From the first moment the you see, hold and smell your new born child, your whole world changes instantly. You will be overcome with love that you never knew possible. These Precious moments are wonderful to capture in your own home and will leave you with images to treasure forever.
As a mum myself, I know how fast this time goes by and I assure you, you will not regret in investing in beautiful portraits of your newborn baby.
My style is quite natural, I only use subtle colour combinations as my props and I like to keep these simple for a timeless look and keep the focus on your precious baby, those little toes, button nose and tiny fingers.
I only do ONE newborn shoot a day and I like to schedule my newborn sessions for first thing in the morning. This is a time when most babies sleep more soundly.
My Top Tips For Parents For A Newborn Shoot.
I would recommend that you send me a message as soon as you can after your baby is born and we can set up your date.
To achieve those really cute poses , the baby needs to be sleeping soundly and should be photographed ideally within the first 14 days and the only reason for this is that after 2 weeks old, they tend to be disturbed more easily while sleeping.
Stimulating the baby with a bath is a good trick maybe an hour beforehand and will help make them sleepy for their shoot.
Crank up the heat for an hour before I arrive for the newborn shoot. Newborns can’t regulate their body temperature so it is important that the room where the pics will be shoot is nice and warm so your baby can be comfortable when I remove their clothing.
A full belly = a happy baby, so you can feed baby just before I am due to arrive.
Dressing your newborn for the shoot. Comfort first, keep it simple, avoid bold prints and stick with neutral tones, such as whites creams and greys.
I always encourage parents to have a portrait taken with their new baby . These can make for some tender images and as a parent myself, these moments you will treasure forever. I know us mammies don’t feel particularly photogenic after giving birth BUT I will photograph you in flattering angles so please don’t worry.
If you have older siblings that you want photographed with your newborn, I tend to do these shoots first. I would recommend sticking with neutral colours, white, ivory or greys.
This place had been recommended to me by so many people so as soon as the bookings opened this year in September, I booked us in and oh my goodness, it was thee most magical experience.
This is a little photo blog of our very magical day yesterday.
Everything is indoors here for the experience, much to our delight, as we travelled to Ballyshannon yesterday in that shocking weather, we were only delighted to leave the wind and rain on the other side of the door. As you arrive everyone was given a token for a complimentary tea/coffee and mince pie, which you could have before or after your Santa visit while the children have full use of the soft play area.
Our FAB elf came to collect us all and our first stop was Mrs Claus kitchen where she had the table set for hot chocolates and cookies all round. This Mrs Claus was AMAZING, she sat and spoke to every single Child, there were only 10 children in each party which made it so personal, it was just magical. The upside down Christmas Tree was a big hit in her cosy kitchen and of course Santa’s suit was hanging up to dry for Christmas Eve on the clothes line.
After their wee bellies were filled it was off into the Post office, where Noah got to draw a picture or a letter to Santa and they got to post these in the big red letterbox. There was a HUGE naughty and nice list on the wall, where the kids checked it very carefully lol.
There was a table set up where we could all make a little bag of reindeer dust and take it home with us to sprinkle in our gardens and Christmas Eve and we got to meet one of Santa’s very friendly reindeers and his buddy wanted to say hello too. Again there was plenty of time for anyone who wanted to give the reindeer a pet.
Next stop was Elf School, here they found out about all the things that the elf’s needed to learn , like how to wrap gifts, how to get the sleigh ready for Christmas Eve and the favourite one was how to check the chimney is clean for Santa.
Off to the elf’s bedroom now, where with a little bit of magic they found the secret door which led into Santa’s worskshop. They all got to help with stuffing some teddies and leaving them over in the wrapping station which would then drop them onto Santa’s sleigh which was just magnificent. There was loads of time here foe everyone to get family photos in the sleigh and the lovely elf took our family photo for us.
And now it was time, time to meet the main man, Santa. What a magical Santa….Noah’s wee face just made the whole experience for me.
We got back to the tea room where we availed of our gorgeous mince pie and cup fo tea and Noah raced off to the soft play area. This is the most magical Santa trip that we have done and I will be DEF coming back again next year. The detail that went into the all the different rooms….just FAB. Huge well done to everyone at Castle Adventure Farm, you really have made the place into a very magical winter wonderland.
The friendliest staff EVER, Special shout out to the most amazing Mrs Claus and the Elf, you both were so fab.
Lovely and warm, I must of actually thought I was going to the North Pole, I had so many layers on, which thankfully were not needed.
No pressure to buy the photograph.
Lovely small groups, which makes it very personal.
Never felt rushed at any part of the experience.
The complimentary cuppa and warm mince pie WITH cream.
The Kids being able to have full use of the soft play area and outdoor area where the animals where too.
Noah’s smile says it all…we’ll see you all next year
What a SUMMER….I have never laughed so much and saw so much of Donegal in 8 weeks. Thank you Emmet Rushe for your FAB #SummerShapeUp.
And so it began……
Week 1 – The Plank
Now where could I do a plank where nobody else would do one. I went up to my hubby to see if he could think of any ideas. No sooner had I said it to, himself and the boys pulled out two tractor lawnmowers and the first challenge was complete.
Week 2 – The Handstand Challenge.
I awaited eagerly to hear on this weeks challenge and once I knew it was a handstand, there was only one door way I wanted to do my handstand in. Off we went on a Sunday morning to Dunlewy to the Poison Glen. I hadn’t done a handstand since my “Hail Stone Thunder & Lightening Days” but hey I still got it 25 years later give it 10 or 20 takes lol.
Week 3 – Hang Tough Challenge
We were blessed with the weather EVERY Sunday during the Summer Shapeup. This just made me want to visit a different part of Donegal for the challenges. This week Inishowen was on our hit list.
Week 4 – Shoulder Press Challenge
Poor Noah was the subject for my shoulder press challenge. Wee dote giggled away, he knew how much mammy wanted to go to New York so he did whatever mammy asked!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He even let mammy shoulder press him twice that day.
The Aug Bank Holiday was all about Summer Shapeup extra activities with my husband Kevin, friends and with my Rushe Fitness family. Saturday August 5th Kevin and I completed The Gibbons Loop, up Sliabh Sneacht. This took us 4.5 hours, the views were out of this world from the top. The Gibbons family organise this hike every year in memory of their late father John who farmed on these hills. EVERYONE should do this, views are AMAZING and the BBQ when you reach the bottom is FAB.
Cuilcagh Steps has been on my to do list for a while now, so was delighted when Emmet organised a Rushe Fitness trip there on Aug 6th. Again the weather conditions were perfect and the craic was 90 with this crew. Lovely wee stop in Biddys on the way home (sure its bad luck to pass)
Week 5- The Fan Challenge
My alarm went off at 5.15am……up I jumped and headed down to the Polestar roundabout to do our fan challenge with some of my Rushe Fitness buddies, Gary, Martina, Carmel, Angela & Michelle and our wonderful photographer Anna. Poor Gary and Michelle pulled the short straws on this one.
Week 6 – The Bike Challenge
This was my FAV challenge of them all. So we decided we would do our bike challenge after our 6am class. The teacher mode soon came back to me and we had a 1….2….3 rhythm going and had it sorted “on paper”. THEN….when we went to do it the giggles took over and it took us a while to get going but we got there, I’m crying laughing watching this back…..POOR GARY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Week 7 – The Final Challenge – ” Sum Up What Summer Shapeup meant to you”
For me the first word that came into my head was LOVEI LOVED the challenges every week.
I LOVED the buzz in the gym and the online group, everyone kept everyone so motivated.
I LOVED on a Sunday visiting all the different parts of Donegal for the challenges while getting to spend time with Kevin & Noah.
I LOVED how confident I was becoming inside and out.
So it came down to posting our before and after pics in the private group page. I weighed myself before and after and not one pound had shifted off the scales and for the first in a LONG time, this was ok. Summer Shapeup wasn’t about loosing weight for me. When Emmet told us about the challenge in my head I thought, great, this will motivate me now during the summer, were its easy to go off track and if I win GREAT and if not at least I knew I was going on our first family holiday in the best shape I could be in. Posting my food everyday was a great way for making myself accountable for keeping on track. This photo below is me happy and confident in myself inside and out. I love training at Rushe Fitness, my alarm goes off 3 mornings a week at 5.40am, I wouldnt miss it for the world. For me its the BEST way to start the day off and is the BEST lifestyle change I ever made.
I will never forget that evening, we just got home from our holiday at 8pm, I jumped into the shower, threw on an outfit and my lovely sister Mari-Claire did my makeup. I ran across the carpark at Backstage with one shoe on and one half on and bust in the doors with ” Did I Miss It?” I was so glad I hadn’t missed the announcement as I really wanted to see the winners face………………..
I will NEVER forget it, the butterflies in my tummy when Emmet said I was the winner. The first thing I thought was I’M GOING TO NEW YORK to see the Christmas Tree at Rockefeller. I was, and still am on cloud 9. New York at Christmas is my dream and on the 8th December myself and Kevin are flying out for 5 days to the most magical city in the world.
Thank you Emmet, Maria and every single one of the Rushe Fitness members especially my 6am buddies, you all made this Summer one to remember.
Well we did it, our first sun holiday together with our wee prince and loved EVERY minute of it. When deciding on where to go, top of our list was flight time. With Malaga only 2 hours 20 minutes on a flight, this was ideal for our first trip with Noah. We popped into Geraldine Martin who is a Travel Counsellor here in Letterkenny and within 45 mins we had a week in Torremolinos all booked.
I actually found travelling with an infant in an airport less stressful than when we used to travel ourselves. With priority boarding, we didn’t have to wait in long queues to board and when going through security there was a separate entrance for people with children and again no long ques here. For the flight itself we packed a bag of tricks to keep himself occupied. This included;
Ipad with quite a few episodes of Justin’s House downloaded on it (Thanks Andrew)
Dinasour torch from M&S
They seemed to do trick, he was no bother on the plane, I had visions of him not wanting to sit on either of our knees and running up and down the aisle torturing everyone, but no he was happy to sit on mammy’s knee and watch Justins House with Do do and raggy.
Timor Sol Appartments, Torremolinos
My Top 10 Tips For Travelling To The Sun With A Toddler
Plane – Pack a magic bag with an Ipad with their favorite programmes or some games downloaded on it, colouring books and most importantly food just incase you’re unexpectedly delayed like we were on the way home.
Suncream – I used Garnier Ambre Solaire Factor 50 Spray for Noah. Found it really good,easy to apply, quick to dry and best of all didn’t stain any of his clothes.
Meal Times – Just like the plane trip, gadgets and toys. I found the busier the restaurant the better. Noah is a people watcher just like his mammy.
Pool- When you get there,buy a few small toys for the pool. We bought a wee fishing net with fish, Noah loved throwing the fish into the pool and then going to find them with the net.
Buggy – Bring a buggy that totally reclines for nap times, with a good hood that keeps the sun out and a storage basket for the essentials.
Ipad – Its definitely worth downloading episodes of their favorite programs or even games,great for the plane, meal times
EHIC- If your travelling within the EU, make sure you have an EHIC card for each person. It replaces the old E11 and means that if one of you get sick you wont have to pay. We got our forms in our local primary care centre.
Hands Free – Try to keep your hands free for the flight, so pack a rug sack with everything you need. You will need all hands on deck to get baby out of the buggy, buggy down and get on the flight, same for when you reach the other side.
Passport Dates – Children’s passports have to renewed every five years,unlike adults which is every 10 years. The last thing you want is to have your holiday booked and find out your child’s passport is not valid.
ENJOY….a friend said to me on Friday as I left work “make sure just to relax and enjoy” and I did, once I got through security at Dublin airport I totally relaxed and went with the flow and it was the best week ever and loved every second of making holiday memories in the sun with our Noah. If anyone is contemplating heading to the sun with their baby/toddler DO IT, lifes too short.
There is always one place when you were a child that brings lots of lovely memories flooding back and this place for me is “Scalp Mountain”. Its more of a hill than a mountain but when I was small, this was always the BIG mountain that my daddy used to take us on Sunny Sundays in Fahan. The ultimate was reaching the “Wishing Chair” at the top of the mountain. I remember vividly sitting on the chair and wishing for a baby brother and guess what I GOT ONE not long after lol.
It was only a matter of time before I wanted to start making these exact memories with Noah, so on Sunday last I said to himself, “I would love to do Scalp Mountain with Noah today” and no sooner had I said it, we were up, boots on, picnic packed and on our way to https://www.babyzone.ie/, to see what kind of carrier would take Noah up the “mountain” with us. We fell in love with a Phil &Teds Metro backpack and better still got it at half price in their fabulous Summer Sale.
Phil & Teds Metro Backpack
Very easy to put on, you can actually do it with one person, considering the size of the carrier, its one of the easiest to put on, on your own. The kick out stand makes it very stable for loading and unloading.
Noah LOVED it, he was so high up on his daddy’s back and and everything around him was “Woweeeee”
There are loads of pockets with this carrier, where we were able to store Noah’s coat and a hat for the top incase it was breezy, which it was, you could also store nappies, food etc.
Comfortable to carry. I carried Noah myself in the carrier for a bit too and it was just like carrying a school bag and had great back support.
Scalp mountain is so rugged,I love stomping through the heather and taking a little break every so often and have a look back at the most amazing views. It was so clear last Sunday, we could see all the boats over at the Rathmullan Regatta. It takes about 30 mins to climb and the views from the top are out of this world, you can see, Derry, Rathmullan, taking in Inch Wildlife Sanctuary from above and all the way over to Buncrana. We sat and had our little picnic at the top and made a few wishes on the “Wishing Chair”
Of course this was going to be my number one place to visit. For those of you who don’t know, Glenveagh is what I would describe as my “heaven on earth” I visit here at least once a fortnight. I often get asked “God are you not sick of that place” How on earth could you EVER get tired of those views. I love how each time we go there its never the same. The different seasons bring different colours, different plant life, different wildlife and a different adventure for us. Noah was two weeks old when we first brought him here and now at 18 months, he loves nothing more than running through gardens and grounds exploring. Thymeout Tea Room in Glenveagh, is a must after all your exploring. I just LOVE the lemon drizzle cake here and the window displays are amazing, very seasonal appropriate. If you don’t fancy walking in and out, you can always get the bus.
2. The Glebe House & Gallery
Located only 18k outside Letterekenny, this place is ideal for an afternoon trip out of the house. Noah is at the stage were he just doesn’t want to be in the buggy for too long and just loves the freedom of being able to run about. I don’t take the buggy with me at all when I go here. The grounds are ideal for little people to explore. The fairy doors in the gardens are just so cute, especially the clothes line with the little fairy clothes hanging out on it. The walkway leads you down to a gorgeous part of Gartan lake were we could spend hours throwing stones in and watching them splash into the water. There is a lovely tea room located on the grounds here, where they serve your tea in a china cup….winner winner!!!!
3. Oakfield Park
We recently took a trip to Oakfield Park on a sunny Sunday in July and we were in luck, it was Steam Engine Sunday. We got a ride around the grounds in the Steam Train.As you can see from the picture below, Noah was just in awe of it all. Grounds here are fabulous and again our little man explored every inch of them and even got to see the swans in the lake. There is a coffee shop located on site here also.
4. Ards Forest Park
I have to confess, 2 weeks ago was my first time EVER to take a trip to Ards Forest Park. You really have it all here, walking trails, beach, play area and the cutest little coffee shop, Ards Coffee Tree. It costs 5 euros to park right down to the main carpark. Make sure bring change with you as the machine only accepts coins.
5. Inch Wildfowl Reserve Walk
Another gorgeous walk with amazing scenery. What I love about this walk is that its all flat, no hills whatsoever. Noah loves looking at all the birds and ducks throughout the walk. There are numerous look out huts too along the way. One downside is that at certain times of the year midgies can be a nightmare at certain parts of the walk. I always carry a wee bottle of insect repellent just incase.
6. Fintown Railway
My nephew’s words after our trip on this train “Its just like the Polar Express”. The train ride itself takes approx 20 mins from start to finish. There is a picnic area and play ground on site with a huge sandpit. I would DEF recommend bringing a wee picnic with you and have it before or after your trip.
7. Glenevin Waterfall
I was so impressed with EVERYTHING about this waterfall in Clonmany. The path right up to the waterfall itself is the most buggy friendly path I have EVER been on. Along the way there are numerous picnic areas and the cutest of all, on the trees along the path there are little fairies in them, very magical. There is a little seating area too when you get to the waterfall.
8. Banba’s Crown Malin Head
This place actually blew my mind away. WOW!!!!! Really did feel like we were on top of the world. The views from here are just breathtaking. There is a walkway and seats along the path. The walkway is very buggy friendly up to a point…lets just say the Icandy was put to the test that day and passed with flying colours lol!!!!!! There is a little mobile shop at the top selling, teas/coffees/ice cream.
Boats, boats and more boats and Noah just LOVED it here. The day that we went here we were so lucky in that a cruise ship was docking in the port for a number of hours. We had lunch in the Tara Hotel and sat watching the cruise ship docking from our table. We then took a walk around the piers and had a look at all the boats. I was amazed at how HUGE they were never mind Noah. Of course we had to finish our trip to Killybegs with an ice cream from Hegertys.
10. The Beach
No summer would be complete without a few trips to the beach. My goodness that sand does get EVERYWHERE!!!!!!! Rathmullan beach is my top beach to go to with Noah. Everything is very accessible, the beach itself from the carpark, the toilets, the play ground and most importantly the ice cream shop.