15 August 2013

no more updates here -- please visit the new blog!

Just to reiterate the announcement from Monday, the Anna Delores blog has a NEW HOME on the world wide web.  Please update your bookmarks and Bloglovin' accounts as needed!

It's hard to leave this blog behind, but it's because I'm on to bigger and better adventures.  Thank you to everyone for their love and support -- I've gotten more from blogging than I ever thought possible!


12 August 2013

it's finally here!

Friends!  Countrymen!  Lend me your ears.

Sorry, I couldn't help it.

But seriously.

It's ready!  My new site + blog is ready to go!

This means I won't be posting updates here any more.  It's a little bittersweet to leave my old blog behind, but I remind myself that it's because I'm moving on to bigger and better things.  Like cool new websites and a new blog where everything can be housed under the same roof.

So please, update your Bloglovin' stalking accordingly, because I'm coming back to Blogland!  I've missed you all so much! 

See you on the other side (i.e. over here).


28 June 2013

life lately // studio progress

I've been quiet about our studio around here, but it is NOT for lack of progress!  We are almost at 100% and have even started holding client meetings there -- it's SO exciting, and a little surreal.

Here are some more glimpses of the studio space (via Instagram, of course).  :)

1. our sweet little washroom (I like to call it a washroom instead of a "bathroom" because I think it sounds fancier)
2. joelle's calligraphy for a quick in-studio photo shoot we did a couple weeks ago
3. amy's pre-wedding prep (i.e. huge flower delivery).  sharing a space with a florist is great fun!
4. leo is our resident carpenter and has built about half of our furniture: coffee table, cabinets, and community table!
5. snippets of our small private office space within the larger studio.
6. the "lounge" area, where I've held all my client meetings thus far.  I love it all.

And check out this rad little video tour that Joelle took of our studio!  I was skeptical about video on Instagram, but I will admit that it's a bit easier than switching over to Vine to post and view videos.  :)

26 June 2013

weddings // BHLDN show

It has been a LONG time since I've done a "life via Instagram" recap around here!  And since I've taken way too many photos since my last post to share all of them with you here (trust me, you'd hate it), I'm able to pick a theme for my Instagram images to share.

Since it's technically Wedding Wednesday, I wanted to share some highlights of the BHLDN fashion show with you guys!  Last week, Joelle and I were invited to check out the new space where BHLDN's "shop in shop" (it's going to be on the mezzanine of the current Anthropologie store in Beverly Hills) will be located.  The grand opening is July 10 and I cannot wait!

I think there were at least four or five different dresses coming down the runway for which I leaned over to Joelle and whispered ferociously, "that one is totally my favorite!"

My ACTUAL favorite has to be this lovely gem right here (very Kate Middleton, no?).  There was also a close relative of this dress that was sleeveless -- also amazing.

Last week, BHLDN invited a bunch of bloggers and wedding folks to the new space to enjoy some light snacks, champagne, the Anthro store all to ourselves, and, of course, the newest release of gorgeous wedding gowns.  I was pleasantly surprised by how many new designs there are going to be. 

Anyway, on to the Instagrams.  Some of these are actually Joelle's or taken by other ladies attending the event -- all are linked to the original Instagram accounts from which they came.  :)

images from joelle duff, bhldn, and annadelores on Instagram
many more if you search #bhldnla on Instagram!

25 June 2013

mani monday // on a tuesday.

As most of you know (or at least have guessed), blogging has been sort of on the back-burner for me.  Which means I forgot which day of the week it was yesterday, and I failed to schedule this li'l post about my peachy manicure in time for Mani Monday.

Better late than never?

And this is also a terrible photo.  AND, while I was searching for the bottle of color so I could tell you the name of it, I spilled OPI's Lincoln Park After Dark all over my floor.  This is the second bottle of LPAD that has broken on my bedroom floor.  It's a good thing the flooring is old, crappy, faux tile.  *Sigh*

Anyway.  This little chica is Clara from Julep.  I am a HUGE fan of peach lately.  Without realizing it, I went for peach when it came time to design my logo for this blog and my photography business.  And I just LOVE it.  Pairing it with gray just feels right for my brand. 

I also love peach paired with pretty much any other color for weddings.  Navy and peach is my ultimate favorite color combo at the moment.

Go visit Heather and check out the other manicures linked up for Mani Monday!  Who actually followed instructions and posted on a Monday.  :)

16 June 2013

big decisions // new blog.

Okay, I KNOW I have been a pretty serious slacker with this blog lately.  I've been apologizing for months about inconsistency in blogging frequency, and of course you guys remember this post in which I debated the pros and cons of moving this blog into the "next phase" of my small business/self-employed life...

Heck, I'm even going to re-use the same graphic I created for that post!

After a lot of self-reflection, inner dialogue, and discussions with friends and colleagues, I've decided that I am definitely merging Anna Delores into a single, unified blog.  And it will most likely be located at this address.

But that's not all.

I initially reached out for BLOG ONLY design advice and assistance with transferring this blog's content to Wordpress and merging it with my photo blog's content (also in Wordpress).  So, only BLOG stuff.

I didn't want to mess with www.annadelores.com because, well, that's a lot of work.  And I'm comfortable with the back-end administration of my current website host, so I wanted to leave "well enough" alone.

But I'm really not a "well enough" kind of person.  When I decide I want to do something, or that it's time to make a change, I usually plunge head-first.  I was trying to mitigate that natural tendency in myself by taking baby steps with a website/blog overhaul, but here's the thing (well, two things):
  1. It's actually a better financial investment to do it all at once.  If I hire someone twice, I'm paying for two different projects.  I'm also potentially hiring different people depending on the circumstances, so there's the opportunity for gaps in design flow and discrepancies with other nitty-gritty web design elements I know nothing about. 

  2. I've been sitting on these ideas for months now.  I've had trial subscriptions to a number of other web design sites (like SmugMug and ProPhoto) to see how I felt about those hosts, and I just didn't have the time to test-drive them to my satisfaction.  And I've been unhappy with some of the limitations of my current website for awhile now, and I think I'm finally fed up enough to do something about it.

So I'm ready.  It's happening.  I'm going to pull the trigger this week.  I'm going to be MIA for awhile (yes, more than usual) but I'll pop back in to let you know when all the new goodies are up and running and ready for your enjoyment.

In the meantime, if you want to keep following me on Bloglovin', please do so by subscribing to the blog address that the new blog will soon occupy.  If that makes sense.  Just do it.

And thank you for your patience.  Those of you reading this post are definitely the ones who matter to me, because you're sticking it out while I struggle to figure out a direction for growth.  It truly means the world to me.


10 June 2013

mani monday // coco

For this week's Mani Monday, I went pretty basic (but still a little sexy) with Julep's "Coco", a dark oxblood crème from their 1920s-inspired collection.

Sometimes it looks more burgundy-red, other times it looks more closely-related to a rich chocolate brown.  I LOVE shades that are so dark they're almost black if you don't look closely enough, and I think Coco is an especially seductive example.

Remember to share your manicures with Heather and me!

03 June 2013

mani monday // nautical navy

I'm a little obsessed with the nautical-inspired fashion and colors that emerge in the approach of Independence Day every year.  Julep's June Maven box, with their "Nantucket Nostalgia" theme, hit the nail on the head with this one! 

I mean, they even included salt water taffy!  Yes.  And please.

I went back and forth on which color I wanted to try first (I know, first world problems).  I felt like trying a dark color, and I'm pretty much ALWAYS on board with anything navy blue, so I opted for Char.

And there was a big red bow ring I was eyeing at Old Navy yesterday that I think will totally complete this manicure.  So I'm off to buy it before I meet the lovely Alyssa Armstrong for coffee.

Mani Monday

Remember to link up with me and Heather (her Hello Kitty mani this week is the CUTEST!).

23 May 2013

blogging // one or two?

I've been going back and forth, back and forth over the past few months about the topic I'm sharing today: whether to continue maintenance of my two current blogs (this one you're reading right now, as well as my photo blog: www.annadelores.com/blog), or to merge the two into one blog for ease of upkeep, reducing the possibility of reader and photography client confusion (why the heck does this chick keep up two separate blogs with the same name?  What a weirdo.), and to preserve my own sanity.

I started THIS blog as a supplement to my Etsy shop back in 2010.  I saw it as a necessary social media add-on if I wanted to integrate into the handmade community.  Since then, the Anna Delores blog has evolved in a variety of ways, from a focus on handmade shops and products, to a shift toward lifestyle and giveaways, and now a heavier focus on weddings (with lifestyle, giveaways, and admittedly random musings thrown in).  

Ironically, the "ding" of an Etsy sale no longer holds the thrill it used to (not to say that I'm not grateful for every sale!  I'm just more focused on portraiture and weddings these days), but this blog is still very near and dear to me.

I'm truly fascinated and inspired by the community of folks I've met through my blog.  I've met a lot of blogger friends in real life, and no matter what happens to this blog, I intend to keep in touch with those people.  I've even been blessed and honored with the privilege of photographing the weddings of a few fellow bloggers!  I'll be working with Lauren in September and Evani next June.  I mean, is that awesome or what?!  I've had the amazing experience of photographing Kristen, Sandy, Gina, Lizzie, and others, and I met fellow wedding pro Joelle through our mutual love for both blogging and weddings.  We were blog friends long before we realized that we lived in the same county, and because of Joelle I've met a ton of other wedding professionals in my area and have a new studio space that I'm so incredibly proud to be part of.  And I've met a ton of rad people just to meet up and bond over blogging!

So, really, I could never place a premium on the value of the experiences I've had as a result of blogging.  I'm not a religious person, but if this blog hasn't been a blessing to me, then I don't know what is!


As a result, I am not at all looking to abandon this blog.  That is not the debate of the day.  What I would much rather do is move the Anna Delores blog to a new domain name and combine it with the photo blog (so, it would ultimately would be a combo lifestyle/wedding/photo blog, which I guess it already sort of is).  The layout would be a little simpler and more streamlined so that folks who find me via www.annadelores.com, when looking for a professional wedding photographer, aren't caught off-guard by what sometimes feels like clutter on the sidebar.

The drawback is that there are some blogging themes I'd likely abandon, if not at least decrease in frequency, as a result of linking the Anna Delores blog to my web portfolio photo blog.  For example, I think I'd likely refrain from discussing weight loss and that genre of personal topics.  There's a fine line there, because I'd still blog about my personal life to an extent; I think especially with one's wedding photographer, getting to know your wedding vendors is something that prospective clients are interested in.  Right?  I think Joelle executes this very well, and I know that there are a few others I've encountered that I admire in terms of the personal-professional balance (I just can't recall them at this precise moment). 

Anyway, I'm in the process of finding someone to provide some assistance with transition to WordPress, as well as getting a new domain and linking it up to my website.  If you've worked with anyone you'd recommend, send me an e-mail!  :)

What do you think?  Will you still be a reader if/when this transition occurs?

22 May 2013

photography // luke turns two

Today I wanted to share some fun photos of sweet Luke, who I've had the pleasure of getting to know the past few months -- I've started moving into a studio space with his mama, the lovely Amy of Stella Bloom Designs.

If Luke can feel like he's helping with something (carrying around the Styrofoam padding from a furniture delivery, for example) or being productive by hammering into some cardboard boxes, he's a happy camper.  Here he is helping Amy style a bridal bouquet for a styled inspiration shoot we did recently:

And here are a few candid photos I snapped of Luke during our shoot at McCormick Home Ranch in Camarillo (peeks at the shoot itself coming soon!).

And happy belated birthday to Luke, who turned two just this past week!

Is he a cutie or WHAT?!

20 May 2013

mani monday // au naturel

Once in awhile, you just gotta go bare.

au na·tu·rel (adjective \ˌō-ˌna-tə-ˈrel, -ˌna-chə-\)
     a : being in natural style or condition
     b : nude

This week, I just left 'em naked.  I did some first aid on my cuticles and tried to wear those aloe-infused gloves with cuticle oil and hand cream as often as I could (i.e., whenever I remembered to slather on some lotion before bed).  

My favorite tools for natural mani maintenance?  So glad you asked!

1. cuticle pusher
2. cuticle nippers
3. nail buffer block
4. moisturizing gloves
5. cuticle oil
6. nail file

What did YOU wear this week?  Link up below!

17 May 2013

photography // father-daughter first look

I photographed a wedding last month, during which the bride requested doing a first look with her dad before the ceremony.  Best. Idea. Ever.

She also did a first look with her groom, which was also very sweet, but I think you'll agree that these first look photos between father and daughter are pretty tough to beat...

Why do a "first look"?  Check out this blog post I wrote in January.

Want more lovely "first look" images?  I have a whole Pinterest board dedicated to them!

And, of course, more images from this wedding at Murrieta Equestrian Center coming soon!  Many thanks and much love to Alyssa and Andrea for joining me and being awesome second and third shooters.

13 May 2013

mani monday // Julep weddings.

For this week's Mani Monday, I wanted to share Julep's tips for getting a "ring-finger ready" manicure (i.e., tips for a flawless wedding day manicure)!

Julep's Beauty Buzz blog features an easy, step-by-step, 30-day timeline for making sure bridal (and bridesmaid, mother of the bride, flower girl...) manicures are in optimal condition for ceremony, cocktails, and reception.  Check out the post for the details on what Julep recommends for wedding-day prep (and even though this post says it was written by Emily R., it's not me!).  :)

Julep also has a Wedding Suite on their site for easy shopping suggestions for nail colors on your big day (with cute wedding-themed names for these mini-collections, like "Tie the Knot" and "A Little Something Blue").

{ natural wedding chic collection }

Julep's suggestions range from classic, barely-there neutrals (the "Natural Wedding Chic" trio is a perfect combo!) to bolder big-day choices like "Reception Red" and "Special Occasion" (I REALLY want Billie Jean for myself for ANY occasion, thankyouverymuch).

Remember to link up below to share your mani-related blog posts with me and Heather!

08 May 2013

giveaway // celebrating Chelsea's birthday

Who doesn't like to win some big cash money?  I sure do.

The lovely Chelsea recently turned 22 (she's trying to call herself "old," but my 29 years say otherwise!), and obviously the best way to celebrate is by throwing up some dollar bills.  That's $230 dollar bills, to be exact.  Not actually throwing them up in the air for you to scramble and collect, but throwing into a pile for you to win.  Making sense?  Nope.  Enjoy!


06 May 2013

mani monday // wedding nails

Happy Mani Monday, everyone!  Now that wedding season is getting underway, I thought I'd re-share some of my favorite wedding-perfect manicures (via Pinterest, of course!). 

Generally-speaking, I love off-the-wall nails with bold colors 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, 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 a little bit of glitter) is going red.  It's a classic shade and if it fits your wedding and your personality, go for it.

I have mixed feelings about matching nail polish with your wedding colors... what do you think?

Link up with Heather and I below!

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