Guest blog - cake smash with Jess Wilkins Photography, Norfolk Photographer

Guest blog – cake smash with Jess Wilkins Photography, Norfolk Photographer

By Muffin and Puffin & Mollie! 

 

cake smash Norfolk

When Jess asked about collaborating for a photoshoot cake-smash I was delighted.  It was the perfect timing to mark a milestone birthday, Mollie turning 2 and also gave me an opportunity to bring some local businesses together to celebrate one another, support one another and share some hopefully wonderful content.

Knowing Jess as I do, I wasn’t worried or nervous in the slightest, she has a very calming nature and I knew that Mollie, while I couldn’t guarantee pose perfection, wouldn’t feel anything other than calm and happy in her studio.

We pulled up with cake and outfits and went straight into her perfect little studio. White, calm, beautiful, natural props and a tiny delicate rail of beautiful baby clothes (how I wish we had come to Jess when Mollie was a few days old!) A little slice of studio heaven.

Mollie was instantly drawn to the props, in particular the wooden birthday cake (how apt!) and from there it was a breeze. She happily got into her matching Christmas Pjs with me (a small request for an image from myself) and before we had a chance to give any sort of direction she had pulled the chair into the middle of the set and started posing. She does not take after me at all(!)

Baby Photographer Norfolk

A quick outfit change later into a piece made specially by the very talented Little Dottie Designs and she was back into pose mode… gleefully knocking over the TWO props and delicately eating all the sprinkles from the cake.

Jess gave no direction; the whole experience was led by Mollie with me guiding her for a few of the shots. We stopped when she stopped, and Jess shot when she was happily eating her Little Cake Company cake (topped beautifully by the topper from the talented Vellamaes) and we also took some fun time-lapse videos from #bts.

In under an hour it felt that it came to a natural end as there had been no incidents, meltdowns or tears… Mollie truly enjoyed the experience as did I. I have threatened to come back weekly for Jess’ calming influence over my little whirlwind of a toddler.

I cannot recommend Jess enough, she’s a mama herself and she just ‘gets it’ she was efficient without being bossy, she was calm without being airy and it felt more like a playdate than a studio shoot.

There’s not much point waxing lyrical about the final shots – I think they speak for themselves.

Jess can we come back for every birthday?

Sophie x

baby photographer Norfolk
baby photographer Norfolk
baby photographer Norfolk


bottle feeding

The Honest Confessions of a NICU Mum on…. Baby Classes

The Honest Confessions of a NICU Mum on…. Baby Classes

 

So, it seems that once you’ve got the baby out of you then you have to then suddenly fill your calendar with sensory classes, baby massage and bounce and rhyme classes.

During my pregnancy with my eldest I can’t really remember on finding local baby classes, or planning to attend them. It was more than likely the fact others were doing it and me feeling like I should too!

I was quite fortunate to live a few minutes from a local children’s centre where they held most of the baby classes ion my town.

Even looking back now I remember baby classes with conflicting emotions.

Elijah had colic so someone had suggested baby massage and I did put our names down to see if it would help.

By this point we had endured a NICU stay, and were waiting for a surgery date. I began to decline mentally and certainly remember feeling panicky about attending the class.

Luckily my friend also attended with me, but I still feeling some afraid that people would pick out me as the NICU Mum, and I didn’t want their pity. I was going through a really bad time of accepting what we had been through, and also what we would have to go through and meeting other mums with their healthy babies was hard.

I briefly mentioned it to the teacher in case there was any sort of medical restriction and I saw the pity in her eyes.

I did what I do best, and deflected it, providing some distraction was also Elijah who had projectile vomited all over one of those brightly coloured matts.

As much as baby classes are great for getting you out of the house, for meeting other mums I think there is also a slightly darker side to them, well that’s my experience anyway.

I found I was always comparing myself to others, and my baby too, who was bigger, was was sleeping better, who was doing what.

There is also a fear of judgement when I whipped my Tommee Tippee out of the changing bag, I felt like I was failing.

This is likely just a representation of my mental state at the time, and I am even now, very socially awkward.

I did find it quite hard to go into a room full of parents I didn’t know and to me felt as though I was being put on trial.

I tended to feel comfortable with certain mum friends and would prefer just a house play date rather than sitting in a circle singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.

Over the first 18 months with Elijah we attended them sporadically, but I just don’t think we found the right fit for us. We also had a lot going on with NICU surgery, recovery etc they were just not on my top list of priorities.

I think there is a stigma surrounding baby classes too, I know of some wonderful ladies whom I have met who run their own classes and I am sure they would have certainly been better suited to us.

There are some great baby classes now on offer that are now offering something different from the norm that also help the parents out too (links below).

Greg always felt the odd one out as he tended to be the only dad and I just didn’t feel comfortable enough to keep going back.

I haven’t actually taken Harlow to a baby class and I do beat myself up he is missing out but truth is with two kids, and a trillion schedules to manage we just don’t have time. He is quite happy to play with Elijah and friends.

It has sadden me that many Children’s Centres are closing and this is where many baby classes are held, and despite me not using them much I know how important they are to others and having the access of them.

It is funny how we as parents put so much pressure on ourselves to sensor the hell out of our little ones believing it is what we should be doing at a detriment to ourselves.

I worry about this un necessary pressure on vulnerable new mums, and wish I could go back and tell that panicked mum it was all okay and it doesn’t matter because you are just doing your best.

Happy mum/dad, happy baby whether you go to baby class or not.

Yoga Babies

Baby Fit

Waterbabies

Beebops

Get Me Out the Four Walls

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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If you love Vicki honest blog please read her other blogs here.

 

 


Top 5 indoor activities for children when it’s hot

Top 5 indoor activities for children when it’s hot 

 

Summer has well and truly arrived!

With this ongoing heatwave you may hear the undeniable sound of parents of young children everywhere groan! As much as it is nice to see the sun finally it just isn’t that fun for your little people.

They are hot, bothered and their sleep patterns are now all over the place with it being too light and too hot. If you are pregnant and already have a toddler you are probably finding it more and more difficult to explain why you are the one occupying the paddling pool more than your child!

You know to avoid the direct midday sun from 11-3, sun cream every hour, hats and lots of water. Not everyone has a lot of shade in their garden and even if you do it can still just feel too hot, and the children aren’t the only ones having a meltdown!

But, really the only way to truly protect your littles’ from getting to hot and bothered is to keep them inside and to get creative! Another afternoon in front of C Beebies doesn’t seem that appealing does it?

Here are our top 5 indoor activities for children to keep them cool, and amused during the day when it just gets a bit too hot for you and them.

Bring outside, indoors!

If you have the room make some space and bring some of the favourite garden toys indoors! This is the first top 5 indoor activity for children. A small toddler slide is great, or a pop up tent / tunnel and the children will have all the fun of outside, indoors in the cool! You can sit back on the sofa with the fan and enjoy a well deserved ice cream!

Car Mat

Car mats are great and one of the top 5 indoor activity for children while it is hot. There are lots if different types of car mat which will keep you little happy. If you don’t have a mat you can easily make your own track with some masking tape and the best bit is you can change it as much as you want!

Indoor Cinema

It can be hard sitting indoors when you know everyone is out in beer gardens, BBQ’s, beaches etc but it doesn’t have to mean you don’t have fun too. One of the top indoor activities for children is to close the curtains (great at keeping a room cool), grab the snacks and favourite film and pretend you are in the cinema! You could even make some slushies just like the real thing from the comfort of your sofa!

Did someone say cake?

One of the all-time top 5 indoor activities for children is baking, but an afternoon in front of a hot oven in this heat sounds like torture! Have a look for some recipes that don’t require baking, no bake cheese cakes, smoothies and even home made ice lollies are all winners and will keep everyone cool and happy!

 

 

Games and Messy Play

There are many pre school games available that will keep everyone occupied for an afternoon. There are also some classics you can do such as hide and seek, or depending on how brave your feeling you could explore the arts and crafts cupboard! Games and messy play are one of the top 5 indoor activities for children.

Do you have any tips or activities to keep children amused indoors when it’s hot?

We would love to hear them!

Vicki Cockerill

Freelance Blogger  and Social Media Adviser
www.vcsocialmediaspecialist.com

 


16 weeks pregnant

16 weeks pregnant guest blogger

16 weeks pregnant guest blogger :  Well didn’t that past few weeks just fly by? So here we are 16 weeks pregnant (if you missed my first blog post and would like to catch up you can find it here). When I was thinking ahead back at the beginning of this journey I had wondered what I’d write about at this update…I mean, I’ve done this a few times before and I know that these weeks are the ones that drag. No big belly, no movement, just a quick visit to the midwife and that’s it until the next scan. Turns out I was wrong – haha!

 

A whole load of stuff has been going on. In the non-pregnancy related world our household has been hit by 2 (yes, 2!!) stomach bugs since my last update. That’s 2 young kiddies, a husband and a pregnant woman…!! I thought I’d share with you a very good blog I have found that helped me keep the littlies entertained whilst I was still feeling rotten. Its called ‘Adventures of Adam’  and it’s actually written by a lady who suffered with Hyperemesis Gravidarum . Because of the nature of this condition it was actually really helpful for ideas to keep them busy with very low key, low mess, easy play whilst I literally just lay on the sofa trying to recover. Although there were days where my house just looked like a bombsite:

 

16 weeks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Apparently baby is now the size of an Avocado at 16 weeks pregnant (not sure whether that’s one of tiny ones you get in Aldi or the giant ones you get in Sainsbury, but hey!?), either way our midwife appointment this week bought the happy relief of hearing that reassuring rhythm of their teeny tiny heartbeat….and the midwife’s guess is that we are having another boy! Yikes! We’ll have to wait and see on that one, but I am going to need some serious advice on how to cope with 2 boys if she’s right – one is proving tricky enough to keep alive!

 

Because this is baby number 3, not only can I feel the odd flutter of movement (which is just so awesome!) but the bump has popped out and is enormous already:

Week 16 - pregnant guest blogger

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I know – right!?

 

Thankfully the bugs have now passed and I’m starting to enter the ‘energetic’ phase, well as energetic as anyone gets with 2 children and one cooking (1), so I’m looking forward to the next few weeks.

 

Anyway, so the next you’ll hear from me is to find out if the midwife is right in her guess about the sex……what’s your guess??

 

 

If you are also due next year check out my early bird offer below, spaces for January &  March are very limited with a few slots left February !

 

 


bump photos Norwich

Pregnancy diaries - 35/ 36 weeks pregnant bump shoot

Pregnancy diaries - 35/ 36 weeks pregnant bump shoot

 

First things first the pregnant bump shoot bump shoot. The morning of the shoot was a little hectic. Well, Jasmine was her usual self, playing with her toys while I got myself showered and beautified for the photos. In my usual style I was having a clothing meltdown which was heightened by the fact I'm pregnant. I'm sure some of you can relate. I ended up bundling several items in the car and then dashing out of the drive only to realise I needed petrol. Not only were we running late, I had the moment of 'oh s**t' I have no bra on. Not my usual move but necessary to avoid strap marks before the photos. All I can say is thank goodness for pay at the pump! Arriving late, Jess welcomed us in and we had a fabulous time and loved every minute. A relaxed shoot with lots of fun for Jasmine. Thanks Jess. Oh and in pure Bridget Jones style, afterwards I realised that my underwear was back to front!

 

pregnant bump shoot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

later in the week I had a midwife appointment which was slightly manic, mainly because Jasmine just couldn't keep quiet or still to the point of her toppling over backwards on a little stool. Anyway, iron levels aside, Baby M is tracking a similar size path to Jasmine at this stage and my blood pressure was normal. Oh and we're engaged head down. A birth plan was mentioned too which I smugly said I'd prepared one and wanted a water birth in the MLBU. With that we were free to go!

 

 

Despite having a sore back and experiencing pretty intense cramp in my calf muscle I decided it would be a good idea to get on my bike. Well, I rode Andy's bike and he was on mine with Jasmine on the back. It wasn't as if we were tackling a 100 miler but the exercise and fresh air was nice. All 4 miles of it!

 

Work has been busy which is good but has taken it out of me a bit. Massage can be pretty physically draining. Also with a baby that doesn't stop moving you get tired quickly. Oh and occupying an almost 3 year old comes with challenges! Growing has also increased, as Baby M is putting on fat. My tummy is getting tight, hello stretch marks 😩 I must say though the foot and back rubs have finally been introduced by Andy. We've also been practising breathing and visualisation before bed which really helps get us off to sleep. The only down side is that I wake so many times because my back hurts or I need the loo. Then I have to tackle the millions of pillows tucked between my legs before I can move. Which then means getting back into to bed is impossible! Oh well only 4-5 weeks left until we see Baby M. We are so excited now we just want her here.

 

bump shoot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

read all of Ali's guest blogs here or to book your pregnant bump shoot / mini maternity package book in by using my contact page.

 

 

 

Jess


guest blogger Norfolk

Guest blog : Pregnancy diary part 3 - 22 weeks pregnant

Guest blog : Pregnancy diary part 3 - 22 weeks pregnant: Week 22 and I've definitely grown. Luckily the dungarees still fit and I've dragged out my old maternity tops too. It feels like time is flying by. We have four months left till the little lady arrives and in some ways that seems a way away and in others it feels like we need to get our skates on to prepare! Nesting has almost certainly commenced. Lounge and kitchen have been spring cleaned and the bedrooms are underway. I should be on first name terms with the ladies at the charity shop!

Our experience at the Sonography School was brilliant. We had two trainees 'surf the bump' which was great. Nothing beats seeing your little one moving around. I love how clear you see the spine and its movements. Plus the skill required in learning to use the equipment is pretty impressive as you have to almost think in 3D to get the right angle on the scanner.

 

guest blogger Norfolk guest blogger Norfolk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was lucky enough to win a launch 'like & share' competition for The Barns Beauty Rooms in Sprowston last month and I'd booked my 2hrs of relaxation this week. The facial was dreamy and my skin was in need of some hydration. I then had a soothing massage that completely relaxed me, to the point of feeling wiped out when I got home.  This leads me nicely onto napping! I'm feeling much better now aside from afternoon tiredness. So much so to encourage Jasmine to have a rest we both snooze together. I now feel like a toddler and when I wake, I'm refreshed like a Duracell bunny!

https://www.facebook.com/TheBarnBeautyRooms/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

https://www.facebook.com/TheBarnBeautyRooms/

Jasmine has tuned in more to the baby. Her latest thing is pretending she has a baby in her tummy that miraculously pops out every so often. If only! She also likes to blow raspberries on my tummy which she finds hilarious and gets the baby squiggling too! Movements have stepped up a gear and usually happen around 5am or if there's a sudden noise. Which in our household happens quite often.

My husband also can't get over the idea that the baby could be moving in my tummy without me knowing when I'm asleep!  I read somewhere that mums are superheroes and our super power is growing another human. Oh so very true.

Till next time where we may have thought of some baby names and how we're gonna approach this birth.

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Ali other blogs can be found here and her scan blog too.


Mummy and me

Mummy and Me! Mini Mothers Day Photoshoot at my Norwich home studio

Mummy and Me! Mini Mothers Day Photoshoot at my Norwich home studio - Back again for 2018 !

 

I'm really excited about my latest photoshoot offer...great as an early Mother's Day gift or just to say thanks to your child/s awesome Mummy!

 

... Mummy and Me Mini Sessions at my Norwich home studio, these sold out quickly last year!

 

Booking is now open for these lovely mini photoshoot sessions!

What are Mummy & me mini sessions (Mothers Day)?

15 minutes studio session with the purpose to provide you (Mum) with simple and natural portraits of you and your children. They make the perfect Mother's Day memento or simply a timeless memory of you and your children.

As mums, we often avoid being present in photographs... or we are too busy taking them! It is time to exist more in photos, for your child/children to cherish for year and years. You don't have to look perfect or buy new clothes for the shoot - the mini session is about snuggling up to your child/children to capture you all as you are.

Unlike a full-length photoshoot,  this will be a simple set up with no outfit changes - I'll advise you before the shoot on what works well outfit/dress wise.

Mini sessions are suitable for babies 8 weeks old + upwards  (not suitable for newborns due to feeding on demand and short time frame)

 

Mummy and me

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*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


2018 Mummy and Me (Mothers Day) Mini session Package:

 

15 minutes in studio (studio at Sprowston NR7)

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

siblings only (no cousins or friends)

£55

(extra images can be purchased after)

When?

SUNDAY 18TH February 9-2pm various time slots

 

t&c's

The session is purely for Mum and siblings, no cousins or family images will be taken.

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 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.

 

Book in today  using my contact page ! Watch this space for outdoor mini shoots ..

Jess x