Thursday, 31 October 2013

Lupus awareness month! UBC #21

The month of October was Lupus Awareness Month so I have written this blog post to help spread the awareness of Lupus to you!

Why do I want to raise awareness of Lupus you ask?

My beautiful mother (pictured below) is one of the few sufferers in the UK with a form of the condition. I have gathered information from Lupus UK to give you an insight of the disease and I also have a description from my Mum describing her symptoms and living with Lupus. 

Lupus is a chronic and presently-incurable illness of the immune system, a condition in which the body's defence mechanism begins to attack itself through an excess of antibodies in the blood stream causing inflammation and damage in the joints, muscles and other organs.

The danger of Lupus is that it can produce many symptoms and family doctors often fail to recognise it. Meanwhile, a number of major organs can be damaged in an irreversible way.

The causes of lupus is not positively known though research has provided evidence implicating heredity, hormones and infections including viruses.
Some 50,000 may have lupus in the UK and 90% of sufferers are female, mainly between the ages of 15 and 55.
With its many symptoms, lupus can often be overlooked by a GP or consultant which may delay final diagnosis and a vital start to necessary treatment which can contain the disease and hopefully limit potential damage to the kidneys, heart, lungs or brain. Those diagnosed usually remain in medical care and receive ongoing treatment. 
Lupus can be triggered
  • at puberty
  • during the menopause
  • after childbirth
  • after viral infection
  • through sunlight
  • as a result of trauma
  • after a prolonged course of some medications
One or more triggers can set off the illness in people who may have susceptibility to lupus.
Lupus is often triggered in people where there is family history of lupus and/or other immune system illnesses such as arthritis, MS and rheumatism.
Lupus is neither infectious nor contagious

There is such a long list of symptoms to look out for here: 


Lupus is a type of self-allergy, a disease of many manifestations and each patients profile or list of symptoms may be different.  Several manifestations such as those listed below may suggest clinical evidence of a multi-symptom disease:

SKINRashes, Mouth Ulcers, Hair loss
JOINTSPain, redness, swelling
KIDNEYSAbnormal Urinanalysis
LINING MEMBRANESPleurisy, Pericarditis, Peritonitis
BLOODHaemolytic Anaemia, Leukopenia
LUNGSShortness of breath, cough
NERVOUS SYSTEMConvulsions, psychosis

In arriving at a firm diagnosis the physician will normally expect at least four of a list of 11 internationally accepted conditions to be present (either currently or at any time since the onset of the illness) which are;
  1. MALAR RASH – Fixed red rash over the cheeks
  2. DISCOID RASH – Red patches of skin associated with scaling and plugging of the hair follicles
  3. PHOTOSENSITIVITY – Rash after exposure to sunlight
  4. ORAL ULCERS – Small sores that occur in mucosal lining of mouth and nose
  5. SEROSITIS – Inflammation of the delicate tissues covering internal organs, and abdominal pain
  6. ARTHRITIS – Very common in lupus, usually pain in the joints and tendons
  7. RENAL DISORDERS – Usually detected by routine blood and urine analysis
  8. NEUROLOGICAL DISORDERS – Seizures or psychosis, balance problems
  9. HAEMOTOLOGICAL DISORDER – Haemolytic Anaemia, Leukopenia, Thrombocytopenia
  10. IMMUNOLOGIC DISORDER – Tests anti-DNA, anti-SM antibodies, antiphospholipid antibodies
  11. ANTI-NUCLEAR ANTIBODY (ANA TEST) – When found in the blood and the patient is not taking drugs, it is known to cause a positive test for lupus in most cases, but it is not necessarily conclusive


There is at present no cure for lupus but careful monitoring of the disease and a treatment programme with medication adjusted as appropriate enables the condition to be controlled, most patients being able to live a normal life span. Doctors will usually only keep the patient on high impact medication for as short a period as possible.

What is the future? 
Bold initiatives such as stem cell transplants are being experimented with, and the genetic background puzzle of lupus is gradually being uncovered. More significant developments are likely and new medications are gradually being introduced.

Medical knowledge increases all the time and there's no doubt that the lupus patient is having her/his illness under better control and management than ever before. Doctors are successfully tailoring medication now to individual patient need, and the future for the lupus patient looks ever more hopeful.

The message to you
There are many symptoms of lupus, differing from patient to patient which can easily cause a practitioner to lean towards a more comfortable or better-known ailment. Knowledge of the lupus condition is vitally needed for quick and accurate diagnosis that may prevent the onset of major organ damage.


Thank you for reading the vast information about Lupus! It is such a rare disease and symptoms can be passed raising awareness is so important! 

Here is an account from my Mother, Linda who is 52 years of age about living with Lupus. 

What I have is Mixed connective tissue disease which is an autoimmune disease and is considered an "overlap" of three diseases, systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus), scleroderma and polymyositis. 

People with MCTD experience symptoms of each of these three diseases. In many cases, this mixed set of symptoms is eventually dominated by symptoms characteristic of one of the three illnesses, especially scleroderma or lupus. I am dominated by Lupus and was diganoised in 1998 due to not recovering from flu and ended up in hospital because my musle weakness was so bad I could not walk. 

After 5 years of treatment suppressing my immune system I went into remission and since then only having slight symptoms at the moment. I have just recently had my 6 monthly check as is borderline positive so can go either way, go back into remission or have a flare up.

My symptoms are: 
• Joint pain and stiffness, with or without swelling 
• Muscle aches, pains, or weakness 
• Feeling very tired 
• Butterfly-shaped rash across the nose and cheeks 
• Other skin rashes 
• Anemia 
• Trouble thinking, memory problems, confusion 
• Sun or light sensitivity 
• Hair loss (slight at the moment) 
• Purple or pale fingers and toes from cold 
• Difficulty swallowing

I have a very positive outlook about this and don’t let it worry me but having aching joints and weakness in the muscles is not much fun, but grit my teeth and carry on.

Personally reading this information breaks my heart that my mum has to go through this on a day-to-day basis. If you were to meet my mum you would never know she was unwell and being with her all the time, she never ever complains or moans about any pains but they are there, she just has to live with them! 

Please help us spread the word and gain awareness of Lupus! 

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

My Guilty Pleasure….what is yours? UBC #20

So as I get home from a very busy day out with Hayden, I sit down and have a fidget……it has to come off! I need to be free! 

You guessed it! I have to take that bra off! And it feels soooo good! Men can't relate to how good it feels but ladies, do you agree?? 

Whats your guilty pleasure? I would love to hear it!!! 

Monday, 28 October 2013

Image love! Ultimate Blog Challenge #19

Just a little picture of my son Hayden - he went shopping with Daddy to get some pumpkins for Halloween and this is the image I got sent!

Sitting on pumpkins eating a French Stick! As you do! Adorable!!

Motivation Monday! Ultimate Blog Challenge #18

Its Monday so here's a little motivational quote for the week :) 

Sunday, 27 October 2013

The morning after the night before! Ultimate Blog Challenge #17

We had an amazing Halloween party last night (post to come later with pics!).....but with a good party comes a good mess!!! All cleaned up now and in bed after a nice Chinese with the other half! Even though I don't drink I still feel hung over! Lack of sleep and tiredness of decorating the day before zzzzzz!!

Friday, 25 October 2013

2 years of swimming lessons and look at him now! Ultimate Blog Challenge #16

I was looking back at old pictures today and came across a few of Hayden swimming when he was teeny tiny! 

We started Hayden at swimming when he was just 10 weeks old!! I had heard that getting the used to the water as early as possible was best to get them used to being in such a large body of water and getting them used to being submerged. Newborns have an automatic gag reflex which, on submersion, is triggered and stops water entering the lungs. This gag reflex disappears at about 6 months old so it is best to get your baby used to the water before this time.  

Excuse the terrible phone pictures (and me looking very tired, he wasnt the best of sleepers!) but here he is at his 1st ever lesson at 10 weeks old!! 

And here he is with daddy at 4 months old

And a little video of his underwater swimming - 
the command we use for everything is Hayden, Ready, GO!

2 years later, Hayden can swim so well with just a little floatation device under his arms (arm bands are not used) - he kicks and flaps his arms and still absolutely loves it! 

Here he is now 2 years later! 

I do my swimming with Caroline who runs Turtle Tots Dorset and she is fantastic! She is great with the children, the lessons are fun but really well structured. I have some information from Caroline's Facebook page about the benefits of swimming for your babies: 

Swimming with your little ones is probably one of the best, if not THE best activity you can do with them. You don't have to be an amazing swimmer but introducing your baby/toddler to the water at an early age is so beneficial to them (and you). Here are a few of the benefits they will gain from swimming: 

PHYSICAL DEVELOPMENT - Babies can move independently and freely without any restrictions of gravity in the water, learning balance and coordination by using muscles they never would on land! 

BRAIN DEVELOPMENT - By stimulating senses outside of the normal every day experiences, the word association, independence and physical awareness will all encourage brain development.

BONDING - Swimming with your baby is a very intimate activity with no other distractions from our hectic lives. Mothers suffering PND find the bonding time and exercise beneficial to them also. The bond you have grow stronger by the fun you have together in the water. 

HEALTH BENEFITS- Strengthens heart, lungs and muscle development. Is fantastic to get baby used to regular exercising. 1 in four 4/5 years olds are classed as overweight for their age which is a scary statistic. 

LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT- word association & repetition is used throughout the classes for a range of different moves, babies very early on know what the words mean which of course is also great for brain stimulation/development. 

SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT- interacting with other babies, learning to wait their turn & praise the efforts of others helps encourages their social skills. A fantastic way to make friends. I have seen many new friendships form in my baby swimming groups. 

IMPROVED EATING AND SLEEPING PATTERNS - Swimming is a great form of exercise, the classes are very stimulating in many ways and promotes a good sleep, usually after a good feed. 

A SKILL FOR LIFE - Teaching your baby a skill which they will benefit from for life. Water confidence and respect are invaluable and babies are taught life saving skills right from their very first class. 

Bringing your baby swimming once a week to a structured class is fantastic for parent and child, taking them swimming outside of the lessons as a family where possible is also fantastic bonding and fun time for all and of course a chance for you to show off your skills in the pool! 

I am sure my clients would agree that their child's confidence in the water has amazed them as they have progressed through the course. 

For more information on our classes please get in touch. 01202 802670.

He has always been my little water he is the day he was born, in the water :) 

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Guest review from Chelseamamma! Ultimate Blog Challenge #15

My friend Emma introduced me to Captured by Samira when she had photographs done of her newborn Matilda.  I was blown away by her pictures so booked us in for 26th June, although this could have been moved if Sebastian had been late.

Sebastian arrived on 20th June, so was just 6 days old when we had the photo shoot in Samira's studio at her home just outside Bournemouth, Dorset.  Our first challenge was that Sebastian hated being naked, so we found it really hard to keep him asleep with no clothes on.  Even covering him in a blanket didn't work, as he would wake up as soon as it was removed.

Samira in action
Samira was brilliant with Sebastian, and rocked him back to sleep again and again.  He may have christened her a few times too, but it didn't phase her at all and as Sebastian detested being naked so much, we decided to have him photographed with some of her gorgeous snuggly blankets.

Using props
The whole shoot took around 4 hours, as a lot of patience is required and we had to stop for a few milk top ups for Sebastian, and tea top ups for us!  We did have a comfy sofa to sit on and even CBeebies on for Eliza.

Eliza lends a hand
Samira used lots of props and we were even encouraged to bring our own too.  She was also more than happy for us to take snapshots on our phones and we got a taster photograph sent to us later that day!

The whole session was relaxed and informal, with everything timed to suit Sebastian. Samira makes sure she only books in one shoot per day so things are not hurried, although she did squeeze us in for a family photograph in the school holidays.

If you want to view my finished photo's, check out my G+ page here, but I shall leave you with a few of my favourites.

Captured by Samira

Captured by Samira

Captured by Samira

Captured by Samira

Captured by Samira

The family shots I had of all 6 children are fabulous too.  I cannot wait to go back for a Cake Smash when he turns 1.

Captured by Samira
The Family
For more information about Samira and the newborn photoshoot, you can like her on facebook and follow her on twitter @samiracaptured.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

From newborn to cake smashing.....LOVE MY JOB! Ultimate Blog Challenge #14

I just love love love my job! I am so lucky to have most of my clients return to me again and again!

I met little Jasmine at just 6 days new and she has just came back to me for her 1 year cake smash! It is so important to capture every moment as they change so much!

Here she is in all her messy glory!

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

How do you juggle your busy lives? Rant! I wish I had Bernard's watch! Ultimate Blog Challenge #13

Bit of a rant post really! I sit here looking at my to-do list and just want to cry!! 

Why does time go so fast, why can't I learn to use it more effectively? Why cant I own Bernard's watch?! 

Anyone that hasn't seen the program it is about a little boy who has a watch which stops time! Now he uses it to get into mischief but I just want one to be able to get more work done!!! Surely thats fair? 

I juggle a job, a business, a toddler and a home to keep on top of.....for 2 days a week I work a full day so wake up, get Hayden ready for his childminder, work all day, come home, do dinner, try to do a little bit of cleaning, bath & bed time routine then down onto the computer to work again....then bed! My poor neglected partner! 

Another 2 days I do the same thing but I have photo shoots - and then friday is my "day off" where I would love to spend as much time as I can with Hayden but I do have chores to do too! So we always  spend the morning playing and go swimming on a Friday with Turtle Tots and then back home (where he usually has a small nap) so I can get some washing and cleaning done! 

Every night I am glued to the computer working and I really need to get this work/life balance thing into action.......but my to-do list is forever, blog, marketing, emails, client orders, spreadsheets, accounts!

As of January 2013 I will be on maternity leave so I HOPE this will give me some time to cross lots off my list and start a fresh! 

How do you juggle your busy lives? Is there a secret I am missing? I would love to hear from you! 

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Recent newborn photography sessions I have been editing! Ultimate Blog Challenge #12

As you may or may not already know, I am a newborn photographer based in Bournemouth!

I have been working all day today (yes on a Sunday! No rest for the wicked!) so thought I would share some newborns I have recently edited to make you smile this Sunday evening!

Welcoming little Lexxie who is just 4 days new and little Finley who is 11 days new - im one of those lucky people who can say I LOVE MY JOB!

My 2 year old at skiing lessons!! Ultimate Blog Challenge #11

Yesterday was my son Hayden's 2nd skiing lesson! I sadly missed his first lesson as I had photo shoots all day but I was determined to make it this time around to watch!

My partner loves skiing and is determined for us to have a family skiing holiday next Christmas! Now I have never skied but I will learn when I am no longer pregnant! My MIL and FIL will be coming with us so I have no baby excuse not to learn, we have on holiday baby sitters!!!

So we decided to get Hayden learning now so that he is confident on ski's when we go.

We are very fortunate to have a ski centre less than 10 minutes away from us called Snowtrax UK. We were shocked to learn that a 30 minute lesson was just £5.50 including ski and boot hire so we booked straight on!

Even though it is called a lesson, there isnt really much teaching done this early on. There is an instructor to watch over you but it is about teaching your child to balance on the ski's and get used to going down the slope. The instructor tries to encourage your child to bend their knees as they go down but Hayden is only 2 so his understanding isnt amazing. He does bend them but straightens again as he starts to go down the slope.

It is very tiring for Hayden, we have little rests in between taking his ski's off when he asks us as we do not want it to be an un-enjoyable experience for him. It is also tiring for daddy as he has to carry Hayden up the hill each time he goes down.....I have the pregnant excuse mwuhahaha!

Highly recommend if you like to go on skiing holidays, Hayden has great fun and its something different to do!

Here are some images I took of his lesson :)

Daddy getting him ready to go down! 

Weeeeee! He loves it! 

Then daddy has to walk him back up to do it all again! 

They use a dice to keep his interest and he chases it down the slope

Happy to catch it at the bottom! 

They use a hula-hoop to pull them back up the slope so they get used to a ski-lift in future

Thirsty work! 

A proud uncle! 

Wobble wobble.......

And fall down!

Friday, 18 October 2013

Guest Blog from The PR Mummy! Her newborn photography session with me! Ultimate Blog Challenge #10

I had the pleasure of welcoming Emma Collins (The PR Mummy) to my studio in Bournemouth to photograph her newborn Matilda! She kindly wrote a blog post about me and her experience at the session :)

Thank you so much Emma! Here is her post:

I'm rubbish at photography. I'm really keen on modern day memory keeping. I love the thought of my daughters seeing photographs of their past - childhood and family. I have never said that I'm a professional *laughs at the thought* and i have never tried to be, but I do take A LOT of pictures. I carry a camera around with me at all times and I get really snap happy, trying to capture precious memories of my little family. However, when I take a better look at what I have been snapping, the quality of the pics are pretty meh! Firstly I need to learn how to use my camera (I'm one of those people that can never be bothered to read instructions!) and secondly I need to know what I SHOULD be taking snaps of. I am literally always getting my daughters to pose. I need to loosen up and go with the flow!

When Matilda was born I promised to do the things that I wanted to do with my other daughters, but never managed to. So I signed up to Turtle Tots in Dorset, bought a beautiful crib and I decided to try Captured By Samira photography in Bournemouth. I have never had professional photographs done before, and this is something I have always massively regretted. I had no idea what to expect, I was just advised to be ready to feed a lot and to wear a white top.

My husband and I turned up at the studio with all three of our daughters at 2pm on day 7 of Matilda entering this world. With Matilda always sleeping and my first day of feeling human after the caesarean I was super excited but this particular day was going to be the first day of Matilda changing her sleeping habit and staying awake! 

Samira was amazing. She was so calm and knew exactly what to do in order to get those pretty snaps of baby sleeping (I also picked up a great tip to get Matilda to sleep). I wasn't made to feel a pain in the bottom or useless, in fact I felt very welcome (see mug picture below!) and like I had known her for years!

If you can afford it I strongly suggest you get professional newborn photographs done. It's by far the most beautiful surprise to receive the photo's and to look through them once you are feeling better and less flustered with a newborn

So here are a few snaps from the session (SQUUIISSHHYYYYYY)...