Friday, 31 October 2014

#MeAndMine - A Family Portrait (October 2014)

What a month it's been!

I turned 40 on October 12th and I have loved it.

I've embraced being a decade older as my 30's have been so much better than my 20's ever were. I am now married to the most wonderful man and we have two amazing children. I'm blessed with amazing family and friends - some I've known almost all my life now who I love dearly and some who I've met through work before children and some I even met online in the last few years. We now live in our dream house in the best neighbourhood ever and I've made some really close friends from my neighbours - people I can always rely on.

Not only that but this year I did something completely out of my comfort zone. Something I never ever thought I would do and I have the photographs to prove it.  I even took the big decision to blog about the photo shoot. It was incredible and I still feel amazing when I think about it.

My actual 40th birthday fell on a Sunday and so it was a fairly laid back day where we invited family and my best friend of 33 years out for a special lunch. I was spoilt rotten with amazing cards and gifts and I felt so blessed.

Then, for the 'mad' half of my 40th birthday we held an 80's themed party at the house for close friends and neighbours. It was an amazing night and I really can't wait to blog all about I've just about got over my hangover!

Matt and I are still closer than we have ever been and he's also now sporting a stubbly beard look which I think really suits him.

After the chaos of my birthday we were looking forward to some family time last weekend. We spent a lovely Sunday morning at a local country park where we walked, talked, played, kisses, played Pooh sticks, jumped in muddy puddles, collected leaves and basically just enjoyed the outdoors. We followed it with a lovely Sunday lunch at a nearby pub.

It was perfect.

I thought it would be nice to set my 'big' camera up on a rock whilst we were out and take a self-timer photo of us all.

TC wasn't for coming out of the mud to pose for a photo and so we captured this…

When I looked at the photo on the back of the camera I laughed so much that I knew I didn't need to capture another one. 

TC is two and half now and I think it sums up his ever growing defiance perfectly!

And here are some of the photos I captured on my iPhone that day - it was a fairly inexpensive day but it is one that I will remember for a long time.

dear beautiful

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Red Shoe - The One Where I Felt Sexy

Sunday 12 October 2014 was a very special date.

It was my 40th Birthday.

I still can't quite believe it.

Me? 40?

I remember thinking 40 was so old when I was younger. Now I know it isn't. Well, not to me anyway. I still feel young.

I was actually really excited about turning 40. I was definitely more upset about turning 30. I think it's because my 30's have been so much better than my 20's ever were.

Matt and the kids are my world and I'm right where I want to be in life. We are all happy and healthy and that's all I can really ask for.

Last year was a bit of an up and down year and I wanted 2014 to be the year that, not only I turned 40, I rediscovered the woman inside. I did it thanks to finding a friend of a friend, Sarah Jane, and Red Shoe Photography.

Here I share my Red Shoe story...

I’m not really sure where to start with this but I’ll try my best…

In 2009, after the birth of my first child, I took the big decision to leave my career and become a stay-at-home-mum. A lot of people think this involves a WAG-type lifestyle but it can’t be further from the truth. Plus, going from full-time work to being at home with a child has a huge impact on your lifestyle and your confidence. 

5 years on and another child down the line I realised I’d let myself go a bit. Don’t get me wrong, I love being a mum and I love that I get to see my children flourish every day – I wouldn’t change it for the world. It’s just sometimes I forget that I’m a woman in my own right too.

I spent 2013 in a rut after a friend suffered a horrific tragedy. Instead of embracing life and realising it can be cut short, I got really down. I also often found myself eating all the wrong things and not looking after myself at all. It had a huge impact on my wellbeing.

At the end of last year I discovered Red Shoe. 2014 was going to be the year I was turning 40. I knew that Red Shoe would give me the focus I needed to kick the next decade in the ass. 

I have to admit that it took me a good 6 months to pluck up the courage to book the photo shoot. I didn’t really tell anyone about it. I wanted this shoot to be ‘my little secret’ – something just for me. I didn’t even tell my husband. I still can’t believe I managed to get a suitcase and huge bag full of underwear, clothes (including one of his shirts!) and props out of the door without him noticing. I never realised just how sneaky I could be.

The day of the shoot I was shaking so much I thought I was going to throw up. I’d never done anything like this before. But there was no going back.

When I arrived at the studio I met Mandy. How amazingly lovely and welcoming she was. She is amazing and I still struggle to believe she’s the age she is. Mandy put me immediately at ease and I felt so much better. Mandy worked a miracle on my hair and make-up and made me look and feel like the most beautiful woman on earth.

Then in came Sarah. The most wonderfully sassy and hilarious lady you’ll ever meet. She made me feel so sexy – a word I would never associate with myself at all. She got me to mirror poses and work the camera. She made me laugh and she also made me cry. I had the best time and I felt totally amazing.

By the time I left the shoot I just wanted to rewind the day and do it all over again. It was incredible.

The results? Well, lets just say that it’s not just me that’s pleased with them and it was worth being a bit sneaky for! I absolutely love them and I think I have really kicked turning 40 in the ass. Mission accomplished.

Thank you Mandy and Sarah for the tears and laughter we shared that day. It was awesome xx

I can't even begin to tell you just how nervous I was on the day of the photoshoot. I'd never done anything like it before. However, now I have, I can highly recommend it to anyone. I felt totally alive and incredibly sexy that day and I still feel quite good about myself even now, almost 4 months on.

Sarah and Mandy had a big impact on me that day and have continued to have an impact on how I feel.  They were amazing and you cannot fail to be perfectly at ease with them. They are two incredible women who I now call friends. Love them!

Here I'll share just some of the 31 awesome photographs Sarah took back in June.

I think you'll agree that it was the perfect way to kick turning 40's ass!

Please check out the following links

I have written this post to share my story and share 
my Red Shoe experience. I paid for my photoshoot myself. 
Sarah Jane has given me kind permission to use one of 
the images she took for my blog and social media design 
and for me to share some images with you all.


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