Can family photography bring you closer

Family photography: How can it bring your family closer?

Choose family photography to make memories and cement that feeling of closeness.

Having your own family is the dream for many. What is there not to love about welcoming your own little bundle of joy into the world and creating memories you can treasure for a lifetime? Being together as a family is what helps certain people live through each day, so how can you capture those memories you create? Family photography is a big one; one that is becoming more and more popular as the years go by.

 

Family photography_ How can it bring your family closer_

Having a family photoshoot experience has a whole host of benefits for you and your family. Not only is the experience a fun one in the short term, but you’ll also be able to keep those prints for as long as you wish. Looking back on a time you really bonded as a family is enough to brighten anyone’s spirits!

So, how can family photography bring your family closer? Here are a few of the many advantages:

Capture a moment in time.

Having a photoshoot with your family can capture those genuine emotions and show you just how strong your family bond is.  The finished outcome in the form of printed photographs can become treasured memories, something you can place up on the wall in your home to remind you of a specific time where you had fun and bonded further.

Have fun.

Photography allows you to really come out of your shell once you feel comfortable in front of the camera. For those who feel a bit awkward, it’s good to know the other members of your family are in the same boat. To really enjoy the experience, breathe, relax and even share an inside joke or two between yourselves to lighten the mood and create genuine smiles for the camera!

Capture milestones.

Family photography doesn’t have to be just a spur of the moment activity. It could actually be a perfect experience for an important birthday or to capture some of your child’s first steps or movements. Not only this, but your photographer can capture your real-time facial expressions and the joy you’re feeling inside at any particular moment.

Be natural.

Looking at the camera and smiling isn’t the only way to take a photograph. This is something you don’t do every day, so an unnatural smile is something photographers will probably steer clear of. Instead, they will probably encourage you and your family to interact with each other to create genuine smiles, laughter and emotions.

A loving pose.

The right pose can make all the difference in a photograph. Without it, the shot will seem awkward – perhaps leading people to wonder if you’re a group of strangers having your photo taken together! Make sure your bodies are close together, showing you’re a loving family. Your photographer will probably arrange you in terms of family relationship, perhaps the older generation first or in the back of the shot and the younger ones second or at the front.

Family photography can certainly bring you and your family closer.

It’s true that you are at your happiest surrounded by the people you love and through family photography, you can really bring your family closer and share some special moments together. Have you ever been on a photoshoot, perhaps by yourself or with your family? How did you find being in front of the camera? Share your experience in the comments!

The post was in collaboration with Nousha, professionals in family photography. For more information about their services or to get in touch with their photography team, visit their website: https://nousha.co.uk.

Top tips to protect jewellery

3 top tips for protecting jewellery

Jewellery. There’s a reason why so many of us like it. Very often, it’s designed to catch our eye.

It usually spans a range of purposes – from self-expression to formal wear. Some people find that it’s simply fun to wear. It largely depends on individual taste.

Almost everybody can agree on one thing, though. It’s important to protect precious items.  And rings, necklaces and other valuables are no exception. So how can we achieve this?

3 top tips for protecting jewellery

 

Let’s explore the three key ways.

 

  • Maintenance

Do you clean your jewellery? No? Then you’re not alone. Few people do. But it can be a useful practice – especially when it comes to costly garments.

If you wash pieces properly, you may be able to maintain their value for longer. It’s easy to do. You just need to squirt a small amount of washing up liquid into warm water.

Mild dishwasher detergent can be just as effective. For the best results, mix 1-part detergent with 3 parts water.

For really dirty pieces, try an overnight soak in either formula. This may be helpful in reducing grime.

Do this regularly, and you can preserve your jewellery for longer.

 

  • Storage

Storage can be tricky – particularly for small, delicate items. A lot of the time, people open their jewellery boxes to discover tangled necklaces and misplaced earrings.

There is a solution, however. Why not store each garment type separately? That way, you’ll be able to tailor each unit to the pieces that it holds.

A rail can provide useful storage for necklaces, for example. Why don’t you install one by your make-up area or dressing table?

Add shower curtain hooks to it, and then hang the garment from each. It really is that straightforward! Likewise, you could transform used toilet rolls into bracelet holders.

Recycle discarded products, and you might help the planet as a result.

 

  • Home Wear  

Do you wear your necklaces, rings and bracelets at home? Yes? Well, who could blame you? Fancy items aren’t just made for public exhibition. Wear it wherever you want to. It is, after all, your possession.

Just remember to keep it safe. This may be your living space, but it’s all too easy to lose treasures. We’re talking rings down the sink, mislaid earrings, and more inconveniences.

Luckily, you can avoid any of the above through little tricks. How about placing dishes by the sink? You’ll then have somewhere to put your fabulous rings while doing the washing up or cleaning.

Sealable boxes in each room could give you somewhere to safely store earrings, too. You may be less likely to lose them as a result.

With the right tools, you can protect your jewellery within the home.

Jewellery is special to many of us – for various reasons. It’s only natural if you should want to keep yours secure. With these tips, you’ll be able to.

 

Disclosure: this is a collaborative post

Clutter busting tips for busy parents

Clutter busting tips for busy parents

I feel like I should start with a bit of a disclaimer for this post.  I’m no clutter-busting expert.  My home is full of ‘stuff’ and at times it drives me up the wall when I look around and can’t see a single clear surface.

What I’m hoping is that by writing this post of tips for ways us busy parents can get on top of clutter I might actually be able to take some of it on board and get my own house in order.

So for me and any other parents out there who are struggling with clutter at home, here are the top clutter busting tips that I’ve managed to find:

Clutter busting tips for busy parents

 

Channel Marie Kondo

First things first.  Get started by basically going through everything in your home and have a big clear out.

Any items that you don’t need or use regularly, or that you don’t absolutely love, need to go.  It might take a bit of time initially to go through the process but once it’s done it’ll make the house feel much calmer, and much quicker to clean.  So I’m told anyway.  This is a job we’ve sort of started in our house but we definitely still have a long way to go.

 

Pick just one

One problem a lot of people have when they try to declutter is coming across multiples of the same thing.

When this happens you need to be bold and pick just one of them to keep, and pass the rest on.  You don’t need 3 tin openers.  Just pick out the one you reach for most often and lose the rest.

The same goes for new items that might come into your home.

If your child brings home 10 paintings a week from nursery, then pick out their favourite to keep and put on the fridge.  The rest can be photographed and then recycled.

 

Give every item a home

One of the biggest issues with clutter is having things that don’t have a set ‘home’.  If you don’t know where to put an item, it ends up just floating around.  Being moved from place to place, always slightly in the way.

So find a home for every thing in your house.  And get in the habit of putting things back in the right place as soon as you’ve finished using them.

One thing to think about when finding homes for everything is where you actually use the item.  Not where you think you use it, but where you actually use it.  It might be that you have all you baby’s nappies and wipes etc upstairs in the nursery, but you actually change their nappy more often in the lounge.

In this case think about setting up a basket downstairs where you can stash everything you need for nappy changes.  This way you have a tidy place to put all the bits away rather than having them dotted across the lounge.

 

Keep track of what you have

Have you ever bought a big pack of nappies, then realised a day later that you already had some in that size from when you stocked up when they were on offer the month before?

If you know what you have (and where it is) in your home you can make sure you get the best use out of everything, and don’t end up buying duplicates that you don’t need.

 

Set up routines

One of the best things you can do to keep clutter at bay is to set up routines.

Set up a schedule for things that need to be done on a daily and weekly basis.  Things like laundry, meal planning and food shopping, sorting mail and filing, can all be scheduled in for set days each week so you can keep on top of things as much as possible.

 

So there you have it.  

I think for me and my family the big thing once we’ve had a clear out will be putting routines in place.  I tend to find that things get messy and cluttered up really quickly if I don’t keep on top of them constantly.

So what we need most is a routine for tidying up, sorting mail, doing the washing and so on.

Which of these tips do you think would make the biggest impact in your home?  Or have you already managed to tame the clutter?  Leave me a comment and let me know!

Getting your child to be more active in the chillier months

Getting your child to be more active in the chillier months

When winter time comes around, it’s very easy to get snuggled up on the sofa and not move for three or four months. Getting up in the dark, shivering cold mornings and generally greyer days mean we all wish we could stay in bed and forget about leaving the house.

Naturally, getting up and about, doing some exercise and keeping yourself fit can get a bit lost during this time, and that goes for both you and the kids. Your children are just as likely to want to stay in front of the TV as you are, so what can you be doing to keep them active, engaged and entertained in the colder months?

Getting your child to be more active in the chillier months

 

Get Out in the Snow

We all have wonderful childhood memories of playing in the snow, whether it be hurtling down a hill on a rickety sledge, pelting each other with snowballs or building the snowman to defeat all snowmen. Having fun in the snow should be a part of any child’s growing up, and it’s also a great way to get your kids outside, enjoying themselves and getting some fresh air.

This one’s not too tough a sell either; the kids will be chomping at the bit to start having some fun. And if you’re a tad wary of sledging or snowball fights, there’s plenty of safer activities to be getting up to, like making snow angels or drawing in the snow.

 

Embrace Winter Sports

Take some inspiration from the Winter Olympics and introduce your children to winter sports. There’s plenty of unusual and super fun ones to try, and you never know, you might find your child has a liking or talent for one.

Ice skating is a great family activity for all to enjoy and doesn’t need to be taken too seriously. You could also try a snowboarding or skiing lesson, whether that’s on holiday or down at the local indoor slope. If you fancy something more high-octane, retailers like Proline Skates are making Ice Hockey more accessible than ever.

Embrace the winter as a time to try something new, and your kids could find something they absolutely love.

 

Ideas for Home

Of course, you need to think about how to keep things busy at home. Chances are the kids will happily sit on the PlayStation all day, every day if you let them, so you’ll do well to think of some fun games for the house as well.

Counter the video gaming obsession with an active game for you and the kids to enjoy. You should be able to find a fitness or dance based title for any of the popular consoles, and this will get everyone moving indoors as well as out.

Away from the TV, there’s lots of great indoor activity ideas out there to choose from. The good news is most of them won’t cost you a penny, and they’re a great excuse to get you and the children spending some quality time together.

 

Next time you see the cold weather closing in, see it as an opportunity to experience something new with the kids. Whether it’s sledging, skating or building an indoor fort, there’s potential to make some great memories.

 

Disclosure: this is a collaborative post

Family meals out Indian

Family meals out

Indian food is highly popular in the UK. People love trying the different spiced foods and authentic dishes. Visiting an Indian restaurant is a great way to enjoy a memorable occasion with family and friends. After all, as well as succulent food you get to experience fantastic surroundings, culture, and beautiful ambience.

Nevertheless, with so many Indian restaurants in the UK now, it can often be hard to know which one to visit. Therefore, you need to do a little bit of research and consider several points in order to find the best Indian restaurant for your family meal out. With that being said, read on to discover some of the different factors that you need to consider…

Family meals out

 

Genuine Indian cuisine

The first thing that you obviously need to concern yourself with is the food which is served in the restaurant. You need to ensure that you seek somewhere which serves authentic and genuine Indian meals, rather than the generic scaled down versions that you see in low budget curry houses. After all, when going out for a meal you want to experience the real deal. The best Indian restaurants will source their foods, spices, and herbs from true locations; such as the market stalls in India, the gourmet places and alike. They will also cook in the traditional methods in order to ensure that what you are offered is replicates what the local people genuinely eat.

 

A diverse and exciting menu

Moreover, it is worth noting that there are lots of different Indian dishes which all differ in popularity depending on the regions in India. A true Indian restaurant will replicate this in there menu and so there will be a lot of choice on offer, and thus something to suit all taste palettes. Of course, you will have spicy dishes, but there is a lot more than meets the eye of an Indian menu then the common dishes you are accustomed to. Needless to say, you may all already have your favourite Indian meals, and so you may simply want to make sure that they are on the menu!

 

Hygiene rating

One thing that a lot of people do not tend to consider when they are looking for a restaurant today is the company’s hygiene rating. We tend to assume that all restaurants are going to maintain high standards in this regard. However, we have all seen these programs on television about those restaurants and eateries with terrible standards, so you can never be too cautious. Plus, cross-contamination of food is common in restaurants, and the last thing you want to do is leave the restaurant with food poisoning, so you do need to be really careful.

 

Full dining experience

When seeking the best Indian restaurants for a family meal out, you should also seek somewhere which offers the full dining experience; somewhere which boasts friendly staff, stylish interior, and an inviting atmosphere. After all, when eating out you want to be somewhere which feels comfortable and warm. When seeking an Indian restaurant, you should look for somewhere which boasts traditional decor. At the end of the day, when you go to an Indian restaurant you are experiencing an entire culture, not just the food that you eat.

 

Reviews and awards

A final point worth noting is the reviews and the accolades the restaurant has received. The best Indian restaurants will have been positively reviewed via magazines, newspapers or alike. Moreover, the very best will have received rewards in acknowledgment of the service they provide. This is the best way to be assured of seeking a top restaurant because you know that the place has certainly impressed others already.

 

All in all, if you consider the four points mentioned in this article then you are assured to find the best Indian restaurants for you. Remember you need to seek the real and genuine taste of India coupled with a beautiful atmosphere and culture filled experience to match. Going out for dinner with the family is an occasion to be cherished and the last thing you want is for it to be ruined by going to a poor-quality restaurant. If you consider all of the elements mentioned above, you should significantly reduce the chances of this happening.

 

Disclosure: this is a collaborative post

Be careful with the labels we give our children

Why we need to be careful of the labels we give our children

I had a parent/teacher consultation the other evening, discussing how Rhys is getting on in year 3.

One of the things we talked about was how he sometimes struggles with new pieces of work in class, because he’s not sure if he’ll be able to do them.  He was resistant to try a new piece of maths work recently.  And it was because he didn’t immediately know how to do it.

Once it had been explained to him and he understood what he was meant to be doing he was away.  But there was still this fear initially with him that he would find it too hard.

Which is interesting because he is good at maths.  His brain works in such a way that the order and logic of maths makes sense to him.  He can be quicker than me at times when it comes to doing mental arithmetic questions.

The thing is, I try to be so careful with the way I speak to him about this because I don’t want to just tell him ‘you’re good at maths’.  And this anxiety he’s showing about tackling new areas of maths is exactly why.

Why we need to be careful of the labels we give our children

 

See, the problem with giving a child a label of ‘good at maths’ is that it puts so much pressure on them to always, well, be good at maths.

They start to feel that they should always be able to do any maths problem easily, because they’re ‘good at maths’.  So if they’re faced with a question that they don’t understand, or don’t know how to solve, they feel bad.  They worry about not living up to this label.

 

So what I’m trying to make clear to Rhys is that while he may have a natural ability with maths he still needs to learn about it.  He will still find aspects of it hard.  He will still need to work on it and get things wrong sometimes before finding the right answer.

And that all of that is OK.

 

The impact of labels

The thing with labels though, is that it’s so easy to give them to our children without realising the impact it might have.

 

If your child is quiet at a birthday party, and wants to stay close to you for a bit rather than jumping straight in to the action, it can be so easy to explain to another parent that they’re just shy.

The problem comes when they hear this about themselves a few times it starts to become part of their story of who they are.  And that can take years to change.

They might miss out on so many fun opportunities because they start to believe that they’re too shy to join in.

 

So many children might never try something, or discover a new passion, because it doesn’t fit with the label they’ve been given.

The child who is ‘sporty’ might never realise how much they love painting, because it doesn’t match up with the story they tell about themselves as being someone who is active and rough and tumble.

On the other hand the ‘science-whizz’ may not know that they’re actually also really good at rugby, because their label of being academic tells them that sport isn’t for someone like them.

 

The power of labels

What’s really interesting is the power some labels can have to affect people’s behaviour.

There are some stories on this post about twins that mention the twin who was born first being labelled as a leader, while the second-born twin often gets labelled as being more laid-back.  Now, there is absolutely no reason why the twin who is born first would go on to be leader, the first of the two to try things and so on.  But it does seem that parents often give them this label, which then becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Think about it, if you were told the whole time growing up that you were a leader you most likely would act that way.  You would take the initiative on things, be the one to make the first move and rally other people to follow your lead.  Even if that’s not your nature, you would end up acting that way because that’s the story you’ve been told about who you are.

 

The issue comes when that story, that label, conflicts with who we really are by nature.

And when we end up pigeon-holed by those labels, and it becomes incredibly hard to break away from them and pursue other interests and show different personality traits.

 

Encouraging our children without using labels

Once you start thinking about it it can be quite shocking to realise how much we label our children without really thinking about it.

But I don’t think that we need to watch every little thing we say.  None of us are perfect and we can’t expect to never say things to our children that we don’t mean to say.

 

What we do need to do though is be mindful of the messages we’re sending them on a regular basis.

We need to put the focus on to the effort they put in to their work.  We need to label the behaviour, the actions, the processes, and not the child.

Instead of telling them ‘you’re so good at maths’, we can talk positively about how hard they work to figure out the answers.  We can praise the strategies they use to solve the problems.  This shifts the focus from talents which they might feel they have no control over, to actions that they can work on and use again in the future to tackle different things.

 

If your toddlers hits another child at playgroup, don’t call them naughty or bad, explain to them that the action of hitting isn’t nice.  A child who is told repeatedly that they’re naughty is really likely to keep doing ‘naughty’ things because that’s who they believe they are.

 

If your child is good at football, don’t just tell them they’re a great footballer.  Tell them how great it is that they practice their skills all the time.  Talk to them about how they might have a natural flair for the sport but that it’s OK to still find some skills hard to master.  That with practice and perseverance it’ll get easier.

 

As parents it can really feel like we’re all just a bit doomed at times.  That no matter what we do we have the potential to screw up our children.  And I think we could drive ourselves crazy, worrying about how we word things every time we talk to our children.

So I think it’s important not to be down on ourselves too much about the times we don’t phrase things quite right.  We’re all just doing our best here, figuring it all out as we go along.

The key for me I think is just to try and make sure that the overall message my children hear is that they are so much more than just one trait, one talent, one label.

 

What are your thoughts on this?  Were you labelled as a child?  Do you think it had an impact on how you acted growing up, or the choices you made?

Making time to get in more photos

How to find the time to get in more photos

As a parent it can feel like life is non-stop, a constant whirl of activity.  And while you might be aware that you want to make sure you’re in more photos with your children, it can be really hard to find the time to actually do it.

It’s easy to grab your camera or your phone and snap some photos of your baby.  But it somehow feels so much harder and time consuming to get in front of the camera with them.

I think it’s so important that we do it though.  So here are my top tips for finding the time to get in more photos.  Both with and for your children.

How to find the time to get in more photos

 

Remember why you want to do it.

If you focus on why it’s important to you to get in more photos then you’ll be more keen to make the time to do it.

Think about the future, and how you want your children to have plenty of photos of you to look back on one day.  Use that feeling to get yourself fired up and motivated to jump in front of the camera more.

You could even print out a reminder to yourself, just with the something like the words ‘exist in photos’ and stick it on the fridge as a daily reminder.  When something matters to you it becomes easier to find the time for it in your life.

 

 

Lower your standards. 

If you tell yourself that every photo of you has to be perfect then you’ll always have an excuse not to do it.

Stop focusing on perceived perfection and start thinking about the memories that your children will enjoy seeing when they’re older.  Let go of this idea that every photo has to be perfect.  Or that you need to look perfect to be in a picture.  You are absolutely good enough to be in a photo just as you are.

Slightly blurry photos are better than no photos at all.

Photos of you in a messy lounge are better than no photos at all.

Honestly, your children love you and they’ll just want to see you in these photos in years to come.

 

 

Make it easy for yourself.

The more steps involved in taking a photo, the less likely it is that you’ll bother doing it.

If you have to go upstairs to fetch the camera, and set up a timer, and sort out the focus and so on, you’ll talk yourself out of taking the photo before you even start.

So keep your camera handy.

If you spend most of your time at home downstairs then keep the camera there too.  And get yourself a remote trigger for it so you don’t have to run back and forth using the self timer.

Basically, make it as easy as possible to get in these photos as often as you can.

 

 

Learn your camera settings.

Following on from the last point, if you’ll be using a proper camera rather than your phone, get to know all the settings so you’re ready to go quickly.

 

 

Make it part of your family routine. 

Like with any new habit it can be hard to get into the practice of taking photos regularly.

So try making taking family photos part of your routine.  I struggled for ages to take regular family photos until I really committed to doing the Me and Mine project.  This project involves taking a family photo every month.  I mark it in my calendar to make sure we so it each month.

Until it becomes a habit you need to choose to make getting in family photos a priority.  Put it on your calendar and make the time to get it done.

 

 

Try a project to fire you up.

The thing is, with things like this it’s not really about finding the time to do it.  It’s about getting motivated enough to make the time.

One way to do this is to challenge yourself to complete a project.

It could be as full-on as a project 365, where you take a photo every day for a year.  Or you could do what I do and just pick a month where you’ll take a photo a day.  Another idea is to do a 10 on 10 project where you take 10 photos on the 10th of each month.

Get creative and see what ideas you can come up with to challenge yourself.

 

 

Life really is busy.

If you’re not actually motivated to get in more photos it’s all too easy to just tell yourself you don’t have the time to do it.  That you’ll do it at the weekend.  Or next month.

The thing is, the time goes so quickly.  Before you know it months and months have gone by and there are still hardly any photos of you.

So get fired up.  Get to know your camera and always have it handy.  Make it a priority to get in photos with your family.

Make the time to make it happen.

So in the future your children will have a whole pile of photos of you to cherish.