Photo/Video Gear for Bloggers | Target Black Friday Deals

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Photo and Video Gear for Bloggers

If you’re a blogger and need to upgrade or invest in equipment and props, Black Friday is a perfect time to do so. Besides, most of the shopping people do is for themselves, right? I browsed popular shopping ads for Black Friday deals on items I think bloggers would love for their side hustles. Even if you don’t take advantage of these discounts, you can keep this gear in mind if you want to dive into video to enhance your content.

GoPro Hero 5 Black: I have the Hero 5 and I use it for most of my YouTube videos. I find the software easy to use for simple videos, so it’s great if you don’t have experience with video editing. When I purchased the Hero 5 it was about $100 more, so $350 is a deal (after a $50 Target gift card). I like the Hero 5 vs. the smaller GoPro Session because it has a screen on the back to view your footage on the go. You can also download the images and video quickly onto your phone via GoPro’s apps.


Canon EOS Rebel T6 DSLR Bundle: If you’re looking for a camera, you can’t go wrong with a bundle or kit to start with. It consists of the camera, an 18-55mm lens, a 75-300mm zoom lens, a bag and a 16GB SD card. That way you have everything you need! Target’s deal is $300 off the bundle, which is regularly $749.99, according to the ad. Even if you don’t catch this particular deal, bundles are often a better deal than buying items separately.


Nikon D3400 DSLR Bundle: Those who prefer Nikon, like me, might want to check out the D3400. It’s nicer than what I have! The camera is 24MP, is capable of HD video, and allows Bluetooth sharing. The bundle comes with 18-55mm & 70-300mm lenses and a bag. It’s normally about $899 so you save $400 on Black Friday. When I first purchased my Nikon I went with a bundle in order to have more than one lens and a bag. I still use the same camera bag and it fits everything I need.

DJI Spark Mini Drone: For those beginning with drone video and images, this is a good way to start. It’s easier to fly than the DJI Mavic Pro, which I use. You can get it for $100 off the regular price. (The Pro will also be $100 off on Black Friday.) It’s not a huge discount but I find that drones rarely go on sale.



Prices for these deals may vary in stores and online and may be in limited quantities. Styles may also vary and prices may be limited to certain times. Rain checks may not be available. Advertised prices mentioned above are valid Nov. 23-25, 2017. Black Friday deals for REDcard holders revealed on Nov. 22.

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Related posts:

Holiday Season To-Do Check List

Sharing Our Family Holiday Cards

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** This post contains affiliate links. I am compensated for purchases made through these links at no additional cost to you. Thanks for supporting Floradise!

Is it acceptable to talk about holiday cards yet? I sure hope so, because I ordered my family Christmas cards recently and they arrived last week! I already began addressing and sending them out this week and I can’t wait for family and friends to receive them! I started designing cards earlier this month on a few websites I have used before, but I ultimately went with Shutterfly for my Christmas cards this year.  I simply liked my Shutterfly creation the best. Plus, I knew that shipping would be as quick as it always has been for me in the past.

My holiday cards typically have a simple design: They consist of a photo on the front from our most recent family session and a short note on the back about our year with at least one small photo. Funny thing is I designed a card and then realized it was almost exactly the same as last year’s.  Oops! I guess I just like what I like! I decided instead to add some red to the card, which I haven’t done yet. I’ve been all about red Christmas decor this year, too!  I easily found a design I liked on Shutterfly.

The Flora family’s 2017 holiday cards:


This year I used one of the photos from our third anniversary family session with Abigail Joyce Photography. On the back I used a photo from our gender reveal plus a short note wishing everyone a happy holidays and sharing our excitement for what’s to come in 2018, including our baby girl.

Shutterly holiday cards, Floras, Christmas cards

Back of our holiday cards from Shutterfly, minus our short note in case any friends or family members are reading this.

Last year’s holiday card:

Shutterfly holiday cards

Do you send holiday cards? What do you like to include on them? Have you ever ordered from Shutterfly?

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Related post:

Holiday Season Check List

Holiday Season Check List


Cruelty-Free Beauty Wish List | Gift Ideas

** This post contains affiliate links. I am compensated for clicks and purchases through these links at no additional cost to you. Thanks for supporting Floradise!


If you’ve been following this blog for the past couple of years, you know that I have slowly transitioned to cruelty-free makeup and skincare. When I think of gifts for makeup-loving friends and family, I tend to stick to cruelty-free as well. Today I’m sharing the products that are on my radar/wish list this year in hopes of inspiring some holiday gift ideas! Some of these are popular items that I STILL haven’t tried.

  • TATCHA 4-Piece Discover Set: I would love to try out this brand. I have heard rave reviews and the packaging speaks to me. I also found a $27 bestsellers mini set with different products, including the dewy skin mist, at J.C. Penney online, but it’s currently sold out.
  • Tarte Shape Tape: Can you believe I still haven’t tried this? I have been trying drugstore concealers and haven’t allowed myself to buy more than one concealing product at a time. I’m hoping I get a gift card to use toward buying this. *hint, hint*
  • Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick: I used to use only high-end foundation, but for the past two years I’ve only used drugstore. Every single person I have seen use this looks flawless, and I really want to try it!
  • Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Liquified Lip Set: I had my eye on a Bite Beauty set last year but never took the plunge. Perhaps I shall treat myself to this set over the holidays.
  • Anastasia Beverly Hills Blush Trio: A favorite Youtuber I watch loves this set, and every time I see it I think about how pretty it looks. I am almost out of the blushes I am trying to use up, and I would love to replace them with a blush palette. I’d be set for a long time! I think the coral in this ABH set is gorgeous!
  • Tarte Limited Edited Blush Bazaar Amazonian Clay Blush Palette: With this set I would good for a looong time. I would have every blush color I could ever want or need and it might be good for travel. Also, the packaging is so pretty!

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Note: When it comes to cruelty-free brands, it’s best to do your own research regarding animal testing and decide for yourself which brands you want to support. Some cruelty-free brands are owned by larger companies that might not be cruelty-free. 

Benefits of Group Running

Before I moved to Chicago I never ran with a group. Occasionally I would run with a friend, but I rarely ran with more than one person (with the exception of races, of course). While I prefer to run alone for the most part  I love my me time and listening to music or Audible books  I was reminded last week of the benefits of running with a group.

  • Motivation and accountability. It was 30-something degrees on a dark November night. I was hungry and cold, and I was easily persuading myself to skip the group run. I could always run on the treadmill in my building, I said. But would I push myself? I knew the answer would be no that day, so I rushed to the group run meeting place and joined them for 3.5 miles. I was glad I stuck with it because I needed the inspiration to run. My fellow runners’ excitement for running was contagious! By asking friends to run with you or joining an organized group, you gain inspiration, accountability for showing up and lots of tips from others! Plus, you will know you are not alone in any securities you might have about running, like your speed.
  • Challenging yourself/improved speed. It was my first run that was more than 2 miles in weeks, so the run was difficult for me. I had all sorts of muscle tightness throughout my first weeks of pregnancy, and midway during the run it became worse. Later that night I felt so much tightness that I could hardly walk. I worried that I had injured myself by pushing too hard, but I awoke the next morning to see that any tension I had felt was gone. The run and postrun stretching had helped work that out! I was proud to have pushed myself to run faster than I had in almost two months. When you run by yourself, you might stick to your typical pace and never challenge yourself to go faster. It’s smart to occasionally run with people who will push you to speed up just a tad. You might surprise yourself!
  • Friendship. The running community is welcoming. I enjoyed the companionship and conversation among the runners at my pace during my last group run. One of them was the first person I met at a meetup in 2015 when I first moved to Chicago. Her warm welcome kept me coming back, and I’ve met other wonderful friends at these meetups since then.
  • Mixing it up. We took a different route from the usual path, and we ate at a new restaurant. It was a nice change from always running to and from the lake, or on the Chicago Lakefront path. Running the same route can get boring, so it’s important to add some variety to your workouts.

The best part about group running is that fellow runners are your cheering section. You’ll get high-fives and encouragement when you need it. If you have to stop mid-run, someone will wait for you. I highly recommend it!

I don’t know how I will feel throughout this pregnancy but I hope that I can attend these group runs at least once a month for all the reasons I listed above.

Do you enjoy working out solo or with others? What’s your current favorite workout?

Related posts:

How to start running | Chicago Marathon 2016 recap

A Drone Gender Reveal

I’m so excited to finally share the gender of Baby Flora.

We brought out our DJI Mavic Pro for a quick little video to announce that we’re having a …

Thanks to anyone who has left well wishes on my social media pages.

Johnnyswim at Vic Theatre | Why You Should See Them in Concert

Graham and I looooove Johnnyswim. The husband and wife duo have incredible voices and are such talented songwriters. Their song “Take the World” was our first dance song at our wedding, and we listen to their music all the time.

I bought tickets for last Friday’s show months ago and we’ve been anticipating the show ever since. They played a sold out show at the Vic Theatre in Chicago, a gorgeous venue. The best moments:

  • Johnnyswim’s openers were so fun! Striking Matches are a duo from Nashville that were energetic and played so well!
  • Abner and Amanda always go into the audience for at least a song.
  • Johnnyswim mix up their songs, transitioning into the next so perfectly and never being dull.
Tickets for the show were mostly general admission for about $34. You could also buy VIP passes to get into the theater earlier and meet them before the show. We skipped those because we met them in the past (for free) after a show, but I found myself wishing we had purchased them the night of the show. The Vic Theatre is set up so that each little section of the main floor is raised a little higher than the one in front of it, so if you’re short you can still see if you try to stand close to the railing. That’s what I did and I had a perfect view!

We take everything opportunity to see them live, and I’m sharing why you should see them play live before they get even bigger:

  • Their music is damn good.
  • They sound even better in person.
  • They involve the audience in the show.
  • They typically perform in intimate settings.
  • Tickets are affordable; prices don’t do them justice.
  • They sometimes bring their adorable son Joaquin or good friends (like Steph Curry) onstage.
My favorite Johnnyswim songs:
  • “Take the World”
  • “Home”
  • “Diamonds”
  • “Heart Beats”
  • “Don’t Let It Get You Down”
  • “Summertime Romance”
  • “Annie”
  • “Adelina”
  • “You and I”
  • “Live While We’re Younger”

Listen to Johnnyswim:

Hit shuffle and enjoy!

Holiday Season Check List

It may seem like I want to skip Thanksgiving and get to Christmas, but it’s not true. I am, however, slightly over fall decor and ready to make that switch. I love this time of year because there’s so much to look forward to and lots of fun activities to do.

Here’s what I plan to do in November and December:

  • Go to a tree lighting.
  • Send Christmas cards.
  • Participate in a Secret Santa exchange.
  • Give back. We like to pick an Angel tag (or a similar program) and buy gifts for children.
  • Bake cookies. (And other treats!)
  • Watch NYE fireworks.
  • Sip hot chocolate and see holiday lights.
  • Watch a Thanksgiving parade.
  • Go to a Christmas market. (Christkindlmarket is expanding to the Park at Wrigley (Field) in Chicago and I can’t wait to visit!)
  • Ice skating. (Not sure I will be able to, but Graham and Victoria can!)
  • Catch a holiday show at the theater.
Also: Take V to see Santa and catch the CTA holiday train (in Chicago).

What would you add to this list? What’s your favorite thing to do?

Fun Subscription, Membership and Experience Gifts

** This post contains affiliate links. I am compensated for purchases made through these links at no additional cost to you. Thanks for supporting Floradise!

I’m a big fan of giving experiences and subscriptions as gifts. Many of us have people in our lives who own so much stuff that you don’t know what they could possibly want or need. Giving classes, tickets and memberships won’t add to their clutter and will instead create fun memories or help them achieve a goal. I like subscriptions as well because they are a nice way to try out products and don’t necessarily need to be recurring; even a monthlong subscription can be thoughtful, unique and appreciated.

Some recent memberships, subscriptions and experiences that have caught my eye:

Yogi Surprise: I tried this yoga-themed subscription box earlier this year and I enjoyed trying new products. Yogi Surprise offers both lifestyle and jewelry boxes. The prices for each include shipping and are as follows: $24.95 for the jewelry subscription box and $44.95 for the lifestyle box. The lifestyle box I received contained six full-size yoga-lifestyle inspired items. The jewelry subscription box contains two handmade (and fair trade) pieces and an organic treat. The retail value of each lifestyle box is $70 or more, while the jewelry box has a value of $65 or more. I found the box to be a nice trial of many yoga brands. (Read about my box here.) You can also get $25 off your first box with code YOGI25.

Newspaper or magazine print/digital subscription: Friends/family who are obsessed with current events, a particular subject or popular culture may appreciate a subscription to a news outlet or magazine. I gifted Graham a New York Times print and then digital-only subscription for Christmas last year that we still have. He reads articles throughout the day and appreciates being informed.

Headspace: I started using Headspace over the summer when I was feeling overwhelmed and needed a change. You start with just three minutes a day of meditation and the sessions sometimes include animated videos on how to meditate. It’s a nice way to start the day or regain peace of mind during the workday. A bonus: Gift a meditation subscription and a subscription will be given to someone in need.

Audible: I love my Audible subscription! I have listened to many self-improvement books this year that I highly recommend. You can gift three-, six-, or 12-month subscriptions to the bookworm in your life or anyone with a long commute. I also like listening to books sometimes during workouts. (Read more about them here.) 

ClassPass membership: Fitness fanatics would love the ability to try different classes in their city, from yoga to crossfit to boxing. It’s a great way to try out new studios before deciding to commit to a workout. Or they can just keep switching up their workouts! It’s a good idea to check how many studios are available in their area first, though. Other fun options: Rock-climbing gym passes or trapeze school gift cards!

BumpBox: I had never heard of this subscription until it was gifted to me by my friend. I loved the idea! The first trimester box I received contained items to alleviate morning sickness as well as other cute things. It had Preggie Pops, a nausea bracelet, a bath bomb, a ginger drink mix to help with nausea, belly stickers for photos, and a water bottle. I love the idea of gifting this to a friend who is expecting just to show you’re thinking of her. (I mentioned this in a recent favorites post.)

Museum/zoo/attraction membership: Especially in a city like Chicago that has a ton of attractions, a membership to a museum would be so thoughtful and would help the recipient(s) stay entertained while saving cash. This is perfect for people who just moved to a city, newlyweds, families  anyone!

Dabble gift cards: I used to be a Super Dabbler, aka ambassador, because I love classes so much! I still do. You can buy gift certificates from $20-$500 so that your friends/loved ones can experience knife-throwing, terrarium making, sushi rolling, photography and so much more. Find links to my Dabble class experiences here and get 10 percent off (while promo still works) using my ambassador link. (I am not compensated for signups through this link; I just want to save you cash!)

Have you tried any of these memberships/subscriptions? Would you give any of them as gifts?

5 Onesie Pajamas to Keep You Warm This Winter

** This post contains affiliate links. I am compensated for purchases made through these links at no additional cost to you. Thanks for supporting Floradise!

All images via Target

Lately I’ve been all about comfort. All I want to do is lounge around in the coziest of pajamas. It doesn’t help that it’s been gray and in the 30s and 40s, either. I currently only have one onesie  a pancake-stack print  and I recently bought the most comfortable pair of pajama pants from the Gilligan and O’Malley brand, but I want more. More! Today I’m sharing what I think are the most adorable onesie pajama options at Target. Consider this my onesie pajama wish list! These are all super affordable, too. (Some of these were recently on sale for only $20. While that sale is over, look for more deals as the holiday shopping season ramps up.)



  • Elephant: Because elephants are one of my favorite animals.
Penguins: These just scream cozy Netflix marathon.

Which onesie is your favorite? Are you a fan of onesies?

My Ancestry DNA Experience and Results

** This is not a sponsored post; however, this post contains a referral link for Ancestry that is rewarded with Amazon gift cards. Thank you for supporting Floradise!

I’ve always been curious about my heritage and where specifically my ancestors are from. Often when Graham and I travel we get questions about my ethnicity and I’ve accidentally been given local discounts because some people have assumed I am a member of a certain tribe or that I am from the area rather than a visitor. That was always surprising to me, but I have also always wondered exactly where I am from. Graham and I recently purchased DNA kits from Ancestry to try to find out.

Graham has yet to take his saliva sample, but I was able to finally do mine a couple of weeks ago. I paid $79 for my DNA kit and additional kits were $69. I used my sister’s referral link, which got her a $10 Amazon gift card. To take the test, the first step is to activate your kit online. Also, you can’t eat, drink, smoke or chew gum for 30 minutes before doing the test. Once you are ready, you fill the sample tube to the indicated line and then close the tube. You then twist to tighten the cap until the blue stabilizing solution drops into your sample. You shake the tube for 5 seconds and then it’s ready to place into the little collection bag and mail it back to the lab in the enclosed mailing box. (These directions are printed on a card inside your kit.)

You receive an email when the lab has received your kit and you can track where the kit is in the process. Initially the email estimated it could take six to eight weeks to receive my results, but the lab received my kit on October 20 and I had my results November 1. Not too shabby!

My results:

My ethnicity estimate indicated 49 percent Native American from Northwest Mexico and the Southern California Coast, 19 percent Iberian Peninsula, 9 percent Ireland/Scotland/Wales, and 7 percent Middle East and 3 percent Africa North. The rest were low confidence regions.

I found it interesting how many of my DNA matches were from Sonora, Mexico, and California. It seems my family members have stayed in the same general area. The ethnicity timeline for that area goes back to the 1700s. It says:

Survivors on the Spanish Frontier

Early settlers who followed the narrow corridor between the mountains and the ocean to the northern frontier tamed the farthest reaches of the Spanish Empire. They were generally cut off from the rest of Mexico, often enduring temperatures greater than 100 degrees, and surviving as silver miners and farmers. The Jesuits, a Catholic monastic order, built churches, schools, and strong communities that made religion the center of daily life. During the late 1700s, residents faced frequent raids by Native American tribes.

While I was excited to learn my results, I wish I could know specifically which Native American tribes vs. the general area they lived in. I am more interested in knowing that, though I am not sure how to go about finding out. However, I was happy about the number of DNA matches I was able to see. I didn’t expect so many matches to show up in my list! My sister has already done a DNA kit, so she showed up at the top of the list. Two estimated third cousins also showed up in my list of matches, along with many fourth-sixth cousins. If you would like to you can message your DNA matches, which I think is awesome!
To really dig into your family tree you will need an Ancestry membership, which I’m considering. In the past, my sister has found documents listing relatives from when they crossed into the U.S., along with much more. I think the DNA kit is a great way to get started on learning more about your ancestry, and overall I am glad I did a DNA test.

Use my referral link to try Ancestry DNA for yourself. I receive a $10 Amazon gift card, but no other compensation.

Have you considered taking a DNA test? Have you ever used Ancestry?