Our Wedding Photo Book (gift idea!)

our wedding photo books

I can’t believe it’s almost 2 years since we got married! It’s gone past so fast and a lot has happened since then, but the memory of that day is still clear as day in my mind. That will probably change, however. I have a terrible memory, which is why I’m so grateful for all the photos (and the video) we have of our wedding day.

I remember having a the idea to make wedding photo books before we even got married, but it eventually took me about 18 months to get them done. It’s an investment for sure and we had other priorities at the time, so I held on to the idea and kept looking for the best option for it.

gift idea_photo books

Then, Blurb had their Black Friday sale last year, and I jumped at the opportunity. I’d had my eye on them because they’re based in Europe, which makes production time and shipping easier (and cheaper) for us.

We decided to make 2 types of books. One format for our parents – paperback and standard pages – and a fancier – hardcover and thicker pages – book for ourselves. We love how they turned out! The quality is really good, and the paperback option is really great for gifting, since it’s affordable, but still very pretty.

wedding books

Now, making these books can get overwhelming real fast. You have to choose your photos, then the layouts, and then everything has to be put in a logical order… Luckily, Blurb has their own book-making software that’s really easy to use and has layout templates + the option to save your own layouts.

At first, I tried to get really creative with my layouts, but I soon realised that this process was VERY time-consuming, so I made a decision to stick to a few simple layouts and use only those. That sped up the process a lot and made decision-making easier as well.

wedding album 1

 

 

I’m so glad we finally turned this idea into reality. I’ve been flipping through the book more times than I can count, and every time I do, I’m flooded by that sense of pure bliss I was feeling on our wedding day.

I already have loads of ideas for future photo books that I want to make! One day, I hope to make one book per year and gather all our memories into these yearbooks. We’ll see how I manage, but it’s a dream.

Have you ever had a photo book done? How do you organise your photos? I’d love to know how you keep your memories.

xo. Hanna

Anniversary Ring Wishlist

our wedding rings

Photo by Kerli Halliste

I can’t believe it’s been almost a year since our wedding. I just 3 short weeks, we’ll be celebrating our first wedding-anniversary, which made me think of how I want to remember these important occasions in my life.

When Anjolee contacted me about a possible collaboration, I thought it would be fun to window shop and think about possible anniversary band options. Special occasion rings are one way to keep that special date with you. Not a day goes by when I don’t look at my wedding band and think of how lucky I am to be married to my best friend.

my engagement ring

Photo by Kerli Halliste

I’ve never actually had a diamond ring. Yep, not even my engagement ring. We were students when we got engaged, so buying a fancy ring wasn’t an option, and getting engaged was way more important to me than the price tag on that ring. I love my simple silver ring so much, but sometimes I do wish I had something I could pass down from one generation to the next. Like an heirloom ring.

So, I was excited by the thought of an anniversary ring. And, since my parents are celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary just a day after ours, I thought I’d select some anniversary jewelry for my Mom as well.

anjolee jewelry

We and my parents have similar, really simple gold wedding bands, so I think a simple yet sophisticated eternity ring would suit my Mom and me well. The good thing about Anjolee is that you can customize your order by selecting the metal you want. I think that’s such a wonderful service. You don’t have to rule anything out just because the metal used doesn’t match your existing ring.

How do you celebrate milestones in your life? With special jewelry or something else? I’d love to hear your ideas since I’m still looking for the perfect idea for us (until we can afford a diamond ring).

xo. Hanna

This post was sponsored by Anjolee, but all ideas and opinions are always my own. 

5 thoughtful Mother’s Day gifts for the forgetful

Here’s the thing – I’m very bad at remembering important dates. I often forget someone’s Birthday or a holiday. I always mean to be very prepared, and I love giving meaningful gifts, but it always sort of happens that I just forget to prepare. So, usually, I end up getting my gifts last minute. It’s an awful habit, I know. And, I’m doing my best to change it, but if you’re a little bit like me, here are a few ides to help you out of that pickle and still give a thoughtful gift this Mother’s Day.

1. Give your time! I’m sure that all our Moms would appreciate some more time with us. Everyone’s lives are so busy these days. There hardly seams to be time to even visit family. Go and hang out with your Mom! Take her to a cafe or spa, or to see a play. I’m sure she would greatly appreciate that.

2. Donate on her behalf. I know Mother’s are givers, and everyone keeps saying to give to Mother’s on that day, but in the light of recent events in the world, it might not be a bad idea to take the opportunity to help our Mother’s give even more to the world.

3. Make a family photo. When was the last time you had a family photo taken? I know that doesn’t happen all too often in our family. Or, maybe take a photo with your siblings. It would be a nice addition to the ones of you when you were little. We’ve tried to do it every couple of years, and my Mom has them beside each other. It’s fun to see how we’ve grown.
Why not have a photographer pay a quick visit to you on Mother’s Day? Or, take a trip to a studio near by.

4. Plant a tree. A tree has a special meaning. It’s a symbol of life, and I’m sure your Mother would love a reminder of the life she helped create into this world every time she looks at the your tree.

5. Give her an experience. I think things are over-valued. Most of us don’t need more things. Yes, those scented candles are a nice touch, but our experiences are what build us. So, enrich her life with a new experience. Whether it’s a gift card to her first Yoga lesson, a ticket to the opera, or a crafting course (wink wink!), she’ll love experiencing something new.

I hope you’ll remember to (at least) call your Mom on Sunday, and let her know how appreciated and loved she is.

xo. Hanna

5 Tips for Decorating on a Budget (and a book sale!)

When we arrived in Leverkusen about 6 months ago, we only had our suitcases to fill the empty apartment with. There were white walls and 2 working light fixtures. Let’s just say we had candle-lit dinners for the first couple of months. We were also both unemployed at the time, so money was pretty tight (and still is). But, we still wanted to turn our first home away from home into a place that would feel cozy and welcoming. Moving to a new environment is stressful to say the least. We needed out little nest to feel like a true home.

Six months in, we’re still not even near having this place “done”, but there’s already so much I’ve learned about decorating on a budget. Above all else, I’ve learned that it’s a process, and that there really are a lot of ways to save money when you’re smart about it. It’s definitely not the fastest way to a finished home, but I’m sure we will appreciate the outcome all the more.

The only decor item I just had to take with me from Estonia are the DIY wooden letters we used in our wedding decor.
Here are 5 ways I’ve found to build our home on a budget:

1. Ask around. People have stuff they don’t need anymore, so ask around, and you might be surprised what you can get. We’ve had so much help from friends and complete strangers. When Rein first arrived, a friend of a friend gave us a ton of stuff she didn’t need anymore. This stuff became the backbone of our new home. We had pots to cook in, plates to eat off of, and a couch to sit on. At the time, that was huge.

2. Thrift. Go to flea markets or look at your equivalent of a Graig’s List. For the first month, the E-bay Kleinanzeigen was the first site I opened in the morning, and the last one I closed at night. As a result, we found a closet and our kitchen table for an amazing price. You can find just slightly used things at great prices this way.
Also, in Germany, people put there unwanted furniture on the street at certain dates, and anyone can take what they want. I don’t know if there’s anything similar to that in your country, but here, it’s worth it keep your eyes open. We actually found 2 pieces of furniture just today.

3. Prioritize. As sad as it is, you can’t have it all – at least not at once. We still don’t have a bed for example because for us, having a place to hang our clothes, a place to sit down and eat, and a corner for me to craft in were more important. We’re still on the look-out for the perfect bed with the perfect price, but it doesn’t need to happen today.
At the beginning, I was so excited to decorate the whole apartment in full as soon as possible. But, as time went by, I realized that was pretty unrealistic. At least on our budget. So, we discussed it and made a mental list of things we would need and prioritized it. Of course, sometimes we find things that are further down the line, but we only get them if they are either free or super affordable. Having a list in place has really helped us make smart money decisions.

4. Do it yourself. You knew I couldn’t leave that out, now could I? DIY is my lifestyle! I love adding handmade touches to my wardrobe and my home. The good thing is, you can find DIYs that are really low-budget, and even use upcycled materials. My own struggle with finding budget-friendly DIY ideas was what led me to create my e-book in the first place (insert shameless self-promotion). There’s a lot that you can do with the materials you have at hand. Also, DIY is a great way to add those small decor items to your home that add to the cozy and pretty factor, but that you could otherwise not justify buying given your budget.
Here’s a list of DIY projects you can spot in this post:
DIY sewing table
Restyled magazine folders
DIY wooden letters
Restyled couch
Upcycled flower vases
And a couple from the book as well: a felt coffee cozy, restyled table mats, geometric coasters, restyled memory boards.

5. Have a plan and patience. Decorating on a budget is not a sprint. It’s a marathon. You need to have a plan in place, because otherwise you’ll just end up buying random things and in the end, your home will also look random. Rather than going for the instant gratification of buying something that’s ok now, have the patience to look for the one that you’ll love for years to come. When we started, I said to myself that I was only going to buy stuff that we both loved. Sure, we’ll have to make compromises along the way, but I still want this home to be a place we both love to spend time in.

I hope this was helpful and inspiring to those of you trying to decorate a home on a budget. I’m cheering you on! And I can’t wait to share our home with you, hopefully in the near future.

To give you even more inspiration and ideas, I’m having a 20% off sale for my crafty e-book “Hanna’s Little Book of Nesting” all throughout the weekend. You’ll be able to snag it for just 7.90$!
Get your book here!

Happy weekend!
xo. Hanna

10 DIY ideas for your Valentine’s outfit

10 ideas for a DIY Valentine's outfit

I spent all Thursday updating my blog archives, so I thought I would celebrate by sharing some crafty ideas to spend your Sunday on. And since Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, I rounded-up some tutorials to help you add a little DIY to your Valentine’s outfit.

I love a simple T-shirt refashion, especially when it involves lace. Add a little lace heart where your actual heart is, or sew it to the back of the tee. Whichever you choose, it’s just as cute.

Or, if you think a heart is a bit too mainstream, add some red fabric flowers to a T-shirt to make it just a tad more romantic.

Sewing is not your forte? Why not try fabric stamping. It’s super easy, I promise. You could do a red dotted T-shirt, or make a heart stamp out of a sponge (similar to this) or potato and cover the tee with a cute heart pattern.

If you’r more set on wearing a pretty dress than a cute T-shirt, why not make a DIY accessory? Like this knitted bow. How lovely would this look in ruby red?

These crochet rose stud earrings are my favorite. Very feminine, and easier to make than they might look.

Or, make these waterfall earrings. No crochet-skills required.

Since hearts are still the ultimate Valentine’s day trademark, here’s a fun fabric heart brooch.

And, a pretty fabric flower brooch  I created for Oh, Everything Handmade a while back.

Last, but not least, make a knitted headband, just in case your super romantic boyfriend/fiance/husband insists on going star-gazing. What? It happens.

I hope your excited about making something tomorrow. I sure am! Although, it’s not really Valentine’s related since Rein and I are spending Valentine’s in different countries this year. Nontheless, I’m in full creative mode. How about you? Do you special plans for V-day?

xo. Hanna

Quick Handmade Gift Ideas (in 3 hours or less)

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9
Happy weekend, you guys! Yesterday (ok, technically it was 2 days ago) I wrote about 5 ways to give meaningful gift, and today I’m digging deeper into handmade gifts. Yes, they’re my all time favorite gifts to give. I so appreciate it whenever someone takes the time to make me something, and I love giving things I’ve made specially for the people I love. But, there’s an obvious but, isn’t there? Handmade does tend to take up way more time than a trip to the mall, or shopping online (all though, yes, finding something specific can also be tricky and time-consuming). All I’m saying is that it can feel over-whelming. So, here are some ideas for handmade gifts that can be created in 3 hours or less. (I sorted them into categories, so I could squeeze more in).

1. Jewelry – unlike garment-sewing, jewelry making takes a lot less time and commitment. And, there are so many cute and easy, beginner-friendly projects out there. Also, it’s one of those gifts that no women is ever really bummed about (I’ve never heard a girl say “Ah, man, these earrings I got are so lame”). You can check out all my past jewelry tutorials right here. And, I linked all the wonderful jewelry projects seen above right below the picture.

2. Accessories – if the person doesn’t wear a lot of jewelry, you could go for other accessories like bags, scarves, headpieces. You can browse my past projects in the DIY accessories section. You could make a cute clutch (like this or this), a pencil case, a business card holder (likes this or this), a (sun)glasses case, a pouch, a wallet, or something to hold tech in (like this iPad case). There are a lot of of great tutorials to choose from. Lately I’ve been searching Pinterest instead of Google for DIY tutorials.

3. House ware. Who doesn’t need a new personalized mug (I love this one and these), or tea towels, or pot holdersplace mats, throw pillows, or pretty decor (like these cute trees, or these ornaments)? You can always customize a store bought items by adding a painted pattern, or writing, or screen print.

4. Stationary. I think that snail mail is definitely going to make a comeback, so why not make a bunch of recycled or custom envelopes. Maybe add in some hand-painted pencils, and a notebook, or create custom stickers (tutorial coming next week) to go with the set. I’m definitely a sucker for pretty stationary.

I hope you got some ideas for quick and easy handmade gifts. I know I did 🙂

xo. Hanna

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