31 October 2012

wear // navy + black

glasses: c/o firmoo
necklace: forever 21
dress: boutique I can't remember the name of
bracelet: c/o minnie grace (giveaway here!)
polka dot tights: forever 21
booties: blowfish
ring: H&M 

I've been searching for polka dot tights that come in sizes instead of this "one size fits all" crap.  Thank you, Forever 21!  And I'm truly smitten with my new Firmoo glasses; they are non-prescription but I only need a prescription for reading and computer time, and sometimes I like the look of glasses as an accessory, so I'm excited that Firmoo offers its frames with non-prescription lenses.  Of course, you can also get them with prescription lenses, or as sunglasses (prescription or regular).  Hooray!

And I LOVE my Minnie Grace bracelet.  It's delicate and sweet and goes with everything.  I also really appreciate that I can put it on myself without someone else's help; the clasp is a pair of magnets so it's easy for me to snap it on solo!  Good thinking, Minnie.  Have you entered the giveaway for your choice of lovely jewelry from Minnie Grace's shop?  What are you waiting for?  Enter here!

Linking up with Lindsey...


Happy Wednesday, friends!  And HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!


30 October 2012

photography // insta-book.

I've used Blurb a few times now for publishing my photography portfolios to show to prospective clients and am always happy with the clean, professional, crisp look of these bookstore-quality lovelies.  Brides and grooms have been happy with these books, too -- they are a great option for sophisticated, affordable wedding albums and I love to offer them as my "classic album" option for clients.  Blurb's BookSmart editing tools are easy to use, too.  Just a good experience all around!

Then I found out that Blurb offers tools for creating books from your Instagram and Facebook photos, too!  Um, yes, please.  (You guys MUST notice how addicted I am to Instagram, right?)

And holy cow, is it easy to make!  Blurb's online Bookify tool (no need to download any software) connects to your Instagram account and automatically populates your Instagram images to a book.  Don't worry, it's crazy-simple to rearrange photos, layouts, and pages, as well as duplicate the images you love or delete the ones you don't.

You can view your book two pages at a time, like you're looking through a real book, or you can view all your pages and overall layout all at once:

I was a little nervous about image quality, since most of us know that our Instagram photos look great on our smartphones, but as soon as you enlarge them past the size of a credit card, the quality is questionable.  Luckily, because Blurb connects directly to your Instagram account, you're getting high resolution images printed to the page.  The photos in my book really look great -- better than I expected.

You can also change the number of images per page just by dragging and dropping photos, and you can add text, too (plus change fonts, colors, and sizes of your text).

I guess it's obvious by now, but I'm really happy with the way my book turned out, and the ease of the experience in making one in the first place.

So many of us are photographers via iPhone these days that we don't exactly have 4x6" prints to frame or scrapbook anymore.  Now, our lives are told through Instagram and Facebook.  Blurb's simple interface enables you to tell your story through images, arranged and displayed in the way you want; it's perfect for recording memories in the digital age, without those pesky trips to the one-hour photo at Walgreens.  And (no offense, Walgreens) these books by Blurb offer quality (and flexibility in options for printing and sharing, including the ability to make ebooks for iPad) that is unmatched by other printers and services.

I have a sneaking suspicion I'll be back for more Instagram books by Blurb.  The one I made was called "Spring and Summer 2012," and I'm sure there will be a "Fall and Winter" edition, and so on.

Happy bookmaking, friends!

Full disclosure: I received my Instagram book from Blurb for free, however the opinions expressed here are solely my own.  I mean, I really do love Instagram.  Remember this post?  Seriously.

handmade // minnie grace: a giveaway!

When Minnie Grace reached out to me across cyberspace, I knew I'd struck gold -- literally.  I'm so glad to have connected with Minnie Grace; her jewelry is delicate, chic, well-made, and just plain lovely.  Her bracelets and earrings come in an array of sweetly simple silver and gold combinations, with beading, charms, and letters to accent these charming baubles.

Oh, and did I mention?  Made in Italy.  Minnie Grace lives in Parma, just an hour and a half southeast of Milan.

I'm totally smitten with Minnie's gorgeous gold and silver bar bracelets, beaded in a variety of colors sure to complement your wardrobe (I LOVE mine in black and silver!  It's been on my wrist since the day it arrived in its lovely Italian post packaging!).

And you know how bracelets can be annoying as heck to put on, especially if you live alone and don't have a roommate or a boyfriend present to help you clasp or tie it on?  Fear not: Minnie's solved this conundrum with a magnetic clasp closure.  Your new bracelet is easy as pie to dress up your wrist before you whisk your lovely self out the door.

So check this out: Minnie Grace is giving one fabulous Anna Delores reader the opportunity to pick anything she wants from the Minnie Grace shop on Etsy!

All you have to do to enter is use the Rafflecopter form below; visit Minnie Grace's shop and let us know what you'll choose if you win the giveaway!  You must also be a follower of the Anna Delores blog.  Lots of optional extra entries, too.  Good luck!  (And don't forget to enter the October group giveaway, too -- ends tomorrow!).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

29 October 2012

life // seeing red.

I get the itch to color my hair every autumn.  It's my way of celebrating the arrival of my favorite season.  Normally, I just go a super-dark shade of brown, as close to black as I can get without it actually being black.

The images to your left show the difference between my natural color (left photo) and my almost-black shade of choice (right photo).

This year, however, I'm considering red.  I dabbled in red in high school, but it was more of the crimson variety.  I'm having a harder time finding those pictures, so you'll just have to use your imagination.  ;)  

Once in high school, I used a different hairdresser for 2.4 seconds and she gave me very orange-red hair, which I did not like.  Part of the problem was the cut itself, but I don't want to go too orange-y this time to avoid hair color regrets.

So, I'm in this very delicately-balanced zone of not too red, not too orange.  Here are my favorite looks I'll be taking to my stylist tomorrow; what do you guys think?

I think that second image is a winner for me right now, but any of these shades would work, I think.  I'll let you guys know how it turns out...!

weddings // mani Monday nails

Happy Monday, y'all!  I've been "Little Miss Weddings" lately as a bridesmaid, wedding photographer, and good ol'-fashioned wedding guest.  As a result, I wanted to share some of my favorite sightings of lovely wedding-appropriate manicures, courtesy of (what else?!) Pinterest!

I am generally in favor of crazy nails with bold colors, patterns and designs, and experimentation -- but NOT on your wedding day.  I found a lot of over-the-top ideas on Pinterest (just search "wedding nails" and you'll see what I mean) and some of them are borderline acceptable, but for the most part I think sticking with soft pink, blush, or peach tones is a good idea, or go with the good old-fashioned French tips.  My only exception to this (aside from subtle glitter) is going red.  It's still a classic shade and if it fits your wedding and your personality, go for it.

What do you think?  What did your wedding day manicure look like?  Would you rock a bold color or fancy design on your nails for your wedding?

Please, whatever you do, don't do this for your wedding.  Or ever.  I beg you.

Linking up with Heather & Heather!

26 October 2012

life // four things Friday

Happy Friday!

Here's what I've been up to all week... finishing up the e-session editing for this lovely couple:

...and editing my eyeballs off for an Indian wedding I did a few weeks ago.  This one was three-day celebration so I am wading through a TON of images!  I'll share a preview of those soon, too.

Now, for Friday's letters...

1. Dear Taylor Swift: I am smitten with the new album.  It's been on repeat all week and I'm not sick of it yet!  "I Knew You Were Trouble" is probably my favorite, but "Red" is pretty great, too, and I just love to sing the words to "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together."

2. Dear readers: I apologize for the Taylor Swift shoutout.  She's a guilty pleasure, and I was genuinely excited for her new album release this week.  I'm sorry if this deflates your opinion of me, but just remember we ALL have guilty pleasures... what's yours?

3. Dear Boo: I am SO HAPPY you're home!  I was so traumatized for awhile I'd never get to see you again.  I am still waiting to see if you were "away" to be bred, which would really upset me.  And you seemed so skittish and afraid when you came back, and you definitely lost some weight; what did they do to you, my sweet girl?  :(  I'm contemplating your capture so I can keep you safe, always.

Sweet puppy girl Boo, my neighbor's dog, returned home after 3 weeks looking skinny and scared.  :(

4. Dear new blog: thank you for being so pretty!  I've been yearning for you for awhile and you're finally here.  Many thanks also go to Minna So for designing the new Anna Delores logo!

I hope everyone has some fun weekend plans in store!  xoxo

Linking up with Ashley!

25 October 2012

giveaway // October group giveaway!

I have such a treat for you friends today!  My rad October sponsors have joined forces to bring you some generous ad space opportunities (plus two of the best Essie nail polishes ever, and a chance to guest post).  You've got a week to enter and lots of ways to rack up the entries, so get going!  And check out all their lovely blogs -- they're all in my weekly reads and will become your new favorite blogs, too.  :)

Quick note on the bow headband and nail polishes that are up for grabs: the hard-to-find (for me, at least!) Turquoise & Caicos + Tart Deco.  LOVE!  So excited that Adriana is offering these to the lucky October giveaway winner.  And Heather's adorable, perfect-for-fall Autumn Corduroy Bow is available in the winner's choice of one of three colors: plum, grey, or cranberry.  Yum!

In addition to all the marvelous ad space, nail polish, and the hair bow, Kristen of KV's Confessions is offering up a custom about/welcome design for the winner of the giveaway!  Or, if you prefer (i.e. you already have an about/welcome design that you love), Kristen can do another design element for you, like a set of social media buttons or a custom post signature!  Check out some of Kristen's work:

Kristen's past design work for Shardé from The Style Projects and Clara at Lucyndiamonds

Good luck, everyone!  And please don't forget to stop by all the blogs hosted by these amazing, gorgeous ladies--you won't regret it.  Just click their photo to be whisked away!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

24 October 2012

weddings // better picks for bridesmaids.

We've all seen poor Katherine Heigl in "27 Dresses" -- all the frocks she donned for friends' weddings were ones she'd never wear again (even though the brides promised otherwise).

Yikes.  Two of the hideous picks that Katherine's character Jane is forced to wear in the name of friendship.

I am LOVING the new trend toward (a) letting maids select their own dresses as long as they're in a particular color scheme or hue, and (b) opting for (often chicly mismatched) dresses from the likes of ModCloth, Ruche, and Shabby Apple (and so many more; although a bit more traditional than the previous mentions, I love J.Crew's wedding line, too).  Don't these bridesmaids look happier to you?

I think my hands-down favorite is ModCloth for bridesmaid dresses.  The delightful retro vibe in most of ModCloth's dresses pairs perfectly with the vintage-inspired weddings than have been so trendy (and continue to be popular -- I'm a fan myself) among brides over the last few years.  I think my favorite look is the deliberately mismatched bridal party, which certainly gives bridesmaids a broader range of options.

Here, I've curated a collection of patterns, but I think a variety of patterns mixed with solid colors works just as well.

Brides can still keep it semi-traditional (and consistent with wedding colors) with mismatched styles in coordinated colors, too (and, might I add, peach and blush are my favorite wedding colors lately!).  Yellow and gray is a big hit right now, too:

What do you think?  What did your bridesmaids wear, or are you planning a wedding and coming up for ideas for your maids?  Sound off below!

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