The last 6 months

Hi there!

How’s things? Mark has taken Summer swimming, i’ve cleaned the kitchen and now have Mcfly playing (very) loudly and really felt like writing. So here we are – I have even made myself a tea so I must be getting serious… so here’s an update on what’s happened since we have moved back to UK – 6 months ago! Who knew that time goes even faster this side of the world than in LA.
I Got Pregnant 
That’s a big one. It was half planned/half not – you know, we had just done this big move and we wanted to settle in, but also knew we didn’t want a big age gap between Summer and her siblings but it just felt like we were just finding our path and then BOOM morning sickness, tiredness mixed with not being able to nap and all round irritable came into the mix of it! I did a test early in the morning and saw the positive sign but for some reason I did not feel as positive about it… has this happened to anyone else? we did another test a couple of days after and felt a bit better about it all.  I think it was more the thought of timing and everything what had just happened it just felt so overwhelmed how we were going to cope – I mean we were still living at my parents house!

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My Best Friends Wedding 
My sissy – the one who looks like me but doesn’t, the one everyone thinks is my older sister, the one who I gave my fake ID to before I was even legal age and she was able to use it, the one who I text everyday even when I was million miles away, the one who I can laugh with literally about the smallest thing but then can’t stop- My Melody. She got married!
I had the privilege of being the matron of honour and oh my goodness it was such a special day. As her Prince Ray is Chinese they honoured that with a traditional tea ceremony in the morning and then a western wedding in the afternoon at the beautiful Buxted Hotel. Such a romantic setting and they had both gone above and beyond when thinking of the decorations, the food, the layouts, the outfits – everything was perfect – the string quartet definitely added that extra layer of finesse.
It’s a day they will treasure forever and us too. Also Summer was the flower girl and Mark was a groomsman so we were very involved.

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Summer Started Nursery
Well this one felt huge to me. I used to be the only one who looked after Summer while Mark was at work – it’s long hours with sometimes only Peppa Pig to keep you company. It had amazing days and days where you’re literally counting every minute until you can talk to someone who could actually communicate back. So the thought of her learning or being away from me for more than a few hours is actually so daunting.
One of the big things about coming back to UK was that it was time she started some kind of nursery – we thought maybe just three days a week in the morning and can go from there. After viewing a few around Brighton we settled on one that focuses a lot on play, time outdoors and good food. When we first walked in it has that sense of little bit crazy, a mixed array of smells from guinea pigs, play dough and wee – and we thought what a great place for you kids to play and be encouraged to be themselves!
It was me who was the one left crying as I watched her “initiation” (putting her coat on her peg she got to pick) and being shown which room she will be in. The staff were all amazing and it overall it was a great experience. Even more so Summer looks forward to the days she gets to play with her aunties all day and I know she’s being fed better than I probably feed her at home!

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First Christmas in UK 
Christmas suddenly got all the magic back this year – even though everyone moans about the cold its actually quite an essential part to the festive season! This year was great – it was cold enough to be bundled up but not cold enough to ruin the spirit. Summer totally got it this year she was all about the lights outside the house, the songs that come with it and learning about Santa. She possibly was a bit too smart when she realised we don’t have a chimney for him to come down, so out came a special key so he can definitely come to our place. She asked Santa for Pink Presents so that’s what she got as she had been a good girl (Although I overheard her telling her grandma she wanted blue presents and didn’t get any…why do they change their mind last minute??)
Her face on Christmas morning was priceless – she actually gasped when she realised the reindeers had eaten the carrots and Santa had got to the cookies we laid out for him with the milk.

JAN 19-7

 

Moved House
3 months back at my parents house and 3 months out in our own space. This had been the longest we had spent trying to find somewhere. After realising it’s going to take a bit longer than we wanted to buy our own place we thought we should rent. I think we viewed around 10 places, some were so small i’m not sure how we would have fit just Mark and me in there let alone a toddler and baby with the amount of things they accumulate, and some were amazing but were flats and so high up in grand town houses, with no lifts and buggies involved it just wasn’t really a good idea.
But now we have a place! and we are happy – it’s right by a huge park and hello Nando’s I see you from our bedroom!
I am very lucky to have friends who live nearby and also my parents who live on the other side of the park, it felt like it was just the right choice.
It was one of those moments that when we first viewed it I could imagine Summer running through it and it just felt right.
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So this is where we are now – slowly finding our pace. We are fully in the nursery school runs via cars and buses and have found the good softplays (the one with the good selection of cakes and coffees) and we are slowly coming to the realisation that we’re going to be having another baby joining us in the next 3 months

Bring it on.

Natural History Museum

In between a week of everyone taking it in turns of getting sick in the family, and many hours still playing with the Cake Mountain Play-doh set, it was time to actually make a date with friends and go to the Natural History Museum in Los Angeles 
Thanks to a nifty Groupon deal we are proud members and got all of us in for free! So there we were, Catalina and I and Summer and Joaquin all ready to see some bones.

I actually think the kids were just as excited to be going on the train as much as seeing dinosaurs. What is it about getting on them that makes them SO worked up that they have to repeat the word “train” about 100 times? By the time we got to the actual museum they loved how much space there was so just had to run. everywhere.

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and they wanted to touch everything.

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which I guess is fine as that is kind of what you do in museums anyway, right? oh, there was also a LOT of pointing and dinosaur noises

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So my experience of going there with two toddlers to NHM (Summer is 22 months and Joaquin is 20 months) is prepare yourself for them to be more interested in the space around and the environment rather than the actual objects that are on display.
Summer is going through a dinosaur obsession right now (yes, that is Arlo from Good Dinosaur she is traipsing around with her) so she was really into seeing them, and Joaquin loves a good mode of transport so he spotted a few vehicles around which got him excited. There are the rooms with taxidermy animals in them which look like they’re from The Night at the Museum movie which I loved, but for the kids I think they got slightly scared as they are pretty dark rooms. Plus, we weren’t too good on timings and ended up sharing the rooms with about 50 school kids on a field trip. Not gonna lie, was a bit scared to put Summer down when she wanted to run incase I lost her and couldn’t see her in the dark room.
Outside there is a great space for eating and the Nature Gardens are amazing. These alone are worth the trip if you didn’t want to go inside. They have the get dirty zone where you can run around in the mud or splash in the water features and by pure accident trying to find the exit we stumbled across the edible garden where they grow many things that smell delicious.

We only managed to do the first floor as it does get a bit overwhelming and we were getting hungry – no one can concentrate when their bellies are rumbling, but I want to go back to explore more.

I managed to catch the Tattoo exhibition on a different visit and I highly recommend it. I don’t even have any tats myself but still found the exhibition fascinating.

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Overall, I think it was a successful trip and even just walking through Exposition Park I know there’s plenty more for us to explore.

Let’s do this!

I’m sure this has happened to a few people, you take photos of day to day experiences, get hooked on the idea of catching a glimpse of life and being able to treasure it forever and before you know it people are asking you to take pictures for them too.

It’s such a privilege to have people let you take their picture and I absolutely love the look on their faces when I’ve captured something that they like. So one day, after many talks with friends and family, a little lightbulb started flashing in my head whilst Summer sleeps literally on top of me. I decided now was the time to launch Studio: Sunny Side up!
This will be a little project where I will be mainly using natural light to take photos of families and couple and even their pets if they do so let me.
And with anything, practice means perfect and I mean I have the perfect little model with me 24 hours, might as well take advantage of her cheeky face!
So these are the pics from our first shoot we did. I had this idea in my head where Summer would wear her Halloween dragon cape and be running through a big grassy field full of autumn colors, lots of wide shots and big trees everywhere. Perfect! And I knew just the spot nearby at Kenneth Hahn. So the weekend came and we head there and little did we know they didn’t take card and needed cash. So out of the car park we went and to Target to buy something so we can get cash back, but no. We had to use our credit card due to another long story which also means no cash back. So no Kenneth Hahn for us today. Next was a long drive around Rancho Park, surely there’s somewhere in there that we can get out and not get hit by a golf ball?? If there is then please can you tell me where!

So we tried going up in the high tops of Franklin Canyon Park just up from Beverly Hills. Now this place is beautiful and so quiet and for a few minutes I thought I had bumped into Scarlett Johansson (but after some “proper”checking Mark assured me it wasn’t her) it just didn’t have the flat and scenic overlook I had in my head. So off we went again.

and then it hit me, let’s just stay local and go to a place I’ve been to many a times, the wonderful wooden walkway of Baldwin Hills in Culver City. If you’re ever in the area I highly recommend visiting for a little walk and take in some fresh air and scenic views. It’s located above Bill Botts playground and goes up to the baseball fields Which is where we took the photos.

with all these changes of places we actually ended up getting here at the perfect sun setting time, we got the autumnal feels and Summer loved running around being a dragon while I got to play around with all the settings on the camera.

Let me know what you think!