Crikey, its 2019!! Time for another round of my 10 favourite personal images from the last month! Obviously it was Christmas, which is just my most favourite time! Even though my kids aren’t little tots anymore, Florence still is very excited for the big fella to visit on Christmas Eve and somehow that seems to make each Christmas more poignant. Plus work slows down enough for me to be able to breath it all in and just spend some quality time with my gang which is what I cherish the most. So, here’s a quick glimpse into the last month for us! Follow our awesome blog circle by heading off to the gorgeous Kayla Maltese and her family in Guam!!
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After a chaotic end to the Summer, we’ve sped towards Autumn at lightning speed! The change in season means I’m home a bit more often on the weekends and we’ve had some gorgeous Autumn weather so walks around the village and pumpkin picking have been on the agenda! This is my favourite time of year for lots or reasons, but mainly because I can spend more time with the kids at weekends but I also love the nights drawing in and the colours this season brings and, obviously that we’re on a countdown to Christmas! Just also have to give credit to my eldest daughter, Grace for the first photo here of our Grandson Isaac since she took it with my little Fuji!
Head off round our gorgeous blog circle to the fabulous Evelyne in Philadelphia!
10 on 10, here again! The end of July was all about Ava - she left primary school and join Grace in High School in September. I was dreading it if I'm honest, I was an emotional wreck when Grace left so knew what we were in for - its a heady mix of pride, disbelief and nostalgia and knowing that she's growing up so fast now and I can't press pause! We've still been enjoying the longest, hottest Summer since 1976 in the UK but the week Lee has taken off to have a few days out together, the weather has turned! My two best friends brought me a day in a beach hut for my birthday so we enjoyed that, had the most amazing seafood lunch delivered to us before the heavens opened and we had to make a mad dash to the car! We've also been to a theme park for a couple of days, rode some serious rollercoasters, stayed in a very cool hotel and got soaking wet in the rain again! It's been a pretty busy month!
Head over to the lovely Kayla Maltese in The Netherlands to follow our blog circle!
So, June has sneakily slipped into July right under my nose! I struggled to choose just 10 for the past month as we've not only been in Italy for half of it (so I have hundreds of photos of course!) but we've been having a heat wave since we got home and theres been plenty of photo ops - the girls have been outside late into the evenings enjoying the magical summer light. Now we're all counting down until school's out so we can really get stuck in!
Please follow our lovely blog circle over to the lovely Krisit Burton to see what the last month has looked like for her in the States!
If you follow my personal ramblings on this blog, you'll know the hubster and I often frequent Italy, he proposed to me in Venice (many moons ago!) and we've been lucky enough to visit Italy several times since, just the two of us. We adore this country, the food, the people, the stunning cities and countryside. Anyway, we've been saying for a while that we'd take the girls out there, Florence wanted to see Florence so we booked flights last year. This was a bit of a dilemma for me, as I have a lot of Summer weddings this year to give my attention to and the only gap I had was in June, which meant taking them out of school. I know this is can be a bit of a heated topic but honestly I'm firmly in the camp of believing that, as responsible parents, we should be able to make our own decision about allowing our kids to experience everything we can offer them. I could only offer them this trip in term time, and so it was then or not at all. I certainly felt the weight of this decision in the weeks leading up to it but these ten days, introducing them to another culture, trying new foods, learning about Italy's rich history made it totally worthwhile. Not to mention that we spent quality time together as a family, which is a bit of a cliche but any of you with growing children will know that barely a weekend goes by when at least one of them is off with their friends (as they should be) but they grow so, so fast and they made memories that I hope will stay with them their whole lives and I know I don't have many summers left with them all together. This to me, is priceless.
We stayed in a beautiful lodge in the tiny little village of Ghizzano, that first image is the view from the front garden! There were woods and a lake on the grounds and obviously an amazing swimming pool. My girls are not water babies at all (having had years of swimming lessons to no avail!) but they were in it every day and came home able to swim (another life skill learned that they wouldn't have done had they been in school!). We were close to Pisa and Florence, both around 45 minute drive away, close to some fabulous little restaurants and markets so the hubby could indulge in his passion for cooking. We also visited the stunning walled towns of Volterra (where the Italian scenes in New Moon were filmed if you are a Twilight fan!) and St Gimignano. Looking through these photos we also seem to have eaten a large amount of Gelato!
I shot all of these photos on my new Fuji XT-1 after deciding not to lug one of my Nikon beasts to Italy with me anymore (I love you D750 but you weigh a tonne and you hurt me!), and it is a little gem! Not at any point did it disappoint, packed a mean punch dealing with those very sunny days and basically delivered everything I asked of it! Grace (my eldest) took a few of the photos of Florence (our youngest) on it, and found the dials very user friendly (not to mention her flare for great framing is really coming along!) and I think I'll have to watch it as she's got her eye on it now! If you see me this Summer at a wedding or portrait session, I'll probably have this little baby round my neck in addition to the big guns as its bloody awesome!
Incase you want to know where each location is, I'll list them in order for you!
Ghizzano, St Gimignano, Florence, Pisa, Volterra.
Now all thats left is to find some wall space in my home to hang some of these beauties (easier said than done!).
I've been pretty busy with work this past month but we've been gearing up for our holiday too so the girls and I have been busy shopping for new outfits which included a couple of lunches! We took our little grandson Isaac for his first haircut at the Barbers, where he sat very still but did not look impressed! Though he looks super cute with his big boy hair now!
Hop on over the pond to the lovely Kristi to see what her month looked like!
December has been a month of winding down work wise and winding up to Christmas! Ava had her last Christmas school disco - she'll be in High School with Grace by the time Christmas rolls around again. Big sis did her hair. The girls are in their jammies in most of these photos and that pretty much was the mood over the festive period, we ate lots of goodies and watched lots of films but we did get out to the park for a breath of fresh air which definitely blew away the cobwebs - its freezing here!!!
Follow our lovely blog circle around by heading across the pond to the lovely Colie James to see what her month looked like!!
10 favourite images from the previous month
My favourite time of year is upon us and its been a very busy few weeks! I just adore Autumn and the run up to Christmas makes me feel happy and wistful at the same time as I'm always reminded of my own childhood. Because I've been so busy with weddings this year, my 40th birthday came and went without me stopping for breath so my wonderful husband treated us to 5 days of bliss on the Amalfi Coast in Italy at the beginning of the month. That incredible view you can see is of Positano, too pretty to be believed even when you are actually there! The rest of the month has flown by with more weddings, our annual village 'scrump' where we gathered up a record crop of apples, sloes and blackberries, (only stopping for a few leaf throwing fights) and then a very chilly visit to the pumpkin patch to prepare for the girls favourite, Halloween! I've actually included 11 images this month just because I couldn't whittle it down anymore and I'm pretty sure nobody will mind me bending the rules!
Now, off you pop to see what Kristi Burton has been up to this month (she's usually across the pond but I have a feeling she's also been in Italy!)
"Positano bites deep. It is a dream place that isn't quite real when you are there and becomes beckoningly real after you've gone." John Steinbeck.
I did a little turning 40 (yikes!) earlier this year but what with a crazy wedding season, I've only just managed to get in a little celebrating! It also happened that we booked to go in the very week that 15 years previous my now hubby had asked for my number at the bar in a pub! Double whammy! We have a bit of a bucket list like everyone else, though, admittedly it contains a lot of places in Italy (some of which we've ticked off already!). I did consider New York as thats on there too but after such a busy summer we really both wanted a slower pace and I'm pretty sure New York is not the place for 'slow'! Instead we thought we'd tick off Pompeii, Sorrento and my absolute 'must see' Positano. We based ourselves in Sorrento and had first thought we'd book a hire car so we drive around at our leisure, however, after a bit of investigation decided to trust in Italy's public transport, and let me tell you, we were glad we did! Not only is the public transport very reliable and fast but its also very wallet friendly and really theres not many places to park a car in any of the places we wanted to visit, particularly Positano where the buses can barely squeeze down the hairy, narrow mountain roads past those who have been crazy enough to leave their cars parked there! After flying into Naples, we hopped on a bus to the port and got a Hydrofoil across the Bay of Naples getting an incredible view from the water of the ominous Vesuvius and honestly, arriving in Sorrento via the harbour is just the most impressive way to set eyes on this stunning place!
Sorrento is a perfect place to base yourself for hopping over to Capri or Ischia and to discover the Amalfi Coast. But don’t miss out on the lemon-scented streets of Sorrento itself. The town is orientated towards pedestrians, with narrow streets, the centre of town is very compact and you can get anywhere quickly on foot. The town has everything you'll need from grocery shops to restaurants and plenty of little boutiques selling the regions specialities, leather goods, ceramics and not forgetting limoncello, a delicious lemon-infused liqueur. Our hotel was right on the outskirts of town above the port and had incredible views right across to Naples!
I'm pretty sure you can't get bad meal in Sorrento, we certainly didn't have anything that wasn't delicious but my favourite restaurant had to be PortaMarina Seafood, situated right on the port its a family run business and the staff are extremely friendly and efficient. The atmosphere is everything you'd want it to be with twinkling festoon lights and candles and we actually sat and ate as the fishing boat pulled in and delivered another catch - you can't get fresher than that! The tuna I had that night was simply the best I've ever eaten, simple, delicate and delicious! What a gem!
From Sorrento, you can travel easily by train north to Rome, Naples or Pompeii, or take the bus south to any of the towns along the Amalfi Coast. As I said, we found purchasing tickets for the bus and trains really easy and cheap and both can be brought from the train station in Sorrento a few minutes walk from the town centre. Day 2 we headed out to the ruins at Pompeii on the train - its about 20/25 minutes and as its a commuter train we were told it can get very busy but I think we lucked out and got a seat all the way there. The entrance to the ruins are literally a 2 minute walk from the train station (though turn right, not left!) and a ticket without a guide will set you back just 13 Euros. It was pretty busy so I can only imagine how packed it gets in the summer months and its also very dusty and hot. Theres only one little restaurant to buy food or water so definitely take a bottle with you! Also, flat shoes are a must. The paths are very uneven and can be hard going especially for younger or older visitors. Having said that, it IS worth a bit of hard work as the ruins are spectacular and lived up to my expectations! Another fabulous place ticked off my list!
The following day we headed back to the train station to catch the bus to Positano. Again, these are commuter routes and the bus was as packed as it could get. I'd advise a seat on the left hand side of the bus (as you get on) if you want to see the views of the coastline, and my word, what a view - it is one of the most spectacular drives in the world! I have to admit that buses on narrow, winding, cliff top roads are not my favourite place to be so I was pretty happy to get off at Positano, though my hubby was pretty impressed with it! As Positano is built into the cliff face, it is very steep and to get down into the town there are thousands of steps that wind through narrow alleys filled with shops, cafes and boutiques. Now, I'm not so great with the words (better with a camera!) but I came across the quote I've used at the start of this post and it completely describes the way I feel about Positano. It is just so perfect that its almost not real. We basically spent an entire day moving from one cafe to the next, eating and drinking and watching the world go by. Just sheer bliss!
We'll most definitely be returning to this part of Italy, hopefully for a little longer next time! I don't think I'll ever tire of those views!
Another month done and the summer is over. Autumn is my favourite season and I can feel the chill in the evening air but I'm sad this year that Summer is done - I've been so busy with weddings, its just flown by. I've shot a few in distant locations this year and, half way through August I had another that needed a weekend stay, so we all went. The girls were very excited about having their own hotel room and room service too and it meant we were all together. The day after the wedding we went to Warwick Castle - impressive in size and history, as a War of the Roses geek its somewhere that Ive always wanted to visit. The girls loved it, especially the historical maze in the grounds (fourth image down - they are being weighed to see which one is a witch!). Florence had a birthday and turned 7 so we went to her favourite trampoline centre, Jump Street with all her friend, out to dinner at TGI Friday and shopped til we dropped! They are all back at school now and the house is quiet again.
Follow our blog circle around by heading to my talented friend Colie James in Colorado!
The past month has been busy - the girls broke up from school for Summer (though you would'nt think it was Summer by the awful weather we've had in the last two weeks!), I turned the big 40 and Lee also had a birthday. Ava has turned our back garden into her dance studio and has spent many hours out there perfecting her routines! Lee wanted to go into London for his birthday so we drove into the city and visited the Natural History Museum - we fancied seeing Hope, the new Blue Whale in the entrance hall after watching a documentary on how they replaced the Diplodocus with her, she was awesome! Head on across the pond to the marvellous Colie James to see what the last month looked like for her!
So Summer. So far, so good! We've been treated to some incredibly hot weather - if you live in the UK, Summer does'nt always equal sun! The girls have two weeks left until the end of the school year and I'm looking forward to lazy mornings, late evenings, great sunsets and celebrating a milestone birthday for me (I've been ignoring it for months, but now its upon me, I'm going to embrace it and welcome in a new decade with open arms!). We've already taken advantage of our gorgeous fields and had sunset walks before the harvest comes, we loved our annual school fete where the girls got in the festival vibe and had their faces painted and sparkled! And our pool has been out for weeks now, getting more use than all the other years put together I think and Grace has terrorised the boys next door with the water gun!
Please do go visit with the fabulous Breanna Peterson in Alaska and follow our incredible blog circle around to see what the past month has looked like across the world!
So this month has literally flown by in a blur of weddings but we still managed to squeeze in a four day mini break in Norfolk over the girls half term holiday so the last 5 images of my 10 in June are my favourites from then. The first five from the beginning of the month I feel were us really embracing the beginning of the warmer weather, enjoying our favourite outdoor seafood restaurant, enjoying the glorious spring blooms on our doorstep, and me, definitely enjoying the return of late evening sunshine! Thats it now, come on Summer we've missed you so!
Follow our inspiring blog circle by heading off to feast your eyes on the wonderful Evelyne Lourenco's month. She's usually based in Philadelphia but she's been off on some travels...!
This month has delivered a couple of new arrivals! We brought our new Ragdoll baby home, he's a seal mitted boy who just had to be named Hooper since he's Chief Brody's sidekick! Also in March, 13 Years after witnessing my sister give birth to my eldest nephew, I was lucky enough to be present, and document the very swift arrival of my youngest (and probably last!) nephew. Parker takes our nephew count to 8! Such an emotional and unforgettable day, I'm so thrilled to have been able to capture his birth story for my brother and sister-in-law, who was an absolute warrior! The other images of choice are just my favourites from in-between with second photo in being our one and only niece among all those boys!
Get your click finger at the ready and follow our blog group around, starting with a trip across the pond to Philadelphia to the wonderful Evelyne Lourenco!
10 on 10. My family documented in photography
I had to opt out on last months 10 on 10 and really missed participating with this incredible blog circle. We've all been pretty poorly this month, but luckily recovered just in time for the Christmas festivities, still, we've stayed in the warm, and spent a lot of time with the ones we love. The girls have played beautifully together with new toys and its been bliss to stay in bed late, watch old films in our pj's while we puzzled over what day it actually was! Then, before you know it, its January and already Christmas seems like a distant memory. So all thats left is to wish you a peaceful and prosperous New Year!
Now, pop on over to Breanna Peterson in Alaska and follow the blog circle to see what the last month has looked like!
10 images on the 10th October
I've been a bit lapse on photographing for me again this month, mainly because wedding season is drawing to a close and I've been busy shooting other peoples lives. I am, however, really glad that I actually managed to get in a photograph this month! Theres a handful of random images here from the past month but the last few are from our annual 'scrump' in the fields surrounding our village. We always get a bumper crop of apples, blackberries, greengages and this year, the conkers are particularly impressive! This time of year is my favourite - I love the light, the colours in the trees and I also love the nights drawing in - it means cosy evenings with cups of tea and a book under a blanket - good times! Carry on around our blog circle by heading over to the always awesome Min Mohd to see her adventures in Kuala Lumpur this month!
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10 images on 10th of September
Last month we were lucky enough to spend some time in the South of France, in a region that I've always wanted to visit. I'm a bit of a history geek so the walled citadel of Carcassonne has held a particular fascination for me, I was very exited to be staying just 20 minutes away (not forgetting the fabulous French food, vineyards and the glorious weather!). We had the most amazing week, visiting beaches, swimming in lakes, climbing up to mountain villages and trawling around food markets and it was a joy to photograph just for me after a busy period with weddings and summer portraits. I found it really hard to choose 10 images to include but here they are, my personal faves from our adventure in France!
Please follow this awesome group around by heading to Kuala Lumpur and the very talented Min Mohd - it'll take you on a photographic trip around the world!
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A Week in the Languedoc, France
We were very lucky this summer to spend a bit of time in the Languedoc, Southern France. Its somewhere I've always wanted to go, not only for the historic walled citadel of Carcassonne, but also the vineyards, lakes, beaches and obviously, the food! We stayed in a stunning converted barn, nestled at the foot of the Pyrenees, a perfect location for exploring! This region really has it all, and we will definitely be returning - a week was not long enough to spend in this beautiful part of the world! Here's a few of my favourite images...
10 images on the 10th of July
Its that time again! Not sure where the past month has gone, but 10 on 10 July is already here! This really is an exceptional group of talented photographers whom every month, on the 10th share 10 recently shot images. This month I'm sharing images of my eldest daughter who is just on the cusp of her teenage years. She's about to start High School in September and this stirs up all kinds of emotions for me as I know she's in for some serious changes. Its there in the forefront of my mind to photograph her during this Summer, probably the last one of her girlhood. The evening I shot these, the last little sliver of sunlight was reflecting from our french doors straight through the house and she'd sat in this little pocket of light and, as a photographer, this is a gift not to be ignored!!
Please do treat yourself and follow this blog group around, you won't be disappointed! To begin, head on over across the pond to Alaska, to see what the wonderful Breanna Peterson has shot in July!
A travl blog from Disneyland Paris
A personal post today as I wanted to share some of our trip to Paris. The girls are getting pretty good at a road trip (good job as we have another one coming up that's even further!) and as long as they're plied with food and can take control of the music, they're happy! We've visited Disneyland Paris a couple of times already when the elder two where younger, but Florence has never been so, we thought we'd better remedy that! We made the crossing on the boat - that was first for all of them and was totally part of the adventure! I think Disneyland speaks for itself really, no need for me to narrate (except to say that I enjoyed challenging myself to try and take a few more interesting, art-worthy shots!). On the drive home, we detoured and travelled up the North-West coast of France, stopping at several small but very pretty villages, where the beaches were big and beautiful and the seafood was a-plenty! France, thanks for having us, we had a ball!
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