Thursday, 29 August 2013

Fun baby photo ideas and tips....

My little boy is just 4 months old and I have already taken thousands of photos of him. I love taking fun and imaginative pictures of my little man. I'm hoping he won't look back and be too horrified! I appreciate that  I am a complete amateur at photography, but here's some of my favourite fun photo ideas that would be simple for you to recreate.

baby playing scrabble
We love scrabble so I created this to send to my hubby to cheer him up in work!

scrabble baby
Again utilising the scrabble tiles!
superman baby
He came up with this pose on his own then I just did a simple background in paint.

baby reading
Love this one. We love Fox in Socks.

A good way to remember the books you read to them as a baby.

Also here's some of my top tips for taking pictures of your bundles of joy...

I love plain backgrounds in photos so stand next to plain walls or throw down a blanket.

Try to get pictures from all angles  (I'm getting better for this, but when you are on your own snapping the easiest is with them laying on their back.).

Take pictures of all their tiny features (their tiny hands and feet will never be this small again)

Taken by my sister 

Taken by my sister 

Taken by my sister 

The great thing about digital cameras is you can snap away and then just ditch the ones that don't quite come out right. It's the best way to capture their funny gestures and first smiles. Why take one picture when you can take thirty?

You can never get too close up to those chubby cheeks...

I have so many ideas of other photos I would like to take! I can't wait until he's able to sit up by himself and the fun can really begin. 

Do you have any suggestions of photos to take?

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Aysgarth Falls

Aysgarth Falls, Yorkshire

When we decided to go on our holidays to Bainbridge, I was really excited to visit Aysgarth Falls. As a child, I loved the film Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves, and when my brother discovered that one of my favourite scenes was filmed there, I knew we had to go.

Aysgarth Falls, Yorkshire

On arriving at the falls, you can hear the distant noise of the river and I found it increased the excitement hearing the water gushing as you walk along the path towards the falls. We visited after a spell of rain, so the water was travelling at a great velocity. There are three areas of the falls to visit from the car park - the upper, middle and lower falls. The falls are 5 minutes from the car park and then perhaps an additional 5 minutes between each of them.

Aysgarth Falls, Yorkshire

There is plenty of space to enjoy a picnic at the Upper Falls, and what a scenic spot to do so. I imagine that children would love clambering about the area. You would need to be careful with them getting too close to the river when there has been heavy rain. I have seen pictures of people playing in the river, when it is shallower, however. It would be nice to revisit when there is less water, as it looked a lot different from photos I had seen.

My little boy was not overly impressed!

Visiting the falls is free, but there is a charge for parking of £2.50 for 2 hours. The falls are sort of wheelchair and pushchair accessible. We took our son in the pushchair, but to be honest we do have a sturdy pushchair. There is a path linking the falls, but to actually get right by the river in most areas you have to descend stairs or clamber over rocks, so we wished we had carried our son in his sling instead.

Aysgarth Falls, Yorkshire

There is a visitor centre with refreshments and toilets adjacent to the car park. However, we visited the quaint little tea rooms by the bridge, in between the Upper and Middle Falls. The ice-cream was delicious.

Aysgarth Falls, Yorkshire

One thing I have learned from my trip, is that although it is nice to wear billowy floaty dresses, when you are bending over trying to get that perfect shot, you wish you had worn jeans. I had a constant battle against the gusts of wind, and frequently I was defeated, much to the dismay of my embarrassed husband.

Aysgarth Falls, Yorkshire

There was a rich man from Nottingham who tried to cross a river. What a dope he tripped on a rope! Now look at him shiver!

Aysgarth Falls, Yorkshire

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Fun, friends and fattening food!

A couple of weeks a go a letter arrived saying we needed to find somewhere else to live, as our landlord was moving back to this country. We have been procrastinating for the past couple of years about finding somewhere to buy. With a healthy deposit saved and permanent jobs, there wasn't anything really stopping us. Really this is a blessing in disguise as this deadline has given us a new impetus. It has however increased my stress levels ten fold. I was thrilled when I realised I had already booked in a visit from my friends, as it gave me the perfect excuse to take a break from decision making. 

Unfortunately, as I met my closest friends at University, they are now dotted about the country, so we have to schedule in meetups. We manage to cram in a couple of months worth of conversation into a couple of hours. Saturday was spent lounging around chatting and eating a veritable feast of naughty food. Sunday was spent with my hubby and friend Vicky going for an early morning run. Vicky is a freelance sports masseuse (apparently it is not a euphemism!) and as my husband is currently in marathon training, she brought out the baby oil and threw him a freebie. This was not the pleasurable experience he was hoping for, but he was so impressed with how much it relieved the discomfort in his muscles and knees, and we learnt so much about how to look after your body! If you are interested and live in the Cheshire area visit her facebook page here for more details. 

Love my friend's shoes. Suitable footwear for a walk!

We then all enjoyed a walk around Newmillerdam and a meal at The Pledwick Bar (website here) and Restaurant. It had the lovely relaxed atmosphere of a pub with the refinement of a restaurant. This was the perfect mix, as I was happy play with our little boy on the table, but it still felt like I was getting grown up time. Our little bundle of joy, it has to be said, was impeccably behaved however! All of the food was delicious and we particularly loved the idea of the Yorkshire Tapas menu with your choice of three dishes for £10. 

I had such a lovely relaxing weekend with Fiona and Vicky that it has reinvigorated me for the weeks ahead. There is nothing like quality time with friends and I love these girls to pieces.

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Brimham Rocks

On our Yorkshire holidays, we enjoyed a little jaunt to Brimham Rocks. I was incredibly excited to go, having visited as a child. There is always a danger in revisiting places from your youth. Would it live up to expectations? My imagination has been known to exaggerate the beauty of what is infront of me. My memories of Brimham Rocks are synonymous with a land where you could envision a Velociraptor creeping through the ferns. I hoped that they would still envoke such childlike wonder, and that my husband would share my enthusiasm for a bunch of rocks.

 We didn't get off to a great start. We had headed out to Ingleton bright and early, and as we left, with our son fast asleep, we decided to continue driving, so we wouldn't disturb his nap. My husband passed me the map (he would sorely regret this decision) to find somewhere to explore that afternoon. After two hours of what I am going to refer to as a breakdown in communication and navigational difficulties, we arrived. My husband was understandably grumpy, so I tried to use my son's smiles to break the tension. But alas to no avail, as my son was a little groggy having just woke up to a balmy 28 C and there were no smiles to be had. We strapped a wriggly little boy into his baby carrier and headed off into the wilderness.

The first set of rocks, we arrived at were interesting to look at with their natural caves and hidden nooks and crannies, but as my husband had our precious little bundle of joy attached to his chest, it was difficult to explore.  I feared that he would not enjoy our trip.

We walked a little further and was met by the most majestic sweeping panorama. I must admit as I stood up on the rocks surveying the beauty before us there was an deep intake of breath and a little giggle of glee. There was no doubt that this was worth the two hours sat in a stuffy car.

We meandered amongst the undergrowth, and clambered up on the rocks for over an hour before heading for refreshments. There did appear to normally be a large selection on offer, but arriving on a busy summer's day after the lunch rush, we had to settle for a cheese toastie, bag of crisps and a sausage roll. They proved to be quite delicious!

We loved our trip to Brimham Rocks. It really is a fantastic idea for a family trip. We spotted children of all ages having a wonderful time climbing like monkeys. There are plenty of picnic tables, but most were enjoying their picnics on the rocks.  It is wheelchair and pushchair accessible around the rocks. Entry to Brimham Rocks is free, and parking costs £4 for 3 hours (remember coins for pay and display). Opening hours to the rocks are 08:00 until dusk each day. The shop and visitor centre opening hours vary, so please check here before you visit, if you require these.

Our journey home may have involved some smug remarks of how Yorkshire truly is God's Own County to my Scouse husband's dismay.

Monday, 5 August 2013

Our Yorkshire holiday

Last week we enjoyed a stay in the Yorkshire Dales. The weather was glorious, the views spectacular and with the company of my two favourite boys, this shaped up to be the perfect relaxing week away. We stayed at Cherry Bank lodge in Bainbridge (website here), which was well equipped and comfortable. I thoroughly recommend a visit. I'll be sharing some of our day trips in future posts, but here's to reminiscing about sunny fun-filled days!