Olive Dragonfly – Bex Maini and the twins

It’s been another hectic few weeks, life is always crazy at this time of year and I love it although sometimes it’s all too much! 

I love Autumn and the changing colours, the mists and light make for amazing photography opportunities as seen below when I managed to convince my suddenly unwilling bobbins to just stand for one photo since they wouldn’t walk along the path.

I love Halloween and the impending Christmas festivities which I always try to be more organised for each year (I really need to start prepping our advent plans now) and I love planning the twins’ birthday and giving them an excellent party to enjoy! I can’t believe they’re four already! I’ll be filling you in on their birthday party next month though.


Priya raiding my dressing table, pretending to put on make-up while wearing her feather crown made at playgroup!

Let’s just say, there’s A LOT to chat about this week to be sure to listen in to Jacqui’s show at 10:30am on Thursday!

Brunch at Fuego Lounge

A few weeks ago I was having a really tough time and my lovely friend Hemina seemed to instinctively know what I needed and came round to bake with me and the kids on Saturday and invited us all out for brunch on Sunday. It was lovely and really took my mind off everything!

Priya absolutely loved baking cheese scones with Hemina and they turned out so well, we’re definitely going to make them again, you can find the recipe on my blog!

Brunch was at Fuego Lounge in Lewes which was also lovely, we all chose something quite different and all enjoyed our meals with the exception of the avocado on toast we ordered to share as the twins shared a plate and often eat off ours so we got an extra dish we fancied trying anyway. It was supposed to have coriander and chilli – sort of Mexican style but it was full of parsley and had no kick at all, we’re not sure if they got mixed up with the herbs or changed it on purpose but we didn’t enjoy that one, I actually hate parsley even on fish!

It was a lovely relaxed place though and not too pricey. It’s dog friendly which is why Hemina chose it as their super cute pup joined us which the twins loved!

London Party video

To celebrate Nik’s exam results, (he passed his hardest exams to date, and they’re the last ever!!!) and his brother’s big promotion we were invited to his parents house in London with close family to celebrate with an epic spread – I love his Mum’s cooking! I decided on a spur of the moment to try something I’ve been meaning to for ages. I plan to take a course to learn more but thought I’d just wing it this time and try to make a film of the day. It was a steep learning curve but I’m glad I had a go and even though I can see the flaws, it’s good to know where I can improve. I’m hoping to eventually incorporate short clips like this into my Bexphoto family sessions to give them that extra something – I do love the little moments that are just made for video and let’s face it – even though I love capturing kids giggling in an image, you want to record that sound forever too, it’s all part of the storytelling I love giving to my family clients.

Maini Family Celebration from Bex Maini on Vimeo.

 

Photo conference in Brighton

I took a day off work to meet up with some fellow photographers at Photography Farm in Brighton, a cool conference and trade show held in Jury’s Inn. I started the day with my lovely friend Diana from Cambridgeshire who had travelled down the night before and stayed with me so she wouldn’t have to arrive late. We’d never met in person before so it was lovely to catch up properly and talk all things photography over dinner and a bottle of fizz! We travelled down on the train from Lewes the next day to avoid traffic and parking issues and met up with Laura for brunch at Cafe Coho which I would highly recommend – the menu sounded amazing I had so much trouble choosing but watch out for the Bloody Mary – it’s super spicy!! I didn’t book any talks at the conference but enjoyed the trade show and catching up with so many awesome photographers in person! You can see my full review of the conference and photos I took at the beach afterwards here and my review of Cafe Coho here.


I had the brioche french toast with bacon and banana & blueberries with mascarpone cream!

As Nik was able to collect the kids that day I took the opportunity to stay a bit longer in Brighton and enjoyed dinner down by the beach (I also recommend Lucky Beach Cafe – the Brisket Gravy Fries were unbelievable!!) and then took a few photos of sunset. They’re not perfect as I didn’t have my tripod so was balancing my camera on my bag to try to keep it steady but have a longer shutter speed. I’m pretty pleased with these two though!

Trampoline Party

We had a fab time at our first ever visit to Fun Abounds, I can’t believe we’ve never been before! We were invited along for a birthday party and absolutely loved it – the place is HUGE and had so much for the kids to do, not just trampolines. Priya loved the little trolley, going around collecting balloons to fill it with and K was really enjoying being flung into the foam pit by E’s dad and bouncing all over the trampolines at the back. We’ll definitely be going back again, in fact we’re there at the end of this month for another birthday party – I can’t wait!

Halloween Makeup Photo Shoot

I had so much fun working on a Halloween collaboration with a local make-up artist, Emese Csoma who runs My Beloved Make-up.  She’s so talented and wanted some images for her portfolio and new website so she used my twins as models and made them up with Mexican Dia di las Muertos make-up.

As it’s a celebration of the dead, remembering those who have gone, we thought a cemetery would be a fitting place to do an outdoor shoot so we headed up by Buxted Park and were blessed with sunlight which wasn’t too strong. I had a blast playing with the light and my prism to get some cool effects with sunflares and reflections as well as showing off Emese’s work. We already had the costumes from last year which were perfect and we’re both so pleased with the results!

Tulley’s Farm Spook Fest

I’m so glad we went along to this as I missed Halloween with the kids this year since we were in Portugal enjoying some time as a couple (see more below). Tulley’s farm is famous for it’s Halloween festival every October and I can see why, we had a great day out!

We went with another family and the kids all loved spending the day together. The kids’ favourite was the tractor ride which I enjoyed too, there were live actors jumping on and off with tales of magic & intrigue and special effects all throughout the woodland. The 3D cinema was hilarious – the kids all ended up piled on top of the only Dad present who handled it well as they screamed all around him every time a bat flew at them or spiders crawled out of the screen during the magical story!

Tulley’s Farm PYO Pumpkin Patch

After our fab day out at Spook Fest, we all stopped in at the Pickf Your Own pumpkin patch at Tulley’s on our way home.  The kids absolutely loved flinging little pumpkins and squashes into our wheelbarrow, we came home with 15!!  It was a lovely activity to finish the day and they looked great displayed on our deep windowsill.

Lisbon

Nik and I had a grown-ups only getaway for 4 nights in Portugal thanks to his lovely parents taking care of the twins so we could unwind and relax properly after such a crazy year.  It was the perfect way to celebrate him passing his exams and being back home after his intense months of studying!  I’d actually recommend it to any parents as it was so wonderful to have that time alone together just being us and doing what we wanted, laying in til 9, eating breakfast at 10 and then NOT planning our day – just heading out to wonder the city and explore wherever took our fancy. It was such a beautiful, colourful place and the food was amazing!

We did end up booking some last minute Airbnb tours – a photography one and a foodie one, both around 3 hours long walking around the old town of Alfama – definitely not ideal for 3 year old twins!  We enjoyed some wonderful meals out and I’ll be reviewing all of these things separately (I just haven’t had time with the exhibition and then twins’ party to organise and execute after we returned!) so if you’re into travel and fancy a few tips, keep an eye on the blog as I’ll be posting more about where we’d recommend and where we wouldn’t! Oh and all the places we ate Pasteis de Nata of course! A daily treat 😉

Bridge Cottage Exhibition

I was thrilled to take part in my first exhibition with other “emerging talent” in Bridge Cottage.  It was a lovely weekend connecting with potential clients and being able to show off my work in print and chat about why I’m so passionate about what I do.

Next Month:

It’ll be all about the twins’ rainbow birthday party at our home!  They had a blast when they turned 4 on Sunday!  I’m still working through the photos but I have plenty to share about the food and entertainment!

We’re also off to see Bing Live in Eastbourne next week – I know the twins are going to love it – they’re big fans of Bing. I am not but they will have a blast!