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! 

How to Organise Years of Photos

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I don’t know about you but I seem to take hundreds of photos (sometimes just in a day!). As I’m sure you can imagine, the numbers of photos on my phone or camera can get very big, very quickly! But how do you organise your photos without getting overwhelmed?

Organise your photos by year

I’m only just beginning to put this into practice, but there are so many tools you can use to not drown in photos! I’d start off small. Organise your photos into folders according to the year that they were taken.  This means that, at very least you’ll be able to search through your photos by year!

Try out cloud based storage

If you do anything else then please back up your photos. Unfortunately, although memory sticks and external hard drives do their job they’re not 100% foolproof. By all means put your photos on there but why not try out a cloud based storage platform? There’s so many options out there from Google Photos to Amazon Prime Photos. These services can also automatically group your photos by place or even photo subject. On some devices you can set your photos to automatically upload to the cloud.

Delete your photos as you go along

Have you taken a super nice picture of some grass? Or even an accidental selfie with the camera pointing the wrong way? Delete those pictures before they start to mount up. Only storing your favourite photos will be much kinder to your phone or SD card storage. It will also make the overall numbers seem way more manageable.

Did you know you can get SD card readers for your phone? These can be really useful if you’re on holiday or away from a computer for a longer period of time. Sometimes it’s really difficult to know what photos to delete. Loading your photos onto a bigger screen can help you decide. You can also try out some smartphone apps to edit your photos. For more help with this check out our previous blog post on smartphone photography.

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Share and print your photos

Even if it’s just sharing your photos on Instagram you’ll still have a back up for your photos, so do it! Remember that you can make your account totally private if you’d prefer. If you’d rather have physical copies then there’s no safer way of keeping your photos than through a physical print. There’s so many websites you can use to print out your photos. Even if you’re just putting prints into a photo album, it’s still worth it! If you’re feeling a little more creative then a quick google of “Photo DIY” there’s so much you can do with prints – from photo transfers to photo frames and everything in between.

Parenting Insights | Becki

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In yesterday’s post we spoke to Becki, a Mum of two to Caleb and Essie. Every Sunday we’ll be giving you an insight from a Mum and her parenting experiences. 

“Every parent looks to their past and wants to add something to their children’s path…”

“You look to how your parents did it for guidance. We were not allowed sweets, during the week, Sunday was sweetie day. As an adult, I knew I wanted to do the same for my children, that its a treat. Being open and talking was a big one for me, My family are quite an open family compared to my husband’s, so like all families it’s all about teamwork. The challenge can sometimes be linking two different childhoods together to create one parenting style.

Every parent looks to their past and wants to add something to their children’s path and so on, my dad worked a lot. He feels he didn’t do as much as he would have liked with us (I personally don’t look at it like that, we had a very lovely childhood with nice holidays, because he worked so hard) but now he is a grandparent, he is having a second go as it were! The grand kids get away with everything with him…”

Parenting Stories Chapter 3

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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 Becki. She’s a Mum to Caleb and Essie.  She started documenting every aspect of her life, from motherhood to fashion and style. Concious of the balance between her digital presence and real world life, she still includes the children but via her blog. She’s continuing to pursue her passion for fashion through her Instagram content.

What does parenting mean to you?

When our parents had us there wasn’t as much spoken about what we are and are not doing. Now there’s an element of pressure to how you’re bringing up your child  – now there’s so many more “dos and don’ts”. But whatever the case, I just want my children to know that we are there for them, no matter what. Talking is so important. I want to instill in my children, that it’s okay to feel certain ways sometimes. They’re loved by me and their Dad. They can be whoever they want to be, whatever that means! It may sound a bit stereotypical but I want them to always be kind to other people. Kindness goes such a long way.

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In your opinion, what’s the most rewarding bit of being a parent ?

Loads! Them even just saying “mummy” and “daddy” is awesome. These little people that represent you in so many ways but have their own personalities. In their eyes you are amazing. All the milestones they go through – it’s all stupidly fast. They go from newborn to school in about 5 minutes, it’s crazy! Some days it doesn’t feel like that, but when they hit milestones like learning words or starting to read, you know you’ve helped them do that, which is amazing! Even seeing their view of the world, you’ve influenced that! They also teach you a lot about yourself like patience and how to be a child again!

How do you think your parents have shaped how you’ve bought your kids up? 

You certainly look to how your parents did it, for guidance mainly as you have no other way to know sometimes what to do. For instance, we were not allowed sweets, during the week, Sunday was sweetie day, so as an adult, I knew I wanted to do the same for my children, that its a treat. Being open and talking was a big one for me, My family are quite an open family compared to my husband’s, so like all families it’s all about teamwork. The challenge can sometimes be linking two different childhoods together to create one parenting style.

Every parent looks to their past and wants to add something to their children’s path and so on, my dad for instance worked a lot and feels he didn’t do as much as he would have liked with us (I personally don’t look at it like that, we had a very lovely childhood with nice holidays, because he worked so hard) but now hes a grandparent, hes having a second go as it were! The grand kids get away with everything with him…

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

I think your first born has an element of perfection. I think this is a ploy, so you end up having more kids! This week I was called into school because he’d stuck play-doh in his ear and they’re not allowed to remove it! I had to go up with my own tweezers and fish it out! That’s one for the list…

My daughter hasn’t done anything embarrassing yet but I’m sure out of the two of them, she’ll have way more stories in the future! She’s just different and a bit more of a firecracker!

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What annoys you the most about parenting? 

I’m lucky that my husband is as entwined in the parenting as I am. It’s not a case of him “babysitting” – its your child, you’re not babysitting!

You cannot just clock off, or leave it at the office. It’s a constant list in your head – whether it’s getting things ready for school the next day or it’s doctors appointments. Once you’ve committed to taking on that responsibility of starting a family, that’s it!

Its not something that annoys me, so to speak, but the pressure of wanting to just ‘getting it right’ You only have some control on what will/can happen but ultimately its your child’s journey and that can be a bit scary.

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