Monday, 19 September 2016

Prenatal Nutrition: The Effects Of Caffeine and Green Tea

Pregnant women would be wise to limit the amount of green tea they drink during pregnancy, and should be careful about taking any green tea supplements. Green tea is rich in antioxidants and has a host of health benefits relating to dental health, blood sugar levels, cholesterol, and weight loss. But researchers have found, whilst examining the active constituent of green tea, the epigallocatechin's, or EGCG for short, that it may affect the way the body uses folate. Folate is important for pregnant women as it prevents neural tube birth defects in babies.

The problem of green tea during pregnancy is that the EGCG molecules are structurally similar to a compound called methotrexate. Methotrexate is able to kill cancer cells by chemically bonding with an enzyme in the body called enzyme dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR). Healthy people have this enzyme also - it is part of what is called the folate pathway, which is the pathway, or steps, the body takes to transform nutrients like folate into something that can be used to support its normal functions. 

But this chemical similarity means that the EGCG in green tea also binds with the enzyme DHFR, and when it does this, it inactivates this enzyme. When this enzyme is inactivated, the ability of the body to use folate is going to be affected. How much green tea is able to be consumed, or precisely how much folate absorption is affected, is unclear. Though the research article did say that drinking 2 cups of green tea a day can stop cancer cells (which is what methotrexate is targeting) from growing. 

The good news on caffeine drank during pregnancy, from coffee and tea, is that a moderate amount is fine. Two studies, one by Danish scientists who interviewed more than 88,000 pregnant women, and the other by the Yale University School of Medicine, had similar findings on caffeine during pregnancy. 

The concerns over caffeine were that it would lead to low birth weight or miscarriage. And this is still true of a very high daily intake of coffee. The Yale team found that drinking about 600mg of caffeine a day, which is about 6 cups of coffee, would reduce birth weight to levels that were clinically significant. The rate at which birth weight was reduced was established at being 28 grams per 100 mg, or 1 cup, of coffee per day. But they emphasized that this would not be significant for moderate caffeine consumption.

The Danish study found that drinking 8 cups or more of coffee per day (this would be about 16 cups or more of tea), would increase the chances of miscarriage, or stillbirth, by 60% compared to women who did not drink caffeine. They also found that moderate coffee or tea drinking did not pose significant risks. For those drinking half a cup to 3 cups of coffee a day, the risk of fetal death was 3% higher compared to non-caffeine drinkers. And for those drinking 4 to 7 cups of coffee a day, the risk increases to 33%. One cup of coffee equals about 2 cups of tea when comparing caffeine levels. 

The recommended amount of coffee drunk is up to 3 cups daily, or 6 cups of tea, by the UK food agency.

Saturday, 10 September 2016

A Beautiful Kind of Love, Emily & Sam, Waterton Park Hotel


My first Wedding of September saw me at Waterton Park for the Wedding of Emily & Sam. I started with Emily and the bridal preparations with her bridesmaids, flower girls, and a hive of hair and makeup under way. Everything was going to plan and I kept commenting on how chilled out everyone was, including Emily herself!


Before Emily, her Dad and Bridesmaids came downstairs, I headed into the ceremony room to see Sam, his Best Man Cory, and gorgeous little pageboy Finley. Before a highly emotional Sam got ready to see his beautiful bride walk down the aisle.


The ceremony was beautiful and personal with three readings given by family and friends.


After the ceremony, we headed off outside for Emily & Sam's confetti photograph before we headed over the bridge to continue the drinks reception and photographs.


Sometimes, families are no longer together, and people worry how it will affect the dynamic of their Wedding Photographs. I ask all couples for a photograph list which means I am well prepared for these situations and it also means that the couple get the photographs that they want - but that the parents also get images that they'll be able to proudly display on their wall.


We finished off the group shots before getting some shots of the gorgeous new happy couple together before the Wedding Breakfast. The weather played ball better than some of my August Weddings which meant it was great for Emily & Sam!


Speeches were held before the Wedding breakfast, a decision made by Emily & Sam as Sam is not a big public speaker. I think it was definitely the best choice! Lots of nervous speakers end up worrying about their speech too much to not enjoy their dinner, or they get so super drunk that they can't remember it anyway!


After dinner when everyone was a little more relaxed Emily & Sam headed out with me for some more photographs when they were a bit more chilled out. Where Emily had removed her veil and Sam removed his suit jacket.
They are both such a lovely down to earth couple its been such a pleasure to photograph and spend their day with them and their family and friends.


After this everyone went inside before the evening reception started. With lots of fun, dancing and partying to be had!

Thank you Emily & Sam for choosing me to be your Wedding Photographer and allowing me to share your special day.

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Grey Bridesmaid Dresses under £100

Grey is such a popular colour in the Wedding industry at the minute, as well as a popular colour in life for a lot of people. it’s a highly requested colour for newborn sessions as lots of people have varying shades of grey adorning their homes.

I’m seeing a lot of grey at Weddings, started off with suits, and now making their way to bridesmaid dresses. I think because its such a versatile colour it works wonders.

So I’ve had a look around and found some “off the peg” bridesmaid dresses for under £100 so you can stay on trend, and on budget!








The absolute bargain of Bridesmaid Dresses was this one from Lindy Bop. The  gorgeous Gracie May Dove Grey Dress is currently available in sizes 6-14 and is only £13 a dress! Amazing!




This first dress up is from Quiz and is classed as a Grey Sequin Crochet Bow Chiffon Maxi Dress at £39.99 available in sizes 10-18 adding a touch of style to your Wedding without breaking the bank! And our other choice is this Grey Embellished Mesh Maxi Dress from Little Mistress at £39.99 available in sizes 6-14.


Can you stretch your budget a little more then the rest of these dresses are still under £75!



This Grey and Silver Embroided maxi dress from Quiz at £74.99, it currently is only in stock online in a size 8 but would be worth checking stores and asking when stock will be re-delivered. Its at full price and not discounted so I would expect more stock.



This one-shoulder number from Little Mistress is £68 and available in sizes 12-14 currently.


And if your budget can stretch a little further this beautiful chiffon beaded dress would look lovely for a winter Wedding at £90 each available from Little Mistress in sizes 6-18


Hope you have fun shopping and remember that sometimes bridesmaid dresses can be bought from high-street shops - just think outside the box! :)




Monday, 5 September 2016

Pregnancy And Hair Loss


One of the major changes is change with the hair like other parts of the body. It could thin or fall out, or it could also thicken. Understanding why this happens during pregnancy and what you can do to help the problem will help you in fighting the thinning and loss of your hair or with extra hair growth.
Hormones have lot of effects on your hair. The main reason your hair will change during pregnancy is the change in hormones. Estrogen plays a large part in the way that your hair is shaped. If your hair begins to grow faster and becomes thicker, it is most likely because there is an increased amount of estrogen that is moving through your body. Estrogen moves to the hair follicles in your body to increase the growth rate. There will also be extra nutrients that are provided from the estrogen increase, which will also increase hair growth. This is usually a result of the estrogen allowing the metabolism to move faster, which then supplies extra nutrients throughout the body.
Another change that you may notice from pregnancy is a change in the style. Your hair may not only be fuller or thinner, but may also change from straight to curly, or have the opposite effect. This is usually attributed to the hormone changes as well. The hormone increase that you experience will automatically move into the cortex, where hair begins to grow and add the texture to it. Usually, this will not change back until the hormones return to normal after pregnancy.
These same changes also occur after your baby is born. You may realize that your hair is thinning or falling out. Usually, the first three to six months after pregnancy will cause a change in your hair. This should be expected and is normal after a pregnancy. This usually occurs because the estrogen levels are able to move back to normal and slow down the nutrients that are moving through your body.
If your hair falls out during pregnancy, it’s because of not receiving the nutrients your body needs. Without those essential nutrients, your body is unable to produce the amount of estrogen it needs. One of the things to be aware of is if your hair falls out during your pregnancy. If this occurs, it is most likely a result of not receiving enough nutrients for your body to produce the right amounts of estrogen. This is especially a problem within the first trimester because of morning sickness and nausea. It is important to make sure that you are getting the right amounts of nutrients during this time to allow your body to stay balanced.
Knowing what changes your body goes through during pregnancy will help you adjust your hair routine to keep it healthy. Additional vitamins and other supplements will help your hair and scalp healthy and your hair beautiful.

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Rose Gold Nursery Accents



Rose Gold is one of those colours that is making a comeback. I am seeing it more and more about places and I have to admit I do really like it! I'm seeing it in Weddings, as well as in other day to day places so here we have a look at how you can use Rose Gold as an accent in your little ones Nursery.



This Rose Gold Foil Print from Coulson Macleod on Etsy is only £10 (unframed) and how cute is this Rose Gold & Blush felt Ball Garland from Sheep Farm Felt also on Etsy starting from £18.32 depending on the lengths required. Different colours also available.



Thse beautiful Rose Gold String LED Lights are a bargin at £3.49 from The Range. Or what about these fab arrow drawer handles! You can find them over on Etsy!


This Pink Metallic Cushion is £8 from ASDA, with a smaller one also on offer for £5. And don't forget to dot some of your favourite images about in these lovely £3 photo frames, also from Asda!


 

Sometimes Rose Gold and Copper can be found together and under the same heading, meaning the same colour - but sometimes so different. This beautiful wallpaper is £15 from Argos, and this lampshade just £10 from Wilkinsons!



These beautiful Mason Jars are available from Etsy, but if you fancy getting your craft on then you could DIY them yourself.

 

Add a bit of fun into the nursery with this Balloon Dog Ornament from Etsy or this Geometric Wall Clock for an eye catching design.

What other colour accessories would you like to see?
















Monday, 29 August 2016

The Importance of Bonding, and Touch; Advice for First-Time Parents

Fist time parents are in for the experience of a lifetime!

After surviving 9 months of pregnancy, a wardrobe of maternity clothes, baby showers, and decorating the nursery with care, you have gone through the exciting, heroic experiences of labour and delivery.  You are ready to leave the hospital to begin your new life as first-time parents!

Handling the First-Time Parent Jitters
For many first-time parents, bringing a baby home from the hospital is an exciting experience mixed with apprehension.  Silent questions such as “How will I know…,” “How will I cope…,” and “But, what if…” mingle with exuberant joy as you look down at the precious bundle sleeping in your arms.  You’ve got the first-time parent jitters!

Not to worry!  Siblings and friends with children, parents, and in-laws have been waiting for this moment, too.  They will offer expert advice on feeding, nappies, and proper baby care.  Books galore are also available, written by baby doctors and psychologists offering guidance on parenting, and the latest in child development research.

When it comes to reading material, be prudent about book selection.  And, don’t be afraid to set down boundaries on visiting times for over-eager friends and relatives. While you can learn proper baby care from the expertise of others, you and your partner also need time alone with your baby, to bond. 



Bonding with Baby
More frequently than not, bonding with baby will include touch. This is important because it is through touch your baby will come to know you.
Cradling your baby in your lap, and gently stroking him or her is the most basic form of bonding between baby and parent.  Nestling the newborn at your neck is another bonding-touch that provides baby with a sense of security.  Support the baby’s head and neck with one hand, and his or her bottom with the other.
Forget the old wives’ tale that holding a baby too much will spoil the child.  Yes, it is true a baby should not be picked up each and every time they cry.  As long as they have been adequately fed, are clean and dry, warm and comfortable, a baby does need to learn there are times when they should rest, or entertain themselves.

However, quiet moments alone with baby without distractions are necessary to form the emotional connection between parent and child, essential to a healthy attachment.  An important bonding process noted by pediatricians in the late 1970s.  This process has been proved vital for both parent and child.

Parents who form this type attachment with their newborn make better parents. They are better equipped and more willing to make the necessary sacrifices to care for their child; during infancy as well as through childhood.

Newborns provided the benefit of gentle contact and tender touch by parents feel loved and secure.  This sense of well-being impacts both their emotional growth and physical development.

The Importance of Touch
The importance of touch - gentle, loving contact when holding your baby, cannot be emphasized enough.  Rough handing and harsh jostling, especially with a newborn, can not only frighten your baby, but be life-threatening, as well.

Always be careful to support your newborn’s head and neck when you pick them up, or lay them down.  If you need to wake up your newborn, don’t startle them by jostling or shaking them.  Instead, gently tickle their feet, softly blow on their cheek, or tenderly rub the side of their head while speaking softly and saying their name.

Relish time with your baby.  Gently cradle him or her in your arms, and tenderly rub his or her back using slow, wide circles.  Or, caress your baby soothingly as you rock them.

Talk in a low, comforting tone, or quietly sing to them.  When eye contact is made smile, even if you aren’t sure whether or not their eyesight has developed enough yet to see clearly.

While it is true the importance of proper baby care (bathing, adequate nutrition, a safe, clean environment, play and nap time, and comfortable, warm clothing) cannot be over emphasized, neither can the healthy-bonding process between parent and child and the importance of touch.

Both vital ingredients that say, “You are loved!” 

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Wedding Favours under £2.50

Wedding favours are one of those things that a lot of people question over. I mean do people really need Wedding Favours and how much should you typically spend on them? Most people try and keep Wedding Favour prices as low as possible, after all, if you are having a wedding of 50-100 guests it soon adds up when you are looking for something to pay per-person.


"Wedding favours are small gifts given as a gesture of appreciation or gratitude to guests from the bride and groom during a wedding ceremony or a wedding reception. The tradition of distributing wedding favours is a very old one."

I had a look around to see if I could find out what was out there for Wedding Favours - but not only that - what else you could use as favours - thinking outside the box!


These Bottle Openers work out from 93p Each - the more you buy, the cheaper it gets!


These Rose Pillar Candles are unscented and have a choice of 11 colours - not only that they are only £1 each from Lindsay Lucas Candles at Etsy!


These lovely Seed Packets (including Seeds) are only 85p! Perfect for a floral themed Wedding!






Manta Makes LTD on Etsy has these two beautiful Wooden Wedding Favours, Personalised for your Guests to keep! You could even get a split ring and turn them into keyrings! The Bunting ones are £24.99 for 100! Or the Heart ones are £29.99 for 100! Absolute Bargain!


Personalised Chocolates to celebrate your Wedding are £1.80 from Morse Toad the more you buy the cheaper it gets too!
What about some personalised tea! Each Jar includes tea of your choice, plus you get to choose the saying and the tag and twine! Personalising it to your theme. These are from Spiced Kitchen on NOTHS at £2 each.













These beautiful wood blocks can be a forever reminder of your big day to your friends and family for £2.15 each. From Edge Inspired on NOTHS.

These Chalkboard Hearts are in a pack of two. Write your guests name on them and use them as your Wedding Favours too! Not only that they're only £1 for a pack of two meaning you could have these as favours for only 50p! Available from The Works! Thinking outside the box!

This set of 4 Coasts from Lisa Angel are currently in the sale at £4.50 per set. You could use these as your Wedding Favours so each set would do 4 people meaning they're just over £1 each!














I hope you've found some inspiration!

Saturday, 20 August 2016

[Wedding] Lots of Sunshine on a Rainy Day, Charlotte & Shaun, Fishlake Mill Doncaster


On Friday 19th August, I embarked on my trip to Doncaster to meet Charlotte at Fishlake Mill to photograph her Wedding. I first met Charlotte & Shaun when they visited Blue Lights Photography with their gorgeous boys Cohen & Logan as Newborn Babies. I've photographed them yearly since so it was lovely to be able to capture another life moment of theirs. Outside the Mill was a crate with everything that had gone on - the important dates and their life moments - within the 13 years that they had been together. They really are Childhood Sweethearts!


When I arrived, Charlotte was getting ready, with hair and makeup underway and parents, bridesmaids and flower girls all around. It was a very calm morning - I don't think anyone expected it least of all Charlotte.


August, being August meant that the forecast was unpredictable. The forecast was rainy all day, however, with an outdoor ceremony, it was a case of what was going to happen! The decision was made! Umbrella's a plenty we were heading outside. It wasn't windy which meant that as long as the registrar was happy to conduct the ceremony - then it could go ahead. And it's what Charlotte wanted. I occasionally meet brides who would be completely and utterly devastated if it rained on their big day - and not only that - would have not got married outside - so I have to take my hat off to Charlotte for not letting a big of rain ruin her plans!



The rain started getting a little heavier before the ceremony was finished, so the main bits were done and the guests were ushered inside the beautifully decorated Marquee, before Charlotte, Shaun and their gorgeous boys walked down the aisle, into an aisle inside the marquee!



Whilst it was still showering with rain, we headed into the Mill to be able to step outside to use the willow trees to offer some small extra coverage. Everyone was a good sport, despite the rocks and sleepers being slippy - and we have to say - WHAT RAIN! ha!


Whilst the rain was still light, we headed to do some couple photographs whilst the guests were inside the marquee before dinner and we had a little break in the rain! Yay!


During the meal there were singing waiters, and then speeches, before it was turnaround for the evening and there was a little bit of sunshine - so I took that to get a few more photographs of the gorgeous happy couple - before doing a few more group shots we were unable to do whilst it was raining.

The evening then erupted with lots of dancing - the groomsmen doing a surprise dance for Charlotte and the first dance. I can guarantee lots of beautiful and happy memories have been made.


Thank you for allowing me to be with you to capture another life moment of yours! Xx 

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