A Custom Photo Heart

Along with our 2013 Holiday Cards, I order a Heart Snapshot Mix Photo Art from Minted, which I customized with photos of Aiden & Damien. It took me many hours to put together, since I’m a bit of a perfectionist. I tried to have an equal number of photos of each child in their first year, while balancing more recent photos as well as photos featuring the two of them together (of which we don’t have a ton). Add to that, I tried to get in certain specific memories and also balance the colour composition and balanced organization of the photos… well, you can see how it took me a few hours. I was REALLY pleased with the final product, which came in a neat little frame. I think I may order us one too!


Last year, I gave both grandmothers a calendar featuring pictures of the boys, which was beautiful, but I felt sad that one day they’d have to throw them away. This felt more permanent as a snapshot of 4 beautiful years with the boys. 

The print felt really creative and beautiful, though in this case I wish it came on glossy photo paper, instead of on the matte art paper that Minted is known for. There is the option of premium archival paper, but I’m not sure how that looks. 

Family Photos 2013

The ActiveMama family recently did our annual photoshoot with Sarah Jane Photography, who has been taking our photos for a few years now. 

11227134364 087bffde06

11227053345 d5dbb56312

11226890494 4cb2c961aa m11227244863 bc88a2b212 m

11226919076 ca905fdef8

11227177696 67bb37dfee

We went down to Shipbuilder’s Square at the foot of Lonsdale again, since we found last year that it had the perfect mix of backdrops for our photos. It’s not busy, it has an urban feel, the view is great and there are no distractions (like parks or bodies of water) that cause whiny kids! While I really wanted to hit up a forested area, it’s so hard to find the right light in the shade of the trees. 

I couldn’t be more happy with the photos this year! Sarah did a great job capturing the kids in the chilly wind before they got too grumpy. Damien has some dermatitis on his face right now, which is worse in the cold, but Sarah did a good job clearing that out of the proofs. Thanks Sarah!

Check out all our photos here.

Holiday Cards and Gifts from Minted

October is the time of year when I start to plan ahead for the Holiday season for our family: buying gifts, having our photo taken, and planning our holiday cards. One of our first holiday cards featured a family photo we took at the pumpkin patch as the colours and lighting at this time of year make for great photo cards. Last year, we made up our holiday cards with one of the great designs from the Minted Christmas Card Collection with the photos taken by Sarah Jane Photography. We’ll be doing the same thing this year. 

I have been making photo cards since Aiden was born, starting with his birth announcement and our first family photo card. I have used several services for photo cards (4 in total) and each year I spend many hours trying to find a design that I think is both tasteful and unique. You really don’t want to know how many hours I spent last year looking at dozens of services before our photographer mentioned Minted!

I loved that the site offers hundreds of designs with an incredible amount of customization options: number of photos, colours, shapes, flat or folded, type of paper, matching envelopes, or postcard format. All of their cards are printed on card stock, which makes them stand out a little more from the standard photo paper. The prices were comparable, but no other company offered the same fresh designs that I was seeing at Minted. Here’s the card we created for 2012, which had a custom holiday message on the back in postcard-format. 

Schweber 2012

We used the Wish Banner design for our holiday card. While I was placing the order, I (finally) got around to making Damien’s birth announcement card (which I sent with the holiday cards) and also made 3 calendars featuring photos of our boys for gifts for the family. The calendars come in a variety of sizes (I used a larger spiral bound one that would hang well on the fridge) and you can customize not only images but dates too! I was able to add in personalized dates such as birthdays and anniversaries!

2256503MIN 6P6 CLD A FRT

Whether you’re doing family photo cards or just want to send out something with some flair, Minted offers some great inspiration boards to get you planning! I love the idea of mixing up some holiday accent photos in with the family photos like this card – I may have to try that for this year!

I hope this post inspires you to be creative with your holiday cards and gifts!

Disclosure: I received some Minted credit in exchange for this post, though the opinions are my own. I actually had “Review Minted” up on my Editorial calendar for a long time, but time just got away from me and I missed the window of relevance for last year! 

Family Photos: November 2012 Edition

We met with Sarah again for some more wonderful family portraits this November. My goal was to get some family photos that we could frame on our wall, as soon as Damien could sit. Well, he began solidly sitting just a couple of days before our photoshoot! 

WebArieanna 2012 0012

WebArieanna 2012 0002

WebArieanna 2012 0317

Despite the fact that Aiden was less-than-cooperative during the shoot (he was very tired and very much a 3-year-old), Sarah managed to capture some beautiful moments with our family. We did the photoshoot down by the Shipbuilders Yard in North Vancouver, doing some outdoor shots in the sun and also some indoor shots, since I wanted some sweater-free poses of the boys for our wall. I can’t wait to see how they look framed!

Damien the Art Critic

I see you're doing some art...

Come now, show me what you can do!

No no, don't look at the camera! Paint, darn you, I'm watching!

That's more like it! That looks interesting...

-Aiden, hard at work-

Look at that use of purple!

Look at that use of purple!

-Aiden applies the purple-

Hmmm, I'm not sure about that use of yellow...

Hmm, I'm not sure about that use of yellow...

Well, I guess that could work...

I think it could use a little extra something...

-The masterpiece-

Rocks used to paint. I am humbled by your genius.