How to Make The Most of Your Instax Mini Camera

How to Make The Most of Your Instax Camera

Who has an Instax?! Or, maybe you keep adding it to your shopping cart online and then telling yourself you’ll just buy one later? That was me for a while! Anyway, this post is for you.

I got my Instax mini 8 (in white) back in September but didn’t play around with it very much. I felt like I needed to save the film for fun occasions, so I was a little hesitant to bust it out at events or even in low-key environments.

But, what’s the point of having a fun camera like the Instax mini if you don’t use it? Here are a few ways to really make the most of your camera and take good photos: 

First of all, don’t be shy to use your camera. Yeah, in a lot of situations when you’re out an about, you’re going to feel a little silly taking photos with your Instax.  Learn to tune out your surroundings and have a little fun! Stay calm, steady, and relaxed when composing for the best photos. Don’t cover the exposure meter (the two holes above the lens) or the flash when taking a photo.

Try taking photos of everything. Your friends. Your face. Your eyeball. A pretty flower you saw. Your breakfast. Your coffee. A funny sign. Your happy hour cocktail. If you really want to get comfortable with your camera, you’re going to have to use it. 

Invest in a good camera bag or strap. If you feel like you have to inconveniently lug your camera around, you probably won’t use it very much. Whether you use a camera strap, special camera bag, or even a bigger purse to hold your camera, have something with you to hold your camera if you’re going to be holding it for a long time. One time, I thought I would be fine just holding my camera everywhere I went but it got annoying pretty quickly. 

How to Make The Most of Your Instax Camera

This case is currently on sale at Urban Outfitters and it fits the mini 8 like a glove. 

Get artsy with different filters and attachments. It’s pretty fun to play around with filters and lenses on the Instax. This pack has a few colored filters, and this lens helps you take better selfies. Instead of buying colored filters, you can also go the DIY route and use colored cellophane or sunglasses to create cool filters too. 

Try out different types of film. Fujifilm actually makes a variety of film for their minis: wide frame, monochromatic, rainbow, shiny star, air mail…the list goes on and on. It’s pretty uncommon to find a good variety at stores, so order online for the best selection. Fujifilm has a list right here. I’m definitely going to buy a monochromatic pack one of these days! 

Display your photos in frames, albums, and scrapbooks. While hanging photos on a photo wire or taping them directly to the wall has that carefree cool girl vibe to it, you actually have options when it comes to displaying or saving your photos. Urban Outfitters actually has a ton of frames and albums made just for Instax. I have a couple of the clear frames for my photos and LOVE them. They just sit on my desk. 

Buy film in bulk. Let’s be real–snapping photos on with your Instax costs a lot more than snapping photos with your phone. Costco sells the regular Instax mini film in some of their warehouses for a nominal price, but I prefer to order on Amazon for the convenience. $10-$15 per twin pack is pretty standard for the classic white film. You might be paying more like $10/pack for the other special film packs. 

Tips for taking photos:

  • Make sure the exposure you have set matches up with the light on the camera, unless you want to deliberately overexpose or underexpose for an artistic look.
  • The viewfinder isn’t exact, so you will need to make sure you’re pointing the lens at the subject. Try turning the camera to the right a little and tilt upward.
  • Do not expose the film to light. Do not shake the photos. Once you have taken a photo, make sure the photo isn’t exposed to direct sunlight. If you’re outdoors, put it in your pocket or in a bag to protect the image. 
  • Carry extra film and batteries with you! 

That’s pretty much it! Do you have any tips to add to make the most of your Instax experience?

Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links. 

High Protein Macaroni & Cheese

High Protein Macaroni and Cheese

I’m going to paint you picture here. It’s been gloomy for days. Gray skies, strong winds, rain falling sideways. You’ve been hit with relentless storms and according to the forecast, you’re not catching a break for a while. All you want to do is curl up into a ball and read, watch some TV, take a nap, or snack.

But it’s the new year and you’re supposed to be sticking with your new diet and fitness plan.

BUT when the weather is like this, you just want some damn comfort food. 

What do you do? Dilemma, right? 

I think most of us have been in this situation. You’re really craving something hearty, delicious, and kinda bad, even though you’ve told yourself time and time again that you need to stick to a healthy diet. You don’t want to derail everything you’ve been working toward. 

Well, I’m here to tell you that there’s a compromise. At least when it comes to macaroni and cheese. 

This macaroni and cheese recipe packs on the protein without losing any flavor. How much? I’m talking 24g of protein per serving, and this recipe makes 4 servings. If you want to truly make a filling meal out of it, eat two portions…although I don’t recommend this as it really isn’t that healthy for you. It’s really just good as a side with some light, creamy soup and a salad. 

Tweak the recipe and make it your own by adding bacon, different cheeses, breadcrumbs, jalapeƱos…the list goes on and on. Think of this recipe here as a starting point for what you can do to really make your tastebuds sing and keep your waistline intact. 

I will also note, my recipe was is a bit of a lazy-girl version. Get a food processor or blender in here, and maybe add a little flour to create a roux and get a really smooth cheese sauce.

Without further ado, here’s the recipe:  
High Protein Macaroni and Cheese High Protein Macaroni and Cheese
High Protein Macaroni and Cheese
High Protein Macaroni and Cheese
High Protein Macaroni and Cheese

Wedding Invitation Basics & Tips

Wedding Invitation Etiquette

Engagement season is coming to a close soon and wedding season is about to kick into full gear! If you’re one of the ladies tying the knot in the near future, you’ll definitely want to be up to speed on wedding invitation etiquette. It’s pretty easy to forget about etiquette with all the things that need to happen when planning a wedding– themes, colors, venues, dresses, bridal party, etc.–the list goes on forever! 

Here are some of the basics you’ll need to think about when it comes to wedding invitations. Included are links to helpful resources that give you a great amount of detail and answer almost any question you might have!

  • Start looking at invitations and save-the-dates about 8-10 months before the date. This will give you a little time to think about colors and themes while you’re looking to finalize a venue. 
  • Send out save-the-dates 6-8 months ahead of the wedding date and wedding invitations 6-8 weeks before the wedding (The Knot). Invitations for destination weddings should be sent out 3 months in advance. This gives people time to make the appropriate arrangements to be there. 
  • Without getting into the nitty-gritty of the fine details on wording for your wedding invitations, you’ll need to include some basics: the full names of the bride and groom, the time, date, month, and year of the wedding, and the location. Formal invitations will also include the names of the hosts, which are generally the bride’s parents. If you’re finding this to be a little tricky (perhaps the hosts are divorced), Basic Invite has all of your questions answered here!  
  • Wedding invitations tend to be quite formal, using language and a format that has been used for centuries. Formal wedding invitations are common, but if you’re have a more casual celebration or perhaps a rustic wedding, there is no need to follow formalities to a tee. 
    Rustic and less formal save-the-date and invitation
  • While not on the formal invitation, do give your guests clear guidelines on attire, directions (with a map) to the venue, accommodation details, and information on any activities (like dancing). Not only will they be more prepared for the big day, but you won’t be fielding questions left and right from guests about these things. This information can accompany the wedding invitation but should not go on the formal invite.
  • If you’re sending out more than just the the wedding invitation, such as a response card, there is a method to placing everything in the envelope. Refer to this guide here on how to assemble your invitations
    Invitation with extra information
  • Do not list your wedding registry on your wedding invitations or on your save-the-dates. It’s impolite. You may, however, tell your bridal party and close family and friends where you’re registered and guests may ask them or they may tell guests. 
  • If you have a wedding website, include this information the save-the-date, not on the wedding invitation.
  • Gifts will likely be sent to the return address on the invitation or save-the-date. If you would like gifts to be sent to a different address, you should list an address beneath the RSVP line on the invitation. 

Some reallllly helpful tips: 

  • Sign up now for mailing lists to get discounts and special savings on save-the-dates and invitations. 
  • Save-the-dates are a little more informal and fun, and they’re also not required. If you’re having a small wedding and you’re not inviting a bunch of guests from out of town, you may not need to send out save-the-dates. If you are sending out save-the-dates, check out these save the date ideas!
  • Ask friends and family in advance for their information. It will take time to correctly format every invitation. 
  • Visit the post office to see how much it will cost to send out your invitations. If you’re sending out a lot of info with the invitations, you might be paying more. In order to do this, you should order a sample invitation set. 
  • Register at common places such as Macy’s, Target, Crate & Barrel, Williams-Sonoma, and Pottery Barn in addition to any place you would like to register. You may have some guests who directly search for your registry all on their own without speaking to any family or the bridal party. 
  • Order thank you cards before your wedding. This ensures you’ll be able to send them out in a timely manner. 
  • Work with a reputable company that has great reviews and has great customer service. This is your wedding, after all. 

Sounds pretty crazy, right? Well, Basic Invite is here to put your mind at ease and simplify everything for you. They’re different than their competition in a few ways. 

Almost Unlimited Colors – Basic Invite is one of the few websites that allows customers almost unlimited color options with instant previews online. Once you select a design you can change the color of each element on the card to over 180 different color options. So, you can make sure the card is exactly how you want it – down to the littlest detail. 

Custom Samples – Order a printed sample of the actual invitation so you can see exactly how it’ll look when placing the final order. The print quality or paper quality won’t be a total mystery. 

Over 40 Different Colors of Envelopes – You can choose from over 40 different colors when it comes to the envelopes.  All envelopes are peel and seal so the envelopes can be quickly and securely closed. What a time saver!

Over 200 Wedding Invitation Sets -Each of the wedding invitations is part of a set. You can find everything from save the dates to wedding invitations and enclosure cards, wedding menus, wedding programs and even matching thank you cards! 

With everything you have to manage when planning a wedding you’ll definitely want to bookmark or save this post!

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Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Basic Invite. All opinions are my own personal views. Photos courtesy of Basic Invite. Thank you for supporting the brands I love, which also helps support thesassylife!