SNEAK PEAK: tori hancock photography

If you follow me on Instagram (firstdayofmarriage) you'll know that our photographs from Tori arrived on a CD yesterday. I opened the package and read the sweet note she'd sent then patiently waited for Ben to get home from work to look at them.

We put the disc in the Playstation and watched the pictures in a slideshow on the TV. About four times. They're so beautiful; capturing this moment in our lives perfectly. Just us three on a sunny Saturday. At home, in the garden, on a woodland walk. Tori has a true talent.

Goodness knows how we'll choose which to put on our walls, how i'll choose which to show you. I'll post our favourite images over the weekend, but for now here's a little sneak peak. I loved this picture the moment I saw it.


HOLIDAY: st ives, cornwall

When we booked this holiday at the beginning of February, Phiney was just 3 weeks old. We wondered and imagined what our tiny girl would be like by the time we went.

And then here she is. On the beach, sitting and laughing and eating sand. Bashing down Papa-made sandcastles with her spade and chatting away. Being captivated and amazed by the new sights and sounds of the seaside and bringing a whole new level of fun and joy to our favourite holiday destination.

It was so lovely, so awesome, to be away with my two favourite people for a whole week. To take our little bird to the same place my grandparents took me when I was small. And for my Mum, sister, her boyfriend and my brother to see what she gets up to day to day, living with her for a week.

Strolling along the beach with Phiney on my chest, wrapped against the brisk air and sea spray each morning was the perfect way to wake up and trekking along the coastal path up the cliffs to enjoy the views were some of my favourite moments. Plus the fudge, candyfloss, huge amounts of food, a trip to my grandparent's house and the hot sunshine were pretty darn good too.


MONTHLY PORTRAIT: seven months

 Josephine's Monthly Portrait. Taken in her nursery on the 18th of every month. Or in this case the 17th. And while the pictures were taken the day before we went on holiday the words are coming the day after we got home. Because so many things happened with this little bird while we were away...

The continued photography practice has allowed me to capture more of her personality than ever, I think. It's shining through. And what a personality. This girl is the most expressive and animated creature, finding joy in every new experience and discovery. It makes for a very entertaining life for Mama and Papa.  

The month has been filled with highs and lows for Josephine. Three weeks ago my days consequtively started at 4.30am. While Phiney sneaked in 20 minute naps here and there during the day, Mama wasn't quite as lucky and it took its toll. It was tough and our holiday couldn't have come at a better time. Poor Phiney had moving teeth to contend with and Mama-cuddles were the only thing she wanted, 24/7. But, apart from the early starts, the girl dealt with it beautifully. And when we were on holiday THREE teeth popped through in one night, swiftly followed by another the next day. Four teeth in 48 hours. She's a trooper and that makes six in total. Her goofy smile is the most endearing thing we've ever seen.

As well as tripling the number of teeth she has, she's trippled her vocabulary this month too. Alongside a constant string of "Dadada's" we've had "Nana" (much to my Mum and Nan's delight), "Naa-naa" (banana to you and me), "Dolly" and "Dog" (her favourite animal apparantly, she can hear them barking a mile off and spent the whole holiday positive that the seagulls were in fact dogs thanks to their noisey squarks). But my favourite? "Mama." Smile.

She sits so confidently now, claps, walks around when holding your hands and is constantly pulling herself up. Plus there's a crawl just waiting to explode. I can't take my eyes off her now, so goodness knows what it'll be like when she figures that one out. We can't wait. And then there's the new facial expressions. Just wait until you see them.

We love you so much Josephine; our tiny dancer, our little bird. You make our hearts glow brighter than we ever thought possible.



Hello! I'm back. Back from our first family holiday with Josephine in tow and back in my blogging groove. The two week hiatus from this space was completely unintentional but with a teething baby, exciting knitting order and a week long trip to pack for followed by the (completely awesome, amazing, didn't want to come home yet) holiday itself, time just slipped away and I didn't make it to a computer.

I have to admit, I've been lacking in the blogging department over the last month anyway. It's been a busy old time and some days it's been tricky to just do the basics let alone anything fancy like composing a post or picking up a camera. But I'm pleased to say I'm feeling so refreshed, mentally and physically, after our time away and I'm totally up for getting back to this blogging malarkey properly.

So...be prepared for holiday snaps a-plenty, Phiney's most recent Monthly Portrait (which I took the photos for last Friday, but never got to writing the words before we left on Saturday), news about the exciting projects and adventures that are in store for our little family plus soon I will be able to share the photographs Tori took - they CD is in the post as we speak. We've had a couple of sneak peaks and boy oh boy. They're amazing. I can't wait to see the rest and share them with you.

Thank you for sticking around over the last few weeks. It means a lot xx 


PHOTOGRAPHY: capturing the little moments

There's been plenty over the blogosphere recently about picture taking and how to capture a fleeting moment perfectly. This man is conquering the world with his beautiful photography and sought after masterclass, and this lady has written so eloquently (as she always does) about what she's learnt from Tim and a lot of practice. Not only have their posts about taking pictures contained some very helpful information, but the comments and replies have also been packed with some golden nuggets of advice. Since reading all of this, and seeing how well it all works in the ever so pretty pictures, I've been inspired to go a step further in learning how to use my Canon 500D better.

When I first got my camera 18 months ago I shot everything on auto, too scared was I to twist the dial and press the buttons. I then found this sheet about a year ago and suddenly it all seemed a little less intimidating. Before long I could see a definite improvement in the photos I was taking.

And then I had a baby. And while having a baby gives you the cutest model to shoot, and new and exciting developments to capture everyday, it doesn't give you much time to do things like play with your camera. So while I was now shooting on manual, it was with limited knowledge and I was having to take a lot of pictures to get just one I loved.

Over the last few days, with Phiney sitting so confidently and happy to play with her books for chunks of time on her own, I've looked at that sheet again, read and re-read those posts and put into practice the advice they've offered. On Thursday I decided to take photographs of the things Phiney and I do most afternoons. To practice capturing the little moments that we never want to forget. To get used to the idea that Phiney doesn't have to be looking at the camera, or paying any attention to me at all, to find a connection between her and the picture I take. After all, these are the details that I imagine will differ between each of our children - how they play, their little mannerisms, what they'll find more funny anything; making them extra special.

Apologies for the huge amounts of pictures below, but I'm feeling pleased with how they turned out. I think I'm improving getting the composition right (kin of) and that I'm starting to capturing the expressions and fleeting moments that are so special to us. I've still got a lot to learn, but I think that's part of the fun so I'm happy to keep practising and shooting hundreds of photos a day. Until Mr Coulson is UK bound and I can attend The Nursery, of course.

A little playtime before Mama has a shower, occupied as ever chatting to the baby in the mirror while I get ready in the bedroom, the joy of Papa coming home from work and the sleepy, post bath floor time before bed.


MAMA/DAUGHTER: love and style

I've always loved the Comptoir des Cotonniers ad campaigns. Not just for the pretty clothes, but for their representation of style and beauty transcending generations.

This year, after 20 years of exploring the relationship between mother and daughter style and interests, the brand is launching a new campaign. I'll miss not seeing these lovely images of Mamas and their babies as friends and each others style icons, especially now I have a daughter of my own. I hope one day Josephine and I will share a love of fashion and style and searching for vintage and secondhand treasures; forging a beautiful friendship between the clothes rails.

And not forgetting Papa. This TV advert is my absolute favourite and gets me every time. Yeah, I'm a soppy Mama now. Thinking of the amazing relationship Ben and Phiney already share, and will continue to develop and cherish throughout the years to come fills my heart with so much happiness and love I think it may burst. The fun they will have, their adventures together and the fact that Ben will always protect her, and me, with his all his being. My two loves, so in love with each other.

ps. the winner of the All About Heidi giveaway has been announced over here. Sorry for the delay, but congratulations to the lucky reader and thanks again Manuka and Jette for this awesome prize :)



Ummm what happened to our tiny, fragile, dependent-on-us-for-everything-she-does newborn, and who is this independent, sitting up for 15 minutes without falling over, intently playing with her toys baby? 

This week Josephine has astounded us with her confident posture and inquisitive nature. She's inspected this brilliant wooden toy from top to bottom, bashed it, knocked it over, rolled it and, of course, put it in her mouth to see how it tasted. It's amazing to watch; to see her figure it out.

And to see her sit so happily, playing and thinking by herself is a joy. Over the last month or so Phiney has struggled with not being able to move the way she really wants to, and to see that frustration lifted makes us so happy for her.

Who needs the Olympics when we have such entertainment and achievement happening in our very own living room.

ps. A couple of reminders...the All About Heidi giveaway ends tomorrow evening, so go enter now. These are beautiful shoes and every little girl needs a pair.

Also, thank you so much for your sweet comments on the launch of Vintage at Happy Circus. I can't believe how fast pieces have been selling! Don't miss out and head over to the store today. The 15% discount is only available for a few more hours....