10 Good Things About May

 May is a glorious month isn't it? So much comes into bloom and the trees thicken out and it's hard to ever imagine they were once bare. We've had all the seasons, paddling pool and melting ice cream days, BBQ (real and shoot ones) and then all the rain, thunder, chills and wondering if I should wear my coat again only to be sweltering an hour later. Our house is crumbly and creaky and full of jobs asking to be first on the to-do list but on these long days I so appreciate this house, the back door is open, the guys are outside for most of it, making snail hotels, showing me slugs, being pirates with sticks and learning how to swing by themselves. When they finally venture in, they are grubby, hungry and tired I feel like we are in an Enid Blyton book, although they don't know what that means. It's these tiny happy moments that happen when the days are long and the rain clouds stay away.  I hope you've had these moments in your month of May?  Anyway on to the 10 good things....   No Sugar for 30 Days   It's taken me 5 months to get past two consecutive days of no sugar... and this time I did it! From the 1st May and still going, no sugar in my coffee or any other sugar or processed food. I also switched from cow's milk to oat, and whilst it took some getting used to on the coffee front, it tastes completely normal now. The reason for doing this wasn't about my weight but I wanted to see if it would make any difference to the daily joint pain I have, the consistent tiredness, the brain fog, the forgetfulness and the impatience and frustration that they then cause. Medically (as I've annoyed the Drs a lot with the above list) there's nothing wrong with me so would a radical change in diet do anything... well yes, unbelievably the joint pain has disappeared. It's funny we sometimes don't notice the absence of something? I'm not sure when it stopped but I've been watching and waiting like a hawk for it to return and it's been at least a week that it's not there! There's definitely more clarity, I've felt more on top of lists and getting things done, I still forgot Eden had trampolining class, don't tell him, but there's a slight and definite shift towards the better. I think I feel calmer, there's definitely still impatience and shouting but it feels a little more manageable. Half way through I started  Emma's Vitality Series , which starts off plant based and then introduces cheese (and seafood) and me being me ate a whole Halloumi one day, the next a tub of Feta and my skin broke out in protest. I cut out cheese again and my skin cleared up immediately. It may have been the quantity (!!) or it may be that cheese is not my friend. I will try and introduce it more normally at some point. The second good thing about May was...   Emma's Vitality Series   I was invited by the lovely Olivia from  WeekendIn  to a talk on nutrition with Emma and if we wanted to we could join in her 30 day programme which started mid May, I so enjoyed Emma's practical but thorough approach to nutrition, balancing hormones and creating a way of eating that would address many of my ailments. We tried many of Emma's simple to make but satisfying and delicious breakfast choices and I was sold, it felt like a plan I could buy into. And so far I've followed it as best as possible since.

May is a glorious month isn't it? So much comes into bloom and the trees thicken out and it's hard to ever imagine they were once bare. We've had all the seasons, paddling pool and melting ice cream days, BBQ (real and shoot ones) and then all the rain, thunder, chills and wondering if I should wear my coat again only to be sweltering an hour later. Our house is crumbly and creaky and full of jobs asking to be first on the to-do list but on these long days I so appreciate this house, the back door is open, the guys are outside for most of it, making snail hotels, showing me slugs, being pirates with sticks and learning how to swing by themselves. When they finally venture in, they are grubby, hungry and tired I feel like we are in an Enid Blyton book, although they don't know what that means. It's these tiny happy moments that happen when the days are long and the rain clouds stay away.

I hope you've had these moments in your month of May?

Anyway on to the 10 good things....

No Sugar for 30 Days

It's taken me 5 months to get past two consecutive days of no sugar... and this time I did it! From the 1st May and still going, no sugar in my coffee or any other sugar or processed food. I also switched from cow's milk to oat, and whilst it took some getting used to on the coffee front, it tastes completely normal now. The reason for doing this wasn't about my weight but I wanted to see if it would make any difference to the daily joint pain I have, the consistent tiredness, the brain fog, the forgetfulness and the impatience and frustration that they then cause. Medically (as I've annoyed the Drs a lot with the above list) there's nothing wrong with me so would a radical change in diet do anything... well yes, unbelievably the joint pain has disappeared. It's funny we sometimes don't notice the absence of something? I'm not sure when it stopped but I've been watching and waiting like a hawk for it to return and it's been at least a week that it's not there! There's definitely more clarity, I've felt more on top of lists and getting things done, I still forgot Eden had trampolining class, don't tell him, but there's a slight and definite shift towards the better. I think I feel calmer, there's definitely still impatience and shouting but it feels a little more manageable. Half way through I started Emma's Vitality Series, which starts off plant based and then introduces cheese (and seafood) and me being me ate a whole Halloumi one day, the next a tub of Feta and my skin broke out in protest. I cut out cheese again and my skin cleared up immediately. It may have been the quantity (!!) or it may be that cheese is not my friend. I will try and introduce it more normally at some point. The second good thing about May was...

Emma's Vitality Series

I was invited by the lovely Olivia from WeekendIn to a talk on nutrition with Emma and if we wanted to we could join in her 30 day programme which started mid May, I so enjoyed Emma's practical but thorough approach to nutrition, balancing hormones and creating a way of eating that would address many of my ailments. We tried many of Emma's simple to make but satisfying and delicious breakfast choices and I was sold, it felt like a plan I could buy into. And so far I've followed it as best as possible since.

Emmas Vitality Series
  Paddling Pools & The Miracle That Happened   Eden has been having swimming lessons for over a year, he reminds me of me. My mum took me swimming for what feels like decades, I hated the water, I couldn't swim, I only went because a. I had no choice and b. there was the promise of a Caramac from the vending machine after - do they still do Caramac's? Mmmmm. Finally, because I was probably in my 20s, it was time to move on from the baby pool and stop lessons, but first I had to do my FIVE meter badge, yes five... I kept one foot on the floor the entire time, but they gave me that badge and I still have it and that was my swimming pinnacle. And the lessons finally stopped. I can actually swim now I think it just happened on a family holiday...  I watch Eden each week avoid getting anything neck up wet whilst the rest of the class have developed into Dolphins. Over the first bank holiday weekend, we had a BBQ at my mums, it was glorious and she put the paddling pool out and we spent the entire day trying to get the guys to put their faces in the water. By the end of it, it was so easy for them and they were so, so proud and stunned that there's nothing to it! The next day we did the same thing and at bath time. By the time Friday lessons came (they both have lessons on Friday) it was like a miracle had happened. Both their instructors were astounded. Eden's particularly because he was so, so bad, no one could believe the transformation, he was thrilled and I have to say I was so, so proud. Thank you ma for putting the paddling pool out.

Paddling Pools & The Miracle That Happened

Eden has been having swimming lessons for over a year, he reminds me of me. My mum took me swimming for what feels like decades, I hated the water, I couldn't swim, I only went because a. I had no choice and b. there was the promise of a Caramac from the vending machine after - do they still do Caramac's? Mmmmm. Finally, because I was probably in my 20s, it was time to move on from the baby pool and stop lessons, but first I had to do my FIVE meter badge, yes five... I kept one foot on the floor the entire time, but they gave me that badge and I still have it and that was my swimming pinnacle. And the lessons finally stopped. I can actually swim now I think it just happened on a family holiday...

I watch Eden each week avoid getting anything neck up wet whilst the rest of the class have developed into Dolphins. Over the first bank holiday weekend, we had a BBQ at my mums, it was glorious and she put the paddling pool out and we spent the entire day trying to get the guys to put their faces in the water. By the end of it, it was so easy for them and they were so, so proud and stunned that there's nothing to it! The next day we did the same thing and at bath time. By the time Friday lessons came (they both have lessons on Friday) it was like a miracle had happened. Both their instructors were astounded. Eden's particularly because he was so, so bad, no one could believe the transformation, he was thrilled and I have to say I was so, so proud. Thank you ma for putting the paddling pool out.

  LONB   What a lovely company this is, and what an absolute pleasure to do this shoot, I will do a full blog post about  LONB  because their bags are so beautifully crafted. The quality, workmanship and the attention to detail is incredible. Every problem you've ever had with a bag that annoys you has been addressed and solved. Loved this shoot!

LONB

What a lovely company this is, and what an absolute pleasure to do this shoot, I will do a full blog post about LONB because their bags are so beautifully crafted. The quality, workmanship and the attention to detail is incredible. Every problem you've ever had with a bag that annoys you has been addressed and solved. Loved this shoot!

  Steven   Did you watch the Channel 4 version of Bake Off, I did, I addressed my loss of Mel & Sue and managed to watch and love the new series. It was a real pleasure to meet  Steven , one of the runner-ups of the show at Marianne's book launch in January and it was even better when he contacted me to do his publicity portraits. We had such a great day and Steven is passionate about his baking, so genuine and a real gentleman. Again I will do a full post of these but just to say this was a highlight shoot of the month. Also his mum liked the pictures and that made me very happy!

Steven

Did you watch the Channel 4 version of Bake Off, I did, I addressed my loss of Mel & Sue and managed to watch and love the new series. It was a real pleasure to meet Steven, one of the runner-ups of the show at Marianne's book launch in January and it was even better when he contacted me to do his publicity portraits. We had such a great day and Steven is passionate about his baking, so genuine and a real gentleman. Again I will do a full post of these but just to say this was a highlight shoot of the month. Also his mum liked the pictures and that made me very happy!

  The Wedding   I missed it, I was actually photographing a wedding elsewhere, I do less than a handful each year. It's a challenge, it's a day of photographing people, emotion and all the pretty details. It wasn't THE wedding but a lovely one and I saw bits and pieces throughout the day on various phones!  But I did do a campaign with Tesco to create their mash up of English & American classic recipes like these Eton Mess S'mores, not just for weddings but any summer night, you can find the recipe  here

The Wedding

I missed it, I was actually photographing a wedding elsewhere, I do less than a handful each year. It's a challenge, it's a day of photographing people, emotion and all the pretty details. It wasn't THE wedding but a lovely one and I saw bits and pieces throughout the day on various phones!

But I did do a campaign with Tesco to create their mash up of English & American classic recipes like these Eton Mess S'mores, not just for weddings but any summer night, you can find the recipe here

  Midsummer   This time last year, we did a Midsummer shoot for  The Simple Things  magazine, I love this magazine and I will just say thank you they were the first magazine to give me a chance and our first shoot for them also made the front cover that was three years ago, I can't believe it! A massive thank you, I do appreciate every single brief!  The shoot came out in the June issue, still out now and it was a really lovely feature on gathering for a Midsummer Supper, twinkly lights, grown up clothes and celebrating the longest day of the year. This year I'm actually going to celebrate it, may not be in fancy grown up clothes but we will eat alfresco and toast things in the fire pit... as long as it's not raining of course.

Midsummer

This time last year, we did a Midsummer shoot for The Simple Things magazine, I love this magazine and I will just say thank you they were the first magazine to give me a chance and our first shoot for them also made the front cover that was three years ago, I can't believe it! A massive thank you, I do appreciate every single brief!

The shoot came out in the June issue, still out now and it was a really lovely feature on gathering for a Midsummer Supper, twinkly lights, grown up clothes and celebrating the longest day of the year. This year I'm actually going to celebrate it, may not be in fancy grown up clothes but we will eat alfresco and toast things in the fire pit... as long as it's not raining of course.

  Summer BBQs   We also shot a BBQ for July issue this year, at the end of May over the last bank holiday which was plagued with storms and flash floods - somehow, by some miracle we had glorious full on sun for the shoot just how a BBQ should be and that will be in the next issue of  The Simple Things    The Allotment   Despite my love of food, cooking and styling and photographing it, I'm not good at growing it, weeds seem to be my thing. My dad came over and transformed this patch to this. I can't guarantee it will look this good for long....

Summer BBQs

We also shot a BBQ for July issue this year, at the end of May over the last bank holiday which was plagued with storms and flash floods - somehow, by some miracle we had glorious full on sun for the shoot just how a BBQ should be and that will be in the next issue of The Simple Things

The Allotment

Despite my love of food, cooking and styling and photographing it, I'm not good at growing it, weeds seem to be my thing. My dad came over and transformed this patch to this. I can't guarantee it will look this good for long....

Bluebell Portraits