Category Archives: Countdown to Christmas

Countdown to Christmas : Chinchar Maloney jewelry

I believe the reason for featuring this wonderful company as makers of Christmas gift win is obvious: JEWELRY.

No girl ever woke up, found an amazing piece of jewelry under her tree and thought: bummer, I was really hoping for new pliers instead. But when that piece of jewelry is designed and handmade by a hip Portland family, features stunning diamonds set perfectly in your choice of gold and is uniquely her… well I think I can rest my case.

It is not often I come across a website and love each and every product listed in the store. At Chinchar Maloney I do! Their engagement rings are out of this world beautiful and so unique. Their birthstone bracelet (two diamonds please) is on my Christmas list and don’t even get me started on the uber cuteness of the kitty cat earnings! You know what why don’t you head on over and see all this for yourself because I will just keep listing my top bazillion favorite things that ever came out of this studio.

Since this is a Christmas gift recommendation list I am doing this year, if I had to choose one item of theirs that I can guarantee you will strike gold with is the Original Birthstone Ring. You get to choose between white, yellow or rose gold and which two stones the ring will feature so you can personalize it and make it her own. The best bit is that it is slightly adjustable so you can be confident she will be able to wear it straight out of the box. Yep, thats how its done!!!

And in case you are wondering what I got my self for Christmas, this is my new silver beauty with a blue diamond. Because there is nothing wrong with a getting a perfect gift for yourself this Christmas either.

ChincharMaloney ring

Countdown to Christmas : Social print Studio

We continue Christmas shopping guide with my favorite Instagram printing company :

I first started printing my Instagram photos in 2012 and I have used Social Print Studio all along. My staircase is full of 4×4 prints and Julian’s room is full of 2×2 prints. They have been knocked down by kids playing and wagging dog tails and vacuum cleaner and they are going strong.

It is so easy to order with them. You can either use their app or website. Just connect your Instagram account, sign in and all your photos appear immediately. Choose your images and how you want them printed and voila! They have a huge selection, from books, framed prints, magnets, posters… You name it. They ship within a day and appear on your doorstep a few days later. Who they know in FedEx is top secret but I have never had anything delivered this fast.

This year I decided to give their calendar a go. I really wanted all my Instagrams printed and for $40 you really need not think about it twice. I was a little worried because I assumed the prints are thin but I shouldn’t have been. Although it is printed notepad style that comes in a cute little white box once you remove each print it is a solid, retro polaroid style print. I love the crisp white border. The best bit is if you are in a time crunch you can just click to select your last 365 Instagram photos and it’s done. Last minute present for mom in under 2 minutes? Done! Just put a bow on it as it arrives and you are all set.

I took my time and chose which prints to include. I choose some twice or three times so I can send them to close family members. Julian and I decided which ones to display on the wall ( we went for our favorite moments of 2014) and we plan on rotating them in months to come. I decided not to add date on them but I am contemplating ordering another one to send to Julian’s grandma so she can keep it on her desk as a calendar. You can even decide to scramble the 365 photos so that each day is a surprise. You can also gift a gift card so your loved ones can print their own Instagram accounts. Seriously, these guys thought of everything.

You all know I love Instagram and post there nearly every day. But to really enjoy photos I still believe in good old fashion prints. And Social Print studio brings it all together.

Countdown to Christmas : Photography Concentrate

As promised I will roll up my sleaves and tell you about some of my favorite picks for Christmas presents this year. These are all tried and tested by me or my family and come from small businesses that deserve your attention.

It’s only fair I begin with Photography concentrate, a fantastic couple of professional photographers who create great tutorials to teach you everything there is about digital photography, editing and how to make it your career if you choose to. I came across their site years ago looking for a way to teach myself how to use Adobe Lightroom efficiently and have been a huge fan ever since. All my friends I told about it and have since learned how to rock their cameras in manual mode agreed that these short, concise tutorials are amazing.

Because they currently have a huge Black Friday event going on I will talk less so you can go and shop more. Just CLICK HERE to see the tutorials and grab a few at 40-60% less until 5th December! They make great gifts for anyone getting a new camera or someone who got one last year but still uses it in Auto mode. For those who splurged on Photoshop or Lightroom only to sit in front of their screen frustrated trying to figure out what to do with it. Or for yourself. Cause one can never know too much!

This year they have some great new tutorials:

Incredibly Important Composition Skills

backup or die banner


And my personal favorites, which I still refer to often:


super photo editing skills

Happy shopping!