PARENT

A Happy Family Christmas: the realistic way - guest blog

A Happy Family Christmas: the realistic way – guest blog by Sam James 

 

 

Christmas time with babies and young children can be a magical time. It can also be a stressful time. Parenthood is an ongoing wrestle between ideal expectations versus the reality, and Christmas can be a stark reminder of this. That’s why I am going to share my 3 top tips to help you to create a realistically happy Christmas for you and your family.

 

I remember our son’s first Christmas and I had put so much pressure on myself to have the ‘perfect’ Christmas, fuelled by my perception of what all my new mummy friends were preparing and what the world of adverts, films and social media were telling me Christmas should be like.

 

The reality was nothing like it. The stress built like a pressure cooker, and it felt like everything that could go wrong did go wrong:

  • Our trip home from South Wales to Norfolk, was delayed by several days due to heavy snowfall (I normally love snow, but not in 2010!)
  • My husband and I ended up with food poisoning
  • My grandmothers water pipe burst in her garage
  • My parents washing machine broke
  • We argued with our families. I remember hiding in my room, messaging friends, wishing I was in my own home.
  • Our son was poorly on Christmas Day and I spent a considerable amount of my day on the phone to 111.
  • I lost my voice on Boxing day and woke up with conjunctivitis.

 

I vividly remember feeling so disappointed, upset and exhausted. At the time this was all I could focus on. That Christmas was a failure.

 

Yet, if I were to share photos of our son’s first Christmas it won’t show any of that. It will show him with his stocking, opening presents with his cousins, having his first Christmas lunch, families laughing and playing together.

 

In reality, 8 years on, I am able to recognise that despite all of the drama that surrounded Christmas 2010, there were many moments to treasure. With hindsight I wish I had taken the pressure off myself and my family to have a ‘perfect’ time, that I had lowered my expectations and embraced the time together warts and all.

 

It is so easy to get swept along with what we think everyone else is doing, and feeling like we should be keeping up with everyone else. So, how can you try and make Christmas work for you without the stress?

Create a Realsitic Happy Christmas.

  • Create your own family traditions

Don’t force yourself to do things that ‘everyone else’ always seems to be doing, if it doesn’t fit for you. Everyone’s situations are totally different – what works for your friend or your sibling’s family might lead to huge financial strain for you, or a really uncomfortable family situation.

 

  • Focus on the time together.

What do you want Christmas to feel like for you and your family? People remember the feelings they are left with far longer than the things that they are left with. As humans we are wired to seek out connections with each other, and being with other people and sharing positive experiences far out ways material objects, in terms of long-term happiness. There is a post on social media, written by a teacher for parents as a reminder of just this – that when they go back to school when asked about Christmas, the children share stories of staying in their pj’s for the day, playing games, watching films, going for walks. If they mention presents it tends to be the last thing they talk about.

 

  • Soften your expectations.

It is going to sound pessimistic, but I now accept that there are going to be moments when I want to scream at everyone, that someone will may end up ill, that there will be some very random present choices and some things won’t go to plan. By accepting these things in advance, I won’t feel like Christmas is ruined if it happens. So, be honest with yourself, and where can you lower the bar of expectation this Christmas?

 

 

If you’d love more tips for reducing the Christmas stress you can find my 8 top tips here https://samjamescoaching.co.uk/tinsel-tantrums/

 

Enjoy your Christmas in whatever way you choose. I can’t wait for snuggles on the sofa in pj’s with my tribe!

Save my top tips below to your phone !

 

www.samjamescoaching.co.uk

hello@samjamescoaching.co.uk

07736325189

www.facebook.com/SamJamesCoaching

www.twitter.com/SamJamesCoach

 


christmas

Christmas Mini Sessions 2018

Christmas Mini Sessions 2018

Booking is open for 2018 Christmas Minis sessions !

christmas
christmas

After the success of last years simple set up my theme this year is the reindeer backdrop as voted for, please note the reindeer etc is printed onto the backdrop and not a prop.

You don’t want to miss out on these – spots will go fast and are available on a first come first serve basis.

These sessions are designed to provide you with super adorable images,  to design Christmas cards and gifts. The Reindeer Christmas set up can fit a max of 2 children only. Family images will be taken on my light grey plain backdrop.

I’ll be keeping it super duper simple, i’ll also have some star bunting on my white wooden backdrop see above

simplicity = super cute images of your child!

I have some baby outfits at the studio which ive selected to compliment the set up. I have baby boy &  girl rompers , some delicate headbands and reindeer ears – feel free to bring your own bits .

I recommend Christmas jumpers or Christmas PJ’s as outfit choices for your children !

The time slot is very strict and we will only have time for one Christmas outfit and one non-Christmas outfit change.  

Mini sessions are perfect for single children or 2 siblings . Please note these mini are only suitable for babies at the sitting up stage from 6 months old unless coming with a sibling who can hold them upright to give you some variety.

  (Mini’s not suitable for babies under 6 months especially new-borns due to the strict time slots )

Cost?

2018 Christmas  Mini session Package:

20 minutes in studio

5 digital images via download to print as you wish, max of 10 to select from

kids & siblings only (no cousins or friends)

£65

(extra images can be purchased after at £5 each)

When?

Friday 9th November – 1 LEFT

Saturday 10th November SOLD OUT

Saturday December 1st SOLD OUT

To book in follow the link here to the dates, select the date, choose the time and then pay for the package in full £65.

you will then receive confirmation and my information sheet!

 *If you have a shy child  or want longer time in the studio with no time restraints ,  more outfit changes ,  different set ups and props , and more images in your gallery then you can book a full length package off my main pricelist these start at £200. 

Christmas Mini Sessions 2018 T&c

The number of images is dependent on the little/s one on the day but you can expect 5-10 images in your online gallery as a rough guide.

Due to the time limited nature of the session where a child may become shy or unwilling no guarantees are offered to provide a specified number.

You can purchase any extra images for £5 each. Images include print permission to print as you wish.

Your gallery will be ready to view approx 1 week later

The images will be sent via a download link / dropbox

If your baby becomes unwell or upset , we may reschedule at the photographers discretion.

My studio is small and with 3 set ups its gonna be a squeeze so only parents can attend , a max of 2 adults per time slot.

 

I cant wait!

christmasx


christmas

The Christmas Competition Amongst Parents

The Christmas Competition Amongst Parents

There has been a shift in the air and it isn’t just the cooler temperatures and darker nights.

It’s in the shops, it’s slowly filling our news feeds too, prompting us to buy this, to go to this event and to sit down and craft with our children.

Yes, we are talking about the big C.

IT’S CHRIST…..MAS

It is less than 15 weeks until Christmas and it seems now leaving a carrot out for Rudolph, hanging a stocking on the end of the bed isn’t enough anymore.

There are the crafts, the bakes, the Christmas markets, the must have toys, the flavoured gins, a creepy doll for you to position in a serious of pranks for 25 days and that’s just the build-up.

Never mind the gifts, decorations, the meal of the year to prepare and the fact you should also be doing some wholesome and traditional family activities too.

Reindeer Food

Honestly, the thought of Christmas now a days is exhausting. What happened to just enjoying a few days off work, drinking and eating a bit too much in front of Christmas films for 3 days? Who invented Reindeer food and why, nearly 12 months on AM I STILL FINDING IT?

There is a competitive side to whose doing what, whose spending what and how you are spending your time. You find yourself very much trying to keep up with the hundreds and thousands of digital Jones’.

Social Media

Social Media has now inaugurated itself into our daily lives, we can do all of our Christmas shopping at a click of a button and share with the world what we have spent and how much for.

We get suggested crafts and bakes and see the world doing them, and feel we have too as well. If you aren’t baking cookies, making Christmas wreaths and visiting every Santa in Norfolk you can begin to feel as though you are letting down your children.

Boycott

It can be hard to step away from the norm, to not buy into the extravagance and competition of what Christmas has really become now. As a parent it can feel like you have a never ending list of expectations to fulfil and when you don’t you aren’t giving your children the Christmas they deserve.

FOMO

It can also be hard to put down the phone, to stop scrolling through the endless pics of Elf on the Shelf and the elaborately decorated Christmas tress everyone has. The fear of missing out, the fear you aren’t keeping up, you’re not good enough if you aren’t attending this event, doing this or have made your own Christmas scene out of recyclable materials.

Making Memories

As much as we want to ‘make memories’ that our children treasure forever, traditions that they pass onto their children should we really be saying enough is enough and get back to focusing on what is really important?

Should we just step back from social media and just enjoy Christmas the way we want to? The one which doesn’t come with unrealistic expectations, of the pressure that you have to do this, that and the other?

The one where we are rushing to get the perfect Instagram shot? The one where we have to share what we are eating and where we are.

Perhaps this year we should just sit back watching the Polar Express with our mince pies and just appreciate what is in the room in front of you rather than what isn’t?

Christmas comes but once a year, but let me tell you that you will be finding reindeer food all damn year long.

Vicki Cockerill is a Freelance Content Writer and NICU/CHD Mum to two boys, she authors The Honest Confessions Of A NICU Mum Blog and co-founded the @KnackeredandNorwich Social Club and campaigns for NICU and MMH issues. You can contact her via her blog or social media;

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diet

Avoid the latest fad diet! New year new you? Guest blog

Avoid the latest fad diet! New year new you? Guest blog blog Anna from Keep it Real Personal Training 

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‘I’m going to lose weight in the new year’? ‘I’m going to get to the gym every day in the new year’ or ‘I’m going to detox after christmas’?

 

These are statements made every new year and sometimes we make drastic moves to achieve our goals.

 

With this in mind I have a penned a list of sensible adjustments you can make to every day life that will help you feel healthy, slimmer and more energetic.

 

  1. Avoid the latest fad diet, diet foods/drinks, sweeteners and any restrictive kind of diet. There is only one way.  Don’t over complicate things.... Choose foods from the fresh isles of the supermarket. Lean (unprocessed) meat or fish, veg (eat a whole rainbow of different coloured veg), nuts, seeds, some fruit.  Don’t cut out fats or Carbohydrates, they are an important source of energy but ensure you opt for the right sort.  Rice, potatoes, sweet potatoes are good sources of carbs and nuts, seeds, eggs, avocado and cheese (in moderation) are great for providing essential fatty acids.  Limit choices from processed food which is anything from ready meals to candy bars, crisps to biscuits.

 

  1. Exercise - choose a form of exercise you enjoy the most as you are more likely to stick with it. Perhaps find an exercise buddy so you can motivate each other.

Ensure your workout week includes 2-3 sessions of resistance exercise as it’s not only great for shaping the muscles and improving posture but is essential for raising the metabolism, which essentially means you burn more fat at rest.

 

Having been in the industry for over 25 years I have finally found my favourite form of exercise. It ticks all the boxes.  For me, my exercise of choice is Crossfit which is a program of constantly varied, high intensity, functional movement which can be scaled to suit any level or age.

 

 

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  1. Change your relationship with food. Food is essential fuel for the body.  You wouldn’t put dirty, contaminated fuel in your car.  If you consistently did, you wouldn’t expect it to work very well or last very long would you?  You also wouldn’t expect it to work if the tank was empty would you?  Your body is no different.  You need to eat and drink a diet full of nutritious, healthy foods in order for your body to work optimally.  You cannot starve your body and hope it will keep working as it should.

 

  1. Trust the process. Be honest. Make short and long term (life long) health and fitness goals! Changes do not happen over night. If you are being honest about what you are putting in your mouth and how much energy you are exerting each day and you are creating a very small calorie deficit you will find weight will come of sensibly and steadily.

 

  1. KEEP IT REAL. Go for that drink, have that meal out, eat the cake but just don’t do it every day. I have an 80:20 rule. 80% goody two shoes 20% not so goody two shoes!  Don’t make changes you can’t keep up, be sensible, be realistic and don’t forget that life is for living and enjoying!

I hope these little tips help you through the new year.  I am more than happy to help with exercise and nutrition direction.. Drop me an email if you’d like to find out more.

 

Anna Jakob

Keep it Real Personal Training

buggybuddies@hotmail.com.

07770752652

 

To check out all my other amazing guest bloggers click here !


blog

Looking for the PERFECT Christmas Present? Check out Fingerprint Jewellery Norwich

Looking for the PERFECT Christmas Present?.... look no further! Your child's OWN prints and drawings captured on handcrafted jewellery and gifts to cherish forever!

 

christmas present

 

 

I am very excited that I have been given an exclusive 10% off code from Fingerprint Jewellery Norwich .

I adore my finger print heart necklace , it meas the world to me ! A while back , my Lila hid it in her toy kitchen , it took me weeks to find it ! Safe to say I keep it hidden high when not on me!

If you are sentimental and want some handcrafted and bespoke jewellery of your newborn,  kids drawings, fingers / hand prints or your pets paw prints there are lots of options.

What do they sell?

Beautiful, bespoke, quality, fine silver jewellery personalised with your little ones fingerprints, minature hand/foot prints, photos, drawings and messages. Suitable for Adult prints and messages too, so the perfect present for your loved ones for Christmas.

 

Fingerprints, handprints, footprints, drawings, kiss prints, handwritten messages, scan pictures and paw prints ALL done via post so location not an issue.

 

So the best bit use this code JESSW1  to get 10% off your order.

 

This will be recognised by both their  website/social media pages and pop up shops (if local to Norfolk)

 

You can see Kim and her team at the Norwich Market with their Keepsake POP up shop.

27 November - 3 December

Personalised jewellery from just £15. Your child's OWN prints and drawings (not forgetting adults and pets!). Ranges for Men/Women and Children. Perfect Christmas presents they  guarantee they will LOVE. Lots of personalised very special gifts. Get help with prints/take away kits/try on/browse range/Special Offers/FREE Xmas craft activity to entertain the children whilst you shop!

 

Contact them at www.facebook.com/norwich1offmoments or www.1offjewellery.co.uk quoting JESSW1. For a 10 % discount.

 

Jess - happy shopping !

 


christmas

Christmas Mini Sessions 2017 - BOOK NOW !

Christmas Mini Sessions 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Booking is open for 2017 Christmas Minis sessions !

After the success of last years simple set up my theme this year is white and wood.

You don't want to miss out on these - spots will go fast and are available on a first come first serve basis.

These sessions are designed to provide you with super adorable images,  to design Christmas cards and gifts. The Christmas set up can fit a max of 3 children.

I’ll be keeping it super duper simple with wooden Christmas tree bunting, wooden sleigh on a plain whitewash a plain backdrop.

 

simplicity = super cute images of your child!

I have some baby outfits at the studio which ive selected to compliment the set up. I have baby boy &  girl rompers , some delicate headbands and reindeer ears – feel free to bring your own bits .

 

I recommend Christmas jumpers or Christmas PJ’s to jazz up your images !

 

christmas mini 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The time slot is very strict and we will only have time for one Christmas outfit and one non-Christmas outfit change.  

 

Mini sessions are perfect for single children & siblings . Please note these mini are only suitable for babies at the sitting up stage from 6 months old unless coming with a sibling who can hold them upright to give you some variety

  (Mini’s not suitable for babies under 6 months especially new-borns due to the strict time slots )

Cost?

2017 Christmas  Mini session Package:

20 minutes in studio

5 digital images via download to print as you wish, max of 10 to select from

kids & siblings only (no cousins or friends)

£65

(extra images can be purchased after)

When?

Friday 10th November 9.30-1.40 - SOLD OUT

Saturday 11th November 9.30-2.30 *SOLD OUT

(Possible second December date at weekend if enough demand)

New dates 3rd December - just 12.40 left  & a few slots have been added 5th December 9.30 10am, 10.30am , 12.30 & 1pm

To book in, contact me i’ll send you a list of dates and times . I require £25 to secure your slot , the rest is payable on the day or visit my shop to pay for the package in full.

 

*If you have a shy child  or want longer time in the studio with no time restraints ,  more outfit changes ,  different set ups and props , and more images in your gallery then you can book a full length shoot off my main pricelist at £25 for the shoot & images starting at 5 for £120*

 

Christmas Mini Sessions 2017 T&c

The number of images is dependent on the little/s one on the day but you can expect 5-10 images in your online gallery as a rough guide.

Due to the time limited nature of the session where a child may become shy or unwilling no guarantees are offered to provide a specified number.

You can purchase any extra images for £5 each. Images include print permission to print as you wish.

The images will be sent via a download link / dropbox

A deposit of £25 is required upfront to secure your slot. The rest of payment is due on the day , if you do not pay the deposit  within 24 hours the slot will be re-opened.

If your baby becomes unwell or upset , we may reschedule at the photographers discretion.

My studio is small so only parents can attend , a max of 2 adults per time slot.

 

 

 

The Christmas mini sessions are going to be lots of fun and a great way to capture your baby/child , they are fast paced but perfect to get some images - which make perfect presents for family and friends!

 

eeeek book in today by contacting me here  i can't wait to capture your family

 

Jess x

 

a few images from last year ...

 

 

 


Christmas Mini Sessions 2016

Christmas Mini Sessions 2016

 

Booking is open for 2016 Christmas Minis sessions !

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You don't want to miss out on these - spots will go fast and are available on a first come first serve basis.

These sessions are designed to provide you with super adorable images,  to design Christmas cards and gifts. The Christmas set up can fit a max of 4 children.

Here are some examples of the set up - think bunting, wooden sleigh , understated Christmas props , and a plain backdrop.

Christmas mini photoshoot Norwich

Christmas mini photoshoot Norwich

simplicity + sparkle = super cute images of your child!

I have some baby outfits at the studio which ive selected to compliment the set up. I have baby boy &  girl rompers , some delicate headbands and reindeer ears – feel free to bring your own bits especially Christmas jumpers !

Christmas mini photoshoot NorwichChristmas mini photoshoot Norwichgallery-louie

The time slot is strict and we will only have time for one Christmas outfit and one non-Christmas outfit change.  

 

Mini sessions are perfect for single & siblings up from 4 months old – 8 years old. (not suitable for newborns)

Cost?

2016 Christmas  Mini session Package:

20 minutes in studio

5 digital images via download to print as you wish, max of 10 to select from

kids & siblings only (no cousins or friends)

£65

(extra images can be purchased after)

When?

Thursday 10th November from 9.30-2pm (1 slot left)

&

Saturday 12th November 10am-3pm (sold out)

emily-1-30

To book in, contact me i’ll send you a list of dates and times . I require £25 to secure your slot , the rest is payable on the day or visit my shop to pay for the package in full.

 

*If you want longer time in the studio with no time restraints ,  more outfit changes ,  different set ups and props , and more images in your gallery to choose from ? Then you can book a full length shoot off my main pricelist at £25 for the shoot & images starting at 5 for £120*

 

Christmas Mini Sessions 2016 T&c

The number of images is dependent on the little/s one on the day but you can expect 5-10 images in your online gallery as a rough guide. Due to the

Due to the time limited nature of the session where a child may become shy or unwilling no guarantees are offered to provide a specified number.

You can purchase any extra images for £5 each. Images include print permission to print as you wish.

The images will be sent via a download link / dropbox

A deposit of £25 is required upfront to secure your slot. The rest of payment is due on the day , if you do not pay the deposit the slot will be re-opened.

If your baby becomes unwell or upset , we may reschedule at the photographers discretion.

My studio is small so only parents can attend , a max of 2 adults per time slot.

 

 

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The Christmas mini sessions are going to be lots of fun and a great way to capture your baby/child - which make perfect presents for family and friends!

 

eeeek book in today i can't wait to capture your family

 

Jess x

Christmas mini photoshoot Norwich Christmas Mini sessions christmas mini sessions

 

 

 


Christmas Mini Sessions

Christmas Mini Sessions 2015

xmas mini

 

I have finally sorted my Christmas Mini Session dates and times, below is all the information you should need , but if you have any questions please contact me.

These are designed to allow you to have some beautiful images of your child/ children,  perfect to give as gifts for Christmas or to treat yourself and display proudly in your home. Unlike my other mini sessions these are shorter sessions with one outfit change and a max 10 images to choose from.

WHEN?

They will take place Saturday 7th November and Friday 4th December at various times throughout the day.  When you email to book , I will inform you what times are left/ available.

 

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COST?

A 25 minute mini session & 5 images sent via email/download the cost is £95, a few day after the session you will be sent a gallery link to view all your images . From this you can choose your 5 images to be sent via digital download, straight to your computer, you can purchase  the rest please see below.

The number of images is dependent on the little one on the day but you can expect 5-10 as a rough guide. Due to the time limited nature of the session where a child may become shy or unwilling no guarantees are offered to provide a specified number. You can purchase any extra images for £25 . Images include  with print permission to print as you wish.

A deposit of £20 is required upfront to secure your slot. The rest of payment is due on the day , Lisa my assistant will be on hand to take payments and spread some Christmas Joy ! mince pies and cake will be supplied !

 

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WHERE?

At my home studio in Sprowston, Norwich.

 

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WHAT?

I have set up my sessions so that we start off with the Christmas theme images (I have some props:  bunting , sleigh, lights to give a Christmas feel but not over the top) . I then move these out of the way,  to finish with some classic and timeless portraits  that last all year . This has proved popular - I will send you a detailed info sheet on what to bring, clothes that work well and my full address.

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WHO?

These sessions are not suitable for newborns,  but great for babies 12 weeks and older, there is space for up to 4 siblings in my studio or a family of 4 (with one child being a non walker).

 

HOW?

to book please email at info@jesswilkinsphotography.co.uk or use the contact form on my website.  I will then send you a booking form with payment details and avalible slots to choose from.

 

I have emailed my previous clients first and already some slots have gone, so be quick!

 

Jess xx

 

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