Month: June 2013

Things to do in Swansea this weekend – 29/30 June 2013

The weather forecast is looking good for this weekend and there are a few things going on in Swansea to tempt you out of the house!

On Friday night the Swansea Children’s Therapy Centre support group are having their annual Ball at the Marriot hotel.  They are having a chinese auction on the night with loads of great prizes on offer (including a portrait session with me!).  Even if you’re not going to the ball you can buy a ticket for the auction today by donating to their Just Giving page and noting what prize you’re interested in.

On Saturday you can head down to Swansea Bay for a seashore safari with marine biologist Judith Oakley.  Children must be over 3 and need to be accompanied by an adult, but it’s free to join in.  You can find more information on times and booking here.

Also on Saturday is ‘A fiery knights tale’ with Jimmy Juggle at Oystermouth Castle.  Starting at 5pm, it’s a 2 hour interactive family play featuring the life story of Owain Glyndwr.  You can get tickets from the Mumbles tourist information centre.  If your kids like stories of adventures they’ll really enjoy this and will have great fun joining in!

On Sunday Singleton Park will be full of live music at the ‘Live at Singleton’ event.  Gates open at 2pm and the music starts at 4.  There are a variety of local artists and tribute acts performing and the headline act is Luminites.  You can buy advance tickets here and they are £8 each.

So what are you getting up to this weekend?  Leave me a comment below and let me know!

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Top ten things to pack in your hospital bag                              Swansea maternity photographer

Pregnant ladies – have you got your bags packed?!

General advice seems to be to have your hospital bag packed by the time you’re 36 weeks, even if you’re planning on having a home birth, you never know if your plan will have to change and you’ll have to rush off to hospital.

So, from my own personal experience, here are the things I would strongly recommend you pack in your bag!

1.  Straws!  For when you’re desperate for a drink but have your hands full with holding the gas and air and holding yourself up!

2.  Vaseline/lip balm – your lips can get dry in labour.

3.  Water spray – you can get really hot in labour and the wards are generally kept pretty warm.  A water spray is great for helping you keep cool.

4.  Camera!  You might not want pictures taken of you straight after the birth, but you’ll definitely want photos of your baby when she’s just minutes old!

5.  Old knickers and maternity pads.

6.  Arnica tablets.  If you’re open to homeopathic medicine this is definitely worth trying to help with any bruising after the birth.

7.  Nappies, wipes and clothes for baby – a few vests and sleepsuits should do it.  And a hat and cardi for them to wear on the journey home.

8.  Wash bag with make up, deodorant and dry shampoo.  Speaking of which, stock up on dry shampoo now, for those newborn days when a shower and proper hair wash is just too much effort!

9.  Hairbands to get your hair out of the way.

10.  Snacks and drinks for you and your birth partner.  Take extra so you’ll have something to eat while you’re on the ward too, you might not fancy the meals the hospital provide.

This isn’t an exhaustive list by any means, there are plenty of other things you’ll want to pack, like clothes and PJs for yourself, but it’s a good jumping off point for building your own list!

What’s your number one hospital bag essential?  Leave me a comment below and let me know!

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Preparing for life as a Mother                                                    Swansea maternity photographer

This quote is so true!  As soon as you find out you’re pregnant you start making sacrifices to keep your baby safe.

You have to give up drinking for one!  Although recent studies suggest that drinking a small glass of wine each day won’t do any real harm to your baby, the medical profession still advises that to be completely safe you should avoid drinking alcohol altogether.  

You also have to give up a lot of food.  No dippy eggs.  No blue cheese.  No rare meat.  That’s just the start of a pretty long list!

You have to really cut down on caffeine.  Which just doesn’t seem fair at a time when you’re just knackered!  

If you really follow the rules these days you should also give up riding rollercoasters, jumping on trampolines, all contact sports, decorating the house and buying new furniture!  Seriously, if you go by the latest research you should be prepared to sacrifice pretty much everything when you get pregnant!

But I do see the point that Brett Kiellerop was making, by the time the baby arrives you’re so used to giving things up for them it just seems quite normal to sacrifice your sleep and time and money for them!

What did you have to give up when you found out you were pregnant?  Leave me a comment below and let me know!

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Project 365

This was a week of cars, puzzles, paintings, Rhys spelling his name out with magnets (!) and windy walks in Swansea bay.
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Things to do in Swansea this weekend – 22nd/23rd June 2013

Looking for something to do in Swansea this weekend?

If you like watching other people exert themselves then you can go and watch the Mumbles Triathlon on Saturday, starting at Knab Rock.  Or you can head to the rec on Sunday for the British Heart Foundation South wales bike ride.

If you’d rather do something you can join in with then head to Castle Square on Saturday between 11 and 5 for the World Party.  There’ll be music and dance to watch on the main stage and demonstrations, crafts and food tasters to enjoy.

What are you up to this weekend?  Leave me a comment below and let me know!

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Ten things to enjoy before baby arrives                                    Swansea maternity photographer

If you’re pregnant with your first child then your life will be unbelievably different once the baby arrives.  

​Here’s my list of ten things to enjoy and make the most of before your due date comes round.

1) Sleep!  Do this as much as you can; whenever and wherever you get the chance.

2) Take a long bath.  

3) Time to yourself – go to the cinema by yourself, curl up with a  book,  just do what YOU want to do.

4) Spend time with just your partner.  Go out for a meal or splash out on a baby moon.  You don’t have to go far, just get away for a few days to enjoy this time together.

5) Finish a cup of tea while it’s still hot.  Oh you have no idea what a luxury this is!

6) A night out with your girlfriends.

7) Enjoy your gorgeous bump.  Focus on the baby’s kicks and wriggles.  Cover your tummy in oils and lotions (even though they won’t necessarily stop you getting stretch marks!).  Take some photos, or give me a shout and let me take them for you!

8) Get a proper haircut.  But don’t do anything too radical that you might regret once your hormones calm down!

9) Enjoy that feeling that you know what you’re doing!  You might get lucky and find that everything goes according to your plans once the baby arrives but it’s much more likely that you’ll quickly realise that you have no idea what you’re doing and that the Gina Ford routine you planned doesn’t suit your child or that breast feeding isn’t actually for you.  Just please remember that everyone else is making it up as they go along too!

10) Sleep some more!  Oh yes, this one is worth listing twice!

Have I missed anything?  What’s on your list of things to enjoy before baby comes?  Leave me a comment below and let me know!
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Are you ever really prepared?!                                                    Swansea maternity photographer

I just love this quote!  It sums up a first pregnancy so well!

When I was pregnant with Rhys I read everything I could get my hands on about pregnancy and birth.  I knew exactly what I could and couldn’t eat, what to pack in my bag for the hospital, even what side to sleep on at night (your left side apparently, it allows the best flow of blood to the baby!).  I even got as far as reading up on what to expect when the baby actually arrived.  But did it help me?!  Ha!  What do you think?

I don’t think anything in the world can prepare you for what it actually means to have a new baby around.  You have nine months to get used to the idea of having a baby but it still feels like everything changes so suddenly!  Your whole world changes overnight and will never be the same again.  And you can feel really overwhelmed and uncertain and exhausted.  

But it gets easier, I swear!  

​You get to know your baby and you find a rhythm that works for you as a family and it just becomes amazing.  

You just have to go with the flow and, even if it turns out that you didn’t have the right shots, trust that you’ll find the cure that works for you!

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Project 365

This was a week of painting picnic plates, sleeping at odd times, household jobs and rainy days!
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Things to do in Swansea – 15th/16th June 2013

Looking for something to do in Swansea this weekend?  Here are some ideas for you!

There are a few places around Swansea offering free entry on Father’s Day.  If the weather’s ok you can head out to Oystermouth Castle and treat Dad to free entry, but you do need to print off a voucher before you go.  You can find the link here.

If it’s wet and you’re looking for an indoor activity then Dads can also get free entry to Plantasia on Sunday.  You’ll need to print off a voucher for this too and you can get that here.

The National Waterfront museum is also catering for Father’s Day with woodworking sessions on Saturday and Sunday at 12pm and 2.30pm.  You can make your very own tool carrier to take home, using a wooden kit and basic tools.  Kids taking part must be over 8 and you do need to book. 

Into classic vehicles?  The ‘Under Milk Wood’ classic vehicles road run is on Saturday between 10.30 and 2.00.  The vehicles are setting off from Bracelet Bay then traveliing through Mumbles, Sketty, Cockett and Fforestfach and parking up at Laugharne where you can go and see them on display.

Carrying on the classic vehicle theme, the Swansea Festival of Transport is on Sunday between 10 and 4.30 in Swansea city centre.  There’ll be about 400 vehicles on display, dating from the 1920s to the 1990s.

Big garlic fan?!  The Gower garlic festival is on at the Gower Heritage Centre on Saturday and Sunday.  On Saturday you can go for a wild garlic walk around parkmill and three cliffs bay and on Sunday you can join survival expert Dryad Bushcraft to forage for and prepare your own wild food!  There will also be workshops, demonstrations, tearooms, stalls, a bar and live music!  Who knew garlic could be so much fun!

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Top ten morning sickness remedies                                       Swansea maternity photographer

Ahh morning sickness.  Such a wonderful part of pregnancy!  I suffered with nausea for about 6 weeks or so when I was pregnant with Rhys.  It’s amazing how quickly feeling sick can start to feel ‘normal’!

Doctors still aren’t sure what exactly causes morning sickness, which just seems almost ridiculous to me, seriously, how can they still not know?!  They think it’s most likely down to the hormonal changes that pregnancy brings, but don’t know for certain.

Well whatever the cause, morning sickness can make you feel pretty miserable and after a while you might be willing to try anything to keep it at bay.  

Here are my top ten remedies that won’t necessarily stop the sickness, but might help you get through the day a bit more !

1.  Ginger.  This is a long-standing remedy for sickness and loads of people swear by it.  You can sip on a cup of ginger tea if you want but munching on ginger nut biscuits seems more appealing to me!

2.  Try wearing sea-bands.  I’ve been using these since I was a kid suffering with travel sickness and swear by them.  They work by applying pressure to a certain acupressure point on the inside of your wrist and according to their website morning sickness was reduced in 70% of women who used Sea-Bands.  Definitely worth a try in my opinion!

3.  Eat as soon as you wake up.  This is another one I personally found effective.  I put a digestive biscuit on my bedside table each night so I would have something to nibble on as soon as I woke up.  Seemed to help take the edge off enough to actually get up and shower etc.

4.  Stick to plain foods like toast, mashed potatoes and boring biscuits.  Not the most exciting of diets but much easier to handle than greasy or spicy foods!

5.  Sip lemonade.  Or lucozade.  Something about the bubbles seems to settle your stomach!

6.  Sniff fresh scents like lemon extract or rosemary.  This can really help if your morning sickness is triggered by other smells. 

7.  Eat little and often, don’t let yourself get hungry.  This one is key in my opinion.  The sickness feels so much worse if you get properly hungry.  Much better to nibble throughout the day.

8.  Get your B6, from bananas, nuts, fish, avocados, wholegrains and dried beans – studies have shown this can help some women with nausea but it’s not known exactly how it works.

9.  Suck on a slice of lemon or a sour sweet.  I can’t say I tried this one but various online sources suggest it!

10.  Watch for non-food triggers, too.  If it gets too warm or your colleague’s perfume is overpowering you might find the sickness kicks in.  Do whatever you can to avoid these kind of triggers!

I really hope that some of these tips work for you.  What have you found helps the most?  Or is nothing providing you with any relief?!  Leave a comment below and let me know!

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