Favourite Breakfast Recipe: Cream Cheese, Strawberry & Maple Bagel

* This recipe is part of the Michelle Bridges 12WBT weight loss program that my Mother partook in. 

Serves 2 | Prep time: 5 mins | Cooking time: 5 mins

Ingredients:

  • 140g cream cheese, extra light
  • 2 teaspoons icing sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoons vanilla essence (3g) (second method)
  • 1 bagel, split and toasted
  • 150g strawberries, sliced
  • Maple syrup

Method:

  1. Spread cream cheese over each half of the bagel.
  2. Top with strawberries and sprinkle with icing sugar.
  3. Drizzle with maple syrup.

or alternatively,

  1. Combine cream cheese, icing sugar and vanilla essence in a small bowl
  2. Spread mixture over each half of the bagel. Top with strawberries.
  3. Drizzle with maple syrup.

I prefer the top method which is how my Mum makes it, the second is the Michelle Bridges way. Thanks for stopping by!

Photography Week – Wedding Drama Photographer Style

Very early on in my Diploma of Photoimaging I was put off weddings but the event that pushed me over the line was the wedding I never got paid for. *Note the people in the featured image are in no way associated with this story.

I’ll begin by saying that the whole experience wasn’t stellar. The venue they picked was surrounded by ugly bush and the time they picked coupled with the way they were facing placed the sun in an awkward position. It made it a lot more challenging than I expected, nonetheless I got some pretty good photos which is all that matters. That and the Bride was happy with the setting.

I took photos from the afternoon, into the night and then spent hours upon hours sorting and editing their photographs. For all of this when you take into consideration my time and the costs involved I charged pretty reasonably. It was a whole lot less than anywhere else they could have gone and it also covered the cost of the engagement photos I’d already taken and edited.

The couple never got any of the wedding photos because on top of not being paid they didn’t even attempt to pick them up despite prompting from me. Unfortunately they did get photographs from their engagement party. I’d mistakenly thought they could be trusted as my sister was close friends with the daughter of the bride.

I never understood why they didn’t pick up their photos and I only have two theories. The first is obvious which is the possibility that they think I overcharged. The other was that a friend of theirs who took some photos as well might have given them photographs and so they decided not to get their photos or even pay me for my time.

Either way I learned my lesson and now have a deep seated distaste for wedding photography to go along with it.

Hoped you enjoyed reading & thanks for stopping by!

Photography Week – Left with no Diploma

In 2012 I started my Diploma of Photoimaging and it was amazing. We worked with film and I used a dark room for the first time. There were studio set ups available and I finally learned how to navigate photoshop. We spent a lot of the days walking around and taking photographs for our assignments. I loved the first year.

The second year went a little haywire, I fell off the proverbial wagon and this resulted in me failing two classes. I’ll avoid explaining anything unnecessary because a whole lot of drama happened around that time that I don’t want to recount.

The first class I failed, at the time, I blamed my teacher. Simply because I was so sure that he never even looked at my assignment. We’d handed them in the term before and when I came back he told me I’d never given it to him. I told him that I had and I would look for it in their office, of course I found it. So back I went and this time he told me that I needed to redo it. For any of you who don’t know in TAFE they will mark your assignment and give it back for you to fix if it isn’t satisfactory. This assignment wasn’t marked and he couldn’t tell me what was wrong with it. I was so angry about all this that I just thought screw it and never handed it in. I realise now that it was a silly move on my part.

Mistake number two was in the last term while I wasn’t attending classes. I had two major assignments and because I left everything until the last possible minute I only had time to finish one assignment properly. I decided that I would sacrifice my business assignment. If I’d been attending I probably would have completed my course as I was meant to.

On top of this I felt immense pressure to capture the perfect image and the enjoyment I’d had before was fading away. Worry took its place and suddenly I was working on these images that compared to others felt mediocre to get a grade that never stood out. I’d gone from loving photography with everything I had to not wanting to even pick up a camera.

I won’t say that those two years were wasted, I still learned a lot and some of the experience was incredible. If I could do it all again though I would knuckle down, finish my course and not be so petty! (Although maybe not because who knows if I would have what I do now.)

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Now it has been two to three years since my course finished and I’m only just starting to gradually pick up my DSLR more. I’m still not sure what my niche should be but as they say the worlds my oyster and the sky the limit, hopefully one day I’ll figure it all out.

Thanks for stopping by!

What I struggled with as a new Mum

 

Lack of sleep was my biggest struggle, I love sleeping and I’m the type of person that can cat nap anywhere.

After I had Jackson I couldn’t nap as much because he just wanted to be with me and while cuddling up on the couch with him in my arms was great I didn’t want to fall asleep like that. Night time would come around and BAM I was suddenly the She-Devil. I was stressed out from failing at breastfeeding, I was tired from waking up constantly through the night and then having to be awake all day. I just wanted to go to bed but Jackson needed me.

Brandon was on the receiving end of my frustrations. I’d go from rude and argumentative to a blubbering mess in a matter of minutes. Lucky for me he was amazing about everything. He helped me, talked to me and without him I think today I might still be a stressed out mess.

These days I still get stressed out but I’ve gotten used to not sleeping my day away and I only nap when I just can’t keep my eyes open. So it does get easier in some ways!

Thanks for stopping by!

I Wasn’t Going to be that Mum

Who posts a million photos of their child. Slight exaggeration there but needless to say I failed. While I’m not constantly uploading photos of J.T, a majority of what I post is of, or about him, so I failed.

It isn’t that I care when Mums do it, I just didn’t want to have my Instagram, or my other social media platforms, clogged up with images of my baby and nothing else. Now I love it and while I hope to be able to post more variety in the future when I am not hermiting it up in my house, Jackson’s cute little face is more than a perfect substitution.

Thanks for stopping by!

Mermaid Art, Etsy & A Birthday

Happy Birthday to Brandon, the Father of my Child and the Woody to my Buzz! 

On Wednesday we had a visit from two adorable little girls and their lovely Mothers. I got to interact with adult sized Humans, Jackson got cuddles and the girls played with Jackson’s toys. Thursday I realised Jackson can fit into his three month clothes and so I’ve been dressing the little Monkey up everyday in all the cute outfits I wanted him to wear. Friday we went out to dinner because I wanted to try Schnitz and it was good but not as good as Nandos. Most of Saturday we hung around the house and in my case I was working on my art, gave Jackson a bath and pretended like I was going to clean the house. Dinner, as per our new weekly routine, was at my Parent’s house.

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Sunday was the most eventful day of the week. It took us a while to get out of the house but when we did we had lunch, got Jackson new clothes and went grocery shopping (my most hated chore). At home I half mowed the lawn (probably actually less than half), gave Jackson a bath and pretended like I was going to clean the house. Dinner was at Brandon’s Dad’s house (we had pizza) and played Cards Against Humanity because today is Brandon’s birthday! I was actually meant to post last night (Sunday) but we were out so late I just left it for today.

Baby

This week I started working on plans to open an Etsy store. I’ve picked a name, made a Twitter, created a third Mermaid piece (I want seven more) and created a logo and header. Now I want to finish up my Mermaids and plan what else I eventually want to sell and before I can open I also want to get a least some of my Mermaids printed since they won’t all be released at once. On top of all this I want to plan for prints that will appeal to not just Mermaid lovers but also to anyone else who loves the sea which is the theme of my shop. I’m very excited about!

Jackson has started giggling this week, not full blown giggles but a little “ha ha” here and there. It sounds so cute and I’m even more eager for him to laugh properly.

That’s all for this week, thanks for stopping by!

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What Labour Felt Like for Me

Not long before I went into labour I did an extensive google search trying to pin down how labour felt for other people. All I learned was that it felt different for each woman who went through it. So I thought I would do a quick blog post to share what it was like for me.

Contractions, for me, felt like period cramps that slowly got worse as time went on. By the time I got to pushing they were so intense that the only thing I could focus on was getting through them. Still it wasn’t as bad as I expected.

Pushing was fine, it was the burning pain as his head started crowning that wasn’t so fun. I will say that despite the pain I wanted to push because it meant I would finally get to meet Jackson.

I think the worst part was when they applied the local anesthetic to my tears, it wasn’t that it was more painful than the rest because it wasn’t. It was just the type of pain I can’t stand, anything that stings I hate.

All in all I would do it all again and I plan to when the time is right. Hope you enjoyed reading and thanks for stopping by.

 

Breastfeeding Story

A quick story about my attempt at breastfeeding.

Throughout my pregnancy I was adamant that I was going to breastfeed Jackson. Despite knowing it wouldn’t be all peaches and cream, I had no reason to believe I wouldn’t succeed. He latched twice while I was in hospital and no more after that. I had numerous nurses, midwives and lactation consultants attempt to help me and went to more than one breastfeeding class all to no avail. Eventually trying would just cause Jackson to become distressed.

After two nights in hospital I was allowed to go home and we left with the advice to invest in a pump, advice we took. Sadly at home I still couldn’t get him to latch and my milk supply wasn’t coming in like I’d hoped. These two things combined stressed me out to the point that I was crying almost every day. In the end I decided to give him what I could of my breast milk and leave it at that.

The Thursday after I decided to stop I had a visit from my Midwife and I explained to her my decision. I’d been feeling incredibly guilty for not being able to get Jackson to latch or keep up with pumping but I also explained how stressed I’d been. She told me of her own experiences with breastfeeding and how it worked for two of her children but not one. She also explained that while breastfeeding is beneficial the best thing is that my child is happy, healthy and fed.

After talking to her, while I still felt I should have tried harder I also felt better about the whole situation. On occasion I wish things had gone different but next time I have a child I still intend to try again. Hopefully with more information and a better understanding I’ll be successful. As it is Jackson is happy, healthy and as my Midwife said thriving which is all I could ask for.

Thanks for stopping by!

 

Cyclone Debbie, Three Months Old & 13 Reasons Why

Since it is Sunday in Australia welcome to my first weekly life update. I’ll be doing these every Sunday (Saturday for some of you out there) henceforth. 

This week we had Cyclone Debbie hit, not where we are, but the state we live in. Quite a few of the suburbs around us endured flooding and that had me worried. Last time we had major flooding here we were boxed in a bit and since I didn’t want to run out of formula I got family to get some for me. As it turned out the raining stopped the next day and while some areas in Queensland are still flooded/ing or dealing with the aftermath of Cyclone Debbie, we aren’t. So I probably went overboard a little but I figured better safe than sorry.

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I honestly can’t remember if anything of significant importance happened at the start of the week. I’ll have to remember to jot down whatever I want to add to my posts otherwise I won’t have much to say. Thursday night we had dinner at Coffee Club and I got Eggs Benedict, I wasn’t sure if I would enjoy it but I did. It was a nice little family dinner out and the mini Human slept until the end. Friday was the day of the storm. It wasn’t a very fun day for me, I was worried Brandon wouldn’t be able to get back if he stayed at work too long and his Boss was bent on staying open. Thankfully a pile of workers called and said they wouldn’t be coming in so he got sent home. Saturday we went to see Beauty and the Beast and had dinner at my parents. Beauty and the Beast was amazingly beautiful, my favourite scene was Belle dancing with the Beast.

Last night and this morning I binge watched 13 Reasons Why, it’s a brilliant show and a real eye opener. People don’t always seem to realise that their actions can affect others around them and it made me sort of want to homeschool Jackson. It reminded me of when I was in highschool and for the first year our classes were with the same people. Those people decided to ostracise one of the girls so I would sit with her. Personality wise we didn’t click but I didn’t want her to feel like complete shit because of the people in our class. Thankfully she did have friends and the next year neither of us were with those people.

Today Jackson turned three months old, it’s crazy how fast time is going by and how big he is getting. Soon I’ll have to knuckle down and search for a new job properly, I’m not looking forward to that. I feel like Jackson is on the verge of laughing and I can’t wait to hear his sweet little giggle. He is also a lot smarter than I expected, although my expectations were based on nothing. A few times I’ve been making his bottle and he has gone from crying to just watching me. He has had a dirty nappy and been unhappy about it, as soon as I check he stops. On the times he doesn’t I’ve said stop and he has. I didn’t expect him to be this aware so early but it’s pretty cool. Mind you I knew next to nothing about babies before I got pregnant so I don’t have much to base this all on. It’s just more than I thought it would be.

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That’s all for this week, thanks for stopping by!