{Me & Mine} 2015 – July

{Me & Mine} 2015 – July

me and mine, july, family portrait project, family photo, on the beach, don't call me step mummy, blended family –

Daddy is loving : 

* The extra bed space on the nights Mummy is at work

* Packet noodles (fast becoming a work staple – oops)

* His new iPhone 6 now that Mummy has upgraded

* Having the car to himself now Mummy has a new car

Mummy is loving :

* Her new job and meeting new people

* Wearing make-up again (taking some time for herself)

* Having quality time with the children now school is out

* Practicing singing with Isis who is sharing her first gig with Mummy

* Doing lots of editing, planning for the future of the blog (rebrand)

Isis is loving :

* experimenting with little bits of make-up that Mummy and Daddy allow her to

* her new iPhone 4S now that Daddy has Mummy’s old phone

* herself!!! It’s amazing seeing her confidence explode after months of zero confidence at the end of last year

* singing, YouTubing, modelling, finding her creativity in many ways

Shayla-Rae is loving : 

playing with Judah all the time, they are the cutest of friends

* watching our YouTube challenges, sitting and laughing so much

* going to the park now school is out

* accessories, accessories, accessories

Judah is loving : 

* Team Umizoomi

* when Mummy gets back from work in the mornings

* our new ‘Super Car’

* having all his ‘girls’ to hang out with in the holidays

Eden is loving : 

* terrorising everybody

* pretending she’s using the potty

* going down the biggest slides she can find (this child knows no fear)

* anything girlie, trying to steal Mummy’s make-up, her sisters handbags, headbands, bracelets etc.

me and mine, july, family portrait project, family photo, on the beach, don't call me step mummy, blended family

Life has been extremely fast paced recently.  With the loss of our au pair, and my working night shifts, it’s certainly never dull.  We have a second car, a blue Zafira that fits us all in.  The children have nicknamed her ‘Blue Betty’ and we are loving all being able to go places even if Daddy is at work and all together as a family on a Saturday.  It feels so freeing.  We were able to all go to the park the other day.  It would take us an hour to walk, but it’s a few minutes in the car.  We have so much fun all at the park.  We’ve been able to go and visit friends, attend family events without having to organise a convoy of cars.  It’s just amazing and we are so grateful to James’ grandad for giving us money towards buying ‘Blue Betty’ and also his parents for loaning us the rest.

We’re still in an adjusting stage but we’re loving every minute of it.  All the children are so happy and playing together amazingly, Eden is now at that perfect age.  I love that they’re all able to play together without our involvement.  James and I often just sit watching how sweetly they interact.  I can’t wait for our holidays together in a couple of weeks and all the holidays we have planned for the next year.  It makes such a difference having a second wage.

From all of us loving life and enjoying our little family so much we hope you and yours are great too.

dear beautiful

{Me & Mine} 2015 – May

{Me & Mine} 2015 – May

Me and Mine May, Family photo project, Family portrait, Don't Call Me Step Mummy, parent blogger, vlogger, blended family, summertime

Daddy is loving

* His new job by the sea

* Being able to take cheeky lunch breaks with us

* stashing sweets in the car (seriously it’s like a tuck shop)

* all our YouTube challenges

* Mummy being able to move and being happy

Mummy is loving

* Being able to move YAY!!!  Feels like it’s been forever but wuhoo!

* Vlogging, having lots of fun editing

* Sneaking off to the cinema with Isis

* Beach fun and summer days approaching

* Stealing our girls extra with all the Bank Holidays and Half Terms

Isis is loving

* Making YouTube videos with Mummy

* watching Pitch Perfect 2

* listening to Pitch Perfect 2 soundtrack

* putting on lots of make-up and pretending she’s Taylor Swift

* doing Shayla’s hair

Shayla-Rae is loving

* School, she just excels there

* her new phone at other Mummy’s

* playing in the sunshine

* days spent at the park

* smashing whipped cream into Mummy’s face

Judah is loving

* wearing his new hats

* going out lots on his scooter

* walks in the woodlands searching for the Gruffalo

* Minions as always (can’t wait to see his face on his birthday next month)

* Picking beautiful flowers for Mummy

Eden is loving

* singing ‘Peanut Butter Jelly Time’

* wearing headbands again – YAY!

* her pacifier (really need to figure out how to get rid of this now)

* mimicking everything we say

* telling us she loves us

Me and Mine May, Family photo project, Family portrait, Don't Call Me Step Mummy, parent blogger, vlogger, blended family, summertime

I can’t believe we missed the last couple of months.  I take so many photos but always forget to make sure to take some with me in them.  I’m getting better at that recently.  It’s getting harder to photograph us as a family without Eden running off so these were the best ones that we could grab.  We may need to think more creatively next month.  I’m really happy at the moment, and just loving spending time with all our children.  I cannot wait for the Summer Holidays.  I love when we can see the girls longer.  With not having a car to do the school run and dropping a day in the term times, it just doesn’t feel long enough.  In the Summer we will be able to see them more and I can’t wait for our 2 weeks with them all to ourselves.

We have been having so much fun making videos for YouTube, it’s become a real thing that we can do as a family.  We can create ideas together, the children like watching me edit (James can’t abide it, he doesn’t know how I have the patience).  They enjoy watching the videos back and it’s lovely to see it helping them grow in confidence.  Isis has made a radical turn around with her self-esteem.  Just before Christmas she hated how she looked, she would never say that she was pretty.  Now she sees herself on camera and tells me ‘I’m gorgeous, I look really pretty there’.  I love the difference.  I hope no-one ever takes it away from her, the world can try so hard to bring us down at times.  I pray that as my self-worth improves it helps them to keep theirs.

Me and Mine May, Family photo project, Family portrait, Don't Call Me Step Mummy, parent blogger, vlogger, blended family, summertime

dear beautiful

{Me & Mine} 2015 – February

{Me & Mine} 2015 – February

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February is the month of my birthday, February is the month of Valentines Day.  This is a month that I look forward to most years.  This year it just snuck up on me.  I think when you stop expecting things to be special it’s more of a surprise when the beautiful moments just happen.  These photos were taken on my birthday.  We had enjoyed a lovely relaxing morning and then gone for a walk locally before settling down for a girlie evening.  I wrote about it here and you’ll be able to see the video of beautifully ordinary day.  I will always love this video as it encapsulated everything that I feel when I look at these photographs and yet, so much more.

This month :-

James is loving :

passing his driving test – wuhoo!

lots of interviews with new job prospects

wearing lots of suits to work as I get more on top of the laundry

the 20p per extra filling on the work cafeteria sandwiches

our new gluten free diet as we are cooking for Martina

Eden is loving :

walking, finally bless her

chatting and humming the theme tune to Fireman Sam

dancing along to any happy sounding music she hears

lots of cuddles, still a very cuddly baby

all food, nothing new there

me and mine February, family portrait, blended family, dontcallmestepmummy, mummy blog, family portrait project

Shayla-Rae is loving :

all things school related, it has not grown old at all for her

baking, she’s made many things this month at home and at school

trying new hairstyles from the cutegirlshairstyles youtube channel

spending time with family

ham and cheese sandwiches

Isis is loving:

performing in her first pantomime Peter Pan (she was amazing, and will be writing a blog post for us soon)

the end of all the long rehearsals for Peter Pan

her new scooter that was for Eden but Eden won’t be able to use for a while yet from ‘Bright Surprise

planning her superhero birthday party for next month

always leaving a last morsel on her plate

me and mine February, family portrait, blended family, dontcallmestepmummy, mummy blog, family portrait project

Judah is loving :

learning how to use the scooter (he’s really good at it)

Fireman Sam – yep, still

Toy Story 3, I’m so pleased he’s discovered he likes this

Being finally 100% nappy free

playing the minion game on Martina’s phone (and now my iPad)

I am loving :

having our amazing au pair with us now

feeling less stressed and enjoying more time with the children

a slightly cleaner home

that things are on the up in lots of ways

Breaking Down the Riffs – check out Natalie Weiss on youtube

I’m looking forward to what next month will bring and then definitely the month after as James should be earning a much stronger wage.  I am looking to go back out singing so things should really start to shift to a positive direction around then.  Life is a lot less stressful already and I couldn’t ask for anything more.me and mine February, family portrait, blended family, dontcallmestepmummy, mummy blog, family portrait project

{Me & Mine} 2015 – January

{Me & Mine} 2015 – January

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Earlier this month we set off out about to the woodland area across from our front door. Having tried and failed miserably to participate in the Me & Mine challenge last year, this year I stopped with the excuses and bought a tripod. No more excuses as to why I can’t be in the family photographs that I so love to take. In fact as much as I am not a fan of being in front of the camera, it was so much fun posing with the children as the self-timered flash kept coming.

I had hoped to get out again at some point for some snowy pictures, but it just didn’t stick around where we live other than at times when Daddy was at work and the girls were at school. As I trekked around a Wintery wonderland yesterday with the babies, I was sad that I didn’t have the rest of the family with me and our trusty tripod.

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I know this year will be so much more of a success and we look forward to capturing our family pictures. I had such a positive response to our family portrait on my personal facebook page earlier in the month. I know that as the year goes on it will really chronicle us a family and I’m already excited to look back next year at how the children have grown and all the happy memories we’ve captured together.

This month we had fun, we had captured our Siblings photo and if you saw that post earlier in the month you’d remember my husband was covered in mud from falling down the embankment. That didn’t stop us from snapping away to get some shots of us all together.

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I’m so excited for this project, can you tell? I will probably mention it on every post this year. Very grateful to Lucy and the ‘Me & Mine’ team for inspiring me to get in front of the camera sometimes, these are the photos I know I’ll treasure forever and the little ones will be able to see Mummy was part of their memories, not just always the one behind the camera.

dear beautiful

Me and Mine – Family Portrait Project – September

Me and Mine – Family Portrait Project – September

After Shayla’s birthday party at the weekend I realised that I’d not been able to capture the Siblings photograph that I wanted for next month of all the children on the bouncy castle together.  The bouncy castle was collected about half an hour after the party  was supposed to finish, but there were still children on it when it was collected.  I managed to catch some pictures of my little ones after the party just sat playing together.  It then dawned on me that we didn’t have our ‘Me and Mine’ picture for this month end yet.  I handed the DSLR to my Father-in-Law who snapped a few for us.

me and mine, dontcallmestepmummy, family portrait projects

me and mine, dontcallmestepmummy, family portrait projects

me and mine, dontcallmestepmummy, family portrait projects

So they’re not the most professional photographs (no offense to James’ Dad), there wasn’t much planning behind them.  It proved almost impossible to capture us all looking at the camera, especially as Nanny was sat next to Grandad snapping too, but they sum us up and the aftermath of Shayla’s party perfectly.  My little pirate and princesses all winding down from a lovely day.

I know that our portrait offerings will improve as we start to put more planning into them (oh yeah, and actually execute said plans).
But for now, this is ‘Me and Mine’ in September.

dear beautiful

Me and Mine – family portrait project – August

Me and Mine – family portrait project – August

So, I have done something to the DSLR.  This is a problem, as I’ve never really focused on learning how to use it properly.  When the children are just running around like crazy, I usually have it on auto focus and action mode to capture all of the craziness as they zoom past me.  As I’ve looked back at the photos that I’ve taken today I realise that when I have my shades on, my judgement of focus isn’t that good.  Oh dear, I’m either very tired or getting old … let’s pretend it’s the tired/shades thing.

I haven’t bought a tripod yet since we purchased the DSLR in March and as a result, I am NEVER in the photographs.  If my husband can manage to get the camera off me, he may try and snap a few, but it is very rare, and I usually hate them and so…. delete.  Today as we were out and about for my husbands birthday and after seeing some of the other August posts going up I realised that it was now or never for us to try and join in.  As I am ALWAYS behind the camera (need to start learning how to use it properly though) I absolutely LOVE this project, what a great idea to be able to look back on us as a family each month.

This month has been a great month as we’ve been able to have the girls for the majority.  I have captured many memories and many photos of everyone this month, but our family portrait shot this month comes from the random elderly gentleman I found on a bench opposite the sea.  We are going to invest a tripod this month, I have been on amazon literally 10 mins ago starting to do some research into bargains that aren’t rubbish.


I am excited to partake in this project and think that these photographs of us all together (although you can’t see Eden’s face in this one) will be invaluable to us in the future.  I have enjoyed having so much time as our blended family this month an awful lot and will miss the girls dreadfully when they have to go.  It will be nice to always have these memories, especially for them to look back at when they are older and remember they were always a part of our family.  Our family photos will always be of the six of us and not the four.

(I also hope to see my photography improve over the coming months *winks*)

dear beautiful