Easiest Appetizer: Boursin and Balsamic

Monday, December 29, 2014 by
Easiest Appetizer:  Boursin and Balsamic | personallyandrea.com

always prepared for lots of eating

Around the holidays, there’s a lot of eating happening.  Or is it just me?  Eating at home, eating out, eating at someone else’s house, eating at parties…  So  I love having some super easy go-to foods that are easy to keep on hand and then assemble at the last-minute to put on the table for nibbling, or to take along for contributing to the party.  The easiest appetizers require assembly only, and no other prep ahead of time.

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Last-Minute Candy Cane Jar Gift

Monday, December 15, 2014 by

Last Minute Candy Candy Cane Jar Gift | personallyandrea.com

last-minute + easy + candy canes

So as December is progressing you're probably systematically going down your to-do list checking things off in an organized way.  You’re probably right on schedule.  No late nights for you.  It’s all going according to plan.  Right?  In that case you can just skip this and move on to another blog that never uses words like last-minute.  The rest of us will stick around here in the world of procrastination, panic, and doing crafts late at night because we suddenly think it’s vitally important.  Who’s with me?

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Candy Cane Shortbread + Christmas Playlist

Wednesday, December 10, 2014 by
Candy Cane Shortbread | personallyandrea.com

candy cane shortbread

So when I’m having a complete Christmas moment, and I’m baking away, and the tree is up, I love to have a great Christmas playlist happening that I can sing along with, and love every song that comes on.  If your Christmas playlist needs some mid-season additions, then here are my top three albums for this Christmas.  I could put this set on shuffle and listen to it all day.  I think.  That opportunity hasn’t come up yet!

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Top 5 Supplies for Easy Personalized Gift-Giving

Saturday, December 6, 2014 by
5 Supplies You Need for Personalized Gift-Giving | personallyandrea.com

personalized gift-giving made easy

Hey everyone!  I’ve been meaning to write this post for a long time.  There are several versions and attempts in my drafts folder but I’m finally putting it out there.  First because it is the gift-giving season of the year and I’m here to help you out.  Second because I have something to give away for you which I’ll get to at the end.  Super exciting!


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November: Behind the Scenes

Sunday, November 30, 2014 by
Hearth & Home chalkboard | personallyandrea.com

mantel chalkboard

So that was November.  That kind of no-man’s land between Thanksgiving and Christmas here in Canada.  It was a lot busier behind the scenes than it was here on the blog.  When I wrote a “behind the scenes” post in October I wasn’t necessarily planning on writing one every month, but since a few happenings in November were somewhat blog-related, I thought I would  recap them here.

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Classic Ginger Molasses Cookies

Friday, November 28, 2014 by

A classic old-fashioned gingersnap recipe with a perfectly crinkled top and chewy center.  A must-have for Christmas baking, but delicious all year long!


Classic Ginger Molasses Cookies | personallyandrea.com

With the Christmas season around the corner, serious bakers will getting busy stocking up on cookies for the holidays.  I wouldn’t call myself a Serious Baker, but these ginger molasses cookies are always on the list of Christmas baking.  If you’ve been around here very long you know that I stick to the tried-and-true.  Recipes that never fail and that everyone will love.  Christmas baking is no exception.  In my repertoire I have gingerbread, shortbread, sugar cookies, lemon thumbprint, plus something chocolate.  With chocolate I’m willing to experiment…you can’t really go too far wrong.

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Handmade Chipboard Photo Book

Monday, November 24, 2014 by
Handmade Chipboard Photobook | personallyandrea.com

handmade gifts rock

Hey there friends!  We haven’t done something crafty here for a little while, but today we will.  It’s a handmade chipboard photo book, as part of a Canadian handmade gifts blog hop.  That means you can search this hashtag on all your social media #CDNHandmadeHoliday and find lots of ideas for handmade gifts for less than $25.  Fun, right?  It's no secret around here that I love a handmade gift.  Check out the Handmade tab in the top menu bar to see what I mean.

 But let’s get started.

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Blogpodium: Turning Inspiration to Action

Monday, November 17, 2014 by
Turning inspiration into action | personallyandrea.com #blogpodium

It's two months later. After Blogpodium 2014, I mean. The first time I'd been to this conference, or any blogging conference, actually. It was a huge inspiration. And amazing and overwhelming. And an inspiration.
Here are a few thoughts on how a brand-less, introverted, pen-and-paper-loving technophobe learned some new things, was inspired, and took action. So that you can do it too.

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How to Take This Smartphone Photo: Baking Cookies

Monday, November 10, 2014 by
Baking chocolate chip cookies | tips for using a smartphone camera | personallyandrea.com

don’t eat the cookies yet

Hey bloggy friends!  This is my second edition of How to Take This Photo.  I don’t discriminate against cameras…I hope you don’t either.  I took this one with my smartphone.  I take a lot of my blog photos with it.  And photos to send to family and friends.  Photos for instagram.  Photos of cookies.

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October: Behind the Scenes

Friday, October 31, 2014 by
October fall colours road | personallyandrea.com

October perfection


Hasn’t October been a beautiful fall month this year?  I loved the progression of colour, the weather was top-notch, and some pretty great occasions happen in October too.  Looking back I realized what a busy month it’s been behind the scenes of what I usually write about here.  So I thought I’d give a little peek in pictures of life behind the blog scene from the month of October.  And it’ll give you an idea of the larger life in the Personally family.  Maybe it’s a little bit like your behind-the-scenes too.

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Halloween Chalkboards & Font Love

Tuesday, October 28, 2014 by
Halloween Chalkboard:  boo! | personallyandrea.com

halloween chalkboard for the mantel

Hey everyone..  Boo!  And Happy Halloween!  We’re not ones to go all out to change up the decor for this one night, but are you?  Some of our neighbours are great with the spooky but super-fun decorating outside.  One house screens the Thriller video on their garage door on repeat all night, how cool is that? 

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Apples Apples Apples

Thursday, October 23, 2014 by
It’s still apple season here in Ontario.  Have you got your fresh from the farm apples yet?  And if so, what do you do with yours?  To celebrate this highly anticipated season, I’m here to give you…

5 Things to Know About Apples


Apple Picking in Ontario | Mac sign with arrow | personallyandrea.com

this way to the apples

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Delicious Food Show 2014

Friday, October 17, 2014 by
Delicious Food Show 2014 | personallyandrea.com

come on in

Hey have any of my GTA friends been to the Delicious Food Show down at the CNE grounds before?  I went for the first time today, courtesy of Strauss Water Bar (who I’ll tell you all about soon).  But first come on in to the Direct Energy Centre and check out some of the exhibits.

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How to Take This Photograph: Mason Jars

Thursday, October 2, 2014 by
Mason Jar | How to take this photograph series | personallyandrea.com

Let’s talk about you…

Let’s talk about your photography.  What kind of camera do you use…  Phone camera?  DSLR?  What kind of stuff do you take pictures of…  Your dog and your cat?  Your family?  Your garden?  Your trips?  Hey, guess what…  me too!  Do you wanna learn a few tips and tricks to take better pictures?  Then let’s hang out together.  There’s always always always something new to learn about photography, and that’s part of the reason I love it.  So I’ll share some of the stuff I know with you and hopefully as we go along we’ll all get a bit better at it.  We’ll make a series called…

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Ombré Edged Business Cards with Sharpie Paint Markers

Wednesday, September 24, 2014 by

Oh business cards.  There are probably way too many of them in the world, right? Even in my own small career there were first the Real business cards, then some for the card-making business, the gift business, and the photography business of course.  And how many of all of those have I given out?  Well, some, but there’s still a whole lot of them left over!

Double-sided business cards from MOO | personallyandrea.com

I’m in business


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Story of a Fireplace Wall & A Fall Mantel

Tuesday, September 16, 2014 by
Fall mantel with mirror, chalkboard, pumpkins, books, candlesticks and burlap banner | personallyandrea.com

what to write on the chalkboard…?

Have you ever started out with any kind of project not knowing where it would end?  This is one of those.  Both the mantel decor and this blog post, so wish me luck…here goes…

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Photo Finish 36: Lessons Learned from a Kid Photographer

Friday, September 12, 2014 by
Photo Finish 36:  Lessons Learned from a Kid Photographer | personallyandrea.com

my kid took this one:  Killbear Provincial Park

So hey, check out the new photographer on the block!  It’s Personally Junior.  He went on a camping trip with his Oma and Opa (my parents, God bless them) and Opa took the opportunity to teach him a bit of photography with a li’l ol’ Canon G11 point and shoot.  Opa has infinite patience for teaching, and Oma has infinite patience for board games (did I mention…God bless them!) so PJ was well spoiled for the week.

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Photo Finish 35: Ode to School Supplies

Thursday, September 4, 2014 by
Photo Finish 35 Ode to School Supplies | personallyandrea.com

pencil crayon, ruler, chalkboard love

I love school supplies.  Love love love.  Love.  Blank paper, sharpened pencils, unused erasers.  I’m a pen and paper girl at heart.  If I could hand-write my blog posts, paste the actual photos onto them and mail them to you via snail-mail I would do it in a heartbeat.  So in honour of back-to-school season, this post is dedicated to some of my favourite school-related items, and my school-related history with them.

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Roasted Tomato Soup {Cooking Without a Recipe}

Tuesday, September 2, 2014 by
Roasted Tomato Soup | cooking without a recipe | personallyandrea.com
Well guys…love it or hate it here’s the truth:  Fall is in the air.  Or maybe just on the calendar.  Oh wait, was that Fall back in July?  Either way, it started WAY too early this year and I’m not emotionally prepared.  Bring on a little more summer please.  And while we’re talking about summer let’s talk about life being just a little bit easier…

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Photo Finish 34: Tea for Two

Friday, August 29, 2014 by
Tea for Two | Photo Finish 34 | personallyandrea.com

tea for two

And that was summer 2014 friends…  Is anyone else feeling a little moody like me?  In need of a little company?  If you are then come on in and sit awhile.  Tea for two to cure the blues.  Truth.  Even for this avid coffee drinkerIf not then you should skip reading this.  It’s a little sentimental, even for me.  Jump right to the end and leave me a happy comment!

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Three Unexpected Ways to Photograph Your Trips

Monday, August 25, 2014 by
Three unexpected ways to photograph your trips | personallyandrea.com
Trips are awesome.  Trips are important.  Trips can change your life.

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Photo Finish 33: Coffee Break

Friday, August 22, 2014 by
Photo Finish 33 | Coffee Break | personallyandrea.com

Dear fellow coffee lovers,

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Photo Finish 32: Twilight at the Farm

Friday, August 15, 2014 by
Photo Finish 32 | Twilight at the Farm | personallyandrea.com

Here I am far away from the city, or even the suburbs, this past weekend.  My sweet niece got married here on the property of her fiancé’s farm, and this city girl went crazy with her camera.  Actually I only had it out the evening before at the rehearsal and managed to behave like a civilized guest…mostly…during the wedding the next day.  If you’re on instagram maybe you saw me playing a bit with my iPhone camera at the reception…

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Photo Finish 31: I Spy a Bee

Friday, August 8, 2014 by
Photo Finish 31 | I Spy A Bee | personallyandrea.com
Hey there everyone, how was your week?  I’m looking forward to this weekend.  We get to go awaaaay!  That’s pretty much almost always a treat right?  I hope you have some treats in store too.  But first…photo finish Friday is here.

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Photo Finish 30: Sunflowers & Summer Skies

Friday, August 1, 2014 by
Photo Finish:  Sunflowers & Summer Skies | personallyandrea.com
Happy Friday and Happy August!  It’s photo finish day today…and I hope you’ll indulge me two floral posts in a row.

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Easier Than Pie: Galette with Fresh Fruit & Almond

Sunday, July 27, 2014 by
Galette with Fresh Fruit & Almond | personallyandrea.com
Hey there everyone!  How are you today?  Are you still loving the fresh-picked local fruit season?  We really are.  The strawberries are starting to be hard to find, but that means other berries like raspberries and blueberries are ready.  And personally I have my eye out for peaches.

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Photo Finish 29: Ombré Painted Daisies

Friday, July 25, 2014 by
Photo Finish 29 | Ombré Painted Daisies | personallyandrea.com
Hello, amazing blog reading friends!  It’s Friday again…I hope your week has been good to you.  Photo Finish is arriving slightly later today.  Not all of this week has been that kind to me.  But even under the weather, I was able to take my camera out in the early mornings for a wander through the garden.  You might have seen these already on instagram in the last while…hopefully you’re not bored by them yet.  I’m not.

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Photo Finish 28: Rustic Strawberry Galette

Friday, July 18, 2014 by
Photo Finish | Strawberry Galette | personallyandrea.com
Hello Personally friends, how has mid-July been for you?  Did you get out to see the Supermoon on the weekend?  I did and was hoping for a Photo Finish worthy photo but it was not to be.  The clouds rolled in as we were on our way home and covered up that moon before I could get to it.  By 3:30 a.m which was supposedly the peak viewing time it was pouring rain.  Bleh.  Is the fluctuating barometer giving you a Supermigraine too?  Holy headache Mr. Weatherman!

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Easy Caprese Pasta

Monday, July 14, 2014 by
Easy Caprese Pasta | personallyandrea.com
Hey, how have you been?  Can you even believe it’s the middle of July already???  Sorry to be the one to break it to you if you hadn’t realized that calendar fact.  But hopefully you’ve crossed a few things off the summer to-do list and managed to find some down time as well.

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Photo Finish 28: Boutonnieres

Friday, July 11, 2014 by
Photo Finish 28 | Groomsmen Boutonnieres | personallyandrea.com
Wow, did anyone else feel like this was the longest week EVER?!?  But finally it’s Friday which means it’s time for another Photo Finish.  This one is from the last ginormous assignment I handed in for my Wedding Photography class which is now done. 

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Photo Finish 27: Sit For a Moment

Friday, July 4, 2014 by
Photo Finish 27 | Garden Bench | personallyandrea.com
Happy summer-y Friday, guys.  How was your week?  Are you in full summer mode?  Were you patriotic?  Are you on vacation?

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Hometalk Gallery: 18 Handmade Gift Ideas

Wednesday, July 2, 2014 by
Personalized Gifts | personallyandrea.com
Personally, I love a handmade gift, don’t you?  Both on the giving and the receiving end.  Something with a little personality, a touch of personalization.  Something that’s taken a little time and thoughtfulness.

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Chalkboard Handle Cutting Board

Sunday, June 22, 2014 by
Chalkboard Handle Cutting Board | personallyandrea.com
Well, when you have kids that are school-aged the beginning and end of the school year mark a definite shift in lifestyle, don’t you agree?  In our house we are one exam away from the end and according to Personally Teen “it’s only Music” (Dear Piano Teacher…please don’t be horrified when you read that) so in our minds it’s all done for this year.

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Photo Finish 25: Foggy Pier

Friday, June 20, 2014 by
Photo Finish | Hazy Summer Pier | personallyandrea.com
Hey everybody…and it’s Friday again!  The rest of the blog has been on a bit of a back burner due to photography season heating up.  But Photo Finish will be here rain or shine, I promise. 

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Photo Finish 24: Bride & Groom at the Equestrian Centre

Friday, June 13, 2014 by
Photo Finish 24 | Equestrian Centre Wedding Session | personallyandrea.com
It’s Photo Finish today, and that means it’s Friday!  Yay!  And it’s the month of June which means the beginning of the popular wedding season, here in Canada at least. 

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Two Locations & Five Bouquets {Wedding Photography}

Wednesday, June 11, 2014 by
Wedding Photography Locations and Bouquets | Royal Botanical Gardens, Burlington, Ontario |personallyandrea.com
Hey there bloggy friends.  A bit of  summertime gorgeousness coming your way today.  Gorgeousness in the way of a couple of locations and a collection of bouquets used for wedding photography.

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Photo Finish 23: Vintage New Orleans Jazz

Friday, June 6, 2014 by
Photo Finsh 23 | New Orleans Jazz | personallyandrea.com
Happy Friday bloggy friends! 
Guess what…I didn’t take this picture.  I’m letting Mr. P. show off his photography skills on today’s Photo Finish with a shot he took with his camera phone in New Orleans a week ago. 

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Almost Homemade Hamburger Buns

Tuesday, June 3, 2014 by
Almost Homemade Hamburger Buns | personallyandrea.com
Yummmmm.  Don’t you wish your screen was scratch ‘n sniff?  But guess what?  You could make these for real, in your own kitchen, by yourself.  It’s super easy, especially if you pull out your….breadmaker.  Who has one?  Raise your hand.  Is it buried in your basement?  Lurking in the back of a corner cupboard?

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Photo Finish 22: Make a Wish

Friday, May 30, 2014 by
Wishing Star | Photo Finish | personallyandrea.com
When Miss P was little we used to play a game of trying to catch dandelion seeds as they blew through the air.  She called them wishing stars, and if you could catch one you got to make a wish.

As adults we do yearly battle with these weeds and work hard to keep them out of our lawns and manicured public

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Photo Finish 21: Baby Toes

Friday, May 23, 2014 by
Photo Finish | Newborn Baby Toes | personallyandrea.com

Hey friends, it’s finally Friday, and here’s your photo finish.  As promised, it’s a tiny peek from a newborn shoot we did last weekend with AB Photography.  This little girl was so beautiful and precious, and dreamy…once she finally settled down to sleep!  And those little newborn feet…really, what is there to say?  It's one of my favourite things to photograph in a newborn shoot.  Aren’t they just perfect?  Who knows where these tiny toes will walk someday?  Hopefully wherever her dreams will take her.

Hoping you are walking wherever your dreams are taking you today.  Have an awesome weekend.

xo andrea

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Planting a Container Herb Garden with Kids

Tuesday, May 20, 2014 by
Plant a Container Herb Garden | personallyandrea.com
Hey there friends, what have you all been up to now that May is in the home stretch?  We're continuing to plough through home renovations, and we are bidding adieu to the play structure from our backyard, in hopes of having a longer ice rink in the backyard next winter.  I had a photo shoot for a beautiful newborn which you'll see a peek of on Photo Finish soon.  And Personally Junior and I planted a container herb garden.

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Photo Finish 20: Pear Blossom Piano Keys

Friday, May 16, 2014 by
Pear Blossoms & Keyboard | Photofinish | personallyandrea.com
Wow…20.  Seems like it should be a bit of a milestone, doesn’t it.  But what even is 20 out of 52 weeks?  No idea.  We’ll just call it this week’s photo finish.

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Mid-May: High Notes & Low Notes

Wednesday, May 14, 2014 by
Pansies | personallyandrea.com


So it’s mid-May and here are few notes on the simultaneous highs and lows of life.  No craftiness, DIY or fancy stuff happening in the kitchen.  Life is full and the days are bittersweet.  So just a bit of a week recap with a few things happening in my little sphere.

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Photo Finish 19: Magnolia Field

Friday, May 9, 2014 by
Photo Finish 19 | Magnolia | personallyandrea.com
Well I took my friend up on an invitation to check out the garden centre.  She had hosted a lovely perennial exchange on Sunday so we were in the gardening mood.  But as we were walking around I’m pretty sure the temperatures were headed towards freezing, it was seriously overcast and windy and on the verge of raining.  Good times. 

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Homemade Cinnamon Spiced Granola

Tuesday, May 6, 2014 by

Recipe for homemade cinnamon spiced granola stored in mason jars with a chalkboard label lid and printable recipe card.


Cinnamon Spiced Homemade Granola | personallyandrea.com


Well it’s back to the kitchen for this post, but this time something that’s crazy good for you and also addictively delicious.  Would you have guessed it was granola?  I don’t know if it’s the cinnamon spice that puts this over the top, plus the awesome crunch factor, but this has become a must-have in my kitchen. 

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Best Banana Cake from Scratch

Tuesday, April 29, 2014 by

Best old-fashioned banana cake recipe, from scratch.  This is a family favourite for birthdays that still tastes delicious the next day, if there's any leftovers!

Best Banana Cake From Scratch | Recipe from an old-fashioned cookbook because it's one of our family favorites for birthday cake! | personallyandrea.com


Oh yeah.  Carve yourself a big slice.  I know you want to.  This is seriously the best banana cake you can bake from scratch.   Even my dad, who is a self-professed non-liker of banana cake…likes this cake.  In our spree of spring family birthdays, this one almost always get chosen by someone.  And even though this was the third cake in as many weeks, there is only one slice left, just in time for the next birthday cake to make an appearance today.  You’d think I was a full-on pastry chef these days but trust me I’m not.  I do binge cake-baking in the spring for birthdays and Easter and then it’s back to muffins, loaves…and cookies if they’re lucky.

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Shabby Chic Personalized Flowerpots

Saturday, April 19, 2014 by

How to give a shabby chic look to plain terra cotta flowerpots and personalize them for a pretty hostess gift this Easter and spring.

Shabby Chic Personalized Flowerpots | personallyandrea.com

So we are being hosted at both sides of the family for Easter this weekend.  That means hardly any cooking for me, no intense house-cleaning, grocery shopping, table setting and all the rest of the entertaining requirements.  I love to do it but this time around it didn’t work out that way.  I decided to get a little craft on and make a little something for the lovely hostesses to enjoy.  (Plus one for me too!)

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Photo Finish 16: Easter Wreath

Friday, April 18, 2014 by
Photofinish 16 | Good Friday | personallyandrea.com
I’ve had this wreath for many years.  I think I just bought it at the Superstore but I really like it and always find a place for it around Easter.  And do you know how to make a cross from the palm leaf you get in the Palm Sunday service?  I don’t, so I keep mine that someone made for me years ago.  It’s dry and brittle now.

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Tips for Photographing a Tablescape

Saturday, April 12, 2014 by
Wow can you believe the Easter season is right around the corner?  I’m sure many of you are making plans for family meals and traditions, or casual entertaining, or maybe a kid’s party.  It’s a great reason to get out some spring-time decor and put some beautiful and delicious food on the table.  And some of us will have our cameras in hand trying to capture it all.

5 Tips for Photographing a Tablescape | personallyandrea.com

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Photo Finish 15: Labradoodle

Friday, April 11, 2014 by
Photo Finish 15 | Labradoodle | personallyandrea.com
Well it would hardly be a photography series without some doggy pictures, would it?  She’s made a few appearances around here before…in this post and this one.  But here’s the first official dedicated photo, and there’ll probably be a few more as I go along!

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