6 Ways To Get In The Photographs With Your Kids

TOP TIPS

After sharing my photographs recently and my feelings on how I feel taking my photograph now compared to before having children, I started the #mumsgetinthephotograph project. Since then I have been interviewed on BBC Radio Devon with Caroline Cook (listen at 2 hours 10 minutes), had a lot of interest nationally and most importantly so many mums joining the Facebook Group and Instagram sharing their wonderful photographs with them being brave getting in the frame! I have noticed so many mums saying the same thing….’I wish I had taken more photographs when I had the chance’ and ‘I wish had a different mindset about my body’. Now I don’t have a quick fix on how to make you feel better about your body or how you feel about having a photograph taken, but I do know photography and maybe I can share some of my skills to help ease you into getting in the photographs more.

Here are just a few ways to just get you in the photograph, now remember nobody actually has to see them so why be scared? The best thing I ever did was just start getting in the photographs (and not just selfies) I started to look at myself more, understand how to pose to make myself feel better and once I started sharing my honest photographs, I have received nothing but positivity and I really feel by doing so I am helping others change their mindset over having their photograph too.

Here are just 6 simple ways to take a portrait with your loved ones!

1. Self – Timer

Most of us have smart phones or cameras which have a self timer mode, usually this can be set to about 3 or 10 seconds which is enough time to place the camera somewhere steady and get in place. Go for the 10 second timer until you have got the hang of it, you’ll need more time than you think!

Pros – These can be done without asking anybody else, perfect for those who want to be a bit more discrete.

Cons – It can take a few attempts to get it right, and depending on distance you may have to run to your spot!

TOP TIP – Look through your camera settings before doing the shoot as sometimes the self timer can be hidden or can reset after shooting.

2. Ask your partner/family member/friend to take a photograph

Now this isn’t everyones first choice especially if you are not particurly comfortable in front of the camera. The action of having a viewer can sometimes create an effect that automatically makes you tense up (remember the good old days of saying ‘cheese’ for the awkward school photographs). By using a loved one can help you feel more comfortable.

Pros – The person taking the photograph will be able to get the compostion right and tailor the image to suit you.

Cons – You can’t see the photograph straight away so may revert to old photography habits tensing up etc.

TOP TIP – Get whoever is taking the photograph to make you laugh, talk about what you’re going to have for dinner or even just play a word game to put you at ease.

3. Tripod

Tripod’s don’t have to cost much, you can get them for both cameraphones and cameras and they can just be set up where the photographer would stand. These can be used both indoors and outdoors!

Pros – These again are great for those who want to be more discrete, but people who have little more confidence in carrying a tripod around!

Cons – They can cost a bit depending on what you want and they can be quite heavy to get to your destination. Also depending if you have a lightweight one, if there are fairly strong winds you may need some weights to put at the bottom.

TOP TIP – I find this easier to take a practice shot with the rest of the subjects in the photograph first to see if the composition looks good and then I can slot into place once the timer is set.

4. Remote Trigger

Remote triggers are really useful because they allow you to photograph straight away without having to wait around, you can buy them on Amazon for your camera or even an find app from your phone.

Pros – Gives you control of when you release the shutter, and means you can take the photographs without anybody else.

Cons – Getting focus can be tricky sometimes but this can again come with practicing.

TOP TIP – Practice, practice, practice and stock up on batteries!

5. Selfie

We all take selfies with the kids, they are still photographs of moments at the end of the day!

Pros – They are super quick and ready to hand.

Cons – This can be pretty limited, and not always get the backdrop as well as your faces in.

TOP TIP – Invest in a selfie stick to give your photographs a bit more atmosphere.

6. Hire a professional

Image by Melanie Grace

Now again you may be thinking gosh I don’t want anybody to photograph me, but this is what professionals are meant for. It’s not all just about the editing, it’s about the photographer’s people skills too. I spend my life photographing couples and families who tell me they are a little bit uncomfortable with the camera and it’s your photographer’s job to put you at ease! Just talk to them and explain your concerns, perhaps more candid, natural photographs are your thing which a good photographer will be able to capture no problem! Search around but if you are local to me either in Devon/Cornwall/Scotland, send me a message and we’ll get you in those photographs!

Pros – This takes the pressure off, you don’t have to think and you can pick up tips for posing in future. By investing that little bit extra you’ll get amazing professional photographs.

Cons – You have to set aside a time to do this, some photographs can be quite booked up so book early in advance!

TOP TIP – Think about styling and flattering clothes for your images, if you feel good then this will come across in your images.

Now hopefully you like one of these ideas, and if you try one of the ideas above, please share your photographs on our Facebook or Instagram if you are feeling brave and use the hashtag #mumsgetinthephotograph

I can’t wait to see them all!

Zephy x

Engagement Photoshoot

PERSONAL

When we first started talking, I couldn’t believe it when Alex told me his my birthday was the day after mine. This year we got to celebrate our birthday’s together and all I wanted to do was take some images to celebrate our recent engagement. I clearly had forgotten just how hard it is to capture a series of photographs with a remote trigger… and also we have kids so they were impatiently watching us do these after the school run! Then the most bizarre thing happened to me today and it just put everything into perspective about mine and Alex’s relationship. Now bear with me while I try to explain…

So I was tidying up the house today and I came across a pen top that had somehow come off of it’s other half. I thought there was very little hope of finding the pen even though I had seen it about, and I was too busy to care so I just decided to throw it in the bin. To my surprise a little while later, I typically find the pen just sat there staring up at me. I couldn’t believe my timing, I had only just chucked this pen top away! As I peered into the dirty bin bag, I really didn’t want to go digging through the dirt just to make the pen complete when I probably have plenty of pens about. I gave up on this weird scenario and chucked the pen in the bin too and thought nothing else of it. After tidying up, i’m taking the bin down the stairs and the bin bag gets caught and breaks. Out comes a few items and guess what comes out with it? This tiny bloody pen top! Now I know there’s something weird going on, I am just gobsmacked that these two little items, so desperate to find each other that I think what the hell i’ll go and get my hands dirty to make this happen! Now I’m looking through all this rubbish, you name it, it’s there, examining bit by bit, and this pen is nowhere to be bloody found. Why on earth am I going through all of this rubbish getting myself dirty just to find a pen, I have better things to do with my time?! I finally give up, laughing at myself but I keep the pen top weirdly (i’m not sure even why at this point) and I just go about my day. Later, as if I subconsciously knew, I find that ruddy pen on the floor just lying there all along! I realised I never actually chucked the pen in the bin at all. It clearly wanted me to find it again, I just chose not to see it as I was desperately looking for it, but it was patiently waiting to be found once everything else had been squared away. At last, these pen parts were reunited and I am satisfied that I had gone through all of that effort, as it’s actually a really good pen! (and I am very particular about my pens).

Now you may be thinking what on earth has a pen got to do with a relationship? I wouldn’t call myself religious and I don’t particularly believe in fate, but I can’t help feeling the universe has brought Alex and I together much the same as these pen parts. I feel I relate to this pen top so much having been through quite some journey in my lifetime. I’ve been in amongst the rubbish, looking for things that weren’t even there, waiting to find someone or someone to find me. Now Alex (who is the pen in this scenario) came in my life and just stayed where he was, even though at times he was hidden he was always there in the back of my mind. These past couple of years i’ve really had to find myself again before I was even able to think about being in another relationship. I turned a blind eye to love, I painfully embraced the chaos that my life had become and I fully accepted who I was. I finally knew what I wanted and deserved, I stopped looking for anything really and just like that…there was Alex, simply waiting for me.

The moral of the story is, no matter how hopeless something seems or how difficult the task appears to be, don’t be quick to throw something away just because you think there’s no hope. You might just discover something important that was there all along. Or, if you do carelessly throw something away and you realise you probably shouldn’t have, don’t be afraid to dig deep amongst the dirt because for me ultimately, it meant that I found my missing part…

3 Creative Photographs To Capture This September

TOP TIPS

Hello September, one of my favourite months! This month I get to celebrate my birthday, my partner’s birthday and the start of my favourite season….AUTUMN! This month is going to be full of amazing opportunities to take photographs which I will be blogging about weekly and I will also be encouraging all the mums to step in the frame as part of the #mumsgetinthephotograph project.

So read on, grab your camera/camera phone, here are just 3 Creative Photographs To Capture This September, enjoy!

1.Back to School Photographs

The kids are finally back to school after quite a few months off, we all probably have mixed feelings about it but we all want to document it no doubt! Usually we prepare for the traditional, clean school photographs in front of the stairs/by the front door or in front of the school. But now I think this year it’s time to up our game and get super creative. How about taking the kids in their uniform (or whatever they are wearing for school right now) and take them out and about photographing them on location. I find candid images so much nicer sometimes and enables you to really document your kid’s personalities! Or why not try one of the creative trends at the moment perhaps getting all your kid’s toys waving to your kids goodbye as they walk out the door? How sweet! And I know it’s all about our little ones in their new uniforms but how many of us actually get in the photographs with them to document this memory? Get in your images with your little ones this year and let’s celebrate a new school year!

2. Changing of the Season

Autumn is nearly apon us and this is when the leaves start to turn, creating the most beautiful colours. This is by far my favourite season for photography, the light and colours always lend a hand for dramatic effects. Why not get your kids out and capture them chucking the leaves up in the air? Or a nice photographic shot of your family looking all cosy indoors from a scene in the window outside looking in? Or maybe get yourself dressed up in autumny colours yourself and go take a self portrait (click HERE for tips on how to take a self portrait). Whatever you decide, Autumn will provide lots of colour, atmosphere and great scenery for your images so get out and about and fill your pictures with lots of autumny goodness!

3. Golden Hour Photographs

The sun is starting to set a little earlier now and September is a great time to get out and about and take photographs in the early evening. Golden hour is the hour and half before the sun sets or when the sun rises and is the most flattering light to capture images and it can create some really magical moments. Don’t be afraid to play with lighting here as you can create some wonderful images experimenting with backlit photographs, trying to get some beautiful sunflares and silhouettes with your subjects, also by directly facing into the sun once it has nearly set will create the most amazing orange glow across your faces!

If you do capture any of the above please share with me over at With Love From A To Z and if any mum’s fancy being brave and getting in the frame, please use the hashtag #mumsgetinthephotograph on your public photographs and share over on our Instagram Mums Get In The Photograph to get featured!

Zephy x

Colour Series

Lockdown

RAINBOW-6Colour Series

In Plymouth, we have the most amazing colourful garage doors in the alley outside the back garden. When we have been going on our daily walks since returning from lockdown in Scotland, I kept thinking of how to use them in a project. When I studied at Plymouth College of Art, we learned of Getty’s 2017 trend ‘Colour Surge‘ where the first thing you notice about the photograph was colour, I have always wanted to explore this concept further so knew that these doors would be perfect for something. Rainbows have also been a key symbol of lockdown too so I thought why just do one colour when I could do the whole spectrum.
Compared to my previous project of ‘Lockdown in Scotland‘, these images provided a great contrast with their urban feel and being from a performing arts background it created a great incentive for getting dressed up with my girls and creating characters that were full of narrative. We did these images over a few days and I tasked my daughter April to find everything she could of each colour; it was surprisingly easy to find as we have very colourful wardrobes. Lockdown has been incredibly monotonous at times, so finding games in everything we do has been important to keeping my daughter April happy. It was a lot of fun to do, the neighbours had a laugh at our matching outfits and both my daughters got into their character’s well (classic photographer’s children!). Once I shared this project on my social media, the reaction I have received has been both overwhelming and motivating. Being a mother of two girls at such different ages during Lockdown has been testing, and I have this creative drive that I don’t always find the time or energy to pursue. Knowing the public support my work has kick-started something in me to just put my work out there as much as possible no matter how unfinished it feels, I am a terrible perfectionist that I don’t always share things in case I look back on it once I have improved my skills. This is something I now understand won’t help me grow.
I will be creating a coffee table style book through my websit soon as there has been a high demand for one.

RAINBOW-4RAINBOW-2RAINBOW-7RAINBOW-3RAINBOW-5RAINBOW-8

Lockdown in Scotland

Lockdown, Uncategorized

LOCKDOWN-25

Lockdown in Scotland
Just before Lockdown started, my girls and I travelled from Plymouth to Scotland where my partner lives. Long story short, we got stuck there for 3 months. So with my girls and just my camera to hand, I basically did the only thing to keep me sane throughout this time. I documented it.
I am Zephy, mother of two beautiful girls and I have been doing a personal 365 project to keep me inspired and motivated this year whilst on maternity leave, as soon as my daughter Hazel was born in October 2019 I was afraid I wouldn’t capture enough which is one of the reasons I keep my camera so close. I was once told that if you force yourself to take photographs every day then you grow as an artist and you become so much more creative than you ever thought you could be, and gosh how I have grown.
The Lockdown project was mainly inspired by my girls, but also many documentary photographers that I have come across whilst studying my degree at Plymouth College of Art. Sally Mann, Lindsay Saunders and Megan Loeks are just a few who inspire me daily all who have documented their children in the most beautiful, authentic ways and I simply just wanted to develop my own style. Compared to Plymouth’s urban surroundings, being stuck in rural Scotland was literally a dream. The light was beautiful, fields surrounded us and when I started getting more creative with the lighting and composition, it became clear I wanted to turn them all into black and white in the hopes of creating a book. There is something so beautiful about capturing real moments, and what’s even more lovely is creating an editorial series with lots of narrative. In the past I have always tried to produce strong solo images, but whilst studying I really enjoyed the theoretical side of creating editorial work and I feel reading now influences a lot of my personal projects. My daughters are 9 years apart, whilst my eldest April talks of being a tween soon (an age that fascinates me and has influenced previous projects) and with my daughter Hazel just 9 months old, despite their age difference their relationship is probably the most beautiful thing I have ever had the pleasure of witnessing.
My work is usually so full of colour, but for me this project just felt right in black and white and sort of timeless. Lockdown has been intense for so many of us creatives, for me I am used to being so busy with my girls and my work that taking the time to pause and just ‘be’ it was bound to bring out some beautifully authentic moments that I simply adored capturing.
I have created a personal book for my partner and his family but a public version of this book will be available through my website very soon. Here are a few of my favourites:

WILD GARLIC PESTO

RECIPES

WILD GARLIC

So word is getting around that I am very interested in plants and cooking with wild food, I have currently three books on the go all about wild cooking and a mountain of ideas! I was told there was some wild garlic growing in the garden which apart from the initial idea of soup I didn’t really know what else I should do with it, so I had a little research for some cool dishes! I did a little research on the plant too and was very suprised to find out how this plant can be mixed up with another poisonous plant called Lily-of-the-Valley. This can happen when the flowers aren’t in bloom which being at the beginning of spring they aren’t. The main thing that distinguishes this plant from anything else is that it smells very strongly of onion and garlic! Their leaves are also formed differently I noticed after researching, but to be on the safe side I double checked with the garden owner. Pesto seemed to be the most simple, popular recipe with just a few basic ingredients that we already had in the cupboard so I thought why not give it a go.

WILD GARLIC

Wild garlic (Allium ursinum) also known as Ramsons have beautiful long green leaves and you can usually smell them before you spot them as they have a very strong onion/garlic scent. When raw they are quite strong to eat that are similar to chives, cooking them helps reduce the flavour. You will find Wild Garlic in woodland areas and damp places.

TOP TIPS FOR PICKING WILD GARLIC

  • Make sure you can identify wild garlic by an experienced forager, they can be identified by their leaves and distinct smell but can potentially be mixed up with similar looking poisonous plants.
  • Ask permission to pick and do not remove bulbs from the ground as they will not grow back.
  • Thoroughly wash leaves thoroughly before use
  • You can eat all of the plant including the flowers when in bloom.
  • Cook leaves and treat like spinach if you prefer a milder flavour.

 

WILD GARLIC PESTO

WILD GARLIC-5

Ingredients

100g Raw Wild Garlic leaves

50g Cashews (Pine nuts or whatever you prefer)

100ml Olive Oil

50g Parmesan

Black Pepper

 

RECIPE

  • Chop up the washed Wild Garlic leaves into relatively small pieces.
  • Place the nuts and parmesan with the leaves and use a blender to break it all down.
  • Introduce olive oil gradually until you have your preferred consistency.
  • Add some black pepper to finish.
  • Use as a sauce or as to add a bit of flavour to your dish.
  • Keep in the refrigerator for up to a week.

WILD GORSE RECIPES

RECIPES

GORSE-3

I really love finding new ways of making the things we love to make, like cupcakes for instance. I told April we would make some more cupcakes during the holidays together so thought this would be a good way to combine some foraging as well as baking…..I first discovered Gorse in the South West of England although they grow well up here in Scotland just a little bit later. I have read about foragers using gorse flowers for wine and beer and I decided to see what else I could make out of these and if possible to store for the future. Researching, the most common theme in recipes seemed to be making a gorse syrup to add to things such as cakes, pancakes, cordials etc so I thought this would be a good start and we set out for some gorse bushes that we have spotted on our daily walk.

GORSE

Gorse (Ulex europaeus) is a very common shrub that can be found in heaths and cliffs and is noticeable by it’s beautiful yellow flowers with very green prickly leaves. If you have not come upon a gorse bush, you will be pleasantly surprised by not only their vivid yellow beauty but when you get up close or crush the petals in your fingers it smells just like coconut. If you eat them raw also they have the slight taste of grassy almonds.

TOP TIPS FOR GORSE PICKING

  • Pick Gorse flowers in Spring time and only where there are many to pick, leave the rest for the wildlife!
  • Be prepared to walk, gorse bushes tend to grow in places that are hard to get to.
  • Be patient, Gorse bushes are very prickly and you cannot quickly pick them…you can try to wear gloves but you may struggle to get at them.
  • Try pick the whole flower and not squash them too much.
  • Take a good basket or tub to catch them to make quicker work.
  • Once collected make sure you rinse the flowers thoroughly to get rid of any little creatures!

 

WILD GORSE SYRUP

GORSE-7

Ingredients

100g Gorse Flowers

300ml Water

300g Caster Sugar

RECIPE

  • Put the sugar and water into a medium pan and bring to the boil for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Place the clean gorse flowers into the pan and boil for a couple minutes more, take off the heat and set aside overnight or for 6 hours at least.
  • Bring the mixture to boil once more for 10 minutes for a stronger flavour and then set aside to cool.
  • Use a muslin or fine sieve to drain the syrup into a sealed container, this can be used straight away or stored in the fridge for up to a month.

 

WILD GORSE AND COCONUT CUPCAKES

GORSE-5

Ingredients

110g Butter

2 x Eggs

110g Golden Caster Sugar

110g Self Raising Flour

2 tbsp Gorse Syrup

25g Desiccated Coconut

Pinch of Salt

 

For Decorating

200g Icing Sugar

Water

2 tsp Gorse Syrup

Gorse Flowers for topping

 

RECIPE

  • Heat the oven to 180 degrees and fill a cupcake tray with 12 cases (this recipe may make more!)
  • Beat the butter and sugar together, you can do this by hand but it’s easier with an electric whisk.
  • Add the eggs in slowly so not to curdle until the mixture is even and soft.
  • Sieve the flour and bit of salt to the mixture stirring it constantly.
  • Add the gorse syrup (I added 2 tbsp but you can add more or less!) and the dessicated coconut until even.
  • Using two spoons, spoon the mixture evenly into the cases probably around half way giving them space to rise in the oven.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes in the middle of the oven until golden brown and use a tooth pick/skewer to check they’re cooked evenly (it should come out clean!)
  • Leave to cool on a wire rack.
  • To make the icing sugar, pour the icing into a bowl and gradually introduce some water, the consistency is key for topping. If you add too much water in you will flood the cupcakes, you need the consistency to be thick that gradually moulds over the top. Add some more Gorse syrup for flavouring if desired.
  • Once the cupcakes have cooled down, place a small amount of icing onto the top of the cupcake and circle it around in your hand to let the icing drip evenly, place a small gorse flower in the middle and set them set.

 

WILD GORSE GIN COCKTAIL

GORSE-4

Ingredients

Gin

Indian Tonic Water/Lemonade

Ice cubes

Gorse Syrup

Gorse Flowers

RECIPE

  • Fill an ice tray with some gorse petals and add water only half way, let this freeze. Once fully frozen, repeat and fill to the top with more petals and water so the flower petals are even throughout the cube.
  • Fill up your glass with petal ice cubes, your favourite gin and around 5 tbsp of gorse syrup (or as much as you like!)
  • Add either Indian tonic water or lemonade if you prefer something sweeter…
  • Add some lemon to finish…enjoy!

WILD NETTLE RECIPES

RECIPES

NETTLES-8

I love having the time to cook, I have such a busy life with my two girls that I don’t often get to cook what I like let alone experiment with different ingredients. Being in Scotland with family at the moment is just amazing and because Hazel’s daddy (Alex) is just like me, he is very open minded about my crazy creative ideas! He is a wild Scot and lives for the outdoors, which I love. He is also very skilled at foraging and cooking…another bonus. After our plans have gone out the window to go all over Scotland during these holidays, we got planning things to keep us all entertained as well as me keeping busy staying creative. Alex is always spotting some amazing wild things on our walks and tells us lots of random facts and about the outdoors and what is edible and more importantly free, there is literally more than you would believe!

So, we have decided to combine my passion of lifestyle photography, simple living and styling with Alex’s wild nature, making us a great team to share some of our wild recipe creations…

NETTLES

Nettles (Urtica dioica) are a very common plant and are actually packed with vitamins. They have been used in recipes and remedies for thousands of years despite having a bad name for themselves! They are an underrated plant that most people associate with being stung, but actually are very complimentary in dishes. We decided to go hunting yesterday for some nettles around the local farm, as they are just starting to emerge around certain areas. Nettles tend to grow in woodland areas and places where the soil is rich, especially around ruins; you can always spot a nettle by their distinct hair and spiky leaves which makes them hard to mix up with other plants.

TOP TIPS FOR NETTLE PICKING

  • Pick nettles in spring time before flowering
  • Make sure you use gloves for picking
  • Pick the greener leaves rather than the purple tinged ones as these are more bitter
  • Remove all the stalks and only use the top leaves of the plant
  • Wash nettles thoroughly before prepping
  • Blanch nettles with boiling water for 1-2 minutes to get rid of the sting

Here are a couple of recipes we made today. Nettles can be used in all sorts of dishes once cooked and should be treated like spinach once blanched.

 

WILD NETTLE SOUP

NETTLES-11

Ingredients

150g Nettle Heads

30g Butter

1 x Onion

2 x Small leeks

1 x Celery sticks

1 x Garlic clove

1 x Medium Potato

1 x Large Carrot

75g Barley

1 Litre Vegetable stock

200ml Double Cream (optional or use a low fat yoghurt alternative)

Chives

Salt and Pepper

 

RECIPE

  • Cook the barley in a medium pan according to packaging instructions (this usually takes 1 hour) start chopping up the garlic, celery, leek, potato and carrots into relatively small chunks.
  • Melt the butter in a large pan and soften all of the vegetables for about 10 minutes without overly browning the veggies. Add the drained/cooked barley and vegetable stock and simmer for about 10 minutes.
  • Add the nettles and cook for another 2-3 minutes, take off of the heat add salt and pepper to taste and add the double cream, blend until smooth.
  • Serve with snipped chives and crusty bread (or wild nettle bread below!)

 

WILD NETTLE BREAD ROLLS

NETTLES-13

Ingredients

1 1/2 tsp Yeast

300g (11oz) Strong Wholemeal Flour

300g Strong White Flour

2 tsp Sugar

2 tsp Oil

1 1/2 tsp Salt

370ml Water

50g Chopped Blanched Nettles

Small bunch of Chives

For decorating rolls

1 x Egg

Salt and Pepper

Nettle Heads (1 leaf per roll)

 

RECIPE

  • Sift the flour and salt together into a large bowl, add the yeast, sugar, oil and mix well. Gradually introduce the water until well mixed, add the chives and chopped nettles and mix evenly throughout.
  • Sprinkle flour onto your work surface and knead dough until soft and smooth, this can take a good 30 minutes) you will then need to cover and leave to prove in a warm place for 1 hour until doubled in size.
  • Grease a baking tray and shape into equal balls, space them apart and slightly flatten them, cover with cling film and leave to prove again in a warm place for another 25 minutes. Preheat the oven to 220 degrees Gas Mark 7.
  • Once the rolls have doubled, top each roll with some egg, sprinkle some salt and pepper and garnish with a single nettle leaf on each. Place in the oven for 10-15 minutes until risen/cooked through.
  • Split open when warm and serve alongside some yummy soup (Wild Nettle soup!) x

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365 – 2020

Uncategorized

Top places to visit in Cornwall – Eden Project

Cornwall

We love Cornwall and there are just so many great beautiful places to visit, and even though we have been down this area for years there are still so many places left for me and April to go. A regular place for us to visit is the Eden Project as it’s only an hour away, we pay for a local’s pass which means buying just the one ticket and going back for free within the next 12 months and we definately make the most of it. Eden is the perfect getaway to be around nature and learn more about plants, fruits and much much more.

The main attractions are the two biomes, a Mediterranean Biome and a Rainforest Biome both with different characteristics and beautiful things to see. The Mediterranean Biome is the cooler of the two and we always find new things depending on the season particularly the fruits and vegetables, this time round they had different types of tomatoes growing on the vines and we watched one of the team clean the budding Citron trees by hand. Last christmas there was an amazing lightshow in here at night with beautiful music, check out here for upcoming shows and events.

The Rainforest Biome is the warmer one, we recommend wearing clothes that are loose fitting, no jeans and to take some water with you. The higher you walk, the warmer you get but there are cooling points and various water fountains dotted about. Don’t miss the canopy walk or the cloud bridge as this is where April spends most of her time having fun with the other children and occasional adult! As well as seeing amazing plants such as the Cacao trees, bananas, learning about palm oil and how rubber is made, these biomes feel like stepping into completely different worlds and particularly for those who don’t go abroad this makes you feel one step closer.

Moving onto the food it is simply amazing, I always reserve some extra pennies just to have a meal here as I am never disappointed, their own grown veggies are fantastic! We also recommend having their ice cream too which is just delicious, check out April’s picture for once without it around her face!

We will be visiting again very soon for Chrismas time as their grotto is the most magical experience around by far and would highly recommend anybody looking for an authentic and unique experience for their family this year. They also have an ice rink to slip over together with all the family, hehe!

Another lovely time with my girl and nature, we even bought another foliage plant to add the collection. Please go visit if you haven’t already or visit again soon and we shall see you amongst the plants!

With love,

from April to Zephy xx

W I L D

Cornwall

April and I make regular trips to visit this amazing little company Rogue Theatre in Tehidy Woods in Cornwall where they provide immersive shows in Summer, for Halloween, Christmas and Easter. I worked for these guys in a project down in Land’s End and have followed their work for years spreading the word because they are just amazing! What makes their shows so special is the feeling that you are walking into another world spotting characters and quirky props, watching the unique stories of fairytales and local Cornish myths and legends. Seeing the individual talents and skills of all the Rogues mixed with the wonderful outdoors it is hard to leave the woods without feeling completely magical!

April’s request for her Birthday/Christmas is to go visit Old Man Winter and the Rogues as it really is a great way to start the holidays, we travel an hour and half each way just to get there but I promise you it is so worth it so please book for their next show, get your wellies ready and we will see you in the woods!

With love,

from April to Zephy xx

GOLDEN HOUR

Devon

Golden hour is the hour after sunrise and the hour before sunset and is a photographer’s dream, the light is so beautiful and flattering and has a dreamlike quality…just perfect! I spend most Saturday’s after photographing weddings chasing sunset’s for beautiful photographs and today on a rare day off I managed to spend the evening chasing the sunset with April in beautiful Devonport Park, my favourite park in Plymouth.

With love,

From April to Zephy xx