Thursday, February 27, 2014

all about instagram:: my shooting and editing process (+ the balance of pretty pictures vs. relatable pictures)

Today I'll be sharing a little about the shooting and editing process that I go through before I post a picture to Instagram.

My favorite feeds on Instagram have a good balance of pretty pictures + real life. Personally, I go to Instagram more for inspiration than to see people's dirty laundry or cluttered floors. But at the same time, like any person, I can start feeling inadequate when all I see are perfectly styled photos. A great Instagram feed (in my opinion) has beautiful images, but doesn't create a false sense of perfection. I want my own feed to inspire, as well as be relatable and real. 

For styled photos, I will almost always clear clutter out of the way, wipe crumbs from the tabletop, or toss laundry out of the picture. Even photos of my studio table clutter are usually somewhat arranged. I don't always 'pre-edit' and sometimes I just shoot. It depends what I'm going for-- am I sharing a snapshot of my every day? Or is my goal with this picture to inspire creativity? 

I think about how I want the picture composed. Do I want to back away for a more distant shot? Have a low horizon line? A high horizon line? More or less negative space? 

My favorite vantage points are 'bird's eye', from straight above, or getting down low (on Silas level, or the level of my subject). It usually takes 3-10 shots to get the image I like. I'll tweak lighting, or my facial expression, or shoot until I get a clear picture of my busy toddler. I almost always use natural lighting (so much so that I rarely post a nighttime picture). 

 AfterLight is my go-to app for 100% of my images, so as soon as I'm ready to post a picture, I'll open up my AfterLight app. The first thing I do is crop my image. This is one of my favorite steps, actually. Playing with the composition and deciding what exactly my image will be is really fun to me. #nerd

Next, I bump up the exposure a few notches, maybe mess with the temperature (if I want the photo to read warmer or cooler), and then I add a filter. My favorite filter is Russ, at 50-75%. Rarely do I go 100% on a filter, except for black and white filters. 

I'm interested to hear what you think about the balance of real life and pretty pictures. Is it possible to be relatable with styled photos? Do you unfollow some people if their pictures are too perfect? Do you prefer the relatable aspect of Instagram or the inspirational aspect? 

PS. Find me on Instagram as @lindsay_hellohue

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

click these links. (if you wanna...)

Since the end of our week is gonna be pretty busy, I thought I'd pop by for a mid-week links post. Below are some stops I've made around the internet this week that seemed share-worthy. 

As we prepare for our first weekend away from Si, this post by Lindsey helped ease my mind. 

This pork loin recipe is marinating in the fridge. Now I just have to decide what to pair it with tonight?? 

I'm absolutely in awe of Emily Jeffords' artwork. The colors are magical. I follow her on Instagram and every photo makes me happy-sigh. 

We just started watching the first season of The Americans last night on Amazon Prime, and we're hooked already. It's a little graphic (insert awkward emoji face here), so I don't think we'll be watching it with our parents, but the premise is fascinating. 

This outfit of Kim's has me craving spring weather and bare legs. 

And finally... calendars in the HelloHue shop have been marked down from $24 to $18! I have limited supply, so order now if you still need (or want!) a 2014 calendar! 

Okey-doke, that's all I've got for you today. Our morning was spent with Silas' nose pressed up against the window watching the trucks fix potholes on our street, and my afternoon is looking to be filled with grocery shopping and meal prep. All so riveting, I know! Hope your week has been sweet! 

Monday, February 24, 2014

our morning.

Our Monday morning started at 6:45, when Silas began chirping in his crib and I opened one crusty eye to the sun beaming in through our eastward facing bedroom windows. At 9:38am, I'm still unshowered and in my pjs, but I'm hopeful for some redemption for that during Si's naptime.

Bear and Turtle joined us for some snuggling (ie. Silas' knee in my throat and some very well-meant hugs that turn into head-butts), we headed downstairs where Chris joined us for breakfast (after spending the morning studying in his office). Oatmeal and coffee for me, greek yogurt + bananas + granola for the little dude. He loves that yogurt, but I'm not so sure I love the plaster-like way it dries on his hands and face. After hosing him down, we get straight into our agenda for the morning. 

That being books, blocks, tantrums, more coffee for mama, and a wrestling match with Daddy before he leaves for work. Chris' classes don't start until about 9:30 and he takes the train in, which gives us a little time with him in the morning. This weekend, he spent most of his time holed up in his office doing school-work, but every time I began to whine to myself about not getting a break, and the weekend being a waste, I was reminded that things could be a lot harder around here. He's not deploying, he doesn't have duty nights, and I get to sleep next to him every night. We'll never have this much time together again during his Navy career, and even the tough times are not-so-bad.

Once Chris leaves for the day, we're on our own. There are breakfast dishes piled up next to the sink, toys litter the living room, and crumbs from yesterday's tortilla chip snack are stuck in the rug. But for now, we'll just play and ignore those things. (Well, that's Si's MO any day, but I'll do my best to take care of those things later this afternoon.) I raised my voice at him too many times this weekend, so this morning I'm praying for renewed patience. New mercies every morning have taken on a whole new meaning since becoming a mama. Especially when he joins me in the bathroom and insists on blowing his 'no' by tearing off 52 tiny 1 centimeter square pieces of toilet paper. And then throws the toilet paper roll in the toilet while I'm washing my hands. Sometimes you just have to laugh.

This kid has a hilarious personality emerging and we get such a kick out of seeing each new word he learns. He's a people-person through and through, and he must learn five new words a day. His favorite book is his "bubble"-- our Jesus Storybook Bible, which is a favorite of all of ours. If you are looking for a beautifully written children's Bible with gorgeous illustrations, this is the one for you.

As I type this, Si is watching his morning Daniel Tiger show and I'm planning the rest of the day in my head-- a trip to the post office, maybe head to the library. Tomorrow will bring another sunshiny, cold morning, and we'll do it all over again. And I'll do my best to relish the little moments that build upon each other to make a day. 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

all about instagram:: 5 IGers who inspire me daily

Today's All About Instagram post is brought to you by five women who inspire me daily, all in unique ways. 

 @colefranke-- (Cole Franke/ Felt Flower Shop) Cole is a gorgeous boy mama who works magic with felt. Her vibrant felt flowers will fill your feed with happiness. I love following fellow artists whose talents are so different from my own-- I have so much respect for the hard work that Cole puts into her art. 

@naptimediaries -- (Jessi Connolly/ Naptime Diaries) Jessi is an encourager in so many ways. Between her posts about her Scripture print shop, adventures as a church planter's wife, and being a mama to four, her feed is riddled with grace and refreshing truth. 

@brimpapery (Jolie Ankrom/ Brim Papery)-- Jolie's gorgeous hand-lettering fills her feed and every time I scroll across one of her posts, I can't help but smile. It's really fun when you can recognize someone's work immediately without even looking at the username. You'll love Jolie's sweet feed! 

@sketchinc (Becky/SketchINC)-- I first found Becky's work on Etsy, where I ordered this beautiful brooch for myself, and then I looked her up on Instagram. Her feed is pure fun-- bright, colorful and fresh! 

@haleykjar (Haley Kjar/Life Is Sweet)-- Quite possibly the sweetest little fam on IG. Silas loves watching the videos of Haley's two adorable kiddos, and I'm constantly inspired by the obvious enjoyment she gets from being a mama. You'll fall in love with the Kjar fam, I'm sure of it. 

Now that I've shown me yours-- who are your current faves?

(Psst... I'm lindsay_hellohue on Instagram! Stop by and say hi!)

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

stream of consciousness.

I don't have many deep thoughts these days. Maybe it's a result of running after a toddler all day, or maybe winter is sucking my brain dry. It might even be that after 4 years of blogging, I've finally just given myself permission to not be thinking of new blog posts constantly. For whatever reason, I'm relating more and more with 'stream of consciousness' posts-- the ramblings of busy moms, wives, artists all over the blog world.

Here are some thoughts in my noggin this week.

Chris has been talking about our next big travel adventure. My vote (per usual) is for Europe-- specifically Paris or Rome where we can wander the city streets and take in the romantic views. His vote (and the one that is more likely to win out) is somewhere in South America. He wants to add another continent to his travel log. I'd go for Peru, but I know embarrassingly little about South America, so I bet there are a ton of places with good food and gorgeous sights. Who knows when we'll ever make it there, but given our love for travel, I have a feeling it'll be some time in the next year or two. 

On a oppositely mundane note, I can never seem to keep matching socks on Silas. It doesn't bother me in the slightest when he wears two different socks, except that I'm not sure why I didn't just buy 6 packs of the same color and eliminate that issue altogether. #boringmomthoughts

I could talk all day about how ready I am for winter to be over, but I'll just say this-- I'm so sick of the snot. 

When we moved into our home, we knew that we were being blessed with more than enough space for our little family, and it's been a constant prayer that God would allow us to us this place for His glory. It's been a challenge, and it's been awkward at times, but a really beautiful lesson to us in having a loose hand with 'our' things, since ultimately, they aren't ours anyway. 

Chris surprised me with flowers and a dinner reservation for our favorite French restaurant last night. After 8 years together, he's finally figured out my love language-- butter. 

Monday, February 10, 2014

a winter day date outfit.

scarf:: c/o binti designs
dress:: forever 21
cardigan:: anthropologie

My parents came to visit over the weekend and I'm still reeling from the emptiness of my house this morning (and the help with breakfast dishes, if I'm being honest). We hadn't seen them since October, so I was super excited for them to see Silas again. He's changed so much since the fall and instead of wobbly little toddler-baby, he's turned into a wobbly big toddler- kid with so much personality. The weekend went by at lightning speed and we had to say goodbye last night, which always makes me sad. 

They did make sure to send us out on a date while they were here, and Chris and I took full advantage. We tried out a new-to-us restaurant and caught a Friday afternoon movie. Even though it was a completely casual date, I took the chance to wear something other than jeans and a hoodie (my uniform of late). I'm voting for winter to end soon, if only for the fact that I'm tired of wearing the same leggings over and over! It was refreshing to put together an outfit that I've never worn before and dress up a little for our date. 

I also wanted to share a little bit about my scarf I'm wearing in the post today. It's made by Ashleigh of Binti Designs. Ashleigh started her scarf shop in September, with a vision to help women across the globe. Currently, 15% of her profits go towards funding loans for women in Kenya. Through just a few emails with her, I can tell that she has a heart of gold. And not only is her handiwork benefitting fellow sisters, but her scarves are beautifully made. I love how abundant the fabric is ( I can loop it once, twice, or three times!) and the pom-poms add a really unique and fun touch. I'd love for you to get to know Ashleigh better-- you can find her on Instagram or read more about her vision on her about page

Thursday, February 6, 2014

all about instagram:: giveaway from artifact uprising!

I currently have 2,412 photo posts on my Instagram feed.

Assuming that a good portion of those are business related things (like the blog updates I've put up this week), there are still somewhere close to 1,900 or so posts that capture a memory, a thought I wanted to share, or a little moment that I couldn't let pass without documenting. And most of them are stuck on my phone or in my IG account, but I'm working to change that. 

This post is brought to you by a beautiful company called Artifact Uprising. While searching for the best place to print my photos, I came across them and their gorgeous products. Their slogan, "Inspired By The Disappearing Beauty of the Tangible" resonated with me. I emailed to see if they would like to be a part of my All About Instagram series, and they heartily agreed. 

They offered to send me a photo book from their collection, and I set to work creating one on their website. I decided to make a little book for Silas highlighting the past year, 2013. I was able to customize the layout of each page, add text and choose fonts. I used only Instagram pictures (by importing my IG feed) and when it showed up on my doorstep last week, I was really excited to see how beautiful my pictures looked on paper. 

This is one of Si's favorite books now-- he loves pointing out the 'baby', mommy and daddy, and other random things in the book. I think my next project will be an alphabet book for him to flip through, with photos of his favorite things. And Chris and I have a whole list of photo books we need to make-- including a coffee table book from our Hawaii years. 

If you check out Artifact Uprising's website, I know you'll be drawn into their stunning aesthetic, and beautiful product choices. They offer not only photo books, but prints, calendars, postcards, and more. I'm excited that to partner with them in giving away one of their 5.5x5.5 soft-cover 40 page books to one of you! Use the widget below to enter (you'll be asked to enter your email address, and have the option for bonus entries too!) Winner will be chosen next Thursday, February 13, and will be notified by email.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

blog's down.

I'm not sure if this will show up in your blog feeds, but we'll try it anyway. I'm having some major issues with the blog, so you won't find me at for the moment. You can still access the blog through (my old domain). If you have a second to leave me a comment and let me know if it showed up in your BlogLovin', Feedly or other blog feeds, that would be very helpful! 

And thus concludes the most boring blog post you'll read today.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

8 things.

Yesterday we went to the Children's Museum and spent $30 for Silas to play with trucks, balls, and blocks. And then, we bought a year-long membership. We might be suckers, but it's not looking like winter is ending anytime soon, and I have a feeling we'll get our money's worth. 

My parents are coming in for a visit this weekend (yay!) and I can't wait to take them to one of our favorite restaurants, Steel and Rye. The brunch menu looks to die for. 

Silas has started to slam his head repeatedly into things like walls, tabletops, and doors if he gets frustrated. Apparently it's a normal toddler phase. Half the time I can't help but laugh at his ridiculousness, and the other half, I'm afraid he's gonna concuss himself. 

Chris and I are taking our first overnight weekend away from Silas next month. I'm equal parts giddy excited and tummy-in-knots thinking about leaving him for three nights. Any tips for this nervous mama?

Since there's a big snowstorm coming in tonight, I'm planning on ordering groceries online through Peapod and having them delivered here tomorrow. I'm afraid I'll become addicted. 

I'm *this* close to buying a tablet and starting to explore the world of creating digital art, but this indecisive bone in me makes these kind of purchases really difficult. Do you have a tablet you love?

I'm dying to crack open a book again. I can't even remember the last book that I really got into. Give me your latest fiction recommendations! 

The Olympic opening ceremonies air on Friday night, and this commercial has me teary-eyed in anticipation.