Funky Poppy – A Winning Name

What an exciting moment for Button-Flies, last week we had the privilege of winning a beautiful necklace from the talented Lizzy at Funky Poppy in Plymouth.

Lizzy names her necklaces after friends and was looking for a name for her newest creation. As I am button obsessed mummy, I submitted my newest edition ‘Ophelia Rose’ name for the competition and we WON.

I was so excited!

My grandma even went and bought one knowing it was named after her great-granddaughter.

So that of course meant I needed to take a visit to Funky Poppy (oh no a shop full of buttons….) and say thank you in person with Ophelia, and of course take some pictures of Lizzy’s beautiful shop.

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Lizzy creates all sorts of wonderful pieces with buttons, including necklaces, earrings and rings.

While I was in the shop she had a regular customer come in with an outfit and asked Lizzy to create a piece to match; this is an amazing personal service and I am looking through my wardrobe now to find an outfit that needs ‘buttoning up’.

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ATTENTION BRIDES!

Lizzy also creates the most beautiful button bouquets for you and your bridesmaids. These can be built to match and compliment your colour scheme and are an amazing keepsake after your special day.

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I could look at the thousands of unique buttons Lizzy stocks to personalise any clothing or to build your personal jewellery.


The pictures say it all!

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The Wedding Hub – Review

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It is in the name, this beautiful shop run by the talented Danielle Donnelly of Faithful Designs, is the quirky shaped, magpies nest out of your wedding dreams.

The collection of wedding details that are showcased there are truly beautiful, unique and elegant.

I spent the morning with Danni chatting about all of the ideas she has for her stationary business, the shop and future ventures; this lady is EXCITED about life and the possibilities.

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The shop is decorated with vintage furniture, revamped to compliment the branding of the business. The cut in half tables used as shelving is genius and truly in Danni style AWESOME.

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She has sought out designers and creatives who can provide brides with personal details you will not find on the high street and she continues to seek out and bring new wedding blood to Devon.

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A chalk board cakes by Edible Essence stands proudly in the window on a vintage rose covered swing, jars of buttons and accessories aline the walls and  there are trinkets and treasures galore and the most amazing hand painted cake toppers from Lotty Lollipop …need I say more? This is the stuff of daydreams.

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Alright so I may have a soft spot for this place but I am in genuine awe of Danni and her ability to dream up and find the most incredible designs and decorations for her businesses and shop, this woman knows her stuff and has built for us a little girls dressing room with the class for the reluctant lady in us all.

If fairies do not reside here I will be surprised.

Go and visit, you will not be disappointed!

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Event of the year – The Bespoke Bride Guide

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Wedding fairs, the daunting events where you walk around not making eye contact and have your head phones on faking a phone call or listening to anything to drown out the calls from scary vendors. Well that was my experience of them anyway, out of 5 weddings fairs I went to I only enjoyed one (where I actually met my amazing florist for my day).

However the weekend before last literally changed my view on them completely, when I decided to pop along to Devonport Guildhall to see the vendors at The Bespoke Bride Guide organised by the beautiful twin duo Sophie and Laura.

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These beautiful ladies decided to start their own wedding directory after spending huge amounts of time trawling through the internet trying to find unique vendors when planning their own weddings.

They have linked arms with some incredible designers and crafts professionals, to help brides to find something personal and unique for their special day. All coming together in a beautiful unique wedding ceremony venue they created a truly wonderful experience.

Come on Louise, I hear you say, tell us about these AWESOME people. Well I am biased of course because some good friends of mine were attending the fair, however from attending, EVERY single vendor there were not only amazing at what they do, but actually really WONDERFUL people too; people you would want to be a part of your special day, people who can add those final touches that you have envisaged in your ‘dream wedding’ plan.

First impressions are so important and walking up the road that leads to Devonport Guildhall, with the blue sky and sun shining warming the buildings Roman style architecture, it was a great view; a great view added to by the welcoming I received from Cybels Vintage Hire wedding caravan. You can hire this quirky caravan, kitted out for afternoon tea with vintage china and a perfect venue for a wedding photo booth. Photo booths have become very popular at wedding receptions, it allows the guests to have the fun of dressing up and creating some amazing memories.

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Zoe-Ann and Amanda, the lovely ladies behind the business provide an amazing hire service that can complete the theme of your day. They offer hire of teacups and saucers, tablecloths, bunting and even some vintage wooden games. Zoe-ann has been passionate about collecting vintage items since she was young and I was very excited to know we share a love of old books.

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Climbing the steps to the fair, I was passed by lots of smiling young ladies with partners, mums and friends alike. I am a sucker for a smile, so I was drawn like a magpie to jewellery straight into the fair to meet the lovely Sophie and Laura for the first time.

They greeted all of their guests personally, which displayed the passion they have for what they are doing and the service they are providing. We all know I love a good chin wag so I felt at home.

All of their guest brides received a goody bag and a chip for a free drink as well.

The first vendor I saw was a good friend of mine Danielle Donnelly who is an award winning stationary designer and owner of the newly open Wedding Hub. Danielle was sharing some of the incredible creations from the beautiful designers who display in her shop.
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The key thing that strikes me about Danielle’s businesses is her eye for beautiful creations and uniqueness. Not only are her stationary designs beautiful she stocks equally BEAUTIFUL items such as material flower bouquets, INCREDIBLE cakes and STUNNING jewellery. All bespoke, meaning you are not likely to have a guest wearing the same as you on your big day.

Danielle is one of the most confident and focused business women I have had the chance to meet and on speaking to her I am very excited for the future of her business ventures.

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Another lovely, incredibly savvy business woman and creative was next for me to see. Claire Thomas of La Beau nail studio. Claire and all the ladies at La Beau are amazingly talented and on the day of the event were even offering free manicures and pimms. These ladies KNOW how to make you feel special. The ever expanding business has been growing and growing since it opened in 2008 and has welcomed celebrity clients on their visits to the area.

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‘The salon is known for its friendly atmosphere and welcoming tranquility, as well as its host of refreshing, reviving treatments’ Labeaunailstudio.co.uk.

I had my nails pampered at La Beau for my own wedding in 2013 and I would highly recommend you visit these lovely ladies with your bridesmaids and mums. It is a beautiful studio with an amazing atmosphere.

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As I was eyeing up the Pimms at the La Beau stand I was surrounded by the most beautiful ‘rustic’ styled display from Green & Pip. I was enchanted by the rural feel of Pip’s designs, each bouquet and table decoration had an elegant wild crafted feel about it. I could imagine many a bride loving the simplicity and elegance for their special day. I didn’t get to chat much to Pip because prospected couples flocked to her original display; evidence that what Green & Pip offer is right on the mark.
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From rustic and rural to pretty and pink. Hannah Burnett floristry was displaying a collection of very feminine wedding flowers. Hannah and I met on a wedding in April, where she styled the ceremony room with beautiful hanging jars of ‘hand picked’ flowers.

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I may have scared Hannah off her seat with my approach to her table as she was very focused on a task, however she continued to greet me with a smile. What I love about Hannah’s business is not only are her flowers eye catching and beautiful, she continues this style through her business stationary and website.

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Now I am a stationary geek so when I see any invitations, name cards or table plans I go walk at the knees. Knots & Kisses, owned by the beautiful and eccentric Nikki (who has a love for the same films as me, yes I talk about everything. Being nosey is my job) was a delight to talk to and was helped on the day by her hubby, who was showing proposed clients the beautiful designs Nikki creates.

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It was an absolute pleasure to speak to such a lovely industry professional, it always makes my day to know that brides are getting amazing, friendly and special service.

What I also love about Knots & Kisses is that as a business it thrives to meet a very high standard, ‘you are only as good as your last wedding’ was the discussion I had with Nikki.

I am looking forward to the rebranding that is currently underway, to see what Nikki will do next.

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Are you enjoying this? I know I am, we have already had some amazing professionals with a huge variety of skills but also huge personalities. I would love to hang out for coffee and cake with these people.

The overall feeling from Sophie and Laura’s event was that of uniqueness and that ‘something special’. For me nothing could have been more true to this than the services of The Guide of Cornish Celebrants, who provide bespoke wedding ceremonies in any location and style. Talking to the founders Nicola and Denise time flew, I could have conversed with these passionate and dynamic ladies for hours.

Nicola and Denise have a wonderful vision of providing unique and truly special ceremonies, they have a true love and dedication to people and it shines through when you meet them. I was so interested in what they do that I am actually writing an article dedicated to them soon, so for now I will leave the full details (if you are an eager beaver then please visit their website).

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Speaking of cake…

The Little Lark Cake Company where showcasing some incredible designs, including a ‘chalk board’ style cake finished off with some delicate and beautiful hand crafted icing flowers.

Each cake that was on display showed just how varied you can be and how you really can add your own personality, even to the cake. These were no Victoria sponge (though that is my favourite cake as my grandma well knows).

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From sugar bouquets to broaches. The last vendor I had the privilege to speak to was the owner of Flourish, who’s stand was not to disappoint any magpie’s eye.

The team are just about to open a physical shop in Hooe, allowing them to display more of their incredible broach bouquets for you to see as well as their flower arrangements. There will be a VIP opening event, so do keep an eye out for that.

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At this point in the fair I had actually stayed for nearly 2 hours and I had to leave before I was able to have a huge conversation with Flourish or the remaining vendors who attended. I met a wonderful photographer, Meg’s photos, who not only had a great visual display, she did attempt to kill me with her lazer vision when I told her I was a photographer too. Ironically I spent so much time chatting to Meg I didn’t focus on getting any shots of her display (sorry Meg).

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What I want to say to you all, if I did not get a chance to see your display or speak at length with you, I can only apologise but I can not take the blame for every one of you being so awesome and friendly that I got lost in the world of unique weddings.

It took me so much longer to write this post, due to the volume of awesome pictures I was able to capture and the vast amount of wonderful, positive and inspiring experiences at the event.

I LOVE weddings and anything to do with them, but I will admit that Sophie and Laura’s event have made me rekindle with the WHY!

Go and check out the guide NOW!

signaturesm

Rainy Day Sanity Savers!

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When you suddenly find yourself indoors because of the weather does you otherwise angelic cherub turn into a Tasmanian Devil that has eaten a truck load of skittles?

That was me this morning…luckily I have some ‘sanity saviours’ ready to rock pretty much all the time to entertain my little ‘taz’.

I have small activity boxes such as:

 – Crayons and a small pad

– Playdoh and shape cutters

– Bubbles/Balloons and Stickers

Today I decided it was painting time. I keep all of the paint equipment easy to hand, including a sheet, scrap paper and aprons. I want it to take less than 10 minutes to set up an activity and to be able to do it without leaving my crazy toddler on his own for too long.

Today I decided to combine some Alphabet learning with the messy play, so took an extra 5 minutes to print a free alphabet colouring book that I downloaded.

Source: http://www.tlsbooks.com/preschoolalphabetcoloringbook.html.

What did I use:

– Surface/table (we have a painting table but I use the kitchen side as well)

– Some card

– Spray Adhesive

– Aprons

– Printable Colouring book

– Paper to print on and messy paper to lay over your surface

– Masking tape (to tape the messy paper to the surface)

– Paint

– Recyclables to use for paint (I don’t use my dishes or pots so I can just throw the paint containers away. Yoghurt pots are great or a used a muffin case today)

– Small Paint Brushes

What did I do?

Preparation

  1. Printed the downloaded document
  2. Cover the table/surface using thin paper and masking tape
  3. Chose 4 colours to place in the pot
  4. Use the spray adhesive to stick the alphabet sheets to card to make them more sturdy
  5. PUT AN APRON ON ME AND OLLIE

Set up time: 5-10 minutes (Only 5 minutes if alphabet letters have been prepped beforehand)

Activity

  1. I asked Ollie to choose a letter he would like to paint, we also sang the Alphabet song whilst painting which was really fun.

Activity Time: 15-20 minutes

Clean Up

  1. Throw the plastic pot/container with paint away
  2. Let Ollie wash his hands and the brushes
  3. Put the painting somewhere safe to dry
  4. Saved any other scraps of painting i.e. hand prints on the table paper (I like to keep everything)

Clean up time: 5 minutes

Once all of the letters we had painted were dry I cut them into squares and I am now looking forward to the next session so we can complete the alphabet.

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What rainy day activities do you like to do?

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My how you have grown!

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Where did the time go?

I have spent some time working on a project photographing Ollie and how he is developing using his senses.

He has such a beautiful face that I can not help but photograph it all the time. But I have been focused recently on his hands, his feet and his exploration of the world around him.

I just wanted to share these pictures with you!

What was it like when we were learning about the world?

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Review from Oliver Drake Jutson

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Article by Oliver Drake Jutson

Chaos writer and philosopher of all things fun

When my mummy told me how much my water wipes were, I was shocked (picture 2). i couldn’t believe she was spending £30 a month on wipes, that was easily an extra box of Lego!!!! I was very shocked. I had to do something.

So while mum was folding my clothes, I sneaked onto her computer and went to ‘The Amazon’ I didn’t know what to expect but it didn’t seem as scary as books seem to say. Anyway in ‘The Amazon’ they have boxes of the wipes my mummy buys for me for £16.00!! YES £16.00. A box of 12 packs of water wipes (usually £2.50 a pack) for nearly half the price of what mum buys and CAN BE DELIVERED FOR FREE as well.

Well I am sure you can understand my excitement, so I left ‘The Amazon’ on her screen for her to see!

She noticed my genius and ordered them. (mummy paid to get them here quicker which was still less than £30).

They arrived the next day, and I tell you, I know was excited about a new toy BUT this was AMAZING. The box was me size 🙂

It is very important ladies, that you know you can save money (to buy those extra toys for your little ones) by shopping online.

Have a wonderful day, I will…I have a box to sit in to watch tv and eat my snack in.

Over and out from Ollie!

signaturesm

Really? Christmas Shopping in August?

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I used to think people were insane to start Christmas shopping in the summer or even in January…then I became a mum and NOW I GET IT!

Today I went out for a very practical reason of getting a tea set for Ollie. This was an extension of letting him help me bake; he has become very interested in helping me do anything in the kitchen now, dishes, cooking, making cups of tea. I did even let him play with my tea pot, but as all of these things are a bit dangerous for his age to ACTUALLY take part in the real activity I thought it was time for a tea set of his own.

This moved into researching good tea sets and also a trip to Mothercare to see what it was like. Within my researching mission, I found a wood kitchen, wooden food and many more items that would make up a full kitchen for Ollie. BRAINWAVE!

This would be what I would get him…

I then thought about the fact that he has so many toys at the moment and he doesn’t play with them all. I didn’t need to buy all of these sets now…LIGHTBULB! CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!!!

The kitchen was on offer at Mothercare and I knew it wouldn’t be nearer to Christmas so I did it, I bought his first Christmas present for this year IN AUGUST! I know, I know I have become one of those sickening people that are far too organised. However I have come to realise that actually this is a GENIUS way to deal with Christmas.

Why start Christmas Shopping early?

1. Money – this has a few reasons behind it, not only can you spread the cost of Christmas over a few months you can also purchase things that are in sales and on offer.

2. Change – Children at toddler age (in my experience) aren’t likely to dislike things in a few months time as they are still happy to explore everything they find and see.

3. Stress – NO RUSHING! You can experience Christmas shopping evenings for the fun of it because you will have most of your presents already. You can use the time to let your toddler experience the sounds, smells and sights of late night shopping/Christmas events instead of worrying about finding last minute gifts.

4 Money (I say it again because it is the one thing that Christmas can cause stress over) To reduce the stress in your family life you can spread the cost of Christmas. You can purchase all of your gifts over the months before Christmas then just need to buy the food nearer to Christmas.

5. Birthdays – Some children (like Ollie) have birthdays very close to Christmas and it can be costly to have two lots of pressies, and as I do not believe it is fair to join them together spreading purchasing of presents over a few months can allow you flexibility to ensure you can create two special days for your little one.

So today I bought Ollie one of the sets, that I had originally decided to go out for. I have ordered the kitchen (which was on offer) and spoken to some family who are keen to help get the whole set for him. How organised.

We have spent time this afternoon playing with his new tea set, talking about the different parts and where they go. He sat focused and LOVED his tea pot.

Success

Christmas Planned and started – DONE

Achieved initial goal – DONE

Helped family with Christmas present ideas – DONE

Reduced Stress – DONE

Had fun – DONE

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What a great day!

What are your views on Christmas shopping early?

 

PS This doesn’t mean the tree is coming out or the songs are entitled to be played yet!!!!!!!!!!

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Getting from A-B is a bumpy route sometimes!

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‘Straight roads do not make for skilful drivers’ Paulo Coelho

‘Progress is rarely a straight line. There are always bumps in the road…but you can make the choice to keep looking ahead.’ Kara Goucher

‘The growth of understanding follows as ascending spiral rather than a straight line.’ Marion Milner

Do you put pressure on yourself to get everything done perfectly and in a linier fashion? Do you get annoyed when your journey isn’t smooth sailing? Hello and welcome to my world.

I have spent copious amounts  of time planning, preparing and controlling every situation in my life, from getting the house work done, to my business, to walking to the shops with Ollie. I plan, I plan and I plan again. Yet it would seem that the world is against me because it never works out that way. Now I can tell you why… LIFE ISN’T MEANT TO. It is ok, life is meant to teach, coach and help you develop. If you are set on things being perfect then how can you improve?

So this was my thinking when I walk taking Ollie to the library last week, I decided to document the journey because I had decided to ‘let go’ and not take his pram or changing bag OR REINS. I thought it was a good time for a lovely stroll with no fuss.

I know, I know it is slight insanity on my part but I felt the urge to go nuts!

Ollie has a new fascination with drain covers and on any walk lately we have to jump on or run over every one we see (yes I have tried to distract him at times so I can move a bit faster). On this walk however I decided to just stay calm and relaxed and see how long the 5-6 min journey would take us.

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9:46am – We leave the house, happy and ready for the sunny walk

9:47am – We have a great start and get up the stairs and to the gate ignoring the first LOUD drain in our garden. This is going to be smooth! We start running down our street holding hands and jumping on drains.

9:49am – We end up in the doctors surgery.

9:50am – We leave the doctors surgery to jump on the same drains we just jumped on.

9:52am – We jump on 3 consecutive drains 3/4 times before spot another one at the end of the road and Ollie runs for it.

(To give some perspective our house is only about 100 yards from the main road we need to reach)

9:57am – We cross the road and find our first of many drains. We walk in a ‘straight line’ towards the library.

We stop, we jump on a drain, we go back to 1st one because it has a louder sound, then we run forward again. Then we stop and I have to carry Ollie across the road and he finds some more drains. We run, we jump, we go back over the same drain. I ask him to move forward, he gets stroppy, sits on the floor and screams. I lift him up, he calms down, we move on…and repeat another time.

9:59am – We are back to walking smoothly and we are about 100 yards from the library.

We jump on another 11 drains before reaching our destination where Ollie runs straight into the adult section shouting JUMP as they have grates inside the library that rattle!

We arrived at 10:04am!

Yes so what is the moral of the story you ask?

WE ARRIVED!

We made it, yes the 3-4 minute walk that it would take me took 18 minutes.

Did I plan for that? NO!

Did it ruin my day to not have control over that small instance? NO! Actually it was a lovely walk, even the 2 second tantrums were over before it even mattered.

The walk back was much the same, we found some new drains, crossed with the green man and laughed at pebbles stuck in a wall. It was a great walk.

Now with anything, when starting to let go of control and relaxing, it can seem daunting and it should be done in baby steps (no pun intended!). If you can let go in small situations such as these it gives you confidence that you can let go in bigger situations. The one thing that will help you do this is support, from whoever you are working with, living with and who the situation involves.

Over the last 18 months I have learnt to relax more and Ollie and Dan have been my biggest control situations, but I can whole heartedly say that I LOVE being able to enjoy a moment, to allow things to just happen and be!

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I hope today you can let go in a situation that gives you the power to know you can achieve anything!

Much love and light this Bank Holiday!

signaturesm

Why I love Wedding Photography!

 

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When I decided to become more focused on being a full time mum, it didn’t just mean leaving my full time employment. It also meant having to review my plans to work on more photography commissions; my plan was to leave work and to become a full time photographer instead, but I realised that this would be the same in terms of time spent with Ollie. I sat and looked at which of the areas of photography I enjoyed the most and which was financially and creatively beneficial to me.

Since starting my business in 2007, I had worked on fashion editorials, beauty shoots, events, portraits and weddings.

In all of those, my strongest passion came to fashion and weddings and as I was living in the South West, the wedding option was looking to be the best option to take.

I decided to team up with my father-in-law Scott Rothney who was looking for a second shooter at some weddings he was doing, after doing just 2 with him in 2012 (whilst 12 weeks pregnant with Ollie) I realised this was THE option I wanted to take.

This year Scott and I have worked on some wonderful weddings, that have boosted my passion further and increased my portfolio to a new level. We have found a complimentary style, which I thought may be difficult with two photographers from very different photographic backgrounds.

I have been reviewing all of the weddings from this year and I have displayed some here for you to see; in reviewing them, with a smile on my face I thought it would be interesting to look at what it was about being a wedding photographer that has kept my hand in.

 

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The Day!

1. Getting ready – One of my favourite parts of the day is being with the bride and her bridal party getting ready for the day. It has always been and always will be an honour to be a part of this special time. My fun memories when working with the bride in the morning have been:

  • Helping with corsets and buttons
  • Playing and entertaining little ones
  • Doing up shoes and jewellery
  • Shooting all of the excitement of course
  • Helping a bride go to the loo in her dress! This has to be my favourite of all.

The getting ready part of the day is where I build the rapport with the family which helps me capture their personalities and emotions more naturally because we are almost distant friends by this time.

2. The Ceremony – The ceremony is a wonderful part of the day and of course the main reason everyone is there. It is exciting to see the love between a couple and the family there to support them. It is a beautiful celebration full of laughter and happy tears. For me it is a very private moment that as a photographer we should feel privileged to be a part of. It is key for me that this part of the day is where I am ‘invisible’ but capturing all of the key moments of emotion.

My memorable moments from the ceremony are:

  • A comical vicar
  • Wonderfully emotional readings from guests
  • A bride and groom dancing to a disney song leaving the church
  • The tears of joy from mums

3 – The group shots/posed photos – Once the ceremony is over, this part of the day is where we as photographers must really jump into action and we become more visible and more involved. I love having the banter with the family and also with Scott, which makes the whole experience fun and relaxed. This is also where we get to ask the couple to do some interesting poses to reflect their personalities.

Group shot memories:

  • Controlling a group of 160 people from an 8 foot wall
  • Photographing pet dogs as part of the day
  • Balancing a bridal party on a table

4 – The exit – Leaving the day is one of my favourite parts (no not because I want to get home) because it is where you know you have done your job and done it well. I love hearing that they have enjoyed you being with them on their special day and it is a great feeling when they say thank you.

 

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Following the Day!

Following the day I very much enjoy the edit of a wedding, I like to remember all of the funny banter between a couple, the guests and also us. It reminds me why I decided to keep wedding photography in my life. It reminds me that love is still alive and such a treasure in the world.

Once the couple receive their images it is always lovely to read/see their responses. It makes me proud to use my skill to capture on of the most important day in a couples life together.

I thought on writing this post that I would find a few select points that I love about wedding photography but as I worked through it I realised I loved it all. I know why my work improves, because my passion gets bigger each time. I have over the years met a number of photographers who didn’t feel wedding photography was for them and to them thank you, because I get to work on them more!

I want to say a huge thank you to all of the bride and grooms of this year, those still to come and those who have eagerly booked us for next year. You are why I do this!

Much Love

WEDDINGS ROCK!

signaturesm

 

 

 

(I work exclusively with Scott Rothney Photography, for availability and prices please visit http://www.scottrothney.co.uk/)

Boy’s in the Kitchen

1Preparation

The last few weeks I have been making my through a fantastic book recommended by a number of mum friends called ‘Raising Boys – Steve Biddulph’. I must say I have had my eyes opened to being a mum to a boy now and I am going to share some of the fantastic lightbulb moments I have had with Ollie.

Since Ollie was around 8 months old we have had troubles with his eating, after a great start to weaning and drinking less milk, he went back onto having 4 bottles of milk a day and refused of the foods we put in front of him.

Now at 19 months old we may have finally moved back onto more food and less milk! HUGE JUMPING UP AND DOWN MOMENT!

and calm……..

This has been through the patience of the health professionals in Hove and also this book.

‘It’s easy to kick-start in your kids a lifetime interest in food preparation, because nature is on your side. Kids love to eat. They love the smells, colour, tastes and even the mess of food’

On reading this and talking to my health visitor it was evident that Ollie was not experiencing food as something fun and interesting, hence not wanting to ‘waste his time’ on it.

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Alongside giving him new foods that we would eat, letting him try anything we had I also decided to start showing him how fun food could be. I started this week with BAKING MUFFINS!

‘Toddlers can help you to make play dough (not to eat!), stirring and kneading the mixture, adding bright colouring.’

You may be thinking ‘oh no, you’re mad for letting Ollie lose in the kitchen’ and yes I would say you need to have a spark of ‘insanity’ to attempt this, but take my word for it IT WAS INCREDIBLE FUN!

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The How!

Step 1 – To make things easier, while Ollie was napping I measured all of the ingredients that I would need into little boys that he would be able to hold or lift himself. I also prepared warm soapy water in the sink so that an any point I could wash his hands.

Step 2 – Work slowly through the recipe. I showed Ollie what each ingredient was and asked him to help put it into the mixing bowl. All the time I was asking him what it felt like, tasted like, smelt like (when he touched the flour he said ‘soft, fuffy’).

He really enjoyed cracking the eggs and counting how many I was putting into the mix (this is a great number exercise for a a toddler). He also took great pleasure in using his fingers to add the butter to the mix, he liked the feel of the warm butter on his fingers. He used his hands to carefully put the flour into the bowl, however he then thought it would be fun to see how it fell on the side, chair and floor.

After putting the mixture into the muffin cases we tried the mixture as well as another new texture.

4Cleaningup

Step 3 – Washing up!

Ollie is a huge fan of water so I knew that I could encourage him to help me clean up. I gave him different cloths/sponges to see the differences and helped him clean some dishes (this will lead me onto another blog post about toddlers helping out around the house). He was more interested in throwing water everywhere shouting ”SPLASH’ really loudly but he enjoyed the warm water on his hands.

5Theyummytest

Step 4 – THE YUMMY TEST!

This was of course the much waited end result. Whilst the muffins were cooking I kept asking Ollie to safely check their progress through the oven glass, he kept saying ‘cakes wow’.

I really enjoyed watching him touch new foods and taste new things. It has encouraged Ollie to see that there is a fun side to cooking and I have continued to ask for his help everyday whilst making meals and snacks. He is really enjoying being a helper and with this new revelation and the addition of being open to letting him try anything with no force Ollie’s eating has increased so much.

I have had some great success with encouraging to eat and I enjoy meal times again!

RESULT!

BUILDING EATING TIPS!

The health visitor also gave me some tips that have really worked with encouraging Ollie to eat more that I felt you would find interesting too.

  • Don’t stress! When giving your little one new foods, do not use phrases like ‘eat you going to eat some more’ or ‘try this’ as it is not giving them the choice to try something new, which was as adults have. It is key to encourage their own food exploration. When sitting with them make food fun.
  • Use new pots/bowls and cutlery so that it is more interesting.
  • Give something new in a separate bowl alongside what they normally eat, this allows them to try something new but not have the worry that the ‘new’ food is mixed in with the foods they know already.
  • Allow 20 minutes for each part of the meal (i.e main and dessert).
  • Exchange tv for music if your child is becoming mesmerised by the box!
  • See everything as a step forward, even touching a new food, or smelling deserves praise. Allow your little one to make mess and explore the textures of food it gives them confidence.
  • It can take between 15-20 times of seeing/tasting a food for a baby to ‘like it’.
  • DON”T STRESS!

Have you had any difficulties with your children eating?

I hope you enjoy the images and I look forward to hearing your results.

signaturesm