Olive Dragonfly – Bex Maini and the twins

Well there I was, planning to hibernate for most of January but we’ve been busy again, although admittedly did have a couple of play-dates hibernating in my warm house with cake and hiding under blankets!  

This month the twins and I had a lovely trip to Scotney Castle with friends, making the most of our National Trust membership, I had a very fun weekend with fellow photographers at a convention in London, there was a lot of great stuff to see at the trade show and a lot of silliness from us as we travelled to and from the venue.  I also enjoyed a spa day with some friends in Hastings which was amazing (although I haven’t blogged about that as I have no photos) and I have a few fun photography related projects and competitions to share with you this month, I’m so excited about everything that’s happening in February!

As a family we’ve been to Oast Farm wassail (Nik and the twins also went to Bignose & Beardy’s wassail while I was in London) and a Sunday Roast in Brighton followed by fun in Hempstead park.

Oh and I’m sharing some bright and happy rainbow wardrobe finds from me and the kids as I had no space last month!

Scotney Castle

We had an awesome time at Scotney Castle.  The play area is brilliant with something a bit different with ball runs, a log cabin and tree swing.  The food in the cafe was lovely, the baked potatoes were huge and the kids all ate really well, always a plus on a day out!  After our friends went home after lunch (with napping babies), the twins and I explored some more of the grounds, climbing trees and running around the castle with me pretending to be a witch, counting ducks and admiring the views.  It was such a lovely day out.

Photography Convention in London

I met up with some photographer friends I met on a workshop last year.  There was an SWPP convention in London and we all got tickets to go to the trade show to explore all the amazing books, albums and frames on offer (I’ve got some gorgeous samples coming soon to show my clients) and we had lunch together before some of them headed to a podcast recording and we met up afterwards for dinner and drinks in Pergola Olympia before heading for various trains home (I crashed on Kirsty’s sofa before heading home the next day).


So much fun!  It’s great to just spend time with fellow creatives, being silly, inspiring each other and just having so much in common.  Good for the soul!

Oast Farm Wassail

This was our second wassail at Oast Farm.  We love the tradition and fun involved with chanting, singing, fire, noise and merriment.  The apple cake is always good too!  The twins had a great time again, watching Spirimawgus the Morris dancers and shopping in the farm shop afterwards.


So excited to have his own basket in the shop!

Rainbow clothes

They make me so happy!  Bright colourful clothing really does boost my mood.


Rainbow Kids clothes

Of course the kids needed some new clothes too and although I’ve always dressed them in rainbow colours, I’m finding even more rainbow clothes for them at the moment as it seems to be so popular now.  I have actually always found loads of bright colours in Next and have listed a few other recent finds on the blog if you want to see what else is available for kids at the moment.

Newborn Twins

One of my best friends had twins at the end of last year and I of course went to meet them armed with my camera.  I finally managed to edit their photos and love them so much!  It was amazing just hanging out taking photos as we caught up.  It was mainly documentary as Gemma just got on with looking after her babies and toddler but I did get a few family portraits in there too, despite a reluctant dad 😉


Colour Chase Challenge

One of the projects I’ve taken on this year is a fun and colourful one – the Color Chase Challenge (it started in America).  Each month is assigned a colour and we hunt for images based on the colour to try to end up with a collage of beautiful, similarly tones images.  January’s colour was white which I had a bit of difficulty doing actually, especially as our minute snowfall didn’t come until February!

In the end I bought some fancy eggs in Waitrose, some white flowers and some skooshie cream!  😉

February’s colour is pink!

Shoot & Share Contest

Last year was my first time entering the Shoot & Share contest and it was so much fun and SO addictive.  Anyone can vote but fair warning, you might get sucked in for hours!  Voting is open now until 22nd Feb and is totally random, you get shown four images and choose your favourite, then the next four…  You can’t vote for anyone specific unless you recognise their image of course if it comes up.

I was chuffed to get two images in the final round last year, including this image of my twins which came in 165th out of 19,300 in the Lifestyle/Family Documentary category.  I’m hoping to get in the top 100 this year so fingers crossed!

Chef’s Table at Malmaison Brighton

We booked a meal out in Brighton Malmaison with a voucher giving us a discount on the Chef’s Table and Sunday Roast.  It’s a pretty epic meal with an all you can eat buffet of delicious meats, salads, fish and cheese as well as a soup of the day and fresh bread.

After that you have a choice of Sunday roast, brunch dish or main course (such as a burger).  All of the above is usually £19.95 (£9.95 for the kids) and for an extra £3.50 you can have dessert too.

We all had the roast, everyone choosing the beef except me as I fancied the pork belly.  I know this is a fatty cut which doesn’t bother me but unfortunately the 3 slices I received were excessively fatty with tiny slivers of meat throughout.  I tried a bit but couldn’t eat it so asked to swap to the beef.  Thankfully this wasn’t an issue as I hate being a fussy diner but the beef was so much better, served pink and very tender.  The rest of the roast was nice but we weren’t keen on the gravy.  Nik and I both loved the Chef’s table and puddings and would return but would choose another option as the main course.  I’d like to try the waffles next time I think.


Priya’s 3 favourite foods – smoked salmon, salami and blue cheese!
You can read the rest of my review and see more photos of the food over on Olive Dragonfly.

Young Minds Charity Portrait Project

I am SO excited about this project.  Since launching it on Sunday evening I have already managed to sign up a few local businesses and have £115 in the pot so far!

I’m taking portraits for local businesses (big and small) in return for a suggested donation to the charity Young Minds.  They support young people (and their parents) with mental health issues which is a cause close to my heart having experienced how hard it is to cope with depression myself.

Any business that would like to raise their online profile with a new head-shot or even a group photo, please get in touch – you just have to donate (it all goes to the charity), include something yellow (the charity colour) and mention the project when using the image to help raise awareness.  You also get the added bonus of a link on my own website in the list of amazing supportive businesses taking part and your image will be added to the gallery which I will be sharing often!  I’ve already got sign-ups from Off the Wall Entertainment, My Beloved Makeup, Mermaid Dental Care and Uckfield Matters as well as our very own Uckfield FM of course!

If you’d like to donate and/or take part, please see the fundraising link here: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/bexphoto

Next month:

We’ll be reviewing a day out at Drusilla’s during the colder months and the Picture House Restaurant film quiz and dinner on Oscar’s night!