Beautiful little Drew, what more can I say?
She is absolutely gorgeous like her mum and dad 💛
So basically, Oliver is the cutest little peanut on earth, packed with as much personality and joy I’ve ever seen in a tiny human. The smiles just never stop, he was a pure delight to photograph. And if you can believe it, we shot all of these images and more within 15 minutes.
Did you miss the Newborn shoot window? Then Simply Baby is the session for you.
These are sweet little mini sessions that focus on your little one in this blink of a moment that is gone before you know it. When they are at that perfect stage of sitting up all by themselves and being delighted with their buddah bellies and scrumptious thighs! Before the kiss curls have been cut and they have discovered that running everywhere is much more fun than sitting still and being charming!
We focus on baby for around 20 minutes then take a couple of photos with mum and dad (if you want!) to end the session.
Simply Baby Sessions cost £275 and this includes all of your high resolution images to print as you please. We also have a bunch of cute knits, rompers and leggings in the studio so that you can get timeless signature RinkaDink images like these of Oliver :)
Email today to book your session - we are now booking into May/June!
A baby will make love stronger,
days shorter, nights longer,
clothes shabbier, the past forgotten,
and the future worth living for.
Because of the way your body has made room for this miracle.
Because it’ll be gone in a blink and replaced with a couple of random memories like ‘I craved seaweed and cockles’, or ‘I felt sick for three months straight’, or ‘I don’t miss peeing ten times a night’.
Because this is your special story that you get to share with your baby some day.
Because you’ll forget about how excited you were.
Because no-one else in the world has this bond with your baby but you.
Because after she is born, you are a brand new person. A mother. Her mother.
Book your maternity shoot. Because this is a blink of time that will become one of your babies favourite stories to hear.
“When I got the pictures it brought a tear to my eye. I was so pleased the way Rinkadink had captured my bump, I kept looking at them and look forward to showing them to Charlotte so she knows how her mummy looked when pregnant.”
“I would never have booked this session without encouragement – I was so hung up on what the photos would look like that I never stopped to think about how they might feel. And now I have them, I know I’ll treasure them – and so will our family, as a cherished reminder of what is undoubtedly the most exciting, emotional, exhausting, incredible time of my life. I just wish I’d done it every time.”
“When I look at those photos I don’t see what I’m wearing or how my hair looks or even whether the light is making me seem smaller. I see two things.
I see my body, and my big bump, that has carried and nourished and protected our unborn child all these months – and that is a beautiful, amazing thing that I feel so very lucky to have experienced three times now.
And I see joy. Joy that shines out of my face when I take away everything else – all the daily ‘stuff’ that makes a third pregnancy harder than any one before – and just focus on this amazing thing that is happening right now. Joy in taking a moment to think about the little person inside, and who he or she is going to be, and how much we already love him or her before we’ve even seen that precious baby face.”
NEW YEAR NEW MEEEEEEE!!
I’ve come to a decision, and it will affect every aspect of my life, most especially at RinkaDink.
From now on I will wear Yoga Pants and Leisure Wear to work, and I am not willing to compromise. For those of you shaking your head and tutting at my unprofessionalism I ask you - have you ever had to chase a toddler wearing a leather skirt that spends every moment on your body trying to escape your ass and hang out with your waist? Have you ever sweated every ounce of liquid out of your body in the NewbCube because you decided that 120 denier tights would look good with your new dress? Indeed, have you ever tried to squat for hours at a time in jeans that don’t have enough elastic to accommodate your ‘carrying a bit of holiday weight’ frame?
I THINK NOT.
Yoga Pants are my new identity. I’m the Zuckerberg of Leisure Wear.
Don’t call them leggings. They aren’t leggings. They are seamless Yoga Pant Leisure Wear from H&M and the moment I put them on my legs my life was changed forever. I’m not linking them because you will all buy them and they will be sold out, and I probably need more. I’ve already spent my entire Christmas gift cards on them, and I now have five pairs.
I’m not sorry, don’t try and shame me.
Look at them. Look at me. Look at that precious ‘I’m finally living my best life’ face. Look at how happy and free I am in these bottoms. In any other Yoga Pant, it looks like I'm smuggling those £1 bags of flumps you get at the garage in the place where my knees should be. In my £19.99 H&M Supreme Seamless Yoga Pant I am a gazelle. I have a knee. I have two knees. I am QUITE SURE my cankles are minimised. They contain my entire ass even in a full squat position. Check the photos if you don’t believe me. I can do yoga poses with a camera and a phone in my hand, because of my YPLW (Yoga Pant Leisure Wear).
I’ve spent some time today between shoots capturing my joy around the studio as I do my everyday tasks in my YPLW. 2019. This is my year.
Enjoy these special images.
P.S This morning I spent 35 minutes on the train watching, with fascination, a lady applying foundation to the bare shoulder of her one-shoulder top. Come on. Life’s too short, man. If it takes you that long to perfect one shoulder just wear a poncho and call it a day. Also, it’s minus 50 today, where are you going with that heavily foundationed shoulder? This just ain’t it sis. Come over to the YPLW way of life. You’ll never need a contour kit for a single shoulder ever again.
RinkaDink runs a Saturday picture club on instagram called #radsnaps. We change the handle according to the year so it has just changed to #radsnaps19. For all you new followers or anyone who's been thinking about joining in, here's what it's all about:
• Take one photo every Saturday and post it to Instagram. Whatever you want, whatever you are doing. As mundane as it is, do it. Because over the course of the year all those Saturday snaps suddenly become one big story and as a whole, they are an amazing collection of memories and moments.
• Use the hashtag #radsnaps19
• Additionally, if you want to have your own radsnaps album (which of course you'll want to) use a second hashtag with your name (or just your own word) at the end. For example mine is #radsnaps19janine
That's it! Easy peasy! So, why would you do this?
• A little prompt once a week to photograph a moment in your life. It takes a couple of minutes and while it seems like nothing at the time, at the end of the year you will have collected a lot of wonderful moments.
• Many of our #radsnapsgang reckon they wouldn't have half those moments captured if it weren't for the Saturday prompt. It's like having a gym buddy, but for photos :)
• Community. #radsnapsgang are some of the best people we know. We root for each other, cheer each other on and generally all have a little bit of banter.
• Radsnappers get extra special discounts and treats throughout the year. Well, we gotta look after our wee tribe the same way they look out for us.
So, that's it in a nutshell! Want to try it? Just take a picture today and use the hashtag. It's that easy! You will be so glad you did weeks from now when you have a bunch of photos and some new insta chums :)
Happy Saturday, gang!
My Bump Shoot (from the one with the bump).
Full disclosure – despite this being my studio and Janine being my bestie and business partner - I was proper nervous and feeling mega self conscious before my shoot. I’m not sure if it was;
Just normal nerves about having my pic taken (no one is ever cool about this right?)
Let’s be real – having your pics taken when you’re feeling swollen and a sore and not really feeling like you have any control of your own body is just plain weird!
Maybe because I was completely knackered on account of the shitfest that is restless leg syndrome and had barely slept a wink the night before (TIPS WELCOME!).
OR because of the good old heckling I took before my session from lovely Alan, our building handyman!
Probs a good old combination of all of the above lol.
J and I had three shoots before mine so I was pretty much a sweaty mess by the time we were ready for my shoot. (Note to self 90 mins in the newbcube + two hours of toddlers chasing is probs not the ‘best’ shoot prep!) Anyways it helped take my mind off everything and despite feeling all sweaty and super awkward and a bit sore and swollen - this shoot was so much FUN and just plain good CRAIC! Seriously I had to take like 3 pee breaks because we laughed so hard!
Bottom line – despite how much I had built it up in my head - it just wasn’t that big of a deal! It was 35 mins long (inc the pee breaks), Janine and I quickly went through my outfits choices before we started the shoot and we finished it off with a cuppa and a kit kat. We pretty much roared our way through the whole shoot – stopping only for two reasons a) to properly laugh our asses off when Janine gave me hysterical direction (I am not the easiest person to pose – imagine hunched shoulders and too much eyeball) or b) to say “omg I can’t believe we are actually doing this bump shoot” (it’s still a bit surreal to both of us that I’m actually having a baby!).
Having a bump shoot is personal to each momma-to-be but here are some of the reasons doing this was important to me:
Documenting every part of this little babies story. Being in photos with this little human is SOOO important to me. I don’t have that many pictures of me with my parents and it breaks my heart because they aren’t here anymore so there is squat all that I can do about it. BUT I can and will learn from a sad chapter and use it to make this next chapter a very happy and well-documented one. I want this baby to be able to see themselves in my belly! I want to show them the book that will live in our front room that shows their bump and newborn shoot. Imagining myself showing this story to our baby is something I am weirdly excited about.
Let’s celebrate the wins! Pregnancy (for me personally) has not been a magical time! Despite being super lucky and having had a really great pregnancy so far - I just don’t enjoy being out of breath all the time, or having to sleep on my side, or the weird pains or the evil asshole that is restless leg syndrome! BUT all the crappy stuff to one side – it’s a real life miracle! Growing a human with your body is insane and something I struggle to even wrap my brain around every single day. Feeling this little one kick and squirm and hiccup and stomp all over my organs is something I’m incredibly grateful for. (OK so I’m not always grateful for the bladder stomps). We are all guilty of not celebrating the good stuff in our own story! It’s so easy to focus on the bad things, or the next things and not take time to appreciate the good things right now. So for me, the bump shoot was a way of doing just that. Stopping for a moment to appreciate the fact that I’m lucky enough to experience growing this wee human for 33 weeks now! And a way of recording what’s happening right now - knowing that in 7 short weeks things are going to change forever! It really doesn’t matter how I feel today or how self-conscious I might be of having my photo taken. That’s not what I’m going to remember in 1 or 5 or 10 years from now. I already LOVE these photos and I know I’m only going to love them more as the years pass.
Momma’s business! This one is going to be personal to just me but I’m INCREDIBLY proud of what Janine and I have built at RinkaDink. We’ve worked so hard over the last five years to create something unique and completely different to anything else out there! We’ve worked our asses off to curate each shoot at RAD to make it something we ADORE – so OF COURSE I wanted to experience the RinkaDink magic for myself! And I can honestly say it was as amazing as I hoped it would be.
As well as giving me the hysterical direction, Janine put me completely at ease – reassuring me the whole shoot and helping me to ‘get out of my head’ about the whole thing (trust me - this is not an easy task)! I’m beside myself about the newborn shoot and I am so crazy grateful that I have such an amazeballs friend and business partner to do this for me!!
People say to me “Why are you so angry at Instagram, Janine? What did the peonies, woolly clothing, personalised mugs and letterboard messages ever do to you?”.
Well, let me just say I’m not angry at Instagram all the time. Just around 90% of the time. To reduce my Instagram Anger Issues, I unfollowed everyone apart from meme accounts and the people who are raising my adorable nieces and nephews. But sometimes when I’m putting a post on the business account, I’ll have an ‘oul scroll through InstaLand and my head goes like that exploding emoji, and I say things like “Who the actual hell has time to put all of those letters on a letterboard for an Instagram post?”, or “Who the actual hell has a husband who will take photos of them looking serenely out the window/the sea/a forest path/a hipster coffee shop?”, and “Who the actual hell has enough time and money to buy ‘twinning’ outfits for their kids?”. I barely have the time or money to do seasonal wardrobe swaps for my kids - I’m almost always playing catch-up with their growth spurts. Have you any idea how difficult it is keeping up with three different sizes and speeds of growth spurt? I’d need a spreadsheet or something, and that wouldn’t work either as I can’t read spreadsheets.
I was just about caught up on growth spurts last month when each kid came to me with a request. Kid One wanted an Eleven Degrees hoodie (I had to google it), Kid Two wanted the latest Jake Paul merch, and Kid Three said he would be needing a new winter coat for the neighbour’s dog chewed the arm off his last one (of course it did). So I get on the internet and get all the requests ordered. No sooner do the packages arrive and all I hear is complaints from Team Turd:
“Mum this T-shirt is down past my knees! It looks like a dress! I can’t tuck it in - you can see it now through my tracksuit bottoms. But if you cut a bit off the bottom, the logo will be gone! Never mind, I’ll wear it as a pyjama top.”
“Er, Mum what size did you order my hoodie in? Well, I’m not likely to grow THAT much in the next 6 months. Never mind, I’ll wear it when I’m 26.”
“Mum my arms don’t reach the end of my coat sleeves! Never mind…”
Such blatant ungratefulness! All I want is to get more than 3 months wear out of an item of clothing - is that too much to ask? So no, there are no cute woollen outfits here, no twinning and no seasonal colour palettes. There are hand-me-downs and you’ll-grow-into-it, and I’m not even angry about it.
• The mass murder of Elf on The Shelf. What was a lovely family run business in America, a sweet (if not incredibly creepy) idea with a cute doll and book and genius bribery tactic for the entire of December has been absolutely butchered by mass production. I was in The Range the other day and watched two kids hand pick their own elves from this offensive display of fake Elf on the Shelf dolls. I yelled “You stupid, stupid little people. Don’t you know that you shouldn’t touch the elves? They are dead now. You’ve murdered them with your child hands. Santa will find out, and you will get bugger all squared for Christmas you terrible, terrible murderous elf-touching turds.” I remembered to yell it inside my head, thankfully.
• Disorganised teens. I just sent this note into school, and I’m not even angry about it.
• Other people having their shit together. My shit is very much apart. My hair is too long, and I can’t find time to get it cut, so I look like I’m about to found or join a cult. My skin needs some serious attention. That’s never happening. My to-do list just keeps on keeping on, and nothing ever gets ticked off. When I was folding the washing yesterday, I noticed that there were no clean knickers in Will’s pile which begged the question “Did he not wear pants at all last week or has he hidden the dirty pants somewhere to avoid the three steps to the wash basket?”. Neither answer is good news. I absolutely know I have to exercise someday soon - either that or unfollow The Body Coach and pretend that burpees are no longer a thing people do. Out of sight, out of mind. I should probably read more and write more and digest Intelligent Opinion Pieces instead of watching videos about dogs on The Dodo. I’m not learning every day. I’m not getting fitter every day. I’m not becoming better every day.
I’ll put it all on the to-do list. I’m definitely not even angry about it.
To end this post, here’s some of my finest work on Instagram. Winning at that Lifestyle Influencer Status with posts like these!
Had to give a shout-out to two of our absolutely favourite girl bosses - Ruth and Barbara-Anne of Ohh & Ahh. Not only are their cookies out of this world amazeballs (Walker boy approved x 1000), they are nailing The Juggle so hard. Team Cookie (Ruth’s little Izzy and Barbara-Anne’s Freddy, Charly and Lexy) are the cutest team on the planet but all of us working mums know that The Juggle is real. So we love love love that they chose to feature Team Cookie in their new marketing material.
You can’t fail to smile when you are around this pair, their positive energy is inspiring and they just have the best time together! Sorry I chose all of the pictures of them manically laughing (there’s normal ones too I promise!) but to be honest all my favourite pictures of Team RinkaDink are of us manically laughing so I’m a little biased.
Get on over to Ohh & Ahh and treat someone (or yourself preferably) to a cookie right now!
Here is little Darcey, showing how perfect our Winter PopUp set is for toddlers. Darcey was one in September, has just started walking and is really curious and independent and SPEEDY! Toddlers tend to hate being held by their parents, they want to explore our huge studio in the fastest way possible, so we focus on giving them props that will entertain them for a small period of time. You know, before they move on to the next thing!
So, if you have a kid who does not like to sit still then Winter PopUp is for you. Our studio is huge and there’s plenty of things for them to explore and touch and look at. We can photograph from any angle so we don’t need them to sit still in one particular spot.
Gonna be honest - we just want to make your life a bit easier 😝
Hey kids! You know at RinkaDink you don’t have to sit still for your family photos 😝 Actually, we prefer it if you don’t! The Winter PopUp set is utter perfection for this year’s family photo session - and, you know photos make great gifts - not that I can think of any upcoming gifting opportunity in say NINE ACTUAL WEEKS 🤔
There’s room to run, glorious natural light from every angle, it’s warm and dry (your blow dry is safe in our studio) and we also designed a fun and gorgeous Creative Studio set to make your family photos stand out from the rest. Did we mention you get tea and biscuits?
C’mon what’s not to love?!
RAD Winter PopUp goes on sale this Friday.
Slots available on selected days between Sat 10th - 17th November.
Sessions will be £250 and as always, this includes all of your digital images (RAD doesn’t do complicated pricing).
Winter Pop Up is our fastest selling session of the year - if you don’t want to miss out, just click here to add yourself to our VIP mailing list and we’ll drop you an email right to your inbox as soon as the slots are on sale ⚡️
This year when testing out our PopUp set we specifically chose a range of models to show you guys what each stage would look like when photographed in the set. So little Olive here is our ‘nearly there’ model. She’s almost sitting up by herself - she can do so for short periods. She can do a little tummy time, a little propped up standing. She’s 7 months old so we used her parents a lot in the shots and as you can see this made her very happy indeed (and us because they are all adorable!).
So, if you have a ‘nearly there’ baby, this is the kind of vibe your Rad Winter PopUp shoot will have. Lots of family snuggles in our one-of-a-kind dreamy studio natural light, gorgeous season neutral props and not to mention that it’s warm and dry and we give you hot drinks and snacks and your hair and makeup stays intact 😍
What’s not to love?!
RAD Winter PopUp goes on sale this Friday.
Slots available on selected days between Sat 10th - 17th November.
Sessions will be £250 and as always, this includes all of your digital images (RAD doesn’t do complicated pricing).
Winter Pop Up is our fastest selling session of the year - if you don’t want to miss out, just click here to add yourself to our VIP mailing list and we’ll drop you an email right to your inbox as soon as the slots are on sale ⚡️
Another of our Rad little families has grown! Sweet Jack joined big sister Sophie and big brother Billy in the studio for a third go in the NewbCube. I’m actually pretty sure they might be the first RinkaDink clients to have had three separate newborn shoots in the NewbCube? As I think Billy was one of the first babies in there :)
Anyways, all three of them are gorgeous, so very photogenic and so much fun to work with. A beautiful wee family.
This photo perfectly sums up how prepared I feel for mommahood. The beautiful pom poms are like the baby knowledge bombs I do not yet possess, flying toward my smiling, yet terrified face :) I mean WTF is an isofix base, why do we need one (or even two)?!
Nothing illustrates our lack of awareness better than the first attempt at baby product shopping. A couple of weeks ago Dean and I decided we’d better start looking at what we need and thought we’d start with the biggie - the buggy. We’d booked to go to the cinema at 8pm and thinking this would be a straightforward research assignment, we headed to MotherCare in Bangor half an hour before our movie started. HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!! Oh what naive dumbass fools we are! Let’s just say we arrived to the cinema 15 mins late for our movie and were so overwhelmed at the stupid amount of decisions we didn’t talk about the ‘buggy incident’ for about a week! Seriously - who knew buggy wheels required their own conversation - clearly I did not lol! Side note - my first car was a beautiful, navy blue, Ford Fiesta (affectionally called Vogel). Vogel cost £800 and I’m still getting my head around the fact that a ‘travel system’ costs more than this. Man alive I loved that car!
So in the hope of avoiding this sort of experience for every item or worse, blindly searching the internet for random recommendations and reviews, I thought I would ask you lovely amazing mommas out there for some advice! Tell me what are your MUST HAVES - what were the things you could not have lived without in those early days? Or what are the things that everyone tells you to get that you found no use for? Seriously send me all of your mom hacks - I need them! At this point I think we’ve finally figured out the buggy conundrum and we also have our baby cot but that’s about it. So tell me what baby monitors do you guys use? What slings / harnesses? What sterilisers? What pumps / bottles / nursing accessories? Baby bouncers? Any awesome online resources or apps I need to know about? Did you use a baby nest? What brands or stores did you love?
As a pre-emptive thank you for your collective wisdom I will share a few of my random preggo thoughts / experiences with you :)
Peeing is now a much bigger part of my life than I ever imagined it could be
I know it’s a pretty common pregnancy symptom but it continues to shock me on the daily just how much time I now spend in the bathroom. If I come to visit you I will probably ask to use your loo before I say hello. This is just my life right now :)
My baby is addicted to junk food
For REALS! For the first 8 weeks all I could eat were crisp sandwiches and coke! I ate like I had a permanent hangover! And I NEVER drink Coke in real life! Seriously I make my sister bring her own to our house at Christmas because we just don’t do fizzy drinks. Well I didn’t 🙈🙈🙈. Now my body craves it like a zombie craves brain! Also my pre-preggo treat of choice was some delicious dark chocolate, not anymore, now I need super creamy chocolate like Galaxy and preferably the stuff that’s filled with caramel. And ideally several times per day by the kilo. I keep thinking I’ll sicken myself of it but NOPE! My capacity for Galaxy eating is to be both admired and feared.
I MISS WINE AND CHEESE AND PILATES CLASS
There I said it! I wish I was one of those ethereal preggo types who just seems to glide through pregnancy loving on every single bit of this other-worldly experience but I am not. I am SOOOOOO happy to be pregnant and I feel grateful to my BONES that I’ve had such a fab pregnancy so far BUT I still miss stuff! In particular I miss gooey cheese, red wine and my reformer pilates class. Side note - I am throwing myself a wine and cheese party once this baby is out - you are all invited! (Then I’ll get back to Reform to counteract my 3 month post baby cheese / wine binge). Oh 2019 I am so excited to see you!!!!
Pregnancy pillows look creepy AF but they are the greatest invention EVER!
Dean bought me this GIANT preggo pillow thing because I hadn’t been sleeping super well. I’ll be honest - it looked pretty god dam terrifying (especially when it’s under your quilt - it looks like three armed robbers might be hiding under there) but it has changed my life! I may never give it up. Dean will have to learn to live with the third person in our bed. Pregnant or not I think everyone should get one. Trust me.
I am SOO excited to be a RAD client!
Seriously I cannot WAIT to experience the other side of RAD!!! This might sound like a marketing blag but from the moment I found out I was pregnant I have been beside myself that I’m going to get to have my own bump shoot and newborn shoot! Most of you know that both of my parents have passed away so family photos hold a very significant value for me - I really drink the kool-aide that we sell here lol! Being in the photos with this baby are very important to me. I want this little one to see themselves growing in my belly and to have the book that shows how very little they were in Dad’s arms. Who knows we might even see Dean crack his first recorded smile lol! (I know, I know, I’m aiming too high aren’t I?)
Anyways that’s enough preggo rambling for now :) Thanks in advance for your hacks and wisdom!
Today I am celebrating a whole month back at work! This day last month I wrote my ‘Hi’ blog post, then I began shooting again, creating video content, writing and getting used to the terrific four-hour return commute to the studio (sorry for the sarcasm but it does irk me that I still have no licence. Thankfully I only do two days a week in the studio now and work from home the other days - cuts down the stress).
Yesterday I was back in the NewbCube and - oh my! - I forgot how much I ADORE photographing newborns. And snuggling them. And singing to them. And telling them who I am when they open their tiny eyes and look confused for a second because I am definitely not their mum or anyone else they’ve met in their 8 days on the outside! Anyways, I thought I’d celebrate a whole month back with a blog post about some of my fav and not-so-fav things this month.
• A Star is Born
Here’s the cliff notes: I cried all the water out of my body at the afternoon showing and had to go to bed early because I was emotionally depleted and my heart was sad and tired. The next day an ad for the movie came on TV and a great big sobby gulp flew out of my mouth and I relived the entire traumatic experience. Later that day I was listening to the soundtrack on the train and tears streamed out of my eyeballs again as I thought about how much I loved those characters and how my life will probably never be the same again. If you haven’t seen it prepare to bawl. I mean, worse than Marley and Me bawling. I’m not sure I could ever put myself through watching it again but I will for sure listen to that amazing soundtrack on repeat for the rest of the year at least.
And that’s all I have to say about that. Forrest Gump
• My Mum and Dad
Mum and Dad were over from America for two weeks and they just left yesterday. I told Lindsay they literally ‘parented the shit out of me’ (sorry for the swear mum). It was awesome. It was like being the favourite spoilt child and the most treasured person alive. Will said it was like getting ‘a whole new house built’. Dad spent his entire holiday fixing things in our house that have been broken for around a decade. Remember the time the boys smashed the garage window with a football? He replaced that glass and saved me being paranoid all winter that a family of bats are going to move in and ruin my life. I was convinced this had happened last month when I saw a bat hanging out at the side of my garden. But after much hysterics and Charlie inspecting it and telling me it had ‘big dead eyeballs’ my Father-In-Law confirmed it was just a bit of fluff. But still. The threat of bats is always there.
My dripping downstairs toilet - fixed. The hole in Jack’s bedroom wall from his tantrum phase? Fixed. He painted my bathroom and took away the broken towel rail that has upset me to look at every day for 9 years. He fixed our wonky kitchen tap and also advised that the reason our hot tap scalded us to death was that the boiler temp was set 25 degrees too high. He fixed my bathroom light that has been permanently turned on for two years because the string broke. He fixed Charlie’s broken coat peg. He was drilling things in his jammies at 7am before he had even had his bucket of coffee.
Mum knit with me and very much agreed with all of my parenting decisions, especially when I was roaring around the house like a banshee at 7am trying to rile some life into the three dead bodies who simply cannot be persuaded to get up in the mornings. We had some lovely days out, nights in, brilliant craic and even watched a movie together and she stayed awake the entire time (sisters - this is unheard of!!).
So yes, the folks are on the favs list and I am going to work on a plan to get them to retire back home so I can have them all to myself and be the spoilt favourite forever and ever.
• Bake Off
On Tuesdays I work in the studio so my fav thing on a Tuesday night is snuggling with Will and watching Bake Off with a glass of wine. Charlie comes in halfway through because he knows there’s always buns on Bake Off night but the photo below proves that he is only in it for the free buns and is not invested in the baking at all. Will loves Briony because he says, she is missing four fingers on her hand, but she is still as good as everyone else, so that makes her awesome. He also loves John and his Hawaiian shirts. I loved Terry (and had an epic blub at his goodbye speech), and I’m rooting for Rahul now. By the way, I watch it on my laptop because Andy is out on Tuesdays and our TV is a buttcrack, and I don’t know how to work it so this saves me a dramatic strop, which is inevitable when I am tired and can’t figure out the technology.
• Shane Dawson
People, people. I STAN* me some Shane Dawson. When I was sick, I couldn’t watch TV or read or knit because my brain couldn’t process things correctly. So I would hang out with the kids and watch their YouTube things with them. What I learnt about what they watch would put hairs on your chest. Does Jake Paul sound familiar? Will and Charlie are the biggest Jake Paul fans ever. They talk about him all the time, and I only ever half listen. He’s just some dumb kid doing stunts on YouTube, right? I buy them the merch, we streamed the Logan Paul/KSI fight in the summer. Will said to me the other day that his greatest dream in life is to meet Jake Paul and shoot his merch gun with him (but on the medium setting so no-one gets hurt). Well, if your kid likes the Paul brothers, I highly recommend you check out Shane Dawson’s latest 8-part documentary about Jake on Youtube. I think we are five episodes in. EYE OPENING.
I allow myself 15-20 minutes of Twitter every morning. It’s where I find out all of my celebrity news. I don’t really watch much telly, but I find out all the celeb drama from Twitter. Like this pair from Strictly who have been hit by the ’Strictly Curse’ and were pictured snogging each other and now have made it all awkward for everyone else. Or when Roxanne Pallet showed the world what a maniac she is. Or when Chris Evans as much as told everyone he dies in Avengers 4.
I like Twitter so much better than Instagram. I’ve been off it for 10 months and I recently logged in for work. Insta has evolved into endless pictures of people in fields at sunset, or clean white houses with clean kids dressed in woollen things. These pictures are accompanied by long speeches about how clearly they see the world and how the world needs to change and how everyone just needs to be nice to each other and float round fields just like them. Oh Please. We all know your house is piggin’ and you have to pay your kid a fiver to wear the woollen thing and you bitch about all the people who copy your field photo ideas so don’t even. Just enjoy the filth and the horrible shiny fabric clothing your kids prefer to wear and give your head a holiday.
*It was on Twitter that I learnt that being a Stan was being someone’s biggest fan - in the immortal words of the Eminem tune ‘Stan’.
Parents everywhere give me a HELL YEA. I’m coming up with a secret plan to find out where the makers of Fortnite live and then I am going to go to their homes and DEMAND a one-off payment of One Million Pounds for pain and suffering caused to myself and other family members due to the 13-year-old’s addiction to their dumb game. It is his entire world, he cannot survive without it, he actually went through a phase of not buying lunch so he could use his money to buy Xbox cards to buy more Fortnite stuff because I banned the use of my bank card. Then he realised he is 13 and has hollow legs and needs 40,000 calories a day to survive, so he thankfully went back to lunches. He spent all of his birthday money on V Bucks to buy ’skins’ for his character which essentially means he purchased clothing for a cartoon. It is madness.
People, think before you write these big speeches. Just think about it. That’s all I’m saying. You don’t need to share every thought that comes into your head. (Says the girl blogging about Roxanne Pallett and Jake Paul).
• People selling me Christmas before it’s Halloween
STOP IT. I don’t care if it is 12 weeks away. It’s too early. Let us enjoy Halloween, then peddle your Christmas tat at us.
And that about wraps it up. Thanks for reading my celebration post! I’m working on a cute video that I hope to get up tomorrow, and I’ve plenty of smooshy little faces to edit and post, so it’s going to be a fabulous week. Let me know if you’ve seen A Star is Born or the Shane Dawson series, if you have a Fortnite problem in your house or indeed who your favourite Bake Off contestant is!
Well hi, stranger. I bet you are surprised to see me around here again. It’s been a while, huh?
So, Lindsay sent me a whole bunch of screenshots from responses to a post she put up on my birthday (thank you Lindsay!), and it really made my day. I thought I’d just write a wee post to let you know how things are going over here and catch you up on what’s been going on since I went into hibernation at the beginning of the year :)
• Why am I hibernating? Ok so very long story short - I’ve had epilepsy since I was in my 20’s. It was in remission for around 10 years, and then life proceeded to give us a number of uncalled for, unexpected and quite painful ‘kicks in the shin’. The stress of being repeatedly ‘kicked in the shin’ on a daily basis, I guess, caused me to have a tonic-clonic seizure when driving to work one fine Friday morning. I wrapped my beloved Rav 4 around a lamppost on the Short Strand, and I haven’t driven since. Started new drugs, began a ketogenic diet, managed to get things under control again and then BAM - when holidaying in Las Vegas with my mum and sisters I found myself hiding under a seat in an auditorium in the Mandalay Bay whilst the worst mass shooting in American history took place just outside the unlocked exit doors. Shortly after I returned home from Vegas, the culmination of little to no sleep and recurring nightmares ended up in a day of me having tonic-clonic seizures over and over and over again until I was rushed to the hospital and put under. That took a great big toll on the old noggin’.
Again, a revision in drugs happened, I ploughed back into life as usual because a) I love my life and b) I cannot abide feeling unproductive. I took on Winter PopUp with great zeal and enthusiasm, and once it was over my brain said ‘OK that’s enough now’, and I crashed and burned in a series of seizures large and small the entire of December and into January/February.
So, my anti-seizure medication dose is now ten times what it started at, and I am at the limit as to what I can legally be prescribed. To say my brain was a soggy cabbage for many months is a gross understatement. I’ve been out of it - dozy, dopey, ditzy, sleepy - pretty much all of the negative Seven Dwarf characteristics you can name.
I’ve been hibernating. Taking care not to let those shin kicks affect me. Taking care to be kind to myself when I feel unproductive - there’s always something you can do to make the world a bit better, even if it isn’t with the speed or skill you usually maintain.
It’s been a strange 8 months. AEDs really mess with your brain, as do seizures. I’ve known how to knit since I was seven years old. For five months of this year, I totally forgot how to knit. I would hold the needles and just not be able to do it. Knitting patterns may as well have been Year 8 fractions - I had zero clue how to read them. There are so many freaky brain stories I could tell you but I’m bored of typing about this now, and I’m sure you are tired of reading it.
What’s next? Well, my Neuro is very keen for me to go slow and steady and not make the mistake I made in November. I’m also eager not to make that mistake again. But I can give you this - two weeks ago I remembered how to knit. I also read an entire book. These seem so small, but these are steps towards productivity. And there’s this - me writing a blog post! For so many months there were no words in my head!
So you never know; hopefully, this is me back chatting to you all like I used to. Fingers crossed.
• Family and friend support. I can’t write a ‘hi’ blog post without giving a giant virtual hug to my best bitches. To everyone who kept in touch with texts and WhatsApps since I disappeared from Facebook and Instagram. To those who come to visit me at home, bring me out for coffees and gossip (I always say it’s like taking your granny out for the day!), take me to see movies and just check in regularly. That is everything. This hibernation/no driving life is lonely, and I have appreciated all of you. To my Mother-In-Law drug mule who brings me my boxes and boxes of AEDs - thank you. To my Mama Bear cousin Bev (because every Mama Bear needs their own Mama Bear to fight their corner) - thank you. And to Lindsay who has patiently and awesomely run RinkaDink, visited me, forwarded me on all the lovely things you send or say via RinkaDink and just generally kept me upbeat and hopeful when it seems like all is lost - THANK YOU.
• Memes. Lindsay has a disgraceful sense of humour just like me, I guess those of us who have been kicked in the shins just the right amount learn to appreciate the audacity of life. People send me lovely texts and emails and stories to make me laugh. Lindsay sends me memes. They ALWAYS make me laugh, and I appreciate the hell out of them. No matter how sick your brain is, a meme is always the answer.
• The Turds. I can’t do a catchup blog post without mentioning the Three Turds. They have all grown an insane amount this year. Here’s their first day of school photo comparison from last year. Isn’t it crazy?! What’s also crazy is the sheer volume of cereal and toast ‘padding’ involved in their growth spurts. I call it padding because these are the snacks in between the meals. I go through a box of cereal and a loaf every day! In padding! My mum and dad are coming home in a few weeks, and I think I’m most excited for them to see the eating show. I grew up in a house of girls, so I’m not used to it - honestly, the amount they eat and how hungry they are all the time just blows my mind. When I was a teenager, I was getting up at 6am to do Cindy Crawford step aerobics before school and trying to live off a slice of peanut butter toast and a Club Orange every day because I wanted to look like Baby from Dirty Dancing. Never have I seen humans eat with such hunger and wild abandon and then be hungry again 10 minutes later. Fascinating. Sometimes I feel like David Attenborough watching some chimps through a crack in the dense green jungle.
• Holidays. We went on the best fun family holiday ever in August. I’ll post a few pics. Aside from the Spanish heatwave that almost broke me - and you know how dedicated I am to sunbathing - we had a ball. We went to Salou and made a ton of friends, enjoyed beach days, went to PortAventura Theme Park, Barcelona, Ferrari Land, Camp Nou and even managed a family ride on a banana boat when Will talked the lady into letting him on even though he was two years too young. Amazing memories made :)
For the eagle eyed among you - yes Will did the Camp Nou tour in his beloved Real Madrid hat and gave zero shits about the numerous dirty looks he received! Jack and Charlie were convinced someone was going to bundle him off in a white van because he was such a disgrace to football.
• Sonny died. My wee Sonny Jimbo passed away in June. I know this will shock many of you who have followed me for a long time and know that my dogs were basically my replacement babies and a huge part of my life. I was home alone with him, it was unexpected, and he died in my arms of heart failure. I knew what it was because he had been to the vet for something similar a few months before. Thankfully the kids were at school. I held him and talked to him and told him I loved him over and over until he went. It still shocks and devastates me that he is gone. He was my crazy pickle for 12 years, and he had been Buddy’s eyes and ears for the past few years as the old boy is basically blind and deaf now. You just never think that someday you’ll have a life that they aren’t a part of. He was loved hard, and he loved even harder in return. I’ll miss him forever.
So I think that’s you caught up for the moment. Now that I’m feeling less cabbage-brained I hope I’ll be fit to write more blog posts, about anything and everything. If you have anything you’d like me to write a blog post about just ask in the comment section :) It can be about whatever you want. I’m all ears!
Thanks again for all of the support you give to myself and Lindsay, we are so fond of our Rad little Gang and appreciate all that you do for us. xx
Rosie, Oisin and Evie first came to see us back in March when they weren't even 6 months :) Now they are coming up on 10 months and have mastered a whole raft of new tricks including sitting up, crawling in perfect circles and all manner of smiles and giggles! We couldn't wait to see them again for their sweet Simply Baby session :) I'm not quite sure how they are doing it but they are getting cuter and even more charming every time they come back to RinkaDink 😍
Our annual RAD Summer Pop-Up is on it's way! We are talking kid focussed fun in the most gorgeous of summery colour palettes. If you are relatively new to RinkaDink and wondering 'WHAT ON EARTH IS SUMMER POP-UP?!' here's the short and sweet of it:
• Our signature Creative Studio Sessions ran as mini sessions over the course of a week
• We run these special events only twice per year with very limited spots
• This PopUp is running on selected days between Saturday 23rd June - Saturday 30th June
• The set is gorgeously designed with fun props, summer colours and style guidance will be provided
• As always with RinkaDink, the focus is on FUN, not performance
• Super affordable - the £250 session price includes all of your high resolution files, ready to be printed, via digital download. (RinkaDink doesn't do complicated pricing - one price for everything)
How do I book?
Summer PopUp will go on sale this Friday! We'll post the online booking link right here as well as on our FaceBook page.
If you would like us to drop you an email as soon as these puppies are on sale, just register your interest by adding your details to the VIP mailing list right here http://eepurl.com/buWahz
As you know, Facebook isn't the most reliable for appearing in your feed when you need it and these slots are absolutely going to sell out fast this year (we've had people asking about Pop-Up since January!).
So many thanks to our mega-fun RinkaDink kids who allowed us to test out the colour palette, durability and fun-factor of this year's set. They gave it the thumbs up, as you can see! There's a very cute video coming your way...watch this space...
Here's what some of our previous PopUp RinkaDinkers had to say:
• I thought RinkaDink was great, so airy and bright, with lots of space to run around. That is what we wanted from the photos, something which would be natural and not too structured, the photos exceeded our expectations!
• Love it. Light, bright, big enough for mischief-making little boys to do their thing. And a lovely wee spot for mummies and grannies to drink coffee while the magic happens.
• The kids enjoyed it and we did it too. There was no pressure on us as parents to say 'smile' or 'look over here' etc. It was simple fun and Rinkadink manage to capture moments of pure happiness within it.
• Your space came across as much cleaner, brighter and better organised than other photographers. Also seems very 'young' and trendy and modern - all positives from my perspective. As I said - your big advantage of your space is having all that light. It is really impressive and led to fantastic photos. The whole vibe from the studio was professional, positive and creative. We were very impressed. I know that you had designs/decorations just for the PopUp shoots but these looked fantastic - I loved it.
• I loved the information you provided prior to the shoot and really appreciated the extra effort that went into providing the pre-shoot booklet/guidelines. It was perfect and gave a really professional and impressive first impression (all the impressions!!!) of you as a company.
• The type of relaxed session suited us. Our youngest would have hated a formal shoot! The kids had fun which was important to us when we look at the photos-it was a fun process! In fact they have asked to go again! It was more like a play session.
• Most of all I was impressed by the fact that you took a set price and then gave us SO MANY PHOTOS! I was really pleasantly surprised at the number of photos we received. The fact that the pricing was so transparent was a really refreshing change too. With previous photographers this seems to be more cloak and daggers... Both your photos AND the pricing structure impressed me - that would definitely encourage me to book again. I appreciate that the popup sessions are shorter and not so in depth but I think that you are providing great value for money. Being available over the weekend makes a big difference too - that makes the whole thing more convenient and appealing to us.
• You guys think of everything; dress code, directions, timings, preparation and just the general reassurance to relax! :-)