*Thank you to Minted for sponsoring this post. All wording, photos and opinions are my own. 

kids christmas card photo
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CHRISTMAS PHOTO BY Amanda Haddow Photography

I am SO excited to share this year's annual Christmas cards with you all, my favourite yet! These simple and classic holiday cards from MINTED are absolutely perfect; I couldn't be happier with them. The moment I opened the box and saw them, I knew I chose the right photo and template. A couple of weeks ago I shared an outtake from the actual shoot and when I saw this shot, I knew right away that this was the one of the kids I would use for our cards. Isn't it just the sweetest?!

Last year, I shared tips on how to how to get your Christmas cards done early and this year, I want to tell you the steps and thoughts that I considered when setting up for the photoshoot and then ordering our holiday cards online.

For the shoot:

  1. KEEP IT SIMPLE: the important thing is making the experience fun and getting the kids excited for the upcoming season! Put on Christmas music and pull out your best knock knock jokes...they still work perfectly for photoshoots with our kids! Here's one our kids think is hilarious:


    "Knock knock"

    "Who's there?"


    "Mary who?"

    "Mary Christmas!

  2. CHOOSE COORDINATING COLOURS: When I pulled out outfits for the kids, I knew I wanted to keep things classic this year and so we chose light grey, red and added a hint of green with the wreath. I love how the gold foil-pressed lettering pops with the simplicity of the card. Gold is my favourite metallic for the holidays and I add it in wherever I can!

  3. PLAY HOLIDAY MUSIC: Our kids LOVE Christmas tunes year round and when I tell them we can put a little Michael Buble on early when we take the photos for the cards, they are always VERY excited!!! It secretly gets me in the mood for the holidays a little early too.

  4. CHOOSE A BRIGHTLY LIT ENVIRONMENT: If weather permits, an outdoor shoot is the best! This year, the rain was pouring down on photoshoot day and so we choose a well lit wall next to the brightest window in the house to snap a few photos of the little ones. Good lighting goes a very long way to capturing a great photo!

That's it! Follow those four steps and you are set to capture your cuties in a shot that will be the feature of your holiday card.

writing Christmas cards from Minted
christmas cards

When I went to the Minted site, I was blown away by the vast number of template options. Sit down with a glass of wine (or tea!) and take your time in choosing a template that works with your chosen photo. Since my photo was shot with white space at the top, it made sense to have text at the top of the card and therefore eliminated options where text was at the bottom (which helped to cut down the decision making). I loved so many templates and I knew I wanted to see the wreath on the card so although I love the middle one below, I decided not to go for it due to the wreath not fully showing. My favourites were Merry Scriptmas, Simply Shining, Simple Frame and of course the template I ordered, Merrier than Ever. It was a hard decision, I love them all!!!

One of the biggest differences this year is the system Minted has for addresses! In the past, I have struggled to get out cards sent out to everybody and this year, I had to collect all of our addresses at the time I ordered the cards so that they could be printed on the envelopes...how amazing is that!?!! It literally took a day to message everyone and get the addresses together, probably in part that I wasn't doing it late into December and when I opened the package to see all of the envelopes labelled and addressed, I almost feel this is the best part. I will write a Christmas greeting on the cards, pop a stamp on and head straight to the mailbox...SO much easier than having to write out all of the addresses! I love this system and now have all of our addresses in one place for future cards.

If you noticed the super cute cocktail napkins in some of my photos, I found those at Minted too. They have lots of fun holiday decor to add to your order so go take a look!

Right now and through the weekend enjoy 15% off holiday cards with code BEMERRY.


1. Monday seems to come around so quickly each week. Over the weekend, I relish in the time away from the week day routine of drop offs, food prep, laundry, pick ups, activities, bath, bed. Anyone else? With the time change rolling back an hour yesterday, this is the first year we have ever had kids sleep in a little!!! After nearly 7 years of parenthood, this feels like a MAJOR miracle. 

2. Our giveaway with Etsy was so so popular - thank you so much for entering and loving the site just as much as I do. Sharing small shops and makers is something I am passionate about; I always want to know about new creative people that are selling their amazing creations so if you know of any, please tell me in the comments below!

3. I ordered our Christmas cards!!! I can hardly believe it. This is the template that I chose but I will share a post on this year's cards soon. Last year's cards were so cute that I had to continue the tradition. I can't wait to show you how they turned out but until then, here's a little look at the reality of behind the scenes, HA!!!

behind the scenes christmas card shoot

4. It snowed here in Vancouver on Saturday!!! I am totally unprepared. I quickly started searching for winter boots for the kids and here are my top 3 contenders! Kids winter boots are not pretty or inexpensive but I suppose there is no price for warmth!!!


5. My husband and I celebrated our 9th anniversary last Thursday. We have lived across 3 continents, had 3 kids in 2 years, started 2 businesses (we both have our own) and traveled to at least 20 countries together. He is my best friend and I can't imagine adventuring life with anyone else!!!

Have a great week!

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GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED - Congrats to ja_cs_ on Instagram!!!

It's November!!! I know, Halloween has just finished. It's a little early to think about the next holiday season and to get you in the mood, I have partnered with my favourite handmade site, Etsy, to give away $100 gift certificate to spend on whatever you like on their site! Yipee!!! Head over to my Instagram, like, follow and leave me a comment here or there telling me what you'd buy if you win and you will be entered for the gift certificate.

I'm sure you already know it, but in case you don't, Etsy is an online marketplace for the hand crafted and vintage. It is a site that I get lost in regularly searching for amazing handmade things that creative people make all over the world. If this sounds like your kind of thing, read on.

wrapping christmas gifts

I always hope that by getting gifts ready and wrapped early, it will allow the chance to fully enjoy the festive time with all the events December brings (Christmas train, lights shows, family events, etc.!!!). A year ago I shared my favourite garlands for kids rooms from the same site and I hope you love this selection as much as you loved that one! 

wrapping christmas gifts from etsy - ho ho ho banner

Giving handmade things feels a little extra special and to help you narrow down the vast number of options, I've rounded up my first gift guide of the season for the little ones in your life with 25 of my favourite gifts for kids from Etsy.

Etsy holiday gift guide

1.// Ceramic kids mug; 2.// Wood taxi car; 3.// Natural wood teether; 4.// Baby memory book; 5.// Ice cream stacker; 6.// Grey knot cushion; 7.// Mini ho ho ho banner; 8.// Wooden toy camera; 9.// Felt fire set; 10.// Owl soft toy; 11.// Wooden toy houses; 12.// Small star mobile; 13.// Grey cloud pillow; 14.// Children's bead necklace; 15.// Linen unicorn softie; 16.// Kids cat plate; 17.// Wooden toy car; 18.// Soft heart blanket; 19.// Gold star garland; 20.// Small storage bin; 21.// Personalized heart apron; 22.// Darling raccoon softie; 23.// Math learning set; 24.// Double pom hat; 25.// Pink heart pillow.

Etsy has also helped to make shopping for the holiday season a little simpler by creating their own gift guide, which you can find here. Happy shopping friends!

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*This post and giveaway was created with Etsy. The giveaway closes on Sunday November 4th. Winner will be announced here on the blog and in my Instagram stories.