First Signs of Christmas | #TremoChristmas

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Today marks exactly 44 days until the big day! Here at Tremo Books, we’ll be giving you all the tools to have the best Christmas.

Every week we’ll be posting three seasonal challenges – they might make for ideal photography sessions or fun activities for all the family.  Right up until Christmas you’ll have 24 things to get stuck into. Share your photos using the hashtag #TremoChristmas.

This week we’re focussing on how to kick your Christmas prep off in style! The countdown to Black Friday and your Christmas shopping is well and truly on. Have a read of our next three seasonal challenges to kick off the festive period.

1. Write a letter to Santa

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This is a great activity to do with your kids. Bring out the cookies and hot chocolates to turn this into a real festive evening. There’s even a variety of organisations you can send it to who will even write back! If you’re in the UK the address you need is:

Santa/Father Christmas,
Santa’s Grotto,
Reindeerland,
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Unfortunately, Santa is very busy this time of year so using the address above, he might not have time to reply to everyone. Make an evening of it though and it’s an easy way of finding out what your kid wants this Christmas!

Santa is working with the Royal Institute of Blind People this year so if your child is blind or partially sighted then the address you need is: Santa Claus, RNIB, Midgate House, Peterborough, PE1 1TN. Santa’s elves will then send a reply in braille/large print. Alongside the letter include the child’s name, age and home address, a telephone number (in case there’s a query), as well as what format you require – either uncontracted or contracted Braille, a specific large font size, or audio CD. Make sure you get the letters sent in by 2nd December to make sure you get a reply. If you miss this deadline then Santa also has emails! Send an email before 20th December to santa@rnib.org.uk and you’ll get a reply.

2. Something you’re reading

Christmas shouldn’t be stressful so make sure you take time to relax. There are so many activities you can get stuck into. Whether you’re into e-readers or your traditional paperback book there’s a book out there for everyone. This time of year is a perfect time to pick up bargain Christmas books. Grab a hot drink and turn your reading session into some photgraphy.

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3. Christmas Lights are here!

Christmas lights have started to spring up across the UK and beyond. It won’t be long before they get turned on in your area. They can make for some amazing festive photos. All you need is a tripod – or something to rest your camera on. If you’re going when it’s dark, set a fairly high ISO around 800. Use a quick shutter speed to reduce camera shake. The important thing to remember is experimenting is a good thing! You might get loads of dodgy pictures but the great ones will make it all worth it!

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Check back next week for your next installment of our #TremoChristmas.

 

 

 

It’s Nearly Christmas! | #TremoChristmas

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Today marks exactly 8 weeks until the big day and here at Tremo Books, we’ll be giving you all the tools to have the best Christmas.

Every week we’ll be posting with three seasonal challenges – they might make for ideal photography sessions or fun activities for all the family.  Right up until Christmas you’ll have 24 things to get stuck into. Share your photos using the hashtag #TremoChristmas.

This week we’re focussing on the first signs of Christmas. Halloween has been and gone and Christmas fever has well and truly hit the shelves. Have a read of our first three seasonal challenges to kick off the festive period.

1. The Golden Hour

hot-chocolate-1047608_1920Take advantage of the crisp winter air – if it’s frosty, even better. Head out for a stroll. See what photos you can grab while you’re out – close up frosty leaves, trees, rivers and selfies could all make some super cute photos.

If you’re not an early bird then get your photos a bit later in the day. If you’re after those Instagram hits, golden hour light is where you need to be! Just before it starts to get dark there’s always some beautiful light (as long as it’s sunny!). It’s a perfect time to get those autumnal selfies, group shots and leaf close-ups.

If you’d rather stay inside in the warm, there’s so many options for you! Shorter nights make for ideal movie nights. Think making some popcorn for all the family and hot chocolates! A good swirl of chocolate makes for a delicious close-up shot.

2. Christmas Baking Galore!

Right about now you might be thinking about preparing your Christmas Cake. We love using this recipe. If you’re not a fan of Christmas Cake or have another favourite Christmas bake, this is the week to get stuck in! If you fancy turning it into photography challenge, get the kids making it and you taking the photos! Whether that’s the actual mixture, finished products or your kids having the time of the life – there’s something for everyone!

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3. Christmas Adverts are here!

Gettting festive before December is becoming easier an easier with Christmas adverts hitting our screens right now. Keep your eyes peeled as they come out. Here in the UK, some companies have made the release of their Christmas ads traditions – take the annual release of the John Lewis advert for one! Some don’t go down so well though. ASDA released their Christmas ad a couple of days ago. In the process of releasing it they sent viewers into a frenzy “forecasting” high levels of Northern Lights activity across the South East of England. Sadly there were no Northern Lights to be seen – but we can carry on hoping!

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Check back next week for your next installment of our #TremoChristmas.

 

 

 

5 Reasons Why Photo Books and Gifts are the Most Meaningful of all…

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With Halloween out the way, Christmas has begun (well sort of!). The most organised amongst you will have started thinking about your Christmas shopping. Buying presents year after year can get increasingly harder. There’s so many photo gifts out there – whether you opt for one of our Tremo Books or other personalised gifts. Photo gifts may be the answer to all of your problems!

1. You decide the content!

Time is so valuable – spend it on your family’s Christmas gift and it’s sure to be the most meaningful gift they get this Christmas. What’s better than a gift that you’ve designed? Remember that whatever gift you choose you can be sure that there’s no other product like that on the market. It’s the ultimate in unique – just perfect for the person who has everything!

If you’re not sure what photos to use – think about your loved one’s favourite holiday destination. You could pick photos from somewhere they’ve not been able to visit for a while? Why not use photos from some kind of family event – or maybe a university graduation?

2. Make your holiday memories last a lifetime!

Photo gifts are perfect to make your holiday memories last a lifetime. You can take your photos off your phone to make the perfect coffee table book for you and your family to look through. You could get every holiday turned into a photo book – think of the collection you could build up!

3. You can put down your screens

Stepping away from your digital life is always a good step to take. Taking your photos off the computer will really help you to do this. Digital files aren’t always safe, but tangible photos are! Photo gifts can be treasured for years to come and are way more tangible than a digital file.

4. It’s useful AND personalised

Useful can also look good! With the huge array of personalised photo gifts available, you can get something your loved one can use every single day. From mugs to notepads and gadget cases there’s something for everyone.

If you know anyone who’s just gone off to University this September than photo gifts are a particularly good option. Personalised blankets with their favourite photo will help them stay warm and cozy this winter.

Why not get a Tremo Book for your family this Christmas?

(Photos from @the.becki.edit on Instagram)

5. Gather the inspiration and document progress

Whether there’s a big project coming up or you want to document progress of a particular life event a photo book could be the perfect gift idea. Taking on a big project like renovating a house, building a business, getting in shape or even just dedicating a few months to making a more complete you, nothing is more rewarding than seeing where you started and what you’ve achieved over time.

Photo Books could be a trophy of your loved one’s achievements. If nothing else it’s a chance to put into practice some of the tips we’ve put on this blog! If you’re after a kickstart with your photography keep an eye out for our #TremoChristmas. Every week from today leading up until Christmas we’ll be posting three challenges for you to get stuck into! 

A Photo Book could be the perfect gift for anyone doing some interior design. Having a stack of photo books could be the perfect decoration and momento to treasure forever.

Parenting Insights | Adrienne

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In yesterday’s post we spoke to Adrienne, a Mum of one to Charleigh from Boston. Have a read of this insight from Adrienne and her parenting experiences.  

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“…I at times go in to a panic if my husband mentions something that may be wrong with my daughter. It’s like he isn’t allowed to communicate about his parenting worries…”

“Balance has been a struggle as a family. Finding time for yourself, for your child, for your significant other, it’s TOUGH. On top of that my struggle with anxiety and how that manifests itself as a parent has been a definite struggle for us as a family. I at times go in to a panic if my husband mentions something that may be wrong with my daughter. It’s like he isn’t allowed to communicate about his parenting worries. We work on it and have found strategies to effectively communicate. Communication is key!…”

 

How to Have the Ultimate Halloween Night In

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Not a fan of trick or treating? Well here’s our ultimate guide to have the best – and most spooky fun family night in with the kids! Tag us on social media (@tremo.books) with how you’re spending Halloween.

Carve some pumpkins!

These are always a winner and will keep your kids super entertained this Halloween. You can pick up a bargain pumpkin from your local supermarket. There’s loads of tried and tested ideas on the web for the spookiest designs. Make sure you keep your kids away from sharp knives. Try painting your pumpkins for a totally safe craft. If you fancy being a bit more adventurous but within the boundaries of safety then use some battery operated tealights. It’s also a safer way of putting a candle into the middle of a pumpkin. To keep your pumpkin lasting the longest, scoop out the middle from the bottom.

You could print out a design on standard paper. Get some pins then you can pin prick an outline onto your pumpkin. Use this as a guide to carve out your masterpiece. Have a look at these ideas for some inspiration.

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Watch a spooky movie

There’s so many classics out there to keep the whole family entertained this Halloween. Turn out the lights and grab the popcorn. We’ve picked our top 5 Halloween films that you can watch on Netflix.

  1. Hotel Transylvania – this Disney classic is perfect for all the family, so give it a watch and see what Dracula gets up to!
  2. Scooby Doo: Monsters Unleashed – possibly one for your smaller ones, or older kids up for a throwback to their younger years.
  3. In the Tall Grass: If you’re after something a bit more dramatic this could be for you. It follows a pregnant woman and her brother who hear a boy’s cry. But of course it isn’t as straight forward as first meets the eye.
  4. Nanny McPhee – This classic film follows a widowed Mr Brown and his domineering Aunt. Nanny McPhee comes in to save the day – and control the naughty children, sound familiar? 🙂
  5. Haunted – Definitely not one for the kids before bed, but if you’re after a series instead of a film then go for this one. Real people sit down with friends and family to share chilling and terrifying true stories – watch the spooky reenactments.

Our bonus pick: If all this Halloween stuff is too much and you’d rather skip a season – jump straight to watching Arthur Christmas. It’s the story of a boy and his desperate attempts to uphold the Christmas spirit – it’s a must watch!

Try some Halloween crafts or make the costume!

There’s loads of Halloween crafts you and your kids can get stuck into. Cotton wool is your friend. If you have some spare card to hand, cut it out in a ghost shape. Get your kids to stick some cotton wool and some eyes on and you have yourself a ghost! You can always get your kids making a 3D skeleton picture – be it a cute skeleton or scary one!

There’s so much fun you can have with a cardboard box too! A popular morning TV show in the UK called “This Morning” featured loads of amazing costume ideas with a cardboard box. Remember a Halloween costume doesn’t need to be scary, it just needs to be fun! One of my favourites involved turning your kid into a giant lego brick! All you need is a cardboard box and some cardboard dinner plates. Watch this video to find out what they did!

Make some Halloween Snacks

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From decorating biscuits to mummified hot sausages, there’s a world of possibilities out there. Get some ready-rolled puff pastry. Cut it into strips and wrap the pastry around the sausages. Imagine your pastry is a mummy’s bandage. Ketchup will be great for the blood! For the eyes, try a dollop of your favourite sauce or small circles of your pastry. Why not try turning them into fingers and carving finger shapes into your sausage!

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For a healthier option, you’ll need some seeds, strawberries, chocolate drops, and apples.

With some careful cuts with a knife you’ll be able to make some scary jaws. Peanut butter or icing is really useful to stick all the bits on! For more details on this make click here.

Parenting Stories | Chapter 5

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Here on our blog we’re shining a light on Mums from all walks of life. In this article we talk to Adrienne. Mum to Charleigh, she’s a digitial creator based in Boston. Read on to see what she has to say on all things parenting…

What does Parenting mean to you?

70331309_543747253028044_7224034080525317209_nParenting to me means being there unconditionally for my daughter, Charleigh. No matter what happens or who she decides to be, I will always be there for her. No tantrum, no rebellious phase, no life decision will ever be big enough to keep me from loving her. 

How did your life change after having your first child?

It would be easier for me to list how my life did NOT change because that would be a much shorter list. Having Charleigh (my first and only child right now) changed everything. One day you’re worried about when you are going out with your friends and the next second you are having a panic attack over a rash on your newborns booty. I mean the differences in my life now are HUGE. Your priorities change over night. 

In your opinion, what’s the most rewarding aspect of parenting?

I absolutely love that I am the person who my daughter NEEDS. She needs me to comfort her when she bumps her head, she needed me when she was hungry for milk, and I hope she continues to need me in different ways throughout her life. That aspect of parenting is wildly rewarding for me. Also that I’m the only one who makes her laugh uncontrollably, that one never gets old. 

How is Parenting today comparing to the way you have been raised by your parents ?

Parenting today feels much more on display. Today, everything is done in the public  eye (because of social media). I feel like there’s much more pressure on doing things a certain way. When I was growing up I don’t think my parents had that additional pressure. 

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What was the hardest moment in this journey, as a family, to overcome?

Balance has been a struggle as a family. Finding time for yourself, for your child, for your significant other, it’s TOUGH. On top of that my struggle with anxiety and how that manifests itself as a parent has been a definite struggle for us as a family. I at times go in to a panic if my husband mentions something that may be wrong with my daughter. It’s like he isn’t allowed to communicate about his parenting worries. We work on it and have found strategies to effectively communicate. Communication is key!

What annoys you the most about Parenting?

The strain it puts on your relationship with your husband. It really bothers me that I didn’t even think twice about this juggling act I am constantly doing. How had I not anticipated that parenting was going to be so hard? I lived in naïve land I guess! 

Now is your chance to embarrass your kid – tell me an embarrassing story!

It’s less embarrassing for Charleigh more for me. One of the first times I ever went out with Charleigh by myself I decided to do my hair. We went to the doctor and I had to hurriedly feed her a bottle because we were going to a moms group directly after. Well about 5 seconds after her bottle I put her over my shoulder to burp her and wouldn’t you know, my newborn threw up all over my freshly done hair. That’ll teach me to practice self care! 

How to Photograph Fireworks

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Remember the 5th of November – and your firework pictures! I used to really struggle with these shots until this summer at the Bournemouth Summer Fireworks, but practice makes perfect! Remember that your camera is on a mission to convert your photo to almost daylight. The problem I kept coming up against was camera shake and a completely white photo so using the right settings will help you fight against this! Have a read of my top tips to get the perfect firework photos.  

img_5186Plan and frame your shot

Advance preparation will really help you get the best shots. A quick google will bring up some of your local firework displays. Then scout out the location beforehand and pick the spot you’re after. In Bournemouth, the key for us wasn’t to get as close as possible but to get the best foreground. When it comes to framing the shot – anticipate where the bursts will be. This means you can position your camera in the best place to capture all the action. The best photos of fireworks have something in the foreground – pick whatever that is and set your camera to focus on it!

Switch off your flash and enter night mode

Some cameras have a night mode, if you’re after firework pictures then this is the one you want! If you’re using a phone some of these settings will still apply so keep reading on. You won’t be needing the flash – have a read on to set your ISO. This will act to brighten the scene.

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Set your exposure and use a tripod!

Camera shake is something to avoid with fireworks – go for really crisp lines for the fireworks. Go for a medium shutter speed of about 1 second to start of with. Once you have a baseline – try experimenting with speeds of between 1 and 6 seconds. It might be worth investing in a remote release. This will help with camera shake as you won’t risk moving the camera at the moment you press the shutter!

Set your ISO and aperture.

In previous posts we’ve talked about what ISO is  – the light sensitivity setting on your camera. In firework photos a high ISO is where you need to be! Aperture is a bit harder to get right because fireworks aren’t always in the same place – go for a mid range aperture somewhere around f8. Rememeber to experiment – if you need to you’ll probably need to raise this number!

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Summer Fireworks at Bournemouth Pier from @WildlifeClaire on Instagram

Parenting Insights | Anne-Sophie

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In yesterday’s post we spoke to Mum of 4 Anne-Sophie from Paris. She spoke to us about everything from balancing rules to making those all important family memories… 

To me, parenting is helping my children grow up to become as happy, independent and fulfilled human beings as possible…”

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“…To me, parenting is helping my children grow up to become as happy, independent and fulfilled human beings as possible! It means setting up a framework. That framework has rules and limits. They will test those limits and sometimes go over them. It also means that there are exceptions. We have to choose the battles we want to fight and let some issues go. We need to remain firm on other issues – all of which depends on our values….”

Parenting Stories | Chapter 4

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Here on our blog we’re shining a light on Mums from all walks of life. In this article we talk to Anne-Sophie. She’s an Entrepreneur based in Paris who designs under the brand L’Atelier 13. As a Mum of 4 she pursues her various passions through documenting her life on Instagram.

70004458_215681932751964_4711026082882623785_nWhat does parenting mean to you?

To me, parenting is helping my children grow up to become as happy, independent and fulfilled human beings as possible! It means setting up a framework. That framework has rules and limits. They will test those limits and sometimes go over them. It also means that there are exceptions. We have to choose the battles we want to fight and let some issues go. We need to remain firm on other issues – all of which depends on our values. 

How did life change after having your first child?

Well there’s no more drinks after work and lazy weekend mornings in bed! Having kids forces you to set up the rules you have always said you would never set when you had the rules put on you! 

In your opinion, what’s the most rewarding aspect of parenting?

For me, it’s when people tell me how nice my kids behave. I can have a hard time at home with them, to get things done. It’s sometimes hard to have them comply by the rules. We might fight and yell a little, but if their behavior is great when they are outside, if they actually live up to the values we are teaching them, then we’re doing a good job, even though we are not benefiting from it directly!

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How is parenting today compared to the way you were raised by your parents?

I think we are probably educating our children more like young adults than they were. We include them in our dinner discussions and decisions. Whether that’s where we should go on holidays or what they should wear the next day – even what they want  to eat tonight! Our parents didn’t do that as much. Will that make more independant and decision-making people than we are? Only the future will tell!

What was the hardest moment in this journey as a family to overcome?

I think making room for ourselves as a couple is really what we have the hardest time doing. Hopefully it won’t have disastrous consequences. Unfortunately we are never just the two of us. We do enjoy it, being with the kids all the time, but I think a couple needs some time off. Stamina is key in the long term!

What annoys you the most about parenting?

You have to be the bad guy, it’s a role I never wanted to play. You have to forbid what’s cool! 

Now is your chance to embarrass your kid – tell me an embarrassing story

I don’t have any that comes to my mind, seriously!

 

Recording your Holiday Memories

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Christmas  – yes the dreaded c- word isn’t that far away! Before I get too carried away – you probably have the half term holidays to go first. Whether or not you’re heading away for the holidays, recording your family memories will be high up the priority list. When you’re on holiday, how do you make the most of the location and get great photos you can look back on for years to come?

Pick your places – Google Maps is your friend!

It can seem like a bit of a minefield but read on for some easy tips to do just that. The first thing to do is to scout out the places you want to visit. This could be anything from the local sealife centre to the town centre or seafront. The places you visit don’t have to be expensive – they can even be free! It’s a good move to start your holiday with a selection of places to cater for all weathers – a walk along the seaside in the pouring rain might not be your favourite thing to do!

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Keep your eyes open

After you’ve picked the places – be sure to keep your eyes open! For me, taking photos on holiday is all about picking up the small details – that’s what I want to remember! Look around you and at all angles. The best pictures can come from the most unusual places. Keep an eye out for a natural frame. This could be from trees or some kind of building with an unusual viewpoint. Or perhaps it’s the prime location for a family photo? When you’re out somewhere special keep in mind what you can and can’t replicate at home. Sometimes I find that video is the best way of capturing every angle, the atmosphere and day as a whole.

Let the camera do the work

Let the camera do the work. Unless you’re a pro photographer, let the camera help you out where it can! By all means experiment but don’t fall into the trap of thinking you have to know everything about it before you begin. Use the ‘auto’ mode to your advantage! If you’re using a DSLR and fancy taking it a bit further – try moving your camera onto the ‘A’ mode. This is aperture priority and the mode you can use to give you a bit more control of your camera. Aperture priority allows you to set an ‘f’ number. For anything close up, choose a low f number (think flowers and your pets for this mode!), as you go more towards cityscapes and landscapes increase your f number.

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Use your angles…

It’s amazing what angle can do for a photo! Even if you look a bit weird, get down low or high on your subject. Pick a focus for your picture – what do you want people to look at? It goes without saying – make sure you’re safe when you do this! Crouching down at the waters edge could cause you way more issues than you fancy, even if it’s just wet clothes! If you’re taking a picture of an animal, it helps to get down to their level – see things from their perspective!

Remember the food

Everyone needs to eat, right? Food is by far my favourite part of going on holiday. If you’re going abroad it’s a chance to sample the culture of that particular country.  Even the way they dine can be a unique photo opportunity – think alfresco dinners across central Europe! Independent coffee shops can be hidden gems as far as photography is concerned. Some can have artwork hung up or cute displays. Failing that – I always say cake is a work of art! 

Back your photos up!

This the most vital step of all. I’d always reccomend backing up your photos in more than one place, in case something happens! There’s so many cloud storing platforms you can choose – Google Photos, Dropbox and Amazon Photos are all good options. Remember that even just uploading them to a social media platform is one way to back your memories up.

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Whether you’re after glitz and glam or something for free, fun can be found in the strangest of ways!