Category Archives: Oddments

Dear May,

Thanks for the two bank holidays. You’re pretty awesome like that.


Dear clean eating,

….well this is awkward….


Dear Brantano,

Thanks for giving me the opportunity to unleash my inner fashion blogger. And thanks to my husband for his awesome pigeon-toed fashion blog posing. He’s such a good sport!


He’ll probably kill me for saying so, but we were at the park and saw a very trendy teenager wearing the same trainers and he had a little “Oh yeah, I’ve still got it! I’m a cool dad!” smirk on his face! So funny!


Dear half term,

You’ve been a lot of fun. I am so looking forward to the summer now!


Dear kids,

Thanks for *mostly* behaving this week and for not getting lost when I took you to London (you can see some photos of the sushi making workshop over on the Tots 100 site). And thanks for making sure everyone knew how much you hated cucumber. That wasn’t at all embarrassing when you announced that at the top of your voice.


Bring it on, June.



We were excited to get snow this week after hoping we’d get some for the last month or so. We were just as excited as the kids were and they were ready nice and early so they could play in the snow and enjoy sledging to school (if you know me, you’ll know how amazing it was that these two were ready to go at 8.25am!)


I like to tease my husband and tell him he can’t be on my blog because he has Angry Resting Face but he really does! We also can’t start the day without a latte to get us going!

Bevan was really hoping we’d get some more this weekend so was quite disappointed when we didn’t! We spent the weekend mainly at home, catching up with various bits and pieces and the kids had their friends over to play. Quite boring but we are quite boring these days!

This week’s contributor is Katie who writes Mummy Daddy Me and she shared some snowy photos from this week over on her blog (I think every snap happy mum was thrilled that it snowed! We do love a photo opportunity). She shared the story behind her Living Arrows photo for week 5.

livingarrows15-5aWe were on a weekend away in Norfolk and were visiting the costal town of Southwold. It was freezing but the girls still wanted ice cream so we went to a little cafe attached to the pier. They were being really cute and sharing each other’s. I took the photo on my phone and edited it in Afterlight by turning up the saturation a little bit.

This is the second year of Living Arrows for you, what does the project mean to you?
The project means a lot to me- I love that it is just a simple portrayal of childhood and I love that I get to see what motherhood means to others.  It doesn’t just have to be portraits, it could be toys on the floor, or a photo without the children in it, and that’s what I love about it- it’s how you portray things. I love seeing all the images together each week.
What kind of subjects interest you the most?
Any subject centred around my children interests me- they are what I primarily photograph. I love black and white, emotional portraits, but I also like candid shots and ones where I am capturing them naturally rather than posed. I love getting close up portraits of their eyes because they both have gorgeous blue eyes that really shine on photos- but unfortunately they rarely sit still long enough for me to capture them anymore.
Do you plan your photos or have an idea in mind of what you want or do you take your camera out with you an see what you get?
I don’t really plan my photos.  I just take my camera out generally when go out on day trips or when are just hanging around the house and just see what I feel like photographing.  I also don’t take my DSLR out all the time anymore- I used to take it everywhere but now I prefer just to take it out at the weekends or if we are actually doing something.  But I am always snapping every day- even in the supermarket, the nursery run, the car, you name it.  I just do it on my iPhone.  I love iPhone photography as I sometimes think it is more natural and real than getting your big camera out as it instantly captures the moment- well it does in my house anyway.
What or who inspires you?
I have lots of things that inspire me – I have a blog list full of bloggers whose photography makes me smile in all different ways, including all the other Living Arrows Mamas.  I am really inspired by American photographers- there is just something about the light over there- it is just so much nicer than over here and I wish I could move there!  Instagram is my favourite place to get inspiration- there are just some incredible Mamas and photographers over there.  I love people like Xanthe- her account is so colourful and as I am a big colour fan, I could pour over her images for hours.  But there are just so many to mention, it is such a great community over there.

The past week has been all about birthdays and good food! We celebrated my Mother in Law’s birthday with a family dinner which I have to thank Karen from Lavender & Lovage for. I messaged the poor woman while she was on a train asking for help because I wasn’t sure what to cook! I knew I wanted to do lamb and she has a fab lamb recipe on her blog (see HERE) which was minimal effort really and so delicious. She suggested I serve it with dauphinoise potatoes, lemon butter cabbage and glazed carrots. It really was lovely, I’m so grateful for her help…would have been even better if she had come and cooked it for me and cleaned up after but you can’t have everything. Make sure you check out her lovely blog, there’s so much food inspiration!

It’s my turn to share a few details about my Living Arrows photo  and I’ve asked myself a few questions (I know….)

Hayley Living Arrows-004I wanted to try and take a silhouette shot of my little fairy in front of the window (didn’t happen) but it was first thing in the morning and she was full of beans and not really interested in having her photo taken. She was distracted for a second by a squirrel in the garden so I took a couple of photos while she was still! I used a Canon 6D with a 35mm lens and my settings were ISO 1250, f.2.0, 1/100. I edited in Photoshop Lightroom where I lightened the photo a little, cropped it a bit tighter and used a clarity brush on her fairy wings.

Hayley behind scenes-001
This is the second year of Living Arrows for you, what does the project mean to you?

I love having a record of the children’s early years and I love that throughout the year we share everything, from birthdays, milestones, big events, holidays to the quiet moments at home. I have really loved the feeling of community that I think the project has this year and I love that we have this group of mums supporting each other. I’ve really noticed that people are not only commenting on photos but sharing stories, highs and lows, giving advice. I think it’s lovely.

Did you learn anything last year from it?

I feel like I learnt a lot about photography and I loved all the inspiration! I think shooting every week really helped me improve and hone my style.

What kind of subjects interest you the most?

I love people. I have a lot of fun taking photos for other people but capturing my own family is really precious to me.
Do you plan your photos or have an idea in mind of what you want or do you take your camera out with you and see what you get?

Both. Sometimes we’re going out somewhere and I know that it’ll make a nice setting for some photos so I’ll take the camera along. My favourite photos seem to happen when I go with the flow and let the kids take the lead, like my Living Arrows this week!

What or who inspires you?

Everything, everywhere! I especially love film photography and follow some film labs on Instagram that share some wonderful photos. I love Linda McCartney’s work and Ryan Marshall. I was so inspired by his blog that I had to start my own!

Which posts did you enjoy this week? – I love the happy vibe of her photos – That bokeh! Love it! – It made me want to dig my roller boots out again (although it’s wayyy too chilly for me!)