Bex Maini & The Twins in Sussex – November

I’m already feeling festive, I love December despite being somewhat overwhelmed this year with work, my business, our own festivities and alllll the school emails about various things I need to do!

Below I’ve shared some of our advent traditions, our ADVENTures if you will, and reviewed a lovely new place we found to buy Christmas Trees as well as The Hurstwood’s new Christmas menu which contrasts somewhat with my recent lifestyle change.  I’ve also had a couple of utterly beautiful newborn sessions recently so I’ve shared some of those photos below, along with my latest Vogue publications and a ClickPro award!

Newborn sessions at home

The reason I love in-home sessions so much is that they’re so relaxed.  Everyone’s comfortable in their own space and I soon blend into the background as I capture family life – it’s a privilege to become part of your life for a short time and I love it.  Especially when it involves a brand new baby slotting into that family life, the special moments I can freeze in time for you are some of my all time favourites!

 

What you see VS what I see

I also started a new series on my blog showing the difference a professional photographer can make to simple everyday moments you see.

 

Magic Mushrooms

Not in the spaced out sense but the beautiful, mystical sense.  I find these little fungi amazing, they just pop up suddenly from the damp dirt and rotting leaves and if you look closely, they’re such pretty little things like tiny fairy umbrellas!  I love them and spent a very happy morning laying on the woodland floor taking photos recently.

 

Birthday Fun – The twins are FIVE!

Can’t quite believe my twins are 5, it’s been a pretty amazing five years and we had a lot of fun celebrating!  I documented our morning in PJs enjoying breakfast and presents before their birthday party in the afternoon, we booked Monkey Bizness in Lewes this year as it was the easy option, they provide all the food (which was ok, standard nuggets and pizza) and we could take our own cake.  They loved playing with all their friends in the soft play areas and we had our own side room for food and gifts.  They were utterly spoiled by their friends – I don’t know what we’ll get them for Christmas, maybe some experiences and just a couple of things to open under the tree and in stockings.

 

Getting healthy with The Body Coach

I’ve finally started a healthier lifestyle again!  It’s been difficult for a number of reasons and I was always finding excuses but I’m so glad I’ve broken out of the catch 22!  I knew it would make me feel better but felt so low I struggled to get started since I did this plan after I finished breastfeeding the twins 3 years ago.  I’m doing the Body Coach, Joe Wicks’ new 90 day plan, it’s changed since I last did it and the recipes are even more tasty and easier, the exercise is so far the same although I’ve changed my specific HIIT exercises (I cannot to burpees!) to suit me and I’m already down a belt notch.  It may seem odd to start this plan pre-Christmas but since I’ll be avoiding all the extra treats I’d usually have, I won’t be in an even worse position come Jan if I started then!  Plus, Christmas party next week and I finally feel confident to wear my new dress 🙂

These were my results on the plan last time so I’m hoping for the same success this time around!  You can read more about how I’m finding it, why I’m currently back to the “before” and why I love this plan but didn’t manage to stick with the lifestyle change last time over on the Bexphoto blog including more photos of before & after, I even shared my scary side view!  It’s amazing the difference in 3 months!

 

Newborn dreaminess!

I met Kate and we had a serendipitous moment where she’d been wanting to book a shoot and I wanted to photograph more newborns, I sent her examples of my work and her response was “Really love how you balance beautiful fine art style with such feeling and personality in the images. ”

We had such a lovely time hanging out I stayed twice as long as I planned!  I am thrilled with the images and although Kate hasn’t seen them all yet, I know she’s delighted with the sneaky peeks I’ve sent 🙂

 

More Vogue acceptances!!!

It never gets old!  I love seeing that little logo appear on my images like a stamp of approval 😉

 

The Maini ADVENTures

Every year we have lots of advent fun, I love coming up with ideas for us to do although they often include the same traditions year after year like getting our tree, decorating, ice skating, Uckfield’s Late Night Shopping event, Christmas films and our Christmas Eve box.  I decorated a house-shaped advent calendar last year which we’ll use for the foreseeable now (the previous year was a giant hanging stick wrapped with fairy lights with the scrolls of paper hanging on metallic strings with snowflakes, I just added more snowflakes this year and re-purposed it).  I shared this year’s list along with a few more photos of last year’s activities on my blog so if you’re looking for some festive inspiration, check it out.

 

Christmas Trees at White House Farm

This year we needed to get our tree somewhere really close to home and easy, we were fitting it in before Rugby on Sunday so it was a bit of a rush so we could then decorate it that afternoon!  Luckily Nik had spotted a farm very near Ringles Cross (our end of town) so we headed there and it was quiet, easy and lovely!  The family running is are so friendly and helpful and great with the kids, Cathy was teaching them about counting the rings of the tree trunk when her son Michael sliced off the bottom inch for us with his chainsaw – turns out our tree is the same age as the twins – much excitement!!  lol

 

Advent Calendars and Decorating our tree

Of course I went for the rainbow theme again but I mixed it up this year with this gorgeous vintage German finial on top which is Indigo so we started with indigo going down through the colours (including pink for Priya who’s obsessed) to blues at the bottom.  I love it!

 

The Hurstwood Christmas menu

I was taking photos of the Hurstwood’s latest seasonal menu for Christmas and their beautiful decor on Tuesday and the best perk of the job is tasting the food after, I can definitely vouch for the tasty festive dishes – YUM!  It was rather torturous given my current specific food plan as I just had tiny tastes BUT I’m taking the evening off on Friday as I have friends visiting and we’re heading out to The Hurstwood for dinner, they requested it after seeing my photos there in the summer!  I can’t wait!

The Christmas menu costs £28.50 for two courses or £35 for 3.  See the blog for more photos and the full menu!

ClickPro Daily Project Top Ten Award

I received another award for one of my recent newborn photos, this gorgeous squishy wrinkly babe won me a Top Ten award in the Daily of the Week Click Pro awards 🙂

 

Next month:

I won’t be here in January so we’ll have to have a big catch up in February!  We’re flying off to see my parents for 3 weeks!  Malaysia is so far away and as Nik’s between jobs then before he starts his consultant position it was the only time we can reasonably take so much time off at once as it won’t come out of his holiday allowance.  It does mean taking the twins out of school for 2 weeks but I figured reception is the best time to do that so even if we’re fined, it’ll be worth it to see family for so long, we haven’t been for 3 years.  We all really need this holiday especially in January, it makes sense to go when work for me is generally quieter and the weather sucks and there’s no more Christmas excitement.  I can’t wait for some warm sunshine and fun!