our parents were cool with this decision, which made it even better)!

So if there's one piece of advice that I could give couples about to get married, it would be: don't do anything you're not comfortable with. Whatever it is, it will be awkward to do, awkward to watch, and awkward in photos. You want to be joyous and authentic, so do what's right for you! :]

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My jewelry and accessories were definitely a fun and meaningful part of my attire. Julie Carson, seriously talented crafting lady and author of the blog, Joy's Hope; created my hairpiece, necklace and all my bridesmaid necklaces as well. She'd even sent the pieces to Texas to have the beading completed - all as my wedding gift. Julie and I have known each other since before Eric and I started dating. She practically watched the whole thing play out and was a huge mentor in my life. Her husband, Jason, was our youth pastor for 4 years our officiant! It couldn't have been more special to have them both there.

Decor, of course my biggest passion for the wedding, turned out incredible! I really wanted arrangements that were contemporary, fresh, and with a slight hint of Disney (yes, I actually said that - Disneyland was a huge part of our lives)! So for the florist to add apples (reminiscent of Snow White), candelabras (ode to The Haunted Mansion), and color without being cheesy was a ginormous plus. It was simply stunning!

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Of course, I could go on and on about our big day. I am incredibly thankful to our parents for throwing everything together and blessing us throughout our relationship. God is so good!

(But if I may throw this last bit in...could you believe my mom found my shoes at Old Navy?!)

Again, thanks to Emily for allowing me share with you today!

What aspects of your wedding were your best-kept secrets? If you're in the planning mode now (or into dreamy "Pinterest" planning), what things have you always wanted to have or do? I'd love to hear!

Have an awesome rest of the week, and do pop by the blog to say hello!
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