14 November 2017
Updated: Megan S. is our winner and has been emailed! Thank y’all so much for participating! :)
Having an almost-two-year-old this year is making me even MORE excited than usual for all things holiday! June is talking up a storm all of a sudden, and I just think she is going to be thrilled by a tree in our house (!), Thanksgiving dinner, matching jams with her cousins, decorating sugar cookies, and twinkly lights everywhere.
Of course, it will take her a few more years to appreciate some of the things I love most about the end of the year — sending and receiving Christmas cards being one! We’ll be mailing Minted cards again, and I’d love your help choosing a favorite!
1. Jingle | 2. Luke 2:14 | 3. Wonderful Love | 4. Berries of Fun | 5. Fun Botanical Frame
No fancy professional photo this year, but I have to say the iPhone portrait mode + the PicTapGo app does a pretty darn good job! Of course, everything looks good framed by a Minted design :)
This year I was drawn to some of the more lighthearted, colorful designs to match our bold outfit choices. And as always, I’m partial to the cards that include a nod to Christmas’s true meaning! (I love that you can easily filter by “religious Christmas” on their search page, if that’s your thing.) Since I knew which photo I was going to use from the get-go, their “show with my photo” tool helped me narrow down my favorites quickly.
No matter which design you choose, you can use their sophisticated design software to easily adjust your photo as well as the placement of text elements, fonts, colors, and sizing. Minted also offers the most darling envelopes, shiny foil designs, free addressing, and extra-thick stock, if you’d like.
Now for the extra-fun part: I have a $100 Minted gift certificate to give away!! To enter, just comment below with either your favorite option from our Christmas card finalists, or the Minted design you’d most like to order for your family! (Or both!) I’ll randomly choose a winner next Tuesday!
Now back to work on designing our accompanying newsletter! :)
Minted has graciously gifted us our Christmas cards, but I chose to write this post, and the opinions are my own! I have loved everything about Minted — especially their crowd-sourced designs — for many years, and it is my joy to share what they’re up to with y’all!
22 December 2015
I loved our five Christmas card finalists so much that I would have been thrilled to send out any of them, but in the end, we went with the design that y’all loved best, and that was so undeniably perfect for our upcoming year:
It’s the Wonder Filled design by Baumbirdy from the geniuses at Minted. Our photo was taken by the talented Perry Vaile!
Since our card design was simple and black and white, we didn’t add any color to the newsletter, either. It’s crazy to think of all the milestones we’ll have to squeeze onto the 2016 version!!
I love that many of our news items aren’t news to y’all, like our dativersary, Articles Club, pumpkin and soup night, and of course, our trip to France! It really is a joy to share with and learn from you all, and, in turn, to be invited into your lives! Which brings me to your very own handwritten note, because no Thomas Christmas card would be complete without one:
Thomas Christmas cards are also not complete without recognition of why we send cards at Christmas in the first place. Though sometimes it seems unavoidable, we don’t want our cards to be all about us. We send them out at Christmas to share our joy at the birth of our Savior with the people we love the most, and we want to remind people of that in a personal way. So, we’ve taken to including a few thoughts on what Christmas means to us, and a favorite piece of scripture. We went with a classic this year :)
I’m not sure if I’ll be back between now and my annual year in review, as we have lots of family arriving shortly for an extended visit (YAY!). But, I’m already so excited to share a look back and a look forward to what should be a very interesting year… I’ve been working on my goals with the PowerSheets, and I can’t wait to discuss!
P.S. Our cards from 2014, 2013, and 2012!
16 November 2015
Update: We have a winner! Congratulations to Breanne, commenter number 47!
For as long as I can remember, Christmas cards have been a treasured part of my Decembers. I love the whole process — browsing potential designs, choosing a favorite, writing notes, receiving cards from loved ones, and displaying them in our home. I love that with so much sadness and darkness in the world, Christmas cards are a small reminder of the true light of the world. In fact, we still have Christmas 2014 cards pinned up in our kitchen because they make me so happy!
For the third year in a row we’ll be sending a Minted design, and I would love your help choosing a favorite!
1. Joy to the World Starbursts | 2. Wonder Filled | 3. More Joy | 4. Winter Brush Foil-Pressed | 5. Peaceful Pines
The wonderful Perry Vaile took a few photos of us for a Southern Weddings project earlier this year, and we’re so happy to have her talents gracing our card! The fall hues in the background lend themselves well to some of Minted’s mustard-y options this year — unexpected, but I like it!
I’m sure y’all are well aware of how amazing Minted’s offerings are. With their sophisticated design software, you can easily adjust your photo as well as the placement of all text elements, fonts, colors, and sizing. They also offer the most perfectly coordinated envelope designs, free envelope addressing, extra-thick stock, and custom card shapes!
BUT the thing I most wanted to highlight from Minted this year is their new completely custom art options! For example, send them your child’s drawing and they’ll print it either in letterpress or foil — what an amazing gift for grandparents!! I’ve said it before (here when they debuted their custom fabric), but this company continues to amaze me with their creativity and commitment to excellence. I am a forever fan for sure!
Now for the extra-fun part: I have a $200 Minted gift certificate to give away!! To enter, just comment below with either your favorite option from our Christmas card finalists, or the Minted design you’d most like to order for your family! (Or both!) I’ll randomly choose a winner next Monday! If you’re ready to get started, you can use code FOIL for a free foil upgrade or code JOY for 10% off orders of $100+.
P.S. Yes, our newsletter will be back! I’ve gotten many emails about this, so I wanted to say it here: I’m opening up three spots to design similar newsletters! $100 for a ready-to-print file, customized with your family’s stats and news. Email me at em (at) emformarvelous.com to reserve your spot or ask more questions!
Minted has graciously gifted us our Christmas cards, but I chose to write this post, and the opinions are my own! I have loved everything about Minted — especially their crowd-sourced designs — for many years, and I love sharing what they’re up to with y’all.
16 April 2015
Friends, we have a wedding album! It’s been a long time in the making (2.5 years!), but it’s here, it’s gorgeous, and I couldn’t be happier.
When we were budgeting for wedding photography, we decided to put all of our resources into purchasing talent, not products. Our “package” only included wedding day hours, not albums or an engagement session or anything else. This was 100% the right choice and I would make the same one again in a heartbeat! Tanja was worth every penny. But, I did want a wedding album at some point – it’s one of my 60 Before 30 goals!
And I didn’t want just any album. We purchased Artifact Uprising wedding albums for our parents, which I loved, but for our one heirloom wedding album, I wanted the works: leather, classic styling, and thick, lay-flat pages.
I looked at Tanja’s albums first. She only offers one option, and it starts at $2,500. As much as I thought her albums were beautiful, there was simply no way that would ever be a feasible option for us. I kept looking, but it seemed like all of the albums I loved were only available through a photographer (not surprising, but still disappointing!). Then, I found Milk Books.
It was as if the angels started singing. Their Cream albums are actually used by photographers for clients, which starts to tell you about the quality. Lay flat board pages? Check. Art paper? Check. White leather, a beautiful presentation box, and simple and elegant layout options? Check, check, check.
Cream albums are still expensive (they start at $595 for a 20-page album), but compared to the options available through most photographers, they are a steal. Also, having been subscribed to the Milk Books newsletter for the past few months, I’ve noticed two nice things – they often run sales up to 50% off (seriously – I’ve seen at least two!), and you can pre-purchase an album at any time (during sales!) and then design and order it when you’re ready. So nice!
The Cream online layout system is good, but not perfect. I wish I had had the option of moving pages around, since it was hard to know how much room to allocate for certain parts of the day right from the start. I loved how simple and aesthetically pleasing the layout options were, though – it would be hard to design an ugly album!
Also: strange to design pages featuring yourself :) But, you know, I figured grandchildren might like to see one day.
Keep in mind, these pages are BIG. That full-bleed photo above measures more than a foot wide, and the wingspan of the open album is a whopping 28 inches!
I think if I had realized JUST how large the photos would print, I would have included a few more of the layouts with multiple photos. Let that be a lesson to y’all! These ended up being some of my favorite pages.
It took about a month for our album to be produced and shipped to us, and we had a mini viewing party when it finally arrived! We haven’t looked at it too often since, but that’s okay – I wanted a real wedding album not because I expected to crack it open every morning, but as an heirloom for years (and people) to come. That’s exactly what we got.
If you’re married, do you have a wedding album? If so, was it included in your photography package, or did you buy it separately? I’d love to hear!!
P.S. More wedding photos.
The kind folks at Milk Books offered me a discount on our album. Regardless, I’m just thrilled to share the best wedding album source I’ve found!