Monthly Archives: October 2014

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Preparations are well underway for the Halloween party I said we weren’t having. The kids are more into it than ever this year and I’ve decked out the house a few days earlier than I normally would to really get us in the mood. I’ll unveil our pumpkins tomorrow, I’m sure everyone is SO excited to see them…
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Inspired by the Moshi Monsters range at Argos, we made some colourful little monsters and some little moshlings to adorn the plates of nibbles. And I say “we” rather that “them” because I had to join in too! Something about crafts turns me into a kid again and I rediscovered the joys of painting your hands with PVA glue. Massive cool points for me with my little dude.

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The children were sent some craft supplies for their creations and some Moshi Monsters for their efforts. Thanks, Argos!

Last weekend I went off to Blogcamp in Birmingham with a couple of my blogging besties, Donna and Lauren. We roadtripped to my parents house in Donna’s rather swish car (it’s got all sensors and a proper sat nav and doesn’t smell of stale food – height of luxury!) and I felt like I was 15 again having a sleepover in my childhood home, only this time we actually got some shut eye instead of playing Dream Phone or staying up talking about boys. The next morning we went into town to learn all about blogging at The Studio. Fancy ceiling or what?

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Once we had finished for the day we went over to The Mailbox to try out the new Autumn menu at Zizzi. In hindsight, we should have taken the water bus there so it would have been exactly like being in Venice.

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Eat your heart out, Paris. We’ve got our own love lock bridge don’t ya know.

Now, I’m not a big fan of sharing food. What can I say? I’m greedy. The other girls suggested we order a couple of dishes so we could try the new stuff on offer and I reluctantly agreed but it actually turned out to be the best idea ever. Greedy girl hates sharing food – greedy girl gets to try ALL the food. Total win. We ordered the warm duck and pomegranate salad (I know right? Who were we trying to kid!), a goats cheese rustica pizza, a pulled pork rosmarino rustica pizza and a wild boar ragu, all washed down with a nice glass of white. I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed the pulled pork pizza, I have told practically everyone I’ve seen since how good it was and we’re heading to Zizzi for our next date night so I can get it again (he can get his own pizza, obviously, given that I don’t like sharing food). I loved being able to watch the chefs make our food and they even gave me a few tips for making pizza at home. I think I’ll leave it to the experts though!

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We finished off the meal with something sweet, I went for a chocolate melt pudding (didn’t share, also didn’t take a photo because I didn’t want to risk it getting cold) and a winterberry prosecco which smelled and tasted like Christmas in a glass. And then we spent a good hour stuck in traffic on the M6. More time for gossiping!

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Massive thank you to the lovely folks at Zizzi Mailbox for a delicious dinner and for taking great care of us, especially our waiter, Gavin, who was spot on with his cocktail recommendations.

If you couldn’t make it to Blogcamp, You Baby Me Mummy has a fab write up over on her blog. Take a look! 

I’m really excited to be introducing you to my lovely friend, Emily today and filling you in on a new project that is happening with her. We got to know each other through I Heart Snapping, she is one of the Living Arrows contributors and if you have seen some of those posts you’ll know that she is a very talented photographer. After chatting for a few months, we wanted to put something together and we are both passionate about photography and spreading the photography love, so here it is – The Photo Clinic! But first, a little bit about Emily and some of her favourite images!


Where did you grow up and where do you live now?

Born in Bristol, grew up in Nottingham, but I now live back in the South West. Sunny Weston-super-Mare by the sea is the place I call home.

When did you first know you wanted to be a photographer?

When Nathaniel was just a few months old I captured an image of him in the middle of a nappy change, that was quite a striking – can you believe it? I saw the moment, and felt this strong impression to run and grab the camera. The picture I recorded is still my favourite. I had enjoyed the moment of seeing something extraordinary in an ordinary moment so much I knew that I wanted to do that for other people.

Nate_0056What kind of subjects interest you the most?

Children & families. I love capturing pictures of children for parents to cherish. And images of families together. I have this idealistic view that pictures are like glue. We love our own family portraits hanging on the walls of our home and every time we look at them we feel a little bit more like a ‘family’. In complete opposition I have also recently discovered that I love shooting food photographs – plates of cakes don’t tend to run around as much as children do!


What do you shoot with and what do you love about it?

I love my camera, maybe a little too much. I don’t like it when my husband borrows it and fiddles with the settings – drives me crazy! I shoot with a Nikon D700 and most of the time a 50mm 1.4 lens. My camera’s discontinued now, but is still going strong. I love that I know it so well and it’s always been 100% reliable. I also love that it’s super fast and works well in low light conditions.

Is there a certain camera or lens that you’d love to have?

I’m pretty happy with my set up. I have a lovely portrait lens and a macro that I use for detail shots. I also have a wide angled lens which is great for tight situations. I would love to capture more moving images and would love a DSLR that would switch between the two!


When it comes to taking photos, do you have more of a staged set-up or spontaneous style?

I have my go too images, poses and settings but I’m always fairly natural moving into them. I’ll always have a plan in my head and a list of images I want to try and capture. As for style, I really like shooting wide open, I guess that has become my style.

What advice can you offer on finding your personal style or aesthetic?

Look around at other photographers. Find your favourites. Study their style and then make it your own. You’ll either find what you love, or what you don’t love to do. If not, move on and try something else.


What other photographers do you love?

I adore Jose Villa and Elizabeth Messina – both have a drool worthy light style. I love my dear friends Kara Layne and Lindsay Silsby and the way they tell stories in their images, but with completely different styles.


What do you enjoy doing when you’re not taking photos?

I like family days out with my boys. Especially when they involve a good walk and a bit of history. I’m also a big movie fan, and movie night with popcorn is my absolute favourite.

Is there anything you struggle with photography wise?

I occasionally struggle with blurry images. I shoot so much with a narrow aperture that I often have to discard perfect images when I haven’t nailed the focus.


Do you have any bad photography habits?

Again shooting wide open. I think I miss out on capturing details shooting with such a narrow aperture. I also have a tendency to stick with similar settings. I just tend to go with the last settings that are in my camera, I know, totally lazy.

Where can we see more of your work?

Aww, thanks for asking! You can find my website at my
blog is call ‘Life & Pictures’. My favourite photography collaboration is the ‘Living Arrows’ project on I Heart Snapping. I love seeing my pictures along side so many talented momma’s with cameras. You can see some of my food photography pictures on Annie Spratt’s Seasons Eatings website. And this summer I was asked to feature on Becky Higgins’ Project Life blog which was a real honour, you can see some of my pictures there too!

The Photo Clinic

We will be posting on the 1st and 3rd Mondays of each month on our blogs and we are here to help with anything photo related. Is there something about your camera that you just can’t figure out? Would you like some feedback on a photo? Would you like us to edit something for you? Get in touch! You can email myself or Emily, we would love to hear from you!