christmas cards 2014

My Octobers, Novembers, and Decembers are usually packed with holiday card designs. Each year I have plans of photographing each design, but in practice, time always slips away and I either don't get a sample of the printed cards or just don't take the time to have them photographed. With my family's cards, however, it is easy to get samples and have my sister snap photos of them. So inevitably, you can expect to find their's here on the blog and in my portfolio!

My mom desired a simple card this year, and she wanted the color photo to take center stage. That meant a simple type overlay of "MERRY CHRISTMAS" and our names on the front. On the back, a short note about the year's happenings and a couple more photos. The watercolor branch was originally meant for the front, but to allow the photo to shine (and due to all the foliage in the background of the photo), it worked best on the back.

My sister had a simple design in mind, too, incorporating some type and a diamond pattern. The dark green lettering complimented the greens and yellows in their gorgeous photo well. We went with a while envelope because we could not find a good source for dark, dark green ones (a first choice).

You can see more of my holiday card designs from years past here.

christmas cheer + printable gift tags

photo courtesy of Jackie Rueda on Flickr
I have some really fun posts from Christmases past; I went through my archives and picked some of my favorite oldies, but goodies.

Think Christmas // a Pinterest Christmas image collage from 2012
2012 Christmas card reveal // the card that revealed we were expecting Raffa!
Christmas Photos for Christmas Cards // about my family's tradition (dating back to the 1940s) of holiday photos
Christmas {Pinterest} // a Pinterest Christmas image collage from 2011
our holiday card from 2011 // seems so long ago!
holiday party decor // party planning fun!
holiday party menu // an eclectic, varied menu of hearty, yet healthy foods
advent calendars // some DIY inspiration!

And, if you need some free printable gift tags, here are some good ones:
modern gift tags
ugly sweater gift tags 
chalkboard style gift tags
more modern gift tags
hand lettered gift tags
red and modern gift tags
pink, mint, and red gift tags


a portrait of my son, once a week, every week, in 2014

photo taken december 11, 2014 // Denver, Colorado

Raffa had his 18 month appointment on Friday (the 14th) although as of the 12th he is actually 19 months old. Our little guy is 26 pounds and 33 inches tall, which puts him in the 75-90% for weight and height.

Sometimes when I look at him, I see glimpses of a little boy. Other times, I see my little baby. He is in such a fantastic stage where he is actually both - still a baby, but also a boy. I love it.

Read about The 52 Project and why I am participating here.

See all photos in this series here.

minted holiday cards

I will be sharing my holiday cards in due time. I have also wrapped up all of my holiday card designing for the year. However, Minted's deadline for receiving your cards by Dec. 22 is tomorrow. In addition to having a great option for last-minute ordering and amazing Christmas card designs, they also offer some options that I cannot - foil stamped cards and die cut cards. I technically can offer foil stamping and die cut cards, but not at the great price and uber-quick turnaround of Minted.

So not surprisingly, some of my favorite Minted designs include these awesome details. The foil stamped cards are gorgeous, and come in options of gold, rose gold, or silver. And, the die cut cards are actually ornament cards and come with ribbon for hanging.

Here are a couple of the foil stamped cards I love; with an appropriate photo inserted!

And the die cut/shape (ornament) cards:

So, if you left it to the super last minute, hop over to Minted and check out their selection.

Full disclosure: Minted contacted me and asked me to share some of my favorite holiday card designs from their site. In crafting content for andchloe, I only feature brands/products that I truly enjoy/love/have a passion for. I wanted you to know that I was asked by Minted to do this post, but just importantly I wanted to let you know that I choose to post this because first and foremost I am impressed by the design and print quality of Minted's products.

favorite coffee shop: Huckleberry Roasters

One of our favorite morning rituals is going to get coffee and then heading to a local park so Raffa can play, run, explore, and burn energy. It's something we were doing several times a week in the late summer and fall, but now that the temperatures have dropped and we approach winter, we have to wait for nice warm morning weather.

We frequent Huckleberry Roasters for these coffee and park days; well, we frequent Huckleberry all the time. It is hands-down, one of our favorite local coffee shops. Started by two friends who began roasting in a garage, now Huckleberry has two locations in Denver (one is just two miles from our house).  Their coffee shops are focused on being a place of community; where people come together to slow down and have meaningful and authentic interactions. Bingo - that's we do on our morning excursions to this coffee shop!

what to wear // holiday party

Admittedly and sadly, we don't have many holiday parties to go to, or least not any fancy ones. But, if I did have a fancy holiday party to go to, this is what I would want to wear.

jumpsuit // AQ/AQ Scando Jumpsuit in White (similar for less or for less in black)

pumps // BCBG Max Azria Bettie Pump

earrings // Jarin K Double Sided Earrings

clutch // Sophie Hulme Leather Pouch

instacart & the day we became models

Have you heard of Instacart? It is actually a quite amazing service: you order your groceries online through Instacart, one of Instacart's shoppers is in the area and on-call to go shop, they shop your list, you can track the shopper to your door, and they deliver your groceries for a delivery fee of $10 (say what? so low!), sometimes within an hour. They shop all sorts of local grocery stores, but the really good news is that Whole Foods officially rolled out their partnership with Instacart a week ago on December 3rd. So now, all that convenience is available with my grocery store of choice. It really, quite literally blows my mind and if I weren't in the one, teeny, tiny pocket of Denver that is included in the delivery area, I would likely use the service. By the way, first delivery over $10 is free.

Anyways, this really isn't a PSA for Instacart, what I am really sharing is my, John, and Raffa's experience as Whole Foods/Instacart models. Funny enough, you read correctly - we made our modeling debut in a campaign put together for the Rocky Mountain region of Whole Foods stores by one of our best friends, who is a marketer for Whole Foods.

A couple of weeks ago, we opened our home to our friend/Whole Foods marketing gal extraordinaire, her {giant} Rhodesian Ridgeback (another one of the models, as you will see), her graphic artist, and her professional photographer. We were on board as models - John the Instacart delivery guy, me as mom taking advantage of the service, and Raffa as an order placer. Our front door and kitchen nook made cameos as, well, a front door and a kitchen nook; and our kitchen got the messiest part, which is where Maynard the Rhodesian came in.

I am not sure who stole the show the most ... Raffa, who loved having his home turned into a photo shoot set and was happy to eat all the crackers and show off his vocabulary to the "crew"? Maybe it was John, who hammed it up for the camera. Or, perhaps it was Maynard, who got to eat chicken and noodles and a chicken pot pie off my floor, and who listened impressively well, allowing the photographer to get the money shot.

Regardless, we had a ton of fun with our small part of this campaign ... and if you live in the Rocky Mountain region (Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Utah) you may just see these image, and our smiling faces, in a store near you!


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