Friday, March 22, 2013

Picture this....

I've been playing with my camera a little over the last few days and wanted to share some of the outcomes!

Welcome to a snippet of my life....{click on the image to make it larger}


 His laugh. I can hear it from this photo. ♥


 Every day, after his nap, he comes downstairs and lays on the couch and watches
 cartoons until the grogginess is gone.

Poser. Max, our resident long-haired chihuahua, who believes he is King. When booking a vet appointment the other day, they asked me his age, I said nearly 7yrs and she said "Oh, so he's getting to be an old man then!", I hadn't thought about it, and now i'm starting to notice the little grey hairs poking through in his eyebrows and muzzle now...it's crazy how pets really become part of the family. ♥



Our newest recuit...Piper. She is a border collie lab mix, and was rescued from our local shelter.
We just found out she is older than what we originally thought, and is approx 6 months old. She is the funniest dog, and keeps everyone entertained with her antics. 
Hoping to have her trained properly in the next couple months so she can channel her energy properly. These big dogs need attention and exercise, so we want to learn properly how to work
 with her, since she's a little different than a chihuahua! ; )


 I have been jealous of this little man's lips since he was born.
 The colour swatch is pulled from his actual lip colour...lush.

Gosh, I love this little girl! She has the sweetest spirit. I'd want to wrap her in cotton wool 
and protect her from this world if I didn't have a feeling that the world might be needing
 strong little girls like her someday... ♥

 This.kid.
Oh my goodness, he melts me. I love everything about this picture, from his sour mouth reaction, to the binky clasped in one of his ridiculously huge hands. 


After nap time (around 2pm) is when they are allowed to use anything electronic, so it's quite the connundrum to decide between a learning tablet and cartoons! 

Well, there are a few photos for you, I'd love to hear a little feedback if you feel like commenting! It's always a little intimidating seeing how many people have viewed my posts, but then silently wandered away...I'd love to know what you think! Do you like this style of photography, or do you prefer a cute backdrop and posed pictures? 
 
Have a great weekend friends!! It's Friiiidaaaaayyyy!!!!! : )

A sneaky healthy breakfast for kiddos!

I've been wanting to share this recipe (if you can call it that) for a while, as I know how hard it can be to give children a healthy breakfast that keeps them full all morning without having to give them that lunch ruining snack, mid morning.
Excuse the ghetto cell phone pic, but it was early, and being Mormon, we don't get to do that whole coffee thing, so waking up tends to take a little earlier...the Canon is safer left in it's cupboard before 8am.


I always have a tub of ground oatmeal in our pantry. I use it for different thing,  but mostly for smoothies and this recipe. I literally just pour a bunch of the oats in my blender (we have the Ninja, it is awesome!) and grind them up till they are powdery.
I then just take as much as I think my 4 will eat, put it in my mother-in-laws lovely bowl that I haven't returned yet (Oops!) and add coconut milk to it. Just enough till it looks a little too liquidy. I then heat it until the consistency is how you prefer it. We like it so it holds form a little. 
If you don't like the idea of chocolate then you can use the vanilla coconut milk which tastes a little sweeter than regular coconut milk. But, if like me, you are a nutella fiend, then go ahead and a dollop. Since the oatmeal is warm, it melts right in. Add until you like the taste...just don't go crazy, or you might be pulling your kids down from the ceiling, with all that sugar! ; )
The texture is a lot easier for children to chow down on, and the chocolate tricks them into thinking they're eating something suuuuper naughty at breakfast, but actually it's super healthy, and just a little bit naughty! 
You have got to try it, it really is soooo goooood! {and no, it's not just for kids! ;)}

Bon Appetit! 


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Progress report {1}...

Eeep! I feel the need to update my blog readers (although there are very few right now since I switched blogs and made my previous one private... :( I'll have to work on that!) on how the weight loss journey was going.

I'm actually having a LOT of fun doing this! I feel like i've changed on the inside too. This is only in 3 weeks! 1 week of just eating better, another week of eating completely well (nothing yuk at all!) and then this last 7days, eating really well and adding on exercise. I'm doing attempting Jillian Michael's 30 day shred, and am LOVING it!

It has only been 7 days of working out and i've noticed changes in my body. I never thought i'd see a difference this fast, but it just goes to show! : ) It's important to add that I have in no way cheated, I have not snuck in a burger, a portion of fries, a bag of candy etc., I have been diligent with every choice i've been making. I finally feel like I understand what it is that people get so "obsessed" with. It's that feeling that you have after the workout of knowing you pushed your body just that little bit further than you thought it would go. For instance, i'm not all that flexible, being 5"8, i've always been kind of awkward as far as flexibility, but in 7 days i'm already stretching way further than when I started, i'm getting further into the straddle thing she does in the cool down and it just feels like it's getting easier and easier! It's such a good feeling. {Yes, yes, I know, it's only been 3 weeks of doing this, and some may find this excitement annoying, but may I refer you back to my first post where I said this was my blog and my opinions...yes? k. Glad we have that sorted. ;) }

I need to take some honest pictures of how my bod looks now. None of the "from above so you can't see my double chin" bad boys! Haha! I want to see the change, from start to where I meet my goal. I'm going to say finish, as I really don't want to finish. I want to reach my goal, and then maintain, but staying active and healthy. I feel so happy now that I can finally do the things i've been wanting to do. Just walking at a moderate speed for a mile hike would leave me in agony the next day, so this surgery has made big improvements to my life. I'm able to do jumping jacks without pain, jump rope, and crunches. These are all things most people despise, and probably would think they would enjoy having an excuse not to do, but when actually can't physically do them, it really does suck. So this surgery was such a blessing and really did change my life. I think the biggest thing that helped was removal of the nerves going from my uterus. My uterus is still pretty much shot, and the Dr admitted, a huge mess, but I just wasn't ready to be rid of it (TMI?), so we did that nerve removal procedure. Basically it means, even though there is most likely still pain down there, I don't feel it. I will eventually return and get myself sorted once and for all, but for now, this will do, and it means I can at least start to get back in shape and being the girl I remember being before I put my body through 3 pregnancies and then took care of 4 children. I love being a mummy, but I'll be the first to admit that I need that "me" time. Where you just do something for you. Sometimes just a shower where someone isn't standing outside of it tapping on the door, is enough! Haha! But now, it's my workout time, and then that awesome accomplished feeling you get when you've finished it. Seriously, I think i'm officially addicted.

I've been browsing different store sites for sports bras and also yoga pants. The best place I found (endorsed by a friend of mine who owns a few of their clothing items) is called LuluLemon. If you like sportswear to wear not just for sports, but for casual every day wear, then you NEED to visit this site, here. My favourite thing and number one on my wish list are the wunderunders. I guess they are super tight leggings that make your tush looks it's best! Can't argue with that!
Well, speaking of all this fun stuff, I need to get on with my workout as the kiddos are in bed now.
Peace out y'all! ;)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

What I wish I had the guts to say outloud...here goes nothing...

Hello again!
It's been a while. I've had not the best month. I have been suffering quite a bit since the surgery, but weirdly from something unrelated to the surgery, as far as I know. It's just an unfortunate thing that appeared after and has had me in quite a bit of pain. It's no easy task running around after 4 little ones when you are in pain, but I don't really have any other options, so it's one of those mind over matter things.

I wish I lived closer to my mama as she has always tried to understand and empathize with what I go through. She has never experienced the pain, but when she is here she listens and tries to learn about what I feel. When days like British Mothering Sunday day rolls by (yesterday) and i'm not there, I have a harder time. Any holiday to be honest is rough without your family around. Those traditions you grew up with, the silliness that we used to have when we would spend hours at the dinner table, the jokes that only our family would get, going for long walks in our fields and visiting with our shetland ponies, geese and ducks, playing music that we would all dance and sing too {the boys will deny it, but I promise, when they were little, we all joined in...and the fact that we are all musical still is quite the giveaway! ;)}. It's the little things that I miss. I'm glad though, that I married someone who is so ready to introduce those things to our family. There isn't a day goes by without us singing and dancing together. When weather allows we are outdoors playing and exploring. Yes, somewhat dorky, but we enjoy looking at bugs, and plants and nature in general. Our latest fun due to the inclimate weather {never ending snow} has been a mattress on the living room floor that we all snuggle up on and watching movies with snacks. Wreck it Ralph is HIGHLY recommended by our family to yours, on that note.

I know not everyone who lives in a foreign country feels like this, and i'm not saying my way is the only way, i'm just saying this is how it is for me, and I know for a lot of my girlfriends who are in the same position. I love our family home, and the love that is in it, but I don't think people understand just how different our cultures are. After 8yrs here, I still struggle with homesickness. I still struggle with trying to be more outgoing. I've done a whole lot of faking it to make it...smiling to trick myself that i'm succeeding, when actually i'm super uncomfortable and feel like the "alien" that the embassy referred to me as on the paperwork! Haha!

Even just getting into my business, photography. I grew up in an arty family. My dad is an amazing artist, he owns a successful art gallery in London. It is in my blood. But somehow I feel awkward trying to get a business off the ground in a country that I know nothing about as far as "business". I look at other people who do similar things to me, and I envy their confidence. The fact that they can promote their businesses with no embarrassment or worry about whether they sound arrogant. I just kind of wanted my art to speak for itself, but in a world of social media, and people tooting their own horns all over the place, if you are quiet, you do not get heard. The other problem with it for me, is the clients. A lot of people, through no fault of their own,  have seen other photoshoots, gotten their ideas of that, then want me to replicate it. It goes against every fiber in my body to do that. Not one part of me wants to be a copycat, or wants to be like anyone else, yet somehow I end up doing what a client wants instead of expressing my own art. My husband often tells me that if I just went ahead and did my own vision that people would love it, but I just don't have that much guts. I think that soon enough i'll be stopping my business the way it is and rethinking it. I'm over doing the generic thing. My interest in photography never was to pose babies/children, and was NEVER to do indoor shoots etc. My passion is outdoors, natural beautiful light, real situations. I love family shoots, but not posed. I love real lifestyle shoots. Natural moments that happen between parent and child, sibling love, or even sibling disagreements! Haha! Those are the moments that should be captured. Not a baby smiling awkwardly because someone is squeaking a toy above my head, or trying to make them do something that they normally wouldn't do. The whole ordeal (yes...ordeal!) is painful for me, and at the end of the shoot I'm left wishing I had done what I fallen asleep thinking about the night before. The shoot where I have Mum and baby play together on the floor, mummy rocking their little one, feeding them, dad tossing them in the air as their squeal with excitement, or a family walk on a trail, etc. Doing things that they do together every day. I have very few pictures of my children that are "posed", and the ones I do have I don't really care for. I love the ones where they are giggling so hard at the table because their baby brother snorted spaghetti out of his nose, or where daddy is consoling one because he got a boo boo on his knee, or a quiet moment where big sister is reading to her baby brother. These are the moments I want to capture for people. Real life. I can guarantee, from experience, that those images will be the ones to make you smile and even cry when they are grown and look back on them. I just wish I had the guts to say it. To tell people when they ask me to pose their child, or squeeze them into an outfit that is uncomfortable and something that they wouldn't wear every day, that I don't agree. There is a time and a place for it. I'm all for fun outfits, but let them wear it for what it is, fancy dress, and let them play while wearing it, if it's fairy wings and a tutu, let them run around and pretend to be a fairy, or a butterfly, watch them light up with a real smile, let them call your name and ask you to watch them as they whizz around. That facial expression will be the one that makes you swoon, and that you put on your wall.  I wish that I didn't feel bullied into changing my art. Which is why, taking a break might be the best thing for me, and my business. I am taking big steps in changing my lifestyle right now, and I think a healthy body promotes a healthy mind too, so maybe this will be the kickstart I needed to make the changes to my art too.

I didn't mean for this post to be "ranty", more just something that i've been meaning to say, but haven't. It's not an attack on other photographers or past clients. The shoots i've done up till now have been learning processes, and i've been blessed to get to know some really awesome families whilst doing them. There will always be people who are more comfortable with posing their child, and that is a matter of taste. Not a matter of wrong or right. This is MY idea of art, and the way I think. It's what I want for my business, personally.

Ahhh...that feels good to get off my chest!

Just wanted to share a few family (including my sweet little niece) shots that were not "posed" shoots, and some of my favourites. I only have limited access on my new computer, so I only had a few to choose from. But I adore all of these images too and wanted to share, to help explain the idea of "lifestyle".

{I wanted to capture my little guys curls before we made the big chop, & for that reason, this picture just melts my heart. I love the glow of the sun coming from behind him & highlighting them!}
 {Ok...so here is a smile...but it certainly wasn't a posed one with mummy dancing behind me
shaking what her mama gave her, ;) This is a real happy smile from being outside on
a beautiful day and watching her older cousins playing and making her giggle.}
 {This is a more "posed" style, yet very loosely posed. She had been goofing around, playing on her bike, and I asked for a picture and she jumped up and put her hands on her hips, in her true sassy style. There are ways to achieve more posed styles without physically posing a child.}

{These images were captured on a little nature trail we took. We do this a lot as a family, and so capturing something that we love doing as a family was really fun for me. I get shown a lot of things that they find on the woods floor, and getting his grubby fingernails and inquisitive face was perfect!}
 
 {these two faces the boys are making aren't the typical expression my clients want...but to me they are precious, this is how I remember my silly boys, and how I will WANT to remember them.}
{Summer's uncle is on his LDS church mission in Brazil right now and so capturing this
moment is special to her as she is only little and it's fun to remind her of the sweet
things her uncle and her would do.} 
 {This has to be one of my all time favourite moments I caught. They had no idea I was watching.
They had been playing and running around and their aunt and I were watching them, and all of
a sudden they had an unspoken twin moment and stopped for a sweet hug. Knowing this is a
genuine moment makes it so much more special to me. x}
{During a road trip, we stopped with a bunch of restless kids and let them run riot at a rest stop,
this is where they made daddy play hide and seek with them. It's hillarious watching little ones
race around and giggling super loud thinking that their have the best hiding spots, and daddy pretending that he has no idea where the relentless giggling is coming from. Haha!}

If you are wondering how a natural shoot can happen like this for you, ask your local photographer to follow you around during a regular family activity. It could be a saturday morning where you all stay in your jammies and eat breakfast and watch cartoons together, it could be a trip to a museum, a simple day at the park, a picnic, whatever you like! It is how I'll be gearing up my business in the next few months. I'm so excited to finally be using my imagination again and getting my "art" on! ;) Spring and Summer season definitely gets me excited for this change. Ahhh...change!









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