PIN IT

Lavender Mini Photo Sessions 2017

You know the summer is well and truly here when you see the plush purple heads of lavender appearing in the English garden. Soon the lavender fields will be a carpet of vibrant colour and a calming sensation of lavender fragrance will fill the air.

Mini Sessions are a perfect way to update a few frames around the house or to give to family as Gifts. They are also the perfect way to try some location photography if you are doing it for the first time.

They differ from normal family sessions as they are only 30minutes long and are at specific dates, times and locations. They are aimed at families with 2 or less children. If you have more children then I suggest you get in touch to arrange a full family session which has more time dedicated to the shoot.

 

PIN IT

 

 

 

Dates

Saturday 15th July

  Times: 9.45am, 10.30am, 11.15am, 12pm,  2pm, 2.45pm

Saturday 22nd July

Times: 9.45am, 10.30am, 11.15am, 12pm,  2pm, 2.45pm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Sessions Cost: £199

Includes:

30 minute Session

20+ edited images in an online gallery for you to choose from

5 High Resolution images

A guide on what to wear.

Lavender Field Usage License Fee

DISCOUNT – Book Lavender Photo Session before June 25th.

£185

 

PIN IT

 

 



BOOK NOW – FILL OUT THIS FORM WITH PREFERRED DATE & TIME

Mini Sessions book up quickly so book now to avoid disappointment and keep an eye on my facebook page and blog for updates.

 

Back to TopEMAILitLove itLike itSing ittweet itSubscribe

PIN ITWhat are you planning for Father’s Day ? It is coming up soon – 18th of June in the UK. Like Mother’ Day it is not on the same day throughout the world. The idea of a special day to honor fathers was introduced by a American woman called Sonora Smart Dodd . She was inspired by Mother’s Day celebrations to plan a day honoring fathers.
There are obvious things to do such as letting him sleep in, giving him breakfast in bed, buying him gifts , making him cards etc. You could even do one or some of the chores that he normally does just to give him a break ( how are your lawn-mowing skills ? ) Just think about what he likes and try to work out what would be best. And show him that you love and appreciate him.
Would he like to go fishing?  Would he prefer to have a family day – perhaps playing board games or something similar? You could take him out and have a family meal or visit a place of interest. There are so many places to go to in the UK and you can make it a really fun day. Or you could leave it up,to him – ask him what he would like to do.
Don’t forget to include your children in the preparation and excitement – after all to most kids Dad is their hero! If you have a family photographer near you, you could secretly have photographs taken of you and the kids. You could take them shopping to buy other gifts , or help them make his cards.
But how about making this a day with a difference with something really exotic? There are a lot of special offers around this time.
Here are some ideas :
*Write him a song or make him a love book – you can create your own personalized song or book .

  • Give him a gift voucher for a family  photo shoot.
  • Make him a personalized gift (such as photographs printed in a frame)
  • A whiskey gift set
  • A visit to Kew Gardens
  • A cream tea
  • Tickets for a concert
  • A hotel break
  • A tour of his favorite football team’s stadium
  • A day at a cricket test match
  • An island cruise at Poole Harbour
  • A race day package
  • A visit for two to Ripley’s believe it or not in London
  • A visit to Donington Grand Prix Collection
  • A factory tour of the Morgan Motor Company
  • A steam train trip
  • Clay shooting
  • A sky diving experience
  • Supercar high speed driving blast
  • A world velocity ride
  • A helicopter tour
  • A helicopter lesson or flying lesson
  • A bungee jump
  • And finally …………………………….an acre on the Moon !!!Whatever you do have fun and don’t forget extended family such as fathers-in-law, grandfathers and the rest !!!
Back to TopEMAILitLove itLike itSing ittweet itSubscribe

PIN ITOne of the most important exercises when you are pregnant are the Pelvic Floor exercises. The muscles of the pelvic floor are some of the most important muscles in a woman’s body.

What is the Pelvic Floor?

The pelvic floor is a set of muscles , ligaments, connective tissues and nerves between the pubic bone ( inside your pubes at the front) and your tailbone at the bottom of the spine just above your bum crack. These muscles hold your pelvic organs in place like a hammock. ( your bladder, uterus and vagina) When you pass urine or have a bowel movement these muscles relax and afterwards they automatically tighten to restore control.

What happens when the Pelvic Floor muscles are weakened?

Urinary incontinence
Fecal  incontinence
Excess flatulence.
Pain or lack of sensation during sex
Constipation
Straining or pain during bowel movements
Discomfort with urgent need to urinate
Incomplete emptying of the bladder leading to infections
Pain or pressure in the vagina or rectum
Eventual prolapse or collapse where your pelvic organs drop down towards the opening of the vagina, and cause a bulge through the vaginal canal.

How does pregnancy effect these muscles?

Carrying the weight of a baby in your tummy is going to put enormous pressure on these muscles. Not to mention the added pressure of labour. However it doesn’t matter if you have a natural birth or if baby uses the sun roof just carrying the added weight of a baby along with the ambiotic fluid and placenta creates a lot of weight for these muscles to support.

What can I do to improve this?

Carrying a child puts pressure on the pelvic floor so try to avoid pushing or straining whilst urinating or during a bowel movement. Childbirth then puts further strain on these muscles and ligaments. Regular exercises ( called Kegels) can be done to keep the muscles strong , whilst you are pregnant – once your baby is born it will be more difficult for your pelvic floor muscles to recover if you haven’t practiced. If you are unsure about what exercises to do , ask your midwife at your next antenatal class. Like any exercises , the more regularly you do them the stronger the muscles will be.

PIN IT

How to do Kegel exercises:

Squeeze the muscles around the vagina as if you are stopping the flow of urine
Hold for 10 seconds
Slowly release
REMEMBER TO BREATHE NORMALLY
Do 20 repeats 5 times a day .

Pelvic floor exercises in four easy steps

1. Sit, stand or lie in a comfortable position
2. Squeeze and lift your pelvic floor muscles
3. Hold contraction for 10 seconds
4. Do three or four sets of 10 contractions every day .
REMEMBER TO BREATHE NORMALLY !!

Good luck and keep those muscles strong !

Back to TopEMAILitLove itLike itSing ittweet itSubscribe

A lot of us start feeling broody once our second child has become more independent. Once all the hassles of sleepless nights, packing everything but the kitchen stove when going out, changing nappies, etc. has worn off you start thinking about having another child. Some of us just want a bigger family – perhaps you were one of three or four children yourself (or more!)

PIN IT
I know it is something I have been thinking of lately. My youngest is now 3 – almost 4 and for me that inevitable big 40 is looming. My husband is one of three which is tempting for him. I always imagined having a big family. Having lost my father at an early age and with my mother never having re-married I always imagined myself with three or four munchkins running around. The reality is that there is so much more to consider when making the decision. Most people I know who have ” bitten the bullet”, so to speak, are really glad they did. But all of them have said it is harder than they anticipated, but even so they don’t regret it for a second.

If you and your husband/partner are thinking of adding number 3 to the brood, there are several things to consider before you make a final decision

  1. Depending on the ages of your first two children, the first year will be very hard especially if the gap is small.
  2. Post natal depression is another thing to consider – particularly if you suffered it with either one or both the first two. Would you be able to handle it again? Along with the sleep deprivation?
  3. Do you want another child, or are you just in love with the thought of having a baby again? All babies grow up…
  4. Are you working, and, if so can you afford the additional childcare?
  5. Whilst on the subject of affordability – can you afford all the other things that go with having another child? (Food, clothing, outings etc.)
  6. There are other expenses to think about, you will need a bigger car if you don’t already have one. If you have family abroad that you visit, that is another ticket you will need to afford and even if you don’t, holidays are going to be more expensive in general.
  7. Do you mind living in a messy, noisy house with not much routine?
  8. Do you have any “help” such as a nanny or cleaner? Or do you perhaps have family living nearby who could help?
  9. Have you thought about “middle child syndrome”? Whilst this is not a clinical disorder, it can be very real for the middle child.
  10. If you decide you want one more child and you ended up having twins, would you manage?

Right!! You have looked at all the negatives but you still feel positive about having another child! You REALLY want one and your partner has agreed – go ahead and enjoy it.

As for me – I guess you will have to wait and see…..

Back to TopEMAILitLove itLike itSing ittweet itSubscribe

I am sure you must have noticed the transformation of our woodlands with the arrival of the bluebells this year. They are just in time for my bluebell sessions which start this weekend. I can’t wait to get out there in that marvelous colour to photograph some families and see the kids having fun.

With this in the forefront of my mind I thought I would share some of the best bluebell locations.

Some of the best places to see bluebells in the south east are….PIN IT

  • Isabella Plantation – Richmond Park – Not only are there bluebells but a blanket of colour from the numerous Rhododendron which are also in full bloom. Pathways to explore, ducks to feed and
  • Banstead  Woods – the orchard in the woods has loads of bluebells and there are nature trails and walking routes
  • Horton Park, Epsom – this is a nature reserve with paths for wheelchairs and buggies.
  • Hammonds Copse, Leigh – managed by the Woodlands Trust. Remember to tread carefully as bluebells are very delicate and you don’t want to spoil them.
  • Ranmore Common near Dorking – fantastic views and loads of bluebells
  • Nower Wood, Leatherhead – lots and lots of bluebells and a fair amount of wildlife. You can also try pond dipping .
  • Outwood  Common – lovely walks, the oldest windmill in Britain and a nice cosy pub for lunch.

 

PIN ITFelland Copse, Earlswood – a short circular walk with a small stream and some horses.

  • Priory Park, Reigate – lovely woodland – you can also look for the fairy doors.
  • Limpsfield Common near Oxted – usually loads of bluebells and there are also Beatrix Potter houses dotted around the common.
  • Staffhurst Wood, Oxtead – a beautiful little pathway winds through the wood. Great for dog walkers and it is a beautiful walk.
  • Priory Farm, Godstone there is a wonderful discovery walk with all sorts of exciting things for the kids to explore including a bluebell wood to walk through. There are fish to feed and a pirate ship playground where you can enjoy a coffee and a picnic. Not to mention their garden center and farm shop to enjoy some fresh produce and plants from.
  • Heaven Farm, Danehill – there is loads to do at Heaven Farm with a Nature Trail, Farm Museum, Tea Room and Craft Shop. The bluebells are out if full force and it is absolutely beautiful at this time of year – well worth a visit.

 

  • Wakehurst, between Turners Hill and Ardingly, boasts formal and ornamental gardens, woodlands which are covered with bluebells at this time of year, wildlife and a nature reserve. It is also home to the Millennium Seed Bank, the largest wild plant seed bank in the world.
Back to TopEMAILitLove itLike itSing ittweet itSubscribe

ACTIVITIES THIS EASTER

What are you going to do with your little ones this Easter? Whether you decide to enjoy the countryside ( weather permitting) or whether you are looking for indoor activities, here are some ideas:

IndoorsPIN IT

If you google these you will see what materials to buy and how to make them:

Or you can get creative in the kitchen:

  • Make a candy jar with a small jar and a candlestick and fill it with Easter treats.
  • Easter mason jars filled with nice goodies
  • Bunny Crossing so that when the bunny comes he will know which path to take.
  • An Easter brooch
  • Edible Easter treats
  • Hatching hard-boiled eggs
  • Easter egg bunnies
  • Easter eggs covered with colored buttons
  • I found a lot of ideas on Google, Pinterest, and on

Outdoors

Why not try a farm? A lot of animals are producing babies at the moment and this is a good opportunity for your little ones to learn about animals – there is something very endearing about baby animals . Try Godstone Farm or Bockett’s Farm
One of the nicest things to do at this time of the year is to visit the bluebells. It is great to have pictures of your little ones taken amongst the bluebells, so contact a photographer and have some professional pictures taken.

So go out and enjoy the countryside but don’t forget to contact a family photographer to meet you there and take some great photos of your family this easter !

 

Back to TopEMAILitLove itLike itSing ittweet itSubscribe

Mothers Day

 

Mothers day is just around the corner! Have you done anything about it?

mothers dayPIN IT

I think the mother-child relationship is such a special one to celebrate. Mums can often get taken for granted, but this special day gives us a chance to say thank you and celebrate this wonderful and unique bond with our mums.

A wonderful way to do this is to arrange a mother/child photo-shoot or even a family photo-shoot. If you haven’t done it in time, give them a voucher for one in the future.

So often mums are the ones behind the camera,  (or more commonly) the iphone. Because of this, there are very few photos of her. One day you will want those photos for you and your children to remember her by.

So if you haven’t bought her a gift – think about booking one now.

Having a professional who knows what he/she is doing is a good idea. I know, being a mum myself, I feel like I have curves in all the wrong places, and don’t really want to be photographed. However, having a professional who knows how to pose his / her subjects in order to hide the curvy bits and highlight the good bits makes a world of difference.

 

 Mothers Day around the world and at home.

Mother’s Day is celebrated around the world, but not every country has it on the same day, or even the same month. It is a celebration of mothers and the maternal bond. Gifts are given to mothers and other maternal figures such as grandmothers, stepmothers and mothers-in-law.
In the UK it is also known as Mothering Sunday and is always on the fourth Sunday of Lent, three weeks before Easter Sunday . For this reason it is not always on the same date.
The custom has been in existence for centuries – people returned to their mothers in the middle of Lent and the day often turned into a family reunion. It was a chance for young people who worked away from home to spend time with their mothers. Many of them picked flowers along the verges as they walked home to see their mothers. 
In America an activist called Anna Jarvis lobbied the Government for an official day to honor mothers, and dedicated her life to the cause. This inspired a vicar’s daughter in the UK (Constance Smith) to push for the day to be officially recognized in Britain. It became more and more celebrated over the years, so we now have Mother’s Day as we know it.

 

 

Back to TopEMAILitLove itLike itSing ittweet itSubscribe

bluebell mini photo sessionsPIN IT

Bluebell Mini Photo Sessions 2017

Bluebells transform our woodlands with a carpet of intense colour and is one of our greatest woodland spectacles. It’s not surprising that my bluebell mini photo sessions are the most popular of all my mini sessions, with bluebells being the most loved flower in the UK, they create a magnificent backdrop to your family photos….

Mini Sessions are a perfect way to update a few frames around the house or to give to family as Gifts. They are also the perfect way to try some location photography if you are doing it for the first time.

They differ from normal family sessions as they are only 30minutes long and are at specific dates, times and locations. They are aimed at families with 2 or less children. If you have more children then I suggest you get in touch to arrange a full family session which has more time dedicated to the shoot.

 

 

bluebell mini photo sessionsPIN IT

 

Dates & Locations

Saturday 22nd April – Ashurst Wood, Oxted

  Times: 9.45am 10.30am, 11.15am, 12pm2pm, 2.45pm

Saturday 29nd April – Cannazaro Park, Wimbledon, South West London

Times: 9.45am 10.30am, 11.15am, 12pm,  2pm, 2.45pm

Saturday 06th May – Ashurst Wood, Oxted

  Times: 9.45am 10.30am, 11.15am, 12pm,  2pm, 2.45pm

 

 

 

 

bluebell mini photo sessionsPIN IT

 

 

Sessions Cost: £149

 

Includes:

30 minute Session

20+ edited images in an online gallery for you to choose from

5 High Resolution images

 

DISCOUNT – Book Bluebell Mini Photo Sessions before end of March.

£129

 

 

Prepare for your shoot and check out this guide on what to wear.

 

 



BOOK NOW – FILL OUT THIS FORM WITH PREFERRED LOCATION AND TIME

Mini Sessions book up quickly so book now to avoid disappointment and keep an eye on my facebook page and blog for updates.

 

Back to TopEMAILitLove itLike itSing ittweet itSubscribe

COLIC – THIS TOO SHALL PASS !!!

That is something you thought would never happen to you, but now you have a baby with colic.

What is colic in a baby?
It is uncontrollable crying in an otherwise healthy baby . It usually occurs in a baby under 5 months ( often from about three weeks) and baby generally cries for more than 3 hours on at least 3 days a week. It usually peaks at about 6 weeks and improves between 3 and 4 months. It generally occurs in the late afternoon or evening – just when parents are most exhausted ! It is often accompanied by flatulence, drawing up of legs and closing eyes tight shut or opening them wide.
THEORIES
Nobody really know what causes colic – it has baffled scientists, but there are many theories:
1. It is an imbalance of healthy bacteria in the intestines
2. It is a physical release for sensitive babies who just can’t handle any more sights, sounds or sensations
3. It is related to breast feeding technique
4. It is related to smoking in pregnancy ( this may affect some babies)
5. It is caused by an allergy to cow’s milk.( This may have an effect on some babies, but does not necessarily cause colic)
6. It is caused by a breast feeding mother eating certain foods
7. It is caused by an immature digestive system
8. It caused by stress in hard-working mothers during pregnancy
9 It is caused by interference from one of the grandmothers!
10 It is caused by infant acid reflux ( this could be a trigger) or over-active let-down ( milk sprays too fast into baby’s mouth )

If you are sure it is colic ( if you are worried about him chat to your doctor just to eliminate any other possible problems, here are some suggestions)

WHAT TO DO :

Swaddle baby snuggly in a blanket
Lie him across your lap on his tummy and gently massage his back
Put something warm on his tummy ( be VERY careful that it is only warm)
Pedal  his legs whilst he lies on his back
Give him a pacifier
Soak him in a warm bath
Reduce outside stimulation
Lie him down in a quiet dark room
Rock him
Try some white noise or a washing machine, tumble dryer, fan or vacuum cleaner
Walk him kangaroo style
Try some gripe water or probiotics
Try using the rolling technique for changing his nappy rather than the double leg lift (this way you are keeping his spine in alignment thus not disturbing the connection between the spine and intestines.)
Try talking to  chiropractor about the above method ( or visit one)
Look after yourself – get help if you can – cry a little and scream if you have to. Talk to other mums with the same problem.  Put your earphones in with some music and have a cup of tea.    Go out and take him for a walk or for a drive with the music blaring .

Don’t shake baby in frustration – it can be a VERY difficult condition to cope with. It is not your fault and he can’t hurt himself  – just remember   – IT WILL PASS !!

ColicPIN IT

Call your doctor and make an appointment or talk to your health visitor. More information can be found on the NHS website.

Back to TopEMAILitLove itLike itSing ittweet itSubscribe

cake smash photographyPIN IT

Cake Smash Photography what is it and where did it come from?

I keep hearing people ask what cake smash photography is, so I thought I would explain what its all about. It’s a relatively new fad that has taken the UK by storm. It is a way of celebrating your child’s first birthday. Having been popular for some time in the USA, it is the latest genre of  photography. A new rite of passage for a baby to become a toddler.

It involves giving your 1 year old child a cake and letting them smash it. Most children have not had sugar by this stage so it is a new experience for them. It is a great occasion and can be done as a substitute to a birthday party. But it can of course be accompanied by a party.

Most people hire a professional child photographer for cake smash photography to ensure you capture this memorable occasion.

Where does it originate?

There are various theories about the true origins of this tradition. One is that it originated in Mexico, and was originally called “Mordida” which means bite in Spanish. Some sort of cake demolition has been going on for centuries – in ancient Roman times throwing cake at the bride at a wedding ensured her fertility. In some cultures the bride and groom threw cake at each other – it was believed that  this showed a willingness to share a house with one another.
There are varying opinions on Cake Smash photography. In some ways it is a bigger milestone for parents than it is for the child.  Others feel that it is a good way of celebrating and that great fun is had by all, especially if your child loves their food. This is something a little different, and the pictures taken will show your child what they were like and what they did for their first birthday.

cake smash photographyPIN IT
So here are some tips for your own little one’s Cake Smash :

1. Don’t try and attempt to do it on your own cake smash photography. A professional photographer that has experience with cake smash photography will give you the best results. Ask them to take some photograph before the cake comes out. That way you have some of him/her looking clean .
2. Make two separate cakes – one for your little one so that he can do whatever he likes – squeeze, drool, mangle or face plant it! Have a separate one for yourself and any guests.
3. If you feel strongly about him having too much sugar and would prefer a healthy option there are plenty of recipes. Cream cheese can be used for the icing too.
4. It will keep him occupied for a while and will provide great entertainment as you watch, not to mention a lot of fun!
5. Don’t use chocolate cake for obvious reasons.
6. White frosting is difficult to photograph so make it slightly pink or slightly blue. I would recommend you get a cake professionally made. Alternatively you could purchase one that has soft icing from a shop. Asda do a lovely rainbow cake which works well.
7. Be careful if you use bought cake. (Some cakes have nuts in them)
8. Have a towel and soap ready. Handy for use when he gets tired of being messy.
9. If you prefer not to use cake , something like a watermelon could be used instead.
10. Some babies find the icing too sweet. You can break a hole in the back so that he can get to the cake in the middle.

cake smash photographyPIN IT
Smash & Splash

This is a more recent development where the little one , having by now become very messy and grubby, is placed in a bath tub full of bubbles, to get some more cute photos while he/she gets cleaned off. Some people even have a out door or beach “smash and splash” which of course makes it a whole lot less messy and easier to clean up, not to mention if it’s at the beach they can clean off in the ocean. (provided its warm enough!!)

JUST REMEMBER ONE THING !!! If your little one hates being messy think very carefully before organizing a “cake smash”  Particularly if they don’t like any food or mess on their hands as you will get a bunch of tearful photos!!
For the rest of you – HAVE FUN !!!!

cake smash photographyPIN IT

For more information on booking a cake smash visit our price-list.

Back to TopEMAILitLove itLike itSing ittweet itSubscribe