Four Kids and a Camera

Photography and Blogging on the Go with Triplets and a Baby!

Photography for Mums: Best of the Web 29-07-16

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movie night with kids

Happy Friday!!

I survived (just) the car trip I mentioned last week. Woohoo! We all had a fabulous time meeting Jen at Mum in the Madhouse (and popping in on cousin Sarah afterwards), and the photos turned out brilliantly. Can’t wait to share those with you next week!

I’ve also been slowly chipping away at the pictures from the triplets’ birthday party, and am so glad to finally get those up on the blog for you to see! Hope you like them 😀

How has your first week of the summer holidays been? Any exciting trips or fun photo sessions? I’d love to hear all about what you’ve been up to in the comments section below.

Here are my latest fave finds from around the web. As always, you can click through to read the original post and see all the photos!

How to Be a Role Model for Girls

As a mum to two daughters, this post was fascinating. I’ll be rereading this again as the girls get older, so I can make sure I give them confidence in their girlhood and beyond. Running my own business is one way I can help my girls see that women can take their skills and talents and go for it.

The photos on this post are from Getty Images for their Lean In collection, and they portray beautiful, confident women and girls. I love it!

An Amazing Woman in Leadership

Speaking of confident, amazing women, a post on Inhabitots, parts of the Inhabitat network went right along with this topic. They asked that I not link directly to the post, so here is a link to the HuffPo post that inspired the one I first read.

Theresa Kachindamoto, a senior chief in Malawi, is taking a stand against child marriages. She’s broken up more than 850 of them during her three year reign, sending the kids back to school. We definitely need more women like this in the world! What a woman – strong, powerful, respected and not afraid to stand up to what is right. Totally inspiring!

Make Movie Night a Blast

The lovely Jen over at Mum in the Madhouse wrote this post on making your next movie night more memorable. I thought the tips were brilliant, especially getting outside to play a game based on the movie. A fun way to mix active play into movie night! My lot don’t quite have the attention span to sit down for a movie yet, but I can’t wait to make it a weekly end of week tradition as soon as they can!

If you’re looking for ideas for your next movie night, definitely check out her post!

Movie night

Are Toys Cluttering Up Your House?

With four young children, I’m definitely feeling the toy clutter (and every other variation). This post shared genius solutions to keeping the toys picked up.

Giving everything a home should help the kids get better at putting their playthings away. It is my dream to have an organised clean house – maybe when they are 18?! Ha!

Well, that wraps up another edition of Photography for Mums: Best of the Web for this week. Did you spot any good links this week? Share a link in the comments section so I can check them out! x

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The Triplets’ Jungle Birthday Party with Party Pieces and Wild Things!

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tropical jungle birthday party - if you love it, pin it for later! :)
tropical jungle birthday party - if you love it, pin it for later! :)

This weekend the triplets turned 3 – it’s amazing how fast that time has gone!

I wanted to throw them a really special party to celebrate and needed to come up with a theme that all three would approve of. Not an easy task when you have two girls and a boy who all have very different likes and dislikes!

A tropical rainforest jungle party for my triplets!
A jungle rainforest party for my triplets! Summer was a tropical bird :)

Fortunately one love unites them all, and that is their love of animals! I decided to create a jungle themed party for them, but when I started doing some research for ideas on Pinterest I was faced with a wall of greens, browns and animal prints. That definitely has a place, but to keep my little girls happy (and I must admit because I wanted to get a lot of beautiful photos!) I really wanted to inject a lot more colour into the party.

“WHEN RESEARCHING JUNGLE THEMED PARTIES I KEPT JUST SEEING BROWNS, GREENS AND ANIMAL PRINTS”

Fortunately I was lucky enough to partner up with the UK’s number one party website Party Pieces (owned by the super-stylish Middleton family) to create the triplets party – so I was able to enjoy an evening delving deep into their beautiful website of gorgeous party decor to get some unique inspiration!

I decided to keep the jungle theme but add in the colour by giving it a tropical rainforest twist. That meant I could easily add in lime greens, yellows, hot pinks and other vivid colours that would really make the party pop!

Flamingo plates and cups from Party pieces
Flamingo plates and cups from Party Pieces
children's bird fancy dress ideal for a jungle party!
Summer as a tropical bird (cape and mask from Wild Things)
elephant with small party hat
Party animals! Literally :D

Having the tropical rainforest edge also meant that my ideas for costumes for the children were also opened up tremendously. I teamed up with the lovely Kirsty from luxury children’s clothing brand Wild Things on Not on the High Street so that Sienna could go as a butterfly, Summer could be a tropical bird, Jacob was a lion and Zach a tiger. They looked sooooo cute!!

“I GOT THE CHILDREN’S BEAUTIFUL OUTFITS FROM KIRSTY AT wild things, WHO I DISCOVERED VIA NOTONTHEHIGHSTREET.COM.”

All the outfits worked so well for a jungle party and to me really sum up the freedom and joy of childhood!

Zach dressed up in his tiger fancy dress costume from Wild Things
Zach dressed up in his tiger fancy dress costume from Wild Things
Jacob dressed up in his lion fancy dress outfit from Wild Things
Jacob as a lion!
Sienna as a butterfly (cape and mask from Wild Things)
Sienna as a butterfly (cape and mask from Wild Things)
Summer as a tropical bird
Summer as a tropical bird

You don’t need to tell me that there is a heck of a lot of organising to be done for a birthday party! I had just an hour to set up the village hall with my friends and family before guests arrived and it was totally manic! But just like a wedding, once all the hard work and planning is over, all you’ll have left is the memories and the photographs, so it is really important to take them even if you’re stressed and sweating and flapping about and to make sure they are nice! 🙂

Assuming you don’t have the budget for a professional photographer to cover the party (a lovely luxury if you can afford it of course!), then you’ll want to get the best possible photos from your own camera and in the quickest time possible.

Here are my top tips for getting beautiful photographs at your next birthday bash!

number 3 helium balloon from Party Pieces
Number 3 helium balloon from Party Pieces
  1. HIRE SOMEONE TO HELP WITH THE WORKLOAD

One of my biggest tips for getting better photos is freeing up more time for you to actually take them! As a party host you have a million and one jobs to do to make sure all goes swimmingly and that your guests (and birthday boy or girl!) have a great time. Therefore, if everything is left down to you, inevitably under the pressure of the day, photos will be pushed right down the list of priorities – even if you had best of intentions from the start!

“If you can stretch to it, book in additional help”

Having help from friends and family is essential, but if you can stretch to it, I would also recommend actually paying someone to help with setting up, serving guests drinks/food and helping with clearing up afterwards. I paid the lovely Justine who works at the triplets’ nursery to come and help for about 4 hours and it made such a difference. It meant I could take 20 minutes to go around and take photos while I knew she was making sure people had drinks.

The extra help I got from friends, family and booking time from Justine really helped!
The extra help I got from friends, family and booking time from Justine made a huge difference!

If you don’t know anyone like this off the top of your head, then ask around on local mums groups on Facebook for recommendations.

I asked guests to come in fancy dress and they all looked fabulous!
I asked guests to come in fancy dress and they all looked fabulous!
Zach with my dad
Zach with my Dad
Some other triplet friends of ours getting into the tropical spirit!
Some other triplet friends of ours getting into the tropical spirit!
yummy food made by my mum and Waitrose!
Yummy food made by my mum and Waitrose!

2. MAKE IT COLOURFUL!

Whatever theme you choose, colour will make a huge difference to your photos. Try to cram in colour everywhere! You can do this for your children’s outfits and add a splash of colour across their faces by hiring a face painter (we had the fab Laura Avery).

“Cram in colour everywhere!”

You also want to flood your background with colour, which you can do through your decorations. I did this with items from Party Pieces like bamboo straws with flamingos on, colourful balloons, bright tablecloths and flowers. This means that whenever you take a photo of your child or a party guest, you’ll have beautiful colour out of focus in the background which will look gorgeous!

photography courses jungle birthday party-196
Our little friend Soph was having a great time, honest! Haha
Zach having a good old chuckle!
Zach having a good old chuckle!
facepainting was a hit!
Faceprinting by Laura Avery was a hit!
colourful party flowers
colourful flowers add a pop of zing!
Crocodile piñata from Party Pieces
Alligator piñata from Party Pieces
Jungle birthday cake by Faye Davey
Jungle birthday cake by Faye Davey
Pink tassel garland by Party Pieces
Pink tassel garland by Party Pieces
Tropical drinks for a jungle party. Flamingo straws by Party Pieces and drinks by J2O
Tropical drinks for a jungle party. Flamingo straws by Party Pieces and drinks by J2O

3. SET UP EVERYTHING WELL AHEAD OF TIME

This tip is a lot easier to implement if you are having your party at home and not limited to hall hire times, but ideally you want everything set up and ready to go at least an hour before guests arrive.

“Give yourself plenty of time to capture the details before the chaos ensues!”

It gives you the perfect opportunity to photograph all your fab details and your children looking beautiful before the rabble descends and chaos ensues!

Jungle juice - I think I may have been the only person to drink this though as it did look a bit suspect! It was just mango juice, lemonade and a bit of food colouring, honest!
Jungle juice – I think I may have been the only person to drink this though as it did look a bit suspect! It was just mango juice, lemonade and a bit of food colouring, honest!
party table set up before everyone arrived
Party table set up before everyone arrived
Cheeky monkey!
Cheeky monkey!
Tropical cups from Party Pieces
Tropical cups from Party Pieces
Bird honeycomb decoration by Party Pieces
Bird honeycomb decoration by Party Pieces

It’s really nice to have detail shots of things like drinks and flowers, and a shot of the cake to put in the photo album alongside pictures of the children and adults who attend the party. It’s really nice to be able to share all the love, care and effort you made for their birthday with the children once they are older and want to look back through the photos!

4. BOOK ENTERTAINMENT

It was such a relief when Professor Bumble started his show – it meant all the children were gathered in one place and enjoying themselves and gave me some breathing space!

“DURING THE ENTERTAINMENT IT’S MUCH EASIER TO GET SHOTS OF THE CHILDREN SMILING!”

Professor Bumble wowing the children!
Professor Bumble wowing the children!
happy children!
happy children!
and happy adults!
and happy adults!
Professor Bumble
Professor Bumble
Sweet face painting by Laura Avery
Sweet face painting by Laura Avery

It also meant it was really easy to get some fab shots of the kids sitting still and with smiling faces, which throughout the rest of the party can be really tricky if your subjects are camera shy!

5. TAKE ADDITIONAL PHOTOS THE DAY AFTER

My girls were such monkeys. Despite practising with facepaint and their costumes all week and appearing to be fully on board with the idea, upon arrival at the party both girls utterly refused to cooperate in either facepainting or wearing their outfits. I think this can be pretty common for younger children who get overwhelmed with such an exciting event.

Zach as a tiger the day after the party
Zach as a tiger the day after the party

“Don’t get stressed out if the children won’t wear their costumes. Just try to do some extra shots at home after the party when they are less overwhelmed”.

Sienna as a butterfly - outfit from Wild Things
Sienna as a butterfly – outfit from Wild Things
The triplets all dressed up in their outfits from Wild Things
The triplets all dressed up in their outfits from Wild Things
Summer's tropical bird mask from Wild Things
Summer’s tropical bird mask from Wild Things
Jacob in his lion costume
Jacob in his lion costume

Don’t let it stress you out. Enjoy the party as it is, and then once you are home again either later that day or the next then suggest getting dressed up again and heading into the garden. That’s what I did to get the shots of them in their costumes and I will just pop all the shots together into their photo album so it really won’t matter.

It also meant I had a lot longer to get some fun shots of them in their beautiful outfits and it made the experience a lot less pressurised!

Hope you enjoyed seeing their 3rd birthday photos and my little tips for your next shindig! If you enjoyed it, please leave me a comment – I love hearing from you! x

Party decor: Party Pieces

Outfits: Wild Things, Not on the High Street

Cake: Faye Davey (Honiton)

Facepainting: Laura Avery (near Exeter)

Entertainment: Professor Bumble 

14 Secrets to Stunning Photos of Your Children!

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childhood - siblings

“Smile, please just smile… smile while also looking at the camera… well at me then… no not pulling that face!!”…

If those kind of frustrating conversations with your kids sound familiar then you are in the right place!!

Perhaps sometimes you do manage to get a gorgeous photograph but are not actually sure how you managed it? ! I have people tell me they struggle with that a lot!

14 secrets to stunning photos of your children
14 secrets to stunning photos of your children! 

Even though it is stressful to take the camera out with me (just imagine trying to control triplets let alone pose them for a photo – it is like herding cats!), it is amazing how fast the kids are growing. I am so grateful to have beautiful pictures to look back on from even just the last three years and I can’t imagine how even more amazing it will be to look back at these memories when they are all 18!

So although it sometimes feels like a huge faff to get the camera out, being able to take beautiful photos of the kids really is worth it!

“although it sometimes feels like a huge faff to get the camera out, being able to take beautiful photos of the kids really is worth it!”

With this in mind, I have come up with 14 secrets to getting great photos of your children (with any camera) that should help you on your way. I hope you enjoy them and find them useful!

1. Find (and Utilise) Natural Lighting

You need light to take a great picture. While you can use artificial light, there’s nothing quite like natural light for photography. That means your goal as a photographer is to find it, and get your children close to it.

If you’re indoors, look for sunlight coming in through a window or sliding door. And if you’re outside, make use of shade on hot sunny days!

Ideally, you’ll be standing between the light source and your child (unless it’s the blazing sun – do not do that, they will squint and look terrible!!). But for any other situation, standing between the light and your subject will usually cast a lovely glow on their faces.

My triplets Sienna, Jacob and Summer in Granny’s garden

2. Get Down to Their Level

When you are taking photos of children (who are notoriously unpredictable for actually looking at the camera!) it can be very difficult to get a nice shot if you are standing up and pointing the camera down at them. Often you won’t be able to see much of their faces, especially their eyes which is important for a nice image.

Instead, get down to your child’s level. Get on your hands and knees, or even flat out on your tummy and propped up on your elbows. Heck yes it’s undignified trying to get up again but you’ll get a gorgeous photo.

Taking a picture from these lower angles will help capture a perspective that you just can’t get from above. You’ll be looking at the world more through the eyes of your child. The difference in your shots will be huge!

Zach looking very autumnal! It’s great to capture the seasons changing along with your child growing!

3. Capture Your Child at Play

Don’t wait to snap the picture until your child is perfectly posed. You’ll be waiting all day, and the photoshoot won’t be a pleasant experience for either of you.

Rather, be prepared to take a series of impromptu shots of your children playing and talk to them while popping out from behind the camera to make eye contact with them.

“Talk to your children while popping out from behind the camera to make eye contact”

The best thing to do is to give them a little direction while playing, so you get to choose the background and then try to connect with them by asking questions and being silly while also taking photos. This is how you’ll get their genuine laughter, and find pictures that really capture your child’s personality.

My friend Bea’s daughter playing with chalk in the garden

4. Don’t Say Cheese

Asking your child to look at you and say cheese or even asking them to smile pauses the natural beauty of the moment you wanted to capture. It adds pressure, and usually ends up in a not very convincing smile anyway!

The beauty of digital photography is that you don’t have to spend money developing film for pictures that didn’t turn out. That means instead of asking your child to give you a smile, you can simply take several pictures in a row and try and make them laugh while taking them. This series of shots will allow you to capture a variety of natural movements and facial expressions.

Sienna enjoying watermelon in Granny’s garden. Bright colours make such a difference!

5. Have Fun with Your Kids!

You don’t want your children to feel dread each time you bring out the camera. Instead, you want to take pictures when they’re relaxed and enjoying themselves so that you can all enjoy real authentic memories in your photos.

The best way to make that happen is to have fun with them. Take silly pictures, join in their games, and let having fun be the main goal of your picture taking. Your pictures will be cheeky and you’ll have less stress – and they will be more likely to want to take more photos again in future!

I loved this shot I got of Jacob and Summer holding hands while on holiday in Wales! It captures a totally genuine moment and I’m sure will be very precious to them when they are older!

A completely non staged moment of shared joy between Jacob and Summer. So precious to be able to capture this spontaneously!

6. Be Patient

Photographing kids isn’t an instantaneous event. They move around, a lot! They wiggle, run away when you call (I know this one too well!!), and hold back their genuine smiles.

Be patient and don’t try to force your shot. You’ll just end up with a bunch of fake smiles instead of the beautiful picture you were dreaming of. Try not to have your ideal picture in your mind in advance – it’s best to be flexible and just see what you manage to get otherwise you’ll end up very frustrated!

My friend’s triplet girls on a walk in the forest – aren’t they adorable!?

7. Don’t Try for the Perfect Shot

Perfection shouldn’t be your goal. You want to capture the heart of your children—their true selves. Perfect clothes, perfect hair, and spotless faces won’t give you much emotion.

Keep it real, and capture the love of your children. These kind of authentic shots will truly be ones you’ll cherish forever – like this super fun one of my gang in the bath! They don’t stay little for long, so capturing these kind of moments is really important. Well I hope they won’t be bathing like this when they’re 15 anyway, could be awkward!

These are the kinds of moments I want to remember and to look back on with them when they are older!

8. Have Photo Friendly Distractions Handy

If your little one is losing interest, have one or more of these distractions handy. Not only will these items take your child’s mind off the current situation, but they’ll also add an extra layer of interest and fun to your photos:

      • Bubbles
      • Their favourite teddy
      • A favourite food
      • Anything they can hold and do something with – like this watering can!

Sienna is totally up for being a child model! She loves having a prop and smiling for the camera!

9. Let Your Child See the Pictures

As you’re taking pictures, take time to let your children see some of them. Seeing fun pictures of themselves is really fun for kids. They’ll want you to take even more!

“Show your children the back of the camera as you take a shot”

Also take time occasionally to go through old pictures, especially if you put them in albums. Talk about the memories with your children. See what they remember about what was happening. It’s a fab way to connect as a family!

I look back at this picture and all the memories of the fun and the warmth of the sun, and the first time they paddled in the sea and the resulting shrieks of joy all come back in an instant. That is why I love photography!!

10. Capture Memories as They Happen

Being prepared is essential to capture memories. If you’re heading out to the garden for playtime, grab your camera. Even if it’s just your smart phone, you can take great shots of your kids. It can feel a pain to always take your camera and be thinking about photos, but if you don’t then so many moments will be lost and you’ll regret it after the event!

“Always bring your camera with you!”

Are you going on a holiday? Bring the camera. Let your kids experience something new and capture their joy as it happens – like this photo above when I took the children to the seaside and they paddled in the sea for the first time (we have spent the last three years screaming at the sea so this was a major milestone moment for us!).

You can’t recreate these emotions in a staged way, you have to just capture them naturally. Just remember to keep coming out from behind the camera so that you stay connected and involved in what’s happening so genuinely have your own memories from the moment too and don’t fall into the trap of just being a spectator!

11. Let Your Child Add a Costume

Dressing up adds a whole new level of fun to your pictures. Capture their current interests by having your child wear a costume for a photo shoot. Then ask them to act out their character. Capture their action shots and see what great angles you can take. You’ll end up with some really fun shots that capture the essence of childhood!

Zach as a tiger in fancy dress
Zach as a tiger!

12. Experiment with Moving Around

Some shots look best when they’re captured up close. Others can look really arty if you add a bit of distance. Feel free to experiment with your camera’s zooming abilities – or zoom with your feet! Moving about can give you lots of different looks to your picture!

Take the same shot from a couple of different perspectives. Zoom in. Change your angle. You can go through later and delete any shots that just didn’t work. This experimenting will help you get a better natural feel for different types of shots.

This shot of Summer was just taken in the garden with the sun behind her. I love the wild, messy, tangled hair feeling of a child at play, just how it should be!

My friend’s daughter on a summer’s evening

13. Know How to Use Your Camera

Knowing how to use the settings on your camera really helps in getting great shots of your kids. Take time to read the owner’s manual, watch YouTube videos, and experiment.

“Practise lots and get to know your camera!”

Try different settings and also watch how the light changes as you move into different situations and how that affects your pictures. Take lots of pictures and learn as you go. Don’t give up—just keep trying and studying and you’ll soon notice an improvement.

My eldest triplet (by 4 minutes!) Jacob

14. Get Your Child Used to the Camera

If your children aren’t used to you taking pictures, they won’t act naturally for you. That means you need to pull your camera out frequently. Take pictures daily if you have the energy, or at least several times a week. I personally go mad on the weekends when I know we’ll be doing fun things together!

“Whip out your camera often!”

Your kids will get used to you having a camera. They’ll eventually not even think about it, especially if you make it a fun experience. Once they forget to pose and say cheese, that’s when you’ll capture the fabulous pictures that show them loving everyday life.

Chilling in the garden with our friend Eva

If you love taking photos of your kids, then join in with my weekly photo challenges every Wednesday by signing up to my mailing list on the homepage. You’ll also get access to our fab community of likeminded photo-mad mums, just like you 🙂

 

See you again soon!

 

Rosie x

Photography Roundup! Best of the Web 22 July

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The triplet’s birthday party was fabulous! I can’t wait to tell you all about it and share some pictures with you in a blog post soon. But that’ll have to wait until I have a chance to catch my breath a bit after our whirlwind week!

Until then, it’s Friday! That means it’s time to share another round of fabulous finds with you all. Remember you can click through to the original post to read more.

Conversation Starters for the Car

This post from Rage Against the Minivan shares 25 excellent conversation starters to help pass the time on a road trip. If you’ve got driving plans this summer holiday, definitely take a look!

The kids and I will be traveling five hours each way for a photo shoot this weekend (it will be so worth it! I’m really excited!). One of the things I’m doing to prepare is printing this list! It’ll be fun to chat along the way.

Beautiful Laughter!

I absolutely love the laughter in these shots! These are such gorgeous genuine smiles. You don’t get shots like this by asking your kids to say, “Cheese!” Cheesy smiles just don’t look like this.

Photographer Angela Weedon did a fabulous job connecting with this family, and it shows in her work. Beautiful work Angela!!

 

An Inspiring Family Gap Year

I love the idea of a gap year, but I’m not sure I have the patience to homeschool my crew. Especially since I’m on my own!

This post shows how one inspiring family made it happen though. It sounds like a huge adventure of a lifetime. Can you imagine the amazing memories and photos you’d make along the way? I’m seriously tempted!

Maybe in a few years when the kids are older!! 🙂

Fabulous Composition

I absolutely love these shots by Erin. Her composition is fabulous. She knows how to use space, and we can all learn from her techniques.

For instance, in this shot the huge artwork really emphasises the littleness of her daughter. So cute!! The position of her little girl and being able to see all of her provides a great scale model for the whole shot.

See if you can make use of space in your next photo shoot!

ABC Activities for Three Year Olds

Since I’m now a mum to three three year olds, I found this post from No Time for Flashcards especially useful. There are so many fun ideas, and I can’t wait to try them out. I know the kids will be a lot more engaged in learning if we do it through fun and games. 🙂

Beautiful Biscuits

I love these biscuits from @bakedideas. They’re definitely one to follow on Instagram! Thanks so much to Mum’s Grapevine to introducing me with this blog post. These cookies are seriously almost too cute to eat. Almost. I’m sure the kids and I could manage!

These ones would have been the perfect addition to our jungle party.

For a similar UK version, check out the fabulous Biscuiteers.

 

Loving Your Lines

Mums tend to struggle with acceptance of their bodies. I try not to think about how much mine has changed!! Carrying our kids seems to stretch us all out of shape and change us from how we used to be. Many of us have lines all over from the experience. Just imagine how I look after carrying triplets! No actually please don’t! Lol!

This post from Mum’s Grapevine introduces women to @loveyourlines, an Instagram account dedicated to promoting positive thinking about our bodies. Lines and all. Very inspiring!

That’s a Wrap!

That wraps up my latest edition of Photography for Mums, Best of the Web. What have you loved online this week? My comments are now open, so I’d love to check out your favourite finds if you leave a link!

Fruit Picking at Pick Your Own

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pick your own fruit devon

Wow, so much has happened this week – I usually do a blog post on Monday but I have such a backlog of images to edit I ended up spending the day mainly in Lightroom instead. So I do have absolutely loads to share with you and now just need to find the time to sit down and actually blog it all!

The children’s birthday party on Saturday went really well – it was a little more hectic than I’d anticipated (I am the queen of optimism and always underestimate how much work almost anything will be!), but everyone had a great time! The girls in particular felt a little overwhelmed with all the guests and attention on them though so totally refused to wear their gorgeous outfits from Wild Things, so I got them dressed up again by themselves on Tuesday evening before bed and we had some fun capturing a few extra shots in the garden. Myself and the children do absolutely love their costumes so there was no way jose that they weren’t going to have some pictures in them! Lol!

Here’s one of my faves – I will post a full birthday party weekend report in the next week or so once I’ve figured out who else will be featuring the photos online 🙂

We also celebrated their birthday weekend by taking a trip to the circus at Darts Farm near Topsham. The children absolutely love the circus and always ask me when are we going again so it was lovely to be able to take them with my mum as a birthday treat! We got great seats right at the front as well which was a bonus for a few cheeky photos!

On Friday which was the triplets actual birthday, we went out on a trip with their nursery to our local pick your own fruit farm.

Royal Oak Farm in Cotleigh is absolutely the best place in Devon (and hey possibly the world, I can’t be sure but I’d say it surely has to be up there!) to pick fruit! It has amazing views and the best garden tea rooms for scones with lashings of homemade jam and cream afterwards! It’s somewhere I think we will be spending quite a bit of time over the summer holidays as a fun and relatively inexpensive activity to do together! Here are some of my favourite photos of us and our friends from nursery!

Hope you enjoyed my photos from this past weekend and that you have a great one coming up! I also have now got comments enabled on the blog so it would be really lovely to hear from some of you beautiful lot! Go on….. ;P xx

Photography roundup : Best of the Web 15 July 2016

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With a lovely holiday to Bluestone in Wales and loads of preparation for the triplet’s third birthday party tomorrow, this week has flown by in a blur. Vines and other jungle decor has taken over the house and the kids are all excited to see everything come together on the big day.

Since it’s Friday, it’s time to share a handful of posts from around the web that I enjoyed this week. As always, you can click through to the original post to read and see more!

14 Ways to Stop Biting and Hitting

This post from Ask Dr. Sears wasn’t published recently, but it was very timely for me and anyone else dealing with a biter! Zach has hit hit the terrible twos six months early, and he is been really cheeky whenever he doesn’t want to do something!

Such is his reputation in the house the triplets sometimes run when they see him coming. Gnash, gnash … Ouch!

This post shared some really useful advice like time outs and modelling non-aggression that have definitely helped. Sometimes you might think kids won’t understand enough to do time out at only 18 months, but Zach certainly seems to back off when I mention it!

If you have a biter or a hitter, definitely give this article a read!

The Sham of Perfect Parenting

Do you ever feel like all the other mums have everything figured out, while you’re still struggling? With so many blogs and beautiful pictures on Pinterest, it’s easy to feel that way. I’m probably guilty of perpetuating that and often it does take a really long time to get a beautiful shot when the behind the scenes images would be absolute mayhem!!

This post by Caroline Bologna on the Huffington Post introduces readers to the Sham of the Perfect photography project. Meant to inspire mums with a look at real parenting, the three founders of Sham of the Perfect want mums to, “embrace the chaos.” Real parenting is messy and that’s what their photos show. Real, everyday life mess and all. It’s very inspiring! I have yet to be brave enough to reveal the real mess of every day life but we’ll see what happens!

Be sure to check out all the pictures in the post. They’re beautiful because they’re real!

Underwater Shoot

Amy of Captured Simplicity took some incredible shots for an underwater photo shoot. It’s really unusual to see shots like these. She did a fabulous job capturing the joy of swimming from a different angle. I love the reflection at the top of the water in this shot.

 

A Post for the Tired, Single Mum

After this week, I’m definitely feeling really run down. I’m tired, and there’s always so much that needs done. This post really spoke to me, reminding me what the kids are going to remember. They will see and remember the love. They’ll see a mum who cared, and was strong enough to do this parenting thing alone. Definitely a read I needed this week!

Picking some Fave Mini Boden Outfits

I enjoyed watching Sarah Clark from Little Spree choose her fave mini boden outfits from the new Autumn/Winter collection over on the Boden Blog. This video post shows some very cute pieces for children. These would all be perfect for photo shoots!

Can you believe that it’s time to think of autumn and winter clothes already? Summer is flying by!

Ways a Mother’s Love Inspires Us

An uplifting article from Britmums, this post shares many ways that mums inspire their kids to do great things. Fabulous athlete Jessica Ennis fronted the Twitter campaign that received numerous responses. The responses show the importance of a mother’s love, from being strong in a challenging situation to teaching us to celebrate our own strengths. Mums are s awesome!

That’s it for this week, but I’ll be back next Friday with some more brilliant finds to share
with you all. See you then! x

Review of our Family Friendly Holiday at Bluestone, Wales!

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You can imagine how I feel about the possibility of taking the triplets and Zach on an aeroplane (Eeek! Maybe in a few years?!). But it was getting to the stage where I was seriously desperate for a holiday!

A lot of mummy bloggers have been raving about Bluestone in Wales, so I was delighted to be offered for us to go and review it for the blog this weekend!

bluestone wales reviews photos

bluestone wales reviews photos

You know the saying that if the kids are happy, the parents are happy? Well this is the place where everyone is happy!

The triplets are only just about to turn three, and Zach is 18 months, so it is really hard to find a holiday where everyone is safe and has fun stuff to do. With so many children, it was a little expensive for us to join in with any of the additional activities at Bluestone (although the shows sounded awesome they are between £5-£6.50 per child which adds up when you have four!)… However there are majorly fun free activities which we absolutely loved!

bluestone wales reviews photos

bluestone wales reviews photos

bluestone wales reviews photos

bluestone wales reviews photos

We spent most of our time in the Blue Lagoon water park which is included with your stay. One tip though is that at the weekends it does get opened up to the public from midday, so ideally best to get there from 9am when it opens if you want to enjoy it a bit quieter!

I particularly loved this for the children because every other kids pool we’ve ever been to has just been shallow but had nothing really for the children to do. Which makes it really hard, even when you have three adults, as all the kids want entertaining and spinning round in the water. But at Bluestone it was fantastic because the children’s pool is filled with loads of fun activities, balls and bubbles so the children have a blast and the adults can relax while keeping an eye on them! Total win!! Also it’s really shallow so Zach was able to sit in the nice warm (seriously warm – lovely!) water and play with the watering cans and splash about while the others went further afield in the pool.

bluestone wales reviews photos

bluestone wales reviews photos

bluestone wales reviews photos

bluestone wales reviews photos

bluestone wales reviews photos

bluestone wales reviews photos

We also absolutely loved the circus softplay room for under 5s upstairs in the activity centre. You should have seen the children’s faces! Well actually you can – look at the photos! They were all in heaven! And it was lovely and quiet too.

bluestone wales reviews photos

bluestone wales reviews photos

bluestone wales reviews photos

bluestone wales reviews photos

bluestone wales reviews photos

bluestone wales reviews photos

bluestone wales reviews photos

bluestone wales reviews photos

The Wildwood cafe in the activity centre was also a fun themed cafe to grab a quick coffee. The tree in the middle and Lord of the Rings music was really fun.

bluestone wales reviews photos

bluestone wales reviews photos

bluestone wales reviews photos

Both days we were at Bluestone we had lunch at Camp Smokey. An awesome wood lodge that you can only get to either through a walk through the forest or down a boardwalk. It’s a really fun adventure to get there and fine for little legs and a buggy! And once you arrive there is a fire going and loads of really tasty options like pulled pork burgers or hot dogs. Mmmm, drooling just remembering it!

bluestone wales reviews photos

bluestone wales reviews photos

bluestone wales reviews photos

bluestone wales reviews photos

bluestone wales reviews photos

bluestone wales reviews photos

bluestone wales reviews photos

 

And the best bit was getting to try S’mores for the first time! I’ve seen them on Pinterest loads but never tried them (toasted marshmallows, chocolate and biscuit all pressed together). To be honest they were a little extreme even for my majorly sweet tooth, but the children really enjoyed toasting the marshmallows over the fire pit. And it was lovely that they were able to do something like that safely with them being so young. It really is a great setup!

bluestone wales reviews photos

bluestone wales reviews photos

bluestone wales reviews photos

bluestone wales reviews photos

bluestone wales reviews photos

bluestone wales reviews photos

bluestone wales reviews photos

Camp Smokey also has an evening event called the Smokey Joe shindig (additional cost) which I’ve read on TripAdvisor is absolutely fantastic with a singsong etc, but when I asked about it apparently it has about a month long waiting list (you need to book before arriving), so if you’re thinking of going to Bluestone definitely ask about that one in advance. It sounded really fun! They also hold a “panning for gold” activity for children there which you can book in advance. It was for older children than my lot, but the ones who were doing it looked like they were having a great time!

bluestone wales reviews photos

There are loads of extra activities for all ages. I’m sure we will return when the children are a bit older and we can do some fun things like the treetop trail which looked brilliant (we saw people zip wiring over us as we had lunch at Camp Smokey!).

bluestone wales reviews photos

bluestone wales reviews photos

What a fabulous weekend filled with lots of lovely new memories made. Really highly recommended!

If you want to find out more, check out their website at http://www.bluestonewales.com/ and for another interesting review with loads more info about Bluestone have a look at this blog post by Alison over at Not Another Mummy Blog http://notanothermummyblog.com/2014/07/14/blueston…

Disclaimer: I did receive this trip in exchange for an honest and fair review. I only recommend places and products that I genuinely love myself. 🙂

 

Photography Roundup : Best of the Web 8 July 2016

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This week has flown by with all sorts of fun, and I’m really excited because we’ve also got a last minute trip to Bluestone in Wales planned soon – finally a holiday, yippee!!

Here are some of my favourite finds from around the web this week. Remember you can click through to the original post and see more from these talented bloggers and photographers.

The Guilt Fairy

Katie at Hurrah for Gin wrote this totally accurate and hilarious post. There’s some eyebrow raising language (just a warning incase you are easily offended!) throughout the post, but it’s a very funny piece on Mummy guilt and how to combat it with logic. We have to stop comparing ourselves to others, and enjoy the life that we have. So go squash your guilt fairy and embrace the fact you’re doing your best! And enjoy this post – I actually cried with laughter reading it! Thanks Katie you are the best!!

Lessons From Fatherhood

Casey Lewis offers a poignant reminder to enjoy the moments because the years go fast in this reflection post. He sums up his first five years of fatherhood in five main lessons learned. Great lessons for all parents to remember.

The post also included this great shot from Jennifer Chaney. She’s a fabulous photographer to follow, so check out more of her work here.

Using Photography Skills to Help Cancer Patients

This heartwarming article above details how Whitney Schloss, a talented photographer, uses her photography skills to gift patients battling cancer with priceless pictures. Whitney donates her time, and challenges others to find a way to pay it forward with their own skills.

You can find more of Whitney’s fab photos on her website.

Cute Pregnancy Announcement

And baby makes three! This pregnancy announcement photo by Erin Farrell Photography is just adorable. Actually, the whole photo shoot is lovely! I’d love to hear what you guys did for your pregnancy announcements! Come and tell me in the Facebook group!

Babies Dressed As Famous People

Speaking of babies, check out these adorable pictures of babies dressed as famous people featured on Good to Know. HelloDenizen is responsible for these hilarious photos, so be sure to check out some more of their work as well!

Beautiful Bath Salts

Look at these beautiful salt water taffy bath salts! I don’t actually know what taffy is but it sounds lovely! Lol! Can you just see one of these on your bathroom counter? I reckon they’d make pretty awesome gifts too. The colours are so kid friendly. The step-by-step directions mean we can all make our own!

Reminder to Keep Your Kids Hydrated

I am so bad at remembering drinks! And as we’re heading out on holiday soon, this post from Jenn was a good reminder of the importance of keeping hydrated. Stay healthy this summer as you’re out and about with your family.

That wraps up another edition of Photography for Mums: Best of the Web. I’ll be back next Friday with another batch of brilliant finds to share with you all. See you then! x

Summer Photography in the Garden

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photography course for families

Hope you all had another fabulous weekend! I have loved seeing all the photos coming in for the current photo challenge on the topic of best friends!

Remember you can join in until 9pm Wednesday evening – just post your best shots in the Facebook group for everyone or RP.com students only or on Instagram with the hashtag #rosieparsons

Where we are in Devon the weather was totally weird all weekend! I wanted to get some shots that really encapsulated summer for an upcoming blog post on the top must have 25 shots you should take during the holidays, but every time we headed out it started to rain! So as soon as the sun shone we literally ran into the garden and I managed to get these cheeky shots.

Saturday afternoon I chanced it and also drove all the way to Salcombe with the gang. And despite it thrashing it down with rain en route and me wondering what on earth I was doing, it did actually come out really warm by the time we reached the beach and they loved splashing in the water 🙂 Will share those shots later on in the week if you’re lucky 😉

For now, here are a few that capture our summer so far!

My Contribution to This Week’s Photo Challenge on “My Favourite Thing”

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I suddenly thought today that actually it would be kind of rude for me to set a challenge each week and for me not to participate myself!

I’m pretty rubbish at choosing just one shot so here is the little shoot I did with the kiddos at bedtime tonight. This week’s theme was “My favourite thing” and for these guys it is definitely bathtime and jumping on the bed! I love their cheeky smiles and so glad that I set aside the time to create these. It’s always so easy to thing I’m too tired tonight, I’ll do it another night, but actually they are almost too big to all fit in the bath together now so soon this little chapter of their childhood will be over. Really glad I caught it!

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