A Royal Flush

In honor of Meghan and Harry's upcoming nuptials, I wanted to showcase some of my favorite royal themed wedding items this week. Following, are my top five.

#5 This cake by London based Maisie Fantaisie has royal written all over it!

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#4 Add a touch of glam with these Christian Louboutin bridal shoes.

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#3 Peach Champagne Sapphire and Diamond Engagement Ring by Sundari Gems

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#2 Classic and romantic with lots of sparkle is the Swarovski Crystal Wedding Tiara by Eden Luxe Bridal

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#1 The Oceane dress and Thicket Sash by Carol Hannah are most certainly princess worthy.

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DIY Photo Studio Under $25

Have you ever wondered how to get professional looking photos without the professional price tag? I'm going to share what I've learned in 4 easy steps. And it costs under $25!

Living in a 600 square foot guest house, I  use my kitchen table as a desk and needed something portable. A soft box seems to be the best solution for my space. What's a soft box? It's basically a nylon cube (or "tent" as some call it) that helps to diffuse the light. When not in use, it collapses into a small bag (kind of like those auto window shades). This is perfect for me because I can store everything under my bed, or in a closet.

1. Purchase a soft box. I pull my desk next to a window with direct sunlight, place the soft box on my desk, insert foam core on bottom and start placing product. Neewer 24x24 Diffusion Soft Box $23.99 on Amazon.

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2. Purchase foam core. This can usually be found at any art store. I get mine at Michaels. Elmer's 16x20 Foam Board.

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3. Start placing your product on the foam core and you're ready to shoot! (Personal note: I've never had any professional photography classes but thought my design background would help with layout and placement). After struggling for years with settings on my Canon Rebel, and buying expensive lenses, I decided to gift myself the iPhone X this past Christmas and haven't used my DSLR since. In the camera phone settings, I'm using "Portrait" mode with "studio lighting." I have a set of desktop lights that I also use with the soft box, but for this particular setup, I used only the light coming in from the window.

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4. Using the photo editing app Snapseed (there are many others out there, but this is my favorite), I will play with the lighting and temperature of the image. If I have retouching to do, I will bring the photo into Photoshop on my desktop, make any necessary adjustments and then adjust the lighting in Lightroom. Here are the iPhone X "portrait" images before Snapseed and after.

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DIY Doodle Notebooks

Need a last minute stocking stuffer?! Well, I've got you covered with these super easy doodle notebooks.

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Supplies:
1. 3-pack of Moleskine notebooks (available at Target, Barnes & Noble or most stationery stores)
2. A black ink pen (I used a Faber-Casetell PITT Artist Pen in Medium purchased at Michaels).

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Instructions:
Using a black ink pen (or calligraphy pen for varying thickness) doodle away on your notebook using illustrations, graphic lines or anything that strikes your fancy. I made all three of these in under an hour, so they aren't just easy, but quick too!

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Merry Christmas from Smudge Design Co.

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DIY Glitter Easter Eggs (no dye required)!

Grab yourself some eggs (real or artificial and dab away). I used real white and brown (hard boiled) eggs.

Instructions: Place some white glue (or Mod Podge) into a small bowl. If you want to create dots, dab the tip of your finger (or the eraser on the end of a pencil) into the glue, dot onto the egg, and cover with glitter, shaking off the excess. For gold and white, dip half of the egg into the glue mixture and blot excess drips.  Sprinkle with glitter. And voila…you have beautiful and fun Easter eggs in less than an hour.

Gingerbread Mug Hugger Roundup
I was completely floored when I recently spotted these gingerbread house mug huggers and decided I had to do some research on the subject to find out more. After combing the web for the best possible options, I’ve come up with 3 results for creating these adorable mini treats.

1. Make Your Own
Summer at She Leaves A Little Sparkle has an exceptional how-to, including her very own gingerbread recipe and free paper cut outs that can be downloaded for the house template.

Juliette Laura shares her recipe (also with a free template) along with some GORGEOUS photography on how to make her toppers.

2. Semi Home Made
Purchase Betty Crocker Cake and Cookie Mix or Nestle Rolled and Ready Gingerbread Cookie Dough and then use your own cookie cutters (or download the templates from above recipes) for a much quicker process.

3. Buy Your Own
While Anthropologie’s version is currently sold out, I did find these adorable versions at Williams Sonoma. If you’re interested in a less expensive topper, these Gingerbread Folks are a better bargain at $14.95 for 4.