Thursday, August 27, 2015

My Love's In the Meadow ♥

 "Deep in the meadow, under the willow, A bed of grass, a soft green pillow, Lay down your head and close your eyes, And when they open, the sun will rise. Here it's safe and here it's warm, Here the daisies guard you from every harm, Here your dreams are sweet and tomorrow brings them true, Here is the place where I love you".

I originally featured this post on my other blog Fawns & Fables but I think about this little family photo session we had, our first of the summer and how happy I was sitting amongst the tall grass, buttercups and other wildflowers with my other half and my little love a lot. I love these pictures and wanted them on this, my main blog. I also need to print out these pictures and put them on display in pride of place, I just love how happy, cheeky and full of mischief Tyler Lee looks in all the pictures. This meadow is most probably my favourite place on the island, it's so calming, peaceful and pretty and if I could sit there all day, laying in the grass and reading a book then I'd be the happiest girl in the world.

When all three of us can spend time together, especially in such an idyllic setting it's so precious to me.

I took my camera with me to the meadow and used my 55-200mm lens to take all these shots and I love the effect it gave of blurring the background and focusing on us, it gives such a fairyland like vibe to me and if I could have found a good bokeh effect I'd have added it to my pictures too.

These pictures really captured our personalities has a family really well - my sons cheeky smile, his happy little face, his adventurous spirit and his interactions with us, his mummy and daddy. We're all so playful together and I hope that's a family dynamic of ours that never ends.

These shots really are some of my favourite captures from the year so far (I know I say this about every photography post I feature here but really they are!). I hope the rest of our days together are as happy as our afternoon in the meadow. I know I gush about my boys a lot but giggles with my two favourite people are just infectious and all our moments together as a family of three as so special to me.


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

15 Things You Must Do During Your Baby's First Summer ♥

* This is a guest post written by the very lovely and very talented Amber from Goblin Child, who is mum to two gorgeous and adorable twin boys, Balthazar and Lysander - how amazing and unique are those names, I'm in love! When Amber revealed that she'd like to guest post on this little blog of mine I was both amazed and delighted as not only is her blog absolutely wonderful but her photography skills have me in absolute awe every time I see her pictures! Please do pop by her beautiful blog and share the love. Amber's post below had me welling up remembering my very first summer with Tyler Lee and hoping that I get to experience all the summer firsts one day again with another new and precious babe. Every parent MUST do these things during their baby's first summer, they are just the sweetest and are sure to make treasured memories for years to come.*

1. Learn to babywear.  Summer, when you can almost safely venture out
of the house without an umbrella, is the very best time to master
babywearing and take your little one on adventurous walks about the
neighbourhood and beyond.

2. Dip his toes in wild water!  I'm not necessarily advocating for the
beach if you're miles away but do find a lake or stream or even a
puddle if you're desperate, pop a waterproof nappy on him and get
those toes wet!

3. Experiment with ice.  Give it to him to hold and explore, make ice
lollies for him to taste (blend vegetables in with fruit, or mix fruit
juice with water to reduce the high sugar content).

4. Take him camping.  Ok - I'm mostly only advocating this one because
I don't want to be the ONLY nutter who took their baby camping -
although even if you do try this I'm already more of a loony than you;
I took twins - but actually, if you make sure to wrap up warm and camp
somewhere with an accessible loo, it's super fun to get back to nature
a bit.

5. Cultivate a baby sunhat collection and then despair because you
cannot convince your child to keep one on for longer than five
minutes.  Scratch that - two.

6. Take advantage of the brilliant golden light at sunset and take
some unofficial family portraits.  You'll treasure them in later years.

7. Invest in a paddling pool and try to make a little time for
splashing fun every day.

8. Take your baby to his first festival.  Trust me on this - it's
easier to wrangle a baby at a festival than a toddler.  The younger
the better, and bonus points if he can't yet crawl.

9. Let them eat grass.  Babies LOVE eating grass.  Try to find
somewhere that can't have been sprayed with chemicals or weed on by
dogs, and then plop baby down to amuse himself for half an hour whilst
you enjoy your book.

10. Blow bubbles.  I have yet to meet a baby that isn't fascinated by bubbles.

11. Draw chalk scenes on the pavement and put baby in the centre of
the action for instant adventure shots.  If baby is old enough to sit
and wave a piece of chalk let him 'draw' too but watch for nibbling!

12. Enjoy outdoor picnics.  Spread a blanket, put a selection of foods
on paper plates and let your little one go to town.  Baby-led weaning
at its finest!

13. Spend as much time skin-to-skin with them as you can cram in to
the day.  Yes, really.  Embrace the chance to go topless.

14. A summer barbeque with all of your friends and family so that they
can meet and/or spend a day with the baby properly.  This is super for
winter-born babies where you've only been able to cope with guests for
an hour or so at a time.

15. If you have friends with babies of the same age and they're all
mobile, host a Baby Sports Day.  Trust me, as the mother of twins,
there is little more entertaining than baby races.  Add an obstacle
course if you're feeling wild.

*A big thank you to Amber for guest posting. Did you or do you plan to do any of these sweet activities with your baby during their first summer?

Monday, August 24, 2015

Purple Haze | Jersey Lavender Farm ♥

Last month we went on our annual family holiday to Jersey in the Channel Islands, and we're actually returning their again tomorrow - yay! One place on the island that Jacek and I really wanted to visit Jersey Lavender Farm, not only to actually visit and see the sights that the farm has to offer but to also capture some beautiful pictures of our boy amongst the purple flowers and to also pick up some lavender and oil to help us in getting to sleep (I find it so hard to drift off to sleep and actually now rely on my little lavender pillow to help me get to sleep each night.

I visited Jersey Lavender Farm as a child with my grandparents and was really looking forward to seeing it again, this time with my own child in tow. I dressed him in his beautiful Peter Rabbit yellow vintage romper - the colour being a perfect contrast against the purple blooms. I absolutely loved the images I captured of my son. At first he was apprehensive about going amongst the lavender and just wanted to stay with his father and I, but after awhile he became more adventurous and even went so far as to pick some heads of lavender, before trying to put it back on the stem! They had two lovely, old-fashioned swings hanging from trees in the farm and of course my boy had to have a go on the 'see-saw'. He looked so sweet sitting on it with his little sailor doll which we picked up in the gift shop on our way into the farm (yes we do things backwards!).

It was such a lovely calming spot and I really could have sat there all day watching the butterflies and bees buzzing amongst the blooms, there were so many of them and the fields were a hive of activity 0 I may have to revisit the farm on this visit to the island, if the lavender is still in bloom, I must look that up! I was so glad we visited and I added lots of these pictures to my sons travel journal, which was very kindly given to my son by my dad's ever thoughtful girlfriend Shirley, she really does have a heart of gold and it was such a sweet sentiment. It's lovely for him to be able to have things like this to look back on from his toddler travels.

If you ever find yourself in Jersey I would highly recommend a trip to the lavender farm, it's such a beautiful spot and in my opinion, it's worth a trip just for the photo opportunities alone.


Saturday, August 22, 2015

A Penneys Homeware Haul | My Office Decor ♥

If you've been following my blog lately you may have read my post about my dream office and how I would decorate it in a pink, turquoise and gold theme, with floral lights and prints adorning the walls, colour coordinated storage and clean white spaces to do my blog photography. It's a work in progress at the moment but it's getting there and you can imagine my delight when I went into every Irish persons beloved store - Penneys (gurl!), the Irish version of Primark by the way, just for my fellow Europeans who have Primark stores in their countries, and saw that they had lots of suitable things for my office, not only in their new range but in the sale too, yay! I was only able to pick up a few things for the office, much to my dismay, as I was short on funds and was actually supposed to be there buying gifts for people - oops... but I did get some lovely things and they were all bargains so I really can't help but share.

The first thing I spotted and had to pick up was this really fun canvas with 'believe in your #selfie' printed on it, quite appropriate for a blogger's office I thought! The pink chevron and the hints of turquoise in the print really tie in well with my colour scheme for the room. This was a total bargain at only €3!

Next to the canvas I found these really pretty pink floral LED lights. I still have to pop batteries into them to get them to light up but they'll be gorgeous with their subtle glow once the long nights set in and my autumn/winter blogging sessions begin. I draped them over the canvas to create a little feature above the desk and used to hooks just to secure them at the ends and not just have them hanging straight down - I really love how it turned out. These lights were only €4, another total bargain!

I really like having things to hang on the walls but to also use as photo props and when I saw this pretty, floral decorated hanging heart I had to pick one up. This was €3 and I haven't hung it up yet but it actually looks quite nice just sitting on the chest of drawers too.

I thought this metal sign was quite fun and upbeat, plus, who doesn't like cupcakes?! It's nice to have some positive quotes and messages hanging around the office as, after all, it's my work space and I want it to be my 'happy place'. This sign was another total bargain at just €1 in the sale!

One of Penney's new ranges for autumn is full of copper colours and it's actually really beautiful. One of the things I spotted was this cushion which is really ambiguous in colour, Jacek and I are convinced that it's gold as it appears that way in the light but it may have some copper tones in there too. I thought this would fit in well with the golden element of my colour scheme for the room so I picked it up for the chair. This was €6. I saw some other gorgeous cushions which I hope to pick up tomorrow when I visit Penneys again, I swear I have a cushion obsession, they're everywhere in my house!

I've also reclaimed my fairytale bookends from Tyler Lee's room to prop up all my blogger and blogging books. I've got a nice little collection now and am currently working my way through them. I think they look lovely next to my White Rabbit London porcelain lamp.

The room is nowhere near finished, I need to remove the tall thin, bookcase and get a new white one, I also need to remove the current desk and get a white one which has built in storage in it, I've spotted one and it's only €69 in Argos and I have a €5 voucher so it'll be a total bargain.  It's most definitely a work in progress but the space is becoming more and more how I want it and I am loving the changes. The room is now lighter, brighter and a lot less cluttered. I can't wait until it's finished (and to get back to Penneys tomorrow to pick up some more pieces!) so that I can thoroughly enjoy the space and have my own, perfect little office and writing nook.

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