My New Blogging Photo Set Up |

I am so jealous of those with beautiful laminate flooring, I have forever lusted over a grey washed laminate floor for my front room, as you will know I have a HUGE obsession with grey and recently painted my front room feature wall Mineral Stone Grey. Unfortunately with renting a house there isn’t a lot you can do to it, well I say that I bet some landlords will let you change the flooring but in the end it will only benefit them in the long run.

I have seen various bloggers photography and they usually have the marble worktop or gorgeous flooring featuring in their photos, I usually take my photos on my grey IKEA fluffy rug but it’s not quite cutting it anymore, after reading a blog post a while a go which I can’t for the life of me remember who it was, I saw that you can create that look with literally less than £20, you can do it with wallpaper, vinyl & laminate samples. I headed to B&Q and had a look at their laminate flooring, I saw their Berkeley Effect Antique Finish Laminate which is beyond stunning and picked up 6 samples of that costing £12, £2 each which is equivalent to a drugstore foundation. My husband glued and attached them to some MDF to make it a little stronger, awaiting it to be cut down to size but it is honestly the perfect size for blog photos and barely cost a thing, grab some fresh/fake flowers and there you have it, a nice little set up for more professional looking photos. Step aside crappy blog photos there’s some new boys in town.

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                                The setup                                                     

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After

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I’d love to build up my photography & editing skills, do you have any goals for your blog?

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Last Minute Mens Christmas Gift Guide

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Personalised Wooden Beer Trug £39.95, Canvas And Leather Foldover Backpack £62, Smart Phone Projector £17.95, GoPro Hero £149.00, Happy Socks Limited Edition Socks £23.99, Ted Baker Essentials Fragrances For Men £28.00, I Cannot Adult Today Mug £10, Wanhao i3 V2 Duplicator 3D-Printer £317.00 & Amazon Echo £149.00.

As mentioned in my last minute women’s Christmas gift guide that we’ve thankfully managed to get our Christmas shopping done but I know that some people are still struggling to grab their bits and bats especially if they work full time it can be such a hassle to find the time. This mens Christmas gift guide again has items that are all purchasable from online stores and have a combination of high end and low end prices. This gift guide is just to give you a few ideas of what you could buy, I know that when buying for my husband I always struggle if there is anything that he wants then he gets it himself throughout the year so when it comes to Christmas there is absolutely nothing I can think of.

What’s on your Christmas list?

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Last Minute Ladies Christmas Gift Guide

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Christmas 3 Votive and Holder Gift Set £9.99, ASOS Ultra Fluffy Mittens £10.00, New Look Metal Heel Slingback Heeled Shoe Boot £24.00, Christmas Gift Box GREEN TULIP ETHICAL LIVING £16, GHD COPPER LUXE BLACK PLATINUM GIFT SET £155.00, House of Disaster Pink Hippo Light £35.00, ASOS Metallic Clutch Bag With Metal Bar £15.00, Solid Rose Gold Interlocking Hearts Necklace £89.00 & Spotty China Letter Mug £14.95

I usually always leave my Christmas shopping until last minute which isn’t the wisest idea but thankfully I did mine in November, well the bulk of it so were a bit more prepared this year which has saved me running around like a headless chicken. I’ve complied a guide which is full of different price ranges and gifts that will suit the majority of ladies for Christmas these can all be bought online *hurrah* saving you mowing through busy town centres, which as you know is an absolute nightmare.

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3D Printed Fairy Door

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Coming up with new ideas for children’s Christmas presents is incredibly hard, well at least I find it to be, I find myself searching my brain constantly and it probably doesn’t make it any easier with my daughter Scarlett being 2 as she can’t really suggest what she wants. Searching the internet endlessly for ideas I came across fairy doors, which I believe are around £10-£15, I think it’s such a cute idea and perfect present for children to keep their little imaginations running wild. The idea of them is to pop them against your skirting boards and it creates a magical door way to fairy & elf world.

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Lucky for me though my model maker husband has various 3D printers and suggested that he would 3D model and print it using REAL wood infused filament. For those of you who are interested, the process taken to make it included modelling a simple shaped door in a programme called Fusion360 and then using a clay sculpting programme (Zbrush) to carve out the shapes and the detail such as the rocks and wood grain. After completing it, the door was then printed on one of his 3D printers and finished painting in acrylic paints, he created a video on the making of it here:

Want one for yourself? we’ve also got one to give away to you beautiful bunch, just enter below alternatively you can grab one on Etsy.

Fairy Door Giveaway!

International Giveaway

Check out Model3D here

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Children’s Christmas Eve Box

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My husband stumbled upon a Christmas Eve box for children last year filled with all sorts of goodies that your baby/toddler/child can open on Christmas Eve to get into the Christmas spirit and in my opinion it’s a bloody good idea. We did one last year but because Scarlett was only 9 months at the time she was a little young for it, though non the less she enjoyed watching The Snowman in some gorgeous thumper pjs in the middle of a chaotic house move, yes we did move on Boxing Day! eek.

So, we want to make it a tradition that every year she has a little special box that the elves bring her before heading off to santa to get her presents ready for the morning! I think i’m more excited than she is to be honest.

What’s in the box?

The Grinch DVD (£3, ASDA)

Frozen Colouring Book (£3, The Entertainer Shop)

Bic Pencil Crayons (£1.50, Wilkinsons)

Fleece Pjs (£6.99, ASDA)

Thorntons Snowman Chocolate (£2, ASDA)

It doesn’t have to burn a hole into your pocket and cost the earth and you can tailor it to what you like!

What do you think?

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Scarlett’s First Birthday

 Just over a year ago I was in labour with my little girl which you can see the post here. My little lady baby was put into my arms and I became a mummy for the first time, I was so totally in love. Throughout that year we have watched her grow and achieve so many milestones.

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I can’t get over how much babies learn, it is incredible how they develop into their own little person. She is so clever and has learnt so many skills throughout the year. Scarlett now can say words such as “mum”, “ma”, “mumma”, “dad”, “ada” “da”, “nana” and “yeah”, I really cannot express how amazing it is to hear your child say mum or dad for the first time, I was on the verge of tears.

She has also learnt so many other things such as to clap her hands and wave when you say “hi” and “bye” to her. Scarlett is also incredibly good at passing you things when you say “ta”.  Scarlett is now a confident crawler going from army crawling to crawling using her hands and knees, she always loves to walk by holding onto our hands as she is not completely confident yet, I don’t blame her it must be so scary learning to walk for the first time.

I was looking up how many teeth a child should have because I was absolutely clueless and there are 20 in total. Scarlett began teething around 5 months old, she is now 13 months and has 12 teeth, yes 12! they are literally coming through one after another with 4 through within a month.

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So her first birthday was approaching and I had no idea what to do for it, because I have never done this before. I invited a couple of close friends who had kids to a small birthday party with a bit of food and of course CAKE!

The night before I was like a little kid at Christmas, I was probably more excited than she was. My partner started to make a 6 tier rainbow birthday cake for Scarlett at around 7pm taking a total of 5 hours from start to finish, but I must admit I was thoroughly impressed and it went down an absolute treat.

The day after, Scarlett’s first birthday typically she woke up at 6:30 as usual and we couldn’t resist going downstairs all excited to see her open her presents. She absolutely loved opening her presents but needed a little help to rip them open, she did get quite bored at the end so I had to open quite a few of them.

Visitors arrived, I was really nervous as I have never done a birthday party before, but there was plenty of balloons, food, music and cake so everyone was happy enough to just have a little dance and run around. Scarlett absolutely loved all the little kinds, and I can safely say she had a great day

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Scarlett’s Outfit Of The Day

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I really need to get into blogging more about my little lady, but unfortunately I never know what to write about (sad face). After reading The Dad Network’s blog and seeing a post on what outfits his son Ted is wearing I thought that it was a great idea so I have decided to start my own little series based around this.

When it comes to buying clothes for my little lady it is safe to say I literally go wild, I can’t help myself! She literally has more clothes than I do. I do have a weak spot for dresses for both myself and Scarlett, there is nothing sweeter than seeing her in a little dress, leggings and a headband she looks absolutely gorgeous.

So, today Scarlett wore some of her new clothes that she had bought for her for her 1st birthday. Throughout the day she wore a 3 piece dress set from ASDA (£12) bought by her Granddad, this features a floral cord dress with a beautiful yet simple pink top to go underneath and a pair of white tights. She also wore some super cute soft cotton mouse pjs from Mothercare (£14 2 Pack) also bought for her birthday after her LUSH bubble bath making her skin super smooth.

What do you think of this series?

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Orbit Print!

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Custom Canvas Print (£39.46 inc Next Day P&P)

Ever since I had my gorgeous lady I have wanted a huge canvas of her but my partner advised that we waited till she was a little older, so that she has more personality shining through to which I agreed. Around September time I was doing a small shop in ASDA when these sales people stopped us to talk about their photograph offers that they were holding at ASDA during the week, they were sepia vintage photographs which I must admit did look stunning. They had an offer of £15 for the shoot and you also get a 10×8 photograph too, they also dress them up to suit the background so I really wanted it done as she was 6 months at the time – thank you to my dad for paying for that. We received the prints and soon as I saw it I knew that this was the one to be blown up, the photos were just perfect but this particular one stuck out of the bunch, it’s of her holding her favourite book ‘Guess How Much I Love You’. We decided to grab the full package costing £140 which included the digital files and a range of photographs, this was perfect for when we wanted to buy the canvas.

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We have been looking around companies who make custom photo canvas’ and from what we had found it was looking quite expensive for the size we wanted, we luckily found OrbitPrint which was reasonably priced compared to the others. Looking through the website we decided that we wanted to get a A1 canvas (starting at £24.99) of that photograph blown up, the process on the website was really simple which made it a breeze to order. We selected the canvas size that we wanted that followed on to the selection of frames, we decided to go for a deep frame (44mm) as that is what we personally preferred. Scrolling on through the list it then took you on the type of wrap you wanted for your canvas, we selected gallery wrap (adding £0.99) as we believed that the photograph continuing onto the sides would look better and more professional. The next stage was to choose what type of canvas you wanted, premium canvas appeared better suited, this was a thick premium cotton canvas (£3.49) so these image would not be glossy and ultra smooth. The process then takes you over to enhancements, which was options such as colour enhance, red eye removal etc though we did not need any of these as the photograph that we provided was perfect. The final stage is upgrades which is where you can choose gift wrap etc, we decided to select photo proof via email so that we could see what the image looked like, it was absolutely spot on. We went ahead with the order and accepted the proof print (below is the process).

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The printing process was speedy, from contacting them, emailing the proof to printing and shipping was done in just over a hour, I was amazed. We had paid for next day delivery (£7.99) so were so excited to receive it, however on Wednesday it was non stop snowing so the delivery was held, though I think they also damaged it to which Yodel advised us to contact OrbitPrint. OrbitPrint kindly remade our canvas and sent it out for dispatch again with another speedy process so that it would be here next day, they also refunded us the £7.99 postage. Friday afternoon the print had arrived, it was absolutely perfect, the quality and attention detail is just simply beyond amazing – there was no distortion of the image.

Overall, ordering through OrbitPrint is a really fast and simple process making it a breeze to order your personalised canvas. The quality and attention to detail is simply incredible which is more than what we had hoped for, the customer service that was provided when we needed was again spot on and really helpful.

Have you used OrbitPrint before? What did you think?

They currently have 80% off photo canvas’ over at www.orbitprint.com

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